Sean Stevens vs. Rah
There is no traditional opening to the show tonight, as we head down immediately to the ring where the lights dim and a soulful intro blares over the airwaves.
V/O: The most important thing in business is honesty…
CUT TO: The 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.
V/O: “…integrity, hard work…. Family. NEVER forgetting where we came from.”
CUT TO: Several more images. The first is an even older Sean Stevens – 17 years old – in amateur wrestling gear; in a cap and gown – signifying graduation. The scene then shifts to Sean in the audience, in what looks like 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 – lays 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 HOV fades to black. And, the beat drops.
Smoke pyrotechnics shoot to the roof, as “No Hook,” by Jay Z blasts over the PA system, and Trip steps through the curtain. He’s immediately met with a mixed reaction – that he ignores – as he saunters 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 flashbulbs, Stevens doesn’t acknowledge anything or anyone ’til he enters the ring, and hops on each of the four turnbuckles, thrusting his arms in the air victoriously.
Brian McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, introducing first…from Orlando Florida! Weighing in at 218 pounds…”TRIPLE X” SEAN STEVENS!
Joe Hoffman: Benny, we’re about to get our first look at the veteran Sean Stevens in an actual wrestling contest. He was bested in the first round of the DeNucci Cup by Devin Desean in what many would consider an upset.
Benny Newell: I can’t decide if I want to shit on his guy for losing to Black Zoolander or big him up because he’s clearly the Good Stevens.
He pauses to take a swig of Jack.
Benny Newell: Eh, fuck it, won’t matter this week.
McVay is shooed out of the ring by a man dressed in an expensive suit and bow-tie. He gestures for McVay to hit the bricks because he’s the one who’s been given the honor and privilege of introducing a living deity.
Announcer Guy: Hit it!
Over the loudspeaker, a trumpet fanfare plays followed by a dense, layered note on a synthesizer.
The announcer guy raises the microphone to his mouth.
Announcer Guy (in a voice not unlike Michael Buffer): Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you the almost universally-worshipped king of the sun gods of all creation. He commands the chariot that rode across the sky during the day. He is the great, fiery globe in the sky, a welcome, nurturing presence to honor the season. He is the inspiration for those who would throw virgins into the gaping maw of a volcano – perhaps an Icelandic volcano – even though such shenanigans haven’t been acceptable since the 1950s. And just for your reference, he is, for 38 years in a row, proven to be one of UC San Diego‘s most enduring traditions in the Sun God festival- an all-day music festival celebrated by more than 20,000 students, alumni and friends. But that’s not important.
He pauses and looks out at the crowd as the lights turn off. A small spotlight illuminates the ramp where a group of former Arizona State sorority sisters stand around and take selfies of themselves with their cell phones and then text them onto their Twitter, Tik Tok, and other social media accounts.
The sisters are joined by the former Barbie-Q – now known as Sports Entertainment Barbie. Barbie walks out onto the stage more ‘dolled up’ more than usual. Her hair is now platinum blonde. She has a ton of makeup on her face with bright red lipstick. She also sports a gold strapless dress that only goes down to her mid thighs with a pair of killer gold heels. Barbie rolls her eyes at the antics of the ex-ASU sorority sisters and then snaps back into her Sports Entertainment Barbie character.
Then two large, hulking men carry out a golden sedan chair holding a six foot eight inch, two hundred and eighty pound man dressed in long flowing robes inside.
Announcer Guy: Either way, you should thank your lucky stars and kiss his royal ass for gracing you with his presence here tonight. I give to you…the reason the Earth doesn‘t float away in the vastness of space…the reason it’s eighty degrees outside and not minus four hundred and fifty-nine point six seven…and the reason Brian Wilson wrote all those great songs…ladies and gentlemen…bow down before the Sunshine God…
Barbie points to the golden sedan as it approaches the ring.
Announcer Guy: …RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
The camera pans over to the sorority sisters who continue to make obnoxious duck face expressions while taking selfies of themselves. The procession stops at the ring steps and Rah climbs out of his golden sedan chair. He takes in the acclamation from the crowd and is momentarily blinded by the flashing lights from the cell phones of the sorority sisters taking selfies. After he shakes his head and his eyes clear, Rah climbs into the ring. Sean Stevens smirks in the corner, waiting for the bell to sound.
Stevens and Rah circle each other before locking up. Rah powers the HOW newcomer backwards but Stevens slips behind him and gets a hammerlock on. Rah catches him with an elbow to the side of the head and now snap-mares Stevens over to the mat. The Sunshine God sinks in a reverse chin lock and leans in on the Blue Eyed Badass.
Stevens isn’t on the mat for long, though. He lands a few blows and fights his way free, getting back up to his feet. Rah stays on him, however, and knocks him right back down again with a big clothesline! Rah with the cover!
T-Stevens powers out well before the end of the two count.
Joe Hoffman: Rah is known for hitting hard and fast, Benny, but Sean Stevens is no slouch either. He’s well versed in a variety of styles; probably most comfortable taking flight, but he can work the ground game and brawl as well.
Benny Newell: Oh, look at you, Hoffhole, with your Sean Stevens History, you big nerd.
Joe Hoffman: Well that’s what they pay me for, Benny.
Benny Newell: And I’m paid to be the good looking one, DRINK!
Stevens up quickly and he rocks Rah with a hard right hand! Then another. He grabs an arm and whips Rah into the corner but no…Rah reverses! Stevens is sent into the ropes and Rah drives his knee right into the smaller man’s abdomen. With Stevens doubled-over, Rah’s able to hook him into a chancery, then hoists him high into the air. He holds him there for five, ten, twenty seconds, before sending him crashing back down to the mat with a delayed vertical suplex. He covers again.
Shoulder up by Sean Stevens!
Joe Hoffman: So far it’s been all Rah in the opening minutes of this one.
Benny Newell: Of course it has been, Hoffhole. New Stevens is facing a literal god!
Joe Hoffman: I thought he was the Good Stevens?
Benny Newell: I’ve decided to reserve “good” status depending on how he does against RAAAAAAHHHH!
Back to the action now and Sean’s managed to turn the tide. While Rah pulls him up off the mat, he jabs a thumb into Rah’s eye, which Matt Boetccher misses. Stevens kips up and whips Rah chest-first into the corner. The Sunshine God hits hard, and Trips follows that up by running and springboarding off the ropes, connecting with a flying forearm to the side of Rah’s head. The big man staggers out of the corner, dazed and trying to get his bearings, and Stevens takes him down to the mat with a swinging neckbreaker! He drops to the mat and hooks the leg.
Kickout by Rah.
Stevens sends stiff forearms to Rah’s face, keeping him grounded, then darts for the corner. He hops up to the top turnbuckle, waits for the right moment, and then flies through the air, landing a frogsplash that crushes the 6’8” San Diegoan into the canvas. Trips ends up bouncing off his body, which gives him the opportunity to get to his feet and throw himself up into the air, crashing down again onto Rah’s chest with a standing moonsault! Boettcher’s in position for another cover!
TH-Rah kicks out again!
Sean glares at Boettcher but doesn’t argue. He gets back up to his feet and quickly puts the boots to Rah, then steps on his chest and goes back to the corner once more. In one quick motion, he’s back to the top again. Rah swears he can hear Sports Entertainment Barbie shouting for him to get up, when in reality she’s yelling at some drunk guys in the front row who are hitting on her; one may or may not be Johnny Dorn, it’s hard to say. Nevertheless, the Sunshine God comes to his senses and gets to his feet. He dives for the ropes, which causes Stevens to wobble and lose his balance. He falls and is crotched on the top turnbuckle pad, his face grimacing in pain.
Benny Newell: Looks like the Blue Eyed Badass is gonna have blue balls tonight, fucking ouch.
Joe Hoffman: That doesn’t mean what you think it means, Benny.
Benny Newell: Shut the fuck up, Joe, it was funny.
Rah seizes the moment by putting Stevens on his shoulder, running to the adjacent corner, and connecting with the Sunspot! Trips hits the turnbuckle hard, clearly dazed, and can’t stop the big boot that’s headed for his midsection. He’s doubled over and Rah stuffs him between his legs.
Benny Newell: Here we fuckin’ goooooooo!
Rah looks towards the heavens of the Best Arena with his arms stretched out, soaking in the praise and worship of his followers. He looks towards the selfie-taking ex-sorority girls first, who ignore him. Then he looks toward Sports Entertainment Barbie, who is about to slap the shit out of the aforementioned drunk bros. Then Rah looks towards the crowd and, after receiving the necessary strength from his faithful, he lifts Sean Stevens into the air and drills him back to the mat.
Benny Newell: EYE OF RAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Joe Hoffman: Rah connects with that massive powerbomb! Hooks the leg!
DING DING DING!
Announcer Guy: The winner of this match, in 9 minutes and 16 seconds….RAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
Joe Hoffman: That was a very game performance put on by Sean Stevens but in the end, the Sunshine God was just too much for him.
Benny Newell: Yup, he’s got a long way to go before he’ll be Good Stevens. But at least he’s not Scott Stevens!
