THE DAY AFTER 97RED
Pushing through a throng of fans grasping merch and felt pens, shoving them into the face of the HOW World Champion, Michael Oliver Best and STRONK! Godson navigate Melbourne Airport on their way to catch a flight back to Chicago. Hurt but full of confidence, riding a wave of adrenaline, they strut, or rather, MOB sashays and STRONK! strumps, which is a new word to describe the big man’s distinct STOMPING style of locomotion.
“No signatures! Hands off!” shouts MOB, pie-facing an overeager EBay reseller to create space ahead. “The champ is tired and wants to go home!”
Less than twenty four hours ago, the King Stallion soundly defeated Jace Parker Davidson in the Australian Outback, overcoming a potentially deadly snakebite to choke out the King of Absolutely Nothing and retain the HOW World Championship.
He now knew the real truth: Jace had not killed MONGO. He’d done nothing wrong. He’d not betrayed Godson. He’d been telling the truth the whole time. In the end, however, as Uncle Oliver carefully explained in the hours leading up to the 97RED main event, delivering one hell of a motivational speech, STRONK! did not need any other reason to brutalize JPD other than the one that counted most of all:
Upon arriving home to his Sky House in Chicago, he and BIG STACE will celebrate his momentous victory with BIG MEATY HUMANS BUMPIN’ GENITAL MEATS, and later, a messy sit-down dinner at a supposed (we’ll see) All You Can Eat Korean BBQ restaurant nearby.
Shit gon’ get saucy.
“Mate, is there anything you can tell us in terms of what’s next for the champ?” a dude from some Australian TMZ ripoff YouTube channel asks, squirming to the front.
STRONK! turns to the man and, blank-faced, responds, “SLEEP. SHIT. HUMP.”
MOB interjects, “We’re going to take a couple weeks to figure out what’s next. Rest up, talk to my brother, see how the rankings shake out. We’re in no rush. Mister Godson is the man right now. He’s the money fight. He was the money fight even before he won that title on his shoulder.
“One thing’s for certain,” he continues, “Jace Parker Davidson is too tough for his own good. He is tough because he is a moron. He should steer clear of Mister Godson’s division if he knows what’s good for him. Whether he killed Mister Godson’s bull or not is beside the point; Jace is a trash person of mediocre ability. We’re happy to move past him.”
They turn toward the gate, but MOB spins back around, adding, “But before we find the next challenger for Mister Godson to crush, I promised my client that I would deliver to him the true killer of his beloved pet bull. We now know that to be his jilted, drug addict ex-manager Abdullah Choi. Formerly known as Shelley Greene, apparently. Or whatever he calls himself. Does anyone actually know his government name? Doesn’t matter. He will be brought to justice. Live! On CHAOS! Sometime soon! Very soon! So, go ahead and post that on your sordid little World Wide Web Sites!”
MOB gets a message on his phone, which he quickly glances at, before returning his gaze to the crowd.
“Well, would you look at that? Some glorious news before we depart! I’d like to extend my gratitude to the fine folks in HOW’s accounting department for their swift tabulation of the gate from yesterday’s 97RED pay-per-view event.
“I’m a numbers guy, and the numbers don’t lie. 4.1 million dollars in ticket sales. 100 thousand Aussies packed into the MCG… to watch my client on a giant video screen. Not even in-person! A lot of people, a lot of really talented people, smart people, are telling me the buyrate is north of a mill. Yes, north of a mill. People I believe. So, yeah, we’re doing serious business. Strong business. The STRONK! brand continues to be a lucrative asset for High Octane Wrestling.”
Before MOB and STRONK make their exit toward the gate, he shares one final thought, “I think I shut a lot of mouths last night. Everyone says I’m doing this as a money grab, that I don’t care about Mister Godson. It’s foolishness. I sucked life-threatening venom from my client’s snake bite; Michael Oliver Best is bought in. We’re ridin’ this thing ‘till the wheels fall off.”
STRONK! and MOB walk away to board their flight.
Oh, look, a six-man that’ll serve only to reaffirm the dominance of the Final Alliance. I can’t imagine what the outcome will be!
