Refueled XLVIII
  • Event Type: weekly

Refueled XLVIII

Event Date: January 9, 2021 at 11:00 pm

Opener

The High Octane Television logo gives way as we cut immediately to the following video:

As the video ends we cut live inside The Best Arena here in Chicago Illinois to the Hall of Fame announce team for the first time here in the new year.

Joe Hoffman: Welcome everyone to the first Refueled of 2021 here on High Octane Television! I am Joe Hoffman and as always I am joined by the man to my right, Big Buff Benny Newell.

Benny does not speak but instead raises his whiskey filled glass and cheers the viewing audience.

Joe Hoffman: Tonight we officially kick off another year in the land of High Octane and begin the path to March to Glory. This year will be different than previous years as we are no longer going to see a Lee Best Invitational. Instead we will see a single elimination tournament for the right to be crowned the brand new High Octane Fighting Champion.  Let’s take a look at the brackets as we have seen a few folks sign short term HOW contracts to compete against the full time roster.

Joe Hoffman: As you can see folks there are some very interesting matchups but none more than our Main Event tonight pitting two men that have defined two different era’s here in High Octane Wrestling…..and two Hall of Famers……Chris Kostoff and the World Champion Michael Lee Best.

Benny Newell: Cut his fucking head off!!!! Wait…already happened. Either way…..tonight another Best gets the best of that broken down old wannabe strip club bouncer….

Joe Hoffman: BEFORE we get to that we have five other matches to get past first. All matches tonight are HOFC tournament matches so we will see all matches taking place inside the HOFC Octagon.  There are no rules in these matches other than the only way to win is by knockout or submission. There will be no pinfalls….there are no countouts….there are no DQ’s. Each match will be contested in five minute rounds and if needed we will go until there is a winner.

Benny Newell: If these bitches didnt come to fight after spewing all their bullshit on twitter and in their side discords……fuck em. Their excuses for not having time to prepare….or SOMETHING CAME UP AND HINDERED MY PREPARATION……….ya we will just point at you assholes and laugh and remind you all to go back to your small little fucking ponds and pretend to be big fishes….cause when you came here….you truly showed that you are all the minnows we claimed you to be and High Octane Wrestling is the Great fucking White Shark of the wrestling business and I smell some fucking 97red blood in the fucking water……

Joe taps Benny on the shoulder and the former Indy wrestler slowly calms himself down as he takes a drink of his whiskey.

Joe Hoffman: A bunch of people did in fact spit some trash talk before this tournament was set to begin and now that it is here….we shall see who can back it up…..so with that in mind lets head to the octagon where HOW senior referee Matt Boettcher is waiting to kick off the first match as both wrestlers have already made their entrances.

 

Xander Azula vs. Hannibal Frost

The PA system begins to fade out the final notes of “Engel” by Rammstein as we see Xander Azula staring across the octagon at Hannibal Frost.

Boettcher signals for the bell and Xander and Frost charge each other quickly and we are off and running. The shorter, but heavier, Azula, gains the upper hand and begins to suplex Frost all over the octagon. The Chicago crowd is beginning to get behind the hardcore wrestler from Long Beach and they pop large as Azula nails a wicked neckbreaker in the middle of the cage, that under normal circumstances might have secured a three count.  Xander waits for Frost to stagger to his feet and then positions Frost for his finishing move and and nails his Faithbreaker move and Boettcher has no choice but to stop the match as its clear Frost is out cold.

The High Octane Vision screen above the entrance ramp shows the replay of Azula wheelbarrow lifting Frost up and then dropping him down hard with an elevated neckbreaker in one swift and powerful motion.

Joe Hoffman: What a display of power from the 5’11” 230lb newcomer to High Octane Wrestling…..he moves on in the tournament and now will be taking on the winner of next weeks match between Bobby Dean and the returning Simon Loveless.

Benny Newell: Anyone that comes out to Rammstein better back it the fuck up and he sure did tonight. I will give him that. Kudos minnow….you survived….for now.

The action cuts away as the Chicago crowd shows Azula some respect as he exits.

Setting the stage...

The hall stretches out in front of Dan Ryan as he walks into the more exclusive corridors of the Best Arena. A duffle bag is over one shoulder, jeans and plain black t-shirt on, and sunglasses on his face as he turns a corner and stands right in front of the door to Lee Best’s suite.

Looking it over, he sets his duffle bag down on the floor and sets his sunglasses on top.

Standing back upright, he knocks on the door and tilts his head up just slightly.

After a few moments, the door cracks open, and Lee Best’s massive bodyguard is there in a space just enough to see his face and part of his upper torso.

“Whattayou want?”

Ryan straightens his head and smiles his best plastic smile.

“I’d like to have a word with Mr. Best if you don’t mind.”

The bodyguard looks him up and down, then sneers.

“Mr. Best is busy.”

Ryan blinks, his smile holding.

“This will only take a moment.”

The bodyguard ducks his head back in the office and some muffled conversation is apparent. After a moment, we clearly hear Lee Best say “tell him to fuck off”.

The bodyguard turns back to the door, eyes narrowed.

“He said fuck off.”

Ryans smile drains from his face, and his expression goes from a faux friendliness to an emotionless stare. “Yes…”

“I heard.”

The bodyguard starts to close the door, but Ryan puts a powerful arm up and his hand on the door, and prevents its closing.

“I only ask nicely once.”

The bodyguard grumbles and tries to shove the door closed but it doesn’t budge against the strength of Ryan’s resistance. He tries again, same result, twice more, then opens the door to confront the visitor.

Without another word, Ryan fires his head forward into the bridge of the bodyguard’s nose, and blood spurts all over the door frame. Staggering backward, the bodyguard is ill-prepared to defend himself as Ryan kicks the door the rest of the way open and then stomp-kicks the man’s left knee. He crumples to the side immediately, screaming out in pain as we clearly see splintered bone poking up against the inside of his pants.

Now on the ground, hands up in defense, the bodyguard is helpless as Ryan ignores his pleas and stomps at his ribs over and over, before moving to his head and kicking him hard twice across the face. Finally, the bodyguard loses consciousness and lies there, half-propped against the wall, his neck contorted uncomfortably.

Ryan stands over him looking down, then raises his head and looks over, where Lee Best is sitting, bolt-upright in his chair, having heard everything happening just a few feet away.

Ryan walks over, right in front of Lee’s desk, and leans over, his hands on the desk supporting his weight.

Lee sneers, defiant, knowing without seeing who is in front of him.

“Okay fine. What do you want numnut?”

Ryan smiles.

“I know you’ve been doing this a long time. I know you’ve had battles, had wars, and you get your way. It’s your company. I get that. I’ve been there. Now, I know you have this little vendetta about my Best Alliance days, but I want you to think about something. You brought me into that little group. You are the one who chose me to fight against the greatest faction in wrestling history, alongside High Flyer, MJ Flair, and Eric Dane. That team’s failure is on your hands, Lee. Not mine. I did my job, I fought, I bled and I survived. Now, you have a choice…”

Lee chuckles slightly.

“Oh you’re giving ME a choice?”

Ryan chuckles back.

“Yes, yes I am. Case in point, your bodyguard is lying on the floor over here in a coma most likely, and you’re sitting here, untouched, talking with me.”

Lee’s smirk disappears and his frown returns, but he says nothing. Ryan’s eyes close for a beat, and he takes a deep breath before opening them again.

“So your choice is this: you can let this little personal problem with me go, and I’ll continue to fight, win and make you money, or you can continue your pointless temper tantrum, and join Scott Stevens, Doozer and the Murray Brothers in wrestling heaven. Our relationship will be what you make of it, and it can either be pleasant or not, but while you may think you’ve seen everything, make sure you understand this…”

Ryan leans forward more, to the side of Lee’s face, where his words are now a whisper from one side.

