A quiet humming noise soothes the soul of REAL LOVE Darin Zion as Ethan Wright drives down Interstate 20 like some backwoods maniac. Darin can barely keep his eyes open, lounging in the back seat listening to State of Mine’s “God’s Country” remake. As Zion folds his arms across his chest, Owen Wright turns and whispers into his brother’s ears.
Owen Wright: Ya think he suspects anything?
Ethan Wright: He’s none the wiser…
A strange noise comes from Zion’s mouth as he rotates—his snoring startles him awake slightly. A faint yawn comes from the former ICON Champion’s body while both brothers chuckle at one another.
Ethan Wright: I still can’t believe he bought the fact that y’er injured. Honestly, I figured he’d realize XPRO is in limbo right now since he’s tight with GOD and all.
Owen Wright: Na, bro! Honestly, I can’t believe the bossman stuck us with this worthless piece of shit in the first place. If his wrestling skills are like his fuckin’ attitude—honestly surprised Lee didn’t fire him sooner.
Ethan Wright: HEHE! Still can’t believe he won’t acknowledge any of our background. This shithead’s always got to be center of attention. He’s constantly harkened us about his fuckin’ resume, never changin’ a damn thing ‘bout himself.
Owen Wright: Back in his day this; back in his day that….bitch please! No one remembers PWX, PRIME, or any of that fuckin’ shit he brags about. He’s just some washed up, worthless carny.
Both brothers muffle their laughter, slapping their knees while Darin Zion’s sawing logs in the backseat.
Ethan Wright: Seriously, pa always warned us ‘bout them weird carny fellas. Told us we’d get the clap or some shit from ‘em. This man’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
Owen chuckles, turning around to make sure his boss his still sleeping.
Owen Wright: True that, Ethan. I mean this guy still thinks he has a chance to win the HOW World Title after all these years. He still doesn’t get that Jace Parker Davidson gave up on him. Mike Best gave up on him. Hell, one half of the PWA Co-World Champions Jatt Starr took him under his wing and he still failed. He doesn’t get how much of a failed experiment he truly is.
Ethan Wright: SHIIIIIIIIIT! I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve lost all our self-respect with OUR name value.
Owen Wright: I am too! Here we are teamed up with the worst disease pro-wrestling has to offer. Shit; I’d rather deal with that whore back in high school. I’d probably have a better chance at survivin’ her bout of AIDS than dealin’ with this sum bitch another minute. God if only Lee Best would let us out of our XPRO contracts. We could get rid of this dipshit and show GOD what we’re truly capable of doing in that ring.
Ehtan Wright: Y’er right about that, pal. It’s too bad we’re stuck in limbo with XPRO taking a hiatus otherwise…
An audible clearing of the throat reverberates through the SUV as Zion leans forward and slaps both brothers across the head.
Darin Zion: You lazy worthless fucks weren’t gonna tell me XPRO was on hiatus? Why? Because you didn’t want to run the MVW circuit with the greatest MVW Men’s Heavyweight Champion of all times? You’re too good to try your hands at another PWA promotion?
Owen Wright: That’s not it at all boss…
Darin Zion: Then what the fuck was it you lazy fucks wanted to accomplish by not working the last two weeks? Because GOD DAMNIT, you gotta work in this business to get y’er fucking names out there. You’ve got to tour the circuit, building your resume.
Ethan Wright: Just like you in PWX, CWC, blah blah blah!!!
Darin Zion: Shut up Richard the Loving Hearted! I didn’t ask you to chime in and repeat my lectures. I’m glad you retained SOME knowledge I gave you dipshit.
Owen pauses for a moment, scratching the beard while his brother protests Zion’s mockery of the duo. The vein in Ethan’s forehead is protruding and his hands are shacking while he clasps onto the steering wheel for dear life.
Ethan Wright: Isn’t my name Richard the Lovely Hearted? I mean for God sakes, you can’t keep our shitty nicknames straight anymore.
