Event Date: February 8, 2020
Dark Match Results for Refueled XV
Chris Kostoff defeated Crash Rodriguez with his No Remorse powerbomb finisher in 2:31. It was as if Crash did not even show up to the match mentally, and the HOW Hall of Famer was able to do all his signature moves before finally deciding enough was enough. Kostoff goes to 1-0 in the #LBI2020.
Max Kael defeated Austin Reeves with his Gaslighter signature move. The spinning forearm smash to the back of Reeve’s head was enough to end this match at the 6:14 mark. Reeves did not look like himself and Kael was definitely conserving energy as it appeared it did just enough to end the match and move farther away from his lost last week to HOW rookie Warrick Hill. Reeves drops to 0-2 in the #LBI2020 while the HOW Hall of Famer now is 1-1.
Steven Solex defeated Rick Dickulous with his devastating Clothesline From Heck finisher at the 7:52 mark. Rick was able to garner some early offense but the Number One Dad in HOW was able to secure the win in the end to continue his impressive run to start 2020. Solex moves to 1-0 in the #LBI2020 while Rick slips to 1-1.
Alex Redding defeated Buck Yates with his Red Dead finisher. The rope walking diving cutter was enough to put away Yates, who started hot when signing with HOW, who now falls to 0-2 in the #LBI2020. Redding continues to show that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the #LBI2020 and in HOW in general as he improves to 2-0 and has a firm lead in the Narcotic group after the impressive win in 11:43.
The High Octane Television logo gives way to a live look inside the All State Arena as we are set for the 399th High Octane Wrestling show on the network. The crowd is on their feet for the near sellout as we cut inside the ring where Referee Joel Hortega and Ring Announcer Bryan McVay are ready to get the action under way for Refueled XV.
Bryan McVay: The following contest is scheduled for the 2020 Lee Best Invitational and is schedule for ONE FALL!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: I feel like I’m reliving this opener multiple times. We sure Bill Murray hasn’t bought HOW?
Benny Newell: There would be less EPU and more partying in that’s the case Joe. I still gotta hide my Jack under the desk to not piss off the sponsors, so I’m pretty damn sure this isn’t Groundhog Day!
Joe Hoffman: We’re about to kick off tonight’s opening match.
Smoke appears at the entrance as “COCHISE” by Audioslave hits the arena. Brenton Cross walks through the smoke, his eyes fixed on the ring. 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.
Bryan McVay: First, Hailing from Dallas, TX, weighing in at 230 pounds…ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…..THE TIME TRAVELING…..BREEEEEEEEEENTON CROOOOOOOOO….
Suddenly, The Call’s “Let the Day Begin” plays over the loudspeaker. Joe Bergman walks out on the ramp. He pumps his first in the air and then starts down the ramp towards the ring.
Joe Hoffman: The HOW World Heavyweight Champion for 239 days…
Benny Newell: You’ve been sneaking sips of my Jack Daniels behind my back again.
Joe Hoffman: But there’s a Delorean, Rick and Morty were there….
Benny Newell: Just call the damn match and stop acting drunk. You’re making me look like the sober one. Nothing’s changed from the last time we’ve been here. Except I like Joe Bergman. Blatantly getting into Brenton Cross’ head by interrupting his entrance out of the gates! Mad props.
Joe Hoffman: It was so convincing!
Bryan McVay: Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri and weighing in tonight at one hundred ninety-five pounds. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – ORDINARY JOE BERGMAN!
“Here’s to the teachers in the crowded rooms Here’s to the workers in the fields Here’s to the preachers of the sacred words Here’s to the drivers at the wheel…” He slap people’s hands along the way. “Here’s to you My little loves with blessings from above Now let the day begin…” Joe continues on to greet the fans along the way. “…Here’s to you My little loves with blessings from above Now let the day begin let the day begin let the day…start! He reaches the ring area and continues to greet people around the front row and then climbs up on the ring apron and leaps over the top rope into the ring. As Joe stands on the turnbuckle, Brenton stares a hole straight into Bergman as he comes down. Hortega motions for both men to shake hands, but both are determined and do not shake their hands, they just stare into each other as the crowd goes rabid. Hortega motions for the bell and Brenton charges straight for Bergman, but Bergman ducks immediately as if he’s been in a Delorean and seen the future.
Joe Hoffman: This is about to get meta on so many damn levels. Both men could just stand in the ring as they probably know what move the other is about to go for.
Benny Newell: Shit, that means they already know how much Jack I’ve actually drank before this show starts.
Bergman tries to tackle Cross, but Cross as if he’s re-lived this day multiple times, rolls out of the way and motions towards Bergman. Cross immediately sticks his hands up for a test of strength with Bergman. Both fight around for a minute with Cross getting the upper hand, but Bergman immediately kicks him straight in the stomach for advantage. Bergman locks in an arm drag taking cross to the floor. The crowd gets behind Cross and he musters his strength back up and bridges Bergman…
Bergman bridges himself back up and hits the same move back on Cross to bridge him this time….
Cross leverages his weight then flips behind Bergman for bridging German Suplex pin…
Benny Newell: The room is spinning now from all this time traveling techno-mumbo-jumbo stuff. Get me some Jose to wash all the Jack down, Joe.
Joe Hoffman: That’s on you buddy. Both Bergman and Cross nonchalantly trying to one up each other. It’s like they’ve wrestled each other many times before without ever stepping into the ring with each other. The chemistry is there.
Bergman kicks out and Cross rolls towards him and both men nod towards one another. They both tie up. Bergman tries to whip Cross into the corner, but cross reverses it and hits an uppercut right across Joe Bergman’s jaw. He cracks it before getting angry and charging at cross before he meets the forearm of Cross right across his jaw. Cross charges towards Bergman with a knee drop towards his chest, but Bergman rolls out of the ring trying to get his wits about him. Cross charges towards the ropes and hits a Jumping Trust fall towards the outside.
Joe Hoffman: SHIT! CROSS HAS TIME TRAVELLED!
Benny Newell: I hope we’re back in 1866. I wanna meet the man who made my favorite drink…
Joe Hoffman: He hit the move, Benny!
Benny Newell: Can’t fault a man for wanting the original formula!
Cross rolls Bergman back into the ring and climbs to the top rope. He hops straight onto the Top Turnbuckle and lands a beautifully timed Moonsault on Bergman to the delight of the crowd hoping to put Bergman away. Hortega runs to count the cover.
Cross looks stunned at Bergman kicking out. His frustration immediately comes out as he bangs his fists against the mat. His smile turned more into frustrated determination. Cross quickly starts walking towards Bergman and stomping the hell out of his stomach
Benny Newell: Brenton’s showing another level in his determination tonight. Tonight isn’t about honor. It’s about chaotically beating the hell out of your opponent in that ring.
Joe Hoffman: To be fair, Cross knows what it’s like to stand across the ring from a former HOW Champion in Max Kael. He can’t pump the breaks. He has to push forward.
Hortega pulls Cross away from Bergman as he’s holding his leg. Cross yells at Hortega as he wants to continue with his momentum. While Cross is distracted, Bergman charges towards Cross’s legs and buckles him from under. Cross quickly pulls Cross into the middle of the ring with a single leg crab. Cross struggles towards grabbing the ropes. As he’s about to grab the ropes, Bergman pulls him back in the middle of the ring and the crowd looks on in complete shock. Cross struggles with the pain, but Cross pulls himself back to his feet. Bergman tries to force his weight down, but Cross jumps stiffly up and kicks Bergman square across the face as both men collapse. Hortega begins his ten count:
Cross grabs the ropes and pulls himself back up to his base. He charges towards Bergman with a Dropkick to the corner, but Bergman ducks and collides with the ropes. Bergman grabs Cross’s knee and drives it straight into the turnbuckle with force. As Cross yells out in pain, Bergman rolls into the ring and drops another elbow onto Cross’s knee. Bergman sits on top of Cross and unleashes a round of punches against his nose, hoping blood flow comes out. Cross gets tired of this and grabs Bergman’s hands and headbutts him to get him off of him. Cross gets back to his base as Bergman’s stunned and rushes to hit a picture perfect super kick across Bergman’s jaw. Bergman falls down limp as Cross lays on his force and Hortega fastly hits the pin fall. The crowd counts with it.
Joe Hoffman: Holy shit! Holy Shit! Cross did it?
Benny Newell: NO! Hortega’s called for the rope break after right as he was hitting the three count!
Joe Hoffman: By God! Bergman’s made a Quantum Leap back into this match!!!!
Cross’s face turns red and he immediately yells at Hortega that it counts after he hits the third count. Hortega gets back in Cross’s face and both men argue as the crowd’s popping. Hortega’s eyes keep shooting around the ring as Cross just gets straight in Hortega’s face. Hortega threatens to throw the match out and Cross bites his tongue, turns around and…
Joe Hoffman: HIGH KNEE STRAIGHT TO HIS NOSE!!!!!!
