The Law Offices of Arliss Peters, Esq.
Arthur Pleasant hits the left side of the black circular button on his Firestick remote. It’s so nice that current generation Firestick remotes have the HOTv app as a button on the bottom now. It’s right next to Disney+, Hulu, and PornHub. The video he is streaming on the HOTv app is from way back in the summer of 2021. July 31st, to be exact. The focus of which Pleasant’s eyes are fixated on happen to be when the Man of Miracles gets taken down by Jace Parker Davidson’s lift-and-snap version of a DDT he calls Unscripted Violence. What a stupid name. Be that as it may, Steve Harrison is out cold and a three-count is earned. Poor fucking bum legged bastard couldn’t get the job done.
That’s when Pleasant notices it.
All of them circle the downed Steve Harrison with a grim expression on their faces.
Pleasant presses on the middle of the remote and lets the picture on his 27-inch television remain idle.
The camera’s shot widens and zooms back, revealing a very nice office. Various books detailing all the dark corners of the fraud industry line up behind an immaculately kept desk with a man sitting behind it. The name inscribed on the executive glass name wedge situated closest to Arthur reads “Arliss Peters, Esq.”. Pleasant’s back is facing this Arliss Peters as he crosses his left leg over his right while looking ahead at a TV on an oak rolling stand designed for meetings and such. Tapping the remote against his blood-stained Chucks, he speaks.
“Why would a man who is supposedly hurt by another wrestler possibly think about taking on a match? This guy John Sektor. He’s a killer, right? He could rip your limbs off without warning. Yet, this phony fucking con artist named Steve Harrison was standing and wrestling mere days later.” says Pleasant with more than an accusatory tone.
Arliss nods and points to the TV screen they’re both looking at., “If that’s the case, Mr. Pleasant, then how is he standing there?”
There’s a sudden silence between Pleasant and Arliss.
“Are you suggesting he was faking his injury?” Arliss inquires.
Pleasant shrugs, “Maybe. I don’t know what to think, to be perfectly honest. But it’s pretty fucking obvious he wasn’t as hurt as he claims to have been. Or was a HOTv Championship match too enticing to pass up? Regardless, I smell something in the air that came from the bowels of a fucking bull.”
“True. All good points and observations.” remarks Arliss, who sits more upright in his executive-style swivel chair.
“Do you think there’s a case to be had here? Because I’m sure whatever insurance Steve Harrison has would be interested to know this.” he says with a widening smirk.
Arliss, looking somewhat flummoxed by Pleasant’s accusations, sits back again and crosses his arms behind his head.
“I’d need more evidence. Mr. Harrison committing personal injury and insurance fraud needs something a bit more tangible than watching an episode of HOW’s Refueled, Mr. Pleasant.”
Pleasant thinks on it for a minute, sighing with disappointment.
“Like, what kind of information are we talking about here? You need me to cut his fucking leg off and bring it to you for further examination?!”
Arliss laughs nervously, “More like information that I can begin building a case on. And no, a severed leg won’t do.”
“BUT LOOK AT THIS FUCKING IDIOT!! LOOK. AT. THIS. FUCKING. MORON!!” Pleasant yells, making Arliss flinch from his sudden change in pitch..
“Look how quickly they’re all abandoning him. I told them months before this what a weak link Steve Harrison was, and they didn’t believe me. But after this? Jesus. I… I almost feel… sorry for him.”
Pleasant frantically dusts himself off.
“What… is this feeling I’m experiencing?!”
Pleasant points at Arliss. “You shut your whore mouth. We all know I’m incapable of such a thing. Should wash your mouth out with blood for saying such a thing.”
Ignoring Pleasant’s insecurities, Arliss look at the picture on the TV.
“You think that’s why he-”
Pleasant cuts off Arliss.
“-acted like some pedantic little fucking child and threw his Best Alliance shit in a fire like some Cleveland sports fan whenever someone leaves their precious dumpster fire of a city? Abso-fucking-lutely. I don’t think that, either. I know that.”
“Please, for everything that is holy, pleeeease don’t say that at Refueled.”
Pleasant looks at Arliss incredulously before responding, “Why not?”
