Do you know something mate?
I don’t even know where I’m supposed to fucking start when it comes to you.
I get it, I get it – I’m supposed to go to HOWrestling.com, sign into my High Octane On Demand bullshit, and go through the archives on the site and find all the matches you’ve wrestled in. Then go find your recent promos, do something to get a little idea about you, what you’re gonna do in the ring…y’know.
But I mean, is there a point? No, seriously – is there?
Because when I went to HOdub dot com and I went to the rankings page, I had to scroll all the way to the bottom to find you. Below Zion. Below Stevens. Below Hollywood. Below literally every wrestler you could care to name on the current roster…because that’s the problem ain’t it? Somehow you found yourself on the last pay per view, but outside of your opponent, I don’t think anyone even noticed you were there.
You’re worse than a jobber, Azula. You’ve got that stench that every single one of us in the back hopes that we never get. No, not the stench of losing – yeah, sure, it might be hard to relate with the whole lifetime losing record in HOW thing for me, but we all lose. That’s not the stench I’m talking about.
Nah, Azula, I’m talking about the stench of irrelevancy.
I am that guy who’s at the shows every week, the one who watches the product again after he gets home – I’m balls deep in this industry, Azula. I live, shit, eat and sleep it, for better or worse. I know more about Bobbinette Carey’s sexual proclivities than I’d like because of this, but for better or worse, I consume all our content. And…that’s the thing mate – when it comes to you?
I draw a complete fucking blank.
Like, I know you were on the pay per view, but that was about it. I had to go back and check to be sure…and that’s literally it. Shit dude…I wasn’t even sure what you looked like. Not like I was missing much – generic singlet MMA type guy with a topknot, beard and bad tattoos.
So…basically every try-hard gym bro to ever gym bro. And you are the guy placed in front of me last week after I dared to speak out about the bullshit that’s going on around the World Championship. The guy placed in front of me when my mind is elsewhere. On other things. More important things. And maybe this is hubris, Azula – maybe I should be doing what I’ve done for the entire rest of my career and looking no further than you. Just at you. Not wondering what the fuck Evan Ward might be thinking of getting up to during my match. Not casting glances towards the World Championship and wondering when the fuck that belt is going to go to someone who does more than just pay lip service to it’s heritage.
‘Cause that’s it, right? I’m supposed to turn up and treat this the same as I would if I was facing Ward now, or if I faced Best, aren’t I? Treat you the same as I’d treat a World Championship shot. Made my fucking career on doing exactly that.
But that’s the fucking kicker, dude…I can’t.
I mean, I’m not saying that I can’t do it, I totally could do it – if I could find any sort of supporting evidence that you were going to provide any sort of remote threat this week. But you go through your shit on the site, you go through the archive, and all you find is losses. Eventually, you get to where you are now, which is the point of basically being an irrelevance to the rest of the federation.
Ask yourself this mate.
Do you think Lee Best gave you this match because he sees it as a great opportunity for you, or do you think Lee Best gave you this match because he wants to gauge exactly where I’m at?
I mean…I think it’s a pretty fucking obvious answer, dude…and I don’t really know what to say to you. I can’t picture how it feels to just be thrown out as a tester match, something to see where someone else is because the expectation is that you’re gonna lose…the only question is how badly. How does that make you feel? Hell…how do you even motivate yourself to show up for something like that? Yeah, sure, eternal optimism of an upset, I get that – but realistically…when you appear to have been half assing your HOW career for…well, since before I came back, how the fuck do you motivate yourself to turn up for a match like this? I mean, given your record, it’s the case that you either just don’t make any real effort and just keep turning up and smashing your head into the figurative wall in the hopes that it changes, or you really are just that shit.
Which is it?
I mean, I’m gonna get an up close and personal look this week, right? I’ll get to figure it out for myself, but the more I look at it, the more it looks like you were thrown to Solex so everyone’s favorite homophobe/sexist/whatever can get a win because ‘MURRICAH, FUCK YEAH rather than in any hope of having anything that might resemble a contest that might shift a couple tickets. Because…what else could it be? Your record is fucking horrific.
Yeah, I get that I’ve said that already, but fuck dude…87.5%. Yeah, I did some maths – that’s your losing percentage in singles action in 2023 here in High Octane Wrestling. Mine is 22.2, if you were wondering.
