October 4th, 2022
“I see you are now fighting Clay Byrd’s battles.”
This was the first thing I heard when I walked into Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in Las Vegas. I looked to the right and saw Ellis Jackson sitting at the bar staring intently at everyone who was walking in. It was obvious he was waiting for ME to show up and that quip was at the tip of his tongue for so long his mouth was probably dry even with that drink in his right hand. I rubbed my eyes as a headache began the moment I heard his irritating voice. I frowned as I took my hands from my eyes and stared at him. I put my hand up to respond.
“This isn’t the place.”
Where was the place, I thought to myself?
But the hand of Rebecca Hines grabbed my arm as she spoke to me to calm me down. I stopped whatever I was going to do because at that time I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell him off or wonder how the hell he knew we were going to eat here.
“Ugh,” I muffled out of my mouth.
I was hoping to have a good meal a few days before I had to wrestle a man who literally would drink swamp water and consider it a delicacy. Instead, I was being met with Ellis Jackson and his condescending voice, his grin never leaving his face as he continued to stare at us.
“Is he with you?”
I turned and looked at the lady at the check in podium with what I could only imagine a look of murder as I witnessed her welcoming smile go away faster than a Coors Light in front of Steve Solex. Rebecca saw the woman’s face become pale and then turned to see my scowl and shook her head at. I took another deep breath because it seems that is the only calming exercise I could even understand. I mean…who the hell has time to cross their legs and close their eyes? Meditation is for people with time to be stressed about every mundane thought that comes to their mind.
I shook my head.
Unfortunately, before I could finish one shake of my beautiful bald head.
He was there like a shark smelling blood.
His arm around the hostess.
A smirk that would make you sign him up as the new Cheshire Cat.
“Yes, dear, we are family…here.”
The hostess looked up at Ellis and then back at me and then smartly she looked at Rebecca. I was now wishing I hadn’t left Jack at whatever dispensary he wandered into, but this was a chance for me and one that had seemingly failed—once again. I have the luck of the Irish if you took a four-leaf clover, cut each clover off and said here fuckface you are what we call the Anti-Christ of luck. Luck of the Hsiri it is then where nobody gets what they want but they sure as shit will get Ellis Jackson showing up everywhere you go.
“We don’t want to make a scene, Steve. He is kind of like family to you, let’s just humor him and try to have a good meal,” Rebecca turned to me and said as she moved her thumb back to point at Ellis.
I grit my teeth.
I felt my jaw beginning to hurt.
I released my jaw.
“Fine,” came spewing out my mouth but each letter in that word made my stomach turn.
The Hostess tried her best smile again, but it failed to match her genuine smile as the tension was evident to everyone and it is hard to fake what she once had. “Great, follow me.”
Ellis took the lead and began following the hostess while Rebecca walked behind, and I slowly walked last as I pondered how my day had gotten to this point.
I swear I am cursed.
We sat down and immediately Ellis grabbed a plate and went up to the salad bar and started loading his plate with olives. I didn’t get it then and I don’t know now, but that guy is obsessed with olives like Frank Dylan James is obsessed with Squirrel livers. You can fry them, you can grill them, you can…oh sure like FDJ doesn’t fry everything.
Rebecca in an attempt to get my mind off of Ellis began, “Steve, forget about him and remember you overcame teaming with Conor Fuse of all people and defeated two current champions. I think you can handle a little awkward time with one of your former trainers.”
Of course, an attempt should not lead into ending with bringing him up. She wasn’t wrong though. I should be able to let Ellis’s comments slide off my back especially since I have been on quite the roll as of late inside the wrestling ring. GREAT SCOTT was just Scott and Jace just continued his inconsistencies, and I somehow wasn’t stabbed in the back or left to get beat down by the Gamer Dork. All in all, it has been a successful last few month’s but what I do hasn’t stopped Christopher America from narrowly keeping his title against Jatt.
I nodded back at Rebecca but let’s be honest it wasn’t going to work, and I let it be known. “You are right, but since Ellis has come back from playing both sides in Ukraine, he has tried to become more than just a former trainer.”
I paused and stared at Rebecca. The Timberlake GIF was activated.
She stopped and turned to see Ellis adding another scope of Olives. “I couldn’t keep a straight face long, but you do know…more friends aren’t a bad thing.”
I shrugged, “when you find the friend tree let me know. The Highwaymen are four men strong regardless of personal things that might be occurring for any one of us. Why add someone with different stakes than what we have already tossed in together?”
Ellis finally made it back to the table and dropped his plate of Olives in front of his chair. He picked one up and tossed it into his mouth, he chewed and swallowed and then looked from Rebecca to me, “oh sorry was I interrupting one of your amazing scouting talks?”
