God’s House – Miami
“Look at that! That’s a thing of fucking beauty right there, my hairy friend..”
The big screen in Lee Best’s home theatre was paused on a very selective shot from Sektor’s most recent match with Rhys Townsend at 97RED. Sektor’s face was crimson with 97RED blood but he didn’t mind, he was enjoying the look of pleasure on his own face as he felt Townsend go weaker and weaker in his arms until finally limp. There was no greater feeling than achieving that level of dominance over someone.
Sektor’s eyes sparkled with a menacing pleasure as he studied the still frame, marvelling at the dominance and control he had over his opponent in those final moments. Townsend was at the mercy of the Sektor Stretch, a hold that countless great wrestlers had been forced to submit to over the years. The Gold Standard was particularly proud of this moment. He had achieved his objective by beating Townsend. He had overcome his individual insecurities and found a way to focus and win. He had also beaten a man who was more than a threat and now he was starting to believe again. That final moment, frozen in time on the screen, answered so many questions that he needed answering if he was to stick around and have one final run in the wrestling world. The answers were all positive, and now he was enjoying his recovery and waiting to find out what was in store for him next.
He sat on the plush leather sofa, in Lee’s home theatre, with his legs elevated and both knees strapped with ice packs. He wore only a pair of briefs and a black and gold Kimono which was wide open and revealing his bare chest, abs and legs. There was evidence of bruises beginning to bloom like flowers from the rough skin to skin contact he had to endure with his opponent.
Everything hurt. He was on day 3 of post match recovery and that was when things were always at their stiffest and most painful. Spending 24 hours on a pressurised cabin with limited room to stretch and walk didn’t help matters either. He wasn’t complaining, pain was part of the process and something he was accustomed to. The only downside was that he had to treat it as naturally and organically as possible due to his history of prescription and non-prescription drug abuse.
A low, deep, groaning sound came from the fiery red primate to his right. Sektor slowly turned his head in the Orangutan’s direction, struggling to peel his eyes from the screen.
“What?” he asked, finally looking at the primate.
Clyde huffed and his eyes darted quickly to Sektor but never making eye contact. He began smacking the arm of the sofa, clearly protesting about something. Sektor rolled his eyes and sighed.
“Clyde, I told ya, I’ll put Animal Planet on in a little bit, okay? I wanna watch some Miami Vice reruns first. You’ll fucking love it, it’s..”
He was cut off by a louder groan from Clyde, who was now growing increasingly restless on the sofa. Sektor merely coked his head and shook it in disbelief.
“You what, man? You’re lucky I let you in here. If Lee fucking knew you were in here sat on his sofa he’d go fucking nuts..”
The Gold Standard leaped out of his skin as the booming voice came from all around him in the surround sound system, as though God himself was bellowing his name. Snapping his eyes back to the large screen he could see Lee’s face looking back at him. Most of it was obscured by his dark shades and snowy white beard, but it was an intimidating image all the same.
Sektor was deeply confused by what was happening as he gawked at Lee’s face on the TV. All he could think about was when Marty Mclfy got fired in Back to the Future part II.
“Lee? How are you doing this?” he asked, looking around the room for answers as though there was a curtain hiding him somewhere like in Wizard of Oz.
“I’m God, num-nuts!” Lee bemoaned. “Also, I know you love the 80’s but technology has moved on some since then..”
Sektor was still confused and paranoid and began waving his hands slowly in front of him.
“Can you see me?”
“Yes! I can also see Clyde sat there on my fucking couch!” he snapped, shaking his head.
Sektor grimaced as he glanced at the beautiful Orangutan, offering his hands up apologetically.
“I know-I know, but look he was standing outside tapping at the window to come in. Tap-tap-tap-tap tap! I just felt bad for him, staring at me with those beautiful blue eyes..”
“The only window he can tap on is on the other wing of the house!” Lee sharply informed him.
Sektor paused, stumped for a moment before quickly pulling a response out of his ass.
“Yeah, but, I know he’s doing it..”
“Look it’s fine, I don’t care. Just make sure he doesn’t get at my stache otherwise you’re going to have a BIG problem,” warned the boss.
Sektor merely nodded his head in acknowledgement, suddenly turning serious as a thought crossed over his mind. He thought about ignoring it, worried about the reaction it may provoke in the boss. But he was compelled to ask the question.
“Boss,” he began, hesitating. “About Chris and Narc..”
Lee held the palm of his hand up on the screen. “Not now. Now’s not the time for that. That isn’t why I’m calling you.”
Sektor, out of respect, nodded and accepted his boss’s wishes.
“No, I’m calling to let you know that the next time you see me in person will be in Chicago. I’ve booked you for the main event of the first Chaos after 97RED.”
