In Search of…
“Moments of clarity. Epiphanies.
“Even though the original plan was for me to face HOW Champion John Sektor for the title at Friday Night Chaos 1, the Sektor match ended up being pushed back two weeks to Friday Night Chaos 2 in Memphis, Tennessee. As a result, I ended up with two extra weeks to get ready for what will be a huge challenge and probably the biggest match in my career- again.
“But before I started training and preparing to get ready for Sektor, there was something else I needed to take care of first. The chaotic and destructive events at the end of the final Refueled show in Tampa, Florida convinced me that perhaps it would be in my best interest to run with a group of people I could trust to have my back. Why? Factions seemed to be the new thing in HOW- hell, twenty-one wrestlers made up four different groups: Ground Zero, The former Best Alliance, The Egg Bandits, and the massive, eight-man group led by Brian Hollywood called The Order.
“So with the extra two weeks, I decided to spend some time off the beaten path to engage on a quest in search of a faction to bring back to HOW. Moments before the return of Friday Night Chaos, I stood on the stage where the wrestlers would come out later on to explain to the HOW world how my journey in search of a faction led me back to the State Farm Arena.”
(VIDEO: State Farm Arena-Atlanta, Georgia / Friday August 30th, 2019)
Twenty minutes before bell time for the return of Friday Night Chaos.
As the ring technicians and crew swarmed around the ring and backstage putting the finishing touches on preparations for the show, a lone but familiar figure stood silently in the middle of the stage off to the side where the wrestlers would later emerge during their introductions. The tell-tale lucha mask. The nearly iconic (but probably not) dreadfully plain black T-shirt with a block ‘H’ in the middle. Jeans. Tennis shoes.
Standing on the stage, Halitosis took stock of all the activity going on around him. People continued to stream into the oval shaped interior of the arena. The floor seats and the bottom bowl of the arena had just about filled to capacity. He glanced up and saw the mezzanine and the luxury boxes buzzing with activity with patrons milling about in the hallway. Even farther up, the upper level also brimmed with High Octane Wrestling fans, some sitting, some standing.
Off to the side, Halitosis could see HOW Hall of Fame announcers Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell preparing for tonight’s broadcast- each one in their own unique, but predictable, way.
Hoffman? He reviewed and studied the rundown for the upcoming show.
Benny? He downed a half of bottle of Jack Daniels.
The single thing all of them had in common? They were waiting for tonight’s show to get under way.
On the High Octane Vision, video clips of HOW action cycled through interspersed with advertisements for upcoming events at the State Farm Arena including WNBA games, NBA preseason games, and an Ariana Grande concert coming up in November.
At least, until the lights dimmed.
Usually a signal of impending activity, a crush of people stampeded from the concourses back into the arena and returned to their seats.
A single, solitary spotlight illuminated Halitosis as he remained fixed on the stage. His face appeared on the HOV.
Half-smiling, Halitosis raised a microphone to his mouth and began.
“Good evening Atlanta!” he bellowed out, his voice echoing throughout the arena. “Welcome to Friday Night Chaos!”
Halitosis paused and nodded his head as the crowd rose to their feet and roared back.
H-O-W! H-O-W! H-O-W!
“Tonight, we’ve got TWO big title matches for you. M.J. Flair puts her LSD title on the line tonight against HOW Hall of Famer and FIVE time LSD Champion- the Hardcore Artist himself- SCOTTYWOOD!
Halitosis paused for the requisite increase in decibel from the HOW faithful.
H-O-W! H-O-W! H-O-W!
“And then, Cecilworth M! Farthington defends the ICON title against the one and only Doooo-zer of the Egg Bandits!”
Again he paused. Again the crowd noise level spiked and Halitosis had to wait for the ear-splitting sound bouncing all over the arena to wind down.
“For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Halitosis and I live just up the road a few miles in Chattanooga. In case you’re wondering, no, I am not on the card tonight. However, I’ll be wrestling the HOW Champion John Sektor in two weeks in Memphis, Tennessee. But even though I’m not booked to wrestle here tonight, I asked to come out before the show started so I could talk with y’all. Is that okay?”
