Namecalling

Namecalling

Posted on April 23, 2024 at 5:26 pm by Mike Best

You came so close, Witness.

Ya know, once upon a time I knew your real name. Back in the old days. The UTAH times. When we made the jump all those years ago, you wanted to get away from a ring name that had been a ball and chain over the years— an adjective and a noun that made you near impossible to address without it sounding just plain awkward. Do they call you Silent? Do they call you Witness? Cause truth be told, if there’s anything in the world you have never had the ability to be, it’s silent.

Look at me.

Throwing rocks in a glass house.

I’ve always liked you, Witness. Wait, is it Gary? Is your name Gary? It sounds right, but it doesn’t sound right. I swear I used to know it.

It’ll come to me.

But hey man, like I said, you came fucking close. It was almost you and I in the main event at March to Glory, so I think I owe you an apology. It’s very clear to me that you’re serious about this. It’s very clear to me that you’re dialed in. Silent Witness is back. I’ll be the first to admit that I misjudged you, and that I didn’t take your return to the ring as seriously as I should have. As much as I Believe In Steve, you were a cunthair short of a World Title match at the PPV, and you’re the number one ranked wrestler in HOW. That’s fucking hard to do. I’ve never even made an LBI Final in my life, so please take me seriously when I tell you that I am proud of you, I am impressed with you, and maybe in my own way, I’m even a little envious of you.

You deserve this opportunity… Carl?

No, it’s definitely not Carl.

What a stupid name.

But look, I can only suck your dick for so long before it’s time to leave some money on my dresser, so let’s get to the payout. Yes, Witness, you deserve the shit out of this match. Yes, your return to the ring has been fucking tremendous so far. And yes, I am proud of you. But at the end of the day, my friend, I am the HOW World Champion. I am the winningest wrestler in HOW history. I am all five faces in Mount Rushmore, and I was the Final Boss long before it became cool to call yourself that. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that yes… you’ve returned to the ring and you’re just as good as you’ve ever been. But that’s the problem.

Because you were never better than me.

I’m not throwing shade, Witness, I’m just casting a very long shadow. And the harsh truth is that all of HOW has been standing in that darkness for a long time, barely keeping themselves shielded from the Son.

GODDAMN, THAT WORDPLAY THO.

It isn’t just you. This isn’t a personal attack. I fucking love you, man— you’re an OG. One of the few still around today with a tenure longer than mine. You helped build this place, and I sincerely hold you as the greatest LSD Champion of all time. But you’re not me, Witness. There are levels, and your elevator keycard won’t even take you to mine. I’m in the Penthouse, baby— my own private lair in the side of the fucking mountain in the shape of a skull, and both eyes are giant ass plate glass windows. You’re the number one wrestler, man. Runner up to the LBI final. The greatest champion of your lane.

Isn’t that enough?

Why… tarnish that?

There is a fucking graveyard out there of careers that died where they stood. Roster pages full of Fisher Price losers who walked out on their HOW deals because they couldn’t stay in their lane, and thought they belonged in mine. People who I thought were lifers, only to run for the fucking hills with their egos and their balls in slings. I know that there’s nothing in the world that’s going to make you walk away from this match, Witness. Nothing I can say, nothing I can do, the dice have already been rolled on this one. But man, you are on such a fucking roll right now. It just… I don’t know, it makes me sad.

I don’t want to destroy that momentum.

Look at Townsend. A man has never lost his smile faster. Rhys tore down the house for half a year, stepped into the ring with me one time, and hasn’t been heard from since. Conor Fuse practically left a Mario shaped hole in the wall, weeks after being called a future Hall of Famer. But you and Sektor… you’re still here. You’re still fighting the good fight. You’re still engaged, and driven, and fighting your asses off every week. I called you the greatest LSD Champ in history and I meant it, but Witness, the last time you held that belt was in 2012. And buddy, I’m the one who took it from you.

And that was a long fuck time ago.

I’m barely the same species I was then.

I’m imploring you. Begging you. Pleading with you. Call out sick this week. Fake a COVID test. Tell the athletic commission you have AIDS. I don’t care what you have to do, just do it. Get out of my path of destruction. Remove yourself from my cone of uncertainty. Jump back in and go after Drew Mitchell, and reclaim your legacy, because if you step into the ring with me this week, I am going to take away your smile. I am going to destroy your motivation. I am going to send you to PRIME, or UTAH 2.0, or a fucking retirement home, and it isn’t because I want to.

It’s just who I am, man.

It’s just what this is.

I have this debilitating sickness inside of me. This need to win that defies all reason and logic. I’ve been the HOW World Champion twelve times, but I cannot for a single second put it aside for friendship, or love, or to save my own life. I can’t have a friendly wrestling match with you. I can’t promise to play by the rules. I can’t tell you that you’ll want to shake my hand if it’s over. When the bell rings, and my title is on the line, I will defend Big Red like a mother bear defending her cubs, and there is nothing I can do to stop it from happening.

Do you think I want that?

Do you think it brings me joy?

