Event Date: August 22, 2020
- 1. Opener
- 2. #28 RICK vs. #12 Hughie Freeman
- 3. Cell Phone Footage
- 4. #8The eGG Bandits vs. #1 The Hollywood Bruvs
- 5. Cell Phone Footage II
- 6. #5 Lindsay Troy vs. NR Eric Dane
- 7. Cell Phone Footage III
- 8. #6 Dan Ryan vs. NR Cayle Murray
- 9. Last Act of Aggression(?)
- 10. #33 Chris Kostoff vs. Lee Best
- 11. Hard Reset
- 12. #2 The Minister vs. #1 Michael Lee Best
The HOTv logo gives way and we are open the show with an overhead shot of the refurbished Best Arena via helicopter.
As the helicopter circles the arena we see a huge HOW logo on top of the arena and 97red accents found throughout the new building. There is a huge banner that graces the entrance of the arena and it features the image and name of the man that started High Octane Wrestling many years ago with Lee Best………and the original HOW Hall of Famer……Narcotic.
We then hard cut to Blair Moise who Is standing outside the entrance of the arena. There are dozens of fans standing behind her screaming as they notice the red light just turned on the camera in front of her.
Blair Moise: Welcome everyone to NO REMORSE!! This is the very first event here in the beautifully rebuilt Best Arena. It has been years since we saw the original one crumble and I am HONORED to welcome everyone watching live on the High Octane Television network to tonights telecast. We have only three matches tonight inside the building, highlighted by the ICON Championship match pitting Dan Ryan and Cayle Murray for the vacant ICON Championship. We will also see the Tag Titles on the line and a match that WILL start almost to the spot where I am standing…….a Chicago Street Fight with Linzee Troy taking on Eric Dane.
The crowd erupts as they know they are NOT going to be moving as they want to be near the action when that match happens.
Blair Moise: But that is not all folks. Tonight live on HOTv you will see Rick traveling to Alcatraz Prison, home of the Rumble at the Rock PPV, to take on Hughie “So Not A” Freeman in a match that has a ton of personal layers to it. We will then travel to the USS Octane where The GOD of HOW will take on the first ever Tag Team Champion and a member of the original Hall of Fame Class, Chris Kostoff. Then finally….we will head to Tampa as Maximillian Kael will defend the World Championship against Michael Lee Best. Speaking of Michael…..
Suddenly the cameraman pans to the left of Blair, the viewers right, and we see a dozen EPU men standing in front of the camera. They get a cue from offscreen and they make a hole for the viewers by splitting off the right and left of the hard shot.
It is then that we see it.
Blair Moise: Ladies and Gentlemen……MICHAEL LEE BEST!!!!!
The crowd erupts as we see the newly sculpted statue of the Son of GOD.
Blair Moise: Obviously this is a potential final gift from a Father to his Son as we all are worried about what will happen to Lee tonight. I am honestly so honored to be the one to showcase this to everyone as even I know that Michael had no idea of this great honor.
The cameraman walks around the base of the statue while the EPU agents keep the fans away from the statue.
Blair Moise: Folks I have no idea what is going to happen tonight and I hardly doubt everyones plans will come to fruition tonight. But with all High Octane Pay Per Views……..it will be the talk of the city tomorrow. Good luck everyone and with that let me send it over to the Hall of Fame announce team as we will kick off tonight’s action with our first remote match…….Rick versus Hughie live from Alcatraz Prison!!
The feed goes black as we see a final shot of fans with their cellphones out taking pictures of the Mike Best statue with the Narcotic banner in the background.
#28 RICK vs. #12 Hughie Freeman
Joe Hoffman: Thank you Blair! I must say Benny when we arrived earlier today we had NO IDEA what was out in front of the entrance as they had that whole section covered with left over scaffolding from the rebuild and a bunch of tarps. I walked right by there not KNOWING that was a statue of Mike!
Benny Newell: It should be bigger to be honest. But I digress. Obviously I knew about it and unlike the rest of these assholes with their cell phones sharing screenshots………I KEPT a secret.
Joe Hoffman: That is a very specific example there Benny….but like a very famous man once said…I digress.
Benny Newell: Kiss ass.
Joe Hoffman: Anyway…..folks we are starting out with one of our remote matches first and it is Rick challenging his former stablemate Hughie Freeman.
Benny Newell: They will either fuck or fight…..either way something needs to happen and quite frankly I am here for a little bit of both.
There is a LONG pause as Joe TRIES to work thru that comment
Joff Hoffman: Uh, what was that again?
Benny Newell: Moving on……Riddle me this, Hoffhole. If a RICK gets knocked the fuck out in an empty prison, and no one is there, does it make a noise when he falls?
Joe Hoffman: But Hughie and Matt are there…
Benny Newell: You have to ruin everything, don’t you?
The crowd buzzes with excitement as the old steel doors of Alcatraz Prison appear on the HOV.
The large doors featured on the HOV slowly open as the gigantic silhouette of RICK, dwarfing the bodyguards at his side, stands ready to enter.
Benny Newell: Is the big idiot doing his own ring announcements now?
After the RICK roar, the Three Word Warrior pounds his chest and enters the prison. Inside the ring stands the special referee for tonight and a man that didn’t have to travel far from his west coast home, Black Mamba. The Canadian Colossus box jumps up onto the apron, then wipes his big boots before stepping over the top rope. Mamba looks him over.
Mamba shakes his head.
Black Mamba: No clue, but he should be out any moment.
Benny Newell: Wait does everyone but me understand this Groot rip off? And we are still paying Mamba??
Before you can blink, Hughie Freeman pops out of the shadows, slides into the ring behind his opponent, and delivers a swift upward swing between RICK’s legs.
Joe Hoffman: The Irish Traveler sending RICK down a road of pain before the bell rings with that low blow!
Benny Newell: HAH! What did you expect, Joe? Home prison advantage!
Mamba shuffles around the doubled over giant and gets in Freeman’s face. Hughie no sells the ref’s warnings and sends a hard right hand into the back of RICK’s ribs. Mamba relents and calls for the bell.
Hughie sends a swift kick up to RICK’s bent over midsection, but RICK grabs Freeman’s leg. He snaps up, grabbing the Irishman’s neck with his free hand.
RICK lifts Hughie up, but Freeman sends his free leg forward while suspended in front of his much larger opponent.
Joe Hoffman: OH NOT ANOTHER!
Benny Newell: What an impressive kick to the junk right there!
The pain of a second nut shot within a minute forces RICK’s grip to release. As Hughie drops, and RICK doubles over again, Freeman quickly wraps his left arm around RICK’s head and uses his downward momentum to pull off a snap DDT.
Joe Hoffman: Impressive improvisation right there. ‘’
Hughie snaps back to his feet. RICK rolls to the nearest corner and uses the ropes to help him up, giving his head a couple quick shakes. Freeman charges – RICK sidesteps at the last second, grabs Hughie on his way by and throws him into the turnbuckles.
Joe Hoffman: The Irish traveler bouncing off the buckles, RICK grabs him from behind! WHAT A GERMAN SUPLEX! RICK JUST TOSSED HUGHIE OVER HALFWAY ACROSS THE RING!
RICK pushes himself up and marches over to his downed opponent, throwing a sequence of big boots down Freeman. The Three Word Warrior grabs Hughie by his gray locks and yanks him up to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: HARD RIGHT CROSS! You could hear that one echo off those empty walls, Benny!
Benny Newell: Sounded weak for such a big, strong man.
Joe Hoffman: Oh yeah? You wanna sign up for one of those when he gets back from Alcatraz?
RICK rears back and throws another chop at Hughie, but Freeman drops just in time. He seamlessly transitions into a low crouch and with a quick twitch he explodes upward.
Joe Hoffman: FATALI- NO!
Joe Hoffman: OH MY! RICK JUST SNAPPED FORWARD, AVOIDING FREEMAN’S FIST, AND HEADBUTTED HUGHIE STRAIGHT TO HELL!
Benny Newell: DRINK!
Between RICK’s forceful counter and Hughie’s upward momentum, the sound of their skulls cracking against each other echoed around the empty prison. Both competitors fly backwards. Hughie hits the mad with a thud, and instantly rolls around writhing in pain with both hands on his forehead. RICK manages to keep on his feet, stumbling backward. As he finally gets balanced, he shakes his head fiercely and approaches his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: RICK grabs Hughie and picks him up – oh man, it looks like Hughie’s broken open! Yep, he’s bleeding that’s for sure!
RICK lifts up Freeman by his midsection and heaves him up high. RICK swiftly steps forward and kneels,
Joe Hoffman: RICK with a nasty atomic drop!
Hughie’s tailbone bounces off RICK’s knee, sending him shooting back up to his feet. Freeman grabs his ass with both hands, letting out a shrill roar, and slowly turns back toward his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: RICK WITH A CLOTHESLI- NO, HUGHIE KNEW IT WAS COMING AND DUCKED JUST IN TIME!
Freeman shuffles around and sends the heel of his right boot down hard onto Rick’s right foot.
Benny Newell: An excellent toe stomp! Fine move!
Joe Hoffman: Nice to know you can still call one.
Benny Newell: DRINK!
The stomp doubles the big man over. Hughie scrambles back a few steps, then steps forward with his left leg, planting the foot as it lands, and swings the other leg up like he was an NFL punter in a prior life.
Benny Newell: HOLY SHIT!
Joe Hoffman: Actually, he calls that Liquorice Laces!
The powerful face punt sends RICK flying back into a corner of the ring. He immediately slumps, with each gigantic arm hanging over the top ropes to his sides. Hughie approaches the Canadian Colossus like an animal stalking its prey. As he gets within arms reach, he puts up his dukes.
Joe Hoffman: The fighting Irishman looking true to form now, sending rights and lefts into RICK’s torso. Looks like he’s specifically targeting the ribs with these pointed blows.
As RICK continues to visibly fade away with each successive blow, Mamba steps up and warns Freeman. Hughie pretends he doesn’t hear a thing and starts focusing his fists on RICK’s face.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like Mamba’s had enough. He just threw Hughie off RICK! Freeman didn’t like that one bit!
Benny Newell: He should send one of those fists at Bitcher!
Joe Hoffman: Hughie thinks better of that idea, composes himself, and charges at RICK looking for a corner splash! RICK WITH A BIG BOOT! OUT OF NOWHERE!
Hughie stumbles back, holding his forehead as more blood dyes his hair shades of 97RED.
Joe Hoffman: RICK looking to capitalize on this change of momentum. He’s hopped up onto the middle turnbuckle!
As Freeman meanders his way back toward the corner, he trips and almost falls flat on his face, catching himself with his left hand and transitioning into a kneel just before hitting the mat. RICK brings his hands together over his head and points his elbows out.
Joe Hoffman: Double axe handle from the middle rope! RICK’s airborn!
Benny Newell: FUCK YEAH!
Joe Hoffman: I DON’T EVEN! HUGHIE JUST POPPED UP FASTER THAN YOU CAN BLINK AND SENT A FIST BETWEEN RICK’S ELBOWS RIGHT INTO THE EGG BANDIT’S FACE!
Benny Newell: IT’S CALL THE FUCKIN’ FATALITY PUNCH, BAYBAY!
The impact of the blow sent RICK lifeless back into the corner. He stands, for a brief moment, before dropping forward, facefirst onto the mat. Hughie drops down onto his knees and with all the remaining strength he could muster, flips the large man over onto his back.
Joe Hoffman: Hughie with the pin!
Benny Newell: HUGHIE FREEMAN WITH THE WIN!
Joe Hoffman: Yes, an impressive victory for Hughie here to kick off No Remorse! RICK put up a great fight, but couldn’t get over the home prison advantage clearly held by Hughie.
Benny Newell: One Bandit down. Can’t wait for the Bruvs to take out the other two morons!
The action cuts away as the show continues on..
Cell Phone Footage
Cellphone footage of tonight’s HOFC set up for Chris Kostoff vs. Lee Best!!
#8The eGG Bandits vs. #1 The Hollywood Bruvs
Bryan McVay: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL…under Torando Tag Team Rules….and is for the HOW World Tag Team Championships!!!!!!
The arena lights quickly dim.
Banditstruck, AC/DC Remix, explodes across the AllState arena.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah…
The Octabandits in attendance excitedly jump to their feet.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah…
A spotlight the shape of an egg illuminates the top of the entrance ramp.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah…
From behind the curtain, steps The Maestro of COOL and Doozer.
The eGG Bandits.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah…
Pyro’s illuminate the AllState Arena, sending the crowd into an absolute frenzy!
Joe Hoffman: Here come the challengers!
Ah ah ah ah ah ah– Band-its!
Benny Newell: Who gives a shit? Fuck them. Fucking eGG Bandits. 2020, huh?
Ah ah ah ah ah ah– Band-its!
Benny Newell: Listen to these morons.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah– Band-Its!
Benny Newell: SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Ah ah ah ah ah ah– BAND-ITS!
The two Bandits soak up the rabid adoration while making their way down the ramp.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah– BAND-ITS!
Doozer takes the steps, Jiles slides under the bottom rope, and then they meet in the center of the ring.
Ah ah ah ah ah ah– BAND-ITS!
Veins bulging, Doozer screams something visceral, and The Maestro cocks his head back and then aggressively releases a quick stream of yellow mist into the air.
Joe Hoffman: It’s go time.
