We cut to Florida’s finest steakhouse where we find the current ICON Champion, CM!JF and his close personal friend, advisor, agent, manager, general personal valet Dirk Dickwood are about to chow down on the MOST EXPENSIVE STEAK. More expensive than eighty five dollars, that’s for sure!
A caption warning us:
“Steak Eating is now FORBIDDEN! HOTv bans all future steak eaters from airing their steak eatery on this fine network. We thank you for your services to meats!”
The siren continues for a few more seconds before we cut to some more static.
The static settles for a few moments but a new image begins to flicker down the television tube. A bright white room, lights firing off in every direction and an intense spotlight focused on a podium placed in the centre of the room. This almost heaven-esque room has little else but the podium and the podium is bathed in the holiest of light. Sitting atop the podium is…
Wait no, that’s wrong, my apologies.
The ICON Championship.
That’s better. That seems more correct. An orchestral swell begins to pound of unseen speakers, perhaps to indicate how wonderful and pure said title is or perhaps indicating that this title will damn us all to hell.
The music fades as out from behind the podium shuffles the zombified husk of a man that used to be known as the hottest lad and bestest boy, Cecilworth M. Farthington. He looks at the championship longingly for more moments than most humans would be comfortable witnessing without asking the question “so, is he fucking that belt or what?”. He snaps out of the ICON Championship’s alluring glare as his sunken eyes glare down the camera.
Farthington: If the High Octane World Championship and it’s 97 shades of red strap represents the very heart of this awful, despicable, wretched company then this glorious beast next to me. This vision in white… it represents the soul of the company and I, the owner of that soul.
The bright lights of the room make it very clear that Cecilworth has been having a rough time of it recently. More clammy than spiffing, more haunted than dignified, the current ICON champion gently caresses the belt.
Farthington: For Dan Ryan, this belt… this championship, it’s another notch for his almost two decades of dominance. For Dan Ryan, a victory and a chance to wear this title around his horrendously malformed waist is I’m sure an exciting opportunity but it’s a memory that will fade over time. He’s said it himself, this belt is supposedly only for the second best and Dan Ryan, he’s a World Champion RIGHT THIS MOMENT. Second best, at best was how he seemed to view this championship when he was having some form of demented rage under a tree in Jamaica. Maybe to a man like Dan this is so sort of runners up award, maybe to someone who seems to have a magnetic pull for championship titles this is just another trinket to win, toss in the cabinet and call it a day.
Cecilworth pats the ICON championship in a reassuring pastoral manner, cooing “he’ll never love you like I love you”. We see his eyes a bit closer than before as he widens them to appreciate the belt. They are in the levels of bloodshot that make them seem almost entirely red.
Farthington: You don’t quite get it Daniel. I don’t think you ever will. These things do come quite easily to you so I get why you would struggle to understand, to comprehend why something could have so much meaning. After all, isn’t everyone a one hundred time World Champion, fifty time Hall of Famer, seventy eight time Wrestler of the Year… these moments of championship victory, they must be fleeting right? We have so many we just move on from one to the other. After all, that is the life of Dan Ryan. That is the life of Lindsay Troy, of Eric Dane, hell even that demon spawn child you three carry around with you has claimed gold time and time again. Yet it’s not everyone’s story Dan. It’s not everyone’s truth. Some of us have had to claw our way to our rewards, to fight the very best at their peak just to have a chance of calling ourselves a champion. I don’t have a championship history as long as my arm so this beautiful belt, this has very special meaning to me. It is my career defining championship.
Cecilworth circles around the ICON championship a few times, pacing in his own world as he continues to keep eye contact with the belt at all times.
Farthington: HOW doesn’t need a white knight. HOW needs to die. It’s an awful company run by a maniac that I’m still stunned isn’t serving a police sentence right now with the amount of horrendous bullshit he has overseen. This beautiful innocent championship though? Oh she needs the utmost protection. Particularly from men like you who would seek to view her as another sloppy one night stand. Another one for Dan Ryan’s little black book. I will not see her turned into a prop, something the Best Alliance can swing about as they try to sling their dicks in the ring. Well… the men… I’m not sure what the female equivalent of dick slinging is.
