The HOTv logo fades out and we cut inside to an ALMOST sold out Pinnacle Bank Arena here in Lincoln Nebraska.
We immediately cut to our Hall of Fame announce team as the 50th Chaos of this era has begun.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome everyone to Chaos 50…I am Joe Hoffman and as always I am joined by my tag team partner and fell Hall of Famer…Benny Newell……..and Benny, we’ve got quite the night in store for you. We’ve got Evan Ward taking on Drew Mitchell in what should be a very entertaining bout.
Benny Newell: Entertaining is a strong word, Hoffy.
Joe Hoffman: We’ve even got an LSD title match between Conor Fuse and Jatt Starr.
Benny Newell: Jatt Starr gonna make it right and bring that title home baby!
Joe Hoffman: And in our main event we’ve got the unlikely team of Mike Best and Darin Zion taking on The Final Alliance’s Dan Ryan and Steve Solex in what is likely to be a banger of a match!
Benny Newell: I might seriously need an actual drink for this match. The fact that Zion and Mike on the same team is just….not processing for me! Hell must have frozen over!
Joe Hoffman: Well before we get to all of that, we’ve got our opening match between Bobbinette Carey takes on a man coming off a win against Zach Kostoff, that man being Malakia Delirio.
Benny Newell: I’m always happy to see a Kostoff lose! Always brings a sweet smile to my face!
The lights go black the HOTv flashes in black with white writing one word *Nettie* flashing in and out repeatedly. The percussion for “Darkside” by Neoni blasts through the speakers.
“Do you want to meet all my monsters?
Think you’re tough? I know they’ll drive you bonkers*
The HOTv shows a clip of Nettie Standing on Brian Hollywood.
“Meet ’em once and they’ll forever haunt ya, yeah, yeah”
A glaringly white background with a wall of black chains in front of it appears, a hand with red pointy nails brushes across the chains.
“There’s no heroes or villains in this place
Just shadows that dance in my headspace”
Nettie brutalizing Dan Ryan’s hip at different angles flash on the screen.
“Leaving nothing but phantoms in their wake…”
A gray spot light hits the top of the ramp with someone emerging from the darkness. Stepping into the light is the Queen Bitch of HOW with a black laced cap with a high collar. Her clothing darker her makeup bolder.
“There’s parts of me I cannot hide
I’ve tried and tried a million times”
Bryan McVay: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Parma Heights, Ohio, weighing in at 235 pounds, BOOOOBINETTE CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAREY!!
Nettie’s got a stern look on her face as she makes her descent down the ramp to the ring. HOTv flashing clips of her Victories over Zion and Hollywood.
“La-da-da-de-dah, la-da-da-de-dah, la-da-da-de-dah”
Nettie climbs up the steps as a sadistic smirk spreads across her red lips. She steps through the middle rope looking back over her shoulder as her foot slam
“Cross my heart and hope to die
Welcome to my dark side”
Black flames spout from the sides of the turnbuckle as her cape drops behind her at the same time.
“Ooh to da-da-dark side
Ooh to da-da-dark side “
She genuflects in the center of the ring her head tilted sideways looking ahead blankly as if she’s staring into the abyss.
Ooh to my da-da-dark side
Ooh to my da-da-dark side
Joe Hoffman: Bobbinette looks ready to get this match kicked off here.
Benny Newell: She’s just going through her third phase of menopause I wouldn’t look too big into it there.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t think that’s even..oh nevermind.
Dimmed lights and eerie carnival music fill the arena. The sound of chilling laughter echoes, growing louder as a spotlight hits the entrance ramp and onto The Clown Prince standing with his head back, arms outstretched and palms facing up. In his left hand a purple and black cane dangles between Malakai’s fingers. The laughter and carnival music fades to silence.
“It Smells like a Freakshowwwww…” erupts through the speakers followed by the song’s menacing guitar riff. As soon as the riff is heard, Malakai energetically begins to make his way down the ramp toward the ring. He moves with a bizarre mix of grace and twisted glee. He stalks his way to the ring poking members of the crowd with his cane in an attempt to draw out their anger and fascination.
Bryan McVay: And her opponent, from parts Unknown, weighing in at 215 pounds, MALAKAI DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELIRIO!!
Upon reaching the ring, The Clown Prince looks back at the crowd, throws his cane and rolls under the bottom rope. He springs to his feet and again throws his head back laughing maniacally with his arms outstretched and hands palm up on the top rope as if welcoming the boos and chaos he brings. Once the music stops, Malakai playfully dances in a clownish manner as he waits for the match to begin.
Joe Hoffman: Malakai got a nice victory over Kostoff the other week. He’ll be riding that momentum high into this match with Carey.
Benny Newell: Malakai was my guy last week. This week, I hope he can be the man that finally shuts up Carey for good.
Joe Hoffman: Well that’s not disturbing at all.
Hortega calls for the bell and Bobbinette wastes no time in charging at Malakai with a strong shoulder block, knocking Malakai onto the mat. She throws up her arms in defiance as Malakai gets back to his feet. He slings himself off the ropes and comes back at Carey with a shoulder block of his own, but Carey takes him down again! Carey rushes off the ropes and lands a splash on Malakai and covers him for a count.
Joe Hoffman: Malakai gets the shoulder up and I think he gets the point here!
Benny Newell: Don’t let that bitch intimate you!
Carey laughs momentarily at Malakai as Delirio makes the same attempt that got him in trouble the first time. Carey laughs and tells Malakai to bring it as he dashes off the ropes but instead of going for a shoulder block, he goes for the drop kick which does surprise Carey, but doesn’t take her off her feet. The Crown Prince once again flirts with the ropes and comes back at Carey only this time, delivering a drop kick to her knee which causes Carey to all of a sudden lose her footing. She drops to one knee as Malakai has her right where he wants her.
Joe Hoffman: What a move by Delirio and he’s got Carey grimacing here!
Benny Newell: Atta boy there! PUNCH HER IN THE DICK!!!
Joe Hoffman: What is up with you?
Benny Newell: Facts are facts sir….
Malakai delivers a throat punch before following it with a strong headbutt that finally takes Carey down to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: CAREY’S DOWN!!
Malakai goes for the cover.
Carey is able to kick out and she is not happy.
Joe Hoffman: Malakai would have pulled off a monumental upset there if he would have gotten that three count!
Benny Newell: Carey’s good with jerking that curtain, I won’t lie….but she still needs to be cunt punted.
Hoffman shakes his head and doesn’t reply as the Clown Prince taunts Carey as he begins to lift her up over his head.
Joe Hoffman: NO WAY! Delirio wants to end this now! Can he actually pull this off?!
Malakai is barely able to lift Carey over but he’s so close to the ropes that Bobbinette is able to hook her leg over the top which causes Malakai to nearly lose his balance. She finally throws a few hard, stiff elbows into his face and she is pissed. Malakai finally can’t hold on anymore and he falls forward as Carey crushes him on the back.
Joe Hoffman: Oh my lord, that isn’t going to feel good in the morning!
Benny Newell: Carey’s body is literally a crime in that ring! How has she not been prosecuted for that?!
Carey drops down at a vulnerable Malakai and locks his legs up hard as you could see the anger in her eyes, not holding back as the Nettie Nation is locked in good. Malakai can’t help but to give in as Hortega calls for the bell!
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner, in five minutes and 15 seconds, BOBBINETTE CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAREY!!!
Carey releases the lock as she stands tall in the ring looking over a broken Malakai.
Joe Hoffman: Great effort by Malakai tonight, but Carey was too much for the new face in HOW.
Benny Newell: Carey is a bully, hoffhole, plain and simple! Somebody really needs to take a bullet and get her laid. Maybe then she’ll stop being so bitchy. Not in this lifetime, though, Joe…not in this lifetime!
Carey celebrates once again before making her way back up to the ramp as Chaos heads backstage.
The show switches to a shot of one of the car parks inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena somewhere, and it’s clearly noted on screen that this footage is from earlier tonight. The reason we’re even being shown this footage quickly becomes obvious, as emerging from the depths of the car park, attired in a Ground Zero tracksuit that, well, bulges a little at the gut, is Rhys Townsend. The unfamiliar, obviously off-camera voice of the cameraman echoes out across the car park, as Townsend continues to advance.
Camera Asshole: Rhys! You’re not booked tonight, so I was hoping I could find out why you’re here, see if I could be on the scene when you ambush Evan Ward!
There’s a small chuckle from the Welshman as he pulls up to a halt in front of the camera. At this close of a range, the Ground Zero tracksuit looks well worn, yet well cared for – as if it dates back to the original formation of the stable.
Rhys Townsend: I’m here EVERY week, regardless of if I’m wrestling or not. And I have no plans to ambush Evan Ward tonight mate, in fact…I’m here for exactly the opposite reason.
Camera Asshole: Oh? You’re going to apologize to the guy?
Rhys Townsend: Nah mate, something better than that. See, I was locked out of my locker room last week, and I needed to get in there – my medication was in there, y’know? I figured Evan wouldn’t mind helping me out, fuck knows he’s been spiked on his head enough, so it’s not like another concussion is gonna cause any lasting damage, is it? I didn’t know he’d object to using his head to help out.
There’s a look of almost genuine remorse on the face of the Hall of Famer…but it doesn’t quite get there in terms of being convincing.
Rhys Townsend: So, y’know, I felt bad. I get I’ve been away for a while, but honestly, it wasn’t a problem to send a quick text, take a quick exam, and…
Seeing Rhys Townsend excited is an extremely rare thing, and, well, his face is a little scary when it is excited.
Rhys Townsend: Boom!
The excited face is just behind what appears to be some form of a High Octane Wrestling Manager’s Licence. He waves it at the camera for just long enough that you can just about see what it is, before he stuffs it back into one of his pockets.
Rhys Townsend: I went ahead and renewed my managerial licence, so I could be his ring second tonight, cameradude! Now, just like it’s always been in Ground Zero, I ain’t gonna interfere in the match, I’m just out there to second him. Y’know. Towel, water, stool, everything a professional wrestler needs during a professional wrestling match!
Camera Asshole: Right…so, no sneak attack this week?
Rhys Townsend: No.
The sigh of the cameraman is obvious – someone was obviously hoping to be first on the scene tonight, but, it doesn’t seem to stop him.
Camera Asshole: Alright…I’m not sure I believe you…
Rhys Townsend: Would you tell a cameraman you were gonna do a sneak attack on someone before you actually went and did it?
Camera Asshole: Well, normally I’d say no, but we are on a professional wrestling show, so…
Rhys Townsend: Touche. Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve got ring second things to be doing…
Townsend starts to walk off, but the cameraman interjects again.
Camera Asshole: Before you do disappear, any comment on the High Octane Wrestling World Championship and Mike Best’s actions surrounding it?
And the interjection is enough to make Rhys stop, and exhale a fairly loud sigh.
Rhys Townsend: Honestly…it’s the sort of thing…I mean, shit, at least people are talking about the World Championship, right? Look mate, my entire career has revolved around that championship. There are people mocking me right now because I don’t want to compete for other belts – I don’t want to set my goal as becoming LSD Champion – they mock because I strive to be the best wrestler in this business. So yeah, sat there, thinking I would get a chance to redeem things after Fuse smashed it with a sledgehammer, I was fine with not saying shit.
