We are live in Aberdeen, Scotland as the HOTv logo flashes across the screen, followed by the logo for HIgh Octane Wrestling. P&J Live is on their feet as the camera pans around the arena– it’s a particularly rowdy crowd, as HOW returns to the United Kingdom for the first time this era.
The HOV lights up, mirroring television screens around the world as we get highlights from the Rumble at the Rock pay-per-view that took place just seven days ago. Short but sweet highlights of the Prison Yard match fly by in still frame form, showing JJR come away with the HOTv Championship that will be defended right here tonight. A compilation of shots from Rah’s final match versus High Flyer, Darin Zion narrowing beating Xander Azula, and John Sektor retaining the LSD Championship in a must-see 97 Minute Iron Man Match fly by, ending on the Infirmary match itself as Clay Byrd earns a shot at the HOW World Championship at ICONIC, defeating Jace Parker Davidson.
Finally, we see an actual video clip of the main event of Rumble at the Rock, a well produced vignette highlighting the three falls of the World Championship match between Michael Lee Best and Conor Fuse. Conor writhing on the cross, blacked out to a video of Michael literally being electrocuted to end the second fall. Finally, a one-two-three in a darkened ring, and the crowning of a new HOW World Champion.
The camera pulls back to the arena, with the fans now hyped for the start of tonight’s edition of refueled. There is a full pan of the crowd, who have brought signs out in force for their first chance to be on television in the modern era.
JEFFREY JAMES THE RIPPER
I DO NOT CONSENT
BYRD IS THE WORD
HIT CONTINUE CONOR
Finally, the camera falls to the announcer’s table, where Joe Hoffman is waiting with a headset and his notes for tonight’s show to begin. It’s still a solo booth with Benny off the broadcast, and Joe smiles as the camera comes to rest.
Joe Hoffman: Good evening folks, and WELCOME to HOW Refueled. I’m Joe Hoffman, and we’re joining you LIVE from Aberdeen, Scotland for the first show on the road to ICONIC! We have a stacked show for you tonight, culminating in a HOTv Championship match between Jeffrey James Roberts and the challenger, newcomer David Noble! We’re heading to the ring for tonight’s first match soon, but first I’m told that we’ll be joined by–
Before Joe can even finish the sentence, the lights in the arena lower to a dim.
As Hanzel und Gretyl’s “Hellalujah” begins to blast over the speakers, an unsurprisingly loud and mixed reaction fills the arena. In front of a crowd in the United Kingdom for the first time in a half dozen years, and in front of a Scottish crowd for the first time ever, the Son of God steps through the entranceway in a pair of stylishly faded grey jeans and a blood hooded sweatshirt, the Six Time Academy logo emblazoned on the back.
Walking with confidence, albeit also like a man who just got the shit beaten out of him at Rumble at the Rock, the Son of God holds the HOW World Championship aloft at the top of the ramp, getting another heavy mix of boos and cheers as he slowly makes his way down toward the ring. He climbs the steps, ducking between the ropes and slinging the HOW World Title over his shoulder as though it never left, before taking the microphone from Bryan McVay.
He stands in the middle of the ring as he holds it up in front of his mouth.
Mike Best: Kneel before the fucking King.
It’s an awfully aggressive start for the Son of God, who appears to be wearing a chip on the shoulder not currently occupied by a title belt. The crowd immediately begins to sour on him, the reaction to those words not quite as mixed as they were a moment ago.
Mike Best: Fuck a King of Everything who rules over nothing. Fuck a Queen Bee without a crown. I was electrocuted for this fucking championship. I was almost crucified for this championship. I have, time and again, put my LIFE on the line for this championship. And yet as I walked into this arena tonight, still bleeding through bandages from rebar that tore through my flesh… that narrowly avoided destroying my spine… ending my career… putting me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life… all I could hear was the whispers of disloyal subjects.
He begins to pace around the ring, careful to avoid putting too much strain on his torso as he turns. His eyes are cold, as spiteful as the tone in his voice.
Mike Best: For twelve years, I have given you my blood. “There is no royal road; you’ve got to work a good deal harder than most people want to work.” Charles E. Wilson said that– he was a businessman. Most of you wouldn’t know who he was, since the only business you’ve ever gone into was for yourselves. You think I don’t hear you? Muttering behind closed doors. Mike Best didn’t deserve to walk back into a title shot. Tough shit, I got one. Conor Fuse deserved to win that match. Well tough shit, he didn’t. There was no Cinderella story. No feel good after credits music. Conor was crucified in pursuit of the HOW World Championship– I know I walk around calling myself the Son of God, but the truth is that Conor Fuse died for your sins at Rumble at the Rock.
A lot of boos this time– Aberdeen fucking loves Conor Fuse, and a slow but steady “THANK YOU CONOR” chant begins in the front row and slowly makes it’s way to the back of the arena.
Mike Best: No, that’s right. Thank Conor Fuse. But you people out in the crowd tonight, you’re not the ones who should be accepting him as your new Lord and savior. I turn my eyes and my judgment toward that locker room, because that’s where the sinners are too busy wallowing in their own shit sucking self-pity to acknowledge the truth in front of them. Conor Fuse was plastered to a cross for every one of you lazy pieces of garbage who ever complained about their spot and then didn’t even bother to show up to work. He had nails driven through his hands for every one of you two faced politicians who ever told me how happy they were to see me back, and then texted Lee Best to whine about my number one contendership. And every time I drove that hammer down, and I heard Conor scream, I was thinking of YOU.
He points a judging hand back at the curtain, representing the wrestlers backstage.
Mike Best: Thinking about all those smiling faces that kneeled before the King and kissed his ring and publicly sucked my dick, and then went behind closed doors to piss and moan that I am now the tenth HOW World Champion. We all play pretend like we’re friends, and we all protect each other’s feelings, right? Well I’m done pretending. I’m done pretending that we are equals. I’m done pretending that it could “go either way” when we step between those ropes. You wanna keep it real, HOW? Let’s keep it real– I am the King of High Octane Wrestling, and if you will not respect my crown then you will fear my roar.
He slaps his chest, puffing it out toward the back. With his free hand, he holds the title aloft.
Mike Best: I am the King, this is my kingdom, and kings make proclamations, right? So hey, since I’m Mike Best and I just do whatever I want, and only ever win because my Daddy owns the company, then let’s stop pretending! Let’s drop the illusion. I am the HOW World Champion, and a particular prospector appears to have earned himself a title shot, so what do you say, Aberdeen? What do you say, babies and morons in the back? You guys wanna see Mike Best vs. Clay Byrd at ICONIC?
There is a tremendous roar from the crowd, as the Aberdeen faithful get hyped for what is assuredly a banger of a match in just fifty days.
Mike Best: Tough shit. Clay Byrd earned nothing.
Instant boos. The Son of God doesn’t seem to care too much, as a smirk comes over his face. Only a small one, though– he’s angrier than he is smug tonight.
Mike Best: Lee Best didn’t add that Infirmary Match stipulation. Lee Best didn’t authorize that contract. Sorry you two dipshits almost killed each other over nothing, but better luck next year, because Clay Byrd isn’t main eventing ICONIC. I knocked him out in a cage twice, nothing left for me to prove. He got that little charity title shot against Sutler that the office loves to hand out to the little people to keep them passive and positive vibes, he doesn’t need another one. Go fuck yourselves. I’ll book whatever match I want for ICONIC– what are they gonna do, fire me? I do whatever I want, remember?
He shrugs his shoulders, mouthing “The Perception” into the hard camera.
Mike Best: Maybe I’ll book myself against Jatt Starr in a 194 minute iron man match, just to prove how much better I am than John Sektor. Maybe I’ll bring Dan Ryan out of retirement for his third consecutive ICONIC main event, while you all sit in the back and wonder when you get a turn. Fuck, maybe I’ll drag Max Kael out of the ground and pin him for the thirty seventh time and see if makes a news post about it from Purgatory.
A resounding boo from the crowd for that.
Mike Best: Or maybe I’ll call up Cecilworth Farthington and see if he wants to have a friendship match at ICONIC, and we can jerk ourselves off for 49 days and then decide the result of the match by Rock, Paper, Scissors. Yeah, I like that one. Only guy I’m willing to lose this belt to is a former Group of Death-er. Sorry guys. In fact, I think I’m going to–
Guitar and harmonic begins to blare throughout P&J Live; the crowd has a mixed reaction for The Behemoth as he steps out onto the entrance ramp in street clothes. “Gunnin’ For You” continues playing as he makes his way down to the ring with a microphone in hand.
Clay Byrd: Michael, ya sure are doin’ a lot of talkin’ out here. And while it is true, ya did manage ta knock me out in the HOFC cage, you and I haven’t wrassled yet in the squared circle…
Clay pauses for a moment, before getting up into Michael’s face. The brim of his cowboy hat almost pressing down against Michael’s head, he points at the #97RED leather title and taps it.
Clay Byrd: And we haven’t danced fer that yet either. I EARNED my shot at the #97RED lady, I went through hell fer my shot at the #97Red lady…
Mike Best takes a step back from The Monster from Plainview and begins speaking.
