Event Date: January 23, 2022
- 1. The Best Opener
- 2. Noble/Doozer vs. Harrison/Kostoff
- 3. Fine American(s)
- 4. The Dynasty
- 5. Darkwing/Carey vs. Hollywood/Dresden
- 6. JATTISON SQUARE GARDEN
- 7. Solex/Byrd vs. Stevens/Mamba
- 8. K.R.A.P
- 9. National Gamer Stuff Day
- 10. AoA vs. 2 Man Advantage
- 11. So....what do you think?
- 12. Darin Zion vs. JJR
The Best Opener
We’re live in Madison Square Garden, as the HOTv logo flashes across the screen, followed by the logo for High Octane Wrestling. New York City is fucking HYPE for the first Refueled of 2022, and the entire crowd is on their feet as the HOV lights up and shows us some recaps from last month’s ICONIC pay-per-view.
About eight seconds into the recap, however, the screen changes to an image of a lion hung from a cross, the lights in the arena dimming as a buzz echoes throughout the crowd.
No signs. No banter from ol’ Solo Booth Joe. Instead, the opening choral harmonies of Hanzel und Gretyl’s “Hellalujah” begin to blast over the speakers. The reaction is mind-blowingly positive for HOW’s former World Champion, as Michael Lee Best steps through the curtain wearing jeans and a black Six-Time Academy hooded sweatshirt.
Looking all but recovered from the injuries sustained at ICONIC, the Son of God makes his way down the ramp and climbs the ring steps, ducking into the ring. He snatches the microphone from Bryan McVay, clearly looking as though he isn’t in the mood for a lot of pageantry to begin tonight’s show.
Joe Hoffman: An oddly sympathetic crowd for Michael Lee Best here tonight, as we begin the first Refueled of the New Year. I’m Joe Hoffman, folks, and we have a hell of a–
Mike Best: A lot of people think I’m here tonight to announce my retirement.
The words cut off HOW’s senior Hall of Fame announcer, as the live crowd goes quiet. The rumors have been churning for a while, after a shocking first round match loss against Cecilworth Farthington at ICONIC.
Mike Best: Seven minutes and fifty seconds. That’s how long it took to end a nearly SEVEN YEAR streak of suffering zero pins, zero submissions, and zero knockouts. Seven years, and it was over in seven minutes and fifty seconds. I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t remember too much about that match, but I remember feeling real fucking lousy about it for about twenty four hours afterward.
The Hall of Famer nods his head, looking down at the canvas as he strolls around the center of the ring.
Mike Best: I sat down with my uncle after that miserable twenty four hours, and we started talking about the future. What comes next for Michael Lee Best? A rubber match with Conor Fuse? A shot at my eleventh HOW World Championship? Honestly, hard pass. That’s treading old ground… I don’t need a rematch with Conor Fuse, he needs a rematch with me.
He scratches the back of his neck, looking out at the crowd.
Mike Best: The Notorious M.O.B suggested a rematch with Cecilworth. But come on. A rematch with Cecilworth just sounds… stupid, right? He beat me in seven minutes and fifty seconds. Seven minutes and fifty seconds. In seven minutes… and fifty seconds… the world clamoured to watch us fight for eight years, and I was able to give them a minute for every year they had to wait. Almost. That isn’t happening either. And I love Cecilworth, and he’s my best friend in the world… but we certainly weren’t going into the HOW Tag Team Championship tournament together after that. What a mess. Seven minutes and fifty fucking seconds.
Michael leans over the ropes, looking out toward the backstage area.
Mike Best: LSD Title? Downgrade. Sorry, Sektor, love you man. You’ve made that division your bitch, but I just have zero interest in competing for a lesser title in HOW. I’m the ten-time HOW World Champion, and if I’m not at the top of the heap, I’m at the bottom of the barrel. I don’t want the tag titles. I don’t want the HOTv strap. I don’t want to keep… going through the motions. Ol’ MOB and I sat down and we talked about one last match with Jatt Starr, or a big feud with blah blah blah from blah blah company, something something PRIME, and it just hit me… I’ve really done everything that there is to do. And so, the rumor mill started buzzing that maybe I was coming out here tonight to retire.
A smile comes over the face of the Son of God, as he peers out into the New York City crowd.
Mike Best: And that’s absolutely correct.
There is a huge reaction from the fans in attendance, but exactly what that reaction entails is hard to identify. It’s a tremendously mixed reaction, from guttural boos to gigantic cheers for one of the most polarizing wrestlers in the history of HOW.
Michael stifles a laugh, as he watches their reaction.
Mike Best: There is nothing left here for me to do, nothing left for me to win, and zero incentive for me to continue on here in HOW. Michael Oliver Best has agreed to let me out of my contract effective March 28th, 2022 at precisely 12:01AM. March to Glory was my first pay-per-view, and it’s going to be my last– and my uncle has left it up to ME to decide my final opponent. I’ve weighed my options for a couple of weeks now, and after careful consideration, that opponent is going to be…
He takes a deep breath, enjoying having the crowd in the palm of his hand for one of the last times he may have the opportunity to do so. The smirk that spreads across his face is telling, at the very least.
Mike Best: …absolutely fucking no one. ICONIC was my last match.
And there go the boos.
All of the boos.
Mike Best: Fuck a tag title tournament. Fuck an Argonot of Oh Not Again. Fuck PRIME, fuck a dream match, fuck a rematch, and fuck doing anyone else any favors. The main event of March to Glory isn’t going to be a match for the HOW World Championship, or the finals of some lazy tag title tournament for belts that are going to end up back on the shelf by War Games. It’s going to be the OFFICIAL retirement ceremony of Michael Lee Best, and until that time comes, I’m going to sit backstage and get paid to do… whatever I want.
He shrugs, leaning his back against the ropes and taking a much more laid back stance.
Mike Best: Maybe I’ll cut some promos, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll make amends, maybe I’ll settle scores , and maybe I’ll do absolutely fucking nothing. Because I’ve earned that, after twelve years with this company. I’ve earned that, after crucifixions and stabbings and seven minute, fifty second humiliations. I’m not gonna come out here after twelve years and pretend to kiss your asses, and I don’t want you all to pretend to kiss mine. No forced good guy run, kissing babies and pretending I didn’t kill a couple of people while I was here. No forced bad guy speech, trying to get you all to hate me on the way out. Truth is, I wanna make every buck I can out of this sinking ship before my Uncle lands it in the bottom of whatever harbor the USS Octane is living in, anyway. In fact, here… buy this shirt.
Michael unzips his sweatshirt, pulling it off in the middle of the ring to reveal a very familiar looking t-shirt.
Mike Best: It’s been fun, HOW. See you when I see you.
He flips a half salute to the crowd, dropping to his back and rolling out of the ring. He grabs his sweatshirt and carries it over his shoulder as he heads back up the ramp, sending HOW Refueled to it’s first break of the evening.
Noble/Doozer vs. Harrison/Kostoff
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back folks and what a way to start the show…..Michael Lee Best lost his smile and has taken his ball and went home. Did not SEE that one coming. Well as they always say…the show must go on and with that let’s cut to the ring where it is time for our first match of this years Maurako Cup which will culminate at March to Glory where the winning tag team will be crowned the new Tag Team Champions!!
With that we cut to ringside, where Doozer is already in the ring having been introduced by Bryan McAvay as the first competitor in tonight’s opening contest when suddenly…
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:
As Heaven and Hell continues to play a figure emerges, being lifted through the stage and to the center of the stage. At the sight of Noble, the arena comes unhinged.
Bryan McAvay: And introducing, Doozer’s partner…from Buffalo, New York, weighing in at 265 pounds, he is…DAAAAVIIIIID NOOOOOOBLEEEEEE!
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. Noble stands there, lowering his head, and letting the adrenaline course through his body as he heads toward the ring.
Joe Hoffman: David Noble is a man with new focus heading into the new year, looking to rebound after a loss at ICONIC by advancing alongside Doozer in the tag tournament!
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 until the music fades out, replaced with…
“Take the Money and Run,” By The Steve Miller Man starts to play and the curtain flies open. Steve Harrison walks out with his arms in the air, a smirk across his face.
Bryan McAvay: And their opponents! Introducing first, from Fairfax, Virginia…STEEEEVE HARRISOOON!
He begins walking towards the ring and begins waving at that crowd who return his waves with boos and indifference. The smirk begins to fade after hearing the response so the Miracle Man begins jawing back at some of the audience and pointing to himself yelling over and over “ME, ME, ME!.”
Joe Hoffman: Steve Harrison makes his long-awaited return to HOW after dealing with a knee injury that plagued him in the latter half of 2021, but he is not alone tonight as he looks to advance in the tag team tournament with a certified legend in the business!
Steve walks faster to the ring, his smirk now a scowl, he enters the ring and leans against one of the turnbuckles and begins talking to himself, his face becoming red in anger as…
The opening chords of “Wolf Totem” by The HU scream across the speakers as Chris Kostoff steps out onto the stage. Looking out he slowly makes his way to ringside, opting not to engage in any theatrics.
Bryan McAvay: And his partner .. from Tampa, Florida, weighing in at 285 pounds .. CHRIS KOSSSTOOOOOFF!
Kostoff circles the ring before sliding in, staring down everyone in the ring including his own partner for the tournament in Steve Harrison. With all competitors in the ring, the ref calls for the bell!
DING! DING! DING!
Noble insists on starting things off with Harrison as the bell rings, to which Doozer reluctantly obliges. Noble and Harrison lock up, with Harrison getting the upper hand by sending Noble to the ropes before hitting a clothesline on the rebound!
Joe Hoffman: Harrison showing little sign of ring rust here on his return!
Harrison wastes little time with the follow-through, getting Noble back to his feet before sending him into the corner. The Miracle Man delivers some hard stomps to the midsection of Noble before tagging in Kostoff, who continues the attack with some punches to Noble’s face and stomach before connecting with a knee to the same spot for good measure.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go, Kostoff with a chance to show fans of the new era what he’s capable of!
