Refueled XCVI
  • Event Type: weekly

Refueled XCVI

Event Date: May 1, 2022 at 10:00 pm

The Best Opener

HOW Refueled is live on the air as HOTv lights up on televisions across the country, bringing the logo for High Octane Wrestling racing across the screens. The Colonial Life Arena in Columbia is on their feet for the first Refueled in South Carolina this era, and fans have clearly come from all across the state to see the show. Fans lined up for hours with handcrafted signs, but per order of the CEO, all signs with spelling errors were confiscated by security. As this show is in the center of South Carolina… no signs remain.

Joe Hoffman: Good evening everyone and WELCOME to Refueled! It’s the final night of qualifiers for War Games, and tonight’s matches come with high implications. Teams Clay Byrd and Conor Fuse are trailing against the collective Board… is tonight the night that they’ll turn the tides of war?

Before Joe can wax on any more hypothetically, “UNDEAD” begins to blast throughout the arena, as the CEO of High Octane Wrestling makes his way out from behind the curtain at a brisk pace with a microphone in his hand. To his right, as always, is personal assistant and TEN-X student Tyler Streets. Tyler also holds a microphone in his hand, albeit with a large yellow sticker on it denoting that it is a “TRAINING MICROPHONE”.

Michael looks out at the crowd.

Mike Best: COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAR-A-LINAAAAAA!

The roar from the crowd is deafening, as the fans go crazy for the first cheap pop of the evening. Michael’s grin turns rude, as he stops yelling and clarifies.

Mike Best: What an absolute shit hole.

He shakes his head, looking as though he’s just smelt a fart or read a late night Discord rant from someone who is only here tonight to make segment six make sense. The crowd of course instantly turns to rancid boos for the HOW Hall of Famer.

Mike Best: I never just rip into a city for cheap heat, but what a garbage city is Columbia? Am I right? I mean, to be the capital of state SO RACIST that it didn’t just DECIDE to participate in the single largest act of treason in US history… IT WAS THEIR FUCKING IDEA.

The boos are even louder now, as the crowd is probably equally booing the brash overgeneralization and also the bad takes of southern aristocratic plantation owners in a previous time. Tyler looks offended by the outpouring.

Tyler Streets: Hey, why are you booing him? HE’S RIGHT!

Michael stifles a laugh, but pushes the training microphone down and quietly tells Tyler that the training microphone is not for unapproved use.

Mike Best: Go ahead and boo your own history. I didn’t make that shit up. Maybe I can bring out an interracial couple so you guys can really get some heat on this show, right? Fucking rednecks. Anyway, this is Refueled, we got a bunch of War Games qualifiers happening. I’m banning interference in the main event, because the Board and the Boys haven’t been playing nice. What else? Production truck, please get a nice breakdown of the card for all the nice folks watching at home. I’m not wasting my energy on these confederate humping bags of incest. Buy some t-shirts, try not to do a racist while we’re on the air, and if you ever wanna get out of this vile state you’re living in, register for fucking TEN-X. HAVE A SHOW EVERYONE.

He lowers the microphone, beckoning for Tyler to follow him as he disappears back behind the curtain. The crowd is in an absolute outrage as we head into our first commercial break.

Eli Dresden vs. JJ Starfire

War Games Qualifying Match

The chorus of ‘Never Look Back’ hits the sound system as the overhead lights dim, blue and white lights flashing along the rampway as spotlights of similar shades swirl over the crowd. Eliza Dresden waits all of a second before she bounds onto the stage.  Instead of her usual entrance, she dashes straight into the ring, waiting for her opponent for the evening:  JJ Starfire.

Bryan McVay:  The following contest is schedule as a War Games Qualifying Match.  Introducing first, from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania:  please welcome…

Before Bryan McVay can finish his introduction, JJ emerges from the backstage area.  Wasting little time, Starfire mounts an offense, sending Dresden face first into the steel stairs.

Joe Hoffman:  Looks like we’ve got a hot start with this hot, young upcoming talent, JJ Starfire.  After his impressive win against Hall of Famer Bobbinette Carey; he knows the stakes of tonight’s match.  Starfire has to win or risks the chance of getting left off the War Games Main Event.  He’s looking to make quick work out of Eli Dresden tonight.

While JJ stomps the hell out of Eli at ringside, Boettcher regains control of the match.  Instructing Starffire to get into the ring, Boettcher checks on Eli.  In an act of defiance, Dresden stands up and rolls into the ring.  Eli throws a few punches at Starfire before getting a stiff roundhouse kick to the jaw.

Joe Hoffman:  JJ’s shutting down every attempt at offense Eli throws at him.  He’s not even flinching at Dresden’s punches.

JJ throws Eli into the ropes.  Eli rolls underneath his spinning heel kick attempt.  Unfortunately, while coming back around, JJ nails her with a shotgun drop kick.  JJ hits a flurry of punches and kicks, sending the exhausted Dresden into the corner.  He charges at her with a splash, following up with an impressive bulldog.    Eli attempt to get back to her feet, but JJ’s there to meet her with a Springboard Crossbody.

Joe Hoffman:  HOLY MOLY!!!!  Starfire’s going air born with his offense!  WAIT A MINUTE!  WOW!  This newcome hit his patented Starfire Press.  It’s not every day you see a standing shooting star press like JJ pulled off for the South Carolina crowd.

Poised for success, JJ hits the ropes, ready to hit a springboard moonsault.  But Eli has other plans for her opponent.  She sticks her knees in the air, sending them into JJ’s gut.  Finally able to mount some offense, she attempts to hit a tilt-a-whirl head scissors take down.  Starfire catches her mid move, flinging body straight into a turnbuckle power bomb.  Eli’s holding her back in pain.

Joe Hoffman:  JJ used his weight advantage to floor Eli.  She’s screaming out in pain right now.  Brilliant move from our young technician.

JJ Starfire doesn’t even give Eli an opportunity to regain composure.  Folding Dresden up like a pretzel, he nails a sick looking Mexican Surfboard, stretching out all her limbs.   He’s hoping to immobilize her entire body to prevent her from using any more high-flying moves.  Before Boettcher finishes his wellness check on Dresden, JJ releases his hold.  He begins to taunt the South Carolina crowd.   Absorbing their boos, it fuels him for his next move.

Joe Hoffman:  He’s not even taking the time to hit his finisher from out of nowhere.  You can see the fire in his eyes.  This Starshot DDT is going to do damage! He’s charging towards her….

NO!

Eli Dresden drops to the mat and dodges the attempt.  Using every fiber in her body, she’s trying to pull herself back up to her feet.  The South Carolina crowd is coming unglued, cheering her on.  As she’s stumbled back to her feet…

BAM!!!!

Joe Hoffman:  JJ STARFIRE WITH AN IMPACT!  He wastes no time in rebounding and nailing his move on her anyways.  Starfire’s hooked the leg.

ONE!

TWO!

THREE!!!!!!!

DING!  DING!  DING!  

“Hey Stoopid” by Alice Cooper plays over the PA System and JJ Starfire’s back to his feet, admiring the damage he caused to Eli Dresden.

Bryan McVay:  Here is your winner in 4 minutes and 3 seconds…….JJ STAAAAAAAARRRRRFIRE!

Joe Hoffman:  Starfire’s going to War Games.  He’s sent a message to everyone who opposes him.  He’s amped and ready to go to war over the HOW World Championship.  With one of the fastest qualifying times, who can stop this hot rookie from attaining his goal?!

JJ Starfire stands still in the ring, smirking at his handy work.  HOW officials rush the ring to check on Eli Dresden.  For a moment, Starfire sneers at them, in an attempt to scare them off.  But the young upstart slides out of the ring, gloating to the fans.  The scene fades to black with JJ flaunting his impressive win to the South Carolina crowd while officials tend to Eli Dresden in the ring.

Come On And Raaaaaise Up

We cut backstage to open with Simon Sparrow holding a microphone with a lot of energy.

Simon Sparrow:  HELLLLLOOOOOO SOUTH SPARROWLINA!!!!!

From off frame, Zion screams at the top of his lungs, over Simon’s schtick.

Darin Zion:  WELCOME TO THE ZI-ONIAL CENTER, FOLKS!!!!!!

The cheap pandering comments spark some cheap applause from the fans in the audience.  Simon Sparrow glares at Darin Zion and after a couple of seconds, Simon regains his composure, brushes himself off and continues to celebrate.

Simon Sparrow:  Simon Sparrow is going to War Games!!!   But let’s not make tonight all about me.  Sure, I could mention the callous, petty assault I suffered after my victory last week at the hands of Bobbinette Carey and Scottywood, the Hardcore Fingerpainter….or Fingerbanger if you’re Bobbinette Carey.   I’ll deal with that co-dependent freak show another time. 

There might be a few bits of laughter at that last part, some cheering to be sure.

Simon Sparrow:  And sure, I could have come out here to support Team Eight Bit Behemoths by mentioning that later tonight, Joe Bergman will beat that xenophobic worm, Christopher America, so bad he’ll need to call himself Christopher France.  I could make a snide remark about Sektor’s impending retirement or Stronk’s steroid shriveled testicles. No, tonight, the Rembrandt of Wrestling is going to paint you a picture.  A picture of HOW’s future.  Tonight, I unveil the Next Gen model of future HOW Hall of Famers.   Hall of Famers who deserve it unlike Bobbinette Carey, Brian McVey, Scott Stevens, Ryan Faze, Mark O’Neal, and Scottywood.

The HOW Classic stands and nods, satisfied with himself.

Simon Sparrow:   Tonight, I introduce you to a man who has run the gauntlet….he has taken down the elderly, he has gotten my suits dry pressed, he went one on one with a rottweiler and won, and yes, he almost won his qualifying match last week, which let’s face it, Hortega, you counted a little fast there at the end, but I’m digressing.  Starting tonight….Almost….Becomes….Reality!  A man who has almost completed his course in Sparrowdynamics!   Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the unofficial number one contender to the LSD Championship…..The Four Z Network!!!!  The Zenith of Gen Z!!!!  Darin Zion……………

In walks The Cool Iced Z, Darin Zion sporting a stunning suitcoat.  Adjusting his sunglasses, The Proprietor of Z-Mobile slides the shades down his nose.  His face contorts as he realizes he’s stepped foot in the shitty Colonial Center. He’s unimpressed by the welcome of these posers welcoming him here..  He turns to the camera and gives a smirk.

Darin Zion:  Thank you Mr. Sparrow.  It’s a privilege to be recognized by a talent of your caliber. You’re damn well right about your sentiments.  I should be the OFFICIAL number 1 contender to the LSD Championship especially after a win like mine last week.  Let’s take a look at the footage.

The Star Actor of AMZ Theatres motions his hands towards a screen.  We cut to last week’s match.  It’s a cleverly edited clip of the end of the match where Noelle Rivers puts her feet on the ropes.  Everyone notices Boettcher’s hand quickly counting the 3 in rapid succession.  We cut to Joe Pecci’s cameo calling out the HOW referee staff’s credentials.  Flashing back, Zion has his arms crossed against his chest, looking as unimpressed as Simon Sparrow is at his protege.

Darin Zion:  Clear as day…I qualified for War Games…point blank count out victory…

Simon rips the microphone out of his protege’s hands and pops Zion across the back of his head.  Zion flinches while The Professor of SparrowDynamics lectures him.

