Zeb Martin vs. Brian Hollywood
We open with Pyro going off from the HOV and the crowd cheering loudly in the background. We pan over to both Benny Newell and Joe Hoffman who excitedly bring us into the post March To Glory PPV fall out. Joe’s standing there ready to hype up tonight’s matches while Benny’s holding his traditional bottle of Jack Daniels in frame.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome everyone to Refueled XXI live on HOTV. Tonight, we’ve got an incredible card following our exciting March to Glory Pay Per View. Now, it’s time to kick of War Games season tonight.
Benny Newell: WAR! What is it good for?
Joe Hoffman: Absolutely nothing?
Benny Newell: Wrong! We aren’t singing a song here, Hoffhole! War’s good for business. War Games is one of HOW’s biggest PPV’s of the year. Everyone’s fighting for a spot on that show, Joe. They want a chance to main event in one of HOW’s biggest matches of the year. Come on! You’ve worked here for years! You know this!
Joe Hoffman: You’re definitely right. There’s a lot of talented wrestlers here in HOW and they’re fighting to get a shot in the toughest match in professional wrestling. Tonight’s no exception, Benny. In tonight’s main event, we are going to see Andy Murray, one half of our HOW Tag Team Champions, go toe to toe with one half of our newest Tag Team Number 1 Contenders: MJ Flair.
Benny Newell: That’s not all their tag team partners Perfection and The High Flyer Jack Harman will tangle too before the main event. Things will definitely heat up with our Tag Team Division tonight. I might need a shot of Fireball to keep up with the action these two teams will bring for our coveted HOW Tag Team Division.
Joe Hoffman: Speaking of our Tag Division: The Egg Bandits will take on PBR: Steven Solex and Joe Bergman. How will this new tag team of Solex and Bergman perform against our former HOW Tag Team Champions? Will Bobby Dean trying to make weight and be able to step into the match tonight and wrestle?
Benny Newell: That fat ass? Naw! That’s like me quitting drinking. Dude has Skittles in the folds of his fat. But enough about those Bandits. We’ve also got the man who epitomizes War Games: Chris Kostoff here tonight. He’s ready to destroy anything in his path.
Joe Hoffman: Unfortunately, he drew Dan Ryan out of a hat tonight. The unstoppable monster meets the immovable and unstoppable beast of the Group of Death. They’re going to murder each other senseless tonight for all of us.
Benny Newell: But first….
You hear Benny’s sigh audibly as “Stronger on your Own” by Disturbed blares over the PA. Hollywood and Alan Ventura slowly walk from the back and takes center stage as he stands there for a few brief moments, closing his eyes. Hollywood reigns in the cheers from the crowd as he gets in final mental preparation for his upcoming match. As Hollywood opens up his eyes, pyro shoots off in opposite corners of the stage as it makes its way to center stage, Alan pumps Hollywood up for his match. The time keeper rings the bell and we pan over to Bryan McVay and Matt Boettcher standing in the middle of the rings.
Bryan McVay: Our opening contest is scheduled for….ONE FALL!
Crowd: One fall!
Bryan McVay: Introducing first; from Los Angeles, California; being represented by his trainer Alan Ventura; he ails from Mike Best’s Six Time Academy. Please welcome….BRRRRRRRRRRRIAAAAAAAAAN HOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYWOOOOOD!
The crowd erupts in cheers as Hollywood focuses and throws his arms up in the air as the pyro hits the center, the camera zooms in to see the reflection in Hollywood’s eyes as he finally makes his way down the ramp, quickly taking off his vest and throwing it down with intensity. Hollywood makes his final push as he charges the ring, rolling under the ropes. He gets back to his feet and looks about the entire arena glaring at the fans before he takes his place in the corner turnbuckle before turning his gaze intently in the ring as he awaits for the bell while Alan stands in his corner, hitting his fists against the apron to get Hollywood focused for his opponent.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent: making his debut for HOW tonight here at Refueled XXI
The mid-tempo backing drone and accompanying piano and outlaw Nashville guitar licks begin to kick up. The voice of Ben Nichols pierces through the melody as “Everything Has Changed” by Lucero blares over the sound system, and the vocal queue signals the entrance of Zeb Martin. The Watson Mill Kid steps out to greet everyone with the bill of his Levi Garrett Racing hat worn low to shield his eyes. A friendly grin on his face, he attempts to pull the hat down even further (a real shy boy) as he makes his way down to the ring while making sure to outstretch his arm for some old-school hand slapping. Upon arrival, Zeb climbs the apron and wipes his boots before ducking underneath the top rope, then gives a friendly nod to his corner audience before patiently awaiting for the match to begin.
Bryan McVay: He ails from Comer, GA! Everyone please welcome: ZEEEEEEEEEB MARTIN!
Zeb Martin and Brian Hollywood both lock eyes as McVay rolls out of the ring. Matt Boettcher signals for the time keeper to ring the bell:
DING! DING! DING!
Joe Hoffman: Why don’t you like Brian Hollywood? He’s done an amazing job since he’s joined Six Time Academy. He’s been working his way up the ranks with hard work, dedication, and determination. He hasn’t taken short cuts. He’s fought valiantly and taken former HOW World Champion Scott Stevens off HOTV until War Games is over. He keeps racking up wins and…
Benny Newell: It’s fake! Hollywood’s fake compared to the man he used to be. He partied with legends in his business. He lost his edge. He’s not being ruthless. See what I mean?
Hollywood and Zeb Martin both shake hands in the middle of the ring as a sign of respect. Hollywood lifts his arm to do a test of strength. Zeb Martin cautiously approaches. Both men grapple in the middle of the ring, but Martin uses his 10-pound weight advantage to get the upper hand, trusting all his weight to gain leverage. Martin flings Hollywood into the ropes, but Hollywood meets Martin with a stiff clothesline and screaming “Welcome to HOW” at the top of his lungs, much to the delight of Venture. Hollywood rushes the ropes and attempts to connect with an elbow drop, but Zeb rolls out of the way. Hollywood’s elbow collides with the mat and he holds it. Martin wrenches Hollywood’s elbow hard for a few minutes before Hollywood fights him off. Frustration beams through Hollywood’s face as Alan Ventura screams at Hollywood to get more aggressive.
Hollywood charges straight at Zeb Martin, but Martin dodges it. He grabs Hollywood and hits a stiff Gutwrench Suplex with a sickening thud. Alan Ventura holds his face in disbelief. Ventura is turning bright red with anger, ponding his fists to the mat. Hollywood tries getting to the corner, but Martin grabs him and initiates the Gator Roll in an attempt to discombobulate Hollywood
Joe Hoffman: Zeb Martin’s done his homework on Hollywood. For someone who claims he’s not the brightest tool in the shed; he’s taking the fight straight to former a former World Champion.
Benny Newell: That’s not doing your homework, Joe. That’s good ole’ southern boy rasslin’. You fight first, study later. Zeb’s manhandling Hollywood with that southern ferocity. Just like a good shot of Jack Daniels. It hits you hard and it stops you in your tracks.
Zeb continues his onslaught of offense on Hollywood. He grabs Hollywood for a Belly to Belly Suplex, but Hollywood lands on his feet. Out of desperation, Hollywood rushes towards Zeb Martin and connects with a stiff Claymore kick straight to Zeb’s jaw. Zeb’s feet buckle from under him and he drops down to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: DANGER ZONE! DANGER ZONE!
Benny Newell: He named is Claymore after a Top Gun song? Goose is not impressed.
Hollywood makes the cover on Martin as Boettcher counts:
NO! Zeb kicks out quickly to the dismay of Hollywood. Hollywood springs back to his feet and hits a leg drop straight across Zeb’s chest. He picks Zeb’s body off the floor and rams him shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Hollywood rushes for the Clothesline from Hell in the corner, but Zeb jumps out of the way. He whips Hollywood against the ropes and nails a picture perfect Spinebuster from out of nowhere. Zeb falls to the mat, still dizzy, while Hollywood rolls to consult with Ventura. Ventura slowly walks towards Hollywood to hand him a bottle of water. Zeb is finally back to his feet. He rolls to the outside. He grabs Hollywood by his hair, but Hollywood tosses the bottle of water straight into Zeb’s face. Anger sets further into Hollywood’s heart. Ventura continues to scream to get his protégé’s attention, but Hollywood’s temper gets the best of him. He takes Zeb’s head and nails it square against the turnbuckle. Hollywood then launches Martin straight into the steps, wiping his hands. Ventura gets in Hollywood’s face telling him to focus on doing the right thing. Hollywood nods, but meets with a stiff right hand from Zeb Martin as he turns around. Martin lays right fist after right fist stiff into Hollywood’s jaw like he’s in a bar room fight. Boettcher’s count becomes more audible.
Zeb rolls into the ring. Dazed and confused, Hollywood barely pulls himself back up to his feet and wobbles into the ring. Zeb mets him with a Half Nelson bulldog, driving his head straight into the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Come on Hollywood! Get your head in the game. Zeb’s got your number!
Benny Newell: I got to admit. I agree with you Hoffman. Zeb’s cornered the former HOW Champion with every turn he’s made tonight. That’s quite impressive. He’s gotten quite the showing tonight and….
Benny Newell: WHAT THE HELL? SUPERKICK? Hollywood retired that move?!
Joe Hoffman: The desperation from Hollywood tonight! Look at his face!
Zeb falls to the mat with a stiff superkick straight to the jaw. Hollywood’s no longer smiling. A serious look comes over his face. Hollywood cracks his jaw for a minute, just staring down at Zeb Martin. Ventura’s just sitting there grabbing his eyes. Hollywood stomps a few mudholes into Zeb’s head. He signals for the Papercut. He wants to finish it. He cuts his neck, continuing to ignore Alan’s screaming. As Hollywood’s about to pounce, Ventura grabs Hollywood by his hair. He sticks his finger in his face saying “you’re not THAT Hollywood anymore.” Ventura climbs down as Hollywood holds his head letting out the frustration. When Hollywood turns around, Martin connects with his patented Neck Cricker, rather ragged, knocking Hollywood out. Zeb rolls him through and locks in the Dang Tangler. Boettcher checks on Hollywood who lies their motionless as Boettcher rings the bell and raises Zeb Martin’s hand in victory. Ventura just looks disappointed in Hollywood.
DING! DING! DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner via Submission: ZEEEEEEEEEEEB MARTIN!
Benny Newell: UPSET! UPSET! UPSET! ZEB WINS! ZEB WINS! Have I repeated that as much as Hollywood repeats REDEMPTION? REDEMPTION? REDEMPTION, yet?
Joe Hoffman: Heartbreaking loss for Hollywood, his first in a few weeks after a great showing to newcomer Zeb Martin for beating a former HOW Champion.
Benny Newell: I owe that man a drink. First win here in HOW, and over former HOW World Champion, Brian Hollywood?
Joe Hoffman: Rather you call it beginners luck, performance pressure, or just plain southern skill from Martin, he showed he belongs here in HOW tonight. Dare we say, a future champion in the making?
Zeb Martin continues to celebrate his victory over Hollywood as Hollywood wakes up and just looks rather dejected after letting his frustration get to him. Ventura walks towards him, but Hollywood just walks off shirking off his mentor. Zeb continues to celebrate his victory in HOW as we fade to the back.
The Past Never Mattered
Backstage, we see Blaire Moise walking down the hall near Lee Best’s office. Suddenly we hear a door slamming loud audibly through the hallways of the HOW backstage area. Blaire’s curiosity gets the best of her. Blaire rushes to grab her microphone. The loud clopping of footsteps echoes through the halls as a person approaches her. A mysterious, yet familiar figure starts to walk towards her. As he approaches her, Blaire’s jaw drops in surprise as the mystery man comes into focus.
Blaire Moise: Darin Zion?!
Blaire attempts to catch Darin to interview him. Darin shoots Blaire the dirtiest look he’s ever given someone. The camera starts to focus more on Darin. Gone is the traditional HOW shirt and ring gear he once proudly wore to shows. He now arrogantly sports a Giorgio Armani grey suit, with a baby blue vest, golden tie, and black dress shirt. His raggedy hair now is finely cut and slicked back. He’s ditched his iconic beard for a clean-shaven look. Draped across his shoulder is his MVW Men’s Heavyweight Championship that he proudly displays as he strides down the hallway closer to Blaire. He attempts to blow past Blaire Moise as his shiny black Ferragamo dress shoes loudly echo heavy clops down the corridor. Darin’s swagger, ego, and confidence continue to ooze as he blocks out Blaire’s calls.