Now it’s Kostoff sending Noble to the ropes, but the Hall of Famer’s attempt at a clothesline gets thwarted when Noble ducks under, before hitting Kostoff with a forearm smash! Noble’s looking to rebuild his momentum as he follows up with some hard strikes that send Kostoff reeling back slightly, giving Noble the opening he needs! Noble with a Spear…NO! Kostoff catches it in time, connecting with a DDT that drives Noble headfirst into the canvas!
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff with a nasty DDT there! Noble will need to recover quickly if he and Doozer want to stay in this bout!
Kostoff goes for the cover, looking for a quick win to advance in the tournament!
Doozer runs into the ring, kicking Kostoff in the back of the head to break the count! Kostoff looks furious at this, turning his attention to the former Egg Bandit…who quickly makes an escape to the outside. The distraction is enough for Noble to get back on his feet, though, and as Kostoff turns his attention back to him…Noble connects with a spinning elbow!
Joe Hoffman: Oh boy, that threw Kostoff for a loop! Can Noble capitalize?
Noble senses his opportunity at hand here, going to the ropes for momentum before connecting with a big Spear to the Hall of Famer! The crowd can sense where this might be heading as well, cheering Noble on as Kostoff slowly gets to his feet. Noble rears back before leaping at Kostoff, looking for that jumping knee strike! RISE U–NO! Kostoff catches the leg of Noble before driving him into the canvas with a modified spinebuster!
Joe Hoffman: What a spinebuster that was! This could really be a game changer here in the opening contest!
Kostoff is still recovering from the earlier spear, but it’s Noble who’s looking a little worse for wear after the DDT and spinebuster. Noble manages to get back to his feet finally, as Kostoff gets a tag to Harrison…who immediately cuts Noble off from any attempt to tag in Doozer! Harrison lays the chops in heavy, dropping Noble to one knee. Harrison heads behind Noble, looking for a knee trigger on the back of his neck…but Noble won’t take the Enlightenment sitting down, managing to sweep Harrison’s leg out from under him!
Joe Hoffman: What a close call, but now it looks like Noble and Doozer can turn things around!
Doozer is standing in his corner, chomping at the bit to get the tag…and Noble leaps over, giving him just what he’s looking for! Doozer is a house on fire as he goes after Harrison, no love lost between these two as Doozer unloads a flurry of offense that sends the Miracle Man to the outside! Harrison is on the floor, clutching his knee as if in pain, which catches the attention of Hortega. The referee leans over the second rope, checking on Harrison…and this gives Kostoff an opportunity to hop into the ring, dropping the distracted Doozer with a kick to the gut and a spinning cradle piledriver! CRADLE TO THE GRAVE!
Joe Hoffman: Oh, come on! There’s no need for that!
Kostoff quickly rolls out of the ring before Hortega can notice what happened, as Harrison suddenly appears to be fine, even shouting “It’s a miracle!” before sliding back into the ring. Noticing that Doozer is down, Harrison “helps” him to his feet…before locking in a chicken wing crossface! IT’S A HARRICLE! Harrison drops Doozer on his head with the suplex, and goes for a cover!
Noble tries to run in and break up the count…
…but he’s cut off by Kostoff!
DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McAvay: Ladies and gentlemen, here are your winners and advancing in the tag team tournament…CHRIS KOSTOFF AND STEVE HARRISON!
Hortega raises the arm of Kostoff and Harrison in victory, indicating that the veteran pair move on in this tournament as we cut away.
We cut backstage where we see Steve Solex, in a corner of white-painted, cinder block walls. He paces back and forth, seemingly muttering to himself. In his right hand, a clenched fist, holding onto the infamous red luchador mask that once belonged to Shawn Kutter. Solex’s veins are pumped full of blood and presumably a fresh shot of testosterone; bulging from bicep to finger tip. Suddenly, he’s stopped dead in his tracks. He looks up, and Blaire Moise is shown standing right in front of him, microphone in hand.
Steve Solex: What?
Blaire Moise seems perplexed by the question and tone in Solex’s voice. Solex resumes his frantic pacing, continuing to mutter to himself. Blaire looks at the camera and seems even more confused, but tries to get her questions in anyway.
Blaire Moise: Well, Steve. I’m here to ask you a couple of questions about your upcoming tag team match against Black Mamba and Scott Stevens. But first I wanted to get your thoughts on teaming with Clay Byrd.
Steve paces up to the microphone and stops. He looks into the camera, his eyes intense and his jaw clenched.
Steve Solex: Clay and I have a bit of history. We were in the Best Alliance together, and shit…he seems like a fine American if you ask me. While things may seem to be a little shaky on his end right now, one thing is for sure: he’s got his head screwed on straight this time around when it comes to how he and I are going to work together. The last time Clay and I had any kind of interaction with one another, he and Shawn Kutter took off in a limo, from out in front of my own house. But those were the Best Alliance days, and Clay did what he had to do. Now, Clay knows who he can trust and it damn sure isn’t Shawn Kutter!
Solex holds the red luchador mask up to the camera for about two seconds before yanking it back down to his side.
Steve Solex: As far as our match is concerned, Blaire. Black Mamba and I have had our run ins in the past, and just like Scott Stevens…it’s never worked out for him. I’m clearly the dominant, the Alpha, the toxic masculine mold of a man that Black Mamba just can’t handle. And I just don’t see how anything is going to change tonight.
Solex gives a little smirk to the camera.
Steve Solex: And everyone and their mother knows about the history Scott Stevens and I have. In all these years, Scott Stevens has never beaten me once. Not in LPW and not in HOW. I’m everything that Scott Stevens wishes he could be, and everything he wishes he could beat. But unfortunately for Scott Stevens; those two things will never come to be.
Blaire pulls the microphone back for another question..
Blaire Moise: Should we expect to see Shawn Kutter tonight? In any capacity?
Steve looks down at the luchador mask clenched in his All-American Soldier grip. He laughs slightly and releases hold of the mask. He immediately stops his wrestling boot down onto it. He looks to Blaire and smiles before he marches off and out of scene.
As we cut elsewhere in Madison Square Garden we see an imposing bald monster standing next to a younger gentleman with a huge smirk on his face as the New York fans begin to boo the individuals.
Voice: Typical New York trash showing their disrespect as usual.
The person behind the voice comes front and center. He is wearing black jeans, a golden suit jacket and a cowboy hat.
Cowboy Hat Man: As you can tell by that pathetic ovation from the New York gutter trash….
The boos grow louder and the man shakes his head.
Cowboy Hat Man: When I speak you filth need to shut the hell help!
The man shouts and the crowd gets even more rabid.
Cowboy Hat Man: Now before I was interrupted by this New York infestation, I wanted to properly introduce myself to the High Octane Wrestling audience.
The man in the cowboy hat clears his throat and the audience is doing it’s best to drown him out.
Cary Stevens: My name is Stevens…….Cary Stevens.
The man identifies himself with a sly grin before looking over his shoulder.
Cary Stevens: And this is my son, George Stevens.
The monstrosity hits his fist into his hand.
Cary Stevens: And this is my nephew, Bo Stevens.
Bo lifts his right hand up and does the finger gun gesture.
Cary Stevens: And together we are known as The STEVENS DYNASTY!
Cary says with esteem affliction in his voice.
Cary Stevens: More importantly, I am the father of the number one contender to your HOW World title, Scott Stevens.
The crowd cheers upon hearing Scott’s name.
Cary Stevens: But enough about that Lonesome Loser.
The crowd boos.
Cary Stevens: If you’ve been living under a rock the last three years then you haven’t realized how my boys are the single most destructive tag team there is……
A devilish smirk forms over Cary’s face.
Cary Stevens: Until now.
Cary informs as the crowd begins to chant.
Crowd: SHUT THE HELL UP! SHUT THE HELL UP! SHUT THE HELL UP!
Cary shakes his head and doesn’t let the crowd stop him.
Cary Stevens: You see, this is why I have to congratulate Mr. Best on bringing us into this tag tournament because he wants the very best in it and he has it with us. Unlike Lee Best who has been preventing us from coming here and protecting those tag titles from us.
Cary says as he points to his team.
Cary Stevens: There is a reason why we dominated every division of DEFIANCE and carried that shithole on our backs for the last three years. That is why Ray McAvay…..
The crowd cheers McAvay’s name.
Cary Stevens: That is why Ray McAvay signed us to appear and MVW. More Importantly, that is why we are the team that is representing MVW and no one…. And I mean no one is going to stop this dynasty-
Woman’s Voice: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!
A woman barges through everyone to get into the shot. She’s wearing a red and green queen’s crown on top of her head with a bright green cape over her shirt that reads “Queen of Mean” in front.
Sunny O’Callahan: Listen old man. I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but everybody in this arena knows who the hell I am. Sunny O’Callahan. The Woman of the Moment. The Queen of Mean. The best manager with the most brilliant wrestling mind ever in professional wrestling.
Sunny preens for the fans.
Sunny O’Callahan: That’s right. I know you all missed me. I know you all couldn’t wait to feast your eyes on me- Sunny O’Callahan. I know you couldn’t wait for the day that I- Sunny O’Callahan- finally returned to High Octane Wrestling. Well, I have two words for all of you- you’re welcome!
Sunny turns her sights towards Cary Stevens and pokes him in the chest with her finger.
Sunny O’Callahan: Listen Grandpa, I don’t know what Ray McAvay told you and I really don’t care. If anyone is going to be representing MVW in this tag team tournament it’s going to be MY team…
Sunny snaps her finger. A wad of cash is put in her hand.
Stepping into the picture is a silver metallic ‘robot’ carrying a duffel bag that’s totally overflowing with cash that he uses to pay for Ms. O’Callahan’s managerial services- because he can.
And no one else will.
