First Direct Arena – Leeds, England – November 28th
How ironic is that?
The crowd is on their feet watching LSD Champion John Sektor battle the plucky challenger Darin Zion on the stage below.
The arena is set up like an amphitheater. The stage is at the bottom. Seats all in front. Section 214 was situated about halfway up but just below the suites where all the movers and shakers and moneymakers were being feted to a bruising battle between the Gold Standard of HOW and the perpetual HOW underdog for the LSD title.
‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson sits in his seat and as the action between Sektor and Zion continues, he takes a second to reflect on just how he’d arrived at this particular place on this particular night…
How did we get here?
October 17th– Missouri Valley Wrestling Kearney, NE House Show
-Bill Dickinson takes out several weeks of frustration on Ellis and finishes him with the Southern Fried Powerbomb.
November 1st-MVW’s Wrestling Night in the Heartland on HOTv
-Dickinson tells Kellie Burkowski he’s in a bad mood and he would hate to be in Adam Ellis’s shoes right now. Dickinson started at the very bottom of the wrestling totem pole- Adam Ellis got the proverbial silver spoon treatment.
-Dickinson defeats Ellis with the Southern Fried Powerbomb. But then he hits a second Southern Fried Powerbomb. Dickinson goes for a third but Men’s Heartland Champion Scott Stevens makes the save.
November 8th-Wrestling Night in the Heartland: Dickinson vs. Bittinger in a #1 contender’s match.
-Dickinson follows and heaves Bittinger across the ring. Bittinger again sent to the ropes… BIG BACK BODY DROP by Dickinson. Bittinger rolls back and forth in pain. There’s a commotion outside the ring. Haley Dallas screams. JOHN SEKTOR RUNS OUT! HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING’S LSD CHAMPION IS HERE! HOLY CRAP!…
-Sektor has a double arm lift on Big Don into a facebuster- Sektor C-SEKTIONS ‘BIG DON TO THE FLOOR. Bill Dickinson pulls off of Bittinger and sees Sektor slap on the SEKTOR STRETCH ON BIG DON! Crowd on their feet now. Dickinson over to the ropes and he’s yelling at Sektor.
-Dickinson puts a foot on the second rope and… ROLL UP BY BITTINGER FROM BEHIND! ONE… TWO… THREE! BITTINGER WINS!
November 15th-Wrestling Night in the Heartland
-‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson says he roamed the independent wrestling companies for nearly 20 years/never backed down from a fight/the ass-kickings he received ‘like a man’/it made him a better wrestler. He’ll be damned if some ‘young punk kid who ain’t paid his dues get an easy ride just because of some “big shot wrestler from Chicago” who ain’t ever seen the inside of a bingo hall, national guard armory, or high school gymnasium.’
-John Sektor says Dickinson’s a nobody and the mention of his name on a HOW show is his single greatest achievement in professional wrestling. Sektor also calls Dickinson a ‘nobody,’ a ‘hack’, and a ‘bum’ who’s jealous of Adam Ellis. Ellis has a chance at making it to the big time- Dickinson squandered his and was never good enough.
November 20th-Wrestling Night in the Heartland
-After Dickinson has hit TWO Southern Fried Powerbombs on Adam Ellis, the fans are upset and Sektor is livid. Dickinson again drags a lifeless Ellis up and sets him up. He gives Sektor the double middle finger and… SOUTHERN FRIED POWERBOMB #3! He makes the cover. ONE.. TWO… NO-SEKTOR ATTACKS DICKINSON!
-Sektor and Dickinson roll around in the ring. MVW Security race down to the ring. Sektor gets in a couple shots before both men are swarmed over and separated. Sektor takes out a couple security guys and leaps at Dickinson. It kicks off and again MVW Security tackle both men.
The crowd comes alive and snaps Dickinson out of his thoughts and back to the present when Sektor just barely kicks out of a Zion cover. Then, having just coming within a split second of pinning Sektor, Darin Zion made a fatal mistake. He tried running the ropes and found himself running right smack into a Sektor spinning forearm smash.
