Let me tell you about the most humiliating night of my life.
It was eight years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. A beautiful evening at the beach, all things considered. Cool breeze coming in off the ocean, the rhythm of the waves beating against the sand… some real Jimmy Buffett type shit, man. It could have been the perfect night. The kind of night that makes it worth all the nine-to-five wage slaves who stare at a cubicle all year, just to afford their bullshit week long escape to the beach. Of course, I didn’t get to enjoy that night. I didn’t get to enjoy that trip, or that week, or that month. I barely got to enjoy that year, because that night was the single most humiliating night of my life.
And it’s all your fault, Bobby.
It was Monday Night Mayhem. September 3, 2012.
I still remember the guttural scream that escaped from me, as my knees hit the sand. The roar of the crowd as you plunged a dirty, metal stake into the back of my shoulder like I was a fucking animal. The sand seeping into the wound, as you wrapped me up on a filthy volleyball net and staked it into the fucking ground.
One, two, three.
Your winner and new LSD Champion, Bobby Dean.
I stared up at you from the sand, in disbelief. You were holding that title– my title– over your head, sweat pouring off of your loathsome frame like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man standing too close to a campfire. I could feel the shank still stuck in my shoulder, a hot trickle flowing down my back as the medics rushed to untangle me from the nightmare. And I felt fucking humiliated. I felt embarrassed. I felt shame, because I was supposed to be the pinnacle of my sport, and I’d just been nailed into the ground like it was Gulliver’s goddamned Travels in front of thousands of people and millions watching around the world.
It was one of the worst nights of my life.
It wasn’t because I’d lost my title. You don’t become the winningest champion in HOW history without losing some titles. You don’t become the nine time Word Champion without losing it eight, right? And it wasn’t even because of the silly way you’d done it— it was clever, after all. Something I would have done. Surprised I didn’t think of it by myself. I’d been stabbed before, and I’d be stabbed again. Been screwed before, and I’d be screwed again. It wasn’t what happened to me, or how it happened. It was who did it, Bobby.
It was humiliating, because it was you.
I know that isn’t nice to say. I know that’s not hashtag positivist. I know that it makes me sound like one of the other generic burial artists floating around HOW, surprised that their constant underestimation of our talent is reflected in their shitty records. It isn’t kind, Bobby, but it’s absolutely true. You were five hundred fucking pounds and making a mockery of the business I love. You were a laughing stock, and for one night, you made me one too. I never forgot about that night, and I never will. Even all these years later, I look at you, and you know what?
Nothing has fucking changed.
Look at you Bobby. Proud of nothing. Patting yourself on your disgusting, acne ridden back fat because your coma induced diet helped you become slightly less morbidly obsese. And sure, you’re trying to walk the walk and talk the talk now like everything is different, but it isn’t. You’re not a new man. You’re the same old loser in smaller waisted pants. And the worst kind of loser, too, Robert, because you used to be a winner. Because you used to be my rival. Because you used to be my partner, and my equal, and my friend.
Remember The Industry, Bobby?
Not the shitty version with Dane at the helm, who burned at the stake until the ashes helped form the Group of Death. I’m talking about THE INDUSTRY. The powerhouse wrestling stable that birthed my entire wrestling ideology. The one we started together. The one that existed when you still gave a fuck about wrestling. I’m not going to bore anyone with the details, because it’s a whole bunch of who gives a fuck what from way back in who gives a fuck where. But we used to tear the house down every night, whether we were in the same corner or on opposite sides of the ring. You were a different man back then. A better man. An actual… man. The man I wanted following me into battle. The man I hooked up with a gig here in HOW in the first place.
But those days are gone, aren’t they?
See, you’re right. About all of it. I AM a shitty bully. I AM the same man you knew twelve years ago, who kicked my inferiors when they were down. I AM the guy who surrounds myself with anyone I think might be a threat. You’re right, Bobby. That’s who I’ve always been, and I haven’t changed. Maybe that’s why we haven’t been partners since 2007. Maybe that’s why we haven’t been friends since 2012. Maybe that’s why you’ve lived in fear of me for so many years, Robert. Because I stayed who I am— I stayed a winner, and a bully.
I stayed a predator, and you became prey.