The news hit Sektor like a ton of bricks. He was completely caught off guard and had expected to be given a lengthy spell at home to recover before he was called upon again. He looked down at his legs, heavily strapped with Ice to reduce the swelling. The pain he’d distracted himself from was beginning to manifest.
“Sek?” Lee eventually asked, noticing Sektors stunned silence.
Sektor straightened his back and took a breath, not wanting to show any weakness in front of Lee.
“Yes, of course. Sorry, I’m just a little surprised. You know, we seem to be migrating further and further away from our original agreement..”
He knew, given Lee’s current state of mind, that challenging him would likely cause some friction. He didn’t care. He had to stand his ground.
“Hey man, our deal still stands. If you want the week off just say the word,” Lee calmly replied, in a ‘no big deal’ kind of tone.
This caught Sektor off guard, but before he could give his response the God of HOW continued to talk:
“Of course, I will have to find somebody else to challenge for the HOTV title, but that shouldn’t be a problem,” he continued, dangling his words in front of Sektor like the bait that they were.
“Woah! Hold up a second,” Sektor interjected, provoking a wry smile from Lee. “Did you say HOTV title?”
“Consider it a reward for you completing your task and beating that fat Welsh fuck Townsend. He’ll think twice before putting his taco hands on me again. So, you want it? Or not?”
“Of course I want it, are you kidding me?” he replied with excitement. “Gracias, jefe!”
“Bueno! Now, obviously you know the rules and stipulations of the HOTV division, right? Once you win it, you have to defend it every week..”
The reality of that hit Sektor hard. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to compete week in and week out, in fact he wished he could. But his body wouldn’t allow it. He’d come back on a contract that more or less allowed him to show up and compete on his own time. The HOTV carried its own contractual obligations and the demands on his body would be huge.
“Of course,” Lee continued, smiling. “If you were, say, unable to compete and had valid reasons? Then I would have to honour that because I have a duty of care to my employees. You see what I’m saying?”
Sektor imagined Lee giving him a strong wink behind those dark sunglasses he wore. He smirked, feeling reassured that Lee would protect him.
“I hear you boss,” he said gleefully. “I’m picking up what you’re putting down!” he said, practically licking his lips.
“Alright, that’s in the books, good shit. You got just under a couple of weeks to get ready for this man. Shane’s been on fire since he returned but I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll be the one to slam the breaks on for him. Bring that title home, baby..”
Sektor felt a lump in his throat. Amongst all the excitement he hadn’t thought about who the champion actually was. Shane Reynolds. Another Hall of Famer. Another man who Sektor knew very well and had numerous encounters with over the years. He looked down at his legs apathetically, but forcing himself to smile.
“Thank you for the opportunity, sir,” he humbly replied.
“You deserve it man. Party in Chicago when you win,” he continued, earning a smile from the Gold Standard. “Okay I got a lot of shit to sort out here in the office. You have yourself a good day sir. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t let Clyde watch animal planet,” he ordered, with a somewhat authoritative tone.
Sektor shifted uneasily, having already promised the primate that he would do exactly that. He still wasn’t sure how intelligent Clyde was, or how much he understood, but up to this point he seemed to understand everything Sektor had said to him.
“No problem. May I ask why?”
“That shit’s like porn hub to him. The maid refuses to clean that shit up so unless you want to be on your hands and knees scrubbing Orangutan cum I would strongly advise against it. Keep the place tidy too, you may be getting some guests.”
Sektor raised an eyebrow with suspicion but knew that his opportunity to ask Lee for more information had gone.
Sektor raised a hand to say goodbye but the screen had already faded to black before switching back to the frozen image of Townsend dying inside the Sektor Stretch.
Sektor sat silently for a while, staring at the image on the screen but not really looking at it. He was trying to process everything he’d just heard. HOTV title? Shane? Monkey jizz? However the first thing he wanted to know was regarding the last thing Lee said.
“What do you think he meant by guests?” he asked, turning his attention towards Clyde.
Clyde turned his head towards him, no eye contact, but giving him his attention. He eventually let out a quiet grunt which Sektor took as ‘how the fuck should I know?’
This troubled Sektor for a brief moment, but then he suddenly smiled from ear to ear and snapped his fingers.
“He’s sending escorts over!” he barked excitedly. “That’ll be it. What a guy. Hey buddy, you never know, for the right price one of them might give you a reach around?”
Clyde, as if completely understanding, bared all his teeth as though he was smiling.
“Lee you old devil you..” continued Sektor, chuckling to himself. “How about that though, huh? HOTV championship match. I think I quite like the idea of being a champion again. It’s always been a good look for me. I guess it would silence all those fucking nerds who bitch and complain that I don’t work enough huh?” he suggested, looking to Clyde for validation, but Clyde just yawned.
