Doozer blames me.
I promised the Bandits glorious victory, elaborate celebrations, treatments at Quiy Nei’s, and lavish delights from across the globe.
Not delivering on such a prideful boast would be a bummer for anyone.
Gonna Blame you and Abuse you.
I get it, though.
I’m past the denial stage already.
I got outsmarted.
Outfoxed, if you will.
Shocking, I know.
There I stood, in total control. King Dingaling and his yolky face went Terminal. I kicked that two hundred and eighty pound Mongo so hard, I sent him toppling through the ropes instead of keeling over on the mat.
This is me snapping my fingers at opportunity lost.
Then, much to my dismay, my savvy spare liver acted out of turn. Showing no signs of cirrhosis, he rolled me up like I was Scott Stevens.
By my spare liver.
Like I was Scott Stevens.
So long, precious.
Sayonara, feather in the cap.
Now, with my ego put in checkmate, somewhat, it’s back to square one. It’s back on the long and winding road to opening War Games against HATE in a burning crucifix, barbwire, C4, scaffold match.
Gee, I wonder what venue will need refurbishing this time?
I guess it could be worse.
I guess I could be Brian Hollywood, thinking my course has been corrected and I’m back on trajectory to success. Could even be Dan Ryan, wondering what I could possibly lose next. Spoiler alert: it’s not a personality. That went adios long ago. Have I hit Kostoff level low?
I mean, shit.
I still have my shades.
My hair still has its own insurance policy.
Half my wardrobe is still endangered.
And, I still make almost as much money as Brian Bare.
It’s not like I got busted open and bled like a pig.
I’m still breathing.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
I hear CBD preaching it all the time.
While I might be breathing, trendy, still owning fabulous hair, and without stitch.
The egg of my yolky eye.
There’s trouble in paradise, folks.
Not in the sense that most of you are accustomed to.
Not Frosted Flakes.
We aren’t going anywhere.
This all began with a simple fact, “Doozer blames me.”
Want to know how I know such a thing?
It wasn’t an educated guess.
You see, when we walked back through those gladiator gates, with our heads sunken in defeat, he grabbed me by the shoulder. Then he spun me around, shoved a stubby finger in my face, and shouted, “THIS IS ON YOU! I’M DONE!”
Yeah, not a lot of wiggle room there.
I was still reeling from the roll up heard around the world, or else I would have smacked him across his old face for such insolence.
I wouldn’t have.
Anywho, we haven’t spoken to each other since.
Not even a text.
Bobby, God bless him, has been our go-between. I can tell it’s been rough on him, too. He’s got a big heart, and even bigger arteries, but even that couldn’t handle this. I’m actually a little concerned he’ll relapse to stress eating. The last thing he needs right now is an excuse to stuff his chubby cheeks.
So yeah, there’s that.
Refueled should be fun.
The Coliseum Barracks
Andy and James just won the tag team titles.
They ran the gauntlet.
And to the victor go the spoils.
To the blamed loser.
I get a spoiled attitude.
“Bobby, tell that motherfucker to stop talking before I pull his tongue out through his asshole.” That was Doozer. He was relaying a message through Bobby to me. Quite the graphic one, might I add.
Apparently, Dooze wasn’t too big a fan of my last comment. Let’s rewind a tic, shall we? “elohssa sih hguorht tuo eugnot sih llup I erofeb gniklat pots ot rekcufrehtom taht llet, ybboB.”
And now, here’s what I said to deserve such harshness after throwing a hand towel in Dooze’s general direction. It may or may not have hit him square in the face. “Well then. Bobby, if you would be so kind, please tell Doozer that maybe if we spent less time training and watching highlights on Stevenspedia, then maybe we might have lost sooner and we could have made the eleven o’clock flight! So see, I’m not the only person to blame here!”
Would have saved us eight hours.
That said, I can see why Doozer got so upset about it. He stressed training over mind games leading up to the match. I chalked it up to him not wanting to be Big Red, and in the end…
Well, like I said before, he blames me for the big loss.
I’m sure antagonizing him the way I did, when tensions were running still high to begin with, didn’t help much.
If at all.
And maybe I was listening to the miserable, button pushing bastard on my one shoulder and not the longtime teammate and friend on the other. But I said what I said.
And looking back on it.
After seeing where we are now.
I would take it back.
