I think I’m out of shit.
I mean, not today. I’m gonna get words on paper and they’re gonna hurt feelings. This isn’t gonna randomly end after seventy words because I can’t think of anymore… I just kinda mean in the long run. I’m out of shit. Only so many ways to say the same words in the same order in a world that never changes. I mean honestly, what haven’t we covered a million times?
I’m the best in the world.
I don’t think anyone has ever been in the position that I’m in. To have to come up with new ways to say the same shit, week in and week out. They say it’s lonely at the top, but they don’t also mention that it’s boring. Every day is the same. Ricky Bobby style, wake up pudding excellence and go from there. Oh, I have a match this week. Who am I facing? Well, let me make fun of them and beat them real quick and then see what’s next.
Rinse and repeat.
I’m not even trying to be shitty and brag. This isn’t me twisting a positive into a negative. It’s a fucking negative. I run on competition and challenge like America runs on Dunkin’, and at this point I’ve become a goldfish. I can only get as big as the bowl I’m in— HOW is a big pond, but there ain’t a bigger fish than me. I have no room to expand. No room to breathe. This isn’t the 2010s, and competition isn’t fierce like it used to be. People aren’t hungry like they used to be. Maybe I’m finally the old guy, pining for my golden era just like the guys I think of as the old timers used to pine about theirs. Maybe the music is too loud and I just want everyone off my lawn and I think all the kids today are just here to have fun and get paid. Maybe it’s your problem.
Maybe it’s my problem.
Either way, it’s a problem.
I’m not here to have fun. I’m not here to have a good time on the radio and send memes. I’m not here for the Timberlake face. I’m here to win titles and get paid and dominate the competition, but truth is that for a guy like me there isn’t a lot of competition. I talk about all the titles I’ve won because there’s nothing new to do in the future. I reflect on the past because I’ll just be chasing that forever. That same rush of winning a title for the first time. Of getting into the Hall of Fame. Of doing everything there is to do in HOW, because I don’t get that same rush out of doing it anymore.
And like I said, this is all I have.
What am I gonna do, take up fishing? Get real into fantasy sports? Get fat and grow a fedora? I’m not exactly about to study for the bar and become a fucking attorney at 35, so I’m pretty committed to achieving my immortality through combat sports at this point. There’s no company bigger or better, no higher stage to aim for, no SUPERBELT to compete for beyond what I already have. I am the most important champion in the most important company in the highest stakes industry there is… and I have nothing left to challenge me.
Maybe I’m not depressed.
Maybe this is just what happens when you win the game.
When you’ve 100% completed every power up, bonus mission, and escort quest. Just running around an open world killing pedestrians, because your money and experience is maxed out. You’re ready for a new game, but there’s no sequel. Nothing that comes next. So you just keep logging in every day, fucking around and seeing what weird mini games you can make up. So I put my career on the line, or I wrestle six guys in a night instead of one. I take two matches at a pay per view to try that out. I trick my brain into thinking every match is super high stakes because it gets my dick hard for awhile.
I’m just outta shit.
Too stubborn to quit and too burned out after twelve years to keep pushing forward. Desperately needing this life and also wondering what would happen if I cast it aside and became a fucking goat farmer or something. I’ll be honest, ICONIC was supposed to be the end for me— I was going to have a match for the ages against my best friend and then hang up my boots. Maybe manage a young kid who needs help getting a break. Maybe become a commentator. Of course, Uncle Mike threw a wrench in that works twice. First, he stuffed this match way too full with a bunch of guys who might sell some tickets, because he’s no Lee Best. But then he also gave me a Christmas present I didn’t expect.
He gave me my tag team.
He gave me the thing Lee never let me have. A real tag run with my best friend, in the Tag Title tournament. Much like the main event he stole from me, it was something I had begged for literally for YEARS. But this one is a reality.
And all I had to do was re-sign.
It’s weird to need this so badly and hate it so much at the same time. My therapist calls it codependency. Yes, Jace, I see a therapist too, I just don’t get her to ask me pointed questions about wrestling on camera because I’m not a fucking mark. But it’s codependency. Lee hates HOW and loves HOW and needs HOW and also wants to close it every week. You think I don’t feel that too? It’s been years and I’m STILL cautious.
But I signed again.
My own little ball and chain.
The wife I can’t divorce because I don’t know how to live my life without her, but we stopped fucking years ago. I should be so hyped about this ICONIC match. All jokes aside, man, what incredible talent is on deck for this one. Conor is legit a future Hall of Famer if he sticks with it and doesn’t get in his feelings over hard losses. JJR could be a long term killer if he develops a little personality. Jace is a running gag now, but the guy is one of the best in HOW history and his record speaks on that. He just needs to get back to form and get out of his head. Jatt is a legend and always a threat, even if he’s in identity crisis over the old days sometimes, and Clay is a genuinely tough motherfucker who could be World Champion any given week if he focused up right.
And of course, the co-GOAT.
I’ve sucked his dick enough this week, but I knew how good he was way before anyone else picked up the wavelength. We became best friends because we think alike. We fight alike. We legit finish eachother’s jokes sometimes, and I have never valued a human being like I value him. Do you know how cool it would have been to end my career against my best friend, in our very first match since we both hit our potential? This would have been one of the most talked about matches in history. I could have ended my career confident in my legacy, win or lose, without a second thought.
