Event Date: July 11, 2020
- 1. Opener
- 2. #26 High Flyer vs. #29 Chris Kostoff
- 3. Manly Cave
- 4. HATE Letter...
- 5. COMMERCIAL
- 6. For All the Tears....
- 7. #12 The eGG Bandits vs. #NR Hollywood and Matthews
- 8. Manly Hugs
- 9. COMMERCIAL
- 10. Proctoring Success
- 11. Inside the eGG Basket
- 12. #10 Cancer Jiles vs. #5 Dan Ryan
- 13. IF
- 14. COMMERCIAL
- 15. Lactose Intolerant
- 16. DILLIGAF
- 17. COMMERCIAL
- 18. #25 Bobby Dean vs. #2 Michael Lee Best
- 19. Bonus: Class is in Session
#26 High Flyer vs. #29 Chris Kostoff
The HOTv logo gives way as we cut immediately inside the All State Arena here in Chicago and we are LIVE for Refueled 32.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome everyone to Refueled! Tonight we have four big matches with the Main Event of Michael Lee Best defending his World Championship against Bobby Dean!
Benny Newell: Four matches tonight? Easy paycheck tonight. Lets fucking go Joe….
Joe Hoffman: That is correct Benny but like every week here in High Octane Wrestling…every match means more than the next for each person and our first match is a clear indication of that as we have High Flyer taking on Chris Kostoff in a battle of hardened long time vets of the squared circle.
Benny Newell: Gotta love the booking here…..Lee looking to make Kostoff curtain jerk and get beat down before No Remorse.
Before Joe can retort the PA system kicks on and its time for our first match of the evening…..
“All Aboard! AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…” A light fog rises up from the entrance way as the opening guitar riff kicks in. Parting the smoke is High Flyer, who stands confidently at the top of the entrance ramp. He tosses one hand up in a devil horn taunt, and smiles slyly to the camera.
Joe Hoffman: High Flyer looking to keep up the good form here tonight.
Benny Newell: Good form would be landing full-weight on Chris Kostoff’s throat, Joe.
He stomps his way to the ring, paying very little attention to the crowd. Once he reaches ringside, he slips in under the bottom rope, then sprawls on his back. He begins to make snow angels while residing on his back, looking up at the lights before recovering to his feet. As the announcer introduces High Flyer, he leaps onto the second ropes and looks out to the crowd.
Benny Newell: Now where’s the cocksucker at?! I want to see this guy smited by GOD through powers of the twirly gymnastic shit.
“Wolf Totem” opening’s chords scream across the speakers as The HOW Behemoth himself steps out onto the stage. Looking out Kostoff slowly makes his way to ringside.
Joe Hoffman: Here comes Chris Kostoff!
Benny Newell: As GOD as my witness.. you will see your end! And I’ll have zero fucking remorse when it happens you piece of shit!
Kostoff circles the ring before sliding in with minimal fuss; only focus. The crowd is electric and..
The bell sounds and instantly the tempo is set as Chris Kostoff charges at High Flyer. Flyer scouts it and hits off the immediate ropes and.. high-cross body.
Joe Hoffman: Caught by Kostoff!
Kostoff hoists him up, but Flyer wriggles down the back and a dropkick is connected to Kostoff.
Joe Hoffman: Quickness from High Flyer.
Benny Newell: Slowness from Kostoff.
Kostoff tries his luck again but Flyer rolls, hits the ropes again and.. jump spin heel kick.
Joe Hoffman: Caught again by Kostoff!
Flyer is trying to fight out of Kostoff’s grip with punches to The Monster and staggers him back to the ropes. Kostoff in a fallaway-slam-like-fashion dumps Flyer over the top of the ropes and to the outside.
Joe Hoffman: Flyer still on his feet!
Kostoff looks to join Flyer on the outside but as soon as his boots touch the mat; Flyer runs, jumps and..
Joe Hoffman: Hurricanrana!
Benny Newell: Beautiful, Joe. Beautiful!
Flyer wastes no time in sliding back into the ring and bounces off of the furthest ropes. In full flight he..
Joe Hoffman: Springboard Shooting Star Press!
Benny Newell: Smited by GOD himself!
The HOW capacity here in Chicago goes absolutely berserk for this lightning start. Flyer has his moment with them as Kostoff eventually climbs back into the ring. Flyer sees that this is an opportunity to seize but Kostoff out of nowhere.. body-checks.
Joe Hoffman: There’s still fight in the old dog yet!
Two more body-checks find their mark and one big Samoan drop rubber-stamps the flurry of moves.
Benny Newell: I hate you Chris Kostoff. I really do.
Kick-out by Flyer.
Kostoff then takes a head and sends Flyer into the ropes. On Flyer’s way back in.. Kostoff looks to slam but Flyer slips-off, bounces off of the immediate ropes, springs, and..
Benny Newell: Unload! Unload!
Kostoff powers off the Lou Thesz Press with incredible hip strength and plays his own part in this rapid fast action. On their next coming together Kostoff throws a line, it’s ducked and Flyer hits the ropes again. Kostoff goes to grab the whippet but Flyer cleverly baseball-slides under the legs of The HOW Killer. Flyer leaps on top of the shoulders of Kostoff (maybe looking for a reverse Hurricanrana) but Kostoff stands firm.
Joe Hoffman: What’s your next trick, Flyer?
Benny Newell: I hope to GOD he cuts him in half.
Flyer punches on the top of Kostoff’s head (still perched) but Kostoff twists him..
Joe Hoffman: No Remorse time!
Kostoff immediately runs with Flyer caught in no man’s land, and the look of horror struck on his face is priceless.
Benny Newell: Not today, Kostoff!
Flyer escapes by a slip off the front-shoulders and out of nowhere (and perhaps desperation) hits the..
Joe Hoffman: Cold Snow!
Benny Newell: Make it fucking rain!
Kostoff kicks out!
Benny Newell: Damn you Chris Kostoff. Damn you to hell!
Kostoff catches his second wind and he’s full of fire: body-check, body-check..
Joe Hoffman: Big boot!
Flyer feeds into the corner and Kostoff charges. Flyer then manages to move in just the neck of time and lights Kostoff up with strikes. Kostoff creates the distance between them and Flyer instantly runs back in..
Joe Hoffman: Monkey-flip…… No.
Kostoff hooks the legs and turns him; Flyer sits perched on top of the turnbuckles now. Kostoff goes for a heavy strike but it’s blocked and The Monster is kicked away. Kostoff circles and..
Joe Hoffman: Frog-splash!
Kostoff is unable to hold him and the momentum takes them over..
Kostoff rolls over with a vice-like grip on Flyer to remarkably stand up to a vertical base..
Bryan McVay: AND HERE IS YOUR WINNER.. HIGHHHH FLLLYYYEEERRR
Joe Hoffman: He got the three!
Benny Newell: Can’t you count dummy?!
Joe Hoffman: NO REMORSE! NO REMORSE!
Chris Kostoff still fights to the bell and lands the devastating No Remorse in one fluid movement from pinfall.
Benny Newell: Hey Kostoff, you lost the match you bum.
“Wolf Totem” by The Hu hits and the crowd are on their feet for The HOW mainstay, Chris Kostoff.
Joe Hoffman: He may have lost the match but listen to this crowd.. he’s a winner to them.
Benny Newell: You make me fucking sick.
The action cuts elsewhere as the show rolls on….
We cut to the interior of 24K’s Manly Man Cave for the first time in a long time. Usually we only see HOW’s Worst Guys screaming braggadocio from the seated tier on the other side of the glass (or just outside the door, if you’re Andy Murray and you’re cutting a promo/calling people cunts/watching Dan Ryan eviscerate your goons) but tonight, dear viewer, you are truly privileged.
The MMC™ contains all the bullshit you’d expect from this gang of dickheads, from an elaborate frapp machine and a Kendrix-proof booze cabinet to various photographs of 24K themselves and, of course, a big security force.
Andy Murray: Hmmm…
The ICON Champion is the only 24K member in the room. He’s thumbing his way around the frapp machine without a single clue what he’s doing. Murray punches the supposed coffee-maker’s digital screen a couple of times before a digital voice chirps back.
Frapp Machine: Sour mango soy frapp, selected.
The King sighs as the machine (which has an image of Admiral Ackmar on the side, complete with “IT’S A FRAPP!” in a speech bubble) dispenses vile-looking orange fluid into a glass cup. It clunks, clangs, and grinds before coming to an end, puffing a cloud of glitter into the beverage. Murray grabs the drink, lifts it up, and takes a sniff.
Andy Murray: Fucking Bruvs. All I wanted was an espresso…
Andy is clad in a pressed navy button-up tucked into black suit pants. Again, it looks like he’s taking this Being A Champion thing seriously. He turns, walks away, and thrusts the drink at one of his security goofs.
Andy Murray: This is yours now.
Suddenly the door swings open across the room, the meat shields on the outside letting whoever it is enter unhindered.
Andy Murray: You look…
The entering party isn’t moving too well and hobbles into the Manly Man Cave a lot slower than one would expect for a professional combat sports athlete, but perhaps not one whose neck has felt the full force not only of Dan Ryan’s Headliner recently, but also The Minister’s avalanche piledriver. Said neck is all wrapped up in the most ridiculous brace you’ve ever seen, with all kinds of gold decorations and the 24K stable logo on the straps.
Perfection: Like 24-karat fucking gold?
Andy Murray: Yes. That’s definitely what I was going to say.
James Witherhold lets the door close behind him before looking around the room as best as his stiff neck will allow. He counts the security force in his head.
Perfection: 10 this week?!
The ICON Champion shakes his head.
Andy Murray: 12. Two more on the balcony.
Perfection: Did Dan Ryan run out of toothpicks or something?
Andy Murray: I think he’s still using one of your neck bones, chief.
Anybody not named Andy, Mikey, Jesse, or Claude would have earned a smack for making that joke in Perfection’s presence.
Andy Murray: I doubled the force. If need be it can come out of my salary, but if I’m going to face that classless animal at No Remorse, we’re going to get there on my terms. Big bloody Daniel knows the only fight he can win is one fought in a corridor or parking lot but that ring is what separates us and Bumfights. Me putting his empty head on a spike is worth paying for: we don’t give such things away for free.
Andy points through the glass, down to the arena proper.
Andy Murray: Let him stew in what’s left of the Group of Death locker-room and spend the night pulling the legs off spiders, tampering with biography sheets, or whatever he does for fun. He can wait.
Perfection: Can we at least put this one outside the door? I can feel his poorness giving me hives.
With that, Murray looks to the beefy bastard polishing off the sour mango soy frapp and motions towards the door. Interchangeable grunt no. seven takes the hint and departs. Witherhold tries following him with his gaze, though he winces with pain as he turns his neck.
Andy Murray: You good?
Witherhold waves Murray’s concern away.
Perfection: I’m totally fine. Those Ungratefuls can’t put me on the shelf…
Andy Murray: But what abou–
He points to the neck brace.
Perfection: I don’t need this!
Perf reaches round and unfastens both straps, pulling the ridiculous brace off and tossing it onto the table. He puts both arms out by his sides.
Perfection: See? Totally fine.
Never before has a grown man done a worse job of hiding the obvious pain he is in. He puts a hand on one of the chairs for balance, waits a few more sections, then groans…
Perfection: … fuck.
Pain overtakes bravado as James grabs for the brace again and immediately puts it back on. The compression and support provide sweet relief.
Perfection: Pour me a stiff one, would you?
The King of Wrestling scowls in Admiral Ackbar’s stupid fish face as he grabs a crystal decanter and a couple of glasses, pouring two whiskeys by the normie-proof coffee machine. Witherhold realises something else is missing.
Perfection: Wait, where are the Bruvs? And Claude?
Andy Murray: Cracking shells I imagine.
