The Best Opening
The High Octane Television logo gives way and we cut inside The Best Arena and specifically the office of one Lee Best.
The GOD of HOW is in his customary place, sitting behind his large mahogany desk, but tonight he is sporting a new look.
The glasses are gone and his still deeply bruised and damaged eyes are on full display. He is wearing a 97 red colored polo with the sleeves rolled up as we see him hang up his phone. Turning towards Redrum he motions for his bodyguard to open the door and the man follows his orders.
He opens the door and in walks Hughie Freeman.
The Irishmen walks up to Lee’s desk and puts a hat on the desk of the GOD of HOW.
Hughie waves his hand in front of the face of Lee, but the owner of the company does not even blink, and Hughie shrugs as he sits down.
Hughie Freeman: Don’t know if you can see that Lee but I brought you a gift. Trust me it suits ya……can you see me?
Lee does not answer the question but instead motions for Redrum to pick up the gift. Redrum hands the hat to Lee and the GOD of HOW puts it on his head and he smiles as it settles on his bald head. He stands up and looks as if he is looking at himself in a mirror….but that cannot be right.
Lee Best: This is legit Hughie….and appreciated. Now let me give you a gift….
The GOD of HOW reaches down into the bottom right drawer of his desk and pulls out a small manilla envelope. He slides it over to Hughie, who quickly picks it up and opens it up, and smiles.
Hughie Freeman: First off what is this for and secondly what is the limit??
Lee laughs and leans back in his chair….his face quickly going serious.
Lee Best: Let’s just say that its tax season Hughie and I need to you to be collecting ALL my debts……starting tonight. You good with that? It is time to cut some losses around here….
Hughie smiles again and closes the envelope as the scene fades as we cut away.
Desmond LeRoux vs. Sean Stevens
The action cuts inside the arena and immediately to the ring announcer as we heading right to the ring for our first night of the evening.
Bryan McVay: Our opening contest is scheduled for one fall…
“Time Today” by Moneybagg Yo hits on the PA System and Desmond LeRoux comes confidently striding down to the ring as the fans welcome him back to HOW.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, from Lake Charles, Louisiana; DEEEEEEESMOND LEEEEEEEEROOOOOOUX!
Benny Newell: Dammnit! These two kick this show off?! How the hell am I going to pre-game Refueled tonight, Hoffhole. Literally this match lasted seconds last time and I won’t get a chance to dive deep into my bottle of Jack before this show really starts.
Joe Hoffman: Maybe you shouldn’t drink at work, Benny. We have some great action to call tonight with Refueled tonight. Not only do we get the rematch with LeRoux and Stevens…
Benny Newell: Don’t say that name! It’s a tainted name here in HOW….just like a well done steak is…
Joe Hoffman: You know it’s not that Stevens…anyways before I go down the rabbit hole with you; we’ve got a lot of great action here tonight including our main event: the number one contender to the LSD Championship: Teddy Palmer will be taking on one half of our HOW Tag Team Champions: John Sektor in the main event. Plus, it’s War Games season. There’s a lot of chaos going on here in HOW.
The lights dim, as the soulful intro blares over the airwaves. VOICEOVER: The most important thing in business is honesty… CUT TO: HOV. …as several images flash, starting with an up-close photo of a blue-eyed baby – crawling, before transition to a toddler, 6 year old version of the same child playing football, and a 12 year old pre-teenager playing with a basketball in hand. “…integrity, hard work…. Family. NEVER forgetting where we came from.” CUT TO: Several more images. The first was an even older Sean Stevens – 17 years old – in amateur wrestling gear; in a cap and gown – signifying graduation. The scene then shifted to Sean in the audience, in what looked to be a wrestling arena, before cutting to the final image of Sean, in the middle of a death defying leap from a forty-foot high camera tower, as his foe – below – laid unconscious. CUT TO: The very last image. One of “Triple X” Sean Stevens in the center of the ring, being handed a crown, tired, sweaty, yet triumphant. Suddenly, the video wall faded to black. And, the beat dropped. SFX: (Extra loud hissing sound.) Smoke pyrotechnics shot to the roof, as “No Hook,” by Jay Z blasted over the PA system, and Trip stepped through the curtain. He was immediately met with a mixed reaction – that he ignored – as he sauntered confidently to the ring, in a 100% cotton “King’s Back” t-shirt, black and silver tights, and a pair of “Ray Ban” clubmaster sunglasses. Ignoring the cat calls, and flash bulbs, Stevens didn’t acknowledge anything or anyone ’til he entered the ring, and hopped on each of the four turnbuckles, thrusting his arms in the air victoriously.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent: from Orlando, Florida, SEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAN STEEEEEEEEEVENS!!!!!!
As Stevens slides into the ring, Desmond wastes no time as McVay gets out the way and Hortega motions for the bell.
DING! DING! DING!
Benny Newell: Alright, I’ve got the stopwatch going here, Hoffhole, 19 more seconds to go.
Joe Hoffman: Give Sean Stevens credit….
Benny Newell: I will never give ANYONE with the last name Stevens ANY credit. Just look at Desmond already.
Desmond immediately stomps at Sean Stevens head, yanks him off the mat and quickly plants him with a Brainbuster Suplex, headfirst onto the mat. Desmond quickly screams at Sean Stevens as he’s laying motionless on the mat.
Benny Newell: Ten second left, Hoffhole! He’s already going up to that top rope. He’s looking to end this right now.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like it! This will be a fast match here to open up this week’s Refueled. Desmond leaps….
Benny Newell: Welp, there goes my timer on this contest, Joe. Time to crack open this Jack because, Desmond’s going to need it after he went headfirst straight into Sean Stevens’ knees.
Joe Hoffman: I told you, Benny, don’t always go off first impressions here in HOW. This one’s about to be a barn burned and Stevens looks determined to prove everyone wrong.
Sean Stevens immediately grabs Desmond off the mat and plants him with a German Suplex. Desmond immediately rolls towards the ropes and Hotega gets in between him and Sean Stevens. While Hortega checks out Desmond, Stevens pulls him away and continues stomping at LeRoux until Hortega pulls him away and LeRoux rolls outside of the ring. As Stevens yells at Hortega, LeRoux slowly sneaks around behind Stevens and plants him with a reverse DDT. LeRoux keeps on the offense and hits a springboard moonsault straight into Sean’s ribs. LeRoux tries to rush the ropes for another springboard move, but Stevens kips up to his feet no selling the move, grabbing LeRoux and planting him with another German Suplex. LeRoux gets back up to his feet, but right as he gets his footing, Stevens nails him straight in the face with a flying forearm.
Joe Hoffman: High paced action from both LeRoux and Stevens in these first few minutes, Benny. They’re looking to make an impact here in War Games Season.
Benny Newell: Both are getting down and dirty here and going for a dog fight compared to their last encounter. Neither one of them is showing weakness; fighting desperately for that win.
Stevens tries to yank LeRoux in the middle of the ring with an ankle lock, but LeRoux nails Stevens stiffly in the jaw with an Enzuguri. LeRoux picks up Stevens off the mat and tosses him straight into the ropes, hitting him with a sling shot arm drag take down, locking in an armbar, wrenching it back.
Joe Hoffman: Smart move by Desmond LeRoux trying to cripple Sean Stevens’ offense. He knows Stevens is a technician.
Benny Newell: Was there any doubt that Desmond has this match? I’ve put a lot of money into the HOG tonight on Desmond. This might be a longer match, but I’m confident the kid can finish the job effectively like the last time.
Stevens makes it to the ropes and Hortega goes for the count, but before Hortega can utter “UNO”, Desmond releases the hold, bounces off the ropes, and nails a picture perfect running shooting star press straight into Stevens’ ribs. Desmond pulls Stevens into the middle of the ring and demands Hortega count the pin.
NO! Desmond grabs Stevens now and hits a snap suplex on him. LeRoux rushes towards the ropes and nails a stiff looking kick straight into the jaw of Stevens. Desmond rushes the ropes and hits a Rolling Thunder. Desmond covers Stevens again.
Stevens wraps his body around Desmond and rolls his up into a small package.
Desmond’s eyes now light up in complete anger. As Stevens gets to his feet both men unleash a flurry of punches before Stevens immediately nails Desmond with an illegal punch to the back of his head. He grabs Desmond and nails and stiff swinging neck breaker. As Stevens climbs to the top turnbuckle, Desmond races towards it and nails a Hurricanarana from the top rope and brings Stevens down to the mat. Desmond quickly taunts before leaping straight off the top rope and hitting a picture perfect Frog Splash onto Stevens. Hortega makes the cover.
Joe Hoffman: Desmond LeRoux giving it everything he’s got tonight and he’s having more trouble putting down Sean Stevens than he did the last time. You getting worried about your bet now?