“Why the hell do you have a plate of fucking olives?” I asked annoyed AGAIN with him.
He picked through the olives and then picked one up and showed me, “every olive looks the same but that doesn’t mean they always taste the same. Some might be in the juices longer. Some might have been picked late.” He tossed it into his mouth.
I scratched my head, “sure and some people like pineapple on pizza what’s your point?”
“My point is that not every member of The Highwaymen is up to the standards to make Olive Oil from but instead should just be thrown in protest at an actual Olive Garden Restaurant.”
I rolled my eyes.
Ellis smiled, “hillbilly wrestler attacked by Clay Byrd with help from his stable. HIS stable, Steve, this isn’t the first time you have heard that…right?”
Rebecca sensing something was boiling inside me, and she would be right, interrupted the conversation, “oh, here is our first meat guy and hopefully a waitress—I think we all could use a drink.”
“A strong one—make that two,” I mumbled as I watched the first slab of steak drop onto my plate followed with a sense of doom yelling from the bottom of my stomach. I wished it was because I was hungry, but I knew that wasn’t it.
Friends are supposed to have each other’s back.
Too often The Board is reaching outside HOW to find reinforcements to do their bidding. It doesn’t mean these people are part of their regime, but they are definitely getting paid by them and as we all know the money funding The Board is probably coming from illegal points of origin. If we had a HOW 401K, you can be assured it has been emptied and tossed into Christopher America’s propaganda machine and lawyer fees for people suing STRONKUMMS.
Everything that has been thrown against The Highwaymen…no, not just US but everyone in HOW who hasn’t kissed the ring hasn’t slowed down the progress they wish to eliminate.
I am still here.
I could be bloodied.
I could be injured.
I could limp.
It doesn’t matter because I have been through worse, and I am still here. Better yet, I am fucking thriving as others continue to fall off. There is nothing The Board can do and that includes tossing Frank Dylan James at me that will harm my progression towards the title.
I will fight the behemoth because I must.
I will fight this monster because he dared to call out and attack Clay Byrd.
I will fight this moron because I also enjoy beating the literal shit out of disrespecting wrestlers that wander in thinking they deserve the world.
You must think you are hot stuff too, Frank. Your first match was for a title, and you have the task of your first Pay Per View match being against Clay Byrd. This screams that you get what you want but maybe you really are as good as you are constantly portraying yourself to be.
Look, we all think we are better than our station.
Some of us fight for a better spot.
Some of us are just given a higher spot because people know who they are.
It doesn’t matter to me how a wrestler gets to his spot because just like karma in the end you will end up where you belong. What matters to me is that you are trying to take out my friend, Frank.
Like I began this with: friends have each other’s back. Please don’t buy into the narrative that there is friction between us or that I feel like people aren’t carrying their part of the load. It is a ridiculous conjecture that the desperate cling onto when they become fearful. Thus, I will do whatever needs to be done to have a friend’s back and that includes this coming Sunday when I deal with a 6’ 9” neanderthal.
It is rare when I go against someone taller than me, but his neck is just as vulnerable as anyone shorter than me. Heh, that neck is actually an even bigger target then normal and that has me licking my chops at the damage I could give it. I will chop you down, I will knee that neck, and I will bend your head in directions you cannot even pronounce until I leave you humbled and asking for forgiveness for daring to go against The Highwaymen.
I will prove that I am not the Miracle Man in name only and take you down, Frank. You can be as big as a tree but that will just make you fall on your face louder. Your head is mine and I will leave just enough for Clay to gobble up and finish at Rumble at the Rock.
I promised him he could have some fun with you so I will try to relax on how much blood I drain from that pest infested body of yours.
I am going to step over your body and keep preparing for Rumble at the Rock. Do not get it twisted though because you are the only person I am preparing for this Sunday, and I will prove that I can manage multiple fronts at once. Nobody is going to get past me and I will continue pushing forward to victory.
Maybe do something new, like floss your teeth.
Maybe do something interesting, like try a shower.
It won’t make a difference as The Miracle Man will just steamroll a meth addict, horrible moonshine making hillbilly stereotype like you were just a new name Jatt Starr was using.
Heads are going to roll.
Take notes, folks.
“So, then the guy said why should I fight another person’s battle if I am not compensated more for doing it?”
I paid him no mind as all I heard was a muffled voice as seconds after I ordered two drinks, I put in my ear buds but Ellis being the self-absorbed prick he is never even noticed it. It had only been about five minutes, but it felt like an eternity as I just watched his mouth move nonstop and nod when he was done like he said some profound sentence that I would remember when I was dying in hospice as an old man.
