Hugo, Big Jer, and the Duke

Hugo, Big Jer, and the Duke

Posted on March 2, 2024 at 12:12 am by Hugo Scorpio

A jar.

Hugo walked into Chaos expecting a victory over Charles de Lacy and ended up with an empty jar.  

The loss itself was not what bothered Hugo.  “The XPro Main Event” moniker that had been making the rounds over the Internet was somewhat sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek but he grew into that role and dominated, he defeated former LSD Champion Teddy Palmer his first match back in the HOW….

 

…but…

 

Hugo lost. He was still inexperienced in the world of professional wrestling. Losses were going to come. He knew that. The Argentine Powerbomb? He saw someone using it on YouTube and thought it looked cool and wanted to try it out. It was just another example of how unprepared he was for the HOW.  Yes, losses were going to be inevitable.

 

…but…

 

It stung that much more that he lost to Charles de Lacy, a man so reviled, so despicable from a human standpoint.  Charles de Lacy was a man Hugo despised more than degenerate gamblers, the New England Patriots, social media influencers and candy corn combined. If it wasn’t for his own family, Charles de Lacy might have been the most loathsome person he had ever met.  

Then, there was this jar Charles de Lacy “gave” him. 

This mysterious, enigmatic jar.

For what nefarious purpose was this jar given to Hugo Scorpio?  Was this a swear jar? Was Hugo expected to drop a quarter every time he used what his mother would call “no-no words”?  Fat fucking chance.  The jar would not fill a day’s worth of quarters with the amount he swears.  Maybe Charles de Lacy was expecting Hugo to urinate in it.  Maybe he needed clean piss to pass a drug test.  Charles, from what Hugo has heard, was not a junkie fuck, but maybe he needs it for someone else.  Some like Sektor.  It has been rumored that the HOTv Champion snorted cocaine like a Hoover.  

In any case, the jar would remain empty if Hugo had a say.  As if he would fill this jar with anything for that deviant prick. Charles de Lacy will never get the jar back.

The jar symbolized Hugo’s shortcomings. His abject failure in becoming undefeated and going into March of Glory with all the momentum against the winners of the other groups. This jar represented how much further Hugo needed to go to be considered a top tier performer in the HOW.  To be named in the same breath as “new era” legends such as Conor Fuse, STRONK!, and Joe Bergman would be an honor.

The next step to achieve that lofty dream?

Beat Zach Kostoff.

*********

Thursday, February 29th.  Leap Year.  

Hugo Scorpio had made some inquiries as to whom he might go to to assist in improving his craft. More than half of the wrestlers he had asked recommended Mickey “Madman” McGeery.  When Hugo found out how much the “Madman” charged, he asked who might assist him in improving his craft at a quarter of the cost of Mickey McGeery.  One name popped up from his XPro compatriot, Chick Raynes.  That name was “The Duke” Rex Dukakis out of Jacksonville formerly of Oklahoma City and Atllanta before that.  

“The Duke” Rex Dukakis mainly wrestled in Texas, Mexico, and Albania.  He was apparently huge in Albania. When Hugo met him, “The Duke” was not what he had expected.

Rex Dukakis was sporting a white leather jacket, black turtleneck, and large Elvis sunglasses.  Rex had this large gray bouffant, Hugo could almost smell the hairspray (and the burning of ozone) as Rex greeted him in front of his wrestling studio.  The second “The Duke” turned and got a look at Hugo’s visage, he jerked as if someone fired a gun behind him.

 

THE DUKE: Jiminy Christmas, son, what the fuck happened to you?

 

The Duke spoke in a southern accent and, to his credit, did not look nauseatingly disgusted at Hugo. There was some shock and some genuine interest in his tone.  Hugo cleared his throat and responded as he usually did when someone asked him that question.

 

HUGO SCORPIO: Acid. Industrial accident. Some incompetent fuck was playin’ around with a nailgun. BANG! PING! SPLOOSH! Hit the side of a vat and sprayed the fuck outta my face. I was in the hospital for twelve weeks. I only got sixty percent vision in my right eye. Luckily, that stupid prick got shitcanned two weeks later.

THE DUKE: That’s the stupidest shit I’ve heard this week. Y’need to sexy that story up, y’hear? Like you was savin’ some damsel in distress in a fire or a bunch of orphans or some shit. Make yourself look like a goshdank hero.

HUGO SCORPIO: I don’t, uh, I’m not the type to lie about it. 

THE DUKE: And you wanna be a wrassler? Good fuckin’ luck, son.

HUGO SCORPIO: I am a wrestler.

THE DUKE: Bull-fuckin’-sheeeeit.

HUGO SCORPIO: I got a contract. HOW.

THE DUKE: You ain’t no wrassler until i say you a wrassler, ya hear? And right now? You a charlatan. Sellin’ me some snake oil. 

HUGO SCORPIO: Huh?

THE DUKE: You all talk, boy!

HUGO SCORPIO: Look, you gonna help me or not?

THE DUKE: Got to see what I’m workin’ with, I reckon.  What’s your finish?