Murray comes back across with the whiskeys. The tag team partners clink glasses ceremonially and take their first sips.
Andy Murray: Actually, seeing as they’re not here for now – and far be it for me to tell you what to do – but we ought to do some strategising.
He starts counting with his fingers.
Andy Murray: Mike Best, Dan Ryan, War Games, The Minister… that’s a Murderer’s Row for sure, and they sure have done a good job murdering that neck of yours, but you’ve heard what people are saying, man. You’ve seen the signs, read the headlines. Let’s figure out how we’re going to get this thing back on track. Nobody wanted to face me this week – AGAIN – so it’s not like I’ve got anything else to do.
James turns his entire body to face Andy.
Perfection: So, first order of business. That whole let’s get violent thing? Terrible idea. Probably the worst idea I’ve had of all ideas. Back to basics, my man. Square one. I can’t operate like this, frantic and trying to find myself when all I got to be is myself. It’s like Lee Best is trying to test my resolve by throwing me to the wolves that many times in a row.
He tries to shrug but winces in pain.
Perfection: Jesus. This goddamn neck. Anyways, I’m not going anywhere. They can bust my neck, not my spirit… God that sounds so lame and 214ish.
Andy Murray: Yeah, that’s too positive but I get it and that’s why we’re the fucking best.
The King extends a fist. It gets bumped.
Andy Murray: So. We take this whiskey, watch the show, and come up with a battleplan.
Perfection: Who’s up next?
Andy Murray: Uhh, the Bandits versus Hollywood and Zio– … Matthews? The Darren guy.
Perfection: Ugh. Let’s skip the “watch the show” bit.
Andy Murray: Fair point.
And we’re out.
Running deep into the heart of Alcatraz Penitentiary and down a long and lonesome wing; passing by abandoned cells and depraved walkways. Travelling quickly we swoop down to the end of the block and in one transition the peep-hole shutter is opened. In one motion we travel through the opening and into the cell.
There, sits resident HOW pikey, Hughie Freeman. His cell is rotten with what appears to be sewer water leaking through onto the floor. Generally, the cell has had zero upkeep since the closure of the prison in 1963.
Hughie Freeman sits at the end of his frigid bed with a pen and a ripped bit of A4 paper. His lap unconventionally rests the paper as he scrawls.
Hughie Freeman (V/O): Dear Big Man,
Nice job with the lead piping my friend. I saw it live. Yeah.. if I show signs of good behaviour I get to watch the action. Ha-ha, that fucker Woodson never saw it coming.
Hughie lifts his head up to ponder.
Hughie Freeman (V/O): There’s so much HATE in the world you call HOW but in here, my man.. you let that all go. I’m starting to think what the fuck all that HATE in me was all about.
You’ve aligned yourself with good cats. They don’t HATE… they fucking appreciate. You and those pesky Bandits go together like mash-tatey and gravy.
Hughie nibbles on his pen as he mulls over an appropriate conclusion.
Hughie Freeman (V/O): Please write back my man, it’d be good to hear from you.
With Love.. not HATE.
Freeman begins to fold his scabby bit of paper as we retreat back out in the which we came; through the peep-hole shutter, out of the cell, down the wing, and even further deep into the prison as the feed cuts to black and we head to commercial.
For All the Tears....
Back live and we find ourselves floating through the air in a pre-taped segment to some soft piano music. The surrounding we find ourselves in is dark nothingness, just emptiness as we pan through a night sky before focusing on an old looking building hidden away in a Forrest. A light dancing around on the inside is shining, flickering, as curtains move in the wind of the building we see more light. We find ourselves looking at a very old porch of the house, the door which is battered and torn from years of abuse slowly opens allowing us to see a roaring fire burning away inside the shack.
As we enter the building we can see there is not much to speak about inside, it seems to be so old that nothing of value would ever be residing inside, just a fire burning in the far right of the side of the screen, as we pan around we can see a figure wearing a hooded cloak seems to be hunched over a table, suddenly the figure turns around allowing us to see a face which looks so innocent a pure, the youthful look of a woman stares into the camera before turning back around to move some objects on the table in front of her.
With a crash of thunder heard outside rain begins to fall outside slowly, the night has suddenly become very dramatic the slow piano music fades out and is replaced by sounds of nature outside of the building from the sky which is turning into quite a storm on this late night in July.
??: An eye for an eye, a newt for a newt, tonight the flame for you will burn so bright, You stole my husband and you set him alight, yet my lonely heart calls out for him at night. I traveled the campsites looking near and far yet no-one saw a glimpse of you, surrounded in the darkness the place you find so true.
The young female has a knife in her right hand and without any hesitation lifts it into the air and smashes it down onto what could only be described as a voodoo doll wrapped chains upon the table in front of her.
??: You sit alone, in nothing but chains. I will wait for you to be freed from the shackles, for very soon I will stand across from you, you have not looked into my eyes with that stare for many months now, but the passion I have is still there for you.
She smiles to herself as she begins to reminisce of the past. Little is known about this lady apart from she is maybe twenty-four at the very most, has a very haunting look about her, it seems she likes to play with knives as she is very confident in the way she holds one, also she appears to be another one who loves to talk in riddles. With that, she notices the camera looking at her.
??: Come in, Come into the light, come into my kingdom, find yourself a seat, sit on my throne, eat at my table, just don’t! leave me.
A single droplet of water begins to form in the corner of her eye, filling up like a water balloon before trickling down her face as she begins to feel a wave of sadness hit her like a ton of bricks, she blinks slowly before wiping the tear across her face and looking right at us through the camera with a thousand-yard stare.
??: My husband came to HOW to find answers, now the tables have turned and I am searching for more than just answers. My name is Lilith Arthemis-Azrule.
She whispers in a soft delicate voice.
Lilith Arthemis-Azrule: I loved him, all my life I said I would love him as I stood by his side in the church of the damned. He stood there beside me and promised to look after me! he promised never to leave me yet where is he now? And that’s your fault, isn’t it? No man is expected to pull through from that. The way you lit him up, I bet it made the jesters on the inside dance-like joy as you watched him through your rear glass mirror.
Her voice starts to crack as the emotion pulls through Lilith Voice.
Lilith Arthemis-Azrule: Now it is my turn for answers, I want to know the truth and I want to know why you took my Husband away, I am prepared to search the lands for my husband until the end of time, I will continue to play with his blades, the same ones he will one day strike through you. They say to piss off a man is one thing, but to piss off his lady is something else and trust me, you will feel the pain, the pain I have been through and the pain that is our lives. You thought running away from the carnival was easy? Hardly look where you have ended up. You’re trapped, we are not! we know where you now are and we are coming for you.
Lilith slowly runs her hand through the hair on the side of her face, something we saw her husband do on many occasions, she picks up a makeup brush and begins to draw a mask upon her face, where her soft pale white skin was is now starting to get layered with facepaint.
Lilith Arthemis-Azrule: I will happily wear my husband’s face paint, his war mask, his persona, I will honor his battle scars and I will get the answers from you. My Name is Lilith, I am not a Saint but you could say I am an angel. I cannot sit back any longer and do nothing, so starting next week I will find you and I will get my answers. And I am coming for you.
Lilith continues to paint her face, she picks up the makeup brush to her lips before slowly before blowing the top of the brush sending the fragments of makeup powder into the camera lens blocking us from seeing anything suddenly the scene fades to black as we cut back to ringside for our next match.
#12 The eGG Bandits vs. #NR Hollywood and Matthews
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back folks! Our next match we’ve got is going to be an interesting tag team match to say the least.
Benny Newell: It’s fucking rigged is what it is, Hoffhole! The Bandits have an unfair advantage against their opponents.
“Bandit-Struck” by AC/DC begins to play over the PA system causing the crowd to come alive with chants of eGG Doozer and Zeb Martin make their way down to the ring and slap hands with the crowd as they gear up for the match.
Bryan McVay: The following tag team match is set for one fall, introducing first at a combined weight of 503 pounds…THE EGGGG BANDITS; ZEB MARTIN AND DOOOOOOOOOZER!
Joe Hoffman: Doozer’s pissed off after what transpired last week in his match with Darin Matthews. Hollywood blatantly started counting for Matthews thus forming their team.
Benny Newell: That isn’t a team! It’s a fucking travesty! Matthews is being forced to team with the guy he carried to the top with his merits alone. He dropped that dead weight at War Games…
Joe Hoffman: And he knew what he was getting himself into by joining Mario Maurako.
Benny Newell: But he’s facing the Number 1 Contenders to the Tag Team Championships ALONE! You know as well as I do that having Brian Hollywood on your team is like teaming with a sandbag. Doozer and Martin are here to get a warmup match.
“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 boos 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 glaring at the fans before he takes his place in the corner turnbuckle before turning his gaze intently in the ring as he shoot a look straight into Doozer’s eyes
Bryan McVay: Introducing their opponents: first from Los Angeles, California, weighing in at 225 pounds: BRIIIIIIAN HOLLYWOOD!
Joe Hoffman: Doozer got in Hollywood’s way of getting his hands on Darin Matthews last week. No love lost between Doozer and Hollywood after they’re trying to screw over the Tyrant of the Territories.
Benny Newell: Hollywood should get over it. He needs a drink to loosen up.
“The Man” by Aloe Blacc tunes up over the PA system as Darin Matthews coming running out and spinning around basking in his glory being accompanied by Meredith to the ring. Matthews thanks the crowd as they reign down a chorus of boos and blows them all kisses thinking they all love him. He goes to extend his hands out for high fives from the crowd as he jumps on the apron.
Bryan McVay: And his tag team partner…from Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri…weighing in at…
Matthews yanks the microphone out of McVay’s hands and the crowd boos grow louder.
Darin Matthews: You suck at your job! Introducing THE SOLE TAG TEAM PARTNER OF THE SELF-PROCLAIMED DARIN MATTHEWS BAND! HE IS A 23-TIME WRESTLING CHAMPION! He’s the Messiah of Missouri Valley, the Professional in Professional Wrestling, YOUR TYRANT OF THE TERRRRRRRITORIES……..DAAAAAAAAAARIN MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATHEWS!!!!
The crowd erupts in boos as Matthews tosses microphone towards Bryan McVay on the outside of the ring. Doozer gets in the ring while in the corner Matthews and argue who is going to start off the match. Doozer looks really pissed off at them. Finally, Matthews slaps Hollywood across the face and screams, “I’M STARTING” and storms into the center of the ring. Matthews starts taunting the crowd, but before he can finish, Doozer charges towards Matthews trying to hit the flying shoulder block. Matthews catches it in the corner of his eye as Boettcher rings the bell to begin the match. Matthews rushes towards the corner and tags Hollywood then cowers outside the ring.
Joe Hoffman: After all that pomp and circumstance, Matthews runs outside the ring.
Benny Newell: Did you see that look in Doozer’s eyes?! He wanted to knock Matthews out. He’s preserving the best part of the tag team.
Joe Hoffman: It’s no matter, Doozer can finally get his hands on Hollywood who’s bickering once again at Matthews and…OUCH!
Doozer runs over to the corner and chops the backside of Brian Hollywood before getting a handful of his hair and tossing him over the ropes. He flings Hollywood over the turnbuckle and kicks him in the gut before stomping heavily at Hollywood’s face. Doozer whips Hollywood into the ropes and lands a picture perfect spinebuster on Hollywood. He tags into Zeb Martin who both pick up Hollywood and land a perfect double suplex on him.
Joe Hoffman: Perfect teamwork by the Bandits. They’re showing why they’re so easily loved here in HOW and why they deserve their shot at No Remorse.
Benny Newell: I’m more entertained by watching Matthews pointing and laughing at Hollywood’s misfortune. At least I know where Matthews’ hands have been.
Joe Hoffman: Show some respect for the Bandits! These guys are well-loved in HOW.
Benny Newell: When you paint obscene pictures like that of Matthews; I lose all respect.
