Event Date: February 20, 2022
- 1. Darkwing and Carey vs. The Bad Guys
- 2. Should Have Apologized
- 3. FINE!
- 4. Maurako and Sparrow vs. 2 Man Advantage
- 5. Get to know your partner
- 6. The Golden Motivator
- 7. Update the Stevenspedia
- 8. Challenge The Machine
- 9. Sektor and Ellis vs. Solex and Byrd
- 10. Didn't See This Coming
- 11. Got a lot to say
- 12. OBLITERATE
- 13. Nothing to Lose
- 14. Fuse and Noble vs. JJR and Pleasant
- 15. BONUS SEGMENT
Darkwing and Carey vs. The Bad Guys
We cold open to our 88th edition of Refueled. The cameras focus on the High Octane Vision screen above the entrance ramp, awaiting the first tag team contest. Bryan McVay’s voice can be heard in the background.
Bryan McVay: The following tag team contest is scheduled for ONE FALL…and is part of the ongoing Maurako Cup.
Joe Hoffman’s voice greets us and prepares to give us some background.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome ladies and gentleman to this exciting edition of Refueled. I’m Joe Hoffman! Our opening contest could make or break this division of the Maurako Cup. IF Carey and Darkwing win….they win the group and advance to the Semi Finals. If the Bad Guys can pick this win up; they’ll be 1 point away from the lead. The stakes are high and both sets of competitors are looking to make an impact.
“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 boos raining down on both wrestlers. Unbothered by the hatred being shown, the pair of Hall of Famers exchange a fist bump before making their way down the ramp.
Bryan McVay: Weighing in at a combined weight of four-hundred-and-eighty-four pounds… they are the team of Bobbinette Carey and Darkwing!
Joe Hoffman: This Hall of Fame duo’s record in the tag team action is spotless. Both Darkwing and Carey have torn apart the tag team ranks since forming their unit. They’re looking to make another statement tonight at the expense of the Bad Guys.
Darkwing and Bobbinette climb the turnbuckle and taunt the fans. Without any hesitation, The Bad Guys come blazing down the ramp. “Bad Company” explodes over the PA system and both Claymore and Mephisto waste no time in charging down to the ring.
Bryan McVay: And representing the SHOOT Project, weighing in at a combined weight of 446 pounds…
Claymore and Mephisto don’t hestitate and take the fight immediately to the HOW Hall of Famers. Hortega shakes his head and the bell rings to start the match.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Joe Hoffman: The representatives from the SHOOT Project waste no time in provoking the alliance of Careywing. Fists are flying at Carey and Darkwing at a rapid rate. The Bad Guys have their targets hoovering around the ropes. Both men charge Duck and Bobbi and…
Joe Hoffman: The Hall of Famers have been sent reeling over the top rope. The Detroit crowd has come unglued at this development!!!!
Mephisto and Claymore exchange a quick glance at one another before charging their opponents. Both men go sailing over the top rope, but…THEY MISS THEIR TARGETS. Carey and Darkwing move out of the way and allow both men to crumble to the padded concrete on the outside. Duck wastes no time in grabbing Mephisto and smashing his back against the ring apron.
Joe Hoffman: Mephisto’s been folded up like an accordion on the hardest part of the ring! Darkwing’s wasting no time. He’s collected Claymore’s crumpled up body and tossed it into the ring. Hortega’s now getting some order in this contest.
Duck slides into the ring and tosses his opponent against the ropes. Hitting a vicious spear to Claymore’s ribs, Darkwing continues his offensive slaughter. Scooping the SHOOT Project rep’s body off the mat, Wing nails a stiff looking Sidewalk Slam. Wasting no time, Darkwing goes for the cover.
NO!!!! Claymore’s shoulder flies off the mat. DW pulls himself up from the mat. He reaches down and yanks Blaze’s body off the mat. Darkwing hoists up Claymore’s body and tosses him with a rigorous belly to belly suplex. Duck and Carey stand their ridiculing at their opponents. The fire in Blaze’s eyes heats up. Duck charges towards his victim with intensity, but Claymore nails a sick looking high knee. Knocking DW off center, Claymore takes full advantage of his moment. Claymore’s head crashes straight into Darkwing’s skull, bringing the hefty Californian to his knees. Blaze nails some sick looking elbows to Duck’s head bringing him straight to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Another sign of ring rust from Darkwing here as he underestimated his opponent. Claymore’s stiff strikes have echoed throughout the arena tonight.
Claymore sends Darkwing into the corner. He tags in Mephisto as both men get some offensive punches on the Massive Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, Hortega did not see the tag. Mephisto uses this to his advantage. He sweet talks Hortega while Claymore nails a sick looking low blow to Darkwing’s groin.
Joe Hoffman: While it’s the rare occurrence that HOW fans back the outsiders; they STILL pull off some underhanded tactics. They’re BAD GUYS after all!!
Carey’s seen enough from her corner. Rushing from her corner, she nails the Royal Pain to the back of Claymore’s head, flooring him. Hortega scolds Carey, who backs up slowly to her corner. Darkwing picks himself off the mat and grabs Blaze’s carcass off the mat. He drags it over to Carey, who he tags into the contest.
Carey walks into the match and sneers at Claymore. She barks at him “HOW DARE YOU USE YOUR WHITE MALE PRIVILEDGE!!!!!” Before she cawks back her hand and slaps him clean across the jaw. Blaze wipes it off, and grins at her. Claymore hits a stiff as fuck knife edged chop to Carey’s chest. Carey’s eyes glow with hatred. She pushes Claymore back into the turnbuckle before nailing some stiff shoulders. But it doesn’t keep down Blaze at all. He throttles her into the corner. Unleashing a fury of punches, Carey’s body slides down the turnbuckle. Blaze then continues to stop at Carey.
Joe Hoffman: Solid showing by Blaze Claymore! He’s kept both Hall of Famers at bay for the entire match.
Blaze attempts to charge at Bobbinette with a Yakuza Kick, but Darkwing unleashes a massive chop straight at Claymore’s head. Bobbinette seizes the opportunity to pull the SHOOT Project wrestler into the middle of the ring. She wraps her arms around Claymore’s neck and locks in the Guillotine Choke. Blaze fades nearly into a slumber. Hortega raises his hand up into the air.
The crowd electrifies as Bobbinette tightens her grip. Hortega reaches down and holds up Blaze’s hand again.
The hand falls again. The crowd’s cheers intensify. Bobbinette’s anger is visible from her face. She shames the crowd as they get to their feet and beginning feverently stomping. Joel motions for the final time. He hoists up Blaze’s hand….
Joe Hoffman: WOW! Blaze’s gotten his second wind. He’s firing off fists into Carey’s rib cage. She releases the hold!!!!
Claymore attempts to rush at Mephisto for the hot tag, but Carey intercepts him. She nails a sick looking German Suplex. She grabs him by his hair and taunts him, but Claymore seizes his chance. She whips Carey into the turnbuckle then nails a sick looking Axe Kick on Carey’s head. He rushes the corner and…
HOT TAG TO MEPHISTO!
The Detroit crowd comes unglued as Mephisto charges towards Carey. But the fresh partner doesn’t see the oncoming freight train charging towards him.
Joe Hoffman: DARKWING BLINDSIDES JACOB AND SPEARS HIM STRAIGHT IN THE RIBS!!!! Mephisto lands on his already injured back. This is looking bad!!!!
Jacob’s grabbing his back in sheer pain. Bobbinette takes the chance to wrap in the Cattle Mutilation on Mephisto, working on his sore ribs at back. Blaze attempt to rush the ring, but Darkwing catches him with a vicious looking clothesline. Before Mephisto can tap, Bobbinette releases the hold. Her eyes glow at her handy work. She grabs Jacob’s body and nails a stiff Buckle Bomb on the HOW newcomer. She admires Darkwing’s handy work on the outside of the ring as her eyes continue to fixate.
Joe Hoffman: You can see the look in her eyes. She’s sending a CLEAR message to Scottywood and the rest of the Marauko Cup participants. She means BUSINESS!
Rushing at Memphisto, she hits the Royal Pain, causing the SHOOT Project vet to go neck first into the mat. Flipping his body up to expose his back, she nails her Somersault Senton full force.
Joe Hoffman: EPIC ENDING! She’s laying her weight into Mephisto’s body while Hortega makes the count.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McVay: Here are your winners in 9 minutes and 36 seconds…..DARKWING AND BOBBBBBBIIIIIINETTTTTTE CAAAAAAAAAAAREY!!!!!
Duck chucks Blaze into the barricade stiffly as he rushes the ring and both he and Carey embrace. They both celebrate their win and gloat to the fans.
Joe Hoffman: That’s one HECK of an opening performance by Darkwing and Carey. Both of them have secured 9 points and officially have advanced to the Semi Finals of the Maurako Cup. They both made a statement here tonight in Detroit. But what else will the Maurako Cup matches hold tonight.
Bobbinette and Darkwing head up the ramp as HOW officials check on the Bad Guys as the scene fades.
Should Have Apologized
We cut backstage at the Little Caesar’s Arena. The magnificent and underappreciated Blaire Moise stands next to Mario Maurako and Sir Simon Sparrow.
Blaire Moise: Simon Sparrow, last Monday night you made an appearance at MVW—-
Simon Sparrow: I did! They were absolutely wonderful. I would like to thank Ray McAvay and Laura Bergman for being such gracious hosts. Shout outs to “Thunderbolt” Smith and Heather Cooper who were really welcoming to me when I met them backstage. It was a treat.
Blaire Moise: Right, but you interfered in a match, distracting Darin Zion which cost him a victory over Scott Stevens.
Simon Sparrow: Apologies to Conor Fuse because I know he likes that little prick for some inexplicable reason, and has a very tetanus relationship with Scott Stevens. This was a personal decision, the other members of the Argonauts of Awesome, including my marvelous partner here, were not in on it.
Blaire Moise: But costing Darin Zion a match—-
Simon Sparrow: He shoulda just fucking apologized. Enough said.