“I am like no one you have ever dealt with before, and all the bodyguards and all the hired hookers in masks in the world will not be able to save you if you persist, and the next time I pay you a visit like this…. I’ll do more than blind you. You won’t be recognizable when I’m done.”

Ryan backs away, and as he does so, Lee’s resolve returns.

“You think you are the first person to threaten me Mr. Kostoff-lite? Get the fuck out of my office.”

Ryan smirks and  looks over at the bodyguard, still unmoving, blood starting to coagulate on his face.

“I’m going. You might wanna get him some medical attention.”

Ryan turns to the still open door and walks through, picks up his sunglasses, puts them on his face, throws his duffle bag over his shoulder, and walks away as we cut away.

StarrSek Industries

The scene cuts backstage to the portal into the StarrSek Industries epicenter…in other words the door. Brian Bare, HOW interviewer less-than-extraordinaire, stands, microphone in hand next to the HOW Tag Team Champions, John Sektor and Jatt Starr. Jatt Starr, it should be noted, has his HOW Tag Team Championship over his shoulder and his LSD Championship around his waist. Sektor has his title over his shoulder.

Brian Bare: I am standing—-

Jatt Starr: Silence! Where’s Blaire?

Brian Bare: She’s doing something….else.

Jatt Starr: Why the heck isn’t she here? How did we get stuck with the “B” team? I am the NEW LSD Champion!!! We’re the HOW Tag Team Champions!! StarrSek Industries SWEPT at ICONIC!!! The Sultan of SeaJattle should be in the ring right experiencing an epic coronation as the new LSD Champion! There should be balloons! Confetti! Music! A Starriachi Band! Blaire Moise staring longingly at the Jattagonian Giant, who is ensconced in championship gold! Instead, we get Anderson Pooper.

Brian Bare: Congratulations on your big win at ICON—-

Jatt Starr: Too late, crackpipe!!! There will be no autograph for you!

Brian Bare: Um….

Jatt Starr: The entire wrestling community should be singing my praises for defeating Hughie Freeman, Lindsay Troy, and Steve Harrison in one of biggest bloodbaths in the history of the HOW. But no, I win the LSD Title and all people can talk about is The DeNucci Cup. Wrestlers from all over, none of which I have heard of, signing up for an opportunity to capture the HOFC title. It’s overshadowing my greatness. I guess I should be happy this isn’t being named the Max Kael Golden Eye Patch Tournament.

Brian Bare: Yes, well—-

Jatt Starr: And….AND….as if that’s enough, after my brutal match where I became the LSD Champion, the cry baby twins decide to show up, out of nowhere, and ruin my moment. What’s their names?

Sektor: The Hollywood Bruvs?

Jatt Starr: No, Mikey Unsightly or something and Johnny Tampax.

Brian Bare: The Hollywood Bruvs.

Jatt Starr: Brian Hollywood and that other guy, what’s-his-name, Darin Feeble? They’re the Hollywood Bruvs.

Brian Bare: I think you’re thinking of the Hollywood Bros or the Darin Matthews Band or—

Jatt Starr: Someone’s gonna need to change their name. LSD Champions shouldn’t need to remember less than mediocre tag teams’ names. Anyway, those two “bruvy-dovey” ninnyhammers came out to ruin my moment, no doubt trying to weasel their way into a tag team title shot, which, let’s face it, they haven’t earned and therefore isn’t going to happen. Right now, Max Kael and Michael DeNucci have a better chance at getting a title shot than those two knotty-pated codpieces.

Brian Bare: I was really just going to ask you about the upcoming High Flyer and Steve Harrison match, since you will be facing the winner.

Jatt Starr: You might as well come up to me and ask me which is better, a cat turd or a dog turd. They’re both turds. Steve Harrison has run out of miracles and High Flyer is about as relevant as Ponce de Leon’s sister’s cousin’s former roommate’s underwear.

Brian Bare: Considering the—

Jatt Starr: Consider THIS. Brian, bubby, StarrSek Industries holds the Tag Team Titles and the LSD Championship. Sektor is undefeated. The HOFC Title is destined to go to one of us. And rest assured, there WILL be a celebration.

Sektor straightens up a little and adjusts the Tag championship over his shoulder.

Sektor: Jatt’s right. Last year, nobody expected either one of us to have the success we did. Two returning, out of shape, Hall of Famers? Who could blame them. But the fact is that Jatt and I still possess all the tools we need to dominate at the highest level. People should start to take us seriously again. Jatt and I are two of the most decorated veterans in HOW history, and now we’re stood side by side drippin’ in GOLD.

Sektor glances at the championships displayed proudly on the duo.

Sektor: Hollywood Bruvs? I noticed neither one of you cobardes were man enough to throw your names in the hat for this tournament. But we are. So you dickless little pricks will have to pacify yourself by giving each other a reach-around a little longer and wait your turn. But mark my words, you will regret your actions at Iconic. If you two think you’re gonna waltz back in here and take the tag team championships? You’re fucking deluded. Jatt and I..

Jatt Starr: We’re a real power couple!

Sektor pauses, his eyes narrowing as his head turns slowly towards his partner.

Sektor: Don’t say it like that..

Jatt’s head lowers.

Sektor: Anyway. The Denucci cup. A few people think that because they can get inventive with mean words that they hold some kind of advantage in this tournament. Fuck, let’s call a spade a spade here, Mike Best, thinks that this tournament is designed for him as his very own playground and the rest is a formality. Well I got news for all of you, Jatt and I aren’t fucking around. We’re in it to win it. Nobody expected Jatt to walk out of Iconic with the LSD title..

Jatt Starr: Not even you?

Jatt sounds hurtfully surprised. Sektor turns, body language relaxed and reassuring.

Sektor: Well of course I did. My point is that we are not over the hill. We are not past our prime and WE? Are going to prove, yet again, that we are the most dangerous competitors to ever walk these corridors. One of us will win this tournament. There, I said it. Dick’s out and flopped onto the table. I am yet to be beaten and Jatt and is getting better and better every time he competes. I promised that 2021 would be my year to get back on the throne. The Denucci cup is my ticket. So get all your monologues ready. Call me a drug addict. Call me a flake. Make fun of the moustache. I don’t give a fuck. This isn’t wrestling. I don’t have a moral ethical code to follow to protect your fuckers when I’m tying you in knotts with the book of submissions that I wrote. I will break as many bones as I have to until I lift that trophy and strapping the HOFC title around my waist.

As his eyes glare into the camera, something changes as though he’s looking directly at someone specific.

Sektor: Mike? I heard you. The big ego-rubbing monologue about how no one can beat you. I’ve beaten you before. I’ve beaten you for championships. So don’t worry old buddy. I’ll happily put you out of your fucking misery!

Jatt Starr: Inspiring. Truly inspiring.

The Ruler of Jattlantis applauds his fellow Hall of Famer.

Brian Bare: You heard it here first, StarrSek—-

Jatt Starr: Whoa! You do NOT interrupt the LSD Champion! The Jattlantic City Idol was not finished!

Brian Bare: Sorry….

The King of Grapple from the Big Apple continues to applaud the Gold Standard. Brian Bare stands there awkwardly.

Brian Bare: Was there anything else you wanted to add, Jatt?

Jatt Starr: No.

Brian Bare silently signals to go to commercial as Jatt Starr continues to clap for Sektor as we indeed cut to commercial.

 

Steve Harrison vs. High Flyer

Some big shots from both men early into round one, getting the fans engaged into a tight contest that sees Steve Harrison come away with a busted lip for his efforts.

Having trouble getting into a groove due to High Flyer’s unpredictable offense, especially inside of a cage, High Flyer uses the steel to his advantage and keeps control for the first half of round one.