Benny Newell: Naw, he’s got this! He’s got this match straight in the bag, I tell you.
Clearly, Desmond doesn’t have this. He’s slamming his fists down on the mat frustrated. He’s glaring at Hortega, but he cannot waste his opportunities. Desmond scoops Sean Stevens straight off the mat and lifts him up into the air for the Brainbuster Suplex like the last time. However, Stevens uses his momentum to land on his feet and immediately lands and nails LeRoux with a forearm to his groin to gain the advantage.
As LeRoux fights desperately to maintain his standing on the mat, Stevens quickly whips him around to nail him stiffly nail a chin check right across the face. Stevens wastes no time in locking the Factor X right around LeRoux’s face and his eyes immediately pop out realizing how tightly Stevens has it locked in.
Benny Newell: NO! NO! FIGHT LEROUX! FIGHT! You’ve got sister Jean pulling for you after Loyola lost earlier today. I’m pulling for you! Get to those ropes now!
Joe Hoffman: Stevens has locked in that hold tight and LeRoux is desperately fighting his way to the ropes. He’s within an finger tip’s range. He could…he could….
Stevens immediately rolls the lock with the momentum into the middle of the ring and his eyes heat up with intensity, doubling the pain he’s already got in with his crossface. Desmond’s eyes start to roll in the back of his head.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner: SEEEEEEEEAN STEEEEEEEVENS!
Hortega tries to get Stevens to release the hold, but Stevens will not let go of the hold. Stevens is pulling it in tighter as Desmond’s face turns purple. Hortega starts screaming he will throw the match out, but finally Stevens lets go of the hold and gets to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: Well that is one way to avenge an embarassing loss against the same opponent. Big win there by Stevens and one has to wonder if Desmond is going to want a rubber match here.
Sean Stevens slowly walks back up the ramp as Hortega tends to Desmond as we cut away.
Our scene transitions to the interior of a dimly lit locker room. Three folding chairs fill the frame, lined in a row, facing the camera. Atop each seat, from left to right, are Teddy Palmer, Lindsay Troy and Zeb Martin.
Teddy Palmer: Not that long ago, I promised Starrsek Industries they started a war they could not win. They started a war against a trio fighting for a cause much different than theirs. You see, we’re not motivated by dirty money and illusions of power. We’re driven to represent every single one of you.
Teddy points into the camera, leaning forward slightly.
Teddy Palmer: To fight on behalf of you, and everyone who’s been told they’re not good enough. To shatter the glass ceilings put in place intended to separate the haves and have nots. To close the gap between the privileged and the working class. To finally reap what we are due.
Teddy rests his elbows on his knees and brings his hands together while peering down his nose.
Teddy Palmer: But I now realize that promise was misdirected. Sektor and Starr haven’t been calling the shots, they’ve simply been following orders. Solex wasn’t the mastermind behind ‘equal rights,’ he was nothing more than a messenger.
Lindsay Troy: And a shitty messenger, at that.
Teddy Palmer: Our promise shouldn’t have been directed at the Lieutenants. And it most certainly won’t be fired at the new class of recruits. We’re making our promise to you, “General” Lee.
Lindsay Troy: Once upon a time, when the Group of Death was still a thing, I remember hearing, “oh, there are too many of them there.” And what do I see as I look upon the fallout from March to Glory? A Best Alliance, now six strong, and questionable abilities among most of them. Hypocrisy is a villain’s game, and there’s no one better at it than Lee Best.
She smirks as she scoffs, then continues.
Lindsay Troy: But this isn’t about numbers, though; not really. You can keep stockpiling people, Lee, and they’re going to keep disappointing you. Because the truth of the matter is, it won’t matter if the Best Alliance stays at six, or grows to ten, or includes every single person in HOW except the three of us. At the end of the day, you won’t win. You won’t get the job done. I brought your proud military man, Steve Solex, to heel at March to Glory. Hughie couldn’t stop Teddy, or prevent Zeb from helping him, out in Times Square. You can throw all the money under the sun at Clay Byrd, and when I finally decide I’m done with him, he’s gonna wish he took a different payday to dirty his boots somewhere else.
Zeb Martin: Ain’t got much time fer tact tonight, y’all. And shoot, ya dun heard all they is tuh hear ‘bout what we got in store fer the future.
The Watson Mill Kid glances over to his two friends, flashing a smile before standing to his feet and adjusting his elbow pads.
Zeb Martin: I kin tell ya what’s go’n happen here later on, though. I’mma march out tuh that rang, once again listenin’ tuh Ben Nichols sangin’ his tune. And Clay, you’ll prolly be bobbin’ yer head along, ‘er at least wawnt’n to. Boys like us just kain’t resist outlaw country.
Martin looks down to the floor, tapping the point of his work boot against the concrete surface in rhythm for a brief second.
Zeb Martin: I’m here tuh tell ya though, as much as these folks up here wanna thank that me’n you a mirror image uh one ‘nuther, likin’ country music’s ‘bout the only thang similar. Drawl ain’t the same. Attitude damn shore diff’rnt. Yo daddy owned a fuckin’ farm. Mine rented a single wide. You’er a big man on the football field. My high school won one game my senior year. Sheeit, pardner…
He takes off his latest piece of HOW merchandise: a brand new trucker cap, and holds it in for the camera to get a clear look at it. The base features a silhouette of a man casting a fishing line that forms the words “Zeb Martin” in cursive before making its entry point into a 97Red-colored pond.
Zeb Martin: …you even wear a bigger hat then I do. But when I take a look at ya, Clay, the only thang country ‘bout ya is what comes outcha radio. Big belt buckles, five-hunned dollar Italian boots, ‘n ivory-made Stetsons? Might fool ‘em in a honky tonk club in Austin, but you a fuckin’ pretender. Sellin’ out fer a fatter wallet is as city boy as it gets, bo. But I ain’t here tuh pass no judgement. I’m jus’ here tonight tuh hook ya. What you gonna do to keep me from reelin’ you in?
Like Zeb before him, Teddy Palmer stands up.
Teddy Palmer: John, I’ve said all there is to say about tonight. It’s time we put up or shut up. You gonna do your job and kick the shit outta me? Or are you gonna crumble under the pressure and pass that anxiety along to your boy Jatt? I know what I’m fighting for tonight. Do you?
Lindsay Troy: We aren’t a ragtag group of shitlords content to do the blind man’s bitch work for a salary bump, some coke, and all-you-can-drink Titos. It’s War Games season, fuckers, and that means it’s Open Season on the Best Alliance. We’re more than ready for the battle to come, because unlike you all, we’re the true definition of a united front. Strong. Undivided. Revolutionary.
The Queen now rises to join Teddy and Zeb in a line.
Lindsay Troy: We are Grapplers Local 214. We represent the best of what HOW can be, both in the ring and out.
Teddy Palmer: And no matter what the Best Alliance, or anyone else, tries to do…
Zeb Martin: We ain’t go’n anywhere.
But the show is….as we cut away.
This ends tonight...
We cut to the backstage area where we find Darin Zion looing rather pissed off. His eyes are widened and full of fire. He storms right up to Brian Bare who immediately tries to interview him.
Brian Bare: Darin, nice to see you…how are….
Darin Zion immediately yanks the microphone out of Brian Bare’s hands and motions for him to leave. His veins are popping out of his forehead, ready to burst. He’s fed up. He looks directly into the camera, no smiles, just pure intensity as he cuts his promo.
Darin Zion: You know what really pisses me off? Getting thrown down a fucking manhole covering in the match literally made for me to gain my opportunity at the LSD Championship. You know, the champion who keeps cutting promos about me being the other guy in the Hollywood Boyz stable? Or the stable who pokes fun at me constantly like I never mattered to HOW’s history books?
Zion chuckles for a moment as he continues his thought.
Darin Zion: Yeah, really fucking funny. They’re probably laughing about how I choked again at March to Glory acting like I don’t mean shit to them without a tag partner. Meanwhile those cucks just sit on top of their God damn thrones thinking their invincible. They think they’re untouchable because that bald, blind, piece of shit Lee Best thinks he can make a joke out of my career.
Darin Zion stomps his foot down before looking directly in the camera before he gets his face directly in the camera and points down.
Darin Zion: That ends tonight. That ends tonight. Call me crazy; call me stupid; but Lee; I’m tired of your little army of morons thinking like they’re the only people that matter in HOW. They get away with not defending their championships frequently. They can break the rules. They can do whatever the hell they want without repercussions. Well fuck that shit. Fuck that shit hard.
Zion takes a moment to take a deep breath trying to calm down, but the anger continues to take him over.