Sektor’s eyes were sparkling at that moment. He was already imagining himself raising that shiny belt above his head. He loved being a champion. He was never happier than when a championship was around his waist. When he held the LSD championship for a, then, record amount of time, he had burned himself out. Now he has been away long enough that the hunger was back. In fact he was starving and now here’s an opportunity being served to him on a silver platter, with all the trimmings to boot.
His time in dreamland quickly came to an end as he took a hard look down at his elevated and iced legs. Townsend may have lost the match, but he’d done enough damage to the Gold Standard that he wouldn’t be able to forget it any time soon.
“C’mon John, no sense feeling sorry for yourself,” he sighed, gritting his teeth as he prepared to move. “I can’t just lay around all day, I need to get moving. Clyde, be a pal and help an old man up would ya?”
Sektor began unstrapping the ice packs from his knees, allowing them to fall to the floor. When he was finished he looked at Clyde who didn’t seem the slightest bit interested in helping him.
“Don’t be a dick.”
After saying this, Clyde hopped off the sofa and Sektor smiled as he expected the fiery haired primate to help him get up. However Clyde decided to walk out of the room and Sektor watched in disbelief as his huge arms waved from side to side as he went.
“ASSHOLE!” he yelled, pretending to cry as he looked down at his legs. He was stiff, sore and bruised. His muscles felt like they were filled with pure acid as he shifted them slightly to try them out.
Staring down at his legs he frowned intensely, not accepting defeat. He knew he had to grin and bear the pain because it wasn’t going anywhere. The best thing he could do was get moving. The clock was ticking and Shane was waiting.
“Move you pieces of shit!” he growled at his knees, as though he hated them. He clasped his hands either side of his right thigh and moved his right leg over the side of the foot rest of the recliner sofa. He held his breath and tensed up as he burning pain in his muscles. That was only the appetiser. As his knee bent he almost hit the roof, fizzing small frothy balls of spit out of the corners of his mouth. He repeated the process for the other leg and then leaned over to pull the lever of the foot rest.
He took a moment to catch his breath and mentally prepare for the next part. Carefully, he stood up, feeling the pops and cracks in his knees as he put his weight on them. Once he felt he could trust them he began to walk forward, wincing at the daggers of pain in his back and prickles in his legs. His circulation was not what it once was. Time after time he had warned himself not to become too idle, and now he was having to endure the excruciating agony of blood returning to his feet, feeling a thousand hot needles stabbing into the soles.
He took a few short steps and stopped at a window that overlooked the enormous garden of the estate. He caught a reflection of his pathetic state and began to question himself. How the fuck was he supposed to beat the almight Shane Reynolds like this? He wasn’t. He couldn’t. How could he?
“Not this time,” he told himself. Not this time would he allow himself to have doubts. He had been through that process before facing Townsend and refused to back into that black hole of self loathing. He feared Shane, just like he feared Townsend. But he beat Townsend, just like he’ll beat Shane. Because fear is good. It keeps you on your toes and stops you being reckless.
He lived to be a champion. And a champion, he will be.
So what now – he thought to himself as he gazed over the gardens. He couldn’t train, not yet. Not in this state. He supposed he would fill up one of the bathtubs with a load of ice and sit in it until he was numb.
He could do his research. But he didn’t need to. He’d been keeping his eye on Shane from a distance ever since he returned to the fold. Why?
Because he knew this day was coming..
Wow, Shane. Who’d have thought it, huh? From knowing one another since 2002, here we are in 2023 about to face one another yet again. And for a championship no less. The fact that you and I are both still standing after all these years is nothing short of a miracle.
The last time we faced each other was March to Glory 2013, a two out of three falls match for my World and Icon championships. You remember that one? You took the Icon from me but I won the day and finally got a monkey off my back by beating your ass. Because I’ve always considered you to be my achilles, Shane. I’ve told you many times how difficult you are to beat.
But not any more.
So what’s changed for the two of us? ALOT, right?
I believe you’ve now realised in your older years that you’re just a wrestler now? No gimmicks, just a plain old wrestler like yours truly. Well, except for that fucking mask you wear right? I mean let’s talk about that for a second. Why do you wear a mask Shane? I know, I know, you’re all scarred and shit but, c’mon. Are you hiding? Hiding your face? Hiding the deeper scars that can’t be seen? Let me tell you something, amigo. You put a creepy mask on in a wrestling ring? You aint hiding!
Anyway, I digress..
I’ve been watching you carefully, hermano. You’re as impressive as ever. You’ve adapted and grounded yourself. You’ve said goodbye to reckless abandon, and you calculate those risks. Because underneath that mask you’re a smart guy. You, like me, know how brittle our fucking bodies are from doing this for so long. One springboard, flippy-shit, moosault could end it all.
