“You know in this business, it’s important to have friends. It’s important to have people you know you can count on but I think the most important part of being apart of the wrestling business is having someone there for you who you know you can thank for getting you into the business. Someone, at the end of the day after all your successes, you can take a step back and thank them for helping you get to where you’re at and all the decisions you’ve made. But what if you didn’t have that luxury? What if what you did and how you got somewhere, you did all by yourself? What if you have no one to thank helping you get to where you’re at now? For me, that was a question I was starting to ask myself more and more and the more I thought about it, the more I started to realize just how alone I really was. It wasn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world…but was that necessarily a bad thing? I don’t know…but I know I had already been used to it. All my time in the wrestling industry, I had mostly been on my own. It’s something that I had already been used to because that’s how I operated. I hated having to rely on others because I felt the more people you had, the more weighed down you were…the more liabilities you had to worry about. Again…I don’t know why I think about that at this hour in my career. But maybe…just maybe, I should have felt that appreciation SOMEWHERE with SOMEONE…I guess that was another hard lesson I was going to have to learn on my road to redemption…on my march to basicness…”
ONE WEEK AGO…
Five Time Academy
It was another early day at the Five Time for Brian Hollywood. He had a lot on his mind as he was working out, there wasn’t a whole lot of people in the gym at this hour…probably because it was four in the morning, but Hollywood obviously had a lot of stuff that was particularly bothering him. Hollywood was conditioning as you could see the intensity of the workout as the sweat was dropping from his forehead. Hollywood takes a little bit of a breather as he was catching his breath before letting out his particularly troubling thoughts.
Brian Hollywood: “The trials just keep coming, don’t they? I guess I can’t really complain too much. I mean, I did get on the March to Glory card. It may not have been the way I was expecting, but I’m on the card none the less. I said that I wasn’t going to miss another PPV for as long as I was still wrestling. Missing ICONIC was a heavy duty blow for me. That did NOT feel good in the least bit…I told myself I wasn’t going to let that feeling cross my paths again. So I lost the LBI and I was in danger of missing another PPV, but I worked for it and got myself on the card no matter who it was against. Now, here I find myself in danger of missing another PPV way before it happens. So what am I going to do about it? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it…I’m going to make sure I do my part to clear this first hurdle and that’s win my match against a man who has suddenly reappeared at the wrong time. Tell me, why do I deserve to lose my spot at War Games when I’ve been busting my ass but a guy like Scott Stevens, who had to take a sabbatical from High Octane Wrestling, get a chance to have A MATCH just so he can still have a chance at getting on the card?! It doesn’t make an ounce of fucking sense to me…but I fucking digress. I guess this is just the continued chance to prove that I have come a long way already since I hit the hard fucking reset button.”
Hollywood definitely had reservations to be angry. However, it was his anger that he was learning to channel more properly. He had a lesson in patience and learning to control his emotions from Alan Ventura just a few weeks ago and this was definitely going to test Hollywood more than ever before. Hollywood begins to ponder all the reasons he’s having to face this test. Was the GOD of HOW testing him again? Was Lee Best checking in on Hollywood’s progress that he was here testing him so much to see if Hollywood’s training was the real deal? It was things like this that Hollywood wasn’t counting out. Hollywood and Lee Best definitely had history and there was success there and there was conflict as well. There was history on both sides of the track when it came to Lee and Hollywood’s relationship. However, instead of diving in emotionally first like Hollywood always did, Hollywood takes a step back and actually calms down as he lets his thoughts pour out.
Brian Hollywood: “I won’t let it get to me this time. Heh, I guess I should be thanking Lee for creating this stipulation…because I at least understand it from a business standpoint. I understand it, especially who all is signed to High Octane nowadays. I’ve never had to work harder in all my life than what I have to do now. So I will take this opportunity and start this out with another win. I’ve been winning and winning for weeks now and I like to think I’ve made some great progress. Now, I’ll really have that ultimate test of how far I’ve come. Take a seasoned wrestler like Scott Stevens for example. Stevens and I have history and we’re no strangers to each other. You’ve got a guy like Stevens who knows what it’s like to be down on his luck. That’s been the whole story to Steven’s High Octane career. He already has been here before. So how will he respond? How will he answer the call to get a chance to wrestle at War Games? That is the million dollar question that I must analyze more than anything else, but also figure out just how far I’ve come in my new wrestling lifestyle.”
