Building The Bench

HOW fans have long departed from the Yuengling Center after HOW’s eventful Refueled VII. The sound of heavy raindrops hitting off of the ground with Jonny O’Dell idly standing there decked out in all the new Best Alliance merchandise. Everything ranging from cap, scarf, shorts and a novelty balloon attached on a bit of string. And it’s safe to say, he’s looking rather despondent with life.

A motor vehicle with the registration plate reading: BEST 1 wheel spins out of the parking lot without consideration. O’Dell follows said motor all the way with his eyes and body position.

Once out of sight; the HOW cameras capture a behind shot of O’Dell stood firmly still. As he eventually releases the balloon with the last remaining view of the car speeding completely out of sight. 


The cameras follow the balloon as it floats up into the sky. Like on Forrest Gump, except without a feather.

A nice little sit down will suffice. On a bench. 

Until somebody else inevitably jumps ship, sends in an angry letter, or cries retirement; giving me some much needed playing time.

On said bench with Ron Weasley, The Elephant Man, the foreign exchange student, and, most of all.. The Lonesome Loser himself; Scott Stevens.

Oh hello, cruel world.

The balloon elegantly drifts and disappears into the clouds.


Sat around a campfire on one long needless bench are the newly forced formed HOW tag team: The Benchwarmers. As self-deprecating as that ultimately sounds; the mood and atmosphere appears to be no different. The duo are on opposite ends of the bench, appearing uninterested as expert body language goes; turned away.

Fir trees surround the area to keep the setting private whether that is intended or not. I’m guessing, to allow the pair to get fully acquainted without distraction.

O’DELL: Do you know how I know you’re such a loser?

Stevens doesn’t even give O’Dell the decency to look at him as he pokes a stick in the mud.

O’DELL: Because you live in Darin Zion’s back pocket.

There’s silence. O’Dell looks a little proud of himself as he smirks. It doesn’t look like it has fazed Stevens in any way as he continues to prod. He is seemingly keeping his opinions to himself sitting in the quietude of the field.

STEVENS: ..Do you know how I know you’re such a loser? 

O’Dell looks taken aback slightly. Seemingly, not expecting a reply as Stevens looks completely down on his luck.

STEVENS: You still have egg yolk in your Gandalf beard.

O’Dell takes time to ponder this retort; even checking his beard for the remains of yolk.

O’DELL: Hey, do you know how I know you’re such a loser?

Stevens gives O’Dell the pleasure by simply looking at him dead in the eyes.

O’DELL: Your tattoos tell the same story as Perez Hilton.

STEVENS: Yeah? Well do you know how I know you’re such a loser?

O’DELL: No, but I’m sure you’re about to tell me. So go on, Stevens.. spit it out. 

O’Dell looks to be getting agitated.

STEVENS: You’re a fifty five year old grown man that still plays wrestler.

This immediately silences O’Dell. Whilst Stevens looks back at the stick he’s still prodding in the mud.

STEVENS: ..And it’s sad that that War Games match is your life’s work.

The silence is broken up by merely only the sound of the crack from the fire and nothing else. As O’Dell takes time to fully digest the insult. 

O’DELL: Ouch, Stevens. Real ouch.

The Benchwarmers sit in silence yet again; genuinely sick of their lives. Almost like the back and forth verbal onslaught has taken its toll.

STEVENS: ..And do you know how I know we’re both such losers?

O’Dell hasn’t the energy to respond. However, his intrigue is apparent with a side glance at Stevens.

STEVENS: …I’ve agreed to camp out with you in your mother’s back garden.

O’Dell looks slightly embarrassed that Scott Stevens has revealed this information to the HOW cameras as he fidgets.

STEVENS: Though, I don’t think much of the tent..

CUT TO: shot of a badly assembled tent. Tent poles poking out everywhere with the roof of the tent sunken deep in the middle.

O’DELL: Ha, very funny Stevens.. mam’s back garden..

STEVENS: So why else is there an eighty year old woman having a staring competition with next door’s cat?

CUT TO: Elderly woman on a house porch looking outward to the fence to the left of her with a cat sat on it. 

CLOSE UP of woman and she lets out a Hebrew-style insult/threat.

..The woman isn’t from Israel. She’s just mental.

CLOSE UP of a cat aggressively responding with a hiss and a swipe of its paw.

You know, maybe the loser was right. Maybe I shouldn’t be still wrestling at my age. However, as long as there’s still air in this old beaten body then I will still continue to entertain. And if I die, then so be it. Fuck, I’ll only go sooner if I’m accused of alleged arson on HOW. Which, by popular opinion.. seems good odds.

Stevens’ words rang true, though. They struck a chord. However, so did Lee’s at the end of Refueled VII. 