Benny Newell: Have I said fuck them yet?
Bryan McVay: Introducing first; the challengers, from Egg City USA, Doozer and the NEEEEEEEEEEEEW LSD Champion Cool Cancer Jiles……THE EEEEEEEEGGGGGGG BANNNNNDITS!
The camera zooms out slowly to reveal the Hollywood Bruvs decked out in the latest and greatest Bruvs 24K t-shirts and of course the HOW Tag Team Titles around their waists with Frappes in their hands. The spotlight shines down on them as they’re gloating and absorbing the hatred of the HOW crowd tonight. They keep pointing at their Tag Team Championships, walking down towards the ring and pointing, gloating, and mocking their challengers all at the same time as they make their way to ringside. They hop in the ring and hold up the titles in the Bandits faces, gloating about how they’re the greatest Tag Team Champions to ever grace an HOW ring. The Bandits and Bruvs don’t even give Matt Boettcher a chance to raise the belts; they’re close to blows. The crowd is roaring waiting for both teams to tear into each other.
Bryan McVay: And introducing next, your current reigning and defending HOW Tag Team Champions of the WOOOOOOOOOOOORLD: Mike Unlikely, Jesse Kendrix….the HOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLYWOOOOOD BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUVS!
Benny Newell: Hell yes, the HOW World Tag Team Champions are about to beat some sense into those egg sucking Bandits. I know Mikey and Jesse will finally shut down the momentum of our current champions.
Joe Hoffman: The Hollywood Bruvs aren’t messing around. They dominated Kostoff and pretty much weakened him down for Lee Best. This Tag Team Title match sure looks to be one with all the tensions on the
The opening chords to The Godfather Waltz by Slash rips through the HOW arena as Mario Maurako emerges from the back. Both the Bruvs and Bandits lock their eyes on Mario as he strolls down to ringside to join Benny and Joe at the commentary desk.
Benny Newell: HOLY SHIT! Mario Maurako exists! I thought he was a legend!
Joe Hoffman: Welcome to the desk, Mario! Where have you been these last few weeks. It’s like you were the loch ness monster here in HOW. People talked about your legend, but you obviously haven’t been here.
Mario Maurako: I’ve been working on some…projects….none of your two’s business really…what matters is I’m here to review the best division in all of High Octane Wrestling: the Tag Division tonight. Let’s face it! These belts should be the main event of this show tonight, but they aren’t. Obviously, I need to stop taking focus on helping certain careers around here and get back to doing what I do best: managing this division. I’m here for a thorough review tonight. So don’t mind me.
Joe Hoffman: Well it looks like you caught the focus of both the Bruvs and the Bandits when you came down here.
Benny Newell: Of course! Mario’s a legendary Tag Team Wrestler, Joe! How dare you focus on the Bruvs and those egg suckers when the Godfather of Tag Team Wrestling comes to join us on…
Mario Maurako: Shut up, Benny! Brown-nosing will get you nowhere with me. Let’s watch this “Tag Classic” right now. They look to be biting at the chomps.
As Mario’s music finishes up at the desk, both Jiles and Doozer take focus towards Mario and taunt at him. He made their life a living hell the last few weeks on their way to the Tag Team Titles. Mario smirks for a moment while Kendrix and Mikey seize their belts from Boettcher. They charge and nail both the Bandits in the back of the head with the Tag Titles as the bell rings to start off this match.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Kendrix rolls Jiles out of the ring and begins to go on the offense to keep both Bandits separated while Mikey Unlikely takes on Doozer in the ring to kick the action off. Wasting no time, Mikey grabs Doozer and hits a stiff looking Powerbomb in the corner. Doozer lands on his neck hard, grabbing it in pain. Mikey wastes no time in going for an early cover…
Doozer kicks out on adrenaline alone. Keeping on the offense, Mikey continues to unleash a series of punches at Doozer to keep him down. As the action goes on in the middle of the ring, Kendrix makes his way into the corner. Pulling him towards the corner, Mikey nails a sick looking bulldog on Doozer before Kendrix hops into help Mikey. Both Kendrix and Mikey grab Doozer and hit a double suplex on him, taunting the crowd. After finishing up with the double team move, Kendrix rushes towards the other side of the ring to gain momentum. He charges with full force at Doozer nailing a stiff knee towards his face before doing a suicide dive towards the outside to take Jiles back out. Mikey back into the match. Mikey deeply locks in a Texas Cloverleaf into Doozer as Doozer screams out in pain.
Benny Newell: This is what Tag Team Champions should look like, Mario! Dominant displays of teamworth by both Bruvs.
Mario Maurako: Right, the Bruvs CLEARLY are our best tag team in HOW right now…
Joe Hoffman: I detect sarcasm in that statement. Clearly Benny needs a drinking game right now.
Mario Maurako: I said it how I said it. Since entering the Tag Team Division, the Bruvs have had start/stop reigns with those HOW Tag Team Championships. They’re not like Paul Paras and I. We dominated this division. We didn’t participate in shenanigans. We dominated those belts. They look good right now, but let’s be real; there’s always a better tag team waiting in the wings.
Benny Newell: Drink every time Mario has a tag team flashback…..not like I need a reason to dive into this bottle of Jack Daniels especially with the Bandits out here.
Meanwhile, Doozer is slowly fading from the Cloverleaf. As his eyes start to slowly close, he catches a glimpse of Jiles pulling himself back up on the corner. Doozer tries to fight out of the hold, but Mikey keeps dropping his weight into Doozer’s back wrecking it more. Jiles gets back up on the ring corner, but Kendrix hops into the ring to cut him off at the pass. After catching his second wind and getting frustrated at Kendrix keeping him from Doozer, Jiles nails a stiff low blow right into Kendrix’s balls. Meanwhile, Mikey sets up Doozer flings Mikey into the turnbuckle head first. As Doozer starts to mount offense, Mikey returns the favor by kneeing Doozer in his balls. Mikey’s smile curls from ear to ear as he sets up for the Lungblower Powerbomb
Benny Newell: Come on Mikey! Ruin Doozer’s career! Crack him like the egg he is! Make him an omelet!
Joe Hoffman: This is it! Doozer’s going to be dropped on his head! We saw what Unlikely did with this Lungblower to Gilda on Refueled! He’s going to wreck Doozer’s neck!!!!
Jiles nails a sick looking superkick onto Mikey’s back and Doozer immediately reverses momentum and hits a huricanarana to drive Mikey down towards the mat. The crowd is on fire! As Doozer gets his second wind behind him, he nails shoulder tackle after shoulder tackle onto Mikey. Mikey then gets back to charge Doozer with a knee, but Doozer scoops him up and nails a picture perfect spinebuster on Unlikely. Doozer catches Kendrix trying to charge and clotheslines Kendrix over the top rope taking himself and Kendrix towards the outside of the ring.
Benny Newell: UGH! So close, Mikey, so close! I need a drink!
Joe Hoffman: Great save by Jiles giving his best friend Doozer some much needed rest. That’s forward-thinking out here in this tag match by our LSD Champion.
Mario Maurako: Pffft! They might be best friends but let’s be real here, Joe. The Bandits have 5 too many partners. Sure they have chemistry, but they lack the focus.
Doozer whips Kendrix into the steel steps. He lands a picture perfect dropkick onto Kendrix’s head, causing it to crash straight into the steel. Meanwhile, Jiles continues to gain the upper hand on Mikey, chopping the hell out of Mikey’s chest. Jiles picks up Mikey and nails an inverted Atomic drop onto Mikey. Rushing towards the ropes, Jiles leaps up onto the second rope and hits a springboard moonsault straight onto Mikey. He makes the cover.
NO! Mikey kicks out with authority! Jiles tries to pick Mikey off the canvas for a DDT, but Mikey kicks Jiles in the gut. Mikey trades some chops back with Jiles, but Jiles returns the favor by hitting a jaw breaker on him, sending Mikey towards the corner with one of his frappes. He takes a quick sip as Jiles picks him up, but Mikey sprays the Frappe straight into Jiles eyes, blinding him and gaining the upper hand again.
Mario Maurako: Pathetic! Mikey is taking a cheap millennial trick to gain the upper hand. He clearly should have taken this match towards the outside of the ring.
Benny Newell: It’s genius, Mario! The Bruvs will do anything to keep those tag team belts. I disagree. It’s all about the win in HOW and you get it any means necessary. Creativity gets you the wins.
Joe Hoffman: OOOOH! STIFF PUNCH right to Jiles face after that. Jiles will feel that in the morning.
Mikey nails a few back suplexes onto Jiles before he grabs him and nails the Roll Credits from out of nowhere. As Doozer finishes up nailing a stiff suplex into the stairs on Kendrix, he catches the whole Mikey/Jiles exchange from the corner of his eyes. He reaches under the ring and pulls an Egg out as right as Boettcher starts to make the count.
Joe Hoffman: Doozer smashes the egg straight into Mikey’s face!!!! That stiff punch leaves a lot of Egg on Mikey’s face, Mario.
Mario Maurako: Leave the egg puns out of this, Hoffhole. Your dad jokes are not amusing.
Benny Newell: Now that’s something I can drink too! Thank you Mario, I’ve been telling Hoffhole over here that for years. He should really focus on calling this tag match like you and I have been doing.
Mikey’s face turns a beat red as he wipes the egg straight off his face. He rushes towards Doozer. Doozer picks him up, flings him in the air and nails a stiff upper cut to Mikey. Doozer then hits the throwback on Mikey as he struggles back to his feet. Meanwhile after taking a stiff finisher, Jiles slowly pulls himself up with the ropes, a bit dazed. Doozer and Jiles nod at each other as they watch Mikey get back up to his feet. As Mikey gets up, both Bandits nail a picture perfect superkick to Mikey’s head. As Doozer signals for the EggU, Kendrix sneaks up behind him and nails an ugly German Suplex to Doozer. Jiles rushes over to Kendrix and hits a sick looking face buster on him. Jiles leaps up towards the top rope and hits a normal looking splash onto Kendrix, covering him as well.
NO! Kendrix kicks out right as Mikey comes over and drives his fist into the back of Jiles head. Both Kendrix and Mikey pick up Jiles for a double powerbomb, but Doozer immediately clips Kendrix’s knee right from under him. Jiles lands on top of both men. Jiles leaps up and both Doozer and him nail a sick looking double clothesline on Kendrix sending him over the top rope. Kendrix tries to get up to his feet, but a flying Jiles Elbow nails him straight in the jaw on the outside. Doozer picks up Mikey and nails a sick looking side slam on him. Doozer covers Mikey
But it’s not enough! Mikey still kicks out. Doozer starts getting frustrated as Boettcher almost taps into his dark past, but he snaps himself out of it. Without hesitation, Mikey throat chops Doozer as he turns around and immediately locks him into his devastating Backstory Boston Crab. Frustrated from what he sees inside the ring, Jiles stops mounting an attack on Mikey and immediately prepares for the COOLYMPIAN YOLJK. As Mikey pulls hard on Doozer’s back with his submission, Jiles sprays Mikey from the side with his yellow mist, then DDTs him straight to the mat. Kendrix slides back into the ring and hits the Double Knee Backstabber straight on Jiles and finally gets control in the match.
Joe Hoffman: Tensions are mounting high in this match. Both teams are now running off pure adrenaline, having answers for each other. Kendrix now hits his triple elbow to Doozer’s back as the Bruvs have control of this match.
Mario Maurako: Kendrix needs to stop show boating with that stupid wanker gesture and get his head into this match. It’s been an all out war and we definitely don’t need those Bandits walking out of here with HOW top prize. They can’t get a second run with those belts. They can’t!
Benny Newell: Trust me, Mario! I would bet on a Bruvs win. Look at Mikey wiping off that mist. They’ve got this one in the bag. Look at that hunger in their eyes.
Kendrix and Mikey both grab Jiles and powerbomb him straight into onto Doozer’s back. Kendrix and Mikey smile as Jiles is reeling in pain. Kendrix looks in the Kendrix Kross while Mikey locks in the Backstory as Jiles is screaming in pain. He looks like he’s ready to tap out. The crowd cheers on the Bandits as Doozer starts to struggle back to his feet. He hears the crowd as he’s stumbling, falling back to the mat and hearing his partner scream out in pain. As the crowd claps while Doozer is laying there, he slowly inches towards the ropes and pulls himself up, dizzy from the attack. As he sees Jiles fading, he musters up the last bit of his strength. He stumbles towards Mikey, pointing his finger, charges the ropes with what last strength he has and nails a stiff You Can’t Yolk Me right at Mikey, sending him towards the outside. Kendrix keeps the Kross locked in as Jiles slowly gets the strength to roll him over, covering his shoulders for a quick one count, before Kendrix releases the hold. Dazed and confused from all the pain, Jiles throws a weak punch at Kendrix as Kendrix trades stiff punches back with him. Jiles gets the upperhand and tries desperately to go for a bulldog, but Kendrix whips him into the ropes and hits a stiff belly to back suplex. Kendrix’s eyes widen! This is it! He’s got Jiles right where he wants him.
Benny Newell: It’s Bellend time, Mario! I told you the Bruvs would be prepared for this stuff.
Mario Maurako: Fair enough, Benny, while you can still color me not impressed by both teams, I clearly underestimate the Bruvs’ desperation to keep those belts. You might be right. I know when this is about to happen: it’s the end for the Bruvs’ opponents. Sure the Bruvs should go for their Tag Finisher when they have the chance, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.
