The only black female HOW World Champion Hall of Famer.
The only one, can you believe it? Of all the black, female HOW World Champions, Bobbi is the only one to ever make it into the Hall of Fame. What an accomplishment. What a deep talent pool to pull from. What a cutthroat contest it must have been to be the first. You got any cards in that deck that don’t say “race”, Carey? I can do that too– I’m the only second generation wrestler with the last name Best to ever hold the World Title. I’m the only guy born in February who throws a knee and once had a pet lion to ever get into the Hall of Fame. I’m the greatest wrestler to ever be booked against two fat Bobby’s back to back in the history of the known universe. Aren’t I special? Isn’t that noteworthy?
Narrow it down enough and we’re all special.
Does being black make it harder to Irish whip someone? Does being a woman complicate the process of initiating a tie-up? You wanna talk about privilege on a college campus or a job application or a fucking traffic stop and I’ll carry whatever protest sign you want me to, but you aren’t gonna race and gender bait me in what is unequivocally the most even playing field in the world— you get into a wrestling ring and you fight, and the better fighter wins. I don’t know what the hottest take for your thousandth return to HOW is going to be, but a nineteen page Wikipedia article about abuse and some cheap pop lines about “weak, toxic white men” ain’t it.
Get the actual fuck out of here.
HOW has had plenty of black champions. Plenty of female champions. Tara Michaels Davidson was one of the most dominating champions in the history of HOW, and she never had to steal a title after being eliminated from a War Games match to make that claim. You’re so fake woke that it’s putting me to sleep, and the only gaslighting I see going on in HOW is your insistence that any struggle you’ve ever had here was the result of abusive white dudes. Yeah, toxic white men made you flake out of the World Title tournament in 2019, not double booking plans with… Alyssa Milano, I guess? Literally Alyssa Milano. I know that a lot of you reading this are going to think that’s a joke. It isn’t. Bobbinette Carey is apparently friends with Alyssa Milano.
And was it toxic weak men who ensured that you got the shit slapped out of you at Refueled, Carey? Or was it a backfired, hacky attempt to get over on Mario and not realizing that he’d actually show up and have something to say about it? The first thing you did in your latest three to six week return to HOW was to “reclaim your power” by immediately teaming up with a weak, toxic white dude instead of standing your own ground. So strong. Such a role model for Mimi. Teach her young that the best solution to her problems is to find a man to help you.
You’re definitely a “bad guy” now, Carey.
I just don’t think you understand why.
It isn’t because Coleman designed you new wrestling gear that makes you look like a supervillain garbage man– sorry, garbage person. It isn’t because you’re doing what you want to do for a change. It’s because you wrote a college thesis about gaslighting and abuse, and then proceeded to gaslight the entire HOW roster to blame Lee Best’s sperm and the white patriarchy for every failure you’ve ever had in your wrestling career. I’m sorry if the Ohio wrestling scene is full of pencil dicked, zit faced wrestling promotors who won’t give you a shot at the Hardcore Title unless you give them a sad handjob in a port-a-potty, but you’re back in the big leagues now, and I can promise you that even with two actual blind eyes, Lee Best is not going to ask you to fuck him for anything.
Abuse is a cycle?
Maybe if it was a bicycle, you’d be in ring shape.
For over ten years, I have come to work every single day and had people spit in my face and run my name through the mud because of my heritage. Because of my last name. You are talking to literally the last motherfucker on the planet who is gonna play you a tiny violin in the name of preconceived notions, because you’ve never even stepped into a ring with me and you’re already spouting off about how my DNA is the reason for my success in HOW. You don’t know what that knee feels like, because you’ve never stuck around along enough to take it. You weren’t here when I was the sole survivor and winner of War Games TWICE, one of them after entering first. You weren’t here when I beat LITERALLY EVERY OTHER HALL OF FAMER WHO HAS BEEN ACTIVE SINCE 2010. But no, you see my last name and you think it’s Affirmative Action that put me in the number one contender’s seat.
I’m the number one contender because I spent my 2021 going 12-0 in HOFC contests and retiring the title uncontested. I traded that belt in for a title shot, and even without competing in regular wrestling matches all year, HAD STILL MANAGED TO HOLD ON TO FOURTH PLACE UNTIL LITERALLY LAST WEEK. I did more this year than you’ve done since I joined HOW, Carey. Honestly? I did more by Bobby Dean last week than you’ve done this entire ERA. But you’re gonna walk onto the field and get a match at Rumble at the Rock? You’re gonna call your shot for War Games next year? You’re gonna claim I can’t be royalty because you called yourself a Queen Bee during the Bush presidency and haven’t left the hive since?
And YOU wanna talk about privilege?
