Out with The Old
People visit beaches for a bunch of reasons. After the sun sets, that number reduces. Alone, it falls further. When the forecast says a storm is about to roll in, it approaches damn near zero.
This is the specific case we find with The Dooze. His old bones are firmly parked atop a beach bench— keeping it warm for Johnny O’Dell, probably.
In the twilight, you wouldn’t be able to recognize him if you didn’t know better. At 6 foot 3 inches tall, sure you’d look twice, but that’d be about it.
The recently crowned High Octane Tag Champion reaches into the right pocket of his black sweatpants and pulls out a letter. He cautiously unfolds and situates it just right so the moon illuminates the hand-written notes.
Dooze looks out to the ocean…
He listens to the tumbling of the waves…
He feels the breeze on his face…
He meditates for a moment that feels like minutes.
Then he finally looks down and begins to read to himself.
He puts on his reading glasses…
“Ah, there we go.”
I can’t believe I’m writing a fan letter to The Dooze again! It’s been a long time, huh? Ten years, at least.
“Seemed longer than that, Stan. Here’s to hoping you don’t tell me about your girlfriend in the trunk. Ha. Pretty sure song was hitting the charts last time I got one of these. Talk about full circle.”
After I heard Dick Fury was bringing Austin into High Octane Wrestling, I thought I’d check it out. See what the place was all about. I mean, I obviously knew of it, but never really loved Lee that much and definitely not a big Mike guy. I figure of all people, you’d understand that.
“Bet your ass I do.”
So you can imagine how pumped I was to see you wrestling there! Couldn’t really believe Lee ever let you back to be honest. But I guess from the looks of it he was taking anyone who applied.
“Anyone and everyone these days. Fucking gauntlet. And I got the one legged man and a flesh blob backing my old ass up.”
I was even more pumped to see you and Jiles brought back the eGG Bandits.
“That makes one of us.”
AND NOW YOU HAVE BOBBY!
“Yeah, if he can make weight. Jesus. At least Jiles is off the crutches. Fingers crossed.”
Honestly I marked out so hard my mom thought I was sneaking porn again.
Kidding. Anyway. I could go on forever about a lot of different things. But I wrote you for one thing in specific. Something that really kinda bothered me.
“Better not be the Sox hat. Still too soon, kid.”
This is weird. I remember whenever I wrote these back in the day it was always breaking down your matches and how amazingly resilient you were back then and… it’s just different this time. I guess it’s just that I’m used to Jiles doing his thing. Playing tricks, taking shortcuts, you know.
“Well, he IS The Maestro.”
But The Dooze I know was never about that stuff. You’re supposed to be the one who wants to fight fair and let the best man win because you knew the best man was you! Even when you and Jiles were at the top, I think a big part of that was because you were so different.
“Hmmm. Maybe. That was a lot easier to pull off ten years ago.”
Now, it’s like you’re relying on his game. I really hope this doesn’t come off wrong. I loved seeing you guys back in the ring. And it was so awesome you guys won the titles. Like a DREAM come true. A full restart after the straps were grabbed by Zion and Witness? What?!
“I could have sworn Jiles shit himself. He was next to me when he saw Zion with the belt. But, then again, so was O’Dell…”
Anyway, it’s all good and like I said it was way cool to see the Bandits grab gold again. I guess I just miss the yin and yang of the old Bandits, if you will. I do get that it’s different at High Octane. They’ve never loved you there and maybe you’re just not used to that.
“That tune will change when Doozy Two-belts makes his debut on Refueled Ten.”
But I don’t think any wrestler has ever been more consistent in who they are over their entire career like you have. Up until War Games.
“Up unti— Say wha- calm down, just keep reading.”
Kinda funny how they say war can change a man. Maybe it did. Maybe you already changed. What was with the fucking wheelchair, man? The Dooze I knew would never have done that.
“Okay, tough guy. I hope you leave your address at the end of this shit.”
I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out why I decided to write this as I’m going.