Blaire Moise: Tonight, the Maurako Cup continues with you and Mario taking on Two Man Advantage, whereas your fellow Argonaut of Awesome, Conor Fuse and David Noble take on the Devil’s Advocates. What are your thoughts on that?
Simon Sparrow: Obviously, we support Conor Fuse completely. He has quite the task taking on a convict and his goon, which ultimately means they will cheat, but we are confident he will come out on top. David Noble, we obviously hope will become the fifth member of the Argonauts of Awesome. We’re still taking applications. Whether it’s Clay Byrd or David Noble or even this Stronk Goodbar character, we’re open for business, they just have to reach out. Employed by HOW or not! All comers not named Darin Zion welcome! Who knows? Maybe a certain John Eric Peter Watson might show some interest! Or Draven Stark! Or Splinter! But as far as Mario and I? I almost beat Sektor. I almost defeated Jeffrey James Roberts. I’m tired of almosts. This is a statement match.
Mario Maurako: That’s right. Tonight’s match is our joint statement and it will read that the League of Non-Toxic Gentlemen aren’t going to back down just because our backs are up against the wall. When the going gets tough, we Non-Toxic Gentlemen get… ummm… more Gentlemanly!
Simon Sparrow: Like “Boss” Willam M. Tweed!
Mario Maurako: Perhaps! I’m going to pretend I know who that is.
Simon Sparrow: He’s the inventor of the tweed jacket, in fact the very first Tweed Jacket headlined the inaugural New York Fashion Week in 1869. A true gentleman in his own right!
Mario nods knowingly as Blaire Moise turns back to the camera looking like she would rather be interviewing someone else as the scene cuts to something or someone far less interesting.
Instead of cutting somewhere….we cut to a pretaped video from earlier tonight…
We see HOW Hall of Famer and just advanced to the Maurako Cup Semi-Finals, Bobbinette Carey, entering the arena with a giant gift basket of beers. She is wearing a light purple pants suit in almost lavender. She has a black button up blouse under the blazer with ballet flats. She is humming “Grace Kelly” as she walks through the halls of the arena. Her hair is pulled back into a bun as she sees Eli Dresden as she is walking down the hall.
Eli rolls her eyes as Bobbinette sets the beer basket on a cart to look at Eli and have a conversation.
Eli: I don’t drink shitty beer–
Bobbinette: This isn’t for you. It’s actually an I’m sorry basket. I wanted to know if you’ve given any thoughts on joining along with the woke era…
She says with a smile.
Eli: Nope. Still not interested.
Eli responds quickly dismissively. Bobbinette laughs lightly as she shakes her head.
Bobbinette: You are a woman in a male dominated industry. I want to help build you up. You don’t need help by any means but I know that it’s better to have like minded people to align with your views and an ally such as myself.. I believe it is what you could use to elevate you. Female empowerment. Think about it!
Eli shakes her head, her expression remaining annoyed at how Carey won’t just–let this go.
Eli: You don’t give a single solitary fuck about female empowerment. You only care about Bobbinette empowerment. I know I’m blond’n all, but I’m not that stupid. Find someone else to be your prop, kay? Kay.
Bobbinette: People have misconceptions of who I am and my reasonings. You’re smarter than that.
Bobbinette has a genuine look of sincerity as she maintains eye contact.
Bobbinette: If I wanted to elevate myself I’d get people who would be yes men. I don’t need mindless drones. I need people who are going to challenge the status quo. You aren’t cookie cutter, you’re not the man. You face adversity.
Bobbinette says gesturing between the two. Eli looks her over and seems less then convinced.
Eli: Remember what I just said? Yeah, that’s still my answer.
Bobbinette: I don’t need an answer now, you need to deeply think about it. You matter and your voice would be heard. Call me!
Bobbinette smiles and points to her phone and waves bye before picking up the basket and looks at names on the doors as she walks. She sees Conor Fuse’s door open and looks through.
Bobbinette: Gamer dude!
She gives a thumbs up as she walks past. She gets to the locker room that says “Scottywood” and sets the basket down in front of it. She pulls a card out of her pocket and sets it on the basket. She looks around then knocks quickly before running to hide behind a corner. The door opened as we see Scottywood. He looks down and picks up the card and reads it over.
Scottywood: She thinks she can buy me off with cheap ass beer? Cause I’m an alcoholic and I’ll just accept her bullshit?
He then throws the basket across the hall into the walls. Bobbinette’s jaw drops as she stands up and comes out from behind the corner.
Bobbinette: Do you have any idea how much that cost? You’re being completely unreasonable!!! You cost me my match against Mario. Do you see me bitching about it? No! Because I value your friendship and get that you were mad!!
She says keeping her distance and now visible upset.
Scottywood: Cost you your match? You were never going to beat Mario. You still think a match with Mario is the same as a world title match? Fuck off Bobbinette.
He says turning and grabbing his barbed wire hockey stick. Bobbinette steps back further keeping distance as she yells, being well aware of his intentions.
Bobbinette: You are this upset?! You think me destroying you and taking your eye will bring you peace? Fine! I will see you at March to glory. We will have the damn match, get your closure, build a bridge, get over it! then we are hugging it out Scott!
She says quickly leaving while yelling in his direction. As Scottywood emerges from his locker room seeing she already is gone. He yells in frustration and uses his hockey stick to destroy the basket.
The video abruptly ends and we cut to our first commercial break.
Maurako Cup Finals
?? vs. ??
Bobbinette Carey vs. Scottywood
Maurako and Sparrow vs. 2 Man Advantage
Back live from commercial and we cut ringside where it is time for our next match of the evening.
Brian McVay: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and currently in the ring are Chet Logan and Tanner Blake… TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE!
Joe Hoffman: Chet and Tanner were scolded pretty badly by Scottywood this week and with their backs against the wall here, I think it’s sink or swim time here for 2-Man Advantage!
Chet and Tanner anxiously await their opponents as they stretch and roll their joints in preparation for the match.
“Ladies And Gentlemen” by Saliva hits the speakers and out walks the Godfather of the Tag Team Division itself, and the namesake of the entire tournament for which he is competing in, Mario Maurako. Stopping short of making his way down the ramp, Saliva switches to Billy Squier’s classic “Everybody Wants You” and out walks his tag team partner and fellow member of the AoA, Sir Simon Swallow.
Brian McVay: Introducing next…weighing in at a combined weight of 480lbs… the team of Ja- err, Sir Simon Sparrow and Mario Maurako, the AoA… the ARGONAUTS…OF… AWESOME!!
Mario and Sir Simon make their way down to the ring and briefly converse about who is starting the match. Sparrow looks to be starting things as Mario heads to his corner and grabs the tag rope.
On the other side of the ring, Chet and Tanner play rock, paper, scissors to see who goes in first. Chet wins with rock over scissors. They go again, and Chet wins with a two-and-oh route with paper over rock. Tanner goes to his tag rope as Hall of Famer Brian McVay calls for the bell!
DING! DING! DING!
Joe Hoffman: And this one is underway, folks!
Sparrow and Chet start it out with a collar and elbow tie up. Sparrow gains the advantage with a headlock, grinding his wrists into Chet’s temples. Chet tries to escape by leaning into the ropes and pushes Sparrow off, but The Ja— err, Sir Simon holds on and slides to the mat with a deeply cinched inside headlock. Chet rolls Sparrow over into a pin attempt!
Joe Hoffman: Chet rolls it over!
Sparrow pushes off the mat and goes back to the side headlock. Chet rolls it over again!
Sparrow escapes again after one and goes back to the side headlock. Before Chet can attempt to roll him backwards for a third time, Sparrow brings him to his feet. Leaning into the ropes, Mario slaps him for the tag.
Joe Hoffman: Mario with the blind tag! Chet Logan has no idea!
Chet shoots Sparrow off into the ropes, but on the rebound, The Godfather of the Tag Team Division is waiting for Chet and lifts him up in the air with a gorilla press. Instead of slamming him, Mario pushes up underneath Sparrow and tosses him behind, letting him fall back so an awaiting Sparrow catches him with a Gorilla Press assisted gut-buster across his knee!
Sparrow promptly exits the ring and Mario drags Chet to the center of the ring, making the cover..
Joe Hoffman: Impressive tandem maneuver there! Sir Simon with the cover!
Tanner comes in with a sliding drop kick and nails Mario in the jaw!
Joe Hoffman: Tanner Blake doesn’t seem to accept wanting to lose there. Not before getting to be in the match, anyway!
Looking more annoyed than hurt from Tanner, Mario is up and looking in his direction. Mario points at Tanner to come at him if he’s so bold, but Tanner makes it look like he’s going to enter illegally. Boettcher intervenes.
Joe Hoffman: Classic misdirection here from 2-Man Advantage! OHHH NO! Mario is DOWN!
Through this distraction, Chet comes up from behind and delivers a low blow to Maurako while Boettcher is distracted with Tanner!
Tanner steps between the ropes and back to the outside, creating the opportunity for Boettcher to turn around and see the pin attempt being made.
Mario kicks out with authority, clutching his groin as Chet groggily gets to his feet after the offensive the AoA were on. Making his way over to his partner Tanner, Chet finally makes the tag.
Joe Hoffman: For the first time, Tanner’s in this thing. And Mario looks like he’s still hurt from that meat-hook Chet Logan gave him!
Tanner comes in with a knee to the face, using Mario’s own knee as a step-stool for the shining wizard! Instead of going for the pin, Tanner begs Mario to get back to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: This could be a mistake. Tanner Blake has Mario on the ropes here and he chooses not to try for the pin attempt?!
Mario does get back to his feet, though, and as soon as he does, Tanner is running at him. Mario is well aware of this and hits a Full Nelson Slam!
Joe Hoffman: Super Mario! But Maurako is down! That low blow must’ve clipped something seriously vital because he’s still clutching at his nether-region!
Mario fights through the pain down below and goes for the pin on Tanner!
Joe Hoffman: OH MY!! CHET LOGAN WITH A DIVING ELBOW DROP!!