This ain’t the fucking Lion King, dickhead. We don’t all get together and sing about the fucking Circle of Life. In High Octane Wrestling, it’s kill or be killed. Survival of the fittest, not the fattest. And you didn’t become a loser because you got fat, Bobby, you got fat because you became a loser. Because you stopped giving a fuck. Because you became content with being a sideshow act and being lead out to the ring like a Bearded Lady. A freak show, happy to cash checks and stuff your disgusting face with trans fats, because it was comfortable. Because there were no expectations for the fat guy. Because you would never disappointment yourself by failing if it was funny for everyone to watch you fail— it became your shtick.
Look at Bobby, he’s a loser!
You say I couldn’t pick you out of a lineup these days, and you’re right, man. Because you aren’t you anymore. You aren’t Bobby Dean. In a world full of fucking losers, you gave up success for comfort and happily became one of them. You could have been the fucking best, Bobby. You shouldn’t be the underdog, fighting for scraps at the bottom of the card. You shouldn’t be taking L’s to fucking idiots I let train at my Academy for a goof. You shouldn’t be looked at as a fucking novelty feel good act, dude. You should be standing next to me, with your dick on the table, begging motherfuckers to step up to the plate.
Instead, you’re snorting powdered sugar.
Even when you want me to take you seriously, you’re making it all a fucking joke. Dressing up in a stupid blue tuxedo and walking around calling yourself Bobby Best. Telling me that you’re not afraid of me anymore, and I believe you, Bobby. I believe you, because I don’t think you were ever afraid of me in the first place. You don’t fear me, or the championship, or success— these are lies that you tell yourself, just more excuses for setting your own bar low. What you’re afraid of is finally getting back to the show, and not having what it takes. What you’re afraid of is giving it even 90% for the first time in a fucking decade, and still failing. What you’re afraid of is trying to be taken seriously, and still being a joke. So you put on your little tuxedo and you make your jokes, and you’re fine with being a clown as long as they’re laughing with you, not at you.
But I’m not laughing, Robert.
I don’t think it’s cute, or funny. I don’t think it’s hilarious that the eGG Bandits are made up of a bunch of former world champions who don’t give a fuck enough to put in the effort and succeed here. It’s embarrassing. You, and Jiles, and Doozer are an unmitigated failure in HOW and an embarrassment to the sport, to me, and most of all to yourselves. Three guys who I used to consider peers. Three guys who have the talent to give me the fight of a lifetime. Three guys who have become lazy comedy acts, because the pay is decent and the risk is low. You throw your eggs and you carry around your cardboard cutouts, and hey man, it’s fucking funny. Congratulations. You’re great midcard comedy acts. And that’s what you’re content to be, because the rest of this HOW roster has curated the kind of bullshit, enabling environment of positivity that makes it feel okay to be mediocre.
But I’m not going to coddle you, Bobby.
I’m done enabling your behavior. I’m done making you think that it’s okay to aim for the middle. I’m done pretending that I’m not embarrassed that a man I once called a friend, a peer, a partner, has been reduced to a fucking punchline. In a world full of guys like Scott Stevens, and Brian Hollywood, and MJ Flair, who are fucking struggling to get out of their slumps and get back on top, you’ve chosen to be what you are. You’ve chosen to be mediocre. You’ve chosen to be less than the sum of your parts, and I am DONE with it. You insult me, you insult yourself, and you insult the entire wrestling industry. Twice their talent and half their motivation, and you want us to all enjoy the feel good story of the year… the return of Bobby Dean.
The return to what, exactly?
Because most of us learn from our mistakes.
Eight years ago, you humiliated me in front of thousands of people, and it made me better. It made me sharper. It made me never want to feel that feeling again, and it pushed me to work harder and take every single opponent I have seriously, no matter who I was standing across the ring from. Because I felt humiliated. Because you humiliated me, Bobby, and it changed the way I approached the sport of professional wrestling. As I lay there in the sand, convulsing under that volleyball net with a giant fucking metal stake in my shoulder, I knew that I never wanted to look that fucking stupid again in my life. I knew that I never wanted to feel that embarrassed again.
Because it was the most humiliating night of my life.
And it was all your fault, Bobby.
It was all your fault that I trained longer, and worked harder, and never let another motherfucker catch me with my guard down again. No more Adonis Smyth pratfalls off the cage. No more sneaky roll ups from guys trying to make their careers off my back. In a way, I was thankful for you, because the way that you humiliated me had a part in turning me into the killing machine that I am today. The one that you look down upon with such disdain. The one who you will face at Refueled, for the HOW World Championship. You’d given me such a gift that I’d almost forgiven you, Bobby. Forgiven, but never forgotten. We could have been even– a LSD Championship for a humiliation that changed my life.
