The Humility Bomb

Halitosis (narrating):
It’s been an eventful past few days. First there was the Humility Bomb.

***(FLASHBACK: War Games- Halitosis Gets Eliminated)***
Ryan jumps back to his feet and sees Halitosis going for the steel chair he dropped from the spear from Ryan.

As he picks it up and turns he swings wildly knowing someone was close…..but misses and the chair bounces off the top rope and right back into the former World Champions face.

With blood covering one eye still from the barbed wire forearm from LT earlier in the match and now this………it’s only a matter of moments before Dan Ryan kicks him in the gut and nails him with his high angle layout powerbomb.

Benny Newell: Humility Bomb!!!!

Ryan covers as High Flyer tosses Farthington over the top rope in Ring #1 to keep him from breaking up the pin…..

Boettcher counts….

1………..

2…………

3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryan McVay: Halitosis has been eliminated!!!!

 

Halitosis (narration):
And then there was the Missouri Valley Wrestling Bomb.

 

***(FLASHBACK: Laura Bergman is Named Missouri Valley Wrestling Chief Business Officer)***
Ray McAvay, dressed in a dark Hawaiian print shirt and jeans with tennis shoes, calmly slides in between the ropes and walks over to Berg and Carmondy.

Johnny Suave: HOLY CRAP! I DON’T BELIEVE IT! RAY McAVAY IS THE NEW MVW CEO!

McAvay pumps his fist in the air as the crowd continues to signal its approval.

Johnny Suave: Wow! So it was Ray McAvay who made the call on ending the MVWA shows.

Female Voice: Nope. That was my call.

The camera pans over.

Johnny Suave: HOLY CRAP! LAURA BERGMAN?

Bergman, known for being the wife of High Octane Wrestling (and former MVW Tag Team champion) Halitosis, climbs into the ring. She’s wearing a smart business suit and her long black hair is rolled up into a bun. Laura joins McAvay, outgoing MVW CEO Jill Berg, and MVW Owner Jason Carmondy in the ring.

 

Halitosis (narration):
And then there was the Nuclear Bomb.

 

***(FLASHBACK: Jackson Horne Press Conference the day after War Games in Peoria, Illinois)***
Jackson Horne is announcing that per his original plans that his association with Halitosis has come to an end.

Jackson Horne: I want to thank Halitosis for the privilege of working with him the past couple weeks and wish him all the luck in the world. As a reward for all the hard work he’s put in and because I received a sizeable residual check in the mail for a couple of commercials he did for Reese’s Cups as part of his endorsement deal with them, I gave the money to Halitosis and told him to go fly to Bora Bora for a week. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough cash to send his wife with him but-

Dawn sees someone out of the corner of her eye rushing forward and her jaw drops. Horne is clueless of the impending danger.

Female’s Voice: YOU FUCKING IDIOT!

Horne looks over at the source of the sound and sees Halitosis’s wife Laura Bergman, red faced with homicidal intent written all over her face, launching herself like a missile towards him in a chaotic scene right out of a Batman show.

Jackson Horne: Ohhhhh…sh-

The chair flips backward. Laura lands her shoulder square in Horne’s stomach knocking the wind out of him. She rolls off and looks down angrily at him.

Laura Bergman: You TOLD him to go to Bora Bora? Without ME?

She kicks him in the balls while he’s on the floor.

Laura Bergman: WHY?

She delivers another kick- this one to the stomach.

Laura Bergman: WHY would you do that?

 

Fade to a much more peaceful place…

(See above picture)

 

InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora
Matira Point
The Island of Bora Bora
Tuesday August 6th

Blue sky from horizon to horizon. Pure, clear blue water below, occasionally lapping up and over the boat and spraying the occupants with water. Deep green palm trees rose up above the boat docks, the small cabins, and a series of huts built on stilts over the ocean situated along the shoreline of Matira Point on the island of Bora Bora.

Floating by fifty feet off the starboard bow, a boat with white and pink flowery paint job with ‘Romantic Tours’ on the side cruised by with a honeymooning couple taking in the romantic air in the eighty degree temperatures and the breezy light trade winds drifting in the air.

Dressed for the beach and wearing his lucha mask with an eye patch covering his injured eye courtesy of Lindsay Troy, ‘The Luchador with Insanely Poor Oral Hygiene’ Halitosis lounged on a Moana Adventure Tour boat just off of Matira Point. He held a beer in hand and stared blankly out into the big blue ocean. Off in the distance, he could hear the sound of jet skis nearby. Soon enough, two of them entered his line of sight and whizzed by the boat at close range going a relatively high rate of speed leaving a mild ripple of water in its wake.