Joe Hoffman: Alright, well, that was rude.
Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
Refueled, thankfully, goes backstage.
Sunny Side Up
We cut backstage.
Blaire Moise: All right, Blaire Moise here with the victorious Sunshine God Rah.
Blaire brings Rah into the shot along with Sports Entertainment Barbie, who primps her platinum blonde hair and adjusts her dress, and Rah’s ‘followers,’ the former college sorority girls who mug and make weird duck facial expressions while taking a neverending series of selfies on their cell phones.
Blaire Moise: Rah congratulations on the win tonight.
Rah wipes his face with a towel and nods.
Rah: Thank you Blaire Moise.
Blaire Moise: But let’s go back to last week’s show when Sutler Reynolds-Kael came out and said this…
(REPLAY: Last Week’s Refueled LI- Sutler Reynolds-Kael and Chloe Sektor segment)
Both Sutler and Chloe are both in the ring.
SRK: Okay, RAH! Listen up! I don’t know when you were born but your gimmick is stale as fuck and reminds me of that 2000 year old Mummy that tries to fuck Tom Cruise so YOU’RE ON NOTICE! I ain’t Lady Gaga so I don’t Rah Rah, Oh La-La, you Nah-Nah, Fucking Faux Pas. Once I’m feeling back at 100% you’re a marked man! .. probably not a Loser Leaves HOW Match cause I spent all my political points on trying to kick Hollywood out so LUCKY YOU!.. But just you wait..
Sutler narrows his eyes at the camera, two fingers pointed at his peepers before he thrust them thusly back in the direction of the viewer.
SRK: Sutler… OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooUUT!
Blaire Moise: Your response?
Rah: Blaire Moise. There’s a darkness out there. There’s a darkness that’s enveloping Rah’s world with all kinds of badness and the darkness all revolves around one person.
Rah holds up a picture. It’s not a picture of Sutler Reynolds-Kael.
Blaire appears confused.
Blaire Moise: Rah, that’s a photo of Dawn McGill.
Rah: Well of course it’s a picture of Dawn McGill, Blaire Moise. Anyone can see that. Dawn McGill should be with me by my side. Dawn McGill was supposed to be my Empress and Rah- The Champion of the World, her Emperor.
Rah turns sad.
Rah: Instead, she’s been seduced to the darkside of booze and shady run-down motel rooms by some guy named Cletus.
Blaire Moise: Rah, it could be that perhaps she’s still a little upset over what you said last week that – and I quote – “She’s no Lindsay Troy but she’s still most acceptable.”
Rah: No matter, Rah proclaims that it is time for her to step back into the light.
Rah faces the camera and pleads.
Rah: Return to the sunshine Dawn. Come back to the-
Blaire Moise: Okay enough of that.
Blaire attempts to get the interview back on track.
Blaire Moise: Back to Sutler Reynolds-Kael and his comments last week.
Rah: Rah has no issue with Sutler Reynolds-Kael. In fact, Rah is most grateful to Sutler Reynolds-Kael.
Blaire Moise: And why is that?
Rah: Because. He pointed the way.
Rah holds up a DVD.
Rah: Rah decrees this is a most glorious and entertaining movie.
Blaire Moise: Wait? The Mummy? The reboot of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies that tanked at the box office?
Rah: That’s right Blaire Moise. The Mummy. A soldier of fortune accidentally unearths the ancient tomb of entrapped Egyptian princess Ahmanet played by the lovely Sofia Boutella. Rah declares this to be a cinematic classic.
A confused haze envelops Blaire’s face.
Blaire Moise: That’s what you got out of Sutler’s comments last week?
Rah: Rah also discovered that Sofia Boutella also was in Atomic Blonde…
Rah holds up the Atomic Blonde DVD.
Rah: …and she literally cut some guy in half – and we are talking about really, in half – in The Kingsmen- The Secret Service.
He then holds up the DVD of The Kingsmen: The Secret Service – Blaire slaps the DVD out of his hands.
Blaire Moise: No, that’s not what I’m talking about. What did you think of Sutler Reynolds-Kael’s comments towards you last week?
Rah: What else was Rah supposed to ascertain from young Reynolds-Kael’s remarks?
Blaire Moise: Um. Perhaps the fact that he wants to kick your ass and rid HOW of everyone older than the age of forty.
Woman (off screen): Hold on a second!
A petite young woman standing about five foot seven in height with dark-rimmed glasses but otherwise resembling the archetypical California beach blonde suddenly barges into the shot.
Woman: I’ll take it from here, Rah.
Blaire Moise: And who are yo-
She thrusts into Blaire’s hand her brand new business card. It reads: “Sunny O’Callahan- The Official Spokesperson of the Sunshine God and Champion of the World- Rah!”
O’Callahan’s place of birth is Ireland and she still talks with a slight Irish accent in her voice but she vocalizes Rah’s ‘position’ with all the coolness of a woman well versed in the world of public relations.
Sunny O’Callahan: Now, to formally address Sutler Reynolds-Kael’s rant last week. The official position of Rah- The Champion of the World, is that Rah has come back to HOW to change history. Rah has come back to rewrite history. Rah has come back to bring his light and sun to ALL people. In a time where many people are stuck in the darkness…
Rah (side comment): Including Dawn McGill.
Sunny O’Callahan (briefly annoyed at the interruption): ..INCLUDING… Dawn McGill. Rah has come back to be a force for goodness to counter all the badness going on in the world because Rah knows we really need more goodness instead of all the badness in the world. Thank you and good night.
And with that final comment, Sunny grabs Rah by the arm and yanks him off camera. Sports Entertainment Barbie and his ‘followers,’ who still take endless rounds of selfies, also exit.
Blaire Moise: Thank you Rah. Let’s go to a commercial break next and then we will have our next match.
Jason Cashe vs. Darin Matthews
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, and it looks like we’re about to enter familiar territory…at least with these next two men.
Benny Newell: What familiar territory? I don’t ever recall these guys ever facing each other here in HOW.
Joe Hoffman: That’s because they haven’t Benny. I was merely pointing out that this next match is going to feature two men who really know each other.
Benny Newell: Blow me, hoffhole. I could give two shits about fuck with these guys.
The low but thumping beat rolls into the arena as Jason Cashe comes out from the back wearing a black Ski Mask that covers his face. Looking around the arena, he places his eyes on the ring. He pulls the Ski Mask up, revealing his face as he cocks back and howls before barking twice at the nearby cameras. Throwing himself forward, he heads to the ring.
Bryan McVay: “Coming to us LIVE from Houston, Tejas by way of Decatur, GA! He is the DiOGee, THE J-A-C! He is Jaaaaassssoooon! Caaaaasssshhe!
Stopping as the aisle turns to ringside, Cashe drags a foot creating an imaginary line. This is the line where when passed, the talking stops. He two step jogs to the ring, leaps up on the apron onto his left knee. He stands and dips under the top rope to enter the ring. He was ready to scrap.
Joe Hoffman: Jason Cashe looks ready to kill tonight.
Benny Newell: If looks could kill, hoffy, Jason Cashe probably would have been awarded some kind of medal because holy fuck nuts does this guy look like a walking dentistry nightmare!
Meredith: Introducing the man ailing from The Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Tonight he weighs in at lean, mean 223 Pounds. He is the man know as the Pinnacle of Pro Wrestling, The Artiste of Atlantic City, The Messiah of Missouri Valley, your Tyrant of the Territories and your HEEEERO OF HIGH OCTANE: DAAAAAAAAAAAARIN MAAAAAAAAAAAATHEWS!!!! The lights dim as the opening chords to Icon for Hire’s “Cursed or Cured” queue up and blare over the arena speakers. Suddenly, a spotlight shines down on both Meredith and Darin Matthews. Decked out in his Gold Robe with Black Collar, Matthews takes a deep breath raising his arms in the air while Meredith hugs and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Matthews spins around and throws his robe off. Meredith collects his robe while Matthews charges towards the ring, handing out high fives along the way. Matthews climbs up the top turnbuckle basking his glory, taken back by the loud cheers from the crowd tonight. He smirks before he flips off the top turnbuckle. He looks intently on waiting for the match to start as he just stares at Cashe ready to strike.
Joe Hoffman: Darin Zion, err…I mean Darin Matthews, is looking to put himself back in the win column and looking to find some much needed momentum tonight.
Benny Newell: Jesus H tap dancing Christ…I swear this motherfucker right here can’t seem to keep a name going. It’s like being married to himself and going through several divorces. It really drives me to…….DRINK!
The bell is called as this match is officially underway. Cashe wastes no time has he charges at Matthews, who responds in kind by also running at Case, and levels Matthews with a running cannonball effectively taking Matthews off his feet and to the mat quickly. Cashe then drops down and begins aggressively pounding away at Matthews with Gorilla hammer fists which are flying so fast, it’s causing a quick five count to be initiated. A count of four is reached before Jason stops the assault just in time before five.
Joe Hoffman: Jason Cashe wasn’t lying when he said he was coming here to dish out a fight…something Cashe has been historically known for.