Joe Hoffman: Kendrix is charging up, ready to run. He’s seething in anger. He’s clearly been held back by both Bandits because he’s a threat in this team all night. If he hits this, it’s all over for Jiles.
Doozer slowly pulls himself back towards Jiles corner, reaches into his pants, and quickly hands him something without Kendrix seeing it. Kendrix rushes towards Jiles full force.
Benny Newell: COME ON! FINISH HIM! FINISH HIM OFF NOW!
Joe Hoffman: I can’t watch, Benny! I just can’t watch!
Joe Hoffman: DRIVE BY EGGING BY JILES!!!!! HE TOSSED IT RIGHT IN KENDRIX’S FACE!!
Mario Maurako: Sigh! I knew this would happen! Kendrix let his anger take hold and I knew those Bandits would play dirty. Never underestimate those egg sucking weasels!
Like his life depended on it and masking all the pain, Jiles jumps up to his feet, grabbing his back quickly trying to look past the pain. He wastes no time and nails one of the stiffest looking Terminal Cancers he’s ever nailed sending himself back while cracking Kendrix’s jaw with all authority. Kendrix buckles from the pressure and drops lifelessly towards the mat. Jiles quickly crawls towards Kendrix, laying his arm across his chest as Boettcher makes the count.
Benny Newell: Mikey’s back to his feet! Come on Mikey, get back in there! You can do it.
Mario Maurako: Come on Mikey, slide back in there! Save Kendrix, don’t lose sight of the prize.
Joe Hoffman: No, Doozer’s holding onto leg!!!!!! Is it over?
DING DING DING DING!
“Bandit Struck” blares over the PA System as Doozer releases the leg and Mikey just sits there completely awestruck at the events. He pulls Kendrix out of the ring and Doozer rushes the ring, grabbing Jiles and hugging him as Matt Boettcher hands the HOW World Tag Team Titles over to the new champions, then hands Jiles his LSD Championship.
Bryan McVay: Here are your winners: and the NEWWWWWWW HOW World Tag Team Champions…….THE EGG BANDITS.
Joe Hoffman: The Bandits now have two sets of belts! They’ve had an amazing run over the past few months and look to be on fire. Who can stop them?
Mario Maurako: Gentlemen, it’s been real, but I need to go take care of my business…
Disappointed, Mario slams his headset down on the table as he storms off past the Bandits who gloat about their wins.
Joe Hoffman: It appears that the Tag Team Division boss is NOT happy. I would bet some serious money that we will be hearing from him at Refueled 37.
Benny Newell: We are still paying Mario??
Joe can only shake his head as the Bandits celebrate their big Tag Team Title win as the scene fades to black.
Cell Phone Footage II
Overhead shot of the new HOFC cage
#5 Lindsay Troy vs. NR Eric Dane
Joe Hoffman: It’s street fight time folks! The bad blood between former stable mates, Eric Dane and Lindsay Troy has been growing and these two will settle things in an old school Chicago street fight tonight at No Remorse.
Benny Newell: First Alcatraz… now a Street Fight… we holding any matches in the new Best Arena tonight?
Joe Hoffman: Well these two have been at the throats of each other for weeks now… and I’d hate to be the referee who’d have to try and enforce the rules in that ring. Luckily all Hortega will have to do tonight is count pinfalls and call submissions.
Benny Newell: Yeah, yeah, yeah, all the fuckers at home know the rules of a Street Fight. If not, Google that shit so we can get to Eric Dane ripping Troy’s fucking leg off and and stuffing it back up her pu….
Joe Hoffman: OOOOK! I think we can cut out to the entrance of The Best Arena where I hear we have out combatants ready.
Benny Newell: It’s fucking fine Joe… I’m cancel proof! DRINK!
The camera transitions from Benny knocking back his shot of Jack to the entrance of The Best Arena. We see a giant stone statue of Mike Best in the background and there are hundreds of HOW fans behind the barricades that are set up around Eric Dane, Lindsay Troy, Joel Hortega and Bryan McVay.
Benny Newell: Look at that masterpiece in the background of Kneeful One… Mike Best!
Joe Hoffman: Is that why I didn’t get a pay raise this quarter?
Bryan McVay: The following is a Chicago Street Fight! Where anything goes and the match will only end when one competitor scores a pinfall or submission. Introducing first… from Tampa, Florida and weighing in at 195 pounds… LINDSAY TROY!!!!!
Troy, dressed in street clothes, a black tank top, jean shorts and what seems to be steel toed boots as she raises her arms. We can already notice her favoring her right leg a hair which has a light knee brace on it. Dane, quickly noticing has a smirk on his face as you can easily tell what his number one target will be.
Benny Newell: Look at that knee Joe! Lindsay Troy is pretty much a fucking cripple!
Joe Hoffman: That fabric brace is a lot less than the monstrosity that Dane has on.
Benny Newell: It’s not the size of the brace that matters… it’s how you use it Joe!
Joe Hoffman: Oks…
Bryan McVay: And her opponent, from New Orleans, Louisiana and weighing in at 230 pounds… ERIC DANE!!!!!
Dane has on a pair of jeans with his over the top knee brace over them as everyone, including Lindsay knows it’s also a huge bullseye to attack. But Dane just keeps smirking at Troy, knowing he has the size and strength advantage and is imagining ripping Troy apart in ninety-seven different ways.
Benny Newell: Just imagine that knee brace cracking the skull of Lindsay Troy open and spilling her already scrambled brains on the Chicago pavement tonight.
Joe Hoffman: I’d rather not Benny… I’ll leave those sick and twisted dreams to your alcohol soaked brain.
McVay quickly escapes to the hopeful safety of the crowd barricade as Dane just stands tall, stoic with that smirk on his face while Troy who shows no fear walks straight up to him as Hortega calls for the bell to get this street fight underway.
Joe Hoffman: Here we go! Dane! Troy! Chicago Street Fight!
As Hortega backs away, Dane and Troy slowly close in towards each other. Both careful not to jump in too quickly as they both know each other so well they don’t wanna make the first mistake. Dane extends his hands to Troy, looking to start things with a test of strength as Troy nods slightly as she raises her hands and…
Benny Newell: Steel toed nut shot by Troy! What the fuck is she thinking?!
Joe Hoffman: That Dane has testicles that hurt when kicked?
Dane nearly falls to his knees but he stays on his feet as Troy then drives her steel toed boot into the gut of Dane and connects with a DDT straight onto the asphalt as we hear the sick sound of skull on pavement echo through the roaring Chicago crowd. Troy debates a cover… but instead she makes her way towards the Chicago crowd who starts extending weapons out to The Queen who smiles as she starts shopping the crowd for what she is about to inflict some more pain upon Dane with.
Joe Hoffman: Troy knows she has to jump on Dane quickly…
Benny Newell: This is bullshit Joe! and I can hear Dane wheezing a bit after that steel toed boot to the testicles…. That was a HATE crime!
Joe Hoffman: Woah… careful Benny.
Benny Newell: What? I meant something Woodson’s shitty defunct HATE group would do.
Troy scans the crowd for a second before reaching out and grabbing a stop sign that may or may not have been freshly ripped off a nearby street corner. Dane starts to pull himself back up to his knees as Troy drills with it across the skull once, twice, three times before throwing it to the ground.
Benny Newell: STOP! STOP! STOP! Can’t you read the fucking sign Lindsay!
Troy helps the dazed Dane to his feet as she leads him towards the entrance of The Best Arena. THey reach the security checkpoint as Troy tries to slam Dane’s head off the table, but Dane blocks it as he elbows he in the gut. Dane lifts his right knee up into the face of Troy and immediately busts her open before he spinebusters her straight through the table to the boos of the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: And like that Lindsay Troy quickly finds herself in a position she didn’t wanna be in.
Benny Newell: On her back?
Joe Hoffman: Shit Benny… that’s not what I…. ugh….
Dane pulls Troy up from the debris as he starts dragging Troy back towards the crowd as he throws her into the metal guardrails as the fans nearby start to scatter. One fan drops a bike chain as Dane smiles and picks it up. But instead of wrapping it around his fist, Dane whips it across the back of Troy who arches her back in pain, trying not to scream out. Dane again whips the chain across the back of Troy as the tank top partially rips and we can see the blood underneath now running down her back.
Benny Newell: Should I be getting turned on by this Joe? Whip her more Dane!
Joe Hoffman: No… absolutely not! Dane going for a third shot with that now bloody bike chain…
Troy rolls out of the way though and drives her steel toed boot into the gut of Dane that nearly causes him to drop the chain and nearly fall over in pain. Grabbing the chain herself, Troy pulls herself back up and with the chain wrapped around her hand nails Dane in the ribs again. Holding his ribs in pain, Dane is unable to block the straight right that Troy connects above his left eye. Blood starts to pour into his eye as Dane falls back onto asphalt.
Joe Hoffman: Down goes Dane! Down goes Dane!
Benny Newell: Thanks to that bike chain! What kind of person uses a weapon like that!
Joe ignores the blatant hypocrisy as Dane quickly stumbles back up to his feet as he tries to put some space between the two and heads out towards the road as the fans trying to get the best view are pushed back by security. Troy ditches the chain and gives chase as she grabs Dane by the bandages around his ribs and drives a knee of her own up into the side of his ribs. Dane lets a wild elbow fly back that connects as he stumbles forward to a car parked on the side of the road.
Joe Hoffman: I know it’s a crazy thought folks, but this street fight is actually spilling out onto the street in front of The Best Arena here.
Benny Newell: Cause Lindsay Troy is being a crazy cu…
Joe Hoffman: WOAH there Benny!
Benny Newell: Cupcake you cock! Cupcake!
Reaching into the wheel well of the car we see Eric Dane unknowingly to Troy, pulls out a steel pipe. Troy again goes for a knee to the rib but Dane swings the pipe at the right knee of Troy causing her to crash down to the ground.
Joe Hoffman: Dane with that pipe he must of had planted there! The same pipe he used to take Troy out before.
The clang of metal can be heard as Dane slams the pipe on the ground and lifts Troy up to her feet, screaming at her as he takes her by the hair and throws her face first towards the car window. The sound of glass shattering can be heard as Troy’s head and half her body goes through the car window. From the other side of the car we can see the now blood covered face of Troy.
Benny Newell: Bleed bitch! Bleed!
Joe Hoffman: Jesus Benny!
With Troy incapasitated, Dane opens the back door of the car and pulls out a red plastic can of what we can only assume is gasoline as he starts pouring it on the inside and outside of the car. Fans again start to scatter as Hortega steps in the ask Dane what in the world is he doing. Dane just pushes him away as he finishes emptying the can and reaches for a lighter also in the car.
Joe Hoffman: Eric Dane is not trying to beat Lindsay Troy tonight… he is trying to murder her!
Benny Newell: It’s not murder in a wrestling match Joe! It’s entertainment! Light her up! Light her up!
Flicking the trigger of the lighter, we see the flame that could send Lindsay Troy to a literal Hell. Dane goes to throw the lighter at the car, but the boot of Troy comes up and kicks the lighter back into the face of Dane as we see a small fireball erupt and Dane stumbles backwards. Troy pulls herself out of the car door window as she wipes the blood away from her eyes as she kicks the gas can in angry that Dane just tried to burn her alive. Dane see Troy start towards him as he reaches down into his boot and pulls out a golden spike.
Joe Hoffman: Dane upgrading from the fork to a blinged out spike.
Benny Newell: Never… ever… used the words blinged out again….
But Troy seems to have his boot weapon scouted as she reaches into her boot and pulls out a crude prison like shiv.
Lindsay Troy: Two can play this game Eric! Remember when I stabbed Hollywood with this at Alcatraz? Oh wait, you took your ball and went home before that.
Eric Dane: You won’t be able to remember shit Lindz after I scramble your fucking brain for good.
The fans surround the two blood soaked competitors as they start to circle each other. Dane takes the first swipe which Troy quickly ducks and slash back at Dane, cutting the bandages clean off from his ribs. Quickly checking for blood, Dane swings the spike back at Troy in anger and catches her in the right thigh.
Joe Hoffman: Dane stabbing Troy in the leg with that spike!
But as Troy nearly cries out in pain she pulls her leg back, and the spike stays in her leg. Dane smiles for a moment, before realizing he is weaponless against Troy who is still armed with her shiv. Dane lunges at Troy with a clothesline, but Troy kicks him in the gut with her left foot. Dane collapses to the ground and so does Troy as he right leg gives out. She reaches down to her leg and pulls the spike out as she hurls it away before crawling towards Dane. She plunges her boot again into his ribs as Dane wheezes out loud as Troy takes her shive and quickly carves “LT” into the stomach of Eric Dane.
Benny Newell: What the fuck is she doing to him?!?!
Joe Hoffman: Looks like she just branded Eric Dane with her name!
Benny Newell: He isn’t a piece of meat Troy! You can’t own him!
Dane flips his shit as he sees the marking Troy just carved on him as lunches towards Troy who quickly grabs his head for a rollup on the concrete.
Joe Hoffman: Finally a pinfall attempt in this massacring happening out here.
