No one talks about it, but a dream match has been brewing.
Two of the strongest trash talkers in history, in the same company, at the same time. Two of the greatest talents to ever play the game, and everyone has always wondered who was better. A can’t miss clash of the titans, destined to sell out arenas, break box offices, and cement the legacies of two men who have done it all, seen it all, and beat them all. Unfortunately, Andy Murray wasn’t available this week, so I’m gonna face his water boy instead.
It’s time that you and I had a talk, James.
No nightclubs. No champagne. No scantily clad women, so desperate to be on television that they put up with your putrid cigar smoke and grating, early-2000s personality. No illusions of grandeur from the genetic lovechild of Chandler Bing and MacGruber, laughing nasally through his shitty hook nose that grows a half inch every time he claims to be the best in the business. It’s about time that you and I broke things down and had a chat, because I truly and sincerely think that you’re starting to believe your own bullshit.
You are a professional parasite.
It’s the PERFECTION GUARANTEE™, if you have a successful stable in a professional wrestling company, he’ll jump on board and ride your coattails, or your money back. You did it in UTAH with Dynasty, you did it in HOW with 24K, and by golly, if HATE catches fire and wins themselves a few titles, you’ll be calling yourself Witherwood faster than you can say “shitty generic bandwagon henchman”. You’re a professional bullshitter who got too high on his own supply, and you’ve been huffing so hard on the fumes of shit you did five years ago that it’s making you lightheaded and delusional.
So let me make it very, very clear.
You got an ICON Title match because your stable annoys me, and Lee isn’t giving away Mike Best vs. Andy Murray on free television. You’re an outdated wannabe celebrity cheerleader with superstar friends– the Rob Schneider of 24K, waiting for Andy Sandler to put you in his next big project because nobody fucking wants you on your own. And you can get on television every single week and say “YOU CAN DO IT!” while you stand in their corners, James, but their accomplishments are not your accomplishments.
Their victories are not your victories.
I’ll give Murray some credit, at least– it took balls to besmirch the name of the Chicago Bulls, when Kerrfection is sitting on the bench and watching him win rings. You are a legend by association, a champion by osmosis, and everything about you screams third place so loudly that I’m surprised you haven’t had your vocal chords bronzed. You surround yourself with mansions and cars and women, and every distraction you can think of, because at your core you are an empty, shallow husk– a shell of a man, who spends every desperate moment of his life playing dress up and acting like you think a wrestler is supposed to act.
You are a human fucking participation trophy.
You call yourself “Perfection”, because you think that the name makes the man. But you’re a lot more “Witherhold” these days— your grasp over this business has been withering by the year, and you’re just struggling to hold on. Every victory on your record is either against a nobody, or against a somebody who Andy Murray pinned while you chanted “BE… AGGRESSIVE!” from the wings, pretending like it could have been you if he’d just made the tag. You are a never was masquerading as a has been, because no one has ever had enough respect for you to tell you that you just aren’t any fucking good.
But none of that is what we need to talk about.
This is an intervention.
We need to talk about the shitty burial promos.
You know, like the one that I just wrote about you up there. The one that sucks the Heat dry faster than LeBron going back to Cleveland. The one that makes it sound like our match is going to be a squash for the ages, instead of the first ever meeting of two men who the world has wanted to watch battle it out for over four years. The one that makes you sound like you don’t belong in a wrestling ring at all, much less HOW. The special kind of easy to write, painful to read, egregiously lazy actual garbage that results from years of being excessively bad at knowing how to do one of the most important aspects of your job.
Or as you guys call it, “winning”.
Bold move, Cotton– if everyone you beat is a “fucking loser”, then what the fuck is the point in bragging about it? You take down Lindsay Troy and Dan Ryan at March to Glory, and you could be out there talking about how you toppled LEGENDS. About how you climbed the mountain, and ripped titles from the hands of GODS. You could ascend yourselves to the top of the card with just a couple of loosely intelligent, vaguely strung together sentences, and instead?
“What a bunch of washed up losers.”