The last time Halitosis set foot on the tiny Southern Pacific island paradise, he and Laura were honeymooning. This time, Halitosis hoped he’d simply spend the time in Bora Bora floating off Matira Point and contemplating some of life’s mysteries and unanswered questions – you know, like:

‘Now that Michael Best is in control of HOW, does that mean that David Black is fired…again?’

But that wasn’t exactly the case.

In the other hand, Halitosis tightly gripped a cell phone (a phone with apparently a pretty good international calling plan) and pinned the device hard against his ear. His facial expression registered a wide range of emotions ranging from contrition to frustration to outright exasperation and conveyed to the HOW camera man filming him on the boat a distinct wish to get off the phone call as soon as he possibly could.

The sound emitted from the cell phone was so loud, not only could the HOW cameraman hear the clearly unhappy, sharp toned, angry sounding female voice on the other end of the call, the driver of the boat clearly could hear the female voice over the boat’s engines.

“I know,” Halitosis spoke into the cell phone, at once desperately trying to sooth his wife Laura Bergman’s rage and fury and hoping at some point to change the subject.

“I know.”

He tilted his head back and forth while his wife continued to verbally rip him a new one with her harshly critical tongue lashing over the phone.

“I know. But-“

Halitosis tried interject himself into the conversation but Laura wouldn’t allow him to get any word edgewise.

Finally he couldn’t hold it in anymore and blurted out indiscrimately, “Look dammit! Would you please just listen to me for once. I know! I know you wanted to come back to Bora Bora when we could finally afford it. I know this was a romantic vacation you wanted to take. Got it! This was NOT my idea. This was totally Jackson’s idea. Jackson got the residual check from Reese’s. He decided to do something nice for me to commemorate all that time and effort we put into War Games and so I could decompress – think about what I did at War Games – think about the mistakes I made and learn from them. I’m just going to be away for a couple more days!”

Halitosis closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, his face turning red holding his breath listening to Laura’s equally harsh response. Once again, he finally exploded into the phone.

“IT’S JUST A COUPLE DAYS!” he shouted at his wife, fighting off the urge to heave his cell phone into the picture perfect lagoon. “I’M COMING HOME THURSDAY!”

Halitosis (narration):
Okay. Upon further review, she had every right to be pissed off at me and I should have flown back home after War Games to be there with her so we could both celebrate her new job. Being presented as the Chief Business Officer of MVW was the biggest day of her professional life and even though there was really no way I could be there in person to witness the announcement at the show, we still could have- and probably should have- celebrated our achievements together.

War Games was probably the biggest day in my professional life. The War Games match? A dream come true. I’d worked eleven years for that moment and there I was- competing in the same ring with some of the greatest wrestlers in history and trying to do my part to help the eMpire win the match.

After the match, at first I was a little disappointed in the outcome after Dan Ryan eliminated me to be honest. I had hoped to do better. I wanted to do better. I worked my ass off with Jackson Horne in the Smoky Mountains for over a week and half. I wanted to make sure I was completely prepared and ready for everything anyone would throw at me. Then High Flyer threw a curveball at me with the whole mouthwash spot that I clearly didn’t expect or made myself ready for- even though to be fair- Eric Dane did warn me in one of his pre-War Games missives High Flyer had planned on doing exactly that.

In retrospect, after a little time went by and adding a smidge of perspective to how I viewed my performance in the match- and trust me, floating in the pristine waters here off of Bora Bora will give you a lot of perspective – I knew my War Games performance had some ups and some downs. There were instances during the match where I probably allowed the moment to get the better of me. Then on the flip side, there were a couple moments where I shined. I caught Lindsay Troy in the perfect position for my finisher and somehow managed to hit probably the best high angle Senton Bomb I’ve hit since joining HOW to pin her. Unfortunately, right after that I ran right into Dan Ryan and, sure enough, he put an end to my night with a Humility Bomb to end to my War Games experience.

What’s my takeaway from War Games? It’s no different than any other match I’ve been a part of. Every match is part of your wrestling education. Each time a wrestler sets foot in the ring, he or she will learn something new. You never stop learning in pro wrestling and you can never stop striving to get better. It was unrealistic for me to think that I would step into that type of pressure cooker situation for the first time in my career against the high caliber talent inside both rings and expect that I would simply adapt to the situation. If the first eleven years of my career constituted the foundation, my undergraduate wrestling education, the past four months – like graduate or doctorate work – have built on the foundation that’s there and added even more knowledge on top of it to take my career to a whole different level.