It sure is a stumper, isn’t it?
Gee, I wonder, who will win—the World Champion teaming with the Tag Team Champions… or two guys my client choked unconscious in the past three months, and a woman who has no business between the ring ropes with the upper echelon of this fed?
I won’t talk about Fuse because I know he won’t talk about us. Gamer boy is saving up all his half-baked zingers and stupid puns for his championship bid next week.
It won’t do him any good—his verbal jabs will bounce off the King Stallion, and then the King Stallion will bounce him off the canvas and turnbuckles when they face each other one-on-one.
Enough about him.
Let’s chit-chat about Carey for a hot minute.
(Is that what the kiddos are saying these days? Hot minute? Fuse, you wanna weigh in and let me know what slang your prepubescent “friends” are squawking out these days? Is ‘yeet’ still a thing?)
Right, Carey. Bobbinette Carey. Nettie. The jezebel with the fighting ability of a suburban housewife with scoliosis.
The weak link in an already tenuous chain!
Godson apologizes for giving you battered-wife PTSD, Miss Carey. He thought you had something to do with killing his bull. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record, but that really is a sore spot for Mister Godson. Of course, you had nothing to do with that, just like Jace, wrongly accused; and so it’s unfortunate that you’re being dragged into your so-called BFF’s goings-on, yet here we are!
And Jace—you…? I actually feel sorta / kinda / not really bad for you. You got a taste of what being on the wrong side of STRONK! Daddy’s loyalty gets you in the Outback Brawl, and I really don’t think you want anything more to do with it!
‘Stay hidden’ would’ve been MY recommendation.
We would’ve let you be your usual, mediocre, mid-card self, toiling in the first, second, or third match of a PPV, contesting for titles that—sorry to say!—do not matter in the grand scheme of things.
That’s a great way to earn a living, Jace. You’d know better than anyone; you’ve been doing it for years.
But then you had to go and stick your nose in our business again, abducting the guilty party in the Trial of Abdullah Choi.
You robbed Mister Godson of his revenge!
And why? Because Choi injected a little estrogen into your bloodstream? What’s another drop or two in the ocean, Jace? Why, pray tell, does it matter?
You were a bitch before; you’re a bitch now.
Subservient to real men like my client.
You, like Carey, are window dressing to the real story:
Fuse versus Godson II.
The BIGGEST match in the HISTORY of CHAOS.
STRONK!’s third defense of his coveted HOW World Championship. The belt he submitted Conor to win in the War Games back in May.
Jace Parker Davidson.
Who’s left after Fuse?
Coach Solex? A fellow Final Alliance member? Look, we’d gladly meet Steve in the squared circle and give him his shot at the top prize. He’s earned it. He’s the only man STRONK! respects, save, of course, for Lee and myself.
The former champ America?
Absolutely—we’d love to—but the man, the myth, the legend… well… he may be dead. Tough for a dead man to walk the aisle and climb into the ring, let alone wrest control of big red from the STRONKEST! Man Alive!
How about my nephew?
Currently number-one with a bullet. Seven-and-oh.
Maybe… I’d advise him against it, for his own health and well being… but maybe…
WHO ELSE IS THERE?
WHO ELSE HAS EARNED THE RIGHT TO FACE THE CHAMP?
Ack… don’t make me raise my voice; hurts my throat. Don’t know how Mister Godson does it all day, every day.
The fact of the matter is… Fuse, the way we’re looking at it, you’re the last hurdle we need to clear. Once we put you in the dirt, there’s no one else, outside of my flesh and blood, who the fans will believe has even one iota of a shot of taking the title from Mister Godson.
My nephew may have held the championship a record number of times.
Christopher America may have the longest continuous title reign of the modern era.
But neither of those ‘stats’ will mean a hill of beans when the Story of STRONK! is finished being written.
Expect a TOME.
Like Jace Parker Davidson, we don’t give a damn about brevity.
After a long, uncomfortable flight home from Melbourne, STRONK! and Michael Oliver Best arrive at the Lee Best-owned penthouse in the heart of Chicago, Illinois.
Through the door, MOB can hear the sound of voices.