Fidgeting in his seat, Dickinson watches Zion kick out of consecutive pinfalls following a neckbreaker, power slam, and multiple suplexes. Suspended from MVW for his actions the week prior, Dickinson blends in with the majority of the folks inside the First Direct Arena. He’s dressed in plain black wrestling tights. He’s mostly bald with a little bit of hair over the ears. And he’s big. Three hundred and thirty pounds of…well, a lot of it is fat…but Dickinson is strong as an ox. He looks like your normal, blue collar, ordinary guy who’s just going out to a wrestling show. No one knows who he is and why he’s flown to England to show up in Leeds, England on a Sunday night.
Sensing the end of Zion is coming near, Dickinson stands up in his chair and edges towards an aisle, passing by his compadre tonight- his best friend Curtis Mason from Troy, Alabama. Mason traveled with Dickinson to the UK to be his aide-de-camp, and more importantly, his wheel man to get the hell out of town after he did what he was about to do.
Curtis looks up at Dickinson one last time.
Curtis Mason: Hoss, ar’ you sure about this?
Bill Dickinson: I figure I came all this way, I might as well let Johnny Sektor know I’m here.
Curtis Mason: Okay. I’ll get us a car and meetcha at the entrance.
Dickinson heads down towards the floor. Curtis leaves for the exit to secure a vehicle to get both of them out of there.
With Zion locked up in the Sektor Stretch a couple minutes later, Dickinson hopped over the barricade and ended up on the floor…
(HOW Refueled 81 Broadcast)
…the crowd suddenly becomes agitated.
Joe Hoffman: WAIT A MINUTE. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?
A large man has come out of the crowd and rolls under the ropes into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: A FAN HAS JUST JUMPED OUT OF THE CROWD?
Seeing Sektor in front of him like a red cloth taunting a pissed off bull, Dickinson charges his prey, ducks a Sektor right hand, and tackles Sektor in the ring. With the EPU trying in vain to keep the two men apart, Dickinson and Sektor end up brawling out of the ring and all the way to the back where they continued to fight backstage.
The following exchange is heard…
John Sektor: “YOU MOTHER-FUCKER!…I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!..YOU WANNA FIGHT ME? HUH? YOU WANNA FIGHT ME IN MY RING?”
Bill Dickinson: “YEAH! I DO YOU FUCK!”
John Sektor: “FIGHT ME AT ICONIC THEN! YOU AND ME…I DON’T GIVE A FUCK I’LL MAKE IT HAPPEN!”
And as they say… the rest was history.
Riding in the back seat of a taxi and barreling towards Manchester on the M62, Dickinson’s adrenaline is finally returning to some semblance of normalcy.
Bill Dickinson: I thought that went well.
Curtis shakes his head and counts his blessing they were able to leave the arena without any legal entanglements.
Curtis Mason: Oh. Shure.
Dickinson’s cell phone lights up and starts to ring. The name on the screen? RAY McAVAY.
Bill Dickinson: Well. This oughtta be interesting.
Bill answers the call from the owner of Missouri Valley Wrestling and former HOW World Champion.
Bill Dickinson: Hi Ray.
Ray McAvay (on the phone): Well. You couldn’t help yourself, could you? You went out and did it.
Chuckling, Dickinson nods, fully expecting that type of reaction from McAvay.
Bill Dickinson: Yeah. I guess I did.
Ray McAvay: You know Bill, the executive in me should be royally pissed off at you for pulling this stunt and potentially jeopardizing the great relationship Missouri Valley Wrestling has with High Octane Wrestling.
Ray McAvay: HOWEVER… the Ray McAvay, leader of the Les Miserables and man of the people… thought that was pretty awesome.
Eyes blinking, Dickinson’s not quite sure he’s hearing what he’s actually hearing.
Bill Dickinson: Come again?
Ray McAvay: Yeah. I said it. It was awesome, Bill.
Not that Bill Dickinson and Ray McAvay had their moments of conflict in the past… they did… Dickinson is flabbergasted that Ray isn’t blowing up his phone about the incident.
Bill Dickinson: Wait. You ain’t pissed or anything?
Ray McAvay: No. Not really. I actually just spoke with HOW a few minutes ago. Congratulations Bill. You poked the bear big time and now John Sektor has demanded a match with you.
Bill continues to be abjectly stunned at McAvay’s reaction.
Ray McAvay: Yeah, it’s going to take a couple days to hash this all out, but Laura and I will work out all the details. All I need you to do is just keep your head down for the next few days, keep your mouth shut, and be patient. We will make this happen, Bill. I promise you we WILL make this happen.
