“There is a growing threat in the world of High Octane Wrestling and it is a threat that must be taken seriously. I may be a man who has always taken a threat, no matter how serious or fatal, and shattered that threat with a fierce pierce through the proverbial heart. It is, however, how I launched my empire and grew it to the heights it has climbed in HOW. I’ll be damned if I stop annihilating it now..”
Hollywood’s Private Jet
In flight to Tampa Bay
Brian Hollywood sits by a window looking out as the jet flies over the city of Los Angeles as it flies over Hollywood Enterprises. Hollywood lets out a sigh as he leaves his company in the hands of Niles Omega, who volunteered to look after the company whilst Hollywood was away to continue his efforts to regain the HOW World Championship in the High Octane Wrestling HOW World Championship tournament. Hollywood still couldn’t believe High Octane Wrestling was back. For almost three years, Hollywood’s life felt incomplete..almost as if there was a large hole to be filled. He did have everything he wanted before it all ended. He had built an empire in HOW and built it from the ground up. Hollywood was good at building empires, good at conquering and good at making it flourish. When HOW closed down, Hollywood lost that empire, lost everything he had built. He lost the HOW World Championship, lost the ICON Championship, lost the LSD Championship…lost all the ground he had gained and spent so long in taking. The partnerships he made, the deals with the devil, every decision he made to get to the top of the mountain and suddenly seized. Every decision he made, no matter how easy or difficult they were, Hollywood sacrificed something to get there….and when he did get there, there was nothing on the other side. This concept angered Hollywood, he adapted and he rose to the top of the mountain all for nothing. Hollywood shakes his head as he reminisces the moment when he completely controlled HOW and was even more angered when he didn’t see the shutdown coming.
Brian Hollywood: You know…I should’ve seen it coming. I’m a man who sees every possible outcome and prepares for every possible contingency. I’ve always planned carefully and allowed myself to see both the best case and worst case scenarios. So why did I not see this one coming? Why did I put all my chips into taking the HOW mountain and watch it all end? I watched it end and I didn’t have any say in it. I watched as I could do NOTHING but watch it all end. That’s the worst feeling you can endure…not being able to do a god damn motherfucking thing about it. Why didn’t I see it end? I guess everything in life, no matter how good it is, must come to an end sometime.
Hollywood pauses as he continues to look back out the window. He had calmed down a bit, but the feeling of watching something crumble after working so hard in obtaining it was something Hollywood wasn’t accustomed to. He was good at what he did and he was good at maintaining that level of success no matter what the cost. Hollywood’s flight attendant walks into the cabin and brings him a glass of Wild Turkey whiskey. She smiles as she hands him the glass. Hollywood grabs it and smiles back.
Brian Hollywood: Thank you…just what the doctor ordered.
Flight Attendant: Is there anything else I can get for you, Mr. Hollywood?
Brian Hollywood: No thank you, that will be all.
The flight attendant leaves as Hollywood takes a sip from his glass. He sits back and closes his eyes as he lets the whiskey warm his blood. He takes a deep breath before turning his attention back out the window.
Brian Hollywood: So here’s what’s going to happen now…I’m going to pick back where I left off. The history books still record me as the last High Octane Wrestling World Champion and I’m going to proceed as if I still am. I mean, did I ever lose the HOW World Championship in a match? Did someone take the championship away from me? No, none of those things happened. HOW is back and so am I. History recorded me as the last HOW World Champion and now I must proceed as if that’s the case.
Hollywood pauses briefly as he takes another sip of his whiskey. He lets out a small smirk before continuing.
Brian Hollywood: Here’s the way I see this. This tournament of sorts is just a pathway to the HOW World Championship. It’s a pathway I have undertaken in order to climb back up that mountain and take my prize back. With HOW reopening, I understand it’s necessary to ascend back up that mountain once again because that’s the only way I’m going to get to that world title. It’s the only way I’m going to be able to look back down at the work that I had done to get there. It’s going to let me see HOW in the image that I created. I’ve already taken down Chris Kostoff and the next one in my line of sight is Lindsay Troy. Heh.
