February 21, 2023
A tall, lanky man with long brown dreadlocks, wearing a tie-dyed tunic and brown leather sandals stood in front of Solex. The man smiles gently, his eyes full of compassion and warmth. This man was who Solex was referred to by his doctor a couple of weeks ago; the holistic, natural healer. But to Solex, he was nothing more than a scruffy hippie who spoke in hushed tones and needed a shower.
“Brother, I know it’s tough,” Sage says, his voice soft and soothing. “But, I need you to lean back and relax.”
Solex scoffed at the instructions and blurts out, “Look here asshole, first of all…I’m not your fuckin’ brother. Second of all, give me the fuckin’ medicine or get the fuck out of my house.”
Sage, completely unfazed by Solex’s rude outburst, gazes back at the grizzled war vet with a smile.
“That’s not how this works, Steven,” Saged says.
Solex, visibility frustrated, takes a deep breath and leans back in his brown leather recliner, absentmindedly stroking his luscious black beard. The cowhide blanket draped over the recliner tickles the back of his neck as he closes his eyes for a moment, attempting to follow the hippy’s instructions. But he can’t dive into meditation, he can’t stop thinking about what it means to be partnering with the HOW World Champion this Sunday at CHAOS. He knows the importance of this match against Fuse and JPD, and he knows that this match will set the tone for his upcoming LSD Championship opportunity at March to Glory. Solex suddenly becomes restless as a surge of adrenaline courses through his body. The memories of the epic bouts that he had with Christopher America, just last year, flood his mind and once again, he can’t concentrate.
“Motherfucker,” he muttered to himself before opening his eyes.
Solex quickly jumps up from his recliner and darts past Sage, through the living room and into the kitchen. He swings open the refrigerator door and pulls out an ice cold Coors Light, the mountains on the can are perfectly blue. He pops the top of the can and takes a giant gulp, the effervescence of the beer tingles his throat as he slams the half-empty can of beer onto the white, marble countertop before sucking the froth of beer out of his mustache.
“What is it?” Sage worries, as he cautiously approaches the number one wrestler in the world.
“I’ve already told your androgynous ass that this meditation bullshit doesn’t work on me. So, do me a favor and fuck off, you dirty hippy,” Solex demands, as he points to the front door.
Sage seems disappointed, but deep down he knows that this is all part of the process. Hardened men like Solex don’t take kindly to meditation and they certainly don’t take kindly to dirty hippies.
“I’ll see you next week, Steven,” Sage says as he slowly makes his way toward the front door.
“Before I go, Steven,” Sage says, as he turns back toward Solex.
“What is it?” Solex begrudgingly asks as he takes another swig of his beer.
“Why do you think that Christopher America is always on your mind? And not your opponents? I mean, he is your teammate this time, is he not?” Sage asks, clearly trying to get Solex to open up.
“What the fuck are you talking about, hippy?” Solex asks in a condescending tone, but secretly wondering how Sage knows what the problem is.
“It’s pretty obvious for anyone with any kind of training, that you are thinking about Christopher America. And I’m just wondering, why is it that you are thinking so much about him and not your opponents?” Sage asks as he takes a seat at the barstool opposite the counter of Solex.
Solex leans forward, pressing his elbows into the countertop. He looks Sage directly in the eyes with a half snarl.
“You want to know why?”
“Yes, I do.”
“It’s because he’s better than me, that’s why.”
“He’s better than you?”
“Yeah, you fuckin’ nitwit. He’s the best in the world, and while I may be ranked number one…I’m only second best to him. He has every reason in the world to wonder why I was chosen to be a part of The Final Alliance; he’s the World Champion for God’s sake…and I’ve lost to him under HOFC rules and under normal wrestling rules. Knowing that I can’t beat him looms over me like some kind of fuckin’ shadow that I can’t escape. It haunts me every moment of my wretched, cancer ridden existence,” Solex says before chugging down the last of his beer and crushing the can in his vice-grip of a hand.
Solex swings open the fridge again and grabs out another beer, pops it open and returns to the counter.
“And now, I’ve been forced to team with this motherfucker and I don’t know if I can trust him. He still has some kind of an issue with me and the guy that I’m facing at March to Glory, JPD, will be across the ring from us, and guess what? He’s one of his best friends. So, you tell me Sage, how the fuck am I supposed to feel right now?” Solex asks.
“I don’t know, Steven. If I had to guess, I’d say you’re concerned,” Sage says, his voice low and soothing.
