You gotta take what you want in this world.
No one is gonna give it to you.
Let me attribute that quote real quick, brought to you by living legend and former ICON Champion Daniel Elizabeth Ryan. It’s the advice that he gave to my father, that helped inspire him to become a professional wrestler in the first place. It’s the same advice that he gave me, just a few short weeks before his untimely departure from High Octane Wrestling and the wrestling world at large. He told me that the world is a selfish place, and if you don’t look out for yourself, no one else was going to.
Dan and I didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of his old world, “pay your dues” bullshit, but this is the one that resonated with me. Just like it resonated with the man who came in my mom and birthed the third coming of Christ incarnate. It’s a cruel world, and all that bullshit about the meek inheriting it is a lie. Everyone is out to get you. The banks want your money. The boss wants your sweat. This industry what’s your blood, and Lady Luck wants your fucking tears. You gotta look out for number one, because someone has to.
Me, I make my own luck.
Youngest War Games winner in history. Youngest ICON Champion in history. Undefeated in singles competition. I’m making smart investments with my money, I’m taking good care of my body, and I am destroying anything that stands in my way with the fury of a young man who is angry at the world. I am taking every advantage of every opportunity that comes my way, and when opportunity isn’t knocking, I’m kicking that door down myself. You know why I haven’t signed a PWA contract yet?
Cause they haven’t made it worth my while.
Because I look out for myself. I negotiate smart. You aren’t getting me for pennies on the dollar just because my grandfather is on the fucking PWA tribal council. You pay me, because I am one of the biggest stars in the wrestling injury, and there isn’t a PRIME blue motherfucker who can lace up my boots, much less walk a mile in them. Brandon Youngblood? The fuck outta here. Phil Atken? Maybe in the senior league, with a dinner break at 2PM. The fuck is an Anglo Luchador? Culturally appropriating hack. Nah, you want the best, you pay for the best, and I am Tyler Adrian motherfucking Best. Make me the highest paid athlete in PWA and I’ll consider it. Give me a fucking private plane, and I’ll consider it. Acknowledge that the ICON Championship is currently the top belt across all promotions… and I’ll consider it.
In the meantime, catch me on HOTv.
Catch me mowing down every opponent they put in front of me, like a bunch of weeds making my yard look unsightly. Catch me defending my championship against guys who are now getting World Title shots over me. Catch me stealing the show every week, and making the best of every opportunity that I make for myself here in HOW, the only fucking company that competes on our level. And this week, you can catch me wrestling one of the single greatest wrestlers in the history of this company.
Jace Parker Davidson.
One half of Project Ego and a man who has been a de facto mentor to me since Dan Ryan did a big dumb and my dad became a big pussy. You know, man, there was a time in wrestling history I thought that you were about the coolest motherfucker on the planet. Like, it was kinda weird that you and Michael were always running train on your wife, but we don’t kink shame out here— fact is, you were the single most dominant champion of the last era of HOW, and anyone who tries to revise that history is an insecure liar. And you know what? No swerve coming, because now that you’ve seemingly found your stride, you’re dominating again. Like you never even took any time off.
Look at you, you magnificent bastard.
Holding shit down in every single pond you’re playing in, not giving a single fuck that you’re too big a fish to fit in their water. Not giving a fuck that you’re universally reviled. Not giving a fuck that you’re making it all unfair to everyone else, just by showing up. I fuck with that, Jace. I fuck with you. Better than a melodramatic father who wants me to look both ways before I cross the street, that’s for fucking sure. And my grandfather is a literal God, but let’s be honest… he’s too busy snorting cocaine off the asses of the hot ass reps who sell him STRONKUMS to play catch with his grandson these days.
So you’re it, Jace.
You’re my hero.
You talk to whoever you want, however you want, and you don’t give a fuck about the repercussions. You don’t give a fuck if you look thirstier than a camel in a sauna eating a bowl of sand during a water shortage. You don’t give a fuck if that hot ass 18 year old on your timeline is actually a catfish account from some 40 year old dude with his cock in his hand. And man, that ain’t shade either. Get your nut, homie, it’s 2022. I really mean it, Jace— you weren’t built for the society we live in now, and I empathize with that in a way that no one else could understand but you.