Martin hits a Gutwrench suplex on Hollywood. He grabs Hollywood and hits a Samoan Drop on him before wrapping up Hollywood in an STF. Hollywood grabs the ropes for a break as Zeb gives him some room. Zeb Martin whips Hollywood into the ropes, but Hollywood sticks his foot up and Zeb gets a face full of boot. Matthews continues to gawk at how Hollywood got suplexed with his back turned to Hollywood before Hollywood slaps him on the back and Boettcher acknowledges the tag. Matthews stares a hole into Hollywood’s eyes as Hollywood flips him the bird. Martin immediately charges at Matthews with a drop kick, sending him flying face first into the barricade.
Martin charges towards Matthews and gets nailed with a half nelson bulldog on the outside. Martin rolls Matthews into the ring. Matthews then runs towards the outside on the other side, pointing and laughing at Martin like he bested him. He turns around to the delight of the crowd to get met with a right hand of Doozer. Doozer then sends Matthews back into the ring and Doozer hits a belly to belly suplex on him. Matthews sells his back and screams out getting the attention of Boettcher, but before he can even step in, Zeb quickly hits a few gator rolls on Matthews. Martin then gets back to his feet and quickly starts to lock Matthews in the Dang Tangler.
Joe Hoffman: Very nasty match so far former members of Sex and Money. It looks to be over and…
Benny Newell: Executive Promise straight to the jaw line of Zeb Martin by Brian Hollywood! WOW! I didn’t think Hollywood cared.
Joe Hoffman: He doesn’t! His job is in Mario’s hands. But either way you want to slice it, that’s a momentum changer for the Bandits.
Matthews crawls over towards the corner, wincing in pain, begging for Hollywood to tag him, but he doesn’t. Matthews grabs his shoulder in pain and spits in Hollywood’s face. He marches back over to Zeb and nails a sick looking buzzsaw kick straight into Zeb’s face. He locks Zeb into a cross arm surfboard screaming “HOW DOES THAT FEEL?” at the top of his lungs. Matthews releases the hold. Zeb struggles to get to Doozer, but Matthews yanks him back into the middle of the ring and locks in a sharpshooter this time. Doozer tries to go for the save, but Boettcher denies the save.
As hope dwindles for Zeb, the crowd erupts and finally Zeb kicks Matthews off him. Martin crawls for the corner, but Matthews rushes behind him trying to hit a German Suplex, but Zeb lands on his feet, charges towards Matthews clotheslines him. Martin slaps the hand of Doozer much to the delight of the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: Doozer’s in! Doozer’s in! He’s going to town on Matthews.
Benny Newell: It would be good if Matthews’ partner would step in for a change!
Doozer hits and uppercut followed by a side slam. He clotheslines him, then lands a powerful clothesline on Matthews. Matthews in fretting trying to get Hollywood to tag him, but Hollywood continues to ignore the pleas, letting Matthews take the brunt end of the beatings. Doozer then picks up Matthews and lands a picture perfect EggU in the middle of the ring. He looks over towards Hollywood motioning for him to come in, but Hollywood balks. He picks up Matthews for a massive powerbomb and pins the shoulders towards the mat.
Benny Newell: Wait what? He released the pin attempt? Who the hell stops a pin attempt like that?! He had Matthews’ number with that injured shoulder? Has Doozer had more Jack Daniels than me?
Joe Hoffman: That was shades of Kostoff right there. He goaded Hollywood into the ring.
Hollywood now looks pissed and charges towards Zeb Martin and hits a Danger Zone kick on him. Doozer looks pissed off. As Doozer’s distracted, Matthews grabs a handful of tights on Doozer to roll him up.
No! Doozer kicks out and gets back to his feet. Doozer sends Matthews into the corner and Matthews flies face first slapping Hollywood’s shoulder while Boettcher acknowledges the tag to the disgust of Brian Hollywood. Doozer picks Matthews up on the turnbuckle to set up a picture-perfect Back Suplex, but Hollywood picks Doozer up and lands a powerbomb of his own. Chaos ensues in the ring as Martin charges at Hollywood with a Lou Thez press to regain order, but Matthews just rolls back into the ring. Martin and Doozer hit a double back suplex on Hollywood to regain control of the match. Doozer picks Hollywood up, but Hollywood goes for a desperation low blow to change momentum back into his favor.
Benny Newell: Shades of the old Brian Hollywood are starting to crack through the surface.
Joe Hoffman: COME ON BOETTCHER! CALL THE MATCH!
Brian Hollywood then grabs Doozer and hits a neck breaker. He then lands a leg drop on Doozer. He waits for Doozer to get to his feet before landing a massive boot right across Doozer’s jaw. He suplexes Doozer a couple of times before Doozer lands on his feet, rebounding and nailing a massive kick across the temple. Hollywood and Doozer exchange blows before Matthews crawls off the turnbuckle and goes to attack Zeb from out of nowhere. Zeb and Matthews brawl erupts straight into the middle of the ring in the middle of Doozer and Hollywood and Boettcher loses all control of the match. Doozer hit a jawbreaker onto Hollywood only for Martin to get him into a sleeper with Hollywood fighting him off eventually. Matthews pokes Doozer in the eyes before landing a backdrop on him. Martin then clocks Matthews with a stiff right, taking him down to the mat. Hollywood’s eyes immediately widen as he sees the legal man, Doozer just sitting in the middle of the ring trying to rebound. He sits in the corner and licks his lips.
Joe Hoffman: Hollywood’s about to welcome Doozer into the danger zone.
Benny Newell: This is it! DRINK!
Hollywood rushes towards Doozer, but Doozer hears Hollywood running at him. In the meantime, Matthews had recovered and just started capitalizing on Martin in the background. As Hollywood leaps for the Danger Zone kick, Doozer rolls out of the way and…
Benny Newell: OH THE HORROR! THE HORROR! Hollywood just broke Darin Matthews’ nose.
Hollywood gets pissed off as Darin Matthews rolls out of the ring and Meredith grabs and towel and they both walk out of the arena. He’s screaming at Matthews. Doozer and Martin both kick Hollywood and hit a double DDT on him. Doozer then grabs Hollywood and nails the You Can’t Yolk Me right across Hollywood’s glass jaw and covers him as Boettcher counts
DING DING DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winners via pinfall: THE EEEEEEEGGGGGGG BAAAAAANDITS!
Joe Hoffman: Congratulations to the Egg Bandits! Hard fought battle by both teams, but in the end, the Bandits’ chemistry proves better than that of Hollywood and Matthews.
Benny Newell: The Horror! Hollywood broke Matthews face! HIS FACE! He’s gonna need some Jack Daniels to numb the pain from that.
Hollywood’s laying on the mat knocked out while Doozer and Martin celebrate while “Bandit-Struck” blares over the PA system as the scene fades to black.
We cut to a HOW playback moment on the HOV, the scene fading into the end of Kendrix’s victory last week over Zeb Martin.
“You just had to open your…” is heard from the announce table as Martin is aloft the top turnbuckle.
“MOUTH…Mouth…mouth” is echoed and replayed as slow motion footage of a Bruvs-clad six foot four fan is shown forcefully shoving Martin off the turnbuckle. Replays of his impact onto the outside are repeated from different angles before once again in real time “you just had to open your mouth!” Followed by a three count and “what a fiasco” is repeated in the background.
The scene continues, with unseen footage from the ring, the large set man rolling into the ring with Jesse Kendrix’s belt over his shoulder, clasping his hands together in a slow appreciative clap as he gets to his feet. Jesse stands to, scratching at the pit of his neck, massaging out the pain from a brutal encounter before locking eyes with the intruder.
The man continues to clap, before taking the belt from his shoulder and handing it meaningfully and deliberately towards the Bruv, who carefully embraces it with a wide eyed grin. The two shake hands in a symbolic gesture as sections of the audience in the know rain abuse down on the canvas.
Benny Newell: “Wait, did they just shake hands…and form…”
Scene abruptly cuts before that sentence can finish.
We rejoin backstage, the crisp sound of the edited replay replaced by the gentle hum of live commotion and activity. In front of the camera stands a middle aged man, smooth skin sprinkled with the creases of time like a rustic artist’s rendering on fine canvas.
A blonde mane is tied back over his ears, while the forming of a medium blonde yet greying beard frames his jawline down to his neck. Blue eyes fix on the lens as it slowly pans out, revealing a purple Windsor Spread collar, unbuttoned but likely kept upright with collar stays. A dark navy pinstripe blazer hangs tailored perfectly off his shoulders, two undone buttons of his shirt revealing a powerful chest; this is clearly a picture of vanity.
In his hands, one adorned with a thick gold ring on the penultimate finger, sits a collection of rough white paper cards. The man’s gaze remains on the lens for a moment longer once the camera completes its retreat, before he looks down one eye squinting. In response, he retrieves a pair of thin spectacles from the inside of his jacket pocket, the intrusion having minimal effect on the cotton shirt beneath. Placing the specs on the bridge of his nose, he forms a fist, coughs into it twice to clear his throat and begins a most sincere moment in television history…
“Ladies, gentlemen and members of the High Octane Wrestling executive team and board of directors. My name is Claude Sebastien, though many of you may know me as Claude Baptiste Ranier”
Glancing up at the camera, using his index finger and thumb to drop the specs an inch for his eyes to connect.
Specs back on, resume…
Ranier: “I am a proud man, from a proud heritage of honest, technical wrestling and the profound benefits of the American institution of hard work. But I am not so proud as to be incapable of admitting when I’ve been wrong…when I made a mistake.”
A further throat clear is followed by the move of the front card to the back of the pile.
Ranier: “Last week, during a professional and exceptional contest of wrestling, I, Claude Sebastien”…glances with raised eyebrows at camera once more, back down to his cards…” an unsanctioned, unaffiliated member of the tax paying public, made a misguided and improper decision.”
He takes a deep breath, letting it exhale down, eyes closing for a brief moment, his head swaying back and forth slowly in a clear symbol of regret.
Ranier: “Whilst watching the contest from ringside, I am not too proud to say I got excited. Excited at such a display of athleticism…but my excitement turned to genuine concern as I saw an official laying in the ring following a brutal altercation due to the actions of one Mr. Martin. I decided, in that instant, I needed to act…”
Card to the back of the pile…
Ranier: “Caught up in the intensity of the moment, my first High Octane Wrestling show as a ticket procuring fan no less, I made the error of jumping the barricade and attempting to revive Monsieur Hortega during a live match. In the heat of the moment, I slipped due to my polished Testoni leather shoes and inadvertently caused a fellow professional to injure himself. Of course, I fled to the outside to ensure no permanent damage was suffered, and assisted both gentlemen back into the ring to finish a fine match.”
Pause…looking back up at the camera. Spectacles removed, sincerity in his bold baby blues.
Ranier: “I unreservedly, and wholeheartedly apologise for any inconvenience or injury I, through improper actions, may have caused. There was no malice, no intent, just the mistake of an eager spectator and I request the forgiveness of Mr Lee Best and the rest of the Executive committee for what was a benevolent act turned tragic mistake.”
Breathe in, exhale slowly, deliberately.
Ranier: “I am truly sorry…”
Card to the back of the pile…
Ranier: “For years, High Octane Wrestling has stood as a veritable Constantinople of the professional wrestling world. Through change, evolution and the collapse and rebirth of countless competitor organisations, this organisation has stood resolute as the best…a beacon of hope in a sea of chaos.”
Nodding enthusiastically at the camera as a clear departure to the somber nature of the previous monologue,
Ranier: “And I am truly honoured and humbled to have been given this opportunity to apologise to a locker room full of some of my own personal heroes…men…and even women, who have etched their names on the pantheon of the greats.”
The camera begins to pan outwards, revealing more of the backstage scene behind the Canadian. Plaques and frames photos hang brightly, with the wrestlers Claude has inclination to mention.