Rhys Townsend: Because…whatever man. Maybe the dude’s just one of those asshole nihilists, and we all know he’s gonna lose to Mike anyway. Mike wins, I lose, I’m not getting a World Championship shot at ICONIC. That’s…that’s difficult to deal with, but it’s fine. If I’m honest with you, with myself, with the people – I couldn’t find that extra something I needed to win. I ran out of steam when a shot at the World Championship was on the line, so yeah, I wasn’t gonna win that match. And then I’m sat there last week, in my locker room which Evan kindly helped me get into, smoking a fat one, and I get to see that Mike Best has found the This Is Taylor Swift playlist on Spotify and has just tossed the belt into a river like we’re back in 2004 and everyone’s barely out of puberty?
Rhys shakes his head, and pats his pockets down. A blunt emerges out of his pocket, thick enough to contain at least two grams of the greatest plant on planet earth, though the lighter doesn’t appear, the smoke just sitting there, between two of his fingers, waiting.
Rhys Townsend: Y’know… I get things are different now, but that’s still the same strap of 97Red leather that myself and Mike wrote High Octane History over. That’s still the same championship that literally hundreds of guys have tried to attain. The same belt that’s had some people put thousands of hours into their pursuit of and come out with fuck all, and yeah, sure, nobody around here gives a fuck about anything, right, so let’s just take a giant fucking shit on the most prestigious thing we have around here, because yeah, we all just pump the hours we do into this sport for absolutely fuck all, no? All the time, all the effort…it’s just fake pretend time and effort, is it?
Another shake of the head. The disgust on the Hall of Famer’s face is, well, it’s really fucking obvious. As is the anger. If you somehow missed the anger, I commend your unobservancy of obvious things.
Rhys Townsend: So I lost my chance to get a guaranteed shot at that belt…but Lee Best says he needs to fix things. I fucking agree. He does. And fast. So what am I saying at this point? It’s simple. I am a five time High Octane Wrestling World Champion. I am undefeated on Chaos since my return. I won all five of my High Octane Wrestling World Championships on weekly shows.
And then, abruptly, even though it feels like he probably should have said something else, Townsend just walks off, and our pre-recorded segment comes to an end.
The show returns to the live feed where we find Evan Ward warming up for his match. He had clearly been at it for a while and, without a TV in the room he had obviously missed his rival’s pre-taped promo which had just finished airing. Ward finishes punching away at a speed-bag and hits it with a spinning heel kick as a finale. He grabs a towel and turns to face the camera. The Hall of Famer is wearing a brand new “The Real Ground Zero” t-shirt, available from the merch stands in the arena and all good wrestling merch sites.
Evan Ward: Last week a travesty happened. Something so offensive it riled up my furious heart so much it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention it now. It’s my solemn duty to denounce this vile, disgusting occurance and all it represents.
He pauses to wipe the sweat from his brow.
Evan Ward: No, I’m not talking about Townsend putting my head through a door, totally unprovoked for no reason at all, no I’ll get to that soon… No, I’m talking about Jatt Starr being hand fed another undeserved title shot, stealing away opportunities from the young, up-and-coming talent in this federation! First he gets a free shot at the World title and now he’s being given a shot at the LSD Championship! It makes you want to wretch at the thought of it when you know there’s far more deserving wrestlers on the roster.
Evan shakes his head, a look of disappointment spreads over his face.
Evan Ward: You have guys like Drew Mitchell, who worked his little socks off to crawl up from the shit leagues of X-Pro despite having a lead weight of Sunny O’Callahan around his neck like a noose, desperate to make his mark on federation and become more than glorified enhancement talent… guys who like that who would give their flavoursome right ears for a shot at the LSD Championship, but they’re being held down by the old Alliance assholes like Jatt who are just being handed all the opportunities which should be given to these youngsters. Well, you know what? Enough is enough!
Ward throws the towel down on the floor.
Evan Ward: Tonight, I’ll make a stand against such despicable nepotism! My match will be a protest, I will break my opponent and leave him drowning in his own vomit from the pain he had to endure to show the world what happens when these kids are not given the opportunities they deserve! Drew should be getting his arse beaten in a meaningful match against Connor Fuse to pad his title reign, not getting his arse handed to him on a silver platter, cooked rare like a fine rump steak covered in a scrumptious diane sauce…
Evan trails off and his eyes glaze over as he thinks about a delicious meal for a moment. He snaps back to reality and wipes a bit of drool from around his mouth.
Evan Ward: Excuse me.. He shouldn’t be getting his arse handed to him in some meaningless match which does nothing good for him and will probably end up with him suffering a serious injury. It’s harsh on him to put him through that and it’s all your fault Jatt. Everything which happens to Drew tonight,Jatt, every drop of blood spilled, every broken bone, every moment of agony he suffers, it’s all because of you. I hope you’re happy, Jatt, stealing away opportunities from wrestlers who actually deserve these title shots and forcing me to beat the snot out of them. You’re sick. How can you do this to poor little Drew? How can you let him get slaughtered like this, you heartless bastard?
Evan looks at the camera sternly with a disapproving shake of his head.
Evan Ward: Now, onto more important matters. Last week, my dear friend Rhys Townsend was locked out of his locker room and needed my help to get in. He could have just asked, using my head as a battering ram was really, truly uncalled for. It hurt like a bitch, Rhys. It hurt my head and it hurt my pride. What have I ever done to you to deserve being treated like that? Nothing, nothing at all! What I did after your poxy little challenge was just banter, breaking your wrist was just what was just the done thing to do. But you interrupting my super important interview like that was just petty! Before you smashed my head in, I was right about to tell you something vital to the future of HOW, this business and all mankind and you stopped me saying it! Because of what you did I will never say it again, either. You ruined the only opportunity anyone had to hear it! You see this, Rhys?
Ward pointed at the logo on his t-shirt.
Evan Ward: This stands for integrity, this stands for professionalism. It stands for things you have never, ever had. Every time you buggered off to play house with the Best Alliance, or to go around chasing Mike Best’s affections or just fucking off out of the company entirely, I was there left holding the reigns, propping up the most important stable in the history of wrestling, the one thing which dragged HOW from the dark days, where fucknuggest like Kael and Varga sucked the life out of the federation, and back to being the greatest federation on the planet. You didn’t give a shit about it as long as you won another World Championship, Rhys. That’s all it ever was to you, a prop to help you earn that extra bit of gold. Without me backing you up, Rhys, you wouldn’t have earnt half of them.
Evan turned around and huffed a deep breath in to calm the simmering anger which had been building within him.
Evan Ward: At ICONIC, Rhys, it won’t be about Championships, it won’t be about career progress. It’ll be just you and me, the pinnacle of wrestling, at the top of our game, fucking murdering each other. I told you last week, Rhys, you can think I’m going to be an easy win to break your pay-per-view curse all you want, but that won’t change the reality that I’m going to spill your guts and roast them like a leg of lamb. At ICONIC, Rhys, we’re going to tear the place up and, at the end of the night, once the whole arena is silent, their collective jaws on the floor, fighting off the shock from the intense battle they just witnessed, I will be there, standing tall, while you are once again carted off to an ambulance. Just like last week. Just like In God’s House. Just like 97Red. If I don’t end your career, my friend, you’re surely going to wish I had.
Ward shoves his way past the camera, heading towards ringside to prepare for the match as we cut to commercials.
Back from commercial break, the camera pans to Blaire Moise, the tireless backstage interviewer for High Octane Wrestling. She stands confidently, microphone in hand, awaiting her next interviewees.
Blaire Moise: Blaire Moise here and I’m joined by Drew Mitchell and Sunny O’Callahan before Drew’s upcoming match against Evan Ward!”
Drew saunters into the frame, a smug grin plastered across his face, still clearly riding high from his recent all-night marathon romp with Dawn McGill. His hair is tousled, his eyes sparkle, and he appears more relaxed than ever before. Leaning on Sunny’s shoulder, he exudes a palpable confidence.
Sunny, on the other hand, appears slightly pensive. Dressed like a 1970s Southern rock background singer, with frizzy blonde hair and a loose-fitting flouncy top.
Drew Mitchell: First off, Blaire, I want to apologize for my behavior last time we spoke. I shouldn’t have tried to hit on ya like that when I can just go to a bar and get picked up by a hot chick who can really rock my world.
He winks at Blaire, who raises an eyebrow but quickly regains her composure and replies smoothly like the professional she is.
Blaire Moise: Apology accepted, Drew. Steering the conversation back to tonight’s match, Do you have any comments on what Evan Ward said about you earlier?
Drew snorts and rolls his eyes.
Drew Mitchell: Look, love, Saturday night I got laid by a woman twice my age in the parking lot of a bar, off the side of a road, and all night long in a hotel. Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Evan Ward has to say.
Sunny, senses it’s time to step in.
Sunny O’Callahan: But I do! Evan Ward is a washed-up has-been. The only weight pulling anyone down is the weight around Evan Ward’s neck called his faltering career. Evan Ward is on the downside of his career and Drew’s future is bright.
She places a hand on Drew’s chest and looks him up and down.
Sunny O’Callahan: Drew Mitchell is young…he’s focused…
She pauses and glances at the grinning Drew as he’s surely thinking about what went down Saturday night before she gamely repeats.
Sunny O’Callahan: …he’s focused and determined to make his mark here in High Octane Wrestling! He’s workin’ really hard to follow his dream, to show he’s got what it takes! The time of Evan Ward has passed, and the era of Drew Mitchell has just begun.
Blaire Moise: Thank you both for your time.
As the camera fades out, Drew mouths ‘call me’ to Dawn wherever she is while Sunny takes a swig of Southern Comfort, attempting to quell her nerves.
Back from commercial and we dont waste anytime cutting to ringside…
Benny Newell: Asshole. I know we’ve just had a whole bunch of boring fucking talking AND a commercial, but if you fell asleep, it’s a good time to wake up, because we’ve got a match right about now.
Joe Hoffman: And what a match it should be, right, Benny?
Benny Newell: I didn’t say I was excited for the match, Joe…Evan Ward taking on Drew Mitchell? It’s two Brits going head to head. The best outcome I can hope for here is that the ring collapses and somehow causes two simultaneous career ending injuries!
Joe Hoffman: I think that’s a little harsh, especially when it comes to this match. On one side, you have Evan Ward, who’s ascended the mountain here in High Octane Wrestling and has a decorated CV taking on Drew Mitchell, who, well, seems to still be in wrestling school. Given that he’s here, Mitchell obviously has talent, but can that raw potential coalesce enough tonight to produce the win over the seasoned Ward?
Benny Newell: I mean, he’s bigger than Ward, he’s got the size advantage. If you’re him, you’re hoping that that, plus youth is enough for you to get past the experience and speed of Ward. Granted, that fucker ain’t as fast as he used to be…
Joe Hoffman: But he’s still pretty fast, yeah. But it’s not so simple for Evan Ward, we heard from Rhys Townsend tonight, saying that he was going to be out here as Ward’s ring second…
Benny Newell: I’m just glad that asshole’s not joining us on commentary…though last week’s brutal attack was pretty great. Just gotta keep doing that until he ends Ward.