Look at what the fuck you’ve done.
Dominant reigns with every title you’ve ever touched. Wrestler of the Year after taking literally years away from the business. Championships in multiple companies, and you didn’t even fuck me out of winning War Games like you did to my Dad all those years ago. But there’s one achievement in your career that stands out most to me, Jace, and I’m sure it’s the same one you’ve been thinking about since you saw this match show up on the booking sheet.
The LSD/ICON Championship.
Not a lot of people ever did that, Jace. Small handful, at best. You kept a stranglehold on the ICON and LSD Championships until they were so synonymous with one another that they became regarded as one belt. Two titles unified not by mandate, but by pure dominance. A dominance that set you up to become not only the HOW World Champion, but a future Hall of Famer. And I see an accomplishment like that… I see something like that stamped in the record books, and it makes me fucking hungry, Jace. It makes me salivate. To win War Games in my second ever HOW match… to carry and successfully defend this ICON Championship as a second HOW World Title… and then to have this match with you on the boards to boot?
I am ravenous.
All that respect, all that mentorship, all that idolization, Jace… you know what it means. It means that I’m gonna do the same fucking thing you’d do, in my position. The same thing both of my former failed mentors did to eachother, when Michael Best yanked the ICON Title from the grips of his own hero, Dan Ryan. If I want to be like you, and I want to model myself after the career that you’ve had, then I have absolutely no choice.
I have to become the LSD/ICON Champion.
I have to unify those titles, Jace. It can only be one of us, and it MUST be one of us, so for one week I am going to forget how useful you are to me. How much I enjoy sitting under your learning tree. All the laughs we’ve had over the last few months. Because my friend Jace and my mentor Jace? He doesn’t fucking exist between those ropes. He is a ghost. A fiction. A trick that the mind plays on you, to keep you from devouring your fucking packmates. I’m happy to hunt with you, and I am happy to kill with you, but there ain’t enough meat on this one to go around, and I am goddamned starving.
So this isn’t a threat.
It isn’t trash talk.
It’s a fucking warning.
At CHAOS 7, you are my enemy. Not a rival. Not an opponent. A fucking enemy. An obstacle to my goal. An obstacle to achieving another milestone faster than anyone else in HOW history. Because my respect for you and what you’ve done… even my respect for my father and what he’s done… they are the fuel that drives me to not just break those records, but to shatter them. I don’t want to do the things you did, Jace— I want to fucking dwarf them. I want to take two of the most prestigious championships in all of professional wrestling and make them more important than anything else on the planet. And the only obstacle to all of that is you, Jace.
You’re the only thing in my way.
Ask Jatt Starr what I do when people get in my way.
Ask the EMTs who had to piece his fucking scalp back together after Dead or Alive. Ask Steve Harrison. Ask Conor Fuse. You and I have been allies since the day Michael Lee Best brought me into the TEN X program, and you have seen me in action. You have seen the chaos that I thrive in. You have seen what is in my heart, Jace Parker Davidson, and so you know what I will do to overcome something that is in my way. And in case you need a reminder, you can look at the carvings I’ve made in the temple that is my body, fresh ink for every spirit I have crushed. For every body that I have broken. For every achievement I’ve reached up and grabbed with both fucking hands. So please. Please.
Don’t leave it all in the ring at CHAOS.
I’m not asking you for mercy. I’m not hiding behind cowardice. I am not playing mind games. I am asking you, as my friend, as my mentor, as a man who I respect. Listen to me. You don’t need this like I need this. Not now, with your Hall of Fame ring and your thousand ponds and your list of achievements. You don’t need this anymore.
But I do.
And I will fucking hurt you to get it.
I know it’s tempting. The glory. The callback. The bragging rights. To say that you achieved something nearly impossible, and you did it twice. But Jace, I’m eighteen years old. I was trained by some of the best professional wrestlers on the planet. The only match I’ve lost, in my entire career, was a purposeful joke of an ambush against you and STRONK to put an end to the smirk on Jatt Starr’s face. We don’t have to be enemies. We don’t have to be rivals. And I’m not even asking you to throw this one, bud— I’m down as fuck to have a good competitive match up with you, and I know you’re gonna look like a million dollars out there.