Piercing red eyes glowering into the camera and trying his best to look menacing, he’s not quite a shiny, silver cheap b-movie knock off of a famous comic book robot.
Sunny O’Callahan: …‘The New Age Cybertronic Criminally Insane Rogue Sentient Robot Wrestling Machine’ Ultratron-6.1!
But he’s awfully damn close.
Ultratron-6.1: Sniveling, puny, human insects, I have evolved beyond any human capability. The hand that slays you belongs to…Ultratron-6.1!
‘The New Age Cybertronic Criminally Insane Rogue Sentient Robot Wrestling Machine’ flips off the camera.
Sunny O’Callahan: And…
Sunny half-mumbles the name as another man joins the shot dressed in an outfit that looks strangely similar, but yet different, recognizable, but not quite a cheesy rip-off of something that would violate any copyright or intellectual property laws.
Sunny O’Callahan: …’Defective’ Marty Pratt.
Pratt has an oversized pencil in hand and pretends to erase things in the air.
‘Defective’ Marty Pratt: ERASE! ERASE! ERASE!
Pratt shouts this out thinking that people will chant with him.
Sunny O’Callahan: You call yourself a dynasty, Pops? Well, let me tell you-
Ultratron-6.1 interrupts her.
Ultratron-6.1: I am the one true ‘The New Age Cybertronic Criminally Insane Rogue Sentient Robot Wrestling Machine.’ I am the paragon of perfection! In this duffel bag, I have the ULTIMATE POWER!
Sunny snaps her fingers again. Ultratron-6.1 obliges and gives her more money.
Ultratron-6.1: Bow down to me puny human scum! Bow down to- THE KABAL OF REALLY AWFUL PEOPLE!
Again, Ultratron-6.1 tries to appear menacing and maniacal. Does it work?
Does this pop the crowd?
Nope. But that doesn’t stop Marty Pratt from trying.
‘Defective’ Marty Pratt: That’s right! We’re K! R! A! –
Sunny slams her open palm over Pratt’s mouth before he can finish.
Sunny O’Callahan: Don’t… just don’t.
Sunny let’s out an audible sigh. Then she snaps her fingers and holds out her hand. Ultratron-6.1 digs his metal fingers into the duffel bag and pulls out another wad of cash for her.
Then she gets all indignant again with Cary Stevens.
Sunny O’Callahan: So listen Sheriff Woody, why don’t you take your two sons and go play with Buzz Lightyear because I’ve got this all under control. That’s right, me- Sunny O’Callahan- the woman who single handedly made High Flyer relevant again- the woman who single handedly restarted Darin Zion ‘s career- the woman who made Rah more than just a one-note joike- the woman who responsible for Sutler Reynolds-Kael’s big match at March to Glory last year that led to him winning the world title.
Sunny again pokes Cary in the chest with her finger.
Sunny O’Callahan: The one who single handedly was responsible for Scott Stevens returning to HOW TV? That’s right. I did that, Roy Rogers. Me. Sunny O’Callahan. The best manager ever. The most brilliant wrestling mind in pro wrestling history. I made that all happen. You’re welcome.
Sunny points at the camera.
Sunny O’Callahan: You’re ALL welcome.
She stretches out her arms and waits for applause.
Cary simply laughs.
Cary Stevens: Listen toots, judging by that reaction these filth didn’t give you is all I need to know about you.
Cary says as he points towards Sunny before looking at her team.
Cary Stevens: And as far as your….”team” goes…..I can see why McAvay brought us in because he knew you two gimmick infringing rejects would be bounced in the first round.
Sunny takes offense to Cary’s comments and motions for her team to move in. The behemoth known as George moves his father out of the way and towers over both of Sunny’s men and Bo tightens his black glove as both sides move in closer.
Thankfully before this goes any further, we cut back to Joe at the broadcast desk.
Joe Hoffman: Well. These two sides had better get their act together quick because next week Team MVW takes on Jeffrey James Roberts and Arthur Pleasant in their first match because if they’re not on the same page, it’s going to get really ugly.
We cut away to another commercial break.
Darkwing/Carey vs. Hollywood/Dresden
Back live and we cut back into the arena where we see Hall of Fame Ring Announcer Bryan McVay standing. He brings the microphone up to his mouth, reading his introductions.
Bryan McVay: The following first round tag team match is scheduled for one fall….
Before the crowd can respond with a cute quip, “Stronger on your Own” by Disturbed blares over the PA. Hollywood walks from out of the back. He taunts the crowd for a moment. The New York crowd erupts into massive boos. He saunters his way to the middle of the ramp, waiting to hit his pyro. As Hollywood’s hands go up into the air, his music cuts off. Instead the chorus of “Never Look Back” erupts. The lights overhead dim and flash while Eliza Dresden emerges from the back. Hollywood shoots Eli a fake smile as the arena comes unglued.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, the Tag Team pairing of BRIIIIIIIIIANNNNN HOLLLLLLLLYWOOOOOOD and ELIIIIIIIIZA DRESSSSSSSDEEEEEEN!
While Eli Dresden continues her entrance motion, Hollywood acts overjoyed to see Eli. His actions to copy some of Eli’s mannerisms seem disingenuous. The excitement on his eyes looks fake. He’s trying to take the spotlight away from his partner. While Eli swirls around the different crowd members; she shoots Brian a dirty glare. He stops mid action and lets her continue with her part of the entrance. Dresden pumps her hands into the air. The New York City crowd erupts in cheers for Eli. Hollywood only rolls his eyes to his partner. Both of them meet in the middle and Eli offers Hollywood a hand shake. But he turns it down and overly panders to the NYC crowd. They absolutely despise Hollywood’s attempts to win them over. Eli continues with her routine. She slides into the ring stomach first and kips up. She pops up and down with her feet before Hollywood stands in front of her. Stealing Eli’s spotlight doesn’t set well with the fan favorite of this match. Eliza folds her arms against her chest while Hollywood continues to overreact.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome to another first round HOW Tag Team Title opening round match. As many of you can see, Eli Dresden and Brian Hollywood are partners. You could cut the tension between both partners with a knife. Hollywood loves to work alone. Eli Dresden hates having the spotlight taken from her. Yet the old randomizer teamed these two together.
Eliza walks to the corner and sits perched, glaring down at the entrance ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Both Eliza and Brian have tons his history together. Dating back to the 7 Deadly Sins match at RATR; they stood on opposites ends. Now they’re teaming together tonight to take on a solid unit. I know you’re all asking yourselves…what could possibly go wrong?
“Want It Back” featuring Partrice and the Studio erupts over the HOV sound system. Both Bobbinette Carey and Darkwing appear at the top of the entrance ramp. The New York crowd showers them in with more boos than Hollywood got. The cameras pan back to Brian’s look of disbelief. Bobbinette and Darkwing both exchange as fist bump before making their way down to the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Unlike Dredenwood’s tag team; their opponents have actual tag team chemistry. Bobbinette enlisted Duck’s aid back at ICONIC. Darkwing hit the ring and destroyed former 39% owner Scottywood in an impressive feat. It’s been awhile since Darkwing wrestled in HOW, so Carey’s made an interesting choice in backup for this tournament. While Carey’s looked impressive, the X Factor in this match her returning partner. We don’t know how this will go, but one thing is certain; they mean business.
Carey and DW move down the ramp, balking at the white males in the front row. The fans attempt to throw signs out at Darkwing, mocking him. Duck immediately reaches over and rips them up, trying to censor the rabid NYC fans. Bobbinette looks over completely in glee. Both wrestlers make their way up the stiars. Eli leaps to her feet, glaring down at Carey, ready for a piece of action. However, Bottcher holds her back as the duo finish taunting the fans.
As the pair’s music cuts, Eli steps up in Carey’s face looking for a fight. As Duck goes back to the corner, Carey will not consent to fighting another woman. She points directly at Hollywood. She yells out “I ONLY FIGHT THE PATRIARCHY”
Joe Hoffman: Typical Carey! She wants face the white male to prove she’s better. She will not engage Dresden at all.
Hollywood, much to Dresden’s chagrin, charges into the ring. He pushes Eli to the corner and Boettcher wastes no time in motioning for the bell.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Joe Hoffman: Looks like two former HOW World Champions are starting off this match. But Hollywood is NOT taking Carey seriously.
Hollywood mocks Carey’s moral stance. He’s vowing to go easy on Carey’s fragile ego as the first African American woman HOW World champ steps up to the plate. Hollywood begs for Carey to hit him with everything she’s got. While Carey confronts Hollywood, she immediately cups her hand and…
Joe Hoffman: I speak for every man in the world who saw that and say THAT FREAKING HURTS. I could feel that low blow from here…
Hollywood drops to the canvas as Boettcher scalds Carey. Carey’s onslaught of offense continues as she hurls lefts and rights at Brian’s face. She stands up and jeers at the NYC crowd. She derides back at Hollywood to give his best shot now. The former HOTv Champion struggles to get back to his feet. Hollywood charges towards Carey with a Big Boot, but she ducks the attempt. She grabs the locks of the HOW Executive’s long hair and throws him down to the mat. She tries to wrap her arms around Hollywood’s head, but he manages to get the break.
Getting back to his feet, Hollywood flings Carey over his shoulder. He charges towards the Woke One’s position and nails a stiff kick to her ribs. Carey rolls underneath the ropes while Boettcher stands between Hollywood and his prey. As Hollywood and Matt argue, Carey nails a spear on Hollywood, sending him flying towards his partner’s corner by mistake. Carey rushes towards the turnbuckle, but Hollywood’s quick wit takes over.
Joe Hoffman: Hollywood tags into Eli Dresden? What kind of sorcery is this from Hollywood?
