Denver International Airport
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023
Holiday traveling is the absolute worst. Anyone who has been on the planet longer than a cup of coffee can tell you that there are very few things more dreadful than Holiday travel. I wanted to leave Nebraska first thing Tuesday morning but because of the Holiday and people being stupid, I had to wait an extra day to fly home here to Denver. I was annoyed, and a bit jet-lagged from the flight. All I wanted to do was get some sleep before everything that Thanksgiving brought was upon me.
I claimed my luggage and headed toward the main entrance of the airport before something stopped me in my tracks. Standing in front of the entrance holding a large sign with my last name on it was HOW interviewer Brian Bare. A cameraman was holding his camera standing beside Bare who finally spotted me. Bare waved one of his hands into the air obnoxiously while shouting over to me. I groaned under my breath, this had to be Lee Best’s doing. Begrudgingly, I walked over toward them to find out what fresh hell was in store for me.
“What the fuck, Bare?” I hissed in a low tone as he grinned at me like an idiot. “I should kick your ass right now for even standing here holding a piece of poster board with my name on it.”
“N-n-no need for that!” Bare stammered nervously. “I figured since I got here to Denver early that I would greet you here when you arrived. Big week this week, wrestling in front of the Denver crowd this week.”
I let out a noise that resembled meh and started to walk past the lesser of the two HOW interviewers. Bare reached out and grabbed a hold of my arm to stop me. I snapped my head around and glared at him in a way that told him that if he didn’t let go of me immediately there were going to be bad things that would happen to his well-being.
“We didn’t just decide to greet you here at the airport…” Bare took a step or two away from me out of instinct. “We’re here to pick you up too!”
I narrowed my brow a bit. “You’re picking me up to do what exactly?” My tone was more threatening than it needed to be. “What did Lee talk you into coming here to do, Brian? Who is out there waiting to jump me?!”
I reached out and grabbed a hold of Bare by the collar of his shirt.
“No one! I swear!!!” Brian pleaded for his very life. “This has nothing to do with Lee Best or the Final Alliance! I decided to come here all on my own, you have to believe me!!!”
I cut my eyes over toward the cameraman who sadly nodded his head. I let go of Bare’s collar and shoved him toward the entrance.
“Fine… lead the way but if you’re lying to me…” My voice trailed off as I turned my head from side to side as we exited the airport. “Then whatever they do to me, I’m going to do to you, but worse.”
Bare turned to face me and then extended his arms while standing on the sidewalk.
“See? There is no one out there waiting to attack you.” There was a small bit of smugness in his statement. “Besides, I wouldn’t sell out to Lee Best and lead you into any danger…”
There was zero confidence in that last statement. The cameraman and I shared a look and then turned to look at Bare who knew his bullshit didn’t go over well.
“Well… where’s the goddamn car?” I asked while looking around again.
“What car…?” Bare answered my question with one of his own.
“YOU said that you were here to pick me up.” I reminded him. “So, I ask again. Where is the fucking car?!”
“Oh… um…” Bare was stammering again. “We didn’t actually get a car or anything. Apparently, I have bad credit or something that they wouldn’t take a blowjo– I mean wouldn’t take an IOU. So, we just figured we’d take your car.”
There was that annoying nervous laughter again.
“Fucks sake…” I grunted out loud.
Turning around, I headed toward the parking structure as Bare and the Cameraman followed behind me. I reached my car which had been sitting here for a few days and then put my luggage in the trunk. I walk around to the driver’s side of the car to find Bare standing there.
“You take it easy and allow me to drive.” Bare requested while sticking his hand out for my keys.
“Fuck off!” I spat back at Brian as I entered the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Bare lowered his head and moved around to enter the passenger’s side. The Cameraman took to the backseat. After a while, we were on the road and the cameraman had his camera set up and was recording from the backseat.
“So…” Bare began but I quickly turned on the radio to drown him out. “HEY!” Brian whined before turning off the music.
“Hands off!” I barked at Bare before turning the music back on.
Bare pouted but then turned the music off again. “I’m trying to talk here!”
“And I’m not trying to listen to you talk!” I replied.
“Look, all we got is time and the open road, right?” Bare mumbled. “I have to admit that picking you up at the airport wasn’t my only agenda.”