Blaire Moise: Zion! Zion! Zion….
Darin stops point blank right in front of her. He lifts up his Ray Band Aviators and clips them to his suit pocket. He reaches down and pushes the microphone back down to her side, scowling at her while shaking his head for a moment. He raises his voice at her.
Darin: How dare you use that name! I haven’t used that name in 3 damn months. Haven’t you paid attention to anything going on with the other HOTV shows besides HOW…don’t answer that, what was it? Claire? I seemingly forget all the blonde bimbos’ names that show up here that don’t pay attention to details. It’s Matthews now. Matthews. M-A-T-T-H-E-W-S. Call me Darin Matthews!
Blaire Moise: Excuse me for making a mistake…
Darin Matthews: It’s not a mistake, hun. It’s quite disrespectful not to acknowledge a man who’s now won 23 championships in professional wrestling by his proper name. Disrespecting me like I’m some worthless loser. Do you know what I’ve done for this industry, Claire?
Blaire Moise stares blankly back at Darin Matthews. Matthews just rolls his eyes as he clears his throat, readying to read off the list of his accomplishments.
Darin Matthews: That’s what I thought. You see I’ve grown since I’ve left HOW. I invested in myself. I grew and enriched my knowledge and talents in this business. I learned some respect for the ways I fought against for so long. Now I found my confidence again. I’m the independent Sensation, the Tyrant of the Territories, The Prince of Pro Wrestling X, the Aristocrat of Atlantic City, and the Messiah of Missouri Valley, Claire. I’ve done more with the tours in my career than you’ve done here standing around holding a worthless microphone. I’ve won championships that other HOW Superstars have never won. You ever heard of a Hybrid Title?
Blaire Moise: No!
Darin Matthews: Exactly! I’ve won four of those belts outside of HOW. Anarchy Titles? I have 5. World Championships? 4 different titles from 3 different promotions. And I’ve held 6 different championships in HOW too. I’ve done all that in my 15 years in this business, Claire. Yet you treat me like I’m a bottom feeder.
Blaire rolls her eyes as Darin Matthews’ ego grows to heavy. She takes in a deep breath and fakes a smile, trying to maintain professionalism as she asks her question while she grits her teeth.
Blaire Moise: You are soooo lucky Lee doesn’t storm out of that office to tell you to that NONE of that matters. Never has. Why don’t you just tell us exactly why you are here so we can all move on with our lives…
Matthews pauses to smile kindly at Blaire. He is wildly in passioned by her question. Thinking to himself, Darin Matthews’ smile is beaming brightly, ready to explode about his return tonight. His smile disappears and his mouth now grimaces. His intensity comes through his voice. Anger fills his heart and he pushes the microphone down to Blaire’s side and gets straight in her face.
Darin Matthews: That’s none of your business to know what business I conducted with Mr. Best tonight. But let’s just say it involved Big Money for both him and me. Now if you’ll excuse me Ms. Moise…
Matthews pushes her out of the way and walks off as the scene fades to black.
The show jumps to…
The Egg Den.
The Bandits Locker Room.
And boy, oh boy are TENSIONS HIGH AS FUCK.
There is some good news.
Jiles and The Dooze are talking again.
Jiles: NO. I TOLD YOU, Blamer! It’s Bobby’s turn. Next time, it can be you and him. This time, it’s me and him. I don’t care if we have to forfeit the win. You don’t get to cast your aspersions towards me, and wrestle. NO SIR. And you certainly don’t get to wrestle with Bobby for his BIG return to the ring! NO! IT’S ONE OR THE OTHER, OLDY. SO APOLOGIZE AND IT CAN BE YOU. I promise.
Doozer: Fuck your apology. I’m not sorry for shit. And aspersion? ASPERSION? Who the fuck taught you such a fancy word?
Jiles: Bobby did. Turns out his brain has yet to be ravaged by dementia. It’s shocking, actually being able to have a nice conversation with someone for a change.
Doozer: You fuck.
Jiles: You know what, why don’t you pack your shit, and go back to Boston. We don’t need some Debbie Downer in here sucking all the fun out of the room.
Jiles reaches into his bag and pulls out a large manilla folder.
Jiles: You know what this is? You know what I had to go through to get it? Where I had to go? Who I had to talk to? Just to prove a point to you, Dooze. Here. Take it. Tell me HOW I did! It took me all night.
Doozer and Jiles: WHAT!?
Bobby: I think I might make weight.
The bickering ends.
For a congratulatory moment anyway.
Jiles and Dooze gaze down at the digital scale Bobby has been standing on for the last hour or so. Both of their jaws, agape with disbelief.
Bobby brims with confidence. Enough confidence that he might even tell Lee Best about his heroic achievement through a series of shady, post dated, Zodiac style emails.
Proxy server, FTW.
Bobby: I don’t want to get ahead of myself. There’s still two segments, two commercials, and a Dan Ryan match to go.
Jiles: Bob, that is great. It really is. Just. Great. I’m so happy for you, and I can not wait to be the only Bandit that gets to share in your in ring return.
Cue back the bickering.
Cut to commercial.
Dusting them off...
Back live and we cut to a video that begins to play coming off the commercial break..
The camera pans along a wall filled with old wrestling photos with a range of matches from different promotions, but one man features in all of them, victorious. It then moves along a shelf filled with memorabilia: championship belts in glass boxes, T-Shirts in display cases, action figures still in their boxes. Now we move to a gym, empty but you can hear the noise of someone in the ring in the distance. The camera moves closer to the ring which is lit by a single spotlight, casting the edges in shadow. Someone is resting against the ropes in the back, hiding in the darkness.
?????: Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Everyone around the World. Allow me to introduce myself.
The shadowed figure steps forward into the light.
Max Stryker: My name is Max Stryker, and I am without a doubt, the greatest wrestler in the world.
Stryker takes a moment to take a deep breath. He closes his eyes and the sound of fans chanting his name echoes around the empty gym. We hear old pieces of commentary over the top.
Past Commentator: Stryker has done it. He’s the World Champion
Past Commentator: Styker putting on a wrestling clinic tonight
Past Commentator: Another classic from the greatest wrestler in the world.
The sounds fade and Styker opens his eye as the camera edges closer.
Max Stryker: A lot of people like to claim they are the greatest. I get it. It’s cheap and meaningless and we’ve all heard it a million times before. This is different, however, because when I say it, it’s the truth. When I started off, I was a naive hot-shot who wanted to take the wrestling world by storm and steal the show every single night. I wanted to win championships, I wanted to headline events in sold-out stadiums, I wanted to be the first name said when people discussed the greats of the industry. Fast forward a few years, and I’d done everything I wanted to achieve and more. I grew tired of having to put my body on the line to give some degenerate a chance to prove himself and for the purpose of keeping the chumps watching entertained. Everybody knew I was the best, so why was I still putting myself at risk? I had nothing else to prove, and so I stepped away to give the rest of the industry a chance. It’s not entertaining when one person dominates as much as I did, and it wasn’t healthy for wrestling.
I did what I did for the sake of the business. I did it to allow other wrestlers to step up and become stars. I did it to give the fans a chance to witness some competitive wrestling again. I took a step back, but I didn’t stop watching. I’ve kept my eye on a lot of different promotions and wrestlers, and let me tell you, what I’ve seen has been nothing short of shit. In particular, my attention was drawn to a promotion called HOW. These guys were conning the world, claiming they had the best talent available, and fans were actually lapping it up thinking these guys were good?
So I dusted off the boots and got back to training. I thought by stepping away from the industry I was saving it, but it’s even worse than it was before, and someone needs to do something about it. That someone is me. You may not like my methods, or like me, but what I’m doing is for the good of the business. In years to come, people will flock to me and say “Thank you, Max. I used to think I knew what wrestling was, but I was wrong. You showed me the truth and led us all to a better world.”
So I hope you all enjoy watching the show, but this is my warning. It’s a warning to the fans and more importantly, it’s a warning to all those pretenders in the locker room. This is the last show of mediocrity because the greatest wrestler in the world is en route. Max Stryker is coming and everything is about to change.
The video fades out as we cut back live inside the All State Arena.
Two Man Stable
Tucked away in the middle of some hallway in the depths of the Allstate, the familiar site of Red & Ted’s cubicle stood, it’s exterior felt wall labelled with a ‘Meeting In Progress’ sign playing the backdrop to our intrepid backstage reporter, Blaire Moise. She was decked out in the standard uniform of white blouse, black pencil skirt, tied together with the #97Red belt (not that belt), and standard issue smile.
Blaire Moise: Joining me at this time, the 2020 Lee Best Invitational winner, Teddy Palmer.
Ted stands beside Blaire in his streets: a black toque, red and black flannel button up, torn blue jeans and brown timberlands. Some would describe the outfit as hipster-esque, but they’re idiots, because it’s clearly Canadian inspired.
Teddy Palmer: Blaire, always a pleasure.
No wink. No devilish smile. His tone is sincere, and lacking any hint of flirtation, much to Blaire’s surprise.
Blaire Moise: It’s been two weeks since your hard fought battle in Rome. Coming up short in your World Championship pursuit must’ve been a heartbreaking experience.
Teddy Palmer: Heartbreaking is an understatement. I fought tooth and nail for two and half months in what most say is the single hardest tournament to win. I fought fellow newcomers, Hall of Famers and my best friend. And I won it all, Blaire. I won an opportunity to try and fulfill my childhood dream. And that two and a half months worth of blood, sweat and tears? Dashed in an instant. Heartbreaking doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.
Having been his first appearance since said defeat, Ted’s disappointment is clearly on display, but his head is held high, proud and composed.
Teddy Palmer: But then this crazy thing happened…
Ted’s proud and composed expression leaks the slightest of smiles.
Teddy Palmer: The next morning, guess what happened? Go ahead, guess.
Blaire looks quizzically towards Ted who awaits a response.
Blaire Moise: I’m not too sure?
Teddy Palmer: The sun still came up. The fuckin’ sun still came up.
Blaire Moise: I’m…do you care to explain?
Teddy Palmer: Certainly. I experienced the literal worst of the worst there is to experience here at High Octane. I went from winning the LBI…
Ted snaps his fingers and a hand pops up from behind the felt wall holding a twelve inch Stanley Cup replica. Masking tape is stuck to its middle, and scribbled on it in black sharpie is “2020 LBI WINNER – TEDDY PALMER”. Ted snatches the trophy, holding it proudly.
Blaire Moise: Is that…
Teddy Palmer: A trophy, why yes it is. Pretty sure this ongoing ‘appreciation’ of Mike Best killed the company budget, so I had no choice but to improvise. Side note, what exactly are we fuckin’ appreciating? The fact he came from the right nutsack?
Blaire Moise: I’m positive that’s not why.
Teddy Palmer: Agree to disagree. But I digress. Where was I?
Blaire Moise: Worst of the worst.
Teddy Palmer: Right. Won the LBI…
Ted holds his trophy for the viewers at home to see.
Teddy Palmer: To have it all undone by a mistake and the killer instinct of Farthington. Poof. Gone. Back of the line.
Blaire Moise: It was a very close match up and you surprised many with your performance, including the World Champion. You came close to victory on more than one occasion.
Teddy Palmer: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. With that being said, as I eloquently stated earlier, the fuckin’ sun came up the very next morning. I made it through the experience, alive and well, aside from the killer headache and bum elbow, of course. And for that, I thank you Cecilworth. Sincerely, I do.
Blaire Moise: Thank you?
Teddy Palmer: Absolutely. I made it through the absolute worst this place has to offer. I got that heartache and disappointment out of my system. In a way, Cecilworth set me free. I mean, I won the LBI while taking every step forward with trepidation. Now just picture this for a moment Blaire: If I won the hardest tournament there is to win with that mindest, what the fuck is ‘Tag Team Ted’ capable of marching forward with endless motivation and unbridled confidence to boot?
Ted tosses the trophy over the cubicle wall, a clunk is heard followed by a little Irishman proclaiming ‘shite’.
Blaire Moise: You say ‘Tag Team’ as if it’s a dirty term. Why?
