Man Talks Gratuitously

Man Talks Gratuitously

Posted on March 27, 2024 at 9:29 am by Evan Ward

So here we are. A whole year gone. I can hardly believe it. This time last year I was a dead man walking. I’d made up my mind to end everything in the ring at War Games, soaring to the highest peak of the federation, the industry, before taking a swan dive off that cliff straight into the bedrock oh so far below.

If you had stopped me, as I walked into Old Trafford on my way to make the grandest entrance ever by shocking the world with my heinous heel turn… if you had stopped me and told me that premeditated act of violence would lead me all the way to where I am today, I would have called the police and told them to bring a straight jacket because a mental patient had escaped from Broadmoor. It wouldn’t have made any sense that I would even be alive today, let alone fighting for the LSD Championship at March To Glory while running a cannibalistic curry cart with Trent, with a four-and-a-half star rating on trip advisor and an award from the FDA.

It’s been a very long journey to get here. It might have just been one year but, looking back in it all, it feels like half a dozen, at least. Many more if you count the many hours spent listening to Trent’s boorish ranting. Who I am now is so many worlds apart from who I was when Lee Best gave me the opportunity for one last hoorah in the ring you wouldn’t even consider us the same person.

Just a year has passed. Twelve months. Thirty four weekly shows. Five pay-per-views. It was a fleeting amount of time when you break it down like that. Just a year. And yet it seemed like a lifetime of events…

From March To Glory to Ward Games.

Ward Games to 97 Red.

Onto In God’s House and through to ICONIC.

Dominating all through the LBI to where we are today, standing on the doorstep of the legendary Madison Square Gardens, the chance of ultimate glory snatched away by a technicality but I still have the chance to overshadow the World Championship. The opportunity to once again force a perceived lower tier belt into the main event by the sheer electricity buzzing between its competitors. We did it before, Ground Zero and Ascended Supremacy, with the Tag Titles back in the day, and myself and Jace are doing it again with the LSD Championship.

History repeating itself as if in a parallel world. Once again, if you had told me a year ago, or ten years ago, that today Jace Parker Davidson would be effectively running HOW and I’d have a mutually beneficial alliance with him I’d have told you the fanfiction section of the HOW website had rules against stories so absurdly unrealistic. But here we are. Ground Supremacy, the Snake and the King, taking control of the World’s greatest federation and setting the stage for what is surely to be the most breathtaking, unforgettable and god damn, motherfucking, brutally chaotic Ward Games ever.

Out of context all of this is so crazy. Just like comparing myself now to myself a year ago, comparing the HOW of today to the HOW when I returned is like night and day. Out of context, there’s nothing to link the two. There was no way of drawing a line from point A to point B. Impenetrable walls, impassable mountains and vast oceans stood between them… But if you follow the journey, retread every step along the winding, divergent path, and you won’t notice the world change around you as you slowly trudge along the exceedingly indirect route. You won’t notice as the forests thin out to plains, as the ground beneath you gradually softens into marshland and brings you to valleys and peaks, as the ground dries out and leads you into a desert.

It happens slowly. Gradually. Subtle changes skip past your perception until there’s nothing recognisable from where you started, but it feels like nothing changed. Despite being so alien it feels like it’s meant to be that way. It felt natural. And as you fail to notice the world change you fail to notice yourself change. Through the struggles and hardships your muscles build up, bit by bit. Your skin grows calloused, weathered by the storms you push through. Your mind fractures and frays with the ordeal and knits back together, forever changed, never able to go back to the innocent, naive mentality you held at the start of the journey. You’ve seen too much, felt too much, experienced too much. That fragile tapestry of your own self torn and unravelled and weaved into something new, something battered and ragged but stronger, more enduring.

