Sorry that’s how I feel about this match.
Stronk, anything I’ve gotta say to you… I’d be a fucking moron to say it now. Solex, we’ve gone through a couple of wars recently. I’d ask you how you intend to walk into WarGames and leave with the championship when you’ve done nothing but miss the (albeit high) expectations everyone inside that locker room has for you. You’ve done extremely well for yourself but you lack that last level notch on your belt.
Which brings me to Stevens. See, Lee books me with partners who I’ve had previous problems with. I don’t get to team alongside Jatt for obvious Final Alliance reasons. I don’t team with Carey, or Zion. No. Instead I get n00bs such as Jace Parker Davidson and Clay Byrd. Makes sense on Lee’s end to do this to me. Funny, though, I put my big boy pants on and I suck it up. I make amends in order to live another day and not let the bad guys win.
I’ll do the same with you, Scott.
I refuse to let Lee get the better of me. The Best Alliance… the Final Alliance… it’s the same nonsense. He collects a group of feeble minded BOTS and gets them to do their bidding for him. I mean his own fucking son hasn’t been a part of the Best Alliance. What does that have to tell you?
Unless I’m wrong and Mike has joined the BA in the past. Please correct me Scott before these words see the light of day. (Wait, too late, lol.) I’m thoroughly aware you’re the High Octane Wikipedia and I don’t mean that as slander. I’m too fucking lazy to dig into my own memory card or pull up the archives to see if the SON has ever fallen “officially” under GOD’s banner.
Anyway, enough about those idiots. I’ll see Mike soon in HOFC. Even if I’m avoided on this round, there’s a bullet with my name on it. I wanna play in his fight pit. I like blood and slander.
For now, however, old DEFIANCE buddy and pal Scott Stevens who’s named after the most feared NHL defenseman in hockey history, let’s have a lil’ fireside chat.
First off, I mainly had a problem with the rest of your family. Bo, Cary, George. They were always the true pain in my game. Did you have a female Stevens join in at some point? Hmmmm, maybe I’m thinking of the DEFIANCE ToyBox team. It’s been a while.
I haven’t really had a significant issue with you. Sure, there was the first time we met in a HOW ring when I was a newbie and you kinda… “checked out”… but everyone can have a bad day. I already berated you for that. Imma a guy that won’t hold a long-standing grudge.
Lol my bad, bro.
Consider it buried.
Back to it. You checked in during our first title match, no doubt. I might have complained about having to face you again in such a short period of time but it was only because I had other people I wanted to superkick the piss outta. You gave it your all and that’s all I’ve ever wanted or asked from any opponents. Although I shouldn’t have to hold the World Championship to get somebody’s best, I digress, it’s all good now.
So here we are, on the same team this week and the same WarGames team. Gotta say, I’ll take you over some of the other teammates I’ve had. I guess this is a good thing, eh? While others can rip on your record, I’d much rather acknowledge your effort and commitment to this organization. I do think it’s misguided. I mean, you carried around the Book of Best and Lee fucking treats you like trash panda. Then again, you put full effort in when you’re strapped into that gaming chair. I’m not gonna judge you any further.
We’re walking into a trap, ya know? FFS, I sound like Clay Byrd to Conor Fuse before our first championship title match around last year at this time. He was trying to tell me everyone from the outside is ready to screw us over. Well, honestly, I think it’s CRYSTAL clear this week. Then again I literally murdered one of our opponents. I’m sure I can find Calamity Conor roaming around inside my head and unlock him. I got the DLC gear to wear.
I digress. I’m rambling. I welcome teaming with you this weekend and when we stroll down to Mexico. You’re a loyal soldier, perhaps too loyal, and I wonder if your talents would be better deployed elsewhere. Regardless, you make your own choices and play your own game. And hey, on the bright side, all the shit talk and knees in the world from Mike didn’t render you in the hospital, you’re back on your feet only a week later. That’s resiliency. That’s a solid life bar. Whatever motivation you’ve latched onto lately, feel free to give me some. Hence, my dick is limp and I’m not too excited for this tag match.
Then again, I’ve never given less than 100%.
— — — — —
Scott Stevens was once… -hold on here because it’s gonna sound really fucked up- but back in the day, and I’m talking OG Conor Fuse… -also I’m aware I’m stalling, these words outta my mouth are gonna be wild- well, here it goes, hope no one is listening… Scott was somewhat of a role model to me.
STFU, Stronk. You are banned from weighing in. You’ve been conned into all kinds of different directions. I can do worse than originally wanting to be Scott Stevens’ friend.
