Ghost in the Wind

Ghost in the Wind

Posted on February 9, 2023 at 3:55 pm by Joe Bergman

Missing Persons and The Horne Sounds
It’s Thursday night.   Following the final tough day of workouts and pre-preparation at the gym overseen by Dawn McGill, Joe Bergman relaxes in his favorite chair at his modest home in Plattin, Missouri after a shower and dinner.  No Victoria McGill.  Just Joe staring at the computer monitor perched in front of him on a portable TV stand.  The remote control to his big-screen television is adjacent to the silver Dell Latitude 3520 Laptop on the table with the mouse to the computer on the other side and his brand new HOTv title belt is draped across the couch next to the chair.  The belt- won unexpectedly Sunday night at Chaos 21 when Bergman defeated GREAT SCOTT and ended his HOTv title run- reflected the light from the lamp on a nearby end table.

Bergman has a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand that he drinks to mask some of the pain he still feels from Dan Ryan and Jatt Starr’s beatdown on Sunday night.  He pulls up a podcast with the other and clicks on it.

Jackson C. Horne’s voice: I’m sure you know the many times I’ve made my feelings known over the years about High Octane Wrestling and their outlaw bullshit wrestling. 

What’s playing on the computer? ‘The Horne Sounds’- a weekly pro wrestling podcast taped and then uploaded to the internet by legendary wrestling manager Jackson C. Horne.   As the description on the podcast site says: Jackson C. Horne is not only a legendary manager and wrestling entrepreneur but he is also one of wrestling’s most outspoken minds and mouths, hitting you with his blunt and uncensored takes on professional wrestling!

Joe hasn’t listened to the show in quite a while.  One, he and Horne had an ongoing hot-cold relationship that happened to be cold at the moment because, two, Bergman was friends with Horne’s ex-wife Dawn McGill.  Let’s just say the coldness had the intensity of an Alberta Clipper… a Siberian Express crossing the North Pole and plunging south leaving everything in its wake covered in ice and frigid cold.

This also could potentially describe the current state of his romantic relationship with Dawn’s oldest daughter Victoria McGill.  The euphoria he felt after stunning GREAT SCOTT and winning the HOTv title was dampened by… no, not Jatt Starr and Dan Ryan’s attack on him later that night… but by what happened on Tuesday at the Missouri Valley Wrestling show in Normal, Illinois.  Tori lost her #1 contender’s match against Shizuko Yamazaki which prevented her from getting a return match for the Women’s title she’d lost two weeks ago.

Going into the match, Tori was already hanging on the precipice of falling into a deep hole.  The loss… her third straight loss in big-girl matches… sent her down even further into a downward spiral.  Joe tried to call her after the show- no answer.  No return call.  No response.

Jackson C. Horne’s voice: I’m sure you know the many times I’ve made my feelings known over the years about High Octane Wrestling and their outlaw bullshit wrestling.  Wrestlers ‘dying’ and then making miraculous recoveries.  Lee Best getting shot in the face. Ashes in coffee cans.  Animals and Nickelback murdered in cold blood.  Wrestlers getting tampons shoved down their throat.  Wrestlers getting a microphone shoved into their mouth. Wrestlers getting set on fucking fire. A real fucking cow sucking off a real wrestler. 

Kyle West’s voice (groaning): Ohhhhh…

Horne: What?

West: Jackson, It’s taken me years to erase that visual out of my mind.

Horne: Well, it’s true. It’s the same old slice yourself up, hardcore, kind of horseshit that just drives me crazy and this business needs to get away from it.  I actually thought back in 2019 that HOW had turned the corner when they brought in real wrestlers like Dan Ryan, Eric Dane, and Lindsay Troy, among others but no… it’s fucking obvious that they haven’t.  

Taking a quick swig from the PBR and checking his phone for the hint of any message from Tori McGill, Bergman leans forward in his chair and listens.  He’s interested and invested in what Horne is saying tonight- especially when West asks him what he’s eating tonight… as if the question has to be asked… or as Horne noted on the podcast…

Horne: Does Great Bear shit in the woods?