So I could say it clearer.
And with more conviction.
The Coliseum Barracks
Back to after Doozer threatened me.
“Um, Cancer. Please stop talking. And uh, guys, I really don’t like being in the middle of all this.” That’s Bobbo. He’s quivering. Guy is a tad nervous and hasn’t eaten a morsel in like six minutes. If he fails to continue the personal record-setting abstinence, it’ll be a tough mark to beat.
Me, being me, don’t care.
Not on him. Nor at him.
Which means I managed to hit that sliver of space that’s unoccupied inside the barracks.
I really wanted that victory lap in the chariot.
“WELL YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, ROB-BERT. LIKE IT OR NOT! MAYBE IF YOU MADE WEIGHT DOOZER COULD HAVE BLAMED YOU INSTEAD OF ME!”
The Blamer didn’t like that one.
It caused him to break kayfabe.
“Don’t you pass the buck, Jiles. Not this time. You sold us both a bill of sour goods. With your shitty, I know just how to get under their skin, guys. I know just what to do.”
Doozer continues, “You and your stupid fucking Hollywood Squares bullshit.”
I gasp again. This time, like, gasp gasp.
The first one was because of Doozer’s spot on voice impression. I can tell he’s been working on it. Maybe that’s what he was doing when he said he was going off to research our opponents. I’ll keep that for later. Pretty sure I’d have to choose which asshole to shit out of after delivering that gem.
The second, more gaspy of the two, was because I realized those are the first things he has said to me since we walked back through the gladiator gates.
Don’t believe me?
Think the extra, gaspy gasp was because Doozer shit on the Squares?
Calm, totally fine, and not threatened at all, I looked over at my still quaking friend and saw only an endless row of elevator buttons to push. “Bobby, do be a peach and ask Doozer if he’s talking to me again? And if he is, tell him I said oh what a horrible pity.”
I thought it was funny at least.
Doozer on the other hand, well… does a Masshole’s face turn lobster red when they’re happy?
The Coliseum Barracks
Instead of walking you through the many faces of Bobby Dean, as he attempts to process how he would even begin to relay that last question, I present a solemn thought.
Maybe, one of these days, I’ll back down and not be such a dick.
I mean, what has it gotten me?
Aside from the referee wages.
Aside from being a shoo-in for a spot next to Stevens in the his own stupid archives.
Aside from a possibly fatal crack in the shell protecting the Bandits.
Tough choices ahead.
Dad’s win the lottery all the time.
The Coliseum Barracks
Eventually, Bobby found the courage because quite simply he needed to. I saw it on his face. He knew where this was going. We all did. Thankfully, the man has a tremendous soul. “Uh, Dooze, are you talking to Cancer again? I hope so, just saying.”
The old bag of bones mumbled something under his breath.
I heard him, but I was still disenchanted about the victory lap, or lack thereof, so I let it pass.
Those horses weren’t cheap.
Bobby, the courageous Bandit, began to rally amongst the awkward silence occupying the barracks. “Guys, we all need to take a deep breath and relax. Let’s look at it like this. It’s ONLY our second match back after an extended leave of absence. We lost to guys who are named The King of Wrestling and Perfection. It’s not like it was Zion and Hanson. And we were winning. If it weren’t for–”
I jumped out of my seat.
I sprung out of my seat, like I had been ejected from Eric Dane’s penis and onto Cecil’s now dead father’s face.
“WEREN’T FOR WHAT, BOB? WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO SAY?”
I would never hit another Bandit.
Not on purpose anyway.
But I was close.
And innocent, troop rallying, egg mending, Bobby Dean saw it.
And I never want to see that look on his face again.
HOW Achieve Room
It’s been a rough go at it this past week.
Fuck, it’s been a rough go since I took a walk on the Sunset Flip.
Doozer and I have remained incommunicado.
Bobby has turned off, or eaten, his phone. Either way, he’s stopped returning my calls. I don’t blame him. The Bandit group chat was getting a tad out of hand.
Cardboard Dan’s been no help, either. See aforementioned group chat comment.
In times of desperation.
I went to see the only man I know who sits lower than me.
You guessed it.
And you thought we weren’t easy to follow.
Scott ‘Power Bomb’ Stevens.
“Oh Power Bomb?” I called out, slowly opening the door to the basement.