Darin Zion: SHUT UP YOU WORTHLESS PEON! Your name is what I tell you it is Richard. It’s not like you don’t give a shit about anything I’ve done for both of your careers at this point. You guys took off two precious weeks where we could have ironed out all our shit. We could have molded ourselves into a more cohesive unit over in MVW. You guys could be MVW Tag Team Champions, but instead you lazy fucksticks do nothing.
Ethan Wright: It’s not like you’ve tried doing anything to help our budding careers any ways. You’ve always hit the asshole button when we’ve called you and…
Owen Wright grabs his brother’s mouth and wraps his fist tightly around it. Owen lectures and shakes his finger sternly as his younger brother.
Owen Wright: Shut up, RICHARD! Mr. Zion’s imparting his grand knowledge to us. It’s best we listen to someone with his expertise in this field.
Ethan’s jaw drops towards the ground as he stares a hole into his brother. Owen looks at Ethan and winks at him while Zion’s face just looks shocked before inputting his two cents.
Darin Zion: It seems Sir Lancealot ALove has learned something. You could take some lessons from him Richard.
Ethan tries to object, but Owen throws an elbow into his brother’s gut before he dissents again.
Owen Wright: Pay no attention to my brother. He doesn’t get the battlefield we will step into at Chaos 046 this week. It seems like RICHARD can’t fathom that Mr. de Lacy took Mr. Townsend to task on Chaos 044. Mr. de Lacy’s chomping at the bit to sink his dentures into Mr. Zion’s skin, RICHARD. He’s a threat we’ve got to deal with swiftly.
Darin Zion nods as he leans back listening to Owen’s wise words. Ethan grumbles while he goes back to focusing on the road. He mutters under his breath.
Ethan Wright: Worthless pieces of shit….
Darin Zion: Finally, I’m breaking through to someone with half a brain. I’m glad you understand our predicament Sir Lancealot. Seems like you’re answering to your pedigree.
Owen Wright: I wasn’t a 4.0 Hawkeye for nothing, Mr. Zion. Not to mention a two-time Des Moines Man of the Year winner for all my amateur wrestling background. I was also the homecoming king twice, but no one likes a bragger.
Darin Zion: I’m beginning to see why I chose you, Lance, my boy. You ooze such good charisma. You’re putting everything into this. Hell, if memory serves me right…
Owen Wright: I beat former HOW World Champion Scott Stevens in my second ever contest after graduating wrestling school. But I don’t like to mention that because…
Darin Zion: Everyone and their dog beats Scott Stevens….
Owen Wright: It’s truly lost it’s meaning, Mr. Zion. It’s my brother and I’s pleasure to serve your noble conquest of vanquishing Charles de Lacy at this week’s Chaos. You don’t have to worry yourself into an anxiety attack. We’ve got your back, sir. Besides, you need your beauty sleep tomorrow. Lots of autograph signings and meetings. Rest easy sir, you’ll need a lot of it before the big match.
Darin Zion: Thank you, my loyal Knight of the Lovely Table. I appreciate your unwavering commitment to our crusades.
Zion stretches his arms out, laying comfortably on his Purple Pillow, covered in the most royal red silk. He dons his silky purple, heart-covered sleeping mask and falls back to sleep as the brothers make their final trek into the city. After about ten minutes pass and Zion’s fully out, Ethan lands a sick right fist into Owen’s arm.
Ethan Wright: Are you fuckin’ serious, broseph? You throw me under the fuckin’ bus like that?
Owen pats his brother kindly on the shoulder.
Owen Wright: No, sir. I’m just politicking my way towards our future. Trust me on this one.
The loud horn sound of a trumpet rackets through catering in the backstage area of the State Farm Arena as Darin Zion and his Knights of the Lovely Table enter the scene. Zion bursts through the doors with much pomp and circumstance—but no one gives him a single iota of their attention. Sir Lancelot ALove strolls in, unraveling a giant scroll with a list of demands on it. He begins to read it verbatim.