West: I’m not privy to that type of information, Jackson.

Of course, Horne was enjoying his Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard from Dairy Queen.  Superman had his kryptonite.  Jackson C. Horne had his Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard… oh and ring rats on the road… but he prefers not to talk about that.  Former wife Dawn McGill found that out when they were married.  She was so mad she used the testicular claw on him at a house show in 2020, squeezing as hard as she could as if she was trying to pop a pimple while flipping off her soon-to-be ex-husband with her other hand.


West: Jackson?  Jackson? What’s happening?

Horne: No no.  It’s not that!

West: What then?


A deep sign is clearly heard.

West: Jackson, not again.


Joe hears the sound of someone banging his head on a counter can be heard.

Horne: AW, FUCK!! 

West: I keep telling you… don’t eat the blizzard too fast.


West: Are you going to be okay-


West: Maybe we should pause and take a quick break.

Horne takes a break leaving West to do an extended monologue about something in pro wrestling that pisses him off.  Joe peeks at his phone again.  Still nothing from Victoria.  He fights the urge to drive over to her St. Louis apartment or calling Dawn McGill to see if she’s heard anything from her.  In the end, he takes another drink of beer, kicks up his feet on the coffee table, gets in a more relaxed position in the chair, and listens…

Horne: So, the reason I brought up HOW is because something good actually happened there a couple of weeks ago. The Alabama Gang… Jenkins and Hendry… from Missouri Valley Wrestling… defeated noted tampon swallower Scott Stevens and quitter Jace Parker Davidson.

West: I understand the tampon reference to Scott Stevens because… well, who doesn’t…  but Jace Parker Davidson is a quitter?

Horne: Fuck yes. 

West: Why?

Horne: Because he intentionally quit on Scott Stevens at the end of their title defense at the PWA-01 show and left him for the Alabama Gang to double up on and get the pinfall. 

West: But it’s well known that JPD and Stevens have had issues… MAJOR… issues between them for quite some time. 

Horne: I don’t give a shit about that.  You don’t walk out like that in a title match!  Did Andy Murray walk out on Joe Bergman in 2020 when both men hated each other or did Joe Bergman walk out on Andy Murray?  No.  Why?  Because dammit, they were champions and personal feelings be damned they acted like champions.  JPD should have conducted himself like a champion and he didn’t.  Jace Parker Davidson QUIT on Scott Stevens while defending the HOTv Tag Team belts in a title defense.  That’s indefensible.  Jace Parker Davidson?  More like… Quit Quitter Quitterson.

West: Does what JPD did at the PWA show piss you off as much as Joe Bergman’s Halitosis gimmick once did?

Horne: We do not speak of that name here.

Bergman laughs out loud.  He knows Jackson C. Horne well enough to know there are two taboo subjects to bring up to him.  The first one was Halitosis- The Luchador with Insanely Bad Oral Hygiene- and Joe Bergman’s first wrestling gimmick.  Horne absolutely hated Halitosis and called the gimmick “the worst fucking gimmick ever in the history of professional wrestling.

He’s not wrong.

West: It could have been worse.  I could have brought up your ex-wife Dawn McGill.

Bergman slaps his forehead with his hand.  That was taboo topic number two- the ex-wife.  But Horne skips past West’s remark, clearly made by the co-host in a bid to instigate and set him off into one of his righteously epic rants, and gets to what he really wants to talk about.

Horne: …I do want to talk about the Alabama Gang for a minute. Kyle, it’s refreshing to see a tag team that’s actually a team… a unit.  Jenkins and Hendry are a unit, working together with a purpose.  Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens were not a unit.  They weren’t working together with a purpose.  They were two people thrown together by Lee Best with the express purpose of getting the belts off the Highwaymen.  Talent-wise, Jenkins and Hendry aren’t even close to being on Davidson’s and Stevens’s level.  But they work as a team.  If you think you can just ring the bell and ring up an automatic win?  Look at how Davidson and Stevens imploded at the PWA show.  Jenkins and Hendry worked together as a well-oiled machine and they won.  Good for them.