My takeaway from War Games is this: I said all along that my main goal going into War Games was to do my part, do anything possible to help Team eMpire win the match. Pinning Lindsay Troy certainly helped the eMpire’s chances and I succeeded on that part. The other takeaway from the match is that I’ve made massive improvement since signing the contract to HOW – but I know there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.

What happened at War Games is proof positive of that.

Later that day, I got the word that I would be facing Dan Ryan at Refueled VIII.

Soon after that, I received a text from HOW with three words that caught my eye- World. Title. Match. I also get John Sektor at Refueled IX.

The first thought that flashed through my mind? Well I guess I’d better hope I survive the Dan Ryan match then.

After the HOW camera guy went onshore, I went back out on the boat and did some more thinking. I came to a conclusion.

I do way too much thinking.

You see when it comes down to it, in its purest form, wrestling is a competition between two people – sometimes more depending on the match. Pro wrestling adds a few more elements to the mix- mainly the entertainment aspect. But it’s still a competition. Skill. Athletic ability. Smarts.

How did I get to where I am now in my short HOW career? Because I’ve won matches. Since HOW came back, I’ve wrestled on every show except one. I won all my matches in the world title tournament and defeated the previous HOW World Champion Brian Hollywood to win the title at Refueled V. And then I lost it to Max Kael at the next show- my one and only official loss in HOW. Max and I won a tag match the next week and then Team eMpire won the War Games match.

So regardless of what happens against Dan at Refueled VIII, I’m going to go into the match with Sektor in two weeks knowing that I’ve earned that opportunity to wrestle for the title again.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll look past Dan Ryan. Because that would be a big mistake. Not quite on a scale of “Never get involved in a land war in Asia!”, but still an epically stupid mistake on my part. Why?

***(FLASHBACK: War Games)***
Ryan jumps back to his feet and sees Halitosis going for the steel chair he dropped from the spear from Ryan.

As he picks it up and turns he swings wildly knowing someone was close…..but misses and the chair bounces off the top rope and right back into the former World Champions face.

With blood covering one eye still from the barbed wire forearm from LT earlier in the match and now this………its only a matter of moments before Dan Ryan kicks him in the gut and nails him with his high angle layout powerbomb.

Benny Newell: Humility Bomb!!!!

Because overlooking Mr. Ryan in a wrestling match would be akin to inviting him to deliver a cold, hard slap of reality called the Humility Bomb to you. He says it’s never personal – and I believe that. It’s what he does and he does it very well.

Dan Ryan’s career speaks for itself. Skill. Athletic ability. Smarts. Ryan’s got all three. He’s used to this level of competition. He thrives in this level. While I worked my way up from the lower reaches of the pro wrestling pyramid, Dan Ryan wrestled for and shined in the biggest and best wrestling companies ever in the industry- CSWA, NFW, A1E, NAPW, VWF, Defiance Wrestling and he ran EPW for ten years.

So yeah, we’re not going to do that.

Ryan also talks a good game too. His verbal jousting ability is legendary.

So yeah, we’re not going to do that either because- well, that’s not what I do anyways.

So now you’re asking, what am I going to do against Dan Ryan?

What I am going to do against Dan Ryan is give him the proper respect he deserves by going back to the gym and getting myself ready for Refueled VIII. I’ll punch in like normal people do all across the country who show up at their place of employment every day and I’ll put in the time and the hard work necessary to put myself in the best position possible to win the match. I’m going to go into the match with the mindset that I’m still the underdog. In my mind, I’m still the dark horse in this race – I’m still the Cinderella man in this match, the ordinary schmuck trying to mix it up in the rarified air with the best of the best in the wrestling world. When I get back home from this brief, but relaxing, detour to Bora Bora, it’s right back into the gym to get prepare for a fight. I’m still the one with marginal talent who has to find a way to squeeze as much out of what ability I have as I can in order to compete at this high of level of competition. Why? Because in my world, there’s no room for complacency. There’s no taking it easy. There’s no sloughing off. There’s no half-assing it. And besides, if I don’t…

***(FLASHBACK: War Games)***
Ryan jumps back to his feet and sees Halitosis going for the steel chair he dropped from the spear from Ryan.

As he picks it up and turns he swings wildly knowing someone was close…..but misses and the chair bounces off the top rope and right back into the former World Champions face.

With blood covering one eye still from the barbed wire forearm from LT earlier in the match and now this………its only a matter of moments before Dan Ryan kicks him in the gut and nails him with his high angle layout powerbomb.

