Black Wind Howlin’ (Tag Team)

Black Wind Howlin’ (Tag Team)

Posted on December 16, 2022 at 11:52 pm by Joe Bergman

Joe Bergman’s Barn
Plattin, Missouri
Friday December 16th, 2022

It’s Graduation Day at the barn.

Two tables were set up inside the ring.  Ray McAvay and his wife Stacee Perry-McAvay, Joe Bergman and Victoria McGill, Dawn McGill, plus McAvay’s daughter and Chief Business Officer Juliette LeBlanc all sat at one table.  The eight wrestlers who were officially ‘graduating’ from the barn and starting their professional wrestling careers were situated at the other one.

The rest of the students sat at the multiple tables that surrounding the ring.  Waiters and waitresses from a catering service Ray brought in for the evening circulated around the barn to serve the evening’s dinner to the guests.

Forty-five minutes later, following dinner and then dessert, and once the waiters and waitresses cleared the plates and silverware from the tables, Juliette LeBlanc took the podium located in between the two tables and announced it was time for the official program to begin.  Time to get down to the business of the evening.

She introduced Dawn McGill first.  Dawn gave some remarks focused on the three women she’d worked with over the past several months.  Dawn gushed over their collective work ethic and determination to learn.  Next, she thanked Joe Bergman for giving her the chance.  Dawn explained she didn’t know what to do after her active wrestling career ended.  Joe introduced her to a new and fulfilling career in helping young wrestlers learn the craft and teaching them the beginning building blocks of their new wrestling careers.

When she finished her remarks, Dawn introduced Joe who then spoke about the five men signing professional contracts tonight.  The first thing Joe did was thank Dawn McGill for stepping in and helping to keep the barn going after his HOW wrestling career was resuscitated in the spring. He remarked that Dawn even worked with a HOW wrestler- one Xander Azula- and did a great job helping Xander work on his in-ring skills.

Then the moment of truth.  Missouri Valley Wrestling owner Ray McAvay called the graduates forward. and one by one, the graduates lined up.

First up, Savannah Smith – a young talent from Benton Harbor, Michigan who hitched a ride to Chicago… caught a bus from Chicago to St. Louis… and then showed up on Joe Bergman’s doorstep one morning.  Joe… and then Dawn McGill… mentored her.  Savannah caught on real fast and she survived the first round of MVW’s Carmondy Cup by winning the battle of Bergman’s Barn students.  Then Savannah stunned everyone by defeating one of MVW’s talent enhancement wrestlers in round two but then lost to rookie Madison Carter in round three.

After shaking hands with McAvay… and Dawn McGill, Savannah bent over and put her pen to paper to make it all official.  Savannah was all-MVW.

Next, McAvay brought forward Blair Williamson- a local prospect from nearby Washington, Missouri and then the reigning Bergman’s Barn Women’s Champion… Tammie Hardy.  Both put their signature on MVW contracts and then returned to their seats.

Next, the men.

After the first student went up first to sign his name on the dotted line for MVW, a kid named Luke Woods- a local talent from St. Louis- walked up to McAvay.  For nine months, Joe Bergman worked extensively with Luke.  Both Joe and Ray thought Luke had the talent but needed to work on the application of said talent. Dawn McGill also assisted with Woods’s training and the net result saw the young man finally put the pieces together in the summer.

After signing his deal, Woods shook McAvay’s, McGill’s, and Joe’s hands before returning to his seat.

Next up, Dave Strack and Dan Poole.  The only tag team coming out of the barn signing on with MVW. Strack and Poole hailed from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  Joe heard about the pair through the grapevine and went to a small Canadian wrestling show in nearby Regina to scout them.  Impressed, Bergman recommended to Ray McAvay that he should give them a look.  Ray did… agreed… and brought Strack and Poole stateside to work out at MVW headquarters and then Bergman’s Barn.

The duo signed off on their MVW deals and returned to their table.

As the last graduate walked up to the podium to sign his deal, Joe’s mind wandered and he thought back to the very beginning of his career.  It seemed a long time ago- over fifteen years- when a young, skinny teenager parlayed a bad case of bad breath on a date into one of the more unique wrestling gimmicks ever worked in pro wrestling.  Joe thought about where he was in his career now.  The Halitosis gimmick that he ran with over years… long gone… left in a trash dump on Alcatraz Island over three years ago.  He’d risen up from the ashes of Halitosis… a ‘cartoon character’ meant to be a comedy mid-card wrestler into Joe Bergman- the ‘Man of the People’- and a serious title contender.  Inspired by Ray McAvay’s ‘Les Miserables’, Joe transformed a section of the Best Arena- Section 214- into his small, loyal band of brothers and sisters he knew would be behind him every step of the way at ICONIC Sunday night.

