Hyatt Place DFW
Monday Morning August 1st, 2022
Welcome to daybreak in the Dallas Metroplex.
The rumbling sound of traffic from the very busy Texas 97 aka International Parkway along with the thundering noise coming from the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport provides the background noise for Joe Bergman to lug his travel bag and duffel bag across the parking lot to his car located way in the back behind the hotel.
Sore from the match the night before against Scott Stevens, Joe knew Stevens had gave him a stern test. Joe went into the match thinking he’d have the answer when he needed it and that’s exactly what happened. The Dragon Sleeper set it up. The High Angle Senton finished the job and Bergman walked out of the ring the winner. More importantly, Joe felt he had a little momentum headed into Dead or Alive in less than two weeks.
Looking towards the hotel, Joe notices a sleepy Sunny O’Callahan through the window of the back exit of the hotel. The door then opened and Sunny trudged out and slowly made her way across the parking lot. She only stopped and waited for a vehicle to pass by before she arrived at Joe’s rental car.
Sunny had an early flight to catch back to St. Louis to participate in MVW promotional duties. So Joe offered to drop her off at the DFW International Airport terminal on his way out of town and Sunny accepted right away. She threw her stuff into the back seat of the car and settled in the passenger seat. Sunny then took a quick power nap and a few minutes later, she was let out at the gate and on her way through the terminal heading towards security.
Once Joe cleared the airport, he was on his way westbound on Texas 183 to pick up Texas 360 heading west around Fort Worth and eventually picked up Interstate 30 just west of the city and turned towards the Texas prairie.
As Joe merged on to Interstate 20 from I-30, his phone rang. He glanced down at the console where the phone sat.
“DAWN McGILL” was the name on showing up on the display.
He hit the green button to pick up the call.
The second Joe heard the tone of her voice, he knew exactly what Dawn was calling about.
At Chaos 5, Lee Best added Xander Azula and Brian Hollywood to the Dead or Alive Tag Team title match. Since Xander’s been training at Bergman’s Barn for several weeks now, Joe figured this question was coming given the potential awkwardness of the situation.
“…since Xander’s now in this big tag team title match now, ummmm…”
“Dawn. I know what you’re going to say and it’s okay,” Joe interrupted, switching lanes on I-20 and accelerating to a cruising speed of eighty miles an hour on the six-lane highway. “There is no reason for the situation to change. Go ahead and keep working with Xander. I don’t have an issue with it. Xander and Brian Hollywood deserve to be in the match after they knocked off STRONK and Christopher America last night.”
“Soooooooooo, what should I-“
Joe cuts in. “Dawn. It’s simple. Just treat Xander the same way you would normally treat him.”
“Look Dawn, you know the score. This match is going to be an absolute cluster and a half with four teams involved. Just get him ready for the match. We’re going to need all the help we can get to stop STRONK-daddy and Jace Parker Davidson from winning the tag belts. Do your magic. Just do it.”
“Okay then.” Dawn took a breath and then continued. “Speaking of… when are you coming back?”
“Not until after Dead or Alive.”
Joe then realized he might have neglected to alert Dawn to this minor little detail.
“Oh. Then I suppose you’d like me to be here and… you know… KEEP THE PLACE GOING?”
Joe had made a simple- but potentially fatal- assumption that Dawn would hold the fort down in the interim. Of course, Joe knew it would have been better had he actually spoken to her about it first so he decided to own it. “If you would. I am very sorry I didn’t talk to you about it before I left for Dallas. It’s been a little hairy of late.”
“I guess,” was Dawn’s slightly resigned response. “All I’ve got to say is you’re damn lucky Jimmy Buffett didn’t reschedule the Alpine Valley, Wisconsin until August 20th or you would have been shit out of luck.”
Jimmy Buffett had been scheduled to play Alpine Valley- one of his favorite tour stops- on July 23rd. In fact, Dawn and Rah were on their way to the venue when she received a notification from Jimmy’s website that there was severe weather in the area. Then they found out the Walworth County Sheriff and East Troy Fire Department advised Buffett to cancel and reschedule the show out of public safety- so no show. Rah was noticeably disappointed at the circumstances but he and Dawn redid their schedules to make sure they could go back to Alpine Valley on August 20th for the show.