Carey immediately freezes up shooting her hands up in the air while Hollywood rolls out of the way. The Executive spouts off aloud to his enemy: “What’s the matter? Did the patriarchy outsmart you?” Dresden makes her way into the ring with a chorus of cheers. Carey attempts to reason with her fellow matriarchal friend. But Eli’s not having a bit of it. Rushing at Bobbinette with a dropsault, Carey ducks her. Eli wastes no time in whipping her opponent against the ropes. As Carey comes back, she rolls underneath Eli’s head scissors take down attempt. Bobbinette weasels her way slowly to her corner. But before the former HOW Champion can make her way to DW, Eli nails some parkour moves. BAM! She hits Carey straight in the jaw with a stiff right hook. Running towards the ropes, Eli hits a Standing Shooting Star Press onto Carey’s ribs.
Joe Hoffman: Eli’s not having any of Carey’s spiel. She’s got Carey against the ropes much to the delight of the fans. She’s just hit an impressive lucha style arm drag on Carey. Now she’s mounting offense in the corner. This is an impressive outing by the young Dresden. She’s chopping the crap out of Carey’s chest. She wants this!
Back in the corner, you can see Hollywood busting out laughing at his work. As his sides are splitting, he doesn’t notice Darkwing leap off the side of the apron. DW charges at the confident Executive. With all his might, he delivers a sloppy, nasty suplex onto Eli’s partner. Hollywood folds in half and Boettcher rushes to check on the decorated HOW veteran.
Joe Hoffman: DO YOUR DANG JOB BOETTCHER! This only provides an unfair advantage for Duck and Carey!!!!
Hoffman’s right! Darkwing slides into the ring and takes a hold of Eli’s head. He whips her down to the mat with a sloppy looking reverse DDT. Carey slithers her way towards the outside at Matt comes back into the ring, not noticing Duck and Bobbinette switched places. Darkwing hoists Eli up before nailing a sloppy back breaker on the face of the acrobatic warrior. He locks in a wrenching Dragon Sleeper on Dresden while she fades.
Unfortunately, Duck doesn’t factor in Eli’s flexibility. Eli squirms around and rolls up the returning HOW veteran for a quick count.
Joe Hoffman: SHE ALMOST HAD THE HOW HALL OF FAMER RIGHT THERE!
Duck picks up the light HOW Rookie Sensation for a slide slam, but Eli uses her momentum and takes the Hall of Famer down with a head scissors take down. Eli hobbles towards Hollywood, but Carey slides under the ring. She gets down on her knees and pleads with Eli to join the cause. Eli slaps Carey, but Duck comes over and charges her. Nailing her with a stiff clothesline, he laughs at Dresden. But Dresden kips up to her feet. She’s about to charge when…
Joe Hoffman: HOT TAG BY HOLLYWOOD!
Brian Hollywood scalds Eli telling her he can do this better himself. Both partners squabble a bit before Duck tries to floor them. Both duck in sync with each other and give a shocked look. Brian and Eli whip DW into the ropes and hit a picture-perfect flap jack on the Hall of Famer. Brian continues his onslaught of offense. He’s dropping elbows into Duck’s rib cage no problem. He rushes towards him and hits a springboard DDT onto his opponent. Suddenly, Bobbinette wakes up and sees an opportunity. She leaps onto Hollywood’s back, trying to lock in a sleeper. But Hollywood falls on top of her, knocking the wind out of her lungs. Darkwing rolls out of the ring as the distracted Boettcher comes back into the ring. Hollywood climbs up to the top rope and nails a perfect Frogsplash onto Carey. He locks in her leg.
NO! Carey uses her remaining energy to kick out. Frustrated, Hollywood slams his fists into the mat. He’s going to end this now! As Carey climbs back to her feet, he nails a perfect Paper Cut straight onto Carey. He goes into the corner to sign the papers. The Executive Privilege is coming!
Joe Hoffman: Eli Dresden paying back Hollywood’s earlier gloating. She’s now got this, much to the shock of Hollywood.
Dresden mounts the top turnbuckle and hits a moonsault onto Carey. Eli confidently locks the leg…
Hollywood doesn’t stop Duck from interrupting the count. An audible snicker comes from the Executive’s mouth as he watches Eli’s attempt end. He stands in the corner and watches like an irritated teacher at his pupil. Duck bludgeons the hell out of Eli left and right while Carey comes too. She hobbles to Hollywood’s croner before hitting a drop kick on the Executive. As Hollywood gets back to his feet, Carey climbs the top turnbuckle and leaps at Hollywood with a flying body press taking him down. Both Former HOW World Champions brawl on the outside.
Leaving Dresden and Duck in the ring alone. Dresden attempts to hit a hurricarana on the Hall of Famer, but he counters with a clean Power Bomb. His eyes light up in anger. He attempts to lock in the Inverted Cloverleaf, but Dresden flings him face first into the turnbuckle.
She catapults her body using all her force to nail and sick looking kick into Duck’s back. Wasting no time, Eli climbs to the top rope. This is it! Boettcher goes to check on Darkwing, but the Hall of Famer flings the ref into the ropes. Eli falls to the turnbuckle, stunned. Darkwing seizes his opportunity. Duck wastes no time in grabbing a handful of Eli’s hair and pulling her down to the mat. The original HOW of Famer quickly rolls up Dresden. Darkwing uses his almost 100 pound weight advantage and Boettcher begins the count…
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner in 11 minutes and 59 seconds…..the team of Bobbinette Carey and DAAARRRRKWING.
Carey charges the ring and embraces Darkwing. She leaps for joy while DW’s stoic face looks menacing at the NYC crowd. Hollywood balks at the result and walks off. Meanwhile, Carey walks over to the dejected Eli Dresden. She pushes Boettcher out of the way and offers to help Eli up, and Dresden balks at first but then offers her hand to Carey.
Carey pulls Dresden up to her feet and the two share a nod.
Joe Hoffman: Show of respect there from Carey and although he looked rusty at times, Darkwing comes back and secures the pinfall victory for his team in his first match back here in High Octane Wrestling. Let’s cut backstage.
The action cuts away as we see Carey and Darkwing celebrating their win once again.
JATTISON SQUARE GARDEN
The scene cuts from ringside and the novelty of Darkwing’s return match and his first victory in what feels like thirty years to the backstage area of Madison Square Garden. Blaire Moise stands in front of a set piece with the HOW logo on it. Next to her, donning a teal and black plaid suit with a black pocketsquare, and a black dress shirt with the top button undone, is Jatt Starr. In his right hand he holds a walking cane with an intricate design of a bird with it’s wings spread as it’s handle.
BLAIRE MOISE: I am standing—
JATT STARR: Pardon the interruption, Miss Moise, but before we begin, the Ruler of Jattlantis would like to welcome all of the fans to JATTISON SQUARE GARDEN!!!
There is a pause to allow for the explosion of cheers that is clearly rocking the home of the New York Knickerbockers.
BLAIRE MOISE: Well, at ICONC we saw the return of the Argonauts of Awesome when you—-
JATT STARR: Blaire, Blaire, Blaire! Hold your horses! All will be revealed. Like what an “Argonaut” really is. I thought it was an Argonian “Elder Scrolls” reference, but I was apparently wrong. For example, your NEW HOW Champion Conor Fuse will be addressing the world later tonight in a celebration that can only be described as….AWESOME.
BLAIRE MOISE: Jatt—-
JATT STARR: OH! Have we forgotten already? Darkwing returned! A man with whom I have nothing but the utmost respect. There would be no Jatt Starr without Darkwing. As you can see, as long as he isn’t in the ring with the King of Jatten Island, he can actually win a match! Granted, he narrowly beat a twenty-something glorified girl scout, but some rust is to be expected and a win is a win. Seeing as he is currently saddled with Bobbinette Carey as his partner, which sucks for him, the Savior of Starrkham is feeling rather giving….so Darkwing, I am giving you a massive gift….I have zero intention of squaring off against you EVER. Another win over you does nothing for me, respectfully…so, when Bobbinette eventually torpedoes your team with her incompetence, you won’t have to face the Mayor of ManJattan. As far as I am concerned, we will never, EVER face each other again.
BLAIRE MOISE: Do you have any thoughts on Bobbinette Carey and Eli Dresden shaking hands after the match we just witnessed?
JATT STARR: Eli should wash that hand. Seriously though, it doesn’t mean anything. Eli’s got heart, no doubt….but her time in the HOW thus far has been less than….noteworthy.
BLAIRE MOISE: I see, you mentioned Conor Fuse earlier, he and Jace Parker Davidson will be facing Two Man Advantage later tonight and You and Mario, “Starrvivor: Maurako”, collectively the Argonauts the Awesome, have found yourselves randomly selected in the same group. Would you care to comment on that?
JATT STARR: It’s claptrap! Meaning “nonsense”, not Bobbinette Carey’s vagina. I’ll leave it to the conspiracy theorists….but having all four members of the Argonauts of Awesome in the same group, it’s highly suspect. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jeffrey James Roberts had one of his prison shower love muffins who happened to be in the clink for hacking tweak the results.
BLAIRE MOISE: I don’t see how that’s possible.
JATT STARR: Alternate realities, time travel, portals to resurrect gods, people who have been decapitated returning to life as if nothing happened, sexually deviant cows, that’s all acceptable….but hacking is outside the realm of possibility, Blaire? Get your head out of that tight ass of yours.
BLAIRE MOISE: I’m just say—-
JATT STARR: Blaire, it doesn’t matter. These are the cards we have been dealt. Whatever I feel about the tournament, the clear officiating bias against Mario, Jace, and myself, the fact that we have a convict holding a championship belt, the fact that Darin Zion somehow won an important match at ICONIC, it doesn’t change where we are at. Like I said, let the conspiracy theorists flood the internet machine. I didn’t come out here to discuss hypotheoretical…theories…I did want to make an announcement.
BLAIRE MOISE: What is this announcement?
JATT STARR: Next week, Mario Maurako will not be teaming with Jatt Starr.
BLAIRE MOISE: What?
JATT STARR: Tonight will be the last time you see Jatt Starr on HOW programming. “Starrvivor: Maurako” has been voted out. Instead, you will see the emergence of new team. Mario Maurako will team with……
The HOW Hall of Famer puts his hand in his pocket and poses somewhat to add a little dramatic flair.
