That’s what you came up with? That’s the best you could do Noble?
Calling me a coward.
Do you even know who the fuck I am? Do you have any idea the year and a half of fucking battles I’ve had here? The fights, the blows, the adversity, the risks I’ve taken? David, you’ve been her six months and you’ve barely managed to scratch the surface of what this fuckin’ place is, and you think you’re the authority on cowardice and bravery in the land of High Octane?
So tell me, what part of my career makes me a fucking coward? Was it carrying The Best Alliance banner against the 214 last year? Did my fight with Teddy Palmer on the USS Octane make me a coward? Was that twenty five plus minute encounter the thing cowards are made of? Did I have a look of fear in my eyes as we fought? Was I a coward when he and I were both fighting for our fucking lives in the cold water of the Pacific ocean?
WAS I DAVID? AM I A FUCKING COWARD?
What about two weeks later, when I walked into War Games, and fought Teddy Palmer to a fucking standstill in the middle of that fucking ring for another twenty fucking minutes. Knowing I had the chance to be the first man eliminated from War Games? Did taking that risk make me a fucking coward?
What about two months later, when I walked into the ring against a great man, a teammate, a friend, and went to fucking war with one of the greatest champions this place has ever seen? John Sektor and I tore each other apart for twenty fucking minutes again, ripping and tearing, and fighting each other until the bitter fucking end. WAS I A FUCKING COWARD THEN DAVID?
What about agreeing to take the Infirmary match against Jace Parker Davidson? The most violent, and vicious match available at Rumble At The Rock. Fighting in the same room Max Kael fucking died in, fighting until one of us was rendered unconscious. Fighting until one of us could drag the other one over the fucking line. Did something about that match make you feel like I was a scared little bitch? As I headbutted Jace Parker Davidson into another state of existence did I seem like a fucking coward?
Was I a coward when Cecilworth Farthington and Mike Best broke my arm? Was I a coward when I walked into the Iconic 2021 tournament with a broken fucking arm against all reasonable medical advice? Did that weaken my stature enough for you to tell me that I’m a fucking coward?
How about when I was still dead set on revenge, and marched into March To Glory against the greatest competitor this place has ever seen? I took on the challenge of Mike Best’s fucking RETIREMENT match. I DEMANDED the challenge of fighting a man who would possibly NEVER get to step in the ring again. I begged for it, I pleaded for it, I burned down a fucking building for it. Did that make me a fucking coward?
Did my raging against the machine, fighting against your current employers and my former employer for change make me some type of little bitch at War Games? Did power bombing STRONK FUCKING GODSON through a flaming table and pinning the unpinnable monster make me a fucking coward David?
TELL ME! TELL ME WHAT FUCKING DID IT!
You could have said a lot of things about me David, you could have told me I was stupid, you could have said I was naive, that I was playing the victim, that I fell because of my own bravado and over confidence. You could have said I was just a pawn playing a part in a grand scheme, there were so many things you could have said… so many things you could have talked about ad fucking nauseum and they would have had a grain of truth to each one.
But calling me a fucking coward?
Boy, you’re going to find out what it’s like to be fucking scared in the middle of that ring. You’re going to realize what real, actual, terrifying, gripping, full fledged panic, fear is on Sunday night. You’re going to come face to face with the scariest thing you’ve ever fucking seen, the scariest fucking thing this place has ever seen.
David, I’ve had people say a lot of things about me. I’ve had Mike Best ridicule everything about my life, I’ve had Cecilworth Farthington talk me down like I was fucking garbage. I had Sutler Kael run intellectual circles around me.
But none of them would dare to say I was a fucking coward.
So now, now David, you’re going to feel my fucking wrath. You want to challenge my integrity, you want to challenge my fucking actions?
No David, you don’t have the rite. You haven’t fucking earned that. You haven’t fucking earned the stones to call me a fucking coward. And at Chaos, the first Chaos, in front of the Statue of Liberty, in front of the entire fucking world, I’m going to make you eat every single one of those words. I’m going to stuff them down your throat like you’re the fat kid in Willy Wonka’s factory, you’ll be the size of a fucking hot air balloon when I’m dumb loading the gobs of shit you talked down your fucking throat.
