It’s been a long week aboard the USS Octane as everyone preps for War Games. Work outs, watching tape and something called carb loading. All things I was totally avoiding by secluding myself in my quarters…. for two fucking reasons. One, I’ve never been big on traditional prep for matches in HOW. Sure, I work out, I mean all these muscles aren’t just computer graphics made in some fucking program. But most of my workouts involve lifting kegs…that I then drink and ice skating for cardio. Fuck paying for a membership, going to some gym and all that running bullshit.
The other reason was just to essentially avoid all the assholes, essentially everyone on the HOW roster these days. I step out of my quarters for a fucking minute and there is Cancer Jiles dragging me into some dumbass conversation with Steve Harrison. I get it, he’s got his World Title on the line that he’d love to keep, but seriously dude, no one ever retains that thing in a War Games match.
Ok, fine… one, Aceldama.
The next though, certainly won’t be a man struggling to hit five hundred in twenty-twenty-one. But Jiles is certainly gonna try, I’ll give the man that. But of course in typical Jiles fashion, he just rambled on and one, cracking bad jokes that couldn’t even make dads laugh. Instead all I wanted to do was just throw the fucker overboard and hope a Shark is hungry for an omelet.
I tried to hide those desires, but I know Jiles had a fucking clue. We’ve known each other for too long for him to be ignorant to the fact I really wanna maim a fucker. Especially when so close to something like the edge of a ship… it’s just begging me to throw someone over.
But I made a deal with Lee… and for better or worse, Cancer Jiles is part of The Best Alliance team at War Games. He is part of my ticket to cashing in on the deal of my career if I can get this team to victory.
“So we win, you keep your ownership of HOW and I promise you that percentage you own is just not a lameduck deal.” – Lee Best
Words that are enough motivation for anyone to step their fucking game up at War Games… and words that should fucking terrify everyone else on the HOW roster. Even my own team. Because while everyone else has no fucking idea what this whole deal with Lee involves… I do. I know exactly what is going to happen when… yes WHEN team Best Alliance is victorious at War Games.
You didn’t think I’d risk thirty-nine percent of HOW just to help Lee Best win War Games… at straight fifty-fifty odds. With only a one in eighteen shot (before fucking handicaps) at winning the only title available to me, the World Title. Oh no, there is so much more at stake for me. Something that makes the risk worth it. That will force me to dig back deep and find that Scottywood who made such an impact in HOW when he debuted in twenty-o-eight.
“Did you say twenty-o-eight?”
I looked around the quarters on the USS Octane and all I saw was Frankie fast asleep. It was somewhere around eleven at night and it was quite past his bedtime. His iPad still auto playing a YouTube list from Cultaholic Wrestling that helped him pass out.
I shut the iPad off as I finish my sixth… eighth… tenth maybe can of Anti-Hero IPA and toss it into the recycling bin. The aluminum cans clang together for a moment before they come to rest and I lean back onto my bed.
“Have you forgotten about Jacobs?”
My head snaps around to the door of my quarters, expecting to see Jiles fucking around and maybe trying to lure me into some dumb trust fall exercise with fucking Sutler Kael or something. You think I’d ever trust a fucker with the last name Kael? Fat fucking chance.
Again I jump and spin around to the noise behind me… and again there is no one. But I see something that wasn’t there before. A #97Red bottle sitting on the nightstand with a small card attached to the next with the words “DRINK ME” on the outside. I cautiously approach the table as I remove the card and open it up.
“Trust me, this is the best IPA you have ever had.” I read out loud as I shrug my shoulders. I know they never say you should take a drink from a stranger, but what IF it really is the best IPA ever? Certainly worth the risk I’d say.
Picking up the bottle I pop the cap and take a large swig of the contents. I quickly realize just how boozy this so-called best IPA ever is.
“Fucking eh… woah… That makes Sam Utopia taste like a fucking session!” I exclaim, referencing shit only beer nerds or alcoholics like myself trying to hide an addiction would appreciate. Shaking my head to try and get the taste out of my mouth… but something feels off… I feel dizzy.
Fuck, maybe the risk wasn’t worth it.
I start to get woozy, as my already shaky balance on this fucking sea-sickening ship is getting worse and and fall back onto my bed as my eyes slowly close and I reach that all too familiar feeling of blacking out.