Dane kicks out and quickly drills Troy with a hard right that nearly knocks Troy out as Dane shakes off the recent attacks and pulls himself back up to his feet. Looking around he spots the steel pipe again as he picks it up and stalks back over to Troy who is starting to pull herself back to her feet. Dane swings for Troy’s head, but somehow she has enough sense to duck. She drives another knee to the gut of Troy as Dane comes back and jams the steel pipe into the back of Troy. Both stumble away from each other for a moment before Dane lunges back towards Troy.
Benny Newell: Starbreaker Knee!!!! Troy’s brain must be fucking mush now Joe! She’ll never even know what that LT stands for now!
Troy is laid out on the ground as Dane stumbles off to the side, nearly collapsing as raising his knee of that high took a toll on the injured ribs. But Dane does his best to shrug it off as he drops down to the ground and hooks Troy’s leg for the cover.
Benny Newell: THREE!!!!!!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Troy with the….
Benny Newell: FUCKING COCK STICKS!!!
Somehow Troy gets the shoulder up just in time as Dane screams out in anger at Hortega, at Troy at every fan watching as he pounds his fist on the pavement. Troy starts to slowly rolls away as Dane gets back to his feet as he grabs a nearby kendo stick away from a fan as he stalks Troy who is trying to push up from the ground but we heard the crack of the kendo stick across the already bloodied back of Troy.
Benny Newell: AGAIN!
Benny Newell: AGAIN!
Joe Hoffman: He can’t hear you….
After the fourth shot, Dane drops the stick and rolls the near motionless body of Troy over for the cover…..
Troy comes alive as she drives the steel pipe she crawled over earlier and procured across Dane’s skull.
Benny Newell: Where the fuck did that come from?!?
Dane is nearly knocked out on his feet as he legs wobble for a moment before he crumbles to the ground. Troy winces as she flexes her back and crawls over to Dane and mounts him, pinning his arms to the ground. With pipe still in hand, she stares down at Dane and bashes the steel pipe again into his skull as the #97Red blood runs from Dane’s head like a river.
Benny Newell: Someone stop this before she leaves Dane with only half a brain!
Joe Hoffman: Can you say karma?
Benny Newell: Karma? KARMA!!?! What did Eric Dane ever do to deserve this!
Joe Hoffman: He just tried to freaking burn her alive in a car!!! How do you not remember that?
Benny Newell: DRINK!
The lights barely seem to be on for Dane, but he tries to sit up and get Troy off him as it looks like he goes to bite Troy on the breast.
Benny Newell: YES!!!!
But Trtoy sees the open mouth of Dane approach her breast and she snarls back at Dane and drills him again with the pipe as we see a chicklet fly across the parking lot as Troy tosses the pipe and pins Dane’s shoulder back down to the ground.
Benny Newell: Someone save his teeth for him!!
Joe Hoffman: I think I just saw someone kick em down the storm drain… but cover by Troy!
Joe Hoffman: And Lindsey Troy has bea…..
Benny Newell: DANE KICKS OUT!!!! IT’S ONLY TWO FUCKER!!!!!
Pushing Troy off him, Dane looks like a total horror movie victim, blood covering his face and chest as he. Troy reaches for the pipe again but Dane is able to kick Troy in the side of the head as she crumbles flat on the ground.
Joe Hoffman: Dane maybe saving the match… his head… his remaining teeth as Troy may have ended Dane if she could get that pipe again.
Benny Newell: Murder Joe! She was looking to fucking murder him! She has taken this match too far!
Joe Hoffman: Fire Benny! Fire and he just tried to bite Troy’s breast!
Benny Newell: Ya… and now I’ll have to go on RedTube later tonight to see that.
Wiping more blood away from his eyes, Dane gets up as he stares down at Troy and stomps down on the back of her right knee. Troy seems to awake with a cry of pain. Dane stomps it again as Troy rolls over onto her back to try and save herself but Dane just stomps away at the front of her knee. He laughs as he calls for the Stradriver as the fans start to boo. He reaches down to pull Troy up to her feet but she manages to grab his head and roll him up.
Joe Hoffman: Small pack….
But Troy rolls through the cover herself and wraps her body around Dane as she starts to twist him around like a pretzel almost…
Joe Hoffman: No! She’s going for her new submission hold….
Benny Newell: What the fuck is that?!
Joe Hoffman: It’s a spine twister submission…
Benny Newell: Looks like she is trying to break his back….
Joe Hoffman: Executioner’s Song! Lindsay Troy has The Executioner’s Song locked in on Dane!!
Out of instinct, Dane quickly tries to reach out for the ropes… but nothing other than himself will break this hold as Troy twists Dane’s spine around like a corkscrew.
Joe Hoffman: Look at the pain on Dane’s face!! Between the spine and his ribs I can’t imagine the pain he must be in!
Benny Newell: Come on Dane, you can get out… you might have some teeth left… bite her tit!
Joe Hoffman: Troy just wrenching every inch of Dane in a way that would make a contortionist cringe!
Benny Newell: You haven’t met Kendra then Joe… this one time…
Joe Hoffman: Hortega again asking Dane again if he wants to tap… he wants to say no… he’s trying to fight out… but Lindsay Troy is not letting go. Look at her eyes Benny! Look at the rage in Troy’s eyes as she tries to tear Dane’s body in two!
Benny Newell: Fucking fight it Dane!!! You can’t tap!
Joe Hoffman: You can almost see the eyes of Dane start to roll in the back of his head but Troy shakes him to make sure he won’t pass out, she wants him to physically tap!
Troy torques back again as we can almost hear Dane’s spine crack from the submission hold.
TAP TAP TAP
Joe Hoffman: DANE TAPS!!!!
DING DING DING
Benny Newell: FUCKING SHITS!!!
Bryan McVay: The winner of the Chicago Street Fight…. LINDSAY TROOOOOOYYYYY!!!!!!
“Put ‘Em in the Grave” by Jedi Mind Tricks starts to play through the speakers outside The Best Arena as Troy lets go of Dane and just collapses back on the pavement.
Joe Hoffman: What a war between these two… that was a literal blood bath as both competitors are soaked after a hottifying amount of violence.
Benny Newell: That was criminal Joe! Lindsay Troy using steel toed boots and nearly bashed in half of Dane’s head. Plus that submission move should be considered torture!!! That was a war crime Joe!
Joe Hoffman: And Eric Dane tried to set Troy on fire in a car… plus that steel pipe was his own fault. He brought it into the match and Troy took advantage of it. But in the end, these two knew exactly what they were getting into. They knew where they had to take this bitter feud to finish it… to finish their opponent. Nothing less than near death was going to stop either of these fighters tonight.
Troy finally is able to pull herself up onto her feet with the help of Hortega who doesn’t even try to raise her arm as she is clutching her whole right leg that seems to just barely be hanging on to her body. An HOW medic meanwhile tries to attend to Dane who just shoves him away. He is clutching both his back and ribs as he just keeps trying to move his legs to make sure he can before we cut away.
Cell Phone Footage III
Ringside view with a shot of the GOD himself standing were potential fans will be at future HOFC events
#6 Dan Ryan vs. NR Cayle Murray
Joe Hoffman: The road to tonight’s ICON Title match has been tumultuous, violent, and complicated, ladies and gentlemen. It all began at War Games, with the crowning of a new HOW ICON Champion in an absolutely unprecedented manner, when—
Benny Newell: When a guy got kneed so hard that he became the ICON Champion. Tell it like it is, Hoffman. First guy to ever win the belt by getting pinned by the champion. Stick that in your Stevenspedia and smoke it.
Joe Hoffman: I wouldn’t speak ill of a man who isn’t here to defend himself, Benny– following War Games, the ICON Champion was scheduled to face Dan Ryan here tonight to defend the title at No Remorse, but it was not meant to be. After suffering a brutalizing, potentially career ending injury at the hands of the Hammer of GoD just a few short weeks ago, the HOW ICON Championship was declared vacant.
Benny Newell: Won the belt without pinning the champion, lost the belt without being beaten for the title, beat himself for a Tag Team championship. Maybe the weirdest run I’ve ever seen in HOW, Joe. And I was here for Trick R Treat.
Joe Hoffman: Wow, that’s a deep dive reference, Benny. In any case, Dan Ryan doesn’t exactly find himself on easy street– Cayle Murray, in his first HOW match, looks to not only win the HOW ICON Championship, but to avenge the untimely retirement of his brother here tonight.
“I’m Better Than Everybody” by Lakutis fires up on the freshly minted HOV of the Best Arena, bringing forth HOW’s newest rising star, Cayle Murray. A shit-eating grin adorning his face, the younger Murray brother stops at the top of the ramp and drops down to one knee, flexing both of his biceps and kissing one of them for good measure. A golden shower of pyro tumbles down behind him, bathing him and the stage in light, before he finally stands to his feet and begins his descent to the ring. On his way down the ramp, he selects a few lucky fans to harass, bully, and talk general shittiness to.
Benny Newell: THIS is supposed to replace the Scottish King of Wrestling? The fuck is this? This shit is more generic than the Great Value Valtrex that my insurance forces down my throat when I pick up my prescriptions at Wal Mart.
Joe Hoffman: Cayle Murray is a decorated veteran, Benny. A former FIST of DEFIANCE and just as talented, if not perhaps more so, than the man he’s replacing here tonight at No Remorse. Add on to that the fuel that comes with vengeance, and the drive of a shot at the gold, and I wouldn’t sleep on Cayle Murray here tonight.
Benny Newell: I’m not gonna sleep on him, Joe. I’m just gonna sleep. Wake me up when Dan Ryan is done cutting branches off the Murray family tree, I don’t wanna miss Lee cleaning up that permanent piss stain Chris Kostoff, and I definitely don’t wanna sleep through the rise of Cthulu in Tampa tonight– MINISTER BAYBEE!
As Cayle Murray reaches the bottom of the ramp, he saunters around at ringside and then rolls under the ropes, into the ring. He slowly climbs up onto one of the turnbuckles, giving the crowd a little shrug as the fans let him know exactly how they’re feeling about him here tonight.
His music softly fades out, and now the roar of thunder heralds the opening chorus of music that is unfamiliar to the HOW crowd to date. The lights go out, and a dual-spotlight makes an encircling pattern on the entrance area as the opening riff of “DADDY’S HOME” by JT Music plays.
As the intense drums blast in the background, Dan Ryan steps out and pauses, looking into the audience, then heads down the aisle as pyro blasts behind him. The video shows clips from his HOW career: power bombing Bobby Dean, super kicking Andy Murray, taking MJ Flair’s head off with a clothesline, hitting Perfection with the Headliner, countering a Jack Harmen dive into a vicious power slam, and smirking as he pins Doozer. The video comes to a close with Dan Ryan standing on a balcony, looking down at the now retired Murray brother with a sinister grin on his face. Inside of the ring, Cayle Murray scowls at the image on the screen.
Joe Hoffman: There isn’t much to say about this man, ladies and gentlemen, except that he is perhaps more dangerous now than ever. Dan Ryan has had a high profile HOW career to date, and that’s saying nothing of his accomplishments before donning that 97 Red jersey back in 2019. Dan Ryan earned his shot at the championship at War Games, and I don’t envy any man standing between him and that belt here tonight.
Benny Newell: ZzzzZZZzzzz…
Joe Hoffman: No one actually says “Zee zee zee” when they’re sleeping, Benny.
Benny Newell: Fuck you, bitch, you don’t know my life. I’m just doing my impression of the crowd hype for this match. Nothing says BIG HEAT like changing out opponents two weeks before the pay-per-view. Andy’s knee is a big fucking crybaby, and it should have held out for two more fucking weeks so we could have a barnburner.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t think Dan Ryan gave him much of a choice, Benny. If anyone is to blame, it’s him.
Benny Newell: Okay, YOU go out there and tell Murder Daddy that he shouldn’t have made Murray’s knee lose its smile. I’ll wait.
Dan Ryan walks directly to the ring, rolls in under the bottom rope, and climbs the nearest turnbuckle, keeping his arms down and smirking into the crowd as the music plays. However, before he can even climb down from the turnbuckle, Cayle Murray is at his back, and begins laying high forearms into the spine of Dan Ryan!
DING DING DING
Joel Hortega rings the bell, as Dan Ryan stumbles down from the turnbuckle and grabs the ropes to keep himself stable. He turns toward Cayle, who continues to lay in forearms, trying to get the advantage in the opening seconds of this matchup.
Cayle grabs hold of Ryan’s arm, tossing him to the ropes with an Irish whip. Dan Ryan comes off the opposite ropes, but regains control of himself on the way back– he snaps forward with the titanium brace on his elbow, cracking Cayle Murray directly across the face with a running rolling elbow!
Joe Hoffman: ….WHAT?!
Benny Newell: THE HAMMER OF GOD! I AM AWAKE! I AM ALIIIIIIIIVE!
Cayle Murray goes flat to his back, staring up at the ceiling as Dan Ryan stands over him, adjusting the brace on his arm and giving a big old shrug to the crowd, mocking Cayle’s entrance to the ring. Hortega looks surprised, but begins the first count of this Last Man Standing match.
Murray isn’t moving. He stares up at the lights, his arms outstretched at his sides as the crowd stares on in disbelief.
The count is slow, but Murray still hasn’t begun to stir– the titanium brace on Dan Ryan’s arm has clearly broken his nose, and the trickle begins to cover the canvas in the center of the ring. Dan Ryan stands close at hand, ready for Murray to get up so that he can continue the assault.