Teddy Palmer: Two. Man. Stable. I never thought it’d be difficult to understand, but apparently I’m wrong. Red and I are two highly skilled singles competitors who due to our friendship will gladly throw down in the Tag Ranks and pursue those Championships. Just like we will pursue every singles championship and accolade offered in the ‘Hans Ranks’ as well.
Blaire Moise: Solo?
Ted places one index finger on his nose, and points the other towards Blaire.
Teddy Palmer: So thank you Cecilworth. And everyone else in the land of High Octane, be sure to send him your best regards too. Teddy Palmer is going on a fuckin’ warpath. My boy Alex Redding here?
Ted slams his fist on the felt wall behind him.
Teddy Palmer: He’ll be on a fuckin’ warpath too. Quite fitting War Games is creeping up upon us, wouldn’t you say?
Ted can’t help but wink at Blaire as he steps out of frame. Happy to leave it there, Blaire shoots an indignant look to behind camera, as the camera itself rocked in the direction of the cubicle interior. Acquiescing, she follows at the edge of the frame to the poker table, and Alexander Redding sitting down to a game of solitaire. She feigns a smirk as he looks up from his game.
Blaire Moise: I guess, let’s hear from you, Alex. We haven’t seen you since you were straddling the top of that cage along with Max Kael until…
Alexander Redding: Splat?
With a sigh, he slides his seat out, and gingerly takes to his feet. His navy full zip hoodie was fully unzipped, flashing the heavy tape, two weeks later, still around his ribs.
Blaire Moise: Splat, yeah.
Alexander Redding: But that’s what I get, right? That’s what I deserve for placing any trust in any asshole in this business outside of Teddy Palmer or Grady Patrick? That’s what I get for forgetting the biggest threat in that cage wasn’t Kostoff, rocket of violence he was; it wasn’t Deacon, the giant, and giant dick; it was Kael.
Alex dips his head to look a thousand feet beneath the concrete, but pulls back up with fire in his eyes when he doesn’t hear a question coming in the five seconds since.
Alexander Redding: You’re looking for a soundbyte, right? Well, I guess I’ll echo Ted and give the eMpire my thanks. Group of Death, whatever they want to be called this week. Thanks for getting us over that hump. It’s been a fucking education. I think we finally get it now. Three failed attempts at adding to the carry-on luggage, and I finally get it. We’re done being thankful for getting the opportunity, thankful for being here and being on our bestest behaviour. Nah, to make it worth our time here, and frankly of yours, I can’t let us be confused for choir boys. I told you when I first got on your television screens that I’d be just as happy to stand in the middle of the ring and shake your hands as I was slapping you in the face, stomping on your toes, and dumping you on your heads. Well, option one is off the Goddamned table, boys. No room for mercy on the warpath. Red & Ted stick all.
Moise pulls back the mic and stands in silence as Redding’s left cheek pulls into his grin, his fiery gaze staring straight at every member of the home audience. The scene melts to black. To ringside…
Dan Ryan vs. Chris Kostoff
We return ringside with Bryan McVay standing in the ring, the HOW crowd still buzzing from Alex Redding and Teddy Palmer’s segment. Joel Hortega is also already in the ring standing in the camera right corner.
Joe Hoffman: Ladies and Gentlemen welcome back, up next we have.. Well up next we don’t really have a wrestling match for you so much as what is likely to be a meat and potatoes brawl.
Benny Newell: I don’t know about you, Hoffman, but I suspect an angry as fuck old white guy is gonna win this match.
Joe Hoffman: Well I wouldn’t say that too loudly Benny, personally I wouldn’t want either of the men in the next match to hear me calling them old. Those two men, of course, Dan Ryan of the Group of Death and Chris Kostoff.
Benny Newell: Chris Kostoff, the Raiser of Insurance Premiums, Benny, get it right! When was the last time Dan Ryan was added to an Insurance Company’s list of acceptable reasons to claim?
Joe Hoffman:..I.. Chris Kostoff is an acceptable reason to file an Insurance Claim?
Benny Newell: I assume, Hoffman, that most people have Kostoff Insurance, you know, like Flood Insurance or when you play Black Jack.
Joe Hoffman: You know what they say about assuming, right Benny?
Benny Newell: I’m always fucking right?
For past proof we present you this ad from 2009
The lights in the arena go out as two spotlights circle each other on the stage before they settle on the entrance.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first.. From Houston, Texas.. Standing at six foot, seven inches and weighing in at three hundred and five pounds.. He is..
“Zero” by Smashing Pumpkin floods over the sound system as Bryan McVay pauses. As the guitar rift builds in intensity Dan Ryan stalks out through the entrance into the spotlights on the stage. The crowd, eager to see Dan Ryan and Chris Kostoff murder each other in the ring let off less of an approving cheer and more of a bloodthristy roar of excitement.
Bryan McVay: ….DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN RYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAN!
The massive bull from Texas makes his way down to the ring, entering quickly before move to a turnbuckle where he gazes out over the crowd with a half smirk, likely in acknowledgement that yes, a murder is coming.
The music is immediately cut before the drums and deep, rumbling voices of the Hu’s throat singing rumbles over the arena drowning out the growing frenzy of the excitable HOW faithful. From the stage Kostoff explodes from the back, rushing down the stage with a wild expression on his face, his mouth pulled open in savage roar.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Tampa, Florida, standing at six foot, five ic-
Before McVay can finish Kostoff slides into the ring and immediately charges toward Dan Ryan which is unfortunate for McVay since he is in the way. Diving out of the ring McVay just manages to get out of Kostoff’s way as the two mastodons collide in the center of the ring, fists smashing into each other’s faces!
Joe Hoffman: Bryan McVay almost lost his life right there as this match is off to a slug fest right out the gate!
Benny Newell: That stupid idiot wouldn’t have even slowed Kostoff down! Remember that time that Kostoff had his head cut off?!
Joe Hoffman: It was a Kodak moment for sure, Benny.
Kostoff manages to wrestle the advantage away from Ryan as he whips him hard into the corner causing the entire ring to buckle. Kostoff presses the advantage charging in with a massive clothesline followed by a series of heavy knees to the bigger man’s abdomen. Dragging him out of the corner Kostoff drives Dan’s head to the mat with a bulldog. Hortega sweeps around the two men anticipating a cover.
Instead Kostoff rolls out of the ring, grabbing a chair before rolling back in.
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff grabbing a chair, I’m not sure if he knows this isn’t a no disqualification match..
Benny Newell: This is why you need Kostoff Insurance, Hoffman, he’s unpredictable!
Lifting the chair over his head Kostoff slams it down at Dan Ryan!
Ryan manages to roll out of the way as the chair crashes down on the mat bending visible from the force. Kostoff realizes only to late that he has missed his target as Ryan launches himself up off his feet colliding with Kostoff’s ribs! Kostoff drops the chair as he is driven to the ground, Ryan climbing on top of Kostoff before he starts reigning down heavy handed fists!
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff very nearly put Dan Ryan in the hospital with that potential chair shot!
Benny Newell: Or sent him to an early grave, Hoffman, we just don’t know exactly how hard Kostoff hits, he has that zombie strength after all.
Joe Hoffman: Zombie strength?
Benny Newell: He’s undead, Hoffman, how do you think Zombies punch through wooden boards?!
Hortega tries to stop Ryan only to be shoved back as a methodical series of rights and lefts land across Kostoff’s head. Chris manages to deflect most though the odd hamfist manages to catch him across the side of the head. Finally, having had enough, Hortega begins to count..
Joe Hoffman: Dan Ryan, like Kostoff, is running that fine line between legal and illegal right now with Hortega threatening to disqualify him if he keeps using closed fists.
Benny Newell: Have we ever DQed someone for using a closed fist, Hoffman?
Joe Hoffman: That’s a question for Stevenspedia, Benny.
Dan relents and stands up before the last count is made, glowering at Hortega as the referee backs up and barks at Ryan in Spanish. Dan makes a dismissive wave at Joel before he drags Kostoff up to his feet moving him toward the center of the ring before executing a huge overhead Belly to Belly sending Kostoff sailing into the nearby turnbuckle!
Dan keeps up the pressure firing off a series of stiff, angry kicks to Kostoff before dragging him up to his feet with his beard, roaring something in the HOFer’s face before he sends him into the ropes. Upon Kostoff’s return Ryan nails him with a wicked looking power slam! He hooks the leg as Hortega drops for the count..
Joe Hoffman: I’m not going to be like other commentators I know who claim it’s the sloppy cover that didn’t get them the win, that was Kostoff’s power that saved him, I’m not sure any pin could have kept him down regardless of how well it was administered.
Benny Newell: Well duh, Hoffman, this is Chris Kostoff we’re talking about here, he’s made out of hate and alligator meat!
Kostoff powers himself out of it, shoving Ryan off him as he jolts his shoulder up. Dan doesn’t seem unhappy about Kostoff kicking out as he smiles at Hortega and the crowd. A small trickle of blood has begun to flow from Kostoff’s temple from where he caught one of Dan’s haymakers earlier. A few thunderous kicks to the back and shoulder keeps Kostoff on the defensive as Dan keeps his attack up.
The ring shakes once again only this time it is at Kostoff’s expense as he is whipped hard into the corner. Ryan charges in only to catch a boot from Kostoff that stuns the big man! Ryan snaps out of it, roaring in rage as he charges Kostoff once again only to eat a massive clothesline that sends both men crashing to the ground! Kostoff grabs the leg!
Benny Newell: If Kostoff had hooked the leg tighter and got better coverage on the chest he could have had it right there! Sloppy, Hoffman, sloppy!
Joe Hoffman: ..I’m going to go ahead and say that just like Kostoff, I don’t think any pinning predicament Kostoff could have pulled right now in the ring was going to be enough to keep Ryan down. It did make him expend some effort though wh-.. Wait, you’re just messing with me aren’t you?
Benny NewellL You’re always a fun idiot, Hoffman! Drink!
Just like Kostoff, Ryan powers out of the pinfall, immediately rolling out of the ring as he reassesses his approach to the former murder victim. The crowd boos Ryan for disengaging but begin to roar once again as Kostoff climbs the top turnbuckle.. Kostoff leaps!
Dan Ryan catches Kostoff and delivers a punishing powerslam to the outside! Knowing he is working against the clock with Kostoff, Dan quickly rolls his opponent into the ring before following him in.
Joe Hoffman: Kostoff took a gamble and it didn’t pay out as Dan Ryan, with great ring awareness, reversed the drive into a huge table turning powerslam!
Benny Newell: That’s the kind of gamble that leaves a man in six figure debt, I’m telling you right now Hoffman!
Driving Kostoff down hard in the center of the ring with the Humility Bomb, Dan Ryan folds Chris in half for the pin..
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner by pinfall in five minutes and thirty six seconds.. DAAAAAAAAAAAAN RYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAN!
The crowd stands as one as the Chicago fans appreciate what they just watched from the two men. It is odd to hear a small chant of Kostoff go up in the arena as the pro Lee crowd show appreciation for the Hall of Famer and his effort tonight against the dominant Dan Ryan.
The action cuts away as we see Dan Ryan leaving the ring first, a show of respect for the HOW Hall of Famer, and heads to the back as we cut elsewhere.
New Beginnings with PBR
Cut to Blaire Moise backstage.
Blaire Moise: All right. I am here with Joe Bergman who’s here in the back waiting for his new tag team partner ‘#1 Dad’ Steven Solex. Joe.
Joe steps into the shot. He has a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in his hand and looks reasonably relaxed.
Joe Bergman: Hello Blaire.
Blaire Moise: First off, congratulation on the news that your wife is pregnant.
Joe Bergman: Thank you. We are really excited . . . and nervous.
Blaire Moise: I can imagine. Tonight’s your first night tagging with HOW’s #1 Dad Steven Solex.
Joe Bergman: Yes. Tonight, PBR’s debut match against The eGG Bandits and it’s going down right here in the Allstate Arena in just a few minutes. This is PBR’s first official match as a tag team and I am looking forward to getting back into the ring. The eGG Bandits are a tough team so it’s going to be real test tonight.
Blaire Moise: We heard earlier tonight that there might be some trouble within the eGG Bandits.
Joe Bergman: Blaire, I’ve heard the same thing but I’m not going to worry about what’s going on with them. I’m focused on one thing and that’s defeating Cancer Jiles and Bobby Dean in the ring.
Blaire Moise: So you’re not taking that into consideration tonight?
