Posted on December 16, 2022 at 5:34 pm by Xander Azula

Time to hop into the ol’ HOWmobile for a joyride…and ol’ Xander is in the driver’s seat.

Where to, Mikey?

You’ve been banging the same drum over and over again, talking about how you’re gonna murder me…as if I should expect to see my own obituary by year’s end.

But I move to the beat of my own drum, Mike…you of all people should’ve figured that out by now. And with all your talk about murder and death, I’m gonna promise you something completely different…because, in your case, death would be too easy.

Too quick.

No, what I have in mind for you is far more damaging…more systematic. Something far more fitting for a man who deserves a slow, painful demise.

A death by a thousand cuts, if you will. Every cut, taking just a little blood and energy away from you, until you find yourself falling to a heap the second you take so much as a step toward me.

Like a frog put into a pot before setting it to boil. Poor thing never stood a chance.

Because that’s how I roll…I take control of how I deliver these beatings. I take my sweet time when necessary, because the pain just tastes sweeter that way.

And the beating I’m about to give you is really gonna scratch that itch, Mike.

I’m slowly stepping on the gas pedal just so you get a good view of where you’re at before we rush off to our destination.

I want you to take a real good look, Mike. You came into this year a broken man, realizing you were well out of your element after losing the World Championship.

And that led to your little Farewell Tour of sorts, before facing Clay Byrd at March to Glory…only you didn’t quite seem to say farewell, did you?

All that talk about retiring from in-ring competition, about stepping into an office role as CEO…and what did you do?

Fuck all, Mike.

You disappeared into your comfy office job, only peeking your head out to make your occasional announcement, and peaced the hell out after.

And what fruits have we seen from these announcements?

Signing after signing that fizzled out, and a Board that found itself at odds over the past few months…to the point where they’ve been rebranded, presumably to pivot away from that mess.

Great management skills there, Michael. I’ll be sure to bring you a “World’s Best Boss” mug at ICONIC…let you sip your beverage of choice after I beat the living hell out of you.

Ah shit, here comes a hairpin turn…hope you have your seatbelt fastened.

Just how deep do you want these cuts, Mike?

I don’t need to bring things up willy-nilly, hoping they get some sort of reaction from you…I just speak what needs to be spoken.

Because I thought Tyler Best was going to be the future of this business, something you seemed very keen on as you tried to step away from the limelight…and look where that went.

So if you’re not gonna do what’s best for your son, why would anyone expect you to do what’s best for yourself…and stay the hell away?

That’s why I kept needling at you over the past few months, trying to get your attention as I walked that path…because I know you all too well.

You just can’t help yourself. You had every right to stay the hell away from the ring after March to Glory, but the gilded cage? That’s a whole different breed.

There aren’t many true fighters left in this business, and I think that bothers you more than you care to speak on. Hell, the guys that are still around have moved on to other things.

Just look at Christopher America, that trooper. He worked with your son to win War Games, and went on to be the absolute top of the food chain. He stepped into that cage once, beat Solex to retain, and went on his merry way.

I can respect that.

But aside from our World Champion? Who else is willing to step into this cage and square up?

All the silence I got in response to my previous challenges should answer that…no one else wants to test their mettle in quite the same way.

And that’s why I knew this was always the last step on the path. The final battle. The final destination of this little joyride of ours.

Brace yourself, Michael…cause this ride ain’t over yet.