Benny Newell: Matthews getting inducted into his own band. I like to call them the Black Eyed and Bloodied! You get what you pay for! DRINK!
Cashe brings Matthews to his feet before whipping him into the corner turnbuckle. As Matthews back hits the turnbuckle, hard might we add, he feels a bit spazzy as Cashe whips off the ropes and towards Darin again only to strike him with a cactus clothesline that rocks Matthews to his core as he falls down to the mat. Jason goes for a cover.
Joe Hoffman: Darin was almost another victim but he was able to power his shoulder up!
Benny Newell: Not surprised. Darin’s always all talk and no show. Even his bark isn’t that fucking threatening! The guy is going nowhere FAST and you don’t want to be in that position here in the great land of Octane!
Cashe continues to keep the pressure on Darin as he goes to grab him again but this time, Darin is ready as he sends an elbow straight into the solar plex of Cashe causing him to gasp. Matthews takes quick advantage, and follows it up with a snap suplex taking Cashe to the mat who grabs his ribcage. Matthews shakes his finger at Cashe, mocking him as he now all of a sudden sees red.
Joe Hoffman: Look in the eyes of Darin! That looks like a man possessed!
Benny Newell: Like we haven’t seen that look before. What have I told you time and time again hoffhole? Darin Zion Matthews Hollywood, or whatever you want to call him this week has a weak bark and no fucking bite! The constipation proclamation expression on his face is more telling in that regard!
Matthews grabs Cashe again and this time hits a snap DDT so effective, that it causes Cashe’s head to bounce off the canvas. Matthews heads up to the top rope before diving off and connecting with a elbow drop as he covers Cashe.
Joe Hoffman: This time it’s Cashe in survival mode as he is able to get the shoulder up!
Benny Newell: It’s no wonder Darin has brain damage…he keeps saying he wants to continue to make the best of his career but the guy has no regard to his own body. That will be Matthews end to his career one of these days…I’m calling that one as I see it right now!
Matthews doesn’t give Jason any chance to take a breather as he brings him back to his feet. However, Cashe being Cashe who also never had any regards to his body, fires off a nasty headbutt that quickly sends Matthews into a dazed state. Cashe is able to hit a windmill suplex on Matthews catching him off guard as he goes for a cover.
Joe Hoffman: Oh my! That headbutt busted them both wide open!
Benny Newell: THERE WILL BE BLOOD!!
Cashe isn’t letting this one go any longer as he goes for the UTI on Matthews, but Matthews counters it quickly and connects with a buzzsaw kick that sends Cashe stumbling straight back into the corner turnbuckle. Matthews turns around and he looks enraged at this point. He grabs Jason and begins to rapidly smash Cashe’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly as Cashe just takes the blows as he starts to become dazed and unaware of his surroundings. Of course, this fiery wave of offense catches Matthews a four count out of five before breaking it off. Cashe is on one knee before he uses the ropes to pull himself back to his feet. By the time he realizes what’s going on and figures out his bearings, Matthews has enough time and distance to take advantage of Cashe’s surprising state….
Joe Hoffman: THE BAN HAMMER!!
Benny Newell: HOW THE FUCK?!…..
Cashe completely falls straight into the mat as his face hits hard at point blank range. Darin drops down and turns Cashe over and goes for the cover.
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner……DARIN MATTHEWS!
Joe Hoffman: And Matthews gets the surprising victory here tonight!
Benny Newell: That was a surprise alright! Darin scores a victory for the first time in two hundred years!
Darin celebrates in the ring as he looks down at a fallen and near unconscious Cashe with a serious look on his face. Darin nods his head slowly, but confidently as he hopes to continue this newfound momentum moving forward as he rolls out of the ring working his way to the back.
Joe Hoffman: Tough loss here for Jason tonight but you can’t say the guy isn’t tough. He shot some hard strikes at Darin and nearly put him down but Darin was just the better man tonight.
Benny Newell: Darin shouldn’t celebrate too much. He still splashed small water in a place filled with dangerous high tides of water. He has a long way to go if he wants to be taken seriously in HOW again.
Joe Hoffman: Well congrats still go out to Darin for the victory…he definitely needed it and it will be interesting to see what happens from here but I—WAIT A MINUTE LOOK!!!
All of a sudden, a man in a ski mask appears out of nowhere and bashes an almost near conscious Cashe straight in the back with a steel chair that can be heard echoing throughout the arena. Cashe holds onto his back as the man in the ski mask levels Cashe with chair shot after chair shot. This guy isn’t holding back as he then places the steel chair under Cashe’s face before stomping Cashe’s head repeatedly into the chair as Cashe is beyond busted wide open.
Joe Hoffman: Whoever this guy is, it looks like every vicious attack he sends into Cashe looks well warranted from his point of view. This has personal written all over it!
Benny Newell: Blood, blood and more blood! I love it! I don’t think Cashe knows where he’s at anymore. He looks completely helpless!
As the man in the ski mask admires his work, he rolls out of the ring to grab another weapon from under the ring. Before he pulls it out, though, “Stronger on your own” by Disturbed hits as the man in the ski mask looks shocked and unaware that Cashe was going to get help tonight.
Joe Hoffman: Hollywood’s music! Is he seriously about to come out and help Cashe?!
Benny Newell: I would be surprised if he does! So surprised that I may even shit my pants.
Hollywood’s music plays a bit more but….no Hollywood. The man in the ski mask then proceeds to smile methodically as he pulls out the weapon he was going to get all along. The weapon then becomes visible as we hear shocked and mixed reactions from the crowd. The man in the ski mask can’t help but to smile methodically as he rolls back into the ring and we all know what weapon that is.
Joe Hoffman: There’s the signature weapon! But that means…
Benny Newell: Business has just picked up!
The man smiles more before taking off the ski mask as the man is revealed to be none other than Brian Hollywood himself!
Benny Newell: I FUCKING KNEW IT! I may not like Hollywood….but I got to admit, he plays the deception game very well!
Joe Hoffman: Looks like Hollywood is about to get that revenge he’s always been waiting for!
Hollywood looks at his Executive Branch sledgehammer for a few moments before bashing Cashe in the back of the head with it as Cashe is a bloody fucking mess. Hollywood takes a few more shots with no remorse before dropping to one knee and clearly drops an audible.
Brian Hollywood: BLOOD FOR BLOOD! I gave you a fucking choice and now I’m going to force you into my choice! This is what fucking happens when you try to fuck with a man who knows you more than anything. It’s obvious that after I started this….I’m forced to fucking finish it! Just remember, Cashe, you did this to yourself! This is on YOU!
Hollywood drops the Executive Branch which lands on the back of Cashe’s head as Hollywood admires his work as the EMT’s quickly descend down to the ring as Hollywood shakes his head looking down at Cashe with a serious look as the Refueled pans backstage.
Joe Hoffman: Listen, I show this next sit down interview under duress. High Flyer accosted me backstage, forced me to sit in a metal folding chair in front of the mens’ room bathroom and demanded I ask him questions.
Benny Newell: Really?
Joe Hoffman: Well, I had just exited the restroom, having evacuated myself. And I had asked him if he wanted to respond to Conor’s comments in an email earlier in the week. I guess he just read the email, came, found me, and demanded we do it then and there? I don’t know. It felt like Kidnapping Newell. I’ve never felt so unclean.
Benny Newell: Hopefully you washed your hands first.
The scene settles backstage. And yes, Joe Hoffman sits in an uncomfortable folding chair, sweating nervously. He tugs at this collar. On the other side, standing in front of a water fountain with his arms crossed is High Flyer. His hair hangs over his head, as he clutches his fists and cracks his knuckles.
High Flyer: Go.
Joe Hoffman: Uh-Uh Yes. Jack, two weeks ago you brutally assaulted Conor Fuse. Just last week, Conor spoke to me and called you his hero. Why would you do something like this?
High Flyer: Next question.
Joe Hoffman: Wait. What?
High Flyer: I don’t owe you an explanation Mr. Hassle Hoff. I only owe two people. Conor, who can come and get his explanation from me, and Mike Best. And I don’t feel like paying my debt to that asshole. So. NEXT. QUESTION.
Joe Hoffman: Uh… That’s all I had?
Jack sighs, running his hands through his extra long hair, before he screams, gripping at the strands and pulling just a few out.
High Flyer: I’M THE GOD DAMN HIGH FLYER, and you don’t got ANYTHING else you want to talk to me about except CONOR FUCKFUSE?! Mister STEALING MY SCHTICK FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS?! You think I’m going to let HIM… Oh you people have NO idea. Conor Fuse is just a CARBON COPY, the MANILLA TEAR OFF of the ORIGINAL white sheet, (pats chest) ME Hoffman. ME. I was doing what Conor’s doing now for DECADES. I CAME FIRST. Now everyone underestimates HIM just because he hasn’t gone psychotic yet. IT’S COMING HOFFMAN. And I’mma bring it out of him. I’m going to break Conor Fuse and drive him mad. That way, maybe… JUST maybe… he can actually beat Mike Best.