Harrison is eventually able to take control after a series of hard belly-to-belly suplexes that seem to take the wind out of Flyer’s sails, and one knee trigger to the back of the neck is enough to secure Steve Harrison a victory and advancement to round two.

Joe Hoffman: Big win by Harrison here and man does he have no time to rest as his next opponent will be HOW Hall of Famer Jatt Starr.

Benny Newell: Sooooo another bye for Jatt?

Joe can only shake his head as we cut elsewhere.

#97RedSoloCup

Refueled cuts away from ringside and the conclusion of Steve Harrison versus High Flyer to the interview area backstage. Brian Bare stands at the ready with microphone in hand.

Brian Bare: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time…

“WHAT UP BROOOOOOOOOO?!”

A man in a warm-up jacket that’s a familiar shade of blue to Chicagoans enters from stage left, shitty oversized sunglasses on his face, and a #97red Solo cup with a questionable beverage in hand. He drapes an arm around Brian Bare’s shoulders and grins like he’s seen a gaggle of 19 year olds with fake IDs at the Cubby Bear on a Saturday Night.

Brian Bare: Johnny Dorn. Nice to make your acquaintance.

Johnny Dorn: Pleasure’s all yours, bro. This place is alright. Lee Best knows how to treat his hometown boys well, I’ll tell you that much.

Brian Bare: Yeah. Sure. Anyway, you’re set to take on wrestling veteran Shawn Warstein here in a few minutes. You were certainly vocal in the lead-up, while he was – shall we say – a little more restrained than many were expecting him to be. Do you have any final words for him?

Johnny Dorn: Other than I’m gonna embarrass Wank-stein so bad that he’ll never be able to show his fuckin’ face around here again? That Mike Best ain’t gonna wanna bother with whatever flesh scraps I leave behind in the cage once I’m through with him? Nah. I don’t got any final words for that chumpass, bro. My focus now? The Pretty Boy and Florida’s Finest Retiree. Whoever makes it through between Devin DeSean and Sean Stevens, know this….Johnny Dorn’s gonna be payin’ real close attention to you next week, and I’ve got a Shot of Malört with one of your names on it.

Johnny takes a swig of whatever’s in his cup and walks off camera, presumably on his way to the ring as we cut elsewhere.

Canada Christmas?

We cut to the HOV as a video begins to play…..

Earlier this evening, Zeb Martin made his walk from his truck towards the backstage area of the Best Arena like he had been accustomed to for the better part of 2020.

Well, maybe today was a little bit different.

In addition to his trusty old Oglethorpe County High School Wrestling duffel, the Watson Mill Kid also tugged two carry-ons behind him as well as a third piece of oversized luggage on his left shoulder. The duffel was strategically placed around his neck. And by “strategically,” I mean “very uncomfortably.”

Flanking him was said owner of the additional baggage. As she’d never set foot inside where any performers hung out before an event, Kendra Collier took a glance around to take in her surroundings. (Sorry Ted, didn’t give you the luxury of getting the last name in there, but hey: half-sister). Still not accustomed to the chilly Chicago climate, her hands were tucked into the sleeves of her Patagonia fleece as she gestures with her arms.

Kendra Collier: So this it?

Zeb Martin: Yep. Sight for sore eyes.

Kendra Collier: God, you think with all the money yer boss has, he might hire a dang decorator.

Zeb Martin: Kennie, we in the back uh the bildin’. Ain’t nobody worried ‘bout how purty the place looks like that we in mebbe four hours uh week. By the way, you wanna tote this stuff tuh the ladies’ dressin’ room? My arms might give out be’fo the dang match.

The eldest of Zeb’s siblings rolls her eyes.

Kendra Collier: If you carryin’ like five pounds of bags is gonna wear you out that much, Teddy’s go’n be done with ya shorter than his walk to the cage.

Zeb Martin: Five pounds? Feels like you filled the dang thangs with cee-mint!

Kendra Collier: Shut up! Don’t you want yer sister tuh look good in front of the cameras?

Zeb shakes his head in response, muttering a few expletives under his breath. Despite his thoughts on the matter, one individual opts to stride onto the scene and provide her support for the teenager’s wardrobe variety.

Lindsay Troy: Yeah, Zeb. You don’t want her out there dressed like some kind of bumpkin, do you?

More elated than she’d been the entire day, Kendra strides over to the Queen of the Ring and the two immediately embrace in a hug as if they were long-lost friends. While it was the first time that the two had met in person, they’d developed a kinship through their mutual appreciation of giving Zeb a hard time.

Kendra Collier: Oh my gawd you’re so pretty in person too!

Lindsay Troy: Wow. You’re the smart one and the sweet one of the family. What positive trait did he inherit?

Kendra grins and brushes her blond locks back with an annoying confidence.

Kendra Collier: Well, cain’t all be so lucky like me and you. But heck, the world needs ditch diggers.

Lindsay Troy: Bagboys, too.

Zeb clears his throat.

Zeb Martin: Standin’ right here, y’all.

Kendra Collier: So?

Zeb Martin: Shame on me fer thinkin’ my days uh waitin’ on people hand and foot were over when I wasn’t the rookie ‘round here. Kennie, I’m leavin’ this stuff next tuh the door, so ain’t my fault if it gets missin’. Got a fight tuh get ready for, so make sure you dressed before showtime. Lindsay, good seein’ ya. You mind hangin’ with her fer a lil’ while?

Lindsay Troy: Good luck! And don’t worry: me and your sis have a lot to talk about.

Zeb Martin: …why ain’t I exactly thrilled tuh hear that…

Kendra Collier: Hey! On yer way over there, kin you go by the food table and get me a turkey sandwich? Leave it on top of the big bag. And don’t forget tuh get me some napkins.

Zeb pretends to have not heard her request as he musters the effort to head toward the drop off point: which of course was at the far end of the hallway.

Lindsay Troy: You know he’s going to get it for you.

Kendra Collier: Oh you know that’s right. Got him trained good.

Troy chuckles, shaking her head in awe of the absolute lack of bullshit that Martin’s little sister projects.

Lindsay Troy: I hope you know he adores you, your sister, and your mom more than anyone on this planet. Talks about you three all the time.

Kendra smiles, staring at her brother in the distance as he turns the corner away from the direction of the dressing room and toward the catering table.

Kendra Collier: Yeah. I guess we’ll keep him. Anyway, gimme the dirt ‘round here. Which rassler stanks the worst? Who’s the biggest crybaby? How drunk does Benny New’ll get before the show? I want all the deets.

Lindsay offers an arm to guide Kendra on the grand gossip tour, and the two new besties begin to take a stroll.

Lindsay Troy: I‘ve got some real tea for you, bae. Remember when your brother went to Canada for Christmas? Well…

The video ends and we cut to a commercial break.

Shawn Warstein vs. Johnny Dorn

Two HOW newcomers take a moment to feel each other out in this one, as both competitors move about the cage taking some early shots.

Johnny Dorn is laying out shots to the shoulder early and often, keeping Warstein from mounting too much offense with his dominant arm. While Dorn absorbs a good amount of punishment from a brawling offense, Warstein seems somewhat distracted out there, just a second off the gun at every turn.

Constant shots to the shoulder, targeting that right arm, eventually pay off for Johnny– after a clean, locked in armbar late into the first round, Johnny Dorn advances to the second round via submission.

Joe Hoffman: Great targeting by Dorn there which ultimately led to the win by submission.

Benny Newell: Ill give Dorn credit for now…..and we will see how the north sider does against one of the fucking Seans.

The Power-Up King

The scene switches to the backstage. A table with purple tablecloth and a bunch of random items sitting on top of it comes into focus. As the camera pans out, Blaire Moise stands beside “The Vintage” Conor Fuse. The fans give a cheer as Moise nods and raises her mic.