Darin Zion: Tonight! I challenge your entire stable, Lee. I challenge the entire Best Alliance. I don’t care if it’s career suicide. I don’t care if it’s treason. I don’t give two flying fucks rather people like me challenge the entire system, but I am doing it. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum. Sure, I’m putting a target on my back, but at this point; I’m tired of sitting back waiting for opportunities to be handed to me. I’m seizing my opportunity by the reigns and I promise if I must go through the entire Best Alliance to put my hands around Jatt Starr’s throat; mark my words. I will do it. I will do it to make damn sure I hold HOW Gold around my waist once more.
Zion tosses the microphone on the ground and storms off camera as the scene fades to black and a commercial.
The Ultimate Power-Up
Off the commercial break, the scene is backstage with interviewer Blaire Moise as she stands beside Conor Fuse.
Benny Newell: Christ, this idiot.
Joe Hoffman: Blaire?
Benny Newell: No! That virgin fuckhead.
Moise raises her mic.
Blaire Moise: Hello everyone, I’m here with Conor Fuse who’s fresh off his big victory vs. High Flyer last month. Conor, how are you feeling?
Conor Fuse: Blaire, I’m on top of the World! Okay, okay, not really. I beat another old guy. [Stopping to shout into the hallway] False hero! [Pause and return back to Blaire] So a War Games tournament is next, huh? What does that mean for The Vintage? Well, if I may…
Conor holds up a purple backpack and takes out items, placing them on the table in front of him. There’s a question mark box filled with (legal) mushrooms, a mini potted fire flower, a live frog, a dead raccoon- well, the items stop there when the interviewer looks like she’s going to vomit at the sight of a dead raccoon. Fuse’s eyes go wide.
Conor Fuse: Oh, no. No no no! It’s not real, it just looks real. I’m no killer… not yet.
Regardless, Fuse places it back inside the bag.
Conor Fuse: The Power-Up King is in full force now, Blaire! I’m going to need all of this shit to get me through the upcoming tournament!
There’s an awkward pause between them as Blaire watches the frog hop across the table. She points at it.
Blaire Moise: What does he do?
Conor Fuse: [Laughing] You just kiss him and he turns into Jatt.
The interviewer crinkles her face.
Blaire Moise: Gross.
Conor Fuse: [Continuing to laugh] Oh, I know. Old men are disgusting.
There’s another pause as Conor watches the frog, too.
Conor Fuse: But these power-ups all fail in comparison to the most important one in the High Octane system…
Conor reveals a golden recorder.
Conor Fuse: Yeah, that’s right. My Warp Whistle. And this bitch is gonna do some awesome possum stuff in High Octane, you wait and see.
He places the whistle in the bag.
Conor Fuse: But for now, one step at a time. I’ve completely taken Jack’s moveset. I added it to my own after I beat him at March to Glory. Legend down. Let’s keep them coming.
Conor pats Blaire on the back.
Conor Fuse: So what does all this mean for Conor Fuse, you ask me? Why Blaire, that’s simple…
The Vintage stops the fun and games. He looks directly at Moise as his tone of voice changes.
Conor Fuse: It means the next level. Smash Bros. tournament. Bring on ALL the BOTS and Bosses. I’m gearing up for each and everyone one of you.
Fuse shakes away the seriousness, collecting his power-ups. The frog, however, has already skipped away so Conor will have to look for him another time.
Conor Fuse: Have a good day, Ms. Moise. Lets see what misadventures I can get into…
The action cuts away as its time for our next match.
Simon Loveless vs. High Flyer
“All Aboard! AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…” A light fog rises up from the entrance way as the opening guitar rift kicks in. Parting the smoke is High Flyer, who stands confidently at the top of the entrance ramp. He tosses one hand up in a devil horn taunt, and smiles slyly to the camera. He stomps his way to the ring, paying very little attention to the crowd. Once he reaches ringside, he slips in under the bottom rope, then sprawls on his back. He begins to make snow angels while residing on his back, looking up at the lights before recovering to his feet. As the announcer introduces High Flyer, he leaps onto the second ropes and looks out to the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: Get ready for some fast paced action here, folks.
Benny Newell: Damn right, cos I’m a hit fast forward on the clicker.
Hit the lights of the arena and hit those ivory keys of the piano because “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon begins to play out over the PA system. The curtain parts as the theme from “The Spy who Loved Me” continues to play and out steps both Simon Loveless and his girlfriend slash manager Missy Monet. Loveless is wearing his yellow wrestling trunks, which have the initials ‘SL’ across the front in black and black t-shirt which reads ‘Winter is Loveless’ across the front. Missy is wearing an extremely tight fitting dress tonight which makes the crowd happy, but Simon is there to remind them to keep their hands and eyes to themselves. As the song continues..
Joe Hoffman: Springboard shooting star press to the outside!!!
It’s a jump start and High Flyer feels the electricity from a death defying move that landed on both Loveless and Missy.
Benny Newell: She dead.
Flyer rolls Loveless back into the ring and–
This match is officially underway. High Flyer measures Loveless right away for the Locomotive.
Joe Hoffman: Flyer trying to end things early here.
Flyer misses the target as Loveless moves. However, Flyer’s own momentum takes him over to the turnbuckles and connects with a springboard Lou Thesz press with punches.
Joe Hoffman: Flyer’s on fire!
Benny Newell: Put the bastard out!
Flyer measures Loveless again.
Joe Hoffman: Locomotive time!
Benny Newell: This time!
Loveless moves once again out of complete desperation.
Benny Newell: HA!
But Flyer’s momentum creates him to bounce off the ropes and hit..
Joe Hoffman: LOCOMOTIVE!
Bryan McVay: And the winner of the match.. HIIIIIGGGGHHHHHH FLLLYYYYEEEERRRRR!
Benny Newell: I’ve had quicker turds.
Joe Hoffman: Wait? What is this?!
Benny Newell: It’s Hughie Freeman!
Hughie Freeman from out of nowhere enters the ring, unannounced. The HOW cameras were slow to pick up his immediate arrival as they cued for Flyer’s victory. Hughie Freeman is in his businessman attire. Freeman walks past the two HOW competitors like they’re not even there as he collects a microphone. The crowd blow hot and cold for Freeman. They’re immediate response was to cheer but his Best Alliance credentials are tipping it negatively.
Hughie Freeman: HELLLLLOOOOOOO CHICAGO!!!
A positive crowd pop.
Hughie Freeman (singing): The here, the there, the every fucking where.. EMPTY SEATS! EMPTY SEATS!
The cameras cutaway to a section of the Allstate arena where quite obviously they’ve not sold out. The crowd resoundingly boo. Meanwhile, Hughie goes into his top pocket and pulls out a gold card and hands it to a confused High Flyer.
Hughie Freeman: Hold that for me, mate.
Joe Hoffman: Is that a credit card..?
Hughie then immediately turns his attention to the fallen Simon Loveless.
Hughie Freeman: You’re belly down, arse up, and in the fucking red.
Casually, Freeman takes off his suit jacket and puts it over the top rope.
Hughie Freeman: GOD wants the debt cleared for stealing a living in HOW and that’s why The Taxman has come knocking. This ain’t personal but a price that must be paid by all of you..
FISHER. FUCKING. PRICE!
Hughie then immediately boots Simon Loveless in the face in his brown suede loafer shoes.
Benny Newell: LIQUORICE LACES!
Flyer has seen enough and goes over to Hughie Freeman and like poetry in motion: The Fatality Punch connects as he turns to meet Flyer.
Benny Newell: FATALITY PUNCH! FATALITY PUNCH!
Hughie Freeman picks up the gold card and then drags Loveless’ pathetic body on top of Flyer’s with his boot resting on them both.
Benny Newell: Gangsta!
Hughie Freeman goes into his trouser pocket to retrieve a chip and pin machine. He then inserts the card into the machine and punches in a number. Soon after the machine spits out a long receipt.
Benny Newell: GOD cutting his losses!
Hughie Freeman rips the receipt from the machine and tucks it into Loveless’ trunks. Practically in his arse. Freeman then collects his suit jacket and leaves where business has been truly done as we cut away.
Our scene transitions to just outside the Best Arena. The night sky is lit up with the highrises in the distance, but our shot is focused on a lone car sitting just outside the back entrance of the arena. The California blue Toyota Corolla has been shut off, but the doors have remained closed. Security have been keeping their eye on the vehicle since the opening lockup between Desmond LeRoux and Sean Stevens earlier this evening.
Apparently the time has come, for the door suddenly pops open and as a single leg emerges a cascade of empty Miller High Life beer cans flow forth. The rest of Bobby Dean struggles out of the smallish car, as he stands to his full height, swigging on yet another can.
Crushing the empty can, he casually tosses it towards the inside of his car, but is so out of it he has no clue that the thing fell far short of it’s target. Slamming his door shut, he turns towards the Arena and starts staggering his way forward. Clutching what was once a six-pack, but is now a three pack, in his hand he stumbles and sways.