I guess I just wanted you to know that you don’t seem yourself. Coming from your biggest fan, I guess I was hoping that’d mean something. Like I said, I get that HOW’s different, but if you just be The Dooze and show them what you’re really about even they’d have to come around. I just know it.
“Right. Because the Sun-Rises-When-I-Wake Mike Best wipes his slate clean so often.”
Either way, I don’t want this to be all total downer. I’m excited to watch you and WHOEVER defend the belts against Zion and Hanson at the next Refueled! I know, if you dig deep and find The Dooze of old, it won’t matter who’s by your side. I remember when you defended the tag titles in Dream by yourself!!!
“About time we got back to the glory days.”
Well, this went way longer than I expected. I’m late for an interview. I’m looking for a new program manager job on the east coast. Wish me luck man. And good luck to you!
The Dooze looks up. Maybe the wind blew some sand in his eyes. He blinks a few times before finishing the rest of the letter.
Your #1 fan,
Huh… definitely feels familiar.
The Dooze turns the letter over to the other side, and to his chagrin there’s a couple post notes for him.
“Jesus who wrote this thing, MJ Flair?”
PS: Thought you’d like to know that I’ve been getting into the wrestling game myself! Nothing like what you guys are doing. I”m trying out at some Indy called OCW. Actually, I think they are on HOTv, right? Hah! But you never know. Maybe one of these days I might just be reffing a match for YOU! Wouldn’t that be the best! If you don’t go back to being The Dooze I know and love, maybe my 3rd count slap will get a little twitchy.
“Maybe in another life.”
PPS: Just kidding, I’d never do that. Hope you write back! The old Dooze would! Hope to hear from you.
“The old Dooze.”
Bobby was right.
I really haven’t been myself lately.
War Games Aftermath.
Post meeting of the minds.
For reference, we pick up right where we left off.
Doozer and Bobby said their goodbyes to Jiles and beamed off the helicarrier.
Before the two of them part ways, The Dooze extends his right hand out and places it on Dean’s shoulder. You see Bobby squint in the glare from Doozer’s electric, blue eyes as they stare at him with pure determination.
Super serious, candid conversation alert. No, this is not a Hanson promo. How could you even-
Doozer: There’s no way he’s going to be ready. You know that, right?
Bobby, finally out of his sweat ensemble and back into his usual, excessively tight street clothes, squirms about nervously as if he were getting vetted again. A process that was both necessary, and very uncomfortable for the fat boi. Necessary because of how eager he was to get back with the Bandits. He was Bourne like in his willingness to re-join the fold.
After the vigorous unpleasantries, Bobby’s training began once more.
Then Jiles went to the doctor.
Then the meeting aboard Hollywood Six.
And now we are here.
The Lean Mean Fighting Dean finally responds. Kind of.
Bobby Dean: Really? You think? I can’t get a read on him without his shades. It’s like talking to a completely different person. It’s like the opposite with him. Without the shades, I’m always afraid he’s undressing me with his eyes. He looks at me like Zion looks at old photos of Sex and Money. You get that vibe, too?
The Dooze doesn’t crack a smile. He’s Queen’s Guard level serious right now.
Doozer: So. That means you need to make weight.
Dean nervously nods while patting at his slimming waistline. And by slimming, I mean, he’s still fat.
Doozer: And from the looks of it-
The Dooze does and up and down.
Doozer: We need a plan B.
Almost regretting his move instantly, Dean slowly raises a trembling right hand. Doozer rolls his eyes, as if he needs to call on him like a teacher, but nods just to keep things moving.
Bobby Dean: I- uh… correct me if I’m wrong, buddy, but I thought we… um… I thought we were on plan B? Like. As in Bobby. Me Bobby.
The veteran bandit’s hand meets his face. It pulls down off his chin as he shakes his head.
Doozer: Yes, you were… slash are, plan B to the ideal situation of Jiles and I defending our newly won belts. But, in order for that to happen, you need to make weight. Since you’re obviously not going to be able to do that, we need to make a plan B…
Bobby Dean: You mean like Part two of Part Two?
Doozer: Yeah, if you want to be an idiot about it.