Before the count of two, Chet comes flying down from halfway across the ring across the back of Mario’s head with a skull shattering elbow drop. Chet goes back to his corner before Boettcher disqualifies him and tries to rally his partner for a tag.
Mario and Tanner both start crawling toward their partners.
Mario inches from Sparrow!
Tanner a little ways from Chet…
Joe Hoffman: Mario with the tag to Sir Simon Sparrow!
Quickly entering the ring, Sparrow grabs a boot before Tanner can make the tag to Chet, who misses it by mere inches. Pulling Tanner up, Sparrow instinctively ducks a desperation enziguri! Pulling Tanner to the center of the ring, Sparrow goes to apply the Texas cloverleaf, but Tanner pushes him away and into the ropes.
This proves to be a mistake, however, as Sparrow uses the push-off as momentum into the ropes, and on the rebound… FLATTENS Tanner with a vicious spear!
Joe Hoffman: He couldn’t get the Jattaclysm, but he sure got the Starrlite Express!
Just as Sparrow goes for the pin, Mario has already made it where Chet is standing on the apron. Just before Chet could try to make the third save of the match, Mario pulls him down into a powerbomb and SLAMS him against the railing for a modified version of his “buckle bomb”.
Joe Hoffman: My GOD! Chet just took a Minneapolis Mayhem against the railing!! Sparrow with the lateral cover on Tanner Blake inside the ring!
DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McVay: The winner of this match at Seven Minutes and Forty-One seconds, The A…O…A… Argonauts… of… AWESOME!
Joe Hoffman: Ohhh Scottywood won’t be happy about this one. That now puts the AoA at 5 points in the Maurako Cup and hands 2-Man Advantage their third loss in a row, effectively, and mathematically, eliminating them from the Maurako Cup!
“Everybody Wants You” hits the speakers as Simon Sparrow and Mario Maurako hold their hands high in the air with victory. With that, we go to the back!
Get to know your partner
We quickly cut backstage to the catering area we see Black Mamba setting up quite a feast.
Black Mamba: Come on…drape the liner over the tables like so. Hey Jimmy, be careful with that food…it’s important!
James, smiling from ear to ear in the hallway, has taken upon himself to run catering for tonight’s show. But even more so, as he takes to shaking the hands of the chefs lined up behind the table, is seemingly giddy about something.
Black Mamba: So I’m hoping my tag team partner arrives, and since we’re not competing tonight, takes in a plate of your delicious soulful cooking from Mama Jessie’s Diner. Let’s see…we have mac n cheese….god bless, look at the oven cooked cheesy crust. Then there’s country ham, the collard greens…
James’s grin only gets bigger as he steps back enough to spin in place out of excitement, spreading his arms wide and heavily sighing out of contentment, taking in a deep breath to smell the wonderful cooking upon the three table lineup. While it was meant to feed the entire locker room of HOW in attendance…it was meant to ease the mind of his tag partner, Scott Stevens.
He could only hope as he awaited his arrival.
Scott Stevens: What are you doing?
Stevens asks as he eyes Mamba by the tables.
Scott Stevens: More importantly, why am I here?
Stevens asks again as Mamba motions for him to sit down.
Black Mamba: I am thinking that a moment of reprieve is needed; you and I can discuss things while having a plate. I thought it would be refreshing for you.
Scott raises an eyebrow as Mamba motions him to take a seat.
Scott Stevens: Well I am hungry.
The Texan takes a seat and Mamba hands him his napkin and utensils.
Scott Stevens: What is this reprieve you want to talk about?
Mamba sighs as he snaps a napkin out to its full length and sits down, but doesn’t grab a plate yet.
Black Mamba: Wanted to be frank, I am here to back you for this tag team tournament, but I wanna back you up during your chase for…well…anything else. Doesn’t have to be a mandatory thing…oh make sure to try Jessie’s chicken…so damn tender…must be a family secret or something.
James points to the poultry in front of them.
Black Mamba: In short, hate me or not for the past few weeks, I am here to stick around. It may be black history month…but every month is “get to know your partner” month.
Stevens raises his brow not knowing what to think.
Scott Stevens: I’ll think about it…partner.
Stevens tells Mamba as he takes a bite as we cut away…
The Golden Motivator
Backstage in the locker room area and the young up and comers, Adam Ellis, can be seen finishing lacing his boots. Jumping to his feet he hops from one leg to other simultaneously to get a feel for them. As he continues his warm up the door can be heard opening and he looks up.
Adam Ellis: Hey man..
The camera turns to spot the Gold Standard entering, LSD title still strapped proudly around his firm waist. He’s already dressed in his wrestling attire with a “GSWA” tee on and, of course, his custom knee brace. He seems to be walking ok as he approaches his young apprentice and slaps hands with him.
Sektor: You good?
Adam Ellis: Yeah, man. I’m ready to do this!
He seems confident and fired up as his mentor studies him closely, nodding slowly but seemingly concerned about something.
Sektor: Listen, I err, I need to apologise. I may have been a little hard on you the other day.
Adam shrugs it off as though it’s no big deal.
Adam Ellis: It’s cool, you were a hundred percent right, and I do trust you. We’re good.
Sektor: Yeah, but I hope I didn’t dent your confidence. Because I need you at your best tonight. Hell, better than your best. Because you’ve been doing really fucking good rook and you can’t fear these guys.
Adam nods. You can tell he has some pre-match nerves but he tries not to overtly show them.
Adam Ellis: I’m good to go, boss!
Sektor continues to nod slowly, continuously reading his body language.
Sektor: Everything I said about Byrd and Solex is true. There is a reason why we all rolled together in the BA. Because we’re all very bad men who aren’t afraid to do the Dirty shit in the ring. We fucking love it. And these two will look at you and sniff for fear and weakness.
Sektor prods him hard in his chest a few times.
Sektor: You have to stand your ground. Show them you’re not afraid and hit them ten times harder than they hit you..
Adam Ellis: I know. I did it with Bill Dickinson and I’m going to do it tonight. Let’s do this.
Sektor nods and gives Ellis a firm slap on the shoulder.
Sektor: Let’s close this group.
The scene comes to a close as we cut to our next scheduled commercial break.
Update the Stevenspedia
We cut backstage once again and rejoin Stevens and Mamba enjoying their feast. Suddenly Mamba’s phone begins to ring, and he quickly excuses himself from the table. Stevens watches his partner walk away and just as he is about to take another bite, he too is interrupted.
Voice: Isn’t this a wonderful sight.
The familiar voice belongs to the patriarch of the Stevens Dynasty and the arena fills with boos as Cary appears and he is flanked by George and Bo.
Cary Stevens: You know…..
Cary takes a seat in front of his son.
Scott Stevens: What do you want?
Scott asks already annoyed with his father.
Cary Stevens: The old Scott Stevens wouldn’t be breaking with a never was wannabe Beatrix Kiddo.
Bo leans in and whispers something in his uncle’s ear.
Cary Stevens: Kobe?
Cary asks confused and Bo nods.
Cary Stevens: I meant what I said idiot.
Scott shakes his head in annoyance.
Scott Stevens: Oh really? So you think I just beat up everyone.
Cary Stevens: You use to and now you’ve grown soft.
Scott clinches his fists together and slowly rises and his cousin and brother stand up.
Scott Stevens: You two really think you can take me?
Scott questions his relatives and his father motions for them to sit.
Cary Stevens: You to.
Scott slowly sits back down.
Cary Stevens: As I was saying before you interrupted me…..the old you wouldn’t give this Black Mamba clown a third chance. What is the saying my boy? Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; you look like a fucking dumbass named Scott Stevens!
Bo and George chuckle, but it comes to a screeching halt when Scott hits the table with his fist.
Cary Stevens: Am I making you mad? Good, because I’m not done.
Cary starts to eat from Mamba’s plate and as he talks food comes out of his mouth.
Cary Stevens: This Mamba fella has burned you not once, but twice already son, and he wants to get back into your good graces. Sounds like to me he wants to stab you in the heart with the knife this time instead of the back.
Cary take a sip of tea.
Cary Stevens: Besides, how is that world title rematch coming?
Scott remains silent.
Cary Stevens: Exactly. “The Texas Bad Ass” was brushed off by the world champion. How far have you fall my boy?
Cary asks but before Scott can reply he cuts him off.
Cary Stevens: Frankly, it doesn’t matter because Dungeons and Dragons virgin boy basically told you to fuck off, and it seems like your boy Michael Oliver Best is listening to him because has he granted you the rematch?
Scott shakes his head no as his dad take another bite off of the chicken.
Cary Stevens: Have you talked to James Cornfield like I suggested?
Scott Stevens: No, I haven’t and I probably won’t be either.
Cary shakes his head.
Cary Stevens: Boy, you’re more stubborn than your mother.
Cary replies as he takes a long sip of his tea.
Scott Stevens: And why should I?
Cary Stevens: Son, I know I dropped you on your head when you were little, but you’re fucking stupid because did you not see what happened at the end of Refueled?
Scott Stevens: I saw.
Cary Stevens: And if you didn’t put clues together already you can kiss that world title rematch goodbye because it seems like your best buddy sold you out to his nephew when he will be made the CEO of HOW and will be in charge of wrestling operations.
Cary leans in.
Cary Stevens: That world title rematch you want falls under that and if you think Mike Best is going to allow that to happen you’re dumber than when you married that skank Lisa.
Cary says to his son as Scott blood begins to boil with anger.
Scott Stevens: Maybe you should quit worrying about me and focus on actually winning a match since you haven’t exactly been putting the points on the board.
Cary leans back and slides his tongue over his teeth.
Cary Stevens: Cute. Real funny. You should be a comedian with that material…..oh wait you are already the joke of HOW. Better be careful or you might become the joke of MVW as well.
Bo and George begin to laugh.
Cary Stevens: Speaking of MVW, smart ass, I don’t manage Team MVW, I manage the Stevens Dynasty and technically we are undefeated in HOW, but I guess you forgot to update the Stevenspedia on that?
Cary sarcastically asks his son who rolls his eyes.
