New York City, New York
Friday, June 16th, 2006
I was tired, I was sweaty, and I kept staring up at the clock on the wall of the gym where I had been doing most of my training to become a professional wrestler. I loved every single minute of training to obtain the dream I refused to give up on but it was also Friday night. More importantly, it was a Friday night where I had a date. A night with my High School sweetheart Nikki to celebrate her birthday.
“Are we just about done yet, Uncle Chuck?” I asked as I leaned over, grabbing my knees while breathing heavily.
“Did you win yet?” My Uncle’s response was a rhetorical question.
“It’s an impossible situation!” I complained.
“So, you’re just going to give up and walk away with your tail tucked between your legs whenever a situation is a little difficult?” His tone was stern and a little condescending.
“Then what am I supposed to do here?!” I leaned up and spread my arms out wide.
“You think I’m just going to answer that for you?” My Uncle laughed. “That’s for you to figure out on your own and you’re only going to do that through trial and error.”
“Seems like more error than trial.” I mumbled under my breath.
My Uncle blew the whistle that was hanging around his neck as four other men in the ring all started fighting once again. I groaned out loud as my Uncle kept his eyes on things while wearing his striped referee’s shirt. I jumped into the fight trying to end this as soon as possible so that I wouldn’t be murdered by Nikki for being late to our date.
I made my way over towards two of the men that were fighting and inserted myself into their battle. I helped one of the men double team the other, but the moment that man was down and out. The one I just helped clubbed me from behind with no shame. As I tried to fight back, the two other men in the ring were having their own fight. One man hit the other with a boot to the midsection followed by a DDT. He hooked the leg and made the cover as my uncle dropped down for the count.
I shoved the man I was fighting with out of the way and headed over to break up the cover.
The man that I shoved aside tackled me down to the canvas and held me there.
And just like that I lost yet again while my uncle got to his feet and blew his whistle. All five of us pulled ourselves back up to a vertical base. I wanted to punch the guy that tackled me in the throat.
“You’re going to have to do better than that.” My Uncle lectured.
“What just happened isn’t fair!” I protested.
“What wasn’t fair?” My Uncle placed his hands on his hips.
“He wasn’t even trying to win the match.” I proclaimed as I pointed to the man that tackled me. “All he did was make sure I didn’t break up the count.”
“And your point?” My Uncle tilted his head with an amused look on his face.
“It’s supposed to be every man for himself in this situation. He should be trying to win this match for himself instead of just trying to prevent me from winning it.” I was confident in my logic.
“And how do you know that’s what he wants to do? Maybe he made a deal with the person that won and decided to take the easy deal instead of trying to beat the odds. Not everything in life or professional wrestling is fair. People will try and walk all over you any chance that they get. You have to learn to expect the unexpected.” My Uncle grabbed the whistle and blew it once more. “Do it again!”
All five of us turned and continued fighting. I was getting impatient. It was bad enough that things with me and Nikki weren’t great at the moment. She didn’t like the way that I was spending a majority of my time on my professional wrestling training. She wanted more of my attention now that High School was over. She wanted to settle down, get a place of our own, possibly go to the same college together. Things like that weren’t aligned with my own personal desires but I still tried to make it work anyway. If I stood her up on her birthday, then I could consider myself as good as single.
I decided to take an aggressive approach towards this round. I hit each guy and moved around the ring instead of focusing on just one of them. My plan was working, and everyone was reeling. I grabbed a hold of the last standing guy then whipped him into the ropes. As he rebounded off I caught him and planted him with a spinebuster. I hooked the leg and made the cover as my uncle dropped down for the count.
Barely any of the other opponents were moving.
Suddenly, I’m grabbed from behind and pulled off of the cover. I’m tossed out of the ring and hit the gym floor hard as that person makes the cover.
I got up to my feet, but it was already over. My Uncle got to his feet as I slapped my hands down onto the ring apron in anger.
“FUCK!” I shouted before sliding back into the ring.
“It was a good effort.” My Uncle tried to patronize me.
“I did all the work, how is it fair that someone else gets to just take advantage and get all the glory?” I growled.