Joe Hoffman: Exactly, so you have to wonder if the distraction of Rhys Townsend is going to take Ward out of his game a little. We’re not gonna tease you any longer though, folks, we’re gonna throw it over to Bryan McVay.
The camera swings up to the always immaculately attired ring announcer known as Bryan McVay.
Bryan McVay: The following contest is a singles match, and it is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first…
Status Quo’s “Rockin’ All Over the World” comes on and Drew Mitchell comes out from the back accompanied by Sunny O’Callahan.
Bryan McVay: Being accompanied by Sunny O’Callahan, he comes to us from Manchester, England, weighing in at two hundred twenty five pounds…he is DREWWWWWWWWW MITCHELLLLLLL!!!!!!!!
Drew stops at the top and poses for the fans. Then he makes his way down to the ring with Sunny by his side.
Joe Hoffman: He looks motivated tonight, Benny. I’m gonna assume that his extra time spent training this week has given him a little extra confidence.
Benny Newell: Ya know, I’m all for anything that makes this match go quicker, so, hopefully, Joe.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know why you hope for short matches, Benny – most wrestlers here give everything every week.
Benny Newell: No, Joe, I hope for a balanced show where the Alliance matches go real long, and everything else happens real fucking quick.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t think that’s ever happened, Benny.
Benny Newell: Yeah…but a man can dream, Benny. A man can dream.
The lights in the arena fade out as the chugging intro of “Rise of Chaos” by Accept hits the speakers. The squealing guitar solo kicks in as Evan Ward walks out onto stage with a slight limp.
Bryan McVay: Now approaching the ring, weighing in at 205lbs, he is the Hall of Famer, EEEVVVAAANNN WWWAAAARRRRDDD!
Ward raises a fist in the air to the mixed, but loud, reaction from the fans and heads down the ramp, tender on his injured right leg. He climbs up the steps and up onto the turnbuckle, raising anotyher hand. He jumps off, visibly landing on his left foot and does not do any of the usual flippy shit he’s known for. Ward goes to the corner to limber up, and spots Rhys Townsend who’s got a towel, water, a bucket and a stool – and immediately the two start to argue. Referee Boettcher merely shrugs and calls for the bell!
Benny Newell: Looks like Ward’s second is putting him off, Joe!
Joe Hoffman: Perhaps, but you’ve got to keep your eyes on what’s in front of you, Benny.
The sound of the bell causes Ward to turn, but while his back had turned, Mitchell had been warming up in the corner and he almost decapitates Ward with a clothesline the second he turns around! As soon as Ward’s shoulders hit the canvas, he’s immediately pulling himself off the canvas, but picks himself up into a fierce right hand from Mitchell! Mitchell continues to fire the punches into Ward’s head, backing him into the turnbuckle! Mitchell climbs to the second rope, and starts delivering punches to the head of the former World Champion, the crowd chanting along with each punch!
Joe Hoffman: Sometimes the classics are the best, Benny – we don’t see many ten punch turnbuckle combinations on the show!
Benny Newell: You just can’t beat it, Hoffman. Stick your dick in his face and rain down some knucklebombs as people chant along…makes me hard just thinking about it!
Mitchell gets to eight, before Ward’s hands grab his legs and he takes a step out of the corner before powerbombing the larger man to the canvas! Ward’s boot follows straight after, a heat seeking missile right to Mitchell’s nose! The rookie grabs at his face, as Ward goes off with a series of vicious stomps to the Englishman! Boettcher pulls Ward away so he can check on the rookie, but Mitchell immediately starts pulling himself back up! As soon as he reaches his feet, Ward’s finger is there, fishhooking his nostril! Mitchell starts grabbing at Ward’s hand, trying to get the Hall of Famer to release his weird hold, but Ward yanks on it harder, pulling Mitchell in closer, before he pushes his head down into a vicious knee!
Joe Hoffman: Ward taking control here, Benny – his experience starting to show.
Benny Newell: Yeah, so, hopefully that experience allows that boring asshole to get a quick finish so we can all go home.
Joe Hoffman: Not hoping he does something high and flying and breaks his neck?
Benny Newell: I mean, obviously, Hoffman. But he’s gotten into all this rinky dink bullshit with fingers and ears and that…why can’t he just break a man’s face, like a real fucking man?
Joe Hoffman: Because he’s trying to win a match, not commit a felony.
Benny Newell: Sometimes committing a felony IS the way to win the match, Hoffman.
Mitchell stumbles back, and Ward explodes towards him with a dropkick, knocking him down! Mitchell’s a little slower to rise, but he finds that when he does get up, he’s thrown up and over with a Northern Lights Suplex! Again, he immediately, though slowly, starts to drag himself off the canvas, but again, Ward is staying on the offence, firing off a series of martial arts style kicks, backing Mitchell into the corner! As soon as Mitchell’s back hits the turnbuckle, Evan Ward sees an unguarded ear, and lunges in! Boettcher immediately starts trying to wrestle Ward away, and manages to do it after a second or two, shoving Ward into the center of the ring, delivering a stern admonition as he does so. Mitchell’s still slumped in the corner, as Ward ducks past Boettcher, leaping into Mitchell with a splash! Mitchell stumbles forward for a second, before slowly, but surely falling onto his face!
Benny Newell: I have never ever been a fan of landing smack on your face, Hoffman – shit’s always gonna hurt.
Joe Hoffman: Indeed – and after a promising opening, Ward seems to have taken firm control of this contest. Mitchell had better hope the hours he put in the gym in Missouri are gonna pay off here.
Benny Newell: That’s the sort of shit that nobody likes doing, but everyone likes the benefits of, Hoffman. I mean, I hope not, but again, I’m all for a quick match. Anything that doesn’t have an Alliance member in should be over with quick and fast.
Joe Hoffman: As I’ve said many times…
Benny Newell: Not a sentiment you can agree with. Ya, Hoffhole, I fuckin’ know.
There are clearly audible screams from O’Callahan at ringside for Mitchell to do something, but Evan Ward doesn’t get a chance to continue his offence, as Rhys Townsend has appeared from ringside, and has forced him down onto a stool in the corner, shouting instructions at him! Ward shouts back, and then Boettcher joins in the shouting match, trying to get Townsend out of the ring! There’s pandemonium in the corner!
Benny Newell: Did anyone tell this fat asshole that it’s not 1970’s Britain and we don’t use the Lord-Admiral Mountevans rules system here?
Joe Hoffman: Was that just a historical reference from you?
Benny Newell: Yeah, asshole, sometimes I know shit. I mean, I’m all for shenanigans that might cost Evan Ward the match because that’s also, quite clearly what that asshole is attempting, but it’s just dragging this out…
Joe Hoffman: Nothing ever pleases you, does it?
Benny Newell: Oh, I don’t know about that, Hoffman. Plenty of things do, just most of them are unbroadcastable.
Hoffman’s eternal sigh rings out once again, and it’s around this time that Rhys Townsend disappears out the ring with all of his accoutrements, obviously having dispensed the most sage of wisdoms, but all this has really done is taken Ward’s eye off the ball, and given Mitchell a chance to recover! The rookie shows off yet another professional wrestling move he’s obviously practised hard, delivering the basic shoulder block with ring shaking precision! Ward smashes against the canvas, quickly picking himself up, but it’s like the first one gave Drew some momentum, as he crashes into Ward for a second time! Again, Ward’s quick to get up, but again, Mitchell seemed to gain momentum from the successful shoulder block so delivers a third!
Benny Newell: He is doing the most basic of shit, Hoffman, but he’s doing it well. Can’t ask for more from a rookie.
Joe Hoffman: You think he should stick with the basics?
Benny Newell: I mean, maybe you wanna throw something bigger in here and there, it’s 2023, after all, gotta keep the assholes happy. But otherwise, yeah, why wouldn’t you stick to what you do well?
Joe Hoffman: That’s a fair point. I guess we’ll see if he was taught that, or maybe if he remembers that in the heat of battle!
Mitchell is gesturing for Ward to get up, and when he does, he delivers a stiff forearm to the Hall of Famer! Ward staggers, but Mitchell quickly grabs a front face lock, before driving Ward into the canvas with a DDT! He springs to his feet, about to celebrate his success, but the glare from O’Callahan stops him absolutely dead in his tracks! He turns back from the crowd to Evan Ward, who’s just starting to drag himself off the canvas. Mitchell grabs him by the head, throwing his head between his legs, before finding it within himself to hoist Ward into the air, looking for a powerbomb…but the years of experience Ward has kicks into action, and he delivers a perfect hurricanrana, sending Mitchell flipping into the canvas!
Joe Hoffman: Ward turning the tables right there…it looked like Mitchell was gaining a dangerous amount of momentum!
Benny Newell: Yeah, Hoffman, he was – but he did the rookie thing, took his eye off the ball, gave Ward the opening, insert another fifty four tired sports cliches here, and look what happened – Evan Ward is back in control and I’m hoping that we can get this match thrown out.
Joe Hoffman: I think it’s been a great sporting contest, Benny, and you might get your wish of someone getting crippled yet!
Ward takes a moment getting back up to his feet, Mitchell still catching his breath on his back, but the Welshman doesn’t immediately advance towards Mitchell, instead becoming distracted by the sight of what looks like Rhys Townsend preparing to jump into the ring. Feeling smug, like he caught him in the act, Ward immediately starts pointing and shouting at Townsend, though this might have been the single biggest miscalculation of the match, as when he turns around, he meets the perfectly timed boot of Drew Mitchell! Mitchell wastes absolutely no time, immediately grabbing a handful of Ward’s hair, hoisting him up and spinning him around as he gets his knees into place…
Joe Hoffman: TENSHI CRASH!
Benny Newell: Thank fuck!
Ward bounces from the impact, but Mitchell is right behind him, scurrying over into a cover!
Bryan McVay: Your winner, in 16 minutes, 33 seconds…..DREW MITCHELL!!!
Mitchell seems almost in shock, quickly rolling out the ring to celebrate his victory with his manager!
Joe Hoffman: Well, a huge win for the rookie there! It’d be unfair to call it an upset, because nobody gets a shot in High Octane Wrestling without having a serious level of talent, but…
Benny Newell: I think most people would have expected the former World Champion to beat the rookie, sure, but it’s never that simple, Hoffman. Mitchell kept his eye on the ball, and just executed the basics well. Like you said, a good win for him.
Joe Hoffman: Yeah, hopefully we see more from this promising rookie. Folks, we’re gonna have to go to a commercial break right now, but when we…
Hoffman trails off as our camera shot switches back to the ring, because right around the time Evan Ward is getting back up from the effects of the Tenshi Crash, his long time friend, Rhys Townsend has made his way into the ring with the corner stool, and he swings that thing at Ward’s head as if Ward’s head holds the secret to the Greatest Tacos Ever! The stool disintegrates as Ward’s forehead starts pouring with blood! He looks unsteady on his feet, like both he, and everyone else aren’t quite sure how he’s still standing – but all Rhys Townsend does is shove him into the turnbuckles, before placing him on the top one.