“It’s in Cleveland.” Arliss says. “Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. In fact, the Cavs and the Pacers had to reschedule because of High Octane Wrestling. Which, I’m a little upset about considering I had ten large on the Pacers.” jokingly says Arliss, surprising even Pleasant with his sense of humor.
“Whoa. And that sports reference was completely unintentional. Thanks for the idea! Because now I’m TOTALLY going to say that shit to those disgruntled, idiotic, band-wagon sports fans out there. Maybe I’ll even wear a Cleveland Cavs Lebron jersey. That is, of course, if there’s any out there that haven’t been set on fire.” Pleasant says, quite amused with himself.
“Hey, you do you, Mr. Pleasant. But, listen…”
“Yes?” says Pleasant.
“… I don’t think you have a case here. It’s impossible to discern whether or not Mr. Harrison is faking this alleged leg injury. I’d need proof of intent. As in, intent to commit fraud.”
“Dammit. You’re not helping here, Arliss.”
Arliss shrugs and chuckles, “I’m sorry, Mr. Pleasant. I wish I could help you further but there is really nothing I can do about what you’re asking me to do. Not without proof of intent, like I already said.”
“I understand. It was worth a shot, anyway. Guess I’ll just have to beat the truth out of him at Refueled. Oh, and sorry about your baseball game.”
“Right. Basketball. Hopefully whenever the game is rescheduled, they score a couple of touchdowns for you.”
“Umm… that’s football.”
“You just said basketball.”
“No, I- the sport is basketball, not baseball.”
“Now you’re just repeating yourself, Arliss.”
“Wow.” says Arliss, seemingly exhausted by Pleasant’s lack of professional sports knowledge and all-around non-understanding of the legal system.
“Listen, Arliss… I wanted to talk to you about this friend of mine. He’s in a bit of trouble. You think you could help him out?”
Arliss sits forward in his chair, hands clasped together and elbows on the surface of his desk.
“I’m listening.” Arliss says with a distinct curiosity burning inside of him.
“See, he killed like nine people or something. I think he ate parts of them and stored their body parts in a rusty old fridge. Or was it the freezer? Wait, wait… I just caught that new season of Dexter so I could be confusing things here. I do know he didn’t fuck any of their dead corpses or anything. He’s not a complete monster.” Pleasant trails off.
Arliss goes pale and appears to be utterly dumbfounded.
“Um, Mr. Pleasant, that sounds like something a criminal defense lawyer would need to look into.”
“So what’s your hourly rate? We want to keep you on a retainer. And do you accept food stamps? Because I gotta admit, this $9,700 a month contract I negotiated is making things a lot tighter than I thought it would.”
Let’s be honest with ourselves, Steve-O. You’re back for one reason and one reason only.
The HOW World Championship? No, no, noooo. C’mon, now. We both know you’ll never get a shot at ole 97-Red so long as you’re still wearing those pants. That design, no matter how distinct the change, still sucks harder than Bobby Dean trying to straw-suck the last gooey bits of a triple chocolate milkshake. I know, I know. Nine months later and I’m still poking fun at your dollar tree seamstress?! What can I say?
Sometimes the low-hanging fruit is the juiciest.
Or how about the HOTv Championship? Did you come back from your, I’m doing air quotes now, “injury”, for that? Please. Spare yourself the embarrassment. We both know your chances of beating Jeffrey James Roberts are about the same chances Scott Stevens had in beating Conor Fuse last week. Maybe even less than that, if I’m being honest. Or, for that matter, the Stevens Travesty sounding like anything other than a couple of garage zealots creating their own type of redneck religion, or pre-pubescent morons discovering the word “cum” for the first time from a WhatsApp sexbot and learning that the milky white stuff coming out of a man’s pee-pee is actually different from piss.
Good luck to the next tag team that has to trudge through that ridiculous horse shit. But I digress.
Maybe you came back for the HOW Tag Team Championship? Maybe you caught wind of the tag team titles coming back that Lee Best unceremoniously dumped in the trash and decided it was time to stop milking your Charlie horse? Good God, man. We’ll… get into that blatant exercise in futility a bit later.
For now, though? We’re hopping aboard the honesty train. Because it’s so painfully goddamn obvious that I shouldn’t even really have to say it out loud. And yet? I will. I just… well… I don’t have much faith in the intelligence of 99% of the people who watch these promos. Know your audience and something, something, something.
