Hot Dogs and Handshakes

Hot Dogs and Handshakes

Posted on March 10, 2021 at 11:18 pm by Darin Zion

War Games 2016

June 14th, 2016


Broken and battered after a hard fought War Games where I came up short in winning the endeavor; I stumbled back into the locker room holding up a prize I never planned on holding in my entire career:  the HOW LSD Championship.


While I craved more than anything to hold the HOW World Championship; pinning Electra and securing my first LSD Championship reign meant a lot to me.  It was Lee Best’s pride and joy…LITERALLY.  It held his namesake:  Lee’s Special Division.  51 other superstars used this belt to craft their own legacy out of holding this championship belt.  I sat watching how Max Kael transformed this division into the Literally Safest Division in HOW.    I knew Scottywood poured his blood and sweat into make the championship into what it meant today.


But I stood hobbling down the halls of the arena that night with nothing in mind.  My mind kept firing off blanks as to how I wanted to mold this championship into my legacy.  While adrenaline flowed through my veins after a hard-fought battle and blood still dried to my face, I slowly sauntered along the hallways just awestruck that I had my chance to build my legacy.  As I passed multiple producers and crew members; everyone shook my hand like I had cemented my career while I didn’t feel that way.


With the smug, confident smile I once had, I hobbled over to Brian Bare’s desk and plopped right down.  While thoroughly incompetent at his job, Bare usually had the inside scoop of what Lee’s plans moving forward.  As I collapsed in the office chair next to him; he didn’t smile his innocent smile.  His eyes were lit up with concern.  I released the harness on my belt and dropped it on the desk, letting out a sigh of relief before asking Brian about my first defense:


“Brian, who’s Lee got on the slate for me?  I know he’s not going to let this loud-mouthed dipshit hold his baby.  This belt is the epitome of his legacy in this business.  It screams all the fuckery and chaos he craves.  There ain’t no way in hell Lee wants me holding his belt for a long-extended reign.  Tell me who he’s got on my plate.  I need to spin the old wheels.  I want to come up with something creative for this belt.  I need to pave a direction for this division moving forward.  What’s Lee got in his bag of tricks?”


Silence!  He ignored me staring down at the clipboard in front of him, scratching notes down.    I tried waving my hand in front of his face, but he continued crunching what appeared to me numbers in front of him.    Impulsively, I continue badgering him.


“Brian?!  HELLO!  Anyone home in that vacant head of yours, buddy?  Spit it out!  Any words!  I know you’re not the creative team around here, but Lee schedules your interviews.  You HAVE to know what the general idea of what Lee’s got planned.  You damn well know I want to throw a wrench into his fucking plans.  He’s poisoned my best friend’s mind.  He’s rallying up the Best Alliance.  I’ve been on fire and I’m the only foil in his fucking plans.  You damn well know I’m not going to sit here quietly.”


Brian begins to mutter beneath his breath almost pulling his hair out.  He’s lost in whatever problem he’s got.   He strokes his chin, gears turning in his head.  His hands slowly shake as he’s lost in his own mind.  Slowly, I move close to his ear and shout:





“AHHHHHH!” He screams out almost leaping from his chair before scowling at me.  I glare him straight in the eyes as he tries to speak as I tighten my fist, readying it to cram down his damn throat.


“I asked you a question.  I expect an answer.  Don’t give me that damn look.  Give me the next card I am on.  You damn well know I need it to cut a great promo.  Hand me over the damn notes now.  Don’t make me ask again.”


Brian shakes his head and slides the second clip board before scoffing it off.  “You didn’t hear or see this from me.  I know you take a lot of pride in pouring your heart into the company that signs your pay checks.  But you need to know.  Don’t go sharing this with anyone else.”


Yanking the clipboard up, I study it noticing only two more dates on the calendar with the word announcement on it.  I see the LSD ICON Ladder Match and the All or Nothing Singles Match with nothing moving forward.  My face turns beet red and I stare off into the distance.  I couldn’t find the words to describe it, but I could feel my heart proverbially sinking into my stomach.  Everything around me blurred out.  I wiped the sweat from off my brow before mustering the question I asked him.


“You shitting me?  You shitting me?”


He shook his head with a somber look across his face as I slowly wiped my hands across my face in shock.


“This means I don’t get a chance to pave my own legacy with this belt.  I have to focus on 15 different feelings while Lee shuts the lights off?”


