Blowing Smoke

Blowing Smoke

Posted on August 24, 2023 at 8:21 pm by Mike Best

Man, I barely know where to start. 

Same old Jace, same old delusional bullshit. I tried to man up and show you some proper respect, and big shock, I get the same old Jace nonsense thrown back at me. Oh, I don’t need this match, but Mike needs this match, boo fucking hoo the whole world is against me. Honestly, man, I’m not even really sure how to respond to that. But since I’m on this little honesty kick this week, let’s just keep it rolling. 

Yes, Jace. 

You need this fucking match. 

You need another LSD Championship reign. That’s what you do. You’re one of the most talented wrestlers ever to step foot in HOW, but every time you notice even a little resistance at the top, this is what you do. You grab a stranglehold on a midcard title, hold it for so long that people stop giving a shit about the title, and then you pat yourself on the back for how long you held a title so devoid of any heat that I can keep my lunch cold on the title plate. Where the fuck is your motivation? How can you not give a shit about anything anymore? You used to spite absolute fire every time someone put a microphone in your hand, and now every time I step into a ring with you, you respond with absolute apathy. You have a title opportunity this week, and you’re more concerned with going to war with my dad? 


Do you think you’re the first person to earn the ire of Lee Best, you pitiful douchebag? Jesus Christ, people don’t seem to remember that I’ve spent more of my career at odds with him than I have being in his corner. It isn’t special. It isn’t even personal. A year from now, you’ll have a little 97 red eyepatch on your stupid face and you’ll be preaching the gospel of Lee Best, because that’s how it works around here. That’s why I’m sick of the fucking stable bullshit. This is why I’m exhausted of hearing about the Final Alliance, and have been telling anyone who will listen that I don’t give a fuck about it for months. I didn’t ask him to referee this match, Jace. Respectfully, I don’t even care that he’s going to be out there– I’m not coming down to that ring to “fight my father’s battles”, bud, I’m coming down to that ring to defend my fucking championship. 

The one I took from you. 

Wait, but wasn’t that–? 

Yes, me, dickhead. El Hombre Blanco Prime, shooby doo, that’s the bit. We’re being honest, right? 

But Jace is too cool to care. Too cool to care about a match with numero uno. Too cool to care about a title shot. Too cool to admit that number one and number two throwing down is one of the highest profile matches this era, because he’s more concerned with dry cereal and making pre-excuses for why he isn’t going to beat me. This is so fucking disappointing, man. And I know that I sound like a broken record, since that’s the same thing I said before our HOFC match, but hey, you can’t change the commentary when you’re watching the same match, over and over and fucking over. 

You were the man, Jace. 

I hated you so fucking much, dude. I was so threatened by you. I didn’t think that I could beat you, so I dragged your name through the dirt. That’s who I was. That’s the kind of shit that I did back then. I was an emotional manchild, and I lashed out at anything that made me feel insecure. Do you have any idea what a bummer it is to see you limping through the back half of your career? Do you know how disappointing it is to feel absolutely no fear over stepping into the ring with you? If you have the level of disdain for HOW’s booking, and wrestlers, and atmosphere that you claim to, then fucking quit, man. Go join PRIME, with the rest of the people who think that they can do it better than we can. Go listen to three hour radio shows where they tell you how much they like your forced ass conversations with Madison about wrestling. I hear they highly reward mediocrity over there. Of course, I wouldn’t know personally, since I’ve never wrestled even a single match in PRIME, much less “failed to win their Universal Title”. 

Even your fourth wall is lazy these days. 

And lazy is the word, Jace. You’re fucking lazy. You are one of the most talented wrestlers ever to live, and you sincerely just cut a promo about how you don’t need this title match. Well good for you, man. I wish I was so fortunate. I wish I ever felt full. I wish I ever wanted to stop eating. You should be chasing my fucking title records right now. You should be fighting to be number one, because you aren’t even that far behind. But every single day that I walk around with the title I took from you, the goalposts shrink just a little bit. Every day I add to this title reign is another step behind me that you get. So which is it, Jace? Do you sincerely not give a shit? Is it really time for you to retire, because you officially have nothing left worth achieving outside of… beating up an old man who isn’t a wrestler? 

Or are you lying? 

Are you making excuses? 