Benny Newell: Don’t fucking say the name of that shitbag move, Hoffman. Don’t fucking do it!
Joe Hoffman: I’m not going to, Benny – because it doesn’t look like that move. It looks like Rhys is going to piledrive his friend!
Benny Newell: Yes! Cripple the fuck with the neck issues! DO IT! Finish what Solex started!
And, indeed, that’s exactly what Townsend does, climbing up after Ward, before jumping backwards and spiking Evan’s head into the canvas! Townsend rolls away from the scene of the crime, demanding a microphone from ringside. Leaning over the bloody, twitching form of Evan Ward, staring into the currently completely vacant eyes of Ward, Rhys Townsend starts to speak in a calm, quiet, measured voice.
Rhys Townsend: You think I challenged you because I think you’re going to be an easy win at a pay per view? You think I couldn’t just walk up to any midcarder in the back, anyone who’s been struggling a little lately and they wouldn’t bite my fucking hand off for a pay per view match? No, Evan, I did it for exactly the opposite reason…not one fucker in this place can question the fact that you ALWAYS find another level on pay per view…it’s about getting the hardest match possible outside of the World Championship. I am not, and will never be here to make up the numbers in the midcard…and fuck, man…it’s not just about that, y’know?
Townsend’s monologue pauses for a few seconds, as the High Octane Emergency Medical Team slides into the ring, immediately looking up at the wrestler, seeing if he’s going to do anything – Townsend just backs up, hands raised, before he continues his monologue.
Rhys Townsend: It’s about all of this, Ward. When you wake up in hospital with a neck brace on, because yeah, buddy, I watch the product, I know your neck ain’t the best and you hate a piledriver, so when you do wake up…I want you to think about who put you there. And I’m not just talking about who put you there as in who put you in the hospital… but who gave you the fucking tools to be a Hall of Famer in High Octane Wrestling. Who put you in a place to succeed in this business. Because you’re saying that shit to the same guy who’s always been there for some insane o’clock text messaging about what to say in a promo, or who to target next, or how to improve. That same dude with that wrestling mind. The same guy who eats, shits, breathes and sleeps professional wrestling. That guy who put the legwork in at the start, who birthed Ground Zero. That same guy who won his first World Championship before he’d even been in High Octane Wrestling for a year. And you’re also gonna throw in talk of ending careers, to raise the stakes a little higher?
Townsend leaves a beat, letting his words sit, before he slowly leans in, staring straight at Ward’s still twitching form. The medical crew briefly stop their work, before they figure out he’s not about to carry on his attack.
Rhys Townsend: Think about it, buddy – think about it real fucking hard. Think about how much our work together has given you to build on…think about how much Ground Zero means to your career, to mine…and realise one fucking thing, buddy. One real fucking simple thing.
I am the Epicenter.
And at this point, as we’ve obviously run longer than planned, the show feed goes to commercial.
Back live and the camera cuts to the back of the arena. Jackson Cooley stands in front of a black drape set up for interviews. He has his shoulder on a sound tech and is uncomfortably close to his face.
Cooley: All that Crisco let me slip out of the handcuffs, you know?
Sound Tech: Uh, ok.
The Sound Tech’s accent is thick. Cooley knows this man understands pain.
Cooley: Her husband starts crying when he sees her in full dominatrix gear whipping me. So I did the only thing you can do in that situation: I put my Bluey costume back on and finished the birthday party. I’m a professional. It wasn’t my best performance, though. Frankly the energy was just off after that whole encounter. And that’s why I’m back to wrestling..
Sound Tech: I’m very sorry, man – I’m just trying to rig your mic.Please?
Cooley rolls his eyes. Some people have no respect for others’ time. Obviously, this man didn’t understand pain. Jackson takes a deep breath, sliding out a crumpled joint and Zippo from his jean pockets. The Zippo is deeply scarred. There’s a metaphor somewhere in there.
Blaire Moise: You can’t be serious.
Cooley: It helps me get in the zone.
Blaire Moise: Absolutely not.
The let down is palpable. But Cooley succumbs. After all, he is a professional.
Blaire Moise: My guest right now is Jackson Cooley, a new addition to the roster. Mr. Cooley…
Cooley: Interrupting Jackson. Just Jackson or Cooley. Sorry, Mr. Cooley is my father.
Blaire Moise: Oh, wonderful. Excuse me, Cooley. Welcome to High Octane Wrestling. To the majority of us, you are an enigma. Feedback from most fans is that they haven’t heard of your name. Can you give us all a bit of color on your background?
Cooley: Blaire, I have been wrestling since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Now, I ain’t been in any high-falutin organizations like this one, but like a great boxer once said, I ain’t scared of no man.
Blaire Moise: Ok then. Cooley, what is your current opinion of the roster here at HOW?
Cooley: I’m sure all of them are fine men. They have roles and structure. This guy is gunning for that guy, he holds that title, these two are friends. It’s cute. I am anarchy. The anomaly that completely derails canon. You know, a lot of people use the word carnage. They throw it around to describe things and people. Do you know the definition of carnage, Blaire?
Blaire Moise: Unfortunately, I left my dictionary at home.
Cooley: The killing of a large number of people. Not chaos or crazy or hectic. Murder. And a lot of it. I am here to bring carnage – to shake the pillars of HOW and dismantle all order.
Blaire Moise: Those are mighty large words from a complete unknown.
Cooley: Great, I hope they don’t listen to ‘em or take ‘em seriously. Overlook me. Everybody loves a Cinderella story. Here’s one for you: Jackson Cooley runs his mouth like a silly bastard in his first interview. Everyone thinks he’s a joke and one by one he systematically consumes all they hold dear. I’m a black hole, Blaire. And you might not know my name now, but I promise you will.
Blaire Moise: Alright, you heard it, everyone. Jackson Cooley is here and he’s a blackhole.
Blaire can be shaking her head as we cut elsewhere..
We shift to the outside of the Pinnacle Bank Arena here in Lincoln, Nebraska. The pitch-black darkness covers almost everything that can be seen at present. However, the sound of heavy footsteps on the pavement can be heard until the light from the camera illuminates the person who is walking around outside.
Davidson: So here we are, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Chaos 50!
Jace has his barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat in hand and drags it across the pavement as he walks.
Davidson: I’m sure it’s a fantastic show in there you all are watching. Has to be, Lee Best is in the building…or is he?
Jace smiles wide and spreads his arms. The smile soon fades.
Davidson: I’m not booked this week on the show. Yet, I took the time to come out here to Nebraska because like I said… Lee Best is here tonight…right?! It’s must-see television and I wanted a front-row seat.
Jace drops his arms and continues walking.
Davidson: So, imagine my surprise when I get here and find out that I… a HOW Hall of Famer, the Greatest LSD Champion of all time, the Forever ICON, a man that has done everything there is to do in the company. Someone that has given blood, sweat, tears, and even a fucking eye.
Jace reaches up with his free hand and slaps over his eyepatch a couple of times.
Davidson: For this company, for you people watching at home, and more importantly… for Lee Best. Was told I was banned from the building tonight. I wasn’t allowed entrance because Lee Best made that decision. There were even EPU members posted at every entrance of the building to enforce that very decision.
Jace stops walking and faces the camera. He lifts his index finger into the air and waves it a bit.
Davidson: But that’s not surprising, not at all. It is textbook Lee Best to pull something like this. The fact that people are trying to prevent me from entering the arena doesn’t bother me, but I’ll tell you what bothers me.
Jace balls his hand into a fist as he begins to talk in a lower tone.
Davidson: I’ve been on the hunt for Lee Best for most of 2023. I’ve been pointing out the wrongs that he’s done. I’ve brought up how things work around here. I’ve said the things out loud that you’re not supposed to say out loud. And for my trouble? I’ve been laughed at, insulted, and dropped on my head for it.
Davidson: Typical HOW. But then I turned around and I saw this week that people like Conor Fuse and Michael Lee Best are appearing on television. They are parroting almost word for word the things I’ve been saying for months on end while acting like this is brand new fresh information that suddenly dawned upon them and them alone.
Jace shakes his head.
Davidson: Even so, it’s one thing to steal from my own personal mission and copy me. It’s another thing to just sit back and do fuck all about it. What’s the point of whining about Lee Best if you and him are just going to be ‘cool’ no matter what? What is the purpose of bringing up your contract ending if you’re on the fence about whether you even come back or not? Don’t preach about how things are or how you don’t like them just to turn around and come back because you’ve got nothing better to do.
Davidson: But I digress. This isn’t about the cosplay crusaders. This is about Lee Best and yours truly. You might think that Michael tossing your new belt into a body of water is your biggest concern. You can focus on the fact that whether or not your son puts on a fucking jacket on not. But you will focus on me, Lee. I get that you have EPU members coming out of your ass. I understand that Dan Ryan is on call to dump me on my head as he so idly threatened last week. But at the end of the day? The clock is ticking, Lee.
Jace reaches down and grabs a hold of a red canister off of the ground. He turns around and begins walking again.
Davidson: I know you’re trying to ride out the clock here. December 31st is right around the corner, and you have the lead right now. You just need to continue throwing people in my way. Gotta keep on pep-talking grown men that dumping me on my head is in their best interests, not just yours. Have to keep banning me from arenas or cards whenever you’re in a 50-mile radius. I will admit that one was amusing but I’m not going to stop, Lee. You might think my time is running out but the only thing running out here is your nine lives.
Jace stops and begins to pour the contents of the canister around on the ground.
Davidson: I might not like the fact that everyone decides to talk yet never takes action, but I get it. Why would they? Fighting GOD isn’t something you want to do. How many people have come after you over the years Lee? I bet you’ve lost count. Time and time again people have come for your head and yet somehow, some way, you always manage to come out the other side. Be it Cancer, Chris Kostoff, or anything under the sun. Lee Best always kicks out at two. Kostoff lost his life trying to put you down, Kostoff’s son might die trying to do what his father couldn’t. So, what makes me any different?
Jace tosses the canister and shrugs his shoulders.
Davidson: Honestly, I’m not any different. I’m just a guy, but then again, it’s more than that, isn’t it? You know it better than anyone. You saw it when I joined HOW and tore through your roster to win the HOW World Championship. You knew it when you first invited me to the Best Alliance. And for literal years you’ve tried your damnest to find the kink in my armor. You’ve piled on my plate more than any other wrestler in HOW history. If it was America, Sektor, or Michael. You would move Heaven and Earth to stack the deck in their favor. But me?
A sinister laugh from the pit of Jace’s stomach.
Davidson: No matter how many titles I would win. I would never get any advantage. I would always have to defend two titles in one night. Be it in the main event of ICONIC or some random PPV where I have Scott Stevens as a partner and then an opponent. It didn’t matter if it was one state for this company and another state for another company. That weight, that pressure, that expectation was always put on my shoulders, and I barely got an 8th of the respect and appreciation that anyone else gets for doing much, much less. But that’s the thing, no matter what it was… I would do it. What every task it was or unfair situation. If I failed? It was either because you allowed someone to cheat me or someone wrestled the absolute best of their career.
