Event Date: January 3, 2020
Published: January 3, 2020 January 4, 2020 Written by: godofhow
The High Octane Television logo gives way and for the first time in 2020 we cut live inside The Rosemont Horizon for Refueled XII. The camera pans across the arena and we see a near capacity crowd is on hand. Although its not a full house, the fans that are in attendance are ready for the go home show for ICONIC to get underway.
We switch to ringside where the Hall of Fame duo of Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell are ready to go.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another addition of Refueled on the HOTv network.
Benny Newell: If it isn’t on HOTv it isn’t worth a fuck Hoffman.
Joe Hoffman: Our opening match tonight could set the tone for the entire show tonight as the returning Austin Reeves takes on Jace Savage.
Benny Newell: Austin was just doing what any good HOW employee would do and that’s protect GOD from Satan.
Joe Hoffman: And that he did when he brutalized Chris Kostoff before he could get his hands on Lee Best.
Benny Newell: And at ICONIC, Reeves will finish the job!
As we shift to the ring, Bryan McVay is ready to go.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s opening contest is scheduled for one….FALL! Introducing first, already in the ring…..JACE! SAAAAAAVAAAAAAAGE!
Jace raises a hand and the crowd boos him and begins chanting……
Crowd: GO HOME LOSER! (clap x5)
Joe Hoffman: The crowd not behind Jace Savage here tonight.
Benny Newell: What the fuck has he done besides tells us how many lights are on the roof of every arena each week.
Jace stretches out on the ropes waiting for his opponent.
The ominous tone of a bell being struck.
The bell rings three times before the heavy guitar of “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica electrifies the arena, thunder claps can be heard as the arena lights flicker on and off with ever clap and slowly Austin Reeves saunters out to a cacophony of boos from the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: And there he is ladies and gentlemen, the man who sent a message to Kostoff for ICONIC.
Benny Newell: And at ICONIC, Kostoff rests in peace for real this time.
Reeves stops at the top of the runway and looks around at the crowd booing him. The arena rains of flash photography as Austin rubs his hands together while he smirks.
Bryan McVay: And her opponent, weighing in at 310 pounds, from Las Vegas, Nevada, he is……AAAAAAAAUSSSSSSTTTTIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNN REEEEEEEEVEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!
Reeves starts to slowly walk down the ramp, ignoring the boos and the abuse thrown at him by the fans at ringside. He slowly walks up the steel steps and climbs through the top and second rope before walking around the ring looking out at the crowd who continue to boo him before stretching out on the ropes.
Hortega checks both individuals and calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go.
Jace comes out of his corner and……
Joe Hoffman: CALLAGHAN SPEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Benny Newell: FUCK!!!
Reeves backs up again towards his corner and waits for Jace to get up and once he pulls himself up Reeves runs at him again.
Joe Hoffman: CALLAGHAN SPEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reeves looks down at Jace with pure hatred on his face.
Crowd: ONE MORE TIME!!! ONE MORE TIME!!! ONE MORE TIME!!!
Instead of a third spear, Reeves picks up Jace and places him between his legs and lifts him up to deliver a massive……
Joe Hoffman: NO REMORSE POWERBOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Benny Newell: FUCK YOU KOSTOFF!!!
Bryan McVay: And your winner by pinfall, AAAAAAAAUSSSSSSTTTTIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNN REEEEEEEEVEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!
Hortega goes to raises Reeves hand but the behemoth shoves the official away and exits the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Reeves looks better than we’ve ever seen him Benny.
Benny Newell: And after ICONIC we won’t have to see Kostoff anymore.
The action cuts away as we fade out from the impressive inring return of Austin Reeves.
One match down and in the books for the ICONIC go home show, and the camera cuts backstage to the God of HOW’s office.
Lee Best’s desk is clear, for once, with no stacks of paper piled high. The necessary High Octane talent contracts were resigned prior to the turn of the new year, and all the other, unnecessary paperwork has been pawned off onto new COO, Scott Woodson. A shrewd move, but nothing that Scotty can’t handle.
He’d better get used to it, after all.
For now, the conniving CEO sits and enjoys a tumbler of liquor while three EPU officers flank either side of the door. All is calm, all is bri–
Aaaand, so much for that.
Lee Best: (muttering) Fuck, really? (yelling) What!?
He barely gets the word out before the metal barrier swings open and in strolls Lindsay Troy, a little smile on her face, a little spring in her step. One of the EPU dudes catches the doorknob before it careens into his body and shuts the door behind her.
Lee shoots the Queen an annoyed look over the rim of his glass, then places it back on the coaster.
Lee Best: What the fuck do you want?
Lindsay Troy: Oh, excuse you, Lee. I didn’t realize you were (looks around) doing anything important. Besides sailing with the Captain, that is.
She flicks the crystal glass with her index finger, satisfied with the resulting ping. For his part, Lee Best is not amused.
Lindsay Troy: Anyway, figured I’d pop in and see if you got my Christmas present.
Lee Best: The tiny elf suspenders and Super Glue? Yes. Very fucking funny. If that’s all you–
Lindsay Troy: No, not that Christmas present, although if you don’t like the suspenders in “Candy Cane Red” I can send you a link for more Elf on the Shelf clothing. Maybe you’d want something more…couture…
Lee Best: I don’t want any goddamn elf shit. Will you get to the point?
Lindsay Troy: (waving him off) Fine fine, you Grinch. Did you get my medical clearance?
Cheers abound out in the Allstate Arena, which is still called the Rosemont Horizon by true Chicagolanders, but now it’s Lee’s turn to smile……..but his isn’t pleasant.
Not by a long shot.
Lee Best: Yeah, I did. Suppose that means you think you’re at a hundred percent? All rip-roaring, ready to go for ICONIC?
Lindsay Troy: Suppose that means I’m spoiling for a fight, and I figure I’d ask you nicely for a tune-up. Let you decide if I’m ready for the big dance in a couple weeks.
The GOD of HOW mulls this over. None of the other Industry members are booked tonight and, save for the Son in the main event, none of the eMpire are either. His eyes narrow.
Lee Best: Alright, LT. You want a match? Fine. But you’re not getting anyone from the eMpire. Go find-
Lindsay Troy: I want El Hombre Blanco.
A beat. A chuckle. A roar from the fans.
Lee Best: You serious?
Lindsay Troy: (smirking) As a hangover. Just me and Mexico’s Greatest Import, in the ring, for fifteen minutes. No Industry. No eMpire. No Three Caballeros to muddy the waters.
Lee Best: (laughing) Yeah, OK, sure. If El Hombre Blanco’s in the building, he has to wrestle you tonight. Now get the fuck out of here.
Lindsay Troy: With pleasure.
The Queen turns on her heel and walks toward the exit.
Lee Best: Hey Linz….
LT turns towards the GOD of HOW and is greeted with a middle finger
Lee Best: Fuck you Linz.
Linz smiles and exits the office as the camera turns back towards to Lee, who simply shakes his head and reaches again for his drink, smiles, and takes a GOD sized sip as we cut back to the announce team.
Joe Hoffman: Earlier in the evening, Ordinary Joe Bergman was action once again in a dark match before tonight’s show.
Benny Newell: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Joe Hoffman: Bergman teamed up with Rah before Refueled XII hit the HOTv airwaves in a tag team match against The Bookworms: Dean Barnes and Terry Noble and here’s how it went…
The HOV fires up…
(DARK MATCH EARLIER TONIGHT: Rah and Joe Bergman with Dawn McGill vs. The Bookworms: Dean Barnes and Terry Noble)
Noble launches himself at Bergman and clotheslines him up and over the ropes to the floor. Then Noble and Barnes double-team Rah but the big guy uses his sun fueled strength to easily fling Barnes over the top rope to the floor…
Later on-Noble rushes in. Bergman turns and spews a stream of green mist into the oncoming Noble’s face. He staggers to the middle of the ring. Bergman drives him face first to the mat with a stunner. He scrambles over to Barnes and slaps on the Dragon Sleeper. Bergman wraps his arm around the opponent’s neck, wrenches back causing Barnes’s head to be vertical on the mat, slides his body underneath, and bridges himself, which in turn bridges the opponent.
While Bergman locks in the submission hold, Rah drags Noble back up and signals it time to sacrifice him to the Temple of the Sunshine God. He looks over at his faithful worshipers for strength and adulation- except they’re too busy taking selfies and not paying attention.
Rolling his regal eyes, Rah looks over at McGill- she’s too busy looking at her compact and redoing her lipstick to notice.
Sighing, Rah then turns to the fans at ringside and finally receives the reverence and praise he’s looking for. He places Noble’s head between his legs and looks towards the heavens with arms stretched out soaking in the praise and worship of the fans. After receiving the necessary strength, Rah picks Noble up and drives him down onto the canvas with the Eye of RAHHHHHH (jackknife powerbomb).
Meanwhile, Barnes finally taps out to Bergman’s Dragon Sleeper submission and Hortega calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: Rah’s entrance may have lasted long than the match itself.
Benny Newell: Who gives a fuck! It’s RAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Joe shakes his head.
Joe Hoffman: Brian Bare has Joe Bergman backstage and-
Benny Newell: RAHHHHHHHHHHH!
Joe covers his ear closest to Benny.
Joe Hoffman: No Benny. Rah is not there with-
Benny Newell: RAHHHHHHHHHHH!
Joe just sighs as he’s done thousands of times at the antics of his longtime broadcast partner- one Benny Newell.
Joe Hoffman: Brian?
Cut backstage with Brian and Bergman.
Brian Bare: Thanks Joe. Joe Bergman, once again you wrestled in a dark match before the main show and won.
Joe Bergman: That’s right Brian. Rah and I picked up a good win tonight over Barnes and Noble.
Brian Bare: Can I ask why a two time former champion is wrestling dark matches?
Joe Bergman: I’m not sure I understand your question, Brian.
Brian Bare: Well. It seems like a massive come down for a former two time world champion to be relegated to working dark matches.
Joe rolls his eyes.
Joe Bergman: Brian, that’s how you choose to look at it. I could take the easy road and simply stay home and collect paychecks- but that’s not how I choose to do business. I’m being paid good money to wrestle. I’ve recovered from my injuries from Rumble at the Rock. So it’s time to get back into the ring to not only earn my paycheck but get as much work done as possible so when the time does come for me to return to TV, I’m ready to go.
Brian Bare: Now that you’ve discarded the Halitosis persona and are wrestling as ‘Ordinary’ Joe Bergman, where exactly do you fit in a HOW where the eMpire and the Industry are the two dominating forces in the company?
Joe Bergman: I’m not really worried about that, Brian. I know who I am and what my limitations are. I’m a-
Brian Bare: I know. Two star wrestler swimming in an ocean with five star talents.
Joe Bergman: Yeah, pretty much. And the reason I’ve wrestled with Rah and Dawn McGill the past few weeks, including a recent Christmas show, is simply because I wanted to enjoy my wrestling once again.
Brian Bare: But-
Joe Bergman (cutting Bare off): It was an honor to win the tournament to determine the first HOW champion of the Refueled era considering the quality of wrestlers who participated. It was an honor to defeat John Sektor to win the title for the second time. It was an honor to be in the main event at Rumble at the Rock against two of not only the best wrestlers in this company but two of the best wrestlers in the world- Cecilworth Farthington and Dan Ryan. So if that’s my high water mark in HOW and the rest of my HOW experience is wrestling in mid-card purgatory, I’m good with that and I can live with that. I’m coming back and I’m going to do the best I can and put everything I’ve got into my wrestling. That’s why I’m back working dark matches. That’s why I wrestled at the MVW Christmas show. That’s why I’ll be back- to compete against the best wrestlers on the planet and most of all, to have a little fun while I’m at it.
And with that, Joe walks away from Bare.
Brian Bare: Okay, then.
With that we cut to our first commercial break.
In 2020 we will see additional shows added to the High Octane Radio Network as members of the roster branch out and begin their own shows
As we come back from commercial break, we see the Hall of Fame duo ready to go.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen and up next we have a major test for the newcomer Buck Yates as he takes on the Hall of Famer, Chris Kostoff.