Because I think you just gave up, Jace. I think that stranglehold you have over the midcard is your fucking place in life now, and you don’t have the confidence to be the man that you used to be. I think the guy who beat me in 2014 is dead and fucking buried. Not because you can’t be him anymore, but because you have no desire to be. It’s fucking sad. Because I liked that guy, no matter how hard I tried not to. I envied that guy. I felt competitive with that guy. When Lee Best texted me that I had a tough opponent this week but that it would make sense when I saw it, I was excited. I thought maybe Dan Ryan. Maybe Steve Solex. Maybe Shane Reynolds, or Rhys Townsend. All the guys you’re so happy to look down on and shit on. But instead, when I pulled up the card, I saw that I was booked against the Ghost of Jace Parker Davidson. 

And I fucking tried

Tried to get you hyped. Tried to give you your flowers. Tried to get something going, so you didn’t limp in with that half hard dick you’re always trying to wave around. Figured “hey, maybe I can get Jace hyped for this one. Maybe we can have a banger”. Instead, I got… whatever the fuck that was. More wannabe B-Rabbit, b-material bullshit from the man who used to be the King of Everything and then slowly let his kingdom crumble. But hey, I’m nothing if not a man who can pivot… so if this is the version of you that I’m going to get, then this is the version of you that I’m gonna have to work with. 

So hey, new plan. 

Since you have little to no interest in having a five star match against undoubtedly your greatest HOW rival, then I’m going to stomp a hole in your apathetic ass so deep that you can keep as many women captive inside of it as your little heart desires. I am going to beat you until you care, Jace. If you don’t want to help me make this match memorable, then I’ll make it memorable despite you. I’ll make it memorable on magazine covers. I’ll make it memorable in highlight reels. Fortunately for me, I don’t need your cooperation in making this match a banger, I can just smack the absolute shit out of you until I bring out the warrior that is inside of you. I respect you. I like you. I appreciate your existence. And if you don’t like me, or appreciate me, that’s fine, Jace, but you will fucking respect me. I might be the Son of HOW, but I will be the fucking stepfather of Jace Parker Davidson. 

But you were right about one thing. 

I do need this match. 

I do need this title. I do need this win. I need every single one of them, Jace. It will never be enough. I will never stop giving a shit. Even when I’ve been disengaged from HOW, I have always given every ounce of my energy to the ring when I’ve come back for a match. I was hardly beatable as a part-timer, so I don’t envy anyone who has to step into the ring with me now that I’m back full time. You can cry and piss and moan and complain and any other synonyms for the word that you can think of, but whether you give a shit or not, this match happens on Sunday Night, and you either win or you fucking lose. If you want to retire long before you stop wrestling, that’s on you, but I’m coming out to that fucking ring to win. 

I’m coming out there to defend my title. 

I don’t give a shit about your title match at 97 Red, I don’t care about your drama with my father and the Final Alliance. I don’t give a shit about the kidnapped bitch eating cereal in your basement. I care about the LSD Championship, Jace, and that’s why I’m fucking number one. You can win as many titles as you want, but you will never surpass me. Never overtake me. Never realistically compete with me again. 

Because I give a fuck, and you don’t. 

Again… with all due respect




“This isn’t his signature.” 

The furrowed brow of the LSD Champion wiggles, as he scratches at his chin. The poorly printed photocopy in his other hand isn’t the easiest thing in the world to read, but the signature line on the wrestling contract clearly has his brother’s name scrawled across it. 

“Where did you get this?” he asks, without looking up. “He clearly didn’t sign this. It’s… legible.” 

Leaned back on the couch, the private investigator and regular fixer for Michael Lee Best crosses his legs, kicking them up onto the coffee table. Jack W. Adler smirks, shaking his head slyly at the Hall of Famer. 

“C’mon, kid.” Adler winks. “Trade secrets. Maybe I got a mole inside PRIME?” 

The Son of God rolls his eyes.

“Found it in a garbage can?” he muses, barely looking up from the contract. 

Jack chuckles, pulling a pack of smokes out from the inside pocket of his jacket and lighting one up right there in the office. He doesn’t confirm, but he definitely doesn’t deny, either. 

“Doesn’t matter.” Mike shrugs, with a very long sigh. “I mean, the guy definitely isn’t Max, right? He’s my older brother. This guy looks like he’s… fucking, mid twenties. No scars. No… you know, giant metal teeth. Two functioning eyes. This is stupid. Why am I even looking into this?” 

He shakes his head, tossing the photocopies down onto the desk. 

“Even his fucking bio.” he scoffs, dismissively. “Born June first? Of this year? Does this miserable fuck really want people to believe that he’s the reincarnated clone of my brother?” 