To say that Bobby has seen better days is quite the understatement. His hair is unkempt, he’s sporting week old facial hair, his eyes are puffy and red, his shirt is askew and filled with various stains, including two massive oblong circles under his pits. His jeans are ratty and torn and unbuttoned, but held together by probably the strongest zipper known to man, and he’s missing a shoe.
Suddenly he stops, halfway to the door. His head tilts back as if he were looking up at the sky, but his eyes are closed. Seconds pass, as Security watches on in amusement as a small wet patch begins to grow out of his crotchal region.
Bobby Dean: Why am I even here? *BELCH*
Shaking his head, he simply turns around and starts back towards his car. No one stops him. No one calls out to see if he’s okay. They all just stand by and watch the man struggle his way back inside his car. Oddly enough the car doesn’t move, it simply stays put.
A security guard, curious, walks forward and takes a moment to peek through the driver side door. He sees Bobby Dean sitting behind the wheel, his head tilted back, his mouth wide open, and he can hear the snores of a man who suffers from sever sleep apnea coming forth.
The shot then returns to show a confused Joe Hoffman, and a laughing hysterically, Benny Newell.
Benny Newell: HAHAHAHAHAhahahahahaha, what a fucking loser!
With that we head to commercial break..
Taking out the Trash
Coming out of the commercial break, there’s a brief film clip from the Sutler Reynolds-Kael vs. Rah match at March to Glory two weeks ago:
–Sutler rolls to a seated position ready to strike and doubles over Rah with a belly jiggling open palm strike. He doesn’t waste a moment as he hooks Rah and drives him fast first into the canvas.
–Sutler hooks a leg as he goes for a cover. One. Two. Three.
Cut to Blaire Moise. She’s backstage with her next interview and…well…let’s just say she’s not the least bit thrilled about it.
Blaire Moise: Ladies and gentlemen, with me now is…
Sunny O’Callahan barges into the shot and literally rips the microphone out of her hand.
Sunny O’Callahan: Go file your nails or whiten your teeth or whatever you do.
O’Callahan hip checks Blaire off to the side.
Sunny O’Callahan: So. Did anyone see what happened to Rah at March to Glory?
She pantomimes looking at an invisible crowd in front of her.
Sunny O’Callahan: Of course, you did. We all saw what happened. Rah lost to Sutler Kael. Now, the question on everyone’s mind is why did he lose? Obviously, the reason Rah lost is because he dumped the best thing that’s ever happened to him, ME, before the match and I wasn’t in his corner.
Blaire rolls her eyes but keeps quiet.
Sunny O’Callahan: For the first time in Rah’s career, someone who knew what the fuck she was doing was running the show for him. ME. Not that washed up, old, over the hill forty-year-old, has-been, never was…
Benny Newell (voiceover): Lindsay Troy?
Joe Hoffman (voiceover): No Benny.
Sunny O’Callahan: …Rah pined for, Dawn McGill. I mean let’s be honest. Was anyone else hoping Steve Solex would toss that bitch over the rail forty feet down through a bunch of tables?
Benny Newell (voiceover): Lindsay Troy?
Joe Hoffman (voiceover): No Benny!
Again, she does the pantomime ‘I’m gazing around the crowd who’s not there’ thing again.
Sunny O’Callahan: I mean, really Rah? You could have had everything. Corporate sponsorship. More money beyond your wildest dreams. All you had to do is get with the program and throw Sports Entertainment Tits and Ass and your followers who, let’s face it, were dragging you down out on their collective ass. But no, you were loyal to them and look where it got you. When you should have been training for your match with Sutler with the same intensity you trained for Michael Lee Best, you were at the hospital with your mommy instead of focusing on the work that needed to be done. You wanted a forty-year-old Dawn McGill to fuck your brains out when you could have had…
Sunny points at herself.
Sunny O’Callahan: …me. Instead of letting me take you places you’ve never been before, you fired me over a tiny little matter of writing a promo for you because someone had to step up and get it done. Well, guess what Rah? You got what you deserved. You lost. Champion of the World? Bah. More loke Chump of the World. So stay with your little friends, Rah, you deserve them because you sure as hell don’t deserve me. Sunny O’Callahan has bigger and bet-
Before Ms. O’Callahan can finish her rant, Sports Entertainment Barbie- who let’s be fair, didn’t need much cause to take the Irish blonde out with a steel folding chair in the first place- comes out and takes O’Callahan out with a steel folding chair.
Blaire deftly scoops up the microphone that Sunny drops on the floor during her descent and gets the hell out of the way.
O’Callahan falls to all fours. Barbie leans down as if she’s about to say something to her – but she thinks better of it. Shaking her head, Barbie reaches around O’Callahan’s torso and lifts her up into an inverted position and then over her shoulder. Barbie then in one motion turns O’Callahan face down and drives her to the mat with a move she calls ‘The Last Call.’
Barbie then grabs a leg and drags O’Callahan across the floor.
Blaire Moise: Where are you going?
Barbie turns her head back to reply.
Barbie: I’m taking out the trash Blaire.
The camera pans and follows Barbie as she drags the unconscious O’Callahan over to an open garbage bin. Barbie lifts the limp body and deposits the former official spokesperson for Rah, the Sunshine God and Champion of the World, face first into the bin.
We can see Sunny’s legs sticking up out of the garbage bin as Bert the Janitor- making his first HOW appearance in almost five years- steps in and pushes the container away.
Pan back over to Blaire.
Blaire Moise: So where does Rah go from here? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Back to you Joe.
Cut back to the broadcast table.
Benny Newell: I could have sworn she was talking about Lindsay Troy.
Joe Hoffman: That’s enough Benny. Let’s get to our next match.
Clay Byrd vs. Zeb Martin
Joe Hoffman: Up next is our semi-main event and the first of two matches that will see a member of the Best Alliance taking on the newly-christened Grapplers Local 214; an obvious acknowledgement to what Joe Bergman started with Section 214, but also a strong nod to Chicago’s roots as a hardworking, labor town.
Benny Newell: The fuck is this shit, Hoffhole? “Grapplers Local 214?” What a bunch of fucking kissasses. I hope Byrd and Sektor leave Palmer and Martin crippled tonight and this dumb movement ends before it even gets started.
Guitar and harmonica begin to blare through the arena, as the start of “Gunning For You” by Nick Nolan sends a silence across the crowd. Red letters slash across the screen as “BYRD” is spelled out. Clay appears through fog on the entrance ramp, cowboy hat low over his eyes, a long black duster on and a rope in his hand. He pauses on the stage for a moment, then begins walking slowly down the ramp.
Brian McVay: Introducing first, representing the Best Alliance, from Plainview Texas….weighing in at 295 pounds…CLAY BYRD!
The big Texan’s eyes are fixed on the ring as he trudges on, not paying any notice to the fans in attendance, who boo him audibly. He walks up the steps, climbs into the ring, and sheds his hat and duster.
Joe Hoffman: I absolutely do not agree with Clay Byrd’s actions at March to Glory, but I cannot deny that he is one very imposing addition to the Best Alliance.
Benny Newell: Big Murder Hoss is gonna do a Murder, Joe. Are you ready? I’m fuckin’ ready…
“Gunning For You” cuts out and is replaced by the mid-tempo backing drone, accompanying piano and outlaw Nashville guitar licks of “Everything Has Changed” by Lucero. The voice of Ben Nichols pierces through the melody, signaling the entrance of Zeb Martin.
And he’s not coming to the ring alone.
Brian McVay: And his opponent, being accompanied to the ring by Lindsay Troy…representing Grapplers Local 214…
BIG pop from the HOW fans!
Brian McVay: …from Comer, Georgia…weighing in at 258 pounds…”THE WATSON MILL KID” ZEB MARTIN!
The Watson Mill Kid and the Queen of the Ring step out from behind the curtain, both glaring down to Clay in the ring. He and Troy exchange a high-five at the top of the ramp before walking down the aisle, Zeb in the lead with Lindsay trailing behind.
Benny Newell: Oh you gotta be kidding me…
Joe Hoffman: And speaking of Clay Byrd’s actions at March to Glory, the person he attacked is coming out here with Zeb Martin.
Benny Newell: This is bullshit, send her to the back, Hortega!
Once at the ring, Zeb climbs the apron and wipes his boots before ducking underneath the top rope. He tosses his hat to LT and gives a friendly nod to his corner audience. For her part, Lindsay stands by the ring steps, waiting for the match to begin.
Joel Hortega does not send the Queen to the back, though. Instead, he calls for the bell and away we go. Wasting no time, Clay and Zeb charge at each other and lock up in the middle of the ring, testing some strength. Even though Byrd’s got six inches of height on Martin, he doesn’t outweigh him by much, so Zeb’s able to hold his ground. Both men break the stalemate with little to no distance put between them at all.