How big were both of Joe’s matches?  Huge. Joe not only put himself out there standing up and pushing back against Jace Parker Davidson and Jatt Starr’s nonsense… he also cut a rather scathing promo against Lee for questioning his loyalty.  No doubt, there was much riding on the results tomorrow night.  The HOW World Title.  The LSD title.  The HOTv World Tag Team title.

And the future of the Highwaymen.

It was no secret that there were questions swirling about the Highwaymen in the dirt sheets.  Were there cracks in the foundation of the group?  Was the unified front the Highwaymen tried to project nothing more than a façade?  If the results at ICONIC went badly, would that spell the end of the group?

Of course, Joe had his concerns. He had just settled into being one of four people in a group with Clay Byrd, Steve Solex, and Steve Harrison after years of going it all by himself.  After overcoming his misgivings, Joe embraced being a Highwayman and wanted badly for Byrd to take down HOW World Champion Christopher America to win the HOW World Title.  He wanted Steve Harrison to get his big win tomorrow against Conor Fuse. Most of all, Joe wanted Steve Solex to bounce back with a strong performance and help him win back the tag belts for the Highwaymen.

With titles, revenge, and yes- redemption- dangling in front of the four men like a carrot on a stick, ICONIC would prove to be a pivotal moment for the Highwaymen.  Could the group survive if the night didn’t go exactly to plan?  If America again retained the World Title.  If Conor Fuse prevailed over Steve Harrison.  If the LSD and the Tag Titles weren’t wrested from of the hands of the Final Alliance?

Realistic about what would happen if the worst-case scenario came to pass on Sunday night, Joe wondered if the group would survive.  But he knew one thing, while he couldn’t control how the events would unfold at ICONIC, what he could control was what he did… putting everything he had… every ounce of energy Joe could muster into the LSD and HOTv World Tag Team title matches.

The rest would sort itself out.  But Joe vowed not to leave the Best Arena tomorrow without doing everything he could do to put down Jace Parker Davidson, Scott Stevens, and Jatt Starr in the LSD match and JPD and Stevens in the Tag Title match.  If he had to, Joe would will the Highwaymen to victory.


ICONIC Pre-Show Media Scrum
The Best Arena
Chicago, IL
Saturday December 17th, 2022

Joe Bergman is seated at a table with a microphone in front of him on the tabletop.  To his left sits a couple of cans of PBR, plucked cold from a refrigerator but slowly warming under the hot lights hovering over him.  To his right, his valet… the lovely Irish blonde Sunny O’Callahan dressed as always in the guise of a background singer of a 1970’s Southern rock band.  She had a half-empty bottle of Southern Comfort at arm’s reach in front of her.

Joe Bergman: Hey everyone.  Thanks for coming.

Joe’s relaxed and he’s eager to engage with the press.  Sunny takes a swig from her bottle and just goes along with the flow.

Joe Bergman: Great to see you all.  How’s everyone doing today?

Various assorted murmurs from the press corps.

Joe Bergman: Good… good.  I did this before and didn’t get any takers but I’ll try it again.

Joe grabs a can of PBR and holds it up in the air.

Joe Bergman: Does anyone want a can of PBR?

He glances at both sides of the press room looking for any takers.

Joe Bergman: Anyone?  Nope?  Okay then.  More for me I guess.

Joe pops the top and takes a drink from the can.

Joe Bergman: I want to start by saying that it’s good to be back in action and back in the wrestling ring doing what I love most- competing. Jace Parker Davidson and company thought they’d put Joe Bergman out of commission but they were wrong.  I’m back and at ICONIC, I will be competing with Steve Solex… not only for the HOTv World Tag Team Titles against the team of Jace Parker Davidson and ‘The Demi-God of HOW’ Scott Stevens… we will be competing against JPD, Stevens, and Simon Sparrow in a five-way free-for-all for the LSD title. This will be my first crack at the LSD belt and I am excited for the chance to knock Jace Parker Davidson off his throne.   and take the title belt off him and then take back the tag belts from JPD and Scott Stevens.  I’ve just completed a five-day boot camp from hell back at Bergman’s Barn and all I can only say is that Dawn McGill AND Clay Byrd kicked my sorry ass from St. Louis to Chicago. Suffice to say, I am looking forward to ICONIC.  Questions?

Q1: Joe, are you leaving HOW after ICONIC?

Joe Bergman: I can’t really answer that at the moment.  A lot of it depends on what happens the next time I talk to Lee for real about my future.

Q1b: “For real?”

