We open unceremoniously to an extreme closeup of a pale-looking man. He’s… smiling at us? Is that a smile, though? Sure, we’ll go with that. Make no mistake about it, though — this is not just a “smile”. Rather, this is an unsettling facial mutation that fuses together a “Pan Am” customer service smile and a Cheshire Cat grin; something about as naturally fitting as a square block being forced into a peg-shaped hole.
As our point of focus demonstrates such a disconcerting facade, the evocative nature of this haunting figure reveals a set of jagged, yellowish teeth and a half-shaved head. In an unprecedented display of room control through silent expression, his facial features exude a vibe of sheer wickedness that few could ever hope to achieve. Very distinct looking scars not only line the contour of his scalp, but form a criss-cross at the temple on the shaved half of his head, thus creating an “X” mark.
Though what makes this man’s disposition seemingly “happy” may be a mystery unto itself, one thing is for certain: the amount of pain this once bleeding and burning wound caused our man must have been nothing short of insurmountable.Yet… here he is. In front of the entire world. About to do what he does best, second only to destroying lives in and out of a wrestling ring.
After what feels like an eternity of staring into the fear of the unknown, this cadaver of a man speaks.
My, my, fucking my.
Here we go again, it seems! New promotion, same introduction. Or… is it?
On that note, what do I do here? Do I give you all the same type of introduction that I’ve done ad fucking nauseam? Hmm. Do I… hooo boy… DO I give the SAME speech that all the others have heard and just proclaim myself the once and future King of this fine establishment? Do I declare myself as some mystical force to be reckoned with despite the fuckheads, at least the title-holding fuckheads, not knowing who the fuck I am? Do I?! Or do I… maybe… spice things up a bit by embellishing on my past accomplishments? Maybe go into detail about my sordid ambitions with High Octane Wrestling? You know, the typical eye roll inducing, cliché douchenozzlery one usually endures when some hot shit, self-promoting assbag encroaches on your territory.
I mean, that’s me. Right?
That’s what you all expect, no?
His tongue, which may have well been forked, secretes his chapped upper lip by slowly dragging a lick across it. Dried blood that once caked itself to various sections of his lips are now gone.
You know what? Much like most of the watered down personalities and unimaginative, endless gibberish I see regurgitated on the regz from the majority of the subservient little dick grousers back in that locker room – HIYA TEDDY – I think introductions are both boring and lame. Not to mention obsolete. With how often wrestlers come and go, to and fro, yo-and-fucking-ho in this forever revolving door of ours? I mean, c’mon now. It’s like a Melbourne Porter-what’s-it from your shitty neighborhood Outback Steakhouse: pretentious and always overdone.
Soooo… nah. No introductions from me. You’re just going to have to learn as you go when it comes to the wonderful wacky world of Arthur Fucking Pleasant, Robert Dean! How fortunate of you! Hahaha. Yyyyyeaaah.
Glossing over the reveal of his own name, the entity known as Arthur Pleasant — a name that has invoked fear out of some of the darkest, dirtiest, and deadliest corners of this profession for years on end— continues. If somewhat nonchalantly.
But hey, you shouldn’t feel at a disadvantage here! Not at all! In fact, trial by fire wasn’t just the best, most underrated Law & Order spinoff in the history of television. No, no, NO! It’s actually the praxis by which all worthwhile introductions are truly heard and received. Did you know that?! Hm?! Did’ja, did’ja?! Heh. Where’s that fucking “THE MORE YOU KNOW —-* shooting star when you need it? I digress, though. Enough levity from the new try-hard.
Rest assured, Bob– I can call you that, right? Feels natural. No? Okay. Well, fuck. REST ASSURED ROBERT, you and the others within this mundane menagerie known as HOW — nicely done on the acronym, by the way — are going to experience it all. So do yourself a favor and bring the petroleum jelly, aloe vera, or whatever the fuck other type of burn ointment you might have access to, step inside my goddamn world… and let’s have a motherfucking go. And yes, of COURSE I mean it, Robert! Let’s really get some playtime on the books here with one another and lay it all out there in that ring. ‘Cause, truth be told? You’re gonna need some time to acclimate yourself to the style of indomitable brilliance that is moi, mon ami.
Why, you ask? OHHHH… and here I thought you’d never.
Because this severely scarred noggin’ of mine is not like any other abstract mental fucking biosphere you’ve ever had the (dis)privilege of setting foot in. No, friend, not at all. And even though I’m sure countless others before me have made promises that their bodies couldn’t bear to keep, allow me to be the proverbial combo breaker and give you one right here and now that will not, under any circumstances, be fucking broken.