Joe Hoffman: Clay’s a big bull but Zeb’s not some scrawny kid. The big man’s not gonna be able to toss him around as easily as he probably thought he could.
Benny Hoffman: Enough of this locking horns bullshit, I want to see Clay MURDER the dumb fish kid, DRINK!
After shrugging each other around a little, they lock up again, but Clay decides to take the easy way out of the tie up and quickly raises a knee into the midsection of Zeb, looking to target the ribs that must still be sore from the youngster being hit by a car in New York City. Thinking he’s weakened the defenses of The Watson Mill Kid enough, he thrusts forward, hoping to push Zeb into the corner. Zeb manages to put on the brakes, though, and quickly dips out of the collar and elbow. He skirts around the Texan and lands a dropkick to his back, which propels Byrd forward into the turnbuckles.
Clay hits hard and snarls, whirling around and launching himself out of the corner. He tries for a clothesline, but Zeb ducks under, turns around and drives a closed fist right into the jaw of Byrd. Clay stumbles and Zeb follows it up with another shot to the cheek and Clay reels even more. Zeb hits the ropes, gaining momentum, and lands a bulldog that smashes Clay’s face into the canvas. He tries for a cover but Byrd immediately throws him off and pounces, landing rapid-fire closed fists to Zeb on the mat while Hortega starts a five count.
Benny Hoffman: Here we fucking go, Joe! HERE WE FUCKING GO!
Joe Hoffman: Clay Byrd’s relentless here, not heeding referee Joel Hortega’s count.
Benny Hoffman: He’s got a whole five seconds, let the man WORK, goddamn.
Clay stops his heavy-handed punches right before the count of five and transitions into a cover, clamping his hand over Zeb’s mouth as he does.
Shoulder up by Zeb, much to the delight of the fans.
Joe Hoffman: A break at nearly-five and now a questionable cover by the Best Alliance’s newest member.
Benny Hoffman: Show me in the rulebook where it says he can’t cover like that, Joe. Fucking show me.
Joe Hoffman: Benny, you know as well as I…
Benny Hoffman: Took too long, Joe, DRINK!
Both men up but Clay’s quick to get the upper hand, tossing Zeb into the corner. He starts going to work, laying in big ol’ punches and kicks to the Watson Mill Kid, again focusing on the ribs. Lindsay hollers for Zeb to cover up, but Clay immediately grabs him by the arm before he can, looking for an Irish Whip, but instead he brings Zeb forward and clotheslines him back hard. Clay leans in, holding his forearm against Martin’s throat in a choke, which brings Hortega in to call for the break and start a five count. Byrd breaks it, again, right before the five count, and sneers at Hortega for daring to do his job.
On the outside, Lindsay Troy frowns as the Best Alliance’s big brute seems to be having his way with her young compatriot. Clay hooks Zeb in a chancery and brings him up and out of the corner with a nasty looking suplex. Another cover, which sees Clay now grind his forearm into Zeb’s face, and looks right at Lindsay Troy as he does it.
Another kickout by Zeb, and another roar from the fans. Troy starts pounding the canvas, yelling words of encouragement at Martin, and the fans join in with some of their own.
LET’S GO ZE-EB!
FUCK YOU CLAY!
LET’S GO ZE-EB!
FUCK YOU CLAY!
Benny Newell: Like nails on a goddamn chalkboard.
Joe Hoffman: Clay’s got Zeb up by the hair but, NO, Zeb with an inside cradle! Hortega’s there!
Benny Newell: Zeb hooked the tights, I saw it.
Joe Hoffman: No he didn’t, Benny.
Benny Newell: Lindsay Troy distracted Clay.
Joe Hoffman: She did no such thing.
Benny Newell: Stop fucking disagreeing with me, Joe!
Zeb’s up first, although he looks pained from Clay’s repeated focus on his ribs. He sends a big kick right to Byrd’s face, but that only angers the Texan, who storms to his feet and runs right at Zeb with a head full of steam. The Watson Mill Kid ducks his shoulder and lifts him right up and over the top rope, and the monster from Plainview drops belly-first on the mats below…right at the feet of Lindsay Troy.
Benny Newell: THIS IS A SET-UP, DISQUALIFY HIM HORTEGA!
Joe Hoffman: Lindsay Troy has done absolutely nothing this whole match except support her teammate, Benny.
Benny Newell: UNTIL NOW.
Byrd staggers to his feet and turns around, nearly bumping into Troy, who hasn’t actually moved a muscle. He starts jawing with her, which brings out some return fire from the Queen of the Ring. The fans at ringside stand up and egg them on, hoping they’ll come to blows, but what they get instead is a Watson Mill Kill headed their way.
Lindsay manages to move in the knick of time as Zeb flies through the top and middle ropes, shoulder-tackling Clay into the barricade. Byrd hits hard and Zeb’s right on him, hammering away with big fists and boots of his own. Lindsay cheers him on as Hortega starts his ten count.
LET’S GO ZE-EB!
FUCK YOU CLAY!
LET’S GO ZE-EB!
FUCK YOU CLAY!
Zeb drags Clay up and tries for an Irish-whip to send him toward the far barricade, but Clay reverses and it’s Zeb who finds himself rammed into the steel. He stumbles forward and Clay catches him, looking for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, but Zeb lands on his feet! He spins Byrd around, kicks him in the gut, and spikes him with a cradle DDT!
Joe Hoffman: A big move there from Zeb, and he’s back in the ring to break up the referee’s count!
Benny Newell: He used an illegal object, the mats are outside the ring, I demand this match be called this instant.
Joe Hoffman: You really are stretching it this time, you know.
Benny Newell: This is bullshit, Joe! CHUG!
It’s a race between Benny and Clay: will Benny finish his fifth of Jack first, or will Clay get back in the ring before being counted out. Clay’s on dream street, but he manages to slide back under the bottom rope at the count of eight, beating Benny before he can finish off the bottle. He doesn’t see Zeb perched on the top rope, though, and as soon as Byrd rolls back into the ring, Zeb takes flight and connects with a top rope single knee drop! The youngster bounces off Clay’s chest, but scrambles back to make the cover!
THREEENOOOOOOO, Clay JUST gets the shoulder up!
Benny Newell: Oh thank God. Thank you Lee. Fuck!
Joe Hoffman: Zeb with a shot right to the heart of Clay and the fans are on their feet!
Zeb’s feeling it now, letting out a roar as he hauls Clay off the canvas. He grabs the Texan’s arms, criss-crosses them, then hoists him skyward, looking for the Hook, Line, and Sinker!
Clay immediately kicks his legs, throwing Zeb off balance, and manages to bring his feet down. He muscles his way out of the hold and throws a thumb right into Zeb’s eye. Then another. Hortega’s in Clay’s face but the big man stomps in the other direction. Zeb lurches away, holding his face, while Clay runs for the ropes. With as much power as he can muster on the rebound, he throws his arm forward and connects with the Texas Lariat!
Benny Newell: BOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!
Joe Hoffman: Oh no, not like this!
Zeb crashes to the mat and Clay covers, putting all his weight into the pin.
DING DING DING!
Brian McVay: Your winner of this match….CLAY BYRD!
Benny Newell: Hell yeah baby, Best Alliance is ONE FOR ONE!
Joe Hoffman: This was one heck of a brawl between these two and if it wasn’t for blatant dirty pool on Clay Byrd’s part, Zeb Martin might be walking out of here with the win.
Benny Newell: PFFFT, how many times have I said it over the years, Joe? The Best Alliance is the BEST for a reason, and it’s not because they have Lee’s last name in the title.
Joe Hoffman: Well that’s certainly debatable but…oh, what’s this now?
Clay Byrd, who had stood up to have his hand raised by Joel Hortega, immediately snatches his arm away and looks down at Zeb Martin. A sinister smile begins to creep up at the corners of his mouth, and he starts to walk back over to the fallen Watson Mill Kid, which immediately brings Lindsay Troy into the ring.
Benny Newell: Yesssssss, kill two Byrds with one stone, baby! Take her head off too!
Byrd gets right up in Troy’s face and the two start in with the shit talk again, but before any pushing or shoving can commence a swarm of non-EPU Best Arena security hit the ring and get in-between the two combatants. They manage to separate the two and Clay drops out of the ring, still jawing with Lindsay as she bends to check on Zeb.
The scene lingers on LT and Martin in the ring, then cuts to a victorious Clay on the stage, before transitioning backstage.
We cut again backstage to the office of Lee Best.
“BOOM……another $5000 winner winner chicken dinner”
Lee takes a shot of whiskey and slams it down on his desk.
