Wednesday, the Seventeenth of May, Twenty-Twenty
Ten Minutes Past Three P.M.
As we know, there is no California anymore. Well at least for the time being. Perfection is grounded from visiting. The same with the jet, grounded as well until situations are cleared up and fixed with regard to James’ tax issues. That leaves him stuck in Chicago, trapped in a 24K stay over. Not the worst of situations to have but certainly not where Perfection would like to spend the next few months dug in.
It’s been over a month since we’ve had the pleasure of Witherhold in one of these settings where he is just talking to the camera and the fans of High Octane otherwise known as Ungratefuls. He’s been quiet as of late especially following the losses which have slowly begun eating away at him. For a pompous and smug man there are only certain things that truly get under James skin and one of them is losing. Especially back to back.
Perfection for this occasion sits outside. There’s no in ground pool at the Winnetka house to fuck around in floaty. Just a nicely done backyard with a patio area and a bonfire pit that’s unlit. James is sitting in a black patio chair wearing one of his prized grey suits with no tie, white dress shirt. Must be a serious occasion to bust the suit out for a promo.
We can see his lips part to begin but that’s cut short as he looks down to rethink the opening. A small sip from the whiskey glass while both hands cup around it and he makes eye contact with the camera. With no shortage of liquor within the 24K mansion on the coast of Lake Michigan Witherhold looks poised to start speaking.
“When’s the last time we did this? Over a month? I think it’s been far too long since I’ve spoken to the gracious fans of High Octane. So now is our time, Ungratefuls. A time where I just sit around and shoot the shit with you useless fucks and chat about life, the good times, the bad, the whatever. This you truly enjoy. Right, Ungratefuls?”
A solemn smile by James which is rare and appreciated.
“Honestly, I can’t recall when we did this last. I’m pretty sure it was right around the Lethal Lottery that I decided to give you my undivided attention. One would say this is probably the best time to do it, right before War Games. Right before the biggest bang of them all. Oh and it’s a bang, Ungratefuls. Who would have thought that ‘Yours Truly’ would be in a match where not one, not two, but three belts are on the line.”
Raising his right hand he gives is the number three before putting it back down with a light shug.
“Shoot, I wouldn’t have. What are we? Six months into my venture and I’ve had now a total of three title shots? One I won, one I lost, and one is still pending. If that’s not a sign that I belong near the top, I don’t know what is?”
James looks a bit confused.
“Some are saying, I’m being… Ungrateful… about my selection.”
James puts his hand over his mouth. Faux shock. Before dropping it revealing a cocky smile.
“They are saying that I should be more appreciative of this opportunity! That I should be jumping up and down with joy and screaming at the top of my lungs- ‘THANK YOU LEE BEST!’. Or at least that’s what’s expected from the mouth breathers and suckholes around this fucking company.”
Putting his hand up, James has a look of zero fucks to give. He’s all out of fucks.
“Plain and simple, fuck you, Lee.”
Only one finger is needed for that indication.
“That’s right, Ungratefuls, fuck Lee Best. I say that with every bit and fiber of my being. Let’s not pretend that Lee has been happy with ‘Yours Truly’ being in this company or treated him fairly.”
Wave of the hand to wash that bullshit logic right out of this conversation.
Single finger, index this time.
“In fact I hear that he’s called me a ‘headache’. Can you believe that? ‘Yours Truly’ considered a headache? That’s asinine and pure fiction. That rumor hurts me deep. A headache?… pssh. But- you want proof he hasn’t been happy with me? I got the crème de la crème, Ungratefuls. Strap-down and get ready for this undisputed evidence. Every fucking person in this goddamn match had a giant announcement associated with their selection. It’s true. Max, Andy, hell, Mike made a spectacle of each of his selections.”
He taps his finger to the words against the whiskey glass.
“Every. Single. One.”
Quick glance to the floor and then back up to the camera.
“Even that useless do nothing cunt M.J. Flair got a high end announcement.”
Shaking his head we can see the agitation is beginning to surface in Perfection’s face.
One hand flick towards the camera like it truly doesn’t matter.