Just don’t overdraft.
Don’t go that extra mile.
When I put your shoulders down on that mat, and you have that moment where you want to dig deep and kick out at 2.999999, don’t do it. When you’ve exhausted that very talented but unfortunately aged body of yours, take it as a sign from the universe that it just wasn’t your night. Because If you try to fuck on me, I’m sure as shit gonna fuck on you, and I fuck harder, faster, and longer than you do, my guy. It’s just genetics. It’s just biology. It’s just a cruel trick by Father Time and Mother Earth— they’ve given you the drive to achieve your dreams but the hair on your chin is going gray and the fire in your heart is slowly burning down to ember.
It isn’t worth your health.
It isn’t worth your life.
Like I said, boss, you got your ring. You got your flowers. You had your moment in the sun, so now is not the time to throw shade. Keep dominating those little ponds. Keep that made man status you have with the Board, and keep it for the rest of your career. Keep slinging STRONKUMS and taking over Fisher Price LLCs and preaching the good word of HOTv, because that’s your wheelhouse now. It’s all love, Jace. It’s all respect. And I want to keep it that way, so don’t do anything stupid out there.
But hey, I’m wasting my breath here.
You know all that. You know who I am. You’ve seen what I can do out in that ring, and you’ve even helped me hone all my natural talent to make me even sharper. You know what a fool’s errand it would be to try to slow me down, much less stop me. I have achieved every goal I’ve set for myself to date, so you know that I’ll go as far as you make me to get what I want. As far as my dad took my uncle. As far as my grandfather took Kostoff. We are a family of liars, killers and thieves, and there is no honor amongst us. And you’re smart, right? You’re a smart fucking dude. One of the smartest in this industry. You know what I’m capable of.
You won’t take this personal.
You won’t take this personal.
Because you know that I wouldn’t just hurt someone who made it personal, I’d destroy them. I’d call up their ex wife and be the third generation of Best to fuck their throat like a plumber fixing a shit clogged toilet. I’d drop in on their little ponds and suck all that water up for myself. I’d look into their status on The Board and see about a permanent fucking downgrade. I’d abuse my power, my privilege, and my last name to make sure they never worked outside of HOW again, and that the rest of their very short tenure here was as miserable as possible. I’d do all of that, and you know that.
And then I’d put that man in a fucking wheelchair.
I’d have him eating through a tube for the rest of his fucking life, because I don’t just hold a grudge. I squeeze it. I coil it up like a fucking snake and I embrace it. I make it a part of me. And a fucking smart man like you? You’d never want to feel that squeeze. You’d never want to be one of those giant chips on my shoulder. Because on those chips, I’m building a legacy, and a dynasty, and a fucking empire. And you know that you can either be a part of that empire, or you can be buried beneath its foundation.
So we’re all good, right?
You’ll check that King of Everything schtick at the door. You’ll bend the knee. You’ll acknowledge the new crowned prince of High Octane Wrestling, and you won’t let your ego get in the way. When it’s all over, you’ll raise my arm and you’ll help me celebrate with my unified LSD/ICON Championship, and then we’ll paint the fucking town 97Red. Like allies. Like friends. Like brothers. Project Ego 2.0, a bond forged over two generations, and a bond I know you won’t throw away over one match. Over one little nagging sense of pride. Over one championship.
You’re a survivor.
And you recognize the opportunities before you. Do the right thing, Jace. You’ll go out there and give it 100% and not a decimal point more. And your body, your career, and your sanity will thank you for it. Shit, I’ll be thank you for it, because allies and mentors are hard to come by these days, in a world full of pussies, cowards and goody two shoes marks for themselves. It was silly for me to even say anything, Jace, because I know that you won’t let me down. I know you’ll do what’s right. I know you’ll be smart and do what’s best for me, best for you, and best for everyone.
I’ll see you out there, Jace.
I keep my friends close.