Bare pulled me in and whispered so no one else could hear the conversation: “Afraid so, Darin.  I haven’t seen Lee like this.  He’s realizing his mortality.  I can tell he’s burnt out.  Usually I have the next three months mapped out for interviews.  Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to keep the lights on in my home. “


I could only expel the one adjective I use to describe every situation accurately in my head:




Yet again, another toy yanked from my clutches.  Another chance I could take the ball and run it into the end zone to make the touchdown.  Lee gets the last laugh on me again.  It’s another time I get the carpet yanked out from under my feet losing all momentum.  I slam the belt down on the ground and just scowl, slowly beating the table causing everyone’s eyes to shift in my direction.  I reach and pull the LSD Championship off the ground realizing my reign only had one month left.  I couldn’t focus on giving this championship new life.  I couldn’t treat it like a first-place trophy.  It was merely another prop the Best Alliance wanted to wrap its pesky hands on and squeeze the life out of it to make it an afterthought.  As I left the arena that night and headed back to my hotel; I clung tight to that belt realizing I may never get the chance to put the spotlight on a division I truly loved.




The Best Arena

February 27th, 2021




Meredith immediately stands in my way, pushing me back into my locker room and slams the door shut after I’ve grown restless in the locker room.  While the thought of my match with Teddy Palmer loomed within my head, I couldn’t take my mind off the LSD Championship.  Thoughts of it plagued me at night since prior to ICONIC.  I couldn’t sleep at night after I saw the epitome of ass kissers fighting over that championship.  It kept coming to me in a vision at night, just plaguing me the regret of leaving it behind for the last five years.  It happened one night after I came across the Best of the LSD Division matches on the HOTV app and played it.  I watched every single LSD Championship match including the fabled street fight where Scott Stevens got hit by a car.  Every time I saw the heart, passion, and dedication given by the performers putting their lives on the line for that belt; it pained me to see where it stood today:


Lee’s Suckups Division.


This once fabled belt that stood for some of the toughest sons of bitches in High Octane Wrestling had become the epitome of Lee’s bitches fighting for his fucking affections.  We all know Lee Best wanked over Lindsay Troy for years.  Shit!  They might not get along now, but deep down; he got his trophy woman on the roster and handed her a title match to appease her.  He propped up the biggest bitch of his division:  Jatt Starr to take the ball and run with it.   But if you meant, sit in an office and be his little bitch.


Jatt knew nothing what the second belt he held along side his Tag Team Championship meant for the history of this damn company.  That gnawing pit in my stomach kept tearing at me and tearing at me because deep inside:  I knew I could survive the hell of the LSD Division.  I’d trained for that moment.


I spent the last 15 years in PWX putting my damn body on the line with shitty hardcore matches and backyard bullshit to hold their top prize.  I didn’t care what Lee had in store for me.  I didn’t care if Lee wanted to break my body and send me home in a body bag.  Hell, I could careless what comments I popped off tonight to piss him off.  My eyes were set.


I had failed numerous attempts to drop subtle hints I wanted the belt.  I’d mentioned them in promos.  I schemed up a plan to win the Battle Royal to trade the so-called naming rights to Lee to get a shot at Jatt.  Boy look at how that plan failed.  I’d let my heart slip from winning that belt and coast, and tonight, it was time to throw spaghetti at the wall and sacrifice everything to get a chance to earn a shot at the LSD Championship.


“Come on, Darin!  Please don’t be like this!  You need to think of your career right now.  I know you want to give your body for HOW, but you got to keep on the straight and narrow path.  You’ve got your career to preserve,” Meredith said trying to talk me out of my insanity.  She’d spent countless nights trying to convince me to put my dreams on hold and focus on the bigger picture.  I knew deep down, she worried about Lexi and her future.    She had all the concerns in the world.



But I didn’t care that night.   I pushed her out of the way and threw the door open and yelled directly at Bare and the production team.




I slam the door behind me taking a couple deep breaths with Meredith pulling herself off the wall giving me the dirtiest look I’ve seen from her.  I threw my arms up in the air before lecturing her.


“What am I supposed to do at this point?  Wait patiently until Lee fucking gives me a Pay Per View match?  I’ve done that for close to a fucking year now, Meredith.  What has that yielded me?  More scrutiny?  More critiques?  More ‘be patient and wait your fucking turn’ lectures?  Yeah!  That’s what I signed up for when I returned.  I signed up to be yet another fucking meat puppet for Lee Best to throw at his fucking goons so they can laugh and steal my damn toys away.  They get to point and laugh at Zion trying to fumble around his shit.  I bet he’ll have a fucking catchy production title for this shit too.  I’m not asking and I’m not demanding this.  I’m taking it.  Either I get fired or I get the football.  I don’t care.  I’m doing this my way.”


Meredith throws her arms to her side and rolls her eyes.  “You’re on a war path right now.  I can’t support this barbaric behavior.  You’re losing control.  You’re out of your fucking mind.”


I sigh and roll my eyes back before I stand my ground.