You are the single most entitled wrestler in the history of HOW. You walk back into this company time and time again, seemingly offended that the red carpet isn’t rolled out for you. You have the depth of a kiddie pool, and you wanna come in here talking about abuse and gender and race because you think it’s gonna be something that the rest of us “toxic white men” have the right to speak about. You can be on the right side of history and still be wrong as fuck, Bobbinette, and that’s what you are. At Refueled, it won’t be race, or gender, or privilege that hold you back from getting your first win in a decade.
It’ll be a knee to the fucking skull.
The most privileged knee in wrestling, having had the privilege of never being kicked out of. Never being survived. Never being overcome. I don’t give a single fuck about the color of your skin or the genitals under your inflatable wrestling suit— at Refueled, I’m gonna knee the ever loving shit out you not because you’re black, or a woman, but because you’re annoying as shit and it’s time I finally swatted that Queen Bee once and for all. You wanna cry about abuse? Then I’ll give you something to cry about. You want to be special? Then you can be the first black female Hall of Fame former World Champion to ever lose to me on a Refueled in October.
See you on Saturday.
Oh, and fuck you too, Scotty.
The Brown Palace Hotel
A Modest 241 Room Lodging In Downtown Denver, Colorado
Sunday, September 2020, 2021 – 2:30AM
“The fuck do you mean there’s no reservation? I literally have a confirmation number.”
He’d forgotten about the travel. Most people think that it’s the constant barrage of suplexes, body slams and chair shots that wear your body down, but for Michael Lee Best it had always been the travel. Hauling bags full of gear from the car to the airport, from the airport to the car, from the car to the hotel, and from the hotel to the arena. Sleeping in a different bed every week, or even every night, and never giving your body the time to adjust. Adjust to the mattress. Adjust to the time zone. Adjust to feeling like a very fancy homeless person, never quite sure where you’ll lay your head next.
Oh, and adjusting to the morons who work at hotels.
“I apologize, sir.” the woman behind the counter smiles, artificially. “I can try to find it one more time, but we have no record of your reservation for this evening.”
He runs his hands through his hair, wiping the sleep from his eyes.
Chicago to Minneapolis. Minneapolis to Denver. Next week it’ll be New Mexico, and he can’t hardly remember any further ahead than that. This is barely the first leg of his return, and already he feels it all starting to run together. For the last nine months, it was Chicago or the boat. Chicago or the boat. Chicago or the boat. No reservations. No travel itineraries. No overpriced menu with a thirty seven dollar cheeseburger on it. It was like that old jazz singer used to say… “they don’t pay me to play, they pay me to travel”.
This was always the worst part.
“Actually.” the clerk continues, as she clicks away at the keyboard. “It looks as though we do have you scheduled to stay with us beginning on Thursday afternoon. You should have been contacted this morning– the days that you attempted to schedule online were not actually available, it appears they were oversold.”
The rooms were oversold?
“Are… are you kidding me?” He tries very hard to control the angry vein in his forehead. “Let me get this straight– I did everything I was supposed to do. I gave you money. You took my money. But you also took someone else’s money, for the same days, and so now I’m finding out at three in the FUCKING MORNING that I don’t have a place to sleep tonight?”
“Sir, I need you to calm–” she begins, fruitlessly.
“No, I need YOU to calm down.” Michael grits his teeth. “If I sell you a car, and then I sell that car to someone else, and I take both of your money, I go to prison. It’s a felony. It’s fucking theft. You had one of something, and you sold it twice. And now you’re telling me that it’s MY FUCKING PROBLEM?”
The hotel clerk looks around to see if there is anyone else in the lobby who is being disturbed by the tirade, but it appears that they’re alone. She remains as calm and professional as she can, but clearly takes a protective step backward. This man looks at least mildly like he might be a murderer.
“I can assure you, sir.” she smiles, fake politely. “You have not been any charges for the additional days, and any pending authorizations will be refunded. This regrettably does happen on occasion, and I cannot express enough how–”
“Just forget it.” Michael grumbles, fishing for his wallet. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the– nevermind. Just book me whatever you have for tonight and I’ll figure it out tomorrow. I need to sleep.”
The face of the clerk doesn’t look like it comes bearing good news.
“My apologies again, sir.” she clears her throat. “We actually don’t have any available rooms this evening. As I said, we were regrettably oversold. If you’d like, I can make some calls and find you an available room at another hotel? I would be happy to assist you with–”
“Go fuck yourself.” Michael sticks his middle finger against the plexiglass, aggressively. “That’s what you can do to assist me.”
With a huff, the Son of God snatches his bag up from his feet, slinging it over his shoulder as he sweeps past the desk. He’s about to barrel out the double doors into the street, but thinks twice about it as he passes by the convenience marketplace next to the front desk. He stops, looks over the rack of refreshments, and snatches a single bottle of apple juice from the cooler.