Benny Newell: The only good Kostoff is a dead Kostoff and sadly Mike couldn’t end him when he had the chance three years ago.
Joe Hoffman: Benny!
Benny Newell: What? You think Lee likes him terrorizing him and HOW in general? The Man is a menace and needs to put down like the rabid dog that he is!
The lights flicker and dim out to darkness. A single white light shines on the stage as “Wolf Totem” by The Hu screams across the speakers. From the back Kostoff appears and stands in the spotlight. After a few moments, Kostoff slowly looks up and makes his way down to the ring.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first… from Tampa, Florida and weighing in at 285 pounds… He is The ONE! The ONLY! Chris KOSTOFF!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff not looking happy here tonight.
Benny Newell: When is he ever happy Hoffman?
Joe Hoffman: Good point Benny, but the sneak attack by the returning Austin Reeves has to add fuel to the ever-growing fire that is Kostoff’s anger.
Benny Newell: Fuck his anger! Austin Reeves is like a guardian angel as he saved GOD from the clutches of this psychopath.
Kostoff reaches the ring and stops in front of the steel ring steps. He takes a moment to psyche himself up before letting out a primal scream and slapping the ring steps before climbing them into the ring. Once inside the ring he beats his chest and raises both arms above his head as he lets out another yell as the crowd showers him in praise. As his music fades out, the sound of banjos begins to play and “Creepin” by Eric Church hits and out comes Buck Yates from behind the curtain to be met by a chorus of boos. Buck carries his most prized position with him, a pig’s head, and makes his way down the ramp with sinister facials.
Joe Hoffman: We’ve had a lot of wrestlers using props and crazies during my time in HOW, but I can’t ever recall someone using a pig as one.
Benny Newell: Sure, you have. Stevens uses it every night when he goes back home to the farm.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent… from Diwan, Australia and weighing in at 250 pounds… he is “The Diwan Forest Killer” BUCK! YAAAAAATEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!
Once at the bottom of the ramp he enters the ring by wrestling underneath the bottom rope and circles the ring, ungracefully. He gives Percy (pig’s head) the best seat in the house on the apron (in his corner) as he pulls on the top ropes.
Joe Hoffman: This guy gives me the creeps Benny.
Benny Newell: And Spooky Butter is all sunshine and rainbows?
Senior official, Matt Boettcher, calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go.
Buck turns his attention to the pig’s head and begins talking to it.
Benny Newell: Good day mate! Let’s throw some shrimp on the Barbie and talk to a pig…Drink!
Kostoff makes his way over to Buck and nails him in the face with a boot before picking him up and slamming him down. Cover.
Joe Hoffman: Kickout by Yates and Kostoff stays on the attack.
The Monster of HOW picks up the Diwan Forest Killer and delivers a clubbing blow to the back of Buck’s head and the Aussie snaps up with a smile on his face.
Joe Hoffman: He’s…..he’s smiling.
Benny Newell: Of course, he is Hoffman because he has a Donk.
Joe Hoffman: A what?
Benny Newell: A donk. Haven’t you seen Crocodile Dundee? It’s historically accurate.
Joe Hoffman: Whatever you say Benny.
Kostoff wipes the smile off of his face with a stiff right hand that staggers Buck back a bit but the Aussie is still smiling and taps his chin a few times.
Joe Hoffman: He’s daring Kostoff to hit him.
Benny Newell: He’s stupider than he looks Hoffman.
Kostoff feigns a right and delivers a clothesline instead and Buck rolls out of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Yates rolls out of the ring and Kostoff is after him.
As soon as Kostoff plants his feet on the ground Buck is all over him with a boot to the midsection and grabs him to deliver a gut-wrench suplex.
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff has been Gut like a Pig!
Buck picks up Kostoff and delivers the second and final gut-wrench suplex before picking him up and throwing him shoulder first into the nearest set of ring steps.
Buck Yates: Did you see that Percy?
The camera picks up Buck talking to his severed head before he begins to stalk Kostoff who is leaned against the ring clutching his shoulder.
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff appears hurt Benny.
Benny Newell: Maybe. Kostoff’s endured worse and kept going.
Chris Kostoff: That all you got? Pussy.
Kostoff says as he motions for Buck to bring it infuriating the Australian.
Benny Newell: No, you idiot! He wants you to get pissed.
Buck rushes at Kostoff and looks to delivering a running boot, but Kostoff rolls out of the way and Yates smacks into steps. As Buck holds his leg in pain, Kostoff rolls into the ring.
The head of Buck Yates slowly rises up from the outside of the ring with a look of hatred on his face as he quickly rolls into the ring and catches the off-guard Kostoff with a knee to the face.
Joe Hoffman: Wicked knee by Yates.
Benny Newell: He’s BUCK and he’s ready to FUCK!
Buck looks down at Kostoff who slowing rising to all fours is causing the Aussie to hit the ropes and delivering another sickening knee to the side of Kostoff’s face, but there is still fight in the Monster as he slowly rises again.
Joe Hoffman: Stay down Kostoff.
Benny Newell: Fuck you Hoffman! Get up Kostoff so Buck can feed you to the crocs!
Yates grabs Kostoff and places his head between his legs and hooks his arms before leaping backwards a bit and drives Kostoff’s head into the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Pedigree type move by Buck.
Buck covers Kostoff by hooking a leg and driving his forearm into the face of the Monster.
Benny Newell: YES! Time to head to Walkabout Creek to celebrate.
Bryan McVay: And your winner by pinfall…“The Diwan Forest Killer” BUCK! YAAAAAATEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!
Boettcher goes to raise the hand of Buck Yates, but the Aussie snatches it away.
Benny Newell: I wouldn’t want Bitcher to touch me either.
Buck goes to the corner and picks up the severed pig’s head and holds it high into the air before placing it on the face of the fallen Monster.
Joe Hoffman: Buck adding insult to injury.
Benny Newell: Actually, I think he improved Kostoff’s looks.
Yates quickly rolls out of the ring as we see the disrespected Hall of Famer slowly coming to in the ring.
Kostoff, slowly realizes what just happened, and staggers to his feet and is seething with anger as Yates back peddles up the rampway, grinning from ear to ear over his big win as we cut backstage.
Backstage in catering. There’s a huge spread on a table to one side up against the wall, assorted small sandwiches, water bottles, and so on.
The room is mostly deserted except for three men sitting at a small four-man table right dead center.
LSD and Tag Team Champion Max Kael, the self-proclaimed HOFC Champion Mike Best, and World, ICON and Tag Team Champion Cecilworth J. Farthington are there. Kael has his back to the main hall entrance to the room, looking to his right at Farthington and muttering something out of earshot for the purposes of this moment. Farthington has a light brace on his arm, compliments of Dan Ryan. Best is leaning with his elbows on the table, scrolling through something on his phone.
Best is the first to glance up.
His eyes lock onto a huge figure entering the area, a brown paper sack tucked under one arm.
Ryan is in street clothes – no match tonight – wearing a dark brown jacket to protect against the cold outside and some jeans and boots.
Farthington and Kael catch Best’s gaze and both turn toward Ryan, now walking directly over to their table.
Kael jumps up, turning to face Ryan while standing just to the side of their table. Farthington starts to frown, and Best just stares at him with a slight ‘WTF’ expression on his face.
Ryan, for his part, casually walks over and sits down in the fourth chair at the table. He glances at each member of the eMpire one by one, finally settling on Farthington. He sighs, then pulls a sandwich out of the bag and takes a bite, using his free hand to tap Farthington’s arm brace as he does so.
“That looks like it hurts.”
“Yes, it fucking hurts. I was viciously assaulted by a brutish appropriator of Yank Yank Pop culture! Are you lost? Can I help you with directions to anywhere but here?”
Mike Best glances at his best friend, eyes narrowing, and looks back at Ryan.
“I wanted to see how my best buds were doing. We get so caught up in all of this fighting that we barely have time to just share a meal and talk anymore. OH…”
Ryan remembers something suddenly and reaches back into his paper bag. He looks up as he rustles around a little inside the bag, then pulls out a round, pink Hello Kitty sticker. Ryan peels off the backing, then sticks it firmly to the elbow joint of Farthington’s brace. The champs stares at the sticker, eyes getting wider.
Ryan takes another bite of his sandwich, then points at the smiling anthropomorphized kitten smiling up at them.
“My daughter broke her arm once when she was seven – had to wear a cast for SIX WEEKS. These stickers really cheered her up.”
Ryan winks, then looks down at his sandwich as he takes another bite, making “mmm” sounds as he does so.
Best starts nodding, almost imperceptibly at first, but we can see his temperature start to rise a little bit. “So that’s your plan, hmm? You know we can’t touch you, or we lose our belts, so you’re gonna sit here an annoy us?”
Ryan shakes his head to the negative, feigning offense.
“Not at all. I told you, I just wanted to see how my boys were doing, and of course, how Cecilworth’s arm was feeling. From my vantage point, that armbar looked like it hurt like a bitch, I have to say. You can’t just bend arms that way without doing some damage.”
Farthington’s eyes raise to meet Ryan’s look, teeth clenched and seething.
“No,” Farthington’s head tilts ever-so-slightly. “You can’t.”
“Still,” Ryan continues. “I couldn’t help but notice that Lee’s statement said that anyone who touched any of the others outside the confines of a match would lose their championships, and sad though it makes me, I no longer have a championship.”
Ryan sets his sandwich down, picking up his bottled water and taking a swig.
Seeing an opportunity, Farthington grabs the sandwich and fling it over his shoulder. The sandwich immediately flies apart, bread scattered on the floor and a mayo-pasted piece of turkey slapping against and sticking to the chair at another table.
Ryan raises a finger, then reaches back into his paper sack and pulls out a second sandwich, then winks as he takes a bite.
“Always a silver lining.”
Farthington’s smirk turns into a sneer, and Mike Best has had enough. He shoves himself back away from the table, flipping his own table backward and turns, kicking the first thing he sees, which happens to be another chair. He knows what’s going on, and he doesn’t like it… not one bit.
Ryan doesn’t sell this at all, however, and keeps looking at Farthington with an insincere smile. In the background, Best flips a table out of rage, then another, then picks up a chair and launches it into a nearby wall like a missile, where it goes clattering to the floor.
Ryan goes back to his sandwich amidst the tense silence, finishing into in two dramatic bites. He leans toward Farthington slightly.
“See the secret is, you freeze your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, then thaw it out to make sandwiches. Still just as good as the day it was roasted.”
We can almost actually see the visions in the head of Farthington as he visualizes the violence he wants to inflict upon Dan Ryan right now, but he doesn’t, instead clutching #97red tightly.
Mike Best is coming back over, having gotten some of that anger out of his system, and stands next to Max Kael, his head tilted back slightly, but still clearly seething.
“Whoa, calm down, hombre.”
Ryan looks from face to face, chuckles, then stands up. Mike Best clenches his hands at his side.
“Okay, okay. I’ll go. I’ve already done everything I need to do for the moment, right Mike?”
Ryan looks at Mike Best and they share some sort of understanding stare, Ryan smirking slightly and Best returning it with a smirk of his own. Ryan nods after a moment, then his mood returns to a more jovial one…
“You take care of that arm.” Ryan looks back at Farthington. “I’d hate for anyone to think I was trying to get some sort of unfair advantage.”
Ryan smiles, then starts to walks away. A few steps in he turns back toward Max Kael.
“By the way, I love the new look, Max. Really diggin’ the whole North Kaelrea thing. It suits you.”
Another smile, then Ryan turns and heads back down the hallway.
Back at the table, Mike Best sits down, looking off into space as Farthington and Kael give each other a look.
Back live and its time for our third match of the evening as we cut back to the announce team.
Joe Hoffman: Up next folks we got a match that could have some big implications on ICONIC matches and the fight for the LSD title. Darin Zion takes on Brenton Cross where both have been eyeing down Max Kael’s LSD Title.