“No, I’m going to kick the fucking door down and get noticed.  I don’t care what the roster says this time.  It’s time to go back to being me.  It’s time I take my god damned balls back and start pissing some mother fuckers off in this locker room.  I’m tired of the games.  I either kick down that door and show Lee how much I want that LSD Championship in my own way, or damnit, I better just start fucking enjoying catering at this point.    It’s about time I get my moxie back.  If you don’t understand, please return home while I do this.  Trust me, you don’t want to be in my corner for what’s about to happen.  Because I damn well know that someone on management is going to take notice and either I pay the easy way, or I must fight in the ugliest match possible.  Either way, it’s going to change our lives.  Let me handle this one on my own.”


She nods before smiling and giving me a kiss.   She opens the door as the production team rushes in the locker room to prepare for my promo.  It was sink or swim, and damn it all; by the end of it; I was going to get my shot at the LSD Championship.




We cut back to the HOW locker room area where we see a catering table filled with a lot of food.  Darin Zion comes into the scene with a plate filled with sandwiches, chips, and cookies as he’s chowing down after a long show.  Darin shakes his head before he looks at the camera and begins talking.


“Three of you mother fuckers can step up the damn plate and kiss my ass for once in your miserable lives.  The other one can take a break for a breath after he sucked Lee Best’s dick to get his job back and handed this opportunity like the fucking weasel he is.  You’re all welcome!  I saved you a Pay Per View pay day opportunity because all of you assholes are fucking short sighted.”


Zion’s voice goes high pitched, almost crying in an annoying high-pitched tone.


“Boo hoo hoo! I’m not where I used to be.  Let’s drone on about how I should have won the LBI and held 97Red.  Let me cut a damn promo in the boring mansion or the boring Hollywood Enterprises, or the limo, or whatever rich person shit so I can bitch about going back to the same fucking Hollywood bullshit I did 6 years ago and never evolve.  HAYUK HAYUK!  I gotta findem me a tag team parrtnur’.  HIYUCK!  It’s the same boring shit over and over and over again.


You see there’s a reason we’ve all been sitting around in catering floundering around.  The wave hit me at ICONIC like a ton of bricks when at 11:59; Lee Best in all his graces gave 80% of us in this match the cluster fuck match we all groaned about.


He handed us the opportunity to shine.  He wanted us to think outside the box.  He wanted us to use our big brains to evolve our careers into something bigger.


Like good work horse we are; we gave everything out there.  And I’ll give it to you guys:  Hollywood, Teddy, Zeb—you’re great performers.  I’ve seen you guys busting doing the best work of your careers.  We catch a lot of flack we don’t deserve in the back.  People take us for granted and we sit in the background busting our asses to shine, but we get overlooked. We all have the same generic wrestling goal.  We want to be world champions.  We want to live that childhood dream.


It’s great!  I get it.  It’s the easiest creative ploy in the entire god damned world.  I fall into that trap when I yammered on about 97Red only about a billion times and looking back to my past to reset my future.  Shit if I had a Delorean like half the fucking roster, I’d hop in that mother fucker and slap the shit out of me telling me to shut the hell up and stop sounding like those Create a Wrestlers in every wrestling video game ever.”


Zion reaches underneath the table to pull out his travel bag.  He slowly unzips it and pulls out a replica LSD Championship, one of the 24 championship belts he takes a lot of pride touting about.  He eyes it for a moment and polishes her real nice before proudly wearing it on his shoulder.


“You see this belt right here.  You’ve fucking forgotten it exists.  You treat it like a second-rate belt and want to use it as a fucking steppingstone.  I can hear the wheels turning in all your damn promos without listening to one of them.  It’s the HOW Midcard Belt.  I could win it and punch my ticket to the HOW World Championship.   I could reset all those blunders.  BLAH!  BLAH!  BLAH!


None of fuckers gave two shits about this belt until Scottywood booked your ass on March to Glory because this mother fucker shot his mouth off.  I never once saw you mentioning how precious this belt is.  It’s a fucking belt named after Lee Best himself.  It’s literally in the name of the damn division:  LEE’S…. SPECIAL…DIVISION.  Cut your Zion jokes all you want with the word special, but let’s be frank; you fucker never gave a shit about it because Lee Best didn’t strike enough awe into the legacy of this championship.


I’ve watched tougher mother fuckers than us carve their legacy into this belt.  Max built a persona off renaming it to the Literally Safest Division.  Scottywood epitomized the amount of sacrifice you give to this belt.  Hell, he lost half his brain trying to legitimize this belt.  Every single HOW World Champion treated this championship belt not as a second-place trophy, but the true prize it deserves to be.


And look where this belt is now.  Lee treats it as a participation trophy for everyone who’s ever sucked up to him.  He left it off the Pay Per View card.  He cast Jatt Starr into the Tag Team Division while he lets this—this belt sit off the card where it deserve to be contest like every single other HOW championship on that fucking card.  Activate the damn free bird rule and the other alliance members fight for the Tag Gold.  Let us get our shots instead of fighting over being the Lee’s Suckup Division sacrificial lamb.  It’s not what this belt means.”