“I’m fucking taking this.” He hollers, condescending toward the front desk. “Just tell your manager you fucking oversold it.”
Michael stuffs the juice into his bag, angrily zipping it back up. It’s hard to zip something “angry”, but somehow he manages— he doesn’t even like Apple juice, but this wasn’t about the juice.
It’s about the principle.
Or something like that. He’s exhausted.
Spilling out into the street, Michael Lee Best stares out into the Colorado night with a cold sweat on his brow. He needs to sleep. It’s not like he’s never pulled an all nighter before, but this isn’t the coasting run he’s been on for the last couple of years. This one is the real deal, and he knows that this time he’s under the microscope like never before. One mistimed Irish whip. One stumble as he’s climbing through the ropes. One second too late on a kickout, and he’ll have confirmed every word they’ve said about him since his return.
That he didn’t deserve this.
That it was a handout.
He could list of the records he’d set in HOW in his sleep, but wrestling fans and wrestlers alike have short memories. A man everyone was afraid to face in a cage three months ago has suddenly been remembered as a guy who had a whole division “fail” on him. A man who ha been undefeated for an entire year is now just the “guy who lost to Jiles” back in March. Forget that he’d wrestled twice that show. Forget that he’d defended the HOW World Championship every single week leading up to that match. Forget that he was as acknowledged as the greatest of all time, OFFICIALLY— you disappear for a couple of months and they forget who you are. A missed night of sleep isn’t just a missed night of sleep.
It’s an opportunity to be made a fool of.
Bobbinette Carey might look like a hefty bag full of old pudding, but she was a HOW Hall of Famer for a reason. It was something that the Son of God had come to think about often lately– just as these young, up and coming wrestlers like to sleep on the legacy of guys like Mike Best, guys like Mike Best often slept on the ones who came before him. Conor Fuse had almost found out the hard way what happens when you sleep on Jatt Starr this week, and the new HOW number one contender had no intention of letting Carey slip past him this week. The same went for Scotty– they’d all come from the era where anyone could beat anyone on any given night, and this Saturday would be no different.
And Solex was the wildcard.
He’d never teamed with Solex. Only ever even wrestled him twice. You never knew with Steve which guy you were getting, literally or metaphorically– he could be a killer, or he could be the victim. Four Hall of Famers in one ring means that everyone would need to be at the top of their game, and Michael was never the type to rely on someone else to do their part. He’d have to be ready for a fucking handicap match out there just in case, and just pray to whatever God is listening that Solex shows up prepared to do the same. At 2:30 in the morning on a Sunday night, there was zero chance he was finding someplace to sleep that wasn’t the lobby of the airport, so it was time to swallow his pride and do the right thing for his career.
It was time to ask for help.
“Someone has to be here already.” He sighs, pulling his phone out of his pocket.
Scrolling through the list of names, the Son of God ignores the sporadic traffic yelling at him as he wanders down the road, bag still over his shoulder. Farthington? Not in Denver this week, that he was aware of. Sutler? Yeah… that’s not happening right now. Jace for the same reason. Lee was still missing in action, Sektor was pissed at him, and Solex was for sure already asleep.
“Fuck me.” Michael grumbles, reaching the end of his contact list.
There was literally not another member of the roster who would even take a call from him at two thirty in the morning, much less to give him an empty bed or a couch in their hotel room. Because he had been a selfish, condescending, burial artist of a prick for the last twelve years. Because he was Lee Best’s son. Because he did shit like skip the line to become number one contender, over and over and over again. No matter how many temporary alliances he’d forged, at the end of the day, Michael Lee Best was always alone.
“Oh well.” Michael shrugs, faking a smirk for no one. “No sense losing sleep over it.”
He opens the Uber app on his phone, leaning against the side of the hotel and pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. It was the only vice left, and it was the one he’d latched onto with a deathgrip. He lights up, letting a small puff of smoke escape into the nighttime air as puts the destination for the Uber into his phone: LoHi Athletic Club.
His match against Bobby had looked great on television, but he could feel the rust on him in the ring when he was there live. He was just a few steps slower than he used to be, and Bobby was just a little bit heavier than he remembered. Sure, Bobby Dean was known to get fatter, but this felt different. This didn’t feel like a Bobby issue. This felt like conditioning. After what happened to Scottywood and Carey at the hands of Mario last week, they’d be out to prove a point this weekend. That point sure as fuck wasn’t going to be proven on Michael Lee Best, and it definitely wasn’t going to be because he wasn’t ready.
If Bethlehem had no rooms for the Son of God, then tomorrow begins today.
The Lion doesn’t sleep tonight.