Mike Best: Oh look, it can talk. I would have assumed after eating two knees like they were worth buck Canadian each, you’d mostly just point at things you want and yell. Maybe when you mix steroids and CTE, it unlocks some magic nerve blocking berserker rage that stops you from registering pain, but you were injured at Rumble at the Rock, moron. And since you’ll be too injured to compete at ICONIC, I have all the authority in the world to deny you a title match. No refunds. No rainchecks. Thank you, fuck you, bye.
Clay Byrd: Rumors of my demise must have been greatly exaggerated, Michael. You and I might be far from 100% tonight, but I reckon by the time we get ‘round ta London we’ll both be feelin’ right as rain. Cause there ain’t a chance in hell I’m missin’ Iconic.
Mike Best: Oh Clay. You stupid fuck. I didn’t say you are too injured to compete at ICONIC… I said that you will be.
With terrible force, the knee of Clay Byrd buckles awkwardly as it is struck from behind from the full weight of something large and rusty looking. As the camera adjusts, we can see that it’s a large piece of twisted rebar… the actual rebar that impaled Michael Lee Best at Rumble at the Rock. It’s wielder throws the black hood off of his head, revealing a cold as ice Cecilworth Farthington.
Clay hits the canvas, holding his knee in shock, but Farthington strikes again. He wails on the arm of Clay Byrd, smashing his forearm over and over before throwing the rebar aside and grabbing Clay roughly by the head. He yanks him into a sitting position, holding him up as he nods at his best friend– Michael nods back, and takes off from the ropes, launching forward with a brutal I KNEED A HERO in the center of the ring! The crowd is booing at a crescendo as Clay doesn’t even go down… Farthington holds him in place, as Michael bounces back off the ropes a second time.
I KNEED A HERO!
This time, Clay collapses to the mat, clearly hurt. Security and EMTs begin to pour down the ramp, but Michael holds up a hand and stops them in their tracks– no one gets into the ring until they’re finished, and they aren’t finished yet. Farthington grabs hold of Clay’s busted up arm, throwing him roughly into the Article 51 cross-armbreaker, but he doesn’t pull back all the way on the hold.
Mike Best: Looks to me like you’re injured, Clay. Too injured for a World Title match at ICONIC. Maybe you’ll be healthy enough to challenge Sektor for the LSD. Or hey, maybe you can get the front office to throw you into that Conor and Jace match! Lots of options, Clay, and you can choose any of them and walk away from here with your health and your dignity intact. So what do you think, Clay? Think real hard when you answer this. Do you want to call off the title match? Do you want to give HOW the main event that it deserves? Do you want to walk away from this intact, Clay?
Clay hollers out, as Farthington cinches further back on the hold. Byrd’s eyes narrow toward the HOW World Champion, as enraged as he is too hurt to fight it. Michael shoves the microphone in his face.
Clay Byrd: Fuck both of you.
Michael slowly nods his head, his expression turning to one of sadness, even if it’s feigned.
Mike Best: Fair enough. You made your choice.
The second the last syllable leaves his mouth, Farthington arches back on the hold to a degree that almost defies physics. He yanks back harder than he’s ever yanked on an arm in HOW…
…and in an instant the forearm of Clay Byrd visibly cracks in the middle of the ring. The bone is practically visible through the skin as Clay lets out the roar of a wounded bear, falling limp to the canvas as Farthington lets go of the hold. He quickly rolls up to his feet, joining Michael as they climb out of the ring and head for the ramp.
Security and EMTs pour into the ring to attend to Clay Byrd, whose arm looks unnatural and is clearly broken. He’s curled into the fetal position on instinct alone, but Michael isn’t done. He speaks into the microphone on his way to the back.
Mike Best: Be seeing you, Clay. What, you all think I was kidding?
He smirks, stifling a laugh as he throws an arm around Cecilworth.
Mike Best: At ICONIC, for the HOW World Championship, the main event will be Michael Lee Best versus Cecilworth M. Farthington. Go fuck yourselves. Enjoy the show.
As both men disappear behind the curtain, the crowd is booing about as loud as a crowd can boo. The camera cuts back to the ring, where the EMTs are still working to help Clay Byrd, as Refueled cuts to a commercial break.
Bobby Dean vs. Steve Solex
Returning from commercial break, “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito blares over the PA system as the UK HOW fans roar. Bobby Dean removes his trademark Aqua Robe off his back, setting it in the corner. Awaiting Solex’s entrance, The Beautiful One throws up his fists, readying to fight for his job.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first; from Houston, Texas…. weighing in at a BONTIFUL 255 pounds. He is BEEEEAAAAAAAUTIFUL BOOOOOOOOOOOBBBBBBBY DEEEEEEEEEAN!!!!!
Before Joe Hoffman can start his exposition to the match; This Means War ” blares over the PA system. The crowd explodes into a fury of boos as the montage of Steven Solex airs on the HOV. Each picture pulses in rhythm to the music. Silence fills the arena as the HOV dims. Suddenly, a mushroom cloud bursts on the HOV, sending plumes of smoke throughout the P&J Live arena. When the music returns, Solex marches proudly out of the back, decked out in American Flag gear. The UK crowd flings beer and trash towards Solex, who charges down to the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Good evening everyone! It’s time we kick off this edition of Refueled with some good ole fashioned rassling! HOW officials made their displeasure clear about Dean and Solex’s performances. Both men made a gentleman’s agreement and tonight kicks off their Best of Seven Series. Solex and Dean’s jobs are potentially on the line heading into ICONIC.
As Hoffman continues with the story, Solex flips off the cameras as he passes by the announcer’s table.
Joe Hoffman: While both men have abysmal records here in HOW; this series will allow them to shine. If both men fight hard enough; they’ll punch their ticket to ICONIC. If not, HOW will send one packing. Who will gain the first fall advantage in this series tonight? The World and the UK are eager to see!
Solex slides into the ring and stares a hole straight into Hortega’s soul before locking eyes with Bobby. Chills run down Bobby’s spine as Hortega lines both competitors into the center of the ring. Bryan wraps up his introductions as both men shake hands.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Huntington Beach, California… weighing in at 252 pounds. He is Haalllllll of Faaaaaaammmmmer STEEEEEEEEEEEVEEEE SOOOOOOLLLLLEXXXX!!!
Both competitors shake hands before Hortega calls for the bell…
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Joe Hoffman: That dirty son-of-a-gun Solex nailed a blind clothesline on Bobby! Such a cheap way to start this match! The Aberdeen crowd absolutely hates this turn of events.
Wasting no time, Solex mounts Bobby Dean’s lifeless body, nailing stiff punches to his opponent’s face. Bobby’s face begins to swell with the amount of heat coming from Solex’s stiff shots. Finally after waffling the Beautiful One’s face enough, blood pours from the nose of Bobby. Solex smears Dean’s blood across his face like war paint as Dean struggles to his feet. Solex taunts and insults Bobby as he struggles to get to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: Solex isn’t wasting any more time with games. The War Veteran wants to show the world he means complete business now. But don’t count Bobbo out of this match. I’ve never seen Bobby’s face burning like this. He’s feeding off his inner rage!!!!
In an act of Defianace, Bobby stands up and motions for Solex to attack. As Solex attempts another fierce clothesline, the Beautiful One flings Solex sky high.
Joe Hoffman: God I wish Benny were here for that stiff European Uppercut. His colorful words would describe exactly how Bobby’s fist connected to Solex’s face.
Solex scurries towards the corner trying to escape Bobby’s onslaught. Dean rushes past Hortega, stomping straight down at Solex’s jaw. Hortega rushes his count:
No! Bobby barks right in Hortega’s face. He’s fired up! Before he can turn around and continue, Solex weasels his way back into the match. Flooring the Beautiful One with force, Solex jams his fist into Bobby’s groin. Bobby grabs his jewels and flails around in pain, helpless to Solex’s next attack. Solex stomps with force at Bobby’s skull. The Beautiful One attempts to crawl towards the ropes, but Solex yanks him back into the center. Solex drops to his knees and bites straight into Dean’s head. Hortega flies towards Solex and lectures him. But Solex shirks off Joel’s warnings. Wasting no more time, he wraps a headlock onto Dean. The UK crowd cheers Dean towards the ropes.
“LET’S GO BOBBY! LET’S GO!”
“LET’S GO BOBBY! LET’S GO!”
Crawling at a desperate pace, Dean’s fingertips almost extend toward the bottom rope. But his arm drops towards the mat. Hortega rushes to Dean’s side and lifts his arm straight into the air.
Hortega doesn’t fool around and lifts Bobby’s arm into the air. He holds it into place as you can hear Hoffman’s pleas over the headset.
Joe Hoffman: COME ON, BOBBY! NOT LIKE THIS! Don’t let this end too soon! You can’t help but want to cheer on Bobby right now. Solex’s got the pressure around Bobbo’s neck. He’s squeezing that fragile head of his like a grapefruit and…
NO! Bobby’s fighting back early. Flailing elbow into Solex’s side, Bobby’s getting a second wind. Dean wastes no time before pulling himself off the mat with Solex dangling from his back. Using gravity and his weight, Dean drives himself straight on his back. After flattening Solex, Dean rolls over Steve’s chest as Hortega makes the count.