“Again, who said professional wrestling is fair? If you think every single person is just going to play by the rules or wait their turn, then you’re sadly mistaken.” He grabbed the whistle again. “One more time!”
With the sound of the whistle everyone started fighting again. I went back to hitting and moving. I tried to keep my eye on where everyone was, but I wasn’t going to just jump into the first pin attempt I saw. The guy that stole my win was reeling but I ended up tossing him through the ropes and out of the ring. Payback is a motherfucker. Another man charged at me at full speed, but I managed to pull down the top rope. He went tumbling to the outside also and that just left me and two opponents inside of the ring.
Three was a much more manageable number for me and I strongly felt that I was going to win this time. I fought off both men at the same time but without me even noticing my uncle had made his way to the outside of the ring. I was in the far corner with one of my opponents when suddenly I heard counting.
My Uncle got to his feet on the outside of the ring as one of the opponents was celebrating with his arms held high into the air.
“What the fuck?!?!” I grabbed the top rope and screamed to the gym floor.
“Problem?” My Uncle looked up at me like he had no idea what I was upset about.
“You’re just coming up with things as you go along. Pins can happen outside of the ring now too. If you’re just keeping me here training as punishment for something I did then just say so.” I let my displeasure spill out into my words.
“It’s called a Falls Count Anywhere match. Now sure, that wasn’t what the training started out as but who said the rules won’t change at a moment’s notice when you’re a wrestler? What happens if the people in charge want your opponent to win and not you? You think they are just going to sit back and hope you lose, or will they do something about it? There is no black and white in wrestling. No good and bad, you have to adapt to every single situation that might come up.” He grabbed that damn whistle. “Again!”
Everyone on the outside slid back into the ring and the fight was on once again. I was running on rage and pure adrenaline at this point. I was completely spent stamina wise, but spite alone is what was keeping me going. Instead of being the aggressor I played center field in this skirmish. I picked my spots but made sure that any pin attempt was broken up before the three. One by one each man reached his limit and laid on the canvas or outside of the ring. That left me one on one with the last opponent standing.
He grabbed a hold of me and tried to lift me off of the canvas for a suplex but I squatted down and shifted my weight. He tried to muscle me up yet again, but I locked one of my legs around his to block it. I switched the position of my hands then brought him down across my knee with a backbreaker. He arched his back on the canvas in pain as I pulled myself back up to my feet. Before I could make my next move, I felt a blunt shot to the back of my head. I crumbled down to the canvas in pain but then looked around in confusion. All four opponents were still out on the canvas and floor. I looked up at the person who hit me from behind.
My Uncle Charles.
He smiled down at me and then extended his arm to help me up to my feet.
“Expect the unexpected. Even the most unlikely person might be the enemy if you let your guard down. Now if you’re done being stubborn, I can show you how to do this properly.” His voice was genuine.
I looked around at everyone in the gym then back up at my uncle. I reached up and grabbed a hold of his hand. He pulled me back up to my feet and at that moment I had forgotten all about Nikki and our date. I was too deep down the rabbit hole of learning the tricks of the trade when it came to professional wrestling.
TEN-X Wrestling Facility
Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
“JACE!” The sound of Choi’s voice snaps me out of my daydream.
“Yeah, what is it?” I shook my head slightly.
“How are we going to make sure you walk out of that Falls Count Anywhere match with your LSD Championship belt?” Choi inquired with a worried look on his face.
I looked around the mostly empty facility at 5:18am on a Friday morning. Early mornings weren’t my favorite thing in the world but ICONIC was getting closer and closer. I wasn’t just going to walk into that event the same way I planned on walking out of it without proper preparation. You don’t become a Triple Champion in HOW just by flapping your gums aimlessly. If I wanted to remain a Triple Champion, I would have to beat some pretty impossible odds.
“I’m going to do it old school.” I said with a grin.
“Huh?” Choi was even more worried by my response.
“Go unlock the doors and tell me when at least four of the students make it in here. I’m going to rely on the teachings of my Guardian Angel to lead me to victory.” I slid my way into the nearest ring.