Zion places the belt down next to him at the table and just stares at it.  His eyes widen with pride as he continues to recount this belts legacy.  As he continues to talk; the passion grows as he slams his finger down on the table to emphasize his words.


“I’ve spent time studying the tapes watching Scottywood, Hollywood, Stevens and others use cars to win this belt.   People have tried KILLING each other to win this belt.  KILLING each other!  And Lee’s pussified it’s fucking legacy.  How fucking pathetic that he didn’t even have an LSD Number 1 Contenders match planned until Scottywood got the message from the village idiot.  It sickens me what this division has become.  It sickens me because I had the chance to run with this division, and Lee turned the damn lights off and stole my chance to bring it back to those days.  He stole my chance to shine with the LSD Championship and reshape the division into HOW’s most brutal division.


It keeps me up at night.



But go ahead and pivot all your promos, you dipshits.  Go ahead and tell Lee how much you cared about HIS Championship when you didn’t mention it until I shot my mouth off about it.  We all know it’s a bunch of fake shit coming from you guys with no heart or substance.  Just the typical work horse vibes like I’ve fallen into these last months.  If it hadn’t been for me well, you fuckers would have gladly sat back in this wonderful all and enjoyed catering waiting for instructions.  You would have fumbled around waiting for Lee Best to hand you his next failed signing to get over or failed project and sat back enjoy this food gladly accepting your fate.  I know because I said that in my promo too.  I didn’t think it would get under anyone’s skin.  Honestly, I thought I’d get fired over it.  But you know what?”


Zion picks up the replica LSD Championship belt and flips the table, spilling all the food on the floor.  He looks dead pan in the camera as his voice grows and his faces glows red.


“I’m fucking tired of eating catering.  I’m fucking tired of coasting.  I’ve fucking tired of not realizing my potential only to get laughed at by everyone else in the back.  I took the risk.  I poured my heart into my soul hoping I’d get the chance to EARN not DEMAND what I wanted.    I want my LSD Championship back.  I’m not afraid to go toe to toe with some of the toughest sons of bitches in HOW and put my body, no my career, no my LIFE on the line for this title.  It sure as hell beats being yet another fucking body on the roster.


And I know damn well I got your attention, Lee.  Because you released the damn pikey from purgatory to attack.  Hughie is the only one that gets the basics of this belt.  He’s got a few screws loose.  But the kid fucking gets it because he’s held this belt as a rebel.  And now you’ve turned him into one of your little bitches.  You wanted yet another fighter I respected to hit me in my Zion feels and smile and heap praises over like the good little bitch I am.


Well I am not here for that.  That doesn’t earn me pay checks.  It only has earned me fucking hot dogs and handshakes.  And I’m tired of eating your hot dogs and receiving those fake handshakes.


You damn well have seen where this Zion goes in potential.  You get when I’m pissed and I want my damn toy back; I will fit with every ounce of my body to earn that shot.  You lured Hughie Freeman into your fold to protect this façade of glory in your belt when really, right now, it’s just a shit show right now for your ego trips.


I know you damn well don’t want this Zion back on your roster because I’m dead set and dead focused on winning no matter what the cost.  I love and respect every individual in this match.  I’ve heaped their praises on their work ethics and dedication on their craft.  I’ve grown great friendships with the catering crew or the 11:59 Posse, whatever you want to call it lovingly and tenderly behind our backs.


But you damn well know what’s about to happen to this façade that you’ve made of the LSD Division when you set me into that street fight this weekend.  I’m fighting for blood.  I’ll run Hollywood over with a car.  I’ll throw Teddy off the Time Square Ball.  I’ll toss Zeb into the toxic waters of the Hudson fucking rivers and I’ll crush the resident pikey’s skull in with a sewer cover.  And that’s the PG version of the shit I’m scheming.


We’re about to go primal with this shit and take the division back to basics.  And you damn well know I’m hungry for it.  And you know I won’t stop at nothing less than ending careers and punching my ticket to the LSD Championship.   I can’t lose this.  It’s my dream, my vision, and my obsession.  I will settle for nothing less than leaving a trail of bodies to that championship.  And mark my words, Lee, this shit is about to go more hardcore than the pornos you want to film with LT Wentworth.


I will not lose my shot and molding this division in my own image.  And mark my words, you damn well know I’m the most fucked up individual to ever grace your roster.  And I’m not about to eat shit after risking my damn career to turn some heads.  I’m focused and determined to get my LSD Championship back, THE TOP PRIZE OF THIS COMPANY back around my waist and no longer remise about the past.  It’s time to look forward to the future and it’s a violent one. 


March To Glory marks the return of HOW’s most viscous match, and I vow I’m not coming up short on this occasion.”


Zion grabs his replica LSD Championship and walks out as the scene fades to black.