“He hands it off this fucking webmaster to do. Are you fucking kidding me?! His team, the team that’s meant to represent the boss of the company… and I’m just tossed to a webmaster?”
A light laugh exits from Perfection.
“And what? You expect me to work hard for you, Lee? Hmm? To go out of my way for you? To answer your fucking phone calls on command?”
Perfection gives a look of ‘yeah fucking right’ while shaking his head with a hard ‘no’.
“I need someone in the front office to wake up and pay the fuck attention to what is right in front of them. Four of the hottest talents on this earth, four of the biggest names to step in a ring are in your house, maybe someone uptop should begin acting like it! Seriously, do you think it’s proper what you do to me, Lee? I’ve brought you in more revenue than your dopey fucking brain can count to and that’s the treatment you bestow upon Perfection?”
James eyebrow raises. It’s a genuine question or so he gives off as it is. In actuality it’s just Perfection spouting off from the mouth.
“You could have hit me up. I would have taking you out for a delicious, very manly, steak dinner and we could have flushed out ideas like having gold mother fucking confetti fall from the Allstate rafters. You could have even had a ‘Perfection Selection’ parade. Who the fuck knows, but what I do know is we could have done the works. I would have even split the expenses fifty-fifty with you just to make an entire spectacle of the evening.”
With every bit of snark, assholism, and loss of interest James just shrugs his shoulders.
“Nah! Let’s not do that. No, let’s not put the spotlight EXACTLY WHERE IT BELONGS! NO! Let’s instead be a lazy fucking cunt and not promote the biggest match of the year and probably the biggest selection of the entire War Games team- ‘YOURS TRULY’! No, let’s just sit idly on our hands and do jack shit.”
Taking a small sip Perfection enjoys a second to maul it all over before pointing right at the camera.
“That’s aggravating, Ungratefuls. The level of disrespect the front office shows ‘Yours Truly’ is unacceptable. The level of just complete and utter dysfunction that is High Octane is mind boggling as well. Seriously, I wish I could share with all of you the emails from management with heads so far up their asses they have zero goddamn vision.”
Lift of the hand to form a perfect zero.
Witherhold now gives us that smirk we’ve missed on air the last almost five weeks or more.
“But… you all aren’t worth a Non-Disclosure Agreement lawsuit over, Ungratefuls. Let’s be honest with each other, you losers even see it. This front office is snubbing the man who can bring a semblance of order around these parts- that man being me of course. Let me ask you this, Ungratefuls, why did those fucking morons Mario and Lee spend all their energy pushing Joe Bergman and…. what the hell was the other guy’s name?”
Mockingly he taps his chin. James damn well knows the name is Steve Solex but why waste oxygen in even saying it.
“That’s right, you can’t even remember his partner’s name, can you? All you know about Joe Bergman is that he’s the guy Andy Murray is carrying on his shoulders- well, he was carrying on his shoulders.”
A wink to the camera.
“I think we all know the Bruvs are walking out with the High Octane Tag Team titles at War Games.”
A return of the glass to the unchapped lips of Perfection.
“I’m not going to do your homework, Ungratefuls, but think of all that money and time wasted. All that promotion and putting that shit all over the website, commercials, meet and greets just for nobody to show up and even having to resort to using paid idiots in Section 214. Imagine paying people and they still don’t give a rats ass about Joe Bergman. That’s pretty goddamn rough if you ask me.”
James just made that entire shit up. There aren’t paid shills, the fans don’t know it though. So, who cares?
“These clowns act like no one can jump on Google and search Craigslist to be a paid shill. I mean it, if you’re strapped for cash just do a few searches on a Friday for ‘paid actors’, Ungratefuls. It may be enough of a payday to get you some 24k memorabilia.”
Merchandise, selling shit, that puts a damn pearly smile on Perfection’s face.
“Reminder- do you still not remember who that loser Bergman tagged with was?”
Perfection bites his bottom lip a bit waiting for a response he knows will never come.