Ranier: “Men like James Witherhold. The unbeaten colossus. A true pioneer of theatre of war. Men like Andy Murray, the iconic World Champion of High…”
Off screen “Psssst”
Ranier: “Octane Wrestling. A legend, a…”
Off screen again “Pssst bruv. Bruv!”
Ranier leans to the side as if to listen to a whisper.
Ranier: “Of course I mean the Icon Champion of High Octane Wrestling. A veteran who has laid the path for countless others.”
The camera zooms out slowly to reveal the Hollywood Bruvs entering the frame, decked out in the latest and greatest Bruvs 24K t-shirts and of course the HOW Tag Team Titles around their waists, either side of the seated CBR who looks up proudly at them
Rainier: Men like Mikey Unlikely, Jesse Kendrix. The future of this business. The crowning glory of that path. Outstanding athletes who have revolutionised what it means to be…
Mikey excitedly turns to Jesse and slaps him on the back of the shoulder.
Mikey Unlikely: You hear that, Bruv? We’re Claude’s heroes! I’ve always said that!
Kendrix: Yeah but I said it first. Despite that honour though, JFK’s gotta be honest with you Claude, you literally crossed the line at Refueled 31.
CBR turns away in embarrassment, elbows firmly on the table in front of him, the sleeves of the Jermyn Street suit riding up his forearms to reveal the platinum Chronomat Breitling hanging from his wrist; worn hands holding his forehead as he shakes ashamedly into his palms. Mikey gives him a rub on his huge shoulders to comfort him.
Kendrix: Listen, yeah?! You and me are tight, Bruv…but I’m not going to hold back here. My match, which in all honesty was on its way to becoming the greatest wrestling singles match of all time…despite the efforts of Zeby…was directly affected by your humble but tragic actions. I think it’s fair to say that the Hollywood Bruvs speak on behalf of the entire HOW lockeroom and quite possibly the world when I tell you…
Claude releases his head from his hands, holds it back looking towards the ceiling and bracing himself for the cold hard truth of it all. Mikey meanwhile looks on, biting down on his knuckles in worried anticipation of the huge announcement ready to leave his tag partner’s lips. Time is about to stand still, people!
Jesse lets it linger…
Waits some more…
Mikey quickly glances at his wrist watch…
Jesse finishes ordering an oreo frappe starbucks delivery on his cell, he sees Mikey double tap his watch then quickly remembers he’s in the middle of a promo and returns his cell to his pocket.
Kendrix: What was I talking about? Oh yeah…that we all forgive you!
Claude’s face lights up, the creases of his forehead stretching like a monotone rainbow from eye to eye. A delightful mix of shock and sheer delirium looking up at Kendrix and then over to Mikey just to make sure he is indeed forgiven by the world. Mikey nods enthusiastically in his direction.
Mikey Unlikely: Come here you big idiot!
Arms held out wide, Mikey invites CBR in for a mighty manly man hug. Claude stands to his feet, leaving the cards on the table in front, which the camera sees are completely blank. Lifting his arms as if to hug, he then notices the stretches it might cause the dark Navy yet bright yellow lined jacket. He removes it, placing it onto the chair and sinks into a grandiose over the top embrace. The two hug it out, it’s not a Bruv Hug…but it’s still a very very good hug. Claude then turns to face his former apprentice who stares back at him with a gentle smile. Mikey gets his disposable camera ready for a huge moment in wrestling history. Jesse nods and confirms it all in a whisper.
Kendrix: High Octane Wrestling forgives you, big guy.
The hug is met by the flash of Mikey’s camera. Jesse slaps the back of his hand against Ranier’s chest.
Kendrix: Now that you’re part of 24K you better get yourself some proper shoes, innit?! We can’t have you slipping all over the place like last week, old man!
The manly men begin to chuckle their way off set.
Rainier: It’s touching, gentlemen, to see just how far you’ve both come. Not only are you a shining light, fine definitions of the word champion; but you also speak for an entire locker room.
Mikey Unlikely OOS: Oh yeah, they all look up to us.
Kendrix OOS: Even though they know we know they all suck.
Mikey Unlikely OOS: HEYOOOOOO THERE HE IS!
The scene fades out.
Back live and Refueled finds itself backstage in a location very familiar to many of the eager viewers of the engaging programme, the backstage interview section. Brian Bare, the unfortunate soul tasked with trying to engage with the largest roster of sociopaths put together in human history stands in position, looking slightly moist. Bare nervously taps his foot as he awaits the arrival of his next scheduled interview.
Suddenly, into frame, the 14 month undefeated wrestler and current HOW LSD Champion, Cecilworth M! J Farthington steps into frame and begins to scan Brian up and down. Bare readies the microphone but Farthington just shakes his head. Farthington gestures for Bare to hand the microphone over but Bare shows the courage of his convictions and keeps firmly rooted in place. Cecilworth seems mostly unperturbed by this development but it is very clear for the future that Farthington will remember that.
Brian Bare: Ladies and gentleman, joining me at this time is the current reigning LSD Champion fresh from his cage match victory against the newest Bandit, Rick, last week.
Cecilworth Farthington: RIIIIICK!
Bare is startled by Farthington’s yelling, Farthington just chuckles to himself.
Cecilworth Farthington: Oh we do love to have fun, don’t we, Brian? Hey, quick quiz, what does LSD stand for Mr. Bare?
Brian Bare: Well many people have named it different things over the years but….
Cecilworth’s face scrunches up in disgust as he cuts the eager interviewer off.
Farthington: WRONG! It stands for Loyalty and Sacrifice, Brian. You see, I don’t care about the past, I don’t care about what special names Lee’s little good boys and girls used to call it. No, this championship, this represents something that the vast majority of the HOW roster is lacking – loyalty and sacrifice. It became a monument to those very ideals the second, the very second I was awarded this championship. I won this at War Games by being a better human than the rest of the roster. Sure, you’ve all got your precious allies that you swear up and down to protect but would any of you actually step in and protect one of your own if it cost you the World Championship? No, of course you wouldn’t, because Brian, they are egotistical scum and I am a better human than all of them. This says I am better than them.
Cecilworth gestures to the LSD Championship that currently rests around his waist.
Brian Bare: Well, your reign with the championship is off to a controversial start after Mike Best slammed the cage door into the arms of Rick…
Cecilworth Farthington: Controversial? Did you pay attention to anything I said in the lead up to this match? I told Rick, very clearly, that his notion of loyalty would be tested in this match. I basically told him to bring backup. If he wanted to win, he needed to shed… sacrifice… some may say, his image as this hulking brute who can do it all alone and rely on his new supposed brethren. Yet, Brian, the Bandits were nowhere to be found at ringside, Rick couldn’t swallow his pride and that’s why he does not have this belt. I told him that his relationship with The Bandits would be tested and it looks, sadly, as if that test failed. So the only thing I have to say to Rick is… get better friends. My best friend was out there for me, and protected me. That is what the LSD championship is about, it is a TEST not a match. That will remain the case for as long as it remains in my possession.
Farthington looks at Bare, chuckling to himself, clearly convinced that Brian’s question was completely absurd. He looks down at the man with a condescending smile.
Brian Bare: You’ve been quiet about the events at War Games….
Cecilworth Farthington: Have I? Have I been quiet Brian? Is that what you think? Precious. Maybe it’s the case that I have nothing to say. The facts are quite clear to anyone who watched the show. The only reason Andy Murray has the ICON Championship around his waist right now is that I am a good friend. I could’ve pinned him, anyone who watched the show saw that already, I chose not to, I chose to protect my best friend Mike Best from a man intent on murdering him…
Brian Bare: …Surely you must be disappointed at losing the World Heavyweight Championship though.
Cecilworth gives a snort of derision that almost blows a big green one onto the khakis that Bare is presumably wearing.
Cecilworth Farthington: If I was caught up in the idea of BEING World Champion Brian, I would have pinned Andy Murray. I made a choice, I’m proud of my choice. I told everyone on the roster that the man who finally took the World Championship away from me had to be deserving, had to have earned it, had to be worthy. I couldn’t name a worthier replacement than the now NINE time World Champion. He more than any other soul on this roster deserved the moment and again, unlike the egotistical puss that slinks around these corridors looking to take all the glory for themselves and not share in the wealth, I’m actually happy for him. Mind blowing, right? To be happy for a friend’s success? Maybe the rest of the putrid roster should try it some time.
Bare realises that his current line of questioning isn’t going to get him anywhere and decides a new tact.
Brian Bare: By placing 6th at War Games, MJF has earned a shot at your LSD Championship at No Remorse and…
Cecilworth Farthington: I’m sorry, who?
Brian Bare: MJF.
Farthington’s face scrunches up in confusion.
Cecilworth Farthington: And this… person… they were in War Games?
Brian Bare: She placed sixth! She almost pinned Mike Best! She had the double pin with you at last year’s War Games… won the LSD Championship from it…
Farthington shakes his head.
Cecilworth Farthington: Not ringing any bells. Don’t recall seeing her in the War Games match.
Brian Bare: Well, she was eliminated before you got to the ring.
Cecilworth Farthington: And that earns you a title opportunity these days? Wow, standards are slipping. Wait, are you Ashton Kutcher? Are we reviving Punk’d?
It suddenly dawns on Brian Bare that he was drawn into Cecilworth’s trap of dismissive assholery.
Cecilworth Farthington: Well I guess if our boss has decided that this Marinara Jar character is to be tested, I’m happy to be the proctor. I wonder how strong her loyalties are… I wonder what she has sacrificed. Wait no, I’m lying, I don’t care.
Bare shakes his head in depression.
The camera fades out on Farthington looking disgusted at Brian and storming out of the shot.
Inside the eGG Basket
The shot picks up backstage.
Inside the eGG Basket.
Jiles: …and that’s my elaborate plan for how I’m going to get our heart back. Now though, it’s time to make the music happen. For CBD!
The Bandits: FOR CBD!
The Bandits hoot and holler, further riling up their Maestro before he heads for the ring. He opens the door and moves to exit, but much to everyone’s surprise a delivery guy is blocking his path.
Bobby Dean: I hope it’s not a pizza……
Delivery Guy: I have a package for a… Liam Jiles?
The package, a 1x1x1 box, has a note attached to the top of it.
Jiles: Liam? RICK, take it. Open it up. You’re new.
Zeb relishes this moment of the transferred new guy title.
Zeb: Nyep. Them’s the rules.
Without pause, the One Word Warrior accepts the package, and the delivery guy is sent on his way. RICK hands Jiles the note, and then starts to carefully open the box.
Doozer: What’s it say?
Jiles: Uhhhh… You win?
The Maestro flips the note over to reveal another message.
Jiles: Kind of.
Subtle confusion takes over the basket of eggs.
RICK gets the familiar looking box open, and inspects its contents. Aghast, he shoots his head upward in a panic after realizing what’s inside.
The behemoth boasting a limited lexicon shows Jiles the box’s contents. What the COOL Bandit sees causes his shaded eyes to burst open, presumably, and him to drop the now detectable frappe scented message from his grip.
Jiles: ZEB! GET THE BRAIDED LINE! STAT! CODE YOLK!
RICK quickly stammers over to Zeb at Jiles’ direction. The young upstart springs into action, and of course has a spool of braided line resting beneath his Levi Garret cap.
Doozer: What is going on? What’s in there?
Jiles: It’s him!
Bobby Dean: Who?
Jiles: CBD! Those decaf bruvstards butchered him!
Bobby and Dooze rush over to Jiles, who is oddly enough smiling from ear to ear. Could it be the shock of seeing his buddy in hundreds of pieces has broken him?
Doozer: YO! You okay?
Bobby Dean: Cancer! It’s Bobby. Can I have your T-shades if you are having a mental breakdown?
