Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Posted on February 4, 2020 at 8:27 pm by Joe Bergman

Saturday morning / Plattin, Missouri – 11:30 AM

A one acre plat of land bordered by trees on three sides and Plattin Road out in the country thirty miles south of the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The only entrance to the property – a half-stone, half-dirt trail barely wide enough to fit a truck guarded by a steel gate across the driveway attached to two large wooden posts on both sides.

On the other side of the gate, a large mound of dirt recently dug out of the ground off to the side of a half completed foundation.

Upon closer inspection, a familiar face works at digging out the footing for the foundation – about sixteen inches wide and eight inches deep – that would be Joe Bergman.   With Joe’s wife Laura working in St. Louis now full time, they sold their place in Chattanooga and purchased the one acre plat to build a house.

The location was ideal.  Country living within five minutes of an interstate highway (I-55).  Easy access into St. Louis – location of the headquarters of Missouri Valley Wrestling where Laura Bergman worked as the Chief Business Officer of the company.

Also easy access for Joe in order to drive to Chicago where High Octane Wrestling currently ran the shows at the Allstate Arena or the Lambert Airport on the west part of town to fly out wherever he needed to go.

But at this particular time and place, pro wrestling occupied a lower priority for Joe.

Joe Bergman: The foundation of a house is important.  You want the right materials.  The mortar mix we’re using is two to one on masonry cement, regular bags of Portland mix with a little lime in it.

He had two men assisting in the construction of the foundation by applying the concrete to the blocks already in place with trowels and adding more concrete blocks to the structure while Joe worked at smoothing out the mini-trench he’d dug out for the footer.

Joe Bergman: The trick with the concrete is not putting too much water in it so the mix will have great consistency and holds together.

Another block is put in place by one of the builders.  The other builder uses a stick to stir the concrete to keep from becoming runny and leaking over the side of the bucket.

Joe Bergman: The same thing could be true for pro wrestling.  You need a sturdy foundation to base your career on.

Joe takes a heap of dirt and flings it over the half-complete foundation onto the dirt pile.

Joe Bergman: You need a good work ethic.  That’s why I’ve been working hard at my craft – just like ordinary men and women do each and every day but don’t get the recognition or fame.  That’s why I worked the dark matches.  That’s why I’ve been rebuilding my career brick by brick – to make sure I have a solid foundation – a foundation for ‘Ordinary Joe’ Bergman, the wrestler and person.

Joe pauses and pulls out a photo of Laura and him backstage at a MVW show.  He’s dressed in normal clothes.   Joe nods his head and smiles at the picture.

More blocks are put in place.

Joe Bergman: This coming Saturday night, I’m going to face HOW’s resident time traveler Brenton Cross.  Brenton’s has had a pretty good run so far in High Octane Wrestling.  He faced one of HOW’s tough guys Austin Reeves last week and Refueled XIV and-

A silver-ish ball of light appears followed by bright white burst of energy and the materialization of a silver-ish vehicle that leaves tire tracks of fire along Plattin Road.  The vehicle whizzes past the property with the brakes locked up and skids to a stop some fifty or so feet past the fence.

Suffice to say, the noise and spectacle gets Joe’s attention.

He walks to the gate and looks down the road.  An older model – probably mid-eighties vintage – silver DeLorean backs up on the narrow country road until it reaches the gate.

It all seems a little familiar.  But Joe can’t quite put his finger on why.  Hmmm.

The vehicle comes to a stop and both the driver and passenger side doors open up.  Out from the vehicle comes two men.  One slightly diminutive, a little paunchy, but still with a boyish face- a middle aged Marty McFly.  The other, thin, old, crinkly, shriveled up, and slightly cranky- Dr. Emmett Brown.

Marty McFly: Are you Joe Bergman?

Joe blinks his eyes and thinks ‘well, yeah.’

He just nods.

Marty McFly: Listen, me and Doc Brown are big wrestling fans and real big fans of yours.

Joe Bergman: Cool.  Thanks.

Marty McFly: We’ve come from the past.