Joe Bergman: No. Regardless of what’s going on with Jiles and Doozer personally, both Steven and I need to be on our game and we really want to get that first win here. So I promise you we’re going all out tonight – we’re going to pull out all the stops – and we’re going to . . .
Joe does the ‘looking at you’ finger gesture to Blaire.
Blaire Moise: Uh. You’re going to watch out for anything and everything?
Joe Bergman: That’s right. Steven and I are going to make sure we leave here tonight with our first win.
Blaire looks around as if she’s looking for someone.
Blaire Moise: Okay. Where is your valet, Barbie-Q? I thought she was going to be here tonight?
Joe Bergman: Don’t worry Blaire, Barbie-Q is here and she is excited to make her official HOW debut. She’s just outside wrapping up a . . . special project . . . she’ll be a little late to the ring.
Blaire Moise: Hmmm. It sounds like you and Steven may have something up your sleeve.
Joe tries to play coy.
Joe Bergman: Maybe. You’ll just have to wait and see. All I’m going to say is this, it’s going to smell really good.
He just doesn’t do it particularly well.
Blaire’s eyebrows rise up and she just gives him a ‘look.’
Blaire Moise: Okay, last question. Have you and Steven figured out just what PBR stands for yet?
Joe Bergman: No. Not yet.
Blaire turns to the camera.
Blaire Moise: There you have it. Thank you Joe Bergman and good luck to PBR tonight.
Joe Bergman: Anytime Blaire.
Joe raises the PBR can.
Blaire Moise: We’ll be back with our next match right after these commercial messages.
**This commercial is airing as a showing of Appreciation for Michael Lee Best…obviously its old….Lee and Max have TWO FUCKING EYES**
The eGG Bandits vs. PBR
We go right back to the ring where Bryan McVay is ready to go.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, the next match will be one fall. Introducing first…
A quick hammer-like drumbeat blasts out of the arena speakers:
bass drum-*drumfill* right into the guitar intro to the Michael Stanley Band’s epic Midwestern anthem “My Town” cueing Joe Bergman to step out on stage.
Bryan McVay: Weighing in tonight at one hundred ninety-five pounds. From St. Louis, Missouri– ORDINARY JOE BERGMAN!
Bergman pumps his first in the air while holding a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon with the other.
“This old town’s been home long as I remember
This town’s gonna be here long after I’m gone . . .”
Joe Hoffman: Tonight, HOW adds another tag team to what’s become a very deep division.
Benny Newell: Forget that. I just want to see the rack on Bergman’s sister. What the fuck is she?
Joe Hoffman: It’s just Joe Bergman who’s come out tonight. No sign of Barbie-Q yet.
“Oh, and this town – Is my town
Love or hate it–it don’t matter
’cause I’m gonna stand and fight . . .”
Bergman raises his can of PBR towards the fans of Section 214 and salutes them.
“My Town” fades and is replaced by “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. The words “#1 Dad” display on the HOV.
Benny Newell: DAD TIME!
The words dissolve and a montage of Steven Solex is shown playing on the HOV as Steven Solex steps out from behind the curtain and onto the entrance ramp.
Bryan McVay: And his tag team partner – from Huntington Beach, California….weighing in at 253 pounds….HOW’S #1 DAD……STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVEN SOOOOOOOOOOOOLEX!
With his right hand, Steven holds a number one high up in the air, with the biggest, cheesiest of smiles on his face. He too has a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in his other hand.
Bryan McVay: They are . . . P – B – R!!!!!
Both Bergman and Solex nod and start down towards the ring.
Benny Newell: DAD TAG TEAM!
Joe Hoffman: That’s correct Benny. It was revealed earlier this week that Joe’s wife Laura is expecting their first child later on this year.
Once inside the ring, Solex goes camera side and again hoists a number one high in the air, but this time shouts out “#1 Dad!.” Then he goes to the corner and double knots his all white New Balance shoes.
Bergman stretches out in the corner and waits.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents.
The lights dim.
Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best Around” hits and the arena instantly perks up.
Joe Hoffman: That’s Bobby Dean’s music!
And then the arena perks down.
Benny Newell: Hopefully he doesn’t sit on a wall. Get it. Because he looks like Humpty Dumpty.
Joe Hoffman: Thanks for clearing that up.
Benny Newell: I do what I can.
Joe Hoffman: I wonder if the Bandits have ever come out to Doozer’s theme music before?
Benny Newell: Cum Bye Ya?
Joe Hoffman: Forget it.
Benny Newell: Oh don’t you worry, I already have.
”Beautiful” Bobby Dean is out first for the Bandits in his luxurious robe and baby blue attire. Fit as French fiddddddddle, he pauses atop the ramp to take in the moment.
The Maestro of COOL struts out behind Bobby, but only after allowing his beautiful friend to soak in the shine from all of the OctaBandits in attendance. Jiles fits his usual bill: hair, shades, huge shit grin. What is different is his demeanor. Usually, The Maestro couldn’t be bothered to even acknowledge Doozer’s existence on their way down to the ring. At best a deadfish fist bump if the match warranted. PPV is another story.
But with Bobby, Jiles is showering the overweight baby boy with all the adoration he can handle.
Benny Newell: What’s next? A kiss! JESUSFUCKINGCHRIST THESE GUYS!
The Bandits finally make it to the ring. Lord COOL sits on the second rope so Bobby has an easier time entering.
Joe Hoffman: A lot going on there, Benny. I’ve never seen Jiles act like that before. Heck, I didn’t think it was humanly possible for him to defer the spotlight. Has March 2 Glory humbled him?
Benny Newell: Who knows? Better question. Who CARES? I will say I’d love to see the look on Doozer’s face right now. I bet it looks like he had a stroke. So, not much different, just more red-
Jiles chucks an egg in Benny’s general direction from the ring. He misses but it gets the HOW Hall of Fame Broadcaster’s attention.
Benny Newell: And again, they brought eggs. Dickheads!
Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman and ‘HOW’s Number One Dad’ team up for the first time against Cancer Jiles and Bobby Dean of the eGG Bandits.
A second egg whizzes in and just misses Benny. He flips Jiles off in response.
Joe Hoffman: And with the backstage drama going on between Jiles and Doozer, the big question is can Jiles and Dean put that all aside and focus on the match.
Benny dives to the ground as Egg #3 thrown at him is on target and just barely avoids getting officially egged by the eGG Bandits.
Benny Newell: STOP THROWING THE FUCKING EGGS!
Joe Hoffman: Matt Boettcher will be our referee.
Joe Hoffman: And we are underway.
Solex and Jiles start. Both jaw at each other as they circle.
Lock up. Both men spin around trying to get the advantage. Solex goes to ‘steal Jiles’s nose’ – Jiles swats his hand away.
Benny Newell: Send him to his room, Dad!
Jiles is driven towards the ropes though and slips his arm under. Boettcher calls for a break and Solex backs off.
Joe Hoffman: Solex was just a little too strong for Jiles there but Jiles was smart to get the rope break.
Benny Newell: TAKE HIM TO THE WOODSHED, DAD!
Lock up number two. Jiles with a wristlock. He cranks back – Solex standing switches him into a hammerlock. Jiles squirms free. Arm wringer by Jiles into a side headlock. Solex powers out- Jiles to the ropes. Solex hits the mat – Jiles steps right over and goes on. Jiles off the other ropes – Solex for a back body drop – Jiles stops and nails Solex with a boot to the face. Jiles to the middle ropes – springboard dropkicks Solex to the deck. Cover.
T-Solex powers out.
Armlock by Jiles. Solex tries to fight out – Jiles wrenches the arm and reaches out to tag in Bobby Dean.
Joe Hoffman: And here comes Bobby Dean.
Benny Newell: Holy shit. Bobby DOES look like he’s dropped some weight.
As Jiles holds Solex in place, Dean ambles in and drives an ax handle to Solex’s back.
Boettcher shoos Jiles to his corner. Dean tries to follow up but Solex shoves him back. He scrambles to his corner and tags out.
Joe Hoffman: And now Joe Bergman steps into the ring for the first time in the match.
Bergman charges forward and unloads a chop to Dean’s chest.
Dean just stares back at him.
Joe Hoffman: I’m not sure that’s going to work.
Benny Newell: Bobby’s still got a little too much fat there cushioning the blow.
Bobby unloads a chop of his own that sends Bergman stumbling backwards.
Benny Newell: Bergman just committed a blunder there- the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia”.
Joe Hoffman: What?
Chop number two by Dean staggers Bergman back to his corner.
Benny Newell: And less well known, never chop Bobby Dean when death or food is on the line.
Joe Hoffman: Benny, what are you talking about?
Benny Hoffman: Fuck off Hoffman. It sounded a lot better when it popped into my head. DRINK!
Bergman ducks under the third chop – drops to the mat – crawls between Dean’s legs.
Joe Hoffman: Bergman escapes and now he goes on offense.
Bergman drives a boot into the back of Dean’s knee. A second boot causes Bobby’s knee to buckle a little – Bergman rolls him up from behind.
One…Dean sends Bergman flying off him when he powers out.
Bobby crawls on all fours back to his corner – Bergman gets back to his feet. Dean reaches up and tags Jiles back in. Jiles over the top rope and sprays yellow mist into Bergman’s eyes.
Joe Hoffman: COOLympian Yolk!
Bergman’s blinded and turns away.
Benny Newell: COME ON BITCHER! WHERE’S THE DQ?
Jiles lifts him from behind- atomic drop. Bergman up on his toes in pain. Jiles steps up and puts his arm around Bergman’s neck. He lifts and sits out.
Joe Hoffman: Jiles with the Sit Down Jawbreaker.
Joe Hoffman: Bergman kicks out and PBR is still in the match!
Joe gets up and tries to clear his vision.
Benny Newell: Bitcher missed that yellow crap Jiles spewed on Andy Murray at March to Glory and fucking missed it again tonight. OPEN YOUR EYES BITCHER!
Jiles whips Bergman into the corner. He follows with a forearm.
Joe Hoffman: Jiles on the offensive as Bergman’s vision is still fuzzy.
Jiles sends Bergman back across the ring to the opposite corner. He rushes in for another forearm. Solex races over. He pulls Bergman clear and Jiles rams the turnbuckle. Bergman slides over. Belly to back suplex and bridge by Joe.
Tw- Jiles kicks out.
Bergman and Solex right back to their corner. Solex tags back in and pokes Jiles in the eye.
Benny Newell: HAH! TAKE THAT! THE FINGER POKE OF DAD!
Jiles tries to clear his eyes. Solex comes off the ropes and hits Jiles with a shoulder block.
Joe Hoffman: BY GOSH!
Solex again off the ropes and decks Jiles with another shoulder block.
Joe Hoffman: BY GOLLY!
HOW’s #1 Dad runs the ropes a third time. He sprints forward – arm extended – Jiles dives to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: NO! HE MISSES THE CLOTHESLINE FROM HECK!
Jiles crawls over towards his corner.
Joe Hoffman: Can Jiles get over and tag in Bobby Dean?
He tries but then . . .
Joe Hoffman: Wait a minute. What’s that smell?
Benny sniffs the air.
Benny Newell: Nope. Wasn’t me.
Joe Hoffman: No Benny. It’s smells like someone’s been grilling out.
A new and deliciously fragrant aroma has wafted down to ringside. PBR’s bleach blonde valet and master griller Barbie-Q has arrived on stage.
Joe Hoffman: It’s Barbie-Q making her HOW debut!
And she comes bearing gifts – a platter filled with burgers, brats, strips of barbeque beef and steaks – the sweet smell of grilled food permeating the air inside the arena.
Benny Newell: What a rack!
Joe Hoffman: Benny!
Benny Newell: Of beef Hoffhole! Jesus, get your mind out of the gutter . . . (mumbles off to the side) I wouldfucking motorboat those.
Bobby light up like a kid at Christmas when he sets his eyes on the smorgasbord of culinary delights stacked up on Barbie-Q’s plate.
Barbie-Q bat her eyes and gestures to Bobby to ‘come here’ with her finger.
Joe Hoffman: Oh. That’s not fair.
By the time Jiles makes it back to his corner, Dean’s nowhere to be found.
Cancer Jiles: BOBBY?
He watches Bobby – seduced by the siren song of sumptuous beef (it’s what’s for dinner) – walk towards the buffet of bountiful food awaiting him.