The COOLYMPIAN casually responds after a second of awkward smilence.
Jiles: Never better, actually. I knew they’d buckle. I just figured it would be after the show.
Doozer: Wait. What?
Bobby Dean: So does that mean it’s a no on the shades!?!
Still with a blossomed grin across his face, Jiles reaches out and places a hand on Bobby’s shoulder. He then does the same to Doozer. Calm, confident, and of course COOL, he addresses the crew.
Jiles: Guys. Listen. We’ve put him back together before. We will do it again. Stronger. Better. Yolkier. This time around we even have RICK to help. They would’ve had to burn him to do the trick.
Bobby Dean: And the shades?
Jiles: Bobby, after you win tonight I’ll take you to Skynet myself.
A giddy shiver rolls across the beautiful man from Honalee. No other Bandit has ever been to Skynet. Doozer’s frown from the potential reward snubbing really brings out the old bill’s wrinkles.
Zeb Martin: Eh, whatsa’ skynet?
Jiles: Rejoice, Bandits! We are whole again!
The partially unburdened Maestro exits the eGG Basket full of vigor. However, he quickly reins it in and narrows his focus on the daunting task ahead of him.
The summit of Mount Ryanmore.
Cut to the ring.
#10 Cancer Jiles vs. #5 Dan Ryan
Joe Hoffman: I hope everyone’s ready for what’s sure to be a spectacle here leading up to our Main Event tonight! We’ve got The Maestro of the eGG Bandits, who believe it or not is on quite the win streak, facing his biggest challenge yet – literally and figuratively – in The Ego Buster himself, Dan Ryan!
Benny Newell: Thanksgiving’s come early, Joe!
Joe Hoffman: Uh, what?
Benny Newell: ‘Cause I can smell the squash! Get it? DRINK!
“Zero” by the Smashing Pumpkins fills the AllState Arena. The lights go out and a dual-spotlight makes an encircling pattern on the entrance area as the opening riff of the song plays. When the riff audio kicks it up a notch, Dan Ryan steps out and pauses, looking into the audience, then heads down the aisle as pyro blasts behind him.
Bryan McVay: Hailing from Houston, Texas, and weighing in at 305 pounds!! He… is… DAAAAANNNN… RYYYYYYAAAANNNNN!!!
The video on the HOV shows clips from The Ego Buster’s career: powerbombing Mark Windham, superkicking Craig Miles, taking Impulse’s head off with a clothesline, hitting Eli Flair with the Headliner, countering a Castor Strife dive into a vicious powerslam, smirking as he pins Bronson Box. Ryan walks directly to the ring, rolls in under the bottom rope and climbs the nearest turnbuckle, keeping his arms down and smirking into the crowd as the music plays.
Benny Newell: My man Dan’s looking ready to scramble an egg tonight!
Joe Hoffman: Drink?
Benny Newell: The one time I try to get in the spirit…
The lights dim. The arena quiets. A chill moves through the air… then, “I am the COOL” explodes over the speakers.
~I’m the one your mama warned you about~
~When you see me, I will leave you no doubt~
~I’m the coolest man that ever walked this earth~
~I’ve been the coolest since the day of my birth~
~I AM THE COOL.~
Out from behind the curtain, after a second or two of suspense, The Crown Prince of COOL, Cancer Jiles emerges. Shades activated, hair on point, he pauses at the top of the ramp and basks in the glorious affection of his precious OctaBandits.
Benny Newell: I need to drink more so I can puke!
Bryan McVay: And his opponent… from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and weighing in at 229 pounds!! CANCERRRRRRR! JIIIIIIIIIIILESSSS!!!
After having his fill, Jiles confidently makes his way down to the ring and slides in under the bottom rope. He scurries over to the corner opposite of Dan Ryan, eyeing the mountain of muscle with a hint of trepidation.
Joe Hoffman: You could cut the tension here with a knife, Benny.
Benny Newell: Well what you think of a guy who hangs out with a cardboard cutout of yourself, Joe?
Joe Hoffman: For once you might have a point.
Hortega calls for the bell and the ensuing ding signals the start of the match as the two wrestlers continue to stare each other down from their corners. Ryan slowly marches to the center of the ring. Jiles, looking a bit sheepish still, swallows his insecurities then runs his hands over his hair. Cancer steps forward to meet Dan and extends an open hand out toward The Ego Buster.
Joe Hoffman: Maybe an act of sportsmanship from Cancer Jiles to start here?
Benny Newell: Joe, even I don’t think you’re that dumb. C’mon!
Dan Ryan sneers at the ill attempt, having been around long enough to not fall for the bait. Jiles insists, thrusting his hand forward. The Tall Texan spits at Cancer’s outreached hand, who retracts it as quickly as possible. The COOLympian takes offense to the act.
Benny Newell: Should’ve spit in his face!
Dan takes a step toward Jiles, who suddenly acts shocked and points frantically over Dan Ryan’s shoulder. The seasoned vet, determined, no sells his opponent and thrusts forward at him. Jiles drops down and scrambles out of the way in a scurry. Ryan turns quickly and attempts to grab the King of Cool again, with Cancer just barely slipping under his arms. Jiles turns the counter into a short baseball slide going through Ryan’s legs.
Joe Hoffman: The elusive Bandit is barely staying out of Dan Ryan’s reach!
Cancer spins and dives into the back of Ryan’s right knee and rolls to the right to avoid the 300 lbs crashing backwards onto the mat.
Joe Hoffman: I heard he calls that the Danny Boy Pipe Clip!
Benny Newell: I can’t even look at you right now.
The Ego Buster snaps over onto all fours, slapping the mat in anger. Jiles, already who took the time to run and bounce off the ropes, dives feet first connecting a low dropkick right to the side of Ryan’s head. Dan rolls over a couple times, holding his ear.
Joe Hoffman: The Maestro’s on the offensive!
Cancer, seeing an opportunity, runs to the nearest corner shouting at the ref pointing to the turnbuckle.
Cancer Jiles: Look it’s loose!
As Hortega examines the turnbuckle, Jiles puckers up.
Benny Newell: HORTEGA DON’T BE A DOPE! TURN AROUND!
He turns back toward the Texan-
Benny Newell: Dan’s up and in his Cancer’s face! Oh, and he doesn’t look happy!
With eyes popped open in surprise, Jiles sucks in a quick breath in order to release the mist!
Joe Hoffman: COOLYMPIAN YOLJK – HOLY, NEVERMIND! DAN RYAN JUST SLAPPED HIS HUGE RIGHT HAND OVER JILE’S FACE!
Trace amounts of yellow substance trickle through the cracks of Ryan’s fingers. Then, with indescribable force, Dan throws Cancer forward by his head, sending the Bandit so hard down to the mat he bounces up head over heels.
Benny Newell: That. Was. AWESOME!
Jiles, running on the adrenaline of his quick starts, manages to jump back to his feet and starts pleading to Hortega who’s just turned back to the action after confirming that nothing was wrong with the turnbuckle.
Benny Newell: Is that snake trying to argue that Dan countering his illegal move was an illegal move?
Seeing Cancer holding his face and over selling the pain, Hortega marches over to Dan Ryan and gives him a warning. Ryan throws his arms up and barks back at Hortega.
Dan Ryan: Don’t fall for this kid’s shit, Joel. You know better.
Horgeta turns around to warn Jiles, as well, but the Bandit’s already flying through the air.
Joe Hoffman: The Maestro connects with a flying shoulder block out of nowhere!
However, instead of your expected outcome, Cancer just bounces off Ryan’s body and down to the mat.
Benny Newell: HAHAHAHAHAHA!
The eGG Bandit looks up in sheer disbelief as The Ego Buster smirks down at him. Dan goes to pick Jiles up, but Cancer rolls and jumps to his feet. Ryan grabs for him again, but the elusive Coolympian ducks out of the way again. GoD’s Hammer, getting angrier by the second, twists and flails to try and grab Jiles once more, but Cancer slips away again.
Joe Hoffman: Jiles wisely returning to the flight over fight strategy that worked at the start.
CJ smiles, on a high thinking he’s too fast for the big man, and showboats for the crowd. Ryan seething, crouches down like he’s ready to pounce as soon as Jiles turns to face him – CLOTHESLINE!
Benny Newell: He nearly took that dickhead’s head off! Wait, would that make him just a dick, Joe?
Joe no-sells the question. In the ring, Dan picks Cancer up by his golden hair and pulls him up into a headlock. Jiles face quickly starts to turn purple. Hortega checks on him. Jiles squirms to get out, but Ryan locks arms in tighter.
Joe Hoffman: This doesn’t look good for The Meastro…
Cancer sends a couple desperate right hands into Ryan’s backside, but it doesn’t faze him. Starting to turn shades of eggplant, Hortega goes to check on Jiles who’s now flailing like a drunk. Eventually, the flailing slows to a point where Cancer’s body slumps and his arms fall to his sides.
Benny Newell: Fucking kill him, Dan!
Joe Hoffman: Well I think that’s a little mu-
Benny Newell: FUCK YOU, JOE! DRINK!
The Texan grits his teeth and applies more pressure.
Hortega lifts Jiles’ right arm.
He lifts it again.
It falls again.
Benny Newell: Holy shit he might’ve done it…
Hortega lifts Cancer’s arm for a third time…
Joe Hoffman: THE ARM IS UP! RIGHT BEFORE HORTEGA CALLED FOR THE BELL!
The crowd pops, sending energy to Cancer who sends an elbow into Ryan’s gut. The blow slightly staggers the big man, but he regains his leverage and tightens the hold.
Joe Hoffman: IT’S THE HIGH KNEE OF CHARLES JILES THE THIRD!
Benny Newell: What the fuck did you just say?
Cancer sends a dirty knee right into the lower thigh of Dan Ryan. It buckles the Ego Buster. CJ twists and sends a spinning roundhouse kick into Ryan’s face, sending the mountain of a man on the flat of his back with a loud thud. Jiles runs toward the corner and jumps up to the top rope seamlessly. He cautiously turns.
Joe Hoffman: I can believe this second, or third, wind we’re seeing from the eGG Bandit. DOUBLE FOOT STOP FROM THE TOP ROPE!
Ryan rolls over, holding his face in pain. Jiles runs to the opposite corner, and starts stomping. Dan shakes it off as he gets up to his feet. He slowly turns –
Joe Hoffman: TERMINAL CAN- NEVERMIND! Ryan ducks under! He turns to face Cancer’s back and hooks under his arms – DRAGON SUPLEX!
Benny Newell: DAHHHHH-RINK!
Cancer hits the mat with such force he flips over onto his stomach. The Texan flops him over and pins! Hortega drops!
Benny Newell: SLOW MUCH?!
Ryan gets up, snapping at the ref about a slow count, and sends a knee down into the back of Jiles. He stands up quick and drops again, this time with an elbow to the back of Jiles’ head. Cancer rolls around, holding the back of his head in agony. Ryan picks him up and throws him to the ropes –
Joe Hoffman: BIG BOOT FROM THE EGO BUSTER!
Jiles flops straight onto his back and goes lifeless. Ryan pins.
Joe Hoffman: Another near fall!
Ryan, expressing more frustration with Hortega, lifts Cancer by the hair again and whips him to the corner. Dan charges after and hits a corner avalanche! Jiles falls down to a seated position, back against the bottom turnbuckle, completely out of it. Ryan steps back and charges in again sending his knee into Cancer’s face.
The Ego Buster pulls Cancer back up to his feet, and pushes him back against the turnbuckles. He reels back and sends a hard right into Cancer’s midsection that hits with such force it lifts Cancer off his feet – before Jiles’ boots even return to the mat, an even quicker left from Ryan sends him back up. Another right. Another left. Each lifting Cancer’s lifeless body a couple inches off his feet and back. Ryan backs off and lets out a roar as Jiles falls to all fours, coughing up blood.