…Cayle Murray still isn’t moving. The crowd are slowly climbing to their feet, knowing there’s no way it can be over already. Dan Ryan feigns yawning, looking at his imaginary watch and then pretending to reload his titanium brace like it’s a firearm.
Murray is beginning to stir. He rolls slightly to his side, putting weight onto his arm as he tries to roll onto his stomach. He tries to push himself up, as the rest of the crowd stands to their feet– seconds into the match, and it’s going to come down to the wire.
But he can’t do it. Cayle Murray pushes up on his arm, but immediately it collapses beneath him. He falls flat onto his face, his arms hanging lifelessly at his side as medics begin making their way down toward the ring. Joel Hortega is hesitant, but makes the final count.
The crowd is in utter shock, as the final bell rings, and the match is… over.
DING DING DING
Dan Ryan smirks, snatching the ICON Championship from Bryan McVay as he steps into the ring to make the official announcement.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, and NEWWWWW HOW ICON CHAAAAAAAMPIOOOOON…. DAN…. RRRRRRRRYYYAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!
The camera pans around the crowd, showing off looks of shock and confusion from the Chicago crowd. Dan Ryan slings the belt over his shoulder, stepping up onto the turnbuckle and pointing at it as the crowd stays mostly quiet– they aren’t even disrespecting either of these men, they just can’t believe it just happened.
No Remorse goes on.
Last Act of Aggression(?)
WHAT IN THE ROYAL FUCK???!!!!
The action cuts to inside the USS Octane where Lee just witnessed Dan Ryan winning the ICON Championship.
Lee Best: FIRED!! ALL OF THEM!!! FIRED!!!!
The GOD of HOW tosses his drink to the side, breaking the glass against the wall, and the rug that is adorned with his face is now covered in whiskey.
Lee Best: 24K….adios. Bruvs…Fired. The Murray Family….Fired. You absolute waste of fucking payroll. FIRED!!!!
Lee slams his hand on more time on his desk and jumps into a fighting position as the door opens. Instead of Kostoff entering like War Games, this time his new bodyguard enters, having to duck as he enters.
“You ok boss?”
Lee Best: Ya I am just tired of these weak ass motherfuckers dropping the ball. They all have big ass balls until faced with a challenge…then they all shit the bed and if I am not going to fire them I am sure as fuck that they would quit…..FIRED!!!!
“It is time Boss……..”
Lee Best: No shit. I put the fucking match order together asshole. You remember the plan?
The bodyguard takes a step at Lee but pauses….remembering he is the employee here and as if he knows he cannot touch Lee.
Lee Best: Look…I am just stressed. In a few minutes who the fuck knows if I will even be around after tonight. I need to stab a motherfucker. I need to fuck a motherfucker. I need to..
“You need to win Boss. Everyone knows you got the plan. Let me do the physical work and you win. Everyone knows…”
Lee Best: Everyone knows what? The fact that I am the fucking REASON that they have a format to bitch and moan and collect money while wearing diapers with their baby soft emotions? That everyone knows that the minute I say TWO WORDS that all will run to my Son and ask if they are in my crosshairs? Fuck them. Tonight is about me and so help me GOD….if I win or survive……everyone is going to meet the old me.
The bodyguard nods his head and helps Lee put on his MMA gloves as they finish up preparation for his match as we cut away.
#33 Chris Kostoff vs. Lee Best
Joe Hoffman: Well folks as you just heard, it is time for Kostoff and Lee Best to meet inside the cage for the first HOFC Match in years……and besides a Prison Yard…..this is the perfect setting for these two and it really headed this way after Kostoff attacked Lee on this very ship at the War Games PPV.
Benny Newell: Fuck you Kostoff.
Joe Hoffman: And as a last act of pettiness from Lee, we are being prohibited from showing the entrance of the Hall of Famer Chris Kostoff. Instead you get to look at our pretty faces while the Hall of Famer makes his way to the cage.
Benny Newell: Freefallin!!
Joe Hoffman: Ah yes….Mr. Petty…….well we have word that Kostoff has entered the cage and we HAVE to get a view of his entrance gear….Valhalla!!
The feed cuts to the USS Octane where we see Chris Kostoff inside the cage..
Joe Hoffman: He is the viking of High Octane Wrestling and has always been the warrior the fans have gotten behind. We heard alot from Kostoff this week and even he has referenced the end is nigh for him.
Benny Newell: He needs to just leave. Seriously….why stay? The only reason he is relevant is because of Lee…..and speaking of Lee!!
The feed cuts to the top of the ship where we see Lee Best and his bodyguard emerge. They stare down at Kostoff and the cage and slowly begin the walk down to the deck of the ship.
Joe Hoffman: While Lee makes this long walk and gives Kostoff time to get all that armor off, I want to draw a spotlight to the rules of the High Octane Fighting Championship.
Benny Newell: You get hit….you go down….you don’t get up….you lose. Simple Joe.
Joe Hoffman: Benny is not that far off to be honest. I do want to highlight the return of Rick “Even” Stevens the longtime HOFC referee who was brought back by Lee to officiate this very bout. Stevens a longtime Best family supporter, was obviously hired by Lee to tip the scales in his favor but I don’t think Stevens has that in him.
Benny Newell: What the tip?
Joe Hoffman: Huh? What? NOOOO…..the ability to be partial. Jesus Benny.
Benny Newell: Hey Lee has been giving everyone “just the tip” since the restart. Wait till everyone gets the full thing shoved up their ass. The announcers will outnumber the damn wrestlers!
Joe Hoffman: BACK to the rules of the match. Basically, in this specific match tonight, the winner of the bout will be the one that completely knocks out their opponent. I know Lee made the ICON Match a Last Man Standing match, probably due to the HOFC fighting mentality he was in, but this is a step further. Your opponent has to be KNOCKED OUT for you to win. As long as he can open his eyes and can at some point get to his feet….the match will continue on. There are no rules other than you must stay in the cage during the match.
Benny Newell: You done? Kostoff is down to his panties and Lee is outside the cage.
Joe Hoffman: As a matter of fact,….I am.
The action cuts over to the deck of the ship as we see a few cameramen placed between the lighting rigs and in different sides of the cage.
Inside the cage, Kostoff is watching Lee as he slowly enters.
The ref motions for the bodyguard to stay outside but Lee just stares intently at Stevens until he backs off.
Joe Hoffman: Well to no surprise to ANYONE, Lee’s bodyguard is going to be a part of this match, even if this was booked as a singles match its clear this will be a handicap match.
Across the cage Kostoff just smirks as if he is not surprised at all.
Benny Newell: Well you already said it Joe…….there are NO RULES and LEE HAS A FUCKING PLAN!!
Joe Hoffman: Well everyone has a plan until they get…..
The Hall of Fame announcer has no time to finish the old saying as inside the cage Kostoff charges at Lee and swings wildly……
The man collapses from the punch and hits the canvas with a thud.
Kostoff looks down at the damage and then smiling back at the person still standing across from him.
Joe Hoffman: Unbelievable….Kostoff just KNOCKED OUT Lee’s bodyguard who jumped in the path of the punch.
The camera’s zoom in on the hand of Kostoff and we see that he is still wearing a piece of the metal armor suit he wore for his unaired entrance.
Benny Newell: His fist was loaded!!! With steel???! Stop the fucking match!!!!
Joe Hoffman: No rules Benny….no rules….and no bodyguard for Lee now.
Back inside the cage Kostoff is staring at the man that he has been at war with for the last 18 years.
Lee, still shocked that his bodyguard his down already, looks up at Kostoff and the shock quickly turns to anger.
Lee goes for kick to the groin but Kostoff blocks it.
Lee tries again but another block from Kostoff.
Frustrated, Lee goes for a punch to the throat of Kostoff but this time the Hall of Famer does not block the punch but instead grabs the right wrist of the HOW Owner and with his own right hand he grabs the tank top of Lee and rips it off the owner’s body.
Joe Hoffman: Lee, who was sporting a ….um…..F You Kostoff shirt to the ring just had it violently ripped from his body.
Benny Newell: I cannot take this……this is going horribly wrong…so horribly.
Back in the cage, Kostoff lefts go of the wrist of Lee, pushes him up against the cage and then follows it up with an open ended slap to the face.
The sound of his palm hitting the cheek of the GOD of HOW can be heard all the way back inside The Best Arena in Chicago.
Kostoff quickly grabs underneath the left arm of Lee and proceeds to toss him towards the center of the cage where Lee lands violently.
Kostoff stalks Lee who tries to scurry to the other side of the cage, but he does not make it in time as Kostoff stomps on the back of his head, driving Lee’s nose into the canvas and blood spurts everywhere as its clear his nose is broken.
Joe Hoffman: Just how long will this go on? Kostoff is taking out 18 years of frustration here tonight and you have to wonder how far he will take the violence.
Benny Newell: Fuck you Kostoff….fuck you. THERE CANNOT BE A HOW WITHOUT LEE!!!!
As if Kostoff heard that comment, he smirks again, before driving his boot down directly on the already broken nose of Lee.
The owner of HOW screams out in pain as he rolls around the canvas. His eyes are filled with tears from the blows to his nose, and with no vision, he starts flailing his arms around……but does not connect.
Joe Hoffman: Wild punches there by Lee but they fail to hit the mark. Kostoff is completely toying with him now.
Benny Newell: Fuck this…..fuck ALL of this.
There is no mercy inside the cage however as Kostoff pulls Lee up to his feet and promptly nails him with a headbutt that sends the man back to the canvas. The Hall of Famer does not relent or waste any time however as he turns his attention back to the bodyguard who is starting to stir on the other side of the cage.
Kostoff runs at him and nails him with a running knee just as he was clawing his way up with the help of the cage.
Kostoff leans into the cell of the cage and looks directly into the camera…
“That one was for you Michael….watch what I do to Daddy next”
Joe Hoffman: Well the bodyguard is completely out of commission now and wait…..Kostoff isn’t done with him yet….
Kostoff yells at Stevens to open the door and Rick quickly nods his head and rushes over to the cage door and unlocks it with the key that he had in his pocket.
Kostoff quickly picks up the bodyguard and tosses him to the deck of the USS Octane.
As he turns back around he is violently pushed to the outside and he falls to the deck of the ship as well.
Joe Hoffman: A desperate Lee Best just ran and tackled the referee into Kostoff, and all three men are outside the cage……THERE CANNOT BE A WINNER ON THE OUTSIDE!!!
Benny Newell: PLAN B Joe!!! You know this is plan B for Lee!!!
Kostoff is rattled as he hit the back of his head hard on the deck of the carrier and as he checks for blood he finds it as the back of his head if cut wide open and his hands are as well after grabbing the back of his head after the fall.
The referee however is fine, and quickly jumps back into the safety of the cage, and yells at both men to re-enter.
The cameraman gets into position as we see Lee slowly staggering to his feet, his face covered in blood from the earlier blows, and he looks down at Kostoff who is using a nearby lighting rig to help steady himself.
Joe Hoffman: Well we are about 13 minutes into this match and that’s I honestly have no idea what is going to happen now that they are outside of the cage. Literally a minute ago Kostoff was about to get the easy win and now……I am not sure.
Benny Newell: This isn’t going any longer….trust me Joe. You think Lee can do a 45 minute match even if fighting for his life?? He has to have a go home quick strategy…..I KNOW HE DOES!!
Back outside the cage we see Kostoff, standing now, turn towards Lee who is leaning up against the cell of the cage trying to clear his eyes fully.
Suddenly something takes away the attention of Kostoff and he sees several soldiers appear on the walkway where we saw Lee exit earlier.
Joe Hoffman: Here we go….Plan B.
Kostoff looks at Lee quickly, who just smiles and taps his forehead, and then back up at the soldiers who are racing down the walkway and steps towards the deck of the USS Octane
Benny Newell: You honestly thought that Lee Best would own a fucking carrier and NOT have soldiers at his disposal?? Plan B Joe and remember….everyone……..deployed.
Joe Hoffman: Well I am counting them up here quickly as they rush down the stairs in single file and it looks like we got six of them rushing down…..
Benny Newell: Six plus one GOD OF HOW……means seven….a POWER NUMBER.
The show of power is no joke as all six men rush in and literally form a line between Kostoff and Lee.
They take a couple steps forward and Kostoff takes one back and then he notices that the edge of the carrier is not that far away. He looks back at the soldiers and focuses in on the six men as we see slowly walk over to his bodyguard who is being looked at off to the side by HOW medics.
He slaps the man in the face, but he does not open his eyes at all.
The medics stand up and tell Lee that he is out cold and is out of commission. Frustrated, Lee rears back and nails one of the nurses with a right hand.
Joe Hoffman: Lee just punched a female nurse in the face!!!!???
The other two medics, both males, quickly cower away from Lee and hustle to strap in the large bodyguard.
Lee Best: Fuck him. I don’t need him.
The GOD of HOW then looks down at the nurse he just punched and spits on her face.
Lee Best: Equal Rights……bitch.
As the GOD OF HOW turns back towards Kostoff and his soldiers he falls down in shock.
The camera quickly turns from Lee and we see why he fell down in shock.
Joe Hoffman: OH my GOD!!!!
Benny Newell: Well fuck.
The camera captures all six soldiers do an about face and now instead of facing Kostoff they are facing Lee.
Each one takes of their helmet and we clearly see who they are now.
