“It was obvious to me that I had work to do. But I couldn’t deny the emptiness and the feeling of being a ghost. That’s what it felt like after Lethal Lottery…like I wasn’t even fucking there. It’s obviously a shitty feeling but what was I doing wrong? I remember all the opportunities I got when Lethal Lottery came around. Sure, I lost some..but I also won some too. So why was this one different? Maybe it’s because I’m trying to rise up after everything and being given a shot at grabbing one of those brass rings..but I didn’t get that opportunity. I know that Lethal Lottery is a show of chance and also a show of chance of not being selected for a match. I obviously wasn’t chosen. Yet I can’t get it out of my head that it was a rigged effort. Have I fallen so far that I simply don’t matter anymore? Have I fallen so far that the name Hollywood simply doesn’t have any value in it anymore? I was seriously starting to wonder that and trying to weigh the pros and cons of continuing….and just packing it all up? So just what is it exactly that I’m going to chose? Now that is the million dollar question, isn’t it?”
April 29, 2020
Five Time Academy
Hollywood stands right outside the door but just stops short of the front door. It has been a rough couple weeks for Hollywood. Hollywood rolls his eyes and scoffs as he begins to think…that seems to be the only thing he’s been able to the last couple of weeks and it was a dangerous game for Hollywood to be thinking. His thoughts were genius most of the time…but they were also betrayous as well. Hollywood sometimes gave into those thoughts and those thoughts were….temptation. However, Hollywood was also aware that everything he’s done at the Five Time shows promise. Even though he thought his now so called “manager” was a bonafide douche bag at his finest, he couldn’t deny everything he had learned from Alan Ventura. Perhaps the hardknocked manager was exactly what Hollywood needed right now because he helped him keep himself out of his own head. Hollywood sighs as it was a tough decision to make. Hollywood looks at the door once more and before he does anything else, his cell phone begins to ring. Hollywood looks at his phone and a relieving smile crosses his face as his cell phone reads Phil Woods. Hollywood answers it without any delay.
Brian Hollywood: “Well it sure is pleasant to hear from you! How are you my friend?”
Phil Woods: “Hollywood! Brother, how ya doin?”
Brian Hollywood: “Man…to be honest…I’m in a tough spot.”
There was a small pause on the phone before Phil replies.
Phil Woods: “Brother I hear ya….I’ve obviously been watching ya wrassle and you’ve done an amazin job…I’ve also seen ya in trouble too and I just gotta say, ya can bounce back from anything.”
Brian Hollywood: “You say that like it’s as easy as that to do. But to be honest, it’s not as simple as that. You’ve seen all the good things I’ve done…but brother..things have been really hard on me. Making the transition and sticking to it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve had some doubts, Phil, and it’s really fucking with my mind, you know? Like…I can’t really talk to anyone about it because I really don’t have any friends left in this business. I’m all alone…but being on my own has never been a problem because I’ve been able to own it and I’ve been successful. But for some reason…this time being on my own…it’s like an anchor and I don’t know why.”
Hollywood’s head drops down in sadness as you could tell by his facial expression right now that Hollywood really felt…alone. For the first time in his career, He didn’t know how to handle the loneliness and it was conflicting…what was going on in his head and how he went about the execution was blatantly obvious. There was one element that was surprisingly keeping it all together and it was the one element that was causing all the friction, too, as Phil responds to Hollywood.
Phil Woods: “I hear ya, brother, I really do…but you’re not alone.”
Brian Hollywood: “What do you mean? I know I’ve got you, but you’re not here man. I know you’re on the road and I don’t know when you’re going to be back in town….but this is different.”
Phil Woods: “Actually brother..I wasn’t referrin myself….”
Brian Hollywood: “Well if you weren’t referring to yourself then who else could you possibly be–“
Hollywood pauses as he seemingly started to pick up on who Phil was talking about and Hollywood’s facial expressions weren’t happy ones.
Brian Hollywood: “You’re seriously talking about my so called manager, aren’t you? That man has done nothing but become a distraction to me! I know you watch HOW and I know you watch my matches. You saw how Alan was in my match against Zeb Martin! So enlighten me man! How has Alan been of any help to me?!”