Cary Stevens: After this tournament we are going to send a clear cut message to Bitchy and Rust Bucket and show them what the Dynasty is all about.
Cary mentions as he gets up from the table and as he leaves his pats his son on the back. Bo and George follow Cary and as Stevens shakes his head he goes to eat his final drumstick when Bo comes back into the picture.
Scott Stevens: What now?!?!?
Scott growls at his cousin.
Bo Stevens: You going to eat that?
Bo asks and Scott shoots up and Bo scatters.
Scott Stevens: Are you going to eat that? Fuck off!
Scott sits back down and enjoys his dinner.
Challenge The Machine
We transition to the backstage area where Arthur Pleasant is alone and facing the black railing on the upper concourse of the Little Caesars Arena. He looks forward and down towards the “Team Store”, where Red Wings and Pistons memorabilia is plastered on every window, wall, and crevice inside and outside of the store. With his back to the rest of the concourse– virtually empty, minus a few stragglers, due to everyone being inside the area for Refueled 88– Arthur speaks.
Arthur Pleasant: Oh, Vintage. Sorry about that shit from before but… you earned that, bub. You don’t bring up something from the Provocateur’s past and not end up getting smashed in the face for it. Or in your case, with it. Hahaha. Hopefully you’re good to go for the main event later. I know Jeffrey and I are. Noble seems to be. But… will you? We’ll see, I guess!
Pleasant chuckles to himself before taking a long pause.
Arthur Pleasant: SO. How’s the leg, asshole?
Pleasant turns around and looks directly into the camera, laughing at those who believe he’s still talking about Conor Fuse.
Arthur Pleasant: Yeah John Sektor, I’m talking to you now. Sorry for the lack of a transition there, but I only have a few minutes to speak here.
He walks closer to the camera.
Arthur Pleasant: I’ve had a fucking week to think about that match we had. Pretty brutal, wasn’t it? I’ve thought about several things, actually. Takeaways, if you will. How neither of us would stay down no matter how hard we hit each other. How the both of us pushed one another past the point that normal competitors are prepared to go. As if we lacked a breaking point or something. So with that in mind, it got me thinking further, John.
Pleasant sits down, criss-cross tomato sauce with his back leaning against the horizontal support bars from the railing.
Arthur Pleasant: It’s going to come to knocking you the fuck out to pry that belt away from you, isn’t it? Or just simply killing you where you fucking stand, won’t it? Sure. I saw it in your eyes when I fought you last week, friendo. Truth is, though? I’d rather not have another Hall of Famer end up six-feet-under so I’ll stick with the idea of just needing to send you into the realm of unconsciousness. For the time being, anyway.
Pleasant shrugs, playing with the laces of his wrestling boots as he is in complete wrestling attire.
Arthur Pleasant: So it’s like this. I want my fucking rematch, John. You and I both know we can’t leave it how we left it. We need some finality to… whatever this is between us. We need an undisputed winner to decide just which one of us will carry the LSD Championship through 2022 and beyond. I know you felt it as much as I did when we both hit the outside mat. You’re welcome for that bit of brilliance, by the way.
A fiendish grin forms, exposing his jagged-looking teeth.
Arthur Pleasant: Something tells me you’re in agreement with what I’m saying, John. Especially with how much you continue to tell others to step-up and fucking challenge “The Machine”. Yeah, I’m sure of it, actually. You said it yourself in so many words: you’re sick of defending that title against the dregs and bootlickers of HOW. Well, since I became the biggest test to your entire run, John… why don’t we settle the fuck up? I don’t care if it’s next week or at March To Glory. Though, if it is the latter, it’ll give you some time to heal so you can do everyone a favor and stop with the bitch ass excuses.
Pleasant heaves a shrug then acts like he threw his back out. The grin grows wider with no signs of stopping.
Arthur Pleasant: So what’s it gonna be? Tell you what, I’ll let you decide the time and place, John. If you’ve got the fucking cojones that is. Or maybe… I’ll pay the brand new CEO a little visit and see what’s Best for my LSD Championship.
He points at an invisible watch, indicating there’s some sort of a time limit on this challenge.
From there, we go out to Joe Hoffman who’s standing by for the next match of the evening.
Sektor and Ellis vs. Solex and Byrd
Instead of cutting to Joe, we cut to another HOW Hall of Famer who is ready to announce the wrestlers for our next match.
Bryan McVay: This is another group stage Maurako Cup match. Introducing first, the team of Steve Solex and Clay Byrd!
Byrd’s theme song plays as he’s followed by Steve Solex. Both men make their way to ringside while TV ads air in-between the entrance, one for an adoption agency and another for March Madness.
Joe Hoffman: Looking forward to this contest. These two know John Sektor well. Adam Ellis, not so much. He’s caught in the middle and we will see if this plays an advantage or disadvantage.
Solex enters the ring first and points towards the entrance. He doesn’t want any theatrics, he just wants his ex “tag championship” teammate.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents… Adam Ellis and the LSD Champion… John Sektor!
Sektor’s theme plays as he and Ellis enter the Little Caesars Arena. Sektor has the LSD Title across his waist.
Joe Hoffman: Every match in this tournament is big and a win by Sektor and Ellis locks up the group.
Sektor talks to the newbie about strategy as they make their way down. Once at ringside, Sektor hands referee Joel Hortega his championship and enters the ring, signifying he will start the match.
Sektor and Byrd lock up. Although Clay has a clear height advantage, the LSD Champion uses it to his advantage as he lowers his base and slides his arms down, wrapping them around Clay’s waist and slipping behind him. Sektor tries for a German suplex but Clay, not to be outdone, lowers his own base so Sektor can’t perform the move. A standing switch by Byrd is made, now he’s behind the longstanding LSD Champion. This time it’s Byrd who tries for a German suplex of his own but Sektor doesn’t allow for it, either. Sektor breaks free, hits the ropes and bounces off, looking for a spinning forearm smash… Byrd ducks and Sektor hits nothing but air. Upon return, Clay kicks his former teammate in the chest and attempts a spinebuster slam but Sektor catches Clay’s head at the last second and works it into a DDT!
Joe Hoffman: Some real good counters. Obviously, both men know each other well.
Byrd stands but drops a quick knee across Sektor’s head. He does this three more times, pulls Sektor to his feet and hurls him into a free turnbuckle… it’s reversed. Byrd slams the padding hard and then walks into an exploder suplex.
Joe Hoffman: Solid move by Sektor.
The Gold Standard doesn’t let Clay Byrd rest for long. He drags the Texan from the canvas and looks for a snap suplex. It’s a challenge to get Byrd off his feet in a hurry but if anyone is able to do it, it’s one of the purist wrestling technicians in history. Sektor lands the suplex. He holds on, floats over and pulls Byrd up again. A second snap suplex. Sektor holds on, floats over…
Clay escapes. The big man drills forearm after forearm into Sektor’s head, stunning the LSD Champion before Byrd meets the ropes, ducks a wild clothesline attempt (in fairness, Sektor wasn’t looking directly at Byrd, he was reeling from the forearm shots) and Byrd bounces into the next set of ropes. Clay flies across the canvas with an inside-out clothesline of his own.
Joe Hoffman: That’s one giant coming at you!
Byrd scoop slams Sektor in the center of the ring. He walks to his corner and tags Solex. Solex pulls up his gloves to ensure they are fastened… then goes batshit insane with fists to John’s temple.
Joe Hoffman: It’s not a bad strategy. Not many people are going to win a wrestling match with the LSD Champion. Instead, Byrd uses his power moves and Solex begins hammering Sektor with everything he has.
Solex lifts Sektor off the mat and throws him into the ropes. Upon return, Solex hits Sektor with a belly-to-belly suplex and then goes right back to the temple punches.
Sektor, eventually, pushes Solex up and away. The Gold Standard boots Solex in the stomach. This only makes Steve cock his head and come right back…
Eating a belly-to-belly suplex for his troubles!
Joe Hoffman: Sektor makes the tag to Adam Ellis!
The young protege from St. Louis enters. He immediately latches onto Solex’s waist and throws him into a release German suplex, sending Steve half-way across the ring. Solex hits the mat but raises his arm to tag Clay Byrd. Both Byrd and Solex rush Ellis, who’s a little out of his element. Solex goes high, Byrd goes low and they knock Ellis to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Good call, using the five seconds to their advantage. It’s clear Adam Ellis was a deer in the headlights on this one.
Byrd goes to work. He hammers Ellis around the ring as John Sektor watches on from his corner. The LSD Champion was unable to intervene when Byrd and Solex made their shot on Ellis because he was just returning to his side at the time.
Byrd with an atomic drop, he hits the ropes and crushes Ellis across the face with a knee strike. Byrd lifts Ellis upright, chops him in the chest a few times and then connects with a gut wrench powerbomb!
Joe Hoffman: Clay has a leg hooked!
John Sektor thought of entering through the ropes but trusted Ellis to stay alive. Byrd shoots a look towards Sektor’s direction before dragging Ellis towards his own corner and tags in Solex. Solex, too, stares at Sektor and mutters something along the lines of “leave it to Stever”’ before throwing Ellis into a rear naked choke hold.
Adam swings his arms around, trying to break free while Solex merely stares down his former teammate with a cocky grin across his face. Ellis has one thing going for him, he’s on his feet and trying to move closer towards the ropes. Solex might be too stuck on playing one-upmanship with the LSD Champion so he doesn’t notice Ellis has shifted both of them towards the edge of the squared circle.
Adam leaps onto the second rope and pushes off, suddenly turning this into a pinfall attempt because Steve Solex didn’t break the choke hold.
SOLEX FINALLY LETS GO TO KICKOUT!
Steve is back on his feet first, though, and clubs Adam Ellis in the side of the head before punting him square in the face. Solex gives Ellis the finger, obviously having no ties or giving any fucks to the kid whatsoever.
Steve Solex: [shouting into Adam Ellis’ face] Who the FUCK are you!?
Solex “playfully” kicks Ellis in the side of the head, this time being much less severe then the first.
Solex decides to playfully kick Ellis for a second time and shout in his face for a second time, too.