Once you get inside? I promise you…fucking PROMISE YOU, Robert… there is NO getting back out.
An off-camera finger, presumably his own, flicks in rapid fire succession at his own head.
Let’s not allow the rickety cart to get too far ahead of the lame horse here, though. ‘Cause you… you really should know something first before you willingly step into that ring with me. Yes, yes. I know. I am such a gentleman and a benevolent fucking hero to all for giving you the chance to second guess your course of action with me. But allow me to bestow upon you a… well, I guess you could call it a warning… a nugget of wisdom, if you will. No hyperbole here, Robert. None at all.
‘Cause if you don’t watch your step and mind your footing along this blazing, fucked up path you’re about to embark upon? Then you should know that there’s some heat beneath your fat little toes. A burning pit of lava that not even the lines between the tiles in elementary school could’ve once saved you from. And it’s just waiting, as eager as a blood and cock starved succubus — HIYA LINDSAY — to reduce that external sac of infirmity you call flesh, and those hollowed out foam noodles floating in the pool of life you call bone, into a neat little pile of fucking ash.
Win, lose, or death. That is the path that awaits you.
Let’s fucking play, friend.
Arthur Pleasant, known to all as The Provocateur and an unfortunate few as the Denizen of Decay, looks down at the piece of paper that stares right back up at him. He taps a plain black pen on the splintering wood surface of his tawdry looking dining room table. That questionable delineation is due in part to the slovenly surroundings: a narrative indicative of someone who cares not one iota of maintaining his personal space. The indentation along the edge of a glass ashtray holds a burning cigarette as Arthur slicks his long, greasy, half-shaven, raven-haired strands away from his face. A pair of dried, chapped lips seem to be scabbed over from the habitual chewing of loose, hanging skin.
For several minutes — which may as well have been several hours — he continues to stare down at the pieces of paper. The first thing he notices is how they are bound at the seams via an adhesive rather than the typical ‘staple in the upper lefthand corner’ that most wrestling promotions and business institutions do. Second, he notices how they are neatly stacked between two translucent plastic covers. This means, to Arthur anyway, that they were professional to an almost obscene level and wanted to capture one’s attention by doing things differently than the perceived norm. After all, it’s the little details in which the Devil remains indigenous.
Suddenly, he casts an overbite across a scab on his lower lip. Eek. Peeling it away from his skin with the bottoms of his fucked up teeth, blood trickles down until it separates into two little pools on his clean-shaven, mentolabial crease. Arthur wipes away the blood with his bony, pale fingers, accidentally smearing it onto his cheek. He then reaches down at the corners of what is now revealed to be his newly delivered contract for High Octane Wrestling.
“Mmhmm. Mhm. Mmm. Hmmmmm. MMM!” Arthur expresses with the usual filler sounds one makes when perusing the wording of any type of contract. His dark brown, nearly abyssal black eyes scan every word of the seemingly endless document.
“I like what they’ve done here. Ah, interesting!” Arthur ruminates rather loudly to himself.
Scratch that. It isn’t to himself.
Our camera switches from the hip-level shot it captured Arthur at the fade-in to a knee-level shot directly behind him. Much to the surprise of those expecting Arthur to be alone, a pair of black boots planted on the dirty, hole-ridden rug behind Arthur is suddenly revealed. The expertly handled camera dollies outward, revealing an incredibly large figure standing behind our ill-reputed point of focus. Though Arthur’s seated position may evoke an illusionary comparison to the naked eye, this immense mountain of a man seems to reach to the heavens and maybe even above. Standing close to an impressive seven-feet tall, this sizable motherfucker stands with his arms crossed, watching Arthur scrutinize every centimeter of the War & Peace-sized contract before him.
“What do you think?” asks Arthur.
The inFamous One lifts his head up as far back as it will go from within the confines of his “chair” in order to look at the man from an upside down point of view. Various tattoos cover this giant of a man’s flesh. Most noticeable among them are the edges of what appear to be military-styled epaulettes, with colored-in crimson red skulls on each of the ends, sticking out on both shoulders from inside the plain black leather vest. Another one is an eight-pointed star just underneath each side of his elbows. And yet ANOTHER is on the back of his neck; a dagger protruding and extruding through each side. Half-a-dozen droplets of blood fall from with the tip of the blade down to the right portion of his upper back. To the ignorant, these seemingly innocuous pieces of art may seem like any other ordinary tattoo one could get inked at their local tattoo shop, but to the learned few? They will recognize these not as tattoos, but as stories collected in prisons from members of the Russian Bratva.
“Da.” responds the mysterious gargantuan. Continuing with a syrupy Russian accent pilfered directly from a certain Rocky sequel, “You should sign the contract. High Octane Wrestling, from what intel I can gather, seems to be a reputable place.”