Benny Newell: HOLY SHIT! Cross is bleeding. Bergman connected hard as he fell straight into Hortega taking him out.
Cross holds his nose as blood pours out. Bergman rushes the ropes to hit a leg drop on Cross, but Cross rolls out of the way and no sells the knee, with adrenaline running through his veins. Bergman looks Cross straight in the eyes, seeing the massive murdering machine of Cross burning a hole straight through him. Bergman gets up and attempts to run towards Cross with a drop kick, but Cross bats him away. Bergman charges towards him with a cross body, but Cross drop kicks him not missing an entire beat, standing with his arms behind him like an army machine. Bergman then gets back up and tries to hit a cutter,but Cross just stands there barely nodding to have Bergman go down to the mat. Cross cracks his neck for a moment.
Joe Hoffman: Cross is about to kill Bergman!!!!
Cross runs towards the turnbuckle and hits a running senton. He keeps repeating it over and over again until Bergman’s starting to fade away. He finally returns a knee straight towards Bergman’s face and cracks him in the nose for revenge causing a bit of blood to come trickling out. Cross wipes the blood away from his nose and jumps straight to the Top Turnbuckle, signaling for Quantum Mechanics to the crowd’s delight.
Joe Hoffman: High risk maneuver by Brenton Cross. He’s about to be the ultimate time traveler here.
Benny Newell: He’s firing up the 1.21 Gigawatts now my friend and he’s about to make the leap. It’s time for us to jump into that Hot Tub Time Machine and celebrate Cross’s victory…
WHAM!!!! WHAM! WHAM!!
Dawn McGill jumped the barricade and nails Cross stiffly in the back a few times and Cross falls immediately face first in front of the knees of a dazed Joe Bergman. His smile twists from ear to ear sinsterly as he rushes to lock in the Dragon Sleeper stiffly suffocating Cross as McGill rushes towards Hortega.
Joe Hoffman: GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY, BENNY! I SWEAR I’VE SEEN THIS IN ANOTHER TIMELINE!!!!
Benny Newell: Everyone knows Avengers End Game’s theory on time travel is wrong. Geez, have you not seen Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. God! I swear people don’t understand quantum physics and time travel any more. Stupid Marvel movies! We live in the here and now Benny, and look at the beautiful Dawn McGill back in HOW. She revived Hortega out of the kindness of her own heart. She’s truly a saint.
Joe Hoffman: That’s just sick what she did, no matter what timeline I’ve sworn I’ve seen.
Benny Newell: You just get used to it all. Take this Jack and get ready to raise the glass.
Hortega looks on as Cross has gone completely limp and glassy eyed. He’s gone. Hortega doesn’t even need to check, he can see Cross has officially blacked out in the middle of the ring, clear as day thanks to Joe Bergman’s sleeper hold. Horega motions to ring the bell.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner via submission: JOOOOOOOOOE BERGMAN!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Disgusting! Simply disgusting!
Benny Newell: I felt the same way when I had my first shot of this Jack…
Joe Hoffman: Joe winning with Bergman’s help! Come on Benny! How could you look past that?
Benny Newell: It’s winning creatively. Very creatively. Congratulations to Joe Bergman on his victory on his return back to HOW. That’s a win I can definitely drink to and you should too Joe. If you don’t…well fuck it….I’m drinking your Bergman Victory shot for myself anyways.
Hortega raises Joe Bergman’s hand as Dawn McGill and Bergman celebrate Bergman’s first win in the LBI as we cut to fade to Steven Solex’s promo.
The lights in the arena dim as the HOV lights up with the words “Leave it to Stever” appear on the screen. The god-awful 1950’s television theme music plays throughout the arena as the crowd erupts in a chorus of boos. The letters quickly fade, and the scene on the HOV transitions to Steven Solex seated behind an old wooden desk. Steven is outfitted in his a “#1 Dad” ballcap, and a freshly ironed plain white t-shirt. Steven sits leaned over the desk, propping himself up with his elbows. As the music fades, Steven relaxes his posture and sits back into the red-leather chair that. Steven kicks his feet up onto the desk and flaunts a white envelope to the camera.
Steven: Welcome, once again to the highest rated segment on High Octane Wrestling’s Refueled. Leave it to Stever!
The crowd erupts in boos, as Steven pauses for applause. Steven, playing it cool, laughs as if the crowd is on his side.
Steven: Our first letter today is from Richard in Canada!
The crowd continues to boo as Steven quickly skims the letter.
Steven: Richard asks, “Steve, I have four errant children who all like to bicker and fight. I’ve tried timeouts, and at this point, I’ve already had to hold one down on the floor for a few seconds so he’d calm down. How do I ensure the other three learned their lesson?”
Steven folds the letter, places it back inside of the envelope and shakes his head as he throws the envelope behind him and out of view.
Steven: Well, Richard. Holding your children down on the floor is always a recipe for disaster. But, I don’t think your children are the root of the problem. Your children are being rambunctious and incorrigible because you’re Canadian. Perhaps you should consider moving to the Land of the Free, the good ol’ United States.
Steven laughs as the crowd continues to boo relentlessly. Steven takes another letter from the pile and removes it from the envelope. Again, he quickly skims the letter before reading it aloud.
Steven: See, and this is why I read the letters before I read them to myself. It didn’t take long for one of you foul-mouthed miscreants to send a letter in. I do this for all of the Dads in the world, and I won’t be held back by a pack of goons like the HOW fan base. It’s like my Dad always told me: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Moving along!
The crowd continues to boo as Steven crumples the letter in his fist and tosses it behind him. He quickly snatches another letter from the pile, and again skims it quickly.
Steven: Our next letter…. ooohhh, this is a doozey. This one comes from James in Australia. Canada and Australia in one session, this show is gaining international fame!
The crowd boos.
Steven: James asks, “Steven, my children are constantly giving me dirty looks, and making snide remarks anytime I make a joke. They say that I’m corny and unoriginal, but I really think that I’m a cool Dad. Some might say, I’m too cool for school! What can I do to change their minds?”
Steven folds the letter and places it back in the envelope before tossing it behind him.
Steven: Well, James. It’s all about delivery. Are you winking when you deliver your jokes? My favorite thing to do is show a couple of finger guns at my son, it always gets him laughing. Another problem might be that you need to reestablish dominance in your home. Anytime your kid rolls their eyes, talks back, or blows you off I suggest that you sit them down and have along talk with them. Don’t tell them that you’re mad. That’s never a good way to get your message across. What you need to do is say exactly this: “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” You’ll find that sixty-percent of the time, it works….every time!
The crowd boos as Steven dispose of the letter behind him.
Steven: Well folks, that’s all the time we have this week. Until next week, ladies and gentleman. My name is Steven Solex and this has been another Leave it to Stever!
The crowd boos wildly as Steven waves to the camera as the HOV fades to black as we cut elsewhere backstage…
Magdalena leaned against the doorframe, with her right hand twisting the red-tinged ends of her hair & holding it out to the light. Too many split ends, she thought. She’d have to get a haircut sooner than later. Bleach and dye was murder on your glory. She wasn’t sure how much she’d cut off this time, but probably not as short as the last. After months of growing it out, she’d sworn that she’d never do that again. But it was a different season, for her, and for her charge.
The green hair that covered part of Jack’s face was like a highlighter on a Bible.
It focused the viewer on what was important, and at this moment, that’s High Flyer. Magdalena knew what his hair covered – the damaged eye. She would’ve felt sorry for Flyer, but she’d seen the video footage – their previous history had been a gory, bloody affair of lies, deceit, and tragedy. Their current affair would likely be at least two of those.
MAGDALENA: I questioned when you would appear.
Flyer kept walking, oblivious to her or ignoring her. Regardless, she would get his attention.
Startled, he turned to her. Her accent was strong in pronouncing his name. She slowed and concentrated to increase her enunciation of the message she must present.
MAGDALENA: Being so oblivious leads to trouble, does it not?
Jack stared at her.
HIGH FLYER: I honestly did not see you there…
She knew he’d had a troubling few weeks – not only a war with that … thing, Max Kael, but then what happened with Deacon. Magdalena just continued, undisturbed.
MAGDALENA: Being Oblivious… That is what happened at ICONIC. You had been oblivious for so long to the man you left behind, the man you had wronged. You had forgotten your sins, or tried to. You had walked away from them, but sin always ends the same way, Jack – those wages are death.