Joe Hoffman: I guess you can do something like this when your first kick landed hard.
Ellis, however, won’t lay down. He fires a right hand into Solex’s head, stunning “The #1 Stevens Dad” before doing it again and again. Now it’s Solex who is reeling. Ellis looks to hit the ropes but Solex reaches out, grabs the rookie and throws him to the canvas, followed by elbow dropping him in the side of the face.
Steve Solex: Fucking nobody.
Solex tags Byrd. Clay enters through the top and middle rope, immediately dropping a leg across Ellis’ neck. Referee Joel Hortega slides into position for a pin count.
Joe Hoffman: I have to believe this pin wasn’t done to pick up a three. The strategy here was to exhaust Adam Ellis AND continue to keep John Sektor on the sidelines in an attempt to frustrate the champion. No way Clay and Steve are going to beat John in a wrestling match… but they can get under his skin. It’s a good gameplan.
Byrd throws Ellis around his side of the ring. Forearms, fists, knee strikes and a hammer throw to cap it off, Ellis has taken an absolute beating. Byrd tags Solex.
Both men lift Ellis and plant him with a double suplex. Sektor wants to enter but Hortega is there to cut him off. It allows for Solex to grab his crotch and lift it in the LSD Champion’s direction.
Joe Hoffman: No love lost.
Solex peels Ellis off the mat but suddenly Adam comes alive! He finds a European uppercut, striking it flush under Solex’s jaw. Sektor’s understudy has life. Ellis follows with more shots to Solex’s chest as he knows… he NEEDS to tag out. Ellis turns and leaps towards his legendary teammate.
But Solex connects with a leg sweep on Ellis. While Sektor is trying to get into the ring, Hortega waves him off! The referee didn’t see the tag!
Sektor fumes at Hortega. Meanwhile, Solex gives another middle finger to Sektor, not even looking at The Gold Standard as he stomps the ever living shit out of Ellis.
Joe Hoffman: Solex is a spiteful individual.
Solex throws Ellis into the ropes. The crowd comes alive as Ellis bursts across the canvas and clubs Solex in the side of the head!
Joe Hoffman: Ellis makes the tag! This time Hortega saw it!
The Gold Standard roars in. Immediately, Steve’s face turns to “oh shit” as he’s hit with an exploder suplex, followed by a belly-to-back suplex and then a release German suplex. Sektor is a house on fire as he shoots a glance over to Clay. Byrd nods in what might be a sign of respect or wanting the opportunity to smash Sektor around himself.
John pulls his former Best Alliance partner off the mat… thumping Solex with a spinning forearm smash. Sektor follows by applying an anaconda vice!
Solex shouts as he waves his feet around… trying to get into the ropes. Byrd watches on closely, wondering if he should enter the ring but has decided to stay put for now. Solex moves, albeit a little. Sektor sinks the hold deeper.
Joe Hoffman: John has the move applied very well. Solex only has one play and that’s to put his bottom foot under the ropes.
Solex slides… another tiny inch towards the ropes. Sektor makes a veteran decision. Assuming Solex will get there, he keeps his grip on Solex and pulls his former friend up, then drops Steve on his head with a side throw.
The crowd gasps as Solex lands hard. Sektor walks over and… he’s hit with a rake to the eyes. Hortega wasn’t able to catch this, either. Solex dives across the canvas to tag in Byrd.
Joe Hoffman: Like the match started, we’re at Byrd vs. Sektor.
The crowd cheers on as both men grapple. Sektor applies a headlock but Byrd pushes the LSD Champion away. Byrd hits the ropes and slams into Sektor with a shoulder block. Rarely do you see the legendary star fly in the air but given the momentum Byrd hit him with, Sektor nearly falls out of the ring. John is right back to his feet, though. He locks into another grapple with Clay and this time it’s Sektor who has the headlock on. Clay pushes off, sending Sektor into the ropes… both men crash and burn into each other in the middle of the ring.
Sektor takes the brunt of it, only because he’s the smaller of the two. In their respective corners, Adam Ellis has recovered and Steve Solex is working on knocking the pain out of his head.
Byrd slams a fist into Sektor’s ribs. He tries for another one but Sektor side steps it and pushes Byrd into the ropes. Solex smacks a blind tag on Clay… and The Gold Standard didn’t see it. As Byrd hits the next set of ropes, Sektor tries for a powerslam but Solex is in at the last second with a chop block to John’s knee.
Solex begins stomping away at Sektor… lifting him to his feet and hurling the four time World Champion into the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Oh, I believe Adam Ellis made a blind tag!
And this time, Solex is the one who doesn’t know. Ellis plants himself on the second rope and dives across the canvas with a clothesline, catching Solex square under the chin. Redemption is found as Ellis continues to work on Solex with shot after shot. Applying a headlock to Solex, Ellis walks to his corner and tags his mentor.
The LSD Champion hits an axe handle smash and then a hammerlock suplex.
Joe Hoffman: It could be time for the Sektor Stretch!
It’s applied! Solex’s face fills with pain and Clay Byrd comes racing in… for as fast as the burly Texan can go. Clay gets to Sektor and kicks him, breaking up the hold but…
Joe Hoffman: Ellis meets Byrd with a clothesline!
Clay, however, catches onto Adam as he’s hit. Both men tumble into the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Sektor doesn’t see Solex behind him…
Again, Solex gives a finger to Sektor as John turns around.
Into a kick to the gut.
Joe Hoffman: Solex going for Solexecution… no!! Sektor pulls away! C-Sektion!
The facebuster connects and Steve Solex is DOA. Clay Byrd and Adam Ellis are at the apron, there’s not enough time for Clay to get there.
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: The winners of this match… Adam Ellis and John Sektor!!
Hortega raises Sektor’s hand as he calls Ellis over on a job well done.
Joe Hoffman: Solex and Byrd certainly showed great ability here but in the end, the wily John Sektor gets it done… and a ton of heart shown by Adam Ellis as well. Say what you want about the beating he took but he battled. A tough loss for Solex and Byrd, who came to fight.
Refueled continues on as we cut backstage.
Didn't See This Coming
The scene switches to backstage as World Champion Conor Fuse makes his way through the Little Caesars Arena. The crowd cheers loudly in !RANK chants as #97MarioRed’s typical cheery demeanor is much more subdued, likely focusing on the events of later tonight.
Joe Hoffman: Going to be a HUGE main event with everything on the line when Noble Gaming faces Devil’s Advocates.
Conor takes one turn into a larger part of the backstage area and stops dead in his tracks. His facial expressions suggest the most serious tone possible. As the camera zooms out, it shows the long hallway, reaching what looks to be the other side of the building. There, escorted in by four members of the HOW security team is HOTv Champion, Jeffrey James Roberts. Arms and legs bound, facial guard strapped against his mouth, Jeffrey methodically turns his head to see Conor Fuse in the far distance.
No words are said between either man, their eyes simply fixate on the other. Fuse breathes heavily while Roberts… eventually cracks a sadistic smile from underneath his face bars.
Joe Hoffman: That’s Arthur Pleasant!
Pleasant runs his shoulder straight into the side of Conor Fuse, sending the champion flying into the cement wall across the way. Fuse drops his duffle bag and Pleasant goes to work, mounting Conor with shot after shot after shot. It’s not like HOW security can do anything from down the hall, either. They are contractually obligated to stay with Roberts.
Arthur Pleasant: Oh, hey! Conor! Look, I uh… I wanted to return something of yours.
The Provocateur furiously drives his knees into Conor Fuse, trying to keep the gamer down. You can see Conor’s eyes are wide, he’s fighting like hell to work through the blows but he’s completely overwhelmed.
Pleasant stands and kicks Conor in the chest before reaching into his back pocket and pulling out an SNES controller, the exact same one Fuse befriended Pleasant with when they aligned on the GL214 War Games team last summer.
Arthur Pleasant: I forgot I still had this! What ‘A’ goof I can ‘B’. Sometimes I even ask myself ‘Y’ my memory isn’t as good as it used to be! Then I remember how many times the referee has held up the “X” with their LEFT or RIGHT bumpers… I mean hands. I can’t remember which one, but they definitely SELECTed one. Anyway, time to finish what you STARTed, Conor.
Somehow… Conor works his way onto a knee. However, The Video Game Kid doesn’t have enough energy to defend himself.
Joe Hoffman: Don’t do this, Arthur…
Pleasant raises the controller above his head.
It breaks into a number of pieces. Parts of the controller fly past the camera as Fuse crashes to the floor. Finally, additional security personnel who are not legally obligated to be with JJR arrive on the scene. They break Arthur Pleasant away from doing more damage.
Arthur Pleasant: Thanks for the reminder, Champ!
David Noble arrives to a cheer from the crowd. He LEAPS across the security guards, frothing at the mouth to get his hands on Pleasant but can’t. The Devil’s Advocate member is too far away and there’s enough security to warrant it impossible.
David Noble: Fucking coward. Tells me everything I need to know about you, you hapless asshole. Blind sides and cheap shots. Just tells me how scared you are of losing in that ring tonight.
Conor rolls over to a knee, blood seeping from his forehead as he tries to make sense of his surroundings. David looks at his partner, disoriented.
David Noble: There will be hell to pay for what you did to Conor, I promise you that.
Joe Hoffman: A gutless attack. Conor was blindsided!
Noble checks on Fuse as Arthur Pleasant strolls away. JJR continues to stand there in the distance. He hasn’t moved, flinched… not done anything at all. Only continue to hold the same smile as before as we cut to a commercial break.
Got a lot to say
“Refueled” comes back from break on a closeup of “The Ramones” printed on a black t-shirt. The camera zooms out to reveal Eli Dresden as the wearer of the two sizes too large t-shirt, taking a sip of water as she walks down the corridor. Her jeans, which have been scuffed and torn from years of wear, would be trendy off the rack especially with the right designer stamped on them. She looks more amused than annoyed by her interaction with Bobinette Carey earlier in the night, though it’s clear that she’s having to hang onto the former lest she scream.