Joe Bergman: Well, Lee may be a megalomaniacal tyrant… but I know he’s also a good businessman. Part of me would love just chuck it all in, go back home, and just work at Bergman’s Barn.  Another part of me still thinks I have a lot more things to accomplish in the wrestling ring before I hang up my boots.

Q1c: Is PRIME an option for you?

Joe Bergman: No.  One thing I can definitively tell you, I will NOT be going to PRIME nor will I be going anywhere else.  If I do not re-sign with HOW… don’t expect me to show up anywhere else but at Bergman’s Barn.

Q1d: So after everything you said on Chaos 018, the truth of the matter is Joe Bergman is ‘loyal’ to HOW.

Joe Bergman: Look, on balance HOW has been really good to me.  Is there ‘loyalty’ there?  Of course, there is.  But I’m also loyal to the HOW fans who got behind me from the very beginning and I walked through the doors for the first time as Halitosis- the Luchador with Insanely Poor Oral Hygiene.  The people of Section 214.  I’m also loyal to the Highwaymen… three men with whom I joined forces with this summer… Clay Byrd… Steve Solex… and Steve Harrison… and I want to see this through to the very end.

Q2: Joe, just what is the current state of the Highwaymen?  It sure looked like Clay Byrd seemed a little frustrated a couple weeks back with always having to… and I quote… ‘clean up your messes.’

Joe Bergman: We’re fine.

Q2b: How fine?  Because Clay seemed a little out of sorts.

Joe Bergman: Yes, Clay was a little frustrated when we lost the HOTv World Tag Title to JPD and Stevens… and he had every reason to be so.  He has other reasons to be frustrated as well for reasons I won’t get into.  I challenged Bobby Dean to a match the first show after Rumble at the Rock was for one reason and one reason only- to get the Highwaymen a chance to win back the tag belts.  And that’s what happened, I took care of Bobby Dean at Chaos 014, and Clay and Harrison took care of business against the Egg Bandits at Chaos 015.  Then one week later, Jace and Stevens won the belts.  At ICONIC, Steve Solex and I have a chance to right that wrong… to bring the tag belts back to the Highwaymen and that’s exactly what Steve and I are going to do.

Q3: Joe, a couple questions.  Jace Parker Davidson came out and said that he feels you are the biggest threat in the LSD match.  Are you concerned that JPD, Jatt Starr, and Scott Stevens will try to ‘neutralize’ you and again throw the onus back on Steve Solex to find a way to win?

Joe Bergman: No.

Q3b: Why not?

Joe Bergman: I’m not completely convinced that Jace, Simon Sparrow, and Scott Stevens can actually co-exist much less work together.  As Simon said a few days back, the last time he thought he and Jace were on the same page, JPD totally screwed him over so I’m not sure just how far the whole trust thing goes between Jace and Simon Sparrow.  As for Scott Stevens, Jace and the Final Alliance have made it clear he’s not welcome in their ranks despite the fact JPD and Stevens share the HOTv World Tag Team title belts.  Take it from someone who knows from experience.  Tag teams consisting of partners who don’t like each other tend to not last very long.  Remember Murr-Berg?  Andy Murray and Joe Bergman?  That whole debacle.  How did that end up?  And that was a complete accident thanks to the Lethal Lottery.  On this one, Lee Best made the call to book both Davidson and Stevens on the same tag team so this is completely on him.  I actually kind of feel sorry for Scott Stevens to be honest with you.

Q3c: Why?

Joe Bergman: Because, when Jace and Stevens lose the tag belts at ICONIC, who do you think is going to get blamed for it?   Jace?

Bergman openly laughs in a mocking way.

Joe Bergman: Right.  When has Jace Parker Davidson ever taken responsibility for any of his losses?



Joe Bergman: Who’s going to take the heat?  Scott Stevens, that’s who.  Do you know who’s going to pay the price?  Scott Stevens, that’s who.  When JPD and Stevens lose the tag belts, you can bet money it’s not going to be pretty after that.  The beatdown Scott Stevens received after he and Jace won the titles is going to pale in comparison that the beatdown he’s going to get from Jace and America when they lose the belts.  And here’s the thing.  Stevens has been out there spreading the word of #97 Red and the House of Best for months.  When the crap hits the fan Lee Best won’t lift a finger to help him. That’s right, for everything Stevens has tried to do for Lee Best… for everything he’s done to promote the House of Best, when push comes to shove Lee Best isn’t going to save ‘The Demi-God of HOW’… Lee’s most fervent follower in HOW… from the Final Alliance when the Highwaymen leave the ring at the Best Arena… once again… the HOTv World Tag Team Champions.

Joe pauses for a second.