Hollywood pauses as he laughs and shakes his head adjusting himself in his seat.
Brian Hollywood: At last, I get the pleasure of meeting you, Lindsay. I can’t say that I’m surprised to be facing you in the elite eight. Scott Stevens isn’t exactly a man who can keep somebody down…least stop them from pursuing greatness, mind you. Scott Stevens can be defeated multiple ways so it’s not a surprise you got past him. However, I am NOT Scott Stevens, Lindsay, and you know nothing about me! I enjoyed watching you beat Stevens. I see the fierce competitive nature within you. Congrats for being able to get past him. However, one match in HOW doesn’t tout a career accomplishment, especially against Scott Stevens. You may have been able to get past Stevens because he looked past you. I don’t look past people, I just beat them. Convincingly so. You now face the last HOW World Champion. While I commend you in a successful career elsewhere, this isn’t elsewhere. This is High Octane Wrestling and things here are different. There is definitely a learning curve here in HOW…I would know. I had to craft one. I wasn’t the HOW World Champion overnight. HOW commends respect from competitiveness and it takes strength to push forward. I had to find that strength, that itch, that strategy to mold my craft. It wasn’t easy. It took everything I had to mold it. That’s what makes this place different, Lindsay. That’s what makes me different because I understand what it takes. I know what it takes to be on top of that mountain and I will do whatever it takes to get back on top. I started something great when I was HOWs last World Champion…I intend on picking that back up again.
Hollywood pauses as he finishes off his whiskey, placing the empty glass off to the side. He pulls his feet up resting them on a foot rest in front of him.
Brian Hollywood: The truth is Lindsay, you were dealt a bad draw. Had you found yourself in the other bracket, there might have been a possibility you got to the finals of the tournament, coming out on the other side of the bracket. Maybe you would have gotten past Max Kael or Darin Zion, maybe not. Who knows. You got the bad deal of the draw because of having to face me in the elite eight. I don’t hate you or have any animosity towards you..I just don’t intend on letting you advance in this tournament. I just want you to know that while I may not have any of those feelings towards you, I am faced with a threat. A threat of someone else other than me coming for my HOW World Championship. I face all threats, no matter how big or small or serious they are. They are all the same to me…THREATS! That’s all you are Lindsay, and if your a threat, I neutralize it by any means necessary. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep that HOW World Championship….I mean, win it back. You have to understand…it’s all the same to me because I technically never lost it. So I’m defending it…from anyone else coming near it. Surely you understand that. You are just the next person after Kostoff for me and someone I simply won’t accept to come near me and picking back up that HOW World Championship and continuing the empire I built for myself in HOW. Only this time…I’ll burn it all to the fucking ground before I let it all go again. So you see Lindsay…your just another name…another person I must put down in order to protect my investment…an investment I went all in on and carried with pride. I didn’t pay money for it, I didn’t purchase loyalty…I went out and took it without spending a god damn penny. All the same…your a threat in this tournament Lindsay, and a threat that I will deal with accordingly to get myself to the final four…and one step closer to the HOW World Championship that I never fucking lost! Mark my words Lindsay…this is one motherfucker that you won’t conquer all because I’ve just conquered it and I’ll be damned if I step aside to let someone else try!
Hollywood looks back out the window with a look of intent in his eyes as he focuses on his goal of continuing on in the HOW World Championship tournament. There was far too much at stake for him to lose. That’s what gave him the edge. He already knew what it felt like to lose everything without being able to do jack shit about it. He wasn’t about to let it happen again. Hollywood continues to stare out the window as his cell phone begins to ring. Hollywood pulls out his phone and looks at the ID before answering it. He looks surprised as to who is calling him.
Brian Hollywood: Gerald? Holy shit didn’t expect to hear from you! It’s been awhile brother! How are you?
Hollywood places the phone on speaker and lays it to his side as Gerald speaks. He doesn’t seem like he’s in much into the catching up mood right now.