“I appreciate it Dawn. How is Rah doing?”
“Busy. But at least he’s staying out of trouble… well, for the most part.”
“What is he doing?”
“He’s working on this Monday Night RAHHH thing.”
“What?” Not the answer Joe expected.
“He wants to host a talk show.”
“Rah wants to host a talk show?”
“Yep. A talk show.”
As part of the HOTv expansion, Rah put forth an idea for a weekly talk show every Monday night even though if Dawn was to be completely honest, she’s totally whelmed at the idea.
“Why does that not surprise me.” Joe then decided to fast forward the conversation past that. “Tell him I said ‘hi’ if you would.”
“I will. By the way, nice job last night.”
Joe suddenly slowed back down to the posted speed limit of seventy when he saw a set of flashing red and blue lights ahead. “Thanks.”
“I thought Stevens came in plenty motivated and you did a nice job in countering that.”
“I did too. Thought I came out of it okay though. Stevens came into the match with this thought that he was going to soften me up for The Board at Dead or Alive. I think Simon Sparrow and PIC did a much better job of softening up JPD for the Highwaymen.”
“Oh JPD is such a workhorseeeee.”
Joe chuckled as Dawn’s voice dripped with sarcasm. In fact, her tone of voice bordered on outright mocking contempt of the King of Everything.
“I don’t know what’s more pathetic. The fact that JPD’s not only spreading himself thin on the wrestling front again or the fact he’s spreading himself thin on Twitter chasing any tail that breathes.”
Joe really couldn’t care less about JPD’s proclivities. He was also pretty sure STRONK had no idea how to spell ‘proclivity’ much less know the definition of ‘proclivity.’
“Whatever Dawn,” he replied. “Let Jace wear himself out wrestling everyone and doing whatever the hell he’s doing. Not worried about it. If nothing else Dawn, Xander and Hollywood proved that even STRONK can’t win a two on one match if STRONK’S partner is taking out of the equation. STRONK’s good. But he’s not that good.”
He heard Dawn audibly scoff.
“STRONK is a steroid-ridden puffed-up body builder masquerading as a pro wrestler. If STRONK was any more ‘blown up’, he’d be flying in the air at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
“That may be true. But like Chris Kostoff found out a couple years ago, all the strength and bulk in the world doesn’t matter one bit when someone shuts off their air flow. That goes for STRONK, too. He’s not a wrestler and I know I can get him with the Dragon Sleeper and shut him down.
Traffic slowed ahead. Joe swerves into the paved shoulder to see what the hold up is.
It’s a slow vehicle in the fast lane causing traffic to back up.
“And another thing, Dawn,” Joe continued, slowing the car and holding his position on the highway. “It’s not going to be a straight up two on two tag team match and I think Harrison and I can use that to our advantage.”
“I promise I won’t disclose your plan to Xander.”
Joe laughed as traffic came to a temporary stop. “Thanks, I appreciate that.”
“By the way if I may ask, if you’re not going to be home for two weeks, who’s watching Libby then?”
“Laura’s staying at her St. Louis apartment and working from there,” Joe said in a matter of fact voice. “Libby’s staying with her for a couple weeks while I’m gone and she’ll spend some of that time with her babysitter. All under control.”
“Um… what happened?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why did Laura move back to St. Louis?”
What happened? A conversation took place last week between Joe and Laura where she admitted that she ‘may have made a big mistake about us’ … ie… getting divorced. It would have been completely understandable for a recently divorced ex-husband at that moment to tell his recently divorced ex-wife to go take the longest walk possible off the shortest pier after what they both had been through the past year.
Unfortunately… or fortunately depending on your point of view, Chicago Channel 5 reporter Elizabeth Carlisle had decided to come calling on Joe on that particular day. So he had to put off the conversation with Laura until the next evening.
Laura informed him the next night she’d left the New York City job because it was killing her not being able to be with Libby. She took a position with the former company she used to work out of Atlanta for when they lived in Tennessee. The company had opened up a brand new Chicago office and reached out to her to see if she was interested. She jumped at the chance to move back to St. Louis and Laura explained to Joe how the new arrangement would be beneficial to all of them.