Arthur laughs heartily. Almost like a guffaw.
“What kind of ‘reputable place’ feeds a lethargic, restaurant hopping sack of fucking shit like Robert Dean into a walking buzz-saw like me? Dude’s already got a miserable win-loss record and having him face me in my debut will not resuscitate a career already on life support. That fat, frothy looking motherfucker might as well have a DNR.”
The camera pans around and flanks them both, revealing the mystery person’s face to all that are watching. Oddly enough, his military styled, short blonde hair and clean-shaven face are the first features that draw our attention despite there being more “stories” told on the front of his neck. The Russian’s otherwise non-existent expression transforms into a visage of absolute bewilderment.
“Oh. I didn’t tell you, did I? Whoopsie daisy! Silly me!” responds Arthur in this faux-sheepish manner. He manages to stifle a laugh while The Russian tries to make sense of his comments.
Arthur gets up from the black stack of three milk crates he had previously sat on and turns towards the imposing Ruski. Placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder, it becomes wildly clear that if this giant is all of seven-feet tall, then Arthur is every bit of six-foot-three. Or four. Like your whore of a Mother always said, “Every inch counts!”.
“Well, it’s simple. You’re coming with me, Yuri. To HOW.” he says, shrugging like Dennis The Menace getting away with dismembering Mr. Wilson’s cat in the lesser-known lost episode.
“Um…. yes? Yes? See, while I’m signing a contract with HOW? You’re in the middle of a contract with ME. Or did my personal Drago get a little too punch-drunk and fucking forget that?! Tell me, Yuri, what does page 1, section 3, sub-section bumble bee sticker say? I’ll wait.”
crossed out Chinese Menu contract from the back pocket of his black suit pants, Arthur unfolds the piece of paper like an old school traveler’s map. Various dinner combinations and lunch specials originally printed on the colorful tri-fold paper are blanketed in a mess of blue ink, black marker, and sure enough, a happy little sticker of an obnoxious looking bumble bee. Yuri sighs as he sees this bullshit.
In broken English, “I still cannot believe that I signed that shit of piece.”
“Listen, you fucking Russian-Made, Wish-Ordered version of Yoda…” he says, pausing for dramatic effect like all good promo artistes do, “I don’t care if our contract was signed on toilet paper with a turd pen and vodka ink. A contract is a contract is a GODdamn contract!! And until… what year does this bitch expire again?!”
The man who has been verbally identified by Arthur as “Yuri” looks down at the contract. Arthur excitedly points at the third fold, “There. Under the soy sauce stain!”
Again, Yuri sighs. Obviously resigned to the deal Arthur is talking about, he reads it out loud like some paid personality going through the motions in a shitty audio book.
“December 31rd, 2031. Bred sivoy kobyly! Dumayu, ya ponimayu po-angliyski luchshe, chem ty, amerikanskaya svoloch’! Da poshli vy!” (English Subtitles Added In Post-Production: “Bullshit! I think I understand English better than you do, you American scum! Fuck you!”)
Arthur cackles maniacally.
“Little do you know, Yuri-san, that ole Uncle Arthur here is having this promo translated in post-production… WITH subtitles! BOOM. Just so you know. Hope you didn’t just tell me to fuck off or something! Anyway… back on point, good sir. You? You are absolutely, unequivocally, unquestionably, and unwaveringly coming with me to HOWville. After all?”
He raises his thumb and middle finger then snaps them.
In another incredible display of post-production editing, Arthur Pleasant and Yuri’s forms are digitally altered into 8-Bit sprites of themselves. That pop you may have just heard upon seeing them is most likely Conor Fuse ejaculating on sight.
“It’s dangerous to go alone. So I’m taking… you.”
Smirking, Arthur pats Yuri on the shoulder and turns his attention back towards the table with the HOW contract resting on it. Leaning over it with both hands resting on the edges of the table, palms to its rusty silver lining, he sucks his teeth.
“And you know something? I don’t want to sound presumptuous or anything, but… God fucking help those who get in our way. Hehe… heh.”
With another snap of his fingers, the screen abruptly crashes into the white noise of a dead cable feed.
Once again, we open back up to Arthur’s face. Up close and personal. The way he fucking likes it when he’s destroying lives. The place and setting behind him remains undetermined and up to the viewer’s machinations as his face takes up the entire screen. With every movement, with every beat of his blackened heart, with every flare of his scab encrusted nostrils, the camera judders and jerks ever so slightly. While the transition of camerawork from professional movie-grade shit to might-as-well-be-snapchat is jarring, Arthur’s ugly face pulls you in with such gravitational force that one may find themselves incapable of looking away.