Cancer Jiles: BOBBY! GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE NOW!
Benny Newell: HA!
Solex pulls Jiles up and whips him across the ring. Bergman’s right there to greet him – GREEN MIST!
Joe Hoffman: Payback from Joe Bergman after he got misted earlier in the match.
Blinded, Jiles turns back towards the center – Solex runs through him with the clothesline.
Joe Hoffman: THE CLOTHESLINE FROM HECK!
Benny Newell: DAD TAG TEAM WINS! DAD TAG TEAM WINS! DRINK!
McVay jumps into the ring to make it official as Matt Boettcher raises Bergman and Solex’s arms up in victory.
Bryan McVay: Your winner at eight minutes and twenty-five seconds, ‘#1 Dad’ Steven Solex. ‘Ordinary’ Joe Bergman. P-B-R!
Bergman and Solex shake hands and each pops open a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Solex goes to the turnbuckle and shouts “NUMBER ONE DAD!” Bergman turns to Section 214 and raises his beer to them.
Joe Hoffman: PBR picks up their first win as a tag team here tonight and they worked pretty well as a team right Benny . . .
Benny’s moves his chair back as if he’s about to leave.
Joe Hoffman: . . . er . . . Benny?
Benny Newell: I’ll be right back.
Benny takes off towards the stage. Barbie-Q has started towards the back with a very hungry Bobby Dean closing in on her.
Benny Newell: BARBIE! WAIT! DON’T LEAVE! LET ME LOOK AT THAT RACK!
Joe just watches him as he runs up the aisle towards the stage.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t think Benny’s moved that fast in years.
Jiles rolls out of the ring and chases after his erstwhile tag team partner before he makes a series of bad nutritional choices.
Cancer Jiles: BOBBY!
Joe Hoffman: And as for the eGG Bandits, what already has been a bad night for them just got even worse.
Chasing after the grilled meat on Barbie-Q’s platter like a racing greyhound chasing hot and heavy after a wooden rabbit, Dean follows Barbie-Q when she makes her exit to the back with Benny and Jiles right behind them.
A Crack in the Shell?
Back in the Egg Den.
The television screen, typically displaying matches throughout the night, has been turned off.
It happened about three seconds after The Bandits’ ring entrance.
Since then, Doozer’s been angrily pacing to and fro.
He finally stops and turns to the TV in trepidation. Before his outreached hand can hit the power button, he yanks it back.
Doozer: Nah, it’s too late now anyway. Watching ain’t gonna change shit. Solex and Bergman are true professionals. They know our every move by now. And knowing Jiles, all he and Bob know about PBR is where they like to eat… and that it’s a shit beer.
A grunt breaks up his outer monologue.
Doozer: Why’d I even agree to come back to this hellhole?
He shakes his head.
Doozer: Cancer Jiles… Change?
Doozer: I’d believe in Dean actually making weight way be-
The sight of the manilla folder from before catches Doozer’s attention, stopping him mid word. He slowly approaches the nearby table and cocks his head as he reads, ‘PBR’ in big, bold letters on the tab.
The old vet’s eyebrows scrunch. It wasn’t audible, and there’s no professional lip reader to confirm, but it looked an awful lot like The Dooze mourned the word “motherfucker” while picking the folder up.
His bright blue eyes dart around each page as he flips through the material.
Doozer: Detailed minutes of Steve’s last match… and Bergman’s, too… a history of any tag teams each has ever been a part of…
His jaw begins to approach the floor.
Doozer: Injury lists… title histories… he’s got it- what’s this?
A red sticker, protruding from a few pages deeper in the stack, catches his eye.
A smile begins to form, along with a glimmer of hope in his eyes, as Doozer flips to the bookmarked page.
Both smile and glimmer vanish.
Doozer: Mother. Fucker.
It was clearly audible this time.
His eyes landed on “And this is when the old man breaks a hip and loses another one for us. Fuck you, Blamer. <3 CJ”
Furious, he adjusts his grasp on the notes looking ready to tear them down the middle. Then, seeing the camera out of the corner of his eye, he stops.
Doozer: Get the fuck outta here. Show’s over.
Cut to commercial.
We Did It
Back live and the lights shut off in the AllState Arena which makes the crowd erupt in cheers with cell phone camera flashes and screens glowing up the darkness. A voice booms over the PA system.
PA: Ladies and gentlemen… Mister Bryan McVay.
A single spotlight beams down at the rampway stage and out comes Bryan McVay dawning a full tuxedo with a card in one hand to read from and microphone in the other. The crowd comes down to a relative quiet.
Benny Newell: The hell is going on here?!
Bryan McVay: Members of the Audience, especially those sitting in the ‘Triple One’, Viewers from Around the World, and the Pathetic Plebs in the back. I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you for the first time, the newly, freshly, and undisputed High Octane Tag Team Champions- TWENTY-FOUR-KAY!
His hand with the card shoots out and left in the direction of the Triple One. The spotlight then shuts off before quickly transitioning to the suite that sits at the top of the section. Standing outside of the suitebox in the seating area is 24k. We can also see the tops of HOW fans heads turned around giving them all the attention. They rock golden microphones in hand as they stand poised to greet the audience.
The fans in attendance once again give the mixed reaction 24K has come to expect. The Hollywood Bruvs stand next to Perfection and Murray waiting for the noise to die down. Andy Murray and Perfection wear the High Octane Tag Team Championship Titles… meanwhile the Hollywood Bruvs also sport a pair of championships, they look nearly identical to the Titles sported by the new champions except for the fact that they are gold all over.
High Octane’s own C list star is the first to speak as the lights slowly come back up.
Mikey Unlikely: WE DID IT! THE HOLLYWOOD BRUVS DID IT! 24K DID IT! WE WON THE HOW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS! JUST LIKE WE SAID WE WOULD!
Mikey raises both arms high into the air and looks down at the gold championship around his waist.
Mikey Unlikely: Now we’re going to do what we’re known for doing… We’re going to share the golden microphone!
JFK elbows Mikey and takes his turn.
Kendrix: Listen yeah, Our plan worked perfectly. The Hollywood Bruvs did the least amount of work possible and now we have these!
Points to the gold belts.
Kendrix: Let that be a lesson to the rest of you “Work Horses” on how it gets done!
Benny Newell: Wait a minute… The Hollywood Bruvs didn’t win anything! They were the first ones eliminated from the match!
Perfection looks over at Mikey with the stupidest smile on his face.
Perfection: Wow and look! You upgraded those belts so fast! Those are way better looking than these pieces of Goodwill welfare tin we got and where did we get these spiffy, personalized, golden microphones?!
Mikey Unlikely: I know a guy….
Kendrix and Mikey gluefist in front of 20,000 people in the AllState Arena.
Perfection: On behalf of Andy and I, we just want to say that we are so proud of you two winning and defeating EVERYONE in the Gauntlet at March to Glory. To celebrate your tremendous victory and complete, total, domination of that match…
Benny Newell: What is he talking about?!?! Get this fucking clown outta here.
Joe Hoffman: It seems 24k are engaging in their own version of revisionist history, Benny.
Benny Newell: No shit!
Perfection: I’d like to inform you gentlemen that, directly behind us in our suite, we have provided…. STRIPPEES!!!!
The mouths on Mikey and Kendrix drop in amazement even though they were in the suite just two minutes ago. Mikey waves his hand in front of his face, trying not to cry. Perfection nods proudly before pointing towards the Triple One, they are close enough that a fan reaches out to touch him which causes a sharp pullback from James.
Perfection: And none of you are invited… except that busty blonde right there in Row G, Seat 13!
The camera zooms back to show the blonde turning back to talk to people in the row technically in front of her. While she does an usher appears for escort up to 24k which she is nervous to accept.
Perfection: Yeah, you! I see you down there among all those nerds with their coke-bottle glasses. Why don’t you come on up here amongst the champions and see what it’s like to be around REAL men for a change!
Perfection motions her up towards them as the crowd is firing up louder with their mixed bag of emotions regarding these four. 24k are all smiles amongst themselves as the camera zooms back to a closer shot of the suite.
Joe Hoffman: Some say the manliest of men.
Benny Newell: What did you just say!?
Joe Hoffman: Sorry, pal. 24k says it and it’s kinda catchy. Manliest of men!
Benny Newell: Jesus fucking Christ. This is turning into a circus! Can something please turn off their microphones and send that chick to me instead?
Perfection: While that’s being taken care of. Andy, any words as we honor HOW’s newly minted and unequivocally undisputed Tag Team Champions… the one and only Hollywood Bruvs?!
Andy Murray: You know Jimmy, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say tonight – first championship in a long, long time, and all that – but really, the only thing I need to do before I put the Third Coming of Eli Flair’s Dipshit Daughter in the ground is give a shout-out to my close, personal friend Lindsay Troy…
He pauses, a smile stretches across his face.
Andy Murray: How’s it feel to know you can’t even beat us three falls deep you sack of shit?
The group all laugh together.
Mikey Unlikely: 24K has gone undefeated since our arrival, done everything we said we would do… and yet some of you in the back still doubt what stands before you? The greatest group of men ever assembled! You can throw your stipulations at us, you can throw us in a match together, we will still prevail, 24K has proved that WE ARE HIGH OCTANE! So… James… Tell them what comes next!
Perfection: What always happens when man discovers he can injure a ‘God’. YOU KILL IT! That’s the LSD Championship, Max. That’s the ICON Championship, Michael. That’s the HOW World Championship, Cecil! One by one, we’re going to nail you to our cross.
Witherhold put his hand up.
Perfection: But first- celebrations!
And with that gold balloons with 24k in black pour down over Section 111 with the blonde from Row G finally allowed to join them. The four turn around and return back to the suite with their guest as we cut elsewhere.
The show feeds cuts to the backstage area.
Jiles and Dean are seen walking down a long hallway. Both of the Bandits are still in their wrestling gear and have yet to return to the Egg Den. Basically, Jiles has been pacing the backstage area after the Bandits loss with Bobby closely following behind him. Body language would lead one to believe that Jiles is quite unhappy, and Dean is regrettably remorseful.
Bobby Dean: I know I fucked up. I know. It just smelled so good. Once those aroma’s hit my nose, I became blinded by temptation. You know how it is. But hey! At least I made weight, right? That’s a good thing.
Jiles stops in his tracks. He turns on a quick heel, coming face to face with the Beautiful Man from Honalee.
The one lens on his sunglasses cracks from anger.
Jiles: Is it, Bob? Is it? Tell me again about how that food smelled? Go on. Tell me.
Dean lowers his head. Jiles sighs and shakes his. Not so much in disappointment or disgust, more so because he feels sorry for Bob. The Maestro knows what tonight meant to THE BIG MAN and how hard he has been grinding to get back.
Jiles: Bob, look at me.
Bobby stays sheepish.
Jiles uses both of his hands to delicately lift all six of Bobby’s chins.
Jiles: It’s going to be okay. It’s not your fault. Now, let’s go face the music with the old man. I’m sure he’s gotta be waiting with baited breath for us to return.
Bobby Dean: Thanks man. Don’t worry, I’ll take the belt.
Jiles: Bet your skinny ass you’re taking the belt.
Conveniently enough, The Bandits have come to a stop right outside of their locker room. Jiles takes a deep breath, turns and looks over at Bobby, and opens the door.
Jiles: I don’t want to hear any of yo…
The room is empty.
Well, no Doozer anyway. His shit is gone as well. All over the floor of the locker room are the helpful contents of the manilla folder The Maestro put together in preparation for the match.
Before Bobby can walk in, Jiles quickly reaches back and slams the door in his face.
Bobby Dean: Uh… still out here, Jiles. Cancer? Maestro? Doozer? CBD?
It quickly becomes clear that Bobby is not going to be let inside any time soon.
Bobby Dean: Okay then. I guess I’ll…
Before Bob can finish, intense sobbing can be heard coming from within The Egg Den.
Bobby Dean: …be waiting right here.
Then the crying stops.
Jiles: WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL I FUCKING WANTED WAS ONE NIGHT!!!! ONE. JUST TO PROVE THAT OLD FUCK WRONG!!! AND I GET SMELLED OUT!!!!!!!!!! HIDEGDFOEWNFKEWH. LCBSDCNSKCBSLKE. NFKLENFEBVSEDNCKDNCECN. DGWWIFBWEWBVJWE… AND THAT FUCKER ISN’T EVEN HERE TO RUB IT IN!