So you can maybe understand, Azula, why I feel a little insulted by being given this match.
You are an irrelevance, yet you have been put in my path. I don’t like to do the whole big man shit that so many people love to do in professional wrestling, if I’m honest. I’d rather sit here and tell the world that you’re a dangerous fighter with a long history in, fuck, I dunno, bare knuckle Azerbaijanian traditional oil boxing, that I’m taking you deadly seriously, that you could well win – this could be the week where you score that career defining victory, where your High Octane Wrestling career finally kickstarts as you notch a win over one of the most dominant singles competitors to ever step through the doors of High Octane Wrestling. That I’m aware and prepared for all the threats you’re gonna pose, that it’s gonna be a hell of a professional wrestling contest…
But I just can’t. I just can’t take you, or the Eternal Circle (Yes, I did actually do that aforementioned research, long and painful as it was…) as a threat. I’m sorry…I just can’t.
You may well put up some sort of a fight, but if it’s like the effort you made in your last match, then, well…shit’s gonna be real simple. And quick. Because right now, Azula, I’m angry.
I’m angry at myself because I just could not find that bit extra I should have found at the pay per view to get myself a World Championship shot at ICONIC.
I’m angry because Jatt fucking Starr, a man I’ve beaten in singles action recently, a man who also, like me, lost at the pay per view, a man who, like you, has a fucking horrific losing record just get gifted a World Championship shot at ICONIC.
I’m angry because recently I’ve had to watch Conor Fuse smash the Championship I have dedicated my career to, before Mike Best decided to pitch the repaired, renewed Championship into some river because he’s now a Taylor Swift fan or something.
I’m angry that I chose to hurt my best friend at the pay per view – I’m angry that I drove his head through a door, angry that I cost him the match last week, angry that I spiked him on the neck he’s been having trouble with, angry that I might well put him on the shelf at ICONIC.
And lastly, Azula, I’m angry because I have to face you this week. Because no matter what happens in this match, the best thing that can come out of it for me is just sticking another win in that column, to get back to having the third best record in the federation. Maybe I should be grateful that this isn’t a match against someone else who’s a main event level talent, a rare week in which I could ease off slightly, perhaps only give 90% instead of absolutely fucking everything…
But I don’t want to.
I want to…well, try feels like the wrong word. I don’t want to take it easy. I want to turn up and demolish you in five minutes – not the sort of loss that happens so fast you can write it off as a fluke, the sort where you were in there, you tried, but…y’know. You might as well have not turned up. I don’t want to end your career by having some ambulance cart you off, I want to do the slow burn – when you do look at things real close and hard, and you figure that maybe you just ain’t shit anymore and should go home – I want this match to be one of the things that flags up in your head when you think about that shit.
That’s what I’m planning to do, Azula. Not a thirty second annihilation that we all forget about in two weeks, but the sort of match where you were present, where you tried, but you were utterly outclassed. That sort of annihilation.
So if you’ll allow one of your betters the opportunity to offer you some unsolicited advice?
Don’t turn up this week. Deal with the ignominy of having to have Lee Best’s goons call you up and ask you what the fuck was up with not showing up to the match you were booked for. It won’t just be me saying this, Azula – the hanger ons you have, if they have half a braincell between them, they’ll be saying exactly the same thing. Don’t turn up. Take a week off. It’s not worth it.
Because, and just for emphasis – what’s waiting for you this week is a guy with a top 5 all time singles record in High Octane Wrestling, he’s angry, and he’s looking to send a message.
I sincerely hope you ignore this advice, pitch yourself as the plucky underdog doing 1980’s action movie training montages or some similar bullshit, and turn up to Chaos with a belly full of fire.
Because then, the same thing will happen every time I’ve wrestled a singles match on Chaos.
Rhys Townsend wins.
The guttural scream of pain from our protagonist is punctuated by the sound of his fist meeting a nearby locker. Naturally…there’s now a fist sized dent in it.
