Location: Chicago, Illinois: Stevens’ Apartment
May 2, 2020, 10:30 p.m. local time
As the screen comes into focus of Scott Stevens’ new apartment in the Downtown Chicago area courtesy of Mila Luxury apartments. The apartment building was complete in 2016 and has all the amenities of modernization throughout the building. Such as, designer gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliance package, gas range, garbage disposal, high gloss cabinetry, and quartz countertops. Full technology package in place with all units pre-wired with 100mbps fiber for cable and internet, and keyless entry system. Washer and Dryer in unit so no more trips to the Washateria. There is also individually controlled heating and cooling during those hot days and cool Windy City nights.
However, the gadgets just don’t make this place top of the line, but also the view makes it a wonderful place to live when you’re away from you family. There are floor-to-ceiling windows with impeccable views all around and if you’re lucky like I was you can get a balcony. Just in case Lee Best decides to fire you from the office you can step out onto the balcony and hear him clearly. This 879 square foot apartment with one bath and one bedroom has it all. It’s a little pricey at $2,750 a month, but with my HOW bonus coming soon it’s all good.
As we continue the visual tour of the apartment the sound of fighting and cheering gets our attention as we move toward the living room and we see a familiar face on the microphone.
Bryan McVay: And your winners by pinfall, AND STILL! HOW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! THE KING! OF WRESTLING! ANDY! MURRRRRRRRAAAAAAY! AND ORDINARY JOE! BEEEEEERRRRRRRG! MAAAAAAAAAAN!
“And Murr/Berg wins again.”
The southern drawl draws our attention from the eighty inch television to Scott Stevens sitting on a navy blue couch wearing cargo shorts and a 97 Red HOW t-shirt as he hits the face of his tablet a few times. Good thing about being benched and barred from the arena is that you don’t have to wear suits no more unless you have to be there. Stevens lets out a sigh as he finishes his stats update so far for the night and goes back to watching Refueled. The fire and passion that was so vibrate when he debuted in 2012 looks more like a flicker in his eyes than the towering inferno it used to be, but I guess all good things must come to an end some day.
As the Texan gets comfortable to watch the next segment we see Max Kael in full North Korean Military Officer Uniform adorned in ribbons and medals with one I’m sure as the Number One Rank Wrestler in HOW and another as Employee of the Month during his Safety Officer years in HOW. However, Stevens isn’t really paying attention to it because it involves a raffle, the LSD championship, and wrestlers who can get a shot at it which doesn’t include yours truly because I can’t compete until after War Games. Max reaches inside and pulls out a ball and reads the name he has chosen.
Max Kael: Looks like next week I’m facing.. SCOTT STEVE-oh wait.
The mention of his name lifts the Texan’s head towards the television with full focus as the Stevens listens.
Max Kael: Oh well! I guess I’ll win by default. How about you do your job, Stevens, and get that new tally mark up on my score card, thanks buddy!
The expression of the former world champion’s face says it all as he is seething from the remarks of the LSD champion.
Max Kael: Well that’s all the time we have for you this week. I’ll see you all again next week on the ROAD TO THE LSD RAFFLE! Good luck everybody!
Stevens says with anger in his tone and the grip on his tablet tightens.
“You know I can’t compete until July and yet you want to add fuel to the fire of my continued misery of the fucking joke of HOW.”
Stevens says before sighing and loosening his grip on his tablet.
“But that’s all I am now.”
Stevens says as he reaches over and takes a sip of his whiskey sour when he is suddenly startled by…..
Stevens says after he spills the drink all over himself and his tablet. Stevens places the glass of whiskey on the table in front of him and he heads to the kitchen to get some paper towels. As Stevens returns, now topless, he begins to clean up the liquid as best he can from the couch and the tablet. When he finished cleanup duty, Scott reaches forward and picks up his iPhone and sees he has a text message from Lee Best.
The message reads….
“Hey Dickhead, this isn’t a joke, but you’re competing at the next Refueled against Max for MY title. And Dickhead, one last thing……IT’S A POLE MATCH.”
As Stevens finishes reading the message the look of anger has escaped his face to shocked.
Stevens says as the shock as yet to wear off.
“I’m competing at Refueled for the LSD championship….on a pole.”
Stevens says to himself what he read in the message from the GOD of HOW.
“I need to start training quickly and knock out some of this rust.”
Stevens says with a nod.
“It’s a long shot, but maybe he will help me.”
Stevens says aloud as he goes into the contact list and goes to the “M” section and pulls up a name that reads, MIKE BEST. Stevens stares at the picture of Hall of Famer and is millimeters from pressing the dial button on the phone when he slowly places it back onto the table.
“He won’t help me. Why would he?”
Stevens says to himself as he figures out his next plan of action.
With what went down on Refueled and everything that has happened recently I believe this quote is more appropriate than ever.
“To be or not to be? That is the question.”
A soliloquy from Hamlet he speaks to the audience as he is questioning the value of life and asking himself whether it’s worthwhile hanging in there.
However, the better question that I should be asking is….
“To be or not to be the LSD Champion? That is the real question.”
I mean why risk it?
Why go out there and compete when I have no chance in winning?
It’s obvious that I’m not going to win so why bother risking injury or continued embarrassment that I’ll hear all over social media for months on end?
Because I may never get this opportunity again.
Sure, I mean I could get the opportunity like Kostoff.
Six years between World title opportunities, but sadly I am not Kostoff nor will I ever be as great as he is.