Joe Bergman: The past.

Doc Brown: June 14th, 2019 to be exact.

Marty McFly: Do you remember that date?

Of course Joe remembered that date.  It was a night he would never forget.

Joe Bergman: Yeah.   Beat Brian Hollywood – won the HOW World Title on June 14th, 2019.

Marty McFly: Yes.  You won the title that night.  But do you remember what happened afterwards?

Rolling his eyes, Joe definitely remembered what happened after referee Matt Boettcher gave him the world title belt.  The Best Alliance (Eric Dane, Lindsay Troy, Dan Ryan, and M.J. Flair) came out and attacked him and delivered a four on one post-match beatdown.

Marty McFly: You didn’t get a chance to celebrate with the fans or enjoy the moment, didn’t you?

Joe Bergman: Not really.

Marty McFly: What if I told you we could change that?

Doc Brown: Marty?  What are you thinking?

Marty McFly: Shhhhh.

Marty had Joe’s attention.

Joe Bergman: Change what?

Marty McFly: Change what happened after the match?

Check that, Marty had Joe’s curiosity piqued.  He tried to wrap his mind around what the odd duo proposed to do about it.

Then he glanced over at the DeLorean and it all began to click.

Joe Bergman: Let me guess.  You’re suggesting that we go back in time and change the past?

Marty McFly: Yes!

Doc Brown again piped up, not entirely on board with Marty’s idea.

Doc Brown: Marty, I don’t think this is a good idea.

Marty McFly: Aw come on Doc.

Doc Brown: We’d have to make sure that the present day Joe Bergman did not come in contact with anyone back in June 2019 or else a time paradox could happened the result of which could cause a chain reaction that would (speaks in rapid fire fashion) unravel the very fabric of the spacetime continuum and DESTROY THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! 

Awkward pause.

Joe Bergman: So what you’re saying is – we’d have to be extra careful.

Marty McFly: Exactly.

.               .               .

Refueled IV
Yuengling Arena
Tampa, Florida
June 14th, 2019

After Halitosis wins the World Title…

As Halitosis gradually comes to, he sees the belt draped across his chest and looks at it, almost in disbelief, as the fans cheer for his success. The new HOW World Champion rolls to his knees, staring at the title cradled in his hands, and, to a massive cheer, he raises it above his head.

Joe Hoffman: Halitosis celebrating in the middle of the ring, he’s earned this World Title, Benny!

Benny Newell: Please. This is a dark day for High Octane Wrestling, to say nothing of a smelly one. Besides, once Max Kael gets his shot next week it’ll all be for nothing.

Joe Hoffman: Nothing you say can take this moment away from the most improbable HOW World Champion since Adonis Smyth pulled off the biggest upset in HOW history in 2011 when he defeated Michael Best. 

With a jolt of adrenaline kicking in as he now fully realizes what’s just happened, Halitosis hops out of the ring and lands on the floor below.  Holding the HOW title belt high in the air, Halitosis starts doing a lap of honor around the barricade surrounding the ring and tries to slap the hands of as many fans as he can. 

Meanwhile, backstage outside the door of the Best Alliance. 

That is, the door of the Best Alliance that someone surreptitiously welded shut.  Someone like, Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown, standing by the door with Joe admiring their handiwork.















.               .               .

Fifteen minutes later, Marty and Doc Brown return Joe to present day 2020.

Joe Bergman: You know, I have to admit that actually felt good.  Thank you.

Marty McFly: You’re welcome.

And with that, Marty and Doc returned to the DeLorean.  The car turned around and took off down Plattin Road and disappeared in a brilliant flash of light leaving behind a flaming set of tire tracks.

The two men working on the foundation gave Joe a ‘funny look.’  Then they went back to what they were doing.