“You’re fuckin’ right I’m concerned,” Solex seethes, his voice full of rage. “I’m concerned that when I show up for work on Sunday that it’s going to be three against one. And what’s worse, I’m concerned that I won’t make it to March to Glory in one piece, or even at all.”
Sage seems a bit confused and asks, “Why would he do that? Doesn’t he have to defend his championship against Conor Fuse after this?”
“No shit, Sherlock. But America is one sneaky bitch and I wouldn’t put it past that conniving prick to somehow convince that pasty faced fuck to help him get rid of me once and for all, just so his fuckin’ butt-buddy, JPD, can save face at March to Glory,” Solex rages.
Sage runs through a myriad of ideas with his hand on his chin, when suddenly inspiration strikes and his eyes light up. He scurries through the brown, suede satchel that’s draped over his shoulder.
“Voila!” Sage exclaims with an unreal amount of enthusiasm as his smile stretches from ear to ear.
Sage displays an unlabeled pill bottle to Solex, who seems confused.
“The fuck is that?” Solex asks as he takes a swig from his beer; the mountains are still blue.
Sage’s smile seems to grow even larger as he says, “The secret ingredient!”
Solex scoffs, “I have twenty vials of 200mgs of the secret ingredient in my medicine cabinet right now. So, what the fuck is that shit?”
Sage opens the pill bottle and dumps a few pills into his opposite hand.
“Here, take it!” Sage shouts out, extending his hand out to Solex. “It’ll help you, just trust me!”
Solex gives Sage a sarcastic look and takes a swig of his beer.
“Fuck it,” Solex says. He grabs the pills and tosses them down his throat, immediately chasing them with his Coors Light.
Solex gives Sage an awkward look, almost as if something has hit him right away as the scene fades to black.
February 23rd, 2023
Solex Ranch | Basement Gym
“What the fuck?!” Solex shouts as he’s taken down to a knee from a vicious Kendo stick shot right across his shoulder blades.
A bright red welt immediately begins to rise across the MERCDAD’s back, tracing the exact trail of the brutal shot. Standing over him, Dick, Solex’s dad, wears a mischievous grin as he twirls the Kendo stick nonchalantly with a loose grip on the white, taped handle. It’s clear that he’s been waiting for this all day and now he’s savoring the moment.
“You done?” Dick asks, with a mocking tone, still twirling the weapon.
Solex glares up at his dad, his eyes full of rage and his expression twisted into that of pure fury. He stares the old man down as he climbs to his feet and quickly closes the distance between the two; getting nose to nose with his dad.
Solex boils with anger and asks, “What is the point of this bullshit?!”
Dick gives his son a smug smirk as he continues to twirl the stick in his hand. He shrugs his shoulders in a dismissive manner which instantly ignites Solex’s anger. Solex charges across the basement with his fists clenched tightly at his sides and unleashes a right hand on the black heavy bag that would put Captain America flat on his ass, even on his best day. The bag swings uncontrollably, nearly crashing into the ceiling with its first swing.
“Jesus Christ, Dick. You’ve got to be the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever known. Now, tell me,” Solex demands as he marches back toward his father. “How the fuck is hitting me with a Kendo stick going to help me beat Conor Fuse and JPD? Tell me!”
Again, Dick shrugs his shoulders, only this time it’s more in a gesture of indifference.
“Goddamnit!” Solex shouts as he takes a seat on the bench behind him.
“Three times a week, you’ve got me down here. But none of it makes any fuckin’ sense, and motherfucker…you ain’t no Mr. Miyagi! So, explain to me what any of this is good for!” Solex explodes, clearly frustrated beyond belief, as he tries to pry some answers out of his old man.
Dick chuckles a bit and says, “Well, that one was just for me.”
Solex doesn’t find the humor in his dad’s joke and continues to stare daggers into the old man.
“But the rest of it, that’s just good training. I don’t think you realize what’s going on here, son. Ever since I came back into your life and took on this role of trainer, you’ve gone undefeated. Hell, you’re the number one wrestler in the whole fuckin’ world! And you’re damn near 40 fuckin; years old. That kind of shit is unheard of in this business!” Dick exclaims with conviction, providing all the evidence in the world for his methods.
Solex shakes his head, grabs ahold of his glorious salt and pepper beard and strokes it thoughtfully for a moment. Solex stands up and gets face to face with his father once again, but this time he leaves some space between the two of them. Solex’s expression has shifted from frustrated rage to steely determination.
