Olive Garden…It fucking had to be Olive Garden……
Darin Zion sat across the table from Brian Hollywood waiting on his ‘birthday dinner’ from his best friend. Zion didn’t look amused. Hollywood drug him from out of the basement where he constantly studied The Industry the last few weeks to celebrate Zion’s birthday. He didn’t make any effort to know Zion wanted steak. He didn’t let Zion choose a menu from online. Hell, he didn’t give Zion a home made meal that his servants could cook him. He took him out to the one restaurant he hated. While Zion sulked at the thought of celebrating his birthday; Hollywood spent more time downing wine and flirting with the waitresses than acknowledging his best friend’s desires:
The HOW Tag Team Championships.
No one knew Zion’s true feelings, but he held back his disdain with Hollywood these last few weeks. Hollywood stuck his nose into match and distracted Zion long enough to get side swiped with a Starbreaker across his jaw and cost him the tag team championships. Zion personally chose Hollywood to test him. He wanted to see if Hollywood truly had the hunger burning in his belly like him, or if he just wanted to coast. He had watched Hollywood sit in his mansion bragging and trying to force Zion out of his shell. But Zion grew tired of it. His pride, his anger, his determination all got the best of him. The wheels continued to spin as Zion’s eyes widened in anger. It wasn’t time for celebrations: it was time for business. As Hollywood finished their order for endless pasta and salad…Zion pulled out a crumpled up paper he kept in his leather vest. He slammed it on the table rather angrily: pointing straight at the Silver Tag Team Championships. Hollywood chuckled for a moment. Hollywood gloating, rather nonchalantly that HE set up a party for Zion because Zion had to spend his birthday alone with no friends. Just a typical day for the orphan. Hollywood looked pleased at the work put into this ‘party.’ He turned to Zion and smirked.
Brian Hollywood: Always focused on the prize. I’ve always admired that about you Zion. You always set your eyes on the prize. However, you need to live a little. You need to relax. You never take the time to enjoy life. Look at me. I’m drinking. I’m letting go of the pressure. It was always your downfall: the pressure you put on yourself.
Hollywood motioned to check on a glass of wine for the birthday boy. As the bartender rushes over to set the glass in front of Zion: Zion immediately chucks the glass on the floor with wine splattering all over the place. Zion rips off the hoodie Hollywood forced him to wear in the restaurant. He pridefully displays a new shirt that says:
“Retired Eric Dane; Took His Balls Too”
Referencing Chaos’s blatant low blow to Eric Dane. Arrogance oozed off Zion’s face at his accomplishment. Sure, Mike Best ran Dane off from the federation with tweets one could argue, but it didn’t happen until Dane lost his manhood at the hands of Zion.
Brian Hollywood: Put the hoodie back on. People keep looking over here. They don’t understand our line of work. You need to maintain composure and finesse, buddy. Ladies will be embarrassed at that.
Darin Zion: ….
Reproduction didn’t matter. Dates didn’t matter. Impressions didn’t matter. Zion didn’t care about those things any more. Promptly, Zion lifted his hand off the table and flipped Hollywood the bird to him. He wanted to show off the one accomplishment he did to crack the Industry from the inside. He only cared about sending a message before it mattered. He stares a hole straight into Hollywood’s soul. Zion began to reach his boiling point. His face beamed red. His breathing intensified as Hollywood calmly shook his head. He picked up Zion’s subtle mood change.
Brian Hollywood: Easy, Zion. I get the message. You’re clearly not interested in fun on your birthday. People haven’t ever listened. I hear you loud and clear. But honestly…
Hollywood takes a deep breath as he pulls out his iPhone and opens his Facebook app.
Brian Hollywood: I miss the old times.