Joe Bergman: Okay.  So, as I was saying before we did a little time travel…it’s good to get back into the ring.  Rumble at the Rock didn’t end the way I’d hoped even though I knew it was going to be nearly an impossible ask to defeat both Dan Ryan and Cecilworth Farthington.  2019 didn’t end the way I’d hoped it would, but the time away from HOW television gave me a little perspective.  If you would have told me in March that I would have ended 2019 having won the World title not once but twice, I would have called you crazy.  But fortunate favored me – I took advantage of the opportunities given me and I’m very happy to accomplish what I’ve accomplished.  Now, it’s time to start working on the foundation of 2020, move forward, and-

Then a second flash of light, tire tracks of fire, and the DeLorean returns to 2020.

Again, Marty and Doc Brown emerge from the vintage car and run over to him.

Joe Bergman: Marty?

Marty McFly: Joe.  You’ve got to come back with us.

Joe Bergman: What is it?  Do I turn into an asshole or something?

Marty McFly: Oh.  No no.  After Refueled V, you and Max Kael are leaving the arena and-

And again, Joe is keenly aware of what happened that night.

Joe Bergman: I know.  Eric Dane attacked Max and Dan Ryan put me through a car window.

Joe shakes his head thinking back at what went down that night.  Losing the title to Max.  The whole car window thing.

Joe Bergman: It wasn’t one of my better nights.  What are you proposing?

Marty shot him a look that told him ‘you know what I’m proposing.’

Joe scratched his chin and mulled what he thought Marty was trying to say to him.

Joe Bergman: So.  You want to go back in time to June 28th, 2019 and stop Dan Ryan from putting me through a car window?

Marty had already started to race back to the car so he could fire up the flux capacitor.

Joe Bergman: I guess that would be a yes.

Marty McFly: Come on Doc!  Let’s go!

Doc Brown: Marty!  I don’t think this is wise.

So once again, Joe trundled into the DeLorean leaving the two builders to carry on and the vehicle took off down the rural Missouri road to return to June 28th, 2019

.               .               .

Refueled V
Outside the Yuengling Arena
Tampa, Florida
June 28th, 2019

After the show…

It’s later, how much later is unknown. The exact location is one of the cordoned off parking garages near the loading docks. Very few people are out here loitering about in this particular area, the reason why is anybody’s guess.

“Hey!” A familiar voice exclaims. “I thought they were coming out this way!  Where the fuck are they?”

The voice belongs to Eric Dane, gone is his blazer and scarf, the cuff-links are out and have been stuffed into the bottom of luggage bag somewhere with his watch. Currently, sleeves are being rolled and an eager smirk sits mockingly on his face.

The other guy on the scene is Dan Ryan.

Who are they waiting for?  Halitosis and Max Kael. 

But they aren’t there.   

Why aren’t they there?  For some strange reason, Kael and his Herald ducked out another exit.

As for Halitosis?

In transit from the Yuengling Arena…
…Laura Bergman, already distressed over the near premeditated attack on her husband, gripped the edge of the seat to help endure Jackson Horne’s blatantly reckless and irresponsible driving. 


Still on the University of South Florida campus and driving northbound at a high rate of speed on USF Maple Drive, Horne blew through the light at the intersection of Maple and Holly using the left hand turn lane and jerked the car back to the right.  He cut off a not too pleased driver in the correct lane as the road went from four lanes down to two. 

Jackson Horne: You’re just fucking lucky that I got to your husband in time.

Halitosis: Yeah.  Just curious.  How did you know?

Jackson Horne: Well, Dawn McGill had already asked me to be here tonight to offer my assistance to you.  But then some weird old dude and his middle aged friend cornered me backstage and warned me what Dan Ryan and Eric Dane were going to do.  So that’s why I tracked you down earlier and we went out a different entrance.

.               .               .

The trio head back towards the DeLorean after watching Horne drive the June 2019 version of Halitosis and Laura safely into the night.

Marty McFly: Geez Joe.  It’s a shame you lost the world title tonight.  You know, we could-

Again, Doc Brown raises a vigorous and robust objection.

Doc Brown: No Marty!  I know what you’re going to say and I think we’ve done enough tinkering with the past.  It’s too dangerous!

Joe Bergman: What a second.

Joe’s interested with what he believes Marty has in mind.