HIGH FLYER: I’ve heard Deacon’s spiel. I’ve heard the Lord gives forgiveness to those who ask. Maybe I’ve learned a little from ol Deac’ after all…
MAGDALENA: That you have, sir; that you have. Then I shall move on to why I stopped you. The Deacon was not after you, not on that night. You just stepped too close to a holy fire and got burned. Back before, you had grown accustomed to that heat, developed a callous toward it. That fire was friendly, but this fire?
Magdalena wished she had Old man Shepherd’s flair for the dramatic – a wave of the hand to deliver a prop to make his point. She didn’t have that. She only had her words and one major point that entered just behind Flyer.
MAGDALENA: This fire burned Deacon. It has seared him to his core in ways that he never dreamt. He is not giving you that slogan of Faith is the Evidence – he is too old for that now. He is giving you a warning – this fire is going to burn anyone and everyone it touches. You get near it, you will be changed. Exactly how?
Magdalena gestured with a head nod. Flyer turned towards the direction & found the Deacon towering just over Harmen’s left shoulder. Jack jerked away, spinning and nearly falling before regaining his posture though not composure. The Mute Freak’s mouth covered, as always since arriving at HOW, it gave no hint at words of comfort or pain. The eyes never even acknowledged Jack Harmen’s presence.
MAGDALENA: Not even he can tell you that.
Jack glanced from Deacon to Magdalena then back again.
HIGH FLYER: So you’re saying, you don’t wanna go get a beer later?
Jack backed away from Deacon. No response.
HIGH FLYER: Huh… Expect no less from the Mute Freak, right?
Flyer went to pat the big man, but thought better of it, his hand hesitating at least a good foot away from his chest.
HIGH FLYER: Give my best to Chris!
With a tip of his imaginary cap, Flyer turned the corner and was gone. All that was left behind was the Deacon and Magdalena alone in the hallway.
MAGDALENA: Do you think he understood?
The Deacon did not acknowledge her question, but he did acknowledge her presence with that stirring glare.
MAGDALENA: Yeah, me neither.
We fade out as we cut to commercial.
As we come back from commercial we see the Hall of Fame team ready for the next highly anticipated match up.
Joe Hoffman: Next up is a match up from the Embosser group of the LBI.
Benny Newell: If Embosser was here he’d be the hands on favorite to win it all.
Joe Hoffman: This upcoming matchup will determine the leader of the Embosser group as both Teddy Palmer and Deacon are tied for first place.
Benny Newell: I’ll give credit where credit is due Hoffman and both rookies have looked good in their debut matches, but this tournament is a fucking meat grinder. Can they continue to impress, but more importantly continue winning to get to the next stage of the LBI? We shall see.
Tick Tick Ding
IT’S TIME TO WIN!
The instrumentals from Down with Webster’s “Time To Win” projects through the arena’s PA system. The obnoxious beat reaches the point of lyrics, which coincides with Teddy Palmer’s emergence on the stage. Arms outstretched, his swagger brings him a few steps forward before he rips the hood from his sleeveless jacket down. His smile is that of confidence. His wink to the camera is that of cockiness.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and weighing in at 221 lbs….he is TEEEEEDDDDDYYYYYY! PALMEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!
Joe Hoffman: Teddy is dripping with confidence.
Benny Newell: He’s won only one match. When he wins another he may get my attention.
Each step forward is in rhythm with a slight head bob, his eyes scanning the aisleway audience. Ted avoids use of the steps in favour of rolling underneath the bottom rope. Hopping to his feet, he circles about the ring. Deciding on a corner, he pops himself up on the middle ropes, yelling out to the crowd. The words are loud, but inaudible due to the crowd noise and bouncing speakers. His fingers pointing at his chest give context, however, as we can assume he’s proclaiming greatness of sorts.
Benny Newell: Can I petition our President to stop trying to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out and build a wall on the border of that cesspool Canada to prevent these idiot Canadians from coming in?
His feet soon hit the canvas, followed by the jacket he tears off. His smile fades to that of a grin, as he paces about, eagerly anticipating the beginning of the bout as the lights go out and the Gregorian chant begins.
Joe Hoffman: Here comes the largest competitor in the LBI.
Magdalena steps onto the stage, scanning the crowd a moment before the Deacon enters, his giant robed frame creating a backdrop as Magdalena starts toward the ring, the Deacon behind her.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, hailing from Alexandria, Egypt and weighing in at 320 lbs…..he is DEEEEEEEEEAAAAAACOOOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!!!!
His eyes stare blankly as he climbs the stairs to the apron, stepping over the top rope to enter the ring and go to his corner.
Joe Hoffman: Tonight is going to be a contrast in styles. Deacon has the size and power advantage while the technical wizard, Teddy Palmer, will have to use his speed and agility to ground the big man so he can stretch him.
Benny Newell: Easier said than down. If it was Townsend against Deacon I’d agree with you.
Once the announcer is out of the ring, Matt Boettcher checks both individuals and calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go…..
Palmer and Deacon come out of their respective corners and both circle each other before going for a collar and elbow tie up. Palmer tries to make the first move but Deacon uses his power to throw Teddy onto the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Deacon showing off his power advantage early in the match.
Teddy cautiously gets back to his feet and slaps either side of his arms to signal to Deacon they should lock up again.
Benny Newell: And you wonder why we need a wall to keep the Canadians out. This country can only handle so much stupidity.
Deacon lumbers his way towards Palmer and goes to lock up, but the quicker of the two ducks under and begins to attack the legs of the seven foot redwood until the tree as fallen to one knee.
Joe Hoffman: Palmer doing the sound strategy of chopping the big man down to size.
Palmer builds momentum as he hits the ropes but his eyes widen with fear as a size fifteen boot crashes into his face.
Benny Newell: No sound strategy can stop raw power Hoffman. DRINK!
Deacon moves his left leg and hits his thigh a couple of times to get the feeling back before making his way towards the downed Canadian. Deacon reaches down and shows off his an incredible feat of strength by lifting and suplexing Teddy from the ground and back down.
Joe Hoffman: OH MY! I don’t think we have seen such strength since Rhys Townsend.
Benny Newell: And Townsend was a lot shorter too.
Deacon rolls into a cover.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy pops the shoulder up before the count of three.
Deacon looks at Boettcher who shows him it was two and the big man gets to his feet and reaches down to pick up his opponent, but Teddy grabs the arm of Deacon and like a boa constrictor wraps his legs around the neck.
Benny Newell: Ah shit.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy Palmer has locked in a triangle choke in the middle of the ring and Deacon has nowhere to go.
Boettcher asks Deacon if he wants to quit but he shakes his finger like Dikembe Mutombo and in response, Teddy leans back further pulling the arm and tightening his legs around Deacon’s throat causing the big man to drop to a knee.
Benny Newell: Come on you big bastard! Do something!
Magdalena yells at Deacon to get to the ropes and the big man uses his long wingspan to try and reach across the ring to them, but Teddy sees and tightens his grip around Deacon’s neck.
Joe Hoffman: Deacon has nowhere to go and he looks to be fading.
Boettcher notices Deacon not moving and taps the big man on his shoulder and he doesn’t respond. Boettcher picks up his right arm and it hits the mat.
Boettcher lifts it for a second time and it hits the mat.
Joe Hoffman: If his arm hits a third time this match is over.
Benny Newell: No shit.
Boettcher lifts the arm for the third and final time and it falls towards the canvas and it hits…….
Deacon is able to stop his arm from hitting the mat and the big man lets out a primal scream as he uses every ounce of strength to grab Teddy and lift him high into the air and slam him down.
Crowd: HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!
Benny Newell: Holy shit is right Hoffman.
Joe Hoffman: Deacon channeling his inner Rampage Jackson with that slam and it appears Teddy may be unconscious, but Deacon can’t capitalize with the damage done to his arm and neck.
Boettcher sees that both men are down and has no choice but to begin his count.
Deacon begins to stir.
Deacon crawls over Palmer.
Deacon drapes an arm over Palmer.
Joe Hoffman: Cover!
Joe Hoffman: TEDDY GETS THE SHOULDER UP! TEDDY GETS THE SHOULDER UP!
Benny Newell: THAT WAS A SLOW COUNT BITCHER!
Deacon goes to pick up Teddy, but gets kicked in the face bringing the big man to a knee and Palmer continues the attack with a step-up enzuigiri bringing Deacon to all fours. Palmer looks at Deacon and then towards the ropes and then back towards Deacon before hitting the ropes and delivering a single leg dropkick to the face of Deacon.
Joe Hoffman: Running kick to the face of Deacon.
Instead of going for the cover Palmer reaches down and starts to bring Deacon to his feet, but Deacon rakes the eyes of his opponent and hits a quick, desperation chokeslam. However, he doesn’t go for the cover.
Benny Newell: Cover him you idiot!