I all but pulled out the pom poms to cheer for Steve Solex to become the next HOW World Champion. I wanted him to go all the way. But when that bell rang, the first thing I did was fucking DESTROY Matt Boettcher. Shit, I like Matt Boettcher. I LOVE Solex, like a fucking brother. But time has told us all what I’ll do to a man who I call brother, when the championship is on the line. So I don’t know, man.

I wish you wouldn’t show up this week.

But we both know that you will.

We both know that you’re as stubborn as I am. That you have that same drive that I do. And if the old Witness is back, then that means you’re gonna do whatever you have to do to take this title from me. I know that, and you know that, and neither of us can unknow that, so I guess all I can do is wish you luck and offer you a final plea:

Please don’t quit.

Please don’t leave. You need HOW, and HOW needs you, and I can’t take running another talented motherfucker out of this company because they crack under the pressure. It’s going to hurt, when you hear that final bell ring. It’s going to hurt your body, and your soul, and your ego. It’s going to hurt your motivation. I’ve seen it happen, over and over and over again, and I know that right now you think I’m wrong. You think that you know better. But losing to me does something to people.

And it will do it to you, too.

Mark my fucking words.

Maybe someone gets into your head… oh, that referee had it in for you. You should have beaten him. Creeps in, just this little festering doubt, at first. The haters flock to everything that I do, and they’ll flock to this all the same. But don’t listen to them. Don’t listen to yourself. You said some very sincere things about me on your podcast, and I believe that you believe them. You tried to B Rabbit me, assuming that I’d tell you how much you deserve this, then half ass it and piss all over you. But that’s the thing, Witness, when I talk like this? I’m not half assing. I’m not belittling anyone. I’m telling the fucking truth.

I am better.

Than all of you.

This is a statistical fact.

There is no “what if”. I am begging you not to quit, not IF I beat you, but when I beat you. I’m not going to pander to you. I’m not going to get your hopes up, just to strike you down. Yes, you deserve this match. Yes, you deserve it. Yes, I want you at your absolute best if you insist on going through with it, and having this match with me.

But no, I don’t think you can win.

I’m sorry, Witness.

I just don’t.

I think you will get very close, and then I will find my moment, and I will fucking end you. Like I end everyone. That’s why this match is a bad idea in the first place, but if it’s happening, then it’s why I’m begging you not to let it destroy your motivation. This idea that “I’m coasting” is literally the last hope that anyone has of beating me, and it’s starting to get pathetic. “Oh, I could never beat him at his best, but maybe he’s slacking these days”. That’s fucking sad, Dave.

No, it’s for sure not Dave.

But I digress.

I might not get my dick rock hard to come do backstage interviews or design t-shirts these days, Witness, but if I have the world believing that they’re going to catch me slipping, then I guess I’ve been doing my job. But let me really pull back the curtain and explain something to you:

I know how to draw.

Do you understand the implication of that? Because I’m going to very patronizingly explain it either way. Do you think people bought tickets to March to Glory to watch me make the entire LBI mean nothing by retaining my championship? Do you think millions flock to their televisions to see me win?

Of course they don’t.

People tune in to see me lose. And if they think there’s any real chance of that happening, they’re going to buy a ticket. They’re going to tune in. So I break out my keyboard, and I write a sob story about feeling like I don’t have it anymore. About how I’m only feeling 97 percent. About how my body is breaking down, and maybe it’s time for a new champion. I make myself look weak. I make myself feel like the underdog. I make myself look beatable.

And it’s fucking bullshit.

I’m working.

So when I ask you not to show up this week, it isn’t because I’m afraid. It isn’t because I’m hoping to beat you with psychology. It’s because, truth be told, I don’t give a fuck if Conor Fuse gets in his feelings and leaves, that’s on him. I don’t care if Max Kael wins fifteen mediocre midcard titles in another company, rather than come home, because that’s on him. But I do, sincerely, legitimately care about you being here, Witness.

Because you ARE on a roll.

Because you ARE engaged.

And because you WILL lose to me.

And if YOU fuck off? Then that’s on me. Because I’ve been waiting too long for you to come back. I told you once that you were my hero, and I meant it. And it’s weird and uncomfortable to surpass your heroes, but I have surpassed you in every. Conceivable. Metric. I am the greatest wrestler alive. I am the alpha and the omega. I am a fucking deity to High Octane Culture and I have ended more careers than the fucking #MeToo movement, so for you to think you need to “bring out my best” is not only an insult, but it’s absolutely fucking delusional.

“What If” is a fun fantasy, old friend.

But it isn’t canon.

So I’ll say it again: when the final bell rings at CHAOS, and Bryan McVay says those inevitable words— AND STILL— I’m asking you as a friend and as a man, don’t take it personally. Don’t get in your feelings. Don’t start trying on blue polo shirts. Because we need you here. I WANT you here. But you aren’t the guy who is going to dethrone me, Witness. You aren’t ever going to be the face of HOW. Your elevator is never giving you access to my floor, because my floor is your fucking ceiling. So stop focusing on who you AREN’T… I want you to make a run at that LSD Championship and remind people who you ARE.

Samuel Fucking Owens.

LSD Legend.

See, told you I’d remember it eventually.