Benny Newell: Cross already failed to capture the LSD from Max a couple weeks ago and Zion has failed to capture anything that isn’t wrapped in tin foil. Crazy fuck stick.
Joe Hoffman: Well Zion isn’t the one currently receiving mental treatment Benny, that would be Brenton Cross… and speaking of, we will be joined tonight by Dr. Michaels, who has been spearheading Cross’ treatment.
Dr. Michaels: Thanks for having me here tonight… and let’s leave the clinical assessments to the professional Mr. Newell. It’s a dangerous thing to throw words like crazy around when you don’t have the proper education to do so.
Benny Newell: Who brought the buzz kill nerd here.
Dr. Michaels: If helping someone rejoin society as a productive member is a buzzkill… then I am sorry Mr. Newell. But I have worked very hard to help many people, including Brenton, who has made great strides in the past few weeks. As for Mr. Zion, from some things I’ve seen, he could definitely use the help of talking to a professional to work through some of his issues if they are in fact real and not for show.
The lights in the arena turn off as the opening to “Bow Down” by I Prevail blares across the speakers. After a few seconds the name “Darin Zion” flashes across the screen. Zion walks down the entrance ramp wearing his leather hoodie. As he makes it half way down the ramp, he flips his hood down behind him as he surveys the crowd.
Bryan McVay: The following match is scheduled for one fall… making his way to the ring first… from Chicago Illinois…weighing in at 228 pounds…. Darin Zion!!!!!
Zion rushes down the entrance ramps high fiving the crowd before he climbs up the stairs. Immediately he leaps over the top rope and lands on the ground kneeling. He points at the crowd as he calmly awaits his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: Zion seems to be ready to prove something to Max, Brenton and all of HOW tonight as he looks to secure himself a spot on the ICONIC card that is quickly filling up.
Benny Newell: We are going to see Mike Best destroy Hollywood later tonight… but first his Hitmen wannabe buddy is gonna fall.
Smoke appears at the entrance as “COCHISE” by Audioslave hits the arena. Brenton Cross walks through the smoke, his eyes fixed on the ring.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Dallas, Texas… and weighing in at 230 pounds…. Brenton Cross!!!!!
Acknowledging nobody, he walks, focused down to the ring. He slides in, standing center ring then finally looks up to the crowd and soaks in the amazement.
Dr. Michaels: See the focus on Brenton, the cool and calm demeanour. His head is clear and free of delusions tonight.
Gunter glieben glauten globen
Dr. Michaels: No, it’s not time for this yet….
The intro chorus of “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring hits as boos from the Chicago fans start to spatter in as we see on the HOV the following words appear on the HOV in #97Red Times New Roman.
COO Scott Woodson
Out onto the stage walks the newly appointed COO of HOW dressed in a white suit with #97Red tie and his dreadlocks pulled back with his paint splatter headband. Brenton and Zion are a bit confused as Joel Hortega was just about to ring the bell.
Joe Hoffman: Not sure what Mister Woodson is doing out here right now, as Dr. Michaels alluded to, he isn’t due out here until after the match for The Penalty Box with Brenton Cross.
Dr. Michaels: I warned him not to mess with Brenton tonight…
Woodson puts his hand up to signal he’s not here to cause any trouble and nods at Hortega to ring the bell to start the match.
DING DING DING
Both men are still slightly cautious though as Woodson continues to walk around the ring and over to the announce table as he calls for the ring crew to bring him another chair over.
Joe Hoffman: Seems like we will again be graced by the presence of Mister Woodson on commentary tonight.
Benny Newell: Great, a nerd and a sober sell out.
Scott Woodson: Thanks so much for the welcome Benny… has your liver disintegrated yet so we can finally lower the HOW health insurance premium when you die?
Benny bites his tongue and takes a shot of Jack while Cross and Zion lock up in the middle of the ring as Zion quickly reverses behind Cross and takes him down to the mat as he gets Cross in a front face lock and starts hammering rights into his face. Cross takes the shots as he muscles back to his feet and drives Zion back into the turnbuckles where he breaks the hold and fires back with body shots to Zion.
Scott Woodson: That is the fight within Brenton Cross right there. A man trained to never give up, no matter the situation, no matter the sacrifice, until his mission is accomplished.
Dr. Michaels: His mission in the ring, yes, Mister Woodson.
Pulling Zion out of the corner at a four count from Hortgea Cross hits a snap suplex and drops an elbow on Zion before locking the former HOW ICON champion in a headlock, wrenching on the neck as Hortega checks on Zion. Cross now repays the shots to the face on Zion who battles to free himself, but right as he does Cross connects with an elbow to his skull.
Joe Hoffman: Cross trying to control the match here as he wisely keeps Zion grounded.
Dr. Michaels: With a clear head, Cross is one of the most ring smart wrestlers I’ve ever seen.
Scott Woodson: Watch a lot of wrestling there at the asylum between seeing patients doc?
Dr. Michaels: …and why are you out here so early Mister Woodson. Your session with Brenton is not scheduled until after his match.
Scott Woodson: Cause I own this place doctor. Start learning the hierarchy around here… quickly.
Pulling Zion back to his feet Cross whips him in the ropes and catches him with a big upper cut on the way back that stuns Zion. Cross then hits the ropes and explodes back at Zion ith a big spear as he goes for the first cover of the match.
Joe Hoffman: Zion powers out at two. Cross will need more than that to keep Zion down.
Scott Woodson: All about the mind games right now Joe… and forcing Zion to exert that early energy to kickout.
Cross again pull Zion to his feet and whips Zion towards the ropes, but Zion reveres it as he tries to throw Cross into the ropes who reverses again but Zion goes to kick Cross in the gut but Cross catches the kick and Zion comes back with an enziguri kick to the side of Cross’ head that stuns the “time traveler” as Zion grabs Cross and throws him across the ring with a big belly to belly suplex.
Scott Woodson: Great counter exchange as Zion comes out on top. Cross now on the defense.
Dr. Michaels: Slight hiccup by Cross.
Scott Woodson: Ok Doctor cheerleader.
Zion hits the ropes and sentons onto the stomach of Cross for a big rolling thunder as the crowd cheers Zion feeding off the crowd starts to climb the turnbuckles as Cross starts to wearily pull himself back to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: High risk district for Zion as he looks to turn the tide in this match solidly in his favor.
Reaching the top rope, Zion balances for a moment as Cross is back up to his feet and turns around to try and find Zion who launches himself off the top rope for a big cross body. But Cross’s swift reflexes allows him to dodge Zion’s body. But Zion adjusts in mid air and is able to land on his feet slash knee and as Cross turns back towards Zion he is caught with a spinning heel kick.
Joe Hoffman: The Flash Point by Zion!
Scott Woodson: Cover by Zion.
Benny Newell: Drink for TWO!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: You ok there Benny?
Benny Newell: Can’t get a word in here with you three… so playing my own drinking game. I drink when Zion fails…
Zion pounds the mat as he snaps a bit and starts firing rights to the head of Cross who tries to cover up the best he can before he starts firing shots back at ZIon and both men are trading blows back and forth. But Zion with the positional advantage takes back control as he drives a hard elbow into the head of Cross. Pulling Cross back up to his feet he picks him up into a fireman’s carry.
Joe Hoffman: Zion looking for the The Devistation!
Zion goes to drop Cross down in front of him, but Cross pushes off Zion’s back and lands on his feet. Zion goes to turn around and right into a super kick from Cross that drops Zion to the mat.
Dr. Michaels: Light out Zion!
Scott Woodson: Cross now heading up top… could be looking to end it here.
Cross up top looks over at the announce table for a moment before he launches himself off for the 450 splash.
Joe Hoffman: Quantum Mechanics connects!
Scott Woodson: What air time as he traveled through the ai for that 45…
Benny Newell: DRINK!
DING DING DING
Dr. Michael: Cross for the win!
Bryan Mcvay: The winner of this match… Brenton Cross!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Big win for Cross that win will have big implications come post ICONIC at least as Cross looks for another chance at that LSD Title… or in whatever timeline Cross believes in.
Dr. Michaels: The LSD Title Joe… there is no timeline. Don’t confuse my patient.
Hortega raises Cross’ arm as we see Mister Woodson get up from the announce table as the ring crew comes over with two microphones and a hockey stick that is missing the barbed wire we have all come to know is wrapped around his sticks.
Joe Hoffman: And it looks like it’s time for The Penalty Box with Scott Woodson.
Benny Newell: DRINK for words Joe… DRINK!
Scott Woodson: Congratulations Brenton! Hell of a match with Darin Zion.
Woodson climbs the steel steps and into the ring where he steps over his former stablemate Zion while Hortega helps him roll over to the apron after having the air driven out of his chest from the 450 splash.
Scott Woodson: That’s a former ICON champion right there you defeated… and while Zion’s head could possibly use some of the same kind of help you have been getting from Dr. Michaels… I know he will find that Zion will right the ship and show us all why he is a dangerous threat here in HOW.
Benny Newell: A threat to me running out of Jack maybe…
Scott Woodson: But tonight is about you Brenton and you’re rise here in HOW. Already to have had a LSD Title match against Max Kael… which while you failed… you did open many eyes here in HOW.
Woodson hands the other microphone to Brenton who wipes some of the sweat away from his eyes before accepting the microphone and nodding his head back at the COO.
Brenton Cross: Thank you Mister Woodson… and while that loss was not in my plans… I will readjust and make the necessary corrections to make sure next time I get a shot at that LSD Title… I will not fail.
Scott Woodson: And while High Flyer may already have a shot at Max Kael come ICONIC… that doesn’t mean you will be left off the card. As I have a great idea for who I think…
Brenton Cross: Mister Woodson… if you don’t mind… I think I have the perfect idea who I need to face at ICONIC.
Scott Woodson: That you need to face? Why is that?
Woodson smirks as Dr. Michaels stands up from the announce table and tries to glare a hole through the COO.
Brenton Cross: Oh I don’t think you want to… I don’t think the people now can handle why…
Scott Woodson: No Brenton… please… tell us why you think you need to face someone at ICONIC and I’ll gladly give you the match.
Dr. Michaels: Stop it! Stop trying to get him to slip back into that world.
Brenton Cross: Slip back? Do you really think I ever fell for a single thing you said Doctor? You think your so called therapy session ever distracted me from my mission? I played your game because that is what I needed to do to survive. Waiting for the moment… this moment. There is so much at stake… more than you could ever comprehend and things are getting closer to the breaking point. Iran, North Korea… the wheels are in motion Doctor and only I can stop it…
Dr. Michaels: That’s it! This is over! Guards! Come take Brenton away!
With that we see four guards from the asylum start to make their way out from backstage…
Scott Woodson: Guards? You call them guards? Try again… boys!
Before Dr. Michael’s “guards” can get halfway down the ramp they are cut off by six EPU agents dressed in their full body armour and armed with tasers and nightsticks.
Scott Woodson: I told you to learn the hierarchy here Dr. Michaels… This is my show and I’ll let you know when it is over.
Dr. Michaels: You’ll pay for this Woodson! The progress you are ruining!
Brenton Cross: Progress? Come on Doc… do you really think you could change me in months what I trained years for? The timeline must be changed and to do so I must take out…
Brenton suddenly whips around and connects a spinning heel kick to the jaw of the COO.
Joe Hoffman: What the hell?!?!
Grabbing the hockey stick from Woodson, Brenton raises it up over his head while Woodson is down on his hands and knees. But the EPU immediatly start to rush down the ramp as Cross decides to discard the stick and exit the ring. Dr. Michaels tries to stop Brenton, but Cross drops his shoulders and plows over Dr. Michaels as he jumps the crowd barricade with mic in hand.
Scott Woodson: What the fu… What are you doing Brenton!
Brenton has made his way quickly to the top of the lower bowl area of the Allstate Arena as the EPU check on Woodson and don’t want to jump into the hostile Chicago crowd.