The crowd cheered again.
“All right then.” Halitosis glanced down at the mat briefly before launching into his remarks. “First off, I have to admit that I really didn’t mind the shorter travel time to the arena in Atlanta from Chattanooga. It’s nice to be able to drive from home to the show.”
“The people watching the HOW and saw that close up shot of me could definitely see the nervous tension on my face and the barely concealed anxiety of standing on the stage in front of the near twenty thousand people in attendance. Public speaking still isn’t my thing. But I somehow managed to tell the crowd all about the match with Dan Ryan and explained how I thought I handled myself very well in the ring with him. And I did. Probably one of the best matches I’ve wrestled in HOW yet. But unfortunately for me, he won the match but there’s no shame in losing to one of the best wrestlers in the world.
“I also explained to the fans how I put a lot of value in the concept of being ready to wrestle and told the Atlanta fans about working with Jackson Horne before War Games. You see, Horne drummed certain things into my head day after day after day after day. Balance. Concentration and focus. Trust your instincts. And most of all- pay full attention to detail. The fact of the matter was against Dan Ryan, I DIDN’T pay enough attention to detail- which turned out to be a huge mistake on my part. At the most crucial moment in the match, I got distracted by Lindsay Troy who was at ringside in Dan Ryan’s corner. She did her job and it was an inexcusable lapse in concentration at a critical moment. Cost me the match.
“I remember rewinding the match in my head going back to the dressing room afterwards. I remember feeling dejected and disappointed. But sitting down in the dressing room by myself, out of the blue it hit me. I told the Atlanta fans something very invaluable had taken place in the moments after the loss.”
(VIDEO: State Farm Arena-Atlanta, Georgia / Friday August 30th, 2019)
“…Dan Ryan may have won the match; but I came out of it with something more valuable…confidence. That’s right. Confidence. Confidence that I could compete with the best of the best. Confidence that I actually belonged in the same ring with a Dan Ryan. Confidence that I actually belong in High Octane Wrestling.”
Halitosis paused as a portion of the fans in the audience applauded.
“But then I looked at the landscape and observed how everything’s changed since War Games. Factions seemed to be the new name of the game. Everyone seemed to be in one. From Ground Zero- Silent Witness, Sektor, Evan Ward, Rhys Townsend, and Christopher America, The ‘not the Best Alliance any more but they’re still a thing’ group of Eric Dane, Ryan, Troy, M.J. Flair, and High Flyer. Then there’s the Egg Bandits- Doozer, Jiles, and Bobby Dean. And the brand new Hollywood alliance with eight, count ‘em, eight wrestlers- Brian Hollywood, Jace Savage, Scott Stevens, Jonny O’Dell, Darin Zion, Noah Hanson, Crash Rodriguez, and Scottywood. Twenty-one wrestlers in four different groups. So after Refueled Eight, I decided it might be a good idea to find some myself some back up. I believed I needed to put together a group of people to bring back to High Octane Wrestling to be a part of a faction.”
He paused again.
“So that’s what I decided to try to do- put together a HOW faction. To say the very least, it was an interesting experience…”
“To be honest, my first choice would have been to bring Ray McAvay in as my manager and the Les Miserables as my faction. But McAvay’s too busy running Missouri Valley Wrestling and really doesn’t have any extra time to devote to being a manager. So I did the next best thing, I traveled up to Martinsville, Indiana for a Missouri Valley Wrestling house show to look at a potential group to be in my faction- Rough Justice. Rough Justice is D.B. Ruff and Connor Justice- two former police officers who were fired for their ‘extreme’ brand of justice and Lt. Katrina Atcheson of the Kansas Highway Patrol. They were a rough and tumble group. That would be helpful to combat the other four HOW factions.
“But would they be a good fit for me?”
(VIDEO: Martinsville High School Gym / Martinsville, IN- The Kardoucheian Empire: (Ken/Koley/Khourtney) defeated Captain Jack Darrow/Marshall Laww/The Order Taker- August 18th, 2019)
-For some inexplicable reason, the Order Taker stops the match and demands the microphone.
