Hey, lemme ask you something.
Have you ever seen me complain about a loss? Whine about how things weren’t fair? Make excuses for why I failed to make good on my promises?
No. Not when I failed in War Games, not when I failed to topple Mike Best…twice…in HOFC, not a single damn time I’ve taken an L. I own up to my mistakes, and I press on. I move forward. I adapt.
That’s more than I can say about Jace Parker Davidson, who seems to be making a habit these days of making excuses…whether it’s his business to or not.
Whine, whine, whine. Moan, moan, moan. Bitch, bitch, bitch.
We get it, Jace.
Whether it’s explaining why you couldn’t retain your Savage title, or why America and STRONK couldn’t get the job done against me and Hollywood last week, it’s all a bunch of hot air at the end of the day.
Brian Hollywood and I put in that work, and we suffered for it. My body is still recovering from the beatdown STRONK gave us last week. But you know something, it’s all worth it. We made it to the dance, and we have our best shoes on for the occasion.
Every bump, every bruise, every scar is a lesson learned…and I have a few lessons of my own to teach at Dead or Alive.
Especially to you, Jace ol’ buddy.
Talking mad shit about the path I’m on, but you won’t answer the call yourself. Typical. Even the World Champ himself sees the underlying issue here…people see me in my element and would much rather talk about anything else. Well, we’re here now Jace.
Let’s talk about us.
All that shit you wanna talk about how bad I am at this wrestling thing, and all I can think of is “man, he’s in for a rude awakening at Dead or Alive.”
I thought I could expect better from you, but I guess the moment you got STRONK on your side, you don’t see a reason to do a bit of heavy lifting yourself. After all, if you’re truly the King of Everything, you don’t need to lead by example, right?
“Hurr hurr, Xander and Brian are the definition of Fisher-Price, they can’t hang with us.”
Shut the fuck up, Jace. A plastic bat can hurt as bad as any other if you swing hard enough. I may not be up to your standards, but I will knock you the hell off your pedestal all the same.
I haven’t forgotten that you and Tyler Best got the better of me and my coach a little while back. Again, I don’t make excuses for losing, I move the hell on.
I focus on getting better. More dangerous.
You wanna see just how dangerous I can be, Jace? You wanna see how hard I can take a swing at you? You’re in luck, I’ve got a Fist of Eris with your damn name on it.
Knock you flat on your ass, where you belong.
And then, I can focus on the task at hand.
The rules and stipulations of this bar fight are hilarious to me, the more I think about it. Not only are we in a saloon duking it out, but to win the titles we have to find a damn crate and grab them. Ain’t that about a son of a bitch?
So now, I think I see how this favors you and the big man. Because now, you don’t even have to beat any of us for the titles…you just have to run fast enough.
And that suits you, doesn’t it Jace?
Why pin someone down for a three count, why make someone tap or knock them out, when you can just run away? It’d make for an easy night for you, wouldn’t it?
Out here talking about all the stuff you’re gonna have him do to me…and what are you gonna do, Jace? Take a swig of whisky, build up some courage, and let STRONK do all the beating up while you go searching around for the crate?
The hell you are, Jace.
Not with six other competitors all looking to keep The Board away from the tag titles. We’re all in it to win it, of course, but keeping you and the Beefmonger away from that glory will be a hell of a consolation prize regardless of who actually comes out of Tombstone with the belts.
Still, I’ve got my eyes on where they need to be.
I’m fixin’ to drop you flat on your face, help you remember what rock bottom actually looks like. Make you eat your words, once and for all. Then, while you’re struggling to recover, I’ll be off a-huntin’ for some championship gold.
And all that shit you had to say will bite you in the ass.
Let’s see what excuses you make for this mess, O mighty King.
Las Vegas, NV
On this warm summer’s evening in Sin City, we see Xander sweating profusely as he and his Eternal Circle crew walk toward the hotel. He was here on his own time and dime, aiming to confront the owner Jon Page about fighting one of their own. The intention was to drag one of them out to Tombstone for Dead or Alive, but Page refused to budge on having the first encounter of this nature be on their own turf. With his business concluded for the time being, Xander’s focus would need to be fully on the Tag Team Championship bout ahead of him.
With the big event just days away, Xander knew this hotel was a prime spot to take a rest before heading out to Tombstone to deal with The Board, the Besties, and the Highwaymen defending the championships…including his own coach, Joe Bergman. Keeping this all in mind, Xander steps through the doors and into the lobby, where he lets out a sigh of relief as the air conditioning hits him like a much-needed wave of comfort.
The twenty-something hours spent in the Erismobile (no seriously, that might be the name they’ve settled on at this point) traveling from the Barn to Vegas was absolute hell on the Head Disciple, but also gave him time to think in between bouts of fanning himself and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
He knows that the bar fight is not going to be easy, nor is he particularly excited for the prospect of teaming with Brian Hollywood, a man he was adamantly against, going so far as to challenge–and then defeat–the former World Champion inside the HOFC cage. But now, things are different…vastly different.
Xander knew that soon enough, he would need to touch base with the very man to figure out some semblance of a strategy. Some plan to get past the four three teams, search around and climb up where necessary, and retrieve the crate containing the almighty prize.