Lee Best: Best Alliance one……..Fucking Union zero. Do those fucking idiots realize the reign of fire that I am going to bring into their world if they honestly think they are bring a fucking UNION….a FUCKING UNION…in my world?
Lee shakes his head and motions for Redrum to pour him another shot.
Lee Best: These fucking assholes think I am done adding to The Best Alliance? I am going to make it fucking KNOWN right now…..you either join The Best Alliance or you will become a victim…and I do not give a fuck WHO you are……we have too many bad ass motherfuckers and have the numbers game……so make the choice. Us or them.
Lee takes another shot and instead of slamming the shot glass down he tosses it hard against the adjacent wall.
With that the scene quickly fades to black and we pivot to ringside.
Joe Hoffman: Well Benny, you’re almost home. Just one more match to go and you’ll have gone the entire show without talking about the new High Octane World Champion. Think you can make it?
Benny Newell: Yes. Unless you continue setting me up for failure.
Joe Hoffman: Noted.
A second or two of dead air passes.
Benny, can’t help himself.
Benny Newell: The sweaty anus probably isn’t even in the building to begin with. He’s too busy getting glamour shots taken with a salt shaker and a fern. Such a fucking loser. Worst World Champion, EVER. I still don’t…
Stunned, Newell shakes his head.
Joe Hoffman: Say Benny, what if the new World Champion was in the building? What then?
Benny Newell: Who are we talking about?
Joe Hoffman: Really?
Benny Newell: If he was, him, his lucky fuck face, and his lucky fuck tiny dick could piss right the fuck off. I don’t care if the whole lucky lot of them walked down here and threw the World Title at me. Fuck, it could even bounce off my chest and land on this table. I still wouldn’t acknowledge him.
Joe Hoffman: Really?
Benny Newell: Really.
The always recognizable opening guitar riff from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, “I am the COOL” reverberates through the building. The crowd jumps to their feet, unaware of what has been said during the broadcast.
Joe Hoffman: Guess we’re going to find out, huh?
The drunk portion of the Hall of Fame announce team reaches for his drink to steady his nerves.
Benny Newell: He doesn’t have the balls.
Joe Hoffman: Didn’t you say the same thing about Cecilworth Farthington before he broke your arm?
Benny Newell: DRINK!
The Maestro steps out from behind the curtain with his recently won World Title in his grasp. He doesn’t stop for pictures, or to slap fives with the fans. Nor does he break from his locked in stride, or his transfixed gaze– both of which are aimed at Benny Newell.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like he heard you, Benny. Good luck.
Joe ditches his headset and shuffles off to the side, joining Brian McVay in the safe zone.
Not before long, The Big C, the High Octane World Championship in his grasp, the T-Shades on his face, the 97red jumpsuit on his being, the salt white shoes on his feet, and the delightful golden hair atop his head are all down at the announcer’s table. The ringside camera picks up Jiles’ sharp tone before he’s seen on screen.
“What was that, Benny? You think I’m what?”
Benny stands from his seat, full of Jack Daniels and pep. Before anything can happen or be said, Jiles aggressively throws the High Octane World Championship at him. The 97red leather and gold bounce off of the Hall of Fame announcer’s chest, knocking him back into his chair.
The belt, of course as earlier predicted, lands on the table.
Benny gasps, audibly.
Benny Newell: GASP!
The owner of the fifty-seventh High Octane World Championship reign, and world renown cage survivor extraordinaire grabs a microphone from one of the ring crew. He quickly rolls into the ring under the bottom rope, pops to his feet, and struts/seethes around the canvas with a sense of purpose.
Jiles: For those of you who don’t know, I’m Cancer Jiles, your new High Octane World Champion.
A mixed reaction echoes from the crowd.
Jiles: I’ve come out here tonight because Bigmouth Benny over there seems to think the only reason I am who I say I am is because I got lucky. He seems to be under the impression that the Maestro is not only the worst, but also the luckiest person to ever hold the High Octane World Championship.
Jiles: Turns out every dog has its day, and Benny was right. Well, about me being the luckiest anyway. Sorry Ben, even I can’t compete with some of the hardcore robots who’ve asphyixiated themeselves with that belt. You know better.
Jiles points to the World Title on the announcer’s table, and slowly shakes the disdain from his clean kempt face. All the while he’s staring a hole through Benny’s soul. Then, he looks back out into the audience.
Jiles: So, instead of waiting to surprise all of you with my glowing championship aura by sneaking out here and kicking Teddy Rux in his cuddly face and out of the toy store main event again; and then inviting Benny into the ring to test his luck so to speak, I figured I just couldn’t wait.
Jiles spits, and acts as if just having to be out here and doing this puts a wretched taste in his mouth.
Jiles: That said, Benny’s invite goes for everybody. I don’t care who it is or who you are. Benny. Hortega. Dean. Big Bad. Laser. Big Bad’s flimsier self. The Son. HR. The archives. Some fucking crumb in the stands wearing the only Harrison shirt we’ve ever sold. Surfer Ted. The Fisher King. Lady Troy. The Cup Leftovers. Who. The. Fuck. Ever.
The arrogant Champion pauses for the sake of emphasis. Hoffman rejoins Benny at the announcer’s table.
Jiles: If any of you think I’m so lucky…I invite you to come and rub your cheek against the bottom of my white Rabbit’s Foot.
A gigantic smirk covers the Easter Bunny’s face as he points down at his terminal feet.
Jiles: See how lucky you think I am after catching a whiff of my sleeping salts.
Jiles hits the canvas, rolls out of the ring, and retrieves his World Championship from atop the announcer’s table. He then unzips his jacket, and fastens the 97red leather around his waist so everyone, including Benny Newell can see it as he makes his way back up the ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Hey Benny. Do you feel lucky?
Benny Newell: Hey Joe, have you ever gotten lucky?
We cut to our final commercial break…
Teddy Palmer vs. John Sektor
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, and tonight’s main event is between John Sektor and Teddy Palm…..
Benny Newell: Pinche pen-Hoffhole.
Joe Hoffman: What?
Benny Newell: It’s the fucking MAIN EVENT! IT’S THE WHOLE ENCHILADA! IT’S BEST ALLIANCE VS THE WORST ALLIANCE! IT’S CHAMPION VS CHUMP! IT’S THE GOLD STANDARD, JOHN SEKTOR, VS HIPPIE BOY, TEDDY PALMER!
Benny turns to Hoffman.
Benny Newell: That’s how you fucking hype up this Main Event and fucking DRINK!
“Hold Up A Light” – Thrice”
Begins to play throughout the arena bringing everyone to their feet as they await the arrival of Teddy Palmer.
Joe Hoffman: Do you hear this crowd?
Benny Newell: They must be smoking that acid laced weed Hoffman.
The cheers grow louder as Teddy emerges from the back and onto the stage looking around the Best Arena.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, coming to the ring from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and weighing in at 235 pounds….he is the number one contender for the LSD championship……TEEEEEDYYYYYYYY! PAAAAAAALMMMMMER!
Teddy slowly takes his sunglasses off and tosses them into the crowd before heading down the ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Palmer is riding high right now as he was just announced he is the reigning number one contender for the LSD championship with his victory at March to Glory and obviously a member of the Grapplers Local 214 stable.
Benny Newell: It doesn’t if he’s number one, number two, number two hundred and fourteen…… He’s getting his ass whooped by Jatt Starr because Jatt puts the STARR in the Lee’s Superstarr Division!
Palmer rolls into the ring and heads towards the nearest corner and hops onto the second ropes and stares out into the crowd as they chant his name and as his music fades…..
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC
Joe Hoffman: The familiar tune of The Gold Standard.
Benny Newell: Damn right it is Hoffman! The Golden Standard of the Best Alliance is about to make some Canadian bacon.
The HOV lights up, bringing on an avalanche of appraise as a giant handlebar mustache appears on the screen. Highlights of John Sektor’s Hall of Fame career flash in, and most recently his victory over the Hollywood Bruvs. As the video montage fades, the Master of The “Stache” steps out from behind the curtain and onto the stage.
Joe Hoffman: The current tag champion looking very focused.
Benny Newell: Why shouldn’t he be Hoffman? He’s a champion, a Hall of Famer, and in the Best Alliance. It doesn’t get better than that……except maybe lines of coke, bottle of Jack and a hooker giving you a rimjob.
Joe Hoffman: Benny!
Benny Newell: What?
Joe Hoffman: This is a family show!
Benny Newell: Well in my family that’s how we act Hoffhole!
Sektor hams it up, deviously stroking his ‘stache as he cockily marches down the ramp. No sooner has Sektor stepped into the ring than his music begins to fade out.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Miami, Florida… he stands at 6’1” and weighs in at a formidable 235 pounds… He represents the Best Alliance by way of StarrSek Industries, he is one-half of the HOW Tag Team champions! he is… THE GOLD STANDARD! JOHN…SEEEEEEKTOOOOOOOR!