HUGO SCORPIO: The Argentine Powerbomb.

THE DUKE: What the fuck is that?

HUGO SCORPIO: Well, it’s kinda—

THE DUKE: “Argenteeeeeen Powerbomb”. That shit ain’t gettin’ me to soil my britches.  Sounds like one of them highfalutin’ complicated bullsheeeeit moves, now.

HUGO SCORPIO: No, what you do is you lift up your opponent up and—-

THE DUKE: Hush up, now. Rule number one: Don’t argue with me and don’t be sassin’ me, ya hear? I know more in my left nut than you know inside in that fucked up head of yers, boy. Inside and maybe you’ll learn something.  Go on, gyet!

 

Twenty minutes later, Hugo Scorpio found himself, in his street clothes – jeans and plain black sweatshit – in the middle of a wrestling ring that must have been installed sometime in the late-nineties.  Several brown stains on the mat gave Hugo concerns in catching some form of infection or disease up to including Hepatitis C.  A large, obese man in his fifties using the name “Big Jer”. He looked like Clay Byrd after swallowing Bobby Dean whole followed by a month-long diet of milkshakes and McDonald’s.   Outside the ring, “The Duke” eyed Hugo through the rose colored lenses of sunglasses.

 

THE DUKE: Lock up!

 

Hugo Scorpio locks up with Big Jer. Within one second, he questioned every decision he had ever made in his life. Big Jer made what could only be described as grunting but it sounded more like Bill the Cat attempting to dislodge a hairball the size of Kansas. On top of that, keeping with the feline theme, Big Jer reeked of cat vomit and skunk piss. Hugo did all he could to stifle a gag. Luckily, he was unknowingly saved by The Duke.

 

THE DUKE: What in the Sam Hell is that???

HUGO SCORPIO: What?

THE DUKE: My grandpappy could lock up better’n that!

HUGO SCORPIO: Is….he….a….wrestler?

THE DUKE: Fuck no! He been dead thirty years and before that, a preacher.  Sheeeeit, my grandmammy can lock up better’n that!  My fuckin’ goldfish, Robert E. Lee, could lock up better’n that that sheit!

HUGO SCORPIO: That ain’t, uh, possible, cuz a fish ain’t got no arms, they…got….fins …

THE DUKE: I know that, you dolt! It’s hyperbole, ya hear? I’m pointin’ out how godawful it was. Fuck it, your fundamentals are sheit. Show me this here “Argenteeeeeeeen Powerbomb”.

HUGO SCORPIO: On you?

THE DUKE: Fuck no! On Big Jer there.

 

Hugo Scorpio looked over at the six hundred pound stink bomb standing three feet from him.  He turned back towards The Duke.

 

HUGO SCORPIO: I don’t fuckin’ think so, pal.

THE DUKE: Don’t argue with me, now.

HUGO SCORPIO: You want me to lift up fuckin’ Free Willy over here? I’m gettin’ a sciatica just thinkin’ about it!

 

Hugo turns towards Big Jer.

 

HUGO SCORPIO: No offense.

 

Hugo turns back towards The Duke.

 

THE DUKE: That’s your problem right there, son. You thinkin’ ‘bout gettin’ injured, you gonna get injured, now. You gotta get into that mindset that you are in-fuckin-invincible! Go on, now. Do that “Argenteeeeeen Powerbomb”.  Don’t think it! Do it!

HUGO SCORPIO: He’s too fuckin’ fat to pull it off.

THE DUKE: If you cain’t do it on ever-body, you it’s a pussy ass finisher. You need somethin’ else, ya hear? Like a DDT or somethin’. But more importantly, you need to get pissed off.  You need looked at Big Jer like you wanna fuckin’ murder him. In fact, I want you to slap Big Jer.

HUGO SCORPIO: “Slap him”?

THE DUKE: Yeah. Smack the taste outta his mouth, like he’s one ragin’ bitch thinkin’ you’s a Jack the Ripper.

HUGO SCORPIO: You sure?

THE DUKE: Don’t argue!  Just do it!

 

Sure enough, Hugo Scorpio spun quickly and slapped Big Jer as hard as he could.  The force sent spittled spraying around the ring.  Hugo looked back towards The Duke, who was grinning, flashing his pearly whites.

 

THE DUKE: Well done. But if you’s gonna be a badass motherfucker, you need to know how absorb pain like a Bounty paper towel. Big Jer, I want you to punch this burned up motherfucker with every ounce of torque and force as you can, now.

HUGO SCORPIO: The fuck he is.

THE DUKE: HIT HIM!  HIT LIKE HE’S YOUR MOMMA!

HUGO SCORPIO: Whoa!  He hits his mother?!

THE DUKE: HIT HIM!

 

Hugo Scorpio took a defensive stance, raising his hands up as he would an approaching lion.  Hugo carefully started backing away as Big Jer, whose eyes looked as vacant as an abandoned warehouse, stalked him.

 

HUGO SCORPIO: Hold up, Jer! You don’t wanna do this.  