Harmen takes a few menacing steps toward Hoffman, who continues to sit in his chair, uneasy.
High Flyer: Now get out of my way.
Joe Hoffman: Wh-What?
Flyer’s menace drops, as he politely smiles.
High Flyer: I have to use the bathroom. Move your ass.
Flyer gently kicks the chair once as Hoffman scuttles away. Flyer gives Joe one last look before he exits into the bathroom.
Back to the announce booth, Hoffman looks uneasy, as Newell just laughs.
Benny Newell: So. Did he go number one or number two?
Joe Hoffman: Benny.
Benny Newell: Bet the bathroom stunk of disappointment after. ANYWAY!
Decisions & Consequences
Shifting back to inside the arena, we find that Joe Hoffman has left his usual spot behind the broadcast table and stands in the center of a group of three familiar faces. Jatt Starr and John Sektor, both decorated in 3/4ths of the current prizes in HOW, are poised opposite Zeb Martin. The Best Alliance members do not look too thrilled to be there: more anxious to move past the pageantry and begin towards the preparation of their defense of the tag team titles against the kid in front of them. Martin, on the other hand, shows his pearly whites and loops his thumbs in his belt straps. Joe gives a quick adjustment of his tie and positions the microphone to his lips to kick off the interview.
Joe Hoffman: High Octane fans, in case you weren’t able to join us last week, you missed out on what most are calling a tremendous upset. This young man to my left was able to defeat you, John Sektor, for a shot at those identical championships you both have around your shoulders.
The crowd rumbles with approval. Jatt Starr, with a disgustingly smug look on his face, and the LSD Championship round his waist and the HOW Tag Team Championship draped over his shoulder; shakes his head in disagreement.
Joe Hoffman: That being said, Zeb, you in turn earned the right to choose your own partner. However, the orders from management have been clear that the element of surprise will not be a factor into next week’s title match, which is why we are all out here right now. From what I understand, you have made your decision and are ready to announce it?
Zeb Martin: Yessir, sho’ have. See, I give’r a lotta thaw…
Before the Watson Mill Kid can continue with his statement, the microphone is abruptly snatched out of the hands of Joe Hoffman by the Jattinum Standard, who apparently has no interest in a dramatic build up.
Jatt Starr: By the HOW gods! Will you get to the point, Zeb? Zeb. Zeb-uh. What the heck were your parents thinking? What? Did they have twenty kids and run out of normal names after popping out Jimmy Joe, Big Willie, Debbie Jo, Charlene Jean, Little Bubba, and Honey Boo Boo Jr? Nevermind, if you’re going to turn this into a long, drawn-out Charles Dickens style story about how you had to swim up the Mississippi looking for alms for the poor and ‘catch a case of the crabs with Huck Finn before you picked a “dang gum” partner, it’ll be time for the match itself! The truth is that it makes NO DIFFERENCE who you pick, whether it’s the ghost of Max Kael or your brother cousin Jebediah. Neither you, nor the Hollywood Bruvs are taking these away from us and the fact that we have to for you….YOU….a FUCKING NOBODY, to make an announcement is an affont to StarrSek Industries.. Now, tell us who it is without boring us to death in the process.
Sektor glances at Jatt and extends him a forced cheesy grin complimented by a patronising thumbs up. Starr simply flips the mic over to Martin who catches it and turns it upright. He casts a glance out to the left side of the Best Arena and smirks.
Zeb Martin: As I was sayin’. I reckon there’s a bunch uh y’all in the back an’ a good bit uh ‘rasslers I’ve had the pleasure uh workin’ with outside these walls. So ah thank it’s only right tuh list each and e’bry one I considered fer this job and make shore I compliment ya before I get to my choice.
Jatt Starr: (off mic, yet audible) GET ON WITH IT!!!!!
Martin winks toward the east wing of the spectators.
Zeb Martin: I’m jus’ kiddin’. Ain’t go’n go ‘round my ass tuh get tuh my elbow. But I will at least tell y’all this — it was a tough job pickin’, sho’nuff. So tough, in fact, I hadda call up someone tuh help me. A person that’s always done looked after me like I’s they own child. Cuz I am they own child. So Mama, I hope fer the sake uh takin’ these two right ‘chea down a peg ‘r two that your advice pays off. Happy tuh introduce ya to my tag team partner fer next week…
“City of Angels” begins to play through the Best Arena’s sound system and is immediately met with a rumbling approval from the fans in attendance. Wearing brown leather boots, stone washed jeans and a button up short sleeve shirt patterned with pink flamingos, Teddy Palmer emerges atop the stage. A smirk on his face, he reaches up to pull his aviator sunglasses off the bridge of his nose—
Zeb Martin: Look’yeawt cheah!
But the warning is a little too late. Spinning him around with a left paw, Steve Solex had stalked out whatever prey was going to come from behind that curtain. It just so happens that Teddy is a mutual enemy, which makes him smile wider as he sees the glasses fly off his face and shatter to the ground, and he follows that up with a hard right to the Canadian’s bearded jaw.
Zeb tries his best to find an escape route, but it isn’t in the cards: Starrsek has cut off any exit to help his new partner. Jatt stalks toward the Watson Mill Kid from the front, causing Martin to step back and right into the awaiting arms of Sektor who locks him in a full nelson. Starr then begins to lay into him with kick after kick to soften him up.
As Joe Hoffman scrambles outside the ring and back to the announce table, Solex continues to run roughshod over Palmer, laying in blows to the midsection. However, once he’s poised to lift Teddy up for a Solexplex on the concrete floor, the audience roars as a sprinting Lindsay Troy arrives to save the day.
She’s able to prevent a pretty nasty injury by rescuing Teddy from the Veteran’s finisher, but Solex has anticipated this. Opting to instead tackle Palmer to the ground, the Queen of the Ring shifts pace and starts to lay the boots onto Steve. By this time, Jatt Starr has made his way out of the ring to assist his stablemate and times a forearm to Troy, sending her into the guardrail. He then follows up with another head-first whip into the barricade.
As Sektor has Martin well in-hand inside the ring, Solex shakes off the cobwebs and resumes his assault on the downed Teddy Palmer. No help would be coming from the back: likely due to some hurt feelings over Zeb’s selection for his partner. The Best Alliance are in complete domination of this trio of friends. Elated by their handiwork, they all walk to the back together to a chorus of jeers as Lindsay, Teddy, and Zeb are left to lick the wounds.
The Best Alliance
High Flyer vs. Black Mamba
James Ranger comes out, eyeing the fans to the left and right. A slow smile creeps onto his face as Black Mamba stops short of the ramp. The lights focus upon Mamba, his sunglasses reflecting the light as it transitions from white to an eerie green.
Bryan McVay: Hailing from London, England, weighing in at two-hundred-three pounds… he is the Black Mamba!!!
Ranger takes off his sunglasses, smirking as he squats briefly, surveying the arena before rising to his feet and walking purposely towards the ring, the smirk now gone.
Benny Newell: Alright, let’s get this shit over with.
Bryan McVay: His opponent, from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, weighing two-hundred-four pounds… HIGH FLLLLYER!
“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.
The referee calls for the bell…
DING DING DING
But no wrestling takes place just yet as the camera switches to Conor Fuse walking through the crowd, eyeing the ring. However, arriving at the guardrail, Fuse finds a folded chair. He opens it and takes a seat in row #1.
Benny Newell: Christ. It’s hard enough looking at Black Mamba and now The Vintage is ringside?
Fuse’s eyes don’t turn away from The Lunatic. There’s a standoff between them until Conor reveals an SNES wireless remote from his pocket and “presses start”.
James Ranger uses this distraction to his advantage. He rushes High Flyer, ducking a weak forearm attempt and grabbing Jack Harmen’s head in the process before driving it to the mat via a DDT.
Joe Hoffman: Black Mamba with cross chops to High Flyer, working him into the corner. A hip toss out but Flyer shows that agility and lands on his feet. A hard kick to the chest by Flyer and a second works Mamba into the corner. Harmen flies to the ropes, delivering a boot to the side of James’ head!
Flyer shoots across the canvas and lands a one-legged shotgun dropkick to Mamba’s face, knocking him to the mat. A standing moonsault after, Flyer snapmares his opponent where he wants him and jumps to the second rope.
Joe Hoffman: An elbow drop to Mamba’s head.
Flyer bounces off the ropes again and leaps over Mamba into the next set as Mamba was getting to his feet. Flyer ducks a clothesline, reaches out and latches onto James Ranger with a German suplex. Flyer walks over to the apron…
And stares directly into Conor Fuse. Fuse still holds the SNES controller and is seemingly “playing” as High Flyer… but The Vintage remains cold and stoic in appearance.
Benny Newell: That’s it, Jack. Show that fucking moron how it’s done.
Flyer turns to the ring but catches Mamba coming right at him with a European uppercut. A few, actually. This is followed with a sidestep high kick and then a snap suplex. James Ranger looks for a German suplex but High Flyer grabs the ropes and kicks Mamba off him. The Lunatic spins Ranger around and hooks onto him for his own German suplex…
Mamba lands on the back of his head!