Bill Dickinson: Okay.
What else could Bill say?
Ray McAvay: I see this as a moment that you don’t see very often in pro wrestling. It’s like… like a forbidden door that’s suddenly been opened… hell Bill… you didn’t just open the door, you fucking kicked it down. I hope you’re up for this though. John Sektor isn’t John O’Reilly (the current Missouri Valley Wrestling Men’s Champion). He’s at a totally different level.
Bill Dickinson: I know…
Following the call, Dickinson sat silently in the taxi until it turned into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express hotel located just off the M56 at the Manchester Airport. Once deposited at the front door, he and Curtis split up and went to their respective rooms. Dickinson thought about hitting the bar but instead chose to retire for the evening.
Laying on the bed, the gravity of what’s just went down hits. He imagines the letters posted a marquee in lights: “John Sektor. The Gold Standard of HOW. The LSD Champion versus “Redneck” Bill Dickinson.” For a split second, a little apprehension creeps into his thoughts. You see, Bill always had a innate way of running his mouth and talking himself into trouble. Hell, Bill had a PHD in getting himself in hot water between running his mouth and some of his actions which often ran afoul to the authorities in charge of whatever wrestling company he was in.
Deep down though, he wonders if he’s bitten off a little more than he’s capable of chewing otherwise known as the classic ‘be careful what you wish for’ syndrome. He did what he intended to do when he flew across the ocean to England and showed up at a HOW show- find a way to goad John Sektor into a match.
Now, he was actually going to have to go through with it.
* * *
Where to begin. Oh, I know. Let’s clear this up right now. This thing with John Sektor didn’t just start with Adam Ellis. This thing’s been simmering for a couple years.
It was July 2019. I remember it was the second night of a weekend swing through Kentucky and Indiana. We were in Evansville, Indiana for a house show and TV taping at The Ford Center. A couple titles were up for grabs. The Southern Boys were in the main event that night against the tag champions Ray McAvay and Rah and The Kings of Old School.
I remember we came out earlier in the show after the Georgia-Florida State Boundary won their match and we took them boys and their corporate country bullshit down. Then later on, some loudmouth jerk shouted something at Lisa Barbosa-Stevens- she was the Women’s champion at the time… and guess who it was- John Sektor. I guess he showed up to see Joe Bergman aka Halitosis at the time to talk about War Games 2019. Sektor popped off to Lisa about being a better wrestler than her hubby Scott Stevens… I won’t comment on that. But then he was ringside during the main event and we exchanged a few words and things just got out of control. I shoved Johnny boy. Sektor hauled off and hit me. They got him backstage before anything else could happen but in all honesty, that’s really where this here thing got started.
Now, here’s some of the crap y’all gonna have shoved down y’all’s throat for the next couple weeks..
“Bill Dickinson is a thirty-eight year old dumbass, redneck hick, never-was who’s kicked around the minor league wrasslin’ loop for twenty years.”
“He never got the call to a big company and now he’s on the way down in his career.”
“Time’s passing him by.”
“This is Bill Dickinson’s one and only shot at the big time.”
“He asked for it and now he’s gonna get it. John Sektor’s gonna embarrass that big mouth redneck before an audience of millions.”
“He’s be happy to just be there. Bill Dickinson will get his ass kicked by a real wrestler and collect a nice check.”
“If Dickinson can look respectable against a great wrestler like John Sektor, he’ll win a moral victory.”
Let’s get one thing straight. I ain’t flyin’ across the pond and coming to ICONIC just to collect a paycheck and I ain’t flyin’ across the Atlantic for some moral victory. As I said the other night, I’m coming to ICONIC with full guns blazin’ and John Sektor and I are gonna dance.
I’m comin’ to London to win the damn match.
What you see is what you get with me but don’t listen to the bullshit. Here’s the real story about ‘Redneck’ Bill DIckinson. Early in my career I conquered the Independent Western Wrestling World and was champion on and off for nearly six years. Then I went to the Heartland of America and joined up with Missouri Valley Wrestling in 2017 when they added men’s wrestling. Won their Heartland title and held it for over a year and a half. Never lost the title. I dropped the belt because I had bigger fish to fry- the MVW Men’s title. And I went for it. I feuded hard with Ray McAvay for several months by couldn’t get past him. I fought with Charlie Blackwell and J.J. Bittinger and couldn’t get past them. And then by the time I finally won the title, it was only ‘cause ‘Big Money’ Darin Zion bailed out on our match and went back to HOW and I won by count-out.