The camera pans away momentarily to show the ground where pieces of broken and smashed EPU gear can be seen thrown about. All of it leads to the unconscious bodies of two EPU agents.
Davidson: So, instead of giving me the credit I was due. You would talk down to me, treat me like I was lesser than others but dangle just enough in front of me to keep me going. And we could have done that song and dance until the end of time, but you got too cocky and crossed the line. I find it funny that you’re always talking about watching the world burn. That you’re begging Michael to burn it all down with you.
The camera moves back to Jace who is holding a lighter with a lit flame.
Davidson: I fucking love the idea of a blaze of glory, Lee. Only this time… when I play with fire? There is no punishment, no partners that turn their back on me against Darin Zion to keep me in line. You’re the GOD of HOW and as many of your goons have started before… you ARE HOW. And I can’t think of a better way to burn it all down. HOW is broken and only the cleansing of flames will save it. See you in Hell, Lee.
Jace takes the lighter to the ground and flames erupt devouring everything from the EPU gear to the two EPU members themselves who quickly begin putting the fires out from their fire retardant gear.
Davidson: Or… you know later tonight inside the arena. I love it when doors just open for me.
Jace walks over and enters through an unguarded door into the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The sight of the EPU members fighting the fire behind him.
We come back from the commercial break to the ringside area of the Pinnacle Bank Arena here in Lincoln, Nebraska. The crowd is on their feet as the camera pans around the building until coming to a stop at the announcer’s table.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back to Chaos 050 ladies and gentlemen, but I honestly don’t know what to say about what we witnessed earlier right before the break.
Benny Newell: I know exactly what to fucking say! Someone call the cops! Call the corn fucking defenders of justice here in Nebraska to arrest that psychopath! Throw him in a Leedamn padded cell and destroy the key!
Joe Hoffman: I understand the feeling that Jace has in his mission to get his hands on Lee Best. However, I cannot condone such an extreme act of violence that we saw happen outside of the arena.
Benny Newell: I bet that butt pirate loves fire so much because he’s a cannibal! He has tasted human flesh, and we must protect Lee at all costs!
Joe clears his throat.
Joe Hoffman: My apologies folks, but we need to move on with the show. Up next, we have a match with a lot of history behind it—two men whose careers have crossed for years here in HOW in more ways than one.
Benny Newell: Don’t even get me started on this shit. The nerd decided he didn’t want to wear the title, so he destroyed the title. He gets fucking wrecked by THE SON In God’s House, and he’s butthurt about it?
Joe Hoffman: You’re leaving out a lot of context here, Benny. Conor Fuse has been through hell and back here in HOW because of Lee Best and members of the Final Alliance.
Benny Newell: Fuck off! Pull the Kleenex from your training bra and wipe your fucking tears. You got your shit stomped in a profession where not getting your shit stomped is job #1. He doesn’t even deserve the title belt he has at the moment.
Joe Hoffman: That is a matter of opinion, Benny. However, let’s send it to the ring where Bryan McVay is ready to make the introductions.
The camera pans from the announcer’s table to the center of the ring. Bryan McVay has his microphone in hand and then raises it to his lips.
Bryan McVay: Our following contest is a LADDER MATCH and it’s for the HOW LSD CHAMPIONSHIP!
The crowd cheers their heads off for the announcement of tonight’s stipulation. McVay waits for them to quiet down before speaking again.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first… the Challenger…
The lights dim as “BACK IN BLACK” by AC/DC begins to blare across the arena. A golden spotlight shines on the curtain as Jatt Starr emerges. The ramp lights up, spotlight after spotlight, and the Rembrandt of Wrestling begins to smugly saunter down the ramp with his PWA Co-World Tag Team Championship belt around his waist.
Bryan McVay: From Havre, Montana, weighing in tonight at 220 lbs. Representing The Final Alliance. He is one-half of the current PWA Co-World Tag Team Champions. He’s a HOW Hall of Famer. Please welcome JATTTTT! STARRRRR!
He only acknowledges the more attractive ladies in the audience (ages twenty-eight to thirty-five because he is no creepy old man), kissing hands, signing breasts in permanent marker, and the occasional finger gun with a wink. Jatt Starr walks up the ring steps sporting his black and red checkered suit. The Ruler of Jattlantis demands the referee open the ropes for him.
Joe Hoffman: The Champion is someone who holds the Challenger tonight in very high regard. Conor Fuse thanks Jatt for helping him with aspects of his life and his career here in HOW. And how does Jatt show his appreciation toward Conor? By sleeping with Conor’s mother.
Benny Newell: Excuse me, Joseph. What two consenting adults do behind closed doors is none of your business. Jatt has been a father figure to Fuse long before he met that nerd’s smoke show of a mother. Women cannot resist the HOW Classic!
Joe Hoffman: Should I even ask how you know that Conor’s mother is a ‘smoke show?’
Benny Newell: Live on air? Absolutely not! However, during our next commercial break, I’ll sell you some pictures of Conor’s mom that Jatt has shared with me.
The Jattlantic City Idol enters the ring and a lone 97Red spotlight shines in the middle of the ring. The Duke of Jattmandu takes a knee and outstretches his arms as if he is bathing in the red glow like Andy Dufresne during a rainstorm after escaping Shawshank. As the red light fades and the lights come back up, the Sultan of SeaJattle removes his checked suit jacket revealing an old-school Best Alliance t-shirt which he removes and hands to the referee. The title belt comes off next which he hands to the timekeeper. The Thane of Starrkarth prepares for action as the music fades out.
Bryan McVay: And now… the Champion…
“BLOODY TEARS (EPIC VERSION)” from Castlevania II begins. A purple mist floods the entranceway as “The Vintage” Conor Fuse emerges from behind the apron 23 seconds into the theme. He stands at the top of the rampway, his head down, sporting a dark purple jacket with its high collar raised. The jacket is open, showing his vintage SNES tights as he slowly raises his head. The fog continues to pump from the stage as Fuse methodically makes his way down the ramp.
Bryan McVay: From Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Weighing in tonight at 210 lbs. He is the current HOW LSD Champion, The Vintage CONORRRR! FUSEEEE!
The crowd starts a “!RANK” chant, pointing in Conor’s direction as he marches towards ringside. Once in front of the squared circle, The Vintage leaps onto the apron and then with ease clears the ropes by jumping over them and somersaulting into the middle of the ring. Fuse tilts his head back and Zen cries into the rafters while the fans in attendance continue to cheer him on.
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse lost the HOW World Championship belt at the last PPV under controversial stipulations. However, he walked away with the LSD Championship belt and looks to bring a whole new style to the division as a whole.
Benny Newell: Turning the prestigious LSD Championship into a belt decided by playground games isn’t a style. It’s disrespectful and absurd! He already destroyed 97red and now he’s to do it with the LSD Championship!
Joe Hoffman: Despite Conor making up new rules for the LSD division it seems like Lee has decided that tonight will be a ladder match.
Benny Newell: Lee Best would rather die than let a wimp like Fuse degrade his Championships in such a manner!
Conor removes his trench coat, revealing his trademarked light purple arm sleeve on his left arm. Fuse waits in his corner as McVay exits the ring. Both Jatt and Conor stare up at the LSD Championship belt hanging high above the ring as Hortega calls for the bell.
Jatt steps out of his corner but Conor takes off like a bat out of Hell. Fuse’s speed is too much for Starr to react quick enough but then Conor surprises everyone…
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse is hugging Jatt Starr in this LSD Championship match.
Benny Newell: Fuse is as soft as his Mama’s ti–
Joe Hoffman: STOP IT!
Conor is indeed hugging Jatt tightly in the ring which leaves everyone, especially the Hall of Famer, stunned. The way Conor is clinging to Jatt for dear life even makes the HOW Classic feel of his younger rival. Starr lets his guard down as Conor raises his head and begins to say something that can be heard on the broadcast. Jatt’s eyes widen at the words before Conor begins to tee off on the Final Alliance member with heavy shots to the face.
Benny Newell: It was a trap! Never trust a nerd, Jatt!
Joe Hoffman: Conor has Jatt Starr reeling from these shots.
Each shot to the face backs Jatt up to the ropes. Conor grabs him by the arm and whips him into the ropes but Starr reverses the whip. Fuse bounces off the far side ropes and then hits Starr with a flying leg lariat that sends him down to the canvas. Jatt scrambles back up to his feet quickly just to eat a standing missile dropkick from Conor. Fuse gets back up to his feet and loads up a superkick, but Jatt rolls out of the ring to stop Conor’s momentum.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr bailing out here quickly in the early going of this match.
Benny Newell: That isn’t bailing out. It’s called slowing down the pace of the match. That is strategy, Hoffhole.
Jatt gets up to his feet and tries to shake off the flurry of offense but has taken his eyes off of his opponent. Conor gets a running start and then leaps recklessly through the ropes with a suicide dive that sends both men crashing into the barricade on the outside. The crowd pops as Conor gets back up to his feet. Fuse stomps at Jatt a couple of times and then goes over to the ring. Conor begins to dig around under the ring until he pulls out a ladder. The pop from the crowd gets louder as Fuse slides the ladder into the ring. The cheering is short-lived as Starr comes up from behind Conor and runs him head-first into the steel ring post. Fuse hits the arena floor hard but Jatt doesn’t give him time to breathe. Starr pulls Conor back to his feet and then whips him shoulder-first into the steel ring steps. Jatt ignores the fans at ringside harassing him and then grabs hold of Conor’s leg.
Joe Hoffman: What is Jatt trying to do here? With Conor down he needs to get into the ring and start climbing.
Benny Newell: This is Jatt Fucking Starr, and you think you can tell him how to best win a ladder match?! Tell me, Joe? How many LSD Championships have you won?
Hoffman remains silent as Starr has wedged Conor’s ankle between the steel ring steps and the steel ring post. Jatt backs up a few steps before charging forward and hitting the steps with a dropkick. The sound of metal crushing bone is heard throughout the arena as Conor howls in pain.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr isn’t just trying to win this match, he’s trying to end Conor’s career!
Benny Newell: Fucking love it! Why not kill two birds with one stone? Conor gets taken out for Lee and Jatt becomes LSD Champion once again? Can you fucking imagine the celebration after ICONIC if we get Triple Crown Champion Jatt Starr?!?!
Jatt smiles at the pain that Fuse is in as Hortega slides out of the ring. Starr reaches under the ring and pulls out a table before sliding it into the ring. Hortega asks Conor if he can continue, and Fuse nods his head. Hortega begins trying to move the steel ring steps to free Conor as Jatt slides into the ring. Starr grabs hold of the ladder on the canvas and begins to set it up in the middle of the ring. Once the ladder is in place, Jatt begins his climb toward the LSD Championship. Starr makes it halfway up the ladder before Conor slides into the ring with a steel chair in hand. Fuse hobbles up on one leg and then hits Jatt with a shot to the back with the steel chair. Starr falls off the ladder down to the mat as Conor also drops to the canvas holding his ankle.