Blaire Moise: Conor, what a huge night at ICONIC for you, defeating Scottywood! And now, you’ve entered the DeNucci Cup. Next week, you’ll take on Brian Hollywood in round one of the tournament! Your thoughts?

Fuse rubs the side of his head before speaking.

Conor Fuse: Oh ya, game on! Really excited to get this Street Fighter tournament going. Big Boss has rounded up some of the most elite talkers in the world! Did you see that Johnny Dorm guy absolutely roast and then combo Shawn Berenstain? Damn that was hot, hot, hot! I didn’t even know the Berenstain Bears had relatives!

Benny Newell: What a fucking moron. Get this guy off TV.

Fuse realizes Moise is looking at the random items on the table.

Conor Fuse: Snap, girl, snap! So let’s call a spade a spade here, Blaire. I’m no trash talker. Here’s a fun fact, if Cecilworth Farthington was still in HOW, he would call it rubbish talk. Hahaha, I digress. [Pause] Blaire, what you see here is gonna help me in this Street Fighter multiplayer. Like I said, I’m no trash talker but it’s time to really go vintage if you get what I’m throwing down. The Power-Up King has come to High Octane Wrestling! Let me show you what I got packin’…

Conor walks to the table and holds up a tiny question mark box. It looks like something you’d find on a Mario video game, except the colour is purple.

Conor Fuse: Inside this bad boy, my favourite snack of all time! Something that will give me a REAL kick during battle… mushrooms!

Blaire has a strange look in her eyes. Conor’s quick to correct her.

Conor Fuse: Oh no, oh no no no! Not those kinds of mushrooms. These are legal, trust me!

He puts the purple box back on the table and then picks up a miniature flower in a tiny purple pot.

Conor Fuse: Fire flower. You just take it and…

Conor pretends to throw it down the hall.

Conor Fuse: Bullseye! Hit the BOT square in the head!

“The Vintage” carefully places the fire flower down and picks up another item. It’s a pair of bunny ears. He puts them on.

Conor Fuse: When I have these on my head, I fly like no other! The Super Splash 450 turns into something even MORE dangerous! Fine, I’ll just tell you… a 630 SENTON.

Moise has particular interest in the last “power-up” though. She points to it.

Blaire Moise: What’s that?

Conor laughs and lifts up a paint can.

Conor Fuse: This, my friend, is silver paint. Since I’m not a good trash talker, all I gotta do is paint my tongue silver and then let the jabs fly left, right and center! It’s the ultimate cheat code.

He leans into Blaire, trying to speak off-mic but it clearly catches him talking.

Conor Fuse: Listen, I don’t really want to use this. I might have to, though. Led poisoning is one of the highest leading causes of Extra Lives Lost…

Voice: The Thane of Starrkarth has been looking for you!!!

Conor puts the paint can down because someone is standing across from him. The camera pans…

It’s the new LSD Champion and one half of the Tag Team Champions, Jatt Starr. Conor’s eyes narrow like he’s come across a bitter rival.

Conor Fuse: Oh, hello… Jatt.

Fuse looks at Blaire and then back at Jatt. The Vintage seems confused about all the gold Jatt’s holding onto.

Conor Fuse: Congratulations on beating me at Rumble at the Rock last week.

Benny Newell: Last week? Try months ago, moron.

Conor rubs the side of his head, clearly still feeling the affects of the hardcore match he doesn’t seem to remember.

Conor Fuse: Sorry, a little foggy tonight. Well, I also see you have two Achievements with you. Wow, I don’t want to know how you accomplished all that -and just days after our match, too- but okay, cool, congratulations.

The standoff continues. Jatt looks down at all the “power-ups”.

Jatt Starr: I wasn’t looking for you. But fine….

The LSD Champion pulls a Sharpie from his back pocket, grabs Conor Fuse’s left arm, removes the marker cap with his teeth and proceeds to sign Fuse’s arm.

Conor Fuse: What are you—

Jatt Starr: Ne’re oo goph—-

The Champion of Jattanooga takes the cap from his mouth and puts it back on the marker.

Jatt Starr: There you go. You’ve gone from “Vintage” to “Highly Collectible”. You’re welcome.

Fuse reads what was written.

Conor Fuse: “Cosplay Babes are the Hottest – Jatt Starr.”

Jatt Starr: Words to live by.

The HOW Hall of Famer turns his gaze towards Blaire Moise.

Jatt Starr: What’s up, Blaire? Notice anything different about me?

The Baron of Boca Jatton thrusts his hips forward to highlight the LSD Championship around his waist.

Jatt Starr: I have a custom made Mjoll the Lioness outfit just for you….

Blaire Moise: I don’t think this is appropriate—

Jatt Starr: LSD Champions can read between the lines. Not while the kid is here. Got it. Catch you later.

Jatt Starr gives Blaire Moise a suggestive wink and turns, being face-to-face with Conor Fuse yet again. The Marquis of MadagaStarr snatches the bunny ears off Fuse’s head.

Jatt Starr: Geez, Conor. LSD Champions don’t wear bunny ears! You’ll never get a shot at this title if you wear these. Have a little self-respect. I can’t believe I signed your arm….

The King of Grapple from the Big Apple can only shake his head in disgust as he walks off while Conor breathes a sigh of relief. He looks at Blaire.

Conor Fuse: At least Jatt didn’t take my silver paint. I think I’m really gonna need that.

Fade out as we cut elsewhere…

RAH IS WAR

(FLASHBACK: Thursday Night Turmoil- July 15th, 2010)
Missy Andrews is in the ring. 

Missy Andrews: Okay, I have no clue why the hell I’m here except that I’m supposed to introduce to you a new wrestler to HOW. But, no one’s told me anything about him…or what his name is. 

A trumpet fanfare interrupts her followed by a dense, layered note on a synthesizer. 

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you the almost universally-worshipped king of the gods and all-father of creation. He commands the chariot that rode across the sky during the day. He is the great, fiery globe in the sky who is usually a welcome, nurturing presence and to honor the season. He is the inspiration for those who would throw virgins into the gaping maw of a volcano – perhaps an Icelandic volcano – even though such shenanigans haven’t been acceptable since the ’50s. And just for your reference, he is, for 28 years in a row, proven to be one of UC San Diego’s most enduring traditions in the Sun God festival- an all-day music festival celebrated by more than 20,000 students, alumni and friends. But that’s not important. 

A bright spotlight illuminates a door in the back. 

Announcer: Either way, you should thank your lucky stars and kiss his royal ass for gracing you with his presence here tonight. I give to you…the God of Sunshine…RAAAAAAAAH! 

Ten bikini-clad, and tanned, females emerge from the door followed by two men carrying a golden sedan chair with a man dressed in long flowing robes. He’s followed by his two minions- Bob Nye, Foot Fetish Guy, and Happy Mango, children’s show host. The procession makes its way to the ring where it stops at the ring apron. Rah then climbs out of his golden sedan chair and stands on the apron. Two of the bikini girls open the ropes and allow Rah to pass through. 

Missy Andrews takes an apprehensive step back as Rah moves to the middle of the ring and is surrounded by his bikini girls, two golden sedan chair carrying guys, Nye, and Happy Mango. 

Rah: Rah knows you are here to ask questions of me. 

Missy Andrews: Yeah. Who the hell are you? 

Rah sighs. 

Rah: All right everyone. Obviously, Miss Andrews wasn’t paying attention. 

The 10 bikini girls, 2 golden sedan chair carrying guys, and Nye and Mango grumble. 

Rah: Let’s try this again. This time, Miss Andrews, please be attentive. 

Missy Andrews: Wait! 

Rah and his entourage retreat to the back and await their cue. 