Flyer shotgun dropkicks Ranger in the face once more. It’s a brutal, stiff shot heard throughout the Best Arena. Jack goes to the ropes and punts Mamba in the skull!
Joe Hoffman: A very aggressive High Flyer!
Benny Newell: He’s found something, Joe. He murdered that idiot in row number one a few weeks ago and now he’s showing the world The Lunatic is back!
High Flyer keeps the assault on Black Mamba’s head. He crushes Ranger with a drag suplex and a knee to the temple. Flyer looks at the referee, pushes him away and drags Mamba to his feet.
Another dragon suplex.
Another knee to the temple.
Another shotgun dropkick.
High Flyer winks at Conor Fuse and then positions himself on the top buckle.
Joe Hoffman: A 450 splash misses! Mamba rolls out of the way. He’s into the ropes but Flyer leaps over him and Mamba is into the next set of ropes… corkscrew tackle! Mamba is trying to lock in a sleeper… but High Flyer picks James Ranger up and backdrops him.
The Lunatic hammers the side of his head while grinning sadistically. He waits for Black Mamba to rise and then charges in, looking for his finisher but Ranger rolls out of the way, hits the ropes and flies towards his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: Locomotive! Flyer hits the Yakuza Kick!
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: The winner of this match… High Flyer!
The Lunatic raises his head and immediately glances to where Conor Fuse was situated.
The chair is empty.
High Flyer’s theme blares on the PA as the referee raises his hand.
Benny Newell: I guess The Vintage didn’t like what he saw… which is REAL vintage work from High Flyer!
A Little Bit of the Bruvly
Backstage in front of a High Octane Refueled Banner stand former HOW Tag Team Champions, The Hollywood Bruvs. Mikey Unlikely and Jesse Fredricks Kendrix (who sports a simple t-shirt just with his name spelled correctly) stand poised with angry looks on their faces. No interviewer in sight, the pair of Bruvs take center stage.
Mikey Unlikely: IRRELEVANT!?
The Bruvs look at eachother confused.
Kendrix: Listen, Yeah?! It seems that the Greatest Tag Team in the world of alllllllll tiiiiiimmeeeee, baby, got blindsided a few weeks ago due to a simple case of mistaken identity.
Jesse rolls his eyes at the idiocy of anyone mistaking the Hollywood Bruvs as irrelevant and obsolete manly men.
Mikey Unlikely: I don’t know what world The Tag Team Champions live in, but every single person here live and watching on television know, The Hollywood Bruvs are International Superstars! They love us in Croatia! They love us in India! They love us in England!
Kendrix: We’re not allowed back in Chi…
Mikey Unlikely: JESSE! They love us in the UK!
Mikey Unlikely: Totally OBVS! They love us in the States!
Kendrix: The United States? I’ve always said that!
Mikey Unlikely: Yea but I said it first! So here we are after being abused, written on, and tossed in a dumpster like one of Bobby Dean’s Tinder dates! Two grown ass men attacked us from behind. They beat us with ENORMOUS weapons! Wrote on our beautiful bodies, and tossed us like yesterday’s news. I don’t care about ANY of that. The part that pisses off the Hollywood Bruvs is WHAT you wrote on us! WE ARE FAMOUS, DAMMIT!
Mikey bangs his fist against the backdrop to emphasize his displeasure before Jesse gives him a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
Kendrix: Starr, Sektor. See what you’ve done? You’ve taken things too far. This is the worst thing you could have possibly said about us. Now there’s a dent in the HOW backdrop because of your hurtful words.
Unlikely points to the dent to prove the point.
Kendrix: The Hollywood Bruvs didn’t come back to High Octane Wrestling for the love of the company or wrestling…ugh we HATE wrestling…
Mikey Unlikely: So much!
Kendrix: …But because we were paid very handsomely to do so. Do you know why we were asked to come back? Because the big boss man was hugely disappointed in his Tag Team division. We couldn’t understand it at first, since we made it flourish so much during our first stint in HOW. But since we’ve come back, we can see EXACTLY why we were asked to return.
Mikey Unlikely: The Tag Team division has been a SHAMBLES since we left! The company missed us so much they literally signed off on The Hollywood Boyz at the risk of name infringement and out of desperation they seem to have slapped together some High Octane Dinosaurs to see if they have anything in them to get the people to care about tag team wrestling.
Kendrix: Credit where it is due though gentlemen, StarrSek industries at least is an original tag team name and you managed to win our babies. You are indeed the High Octane Wrestling Tag Team Champions, so you earned the right to call us your wives’ nicknames for you and throw us in dumpsters with your cute little running commentary.
Mikey Unlikely: But we showed you exactly what we thought of you at Iconic when we dropped Jatt from the scaffold. And what have you done since then?
Kendrix: Why, apart from attacking us from behind, Jatt has struggled to overcome Bobby Dean, a man who is more concerned with maintaining his new body type rather than concentrate on finally making a serious name for himself in this business. Bravo Jatt.
Mikey Unlikely: We all saw what happened last week in the MAIN EVENT! John Sektor dropped faster than Jatt off a scaffold. The match was over before you could say “washed up”. The same man who called us out for not entering the tournament! You wanna know why you didn’t catch us in that tourney, John? We’re TAG TEAM Wrestlers. We’re not moonlighting. This is what we do 24/7 365.
The pair are getting heated with their words.
Mikey Unlikely: We’re back in HOW for one thing. It’s those championships around your waist. You ruined all our hard work in making those championships actually mean something.
Kendrix: They used to be RELEVANT and …OBVS…SOOOOO…LETE?!
JFK looks at Mikey confused. He mouths it a few more times to figure it out.
Mikey Unlikely: We’re ready to compete, we’re ready for action. You’re going to see very soon, just what The Hollywood Bruvs are capable of!
The pair storm off the set, but not before looking both ways.
The show feed makes a right turn off of Hollywood Boulevard and pulls into the Salt Mine to ask for directions.
There, in the process of putting on his ring gear and getting prepared for tonight’s Main Event, is Cancer Jiles. He’s got the bottom half of his 97red jumpsuit on, a salty pair of kicks, of course the T-Shades, and some wireless headphones turned up to 11. His ring gear is laid out on a chair next to him, and a large framed poster of High Octane GOD, Lee Best, with the phrase — my blind eyes are watching you — hangs on the wall next to the door.
Jiles: When you see me, I’ll leave you no doubt…
While Jiles is singing his entrance song, and playing the match out in his head, a gentle knock is heard at the door.
Jiles: I’m the coolest man that’s ever walked this Earth…
The knock is heard again, but this time whoever is knocking knocked hard enough to jar the door slightly open.
Jiles: I’ve been the coolest since the day of my birth…
Unbeknownst to the still singing, back turned, zoned in Maestro, the door to the Salt Mine begins to slowly open.
Jiles: I am the COOL.
Once the door is fully ajar, Bobby Dean is revealed.
Bobby Dean: I bet you can’t even hear me.
Jiles: I drive a little red sports car, as you plainly can see…
Bobby Dean: What a stupid song.
The Beaute from Honalee starts licking his chops. Redemption, payback, it’s at his fingertips. An ear to ear grin spreads, but before he is about to charge in and cash a receipt, he doesn’t.
Bob stops, the smile slowly turns into a frown, and a small cloud full of his second thoughts appears over his head. What if I miss? What if I fuck it all up, like I normally do? How do you even spell ambition again? Do I really want to stoop to his level? Am I better than that? MOST OF ALL, where did this gigantic frozen hand on my shoulder come from, and who does it belong to?
Frozen Hand: Close the door.
The owner of the hand’s almost mechanical voice causes Bobby to visibly gulp before doing as instructed.
Jiles: You know Madonna, well I saw her yesterday…
With the door now carefully closed, Bobby takes a deep, calming breath before turning around to face the owner of the gigantic frozen hand clutching at his shoulder. It’s Laser, the presumed dead, USS Octane super security guard. He seems to be thawing out some, but that doesn’t stop him from handing Bobby an action figure toothbrush and jabbing his finger down the hallway.
Cut to commercial.
The DeNucci Cup Final WILL be held from the USS OCTANE… WRESTLEBOAT.
Dan Ryan vs. Steve Harrison
Joe Hoffman: It’s been all HOFC for the last couple of weeks, folks, but this week we only have one bout to bring you. A semi-final match between Dan Ryan and Steve Harrison, to determine which of these men will go to the final and face the winner of Mike Best and Xander Azula. Both of these competitors have clawed and scraped their way to the semi-finals, and I’m certain this is going to be one hell of a contest.
Benny Newell: Fucking Milk Man Steve is the last thing keeping us from another Dan Ryan title shot. Jesus Christ. Could someone please poke Diaper Monster in the eyes or something? I’M BORED OF WATCHING MIKE SLAP THIS HONKY AROUND.
As the camera cuts to the cage to the left of the entrance ramp, both competitors are already in the ring and ready to square off. Dan Ryan, still nursing a slightly sore arm from last week, warms up in his corner as Steve Harrison sizes him up from the other, each man waiting for the bell to ring.