Though, it’s funny how he could not even address a lonely little Benchwarmer out there like me. Couldn’t even look me in the eyes as he said it. Or even.. the man I’ll be sharing a tent with tonight; Scott Stevens. 

Almost like he knew with everything he wanted to get off of his chest that it couldn’t be aimed at me. For I had only ever lived in the moment myself. As a Benchwarmer, I appreciated every opportunity I got and had taken it with both hands every time. Don’t believe this loser? that’s fine.. but the rankings don’t like.

But this was our chance. Our opportunity. Probably the best chance and opportunity The Benchwarmers have of shoving it up everyone’s arses. To every bastard that ever dared to question our ability as performers. And, even you.. Big Jock Tommy Langton, who dared to give me a rough old ride in high school. 

We just needed to find a way to coexist.

…Fuck, even just to like one another would be a start.

However, as you will find with every delinquent. Myself and Mr. Stevens don’t just allow people in willy nilly. No, it’s not as easy as that. For we have been badly burnt in the past. Our barriers are concreted up. And we have to be able to trust first.

What is even a team without trust?! 

Hence the sleepover.

I mean, if I can’t tell Scott Stevens the secret of me quite fancying Bobbinette Carey then who could I tell?! This is a test of trust. And I fully expect Stevens to share a secret with me also.

To build trust.

To build the team.

To build the bench.

O’Dell and Stevens look calmly into the campfire, therapeutically. The sound from the fire is the only sound really imminent, with the odd black bird chirping in the background ever so faintly. 


Stevens has produced an egg from his rations in camp. O’Dell looks fixated on said egg as Stevens holds it completely still.

STEVENS: Take it, O’Dell.. 

We were learning from each other like two semi-naked blue avatars hunting for knowledge. Not the tree of souls or memories though. We’ll stay away from that. As the only immediate memory from HOW that we both share is of bitterness and deceit.

We may have gotten off to a shaky start but there was so much to learn from The Stevens species. And vice versa for Scott Stevens to learn about me.

He must learn everything. Like every time I piss in the bathroom sink because it’s at a more appropriate height for me than the actual toilet.


O’Dell holds out the egg. O’Dell holds it like he doesn’t feel the need to say anything. Because Stevens knows what’s coming, with sheer disgruntlement.

With that said, O’Dell immediately throws the egg high into the sky.

Stevens doesn’t take the bait. He is not going to run around like a headless chicken (excuse the pun) for O’Dell’s entertainment. However, he does look upward, slightly curious perhaps.

I need to figure out Steven’s speed.

Stevens takes one miniature step to the side; still looking up. He’s clearly not engaging with O’Dell’s tomfoolery. However, a sense that he won’t be beaten. Or worse.. look the fool himself.

Learn about Stevens accuracy. And how it differed from the way I worked.

Stevens simply holds his arm out, nonchalantly.

And how the Stevens mind and body coped with high pressure situations..

Stevens then remarkably (and successfully) cradles a free-falling egg without it smashing; catching it like a professional baseball catcher. 

I did not want to show how impressed I was. Though, grateful I was not covered in egg again also.

Stevens did not show any emotion or look for reassurances from Jonny O’Dell. He just went by his business. The business of cracking said egg on a pan over the fire pit. With the egg now slowly cooking in the pan.

Stevens then looks at O’Dell with menace. And this prompts O’Dell to produce an egg of his own.

Stevens nods.

O’Dell then cracks it and adds it to the pan.

The Benchwarmers stand over the pan with eggs sizzling in it, with inflamed reactions (excuse second pun). 

The last shot is that shot of an upward shot of The Benchwarmers looking down into the pan.

This was much more than smashing a pair of eggs. Metaphorically speaking, perhaps the hunger.

…Definitely hunger (fuck it, don’t excuse any of the puns.. because we fucking mean it).

The hunger to not just beat the EggBandits so they get their just rewards. Not just the hunger to beat Darin Zion again for simply shits and gigs. Not just the hunger to beat Chris Kostoff again to earn just a little smidgen of his respect (..hopefully). Not just to beat Fat Booby again and ram a couple of eggs down his thick throat. And even, not just to beat a former World HOW champion for a higher ranking spot for the sake of a pointless popularity contest.

The hunger is to prove to the whole world why The Benchwarmers belong. 

That The Benchwarmers are far better utilized in the ring than warming the fucking bench with Edward Scissorhands or any other useless hack sat on it. 

And if you dare put your dicks inside the Gorilla enclosure, which you will predictably do at War Games… then be prepared for the worst versions of ourselves. The worst version of The Benchwarmers.

That, as GOD as my witness.. being the most powerful thing we have.

Promise me to bring your worst, Stevens. Because trust me, you no longer have to sit on the bench on your lonesome anymore.

…………….my friend?

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