Missy sighs and wonders if she’s making enough money to put up with this.
(END FLASHBACK)

Cut to the present.  Rah with his long hair and long, flowing robes towers over Blaire and his announcer guy backstage. 

Announcer Guy: I present to you the almost universally-worshipped king of the sun gods of all creation. He commands the chariot that rode across the sky during the day. He is the great, fiery globe-

Blaire Moise: Okay, okay!  We got it!  

Blaire’s shaking her head.

Blaire Moise: I wonder if I’m making enough money to put up with this. *sigh* Welcome back to HOW, Rah.

Rah: Rah thanks you Blaire.

Announcer Guy:  You should thank your lucky stars and kiss his royal ass for gracing you with his presence here tonight. I give to you…the reason the Earth doesn‘t float away in the vastness of space…the reason it’s not minus four hundred and fifty-nine point six seven degrees outside…and the reason Brian freakin’ Wilson wrote all those great songs…Blaire Moise…bow down before the Sunshine God…

Blaire tilts her head down slightly and shoots Rah’s announcer guy a rather distinct scowl-like glare.

Blaire Moise: Yeah, not happening.

The rest of Rah’s new entourage fill in behind them.  As Blaire wonders how the hell she got roped into interviewing Rah, a group of former Arizona State sorority sisters stand around and take selfies of themselves with their cell phones and then text them onto their Twitter, Tik Tok, and other social media accounts.  

Blaire Moise: What convinced you to come back to HOW full time after all these years?

Also with the group, the artist formerly known as Barbie-Q- now known as Sports Entertainment Barbie.  Barbie’s more ‘dolled up’ more than usual.  Her hair is now platinum blonde.  She has a ton of makeup on her face with bright red lipstick.  She also sports a gold strapless dress that only goes down to her mid thighs with a pair of killer gold heels. 

Barbie also sports a noticeable white button at the top of her dress with a picture of Steve Solex covered by a prohibitive red circle with a diagonal line going through the middle. 

Rah: Rah understands that these are tough times.  What better person is there in this world than me – RAH! – to bring a little sunshine into people’s mundane and tedious existence?

Blaire Moise: Okay, so now-

Blaire becomes momentarily blinded by a flash of light from a cell phone taking selfie ASU sorority sister.

Blaire Moise: …what the- …

She blinks her eyes and then like the consummate professional she is, soldiers on. 

Blaire Moise: …all right.  So now that you’re back, what do you-

Blaire’s question gets interrupted by several high pitched squeals that pierce the air.  She’s not happy.

Blaire Moise: Hey!  I’m interviewing someone here!

The sorority sisters swarm around the blonde reporter and take up position on both sides of her.  

Blaire Moise: Um, what are you doing?

Then they begin to take selfies of themselves with Blaire, mugging and making weird duck facial expressions causing Barbie to break keyfabe and roll her eyes at the antics of the ex-ASU sorority sisters.  She then snaps right back into her Sports Entertainment Barbie character.

Blaire Moise: Stop that!

Blaire blinks her eyes to clear her vision and tries to turn her head away from the light.  But the girls snap an endless stream of selfies with their cell phones and eventually blinds HOW intrepid reporter.  

Blaire Moise: Girls, that’s enough…

Shaking her head and trying to see as the selfies and incessant flashes continue, Blaire almost loses her temper when she stumbles backwards.

Blaire Moise (shouting): I SAID STOP IT!

The girls are oblivious to Blaire’s pleas.  They continue to fire off a rapid fire series of selfies with her.

Blaire Moise: STOP IT RIGHT NOW, I CAN’T SEE!  

After a few more seconds of this silly stuff…

Blaire Moise: DAMMIT RAH, DO SOMETHING!

…the HOTv cameras finally – and mercifully – cut back to HOW’s Hall of Fame broadcasters. 

Hoffman turns to Benny.

Joe Hoffman (laconically): So.  Rah’s back.

Benny raises his bottle of Jack in the air and bellows…

Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

With that we head to another commercial break…

Never Fuckin' Quit

We cut backstage to see Blaire Moise filling the frame, staring directly into the camera with her half forced smile. After a brief delay, she glances towards her left, that smile of hers shrinking ever so slightly. As the shot slowly zooms out, Teddy Palmer is revealed, seated atop a shipping crate, looking rather uncomfortable. His hands are clasped together, his dangling legs restlessly kick, and his face contorts, displaying said discomfort.

Teddy Palmer: Blaire Bear…this is weird, isn’t it?

Blaire Moise: Don’t call me Blaire Bear…

Teddy Palmer: Not having the cubicle, it kinda makes me feel…I don’t know…naked?

Blaire Moise: Having an office cubicle set up in an arena was weird.

Teddy Palmer: Was not!

Teddy is appalled. Blaire paws at her face, annoyed.

Blaire Moise: Are we going to do this or is it your plan to waste my time?

Teddy’s eyes flicker, a slight smile creeps through his outgrown beard.

Teddy Palmer: Now? In front of the camera?

Blaire takes a small step back, looking at Ted with complete disgust.

Blaire Moise: The interview you idiot!

Ted feigns a laugh, shaking his head as if to convey ‘just kidding’.

Teddy Palmer: Yeah. Of course. Duh, right? …right?

Blaire Moise: Right! Let’s move it along, Palmer. Forget the runarounds and tiptoeing, let’s address the elephant in the room…

Teddy throws his hand up, cutting Blaire off, briefly looking at the ground.

Teddy Palmer: There’s very little to address. One of us left, temporarily, because he had no choice. The other up and quit. Don’t need much more addressing than that.

Blaire Moise: Have you spoken…

Teddy Palmer: It’s Just Ted…

Teddy cuts Blaire off, his response leaving her slightly confused.

Blaire Moise: Pardon?

Teddy Palmer: The last six months, it’s been ‘Just Ted’. A journey of rehabilitation and self discovery. And you know what my biggest takeaway from my time away was?

Blaire replies in the non verbal way of shaking her head ‘no’.

Teddy Palmer: That Teddy ain’t no quitter. I’m not just here for the good times. I’m going to get knocked down again, I might very well find myself on the shelf at some point, but I will always come back for more. I’m not taking my ball and going home. High Octane is my home.

Blaire nods as her eyes slightly widen and her lips purse. It’s as if she was displaying the slightest bit of respect for Ted.

Blaire Moise: Well speaking of coming home, you did so in…well to put it bluntly, in rather unspectacular fashion.

Teddy Palmer: And why would it have been any other way? Sure, I could have kept it under wraps. I could have stuck my nose in someone else’s business. I could have sought out the cheap reaction of surprise. But why?

Blaire shrugs her shoulders, unsure how to respond.

Teddy Palmer: Say, do you know when the last time I had my hand raised in victory was?

Blaire Moise: I can’t say that I do.

Teddy Palmer: March 14th. The LBI Finals. From that point on, loss after loss. Unsuccessful championship pursuit after another. Finally, my arm tore in two.

Blaire Moise: Nearly a year…

Teddy Palmer: Yeah, I know. I can count. So you understand why I didn’t deserve a spectacular return. I’m returning here at the bottom of the food chain. It’s why I announced my intentions for the DeNucci Cup beforehand. I can’t live off my prior triumphs and let them speak for today. I’m gonna have to scratch and claw my way back up the ladder, earn my opportunities and accolades the right way, and most importantly: Never Fuckin’ Quit.

Blaire’s smile is now the one creeping, and she let’s her all knowing glance steep before her next comment exits her lips.

Blaire Moise: And would you say the right way would be bickering with a teenage girl?

Teddy Palmer: SHE STARTED IT!

Teddy booms to which Blaire can’t help but slightly snicker. Taking a moment to try and compose himself, he takes a deep breath. As he does so, a stagehand walks into frame with a package in hand.

Stagehand: Mr. Palmer, for you.