Owen Wright: Hear ye! Hear ye! Darin Zion demands that thou givest him lots of Turkey Drumsticks. He wants only the clearest of water sharpened on the crystals of diamonds. His majesty of love demands a full helping of green beans to help his keep his AMAZINGLY shiny complexion…
Owen turns around and gazes at the crowd of HOW workers ignoring the theatrics. Owen begins to cup his hands together, readying to scream out at the top of his lungs.
Owen Wright: DID ANYONE HEAR ME? HEAR ME! I SAID HIS MAJESTY…
Zion shoves his hand right into Owen’s face before cutting him off. REAL LOVE simply wags his fingers and points his knights to the buffet table with all the food GOD provided them. Ham, potatoes, salads, the whole nine yards are presented to the LOVING ONES.
Darin Zion: It’s not what I wanted, but it’ll do, peasant. Besides if these hooligans don’t want to listen to his Majesty of Love…I don’t want their rotten hands touching my food anyways. I’ll catch all the poor’s wretched cooties.
Ethan slams his staff down towards the ground, extending his hand out so his sire can fetch himself a divine meal. Zion nods his head at the tall, powerful Ethan Wright smiling.
Darin Zion: There you go! You’re the strong, silent arm of LOVE…just like I envisioned. You let your damn actions do your talking. It’s better than hearing your boring, bass voice.
Owen’s quick to hold his brother back as Zion passes through the buffet. After the men have corralled their feasts, all of them gather around a round table to discuss their match strategy for Sunday evening.
Owen Wright: So, talk to us about the strategy…what’s the game plan you’ve got to bring down de Lacy this week.
Darin Zion reaches into his pocket and pulls out a sheet of paper detailing instructions for both brothers. He smirks as his hands begin to animate while speaking.
Darin Zion: It’s purely simple—all this here…it’s a fuckin’ distraction. De Lacy thinks this is all about living out some stupid gimmick. He’s blinded about his perception of yours truly. He thinks I’m going to enlist both of you to stand around the ring idly like I did the last time. This is where we hit him.
Both brothers look at Zion’s map as he shows them de Lacy getting near the ropes for certain moves. He shows them how much of an in-ring tactician de Lacy is, showing off his moveset from his last few recorded matches.
Darin Zion: De Lacy’s a lot like you Owen—a technician. He’s always hitting suplexes, submissions, and DDTs. He’s all about his craft, zoning in on things around him. All you both have to do is distract him. Rather you mess with Joel Hortega, climb the ropes, whatever. Get involved! Make your presence known to him. Get in his head a bit. I don’t need to hit all the flashy moves like usual. I’ll unleash a few moves I haven’t done in a long time. I’ll break out my own suplexes, submission holds, and keep the high flying to a minimum. I’ll beat him at his own game and embarrass him in front of the Atlanta crowd. I’ll throw in a few low-blows, Russian Leg Sweeps, and work on his arms. I’ll immobilize him from using his strength. I can’t afford him nailing the Dandy Decree or his Falling Neckbreaker.
Both brothers look completely and utterly shocked at the Darin Zion they’re seeing. Both hold their jaws trying to hide their surprise from Darin.
Ethan Wright: So, wait, you’re changing up your typical gameplan? Like no flips and high-risk shit…like on a whim.
Owen Wright: While it’s completely uncharacteristically like Zion, he’s called a Hybrid Wrestler for a reason. He’s mastered a lot of different crafts to make him versatile.
Darin Zion: I’ve sat under a lot of different sages in my career. Charles’ game is all about using his upperbody strength to gain an advantage. I’ve seen countless guys like him over the years. He’s just another flash in the fuckin’ pan here in HOW.
Ethan Wright: I mean the guy’s overly confident like yourself.
Darin Zion: Precisely! That’s why I’ve got to count on you two. Even a 25-year veteran gets blinded by those spotlights out there. Everyone comes into HOW like an innocent little butterfly thinking they can change how ruthless and cruel this place is. Truth is, Dandy’s spouting off a ton of vaudevillian bullshit. Overwhelm the fucker like Rhys did and you’ll turn his entire world upside down.
Owen Wright: Color me shocked, I didn’t think you had it in you.
