“Put him in the chair.”
He’s placed directly across from me, his cold, dead blue eyes locked straight ahead, as if looking through my body while sporting a permanent, disgruntled scowl across his face. How many scars does he have on his bare skull, by the way? Guess if all I could do was punch and kick too, maybe I’d have to show my worth in these insane ways. You know, put my body on the line in hArDcOrE matches. Only, ever, hardcore matches. Exclusively. Luckily, I have something called skill. It’s allowed me to reach the last level, twice. Play with the big boys, ya know? Also just as lucky, I live in the year 2022 where hardcore matches are sooooo 90s. And yes, while vintage, not all throwbacks are good. That shit won’t fly anymore. Fans are over the boring. The people demand someone who can soar through the air at will.
How old is this guy? He’s old, right? He looks like he could be up there with Lee. FFS, both of them have leather faces, skin crinkled and worn to shreds. Funny, because for as many scars as this dude has on the top of his forehead, he’s got about as many stretch marks across his cheekbones. The only thing I really do like about him is the scarlet letter. It’s a nice touch. While I wasn’t here for H.A.T.E., I was told by many fellow comrades to ignore the faction’s history completely; it burned out harder than the last New York Rangers playoff run.
I give myself a knock across the back of my head. I promised I wouldn’t talk about hockey. It’s too easy. Also, I’m supposed to be the video game guy, not a playmaking sniper. Not that the moron sitting in front of me is one. He’s a useless, fourth line enforcer, who can only fight and definitely cannot skate… yeah, there’s not an NHL for those fuckers anymore.
“Dude, stop talking about hockey. Get a grip.”
“Sorry, dude.” I say back to myself. I am Canadian, WTF do you expect?
Let’s get to the point, alright…
I lean forward. I stare straight into his beady little eyes. And I clench my teeth together.
“You’re gonna be honest with me, capeesh?” I lean my head to the right, like a sociopath would to show I’m not kidding. Then I crack my knuckles for good measure. “I don’t want this to get physical. I don’t want to wrestle you again.”
Seems every few months I tackle this clown to the canvas and pin him 1-2-3. The guy even sent his worthless goons after JPD and I the last time.
Made quick work of him.
Made quick work of those goons, too.
Kinda like how I made quick work of the red headed step child in front of me last summer.
And how I made it look easy at ICONIC 2020.
“I suppose I should be Good Cop,” my voice trails, my eyes wander to the top of his forehead. I see the marks and dents up there. Christ. When I really think about it, I feel bad for the guy. “I should be nice to you because you were the First Level villain I required. You helped me find my confidence. I beat you at ICONIC and, in many ways, I never looked back. You were the training boss I needed at the time.”
I think about offering my arm for a fist bump but pull back before it’s too late.
“Like I said, Good Cop.”
My mind wanders, I find myself mumbling the statement “good cop” over and over again.
I slam my hands on the table. Paperwork goes flying off of it in every direction. The scouting reports (or, as I like to call them, the cheat codes) on Mr. Woodson scatter abound. It won’t take me too long to clean up the mess, I have every page labeled by number. Regardless, he doesn’t need to know that. The context to convey is CHAOS.
“Why in the hell would you want to kill Bobbinette?” I give my head a shake. I’m jumping to the final blow too early. I need to backtrack.
“Bud, first off, let’s make one thing clear. You are and always have been an absolute trash panda bitch-ass friend to Bobbinette. Seriously. I dunno why she puts up with you.”
Onto the cold, hard MF facts. I stand from my chair and start counting each point on my fingers.
“One, you’ve done fuck all with your career over the past few years.”
“Two, no one has ever cared what you have to say.”
“Three, you drink. Like, a lot. You’re always drunk. And on drugs. You’re a fucking mess. I guess Lee has a soft spot for you, he keeps bringing you back.”
Pause, this time not for dramatic effect. I need to give my head a shake and try holding back the vomit in my upper esophagus. Scotty fails over and over and keeps getting Best tokens. Conor Fuse holds the World Title and carries the company for six months while big boss is DOA and his actual, competent brother, Better Best, runs the H-O-W into elite status. Shit doesn’t make sense, I tell you.
Back to the list. I have two fingers left.
“Four, you offer no real tough-guy abilities whatsoever,” says me, who’s been laughed at by many people before. I’ll just refer them to my 97,000 high scores over the past two years.
“Five, you’re ginger and bald.”
It’s low hanging fruit, no doubt but my whole list should’ve started and ended with point number five. Gingers have no place in this world. Low hanging fruit, fuck off.
“So I’m here to tell you… Bobbinette is over you and I’m her good friend now.”
I gotta hand it to the guy, he keeps sitting there staring into the distance.
I slowly reclaim my seat in front of him. As calm as I possibly can be, I rest my hands, folded, on the table. I look around the dark lit room and then I stare directly into “the artist’s” ice cold soul.
