Jesus Christ, you’d think War Games was taking place at a fucking Comic Con with all of the NERDS that are gonna be climbing into the ring on Sunday night.
This is my first time to ever captain a War Games team and I’ve got to say, I’ve been humbled by the…
No I fuckin’ haven’t. I earned that shit all year long. When I pinned Scottywood, Bobinette Carey, Xander Azula, Darin Zion and many more. Even the man that will surely lose the opening match and be my biggest War Games disappointment, Brian Hollywood.
“Brian Hollywood shits the bed again.”
Something that’s been said far too often in one lifetime, but also something that’s sure to be said again and again.
I’ve got to say though, all of that pales in comparison to my biggest achievement of 2023 so far, and that’s getting Joe Bergman to return and turn on his good buddy Clay Byrd.
Holy shit, Clay. You’ve literally turned into the worst country song ever played in the rain by Gwen Stefani’s dumb fuck husband. You are literally melting away into irrelevance one cry fest at a time. Dude, I would have never let you live in my bomb shelter if I’d have known you were gonna duct tape Tim McGraw posters all over the fuckin’ walls and leave bundles of Kleenex in every goddamn corner, next to your cans of Bud Light. I really hope that was sad cowboy snot…you pathetic fuckin’ perv-NERD. You’ve been crying so much since I left your little cowboy fuck fest that I’d be surprised if your cycle hasn’t synced up with Shark Week.
Speaking of people that bleed, how many times do I have to beat up on a woman this year? You’re in-fucking-corrigible, Carey. You look like Cardi-B with Lou Gehrig’s disease. That hair dye has seeped in through your scalp and poisoned what little brain you have left if you think you actually have a shot at winning this fucking match, you fuckin’…you know, what? Nevermind, it’s too fuckin’ easy. Oh, but real quick…Bobby Dean has better tits than you, I’m just sayin’.
There’s another bitch in the queue, as I’ve got to beat the brakes off of Lindsay Troy in a couple of weeks, that COMMIE NERD…but that’s a topic for another day.
And Christ All Mighty, someone please tell Conor Fuse that he will never win the World Title so long as Christopher America is the champion. How many chances is this guy going to get? He’s like a middle aged man at the carnival throwing baseballs at the speed machine, swearing up and down that he can break 80 miles per hour and that – believe it or not – he was an all star in high school and had a twelve inch break in his curveball.
Speaking of curveballs, Jace Parker Davidson is in this match for some reason. That’s not really a curveball at all, I just wanted to talk shit about the thirsty prick. He’s easily the most underwhelming LSD Champion in HOW history. Oh, did he beat me? My bad. What has he done since? What did he do before that? Nobody has any fucking idea, because the only thing that got people talking about him was the fact that he was fighting me. If he didn’t remind everyone every thirty-seconds that he was the LSD Champion, no one would even know that the belt came out of retirement. You’ve tarnished the belt Jace, sit and spin motherfucker. The only thing you do well is cosplay as R. Kelly on Twitter, you fuckin’ bum.
Do you motherfuckers get it yet? You’re not good enough for this match. The Final Alliance is letting all of you fuckin’ NERDS wrestle in it because we WANT to beat the shit out of you. We will be handing out swirlies, and wedgies will definitely be on the menu. That’s literally the only reason any of you are here. None of you earned it. None of you did anything special. Some of you got literally pissed on and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it. You just sat there, took it and tried to pretend like it never fucking happened.
I WAS THERE.
You know what I wasn’t there for? The day any of you did anything about it. Cause none of you did. None of you had the balls and that’s all I need to know heading into this match.
Sunday, May 20th
Somewhere in Mexico
As the hours on the road stretch on, Solex’s unyielding focus on the route and his determination to get to his destination has become a point of contention between him and Hank. But only in Hank’s mind, he doesn’t dare to bring it up to Solex in fear of being murdered and buried in the middle of the desert.
“Can we stop, I gotta take a piss?” Hank asks.
He doesn’t really have to take a leak, he just wants to get out of the truck and stretch his legs, maybe even make a break for it. Solex scoffs at him and reaches behind the seat. He yanks out a wide Gatorade bottle and hurls it at Hank, bouncing it off his head. The bottle finds its final resting place on the floor of the truck.
“Thanks,” Hank says in a snarky tone.
As Hank bends down to grab the bottle Solex taps the brake, jolting Hank forward smashing his head on the glove box. Hank narrows his eyebrows and gives Solex a stern look before he snatches up the bottle as Solex laughs hysterically.
“Thanks, dick,” Hank mutters, his tone laced with bitterness.
“I’m not pissin’ in this,” Hank says as he rubs his head as he examines the Gatorade bottle.
“Then you ain’t pissin’,” Solex quips, not missing a beat.
Hank clenches his teeth in frustration before he tosses the bottle to the back seat, narrowly missing Lupe. Hank fidgets around in his seat trying to find a bit of comfort, as his sleepless and paranoid mind races with uncertainty.