Joe Bergman: Are you now suggesting that we should go back in time and change the result of the match?

Marty McFly: I knew you’d get it.  Let’s go!

Doc Brown: DAMN!

Marty takes off towards the car.

Doc Brown: MARTY!  MARTY!

Too late.  Marty is in the front seat of the car and already inputting the requisite data to travel a few hours back in time.


So once again, Joe hops back into the DeLorean and go back a little further in time to several hours before the show.

After a little convincing and cajoling, Doc Brown, disguised as a scoreboard repairman, manages to talk his way into the arena and install a powerful electromagnet inside the Yuengling Arena scoreboard that sits over the ring.

Then the trio go into hiding and the show goes on as normal until the climactic end of the Halitosis-Max Kael match.

.               .               .

Refueled V
Yuengling Arena
Tampa, Florida
June 28th, 2019

HOW World Title Match: Halitosis © vs. Max Kael

…Max staggers back towards his corner and Halitosis grabs him and rolls him up.

Joe Hoffman: Small package once again by Halitosis.



Herald Bentley pops up and sees Boettcher out of position and pushes on the men, helping Max to roll over and reverse the small package…….



Suddenly Kael finds himself being pulled off of Halitosis. 

Joe Hoffman: NO!  Halitosis kicked out!

Benny Newell: Bullshit!  Kael pulled him up to…to

Benny sees Max’s feet leave the ground and rising up in the air.

Benny Newell: …what the fuck?  What the fuck is going on here?

Joe Hoffman: He’s…he’s…floating. 

Kael is now ten feet off the ground…and climbing. 

Joe Hoffman: He’s floating towards the ceiling?

Hoffman’s in disbelief.  There’s a smash of glass nearby.  Joe turns to his broadcast partner. Benny’s jaw has dropped and that’s not the only thing.  His bottle of Jack Daniels lies smashed and bereft of whiskey on the ground.

Sub-Marquis Bentley Tennyson Farthington-Primrose scrambles into the ring and jumps in the air in a futile attempt to bring Max back down to earth. 

Sub-Marquis Bentley Tennyson Farthington-Primrose: Sir!  SIRRRR!  Come back. 

He leaps as high in the air as he can – doesn’t even come near him.

Sub-Marquis Bentley Tennyson Farthington-Primrose: COME BACK! 

Bewildered by what’s happening, referee Matt Boettcher looks up and sees that Max is now twenty feet off the ground and headed towards the scoreboard. 

Halitosis gets back up and leans back onto the ropes.   He, too, gazes up into the rafters.

Joe Hoffman: Ah…I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this before in HOW. 


Max ends up stuck by his metal teeth to the scoreboard. 

Finally, Boettcher has no choice but to count the Prime Minister of Maxopotamia (Long May He Maim) out allowing Halitosis to retain the title.

.               .               .

After returning once again to the present, Joe tries to get a little more work done on the foundation but suddenly has some concerns about what he’s just done- the whole changing the past thing.

But he doesn’t have long to think about the subject because less than a minute later…cue the silver-ish ball of light followed by the bright white burst of energy – the materialization of a silver-ish vehicle and the ever present tire tracks of fire.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know why they’ve returned.

War Games.  The infamous mouthwash incident with High Flyer.

Once again, Marty implores Bergman to come back with them so Joe reluctantly climbs back into the DeLorean and the vehicle streaks down the road back to August 2019.

.               .               .

War Games
Tropicana Field
Tampa, Florida
August 3rd, 2019

War Games Match

…M.J. Flair and High Flyer hold Halitosis down on the ground while Harmen has passed the mouthwash to Eric Dane.

Joe Hoffman: In all our years doing High Octane shows I can safely say I have NEVER seen mouthwash be used as a weapon…..let alone a weapon in a War Games match.

Benny Newell: Brilliant move here. I have no idea who had the idea but The Best Alliance clearly had a game plan here for Halitosis.

On cue High Flyer grabs Halitosis’ chin and forces the man’s mouth open as Dane proceeds to pour the entire bottle of mouthwash down the man’s throat.

