I made a commitment to be the most realistic version of myself, outside of gimmicks, tropes and most importantly, games. It’s not gonna be perfect to start this new chapter, I’ve never gone without the odd crutch here and there but I am dead serious about making the biggest dent I possibly can in High Octane Wrestling.
And it starts with making my good friend bleed buckets.
You hear me, Carey? Whatever voice you have inside your head, whoever is the inner spirit you’re channeling… I don’t care. I will address you as Carey, Bobbie, Nettie, all three, or something entirely different.
And you will fucking like it.
I will take your head and bash BASH BASH it against the ring post, with no quit whatsoever. Legitimately no quit. I’m not here to put on a show for the fans. I don’t need to jump off the top rope or display my amazing aerial abilities. Everyone knows those skills. The superkick party is over, my elite skills put to the side. If it means only 850K watch me from now on, so be it.
I’m switching it up.
So I will smash your skull against the ring post, it might be the only move I perform. I’ll have no intention of stopping until I see that wonderful shade of red roll down your face.
Or gush down. Like a fruit gusher, flooding the floors of the arena. There will be no need for the tag team match thereafter, or the main event. Chaos 36 comes to a sobering postponement, due to the arena overflowing in Bobbie’s bullshit plasma. A rough day for you.
An amazing platform for me!
One where I scream into the rafters I am ready for the ultimate challenge. If I didn’t show one ounce of mercy for an actual friend who’s been there for me… what am I gonna do to a man I absolutely loathe?
It’s rhetorical. I know the answer. DING DING, no limits is correct! I’m going full BDSM with my likes and dislikes when it comes to wrestling. Are you into BDSM, Carey?
Actually, don’t answer that.
I’ll provide the riposte; I’m the fucking narrator. You will bow before my knees, in a pool of your own blood that gushes from holes in your body I created. But I’m still a caregiving kinda dominant. I’ll pick you up off your feet… bring you back to the Mom Squad…
And rip their ovaries out for shits and gigs. Might wear them as a hat on my drive home.
Too harsh? I’m just trying to channel the inner side of me… this new rage, which I have only shown once before. For about ten seconds there I really, truly, HONESTLY had no fucks given when I stomped the 50 pound weight through Stronk Godson’s chest. The aftermath of it left me shell-shocked.
I should’ve enjoyed the moment for longer.
A world of hurt is coming, Bobbie. Yet you do have my utmost respect. You are a fighter. A warrior who doesn’t take shit from anyone. You have battled your way through a male dominated industry and taken what you not only deserved… but wanted. No complacency with Bobbie. You go BEYOND because you can. You’ve put up with so many pricks calling you every name in the book, plus consistent jealousy from other female wrestlers who can’t lace your boots if they tried. You’re a Hall of Famer, you’re one of a kind and years from now I will look back at this period with nothing but fond memories. Make no mistake, this match will have fond memories, too.
The other memories might be good for both of us but this one… oh this one Bobbie, it will boost me to a new platform. I don’t mean that in video game “platform” terminology, either. I mean this legitimately. I am a god damn force in HOW. Always have been, always will be. When you see my name against you, you have to bring 100% or else. If you live off wins and losses, I am someone to be feared. Maybe not in the life-altering sense but you’re not walking out of the arena without a serious humbling. It used to be fun and games if I didn’t have a problem with you. It’s the battle, the match we have, where I amp myself up from bell-to-bell… but that’s all. I’m not out for murder. No blood. I win my match… I move on.
From now on, Conor Fuse has a problem with everyone the SECOND the bell sounds. Friend, enemy, I don’t care who you are, I’m ready to tear you limb-from-limb. It’s not a metaphor. I am going to leave you in a quivering pool of 97.
And while we are friends, and will remain friends, don’t think for a second you don’t deserve what’s coming. A sobering reality for Nettie: you never wanted to be my teammate in the beginning. Conor Fuse wasn’t worth Bobbinette’s energy because Conor Fuse was a n00b.
Why? ‘Cause you’re better than me? How are you better? What have you accomplished that I haven’t…
IN LESS THAN HALF THE TIME.
Fucking three years, hussy. In three years I’ve become a two-time World Heavyweight Champion. I’ve walked through a Best Tournament and left the TOP TIER talent lying in my wake. I have punted wrestlers from this company, to never be seen again. Steve Harrison. Sutler Reynolds-Kael. ETC. ETC.