-He’s handed a microphone and bellows into it: “DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?”
-Not impressed, Ken Kardoucheian comes up from behind and spikes him with the Hollywood Blockbuster. OT is o-u-t. Kardoucheian covers.
Ruff, Justice, Atcheson, and Laww attack the Kardoucheians post match.
Ruff pulls out a taser and zaps Ken. Then he takes out the referee with a taser blast.
Justice pulls out his taser and zaps Koley.
Khourtney tries to run for it. Lt. Atcheson drop kicks him and the Kardoucheian stumbles neck first onto the top turnbuckle. Laww pulls him back – steps in front of Khourtney and grabs a shoulder – flips back over him- takes a side headlock as he falls- and plants him to the mat with his finisher called appropriately enough…the Lawwbreaker.
All four members of Rough Justice then take turns stomping the ever living hell out of the Kardoucheians.
“I decided Rough Justice wouldn’t be a good fit for me…and probably vice versa. They were a little on the rough side- a little too rough for my taste. On to the next one.
“Someone sent me a tape of the next faction. One thing this group had going for them unlike Rough Justice was the fact they actually had HOW experience as they once showed up on a Friday Night Chaos show back in 2015.”
(VIDEO: HOW Friday Night Chaos- May 8th, 2015)
Ring announcer Bryan McVay is interrupted by five people green shirted people who pile into the ring and swarm him.
One person, a tall, slender young man sporting a green t-shirt with ‘GWO’ prominently on the front of it and tall sprouts of green hair rising from his head and a megaphone in his hand snatches the microphone from McVay.
The others, also wearing ‘GWO’ t-shirts, fall in behind him.
Man: Ladies and gentlemen. My name is ‘Extreme Vegan’ Brock Cole Lee and we are the GREEN…WORLD…ORDER!
The crowd boos the four GWO members in the ring.
Brock Cole Lee: Now, shut up and give it up for the Green Guy- GreenPete!
GreenPete looks cool in his shades.
Brock Cole Lee: He’s PeaceNick.
PeaceNick sits on the mat and chants non-violent mantras.
Brock Cole Lee: And Peta from PETA.
And Peta from PETA shouts at someone in the first row for eating a hamburger. The crowd continues to voice their displeasure with the ‘invaders’ and try to drown out the GWO.
Brock Cole Lee: We’ve got one thing to say…
Lee becomes slightly impetuous as the crowd continues to make it nearly impossible for him to speak. So he fires up the megaphone and sneers.
Brock Cole Lee (through megaphone): WE’RE CHANGING EVERYTHING!
Now things start to get a bit ugly. Unruly gestures. People throwing debris into the ring
Peta takes the microphone and the megaphone from Lee.
Peta from PETA (through megaphone): SHUT UP! YOU’LL SIT AND LISTEN TO WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY. WE’RE TOUGH…AND WE’RE-
The opening bars of ‘Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boys drowns her out. Dawn McGill walks out to the stage. No stilettos tonight. She’s wearing basic wrestling attire and wields a steel folding chair. McGill points the steel chair at Peta and immediately marches to the ring.
Brock Cole Lee climbs up on the top turnbuckle with his foot on the rope. McGill climbs up on the apron and slams the chair on the top rope. Lee loses his balance and crotches himself on the ropes.
She whirls the steel chair around and blasts him in the face sending him toppling down off the top rope to the floor outside.
McGill jumps over the top rope. GreenPete charges over and swings a wild right hand. Dawn ducks down and grabs a handful of testicles. GreenPete’s face turns white and contorts. Dawn releases him. Step back and swings.
Steel chairshot to the face.
Chairshot to the face number two sends GreenPete careening across the ring where he crashes into the corner ring post.
Dawn turns to PeaceNick. He’s still sitting on the mat and chanting non-violence mantras. She walks over to him and leans in his ear.
Dawn McGill: Boo.
And PeaceNick faints…and then he soils himself.
Peta jumps on Dawn’s back and tries to choke her.