Hollywood knew beating Stevens wasn’t going to be an easy task because he knew Stevens has been here before. What he really had to figure out was just how much he knew Stevens to get around his style of wrestling with his newfound wrestling style…all the while jugging the feeling of an all too familiar feeling with being in this situation. That was going to be the keys to pulling out a win against Stevens.
Brian Hollywood: “Stevens…I know we’ve had our differences in the past…I know I’ve trashed you a lot. However, I know that a different approach is going to be required this time if I’m to beat you this time around. The only problem you’re going to have to figure out, Stevens, is how are you going to face a man you’ve faced many times before, but haven’t had a chance to fight with my new arsenal of tricks? All the tape in the world isn’t going to help you this time, Stevens. I’ve almost completely changed my style of wrestling in that ring and this is a side of Hollywood you’ve never faced. So I ask you Stevens…just how exactly do you plan on preparing for a man you’ve faced so many times, but never have come in contact with my new style? You can’t. That is the shortest explanation you’ll get. However…it isn’t the whole answer. You know me well Stevens so you know I’m more complicated than that. But I also know this is a complicated situation and I also know you’ve been in this position before so the approach by the both of us will be different. It truly is astonishing, isn’t it? Two men who know each other so well…yet with this situation, will be facing off freshly with an unknown outcome on the line. Truly captivating that even I am having a tough time putting it all into words.”
Hollywood lets out a smirk as he shakes his head knowing full well that this whole thing is even hard for him to talk about. Hollywood sits down on one of the benches as he grabs a bottle of water and takes a drink from it. He closes his eyes briefly as he keeps his composure, still not letting the surprise stipulation get to him.
Brian Hollywood: “This match is going to test us Stevens, that much is certain. However, this match is going to prove just who wants it more. My whole career I’ve always treated each match the same..about wanting it more than the other guy. That is the one practice I’ve always taken in all of my matches so this added stipulation doesn’t change that perspective for me. But I’ve got to ask you something simple Stevens. Just what are you doing to prepare for this match? It just seems to me you don’t want it that much. It seems to me that you’re used to being in this situation so much that you’ll respond the same way every time because you know that another opportunity will eventually roll your way. But that’s the problem I have with this, Stevens, is that you will WAIT for your next opportunity to come your way. I’ve watched opportunity after opportunity pass you by with nothing more than a simple shrug of your shoulders. It’s THAT kind of reaction that PISSES me the fuck off! It’s that kind of reaction that only FUELS me to bust my fucking balls and to push myself as hard as I can. It’s that kind of reaction that I’m going to shrug my shoulders and utterly fucking destroy the ever living shit out of you knowing that I could give two fucks about the opportunities you preach about. Simply put Stevens…I. DON’T. FUCKING. CARE! I’ll gladly put you out of commission again and just let you sit idly by waiting for the next opportunity to pass you by while I SEIZE MINE!”
Now Hollywood’s blood was fucking boiling! He didn’t work this hard to get back to greatness only for a guy like Stevens to come in and take it from him. In a way, Hollywood felt he was in the same position as Stevens…he was starting to really think about where he was at and if he wasn’t working hard enough to all of a sudden be in danger of missing War Games. Hollywood had War Games experience…but his experience wasn’t filled with as many memories as Hollywood would have liked. Not this year, though. The time of missing out on the big one was over. The time on being passed by in favor of the usual guy was over. He was working extra hard for a reason and his re-rise was something he wanted to work for for a change. He didn’t like how he got to the top last time…feeling like he didn’t do much to earn it. Feeling like he didn’t do much to get to where he had gotten. It’s those types of feelings that really get to Hollywood. It’s those types of feelings that really tug at Hollywood’s consciousness..which used to be so rare, that we are seeing it happen more and more frequently which was starting to become commonplace. It was strange to see from Hollywood but it was starting to become normal which just made it all the more…weird. Hollywood shakes his head as the passion in his eyes was well placed.