Joe Hoffman: Deacon seems to be in pain as he is holding that left shoulder.
Deacon motions it out a few times to get the feeling back into it as he makes his way over to Teddy and delivers a massive boot to the face of the Canadian.
Benny Newell: I think I saw some maple syrup fly out of his mouth Hoffman.
Deacon places Palmer between his legs and lifts him up.
Joe Hoffman: Deacon maybe looking for that crucifix powerbomb he calls the Altar Call.
Before Deacon can position him right, Teddy starts punching the face of Deacon.
Joe Hoffman: Teddy showing he still has fight left.
Deacon tosses him behind him and Teddy lands on his feet and sprints towards the corner and as Deacon turns around he sees Teddy springboarding towards him with a high knee and he quickly knows what hit him as it blasts the side of his face.
Benny Newell: FUCK!
Teddy quickly goes for a cover.
Boettcher signals for the bell.
Bryan McVay: And your winner by pinfall…. TEEEEEDDDDDYYYYYY! PALMEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!
Joe Hoffman: The Last Call catapults Teddy Palmer to the top of the leader board in the Embosser division. We still have a long ways to go, but everyone else is playing catch up in that group.
Teddy celebrates his win as we shift towards the backstage area.
Rick Dickulous sits in an ice bath in what appears to be the trainer’s room. His arms rest along the sides of the tub and his head is leaned backwards with a relaxed look on his face. The ice in the tub makes his body appear blurry, as if being censored.
“Y’know, they teach kids when they’re young that it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. That it’s all about competition and fair play…”
Rick shrugs his large shoulders before continuing.
“…see, I entered the LBI just for that – competition, at least. Tonight I got what I asked for, and I came up a little short, eh?”
“I mean, it’s only the second match of the tournament for me…going one-and-one is still 50 percent, and besides, it’s not like I was gonna go undefeated or anything.”
One of the Trainer’s assistants enters with two buckets full of ice. She dumps them in the tub with Rick before leaving without a word, shaking her head in disgust as she walks away.
“So, Steve? Good on ya, bud. Ya sure did get one over on me, gosh darnit,” Rick mockingly shakes his fist at the air, “but what I can tell ya, is the next time you and I meet out there in that ring, I WILL turn you into a dad joke. To make matters worse, we’re tied, and you’ve got a match in hand…I gotta hope that disadvantaged Australian, the ex one percenter, or one half of a tag team can hand you an L.”
He swishes the ice around a little, picking up a chunk and tossing it towards his feet. Suddenly a ringtone interrupts the silence – yes, O’ Canada – which prompts Rick to rise quickly from the water…naked as a jaybird (though with a rather sizeable, blurred out portion in his nether-regions). Realizing his mistake, he quickly sits back down in the water with a splash.
“Hey…can someone bring me that phone? Anyone? Please? Ice-lady?”
We cut to a commercial as the thirst trap that is Rick Dickulous lives up to his name…
Refueled is a television show that finds itself in many environments. Sometimes it is in the ring, sometimes it is outside of the building because Jack Harmen decided to attempt a murder. This time though we are in one of the more regular locations, the famous office of Lee Best (or whoever has control of the company at any given point).
Lee is at his desk scribbling on some paperwork that could either be important business contracts or a series of increasingly abstract eyepatch designs, we can’t see what he is writing so it is hard to say. The tranquility of day to day business operations is interrupted by the door slamming opened and smashing against the wall. For his part, Lee continues writing and scribbling away, very indifferent to the man who has walked into his office with a mighty fine swagger.
Farthy Some Belts himself, the HOW Heavyweight and Tag Team Champion of the ENTIRE World, Cecilworth M! J Farthington.
Cecilworth steps towards Lee’s big ole oak table and slams down the World Championship.
Farthington: Oh hello Leecifer, love the new look. A very messed up five year old girl is missing the Syphilitic Satan her parents booked for her birthday party I guess…
Cecilworth takes an even closer look.
Farthington: Oh and spikes! Adorable! Gotta keep those dreams of running the world’s largest eyepatched wrestling company alive. It’s starting to become something of a market trend I hear…
A small scowl creeps across the face of GOD as he continues doing his level best to ignore everything happening in front of him. Cecilworth for his part has become so indifferent to these “meetings” with Lee that he continues to barrel on unimpeded.
Farthington: It’s not like you to be so quiet Lee… why aren’t you informing me of what a disappointment I am as your World Champion? Does Cecilworth only get a little spite, as a Pay Per View treat? Maybe you want to insist that Mike does all the talking for me… but that wouldn’t make sense anymore would it? I feel like winning a ninety seven minute long Iron Man match does any talking I would ever need. You had SO MUCH to say to me when I was at the headspace for a wrestling war… seems so funny that you’ve zipped yourself up. Or did you add a literal mouth zip with this bizarre S&M fetish outfit that you have concocted?
Cecilworth doesn’t bother waiting for a response as he slumps down on one of the chairs at Lee’s desk, kicking his feet on the table. Lee pauses for a second from his duties and ponders saying something but decides against even the briefest of interactions with his World Champion.
Farthington: We both know I’m not here to give you a fashion critique for the multitude of reasons that would be a waste of both of our times. You know why I’m here. This belt is going to need to be defended before March to Glory…
Cecilworth pats his precious prize that remains sitting directly in front of Lee’s face.
Farthington: Got to give all those those LBI hopefuls a taste, a delicious morsel of what to expect if they have the audacity to get out of this tournament as the victor. Something that really just shows them what they can expect at the end of the tournament. It’s not going to be a big novelty cheque as confetti drops down from the ceiling, it’s going to be ME. They deserve to know what meeting me in the ring truly means. After all, it seems like most of them are so caught up on winning the week that they’ve forgot the LBI is a long game. Hell, Leecifer, you’d half think they didn’t remember that they’re going to March to Glory to step in the ring with the World Champion if they truly want to call themselves to winner of this shindig of yours.
Cecilworth pauses to heartily chuckle for a second as he shakes his shoulders around in the most “white man dancing” way as he speaks the word “shindig”. The self-indulgent laughter is quick to stop as he returns to his business.
Farthington: They WILL face me. Oh, I’m going to March to Glory, I don’t much mind what you throw my way before the Pay Per View for my “contractually obligated” defense. What I would like to know however is who… and when. You know it, I know it, I have the best training game in this company and it is only sporting that you give me a name, place AND time. Preferably right now. Actually, I’m going to lose the conditional there… you ARE going to tell me right now.
Lee looks up from his paperwork for a brief second and mutters to Cecilworth.
Lee Best: Next week.
His head drops straight back to the paperwork.
Farthington: Oh, we’re playing the same games again are we? Same as when I won the ICON championship and you put all of your hopes and dreams into the biggest baddest Best Alliance of all time? If I recall, last time you decided to get cute with me, I cost you control of your own company. Seems… unwise… to try this again.
There is no response from the other end of the table.
Farthington: Well, if that’s how you wish to play the game again Lee, I’m delighted. This big LBI that you’re ever so proud of, it will end with me and it will end once again with your complete and total humiliation. Just remember, that new contract you hurriedly put together to keep me from absconding with your precious 97Red Championship… it has certain… conditions. So, more than happy to see what next week brings…. boss.
Cecilworth gives a warm and cheeky wink to his eyepatched corporate overlord as he picks up his championship belt, hoists it upon his shoulders, gives a polite nod to the non-responsive Best and calmly walks out of the room.
Lee can only muster a sigh as he drops his pen and looks up at the now closed door.
Lee Best: Soon motherfucker….soon.
Lee unlocks his cellphone and promptly hits dial on his most recent call…….
With that we cut back to ringside as it is time for our next #LBI2020 match
Joe Hoffman: We’re back folks as we have hit the halfway point of tonight’s televised matches as we head into the first of two matches from what some call the group of death in the LBI.
Benny Newell: It’s the GOD Group Joe! Because only a GOD like Mike Best can win it.
Joe Hoffman: We’ll we will see Mike Best in action against Lindsay Troy in the main event, but right now we have two from The Industry, Dan Ryan and MJ Flair looking to get their first points on the tournament. Both lost their opening matches to Troy and Flyer to put them in an early hole here.
Benny Newell: Hole or no hole… it doesn’t matter and no one from The Industry is getting past Mike Best.
Joe Hoffman: Ok Benny, how about you go tell that to Dan Ryan and MJ Flair when they come out…. Sure they won’t take any issue to that…
Benny just takes a drink as the lights dim as the music builds. MJ Flair walks out with purpose, stopping right at the top of the ramp for just a moment before she heads to the ring. A few outstretched hands are slapped, but for the most part, she remains focused.
Bryan McVay: The following LBI match is scheduled for one fall, first making her way to the ring from Warwick, NY and weighing in at 135 pounds… MJ FLAIR!!!!!!