Joe nods in agreement.  Jackson C. Horne was not wrong there.

West: Speaking of Joe Bergman… congratulations are in order to Joe on knocking off the big guy GREAT SCOTT Sunday night.  Big upset.  No one was expecting that.

Horne: Look, I’ve always maintained that Joe Bergman didn’t need that ridiculous gimmick he did in 2019 that we do not speak of on this show.  Bergman’s a good enough technical wrestler and capable of raising his game when needed or inspired to.  Hell, he all but singlehandedly kept dragging the Highwaymen across the finish line to win the tag belts and didn’t need to resort to outlaw, mud show, bullshit gimmicks to do it.  So congratulation to Joe.  Good job.  And good on him for the way he’s gotten under Lee Best’s skin.  I am enjoying that.

Yeah.  Joe definitely enjoyed sticking it right back at Lee, too.  He knows Lee deliberately fed him to GREAT SCOTT with the thought that the big guy would grind him down into dust and revels in the fact that he overcame the obstacles once again to pull off the unlikely win.

Winning the HOTv title? The icing on the cake.

Horne then reads down the list of Bergman’s possible opponents aka… the wrestlers entered in this Saturday’s Lethal Lottery.

Horne: Um… let’s see.  Scott Stevens is in the lottery.  Now, I think Stevens is getting a little long in the tooth in his wrestling career at 45.  But after he got totally screwed over by Jace Parker Davidson, that will make him still a viable very dangerous opponent if his name comes up. 

West: He just won MVW’s Heartland title for the third time.

Horne: Yeah… but again… the average level of talent in MVW is not the same as HOW.  That’s why Stevens continues to do well there. 

West: Brian Hollywood. 

Horne: You know, I feel bad for Brian.  He won the World title twice in 2016 before HOW shut down.  But, it just hasn’t happened for Hollywood in the Refueled/Chaos era since he lost in the World Title tournament back in 2019.  But I’ll give him this.  He keeps grinding.  He keeps coming back.  That means something.  His high point in HOW since they returned is winning the HOTv title for a hot second. 

West: Darin Zion.

Horne: Oh my God.

West: What is Zion doing now?

Horne: Well Kyle, Darin Zion has hopped onto the Love Convoy…

Joe leans forward when Horne makes a sound… a mock-gagging sound and pretends to throw up on the podcast.

Horne: …with this Jonathan-Christopher Hall and his hideously insane wife Vickie and… well… Zion just got his ass kicked the other night on PRIME by Adam Ellis’s wife Ginny Van Lear. She’s apparently a little pistol.

West: What happened?

Horne: Zion tried to interfere in Ellis’s match against Jonathan Christopher-Hall…

Again, he makes a gagging sound.  Joe notes that Horne clearly does not care for the Love Convoy.

Horne: …and Van Lear pulled him off the apron and kicked the shit out of him. That being said, Zion has gotten some results of late in HOW.  I think Zion would be dangerous if he’d stop with the Love Convoy nonsense.  There’s probably still a good wrestler somewhere in there if Zion would just focus on the wrestling and not the silly stuff.

West: Dan Ryan?

Horne: Holy shit. He’s back?

West: He’s back.

Horne:  Well, fuck.  If he draws the match with Bergman then I would make him the immediate favorite even though I would pay money to see Ryan forced to tag with Scott Stevens.  But, damn, if Dan Ryan is back… holy shit.  That fucker will kill you. 

West: Well, this is HOW…

Horne: Yeah, true.  You know what they say.

West: Um… what?

Horne: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… except for Dan Ryan… Dan Ryan will fucking kill you.

Bergman actually chuckles at that one.