Mark O’Neal…Hall of Famer….former Best Alliance AND LOD member
Overkill…Kostoff’s tag team partner when they won the first ever Tag Team Championships in 2002
Splinter…..former Best Alliance member fired harshly by Lee Best
Chico……former Best Alliance member and LSD Champion fired by Lee Best
Shocker……presumed dead and former right hand man of Lee Best
And finally,……the Hall of Famer and longtime nemesis of Lee Best…….Darkwing.
Joe Hoffman: These six men all have an axe to grind with Lee and I cannot believe Lee’s past is literally staring at him right now.
Kostoff walks forward and stands shoulder to shoulder with Darkwing and then looks down the line at everyone.
They all are smiling and nodding as Lee is resigned to his fate as he looks on.
The men quickly jump into action as Chico and Splinter snag Lee by a leg drag him over to the entrance door. They then pick him up and toss him back into the cage.
Lee literally starts crawling towards the other side of the cage, but he is quickly nailed by Splinter who nails him with an elbow to the back of the head.
Splinter then motions to Chico and the two execute a perfectly LOADed up 3D.
Joe Hoffman: Tag team move there by Splinter and Overkill…..3D LOAD if you will?
Benny Newell: Over my head and I don’t give a fuck.
Chico and Splinter lean up against the cage as Mark O’Neal and Shocker, the former tag team known as The Mercenaries, head towards Lee.
Suddenly they turn and nail Splinter and Chico with violent right hands, knocking the two men completely out.
Joe Hoffman: THE MERCENARIES ARE BACK!!!???
Benny Newell: AND WITH LEE!!!! YOU KNOW HE HAS DEEPER POCKETS THAN KOSTOFF!!!!
The Mercenaries turn their attention towards the other men, but their surprise attack is short lived as Kostoff and Overkill nail them with a double clothesline. The 7 foot Overkill grabs both men by the back of their necks and toss them out of the open cell door.
As the men scramble to their feet on the outside we see Chico, the Golden Era LSD Legend, running on top of the cage and dives off, nailing and knocking out The Mercenaries.
Back inside the cell we see Darkwing pulling Lee up to his feet.
“I told you this would happen someday……”
With that, Darkwing FINALLY nails his finisher on Lee Best after all these years.
Joe Hoffman: Shadow Smash by Darkwing!! He just lifted Lee up with ease and nailed him with his side slam finisher.
Smiling, and completely satisfied, Darkwing stands up and clears the path for Kostoff.
Kostoff shakes the hand of his fellow Hall of Famer and then motions towards his longtime tag team partner to join him.
Overkill and Kostoff, The Legion of Darkness, pick up Lee and nail him with a devastating double No Remorse
Kostoff then stands up and looks down at Lee who is completely out….and then at Rick Stevens.
The ref, shocked at what he just saw, comes to his senses and checks on Lee and calls for the match to be over.
Joe Hoffman: Winne of the match via a double No Remorse with his old tag team partner…Chris Kostoff!!!
Kostoff and his peers look down at the fallen Lee Best and then at each other.
Benny Newell: What the fuck are they thinking………..noo….noooo….nooooooooo
The men take a step towards Lee and then Kostoff puts his arm out and motions that he has this. Darkwing hands something to Kostoff before nodding his head and exiting the cage.
The other men back away as Kostoff is now alone in the cage with Lee, even Rick leaves.
Joe Hoffman: Please Kostoff….do not kill him…..he’s not going to do that…..right??
No one but Kostoff knows as the big man kneels besides Lee and picks his head up. He rips off the eye patch of Lee, exposing the very scars that he inflicted on the man many years ago.
He drops Lee’s head back down to the ground and reaches into the metal on his wrist for the object that Darkwing handed him.
An object Darkwing snagged from Lee’s office.
The Bottom Line Pen.
Kostoff clicks the pen and without a moment’s hesitation he drives the pen directly into the good eye of Lee.
There are no screams.
There is only blood.
The feed cuts out abruptly.
The camera cuts to the area set up for interviews at No Remorse. Blaire Moise is dressed to the nines, looking radiant even moreso than normal as she smiles to herself. Ever the professional, Blaire quickly realizes the feed has switched to her, a nod given to the camera before she brings her mic to her lips.
Blaire Moise: Joining me now is one of the newer wrestlers to join HOW’s roster and, in her brief time with the company, she’s already proven herself to be deserving of her moniker. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome The Oncoming Storm herself… Erin Gordon!
The crowd’s cheers can be dimly heard making a return as Erin ambles her way into the shot, hands in the pockets of well-worn jeans and a No Remorse t-shirt on instead of her usual plain one covering her torso. Erin nods in greeting, the gesture returned by Blaire before the latter continues.
Blaire Moise: Erin, to say that your career in HOW didn’t start off the way you would’ve liked is probably an understatement, though you were quick to follow up your debut loss with a win against Jason Storm. Considering how many rookies wash out of HOW after getting pinned right out of the gate, do you think you’ve proven that you’re here to stay?
And Blaire’s not pulling any punches, is she? A blond brow quirks faintly, but to her credit, Erin doesn’t flinch away from the matter at hand.
Erin Gordon: Miss Moise, there ain’t no wrestler worth a damn that gives up just ‘cause one match didn’t go their way, doubly so when it ain’t a fair loss. I have somethin’ to prove that’s far too important for me to throw the towel in so early–multiple things, least of all that I’ve got the grit and guts to make a name for myself in this murderer’s row of a company. Throwin’ in the towel ain’t how I’m built. That’s how it’s been for as long as I’ve walked this green Earth, and it ain’t about to change on account of some loud-mouthed punk.
Blaire nods, satisfied with the answer that was given.
Blaire Moise: Speaking of… I think it’s fair to say that you got a little revenge on Conor Fuse’s underhanded tactics costing you that debut win on the last episode of Refueled. Do you think the scales are balanced after you knocked him out?
Erin Gordon: No, not even close.
That quick answer, delivered matter-of-factly, has Blaire quirking a brow before she follows the line of questioning further.
Blaire Moise: Then what would make things even in your eyes, then–getting the win back?
Erin Gordon: It’d sure as shit be closer, but that ain’t gonna be enough either. See, where I come from, when someone steals somethin’ important? We take care of it ourselves. Sometimes, it’s simple as takin’ the property back–but if it’s somethin’ that there ain’t no way of recoverin’?
Erin Gordon: We take as many pounds of flesh as we need to make it even. And considerin’ how Conor and his Game Boy both took somethin’ from me that there’s no replacin’, well… let’s just say that neither one of’em will have a pot to piss in if I get my way, much less the equipment needed to use it right–
Suddenly, the Oncoming Storm goes tense, gray eyes narrowing into a look that’d kill if only it could. Blaire notices the shift in expression and turns her head. What Blaire sees has her backing up at about the same time that Erin steps in front of the backstage interviewer, hands balled up into fists as she stares down both Conor Fuse and his Game Boy as they approach. The tension in the air is palpable while Conor saunters down the hallway, his henchman close behind. By now, Moise and Gordon are silent and anticipate what’s to come.
It takes him a while but Fuse, who is now in clear view, holds a neon green popsicle and is licking it at both ends, since it’s dripping all over the floor, making a trail from where they’ve come from. He pauses and looks down with slight disappointment in his eyes.
Conor Fuse: They don’t make these things like they used to. Ice cold, my ass.
And then he stares directly at Gordon. It’s only a millisecond of an expressionless face before Conor waves and smiles.
Conor Fuse: Oh hey, Erin. How ya doing on this wonderful evening?
Thinking it might be some kind of set-up, Gordon doesn’t back down and still waits for a fight. However, Conor turns to The Game Boy. He tries to speak while slurping the quickly melting popsicle.
Conor Fuse: Come along, my Halo From Hell. We’ve got some wrestling to watch and scouting reports to update!
Just before walking through the interview, Conor gives his attention towards Erin once more.
Conor Fuse: Nice to see you again. Have a super swell night!
And they’re gone, leaving a pair of confused women in their wake. Blaire is the first to speak.
Blaire Moise: …what was that?
Beside her, the Oncoming Storm’s brow furrows, that tension remaining in her frame even as the adrenaline of that near-confrontation begins to drain away.
Erin Gordon: You reckon his brain’s like those old tube TVs? Maybe it just took a good thump to the casin’ to fix whatever was broke in there.
A pause; Gordon shakes her head.
Erin Gordon: No, there’s no way we’re that lucky.
Blaire is unable to contain the brief, harsh laugh that leaves her. With as much as she has seen, such is not a surprise.
Blaire Moise: Stranger things have happened, but unfortunately, I think you’re right on that one. Thank you for joining me this evening, Erin.
Erin Gordon: ‘Course. Thanks for havin’ me, Miss Moise.
Another nod and Erin makes her way out of the shot, Blaire watching her go just in case there’s an ambush or something else that the cameras ought to catch. Upon seeing nothing, her gaze returns to the camera’s lens.
Blaire Moise: Back to you, boys!
The camera cuts back to ringside.
#2 The Minister vs. #1 Michael Lee Best
We return ringside to Benny and Joe as the crowd behind them cheers and buzzes with excitement and anticipation.
Joe Hoffman: Ladies and Gentlemen, I am still in shock about what we just saw. Literally the return of some many of the people Lee has wronged over the years returned to help Kostoff not only win the match…..but quite frankly I am sick to my stomach for the post match actions by Kostoff.
Benny Newell: I am fine. EVERYTHING IS FUCKING FINE.
Joe Hoffman: We just saw what happened to the Father…..I am not even sure if I can take anymore but we do have one more match to go….and its going to be a little different to say the least.
Benny Newell: A little fucking different Hoffman!? It’s Home Alone in a fucking psych ward! I don’t know who is crazier… The Minister for being the fucking Minister, or Mike Best for agreeing to being a Wet fucking Bandit and basically forfeting his title to THE MAN WITH THE PLAN! MINSTER, BAYBEE!
Joe Hoffman: Max Kael, the Minister, whatever name you call him by, has spent the last few weeks at the Tampa based Five Time Academy setting it up for the Soul Survivor match. Folks, the rules are simple, Mike Best must enter Five Time Academy and travel down into the basement where the Minister will be waiting for him. Do you think Mike knows what just happened to his Father?
Benny Newell: NO fucking way. If he did he would already be on a plane back to……where the fuck is the USS Octane docked??
Joe Hoffman: Errr……Umm……..
Benny Newell: Real professional Joe…….you fucking idiot…..anyway….so the moment Mike’s foot touches the basement floor the match starts, right Hoffman?
Joe Hoffman: That is my understanding, Benny, once both men are confirmed in the basement the match begins and honestly, if I were Mike Best, I think my strategy is to book it right back up those steps the second my foot touches the floor.
Benny Newell: See, that’s exactly what the Minister probably expects Mike to do, so obviously there is.. A PLAN! DUN DUN DUNNNNN.
Joe Hoffman: The only way to win this match once it begins is for one of the two men to escape Five Time Academy. The first man to touch one foot to the outside will be declared the winner, and more importantly, the High Octane Wrestling World Champion. It might sound straightforward, but I think we’re in for a wild ride, Benny.
Benny Newell: Convoluted as fuuuuuck! DRINK!
Joe Hoffman: I’m also receiving a note on this match made last minute. Because this match will be shown live via satellite from Tampa, Florida, and all of HOW’s referees were otherwise occupied tonight… we have a special referee. And that referee, folks, is…
Joe seems to look down at the note with a disappointed look on his face before he musters all the professionalism in his body to continue.
Joe Hoffman: …El Hombre Blanco.
Benny Newell: …the fuck? I mean, I know that El Hombre Blanco and Mike Best are totally NOT the same person but… they’re the same person.
Joe Hoffman: The logistics aren’t clear. Obviously further mind games from the Minister, aas he continues to stack the odds in his favor. I’m not Mike Best’s biggest fan, I respect his talent and skill but how much can one man overcome? How is this supposed to be a fair contest?
Benny Newell: It’s not fair, Hoffman! GENIUS! Haha! Mike Best is going to lose and it’s going to be El Hombre Blanco who makes the decision! PERFECT! A PLAN, HOFFMAN! A PLAN!
Joe Hoffman: Well regardless of the latest developments, we will remain with you at commentary as we send it down to Tampa for our High Octane World Championship Match. The Minister, Max Kael, challenging the Champion… the Son of God, Mike Best!
Benny Newell: DRINK!
We shift to the basement of the Tampa Five Time Academy where flickering fluorescent light hangs above a steel chair. The circle of light extends for only a few feet before ending in a disquieting darkness, strange shapes seem to move in the gloom but nothing solid or distinguishable.
One of the camera crew moves to the side of the shot and holds up a cell phone with a Zoom call to Bryan McVay.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first the Challenger.. Hailing from Arkham, Massachusetts.. Standing at six foot, four inches, weighing in at two hundred and thirty six pounds.. The MINISTER MAAAAXX KAAAAAAAEL!
The crew member and the cellphone disappear as a piercing dot of hateful #97Red light flares up in the darkness. Lumbering forward comes the Minister, a metal toothed smile stretched wide across his lips. Instead of his ring gear the Minister was wearing his pale white suit. The wound left by Darin Matthews from two weeks ago didn’t seem to have healed, fresh blood noticeable.