Darin Zion: Well, all’s fair in love and war in this place. I ain’t lettin’ this British man beat a red-blooded American Love Machine. It’s time I have a shift in tone to show the wrestling world I mean fuckin’ business. Catch these fuckers off guard. You’re playin’ the parts well, and I fuckin’ trust you to let you in.
Darin Zion extends his fist to the center of the pack, waiting for the Knights to throw their hands into it.
Darin Zion: For the Power of Love?
Both Brothers (in Unison): FOR THE POWER OF LOVE!!!
“Cut the bullshit, de Lacy! Seriously, you’re the pot callin’ the kettle black spitting all those fuckin’ lies. Like you don’t fuckin’ live your gimmick and theatrics either. I don’t buy your fake ass British accent, your noble lineage, and that you’re jib is cut from a bunch of good ole’ boys with fuckin’ manners. Gimme a fuckin’ break!
So what if you got a bunch of fancy words in your vocabulary? Who gives a flying fuck about your enthusiasm about this match? It’s a fuckin’ match and a fuckin’ opportunity your wasting if you want to write me off like I’m sailing off into the Twlight of my career. I’m not past my PRIME.
Think you can recite my diatribe of redemption, injustices, and love. Bitch, please! This is fuckin’ HOW. I’m not looking to step into the ring and give your worthless British ass a bear hug, a kiss on the cheek, and falling to the mat like some Benedict Arnold. Let’s leave all that warm fuzzy bullshit in the fuckin’ past.
I’m not looking to be a walking, talking Hallmark card no more. Nor am I lookin’ to star in the next Hallmark movie. I’ve fully moved past all that shit.
At Chaos, I begin my greatest conquest ever; to begin the Crusades of LOVE and burn down the last vestiges of my sappy rhetoric.
See, Charles I’m not going to coddle your ass like the rest of the roster is doing. I’m honestly sick of seeing your stop-start pushes every few weeks. I’m not going to give you some great encouragement about how nice of a competitor you are and how your 25-years around the world means something to me. Hell, I’m tired of lying to the rest of the roster about how great they fuckin’ are and how much they mean to HOW. I’m sure as shit not here to brag about what was it you said….the vaunted experiences…
Bitch, just threaten to pound my ass in like I’m your prison roommate at Alcatraz. Don’t whisper sweet nothing’s into my ear. Don’t write some worthless chronicles with verbose musings. Save your shit for Ye Old Renaissance faires.
Your just like everyone other bright-eyed bushy-taled HOW competitor who steps through these hallowed doors to Pro Wrestling’s Valhalla. You’re truly HOW’s current flavor of the week. But you know what happens, Charles? Eventually the new car scent from the fresh meat wears away. You recycle the same garbled bullshit over and over again. You try to re-invent yourself, the cycle continues, and you get lost in it like I did.
Same shit’s about to happen to you. You lost to a current Hall of Famer. You’re about to lose to a future Hall of Famer. Soon, you’ll be losing to Scott Stevens and the HOW Cycle for your career officially completes itself. I can see it oozing through your actions. You’re retiring to the golf course, enjoying some fine pints. Bragging about writing me off like you’re some smart one.
But newsflash kid, this old fart has learned new tricks. I have many of them stored in my hat.
I’m about to expose you to the world as some fraud. I’m going to peel all your layers off like you’re a worthless vegetable and expose that fleshy, weak interior. I’ll knock that Crest Toothpaste sponsored smile off your face and shove it so far up your ass—you won’t be able to kiss your mother with those lips anymore.
I’m not coming to exchange pleasantries with you, de Lacy. I haven’t dragged my ass into Atlanta to lay down and give up.
I’ve come to Atlanta to fight like hell and start a war. And you’ll be love’s first victim. Trust me, de Lacy; you’re about to see the power of TOUGH LOVE come into play. You won’t like what lessons I’m about to teach you kid. Time to stop with your sappy bullshit and show up. Let the crudeness and crassness evolve you. Otherwise, I promise you my little petunia; I’m gonna stomp you out.”