JATT STARR: …someone else. Jatt Starr is a facade. A representation of all of the negative qualities that I possess….gluttony, greed, avarive, arrogance, a complete disregard for possums, tipping less than fifteen percent, unnecessary jokes about people’s sexy parts…or not-so-sexy parts, depending on the person…whose name rhymes with Slobbinette Hairy. I figure the universe was karmically getting back at me by placing my daughter in a position where she would get seriously injured so, New Year’s Eve certain events transpired and I made a resolution to be a better person….not that I was necessarily a bad person….it’s not like I was Jeffery James Roberts, Mike Best, Lee Best, Xander Azula, Bobbinette Carey, Sektor, Sutler Kael, Scott Stevens, or any other truly evil person employed by the HOW. What was I saying?
BLAIRE MOISE: Jatt Starr is a facade.
JATT STARR: Right. So, starting next week, Mario Maurako will team with a man recently knighted by Fergie herself..
BLAIRE MOISE: The Duchess?
JATT STARR: A good album, to be sure. But I’m more of a fan of her work with the Black Eyed Peas.
BLAIRE MOISE: Um….
JATT STARR: But as much I would love to discuss music with you…business always before pleasure….Mario Maurako’s tag team partner will be….
From his pocket, the Jattinum Standard retrieves a monocle and places it over his right eye.
JATT STARR: Sir Simon Sparrow! And yes, I am on a crusade to right the wrongs of the Lee Best Era in the HOW. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Mario and I have some strategems to discuss.
Sir Simon Sparrow exits the frame leaving Blaire Moise to stoically wonder what just happened and how Sir Simon Sparrow would be different than the Sultan of SeaJattle as we head to commercial.
Solex/Byrd vs. Stevens/Mamba
Back live and we cut to the ring as it is time for our next tag team match of the evening.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, our next match is a first round tag match in the tag team tournament and is one fall. Introducing first!
Joe Hoffman: Our third match of four for the tournament tonight and it will be an interesting clash here tonight with Steve Solex and Clay Byrd squaring off against Scott Stevens and the returning Black Mamba.
James Ranger comes out, slowly eyeing the fans to the left and right to him, as a slow smile creeps on to his face, as he stops short of the ramp, the lights focus upon just James Ranger, his sunglasses reflecting the light as it transitions from white to an eerie green.. Announcer: Hailing from London, England, weighing in at 243 pounds…. He takes off his sunglasses, smirking as he squats briefly, surveying the arena and the ring before slowly rising to his feet and walking slowly and purposely towards the ring, the smirk now gone.
Bryan McVay: Standing at six feet tall, weighing in at two-hundred-and-fifty-pounds and hailing from London, England… “THE BLACK MAMBA”… JAMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS RANGERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
Joe Hoffman: Black Mamba making his return tonight and this will be a good test to see what he still has in the tank and how he will shake off his rust in a tough first match back.
Bryan McVay: And his partner!
‘A Country Boy Can Survive’ by Hank Williams Sr. rips through Madison Square Garden as Scott Stevens emerges from the back and makes his way down to the ring.
Joe Hoffman: This particular group of wrestlers, with Scott Stevens, Darkwing, and Bobbinette will be quite interesting considering the animosity Darkwing and Bobbinette have for Stevens and vice versa! And they’re all in the same group together.
Bryan McVay: Standing six feet and six inches tall, weighing in at two-hundred-and-fifty-six pounds, he hails from Houston, Texas… SCOTT! STEVENS!
With Stevens and Mamba in the ring, they look up the ramp and prepare for their opponents.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents!
This beginning of “This Means War” by Avenged Sevenfold thumps from the sound system as the crowd explodes into a fury of boos and hisses. A montage of Steve Solex plays on the HOV, flashing on and off in rhythm with the music. As the music stalls, the HOV goes black as the lights throughout the arena go dark. A bomb like explosion blasts at the top of the entry way sending a plume of smoke up and in front of the HOV in the shape of a mushroom cloud, and at that moment the music returns and Steve Solex makes his way out from behind the curtain. The montage continues to play on the HOV as Solex stops atop the entrance ramp and pounds his chest twice with a white knuckled fist before throwing his hands high up into the air. He soaks in the boos from the crowd before marching down to the ring. No glitz, no high fives, just a fast paced march and the look of cold blooded killer. He slides under the bottom rope and stares down the referee before finding his corner and resting back into it.
Bryan McVay: Standing at six feet and three inches tall, weighing in at two-hundred-and-fifty-two pounds, he hails from Huntington Beach, California… STEVE! SOLEX!
Joe Hoffman: Solex is coming off an impressive victory at ICONIC against Bobby Dean where he won the best of seven series the man had as well as the Gentleman’s Agreement!
Bryan McVay: And his partner!
Guitar and harmonica begin to blare through the arena, the start of “Gunning For You” by Nick Nolan sends a silence across the crowd as Nick Nolan’s lyrics echo through the arena. Red letters slash across the screen as “BYRD” is spelled out. Clay appears through fog on the entrance ramp, cowboy hat low over his eyes, a long black duster on and a rope in his hand.
My Gun is loaded it’s getting time
Two shots of whiskey i’m takin’ what’s mine
Ain’t what you’re sayin it’s what you do
Your time has come boy i’m Gunnin for You
When hell is rainin down you’ll see my face won’t heara sound
You’ll feel that bullet burnin through
Take your last breath boy
I’m Gunnin for You
Clay begins his slow walk down the ramp. His eyes are fixed on the ring, and he trudges on. Not paying any notice to any of the fans in attendance. There’s desperation deep in your eyes No turnin back now no compromise Cause only one of us walks out that door The other bleedin out on the floor Clay walks up the steps, and climbs into the ring.
Bryan McVay: Standing at six feet and seven inches tall, weighing in at two-hundred-and-ninety-five pounds, he hails from Plainview, Texas, he is… CLAY! BYRD!
Joe Hoffman Byrd has to be feeling disappointed after coming so close to winning the World Title and just coming up short against Conor Fuse. He’ll be looking for retribution here tonight, that’s for sure.
With all four men in the ring, they stare across the ring at one another before Stevens decides he is starting for his team and Solex is starting for his team.
Joe Hoffman: And away we go! Solex and Stevens will get the action started here tonight and you know there’s going to be some action between these two!
Match opens with Solex and Stevens circling one another before Stevens charges at Solex and tackles him to the ground, mounts him, and begins to wail away with left and right fists to the face. Solex covers up as best as he can until he manages to push Stevens off of him. Solex rises to his feet and is caught with a forearm to the face from Stevens who then pushes him into the ropes, whips him across the ring, and plants him in the middle of the ring with a spine buster.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens comes out of the gates firing here in the opening moments of the match and Solex is caught flat-footed. He’ll need to pick up the pace to keep up with Stevens, who is foaming at the mouth for revenge and is taking it out on Solex right now.
Stevens grabs Solex by the arm and drags him over to the corner before tagging in Black Mamba. Mamba uses the top rope to launch himself over the top rope and drops a knee across the face of Solex. He then drags Solex off of the mat, pushes him into the corner, slams his forearm across his face, and then whips him across to the opposite corner. Mamba runs full speed at Solex only for Solex to catch him with an elbow to the chest. Mamba stumbles backwards from the shot and gives Solex the opening for a side kick to the stomach before putting Mamba on the mat with a neckbreaker.
Joe Hoffman: Mamba gets his first bit of action in the match, but Solex manages to turn the tables on Mamba before he can get any momentum. That neck breaker from Solex is a reminder of just how technically sound a wrestler Solex really is.
Solex rises to his feet and connects with a series of boots to his grounded opponent, the intensity increasing with each kick. He then pulls Mamba off of the mat and connects with an uppercut to the jaw. Mamba stumbles backwards to the corner where Clay Byrd is and Solex proceeds to tag him in. Byrd enters the ring and proceeds to land fist after fist upon Mamba before dragging him out of the corner, whipping him into the ropes, and connecting with a spinebuster of his own.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd in the ring now and is just taking it right at Mamba! The spinebuster he saw from Stevens earlier must have fired Byrd up just a bit as he wanted to show who really is the hardest hitter in the ring right now! Byrd is also going to be feeling some kind of way after the events of ICONIC.
He looks over at Stevens and smiles before he picks Mamba up and throws him into his corner, allowing Stevens to tag himself in. Stevens marches in and the two brawlers meet in the middle of the ring and start trading fists with one another. Byrd eventually gets the better of Stevens and pushes him into the ropes before slamming his knee into Stevens midsection and then hip tosses him into the middle of the ring. Byrd makes his way back to his corner and tags back in Solex. Solex bounces into the ring, bounces off the ropes, and connects with a knee drop across the face of Stevens.
Joe Hoffman: The fans loving every minute of seeing Stevens and Byrd trading punches, wanting nothing more than to watch these two hosses just beat the hell out of one another. Byrd though getting the advantage and gets Solex back into the action with Solex getting on the right side of the momentum train.
Solex lifts Stevens off of the mat and connects with a belly-to-belly suplex. Solex wastes no time as he yanks Stevens off of the mat again, and connects with a vertical suplex on his opponent. Solex walks over to Stevens and begins to pull him off of the mat again only for Stevens to slam his elbow into his midsection and drops him with a knee to the face. With Solex on the mat, Stevens drags him back over to his corner, climbs onto the middle turnbuckle, and drops an elbow from there across the sternum of Solex.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens is just full of piss and vinegar today, looking to exact as much punishment as possible and Solex apparently is the one he is exacting that pain upon. If you know anything about Solex though, you know that Stevens won’t be able to easily keep him down on the mat.
