Refueled XXVII
  • Event Type: weekly

Refueled XXVII

Event Date: May 23, 2020 at 10:00 pm

Opener...

The High Octane Television logo gives way and we transition into an image of Lee Best standing in the middle of a cemetery. He is standing in front of a headstone, the name blocked from view, with his head down and an American Flag in his hand.

Lee Best: I should have picked up the phone….

The GOD of HOW appears to wipe a tear away from his eye before turning towards the camera, the name on the headstone still buried.

Lee Best: High Octane Wrestling and its roster is currently on the path to War…..but our Games don’t mean a fuck when it comes to the wars being waged around the world every day and every night. You see most motherfuckers think of Memorial Day as a day off from the grind of their shitty 9 to 5 job. They can’t wait smoke some meat on their grills and drink their shitty IPA’s. But that is not what Memorial Day is. As usual people take something that started out with a sense of purpose and pride and turn it into a marketing and glutton filled day of bullshit.

Lee pauses as he looks down at his head….realizing he is as guilty as the rest.

Lee Best: This Monday millions of folks will visit the resting places of loved ones who served our country and paid for it with their lives. Some people will wear their 97red poppy and truly show remembrance for those that have fallen in War. Tonight, I wanted to start the show and show that even with all the bullshit going on in the world, we remember.

Lee walks closer to the camera…..

Lee Best: We remember the faceless and nameless millions of soldiers that made it possible to do what we do here in High Octane Wrestling. We remember that without them we would not be able to do this week in and week out and distract ourselves for a couple hours. We remember that even today we have members of our roster who have served and have undoubtedly lost a brother or a sister. We remember that with serving comes not only the physical but mental toll of battle and it’s something that we will never fully understand as we have not gone thru it ourselves. We remember that at the end of the day that we owe those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep fighting, to show respect and love to each other, and to never forget their sacrifices. We Remember…..and We Are Thankful.

With that the GOD of HOW turns back towards the headstone and bends down and places the American flag on the headstone.

The name on the tombstone never comes into focus as Lee carefully blocks the name with his body.

He then turns back towards the camera….

Lee Best: Tonight, the roster will continue the war path to our very own War Games and for the victors come the spoils of Championship Gold. For the losers……they live to fight again. Remember that. Pick yourself back up and fight. For the soldiers that died in real battle they never were given that chance to stand back up, dust themselves off and continue the good fight.  You owe to everyone including yourself to do just that. Remember that.

With that the video fades to black and we cut live inside the All State Arena to begin tonight’s show.

#14 Joe Bergman vs. #16 Chris Kostoff

We cut back live inside the arena where we are joined the Hall Of Fame announce team of Joe Hoffman and Big Buff Benny Newell.

Joe Hoffman: We are just about ready for our opening match of the night and it’s going to be an interesting one between two fan favorites- HOW Hall of Famer Chris Kostoff and one half of HOW’s Tag Team Champions-

Benny Newell: Thanks to Andy Murray.

Joe Hoffman: ‘Ordinary’ Joe Bergman from PBR.  This will be a definite clash of styles between the brute force of Chris Kostoff versus the technical ability of ‘Ordinary’ Joe.

Benny Newell: Joe Bergman is a bug who’s riding the King’s coattails and Chris Kostoff the fucking windshield that’s about to splat the bug.

“I’m sinfully delicious!”

Barbie-Q’s high-pitched, squeaky tone (done in annoyingly brainless blonde bombshell sing-song tone to the tune of the tag from the Lucky Charm’s cereal commercial) heralds the arrival of HOW’s Master Griller- Barbie Q.

Wearing a half t-shirt with ‘Barbie-Q’ on the front and a pair of torn Daisy Duke shorts, Barbie-Q struts her way down the ramp carrying a platter full of brats, burgers, and steaks and stops intermittently to hand out food and pose for the fans.

Benny Newell: I would love to taste her burgers and show her my brat.

Joe Hoffman: BENNY!

Benny Newell: What?!?!?!?

Joe Hoffman: WHY?

Benny Newell: Seriously, how long have you fucking known me?

Then a quick hammer-like bass drum-*thwack* beat blasts out of the arena speakers 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: And their opponents, first, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri and weighing in at 195 lbs.  Representing P-B-R!  He is ORDINARY JOE! BEEEEEERRRRRRRG – MAAAAAAAAAAN!

He slaps people’s hands along the way.

“This old town’s been home long as I remember
This town’s gonna be here long after I’m gone
East side, West side- give up or surrender
Been down, but I still rock on . . .”

Joe continues on to greet the fans along the way.

“Oh, and this town – Is my town
Alright?
Love or hate it–it don’t matter
’cause I’m gonna stand and fight 

He reaches the ring area and joins up with Barbie-Q.  They continue to greet people around the front row.

Bergman then climbs up on the ring apron and leaps over the top rope into the ring.

This town – Is my town
It’s had its ups and down
Love or hate- it don’t matter.
‘Cause this is my town. . .”

Bergman climbs onto the turnbuckle and raises a can of PBR to the people in Section 214.

*”Wolf Totem”- The Hu*

The music change heralds the entrance of HOW Hall of Famer Chris Kostoff.  The opening chords scream across the speakers as Kostoff, scraggly beard and massive tattoo covering his chest and a cast on his left arm courtesy of Cecilworth Farthington, emerges onto the stage and immediately takes off towards the ring- much to the chagrin of the ring announcer Bryan McVay.

Joe Hoffman: The last time Kostoff wrestled three weeks ago, McVay nearly got steamrolled by Kostoff charging after Cecilworth Farthington.

Bryan McVay (speaking very quickly): Our next challenger weighs in tonight at two hundred and eighty-five pounds from Tampa, Florida, Chris Kostoff.

And with that, McVay gets the hell out of Dodge as Kostoff hits the ring and shoots across towards Bergman.

Joe Hoffman: And here we go!

Benny Newell: GET ‘EM KOSTOFF!

Bergman slips to the side and evades the onrushing freight train who runs right into the turnbuckle.

Dueling chants start.

KOSTOFF’S GONNA KILL YOU! – P. B. R!

KOSTOFF’S GONNA KILL YOU! – P. B. R!

KOSTOFF’S GONNA KILL YOU! – P. B. R!

Referee Matt Boettcher finally calls for the bell and the match is officially underway.

Kostoff whips around – feigns the right – swings the left arm in a cast around – Bergman holds his ground and ducks under – the cast whizzes by his head.

Benny Newell: Joe Bergman has no idea what he’s in for tonight.  He’s going to get attacked from all angles by a guy who just doesn’t give a fuck.

Joe ducks another right hand and swings Kostoff by his good arm into the corner turnbuckle.

Which only pisses Kostoff off even more.

Like Schwarzenegger in Terminator mode, Kostoff relentlessly and methodically moves forward towards Bergman and sends him flying with a shoulder block.  Bergman scoots back – back – under the ropes and in one motion jumps to the top turnbuckle.  Kostoff charges – Bergman leaps up and over – lands on his feet – jumps on Kostoff’s back and pulls him down, driving both knees into the big man’s back.

Benny Newell: What the fuck was that?

Joe Hoffman: Lungblower by Joe Bergman.  Where did he pull that move from?

Benny Newell: Bergman’s doing vanilla flippy bullshit!

Bergman resets again.  Kostoff up a little slower but has blood in his eyes when he locks in on Bergman.  Kostoff takes off – Bergman sidesteps and Kostoff hits the ropes.  On the return, boot to the gut by Kostoff.  Waistlock into a belly to back suplex and Bergman gets dumped hard on the mat.

Benny Newell: Kostoff is just too strong for the Bergerman.

Kostoff follows up but Bergman slides his leg in between Kostoff’s and takes him down.

Joe Hoffman: Nice counter by Bergman with a drop toehold.

Bergman back up and steps towards the middle of the ring.  Kostoff gets to his feet and again comes at him – Bergman down – another drop toehold.  Bergman tries to press the advantage but suddenly dives to safety.  Two big boots whistle by where Bergman’s head had just been a second before.

Joe Hoffman: That was close!  After getting taken down, Chris Kostoff unleashed a mule kick and Joe Bergman alertly moved out of the way.

Benny Newell: Kostoff has too many weapons, Hoffman.

Kostoff up again, dips his shoulder, and charges.  Bergman grabs the good arm – arm drag takedown.   Kostoff up again – charge – Bergman again takes the good arm – arm drag takedown again.

Joe Hoffman: Now Bergman with counters and getting Kostoff off his feet.

Benny Newell: He’s just pissing him off and postponing the inevitable.

Kostoff charges a third time.  This time he unleashes a right hand clothesline – Bergman ducks – drops – drop toeholds Kostoff again.  But the big guy is seriously off balance and lands awkwardly on his arm.

Chris Kostoff: ARRRGHH, FUCKKKKKK!

It’s not a pissed off, ready to kill someone war cry either.

Joe Hoffman: Oh oh.  He may have reinjured that arm.

The broken arm.

Benny Newell: Shit.

Joe Hoffman: Kostoff landed on top of that arm with the full weight of his body.

Bergman also knows the arm’s reinjured.  But instead of trying to capitalize on it, he simply goes over and rolls Kostoff over and hooks the leg.  Boettcher counts.

One . . .

Tw-with a mighty roar, Kostoff kicks out with his legs and sends Bergman flying through the air where he lands fifteen feet away.

Joe Hoffman: Yeah, that’s still not going to do it.

Benny Newell: Jesus Christ!

Joe Hoffman: What?

Benny Newell: There’s the reason why Joe Bergman will never be at the level of a Murray, a Ryan, a Best, or a Farthington.  He’s too goddamn worried about being a nice guy to do what needs to be done.  He’s got no fucking killer instinct.  He should twist Kostoff’s broken arm until it fucking falls off.

Bergman grabs an ankle and rolls Kostoff over – puts Kostoff’s foot in his armpit and leverages his hips forward causing the foot becomes forcefully plantar flexed.

Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman with an ankle lock!

Benny Newell: The arm, you idiot!  The arm!

Joe Hoffman: This is a move he broke out against MJ Flair three weeks ago at Refueled XXIV.  He’s putting tremendous pressure on Kostoff’s Achilles tendon.

Kostoff thrashes back and forth while Bergman hangs on.

Benny Newell: COME ON KOSTOFF!

Kostoff gets himself aligned and sends another big boot whistling towards Bergman’s head.  Joe’s late on picking up in the inbound nd barely gets his head turned when impact takes place on the side of his face.  Bergman sees stars for a brief moment.

Joe Hoffman: It’s a glancing shot but enough to break the hold.  Bergman did not catch that full force!

Benny Newell: If he would have, Bergman would have been lights out.

The big man tries to get to his feet but the ankle lock has weakened the foot and Kostoff can’t get to a vertical base.  Bergman jumps on his back and pulls him down to the ground – drapes his arm across him, wrenches back and Kostoff’s head is now vertical on the mat.  Bergman gets his body underneath and bridges himself, which in turn bridges Kostoff.

Joe Hoffman: DRAGON SLEEPER!

Benny Newell: Shit!

Joe Hoffman: Bergman said this was his plan all along- to put Kostoff to sleep.

And now, Bergman throws everything he’s got into holding his submission finisher.

Benny Newell: COME ON KOSTOFF!  GET UP DAMMIT!

Boettcher asks Kostoff if he wants to quit – he gets a snarl back and loogie hocked in his face.

Benny Newell: YOU TELL ‘EM KOSTOFF!

Joe Hoffman: Bergman holding on to the Dragon Sleeper for dear life.

Benny Newell: THERE’S NO WAY IN HELL KOSTOFF IS GOING TO TAP OUT!

But Kostoff is fading.  Boettcher keeps a close watch on him.

Boettcher finally raises Kostoff’s good arm.  It falls back to the mat.

Joe Hoffman: That’s one!

Benny Newell: DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!

Boettcher repeats.  Kostoff’s arm falls back to the mat again.

Joe Hoffman: That’s two!

Benny Newell: HE’LL NEVER QUIT!

Close up on Kostoff.  He’s just about out.

Boettcher for the third time.

Kostoff’s arm falls and hits the mat.

*DING-DING-DING-DING*

Benny Newell: DAMMIT!

Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman has done it!  He has beaten the monster tonight!

Bryan McVay: Your winner at nine minutes and forty-three seconds.  ‘ORDINARY’ JOE!  BERG – MANNNNNNNNN!

Joe looks up at Section 214 and salutes them.

Joe Hoffman: Well.  Joe Bergman passed the test against Chris Kostoff and found a way to get the win.

Benny Newell: Bullshit.  He beat a one-armed Chris Kostoff.

Joe goes over and checks on Kostoff as HOW’s medical staff is already in the ring and tending to the HOW Hall of Famer who is slowly starting to come to from the sleeper hold.

He then glances up at the 24K Suite.  Joe allows himself a sardonic smile, raises a hand, and raises a middle finger towards the suite.

Then he claps for Chris Kostoff and leaves the ring as we cut backstage.

Segment One

We egg, skip, and jump to the back.

The eGG Basket, as indicated by the ‘Over Easy’ poster on the outside of the locker room door, is the featured location. The ‘Now Hiring’ sign, sitting below the signature logo for HOW’s War Games Qualified Stable, sets expectations on what’s to come.

The room’s setup remains identical to last week’s show. The only difference being last week’s interviewee, now Bandit: Max Shell. He’s in the back corner, strumming his Yolkulele, hanging out with CBD. It’s made the transition easier.

The other Bandits are in formation. They sit four across, behind two connected wooden tables, from left to right: Zeb Martin, Cancer Jiles, Doozer, then Bobby Dean. Doozer grabs a portfolio lying in front of them and begins leafing through the papers inside.

Doozer: So who we got today, Jiles? Assuming you did all the screening, again.

Cancer nods, hiding a smile.

Jiles: Does Kostoff shit in the woods?