“No shit, Sherlock…”
“I wanted to maybe get a candid interview before you wrestle at Chaos 051 here in Denver.” Brian’s puppy dog eyes were looking over at me.
“You want an interview? Then wait until Monday night when you see me at the arena.” I gripped the steering wheel a little tighter.
“It can’t wait that long!” Brian stomped his feet a bit. “Haven’t you seen what everyone else has been saying and posting?”
I only shook my head in response.
“Mike Best has been talking about what happened last week. Darin Zion has been talking about what happened last week.” Bare paused and then took a breath before throwing out the heavy artillery. “Even Lee Best has made comments about what has been going on.”
I stopped at a red light and snapped my head over toward Brian.
“Are you going to keep crying like a bitch until I answer your stupid-ass questions?!” Bare nodded his head rapidly. “I should throw you in traffic here on the highway, but fine! Ask while I’m still nice enough to spare your life.”
Bare grinned and took a moment to fuss over himself as I continued driving.
“In last week’s main event, Darin Zion shocked the world by coming out wearing a Final Alliance jacket. And then Mike was pulled into the crowd by Scott Stevens who was also wearing a Final Alliance jacket.” Bare paused for effect. “What are your thoughts on Lee Best adding those two men to the Final Alliance?”
The car swerved a little bit because I started laughing harder than I had in a very long time.
“It doesn’t bother you that Lee asked them to join and not you?” Bare followed up with that 2nd question.
Again, all he got in response was gut-busting laughter from me.
“I don’t think it’s THAT funny,” Bare said in protest. “Lee wants to sell knock-off Final Alliance jackets to the point every single one of the fans in the building is wearing them. That doesn’t bother you?”
“Should it bother me?” I questioned while finally composing myself. “You think this is some big power move on Lee’s part. The reality is that Lee Best is desperate. Resorting to Scott Stevens and Darin Zion? That’s fucking hilarious.”
“There is strength in numbers.” Bare countered.
“Yeah, but those aren’t real numbers. Darin Zion and Scott Stevens are nothing more than meat shields for the people he truly relies on.” I pulled one hand off the steering wheel and ran it through my hair. “This whole selling off Final Alliance jackets is a hail mary from Lee Best at the 11th hour.”
“How do you figure that?” Bare tilted his head.
“Think about it.” I pointed to my temple. “Lee knows that I am getting closer and closer to getting my hands on him. Making sure that from a distance every single person on any given Chaos episode looks the same is Lee’s ace up this sleeve. He knows he can’t run forever, so now, he’s trying to hide in plain sight.”
“True… but you’ll never know just who will be the next person to come out wearing a jacket.” Bare reasoned. “It would be an already established member of the Final Alliance, could be a new guy like Zion or Stevens, or better yet, it could be a fan.”
That response stumped Bare. I could literally smell the smoke pouring from his ears before I spoke again.
“Look at all I’ve been through just this year, Brian.” I let that statement linger for a moment. “There is no amount of jackets or ambushes that Lee Best could throw at me that would be any different than what has already happened. Lee is trying to empty his clip in hopes one of those so-called bullets will put me down for good. When that doesn’t happen? He’ll truly understand how fucked he seriously is.”
“Well… the latest bullet in Lee’s gun is putting you up against Charles De Lacy on Chaos 051.” Brian folded his arms after stating the obvious. “He’s someone, or rather maybe one of the only people on the roster that you’ve never faced before.”
I shrugged my shoulders as I pulled my car up to the multi-garbage of my home. “Big deal.”
Bare raised his eyebrow as I exited the vehicle and moved toward the trunk. Brian got out of the car and walked toward me along with the cameraman.
“Shouldn’t you be worried about that?!” Bare waved his arms about like I was suddenly supposed to change my tune for the sake of his interview.
I pulled my luggage from the trunk before closing it and shrugging my shoulders again.
“Why should I be worried?” I inquired as I made my way up to my front door. “What is this De Lacy guy going to do to me that Lee Best hasn’t already done or attempted to do?”
Once again, Bare was stomped as I unlocked the door and stepped inside. Brian and the cameraman tried to enter behind me but I extended my arm to stop them.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” I looked both men up and down.