And then, you fucked it all up.
Because at the Lethal Lottery, you tried to do it again.
You heard your music playing, and you waddled your fat ass down the ramp, and you were out of breath before you even hit the ring, weren’t you? You slid that disgusting body, that monument to failure, under the ropes and stumbled to your feet like a fucking party clown. When you took that cheap shot and you tried to break my fucking nose, I thought maybe there was a glimmer of hope. That maybe the Bobby Dean of old was back, and that this weight loss bullshit was any more than another stupid stunt. And then, you started sashaying around the ring like a fucking bullfighter, getting the crowd up into a frenzy. Rubbing your fucking fat rolls for the fans, and jiggling around like a clown, and I realized I was wrong. You weren’t taking it seriously. It was a fucking joke, just like always. Everything’s a goddamned joke to “Bullshit” Bobby Dean, and now you were going to try and make a fucking joke out of me too. You tried to humiliate me again, Bobby, so I did what I had to do.
I knocked you the fuck out on live television.
I put a knee to your head and pulled the trigger, and then didn’t even show you respect enough to end you right then and there. I stood up from that fucking pin, and I slapped you around, and then I drove elbows into your soft, unfortunate skull until your body could not longer sustain consciousness. Until your lungs wouldn’t breathe on their own. Until your body ceased to function without the assistance of a machine. Because humiliate me once, Bobby, shame on you, humiliate me twice, shame on me. I sent you to fucking Neverland and told you not to come back until you were ready to grow the fuck up.
Can you tell me what’s so fucking funny about that, Bobby?
Can you tell me what part of being hooked up to fucking life support makes you want to dress up in a fucking tuxedo and snort a bag of powedered sugar, as a fucking goof? Maybe it was naive of me to think that a trip to the hospital was going to turn your life around, but Jesus Christ, Bobby… you lose all that fucking weight, and what are you now?
You’re just a skinny Fat Bobby Dean.
All those pounds you managed to shed, just to keep the same dogshit attitude. On Saturday night, you have a very real shot at the HOW World Championship, and you are in very real danger. Making a bunch of shitty pussy jokes about my old shoot name isn’t going to change that. Making a bunch of hacky jokes about my period isn’t going to change that. Dropping a hot GIF of fucking Flava Flav isn’t going to change that, you stupid fuck. It’s just wasted time and wasted energy from wasted talent, and then you have the big brass balls to tell me that I’m “going to have to kill you” if I want to walk out of the Allstate Arena with my championship. You try to say all the big match words to evoke the big match feelings, but do you even understand what they mean? How hollow and empty they sound, leaving your lips?
“You’re going to have to kill me.”
You think that’s an obstacle to me, Bobby?
Do you think there are limits I won’t cross to defend what’s mine? Do you think there is a place I won’t go to, to retain the HOW World Championship? Motherfucker, I left you half dead the last time we got into the ring together, and my only regret is that I didn’t round up. I gave you a second lease on life, and I have no problem issuing you an eviction notice. Who the fuck cares if I snuff the last of the spark out of those empty little eyes?
The Bobby Dean I know has been dead for ten fucking years.
That I ever knew you and respected you has embarrassed and humiliated me for a decade, and the only purpose you serve in my life anymore is to remind me what I could become if I EVER lose my killer instinct. If I EVER become complacent. If I EVER take my eye of the fucking ball for a second, I can slip right down that slope and become a five hundred pound fucking NOBODY like Bobby Dean, and I will never, EVER let that happen.
Think I’m wrong?
Then take off the tuxedo, put away the candy, and prove me wrong, Robert Dean. Walk— don’t skip, or wiggle, or shuffle— fucking WALK down to the ring, look me in the eyes, and show me that there is anything left of the man I used to respect. That YOU used to respect. Bring the real Bobby Dean out, one last time, and show me that I’m fucking wrong. Because the time for jokes is over. Playtime is over. The coddling is OVER. When I pull the trigger on that knee this time, bet your soul I won’t be firing blanks.
Jesus said “Suffer the children”, but Kneesus says that the children will suffer, and you will either step to me as a grown man or you will die a child.
Saturday night will be the most humiliating night of your life.
And it’ll be all your fault, Bobby.