Doozer returns with a nod of his own, unable to contain his own smile. Beautiful Bobby Dean, rotating between different nervous ticks, checks a non-existent watch on his left wrist.

Bobby Dean: Less than a minute to go. If this guy’s ONE second late, deal breaker. I have a hair appointment to ma-

Jiles shoots Dean a glare so hard he almost gets whiplash.

Jiles: Hey, that’s my line. Just ‘cause you’re skinny again doesn’t mean you- damn it, nevermind. Your hair is deserving. Sorry, I think I’m just nervous for this one…

Saving the Bandits from further suspense, the door swings open.

Everyone seated at the table turns ghost white.

The Yolkulele stops playing for a moment, then resumes to a different tune. It sounds weirdly similar to “My World Now” by 7kingZ.

Jiles: Bu… you’re not Eli Flair?

Cancer’s initial shock vanishes. He smiles and stands from his seat, arms open wide.

Jiles: However, the return of the Egg Que-

Lindsay Troy, the subject of everyone’s attention, raises a threatening finger that stops Jiles before he can finish the unofficial nickname. She’s fresh from the Allstate Arena’s gym, having completed her pre-match, ‘Gonna Kill Brian Hollywood in the Face,’ warm-ups.

Cancer straightens up, dusting the harsh vibes off his 97RED jumper. He clears his throat before continuing.

Jiles: The quintessential ass kicker known as Lindsay Troy, is what I was going to say.

Lindsay Troy: Better, Tool. Not much, but better.

Doozer fails to contain the grin growing out the side of his mouth. Lindsay notices, and turns her gaze toward the old man. His face straightens immediately. She scans the others in the room. Her eyes meet Dean’s, who instantly diverts his attention to his feet. Zeb takes the Drax approach; hoping to be unseen as long as he doesn’t move a muscle.

Then, the Mother of GoD’s brow furrows at the sight of the newest Bandit in the back. Not CBD, he’s not new, but his presence is no less annoying.

Lindsay Troy: (sighing) Max, really?

The Worthiest, the Clever and Crafty Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, First of His Name, blahblahblah, looks over at his Group of Death stablemate and gives her a big wave.

Max Shell: What? You don’t like the song?

Lindsay Troy: Not the song that’s the problem.

The Maestro saunters closer to Lindsay and makes like he’s going to put his arm around her shoulders. One disgusted look from her immediately makes him reconsider this approach.

Jiles: Easy there, mum. We CAN and WILL, all be Bandits. Now what brings you by?

Lindsay Troy: Uh, maybe the numerous Discord messages I got from each of you stating you would not stop until I blessed your boots. Then, the telegram I got at my gym saying the same thing, but getting the dates mixed up. 

Jiles: Zeb, quick! Get the boots.

Lindsay Troy: No. Don’t do that. I’m here because I want to know how you guys got my Discord handl… nevermind. Thanks, Max.

Max Shell: Don’t look at me, you know I never check my phone. I don’t even know where it is right now!

A ‘ping ping’ sound is heard coming from the general direction of Bobby Dean. The Beautiful One looks around and, sheepishly, holds up two phones in his hands.

Bobby Dean: Hehehehe…busted!

Doozer: For the record, mine said I wanted you to stop by so I could wish you luck against Hollywood. So, good luck against Hollywood! Weinstein his ass!

Once again, the Lady of the Hour HATES her life.

Lindsay Troy: This is going to be another waste of time, where you guys try and woo me over to the yolk side, isn’t it?

Jiles: Never. Not us. However, while I’d love nothing more than to sit back here frying some eggs with Max’s laser eye, giving you the proper pitch you rightfully deserve…we, as in the eGG Bandits, as in the group of deities you should be a part of, do have a match in twelve minutes.

Lindsay Troy: Not going to try and cancel that one?

Jiles: I wouldn’t disrespect the legend, High Flyer, like that.

Lindsay Troy: But MJ’s fair game, I’m guessing.

Jiles: The GOAT? 

Lindsay Troy: No, the shrimp.

Bobby Dean: I like shrimp! Little lemon, little cocktail sauce…maybe even fry ‘em up in some coconut flakes….

Jiles: We don’t mention flakes around here anymore, Bobby, you know that. BUT ANYWAY. Since WE are on a time budget, and also in Rome, what say you, Queen? Not only have we added a member from your very own stable, but we’ve also upgraded CBD to four ply strength cardboard. I think that’s a thing. Max’s idea. Regardless, you two can train the night away now, just like you and Danny do. 

Lindsay thoughtfully scratches at her chin. Possibly pondering the impossible.

Max Shell: Only the finest cardboard that the North Kaelrea Inventory Camps can provide.

CBD agrees. The head nod is subtle. Don’t think too hard about it, just trust us.

Zeb, still star-struck, dares to breathe. It’s a big step for the youngster, inhaling and exhaling while in the presence of royalty, but we don’t want him passing out before his match against MJFlyer.

Lindsay Troy: Hm. It would appear as if you have all your bases covered, Tool. 

The Bandits sudden collective smile could swallow the Mississippi River.

Jiles: SO, QUEEN?

Lindsay Troy: Oh, yeah, still a hard no. Sorry for leading you on.

Doozer: OH COME ON. 

He slams his hands down on the table, exasperated.

Doozer: Tell us this much– are we any closer than we were two weeks ago?

Lindsay regards the Yeoman of the Yolk with a tilt of her head and a look of pity. Almost imperceptibly, the tiniest flash of a smirk appears. 

In an instant, though, it’s gone.

Lindsay Troy: ….no. But keep trying. You never know.

With a parting glance to the men in the room, the GoD Queen of HOW turns on her heel, shoulder-checks Jiles out of her way, and takes her leave.

Jiles: Oh, I think I do know, Queen. I think I do. Gentlemen, desperate times call for desperate measures. I was hoping it wasn’t going to come to this, but it has. Bobby, since you’re the one who’d receive the most pity, I need you to get me in a room with CBD’s older brother.

Bobby Dean: For an interview?

Jiles: Yes.

Bobby Dean: Doesn’t that sound, oh I don’t know… excessively dangerous?

Jiles: That’s what he’s here for.

Max’s eye glows bright red. He starts to laugh, manic of course. His boisterousness is contagious, as all of the Bandits join in.

Then, the rousing group chuckle comes to an abrupt end.

Silence.

The eGG Bandits: Long may we maim.

Fade to black…

Segment Two

We return to ring side with Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell, the HOW faithful buzzing from the most recent eGG Bandit interview.

Joe Hoffman: Well the eGG Bandits continue to look to expand their numbers heading into War Games, Benny, though it doesn’t look like Lindsay Troy is biting despite their best efforts.

Benny Newell: Yeah? Well who gives a fuck, Joe?

Joe Hoffman: Insightful as always Benny. Hopefully the Bandits don’t let the let down affect their game plan as they’re facing MJ Flair and High Flyer who I’ve heard are going by the team name MJFly.

Benny Newell: Cute.

Joe Hoffman: Both of these teams tonight are looking to pick up a win espe-

Before Hoffman can finish the light go dark and “Shit Just Got Real(Feat. Sen Dog)” by Die Antwoord blasts out over the All-State Arena crowd. There is a mixed reaction as the stage comes alive with lasers and smoke while black uniformed North Kaelrean soldiers storm down the ramp armed with spears. Snapping to attention they raise their spears to create an archway.

Sauntering out onto the stage comes Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, though in the time between the eGG Bandit’s segment and now he has somehow managed to completely change his wardrobe. He is dressed head to toe in a gold three piece suit, tie, handkerchief, gold and black wing tipped shoes. A broad smile is stretched across his face showing off a set of golden teeth while his mechanical eye flickers with a golden light. Slung over his shoulder is the LSD Championship which he clutches processively, golden gloved fingers firmly holding it in place.

Passing beneath the North Kealrean spear archway Max gazes around dismissively before shuffling down to the ring and up the steps. Reaching the ropes Max pauses, his eyes on the ropes and then his fancy golden suit. After a moment he demands Bryan McVay and Joel Hortega open the ropes for him. As both the announcer and referee part the ropes Max carefully slips in and retrieves a golden microphone from his pocket.

Max Kael: It’s your Lord Supreme Dictator, Maximillian Wilhelm Kael! Yay!

A mixed reaction of cheers and boos wash over the arena as the LSD Champion holds his arms up in the air excitedly.

Max Kael: As you can see there has been a little change since you last saw me. I know! I know! I’m as shocked as you are, Andy Murray will be on my team for War Games. You know what that means right? Right?

He pauses as though expecting the crowd to know what that means. A few answers are thrown Max’s way, but as is the way of a Chicago crowd, most of them deal with self-procreation. The LSD Champion is undeterred.

Max Kael: It means that I’m a member of 24K! That’s right! I’m in a Triad of Stables, the Group of Death, the eGG Bandits and now 24K!.. Although I’m also in the eMpire so that makes this a Quadad? You know if I join PBR and we add another dad I think it should be known as Quadad… maybe next week..

Joe Hoffman: I don’t think Max Kael knows what triad means..

Benny Newell: Yeah, there’s a lot more sex in a Triad, generally you’re hoping for two women, Hoffman, but a holes a hole in the dark..

Shaking his head Max clears his throat and focuses back on task.

Max Kael: As you can see I have decided to dress for my new role in 24K and you will now address me, when you see me like this, as 24KAEL. As 24KAEL you can expect me to live up to the 24K stable gimmick of Gold. I’ve purchased several gold items and intend to create several gold based offensive maneuvers. I’ve even debated having my knee caps replaced with Gold so that Andy Murray and I can both squawk together about our Kneeds. People listening won’t get that joke but if you’re watching on closed captions it was really clever. ANYWAY.

Reaching into his pocket Max retrieves a golden piece of paper staring at it for a moment before slipping it away.

24KAEL: I wrote a list of things I wanted to talk about on gold paper with a golden marker so obviously that worked out well.. So let’s talk about War Games.

There is a mild pop from the crowd at the mentions of HOW’s War Games PPV. Max arches his brow and looks out over the fans looking somewhat confused.

24KAEL: You’re excited about War Games?

A stronger reaction, in some cases perhaps in defiance of Max’s apparent disinterest.

24KAEL: Of course you are. Of course all of you are. You’re not the ones who have to march into a cage. You aren’t the ones who are going to have to look your friends in the face because Lee Best wants to break the Group of Death’s stranglehold over High Octane Wrestling. You’re animals! ANIMALS! Thirsty for blood, hungry for violence, an unquenchable desire to see bodies mutilated for sport and entertainment!

The crowd acknowledges it all, cheering on Max’s opinion on them.

24KAEL: Fuck you all, I’m not fighting my friends. I might be contracted to fight, I might be forced to walk down that ramp.. But Max Kael is not fighting Michael Best, Max Kael is not fighting Cecilworth Farthington, Max Kael is not fighting Dan Ryan and, if Lindsay Troy wins here tonight, Max Kael is not fighting her either!

For a moment, just a moment, a heart beat even, Max’s golden eye flickers a furious #97red. An unpleasant, gasping half breath, half giggle escapes his lips, like an addict staring hungry for his fix.. And then it’s gone. Standing tall Max composes himself before continuing.

24KAEL:…that is of course unless my partners in War Games are also my friends. I mean.. I’d have to fight in War Games if I have friends on both sides. That’s not just friends at that point.. That’s family and you know, family fights. Gosh they fight. So Andy Murray.. And any future members of my War Games team..let’s be friends. Let 24KAEL into your heart and let’s stand tall as 24K. And let’s make this the Friendliest War Games in History!

He winks toward the camera, his golden smile pulling painfully across his face.

24KAEL: And speaking of friends.. Joey, Benny, I hope you’re ready cause I’m joining you at commentary for my good friends, the eGG Bandits! I’m the Goldiest, the Gold and Golden Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, Gold Supreme Gold, Gold gold of Gold, the Gold Gold, Gold.. First of my Gold, Long Gold I Gold!

Max immediately drops the microphone and quickly begins to undress in the ring, ripping his golden clothing off to reveal he is wearing an eGG Bandits shirt beneath it all and his usual wrestling gear. He scampers out of the ring and joins Joe and Benny leaving McVay and Hortega in the ring as we cut to commercial.

Odio Las Voces

Back live and we find ourselves in the familiar setting of darkness we have come to find ourselves in every week now in HOW. Like always there is a singular candle flicking at the corner of our screen, a figure slowly walks past the candle showing us his silhouette. The figure picks up the candle and raises it to his face to show that the figure is Lucian Santangel.

Lucian Santangel – I love how the light dances in the wind, a free spirit with no bonds he needs to break, no promises he needs to keep, just a single light dancing in the wind.

Lucian plays with the candle before placing it upon the wick of another slowly letting more light into the room.

Lucian Santangel – its been two weeks now since I was last in the ring for HOW. Two long weeks I have been left to collect my thoughts about how I will move forward and do I find myself closer to any answers? Maybe.

Lucian Smirks.

Lucian Santangel – Now Scott Woodson, I have heard you can be a man of your word and I hope you stick to it, you said you know the man in the photograph, you said you know my father, well it is all on you, either you get me my father in front of me, or you will be the next in line to fall at my feet.

A darker grimace appears on Lucian’s face.

Lucian Santangel – You claim that you HATE the world, however you cannot posses as much HATE in the world as I do. A man, if you want to call him that walked out on my family, he walked out on his son, he walked out on ME!

Lucian screams whilst pulling at his hair.

Lucian Santangel – Odio el Mundo….Odio el Mundo……Odio el Mundo…

Lucian starts to repeat his words over and over again.

Lucian Santangel – Don’t make me HATE you Woodson, you do not want to unleash the beast that I have inside me, we both know you would HATE if I created an idea to break your walls down, I may not be picked yet for War Games however I will damn sure you don’t get what you want if you don’t give me what I want!

Lucian lights another candle as we can see a figure tied and hooded in a chair, we are unable to see whom this person is but they are alive, shaking in the chair and letting out muffled voices from under the hood.