Joe Bergman: So yeah.  I do feel sorry for Scott Stevens in some way.

Q3d: Second question.  Does it concern you that Lee Best named Jatt Starr as the referee for the match?

Joe Bergman: Umm… yeah.

Joe nods his head.

Joe Bergman: Sure.  It’s not like Simon ‘Joe Isuzu’ Sparrow has been the most stable person lately.  Um… well… if Christopher America can somehow call a match involving the Board going up against a Highwayman right down the middle, perhaps there’s hope that Simon might be able to do the same thing and be an impartial referee.

Bergman smirks at the questioner.

Joe Bergman: But I’m not going to count on that actually happening.

Q4: Joe, I know winning the tag titles back is probably your biggest priority.

Joe Bergman: Yes it is.

Q4b: Why is it?

Joe Bergman: Good question.  General George Patton once said: War is a bloody business, a killing business. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them, spill their blood or they will spill yours.  Pro wrestling… while not the same category as war as Steve Solex will attest… is often a bloody business as well.  We’ve seen what lengths Jace, America, and Simon Sparrow are willing to go to push the Final Alliance’s agenda.  What Jace, America, and Sparrow continue to fail to realize is that I’m also willing to fight fire with fire because in the end- wrestling comes down to wins and losses.  At ICONIC, the Final Alliance are the enemies and I intend to charge forward against JPD and Stevens and do unto them before they can do unto me.  The Final Alliance is heartless at its core and by that I mean, they don’t have heart.  The Highwaymen have heart.  Joe Bergman has heart.  Adam Ellis has heart.  I’ve said this before.  This war won’t be fought on paper and it won’t be fought on reputation.  This war will be fought and settled inside the ring.  The Highwaymen have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  When that bell rings tomorrow night… be it Clay Byrd versus Christopher America… be it Steve Harrison versus Conor Fuse… or be it Joe Bergman and Steve Solex versus Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens… The Highwaymen will go out and answer the challenge put forth by the Final Alliance in the only way we know how- with determination, with conviction, and most of all- with heart.

Q4c: But Joe-

Bergman ignores and talks over the follow up question.

Joe Bergman: At ICONIC, the Final Alliance is going to sleep.  I don’t care who it is… Scott Stevens… Jace Parker Davidson… but one- or both- of you are going to feel the Dragon Sleeper.  Final Alliance… *ping* Dragon Sleeper… *ping*… Collision course.  Jace, I’m going to remember what you did to Ray McAvay last year when I lock in the Dragon Sleeper on you.  I’m going to remember your little sneak attack on me that supposedly…

Joe does the air quotes thing with his hands.

Joe Bergman: …’took me out’ as I watch your eyes blink and flitter as the light dims for you.  I’m going to remember the crap you and Lee talked about Adam Ellis while I watch as you fall into total darkness.  But Jace, I’ve thought about it some more and I’m not going to completely put you out when I put you in the Dragon Sleeper.  No Jace.  That would be way too easy.  Nope, you’re going to Bow to the King and then I’ll pin you for the tag belts… one… two… three.

Q5: Joe, I’ve got a couple non-wrestling related questions about your manager.

Joe Bergman: Okay.  Shoot.

Q5: Your manager… Sunny O’Callahan… is the same person who once ran down Dawn McGill… the person who’s your chief trainer at Bergman’s Barn… with an SUV.  How have you been able to reconcile having close relationships with both Sunny and Dawn as well as the fact that you are seeing Dawn’s daughter Victoria?

Joe Bergman: Yes. But-

Q5b: Sunny, have you ever personally apologized to Dawn for what you did last year?

Sunny momentarily freezes under the harsh light and direct question posed to her.

Everyone knows the story.  She joined Rah’s entourage in February of 2021 as his official spokesperson.  But Sunny had bigger things in mind.  Knowing that Rah was infatuated with Dawn McGill, Sunny manipulated The Sunshine God into attacking Sutler Kael by telling him he was responsible for Dawn going away.  This set up a match between the two at March to Glory.  But before the pay-per-view, Rah realized that Sunny was doing some very bad things behind the scenes and fired her.  Sunny declared war on Rah and later Dawn McGill.  She helped High Flyer steal Rah’s bus.  Tensions escalated until that September night in Cleveland when Sunny… aiming to put Rah out of commission… first clipped The Sunshine God in the leg with the SVU she was driving.  She turned the vehicle around and went to finish Rah off.  But Dawn McGill shoved him aside at the last second.  Sunny’s SVU sent Dawn flying through the air and left her in the hospital for two weeks after. 

So with a clear and confident voice, Sunny lifts her head and makes eye contact with the questioner.