Brenton Cross: It’s you Scott… you are the man I need to take out at ICONIC. The newly minted COO of HOW… The power is starting to go to your head. Just like when you were commissioner… like when you were general manager… but this is going to be so much worse. Max Kael will continue to dominate with that LSD Title… you’re so called baby. The lengths you will go to… to try and get it away from him…. you will start a war with North Korea and Iran over that title! You will send this planet into a World War Three that we will never be able to recover from!
Scott Woodson: You come back here now… you apologize for what you did! You’re gonna kiss my fu… kiss my feet and beg for your job!
Woodson stuffs a few of his dreadlocks back into his headband as he rubs his jaw and tries to calm himself back down
Brenton Cross: You said if I told you why… you would give me the match. You have my reasons Scottywood… Woodson… whatever you want to call yourself. Facades to hide behind. I’ve studied you Scotty. From back in NGW… all the way to HOW… I know it all. At ICONIC… match or no match… I will take you out to make sure that the timeline is fixed!
CROWD: FIX THE TIMELINE! FIX THE TIMELINE! FIX THE TIMELINE!
In the ring the anger starts to subside in the COO’s face as he starts to smirk and nods his head back at Brenton.
Scott Woodson: I did say that Brenton… and I am a man of my word. Plus I don’t want to deal with the paperwork of having to arrest one of my wrestlers for trying to attack me at ICONIC… So if you want a match against Scott Woodson at ICONIC… then a match you got!
The crowd roars as Brenton stares back at Woodson and slowly nods his head as he tosses the mic to one of the fans.
Scott Woodson: But like you said… you have studied me… so you know exactly what you are going to get come ICONIC. So you better come with everything the past present and future has got.
Brenton smirks for a moment before he turns from Woodson and makes his exit out to the concourse area and out of view of the cameras. Meanwhile in the ring Woodson slams his microphone on the ground as he shoves a EPU agent out of his way to exit the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Well I didn’t expect that heading into this match, but looks like we will now see Scott Woodson versus Brenton Cross added to the card now at ICONIC.
Benny Newell: I’m pretty fucking drunk after my Zion drinking game… but did he say Scottywood is gonna start World War Three over the LSD Title?
Joe Hoffman: There was a lot to unpack there Benny… none of which I want to try and explain right now… plus we have a commercial break coming up and a match between Steve Solex and Noah Hanson.
Benny Newell: The not not retiring staying Noah Hanson?
Joe Hoffman: Someone get Benny some water and we’ll be right back.
97 Minute iron Man Match for the World Championship
Dan Ryan vs. Cecilworth Farthington©
LSD Championship Match
High Flyer vs. Maximillian Kael©
Austin Reeves vs. Chris Kostoff
Scott Stevens vs. Steve Solex
Scott Woodson vs. Brenton Cross
Back live and once again we cut right to the announce team.
Joe Hoffman: I’m being told there’s a commotion backstage.
Benny Newell: Of course there is. It’s the go home show!
While the HOW merchandise booths are usually abuzzing and a flutter with the comings and goings of the HOW fans, tonight it seems that energy has been kicked up an extra gear. A large swath of onlookers are gathered around a small corner, just to the side of the conventional merchandise booth. eMpire t-shirts, Scott Stevens t-shirts, even the last bit of Noah Hansen merchandise is on sale for discounted rates tonight. A voice cries out from the front of the crowd, as our camera crew attempts to push their way through.
High Flyer: Alright Alright! First come, first serve! Hey! YOU! One only! Yeah, I see you. Put it back!
As the camera parts the seas of the HOW fans, we reveal High Flyer standing in front of a conventional wrestling folding table with a large white tablecloth. He is busy handing out large props. They look like actual cavemen clubs. He hands one with an excited fan, who turns to the camera, showcasing a logo.
“CLUB COWARDS CLUB”
In fact, that is also displayed on a large hanging banner directly overhead. High Flyer continues handing these clubs out to fans.
High Flyer: The Club Cowards Club! Sponsored in part by High Flyer. Club ten cowards, get the eleventh free! You! You good sir! Take ONE. ONE I SAID!
High Flyer takes one of the clubs and just whacks the guy in the head. It bounces off. They’re inflatable.
High Flyer: Everyone! Club this man!
The man rushes off into the sea of fans as various smacks are heard.
From the far side, the red headed formerly fired, but brought in for this specific moment, intrepid reporter Cassie Walsh takes a few steps through the crowd and approaches, tentatively.
Cassie Walsh: High Flyer, what are you doing here?
High Flyer: What’s it look like? I’m starting a club. You want in?
High Flyer holds out to her an inflatable club with the same “Club Cowards Club” logo on it. It’s also on the t-shirt he wears. The rest of his attire is just simple black jeans and wrestling boots. After a moment of hesitation, Flyer lightly bops her on the head and then shoves it into her arm. She bumbles trying to catch the club and hold onto the microphone.
Cassie Walsh: ICONIC is only a few short days away, and I’m sorry… I can’t.
She drops the club to the ground. Flyer looks angrily, shooting daggers at her.
Cassie Walsh: I’ll … I’ll pick it up later.
High Flyer: You better.
Cassie Walsh: You’ve had a shot at the HOW World Championship, and came up short due to outside interference. You defended the HOW Tag Team titles alongside Dan Ryan, and again, came up short due to superior numbers. With that no longer truly a factor, and one on one matches on the docket for the Industry and the eMpire… what is your gameplan heading into ICONIC?
High Flyer: Simple Cassie. It’s Cassie, right? I’m going to take this inflatable club, turn it into a real club, and then just start clubbing cowards, left, right and center. Mike Best? Coward. CLUBBED. Cecilworth? Coward. CLUBBED. Max Kael?! THE BIGGEST COWARD, deserves the BIGGEST CLUB. I’m gonna turn Max Kael into a seal Cassie. He’s gonna just arrr arrr arr all night long in pain while I batter his brains in.
Cassie Walsh: That’s not really a strategy.
High Flyer: I know, a magician doesn’t reveal all his secrets. Like how I slowly gathered all these people here.
The camera zooms out slightly, revealing a sign above the “Club Cowards Sign” that reads simply, “FREE SHIT.”
Off to the side, a dirty disgusting man in a large trenchcoat appears. He taps Flyer on the shoulder. Flyer tries to whisper off camera, but it’s all recorded and aired.
Man: I got the stuff. You got the cash?
High Flyer: Not now dude. I’m on live tv.
Man: Oh. So?
High Flyer: So. I don’t want Max to know I’m purchasing super high powered black market magnets.
Flyer rolls his eyes at himself. He looks to Cassie.
High Flyer: How good is that microphone?
High Flyer: ALRIGHT FINE! You heard everything. I’m buying illegal superpowered magnets to rip Max Kael’s eye clean outta his socket. That’s my gameplan. And then I’m going to end it with me bashing his brain in with his own eye. So murder. Lots of murder. I hear murder’s legal in North Korea.
Cassie: Max WAS hosting a… I can’t even say it. But he’s in the parking lot, spewing vitriol about America and praising North Korea.
High Flyer: He was, is he? Maybe he still is. But dang. I’ve got another two boxes full of inflatable clubs to hand out or I’d go greet him with some violence. Granted, I don’t know, the Best’s may just change things up on us and take away our title matches if we get a little too bloody tonight…. HEY TONY! How are we coming with those clubs?
CUTTO: Tony Davis, High Flyer’s former tag team partner and brother-in-law, is out of breath blowing up each club one by one.
Tony: Almost… *puff* done…
CUTTO: High Flyer, handing out more clubs.
High Flyer: Listen, I’m ready to face Max tonight. I’m ready any night. It’s what I do. But I’m not booked, I don’t want to screw with Dan’s plans with Cecil, so, I figured, why not start a club? And you know, at first, I wanted to use actual clubs, but my counsel told me I would be liable for any damage caused. I listen to red heads. It’s a curse.
Cassie smiles at the comment as Flyer continues without a moment’s breath.
High Flyer: But if I’m going to be liable for damages, I’m going to be the one to cause it.
Flyer looks over at the sea of people, and back to Cassie.
High Flyer: You know what? I’m bored with this. HERE!
High Flyer takes a large box of clubs and tosses them high into the air, above the crowd of people. He then proceeds to take a match and drop it onto the table, lighting it aflame.
The chaos caused by this allows Flyer to slink off into the crowd and disappear.
We cut outside of the arena and we see Austin Reeves walking in the parking lot towards his car, holding onto the handle of the bag that he is rolling next to him. Feeling great after his match with Jace Savage, Austin walks like a man without a care in the world, as opposed to someone who should be psyched up for his match with Hall Of Famer and long time rival, Chris Kostoff.
Just as Austin gets closer to his car, he starts to dig into his pocket for his keys when Kostoff comes up from behind, holding a baseball bat with one hand on each end and bludgeoning the back of Reeves’ head with it, making Reeves face plant the cold parking lot cement.
Kostoff: Ooops, sorry Reeves, I just knocked you the fuck out!
Walking towards Reeves’ car nearby, Kostoff swings his bat around in circles with one hand as he looks back at Reeves who is laying face down on the cement.
Kostoff: I hope you were sensible and took insurance on your vehicle.
Kostoff takes a swing and smashes the drivers window.
Kostoff: You just never know when you’ll have an accident.
He then smashes the rear passenger’s window then turns back to look at Reeves.
Kostoff: This was your fault Reeves. You should have left me alone to deal with Lee but no, you had to get your ass involved!
Kostoff now smashes the rear vision mirror than takes one big swing and puts the baseball bat through the front windshield. He walks over to Reeves and kneels down next him. He turns him around as blood pours out of Reeves’ nose and mouth.
Kostoff (starts to smile): Oh, you’re bleeding. Good.
He reaches for his back pocket and pulls out his bandanna and wipes the blood from Reeves’ face. He then stands up and ties the bandanna soaked with Reeves’ blood around his nose and mouth.
Kostoff: There’s nothing more I’ll enjoy to motivate me for Iconic is the smell of your blood, Reeves.
Kostoff walks away from Reeves and stops to take one last look at Reeves
Kostoff: See you at ICONIC assho—
ZAP x 3000
Kostoff goes down in a heap as a horde of EPU agents taser the big man again and again and pummel him into submission to the concrete.
The crowd inside the arena gasps and some even turn away as the brutality of the attack on Kostoff rages on as the EPU agents show no remorse.
Not a good night for the man inducted into the first HALL OF FAME class.
We fade out as EPU agents continue the assault.
“Killin in the Name of” by Rage Against the Machine begins to play throughout the arena as Noah Hanson makes his way to the ring. Hanson is all business, no flash, as he walks directly to the ring and slides in underneath the bottom rope, awaiting his opponent.
The crowd begin to boo, as “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin begins to play. Just as the lyrics kick up, Steven Solex comes through the curtain. Steven Solex is holding his #1 finger high in the air, with one hand behind his back as the crowd continues to boo. Steven smiles from ear-to-ear as he continues to hold the finger high and makes his way to the ring. Steven stops just before the ring, and pulls a microphone from behind his back.
Steven Solex: Now, Noah Hanson…
The thunderous boos from the crowd nearly drown out Solex, but he stays the course.
Steven Solex: I know this is your retirement, non-retirement, I may come back one-day match. But let’s just be absolutely, crystal clear. I’m not here to take it easy on you, sport.
The crowd continues to show their hate for this new found Steven Solex as the continue to boo, and hurl their middle fingers into the air.
Steven Solex: I’m here to show my son, that real men do still exist. And to show him that, I’m going to absolutely mop the floor with you. No Tom-foolery, no shenanigans, just a good old fashioned but whoopin’!
The crowd continues their verbal assault of Steven.
Steven Solex: Now, if you people would please. Watch your language, and stick your obscene gestures back into your pockets, where they belong. So, my family can watch this match without being poisoned by your filth, I would appreciate it very much.
These comments obviously have the revere effect on the crowd in attendance as the boos and obscenities only grow louder.
Solex slides into the ring as referee Joel Hortega calls for the bell. Solex extends a hand to Noah Hanson, in some sort of peace offering before the match takes place, but Noah doesn’t bite and slaps Steven’s hand away. Solex shakes it off and cracks a smile, as the two begin to circle one another in the ring. Both men go in for the lockup, but Solex smartly lays a boot right into the abdomen of Noah Hanson.
