ENDGAME

ENDGAME

Posted on January 28, 2022 at 7:33 pm by Conor Fuse

Dear Scott Stevens,

Thanks for the recent guidance and wisdom you’ve provided. Really appreciate it. Glad to see you are there for me just like you were on

September 5, 2020.

Do you remember? I bet it means nothing to you but for an OCD guy like myself, I’ve never forgotten. Conor Fuse vs. Scott Stevens on Refueled. I was new to HOW. I trained hard for our match. We wrestled. And you did nothing.

I beat you in one minute with two moves. Even paused mid battle for a quick drink and snack while you laid there, a beached whale, center of the mat, useless as ever.

So… ya.

Since this date, I lost respect for you.

These are the potential excuses I thought up.

…didn’t care, I wasn’t a name.
…no title on the line, so meh.
…had more important things to do.

I digress. You’d be an idiot to defend yourself here because it’s just that: an excuse. A gutless fucking showing by an absolute embarrassment of a former World Champion.

When someone new comes in, I want to go harder, train harder, push myself to the absolute limit. I am REPRESENTING the company on my back when I do this. You think I admire GOD? MOB? Fuck outta here. But I still represent HOW with 100% heart on my sleeve. Why? I have respect for myself.

You are a modern day henchman, oogling and googling for anyone with the last name Best. The flashing blue screen on my NES. The worst of the video games, glitched to the point I can’t even press start. Hey mom, my Scott Stevens cartridge doesn’t wanna load. Like, ever.

I could give you a laundry list of smOOth moves, The Scott Stevens edition.

        • Giving up your child to another man.

There. That’s it. That’s the list. You can’t redeem yourself from that.

I rip on Scottywood for showing up half in the bag at ICONIC 2020. He still put together a game plan… chucked me through a table… made me work for it, all while wobbling around like the trailer trash he is.

It’s way more than you gave me.

Oh but now, of course buddy. Let’s do this now. IT’S FOR THE WORLD TITLE SO I’M GAME. Pop your jollies off because goodness me it’s time for ‘The Angry Texan’ to show High Octane what a badass you are!

You literally beat up a bunch of old dudes last week. So tough. Pop’n’fresh extreme. Did you enjoy laying those beats? Or did you have difficulty hitting a piledriver? Originally, you’re one of the guys I wanted to wrestle the most. Misguided, bullied by dudes left, right and center, I felt sorry for you. I was wrong. You deserve everything you’ve received.

And everything you’ll receive from me.

I fucking can’t with you, man. You’re telling me, the dude who mailed in his last battle vs. Conor Fuse, how I should focus on you and not obsess over Mike Best? Really?

I obsess over everybody you pigshit moron.

EVEN YOU.

Do I have to spell it out for ya? Are you this dense? Read between the lines on the life and times of YOUR World Champion.

Jatt Starr = I moved into an old folks home
High Flyer = I took his move set and started acting unstable
Scottywood = got hardcore, asked Game Boy to kick the living shit outta me
Sutler Reynolds-Kael = I also hear voices inside my head who provide spotty counselling and mild understanding.
Cancer Jiles = locked myself in a room until I found dead baby jokes funny to share his sick and twisted sense of humour.

Scott Stevens = never forgot you made yourself look like the biggest schmuck by doing jack shit in our match. Printed off your mugshot. Placed the pic under my bed to recall the pain you caused.

I dunno. I think I’m doing just fine, thank you. Don’t tell me how to behave, mom.

I love obsessing and I can juggle a few people at once. It’s a god damn hero fighting his villains. It’s the Player One going through every level of his campaign. I am Batman, deep within the Elder Scrolls cave I have notes to take down all of you. I study. I follow. I obsess. If Clay Byrd has hemorrhoids, I’m aware. Fuck man, might even go get some myself to know what I’m dealing with.

This. Is. Everything.

Thank you for ruining the subtlety.

I almost left HOW after our match. X-World Champion can’t come to play? This was the best Lee has to offer? And enough with the “stop focusing on video games” approach. It’s the most contrived and boring bullshit take possible. Look at my physique. I strike the balance between gaming and wrestling pretty damn well if you ask me.

If that’s not enough proof I have 97 shades of Mario. I also have Mario. Mario Maurako.

I bet you one-on-one, in a fair fight, any of my Elders could handily defeat you. They move better, they’re more nimble. They’re movesets don’t consist of a clusterfuck of bullshit randomly thrown together strikes. You call yourself a brawler and yet have a five star frog splash in your arsenal. Oh don’t worry, I’ve seen your 6’6” 250+ pound frame do it. One day you’re gonna slip, crack your skull and bleed out to death.