Choi was still confused but decided to follow my orders. I got to my feet and looked around the ring. That little daydream about the past might have been just what I needed. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows back then. I ended up missing my date with Nikki and we broke up for good the next day. Little did I know at the time that she was pregnant with Brendan, but if I could go back and do it all again, would I change things? Would I choose Nikki and my son over professional wrestling? No broken neck, no stab wounds, no Championships, or Hall of Fame ring?
Is choosing professional wrestling over everything else still all worth it?
You’re damn right it is.
Four different opponents in a Falls Count Anywhere match for MY LSD Championship belt.
I’m not stupid, I’m arrogant but I’m not an idiot. The odds are stacked against me. Facing four different men in a match where everyone can scatter all over the arena at the moment the bell rings. I don’t even have to be pinned or submitted to lose the LSD Championship belt. Jace Parker Davidson losing the LSD Championship belt at ICONIC would be the safest bet that you could make according to the situation.
How am I going to overcome the obvious disadvantage?
By being better than everyone else in the match. Joe Bergman, Jatt Starr and I might be somewhere near the concession stands. However, Scott Stevens might be pinning Steve Solex out in the parking lot. What will I do? Simple, I’ll just have to be in two places at once. You can tell me that is impossible all you want but this is fucking ICONIC. The one night in HOW where the impossible becomes very possible. The last show of the year where every single person gets to shine and leave it all in that ring, or in this case, anywhere in the building or Chicago for that matter.
This kind of situation would be something that the members of The Highwaymen would cry and whine about for all of 2023. I, on the other hand, completely understand the situation and why it was booked the way it was. I could bitch and whine that I was originally supposed to defend the title against just Steve Solex one on one but vocalizing that my diaper was overflowing doesn’t win me the Falls Count Anywhere match.
This match is a clusterfuck and an almost impossible situation for any of us because this is ICONIC. It’s booked the way it is because I am a Triple Champion in High Octane Wrestling. This isn’t my first rodeo. I knew that if I held more than one Championship belt at a time in this company then I can and will be forced to defend them all on any given night. I could cry foul; I could plead to Lee Best to give me the easy mode booking. I could try and use my allegiance to him, and The Final Alliance as to why things should favor me and me alone.
Lee would just tell me to go fuck myself.
And with good reason because again… THIS IS ICONIC!
I can already tell that a majority of you have no idea the magnitude of this match or this event. I mean how many of you have walked into ICONIC as a Champion or a holder of multiple belts before? How many of you have had to defend more than one title belt at the biggest show of the year? How many of you have even gotten anywhere close to a high-profile match at ICONIC before?
If you have then it was more than likely in the span of the five years I was away from HOW and professional wrestling in general.
Too bad guys, but Daddy is home now and he’s better than ever. And now thanks to my single-handed greatness, each and every single one of you get to step in the massive spotlight that only the name Jace Parker Davidson can provide. Each one of you gets to walk into this Falls Count Anywhere match with absolutely nothing to lose and maybe, just maybe, one of you sons of a bitches will get to walk away as the new LSD Champion.
Probably the biggest opportunity that any of you have had in A LONG TIME. And how are you handling it? Well, Jatt Starr is busy trying to get politicians to get Joe Bergman arrested or banned from the match. I don’t know, it’s something stupid regardless. Jatt Starr is like that fired SNL writer that doesn’t realize his material stinks and it’s the reason he’s unemployed. Yet, he continues to jot down all of these bad skits because it’s the only way to make the voices in his head quiet down a little.
Scott Stevens is probably off somewhere sulking because he’s not the HOW World Champion, being pissed off at me and coming up with some convoluted plan to steal the LSD Championship belt away from me. All while trying to find a way to get himself inducted into the Hall of Fame a second time. Naturally, because if Scott Stevens doesn’t make every single thing about himself then he’s afraid people will forget he ever existed. He’s like Bobbinette Carey but without the massive jugs.