Joe Hoffman: Quick thinking by Solex gets him the early advantage.
Solex is quick to follow up and rakes the back of Hanson with his nails. Referee Joel Hortega shouts a warning out Solex, but those warnings are completely ignored and Solex follows up by clubbing Noah Hanson in the back, sending him face first into the corner. Solex begins putting the boots to the neck and back of Hanson, but with the help of the ropes Hanson is able to climb to his feet. Out of pure instinct and with his back turned to Solex, Hanson swings an elbow that connects directly to the side of Solex’s head, who falls down to a knee.
Joe Hoffman: Noah Hanson now on the offensive, after a sickening elbow to the side of Solex’s head!
Benny Newell: That man is a good-hearted, wholesome father! He’s a father-figure to all, how dare Noah Hanson put his hands on Steven Solex!
Joe Hoffman: It’s a wrestling match Benny.
Benny Newell: Shut the fuck up Joe, Steven is a saint!
Hanson takes advantage of the situation and cracks Solex across the face with a running knee. Solex lays motionless on his back.
Benny Newell: Drink!
Hanson immediately makes a cover, trying to end this one quickly. Referee Joel Hortega slides in for the count.
Solex gets a shoulder up, just after the count of two.
Benny Newell: Not even close! Noah Hanson isn’t leaving HOW with a win, not in this lifetime. Where’s my Jack?
Joe Hoffman: Settle down, Benny.
Benny Newell: Piss off, Hoffhole.
Hanson tries to argue a slow count to the referee Joel Hortega, but to no avail as the match continues. Solex gets to his feet and throws a few stiff punches at Hanson before whipping him into the turnbuckle. Solex follows up with a leaping splash!
Benny Newell: DadSplash by Steven!
Joe Hoffman: DadSplash?
Benny Newell: Keep up, Hoffman. He’s a dad, he splashed him. Why am I doing your job anyway?
Hanson stumbles out of the corner, and Solex goes to the middle of the ring. Waiting, patiently. Solex kicks Hanson in the stomach, doubling him over, then locks him up in a front face lock. Solex drops to a knee and places Hanson over it.
Joe Hoffman: Solex literally has Hanson over his knee!
Benny Newell: It’s Steven, Hoffman. And here comes the belt!
On cue, Solex rips the belt from his waist, folds it in half and holds it high up over his head.
Benny Newell: This is going to hurt Steven more than it’s going to hurt Hanson.
Joe Hoffman: Not possible, Benny.
Benny Newell: Can it, Hoffman. That’s what my Dad always said to me, it must be true.
Just before Solex can whip Hanson with his belt, Hanson rolls through, and cradles Solex for another pin.
Joe Hoffman: Solex barely gets a shoulder up before the count of three! He needs to stop trying to be a dad, and get his head in the game if he wants to win this match!
Benny Newell: God damnit Joe. Steven Solex will do what he pleases. I’m pretty sure Noah Hanson adjusted the thermostat backstage, and Steven is going to make sure he never does that again!
After the kickout, Solex jumps straight to his feet and charges at Hanson with a clothesline. Hanson, however, ducks down and holds down the top rope sending Solex flying to the outside.
Joe Hoffman: Solex goes flying to the outside floor!
Solex tries to get back to his feet, but Noah Hanson climbs out to the apron and levels Solex with a cannonball from the apron. Hanson is quick to his feet, and rolls Solex back into the ring. Hanson rolls under the bottom rope, and is relentless in his attack as he mounts Solex and begins raining down with forearm and elbow shots to Solex’s head.
Benny Newell: Let’s go Steven, beat this prick like he left the fridge open after drinking from the milk carton!
Hanson gets up and begins taunting Solex, shouting a random assortment of inaudible insults.
Joe Hoffman: Noah Hanson really feeling it now!
Benny Newell: That’s what she said.
Hanson turns his back on Solex as he begins to taunt the crowd. Solex slowly climbs to his feet, and looks to attack Hanson, but just as he’s prepared to lunge forward Hanson turns and stands eye to eye with him.
Joff Hoffman: Oh boy!
Solex smirks, and then points to Noah’s chest and raises an eyebrow, as if to say “What the fuck is that?” Hanson gullibly looks down at the finger, which Solex slides up right into Hanson’s eye!
Benny Newell: The Finger Poke of Dad!
Hanson stumbles backward, as Solex hits the ropes and knocks him to the ground with a shoulder block.
Benny Newell: By Gosh!
Joe Hoffman: What?
Solex continues off the opposite ropes as Hanson gets to his feet, only to be knocked down with another shoulder block.
Benny Newell: By Golly!
Joe Hoffman: What?
Noah Hanson is quick to his feet once more, but is clobbered to the floor with devastating clothesline!
Benny Newell: The Clothesline from Heck!
Joe Hoffman: What a clothesline!
Benny Newell: It’s The Clothesline from Heck!
Solex makes the cover, and referee Joel Hortega slides in for the count.
The referee calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: Solex has won the match with the…the…
Benny Newell: The Clothesline from Heck, Hoffhole!
Joe Hoffman: What a performance by the recently transformed, Steven Solex!
Solex begins to celebrate in the ring, as the referee holds Steven’s hand high in the air. Solex begins putting the boots to Hanson, pushing him out of the ring, as he wants to take center stage for himself. But just as Hanson hits the outside floor, the HOV clicks on.
Cue the shitty 1950’s television show theme music.
One the HOV, Steven Solex’s home is shown as the music plays throughout the arena. Solex begins questioning the referee as to what’s happening as the lights inside the arena begin to dim. Just then, words appear on the screen.
“LEAVE IT TO STEVENS”
The music fades, and Scott Stevens is shown in the street in front of Solex’s 1950’s style, suburban home. Solex’s son is shown in the picture talking to Scott Steven’s, but the conversation is not heard. Solex is becoming irate in the ring, as he has no other choice but to watch what is happening live on television.
Solex’s son is sporting a bicycle helmet, and is sitting on his bike. Steven’s begins to push Solex’s son on the bike, and mutter words of encouragement before letting the kid go and ride off on his own.
Scott Stevens: There ya’ go, Jebidiah. You got this little man!
The camera then turns to the front of Scott Stevens, the smile on his face quickly turns into a devious scowl.
Scott Stevens: You attack me from behind Solex, and think you’re just going to get away with it? I’ll see you at ICONIC, pal. But just so you’re clear as to what just happened here. I talk your son how to ride his bike. You’ll never get that shit back.
The picture on the HOV melts away as Steven Solex is shown losing his mind in the ring, kicking at the bottom rope and screaming at the top of his lungs in the direction of the HOV.
Joe Hoffman: What a sinister move on Stevens’ part. Solex will never be able to teach his kid how to ride a bike, Scott Stevens took that away from him. And as prideful as Solex is as a father…all of a sudden, this has taken him off the deep-end.
Benny Newell: Steven did nothing to deserve this, where’s my Jack?!
Joe Hoffman: He busted Stevens open with a metal pipe at the last Refueled, Benny.
Benny Newell: Big freakin’ deal, Hoffman. Steven is a great father, this was totally unnecessary!
We cut away as a pre recorded message begins to play on High Octane Television.
The scene cuts to an empty stage behind which a massive North Kaelrean flag hung behind it. What is a North Kaelrean flag you might ask? Well it’s basically a North Korean flag but with Max Kael’s one eyed, grinning, metal toothed face right in the center of the white star. The heavy thud of boots echoed through the air as the tall, twisted form of Maximillian Wilhelm Kael marched across the stage to stand in the center of it. The Lord Supreme Dictator looked the role wearing an ornate military uniform complete with metals, rank bars and a long black riding crop.
Turning toward the camera Max Kael snapped his heels together and tucked the riding crop under his arm.
Max Kael: Loyal soldiers of the North Kaelrean Army I am proud to stand before you today, Lord Supreme Dictator Maximillian Wilhelm Kael! I come before you today because the final battle looms on the horizon.. The Final Battle at ICONIC where I will CRUSH whatever is left poor little pathetic Jack Harmen.
As he speaks Max’s metal teeth clang together as he lifts his left arm dramatically, his leather gloved hand clenched into trembling fist. The strange eye glared forward, its iris collapsing into a tiny dot adrift a weird blue sea.
Max Kael: As you loyal soldiers continue to spread my influence and power across the entirety of the High Octane World I do my best to represent our great as well as the glorious North Kaelrea and my Number One Fan, KIM JUNG UN! This has taken the shape.. Of the LSD Championship.
From the left side of the stage Little Lady Sutler Kael (Chloe Sektor) awkwardly appears wearing a North Kaelrean uniform holding the LSD Championship which is almost as big as she is. Receiving a heart warming “aww” from an unseen audience she offers a quick bow before scampering over to Max’s side smiling up at him eager to receive his approval. He offers her a courteous golf clap before patting her on the head as cheering can be heard from off camera.
Max Kael: I defeated that horrible MJF and Jack “High Flyer” Harmen.. Or.. “High Flyer” Jack Harmen.. Or.. some such combination of those to claim the prize MJF claimed when she cost me my High Octane World Championship. ME. Any hope of MJF having any kind of legitimate title run, gone. And I didn’t even do her the service of pinning her ass, I pinned “Harmen Jack” Flyer High. And where has MJF been? Hiding, scared, the smartest play really.
A smug expression swims across his face, his shiny metal eyepatch shimmering seductively beneath his scarred brow.
Max Kael: But the LSD Championship isn’t the only thing I took from High Octane Wrestling. From the Industry. Dan Ryan and “High Jack” Harmen Flyer felt the wrath of the eMpire and lost the only gold they had left.. The Tag Team Championships.
Snapping his finger Max’s face darts toward the right side of the stage as his expression became more menacing, vindictive you might even be tempted to say if you were a judgemental person, which I’m going to assume you are. Two North Kaelrean soldiers push a wheelchair onto the stage with a banged up, presently unconscious looking Sutler Kael (Sutler Reynolds) tied to it. The High Octane Tag Team Championship is wrapped around his waist which elicits another round of cheers from his mysterious audience.
Max Kael: That’s right, for those keeping track that was the SECOND time good old Jack Flyer “High Harmen” cost the Industry some gold! Heh-heh! Remember when you attacked me in early 2019? Guess what butter cup, I took your tag title the same way I took MJF’s LSD Championship, through little High “Jack Flyer” Harmen. So go fuck yourself now, I’m done with you. P.S. I hope Cecilworth breaks your fucking arm..s.
Max claps for himself as he is joined in cheers for his own obnoxious insults. His expression melts into disgust as he looks over at the unconscious Sulter Kael, his nostrils flaring as he turns back toward the camera.
Max Kael: So that just leaves us with the real key to all this. Harmen High “Flyer Jack”, the man who gave me my LSD Championship and my Tag Team Championship. I hope you’re out there listening because, though this is not addressed directly at you please consider it to be so. Since your arrival you’ve been like this great annoying gnat fluttering around. Cecilworth said this guy was dangerous. Lee Best gloated that he had caught a real big fish when he debuted this guy. The Industry was supposed to become a dominant force in High Octane Wrestling.
Shaking his head the LSD Champion spits on the stage, a bit of spittle catching on his chin, dancing in the cold night breeze adding an animalistic appearance to the very sane and stable Maximillian Kael.
Max Kael: WHAT ARE THEY NOW!? A pack of LOSERS with no gold, no titles, NOTHING! And this fucking guy, this IDIOT has been left unconcious in the ring WEEK after WEEK by our GLORIOUS EmPIRE! And now just a few weeks from ICONIC begin finale preparations to end Harmen Jack High Flyer “ “. When ranked No. 1 Max Kael faces ranked No. 40 Flyer “Harmen High” Jack at ICONIC I promise you there will be VIOLENCE. There will be PAIN. There will be your LORD SUPREME DICTATOR standing over Jack Harmen “High Flyer” VICTORIOUS.. Because I am the Prime Minister of Maxopotamia. The Lord of Kaelsalvania. The North Kaelrean General. The High Octane Wrestling Tag Team Champion. THE. LORD. SUPREME. DICTATOR.. MAXIMILLIAN. WILHELM. KAEL. FIRST of my NAME!
