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Posted on November 17, 2023 at 6:33 pm by Dan Ryan

I’m taking a note out of your book this week, Mike.

It’s been a shit week, an absolute shit week. Three days of filling myself with cold and flu medicine has me in a mood where I just cannot be fucked to do any more than what I’m doing right now. I never really blogged before I met you, to be honest. I kinda like it. Seems to work out.

No surprises really, are there?

You’re fighting with your dad, he’s teaming you up with Darin Zion against two of his best. We’ve all read this story before, right? It’s the formula. And God knows, you long ago mastered the formula. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you’re always here.

And kudos to you. And yes, I mean that sincerely.

There’s a lot I want to say to you, but I’m saving that for a rainy day, and despite my only recently feeling well enough to feel alive, it’s sunny out. It’s the best time of the year in middle America, here where the hot, hot summer gives way to sunny with a high of seventy-five.

One thing I won’t ever say to you is that you don’t deserve what you’ve got. You do. And for that matter, who cares if you do? There’s something I used to always say when I was coming up. I don’t know, maybe you heard me say it. Maybe it’s something to co-opt for yourself.

There is nothing you deserve. There is only what you can and cannot do, and what people can prevent you from doing. We all choose our own paths. You’re choosing your own, and you’d rather go it alone. You want this reign to be an honorable one. I myself never really cared much about honor. I’ve had lots of gold belts, and lots of people talked their shit, but I was still the one with the gold. And that’s all that matters, strapping that leather and gold around your waist. Honor was preached to me, of course. Most of my youth was in Osaka, so you can imagine.

But those lessons didn’t really sink in and take root. To me, honor was a story that old men told young men to keep them in line, to guard them from their worst impulses. But I liked my worst impulses. They served me well. They served me very well. It wasn’t until I started caring what people think that I began to fail, that I began to lose myself.

But I digress.

Let’s not go too deep into that pool. We have plenty of time to do that.

Last week, my daughter showed up unexpectedly, and for the first time in over a year, everything started to feel right. I know you have a… complicated… relationship with your son. But my daughter is what kept me alive, kept me from rushing over the edge of a cliff to my death years and years ago. There’s something different about a daughter. I don’t have a son, but sons and fathers, well, as you well know, often feel a need to fight and figure out who’s the alpha. It’s probably good that I didn’t have a son. Fuck that. I don’t need that competition.

On the other hand, she evened me out. She didn’t change me, not exactly. More like, she expanded who I was and what I could be. I had my greatest success immediately after she was born. I had so much success that I regularly had to turn off the phone and rush into arenas in the middle of a security detail. Hell, that’s when the constant wearing of sunglasses habit began.

I felt whole.

I was whole.

Aw, isn’t that sweet?


This idea that we are only one thing is the most nonsensical pile of crap bullshit I’ve ever heard in my life. I’ve always been more than just a bull in a china shop. I should have known better. But instead, I chased things that didn’t matter. I tried to reach out and grab something that wasn’t mine to take.

Again, enough of that for now. This is Chaos, not ICONIC.

There’s so much that can happen between now and then, and I can’t afford to casually hand you ammunition like I have in the past. I was foolish enough, naive enough, surprisingly, to think you wouldn’t take advantage of someone you considered a friend. And that’s ironic because I certainly would have taken advantage of you. I am a hypocrite, apparently. Of course, you did. You told me yourself, watching me… and one interaction at a wrestling show twenty-something years ago made you want to become a wrestler. So why would I expect you to behave in a way I wouldn’t?

For that matter, I’m not sure there is a way I wouldn’t behave to hold the championship, any championship really.

I’m not like Rhys Townsend, only putting in the work when the “top” belt is on the line. Every championship means something. Every single one means you are representing the company on that belt. It means you are among the very best. It’s the person holding the belt that makes it if that person is worth a damn. It’s not the other way around.

Some people lose their sense of priority, and then those people miss out on their chance at the only belt in the world that matters to them, all because they thought this was the kind of place where you could just turn it on and rise up on a moment’s notice.

This is hard. It’s fucking supposed to be hard. Slack-ass behavior and half effort is a goddamn insult to the people busting their asses day after day, week after week. That work should be the minimum you do, not the maximum. That’s why I’m not sitting alone pondering my next steps and wondering if it’s time to give up fighting and open up some more taco stands.

Hell, I’d take Darin Zion over that any day.