Laura was correct on that front. On all other questions on the table… Joe told her he would think about it.
The line went quiet for a few seconds. Joe thought the call may have dropped.
“Yeah, I’m still here. So. What does this all mean?”
“Watcha going to do?”
“Absolutely nothing for now.”
“Come on Dawn. Do you think I’d be that stupid after the crap she put me through the past several months to just turn around and walk right back to her? There’s going to be a long process before I take that step. Besides, Elizabeth Carlisle has shown up at the gym out of the blue a couple times. I think she may be interested too.
“Wait. The Channel Five reporter babe from Chicago that you trained for a few weeks to do a news story?”
“Look, Dawn, right now I can’t get distracted here. Just too many things that I don’t need to be thinking about right now.” Joe wildly gestured with his hand out of instinct for no real reason as he spoke to the amusement of a driver of the car he’d just passed. “Why do you think I’m not coming home until after Dead or Alive? I want this win in the worst possible way and the only way I’m going to do it is by putting everything else aside. There’s too much riding on this match. There’s no way in hell I want The Board to walk out of Tombstone with the tag belts. We’ve stopped them so far up to this point and we’re going to have to do it again.”
“Gotcha. So where exactly are you headed?”
“West. Somewhere. Gotta get my mind right for what’s coming down the pike.”
Jace, Jace, Jace. I can’t believe you actually went there.
“Pretty soon TEN-X was going to be responsible for making the stars in this business that much better. But when you’re a Hall of Famer, an Elite Athlete, and trainer in the best training facility in the country. Then that’s to be expected. I mean… it’s not like I’m inviting people to train in a fucking barn of all places.”
I can’t believe you went full Global Gym on Bergman’s Barn? Really?
All right then…
NOTE: The names were changed to protect the innocent in this following piece.
Scene: A gym. Lots of hot women working out. Crotch shots of women working out. Ass shots of women working out.
Announcer: Are you an up-and-coming pro wrestler and you’re tired of being a failure?
Next, shots of a man lifting very heavy weights with well-defined muscles while some skinny dude stands next to him vaping.
Announcer: Are you tired of muddling along in low rent pro wrestling companies that train out of a barn?
We see one guy scoping out the babes while they work out.
Announcer: Tired of being overlooked and underappreciated when all you need is a little fine tuning to get your wrestling career moving forward?
The same guy is on a bicycle machine and just finishes up an exercise program.
He sees the camera pointing at him and has this really dorky expression of surprise.
JPD: Oh. Hello! I’m Jay P. Donaldson…
The man suspiciously dressed like Jace Parker Davidson jumps off the bicycle and starts strutting through the gym with multiple people working out on multiple exercise machines, weight machines, and STRULK- who might have a slight resemblance to STRONK- shooting some steroids into his arm in the background.
The camera cuts elsewhere.
JPD: …one of the trainers here at 10-X Global Gym American Incorporated Wrestling Academy For Wrestlers Who Want to be Supertalented and Great Just Like Us!
JPD points to the camera and points.
JPD: And I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be stuck with what you’ve got.
Cut to the weight room where two cute women work out.
JPD: Here at 10-X Global Gym American Incorporated Wrestling Academy For Wrestlers Who Want to be Supertalented and Great Just Like Us, we take our job training up and coming stars in the wrestling business seriously.
He approaches one of the women.
JPD: Hey Buffy.
He smacks her on the ass.
JPD: Looking good. Looking… *really* good.
She turns and gives the camera a most ‘gushing’ smile.
Buffy: Gee thanks Jay!
There’s a sparkle in her smile.
JPD looks back at the camera, raises his eyebrows, and winks.
JPD: Really seriously. Here at 10-X Global Gym American Incorporated Wrestling Academy For Wrestlers Who Want to be Supertalented and Great Just Like Us, we understand not everyone can be supertalented like me and the 10-X Global Gym Board of Wrestling Greatness and treat the…
JPD does the air quotes.
JPD: …”non-talented” and “people who have no business being in a wrestling ring” as a genetic disorder… kind of like male pattern baldness. Or Ordinaryphila…
JPD continues to walk through the gym. He points to the camera.