Brian Hollywood: “I hope you’re ready for the ass kicking of your life, Stevens. I hope you’re ready for the reality to hit you hard because all you’re exhibiting to me is complacency and I talked about what happens when you get complacent, especially in High Octane Wrestling. YOU of all fucking people should know better Stevens..and now I’m going to make sure to get that etched forever in your fucking brain because god knows you need a reality check but more importantly you need to know that this reality check should be nothing more than….basic instinct. Fucking SHAME on you for not being a fucking MAN and busting your ass to WANT this! I took a BIG fucking chance at hitting the reset button on everything but sticking with it and competing in the LBI. Sure…I just came up one win short, but that’s just a testament by how fucking hard I’ve worked for it and yet here I am continuing on and working for the next one. You didn’t see my folding everything up when I came up short on the HOW World Championship. Oh no. I picked my ass up and got back in the fucking gym because that’s the kind of fucking man I am! I know my time is dwindling towards the end on my career, but I haven’t let that stop me. I’m pushing on and fighting like keith motherfucking sweat to get that next win and EARNING my shot at greatness once again because I want my story told the proper way. The way that it should be for EVERY man…and that’s why at March to Glory, I will give it my all once again and to show you just how fucking dangerous I still am and just why I’m going to EARN myself another shot at the HOW World Championship because I know how much I want it that I’m willing to give up everything to achieve it. It’s not a threat. It’s not a promise. It’s not an impulse. It’s just a basic instinct…”
TWO HOURS LATER…
Hollywood walks back inside the Five Time Academy after taking a small break from working out to see Alan Ventura waiting for him. Of course, Alan was punctual as he inquires to where Hollywood has been.
Alan Ventura: “Jesus H tap dancing Christ. I thought I was going on medicaid waiting on your ass. Nice to see you actually showed up finally!”
Hollywood puts his hands up in the air as he was clearly frustrated at Alan’s response. What did Hollywood have to do to make this guy happy?
Brian Hollywood: “The fuck? I stepped out for a little bit to catch a breather. I was already in the gym a couple hours earlier working out. What do you want from me?”
Alan Ventura: “So you think I care that you were already working the fuck out earlier? That’s time YOU chose to take…am I supposed to be impressed? You and I arranged for this time and I expect you to be here ON fucking time!”
Hollywood shakes his head as the frustration starts to seep deeper and deeper. Here he was working out and training in the gym WANTING to be better and here was this prick who didn’t seem to give a fuck. Was this all he was getting out of the Five Time was a lecture and getting pummeled verbally? Hollywood thought it would be more than that. Sure, he understood everyone here were dicks and he was legitimately alright with that. But he wanted to learn and he thought he was getting better. It didn’t help that he had a match against Scott Stevens with a stipulation that threatened Hollywood’s War Games chances should he lose and that definitely had him on edge..not to mention the fact that it seemed that Stevens was getting a pass for being complacent.
Brian Hollywood: “Jesus fuck what is your fucking problem?! I’m here and I’m ready for the next lesson! What do you expect me from me?! Do you not acknowledge the fact that I’m here busting my ass but a guy like Stevens gets almost a free pass for not doing jack shit?!”
Alan Ventura: “Do you really think I give a fuck about Stevens? A lot of guys that I’ve worked with in this gym know all too well the kind of douchebag Stevens is. The guy may be a lonesome loser but that isn’t exactly breaking news here genius. Now are you done crying over the Queen of hearts bloody tampon already and done wasting my time right now?!”
Hollywood shakes his head and sighs as he knew bickering with Ventura wasn’t going to get him anywhere. Hollywood hops in the ring as Ventura nods his head but definitely keeps the heat on Hollywood as he instructs Hollywood to come to the middle of the ring.
Alan Ventura: “Now that that crime fest of a waste of time is out of the way, you’ve got a match in Rome at March to Glory coming in just a little over a week. So we’re going to be working on the most basic technical wrestling you possibly can. Stevens may be a pussy, but the guy can still surprise you like your ex one night stand telling you she’s fucking pregnant and ruining your life for the next eighteen years. But enough of the colorful metaphors…are you ready?”
Hollywood nods his head as he simply dismisses Alan’s interesting commentary.