MJ takes a lap around the ring to greet another handful of fans, then stops by the far ringpost. In one fluid motion she climbs from the floor to the top turnbuckle on the outside of the ring, raising her hands while encouraging as much noise from the fans as possible.
Joe Hoffman: While they may be… or we’re friends, while Ryan may have been Flair’s mentor growing up… this is going to be a huge hurdle for her. Ryan outweighs Flair by some 170 pounds… more than double her.
Benny Newell: The shorter the better for this match Joe. Let’s get to Mike Best.
The lights go back out and a dual-spotlight makes an encircling pattern on the entrance area as the opening riff of the song plays. When the riff audio kicks it up a notch, Dan Ryan steps out and pauses, looking into the audience, then heads down the aisle as pyro blasts behind him. The video shows clips from his career: powerbombing Mark Windham, superkicking Craig Miles, taking Impulse’s head off with a clothesline, hitting Eli Flair with the Headliner, countering a Castor Strife dive into a vicious powerslam, smirking as he pins Bronson Box. Ryan walks directly to the ring where he rolls in under the bottom rope and climbs the nearest turnbuckle, keeping his arms down and smirking into the crowd as the music plays.
Bryan McVay: And her opponent, hailing from Houston, Texas, and weighing in at 305 pounds!! He… is… DAAAAANNNN… RYYYYYYAAAANNNNN!!!
The two stand in the middle of the ring with Hortega in between them as Flair extends her hand to Ryan who looks at it for a moment before extending his also for a pre match handshake before Hortgea calls for the bell.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Like I said, these two we’re friends…maybe still are… but you can see the tension a bit still from Flair’s time off from HOW.
Benny Newell: So what’s the over under on cunt punches in this match?
Joe Hoffman: Probably zero… save that bet for the main event.
The two go for a lock up but Flair fakes it as she takes a couple quick kicks at the legs of Ryan who smiles as he shakes them off and dodges an attempt for Ryan to grab her. She swings behind him and hits a drop kick that sends Ryan a couple steps forward, but still on his feet as he turns around and catches a spinning heel kick to the jaw that sends him back another couple steps before she hits the ropes behind Ryan and comes back wth a diving shoulder to the back of Ryan’s right knee, chopping the big man down to both his knees.
Joe Hoffman: Quick strikes by Flair early here as she knows she can’t let Ryan use his power.
Flair hits the opposite side ropes as he charges back and dropkicks Ryan on the jaw as he falls back onto the mat as Flair dives in for a quick first pin.
Ryan powers out, lifting Flair up off him for a moment as she slams back to the mat. Ryan rolls over and starts to pull himself back up to his knees but Flair pops herself back up and grabs Ryan’s head for a snap DDT onto the mat. She rolls him over as she looks at the turnbuckles and quickly goes to start scaling them.
Joe Hoffman: High rent district for Flair… who doesn’t usually find herself up here. But I think she knows she needs to take some risk to chop down Ryan.
At the top Flair seems a bit uneasy but he launches herself off for a big elbow drop that connects to the chest of Ryan. The crowd roars as Flair again hooks the leg on Ryan for another cover.
Ryan just barely gets the shoulder up, this time without powering Flair off him as Flair now starts hammering Ryan with elbows as you can see the fury start to come out now as she tries to keep Ryan disoriented. But Ryan is able to block some of the shots as he grabs Flair by her hair and pulls him head in as he lifts his and headbutts her square, actually busting her open in the process.
Benny Newell: Now there we go! He may have just shattered her skull!
Flair falls backwards off Ryan as the big man now starts to get his way back to his feet, shaking off the cobwebs as Flair wipes the blood away that starts to run into her eyes. Ryan shakes his head as you can see he didn’t really want to do that, but as Flair climbs back to her feet, Ryan locks her into a full nelson as Flair starts to try and free herself, but she can’t as Ryan hitss a big dragon suplex on Flair that lays her out on mat as Ryan shakes his head and goes for the cover.
Joe Hoffman: Flair with the kickout!
Flair just gets her shoulder up as Ryan stands back up as he pulls flair up to her feet and throws her into the corner. Ryan makes his way over as he tells Flair to just stay down and end this. But Flair shakes her head as Ryan delivers a hard blow into her gut. Flair again shakes her head as Ryan hammers down onto the bloody head of Flair who just yells out as kicks out at Ryan’s right knee. Ryan stumbles for a second as Flair kicks it again, and again as she fights out of the corner and goes for a shoulder tackle to the knee.
Benny Newell: Knee to the face!
Ryan’s left knee strikes MJ in her face as her body nearly goes limp as he lifts her up with her head between his legs and picks her up onto his shoulders. Moving her near limp body to the center of the ring Ryan says something to Flair as he then slams her down for the high-angle layout powerbomb.
Joe Hoffman: Humility Bomb!
Benny Newell: Splat goes Flair.
Joe Hoffman: Academi count by Hortega.
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: The winner of this match…. DAN RYAN!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Strong effort by Flair out of the gate… but once Dan Ryan took over, the size advantage was insurmountable.
Benny Newell: Yeah, that one head butt changed everything Joe. Surprised that Flair could even continue after that.
Joe Hoffman: MJ Flair will not give up until she has nothing left in a fight… and she proved that here tonight. Three big points for Dan Ryan as he fights his way back into LBI contention here while Flair still will sit at zero points and will make things very tough for herself moving forward.
The action cuts away as we fade off a very determined looking face of one Dan Ryan.
Voice 1: Ugh…argh
Voice 2: You know how to handle that fucking thing?
Voice 1: Uh, yea, totally!
Voice 2 hesitates before responding. There is a ton of doubt embedded within his hesitation.
Voice 2: Well, okay…hit record when I say.
The screen comes to life. Warrick Hill is standing over the pile of ash that once represented his eMpire ‘initiation’. He drops a silver necklace into the ash, covering it up with his foot. He turns, facing the camera. His expression darkens.
Warrick Hill: Hey! Is that thing recording?
The voice behind the camera muscles down a difficult swallow.
Camera Guy: Uhh, yea
Warrick takes a step forward.
Warrick Hill: For how long?
A fork in the road. The Camera Guy realizes he’s in a potentially dangerous situation. So, he lies.
Camera Guy: Just now!
Warrick pauses, he thinks…he nods.
Warrick Hill: Okay, cool.
He clears his throat.
Warrick Hill: Hello, HOW! Thank you for joining me out here…although, I guess you didn’t have much of a choice. The show just took you here, without asking. But, hey, thanks for tuning in nevertheless.
Warrick turns, staring down at the pile of ash.
Warrick Hill: Last week I took on a pillar belonging to the so called strongest group of individuals in professional wrestling. This man was supposed to be menacing. He was supposed to be threatening. He was supposed to be the favorite to win our particular group within the LBI. Was he any of those things? Not really.
Warrick kicks around some ash.
Warrick Hill: Turns out he’s not a warrior. He’s not an individual. He’s merely a piece to a puzzle. A puzzle sculpted for ages 2-6. He relies on the support of others for success. Without that support, he fails.
Warrick’s foot glides through the ash, searching.
Warrick Hill: Nothing remains of that man. There is no individuality amongst the eMpire. They are meshed together forming one giant, average pile of useless material.
Warrick stops. He spots something in the ash (bet you can’t guess what it is!!). He bends over, sifting through the ash with his hand. He plucks the silver necklace from the ash. The camera zooms in. A jagged ‘W’ hangs from the chain.
Warrick Hill: There are no signs of a Max. He’s mixed in there with his other less than impressive brothers. Warrick, however, remains. Warrick Hill is able to withstand the fires, the trials, the tribulations…he can rise above. Why? Because I’m the man.
Hill stands, sliding the accoutrement over his head, around his neck.
Warrick Hill: You guys may have titles. You may have precious twitter followers. You may have jokes. But what you lack is the most important thing a competitor can possess. You guys lack respect. Respect can’t be found in gold. It can’t be found in tweets and shitty humor. Respect is earned through resolve, strength, and internal confidence. It’s clear to me that people do not respect the eMpire.
Warrick spits into the pile of ash. He sucks down some air through his flared nostrils and returns his focus toward the camera.
Warrick Hill: As a full-fledged member of the eMpire, I will do my best to bring respect to this group. Not by siding with the mundane. No, by rising above. You hear about these groups…these stables…there’s the main pool of average talent…and then…then there’s the pool of elite. Well, consider this the beginning of a new eMpire. The true Mpyre.
Warrick looks down at the jagged ‘W’. He spins it around, forming an ‘M’.
Warrick Hill: I will take this group and make it legit, make it what it was intended to be. And, I will do that by –
Camera Man: Warrick.