Simon Sparrow:  Ladies and gentlemen, forgive him.  He’s still learning.  Instead of focusing on a match he LOST, he should be focusing on the FUTURE.

Zion’s eyes squint as Simon continues the tirade.

Simon Sparrow:   Explain to these people why the 4Z Network is better than any shoddy miracle that Steve Harrison can come up with.  You should be out here mocking and belittling, verbally assaulting Steve Harrison. Carpe Diem…Capture the moment, 4Z.  Show Michael Oliver Best, Jace Parker Davidson, Mike Best, and Steve Harrison why they’re wrong.  Make every single person who treats you like dog shit eat their words.

Sparrow turns his attention to Zion, glaring back at his mentor.  He walks up back into the picture.

Darin Zion:  Chillax, bruh!  I was getting there…I’m marching forward, not staying stagnant….gotta extend the story out.

The Master of 4Z chess brushes himself off while continuing his points.

Darin Zion:  You’re damn right that no one’s seen Steve Harrison walk on water.  Hell, if you put the bastard near water; he’d sink like a ten-ton anvil.  He doesn’t have the personality to float in these waters.  Hell, the only Miracle Harrison could pull off is a deal with Kraft.  Between their Whip and his bland personality, it is a match made in Heaven.

The Cold But Refreshing Iced Z scoffs at Harrison’s accomplishments.  A sneer forms on his face while he flexes his prowess.

Darin Zion:  No one’s talked about Harrison since his big LSD Championship reign began.  Between him and Arthur Pleasant they’ve sunk the work of the dominant John Sektor like the Titanic.  It’s quite pathetic that the LSD Championship won’t get defended in War Games.  Mr. Harrison Bored certainly fucked up a tradition.  Such a waste of air in our locker room.  Can’t even do his job right.

Sparrow taps Zion on the shoulder, motioning for him to land the plane.  The Zeinth of Generation Z continues to elaborate about his accomplishments.

Darin Zion:  But with me, 4Z, you get the best coverage across the nation!  No….THE WORLD!  I shouldn’t have to put together a Top 10 WhoToob list for HuhCult Rasslin’ why I AM the next contender for the LSD Championship.  It’s obvi why I lead the pack.  I ooze charisma and charm.  I’m a damn loyal hand, not stepping out when injured.  I’ve held that belt down and made it shine as the LSZ Champion.  I’m a proud fighter and the only War Games qualifier to choose a better path for himself.

The Professor of SparrowDynamics crosses his arms and squints at his bright eyed rookie.  The Innovator of 1080z rambles on towards the finish.

Darin Zion: It’s clear that LSD needs to become LSZ.  Leave the drugs and edge behind.  That’s 3Z bullshit.  This division needs someone who can give it a shot in the arm.  Someone who can uphold the legacy of a Hall of Fame career.  And with SparrowDynamics, it’ll mold my ring psychology.  It’ll metamorphize the 4Z network into an unstoppable wrestling machine.  At War Games, I’ll punch my ticket and become the new LSZ Champion and make the Legacy of Sparrow Dynamics proud.

Darin gives the camera a dose of his Vitamin Z charm (by winking and smiling, pervs). He hands the microphone back to Sparrow, who looks pensive, as he considers what his protege had had to say.

Simon Sparrow:   Slight critique.  I want to see rage when you talk about Steve Harrsion as if he impregnated Meredith with his Miracle Seed and you’re forced to raise his ugly demon baby, who won’t be named Simon, they’ll be named Krull or Mysti…M-Y-S-T-I…so obnoxious….meanwhile Harrson will provide zero child support leading to a lifetime of bitterness and family therapy.  But other than not sending Harrison to cry for his mommy, “A” level work.

Darin Zion:  It’s “Z” tier. I’m on a different level than that milk guzzling bastard. Let’s put it to you this way, Mr. Sparrow.  Harrison better sleep with two eyes open.  Maybe he could put that terrible bald spot of his to use and grow a third eye in the back of his head.  Because when he least expects it…well…let’s just say he may have an unfortunate accident happen if he doesn’t prepare for the 4Z network.  Let’s just leave it at that…

Zion turns to Sparrow and winks before walking off into the background again, as Simon stares, unable to discern how he should feel about Zion’s remarks.  Legitimate threat or blowing smoke?  Should he be proud or disappointed?  Who’s to say?  The scene ends on Simon Sparrow’s face and cuts to the next thing.

A Shitty Segment

As the image transitions to somewhere in the arena we see a door fly open and a woman running out screaming bloody murder and she bumps into Jack Dawson. Jack picks himself off of the floor and helps the woman to her feet.

Jack Dawson: What’s wrong?

Jack asks and the woman takes a moment to compose herself.

Woman: There….there….there is a homeless man passed out in the restroom.

The woman says out of breath as she points to the restroom and Jack shakes his head.

Jack Dawson: I think I know who it is and I’ll handle it.

Jack reassures her as he goes over to the restroom and goes inside and sees Scott Stevens passed out laying against the wall with a six pack next to him and white powdery substance over his face.

Jack Dawson: How the mighty have fallen.

Jack says to himself as he makes his way over to the Texan and begins to shake him to wake him.

Scott Stevens: Hmmmm.

Stevens rolls over.

Jack Dawson: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!

Jack screams in Scott’s ear as he shakes him harder and the Texan jerks away and begins swinging wildly.

Scott Stevens: I have no beef with you Noble, but you can tell Conor I’m not leaving his locker room until he faces me like a man for the title.

Scott says as he is now standing on his feet and ready to fight and Jack shakes his head.

Jack Dawson: Scott, it’s me Jack Dawson.

Stevens squints.

Scott Stevens: So it is. Has Conor sent you to tell me to get out of his locker room? I’d thought he would send the EPU, but after I whooped their ass the other week I guess the Best family can’t afford to have anymore in the hospital.

Jack Dawson: Scott, this isn’t Conor Fuse’s locker room.

Scott Stevens: Yes it is.

Jack Dawson: No it isn’t, it’s the women’s restroom.

Jack informs Stevens who looks around and notices where he is.

Scott Stevens: So it is. I just figured since Conor has no balls he would be here.

Stevens shrugs.

Scott Stevens: Deliver a message to the “world champ” for me.

Jack nods.

Scott Stevens: Tell Conor he can continue to run from me, but when those cage doors close at War Games he can’t run from me anymore and 97 Red is returning to me.

Stevens points to himself and goes to leave but stops.

Scott Stevens: Also, make sure you tell the Board to send Midcard Davidson over here to clean up the mess over there because I blew up that toilet awhile back and the water keeps coming out.

Jack looks at the mess and almost dry heaves as Stevens leaves.

Chris Kostoff vs. Xander Azula

War Games Qualifying Match

The whistling intro of “Engel” plays over the PA system, setting the crowd off in a chorus of boos as Xander Azula and his Eternal Circle disciples step out onto the stage, surveying the crowd with a gleeful grin. The crowd show their disdain for Xander and his crew, who simply laugh at the ignorance they see as they head toward the ring. Xander directs his disciples to circle around the ring, and they all hop onto the apron with wicked smiles on their faces. They enter the ring (either to intimidate Xander’s opponent or to wait for the opponent), before Xander directs his crew to leave the ring.

Joe Hoffman:  In just moments, that man in the ring, Xander Azula, will go head to head against HOW Hall of Famer, Kostoff to qualify for War Games, and in my humble opinion, it will take more than Eris to take down the HOW Legend and Hall of Famer.  

Brian McVay:  Currently in the ring, hailing from Long Beach, California, weighing in at 230 pounds….XAAAAAAAAANDER AZUUUUUUUUUUUULA!!!!!

The crowd shows their displeasure at Eris’s favorite follower with a deafening round boos. 

Brian McVay:  And his opponent, from Tampa, Florida, weighing in at 285 pounds……KOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSTOFF!

Joe Hoffman:  And here he comes……

The opening chords of “Wolf Totem” scream across the speakers as he steps out onto the stage to a thunderous cheer. Looking out he slowly makes his way to ringside. Kostoff circles the ring, the few members of Xander Azula’s Inner Circle move back, giving the HOW Original a wide berth as he passes before sliding into the ring.

Joe Hoffman:  No doubt the fans want to see Kostoff in the War Games match!   This man, this legend knows that this could be his final opportunity to become the HOW World Champion.   I, for one, believe miracles can happen!   But there is one man standing in his way, Xander Azula.

Joel Hortega is about to sound for the the bell, but Xander Azula raises his hand as if he has a question.  As Joel Hortega turns, three of the Inner Circle acolytes enter the ring and begin to charge Kostoff.   Kostoff grabs the first one and throws him over the top rope onto the ring floor.  He nails the second in the face with a right hand sending him down, kicks the third in the gut.  The second acolyte rises and he grabs him by the head, he takes the third by the head.  With as much force he can muster, he brings the the acolyte heads together causing a sickening “thunk” as cranium meets cranium.   He tosses them out of the ring only to get taken down by a Xander Azula chopblock!

Joe Hoffman:  Kostoff cleaned the ring of Xander Azula’s flunkies and he capitalized!  Azula had this planned!  Distract Kostoff with chaos and attack when his back is turned!  

Joel Hortega proceeds to sound for the bell as Azula begins kicking and stomping on Kostoff.  Azula raises his hands in the air and screams “Hail Discordia!”.  He turns around to find Kostoff slowly getting up, Xander nails Kostoff with a right hand, then another, and another.  He grabs Kostoff and attempts to whip him into the ropes but the big man does not budge.  Instead, Kostoff pulls Xander towards him looking for a clothesline but Xander ducks and kicks the back of Kostoff’s right leg.

Joe Hoffman:  Xander Azula showing some quickness there!  Xander now looking to lift the big man up!

Xander Azula wraps his arms around Kostoff, looking for a German Suplex but the HOW Hall of Famer elbows him in the side of the head.  Azula looks stunned for a moment which is enough time for Kostoff to deliver a quick DDT!   Azula is down and Kostoff begins walking off the pain in his leg.   Azula slowly rises, Kostoff grabs him and sends him into the corner.  Kostoff charges and nails him with a knee to the gut.  Kostoff follows up with three consecutive right hands to the face.   Kostoff then whips him across the ring into the opposite corner, charges and nails a clothesline!

Joe Hoffman:  The momentum has shifted!  Kostoff is now in control of the match!

Xander Azula staggers backwards and turns into Kostoff who lifts him up and hits a Death Valley Driver!!!

Joe Hoffman:  This could be it!!!  Kostoff’s going to War Games!!!!

Kostoff with the cover….Joel Hortega with the count….

 

…..UNO!!!!

…..DOS!!!!

TR……….NO!!!!   Xander gets the shoulder up!!!!

Joe Hoffman:  A two and three-quarters count!!!!  

Kostoff proceeds to pull up Xander Azula, Kostoff lifts him up looking for a powerbomb but Azula begins punching Kostoff in the head.  Kostoff releases his grip and Azula squirms his way across Kostoff’s back, gripping Kostoff’s left arm with his legs and his right arm with his arms, looking for a crucifix pin.   Instead, Kostoff falls backwards crushing Azula!

Joe Hoffman:  Oh my goodness!  That was a good counter by Azula, but Kostoff countered the counter!!!!   

Kostoff is up, pulls Azula up, lifting him up, Azula’s neck on his shoulder.  Kostoff drops down, delivering a musclebuster!  Xander Azula hits the mat and rolls out of the ring.  He hits the mat and his four acolytes surround him, praying, or more specifically chanting, the only world that can be made out is “Eris”.   Kostoff rolls out as Joel Hortega begins his count…..