Back to crying of the real sort.
Jiles: NOBODY WALKS OUT ON THE BANDITS!!!!! NOBODY!!!!!
Perfection vs. High Flyer
We cut immediately to the middle of the ring where Bryan McVay is standing by…
Bryan McVay: This next contest is scheduled for one fall–
CROWD: ONE FALL!
Bryan McVay: with a 15 minute time limit. Introducing first…
“All Aboard! AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…” A light fog rises up from the entrance way as the opening guitar rift kicks in. Parting the smoke is High Flyer?
Joe Hoffman: That’s a change!
Flyer, sans the classic green locks, stands confidently at the top of the entrance ramp. He tosses one hand up in a devil horn taunt, and smiles slyly to the camera. He stomps his way to the ring, paying very little attention to the crowd. Once he reaches ringside, he slips in under the bottom rope, then sprawls on his back. He begins to make snow angels while residing on his back, looking up at the lights before recovering to his feet. As the announcer introduces High Flyer, he leaps onto the second ropes and looks out to the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: One half of the number one contender tag team is clearly ready for his chance to be better than perfection.
Benny Newell: Never gonna happen.
Almost on cue, “The Man” by The Killers begins to play. Ooooohh, oooohhh The crowd immediately responds with mix of cheers but the booing is dominate as the one and only Perfection exits from behind the curtain. He raises his arms accepting the crowds reaction to his wonderfulness, or deflecting them with the title belt held up with those arms.
I know the score like the back of my hand Them other boys, I don’t give a damn They kiss on the ring, I carry the crown
Perfection makes his way towards the ring taking his time to jaw-jack with fans near the rails. He walks up the stairs to enter the ring.
Bryan McVay: Hailing from Los Angeles, Caaaaliforrrrrrnia…
Perfection poses for all to see flexing and smiling those pearly whites before wiping the bottom of his boots on the apron.
I got skin in the game I got a household name I got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man
Bryan McVay:Standing at six feet tall and weighing in at two-hundred thirty-pounds.
Perfection grabs the middle rope leaning over it and yelling at fans in the front row. Who’s the man? Who’s the man?I’m the man, I’m the man Who’s the man with the plan? I’m the man Bryan
Bryan McVay: And ONE HALF of the HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!
He poses for all to see flexing and smiling those pearly whites. Now he mounts the turnbuckle, partly to to yell at the fans some more and partly to lift that gorgeous tag title up for all to see, before giving one last pose and jumping down from the turnbuckle.
With the bell ring, Perfection takes from working the crowd to working High Flyer, jawing with his opponent. Flyer responds. It makes sense in Flyers head, but Perfection doesn’t quite know what to do with it. So he doesn’t, he goes for a lockup instead.
Flyer ducks beneath & catches Perfection with a series of punches, kicks. Perfection popping backwards with each blow into the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: And he’s out of the ring a lot faster than he entered.
Perfections shouts now increase in intensity. The referee implores him to get back into the ring. Climbing each ringstep like a petulant child, Perfection gets to the apron. Flyer goes to that corner. The ref puts a hand in front of him. Perfection slips right back down the steps, turning to jaw with the ref and Flyer. The ref turns to Flyer, pushing him back, reminding him to let Perfection back in the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Perfection with his move! Raced just outside of High Flyer’s vision and back into the ring–
Flyer spins and catches Perfection with a spinning heel kick that sends the tag champ tumbling back into the ropes. Flyer lays in with a series of punches. Perfection covers his face, staggering back until he can duck his head through the ropes and shout for a ref rescue. Joel Hortega comes to the rescue, getting between Flyer and Perfection yet again.
Joe Hoffman: Did Perfection not expect a physical confrontation?
Benny Newell: He expected a fair bout.
Perfection with a thumb to the eye. Flyer grabs at his face a split second before Perfection leveled him with a solid right.
Joe Hoffman: Fair fight, huh?
Perfection doesn’t go for a fair fight though – he grabs High Flyer and runs his face along the top rope, holding onto Flyer’s head for a headlock takedown.
Perfection: Ask him?
Joe Hoffman: Ask him what?
Benny Newell: If he wants to submit.
Joe Hoffman: To a headlock?
Ref asks. Flyer’s answer is twisting Perfection into a pinning situation. It gets a two, Perfection letting go and rolling away. Flyer gets to one knee, using the ropes to help him up and–
Benny Newell: Grind him down!
Another headlock takedown. Perfection following the same routine. High Flyer does as well, rotating, but this time Perfection uses his feet on the ropes to apply some added leverage to hold Flyer in place.
Benny Newell: What’s wrong with Joel?
Joe Hoffman: Ortega’s just enforcing the rules by calling for Perfection to break the hold. He’s doing his job.
And he does, Ortega starting the count until Perfection releases the headlock. For a second.
Joe Hoffman: Oh come on!
Benny Newell: He’s enforcing the rules. All Perfection had to do was let go – the rule doesn’t specify how long.
Joe Hoffman: Oh please.
The crowd grows impatient, their boos raining down on Perfections choice of action. If it bothers the tag champ, he doesn’t show it – reacting with a larger smile. He leans into Flyer, forcing as much of his weight on High Flyer as possible. Flyer squirms and stretches, trying to break loose, but with each move, the added weight of Perfection slows him down all the more. Long moments pass, Perfection grinding away at the headlock, the frustration seeming to grow on High Flyer until he finally gets one knee underneath him. The crowd reacts, everyone in attendance hoping for something… ANYTHING other than a headlock. Flyer gets his other leg out to provide a balance. Perfection pulls on the head, trying to drive Flyer back down, but this time, his stance is secure, his weight lower than before. He holds and with two swift punches to Perfection’s kidneys, Flyer rises fully to his feet. He forces the blonde one into the ropes and with a whip.
Perfection holds on, drops to one knee, Flyer following him back to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: You can just feel the oxygen go out of the room.
Benny Newell: And outta Mr. Flyer.
But Benny is wrong about a lot of things. Flyer doesn’t give up, he rotates his hips and slips to the side, getting back to his feet. Another kidney punch, and Perfection loosens up his grip just as Flyer tightens his. Belly to back suplex! Both are down, Hortega checking Perfection for a concussion while Flyer finally soaks in some much needed oxygen. Perfection angrily waves off Hortega and rotates to his knees. High Flyer uses the ropes to pull himself up as the crowd anticipates just exactly what the crazy one will do. He goes with a high running knee strike that sends Perfection into the ropes and then collapsing to the mat. Flyer grabs Perfection by the hair. Kick. Kick. Spin kick. Flyer whips Perfection to the ropes. A reversal sends a gasp through the crowd. Perfection races forward – clothesline! Missed. Flyer grabs. German suplex. Bridge!
Joe Hoffman: Flyer so close there, but he’s not letting up. He’s quick to the top rope and measuring Perfection for it! 5.5 stars Frogsplash!
Benny Newell: Missing it!
Joe Hoffman: But landing on his feet. Perfection doesn’t see High Flyer is already prepped for his next move. I think I know what he’s going to do… LOCOMOTIVE!
Benny Newell: Missing it again!
Joe Hoffman: Perfection grabbing him and —
Benny Newell: It’s a… Photo Finish!
But this time, when Perfection completes the Unprettier & makes the cover, the crowd doesn’t count along with Hortega. All they do is exhale as the hand falls for the 3rd time.
The action cuts away as a very cocky Perfection plays to the crowd as he heads back up the ramp…
The High Octane Vision screen comes to life as a video begins to play….
Introduction Pt 1
“Mother can you tell me some more stories? You know like the ones where he travelled the world? Maybe the one where he ended up in America? How about when he moved to Mexico and found you?”
I would ask my mother questions all the time, wanting answers has always been my life as I continue to search for the man who is my father, he all these questions have taken a toll on my mother as I hold her hand looking into the eyes of a frail old woman.
“You know the stories child, you know everything”, she replies with a frail tone of voice. How can this be? For a man I know nothing about I have spent all my childhood asking for the answers and for what time to run out on my mother as well?
“But mum, there must be something more, something you are not telling me, some hope to look in order to find the answers. Please, give me some hope, for we both don’t know how long you have left..”
Upon hearing those words she takes my hand from laying on top of hers, looks down at me with the snarl on her face that she only gives when she is upset with me; “I Will tell you what you want to hear but I don’t think you will enjoy it!” I beg to differ I reply with a enthusiastic smile on my face.
“Your father was a nasty man, he only looked out for himself, he was a vile creature who prayed on the young and vulnerable, a man who wanted to be a cult leader but all he achieved was giving empty promises and lies to all those who he was around, I cannot wait to leave this world because if you want to be just like your dad then you will become nothing to me.”
How can my mother say this to me?, I am torn once again, do I give up hope? Or to I try to find the man who is still alive?
Where can I start to find him? Give me a clue?
“Lee Best”, she replied sharply in a firm voice.
“But if you go looking for answers I will not be here when you return”
Video fades to black and we head to a commercial break.
Returning from commercial we’re backstage in the AllState Arena as we see a HOW production member holding a clipboard. Next to him stands HATE… COO of HOW Scott Woodson and Damien Ryan.
Scott Woodson: You sure we’re good for this segment? Or are we going to get bumped for 24 Karat again?
Production Manager: Mister Woodson, again I’m sorry for the mix up. 24K booked it before you and we didn’t catch it. But we’re live now…
Scott Woodson: I don’t care about your mistakes. You understand who I am right? The COO of HOW and… and… and I get it. 24K is the shiny new toy here in HOW. They are the Tag Team champions in a division that is hotter than ever. Lee would rather have them featured than the two of us who couldn’t even compete at March to Glory… because of 24K.
Damein Ryan: I mean what kind of BS was that? Attack us from behind backstage? Why?
Scott Woodson: They’ll say they did it because they thought we didn’t belong in that match. But it’s easy to see that’s nothing but a lie… a lie to hide the truth that 24K fears the HATE. And now they are going to fear that they could be forced to defend the Tag Team Titles against HATE next week on Refueled.
Damien Ryan: Is that being booked right now Mister COO?
Scott Woodson: I could Damien… I could but I’m not gonna give 24K the satisfaction of claiming I’m abusing my power. No, next week you will see yours truly in singles action as I take on one of the Bandits. Maybe it’s mister tummy tat… TOOL Jiles. Maybe we shuffle things around and I’ll see Doozer in the ring. Or it’s Bobby Dean.
Damien Ryan: No sly joke about Bobby?
Scott Woodson: The man seems to be losing some weight Damien… there is nothing funny about that. But the point is one of those men will be fighting me next week. I honestly don’t care who. I HATE them making a joke about everything in HOW. This is not some comedy hall for countless egg jokes and Jiles to pretend he is some super cool guy… all because the word cool is in all caps.
Damien Ryan: I HATE that so much.
Scott Woodson: So pay close attention 24K… cause you’re payback is coming… and those titles will be yours for only a fleeting moment before they come to rest where they belong. You may have postponed it at March to Glory… but the inevitable is coming. Soon this hiccup in the timeline will be corrected.
Damien Ryan: So are we acquiring people’s shticks once we take them out?
Scott Woodson: Thought it would be a clever twist.
Damien Ryan: Plus it was a pretty awesome shtick.
Scott Woodson: It was ok.
Damien Ryan: Shoulda let me know, I could dressed up as Cross or something.
Scott Woodson: Wouldn’t that have confused people?
Damien Ryan: Why?
Scott Woodson: Cause he’s dead. Don’t want people thinking the zombie apocalypse is here or something and blow your head off with a shotgun.
Damien Ryan: He’s not dead… you fired him.
Scott Woodson: Details… plus the only point I was really making is that HATE shoulda walked out of March to Glory with those Tag Team Titles. If we had been allowed to compete… if 24K hadn’t taken the cowards way out…. But the past is just that and unless we could bring ole Brenton back from the dead and find out how to time travel… we’ll just have to fix that shit now.
Damien Ryan: He’s really not…
Scott Woodson: ever going to be seen again because he is dead. Correct! Now… I have a few calls to make. Because the math against 24K doesn’t work out… just yet. Four versus two… those are odds that anyone would HATE.
Walking away from the camera Woodson shoves the production manager out of his way as Ryan and him make their way back to the COO’s office.
Brothers Should Talk More
The LSD Championship fills the screen, the face of Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea emblazoned on a sticker stuck square in the center of it.