Cecilworth stops in his tracks for a few seconds, his own thoughts and words catching up with him and giving a brief moment of pause.
Farthington: Okay, I’ve taken that analogy perhaps too far, perhaps not. We’ve talked a lot about history this weather, have we not Daniel? We are both busy men, things do fall through the gap but every time I try to provide a helpful service and educate you on what matters, what is important, what is real… you seem reluctant to listen. Perhaps you think you get me now, perhaps you think you’ve cracked that famous Farthington riddle. You’ve been the one to see through it all and have worked out what I really am but… I already told you Dan, I already told you who I am. I told you why this matters to me MORE than it ever will to you and it appears it didn’t quite penetrate that rather dense and misshapen head of yours.
Cecilworth picks up the ICON championship from the podium, staring deeply into the main plate, perhaps admiring his own reflection, perhaps the belt itself.
Farthington: This championship made me Dan. It made me a man. It made me a… let’s just say it… it made me an INTERNATIONAL MEGASTAR the likes of which we haven’t seen since Scott Stevens wasn’t shitting the bed and having boring dinners with his bland wife. My career was almost ended at the hands of my best friend Mike Best and his buddy JAY PEE DEE back in the day. Back then, I was still the charming rogue of a tag team with a stiff, this stiff was primarily a brawler and we played off each other pretty well. Hell, we even left Alcatraz as the Tag Team Champions. Did we get a chance to relish that brutal and hard earned victory against names like Scottywood, Scott Stevens or Brian Hollywood? Did we hell! The ole one eyed wankshaft pitted us right against the best of the best. The World Champion Mike Best and the ICON Champion Jace Parker Davidson. They were ripping up the joint and didn’t care who they hurt along the way… that included me. Post match, they decided to make an example of me, they put me on the shelf. There was a chance, perhaps more than fifty percent that my career could have been over. I could have went out as “that charming half of tag teams with brutal boring guys” and remembered by no-one and nothing.
Cecilworth inspects each side plate with an alluring glare. Yes, the glare is most alluring indeed.
Farthington: The story didn’t end there, we know that. We wouldn’t be here right now about to step into a cage with each other if that was the end of this tale. Months of rehabilitation allowed me to come back to the ring, to HOW, and I was ready to swing at everyone and everything. I was seething with rage at Mike Best, at the Davidsons, they had almost destroyed my career and I rushed back into the ring to prove I could stand on my own two feet. A singles star, a man on my own… I mean sure, Dirk was there but that’s not the point, Dirk doesn’t wrestle for me. So I got back into the ring, my triumphant return and then…
I lost again.
I lost a further time. I lost so many singles matches in a row I had to pay for my justice against JAYPEEDEE out of my pocket and even then, EVEN THEN, the match was under threat. With such a disappointing record in my breakout singles career, I was warned if I didn’t win my next match, I would lose my shot at the ICON Championship and at revenge. The man who stood in my way? My current BEE EFF EFF, the MOGUL, the undefeatable, OCW’s Mr Sixteen and Zero, Michael Lee motherfucking Best. Easy, right? All I had to do was beat a man who embodied the very championship I was fighting to obtain, all I had to do with beat a man who had just entered the Hall of Fame, who had just held the World Championship. So… so… so… simple.
Cecilworth hoists the ICON championship upon his shoulder, hugging it closely under his neck.
Farthington: Yet, somehow, some way, through magic, through wizardry, through the stars aligning just ever so slightly correct, I did it. I managed to defeat Mike Best, I do not say this to brag, I do not say this to rely on history to prove my present, I say this to give you the context. When my back is against the wall, when everyone is whispering that I’m done for, when everyone expects me to fall apart, that’s when I come swinging Danny Boy. I had my date with destiny and I formed a bond. Me and Mike, we’ve been BEFFS ever since, he went in the ring with me and he saw what I can do, what I’m truly capable of. So the date was set, the 10th March, 2015. March to Glory. Me, Jace Parker Davidson, 2 out of 3 falls, the ICON Championship the reward for the ultimate victor. Prediction after prediction had Jace coming out on top. He hadn’t been beaten in nine months and I had to scrap, scratch and claw to even make it to the match. I had to fight for my spot. So it’s just common sense, isn’t it Dan? The scrappy idiot doesn’t stand a chance against the dominant, long standing and multiple time champion. Every match he has, every opponent, he easily dispatches them. He was unassailable, riding high on the hog, an “entertainer” was hardly going to be the one to bring a supremely ascendant reign to an end. Does that sound familiar perhaps?