Dawn backs into the corner and slams Peta hard into the turnbuckle. McGill steps forward. Peta’s still hanging on for dear life so she does it again. This time, Peta gets scraped off in the corner and slides down to a sitting position. Dawn pulls her up by the hair and lifts her up. She puts Peta’s legs over the top rope and leaves her in the tree of woe. Dawn sets the chair in front of her face and goes to the opposite corner. She sets herself, races across the ring and drop kicks the chair.
Eyes rolling up to her head, Peta falls to the left and gets hung up in the ropes.
“If Rough Justice wasn’t my cup of tea, the Green World Order definitely wasn’t suitable to me either. The GWO didn’t really fit what I’m looking for in a faction and, yeah, like Rough Justice they’re a little on the rough side, too.
“Plus, Dawn McGill tore through them pretty easily all by herself. Scratch them off the list. Next, I was next given a tape of a group called the All-American Ninja Cheerleaders to review at home.”
(VIDEO: All-American Ninja Cheerleaders in Heat)
All six of the cheerleaders swoop in for the climactic fight scene against the bad guys.
Katanas are drawn. Offensive stances are taken. Glares are exchanged.
It looks like everyone’s ready to throw down. But then…the cheerleaders turn to each other and start making out.
The bad guys just stand there and gawk as clothes start flying off…
“Oh wait. That was something I’d taped off Cinemax Late at Night. Never mind.
“So moving on, the next Friday I traveled to Greeneville, Tennessee for an Appalachian Mountain Championship Wrestling house show. I had heard a lot of good things about this up and coming faction so I definitely wanted to see this group the action. I was hoping that these guys would be the one.”
(VIDEO: Appalachian Mountain Championship Wrestling Greeneville, Tennessee House Show- Friday August 23rd, 2019)
-The People’s Front of Berea (KY) Zeb, Dayle Joe and Ezekiel are in the ring for an interview.
Zeb has a stub of a cigarette in his mouth, a black leather jacket and matching hat, and holds a painted steel folding chair in his hand. He has a thin slivery beard and a pair of dark sunglasses on.
Dayle Joe wears a baseball cap on backwards and wears a mechanic’s type uniform with his name on the front. He has a reddish beard and he’s carrying a lawn chair.
Ezekiel has sunglasses on, a baseball cap on backwards, a shirt with Johnny Cash flipping off the camera, and an open bottle of moonshine.
The interviewer in the ring is all awkward as hell.
Interviewer: Let’s welcome the Berean People’s Front to Greeneville.
Zeb immediately takes offense.
Zeb: First off, you’d better watch your damn mouth, mister. We ain’t the Berean People’s Front. We’re the People’s Front of Berea.
Dayle Joe: Kentucky.
Zeb: Actually, you should just keep your damn mouth shut and let us talk. Right Zeke?
Ezekiel nods in the affirmative.
Zeb: We-yall are the best damn team you’ve ever seen. All the way from lot 101 of the Happy Acres Mobile Home park in Berea, Kentucky!
Interviewer: Do you know who your opponents are tonight?
Zeb glances at Dayle Joe, then at Ezekiel. He laughs and shrugs.
Zeb: Hell if I know. And it sure as hell doesn’t matter. We’re gonna treat them like we would a bad dog. We’re gonna kick ‘em in the ass and leave them tied up on the front porch. Just like this.
Zeb raises the chair…
…and potatoes the poor interviewer in the face with it.
Zeb: That’s for callin’ us the Berean People’s Front asshole!
Dayle Joe: Get ‘em boys.
Zeb, Dayle Joe, and Zeke start stomping away on the interviewer…
“And no. Again, not a good fit.
“Oh and whatever you do, do not refer to them as the Berean People’s Front. They get really pissed off about that and we’re talking about Hatfield-McCoy-ish levels of pissed off.
“After that debacle, driving back to Chattanooga from Greeneville I had a thought about contacting my old faction back in my PCW days- the Original Island of Misfit Wrestlers…”
(VIDEO: Classic PCW Episode from Early 2009)
‘No Frills’ Chris Escondido gets attacked from behind by the ‘The Corporate Enforcer’ Whiskey Tango Foxtrot- all six foot eleven, three hundred and thirty-five pounds of him.