Zion’s scowled, grizzly, angry face now looked rather perplexed. He scratched the scruffy oily beard rather intrigued. He pondered all those moments Hollywood and him had growing up in Chicago. Both completely different people. Zion spending most of his time grizzled by his step father not wanting him and fending for himself in the rough parts of Chicago while Hollywood got handed riches, fame and fortune. Hollywood grew up with a silver spoon lining his mouth and wrestled specifically out of passion for the business. He knew deep down, Hollywood didn’t inherit want to inherit his grandfather’s business. It engulfed him. It provided Hollywood extra income for projects to build an image for his shrewd business dealings. It made him seem human to his investors.
Zion flashed back to those times as Hollywood flipped through images in his phone of both of them in headlocks. A small smile cracked his face.
Brian Hollywood: Look I know you’re in your head after the last few weeks. You blame yourself, you blame me, you blame everyone in the Order. We’ve coasted and rested on our morals. You want to overcompensate for the loss by shutting down. I’ve seen this side of you after Clara. It’s much worse. You’ve hit a mid-life crisis. And I guess.
Brian Hollywood takes in a deep sigh.
Brian Hollywood: I wanted to throw a party without knowing what you wanted. I get you’re pissed off right now. But right now, we’re about to go into war. We have to climb to the guard tower to win back the Tag Team Titles…titles by all accounts technically we never lost as a team together.
Hollywood had a point. Both Hollywood and Zion never declared the Freebird rule when they won their first belts. Lee forced Zion to defend with Hanson. Zion nodded at him listening rather intently.
Brian Hollywood: But I wanted to pay it forward to my best friend. I wanted to crack through the tough shell of this crazy monster you’ve let out. I told you when we formed the Order I would stop at nothing to make sure you walked out looking better than when you walked in. I wanted you to succeed. People continue to overlook you like an…
Zion didn’t hesitate and picked up the napkin where he drew an asterisk on it.
Brian Hollywood: A footnote. I don’t know how to make it right with you. I know I stepped in bounds. I know you got caught off guard by the Industry. You ate their finish and you lost the belts. Lots of things happened. I just want inside your head. I want to understand. I want the friendship we had as kids man. That’s why I wanted to give you a birthday party. I wanted you to not be as hard on yourself going into this match. I want you at your best, not this….monster you’ve become. I want to shoot the shit with my best friend.
Zion looked straight over at Hollywood. He glared straight in his eyes delivering a message. He takes a deep breath to speak and the waiter immediately cuts him off from speaking to deliver their food. Zion’s eyes lock onto the salad he delivers. TOMATOES. Zion hates fucking tomatoes! He picks up the salad and tosses it across the room and flips the table before the rest of the courses come to the table. Everything’s getting to him. He always hated his birthday. He hated not training; and he fucking hated tomatoes! In his mind, his birthday was ruined. He grabs the 20 year old waiter by his bowtie and chucks him down into the tomatoes nose first like a scalded dog. Hollywood rubs his hand against his forehead just shaking it.
Brian Hollywood: This is exactly why people like you don’t deserve $15 per hour. I asked for no tomatoes on my best friends’ salad because he would lose his shit. He’s under a lot of pressure at work right now. Here I’m trying to save peons like you from getting the shit beat out of you by people like Zion. He needs to relax. In order for him to relax, he needs no tomatoes. But you had to fuck up his order and on his birthday no less.
Hollywood shakes his head as Zion storms off out of the restaurant taking a moment to unwind and calm down. Hollywood takes the bill from tonight and rips it up and throws it on the kid and places a penny on his chest and a business card with it.
Brian Hollywood: We aren’t paying for tonight’s meal. There’s your tip for the worthless service. Should your GM have a problem…have him call me directly. I’ll make sure to bitch at how worthless your ass is. God damn! To ruin my best friends’ birthdays like this….I swear…
Hollywood storms off after Zion, rather pissed. He finally had Zion cracking open. He would have had open communication. But deep down, he knew his best friend still remained lost. We cut back to Zion walking toward the limo. He pulls out the HOW Tag Team Championship belts. Deep down, he didn’t want to admit it to himself, but he needed Hollywood. He might be angry. He might be different. Hell, he might see the world differently than his best friend; but in Alcatraz; he knew Lindsay Troy and Dan Ryan would present him a different threat. He knew at Rumble at the Rock, he needed to put on the match of his career. And he needed to get on the same page with Brian once again.