Sunny O’Callahan: Yes.  When I went to Joe Bergman in late March after I flamed out spectacularly with Ultratron-6.1, I was desperate.  I never thought for a second that Joe would even give me a chance.  After talking with Joe, I left and thought there was no way in hell he would call me back.

Sunny pauses and takes a deep breath.

Sunny O’Callahan: I was wrong… he did… under one condition.

She takes a swig from her bottle of Southern Comfort.

Sunny O’Callahan: So to answer your question, yes.  Yes I did apologize to Dawn McGill… and I apologized to Rah… a couple months ago.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.  It was also a freeing… cleansing… moment.  I put everything behind me.  Yes, Dawn will never forgive me for what I did; I can’t blame her.  But she accepted my apology and that’s the best I can expect from her.  We’ll never be ‘friends’ but at least we can co-exist at Joe’s Barn.  I owe all of this to Joe.  He didn’t have to take me on.  But he took a chance on me.  Because Joe took a chance on me, Bill Dickinson went to bat for me and helped get me the manager spot with the Alabama Gang.  Because Joe gave me an opportunity at HOW another opportunity came up for me at MVW.  People in the wrestling industry questioned and criticized Bergman for bringing me in. Joe refused to let them sway his mind about bringing me in. So when I hear the bullshit being slung by Lee Best and now- Scott Stevens- questioning Joe Bergman’s loyalty?

Shaking her head no, Sunny leans forward towards the microphone.

Sunny O’Callahan: There is no more loyal person that I’ve ever met in my life than Joe Bergman.  Because of Joe, I went from the most hated person in MVW to someone who’s finally found her niche in the wrestling world.  Because Joe gave me a chance, I proved to myself and hopefully to others that Sunny O’Callahan is no longer the awful person she was last year.  Because Joe gave me a chance, I am going to do everything I can to help Joe not only win the LSD title tomorrow night in Chicago but win the HOTv World Tag Team title as well.

Q5c: And Joe, any thoughts on why it’s gotten so personal with Jace Parker Davidson?   

Joe Bergman: Yes.  First off, I won’t discount what Jace has accomplished since his return and I won’t blow smoke up anyone’s ass about Jace’s ability in the ring.  He is one of the best there is.  That being said, I was sitting in a hotel room last night watching Samantha Fish deliver another scintillating rendition of ‘Black Wind Howlin’ on You Tube and reflected on the challenge that awaits Steve Solex and myself at ICONIC Sunday night.  Look, all criticism of Jace’s complete lack of character aside… and they are all legit… the fact remains that JPD is close to the form he exhibited back in 2015 when he probably was the best wrestler on the planet.  His talent is undeniable.  His accomplishments speak for themselves.  Jace is driven to win.  He will do anything and everything to win a match and on some level I do appreciate and respect that.

Joe takes a drink from his PBR and continues.

Joe Bergman: That being said, Jace remains a horrible person. I can’t wait… CAN’T WAIT… to sit down with a box of popcorn and a drink and watch what happens the nano-second STRONK Godson finds out that it was that half-wit, stooge of his- Shelley Greene… yeah, Shelley, I can hear you bitching about the name now and- I don’t care… who killed Mongo and… AND…it was you, Jace Parker Davidson… who participated in the COVER UP!  Yeah… I want a front-row seat to witness that fur flying all over the place.  It’s just a shame that a million-dollar talent is wrapped up inside a person who’s totally devoid of any moral character whatsoever at a time where we could use some more heroes…  we could use some more good guys… people who do things the right way.  When I see Jace desperately try to minimize my accomplishments or anyone else who’s not in bed with Lee Best in a cheap and transparent attempt to build himself up by tearing everyone else down… no, that’s not the right away and you can bet I am going to have a response to that at ICONIC.  When Samantha Fish sings a line from ‘Black Wind Howlin’ in that sultry voice of hers – “Heard a thunderbolt crash down… then the light was gone,” she’s singing about a completely different topic but I love the line because a black wind is howlin’ and it’s headed for Jace Parker Davidson on Sunday night.  That’s right, Jace.  A black wind is howling… the clouds are gathering… the storm is brewing and it’s all coming right for you and there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop it.  I know we’ve had our battles before this year but nothing… and I do mean nothing… I’ve done to you will compare to what I am going to do to you at ICONIC.  I am the thunderbolt that’s going to take you and Stevens down.  I am the thunderbolt that’s going to crash down on you Sunday night and when your light is gone and the referee goes one… two… three… you and Stevens can kiss those tag team titles goodbye.

He stands up and grabs the PBR.

Joe Bergman: Thanks guys.  See you tomorrow night.