Nothing. It’s a scary feeling to lose chunks of time when you haven’t just simply fallen asleep. The anxiety can race, your mind, coming back from his totally numbed state, starts to churn as quick as it can to fill in the details, but there are none for it.
As I start to return to the world, I hear an all too familiar voice.
“Heh, have a bit too much to drink again?”
You’d think it would be Frankie, finally getting his ass up to make sure I haven’t choked on my own vomit or something. The kid has one fucking job when when I’m drinking. But it’s not Frankie’s voice that I hear, though it is still unmistakable to me.
“Max?” I question as I rub my eyes, trying to get them open and adjusted to the light so I can answer my own question… before something quickly dawns on me.
“Aren’t you….” But before I can finish my second question or get my eyes open, the voice beats me to the end of the question and answers it.
“Dead? You know that’s a complicated question to ask in HOW. But, yes Scotty, I, Max Kael am dead.” The voice of an allegedly dead Max Kael replies.
I finally manage to peel my eyes open as the light inside my room nearly burns my retinas, and what I see is… and isn’t Max Kael.
It’s the metal and bone skull of Max Kael, smiling in that sickest sick cartoon villain style way he always did… all that sitting atop a blood soaked pike.
“What the fuck!” I yell as out of instinct I kick the skull straight in it’s face and send it flying across the room as I quickly jump up to my feet and scan the room to see who the fuck is playing this prank on me.
Again I see no one as I go and look for the skull of Max Kael…
But it’s gone.
“Seriously… what the fuck?!” I question as I look over at Frankie who is fast asleep. It can’t be him… as cliche as it is, he literally was scared by his own shadow. But using Sherlock Holmes logic, I’ve eliminated the impossible, so whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
“Frankie! I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but knock it the fuck off!” I exclaim to my son… but get no response. He just murmurs something about LEGO and tosses over onto his side, still asleep.
Thinking he is still fucking with me, I slap him across the face to “wake him up”, but somehow he no sells the slap and just curls himself up more in his bed. My confusion grows as Frankie once cried for three hours after stepping on a LEGO. I mean sure, they fucking hurt… but three hours?
“You really shouldn’t hit your children. You could really scar them.” Another voice from behind me bellows. Tried of all the fucking anonymous voices I turn around a bit pissed off now, expecting maybe to see another fucking skull of Max Kael…
“Chris Jacobs?” I question rhetorically as I look at a man that is certainly Chris Jacobs. Even if he is somewhat translucent, wearing bland gray wrestling attire and wearing chains around his neck.
“I’m the ghost of Chris Jacobs past.” Jacobs says in his best spooky voice as I just raise an eyebrow back at him because…
“You’re not dead though… and isn’t it the ghost of Christm…” I try to question to Jacobs, but once again get cut off by fucking voices or ghosts or whatever this bullshit is.
“Woah, easy there, I don’t need to get the dickens sued out of me for copyright infringement.” Pleads Jacobs as he looks around as if anyone would actual be listening to this ridiculous fucking exchange.
“A Christmas Carol is public domain dude, Dickens published in the year Dan Ryan was born I think, like some hundred and seventy-five years ago.” I point out as I snicker at the random jab at that fucking wannabe Embosser. Ryan wishes he had a fraction of the personality that Embosser did.
“Oh, well fine then mister fancy business man. Did Scott Woodson learn shit like that while wearing that soul sucking suit.” Snaps back Jacobs as my eyes widen as I can feel the anger start to boil at the mention of that fucking name.
“Hey! I’ll drag you out from wherever you’re projecting this fake ass Pepper’s Ghost trick and make your ass dead for real if you wanna go down that road with me.” I threaten as Jacobs quickly raises his hands and pumps the brakes.
“Easy Scotty, I’m just here because you’re running your mouth about bringing back the Scottywood from two thousand and eight to cause anarchy in War Games this week. So since I introduced you to HOW back then, I thought I’d show you exactly what that Scottywood was like. So you’re not just blowing some more hot air that has no real bite.” Explains Jacobs, trying to be helpful… but in that kind of shitty fucking way throws shade too.
“You think I’m just blowing hot air? The only one blowing anything in this War Games match will be…” But Jacobs cuts me off before saying what he think is gonna be the start of #CancelScottywood trend on social media.
“No, don’t say her name. There are some aspects of two thousand and eight that we can leave in the past where they belong.” Truthfully states Jacobs. A lot has changed in thirteen years.