“We were coming inside to finish the interview…” Bare answered as he tried to look around the inside of my home. “Besides, you know it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow and all. And I happened to spend all my cash getting here early rather than leaving enough to get a hotel room…”
His voice trailed off a bit.
“And you thought I would just be generous and let you stay here and feed you too?” Brian nodded his head. “Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I am barely fine with you knowing where I live, no fucking way I’m letting you inside of my home. The fact that you have nowhere to go or nothing to fill your stomach is your problem, not mine.”
“But the interview!” Brian said in a begging voice.
“The interview is over,” I said in an authoritative tone. “Now get off my property before I call the cops and let my dogs loose on you both.”
I slammed the door shut and locked it before Bare could respond. I grabbed my luggage and headed upstairs to my bedroom.
“How else am I supposed to kiss his ass and make sure he doesn’t set me on fire if he won’t let me in?!?!” Brian complained from the other side of the door.
The cameraman shakes his head and walks off of the front porch as the scene fades.
What’s up, Chuck?
Yeah, I know your name is Charles and you’re all super stuck-up or should I say sophisticated? Either way, I know you prefer to be called Charles and your little man servant calls you Mr. Charlie but me?
I’m going to call you Chuck. Possibly Chucky, if the mood so strikes me.
We haven’t been officially introduced to each other but I’m sure you’ve been keeping tabs and doing your research since you’re now a solid member of this roster. Which is fine with me, there isn’t much about me that hasn’t been rehashed and regurgitated many times over the years.
It just so happens that our first and possibly only encounter will be in the middle of the ring here in my new home away from home.
I was born and bred in New York City but left there to live in Miami. Pretty sure it still lists that on my roster page, damn lazy ass tech monkeys. However, Denver is my home and I quite like it here. More land, fresher air, and less Chaos than places like Miami or NYC. But I’m sure you’re not interested in any of that.
No, you look at me and just think ‘Filthy American.’
And I can tell you with 100% certainty that even though I am not standing in front of a camera at the moment, I am shrugging my shoulders.
Let me fill you in before our match on Monday night, Chuck.
I understand you’re some British wannabe Royal. You find Americans and everything we do disgusting or barbaric. And I’m sure you’ll take great pleasure in talking about all the awful American things about me, about Denver, and about how I carry myself. I can see into the fucking future about how you’ll play with the ‘King of Everything’ moniker being that you’re from the nutsack of some fancy-pants British tea bag shagger that considers himself a ‘Higher Class’ than the rest of us.
But the thing is this…
I don’t give a FUCK.
I’m at the point where I’m done with gimmicks, man. This England versus America thing is a gimmick. Your whole attitude is a gimmick. I truly and completely don’t care what your opinion of Americans is. I don’t care what you think about our sports, our food, our cities, or anything else. I can imagine your PowerPoint presentation on why Thanksgiving is horrible will be Oscar-worthy. It’s just that I’m not Mr. America is perfect and you will respect her. You can be pissy because we threw your tea into the water or call us traitors… again, I don’t give a FUCK.
If you want to have that argument? Go find Steve Solex.
I’m not getting caught up in that cat-and-mouse game you like to play. I’m not going to sit here and claim that I’ve studied you inside and out because I haven’t. I’m not going to proclaim that I have you figured out because I haven’t put in the time and effort to really get to know what makes Chucky De Lacy tick.
See, I’m sure you know what’s happened to be at the hands of Lee Best over this year. I’m also sure that you know by now that I intend to do very awful things to Lee Best when I get my hands on him. I have a precious few weeks to make that happen.
After that? I’m done. Gone from this roster completely.
What does that have to do with you?
The simple answer to that, Chucky, Is that I have no time for bullshit and games. You’re a pawn in Lee’s effort to run the clock out on my contract. You’re a desperation shot that he hopes finds it’s mark, but I can’t let that happen. That means that here in Denver on Monday night, I’m not walking to that ring to put on a 5-star classic. I’m not looking to test my technical ability against yours.
I don’t give a fucking pile of crusty Darin Zion cum socks about what kind of blood flows through your veins or what some of your ancestors have accomplished back in fuck knows when. I know you’ve been impressive, I know you beat Shane Reynolds at In God’s House.
You’re probably thinking I’m just another mindless brute just like Shane.
Here’s the difference between Shane and I.