Boettcher signals for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go.
Teddy and Sektor come out of their respective corners and stand face to face and neither flinches.
Benny Newell: Slap that Joe Dirt beard off of his face Sek!
Sektor and Teddy slowly began to circle one another and each of their eyes are locked on each other waiting for the first one to make a move and Teddy is the first to lock up. Sektor and Teddy begin jocking for position as they try to gain the upper hand before they both break their hold on each other and the fans are cheering them on.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor and Teddy Palmer are some of the best technical wrestling in HOW so they are thinking right now how to counter and get their opponent where they want them.
Benny Newell: Some? Sektor is the BEST….period!
Teddy smirks, but Sektor’s face remains expressionless.
Benny Newell: Sektor’s going to kill you Teddy!
The two begin to circle one another once again and Teddy goes to lock up first, but Sektor feigns locking up by driving a knee into Teddy’s gut.
Benny Newell: Hippie boy got hit in the gut…technically.
Sektor slaps on a side headlock and Teddy tries to fight out of it, but the Gold Standard holds his ground and tightens his grip and Teddy then proceeds to elbow and punch Sektor in his stomach.
Joe Hoffman: A couple of more shots may free Palmer.
Teddy hits Sektor with a massive elbow that staggers the Gold Standard, but John holds onto the headlock before snapping him over with a hip toss while maintaining the hold.
Benny Newell: Nobody has a deadlier headlock than John Sektor….you may say it’s the BEST headlock.
Joe Hoffman: Good grief.
Benny Newell: And even better name….DRINK!
Palmer tries to break the grip of Sektor, but the tag champion bites at his fingers leading Teddy to getting his legs up and wrapping them around Sektor’s neck and squeeze, but before he can lock it in tightly, Sektor kips up and Teddy jumps up and the two stare at one another to the adulation of the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: The live fans here in Chicago giving appreciated the technically abilities of both men.
Benny Newell: Of one man Hoffman. Of one man.
The two begin to circle one another again.
Joe Hoffman: The last time these two stepped into the ring is against one another was about a month ago when Teddy and Zeb Martin challenged for the Tag titles.
Benny Newell: And we all know what happened in that match.
Teddy and Sektor lock up and Teddy quickly spins around Sektor and hits a snap German suplex.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy with the suplex out of nowhere and Sektor is dazed.
Benny Newell: Come on Sektor!
Teddy picks up Sektor, but the Gold Standard rocks his opponent with a headbutt. Sektor quickly grabs the dazed and confused Palmer and whips him across the ring. Teddy jumps onto the middle rope and springboard backwards looking for a back elbow, but Sektor rolls forward and quickly spins around waiting for Teddy to land.
Joe Hoffman: Kick to the gut.
Sektor hits the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Neckbreaker!
Benny Newell: DRINK!
Sektor goes into a cover.
Before Teddy can regain his bearings, Sektor grabs the left arm of Palmer and rolls him onto his stuff and locks in a Fujiwara armbar.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor is looking to injure that arm.
Benny Newell: Break Willie Nelson’s arm!
Teddy is scrambling to get out and as Sektor is lifting his body up to put pressure on the arm, Teddy is able to wrap his leg around the bottom rope.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy reached the bottom rope rope, but Sektor isn’t breaking the armbar.
Benny Newell: BREAK HIS FUCKING ARM!
Boettcher yells at Sektor to break the hold.
Sektor releases the hold.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor risking a disqualification there.
Benny Newell: He knows what he’s doing Hoffman.
Sektor picks up Teddy and snaps him back down to the mat with a suplex. Sektor holds on and rolls over and snaps Teddy back down. Sektor pulls Palmer up and hooks his before suplexing him over again.
Joe Hoffman: Fisherman Suplex!
Sektor shoots Boettcher a look as he sits there before turning his attention towards Palmer.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor believes he should’ve had three with that suplex.
Benny Newell: I agree. Bitcher fucked up again!
Sektor reaches down to pick up Palmer, but gets blasted by a European uppercut.
Joe Hoffman: That uppercut just rocked Sektor!
As Sektor looks up his eyes widen as a sees a flying knee coming towards his face.
Joe Hoffman: Last Call!
The force of the knee sends Sektor through the ropes and Teddy starts hopping up and down waiting for Sektor to get up before hitting the ropes.
Benny Newell: Watch out Sek!
Teddy launches himself through the ropes and knocks Sektor down with a suicide dive. Teddy hops up and looks shouts towards the crowd.
Crowd: TEDDY! TEDDY! TEDDY!
Joe Hoffman: Listen to this crowd!
Benny Newell: They’re still tripping on that acid Hoffman.
Palmer picks up Sektor and begins to light up his chest with knife edge chops.
Benny Newell: COME ON SEK!
Teddy puts his finger up to his lips to hush the crowd before slapping the shit out of Sektor’s chest sending the Golden Standard to his knees gasping for air.
Joe Hoffman: Palmer knocking the wind out of Sektor with that chop.
Teddy goes to pick up Sektor, but gets his back drove into the security barrier and Sektor introduces Teddy’s chest to his knife edge chops.
Sektor grabs Teddy’s face and begins shouting at him before backing up a little and whipping him into the steel steps.
Joe Hoffman: TEDDY’S SHOULDER JUST HIT THOSE STEPS!
Sektor like a shark smelling blood in the water stalks his way over to Teddy.
Benny Newell: Sektor has that look in his eyes Hoffman.
Sektor reaches Teddy and picks him up but he has some fight left in him as he slaps his chest causing Sektor to back up in pain. Teddy is leaned over and Sektor charges forward and Palmer musters enough strength to catch Sektor by surprise by putting him across his back in a fireman’s carry. Teddy lets out a primal scream as he tosses Sektor over and driving him face first.
Joe Hoffman: CUTTER! CUTTER! TEDDY PALMER JUST DROVE SEKTOR FACE FIRST INTO THE STEEL STEPS WITH THAT FIREMAN’S CARRY CUTTER!
Benny Newell: Lee dammit!
Sektor is holding his face rolling in around in pain as Teddy rolls to all fours trying to get back into the ring.
Teddy is leaning against the ring.
Teddy rolls back in.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy has rolled back into the ring and Sektor is still reeling from that cutter.
Benny Newell: Good thing is Bitcher will have to start his count giving Sektor more time to recover.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor is still down.
Benny Newell: GET UP!
Sektor begins to stir.
Sektor roll towards the ring.
Sektor pulls himself up.
Sektor is leaning against the ring.
Sektor rolls in.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor just beat the count.
Benny Newell: Lee damn that was close!
Palmer frustrated that he didn’t get the count out starts putting the boots to Sektor before setting him up for….
Joe Hoffman: Teddy is looking to finish Sektor off with that pumphandle driver of his.
Teddy lifts Sektor up for Unscrip-Ted, but Sektor starts elbowing Teddy in the face and slips down his back.
Benny Newell: Get him Sek!
Teddy turns around and Sektor doubles him over with boot to the cut and hooks him.
Joe Hoffman: C-SEKTION!
Benny Newell: CIRCUMCISION! CHOPPY! CHOPPY! THAT PEE-PEE!
Sektor pushes Teddy onto his back and makes a cover.
Sektor pops up with his hand raised thinking he’s won the match, but Boettcher says it was only two as Teddy got his foot on the bottom rope.
Joe Hoffman: HOW CLOSE WAS THAT?!?!?!?
Benny Newell: Cunt hair close.
The frustration builds on the Hall of Famer as he marches his way over to Teddy.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor could be looking to finish it here.
Benny Newell: He should be the winner already, but Bitcher can’t count to three. Where the fuck is Hortega?
Sektor reaches down to pick up Palmer, but Teddy grabs him.
Joe Hoffman: Small package!
Sektor kicks out barely in the nick of time.
Benny Newell: Thank Lee!
Both men breathing heavily are slow to their feet as they start trading shots in the middle of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor and Palmer trading shots.
Benny Newell: Don’t mind if I take a shot of Jack. DRINK!
Teddy staggers Sektor with a right hand and the Hall of Famer looks to hit him with a spinning back elbow.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy ducks under the Hall of Fame elbow and lifts Sektor up and sends him hobbling into the corner with that Atomic Drop.
Teddy builds up a head of steam before running full speed towards Sektor, but the Gold Standard saw it coming and caught him as he jumped into the air to deliver a spinebuster.
Benny Newell: HAHAHAHAHAHA! FUCK YOU ARNOLD PALMER!