Truth is? You… missed me, Harrison comma Steve.
You sat there on that ugly fucking couch that inspired your seamstress to knit your cushion pajamas like mathematics inspired Leonardo di Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa, wearing a plain white cast on that broken smile of yours, watching me come back and tear apart Eli Dresden. I could hear you mark out when it happened– it was like the sound Sloth makes when the Goonies never say die.
Then you started to tear off that same cast when you saw your old pal Arthur beat the everloving fuck out of Jace and Jatt in what was ultimately a pre-season warm-up contest for the Maurakomania about to run wild in HOW.
Then it actually happened. The cast finally came off, your leg magically fucking healed, and you were calling GOD to let Him know you were ready to return from your zygomaticus major muscle tear when you realized Jeffrey and I formed the most unbeatable tag team in HOW history. That’s when you realized, “Fuck. That Arthur Pleasant guy is back! The guy who beat me one on one! The dickslap who has this unhealthy obsession with my hideous fucking wrestling tights! Maybe I should come back and try and fail to beat him another way! Why not in a tag team match?!”.
It’s like we’re soul mates or something. Because – forgive me here but the honesty train is-a-choo-chooin’ up the fucking mountain now – I’ve missed you too, Steve-O! High Octane Wrestling just isn’t the same without that one quasi-talented bland ass motherfucker with the dry, deadpan voice and vapid moniker that no one really understands, cares about, or wants to see updated into version 2.0. I mean, Xander Azula is still around but there’s only so much mileage one can get out of intentionally mispronouncing someone’s name.
(Psst. Don’t tell Jatt that. He’ll need a wellness check if he finds out. Lord have mercy. )
Point is, Steve? You came back at the wrong fucking time.
Here’s where we talk about the HOW World Tag Team Championship, the Maurako Cup, and our journey to March to Glory. ‘Cause now you’re facing us, The Devil’s Advocates, and my partner Jeffrey and I are going to run absolute fucking roughshod over you, your being, your surgically repaired vibranium infused leg, and any other thing that represents Steve Harrison in High Octane Wrestling.
It’ll look worse than the beatings we gave Jatt, Jace, Bo, and that weird fucking robot man-thing Ray McAvay and Sloppy O’Tuggahand brought out for us.
Jeffrey and I are going to annihilate you, Steve-O. To the point where your orbicularis oris is twisted, torn, and altogether beyond saving.
Sorry. I just finished watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Please forgive the imprudence of my complicated medical jargon.
What I mean is, you’re going to make history by being the first HOW competitor to ever be fitted for a prosthetic mouth after I put you down for good with the Calamity Pain.
Or Jeffrey decides to fucking eat it. Nom, nom, nom.
Whatever works, I guess.
Regardless of which one of us does what to your face, Steve, one thing’s for absolute goddamn sure: it’s going take a true miracle to properly identify you once JJR and ole Uncle Arthur are through with you.
Arthur walks down a similar hallway that we saw him walk down last week. At the end of it, again, is the enormous 4th Wahl.
Pleasant waves to him like he’s a member of the family. Perhaps, in his mind, he is.
“Hi, Mr. Wahl!”
4th Wahl looks exasperated by Arthur Pleasant’s presence already and this is only his second visit.
“Is my partner ready?”
“You know, you’re beginning to make a habit out of this.” says Wahl.
“A… habit… of what?” Pleasant says, carefully formulating his question.
“Succeeding. Once again, He has rewarded your pal Jeffrey James Roberts for the success of this team you two have created. You really should feel blessed right about now because I can’t recall a time He has ever been this generous to anyone.”
Pleasant laughs, “Just wait until we win this whole fucking tournament. When we walk up to Him wearing the HOW World Tag Team Championships, he’s gonna need a new pair of underwear.”
4th Wahl shakes his head at Pleasant’s crassness.
“Well, on that note, I’ll be down the hall here. Try not to cause too much trouble. And if you end up with a sharp object buried deep in your chest and your clavicle breaking through your skin, give a holler.”
“My, MY! Was that… a joke from his 4thiness?!” Pleasant says, smiling ear to ear while pointing at him.”