Even as the words leave his lips, Michael Lee Best feels the strange and familiar pang of some good old fashioned Max Kael Bullshit™. Being killed, reincarnated into the first successful human clone, and going to wrestle for the company with time travellers and fruit inspired superheroes is exactly the type of shit that Max would have suggested he do while he was still alive. Half of Michael’s tenure as Max’s partner had been spent being the voice of reason to the insane, unrealistic, and completely non-wrestling-related ideas that his brother wasted all of his time on. If this was real? If this was somehow possible? 

PRIME would actually be perfect for Max. 

The man was barely 13% wrestler when he was in HOW– if PRIME had been around back when Max still roamed the earth, he could have been Universal Champion in a heartbeat. Nonsensical ramblings, completely unrealistic, over-the-top stories, a constant aggression toward Lee Best based mostly off of his own bullshit… a literal PRIME candidate. 

Could this… be real? 

Could Max have somehow….? 

“Hey, earth to Mikey.” Adler waves a hand in front of Michael’s face. “You alive in there?” 

The champion rattles back to existence, snapping out of the strange rabbit hole and bringing his attention back to the room. He quickly nods his head, phasing back into reality. 

“Yeah, sorry.” Mike laughs, rubbing the back of his neck. “Look, man, this is good work, but I need more information. Just dig up whatever you can. Receipts. Paper trails. I don’t know, that’s your deal, not mine. I just… need to know.” 

Adler pats his client, and his friend, on the shoulder, giving him a knowing look. It’s almost kind of solemn and sad, as though he pities the Son of God a little bit. 

“Sure, kid.” Jack nods. “But just out of curiosity… why? You can’t possibly think…”

It’s a valid question. 

He’s not entirely sure of the answer– maybe it’s wishful thinking. Maybe there’s a part of him that wants to believe in the impossible, just because it would mean that his brother is somehow… still alive. Maybe he knows that it’s all a bunch of bullshit, and he’s angry about having the truth rubbed in his face via this terrible, disrespectful mockery. Maybe it’s the mountain of guilt that has been chained to his leg since the night that his brother stopped breathing, and knowing that it was somehow all some terrible dream would bring him a little bit of peace. 


“I don’t know, Jack.” Mike shrugs, feeling a little bit silly. “Just… nah, I don’t know.” 

Would it truly be so insane? 

Chris Kostoff, decapitated by Michael Lee Best’s own hands and a stainless steel shovel, somehow returned to HOW and wrestled for like four more years. The people who die at Michael Lee Best’s hands somehow have a knack for not staying dead, and even he himself was once accidentally presumed deceased. If he hadn’t mistakenly been moved to a morgue back in 2010, there wouldn’t even be a Mike Best in the first place. Graystone. Michael Oliver Best. Shane Reynolds. Aceldama. A lot of motherfuckers in High Octane Wrestling have seemingly died and come back. 

Couldn’t Max be one of them? 

Stubbing his cigarette out in the ashtray on the desk, Jack slips his jacket back over his shoulders and begins heading for the door, content to leave his client deep in thought. Before he leaves, though, he turns toward the LSD and HOFC Champion one last time. 

“I’ll look into it, Mike.” Jack says, forcing a smile. “But if you ask me… and I know you didn’t… but if you ask me, you’re chasing a ghost. Max is dead. I think you just… you know. I think you still got some stuff to deal with, that’s all.” 

As he disappears out the door, Michael Lee Best leans backward on the desk, closing his eyes as he rubs his fingers over his temples. Jack was probably right… it isn’t a bunch of Max Kael Bullshit™.

It’s a bunch of his own

Even if the man walking around PRIME and calling himself Max Kael is truly somehow the real Max, what does it matter? If he wanted to speak with his brother, he’d have spoken with him. If he wanted to be found, then he would have been found. If he’s found a place to be happy, with like minded folks, in a place that won’t literally cost him another eye, then isn’t that good news? Shouldn’t Michael Lee Best be happy for his brother? 

“It can’t be him.” Michael mutters, pressing his hands against the glass. “It just… can’t be.” 

For now, nothing to do but wait. 

Looking around first, as though someone would be looking, Michael grabs the half smoked cigarette out of the ashtray in front of him, grabbing a spare lighter out of the drawer. He hastily lights the tip, nearly gagging on the dry smoke as he takes his first drag of a cigarette in a very long time. The smoke fills his lungs like a foul smelling hug, equal parts disgusting and comforting him. 

“Welp.” he grumbles, as the smoke slowly pours out his nostrils. “Guess I’d better subscribe to his Patreon.”