Lucian Santangel – Shhh, don’t worry it will be ok.

Lucian turns to the figure

Lucian Santangel – Give me what I want Woodson. Your not the only one who can bring HATE into the world. You have until the end of tonight to give me what I want!

??? – Please let me go, mister, I never meant any harm

The unknown person in a chair speaks out in an accent of Irish descent.

Lucian Santangel – You should have thought of that before you stepped foot on my land. You need to learn a lesson that you cannot just come onto a property and think its ok to stay there, to live there to eat there and make a home there no! That is not allowed. I am sick and fed up of people coming onto our land and claiming it for themselves, I can promise you can leave soon, but you won’t want to ever return.

Lucian slides out a throwing knife from his pocket and waves it in front of his face, the blade reflects the light from the candle for a second before Lucian slams the knife down through the palm of the tied figure.

?? – Holy fucking mother of christ, agh, why!

He screams.

Lucian Santangel – Feel the pain, rejoice it, become one with it, for you will be feeling more. Feel the HATE, breathe the HATE, If Woodson gives me what I want, then you are free to go, you are free to live again, you are free from the hatred. Now let me ask you, do you feel safe knowing your FATE is in the hands of another man.

Lucian smiles as he takes another knife out of his pocket.

?? – Yes mister, I feel safe…

Lucian smirks before slashing down the knife into the other hand of the figure.

Lucian Santangel – Wrong Answer.

Lucian laughs like a maniac before starting to blow the candles out leaving the room in darkness, all we can hear are the screams a man with an Irish accent being punished as well as heavy breathing.

Lucian Santangel – Tonight Woodson, I want answers tonight….

The Scene Fades…

#7 High Flyer and MJ Flair vs. #12 The eGG Bandits

We return to ringside as the crowd rumbles excitedly. Max Kael is now seen alongside Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell wearing his eGG Bandits shirt and glowing yellow eye.

Joe Hoffman: Welcome to commentary the LSD Champion Max Kael.

Max Shell: Actually for right now it’s Max Shell, Joseph, you can tell by looking at my yellow eye and clearly displayed eGG Bandit shirt, now available in all occasions where they sell eGG Bandit Merchandise.

Joe Hoffman: And where is that, exactly?

Max Shell: Everywhere, Joseph, everywhere! And you, Benjamin, are you a fan today or are what?

Benny Newell: Seated next to the Number One Draft Pick by the God of High Octane Wrestling himself, Lee Best, I’m a huge fan.. Would you like some of my Jack?

Max Shell: No, Benedict, I don’t think I will.

Benny Newell: Uh.. oh.. Um.. well..Drink?

“Bandit-Struck” by ACDC cranks to life as there is a moderate reaction for the eGG Bandits arrival! The first to appear is Cool Cancer Jiles, the Maestro of the eGG Bandits, his arms held up high before he sprays a yellow “Yoke” mist into the air, his thumb slowly cutting across his throat as he makes for an eggciting moment for his great fans. Behind him appears Zeb Martin, complete with fishing pool action.

As the fans began to chant eGGs, Jiles retrieved one from somewhere and threw it out over the audience. With a sudden snap of his fishing rod Zeb manages to shatter the air mid flight, it’s eggy goodness raining down on fans like sticky, protein rich rain. Another egg is sent high into the air only to be cut in half with Zeb’s laser fishing aim. More eggs. More yokes. More beautifully moisturized hair. It’s quite a scene.

Bryan McVay: Introducing first. At a combined weight of 464 pounds.. ZEB MARTIN AND COOL CANCER JILES, The eGGGGGGG BAAAAAANDITS!

Zeb and Jiles eventually make their way to the ring, climbing in as Jiles appears to lament that he has run out of eGGs. Zeb appears to want to keep his fishing pool but eventually Joel Hortega convinces him to leave it at the time keepers table.

Max Shell: You know in Mexico they are known as Los Eggo Banditos.

Joe Hoffman: I don’t-

Max Shell: Then don’t.

Benny Newell: HA! DRINK!

The lights in the AllState Arena dim as “Children of the Grave/Embryo” by Black Sabbath begins to slowly play. The base and drums begin to build up as the stage fills with a heavy fog. In the fog two shadows begin to appear and move forward. As the musical tension builds and the guitar rift finally rips the wall of smoke and fog blows away to reveal MJF and High Flyer as the crowd comes alive.

Bryan McVay: And their opponents, at a combined weight of 359 pounds.. MJF AND HIGH FLYER.. M… J…FLYYYY!

High Flyer keeps his eyes on the ring while MJF marches down the ramp working the crowd as she does so. As the two proceed down the ramp Eli Flair appears a few paces behind him, close enough to keep tabs on what is going on but far enough back that he isn’t taking their spotlight. Flyer smoothly jumps into the ring, the Devil’s Horns going up into the air while MJF continues to work her magic with the crowd, climbing a nearby turnbuckle posing for picture opportunities.

Joe Hoffman: These two teams are both hungry for a win with their eyes on Tag Team Gold at War Games.

Max Shell: As they should be, right now Andy Murray, a future Friend and member of my War Games Team, holds one of those Tag Team Championships with Joe Bergman, a man I’ve defeated.. So really that kind of makes me a Tag Team Champion.

Joe Hoffman: Well you can discuss that with Andy Murray and Joe Bergman.

Max Shell: You take it up with Andy Murray and Joe Bergman, coward!

Benny Newell: DRINK!

Benny takes a drink as Cancer Jiles and MJ Flair kick off the match inside the ring as Hortega calls for the bell. Outside the ring Eli Flair keeps his eyes on both Zeb and Max, staying mostly in the corner of MJF and High Flyer. Jiles and Flair circle each other before locking up in the middle of the ring. Flair uses her speed to slip out of the lock up and sweep behind Jiles for a waist lock, lifting the larger man up and dropping him down flat on his stomach.

Joe Hoffman: MJF with that pure wrestling talent, she might be smaller than Jiles giving up half a foot and nearly a full hundred points to her opponent but she’s so fast and so strong you wouldn’t know it.

Max Shell: And that is how she beats you. You know, a year ago she pinned me in War Games and cost me my High Octane Wrestling World Championship and she did it because I underestimated her. Jiles, my Friend, he can’t get caught in the trap of thinking MJF isn’t a threat because she’s small. Aids is tiny and that kills a ton of people.

Benny Newell: DRINK!

MJF continues to keep the pressure up on Jiles as she keeps him grounded with a series of arm and sleeper locks, stretching the Maestro out. He finally works him into her friendly corner where she pummels him with a series of kicks before tagging in High Flyer. Leaping over the top rope Flyer lands a drop kick square in the chest of Jiles driving the air out of him. Jiles is quick to slip out beneath the bottom rope, collapsing to the outside holding his chest.

Zeb makes his way around the ring to check on Jiles only to find Eli Flair standing between him and his partner. Both men lock eyes though Eli does eventually step aside to allow Zeb to check on a recovering Jiles.

Suddenly, and quite without warning, High Flyer lives up to his name and launches himself over the top rope landing on both Zeb and Jiles! The crowd roars with applause as Flyer jumps back up to his feet, arms in the air before both he and MJF pick up Jiles and roll him back into the ring. Flyer tags in MJF who climbs to the top turnbuckle. She sails through the air landing a massive elbow drop!

Joe Hoffman: MJF just drove the point of her elbow into Jiles heart!

Max Shell: Thankfully like all eGG Bandits he has a tough outer layer of calcium that should protect him from any harm as he grows into a mature baby.

Joe Hoffman: ..that’s a man in that ring not an egg!

Max Shell: Oh my bad.

Benny Newell: DRINK!

MJF grabs the leg!

UNO!

 

DO-

 

Jiles kicks out before the two, his face painted with surprise and frustration that he’s eaten the majority of the offense in this match so far. MFJ doesn’t let the near pinfall bother her as she focuses on attention to keeping Jiles down. Leaping to her feet and lays the boot leather to her opponent as he tries to pull himself up off the ground. MJF drags him to his feet and sends him into the ropes attempting a clothesline which Jiles manages to duck under. Putting on the breaks Jiles spins around just as MJF turns only to jam two fingers into her eyes!

Joe Hoffman: Uncalled for jab to the eyes by Jiles!

Max Shell: And what’s worse is you have no idea where those fingers have been. I have.

Joe Hoffman: I don’t want to know.

Max Shell: Neither does MJF, trust me.

Benny Newell: DRINK!

Hortega admonishes Jiles while High Flyer and Eli Flair point and yell. Jiles shrugs it off as though it was all an accident before sending a stiff kick directly into the blinded MJF’s gut followed by a cruel upward swinging knife edge chop that cuts her down. Placing a foot on the side of her head Jiles grinds his heel in while staring at High Flyer with a smirk. Flyer’s face flashes red as he attempts to jump into the ring only to be stopped by Joel Hortega. Taking advantage of the distraction Jiles grabs MJF by her hair and drags him into his corner tagging in Zeb.

Jiles grabs up MJF in a full nelson allowing Zeb to take a free, open fisted shot directly into her gut as the crowd lets out a collective “OOOO”. Flair crumbles to the ground holding her gut coughing as the air is driven out of her lungs. She manages to get her arms up though allowing her to shield her face and head from the series of pummeling fists courtesy of the Zebber. Hortega quickly jumps in threatening, in Spanish of course, to disqualify Zeb if he doesn’t leave the ring demanding Jiles get back in.

Max Shell: What the hell is Hortega tacoing about!?

Joe Hoffman: He didn’t see the tag, his back was turned!

Benny Newell: That idiot Jiles thought he was being so-

Max Kael: So what, Bentley?

Benny Newell: Uh..so brave! DEPORT HORTEGA! DRINK!

Jiles and Zeb begin to argue with Hortega who continues to argue back at them, in Spanish. It is unknown if anyone involved in the argument can understand each other but it’s the quick break MJF needs as she scrambles back to her feet, hitting the ropes before she launches herself into the air. Hortega notices the incoming MJF and bails leaving a confused Zeb and Jiles completely caught off guard as they catch a high velocity cross body!

MJF pops back up to her feet as the crowd rallies behind her. Kicking Zeb out of the ring she drags Jiles back up and drops him with a thunderous Atomic Drop. For Jiles this might have been the most devastating thing to happen. Perhaps ever. His face goes white as his eyes bug out. He slides off MJF’s knee clutching his crotch as he bites his lower lip. Jumping over him MJF tags in Flyer as the two pull Jiles up and send him into the ropes!

Flair nails a Spin Buster on Jiles followed up by a double knee drop across Jile’s face! The Maestro kicks and thrashes as he holds his face selling the brutal series of offense. Flyer gets Jiles up before sweeping behind him, his arms wrapped around his waist. Quick as a hiccup Flyer slams Jiles back in a German Suplex bridging it out..

Joe Hoffman: A pin attempt! This could be it!

 

UNO!

 

Zeb flies from across the ring breaking the pinfall before Hortega can even get the two count off.

Max Shell: Neeerp, Martin makes a marvelously moving save!

MJF flies into the ring and collides with Zeb as the two begin brawling together. Hortega struggles to keep control of the match as he tries to force the two illegal wrestlers out of the ring. Flyer, not allowing himself to get distracted, pulls Jiles up..

YOKE MIST!

Flyer had it scouted though and was able to shield his eyes! Unfortunately Jiles counters that with a gross looking throat punch that does manage to catch Flyer off guard. Clutching his throat High Flyer gasps as Jiles desperately scrambles toward his corner, tagging in the newly returned Zeb, this time with Hortega seeing it. Jiles slips outside the ring for a breather as Zeb charges in toward High Flyer laying down a series of very unscientific clubs from his arms.

He powers Flyer up into a Gutwrench suplex, releasing his opponent and sending him sailing across the ring where he crashes to the ground. Zeb turns and charges toward MJF, striking her with a forearm to knock her off the apron then turning his attention back toward Flyer. Dragging him up by his hair Zeb tosses Flyer into the ropes before nailing a huge Samoan Drop!

Joe Hoffman: Zeb is a man on fire right now!

Max Shell: Shh, don’t say that too loud, I heard his cousin died on fire in a fishing accident.

Joe Hoffman: ..on fire while fishing?

Max Shell: Yeah. Freak dynamite accidents could have happened to anyone.

Benny Newell: DRINK!

Mounting Flyer Zeb rains down a few vicious looking punches bouncing Flyer’s head off the mat a few times. Finally he relents after being chastised by Hortega and flips Flyer over locking in a heel hook. Flyer screams out in pain and thrashes around in the ring, his arms searching for the ring ropes, defiance burning in his eyes. After realizing that the heel hook, regardless of how hard he wrenches on it, will not submit Flyer he release the hold and steps over into an STF, yanking Flyer’s head back.

From the corner MJF leans out shouting encouragement along with Eli Flair while Jiles attempts to start a “Just Quit” chant to little success. Dragging his body across the ring High Flyer reaches for the ropes and with encouragement from the crowd he manages to slip his fingers over the bottom rope! Incensed that Flyer escaped Zeb releases the hold and berates Hortega.

Joe Hoffman: Zeb was ripping and tearing away at High Flyer with that STF but the resilient veteran managed to slip out!

Max Shell: I’ve been in the ring with a lot of guys and Flyer Harmen “Jack” High is by far one of the toughest. You’re not going to tap him out, not like that at least. You’re better off just beating the man to death and pinning his corpse.

Frustrated Zeb reaches down and pulls High Flyer up by his hair making several shrewd comments.

COLD SNOW!

Out of literally nowhere Flyer manages to plant Zeb with his DDT variant! Both men lay in the ring, Zeb’s eyes staring up at the rafters while Flyer slowly turns his eyes toward MJF and his corner.

Max Shell: See! Too much experience, too much age, to much calcified flesh to take down that easy. He could probably pin most people while sleeping just out of muscle memory!