DING DING DING
Slowly stepping toward the center of the canvas, Steve Harrison offers a test of strength to Dan Ryan, for… some reason. The crowd crowd is confused, but Dan is happy to oblige. He steps to the center as well, extending his hand– but Harrison goes for the low blow! Unfortunately, Dan Ryan is so old that he was physically present for the invention of his trick, and he literally sidesteps the kick and plants Harrison across the jaw with a stiff punch that sends him skittering backward. The crowd fucking roars!
Harrison picks himself off the canvas, visibly shook, but he takes a deep breath and goes back in! The crowd is on fire early, as Harrison comes in raining blows down on Dan! Fists are exchanged, but have you seen the sheer size of Dan Ryan? Murder Daddy isn’t a fucking midget. He hits Harrison right on the button again, knocking him to the ground, and this time Harrison is a little slower to get up. He stumbles and falls back to his ass, as Rick Stevens starts the count for a TKO. Harrison waves him off, though– he makes it back to his feet before the count makes it too far, getting back to his feet. He charges Ryan on shaky legs, and Dan goes for the home run swing, but Harrison ducks! He slips behind Ryan, nailing a belly-to-back suplex and taking the big man down! Immediately, Harrison begins raining dirty shots to the back of Ryan’s skull, not giving a single fuck about the booing crowd as the bell rings and brings the round to an end.
Joe Hoffman: Dan Ryan looked to have that first round pretty well in hand, but you really can’t sleep on Steve Harrison, folks. I’d say Dan might have been in real danger if the round hadn’t come to an end.
Benny Newell: It’s a semi-final match, Joe. It’s going three rounds. Booking 101.
The bell rings to signify the beginning of round two, and now they’re back at it again.
Harrison is still riding high off the momentum of the end of the last round, and he immediately charges for Dan to start the round. Dan Ryan is ready for it… but unfortunately he’s not sure what he’s supposed to be ready for! Harrison doesn’t attack. He kicks off the cage instead of attacking, immediately hits a knee trigger to the side of Dan’s skull! ENLIGHTENMENT! The crowd CANNOT FUCKING BELIEVE IT! A hush comes over the crowd as Stevens begins the count.
DAN RYAN MAKES IT TO HIS FEET!
Harrison is fucking LIVID, and he isn’t waiting for Dan to get on steady feet. Why fuck with success? He kicks off the cage a second time, and this one is all she wrote as his knee drives this time in to the BACK of Dan Ryan’s head and–
Oh wait, no the fuck it doesn’t.
The elbow of Dan Ryan cracks Steve Harrison across the bridge of the nose, smashing him with the Hammer of God in maybe the most brutal way possible. Harrison hits the canvas like he’s been actually shot, and Rick Stevens immediately drops to a knee to check on him. There’s no need for a count, folks. It’s a clean knockout.
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner… advancing to the Denucci Cup Final…. DAN… RYYYYYAAAAAAAAN!
Joe Hoffman: WOW! Folks, I can’t believe it… Harrison had the match won! It almost defies physics! Dan Ryan is going to the Denucci Cup final!
Benny Newell: Defies physics? DEFIES BOOKING! Where the fuck is the third round? WHY DOES DAN RYAN GET NICE THINGS?! THIS IS THE WORST FUCKING NEWS!
“Believer” by Solence rips out over the P.A. system in the Best Arena as a chorus of boos welcomes the arrival of the Son of Scions, the Grandson of Lee Best and the Crown Prince of High Octane Wrestling..
As the lights cut out the stage is bathed in white light before a mass of about ten EPU security agents swarm through and take up defensive positions. Hobbling out on a cane with his neck still in a neck brace is Sutler, his expression wavering between shit eating grin and flashes of pain. Stopping for a moment to pose half-heartedly on the stage the youth quickly scrambles toward the ring with the rest of his security detail in pursuit.
Reaching the ring Sutler is carefully lifted up onto the apron before gingerly climbing between the ropes and celebrating once he had accomplished this as though he had achieved some great success. The fans here in Chicago, usually open to the idea of a Best family member, show Sutler little to no love as they boo the entitled little Princling.
The music dies down as the house lights flicker back to life, the lack of additional noise highlights just how loudly the crowd has begun to voice their disdain for Sutler. He doesn’t appear to pay it any mind as he retrieves his repurposed Maxopotamia microphone from his pocket.
SRK: First of all I would like to thank you all for all the well wishes I have received for the injuries I received at the hands of Dan Ryan. Every day I feel a little stronger, a little faster and a little better thanks to all your love and support! Thank you!
Sutler feints humility as he waves to the crowd with a solemn nod.
SRK: Second I want to talk about what it takes to be a Best Family Member. Being a member of the Best Family means that there is a standard placed on you that no other talent in this company can begin to imagine. It means that winning and achieving victory no matter the cost be it eyes, teeth, limbs.. Even you’re God damned life in some cases.
He nods smuggly to himself, as though the achievements of those who came before him were also somehow his to share.
SRK: It also means keeping busy and unlike the rest of this fucking mooches even while I am injured, as a Best, I am doing what I can to take this company into the future. With that in mind I have recently filled a new position here in the company, one that has been needed desperately for the past.. Ten? Twenty years? See, Grand dad just doesn’t have the vision necessary anymore to keep an eye on things in the company. He’s been blinded for a while, unable to perceive the troubles that are plaguing this company like a.. Like a..
Pausing for a moment Sulter reaches into his pocket and retrieves a small note book, peeking through the pages for a moment before looking back up at the crowd.
SRK: Like a really good pun that I didn’t write down and I don’t remember. The long and the short of it is that Lee Best is blind so I’m his new set of eyes as the new Head of Human Resources!
Pyro begins to detonate above the stage as red and white balloons fall from the ceiling. Celebratory stock music plays as the HOTv lights up with “CONGRATULATIONS SUTLER!”. The EPU guards hold their position around the ring as the Son of Scions plays at being surprised in the ring.
SRK: Oh guys you didn’t need to celebrate, thank you! Thank you, it really means a lot!
The crowd’s boos are drowned out by the sound of the music and the popping of balloons as people are quick to dispatch the turtle killer 9000s with eagerness.
SRK: As your new Head of Human Resources, or President Sutler of Human Resources, I’m bringing a new, youthful approach to how we deal with our Human Resources here in High Octane Wrestling. Now if you are concerned that I might use my new found position of power and authority to enact any revenge against you because, say, you spurned my request to join you in your High Octane Tag Team Championship Match, you have probably nothing much to worry about, most likely, based on Vegas odds, I promise!
He smiles crossing his heart with the mic while making it painfully obvious his fingers are crossed on his other hand.
SRK: Though someone I do have a problem with and one of the primary motivations for taking this position in the company is that contemptible polytheistic parasite, the repugnant ratfink Rah.
He looks down at his notebook for half a second before quickly adding on.
SRK: And your little manager too!
The mention of Rah draws a positive reaction which seems to irritate Sutler slightly who has enjoyed only the sound of boos. His lips purse out as sulks out at the crowd in a way that makes him look astonishingly like his biological father, Shane Reynolds.
SRK: Yeah, yeah, you can cheer him now but his scandalous ways are OVER! From this moment moving forward I am going to make sure that High Octane Wrestling turns a new chapter and starts to be the company that other companies can look too as a shining example of.. Of..
His eyes dart back down to this notebook for a second before looking back up.
SRK: ..Of.. Togetherness.. Or something. I didn’t really have a finish here so.. As my first act as the President of Human Resources I will be joining Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell at ringside to ensure that Joe Hoffman, known for his foul mouth and bias commentary, doesn’t violate ANY of the Employee Handbook’s Code of Conduct. Thank you.. Sutler..
Taking in a deep breath the Son of Scions waits for the perfect moment and then..
“Believer” by Solence roars out over the PA system as we cut to commercial .
The HOG got smoked by KC
Lee Best lost his ass on the Super Bowl… rumors he might be taking it out on the roster tonight…
Cancer Jiles vs. Michael Lee Best
We return ringside where Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell are joined by Sutler Reynolds-Kael at the commentary table. Joe looks annoyed while Benny and Sutler appear to be in a heated discussion about something.
Joe Hoffman: Ladies and Gentlemen it is Main Event Time here at Refueled LIII, I’m Joe Hoffman joined by my broadcast partner Benny Newell and guest commentator Sutler Reynolds-Kael
SRK: President of Human Resources Sutler Reynolds-Kael you pleb!
Benny Newell: Yeah, what the President said!
Joe Hoffman:.. President Sutler, tonight your Uncle, Mike Best, puts the High Octane World Championship up against “Cool” Cancer Jiles. The odds makers in Vegas put Mike Best up 3 to 1 tonight, what are your thoughts?
SRK: For starters the odds should be closer to 10 to 1, someone is giving Jiles waaaay more credit than he deserves and secondly, are you taking out bets on matches Hoffman? You know that’s against the handbook, right?