Horne: Joe Bergman has not had good luck with Dan Ryan.  Ryan beat him in a pretty close match the week before he won the World Title for the second time.  This led to Bergman’s infamous match against Ryan and Cecilworth Farthington at Rumble at the Rock where Bergman got obliterated by both Ryan and CMF in an infirmary match.  I thnk Joe would be in trouble if Dan Ryan drew his number.

West: Okay then… Jatt Starr?

Horne: Jatt’s an interesting one.  He’s aligned himself with Lee Best… why… I don’t know.  But whatever.  Jatt and Bergman have been going at each other.  Jatt quick-counted Bergman and Solex out of the HOTv Tag belts at ICONIC and then Joe got back at him a couple weeks ago when he distracted Starr during his match against Clay Byrd and cost him a World title match against Christopher America.  If it’s Jatt v Bergman, watch out.  That’s a match I want to watch.

West: Xander Azula.

Horne: Xander needs to kidnap Sunny O’Callahan and threaten to sacrifice her to Ra or whatever-

West: Eris.

Horne: Whatever.  Xander’s a nice MMA fighter.  Wrestler?  Well… yeah… as a wrestler he’s a world-class MMA fighter. 

West: And some guy named Aceldama.

Horne: Don’t know much about Aceldama.  He’s a recent return to HOW.  He was a big deal back in the day.  He beat Scott Stevens in his return match.  We’ll see how much he has left in the tank-

Another check of his phone.  Still nothing from Tori McGill.  Was Joe concerned?

A little.

Joe turns off the podcast.  He dials Tori up for the umpteenth time.


Bergman pulls up another number on his phone and selects it.

He waits… and waits… until… he hears a female voice answer.

Joe Bergman: Dawn?  Joe Bergman here.  Hey, you got a few minutes to talk?


Ladies and Gentlemen… it’s Sunny O’Callahan
Hey everyone.  Sunny O’Callahan here.  I asked Joe if I could say a few things here and he is graciously allowing me to use this time to get a few things off my chest- which by the way, Jatt Starr will never see.  First off, that perv Jatt Starr said about me something to the effect that he’ll deliver me to Lee Best on a leash and all fours?  And you’ll find a way where I’ll consent to being Lee Best’s slave without kidnapping me?

What the hell, Jatt?

I mean, dude.  Not only was it totally unnecessary for you to reveal your choice of sexual fetishes to me… I’m sure the rest of the world feels it was totally unnecessary to reveal your sadomasochistic, dominating fantasies to them either.


I mean, this is so ironic coming from someone who has willingly subjugated himself by his own consent to Lee Best.  Isn’t Lee the one who’s holding your leash now, Jatt?  Isn’t Lee your dominatrix now and you’re just the submissive on all fours?  It sure feels like that.  I mean, you sure seem to be going out of your way… sure seem set to please him in any way possible, am I right, huh?

I mean… dude.  I’ve done some really bad things… real scummy things in the past that I’ve had to pay the price for.  Things, I’m not proud of.  Things that really should have me in jail- like attempted vehicular homicide for instance.  But at least I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes.  At least I’ve tried to grow up and mellow out and mature.

You, on the other hand, seem to be headed in the other direction… as in middle age crazy, creepy, pervy old guy direction.  Just… just…


Joe Bergman is a better person and he’s just a better wrestler than you and that pisses you off, doesn’t it?  That’s the real issue here, Jatt.  You’re jealous.

Joe Bergman is the now.  You are fading into the sunset.

Joe Bergman defeated GREAT SCOTT.  You’re struggling just to stay relevant.

Joe Bergman gave me a chance to redeem myself and prove I belong in the wrestling industry.  You’ve willingly subjugated yourself to Lee Best in some last-ditch desperate act to stay in the spotlight.

Oh, and you think you’re going to break Joe by making me Lee Best’s bitch on a leash?  Ain’t going to work dude.  My relationship with Joe is strictly business. You take me out and he’ll just bring back Dawn McGill.  And I’m pretty sure she can kick your ass.