Not that the locker is anything fancy, as, dear viewer, we find ourselves in the warehouse that was once known as the Eisen Dungeon, then known as Townsend’s Taco Storehouse, and currently, seems to exist without a name. We’re not near the large, central altar of the place – it’s professional wrestling ring, nor are we near what has become known as the PAIN corner – the running and cycling machines, set up in front of a flatscreen panel large enough that it could well serve as a wall in an ordinary British house. No, we’re in the locker room of this illustrious establishment, such as it is. A bunch of lockers against a wall, with a couple benches in front of them. The lockers are still covered in graffiti, so, obviously they came from one of the local schools.
Which makes sense, when you think about it – why spend more than you have to?
Regardless, our protagonist has his wrist sat up on a support, with a physio having Fun With Tape there. You might say that he looks angry, dear viewer, but then this is a man with a…large physique who’s done enough sweating to drench the sleeveless #970000 red, HOW logo emblazoned shirt he’s wearing, so, after that much activity, anger is a fairly likely thing, when you’re carrying around a bit of a gut. He’s not without company though, as his friend slash manager slash agent slash gofer, Dafydd is there with him. And the physio, obviously.
“I mean, Ward did fracture your wrist, buddy…gonna fucking hurt at some point, ain’t it?”
“But what? You smoked a metric fuckton of weed before you did what you did on the last two Chaos shows so it didn’t hurt, but now you’re not quite so high and it hurt while you were training?”
“Yeah…exactly. Shit hurts, dude.”
“I mean, yeah, it’s a fractured fucking wrist. But he’s good to go this week, right?”
“Yeah. He should be okay, as long as he tapes it heavily. Potentially a cast, but if not, then do what you can to protect it. Don’t make it any worse, and he’ll be fine for ICONIC. We’re about done here for today mate, just make sure you don’t do that much with it tonight, yeah? We’ll do some more strengthening exercises tomorrow.”
There’s merely a grunt of affirmation from the High Octane Wrestling Hall of Famer, barely acknowledging what’s been said to him. Though, given that his hand is now free, it quickly snakes away, and, yes, dear viewer, if you’ve ever watched anything Rhys Townsend, then I’m sure – hashtag predictable – you know exactly what’s coming next.
Say it with me now – he reaches into the bag near his chair, and produces a spliff, rolled with nothing but the finest medical grade cannabis you can currently get in the People’s Republic of Wales. And again, with me – a lighter follows, quickly sparking the thing into life.
There’s a couple deep, long tokes as the physio gathers his shit and leaves. It doesn’t take long for that to happen, but Townsend, as ever, is ignorant of the passage of time as he puffs away.
“Yeah, so, you’ll be fine for Azula then.”
“I could have told you that mate. The shit hurts, but as long as I’m careful, or high enough, it’s tolerable. Just…gotta keep my focus on having that match this week. Doesn’t matter if it almost feels like an insult to be given the worst wrestler in the federation when I have one of the best records, but…”
“Just gotta deal with what’s in front of you.”
“Yeah. I mean, I do also feel like I need to be keeping an eye out for Ward, right? He already fractured my wrist, and since then, I’ve had the upper hand – I’ve cost him a match, driven his head through a door…”
“Piledrove him off the top…”
“Yeah. Exactly. So that might be troublesome.”
“If you were him, wouldn’t you be?”
An inhale, followed by a quick chin stroke are the obviously sarcastic giveaways that Dafydd has decided to have a think.
“I mean…yeah. I probably would be.”
“Obvious answer, but doesn’t really stop it from being true. So there’s the guy I should probably beat, and then there’s the chance that Ward’s gonna get involved…should be a busy week.”
“And you’re feeling good about it?”
“Nah mate, I’m pretty angry about a lot of things…but nothing I can fix by talking about it, y’know? We go to Chaos, we win, we move on. That’s literally it. I don’t know what more to say…”
And as Townsend’s voice trails off, this, dear reader, seems an ideal time for us to part ways. Yes, we could hang around longer and hear about Dafydd’s latest travails on the dating scene of Cardiff, or we could hear Rhys Townsend’s long and in depth thoughts about what exactly makes a good vertical suplex (I can tell you’re excited for that one), but I’m pretty sure that, you, like me, have better things to be doing than that. And so, this is where this ends. Obviously. I could keep going for a few more minutes because, well…everything surrounding Rhys Townsend is high, including his narrator, so, yeah, I could totally go on a bit more of a ramble, but then…
It’d just be a bit pointless, really, wouldn’t it?