Fingers crossed.

Your wrestling strategy might be the most embarrassing thing about you… worse than those cringeworthy tattoos riddled on your body. One of them reads: Death Before Dishonor.

A win is not just a win. An honest victory, like you’re fucking tattoo implies, is not a sneak attack throw over the top or taking apart elders three times your age.

Guess you die now LOL.

Everything you do is a hodgepodge mess of a joke by a former World Champion who thinks he’s super tough but in reality has no rhyme or reason for anything.

I play video games. I eat Cheetos. I masturbate to pictures of [REDACTED] because I am practically a virgin manchild who only recently moved outta mom’s basement.

And yet I command respect.

Had the company Jesus tell me I’m the future.

Beat the other prodigal son in Sutler Reynolds-Kael. Ran him outta the company, never to be heard from again. Goodbye forever SRK.

Cracked Cecilworth Farthington in the face. Made him contemplate the meaning of life.

Survived 16 bosses in a game of war.

Overtook 6 icons in a one night only BEST Tournament to crown my #redemption and finalize me as the Last Level Legend.

Oh and I’m a two time World Champion. With new friends who wanted me to join them.

All while you leeched yourself to GOD’s pole trying to find lost relevance. Doing his minion work. Call a match here, mop a floor there. GOD is Gru. You are yellow with one eye.

…And bring up Mike everywhere you go. Yet I’m the one who’s fixated on him.

That’s rich.

You try to be everything I’m not although you are absolutely everything a guy like me is supposed to be.

Translation: You’re looked down upon and typecasted as a dipshit.

Yes, you’ve done good things with your career. Dude, I know this. But it’s distant. From MY perspective here’s the list of Scott Stevens accomplishments since The Vintage arrived in High Octane:

        1. Throw Jace out of ring as REFEREE teehee.

And yet you act like something is owed to you.

You listed Referee of the Year as an actual accomplishment to be proud of? I’m supposed to take this bait? Buddy. C’mon. PUNK’d is too vintage. You and I both know this is nothing to be proud of. You’re trying to get under my skin.

September 5, 2020, tho ←gets under my skin.

On top of obsessing over my opponents, this is what else I do. I take something small to the average gamer and I BLOW IT UP big time. I believe the saying is making a mountain out of a molehill. Or an 8-4 Boss out of a 1-2 koopa troopa.

This September date, when I walked over you in seconds, is now all I consider. The worst in the career of Conor Fuse doesn’t mean shit at the moment. Numero uno with a bullet is 09/05/2020. And then when I beat you on Sunday, I’ll move on. September 5, 2020 will feel like October 2, 2017. Just another day. Totally forgotten.

It’s smart to focus on the present, forget about those failures. Good call there, Scott. I do the same. But I allow for the past to drive my motivation moving forward and I will bathe in this moment until our match is over. I’ll obsess about ‘The Scorpion’ so I can give you the L you clearly deserve. And then, and ONLY then, will I banish you to regular low-card television. If you work your way up, if you don’t quit shit for the next eight months, I will approach you on September 5, 2022, our two year anniversary. I will give you a hug. I’ll tell you “Scott, I respect you again”.

Then I’ll drop you with a belly-to-belly suplex.

But it will be worth it. You will have EARNED the right to face me, not backdoored into the opportunity.

And ya, I was down on myself for losing the title. You gonna bring up my past, Imma bring up yours.

Game hard, game often. Game only when you want? Like right now?

Straight up, go fuck yourself.

You tell me “game over”, I tell you “get bent”. That cliché gaming terminology is so overused… me, the video game guy of all people, barely says it.

I have a feeling you’ll regress after this. You’ll be back to diddling your joystick in no time while I obsess over villains who won’t waste my skills.

I’m gonna make sure of it.

… … … … …

Madison Square Garden
Gorilla
New York City, NY
January 23, 2022 – 21:10

I’m on in two minutes. In front of me are elders wearing medieval warrior gear. Momentarily, they will walk out, line the rampway and I, the High Octane Hero (HOH) will rise from underneath the stage to a roaring ovation. Or confusion. As I said earlier, I will address why the fans should still be cool with me. Either way, these seniors will lead the way.

“The girdle is hurting my hip!” Cries a man off to my right. I give my head a shake.

“Learn to deal with it, David. I’m not paying you to be comfortable.”