Teddy grabs the package, both him and Blaire intrigued. Scanning over it, the return address reveals it hails from ‘Comer, Georgia’. Ted’s eyes widen, and he begins to tear away at the package, wasting little time ripping the top open. Teddy drops the box, looking towards the ceiling, flustered. Blaire’s once slight snicker shows signs of breaking, gasps of laughter seeping through.The contents are now on the floor, revealed for all to see:

A note that reads ‘To Teddy Bear, From Kendra’. To its left, a stuffed bear whose stomach is slashed. To the right, the stuffing that once made the bears belly plump.

Teddy Palmer: YOU SEE! THAT GIRL IS CRAZY!!

Teddy finishes composing himself the best he can. Blaire can’t help but laugh at this point, satisfied that she has fulfilled her obligation to this interview.

Teddy Palmer: Zeb, buddy. Things were said, some funny, some hurtful, but all in the name of psychological warfare. Like when hockey players chirp one another between the whistles. I like you, I do. I wish tonight I was kickin’ the shit out of anyone but you. But these are the cards we’ve been dealt. Don’t take it personal. And please, for the love of God, keep that sister of yours away from me!

The camera fades from Blaire’s laughter and Teddy’s frustration to elsewhere in the arena.

Executive Segment

Brian Hollywood: What the hell is this?!

Hollywood spits out some food with a disgusted look on his face. It was apparent he was around catering. A place Hollywood generally isn’t around much. But with the HOFC tournament in full swing now, Hollywood was surveying the areas as he had the week off from in ring competition.

Hollywood points to some of the catered food and then promptly points to one of the catering workers. The guy is instantly uncomfortable.

Brian Hollywood: Do you know what your actually serving here? Shrimp cocktails? What kind of catering service is this?! You need to inspect the food before you put it out. What if I consumed this god awful piece of shrimp as it was?! What if I got salmonella and missed the tournament?! That wouldn’t be good for anyone because I’ve been ready for this tournament and ready to inflict ungodly amounts of violence on people!

The catering guy obviously doesn’t answer. I mean how would he know who actually orders it? It was just his job to maintain the tables. Hollywood didn’t care though as he grabs some of the shrimp and stuffs it in the guys shirt pocket. Hollywood then pats the guys chest before being decently satisfied and walking away from catering turning the corner and walking straight into Brian Bare.

Brian Hollywood: Shit.

Brian Bare being Brian Bare of course takes the opportunity to turn nothing into something and interview Hollywood.

Brian Bare: Ah Mr. Hollywood how are you this evening sir?

Brian Hollywood: Better before running into you Bare. But not surprised to find you here around catering. I’m sure you just…cater…at the chance to be able to find people to interview around here. No wonder you get your interviews. But I won’t tell people your secret. It’ll just cost you leaving me the fuck alone. You know, a small price to ask for to keep your secrets at bay. Hell of deal coming from a man like me.

Bare doesn’t seem to mind that deal but he can’t help but to want to squeeze out a couple questions from the Executive.

Brian Bare: I’m sure we can come to some sort of arrangement. However while I just got you here…care to comment on the tournament set up and what can we look forward from you when you step in the ring come time for your HOFC start.

Hollywood sighs knowing how tough minded Bare can be sometimes when bold. But then again with this tournament going on violence galore was in the atmosphere so maybe Bare was just at an accepting state of mind on his own well being?

Brian Hollywood: Honestly Bare I’ve been chopping at the bit to get the action started. But unfortunately due to the structure of the tournament I have to wait til next week to get the party started. But HOFC is what was desperately needed to get things going around here again. I think everyone is genuinely excited to see how they stack up in this division. I know I am. Then again I know my worth in these matches. I was in one not too long ago and got my bell rung against Mike Best. Gotta say though the adrenaline was pure. It drives you. Sure I may have lost but not before making Mike bleed. Something I’m genuinely proud of doing since hardly anyone around here can get a good enough shot off against the guy. But I better not talk about it too much. Wouldn’t want Mike to have much to say on the matter now would we? We all know how much that guy likes to talk and twist things back around on ya.

Brian Bare: We all witnessed the truth of Jason Cashe finally debuting in HOW and how he was the mystery man who attacked you at the end of last year. What are your thoughts on that and Cashe being in the tournament and finally in HOW?

Brian Hollywood: Heh. Jason fucking Cashe finally in HOW. Took the motherfucker long enough. Although I’m not surprised he’s finally here. Finally realized it was time to come to the big boy league. That’s not to say the guy hasn’t done great things elsewhere..especially with our many encounters but HOW is a different breed. It’s the be all end all of professional wrestling. This is the place you want to be to really find out how good you are in that ring. To really find out how well your legacy matches up.

Brian Hollywood: But let’s be honest here. Jason attacking me wasn’t out of malice. As fucked up as that is to the normal folk, I know Cashe well. A true match up between the two of us has been building for fucking YEARS! All you saw was the culmination of that finally becoming a reality. Cashe is a different breed of wrestler and to understand him you have to understand his methods ans there isn’t anyone here in HOW who knows that or the man better than me. We may be in different brackets but rest assured I’m going to get myself through to the final four in order to really get the chance to have the dream matches of all dream matches. You also have to realize that when, not if, Cashe and I collide it’s going to be one hell of a fight that’s going to transcend here in HOW. I realize I have to get past Conor Fuse and dear GOD of HOW dare I say it…probably Mike Best first to do it. But I’m more than well up for the challenge. It will happen Bare. And I’ll be there waiting for Cashe when it occurs. PS, how’s the psyche doing Cashe? Heh. I’ll hope to see you soon…good friend. Now if you’ll excuse me Bare…I know there was some other business I needed to attend to tonight. Can’t elaborate on it of course. Just watch and see. Big things coming for your truly Mr. Executive Brian Hollywood in the year of 2021 and I’m going to pick right back up where I left off!

Hollywood doesn’t say another word as he leaves everyone as he often does…a man of mystery surrounding his involvement in things as the show heads back to the announcers for the next HOFC tournament match.

Zeb Martin vs. Teddy Palmer

 

Teddy Palmer, last year’s LBI winner, is already in the octagon as “Everything has Changed” by Lucero hits the PA system and Zeb Martin makes his way out. The crowd shows Martin the same amount of respect that just shown Palmer and the two men share a nod before Matt Boettcher signals for the start of our next match.

The two technical wrestlers start the fight by feeling each other out as they both look for an opening to get an early advantage. The pace is pretty slow as each man takes turns reversing quick attempts at takedowns by the other. Martin finally gets the upper hand, almost out of frustration at the slow start, with some simple right hands straight out of his local bar back down in Comer Georgia. Zeb keeps on the offensive as he executes a few belly to back suplexes as he tries to wear down the man. Martin goes back to the well too many times however as his next right hand is blocked and Palmer counters with an European uppercut. As the first round comes to a close Palmer clearly has the momentum as he knocks Martin down with a short arm clothesline to end the round.

Joe Hoffman: A slow start from both there but you gotta think that one is clearly a tied round there.

Benny Newell: No ties in this fucking competition….i can promise you that!!

Boettcher signals for the second round to start and once again the round starts slowly as both men once again are trying hard not to make a fatal mistake.  Martin once again resorts to simple right hands as his first effective offensive moves of the round but this time Palmer is ready and a simple block followed by more uppercuts sees Palmer gain the upper hand once again and he quickly dives into this full moveset as over the next couple minutes we see Palmer target the head and neck of Martin, clearly trying to wear the man down.  Martin is able to regain control of the match with Samoan drop of a charging Palmer. The desperation move leads to Martin getting caught as he goes to pick up Palmer and the former Lee Best Invitational winner snatches Martin and locks in a triangle choke. Martin struggles but is unable to break the hold…….and he finally has no choice but to tap to the move ending the fight.