And there ain’t going to be any Oompa Loompa’s to carry you off the boat and fix you David. There’s only one fucking way you’re leaving that fucking boat tomorrow. And that’s over the edge.
Hope you can swim.
It sat in front of Clay, shining in all of its glory. Clay sat on a wooden bench staring at the vessel. It was the site of one of his greatest failures, being tossed off the Octane by Teddy Palmer still caused emotion to come to the front. The darkness, the searchlights cascading across the black salty waves.
It sent a shiver up The Behemoth’s spine.
That night had changed Clay, fundamentally changed his way of thinking about High Octane Wrestling. It was kill or be killed here, there was no in between, this wasn’t every other wrestling company in the world. The violence here was turned up to eleven, and it was the first time Clay had experienced the ruthlessness that HOW could offer.
The helicopter ride to safety, being tranquilized by his own boss’ doctor on a boat. That was the first day he realized The Best Alliance wasn’t really for him. That was the moment he realized the price of failure when you served Lee Best. Everyone told him being put into the ring first with Teddy Palmer was an honor, an opportunity, a chance at greatness.
But now Clay knew.
It was punishment, punishment for not rising to the occasion. Punishment for not ripping the LSD Champion limb from limb, punishment for not being what GOD wanted him to be. He looked the part of an uncaring monster, he acted the part of an uncaring monster. But Lee Best looked right through the thick, gruff, outer casing of The Behemoth. That’s why he was always a step ahead, playing chess while The Highwaymen felt like they were playing checkers.
“Some coincidence…” The Behemoth mumbled out loud to no one in particular. The entirety of The Highwaymen were booked on the first Chaos. Solex in a huge World Title match against the apple of Lee Best’s eye… Steve Harrison against the SON of SONs… And Joe Bergman tagging with Darin Zion? That one was a bit of a reach, but it showed Lee’s hand.
Grind them into dust, make sure they couldn’t be there when the shit popped off for his best friend’s attempt at Big Red. Clay smashed his hands together, wringing them. That ‘stupid fucking boat’ still locked squarely in his vision. He knew he had to be on guard tonight, especially after what happened at War Games. Weeks later, and his head had finally stopped aching.
Another attack on The Behemoth before he got to the ring, at least there was no illusion of grandeur, no illusion of success. The injuries sustained that let Tyler Best drag him to the ring like a poor with a bag of groceries on the first of the month had taken away everything… but he hadn’t left War Games empty handed. He hadn’t left War Games with nothing.
The HOTv title was in the bag beside him, The Behemoth had caused as much Chaos in the match as possible. STRONK Godson had paid for his employer’s sins with the flaming table, but that wasn’t going to be all. There was still America, there was still Tyler Best. The Board would always be in control, and the only way to stop it, the only way to stop the machine was to end up in control of the #97Red.
They thought it was over at War Games?
No, the fight was just beginning. And tonight, on that giant symbol of Clay Byrd’s failure the fight would rage on. There was no surrender, there was no retreat. It was them, or it would be him, and David Noble would be the first test. David wanted to retire John Sektor and take his spot in War Games? That was fine, he wanted to be the man? Fine. Now he’d see what being The Man meant.
He’d find out from one of the best. Lee Best’s executioner would ride again, but this time it would be for The Highwaymen. This time it would be for Steve and all of his friends, this time they’d walk away with everything.
The tag team championships sat on the bench, their silver glow with red veins staring at whoever dared to look. The Television championship beside them, its front face plate being vigorously scrubbed by Scott Stevens-Solex Jr.
“It’ll make a man outta ya kid,” Clay shouted. He and Solex were buried in their workout. Clay felt faster, leaner, and meaner than he had in a long time as the two men sat side by side curling incredible amounts of weight.
“Kids workin’ hard,” Clay said through gritted teeth, the veins in his biceps were bulging as he curled the fifty pound dumbbell for what felt like the hundredth time. Steve’s work out regiment was legendary in High Octane. The #1 Dad had taken care of his body with incredible expertise for decades, if anyone knew how to combat the effects of aging, and a grueling HOTv title run it was Steve.