We’ve been on the road for almost 24 hours straight and Solex has barely blinked. Lupe’s been knocked out in the backseat damn near since he got in the truck and what little sleep I’ve been able to get has been with only one eye shut. This guy’s gone completely off the deep end and I don’t trust that he won’t drive us off a fuckin’ cliff if I fall asleep or at worst, slit my fuckin’ throat.
I don’t know what to do. We’re in the middle of nowhere and I have no cell service. Hell, I can’t even find my goddamn phone to keep me distracted from the crazy. He keeps saying we’ve got to make a pit stop, but we passed Mexico City hours ago, which makes me wonder if we’ll ever even make it to the arena at all.
“Alright, we’re here,” Solex says as he brings his Ford Raptor to a screeching halt in front of what appears to be a run-down pharmacy.
Solex looks over at Hank, his eyebrows raised high. He holds his hands out and then points to the door. Hank’s heart almost beats out of his chest as Solex leans over him. Solex forcefully opens the door and demands, “Get out. Let’s go.”
Hank is able to breathe another sigh of relief, as he was expecting much worse. Reluctantly, Hank steps out of the vehicle and walks around the front to the other side. Solex waits for Hank to reach the driver’s side of the truck before he climbs out and swings the back door open.
“Lupe, get your ass up!” Solex shouts, jolting Lupe awake from his twelve-hour nap.
Lupe quickly scrambles out of the truck and wipes his eyes clean, attempting to clear out any remnants of drowsiness. Lupe shuffles over to Solex, pulling up at the waist of his tattered jeans.
“Señor?” Lupe asks, in a childlike tone that carries a touch of innocence with it.
Solex raises a hand, sending the signal for Lupe to stand fast and wait a moment.
“What are we doing here, Steve?” Hank asks, still confused and scared.
“Don’t you fuckin’ call me Steve, asshole,” Solex says menacingly as he raises a finger to his lips, effectively telling Hank to shut up.
Just then the sound of a jingling bell cuts through the dry, morning air as an elderly Mexican couple bursts out of the front door of the pharmacy catching everyone’s attention. Solex smiles a big toothy grin as he watches the small and portly old man struggle with a box that should definitely be a two-man carry.
Hank watches on with a weird mixture of curiosity and amusement as the old man hobbles up to them and places the box right into Lupe’s arms. The man smiles a toothless, well mostly toothless, grin and holds out his hand, expecting payment from the MERCDAD.
“It’s all there?” Solex asks as he watches Lupe load the box into the bed of the black, dust covered, truck.
The old man, still holding his hand out and in an eerily similar tone to Lupe’s, says, “Si.”
Hank’s eyebrows raise in surprise as he glances between the man and Lupe, a growing realization dawning upon him. The resemblance between the old man and Lupe becomes more apparent and suddenly it all makes sense to Hank.
“$20 and travel,” Solex says firmly, as he points a finger at Lupe.
The old man smooths out the twenty and places it in his t-shirt pocket as Lupe shuffles over and shakes Solex’s hand.
“Señor Shawn Kutter. Gracias, gracias!” Lupe exclaims, his voice filled with the sound of appreciation as he back pedals away from Solex and joins the elderly couple in position.
The sound of Kutter piques Hank’s interest as he stares down Solex from the side.
I’ve never heard the name before yesterday and now I’m more confused than ever. Solex hasn’t been acting like himself recently and I know he takes medication for some kind of an issue related to PTSD and brain cancer that he just recently beat.
Kutter? Is Steve…is Solex…is he Kutter?
But split personality disorder? What in the actual fuck is going on?
Not only has he been acting differently and I could swear that he actually looks different. And, another weird thing is that he’s been carrying this red luchador mask around in his back pocket since we left Franklin.
The tone of a cell phone ringing interrupts the moment Solex was having with the couple and quickly, Solex answers it.
“Yeah,” he says as he turns away from the elderly couple and makes his way to the truck.
“It’s Kutter. Solex is out, I’m in. ,” Kutter says and suddenly Hank’s jaw drops to the floor.
“Dick, cut the shit. The package is in the truck, we’ve got enough T to last us at least five years and enough to feed STRONK for like a month,” Solex says with a laugh.
He’s talking to Solex’s dad, so clearly Dick is in the loop on this whole fuckin’ thing?
I don’t understand. Who the fuck is Shawn Kutter?
3 Hours Later
El Boracho’s Bar
Mexico City, Mexico
5 Minutes from Arena Mexico
The sound of a live mariachi band permeates into every corner the dimly lit, but absolutely packed, hole-in-the-wall bar, called El Boracho’s. Kutter and Hank sit at a table tucked away in the back corner of the bar, hiding in the shadows. Kutter’s eyes dart around the room, his situational awareness appearing to be at an elite level.
I know they did some dirty shit when they were in the Army…Solex and my brother, that is. But this Kutter guy, he might have been the key to the madness my brother would talk about from time to time.
He talked about a guy that was always the aggressor. A guy that would charge into a firefight, no questions asked. A guy that wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger just based on instinct alone, not intel.
But he never said a name.
At least, I don’t think he ever said a name. The way Kutter is acting right now, it definitely could have been him. His situational awareness is elite and the fact that he had us seated in this dark corner…well, that’s just Operator 101 type of shit.