Cecilworth holds the belt against his neck, rolling his neck back and forward across the metal of the main plate.
Farthington: I said you don’t get it Dan because you don’t. This match might be an interesting challenge for you. A puzzle you want to solve, a part of the game you just haven’t quite cracked yet. That’s great, I’m real happy for you. It is so much more for me. It is a chance for me to prove that I wasn’t a fluke at King of the Cage, that in fact, I’m real damn good at cages and cage like matches. I want to prove the risks I present when you lock me down in steel. I want to prove you are not the worthy owner to this title, that you never will be. You will never treat her right, with the dignity and respect that she deserves.
Cecilworth produces a small letter out of his back pocket and holds it close to the camera for ease of seeing.
Farthington: A month or so ago, my close personal employee Dirk Dickwood sent a letter to Lee Best. He informed him that I viewed the ICON championship as my property. That I had a special relationship with the belt. That when the company goes up in flames that I very much intend for it to still be with me. I plan to take it wherever I go, wherever I roam because… Daniel… you never forget your first. We’ve been reunited and I will be buggered raw before I allow you to break us up.
Breathing heavily at this point, red of face, veins visible and pounding, Cecilworth raises the ICON championship belt high above his head.
Farthington: I am Cecilworth M! Jamela Farthington, I am the HOW ICON Champion, I am the KING OF THE MOTHERFUCKING CAGE and Lee Best has locked me in that steel cage with a hulking man beast who will do everything in his power to break my bones, snap my body in twain, leave every litre of blood of mine on the mat and yet even as he does all this. He may attempt to leave me in a pool of blood and urine and vomit. Even as he makes it look easy, he still won’t be able to end it, he will not be able to end me. I won’t let him. He will not, shall not, never shall he hold MY ICON Championship. Lee Best and his alliance will have to commit one of the LITERAL murders that he is so well known for if they have any hope of ripping this championship away from me. She is my first. She is mine. She will ALWAYS be mine.
Cecilworth smooches the ICON championship as the entire room drops into pitch darkness.
Many hours later we find ourselves at oh… let’s just say Universal Studios’ Volcano Bay for arguments sake. A small line of HOW and OCW fans have camped out in front of the entrance to meet CM!JF. Cecilworth himself seems incredibly preoccupied, barely forming almost coherent sentences to every fan who comes for the signature and the snap.
Farthington: Hello, here is picture. It is signed. Goodbye. Enjoy water!
An anxious Dirk Dickwood watches on from the side of the table as Cecilworth does a half hearted smile. He slides down to sit next to Cecilworth at the table, signalling for the next fan to wait for a few moments.
Dickwood: What the hell has gotten into you? You’re pale and pasty… well ever more so than just your normal horrible English complexion. Your eyes are sunken. Have you even slept this week buddy?
A dead eyed Cecilworth continues to look off into space, still looking as possessed as he did at the Barnes and Nobles signing earlier in the week.
Farthington: Comedy hour is over… comedy hour is over.
Dickwood: Jesus christ, this shit again? Please, stop concerning yourself with the ravings of man high on his own supply. I mean… jesus christ, half the shit he’s been rambling about didn’t even happen. He’s trying to get to you C-Money, he’s trying to win the MIND GAMES. When has anyone ever managed to do that with your admittedly fluid brain before?
Cecilworth continues gawking to no particular moment or direction as he signals for the next person to come down, never making eye contact with the excitable fan.