“So are we,” Solex grunted against the weight. Finally the two men stopped, dropping the weights with a crash and stood up.
“This match with America…” Clay tried to broach the subject for what felt like the hundredth time today.
“The old man won’t get involved,” Solex said, the irritation in his voice almost became a physical object all its own.
“If they try to fuck you like they fucked me…” Clay started to say but was immediately interrupted.
“I know, ride together, die together,” Solex looked Clay in the eye as he said it. The two enormous men slapped their hands together and bro hugged in the middle of the gym.
“And if Noble tries some shit against you,” Clay smirked.
“He won’t, the old man just wants me to take out the garbage for him again. And I’m going to throw that motherfucker into the middle of the harbor for him. Save him some money on payroll,” The two men smiled, and Scotty ran up, lugging all three title belts over his shoulders.
“Perfectly shined!” He shouted, his face beaming with pride. Clay looked over both of his belts while Solex looked over the tag title.
“Ya did a good job kid,” Clay said with a grin.
“Get ready though, cause next week yer gonna be shinin’ up one more.”
You’re fucking shitting me right? Going over?
What the fuck do you think this is? How fucking dense are you? This mother fucker called me a fucking coward three weeks ago and then resigned himself to fucking losing against me for whatever god awful reason. Who the fuck infected your brain? Was it Jace? He get you on the twitters looking at all the scantily clad women?
Jesus Christ boy. One week you’re kneeing John Sektor in the side of the fucking head to scramble your way kicking and screaming into War Games. The next week your saying you expect to fucking lose?
Are you Darin fucking Zion now? Did Brian Hollywood steal your balls? What the fuck David? What in the flying fuck is wrong with you? This is your opportunity for redemption, this is your opportunity to take your career to the next level. This is your fucking chance to be someone here, and you’re going to walk out and face me after that?
Don’t even bother coming David, call up Lee and tell him you quit. That you want to tuck your tail and run away, because something bad happened at War Games. “Oh boy I get hit too hard.” “Why am I even IN this match?”
You were put in this match so you could get some fucking revenge, holy fuck man,
God you’re such a fucking pussy.
What, you’re fucking surprised they put your ass next to Scottywood flying home on some paper airplane? That’s how it works David, if you don’t get the job done for Lee Best you’re yesterday’s news. He tosses you out like a sack of shit, he throws you away like the festering garbage dump you are. He doesn’t have fucking room for all the emotions, the sadness, being fucking mopey. Your Eyore ass got pinned? You’re fucking useless.
If you’re going to work for him, you better show up to fucking work. You better show up, standing at attention and ready to do your god damn job. You complain? See ya later. You cry? See ya later. See David, this was your test, can you get back on the horse and go win him some tin and leather, or are you going to see how sad you can possibly get.
Empty? You should be invigorated, motivated, ready to rip me apart with your bare hands. You should be a fire in that ring, a storm, you should be damn near the second coming of GOD. But instead you’re still you, clinging to the past, clinging to things that don’t matter. David, you failed the test Lee Best put in front of you with your attitude. And you’re going to fail the physical test he put in front of you: ME.
You fucking slime ball, show me some god damned respect. Show me some fucking gravitas. I beat the fuck out of STRONK Godson. I escaped the fucking Loop Hold. I smashed that big dumb bowling ball looking mother fucker through that fucking table after having my head kicked in by a bunch of EPU and everyone fucking else.
You were probably in the fuck pile David, you were probably there, because we all know you weren’t in the match still when I hit the fucking ring. Actually, maybe that’s why you’re being sent out here. Instead of doing your fucking job and making sure I couldn’t do anything in that War Games match you sat in the back and licked your wounds like the bitch you are.
I know my role in this fight, my job is to play the gun in Ol’ Yeller one las time for Lee Best, and well sorry David. It’s time for you to play Yeller. Only difference is, no one’s gonna cry.
See you at Chaos.