“Oh, oh that’s right we all forgot because it was a terrible idea. ‘Dad Tag’ died faster than disco. Instead of going all in on 24K they tried to diversify their stock. Bad mistake. Then Mario tries to shove Bergman down Andy’s throat. Mario, Ungratefuls– some has-been that no one gives a fuck about barking orders and sitting in the back playing with his dick. Talking about how things were and some ‘boy-golly I’m going to develop you into the best’ bullshit to boot. When? Where? And who? This guy thinks he’s creating and developing the tag team division.”
With as much sarcasm he can throw in, Perfection waves to the camera as though he’s trying to get the attention of someone.
“Hello?! Earth to dopey fucking Mario!”
Leave it to James to purposely and intentionally get under the skin of management. Money can’t buy workplace smarts.
“24K IS THE TAG TEAM DIVISION!”
It’s actually surprising Withhold’s neighbors put up with his yelling and shouting.
“The Bruvs did your job for you before you were hired. Maybe go back and see when 24K debuted. Boom. Job complete. You can go home now and you’re welcome for a job well done by the way, you fuck. You can send a thank you card right up to our suite if you’d like to show some sort of appreciation for what we’ve done around this place. In fact, Mario…”
James reaches down and comes up with a gold jacketed Blu Ray disk cover that says “24K – The Arrival” on the front with a picture of all four men.
“I have a copy right here for you, bud, to commemorate the day we did your job. It even comes with commentary, backstage video, a photo booklet of 24K, and that’s all exclusive on this collectors edition! Normally a price of $49.99 yours free because I like to educate people. Of course you can always get your personal copy on the 24K shop as always, Ungratefuls. Limited supplies and shipping only valid in the contiguous United States.”
James tosses the Blu Ray to the floor. Enough shilling.
“In fact, all of you should be sending us thank you cards every week we appear on TV, that includes you fucks in the back. This entire company sells out week after week because of 24K. That’s a FACT. If you want to talk metrics we can, if you want to talk goddamn data we can, because the minute our faces were planted on High Octane screens viewership skyrocketed. The minute 24K won those tag team championships merchandise revenue numbers beat the best two years of sales numbers combined!”
Rubbing his left thumb, right index, and middle finger together he gives us the universal sign of cash money.
“We are making this company money never before seen before, we are putting money into their fucking pockets to clothe their families. You think I like knowing that my hard work is contributing to putting food in their dopey kids mouths? No! I don’t, Ungratefuls. I’d take more joy seeing that stupid brat on one of those ‘for a dollar a day’ commercials. It is what it is, I can’t help that we put asses in seats at rates never accomplished in this company until we set foot here!”
His hand raises up and points straight at the camera. All five fingers at once.
“And what do we get for it? Honestly, answer that question: what have 24K received in kind for the hard damn work we’ve put in?”
James leans forward. That for once was a serious and honest question he wants answers on.
“Andy has to pull a double shift at War Games? The Bruvs are stuck again fighting one of their own? Who are the booking Gods round here? Mario and Scott Stevens? Because that would explain a hell of a lot actually. And I’m meant to do what? Thank Lee Best for another chance at a title? Please. Do you know why I want to actually win this match at War Games?”
He gives it a few allowing the audience to formulate an answer.
“So I can rub that fucking belt in Lee Best’s goddamn face! So I can march in on Mario jerking around with his little pecker and lay down the law around this joint! I respect the hell out of Cecil but he doesn’t command respect! I not only command it, I fucking expect it! That’s what that belt signifies to me, not only that I’m the best in the goddamn company but I’m the goddamn man to respect around here!”
Perfection looks up to the sky for a brief moment.
“But maybe that won’t happen. Maybe I just walk out with no title whatsoever. Does that change who I am as a person? Nope. Does it change how Lee’s relationship and mine is at this point in time or going forward? Nope.”
And Witherhold looks like he could care either way the direction it goes.
There it is! Hand up and the wait.
“If I win… oh… if… I… win. If I walk out with the top prize. If I walk out as the High Octane World Champion.”
He can’t control the smile creeping from the side.
James stands up. The camera follows with him as he points right at the camera.
“Then I’ll show you what a fucking headache is.”