Excitable Fan: Oh gawrsh! I love you CMF! That stuff you do in OCW with Big Bifford, that’s just… oh it’s so funny! It’s so fun.
Farthington: Hello, yes fun, much fun, enjoy water, here picture.
Cecilworth doesn’t particularly make much effort to engage as he throws a picture to a fan becoming slightly more dejected by the second over the interaction. The security guard hustles the fan away without getting as much as a handshake from the champ.
Dickwood: Look, I’m worried. Staying in HOW is really starting to impact you. First you go and rent that weird bright white room and heavily imply that you are in a romantic relationship with your championship and it may have taken your virginity. This is not normal behaviour. Well, I mean… Cecilworth normal… you have your own kind of normal. I think the HOW is rubbing off on you, it’s infecting you. The shitty deathmatch promotion is inside you and it’s starting to burst out. We both know you’re better than that. Has Dan Ryan got you rattled?
Cecilworth grunts but doesn’t really do much to respond to Dirk as the next fan walks over.
Dickwood: You can’t keep ignoring me like this. You know I’ve always been the one by your side in HOW. Sure, you seem to leave me here abandoned when you get lost in Utah or decided you want to go and be part of an eMpire but you know, here, HOW, I’ve got your best interests at heart. Right now, I know my boy is fucked up in the head and that bastard Dan Ryan has done it. That’s why you never meet your exes Cecilworth, it’s always a mess.
Dirk’s pep talk is interrupted by the excitable fan rushing towards the table, he arms pumping in the air in joy.
Fan 2 (by Blur): Woohoo! I can’t believe I’m really meeting you. I was so happy when you escaped with the ICON Championship last week…
The previously detached Cecilworth’s ears perk up at this little chat, he looks the most present he has during the entire meet and greet, perhaps more present than he’s been since his first match with Dan Ryan.
Farthington: Say that again…
Fan 2 (Holding a Coffee and TV): I’m just such a big fan, I was worried with the Dan Ryan match that you may not make it out with your championship. I mean, he’s big, scary, loud, angry and has a lot of friends who are also that but mildly different. I was just so happy to see you escape with the title…
Cecilworth snaps his fingers together as if he had just solved the bloody enigma machine.
Farthington: Escaped… escape… Dirktrude. I think I’ve got it. I know how we keep her.
Dickwood: Please stop calling the ICON championship “her”, it’s creepy, gross and unsettling.
Farthington: Just be happy I’ve not named her… yet.
Cecilworth wildly gesticulates his hands in all directions, as if he were some form of Muppet human.
Farthington: Look, none of that is important. Dan Ryan is… yeesh… he sure is. However, as King of the Cage, I know there’s more than one way to skin a duck.
A horrified fan from the line cries out in anguish “YOU SKINNED THE DUCK? YOU ARE A HORRIBLE MONSTER! YOU BELONG IN HOW!” and is escorted from the line very quickly by the Universal Studios Security Team.
Farthington: Comedy time is over, he’s right about that. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a few tricks up my sleeve and this lovely fan here has just reminded me of something very, very important.
Dickwood: That good oral hygiene costs nothing?
Dirk eyes the very sweaty fan who is still hanging around the table. Dirk tosses a signed photo of CM!JF at the fan and points his thumb indicating that the fan should skeedaddle. For his part, a genuine smile creeps across the face of The Best Boy for the first time in about two weeks as he turns to face Dirk, very excited.
Farthington: Dan Ryan proved himself unworthy to wield her. Dan Ryan proved himself unworthy to be the one who could free me. But at Refueled VEE EYE Dirk, at Refueled VEE EYE I will keep her, I will keep her close and if I am not freed from this hell by the hand of the sunglasses at night malformed human known as the Daninator… I shall head into War Games with Max and we shall free ourselves by our own hands. After all, we control the heart and soul of the company. Dan Ryan doesn’t deserve the right to be my executioner. I deserve the right to be everyone else’s.
Dickwood: There’s mah boy, there’s a man ready to BURN THIS FUCKER DOWN.
We fade out of this wonderful scene as Cecilworth says the word “escape” to himself multiple times and chuckles gleefully.