Joe Hoffman: No argument here Max!

Flyer rolls and begins to drag himself over while Zeb slowly begins to blink and shake the cobwebs free. Sitting up Zeb realizes only too late that Flyer is managing his escape, scrambling toward him just as he manages to tag in MJF! The crowd is back up to their feet as the hot tag is made!

Joe Hoffman: Huge tag for MJFly as MJF is right back in the ring!

Max Shell: She’s had a rest, with her condition and training, you can bet she’s almost back to full. That’s why you can’t let these guys get these tags, as primarily singles wrestlers these two have incredible stamina, these little breaks are huge.

Joe Hoffman: That was some pretty good insight actually.

Max Shell: I’ve held every title in High Octane Wrestling, I’m an Ultra-Hall of Famer, I’m Number O..er.. Two. Ranked Number Two overall in High Octane Wrestling, when I give you advice or make an observation, Hoffman, it’s because unlike you I’ve been in there so don’t come back at me with you’re Oh that’s some pretty good insight, you needling nincompoop!

Benny Newell: DRINK!

MJF runs in with a forearms smash that takes Zeb down. Jiles charges into the ring only to also be cut down by a forearm smash! Zeb is back up to his feet, shaken but not stirred as he turns his attention toward MJF only to get met with a standing drop kick! As Jiles clamous to his feet he too is met with a big drop kick and sends him to the mat. Both eGG Bandits make a hasty retreat to the outside as MJF is left alone in the ring as the crowd cheers her on.

Jiles and Zeb seem to be conferring on the outside before MJF flies through the ropes hitting both with a suicide dive! Grabbing Zeb, MJF rolls him into the ring before leaping up onto the aporn herself. Zeb hits the ropes and charges at her only to be met with a vicious kick to the side of his head! Staggered he stumbles back as MJF launches herself over the top rope nailing a huge clothesline! Zeb staggers back once again, looking to be on dream street as MJF takes the ropes again as High Flyer gets the blind tag!

Joe Hoffman: Flyer gets the blind tag and I don’t think MJF realized it.

Max Shell: That’s one of those awarenesses you see in older, more veteran tag teams and while MJF and Flyer do have a lot of experience sometimes it’s those little things that slip by when you’re so focused on your opponent. Ebonezer, drink more.

Benny Newell: DRINK!

Flying through the air MJF nails Zeb with a flying forearm smash as High Flyer jumps in! MJF hooks the leg..

Hortega tells MJF she has to leave the ring and points at High Flyer who explains that he tagged her. The miscommunication distracts MJF as Jiles flies and hits a double clothesline of his own on Flyer and MJF! He yanks Zeb up and kicks MJF hard in the ribs sending her rolling out of the ring. Hortega begins to yell at Jiles as he drags up High Flyer though Jiles basically ignores him.

EGG CRACKER!

Zeb drives Flyer’s head into the mat as Jiles leaps between the ropes, diving into MJF! Zeb hooks the leg..

Max Shell: Oh fuck!

Joe Hoffman: Jeb drove High Flyer’s head directly into the mat with all of his weight behind him!

Max Shell: Remember when I said you had to kill that man to pin him?

 

UNO!

 

DOS!

 

TRES!

 

WINNERS: THE eGG BANDITS VIA PINFALL IN 13 MINUTES 25 SECONDS!

Zeb celebrates in the ring, worn down but victorious. Max leaves the commentary table and joins Jiles and Zeb. Jiles, winded but happy, joins Zeb in celebrating while Max offers a friendly golf clap from the corner.

Joe Hoffman: It looked like MJFly might have this one in the bag when one minor miscommunication resulted in a well deserved eGG Bandit victory here.

Benny Newell: LONG MAY THEY MAIM! DRINK!

The action cuts elsewhere as the Bandits head up the ramp celebrating their huge win.

Segment Four

We cut back to Mario Maurako, sitting in his office playing a Nintendo Switch. There’s a knock at the door, but Mario is unfazed as he’s completely immersed in his game. A few moments pass and a louder more furious knocking occurs which does grab The Godfather’s attention.

Mario Maurako: Shit… umm… come in!

The door opens and in walks Bobbinette Carey, the HOW Hall of Famer and former Tag Team Champion with Mario. Mario looks at Bobbinette and slowly stands up from his desk, unsure if he wants to smile or slap her in the face. He smiles.

Mario Maurako: Carey! So glad you could make it! How was the ride in?

Bobbinette is wearing a white “black lives matter” t-shirt with a pair of black leggins and a pink cardigan. Her once raven hair now all gray into a sloppy bun with gray curls at the sides of her ears. She has a pair of aviator sunglasses on as she holds up her index finger as she looks at her phone.

Bobbinette: Okay bobbiedolls and insta followers, this is your queen of epicness saying stay epic and stay tuned for more bc content and wrestling surprises!

She hits her phone and pushes her sunglasses on top of her head. Her smile turns to a scowl.

Bobbinette: Mario … you’re age lines aren’t as prevalent. Botox? Kidding kidding… it was…. Decent. You’re being nicer than normal. So you need me. I get it…

She says with a smile of satisfaction as she drops her phone in her purse and extends her hand to him to shake. Mario reaches his hand to shake but at the last moment pulls it back and runs it through his hair.

Mario Maurako: Psych!

Bobbinette looks angry as Mario smiles cheekily.

Mario Maurako: Former tag champs don’t shake hands. Former tag champs gotta hug!

Mario holds out his arms waiting for the embrace. Bobbinette looks suspiciously at Mario before slowly going in for a half hug, her face wrinkled in doubt. Mario wraps his arms around Bobbinette and squeezes tightly, cracking her back in the process.

Mario Maurako: Old age creeping in? No matter! I’m glad you made it in today. You see I’ve got this problem and there is nobody better to help me fix it than you!

Bobbinette: Actually, I have a mommy blog of fab forty, healthy living-

She pauses and shakes her head.

Bobbinette: I didn’t get to do my yoga. You’re glad I’m here? How bad is it if those words are coming out of your mouth, or is it early alzheimers?

She says with a half snark.

Bobbinette: What am I here to fix now? As former HOW champ, former tag champs, also former wife, and of course most important Hall of Famer, I want to make sure the legacy of HOW and the future is nourished from my metaphorical bosom of knowledge.

Mario’s face winces in metaphorical pain and quickly returns to normal as he tries to shrug off that mental image.

Mario Maurako: It’s my reigning HOW Tag Team Champions. They just aren’t clicking. Okay, that’s not very accurate. They cannot stand each other. Which got me thinking; if you and I could work together and do some of our best work ever, then maybe these two could do the same and be even better.

Bobbinette: “Your”? Lee put you in charge of the tag division?

She raises an eyebrow then shakes her head clearing her throat.

Mario Maurako: Well of course! I am The Godfather of Tag Team Wrestling. Who else was he going to ask? Paras? Ha!

Bobbinette: So it’s us but neither of them has a weird unspoken sexual tension?

Mario Maurako: What are you talking about?

Bobbinette laughs, stands up straight, and promptly gets back on topic.

Bobbinette: Okay since you helped me Mario, and since I love HOW almost as much as my own child, I will help you. But, just this one time, because I have evolved past my feelings of disgust and intolerance of you. I’m finding my own peace and will help these young men find peace with each other and within themselves.

She says bringing her hands together with her foot on her leg in a standing yoga pose.

Bobbinette: Namaste.

Mario Maurako: I’m starting to remember how painful this was.

Just then there is another knock at the door.

Mario Maurako: They’re here!!!! Quick, stand over here and when it just feels right, if you could chant Murr-Berg for me I’d appreciate it.

Mario grabs Bobbinette by the arm and drags her from her Yoga pose and places her at the far end of his desk. He then calls out to the door.

Mario Maurako: Just one second guys.

Mario then opens a desk drawer and pulls out a phone and places it on his desk. He quickly looks around to see if everything is in place. Feeling satisfied, the first time ever while I’m the presence of Bobbinette, he calls to the door.

Mario Maurako: Come on in fellas!

Mario presses the phone and “Invasion” composed by Christian Poulet and Jean-Yves Rigo starts playing from his phone as the reigning HOW Tag Team Champions Andy Murray and Joe Bergman enter a room together for the first time.

The King of Wrestling looks like he wants to punch something’s head off.

Bergman, slightly limping having survived his victorious encounter with Chris Kostoff, simply ignores Murray and goes to the opposite side of the room. He’s wearing the new PBR t-shirt with the anti-24K lettering in the back.

Mario Maurako: Carey! Your cue!

Bobbinette squints at him as she breaks her yoga pose. She looks at the two and smiles nodding her head she looks back at Mario.

Bobbinette: Don’t tell me what to do! Gentlemen welcome. As my former husband, former tag partner has said, you two hate each other, but you must work together to assure your equal success.

Mario turns the phone off in frustration as the HOW Tag Team Champions stand there, thoroughly unamused. Mario shoves the phone back in the drawer and slams the drawer shut.

Mario Maurako: Dammit Carey! You were supposed to chant!

Bobbinette: You’re not my supervisor!

She raises her voice pointing a finger at him.

Bobbinette: You don’t tell Me what to do!

Mario Maurako: I’m the fucking Godfather of this division and the leader of our team! I always tell us what to do! You’re here because I said so, for Christ’s sake!

Bobbinette: Wrong! I’m here because you couldn’t do it on your own. Because you still believe one man is an island and can do it on their own which shows you’ve learned nothing!!

Mario Maurako: You’re right, I couldn’t talk to them AND chant at the same time. You had one fucking job!

Andy Murray: Shut the FUCK up.

Across the room, Murray is massaging his temples for relief. Tonight’s t-shirt reads “MurrBerg = NOT A THING.”

Bobbinette gasps, putting her hand on her heart with a look of offense.

Andy Murray: Okay, three questions.

He raises a finger.

Andy Murray: Number one: would you two blithering idiots kindly get to the point?

And another.

Andy Murray: Number two: Why are you playing music on your phone like a teenage girl at the back of a bus?

And a third.

Andy Murray: And finally: what the hell are you supposed to be?

The King looks towards Carey.

Andy Murray: Make it snappy too, bell-ends. I’ve got an Ego Buster to kick in the dick.

Bobbinette: Wow, rude much? You don’t know your history of the company you work for? I am the queen of epicness,  HOW Hall of Famer-

Mario Maurako: Shut it. We all know who you are.

Mario cuts off Carey’s mundane re-introduction of herself before turning to the real issue at hand.

Mario Maurako: I was playing music for your guys first joint entrance. Wasn’t it just… marvelous!?

Murray rolls his eyes and suddenly a blonde bursts into the room in a black mini-skirt, black bustier with jacket, and knee high black boots. Mario scowls upon a no knocker entering his office.

Dawn McGill: Sorry I’m late. I had to fix my lipstick.

Bright red lipstick in case you’re wondering.

The former HOW LSD champion strides right over to Mario- his eyes widen as if he’s seen a ghost.

Dawn McGill: Mario Maurako.  Look at you.  Long time no see.  Ten years right!

Dawn pinches his cheek.

Dawn McGill: And your face is still so slappable.

She flashes her pearly whites and moves on before Mario can respond to greet Bobbinette Carey.

Dawn McGill: Bobbi!  So good to see you!

Bobbinette politely nods in Dawn’s direction.  Dawn glances over at a scowling Andy Murray.  She turns to Bergman and points at him.

Dawn McGill: Who’s the homeless guy?

Mario’s head flops forward and his forehead hits his desk.

Joe mouths “Andy Murray.” The King rolls his eyes and checks his watch.

Dawn McGill: Ohhhhhhh.

Murray acts as if he’s about to say something but Dawn raises her hand.

Dawn McGill: Stow it, Aquaman.  I’m just here to read a statement from Joe’s business manager and agent, Mrs. Laura Bergman.

She turns to Mario.

Dawn McGill: Unfortunately, Laura had a prior engagement in Fort Wayne, Indiana tonight and could not be here.  So since I have history here in HOW, Laura asked me to stand in for her as her proxy.

Dawn pulls out a prepared statement and reads.

Dawn McGill: Since Mr. Murray mentioned the word ‘politics’ last week in his meeting with Mario Maurako, I felt it was appropriate that Joe have representation with him tonight. And two, Joe’s made it clear that he has nothing more to say or wants anything to do with Mr. Murray going forward.  So to address the questions at hand, Joe feels that the simple introduction of ‘The tag team of Andy Murray and Joe Bergman’ will be sufficient.

As she talks, she occasionally peeks over at Murray. The Scot has already mentally checked himself out of his charade.

Dawn McGill:  Joe feels getting hung up on names and matching wrestling attire and joint finishers is just unnecessary.  Joe believes Mario’s heart is in the right place but this is just making an already touchy situation even worse.  The only thing Joe Bergman expects from Andy Murray is to act in a-

Dawn finally stops and glances at Joe disbelievingly.

Dawn McGill: Okay, really?  That’s the King of Wrestling?

Bergman nods in the affirmative.

Dawn McGill: Ehhhh.  Okay.  As I was saying . . . let’s be clear here, the only thing Joe Bergman expects from Andy Murray is to act in a professional manner when they defend the tag team title at War Games. Nothing more.  Nothing less.  And when the title run is over, Joe and Andy will go their separate ways.  The beauty of the Lethal Lottery is the possibility of this type of situation- a mix and match tag team pairing that would never take place otherwise somehow wins the tag belts.  That’s what happened here.  Nothing more. It is what it is.

Bobbinette: You’re a tag team champ and you’re a disrespectful d bag.

She motions towards Joe and then Andy.

Andy Murray: Thank you.

Bobbinette: Your names will forever be together in the history of HOW. So it is your duty to yourself, if not for each other, to actually try to work together because your name is in the history books as of now.

She says stepping in front of them using  her hands to gesticulate the point. Mario yawns and pulls the Nintendo Switch back out from his desk and returns to playing Animal Crossing.