I can hear you now, snickering to yourselves just to hear someone laugh at your jokes, as you talk about how the Group of Death are a bunch of crybabies, because you “won’t sell us”. But I’m not annoyed that you won’t, James. I’m annoyed that you can’t. Because I’ve spent fourteen years honing my craft, inside of the ring and out, and I work hard to get better every single day. I look at names across from me on the card every week, and I sit down and think: “How am I going to make money on this guy?” How am I going to convince the world to tune into this match, so that I can put cash in my pocket and food on my table. How am I going to make them believe that this week– that this opponent— might finally be the guy who can take the ICON Championship from my hands?
That’s why I’m the Cheers of wrestling, numbnuts.
That’s why everyone knows my name.
Because I have made a career out of seeming just beatable enough to lure overconfident fucks like you into a false sense of security. Because I could sell a fucking Playboy to a blind man and get him to jerk off all over an issue of Good Housekeeping. Because despite your “I did no research” approach to joining HOW, I am supremely good at all of the aspects of my job. People come to Chicago from around the fucking world just to punch me in the face, so I don’t weep because you won’t suck my dick, James– I weep because I’ve seen your technique, and it’s all fucking teeth. And from where I’m sitting right now?
You will not survive in High Octane Wrestling.
You won’t survive here, because it’s a fucking joke to you. Because you and your little circlejerk of trust decided to go for one last ride into the sunset together, and the spot you picked on the map is filled with sharks. Because when you aren’t talking shit you will never actually back up, your entire essence is just the same old cliches about girls and mansions. You and the cronie crew lack the self-awareness to look into the history of this company, and see that what you call 24K, HOW calls a dime-a-dozen. A million of you ungrateful little Fisher Pricers have rolled into town on your little plastic big wheels and proclaimed themselves King, and to tell you the truth, I don’t even remember their names anymore. By this time next year, you’re destined to be nothing more than a statistic— a “Today in HOW history” on Stevenspedia, just another successful ICON Title defense in the Final Reign. But I don’t want to see that happen, James.
Because I see things in you that no one sees.
And I do mean “no one”. When you guys came crashing into this company, everyone was so excited. “OH! IT’S MURRAY! IT’S MIKEY! IT’S KENDRIX I GUESS!” And everyone backstage was buzzing about these three new dream signings to HOW. Not a single fucking person in the back was happy to see you, James, and let me just cut you off at the pass before you fill in the blanks for yourself. It’s not because you own nineteen mansions and share a barber with Donald Trump. It’s not because you’re SUCH A SUPER MEGA LEGEND that you have haters built right in. It’s not because they were jealous, dude.
It’s because you are genuinely disliked by fucking everyone.
And I sat there, slack jawed, because even though you guys had just dropped me on my head… even though your debut had been at my expense… I have always liked you. Hell, there was a time that I would have almost said that we were friends. I was so fucking stoked that you were here. And I told everyone who would listen that you weren’t the guy they thought you were. That you hadn’t earned the shitty reputation that you have backstage. That you were a talented guy, who had gotten a bad name for himself, but that you’d prove you were different.
I see the thing that no one else sees, James.
Because I used to be just like you.
When I sauntered into High Octane Wrestling back in 2010, I did it with my dick on the table and my hands in my pockets. I was King Shit from Turd Mountain, coasting off the shit that I did to get me to the table in the first place. I didn’t realize that all of those things I’d accomplished… they were enough to get me in the door, but they weren’t gonna do me a bit of goddamned good inside of a HOW ring. I didn’t realize that I had a lot of hard lessons left to learn. And I sure as fuck learned them, man.
I learned them when Max Kael tapped me out in my very first HOW match. I learned them when I went one and three in my very first LBI. I learned them when I lost my very first HOFC Championship in less time than it takes some champions to get their nameplates in the mail. And it took me a fucking year of taking beatings and learning lessons, James, but I stand here today as the single winningest champion in the history of HOW. I stand here as a Hall of Famer, in a company where the Hall of Fame isn’t given out lightly. I stand here, and I can take all the abuse in the world about how my “Daddy gave me everything”, because I EARNED the fucking confidence to not let that shit get under my skin. There was an awful lot of bullshit to get through, but there was a champion underneath.