Phil Woods: “Do I seriously need to answer that question Bri? Look…I watched yer match against Zeb Martin…and it wasn’t so much as to what Alan was doin, but rather, how you were wrasslin in yer match. I saw lots of temptations of familiarity and every time that happened…I saw Alan interfere. So maybe…just maybe…you were lookin at all this the wrong way. Perhaps Alan was protectin you from yerself?”
It was in that moment that a long pause ensues as Hollywood’s facial reaction instantly changes. He looks down as a Hollywood thought process ensued. Was Alan really protecting him from himself? Perhaps Hollywood didn’t realize how hard Alan was trying to keep Hollywood from succumbing to himself. Hollywood didn’t even consider that a possibility as he was so angry at Alan over his loss to Zeb. Hollywood slowly nods his head as he actually takes the time to really consider that possibility.
Brian Hollywood: “You know…perhaps you’re right, Phil. Maybe Alan really was helping..even though it seemed that all he was doing was distracting me in my match and I just lost sight of that…you know what? Thank you, Phil. This is why I consider you to be a good friend because you look past all that and you help see the bigger picture. Maybe I really need to give Alan more praise…even if he’s a complete fucking douchebag. Thank you, Phil. Well hey…I better run. I’m at the gym right now to train for my next upcoming match so I’ll catch you later, eh?”
Phil Woods: “Hey no problem, brother! I’m up in the Northeast coast deliverin a shipment…but I will be rollin back to Chicago soon so perhaps we can set up a meet if ya ain’t too busy.”
Brian Hollywood: “Sounds good brother..you take care in the meantime, alright?”
Phil Woods: “You got it, brother! Until then..I’ll talk to ya later!”
Hollywood nods his head as he ends the phone call with Phil. It seemed that Hollywood had gotten some clarity on his recent events as he takes one more look at the front door and walks into the gym and right on cue of course…
Alan Ventura: “Well it’s about time jack fuck! I was beginning to wonder if you were even gonna show up again.”
And just like that, the whole scene had changed, along with Hollywood’s happy moment as he seemingly was robbed of that moment from Ventura…but he wasn’t surprised as he simply took Alan’s comments straight to the face.
Brian Hollywood: “You don’t waste anytime in bashing me when you can, can you?”
Alan Ventura: “Well what did you expect? The polar fucking express?! This isn’t happy hour at Sonic motherfucker! This is precious time I’m spending and I expect you to respect that time! Now are you here to train or what…because newsflash douche praiser, you’ve got a match against another fucking rookie!”
And just like that, Hollywood’s doubts were starting to come back to him. He had forgotten he was facing another rookie with the two weeks he’d endured. Hollywood wasn’t happy about it. He felt that he was ready to get back into the ring against bigger competition and familiar faces in HOW and that he was ready to really get the focus back on the bigger picture.
Brian Hollywood: “I already know what the commentary is going to be this week. Can Brian Hollywood really get his shit together? Can Hollywood really stop himself from self destruction? Will Hollywood be conquered by yet another fucking rookie? You don’t think I don’t think about that all the time?!”
Alan Ventura: “You want the answers to all those questions ass fuck? Well you’re in luck! I just happen to know the answers to all of them! You see the answer is….WHO IN THE ACTUAL FLYING FUCK CARES?! Those are all circumstantial questions and in the grand scheme of all that is merely bullshit in a mirror! Now are you ready to train or what because I’ve obviously got better things to do than waste my time on you if you’re not going to go all in with me, you hear, bitch nuggets?!”
Hollywood was obviously irritated with Alan’s response and lack of caring. I mean, Alan didn’t show any sarcasm in his voice…that was obvious. Alan was indeed a bonafide douche bag at his finest, but that’s who he was and Hollywood was starting to see that. Hollywood sighs as he finally submits to Alan as he was ready to go.
Brian Hollywood: “Alright..let’s do this.”
Alan Ventura: “Well thank god of whatever right now that you have finally come to your unbelievably fucking stupid senses and are starting to see reason. Now…yes, you’ve got another match against a rookie named Max Stryker this week. But all hope is not lost. You are capable of beating him. You’re training has indeed gotten better…but you’ve got to stay out of your fucking head! That is your biggest challenger and obstacle…if you can do that…you’re going to continue doing well. Look at what you’ve been able to do against your other three opponents you beat before you went down against Zeb. There was PROGRESS there and PROMISE and I fucking KNOW you’ve got what it takes to be successful again!”