Eli opens the door to her dressing room and stops briefly to find a somewhat snazzily dressed visitor in her room. The familiar figure stands before her in his checkered, designer suit and removes the black derby atop his head, a grin forms across his face.
Eli quirks a brow as the door starts to close and the HOW Hall of Famer speaks…
Simon Sparrow: Miss Dresden…..
The door closes and the scene ends.
We cut back live inside the arena, where the opening beat of “Juicy” by the Notorious B.I.G. plays as the lights go down and the crowd’s attention turns toward the entranceway.
Shelley Greene walks out onto the stage, dressed in a cheap magenta colored suit and carrying a microphone. His hair is extra slicked tonight; he wants to look his Sunday best for his first live appearance in front of the fans. He strolls down to the ring, grinning from ear to ear, stopping occasionally to gyrate to the sounds of Biggie Smalls. Really just soaking it all in.
Greene delicately enters the ring (stepping between the bottom and middle ropes, for some reason…), and stands in the center, as the music cuts out.
Greene: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Shelley Kentucky Greene… and I am the manager, pharmacist, therapist, legal counsel, and, dare I say… best friend… of perhaps the greatest physical specimen to ever walk through the doors of High Octane Wrestling!
The HOW fans have a bit of a six sense, and immediately pick up on the inherent unlikability of the man standing in the ring. He’s slimy, with a used car salesman type quality to him; generally unappealing in every way imaginable.
Greene: And tonight it gives me great pleasure to introduce this man to you all! Tonight, for the first time ever, you will meet your future obsession! Can you feel it? Can you smell it? I know I can! A golden age is upon us! And this man—my best friend, your soon-to-be hero, a mountain of muscle and bone—will usher it in!
Greene turns, gesturing toward the stage.
Greene: Ladies and gentlemen… boys and girls… invalids, outcasts, degenerates… allow me to introduce to you… The Sherman Tank! The Minnesota Hay Bale! The STRONKEST Man Alive OR To Have Ever Lived! He… is… STROOOOOONK… GODSOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!
With that, “Juicy” hits, playing from the top—and moments later… the 5’9”, 300 pound human fire hydrant known simply as STRONK GODSON emerges onto the stage, bathed in a lone spotlight. (Greene was very particular about procuring the right light source and angling it properly above the stage; he needed it to perfectly accentuate the Stronk Daddy’s preternatural physique and unnerving vascularity. And it was doing just that as the fans gaze upon the disgraced bodybuilder stood posing and flexing every muscle in his body.)
STRONK ambles to the ring, ignoring the fans. He is still chewing something that he was eating while in catering. Shelley applauds, looking like the proud owner of a champion race horse being paraded around the grounds for all to see.
Once STRONK is in the ring, he grabs his custom printed “STRONK AF” tank top and effortlessly rips it from his body with one hand. He drapes it over Greene’s shoulder (who then sneakily and creepily takes a whiff of it when GODSON isn’t looking).
Greene: Feast your eyes on the future of High Octane Wrestling! A man who is the perfect height for his frame! A man who is—
GODSON snatches the mic from Greene.
STRONK: ENOUGH TALK, SKINNY BOY! IT IS TIME FOR THE STRONK MAN TO ADDRESS THE UNWASHED MASSES!
His voice is booming, primitive, incredibly deep; he sounds like roid rage and HGH and the last grunt you make while trying to set a personal best at the squat rack personified. GODSON pauses, and there is silence for an uncomfortable amount of time.
STRONK: THE STRONK MAN IS BIGGER AND BETTER THAN YOUR FAVOURITE WRESTLER. IN DUE TIME YOUR FAVOURITE WRESTLER WILL BE THE STRONK MAN. THESE ARE FACTS. STRONK REQUIRES BODIES. BODIES TO RAVAGE AND DESTROY. GIVE ME BODIES!
GODSON abruptly drops the mic and leaves the ring, which Greene quickly picks up.
Greene: What a promo, folks! Chock-full of nuance, braggadocio, metaphor, simile, inventive turns-of-phrase! I’ll be honest with you all; I had no idea that the Stronk Daddy was that good of a public speaker! So charismatic! I really had no idea! I’m blown away… blowwwwwn away! Heh… first wrestling, then Hollywood, eh, big man? Silver screen potential, if I ever saw it!
GODSON is already halfway up the ramp, now mentally removed from the situation and munching on a protein bar he fished out of his pocket. He disappears through the curtain.
Greene: If you’re all too dense to read between the lines and decipher what my man said, it’s simple—STRONK GODSON wants a match! And in case you thought, wow, he’s so damn talented on the mic he must be trash in the ring; think again! He’s going to OBLITERATE whomever H-O-W puts in front of him ! GODSON IS COMING… to REFUELED next week! … And he’s going to be like a dump truck of pain and misery, just, uh… dumpin’ on fools! YOU HEAR ME? DUMPIN’!
Greene, not knowing how else to end this whole interview thing, just shrugs and tosses the mic aside, and scurries to the back, as REFUELED rolls on…
Nothing to Lose
We quickly cut backstage where we catch HOW interviewer Brian Bare hurrying down a hallway, heading toward someone at the other end of the hall. The long, pulled back hair clearly belongs to Michael Lee Best, who is headed into the office of MOB himself, Uncle Ollie.
Brian Bare: Mike! A quick moment of your time?
Slowly, the Son of God turns around. There are dark circles under his eyes, and he isn’t smiling.
Mike Best: What do you want?
Not a wry smirk, or a mean joke. The son of Lee Best looks absolutely exhausted, probably more mentally than physically. He stares blankly at Bare, hands on his hips.
Brian Bare: Last week, your Uncle announced that effective immediately following March To Glory, you’d become the Chief Executive Officer of High Octane Wrestling. This is… huge news. Yet we haven’t heard a word all week, from HOW’s most outspoken roster member.
Michael swallows, half staring off into space as the words almost seem to bounce off of his face.
Mike Best: …I spent twelve years building a legacy in HOW. I put every drop of sweat and every dollar I had into making that legacy into a tangible place. An Academy. A shrine to my career and the careers of those who I could train to come after me. Clay Byrd burned my legacy to the ground.
A moment of uncomfortable silence between the two long standing “rivals”, as Bare doesn’t seem to know what to say.
Mike Best: Everything I built has turned to ash, and I’m retired the second March to Glory goes off the air. I have nothing to lose. That makes me the most dangerous man in High Octane Wrestling. And I am going to fucking kill Clay Byrd.
Without another word, Michael turns and walks into his Uncle’s office, slamming the door behind him. Brian Bare is left holding the microphone, looking a little stirred by the interaction, as we cut to our final commercial break of the evening.
Fuse and Noble vs. JJR and Pleasant
Back live and we cut to our Hall of Fame announcer…..
Joe Hoffman: We’re back folks. Earlier in the show, The Devil’s Advocates paid a visit to the HOW World Champion Conor Fuse.
(Earlier in the night-Devil’s Advocates Attack Fuse)
Pleasant runs his shoulder straight into the side of Conor Fuse, sending the champion flying into the cement wall across the way. Pleasant goes to work, mounting Conor with shot after shot after shot.
Pleasant stands and kicks Conor in the chest before reaching into his back pocket and pulling out an SNES controller. Pleasant raises the controller above his head.
It breaks into a number of pieces. Parts of the controller go flying past the camera as Fuse crashes to the floor.
Joe Hoffman: We’re going to find out how much that horrific attack on Conor Fuse by the Devil’s Advocates took out of the HOW World Champion in this match. Conor Fuse and David Noble must win this match to keep their Maurako Cup hopes alive. A win forces a tie with JJR and Pleasant in Group Four. A loss means the Devil’s Advocates win Group Four and we may be seeing the last of one David Noble in HOW as Noble’s short-term contract runs out.
The wonderfully horrific screeching of violins cut through the arena like a knife through flesh as “Danse Macabre”, the classic orchestral piece written and composed by Camille Saint-Saëns and condensed into a much more frightening version for entrance theme’s sake, plays throughout the arena.
Joe Hoffman: All right, here we go.
Soon thereafter enters Arthur Pleasant, The Provocateur himself, from the Gorilla position.
Standing with his arms out and a smile as sick and evil as the day is long and the fans are fickle, Arthur Pleasant sniffs the air with his eyes closed. Taking in the snarky shouts and cynicism from the internet wrestling community, Arthur begins skipping down the ramp with utter delight plastered onto his face.
Joe Hoffman: Arthur Pleasant heading down to the ring.
Arthur runs the ropes a few times, making a mockery out of the mat-wrestling master race that like to warm up before a match. Retreating to the corner furthest away from the ramp, Arthur hunkers down with both arms holding onto the top rope at his sides as he sits on the middle turnbuckle. A lustful look bearing the need for violence and calamity, Arthur grins as widely as his jaw and skin will allow him to while he waits for his doomed opponent.
Joe Hoffman: I bet he’s pleased with himself after what he did to Conor Fuse earlier tonight. Last week, Pleasant attacked John Sektor before the match but he couldn’t turn that into a win. Will tonight’s attack help the Devil’s Advocate defeat Conor Fuse and David Noble??
“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 Pleasant 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: And here comes the HOTv Champion Jeffrey Pleasant Roberts- the other half of the Devil’s Advocates.
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.
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.
As Heaven and Hell continues to play, a figure emerges, being lifted through the stage and to the center of the stage.
David Noble stands there, his eyes peering out at the crowd around him.
Joe Hoffman: This could be David Noble’s final match in HOW. But right now, all he’s thinking about is getting back at JJR and Pleasant for what they did to Conor Fuse.
There’s an intensity to Noble as he walks down the ramp, each step measured and steady as his eyes stare straight ahead.
“Bloody Tears (Epic Version)” from Castlevania II begins.
A purple mist floods the entrance way as “The Vintage” Conor Fuse emerges from behind the apron 23-seconds into the theme. He stands at the top of the rampway, head down, sporting a dark purple jacket with its high-collar raised.
The jacket is open, showing his vintage SNES tights as he slowly raises his head. The fog continues to pump from the stage as Fuse methodically makes his way down the ramp, forehead bandaged from Arthur Pleasant’s handiwork.