The crowd immediately boos as WTF picks up Escondido by the throat and slams him with extreme purpose and intent to the mat..
Johnny Suave: ESCONDIDO IS DOWN AND OUT AND…HOLD IT! THE CROWD’S CHEERING! HERE COMES THE ISLAND OF MISFIT WRESTLERS!
The Island of Misfit Wrestlers: Jimmy from SoCal, Snott Flemmstein shooting green snot from his prosthetic nose, Michael Hunt and Richard Headd of ‘Guys With Unfortunate First Names Given Their Last Names,’ Dread Pirate Douggie, Dick Van Dam…aka DVD, and Dr. Ivan Rectum-Fighting Proctologist all rush down to the ring.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot slides out of the ring and meets the Misfit Wrestlers halfway.
It’s not a fair fight. WTF starts chokeslamming everyone in sight. First, Jimmy from SoCal.
Next, Michael Hunt.
Next, Richard Headd.
Then Dread Pirate Douggie,,,
Then Ivan Rectum-Fighting Proctologist…
“…but then I thought better of it.
“Running out of time and luck, finally in a fit of desperation, I flew out to Los Angeles for an Independent Western Wrestling World house show. I was told I was going to meet up with a group who had a big Hollywood gig recently come to an end and they were looking for a new challenge. They said this would be a big thing. Something with real bang to it. A real big bang in theory.”
(VIDEO: Independent Western Wrestling World – Los Angeles, CA / Sunday August 25th, 2019)
Halitosis poses for a photo with actresses Kaley Cuoco aka…Penny from the The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik aka…Amy, and Melissa Rausch aka Bernadette.
All three women are wearing matching ‘Sheldon Cooper’s Council of Ladies’ t-shirts. That’s the faction.
“Except it wasn’t. But hey, on the bright side I did get their autographs afterwards.
“On the long flight back to Tennessee, more than a little frustrated that my quest to find a faction had yielded zero results, I leaned back in my seat and closed my eyes…”
(VIDEO: State Farm Arena-Atlanta, Georgia / Friday August 30th, 2019)
“…and somewhere over Nebraska, I had another moment of clarity, another epiphany. It hit me. Like an idiot, I didn’t realize that the answer to my question had been staring me in the face the entire time. The answer was…”
Halitosis pointed to the HOW fans.
“…you! You’re the ones who’ve been behind me the entire time. You got behind me during my run in the world title tournament. You cheered me on when I won the HOW World Title.”
Halitosis walked up to the edge of the stage and looked out at the rapidly filling arena.
“You are my faction. You are the group who’s had my back. You are the group who I hope will get behind me when I go to Memphis, Tennessee in two weeks to face John Sektor. John may have Ground Zero backing him up- but I’m going to feed on the energy that you folks have given me from day one and continue to give me. In two weeks at Friday Night Chaos 2, I’m going to do my damnest to win back the HOW World Title, not for a faction, but for you.”
He stopped and looked out into the crowd.
“I have a confession to make here. When I held the HOW World Title for two glorious weeks, it was probably the best two weeks of my life. But I don’t think I really truly appreciated what it meant to be the holder of that brilliant #97 red title belt. So John? What does this mean? It means I really want to win that title belt back. It means I’m going to do everything in my power two weeks from tonight in Memphis to wrestle that title from your hands. I know how good you are and I know I’m coming into the match as the plucky underdog overachiever- which I am and I will own it lock, stock, and barrel one hundred percent. I know that I face an epic battle when I step into the ring with you and I know that I may not win the match. But I’ll tell you this much, I’m confident that no matter what happens, I am not going down without a fight. If I’m confident about anything, I’m confident that you and I are going to put on one hell of a show for the fans of High Octane Wrestling.”
Halitosis paused one last time for applause.
“I’ll see you in Memphis, John. Now, get ready for some chaos…Friday Night Chaos”