The camera begins to pan back as a sea of North Kaelrean helmets fill up the Rosemont Horizon Parking lot. They raise their firsts into the air as their chants fill the cold Chicago night.
“LONG MAY MAIM! LONG MAY HE MAIM! LONG MAY HE MAIM”
The roster will be finalized at ICONIC for the Lee Best Invitational and the road towards March to Glory #MTG2020
Joe Hoffman: Up next, Benny, we’ve got an impromptu match that was booked by Lee Best earlier this evening. A medically cleared Lindsay Troy versus the man who attacked her backstage, and unprovoked, last week…
Joe Hoffman: …El Hombre Blanco.
Benny Newell: Why do you have to say it like that Joe? El Hombre Blanco is a national treasure in Mexico and we are HONORED to have him here with us in HOW. And…of course…this match is only happening IF he’s in the building! Let’s not forget that!
Joe Hoffman: Oh, I’d bet any amount of money that he’s here, partner, don’t worry.
The opening clap-stomp beats of “Watch Me” by The Phantoms hit the speakers as the fans in the Allstate Arena jump to their feet. They roar their approval as the lyrics kick in, bringing Lindsay Troy out through the curtain amidst a shower of pyro and cannon blasts.
Joe Hoffman: She’s been sidelined for six weeks, and she didn’t want to wait until ICONIC to have her first match back. Benny, Lindsay Troy is back and she means business.
Benny Newell: Yeah, and you know what else Lindsay Troy is? Stupid. She could’ve laid low and had another two weeks to rest her elbow, but what does she want to do? Avenge a beatdown. HOW predictable.
Troy is decked out in full ring gear, and the metal elbow brace she’d been wearing the past month-plus has been replaced with a more simple, padded one over the joint itself. At the bottom of the ramp, she jumps flat-footed onto the apron and flips herself up and over the top rope. Troy then ascends a turnbuckle to give the fans a photo op before leaping off and stalking to a far corner. She gives Rick “Even” Stevens a nod on her way there.
Joe Hoffman: Well, maybe you think it’s predictable but I can’t blame her in the least. And, by the sound of it, neither can our fans. After what the eMpire has done to her, especially under the farcical cover of “El Hombre Blanco…”
Benny Newell: Dammit, Hoffhole, I will not stand for you sullying the pillar of the lucha libre community that is El Hombre Blanco.
Joe Hoffman: Oh come off it. For the millionth time, that is Mike Best under a mask.
Benny Newell: No it’s not.
Joe Hoffman: Are you blind?
Benny Newell: I’ve got 20/20 vision when I’m not drinking, baybeeeee!
LT’s music cuts out and up cues “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” by Cumbia Drive and, oh baby, if you didn’t think the Galactic Empire could groove to a Latin beat then you are WRONG! Every Zumba mom in Chicago is about to throw on their sweatpants and hit up Youtube for this bad boy track.
After El Hombre Blanco’s entrance, that is.
The Baddest White Man South of the Rio Grande slowly walks out onto the stage and is promptly hit with a wave of BOOOOOOOs~! He snaps the straps on his black and gold singlet, waves the fans off, and takes his sweet ass time getting down the ramp, showing off some salsa dance moves as he does.
Joe Hoffman: “El Hombre Blanco” moving slower than traffic on the Kennedy down to the ring.
Benny Newell: He has every right to take as long as he wants, Hofflepuff! I heard this is the secret strategy of the ancient Olmec people of Mexico. He knows Lindsay Troy wants a piece of him, so he’s being CAUTIOUS™ on how he wants to approach this match. A smart man doesn’t run headlong into danger!
Joe Hoffman: Or he’s a damn coward who got outsmarted, and he’s backed into a corner he can’t get out of.
After what feels like two playthroughs of his music, El Hombre Blanco finally reaches the bottom of the ramp. He ascends the first step, stops, and stretches his back. Takes the second stair, stretches his arms out.
Joe Hoffman: Oh for the love of God…
Benny Newell: LET THE MAN ENACT HIS STRATEGY, JOEBERT!
Finally, El Hombre Blanco’s on the apron, and looks like he’s about to enter the ring. Lindsay Troy rises from her seat in the corner and takes a couple steps to center, but he takes one look at her and wags his finger.
El Hombre Blanco: Esperame, puta!
El Hombre Blanco snaps his head out to the crowd.
El Hombre Blanco: ¿Todos creen que esta puta puede vencerme con su codo roto? Imbéciles! Soy El Hombre Blan–
The Queen of the Ring, having had quite enough of El Hombre Blanco’s “strategy” of stall tactics, bursts forward and levels EHB with a running dropkick. He goes flying off the apron and crashes into the barricade, and Troy is quickly out of the ring and hot on his heels.
Joe Hoffman: Lindsay Troy is tired of waiting on this sham of a man and she’s bringing the fight to him!
Benny Newell: BUT THE STRATEGYYYYYYYY!
El Hombre Blanco hurriedly gets to his feet and makes a break for it, darting around the ring to put space between himself and the Queen. But Troy is too quick, and he hit the barricade too hard, and she’s able to catch up to him as he tries to escape through the crowd near the corner post closest to the ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Blanco’s got nowhere to go now, Benny. Lindsay hauled him back over the guardrail and has got him in a Muay Thai clinch! Oh BIG KNEE to the face! And another! And another! Lindsay Troy is teeing off on El Hombre Blanco with rapid fire knees to the face!
Benny Newell: Call the National Guard! Get President Obrador on the phone! This is an International Incident that needs to be stopped!
Joe Hoffman: This is exactly what El Hombre Blanco deserves and more! Another knee by Troy! Blanco’s on spaghetti legs but he manages to land two body shots and a forearm to Troy. The Queen stumbles back a few steps, which gives EHB some breathing room.
Benny Newell: Yes! Create some distance. Regroup, baby, that’s all you gotta do!
But rather than regroup, or even get in the ring where maybe Rick Stevens would make Troy back off a bit, El Hombre Blanco has decided he’s had enough of this bullshit. He weebles and wobbles his way up the ramp, hoping to get backstage before Troy gets her hands on him again.
Joe Hoffman: And El Hombre Blanco is running away from the punishment he brought on himself, because of course he is.
Benny Newell: You don’t know that, Hoffhole. This could all be a part of his stra–
Joe Hoffman: If you say “strategy” one more time as it relates to that man, Benny, I’m going to break your bottle of Jack over your head.
Benny Newell: No, not my Precious!
Lindsay Troy regains her senses and sees that El Hombre Blanco has nearly made it to the top of the stage. She runs full bore up the ramp and launches herself at her prey; when El Hombre Blanco realizes there’s something headed his way, it’s too late to avoid a knee to the chest and a knee to the chin.
Joe Hoffman: RAYNES OF CASTAMERE! Lindsay Troy connects with her patented flying double knee strike! Troy crashes to the stage! El Hombre Blanco goes flying!
Benny Newell: No no no, this wasn’t supposed to happen!
The crowd is going absolutely bonkers as Troy gets to her feet first. El Hombre Blanco’s sucking wind and he’s nowhere near an exit route. She scrambles over, a wicked grin on her face, and quick as lightning slaps on a jiu jitsu kneebar on ‘Blanco’s right knee.
Joe Hoffman: Troy with a kneebar, she’s got it locked in tight!
Benny Newell: Someone get out here and help our Diplomat!
Joe Hoffman: If he’s a Diplomat then I’m the President! El Hombre Blanco’s in a world of hurt right now and Troy is not letting go!
Benny Newell: She could tear every ligament in his knee. He may never walk again!
Joe Hoffman: That’s a little dramatic but you’re right about the ligaments, Benny. ‘Blanco is tapping and the Queen of the Ring is cinching it in tighter.
Benny Newell: They’re gonna close the borders because of this and I’ll never be able to go to Cancun again! Somebody stop this!
From the back, the Elite Protection Unit comes pouring out through the curtain and the HOW fans are not happy about it; obviously Lee Best has seen enough of this. They immediately swarm Lindsay Troy, tugging at her arms and legs and yelling at her to break the hold. One reaches for a taser and that’s when she, reluctantly, releases ‘Blanco from her grasp. Troy’s pulled to her feet and shoved to the side, and she holds her hands up in an “I’m cool” gesture.
Her satisfied smirk tells the whole story.
Joe Hoffman: One receipt called in by Lindsay Troy and, hell, she looks ready for ICONIC to me, Benny.
Benny Newell: SHE SHOULD BE FIRED. NO. DRAWN AND QUARTERED AND THEN FIRED.
El Hombre Blanco is also hauled to his feet and is none-too-happy about it. He shoves his EPU hander away, spits at him, and is tasered for his efforts.
Benny Newell: Oh come on, this is a hate crime!
Joe Hoffman: Are you for real?
Benny Newell: YES, I HATE IT.
Joe Hoffman: We’ve got to take a commercial break. Don’t go away, folks!
Blaire Moise is standing by backstage waiting for her next interview…and the person walks in….one half of the main event tonight…..Brian Hollywood.
Blaire Moise: Mr. Hollywood, you’re about to go one on one with one of the best in HOW history…the legendary Mike Best. I know for a fact, because it isn’t a secret around here, how much you’ve been wanting to get at Mike Best. You’ve been hoping to do so for quite a long time now. What is going on in your mind as you prepare to go one on one with Mike Best?
Hollywood’s posture definitely changes. This wasn’t like any ordinary match for Hollywood. He takes a breath as he composes his seriousness.
Brian Hollywood: What’s going on my mind, huh? First off….what the hell was that bullshit we just seen before the commercial break? Am I even going to have a match? I have wanted to get at Mike Best for years…it’s been five years since I last faced Mike Best, and he is out here running around in a fucking mask? It is fucking apparent that he has NO RESPECT for me nor any RESPECT for the company that his father built as he continues to disrespect everything and everyone NOT in his little fucking group. I have had to wait long for this moment….Far too long to wait. Everything went so wrong in our last encounter and that motherfucker beat me…he beat me good. However, this time, everything is going to change. I’m not the same man who stepped into that ring with him last time. I’ve changed and boy have I changed. I would be lying if I said Mike Best didn’t make me better. That’s the one place I give him credit for. However, he had better be careful with how he once helped me. Because I feel like everything comes around full circle.
Blaire Moise: So as you’re about to step out into that ring with him in a few short moments, can you tell us what’s different from five years ago and to today? Also, a lot of people have doubted your abilities and credibility since you lost in the finals to Halitosis for the HOW World Championship. A lot of people can say you’ve really fell and you fell hard. However, I can see right now you’re a different person because of how you carry yourself. So please, can you tell everyone what we’re going to expect in this match compared to the last time you faced Mike Best?
Hollywood smiles briefly but that quickly goes away as we see Hollywood fire up before he walks into battle with one of the greats in all of High Octane Wrestling.
Brian Hollywood: To put it simply Blaire, this is going to be my measuring stick. I’ve had Mike on my mind all night and I’m going to walk down to that ring and I’m going to handle my business like I always do! Mike and I are no strangers to each other. However, he’s had every opportunity to acknowledge me and he has chosen to ignore me. I’ve given him every opportunity and I’m going to make him pay for it. Daddy Best finally gave me what I wanted and booked me against Mike. It only took months for it to be acknowledged but here we are on the eve of ICONIC…and I’m getting my match against Mike Best. I’m not even on the ICONIC card…and it disgusts me. But quite frankly…I deserved it. This match against Mike gives me the opportunity to step out of the shadows where I’ve been and showcase not who I have been these last several months….but who I should be.
Mike Best and I may not be friends…but he reminded me of who I once was…of who I should fucking be! Mike Best is a lot of things but he has a way of getting down deep within your very soul! The very essence that makes you, you!