Benny Newell: Fuck, Joe, you never told me!
Joe Hoffman: I’ve never.. Sigh.. Let’s toss it up to the ring to Bryan McVay.
We return to the ring where Bryan McVay is standing by.
“You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito rolls out over the sound system as the fans join in. Bounding out onto the stage in referee gear is the fan loved Bobby Dean. He makes his way to the ring slapping hands and waving as the crowd throws their support behind our special guest referee for the evening.
Joe Hoffman: So this might be the reason the Vegas odds worked out the way they did with Bobby Dean as tonight’s special guest referee.
Benny Newell: Can Benny even count to ten after all the brain damage?!
SRK: Well luckily he only needs to count to three, Benny.
Bobby climbs into the ring with his arms in the air while receiving a very warm ovation from the audience. The lights draw to a dim.
Joe Hoffman: Right out of the gate with it!
Benny Newell: AHAHAHHAHAHA. YES! Murder TIEM!
Joe Hoffman: Think Jiles has any chance tonight, Benny?
Before Benny can smash the softball tossed to him an electric guitar riff blasts through the Best Arena.
Joe Hoffman: The High Octane faithful are really getting on the challenger! And rightfully so, Bobby Dean is a little bit of all of us and Jiles did him dirty last week.
Benny Newell: Was that a fat joke?
A spotlight in the shape of sunglasses illuminates the entrance ramp. Then, coinciding with the beginning lyrics to “I am the COOL”, the only man to ever descend from COOLYMPUS emerges from the back.
He doesn’t break from his stride; keeping his emotionless gaze fixed in front of him. His T-Shades are on, his hair is radiating blond, and his wrestling boots are colored completely salt white.
Joe Hoffman: Well, he’s got his game face on.
Benny Newell: Not for long! Mike is going to press the power button on those fucking shitass sunglesses with his holy knee and give ole Salt Shoes really something to cry about. I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT!
After reaching the ring, The Count of COOLSYLVANIA slides under the bottom rope, exchanges a few words with special guest referee Bobby Dean, and then climbs the turnbuckles to really soak in the boo birds’ shit.
Joe Hoffman: MY GOD! Listen to them! It seems that overnight and with one well timed superkick, Jiles has become the most hated man in High Octane! This ovation is something else!
Benny Newell: Tell them all not to worry, Joe. They are all going to go home happy. Oops. Spoilers.
The challenger hops down from the turnbuckles and starts to needle his old friend while waiting for the champion’s arrival.
“HALLLLLLELUJAH! HALLLLLLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLEEEEEEEELUJAH!”
The angry grumble of Hanzel und Gretyl’s “HELLAlujah” bumps over the sound system marking the arrival of the SON of GOD and HOW World Champion, Michael Lee Best.
The polarizing wrestling champion steps out onto the stage as he receives both a mix of cheers and boos, the local Chicago crowd divided often when it came to Mike. He thrusts the HOW World Championship into the air on the stage staring out over the crowd as his head bobs in rhythm with the music.
He begins to saunter down toward the ring making sure that the camera gets plenty of shots with him and more specifically with the HOW World Championship, including his unofficial HOW Hall of Fame ring.
Reaching the ring Mike slips beneath the bottom rope, rising to his feet where he lifts the World Title once again to the audience ensuring anyone who might have missed it now has a full chance to see it.
Mike shoves the title into Bobby Deans chest before moving toward his corner, stretching and preparing as his music dies down.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and Gentlemen it is time for your MAAAAAAAAAAAIN EVENT!
The crowd explodes as they prepare for another High Octane classic main event.
Bryan McVay: The following contest is for the High Octane Wrestling WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first..
Cancer Jiles steps out of his corner, his sunglasses still down over his eyes as one assumes he keeps his eyes locked on his opponent .
Bryan McVay: Introducing first.. The Challenger, hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, standing at 6’1’’ and weighing in at 229 lbs.. CAAAAAAAAAAAANCER JIIIIIIIIIIIILES!
Thunderous almost comically loud boos reign in on the Coolest guy in HOW though he only offers a slightly crooked smile as an acknowledgement of it.
Bryan McVay: ..and his opponent.. He is the reigning HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING WWWWOOOOOOOOOOORLD CHAAAAAAAMPION.. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, standing at 6’1’’ and weighing in at 230 lbs.. MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEST!
Another loud but mixed reaction as Mike moves to the center of the ring to look eye to eye with Jiles. The two stand a few inches away from each other while Bobby presents the World Championship. He hands it off to McVay before signalling for the bell..
DING DING DING!
Both men immediately start throwing closed fists punches into each other’s jaws as they square off in the center of the ring! Though they seem evenly matched Jiles manages to overpower Mike, forcing him into the ropes before Mike answers back with a short lifted knee to Jile’s jaw that staggers him back!
Joe Hoffman: Both men starting off attempting to get the advantage over the other with a barrage of fists!
Benny Newell: Nobody hits harder than Mike Best, Jiles is a fucking idiot!
SRK: It’s not the fists you have to worry about with Mike, it’s the damn knees.
Mike dashes forward looking to finish the match off early with an I Kneed a Hero but Jiles scouts the move, dodging out of the way as Mike’s knee cuts through the air harmlessly.
Joe Hoffman: Mike going for a quick finish!
Benny Newell: HERE WE GO!
As Mike’s momentum carries him into the ropes Jiles slips behind with a sudden school boy!
Benny Newell: NO!
Joe Hoffman: An early near pinfall by Jiles who almost outwrestled the champion!
SRK: How can you be this bias, Hoffman!? I’m signing you up for Sensitivity Training so you can stop being an asshole to my Uncle!
Joe Hoffman: You have got to be kidding me with this..
Bobby isn’t even able to slap the mat for the second time before Mike manages to kick his way out of the pinning predicament. Jiles keeps pushing though by catching Mike with a short closeline followed up by a quick elbow drop and a pin!
Joe Hoffman: Another two count as Jiles keeps the heat coming!
SRK: I’ll be the first one to admit this is not the way I saw this match going..
Benny Newell: Fuck me, Mike you can’t lose to this fucking chump! What would Lee think if Cancer Jiles was champion!?
Throwing his shoulder up Mike breaks the pinfall and immediately rolls outside the ring to collect himself. Jiles, recognizing the need to keep the pressure up, follows Mike to the outside harassing the Champion with a blistering series of rights and lefts. Grabbing a full head of Mike’s hair Jiles slams him into the nearby barricade.
Joe Hoffman: Metal on steel as Jiles is taking the World Champion to task utilizing the ringside area!
SRK: Bobby needs to get control of this damn match and move it back into the ring or there is going to be an HR meeting scheduled later this week for endangering the talent!
Benny Newell: At last some law in a lawless fucking land! DRIIIINK!
Mike’s body crumbles against the ringside barricade as Jiles repeatedly whips him into them, literally running him around the ring as Mike continues to weather the brutal assault.
Jiles finishes Mike off with a running facebuster to the concrete outside the ring before rolling the Champion back into the ring attempting another cover.
Joe Hoffman: Barely a one count, Mike might have taken a beating outside the ring but it will take more than a few rough landings to keep the World Champion down.
SRK: Of course it will, he literally killed a man, my father, his brother, to keep that World Championship, do you really think a few barricades are going to slow him down?
Benny Newell: That’s why he is the BEST!
SRK: Well.. for now at least.
Once again before the second hand can drop Mike throws his shoulder up. The Crown Prince of COOL doesn’t seem to worry about the one count and instead mounts the Son of God before he goes full A Christmas Story waylaying an unprotected Mike with a combination of wild rights and lefts.
Joe Hoffman: Jiles is a man possessed! He can’t win the title if he gets DQed and I think even Bobby knows that!
After issuing a warning to Jiles Bobby finally has to intercede, grabbing Jiles’ arm and ripping him off a defenseless Mike. The two have a tense moment where Bobby explains loudly that if he keeps this up he will have to D.Q. him. Finally Cancer relents, stepping away as Bobby checks on Mike who has started to bleed from a cut above his left eye.
SRK: Look at this savage! Bobby should disqualify Jiles immediately! This is disgusting! Blood!? Who bleeds in wrestling!?
Benny Newell: DO YOUR JOB BOBBY!
Shoving Bobby away Jiles continues the assault with a series of stiff boots and punches going right back to the Champion’s face now that he can sense blood in the water. Once again Bobby gets involved warning Jiles against closed fists..
Joe Hoffman: Damn it!
Benny Newell: GET HIM MIKE!
Bobby’s position doesn’t allow him to see Mike send a foot up into Jiles’ bait and tackle immediately taking the fight out of the challenger. Falling to his knees, Jiles face turns ashen white as Mike scrambles to the nearby corner to collect himself. Bobby looks confused before he releases what has happened immediately admonishing Mike for what he suspects is foul play.
Joe Hoffman: And now we see the veteran champion who is willing to use any trick in the book to keep his title..
SRK: If you are not willing to do whatever it takes to win than you do not deserve to be in HOW!
Benny Newell: Yeah Hoffman! What the President of HR Says!