“I was gonna say Dan Ryan blowing his knee out you fucking cock.” I laugh, at both the joke and the fact Jacobs thought I was gonna make a blow job joke. I mean I’ve thoroughly run out of those after facing Kirsta Lewis so many times.
“Fine, but let’s go take a look back. Head outside your room, and you’ll see one of your most violent nights in HOW history. The night you beat Chris Kostoff in a House of Pain match at ICONIC in two thousand and eight.”
My eyebrow again raises to Jacobs who raises both his eyebrows and gestures towards the door. I shrug my shoulders and shake my head, deciding to play along so I can prove he’s just fucking with me and then murder the fucker so I can go to bed and sleep off what is gonna be a nasty hangover.
Opening the doorway, I expect to see the metal clad hallway inside the USS Octane. What I see is indeed a hallway, but that of one inside the Rogers Centre out in Toronto, Canada. The giant Blue Jays logo is one dead give away as I’m taken aback for a moment as I look back at the ghost of Chris Jacobs… and then back into the hallway.
“I wasn’t lying to ya Scotty. Go check it out. Just don’t touch anything. The smallest change in the past can have catastrophic repercussions on the present.” Warns Jacobs with the most serious face he can muster.
All of sudden I see Chris Kostoff with the LSD Title on his shoulder as he is walking by the Best Alliance locker room. He stops and props the LSD Title up on his shoulder as he smiles and shakes his head.
“Stupid fuckers, just like I taught Lee, I’m gonna teach Scotty that he should have kept his man pleaser shut.” Laughs Kostoff out loud as he continues to make his way to the stage area mere moments before his match.
“Oh yeah, how about I break that fucking jaw of yours before our match even begins!” I yell as I charge at Kostoff from behind and attack him with a double axel hammer shot to the back.
But instead of hitting him, I simply go right through Kostoff and fall straight to the floor as Kostoff keeps moving on.
“What the fuck! Why can’t I attack him?” I yell back at Jacobs who is now laughing at me, nearly doubled over.
“This is a Christmas Carol, not Back to the Future of Butterfly Effect, you can’t change shit. We’re here to just observe, to remind you of what Scottywood was really like back then. Now go head into the Best Alliance locker room, if you can remember, that’s where you were last minute prepping with Lee.” Explains Jacobs… like a huge fucking dick. But I pull myself up from the ground and shake my head at Jacobs as I look at the door handle.
“So guessing I can’t open the door, I gotta just walk right through it?” I half sarcastically, half seriously ask Jacobs.
“Now you’re getting it.” Smarmily answers Jacobs as we both walk through the door.
Inside we first see Lee Best taking the last bits of his Santa suit from earlier in the night and throwing them into the trash can as he shakes his head, still pissed off losing the bet with Kostoff that he could produce Jatt Starr by the end of the year.
“You fuck this up Scotty and I swear, not being in the Best Alliance for the rest of your contract will be the least of your fucking worries.” Threatens Lee as he grabs his famous Bottom Line pen. Yeah, the one he would eventually use on Michelle Reynolds-Creedy.
Fuck, who in the Reynolds family wasn’t horrible abused in HOW? Let me know Sutler.
“Trust me Lee, I got this and I got you. That LSD Title is coming back to The Hardcore Artist and The Best Alliance. Then Kostoff will have to wait six months to ever challenge for it again. At his age, that’s a fucking eternity. I doubt he even makes it to the end of two thousand nine before having to retire.” I comment back to Lee, not knowing just how fucking wrong I would be about those words. Hey, ya can’t always be right.
“You better, that will take the sting out of that fucker being able to name the first five main events of the year. I need you as Commish still to keep the balance of power. Now go fucking tear that fucker’s flesh off, clean to the bone! I’ll have the drinks chilled when you come back and we celebrate with the rest of the BA.” Smiles Lee as he pulls out a bottle of Jack Daniels and place it on top of his desk in the locker room.
“Sounds good, but I’m still not drinking Lee. I’m about to claim my second LSD Title and retain my job as Commissioner in just four months here in HOW while sober. I’m not gonna throw all of that away for a drink.” I explain as I grab my barbed wire hockey stick and get ready to leave.
“Fine, whatever Scotty, just make sure you fucking win.” Concedes Lee as he opens the bottle of Jack Daniels and starts to pour some in a glass for himself.