“I wish this were a courtesy call Brian, but it’s not I’m afraid.”
Hollywood lets out a small smirk, as if Gerald were kidding.
Brian Hollywood: What do you mean not a courtesy call? I haven’t spoken with you in months. I know you’ve been off on business but a nice hello I’m doing fine would have been more suffice!
“There isn’t any time for that! I’m aware you left the company in the hands of Niles. What’s so important that you had to fly out of Los Angeles to take care of that you had to leave Hollywood Enterprises in that fools hands? What could be so important that you hopped on your jet to fly to Tampa Bay?”
Hollywood had to be careful with his next words that came out of his mouth. Niles was the only one who knows Hollywood’s wrestling life and that couldn’t be compromised. Gerald may be one of his best friends, but the less people knew within the company the better. After a long pause, Hollywood finally answers Gerald.
Brian Hollywood: Well, if you know that, than you are aware of the new client that I’m meeting. Not only do I owe him some money after a lost a bet during March Madness, but this is a client that will help move Hollywood Enterprises branch out further after our last tango with The Chair.
“Of course I know of your meeting with this new client. I also found out the name of this client and what his affiliation in business is. However, why didn’t you just set up a meeting with him at Hollywood Enterprises? Why fly out and meet him alone? You know you have enemies, Brian! You know we have to be careful. You of all people, especially! This is something that you could have easily dealt with in Los Angeles. It makes no sense for you to fly out to meet someone who you haven’t been briefed on yet. That’s not how your mind works. So tell me…what’s so god damn important that you fly out to Tampa instead? You know the kind of work I do, Hollywood! You know I’m going to find out one way or another. It would make it easier for you to just tell me so I don’t have to do that. I don’t want to spend my resources on that if I don’t need to when I know they are valuable elsewhere.”
Hollywood was running out of things to say. With Gerald working with the CIA, he could find out anything he wanted to. He had just as many sources for information as Hollywood did. Although a very good friend, he knew Gerald couldn’t know what Hollywood was up to. It would be a conflict of interest to him and Hollywood knew Gerald would view it as a distraction. It was clear to Hollywood, though, that Gerald wouldn’t understand how much this tournament and High Octane Wrestling met to Hollywood. Hollywood sighs and instead of letting out the truth…continues to let his own plans play out.
Brian Hollywood: Look Gerald, I know your good at your job but I’m also good at mine. Extremely good! I can’t keep hiding out away from The Chair and expect to get the results I need! That didn’t work the last time very well and I’m not going to take that approach again! So if this isn’t a courtesy call, than please enlighten me. I know you didn’t just call me to tell me that Niles isn’t fit to run the company in my absence. You could have sent me a text and I would have known what it was about! So please, tell me, what’s this about?
Gerald sighs following a pause. Hollywood knew he was taking a major risk not telling Gerald but this was something that needed to wait right now. After a few moments, Gerald finally breaks his silence.
“Alright, if that’s the way you want to play it….fine. But just so your aware, this client that your so called meeting, his name is Jack O’ Brien. Jack is a quite the businessman like yourself, but he’s a known member of The Martyr’s. They are a radical group of people who, at the right price and the right buyer, are willing to introduce and even conduct extremist ideas to produce the best results for the buyer.”
Hollywood is left confused and even flabbergasted. It made no sense to him how this group even works or how Hollywood never heard of them before.
Brian Hollywood: Why have I never heard of these guys before, even mentioned in the past? This would have been good information to have before I left Los Angeles.
“Like I said before…had you waited before you left and got more information, we wouldn’t be in this situation. When are you to meet up with Jack? It’s likely he is only going to talk to you, but that’s not a risk that we should be taking let alone a one on one meet without backup.”
Brian Hollywood: I’m not due to meet with him for a few days. However, I wanted to get to Tampa Bay and get a scope on things before the meet. I mean…the best thing I could say is you could fly out here and stake out the area. However, if he is a member of these Martyr’s than I don’t want this opportunity blown. Maybe we could use these guys to our advantage.