Hollywood pauses for a brief moment as you can see the fire behind his eyes light up. This was the look of a long lost presence. The look of a familiar adversary that once dominated the HOW verse. This was the Brian Hollywood that captured HOW with an iron fist and it was obvious as that side of Hollywood was coming out before our very eyes.
Brian Hollywood: No…this isn’t going to be your typical wrestling match..this is going to be a war..or should I say the restart of something that used to be. Now I’ve been given a chance to restart that war properly and this time, it will be different. Mike…you’re about to step into the ring with a man who currently has nothing to lose. I’ve been broken down to the very core in this company. However, this had to be done because at that very core is a man who has laid dormant for three years. A man who is desperately trying to reach the surface again and reclaim what he once lost. All this on the eve of ICONIC. Mike…I’m going to come down to that ring and give you the fight that you have always wanted from me. This isn’t going to be the fight that we had back in 2014…no that man is long gone. You are going to see the Hollywood that dominated 2016. The Hollywood that not only won the World Championship..but took every single HOW Championship for myself in one night. That time has risen again and I start that campaign tonight against Mike.
Hollywood pauses once again and sighs. He looks around the back before turning back to Blaire. He continues to be on fire and is maintaining that passionate posture.
Brian Hollywood: No matter what happens in that ring in a few moments…I know I’ve been reborn again. I’m going down to that ring to make a point, Mike, and I expect you to see that point. I’m going to bloody you…rip you to shreds…you are going to have to be at your very best to take me down. You are going to have to break me down and you are going to have to use your last breath to defeat me. This isn’t going to be a warm up like it was in 2014 and even if anything else happens…no matter who wins this match…you are going to see just what I’m talking about. Mark my words, though, I’m going to beat you down worse than you’ve ever been and I’m going to give you a battle that you are going to respect…because that’s who you are and I have come to know that over the years. I’m going to give you the fight you want…but it will be at a cost. You wanted the old Brian Hollywood and that’s the Hollywood you are going to get. But be careful what you wish for because what comes out is going to be at your expense. This war begins again, Mike, and this isn’t going to be the last time we step into that ring together…oh no…this is simply the beginning…the start of a war that finally gets its platform for the first time since HOW came back and it will be one that doesn’t end anytime soon. So I hope you came focused, Mike, because this fight is going to be more intense than any other match you’ve had since you’ve come back to the ring and that much….I promise you.
The old Hollywood is back! And he’s here to take back HOW once again and you can bet that as an Executive…..
Hollywood pauses before he simply puts his head down briefly. Hollywood looks down at the ground for a few moments and shakes his head before looking back up and not finish what he says as he simply nods his head with that once lost look in his eyes…he was ready for war and he finally got the war he was intending to start months ago as he looks up enraged as he marches off towards the ring as we fade to our final commercial break.
From the first show in October of 2002 to Refueled airing tonight…..we close in on our 400th show
Joe Hoffman: Tonight’s main event is a match not seen in High Octane Wrestling since 2014, ladies and gentlemen. The Executive force meets the Unsanctionable Object, as Brian Hollywood takes on Michael Lee Best in the very first HOW main event of 2020.
Benny Newell: Which means the first eMpire victory of 2020, Joe. Did you know that Mike Best is fucking undefeated this year?
Joe Hoffman: An achievement for the record books, obviously.
Benny Newell: Go ahead and be glib, you cunt. This man has not lost a real match in HOW since the return. He lost ONE FUCKING MATCH to John Sektor, by kicking him in the dick seconds after the bell rang. No one has beaten this man since THE FUCKING YEAR OF OUR LORD 2016.
Joe Hoffman: Well the man he’s up against is certainly hoping to start out the new year by shattering that statistic forever, Benny. Brian Hollywood didn’t exactly have the career year in 2019 that he had at the end of HOW’s last era, and he’ll be looking to start fresh here tonight with a victory over a man he’s wanted a singles match against for a long time. A man who, it’s worth noting, already had one match earlier tonight against his ICONIC opponent, Lindsay Troy.
Benny Newell: Funny, because I saw a non-match between El Hombre Blanco and Lindsay Troy. And I have it on good authority that they aren’t the same fucking person, and that anyone who says they are will be SUED INTO ABJECT FUCKING POVERTY FOR DEFAMATION.
“Perfect Insanity” by Disturbed begins to blast over the speakers as Brian Hollywood bursts through the curtain. Tonight, the limo and fanfare are nowhere to be found as he makes his way to the ring, his eyes full of fire. He rips his beater tank top off, wearing only jeans and boots as he stomps his way to the ring– he’s not dressed to wrestle tonight, he’s dress for a fight.
Joe Hoffman: Brian Hollywood is a former HOW World Champion. This is a sentence that isn’t said enough in this modern era of High Octane Wrestling– Brian Hollywood has gone toe to toe with some of the best to ever lace up their boots in this company, and he’s won.
Benny Newell: Please. Name a single worth a fuck person he beat this year.
Joe Hoffman: HOW Hall of Famer and multiple time champion Chris Kostoff? HOW Hall of Famer and multiple time champion John Sektor? How about the very opponent that Mike Best will be taking on at ICONIC, legendary wrestler and multiple time champion Lindsay Troy?
Benny Newell: Shit man, I said name one. Fucking Stevenspedia.
Hollywood jogs up the ring steps, ducking quickly into the ring and taking his corner. Referee Rick Stevens begins going through the motions of checking him out pre-match, as the music begins to fade away.
“Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode slaps fucking bass over the sound system, it’s sweet opening riffs heralding the arrival of the SON OF GOD, Michael Lee Best. The always polarizing wrestling veteran steps out slowly onto the stage, with referee Rick Stevens walking just behind him and the unsanctioned HOFC Championship over his shoulder– he’s got a very noticeable limp in his step, as he makes his way down to the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Curious, Benny– Michael is walking with a limp here tonight. It’s almost like he’s hurt his knee. It’s almost like he was maybe in a kneebar earlier tonight. It’s almost like he’s absolutely, one hundred percent El Hombre Blanco.
Benny Newell: Fake news, lies, and slander, you conspiracy humping liar who lies. I have it on good authority that Mike Best hurt his leg kicking a chair too hard! This is all Dan Ryan’s fault! He goaded Mike Best into a career threatening, chair induced injury.
Joe Hoffman: He kicked a chair too hard?
Benny Newell: Did I fucking stutter? I say drop a drone on every fucking chair in this place. IT’S A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY, JOSEPH. LOCK HER UP.
Michael carefully approaches the apron, rolling under the bottom rope and hobbling to his feet in the ring. Rick Stevens steps into the ring behind him, staying back a few paces as Michael makes his way to Stevens, looking annoyed. The two begin to argue, quietly but talking a lot with their hands, as Rick Stevens crosses his arms, looking a little bit uncomfortable.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like a disagreement here regarding who will referee this match, folks.
Benny Newell: Rick Stevens is the HOFC referee, Joe. This is the way.
Joe Hoffman: But the HOFC Championship isn’t even sanctioned, and Mike Best isn’t in charge of–
Benny Newell: I HAVE SPOKEN…sorry Kuill……had to.
After an uncomfortably long argument, Stevens shakes his head and washes his hands of the whole thing. He’s put up with a lot of the eMpire over the last few weeks, and he leaves the ring with a chip on his shoulder as Rick Stevens takes his place in the middle of the ring. Hoisting the unsanctioned HOFC Championship high into the air, Rick signals for the bell, and the match officially begins.
DING DING DING
Fired up and with something to prove, Brian Hollywood sprints for the corner before the second “ding” has “dung”, throwing a wild forearm, but Michael uses his uninjured leg to spring away from the turnbuckle, narrowly avoiding the opening attack.
With a grunt, Hollywood slaps a hand against the turnbuckle pad, but carries on through his frustration. He shoots into a tie up, and the two battle back and forth for leverage— Mike nails a knee to the midsection, and quickly wraps Hollywood into a side headlock, much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: Mike Best working to slow some of that momentum that Hollywood came to the ring with. He wants to set the pace and the tone here early.
Benny Newell: All ball tickling aside, Joe, no one can deny that Mike is the best when it comes to getting into your head. He doesn’t just beat you, he breaks you down.
Michael walks his opponent to the center of the ring, clinching down on the hold, but Hollywood lifts him clear off his feet! He slams the HOFC Champion down onto his right leg, putting all the impact on the already injured knee of Mike Best! Collapsing like he’s been shot, Mike grabs a hold of his knee and instinctively tucks it into a protective position.
This doesn’t seem to slow Hollywood down at all, as he starts laying stomps into the Son of God– he grabs the ropes for leverage, so Rick Stevens starts the five count.
Hollywood is barely able to tear himself away at four, but this match is too important to lose to impulse. He reaches down, picking Best up by his slicked back hair and turning him around, locking his hands into place and dropping Michael with a vicious looking neckbreaker in the middle of the ring! He makes a cover!
Best quickly gets the shoulder up at two, but Hollywood springs right back to his feet, ready and amped to keep fighting.
Joe Hoffman: What a turn in the momentum, folks! This is exactly what the “champ” was trying to avoid. Hollywood is a man on a mission, and he can’t think of a better way to start his new year than with a main event victory over HOW’s most historically decorated champion.
Benny Newell: It’s just not in his DNA, Joe. He’s an executive, not a wrestler. Why the fuck does he even wrestler? He’s he like, a fucking spy or something?
Hollywood once again lifts Mike Best to his feet, this time launching him into the ropes. Best hobbles into a stagger as he shoots back off the other side, and it throws Brian’s timing off just enough that his dropkick falls flat on the canvas.
Slapping the mat, Brian curses his mistake, but he’s still fired up as he stands back to his feet. Unfortunately, as soon as gets back up, he’s met with a stiff closed fist to the side of the head! Rick Stevens, still an actual impartial referee, steps in and condemns this, warning Mike about keeping an open hand– the weirdest, dumbest rule in wrestling.
Hollywood doesn’t want the referee charity, though, and he shoves Rick aside as he barrels back into the unsanctioned HOFC Champion, barraging him with fists! Mike Best and Brian Hollywood begin to throw hands back and forth, all of them fucking closed, as the two HOW veterans battle it out in the middle of the ring accompanied by a roaring crowd! They both shoot in for a tie up at the same time, and begin jockeying for position once again.
Joe Hoffman: I’m not even sure why there is a referee out here tonight, Benny. These guys are looking to fight, and they seem more inconvenienced by the rules than anything.
Benny Newell: This is why the HOFC Championship needs to be SANCTIONED, Joe. This pussy disqualification shit gets in the way of WAR.
Mike Best gets the advantage, twisting the arm of Brian Hollywood as he grabs for leverage and turns out a standing armbar. He puts on the pressure, trying to force Hollywood to his knees, but Brian rallies against the submission hold as he explodes from his legs, hoisting Mike Best up onto his shoulders and reversing the move! He picks the Unsanctioned HOFC Champion up into a fireman’s carry, struggling to keep his heavier opponent up.
Michael flails atop Brian’ shoulders, trying to wiggle free– and he does! Best drops behind Hollywood, freeing himself from his opponent’s shoulders and driving a hard right foot kick to the back of Hollywood’s right knee. Brian buckles under the force, dropping to a knee, and Mike Best quickly backs into the ropes, charging forward and hitting a solid dropkick to the back of Hollywood’s exposed head!
Brian drops forward onto his face, but Mike Best doesn’t appear quick to get up either– he holds his knee again, obviously having re-aggravated it with the snap of the dropkick.
Joe Hoffman: A huge offensive burst by the “unsanctioned champion”, folks, but it came at a cost. That knee, previously injured by Lindsay Troy tonight, has–
Benny Newell: He kicked a fucking chair, Joe. He isn’t El Hombre Blanco.
Joe Hoffman: Sigh.
Benny Newell: Don’t say the word sigh. It’s fucking weird.