……UNO!!!!

Inner Circle Acolyte One sees Kostoff and charges at him, leaps in the air but Kostoff catches him, one handed in the air and throws him to the ground!

Joe Hoffman:  Kostoff just spiked that Child of Eris onto the floor like he was a Cabbage Patch Kid!

……DOS!!!!

Inner Circle Acolyte Two begins running towards Kostoff who lifts him up and hits a boot to the gut and nails a spinning cradle piledriver!

Joe Hoffman:  Cradle to the Grave!!!  Kostoff is singlehandedly destroying all of Xander Azula’s flunkies!

…..TRES!!!!

The Third and Fourth Inner Circle Member begins backing away from Kostoff who starts walking towards him.  The Inner Circle Member continues to back away as Kostoff walks past Azula’s body on the floor.

……CUATRO!!!!!

As Kostoff continues to follow the last conscious Inner Circle Members as Azula gets to his feet, almost rejuvenated.   He grabs Kostoff from behind and lifts him……

…..CINCO!!!!

Joe Hoffman:   German suplex!!!!   Xander Azula with a German Suplex on Kostoff on the ringside floor!!!!

Azula gives Kostoff a few swift kicks before pulling him up, dragging him over and snap suplexes Kostoff on the ring steps!!!

…..SEIS!!!!!!!

Azula immediately runs into the ring.

Joe Hoffman:  Azula looking to go to War Games via countout?!   Come on, Kostoff!!!

….SIETE!!!!!

Kostoff slowly gets to one knee….

 

 

…..OCHO!!!!!

 

 

Kostoff gets to his feet…..

…..NUEVE!!!!!

Joe Hoffman:  Not like this!!!

Kostoff slides into the ring, breaking the count before “DIEZ”.   

Joe Hoffman:  Kostoff is back in the ring!!!  The match continues!!!!

Azula pounces and mounts Kostoff and begins wailing on him repeatedly.   Hortega pulls Azula off Kostoff.   Kostoff uses the ropes to pull himself up.  Azula goes for a right hand, Kostoff ducks and connects with a right of his own.

Joe Hoffman:  Kostoff looking to fight back!

Kostoff goes for another, Azula blocks, grabs Kostoff’s arm, pulls him in nd connects with an elbow to head!   

Joe Hoffman:  The Snub!!!

Kostoff staggers back, hits the ropes, and moves forward and Azula clocks him with a spinning backfist!!!   Kostoff drops to the mat!

Joe Hoffman:  The Snub – Fist of Eris Combo!   Azula covers!!!

 

 

……UNO!!!!

 

 

……DOS!!!!

 

 

….TRES!!!!!

 

 

Hortega sounds for the bell!

DING DING DING

Joe Hoffman:  I can’t believe it!   Xander Azula took down Kostoff and earned a spot in War Games!!!!

Kostoff slowly gets up and grabs the shoulder of a celebrating Xander Azula.  They stare at each other a moment and Kostoff extends his hand.  Azula takes it, both men shake and Kostoff exits the ring.

Joe Hoffman:  A classy, selfless man!  There goes the epitome of what a Hall of Famer is as Azula celebrates in the name of Eris!  

The scene shifts from Kostoff heading to the back and Xander Azula celebrating with his Inner Circle to the backstage area.

"Planning"

We come back from commercial break seeing the backstage of the arena. We see the door marked “Michael Oliver Best”, as the camera pans out we see the Queen of Epicness Bobbinette Carey standing in front of the door. She raises her hand to knock on it. Her hand is grabbed by another, stopping her as she turns around and is looking face to face with Scottywood. She squints in confusion.

Scottywood: What the fuck are you doing?

He says quickly. Her eyes look on with almost a look of desperation.

Bobbinette: I need another shot in… it can’t just be over.

She says if accepting the outcome.

Scottywood: You really think he’s going to give in just cause you’re asking?

Bobbinette: I won’t sit War Games out, not when I was that close.

She looks off in the distance as Scottywood looks over at her seeing her zoned out look.

Scottywood: I never said you need to sit War Games out, but this ain’t the way to go about it.

Bobbinette squints his words chiming in

Bobbinette: Wait what?

Scottywood: You should remember, in HOW, if you want something, you gotta just take it. Me and you? We’re going to War Games weather Mike Oliver Best… or Mike “The Fucking CEO” Best likes it or not.

Bobbinette laughs weakly.

Bobbinette: What do we just declare ourselves a War Games team? Yeah that would go over like a fart in Church. We are two people!

Scottywood: Scheming Carey. You don’t think I’ve been scheming myself since I lost to that walking pile of discord Jace?

Bobbinette: Pile of what?

Scottywood: Nevermind!

Bobbinette: War Games Scooter… and I hear people are pissed that we attacked Simon last week. Like his “appreciate” Darin Zion.

Scottywood: Well next week he and Jatt can fucking do something about it.

Bobbinette: True… and War Games?

Scottywood: Next week. Let’s go we got some scheming to do.

Bobbinette: Planning sounds less corrupt..

Scottywood: I said what I said.

She shrugs and they walk away as the camera pans back to the unopened door before cutting the feed.

American Aggression

The action cuts backstage as Blaire Moise is standing by.

Blaire Moise: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome HOW Hall of Famer, Christopher America!

Christopher America wearing the cheesiest of smiles walks into camera view as the crowd erupts into a chorus of boos. America pats his heart and mouths the words, ‘thank you’ as if to acknowledge the crowd.

Blaire Moise: Chris, tonight…

America quickly holds up a hand.

Christopher America: Please, Blaire, my underlings refer to me as Mr. America.

Blaire just stares at America, clearly insulted, as he motions for her to continue.

Blaire Moise: Mr. America, tonight you will go one on one with the man formerly known as Halitosis, Joe Bergman, in a War Games qualifying match. This is your first match back in some time. How are you feeling?

Christopher America: Feeling?!

Christopher America is shocked by the question.

Christopher America: I’m feeling great! Tonight, I get to grant a Make-A-Wish to Joe Bergman before either retirement or death claims his weary soul. He’ll get to step foot in the ring with the single, greatest, and most patriotic American wrestler there ever was. Me, Christopher America. For Joe Bergman… this will be the highlight of his life. To you, Mrs. Bergman, as a favor… I’m going to do everything in my power to save your marriage, which is more than Joe’s willing to do. I’m going to send Joe back home to you, permanently. For me? What I do tonight to Joe Bergman is but a single step forward on my path towards winning War Games for the third time. And don’t get it wrong, Blaire, I’m not overlooking Joe Bergman. No, unfortunately for him, he has my undivided attention.

America’s voice gets low and gruff.

Christopher America: And that’s something no one wants. You’ll see… you’ll see.

America stares into the camera as if speaking directly to Steve Solex. America then turns and smiles at Blaire in his very cheesy smile, mouthing ‘thank you’ and walking off.

We cut to commercial.

Walking The Path

Before we get a chance to head to ringside, however, we find ourselves elsewhere backstage where Brian Bare is standing by!

Brian Bare: Hello folks, Brian Bare here with the SCOOP you all deserve from one Xander Azula! Xander, let’s talk about your match with Chris Kostoff tonight and—

Xander has already had enough, giving Bare a wicked stare…which does the trick of scaring the bejeezus out of the reporter, before the Head Disciple speaks.

Xander Azula: This truly is the road to War Games, ladies and gentlemen…and I had one hell of a battle with the Hall of Famer. The man who is an HOFC legend, and the only man to beat Mike Best in an HOFC fight since Bottomline 2010.

Brian is slightly confused by this last statement.

Brian Bare: Right, we remember that well, but what does—

Xander ignores the reporter’s attempt at a question, cutting him off to continue his thoughts.

Xander Azula: I wasn’t kidding when I said it would be an honor to face Kostoff tonight…but as much as I have respected the past tonight, it is time for me to embrace the future. On this road to War Games, I find myself chomping at the bit to settle some old scores…to cross some names off my list.

He smirks as he holds up three fingers in the air, a visual aid for what’s to come.

Xander Azula: There are three HOFC fights on my contract, and I now have the first target in my crosshairs…the man who is set to challenge for the HOTv Championship tonight, Brian Hollywood.

The smirk widens to a wicked grin as Xander continues.

Xander Azula: Brian, I hope you’re able to pull off an upset tonight, and win that championship from the beast known as Stronk Godson. I want you to find comfort and joy when this night is over…just so I can watch it fade away when I beat you inside that ol’ familiar cage.

With that, Xander walks off leaving us with a concerned Brian Bare before we head to ringside!

Brian Hollywood vs. Stronk Godson

High Octane Television Championship Match

We head back to the ringside area here in Columbia, South Carolina. The near sellout crowd is alive and ready to see more action here on the last week of War Games qualifiers. The camera pans over to the announcer’s table where Joe Hoffman is seated and ready to call the next match.

Joe Hoffman: Welcome back here to ringside and we’ve already had two War Games qualifying matches here tonight. However, it’s time for the HOTv Championship match where former Champion Brian Hollywood will try his luck against the current Champion known as Stronk Godson.

Joe pauses for a moment to straighten up his notes before focusing again.

Joe Hoffman: Let’s take it to the ring where Bryan McVay is there to give the introductions to this match.

Joe nods his head as the camera shifts to the center of the ring where Hall of Fame ring announcer Bryan McVay stands with his microphone in hand.

Bryan McVay: Our next match here on Refueled 96 is scheduled for one fall, and is for the HOW HOTv Championship!!!

The crowd stands on its feet as “Stronger on your Own” by Disturbed plays throughout the Colonial Life Arena. Hollywood makes his way from behind the curtain and stands in the center of the stage with his eyes closed. He soaks in the boo’s from the crowd while mentally preparing himself for the Championship opportunity that stands before him. Hollywood opens his eyes as pyro explodes from opposite sides of the stage before culminating in the center behind the challenger.

Bryan McVay: Introducing first from Los Angeles, California. Weighing tonight at 225 prouds, he is a former HOTv Champion… Brian HOLLLLLLYWOOOOOOOD!!!

The camera zooms in on Hollywood as he begins his march down the ramp. Hollywood ignores the boo’s from the crowd as he takes off his vest and throws it down with intensity. Hollywood sprints the rest of the way down the ramp and rolls under the bottom rope into the ring. He gets up to his feet and an evil glare forms as he looks out at the crowd here in South Carolina. Hollywood takes a corner and focuses on the entrance way waiting for his opponent.

Joe Hoffman: Brian Hollywood hasn’t quite been himself lately. He took a disappointing loss to Jeffrey James Roberts in his War Games qualifier two weeks ago. The man seems to be on the brink of a complete breakdown. Though, a win here tonight to become a two time HOTv Champion could fix all of his problems.

Hollywood’s music fades when suddenly the sound of “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G blasts throughout the building. The crowd begins to roar with approval as STRONKEST man in the business makes his way through the curtain sideways or else he wouldn’t fit. Godson has his HOTv Championship strapped around his waist as Shelley Greene appears behind the Champion trying not to be totally eclipsed by the mountain of a man.

Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from somewhere in Minnesota. He weighs in at a colossal 307 and 8/10ths pounds. He is the current HOW HOTv Champion, He is STRONK Daddy… STRONKKKKK GODSONNNNNN!!!