I am worth EVERYBODY’S time, Bob. Particularly yours.
I killed for you and now I kill you.
You better pray our match rolls through quickly. Hope you’re an easy bleeder.
…I go slowly.
I bash your head through the ring post once… twice… then I decide to put you in a submission. Forget what I said before, performing the same move over and over is boring. A submission… yeah, a submission would be incredible.
Tap all you want, the match will go on. Last I checked a modified Texas Cloverleaf doesn’t make a person bleed…
Scratch that, maybe your internal organs will.
Oh, that would be a pop’n’fresh way to end this, wouldn’t it? I don’t bust you open on the outside… you start throwing up blood from the inside.
The tickle down my spine, it’s liberating thinking about it. Beat my friend so bad her organs have been destroyed.
And so have her pretty little feelings.
Nettie won’t be able to save you. Scottywood definitely can’t. A hockey stick means zip, unless I literally ram it down your throat.
I AM COMING FOR YOU, BOB.
You are my friend. You are my teammate. And I am grateful for knowing you.
So when I leave you lying in a pool of your own blood, I want you to know what this means to me and how you will shape my career moving forward.
You’ll be a vital piece.
Don’t worry, though. There’s always time to retcon if you want-
If I want.
Look at me, Bobbie.
LOOK. AT. ME.
I’m the King of the Queen now. And how epic is that?
Spoiler alert: pretty fucking epic.
— — — — —
Sleep tight, Mom Squad, Conor Fuse has grown up FAST.
Back in my “boring” bachelor pad, I’m cleaning up my act. This isn’t figuratively speaking. I made a promise to Mike but most importantly I made a promise to myself. It’s time to change… to evolve and remove myself from manchild mode.
You know, I used to hate this apartment. So boring, so trivial. The Dearness Living Community was vibrant. Although someone always died week after week, it was a great experience and it helped me rise to the main event player I’d soon become.
Living in the boiler room of the DLC was as much fun, if not more. I forced myself to be locked away from the world, only seeing the outside of my cell when I was booked to wrestle. I’d jump back into the homemade prison and I would attempt to channel a different side of myself. Live and breathe with each wrestling match, I know that won’t change. Deep down, I am the same person I always was. Right now, however, I’m clearing out the additional noise.
So bye-bye consoles. See ya later Atari and PlayStation 5. Good riddance Wii U, you were a terrible video game system anyway. My various Nintendo Switches, special editions included, have already been put away and if it came in a box I didn’t open for collector item purposes, well it’s not sitting on one of my shelves for display, either.
First and foremost, the game I play the most is wrestling. If anyone has followed my career they should know this. Playing a video game comes after I’ve defeated the wrestler in front of me. Like how Bobby Dean once got skinny, Conor Fuse is detoxing himself from the easy, low hanging Donkey Kong fruit. The next person who trash talks me with a gaming reference gets a heavy roll of the eyes and the automatic I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE DIPSHIT.
“Hmmm, should be the last of it,” I say as I pop my head from the storage bin I finished packing. Not a game in sight. This bachelor pad is as boring as a man in his late twenties who has no interests or hobbies whatsoever.
I push the last bin into the hallway where a ton of others have been stacked on top of each other. I’ll rent out storage space tomorrow.
“This isn’t forever,” I announce to my copious amounts of collections. “This is see ya down the road.”
And this road is going to be long. It doesn’t begin and end with Mike, there’s a whole new world beyond HOFC to explore. I have Bobbie in my sights now, so I will physically and emotionally wreck her. Will she forgive me for what I’m about to do?
Will I forgive myself?
Questions I can’t answer at the moment. A space I’m going to have to be comfortable in.
I walk into the living room where I see numerous VHS tapes stacked on top of each other. Since I’m giving up video games… does that mean I need to give up everything that’s under the definition of vintage?
Those tapes are of various High Octane talents. As you would know, I’m also a tape trader. This is how I get ready for each incoming contest. I study wrestling tape. I work the ins and outs of every opponent I’ve ever had. I use my strengths to exploit their weaknesses. I use their weaknesses as a means to get stronger. It doesn’t fail me; it almost never has. Conor Fuse has never had a match he hasn’t come close to winning… or should have won with a different combination.