4th Wahl immediately realizes the error in allowing a sense of humor to shine through what was normally an otherwise detached demeanor.
“Right. I’ll be down the hall. Move it along, Arthur.” says 4th Wahl
Pleasant does, in fact, move it along. Focusing on an open cell door and a man enjoying what appears to be a meal set down in front of him on a large plastic tray, Pleasant makes his way through the access into the cell.
“Hey Jeffrey. Based on that delicious looking chow you’ve got there, I’d say this thing of ours is succeeding rather stupendously.”
Stabbing a lone green bean with the prongs of a plastic fork, JJR simply smirks.
Chris Kostoff. Ohhhh I didn’t forget about you, big boy. You are, after all, the one carrying your thrown together team. Both physically and figuratively.
Truth is? I know as much about you as I do any of the other oldtimers still disgracing themselves with their presence on HOTv, Chris. I was probably still living in Japan taking orders from very bad people when you were failing to become HOW World Champion, getting beat to shit by the man whose career I effectively ended after a single Calamity Pain, but it doesn’t matter I guess.
Truth is, there’s something about you that’s… unsettling.
The fact that you’re actually a Hall of Famer only solidifies that theory, too.
Speaking of which, there seems to be a lot of Hall of Famers still walking around here, outliving their welcome and purpose. And in doing so, all they’re doing is lessening the significance of the presence of real trailblazers like yourself. Yet, so far? None of them have been Hall of Fame enough to be able to beat JJR and A F’N P.
That has to unsettle you a bit, no?
God, man. There’s just something…. Ugh! There’s something absolutely terrifying about you, Kostoff.
Sure, I poke fun at your failings to become a World Champion around these parts, but with a monster like you? Fuck. I don’t think it even really matters. You’re a three-time former LSD Champion. Yeah, I can respect that. I plan on achieving similar feats here one day and letting the halfwits know there’s nothing more violent or dangerous than Arthur Pleasant on a battlefield without any rules or restrictions, but for right now? I can respect that.
By the looks of you? I’m not even sure I want Harrison to tag you in. No, actually, I am quite sure about that. In fact, perhaps we just isolate his vanilla fucking ass for the entirety of the match and beat him to death before you’re able to so much as heave a grunt in our direction. I don’t know. It’s a thought, for sure. Not to give away our game plan or anything but, sometimes it’s fun to talk about it out loud in the face of real danger.
‘Cause when I look at you, K-Man? For fuck’s sake. You’re like that dude who threatened Harold and Kumar into making a cockmeat sammich in Guantanamo Bay. Clay Byrd and Dan Ryan might be big motherfuckers, but they look like the spinning cowboy kid GIF and Tommy Pickles by comparison. Your tattoos look like a legendary Pokémon on its third evolution and when I look into your eyes I feel like I’m staring into a Vigo The Carpathian painting. If anybody from Sons of Anarchy had sex with with Mr. Hyde, we’d get Kostoff ripping through the placenta like how the Kool-Aid man smashes through a wall.
Truth be told? I absolutely want no part of that. Not right now, anyway. Not while Jeffrey and myself have our sights set on winning this whole damn thing.
But my friend Jeffrey? You know, he just might want a piece of you. I don’t know. I’m sure he’s dealt with much larger bad asses than Chris Kostoff whenever they might’ve made the mistake of allowing him into gen-pop for an hour or two just to flex their control over him.
This is all not to say that, once you indulge us with your twenty-two seconds of brilliance by telling us you just wanna fight and fuck us up? Which, by the way, is something I envision you conjuring up on a napkin while standing in line at a Starbucks for a Hazelnut latte with 97-pumps of walnut extract like all the bad asses really like to order down in Tampa? I might not have a choice but to do battle with you.
We’ll see, though. I’d rather not risk being broken in half by your monstrous ‘roid rage and instead just pick the bones from your clinger on’s corpse, but when push comes to shove… who knows what I’ll be forced to do.
‘Cause, let’s say Harrison is dead weight enough to force my hand into having to face you in the middle of that ring? Well, sir… you may be a monster…
…but it takes a monster to know a monster.
‘Cause when it comes right down to it?
Monsters come in all shapes and sizes.