Stronk stomps his way from the stage down the ramp as Shelley Greene follows behind him. Hollywood grinds his teeth as Stronk pauses midway down the ramp. Stronk looks out at the crowd, specifically at one young lady who has a sign that reads “TAKE ME STRONK DADDY!” The young lady screams wildly before throwing her panties directly at the Champion. The under garment lands on Stronk’s head as Shelley Greene’s jaw hits the floor. Stronk grabs the thin piece of fabric and looks at it with curiosity before shaking his head and dropping them to the floor.

Joe Hoffman: The fan’s are getting a little out of hand here for the Stronk man but it’s good to see Godson is focused on the match at hand here tonight.

Stronk continues to march towards the ring but Shelley Greene picks the panties up off of the floor and stuffs them into his pocket. Obviously for use later on tonight in whatever depraved way his mind cooks up. Stronk stomps up the steel ring steps and walks along the apron. The Champion squeezes his way through the ropes even though the laws of physics wouldn’t allow such a large frame to wedge itself through such a tight opening. However, as we all know STRONK DADDY does not abide by the laws of physics. Stronk reluctantly hands over the HOTv Championship over to referee Matt Boettcher who raises it high into the air. Bryan McVay exits the ring and Boettcher hands off the title before calling for the bell.

DING DING DING

With the sound of the bell Hollywood races out of his corner towards Godson who slowly moves to the center of the ring. Hollywood rears back and unleashes a knife edged chop to the chest of Godson which has no effect whatsoever. Correction, it affected Hollywood who shakes out his hand in pain like he just slapped a brick wall. Hollywood decides to switch tactics and fires off kicks and closed right hands to Godson who doesn’t move an inch. Stronk just grunts at Hollywood whose eyes widen in shock. Hollywood turns and takes off for the ropes as Stronk stays planted in his position. Hollywood rebounds off the ropes then leaps into the air and goes for a cross body block but just ends up bouncing off the chest of Godson like a crash test dummy before falling to the canvas. Hollywood is back up to his feet quickly and decides to try the ropes once more. Hollywood picks up speed then leaps into the air again for another cross body but this time Stronk catches Hollywood in his arms and cradles him like a newborn baby. The crowd cheers wildly as Godson marches around the ring while doing bicep curls using Hollywood’s body in replacement of a dumbbell.

Joe Hoffman: Otherworldly strength by Stronk Godson. He’s literally having a workout in the ring using Brian Hollywood’s body to try and make his arms even bigger. How does one tackle and recover from something like this? I’m not sure if Stronk is just doing this to intimidate Hollywood but certainly this isn’t going the way that Hollywood planned.

Stronk continues to pump out curls using Hollywood but finally the former two time HOW World Champion has had enough. Hollywood reaches up and rakes Godson’s eyes which causes Stronk to lose his grip on the challenger. Stronk staggers around the ring trying to clear his vision using his hands. Hollywood takes off for the ropes then rebounds off towards the Champion.

Joe Hoffman: Executive Decree!

Hollywood connects with his finisher to the face of Godson that sends him stumbling through the ropes and down to the arena floor. Hollywood pounds his fists on the mat in frustration that his big move sent Stronk to the outside before he could secure a pin and the Championship.

Joe Hoffman: Brian needs to pull himself together and keep the attack on Godson. Losing your cool in the middle of the ring isn’t going to help you become HOTv Champion.

Hollywood composes himself and exits the ring as Godson begins to stir on the outside. Hollywood grabs a hold of the Champion and uses everything in him to send him crashing shoulder first into the steel ring steps. Godson’s collision with the steel steps echoes throughout the arena like an explosion. The steel steps go flying a good six feet into the air before crashing to the arena floor. Shelley Greene nearly jumps out of his skin at the sound of the crash and looks worried for the well-being of his meal ticket/friend. Hollywood slides back into the ring as Greene makes his way over to check on STRONK DADDY. Boettcher continues to count from inside of the ring as Stronk begins to regain a vertical stance. Boettcher reaches the count of nine but Stronk rolls under the bottom rope and returns to the ring moments before being counted out.

Joe Hoffman: Stronk beats Boettcher’s count and this match continues. That’s good news for Brian Hollywood as you can’t capture the HOTv Championship on the outside of the ring.

Before Stronk can get back up to his feet Hollywood comes over and unleashes vicious stomps to the shoulder of Godson. With Godson grounded Hollywood bounces off the ropes and hits a big leg drop across the neck of the Champion. Hollywood gets back up to his feet then steps through the ropes and begins to climb the turnbuckle. Hollywood balances himself on the top rope as Godson remains motionless on the canvas. Hollywood leaps off the top and hits a diving headbutt to the shoulder of Godson. Hollywood nearly knocks himself silly from the move but manages to make the cover on Stronk as Boettcher slides in for the count.

ONE!

TWO!

KICKOUT!

Joe Hoffman: Stronk Godson just kicked out of that pin attempt with authority! He launches Hollywood half-way across the ring and the challenger is stunned.

Hollywood pulls himself up to his knees and looks like he just saw a ghost as the crowd cheers for Stronk. Godson rolls over to his stomach and begins to try and pull himself off the canvas. Hollywood quickly gets up to his feet then races over and drops an elbow to the back of the head of Godson that flattens him back down to the mat. Hollywood begins to roll Godson slowly under the bottom rope to the ring apron. Godson uses the ropes to try and pull himself back to his feet as Hollywood steps out onto the ring apron. Godson is once again on his feet but Hollywood reaches out and grabs the big man by the throat.

Joe Hoffman: Brian seems to be going for The Hollywood Ultimatum but will he actually be able to chokeslam Stronk Godson onto the ring apron?!

Joe’s question is immediately answered as Hollywood tries to execute the move but can’t seem to get Stronk even a few inches off of his feet. Hollywood keeps trying to lift the big man into the air which only pisses off Godson. Stronk easily breaks Hollywood’s grip then levels him with a big meaty clothesline that sends him over the top rope and back into the ring. Stronk steps through the ropes as Hollywood staggers to his feet on uneasy legs. Stronk grabs Hollywood from behind then lifts him into the air and hits him with a backdrop driver down to the canvas. Hollywood is folded up like an accordion but Stronk keeps his grip on Hollywood and pulls him back up to his feet. Stronk lifts Hollywood back into the air easily and connects with a second backdrop driver. With a loud roar Stronk pulls Hollywood up a third time and unleashes a third consecutive backdrop driver that drops Hollywood on the back of his head. The crowd goes crazy as Stronk continues the onslaught.

Joe Hoffman: Unbelievable! Seven… SEVEN straight backdrop drivers from Stronk Godson to Brian Hollywood. At this point I don’t think Hollywood even knows his own name anymore.

Stronk returns to his feet and flexes for the fans as Hollywood looks drunk as he tries to somehow get back up. Stronk turns around as Hollywood begins swinging wildly at the Champion. Some of the punches miss, some of them connect but do zero damage to the glory that is Stronk. Godson grabs a hold of Hollywood then lifts him high into the air over his head. Stronk marches around the ring with Hollywood in the air before letting go and sends Hollywood crashing down to the canvas. Stronk places one big boot on Hollywood’s chest to make the cover as Boettcher slides in.

ONE!

 

TWO!

THR–NO!

Joe Hoffman: Stronk had Hollywood beat but he removed his foot and broke the count before the three. Apparently Godson isn’t done tossing Brian Hollywood around the ring like a meat filled ragdoll.

Stronk grabs Hollywood by the hair and pulls his lifeless body back up to his feet. Stronk lifts Hollywood into the air then connects with the Squat Rack Breaker that nearly rips his opponent in half. Godson grabs a hold of Hollywood then wraps his mighty arms around him and locks in Body Dysmorphia. Boettcher begins to check on Hollywood who seems unresponsive as Godson continues to squeeze. Boettcher lifts Hollywood’s arm into the air and it falls limply down to the canvas. Boettcher calls for the bell as Bryan McVay announcers the decision.

Bryan McVay: Here is your winner via submission in 10:21… AND STILL…HOTv Champion. STRONKKKKK GODSONNNNN!!!

Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G begins to play but Godson doesn’t break the hold. He continues to squeeze Hollywood like a ripe melon. Shelley Greene slides into the ring and pleads with Godson to let go of his opponent now that the match is over. Stronk finally obliges as Boettcher presents him with his HOTv Championship belt. Stronk celebrates his victory along with Greene as the medical staff races to the ring to check on Hollywood.

Thoughts On The Matter

John Sektor walks quietly through a hallway backstage. Finally he spots a door with a gold plaque attached and his name across it. He pulls the door open and steps into the darkness fumbling for the light switch. 

John Sektor: Who turns the lights off in a locker room, for fucks sake… 

Finally, Sektor finds the switch, behind him sitting in metal folding chair is The Behemoth Clay Byrd, he’s wearing an open green and white checkered flannel with the sleeves cut off and jeans cut off into shorts, his black cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots. Sektor turns around and drops his bag. 

John Sektor: The Fuck!?

Sektor shouts dropping his bag to the ground and prepares to fight The Monster from Plainview. Clay doesn’t move and smiles at Sektor from his chair. 

Clay Byrd: I ain’t here fer that John. 

Sektor looks at Clay confused and the giant Texan maintains his smirk. 

Clay Byrd: Didn’t think ya were the type ta show up a little late. 

The big man stands up, towering over Sektor. He walks across the dressing room towards Sektor who prepares himself for a confrontation. 

Clay Byrd: I know we’ve had our problems John, but that’s in the past. And if this is it fer ya, I didn’t wanna leave it like that.

The Behemoth stretches his enormous hand out, taking Sektor by surprise, The Gold Standard reaches out and the two men shake hands. After the handshake Clay begins walking to the doorway. He stops in the frame and turns around. 

Clay Byrd: I ain’t a big fan of that crazy fuck Pleasant. So, good luck out there tonight Sek. Yer always a champion in my book. 

John Sektor: And if I win? 

The smirk returns to The Behemoth’s face. 

Clay Byrd: Well… then ya know what comes next.

Clay steps through the door, slamming it shut behind him leaving Sektor alone with the camera. Sektor shakes his head and as we head to commercial all that can be heard is John Sektor’s thoughts on the matter. 

John Sektor: That is one crazy hijo de puta!

Message Approved

Voiceover: The following is paid for by the Highwaymen.

**OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS IN THE BACKGROUND**

Narrator (deep foreboding): Tonight, the choice couldn’t be any clearer.   Joe Bergman…

A picture of Joe Bergman in full, bright, colorful flattering light appears on screen. 

Narrator: …or Christopher America. 

Followed by a grainy high contrast black and white photo of Christopher America, spotted through a telephoto lens from behind a bush or from the front seat of a car of America coming back from who knows where.

Narrator: Joe Bergman… GOOD!

Another positive photo of Bergman appears full screen of him hanging out with the Section 214 folks.  He points at the horizon for no reason whatsoever while holding a newborn baby with his other arm.

Narrator: Christopher America… BAD!

Another deeply unflattering picture of America appears next.  The expression on America’s face suggests he’s either constipated or just had a car door slammed on his hand.

Narrator: Just how bad is Christopher America?  Christopher America once bribed a high ranking HOW official into letting him win War Games.

Cut to stock footage of a ridiculous amount of money changing hands in very short order.

Narrator: Just how bad is Christopher America?