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse just saved his LSD Championship reign with that shot to the back with the steel chair!
Benny Newell: Desperation move that is only prolonging the inevitable. You can jump off the top rope, let alone climb a ladder, with a shattered ankle.
Slowly, Conor hobbles back up to his feet and stalks around Jatt as he begins to stir. Starr slowly regains his vertical base as Conor steps in with a superkick. However, Jatt catches Conor’s boot before the move can connect. Starr drops down and hits Fuse with a low blow that crumbles him back down to the canvas. Jatt grabs hold of Conor’s bad leg and then applies an ankle lock. Fuse lets out an excruciating scream as Hortega drops down to check on him. Starr torques on the ankle as much as he can as Conor slowly begins to crawl toward the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: The LSD Champion is in trouble here! Jatt has an ankle lock applied and Conor needs to realize there are no rope breaks in a ladder match!
Benny Newell: Like I said, Joe. All he did was prolong the inevitable.
Fuse continues to crawl, and grabs hold of the bottom rope. Hortega waves his arms around indicating that he can’t force a break of the hold. Jatt continues to crank on the ankle and Conor begins to fade. Fuse makes one last-ditch effort to reverse the hold but can’t. After a few more moments, Conor’s body goes limp. Hortega shakes Fuse a bit but gets no response. Jatt releases the hold and begins to celebrate in the middle of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse just passed out from the pain of the ankle lock, but Jatt Starr is acting like he just won the match!
Benny Newell: Isn’t that basically what happened? Jatt made the Canadian snowflake go night-night from the pain and now the LSD Championship is his for the taking!
Starr bounces up and down in the ring continuing to celebrate. Jatt makes his way over to a corner and begins to climb the turnbuckle. Starr poses for the fans who began to shower the Hall of Famer in absolute hatred. Jatt flips off the fans before climbing down off the turnbuckle. He turns around and begins to demand Joel Hortega to present him with the LSD Championship belt. Hortega begins to respond but the communication barrier between the two men is evident.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr thinks the match is over and that he’s won the LSD Championship! Hortega is trying to tell him differently, but I don’t think Jatt is comprehending!
Benny Newell: It’s a ladder match, Jatt!!! You have to climb the ladder and get the title belt!!!
Benny’s screams fall on deaf ears as Jatt continues to argue with Hortega. The crowd begins to stomp their feet in unison while starting another “!RANK” chant. Starr gets angrier with the referee and slaps him across the face. Jatt demands the LSD Championship but Hortega steps forward and gives a slap to the face in return. Jatt steps backwards stunned for a moment but then goes right back to arguing with Hortega. Finally, Hortega points to the sky and yells at Jatt in Spanish. Starr looks toward the sky and sees the LSD Championship belt. Jatt immediately regrets the lapse of judgment on his part and grabs the ladder. The crowd continues to stomp and cheer for Conor who begins twitching slightly.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt finally remembers he has to climb the ladder, but I think Conor is regaining consciousness!
Benny Newell: Hurry up, Jatt! Climb that ladder and grab the title before it’s too late!
Starr gets the ladder in place and begins to climb as Fuse reaches for the bottom rope. Conor begins to slowly pull himself off of the canvas as Jatt continues to climb as fast as he can. Fuse is back up to his feet thanks to the ropes but Starr has made it to the top of the ladder. Jatt reaches up and begins to reach for the LSD Championship belt.
Benny Newell: He’s going to do it! Jatt is going to become the new LSD Champion!
Joe Hoffman: The Hall of Famer is mere moments from ripping down to the title but here comes Conor!
Fuse leaps forward on one leg and uses all of his weight to knock over the ladder. Jatt’s hand slips from the LSD Championship belt as he comes crashing down to the canvas hard. Conor is back on the canvas holding his ankle as the crowd continues to chant and cheer.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr had the LSD Championship belt in his hands, but Conor sent him crashing at literally the last moment.
Benny Newell: Hortega cheated! He distracted Jatt from climbing the ladder and getting the belt! Leave it to a Canadian and a Mexican to team up to try and cheat an American!
Both men stay down on the canvas but it’s Jatt that gets up to his feet first. Starr grabs hold of the ladder and then lifts it off the mat. Jatt walks over and sends the top of the ladder crashing down onto Conor’s ankle. Once again, Fuse howls in pain as Starr drops the ladder down to the canvas. Starr grabs hold of Conor and rolls him on top of the ladder. Jatt climbs onto the ladder and grabs hold of Fuse once again. Starr spins Conor around and looks to finish it.
Benny Newell: FALLING STARR ON THE LADDER! FUSE IS TOAST!
Jatt goes to send Fuse crashing down face-first on the ladder with his finishing move…
Joe Hoffman: FUSE COUNTERS!
Conor pushes Starr away before he can hit the move. Jatt turns around and comes after Fuse but Conor leaps into the air and hits Starr with a double foot stomp to the face that sends Jatt crashing down on top of the ladder. Fuse falls to the canvas holding his ankle while the crowd fires up. Conor uses the ropes to begin to pull himself up again.
Joe Hoffman: CONOR FUSE IS POWERING UP!!!
Benny Newell: SHUT THE FUCK UP, SIMP!!! GET UP JATT!!!
Conor slaps the turnbuckle pad repeatedly and the crowd eats it up. Fuse hobbles his way over to the table on the canvas and begins to set it up. Once the table is set up, Conor grabs hold of the ladder. Fuse begins to set the ladder in the proper position, but Starr grabs him by the shoulder. Conor turns around but Jatt hits him with ManJattan Drop. Fuse falls to his knees as Starr grabs hold of the steel chair. Jatt blasts Conor with a shot to the head with the chair that echoes throughout the building. Fuse falls to the canvas as Jatt grabs the ladder and places it into position. Starr begins to climb the ladder again, but Conor grabs the chair and tosses it weakly. It hits Jatt in the back of the head as Fuse staggers up to his feet. Conor yells at Starr to come fight him like a man. Starr climbs down off the ladder and both men begin to brawl in the ring.
Joe Hoffman: CONOR FUSE REFUSES TO STAY DOWN AND NOW BOTH MEN ARE GO AT IT TOE-TO-TOE!
Benny Newell: TEAR HIS LEG OFF AND BEAT HIM TO DEATH WITH IT!
Conor gets the better of the exchange and goes for a roundhouse kick but Jatt ducks under it. Starr grabs hold of Fuse from behind and plants him with the Jattlantian Suplex. Conor tries to get back up to his feet, but Jatt charges and hits him with the Art Starr Knee down to the canvas. Starr gets up to his feet and begins to climb the ladder again.
Joe Hoffman: Conor has fought valiantly in this match, but it looks like it’s not going to be enough to stop Jatt Starr from becoming the new LSD Champion.
Benny Newell: As it should be, Joe. Conor doesn’t respect what it means to be a Champion here in HOW. Jatt Starr will take the LSD Championship belt to new heights.
Jatt gets closer to the top of the ladder, but Conor fights his way up to one ladder. With everything he has left, Fuse begins to hop his way up the ladder behind Starr. Jatt grabs hold of the LSD Championship belt, but Conor hits him with clubbing blows to the back. They have little to no effect as Starr attempts to rip the title free. That is before Fuse swings upward and hits Jatt with a low blow. The move stops Starr in his tracks as Conor turns his body while on the ladder. Fuse grabs hold of Jatt by the waist and then tosses him off the ladder and through the table below with a powerbomb. The crowd goes Ape shit as Conor manages to hang onto the ladder.
Joe Hoffman: JATT STARR JUST GOT POWERBOMBED OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER AND THROUGH A TABLE! CONOR’S STILL ON THE LADDER, HE’S GOING TO DO IT!!!
Benny Newell: FUCKING BULLSHIT! HE’S CHEATING AND HORTEGA ISN’T DOING A LEEDAMN THING ABOUT IT!!!
Fuse slowly turns his body again and climbs the rest of the way up the ladder. Conor sits at the top of the ladder and looks out at the crowd who are losing their minds before ripping down the LSD Championship belt.
DING DING DING!!!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner… AND STILLLLL HOW LSD CHAMPION! CONORRRRR FUSEEEEEEEE!!!
Benny Newell: I’m fucking sick to my stomach. Absolute robbery here tonight. From the moment Jatt was in control of this match, Hortega has not only freed Conor from the steps, distracted Jatt from climbing the ladder, and now he allowed Fuse to cheat his way to retaining the title!
Joe Hoffman: My broadcast partner might not be happy with the result, but Conor Fuse showed great heart and will to keep fighting to retain the LSD Championship belt here tonight. And even after all that we still have more of Chaos 050 to come!
The camera gets one more shot of Conor seated on top of the ladder holding the LSD Championship belt before we leave the ringside area.
We cut backstage to Darin Zion’s locker room, where he’s anxiously waiting for Brian Bare to show up. He’s quivering in his boots, looking over his shoulder constantly after a less than stellar promo this past week. Zion rests his head on one of the oak cabinets before Brian Bare sneaks up behind him and startles him.
Darin Zion: DON’T HURT ME! I LIED! I DO NOT HAVE LLOYDS OF LONDON! I’M A POOR BOY AND NO ONE LOVES ME!!!!
Brian Bare raises his eyebrows at Zion before shoving a microphone awkwardly in his face.
Brian Bare: It’s just me, Brian Bare, interviewer extraordinaire…
Darin Zion: BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! Shut the fuck up and get onto the point. I’ve got more important things to do before tonight’s main event.
Brian Bare: Riiiiiiiight! So it seems like something’s weighing on your mind obviously. Come on! Spill the beans to your good buddy, Brian Bare and the audience at home.
Zion glares a hole right through that ugly looking suit-wearing Bare standing right in front of him. Zion shakes his head.
Darin Zion: I don’t got time for your shit tonight. This is obviously one of the biggest opportunities I’ve been gifted in a long time. How many main events does Darin Zion get these days like this? I’m teaming with the HOW World Champion to take on the Best Alliance and I’d appreciate it if for once, you’d give me some privacy.
Darin Zion tries shoving Brian Bare out the door, but Bare sticks his foot in the door and pushes back.
Brian Bare: No! No! There’s clearly a scoop out there. You clearly alluded in your promo this week that something’s weighing on your mind.
Darin Zion: So…there’s always something weighing on your mind when you’re me, Brian. I’ve racked up a shit ton of injuries out on the indies. I’ve got a bum back, bum knee. I don’t wrestle quite like I used to wrestle. I’m an old fuck in wrestling years. And when you’re a poor like me, Bare. You’ve gotta suck up your pride and do somethings to earn a paycheck. $100K doesn’t go as far as it once did. Especially when you’ve got travel expenses.
Brian Bare: You’re not making any eye contact with me…
Zion’s eyes quickly dart back to Brian Bare as he nervously shakes in place. A fake, rather crazed smile forms on the young Zion’s face.
Brian Bare: You’re clearly lying to me…
Darin Zion: Nonsense, Bare. I wouldn’t bullshit the man who still gives this old worthless sack of shit a chance after all these years. I came to Lincoln, Nebraska to give the fans a performance of a lifetime. I said so verbatim. I want to give them all something to remember for DECADES to come.