Solex kicks out before the two count. Bobby takes a moment to process everything before Solex sits back up. Both men stare at each other realizing they can’t put each other away quickly. They realize it’s a war now. Both men stand to their feet and unleash a frenzy of right hands at each other’s faces. Chops, knees, and fists start flying before Bobby gains control. Bobby hoists Solex into the air before snapping him down to the mat with a sick brainbuster. Bobby climbs the ropes attempting to hit a sick Middle Rope Senton on Solex. But he misses! Solex seizes the opportunity and tries to punt Bobby in the gut. In an unfortunate turn of events, Bobby catches Solex’s boot. Lifting Solex up, he nails Solex’s throat into the ropes with a Flapjack. Stunned Solex wobbles around the ring before Dean clotheslines him over the top rope.
The crowd leaps to their feet as Air Dean requests traffic control. They pop hoping to see Bobby fly!
Joe Hoffman: OH MY! NO! Don’t DO IT DEAN! You will cause more collateral damage, Bobby! Don’t do it! It’s not worth the risk!!!
Solex stands to his feet while Bobby comes around. Dean changes his strategy on the fly. He nails a Baseball slide into Solex, sending him back first into the barricade. As Bobby picks Solex off the ground, he lays him against the wall. Bobby’s hand motions for a chop as the crowd approves. They get silent before you hear it.
THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!
Dean smashes Solex’s chest with three sick knife edge chops. As Solex dangles on the wall, Bobby charges towards Solex shoulder first. But Solex ducks and Dean’s shoulder collides with the wall with brunt force. A sick and twisted smile emerges from Solex’s face as he hears a cracking noise from Bobby’s direction. Solex cinches and twists Bobby’s shoulder behind him before unleashing some brutal stomps into Dean’s shoulder joint. Bobby screams out in pain as Solex continues. Off in the distance you catch Hortega’s faint count growing louder.
Solex rolls back into the ring without hesitation. Hortega continues the count as Bobby staggers back towards the ring.
Joe Hoffman: WHAT?! Solex could have won this match?! He slid out of the ring and wasted no time. He’s got Bobby Dean up!!!!
Joe Hoffman: OUCH! He launches Bobby Dean with force into the stairs with a picture-perfect Belly to Belly. Bobby Dean’s going to feel that one in the morning.
Solex rolls back into the ring and attempts to rush Hortega to count. Solex’s eyes lock onto Bobby’s lifeless body dangling on the steel steps. He’s laughing at his opponent’s misfortunes. Bobby’s body drops to the floor as Hortega’s count grows.
Bobby Dean twitches in place for a minute before Solex prematurely celebrates. Taunting the UK crowd, Solex pumps up and takes his focus off Bobby Dean who is lying on the floor. Bobby crawls towards the apron as Hortega continues his count.
NO! Bobby makes it back into the ring with time to spare. Much to the delight of the Aberdeen crowd; they erupt in a chorus of cheers as Bobby gets back to his feet. Solex whips around and rushes at Dean with a flying forearm. Bobby ducks underneath Solex’s move. Dean lamblasts Steve with a stiff knee to the face. Nailing a Snap Dragon Suplex, Bobby floors Solex. Without hesitating, Bobby climbs to the Top Rope and crushes Solex’s ribs with a Middle Rope Senton Splash. Bobby makes the cover.
Solex’s shoulder flies off the mat in the nick of time.
Joe Hoffman: Bobby almost steals the win, but Solex’s survival instincts kick in. Both men are laying on the mat exasperated from this match. Slow and steady, Bobby’s coming to life and he’s signaling for his signature drop kick.
Mustering all his strength, Bobby pulls himself off the mat and locks his sights on Solex. Dean squats to the mat, leaps into the air, and smashes his feet against Solex’s face. Dean’s eyes light up as he sees Solex lying lifeless on the mat. He lifts Solex up on his shoulders, setting up for the Deaner Weiner. Before he can stuff Solex’s head into his trunks, Solex’s leg smashes Dean’s ear. Losing control of Solex, Dean flops to his knees. Before Bobby can grasp what’s going on; Solex nails a Stunner on Bobby.
Joe Hoffman: SOLEXECUTION!!!! Great ring presence by our first HOTV Champion right there. He isn’t wasting this chance. He’s hoisting Bobby’s body straight into the air. This is it! SOLEXPLEX INCOMING!!!!
Hortega makes the count…
Bobby’s shoulder flies off the mat, but it’s too late! Hortega’s hand nails the mat and he hands the L to The Beautiful One! Solex is now one match up on Bobby Dean. Steve leaps off the mat and celebrates much to the surprise of the Aberdeen crowd as McVay makes the announcement.
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner via pinfall in 15 minutes……STEVEEEEEEEEE SOOOOOOOOOOLEX!
A chorus of boos erupt in the P&J Live arena with Solex sliding under the ropes and taunting the crowd. Officials rush into the ring to help Bobby Dean up, but he denies it. Dean only glares into his rival’s eyes.
Joe Hoffman: Tough break tonight for Bobby Dean as Solex gains the advantage. But you can see in Bobby’s pupils; he’s now out for revenge. Solex raised the stakes in their first encounter tonight. But you can rest assured, The Beautiful One won’t take this lying down. There’s a new fire and energy lighting up his eyes on his way to ICONIC. He’s looking for a fight now. This isn’t your normal Bobby Dean. Solex ignited a fire under his ass tonight.
Solex taunts and celebrates as the scene cuts elsewhere.
Shooting your shot
Cutting away from ringside, the cameras pan over to Section 204 in the P&J Live arena. Now decked out with a +10 banner dangling off to the side; we zoom into some action. It’s a birthday bash for HOW’s own Darin Zion. People are helping themselves to the free punch and cake that Zion has provided. The camera pans over to Zion. For once, he’s decked out in a suit and tie having the time of his life. Zion’s dancing and twirling, entertaining the hot crowd located within Section 204+10. Realizing the HOW camera crew now gives him the sole attention; he removes the party hat from his head. The leader of the #RallyZion movement grabs a folding chair from the crowd. Sitting in it the wrong way in his chair, Zion leans forward and crosses his arms. A member of the crew hands him a microphone. The smirk painted on his face fades and his tone changes when he speaks.
Darin Zion: We might not have a true Section 214 overseas this time! But everyone in Section 204+10 knows how to fuckin’ throw a party tonight. Hell yeah! It’s a birthday worth celebrating. I won my first Pay-Per-View match in a long time. I rescued my sweet, loving girlfriend from the arms of a sick and twisted bastard. I might have murdered 10 basement dwelling nerds. Who the fuck knows? But at Rumble at the Rock, I left my mark. I grew back my spine and I showed the entire world that when I focus; I mean fuckin’ business. Now that I sent that asshole Xander Azula straight to hell; time for some new business.
Zion scratches his chin for a moment before looking down towards the ground. His eyes burn with intensity. Reaching underneath a table filled with gifts; he pulls out a big birthday sack with a huge label on it. It reads “To: My Hero, From: Your Princess, Meredith” on it. A cheesy grin forms on Zion’s smug face. Delaying opening the gift; Zion looks over to the HOV. It displays the ICONIC advertisement on it. Memories from the past three years swirl around Darin’s head as he speaks. He gets rather emotional.
Darin Zion: For the last three years; I’ve been an afterthought when ICONIC rolls around. I’ve squandered my chances and gotten left off the card. HOW officials have thrown me into nonsensical clusterfucks where my focus gets lost. You name it! I haven’t shot my shot these past three years. I’m the one to blame for my blunders. But it changes tonight!
Zion rips the little sign off the table in front of him displaying his age: 35. He gives it a long, sad gaze for a few moments.
Darin Zion: You see my battle with Xander made me realize something. I’ve squandered many opportunities for my fledgling family. And now it’s time to provide for that new family. And we all know there’s only one way in HOW to increase your paychecks.
Zion licks his lips before he snarls at the camera.
Darin Zion: It once again ignited my hunger for gold. Then it dawned on me: I’ve never wrestled in a championship match at ICONIC. Never once in my 7 years have I gotten my chance in the spotlight.. Never once did I get the chance to punch my ticket to glory. I’ve either had to take care of other people’s business, or old dried up rivalries I left in my past. It’s always these ‘side projects’. Well come hell or high water; these stupid side projects won’t take my eyes off the prize any more.
Immediately, Zion reaches into the gift bag and pulls up a replica of the HOTv Championship and places it on his shoulder. His eyes glow with passion for the green leather strap adorned against his shoulder. Darin can’t take his eyes off the championship as he speaks.
Darin Zion: Let’s face it, it’s a little early to have a replica championship made before someone wins it. But that championship hasn’t left my mind since the moment I laid eyes on it. It’s called my name out since its inception. I’m the perfect representative to hold that belt. I’ve spent the last 3 years scratching and clawing my way up the ranks to represent the network. My passion for HOW bar none exceeds most the other lower to mid card talent. No matter the damn odds or the hell I pay; I come back for more. I fight my ass off for this company day in and day out. I take all this shit and flack like a good god damn soldier. I might not be the most well spoken or the most tactful individual on this roster. But I show up every damn chance I get. I work my damn ass off.
Zion stands up from his chair and kicks it off to the side. The chair bounces a couple of feet before landing near the table, making a clanging noise. Zion’s eyes widen as he continues to speak.