So now you’re on my level. You’re on the ground, on the canvas. On your best day it was your speed, agility and risk taking that gave you an edge over me, but all of that is gone. You’ve lost that unpredictability. Now you’re in my territory and we’re going to find out just how good of a wrestler you actually are.
It’s a painful game isn’t it Shane? Speaking of pain, you ought to be careful of those painkillers and morphine amigo. Take it from a guy who’s been there, worn the t-shirt and milked it so much that they called me “Johnny drug-drugs Sektor”..that’s not a rabbit hole you want to go down. It’s been done to death dude. I wouldn’t want to see an Icon like yourself fall into those traps.
Aside from the mask and change in styles, you really haven’t changed at all. You’re still the sad little emo kid that you always have been, blaming the world and everyone else for your misery, when really it’s your inability to be happy in the first place. That chick in your entourage would literally lick your pole every night and let you do her every which way but loose, but instead you wallow in self pity and ask her to carve out peoples names in your skin, because, quite simply? You’re fucked in the head. Not in the cool way either, just a disturbed individual that has an inability to be happy.
Oh and on that note? I’m not comfortable with the thought that you’re walking around with my name carved in your flesh like some kind of Silence of the Lambs shit. It doesn’t scare me, it just pisses me off. My name? MY NAME actually means something in this World. But I can’t stop you doing that. But now I know that, you can be damn sure that I’ll stop you carving a line through it, because I won’t be some name on your list of people who you have beaten. No fucking way.
But you know what Shane? In spite of how fucking weird I think you are. I still carry an awful lot of respect for you. I find myself saying that alot lately but when they book me in matches with fellow Hall of Famers how can I not? LIke me Shane you are in the Hall of Fame because of what you have achieved and because of what you have done in the ring.
Look at you now. After all these years you have come back and gone on a five match winning streak, acquiring the HOTV title and being named wrestler of the month. Scary. Scary how no amount of time ever seems to stop you from being dominant in this sport and I have to take my hat off to that. For me, I usually have to go through the gears and get the engine nice and hot before I start accelerating, you know?
Not this time, though.
This time I feel different. Physically? I’m fucked, just like you are. We’re going to be like a couple of cripples going at it on Sunday, but no one will ever know because we mask it so well.
No I feel like this time I don’t need to go through the gears. I don’t have time for that shit and after proving to myself that I can get a big dub like I did after Townsend?
I’m all in and ready to assert my own dominance and it all starts with you, Shane.
Now I’ve been fairly complimentary of you up to this point, and for good reason. But as a champion? I don’t buy it. I watched your match with Bobbinette and that title was like a fucking afterthought. I thought it was a disgrace how little importance you placed on that championship. I don’t care about your fifteen year grudge because some bitch pulled rank on you. When you are a champion, that title is the centre of everything, not your ego.
What makes me laugh is that you failed. Sure, you won the match Shane but you failed to deliver on your promise. You swore that you wouldn’t rest unless you ended her career, but unless I’m mistaken she is very much still an active competitor and will soon be polluting our eyes and ears with her annoying…woman shit.
You failed in your promise and you failed as a champion. You’re just a failure in general.
That title on you is nothing more than an accessory. You don’t want it. You don’t care about it. The only thing keeping it hot is the fact that your name is affiliated with it.
It’s time someone else took over.
You want to see what a great champion looks like? You’re looking at him. I’ve broken records with every title I’ve ever held. I’ve elevated titles out of the stratosphere. I’ve rebranded them and given them new identities.
What do you think I’m going to do when I take the HOTV title from you?
I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to take it to the fucking moon. When I land there, I’m going to take it further, into different galaxies. Fuck, I’ll create new galaxies, you know why? Because I know what it takes to be a fucking champion and I’m going to become the greatest HOTV champion of all time. And you can laugh at that if you want to but it’s what I fucking believe and when I get motivated about shit? Shit happens!
On Sunday, you enter my world as the HOTV champion but you will leave empty handed. And if any of your little cronies even breathes on me then you’re in for a world of shit, amigo. Consider this a friendly warning. If they fuck with me then you will be an enemy of the Final Alliance.
On Sunday I want to find out who you really are. So take off that fucking mask, keep your little cult at home and come and stand in front of me like a man. I know you’ll be seething hearing the way I’ve just talked about you. So show up and fucking prove to me that you have what it takes to be a champion.
Because if not, I’ll be on my way to making history again, whilst you’ll be nothing more than a smudge of its legacy.
So come on, lose the mask. Let’s do this like two men who don’t give a fuck and wrestle it like its the last match of our lives. Let’s tear the fucking Best Arena down.
Because this is the first match of many in my HOTV legacy Shane, and I want to start as I mean to go on.
Bring the fire.
Bring the rage.
Bring the Hatred.
Bring the title..
I want it all!