Bobbinette: Whether you like each other or not is irrelevant,  it is what your legacy is leaving behind. Fate is a Fickle mistress and you two are teamed together. If I was able to beat Jatt Starr and Max Kael with this guy as a partner, think of what you two can do!

She points to Mario, who doesn’t notice as he’s busy selling turnips.

Bobbinette: Our names are forever linked together not just as tag partners but in the history of HOW! You see we have fought and beaten the hell out of each other. We have done so much and yet together magic happened! Even though he is a pompous, self-indulgent, self-centered, arrogant, jerk. We still made that happen! Do it for yourselves. What you will leave behind even when looks fade like Mario’s.

Mario’s ears perk up and he lowers the Switch down to his desk.

Mario Maurako: Dammit Murray, I can see why you’re so frustrated.

Mario points are Carey and Bergman.

Mario Maurako: These two are starting to suck the life from my soul. Joe, I find it very disrespectful that you would invite that in here.

Mario motions to Dawn McGill.  She blows him a kiss back in response.

Mario Maurako: And now, I can’t even muster up the energy to properly present you guys with these honorary Perfectly Marvelous suspenders.

Mario reaches under the desk and plops two sets of white suspenders on top of the desk.

Bobbinette: Are you punishing them? This is to encourage! I say we all do some cleansing meditation and 5 minutes of guided visualization to help them clear the bad air and bad vibes they have that aren’t epic…

Dawn flips a couple pages in the detailed talking points that she’s been given by Laura Bergman and responds.

Dawn McGill: First off, I love you too Mario.  And again, I think your hearts are in the right place.

The light hearted part of Dawn’s presentation ends and her voice takes on more of a combative edge to it.

Dawn McGill: But Joe Bergman has been disrespected enough by the Big Lebowski over there.  Joe tried to do the ‘right thing’ at the outset when he tried to make nice with Mr. Murray and got blown out of the water for his effort.  So Joe’s not going to make that mistake ever again. All he cares about is one thing- that Murray conducts himself in a professional manner when it comes time for them to wrestle as a tag team and defend the tag belts.  Joe feels titles matter and that is the only reason why he continues to go along with this arrangement. Period.  End of story.  That’s it.  That’s all.

Andy Murray: For the record…

Murray looks engaged for the first time since McGill opened her mouth.

Andy Murray: I didn’t catch a single word of that. Not one. You should have saved your breath, because I cannot think of a single thing I give less of a shit about than the opinions of Influencer in the Wild over there and, uhh… I dunno, you his carer or something?

He looks at Dawn while thumbing towards Bergman.

Andy Murray: I’m out. Fuckity bye.

Dawn McGill: Hey! You forgot your ‘Will Wrestle For Food’ sign!

And with that The King of Wrestling is gone, making little effort not to slam the door behind him.

Dawn turns to Mario.

Dawn McGill: That went well.

Mario dejectedly hangs his head. He then grabs one of the suspenders on his desk and holds it up.

Mario Maurako: He forgot his suspenders.

And with that we cut to a commercial break….

#6 Lindsey Troy vs. #11 Brian Hollywood

War Games Qualifying Match

We cut back from commercial break to see Benny Newell and Joe Hoffman at the announcers table.  Benny Newell has a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand as he’s chugging it down.

Joe Hoffman:  Not only is this next match a qualifier for the draft pool of War Games, but it has a lot of history behind it.

Benny Newell:  I wouldn’t call it a LOT of history. Brian Hollywood beat Lindsay Troy. End of history. Story of her life, Joe. I’m just hoping that this one gets fucking VIOLENT.

Joe Hoffman:  There’s a bit more to it than that, Benny. At Rumble at the Rock last year, the team of Dan Ryan and Lindsay Troy successfully defeated Hollywood and Darin Zion for the HOW Tag Team Championships, and I’m betting that Lindsay Troy still hasn’t forgiven Hollywood for sticking a shiv in her leg at Alcatraz.

Joe Hoffman: This is HOW, people get stabbed. Don’t be such a fucking snowflake.

The ominous opening to “My World Now” by 7kingZ blasts through the speakers as a mixed reaction from the High Octane Faithful heralds the GOD Queen of HOW to the stage. Lindsay Troy strolls out amidst a shower of pyro and cannon blasts, the picture of confidence, not a single fuck to be had.

She takes a moment to bask in the ovation and the pyro, then makes her way down the ramp as spotlights follow her path. Troy keeps her eyes focused on the ring, waving her hand dismissively at any fans who hurl insults in her direction. At the bottom of the ramp, she hops flat-footed onto the apron, slips between the ropes, and saunters over to a corner to scale the turnbuckles and pose a bit before the match begins.

Benny Newell: I love that look in her eyes, Joe. DESPERATION. That’s how I like all my women, to be honest.

Joe Hoffman:  Desperation goes both ways, Benny. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be in the ring with Lindsay Troy tonight– this is her chance to become eligible for War Games and get back on track. Being her opponent is a dangerous proposition.

“Stronger on your Own” by Disturbed blares over the PA.  Hollywood slowly walks from the back and takes center stage as he stands there for a few brief moments, closing his eyes.  He 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.  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 pumping the fans up before he takes his place in the corner turnbuckle before turning his gaze to Lindsay Troy.  Both stare each other down as Matt Boettcher makes his way down to ringside.  As they both glare, Hollywood is the first person to movet, extending his hand out for Lindsay Troy.

Joe Hoffman:  A solid gesture from what we’re told is a “new” Brian Hollywood. A good old fashioned showing of sportsmanship here to start this one off.

Benny Newell:  Oh my GOD who cares. Seriously. She should just fucking headbutt him.

SMACK

From out of nowhere, Lindsay Troy jams a vicious headbutt straight to the bridge of Hollywood’s nose, just as Boettcher is calling for the opening bell!

DING DING DING

Benny Newell:  OH MY GOD AM I MAGIC NOW?

Joe Hoffman:  For the love of everything holy, I hope that you are not..

Benny doesn’t get his wish, but Hollywood’s face turns red as he drops his hands from his nose.  Troy starts charging towards Hollywood, but she meets the end of a big boot from Hollywood.  Hollywood begins stomping straight at before missing a leg drop as Troy rolls out of the way.   Troy shoots Hollywood a glare before picking him up and hitting a Cobra Clutch leg sweep bringing him back down to the mat. She locks in the Divine Right on the back of Hollywood’s neck.  Hollywood inches close towards the ropes before grabbing them for a rope break.

Joe Hoffman:  You can’t underestimate Brian Hollywood’s determination.  He’s been in multiple War Games matches.  He was left out of last year’s games.  He’s hungry to return.  While he’s just taken a loss of his own last week:  he wants to prove he’s worth betting on.

Hollywood rolls towards the outside of the ring.  But Troy is having none of it!  Troy rushes at him and nails a baseball slide right into the side of his ribs sending Hollywood flying towards the outside of the ring.    Hollywood pulls himself back up, but Troy comes at him with the Baseball Slide Headscissors, sending him face first into the barricade on the outside.  Troy picks Hollywood up, but Hollywood sends her face first into the barricade.  Hollywood walks up to Troy and lands a stiff knife edge chop against her chest.  This pisses her off and she unleashes a fury of stiff chops right back on him.  He kicks her in the gut and hits a stiff DDT onto the mat.  He picks her up, but she elbows him straight into the gut.  Hollywood walks off before walking up to her and exchanging stiff punch after stiff punch with Troy.  As the intensity of the punches keep coming both competitors hear Boettcher’s count.

 

EIGHT!

 

NINE!

 

TEEEEE…

 

Both Troy and Hollywood slide into the ring to beat the count.  Hollywood doesn’t hesitate and rushes towards Troy with a stiff Clothesline from Hell sending Lindsay into the corner.  Hollywood rushes back lands a Danger Zone kick straight to the jaw of Troy.

Joe Hoffman:  DANGER ZONE KICK HEARD ROUND THE WORLD!  Hollywood covers Troy!

 

 

ONE!

 

 

TWO!

 

Joe Hoffman: NO! KICKOUT!

Benny Newell:  Maybe if Hollywood would have attended the classes at SIX TIME ACADEMY instead of whatever bootleg school he’s been going to, he’d have gotten the three.

The crowd is exploding with excitement from the intensity of both combatants tonight.  Troy’s eyes light up as she pulls herself off the mat.  Hollywood charges at her with another kick, but she rolls out of the way as Hollywood collides with the corner turnbuckle.  Lindsay Troy starts laying in her MMA strikes straight into Hollywood ribs and face more, wearing him down.  She elbows Hollywood straight in the bridge of his nose taking him down.    She pulls Hollywood up to lock him in the Vertical Muta Lock.  Hollywood is struggling towards the ropes, but every time Hollywood struggles, she locks the move in more.  He fades away and Boettcher comes over to grab his hand.

 

THUD!

 

THUD!

 

Hollywood wakes up and starts to wave his hand as the crowd claps along with him.  He pulls both him and Troy back up and hits a reverse neckbreaker.  Hollywood kips up and climbs to the second turnbuckle and he hits a quick elbow drop right to Lindsay’s gut.  Hollywood rushes to the corner as Lindsay pulls herself off the mat.  Hollywood nails her stiff in the gut with a spear.  Hollywood motions for the Basic Instinct.

Joe Hoffman:  Hollywood’s trusting his own Basic Instincts without Ventura in his corner tonight.

SPLAT!

Troy lifts Hollywood and flips him behind her causing him to crash against the ground.

Benny Newell: Oh man, Basic Instinct. Remember when Sharon Stone showed her pu–

Joe Hoffman: Benny.

Lindsay Troy rushes to hit the Impact DDT on Hollywood, but he slams her down with a Northern Lights Suplex.   Hollywood picks Lindsay Troy up for a German Suplex, but she lands on her feet.  As Hollywood climbs back to his feet, Lindsay nails him in the ears with a stiff Muy Thai Kick.  Troy picks Hollywood up and hits the Spinning Fisherman’s Suplex right on the back of Hollywood’s head.  He grabs his head as she gets towards the ground and locks in the Sacer Esto.  She has the hold on him for a while before Hollywood grabs the hold and Boettcher goes for the fast count with the rope break.  Lindsay gets in his face and gets on him for his mistake, but is met with an unannounced Executive Promise from Brian Hollywood.  He covers her.

Joe Hoffman:  The entire Allstate Arena felt that kick to her jaw.

Benny Newell:  HAAAAAAA! YOU LOST TO BRIAN HOLLYWOOD AGAIN

 

ONE!

 

TWO!

 

TH…

 

Benny Newell:  GODDAMNIT STOP KICKING OUT!

The crowd is going nuts for this stiffness in this match.  Hollywood gets frustrated in corner as he just can’t put Lindsay down in this match.  He picks Troy up and just glares as he picks her up for a Paper Cut.  Troy pushes Hollywood and he collides chin first with the turnbuckle and without hesitation Troy rushes back to nail Hollywood with Raynes of Castamere with brute force in his chin.    Troy pulls Hollywood straight in the center of the ring and locks in the Keys to the Kingdom on Hollywood, completely cutting him off. Boettcher raises up Hollywood’s hand as the crowd cheers him on.

 

THUD!

 

The crowd tries to rally for Hollywood as Boettcher picks his hand up and raises it in the air.

Joe Hoffman:  War Games is on the line, Hollywood!  You need this win!

Benny Newell: No one is drafting him, Joe.

 

THUD!

 

Hollywood’s face slowly starts turning brighter and brighter red as Troy tightens the lock further in.  Boettcher raises Hollywood’s hand up in the air.   It feels like forever….

 

THUD!

 

DING DING DING

Bryan McVay:  Here’s the winner via submission…and qualifier for War Games:   LIIIIIIIIIINDDDDSAY TROOOOOOOOOOY!!!!!!!

Joe Hoffman:  A hard fought win for Lindsay Troy, who is now OFFICIALLY qualified to be drafted for HOW War Games on Ju–

Before Joe can even finish making the announcement, the HOV cuts backstage in the Allstate Arena— instead of showing a view of the ring, we see the smiling face of HOW ICON Champion and War Games Captain Michael Lee Best.

Sitting on a couch in the Group of Death locker room, Michael proudly wears the ICON Championship over his shoulder.

Mike Best: Her. I pick her.

He points at the lens of the camera, giving the effect in the arena that he’s a giant pointing down at the ring. There is some sporadic laughter from an otherwise cheering crowd, because there is absolutely no drama in his voice as he says it.

Mike Best: Lindsay Troy is my final draft pick. Better luck next year to those who didn’t make it. My feedback? You should have been in the Group of Death. Because that’s who I drafted. You know… just like I said I would.

He gives a half hearted salute to the camera.

Mike Best: Oh, and fuck Andy Murray.

The salute becomes a middle finger, before Michael reaches forward and shuts the camera off. The HOV goes black, as we continue with tonight’s show.

 

HATE

Cutting back to the office of the COO of HOW, we see Scott Woodson sitting behind his desk, staring at what is sitting across from him.  It is not a man.  It is not a wrestler.  It is a monster of HATE.

IT IS RICK.

It’s been a transformative week for HATE.  Love has been lost and HATE has taken over what is sitting before Woodson.  The only thing ridiculous is the HATE that now flows through the veins of the monster that Doctor… I mean Scott Woodson has created.

Scott Woodson: RICK IS ALIVE!

Woodson Smiles as RICK just continues to stare a hole through him.

Scott Woodson: You destroyed a reinforced cage and John Hitchin this week… and cut that leech Matt Klazzic out of your life.  The eighties are dead… and the monster you have always been has emerged.  A sick fucking monster who is going to fucking destroy some Hollywood shits tonight.

Walking over to the desk is Hughie Freeman, as RICK turns his slowly to the man that literally took a piss on him this week.

Hughie Freeman: Listen mate, all good in the caravan park here. I only did that shit outta HATE for ya man. I needed Frankenstein outta his coma, fella.