 

Big Jer answered with a low grunt sounding if he were clearing his throat.

 

HUGO SCOPRIO: I warnin’ you. You try to take a shot, I will break your nose, capice?

THE DUKE: COME ON, YOU FUCKIN’ OAF! HIT HIM!

HUGO SCORPIO: I will break your fuckin’ nose!

 

Big Jer formed a fist, reared back, as he swung his fist, Hugo Scorpio popped him really quick and really hard in the nose with an uppercut.  Blood began flowing out of his nose like Niagara Falls. Big Jer noticed his own blood, his eyes rolled into the back of his head, all color escaped his complexion, and promptly fainted.  The Duke shook hisss head in disappointment before entering the ring.

 

THE DUKE: Well, sheeeeeit. Not again.

HUGO SCORPIO: What?

THE DUKE: Big Jer always gets queasy at the sight of his own blood.  I was really hopin’ he’d turn a corner by now. Such a disappointment. His momma’s gonna tan his hide real good.

HUGO SCORPIO: I’m so, uh, confused. Ain’t he like fifty?

THE DUKE: His momma’s scary. She’s scary when she was thirty and she’s scary at ninety-two.  But don’t you worry one lick ‘bout him. I’m thinkin’ of takin’ you on as my new protege. There’s just a matter of my fee. It’s seventy-five and hour and we work twelve hour days, here. You here at six a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

HUGO SCORPIO: I ain’t got seventy-five an hour.

THE DUKE: That’s just the negotiatin’ price, son. I can go as low as fifty an hour. But you’s got to bring your own towels. 

HUGO SCORPIO: Um….hm…..

THE DUKE: Fact is, you greener than my Auntie May’s thumb, she grew amazing vegetables. You need me, son. I tell you what I’m gonna do. Final offer, special discount, seein’ as Big Jer needs some real competition in this ring here and maybe you help him get over his phobia. Forty an hour. What do you say?

 

The Duke stuck out a tanned, leathery hand.  Hugo looked at the hand, the gold Timex around his wrist, and then down at Big Jer, laid out on the mat like a beached whale. The blood pooled around his head.  Hugo wondered if he needed help this much.  How often would he need to witness Big Jer passing out? How often would he need to inhale the foulest of stenches emanating from Big Jer?

 

HUGO SCORPIO: I think I’m, uhhh, I’m gonna pass.

THE DUKE: What the fuck you just say to me?

 

The Duke had an expression on his face as if Hugo just killed his dog and fucked his wife.  

 

HUGO SCORPIO: No thanks. This, I don’t think I need.

THE DUKE: You know who the fuck I am?  I am the fuckin’ DUKE!  Three time Albanian Wrestling World World Champion!

HUGO SCORPIO: ‘ppreciate your time.

 

Hugo Scorpio exited the ring and walked towards the door.

 

THE DUKE: YOU DON’T TURN YOUR BACK ON ME! I’M THE FUCKIN’ DUKE, YA HEAR?! YOU DON’T REJECT ME!  I REJECT YOU! YOU CHEESEGRATERED FACE MOTHERFUCKER!

 

Hugo stopped in his tracks, three feet from the door.  His eye twitched slightly, he bit down on his lip.  He felt himself getting angry, burning in the pit of his stomach.  Without turning around he addressed the Duke.

 

HUGO SCORPIO: Careful, I might start thinkin’ you’re attackin’ me from a personal standpoint and that might be constructed as, uhhhh, disrespectful.

THE DUKE: FUCK YOU. NOW GET YOUR FUCKED UP, UGLY AS SHIT, STOMPED POSSUM LOOKIN’ FACE OUT OF MY ESTABLISHMENT!

 

Hugo put up two fingers in the air.

 

HUGO SCORPIO: That’s two. You say one more thing that I might perceive to be in the general ballpark of insultin’ my appearance or character, I will walk back into that ring, and I will break one of, if not, both of your thumbs.  Don’t test me. 

 

Silence.  Hugo continued out the door.  As the door closed he could hear The Duke scream “You better run you fuckin’ pussy!” There was a part of him that wanted to run back into that ring and snap The Duke’s thumbs like twigs. He had done it once before.  And only one thumb.  The thought of that cracking sound still nauseated him. 

There is one thing that The Duke made him realize. The Argentine Powerbomb as a finisher might not be the most practical move.  Could he really get away with performing that move on someone like Zach Kostoff? He was young but one could argue that he was more experienced than Hugo.  How long had he been studying wrestling?  His father was an HOW Legend.  How much did Kostoff mentor his son?  And then there was the genetics. Kostoff was renowned as one of the most brutal in the history of the HOW. His wars with Lee were legendary.   

Two weeks ago, Hugo would have assumed that he would walk into a match against Zach Kostoff and win.  That was before Charles de Lacey.  Now? Hugo has no mentor. No teacher. No genetic advantage.  

Hugo wants to win.

Hugo needs to win.

Hugo desperately wants to believe that he can win…..

 

….but….

 

….the jar says otherwise….

That fucking motherfucking jar.