His eyes are fixed on the staircase leading down to the basement as he moves to the chair beneath the light. Easing himself into the seat with a look of supreme confidence the Minister crossed his legs and folded his gold ring covered hands in his lap.
We cut back to the vacant parking lot where another crew member is standing by with Byan McVay once again on Zoom.
Bryan McVay: And the High Octane Wrestling World Champion.. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois.. Standing a-
Bryan’s words are washed out by the sudden, loud burst of “Hellalujah” by Hanzel und Gretyl paired with a loudly honking horn. Quietly wizzing across the parking lot is a #97Red Prius, the HOCC or High Octane Company Car, with a determined looking Mike Best behind the wheel. Roaring.. Well.. not roar but moving aggressively toward the entrance Mike hits the crew member holding the phone sending them tumbling over the hood. Slamming on the breaks the Prius comes to a screeching halt a few feet away from the filthy looking glass entrance way into Five Time Academy.
Joe Hoffman: Oh my God! This match hasn’t even started and a man may have just… just DIED!
Benny Newell: HAAAA! The bastard knows how to make an entrance. I’ll give him that.
Joe Hoffman: Can… can we get some medical staff to check on him? He’s been struck by a vehicle!
Benny Newell: Oh calm your tits, Joe. It’s a Prius. If you die from getting hit by a Prius, you were never gonna make it in this life.
Kicking the door open the HOW World Champion steps out of the car dressed to fight in tactical gear, the HOW World Championship slung over his shoulder. Moving around to the front of the car Mike notices the referee wearing El Hombre Blanco’s mask and immediately his expression sours. The referee extends his arms for the HOW World Championship which Mike seems hesitant about handing over.
Finally, after several warnings from the referee, who appears to speak flawless Spanish, Mike shoves the title forcefully against their chest before pushing his way into the building. The floor of the entrance way was covered in dead plants, dirt and garbage left behind by squatters and members of the Minister’s Congregation.
Moving past the lobby Mike moved further into the murky, poorly light Academy. The scent of mildew and rot caught Mike off guard as he stepped into the once high end gym floor. Most of the old gym equipment had been shoved against the walls or left as broken piles of rubbish. Tables and steel chairs surrounded a dirty old ring that someone still stood in the center of the gym floor.
Hanging from the ceiling were weapons of various kinds, bats, boards, screw drivers, kendo sticks, night sticks, etc, etc.
Mike Best: Really scary, Max, way to set the mood.
The sarcasm from the Champion is almost as thick as the atmosphere. Maneuvering across the gym floor toward the basement door at the far end of the room Mike took careful notice of his surroundings for future reference. The Minister had been here for weeks and likely knew the place like the back of his hand, the Champion only had a few moments to strategies as he proceeded further in.
Joe Hoffman: This is… offputting.
Benny Newell: I wish you were off putting another drink together for me, you pussy. Grow a pair. This is gonna be a freak show!
He paused in front of the large stone Throne that sat in all of his gym… his Throne. Minister hadn’t removed it or damaged it in any way. Pushing that thought of exposition out of his head Mike moved to the basement door and pulled it open.
From the basement the Minister, still seated calmly in his chair, stared up at Mike as the two men locked eyes. Taking his time Mike slowly descended down the stairs, each step one close to his enemy and the start of the match. Each step closer seemed to cause the Minister to smile a little wider, excitement and anticipation bubbling to the surface.
Reaching the last step Mike stopped and turned to look around the basement. Only the light above the Minister offered any helpful light as darkness seemed to choke out the details beyond a few feet. The Minister slowly rose to his feet in anticipation as Mike teased stepping down off the top stair.
Mike finally takes the final step, his foot hitting the concrete basement floor. For a moment time freezes as Mike looks back up the stairs debating making a run for it. The Minister is already in mid strike when Mike makes a decision.
Using his own forward momentum, Mike launches a knee straight to the jaw of the Minister causing the bigger man to stumble back, his hands holding his face. Mike doesn’t waste time as he steps forward and fires two stiff punches to his opponent’s gut before taking a guarded step back.
Joe Hoffman: AND HERE WE GO! No bell to start this one off, folks, but I’d say the Minister has just had his rung!
Benny Newell: It’s “rang”, Joe. Not “rung”.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m not looking it up right now. We have a match to call, Benny.
Stung but not out, the Minister’s smile vanishes and is replaced with an incensed snarl. He sends a wild right haymaker to Mike’s head which the Champion quickly slaps away before firing a knee into the Minister’s ribs. Minister snarls and attempts to catch Mike’s head with a back elbow however his faster younger brother is easily able to avoid contact. The Champion answers with an open palm strike just under the Minister’s jugular causing an immediate gag reflex reaction.
The Minister retreats back a few steps as he crawls at his throat, gagging and wrenching as he tries to put space between Mike and himself. The Son of Lee sees his opening and presses his attack, charging forward and darting to Max’s left side kicking at the back of his leg as he forces the Minister down to one knee. Taking a step back measured the stunned Minister zeroing in on his glowing red eye..
Launching himself forward Mike delivers a vicious looking I Kneed A Hero! The point of his knee is driven directly into the glowing red eye! The Minister’s head snaps back before his body crumbles to the ground, motionless. Wincing, Mike hobbles on one foot for a moment as he holds the knee that connected with Max’s head. Shaking it out Mike quickly shuffles to the steps out of the basement, eager to escape.
Joe Hoffman: NO WAY! He hit the knee! This one could be over just as soon as it began!
Benny Newell: Typical Group of Death, trying to fuck these fans out of their pay-per-view buys. First Dan Ryan, and now the bastard Son?! PAY PER VIEW DUDS.
As he begins to climb the stairs, a hand covered in gold rings clamps down on his shoulder before a low, gurgling chortle fills Mike’s ears. The Minister, blood dripping from the gash above his left eye where silvery metal can be seen beneath.
The Champ is violently yanked back down the stairs and tossed to the concrete floor. Mike rolls with it and scrambles up to his feet as the Minister charges forward with a double axe handle. Ducking, the Kneesus sends a pair of elbows into Minister’s kidneys.
Benny Newell: The Minister, saving our runtime! He truly is a man of God, Joe.
Joe Hoffman: Well, the Minister certainly looking a little worse for the wear after that knee, but it looks like he took it directly to the metal plate in his skull. Mike Best’s most devastating weapon is only going to work on half of his opponent’s head!
Benny Newell: He KNEEDS to give up now. New champion tonight, bitch.
Joe Hoffman: …please stop calling me that.
In a rage Minister spins and sends a right hook that sails over Mike’s right shoulder, he himself catching a cross hook from Mike for his efforts. Mike follows up with a back fist before pulling the Minister’s head down before driving a series of knees into his unprotected, bloodied face.
Pushing the dazed and confused Minister back, Mike measures his adopted brother up..
…and elegantly punts the Minister straight in the balls!
Joe Hoffman: THOSE aren’t made out of metal! OOF!
Benny Newell: Typical Mike Best. When in doubt, kick ‘em in the dick.
The Minister clutches his groin and collapses to the ground. Mike immediately spins on his heel and charges up the stairs as the Minister writhes on the ground. He clamors up the steps and out the door back out into the gym floor of the Academy. He immediately bolts for the lobby, the world outside just in view about fifty yards away.
As Mike sprinted toward the exit he never saw the chair swinging from the shadows around him. His face runs face first into it with a loud cracking sound as his body crumbles like a pile of wet noodles.
Benny Newell: GOODNIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER!
Joe Hoffman: …and this is where the home field advantage begins, ladies and gentlemen. Who in the hell is that?!
The lights of the Fight Time Academy slowly begin to flicker to life as a white mask wearing member of the Congregation stands over Mike with a chair. They are soon joined by two more, one wearing an old, torn North Kaelrean uniform, the other an EPU uniform though equally worn down.
The World Champion rolls onto his back, blinking, as he stares up at the ceiling in confusion. More Congregation members melt out of the shadows of the Academy, slinking out from behind discarded equipment and darkened corridors connected to the gym floor, all of them in white masks with the Minister’s red cross painted on.
They slowly come together to form a barricade between Mike and the exit. The World Champion shakes the cobwebs from his head while dragging himself up from his feet to stare at the dozen or so people that stood between him and his victory.
The Minister: Heh-heh.. Hah-hah..
From the door to the basement the sound of the Minister’s decrepit laugh catches Mike’s attention as he spins around, his eye darting from the door to the Congregation. Ascending from the basement was the Minister, his white suit now stained with blood and dirtied by the basement floor. Despite the appearance of his clothing and the wound above his mechanical eye, he appears otherwise unhindered.
The Minister: No wonder Townsend beat you so many times.. You’re fucking Hashtag Predictable..
Reaching into his pants, the Minister pulled a sports cup out, tossing it to the side with a smug expression on his face. With a snap of his fingers the Congregation immediately descends on Mike, a hurricane of punches and kicks overwhelming the champion. Giggling to himself the Minister slowly saunters toward the Throne which he claims for himself.
Joe Hoffman: Come ON! This whole place has been built to defeat the World Champion, and to top it off, Kael brought a damned army with him!
Benny Newell: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, Joe. At no point did the Minister EVER offer this up as a fair fight.
The dozen Congregation members drag Mike toward the ring, tossing him in as the Minister watches gleefully while barking orders at them from his perch. Two men hold Mike as the rest take turns punching Mike in the stomach and face, the slow dismantling of Mike by the Congregation being done methodically and slowly.
The Minister: Mike, listen to me, friend! You did good! You almost had me, buddy, but unlike you I know how to keep friends. So now I’m going to take a breather and let my friends tear you to pieces.. Then I’m going to force you to watch as I walk out of this Academy and become the new WORLD CHAMPION.. And there isn’t a thing anyone has the power to do about it..heh-heh..
Back in the ring Mike has been hoisted up onto a member of the Congregation’s shoulders before he is driven down in the center of the moldy old ring! The entire ring buckles and shakes beneath the bomb, threatening to fall apart as the saggy ropes sway, dust getting kicked high into the air. Five members of the Congregation surround Mike and begin to just… kick the shit out of him.
They really go to town on him.
Like, it’s a glamorization of gang violence.
It isn’t until a Congregation member grabs one of the night sticks hanging from the ceiling that we start to enter the realm of police brutality. That’s not to say one is more violent than the other, you just don’t see a lot of gang violence highlighted by night stick and baton action.
Not like this is about to be.
Dragging a beaten and gassed Mike back up to his feet two members of the Congregation hold him while the Night Stick Guy gets into the ring and begins winding up for a big swing.
The Minister: FINISH HIM!
The devotee charges forward swinging for the fences! At the last moment Mike manages to duck down as the wild swing catches both of Mike’s captors across the face, their bodies crashing to the ground! The Night Stick Guy panics, turning back toward Mike only to Belly-to-Belly suplexed literally out of his shoes!
Joe Hoffman: THE CHAMPION BATTLES BACK! We’ve still got a wrestling match here, folks! Or at least, as much as this was ever going to be a wrestling match.
Benny Newell: This is a WAR, Hoffman. These new school pussies in HOW need to learn exactly what this company is all about. This match might be ratfuck, batshit crazy, but this is HIGH OCTANE, BAYBEE.
Seeing Mike beginning to mount a comeback, the rest of the Congregation lurch back into action, attempting to bog the Son of GoD down once again. Grabbing the night stick, Mike begins to have a full one Coke Fueled Fighter Frenzy as he begins to wildly swing the weapon in all directions! The hardened steel baton connects with arms and legs, heads and chests as bodies begin to drop or fly out of the ring!
On the Throne, the Minister appears to grow uncomfortable with the situation, his smile evaporating into a bitter frown. In the ring Mike continues to fight back, what was once a dozen enemies has now been whittled down to just four. Not wanting to chance anything, the Minister quickly clamors off the Throne and slithers toward the ring, careful to remain out of view as Mike fights off the remaining members of the Minister’s cult.
With his attention focused on the remaining members of the Congregation, the Champion doesn’t notice the Minister slipping beneath the bottom rope behind him. Coiling up to his feet the challenger the Minister stalks his prey, the rest of the Congregation back off Mike as they see this. With a smug look on his face Mike raises his hands in a self-congratulatory celebration..
The Minister smashes Mike in the back of the head with a spinning forearm smash which takes the Champion off his feet and down hard to the mat! Rolling Mike over, the Minister mounts him and begins to rain down blow and blow with his rings hands. Lee’s supposed favorite Son manages to get his arms up out of instinct however each blow leaves another gash or bruise from the rings on the Minister’s fingers.
Joe Hoffman: This isn’t good for Michael Lee Best, Benny. He’s taken a lot of punishment already tonight, and every one of these punches is just further damaging the champion. This is starting to look hopeless.
Benny Newell: You fuck with pimps and you’re gonna meet a couple of ring hands, bitch.
Joe Hoffman: Seriously, please stop calling me a bitch.
Benny Newell: Stop saying bitch ass shit then, Joe.
Climbing off Mike, the Minister begins barking orders at his Congregation, kicking those in the ring who appear to be unconscious. Those who are able quickly begin to collect the unconscious ones, dragging them toward the exit as they get out of the way of their leader and his opponent for now.
With a hand full of Mike’s hair the Minister guides his fellow Hall of Famer to the ropes where he unceremoniously dumped him onto the gym floor, rotten padding doing little to cushion his fall. Following him to the outside the Minister reaches beneath the ring and pulls out a long, orange electrical cord. Letting out about four feet of it Minister looms over Mike before swinging the cord.