So we’re clear, I would not talk to my elders like this. These are people I hired. I merely walked into an old age home outside of NYC with money in my pocket and an opportunity for a road trip. I’m not gonna put Dearness residents in danger.

Does it make me bad, to pull the wool over these old people’s eyes? I realized I can simply replenish the Elders with substitutes. The position only has an age requirement and it’s rather easy to meet.

Hey, I paid them handsomely. I also was honest and said there’s the potential to be in harm’s way. It didn’t matter. The twelve of these greybeards were chomping at the bit to visit MSG.

“Excuse me, Arthur,” another geriatric pipes up in my direction. I believe his name is Ferdinand and for the tenth time I tell him I’m not Arthur Pleasant. “Do I have to wear this helmet!?”

“Yes,” I snap. “Don’t make me find someone else.”

I look at the production manager in gorilla. A minute until our cue. I’m not 100% sure Scott Stevens is gonna show up tonight but he should be lurking. He’s on a high, he “won” a match and, therefore, he has a World Title ticket. Come to think of it, he’d be insane NOT to appear.

Listen, I’ve spewed a lot of hate in his direction and I do loathe the man for what he did to me. But he has the potential… and the High Octane game is wide open right now. I need people to hate. I gotta sink my teeth into something.

“Good vibes, good vibes, baby,” I rub one of the elders’ shoulders for luck. It’s tricky to do since his armour is on. I smack him on the bum after. “We’re gonna kick this reign off with a bang.”

I’m given the signal of thirty seconds.

“Okay my adorable retirees, places!” I conduct as they form a line, six on each side. “March down the ramp, stand a few inches apart and when I walk through, put those weapons up!”

“No problem, Arthur!” Ferdinand says in an honourable cry.

“My first World Championship journey came with direction. I knew who my opponent was going to be. The ENDGAME was clear.” I walk to the back of gorilla, about to find my way underneath the ramp and to the lift installed for my elaborate entrance. “This campaign is different. It’s wide open. Anyone can pose a threat. Somebody will make their mark.”

We’re given the signal.

“Don’t forget, have fun out there!” And I vanish down the hidden staircase.

C’mon, Scott. Don’t let me down.

Show up this time.

… … … … …

Best Arena
Post-Refueled XXXVII
Post Conor Fuse def. Scott Stevens
Chicago, IL
September 5, 2020 – 22:26

Cross-legged I sit in the ring. Refueled is over, the Best Arena is empty. However, I’ve found my way back to ringside, resting in the exact same spot I pinned Stevens earlier tonight, moving my record to 3-0.

Look, nothing against my other two opponents but they were newcomers, as lost in the HOW World as I am. Here, I’m given Scott Stevens. A legitimate name, a prior World Champion and an athlete I have battled before.

A test of strength.

Link faces tests of strengths. In the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, he finds shrines to power-up his abilities, in health or stamina. Some of these shrines are specialized for battle.

A Minor Test of Strength
A Modest Test of Strength
A Major Test of Strength

I don’t know where Scott Stevens falls within these tests and I’m not exactly focused on the level of difficulty. Other than the fact he is, no doubt, some form of a measuring stick.

What I got instead, I have trouble finding the words.

Stevens theme plays. He enters the squared circle. Bell rings. Goes for the Toxic Sting immediately. I counter, beat him up and the match is over in a minute.

Thanks for coming out.

I can feel my pulse rise. My heart pounds as I rest on the canvas floor. How do I know where my strength is? “The Vintage” Conor Fuse can handle a loss. It tells me I need to train harder, get better. Clearly, I can be content with a win, too.

This was NOT a win. No way I’m this good.

I felt his lack of energy. No effort, no care. Nadda.

“Hey, you need me out?” I look over, seeing one of the crew guys present. He waves me off, as if telling me he’s only here to find something under the ring.

“Right,” I reply. “Best Arena, made for wrestling. No need to tear this thing down after every show, hahaha awesome.”

Man, I’m lonely. The crew guy doesn’t entertain much of me, either. He pulls back the apron, kneels down and looks underneath. I go back to twiddling my thumbs.

“Is this place hard or easy?” I find myself wondering out loud, in the hopes the man responds. “It’s tough to tell. I’ve been watching closely. I wanted to find a good game, ya know? One where the talent really pushes my limit and the difficulty bar can slide to impossible levels. I’m just a video gaming dude after all. My brother tells me I need an edge, haha. He’s always so angry, I’m cute and carefree. Mom wonders if High Octane is gonna eat me alive. She’s really worried.”

I turn my head, noticing the crew guy is upright, staring blankly in my direction.