You’re a fucking goof, Darin, and we have had our run-ins, but nothing serious. I’m not here to insult you right now. You’re here, you’re teaming up with the champ. You know this is supposed to give him a disadvantage, and maybe that should offend you, but this isn’t the sort of place where you can afford to be offended for very long. You just have to buck up and do your best. And whatever your best is, I know you will be happy to do it.

I can say this much for you. You’re still here. No matter how many times you get beaten down, you’re back in the building the next week and you’re still plugging along. You’re the type of guy who keeps a company going by filling out the rest of the show. Sounds like an insult, but it’s not. You are a good soldier. You’re just on the wrong side at the moment.

It doesn’t matter how good you are, Zion.

You can’t fight Lee Best and win. You may think you’ve won at times, but there’s always a counterpunch, and that punch comes flying from behind when you least expect it. The odds are stacked to one side, and that side is always His.

I’ve heard the grumblings.

I’ve heard people saying I’m Lee’s little lapdog or his latest muscle who he’ll toss aside as soon as I’m no longer useful.


I know.

I’m not in denial.

I just don’t care.

I already made it clear. I don’t give a flying shit about honor. There’s only what you can do and what you can’t. And you cannot win if you stand against Lee Best. Not in the long term anyway. I wanted to win, so I chose the winning side.

That’s the bottom line.

It was a firm, clear-conscience decision, and I will stand by it completely.

I haven’t spoken to Solex yet. I’m sure I will before we get ready to walk out to the ring. Not that Solex is much of a man for lots of words anyway. He’s a man’s man, no mocking intended, and men don’t give much of a fuck about feelings or, you know, communication. Look at my tag team partner.

Yeah, look at my tag team partner.

You all know him, right? High Octane Wrestling Hall of Famer Jatt Starr, Co-PWA World Tag Team Champion. The guy who last week bitched and moaned because I didn’t visit him when he was sick, or make him some chicken soup or some shit? That guy? The guy who hasn’t been able to win a match on his own all year and yet has been happy to climb up on my shoulders and ride his way to a championship reign that may never end? Apparently, I’m the asshole.

I’m okay with that.

I am the asshole.

It’s all good.

I don’t care what anyone else in the Alliance thinks. I don’t know when it was said that we were all buddies, hanging out and playing poker on Wednesday night and then going out for a beer. I drink bourbon, a fucking man’s drink, and I drink alone. I don’t need the friendship, I don’t need the camaraderie, and I don’t need anyone’s bullshit pansy ass hurt feelings because I haven’t called in two days. Fuck right off with that, pal. You are my partner and a hell of a wrestler. But frankly, stop being a bitch. You’ve got a World title match at ICONIC that you sure as fuck didn’t earn in the ring because HE wants to do everything he can to get His son back in line.

That’s the goal. And that goal starts this week. You know the plan, Mike. The odds are against you, like the odds were against Conor Fuse before you, and everyone who has declined an invitation to be part of the Final Alliance.

I have a job to do.

I don’t necessarily want to do it, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll do it anyway.

Because nothing is or will ever be bigger than winning the championship, Mike. I hope you change your mind and all of this becomes no longer necessary. I would love to step into the ring with you one more time and face you man-to-man with no outside influence, no ulterior motives, and just see what happens. We’ve never had it, because you always had dad behind you. But times are changing I guess.

I guess.

All I know is, this week, I have my marching orders. People can say what they want, but when a job needs to be done, I get that job done, and I will do that same thing this week just like any other week. Hell, if He wants me to go jump Jace Parker Davidson again and drop him on his head just for fun, maybe I’ll do that too. Or maybe I’ll just grab the first person I see after I get to the arena and drive their head into the dirt. Who knows? Let’s see what happens.

Not much to do in Nebraska. I have some friends in Lincoln from the old days though, so maybe I’ll hit them up, and then get my work in. It’s shit weeks like this that really make you want to get yourself focused and zero in on what’s ahead of you. I don’t know. Sickness pisses me off, and I’ve always worked best when I’m pissed off.

So let’s go out there and have some fun with this, guys, shall we? It’s coming up on the holiday season. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there’s so much to be thankful for. I’m not gonna do the corny thing and make a bunch of Thanksgiving puns. I’ll leave that to Zion. But I will leave you with this.

Every one of us in this company should be thanking GOD that we are here and able to do what we’re doing. It is because of Him and Him ALONE that we are here, that High Octane is still in existence, and it is because of Him alone that half of our roster even have a place to work. Thank you, GOD, for loving your broken toys, no matter how low or high they are.


”God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.”

– Voltaire