Well, here we are.
My last ever match on Refueled.
It’s a shoot, you know. No swerve coming. No last minute feud for War Games. As of the final bell of my match with Clay Byrd at March to Glory, the Era of Mike Best comes to an end. Can I say that I’ll never be back in the ring? No. It’s still wrestling. It’s still my lifeblood. It’s still the only fucking thing I’ve ever been halfway decent at. Hard to retire with a crystal ball in your hands and say for sure that you’ll never do it again.
But man, this is for real.
I’m gonna have a lot to say about what has happened over the last couple months. About Clay Byrd burning my academy to the ground and pissing on the ashes. About everything he’s put me through, all for one last match at March to Glory. Probably even have one more good Mike Best blog in me, before it’s all done. But for today, I wanna put all that aside. I NEED to put that all aside. Because this is my last ever match on a weekly HOW show, and it’s a match that doesn’t just mean a lot to me, but a lot to HOW history. I need to say a proper goodbye, before it all turns to violence at March to Glory.
This is an impossible match.
Chris Kostoff, Darkwing, Jatt Starr and Michael Lee Best. Four men who have never appeared on the HOW roster all at the same time until this, the final run of my career. This match shouldn’t be possible. It should be unbookable. Four of the most notorious HOW Hall of Famers, in one tag team main event.
Fuck, this is just cool.
I came to HOW like a newborn baby. I’d been on the indies for years, stumbling around and thinking I knew what I was doing. Thinking that I was hot shit. And I took such a miserable ass whooping all through that first Lee Best Invitational… took an L from Max in my very first match. Dropped one to Jatt two weeks later. Got smashed by Mark O’Neal. Humbling after humbling after humbling for the Indy hotshot, because that’s what happens to you when you join High Octane Wrestling. You go to school. You get your ego checked. You get knocked down a peg or two, and it’s a test of your will. A test of your character. You either get back up from that peg and keep climbing, or you disappear back into Fisher Price Land to keep winning titles that aren’t worth the leather they’re pressed on.
Me, I kept climbing.
Climbed to the main event of my very first pay-per-view, in literal HOFC hell with Chris America… and got my ass whooped. Climbed to my very first War Games… and got my ass whooped. I kept climbing, and kept getting back up every time I fell, until I climbed all the way to my first HOW World Championship at ICONIC 2010. And by that time, I’d been knocked down so many times, and I’d tested myself so many times, that I learned how not to get knocked down anymore. And I never got knocked down again.
I am proud of what I achieved here.
One last time, I’ll count them. Ten HOW World Titles. Eight ICON Titles. Three LSD Titles, four HOFC titles, and more tag titles than Stevens or Scotty could ever manage to keep track of thanks to Freebird rules. I won War Games twice, solitary three times, and had the honor of competing in main event after main event. And I brag about these things, because they MEAN something to me. Because they’re more than just gold belts and prizes. I have the DeNucci Cup sitting on my mantle at home, and it’s something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life, even if the rest of it turns to dust. Because it was never just about winning matches.
This place became my family.
Literally and figuratively.
If Lee Best wasn’t my father, he’d still be my dad. A real brother and a blood brother, in Max Kael and Cecilworth Farthington. A mentor in Dan Ryan, and whether I like to admit it or not, a friend in guys like Scottywood and ol’ Scoot Stoovins. Steve Solex, Lindsay Troy, Jace Parker Davidson… and all the rest of you, friends old and new, either we’ve been around the block or just stepped out the front door. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without HOW, not just because I was successful here in the ring, but because the relationships that I made backstage were a success you could never measure in titles. I survived divorce because of HOW. I survived and mourned the death of Rob Michaels because of HOW. I traveled to places I’d have never gone without HOW, and learned a whole second profession in HOW’s media department.
This place became my whole life some days.