But that’s where I was when we go back to mid-2020 when HOW rookie Conor Fuse entered High Octane Wrestling and was worried he made the wrong decision…
I sit in the corner of a quiet part in the backstage of the Best Arena an hour into Refused XXX. I haven’t debuted yet. In fact, I only signed a contract a couple hours ago. Right after WarGames 2020, I decided to venture into the High Octane game, having no clue what I had signed up for.
Scratch that, I’m starting to get an idea. It’s a pretty ruthless company and everyone’s out for themselves. There’s names I’m somewhat familiar with, such as Andy Murray, Bobby Dean… I believe The Deacon stopped in here for a couple of matches. Either way, these aren’t guys I’ve interacted with.
“The only person I know personally inside this arena right now is Scott Stevens,” I say out loud to The Game Boy, who’s standing quietly behind me. “I watched WarGames and damn, Boy, I think I’m making a mistake…”
My voice trails. I can hear the ruckus crowd from inside the bleachers. I can only imagine what kind of blood is being spilled. This is the big leagues. The bigger leagues. Like, you’re really on your own. Sink or swim. I hear names filter outta this place super quick if they can’t hang. Stevens is “new” here, too. I heard his promo ten minutes ago. He signed up for HOW but as he informed everyone during his interview, he’s a former HOW guy. World Champion. Two times. He’s got a grip on reality.
“I could really use a friend,” I state to The Game Boy. In response he gives me a look suggesting he’s my friend.
“Yeah but dude,” I begin, trying to let him down lightly, “you’re not signed to a wrestling contract. You’re along for the ride.”
He flinches. He still doesn’t say anything. I figure he now understands where I’m coming from. A part of me would want to venture off from this corner of the building. Maybe I can run into my first friend in HOW. Maybe, perhaps, I can go out of my way and find Stevens’ locker room. You know, we get on the same page. Both of us being the “new” guys but he, having already played in this system.
I think about it.
Think a little further.
And further still.
I can hear more screams from inside the arena.
“I think…” my voice vanishes as I glance up to my Game Boy. “…think Imma stay right here.”
It’s not that I don’t want to find Scott. In fact, I do.
But I ain’t walking through the hallways. I’ll wait until the big boss books me, wrestle a couple of matches and see what transpires.
“I can’t see myself making friends here,” I remark, attempting to explain to The Game Boy -or myself- why I’m staying put. “This is only a one player game anyway. I don’t need teammates. Any of them. I bet I can navigate through this by myself. The way it is meant to be done.”
I don’t know if I really believed those comments but as my year went on I did. I had no intention to team with anyone else. I’d be fine on my own.
Funny how things change.
— — — — —
Well now we fast forward to the present time. Back in Chicago for the week, visiting the Dearness Living Community. The prison in the dwell of the boiler room is long gone, I got rid of that upon returning from the United Kingdom. Since then, I’ve been a nomad. Floating around from city to city, hotel to hotel, finding my way through whatever location HOW has booked us in.
Walter Newport, my favourite Elder sits beside me on a park bench outside the DLC. For someone who wanted to start his High Octane career with no support… I’ve certainly come along way. I’ve befriended Darin Zion, Bobbinette Carey and Jatt Starr. I used to be cool with Lindsay Troy, Teddy Palmer, Zeb Martin and Ray McAvay when they were around. Christ, I pulled off the impossible. I had a semi-tolerant relationship with the Murder Daddy himself prior to his knee giving out from under him. He was okay teaming with me. He didn’t pluck my extremities out one-by-one.
Oh, there’s also JPD, Mario Maurako, David Noble… I’m probably forgetting a few names but now I feel like an old vet, despite only spending three years in HOW. I’ve been around the roster a few times. I’ve made friends, created enemies, I feel like no stone was unturned.
I wonder if my progress would be different had I knocked on Scott Stevens’ door during night #1.
“Wally,” I begin, looking to my left and watching him soak in the nice weather. He doesn’t get out often and as the months roll by, his health gets worse. I can see it in his body language and read it in his eyes. He is trying to take in every second he can before it all goes away. It makes me reflective of my time… my career. It will be taken from me one day. Anyway, I continue on. “What should I do with the rest of my life?”
He doesn’t bother looking over. “That’s a loaded question, son.”
Perhaps I should clarify.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that,” I declare. “Guess I meant where I should live. I did the DLC thing for a while. Then I moved into the boiler room. I need to channel the right mentality for WarGames. And beyond. Beyond is totally key, ya? WarGames will only take me so far.”
Hard to believe I moved into this old folks home two years ago in an attempt to seek revenge on Jatt Starr. Now Jatt is my favourite person in the world… who’s not named Walter of course.
