Have I garnered everyone’s attention, yet? How many of you counted me out going into Chaos Number Five? Expected me and Brian Hollywood to just crack under pressure to the might of STRONK Daddy and the World Champion?
Shame on you. Shame on all of you.
I hope you learned your lesson. This may not have been something I would’ve expected–or wanted–to get involved with, the record books will forever show that Xander Azula and Brian Hollywood defeated STRONK and Christopher America.
You know what that means, right?
Aside from the announcement that ol’ Xander teams with Brian “Witness Protection” Hollywood once again at Dead or Alive, it means we have a chance to win the HOW Tag Team Championship…and to retire those belts. I for one look forward to putting these titles out of their misery, and becoming the first ever HOTv Tag Team Champion.
You always remember your first, folks.
And you can bet your sweet dollarydoos Brian and I will do everything we can to make people remember their first champions of the network, to represent High Octane Television at the dawn of a new era.
I’m aware of the hurdles we have ahead of us…oh, believe me, I’m well and fully aware. Everyone and their mother has been trying to get in my ear since this match–this fight–was announced, trying to insist we don’t stand a chance against a very game field of competitors.
And all I can do is call a bit of bullshit on that.
Don’t believe me? Let me break it down for you.
We already beat one of the people in this match. We know what the hell we’re doing, I promise.
STRONK is but a mere mortal.
If losing the HOTv Championship at War Games…or the LSD Championship shortly after…didn’t make that clear, I think finding himself on the wrong end of a Fist of Eris AND an Executive Decision last week should’ve sealed the deal, an exclamation on the statement.
He can be beaten. He has been beaten. He will be beaten.
The blood is still flowing in the water from the cut we made…meaning it’s time to finish the job. I promised to be an efficient hunter when we last faced off, and I will make good on my promise at Dead or Alive.
Even with the King of Everything by his side. Jace Parker Davidson, everyone! A round of applause for the man who managed to win the LSD Championship in HOW the same night as retaining the…oh, wait.
You built yourself up, your own personal hype man, for weeks touting your success as the OCW Savage Champion, talking a whole lot of mad shit about them as if they weren’t on your level…and then you had the gall to go and lose that title, when all was said and done.
What does that say about you, Jace?
Blame the jet lag getting from one show to the next. Blame the lack of focus from the emotion of winning the LSD title. Frankly, Jace, I don’t give a damn. Point that finger wherever you want…but at the end of the day, all you can do is point at the mirror.
You are the cause of your own downfall, Jace…and it’s only gonna get worse at Dead or Alive. I still owe you a fireball, buddy…and despite this contest taking place at a saloon, I am not talking about a shot of whisky.
Man, I can’t wait to see you try and play some sort of role model type to STRONK. It’s been pretty amusing to see you two and Shelley Greene plot and scheme some sort of business venture with this STRONKUMMS product.
Got some bad news for ya, fellas…it stinks. In every sense of the word.
On the flipside, it goes pretty nicely with some bell peppers and onions if you mix it all up with a Foodie Magick Food-O-Matic 3000. Cue a blinking phone number on the bottom of your screen to order one of those bad boys today.
Great, now those guys owe me a favor. Moving on.
Jace and STRONK are not the champions going into this contest, but they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. But, there is a hole in the armor for this seemingly impenetrable duo…and, sure enough, we will pull away at it until the whole thing falls apart at the seams, leaving a very disappointed Board to watch on as the biggest underdogs in this fight pull off the upset…and all we have to do is outlast a bunch of scoundrels in a bar fight.
How hard could that be?
“I’m sorry, but what the hell is all this!?”
Xander Azula arrived at the Barn that morning and found himself taken aback by what awaited him: a setup looking an awful lot like an Old West saloon, complete with wooden tables, chairs, and a bar with shelves of drinks. Standing in front of all this is Dawn McGill, her previous attire scrapped for this particular training session in place of an old-fashioned dress, petticoat and all, much to the utter confusion of the Head Disciple of Chaos and his Eternal Circle crew. Dawn does her best to mask the irritation of Bergman leaving her in charge of the Barn for the time being, as she waves to Xander with an almost forced smirk in light of the situation.
“Howdy, Xander. Joe told me yer match at Dead or Alive is gonna be a bar fight, so I wanted to get you ready for a dang bar fight!”