Benny Newell: Humility Bomb!!!!

 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Atlanta, GA
Thursday August 8th

Pulling his rolling suitcase behind him with one hand, lugging a travel bag over his shoulder, and carrying a second travel bag in the other hand, Halitosis walked through the glass exit door of the International terminal and onto the sidewalk. In the midst of a jet stream of people flowing in and out in the building, he headed towards the curb in search of his wife who had texted him a few minutes prior that she had parked in one of the loading spots along Maynard H. Jackson Boulevard- the lower road that serviced the incoming arrivals.

Halitosis tried to peer over the crowd to find Laura. He scanned left to right looking for her car or any other sign of his wife. Definitely don’t see her car. But he thought he’d noticed a hand high in the air and tried to get on his tip toes to see. That might have been her.

He powered forward until he reached the curb at the edge of Maynard H. Jackson Boulevard. Vehicle upon vehicle upon vehicle were stacked up along the curb. He still didn’t see her car.

“HEY!”  a female voice shouted out, straining her voice to be heard over the din.

Halitosis knew that voice- especially the tone of voice. Finally, he looked in the right direction.  Laura frantically waved her hands trying to get her attention.

“I’M RIGHT HERE!” she yelled out again.

He slapped his forehead.  She was right in front of him all along.

“Oh hey, hi!” he said, immediately noticing two things different about Laura. “New hairstyle?”

“Well, while you were wrestling in Florida, I decided to change up the hairstyle a bit,” Laura explained. “Nothing too drastic. Reduction in length and a little more wave.”

“Looks good. Looks good.” He noticed Laura had already opened up the back of a 2019 Chevy Trail Blazer. “I’ll get my stuff loaded up in your brand new vehicle.”

Laura nodded. “Yeah. Good idea.”

Halitosis placed the rolling suitcase and the two travel bags into the trunk and closed the back.

“Nice car.”

Laura smiled back. “Company vehicle.” Her demeanor then turned stern. “You can be such as ass.” Clearly, she hadn’t completely worked past the whole Bora Bora diversion.

Halitosis offered no defense. “You’re right dear. I’m sorry. I really should have traveled to Peoria after the show to celebrate your big promotion.”

Putting the Trail Blazer in drive, Laura successfully navigated moving from the loading spot back on to the boulevard.

“Our lives have changed so much since March,” she said.

“For the better,” Halitosis pointed out.

“And for the better,” agreed Laura. “We’ve done this together from the beginning – hand in hand – as a team – a partnership. I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want us to lose track of each other.

“I should have done a better job of communicating with you,” Halitosis admitted. “That’s on me.”

“And I’m royally pissed off that Jackson Horne used your residual money to pay for the stupid trip,” Laura continued on, still a distinct edge to her tone of voice. “I’m really upset about that.”

Halitosis laughed- which given the situation probably wasn’t the brightest move on his part. “Look. I don’t know why Horne said what he said at the press conference,” he tried to explain, cognitive of the fact that her stern flare of disapproval had not gone away. “But the fact is Jackson Horne actually gave me his share of the residuals for the Reese’s endorsement deal he negotiated through War Games to buy the ticket to Bora Bora and give me a little spending money too.”

He paused to gauge her reaction.

So far. So good, he thought to himself.

“So, I may have brought you a present back from the lovely island of Bora Bora,” he added.

The stern glare on Laura’s face melted away and a slightly surprised and bemused expression replaced it. “You brought something back for me?”

Relaxing now, Halitosis exhaled and placed his hand on her thigh. “Honey, I’ve had enough Humility Bombs dropped on me in the past two weeks. I wanted to surprise you and change things up a bit.  I also wanted to do something special to make it up to you.”

“Speaking of Humility Bombs,” Laura said. “Dan Ryan next week, huh?”

Halitosis nodded back. “Yep. And with Ryan potentially comes the Best Alliance. Yay.”

“And then two weeks later, John Sektor for the title,” Laura went on.

“Yep. And with John Sektor potentially comes Ground Zero. Double yay.”

Idling at the red light three cars back from the intersection of Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Boulevard and Loop Road, Laura processed the information her husband just provided to her.

“So, maybe we need to get you another manager,” she said.

“Another manager?” Halitosis repeated back.  “Do you have anyone in mind?

She didn’t off the top of her head so she tried another tack.  “Or maybe you just need a faction to have your back.”

Halitosis folded his arms and looked off into space.

A faction?  That had possibilities.

The light turned green.

Hmmm.  Time to get back to work.

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