“I dunno, maybe I win a few more and then lose forever. It would be cool to capture a title but ‘dream on, Conor’. That’ll never happen. My goal is to wrestle, let’s gooooo and see what transpires. Anyway, what’s your name?”

He looks like a deer in the headlights. In fairness, I gave him a lot to digest.

“Uh, Derek.”

I smile and clap my hands. “Oh cool hi, Derek. My name’s Conor. Nice to meet you.”

I see Derek is holding pliers in his hand.

“Guess you got what you came here for, haha.”

He awkwardly nods, turning towards the rampway.

“Hey, hey Derek, can I ask you a question?” I inquire. To be honest, I didn’t think he was gonna spin back around but he does, slowly.

“What’s up?” He replies.

I take a moment to collect my thoughts. Mom says I ramble a lot and need to get to the point. This takes significant brain power, mind you. It’s not easy. It means I have to stop, reflect and convey. Not something I’m used to.

“So Scott Stevens, he’s a previous champion and I beat him easily. Does this mean I can hang here?”

Derek shrugs his shoulders. The body language expert in me says he’s trying to find an answer but can’t provide it. “Sorry, buddy,” he starts. “I don’t watch a lot.”

Oh, okay then.

I don’t know what I did next. Perhaps the expression on my face conveyed a sense of sadness since Derek shows a human side and leans on the apron.

“Have you talked to Scott?” He inquires while I raise an eyebrow.

“You mean as in ask why I beat him so easily?” I reply. Derek gives me a nod. “Oh, no. Moot point. It’s meaningless as to why he didn’t care. I just wanna know where I stand. Am I ‘Max Kael’ good or ‘Conor Fuse’ bad? Lol, I use myself as an example there because I don’t really know who IS bad to begin with, if you get what I’m saying.”

I’ve confused Derek but he’s trying real hard. “I, uh, yeah. I get what you’re saying…”

There’s an awkward silence between us.

“Listen, kid,” he starts up again, “I wouldn’t worry if I were you. You’ll have more matches, you can judge for yourself when they happen.”

“Noted,” I say with a smile, “guess I expected too much from a friend. Well, not that he’s my ‘friend’ but I knew him from elsewhere. I thought he’s a badass dude. Ah, it is what it is.”

I say this and yet I feel my muscles tighten, my pulse, once again, quickens.

“It’s fine,” Derek reassures. “You’ve got drive, kid. It’s certainly going to help you.”

I thank him, we exchange a few more words and he wanders up the rampway.

Derek’s comments should’ve calmed me down. Instead, I am finding myself much more fired up than initially intended. I can’t shake this feeling I have been wronged. He’s absolutely right, a week or two from now I’ll be wrestling again and I can measure myself against another opponent. Big deal.

Although I still can’t relax.

“Whoa, deep breath, dude,” I remind myself out loud. “Let’s chill. We don’t need to lose our minds here.”

It’s too late. I’ve recognized for right or for wrong, this may live rent free in my head.

“I hope it doesn’t manifest into something bigger,” I say, rising from the canvas and staring into the bleachers. “I would hate to develop obsessive behaviours.”

No way they are good for me…

— — — — —

Dear Jace,

I am shifting my focus from Scott Stevens because I want to speak to you, my friend. What Scott did to you was spineless, yet not surprising. It’s a man who took the back door into the final castle, who warp whistled his way to the end without going through a level.

Nothing honourable. Seeking redemption this way is laughable.

You, however, are a prominent athlete. A man who is class and the real opponent I should wrestle. Nobility can exist between two men at the top of their game. And one day, our one-on-one match will happen.

I’m sorry this rightful spot was taken from you.

Now, with you on leave, I will wrestle in your name this Sunday. Consider it a salute to our friendship and the ultimate respect I have for JPD. Might even Weapon Get a couple of your moves as a tribute.

Your 2021 was solid. It will not be overlooked. I wear #97 with pride, knowing I represent talent like you and a guy who could collect this belt as easily as any other top tier challenger.

Refueled is for you, Jace. The rightful winner of the battle royal. Scott has awoken something inside of The Vintage. This OCD behaviour which could, in some people, be problematic, I have carefully honed to my advantage.

Sunday will be no different. I seek retribution for myself but most importantly, I find it for you, too.

You told me you’re a PlayStation guy. Come the World Championship contest… Play Has No Limits.

In the name of Jace Parker Davidson, I will avenge you.

Game hard, game often. JPD, game always.

Love,
Conor Fuse