Then of course, there are The Highwaymen. Joe Bergman and Steve Solex have to wrestle two back-to-back matches at ICONIC like the rest of us. So, what are they doing? Playing babysitter to Clay Byrd. These goofy motherfuckers are too focused on Clay Byrd and getting him prepped to face Christopher America than they are their own matches. But there is no leader in The Highwaymen, right? Clay Byrd isn’t just using you three dipshits for his own personal gain, correct?
The letter of the day is H… not for Highwaymen but for hypocrites. Wasn’t their battle cry that all of us on the winning side just sold out to Lee Best and he treats us like pawns and then tosses us away? Yeah, Clay Byrd didn’t just sit back and let the three of you try and fail against Christopher America just so that he’d get all the insider info. Yet with the three of you all combined it was still Scott Stevens that Christopher America supposedly needed help to defeat. Not any of you.
Soak that in.
Fucking dumbasses. I should be the one sitting here at a disadvantage heading into ICONIC but looking around? It’s the four of you that are severely outmatched and outnumbered here.
So, big boy pants on gentlemen. You’re going to have to work for this one.
Even though I’m sure Joe Bergman and the rest of The Highwaymen have their “It’s unfair and we were screwed” speeches already written and ready. Good old conspiracy theory Joe will already be hot on the whole “Lee Best added Jatt Starr to this match and made him referee for the other match to make it a three on two advantage” angle. Simmah down Average Joe. This LSD Championship match is every man for themselves. If you don’t think that Jatt Starr or Scott Stevens wouldn’t stab me in the back to walk away the new LSD Champion? I’d keep my eye on Steve Solex if I were you.
Jatt Starr is a man going through an identity crisis. First, he’s Jatt then he’s Simon and now he’s Jatt again. Can’t blame him, Simon Sparrow was a box office flop of grand proportion. The problem is that the name on the marquee doesn’t suddenly improve skill inside of the ring. Jatt Starr version 3,572 is just a bad comb over trying to hide an already declining career. 2005 was a long time ago, bud, and father time is whooping your ass.
But fear not, I haven’t forgotten that you’re the former LSD Champion.
Just like I haven’t forgotten you’re still butthurt over me leaving the AoA. Were we friends? Of course, we were, but that doesn’t mean I was going to join you inside of the toilet and have my career flushed away. Mario is a flake, Conor cracked under the pressure, and you? Well, on the scale of pros and cons, you didn’t weigh as much as a Hall of Fame ring and getting to team with wrestlers who are levels above and beyond the AoA. And look what happened? I won the ICON Championship, the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts, and of course the LSD Championship belt. I’ve held this thing since… August? Fuck, time flies when you’re a one of the best wrestlers in the world.
I did what was best for ME. If you want to be upset about that? Then stay mad forever.
Your problem is that while the mind still thinks you’re one of the best. The body has failed you time and time again. Pushing yourself to the head of the class verbally means nothing if you can’t back it up inside of the ring.
So, if you’re going to do anything, Jatt, then remember this.
You got added to a group of the elite, but you’re not a leader here, just an intern. So, shut the fuck up and be a good boy. Then maybe there will be another fat donation towards Gilda’s medical bills. You know, just like the one I submitted when I took the LSD Championship belt away from you.
Can’t forget the Military Veteran himself. What’s up, Solex?
LOL do you really think that you of all people are going to walk away as LSD Champion in this match? Bro, Lee Best saw me pin you for the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts then saw Conor Fuse beat you one-on-one with your own move and thought “Fuck that, I need to give my Triple Champion more of a challenge than just Steve Solex.” When’s the last time you’ve won a match that mattered, Solex? The one match out of four that you and Bergman won against the eGG Bandits was thanks to Clay Byrd. Hell, you’re only a Tag Team Champion thanks to the mystic creature known as JJR. Yeah, that’s right. Arthur Pleasant was beaten by a goddamn fairytale just so Steve Solex can claim he won a title belt.
Who knew that being an unwelcome house guest and living on another man’s couch for free didn’t translate into professional wrestling wins?