As you look back across the gulf of that year you feel as I do. Perplexed at the difference a year makes and intrigued at where you could stand a year from now…

In the past it felt like the path ahead was straight forward. I was who I was, unchanging, ever vigilant to never stray from the beaten track. Where would I see myself a year from “now”? I could only see myself a year further down the same, boring, predictable path. It was safe and planned out but wrought with the stress of walking a tightrope over an endless abyss. That was The Path, the only one, and to fall off it would be the end. There was no room for error. And when I stormed that ring in Manchester I could see the end of my path, there was comfort in knowing that the tightrope would just disappear from under me and never have to worry about my journey again…

After this unpredictable, life altering year, I look ahead to the future and see countless paths. Paths winding in all directions, some easy going, many perilous, overlapping and coiling together like vipers exploring the entire land. No plans, no view of where I might end up or even which paths I would take. That anxiety ridden sense of uncertainty was overwhelmed by an adrenaline fueled sense of adventure.

Dying. Crippled. Comatose. Risen again. A vengeful fury. Slave to an insatiable hunger. Destroyer of legacies. I couldn’t have predicted that path I have followed and I can’t predict where I will go from here. It was liberating. The freedom of choice to be who I need to be in the moment, adapting to the surroundings and living life in any way which I get confronted with.

This isn’t some zen thing. I’m no leaf on the wind, waiting for my serenity to be ended with a skewer through my heart. There will be stress, anger, hatred, the trials and tribulations of the unknown ahead of me. But that is fine. That is all just great. After what I have been through I have come to the realisation that these hardships are infinitely better than stringently following The One Path.

What all of this philosophical, self-reflective blather means is that this last year has been possibly the most important of my life. I was dead, in mind, body and soul even before Solex spiked me into that unforgiving steel. Now I am more alive than I have ever been. I mean, to get seasonal for a moment, at this point I’m pretty fucking much Jesus with my miraculous recovery from being a lifeless corpse after I was metaphorically crucified for my sins against God.

(Yes, Jesus sinned against God and that’s why the Romans nailed him to the cross. Do your own research, don’t just listen to Big Bible and their woke propaganda.)

And like Jesus, when Easter comes this year I will have ascended up to take my rightful place in the pantheon of kings. A snake like me, carrying gold and whispering in the ear of a villainous king. Just like Jesus…

But enough metaphors and philosophy and religious re-education. Let’s talk about something much more simple and basic. Scott Stevens. As simple and basic as they come. I’ve been keeping conspicuously quiet about him, just a jab here, a slander there, a nudge to budge him along. I’ve been refraining from talking trash about because I don’t want to give him the wrong idea. He has attachment issues. He has that whole parasocial thing going on where, for whatever reason, he thinks there’s something between us.

“I’m your arch-nemesis, Evan!” He’ll claim, as if saying it enough times to make it true. Insert a lengthy, colourful description of me sighing here. Yes, dude, you’re my arch-nemesis… in the same way regulation sized doorways are Trent’s arch-nemesis. Yes, they often caused a headache, if he ran into one without paying attention they could even knock him out cold, but they were mostly just a nuisance, always getting in the way when he had better things to do.

Stevens, look, you know One Punch Man, right? I’m sure you do, you seem like a secret weeb. The type who tarts himself up with all those tats and buffs up as much as he can, but then goes home and cuddles up to a body pillow of Hatsune Miku in a room full of Sailor Moon figures. Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong at all, grown men need their hobbies. You just seem the type.

So you know One Punch Man? There’s this character called Speed of Sound Sonic. He’s constantly trying to fight Saitama, the titular One Punch Man. He goes around boasting about being Saitama’s rival and making a big deal about it, but never, ever gets recognised by Saitama because he’s just a nuisance. A doorway to bump your head on if you don’t duck in time.

Stevens, you, sir, are pretty much Speed of Sound Sonic. Your need for my approval is sickening. You need me to profusely congratulate you on your superiority while I couldn’t even be bothered to acknowledge your existence as I pass you in a hallway backstage.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, I’m not exactly the unbeatable Saitama who can take down the mightiest of foes with a single flick of the wrist. I’m just talking about the way we view each other, ya know?