“Okay, so we’ll get to the point…” I pause once again, trying to make him sweat. “Why’d you do it?”
No surprise. I didn’t expect him to crack so easily.
“Why’d you try to kill my BFF?”
Again, nadda but I figured this is how he would play things. To be honest with you, I doubt he’s going to say shit for hours.
“I’m willing to be here all night,” I laugh, glancing around the room. “I brought you here and you’ve got no way out.”
I forgot to mention I tied his arms and legs together. Plus he has no friends. No one knows he’s here, no one would care if they did.
“Stay. Miss Chaos, by the way. Yeah. Really. I’ll take the no contest. Maybe… I won’t even show, either. Our upcoming match doesn’t mean shit when compared to me getting answers.”
I can feel his wheels turning. Perhaps I’m getting through?
“So…” I begin again, albeit cautiously. Methodically. I’m in control. I run the show. This washed up, battle axe has-been over-the-hill jizz waffle will bow to my mercy. “Why are you trying to kill Bobbinette Carey?”
Silence. But during an interrogation, you have to be comfortable in silence, I’ve been studying. You can’t break. Don’t give in. You have no idea what’s going on in their heads. Silence can mean many things. It is a misconception to think silence means confidence. He could be scared. Sad. Angry. Confused.
Or he could be an idiot.
Hmmm. All of the above.
I nod to the silence. Standing, I pace towards the kitchen, open the fridge and grab a cool one. I pop it open with my teeth and spit the bottlecap to the floor in an aggressive display. I sit down. I slide the glass across the table with ruthless emphasis. It stops right before it reaches the end. Perfect touch, if I do say so myself.
“Here,” I begin with a cackle. “Might as well start to jog your memory.”
Even though his hands are bound, I want him to fucking suffer. Squeal, pig, squeal. Work the sickness that is alcohol. Give in. Submit to its power. Alcoholism is a physiological disease. It’s not a want, it’s a NEED for most people. He’ll crack soon and he’s not gonna be able to ease the pain, either.
“For the record, how much money do you waste on this shit?” I feel puke coming back up thinking about the answer. “Yeah, I just bought my eighth Nintendo Switch Lite, -I have the five main colours by the way and then the three special editions,- but I couldn’t imagine how much money you have to waste on the hooch. Let’s look at the facts, son. It costs you money, time, wrestling victories… because if you didn’t show up like a drunken fucking sailor before ICONIC ‘20, maybe you could’ve beat me, bro.”
And now I will stop talking again. I’m learning to bite my tongue a little more often these days. We sit in silence for… ten, maybe fifteen minutes? I stare at the alcohol in front of him and his eyes still haven’t budged. They look right past me.
“Okay,” I lean forward, breaking the silence. I reach across the table, pick up the beer…
And pour it out on top of him.
To his credit, he doesn’t snap.
“If you’re not gonna talk, I’ll talk for you. You decided to kill Bobbinette because you’re nowhere near her level. She’s way MOAR successful than you. Way MOAR talented inside and outside the ring. On the mic. Selling merchandise. Fan fare. You name it, she’s got it. But it wasn’t so much about killing Bobbinette because of jealousy, oh no. I’ll give you mild credit. You’re an idiot but you’re a clever idiot. You decided to attempt the murder of Bobbinette Carey because even if you failed, which you DID, you’ll attach yourself back to the hype train of The Epicness. And everything that comes with it.”
While his demeanor never waivers, I can tell I’m finally getting somewhere. I merely have to explain in greater depth.
“You knew your plans would fail. You’re terrible at everything you do, with your half-baked absolutely wasted ideas. You knew the alcoholic in you couldn’t get the job done and we WOULD figure it out. DUH. So what better way to do it, eh? Succeed at killing Bobbinette, it’s a win. Everyone finds out it’s you. Fail at killing Bobbinette… well, same thing. We find out it’s you. You gain another six months of High Octane relevance.”
But I got him.
I know it.
“Scottywood, the guy who can’t get a fucking thing done right actually DOES get something right in the end. I hear ya. You’re such a fuck-up THAT’S why Lee keeps you around. You draw interest because you’re inept. And now, on what really is, mercifully, the tail end of your career… you’re not okay with it. Like a drug addict, like a pandering alcoholic, you need one more hit. One more shot. One more go. You had HOPED your team with Bobbinette would run into the winter but when she pushed your worthless ass to the side you said ‘me no okay with that, I kill her instead.’ Well… let me tell ya something, pal. Video games ain’t only about platform jumping or role playing. Video games come in every genre.”
Pause for dramatic effect. I like doing this, it’s fun.
“I Detective Pikachu’ed your ass. Boom.”
I pick up the empty beer bottle and smash it against the table. Now, with the potential to use this as a weapon, I bring the bottle awfully close to his neck… suggesting I could slit his throat right here, right now. End game.