Solex rolls around, in pain, while Stevens drops a knee across his rib cage, putting Solex in a world of hurt. Stevens then drags Solex off of the mat, whips him into the ropes, and goes for a clothesline only for Solex to duck underneath it. As Stevens turns back towards Solex, he is met with a shoulder tackle that sends both men to the mat. Both men scramble to their feet, rush at one another, and connect with clothesline on one another that send both crashing to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: And both men are down and hurting after connecting with clotheslines on one another! This is the pivotal moment of the match because whoever can get to their corner first could potentially decide the outcome of this match! And Clay Byrd is CHOMPING at the bit to get in the ring.
Both men are slow to rise to their feet, with both men trying to make their way to their corner. Stevens grabs Solex’s right foot and holds onto him while Byrd has his arm extended, looking for the tag in. Solex then proceeds to kick Stevens in the face with his left boot, freeing him in the process, and getting the tag to Byrd. Byrd comes roaring into the ring, grabbing Stevens off of the mat, whipping him into the ropes, and connecting with a power slam on Stevens.
Joe Hoffman: And Byrd comes in hotter than a Texas day in summer! I’ve heard rumblings backstage that Byrd has been ready for a fight since the end of ICONIC and he’s getting his chance to let it all come out.
Stevens rolls over to his corner and tags in Mamba who comes in and connects with a leaping knee to the jaw of Byrd. Byrd drops to one knee from the shot while Mamba bounces off the ropes. As Mamba gets close to Byrd though, Byrd spears him and leaves him lying in the middle of the ring. Byrd makes his way up to his feet, watching as Mamba makes his way back up to his feet. Byrd then bounces off the ropes and connects with The Texas Lariat, which flips Mamba inside out! Byrd then goes for the cover.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Byrd with the Texas Lariat to put this match away! Byrd and Solex pick up the first victory in Group B!
Bryan McVay: Your winners at the ten minute and thirty second mark… STEVE SOLEX! CLAY BYRD!
Byrd and Solex lift their arms in victory while Stevens helps Mamba out of the ring and the duo make their way up the ramp, trying to figure out what adjustments will be needed in their next match.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd and Solex will be happy to get the first victory in their group and one step closer to the next round of the tag tournament!
The action cuts elsewhere as we see the two fine American’s still playing to the crowd.
Cut to backstage where Blaire Moise awaits.
Blaire Moise: Earlier tonight, Cary Stevens came out with the Stevens Dynasty and Sunny O’Callahan…
Blaire mutters ‘oh god’ under her breath.
Blaire Moise: …showed up her new Kabal of Really Awful People- both teams claiming to be ‘Team MVW.’ We all saw the trainwreck that then took place afterwards so on the phone with me right now to clear all of this up is none other than MVW Owner Ray McAvay. Ray?
Ray McAvay (voice through a phone): Blaire! How are you?
Blaire Moise: I’m good Ray. Thanks for joining us tonight. Where are you?
Ray McAvay: Blaire, I am in the best effing town in Illinois… Effingham, to be exact.
Blaire Moise: I’m sure you’ve heard about what happened earlier in the show.
Ray McAvay: I did and it’s unfortunate. MVW was lucky to be able to bring in the Stevens Dynasty to bolster our tag team division. Cary Stevens volunteered Bo and George Stevens to represent Team MVW in the tournament and I thought they would be the perfect team.
Blaire Moise: But then Sunny O’Callahan went full Sunny O’Callahan.
Ray McAvay: And Sunny went full Sunny. Unfortunately, she thought her team was representing Team MVW… for the record, that was something that she did not express to me… and so the result was what happened earlier tonight.
Blaire Moise: So, who is going to be in Team MVW?
Ray McAvay: Well Blaire, when you get to my position, sometimes you have to make tough decisions. This wasn’t one of them. I basically told Cary and Sunny to choose one wrestler each to make up Team MVW and that’s going to be the end of it. So, the two wrestlers who will make up Team MVW are: Bo Stevens… and ‘The New Age Cybertronic Criminally Insane Rogue Sentient Robot Wrestling Machine’ Ultratron-6.1.
Blaire Moise: Bo Stevens and Ultratron-6.1?
Ray McAvay: Oh. And both Cary Stevens and Sunny O’Callahan will have to work together to manage the team.
Blaire Moise: I see. How did both take the news?
We hear hysterical laughter over the phone.
Blaire Moise: Got it. All right Ray, thanks for the update and thanks for clearing that all up.
Ray McAvay: Any time Blaire.
Blaire Moise: Okay. That was Ray McAvay who just broke the news that Team MVW will consist of Bo Stevens of the Stevens Dynasty and Ultratron-6.1 of the Kabal of Really Awful People. Their opponents next week? The team of Jeffrey James Roberts and Arthur Pleasant. Yeah, good luck with that.
And with that we cut to our next commercial break.
National Gamer Stuff Day
Back live and we cut back inside MSG. Elders dressed in medieval warrior battle armor line the rampway, their melee weapons resting in front of them. There’s also a #97MarioRed carpet rolled out from the curtain to the apron with various SNES video game prints on it. Bryan McVay stands in the center of the ring.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the NEW High Octane World Champion… “THE VINTAGE” CONOR FUUUUUSSSSEEEE!
As “Bloody Tears (Epic Remix)” from Castlevania II plays on the PA, #97 colored red plastic rupees fall from the rafters into the crowd, many of them with Conor Fuse’s face superimposed on the front. Soon, Conor rises from a lift underneath the stage. Sporting a red tunic and the World Championship is around his waist, Fuse’s hair is slicked back, a stoic resting look on his face. As the lift reaches the top, Conor props his head and sparkler pyro sprays behind him.
Joe Hoffman: A month ago, in one of the most historic main events of all time, Conor Fuse first defeated Clay Byrd, then Cecilworth Farthington and finally Jeffrey James Roberts to become the HOW World Champion for the second time. Now, we hear from him.
The Vintage surveys his surroundings with approval. As the rupees fall, !RANK cries come from different pockets within the arena. The champion walks forward, the Elders raise their weapons over head, as if creating some sort of arc for Conor to walk underneath.
Fuse’s dissent down the rampway is with purpose. Once the champion reaches the edge of the ring, he jumps onto the apron, then jumps over the ropes into a frontward roll. The second Conor pops to his feet, standing dead center in the middle of the ring, a burst of pyro goes off from the turnbuckles behind. Presented with a mic by Bryan McVay, the announcer exits the ring and Conor’s theme song comes to a close.
Conor Fuse: Well…
Fuse’s voice trails. There are !RANK chants but there’s also some confusion, given how the night of ICONIC 2021 ended.
Conor Fuse: I’ll start explaining myself.
The Video Game Kid takes a moment to collect his thoughts.
Conor Fuse: First, I’d like to make sense of what happened at the end of ICONIC. People are asking… is Conor Fuse associated with Jace, Jatt and Mario?
The champion looks to all corners of the arena.
Conor Fuse: That answer is yes, I most certainly am.
Before the crowd can respond, Conor powers through.
Conor Fuse: I ask you all to take a step back and consider everything in context. I wasn’t the only one who had help navigating his way through the most ferocious campaign in High Octane history. The past year has taught me, if nothing more, “it’s dangerous to go alone”. And it’s not bad to have help. I heard the groans when JJR was powerbombed to the canvas. An opponent, mind you, who has his own teammates interfering.
Conor starts pacing around the ring.
Conor Fuse: Jace Parker Davidson, my initial ICONIC opponent turned friend. Our battle was always set on mutual respect. If he got to the Last Level and I didn’t, I would’ve been there for him, too.
Fuse takes a brief moment to let the comments sink in.
Conor Fuse: Jatt Starr, the poster boy of what it means to be High Octane. He’s trying to do real good, now. It’s no secret Jatt’s closer to the end of his career than the start. A man so entertaining it’s almost impossible not to like him. Nostalgia is the rage these days. That’s one of the reasons why I go by The Vintage. Jatt Starr IS the HOW Classic… he IS vintage in and of its very essence. Jatt was one of my sworn enemies but he was always someone I could count on. Not someone who ran away from this company, like some of my other friends AND enemies did, but someone who embraced it. He embraced you… even if you and him didn’t see eye-to-eye. No. Jatt has a heart as big as his bank of nicknames. He would never leave HOW because he would never leave all of you.
Conor walks to the center of the ring.
Conor Fuse: And then there is Mario. I’ll admit, not the typical person named Mario I would see myself getting along with but someone else who commands respect.
Fuse turns to the crowd.
Conor Fuse: You don’t have to love them. I’m never gonna tell you guys, the Gamers, the ones who have cheered me to the final boss on the greatest stage possible, what to do. All I ask is…
Conor Fuse: You give them… us… a chance.
With the crowd contemplating Conor’s comments, he takes the championship off his waist and rests it on his shoulder.
Conor Fuse: And now to address this.
He smacks the middle plate of the title.
Conor Fuse: As the generic comments go, I will be a fighting champion and I welcome ANYONE in the back to step into the ring with the Last Level Legend! This game is FAR from over! Have you seen the history of this company? If I walked away now, I would be working at a 10% completion rate.
Fuse doesn’t look cool with the thought.
Conor Fuse: No. No THIS game is not done until I achieve the !Levels of a Mike Best, a Max Kael, a Rhys Townesend or a John Sektor. There, I said it John, I respect you. No more deliberately leaving you out of my “Elder Scrolls trolling”, winky face.
The champion thinks of more names to call out.
Conor Fuse: If your name is Cancer Jiles, I heard your New Year’s resolution, buddy. Come and take it if you can. Bobby Dean, you WASTED your effort with me the last time we wrestled but I know you have something special inside and no, I don’t mean what you had for dinner.
Fuse looks into the apron camera.
Conor Fuse: Jeffrey James Roberts. Clay Byrd. You wanna go again? I’ve got a controller with both your names on it.
Conor throws his hands up.
Conor Fuse: How about my BFF Bobbinette Carey? YOU WANNA PLAY NOW BOBBI!? You cool with me now!?
As the champion calms down, he walks methodically to the apron camera.