“So, what do I have to do to win this match? This is the fuckin’ go-home show man and I’ve still got a lot to prove. This asshole JPD is running his mouth a whole lot about how I don’t stand a chance against him at March to Glory, but I have to worry about what’s in front of me right now. And that’s him, Conor Fuse and Christopher America. So, what’s the game plan?” Solex asks, his confidence in his dad’s methods evident in his tone.
“Well, the first thing you need to do – and I know that this is a hard pill to swallow – is trust your partner. You’ve got to put all of the bullshit aside and trust that the World Champ is going to have your back when it matters the most. Because whether the two of you like it or not, you’re stuck together until the wheels fall off. This Final Alliance is exactly what the name says, and Lee Best expects greatness from the two of you…so the both of you have to deliver,” Dick lectures as he paces the basement floor, still twirling the Kendo stick.
Solex nods in agreement, but in the back of his mind he knows that he still has to watch his back. As much as he wants to trust Christopher America, he knows that the champion doesn’t feel the same way about him. It’s clear that America hasn’t forgotten what Solex did to George, how he kidnapped America and tortured the literal piss out of him and he knows that he – more than anyone else has done – took the champ to his absolute limit.
“What about JPD? What about Fuse?” Solex asks, his tone completely changed from a few minutes ago.
“You don’t need to give two shits about JPD right now, we’ll worry about him at March to Glory.. He and America are going to have some shit to sort out anyway and once those two come to blows, you’ll just be background noise. What you need to focus on is putting a beating on that pallid, joy-stick wielding, manchild Conor Fuse. That’s how you’ll add value to this match and that’s how you’ll gain the trust of Christopher America, and as a byproduct…this will put fear into the heart of JPD,” Dick says, knowing that he has finally earned full attention of his son.
“There’s only one problem, Dick. I just lost to that fuckin’ goofball like two or three months ago and he got me with my own finish. What’s the difference this time around?” Solex asks, shaking his head.
Dick takes a beat, looks over at his son and through his clenched jaw says, “I’m the fuckin’ difference.”
Solex smirks, shakes his head. “Sure thing, pop,” he says, his voice laced with sarcasm.
Undeterred, Dick points over to the wrestling mat in the corner. “Let me show you something,” he says as he walks across the room, leading the way to the mat.
The father and son duo find their places across from one another on the mat
“Go for the Solexecution,” Dick says, his voice steady and extremely confident.
“Yeah fuckin’ right,” Solex scoffs, waving his hand dismissively at his old man.
Dick just glares at his son. Solex seems a bit shaken by the request, but shrugs it off and says, “It’s your funeral.”
Solex plants a boot right into his Dad’s midsection, turns his body 180 degrees, secures his Dad’s head in his grasp…
A thunderous reverse DDT shakes the basement walls as dust falls from the ceiling above. Dick pops up to his feet and stares down at his son, who lies flat on his back, his chest heaving with every breath he takes. Solex’s eyes are wide with shock and pain as he remains motionless on the mat.
“That’s the only way to counter that move, and that’s how you’re going to put Conor Fuse away. Got it?” Dick asks, his eyes locked on Solex.
Solex reels in pain as he slowly sits up, still trying to get his breath back.
“You’re going to have to bait him. Conor loves to use that Weapon Get. He thinks he’s fuckin’ Shang Tsung or some bullshit, and baiting him to use the Solexecution should be pretty easy…you’re just going to have to sell the shit out of it, if you catch my drift. He’s only 210 pounds and with the muscle and weight you’ve put on lately, this should be a pretty simple thing to accomplish,” Dick says convincingly.
Solex looks down at his bulging biceps and forearms, his veins snaking through them like lightning bolts. An overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction washes over him as he gets to his feet.
“All natty, baby,” Solex says with a smile as he slaps his old man on his shoulder.
Dick just shakes his head, knowing full well what his son does pre and post workout.
“Whatever you say, beefcake,” Dick mocks as gives his son a playful, yet hard punch on the shoulder.
Solex looks down at the spot in which his dad hit him, and then back up at the old guy. He turns his head about 20 degrees and raises his eyebrows.
“Don’t press your luck old man, next time I’ll hit that Solexecution and you’re ass will wake up in that fuckin’ nursing home that you escaped from,” Solex threatens, in a half serious, half playful tone.
Dick laughs sarcastically and asks, “So what’s this bullshit I heard about you visiting some fuckin’ dreadlocked, nature freak, soyboy a couple of days ago?”
Solex appears to get nervous as he avoids the question, “What? Who told you that bullshit?”