A shot from the February 28th, 2012 edition of Monday Night Mayhem fills the screen with particular emphasis on one of the signs: “AMERICA: BRINGING SLAVERY BACK SINCE 2011

A screenshot of America holding a chain attached to a collar around former HOW wrestler Carmen Jennings’s neck is shown next.

Narrator: That’s right.  Not only does Christopher America support slavery…

Christopher America voiceover from the show: Ladies and gentlemen, the new and improved Carmen Jennings has been remade into a cheerleader for the Best Alliance!

Narrator: …he believes all women should parade around in skimpy cheerleader uniforms.

VIDEO FROM THE 2/18/2012 MONDAY NIGHT MAYHEM:
Carmen’s scarlet hair has been pulled back into two ponytails, held by two black scrunchies. Black lipstick covers her bottom lip while red lipstick covers her top.

Her chest is barely held in by an almost sheer black top with the letter B on the left breast and the letter A on the right. Her lower extremities are barely being covered by black tights that are just barely thicker than underwear. In her hands are red and black pom-poms.

Narrator: Just how bad is Christopher America?  On a recent High Octane Radio broadcast, prominent HOW CEO Michael Lee Best openly said that he’s willing to give any assistance Christopher America needs to defeat Joe Bergman on Sunday night.  

A film clip of a smoke-filled room plays next with people in the shadows making deals.

Narrator:  That’s right, in the spirit of many big money power brokers who game the system at the expense of everyone else, America is conspiring to tilt the battlefield in his favor this Sunday night to ensure that he wins at Refueled 96.  Would Joe Bergman get the same special dispensation if he should lose at Refueled 96? 

Cut to a film clip of a group of people laughing… falling out of their chairs, peeing their pants laughing.

Narrator: Of course not.  Because that’s not how the game is played.  So, the choice is clear.   Do you support “Ordinary’ Joe Bergman? Man of the people. Someone who will fight for you?

Next, a photo of Joe Bergman saluting military veteran and fellow Highwayman Steve Solex with a large American flag waving in the background.

Narrator: Or do you support Christopher America and bribery…  slavery… sexism… and corruption. 

Followed by a flurry of Kevin Dunn-style herky-jerky jump cuts, static-filled film clip of Christopher America talking in super slow motion with aggressive colors making him look like he’s someone you can’t trust.

Narrator: Haven’t we had enough of Christopher America?

Next, a film clip of Joe Bergman cracking open a PBR and leaning back in a lawn chair with the sun setting in the background and an American flag flying behind him. 

Narrator: Remember this Sunday night on Refueled 96.  Christopher America- BAD! 

Another unflattering picture of America appears.  This one looks like someone came up to America- yelled out HEY CHRIS! – and took his picture as he turned his head.  Then it’s superposed in front of another grainy picture of an upside-down American flag with fire consuming the picture.

Narrator: Joe Bergman… GOOD!

Cut to a scene where Joe is grilling out with Highwaymen Steve Solex, Steve Harrison, and Clay Byrd and the Section 214 group outside an arena with a plethora of American flags waving in the background. 

Narrator: Endorsed by Section 214

The section 214 folks all raise a can of PBR and shout.

Section 214: YAYYYYYYYY!

Narrator: American eagles.

An American eagle lands on Solex’s shoulder just as Bergman hands Steve a PBR and spreads its regal wings outwards in a patriotic display.

Narrator: And Lindsay Troy.

Cut to Lindsay Troy sitting at her desk in her office at PRIME. 

Lindsay Troy: Fuck Christopher America.

Narrator: The choice is clear.  Support Joe Bergman tonight on Refueled 96.  The fate of our country depends on it.

Bergman hands Harrison a platter of burgers, brats, and steaks and then turns to the camera and smiles.

Joe Bergman: My name is Joe Bergman and I approve this message.

Clean Sweep

We come back from a commercial break to the backstage area of the Colonial Life Arena here in Columbia, South Carolina. The camera picks up a large group of EPU members gathered together around one man. As we zoom in closer that man is seen to be Board member and newest HOW Hall of Famer Jace Parker Davidson. The man is very animated as he gives the EPU members a stern talking to here during the show.

JPD: I don’t care what you have to do or how you go about it. I just want the job done!

The EPU members mumble amongst themselves and nod towards the Hall of Famer.

JPD: Leave no corner of this building uncovered. I want him brought to me before the night is over before he does some other dumb ass shit!

HOW Interviewer Brian Bare begins to approach cautiously with his microphone as Jace begins to order members of the EPU towards different sections of the arena. As the EPU members begin to disperse, Bare clears his throat to get Jace’s attention.

Brian Bare: I was wondering if, uh…

JPD: I know what you want Bare, it’s the same thing that you always want. You want an interview with me, you’re going to have to walk and talk. I have important matters that I need to attend to.

Jace begins walking briskly through the hallways of the arena as Bare tries his best to keep up while conducting his interview.

Brian Bare: Am I allowed to ask exactly what is going on here? Especially with all the EPU members you had gathered.

JPD: Have you not paid attention Brian? Scott Stevens has been seen inside the woman’s restroom earlier tonight and I’m fed up with his goddamn antics.

Brian Bare: Could this level of anger towards your fellow Hall of Famer be about the fact that he’s been going about calling you Midcard Davidson?

Jace stops suddenly before kicking in a random dressing room door. He peers inside looking for Stevens but he isn’t inside. Jace continues his journey throughout the building with Bare not far behind.

JPD: Midcard Davidson? Clearly the man has lost his mind due to the alcohol and drug abuse. I’m not concerned with whatever petty bullshit that flows out of his mouth. You remember the last time someone tried to give me a cute little nickname like Deepthroat Davidson? How well has that worked out for them?

Brian Bare: Well, that person in question competed here earlier tonight and…

JPD: They lost yet again. Exactly my point, only failures resort to name calling when their skills can’t cash the checks their mouth tries to write. However, I am more than impressed with JJ Starfire and I’m honored to have someone like him as a teammate heading into the War Games match in the Ukraine.

Brian Bare: Speaking of War Games teammates, it seems that Noelle Rivers seems to have her heels dug in on her stance of not taking part of the match even though she qualified.

Jace walks up to another door and kicks it open before marching inside. A moment or two later he walks out having not found Stevens in there either. He turns a corner and continues walking while speaking to Bare.

JPD: The lady doth protest too much, don’t you think? Doesn’t matter though, she can scream it from the rooftops about how she’s not going. No one believes her for a single second. I don’t care if I have to literally drag her kicking and screaming then stuff her into a sack. She’ll be in the War Games match. This should have been Zion nonsense is utterly pathetic. A man that calls himself the ‘4Z Network’ has no business in a main event. That is why Noelle beat him and that is why our side will win War Games.

Brian Bare: Later tonight we will know the complete list of War Games competitors. What are your thoughts on the two big matches later tonight?

JPD: It’s simple Bare. Coming up next we’re going to see John Sektor defeat Arthur Pleasant to join our War Games team. The mighty Stronk Godson already managed to eliminate the current LSD Champion Steve Harrison from War Games. Knocking off another big name from the Boyz side will be huge for us. Both second round picks gone from the opposition? They might as well throw in the towel in the Ukraine. No one wants to see Pleasant in the main event. The world wants, nay, deserves to see John Sektor go out in the main event of the PPV. It’s going to be a great night.

Brian Bare: What about tonight’s main event? It seems like The Board has the deck stacked against Ordinary Joe Bergman. It’s also been speculated that even if Bergman manages to win tonight that The Board will find a way to make sure that Christopher America is a part of the War Games match. Clearly there are some shenanigans going on with The Board’s personal referee Rick Stevens officiating the match.

Jace walks up to another door but instead of kicking it in he decides to slowly turn the handle before going inside. A few moments pass before the sound of something smashing against the wall echoes throughout the hallways. A loud scream is heard before Jace walks out of the room and runs his fingers through his hair in a frustrated manner.

JPD: There is no deck stacked against Joe Bergman. If anything we appointed Rick Stevens as tonight’s official because of the dirty tactics that The Highway Men are known for here in HOW. Steve Solex clearly cheated his way into War Games and that will not happen again. I didn’t need Rick Stevens as a referee or stacked deck to qualify for War Games and neither does Christopher America. War Games is an important PPV, we don’t need someone that’s merely just ordinary taking away spots from people who are proven to be great like Christopher America. Joe Bergman tried to make this a political debate but in the main event Christopher America will make this into a massacre. No Steve Harrison, no Arthur Pleasant, and no Joe Bergman equals no chance for the Boyz come War Games.

A lone EPU member walks up to both Jace and Bare. The EPU member whispers something into Jace’s ear that can’t be picked up by Bare’s microphone. Jace’s eyes widen but then he nods his head before looking down at Bare.

JPD: This interview is over. Go find something productive to do with yourself Brian!

The EPU member and Jace storm off down the hallway leaving Bare standing there dumbfounded as we go back to ringside for the next match.

Arthur Pleasant vs. John Sektor

War Games Qualifying Match

Bryan McVay: The following match is one fall and is a qualifier match for War Games!

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Joe Hoffman: The fans here in Columbia, South Carolina are ready for this match, a rematch, between John Sektor and Arthur Pleasant. These two men just faced off at March to Glory, where Sektor’s long reign as LSD Champion came to an end as Pleasant managed to get the victory. These two also faced off against one another at Refueled 87 in a match that ended in a double countout. Needless to say, this rubber match is vital to both men in their efforts to be in War Games!

Bryan McVay: Introducing first… standing at six feet and three inches tall and weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… he is one half of the HOW Tag Team Champion… ARTHUR! PLEAAAAAAAAAAASAAAAAAAAAAANT!

‘In Spirit in Spite’ by Absent in Body plays through the Colonial Life Arena as Arthur Pleasant emerges from the backstage area, tag title slung over his left shoulder. He looks confident as he walks down the ramp and enters the ring, looking around at the fans.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Joe Hoffman: Sektor and Pleasant were just in the ring one week ago with their partners, Adam Ellis and Jeffrey James Roberts respectively, where Sektor and Ellis put up their tag team titles for their first defense and Devil’s Advocate came up big in that match to capture the Tag Team Titles! These two men have a ton of recent history and based off what we’ve seen thus far, this will be a massive match.

Bryan McVay: And his opponent… standing at six feet and one inch tall and weighing in at two hundred and forty-five pounds… THE GOLD STANDARD! JOHN! SEKTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!

‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC’ plays through the Colonial Life Arena and this time, John Sektor comes out, fists taped, and the face of a man ready for a fight. He marches down to the ring, brow furrowed, before he walks up the stairs leading to the ring and steps through the ropes. 

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Joel Hortega stands in the middle of the ring as Sektor bee lines towards Pleasant only for Joel to stop him in the process, ordering him to his corner.

Joe Hoffman: After Sektor and Ellis lost the tag titles last week, Sektor announced he was retiring from the sport, which sent shockwaves through the HOW faithful and around the world. This left many wondering if Sektor would be competing tonight or if Pleasant would end up with an easy victory on his way to War Games. Sektor though announced that if he loses tonight, he’s retiring, but his goal is to win and make his way to his final War Games. Needless to say, there’s a tremendous amount of history to this match and both of these men are going to rip one another apart for a chance to be in War Games.

Hortega speaks to both of the men while Pleasant taunts Sektor, holding his title up high, the title Sektor had just a week ago. He then hands it to the ringside attendant as he leans against the ropes, urging Hortega to get this match started.