Benny Newell: He’s feeling it now, Joe! Maybe it’s Christmas come early, ‘cause this was definitely on my wishlist!
Joe Hoffman: You’re a sick man, Benny.
Ryan turns and barks at Jiles, taunting him to get up and fight. Cancer, barely with it, slowly staggers to a stand. He shakes his head after coughing up more blood, then out of pure desperation he attempts a frail Terminal Cancer – Dan grabs the foot, laughing, and throws it spinning Jiles around backward
Joe Hoffman: The Ego Buster has The Meastro up on his shoulders! It’s the HEADLINER! Ryan hits his inverted death valley driver and he’s covering!
Benny Newell: How the fuck?!
Joe Hoffman: What a show of resilience by Cancer Jiles here tonight.
Dan Ryan can’t believe it. Jiles, despite being able to raise his shoulder, still looks dead. Dan, pins again in frustration. Hortega drops.
Joe Hoffman: Cancer kicking out of the follow-up pin. Can’t say I blame Dan for trying!
The Texan picks up the still lifeless Jiles and sends a knee into his gut, doubling him over. Ryan pulls him in, taking Jile’s face-down head between his legs-
Benny Newell: This is it, folks!!!! HUMILITY BOMB!!! WAIT! That was just a regular powerbomb! Oh man he’s not letting go! JOE ARE YOU SEEING THIS!
Joe Hoffman: Dan Ryan is pulling his opponent back up, still onto his shoulders! ANOTHER POWERBOMB!
Ryan stays gripped onto his opponent.
Benny Newell: He’s lifting him again! Cancer’s up. The Ego Buster extends this time! HUMILITY BOMB! OH MY!!!
Cancer flops head over heels twice, laying lifeless near the ropes. Just then, “Doozy” by Token hits the speakers.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like backup’s coming!
Ryan immediately twists toward the HOV as Jiles instinctively rolls out of the ring. Doozer emerges at the top of the ramp, deadpan, egg in hand, slowly making his way down the ramp. Ryan shouts a warning toward the old Bandit, then makes sure Hortega is going to handle the situation. Joel leans through the ropes, warning Doozer to turn back. The concerned Bandit doesn’t turn, but stops about mid ramp.
Benny Newell: He better stay right there if he knows what’s good for him, Joe!
Dan Ryan rolls out of the ring to wrangle up his dead opponent. The Texan takes Jiles and throws him back into the ring like a rag doll. He barks at Hortega to get his attention, then pins.
Just as Hortega starts to turn, Doozer cocks back the egg. Hortega snaps back to him, afraid the egg would be headed his way, and shouts at Doozer to return backstage, waving his arms and shaking his head. Doozer slowly brings his egg arm down, then smiles, and tosses the egg underhand into the crowd.
Benny Newell: What the fuck was that about?
Joe Hoffman: I’m as long as you are right now, Benny.
Ryan shouts at Hortega again, who quickly turns and drops for the count.
Joe Hoffman: NO! THE SHOULDER ROSE JUST A BLINK OF AN EYE BEFORE THE 3RD COUNT!
Ryan jumps to his feet. Pissed beyond belief, and roars at Doozer. He turns back to the still down Jiles and starts shouting at him to get up and fight like a man. Jiles slowly stirs, then drags himself to the nearest rope, and starts pulling himself up to his feet. He finally stands, barely able to maintain balance. Ryan slowly approaches him, then shoots out a hand that grabs Jiles by the throat.
Joe Hoffman: COOLYMPIAN YOLJK! The force of his Ryan’s monster grip around Cancer’s neck must’ve sent yellow mist out spurting out of Jiles’ mouth!
Hortega begins to warn Jiles, but stops realizing the mist was a result of Dan Ryan’s action and wasn’t intentionally spit by Cancer.
Benny Newell: BULLSHIT!
The blinded Texan flails forward with a big right hand, Jiles instinctively drops and toe trips Dan, sending him face first to the mat. Jiles runs over and grabs his left arm, he twists it around Ryan’s leg, spins, puts his other leg over it to lock it in, then he rolls over Dan’s back and onto his own. Using the Ego Buster’s own weight and momentum to push over him, Cancer gets his opponents shoulders down while completely locking Ryan’s arms and legs!
Joe Hoffman: THE MAGISTRAL CRADLE!
Hortega drops as Ryan can’t get enough leverage to do anything more than shake out of the lock-
DING DING DING!
Joe Hoffman: Holy shit.
Benny Newell: What the fuck?
Doozer’s eyes nearly pop out of his head.
Jiles quickly releases the pin and rolls across the ring, pulling his hair out of place in sheer disbielef.
Dan Ryan snaps up to his feet faster than you can blink.
Cancer jumps to his own, then smiles, and extends a hand just like he did to start the match.
Joe Hoffman: Look at The Texan’s face right now, I would not advise a handshake.
The Ego Buster cocks his head, then relaxes.
He slowly approaches his opponent, growing a smirk on his face.
Dan Ryan extends an open hand of his own back toward Cancer.
Benny Newell: What in the fucking fuck am I witnessing? What’d you spike my drink with, Joe?
Just before the two open hands can grasp, Dan Ryan’s balls into a fist and charges upward, connecting with the bottom of Jiles’ jaw so hard the crack echoed.
Benny Newell: YESSSS! DID YOU SEE THAT? CANCER JUST FLEW UP AND BACKWARD INTO THE TURNBUCKLE LIKE HE WAS STRUCK BY SUPERMAN!
Jiles slumps down to the mat and rolls out. Doozer rushes down the ramp to his aid as Dan Ryan barks warnings at him while exiting the ring. He spits in disgust as he marches up the ramp backward, still shouting at, taunting, and threatening the two Bandits ringside.
Joe Hoffman: I can’t believe we just saw. The Meastro might’ve pulled out a seemingly impossible upset, but what is worth it?
Doozer lifts his long time friend and tag partner up over his shoulder like a wet towel. Slowly, he carries Jiles to the back as we cut elsewhere.
The HOV comes to life and “Debts to Pay” cuts across the P.A. system as we see the Minister, complete with white three-piece suit, #97Red tie and gold covered fingers that curl around the lapels of his suit coat. A broad smile is spread across his face like a hooker’s legs, the cracks of his dried lips ooze blood while his slivered teeth glitter in the light.
As the scene slowly widens we see that the Minister is standing out in the parking lot surrounded by his surrogates, an odd collection of ninjas, homeless, cultists and EPU guards. All of them appear to either be wearing white, featureless masks with red crosses painted on them or have red crosses painted on their faces similar to the one scarred into the Minister’s forehead.
Slithering behind a large podium with a similar red cross adorned on it, the Minister retrieves a microphone. His ringed fingers constrict the shaft of the microphone as he stares down at it with both of his eyes, red and blue. His smile falters for a moment before his eyes flicker up toward the camera.
The Minister: Robert Dean, friends.. MJF likes to mockingly call him Bobo. This, the genius that also brought you Fartypants and Harold, lost to him. Now, friends, does that make Robert Dean a particularly skilled opponent or does that make MJF a particularly bad opponent? That’s not something I’m that interested in but Mike Best? If I was Mike that’s a question, I would have been asking myself all week.
His smile diminishes as his brows arch up.
The Minister: And will admit I am a little concerned for you Mike. Concerned you’ll make the same stupid mistake that MJFlair did and come up short against the Beautiful One. Concerned that I’ll be out here next week asking the question is Robert Dean a particularly skilled opponent or is Mike Best a particularly bad opponent? Let’s hope I don’t have to ask that question, Mike. Unless..
A smirk splatters across the Minister’s face as he lets a particularly throaty chuckle slip past his clenched teeth.
The Minister: I certainly hope you’re not planning on losing the World Championship to Robert Dean to avoid facing me at No Remorse? Nobody is going to blame you, just ask “Perfection” James Cripplegrip, the NEWEST member of my Congregation. Somebody get me some wheels cause that was a segue!
Sweeping his hands to the side as his face lights up with twisted mirth the camera pans to show a mannequin with Perfection’s face taped to the head. He wears a shirt that reads “I GOT BEAT BY THE MINISTER AND ALL I GOT WAS A CULT MEMBERSHIP”.
The Minister: Welcome to the Congregation, Perfection! As I promised you would be the first but you shall be far, far from the last to join! Membership is compulsory and while this isn’t the real Perfection, he is welcome here anytime, yes yes! Heh-heh..
Several of the Minister’s disheveled followers pose with the mannequin as the camera pans back to pale clothed pastor who straightens his tie, his smile looking more like a snarl at this point.
The Minister: I have been listening, reading and digesting everything that has been said over the last few weeks. I know many of you out there still do not understand what is happening, your pea brains don’t get it, don’t understand me, what I’m doing, why I’m here.. It’s not your fault, see, I’m smart and you’re just all dumb. That is why none of you truly appreciate the complexity, the GENIUS of what I have done and will do. You naval gazing morons will have the privilege of witnessing my Magnum Opus.. if..
A giggle that turns into a snarl growls from his throat. His red eye’s intensity seems to grow as his tongue slips out and brushes over his lips, the oozing blood smeared away momentarily before new crimson lines.
The Minister: IF Mike Best doesn’t make the same mistake as MJFlair. The same mistake I made not factoring in the most unexpected of variables. If we don’t hear that cursed name ringing out in victory at the end of tonight. You know the name..
His smile seems to vanish as his face takes a more serious expression, his voice becoming harsh.
The Minister: Robert fucking Dean. Have a Blessed Day.
Action cuts to commercial.
Bobby Dean, the Beautiful One himself, is seen walking down the hallway with a nervous but focused look on his face. His big match for the HOW World title against his old colleague is just moments away. Out of nowhere Steve Harrison is seen walking slowly with a downtrodden look on his face. In front of him walks Jack Marley with a grin on his face and red in his eyes, a backpack is seen on his back. As the two groups are about to pass by each other, Jack stops in front of Bobby and extends his hand.
Jack Marley: Wow, Bobby Best, the Beautiful Best of the Bestst! It is great to meet you, mon.
Bobby comes to a stop and slowly shakes Jack’s hand but stares the whole time over his shoulder at the downtrodden Steve Harrison. Steve refuses to acknowledge Bobby, seemingly trying to hide from the gaze of BBD.
Bobby Dean: Good evening Mr. Marley, it’s a pleasure to meet you as well!
Bobby then extends his hand past Jack towards Steve, who can no longer ignore Bobby’s presence. Steve looks up, still not offering to reciprocate the handshake, as his eyes dart around the hallway for possible means of escape.
Bobby Dean: I wanted to say I’m sorry for forgetting who you were, when you first arrived in HOW. But don’t feel too badly, I forget who Dan Ryan is on a daily basis, he’s just got one of those faces, ya’ know?
Bobby, not getting a handshake in return, slowly drags his hand back to his side. If he’s bothered by the lack of respect, his face doesn’t show it.
Jack Marley: Sorry, Bobby–You must understand Steve is not good at giving or receiving apologies.
The Miracle Man’s teeth begin to grit as he pushes Jack softly.
Jack Marley: So… Rebecca and I spoke with Steve and told him maybe Bobby did visit you in the hospital all those years ago, but you didn’t know. Steve begrudgingly shrugged and this is what we came up with.
Jack takes his backpack off and pulls out a carton of eGGs and some Miracle Milk. Jack hands them to Bobby with a giddy look on his face.
Jack Marley: Milk and eGGs, mon. You can make a mean Cake with them or toss the eGGs all over Michael Best’s face. We at least agree on that. Just remember, drink the Milk after the match–you will get loads of vitamins to help you recover from your match…maybe win, mon?
Bobby Dean: But… But, I’m lactose intolerant?
Jack looks confused at Bobby and then at Steve who just stands behind him seething.
Jack Marley: Whoa, mon, why are you intolerant of lactose?