JPD: Actually, I just made that word up.
Cut to a wrestling ring where a relatively ordinary guy with ordinary skills stands before the Board aka people made up to loosely to look like Mike Best, Tyler Best, STRONK, JPD, and Christopher America.
JPD (voiceover): But if you’re not good enough…
All gives him a thumbs down and a trap door inside the ring opens. The ordinary guy falls through, never to be seen again.
Cut back to JPD…
JPD: …it’s only your fault if you don’t hate yourself enough to do something about it.
STRULK, a man with ridiculously huge rippling muscles gets ready to bench press a massive amount of weight while some skinny dude encourages him while he vapes… inside a closed facility without sufficient venting to keep the air clean and safe to breathe.
With a mighty push, STRULK pushes the barbell up and he successfully completes the bench press.
STRULK: VEGETABLES ARE A SCOURGE ON THE FOOD INDUSTRY!
Skinny Vaping Guy: WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?
STRULK: HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW?
Skinny Vaping Guy: WHY ARE WE YELLING?
The question confuses STRULK. Finally, he rears back and punches the Skinny Vaping Guy in the jaw.
STRULK: SHUT UP PUNY GUY!
Cut back to JPD. Now he’s climbing up what appears to be a rock wall.
JPD: That’s where 10-X Global Gym comes in. Train with us and we’ll take you all the way to the top!
He reaches the top of the wall and looks over the edge. Down below is the women’s shower room. JPD tilts his head back and goes…
JPD: HA! HA HA!
Then he realizes the camera can see what’s on the other side.
JPD: WAIT A MINUTE! CUT! CUT!
JPD is walking through what appears to be a boiler room-type deal where ‘wrestling consultants’ are screening new potential clients.
JPD: 10-X Global Gym employs a highly trained staff of personal pro wrestling specialists who know what we’re looking for.
Pan in to a buff looking guy. The consultant smiles at the camera and flashes a thumbs up.
Pan in to a hot looking female. The consultant grins and nods his head up and down.
Pan in to one particularly ordinary looking guy. The consultant doesn’t look the least bit impressed by him. She hits a button. A trap door opens up and the ordinary guy falls into a pit of tigers where horrible things happen to him.
JPD walking into a room where there’s a large poster of him hanging up on the wall in three different poses.
JPD: And with our unique, Board designed on-site training regimen, we can help you grow as a pro wrestler faster than those other gyms… can you believe there are actually people who train in barns? Really?
JPD just shakes his head at the thought.
JPD: Okay. Here at 10-X Global Gym we encourage rapid growth in a shorter time frame by using the crushing weight of group peer pressure to hold our students accountable to each other.
JPD walks into a room where a group of women are training and finds that someone has messed up on a running the ropes drill.
He goes up to one of the students- her name is Buffy. She seems horrified at a mistake that was just made. Zootie, Muffy and Shonda all stand behind her.
JPD: All right. What happened here?
Buffy: Zootie did not properly space herself from Muffy while running the ropes and ran into her in the middle of the ring.
JPD: I see.
Muffy: It’s not the first time we’ve had this problem.
Buffy: No, it hasn’t.
She turns to Zootie to scold her.
Buffy: Bad! Bad Zootie!
Zootie hangs her head in shame.
Buffy: Oh… wicked… bad… naughty, evil Zootie.
Muffy: Oh, she is a BAD person and she’ll have to pay the penalty.
JPD: What penalty do you propose to hold Zootie accountable?
Shonda: We have but one punishment for improperly running the ropes…
Shonda looks at JPD while pointing at Zootie.
Shonda: …you must tie her down on a bed and spank her
Zootie and the other two females: Yes! Yes! A spanking! A spanking!
JPD’s eyes light up as Zootie and the other two students seem oddly excited about this.
JPD: I see.
Muffy: You must spank her well.
Buffy: And after you have spanked her, in the spirit of group accountability… (Pause)… you must spank me, too.
Shonda: And spank me.
Muffy: And me.
JPD’s eyes light up even more.
Buffy: Yes yes. You must give us all a good spanking!