Joe Hoffman: The HOW Legion in the Colonial Life Arena are chomping at the bit to get this match started and it looks like they’re about to get their wish as Joel Hortega wraps up his final instructions to both of these men…

DING DING DING

Joe Hoffman: And we’re off!

Sektor wastes no time as he rushes at Pleasant and begins to pelt him with elbow strike after elbow strike, until Pleasant is pushed into the corner. Sektor then drills a knee into Pleasant’s midsection, and goes for a Butterfly Suplex out of the corner only for Pleasant to block it and connect with a hot shot onto the top turnbuckle. Sektor stumbles backwards into a clubbing forearm from Pleasant who then connects with a reverse suplex, Sektor landing hard on his chest and abdomen.

Joe Hoffman: Both men trading blows in the opening stages of this match. Talking to people in the back, Pleasant wasn’t happy in the least bit with Sector’s announcement of retiring and the uncertainty that brought until just a couple of days ago. Pleasant now dragging Sektor off of the mat and connects with a clubbing forearm, this time to the chest that sends Sektor ricocheting off of the mat. 

Pleasant grabs the back of Sektor’s head before dragging him up to his feet and pushes him into the ropes where he drills his knee into Sektor’s midsection. Sektor drops to one knee from the blow as Arthur grabs John and whips him into the ropes before connecting with a stiff clothesline that flips Sektor inside out. Pleasant goes to grab Sektor once again, but is met with a stiff kick to the top of the head by the former LSD champion. Sektor makes his way up to his feet before connecting with a spinning back kick that drops Pleasant to both knees. John then bounces off the ropes and connects with a running knee to the face of Pleasant.

Joe Hoffman: Brutal shot there from Sektor, looking to even the playing field a little bit as these two men have traded some brutal knee shots in the opening moments of this match. Pleasant now making his way to his feet while Sektor stalks him and the former LSD champion connects with a spinning forearm smash that rocks Pleasant into the ropes. Sektor then bounces off the ropes and runs up the ropes with a stiff knee to the jaw of Pleasant.

John gets back to his feet and turns around only to be met with a spear from Pleasant, who only dropped to one knee from the shot. Arthur grabs at his jaw, tender from the shot it just took, and smiles before slams his elbow across the face of his opponent. Pleasant then drags Sektor back to his feet and goes to whip him into the ropes only for the former LSD Champion to reverse it and slams his boot into Arthur’s midsection before connecting with a neck breaker. Sektor then mounts Pleasant and starts unloading with fist after fist to the face of the tag team champion.

Joe Hoffman: And the aggression Sektor is showing here in this match has caught Pleasant a bit off guard and John is showing no signs of letting up. He is raining down fist after fist until Hortega has to stop him. Sektor arguing with Hortega and this gives Pleasant the opening he needs as he connects with a shoulder to the left knee of Sektor, sending him crashing to the mat. This is not good for Sektor, not good at all.

The former LSD champion clutches his knee as Pleasant bounces off the ropes and drills his knee into the knee of Sektor. John rolls around in pain as Pleasant grabs the left leg and begins kicking away at it until Sektor is forced to roll under the bottom rope. Pleasant refuses to give Sektor a moment of pause though as he escapes to the outside and drags Sektor up to his feet, hoists him into the air, and drops him left knee first onto the steel stairs. The former LSD Champion groans in pain as he lies on the floor while Pleasant stands above him. 

Joe Hoffman: Such tenacity from Pleasant as he’s found a weakness in Sektor and is exploiting it as much as he can. You might not like Pleasant or his techniques, but you have to applaud him for his focus and cutthroat pressure. Pleasant now yanking Sektor up to his feet, violently I may add, and he goes to whip him into the ringside barrier— but Sektor reverses it! Arthur slams hard into the steel barrier. Sektor meanwhile drops to one knee, the pressure building up for him.

Pleasant stumbles backwards as Sektor wraps his arms around Arthur’s waist and connects with a German Suplex on the outside. Sektor slowly rolls back to his feet and rolls Pleasant back into the ring before following after him. Pleasant makes his way up to all four before John connects with a boot to the ribcage. A bit of discomfort is clear on Sektor’s face as he feels the pain in his left knee, but he shakes it out as he slams his elbow into the lower back of his opponent. Sektor then bounces off the ropes and connects with another elbow to the lower back.

Joe Hoffman: Sektor starting to get some momentum underneath him and he’s putting his focus on getting ready to put Pleasant in the Sektor Stretch when that time comes. Sektor now dragging Pleasant off of the mat and whips him into the corner, Sektor putting a little bit of extra mustard on that one, and Pleasant connects hard with the turnbuckles. Sektor then connects with a running clothesline on Pleasant in the corner and Pleasant looks dazed from the onslaught Sektor has put on.

Sektor then yanks Pleasant out of the corner and connects with an Exploder Suplex! Sektor then grabs Pleasant and goes for the cover, with Hortega sliding in quickly.

ONE!

TWO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Sektor sits up and looks at Joel, who confirms a two count. John begins to pull Pleasant up to his feet only for Arthur to slam his boot into his opponent’s midsection and connects with a double-armed DDT!

Joe Hoffman: And Pleasant showing some signs of life right there! He needed that in a hurry because Sektor was firmly in the driver seat and moving closer and closer to putting Pleasant in the Sektor Stretch. Pleasant rolling over and drapes his arm across the chest of Sektor as Hortega moves into position!

ONE!

TWO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Joe Hoffman: And Pleasant thought he might have the victory right there, but Sektor is not ready to hang them up quite yet. Lots on the line here. You know not only does Pleasant want to get to War Games, but he also wants to be the one to retire Sektor, these two men having been in constant competition with one another since the turn of the year. Sektor wants one more glory run and would love to have it be at Pleasant’s expense. It’s gut check time for both of these wrestlers.

Pleasant slowly rises to his feet and drags Sektor up before pushing him into the ropes. Arthur then connects with a backhand chop across Sektor’s chest and Sektor grimaces from the pain only to fire back with a stiff forearm for Pleasant’s trouble. Arthur stumbles backwards and Sektor roars towards him only for Pleasant to catch him in his own Exploder Suplex. Both men scramble to their feet only for Arthur to plant his boot into Sektor’s midsection and connects with a Fisherman Buster!

Joe Hoffman: And Pleasant delivered that with a bit of extra gusto… and he’s rolling through it, lifts Sektor up, and connects with another Fisherman Buster! And he rolls through once again before connecting with a third Fisherman Buster! Sektor is about to wake up in a Land of Make Believe! That’s going to take a lot out of Pleasant right there!

Pleasant slowly makes his way up to his feet and watches as the former LSD Champion sits up and tries to shake the cobwebs out of his mind. He slowly makes his way up to his feet and turns towards Pleasant who is flying off the ropes and connects with a single leg dropkick to the face of Sektor, both men crashing to the mat.

Joe Hoffman: Provocation by Pleasant! He might be ready to put Sektor away for good! 

Pleasant then hoists Sektor onto his shoulders in a fireman’s carry. 

Joe Hoffman: And Pleasant is looking for Calamity Pain! This would be it for Sektor if Pleasant can hit it— and Sektor blasting elbow after elbow to the side of Pleasant’s skull. He knows he’s in danger if Arthur connects with this and the current Tag Team champion has to let Sektor go, giving John the opening as he slams his forearm into the lower back of Pleasant once again. 

Sektor slams his forearm again into the lower back of Pleasant and goes for a German Suplex only for Arthur to connect with a series of his own elbows to the jaw of the former LSD Champion. Sektor releases his hold on Arthur, who then roars off the ropes, and goes for a clothesline only for Sektor to duck underneath it. Sektor then turns around and goes for a dropkick only for Pleasant to have hooked his arms onto the top rope and Sektor lands onto the mat.

Joe Hoffman: Both of these men looking for an edge, any edge, they can find on one another, but these two know each other so well at this point that they’re able to predict what’s coming next. These two are wrestling for the third time in the past month or so now.

Pleasant yanks Sektor up to his feet, slams his elbow across the jaw of his opponent, and then goes for a piledriver on John, but Sektor blocks it and connects with a back body drop. Pleasant scrambles back to his feet and is met with a boot to the midsection before Sektor connects a double arm lift into a face buster on Pleasant!

Joe Hoffman: C-Sektion! This might be the end of the road for Pleasant!

Sektor then stomps away at the lower back of Pleasant before he wraps his arm around Pleasant’s neck, putting him into a Dragon Sleeper and places his knee into the lower back of Pleasant.

Joe Hoffman: Sektor Stretch! This might be the end of the road for Pleasant! Sektor has got it locked in!

Hortega checks on Pleasant, who is refusing to tap out as Sektor yanks back on it it. Hortega continues to check on Pleasant, who is shaking his head while his eyes close.

Joe Hoffman: Pleasant might be out!

Hortega checks with Pleasant, not getting any response, and immediately signals for the bell.

DING DING DING

Joe Hoffman: Pleasant refused to tap out, but the pain took over and his body shuts down at the end!

Bryan McVay: Your winner at the eighteen minute mark… and advancing to War Games… JOHN! SEKTOR!

Sektor releases the hold on Pleasant as he stands over him before Joel Hortega comes over and raises his hand in victory.

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Joe Hoffman: And a hard fought victory for Sektor, who a week ago lost his Tag Team titles after he was too late in breaking up the pinfall on Ellis, manages to get a victory over Pleasant tonight, ending Pleasant’s run to War Games while setting up Sektor for a night we won’t soon forget in the Ukraine.

When

Drenched in sweat and breathing greatly, the Gold Standard stands in the center of the ring to catch his breath. As his music fades the sound of the crowd roaring with support and applauding can be heard. Sektor gives a humble nod, as he lifts the microphone up.

Sektor: I didn’t prepare any words. To be honest with you I didn’t exactly know which speech this would be.

He nods, clearly still fatigued from battle.

Sektor: What I will say, is that the end game would have been the same. I told you guys I was ready to hang up my boots and move on to the next chapter in my life. That’s not changed. It was never a question of if..

Sektor listens to the restless groans of the fans who are wondering what he is getting at.

Sektor: But after beating that piece of shit tonight? I guess now it’s a question of WHEN!

The crowd roars as Sektor smiles, pleased he was able to finally get a win over Pleasant.

Sektor: Now? Now it’s onto War Games. What a perfect way for me to end my Golden career. In the most famous match and event in the history of this company.

He smiles proudly as he thinks about that prospect. Then he shrugs.

Sektor: But who knows? Maybe I’ll just go a win the fucking thing…

Another roar of support as Sektor tosses that out there while he pouts and nods.

Sektor: I may be preparing to wind wind down but that doesn’t change my hunger once that bell rings. I wasn’t even supposed to compete tonight but ring that bell and the machine kicks into gear. War Games will be no acception. And if its to be my last ever match…

He smirks and looks up at the rafters.

Sektor: ...then you know, I’ll make it a fucking good one!

With that he throws the mic down and thrusts his arm into the air as Dirty Deeds blasts once again.

An Update From Section 214

Cut to Section 214 where Blaire Moise is with Joe Bergman, Clay Byrd, Steve Harrison, and Steve Solex. 

Blaire Moise: All right Joe, I know you’re getting ready to head down to face Christopher America here in just a few moments, but I just have a couple quick questions for you.   Did you hear what America said earlier that tonight this is the greatest day in your life but for him it’s just another day. 