“This is the LSD Championship, the Belt of the Lord Supreme Dictator, Maximillian Wilhelm Kael. Since its existence Lee’s Special Division has churned out some of High Octane Wrestling’s most brutal and savage feuds. While the World Championship is obviously the highest ranked Title in High Octane Wrestling and the ICON Championship is considered HOW’s most, no pun intended, iconic title in High Octane Wrestling.. Meanwhile the LSD Championship? Friends, the LSD Championship is a Life Style Choice…”
We slowly zoom out from the title to see it is laying in the lap of a young man in a wheel chair who seems to be staring off into the distance drooling on himself. The young man? A seemingly catatonic Sutler Kael, Max’s adopted son and wayward abandoned child of famed sadboi Shane Reynolds. Standing behind him with a cruel grin on his face is Maximillian Wilhelm Kael.
Max Kael: Hi kiddos! It’s me, your Lord Surpeme Dictator, Maximillian Kael! I know you’ve probably been missing me since March to Glory where I successfully defended the most coveted title I presently hold!.. And before anyone says anything, yes, I know I am no longer a double Champion because some people aren’t as good as me.
He glares at the screen for a moment, his glowing blue eye narrowing and turning slightly, the smile on his face wavering for a moment as his metal teeth peek out through his cracked lips.
Max Kael: But enough about the non-eMpire members of the Group of Death, let’s talk about the rest of you losers in High Octane Wrestling for a moment. Since becoming the LSD Champion I have cut a blood path through any and all challengers that have been stacked up against me. M.J. Flair. “Jack Flyer” High Harmen. The Deacon. Alex Redding. Brenton Cross. Chris Kostoff. You know what? I’m tired of waiting for Lee Best to decide who next should face me.. So..
A smile stretched wide across Max’s face as he reached down and picked up the LSD Championship, slinging it over his shoulder.
Max Kael: Thanks, Sutler, you’re Daddy’s favorite helper, buh-bye now!
Giggling darkly Max turns the wheel chair, shoving it and Sutler violently off screen. Max’s expression goes from joy to unexpected shock as he raises his hand over his eyes. The sound of a car crash and a woman screaming can be heard before one of Sutler’s wheel chair wheels slowly rolls past Max. The LSD Champion stares at the wheel roll bye before he offers a shrug.
Max Kael: He’ll probably be fine. He already wasn’t using those legs.. ANYWAY..
He polishes the LSD Championship a little before his glowing blue eye stares back up at the camera with a malevolence oozing from his cheerful expression.
Max Kael: During these times I’ve decided to be charitable. I’m giving one of you idiots the chance to face me for the LSD Championship on the 25th of April. How, you might ask, will you be getting your match? It’s real easy numb nuts, listen closely. Between now, April 11th until April 17th all you need to do is sign up for a special raffle that will be set up on HOWrestling.com. Then, on next week’s Refueled I will pull a random ticket from the raffle and bingo! You might get your lucky shot.
Pulling a rather old and unpleasant looking roll of raffle tickets from his pocket Max holds them up, nodding cheerfully to himself.
Max Kael: This is your chance, new guys. This is your golden opportunity guys currently looking for a way to credibility! Now is your time to take a risk Scott Stevens!.. Oh wait. Nevermind. Uh.. Scott Woodson! You’ve only been retired one or twice in the last year, now is your chance! From the pathetically petulant peon to the proudly powerful pugilist, ANYONE could win a chance to be LSD Champion.. Like all gambles though, consider this.. When it comes to actually winning the Championship.. Heh-heh.. The House always wins… so until next week..
Holding the LSD Championship up in the air Max offers a manic, silver toothed grin.
Max Kael: I’m the Worthiest, the Vicious and Violent Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, Lord of Kaelsalvania, Prime Minister of Maxopotamia, the Lord Supreme Dictator of High Octane Wrestling, General of North Kaelrea, High Octane Hall of Famer and LSD Champion.. First of my Name..
A small girl wearing a Max Kael mask jumps in front of him. It’s Chloe Sektor or as she has been rechristened Little Lady Sutler Kael. She holds her own toy version of the LSD Championship mirroring Max.
Little Lady Sutler Kael: Long May He Maim!
The action cuts to our final commercial break before our Main Event.
**Speaking of Sektor…..here is John Sektor APPRECIATING going into the HOF with Michael Lee Best**
Andy Murray vs. MJ Flair
As we come back from commercial to ringside we see the Hall of Fame team ready for the next highly anticipated match up.
Joe Hoffman: Next up is a dream matchup that has the highly anticipated in-ring singles debut as the legendary Andy Murray steps into the ring for the very first time to take on MJ Flair.
Benny Newell: MJ Flair better have said her prayers and eaten her vitamins because this dream is about to become a nightmare for her.
“Mary Mary (Stigmatic Mix)” by Chumbawamba
begins to play over the PA system. The lights dim as the music builds and MJ Flair walks out with purpose, stopping right at the top of the ramp for just a moment before she heads to the ring.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first, from Warwick, New York and weighing in at 135 lbs….she is EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEE! JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIR!
A few outstretched hands are slapped, but for the most part, she remains focused.
MJ takes a lap around the ring to greet another handful of fans, and 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: Flair looks confident here tonight as she and High Flyer got back on the winning track.
Benny Newell: Settle down Hoffman. That was a tag match this is a singles match and she doesn’t have backup whenever Murr throws her around like a rag doll.
Joe Hoffman: Murr?
Benny Newell: Murr to his friends Hoffman, but since you aren’t his friend you can call him Mr. Nurray.
As MJ Flair drops to the canvas…
“The Facts” by Trap Them
fires up with its driving rhythm and razor-sharp guitar tone, heralding Andy Murray’s arrival.
Bryan McVay: And her opponent, representing 24K, hailing from Aberdeen, Scotland and weighing in at 280 lbs…..he is one half of the HOW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! HE IS THE KING! OF WRESTLING! ANDY! MURRRRRRRRAAAAAAY!
The big man strides out from the back with a loose swagger. He’s got a leather jacket on, the battered cricket bat slung over his shoulder and the Tag championship over the other.
Benny Newell: I like this guy Hoffman. He reminds me of me.
Joe Hoffman: Andy Murray has won championships in every ring he has stepped foot in. He is called the King of Wrestling for a reason and with all his accolades he may be the God of Wrestling.
Benny Newell: PUMP THE BRAKES HOFFHOLE! We all know there is ONE GOD of Wrestling.
Joe Hoffman: Lee Best.
Benny Newell: That’s right, and the godly order of things is GOD Lee Best, Adam Jatt Starr, and Jesus Mike Best.
Joe Hoffman: I assume the Devil is Kostoff?
Benny Newell: You would be correct, now DRINK!
Murray has a whole lot of bile in his body as he walks down, mouthing off at anyone dumb enough to hurl an insult in his direction.
Benny Newell: Slap that idiot Murr! It’s probably the most skin contact that fat ass will get besides from himself!
Halfway down Murray switches to casually dragging the bat behind his back and holding his tag championship proudly high in the air before finally making it down to the ring, rolling under the bottom rope, and readying himself to hurt somebody.
Joe Hoffman: Murray displaying that championship with pride.
Benny Newell: As he should Hoffman. He and Perfection dominated everyone at March to Glory to win it.
Senior official, Matt Boettcher, checks both individuals as the ring announcer exits the ring before calling for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go.
Upon hearing the bell, MJ Flair like a woman possessed, rushes out of her corner towards Murray.
Joe Hoffman: Flair not wasting time.
Andy Murray sees this and goes for a big boot.
Benny Newell: Eat size fifteen boot!
However, the former LSD champion anticipated this as she ducks under the attack and springboards off of the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Flair maybe looking for a Disaster Kick.
Indeed she is as she goes for the springboard roundhouse kick, but Andy Murray shows why he is the King of Wrestling as he side steps the kick and Flair quickly turns around only to eat a big boot in the process.
Benny Newell: Ha! This is chess not checkers bitch! My bud Murr is five moves ahead!
Murr shakes his head before delivering stomps to the body of MJ Flair, mainly focusing on her neck and head area.
Joe Hoffman: Murray targeting the neck and head of MJ Flair.
Benny Newell: Murr is here to hurt people Hoffman. He didn’t come here to shake hands and form dynasties, he came here to cash checks, break necks, and win championships.
Joe Hoffman: Two out of three isn’t bad for him.
Benny Newell: About to be three for three after this match.
Murray stops putting the boots to Flair so he can begin to choke the life out of her as his massive hands engulf her throat.
Murray breaks the hold.
Joe Hoffman: Murray was close to disqualification there.
A second passes and Murray begins to choke Flair once more and Boettcher begins his count.
Murray breaks the holds and Boettcher begins to read him the riot act.
Joe Hoffman: Boettcher not happy with Murray disregarding the rules.
Benny Newell: Fuck you Bitcher! Do you know who that is?!?!?!?
Murray just smirks before giving the bird to Boettcher.
Benny Newell: DRINK!
Murray picks up MJ and puts her between his legs.
Benny Newell: Murr about to take MJ to prom and pop that cherry.
Joe Hoffman: Disgusting Benny.
Benny Newell: What? After all these years you thank that was disgusting?
Joe Hoffman: You have a point.
Murray reaches down and lifts her into the air but the former LSD champion has some life in her as she shows her fighting spirit by delivering rights to the side of Murray’s face.
Benny Newell: Those are closed fists Bitcher! DQ!
The rapid pace of the rights stumbles Murray a bit but the King still maintains his grip and starts to run forward.
Joe Hoffman: Murray’s going to launch her out of the ring.
Benny Newell: Good. Maybe he can break Kostoff’s record for punting the baby.
Murray builds traction and goes to launch Flair, but at the last instance, MJ is able to reverse the momentum into a hurricanrana.
Joe Hoffman: What a counter by Flair!
Benny Newell: SHIT!
MJ is still on top of Murray and as the King tries to buck her off, Flair grabs his legs and shifts her weight forward.
Murray powers out and scrambles to his feet only to be sent back down to the canvas by a dropkick to the knee.
Joe Hoffman: MJ Flair targeting the knees of Murray. Smart strategy by the youngster.
Benny Newell: More like desperate strategy to me Hoffman.
As Murray tries to get to all fours, Flair delivers a quick roundhouse to Murray dropping the tag champion. However, this doesn’t keep Andy down as he slowly pushes himself up and MJ waits until he gets to a seated position.
Joe Hoffman: Flair looks like she has something devilish in store for Murray.
MJ lines up Murray and delivers a massive side kick to the temple Murray sending the big man to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: What a sickening kick.
Murr kicks out.
Benny Newell: Come on Murr!
Flair uses all of her strength to pull Murray to his feet and the youngster goes for an Irish whip but Andy has other plans has he puts on the brakes and yanks her forward and tosses her up into the air like a sack of potatoes.
Benny Newell: Like I said, five moves ahead…….
Apparently, Flair was thinking six moves ahead as she adjusts her body in mid air and delivers a dropkick with enough force to stagger Murray.
Joe Hoffman: She didn’t get that entire dropkick but she got enough.
MJ follows it up with a running and jumping double knees to the chest of Andy Murray sending the big man crashing into the nearest corner. MJ continues the assault as she hits the ropes and harnesses the power of her tag team partner and friend, Jack Harmen, as she delivers a running Yakuza kick and Murray takes a seated position in the corner.
Joe Hoffman: MJ Flair taking a page out of High Flyer’s playbook with that massive kick.
Benny Newell: I’m surprised she knows how to do it Hoffman since High Flyer hardly ever uses it himself.
However, instead of going for the pin the roar of the crowd has Flair pumped.
Joe Hoffman: The fans are energizing MJ Flair! What’s she going to do next?
MJ sees the downed Murray and heads towards the opposite corner.
Benny Newell: What is she doing Hoffman?
Benny question is soon answered as Flair climbs up the turnbuckle. Flair slowly perches herself on the top turnbuckle and points towards Murray drawing the cheers of the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like she’s going for the homerun Benny.
Flair launches herself at the King of Wrestling and extends her legs outward.
Joe Hoffman: VAN TERMINATOR!
The move took out Murray as it did Flair as her head whiplashed off of the canvas from the momentum.
Benny Newell: Looks more like a foul ball to me Hoffman.
Both individuals are down and Boettcher begins his count.