Conor Fuse: Mike Best. Is it truly redemption if I didn’t beat you inside the middle of the ring but took your title anyway?
The Vintage scratches his head.
Conor Fuse: No seriously, is it? I dunno. Otherwise, this time you’re going to the BACK OF THE LINE, bro.
Conor Fuse: No matter what you decide, Mike… two months from now… a year from now… change your mind five years from now… I’d be a horrible gamer if I didn’t say I have a warp whistle with your name on it any day of the fucking week. Any era. Multiverse. Time.
There seems to be some commotion by the rampway but Conor continues to speak.
Conor Fuse: The strength of a gamer is actually not measured by his heart, determination or behaviours. It’s simply measured in its final score. That is why I am upgrading…
Suddenly, we see the Elders are being decimated by Scott Stevens! The Texan pumpels each one with quick fire. As the last Elder begs for his life, Scott feigns sincerity before kicking him in the stomach and placing the man between his legs. Scott’s cold green eyes dead lock with Fuse. Conor makes a move forward in an attempt to exit the ring and make the save but Stevens’ body language conveys the champion needs to stay right there or he WILL do it.
Joe Hoffman: What an awful act by Scott Stevens!
Doesn’t matter. Stevens drops the Elder on his head with a piledriver. Scott slowly gets up and methodically walks around the ring before snatching a microphone from Bryan McVay. The Texan rolls inside the ring and gets face to face with the world champion.
Scott Stevens: The time for fun and games is over.
Stevens says as he stares right into the champion’s face.
Scott Stevens: All those names you mentioned and you forgot about the most important one.
Stevens points to himself before pointing to the world title.
Scott Stevens: You must’ve forgotten that I am the number one contender for that championship right there.
The Texan reminds Conor as he gets closer.
Scott Stevens: And very soon it will once again be around my waist because there isn’t a cheat code, Game Genie, or the God damn Contra Code that can stop me!
Stevens informs bluntly as he drops the mic and rolls out of the ring, mouthing “soon” to Conor Fuse. The Vintage watches his newest challenger walk up the rampway, completely disgusted as the show goes to a quick commercial break.
AoA vs. 2 Man Advantage
We come back from commercial and cut directly to Joe Hoffman as it is time for our next match of the evening.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back everyone…Still ahead is tonight’s HOTv Championship main event, but we have one more tag team match for your tonight as the newly reformed Argonauts of Awesome take on 2-Man Advantage in their very first HOW match.
As Joe introduces the match, Conor Fuse and JPD emerge from behind the curtain and make their way out onto the ramp. Conor wears the championship around his waist, as Jace gestures toward the champion and they make their way down to the ring.
Bryan McVay: The following tag team match is scheduled for one fall… introducing first, the team of Jace Parker Davidson and the HOW World Champion, Conor Fuse… the Argonauts.. Of…. AAAAWWWWWWWESOME!
Conor holds the ropes open for Jace as a measure of respect, and Jace climbs in after him as both men step toward their corner and begin discussing last minute strategy.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents… Chet Logan and Tanner Blake… they… are.. TWO… MAN… ADVAAAAANTAGE!
Bursting through the curtain, the fiery Scottywood protegees make their way quickly down to the ring in matching hockey jerseys and each carrying a hockey stick. They slide into the ring in tandem, taking their corner and jaw-jacking at the AoA on the other side of the ring. Referee Matt Boettcher struggles to keep order, telling all men to go back to their own corners before he will ring the bell.
Joe Hoffman: Tonight is the first appearance for 2-Man Advantage in a sanctioned HOW match, folks. I can’t say I’d want to draw two multi-time HOW World Champions in my debut, much less the current HOW champ.
It’s decided that Jace Parker Davidson and Tanner Blake will start this one off, as both men get set into their corners. Conor and Chet step out onto the apron, as Boettcher makes sure we’re ready to roll.
As the opening bell rings, Tanner Blake ignores Jace entirely, instead clapping his hands and trying to get the Chicago crowd on his side. The women in the crowd particularly are feeling the energy, and the crowd starts to clap along as the match is now officially underway.
Jace looks to start out aggressively with a hard tie-up, but immediately Tanner rolls out of the ring, yelling “TIME OUT, TIME OUT!”. He reaches under the ring, grabbing a large paper shopping bag out and bringing it with him into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: …what on earth is he up to?
Tanner Blake calls for Conor Fuse to get into the ring, motioning to the bag and telling both members of the AoA that they come bearing gifts. The crowd is buzzing, wondering what is in the bag as Chet Logan ducks through the ropes and joins his partner in the ring. Both members of 2-Man Advantage reach into the bag, and each pulls out… a hockey jersey!
Revealing the jerseys, each is emblazoned with the AoA logo, and bears the name of it’s respective owner on the back. Tanner and Chet hand over the jerseys as a sign of goodwill, urging Conor and Jace to put them on! The AoA members look at one another like this is some corny bullshit, but the jerseys are pretty cool… so they slide them on to a huge pop from the crowd! Tanner and Chet high five, and then reach out to shake hands with their opponents as a showing of sportsmanship before the contest.
The four men shake hands, but when it’s over, Tanner and Chet don’t let go! They pull the AoA members into them, pulling the jerseys over their heads and having a good old fashion hockey fight in the middle of the ring! Now the crowd is losing it, and the arena is on fire!
Joe Hoffman: IT’S A DONNYBROOK, FOLKS!
Chet Logan tosses Conor Fuse over the ropes, and now 2-Man Advantage lives up to their name as they begin putting the boots to Jace Parker Davidson in the ring. With a handicap advantage, Jace is no match for the pair, as Boettcher tries to get in between them and get some order in this match. He starts a five count, threatening a DQ!
Chet Logan steps back onto the apron, but immediately dives back over the ropes and lands on Jace as he struggles to get up, taking him back down in a flurry of punches! Tanner Blake begins arguing with the referee, trying to explain that it was just a shift change, but really he’s buying him as his partner lays in the blows.
Joe Hoffman: Come on, this is a tag team match! There are RULES!
Boettcher forcibly makes Chet leave the ring, arguing with him on the apron as he evens the odds in the fight after a chaotic beginning. Tanner picks a worse-for-wear Jace Parker Davidson up off the mat, throwing him to the ropes…
BUT CONOR MAKES A TAG!
Blindly slapping Jace on the back as he dives onto the apron, Tanner doesn’t see the tag and lands a shuddering spinebuster in the middle of the ring. He drops to cover Jace, but doesn’t realize that Conor Fuse has ascended the top rope!
Chet sees it and leaps into the ring to make the save, but Conor launches high into the air …
….and nails Chet Logan with a huge Tilt-A-Whirl DDT!
Joe Hoffman: PWN’D! Chet Logan is gonna be sitting the bench after that one!
Chet hits the canvas and rolls straight out of the ring, falling to the floor below. Tanner scurries up from his failed pin attempt, turning toward Conor, but he’s too late.
Tanner Blake hits the mat, but pops right back up to his feet!
Tanner is down again, but he manages to climb back up and–
This one takes the young hockey player down and KEEPS him there, as Conor leaps directly from the canvas to the top rope. He sails from the top with a murderous 450 Splash, and holds onto it for the pin!
Joe Hoffman: THE SUPER SPLASH 450! That’s gotta be it!
DING DING DING
Standing up to his feet, Conor rips the hockey jersey off and throws it down onto Tanner Blake as he celebrates a victory in the first round of the HOW Tag Team Championship tournament. Jace Parker Davidson pulls himself up on the ropes, looking disoriented, but a sneer covers his face as he realizes that Conor has locked up the match for the both of them.
Bryan McVay: Winners of the match via pinall……The Argonauts of Awesome!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: The World Champion was able to win in spite of his teammate not doing much tonight. One has to wonder if 2 Man Advantage would have just put in just a LITTLE more prep work tonight they could have caught lightning in a bottle and secured the win. But that didnt happen and now the AoA secure the pivotal first three points of their Maurako Cup debut.
The HOW World Champion celebrates with his stablemate in the ring, as the camera slowly cuts elsewhere in the arena for a continuation of Refueled.
So....what do you think?
The action quickly cuts away and we’re taken up to a skybox. The camera pans over to a man unfamiliar to most in High Octane Wrestling. Dressed in a sport coat and dress pants is the former multi-time World Champion and current President of SHOOT Project, “Real Deal” Josh Johnson. Johnson stands near the window of the suite looking out over the crowd and the ring, watching the proceedings down below.
“I think it’s weird for me to be back at a HOW show.”
Next to him, in black jeans, boots, a #PRIMEblue shirt, and a black leather jacket is someone the HOW Faithful haven’t seen since War Games in Tokyo, when Lee Best unceremoniously discharged her from her contract after the event was over: the former three time HOW tag team champion and LSD champion, and current President and CEO of PRIME…the incomparable Lindsay Troy.
Real Deal: I’m sure. You told me you didn’t exactly have a say in your departure.
Lindsay Troy: Yeah, well, that’s Lee Best…petty as the day is long.
She takes a sip of her bourbon.
Lindsay Troy: At least he’s out of the picture for now.
Real Deal: You’ll have to tell me more about all that later. But as far as our joint business venture with our companies, HOW, and MVW is concerned, it’s got a lot of people excited. Fans and talent alike
Josh takes a sip of his own drink and Troy nods in agreement.
Lindsay Troy: There hasn’t been something like this since the days of Primetime Central, man. We could easily get the Premiere Wrestling Association to that level of prestige…or even surpass it. Ray’s great, you’ll like him, and Michael Oliver seems…
She trails off, mulling her words.
Lindsay Troy: …well, not like his brother. At least not yet.
The Queen of the Ring’s business partner (and, technically, also her boss in SHOOT Project), considers this. He takes another sip of alcohol.
Real Deal: Do you trust him?
Lindsay laughs; he read right between the lines.
Lindsay Troy: I trust you. And Ray. But from what I’ve learned in my time in HOW?