Joe Hoffman: They are literally waterboarding Halitosis with mouthwash….MOUTHWASH!!!

Halitosis begins choking on the mouthwash and begins spitting it up as Dane flicks the last few drops from the bottle at the man’s face. 

Unfortunately for the Best Alliance, Marty snuck into the Best Alliance’s dressing room before the show and switched out the mouthwash for an even more hideous smelling concoction with a crapload of carbonation added to boot.

Cut to later on in the match after Cecilworth Farthington and Dan Ryan have joined the battle and now everyone is involved in the match.

…suddenly Halitosis appears as if he’s about to get sick.  He falls to his hands and knees.

Joe Hoffman: There’s something wrong with Halitosis. 

Benny Newell: No shit, Hoffhole.  He’s got no talent and now that the Best Alliance has neutralized his horrible breath, he’s a worthless piece of-













Halitosis’s massive belch expelled a potent, noxious cloud of unaromatic foulness traveling at light speed in a shock wave of stench that knocks out everyone – and we do mean EVERYONE – all the wrestlers, Joe and Benny, everyone within 250 feet of the ring. 

Well, except one…Halitosis. 

Following an awkward couple minutes, Lee Best comes trudging out from a dugout protected from the lingering smell in the air by a bright yellow Haz-Mat suit with gas mask (the same one Benny wore at Refueled III).  He reaches the ring apron and just chucks the World Title belt at Halitosis.  Then he turns and leaves, muttering something incomprehensible under his breath (and the gas mask) as he returns to the dugout. 

.               .               .

Afterwards, Marty, Doc Brown, and Bergman don’t even bother to return to the present.  Instead, over Doc Brown’s continuing protest, Marty resets the co-ordinates and takes them two weeks into the future – Refueled VIII – Halitosis’ next big match after the Rumble at the Rock against Dan Ryan.  In the original match, Lindsay Troy distracted Halitosis at ringside allowing Ryan to take him out with the Headliner.

.               .               .

Refueled VIII
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
August 16th, 2019

HOW World Title Match: Halitosis © vs. Dan Ryan

…Dan Ryan hits the mat gasping for air after Halitosis uses his lethal breath on him. Halitosis holds his injured ankle thanks to Ryan’s Ankle Lock.  

Boettcher begins his ten count.

Halitosis crawls towards the corner as Boettcher reaches three.

Benny Newell: Get up Dan! You don’t do so well with ten counts!

Halitosis uses the ropes to pull himself up breaking the count at five. The luchador sees that the Texan is still down and continues to ascend to the top and looks to finish Ryan off.

Joe Hoffman: Halitosis looking for his Senton bomb…….what does she want?

Lindsay Troy and Halitosis begin to have words and Lindsay threatens to get on the apron.

Benny Newell: She’s got her partner’s back Hoffman. I’d have your back to if I gave a shit about-


Joe Hoffman: Who?  What?  

Benny Newell: Lindsay’s down!

Who?  Dawn McGill, former HOW LSD Champion and good friend of Joe and Laura Bergman.

What?  McGill bolted out from the crowd, jumped over the barrier, and blasted the Queen of the Ring in the back with a steel folding chair.

Benny Newell: Why?

Why?  Let’s just say Marty and Doc Brown ‘arranged’ for Miss McGill to be on hand at the show to prevent LT from distracting Halitosis.

Instead, it’s Ryan who freezes for a split second after witnessing McGill’s chairshot.  Halitosis leaps off the top rope over Ryan – grabs him around the waist – and pulls Ryan down with his shoulders pinned to the mat. 

Joe Hoffman: Top rope sunset flip!

Benny Newell: WHY!

Boettcher slides in.




Joe Hoffman: HE’S DONE IT! 

Benny Newell: AWWW COME ON!

.               .               .

Next, Rumble at the Rock.

.               .               .