Darin Zion: And most importantly: I don’t fucking squander my Pay Per View Title matches Hell, look at fucking Jiles, Reese, Dean, Doozer, and Solex. Those bastards had the chance to steal the fucking show and they’ve all won singles belts before me in this era. They didn’t put a lick of effort into their chances. Yet when I got JPD for that belt, even when I knew I’d get murdered; I gave that match my fuckin’ all. I gave it all for Greenie right here. Because since its inception back on June 19th; I haven’t forgotten about her. Greenie is meant to be resting right here on my damn shoulder and I’ve let her down both chances I got. That ends here tonight.
Zion places the replica belt down on the table before cracking his neck and glaring straight into the camera.
Darin Zion: I’m punching my ticket now. I will go through ANYONE to earn another shot for the HOTv Championship at ICONIC. And whoever walks out of that main event tonight; I’m putting you on notice too. Rather it’s “game recognizing game” or it’s me taking a bite out of crime. Hell, if it’s ANYONE who wants to stand in my way of bringing Greenie into MY family at ICONIC. Come at me, bros! Because if you do; I promise you’ll end up in my next pile of bodies. Just ask Xander Azula what happens when I want to make good on my word.
Turning away from the camera, Zion wipes away his business face and goes back to partying with the crowd. Everyone continues to get cake and rub elbows as the scene fades to black as we head to another commercial break.
The scene comes back from commercial Live inside the P&J Live arena in Aberdeen. The beautiful Blaire Moise is on hand and waiting for confirmation in her earpiece as she stands next to the LSD Champion John Sektor. Sektor is dressed immaculately in a powder blue suit with matching waistcoat and white shirt with the LSD championship slung over his shoulder. His hair and moustache are immaculately groomed as he waits patiently.
Blaire Moise: Welcome back folks. Blaire Moise here and, as you can see, I am joined by the reigning, defending, undisputed LSD champion, the Gold Standard John Sektor. Sektor, the Iron Man match at Rumble at the Rock was amazing and some are calling it a modern day classic. What are your thoughts as you reflect on that match with your former friend Jatt Starr?
He raises his eyebrows with a proud smile worn under his well groomed moustache.
Sektor: Amazing is an understatement. You know, it was like no other Iron Man match I have ever competed in. It was like no other match, period. When it began, I had no clue what was going on. Stevens was there as the ref? I was down three falls within the first minute? I didn’t have a clue what was happening and I was convinced that Scott Stevens was going to fuck me over. My entire game plan went out of the window.
He takes a deep breath as he composes his thoughts as he reflects on the pay per view match.
Sektor: But you know, once I figured out what was happening? I did what a great champion does. I reset. I adapted. I figured out how to use the rules to my advantage. And credit to my opponent! Jatt was smart and in the end the match came down to a test of wit as well as stamina and he down to the wire right until the final three seconds. I think it was an incredible performance by both men. I think we did ourselves proud and ultimately I was able to prove why I am better, why I am the LSD champion and why I am still able to create history like I just did.
He continues to think as he rubs his moustache.
Sektor: I only hope that Jatt realises that this match wasn’t a complete loss for him. In that match he reminded the world who Jatt fucking Starr is and why is still one of the best and why he will always be one of the greatest of all time. I hope he has found some peace in regards to our situation. But ultimately, I want to thank him for creating a beautiful moment in wrestling with me.
Blaire nods in agreement as she readies the microphone to her lips.
Blaire Moise: Well I guess the question for you now is, what next? What is in store for the LSD champion at Iconic?
He cocks his head to the side.
Sekor: Well Blaire, I didn’t come all the way to sunny Scotland for the great Scotch or Square sausage. And I certainly didn’t come for the women. Christ I’ve never seen so much body hair on a woman as i have this past week. No, I’m here to find the answer to that question. We already know, that the Iron Man match was a clause in this gigantic contract signed by Mike Best and Lee Best. Now that clause also stipulated that if I am successful in the Iron Man match? Then there will be something else for me at Iconic. And I did that.
Sektor: So what is it? Who is it? I’ve been seeing news posts going up all week and alot of big names in this company have already been booked. Name’s like Connor Fuse, Clay Byrd, Jace Parker Davidson. So I’m scratching my head and wondering who it’s going to be to give me MY Iconic moment. Because I damn well deserve a match and an opponent befitting of Iconic. I have been overlooked for wrestler of the month every fucking month, yet I have not lost a match since War Games.
He shrugs again.
Sektor: That’s fine. Perhaps I don’t compete enough to be in the running. But I damn sure have to be in the running for wrestler of the year but that I aint going to happen against someone small time. So by the end of tonight I better have an Iconic match in the books, and it better be someone fucking worthy!
With that, he gives Blaire a wink and walks out of shot.
Scottywood vs. Xander Azula
We cut back to inside the arena as it is time for our next match of the evening.
Joe Hoffman: Up next, we’ve got Xander Azula taking on Scottywood one on one. Both men didn’t have the night they were hoping for at Rumble at the Rock, and this is the ideal opportunity for one of them to get some momentum going!
Bryan McVay: This match is scheduled for one fall! Already in the ring, from New York, New York, accompanied by Frankie, weighing two-hundred-sixty-five pounds… SCOTTYWOOD!
Scottywood smirks as he waits in the ring, Frankie at his side. The latter is in a complete Ghostbusters get-up. The two men confer between themselves as they await the entry of Xander Azula.
Joe Hoffman: While the moment of Scottywood literally running Q.T. Reese and Doozer down with a Zamboni will forever live in infamy, a collision with Brian Hollywood ultimately made him fall short, leaving Jeffrey James Robert to walk out of Rumble at the Rock with his HoTV Championship reign intact.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Long Beach, California, weighing two-hundred-thirty pounds… XANDER AZULA!
The whistling intro of “Engel” plays over the PA system, setting the crowd off in a chorus of boos as Xander Azula and his Eternal Circle disciples step out onto the stage, surveying the crowd with a gleeful grin. The crowd show their disdain for Xander and his crew, who simply laugh at the ignorance they see as they head toward the ring. Azula directs his disciples to circle around the ring, and they all hop onto the apron with wicked smiles on their faces. They enter the ring to stare down his opponent, before Azula directs his crew to leave the ring.
Joe Hoffman: As for Xander, he fell short–literally–against Darin Zion, failing to facilitate the possession of Meredith by the goddess he follows. While I think Frankie is safe from being chosen as Eris’ next vessel, stranger things have happened.
Frankie regards the Eternal Circle nervously as he exits the ring, but Scottywood doesn’t notice. His focus is on Azula, who is eyeing his opponent the way a starving junkyard dog would look at a nice, juicy steak. Scottywood isn’t intimidated, though.
Joe Hoffman: Judging by how these two competitors are looking at one another, it’s gonna get violent–and it’s gonna get violent fast!
Scottywood smirks and beckons for Xander to get on with it. Sensing the tension between the two men, HOW Hall of Fame referee Matt Boettcher motions for the bell.
DING DING DING!
Despite being the smaller man, Xander heeds Scottywood’s request and barrels toward him. The two exchange right hands, and Xander holds his own for a while before Scotty’s size advantage gives him the upper hand, and he starts pushing Azula toward the ropes. Xander surprises Scotty by shooting behind him, grabbing him in a waistlock and pushing him against the ropes, but Scottywood elbows his way out before Xander can hit the surprise Chaos Theory. But he does hit a quick chop block that downs Scotty by the ropes, who makes full use of them by wrapping himself around them to get Boettcher to try and pull Xander away when he starts stomping at Scotty’s knees.
Joe Hoffman: While Xander has always been a vicious man regardless of what division he’s in, this is a whole new level of aggression!
Xander is pulled away after a few stomps, and Scotty pulls himself up with help from the ropes, slapping at his leg to make sure it feels like it should. Xander surges forward, but Scottywood bursts forward as well, catching him with a clothesline, then another, and then a third as Xander tries to scramble up. On the fourth attempt, Azula ducks and goes for a German without the roll. Scotty tries to block, but after a couple of tries, Azula dodges a back elbow and gets the big suplex! He holds the bridge, putting Boettcher to work.
He kicks out before two, but Xander doesn’t seem surprised.
Joe Hoffman: It’s clear that Xander is in the driver’s seat for the moment, but keeping that control is going to be a challenge. Scottywood just needs one opening to capitalize on!
Xander shifts his weight to put Scottywood in a rear chinlock, putting more pressure on the back and neck. Scotty arches his back in pain, but Xander can’t hold the larger man down long, and soon he’s shifted position and is pushing himself up while Xander has him in a side headlock. He nails the midsection with two elbows for separation before breaking free and running for the ropes. Xander tries to shoot behind him as he comes back, but Scotty has it scouted and just grabs him in a front headlock, stopping him dead. There’s a struggle as the two men jockey for position, and Scottywood eventually wins by heaving Xander up and planting him with a Scottybomb! He immediately drops into a cover.
Azula kicks out.
Joe Hoffman: And Azula kicks out! Xander has proven that he can absorb an absolutely insane amount of punishment. Scottywood’s got to keep the pressure on here.
Scottywood grabs his legs, lifting them and popping over into what most people call a Boston Crab, but Scotty makes his feelings known by shouting “FUCK BOSTON!” as he sits down in the New York Crab. Given they are nowhere near Boston, his comment gets a mild response, but Xander still feels the pain in his back. He slowly pulls himself toward the ropes, which is not easy when dragging nearly 500 pounds, but he eventually manages to grab the bottom rope, so now Scottywood has to reckon with the rope break. Scotty holds the Crab, so Boettcher has to start counting.