She downs the rest of her drink in one gulp.
Lindsay Troy: You should never trust a Best.
Real Deal chuckles softly and nods knowingly.
Real Deal: Eyes in the back of our heads, then.
Lindsay Troy: Probably a good idea.
Fade to commercial.
Darin Zion vs. JJR
As we come back from commercial, we see the Hall of Famer and best commentator in the business, ready to call this highly anticipated championship Main Event.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen. The next match up on the card is a match for the High Octane Television Championship, as Darin Zion takes on the man who has had a stranglehold on the championship since winning it, Jeffrey James Roberts.
“Happy Song” by Bring Me The Horizon blasts over the PA System as Darin Zion, who is wearing a black leather jacket, comes down to the ring accompanied by Meredith.
Joe Hoffman: Zion won his opportunity in that hellish Ladder Match at ICONIC and he’s looking to ride that momentum and become the new HOTv champion.
As Zion heads down the ramp he slaps hands with the fans. Zion climbs the turnbuckle and sticks his hands out as we reach the chorus of the song. He flips off the turnbuckle pad and hands the referee his jacket.
Joe Hoffman: Zion has slowly been racking up wins and he has a great chance at upsetting the champion after what happened with the champion at ICONIC.
Zion shakes his head, mentally preparing for his upcoming match as he waits for his opponent.
“Goldberg Variations” by Johann Sebastian Bach plays over the speakers as four security guards step out onto the stage. They form a square as Jeffrey James Roberts steps out and stands in the middle.
Joe Hoffman: There he his ladies and gentlemen, the violent and psychotic HOTv champion.
Roberts’s hands are out front, tied with plastic ziptie cuffs, and he walks toward the ring, keeping his eyes focused on it. The guards keep a perimeter to make sure he can’t reach any fans and they walk with him all the way to ringside.
Joe Hoffman: JJR has been absolutely dominant since coming into HOW, but you have to wonder if there is a crack in the armor after he wasn’t able to become a double champion at ICONIC.
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 as one of the EPU guards hands Hortega the championship.
Bryan McVay is about to make the introductions.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s MAIN EVENT of the evening is scheduled for ONE FALL!…….
Crowd: ONE FALL!
Bryan McVay: With a thirty minute time limit.
The crowd goes berserk in anticipation for the title defense and McVay turns to his left.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, from Crown Point, Indiana; weighing in at 220 Pounds; please welcome DAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRIN ZIIIIIIION.
Zion raises both hands high into the air and the fans give Zion a rowdy and receptive applause.
Joe Hoffman: Zion is clearly the fan favorite hear tonight.
McVay turns to his right.
Bryan McVay: From Gainesville, Florida… he stands at 6’3” and weighs in at 230 pounds… He is the REIGNING! DEFENDING! UNDISPUTED! HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING HOTv CHAMPION! He is… JEFFREY! JAMES! ROBERTS! JAAAAAAAAAY! JAAAAAAAAAAY! AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRREEEEEE!
The crowd gives the champion a chorus of boos while Hortega holds up the championship before handing it to McVay and signals for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go…..
JJR and Zion come out of their respective corners and meet up in the center of the ring. JJR and Zion begin to circle one another before locking up. Zion and JJR begin to jock for position, but none gains ground until Zion shows off some of his power by tossing his opponent to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Zion showing he’s not afraid of the champion.
The display of power doesn’t seem to faze Roberts as he gets back to his feet. Zion goes to lock up again but the champion goes low as he drops Zion to one knee with a dropkick. Roberts takes a few steps before charging in a drilling a running knee to the face of Zion to bring him fully to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: What force behind that knee.
Roberts begins to stomp on the back of head of Zion before driving his knee into Zion’s neck. The champion pushes Zion onto his back and hooks a leg driving his forearm into his opponent’s face.
Zion kicks out and Jeffrey quickly begins to choke the life out the number one contender. Hortega tells him to stop and begins his count.
Roberts releases the choke and shoots a look at the official causing Hortega to back up a bit in fear.
Joe Hoffman: I’d be afraid to Hortega.
JJR begins to stomp on the vulnerable challenger and targets the left arm, mainly the wrist and fingers.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts targeting the joints of Zion hoping to break something.
Roberts picks up the left arm of Zion and places it in an awkward position.
Joe Hoffman: JJR is looking to break the wrist of Zion!
Roberts lifts his leg to stomp on the elbow of Zion, but the challenger pulls it away just in the nick of time and a confused champion is suddenly rolled up.
Zion gets to his feet and narrowly avoids a clothesline from the champion.
Joe Hoffman: Matrix-esque moves from Zion.
Zion drills JJR in the back with a dropkick and the champion stumbles to the ropes and is slingshot backwards to Zion who takes him down with a crucifix pin.
JJR is able to get his left shoulder up.
Joe Hoffman: Zion with another near fall there. You have to wonder if Roberts took his opponent lightly.
JJR fights to free himself, but Zion is on him as he has the champion’s right arm still trapped and he tries to grab his left arm.
Joe Hoffman: Is Zion trying to lock in the Red Rings of Death already?
That’s what Zion is trying to do but the champion digs deep and rakes the eyes of the challenger before rolling to the outside to regain his composure.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts rolling out of the ring to think about a new strategy.
Roberts’ head slowly pops up above the apron and looks at Zion. A rare smile forms over his face knowing that he actually might have a fight on his hands.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know what is scarier? That smile of Jeffrey James Roberts? Or meeting Kostoff in the Prison Yard?
Roberts feigns slithering into the ring, but when Zion gets near he moves back out. Roberts continues to do this until frustration builds up on the part of Zion and the challenger gets too close and the champion pulls him to the outside. Roberts drills Zion with an uppercut before grabbing him and dropping him with a back suplex and the edge of the apron.
Joe Hoffman: Zion just got dropped onto the hardest part of the ring and the champion isn’t done.
JJR grabs Zion and drives him back first into the ring before whipping him into the security rail. Roberts lifts Zion up and begins to light up his chest with sickening knife edge chops.
Roberts begins to press his fingers into the eyes of Zion before raking them again.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts trying to blind Zion!
The champion rolls into the ring and rolls back out to break Hortega’s count. Roberts stalks Zion who is crawling around the ring.
Joe Hoffman: JJR smells blood in the water. What does he have in store for Zion?
Roberts runs full force at Zion and kicks him right in the ribs sending out all the air from the challenger’s lungs. Roberts kicks Zion in the side of the head before bending down and picking him up to roll into the ring.
Zion pops the shoulder up and JJR smiles and nods before mounting his challenger and driving forearm shivers to the face of Zion.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts’ looking to inflict as much punishment as possible on Zion.
Zion clocks Roberts with a quick punch before rocking him backwards with an upkick.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts is stunned!
Zion runs at Roberts and connects with a spinning wheel kick that ricochets the champion off of the ropes and drops Roberts to a knee with a tornado kick. Zion hits the ropes and looks to deliver a shining wizard to Roberts, but the champion ducks the attempt and when Zion turns around, Roberts spikes him with a DDT.
Joe Hoffman: DDT! Both men are down!
Hortega checks both men and begins his count.
Both men begin to stir.
Both men are on all fours.
Roberts is up.
Zion is up and takes a punch from Roberts.
Joe Hoffman: What a punch.
Zion staggers back before delivering one of his own to the champion.
Joe Hoffman: Zion with a haymaker of his own.
Zion and Roberts begin trading rights before JJR ends the assault with a knee to Zion’s gut. Roberts reaches down to pick up Zion, but the challenger surprises the champion by lifting him up and driving him down to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Sky High Powerbomb!
Roberts breaks up the pin by kicking the sides of Zion’s head with his feet. Both men get to their feet and Zion sends Roberts to the nearest corner with a Superman punch. Zion follows the attack up with a running dropkick to the chest of the champion. Zion charges back in and goes for the homerun shot with a spinning wheel kick, but the champion is able to capture him and drive him into the canvas with a side suplex. JJR looks at Zion and then he looks towards the corner before he starts to scale to the top.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts looking to finish it here.
JJR is perched on the top and slowly starts to stand looking to finish Zion off with his shooting star guillotine, but the challenger has other ideas, as he suddenly pops up and hits the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Zion with the desperation move knocking the champ off the top rope via a dive into the ropes.
Roberts falls to the outside and against the security barrier.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts is hurt! Zion is back down on the canvas!
We cut to an overhead shot as we see both men lying down, Zion underneath the bottom rope inside the ring, and the Champ crumpled at the base of the ring barrier outside of the ring.
The crowd is on their feet as both men slowly begin to move. Roberts, using the ring barrier, begins to get to his feet.
Zion slowly rolls out of the ring and almost falls as he staggers against the ring…now standing on the arena floor.
The camera focuses in on Zion as the man turns his attention to Roberts, who is now seemingly arguing with a fan after pulling himself up, and the contender charges at the champion.
Joe Hoffman: WHAT THE HECK?!?!?!?!?
The sound of steel meeting skull echoes throughout the arena as the cameras zoom in on Roberts who is now standing over a laid out Zion………with steel chair in hand.
With a smile Roberts brings the chair up over his head and nails the challenger again with the chair.
Hortega immediately calls for the bell as Roberts continues to lay waste to Zion before the EPU tackle Roberts to the ground and forcefully cuff him.
Bryan McVay: Your winner by disqualification…..DARIN! ZION! But stilllllllllllll HOTv champion….JEFFREY! JAMES! ROBERTS!
The crowd boos the announcement as a devilish smirk forms on the face of the champion as he relishes the carnage he caused.
Joe Hoffman: How despicable! That just shows you want kind of man JJR is! He was beat and he resorted to this!
Roberts continues to swing the chair wildly at Zion until the EPU come rushing into the picture and tackle the HOTv champion to the ground.
Refueled comes to an end as we see the EPU zip tying the champion as medics check on the bleeding Zion.