Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son

Posted on December 27, 2023 at 7:00 pm by Mike Best

“You’re a fucking hypocrite, you know.” 

Raising a half empty bottle of Coors light in a sarcastic kind of toast, Tyler Adrian Best kicks his feet up onto the end table of his father’s office, leaning back on the couch. He takes a long swig from the bottle, smacking his lips obnoxiously. 

It’s the first time they’ve spoken in months. 

Not everything is parallel in the lives of three generations of Best— it’s always seemed like the tensions of Michael and his father eventually brought them closer together. Sometimes their tiffs lasted a week, sometimes a month, sometimes a year, but at the end of it? Everything was all good. For fourteen years, it ALWAYS ended in everything being all good. Even the Annoying Era was destined to end in a hug, at least at some point— that’s how it’s always been, and probably how it’ll always be. Bumps in the road. Disagreements about the business. Tom Petty, but without the heartbreakers. 

Michael and Tyler? 

Not so much. 

The last time they’d shared this office, Michael Lee Best told his son that he was a disappointment. That he was destined to be good, but not great. He’d said a lot of things that should have been left unthought, much less unsaid, and maybe there was no coming back from some of those things. But after everything that’s happened between Michael and his father over the last few months, it was hard not to admit that apples don’t fall too far from trees in the Best family. 

This was just a much taller tree. 

“You’re not old enough to drink.” Michael mumbles, barely looking up from his laptop. “Dump it out.”

At this point, Michael Lee Best is so over his son’s endless need to rebel that he’s growing numb to it. The more he reacted, the harder Tyler rebelled, so at some point it became easier just not to sell for him anymore. Maybe that’s why they haven’t spoken since the last time Tyler was in this office in the first place. Maybe they’re both just hoping that the other blinks first. 

“Go fuck yourself.” Tyler scoffs, rolling his eyes.

Okay, maybe not. 

Tyler takes another swig off his beer, swishing the mostly empty bottle around directly in the eyeline of his father. It isn’t petty irritation in the eyes of Tyler Best, but sincere, bitter resentment. The truth is, father and son never really got off on the right foot in the first place. To a certain extend, the Son of God understood the plight of the God of Sons— Michael was only a few years older than Tyler when Lee Best told him that he was his father, and Michael himself had harbored some resentment for awhile. But it wasn’t like this. It wasn’t this bitter. This angry. Michael seemingly just wanted attention. 

Tyler seems to actually hate his father. 

Maybe he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a scared kid acting out. Maybe it’s a mixture of the two. It’s never quite been clear with Tyler Adrian Best, same as his father before him. But again, Tyler was… different. Michael had always been an asshole to get a reaction out of people. To keep people talking. Because he thought it was funny. 

Sometimes Tyler was a monster when no one else was looking. 

“Just more hypocrisy from the King of Hypocrites.” Tyler laughs, his voice full of cruelty. “A shitty addict telling me not to do a drug because it’s illegal. But it’s always do as I say, not as I do with you, right?” 

The twenty year old finishes the ass end of the bottle of Coors, chucking the empty aside and pulling another cold one out of his backpack. He makes a laborious effort of opening it, really cranking home for his father that he is going to do literally whatever the fuck he wants. 

Michael tries not to look up. 

This is a trigger, in more ways than one. 

“Begged me not to join the Final Alliance.” Tyler smirks, tossing the bottle cap at his dad. “Talked shit about it for months on TV. Lost the title, took the jacket. Hypocrite.”

The youngest Best stands up from the couch, no longer content with being ignored from afar. He carries his drink with him, as he saunters toward the desk. He knows that he’s turning screws right now, and doesn’t seem like he intends to stop any time soon. 

“And hey!” he exclaims, with a corny, fake excitement in his voice. “Speaking of losing titles… remember when you fucking benched me? Remember when you sent me down to fucking XPRO and told me I wasn’t good enough? Fucking HYPOCRITE. No bench for the Son of God. Nope. ICONIC main event, and I’m sitting in TEN X running ropes everyday? Fuck you. Failure. Hypocrite. Hypocritical FAILURE.”  

With a nearly sinister laugh, Tyler slams his full bottle down on the desk in front of his dad, spilling beer out onto the tabletop. It’s enough to force Michael to look up at his son and make eye contact— TAB knows what he’s doing, and he knows that it’s working. 

Michael clenches his teeth. 

Tries to swallow, but his throat is a desert. 

“You had a giant public fucking meltdown, dude.” TAB taunts, white knuckling his drink. “You lost friends. People you considered family. Over what, a match against fucking Brandon Youngblood? And you lost to WHO again? SCOTT FUCKING STEVENS?” 

Tyler shakes his head. 

“Holy SHIT, guy.” He cackles. “And now you’re on the big, public Oh, maybe Stevens is actually on my level after all Tour, trying to make it look like you didn’t just take the world’s most embarrassing L. Fuck you. Fucking shitty hypocrite. Shitty addict hypocrite. Shitty, addict, bad son, worse dad, losing your second World Title to Scott Stevens hypo—“

The words stop. 

Clamped off mid sentence. 

 

The mockery turns to gurgling desperation, as Tyler’s eyes practically bulge out of his head. His face turns an immediate shade of crimson, as he struggles to choke out a breath of air. The hand of Michael Lee Best has wrapped itself around the throat of his only son, squeezing as tightly as he can— he feels as though he’s out of control of his own body, as he dives over the desk and pulls Tyler to the ground with him. 