Xander does not look enthused by the idea, but nods with the understanding of how this could help his situation. After all, you train for a wrestling match by hitting the ropes, so why wouldn’t you train for a bar fight by hitting the, well, bar? He looks around at the setup, curious as to how things could play out…and notices three people standing by, which draws a sigh from the Head Disciple.
“Oh no, not these three again.”
Hank. Stan. Tiny.
Three beefy dudes, comprising Beer Bellied Softball Playin’ Ninja, wearing their matching shirts just in case it wasn’t clear who they were. The trio, along with April O’Neale, just smirk and wave at Xander, who shakes his head at the thought of dealing with them again after what transpired a few weeks back in training. Dawn chuckles at this little moment, before motioning toward the bar.
“Well, let’s get going Xander. I wanna see what yer made o–”
Dawn is interrupted by a bottle of brandy whizzing by her, making a beeline for Xander…but narrowly just landing by his feet instead, cracking open and spilling the drink on his shoes. Xander glares over at the group, seeing Stan grin after his attempt to instigate today’s little bar fight.
“Son of a–”
Xander mutters obscenities under his breath as he motions to the shelves behind the bar, turning his attention to Vagn Dahl.
“Vagn, hand me that gin.”
This draws a chuckle from the Ninja, as Stan gives a jovial shout.
“Taking to drinking already, huh? That a boy.”
Vagn hands the bottle of liquor over to Xander, who chuckles with a smirk.
“Don’t be silly, Stan. You know I don’t drink.”
With that he takes a wild swing, launching the bottle of gin toward the Ninja and narrowly missing Stan’s head. This does the trick for starting the practice bar fight, as the Ninja charge toward the Eternal Circle. Both groups quickly come to blows, trading lefts and rights as Xander slams Stan facefirst onto the bar, much to the amusement of Dawn who stands by and watches the insanity unfold.
“That a boy, Xander.”
She grabs a nearby bottle of whisky, taking a swig as the groups continue to go at it. We see the particularly massive Dahl grab a hold of Tiny, shoving him into the shelves which results in bottles shaking, and one even falling off…landing on Tiny’s head! From there it crashes to the floor, nearly exploding upon impact as Tiny rubs the spot where the bottle bonked him. Elsewhere, the more slender Thomas Crowne has his hands full with Hank who is seen pouring a bottle of rye on Crowne’s face with a smirk as Mysti eventually just casually walks over to Dawn, a glass of water in her hand. Mysti is quickly joined by April, and the two ladies look at the scene continuing to unfold, and then to Dawn as Mysti speaks up.
“This is gonna go on for a while, isn’t it?”
The three can’t help but chuckle, taking a seat at the nearest table as the bar fight continues. More bottles are shown flying around in the fracas, and we see Crowne starting to turn the tables on Hank as he slams him against the shelves…which sends another bottle falling. This time, however, Hank is able to catch the bottle…and slams it against Crowne’s head.
“You just got crowned, Crowne!”
Hank cackles at his own dumb joke as the bar fight rolls on for what feels like forever.
Bar fights are not nearly as easy as the movies make them out to be…but you know something, I love me a good challenge. Perfect example of just how challenging this is gonna turn out to be is the sheer number of people involved.
It’d be one thing to have two people going at it inside a bar…or even four, in a tag team situation…but you have a total of EIGHT going at it. Four teams, all vying for that sweet, sweet prize when it’s all said and done.
Two of them just happen to be former World Champions, one a Hall of Famer.
Hello, Bobbinette. Hey, Conor. Good seeing you two again. Congrats on finally being besties f-f-f-f-for life-skies and teaming together to see the same thing I see.
A pair in Jace and STRONK that shouldn’t be anywhere near those tag titles.
I can respect the overlap in our goals, here…but I look at Bobbinette and see a woman whose mind and heart are divided. Betrayed by her supposed friend in Scottywood, cast aside by those she would seek to build camaraderie with…and left to seek help from the co-captain of the most recent War Games match.
A man who was once at the top of the mountain, standing tall with his Master Sword drawn high in the air for the world to see…only to come tumbling down, hard, and hitting rock bottom. You had your run as World Champion, only to lose it all at War Games, and now you are in a period of rebuilding.