Warrick Hill: WHAT?!
Warrick Hill is agitated by the interruption. He felt he was on some kind of a roll…even if it was taking him forever to get to his point.
Camera Man: Austin Reeves.
Warrick rolls his eyes.
Warrick Hill: Yea, yea, alright. I’ll resume Mpyre business at a later date…all the while continuing to improve the brand each and every time I step into the ring. However, for now, I turn my focus to Austin Reeves. Austin…I…well…I literally know nothing about you.
We see the camera shake horizontally…the man helming it is embarrassed over Warrick’s lack of preparation.
Warrick Hill: But, Reeves…I do know a few things. I know the Earth is round. I know the sun is hot. I know the moon is not made out of cheese. And, I know that come next week, at Refueled I am going to kick your fucking ass.
Warrick goes quiet, staring into the camera. There is a long pause.
Camera Man: Is…is that it?
Warrick Hill: Of course that’s it.
Camera Man: I thought you’d have more to say about Austin.
Warrick Hill: I don’t know a fucking thing about the guy…didn’t you hear what I said?
Camera Man: Oh, I thought that you were sandbagging.
Warrick grunts and marches forward, covering the lens with his hand. The feed abruptly cuts as we head to commercial.
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Coming back from commercial the feed opens to grey felt. Don’t worry, you’re still tuned to Refueled.
OSV: Thanks for coming, Padre.
The frame pulls back to reveal the oddity of an office cubicle set up in the back halls of the Allstate Arena. Panning slowly around, the first figure in sight is a Roman Catholic priest. The mid-fifties holy man is decked out in black polished shoes, black slacks and a black button down shirt with the white collar over a slightly pudgy belly clothe. He’s got the Holy Bible clutched to his chest. Past him stands Alexander Redding, showered and back in street clothes after his pre-show win against Buck Yates. The cost of that win is just starting to shine in blacks and purple beneath his left eye. He pulls a hand up to clasp the priest’s shoulder.
Alex Redding: We mean it. Haven’t been able to feel right in this place.
Having Red take the hand back, the priest tries to keep a calm expression, but is betrayed by a quizzical look.
Priest: Please, it’s my duty. But, I will admit, this is a first.
The frame pulls further around to reveal the other two bodies huddled around the cubicle’s opening to the poker table: Teddy Palmer and Grady Patrick. Ted is shirtless, a towel draped over his shoulders. Sweat still emerges from his pores, his chest rapidly inflating and deflating, the adrenaline in his body just starting to wear off after his battle with Deacon.
Teddy Palmer: Say there Mr. Priest…
Teddy Palmer: Never met him…
Ted purses his lips, sorrowfully shaking his head back and forth at the thought of his absent father. Red, too, shakes his head, in disbelief as to how idiotic his best friend can be at times. Grady, on the other hand, looks uncomfortable in the presence of the priest.
Teddy Palmer: Anywho, Priest outranks Deacon, right? Like, your wizardry can outcast his? I’m pretty sure he’s gonna try and send some bad juju my way…
Gulping down his first reaction, our good padre furrows his wiry grey eyebrows in Ted’s direction.
Priest: Ordained men of the cloth do not work in magic or curses, child.
Teddy Palmer: Phew! Thank God. If there’s one thing I don’t need right now, it’s bad juju.
And while Ted sighs a sigh of relief, Grady Patrick is looking increasingly shifty, which is a feat unto itself. Tugging at his collar, he’s trying to get some air.
Grady Patrick: Even if that’s true, that Magdelina ain’t exactly a nun. She could still be hexing you. Say, you feeling this heat, Ted?
Teddy Palmer: I didn’t think about witchcraft…shit…
Red brings a palm to the side of his temple and bows his head some.
Alexander Redding: Just.. Ignore them, Padre. Now, so as not to waste your time, how exactly do we start this whole thing?
Priest: Well, it’s really only a couple of prayers and a little Holy Water.
Grady’s face loses all color and would grab Ted by the shirt, if he was wearing one.
Grady Patrick: Did he say Holy Water?
Alexander Redding: Begin whenever you’re good.
Taking Red’s suggestion goodheartedly, the good padre turns his back to the rest. Sure that a holy gaze is off him, Grady turns to Ted again.
Teddy Palmer: You’re sweating like Tyson in a spelling bee, Grady.
A ‘no-shit’ look flashes to the face under the bowler cap.
Grady Patrick: Let’s just say I’m thinking back to First Communion.
Teddy Palmer: What about it?
Grady Patrick: Well, I might have stolen a bottle of wine from the church when everyone and their grandparents were busy taking photos with Father Joe.
The priest cracks open the good book and thumbs to the page he’s intending. With one hand he fishes out the small bottle and flicks back the top.
Priest: In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Red crosses himself. Ted scratches his head, turning it like a curious dog. Grady takes a step back.
Teddy Palmer: Come on, that ain’t hardly the worst thing you’ve done.
Grady Patrick: Yeah, but all the same, I ain’t staying around to see if stuff really does burn.
With that, Grady Patrick takes off, stage right. Teddy Palmer only shrugs and turns back to see Red engrossed in the goings on.
Priest: St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…
After opening the prayer, the rest seems low and mumbled. All the while, the padre has passed the bottle to Alex, and he’s wetting down the corners of the cubical, a little on the table.
A crisp ‘tsss-kr-pop’ sounds disrupts the proceedings. The Priest and Red turn back to Ted, who has a frosty Coors Light can in his hand, froth exiting its opened drinking hole. After taking the first gulp, Ted clues in to the disgust on the Priest’s face.
Teddy Palmer: Oh, I’m sorry. How rude of me.
The Priest and Red turn their attention away from Ted. The holy man is clearly trying to keep his composure in what is proving to be a difficult, nonsensical situation. Just as his lips part and he goes to speak…
Their heads snap back again towards Ted. Each hand has an opened, frothing Coors Light. Ted stretches his arms out, offering up the beverages.
Teddy Palmer: I was raised better than that. By my mom, obviously. Well, not quite. More Larry…when he wasn’t in prison. It’s okay though, he’s a cop now, so it worked out. Not so well for ma though, currently on marriage five. I think she might even be walking them streets again, if you catch my drift.
Ted briefly gets lost reminiscing about how ‘unique’ his childhood was. It isn’t long before he comes back to present day, locking those troubles away for another day.
Teddy Palmer: Family, right? Here you go compadre.
Ted winks at Red, as if he correctly used an inside Catholic term successfully. He did not.
Priest: Yes, well… I will have to politely decline the offer for now. Thank you, though.
Red takes his, takes a sip and sets it at his place at the table. Again in low mumbles and possibly Latin, our pastor holds out his right hand and makes a large cross in the air.
Priest: There, that should keep this… workplace? Yes, this workplace safe from any evil spirits.
Teddy Palmer: That’s it? No burning bushes? Lightning strikes? Nothing like that?
OSV: That swill you’re drinking might’ve turned to blood.
All heads turn to the left where one-half of the main event combatants, Lindsay Troy, on her way to Gorilla, eyes the scene with a tinge of curiosity. She takes a step closer.
Lindsay Troy: What’s all this?
Alexander Redding: Oh, you know, kicking ass, fighting demons.
Lindsay Troy: I think you’re gonna need more than a priest for what this place holds.
On instinct, and maybe because he might be a fan, Father offers his hand to the Queen.
Priest: Ms. Troy, was it?
Lindsay Troy: (accepting the handshake) Infamously, yes.
Alexander Redding: All ready for the main event, too. Personally, between you and Best, I’m rooting for the scoreboard to fall.
The Priest frowns. Lindsay smirks.
Lindsay Troy: Didn’t know you were such a fan, Alex. I’ll make sure to send along a signed glossy of my victory pose tonight.
Teddy Palmer: Anything a little more… risque?
Lindsay Troy: (still smirking, still amused) Not unless you want to fight Rayne to the death.
Ted ponders for a second before letting his shoulders shrug. The Priest is looking ever more anxious to leave.
Teddy Palmer: We talking fist fight, or with weapons and stuff?
Lindsay Troy: Why spoil the surprise?
Pulling up a cuff to look at his timepiece, the good padre fakes a frown.
Priest: Well, look at the time. I’m afraid I must be getting out of here. It was a pleasure to help. And a pleasure to meet you.
Shifting sideways and shuffling to clearer spaces, he offers a parting hand to Troy.
Teddy Palmer: Wait, you didn’t even touch your beer.
Lindsay Troy: If you can even call it that. Pleasure talking to you boys. ‘Til we meet again.
She offers a sarcastic little wave and moves off down the hall.
Teddy Palmer: Hate to see her go, but love to watch her leave, huh, Red?
The two man stable take a place at their now blessed poker table and toast to tonight’s wins and visions of many more.