Friends outside HOW never got it. Girlfriends and wives never got it. Never understood the obsession, or why it was all worth it to shut out the world and plug into High Octane Radio. Why someone would take a call while their wife was in labor, or buy an internet package for a hundo on a cruise ship just so you didn’t miss out on an ICONIC radio show. Am I looking at the past with rose colored glasses? No, I don’t think so. But 97Red glasses for sure… cause it’s been a lot of good times and a lot of bad times, but that’s family. Lee and I survived a mass exodus to UTAH. A side trip to OCW. Late night arguments on the phone, in our feelings, and you guys have no idea how close we came to shutting this fucker down, or how many times that happened. And you know what?
I wouldn’t change a goddamned thing.
I have laughed, and cried, and screamed, and bonded in this place, and when I hang up my boots after March To Glory, things will feel a little empty.
But that’s March to Glory.
This is Refueled.
We gotta talk business, because that’s what I do. I talk business. I sell tickets. I make money with my mouth, and not the same way Mrs. Kostoff does (just kidding, big guy). There are guys in HOW who have been better in the ring than me, but there’s never been another motherfucker quite like Mike Best on the stick. So for the last time on a weekly show, let me talk my shit. Let me sell those tickets. Let me put asses in seats and fuel rebuttal promos that fire guys up like no one else, because this is my favorite part. This is what I’ll miss most. This is why HOFC is so near and dear to my heart.
It’s time to talk some shit.
I literally killed Chris Kostoff.
I killed the scariest motherfucker on the planet, and I did it with a shovel. I don’t know how he’s back walking around, maybe that fucker had a head transplant or something, but I killed him in 2016 and he keeps coming back. I really don’t know what else you want me to say about Kostoff after that. I inherited my father’s war against Kostoff, but the respect I have for that man wasn’t inherited… it was earned. Kostoff is the monster behind HOW’s bed, cause he’s too fucking big to fit under it. He killed Nickelback once. Like all of them, on an aircraft carrier, because HOW is an insane place for insane people. What a fucking legend. What a beast amongst men. What a certifiable, absolute unit.
And I killed him WITH A SHOVEL.
C’mon, Kostoff. The last time we stepped into the ring together, post-decapitation, I knocked your ass out in the Denucci Cup first round. You’ve always had my Dad’s number, and I’ve always had yours. It’s fitting that my last weekly match is against you, because beating you helped MAKE me in HOW— most of the hardest matches I’ve ever had in my career, from that first L I took in the prison yard, my last ever HOFC loss, all the way up to today, I wouldn’t be who I am now without you, Chris.
Fucking LOVE you, Kostoff.
But hey, we hurt the ones we love.
One last time, big man. One last Refueled. One last barnburner. We both know I’m gonna knee that big ugly mug of yours into oblivion, but once it’s over and you’re done seeing stars like a fucking cartoon character, I wanna hug it out and have a beer. Toast to the old times. The good times. The bad times. The times your head was forcibly removed from your shoulders but you somehow survived with no explanation. Here’s to you, bud… now shut that man pleaser.
Also, who is Darkwing?
Is that a name I’m supposed to know?
I’m kidding, Duck. I know who you are. You’re one of only four members of the Hall of Fame I’ve never stepped into the ring with. It’s you, Lynx, Omar and Narcotic… that’s the rest of my bingo card. Cool as fuck to be across the ring from you, even if it’s under the banner of that ridiculous Legion of Dorks flag you guys flew back when flaming letter gifs were all the rage. I’ve been hearing stories about the legendary Darkwing for literally my entire HOW career, and the only thing more mythical than your reputation was the idea that you’d ever fully come back to High Octane Wrestling. In a million years, I never dreamed that I’d be standing across a ring from you. That we’d ever breathe the same air, in the same arena. That I’d ever get the opportunity to burst the dam on that big rusty water head with the most devastating knee in the wrestling business.
But again, here we are.
It’s a legit honor, Darkwing. Kostoff and I have had our wars, and Jatt and I have had our wars, but this week is the first time our paths will ever cross in the twelve years that I’ve been here. I saw you around the way, when you were on your way down and I was on my way up. Saw your name on cards in other companies, while HOW was on hiatus. We’ve never spoken, never even been in the same room, but I can feel the palpable hype for this match all the way from the Blackberry I’m writing on in honor of our boy Kostoff. I wish that my father was around to see this match. I wish more people on the roster understood the significance of this match, and why all four of us are just sucking each other’s dicks about it, because this is possibly the biggest match HOW has had in going on ten years.