Scotty releases in time not to get disqualified, backing off to let the official check on Xander.
Joe Hoffman: Even if he managed to escape, the damage may have already been done! Azula’s gonna have to dig deeper than ever now if he wants to beat the Hall of Famer.
Xander pulls himself up slowly with the ropes, favoring his back as he does. Despite Boettcher’s insistence, Scotty yanks him out of the ropes and lifts him in a Fireman’s Carry, but Xander starts kicking his legs to try and get free. This doesn’t do it, but it makes Scottywood hesitate long enough to eat a few elbows to the temple, letting Xander slip out, landing behind Scottywood to yank him down in a neckbreaker! Rather than go for a cover, he uses the opening to recover, nursing his back as best he can. After a few moments, he rolls over onto his stomach and starts pushing himself up. Before he’s vertical, Scotty is moving as well, but that means he can position himself behind Scotty, stalking him.
Joe Hoffman: Xander has to capitalize here–and capitalize big. It looks like he knows it, too!
The instant Scotty is on both feet, Azula pounces, wrapping his arms around Scotty once again. Xander pushes Scottywood into the corner, going for Chaos Theory again, but Scotty once again blocks, hooking his arms around the top rope and letting Xander roll backwards on his own. As Xander comes forward, he turns and kicks Xander straight in the side of the head, and while he’s stunned from the Ice Kick, Scotty lifts him up in a Fireman’s Carry, then pulls him back down in a game-ending DDT! Xander is motionless as Scotty pushes him over onto his back for a cover.
DING DING DING!
Scottywood is quick to roll out of the ring before the Eternal Circle can surround him, Frankie scrambling to his side to raise his hand. Azula is slowly beginning to stir as his followers tend to him.
Bryan McAvay: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner via pinfall…SCOTTYWOOD!
Joe Hoffman: Xander Azula put up one Hell of a fight here tonight, ladies and gentlemen, but the Hall of Famer has prevailed!
With that we cut away as we see both men struggling to their feet.
Death is Coming
The action opens up inside a small dimly lit room. The room is covered in light smoke that is ever more evident as the camera pans back. A man named Cole sits on a nearby couch, staring into the camera.
His dirty blond hair hangs in his face. The man known as The Death Bringer slowly enters the picture. This is the man that took out HOW Hall of Famer Chris Kostoff during the man’s retirement speech several weeks ago.
DB slowly enters into the picture. Head down and pacing behind Cole. Looking back, he whispers something to DB and he stops. Cole turns back to the camera.
Cole: HOW, where the big boys come to have fun. Been watching this shit show for years. Kept my eyes on one man. The old fucker my man took out last month.
DB looks ahead and nods his head.
Cole: Now. Here we are. We sit and wait, but see I’ve been patient and waited my time to get here. I could have gotten in here when the old fuck was banging away, I could have contacted Lee. Hell. My career might not have been as decorated but I did hold my own and I did enough.
He shakes his head and closes his eyes.
Cole: Those years, the times being left back so the old fucker could go on and win and make the money, shit he fucking destroyed his family, drove his wife to her death and his kids to abandon him, all for his own personal greed.
Cole: That motherfucker….
The words whisper through the air as he shakes his head, trying to swipe the memories that run through his head. DB looks at him and sighs. Shaking his head, the menacing man behind to pace again.
Cole: I waited long enough to bring to you this man here.
He motions at DB.
Cole: You see HOW, I’m not going to sit here and yell and scream. Tell you guys what this wild man behind me is going to do, you’ll see first hand.
Cole: You’ll see that this man is dangerous. He is out of control…
He leans forward and smiles into the camera.
Cole: And when he is out of control, that is when he is in complete control.
He leans back on the couch and smiles.
Cole: He is here for whoever wants to fight. He can care less who it is, let’s just say he is one of them guys that will fight for the hell of it.
DB stops and looks at the camera. A small grunt escapes his throat.
Cole: Not much of a talker that one. He does it all with his hands and feet.
Cole: You’ll see soon enough. Can’t wait for the welcome party.
Cole: See y’all real soon…….real soon.
Cole looks back over his shoulder as DB shakes his head slightly and leaves the room. The scene drifts to darkness.
We cut back live inside the arena and to Joe Hoffman.
Joe Hoffman: Next up we have-
Hoffman’s voice trails as he notices the fans in attendance have brought their attention elsewhere. A man walks down the rampway, dressed in black jeans and a black hoodie. A few people in the front row are able to make out who it is and they start shouting, although for the majority of the audience, the individual remains unknown.
The man approaches the time keeper’s table and picks up a microphone. His hands are wrapped in bandages and he can barely hold the mic so he has to use both hands. More fans in the front row see his face and soon, a minor chant begins but the camera mics can’t pick up what the chant is.
The man gently rolls under the bottom rope and into the ring as the apron camera gets a good look at his face.
Joe Hoffman: That’s Conor Fuse!
The Ultimate Gamer struggles to get on a knee. He keeps his lead low. By now, !RANK cries run rampant within the Aberdeen stadium.
Joe Hoffman: Fuse was obviously unsuccessful at Rumble at the Rock but showed Mike Best a hell of a fight!
Conor rises from his one knee, head still low, hands trembling with the microphone. The crowd builds upon its !RANK chants.
Joe Hoffman: He showed a lot of heart. You can tell the UK fans really appreciated the battle.
Conor removes the hoodie across his face. His right eye is black, his nose is heavily bruised. His hands, wrapped in bandages, are in clearer view. There’s residue of blood on them and Conor can barely hold the mic, even with both palms placed on it.
But Fuse doesn’t speak. Instead, he looks to his left, in front and behind. The former World Champion takes a deep breath, closes his eyes and huffs out. Finally looking like he’s going to speak…
Tears slowly form in Conor’s eyes. A sad expression crosses his face as he tries to raise the mic to his mouth but drops it to the canvas. Maybe it’s because of the pain in his hands… maybe it’s because he’s had second thoughts. Either way, the !RANK shouts are at its peak.
Joe Hoffman: I can only imagine what’s going through Conor’s head right now.
The Video Game Kid stands motionless, taking in the support. There’s a very faint smile that crosses the edge of his mouth before another rush of sadness swoops over him. Conor mouths the words “thank you” before pulling the hoodie back on his head, dropping to the mat and rolling out of the ring. Fuse walks gingerly up the rampway as a handful of fans boo but most of them seemingly understand where the fan favourite is coming from.
Conor reaches the top of the ramp, finds the curtain and slowly pulls it back with an unsteady grip before Refueled goes to commercial break.
Eli Dresden vs. Cancer Jiles
Back live and we cut to High Octane Hall of Fame Ring Announcer….Bryan McVay.
Bryan McVay: This match is scheduled for one fall! Coming down the aisle from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! ELIIIIIII DRESDEN!
The chorus of ‘Never Look Back’ hits the sound system as the overhead lights dim, blue and white lights flashing along the rampway as spotlights of similar shades swirl over the crowd. Eliza Dresden waits all of a second before she bounds onto the stage, her energy levels already through the roof thanks to the cheers –and that’s with her holding a lot of it in. Stopping at the top of the ramp, she thrusts a fist in the air… but she can’t be idle for long. She all but bounces and poings her way down to the ring, darting from side to side to slap offered hands and otherwise play to the crowd, earning a decent amount of cheers as she goes along. It’s about three-fourths of the way down the ramp that she abandons that, speeding up to slide into the ring headfirst on her stomach before she twists onto her back and kips up to her feet. She’s quick to mount the nearest turnbuckle, once again shoving a fist skyward to more of that positive reaction from the fans before she’s popping back down and turning to look toward the middle of the ring. As her music fades, she continues bouncing around on the balls of her feet, eagerly waiting for the match to get underway.
Bryan McVay: And hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! “COOOOOOOOOOOOL” CANCER JILES!
The lights dim. The arena quiets. A chill moves through the air… “I am the COOL” explodes over the speakers. ~I’m the one your mama warned you about ~When you see me, I will leave you no doubt ~I’m the coolest man that ever walked this earth ~I’ve been the coolest since the day of my birth ~I AM THE COOL. Out from behind the curtain, after a second or two of suspense, The Crown Prince of COOL, Cancer Jiles emerges. Shades on, hair on point, he pauses at the top of ramp and basks in the glorious affection of his precious OctaBandits. After having his fill, Jiles confidently makes his way down to the ring and slides on in under the bottom rope.
Dresden and Jiles start the match cautiously. Dresden tries to circle Jiles, but Jiles keeps walking himself out of the circling movement of Dresden. Finally after what feels like forever Jiles walks out of the circling and manages to catch Dresden with an unexpected chop across the chest. Dresden reels backwards as Jiles immediately sets up and hits her with a drop kick sending her to the apron.
Joe Hoffman: Cancer Jiles is looking surprisingly into this match! Great dropkick from the former heavyweight champion of the world.
Dresden tries to get to her feet on the apron and manages to make it to her knees. Jiles runs his boot across her face, with Dresden shocked, he grabs her head and rakes it down the length of the ropes. Stopping at the turnbuckle and smashing her face into it. Joel Hortega steps in between Jiles and Dresden finally, counting Jiles until he steps away from Dresden.
Joe Hoffman: Cancer Jiles really feels like he’s in control of this match up. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen this kind of effort in a High Octane ring.