I know you’ve beaten me. I know Drew’s beaten me. I know Hugo dreams of beating me. I know, on paper, I’m probably considered the underdog of this match. Fuck the paper. As far as the buzz for this match goes, as far as form and hype are concerned, I’m the favourite. The one everyone is expecting to win, but the one they’re hoping beyond hope doesn’t.

This match, with you three and our glorious GM, is honestly where I belong. It’s where, after this long, gruelling, pain filled and traumatising year, my path has led me. What I am meant to be. It’s not where I want to be. Everyone, myself included, obviously wants what Mike has, they want to be in that match. We wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t.

But being here, in this match, fighting for the LSD Championship, it’s nothing short of fate. It is the epitome of what I have become. Brutal. Vicious. Deranged. Savagery beyond the sensibilities of modern society. As the man who dominated… no, as the man who utterly decimated the DILLIGAF group, there is no match more appropriate.

This match will be a veritable feast of blood, guts and gore. Drew, Hugo, Scott… just take a look at Silent Witness. Look at what I did to him at Jack’s behest. The man is going into his match still suffering from many wounds and recovering from reconstructive surgery after what I did to him, after I was kind enough to spit out his ear. Look at him, and think. Imagine. Consider I did that to a man, one who is well beyond the three of you, with just an opportunity for a title shot on the line. Now visualise in your heads what I might do to you guys when an actual Championship belt is on the line.

Got that image in your head? Focus on it. Let it burrow deep into your brains, lodge it in the depths of your soul so you’ll never forget what might have been, kept as a memento of a possibility. It’s nothing compared to what will happen to you. What you can imagine, my dear colleagues, is a fraction of what I can and will do. Your blinkered world views restrict your creativity in the ring, held back by the taboos which society views to be heinous, while I am truly free. After a year of being at death’s door, being chained inside my unmoving body, being hampered by injury, I am finally, truly free. And that’s what the LSD Championship is all about, isn’t it? The utmost freedom of in-ring expression with no judgement. The brutality to make other feds hide behind their purse strings is expected. The gruesome intensity of an abattoir is what is demanded.

So take a good, long look at the mess I made of the so-called LSD Legend, the wrongly self-proclaimed Greatest LSD Champion Of All Time. He couldn’t keep up with me as I ripped his flesh from his bone. Do any of you honestly think you stand a better chance? Of course you do, of course you do. Because you’re naive. You’re coming into a wrestling match. A hardcore wrestling match, but a wrestling match none-the-less. You’re innocently unaware of the butchery it actually will be. Only one other man is walking into this match with his eyes open to this fact, while you three are the cattle lining up to become Mystery Meat.

Remember, you three are not just in there with me, you’re also in there with the true Greatest LSD Champion Of All Time. Together we are the personification of inhumane barbarity. Much as I had no problems eviscerating my group opponents live on stage, Jace had no problems hobbling our poor, pathetic, past it, pleb of a boss to take what he wanted. The two of us together, the most vicious, despicable villains in the federation, how can you possibly believe that you stand a chance?

You don’t.

It’s a fact.

This is our match.

The World’s Strongest, stealing the show.

A demonstration of our superiority.

Just feel honoured to share the spotlight with us.

I’d be a fool to declare myself the guaranteed winner, so much could happen in this crazy match. With five competitors climbing into that ring, the outcome could be well beyond any one person’s control. But whatever happens, you three, Drew, Scott and Hugo, you will all lose.

Whether I win or whether Jace wins, that is the undecided outcome. One which hinges not only on our own abilities but also on the actions of you peasants changing the flow of the match. Whichever of these two outcomes happens, though, the belt stays with us.

With the Snake and the King.

With Ground Supremacy.

The best halves of the two greatest teams to ever grace HOW’s ring, joining together to dominate and decimate and bring HOW into a shining new era.

The three of you should prepare yourselves to be shat on from a very great height, metaphorically speaking*, as we bring fire and blood to March To Glory. See you at our feast in Madison Square Garden.





*But also I’ve eaten too much curry again, so also prepare to be literally shat on, just in case. The front row might need splash guards.