The Legion of Dumb versus the Best Alliance.
Mike Best teaming up with Jatt Starr in a Hall of Fame tag match so huge that it’s main eventing a show with a HOW World Title match. And Jatt, I didn’t forget about you. I’m sure we’ve been a tag team for some one off match somewhere down the line, and we’ve both ridden those roads so hard that I can’t remember it right offhand. Probably back in 2010, when we were both last in the Best Alliance together. I heard your eulogy, and I read in between the lines of all the jokes and shit talk, and I feel you. I appreciate you.
You and I have had a weird road.
Truth be told, I didn’t like you for a long time.
I think Lee wanted it that way. He viewed me as the next coming of you, and I think we both resented that. You didn’t wanna be the “last Mike Best” and I didn’t wanna be the “next Jatt Starr”, because we have both always had that ego that you need to succeed in this business. Both thought that we were one of a kind, and we were both right. I don’t know exactly what you thought of me, but I resented constantly being compared to you. Constantly being told that the Golden Era was the greatest era, when it wasn’t the one that I was living in. And we had our wars, and we did terrible things to eachother… me, more than you, really. It’s not worth apologizing now, because how do you ever apologize for the things that I did to you, so I’ll just say this:
I was wrong.
Jatt Starr, you are the fucking man.
What you have done in this era, since you came back, is nothing short of world class. You came back to wrestling out of shape, out of your element, and out of the game for a decade, and you have made a run and a fucking half out of it. You’re still out of shape and your jokes are as unfunny as they were a decade ago… but in that ring?
You’re still the Ruler of Jattlantis, baby.
This week, we step into the ring as partners for the first time in at least a decade, and we do it under the banner of the one thing that we always had in common. Lee Best, my father. The Best Alliance. We’ve always been his boys, and I’m gonna make sure Refueled is on in his room when our match goes on, because I know that if there is a shred of consciousness left in his skull this match is going to bring at least a metaphorical smile to his face. And it’s a one time deal, because this is it for me.
This is my last Refueled as a wrestler.
There have been moments I’ve contemplated whether retirement was really the right move at thirty five years old, but this match cemented it for me. Much love, but look at you miserable old fucks. Chris Kolostomy, Darkcircles and Fatt Star… certifiable legends who should be signing autographs and doing commercials for local car lots, not still strapping on the boots and fighting for a living. How bad were you guys with your money? Didn’t you invest in anything? Did you go long on GameStop or something? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fucking honor to have this match with you guys, and I’m not saying you’re too old to get out in that ring and whoop some ass…
But what are you still doing here?
This is a young man’s game.
I’m getting out at thirty five, while my knees still work and C, T and E are just three random letters of the alphabet for me. Like I said, in the wrestling business you can never say never to coming back for one last match… the impossible industry to retire from… but I’m gonna give it my best college try. Put on the suit and try to make a difference for the next crop of Kostoffs, and Darkwings, and Jatt Starrs, and Mike Bests. You guys paved the way for a guy like me to come in here and become the greatest statistical wrestler in the history of HOW, and now it’s my turn. My turn to step back and let a Conor Fuse, or a JJR, or even a Clay Byrd walk those roads we laid the brick down on.
It’s time to let them beat themselves up, so we don’t have to.
Time to collect those royalty checks.
I’m getting out of the ring because I have nothing left to achieve inside of it. What about you guys? You still want another run as World Champ, Jatt? Duck… you really need another tag title to help you sleep at night? Kostoff… Lee is in a vegetative state, my dude… you won the war. I hope that you guys find your peace. I hope that you finish your unfinished business. I hope that you get the closure that you need to stop walking down to that ring every week and putting your body on the line, because I found mine, and it’s great. So let’s go out there this week, show them all how the FUCK it’s done in High Octane Wrestling… let’s fight like there’s no tomorrow.
I’ve got ONE MATCH LEFT at March to Glory.
This week, I’m gonna fight like it.
Love you all.