Brian Hollywood: “You know I want to be here. I just can’t wrap my head around Stevens evening earning a slight shot after basically being in the background for the last couple months with a high profile PPV like War Games coming up.”
Alan Ventura: “That’s not what we’re focusing on cocopuffs. Who the fuck cares? Besides, who knows…maybe Lee just likes watching him squirm and lose the big ones over and over again. Ever think of that? Anyways, let’s get to work before I wipe my ass with your patheticness!”
Hollywood scoffs but stays the course and dismisses the thought of Stevens getting a chance to get onto War Games as he focuses on becoming better in the hopes of beating him at March to Glory. Hollywood and Ventura work on side locks and takedowns as the two get gritty, but not before Ventura wipes the floor with Hollywood in the ring. Hollywood, however, finally gets an interesting sweep of Alan’s leg before grabbing him and taking him down to the mat much to Alan’s surprise.
Alan Ventura: “Wow. Congrats. You’ve finally managed to take me down. However, one move isn’t going to be enough. You’re making progress, but there’s a lot more that you’re going to have to learn if you want to really get better. Wrestling is about grit. It’s about the passion, but it’s about being able to continue the grind and developing yourself further. You’ve got to be able to keep up the endurance all the while continuing to pound your opponent into submission and really dishing out the punishment and wishing they never stepped into the ring with you. You’ve come down a path, but you’re still way out from your destination. However…it’s a start.”
Hollywood nods his head but he starts to get out of breath. This training regime Hollywood was following was a tough one. However, all Hollywood wanted to do was continue and get better but he knew that he was going to have to put in a lot more work if he wanted to really get to where he was going. Hollywood takes another breath before locking back up with Ventura again…this time getting his ass kicked in the process. Hollywood sighs but gets right back up and locks up with Alan again. He saw everyone had paused as they were watching the intense wrestling scrimmage in progress and this distracted Hollywood briefly..and that was enough for Alan to give him a good walloping. Hollywood was now completely out of breath as he laid on the mat starring up at the ceiling struggling to keep the endurance. Hollywood sighed and felt defeated as Alan stops.
Alan Ventura: “You can’t let what’s going on outside of this ring distract you from what you’re doing inside the ring jackass. Distractions are all around us and if you give in just slightly…that could be the end for you one, two, three! Alright…that’s enough for right now. I highly suggest you get yourself a shower and get yourself in the right mindset if you really want to get better!”
Alan rolls out of the ring as he doesn’t say another word, almost looking disappointed. Did he feel like Hollywood wasn’t showing the appreciation for taking time out of his day to bother helping Hollywood train? Was Alan being impatient with Hollywood? All these questions were rolling through Hollywood’s mind as he continues to look up at the ceiling. Hollywood hears the door to the gym open and close and Alan was gone. Hollywood finally slowly sits up in the ring and he looks all around him as he sees all eyes are on him. It didn’t feel like a very good feeling to Hollywood. He felt embarrassed, frustrated and plagued by thought…but this was the grind that Hollywood was going to continue to have to get used to if he wanted to get even better. Hollywood quickly rolls out of the ring and makes his way outside the gym as if to get away from the constant staring he was receiving. Hollywood leans up against the wall of the Five Time and lets out his thoughts.
Brian Hollywood: “Sigh…what just happened in there?! I got my fucking ass kicked! Although, to start, I felt confident in myself…I was actually getting somewhere! And then I let it all go! Maybe Alan is right. I need to stay focused and I can’t let myself get distracted….especially if I want to keep winning. Stevens may or may not have gotten an opportunity in getting himself on the War Games card…but I’m not going to speculate any further on why. No…instead I’m going to focus on my training and I’m going to focus on winning at March to Glory so I can earn myself a shot at getting onto the War Games PPV. I owe it to myself and to everyone who actually wants me to succeed. I’ve come too far to give in to anything else right now. So come time for March to Glory, Stevens, I’m going to continue to prove why I deserve to be on War Games and why you don’t. My career is far from over and I owe it to Alan and my training at the Five Time to be better and to better myself and that’s why I’m only going to push myself further because in the end…this is all just a basic instinct! It’s MY basic instinct and I’m not about to give up on that now!”
Hollywood smacks the wall passionately before heading down the street before the scene slowly fades to black. The grind…continues…