So it’s like this, Robert. You should be fucking thanking me right about now. Because in our match? You’re never going to be more over with the audience. Ever. Oh, that‘s an insider term for how hard the crowd POPs when you slam me to the mat or punch me in the face, in case your slob ass wasn’t aware.
See, you’re about to reach critical mass with the HOW faithful, Robert. ‘Cause when they hear that entrance theme of mine hit the speakers and see me snaking my way into their pathetic fucking lives by moseying down that aisle without a care in the world? Then have no choice but to observe and witness what I can actually do in that ring DESPITE my nonconformist’s wet dream of a physical appearance? They’re gonna take to you immediately, friend. Oh yeah. Without a fucking DOUBT. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” and shit.
In a strange, delightful twist of irony, it’ll be like you showing the world that you’re actually impressive despite your atypical appearance. And therein lies the rub, Robert; those people out there actually want to live vicariously through someone like you. Like the butter you put on your Froot Loops, I should clarify. It’s the lone commonality we share, friend. Beyond our anomalous nature amongst all these prototypical gym rats and Calvin Klein models moonlighting as wrestlers, we share nothing else in common. The least of which being the trajectory in which our careers will be headed once the smoke clears on REFUELED LVII.
‘Cause unlike you after you watch this promo and realize what the fuck it is you got yourself into? I’m ready to walk down that ramp, slide into that ring like I always do, no matter WHERE I’m at, and just… just… hahahaha… GOOD FUCKING LORD… just go to town on your entire fucking being. I’m not talking about glorious submission wrestling that purists and smark columnists everywhere gush over, either. No, no. I’m not talking about suplexes and slams from the technically gifted that make amateur wrestlers take their heads out of each other’s asses, look up in their stupid fucking headgear, see the semi-cultured presence of this beast we call pro-wrestling, and go “Hey! I can do that!”. Nope. FUUUCK no.
I’m talking systematic… fucking… destruction. By any means necessary.
If it means kicking you in the fucking nuts when the ref is a little distracted? Fuck it. ¡No hay problema!
If it means pushing my thumbs into your fucking eye sockets if the ref gets knocked out? Fuck it. Easy peasy.
Let me take a deep breath for this next one.If it means fisting your throat with a handful of cut-off razor bits hidden inside the palms of my hands and releasing them into your half-digested, cum-soaked bowels while I punch you in the fucking temple until the lights fade out from your ever-drooping eyes? Fuck it. Consider it DONE.
Annnnnd exhale. WHEW.
You get the picture yet, Robert? I certainly hope so. ‘Cause it’s… wait for it… a beautiful one. But let me tell you something else while I’m at it. Though I can be kinda funny? Like raising IBS awareness outside your local Taco Bell, neither this match nor myself are jokes. And if for a single, solitary-ass, hallucinogen-filled, memory-lapsed-after-fucking-a-dead-animal second you walk into this shitshow spitting the same type of nonsensical tripe I see most fuckheads on this roster spitting on a weekly basis? Then you’re going to be in for a longer night than Jeffrey Epsetin. Or would that be a shorter night? Uh, regardless, I trust you get the point.
And if you don’t? Do yourself a favor and just ask some people around here who have seen but a glimpse of what I’m capable of. They’ll all tell you. Begrudgingly, but they’ll most assuredly tell you… that I am the living, breathing, symbol of a foot to one’s throat. Even the legendary High Flyer himself still has some soreness and red abrasions across his cute little Adam’s Apple just in case there was any doubt to my genius-level metaphor.
‘Cause to me? This macabre little dance we groove to isn’t just about winning. One simply cannot put to bed their critics and their enemies by simply winning a match. Which I will do anyway because I absolutely can. But that harsh little truth aside, in order to silence the alarms being raised around you, one simply needs to blow the whole goddamn thing to smithereens. And that’s precisely what I am doing, Robert. That’s exactly what I’m promising. And that’s inevitably what’s going to fucking happen.
On the flip-side to that coin? It’s not about losing, either. It’s about… dominating. It’s about… decimation. It’s about… devastation. It’s about… provoking the idiot masses through fear, one sensitive little cunt at a time. And at REFUELED? The simpleminded fuckwagons of HOWville are going to need more than an underground bomb shelter to protect themselves from the wrath of my nuke and its lasting effects on the soil they all stand on.
Soil that has been taken for granted for far too long.
But no more, Robert. The HOWs of HOWville are on the precipice of change. Of a one-man mobocracy.
Of a little thing I like to call… calamity.
But hey, feel free to stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
You fucking lose, friend.
Fade to black.