Section 214: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Joe smiles and waits for the din to die down.

Joe Bergman: Yes Blaire.  I did.

Blaire Moise: And your reaction?

Joe looks as if he’s about to burst out laughing. But then he decides he’s not going to take the bait.

Joe Bergman: With all due respect to Christopher America, every time I get to step into the ring and do what I love to do the most- wrestle for all these people…

Section 214: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Bergman flashes a thumbs up to the fans.

Joe Bergman: …every time I get to set foot in a wrestling ring is the greatest day of my life.

Section 214: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Joe Bergman: But tonight will be special, Blaire.  One, it’s my first match in HOW since ICONIC in 2020.  Two, I get to go up against one of the greatest wrestlers in HOW history… the only man to win War Games two years in a row… Christopher America.

Section 214: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Joe Bergman: And three… tonight is the night we start to fight back.  All we keep hearing is you can’t fight the machine.  Tonight, we fight the machine. 

Section 214: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Joe Bergman: That’s right.  THIS is our moment of truth.  THIS is the night we find our strength… backbone… and resolve… to fight what many call the unwinnable fight.

Section 214: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Joe Bergman: We will not capitulate.  We will not back down.  And we will not fail.

Section 214: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Blaire covers an ear so she can hear herself speak.

Blaire Moise: Section 214 has certainly endorsed Joe Bergman in this match tonight. 

Joe Bergman: And the American eagle… 

Blaire Moise: And Lindsay Troy.

Joe Bergman: And Lindsay Troy.

Solex, Byrd, and Harrison all dip their heads and mutter under their breath at the mere mention of Lindsay Troy.

Blaire Moise: If Joe can win tonight, he will be the third member of the Highwaymen to earn a War Games berth after Clay Byrd and Steve Solex.  

Blaire turns to Harrison.

Blaire Moise: Steve Harrison, you ran into Stronk Godson in your qualifying match and took a tough loss.

Harrison steps forward. The Miracle Man clutches the LSD Title to his chest with both hands tightly.  His hands begin to turn white from how hard he is grasping his precious championship belt.  He has a disgusted look on his face from having to hear Lindsay Troy’s name but he does his best to swallow the bile and not make a scene.  His eyes are darting back and forth with a frantic look illuminating from them.  He takes a deep breath and takes his left hand off the belt and grabs the mic from Blaries hand.  She takes a step back, surprised at Harrisons move.

Steve Harrison: Look here, Fair Blaire, I know all the Miracle Marks are disappointed by last week’s outcome.  I know they all want to take a torch and burn The Boards office down in disgust that their favorite LSD Champion is not a part of War Games.  DON’T WORRY THOUGH BECAUSE WITH THE MIRACLE MEDICINE IN MY VEINS I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL THOSE WRESTLING TERRORISTS ARE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE!

Blaire looks very uncomfortable as Harrison has started spouting nonsense.  Joe just looks unsure himself where Steve is going with this but of course Solex has a smile on his face and Clay just paces in the background cracking his knuckles.

Steve Harrison: I will not let my defeat to STRONK keep me down. I earned his respect and it is something he has earned as well.  I have not been in the right place since that match.  Steve Harrison not being in War Games is a crime on the wrestling community but MOB and The Board wish to keep not just us down but every other wrestler in the back.  But…I do have this.

Steve pats the LSD Title with a smirk on his face that then turns to a scowl.

Steve Harrison: If I cannot fight with The Boys inside War Games I will fight to keep this title against anyone who wants a shot.  I have said it before and I will say it again, I will accept any challenges if someone will finally get the balls and challenge me.  I thought I was a choke artist and a con-man?  Isn’t that what all of you morons like to say about me?  If that is the case then put your money where your mouth is and come get tossed on your skulls repeatedly.  This title isn’t going anywhere and The Highwaymen will not only have the LSD Title but after War Games one of these great men will have the World Title as well.

Blaire Moise: All right.  That’s all from Section 214 tonight.  We’ll be back right after this commercial message. 

Power Up

Lights out.

 

The big screen’s on.

 

LOVABLE.

ADORABLE.

HONORABLE.

LOCKER. ROOM. LEADER.

YOUR WORLD CHAMPION.

C O N O R F U S E

 

“Bloody Tears” from Castlevania airs on the PA but it’s not the same epic version as before, this one is rock heavy. Female ballroom dancers emerge from the back, dressed in 97red outfits. They line the stage, kicking and shimmering along with the theme. At the 1:08 minute mark of the song a lift rises from underneath the top of the rampway. The World Champion stands in the center, wearing the same obnoxious SNES trench coat he sported the week prior. Splashes of blood are scattered across the otherwise black coat draping down to Conor’s feet with a raised hood twice the height of the gamer’s head. The jacket is only fastened by one button so the World Championship shines through around Fuse’s waist. Once Conor reaches the top of the ramp, he emerges from the lift and locks arms with a dancer to his left and a dancer to his right. The two females split from the rest of the group and no longer perform leg kicks in all directions. They escort the champ down the rampway as 97red plastic rupees fall from the rafters and into the crowd.

Joe Hoffman: Another grand entrance for our champion. This time, likely the most eccentric I’ve seen.

Pyro explodes on the top of the ramp, literally scaring a couple of the ballroom dancers from their routine. Fuse reaches ringside but still locks arms with the women beside him. He grins from ear to ear, mentioning how awesome he is as the ladies walk with him up the steel steps. Conor drops arms with the dancers, allowing them to open the top and middle rope. Fuse, however, winks before leaping over the top rope, clearing it with ease and landing on his feet. The dancers shrug, drop the ropes and leave the scene. Conor is handed a microphone as his theme song comes to a close.

There are a few cheers but also plenty of boos.

Conor Fuse: HELLO everyone! I’ll get right to it! As every nimrod in the back gets their joystick going for a shot at the World Championship, -a shot, mind you, half of these BOTS won’t be able to receive again for the rest of the year- yours truly, The Ultimate Gamer, The Video Game Kid, The Vintage, YOUR World Champion… I have done some serious contemplating… and I have come to some humbling conclusions…

Fuse lowers the mic and nods his head like it’s true. The soul searching he’s done has led him to an incredible insight.

Conor Fuse: I-

Fuse pauses as the crowd listens. He seems awfully shook by whatever thought is going through his mind. The champion pulls the microphone down. He strolls around the ring. He takes a moment to run a hand through his wild blonde hair. He even pinches his nose and closes his eyes.

He tries to speak again.

Conor Fuse: I have- well- I- I-

And can’t get the words out.

Some of the fans boo, others are trying to watch whatever unfolds in front of them.

Joe Hoffman: You know, for someone who came out here with such a grand entrance, I’m caught off guard, too.

Fuse walks around the ring once more. He stops upon one of the turnbuckles. He reaches out and smacks the top padding.

Conor Fuse: Power up.

Fuse walks to a second corner and smacks the top turnbuckle pad.

Conor Fuse: Power up!

Feeling momentum, Fuse reaches the third pad and smacks it even harder.

Conor Fuse: POWER UP.

And then he arrives at the fourth and final pad. He reaches out…

…And pulls his arm back. Conor marches to the center of the ring and displays a devilish appearance.

Conor Fuse: It’s CLEAR I have a burden on my hands and a MAJOR one at that. It pains me to be honest with YOU, the people, the ones who game along with me but I have GOTS to tell it like it is!

Fuse’s uncertainty is gone. It’s like he knew what he was going to do all along. Although Conor does look pissed.

Conor Fuse: I carry this fucking company week after week. I NEVER TAKE TIME OFF. Where the fuck was my co-captain Clay Byrd last week on this program? Didn’t decide to do shit, eh? Since losing to ME, Conor Fuse, he’s mailed it in. And what about David, huh? Stevens? All these morons get hot and heavy coming at the champion when it’s their turn but after a loss, they tuck their tail in-between their legs AND GO THE FUCK HOME.

Fuse pulls at the side of his neck.

Conor Fuse: That’s not gaming. That’s not World Championship material. That’s being a self-serving crybaby. When I lost to Cancer Jiles, for the World Championship mind you, I walked back out here the next week and made my presence felt. How can I, YOUR World Champion, work alongside someone like Clay and his No Country for Old Men co-op when he doesn’t give a flying fuck. I am SAVING High Octane Wrestling each and every time *I* defeat someone. Because I am what YOU need. I am a fighting champion. I am a HEAT building magnet. I give everyone amazing material to work with because look at me, I am amazing! I am the gamer you want to keep happy because I will do ANYTHING for this organization!

The Power-Up King stomps towards the apron and looks into the crowd.

Conor Fuse: I AM lovable. I AM adorable. I AM everything you need.

He takes a deep breath.

Conor Fuse: And I AM your Locker Room Leader.

Fuse nods at his own comments.

Conor Fuse: And I’m gonna lead. Next week, I am DEMANDING whomever has qualified to our War Games team to meet me RIGHT HERE in the center of the ring. And your hero will make sure we are all on the same page for the biggest event of the year!

Conor shakes his head.

Conor Fuse: Enjoy you REST, Clay. There’s a reason you’re not champion. Lick your wounds, David. I am here, each and every show, every single fucking night. I game it up.

Conor slowly paces back to the center of the ring.

Conor Fuse: I have replaced the Elder Scrolls with some pretty hot broads if I do say so myself. Since the Elders won’t speak to me… since many others have walked away from Conor Fuse… I will continue to rely on MYSELF. But make no mistake, I am your leader. I am your Player One. Most importantly… I am your champion.

Fuse blows a kiss into the camera.

Conor Fuse: Like it or not.

“Bloody Tears” resurfaces as Conor rolls out of the ring. The ballroom dances appear again, creating a line up and down both sides of the rampway, kicking, turning and twisting to the video game theme. Conor smiles at a few of them, offers his number to another and then mouths off to the camera following up the rampway.

Joe Hoffman: I’m not here to judge if Conor is right or wrong but I think calling everyone to the ring next week is either going to be the smartest thing he’s ever done… or one of the dumbest.

Fuse vanishes behind the apron.

Joe Bergman vs. Christopher America

War Games Qualifying Match

The opening bars of the Hollywood Vampires cover of David Bowie’s classic song ‘Heroes’ plays over the Best Arena sound system.   Joe Perry’s guitar licks sear through the air, Tommy Hendrikson’s chugging guitar, Chris Wyse’s bass holding down the fort, and Glen Sobel pounding drumbeat rocks the arena and amps the crowd.as the fans- especially Section 214- rise to their feet.

“I.   I will be king.”

Bryan McVay: Coming to the ring first… he is a two time World Heavyweight Champion, a Hall of Famer, he is ‘Ordinary’ JOOOOOE BEEEEEEEERGMAN!

Joe Bergman steps out on stage and as Johnny Depp’s vocals echoes throughout the arena,

“And you.  You will be queen.”

Steve Solex walks out next and joins up with Bergman on the stage. 

“Though nothing will drive them away.”

Bergman and Solex look out at the crowd and take it all in. 

“We can beat them, just for one day”

After Depp finishes up the first verse of the song, the crowd- already singing along with Captain Jack Sparrow- turns up the volume at the chorus when Joe raises his arms up in the air. Solex and Bergman bro-hug at the top of the ramp as Solex disappears backstage.

“WE CAN BE HEROES!”

 JUST FOR ONE DAY!”