“Well at any rate..someone needs to be there for backup. Let me make some travel arrangements and I can fly out there before the meet and we can talk more about this in person.”
Hollywood nods his head in agreement as he lets out a small sigh dodging Gerald away from the truth for now.
Brian Hollywood: Alright brother..sounds good. Call me when you are on your way out here and I’ll let you know where I’m staying.
“Alright man. I’ll be in touch.”
Hollywood hangs up the phone and slides it back in his pocket as he lets out a sigh of relief, for now. He begins to contemplate who the Martyr’s are but more importantly, refocuses his attention to the tournament as his jet reaches the Tampa Bay area as the scene fades to black.
TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA
So it all comes down to this. The next round of the HOW World Championship tournament. A tournament that is to decide the next HOW World Champion. Here’s the thing, though…I never lost the HOW World Championship to begin with and I’m not treating this tournament as if I lost that belt. I’m treating this tournament as a way to get back to the top of the HOW mountain so I can be handed MY HOW World Championship once again. Only this time, I’ll be able to look out on top of that mountain and look down on the landscape of HOW. This is what I wanted to do when I won all the singles championships HOW had to offer before it closed down. That’s the point of return I want for myself as a mold my image into the empire I wanted in High Octane Wrestling.
Lindsay Troy, this coming week on Refueled two, you will be the next name on that list as I climb to my rightful spot on the mountain. I don’t think you grasp the situation here like I do. I may have money and I may have made decisions that were critical in taking HOW the way I wanted to, but I always won the HOW World Championship on my own. I didn’t have to flaunt my money around to show that. Sure money buys happiness it buys loyalty and it buys investments but it doesn’t buy respect. That is something that you have to EARN here in HOW. That is something that I have done on my journey to the top. You may be new to HOW, Lindsay, but you haven’t seen what I’m capable of doing for my empire. Fuck the Empire with Mike, Max and Mario! They may have their own little agenda and can call themselves what they will, but they don’t have, nor established the empire that I have established here in HOW! No one could understand that, Lindsay, least of all not you.
You may have gotten past Scott Stevens, but he didn’t have the agenda, nor the desire that I do! He wasn’t willing to do what it took to advance in the tournament! He didn’t have that drive, that motivation to do what it took to move on. He wasn’t the last HOW World Champion…but I AM, Lindsay! That’s what makes me different than Stevens when it comes to facing you next week! I haven’t forgotten…even after these long nearly three years of HOW being closed and not having that HOW World Championship. It’s a feeling and a memory that you don’t forget, Lindsay! That’s why I’m going to do what I need to do in order to move myself one step closer to MY HOW World Championship! The final four does have a nice ring to it…but it’s a final four that means I only have two more matches to get back to the top of that mountain! You’ve come far, Lindsay, but you can’t say that you know what its like to be the HOW World Champion!
You wanted a fight where you didn’t have to hear a rich douchebro promo, didn’t you? Isn’t that what you said? You see that’s all you see with me is a man who has a shit ton of money. That’s all you expect to see when you and I square up in that ring. But you brought the wrong ideals to this fight, Lindsay! I’m not a rich man who’s flaunting around money here….I’m a man who’s coming to take back the only thing that matters to me….the HOW World Championship. You looked at this thing the completely wrong way Lindsay, and now it’s time that you pay for that mistake. Most importantly, though, it’s time that you become just another name off my list and to the side in my quest to regain the HOW World Championship back.
You sure as fuck have no idea what I’m capable of doing in that ring Lindsay…but your about to. There would have been no way you could have understood my stance on this tournament, and I don’t blame you for that. However, You will witness first hand the kinds of things I am willing to do in order to get back whats rightfully mine. That HOW World Championship is the only thing on my mind right now and its the only thing that will keep me going until I get it back. I wish you the best of luck Lindsay…your going to need it. But most importantly…you will witness firsthand what a man like me will be capable of doing to get back the only thing that matters to me….I’ll see you at Refueled two, Lindsay!