Jack and Bobby stare at each other both not understanding anything that is going on now.
Jack Marley: Wait–wait, did it do something to you? Did this lactose (gulps) abuse you?
Bobby begins to nod his head quite vigorously.
Bobby Dean: Yes! All the time! Verbally. Emotionally. Always harassing me like some bully.
Jack nods understanding what it is like to be bullied and pats Bobby on the back. Harrison’s head begins to rise up, his face beat red, his veins in his forehead pounding.
Jack Marley: Oh mon, that is horrible. If you point me to it I will help you stand up to him.
Bobby points past Jack to the Suplex Saint himself, Steve Harrison. Steve finally looks up, shock on his face, as Bobby continues to point to his abuser. Jack looks from Steve to Bobby, then back again, at a complete loss.
Jack Marley: I am not surprised–
Steve roars to himself and pushes Jack out of the way.
Steve Harrison: ENOUGH–enough of this bullshit. I showed up being the BIGGER man, heh, first time you’re not the bigger man, huh, Bobby? I bring you eGGs and the amazing Miracle Milk and all you do is cast a shadow of LIES on me.
Jack Marley: Might be jokes like that, mon.
Steve stares a hole through Jack and then looks back at Bobby who has begun slinking away from the situation. Harrison throws his arms in the air.
Steve Harrison: FINE! (sigh) Fine, good luck tonight, I will have my eyes on you (under his breath) you rotund hairless kangaroo.
Bobby Dean smiles at the good luck comment not hearing the usual Steve Harrison insult. Suddenly Bobo’s eyes get large as he sees something behind Harrison.
Slithering down the hall was the pale garbed spectre of High Octane Wrestling, the Minister Maxiblah blah blah. One glowing red eye glared hatefully out at the world while a sharp blue eye swiveled from side to side like a bird looking for its prey. It swiftly locked onto Harrison, narrowing as a smile stretched across his scarred face. Hands covered in golden rings clasped together as he grew close, his smile stretching into an ever-tighter grin.
He grew close, uncomfortably close Harrison, ideally sniffing the air around him before a gurgling chuckle escaped his lips. He pulled away and continued on his way leaving in the direction he had originally been walking.
Bobby Dean quickly departs after the close encounter with The Minister, no longer Max Shell to the chagrin of all those eGG eating morons. Harrison takes a deep breath and looks over at Jack Marley who has the look of someone who just had their soul pulled slowly and replaced with ten gallons of nails.
Steve Harrison: Oh.
Jack Marley: I think I just lost any high I still had, mon.
Jack stumbles away a pale look upon his face. Steve grabs the backpack from Jack and takes out a bottle of water. A little smirk comes to his face as he takes a sip as the scene fades all that is heard is ‘yea–good look to everyone.’
Cut backstage where Eric Dane is standing in front of the door to Lee Best’s office. The look on his face tells you everything you need to know about his current mood.
Eric Dane: Where the fuck are you?
A smartphone is pressed to his ear, a scowl plastered on his face.
Eric Dane: It’s been three goddamn weeks.
He listens, eyes rolling.
Eric Dane: Blah, blah, probation, blah. The fuck am I doing here if you ain’t gonna put me in the ring with somebody? You want me to just run around knee-cappin’ people every fuckin’ week? I can, Lee, I’ve still got the goddamned pipe.
More listening. More eye-rolling.
Eric Dane: I know… I know. Look, man, Kostoff is your problem, not mine, if you want me to do to him what I did to Lindsay then say the fuckin’ word. You want me to make sure the next batch if blow your kid inhales is laced with Ajax, then say the fuckin’ word. I ain’t exactly bein’ picky here, just lookin’ for some fuckin’ direction. I’ll set this whole place on actual fire if that’s what it takes, just TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK IT IS THAT YOU WANT FROM ME!
Eric’s face scrunches up.
He pulls the phone away from his ear and stares at the screen.
Eric Dane: Seriously? What is this, high school?
The Only Star turns to leave and almost steamrolls the much smaller Blaire Moise in the process. She no-sells it and goes immediately into her schtick.
Blaire Moise: Eric, if I could have a moment of your time…?
Eric Dane: I’m not sure that’s a question.
She blinks at him, determined.
Blaire Moise: Can. I. Ask. You. A. Question. Please.
The Only Star raises an eyebrow.
Eric Dane: Hard no.
He steps out of the camera’s view.
Blaire Moise: But-
Eric Dane: [off-screen] No buts, figure it out.
Cut back to commercial.
#25 Bobby Dean vs. #2 Michael Lee Best
As Refueled returns to your television sets, we quickly pan over to the announcers’ table for tonight’s main event of the evening. Eagle eyed viewers are quick to notice that Benny is no longer sitting in his seat, rather he has been replaced with current LSD Champion and noted Mike Best Best Friend (MBBF), Cecilworth M! Farthington. Farthington is doing his best to bury a smirk from breaking across his face as Joe Hoffman shuffles papers around.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back to Refueled, folks! We’ve had another change at the announce table, Benny Newell has decided to take the rest of the night off due to the arrival of the man by side, LSD Champion, Cecilworth Farthington.
Cecilworth Farthington: Hey, I was happy for Benny to stay out here and engage in some stimulating discourse with the man, it’s not my fault he’s still all bent out of shape over that whole arm thing.
Joe Hoffman: That arm thing? You broke the man’s arm!
Cecilworth Farthington: Exactly, arm thing. This isn’t about me Joe, I am out here tonight to support my good friend Mike Best as he completes his first successful title defense against ole Flappy Babby and his diabetes ridden body. The Bandits are about to find out what happens when you get ideas above your station.
As the lights start to dim in the area, an excited buzz zooms through the arena, and then it happens.
“The Best Around” by Joe Esposito heralds the arrival of Bobby Dean to the stage. There are a few moments of confusion as fans flash back to the Lethal Lottery and Mike Best’s use of the disputed theme song but as soon as they catch a glimpse of the saggy superstar, a roar of approval smashes into Bobby like a brick wall.
Bryan McVay: The following contest is your MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING and is for the HOW World Heavyweight Championship. Introducing first, making his way to the ring at this time, he hails from Houston, Texas and tonight he weighs in and a mean, lean two hundred and thirty pounds, standing six foot even, representing the Egg Bandits… BOBBY…. DEANNNNNNN!
Cecilworth Farthington: You have got to be fucking kidding me.
Joe Hoffman: Early this week, Bobby Dean said he wasn’t afraid of Mike Best anymore and you have to imagine that his theme song choice for the evening is setting that tone from the outset.
Cecilworth Farthington: If he’s looking for a second bout in intensive care, he should keep these antics up.
Dean doesn’t quite look his jovial self on his way to the ring, a look of determination has swept over his face, fully aware of the magnitude of the moment he finds himself in. Head down, he storms towards the ring, occasionally lifting up his hand to give a brief wave to his supporters. Bobby carefully enters the ring as Matt Boettcher guides him towards his corner. As soon as he’s positioned, his eyes remain locked towards the entrance, nodding his head repetitively, bouncing in place as “The Best Around” fades away, a small smile creeps across this face of Bobby, clearly hoping his choice for the evening gets to Mike.
Joe Hoffman: That’s the look of a man walking to this ring determined to leave it World Champion.
Cecilworth Farthington: I’ve seen that look so many times Joe, it’s adorable. All the spunk and spirit in the world does bugger all against an athlete in their prime though and right now, Mike Best is entering a new prime.
Joe Hoffman: I can’t help but notice that Bobby’s allies are not present for this match.
Cecilworth Farthington: Many of them had hard fart contests tonight Joe that they’ll be recovering from and I’m certain a prideful egotist like Bobby probably said he wanted to do this one on his own, the fool that he is. Still, it’s Even Stevens as I can confirm that no members of the Group of Death will corner Mike Best this evening…
Joe Hoffman: But… but… you’re here.
Cecilworth Farthington: As a journalist and fan!
“Hallelujah” by Hanzel und Gretyl lets us know that “the power of God has freed us” and the absolute adulation that was present for the arrival of Bobby Dean is not present for the man who put Bobby into a coma. A few hardcore fans still yell their approval for Mike but they are clearly drowned out by the aggressive booing from most of the crowd. Bobby tenses up, ready for war as he awaits the arrival of Mike Best.
Of course that arrival is a little more sudden than Bobby was anticipating as Mike Best rushes out from the crowd, looking wide eyed and manic. He slams a forearm right into the back of the skull of Bobby causing Dean to crumble into the mat. Senior Official Matt Boettcher admonishes Best for his actions but this does little to stop the assault currently in action. Mike drives a series of vicious stomps right to the gut of Bobby, heavily breathing and wide eyed as he does so. Boettcher finally convinces Best to stand back away from Bobby for a second and against his better judgement, signals for the bell.
Ding ding ding
Joe Hoffman: Controversial call from Matt Boettcher here, that was a sneak attack pure and simple from Mike Best. I don’t condone Mike’s actions in the offset but for a match of this proportion, Boettcher may not have had any other call.
Cecilworth Farthington: You have no idea how a violent assault is a totally fine way to start the match in THIS company? Has the dementia started to kick in, Joe? With that pathetic display of theme music THEFT to start this match, can you blame MAH BOY for being so fired up?
Bobby writhes around on a mat in agony as Boettcher guides a furious Best to his corner, giving space for Dean to start climbing back up with the support of the nearby ropes. Bobby is gasping for air as he tries to right himself up while Best for his part is snorting in his corner like a wild bull ready to charge. Bobby finally gets back up and the fans are once again egging him on into action. Dean looks over at the wild, almost feral Best and is uncertain how to proceed as Boettcher steps back and allows the match to continue. Mike rushes at Dean but Dean manages to slip to the right and pushes Mike front first into the ropes. Best bounces into the ropes and as he rebounds, Bobby scoops him into a schoolboy cradle.
Joe Hoffman: No! Kickout! Mike Best was clearly stunned by Bobby’s relative swiftness there, if the champ continues to rush into situations out of extreme anger, Bobby Dean could leave here our new World Heavyweight Champion.
Cecilworth Farthington: And when Mike finally gets his hands on Bobby proper, Dean could leave here as Chicago General’s newest A&E patient. Which scenario do you think is more likely Joe? We’re not on a bloody beach volleyball court this time round. This is a PURE sporting contest.
Joe Hoffman: Earlier this week Mike Best made it clear how humiliating it was to lose his LSD Championship to a rather more spherical Bobby Dean back in 2012, do you think the flashback to those memories is driving this anger?
Cecilworth Farthington: I think see a man parade himself around in a blue tuxedo as Bobby Best all week making a parody of your entirely real life addiction is more likely to be the reason for my buddies desire to murder.
Mike Best rolls back up to his feet, stunned at how quickly Bobby managed to catch him. Bobby seems almost as stunned himself but shakes off the nerves and returns to his focus, beating Mike Best. Best launches forward with a knee strike towards the gut of Dean but Dean manages to use the momentum to his advantage, grabbing Mike’s rushing leg and sweeping out the other one. The back of the World Champion’s skull collides with the mat and Dean follows him down to the ground, smashing his elbow into Mike Best’s skull destroying knee as he drops down. Dean sees this opening as an opportunity and begins to follow up on his initial knee attack with a series of elbow drops right onto the Kneesus Christ himself. After the fifth elbow, Bobby has to take a moment to try and get some oxygen back into his system, his panting is rather heavy from the cardio performed.
Joe Hoffman: You have to admit that it’s smart tactics to try and cut out the knee from the man who calls himself Kneesus Christ.
Cecilworth Farthington: Yes Joe, it’s clearly smart tactics to exert yourself so much that you’re about to have a coronary in the middle of the ring. I mean, you can see his lips turning as blue as his tights! It’s fine though Joe, I was starting to think that The Bandits were getting too big anyway, if one of them wants to Darwin themselves off the roster because they don’t know when to stop, go right ahead.