Freeman slaps RICK on his chest and you can see his eyes enlarge as Woodson stands up from his desk and tries to calm RICK down.

Scott Woodson: Easy… save it for the Bruvs.  Cause it’s not going to be an easy fight tonight.  These guys have come into HOW with their 24K buddies and tried to take over… and done a pretty good fucking job at it.  Meanwhile, the HATE switch has just been flipped on RICK here… and my last piece hopefully falls into place tonight.  So while we might not be the wannabe Hollywood oiled up machine like Mikey and Kendrick are… we still need to prove why there needs to be HATE in that Tag Team Title match at War Games.

Hughie Freeman: Put us in there, Woody. You’re the big cheese in HOW. You’re the COO, now.

Scott Woodson: Lee gave Mario control of the tag team division… and with my useless forty-nine percent, he’ll veto anything he doesn’t like.  But trust me… after tonight… there will be no question that HATE belongs in that match.

RICK: RRRIIIICCKKK!

Scott Woodson: Yes Rick!  Tonight the chains come off.  HItchin is out after what you did to him… and Damien is taking care of some arrangements for tomorrow.  So tonight my barbed wire hockey stick and I will be at ringside to watch your backs.  Make sure 24k doesn’t pull any shit like they did at March to Glory.

Hughie Freeman: Feck em up good, here now. Make em bleed like Mylee.

Scott Woodson: Trust me… won’t take much to spill some golden blood on the mat tonight.  I just hope one of those fuckers gives me the chance to get a shred of retribution…

Suddenly a figure walks into the office as Woodson’s attention immediately snaps to him.  That figure is the masked carnie cunt, Lucian Santangel.

Scott Woodson: Hughie, take RICK and get ready for your match.  I’ll meet ya near the stage in a few.

Hughie Freeman: Ya sure ya good dere boss?

Scott Woodson: Oh ya, me and Lucian have some business to take care of.

Hughie pats RICK on the shoulder, as the Monster of HATE gets up from his chair and stares back at Hughie for a moment, debating whether to try ripping his face off…or follow him.  He selects the latter for now as he starts to follow Hughie out of the office.

Lucian Santangel: Do you have what I want Woodson?  Where is my father?

Scott Woodson: Or what Lucian?  You’re gonna fucking kill some fuck I could care less about that you have tied up to a chair?  You’re gonna come after me?

Lucian Santangel: Don’t fuck with me Wood…

Scott Woodson: First… you will learn just who the fuck I am!  Since it seems you have no fucking clue about anyone in this business that you have blindly followed your father’s footsteps into.  Because while I might sit behind this desk and have some bullshit empty corporate title in HOW… I am no longer concerned about the paperwork that will pile up by dropping your fucking ass right here on the floor.  I’ve done more fucked up shit here in HOW… in this whole business than you have ever dreamt of in your little carney freak show.  Something you would have known had you done an ounce of research before waltzing in here with your fucking candles and trying to make Blaire piss her fucking panties.  So we can stand here and play who is more fucked up in the head… and trust me, I’ll win that game… or we can take care of business.  Because while you Lucian can’t hold a fucking candle to what I have done… you have one hell of a potential to do so much more.  You just need the right person to help you channel that HATE.

Lucian’s head barely moves as he just stares through his mask back at Woodson, surly boiling with anger at the COO.

Scott Woodson: Now we both have something that the other wants.  You want to get your hands on the man in the photo.  I want another crazy cunt in HATE.  So I found the man you’re looking for… found him under whatever rock he has crawled under since he has left HOW.

Lucian Santangel: So he is here tonight?

Scott Woodson: Here?  In an HOW arena?  Well he certainly wanted to get one more shot in the HOW limelight.  But no.  He’s not here.  Lee Best would never for a moment let him step foot back in HOW.  Plus there are others who would burn this place to the ground to get their hands on him.  You think he has just wrong you?

Lucian Santangel: So where the fuck is he?

Scott Woodson: He’s here in Chicago… and he still wants one last moment… one last match.  So tomorrow night he has agreed to fight you, here at the Allstate Arena in a special episode of Sunday Night Eternal Storm.  If you win… if you can beat him… he said he will give you all the answers he wants.

Lucian Santangel: Finally I will….

Scott Woodson: But… if he wins.  If he beats you, then he wants that mask.  He wants to reveal you to everyone.  He wants to kill Lucian Santangel… and trust me, it wouldn’t be the first child he has killed.

Lucian Santangel: He wants to reveal me?  How about you reveal who he is?  Who is my father?

Scott Woodson: I find it interesting you seem to want to pick a fight with Chris Kostoff.  Because the man in that photo did about the worst thing someone could ever do to another man.  He attacked his child.  September 22nd, 2008.  A stroller, pushed off the HOW stage by his hand.

The picture is starting to become more clear, especially for those in tune with their HOW history.  Lucian though still just stares at Woodson, waiting for him to get to the answer he has been searching for his entire life.

Scott Woodson: Now the funny thing… and you have to find humor in every situation, is that Kostoff hired that man to do this.  He thought the baby was Lee Best’s.  He thought Lee Best had impregnated his wife Barbi and spawned another son of GOD.  You talk about fucked up in the head.  Now that is a man that gave me a good run for my money in the game of who is more fucked up in the head.

Woodson looks back behind him at the picture hanging on his office wall from ICONIC 2008… his House of Pain match against Kostoff for the LSD Title.  Fond memories.

Scott Woodson: Now comes the twist you can all guess… or remember if you have seen it back on HOTv.  The child was Kostoff’s own.  No Best DNA.  Maybe there wasn’t even any affair… or maybe there was.  I have no idea who Barbi was screwing back then.  But Kostoff hired him to attack his own child.  Now you might think Kostoff would blame himself for this.  And maybe he does… but I’m sure he blames this man much more.

Lucian Santangel: Enough of the history lesson.  His name.

Scott Woodson: The man in that photo… the man you have been searching for.  The man you will face tomorrow night.  He is the co-founder of HATE… he is Juvian Ramorez.

Lucian nods his head… having no idea what that name means.  But he has a name.  He has the start of the answers he has been searching for.  Let the games begin.  Sunday Night Eternal Storm… the son Lucian Santangel vs the father Juvian Ramorez.

We cut to commercial as the crowd is buzzing with the reveal..

WAR GAMES MAIN EVENT FOR THE WORLD, ICON & LSD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Captain Michael Lee Best©, Farthington©, Dan Ryan, Lindsey Troy vs. Max Kael©, Andy Murray©, ??, ??

WAR GAMES MATCH FOR THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The eGG Bandits vs. The Hollywood Bruvs vs. ?? vs Joe Bergman and Andy Murray©

WAR GAMES MAIN EVENT DRAFT POOL QUALIFIERS
High Flyer, MJ Flair, Mikey Unlikely, Jessie Kendrix, Doozer, Cancer Jiles, Zeb Martin, Bobby Dean, Lucian Santangel, Perfection, Joe Bergman©

#2 Hollywood Bruvs vs. #6 HATE (Hughie Freeman and Rick Dickulous)

Joe Hoffman: Welcome back to Refueled as we are now ready for some tag team action as Mikey Unlikely and Jesse Kendrix of the Hollywood Bruvs take on Hughie Freeman and RICK of…

Benny Newell: HATE!!!!!

Joe Hoffman: Yes, HATE, whom it seems has a new member in Lucian Santangel after we found out that he will father, former HOW wrestler Juvian Ramorez tomorrow night.  We also learned that Rick Dickulous has dropped the last name and is now simply just going by…

Benny Newell: RICK!!!!

Joe Hoffman:
The Hollywood Bruvs meanwhile have punched their ticket into the HOW Tag Team Title match at War Games along with The eGG Bandits, as they try to take the titles away from their 24K stablemate Andy Murray and his odd couple, lethal lottery forced partner Joe Bergman.

Benny Newell: Someone from 24K is walking out with gold from that match Joe.  End of story.

“Well you go to hell!”

 

The opening riff of “Fucking in the Bushes” by Oasis begins to blare over the speaker system as out from the backstage area march Kendrix and Mikey Unlikely to a less than welcome ovation from the Chicago faithful. The Bruvs stand atop the ramp and play the proper homage to the 24K Box over in Section 111.

Joe Hoffman: This will be an interesting match for the fans Benny, as neither team is going to get a warm reaction from the Chicago fans.

Bryan McVay: The following tag team match is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, at a combined weight of 448 pounds, THE HOLLYWOOD BRUVS, MIIIIIIKEY UNLIIIIKELY AND JEEEESSE KEEEENDRIX!

The spotlight on the stage follow the duo as they walk down to the ring both wearing the latest Hollywood Bruvs t-shirts

Joe Hoffman: You buy your Hollywood Bruvs shirt yet Benny?

Benny Newell: Do you think I pay for anything Joe?  Merch, Jack, Hookers… Fuck no!

“HATE by Design” by Killswitch Engage hits as the boos continue, but this time for the next team as they make their way onto the stage.

Bryan McVay: And their opponents, weighing in at 640 pounds, Being accompanied by the COO of HOW, Scott Woodson… HATE!!!! HUUUUUGHIEEEE FREEEEEMAN AND RIIIIIIIIIICK!

Led by Woodson and his barbed wire hockey stick, RICK and Freeman make their way down the ramp.  Focused on the Bruvs as they reach the ring, RICK heads right and Freeman heads left as Woodson grabs the ropes and pulls himself up onto the apron.  Freeman and RICK climb the steps as they walk down the apron, encircling the Bruvs in the ring.

Joe Hoffman: HATE looking to soften up the bruvs before the match begins?

Hortega tells Woodson to get out of the ring at the Corporate Artist lifts his barbed wire hockey stick in the air as the Bruvs don’t back down until Woodson smiles and drops off the apron…

Joe Hoffman: HATE attacks!!!

As Woodson starts walking around to the announce table, RICK and Freeman jump Unlikely and Kendrix, hammering away on them both with climbing blows as Hortega tries to get control and separate the two teams.

Scott Woodson: Ring the bell!  This match has started and will be contested under tornado rules!

DING DING DING

Joe Hoffman: Can he do that?

Benny Newell: He’s the COO Joe… So unless Lee comes out here and overrules him… yes, yes he can.  He can also join us on commentary.

Scott Woodson: Thanks Benny.  I heard that people wanna tap out listening to my voice, so thought I’d help my soldiers out tonight.

RICK overpowers Mikey and easily is able to throw the man nearly half his size out of the ring which leaves him and Freeman to double team Kendrix in the corner.  Freeman works him over with body shots as RICK chokes him out with a boot to the throat.  Hortega gets to a four count as RICK pulls Krendix out of the corner and the two nail him with a big double clothesline.  RICK goes for the quick cover but Mikey flies back in and drives a knee into the head of RICK.

But as Mikey stands back up he catches a big boot from Freeman which sends Mikey now reeling into the shoulder.  Freeman connects with a running shoulder to the gut of Mikey and he unloads with a barrage of body shots until Hortega breaks it up with a near five count.  Freeman backs up for a moment, but then comes back and drills Mikey with a hard jab to the jaw.

Scott Woodson: Freeman lighting him up with those shots from those hammers.  Easily the best striker HOW has seen in some time.

Joe Hoffman: In your biased opinion of course.

Scott Woodson: I welcome you to take a punch from him Joe.  See how well you fare.

Joe Hoffman: No thanks, I think I’m good.

Scott Woodson: No…. we’ll set it up after the show.  See how badly he can break that jaw of yours.

Hortega backs Freeman up as he turns around straight into a knee from Kendrix that sends Freeman through the ropes and landing hard on the outside.  Kendrix helps Mikey out of the corner as the two men start double teaming RICK with stomps as RICK tries to get himself back to his feet.  RICK pushes both men back for a moment and regains his footing, but the Bruvs fire back with a double boot to the gut as they throw RICK into the ropes.  RICK comes back and drills both Bruvs with a clothesline

Scott Woodson: RICK!!!!

Benny Newell: RICK!!!!!

Scott Woodson: The monster has been released Joe!

Joe Hoffman: I can’t argue he’s looking impressive Wodoson.

Mikey stands back up and gets clubbed in the head but RICK and Krendirx meets a big boot that sends him into the ropes, but Mikey comes back with a chop block to the back of RICK’s leg as Kendrix comes off the ropes with another knee to the face of RICK.  Freeman slides back into the ring and catches Kendrix with a boot to the gut and a Dangerous DDT.  Freeman charges Mikey but Unlikely sidesteps and throws Freeman straight into the ring post.  RICK shakes off the knee as Kendrix climbs back to his feet and RICK tackles him through the ropes and both men fall to the outside.  With Freeman in the post Mikey quickly grabs him for a rollup pin as Hortega makes the count.

UNO…….

 

DOS………………

 

Joe Hoffman: Tights by Unlikely!

THREE……………………

Scott Woodson: You blind fuck Hortega!

Joe Hoffman: Freeman just kicks out!

RICK throws Kendrix into the corner of the barricade as he charges after and puts himself through the barricade as Kendrix rolls out of the way at the last second.  A few fans just barely miss getting taken out as the barricade is nearly bent in two and hurls some ten feet.  With RICK dazed, Kendrix hits a bulldog on RICK and then locks him into the crossface submission.

Joe Hoffman: Kendrix Kross locked in… but they are outside the ring.  If RICK taps it doesn’t count.

Benny Newell: Yes, but he’s wearing down RICK!!!!! And keeping him away from Freeman.

In the ring Mikey argues with Hortega for a moment before turning back to Freeman and pulling him up to his feet.  He launches Freeman into the ropes and goes for the big lariat.

Joe Hoffman: GTR!!!!

Scott Woodson: NO!  Fatality Punch!

Freeman lays out Mikey with a huge punch that sends Unlikely off his feet and slamming down hard to the mat.  Freeman quickly scrambles over and grabs the leg of Mikey for the cover.

UNO……..