Brian Bare looks perplexed at Zion as he continues to ramble on incessantly. Finally, after a few moments, Zion’s phone rings in the background. Immediately, Zion pushes Brian Bare straight out the door along with his camera man.
Darin Zion: Alright, I’ve got business to handle. T-T-F-N! Ta ta for now, Bare!
Brian Bare shrugs his shoulders at the camera man before the scene fades out.
The action cuts back to ringside as “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC hits the PA system. The crowd erupts with a mixture of boo’s and cheers but mostly boo’s as they know who is about to show their famous, moustached, face.
Joe Hoffman: That sound can only mean one thing, Benny. Looks like we’re about to be graced by the presence of our HOTv champion, John Sektor!
Benny Newell: What a guy! What a champion! Has the week off but still makes time to travel to this fucking dump to make an appearance.
Joe Hoffman: It will certainly be intriguing to see what he has to say. He’s been on somewhat of a roll lately..
Benny Newell: Lately? He’s been on a roll his whole life, Joe.
Sektor poses at the top of the ramp, wearing his Final Alliance letterman jacket with the HOTV title strapped proudly around his waist. He smirks and looks around at the crowd as he waits for the chorus to hit before making his way down to the ring.
Crowd: DONE DIRT CHEAP!
Crowd: DONE DIRT CHEAP!
Benny Newell: Nebraska loves the Gold Standard!
Joe Hoffman: I think it’s more the song they love, Benny..
Sektor does a rudimentary lap of honour around the ring before casually climbing the steps. He backs onto the ropes and looks out at the crowd before wiping his feet on the canvas and ducking under the ropes. He stands center of the ring with his arms out stretched and poses the crowd as he waits for his music to die down.
Retrieving a microphone he begins to stroke his moustache as he looks deep in thought.
Sektor: You may all be wondering what I’m doing here tonight? I’m not booked to compete, and unlike the other nerds on this roster there’s no expectation for me to be here. So why have a made an almost 2000 mile journey to a place that is only famous for creating fucking Kool-aid or the Reuben sandwich?
The crowd boo’s as Sektor insults their home state. He smirks but then tilts his head.
Sektor: I suppose you did give birth to Marlon Brando..I’ll give you that..
The crowd cheers at the mention of the late, legendary, actor’s name.
Sektor: No, I’m here because I want something! And I want everyone in the back, everyone here and everyone sitting at home to all hear what it is at the same time so that Lee won’t have any choice but to give me what I want!
The crowd grumbles with intrigue as he mentions this.
Sektor: You see Lee, you’ve been nothing but good to me for the majority of my career. You’ve stood by me. You’ve given me opportunities to achieve what I have achieved and I don’t have a bad word to say about you. But I’ve been following your orders to the letter since I got back here. I’ve completed your special “assignments,” and I have delivered everything that you have asked of me.
Benny Newell: It’s true, he has…
Sektor: Now I look around at the Final Alliance and everyone seems to be getting what they want. Jatt’s Christmas present this year is a shot at the World title in the main event of the biggest show of the year. Now, I love Jatt, this isn’t about him. This is about me, standing here right now, and saying…I WANT MY FUCKING PRESENT!
There’s an intense look in Sektor’s eyes as he yells his commands straight into the camera. He holds this look for a brief moment before softening it and relaxing his shoulders.
Sektor: Now, you may all be wondering what it is that I want? A World title shot? Of course, that would be nice, but I’m not about to force my way into a match that has already been booked. And if you look south of my beautiful face you will notice that I am still the HOTv champion and I very much intend on showcasing this championship at the biggest pay per view of the year.
He scratches his head with a puzzled look on his face.
Sektor: But who? Who do I defend against? I’ve beaten every single person who has stood in front of me since I got back here. Sure, Evan Ward beat me. That was a mistake. A mistake, that I RECTIFIED the very next week when I took back my championship. Aside from that I’ve been ripping through the entire fucking roster and quite frankly? There isn’t one man or woman here today who I think is worthy of facing me at Iconic.
The crowd boo’s Sektor’s narcissistic remark.
Sektor: Boo all you want. It’s true!
Benny Newell: It is true..to be fair Joe, it’s fucking true!
Joe Hoffman: If you say so, Benny..
Sektor: So, this is what I want at Iconic. This can be your present to your faithful Hitman, Lee..
With that he sweeps his free arm out wide.
Sektor: LINE’EM UP!
He yells, turning around to various points of the crowd.
Sektor: LINE’EM THE FUCK UP!
He turns again, grinning from ear to ear as he looks deep into the camera.
Sektor: I want you to line up as many fucking wrestler’s as you can find to face me for this championship at Iconic, Lee. And I will go through each and every fucking one of them. You know what I’m talking about..
He leans in a little closer to the camera to ensure he is heard clearly.
Sektor: …I want a GAUNTLET MATCH!
The crowd erupts into cheers, clearly excited at the prospect of seeing the HOTv championship defended in a gauntlet match at Iconic.
Joe Hoffman: A GAUNTLET MATCH? Has he lost his mind?
Benny Newell: He’s the sanest man in the room, Joe. He knows he can beat everyone in one night and I admire the shit out of him for it!
He smirks and shrugs his shoulders at the crowd.
Sektor: I’m not joking. This is what I want. I promised you all that I would elevate this title higher than it has ever been. If I haven’t already done that then walking out of a gauntlet at Iconic and still being the champion will fucking guarantee it.
He continues to smile calmly.
Sektor: C’mon Lee. We’re going to be in Vegas, baby! You’re a gambling man, I’m a gambling man. And at Iconic I want you to stack the odds against me as much as possible because I want to prove that when it comes to the Gold Standard? The odds don’t fucking matter. I don’t care if I have to go through five, ten or the whole fucking roster. The more the fucking merrier. Because, when I win? There can be no question that I am the greatest fucking wrestler alive.
The crowd boo’s him as he makes this statement but it doesn’t perturb him. He merely looks into the camera and moves in close, as though he’s talking face to face.
With that he holds the microphone out to his side and lets it drop. On cue “Dirty Deeds” re-hits and he spreads his arms once again, posing for the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: You heard it here first, folks. John Sektor has laid down a challenge for Iconic as he intends to run the Gauntlet with the HOTv title. We’ll be right back after these messages, don’t go anywhere.
The scene fades out to commercial.
As we come back from commercial for the Chaos Main Event, and we notice there is something different than normal because everyone in the first three rows of the Pinnacle Bank Arena is wearing Final Alliance jackets. Not just that, but Bryan McVay is wearing a Final Alliance jacket, but most importantly, the Hall of Fame duo that is ready to call the tag match are both wearing Final Alliance jackets.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, we have taken our last commercial break of the evening and as you can see by our attire, we are dressed a little different for tonight’s Main Event.
Benny Newell: You got that right Hoffman! If that little shit, Mike Best, doesn’t want to join GOD and do blasphemous things then actions have consequences and tonight he’s being remind that everyone is Final Alliance in the 97 Red Army.
Joe Hoffman: True Benny, but Michael doesn’t want the same old same old according to him and he wants to be his own man.
Benny Newell: Own man?!?!?!?!? Give me a fucking break! It’s always the Best family against the world! Even the estranged ones that would rather play in soft as fuck wrestling. So until Mike and the rest get their priorities straight fuck them all because they are dead to me!
The lights in the arena dim as we hear the familiar……
The catchy but vaguely off-putting groove of Hanzel und Gretyl’s “HELLAlujah” is suddenly cut off.
Joe Hoffman: What the……
Something special ‘bout me, you can already tell the energy is different.
Confidence is at the highest level, I don’t ever see it dippin’.
Try me if you wanna, guarantee though you gon’ wish you hadn’t did it.
That’s a war that you could never win, but hey, I like the optimism.
The opening words of “Pandemonium” by NF resonate through the venue, heralding the arrival of the SON OF GOD, Michael Lee Best. The always polarizing wrestling veteran steps out slowly onto the stage, making his way toward the ramp. He stares out into the crowd as he bobs his head to the sweet jams of his own entrance music.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, from Chicago, IL, weighing in at 235 pounds….he is THE REIGNING! UNDISPUTED! WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!………MICHAEL! LEE! BEEEEEEEESSSSSSSTTTTT!
Benny Newell: That’s right McVay! He doesn’t represent this company!
Joe Hoffman: Actually, he does. Eleven times he has.
Benny Newell: You want me to cut your balls off and feed them to you?
As he saunters toward the ring, Mike makes a big show of making sure the camera gets a good zoomed in shot as he flips the bird, displaying his Hall of Fame ring prominently before motioning for the camera to zoom in on his newly customized world title.
Benny Newell: Get that fucking title off of the screen you fucks!
Joe Hoffman: It is a gorgeous title, Benny!
Benny Newell: Then he can take it to fucking XPRO or call it the UTAh World title because that is not our championship Hoffman! Since 2002, 97 Red has stood the test of time and doesn’t need to be changed because it’s a classic. Hell, when HOW had two world titles, 97 Red trumped the all gold on black leather version when they were unified. Our world title is the most recognized championship in all of wrestling! That wants me to filet my own dick.
Mike approaches the apron, and rolls under the bottom rope and standing to his feet in the ring. Michael slowly makes his way toward his corner, stretching and preparing for the beginning of the match as his music begins to quiet and fade away.
Is heard screaming throughout the arena as the lights in the arena slowly start to dim, almost to black, but not quite as a 97 Red lighting effect flashes in the arena, as the classic, no ICONIC music of any Alliance begins to play.
“Undead” by Hollywood Undead.
Joe Hoffman: There is no mistaken that music.
Benny Newell: Nope because it’s the definition of a classic Hoffman. Some people want to change themes and gimmicks every other week because they get a chub for a flavor of the week, but they never see it through because they lose interest.
The boos grow louder as Dan Ryan and Steve Solex appear on the ramp wearing their Final Alliance jackets.
Bryan McVay: And his opponents, representing the Final Alliance and weighing in at combined weight of 570 pounds, one is….THE LAST REAL MAN OF WRESTLING! STEVE! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLEEEEEEEXXXXXXX! The other is one half of the reigning PWA Tag Team Champions! He is also, THE NUMBER ONE CONTENDER TO THE HOW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! DAN RYAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!
Dan Ryan slowly lifts his tag title into the air as Solex flexes before cracking his neck.
Joe Hoffman: You know Lee Best made this match to send a message to his son.
Benny Newell: No shit Hoffman. The message was you don’t fuck with 97 Red.
As the two make their way to the ring, Mike gets into a defensive posture and looks around the ring not trusting anyone or anything right now.
Joe Hoffman: Mike is looking very anxious…or annoyed. Hard to tell the difference.
Benny Newell: He’s going to get his ass whooped tonight!
Dan Ryan and Solex enter the ring and come face to face with the world champion and Boettcher gets between them.
Benny Newell: let them fight Bitcher!
The opening chords of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” hit over the PA system. On the HOV, a giant heart appears to beat to the song.
♫ You should have seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin’ missin’ ♫
Emerging from the locker room is REAL LOVE Darin Zion, decked out in a pink and purple robe.