Unfortunately, I saw from the corner of my eye as Rebecca leaned over and snagged each of my ear buds out and put them on the table. I looked down at them and then turned to her and sighed. Ellis saw them and laughed as he took a big bite of the bacon wrapped piece of steak in front of him.
“Can’t silence the truth forever,” he said with a mouth full of food.
I looked back at Rebecca again, “Oh come on, you WANT me to hear him?”
She shook her head, “no, I want you to hear me.”
I looked down at my plate and cut a small piece of meat and put it to my mouth and chewed slowly. She wasn’t wrong but I was so sick of hearing Ellis Jackson talk about the wrestling industry. This is the same guy who hadn’t had a competitive match since the year 2000. I also have no idea what he is trying to accomplish but what I do know is that he only cares about himself.
“Sorry,” I said quietly but still staring at my plate. I was rather embarrassed at that point. I went from having a meal with Rebecca, to having a meal with Rebecca and Ellis, to having a meal by myself with people around me. Guess I will forever be a social…what’s the opposite of a butterfly?
Ellis cleared his throat after taking a sip of his newest alcoholic mixed drink, “As I was saying…”
I interrupted Ellis, “you mean what you are always saying?”
Ellis put his fork down and shook his head, “no, Steve because this time you are fighting some giant brawler with gingivitis because you had to help YOUR leader become relevant at Chaos again.”
I picked up my steak knife and stabbed downwards at the piece still on my plate and left it sitting there. “Teams must make concessions at times to help one another. It is not like I enjoy the presence of that guy either.”
“Yet, you are the one fighting him instead of preparing for your real target. The Highwaymen have messed up what your focus should be on.”
Rebecca rubbed me on the arm and smiled and then looked at Ellis, “you are not helping this dynamic, Ellis.”
I took a drink from my beer and placed it back on the table. “I won’t ever forget the end goal. I will systematically take that fascist champion apart and bring the HOW title back to Miracle Enterprises. I will celebrate with The Highwaymen, and I will then do what it takes to move forward with my interests at Heart. Trust me, the boys will not disagree with that.”
Ellis scoffs, “we both know…that isn’t how it will go.”
I sighed again, this was getting repetitive to me, but he continued to make different points and it was hard to not think them over. “This is exhausting, Ellis, what the hell do you want?”
Ellis smiles but then looks back down to his plate and cuts a piece of pork and takes a bite. He washed it down with his drink and then pointed at me with his fork, “what you want.”
I rolled my eyes.
What do I want? I asked myself numerous times inside my head.
“For you to go away?”
Give him the knee
Heh, oh god not that again I mused.
Ellis laughed and shrugged his shoulders. He placed his utensils down and took one last sip from his current drink. “Ahhh, that is nice. You see Steve, I want that World Title around your waist.”
“You know, Ellis,” I paused, “I use to respect you a lot.” He nodded back at me and looked like he was going to respond, but I didn’t let that happen. “I am not done. I even named the Tag Team I had with Cancer Jiles, The G’Odd Couple after you and PJ Brown’s team from the UWF when I was just a kid discovering what wrestling was.”
He put his hand to his heart in what normally would be a touching way but instead it just looked like an asshole doing sarcastic things. He went to respond again, and I shook my head, “nah, Ellis. Like I said I USED to respect you, now you are nothing but an immoral conman who cares more about taking money from a war-torn country then helping them. When you got caught doing that you came running back to the States and the problem is I have no idea what your end game is, but I don’t think it will be good for me or my friends,” I looked over at Rebecca for support and she nodded even though she was more then a friend. She just didn’t know it…ugh.
I finished and took a deep breath.
I took a sip from my water.
Ellis’s smile had faded, and he nodded slowly as he began to decipher everything I had said. I didn’t feel like waiting though and I stood up and motioned a confused looking Rebecca Hines to do so as well. Before I could turn and walk away Ellis spoke up, “you momentarily brought back your aggression when reacting to Christopher America but look at you now. You need me because I know what it takes, and I can get it out of you.”
I turned and took a few steps as Rebecca walked in front of me. Ellis whispered loudly enough for me to hear, “you hold her hand yet?”
I turned my face beat red but not from anger…from sheer embarrassment. “What?”
His laugh came back, and he already got control of this conversation back, “nothing, Steve-o but I hope you are ready to watch those Tag Titles go away too. But hey…you never showed any obsession with those or anything—right?”
I put my finger up to respond but I didn’t.
I turned my back to his newly minted smirk and saw Rebecca looking back at this from the door to exit the restaurant. I faked a smile.
Probably didn’t work.
I walked towards her and felt his eyes on me the whole time.
He had gotten in my head, and I barely got to eat anything,
Least I stuck him with the bill.
Sarcastic yay with a belly growl.