Something inside of him has snapped. 

“GGFFFKKKKGGGFFSSS” Tyler gasps, his eyes rolling back in his head. “LEH….GGGGO”

But the Son of God doesn’t let go. 

He clamps down with his other hand, gripping his own child around the neck and trying to strangle the very life out of him. Tyler thrashes wildly across the floor, knocking a lamp and table to the ground as he tries desperately to free himself— the gnarled sounds of garbled spittle gurgle in his throat, his eyes filled with absolute horror as he struggles to breathe. 

“AM I A GOOD DAD NOW?!” Michael snarls, pressing his thumbs into Tyler’s Adam’s apple, watching his face contort as it begins to go blue. “COME ON, SON! I can’t fucking hear you anymore! Am I father of the FUCKING YEAR now?!”

Tyler paws hopelessly at his father’s hands, trying to pry them free. The world is beginning to spin, his eyes fluttering as he feels the lights going out. Michael wants to stop– tries to stop– but something inside of him just can’t. He’s lost control. Utterly and completely. Months of anger, and embarrassment, and frustration pour out of him directly through his own hands, wrapped sadistically around the neck of his son. His son. His own flesh and blood. The one person in the universe that he’s supposed to love more than anyone else, and all he can focus on is squeezing the fucking life out of Tyler. In this moment, he wants him to die. He wants to watch the life leave his miserable little fucking body. 

It’s for the best. 

Little fucking sociopath. 

He made homeless veterans fight over a fucking hundred dollar bill and then tore it up in front of them. He single-handedly ruined essentially the entire PWA. This little fucking grifter. This shitty fucking conman. Maybe everything would be better if Tyler was dead. Maybe everything would go back to normal. Maybe this was just what needed to–

“AAAUNGH!” the air leaves Michael’s lungs, breaking his grasp.

With one final act of desperation, Tyler plows a knee directly into the sternum of his father, knocking the wind out of him— Michael’s hands instinctively release the neck of his only son, sending him backward into the fetal position. 

What a fucking mess. 

Tyler rolls onto his face, knees at his chest as he holds his own throat, gagging and coughing as the air floods back into his lungs. Tears stream down his face, half from the sheer force of the trauma and half from the emotional impact of being choked out by his own father. Michael wheezes, struggling to find his breath as he rolls around on the floor next to his desk. 

“MotherFUCKER.” TAB gasps, between coughs. “The… fuck…. the fuck is wrong with…”

Michael crawls toward his desk, pulling himself up at the edge. He leans his whole weight over the hardwood, his head cradled in his hands with his elbows down on the desktop. Neither man speaks again— only the sounds of gasping breath fill the otherwise silent room. 

No one needs to say it, anyway. 

It’s obvious to both of them. 

Slowly, Michael steps away from the desk, standing over his only son. He doesn’t know what to do. How to feel. Whether he should be angry, or sad, or ashamed. Tyler lays in a pool of his own spit and bile, the remnants of coughing up half a lung trying to find his breath. Without a word, the Son of God reaches a hand out to the God of Sons, offering to help him to his feet. 

Tyler’s eyes meet his father’s. 

He silently nods. 

Grabbing Michael’s hand, Tyler Adrian Best pulls himself up to his feet, staring his father in the face. Maybe this was a long time coming. Maybe this needed to happen. Maybe, now that they’ve finally come to blows, two generations of Best can finally mend their fences in the same way the the previous generation spent so many years learning how to do. Maybe it’s time that–

 

*THWACK!* 

 

The sickening sound of skull meeting flesh resonates through an otherwise silent office, as Tyler Adrian Best collides the center of his forehead with the bridge of his father’s nose. Michael staggers backward, holding his face as his nostrils instantly begin to pour a fountain of ninety seven red, leaking out onto the floor. But Tyler isn’t finished– he rears back and smashes his fist into the side of Michael’s face, knocking him first sideways into the desk, and then to the floor. Finally, having his father’s love for the rule of three, he hikes back his leg, setting sail with a kick directly into the stomach. 

 

And another. 

 

And another. 

 

And another

 

“I’m a fucking loser, right?” Tyler mutters, through gnashed teeth. “A big disappointment, right? Just like my old fucking man. Just like my dad. A fucking loser.” 

He rears back one more time, this time kicking Michael Lee Best in the side of the head and sending him rolling sideways. For a second, he looks like he wants to continue, and honestly it would be hard to blame him after experiencing what was realistically an attempted murder. For maybe the first time in his life, though, Tyler Adrian Best shows something he’s never shown before.  Something his father seems relatively incapable of, as of late. 

He shows restraint

“Nah, you’ve had enough.” TAB snidely quips, tears still streaming down his face. “Don’t wanna injure you before your big humiliation this week. Don’t wanna give you the excuse.” 

Picking up his now half-empty bottles of spilt beer from the floor, Tyler considers finishing it off. Instead, he turns the bottle upside down, pouring the remnants over the head of his father, before discarding the bottle onto the hardwood floor next to him. He looks like he might have more to say, but the youngest member of the Best family simply shakes his head, turning away and walking out the door.

The Son of God rolls to the side, his face leaking all over the floor of his office. He’s lost control. Not just of his life, but of himself. He’s embarrassed. Horrified at his own behavior. And like so many encounters between the two of them, this one ends with a slammed door, and Michael Lee Best left all alone. 

But this time, it’s all his fault.