Solex was too cool to charge straight into a firefight. He was the calculated type, but even when my brother was on a two man firing team, he would always mention a third guy.
Was Kutter that guy?
“Get a drink, pussy,” Kutter grumbles, with a sense of impatience in his voice as the waitress approaches their table.
“I’ll have a Coors Light,” Hank says quickly, as Kutter nods in approval.
“I’ll have a whiskey, neat. And a Coors Light as well,” Kutter says, never looking up at the waitress.
The waitress swiftly jots down the order and leaves the table, leaving Kutter and Hank to themselves.
“Coors Light, huh? Good man,” Kutter says with a nod, seemingly approving of Hank’s beer choice.
Kutter reaches into the breast pocket of his brown flannel and pulls out a pack of Marlboro reds. He pulls one from the pack and places it between his teeth.
“So, what do you do…Hank?” Kutter asks from behind his teeth.
The waitress returns with their drinks and places all three of the drinks on napkins in the center of the table with the efficiency of a career waitress. She quickly retreats as Kutter watches her walk away.
“Meh, not today,” Kutter says with a dismissive grunt.
Hank nervously laughs, unsure of what to say next but trying to keep the silence to a minimum.
“What … do … you … do?” Kutter repeats his question, this time showing his impatience by enunciating every word.
Hank swallows hard as he begins to tremble nervously.
“I own a bar in Nashville. I used to be the daily bartender, but over the last few months I’ve been working for…” Hank says with a shaky voice.
“For…” Kutter says, trying to get Hank to finish his sentence as he raises his eyebrows.
“Well, for Solex,” Hank says, never making eye contact and quickly grabbing his beer for a drink.
Kutter pulls out a worn Zippo lighter, flicks it open and fires up his cigarette. A swirl of smoke surrounds Kutter’s head as he takes in a deep, satisfying drag and slowly blows it out into the musty air of the bar.
“You know…I love mariachi music. Have you ever seen Desperado?” Kutter asks as he points the two fingers holding his cigarette up at the live band on stage.
“It doesn’t matter, it’s a good fuckin’ movie,” Kutter says, never allowing Hank to answer.
Hank, a bit taken aback by Kutter’s confidence and assertiveness, leans back in his chair and takes a swig of his bear. Kutter takes another drag of his cigarette and blows the smoke straight up into the air.
“I know what’s on your mind, Hank. You’re just itching to know who I am, what I’m doing here and where you’re good buddy Solex is at,” Kutter says in a seemingly amused tone.
He takes a sip of his whiskey, the strong and cheap taste makes him grimace and shutter.
“Goddamn Mexican house whiskey. Tastes like fuckin’ turpentine, ya know?” Kutter says, shaking his head in disgust.
He doesn’t act like Solex and he doesn’t move like him either.
This man is not Steve Solex, no matter how it may appear at first glance. This is a much more gritty version of the MERCDAD, and as much of an alpha-male as Steve Solex is…Shawn Kutter stands a little bit higher on the podium than Solex does.
I’ve got to watch him closely, cause I just don’t know him well enough to trust him. I feel like I can, he seems to have Solex’s interests at heart…but I’m just not sure yet.
“I’m Shawn Kutter. I’m sure you know that by now,” Kutter begins as Hank nods along.
“I’m Solex’s confidant. I’m his best friend…hell, for a long time I was his only friend. We have served in combat together, we have lived together and we have fought against one another. But every single bit of it was for our greater good. Solex, he’s a bad motherfucker, no doubt. He’s a force to be reckoned with and he’s the perfect example of what a man should be, there’s no denying it,” Kutter continues as Hank hangs on to every word.
“But, deep down he’s not a sociopath. He wasn’t born with an innate desire to kill. That’s where he and I are different, and that’s why we need one another. I am everything that his conscience prevents him from being. Human life matters to Solex. To me? Not so much. Now, I’m not saying I kill for fun or without reason, or that I kill for little to nothing. I’m not a fucking monster by any mean. I’m just willing to do what needs to be done to get rid of any kind of threat,” Kutter says, his tone unapologetic and sharp.
Kutter takes another drag of his cigarette quickly followed by another sip of whiskey, that once again draws a grimace.
“I’m here to win War Games, Hank. That’s it, plain and simple. Solex wants to win War Games and so do I. He knew, his dad knew that they needed me back. That I was the key to victory. Not because Solex couldn’t do it, but because I have the necessary…what do you call it? Killer instinct. I have the killer instinct to win the fucking match and go home with the HOW World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in our career,” Kutter says, ending his speech by driving a hammer fist into the table that reverberates a boom in the bar.
“Unlike Solex, I have nothing weighing me down. I am the truest version of a mercenary and I was hired to get the fucking job done. And believe me when I say, that’s exactly what I’m going to do at War Games,” Kutter rants with a methodical cadence.
Kutter yanks the red luchador mask from his back pocket and holds it up in front of Hank’s face.
“When I put this mask on…no one is safe. This isn’t a wrestling match. It’s a fuckin’ hit job”