Dick looks Solex in the eyes, attempting to discern if the MERCDAD is lying or not.
“Juanita told me,” Dick responds, quickly and without missing a beat.
Solex seems confused and asks, “Who the fuck’s that?”
“She’s one of the maids, but that’s not the point. Don’t dodge the question, son. What are you seeing a natural healer for? Is everything alright? Are you alright?” Dick asks, seemingly concerned.
Solex takes a beat and begins to answer, but then a look of disgust comes over his face and he shakes it off.
“Fuck you old man. I’m a grown ass man and it’s none of your goddamn business. Don’t ya think It’s a little too late for you to try and win any Father of the Year awards?” Solex says, throwing up a middle finger for good measure. “You’re here for one reason, and that’s to train me. Either stick to the plan or get the fuck out, capiche?”
Dick throws his hands up in a defensive gesture and says, “You’re the boss.”
“That’s right, I am the boss and don’t you fuckin’ forget it. Now clean this fuckin’ place up and quit banging the maids you horny old prick,” Solex says as the scene fades to black.
February 24th, 2023
Waylon’s Bar and Live Music | Backroom
A crowd of men chit chat in the backroom of Waylon’s Bar and Live Music, as they wait for a meeting to start. It’s been almost two weeks since Solex was last in this dive bar, and the last time he was he told the owner of this rundown establishment that he was starting a crew and these are the prospects.
“Alright everyone, please be seated,” Hank says as he pounds a dusty old gavel three times into a podium that’s seen better days.
The crowd quiets and each of them take their seats in the provided folding metal chairs. Solex stands behind Hank with his arms folded across his chest, exuding a sense of quiet confidence. He’s dressed like a Nashville native, in a plaid shirt, blue jeans and brown work boots.
“This is our first meeting and I’d like to introduce Steve Solex. Steve is a veteran of both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. He served honorably in the early 2000s and earned a Meritorious Service Medal, two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star, as well as many other awards and achievements. He’s brought you all here today because like you, Steve is fed up with the direction in which our country is headed. This crew will remain nameless and will not be discussed outside of these walls. If you have a problem with that, you can show yourself out,” Hank says.
Two men seated in the back of the room get up from their chairs and make their way towards the exit. Hank scans the room, looking for any other signs of restlessness. After a moment, Hank seems satisfied and looks back to Solex, who affirms with a single nod.
“Gentlemen…Steve Solex,” Hank says as he gestures for Steve to take the podium.
The small crowd remains silent as Solex slowly approaches the podium.
“Thanks, Hank,” Solex says, looking over his shoulder in the bar owner’s direction.
“Gentlemen, you’ve been selected to be here today by either myself or Hank, and I want to be very clear as to why you’re here,” Solex begins as he pulls a note card from the breast pocket of his flannel.
“You’re here because you, just like Hank and I, are concerned with the state of our great nation. Our country, the United States of America, is in jeopardy of being taken over by a young mob of blue-haired, pierced, ridiculously fat and unashamedly woke simpletons who think that our country is an embarrassment to the world. These people want to destroy what you and I have worked so hard to build and what we have worked so hard to defend. These are the people that the politicians and the bullshit bureaucrats love,” Solex said, his voice tingling with bitterness.
“Back when we were serving, when we were young and hungry soldiers, we knew what we were defending. We knew what this country stood for and we were willing to fight tooth and nail to defend that and some of our closest brothers in arms paid the ultimate price for what they believed in. And now, what do we have? What were we protecting? What were we being lied to about? You want to know what I see? I see a bunch of asshole, coward politicians lining their own fuckin’ pockets while the average American struggles to make ends meet. And what do these greedy politicians love about the blue-haireds? They love the fact that these people are useful idiots. They are easily manipulated to believe whatever the politicians want them to believe and they use the media to do it. And then, when shit goes a little bit sideways on them, when the truth starts to peak its little head, what do they do? They just change the fuckin’ narrative all over again and these people drink the kool-aid like the dumb shits they are,” Solex says to a round of applause.
“It’s time that we start putting this country first again; America first. It’s time that we stop sending our money to countries that don’t appreciate what we do for them and it’s time for us to start spending that money here, on our homeless brothers and sisters, our kids and our schools. It’s time that we start taking care of our own, and it starts here!” Solex shouts as he pounds his fist into the podium.
“This is only our first meeting, gentlemen. I’ll see you all here next week. Thank you.”
The men in attendance jump to their feet in applause, while Solex stands behind the podium with his hand over his heart as the scene fades to black.