Hollywood takes the time to really listen to Alan. After his phone call with Phil, he really started to wonder if it was really himself that was holding him back and not Alan. Alan may have been a stubborn asshole this entire time…but his training was undeniably visible to see. Before anything else, though, Hollywood provides yet another rare quality that we don’t see from him. Offering forgiveness..
Brian Hollywood: “Alan…I want to….apologize..”
Alan Ventura: “Apologize?! Am I really hearing that right?! I feel like I’m going fucking deaf because not in a million fucking years would I hear Brian Hollywood apologize for anything!”
Brian Hollywood: “Well you don’t have to be a self centered asshole about it!”
Of course Alan was being a self centered asshole about it. He was taking in the apology from Hollywood because he knew what kind of man Hollywood was. Hollywood never apologized for a damn thing in his life and here he was offering one to Alan. I guess you could say that there was starting to be a connection between Hollywood and Ventura…even though the two constantly jabbed at one another. It was also a rare thing to see with this kind of connection that doesn’t exist with the normal human population.
Alan Ventura: “You’re right, I don’t. Heh, but can you fault me for it, dumb fuck? I just heard Brian Fucking Hollywood apologize for something. Hollywood never apologized for shit when he made a mistake because he made excuses…but not THIS Hollywood and now you’re finally making the progress I was hoping you would make. This is seriously a good start, fuckhead. Now if you’re ready…let’s hit the ring and really get training this week. If what we all witnessed here is any indication…than there is still hope for you and for this to work!”
Brian Hollywood: “Well then…I’m ready to step up the training! I seriously don’t plan to fuck up this time..I’m done losing to rookies!”
Alan Ventura: “Well see motherfucker!..”
Alan smiles lightly as Hollywood rolls his eyes as he steps into the ring and begins warming up as the scene slowly fades to black…
“This week I get the chance to get back on track. It was a real bummer that I didn’t get picked in the lottery. I really did feel like a ghost and empty there. It was like I was passed by. It seemed that everything was rigged to where Brian Hollywood couldn’t compete..it really did. I mean look at me?! I am a fucking wreck and the last anyone ever saw of me…I lost to a rookie named Zeb Martin. Now this week? I face another rookie named Max Stryker.”
“Yes, another fucking rookie. I get it…I really do. Only this time, I plan to change my fortunes greatly. I understand that the lottery is a chance to shine or a chance to get looked over. Well…I’m done being looked over. I’m done just settling for one match and then leaving. That’s not how Brian Hollywood operates. Oh no…so this week, Refueled is going to be fucking different. I will step into the ring with you, Max, but you’re going to see something that you’ve never seen before!”
“You don’t think I didn’t do my research on you Max? I also know that you got left out of the lottery as well. Is it such a surprise or a coincidence that you and I are now facing each other this week, Max? Well, I don’t believe in coincidences. Never have, never will. However, I have always believed in opportunities and every man and women in that locker room knows that I’m all about taking opportunities to the next level. But here is the important thing, Max. Everything you’ve fucking done outside of HOW….doesn’t mean SHIT! You really consider yourself to be the number one wrestler in the world? I don’t think so…in fact, I’m willing to put that to the test this week, Max. I’m willing to put that to the test and call your fucking bluff! I’ve never been more focused than I am now, Max, because I see the bigger picture now.”
“You’re right, though. I have fallen on hard times…but in those hard times, I’ve really been able to find something special and I’ve found something rich in those moments too…moments that money simply can’t buy as I’ve learned. I had all the money in the world, and that didn’t buy me everything. It’s within these moments right now that I’m learning what’s actually important and what’s actually valuable. It’s been in my training and my constant focus and my eye on my wrestling. It’s really starting to evolve and that means bad news for you I’m afraid!”
“You see, I’m no has been…and you will be eating those words when this so called “has been” kicks your fucking ass and teaches you a think or two about this company…because you see, when you step into HOW, everything you’ve done outside this company is reduced to zero. The competition here is more extreme…but the mentality is even more challenging and you will find that out first hand when we step into the ring against each other Max! You will find that I will tear your world completely apart and you will also learn just what it means to be in HOW…but most importantly, you will learn what it means to step into the ring with Brian Fucking Hollywood because I’M BACK and more focused than ever after a little help from a couple others in seeing that. There’s nothing wrong with a little help and you will find out just how unforgiving I can be when that bell rings…because in the end everything to me is still a….