Alexander Redding: Wasn’t Grady somewhere around here?
We’re taken backstage once again as yet another moment is a quiet one in the halls of HOW…exceedingly rare for there to be a quiet moment..but occasionally, they still do exist. This one, however, is properly a rarity for a good reason as Brian Hollywood comes into the frame. Hollywood still hasn’t gotten over his loss to Alex Redding a couple weeks ago and the emotions are still clearly on his face. He approaches his locker room when all a sudden, Hollywood is caught off guard by Blair Moise.
Blair Moise: “Excuse me, Mr. Hollywood? Do you mind if I borrow some of your time?”
Hollywood doesn’t say anything at first. A camera pans from top to bottom on Hollywood before the camera stays stationary on Hollywood’s upper body, which appears to be bulkier than usual. It was definitively clear that Hollywood had been working out…and by working out, it had been completely obvious just how serious Hollywood was when he said he would be returning to “the basics.” Hollywood shakes his head before finally answering Blaire’s question.
Brian Hollywood: “Time? Time you ask, Ms Moise? Let me tell you a little thing about time. I invested a lot of it into the very place I call home…High Octane Wrestling. There isn’t any place like it on the face of this planet. Thing about HOW, though, is there’s ALWAYS more room for improvement. There isn’t one god damn person on this roster that is superior in perfection….NO ONE! That’s why everyone is beatable. I’d use myself as a perfect example…I had my ups and my downs and was beaten night in and night out in my career. That was, until I decided to make a change. When I made said change, I went on a rampage in HOW taking down anyone who crossed my path..fast forward to today, that same formula is coming back into my face. I started out strong and then came tumbling down.”
Hollywood pauses for a minute as he tries to recollect some old time memories and moments in his HOW career. Hollywood sighs before he continues.
Brian Hollywood: “They say all things come back around…well for me, it came around pretty much harder. I went from coming back in the HOW World Champoinship Finals to pretty much at the bottom of this company. It just so happened that a couple weeks ago, I lost to a fucking rookie! A fucking ROOKIE, Blaire and you want to ask me some time from me?! Do you even have any idea where I’ve been the last couple weeks and what I’ve been doing?! You don’t, do you? I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing, Blair…I’ve been training and training hard! I took my own advice and warned people this was going to be a different route, even for a person of my stature to do. I’m already thinking into the future and securing what I need to in order to succeed once again.”
Brian Hollywood: “So what might happen from here, you ask? I continue training and I continue to bring myself from the brink. I’m going to keep myself in the conversation…because that’s what I do! It’s non-negotiable from my point of view. So I’m going to start at rock bottom and go up from here..after all, it was a long journey from there and it’s the same thing that’s going to start for me again. I’ve done it once…I certainly KNOW and CAN do it again. So you ask me about time, Blaire? I give you the time I plan on using that is given to me. It’s only a matter of time and that’s why I will continue that work I’ve been putting in the five time academy. For me to put aside one of my biggest rivalries in all of wrestling for a chance to be great again, you can only imagine how far I’m willing to go in order to march back to my glory and retake the top prize in all of the land….and I will……stay tuned!”
Hollywood doesn’t say a single word from there as he walks down the quiet hallways before Refueled takes its final commercial break.
LIVE Radio next week as all of @HOWrestling celebrates its 400th show on the High Octane Television Network
Joe Hoffman: Tonight’s main event is perhaps one of the most pivotal matches of the GOD group, as The Industry’s Lindsay Troy takes on the architect of the Group of Death himself, Michael Lee Best. Last week on Refueled, Lindsay Troy joined High Flyer on the GOD Group leader board, winning her first LBI match against fellow Industry member Dan Ryan. This week, she’ll take on the man who narrowly defeated her at ICONIC, and a victory here tonight would make her the statistical favorite to win the entire group.
Benny Newell: Look, my opinions of the eMpire really seem to vary from match to match for some reason, but tonight my magic eight ball tells me that I like Mike Best and he’s winning the entire Lee Best Invitational. I’ll probably change my mind about that by next week, but for now, that Giantess Giraffe Lindsay Troy is taking another L against Lee’s bastard baby boy, and it’s happening here tonight.
Joe Hoffman: Your magic eight ball is–
Benny Newell: Cocaine, yes.
The opening clap-stomp beats of “Watch Me” by The Phantoms hit the speakers as fans live in Chicago jump to their feet. They roar their approval as soon as the lyrics kick in, bringing Lindsay Troy out through the curtain. LT nods her head along with the various claps and stomps as she strides out onto the stage to bask in the ovation and the pyro.
Joe Hoffman: Lindsay Troy had a phenomenal 2019 in High Octane Wrestling, folks, but was stopped just short of several milestone moments. An early elimination from War Games, the loss of the HOW Tag Team Championships, and a heartbreaking stolen win at ICONIC are all directly attributable to the eMpire.
Benny Newell: What can be said, Joe? You play with fire, fire is gonna roll you up by the fucking tights and beat you. Don’t forget that these Industry dummies came in to HOW and put a target on the eMpire in the first place. Don’t let all their pissing and moaning trick you into thinking they’re victims– they’re a bunch of bullies who don’t like being hit back.
Joe Hoffman: Truly a hot take, Benny. But one way or another, I don’t think Lindsay Troy is just looking for a win here tonight. Her rivalry with Michael Best has gone to a very personal place, and I think we’re going to see a lot of frustration come out in that ring here tonight.
Lindsay Troy makes her way down the aisle, spotlights following her path, and she keeps her eyes focused on the ring. Once at the bottom of the ramp, Troy jumps flat-footed onto the apron and flips herself up and over the top rope. She then ascends a turnbuckle, getting the fans hyped up before leaping off and waiting for the match to start.
“Personal Yeezus” by Depeche Mode ft. Kanye West 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 the unsanctioned HOFC Championship over his shoulder and his new trainer, Savannah Wilde, walking just behind him. His knee is wrapped and braced, and Mike has a very noticeable limp in his step as he makes his way down to the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. The Group of Death was literally created by Michael Best as a result of his victory over Lindsay Troy at ICONIC, but the bastard son of HOW may be realizing exactly how tall an order this is going to be. Wrestling Lindsay Troy twice in one month is already a nearly insurmountable task, but when you add in the damage that she’s done to his knee over the last twelve weeks, I just can’t imagine it holding up under the pressure here tonight.
Benny Newell: What are you, supid? Mike Best always has an angle. Classic con man. This is the sacrifice play, Joe– it’s win/win. He’s either gonna beat the best or he’s gonna lose to the best, and in the process, he’s making the Industry devour itself. This is the sacrifice play.
Joe Hoffman: That’s oddly insightful. Wait… are you reading off of… cue cards?
Benny Newell: Twenty bucks is twenty bucks, Joe. Everyone likes it better when Mike Best writes for Benny Newell, and that’s a fact, Jack…….errr….hold on…..voice of GOD in my hear just now……yep……….I owe Mike $20….moving on….
Michael carefully approaches the apron, rolling under the bottom rope and hobbling to his feet in the ring. Savannah Wilde takes the HOFC Championship from her new client, bringing it to ringside as she takes her place along the apron outside of the ring.
Lindsay Troy stares intently at Michael Best, as referee Matt Boettcher checks over his knee brace for potential contraband. The ground in the arena gives a heartily mixed reaction of boos and laughter as Boettcher carefully removes a hard metal plate from beneath the braced kneepad, shaking his head and throwing it out of the ring.
Once he’s finished checking HOW’s bastard prince, he double checks that Troy is ready and rings the bell. The match is officially underway.
DING DING DING
Lindsay Troy and Michael Best both step toward the center of the the ring, slowly circling with eyes locked. Despite the legitimate feud between these two LBI competitors, they appear to be sizing one another up, knowing how dangerous it would be to make a mistake in this GOD group match. Lindsay Troy steps forward to tie-up with the unsanctioned HOFC Champion, but he immediately backs off to the ropes as the crowd begins to boo.
Joe Hoffman: Lindsay Troy is eager and ready for war, Benny, but it looks like the architect of the GOD Group isn’t quite ready for battle.
Benny Newell: Can you blame him? This Girafrican American bimbo doesn’t even know what foreplay is. He’s trying to give her just the tip and she’s begging for the whole fuckin’ dick.
Joe Hoffman: SHE ISN’T BLACK.
Benny Newell: So you’re good with the rest of that then? Okay, cool.
Michael bends down and adjusts his knee brace, as the fans continue to boo the delay. He checks to make sure that his boots are properly tied, and then stands to his feet– make makes a brief, very insincere apology for the delay, and then grabs the ropes on either side of his corner, leaning in toward Lindsay Troy.