Sektor grabs one of Palmer’s legs and tries to turn him over but Teddy is fighting. Teddy kicks and pushes Sektor with his free leg and gets a lucky kick to the face to stun Sektor long enough to pushes him into the corner. As Sektor staggers forward, Teddy wraps his arms around Sektor’s neck and right arm and drives him into the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy with a variation of a flatliner…..what’s this?
Teddy still has his arms wrapped around Sektor rolls over and locks in the LBI.
Joe Hoffman: LBI! LBI! LBI!
Benny Newell: FUCK!
Sektor tries his best to fight out of it but Teddy keeps shifting his weight to tighten the hold and Sektor as no choice but to tap. A clear business decision by the Hall of Fame technician.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Bryan McVay: And your winner by submission….TEEEEEDYYYYYYYY! PAAAAAAALMMMMMER!
Teddy releases the hold and takes a moment to get to his feet as Boettcher raises his hand in victory.
Joe Hoffman: What a hard fought victory by Teddy Palmer here tonight. The Grapplers 214 get their first win and break even tonight against The Best Alliance!
Benny Newell: It was an illegal choke Hoffman! Thank GOD Sektor is smart enough to make that business decision there. This singles match versus Palmer didnt mean dick to his Hall of Fame stature.
Boettcher checks on Sektor as Teddy exits the ring and heads up the ramp with motioning a title around his waist and mouthing that Jatt Starr is next.
Palmer crashes face first on the entrance ramp as we HOW Hall of Famer Jatt Starr standing over him with a steel chair in hand.
Suddenly Jatt quickly turns around and sees Zeb Martin and Lindsay Troy battling with Clay Byrd and Steve Solex.
Joe Hoffman: Well it is clear that The Best Alliance was waiting for Martin and Troy to try and save Palmer there!!
Before Benny can retort we see Hughie Freeman and Steve Harrison tilt the numbers came in The Best Alliance’s favor as they join the fray.
Joe Hoffman: And just like that it is more than clear that the Best Alliance just lured them out here just to cowardly attack them with the numbers.
Benny Newell: It is called a fucking plan Joe….and its fucking marvelous.
The camera zooms out as we see Byrd and Harrison double choke slam Lindsay Troy down to the entrance ramp just as Steve Solex and Hughie Freeman do the exact same to Zeb Martin.
We then cut to a closeup of a smiling the HOW Hall of Fame Tag Team and LSD Champion Jatt Starr as the scene fades out.
The Main Event
Hanzel und Gretyl’s “HELLAlujah” begins to slap over the sound system, heralding the arrival of the SON OF GOD, Michael Lee Best. The HOW HOFC Champion steps out from behind the curtain to a THUNDEROUS ovation from the hometown Chicago crowd, making his way slowly out onto the stage.
Joe Hoffman: Two weeks ago today, Michael Lee Best achieved HOW history, both opening and closing March to Glory and competing in two separate title matches. He stands here tonight without the HOW World Championship, but the man you are looking at is the undisputed HOW HOFC Champion and the winner of the 2021 DeNucci Cup.
Benny Newell: PRAISE BE TO THE MOTHERFUCKING SON OF GOD, JOE.
Joe Hoffman: Even still, it must be a bittersweet victory, Benny. Michael had not been beaten in over one full year prior to March to Glory, and was the longest reigning HOW World Champion of all time. Whatever he has to say tonight, it will come from a heavy heart.
Michael holds the HOW HOFC Championship into the air on the stage, staring out into the crowd as the ovation continues. As he saunters toward the ring, Mike makes a big show of making sure the camera gets a good zoomed in shot as he flips the bird, displaying TWO Hall of Fame rings prominently– both his own, and the recently acquired ring of Hall of Famer Rob Michael.
Quickly walking up the ring steps, Michael ducks into the ring and takes the microphone from Bryan McVay, circling the ring as he composes his thoughts. The crowd slowly quiets to a dull roar, but continue to cheer– this is, after all, the only city in the world that cheers for the Best Family.
When he finally speaks, he’s quiet.
Mike Best: I deserve a rematch.
The crowd erupts once again, with the hometown fans getting out of their seats in support of the former longest reigning champion of all time. The winner of the DeNucci Cup smirks, looking up at the fans and nodding.
Mike Best: I was the longest reigning champion of all time. I wrestled two cage matches on one show, after defending the championship week after week in between tournament matches. I smashed every record, beat every expectation, and cemented myself as the single greatest competitor in HOW history. And to top it all off? I knees Jiles so goddamned hard in the face that he became the HOW World Champion! A LITERAL FUCKING STARMAKER! Twice in one year, I Kneed A Hero so hard that someone threw a belt at him. I still haven’t been pinned. I still haven’t tapped out. I still haven’t been KNOCKED OUT. Fuck just a rematch, I deserve my face on the fucking MONEY around here!
Mike Best: If anyone in history deserves a rematch, it’s me. A chance to go one on one with Jiles. I chance to take what’s mine. A chance to become the first and only ten time HOW World Champion, and set ANOTHER unbreakable record. I know I made a lot of promises about never competing for that title again, and I know I said that it was over if Jiles took that title… but you know what, Chicago?
There is a buzz, as the excitement begins to build in the area for the inevitable. Michael’s brows furrow, as he stares out into the crowd and knows what he needs to say next.
Mike Best: I’m gonna be a man of my word.
The buzz in the air becomes a near immediate boo, as the fans hear the most confusing words ever uttered by a man who once believed himself to be actually Jesus Christ. The reaction is such a stark contrast that he actually holds back a laugh.
Mike Best: That’s the first time I’ve ever heard a boo in Chicago. Goddamn, Windy City.
The Son of God shakes his head, pacing the ring as he waits for them to shut the fuck up and let him continue.
Mike Best: It’s over. Nine reigns as the HOW World Champion. Seven reigns as the HOW ICON Champion, a handful of LSD and Tag Titles. In eleven years, I have done everything that I needed to do to legally be declared the GOAT. No one will ever catch me, my records are safe, and it’s time for me to take a step back and let someone new take the wheel. Congratulations, Jiles. With a little help from the single greatest knee in pro wrestling, you became the man who ended two different year long undefeated streaks in a calendar year. Don’t be a shithead who doesn’t put the work in. Don’t lose that fucking belt to Darin Zion in two weeks. The throne is yours, homie. Don’t fucking waste it.
While clearly he’s set in his words, Michael Lee Best looks almost a little misty as he finally says the words out loud.
Mike Best: I promised it, and I’ll keep it. No more World Title shots. No more LSD Title shots. No more Tag Title shots. No swerves, no loopholes. Ths belt around my shoulder, the HOW HOFC Championship… this is my lifeblood. This is the first belt I won in HOW, and the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart. This is the one built by Rob fucking Michaels, and I will spend the rest of my HOW career talking shit and getting hit for this fucking belt. I will fight all comers, and I promise you this here and now… March to Glory was not the last time that the HOW HOFC Championship match will main event a fucking pay-per-view.
He shifts the belt higher up onto his shoulder– it’s freshly polished, but it’s the same belt that he’s carried since the last era of HOW. This is his championship. This is the one that never got away.
Mike Best: I fought through hell, fire, and Dan Ryan for this championship, and I did it with two belts on my mind. You wanna see danger? Come and see me while I’m firmly focused on making this the most prestigious championship in HOW. Many will try, and zero will succeed, because I AM the HOW HOFC Champion. I AM the winner of the DeNucci Cup. I AM the single greatest wrestler in the history of HOW, and I don’t stand in front of you today as a man who was defeated. I stand in front of as a man who was finally relieved of his fucking post. From this moment forward, I am not a wrestler… I am a fucking PRIZEFIGHTER.
He raises the belt high into the air, and the Chicago faithful raise their arms with him in one final battlecry before HOW goes back on the road. There is pride in the eyes of the champion, as Refueled prepares to come to an end.
Mike Best: Come and fight me for my prize.
Refueled does indeed end as we fade out as the camera zooms in on the HOFC Champion.
**Hours after the show**
We are in The Best Arena parking lot. The black hummer limo for Lee is idling near the exit of the arena and we suddenly see Lee exit the arena with Redrum in tow.
The monster of a bodyguard steps quickly in front of Lee and opens the back door for Lee and the GOD of HOW slides into the limo.
He tosses his new hat on the seat next to him and rubs at his still damaged eyes.
“What a fucking night”
Lee suddenly quits rubbing his eyes as he senses he is not alone.
“Who the fuck?”
Suddenly a face starts to lean forward but as they do they deliver a quick blow to the cameraman and the camera falls to the limo floor as we hear Lee try to open the door but its already locked.
But his bodyguard is nowhere to be found.
The feed goes completely black as we see a pair of hands pick up the camera and slam it down hard…….but the audio is still somewhat working as we hear a question before Refueled ends.
“Now….let’s talk about that offer”