Rumble at the Rock 9
Alcatraz Prison
San Francisco, California
November 9th, 2019

HOW World Title and ICON Title Match: Halitosis © vs. Cecilworth Farthington © vs. Dan Ryan

After Dan Ryan is strapped to a gurney and Farthington pins Halitosis to retain the ICON title, a heavy light fixture suddenly falls and knocks CMF out. 

Halitosis somehow rolls on top of Farthington.  Matt Boettcher is right there to make the three count before Dan Ryan can rush into the cell to make the save.

.               .               .

And finally Refueled X…

.               .               .

Refueled X
Allstate Arena
Chicago, Illinois
December 6th, 2019

HOW World Title Match: Halitosis © vs. High Flyer

Halitosis wins again when High Flyer encounters a nest of vipers that’s mysteriously appeared in his dressing room before the match and comes to the ring less than 100%. 

.               .               .

In the parking lot after Refueled X, Marty McFly did a little computation.

Marty McFly: Geez Joe.  You’ve been the HOW World Champion now for one hundred and seventy-five days.  By the time the next HOW show takes place, you will have passed Jace Parker Davidson for the longest title reign – you’re currently tied for second in most title defenses in one reign – you’re now sixth in most total days as champions overall.  Isn’t that great?

Joe leans back in the seat.

The answer was no – it wasn’t great.

While it felt good to right some ‘wrongs,’ after the short term burst of the satisfaction of payback faded, deep down he knew this was not the way he wanted to do business.  Joe didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment.  Certainly he didn’t feel the euphoria of the moment like he did the night he won the title for the first time against Brian Hollywood.  Sure, the Best Alliance tried to rain on his parade with their post-match attack, but still he left the ring as the world champion – something that he did and earned the hard way – the RIGHT way – the FIRST world champion of HOW’s Refueled era.  Nothing could ever take that away from him.

To use a golf reference – this would be akin to winning the Masters by taking mulligans on every bad shot struck.

As Marty punches in the numbers of the next big HOW show- ICONIC, Joe lets out a loud sigh and pulls out the picture of Laura and him.  His eyes widen and…

Joe Bergman: Balls.

Laura looks the same in the photo.  But Joe?  There’s a shadow over the top of his face – the outline of the mask he wore while wrestling as Halitosis.  Plus, there was also a clear outline of the letter ‘H’ on the front of his shirt.

It becomes clear to him now.

Joe Bergman: Marty.

Marty McFly: Yeah, Joe.  We’re almost ready to go.

Joe Bergman: Yeah, about that.  We need to stop this now.

Marty turns his head.

Marty McFly: Joe?

Joe Bergman: Doc is correct.  This is wrong.  We shouldn’t be doing this.

Marty McFly: But…the record.

Joe Bergman: No.  This is the wrong way to do this.  I don’t want the record- at least, I don’t want to do it like this.  I’d rather be known as the guy who always worked hard, did his best, and got the most out of his limited talent.  Besides…

He shows Marty the picture.

Joe Bergman: …if this doesn’t stop now, I’m going to be stuck wrestling as Halitosis full time and I won’t be able to get away from it.  I’ve wrestled as Halitosis for over fourteen years now and I just don’t want to do it anymore.  I’m done with that.

Joe exhales.

Joe Bergman: I want to be Joe Bergman again.


Marty and Doc exchange glances.

Doc Brown: Well, we could just let events work themselves out.

Joe Bergman: But then I would hold a record I don’t deserve.  No.  I’d rather go back and undo everything we did.

Doc Brown: GREAT SCOTT!  Are you insane?  It’s not we can just jump back and forth in time willy nilly without changing the future.  We could tear open the fabric of time and space and destroy the whole-

Joe Bergman: Destroy the whole universe.  Right.  I got it.

Something pops into Joe’s head.

Joe Bergman: Wait a minute.  A few years back when Marty lost the sports almanac from 1985 and Biff Tannen got his hands on it and created an alternative 1985 timeline, didn’t you go back to the original 1985, steal the sports almanac back from Biff, and wipe out the alternative 1985?

More silence.

Marty McFly: He has a point, Doc.

Doc Brown mulls the idea.