Dresden finally manages to enter through the middle rope and Jiles pounces on her instantly, smashing her with a knife edge chop across the chest. Jiles pulls Dresden out of the corner and plants her into the canvas with a vicious DDT. Jiles rolls over and covers Dresden.
Joel Hortega: Uno!
Joel Hortega: Dos!
Dresden kicks out, and Jiles is methodically back to work. He picks the challenger up and goes to irish whip her into the turn buckle, but Eli counters and sends Jiles into the ropes instead. Jiles bounces off, comes back and Dresden leap frogs over. But Jiles came to a hard stop just behind Dresden and sends her to the canvas with a wicked neckbreaker. Jiles once again covers.
Joel Hortega: Uno!
Joel Hortega: Dos!
Joe Hoffman: Dresden gets her arm up again! Jiles seems to be getting a little bit frustrated here.
Jiles’ approaches the turnbuckle waiting for Dresden to get up. Jiles comes across the ring looking for another dropkick. This time Dresden side steps and sends Jiles careening down to the canvas. Dresden starts off the ropes and comes back with a low dropkick to a now seated Jiles!
Joe Hoffman: Don’t count Eli Dresden out of this match!
Dresden springs to her feet and comes off the ropes again, Jiles manages to make it to his knees, but this time hes folded in half by a crossbody from Dresden. She hooks Jiles’ leg while Hortega slides in for the count.
Joel Hortega: Uno!
Jiles manages to kick out at one. Dresden grabs Jiles by the hair and pulls him to his feet. She delivers three quick kicks to the inside of Jiles’ thigh sending him backing away into the ropes. Dresden takes to the ropes once again, bouncing off and running at Jiles. Jiles was clearly playing possum and tries to blow the mist into Dresden’s face. She manages to baseball slide under it and to the outside of the ring. Jiles is confused by his opponent not being in front of him, and Dresden grabs both his legs and sends him crashing down onto his face.
Joe Hoffman: Dresden with an incredible counter to the mist! Jiles looks to be in trouble in this match!
Dresden slides back into the ring, and comes across the ropes again. She slams a standing Jiles to the mat with a slingblade! Dresden pulls Jiles to his feet and over to the turnbuckle. She sets him up and hits him with the GDI! Dresden hooks the leg.
Joel Hortega: Uno!
Joel Hortega: Dos!
Joel Hortega: Tres!
Joe Hoffman: What a win for Eli Dresden! She took everything the former world heavyweight champion had, and dished it out right back! A bit of redemption for her after being replaced in the Seven Deadly Sins match at Rumble At The Rock!
Dresden jumps to her feet celebrating in the ring and the screen rapidly fades to Joe Hoffman sitting by himself at the announce table.
Card Subject to Change
Joe Hoffman: After the heinous attack from Michael Lee Best, and Cecilworth Farthington earlier this evening we have Brian Bare backstage trying to get an update on Clay Byrd.
The screen fades from the announce table to the backstage area. A swarm of EMT’s surround Clay Byrd as he sits on the edge of the ambulance. An onsite doctor is looking at Clay’s outstretched arm, he has his head firmly planted in his other hand. The doctor is doing some basic tests, Brian Bare stands about ten feet away from the scene.
Brian Bare: We have no update on Clay Byrd’s status yet, but I can tell you from the brief bit I’ve watched it’s not looking good. Hold on… it sounds like we’re finally going to get an update from the doctor.
Brian clearly still terrified of a one armed Clay Byrd steps forward and holds his microphone between the EMT’s near the doctor.
Clay Byrd: Whaddya think Doc?
Doctor: Fifty days, right? We need to get you to a hospital to have some tests run. Need to make sure there’s no ligament damage.
Clay runs his free hand through his hair, and punches the bumper of the ambulance.
Clay Byrd: But what do YOU think? Tell me what’s going on and I’ll get into the ambulance.
Doctor: Your radius is broken, we don’t know if there is damage to the ligaments in the elbow. We’re looking at an extended recovery time here Clayton… I don’t foresee you being medically cleared to have a wrestling match in fifty days. But I need you to get into the ambulance, get treated and talk to a specialist.
Clay looks around the back of the P&J Live aimlessly, before he stands up, puts on his cowboy hat and enters the back of the ambulance. The EMT’s immediately rush off to the front of the ambulance and it begins to pull away. Bare steps back away from the scene and addresses the camera again.
Brian Bare: You heard it here first, Clay Byrd will not be medically cleared to compete at Iconic.
The scene fades to commercial.
The scene cuts to the temporary dressing room of Jatt Starr. The Thane of Starrkarth, who is, course, looking as fashionable as usual with his red and black plaid suit is sitting in a chair watching the recap of the Ironman match for probably the tenth time. Even if Sektor didn’t pin him, it would have been a tie, and Sektor would still have retained. But at least he would not have lost….
The Wabid Wabbit enters and hands Jatt Starr a smoothie. Banana-Mango. The Ruler of Jattlantis takes the smoothie and places it on the floor. This action causes the Wabid Wabbit a certain level of concern. Smoothies always cheer up Jatt Starr!
WABID WABBIT: Um…you okay?
JATT STARR: At “Rumble at the Rock”, the Jattlantic City Idol came up short. HOWEVER in that absolutely RIDICULOUS match, while maybe the better wrestler won, the better man did not. As disappointed as I am in the loss and bringing the LSD Championship back to what made it so special, one thing still remains constant, I am Jatt Starr, I am still the Ruler of Jattlantis. I don’t need a championship around my waist to give me the warm and fuzzies at night. I don’t need the LSD Title to know my worth. And yet….
The Grand Overlord of Jatturn stops as he ponders if he should share this wild theory he has of what has been going on as of late. He looks up at his masked associate.
JATT STARR: Do you think there might be some weird cosmic forces conspiring against me? Like that things….what’s it called? Mel Gibson was in the show about it….“Dharma”, that’s it!
WABID WABBIT: I think you might be wefewwing to “kawma”.
JATT STARR: No, I’m pretty sure the show was called “Dharma and Greg”. Some hippie chick trying to impart good dharma to some sociopathic banker who may or may not have also been a killer.
WABID WABBIT: I don’t think that’s what the show was about.
JATT STARR: Never seen it. Not a huge Mel Gibson fan. Buy you know what was a good show? “Newhart”. Classic! Now, that was a show. What was it that were we talking about?
WABID WABBIT: Kawma. K-A-AH-M-A.
JATT STARR: Dharma, Karma, Parma, Whatever! I’ve been feeling like maybe the universe is out to get me lately. Losing to Sektor just cinched it. Your sister mutually breaking up with me, my car breaking down on the way to the airport, flat tasting champagne on the flight, and the fact that Gilda hasn’t been herself, am I to blame for that? No, of course not, and yet, there she is, acting cold and distant towards me, her own flesh and blood! Look, it’s not like I’ve decapitated people or shoved tampons down people’s gullets or spiked any babies! Yes, there was the betting on the homeless fights back in 2005, there was the drinking and all the mistakes I made from that…and that time I secretly replaced Trent’s weed with oregano and sold his stash to a couple of teengers wearing “Jesus Saves” t-shirts for twenty bucks, the time I clogged Lee Best’s private toilet and blamed it on Benny but that’s all ancient history….who even remembers that stuff? Even if they did, I made my amends while I was in the program so that shouldn’t matter anymore, it should have wiped the slate clean!
WABID WABBIT: If kawma exists then maybe you should be focusing on more wecent bwemishes on your charactah. You seem vewy awwogant.
JATT STARR: Don’t mistake confidence for arrogance. I can’t help it if the Champion of Jattanooga is better than everyone else! So what if I constantly berate and mock the flaws of my opponents and that I feel the need to rub my success in the face of people like Darin Zion who cannot help but be sucktacular. I’m a role model, I need to do that! People like Zion need to be inspired!
WABID WABBIT: You know, he beat Xanduh Azuwa at “Wumble at the Wock”.
JATT STARR: SEE? I inspired him! And good for him! I bet he went out for pizza with all his friends, or is it friend? Does he even have friends? That’s sad that he has no friends. I would try to be his friend, but you know….he’s Darin Zion…what would people think?
WABID WABBIT: Maybe it’s that type of attitude that is wuhking against you.
JATT STARR (whining): But I don’t wanna be friends with him, he suuuuuu-uuuuuuucks!
WABID WABBIT: You don’t have to be fwiends with him. It’s basicawwy the Howiday Season, show some good wiww towards him….maybe stop puttin’ him down aw the time.
JATT STARR: But that’s no fun!
WABID WABBIT: Sometimes fun at others’ expense can be detwimental to youah souw. If you want good kawma you gotta bring good into the wives of othahs.
JATT STARR: Can’t you take my side?
The Wabid Wabbit just offers a half-hearted shrug as if to say “What can you do?”.
JATT STARR: I suppose that also means making amends with Conor Fuse, doesn’t? I mean, I respect him and all, he’s one helluva wrestler.
WABID WABBIT: He wost the biggest match of his caweeah, maybe he could use some Haw of Fame guidance. He’s cwearwy depwessed.
JATT STARR: What does he have to be depressed about? He was HOW Champion! Yeah, he lost to Mike Best, the Slayer of Kael, and lived! Great, I just thought of something….we have to put up with Mike Best HOW World Champion for the next five or six months.