I can understand your dilemma, Conor…but while you were hiding away trying to regain your focus, to find your little Chaos Emeralds in the hopes of becoming Super Con-ic once again, I went out and rebuilt my legacy one match–one fight–at a time. And now look at me.
Coming out of War Games, I have only lost once. That loss to Scottywood motivated me to push even harder, which gave me the boost I needed to overcome Stevens in HOFC…and then I beat Josh Conway, running him out of HOW and presumably giving him that retirement he should’ve taken in the first place.
And then, ol’ Hollywood and I went and beat STRONK and got ourselves in this match at Dead or Alive. I just thought everyone should be reminded of that.
Of all of this, really.
For all the jokes people love throwing my way about my win-loss record in the time that I’ve been employed here, I have won three out of four matches since War Games came and went…so that’s something, at least.
What the hell were you up to, Conor?
Silently crying to yourself as you worked on a strategy guide to find your way back up the ladder of success? Maybe reaching out to your Elders or whatever, trying to seek advice on your next steps? Perhaps even trying to find yourself a Game Genie to fast-track your way back to World title contention?
Look at the state of you now, Fuse.
How cute is it, that you and Bobbinette Carey would team up with the intent on fighting The Board. Really, what better way to stick it to them by winning the tag titles? It’s a good goal, it’s a great goal even…but I dunno if it’s gonna work out for you two. Good on you, honestly…but you’re not winning those Tag Team Championships at Dead or Alive.
Not with that attitude.
No, I don’t think the future of the tag division is going to be in the hands of a Hall of Famer secretly looking to build her squad for next year’s War Games–seriously, Bobbi, maybe you should’ve considered getting Lexi Gold to volunteer for this instead–and a former champion who hides away for a month hoping he can catch everyone by surprise. Everyone sees that coming from a mile away, Conor. Better rethink your strategy.
Gonna let y’all in on a little secret.
I’m mad, bad, and dangerous to know…and you’re gonna know exactly who the hell I am, come Dead or Alive. When all is said and done, when the figurative and literal dust settles on this here bar fight, the world will once again be shocked to see Xander Azula and Brian Hollywood standing tall, this time with something to really show for it.
And the two of you can go back to playing split-screen Playstation or something, I dunno.
Quite some time has passed since the bar fight broke out, and the fallout is evident: broken bottles and broken bodies scattered across the floor, and even on the bar itself. We see Xander slowly rise to a seated position on the floor, rubbing his head in pain as he hears a cell phone ringing off in the distance. He looks over at Mysti, who has been laughing it up until this point before heading over to him, phone in hand. Still rubbing his head with one hand, Xander uses the other to connect to the call…which brings a smirk to his face immediately.
“Excellent. And you have a way for me to get into Goodfellas and everything? Wonderful.”
Xander clams up after this, quietly favoring his head for just a moment, rubbing the back of his head before putting the phone back up to his ear.
“Yeah, I’m here. It’s a long story. I appreciate you handling this, I’ll be in Vegas as soon as possible.”
Xander stops as he receives some less thrilling news in response. Xander sighs, rubbing his head in disappointment and pain at the sound of this.
“What’d you mean, their show’s tomorrow? Ah sh–okay, thank you.”
With that, Xander ends the call before setting the phone on the ground, slowly getting back to his feet as he looks on at the mess in front of him. Eventually, he turns his attention to Dawn with a slight smirk.
“Well, Dawn, this has been one hell of a session…but I have to run. I have to be in Vegas tomorrow, and unlike a certain new LSD Champion I can’t afford a private flight…so we’re hopping in the Erismobile and taking a road trip.”
Xander rubs the back of his head once more as he turns to his crew, to see Crowne and Dahl finally manage to wake up after the insane amount of punishment they took during this little “dry run” of a bar fight.
“Fellas, I think we need to uhh…make like Q-Tips and get out of ‘ere.”
A collective groan can be heard at this, as Crowne and Dahl slowly get to their feet. They help the Ninja up as well, offering handshakes of appreciation even in spite of the violence endured, before the crew make their way out of the Barn, leaving Dawn to just shake her head as she shouts to the men still standing around, motioning to all the broken glass still left on the floor and bar top.
“Alright, boys. I need someone to clean this mess up!”
The trio nod in acknowledgement, and start gathering the things they need to clean up, bringing in brooms, gloves, and dustpans to begin the process as the scene fades to black.