Bergman climbs up on the ring apron and leaps over the top rope into the ring. Joe goes to one corner turnbuckle… and raises a can of PBR towards the people in Section 214.  

Bryan McVay: AAAAAAAND HIS OPPONENT!

As Bergman steps down from the turnbuckle, Christopher America steps through the curtain in his white 1992 Dream Team windbreaker and matching blue team USA pants. Attached to him is a giant American Flag that just barely manages to stay off of the entrance ramp.

Bryan McVay: Please rise for the performing of our national anthem. 

Joe Hoffman: I thought he was announcing Bergman’s opponent… 

Multiple South Carolina National Guard members step through the curtain and stand at attention beside Christopher America. “THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER” begins to play throughout the arena. Christopher America remains completely stoic staring at the American flag out in front of him through the entire song.

Bryan McVay: Hailing from AAAAAAMERICA! He stands six-feet four inches tall and weighs in at two-hundred and fifty-five pounds… HE’S A TWO TIME WAR GAMES WINNER! A HALL OF FAMER! A MULTIPLE TIME WORLD CHAMPION! CHHHHHHHHHRISTOOOOOOOPHER AAAAAAAAAAAAAAMERICA!!!!!!!!

“Remember The Name” by Fort Minor hits and America hands off the flag to the servicemen who all salute him in unison as he turns around and jogs his way to the ring. America marches up the stairs and into the ring. He strips off The Dream Team gear all while staring a hole through Joe Bergman.

Rick Stevens calls for the bell. 

DING DING

Bergman and America begin sizing each other up in the ring, Bergman adjusts his ring gear as he stares across at America. The two start off circling each other, the larger America tries to cut Bergman’s circle off but Bergman calmly walks the other direction. 

Joe Hoffman: This is a clash of eras as much as it’s a clash of styles on display tonight. Christopher America is a brawler, while ‘Ordinary’ Joe Bergman is an elite technician in the ring. 

The two dance around for a few more moments while the crowd grows uneasy. Eventually the two Hall of Famers meet on agreeable terms in the center of the ring with a collar and elbow tie-up. Bergman is quick to take America’s arm into an arm crank. America reverses into a hammer lock, Bergman reverses the reversal, America once again reverses back. Bergman brings his arm down along his leg and manages to step through breaking America’s hammerlock. Chris spins Joe around and takes a swing with a wild right hand that Joe ducks under. 

Joe Hoffman: What technical prowess from the two Hall of Famers in the ring. 

The crowd’s golf claps instantly turn to boos as America turns towards the referee pulling at his own hair insisting something happened while Bergman dances away with a smirk. The two don’t take as long to collide this time around as they meet on the same terms in the center of the ring. Once again Bergman effortlessly floats through the collar and elbow into a dominant position with the arm crank. Bergman pulls it back behind America and into the hammerlock. America tries to switch with Bergman, but Joe steps in America’s way blocking the transition. 

Joe Hoffman: Early on Joe Bergman is working on wearing down the much larger Christopher America. Did you know he put on twenty pounds for this run? And that’s not donuts and beer either. 

America uses his size to drive Bergman back into the ropes and the referee comes over and breaks up the two men. They separate amicably, until at the last second America reaches around the referee and slaps Bergman across the mouth. America back pedals as Bergman storms off the ropes, but thinks better of it. 

Joe Hoffman: Christopher America is playing mind games with Joe Bergman. But you won’t get under ‘Ordinary’ Joe’s skin like that. 

The referee moves out from between the two and America walks up with his jaws running a hundred miles an hour. Bergman shuts him up with a right hand and the two are off and trading blows. Bergman. America. Bergman. America. Bergman. America. Bergman. America. America. America. 

Joe Hoffman: That extra twenty pounds is really coming in handy for Christopher America in this exchange with Bergman. Just too much force behind those right hands. 

Bergman stumbles back into the ropes and tries to come off them with a head of steam but America slips to the side and behind Bergman wrapping him up with a waistlock. Bergman tries to slip his arms between America’s, but the two time War Games winner is too quick for Bergman this time and plants him to the ground with a german suplex. 

Joe Hoffman: What an… well I guess America calls it an American Suplex! He dropped Bergman right on his head with that! 

America maintains control of Bergman’s waist and rolls through bringing Bergman to his feet. America turns the smaller Hall of Famer around and puts him in a front face lock. America starts to try to vertical suplex Bergman, but Bergman manages to slide a leg between America’s legs. America tries again but Bergman blocks again. America gets frustrated and starts throwing hooks into Bergman’s midsection over and over again. Finally, America manages to reach down and hook Bergman’s calf, lifting him up and dropping him with a Fisherman’s suplex. 

Joe Hoffman: Christopher America is out wrestling Joe Bergman here, and it all started with the trash talk from that first exchange. 

America once again maintains his grip on his opponent and drags Bergman’s limp body from the canvas to his feet in the front face lock. Finally Christopher America gets Bergman up and holds him in the air for a solid five seconds before dropping backwards sending Bergman crashing to the canvas. The referee runs over to check on Bergman, but America pushes him away and starts driving boots down onto Bergman’s midsection, chest, and head. 

Joe Hoffman: Maybe Joe Bergman tried to come back too soon. He was only recently cleared and working his first two rehab matches down in MVW with Ray Macavay. 

America tries to pull Bergman to his feet again, but this time he drags Bergman up and gets caught with a right hand that momentarily stuns him. Bergman takes to the ropes and comes back off of them at the larger man with a cross body. 

Joe Hoffman: CHRISTOPHER AMERICA CAUGHT JOE BERGMAN! 

America hoists the smaller man up over his shoulder, he starts in the far corner and comes rampaging across the ring. Bergman tries to squirm free, but he gets planted in the closest corner with a thunderous power slam. America doesn’t stop there though, and immediately starts trying to knee the downed Bergman in the head. 

Joe Hoffman: He’s trying to finish Bergman off here!

Bergman manages to get himself under the ropes and the referee comes over and pulls Christopher America away from Bergman. The referee bends down to check on Bergman for a moment before being forced to go back to keeping America away. Bergman finally makes his way to his feet, he looks exhausted as he tries to support his back with his arm. America points to Bergman and taunts him by clapping. 

BOOOOOOO!

Bergman half stumbles to the center of the ring. 

Joe Hoffman: Bergman looks like a beaten man out here folks. 

America cockily approaches Bergman. Bergman weakly throws a right hand while America steps away from the move without a problem. Bergman swings back with the left and America steps backwards, then rushes forwards grabbing Bergman around the waist and trapping both of his arms. He reaches back and tosses Bergman over his head with a release Belly to Belly suplex. Bergman manages to float all the way over and land on his feet. He comes back off the ropes at America and nails him with a drop kick. 

Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman doesn’t give up folks, that’s why this crowd is infatuated with the two time former World Heavyweight Champion. 

America stumbles back into the ropes and comes back at Bergman this time. Bergman manages to hit the deck and America is forced to step over him. Bergman explodes back to his feet just in time to be taken clean out of his shoes by Christopher America coming back off the ropes and swinging his arm for the fences.

Joe Hoffman: Amber Waves of Pain! That’s gotta be it! 

Bergman skids across the mat, he pulls himself over into the corner and starts to get back to his feet. America regains his own composure from the drop kick and walks over to the hard breathing Joe Bergman. America slaps Bergman across the face and is shouting at Bergman. The camera can’t quite pick up what is being said, but America leans back this time and slams Bergman’s face with a forearm. 

Joe Hoffman: Did Christopher America just say something to Bergman about his recently separated wife?

The cornered Bergman comes alive instantaneously. Right hands are flying in the corner and the referee can’t even get in and break it up. America once again gets the better of Bergman and sends him flying into the ropes with an irish whip. America ducks down for a backdrop but Bergman stops and kicks him as hard as he could directly in the face. America stands up shocked, as Bergman takes off to the other ropes and comes back at the dazed America with a cross body that leaves America laid out. 

Joe Hoffman: You can’t count Joe Bergman out. The man has way too much heart. 

America tries begging off with Joe Bergman who absolutely changes Christopher America’s world with another knife edge chop across the chest. America backs away to the corner turnbuckle, but Bergman sends in another missile of a chop that causes America to grab his chest and scream. 

Joe Hoffman: I don’t know what America said to Bergman, but this couldn’t have been what he anticipated as a response. 

Bergman comes from across the ring and delivers a huge boot to the face of the kneeling America that sends him careening backwards. Bergman stomps back across the ring determined and comes across the ring a second time, smashing America with a boot to the face. Bergman isn’t done as he walks back across the ring for a third time. A cut has opened over Christopher America’s right eye, and blood has started to run down the face of the Hall of Famer. America is shocked at the sight of his own gore as Bergman storms across the ring for a third time, finally America manages to roll out of the way letting Bergman’s leg slam into the middle turnbuckle. 

Joe Hoffman: Christopher America bleeds red just like the rest of us. But wow, that’s a deep cut over America’s right eye. We might need a doctor out here to look at that. 

America starts dragging himself to his feet using the top rope for an assist. America turns towards a recovered Bergman and fires off a right hand that connects to Bergman. Joe takes the blow and fires back with a right hand to the gash across America’s head. Christopher fires back a right hand that hits Bergman, but Joe comes back with another blow to the gash that sends America stumbling. Bergman is all over him with another right hand that takes America down to his knees. The man formerly known as Halitosis grabs a headlock and fires off a series of rabbit punches to the open wound. After five punches the referee comes over and pulls Bergman away. America has blood all down the right side of his face, his dirty blonde hair 

Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman doesn’t seem too happy with the referee’s decision there… 

Just as Bergman turns around, directly in front of Rick Stevens, plain as day, indisputably visible, unmistakingly blatant, as evident as Godzilla walking down the streets of Tokyo, Christopher America delivers a low blow to Bergman that floors him. 

Joe Hoffman: OH WHAT IS THAT! THIS HAS BEEN A CLASSIC MATCH AND CHRISTOPHER AMERICA DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN! HE JUST LOW BLOWED JOE BERGMAN! THAT’S A DISQUALIFICATION! JOE BERGMAN SHOULD BE GOING TO WAR GAMES! THAT WAS CLEAR AS DAY IN FRONT OF RICK STEVENS!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

America looks at Rick Stevens who just looks right back at him with a blank stare. Christopher America’s smile penetrates the crimson mask as he kicks Bergman in the side of the head repeatedly. Finally America pulls Bergman to his feet and stands behind Bergman and pulls his head back into the reverse DDT position. He slides under Bergman and drives his skull into the canvas with For America 2.0! America hooks Bergman’s leg.

Joe Hoffman: This is disgusting. Rick Stevens called this classic of a match like the Hall of Famer he is right up until the end. 

 

Rick Stevens: 1!

 

Rick Stevens: 2! 

 

Rick Stevens: 3! 

Joe Hoffman: Michael Lee Best and Michael Oliver Best got what they wanted I guess, a clean sweep on the final night of War Games qualifiers. But to get it this way… I’m going to be sick. 

DING DING DING

Bryan McVay: Your winner by pinfall…. CHHHHHHHRISTOPHER AAAAAAAMERICA! 

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Joe Hoffman: This crowd is disgusted, AND HERE COMES THE CALVARY! SOLEX, BYRD AND HARRISON ARE ON THERE WAY TO THE RING FROM THE CROWD! 

America and Stevens hightail it to the back as The Highwaymen enter the ring and tend to their fallen comrade as Refueled goes off the air.