Shane Reynolds cares about winning matches. Shane Reynolds cares about where he is on the rankings in this company. Shane Reynolds is still trying to position himself to win another Championship belt.
None of that shit is on my radar.
I’m not coming out and dressing up, I’m not playing into any gimmick or worrying about whether cheer me or boo me. This is reality, Chucky. This is me walking into enemy territory, putting my life on the line, just to make sure another man doesn’t continue to consume oxygen. You, and how many other people in between me and him? None of you matter. You’re just random faces in a crowd. Nothing you do to me in a wrestling match is going to make me give a shit about anything other than Lee Best.
Listen to me when I tell you this, Chuck.
Whether it hurts your ego or not, but a win against you does fuck all for me.
I’m not in this to win a match or to learn new fucking ways to counter a wrist lock. I’m in this to hurt people, Chucky. And right now? You’re going to be the person that’s standing in front of me on Monday night. I am going to step inside of that ring looking to accomplish one goal. That is to walk up to you and punch you square in the face. And then, keep punching you in the face until your body physically cannot continue. I’m going to keep beating you until they have to use a mop to clean up what is left of you from the canvas.
There will be a referee there… but he won’t matter.
The rules… won’t matter.
The ringing of a bell… won’t matter.
You’re not an obstacle that I need to worry about. You’re simply a speed bump on my way to Lee Best that I need to run over.
Rope breaks, disqualifications, suspensions… none of that shit is going to save you on Monday night.
So, I’m going to tell you the same thing I told Brian Hollywood.
Be smart, Chucky.
Come down with a case of the Jolly Goods. Get yourself lost on the way to the arena. Find a reason to suddenly have a family emergency.
Just don’t bother showing up.
It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s in your best interests.
And yet, you’re not going to take my advice, are you?
Nope, you’re going to show up Monday night. You’re going to find some asinine reason to be determined to ‘teach me a lesson.’ You’re going to try and put beating me as a feather in your cap as you continue to work your way up to the top of this company.
Whatever the case… it’s a bad move.
I know you’re only here “suffering” in America because money is tight for you right now. The Richie Rich lifestyle isn’t as fun as it’s cracked up to be when you’re as broke as a joke. I know you NEED money, Chucky. That’s why I’m pretty sure between now and Monday night that the snake known as Lee Best will slither his way up to you.
He’ll make you a deal, he’s good at striking deals.
He’ll offer you money, and lots of it because Lee Best is notorious for throwing money at his problems.
It’ll be an offer you don’t think you can refuse, Chucky. Just remember that there is no amount of money that Lee Best can offer you that will be worth spending the rest of your life as a drooling vegetable in a wheelchair.
Don’t be an idiot like Zion or Stevens and accept the cheap ass jacket.
You do not want to get caught up in his weird ass game of Where’s Waldo.
Live to fight another day is the best advice I can give you.
You have things you still want to do and achieve in this company, and even though you’re going to be pushing 50 sooner rather than later, you have a bright future here.
So, I want you to think long and hard about this, Chucky. I want you to snuggle and dry hump your thesaurus until that post-nut clarity kicks in. Consult with your ancestors during a spot of tea and fresh crumpets. Share some biscuits with Ricky, Dicky, and your manfriend Mickey, hell, go ask Mickey Mouse.
It’s a life-altering decision.
I need you to be clear-minded because I am a man who has nothing more to lose.
I got stabbed in the eye and I’m still standing here doing everything I can to get back at the man responsible.
There is no happy ending here for me whether I end Lee Best or not.
There is no life after High Octane Wrestling.
I’ve pushed all of my chips to the center of the table. I’m going all in on being the person to end Lee Best.
I am a man that is destined to burn in Hell for all eternity and my one mission is to make sure that I drag Lee Best down there with me.
Lee Best’s demise will be more fire and brimstone than it will be a blaze of glory.
But for now?
I’m going to enjoy eating like a pig and watching football on Thursday. I’m going to kick back on Black Friday and re-watch the Austin Powers movies. And then on Saturday? I’m going to make sure that there is enough barbed wire wrapped around my bat to skin an elephant in one swing. And when Monday night comes, and that bell rings?
I’ll expect your answer, De Lacy.
Be smarter than Hollywood, Chucky.
Don’t go and get yourself caught in the inferno meant for someone else.