“Man, if only Darin Zion was involved in this match somehow.”
Xander muttered to himself with a chuckle, knowing full well his one-time partner would be tied up in going after the MVW Men’s Title. A shame, he figured, since their hatred of the man calling himself REAL LOVE (or TRUE LOVE, or whatever Zion chose to call himself these days) was one of the few things uniting the duo of Azula and Hollywood. Well, that and proving people wrong at Dead or Alive.
Any plans to meet up with his temporary tag team partner would have to wait, however. The long drive and struggle to stay cool has made Xander exhausted, to the point of struggling on his feet as the crew walks through the halls after picking up the key to their hotel room. And, once they arrive at the room and have opened the door, Xander makes a beeline for the bed, tossing his cell phone before crashing upon the bed himself. His final words before passing out?
“Wake me up when we need to drive out.”
Vagn gives his spiritual brother a nod of acknowledgment, but Xander is already fast asleep. Mere moments later, we can hear the buzz of his phone vibrating…but the crew pay no mind of it, even as the screen flashes the name of the caller.
With all these other hurdles in my way at Dead or Alive, it has not been lost on me just how tough the champs themselves will be.
Some will cast doubt about that, given that neither Steve Harrison nor Joe Bergman were the ones who won the belts in the first place…but frankly, I don’t care. Both men are tough hombres, they know what they’re doing. Harrison and I have had our battles, and Bergman, well…I’ll get to him in a minute.
It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it Harrison? I still remember the first time we faced off in High Octane Wrestling…and I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, either. And now look at you, a man looking to prove himself after losing the LSD Championship at War Games. Trying to scratch and claw his way back to a place of prominence, and what better way than to retain the tag titles at Dead or Alive, right?
You sure have a lot going against you, Steve-O…most of all, me. I sure as hell hope you aren’t trying to overlook me, buddy. I haven’t forgotten what I needed to do to take you down all that time ago, inside that HOFC cage…and here, all I need to do is knock you down a few pegs and keep you humble before taking my rightful place as the next tag champ.
And then there’s you, Joe Bergman.
I…I don’t really have a bad thing to say about you, when it really boils down to it. Funny how that works, huh? Everyone else seems to give you a lot of shit, but I’ve got too much respect for how you’ve helped me to go that route.
You, at least, see the potential in me. Out of everyone in this shitshow of a situation, you’re the one who knows what I’m capable of.
Unlike folks like Bobbinette Carey, who sure loves continuing to downplay my career here in High Octane Wrestling. I get it, Bobbi. Much like Jace, you see a year or so of tough losses that have piled up for ol’ Xander, and you see a weakling. Someone who’s too soft.
Miss me with that bullshit.
I don’t have time for your sarcastic, passive-aggressive comments on how you’re “happy” for me and Brian to get our spot, but…no, I won’t even finish that sentence. I don’t think you get to judge us for barely making it into this match, because we at least WON a match that got us considered for this little bar fight.
I swear, half the time I see you wandering around backstage looking for friends to align with. People that will back you up, maybe even carry the brunt of the work so you can take credit when you actually win. First I thought it was you and Mario Maurako, though I was clearly wrong on that one from the start…then it was Scottywood, and however strong that bond was over the years clearly wasn’t enough to keep you from being thrown off the USS Octane…and now it’s Conor Fuse, though at least in this case it’s for a noble cause.
Oh, and now you’re hanging around with Lexi Gold, on top of all that. No wonder there’s a running gag about you working on a War Games team regardless of what month it is. This kinda thing is why I mostly keep to my damn self around here.
What the hell have you done lately, Bobbi?
I sure don’t remember you and Conor winning a match to earn this spot. No, you just went around pestering Conor to join your cause because Scottywood’s too busy dealing with Stevens now. Just like it took Lee trying to put extra work on Harrison with an extra title defense just to get you within the vicinity of War Games this year.
I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down, by now.
I see you riding on the prestige you’ve obtained over the years, and it pisses me off. Hell, I’ll even say it…it makes me jealous. On the one hand, I won’t stand here and say you didn’t earn it…being a Hall of Famer ain’t easy, after all, and you’ve ascended to the top of the mountain before.
It’s just a shame to see what you’ve become now, is all.
Banking on all of that past success to get you into spots you don’t necessarily deserve now…which sounds about right for some of y’all around here.
Scott Stevens, Jace Parker Davidson, Bobbinette Carey…the whole lot of you have really gotten on my damn nerves, and I beat what little logic was left out of Stevens for his sins against me. I’ve got some beatings left to dish out, so at Dead or Alive I will open your eyes to the truth…that I can and will hang with the best of you.
And when Brian and I grab those titles and become not only retire the HOW Tag Team Championship but become the first-ever HOTv Tag Team Champions? We will fan the flames that reignite some real competition around here. Everyone will take notice, from the rest of the HOW roster to everyone across the High Octane Television network and beyond.
Xander Azula and Brian Hollywood, the real Dream Team of HOW…okay, we’ll workshop that after we win at Dead or Alive.
And when that’s all said and done?
I want a round of applause from all of y’all.
Even you, Coach.
You can be first in line to shake my damn hand and let me know how proud you are.
I think I’ve earned that much, at least.