Zion and Hollywood walk into the HOW production truck in Alcatraz where they have a set awaiting both of them. Inside, they see Brian Bare, who looks rather distraught having to be in the same place as Zion after their last encounter. Zion clearly wearing a “Fuck your Feelings” t shirt this time. He mouths that phrase without uttering a peep towards the backstage announcer. Zion locks eyes with Bare and rushes towards him. He acts like he’s about to destroy the HOW staff member again; however, Zion grabs Bare and squeezes him tightly in a bear hug, cutting off all circulation, almost showing his way of ‘forgiveness.’ Clearly, you can tell he doesn’t give a shit about Bare with the look on his face, a complete scowl and disdain…almost as if Bare complained. Zion would much rather stomp the shit out of HOW’s most pathetic staff member, however, he definantly flips Bare the bird demonstrating he doesn’t give a shit about the outcome of their last encounter.
Hollywood, looking rather hung over from the night before wearing sunglasses and his trademark red suit for these promos, walks over, hands Bare a wad of cash in hopes to save the pathetic announcer’s life before Zion loses his temper again over his stupid questions and make an example out of Bare to the rest of the locker room again. Hollywood chuckles as Zion nods while Hollywood picks up the microphone.
Brian Hollywood: That idiot just got handed monopoly money. Like I would pay that shit head a dime to get out of our way. We’re the fucking Order. We own this fucking place. Zion demonstrated it last week by proudly ending his match in disqualification. Zion didn’t want to waste his precious energy on a worthless singles match that netted him a victory over some talentless hack. Zion’s a champion. Zion wants gold. He only puts the effort into matches when it benefits him these days. You think Zion would give you what you want? Zion beating the shit out of some worthless Industry member before he enters the Guard Tower match, putting his life, his soul, his well-being on the line for something that matters…please. Last week, Zion sent his message loud and clear to anyone and everyone that stands in his way.
Zion stands up to the camera and simply nods. He takes the microphone out of Brian Hollywood’s hands, stalls for a moment, smirks and grunts straight into it.
Brian Hollywood: Exactly! Zion eats, sleeps, breathes, and obsess over HOW gold. He doesn’t need his words to clearly convey his intentions. He only needs his fists, his feet, and his actions. Sure, Zion likes to rack up wins like a prized fighter. You need them for championship opportunities around HOW. But Zion proudly took out the Industry’s man hood with one swift kick. He took out one of the main members and left Lindsay Troy now as a helpless innocent victim in a handicap match to be thrown off a guard tower laying in a pool of her own blood.
Zion hesitates for a moment. Did Hollywood just say that? Did Hollywood connect with his feelings? Absolutely. Zion confidently cracks his knuckles as he smirks, remembering the last time he came in contact with Lindsay Troy. The Order left Dane distracted as Zion snuck in and added the Asterisk to the Industry’s name. He left an exclamation point as footage rolls of Zion innocently attacking Lindsay Troy from out of nowhere with his new move, leaving her motionless: as one of his first two victims of his destruction. We cut back to Hollywood passionately speaking as he laughs nonchalantly.
Brian Hollywood: Oh, you idiots think I stuttered. I called Lindsay Troy a helpless innocent victim in a handicap match. You’d think I’d forgotten Dan Ryan. You think Zion and I treat Dan Ryan like he’s an after thought after he’s clearly the number 1 contender to the HOW World Heavyweight Championship. Like we would write off his accomplishments, his tenacity, and his valor for sticking his nose into our business for the HOW Tag Team Championships?
Hollywood’s face transforms from a smile to intensity as Zion grits his teeth.
Brian Hollywood: We aren’t!