Instead, it’s another cluster match.
It’s just a War Games with less hype. Solitary with no gimmick. No different than the match down the card for a shot at this very title. Why? Because no one could read between the lines and see that it was gonna be a banger? That maybe two Hall of Famers famous for having good matches knew what they were doing?
Can’t go out like that.
Especially if I lose.
Lost in a sea of guys thrown into a match on the Go Home show, regardless of the talent involved. It’s kind of a slap in the face that I’m trying to ignore, that my own family doesn’t trust me to carry an ICONIC. Honestly, it isn’t my fault that my dad booked me against Dan Ryan so many times last year that no one gave a fuck come ICONIC. They’d seen it already. We’d DONE it already. It wasn’t exciting for anyone, but it wasn’t my call. So why am I being punished this year?
Why is my moment being stolen from me?
I either retain this title and try again for one perfect moment to go out in 2022, or I lose this belt in a sea of other guys and no one gives a shit. You can’t walk away on that. That isn’t the end for a guy like me. The show could have ended with two broken men embracing, one of them holding the title. Tears, sweat and blood. An image that would be printed on posters for years to come. Instead, it’s just… a match.
So here I am again. Staring down tremendous odds without anything really to gain from it. If I lose, some dude gets the right to say he’s the first person to beat me for real in like five years. If I win, they’ll say “well yeah, of course he did” and that’s that. It’s lose lose now. Fucked if I do, fucked if I don’t. I’ve won War Games in multiple eras. Won solitary twice. They’ve seen it already.
I mean, of course I’m gonna do it.
I’m going to win.
Because we’re Bests, and Michael Oliver Best knows just as well as my father does that when you stick a challenge in my face, I’m gonna attack it head on. Even if it’s a challenge that’s been thrown at me a million times. He knows that if my heart isn’t in it, my pride will take over. We’re gonna sell out ICONIC and everyone is gonna make a ton of money and it’s going to be a huge success off my efforts, and I’m going to feel nothing.
I shouldn’t be hungry anymore.
Just can’t stop eating.
Twelve years is a long time to be on top. And make no mistake, I’ve been on top for twelve years. I went from an unknown to undeniable long before I knew Lee Best was my father. I debuted at ICONIC 2009 as a main attraction, not a side show. Won my first World Title exactly a year later and never looked back. How many of you guys won four titles your first year in HOW? How many of you did that and then sustained that energy for ELEVEN MORE YEARS? No one. It’s rhetorical. It’s just me, on a mountain alone, above the world. Even above Cecilworth, if only for lack of the same time and opportunities. I sit here on my lonely throne, as desperate to keep my legacy alive as I am to cut the life support and get out before it gets sad.
Because it can get sad.
Kostoff. Jatt. Scotty, sometimes. I don’t even mean any disrespect, but some guys have an addiction to this life that extends long past the point of healthy. Jatt is never going to be the top guy again, but he’s gonna keep trying because this is the devil he knows. Kostoff is gonna come back again and again, drinking the same undead juice that is keeping my Uncle alive. Diminishing returns but always love to see the big man, right? Scotty is still battling for the recognition he might never get, and it dawns on me lately that I might hit that point and never know it happened.
When is it time to go?
If it’s when the universe gives you the answers, then it should have been ICONIC and it should have been Farthington. But what if Uncle Mike changing the match means that it’s not time yet? What if I still have a year in me? Two? Five more? I’d only be forty. And then here I go, already rationalising. Already setting myself up to stay. Already codepending. FUCK.
How did Tripp Eisen do it?
How did he walk away from the ring and give us Rhys Townsend? A student he trained from the ground up. A guy who is now a legend and a Hall of Famer in his own right. He didn’t overstay his welcome. He never got sad. When it as time to hang up his boots, he got all the way behind his best student and he taught him the game. Literally showed him the ropes. Brought him into HOW and made him a superstar.
Can I do that?
Am I even capable?
Lord knows I’ve tried. Gino. Sutler Kael. Neither of them are working here anymore. In no small part because I can’t stop myself from focusing on getting into that ring myself. I don’t know. Maybe for all my strengths in the ring, I’m a shitty teacher. A shitty person. Destined to die in the ring as an old man who stayed too long. Maybe it’s too soon to tell.
Until then, we have ICONIC.
Impossible odds and a bit marquee, my specialty. I’m sorry I didn’t have much elaborate trash talk this time. I’m sorry if it felt uninspired, but you were inspiring. Serial killer jokes and lines about prospectors. Whoopie. Mostly, I’m sorry to Cecilworth. This was supposed to be our moment, and I can’t promise I’ll be around long enough to give it another shot.
But yeah, ICONIC.
At ICONIC, I promise to give you all the whole song and dance. Throwing knees and shooting threes. Intense near falls. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll get the full Mike Best experience, like the domesticated jungle cat that I am. Because I always deliver. It’s my brand, and the reason they pay me twice what they pay you.
But after that?
I might be outta shit.
Guess we’ll see.