Joe Hoffman: BIG win by Teddy Palmer there and at the end of the day Zeb Martin had to make the proverbial business decision and tapped out to Teddy’s L.B.I triangle choke finisher.

Benny Newell: What a cute name for that move……fucking idiot.

Joe Hoffman: Well no matter your thoughts..it was effective and now Palmer will wait to see who wins next weeks fight between Scottywood and Cancer Jiles…….but for now….we gotta cut to a commercial break.

We cut away as we see Boettcher holding the arm of Palmer high in the air as the Chicago crowd shows their respect for the winner.

Nuts and Chocolate

Back live and the HOTv flickers to life as we open to see a residence that has not been seen in some time.

The Kael Family Estate in Arkham, Massachusetts. The tired, grim looking residence, reflective of the Gothic Revival style it was created in, sat upon the old plot of land like a tombstone. Most of the windows are dark save for one which glows with a soft light.

The scene cuts to an elaborately carved wood chair with aged #97red leather cushions. The high polish of the lacquered wood glimmers in the low light of the room, the carvings appearing to be scenes of monsters and warriors fighting each other across the surface of a castle. The scenes of carnage run up the legs and armrests, each finally terminating in a massive dragon that looms over the tall backrest.

From the left Sutler Reynolds-Kael appears, his leather jacket pulled over an #UNDEFEATED shirt. His boots click across the surface of dark marble tiles with a near mirror finish, each step carried with a particularly annoying degree of swagger, undeserved and unrepentant. Climbing into the chair he takes a seat kicking one leg up over the armrest while staring forwarding with a smug look splattered across his face.

SRK: Undefeated. There’s always that honeymoon period in High Octane Wrestling when a guy gets here for the first time where all he has to do is kick the shit out of a few scrubs. It’s a great time for a guy with half a wit of skill, hell, Harrison managed it for a few months, but the moment you run into someone with some merit, boom, it’s over and you can’t call yourself Undefeated ever again.. Well, I mean, unless the fed closes for a few years and everybody gets to come back with a new record of course but how often does that happen?

He pauses, appearing to count for a moment before he shakes it off.

SRK: Luckily for me I don’t intend to run into any meaningful talent until well into this tournament so I’ve got at least a few more weeks of the UNDEFEATED title and I intend to make the most of it. See, I’m the new Prince of High Octane Wrestling. Uncle Mike is the World Champion and he’s going to tear his way through the rest of you numb nuts and, worst case scenario, run headlong into me. I look forward to that day but let’s put a pin in that cause that’s a story for another time, right?

Winking at the screen Sutler readjusts how he is sitting so he can lean forward in his chair, the smugness on his face leaving a bitter taste in the viewers mouth, this repugnant looking little child sitting in a big boy chair.

SRK: So for everyone in my path don’t get your hopes too high. You were put where you are specifically to make me look good, I didn’t waste my victory at ICONIC, I turned it into an investment. I picked this path because it was easiest, because I knew that I could put in the minimal amount of effort and get as far as possible while Mike eats the other side of the field. I did this cause I’m a realist, I know that at some point I’ve got to give up the title of UNDEFEATED. If it’s got to happen.. Well..

He stands up, his hands sliding into his pocket as an honest smile seems to stretch thin across his somber looking face.

SRK: ..Might as well be you. Love ya.

Turning, Sutler swaggers back off camera as the scene jumps back out to the darkened exterior of the Kael Estate before the HOTv fades to black as we head back inside The Best Arena for our next HOFC tournament match.

Dan Ryan vs. Darin Matthews

From the starting bell, Darin Matthews is a bat out of hell tonight, flurrying Dan Ryan with a series of blows that actually get the crowd behind him. While the smaller Matthews is able to slip around the cage much faster than Dan, eventually Ryan gets his hands on Matthews and does a good number on him against the cage with a series of giant blows. Matthews is in trouble, but the bell that ends round one is the bell that saves him as the referee forces a break.

Fresh into round two, Darin Matthews can’t catch a break. After a few attempts to secure an offensive lead, Ryan has Matthews up against the cage again, and takes him out with a series of vicious elbows. The referee calls for the stoppage once Matthews stops responding to verbal commands.

Joe Hoffman: No surprise here but Darin started well and held his own. Nothing wrong with losing to Ryan here in HOFC.

Benny Newell: Time for Darin to move the fuck on. He was never going to go far in this environment…but ya fuck ya…..give him a trophy for fucking participating.

The Bruvs and the Bare

Backstage in front of a High Octane Banner standing with reporter Brian Bare stands the tag team that returned at ICONIC. The Hollywood Bruvs. Mikey Unlikely and Jesse Fredricks Kendrix stand poised in their newest “FRAPP LIFE” T Shirts they look at the camera with a smirk on their faces. 

Brian Bare: Thank you fans for joining us, right now I’m being joined by former High Octane Wrestling Tag Team Champions, The Hollywood Bruvs! Gentlemen at Icon….

Kendrix: Listen Yeah!? It’s Gentlebruvs….

Mikey Unlikely: Yea BB…

The confused reporter begins his sentence again. 

Brian Bare: Gentlebruvs… at Iconic you made your return to HOW after the LSD Championship match. A gruelling four person affair that saw Jatt Starr claim the title hanging above the ring using a scaffold. Then after the match, the two of you, disguised as service workers climbed onto the scaffold and proceeded to throw the new champion off, possibly injuring him. How do you account for all of this? 

Mikey Unlikely: Hey Brian! Great to be back! We’re very excited to see all of our fans in High Octane Land. Here in the Chicago territory! 

Mixed reaction. 

Mikey Unlikely: It’s been a wild couple months for the Bruvs… Mostly a blur of Strippies, sugary espresso drinks, and single handedly stimulating…the local economy. Through it all a weird strange rumor reached the sexy earlobes of The Hollywood Bruvs. Brian do you know what that rumor was? 

Brian Bare: Well no, not specifically. I haven’t heard anything. 

Mikey Unlikely: Of course you haven’t, you’re not plugged in like we are! That rumor is that The H-Wood Bois have a tainted legacy here. 

Kendrix is aghast. He can’t believe his ears. 

Mikey Unlikely: APPARENTLY… It’s been said that we would have never been High Octane Tag Team Champions, if not for our involvement with 24K! To that I say NAY NAY! 

JFK & Mikey shake their fingers at the camera. 

Mikey Unlikely: APPARENTLY, there’s an asterisk next to our names in the annals of history! 

Jesse can’t help himself.

Kendrix: Teehee…anals.

Mikey Unlikely: Not even the asterisk we asked them to put on our name as the sexiest tag team to ever grace these halls! I can’t believe it! My flabber is ghasted Brian! 

He shakes his head in disgust. 

Mikey Unlikely: So we jumped on a zoom call with Lee Best, The poor bastard couldn’t see us, but that’s neither here nor there. We said “LEE! WE’RE COMING BACK BOI!” Then he said… 

Kendrix: Who the hell gave you my contact details?!

Mikey looks at JFK angrily. 

Mikey Unlikely: We’re supposed to skip that part! He said… “Come on back we have this no holds barred cage fighting tournament coming up…” That’s where I cut him off, knowing he couldn’t possibly be serious. Mikey Unlikely…Cage fighting? 

The tag team bursts into laughter at the thought. 

Mikey Unlikely: So we said…No, No, No.. we’re coming back for the Tag Team Championships. We’re coming back to do it again! The Sequel! This time, the critics can’t say shit! 

Finishing his frapp with a huge obnoxious slurp of his straw, Jesse throws the empty cup nonchalantly over his shoulder, accidentally maybe on purpose spilling some on Brian. Mikey wipes the spillage but it does nothing but stain Bare’s suit.