I… and I mean past me walks right towards me… and he stops right in front of me. It’s almost like he can see me for a moment as we both just stare at each other. He has no idea the road ahead of him in HOW… not even I could have imagined it in the fucked up mind in my head. But it’s a good thing that I can’t change a single thing here… cause looking back, I regret nothing.
“What are you waiting for, get the fuck out there!” Yells Lee as he knocks back a sip of his Jack Daniels and past me walks through me and out of the Best Alliance locker room. Heading out to a nearly sold out Rogers Centre to beat Chris Kostoff in his own match to reclaim the LSD Title.
“So what was the fucking point of this? Are you trying to tell me that sober Scottywood is better than me now? Do you think I am some kind of drunken mess who is going to fail at War Games if I don’t put down the bottle?” I ask Jacobs who just tilts his head as if I just answered my own question.
“Ok, I’m fucking done with this waste of my fucking time.” I exclaim as I reach out into my pocket and pull out a knife that I quickly flip open.
“What do you think you’re gonna do with that Scotty? You can’t change the past here.” Jabs Jacobs with a smile on his face.
I shake my head as I walk behind Jacobs and quickly grab him around the neck as I hold the blade up to his throat.
“What the fuck, how… how can you touch me?” Exclaims Jacobs as he starts to panic and try to free himself.
“I’m the fucking Anti-Christ… you think I can’t fuck with a simple ghost… or whatever the fuck you are. I don’t need to be shown anything from my past… and I certainly as fuck don’t need to change anything about myself. You wanna see the Scottywood that is gonna walk into War Games on Sunday? Well here he is… and he is going to leave your ass here in two thousand eight where you fucking belong.”
I quickly take the blade and slash it across the throat of the ghostly Chris Jacobs. Blood quickly pours out as his body goes limp and falls to the ground of The Best Alliance locker room. I shake my head as I walk through the door and into the hallway. I see the open door to my room on the USS Octane as I wipe the ghost blood off my blade in my shirt. Slamming the door behind me I shake my head as I spot the same #97Red bottle sitting on the table with the tag that says DRINK ME.
“Always.” I say with a smirk as I grab the bottle and down and even larger swig of the boozy as fuck IPA and quickly collapse back down on my bed, done with this dumb as fuck Christmas Carol spoof. Scrooge was a weak fucking bastard for changing at the end of his story. Caring about others? What the fuck is that? All because he was scared of a little eternal damnation?
This is why I liked Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, way more fucked up and makes much more sense than Dickens’ bullshit… and Alice was literally literary nonsense.
Anyhow, waking back up after who knows how many hours later, I see the sight of Frankie building some LEGO Star Wars set on the table in the room. Rubbing my eyes I can feel the pain behind them from my hangover headache. No matter how many times I feel this shitty ass feeling, it’s still somehow nowhere close to a deterrent to change a behavior I at this point in my career is just who the fuck I am. To try and change again would be about as fake as Dan Ryan’s fucking hip replacements.
“You fucking slept like a rock last night Frankie.” I comment as I sit up in my bed and stretch out my back, cracking it in the process.
“Sleep? I’ve been up all night making sure you didn’t choke on your puke. I built two whole LEGO sets and played a bunch of Mario Kart on the Switch.” Smiles Frankie as the kid seemed to have had the time of his life last night.
So it was all just a dream… what a shame, that fucking version of Chris Jacobs was a bit of a dick. Still not sorry for what I did, especially now knowing it was a hundred percent a dream.
“Ok, I’m gonna get some food and Gatorade, do you want anything?” I ask, really hoping he has already eaten something and I can just escape for a bit.
“Cookie dough ice cream?” Frankie replies, his eyes lighting up in hopes my hungover state won’t give a shit that it’s still the morning.
“Sure, whatever. It’s gotta be five o’clock somewhere, right?” I joke as I stand up from the bed and kick something with my foot. I can hear the sound of glass pinging off the metal bed frame, but luckily not breaking.
“Ya gotta grab those bottles Frankie, I coulda cut my foot on broken glass. Lee would take your other eye if you caused me to miss War Games.
“Sorry, I thought you only drank cans last night.” Retorts Frankie as I shake my head and make my way to the door
As I throw my shoes on and leave something rolls slowly out from under my bed. Frankie pops up and grabs the item, tossing the #97Red beer bottle with the small DRINK ME tag in the recycling bin.