Doc Brown: Our only chance to repair the present is in the future, at the point where the timeline skewed into this tangent. In order to put the universe back as we remember it and get you back to your reality, we have to go back to where the timeline was changed and make sure it never happens.

.               .               .

Saturday morning / Plattin, Missouri – 11:35 AM

A silver-ish ball of light appears followed by bright white burst of energy and the materialization of a silver-ish vehicle that leaves tire tracks of fire along Plattin Road.  The vehicle whizzes past the property with the brakes locked up and skids to a stop some fifty or so feet past the fence.

The silver DeLorean backs up on the narrow country road until it reaches the gate and comes to a stop next to another DeLorean that’s already parked there.

The driver and passenger side doors open up.  Out from the vehicle comes two men.  One slightly diminutive, a little paunchy, but still with a boyish face- a middle aged Marty McFly.  The other, thin, old, crinkly, shriveled up, and slightly cranky- Dr. Emmett Brown.  Then a third man – the Joe Bergman from the future.

Marty, Doc Brown, and Joe encounter the earlier versions of themselves.

Future Doc Brown (whispering to Marty): I foresee two possibilities. One – coming face to face with ourselves ten hours older could put us all into shock and we’d simply pass out.  Or the encounter may create a catastrophic time paradox, the result of which-

Future Marty McFly: I know, I know.  Cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the spacetime continuum and destroy the entire universe!

The two workers helping Joe build the foundation see the twin versions of Marty, Doc Brown, and Joe.

Their eyes roll up into their head and both pass out.

Future Doc Brown: Granted, that’s a worst-case scenario.

Joe and Future Joe lock eyes.

Future Joe: Joe.  Don’t freak out or anything.   There is a logical explanation for this.


Future Joe: Actually there’s not.  But listen to me.  This sounds like a really good idea.  Going back in the past and changing things for the better.  Believe me.  It doesn’t.  The reason you’re even considering doing this is because you had a rough end of 2019.  You lost the world title to Cecilworth Farthington at Rumble at the Rock in brutal fashion.  That doesn’t change the fact that you accomplished so much last year.  You walked into HOW in March and in your first five matches with the company won the World Title.  You were the first World Champion of the Refueled era.  Can anyone else in the company right now say that?  No.  Can Cecilworth Farthington say that?  No.  Can Cecilworth Farthington say he’s a two time HOW World Champion – and all in the first six months he was with HOW?  Hell no.


Future Joe: Joe, this isn’t the way to do it.  If you go back in time and fix all the things that went wrong, all you’re doing is taking a shortcut.  You remember that sweet feeling of holding the HOW belt for the first time?  If you go back and redo all the bad parts, you will never – ever – experience the innate satisfaction of holding the HOW world title belt for the second time after wiping the smug smile off John Sektor’s face.  You want to get back to the top of the mountain?  You know the path that leads you back there.  Hard work.  Balance.  Concentration and focus.  Trust your instincts.  Pay attention to detail.  Don’t let the moment overwhelm you.  Don’t let the occasion get the better of you.  Don’t fear failure.  Don’t fear success.  And for God’s sake, don’t fear the moment.


Future Joe: Get back into that ring.  Take care of Brenton Cross Saturday night and start your way back.

Joe closes his eyes.

Future Joe: Just say no, Joe.  Just say…

Then they reopen.

Future Joe: …no.

Joe Bergman: All right.

Joe turns to the earlier version of Marty and Doc.

Joe Bergman: No.

And suddenly, both versions of Marty and Doc begin to fade until they completely disappear and leave no sign they were ever there.

Future Joe: Good call.

The future Joe Bergman also fades away into the ether leaving Joe just standing there, dazed and trying to process what just happened – at least until it becomes a fleeting thought that drifts away in the cool breeze of a February day.

Builder #1: Hey Joe!

Broken out of the mini-trance, Joe turns around.

Builder #1: Let’s go man!  This foundation sure as hell ain’t going to get built by itself.

Joe smiles.

Joe Bergman: You’re damn right.  We’ve got work to do.