So… fuck you, Jatt.  And if you really feel the need to display your sick, sexual fetishes for everyone to see, go on another ‘lost’ weekend with John Sektor.

Then there’s Dan Ryan.

Damn, that hurt, Dan.  You sure knocked me for a loop at Chaos 20.  I really wasn’t looking to take last week off but that’s okay.  I’ve learned a lot from the school of hard knocks over the past couple of years and to be honest, I’ve taken worse shots and been in worse situations.  If the question is would I rather go back to jail or take a Burning Hammer by Dan Ryan on the stage- I’ll choose the Burning Hammer on the stage every time.

I came back and helped HOTv Tag Team Champions The Alabama Gang defeat the Stevens Dynasty on Tuesday night to become the MVW Tag Team champions and I’ll be there on Saturday to back the new HOTv champion Joe Bergman.  Congratulations Dan.  You got over Joe by sneaking up on him from behind.  You’ve got your two free shots in.  And Joe’s still standing.  And Joe’s coming back and not backing down to you, Lee, or anyone.

Unlike two years ago when Joe wrestled as Halitosis, Joe’s a much different wrestler now.  He may still be a good guy and he’s always going to represent Section 214 and stand up for the people, but he’s not going to be a pushover to anyone anymore.  He’s not going to be the welcome mat for anyone to wipe their shoes off on.  In a match, you don’t get to surprise him from behind.  You’ll actually have to wrestle him and you’re going to find out the same thing GREAT SCOTT found out last weekend. Doesn’t matter how stronger you are.  Doesn’t matter how bigger you are.  Doesn’t matter how much meaner you are.  If Joe gets you in the Dragon Sleeper, it’s lights out. He’s going to put you to sleep because… oxygen matters… and without air, you go to sleep.

What none of you don’t seem to understand is Joe Bergman knows all about the pitfalls of being in a Lethal Lottery.  He thrived in the Lethal Lottery over two years ago when his name was pulled along with Andy Murray and they defeated 24K to win the tag team title.  He understands that he has to be ready for everyone… Jatt Starr… Dan Ryan… Darin Zion… Scott Stevens… Aceldama… Brian Hollywood… Xander Azula.  He knows that he can’t let his guard down for one moment like Mikey Unlikely and Jesse Kendrix did in May 2020 and find himself on the losing end at the Lethal Lottery.

Yeah Jatt, you and Dan Ryan may have tried to ‘tenderize’ Joe and break his body but you’ll never break his spirit, his will, and his determination.

Joe knows what he needs to do Saturday night at the Lethal Lottery.  And I’ll be there in his corner and I’ll make sure I do everything I can to see he leaves Cleveland still the HOTv champion.

Last week, Joe asked the rhetorical question ‘wouldn’t it be great if Joe Bergman relieved GREAT SCOTT of the title belt and turned the tables on Lee?  Wouldn’t that just piss him off?’

Wouldn’t it be even better if Joe Bergman successfully retained the HOTv title at Chaos 21?  Wouldn’t that just piss Lee off even more?

Yeah, I think so.


It’s Friday morning just outside Bergman’s Barn.

Folling the completion of another week of intense training under Dawn McGill’s watchful eyes, Joe once again is throwing his gear into the back of his truck.  His flight to Cleveland leaves in about four hours.  St. Louis traffic is always tricky at any point of the day and he wants to get to the St. Louis Lambert International Airport a little early so he’s not rushing through security or to get back to his gate.

Joe tosses the last bag into the bed of the truck and turns.  He half-hoped that Tori McGill would be standing there, bags packed, and ready to go with him to Cleveland.

But alas, no.

His phone call to Dawn McGill the night before yielded no results. No one’s heard from Tori in three days now.  It’s worrysome but Dawn pointed out that this isn’t the first time she’s this.

All Joe knows is there’s nothing he can do about it right now.  He has a plane to catch.

He jumps into his truck… fires up the engine… and heads for town.