The King of Jatten Island feels the Wabid Wabbit’s eyes on him from behind the mask, accusing him….nay….judging him.
JATT STARR: Which is great! Because Mike Best is such a solid, standup human person. How was that?
WABID WABBIT: A bit sahcastic.
The Jattsylvanian Count looks disappointed, he was so trying to be genuine as he said that. But then, would lying also be something that would go against him karmically?
JATT STARR: Is Conor Fuse even still here? I figure he is considering this is the PB&J Arena. He’s probably deciding between smooth or crunchy and which jelly would please his platelet — strawberry or grape — for his “sammich”.
WABID WABBIT: JATT! This is what I’m wefewwing to!
JATT STARR: Sorry! You’re right! I shouldn’t make light of his binge eating to fill that hole caused by losing the first major championship he has ever held. But he should really eat salad, he doesn’t want to go full Blobby Dean.
WABID WABBIT: Jatt….
JATT STARR: Right! Alright, at least I’ve got one thing going for me, the fans love me.
WABID WABBIT: Eh.
JATT STARR: What are you talking about? I gave the first one thousand fans an official “Undefeated Against Clay Byrd” t-shirt with the date “October 16, 2021” on the back.
WABID WABBIT: Pwofitting off a victowy ovah someone else? One in which the puhson who wost was disquawified?
JATT STARR: But it’s the truth!!! And who’s profiting? The Earl of GlouStarr gave away the shirts….for free!!!
WABID WABBIT: One step at a time.
JATT STARR: Okay! Okay, okay, okay! Next week, I will apologize to Conor Fuse and humbly ask for forgiveness. And if he doesn’t forgive me, is it wrong to bribe him into saying he forgives? We should go shopping.
The Jatti Master gets to his feet.
WABID WABBIT: If it’s bwibewy, it’s not genuine, so, yes, it is wong.
JATT STARR: Dammit!!! We should still go shopping. What if it’s an early Christmas present? That’d be good, tight? Isn’t that the point of the Holiday Season? Buying useless crap for other people?
WABID WABBIT: Maybe you should staht with some chawity wuhk.
The Mayor of ManJattan proceeds to exit the locker room as Wabid Wabbit follows, shaking his head.
David Noble vs. Jeffrey James Roberts
We cut back inside the arena and the opening of ‘Heaven and Hell’ by 20th Century Steel Band rips through the arena, just mixed a bit differently.
Children growing, women producing
Men go work and some go stealing
Everyone’s got to make a living
Then the beat from Heaven and Hell by Kanye West takes over as the HOTv starts to produce a bit of static before showing an outline of a name drawn across the width of it. It simply says: DAVID NOBLE At the mere sight of his name, the arena erupts.
Joe Hoffman: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for our main event tonight and we are about to get our first look at David Noble inside a HOW ring.
As Heaven and Hell continues to play through the arena, a figure emerges, being lifted through the stage and to the center of the stage. At the sight of Noble, the arena comes unhinged.
David stands there, his eyes peering out at the crowd around him as he can feel the energy from every single fan in the arena.
Joe Hoffman: And here he is. Long-time ring veteran and former Southern Heritage Champion over at Defiance Wrestling making his debut here tonight on Refueled as he returns to the ring for the first time in six years.
Noble stands there, lowering his head, and letting the adrenaline course through his body.
Make this final, make this, my eyes closed
Burn false idols,
Jesus’ disciples I can feel your pain now,
I done bled my vein out
New level the game now, simulation changed
David begins to make his way down the ramp, his dark brown hair flowing past his shoulders as he wears a white t-shirt with a black leather jacket over it and a pair of blue jeans. There’s an intensity to David as he walks down the ramp, each step measured and steady as his eyes stare straight ahead.
Noble reaches the end of the ramp and stands there for a brief second, the fans yelling and chanting at his return before he turns to the left and makes his way to the steel steps, slowly climbing them as the music continues to roar through the arena. Noble then stops at the top ring step.
David raises his arms as the words echo throughout the arena, moving his fingers like he wants more from the fans, which only intensifies the cheering from the crowd.
This that level, make devils pay now.
As the words explode through the speakers, Noble slams his hands together, causing an eruption of fireworks around the arena and the lights to fully come on.
David then steps onto the ring apron and into the ring itself. He moves around the ring, looking out at the fans, slamming his right fist against his chest as he yells at the fans, the adrenaline coursing through his veins.
Then the music dies down as David Noble stands in the center of the ring.
“Goldberg Variations” by Johann Sebastian Bach plays over the speakers as four security guards step out onto the stage.
Joe Hoffman: And now, here comes the HOTv champion.
They form a square as Jeffrey James Roberts steps out and stands in the middle. His hands are out front, tied with plastic ziptie cuffs, and he walks toward the ring, keeping his eyes focused on it.
Joe Hoffman: Noble has a tough one for his first match in six years and first HOW match. The HOTv Champion, unbeaten in all of his six HOW matches- Jeffrey James Roberts. JJR is coming off a big win in an eight-person Prison Yard match at Rumble at the Rock last weekend.
The guards keep a perimeter to make sure he can’t reach any fans and they walk with him all the way to ringside.
The guard in front unlocks the cuffs, then steps back to allow Roberts to climb into the ring. He does so, then leans back against one corner, his eyes closed, head back, swaying slightly to the music.
Referee Matt Boettcher also climbs in the ring. He’s followed by Hall of Fame Ring Announcer Bryan McVay. McVay goes to the center of the ring for the introductions.
Bryan McVay: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Our main event tonight will be one fall and it will be fore the HOTv Title!
Pause for the crowd’s response.
Bryan McVay: Introducing the challenger. Weighing in at 245 pounds, hailing from Buffalo, NY and making his HOW debut…. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAVIIIIIID! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOBLE!
McVay then turns to the champion.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent. He is the reigning HOTv Champion. Weighing in tonight at 230 pounds, from Gainesville, Florida… JEFFFFFREY! JAMES! ROBBBBBERTS
Noble stares over at the champion. Roberts matches the challenger’s gaze. JJR appears at peace and nods his head as Boettcher does the pre-match check.
Joe Hoffman: We’re going to find out a whole lot about David Noble real quick. Jeffrey James Roberts is has been ruthlessly efficient and often violent in dismantling his opponents in his short run here in HOW.
Boettcher then points the timekeeper’s table and the bell sounds.
Noble walks to the middle of the ring and meets the champion there. Again eyes meet.
Nose to nose stare down.
Nose to nose inches apart stare down.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts standing there calmly. Noble is full of intensity.
The Aberdeen crowd are on their feet. The noise level increases.
A little nod of the head from Roberts. He’s keeping his cool even though Noble is literally right in his face.
Joe Hoffman: Who’s going to make the first move?
LOCK UP. Both men come together and start jockeying for position.
Joe Hoffman: Noble has 25 pounds on Roberts. He’s trying to use that advantage to gain the upper hand.
Noble uses his legs to drive forward. Roberts holds his ground. JJR shoves Noble back.
Joe Hoffman: ROBERTS SLAPS NOBLE!
The fans erupt and both men step back.
Noble rubs his cheek. He smiles. No change of expression from Roberts.
They circle again.
This time, Noble gets the jump on Roberts and forces the HOTv back towards the ropes. JJR sticks a leg in between the ropes and Matt Boettcher immediately calls for the break.
Noble breaks off and moves back a step.
Roberts steps back in.
Joe Hoffman: HE JUST SLAPPED NOBLE AGAIN!
This time, Noble rushes forward with fist cocked. Roberts steps through the ropes again and Boettcher has to step in between the two. Boettcher tells Noble to move back.
Joe Hoffman: Noble didn’t like the first one. I know he didn’t like the second one. Roberts is trying to goad him a bit and get under Noble’s skin a little.
After debating the finer points with Boettcher, Noble finally retreats from the ropes.
Once Noble is far enough back, JJR steps back into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts back in and we’re back at square one.
A third lock up. This time both men circle in the middle of the ring looking for the upper hand.
Roberts unleashes another open-handed strike. Noble ducks under. Waistlock. Noble lifts up JJR up and over and drives him down to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Robert went for a third slap but this time Noble countered with a belly to belly suplex.
Roberts back up and gets the headlock. Noble fights back and powers out. He pops a couple quick right hand and takes a headlock. Roberts slips out and slaps on a hammerlock. Noble reverses and pushes Roberts off. Noble sends Roberts to the ropes. Roberts jumps over, hits the opposite ropes and comes back. Leaping hurricanrana takes Noble down.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts hooks the legs.
TW- Noble kicks out.
Noble slips under a clothesline and puts JJR in a corner to fire off right hands! Roberts quickly counters. Right hand by Roberts. He ducks a return right and gets under Noble. Roberts with a back body drop that sends Noble up and over the top rope- but Noble lands on the apron. Right hand by Noble. He tries to pull Roberts’s neck down onto the top rope. Roberts slips through the ropes and both men are on the apron now.
Right hand by Noble- right hand by Roberts- right hand by Noble. Noble ducks under another right but JJR hits the boot. Noble loses his balance and falls down to the floor.
Joe Hoffman: Noble tried to go on offense but he was a half-step too slow there.
Roberts goes to the top turnbuckle. He flies…
Joe Hoffman: Dragon Corkscrew Plancha!