Case and point, Rumble at the Rock 2021. I had Mike. I fucking had him. I tried to get cute… in the final moments I planned to steal his knee and beat him with his own move.
Didn’t happen. I ate the knee. I fell down like the others.
Hold up, Fuse. Let’s not go down a rabbit hole. Plenty of time to revisit the past. Maybe we should work on that ADHD.
No. In this moment it’s about washing my hands of the past versions of me. I approach the tapes and begin sorting through them. Everything is clearly labeled. I’m also OCD, of course.
From Darin Zion to Brian Hollywood, Steve Solex to Xander Azula, everyone is accounted for and no tape is erased. There’s also a John Sektor VHS somewhere in here. I make sure to never let the legends stray too far away from my initial collection. Hall of Famers frequently come crawling back to HOW.
But Bobbie… hmmm. Did I take the opportunity to create a montage of her greatest hits, with the notion that one day, no matter what, we’d be facing off against each other?
A smile crosses my face. A strange, sadistic smile… full of joy.
Her tape fits perfectly in my hands. It’s labeled in magenta so it was super easy to find.
I don’t recall when I made this. Maybe it was when Bobbie didn’t want anything to do with me but I wanted to befriend her. Maybe my subconscious told me to be on the lookout… and never assume we’d get along.
I take a quick glance into the hallway, at the numerous bins of video games, systems and controllers. Then I switch my attention back to my VHS collection.
“The tapes stay,” I nod with authority. “I can’t change everything about me.”
Especially when it comes to the wrestling aspects.
— — — — —
How it started
I’m not gonna lie, maybe we both had an ulterior motive. I merely wasn’t being honest until now.
It’s time I came clean.
February 13, 2022. Backstage. Beside Blaire Moise. Knocking out an interview with David Noble by my side. I’m World Champion, front and center, and I have a lot of people gunning for me. So many dynamic and interesting directions. The idea of Clay gets my blood boiling. Steve Solex grinds my gears. What about Arthur Pleasant? He may be a try-hard but he’s currently on a major winning streak.
The reality is Scott Stevens won’t get off my back.
So I see her, right. The magenta bag, the pink suit with “I am black history” pasted all over her outfit. She’s not expecting me to notice her or put an olive branch forward. No way would I, of all people, toss her a second controller. Quite possibly if I didn’t have that moron Stevens trying to ram himself down my throat, I may be looking past her, too. Naa, I definitely would be looking past her. Those aforementioned names are the men I want a go at.
See? Our friendship wasn’t as one-sided as it was first made out to be.
“Hey! Bobbinette Carey!” The words surprise even me. I almost covered my mouth at the end of her name, figuring I wanted nothing to do with the woman. I’ve been warned by the old guard, B.C. is clearly out for herself. She will step on everyone and anyone. You will be cooked on her grill immediately.
Then Scott Stevens jumps back in my head. His annoying little mug, his inability to keep reality at the forefront, 100% ignorant at understanding how much he sucks, how annoying he is, and how no wrestler whatsoever, through HOW, DEFIANCE and then some, want anything to do with him and his family.
I don’t cover my mouth. I drop my hands to my side, then wave with kid-like enthusiasm.
Her facial expressions clearly convey how off guard I’ve caught her. For a second there, I thought she was planning to walk right past me.
I have to add more. Otherwise, Scott Stevens is next.
I do. I add a lot. I ramble on about how big of a fan I am (borderline), how much she’s kicking ass (I suppose?) and my giddy excitement when it comes to her new look (kinda hate magenta to be honest). Regardless, she responds. Gives me some run-around about being vegan free. Fuck outta here, I don’t wanna befriend a vegan. I don’t need the righteousness, the notion she thinks she’s better than. I’ve never met a person I like who needs to go out of their way and TELL ME something about themselves that I DIDN’T FUCKING ASK FOR.
Jesus H. Christ. Scott Stevens’ stupid little mug creeps up in the back of my head for the 97th time so I smile and nod, nod some more, add another smile, don’t forget to nod. Anything to give me a NEW direction so I don’t have to wrestle Stevens for as many times as Dan Ryan has daughters.