The cord cracks across Mike’s back immediately leaving a long, red welt. Mike screams out in pain, his face flashing red.
Another whip from the cord across Mike’s shoulders causes the Champion to let out another gut wrenching scream as he scrambles to escape his torturer. Giggling to himself the Minister follows behind Mike, his glowing red eye tracking Mike as he crawls on his hands and knees.
A third time across Mike’s back and this time blood can be seen to ooze from the cracked flesh. Rolling onto his back out of instinct only causes the pain to intensify as his open wound is exposed to the filth of the gym floor. Reaching down the Minister wraps the cord around Mike’s neck and thrashes his neck from side to side while he literally chokes the life out of his brother.
The Minister: It’s all over Mike! Close your eyes and go to sleep!
He tightens the grip around the cord as Mike’s choking breaths soon vanish replaced with nothing as Mike’s face went from red to purple. Mike’s attempts to escape the choke, violently thrashing while his hands reached up and tried to scrape at Max’s face, seemed to only encourage the Minister who seemed to tighten his hold!
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know how long he can hold on… folks, this isn’t a wrestling match. No one is stopping the Minister from doing the unthinkable… the champion can’t even tap out.
Benny Newell: He’s been calling himself Jesus for years. Maybe it’s time we test that theory. I’ll check on his dumbass in three days and see how he’s doing, Joe.
The struggles slowly came slower as Mike’s eyes fluttered and rolled up into his head. His hands finally sank to his side as his body seemed to go limp. Satisfied that he had knocked Mike unconscious the Minister released the hold, dropping Mike to the ground.
Stepping over Mike’s body the Minister proudly stalked through the gym and out into the lobby where the World Championship awaited him. The HOCC had been moved to allow an easier exit while his recovering members of the Congregation lined the walls cheering, those who were still conscious at least, their leader.
Reaching the doors the Minister held his hands in triumph, turning to glare once more at Mike’s unmoving body as the stepped outsi-
The deceptively quiet #97Red Prius greets the Minister as it plows through the front lobby, crashing through the glass doors! The Minister manages to jump up at the last moment, his body connecting with the hood as glass and metal smash to pieces all around him. The Congregation are also scattered as the Prius smashes through, finally colliding with one of two support beams in the front lobby! The Minister’s body is sent flying, smashing through the receptionist desk in an explosion of wood!
Joe Hoffman: THE PRIUS MAKES THE SAVE! THE PRIUS MAKES THE SAVE!
Benny Newell: GODDAMNED ELECTRIC CARS! THIS IS ILLEGAL! THIS IS ABHORRENT! THIS IS–
Joe Hoffman: Don’t be such a bitch, Benny.
Benny Newell: …fair callback.
The roof above buckles and shifts as the support beam is broken off its base! As the dust begins to settle the driver’s side door opens up and referee El Hombre Blanco steps out. He surveys the damage to the Minister before running over to check on Mike.
He quickly pulls Mike up to his feet, the Champion’s back bleeding profusely while a purple bruise has already started to appear around his neck. El Hombre Blanco pulls Mike into a fireman’s carry and slowly starts to move toward the exit..
From the debris of the receptionists desk the Minister explodes free, his white suit ripped and torn, rage burning in his red eye. He charges forward toward the mysterious referee and Mike, connecting with a tackle to Hombre’s back, taking all three men to the ground. Crawling onto El Hombre Blanco, the Minister crawls at his face, screaming and raging at the man who had stopped him from winning the match! Finally he manages to pry the mask off…
To reveal Sutler Kael, the adopted son of Max Kael and long believed catatonic victim of the Minister’s violence!
Joe Hoffman: WHAT?! WHY?! Sutler Kael is El Hombre Blanco!
Benny Newell: But I thought Mike Best was–
Joe Hoffman: HE IS! BUT TONIGHT IT’S SUTLER KAEL, AND HE’S HELPING THE WORLD CHAMPION!
Incensed by the appearance of Sutler Kael, and that he would be working to help Mike, the Minister grabs his own adopted son’s head and begins to smash it into the ground over and over and over again!
The Minister is taken completely off guard as a wooden bat smashes into the side of his head, shattering and splintering into a million shards of wood. Letting out a roar he collapses to the side as Mike, barely able to stand, holds what remains of the broken bat in his hands.
Tossing the handle aside Mike stares down at Sutler with a confused expression. Unsure if he can win the match while the referee appears to be unconscious, Mike kneels down and tries to rouse him.
Once again, however, the Minister slowly starts to rise, the bat, much like the knee, striking the metal part of the Minister’s head. Blood and bruising had already began to shade the side of the Minister’s head while splinters of wood stuck out of the flesh where the bat had shattered. The Minister dragged himself up to his feet, stalking after Mike once again.
This time the Champion was ready. As Minister leapt forward as Mike ducked beneath him, wrapping his arms around his waist before he lifted him up into a release German Suplex that dumped the Minister into a pile of old dumbbells that had been piled up on the floor! The unyielding steel plates do not move as his body crashes down into an awkward lump of human bend into painful directions.
Climbing onto the pile Mike grabs a ten pound plate weight and lifted it over his head..
Joe Hoffman: He can’t possibly…
Benny Newell: What the fuuuuuck. He’s your brother, Mike. Think this through!
Bringing it down Mike smashes it into the Minister’s face with a metallic clanging noise! For the first time the Minister’s expression goes blank and his body seems to spasm. Lifting the weight above his head again Mike smashes it down once again..
This time the Minister’s body convulses once then stops outside of the slow rising and falling of his chest. Sucking in ragged breaths Mike reaches into his pocket and retrieves a bottle of little blue pills. Prying the Minister’s lips open he held the bottle over his head dumping the contents into his opponents mouth before slamming it shut.
Once completed Mike rolled the Minister over into a rear naked choke focusing more on covering his challenger’s mouth and nose rather than choking him outright.
Mike Best: Eat the pills you spooky fuck! Eat the mother fucking pills and let my brother go!
The Minister’s eyes flare open, the red mechanical eye burning with renewed intensity as he immediately began to buck and fight against the hold, his fingers reaching up to his mouth as he tried to spit the pills out. Unfortunately Mike as the hold locked in and as his face slowly turns blue the Minister finally relents, swallowing the pills before Mike allows him to breath again.
Sucking in death breaths the Minister continues to try and struggle against Mike but they grow weaker and less capable. The #97Red eye begins to flicker before it goes dark.. A few moments later it comes back to life only this time it was blue, a vibrant, healthy, very Max Kael colored blue.
Max Kael: ..mike? It’s me.. It’s Me! You beat him!
Mike is somewhat surprised by the sudden change but a look of relief seems to pass over the Champion. He slowly releases the hold as Max rolls away from him coughing and sucking in deep breaths. Mike climbs to his feet carefully and wearily approaches his brother.
Mike Best: Max? Is it really you?
Nodding Max touches the bloodied wound on his face and peers up at Mike with a confused expression.
Max Kael:..the fuck happened?
Mike Best: It’s a long story.. Thank fucking God finally.
Reaching down Mike pulled Max up to his feet and pulled him into a hug which his adopted brother returned.
Max Kael: Well.. it’s not over yet.. Heh-heh..
It’s too late for Mike the moment he hears the giggle. Pulled into the hug Mike has nowhere to dodge as the Minister sends his foot straight up into Mike’s crotch kicking the next two generations of the Best Family into the back of Kneesus’s throat.
The Minister: ..even with this worthless fuck you couldn’t beat me.. Heh-heh..
Grabbing Mike’s head, the Minister drove his own forehead down..
The exposed titanium plating of the Minister’s ocular bone connects with the Champion’s skull with a grotesque crunching noise. Reaching down the Minister grabbed the bottle of pills, pouring the rest out over Mike before stomping on them in the way you would expect any mature, functional human to behave.
The Minister:..they’re sugar pills you dotard. You tried to beat me with placebos. Pathetic.
He turned to walk away, that smugness returning to the Minister’s face as he left Mike, bleeding, confused and barely conscious on the pile of weights. Before he could step away, however, he felt a hand on his ankle. Looking down he could see a barely alive Mike, both hands wrapped around his leg not allowing him to leave.
For some it might have been inspirational, for others perhaps a sign of Mike’s toughness. For the Minister it was an inexcusable offense, his smugness burning into an intense indignation as he reached down, grabbing a handful of Mike’s hair.
The Minister: Fine, Mike.. I was going to let you walk out of here but if you insist on me ending your career here tonight.. Well.. I’m more than happy to oblige!
Hoisting Mike up the Minister dragged him toward a table, tossing his near broken body onto it. Grabbing a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire that was hanging from the ceiling the Minister climbed back into the ring and ascended to the top rope. Using the barbed wire chair like a body board the Minister lept through the air sailing toward Mike.
Joe Hoffman: No no no no no no…
Benny Newell: THIS IS THE GREATEST MATCH I HAVE EVER WITNESSED. Kill him, you spooky motherfucker!
At the last moment Mike manages to roll out of the way, the Minister smashing through it, the barbed wire chair making a very poor landing pad as the metal wire tears through the Minister’s suit and tears at his flesh. Laying in a heap in the ruins of the chair the Minister’s white suit began to look like the World’s worst Santa costume.
Both men lay on the ground of Five Time Academy completely broken, bleeding and out of energy. It is Mike who moves first, dragging himself across the ground toward the exit, grim determination and grit driving him.
Pulling himself up to his feet Mike gains more momentum, stumbling out of the gym and into the lobby. Back in the wood and metal the Minister stirs but is unable to stand, the barbed wire wrapped around the chair having entangled the Minister’s body with the ruined framework of the table.
Dragging his feet through broken glass, Mike is nearly to the exit when once again the Congregation make their appearance known, the remaining functional members jumping Mike once again in a flurry of kicks and punches, little more than a gang beat down as the Champion is left defenseless under their attack.
Joe Hoffman: There are just too many of them. With the remainder of the Group of Death still in Chicago, the numbers are just too stacked against the champion. I can’t see a path to victory here.
Benny Newell: Spoiler alert, dickhead. This match was sewn up from the beginning. Brain beats brawn, and the Minister is a sadistic fucking genius.
The Minister manages to drag himself out of the chair, his ruined suit down dripping with crimson blood, lacerations visible beneath his shredded cloths. He approaches his Congregation as they continue to beat and brutalize Mike, a sadistic grin stretched across his face. Confident and sure, the Minister strides past Mike and toward the exit..
..the Minister pauses, as does everyone, when the distant sound of something that sounds like thunder. No.. the sound of boots. Heavy boots..
Narrowing his eyes the Minister turns to stare at the Congregation to see if anyone of them are making the noise..
The Minister:.. What the fuck is that noi-
Before he can finish a massive juggernaut like shape appears from the ruined entry to Five Time Academy. He has no time to reach as a near eight foot tall monster connects with a shoulder check that sends the Minister’s body flying into the second support column in the lobby! The column buckles as Minister’s body connects, the air driven out of his body as he grunts audibly.
Stepping into the light the massive figure is former mandingo fighter and long lost bodyguard of Mike Best, DURANGO. With a roar he charges forward and begins to literally toss the surviving members of the Congregation like rag dogs, his massive size and strength more than a match for the Minister’s deranged and disheveled devotees.
Joe Hoffman: IT’S DURANGO! DURANGO IS HERE! OH MY GOD, DURANGO IS HERE!
Benny Newell: Oh this is some BULLSHIT. You can’t have people interfere to help you! Especially not THAT fucking thing! FUCKING MURDER IT, MAX, IT WILL EAT YOU!
Pulling Mike up, Durango moves him over to Sutler Kael, who has also started to recover before hugging Mike.
The Minister: No.. NO! You stupid.. Worthless.. MONGREL! You’re ruining everything!
Dragging himself up the Minister spits up blood, his red eye seething with rage and hatred aimed at Mike, Sutler and Durango. Mike sighs and stands up, ready to continue his fight only to collapse, the beating he took at the hands of the Congregation and Minister wearing him down. Durango stares down at Mike before he looks toward the hate monster that was the Minister who, somehow, still had the energy to keep fighting.
Durango: BEST MAN STAY PUT. DURANGO KNOW WHAT DO.
Before Mike has a chance to react, the gargantuan man turns and begins to move toward the Minister. With each step he gains momentum and speed, his shoulder dropping as the Minister snarled, holding his ground, hissing like a cornered snake.
The massive giant of a man slams into the Minister as both men crash through the remaining support column. The sound of the roof collapsing down, as well as the floor giving way, is deafening as the front section of the lobby disappears into the Earth swallowing the HOCC, the Minister and Durango as well.
As the dust settles Mike, held up by Sutler, slowly and carefully traverse the ruined entry to Five Time Academy.. Upon crossing what was once the threshold of the defunct school, Sutler lifts Mike’s hand while one of the crew uses an app to single the bell.
WINNER AND STILL HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING CHAMPION: MICHAEL LEE BEST IN 36 MINUTES 41 SECONDS!
Mike collapses to the ground as Sutler Kael is handed the HOW World Championship, shuffling back over to the victor where he lays the title across his chest. Laying on the cold concrete of the Five Time Academy parking lot Mike leans up and stares into the rubble where, buried beneath, are both his brother and his longtime bodyguard.