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse taking his time walking down to the ring, still feeling the effects of the attack on him tonight.
The crowd starts a “!RANK” chant, pointing in Conor’s direction as he slowly makes his way towards ringside. The Vintage eschews leaping onto the apron and simply rolls into the ring.
Conor removes his trench coat, revealing his trademarked light purple arm sleeve on his left arm. Fuse fist bumps Noble and they wait in their corner.
Hall of Fame Ring Announcer Bryan McVay steps into the middle of the squared circle to introduce both teams.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentleman, our main event will be one fall. Introducing to my right.
McVay points towards the Devil’s Advocates.
Bryan McVay: From under the midnight sun at Utqiagvik, Alaska and weighing in tonight at 220 pounds. The Provocateur… ARTHUR PLEASANT!
And his partner- from Gainesville, Florida. Weighing in at 230 pounds. He is the HOTv CHAMPION! JEFFREY! PLEASANT! ROBERTS!
Bryan McVay: They are… THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATES!
Joe Hoffman: The Devil’s Advocates getting the reaction you’d hope they get- not that they care.
Indeed they don’t. Roberts stands in the corner and smiles at Fuse and Noble. Pleasant loosens up his fingers and also peers across the ring towards Fuse.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents… hailing from Buffalo, NY and weighing in at 245 pounds… DAVID! NOOOOO-BLE!
Noble meets the stare coming from the opposite corner and cracks his knuckles.
Bryan McVay: And his partner…weighing tonight at 210 pounds. From Toronto, Ontario Canada… he is the High Octane Wrestling WORLD CHAMPION! CONOR! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE!
The crowd are on their feet and roaring now.
Bryan McVay: NOBLE GAMING!
Joe Hoffman: Noble and Fuse versus Pleasant and Roberts. This is a HUGE match in the Maurako Cup. Matt Boettcher will be the referee for this one.
But before Boettcher can do the obligatory pre-match check, David Noble charges across the ring and hammers Pleasant.
Joe Hoffman: This might be David Noble’s last HOW match but he’s not holding anything back. Noble’s going right after Arthur Pleasant.
Noble lands forearm shots to Pleasant. JJR then hammers Noble with rights. Conor Fuse shoots across the ring and blindsides Roberts.
Joe Hoffman: All four men in the corner throwing everything they’ve got into each other. Matt Boettcher is going to have to find a way to get two of the men out and get this match started.
Boettcher wades in and tries to separate the two teams. Pleasant rips off Fuse’s bandage over his forehead and tears open Conor Fuse’s already open wound.
Joe Hoffman: OH! FUSE IS ALREADY BUSTED OPEN AGAIN!
Noble slams Roberts’ head into the top turnbuckle over and over. Low blow from behind by Pleasant. Belly to back suplex sends Noble across the ring. Boettcher basically jumps in between Pleasant and a bloody Fuse and tells both of them to go back to their corners NOW.
Joe Hoffman: Matt Boettcher is laying down the law with BOTH teams.
Pleasant goes to shove Boettcher. Roberts stops him and pulls Pleasant back to their corner.
Joe Hoffman: And that was a wise move by Jeffrey James Roberts. You can’t afford to get disqualified in this situation.
Once some semblance of order is restored, Boettcher finally calls for the bell.
Noble and Pleasant to start. Again Noble tackles him and he tries to throw right hands. Pleasant covers his face and manages to roll under the rope. Boettcher calls for a break.
Joe Hoffman: David Noble is simply fired up right now.
Pleasant steps back in and Noble throws more rights. Pleasant ducks. Noble whips Pleasant into the corner. Noble fires off rights. Boettcher starts a 5 count. Noble breaks but then whips Pleasant corner to corner. He follows. FOREARM TO THE CHEST knocks out some of the wind from Pleasant. Noble fires off more right hands. Besieged, Pleasant manages to grab the ropes and there’s another break.
Joe Hoffman: What a start to this match! David Noble has been the story so far…
Pleasant pulls himself up with help from the ropes and looks a little unsteady on his feet.
Joe Hoffman: …and Arthur Pleasant simply needs to tag out.
Noble charges in. This time Pleasant evades. He dives for his corner and…
Joe Hoffman; There’s the hot tag to Jeffrey James Roberts!
Noble charges at JJR- arm drag takedown by Roberts. Noble charges again- another arm drag takedown. A third charge- a third arm drag takedown. Roberts rolls him up…
Two… Noble kicks out.
Roberts tries to poke Noble in the eyes- Noble blocks and pops Roberts with a right hand. Then he tags in Conor Fuse.
Joe Hoffman: All right, here’s Conor Fuse in the match for the first time. We’ll see how he does after that savage beatdown he suffered earlier tonight.
Noble drop toeholds Roberts- Fuse slingshots over the top rope and splashes him. Cover…
Two- Roberts kicks out.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts survives a beautiful slingshot splash by Conor Fuse.
Fuse brings Roberts to his feet but gets caught by a throat chop. Fuse drops to his knees. Roberts goes over and tags Pleasant back in. Both of them yank Fuse up and whip him to the ropes and wait for him to return…
Joe Hoffman: DOUBLE ELBOWS BY THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATES!
Fuse staggers back and more blood flows from his forehead. Pleasant and Robert fling Fuse to the Devil’s Advocates corner and then mug him.
Joe Hoffman: And again, Conor Fuse is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Pleasant knees low and doubles Fuse over. Snapmare to Fuse and he drops the leg. Pleasant turns and flips off Noble and lays in a couple boots on Fuse for good measure. Fuse kips up out the blue. Chop to Pleasant. Pleasant fires a forearm. Fuse hits back. Pleasant kicks low.
Joe Hoffman: Fuse finally able to fight back but then Arthur Pleasant takes a shortcut.
Pleasant drags The Vintage up by his hair and throws him into the corner. He LARIATS! And again… three times… FOUR times! Fuse flops down but Pleasant pulls him back up and tags in JJR. Roberts lays the boots in once… twice… three times… four times… five times… Boettcher barges in and starts a five count. Six times… seven times… eight times… and then Roberts steps back as Boettcher hits four.
Joe Hoffman: Pleasant and Roberts are just mauling an already injured Conor Fuse.
A fact not lost on David Noble who up on the turnbuckle and urging Conor to tag him in. Roberts looks right in Noble’s eyes. He brings Fuse up and steps back… SUPERKICK! Fuse collapses to the mat. Roberts turns and taunts Noble. Noble starts over the top rope. Boettcher steps in to stop him. Pleasant reaches in and wraps his hands around Fuse’s throat while Roberts boots the hell out of Conor.
Joe Hoffman: Noble’s upset. Boettcher’s out of position. The Devil’s Advocates are completely having their way with Conor Fuse.
Roberts pulls Fuse up- Fuse uncorks a right hand. JJR shakes it off and DECKS Fuse. Again, Roberts stomps away with Pleasant joining in. FINALLY, Boettcher turns around and sees the mayhem going on in the Devil’s Advocates’ corner. He starts a five count. Roberts calmly steps back. Pleasant wisely retreats to the ring apron. Roberts covers.
Two… Fuse gets a shoulder up.
Joe Hoffman: Lateral press by Jeffrey James Roberts there but there’s a little fight left in Conor Fuse.
Roberts tags Pleasant back in. They slam Fuse head first into the turnbuckle. And again… three times… Boettcher with another five count. Four times. Roberts steps back and climbs through the ropes to the outside. Pleasant slams Fuse into the turnbuckle. One Rolling Fisherman’s Buster by The Provocateur. Two Rolling Fisherman’s Busters. Three Rolling Fisherman’s Busters. Cover.
Two- David Noble in and he stomps Pleasant to stop the count.
Joe Hoffman: Noble makes the save here and Boettcher immediately ushers him to the outside.
Which allows Pleasant to put his boot right on Fuse’s throat. Boettcher comes back and immediately starts another five count. Pleasant stops at four and taunts the HOW World Champion. Then he again stomps him in the mid-section.
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse is in big trouble here! Pleasant continues to methodically try to take Fuse apart here and Conor has got to somehow get David Noble tagged in.
Pleasant goes to whip Fuse to the ropes but Conor ROLLS HIM UP.
Joe Hoffman: Arthur Pleasant kicked out but not before Conor Fuse caught him completely by surprise.
Fuse with a snap suplex. Roberts jumps in and rushes him- Fuse fires off a LARIAT! Roberts down. Fuse tags Noble in and they go find Pleasant. Double whip to Pleasant to the ropes- DOUBLE BACK BODY DROP!
Joe Hoffman: Arthur Pleasant got plenty of air time on that one.
Two- Pleasant kicks out at two.
Now both Noble and Fuse wait. Pleasant manages to get to his feet. DOUBLE BASEMENT DROPKICKS. Clothesline by Noble. Cover…
Two… Pleasant kicks out again.
Joe Hoffman: Watch out from behind.
Roberts again slips in and he CHOP BLOCKS Noble.
Joe Hoffman: OH! Noble’s knee buckled at that shot and now we’ve got all four men in the ring again!
Pleasant blasts Fuse off the apron- Roberts stomps away on Noble. Boettcher five counts Roberts. JJR raises his hands and backs up to his corner. Side headlock by Pleasant. He drags Noble over his corner and tags Roberts in.
Joe Hoffman: David Noble is trapped again in the Devil’s Advocate’s corner.
Pleasant and Roberts take turns beating up Noble in the corner. Roberts lays in a kick. But Noble kicks back! Roberts boots Noble in the knee and then pulls him forward. Pleasant slips in the ring. Roberts and Pleasant whip Noble corner to corner and he hits hard! Noble bounces off the turnbuckle and falls down on the mat. Roberts grabs a leg and drags Noble back to the corner.
Joe Hoffman: Pleasant and Roberts are in complete control right now and they’ve done exactly what they set out to do. Systematically and methodically dismantle Conor Fuse and David Noble.