Secondly, I don’t know how much longer I will be actively competing in a HOW ring. There is no excuses for it because I’ve have sucked, plain and simple, since I have returned during this era of HOW, and it is by far the worst of my career. Even worse than my Lonesome Loser stint because at least during that funk I was still hungry and competing, but now, it just feels like the thrill is gone. Most people will think the first crack in the armor happened when I lost to Lindsay Troy during the World title tournament and that it escalated when I was banned from competing until after War Games, but that is the furthest from the truth.
The truth is things happened during that time when HOW ended in 2016 to the re-launch in 2019 that made me realize there are more important things in life than trying everything I can to win another World title or do whatever I can to try and earn a Hall of Fame nomination. I know these will never come because I’m not good enough to grace the Halls wings or have the prestige to hold the big red belt high above my head. Every opportunity in a HOW ring is a blessing because there have been many people that have come and gone, but it’s not as important as family.
Only a handful of people know what really happened between the three year layoff and one of them is Lee Best. He said he was cautious about restarting the company, but I was apprehensive about coming back to HOW as an active competitor because of what happened during the layoff. You see, during the layoff my wife, Lisa, and I got pregnant and we were awaiting the birth of our third child, but she had a miscarriage and almost died because of it. However, the good Lord, blessed us with another child a short while later and my wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
A short time later, Missouri Valley Wrestling came calling back after it’s hiatus and I gave her my blessing to focus on her wrestling career when it has usually taken a back seat to mine, but with no HOW I had no problem being the stay at home dad. However, when Lee called I was apprehensive about giving him and answer because I love High Octane Wrestling. It was my home and I don’t like disappointing Lee so I had to tell him I had to think about it. When I returned to HOW it wasn’t as a full time wrestler, but more of the role I am doing know. It just didn’t have an official title until now. The way the shows weren’t weekly allowed me to be home more, but as we slowly moved back towards the weekly format it seemed more and more that my in-ring performance was becoming work and it wasn’t as enjoyable as holding my newborn son in my arms or diving through the archives of HOTv to post facts and statistics about different things in HOW.
Since I’ve come back I have not felt excitement or enjoyment about competing. The only time I felt that was when I was driving metal spikes into the body of Scottywood and retiring his ass, and I also feel that way when I’m competing during War Games because the last goal I want to complete is winning the Big Boy War Games match. When I lost to Hollywood at March to Glory and couldn’t compete at War Games I took a long hard look at in the mirror and made the decision to retire.
That’s right Max, I called it quits after March to Glory.
I called your father and we had a heart to heart about my in-ring future in HOW, and it was about as you can expect with Lee Best, brutal honesty. I told him I just don’t think I have it in me anymore to compete actively compete at a high level and if I continued to compete I’m just fooling myself and just going through the motions which could potentially be dangerous for not just myself, but anyone in the ring with me and I didn’t want that on my conscious. I told him I was sorry for quitting on him, but I just didn’t have it in me anymore to compete in the ring even though my mind still wanted to capture all the glory and fame, but my heart just couldn’t do it anymore.
Lee understood my position and respected my decision, but like any good business man he countered with another offer. That counter proposal from GOD was that instead of fully retiring and becoming more than the Chief Information Officer that I am currently doing now is that I’m placed on the sidelines for a rainy day incase I’m needed. Kind of like the Lethal Lottery when the whole roster is available. Don’t be surprised Max I mean if Scottywood could avoid being retired you don’t think Lee would put me in the ring when he needed me for something? I mean he did it when I was suspended years ago and brought me back a few months before I was supposed to.
Our match for the LSD championship at Refueled seems to be one of those days.
You know there is a book you once gave me when you took me under your wing and helped me find my way and I would like to share a quote from it.
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”
That is from the Art of War by Sun Tzu and isn’t it appropriate for our current situation old friend? How does it feel for your brother to pick Cecilworth Farthington over you? No disrespect to the World champion, but haven’t you been World champion in this era as well? I no one thing Farthington hasn’t been and that is the Number One Ranked Wrestler in HOW, and to me that make you more valuable that Farthington. Mike chose the flavor of the week over old reliable. He wanted the shiny new toy instead of the one that he’s had since he was five.
In the mist of your father and brother jocking for position leading into War Games I gained the opportunity to face you one more time for the LSD championship and make myself eligible to compete at War Games since I would be the LSD champion. The point is you’re probably more confused now than after you were picked by Lee as he first pick to War Games because you probably thought you would get a victory by forfeit since I couldn’t compete, but that has been lifted for one night only.
“One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.”
That quote represents what I have become Max. I know how to conquer as I have done it before bet in this area I haven’t been able to do it. This Saturday, I’m going in as not an underdog, but almost as a certified loser on paper, but you know me better than that don’t you Max? Think back on the words of encouragement you gave me on the last show you were trying to motivate me in your weird and twisted way just like you motivated me to become the World champion those many years ago.
“Bravery without forethought causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull. Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.”
I’m not expected to win so if I lose that was the expected outcome, but if I win that is going to throw a monkey wrench in everything and I like fucking up plans. I mean how will that look for the Number One Ranked Wrestler in HOW and LSD champion to lose to the lowly Scott Stevens? It wouldn’t look good for you Max. It may be almost Max Stryker losing to Brian Hollywood bad after all that shit talk.
Just know this old friend, this may be my last rodeo and I’m going to seize this golden opportunity that has been presented before me and win, lose, or draw I’m coming to kick your ass.
See you Saturday.