Kendrix: And despite being the most loved Tag Team on the face of the planet, even here in Chicago, the Hollywood Bruvs do indeed have their critics. It seems that Mikey Unlikely and JFK, the most decorated, money making Tag Team in this business somehow court controversy everywhere we go.

Mikey swings his fist out in front of him.

Mikey Unlikely: Darn it.

Brian looks uneasy at Jesse as the Bruv puts his arm around his shoulder and motions his free palm out in front of them.

Kendrix: So to answer your question, BB!  How do The Bruvs account for our actions at Iconic? Well, we have something to prove to everyone at High Octane Wrestling. Remember, The Hollywood Bruvs were unceremoniously publicly FIRED…by Mr Lee Best last time we were here. We’ve learned a great deal from that embarrassing experience and we wanted to show the HOW fans that the Bruvs have changed and we are here to work our socks off, dammit!

Mikey Unlikely: That’s right, Bruv. Do you know how long it took us to get our agents to bribe some dodgy service worker to forge our scaffolding licenses? 20 minutes, BB! Just think what the Bruvs could accomplish in 20 minutes. 

Jesse holds his index finger to his mouth in thought. It’s best whatever’s going on in that head of his stays there.

Mikey Unlikely: But no, we worked hard to text our agent to get our licenses, He worked so hard on our behalf that now Jesse and I even have our own warehouse forklift drivers certifications. 

Jesse removes his certification from his back pocket to show Brian but before the interviewer can get a good look at it’s authenticity the Bruv puts it right back where it came from.

Kendrix: We even worked hard during our return contract negotiations with Lee Best. We actually showed the boss enough respect to actually turn up for our pre agreed face to face meeting with him. Jeez, if that doesn’t answer your question, Brian…and more importantly, if that doesn’t prove to the entire world that the Hollywood Bruvs are going to work their socks off every damn night out of respect to you, to our colleagues, to the fans and most importantly…

As he hangs his head and holds a hand to his heart, looking like he’s about to well up, Mikey gives Kendrix an encouraging shoulder rub, before he somehow gets it together and raises his head.

Kendrix: …And most importantly, out of respect to ourselves, BB…then I don’t know what will prove it.

Jesse bites the back of his fist in an attempt to fight off the tears once more as Mikey takes center stage.

Mikey Unlikely: You see what this means to us, Brian?! What, do you want, blood? Is that what you want, you monster?!

Brian innocently holds his free palm out in front of Mikey.

Mikey Unlikely: Our Reputation and those HOW Tag Team titles mean everything to us, BB! Mark my words, The Hollywood Bruvs are going to do everything we can, every single day of our highly lucrative part time contract that allows us to come to work each and every single damn day that we feel like showing up for….to prove it.

Jesse looks at his watch and urgently taps Mikey on the shoulder.

Kendrix: Bruv, we better go! We’ve been here all day and we’ve got that thing, remember?

Mikey looks at his watch as his eyes widen in shock.

Mikey Unlikely: Holy Cow! We’ve been here for an hour already…I mean, oh yeah…the thing.

The tag partners wryly wink at each other, forgetting the cameras are on them.

Kendrix: Laters, BB! 

The Bruvs leave the set with Brian looking on unsure as to what he just heard.

Mikey Unlikely OOS: When you said the thing, you meant the strippee party right?

Kendrix OOS: Obvs!

Mikey Unlikely OOS: Totally Obvs! Where do we clock out in his dump?

Hardcore History Lesson

Cutting elsewhere inside The Best Arena we cut to the pointless 38% Owner of HOW in mild darkness instead of his office that he hasn’t stepped foot in since his loss at ICONIC to the video game fein Conor Fuse.  Instead he seems to be sitting reverse on a steel chair as he takes a drink of his beer before placing it down on the table next to him and picks up what seems to be a scalpel.

Scottywood: Welcome back HOFC… oh how I have missed you!  With the start of The DeNucci Cup we both honor a great man and we resurrect a division that both sows such HATE and bring great joy to so many here in HOW.  Words have sliced through the skin of the toughest here in HOW over the past week as each tries to outdo the other for the most heinous verbal assault before they step into a cage that has seen some of HOFC best atrocities happen.

Sldiing the side of the cold steel blade across the palm of his hand, a faint layer of dead skin can we seen scrapping off as The Hardcore Artist smiles before rotating the handle of the surgical tool around, the faint light around him catching the edges for each split second they align just perfectly.

Scottywood: Now next week I face off against a long time… acquaintance… in Cancer Jiles, but tonight I am not concerned with him.  I will not blow my load early Jiles, but trust me when I say I intend to verbally eviscerate your ass before I step into that cage and shred the flesh from your body to create the most delicious bloody quiche you have ever tasted.

Licking his lips slightly, The Hardcore Artist takes another drink from his beer.

Scottywood: No, tonight is about the only fighter in this bloodfest that can actually argue the fact that he may be more dangerous in this division than me.  And I’ll give you all a moment to let your fucking eyes rolls around in your empty skulls.  All you who think you know better just because you have circled jerked yourselves into a false sense of superiority over the past two years.  Fuck you!

Finishing up the beer bottle, Scotty tosses the empty into the nearby recycle bin as we can clearly hear the sound of aluminum on aluminum from the others the can has landed on.

Scottywood: I am the ONLY fighter entered into this that has actually beaten Michael DeNucci for the HOFC title.  I have held that title for MORE total days than anyone AND I have the LONGEST reign of anyone in HOFC title history.  Oh, and despite how one man wants to best-wash HOW history, I have won the HOFC title from the so-called son of god.

Scottywood: Maybe that is why he avoided me during his fake pretend bullshit HOFC Title tour last year.  Yes, you beat America at Alcatraz, but then you went on to “defend” that sacred belt against people who let’s be honest, were fucking below you just so could pad your so called legacy with that title before it returned.  I mean even someone with half a brain can see how you made sure we wouldn’t meet in the DeNucci Cup unless we both make it to the finals.

Scotty takes the scalpel still in hand and jams it down blade first into the table next to him.

Scottywood: Oh and if you wonder if I fear to speak your name.  If I think that like Beetlejuice or Bloody Mary that if I say it too many times you’ll appear from whatever void you reside in and knee me back to Hell.  I do not.  I just don’t want your name in my mouth cause you’ve fucked this entire roster over raw for years… and god knows what you’ve picked up from those dirty fuckers.

Reaching into his jeans pocket, he pulls out a small bottle of Purell as he dispenses some of that liquid gold on his hands and tries to disinfect himself from the mere thought of the HOW roster.

Scottywood: So HOFC season is open and buck shots have been fired across the roster.  There will be casualties and those that survive this madness will likely never be the same again.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  Now, sit back and enjoy as Chris Kostoff hopefully breaks some knees and claims another pound of the worst flesh in HOW.

Reaching down to his cooler, The Hardcore Artist grabs another beer can as he cracks it open and kicks his feet up on the table as he load the live Refueled feed on his iPhone from the HOTv app as we cut to our final commercial break.

Mike Best vs. Chris Kostoff

The crowd is on their feet as the two Hall of Famers stare each other down. It was only a few months ago that Kostoff beat the Father and tonight he wants to take down the Son.

The two charge each other Mike quickly slides thru the legs of Kostoff. The big man, shocked, turns around and as he does he is met with a knee to the chin.

Kostoff quickly goes down and Mike begins to celebrate…..but stops as he sees Kostoff trying to sit up.

He is clearly not knocked out and Mike charges again and nails him with a second knee and this time Kostoff goes down and Boettcher looks down shocked and signals for the bell.

Joe Hoffman: HOLY SHIT!!!!?????

Benny looks at Joe shocked at the man swearing.

Refueled 48 comes to an end as an even shocked HOW World Champion Michael Lee Best looks down at a knocked out Chris Kostoff as the show comes to an end.