Zion reaches into his pocket and pulls out a torn and tattered Industry T-Shirt left by Eric Dane last week after he earned his last victory in HOW…the Asterisk Victory. He throws it on the ground and spits straight onto it.
Brian Hollywood: Dan Ryan’s the toughest son of a bitch in HOW. He’s someone that came into the system of HOW and thrived since we reopened. Kid’s got a lot of fight in his body. But we all know he’s focused on Cecilworth Farthington and Halistosis for the HOW World Heavyweight Championship. His mind is focused elsewhere. Sure, the Industry wants to eradicate us from the face of the world. They’ve stuck their noses into the Order’s business week after week after week. Dan Ryan’s personally came down to the ring, pummelled Zion with Powerbomb after Powerbombing leaving Zion a wreck. But we all know Ryan won’t take the risk of falling off that tower. Ryan can’t risk getting thrown from such a high distance. He can’t handle the sheer force of Zion’s new twisted mindset of wanting to erase the Industry from existence after they took away his innocence. He’s solely there to protect Lindsay. He has his limits because he knows if he gets in our way….
Zion pulls out a Dan Ryan looking action figure and tosses it across the room, watching it falling into pieces. His methodical smile crosses ear to ear as Hollywood inches closer to the microphone.
Brian Hollywood: Dan Ryan gets broken and cannot compete for the HOW World Championship. Dan Ryan gets left in a hospital bed and lets his remaining Industry teammates down. Hell, he won’t be able to walk again.
Hollywood strokes his beard.
Brian Hollywood: This leaves Lindsay as the easy pickings.
Hollywood reflects back to the opening rounds of the HOW World Championship tournament where he fought Lindsay Troy and bested her in singles action. His smile contorts, almost revealing his twisted intentions.
Brian Hollywood: It’s funny Lindsay, you’d think you’d have learned your lesson stepping into my path. You thought you could outsmart me the last time, but now….my how the tables turn. You and your online posse of idiot misfits told us we should walk away from this match. That Zion or I don’t stand a fighting chance against you and Dan Ryan. But your ass was the stubborn one. We gave you the opportunity to surrender those belts when your bitch friend got all pissy about things Mike Best said. We wanted to preserve your career. We respect the hell out of you. We admire your stubborn attitude and tenacity. But….Alas, you chose to stand in our way. Pathetic…
Zion walks up towards the camera, pulls it away from the camera man and glares straight into it before he tosses it on the ground. Hollywood dives onto the ground and twists his head upside down with the camera, almost like a possessed man.
Brian Hollywood: I showed you mercy after you didn’t deserve it. I gave you liberty when you deserved destruction. But now, Lindsay, you want to be a brave soul and fight. You want to be HOW’s heroine that doesn’t doesn’t give up. You want your chance at the spotlight after you’re holding something you didn’t earn, that Ryan earned FOR you. That balless wonder Eric Dane earned for you.
Hollywood chops Zion across the chest hard as Zion’s anger flares up.
Brian Hollywood: Fine. Try to be Captain Marvel. Try to be a good role model that little girls and little boys look up to when the going gets tough. They shouldn’t give up. They too will get that Hollywood ending right? Wrong! Heroes don’t exist in this world, Troy. You don’t get that sweet ending where you conquer the odds. Where all your hard work and dedication pays off. You get what you reap in this world. You and your clan of idiots stepped in our way. Zion paid Dane’s sins in full last week. Now at Rumble at the Rock. I unleash the beast in Zion. I let him loose. I’ve held him back, controlled his anger, and let him make statements these last weeks to prove his point. He’s ready to be that dominant champion that I made him out to be.
Zion signs asterisk in the air.
Brian Hollywood: He let his actions speak loudly. He made his statements. Now it’s time for him to make good on his word…his promise, and take those HOW Tag Team Championships off you and Ryan’s waists by force. We promised the Industry would pay for their consequences and you will pay for them in gold.
Hollywood and Zion laugh sadistically as they walk off the set as the cameras fade to black.