Hollywood scrambles to his feet, seeing the unsanctioned champ prone in the center of the ring. A confident smile comes over his face as he towers over Michael Best, looking around the arena for a moment and then reaching down to take advantage. He grabs a hold of the injured leg, and though Mike Best does his damndest to fight it off, gets the champion into position and locks in a knee bar! The crowd goes nuts as Mike Best writhes in pain, screaming out while Brian Hollywood wrenches his knee sideways and puts on the pressure.
Rick Stevens drops to check for the submission, but Best screams at him to “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!” He struggles against the hold, flailing about with all his energy in an effort to get free, but Brian Hollywood simply clinches down harder, really cranking up the pressure.
Joe Hoffman: Brian Hollywood may have just hit the lottery in this match! I don’t know how much longer Mike Best can hold on! That knee is done.
Benny Newell: DISQUALIFY HIM RICK, YOU AREN’T ALLOWED TO TAP OUT AN INJURED MAN! After what that fucking tramp Lindsay Tr– uh– after what that chair did to Mike Best earlier tonight, that ought to be downright illegal.
Best begins inching backward, summoning all his strength to pull Brian Hollywood toward the ropes. From his position, Hollywood can’t manage to pull back, and with a last ditch effort Mike Best grabs the ropes! He holds the ropes for dear life, causing the referee to tell Hollywood to break off the hold. Brian looks disappointed, but quickly releases the knee bar and wriggles back toward his feet.
Hollywood takes a few big steps backward, waiting in a three point stance for his opponent to get back to his feet. It’s a slow wait as the tension mounts, and Mike Best begins to pull himself up on the ropes. As soon as he’s nearly standing, Hollywood takes off with a running start for the clothesline, but Best pulls down on the ropes! The clothesline ducked, Brian Hollywood can’t stop his momentum and flips over the ropes to the cold, hard concrete below!
Joe Hoffman: OH! Brian Hollywoo sent spilling to the floor! That might be it for him!
Benny Newell: I always knew this match would be his fucking rock bottom. I just didn’t know it would be on the fucking concrete.
A heaving Mike Best struggles to get his balance in the ring. Though his tank is already running on fumes, he gets a smirk on his face– if Brian Hollywood wants to take things old school tonight, then he’s going to take them old school.
The unsanctioned champ gets a one step start before charging and hopping onto the top of the third rope, attempting to springboard outside! His knee buckles under the pressure, though, and he too is sent careening to the floor below with a sickening crash!
Joe Hoffman: OH MY GOD! Rick Stevens is counting, but these men can’t even hear it. I doubt they can hear anything– just a ringing in the ears, Benny. What a savage ending these two have met here tonight.
Benny Newell: But these men can’t even hear it? This is a new level of lazy. Just because you didn’t wanna go through the countout. They can’t even hear it. Fuck you.
Michael Best and Brian Hollywood struggle to collect themselves. Hollywood leans on the guardrail, trying desperately to pull himself to his feet, while Mike Best begins crawling up the ring stairs and trying to favor his good leg. It’s the Son of God who steadies himself first, mounting the ring apron and trying a second time to make an impact.
Mike Best gets a hobbled running start, launching himself off the ring apron! Hollywood turns just in time to take the full force of a flying cross body block off the apron which sends both men crashing into the guardrail and spilling out into the sea of fans!
Both men lie in a heap amongst the twisted metal wreckage of the guardrail, physically spent and hurting. Barely moving, they each do their best to stir amongst the remnants of the metal structure!
Joe Hoffman: Enough is enough! We’ve got two injured men, one doubly so– someone needs to put a stop to this before it goes someplace it can’t come back from.
Benny Newell: Like North Kaelrea? I don’t follow. But then, I do love me some fucking bloodsport.
This time, it’s Brian Hollywood who seems to be faster on his feet, crawling toward the apron and eager to take this fight back into the ring.
Best scowls, crawling slowly to his feet as he too makes his way back toward the ring. He rolls under the ropes, only to catch a vicious boot to the side of the head from Brian Hollywood.
Michael uses the ropes to climb to his feet, but Brian is ready– Hollywood lunges forward to take advantage! Mike Best sees it coming, though, and connects with a boot to the stomach! He launches off the opposite ropes, a sudden burst of second wind as he collides his injured but deadly knee directly into the face of Brian Hollywood.
Joe Hoffman: I KNEED A HERO! That oughta do it folks!
Benny Newell: HAPPY NEW YEAR, DOUCHEBAGS! I FUCKIN’ TOLD YOU!
Spent once again, he hooks the pin as Rick Stevens counts the decisive fall.
DING DING DING
Michael Best rolls toward the ropes, greedily grabbing the HOFC Championship from Bryan McVay before the announcement is even made official.
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner… and STILL… Unsanctioned HOFC Chaaaaampion…. MICHAEL…. LEE…. BEEEEEST!
Using the ropes to climb to his feet, Michael Best holds the belt high over his head. His celebration is short lived, however, as the arena goes completely pitch black and after a few moments a solitary spotlight is seen shining at the top of the entrance ramp.
The crowd erupts as we see none other than the GOD of HOW standing with a microphone and he’s ready to speak.
Lee Best: First off congratulations Son on another victory and for finally getting above Applebee’s in the damn rankings. I really do appreciate that….really do.
Lee smirks as he continues.
Lee Best: But look I am not out here to do some crazy finish to the show. I am simply keeping it simple and wanted for once the spotlight to be taken on some facts…..which I will provide here and now.
Lee motions for the lights to come back up and as they do we see the entire ringside area is full of EPU agents. As the cameras continue to pan around we see that there are EPU agents literally on every other step of the arena…..a true show of force to the fans and everyone watching at home.
Lee Best: As most everyone knows, each and every show has been marred with some kind of attack outside of the ring. If there are not attacks happening in the parking lot, the backstage area, MY OFFICE…..well they are happening online…….on social media…..where HALL OF FAMERS continue to brag about false titles, false wings of the Hall of Fame…..and quite frankly a bunch of other skewed information that quite frankly I am tired of. Everyone is. We get it. If you are not Max or Farthington then you don’t matter in HOW. We get it Son. Message received loud and clear.
Lee pauses as we now see EPU agent after EPU agent come out from the backstage area and now surround the Creator of all things High Octane. Lee looks around and feeling safe….continues.
Lee Best: You see my Son used to be the pinnacle of everything that happened inside the ring. Now? Well now my son is a glorified Flavor Fav and feels the need to hype Championships that aren’t even relevant anymore….and why? Well its because he is the weak link in the ring. Is he the World Champion? The ICON Champion? Was he in the match that won the Tag Titles for the Empire? Nope. He is now just a loudmouth who is known more for getting under the skin of the fans and other wrestlers of the business. This is not the Son I know. The Son I know doesn’t need to beg like Keith Sweat to bring retired championships back just so he can feel good about himself cause his friends have all the gold.
Lee pauses as we see Michael just smirking back at his father in the ring….undoubtedly plotting several 140 character comebacks to tweet after the show.
Lee Best: Look Son….I love ya….but you gotta hear this…….it is time…….time for you to come home. Enough of being the online bully who brute forces his opinions on everyone to get his way for him and his little pals. Max doesn’t need your help…hes a fucking Hall of Famer before you were even the Best. Enough of this fucking Empire shit. 10 years ago you began your Hall of Fame journey and began the rise to the top of the mountain………its time you get back there.
The HOV comes to life showing Mike Best, in all his Lion Heat glory, inside the Roman Coliseum.
Lee Best: That is my Son….or should I say that WAS my Son? Either way……At ICONIC you will take on Lindsay Troy and the winner of that match will secure one of the biggest prizes I have ever given out…and its in the name of getting you, my SON, back to glory……….the winner will get to choose their group for the Lee Best Invitational!!!
The crowd buzzes at the huge announcement made by Lee. Michael can be seen smiling and nodding his head in agreement.
Lee Best: I am doing what a Father must do sometimes. Tonight I have given you the opportunity of all opportunities Son……..it is now up to you. I want you to go to ICONIC, beat Lindsay, win your LBI group and then go to March to Glory and reclaim the crown…..your crown……as High Octane World Champion.
With that Refueled slowly fades to black as we see a split screen of Father and Son staring intently at each other.
97 Minute iron Man Match for the World Championship
Dan Ryan vs. Cecilworth Farthington©
LSD Championship Match
High Flyer vs. Maximillian Kael©
Singles Match with the Winner getting to name their LBI Group
Lindsay Troy vs. Michael Lee Best
Austin Reeves vs. Chris Kostoff
Scott Stevens vs. Steve Solex
Scott Woodson vs. Brenton Cross
We cut to the Rosemont Horizon parking lot where a small group of young snarky fans huddle together in their North Kaelrean merchandise. They weren’t the cool trendy fans that Max always hoped for, these were the sad fans, the ones who bought into all of Max’s dumb catchphrases and slogans, between the ages of twenty five and fourty, marginally employed.
As they cheerfully chant Max’s catchphrase of his name, being first of it and maiming for a long time they remain blissfully aware of the threat that has located them. Sliding out of the darkness arrive four EPU guards who cut the small clutch of Max Kael fans off startling them.
Victim A: ..Uh.. sorry, we’re trying to get to our car.. Uh..
A few of the fans turn around only to discover five more guards standing behind, stern, unfeeling eyes glaring from the eyes of their armored security masks. The heavy foot falls of armored boots thud rhythmically from the darkness surrounding the guards and their trapped prey. As the steps draw closer two of the EPU guards stand aside as a hulking seven foot monster clade in EPU armor appears, two white eyes staring down at the fans through two holes in a solid, glossy black mask.
The EPUnit: ..You look like trouble.
The monstrous EPU agent grunts as the Max Kael fans look amongst each other in confusion.
Victim A:..uh.. Sorry? I don’t un-
A massive hand grips the scrawny fan’s face and lifts him into the air.
The EPUnit: Sorry, I mean you look like you’re in trouble.
With little effort the EPUnit hurls the fan into the small pack knocking a few of them to the ground before the other EPU Guards jump forward continuing the assault the monster started. Tazers are used, batons appear, someone look up footage of Rodney King, it’s real bad. It’s almost distasteful, you know, like, I’m not even going to write about it, but bad things are happening. Maybe these people had it coming, I’m not here to judge, I’m just writing this up but it’s not good.
The circle of pain surrounding the downed Max Kael fans is broken as a man wearing an American Flag shirt collides with an EPU officer sending both crashing to the ground, his only crime? Loving America. Christopher America. The EPU guards quickly form a new line as the EPUnit takes center stage, the moaning, bloodied pile of Max Fans to their back.
North Kaelrean Soldiers march forward, about a dozen, dressed in riot gear, shields and clubs in hand. They part as several more soldiers push forward several large dumpsters that separate the two forces.
From high above on the roof of the Allstate Arena Max Kael appears glowering down at both the EPU and the North Kaelrean Soldiers. He lifts what appears to be a custom North Kaelrean News Agency Microphone to his lips.
Max Kael: The EPU huh?! You want to play war with me!? Light it up boys!
Flares are tossed into the dumpsters which roar to life sending flames high into the air. The light spreads wide as more EPU and NKSoldiers seem to have appeared, like two full armies! The EPUnit cracks its neck and stares up at Max.
Max Kael: Fuck you’re big.. But you’re no match for me! I’m the top ranked Wrestling in High Octane Wrestling! I’m the LORD of Kaelsalvania! I’m the PRIME MINISTER of MAXOPOTAMIA, I’M THE LORD. SUPREME. DICTA-
From the shadows behind Max Kael a bat smashes across his shoulders cutting him off, his mic flying from his hand. The LSD champion loses his balance and falls from the roof, screaming as does his best Hans Grubber impression, his body disappearing into the high flames of a dumpster fire.
As soon as his body vanishes from view the North Kaelrean Soldiers roar, their fear burnt away by rage! They are met head on by the EPU who also charge forward, both forces bathed in red fire by the burning drumpsters between them!
High above a figure came into the light on the edge of the roof where Max once stood. His long hair blows in the cold winter night while embers of the dumpster fires burning below dance around him. He basks in the chaos below where somewhere Max might very well have been burning. Maybe it was that thought that brought a smile to his face, it was hard to say.
One could never predict..