Doozer: Let’s get past the semantics, okay? When it comes down to it, we need to figure out how to fake your weight.
Realizing he won’t have to keep dieting and exercising by the new decree of Dooze, Bobby lights up like a Chri- Holiday tree.
Doozer: Or maybe rig the scale. Or-
Dean can’t contain himself any longer.
Bobby Dean: Dooze! I hate to interrupt. But I gotta say… I LOVE the new you!
He goes in for a hug. A quick stiff arm to the face keeps him over a yard away. Dean just stays standing there, arms reaching out to embrace. When all of a sudden Dooze retracts his hand like it’s been snake bit. He looks at Bobby as if he were crazy.
Doozer: You licked me!?
The Dooze does another once over while wiping his hand on his pants, but this time his eyes look more inquisitive.
Doozer: What do you mean, new?
Dean’s eyes dart from side to side. You can tell he’s deciding how to continue. He shrugs.
Bobby Dean: I don’t know. I don’t know if I can say it, what with you being a Bandit so much longer than me… But it’s like… now, for the first time, you ARE a Bandit. Get what I mean?
A head shake from Dooze says not.
Bobby Dean: Well, like… old Dooze. Old Dooze would’ve not only had me wrapped in garbage bags while working out, he would’ve made me wear eskimo gear under it! Old Dooze would’ve put me on Tee Bee thirteen or whatever you silly New Englandites do to praise your fooseball god.
Doozer’s eyes squint up. He’s clearly considering every word carefully.
Bobby Dean: Jokes aside, you know. You used to hang with us and have fun and all that… but you were also the guy who made us buckle down. Made sure we were in top form to compete with the best in the ring. You know… so we don’t have to do some of the Jiles specials.
An awkward wink. You know the kind.
Doozer, clearly perturbed, nods. He’s starting to get it.
Bobby Dean: Old Dooze would’ve said, no Bobby you can’t call in a favor to an old friend at this next show and get him to be “RANDOMLY” selected to oversee your “WEIGH IN”… Old Dooze would’ve stuck his Dikem-
As if summoned, the Dikembe Mutumbo finger appears inches in front of Bobby’s face.
Doozer: I got it, Bob.
Dean straightens up faster than Noah after a quick smack to the face from his partner.
Doozer: You make some good points.
He continues to nod, slowly.
Doozer: Maybe you should get back in the trash bags. Maybe you should hop back on that treadmill…
Bobby’s head drops like a ten year old who was just told he wasn’t getting dessert.
Doozer: And maybe, you beautiful bastard you… maybe, if you call your friend… and they come through… then maybe, Domino’s on me?
A face that could only rival Judge Dredd’s quickly breaks into an almost evil grin. The electric blue eyes of Dooze almost sparkle as we fade.
Bobby Dean: Maybe a buffet, even?
We return back to the beach.
The Dooze stands from his seat.
He must smell O’Dell coming.
He looks up at the moon.
One of those, oh no Kostoff is on the loose and I’m the only one who is safe laughs.
He then crumbles up the piece of fan mail he recently received.
He casually litters into the wind with no remorse for Mother Nature.
He thinks to himself…
Maybe… they’re all right.
Yeah… They are… I haven’t been myself…
…I’ve been better.
Sure, it’s good to remember some things. I do agree with that. I will always push for plan A.
But HOW is a horse of a different color.
And we all know what color that is…
Here, you need a plan B. And you need a plan B for your plan B.
You can’t be one dimensional. These people see right through that. They play 4-D chess in these parts.
That’s where Zion went wrong. That’s why Hanson hasn’t seen the limelight.
It’s a good thing I have people around me to help me see what has to be done.
And HOW there’s multiple ways to skin these cats.
It’s time to adapt.
Time to go next level.
Add another dimension, if you will.
It’s time to Dooze.
It’s time to Abuse.
It’s time to Confuse.
It’s time… you ALL lose.
PS: Fuck you, Ben. I am as consistent as ever. No matter what’s in front of me, The Dooze never backs down.