See? I’m honest. The true confessions of Conor Fuse, it wasn’t as genuine of a relationship to start from my end, either. We ramble on for a little longer. She makes a Princes Peach statement, I immediately cringe inside my own head. There’s also a Mean Girls and Mario reference. Bob’s hitting these notes too much. But I’m a better actor than she, I gotta be. I simply convey this naïve little boy who’s caught a newfound pal.
If she turns on me… if I turn on her…
Well, anything beats facing The Dumb Texan.
“And I have a legitimate match to get ready for,” Bobbie says in a closing to our brief conversation. “So yeah, ready player one. You guys have fun. Happy black history month.”
She walks away.
And now Bobbie knows… I had a reason for being friendly and it wasn’t as sincere as she or anyone else would’ve guessed.
My goal was to get me out of Stevens’ path. Latch onto Bobbie, latch onto whomever.
In other words, I was desperate.
— — — — —
How it’s going
Through everything I’ve said and everything I’ve done, I know a first blood match will hurt me, too. Push comes to shove… I have to make changes. Beyond quitting games, Conor Fuse can’t have a single friend. I have to show the entire world how far I’m willing to go. For Mike. For Lee.
Cold, calculating and honest. I cannot have mercy and I definitely, above all else, can’t be the one who bleeds first. I also can’t make Bobbie dribble out blood. It has to flow like a cascade. A waterfall. An aneurysm. I need that bitch wheeled out on a stretcher. I want this to resemble what I did in her name some cool October night in Alcatraz. Because after the bell sounds it’s a message… it’s a signal. More important than a world championship, more vital than HOFC, THIS is the tone setter. I know what I’ll bring to the octagon. I held my own against Mike in a war of words, I simply didn’t finish it off. What I bring to Melbourne is the start of a new war of words. It’s my first sentence. The beginning of Conor Fuse versus Mike Best II.
I’m sorry it had to be you, Bobbie. I’m sorry I wasn’t honest with you from the start… but you weren’t honest with me, either, were you? Do two wrongs make a right? At this point, I don’t care to answer.
We did grow a genuine friendship and one that won’t change on my end, no matter what happens to us on Sunday. Whatever I’ve said to you here, know there’s a greater reason behind it. You are clearly not yourself. Perhaps when I’ll look back at this stage… neither am I.
Except you are more spiteful than me. And you’re not a good person. You tried to drive a wedge between Jatt and I. You said he’s been hiding something from me. You poked. Pushed. Left with a grin on your face.
Why? Because I initially didn’t really want anything to do with you? We worked past it. We actually came to understand each other.
I saw someone who wasn’t so manipulating and condescending.
I had the world on my shoulders leading into WarGames. Instead, you wanted to RIP that all away from me. Get me pissed about Jatt.
Well I’ll RIP from you now. I’ll use those same letters but they’ll mean an entirely different context.
Because I don’t intend to only make you bleed. I don’t desire to only make you lose.
I am going to castrate you. You heard me. And when I tear your ego straight from your body… you will flow blood like a fountain. Die the same way you came into my life. As nothing more than a sidetrack to a much more important direction.
Carey, I spent last night redecorating my living room. After I took all the shelving units down, I needed an item to fill up space. It’s kinda like a prison… but not one of the mind. This one is much deeper. Darker. Way more intense.
It’s a prison of the body.
I won’t reveal it just yet but you’ll feel its first repercussions.
You are going to lose. You are going to bleed. You are going to be so fucking humbled.
Nevertheless, when the bell sounds and you’re taken to the hospital, I’ll drive over and visit you that very same night. All will be forgiven, forgotten, and we will easily move on. ‘Cause that’s the kinda guy I am now. The new and improved Conor Fuse.
No games. No lies. No jokes. I pillage and plunder, I don’t care who it is. Friend, foe, or beyond, you are all one in the same when I have a point to prove.
I am the god damn company. I am the best High Octane has to offer. I will pull off the impossible, because it actually wasn’t impossible to begin with. It was within my abilities this entire time.
To waste Bobbinette Carey.
To beat Mike Best.
To ascend to a dominance unforeseen.
For Conor Fuse is coming, the real man I’m meant to embody. And this is the biggest statement I can make. To kill someone I care about. To hear them scream, watch them suffer, and feel their flesh break across my fists. With a smile on my face the entire time.
See you Sunday, Bob.
In the end, I’m really glad it’s you.