You’ve been an unwelcome house guest on a dude’s couch for fuck knows how long. Maybe if you did something other than get fat, watch tv, drink beer, and fuck some $2 hookers, you’d stand a chance of proving your Hall of Fame induction wasn’t a pity participation trophy. It’s clear that you’re only doing the bare minimum here. Why not go the way of Bobby Dean and just call it a day? You had your fifteen minutes of fame. Vegas has you as the odds-on favorite to get pinned in this match and the HOTv World Tag Team Championship match.
Moral of the story?
You’re a great soldier and a man that served his country proudly. However, you’re only dangerous with an assault weapon in your hands. As a professional wrestler? Solex, ya straight dog shit, bro. Joe might be ordinary but you’re just awful. You’re softer than the OCW roster on a heavy flow day when it comes to being a badass in the squared circle. Read the writing on the wall, Steve. Ride off into the sunset when ICONIC is over, attend your NRA meeting, and pray that Trump wins another election. His wins might as well be your wins.
We both know Solex retiring would be addition by subtraction for The Highwaymen, Joe.
Lie about it all you want but the facts and numbers always tell the truth. That is if you can take a moment out of your day to not be bent out of shape about Jatt and the rest of us being you like you stole something using a tire iron. You came back and decided to get a measure of revenge against me. Not Jatt, not GREAT SCOTT, and not Christopher America but me. Well, me, Choi, and Stevens. Scott Stevens wasn’t even there when we fucked you up, neither was Choi. But the Man of the People decided to just slap his dick on the table and spray gunfire all over the place. Bound to hit something that way.
Clearly, you’re not a smart man, Joe Bergman.
You’re allowing someone like Steve Solex to tell Clay Byrd that he has flaws and needs to get his shit together. That’s like John Sektor telling someone they need to go to rehab. How the fuck does that work?
But regardless, you got me from behind and you left me lying in a circle of gasoline with an MVW brand lighter. What was the point of that, Joe? Are you going to set me on fire at ICONIC? One of two things are going to happen here. If you’re trying to play mind games using something you don’t have the balls to do or you just telegraphed the fuck out of your ace in the hole. Either way, fucking dumb. But if I were you, Joe? I wouldn’t play with fire around someone who has and will set someone else on fire at a moment’s notice. It’s LSD rules and a Falls Count Anywhere match. What you need to do is arm every single member of the MVW roster and bring them to Chicago with you. Only then will you have a fighting chance of walking away with my title belt.
But you want to play with fire against a pyromaniac? Again, you’re not smart, Joe.
Bring your little fireball. It’s not like I haven’t had that happen before or that you, McAvay, and even Xander haven’t threatened me with it a million times. If you were going to set me on fire the time to do it was on Chaos. When you had the surprise advantage in your favor. You had everything you needed to do it but you allowed me to walk away from that.
Wait, I get it…
All of this was just a negotiation tactic. You and the rest of those MVW losers have been on my nuts like a fat kid on an unsupervised piece of cake. You threaten to not come back to HOW next year and sign with the enemy. You use fire and your little love taps on Chaos as a threat to Lee Best that you have what it takes to win my Championship belts and take them over to PRIME. All of this is just a smoke and mirrors power play for a fat new contract with HOW. You can Cock tease me with fire all you want but I see through you.
All this talk about loyalty and respect is just bullshit. You’re training up wrestlers in MVW and sending him to PRIME after Lee Best and HOTv has been supporting MVW for how long now? You decided to join The Highwaymen and oppose Lee Best even though you’ve gotten title opportunity after title opportunity. But you’re going to cry that he hasn’t been loyal to you? You’re going to threaten to move yourself, section 214, and possibly even MVW to the ACE network?
What the fuck do you expect to happen here? Lee Best does not negotiate with terrorists.
I hope he calls your bluff. I hope he forced you to go and play over in that McKenna blue sandbox. And yes, it is definitely a box full of sand.
This isn’t an airport, Joe. You don’t have to announce your departure. If you’re going to go then just go. Don’t go and drop the Lindsay Troy ultimatum then throw a tantrum until you get your way. Just peace out like an eGG Bandit. Go and tell me how the loyalty and respect is in Vegas compared to what it has been here in Chicago. But you won’t do that. What you need to do is take that taser in the back of your pants and move it to the front of your pants where your manhood should be.