Hell, Ray McAvay had to go to Chicago and get the belt from Zion.
This was not the way Bill Dickinson wanted to win the belt. But I won the big belt and lost a little part of myself in the process. I compromised for the first time in my career because I got caught up in holdin’ on to thebelt instead doing what I do best- go to the ring and kick ass. Why? Because Bill Dickinson knew the hard cold fact that time was catchin’ up with him. That’s why I joined up with the Sports Entertainment Corporation. The biggest mistake in my career. Lost the belt to J.J. Bittinger soon after.
I got what I deserved.
Johnny boy, at least I didn’t come out and treat a title match… and not just a title match but a World Title match… like a joke like the time you faced Joe Bergman… I mean, Halitosis, and dicked around til you got a face full of crow shoved down your throat.
You got what you deserved.
At ICONIC, I will step through those ropes with one purpose and one purpose only- to defeat John Sektor. That’s right, y’all heard correct. I plan on winning the fucking match. I mean, that’s the reason we’all do this, right? To win matches? Hell, if any wrestler steps through the ropes and DOESN’T expect to win the match, he shouldn’t be stepping through those ropes in the first place. Somethin’ Johnny boy you might want to teach your boy Adam Ellis about.
You see John, I ain’t all THAT bitter over the fact you’re fawning all over Adam Ellis. I get whatcha you see in the boy. He’s got the goods. He’s got the ability. But dammit John, maybe- just maybe- teach the boy not to come to the ring all doe-ey eyed. Every time I’ve wrassled Adam Ellis, I knew I’d won the match before the bell went off. Adam needs to grow a pair and show a little heart in the ring. I’m impressed with him but not as much as I’m impressed with a guy at MVW named John O’Reilly. Now here’s a guy who came in raw as hell, a cannonball for a right hand, and no other wrasslin’ ability. John O’Reilly came in and did things the right way. Worked his ass off. Took his lumps. Got his ass off the deck and came back for more. John O’Reilly fought his way from the very bottom all the way to the Men’s Title and he didn’t need a big shot benefactor arriving in a limo to help him in. John O’Reilly’s knocked my block off more times now that I want to remember. Adam learning from John Sektor? Hell, Adam could learn a lot more from watching John O’Reilly.
Oh, I know what they’re saying- John O’Reilly is no John Sektor and Bill Dickinson’s never wrestled someone like John Sektor before. Hell, John Sektor’s never wrestled anyone like Bill Dickinson either. I ain’t gonna step into that ring all doe-ey eyed like your pro-tah-jah Adam Ellis. Johnny, I’m coming to London to kick your ass all over the ring and win. I’m comin’ to London to Southern Fried Powerbomb your ass through the fucking ring.
Hell yes, I know this is my ‘one’ shot but Bill Dickinson is a dangerous man inside the ring which means he’ll be a helluva lot more dangerous knowin’ this is his only chance. You don’t think I’ll throw everything I’ve got into this match? You betcha ass I am. Joe Hoffman said the other night ‘not all dreams have happy endings and we’re going to find out if Bill Dickinson can handle the spotlight shining down on him when he steps out on the big stage at ICONIC.’ My response? We’re gonna find out if John Sektor can handle the heat Bill Dickinson is gonna throw at him. Bill Dickinson’s never wrassled in a big time arena before in front of tens of thousands of people. My response? John Sektor’s never wrassled in a National Guard Armory where the fans are right on top of you, watching every move you make, knowing if you screwed up, knowing the fans would get drenched in your sweat when we fought on the floor.
I’ve traveled the highways and byways of America, city to city, town to town, bingo hall to bingo hall and every night I walked out there my aim was to kick ass and tear down the house.
What goes down on Sunday December 26th is no different. Bigger house. Lots more people. But the job’s the same. Going out to that ring, kicking ass, and tearing down the house.
At the end y’all, it comes down to two men and a wrasslin’ ring. That’s what’s it’s all about.