 

DOS……………

 

TRES………………………

 

Joe Hoffman: Save by Kendrix!!!!

Releasing the Krossface as Freeman lands the punch, Kendrix is able to just grab the leg of Freeman and pull him out of the ring.

Joe Hoffman: The Bellend!

Kendrix lands the double knees to the face as  Freeman is now laid out, but again he is not in the ring.  Pulling the pikey back up to his feet Kendrix goes to throw Freeman in the ring but a giant hand wraps around his throat.  RICK has a hold of Kendrix as he throws him hard into the steel steps, sending the top part flying.

Scott Woodson: Now get back in there and pin Mikey someone!

Freeman shakes his head and collects himself as he rolls back into the ring while Mikey is getting back to his feet.  Freeman goes for another knockout blow but he’s still a bit dazed, the half second is all Mikey needs to duck a second Fatality Punch and connect with a german suplex on Freeman.  Outside the ring RICK has pulled Kendrix up by his beard before lifting him up onto his shoulders.

Scott Woodson: Destroy him RICK!  Fucking kill him!

RICK can hear his orders as he drops Kendrix straight down onto the bottom section of the now exposed steel steps with a thunderous powerbomb that echoes through the arena.

Scott Woodson: H-BOMB!

Joe Hoffman: That may have just destroyed the spine and back of Jesse Kendrixs!

Benny Newell: I hope they have a good chiropractor in their suite later.

Mikey is looking to put Freeman in The Backstory, but he sees RICK climbing up onto the apron to come after him, so he charges full speed at the monster and delivers a well placed dropkick to the knees to RICK.  The big loses his footing and falls straight down, catching his chin on the ring apron.

Joe Hoffman: All 425 pounds pulling RICK down straight into the ring apron, he might wanna check his teeth after that!

Seeing his opening with RICK neutralized, Mikey charges at Freeman who is climbing back to his feet.

Benny Newell: Clothesline!

Joe Hoffman: Backbreak… GTR!

Scott Woodson: For fuck sakes!

Joe Hoffman: Cover by Unlikely!

UNO…………………

 

Woodson stands up from the announce table with hockey stick in hand….

 

DOS…………………………………….

 

TRES………………………………………….

 

DING DING DING

Woodson slams the hockey stick on the announce table in frustration as Mikey quickly rolls out of the ring to check on Kendrix.  Leaving the announce table, Woodson takes aim at Mikey who quickly grabs the top section of the steel steps to defend himself and Kendrix.

Bryan McVay: The winners of this match, Mikey Unlikey and Jesse Kendrix…. THE HOLLYWOOOOOD BRUVS!!!!

Kendrix starts to pull himself to his feet as Mikey stands guard, keeping an eye out for the other two members of HATE as they start to stir at ringside.

Joe Hoffman: A hard fought, fast passed tornado tag team match here tonight as HATE puts up a strong effort, but it just wasn’t enough against the well oiled machine of Unlikely and Kendrix.

Benny Newell: What is likely is that these guys will be the favorites come War Games.  See what I did there?

Joe Hoffman: You could be right… but who will get that fourth spot?  HATE now one and one, with a win over The eGG Bandits last week and a strong showing here.  Will Mario add them, or does he have someone else in mind?

With Kendrix back to his feet, they start to back away from the ring and head to the stage as Mikey finally tosses the ring steps away as they raise their arms in victory while Woodson regroups with RICK and Freeman outside the ring.  Woodson staring a hole almost through the Bruvs as they continue to celebrate their victory as we cut away to backstage.

Segment 7

We cut to the backstage area of the Allstate arena when suddenly hear in the background:

Brian Hollywood:  What in God’s green…

*SMASH!  CLANG!  SMASH*

Echoing clashes and clangs bellow through this empty portion of the All State Arena.  Meredith rushes away from the scene in a flash as the cameras turn and we see Darin Matthews standing on his two feet out of the wheel chair.  He is sadistically laughing uncontrollably.  No bandages!  No traumatic brain injury!   He’s in perfect health.  He’s carrying a lead pipe in his hands, lifting it up and smashing it against the ground forcefully each passing moment.  He cracks his neck a few times before he lifts Brian Hollywood up by his hair.  Blood is rolling down his face.  Hollywood can barely keep his eyes open as the swelling grows.  Matthews locks eyes with the disoriented Hollywood as he continues to pick apart his best friend.

Darin Matthews:  Not my true self?  NOT MY TRUE SELF!  You still have a lot to learn about me after all these years.  Not like you ever gave two shits about me.  You only saw me as a stepping stone for the past 15 years.  Remember?!

WHAM! 

Matthews drives the lead pipe straight into Hollywood’s ribs.   He picks Hollywood’s lifeless body up and throws it in the wheel chair as he wraps the pipe around Hollywood’s injured neck from earlier, cutting his air supply off.  Matthews steps right behind him and screams loudly with his eyes almost bulging out of his head.

Darin Matthews:  REMEMBER!!!!  HOW once adored me.  I outshined you in every aspect.  I kept winning singles championships left and right when I first walked into these doors.  I wrestled TWO WARS GAMES MATCHES IN ONE NIGHT.  I brought Broadwalk to its knees.  I won War Games for HOW.  I did what it took to put HOW first even if it meant you got in the way.  They strapped the rocket to my back and showed respect for my illustrious career.  I was their hero.  Not you!  You didn’t like that!

WHAM!

Matthews smashes the lead pipe against the back of Hollywood’s skull.   While Hollywood is screaming out in agonizing pain, Matthews smashes Hollywood the pipe into Hollywood’s ribs a couple more times.  He sits on top of Hollywood’s back, wrapping the pipe around his chin again.  Matthews sneers before chuckling more as he watches Hollywood suffering.

Darin Matthews:  Isn’t it funny how I faked an injury too and caught you off guard unexpectedly?  I didn’t have to wait for months like you.   And what did that get you?  One empty kick?  Months of politicking and schmoozing like you’ve always done with any boss to get ahead of MY work ethic.  Leeching off my work horse attitude and my talents.  Talents you never had when we went to wrestling school.

Matthews stands up to pace around Hollywood, watching his former best friend struggle to get back to his feet defiantly.    Matthews always admired that spunk in Hollywood.  But today, he basks in the glory watching his friend suffering, trying to save himself on his own terms.  It once reminded him of the tenacity he showed.

Darin Matthews:  The jig is up, Hollywood!  Everyone sees you now!  You’re exposed.  You’re weak.  You’re the repugnant corporate leech who kissed ass to his World Championship victory.  You used HOW for your gains.    You used me for those gains.  I never had to do that at ANY time during my career!  I prospered without you, Hollywood.

WHAM!  WHAM!  WHAM! 

Darin Matthews:  A few deals here, a few deals there:  and presto change-o!  I transformed my career overnight.  I shed the façade of Zion.  I became my true self. I never struggled with this transformation like you did.   I embraced who I am deep inside.  I’m a 23-time wrestling champion.  I never needed to lean on any of my friends to do it.  I worked my ass off from the bottom up and didn’t have grandpa’s money to protect me.  I bled, I sweat, and I cried to earn every single one of my accomplishments myself.  I’m the hero.  I climbed out of the slums and built an empire from the ground up.  I needed to move on from the pity parties.  I needed to grow the spine I desperately lacked all these years.  I needed to do what was it you used to say….

SMASH! 

Matthews catches Hollywood straight across the forehead and he falls to the ground.  Hollywood is limp from all the trauma he’s taken from Matthews and Lindsay Troy this evening.

Darin Matthews:  Ah yes!  Burn my past!  Leave it behind.  But go ahead there:  Brian James Thomas.  Continue to tell me I’m not the real deal.  Tell me I need to ‘embrace the inner Zion.’  Try and put those shackles back on me.   Makes you look, good right?  Tell yourself more lies.  Live in the past you swore to burn, Hollywood.  Expose to the world who YOU really are.

Matthews lodges the lead pipe straight into Hollywood’s trachea and tees Hollywood’s head into position.  Slowly Matthews’ smile curves from ear to ear like evilly like a mad scientist.  Justice was his for once.

Darin Matthews:  You’re nothing more than a fraud!  I Repeating the same empty bullshit phrases about sacrificing your fortune to redeem yourself.  Ramble over and over about your “Basic Instincts.” Telling us to eat our vitamins, say your prayers, and just keep fighting when you don’t believe in any of that bullshit you spout.   You still struggle to hold it together, showing that greed in your eyes every time you relapse to your old ways in that ring.  Well tonight…

Matthews lifts Hollywood’s head into the placing his foot straight on the back of Hollywood’s head.  Without hesitation, Matthews smashes his foot down full force and:

WHAM!  CLANK! 

Hollywood goes throat first into the pipe.  He grabs his thorat and flops around as the pain shoots down his entire body.

Darin Matthews:  You pay for those transgressions.   Your True Wrestling Role Model and Tyrant of the Territories does not accept your offer of ‘redemption’ Hollywood. I will continue to be the bane of your disrespectful career to the industry I love until I get the recognition I DESERVE.  And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  Come on, Meredith!  Time to let the HOW medical staff take out the trash.

Matthews places the bandage on top of his head as Meredith comes running back with the wheel chair.  Matthews continues to sell his fake injury as Meredith yells for help for Hollywood.  The cameras pan to Hollywood laying injured as the scene cuts back to the announce team.

Segment 8

Joe Hoffman: All right ladies and gentlemen, our main event, a 24K versus Group of Death battle between 24K’s Andy Murray and Dan Ryan from the Group of Death is coming up in just a few minutes.  This is going to be a clash of two titans in not just High Octane Wrestling but the entire wrestling industry.

Benny Newell: Lee chose him for his War Games team for a good reason Hoffman.  He’s the KING of Wrestling.

Joe Hoffman: Yes, but Dan Ryan has been eyeing this match against Murray and you know he’s going to come out with one thing in mind- to defeat Murray.

Benny Newell: Doesn’t matter.  King of Wrestling.

Joe Hoffman: I don’t follow.

Benny Newell: Andy Murray is wrestling royalty.  Dan Ryan is not.

Joe Hoffman: I still don’t follow.

Benny Newell: Lee chose the King for his War Games team and that’s all I need to know.  And besides, Murray’s managed to drag Joe Bergman along the King’s coattails.  Bergman’s a tag team champion thanks to Murray and he’s been nothing but ungrateful.

Joe Hoffman: Speaking of Bergman, I’d be curious to see how Section 214 will react to this upcoming match.

Benny Newell: I’m not.  And Jesus, don’t put the cameras on them.

But against Benny’s wishes, the camera cuts to Section 214 where we find the section . . . pretty much empty?

Benny Newell: What the fuck?

There’s a smattering of people there, but the rest- gone.

Joe Hoffman: Where’d everyone go?

Cut to outside the Allstate Arena where there’s a full blown tailgate party going on in the parking lot.

Hardy’s ‘Rednecker’ blares from a pair of speakers.  Everyone inside the roped off area surrounding an old school 1960 Chevrolet C10 Pickup with a short bed in the back and a state of the art grill inside belts out the chorus of the song.

My town’s smaller than your town
And I got a bigger buck and bass on my wall
I got a little more kick in my drawl
Y’all I got little more spit in my chaw

Lots of beer cans gets raised up in the air at this point.

And my truck’s louder than your truck
And my collar’s a little more blue
You might think that you’re redneck
But I’m rednecker than you . . . yes I am!

And in the middle of the madness?  Blaire Moise.

Blaire Moise: Hey Joe and Benny.  Blaire Moise here. Yeah, um.  Joe Bergman is throwing a big party out here to thank his fans for their support.  As you know, Joe believes it’s very important to always cultivate and take care of his fans and that’s why he’s doing this.  Lots of merch out here that’s flying out of the boxes.  And Bergman and Barbie Q are grilling and serving food provided by the Allstate Arena.

Blaire is handed a sizzling hot burger by Barbie Q herself.

Blaire Moise: Thanks Barbie!

Barbie Q smiles at the camera and goes back to work.

Blaire faces the camera.

Blaire Moise: We’re just having a blast out here.  So, back to you guys!

Cut to Joe and Benny.  Benny’s not amused.

Benny Newell: This is so disrespectful.  First Bergman brings that bitch Dawn McGill here and she goes out of her way to insult the King of Wrestling in Mario’s office.   Then Joe Bergman goes AWOL during his partner’s match.

Joe Hoffman: Really?  Disrespectful?  Have you not been hearing what-

Benny Newell: Andy Murray lets Joe Bergman be his tag team partner and he should be inside the building supporting the legend who’s allowing him to come along for the ride.

Joe Hoffman: Okay one, it’s clear that Bergman and Murray aren’t on speaking terms.  Two, I don’t think Murray really cares whether or not Bergman is in the arena-

Benny Newell: Doesn’t matter Joe.

Joe Hoffman: Why doesn’t it matter?

Benny Newell: It just doesn’t.

Joe Hoffman: Why?

Benny Newell: He’s the King of Wrestling.

Joe Hoffman: What does that have to do-

Benny Newell: KING OF WRESTLING GODDAMMIT!

Hoffman realizes he’s not going to win this argument- as usual.  He throws up his hands and sighs.

Joe Hoffman: All right, let us take our final commercial break. Then….our Main Event of the evening. This should be one for the ages.

With that the we cut to our final commercial break of the evening.

 

Suicide is a reason for some to be visiting graves this weekend…..Remember that.

#8 Dan Ryan vs. #9 Andy Murray

Joe Hoffman: Ladies and gentlemen, with no fear of sounding exaggerative, tonight’s main event may be one of the biggest matches ever to be featured on weekly HOW television. Tensions have been brewing between 24K and the Group of Death now for several months, culminating in an ICON Championship match on last week’s Refueled between Mike Best and Perfection— the Group of Death picked up the win, but it was perhaps 24K who got the last laugh when Lee Best announced his next selection for War Games…

Benny Newell: ANDY MOTHERFUCKING MURRAY, BITCH! That’s how you end a show! The King of Wrestling is competing for Team Lee at War Games, and the Group of Death is fucked sideways.