Pulling himself up to his feet Mike ignores Bobby as he begins to get to work on his opponent. A quick clubbing lariat to the back of Jiles is the start of the misery as the HOW World Champion utilizes a brutal array of elbow and knee strikes that are likely giving Bobby flashbacks.
With the match on his side Mike takes his time now with Jiles. He chains together a series of suplexes going from a Northern Lights into a Belly to Back finally executing a punishing looking high angle German Suplex which he holds for the bridge..
Benny Newell: FUCK! THAT WAS A THREE COUNT!
Joe Hoffman: Bobby has called an incredibly even match and that was, by all measures, a two count Benny.
SRK: I AGREE WITH BENNY! BOO!
Jiles manages to twist his body breaking the pinfall as Mike turns a withering eye toward Bobby. The two argue before Mike returns to the mission at hand, breaking down Jiles and preparing to soften him up for I Kneed A Hero.
Mike continues to work over Jiles before he has the Crown Prince of Cool on his knees in the center of the ring. Casting Bobby a smirk Mike measures up Jiles before charging forward..
I KNEED A HER-
SRK: NO! NO NO! UNFAIR!
Benny Newell: FORIEGN OBJECT!
Joe Hoffman: HE HIT THE YOLK!
The yellow mist catches Mike right in the face before he is able to launch his knee! Staggered Mike is in a defensive state as Jiles launches himself out of his kneeling stance..
SRK: NO! NOT TERMINAL CANCER!
Benny Newell: GET IN THERE SUTLER, DO SOMETHING!
Joe Hoffman: Could he do it!? Could we see a new champion!?
Jile’s foot connects with Mike’s jaw catching the undefended Champion completely off guard! He goes limp and collapses to the ring as Jiles painfully crawls over to drap his arm over Mike’s chest! Bobby drops down!
Bobby refuses to drop his hand for the third pinfall! Jiles looks up in confuses as Bobby’s hand hovers just above the mat. The boyish face of Bobby Dean seems to melt from determined concern to cruel enjoyment as he flashes two middle fingers at Jiles.
The crowd is losing their mind as Jiles appears utterly shocked and confused by what is happening. Climbing up to his feet Jiles grabs Bobby as the two start to scream at each other..
Joe Hoffman: ..what the hell..
Benny Newell: YES!
Once again Mike catches Jiles off guard with a low blow right to the egg basket! Dropping to his knees Jiles appears to be in anguish while Bobby quickly secures him for Mike! The World Champion, still a little woozy from the Terminal Cancer, stumbles up to his feet before calling for the I Kneed A Hero! He heads into the ropes..
SRK: HE KNEW HIS JOB!
Benny Newell: NO! THAT DAMN JILES!
Jiles pulls Bobby in the way narrowly avoiding contact with the knee as Bobby catches it right to the side of this head! The force throws Bobby between the ropes and to a pile on the outside of the ring as Mike stares on in shock and horror! The audience isn’t even sure how to react as some boo Bobby for betraying what he stood for while others cheer for Jiles who might actually do the impossible, he might actually beat Mike Best!
Benny Newell: He cheated! DQ HIM! DQ HIM!
Joe Hoffman: Turnabout is fair play Benny!
As Mike turns round it is his turn to feel the wrath of his nuts being crushed into butter! Crumbling to his knees Mike stares up into the eyes of Jiles..
SRK: STOP THIS! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!
For the second time tonight Mike eats the boot from Jiles, his body collapsing to the mat once again..
Joe Hoffman: ONE TWO THREE, JILES IS A NEW CHAMPION! HE WOULD BE THE NEW CHAMPION DAMN IT!
Benny Newell: The idiot shouldn’t have knocked out the referee!
Outside Bobby Dean starts to stir though he is clearly still rattled from taking the knee from Mike!
SRK: ..without a referee how the hell does the match end then!?
Joe Hoffman: Sutler, tell your people we need another referee out here!
SRK: I’m HR I don’t have those kinds of people and even if I did I wouldn’t cross my Uncle you idiot!
Referee Matt Boettcher can be seen running down the ramp as the fans cheer him on! He slides into the ring and begins making the pin count!
SRK: THANK FUCK!
Benny Newell: Jesus Christ I am about to have a heart attack! DRINK!
Mike Best manages to throw his shoulder up at the last minute. Jiles can’t believe it! Frustration, anger and the sting of Bobby Dean’s betrayal pushes Jiles over the edge as he loses his… cool. He rages around the ring before getting into a shouting match with Matt Boettcher about the count speed before finally returning his attention to the Champion.
SRK: This is it! This is it! Uncle Mike has him beat! There is no way out of this, no way to survive this! It’s all over!
Benny Newell: Choke his ass out! TAP YOU SON OF A BITCH, TAP!
Like the dead rising Mike manages to catch Jiles in a moment of surprise, entangingly his opponent’s upper body and neck in a triangle choke! Jiles is immediately aware of the dire nature of his situation, his legs kicking wildly as he turns to try and find an escape from the submission hold!
Joe Hoffman: Jiles has nowhere to go and no way out of this! After all he has fought, after how much he has overcome in this match and that it ends like this? Excuse my French but this is bullshit.
SRK: LANGUAGE.. But I will excuse it, this is a very emotional time for all of us!
Unfortunately Mike has the triangle locked in too tightly and is positioned to far away from the ropes. Despite his best efforts Jiles is unable to reach the ropes and instead must endure the slow death in Champions Fivetime-Out.
On the outside Bobby Dean has finally recovered, sliding into the ring as he begins to yell at Matt Boettcher for taking his job. As the two referees argue, in a last ditch effort to attain victory, Jiles lifts Mike before leaning forward putting the Champion in a pinning position.
Boettcher notices and shoves Dean to the side dropping down to make the count!
Bobby realizes what is happening as panic grips his face.
Cancer’s body starts to grow limp as his arm falls to his side..
Bobby and Boettcher calls for the bell!
WINNER: CANCER JILES VIA PINFALL IN 17 MINUTES AND 2-
Bobby shoves Boettcher!
WINNER: MIKE BEST VIA SUBMISSION IN 19 MINUTES AND 2-
Matt Boettcher shoves Bobby back, reaching down and hoisting Jiles arm up in the air. Bobby quickly reaches down and scoops up Mike Best, holding his arm up in the air as the entire arena is confused as to what they just saw.
Joe Hoffman: Wait.. wait who won!? Boettcher says that Jiles won, Bobby is saying that Mike won..
SRK: MIKE WON!
Benny Newell: Yeah I saw Mike get the tap out!
Joe Hoffman: But Mike’s shoulders were on the mat for a three count, Jiles got the pin!.. So.. what does this mean!?
The entire arena is wracked in confusion, trying to figure out what in the hell just happened… but they don’t have to wonder for long.
The theme song for the GOD of HOW hits the PA system inside HIS arena and the crowd stands and turns as one towards the entrance ramp…
The crowd begins cheering as Lee makes his way out from the back with his bodyguard, Redrum, leading him out.
Lee wastes little time as he raises his hand and the crowd goes silent.
Lee Best: I wish I could say I saw what just happened but sadly that old fuck Kostoff made sure that would never happen again…..but from what I have HEARD…….that fat flaking underperforming Bobby Dean decided to play a role in the match tonight and led to come bullshit finish.
The camera pans to the ring where Bobby stares sheepishly up at the ramp and then back at Mike who has snatched his World Championship belt from a crewman at ringside.
Lee Best: Now look this is simple. Even if the tape…..which I cannot see…..shows that it was a tie…..my SON retains……
The crowd erupts at the announcement and Mike’s famous smirk is shown in all its 4K glory on the HOV.
Lee Best: …..but that also means that I am not satisfied with what just went down. So with that said….Cancer Jiles……Michael Lee Best…..you two will meet again at March to Glory for the World Championship!!!!
The crowd erupts again as the we now have our World Title match for March to Glory settled.
Lee Best: You assholes better count your lucky stars that I could NOT see everything that just went down. Why the fuck was Kael at ringside? Who the fuck said it was ok for Dean to be the ref? I am not saying I would have said no to any of those ideas…….but it appears when Daddy is away the kids will play. No more…..that is why I am adding a stipulation to the match at March to Glory.
The crowd goes silent as they know something big is about to go down…
Lee Best: No special guest referees……no special commentators……only my adoring Son defending the World Championship in a steel cage match. There will be no bullshit pin and submission finishes….the only way to walk out of March to Glory as the World Champion is by escaping the cage. No pinfalls….no submissions…NO INTERFERENCE…..and how fitting is that as my Son is the odds on favorite to be trying to win the HOFC title in another cage aboard the USS Octane come March 13th.
The crowd is buzzing at the thought of the HOFC and the World Championships being defended in two different cages with two different set of rules.
Lee Best: Oh…one final thing……..Cancer Jiles……you lose at March to Glory…..you can join your weatherman buddy Scott on the sidelines as you will be fucking fired!!!!!!
Refueled comes to an end as we see a shocked look come across the face of Jiles as Lee turns and heads to the back.