Roberts tags Pleasant back in and stomps Noble down as a parting gift. Pleasant pulls him off the mat for a facelock. Snap suplex by Pleasant and the Devil’s Advocates do a little trash talking towards their opponents. Roll up by Pleasant…
Two-Noble kicks out at two.
Noble tries to crawl towards his corner. Pleasant grabs his legs and pull him back towards the Devil’s Advocate’s corner.
Joe Hoffman: Excellent tag team work once again by Pleasant and Roberts and they’ve now got Noble isolated.
Pleasant drives elbows into Noble over and over. Then he scrapes the laces of his boot across his face. Fuse explodes and leaps over the ropes. He pulls Pleasant back. Pleasant throws him into Noble and tags in Roberts. Fuse brawls with Pleasant. Noble with Roberts. Boettcher starts another five count and Noble and Roberts exit. Boettcher tells Fuse he needs to leave as he’s not the legal man. Noble climbs back in and Fuse exits.
Joe Hoffman: Noble needs to tag out but he’s going to have to do it the right way. Matt Boettcher isn’t putting up with anything tonight.
For the first time, the tempo of the match slows and both Noble and Pleasant methodically circle each other. Lock up. Arm wrench by Noble. Pleasant scratches at Noble’s eye. SPINNING ELBOW BY NOBLE! Pleasant drops to a knee and Noble digs his knee into Pleasant’s back. Noble runs the ropes- SHINING WIZARD! Pleasant cries out.
Joe Hoffman: David Noble came off the ropes, stepped off Pleasant’s standing leg, and just clocked him in the side of his head with his knee.
Noble sweeps the leg and covers…
Joe Hoffman: Arthur Pleasant JUST got a shoulder up in time.
Noble puts his head under Pleasant’s arm- waistlock- lift and flips him over. Noble scrambles over for the cover…
NO! Pleasant kicks out at two.
Joe Hoffman: Picture perfect Northern Lights Suplex by David Noble there.
Pleasant on his feet and he fights back. He again rakes the eyes. Pleasant whips Noble to the ropes- Noble ducks under a clothesline and hits the opposite side ropes. BOOT TO THE GROIN BY PLEASANT! Noble drops to his knees. Pleasant FINALLY tags Jeffrey James Roberts in.
Joe Hoffman: Roberts should be well rested here.
Pleasant and Roberts double up on Noble. Roberts keeps Noble down. Pleasant hits the ropes- SHINING WIZARD from the front. Pleasant comes off the opposite ropes- SHINING WIZARD TO THE BACK! He exits. Roberts stomps away at Noble and drags him up. Noble fights back with a chop. Roberts waistlocks- lift- SPINEBUSTER! Cover…
Two…Noble kicks out.
Joe Hoffman: David Noble is tiring a bit now but he still had enough to kick out.
JJR takes his time and walks over to Noble. He brings him up… SNAP POWERBOMB. Roberts hooks a leg.
Two…NO! Again Noble kicks out.
Noble springs to his feet- CLOTHESLINE BY ROBERTS send him back down! Cover…
Joe Hoffman: SHOULDER UP! SHOULDER UP!
Roberts glares at Matt Boettcher. Boettcher firmly sticks two fingers up to confirm it was a two count.
Joe Hoffman: That was close. David Noble almost did not get his shoulder up in time.
Roberts drags Noble to the corner and tags in Pleasant. Elbow drop by Pleasant and he wraps Noble up in a chinlock. Pleasant tries to grind Noble to the mat. The fans inside the Little Caeser’s Arena start to rally behind Noble Gaming as Noble begins to fight his way up. Noble almost to his feet. LOW BLOW BY PLEASANT! Noble doubles over and falls to the mat. Pleasant laughs and goes over to tag JJR back in. Roberts drags Noble up and waistlocks again. Noble forearms his way out. Roberts with a kick to the midsection. Noble fires back a right hand. Roberts ducks a second right hand. Fireman’s carry- Noble slips out the back and shoves Roberts to his corner. Pleasant back in. FRONT KICK!
Joe Hoffman: Pleasant jumped into the ring and snapped David Noble’s head back with a vicious front kick.
Noble down and The Devil’s Advocates dig their boots into him. Boettcher starts another 5 count. At four, both men let off and Pleasant retreats to his corner. Roberts pulls Noble to his feet and sets him up for the Mask of Sanity. He lifts- Noble slips out the back door and HOT TAG TO FUSE. Fuse hops over the top rope- DOUBLE LARIAT by Fuse and Noble take Roberts down! Pleasant in again. Fuse leaps- TILT-A-WHIRL DDT! Down goes Pleasant. HURRICANRANA TO ROBERTS and the HOTv champion lands against the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Here comes the crowd! Fuse is taking their energy and dishing it out on the Devil’s Advocates.
Fuse to the corner now and starts wailing away on the turnbuckle pad.
Joe Hoffman: CONOR FUSE IS POWERING UP AND THE CROWD IS ON THEIR FEET!
Fuse whirls around. Roberts charges- SPINNING SLINGBLADE BY FUSE. Roberts up… SPINNING SLINGBLADE. Step over the downed Pleasant and stomps a mudhole on him. One… two… three… four… five… six… seven…
Joe Hoffman: FUSE IS EXACTING A LITTLE PAYBACK ON ARTHUR PLEASANT!
eight… nine… ten. Fuse tags Roberts again with a third Spinning Slingblade. Noble comes in and rolls Pleasant out of the ring. Then he and Fuse whip Roberts to the ropes… DOUBLE TEAM BACK DROP. Fuse slaps Roberts on the chest…
Conor Fuse: WEAPON GET!
Roberts’s finisher downloads and Fuse then goes up top. He leaps. SHOOTING STAR GUILLOTINE!
Joe Hoffman: Shooting Star Press ending with Conor Fuse’s knee across Jeffrey James Roberts’ throat!
Fuse wastes no time jumping back up to the top rope and flies again.
Joe Hoffman: SUPER SPLASH! Conor Fuse hits the 450 splash! COVER!
Boettcher calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And they’ve done it! Conor Fuse and David Noble are STILL alive in the Maurako Cup!
Bryan McVay makes it official.
Bryan McVay: YOUR WINNER AT TWENTY-ONE MINUTES AND TWENTY SECONDS… CONOR FUSE AND DAVID NOBLE- NOBLE GAMING!
Joe Hoffman: HUGE win for Noble Gaming as they are now TIED for first place in Group Four with the Devil’s Advocates at five points apiece. It all comes down to next week when Steve Harrison and Chris Kostoff take on the dysfunctional Team MVW. If Harrison and Kostoff win next week, they will be at 5 points and we will have a three-way tie with the Devil’s Advocates and Noble Gaming in Group 4.
Noble meets Fuse in the middle and their hands are raised by Matt Boettcher.
Joe Hoffman: That’s going to do it for this week. Next week, we wrap up the round robin part of the Maurako Cup at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We will see you there.
Refueled comes to an end as we see a look at the Maurako Cup Standings.
We are taken to a point of the backstage locker room where the lights are now dimmed as the show prepares to finally end. The camera is able to zoom out as we see Brian Hollywood pacing himself as he turns his head appearing to look for someone. Hollywood notices a backstage worker and walks up to him to seemingly in a hurry.
Brian Hollywood: Hey, have you seen Eli around back here today?
The worker shakes his head.
Brian Hollywood: What use are you if you can’t seem to help me with one simple question?
Hollywood shakes his head as he doesn’t even give the worker a chance to answer his question. Hollywood continues down the corridor and turns around the corner and instantly, his eyes widen as he quickly rushes back around the corner he came from.
Brian Hollywood: You have got to be fucking kidding me!
The camera pans over to see three men in black suits talking to other workers backstage. The camera zooms in and one of them is at least identifiable.
One of Hollywood’s best friends…who just so happened to work for the CIA, is carrying around a photo showing people and we can actually hear him speaking.
Gerald Reeves: Be smart man. I know you know who this is! What, not jogging your memory? How about this one?
Gerald is now holding a picture of Eliza Dresden, Hollywood’s tag team partner.
Gerald Reeves: Still nothing? You know, I have a legal right to hold you…even if you didn’t do anything wrong, I’ve got the power to hold you for at least twenty four hours. I suggest you cooperate with me if you don’t want an unpleasant twenty four hours.
Just then, the worker points off in Hollywood’s direction as Hollywood’s eyes roll as he whispers to himself.
Brian Hollywood: You stupid motherfucker! And where is Eli? She at least deserves to know!
Hollywood shakes his head as Gerald and his men start heading down towards Hollywood’s current location. Gerald, feeling like he knows Hollywood is near, shouts out revealing his whereabouts.
Gerald Reeves: I know you’re close Brian! I told you that you weren’t going to like how this ended! You know you’re working with a bad man and there’s no way to justify that for you and you know I’m right! There’s no way out of here without going through me! I’ve got all exits closed off so we can play this either way!
Hollywood was in a precarious situation and even someone as crafty as him knew it. He lets out a sigh as there seemingly wasn’t a way out of this and perhaps all this shit finally caught up with him. Just before Hollywood thought he was going to have to fight his way out, a man in shrouded in mystery whispers out to Hollywood.
Mystery Man: Need a way out? I suggest you come this way!
Hollywood turns towards the guy and couldn’t believe it. He knew deep down who this guy probably was but he wasn’t going to question it at this point. Hollywood quickly runs towards the mystery guy’s way and goes through a set of double doors as Gerald faintly hears it. Gerald pulls his radio out and starts checking in at all points knowing something is wrong.
Gerald Reeves: All units check in!
Gerald Reeves: I said all units check in! HE is here and I’m not taking any chances! It has to be him! Hello?! Anyone? ANYONE?!
More radio silence. Gerald knows that both men are already gone as he let’s the whole hallway and anyone still left backstage know his displeasure.
Gerald Reeves: GOD DAMN IT!!!
Gerald chucks something at the wall in anger before ordering the men with him inside to stand down as they rush outside as the manhunt for Brian Hollywood just got hotter as the footage ends and Refueled 88 officially comes to an end live here on High Octane Television