The groggy Flair begins to stir.
Murray begins to show signs of life.
Flair starts to regain her bearings and make her way towards Andy Murray.
Flair reaches down to pick up Murray.
Joe Hoffman: SHUT THE HECK UPPERCUT!
Benny Newell: IT’S THE SHUT THE FUCK UPPERCUT HOFFHOLE! GET THAT SHIT RIGHT!
Murray uses the ropes to pull himself up and as he does so he sees Flair charging towards him so the King sends her flying over the top rope.
Joe Hoffman: Flair has crashed and burned to the outside and Murray has her where he wants her.
Benny Newell: I thought he wants her face down ass up?
Benny shrugs as Murray rolls out of the ring and begins to put the boots to Flair. Murray steps on Flair’s hair and reaches down and pulls her up and we hear MJ scream in pain.
Benny Newell: Told you she was a screamer Hoffman. DRINK!
Murray quickly spikes her face first as he drives his foot downward on the back of her head.
Joe Hoffman: Curb stomp by Andy Murray.
Murray rolls into the ring and out again to break up the ten count before slowly unraveling his wrist tape and choking MJ Flair with it.
Benny Newell: Where’s Kirsta at? She can give Flair lessons on how not to choke.
Murray stops choking MJ and the former LSD champion begins gasping for air.
Joe Hoffman: MJ is in a bad way right now.
Benny Newell: This is what happens when you come at the King Hoffman. You don’t miss and she missed.
A sinister smile forms on the face of Murray as he reaches down and picks her up and places her over his shoulder.
Joe Hoffman: Highland Hangover on the outside?
Benny Newell: Looks like.
Joe Hoffman: He’ll cripple her.
However, Murray has other intentions as he runs and drives her face first into the ring post.
Benny Newell: CLANG!
Murray looks down at his disaster piece and rolls into the ring and yells at Boettcher to count her out.
Joe Hoffman: This isn’t how I thought Murray would want to win it.
Benny Newell: A win is a win Hoffman that all that Murr cares about.
MJ begins to stir.
MJ’s head appears above the apron and leaning on it causing frustration in the Scotsman as he rolls out of ring and sees Flair leaning against the ring steps now and charges to deliver a kick.
Benny Newell: SMASH HER FUCKING HEAD IN!
However, that would have to happen another time as MJ avoids the attack and Murray sends the ring steps flying jarring his leg in the process.
Joe Hoffman: Murray’s knee!
Benny Newell: FUCK!
Murray begins to hold his leg as he cries out in agony.
Joe Hoffman: The pain Murray is experiencing has to be excruciating.
MJ begins to shake the cobwebs out and begins to target the leg of Murray as she stomps away on the Scotsman.
Benny Newell: Where is the medical team at?!?!?!?
Flair being fueled by the fans is able to muster enough strength to roll Murray inside the ring, but MJ Flair doesn’t follow.
Joe Hoffman: Flair rolls the big man into the ring but she’s not following.
Benny Newell: She’s an idiot Hoffman that’s why Lindz and Dan cut the fat with them.
MJ reaches into the ring and pulls Murray towards the ring post.
Benny Newell: I’m not liking this Hoffman.
Neither is Murray as MJ grabs his leg that was hurting and throws it against the ring post jarring the knee once again causing the King to scream out in pain.
Joe Hoffman: Murray wanted to pick apart Flair and now the shoes on the other foot.
Flair grabs the leg once again and throws it against the ring post causing even more pain.
Crowd: One more time! One more time! One more time!
Benny Newell: Shut the fuck up you mindless sheep! You should respect greatness!
MJ picks up the leg and rears it back slowly to the joy of the as they make up the wind up sound and when she slings the leg attacks the post the crowd blows the roof off of the arena.
Joe Hoffman: Murray is a tough son of a gun, but even he can’t take much more.
Flair grabs both of Murray’s legs and crosses them around one of hers and she hangs upside down.
Joe Hoffman: OH MY! FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK AROUND THE RING POST! SHE’S TRYING TO DESTROY THAT KNEE FOR GOOD!
Murray screams out in pain as he tries to reach for her legs but she pulls back causing more pain.
Benny Newell: DON’T TAP!
For what can seem like an eternity for Andy Murray is about four and a half second real time before releasing the hold.
Joe Hoffman: Murray’s knee has to be destroyed.
Benny Newell: Where’s the disqualification?!?!? That was an illegal hold that could’ve ended Murr’s career.
Joe Hoffman: And all the stuff Murr did was legal?
Benny Newell: First off, it’s Mr. Murray to you and second, yes it was!
Murray reaches down and holds his knee in agony as MJ climbs up onto the apron and begins to make her way up the turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: MJ Flair is perched on the turnbuckle and slowly rising up.
Flair jumps off looking to deliver a double foot stomp, but the King sensed the attack and rolls to the side causing MJ Flair to miss her mark and she jars her leg. Flair hobbles a little and as she turns around Murray is in a seated position and she makes her way towards him and the Scotsman uses his last bit of strength to deliver a massive spinebuster.
Benny Newell: Haha!
Murray pulls her forward and leans on her.
Murray leans forward, putting his massive and dead weighted frame, at an angle in a last gasp effort….
As the hand hit the mat for the third time Flair was able to get a shoulder up but it was too little too late.
Benny Newell: Murr did it!
Boettcher signals for the bell.
Bryan McVay: And your winner by pinfall, THE KING! OF WRESTLING! ANDY! MURRRRRRRRAAAAAAY!
Murray rolls out of the ring and leans against the ring to hold him up as his legs are struggling to hold his weight.
Joe Hoffman: Murray with the hard fought victory here tonight.
Benny Newell: Hard fought? Murr had it in the bag the whole time Hoffman. He was just playing with MJ to make her feel better about herself before he gave her another loss.
Joe Hoffman: Regardless of your opinion, MJ Flair proved she could hang with the King of Wrestling and if given another opportunity I’m sure she can dethrone him.
Benny Newell: Whatevs Hoffman.
Joe and Benny continue to go back and forth as we take our final commercial break of the evening as their is word that we have a special bonus segment coming up with Mr. ICON himself…..Michael Lee Best.
House of GOD
As HOW returns from its final commercial break of the evening, the camera opens in a close-up over the wide, green felt of a high-stakes poker table and a sizable stack of various colored chips. The vivid green expanse is muddied by the swirl of stale cigar smoke, as two well manicured hands reach out and rake the whole stack inward toward his chest.
As the camera zooms outward, we can see that the chest, and ergo the chips, belong to known problem gambler and SON OF GOD himself, Michael Lee Best. He’s dressed in a Monte Carlo-style white tuxedo, freshly ordered from SuitsBySplinter.com, as he neatly adds his newly gotten gains to his already large pile.
Mike Best: People say I have a gambling problem.
A new hand is dealt. Two cards to each player, all around the table. The identities of the other players don’t particularly matter — they are beneath THE SON, and thus beneath the narrator’s need to describe them. Bets are placed, ending with the SON OF GOD, who takes a brief peak at his cards before pushing his entire stack of chips to the center.
He’s all in.
In the MONTH OF THE SON, there are no upper limits.
Mike Best: I say it’s only a problem when you lose. And right now, in the midst of MIKE BEST APPRECIATION MONTH, I’d say everything’s coming up aces. It’s not gambling if you hold all the cards.
Grumbling can be heard around the table, some of it in very angry Vietnamese. Cards are folded left and right, as fellow degenerates give up their antes to the natural big dick energy of the SON OF GOD. It seems as though no one is looking for action, as Michael prepares to rake his chips back in.
Except one of them does.
One man. A shitty, unlikable drunk who is already out six grand tonight and refuses to lose another dollar to the five-foot-six majesty of Michael Lee Best. He reaches into his jacket, producing a wallet stuffed with trust fund cash, and drops a wad of BIG TIME BENJAMINS onto the poker table, adding them to his stack. He shoves the whole mess forward, scowling across the table at Mike Best as he calls.
Now, all there is to do is wait.
Mike Best: Not a lot of hands out there that beat the SIX TIME ICON CHAMPION. The only place I’m not undefeated this era is on paper. I haven’t lost a single hand, I’ve just flipped a couple fucking tables. There will always be those who step up, hoping they’ll get lucky. Thinking they can beat the house. They’re the real gamblers, and they’re playing with a lot more than money. They’re playing with their lives. Their livelihoods. Their careers.
The dealer burns a card before dealing out the flop:
Ace of Hearts.
10 of Hearts.
3 of Clubs.
Michael glances at his cards again, his face showing no indication as to whether or not this has helped him or hurt him. That’s right — the SON OF GOD is refusing to sell for his opponent. WHAT A WORLD.
Mike Best: So since you all love to gamble, I say… let’s gamble. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and this is the MONTH OF THE SON, so we’re going to celebrate next week on Refueled by holding a little resurrection of our own. Some of you already know where this is going, and some of you don’t, so let me put all the cards on the table. Next week, HOW Refueled, live from Chicago, Illinois…. will feature the return of the LETHAL LOTTERY.
Michael takes a sip of a dark, toxic looking substance from a glass that rests on a HIGH OCTANE COASTER, available now from the High Octane E-Market. Slowly, we realize that everything at the table is HOW branded, from the poker chips to the cards themselves.
Mike Best: The one night in HOW where everyone is the big blind, and you don’t know who you’re facing until you ante up. No one will know their opponent until their music plays— champions and challengers alike. No time to prepare. No time to research. You go all in and then you see how the cards fall.
Another card burned by the dealer, before the turn is dealt.
Jack of Spades.
His opponent stares at the table with great concentration. He nods his head softly, and stops the dealer before he can burn another card. He is already ALL IN, but he is somehow about to go EVEN MORE ALL IN. He takes his wallet back out again, emptying the remaining BIG TIME BENJAMINS out onto the table, along with his wedding ring and a picture of his wife. Presumably, this has just become some serious shit, assuming the authorities do not step in to stop this from becoming a human trafficking event.
The dealer’s face is revealed. He is HOW Señor Referee Joel Hortega, and he doesn’t appear give a single el fuck — this flies under Mexican house rules. He nods toward Michael Best, who now has a difficult decision to make.
The SON OF GOD glances at his cards again, weighing his options.
Mike Best: You all know by now, I’m a fighting champion. I’m never afraid to put my title on the line.
As he finishes speaking, Michael reaches beneath the table, producing the HOW ICON Championship. It’s worth more than anything that his opponent could have possibly wagered, but he likes putting a human being in debt to him. He drops the title into his pile of chips, nodding to Hortega that he’s ready for the river.
A card is burned.
A card is flipped.
Ace of Clubs.
Mike Best: And that’s why next week at Lethal Lottery, I’m putting the ICON Championship on the line in the main event. An event that is the ultimate gamble. An event at which I am undefeated. Throw in your chips, kids — maybe you’ll have better luck than this poor sap.
The degenerate drunk is sweating like a whore in church if that church was also a sauna and that sauna was in the middle of the Mojave in July. His insides are jumbled up like a confusing simile in a paragraph of scene description. He flips his cards over, looking like a man who is about to vomit right there at the table.
Queen of Hearts.
King of Hearts.
A straight. He pulled the wrong. Fucking. Jack.
Michael leans back in his chair, nonchalantly taking a puff off of his cigar as he casually flips his cards over. The ACE OF SPADES and the ACE OF DIAMONDS. Four of a kind, obviously, because what else was he ever going to have.
Mike Best: Like I said, there’s no risk when you hold all the cards.
His opponent throws his cards angrily across the table, having now forfeited not only his money, but technically his marriage to the SON OF GOD. His wife, who has been sitting quietly on the corner playing Candy Crush on her phone, rolls her eyes as she walks to the other side of the table. She is now the marital property of Michael Best until it is otherwise determined by the federal justice system and likely many appeals.
Mike Best: You’re playing in the HOUSE OF GOD. And the House always wins.
The now destitute drunk stands angrily, charging for the SON OF GOD with the rage of a man who has struggled all his life. Unfortunately, he’s immediately grabbed by security, who drag him toward the exit as he screams about injustice and calls out desperately for his wife.
But he has no wife.
Michael Best tosses his cards toward the camera, the Aces shining brightly under the hot basement lights. The Ace of Spades bears the face of Lee Best, as we freeze frame into the banner for next week’s Lethal Lottery.
HOW Refueled comes to an end.