He turns to STRONK!, who looks eager to see his fiancé after being away for two weeks for last-minute fight preparation and the biggest match of his life.
“Did Stacey mention she was having company over?” MOB asks.
Godson responds, “WHO?”
MOB shudders—why must every interaction with his client be so… laborious? “Big Stace.”
MOB sighs and loosens his tie, inserting the key into the door and turning the knob. “BIG STACE.”
“OH.” STRONK! thinks about Uncle Oliver’s question. “UH… NO.”
MOB opens the door and they enter the palatial Sky House.
Almost immediately, they’re taken aback by the sight of a small child clad only in a diaper sprinting back and forth from one side of the living room to the other, clutching a pork chop.
“What the fuck?” MOB mutters, uncharacteristically cursing.
Seconds later, a slightly older Mexican boy totters into view, standing in front of STRONK! and MOB with a dumbfounded expression on his face. He holds a dripping ice cream cone, and, like the first child, is also wearing a diaper… but looks to be about the age where he very much shouldn’t be.
STRONK! innocently waves to the child, and the child waves back, before scurrying off.
Finally, BIG STACE rounds the corner, returning with the Mexican boy.
“What is all this?” MOB asks. “Who are these… ugh… precious wee ones?”
Before she can answer, four more kids—between the ages of three and ten—wander out of the second bedroom in matching STRONK!-branded pajamas.
MOB looks at STRONK! as if to mentally ask whether he’s seen any of these kids before, or if this is a new development for him as well. He receives no definitive response, and in no time, STRONK! begins curling the children as they hang off his arms, loving every minute of it. Slowly, a subdued smile starts to form on his face.
“THIS IS STRONK!’S FAMILY,” BIG STACE answers.
“THIS IS STRONK!’S FAMILY. THESE SMALL HUMANS ARE STRONK!’S BROOD. THE FRUIT OF STRONK!’S BALLS.” She snatches one of the children as it runs by and… she, too, curls the child, counting out the reps.
MOB wanders into the kitchen and grabs a bottle of water. He returns to his client’s side, unscrews the cap on the bottle, and takes a big swig to stabilize himself. “What… do you mean by that? You have kids? You want my client to be their stepfather?”
BIG STACE furrows her brow, MOB’s question failing to compute. “NO. STRONK! AND BIG STACE HAVE KIDS. YES.”
“But WHO is their FATHER?” MOB says. “That’s what I want to know. Who sired these children?”
BIG STACE makes a face—what a stupid question to ask! She points to the HOW World Champion. “STRONK! PUT STRONK!’S SEED INSIDE BIG STACE’S COOCH AND THESE BABIES WERE MADE AND THEN THE BABIES CAME OUT. YESTERDAY.”
“You’ve known STRONK! for a month,” MOB says flatly and incredulously. “It takes nine to make a healthy baby… let alone—” he quickly counts the ones in view, “Jesus—SIX!?”
All different ages, too. Something (OBVIOUSLY!) doesn’t add up.
“STRONK JUNIOR. COME OUT HERE AND MEET YOUR PAPA STRONK!” BIG STACE yells.
Make that SEVEN.
A toilet flushes, and a six-foot-seven, three hundred pound Nigerian high schooler lumbers out from the bathroom.
“FATHER STRONK!” STRONK JUNIOR says.
“Oh come on!” Uncle Oliver exclaims, turning around and wandering a few feet away to collect his thoughts.
STRONK! stands frozen in time, his eyes shifting from small human to small human, then to the BIG small human, and lastly to his fiancé, BIG STACE.
Uncle Oliver anxiously awaits his client’s reaction to the unexpected events that have unfolded in the last five minutes.
STRONK!’s arms extend out and wide.
“COME GIVE STRONK! DADDY A BIG BODY DYSMORPHIA.”
All at once, his seven children rush forward and enclose him in a tight embrace. He ruffles the hair of the Chinese one—silky.
All he’s ever wanted is a family to call his own, and now he has it. Couldn’t be happier.
Meanwhile, MOB shakes his head, knowing damn well there’s nothing he can say to his client to change his mind.
They’re going to need a bigger house.