The first thing I noticed were all the numerous props from years past littering the area.
I had two thoughts.
One, it looks like Cardboard Dan has found a new home.
Two, so this is what it’s like inside Ed Warren’s house.
There were numerous unmarked eyeballs that sat behind glass enclosures; probably blessed by the tears of the weak to keep them out of harm’s way. Weapons that were still soaked in blood and smelled of pain and agony lined the walls like it was Black Friday at Home Depot. A fancy ballpoint pen collection that I steered far the fuck away from glowed with a 97ish aura. A cow tethered to a crazy German in a Lecter jacket thirsted for attention.
Dan Ryan’s dignity was even down there.
It was that, or the cow took a giant shit on the floor and no one ever cleaned it up.
And, a bunch of other things I’ll have more time to play with/investigate when I move CBD in.
King’s may swim in Shits Creek.
I play in it.
“Data? You down here? I have a question to ask you. I have no eggs and have come in peace. I swear.” I wasn’t lying. I needed answers, and he was the only man on the face of the Earth that could give them.
I started my search, only to come to a stop about halfway around the maze-like room. Not that it was built like a maze, but the way all of the props were positioned made it seem like one.
Fear began crawling up my back.
I thought to myself; maybe I’m the only one down here.
But then, like a binary S.O.S., I heard the keystrokes.
They weren’t just any strokes.
This was a true analyst.
That got weird.
I followed them.
To another door.
I opened it.
The light was blinding at first. The way it flickered on, from what must’ve been some kind of motion triggering sensor, caught the mirror tint of my T-shades just right. Disoriented, I thought I was about to be black bagged and interrogated on the spot. Thankfully, my eyes quickly adjusted because of the UV protection afforded by my awesome pair Skynets. It was then, I finally saw it. I basked in the glory of the massive, supercomputer before me.
I startled him. I guess he doesn’t get many visitors down here since The Order disbanded. “It’s Jiles. You got a minute? I wanted to ask you something.”
Stevens looked at me like I had three heads, then checked to see where the rest of the crew was hiding.
“Just me. I wan—“
Yeah, he interrupted me. That’s what the — means. “You came all the way down here to ask me a question? There are phones. There is email. Facebook Messenger. Discord. Twitter. The suggestion box on the main page at Stevenspedia.com. And you came all the way down here to ask me a question?”
He did have a point.
However, I wouldn’t have found CBD a new home had I not made the trek.
But as the caretaker, Stevens didn’t need to know about his new roommate just yet.
Plus, the suggestion box was full.
Don’t worry, I didn’t break his heart and tell him he was going to have more than enough time to go through it. “It’s important, so I wanted to ask you face to face.” Being the man of integrity that I am, at least when I need something, I responded cordially.
“Oh. So how’d you know I’d be down here?”
Talk about a meatball for a question. But, I wasn’t there for that. So I took a second to play the real response in my head. “Lucky guess.” I disarmingly answered.
“So, I’ll get right to it since it seems you’ve got a lot on your hands down here. I know those old IWF shows aren’t transcribing themselves.”
Stevens nodded again.
That’s when it hit me. “Uh, Data, where’s the monitor?”
“You came all the way down here to ask me that? How’d you even know I don’t use one?”
This crazy sonofabitch.
I was flabbergasted. “Wait. No. I just noticed it. And no, I didn’t come down here to ask you that. I will say that’s pretty much the only thing I can think about now, though.”
Stevens was done with the nodding. “Get to it, Jiles. Edge, Christian, and Jericho need their stats updated.”
“Okay. I need a small favor.”
Oh boy, here goes nothing.
“I need everything you have on PBR. If they were former diamond retailers, I want it. If they trained at a synagogue, I want to know which one. I want footage from both of their Bat Mitzvahs. I want the bris, too. I want it all. And, most importantly, any of the prior Refueled’s they could have wrestled on.”
Why stop there?
“Ya know what, Scorps? Just give me everything you have on them.”
Bet you didn’t see that coming.
I told you Refueled was going to be fun.
Stevens pondered my odd request. Then he asked, “And what do I get out of this?”
I smiled wide.
Then made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“How about a monitor?”
He shook his head no, as if to say they are beneath his Android status and it would only serve as a paperweight.
“Okay then, how does a twenty dollar coupon to Outback Steaks sound?”