All Four: A spanking! A spanking! There is going to be a spanking tonight!
JPD: YES! THIS IS AWESOME!
Muffy: That’s right, JPD will give us all a good spanking.
Buffy: And then afterwards, the oral-
Suddenly STRULK bursts into the training room.
The students scream as the puffed up, steroid-ridden monster has busted down the door and he doesn’t look the least bit happy.
STRULK: STRULK SMASH! STRULK KILL!
Two other trainers rush into the room.
Trainer #1: LOOK OUT! HE’S GOT ROID RAGE!
All hell breaks loose. The students flee the training room as STRULK starts tearing it apart with his massive strength.
JPD covers the lens of the camera with his hand.
JPD: CUT! CUT IT! STOP FILMING!
By the way Jace, you recently said something that truly has to be one of the stupidest things you’ve ever said…
“No one remembers or acknowledges any of Joe Bergman’s accomplishments because let’s face it. That period of HOW didn’t really exist to any actually talented.”
First off, what the hell are you trying to say.
Secondly, Jace, I think that’s pretty rich coming from someone who’s last two HOW World Title reigns took place after the great UTAH migration. And yet, you still managed to cock up both of those title reigns by no-showing consecutive pay per view shows.
Three… Hall of Fame, bitch.
King of Everything? Hah. Dawn McGill was right. You’ve played second fiddle to Mike Best your entire career. You played second fiddle to him in Project Ego. You played second fiddle to him when you were both banging your then wife. Hell, you played second fiddle to your wife Tara and her impressive four-month title run in 2015 after she defeated Mike at ICONIC in 2014. And here you are playing second fiddle to Mike again, working at Ten-X as a corporate lackey and trainer… you’re not even the CHIEF trainer… and soon I’m sure, you’ll be playing second fiddle to Tyler Best as well.
If anything, you’ve become to HOW what Gilderoy Lockhart was to the Harry Potter world- a lazy B level celebrity who preens about like a proud peacock showing off his plumage and hyping to everyone his ‘accomplishments.’
NOTE: Gilderoy Lockhart was a lazy wizard who honed his talents in Memory Charms so he could modify the recollections of highly accomplished and courageous witches and wizards and take credit for their daring exploits so he could be a celebrated celebrity in the wizarding community.
Yep, that pretty much sums you up Jace. You’re a lazy, preening peacock, B-celebrity wannabe who talks a real good game. The sad fact is your accomplishments don’t really reflect the talent you do possess and all the memory charms in the world can’t hide that.
But, getting back to your original quote, are you attempting to argue that there was no one ‘actually talented’ in HOW when I won the HOW World Title… twice? Hmmm. I seem to remember the HOW World Champion tournament included wrestlers like: Cecilworth Farthington? Mike Best? John Sektor? Max Kael? Scottywood? Bobbinette Carey? Scott Stevens? Chris Kostoff? David Black? Darkwing? Mario Maurako? That’s eleven HOW Hall of Famers I count there not counting Dan Ryan, Lindsay Troy, and Eric Dane as well.
That’s a hell of a group seeing as Lee usually runs with a 20-25 person roster. In fact, before you showed up on the scene, the HOW roster was stacked… probably the best collection of talent in HOW in years. I’ve been the World Champion TWICE in the Refueled era.
Just how many times have you been the World Champion in the Refueled era?
That’s right Jace. The answer is ZERO. In an era where the competition was significantly better than it was during your last two HOW Title reigns, I have two world titles; you have none.
So what exactly have you accomplished since you came back to HOW?
Okay, I’ll give you the HOTv title run. However, I will point out you padded your record against the likes of Daytona, Rah, Kevin Capone, and Eli Dresden… mid-card wrestlers who shouldn’t take much for a wrestler of your standard to run through. You did have one win over Steve Harrison. That was your one good win out of the bunch… oh, and Darin Zion, too.
Oh, there was this time you set Ray McAvay on fire at the Staples Center after you came back to HOW with a totally bullshit reason for attacking him because he somehow ‘screwed you’ out winning War Games in 2016. I seem to remember you eating a fireball from Ray at War Games as a result and then McAvay pinned you to knock you out of the War Games match.