On her side of the ring, LT beckons for him to come get what’s coming to him, and in a rush, he does just that– Michael sprints out of the corner, but Lindsay Troy throws a flash dropkick that makes him bail out, dropping to his back and rolling out of the ring, shaking his head.
Joe Hoffman: Oh come on.
Benny Newell: Relax, Joe. He’s picking his spot. What good is drafting your own LBI group if you aren’t allowed to be tactical? He’s studied Lindsay Troy for months. He has a plan.
Going to ringside, Michael begins to confer with Savannah Wilde about his gameplan, as Lindsay Troy gets back to her feet and immediately starts in on Matt Boettcher. She’s pointing outside of the ring, yelling for the referee to take action. Matt Boettcher doesn’t have much to do but begin the count.
The unsanctioned HOFC Champion doesn’t seem concerned with the count, as he continues to confer with his trainer. Lindsay Troy is becoming livid, as he climbs the turnbuckle and begins bringing the fans into a frenzy.
Fed up with waiting, Lindsay Troy rushes Mike Best’s corner, sliding out of the ring and going after him herself. The roar of the crowd grows even louder, as a wide-eyed Mike Best quickly pushes past Savannah Wilde, hobbling his way backward in anticipation of the fight coming outside.
Lindsay begins to stalk the Son of God around ringside, but Michael Best quickly rolls under the ropes and back into the ring. He climbs up to his feet, yelling for her to “get back in the ring and fight me, you fucking coward.”
The crowd boos. Obviously.
Joe Hoffman: These two went to war at ICONIC, with Michael Best only managing to come ahead by a fistful of tights. It appears to have rattled the man, Benny– I don’t think Mike Best wants to fight.
Benny Newell: His knee is hanging on by a couple of paper clips, and that dickhead Boettcher took away his protective metal medical device.
Joe Hoffman: It was a weapon!
Benny Newell: IT WAS PRESCRIBED BY A DOCTOR.
Unlike her opponent, Lindsay is more than happy to comply with his request. She slides back into the ring, and immediately she is accosted by kicks and stomps from the unsanctioned HOFC Champion. Michael holds the ropes as he lays kicks into the unprotected head of Lindsay Troy, and immediately Boettcher gets involved, trying to pull him off and starting the DQ count.
Michael lets go, putting his hands up in the air as he backs away. The crowd is booing even louder now, as Lindsay pulls the hair out of her face and stands up to her feet. The rage in her eyes makes it very evident that she’s tired of being fucked with.
Benny Newell: God, she’s hot when she’s angry.
Joe Hoffman: Lindsay Troy is one of the last true legends of the wrestling business. She’s being disrespected by Michael Best and objectified by a member of the commentary team. You’re damned right she’s angry, Benny. She has every right to be.
Benny Newell: No but like, really fucking hot. Imagine if her and that new trainer of Mike’s got together. Giraffes love the Savannah, Joe. I’m getting hard just th–
Joe Hoffman: STOP IT.
The Queen of the Ring makes a beeline for her prey, charging into Mike Best and rallying away with a series of forearms as she backs him into the ropes. The crowd is on fire, cheering her every swing as she lets loose on the HOW Hall of Famer.
She grabs him aggressively by his platinum blonde hair, whipping him off into the ropes, but Michael dips down and baseball slides, bailing back out of the ring and going to ringside, shaking his head no.
The crowd is on a roller coaster of anger, once again left wanting as Michael begins to walk adjacent to the guardrail, jawing off at fans who are yelling at him to get back into the ring. Boettcher once again begins to count.
He stops in front of one guy in particular, who holds a sharpie in front of his face and asks him to sign his program. Michael laughs, taking the sharpie and signing his autograph on the front, before stuffing it back into the fan’s chest.
Joe Hoffman: This might be the worst main event in HOW history.
Benny Newell: There’s absolutely no way that’s true.
Joe Hoffman: Well, it’s gotta be close.
As Michael continues to waste time at ringside, playing whatever mind game he’s trying to play, Lindsay Troy has reached the end of her patience.
The buzz from the crowd begins to grow into a roar, as she backs into the ropes and comes running across the ring— she springboards over the top of the ropes, sailing outside with a shooting star press that knocks Michael Best into the guardrail!
He breaks almost her whole fall, as they collide with the steel and the Son of God crashes into the wreckage.
Joe Hoffman: OH MY GOD!
Benny Newell: YOU LONG TONGUE, DEVIL BITCH, THAT MAN IS ROYALTY!
Lindsay is running off of anger and adrenaline, making her able to pull herself up pretty quickly and continue the assault. The crowd has hit their peak loudness for the evening, cheering Lindsay Troy on as she pummels the fallen bastard child with forearms, keeping him grounded.
Realizing the match is about to end by countout, Lindsay pulls Mike Best up from the concrete, stuffing him back into the ring under the ropes. She quickly rolls in next to him and then back up to her feet, pulling him by the hair to drag him up to his as well. She continues to club him with strikes, battling him back toward the corner with forearms, but Michael reaches up and in a moment of desperation, jabs a thumb directly into the eyes of Lindsay Troy! She staggers backward, and the momentum of the crowd shifts right along with the match… here come the boos. He shoves her backward, letting her stumble into the opposite corner, and then he takes his own.
Michael grabs the ropes behind him, leaning in toward Lindsay, and he knows what comes next. He looks to his trainer at ringside, but she’s desperately shaking her head, telling him not to do it. At this moment, the Son of God doesn’t seem to care, and he slaps both of his knees one at a time, yelling out “DEEZ KNEEZ!” as he sprints out of the corner. He leaps into the air, pulling both knees toward his chest and launching at Lindsay Troy…
Joe Hoffman: The disrespect! It’s the Raynes of Castamere! Her own signature move!
Benny Newell: I FUCKING LOVE THIS MAN NO MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK I THINK OF HIM! GOD FUCKING DAMNIT I– Oh. Oh no.
Joe Hoffman: HE MISSED! LINDSAY TROY GOT OUT OF THE WAY!
Her vision still obscured, his insistence on yelling out the name of his new, pilfered move gave Lindsay Troy enough heads up to get out of the way at the last second– the Son of God’s knees collide with the steel ringpost, and a scream escapes him as his legs are mangled on the impact. The crowd lets out a collective “OOH!” before falling nearly silent, but Lindsay Troy isn’t wasting any time.
His knee is fucked– Michael writhes in pain, clutching his already injured leg as Lindsay ascends the top rope. The buzz from the crowd gets a little louder, as she waits for him to try and climb to his feet, signaling for “All Hail The Queen”!
Michael desperately rolls out of the ring, hobbling on his knee as the disappointed crowd doesn’t get what it was hoping for. The bastard son limps his way back to the fan he signed the autograph for, yelling at him to give him his seat. The fan begins to argue, but Michael reaches over the half-collapsed guardrail, snatching away the steel chair from the fan and dragging it limply next to him, headed back for the ring.
Joe Hoffman: You can’t win with a chair, Mike. You know that. Desperation is making him delirious.
Benny Newell: I’m sure he has a plan, Joe. He can’t hit her with it, but he can like… I don’t fucking know. DDT her on it? Feels like a loophole.
Lindsay climbs back down from the top rope, watching him closely as Michael hobbles back up the ring steps and climbs back into the ring with the chair. His eyes are desperate and pained, as he stares back at Lindsay Troy.
Matt Boettcher gets between them, trying to reason with Michael Best and remind him that he’d be immediately disqualified for using a weapon, and that this is the Lee Best Invitational. The Son of God lets out a big sigh, nodding his head as he loosens his grip on the chair and looks as though he might–
The chair collides with the top of Lindsay Troy’s head with sickening force, immediately sending her to the canvas like she’s been shot. The booing is otherworldly in intensity, as Matt Boettcher only stares for a moment, almost in disbelief of what’s just happened. He has no choice but to immediately call for the bell… which he does.
DING DING DING
For a moment, Michael looks like he might continue the assault, but he drops the chair in the middle of the ring and immediately hobbles back to the ropes. Best bails out of the ring, snatching the HOFC Championship up from where his trainer has left it on the floor.
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner, as a result of a disqualification…. Lindsay… TROOOOY!
Immediately, Dan Ryan begins to run to the ring, alongside security and medical techs. Dan tries to beeline for the Son of God, but Michael grabs Savannah by the arm and drags her toward the guardrail. He plows his way into the crowd and hastily begins to exit the arena through the people as everyone cannot believe what they just witnessed.
The announce teams microphones are cut as we only hear the buzzing of the Chicago crowd as we head towards to the end of the show.
As Mike is seen limping away on his bad knee, we get a final image of Dan Ryan kneeling over the victorious Lindsay Troy as we fade to black and the end of Refueled XV.