…and lands on top of Noble. Roberts rolls off and takes up behind Noble.
When Noble gets himself back to a standing position, Roberts tries to chop block Noble’s leg from behind. Noble keeps on his feet. JJR chops the chest. Noble grabs a fan’s water bottle and flings it at Roberts. JJR pokes the eye and knocks Noble down with a right. Roberts pounces and lays in the boots.
Joe Hoffman: Matt Boettcher starts a ten count now.
Roberts wastes no time in dragging Noble up and back into the ring. He kicks Noble’s leg out again and stomps down on him.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts is being calm and clinical. Noble is trying to knock off the ring rust and is struggling to get anything going in this match.
JJR stomps again. He grabs a leg and tries to turns Noble over into a half crab! Noble fights it. He kicks out with his free foot but JJR twists the leg at an angle. He tries to go right for the Cloverleaf submission but Noble gets himself turned over. Right hand by Noble to JJR’s forehead. Another right-hand catches Roberts flush and that frees Noble. Roberts comes right back with a knee strike that drives Noble to the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Noble fought his way out of the Cloverleaf but again, Roberts is not giving him any chance to get some offense in.
Noble hobbles up. JJR reels him right back in but Noble responds with an elbow. Second elbow by Noble- Roberts backs up. Noble follows to rally with forearms. European uppercut connects. Noble scoops and RUNNING POWERSLAMS ROBERTS!
Joe Hoffman: NOBLE COMES TO LIFE!
Noble fires up, fans are divided and JJR stands. Noble kicks low, reels JJR in and underhooks for a Northern Lights Suplex. JJR slips out. Noble drives a forearm into his face. Then he whips around and drives the point of his elbow into Roberts’s jaw.
Joe Hoffman: OH, spinning elbow by Noble connects. That hurt Roberts.
The champion drops to a knee. Noble runs and steps on Roberts’s exposed knee and nails him in the face with his knee.
Joe Hoffman: SHINING WIZARD BY NOBLE. Roberts is DOWN!
Joe Hoffman: he kicks out easily.
Waistlock from behind by Noble. He lifts and snaps off a German Suplex. He scrambles for another cover.
Joe Hoffman: Noble hit the German Suplex but that’s not going to be enough to finish JJR.
Noble whip Roberts into the corner. He follows…
Joe Hoffman: Big boot by Roberts.
Roberts takes a waistlock from behind. He lifts and sends Noble up and over.
Joe Hoffman: And he gives Noble a German Suplex of his own. Roberts hooks the leg.
Joe Hoffman: But Noble kicks out and drags himself to the corner.
Roberts stays on him. He pulls Noble up and stomps a big boot into him! Noble falls to a seated position in the corner. JJR grins as backs to the opposite corner. He takes off across the ring and leaps…
Joe Hoffman: MISSILE DROPKICK BY ROBERTS IN THE CORNER.
The force knocks Noble’s head against the turnbuckle. Roberts again lays the boots in and finally Noble hooks his arm in the ropes to force a break.
Boettcher steps in. Roberts merely stops and takes a few steps back to allow his opponent to return.
Joe Hoffman: David Noble took his shot at the champion with that brief little flurry but Roberts is now back in control. Noble may also be tiring.
JJR lines up Noble…SUPERKICK- NO! Noble avoids. He goes to waistlock Roberts, but JJR elbows out hard!
Right hand by Roberts.
Right hand by Noble.
Right hand by Roberts.
Right hand by Noble.
Noble doubles up.
Noble triples up and Roberts stumbles back towards the corner. The challenger takes a deep breath and he takes off across the ring. He dips his shoulder and propels himself towards Roberts. Roberts moves at the last second. Noble hits head first into the turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: OH! Noble went for the spear but Roberts saw him coming and stepped aside.
Now Roberts takes a front facelock and hooks Noble by his tights. He lifts him upside down and drops him to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts spikes Noble with the Mask of Sanity and that’s just about it for the challenger.
Roberts quickly to the top turnbuckle. Backflip and he lands on Noble with his knee across his throat.
Joe Hoffman: SHOOTING STAR GUILLOTINE!
Boettcher slides in to make the count.
Joe Hoffman: And that’s it!
Bryan McVay rolls into the ring along with several members of the EPU. The EPU go right over to Roberts and places the restraints back on him.
Bryan McVay: Your winner and STILL the HOTv CHAMPION! JEFFFFFREY! JAMES! ROBBBBBERTS
The EPU escort the HOTv Champion towards the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Ladies and gentlemen, Jeffrey James Roberts retains the HOTv title again in a spirited match with David Noble. Noble looked a little rusty in the ring tonight but he gave it everything he had. The champion continues to look more and more comfortable in the ring and that does not bode well for the rest of the HOW roster. That’s going to do it for this week. Next week, HOW goes to Glasgow, Scotland as the UK tour leading to ICONIC in London continues.
The action fades to black as the action inside the arena comes to a close.
Celebration of Life
A few moments pass before the HOV comes to life as a video begins to play……
The following video was filmed earlier today at the Aberdeen Funeral Directors in Aberdeen Scotland…….
The video transitions to footage filmed for tonight.
Inside we see a sign for the Bobbinette Carey celebration of life. There are pink and magenta balloons tied to a table. On the table, we see a photo of Bobbinette Carey next to an white urn that looks to be made out of styrofoam. There’s a bagpipe player standing there playing amazing grace.
There are the funeral curtains near where a casket would be but instead pictures of Carey fighting Mario are on display including Mario winning the world title from her. The pictures are on large easels all forming a half circle around the pulpit.
We see Mario standing at a podium, his eyes watering as his son sits with a full room of people wearing old-school “Bobbinette Carey” shirts and holding signs relaying grief. Mose looks around the room as he seems sad. He gestures to the bagpipes.
Mose: Dad… Carey was Irish.
Mario: She was? Oh well, non-refundable deposit.
Mose: Dad, why are you even doing this?
Mose is suspicious of his dad’s motives.
Mario: Well you see son, in Wrestling, when someone dies you have a funeral for them so that they can come back. I mean, we are still supposed to have a match at ICONIC.
Mose: So this is all just “fluff”?
Mario: Well the medium surprisingly cost more, so I went this route.
Mario stands next to the urn and points at it while looking at Mose.
Mario: See? If caskets were cheaper I could’ve used one of those and she would have definitely popped out of it or something.
Mario gathers himself and then turns towards the people to deliver his well thought out eulogy.
Mario: What can you say about someone whose entire existence was built on making others feel inferior? How do you remember a woman who has spent years using others to further her own selfish gains? You celebrate their leaving this world and never having to deal with them again!
Mario turns to Mose.
Mario: Any sign of her? Check underneath the tables.
Mose glances around the room, but there aren’t any table cloths or anything on the tables that would conceal a person.
Mose: No sign of her Dad. Perhaps she dropped the key to the cage?
Mario: Just wait.
Mario turns back to the gathered crowd and glitter bombs explode. “Bye bye bye” plays from a cell phone as the bagpipe player joins in. Mario looks slightly confused, surely even his budget could’ve done better than what this is devolving into. Several people shed tears at this point; it is difficult to tell if it is due to Bobbinette’s potential passing, or someone’s horrendous ringtone. Tears well up in Mario’s eyes as he continues.
Mario: May her soul never bother or destroy anyone ever again! This truly is a celebration because she is gone and we are free! Free at last free at last thank god almighty we are free at last!
He says smiling as he winks to Mose. Mose just shakes his head and buries his face into his hand. Mario looks around the room trying to find Bobbinette.
Mario: Still nothing? I really thought that would do it.
A girl walks up to Mario and he pauses. It is a blonde teenage girl with a vagina hat and a t-shirt that says “Women are the future.” Mario smiles, looks at Mose, and then goes back to the girl.
Mario: Can I help you?
The girl holds out her fist and waits for Mario to extend his hand. He rolls his eyes as he opens his hand and a key is dropped into it and the girl quickly walks away. Mario looks at the key and then holds it in the air like Rafiki presenting Simba for the first time as the bagpipes play “Circle of Life”. He looks at the key then looks around the room frantically at everyone…. And nothing. Mario looks back to Mose.
Mario: I really thought that was it this time.
Mario stands back behind the pulpit and continues his “eulogy”.
Mario: God called this angel of his home. You know who was also an angel? Satan. So yeah maybe God just realized there was enough evil on earth and sent her to help the devil out. So now he’s reunited with Beelze’bob’!
A person wearing a trench coat gets up and walks to Mario.
Mario: You know, if you’re not really Bobbinette Carey under that trench coat you’re going to piss me off. I’m trying to bring her back to life here!
The fan opens the coat to reveal a black shirt with white lettering that reads “I survived.” Mario brings both hands to the side of his face in the most overly exaggerated shocked face you have probably ever seen on a human…. Or an animal.
Mario: Fantastic! I thought we were going to have to call Christplow here in a minute.
Mario remarks as he notices everyone’s eyes are staring behind him.
He turns and is met with the portrait photo of Bobbinette being busted over his head. It is none other than the Queen of Epicness herself Bobbinette Carey! Alive and proud of herself.
Bobbinette: Surprise! You wanted a match at ICONIC? Next week we’ll make it official…. By signing a contract!
She says walking backwards. She nods to Mose giving him the thumbs up before rushing out of the funeral home as Refueled comes to an end.