Joe Hoffman: That definitely remains to be seen, Benny, but it’s undeniable that the draft picks thus far are going to make for one of the most competitive War Games we’ve ever seen. Tonight we’ll get a preview of that match, as Lee Best’s second draft pick takes on the second draft pick of his Son… Dan Ryan.

“The Facts” by Trap Them fires up with its driving rhythm and razor-sharp guitar tone, heralding Andy Murray’s arrival. The big man strides out from the back with a loose swagger. He’s got a leather jacket on, a battered cricket bat slung over his shoulder, and a whole lot of bile in his body as he walks down the ramp. Halfway down,  Murray switches to casually dragging the bat behind his back before finally making it down to the ring, rolling under the bottom rope, and readying himself to hurt somebody.

 

Joe Hoffman: Tonight’s main event has been spurred on by not only the scheduling of Lee Best, but a war of the words between Dan Ryan and Andy Murray that began nearly the moment 24K debuted in HOW.

Benny Newell: Words are words and cricket bats to the forehead are cricket bats to the forehead, Joe. Andy Murray has a pinfall victory over Lindsay Troy already. Tonight he’s here to collect another head.

“Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins begins to blast over the speakers, as the lights go out and a dual-spotlight makes an encircling pattern on the entrance area. Dan Ryan steps out from behind the curtain, but he isn’t attired in his standard ring gear. Wearing a pair of jeans and a loose fitting Group of Death t-shirt, he’s clearly more prepared for a fight than a wrestling classic as he looks out into the crowd and walks intently down the ramp, pyro blasting off behind him.

Dan rolls in under the bottom rope and climbs the nearest turnbuckle, looking out into a mostly cheering crowd as the music plays. The crowd is already on fire for this matchup, which is a lot more “years in the making” than “months”.

Joe Hoffman: Dan Ryan looks like he’s out here for a street fight, Benny. With the fire being thrown between these two men all week, I don’t think either of them are going to be paying a lot of mind to the rules of professional wrestling matches here tonight.

Benny Newell: A street fight? Dan Ryan is just dressing for the job he WANTS, Joe– “guy who doesn’t have to fight Andy Murray this week”. That t-shirt is loose because when Dan Ryan is afraid, his nipples get hard. He’s hiding his fuckin’ tells!

As Dan climbs down from the turnbuckle, he stares across the ring at Andy Murray, who looks back at him with a mean little smirk on his face. Dan Ryan is not smiling, and he doesn’t break eye contact as he stretches out, preparing for the beginning of the match. Referee Matt Boettcher doesn’t waste any time, and calls for the bell.

DING DING DING

For two men who have been in the business as long as Dan and Murray have, there is definitely no race from the starting line to begin this match– both men know better than to give into the impulse, as they both step toward the center of the ring and meet eye to eye.

Matt Boettcher monitors closely as Murray and Ryan go forehead to forehead, jawing off at one another and trying to gain the mental edge in the opening seconds of the match. Neither man appears to be intimidating, but the volume in the arena is rising as the tension grows in the ring.

Joe Hoffman: A vicious stare down here, from two men who are in the rare company of another man who can look them directly in the eye here in HOW. Two six foot seven behemoths, and whoever flinches first loses.

Benny Newell: That’s fucking stupid. This isn’t a “first flinch” match, idiot. It’s not a “Flinch on a Pole” match. THERE ARE NO LUMBERFLINCHES AT RINGSIDE, Joe.

Andy mutters something inflammatory at his opponent, clearly setting Dan Ryan off as he shoves the smirking Murray backward. Murray dives right back into the nose-to-nose, taking his turn to shove Dan Ryan backward, and now the ring has become a powderkeg. The muttering becomes yelling as the pissing contest becomes a scuffle, and now Andy Murray rears back and cracks Dan Ryan directly across the mouth with an open palm SLAP, his hand leaving a large red welt in its wake.

The crowd gasps at the impact, as Dan’s head shoots sideways with the blow. He slowly wipes at his lip, checking for blood, and for the first time tonight a smirk comes across his face as well. He points at his cheek again, offering Murray one more free shot.

Joe Hoffman: There is a lot of ego in this ring tonight, folks, but I dare say it’s earned. This is a clash of the titans.

Benny Newell: Would you say it’s a clash of the Trash Talk Titans, Joe?

Joe Hoffman: No one would say that, Benny. It sounds preposterous.

Murray doesn’t play any bullshit “should I do it?” games with Dan Ryan– he rears back and cracks him across the mouth again, this time harder than the first slap. Dan stiffs himself against this shot, and fires back with one of his own– a closed fist that connects with the jaw of Andy Murray, and staggers him back from the sheer force!

The crowd explodes, but the cheers quickly turn to boos as Matt Boettcher shoves himself between the competitors, gesturing with a closed fist and reminding the men of the rules. Almost in unison, both men shove Boettcher out of the fray, and the crowd roars again as a brawl begins in the center of the ring! Andy Murray and Dan Ryan begin throwing a hail of fists back and forth, in very illegal fashion, and Boettcher’s hands go up as he backs away from the fray.

 

Joe Hoffman: An interesting spot for Boettcher to be in, Benny. If they’re both disregarding the rules, it’s hard to disqualify anyone.

Benny Newell: Unless you wanna end one of the biggest matches in HOW history in a no-contest, two minutes in. You know, like a fuckhead.

Dan Ryan manages to clinch a moment of opportunity, guarding a swing from Murray and shooting him off to the ropes. As he springs back, Murray leads with a quick kick to the gut, but Dan throws a pre-emptive high leg kick, smashing his boot directly into the side of Andy Murray’s sawdust knee!

Murray crumbles from the impact, dropping to a knee, but his face shows more frustration than pain. He tries to shove back up to his feet, but Dan Ryan gets a two step lead and blasts Murray directly across the upper-chest and neck with a vicious running clothesline, taking him flat to the mat.

Andy grabs the ropes, gritting his teeth as he climbs back up to his feet, but Dan is on his back like he’s fighting for his life. He rams a hard elbow into the back of Murray’s skull, grabbing him by the long hair and dragging him toward the turnbuckle. Dan aggressively tears at the turnbuckle pad, not even bothering to untie it and instead just ripping it to the side as he shoves Murray’s face into the exposed metal.

Boettcher lunges in to try and break this clearly illegal situation up, but Dan Ryan throws a stiff boot directly at the side of Murray’s head before Boettcher can stop him. There is a collective gasp from the crowd, but Murray yanks his face away at the last second, and Dan’s ankle collides awkwardly with the exposed metal!

Joe Hoffman: Oh my God! Andy Murray perhaps saving his own career by  inches! I can’t… I can’t even imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t gotten out of the way. My God.

Benny Newell: Fucking dildo Dan is lucky he got away, too, or his dumb ass would have been disqualified.

Ryan’s ankle is hooked awkwardly around the turnbuckle, and he winces as he tries to untangle himself from the mess. In the meantime, Murray rolls slowly out of the ring, grabbing Dan’s otherwise unaffected leg and aiming it steady against the ring post.

SMASH 

Dan’s leg explodes against the metal post, causing him to roar out inside of the ring. Free from his constraints, he reflexively pulls his knee up to his chest, gripping his smashed up appendage.

With Murray standing outside of the ring, Boettcher begins the count out. Dan slowly rolls to the ropes adjacent to the turnbuckle, putting some space between himself and Andy— he doesn’t want to wait for his opponent to get back in the ring, and he’s headed out to fight!

Dan lands on his feet outside of the ring, hobbling a bit toward Murray… but Murray is hobbling too! Boettcher’s count reaches 3, but things are just getting interesting… Murray rolls under the ropes and then back out, resetting his count and preparing for a war of attrition.

Joe Hoffman: This is brutality that HOW hasn’t seen a lot of since it’s return in 2019, folks. This is an old school fight, and it looks like things are about to get a lot more violent.

Benny Newell: I fucking love this shit, Joe. No flippy shit. No dogshit rest holds. Just war. FUCKING WAR!

As soon as his feet touch the floor again, Andy is met with a flurry of hands from Dan Ryan, who is running on pure anger and adrenaline. He knocks Murray back into the barricade, battering him with right hands–  Andy doesn’t cover up, though, instead choosing to absorb the punishment and battle back with punches of his own! Murray takes a big swing, but Dan Ryan ducks, sending Andy lunging into the ringsteps– he once again crashes knee first, toppling over the stairs into a heap… and now Dan Ryan smiles like a fucking shark.

He has Andy right where he wants him.

Almost flippantly, Dan Ryan reaches down and unfastens his belt, ripping the thick leather out from the belt loops on his jeans. Boettcher is still counting in the ring, but no one gives a fuck what number he’s one at this particular moment– Dan rears back with the belt, smashing it down onto the back of Andy Murray!

CRACK! 

Dan Ryan: I SURE LOST MY EDGE, DIDN’T I?

CRACK! 

He brings the belt down a second time, as Murray struggles to get himself away from the ring steps and get to his feet. Large welts form across his back, and again the crowd “OOH!”s along as the belt makes hard contact.

Dan Ryan: I’M A TOOTHLESS OLD WOLF, HUH ANDY?

CRACK! 

He brings the belt down again, this time harder– Andy Murray can take a lot of punishment, but the simultaneous stabbing pains in his knee and the welts of the leather belt all at once force him to cry out, almost on instinct. He rolls away from the ring steps, clutching at his back with one hand and desperately grabbing the barricade with the other, trying to pull himself up.

Dan Ryan: TELL ME I’M A PET BITCH AGAIN, MURRAY! COME ON!

CRACK! 

The final crack of the makeshift whip lashes hard against Murray’s old leather back, finally breaking the skin– Andy Murray has begun to bleed #97Red for the first time in his HOW career. He pulls himself all the way up onto the guardrail, gasping for breath as Dan slowly begins to wrap the belt around his fist, waiting for Murray to turn around.

Joe Hoffman: This is absolute chaos! I know it’s part of his ring gear, but come on… this can’t be legal, right?

Benny Newell: It’s legal, but it’s fucking bullshit. Dan Ryan is a coward with a small penis and stupid sunglasses.

Dan winds up a haymaker as Murray turns around, but he is staggered by an immediate burning, Murray throws a piss-warm beer directly into the eyes of Dan Ryan! Murray grabs the arm of Dan Ryan, and without apology or hesitation, begins smashing his exposed flesh against the guardrail, over and over again– the sickening thuds of flesh meeting steel send the front row fans jumping backward, turning their heads away from the scene of the crime!

Murray isn’t finished, though– he grits his teeth as he drags Dan toward the apron, rolling him back into the ring. Despite his exhaustion, Andy follows suit and rolls in after him, ending the count and continuing under the much more rigid rules of an in-ring battle.

Dan is nearly to his feet, so Andy helps him the rest of the way. Murray looks like he’s got something in the chamber and ready to fire, but suddenly he stops– his eyes grow wide, and he screams at Boettcher, pointing at the entrance ramp.

Andy Murray: NONONONO, GET HIM THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!

Boettcher turns to see which member of the Group of Death has come to crash the party, but briefly forgets that referee’s are gullible idiots. No one is coming down to the ring, but the distraction is enough for Murray to extend his whole leg into the soccer kick of his life– he boots Dan Ryan directly in the balls about as hard as a man can kick you, and instantly Dan collapses like he’s taken a bullet!

By the time Boettcher turns back around, Murray is using the last of his strength to hoist Dan Ryan up onto this shoulder. The crowd is buzzing, and Dan can’t fight it– Murray signals for the Highland Hangover, and struggles to get Dan into the proper position for the Emerald Fl–

CRACK!

Andy Murray falls into a heap, as a steel chair collides directly with his already injured knees, hitting him like a fucking freight train. Dan slips off his shoulder, and as he looks up at the sudden assailant, a vicious smirk spreads over his face like he’s the fucking Grinch.

Joe Hoffman: WHAT THE HELL?!

Benny Newell: Oh, this is some straight BULLSHIT!

Chair still in her hands, Lindsay Troy stands over the body of Andy Murray without a hint of amusement on her face. Matt Boettcher calls for the bell, but even as it rings, Lindsay brings the chair down again smashing it down onto the knee of Andy Murray a second time.

And a third.

DING DING DING

Ignoring the result of the match entirely, Dan Ryan hoists Andy Murray up from the canvas, stuffing his head in between his thighs and throwing him up in the air for the Humility Bomb. Andy collides hard with the mat, landing mostly on his upper back and neck. He looks satisfied with the job he’s done, despite an obvious disqualification, as he and Lindsay Troy turn to leave the ring.

But then he stops.

Reaching into the pocket of his denim jeans, Dan pulls a small prescription bottle of what look to be painkillers out and holds them in his hand. With a smirk, and then a laugh, he gently sets the bottle down next to the fallen Andy Murray, leaving them behind for the winner of tonight’s main event.

Bryan McVay: As a result of a disqualification, here is your winner…. Andy…. MURRRRRAAAAAY!

As McVay is making the announcement, the other members of 24K sprint out from behind the curtain and make their way down to the ring to make the save. Dan Ryan and Lindsay Troy slide out of the ring on the other side, quickly making their way into the crowd– they’ve already achieved what they came to achieve tonight.

Inside of the ring, the Hollywood Bruvs check on Andy and begin trying to help him back up off the canvas, as Perfection leans over the ropes and yells at Troy and Ryan to get back to the ring. Dan and Lindsay taunt him from the top of a section of the crowd, already out of harm’s way as they disappear from ringside through a crowd exit.

The camera falls back to the ring, where Andy Murray is finally back to a seated position. He looks both angry and confused, as the Bruvs try to explain what just happened. His eyes fall to the bottle of pills laying next to him, and he picks them up, staring at the label as we fade to black as the show comes to an end.