Best sees Dean gasping for air and knows he has an opening, he winces in pain as he slaps down on his knee a few times, trying to loosen out the tightness that Dean had created. The World Champion scampers behind Dean for and takes him down to the mat with a chop block. Dean doesn’t collapse, instead falling down onto the knee that Best just targeted. Best’s cogs start to turn as he looks at Bobby’s position. Dean for his part is still exhausted and doesn’t look like he’s intending to move any time soon. Best scrambles up to his feet and looks over at Bobby…
I KNEED A HERO!
Joe Hoffman: Ooft!
Cecilworth Farthington: Where’s Boettcher? Ring the bell! Disqualification! Illegal! Illegal!
A slow motion replay on the screens show that as Mike Best leaps up for his Shining Wizard, Bobby Dean manages to force his head forward and headbutt the champion’s lower regions before the knees makes contact with his face, stopping Best dead in his tracks. Best falls over to the sides as the fans once again seek to egg Bobby on with their support. Bobby digs deep down to find the courage and second tank inside as he lifts up a very much in pain Best. Boettcher seems to shrug off the legal dubiousness of the headbutt, perhaps in part due to the pre-match assault. Bobby scoops up the World Champion and drills him down to the mat with a Michinoku Driver, leaning over to pull Mike’s leg up for the pin.
Cecilworth Farthington: DO SOMETHING BOETTCHER! DISQUALIFY THIS FLABBY MAN!
Joe Hoffman: He’s doing something alright, he’s counting the pin!
Cecilworth Farthington: PRAISE KNEESUS!
Joe Hoffman: Bobby Dean was too close to the ropes with this one and Mike Best manages to reach with his free arm to grab the ropes for a break.
Cecilworth Farthington: That’s why he’s World Champion Joe. Kicking out from the clutches of Bobby Dean would take a lot of energy, he’s managed to converse that AND break the pin. Gotta respect Bobby though, some people would even call being that close to victory a win! Over and over!
Bobby looks over at Boettcher stunned as he lets Bobby know that Mike managed to grab the ropes. Bobby’s heart sinks a little bit and the cameras can pick up a smug little smile on the champion’s face at the idea of the heartbreak he has just caused. Bobby rolls Mike Best away as he tries to plan for his next move but as he stops to consider tactics from his seated position on the mat, he quickly finds an elbow getting drilled directly into his face sending his head crashing down to the mat. Best quickly floats over and mounts Dean as the World Champion’s face begins to look like it has been possessed by Satan himself. Best shifts over, pinning both of Dean’s arms tight to the ground as he sits on his chest.
Joe Hoffman: Not again! If you have any children watching, and god knows why you would, I would recommend looking away now.
Cecilworth Farthington: Children should watch. Children should learn. If you give a single opening in a match like this, as poor ole Robert just did, well… back to the coma ward.
The champion lifts up his elbow as he looks down at the terrified Dean, the noise that the crowd is currently making cannot quite be distinguished but be assured, it is not positive noise. Best brings down his elbow to Bobby’s skull with all his might but starts to lose momentum on the way down. Why? Well, the slightly more svelte version of Dean manages to be flexible enough to drill a knee into the back of the World Champion. Best tenses up his back to absorb the blow as he goes for a second attack but he can’t quite get the aim right as Dean wriggles, continuously smashing knees into the back of Mike Best. Best does everything in his power to absorb the blows, deciding that he can’t do the ground and pound he was hoping for, he drills a forceful elbow right into the face of Dean and rolls off, clutching his back.
Joe Hoffman: Mike Best was looking for a repeat of their Lethal Lottery affair but this rather slimmer Dean had some flexibility that was not planned for.
Cecilworth Farthington: Look Joe, it doesn’t matter. Mike still hit the killing blow. Look at the blood gushing out of the nose of ole Bobby. Beautiful no more, am I right? I am so right!
The rather inane ramblings of Farthington prove to be correct as the camera pans over to Matt Boettcher checking on Dean as blood gushes out of his nose with a faucet turned on full. Best leans up against the ropes, clutching his back in pain but clearly happy to smile at his handiwork. Boettcher asks if Bobby wishes to continue and Dean waves him off, almost pushing him away as he does so. Dean licks his bottom lip, tasting his own blood and his eyes begin to light up. He looks over at the laughing Best, still leaning up against the bottom and second ropes. Dean wipes the blood away with the back of his hand and rushes at the World Champion. Best anticipates this and rolls out of the way, causing Bobby to crash into the ropes. Dean’s chest crashes hard into the top rope, winding him once again.
Joe Hoffman: That elbow seems to have enraged Bobby Dean, perhaps having flashbacks to his time in the coma and that look in his face… he isn’t fun loving any more.
Cecilworth Farthington: The succubus that is HOW consumes us eventually, Joe.
Joe Hoffman: You can say that agai… wait, what?
Best hooks Bobby’s arms from behind, perhaps looking for a backslide pin but he has a hard to get a grip due to all of the loose fat hanging around the body of Dean, as Mike struggles for control, Dean manages to get his breath back. He shifts the momentum around and manages to use the arm hook to spin Best forward, facing him. The two men are now face to face. Dean rubs the blood from his nose across his palm, slapping Mike Best directly in the face with his bloody paw. Kneesus Christ staggers back, clearly not anticipating the kind of attack from Dean, he is stunned.
Cecilworth Farthington: First the groin headbutt, now this clear attempt to infect the champion with whichever horrid diseases that Dean is riddled with, do your job Boettcher!
Joe Hoffman: I don’t think there’s a single part of the rulebook that outlaws slaps to the face. Are you starting to get worried for your best friend?
Cecilworth Farthington: Pshaw, hardly. All part of the plan Joe, all part of the strategy. This was all supposed to happen as Kneesus himself divined.
A staggered Best throws a wild haymaker in complete rage at Bobby’s slap but Dean is able to duck under it. Dean uses this opening and drills a boot into the gut of the World Champion and looks down at his own crotch area. He grabs the head of Best and begins to try and stuff it inside of his trunks. Best senses are awakened as he realises what’s going on and he struggles, throwing punches into the gut of Dean but perhaps due to it basically being a deadzone there, the blows are absorbed. Dean knees Best in the gut again, draining the wind from the champion as he manages to successfully shove Best’s head into his tights.
Joe Hoffman: This move put away your opponent at No Remorse, MJF, last week Cecilworth. Are you worried about… Cecilworth?
Joe suddenly realises that his announcing partner has abandoned the table. Farthington looks up to the ring and sees that Matt Boettcher is currently observing the forced insertion, likely trying to work out the legalities for such a move. The LSD Champion spots his opportunity and hooks the leg of Dean from the bottom rope. This distracts Bobby enough to allow Mike to make a move from inside the tights of Bobby Dean. Dean’s eyes widen in extreme pain as he falls to his knees in shock, the World Champion pulling his head back out of Dean’s tights.
Joe Hoffman: Surely the World Champion did not just… I have to assume… there’s no way he took a bite…
Farthington lets go of Dean’s leg, Boettcher none the wiser to the entire incident. The World Champion doesn’t let the opening go to waste as he rushes towards Dean.
I KNEED A HERO!
Joe Hoffman: I can’t believe for the second week in a row, these shenanigans are darkening our title main events!
Mike shifts Bobby away from the ropes, hooking both of his legs for the pin.
Ding ding ding
The audio picks up the rustling of a headset and some slight panting.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know what Mike Best did inside of Bobby Dean’s trunks but it was clearly effective enough to get the job done, with a little help from his friend.
Cecilworth Farthington: Spectacular victory by my BEE EFF EFF! Told you Joe, it was all part of the plan and the master tactician once again gets his arm raised as the HOW World Champion.
Joe Hoffman: You don’t want to comment on your involvement?
Cecilworth Farthington: What involvement? I’ve been here the whole time.
Cecilworth stands up from the table to applaud his friend, Kneesus Christ, as Matt Boettcher raises the arm of the World Champion, presenting him with his belt as a marker of the victory. Best looks over at Farthington, shooting some finger guns in his direction as Farthington continues to give the champ an ovation.
Joe Hoffman: I’m absolutely speechless, the ending moments of this match may be burned into my memory forever.
Cecilworth Farthington: Stop you’re crying Joe, give the champion the goddamn respect he deserves!
Joe Hoffman: If it wasn’t for your intervention, he may not even BE the World Champion right now.
Cecilworth Farthington: No idea what delusions you’re babbling Joe, again, I have been at your side the entire match as any good journalist would be.
The camera begins to fade on a celebrating Mike Best, hugging the World Championship tightly as we see a broken, frustrated and bloody Bobby Dean leaning against the ropes in the background as we fade out to end Refueled 32.
Bonus: Class is in Session
The Only Star, Eric Dane, is seen making his way down one of the dark corridors of the AllState Arena shortly after the show has ended. His attention seems glued to his phone as a series of texts come, each text causing a soft beeping sound as it hits his screen. His pace slows as he reads whatever is on the screen, confusion washing over his face.
Eric Dane: ..if you want to be back in high school, here’s a lesson for you? What the fuck is Lee on about?
Dane repeats the last message he received, presumably from Lee, before something caught his eye. Looking up at the far end of the hall were about four disheveled individuals holding various implements such as bats, boards and in one case what looks to be a potted plant. A soft tapping sound behind him causes the End Game Boss to spin around, pushing his back against the wall as another four figures appear at the far end of the hall similar to those ahead of him.
More disheveled figures, more weapons and the sudden scent of something rotten in the air. Tucking his phone into his pocket Dane’s face hardens as he prepares for a fight. The figures on either end of the hall begin to shamble forward as they slowly begin to chant together..
Figures:.. praise. Praise. Praise!.. PRAISE!
Their changing grows louder as they grow closer, banging their weapons on the walls and the floor as they shamble on. Dane doesn’t show any signs of backing down.
Eric Dane: Come on! COME ON!
There is a loud thudding sound and suddenly the lights in the hall go out as does the sound of the chanting. All that is left is the sound of Dane’s breathing as he braces for the weave of demented devotees.
A few moments pass and nothing. No attack, no rush of hands grasping at Eric, no collision of bodies.
Then a low gurgling giggle snakes its way through the darkness as a single burning dot illuminates the hall casting a red glow over Dane. Turning to face the light it takes just a moment for Dane to register who it is before the light flashes in brilliant intensity filling his eyes with painful, hateful light.
It is then, in this moment of weakness, that Dane feels the wooden board collide with the back of his head, not hard enough to cause any major damage but certainly jarring enough to stun the Only Star. It is followed by a barrage of weapons swung at him striking his back, ribs and legs.
He turns and throws his body at his attackers, blinded and unsure as to their location. Still, it’s a narrow corridor and Dane is a large man, his overwhelming size managing to envelope his attackers as he tackles four men to the ground, his fists unleashed as he swings madly.
A vicious headbutt to the back of Eric Dane’s head finishes what the board started. Instead Dane’s head the world flashed white then red as his brain rattled inside his skull. He felt his legs weaken as his fists, which had been swinging mercilessly, grew heavy and dropped to his side. He felt fingers covered in cold rings wrap around his head before they drove it into the wall.
A final third time as he felt the teeth in his head jostle and tasted copper on his lips. He looked up and saw that murderous, grinning face and the burning red eye glaring down at him. The twisted visage of the Minister pulled away then slammed down in a vicious Brow Beater before the world was washed away in welcoming darkness.
He wasn’t entirely sure when the lights of the hall finally flickered back on but he found himself lying in a heap on the ground of the hall in a pool of his own blood. The weapons used to attack him were littered about. As he slowly pulled himself up he felt a rush of warm, sticky blood run down his face. A small cross had been cut into his forehead and on the wall, written presumably in his own blood, was a simple message.
“See you next week, Partner.”