“And the dungeon I built, let’s not undersell that, either,” I add. “Totally helped me win the World Title tournament. Oh, also helped me make a guy’s heart stop. That was fun, lol. And then how I almost won the World Title back off Christopher America.”
I can sense Walter is listening, but listening is all he will do. He’s not about to give me direction, he wants me to figure it out for myself.
“I could move into my mom’s basement.”
Stop. Pause. Reflect.
“Too cliché, eh?”
“Yeah, I mean I already did that until I was twenty-one. Plus mom’s busy and all these days. She barely returns my calls. I dunno WTF she’s up to, I haven’t kept in touch for a while.”
I’m sure she’s not up to much.
“I mean I could go on my own. Find a bachelor apartment.”
I forgot. I kinda did that. It was early last year, I remember facing off against Stevens a couple of times during this phase. I hated where I lived. It was such a soulless, lonely apartment building. Bachelor life sucks.
I really do need people in my life.
Walter continues to be caught in his surroundings. He simply nods his head.
I give a shrug.
“I need a roommate.”
Like a real roommate, a guy who I can go to work with on a weekly basis.
Hmmmmm. Maybe Scott Stevens will be my guy.
Wait. No. He’s got family.
Zion would be fun.
I think he’s caught up in this PRIME LOVE CONVOY cringe shit.
Gonna pass on that.
Mom Squad is kinda weak. A part of me wants to wreck those bitches with DDTs and suplexes.
What? Lol. It’s true. It would be funny.
Okay. I could branch out. Find someone new.
“Guess I’ll continue living from hotel to hotel.”
I have asked The Game Boy to start accompanying me on road trips again. It’s a new and old direction.
“Wally,” I say, trying to recapture his attention. “What should I do with the rest of my life? I mean that this time…”
Walter finally looks over to me and rolls his eyes.
— — — — —
I don’t feel motivated ATM. Sure, the tag match has something to do with it… but it’s not the whole story. My housing situation certainly doesn’t help. It’s deeper. What am I fighting for these days? OG High Octane Conor Fuse was fighting to establish himself. Mission accomplished. World Champion Conor Fuse was fighting for respect, to show I can hang at the last level and be taken seriously. Mission accomplished. After my title run I was fighting for a friend, Bobbinette, who faced attempted murder. I vowed to hand out the same punishment that was given to her. Mission accomplished. Even against Christopher America… I was fighting to stop the longest potential reign in the history of this company and have a third run with #97. Failed mission but nevertheless, my motivation was clear.
Now, however, I sit idly outside the Best Arena. We won’t be coming here for a while. Three years ago I walked into the back entrance and sulked in a corner of this building… with zero friends and the idea I was an idiot for signing. Pretty sure I proved that wrong.
Have I accomplished all there is to do? Have I truly beat the game?
I mean, honestly… I’ve watched the Best Alliance fizzle out. I played a part in it. I can’t take full credit but certainly holding the title when the BA went DOA makes me feel like I helped in its deterioration. I’ve done everything there is to do. I was never going to hold onto HOW with a life or death grip. Mike is obsessed with his legacy, it’s why he comes back. But I’m like “guy, you’ve retired 406832 times more than Dan Ryan has daughters, no matter what you’re already the greatest wrestler in the world if you stopped before I got here.”
My goal was to never be the best. Trial run, continue to play, go up a few levels… everything built on top of the other. Then my goal was to beat the game. But no matter what, I never said to myself I needed to achieve the highest score possible.
So what is the point anymore?
I’ll tell you what. I’m really struggling to find what the point of this tag match is. I get why it’s happening. Lee wants to see Stevens and I suffer. One could assume the point of this week is to survive. Sure. Okay. Neat. That’s what I’ll do. That’s what I’ve always done. Doesn’t take away this emptiness I feel.
I used to wrestle for a purpose. It was fun to beat the piss outta America and Ward, don’t get me wrong. I thought the fire would keep going inside of me.
I wasn’t even on Chaos last week. I chose to stay home.
Something is wrong with me. Until I find that spark again, I’m unsure what I’ll give this match outside of my best effort.
Not sure that’s enough.
Stevens, you have a partner in me, man. Clearly I don’t enjoy the other two guys and I’ll never, ever be in a partnership with Stronk. No worries there. I will go gangbusters at WarGames because that’s what Conor Fuse does. And just to amp up the intensity going into Mexico, I’ll throw my body around for good measure this weekend.
For the first time in my career, I honestly don’t know. I’ll go through the motions… not sure I will feel anything further.
I guess we’ll see.
We’re gonna have to.