I pull back.
“But I’m Good Cop, remember?” I recall to no response. “So Imma do you a solid. This Sunday, haul your ass over to New York City, meet me in the middle of the ring… where I will defeat you yet again. Then I’ll give you the mic and YOU can tell the world what you TRIED TO DO. You need this. I don’t.”
I run a cool hand through my hair.
“But the major mistake you made… you think this is going to get you six additional months of notoriety. Buddy, it’s gonna give you about six minutes. Because our match will be over in four, it’ll take you one to explain to the crowd what you did… and then… AND THEN…”
I hold up a mugshot of my BFF, Bobbinette Carey.
“She will commit actual, legal self-defense murder in the middle of the ring. I put that at around six seconds LOL. So the other, outstanding, remaining fifty-four seconds will be your memorial. No one will show. Nobody will care. Bobbinette and I move on. HOW moves on. End. Of. Story.”
I place Bobbie’s mug down on the table in front of us. I reveal a pair of scissors. I had kept them in my pocket this entire time. Once again at a deliberate rate, I rise from my chair, walk over…
And cut the ribbon from his hands and feet.
He is free.
Yet he sits there. Eyes locked ahead, mouth open, eyebrows close together. And I find myself staring right back at his marked up forehead.
“Jesus,” I mumble softly. “These Higher Octane, higher detailed action figures don’t miss a blemish.”
It’s such a shame they were outta the Conor Fuse and Bobbinette Careys. A lot of Scottywood’s on the shelf, though. Too many.
I pick this one Scottywood action figure up and toss him onto the pile of others. Every plastic toy doused in beer, having spent grueling hours in agony. I wander around and collect the paperwork from when I slammed my hands on the desk. Then sitting back down at my kitchen table, I jot down a couple of notes.
I liked my intensity. I liked my honesty. I think I’m onto something. Once I knock Scotty out on Sunday, Bobbie and I will take him as a hostage. For real.
“I think I’m feeling pretty good about this whole thing,” I mention out loud.
We’re gonna get to the bottom of this.
I’m pretty sure Scottywood is guilty.
Why wouldn’t it be?
— — — — —
On Sunday I wrestle in your name, for your battle, and I am certainly happy to. The reality is Scottywood might not be the man who’s trying to kill you, but I digress.
Let’s fuck him up anyway. (smiley face emoji)
All he’s done for your career is try to hold you back. He’s not good enough to lace your boots and he sure as hell isn’t good enough to be on your side, trying to find the killer.
I’ve looked into the evidence. Of course there’s a chance this washed up goon is the one you’re searching for. As a result, I will not let him get away. I will pummel him. Head stomp his skull into the canvas.
Might even Weapon Get a punch or kick, too.
I can end his existence.
…But I’ll allow you to provide the final blow.
I’m done with Scotty. The funny thing is he actually has potential. Still. To this day. At 75-years-old or whatever his actual age is, the man maintains raw ability to go above and beyond a simple brawling combination.
And yet he chooses… not to.
Because he’s an addict, yes. People will make that excuse. But when push comes to shove those were his choices. He had opportunities to get clean. He had legitimate chances to become the guy he’s always wanted to be… but he pissed them away. Literally. Pissed the alcohol outta him only to replenish. Rinse. Repeat.
Scotty chirps Stevens… says he’s sick of seeing the same people do the same things over and over again. What a pot calling the kettle black. I have given opportunities to Scottywood… real chances to reestablish his footing like the old days and he’s come up short every single time.
I could play video games nonstop. Actually. No questions asked. Sit my ass down and pop my cherries to the latest titles. Make use of the eight Nintendo Lites I own. I have every colour. I could bask in a video game haven.
Except you know what else sounds kinda neat?
Winning world titles.
Or playing video games AND winning world titles.
Imma make Scottywood fight for his life on Sunday. For you, Bob. Just like he (allegedly) tried to take your life away from you. If he’s the person behind it- fuck it, even if he isn’t, he’s still brought harm onto The Queen.
I will end his game. Knock out. MDK. Center ice. Full steam. My head’s up, his head is fuck knows where. We’re talking Scott Stevens (the hockey player version, LOL, not the wrestling version) on Paul Kariya or Eric Lindros. After this weekend, I won’t have to flex my hockey knowledge ever again. Honestly, I’m surprised Scotty hasn’t offed himself already over the past twenty years of rAnGeRs bottom pit hockey.
It’s over. Done. Never again will I see this man. After the match, I’ll drag him outta the ring and we’ll do the real interrogation. He’ll crack in a millisecond. He’ll fold like an accordion. It’ll be a metaphor for his entire wrestling career.
Scotty will suffer on Sunday at the hands of Conor Fuse. Mightily.
Let this be the punishment he deserves for being guilty.
And a message to the one who is responsible… if he’s not.