Actually, you know what?
Bring that taser to ICONIC with you too. You know, if there is any juice left at all, once you’re done tickling Clay’s balls with it.
I haven’t forgotten about you, “partner.”
The most stubborn motherfucker out of the entire bunch. I get it, Scott, you’re riding a wave that hasn’t completely wiped out yet and you’re going to milk that cow for all it’s worth. But what you need to do is just shut your mouth.
You’ve got the best seat in the fucking house.
You get a piggyback ride back to relevancy courtesy of yours truly. Why fuck it up by getting greedy here? I am the sole reason you hold a Championship belt right now in the first place. Something you’ve haven’t accomplished in over a half of a decade. Cherish that belt, Stevens. Hold onto it with both hands because it’s literally a miracle that you even have it. Yet, we all know that Stevens is gonna Stevens. You’re going to walk into the match and see a shot at another belt and do something stupid. You’ll think you have what it takes to accomplish the same things that I have accomplished.
Don’t think, Stevens. Thinking is not your strong suit.
Know your limits, accept the reality, and just live the good life while it lasts. You will never be as good as I am in this lifetime or the next. Continue to ride the wave, continue to enjoy the piggyback ride, but do it silently. Trust me, the free ride will not last forever. Be smart for once in your life, Scott. Focus on the belt that I graciously gave you and not try to take more than you’re capable of handling.
That means don’t get into feelings when I retain the LSD Championship belt. That means don’t hold a goddamn grudge because you think I SCREWED you out of the HOW World Championship belt.
You want the truth, Scott?
I only came down during your match against Christopher America because I couldn’t allow you even the slightest chance of becoming The HOW World Champion. Why? Clearly, because you would have just turned around and lost that belt to Clay Byrd at ICONIC. Scott Stevens as a Champion is bad but Clay Byrd as The HOW World Champion is worse.
You’re the guy that is solely responsible for Scottywood ever holding The HOW World Championship belt. Honestly, I’m the hero in our story, Stevens. I saved you from yourself. Don’t let your Texas sized ego cloud your better judgment. You wouldn’t have beaten America, you wouldn’t have beaten Clay, and you sure as fuck aren’t going to beat me at ICONIC. You had your one-on-one shot at me and my belt just weeks ago and you failed, Stevens.
The math here is quite simple.
This isn’t about who screwed who. This isn’t about you becoming a Double Champion here in HOW. It’s not about you being upset that America told you that you’re not one of us.
Do you want your respect?
You want your flowers?
Then do the right thing. Lay down at ICONIC and let me pin you to retain MY title. Making me expend energy beating you to retain my LSD Championship belt does neither me or you any damn good. The two of us should be reserving energy for the HOTv World Tag Team Championship match right after the LSD title match. Why swing and miss yet again at becoming LSD Champion then end up walking out of ICONIC empty handed? You have a belt; I gave you a Championship belt of your own. Do not bite the hand that continues to feed you, Stevens.
No Demi-God bullshit.
No House of Best nonsense.
You want to know what The House of Best is, Stevens?
We call it High Octane Wrestling, and here in HOW you’d be at the very bottom of the totem pole if not for me. Slide on your eye patch and follow MY lead. Watch the world burn with me or be the kindling for the fire itself.
The choice is yours.
This is where each and every single one of you Hall of Famers get to once again prove you can reach a legendary status. The HOW World Championship match might be the main event of the night but this whole thing? The fact that the five of us will be in two matches in one night is what the people are really showing up to see.
I fucking live for moments like this and I will burn each and every single one of you on my way to being the one thing, the one person that everyone remembers when they think about ICONIC 2022.
Unfortunately, each of you has decided to play with fire in your own ways.
I’ll show all of you the difference between a small spark from a cheap MVW brand lighter and a raging inferno.
And I’ll walk out of those flames still YOUR HOW LSD Champion.