Remember that one Jace?
Let’s see, I believe you referred to me and Steve Harrison as scabs because you claim you never once counted yourself as Tag Team Champion or padded your accomplishments when you had- and I quote- “absolutely goddamn nothing to do with winning the belts.”
Here’s the truth.
I, just like Ray McAvay did, hate the Firebird Rule… I absolutely hate it with every fiber in my being because it’s nothing more than sports entertainment-ish bullshit.
I find it funny that you’re so anti-Freebird rule when The Board doesn’t have the belts but you didn’t say a whole lot about it when The Board did.
So, let’s be clear here. In my opinion, the tag champions are Clay Byrd and Steve Solex who just happen to be members of the Highwaymen. Byrd and Solex are the ones who won the belts and they’re the ones who should be defending the tag titles and not me or Harrison.
…if you really feel that strongly about the Freebird Rule I suggest you go have a little sit down with Lee and let him know exactly how you feel because the last time I checked Jace, Lee books the matches and Joe Bergman does not.
And then you said I ‘threw’ the tag match against Byrd and Harrison? I know the concept of respect for other wrestlers or the wrestling industry as a whole is something that’s foreign to you but I seem to remember that it was a hard hitting match where no one gave any quarter. It’s not like I walked into the ring… had Byrd poke me in the chest with his finger… and dropped to the mat as if I’d been shot. If I also remember right, it was Darin Zion going full Darin Zion that cost us the match.
So again, take your grievances up to the man who booked the match in the first place in a transparent attempt to divide the Highwaymen- Lee Best… or better yet… take it up with the guy who lost us the match- Darin Zion.
Jace, what’s really sad about this is it proves everything Ray McAvay said about you last year was one hundred percent right.
Billion dollar talent.
Ten cent head.
It’s monumentally tragic that a wrestler as gifted and talented as you has the brainpower of Nuke fucking LaLoosh. The consolation prize is at least you have a little more brainpower than STRONK does.
And then you mentioned my heart. While I appreciate the sentiment and your good wishes, I wouldn’t worry too much about my heart. Jace, it’s good. I feel great. I’m ready to kick your ass all over the barroom on August 14th. I have more than enough heart to do what needs to be done with Steve Harrison and help us win this match by any means necessary.
You on the other hand, you don’t have the heart to win this match.
You are the Tin Man of The Board looking for a heart.
You don’t have the heart to beat Joe Bergman or Steve Harrison in a fair fight. You don’t have the heart to be the great wrestler that you should be. So my advice to you is this- don’t worry about my heart Jace because it’s doing just fine.
It’s more than good enough to beat you.
It’s good enough to beat STRONK.
It’s good enough to win this match.
Speaking of STRONK daddy, STRONK enjoy the ride while you can because you are the exciting, sparkling new toy that everyone wants to play with at Christmas.
You are the brand-new rock star with a hot new song that everyone’s singing.
You are the new actor who’s fallen into the role of a lifetime.
The Board, like large corporations love to do, latched onto you while your rollercoaster ride is still on its way up toward the heavens. And like large corporations who suck the soul out everything they touch, The Board is going try to capitalize on something and run it into the ground. Be assured that The Board is going to extract every penny they can squeeze out of your talent and make as much money as they can off you while they can before they move on to the next big thing that comes out of Ten-X.
You are nothing more than a glorified body builder trying to compete in a wrestling ring without the skill set to be a long-term pro wrestler. Does Ten-X tell you that? Or are they happy just to sell STRONKUMMs or whatever the hell they’re marketing all over the place while the demand is high and then cast you off when the shine fades away and you’re nothing more than a body builder who never learned the craft of pro wrestling.
Either way… (read in the cadence of Stugotz reading the Weekend Update on the Dan LaBatard podcast)…
Jace Parker Davidson.
King of Everything.
Actually pro wrestling’s Gilderoy Lockhart
Discount Mike Best
The Tin Man from the Wizard of OZ
Leaving DOA without the tag title belt.
HOW’s Dead or Alive…
Sunday October 14th
…The Highwaymen ride away with the tag belts…
…The Board fails again…