Benny Newell: This fucking guy….
Zion begins to take off the robe to reveal a Final Alliance jacket underneath drawing a collective gasp from the crowd and a hearty chuckle from Solex and Dan Ryan.
Joe Hoffman: What is going on?!?!?!?!?
Benny Newell: THIS CAN’T BE REAL HOFFMAN?!?!?!?!? SOMEONE STAB MY EYES OUT!
The words REAL LOVE are printed on the back of the jacket in sequins. The sequins sparkle in the pink spotlight hitting the smug HOW superstar while he strolls down to the ring.
Bryan McVay: And their opponent…..FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL LOOOOOOOOOVE DAAAAAAAAARIN ZIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOON!!!!
Unphased by the fans heckling him, he swivels his hips, trying to draw the attention of the women. A cocky sneer is painted on his face as he gets down to the end of the entrance ramp.
♫ And I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you
‘Cause it’s the only thing I want to do
I don’t want to sleep, I just want to keep on lovin’ you♫
Zion throws open his jacket to display his 8-pack abs.
Benny Newell: I need a fucking drink.
REAL LOVE starts counting them, blowing a kiss to the camera before arrogantly waving to Mike.
Benny Newell: I hate being sober. I need a drink and a line.
Sliding into the ring, he poses like a French model, winking to the audience at home. While the bridge finishes, Zion leaps up to his feet.
Benny Newell: Make that two drinks and four lines.
Zion heads to his corner and Mike cautiously watches him as he unfastens his title and goes to hand it to the ring announcer. Bryan McVay looks down at the title and turns his nose up at it and only collects the PWA tag title from Matt Boettcher before exiting the ring.
Benny Newell: Even the ring announcer knows not to fuck with 97 Red.
Mike shakes his head in annoyance as he rolls out of the ring and places the championship on the announce table.
Benny Newell: GET THAT SHIT AWAY FROM ME HOFFMAN! IT’S BURNING MY SKIN!
Mike rolls back into the ring as Boettcher calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go.
Dan Ryan comes out of his corner and calls for Mike to face him.
Mike Best: You want me?!?!?!?
Mike shouts and Dan nods almost salivating to get his hands on the world champion.
Mike Best: Well, come on then!
Mike informs his ICONIC opponent and as Dan steps forward, Mike immediately tags in Darin Zion and steps out to the floor.
Joe Hoffman: Mike toying with the number one contender.
Benny Newell: More like his pussy didn’t want to get pounded by the Hammer of GOD.
Zion shrugs and steps into the ring as Dan shakes his head in disappointment.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like Zion and Dan Ryan are going to start it off.
The two opponents begin to circle one another and they both lock up, but the lockup is temporary as Dan Ryan shows why he is one of the most powerful wrestlers in the industry as he immediately throws Zion to the canvas.
Benny Newell: How’s that for GODly love Zion?!?!?!?
Zion smirks and kips up and motions for Ryan to lockup again. The Texas Hoss shrugs and when he goes to lockup, Zion ducked underneath and begins to kick the thighs of the number one contender.
Joe Hoffman: Smart attack by Zion attacking the base of Dan Ryan.
Zion backs up and delivers a superkick style kick to the knee cap of Dan Ryan causing the Texan to growl in pain.
Benny Newell: I think Zion is trying to piss the Hammer of GOD off.
The pain causes Ryan to drop to a knee and when Zion sees this, he ricochets off of the ropes to deliver a shogun style dropkick to Ryan while Boettcher slaps his hands together. Zion gets ready for another attack when Mike pushes his way passed him and begins to stomp away at his world title challenger.
Joe Hoffman: Boettcher is telling Zion that Mike tagged in.
A replay of the tag is shown and shows the world champion tagging himself in.
Benny Newell: Pussy. Not wanting to face Dan Ryan head on is a pussy move.
Mike mounts the back of Ryan and begins to deliver forearms shots to the back of his head before pushing him onto his back.
Joe Hoffman: Cover.
Dan Ryan presses Mike off of him with ease and the world champions immediately retreats to his corner, tagging his partner in as he rolls out of the ring.
Benny Newell: Instead of a black strap on that paper championship of his it should be yellow to show how much of a pussy he has become.
Zion and Mike begin to have words and doesn’t notice Dan tagging in Solex who marches towards the ropes and locks Zion in a sleeper hold.
Joe Hoffman: Sleeper applied.
Zion drops down onto the apron and Solex’s throat collides with the top rope causing him to stagger back. Zion pulls himself up and sees a doubled over Solex coughing and holding his throat looks out towards the crowd who give him a roar. Zion makes a heart symbol with his hands towards the crowd before tapping his chest.
Benny Newell: Who does this idiot think he is? Jeremy Pena?
Zion positions himself and blows a kiss towards Solex before jumping up and springboarding towards Solex.
Benny Newell: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! FUCKING HILARIOUS!
Whatever Zion had in mind doesn’t come to fruition as the Last Real Man in Wrestling gives Real Love a big fuck you as he walks off and Zion crashes and burns. Solex leaps onto the enemy and begins to unleashes a barrage of right hands before grabbing Zion by his hair and driving his forearm into Real Love’s face. Solex delivers one final blow to Zion’s face before going for a pin.
Mike Best rushes in to stomp onto the back of Solex before slithering back into his corner.
Joe Hoffman: Mike breaks up the pin.
Benny Newell: He’s just delaying the inevitable Hoffman.
Solex shoots Mike a look before tagging in Dan Ryan and the two begin to stomp away on Real Love before picking him up and lifting him high into the air.
Joe Hoffman: Delayed vertical suplex being displayed here.
Both men hold Zion up and they make a three hundred and sixty degree turn of the ring and Solex is flexing the whole time.
Benny Newell: That’s why he’s called Swolex Hoffman.
Joe Hoffman: We both know Dan Ryan is holding up the majority of the weight.
Benny Newell: BULLSHIT!
The Final Alliance bring Zion back to Earth as Dan Ryan goes for a cover.
Dan breaks the cover himself as he sees Mike coming into the ring who pumps the brakes as he sees the Hammer of GOD staring at him. Mike smirks as he throws his hands up and backs away towards his corner.
Joe Hoffman: Mike showing, he doesn’t want no part of Dan Ryan.
Benny Newell: Mike showing, he is nothing, but vag-tastic.
Ryan reaches over to pick up Zion, but Real Love grabs the massive arm of Ryan and drags him down to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Is Zion going to show Ryan his Love Handle?
Benny Newell: Hoffman, do you hear yourself right now?
Joe Hoffman: It’s the name of the move Benny.
Benny Newell: Whatever you say Hoffman, whatever you say?
Zion scissors one of Dan’s arms, but isn’t able to lock in the other as Solex breaks up the attempt with a boot to the face. Solex yanks Zion up and delivers a stunner.
Joe Hoffman: Solexecution by The Last Real Man of Professional Wrestling.
Solex begins to trash talk Zion, but when he turns around and eats a superkick.
Joe Hoffman: Solex has been Hash-tag Muted.
Benny Newell: FUCK!
Solex is sent through the ropes to the floor below and Mike lowers his knee pad and builds up momentum before hitting the ropes and driving his knee into the face of his top challenger.
Joe Hoffman: I KNEED A HERO!
Benny Newell: I NEED A FUCKING DRINK!
Mike surveys the damage and makes his way back to his corner and yells for Zion to make the tag as Boettcher begins his count.
Both men begin to stir.
Zion begins to crawl to his corner as Mike yells for him to hurry up.
Joe Hoffman: Mike really wants into the match now.
Benny Newell: Of course, he does Hoffman. He took out Dan Ryan with a cheap shot and wants to pick the bones like a pussy.
Zion gets to all fours.
Zion jumps to make a tag.
Mike hops off of the apron and onto the floor and goes back and leans on the security railing pointing to his head with a huge smile as Zion is seething.
Joe Hoffman: What the heck is Mike doing?
Zion begins to yell at Mike as he pulls himself up.
Mike Best: You really think I didn’t think you weren’t in on it, do you?
Mike yells at Zion as he continues to tap his head.
Mike Best: I’m smarter than that. I’m smarter than him. And I’m smarter than YOU!
Mike emphasizes as he points towards his partner who has noticed that Dan Ryan is back to his feet when all of a sudden, an arm comes over the barricade and grabs the world champion around his throat and pulls him into the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: HOLY SHIT! WE NEED SECURITY DOWN HERE NOW!
Zion has his attention on the commotion as his partner is suddenly swallowed up by a sea of black Final Alliance jackets before getting lifted high into the air.
Joe Hoffman: HEADLINER!
Benny Newell: YES!
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Bryan McVay: And your winners by pinfall, STEVE! SOLEX! DAN! RYAN! THE FINAL! ALLLLLLIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNCCCCCEEEEEE!!!
Joe Hoffman: Zion put up a hell of a fight, but he was basically fighting by himself.
Benny Newell: Enough about that idiot. What happened to Mike?!?!?!?!?
Dan Ryan and Solex don’t celebrate as they watch the commotion in the crowd as the images become clear on the HOV as we see Mike Best being thrown forward by a hooded individual wearing a Final Alliance jacket.
Benny Newell: Who the fuck is that Hoffman? Because they need a payday for beating Mike’s ass.
The hooded figure reaches down to pick up the world champion when Mike delivers an uppercut that sends the person shooting upward and the hood flying off.
Joe Hoffman: THAT’S STEVENS!
Benny Newell: Have I mentioned how Scott Stevens is my favorite wrestler Hoffman?
Stevens rubs his jaw as he sees Mike crawling away before running and delivering a knee to the side of Mike’s head. Stevens looks at the horde of people around him wearing Final Alliance jackets and motions for them to attack Mike.
Joe Hoffman: This is a darn mugging.
Benny Newell: It’s called fatherly tough love Hoffman.
Stevens grabs Mike by his ear and brings him towards the concourse before whipping him into a concession stand of HOW merchandise.
Joe Hoffman: Even the vender has on a Final Alliance jacket.
Benny Newell: FUCK YEAH!
Stevens drags Mike up to his feet and holds the SON up for the vender to slap him across the face.
Joe Hoffman: Everyone getting their shots in on the champion.
Benny Newell: He’s not HOW’s champion.
Stevens looks at the merchandise and smiles devilishly when he sees a replica of the 97 Red version of the HOW world title and takes it off of the rack.
Vender: That’ll be $497.97.
Stevens reaches into his pocket and tosses a black card at the vender.
Scott Stevens: Charge it to Lee Best. He has ALL the CREDIT.
Stevens tells the vender who nods and charges the black Liberty card as the Texan steadies himself and waits for Mike to get up. Once Mike gets to his feet and turns around, he gets blasted full force with the 97 Red replica.
Joe Hoffman: Mike is busted open.
Benny Newell: Not surprising since he is nothing more than a giant pussy!
Stevens stands over the fallen world champion who is bleeding profusely holding the replica up and gives it a long stare before dropping it onto the chest of the SON.
Scott Stevens: Best $497.97 ever spent.
Stevens says before walking off and the show goes to black as we see a final shot of a bloody World Champion.