So I see it, James.
Under all your bullshit, I can see who you really are.
Stop. I know you, man. I’ve known you a long time, and right now your little pecker is standing ninety one degrees due north, and you’re preparing some witless comeback. Fight all of that natural douchebag instinct, and really fucking listen to me, because if you don’t listen to everything that I have to say, you will fucking fail out. I offered you a shot at the ICON Championship. I offered you a chance to end the Final Reign and put your name in the record books as the man who stole my greatest achievement away from me. I offered you the holy fucking grail, the thing that would make you a legend in High Octane Wrestling overnight. And what did you do, James?
Quack. Quack. Quack.
I can tell you right now that I won’t be throwing any clotheslines this week, because you might be the most proficient ducker that pro wrestling has ever seen. I offered you a fucking gift. I didn’t have to defend this championship until War Games. I didn’t have to fight you, James. Hell, I practically had to get on my knees and beg Lee Best for this match, and I wasn’t even first in line on the list of people who wanted to punch you in the mouth. I had to arm wrestle Dan Ryan and throw pepper in his face, just to skip his place in line. And it fucking breaks my heart, James, because I’m only gonna say this once.
And pay close attention to this part, because I’m about to do that thing that you guys don’t know how to do. This is called “selling a match”, and it’s why Floyd Maywhether has so much money that no one even cares that he doesn’t know how to read. I’m about to make you look like a star, whether I think you deserve it or not.
You could be one of the best, ever.
I’ve seen you give a fuck before, James, and it was something special to behold. I’ve watched you topple giants, using nothing but your bare hands and sheer force of wanting it. I’ve watched you win championships, on your own, and hold them aloft like that moment meant everything in the world to you. I watched you turn the name “Perfection” into an undeniable fact, instead of an ironic punchline. I’ve seen you give a fuck before… and this ain’t it.
You’re fucking lazy.
You’re entitled. A shitty little ghost of yourself, making Twitter graphs and cutting the crusts off Andy Murray’s sandwiches. If I was part of the Fisher Price “My First Shovel” Club, I would tell you that this match is a stat padder. That it’s a freebie. But it’s not, James. I offered you this match because I wanna see you be the fucking best you’ve ever been, and I think I can get that from you. I think I can get you to dust the cobwebs off of your “give a fuck” and stop being the Ghost of Perfection Past. I think I can make you stop coasting on Andy Murray’s name, and make one for yourself in HOW.
I think you can give me the fight of my life.
I want the Perfection who lived up to his name. I want the Perfection who wasn’t content with sitting on the bench and watching his friends make headlines. I want the Perfection who would have challenged me to a match the second I said “Pop goes Perfection” on live television, instead of hiding behind a Twitter account and bragging about how many chicks he fucks. And I know that somewhere, deep down inside of you, that pride and that drive and that fucking will to win is hiding. Waiting. Desperate to come out and break my fucking jaw, because that Rob Schneider line was fire.
I don’t want to fight James Witherhold, because he’s a coward.
I want to fight Perfection.
Do I mean that? Who knows. Maybe I’m just doing my job. Maybe I’m just selling the match, because there are still some tickets left for Refueled. Maybe I’m setting a trap, and making myself look just beatable enough to keep things exciting. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m one of the only real friends you’ve ever had in this business, and it makes me fucking sad to watch you go tits up while your “buddies” cheer you on backstage.
In the end, does it matter?
I’m standing in front of you with two pills, and you can take the blue one if you want. You can come down to that ring on Saturday night with a smirk on your face like a sheep in Wolf’s clothing, take your beating, and then make your excuses. You can get cute and make a bunch of inside references to places in Chicago, but all it’s going to mean is that you know the names of the streets on the way to the fucking hospital. Or, just this once, you can reach down deep and find that thing inside of you that wants to be a wrestler. That doesn’t make excuses about “not having time for titles”. That doesn’t duck challenges and take pride in doing fucking rest holds.
Right now, it’s Schroedinger’s Perfection.
You’re the only human being on the planet who knows whether or not you’re still that good. You’re the only one who can decide whether you ever want to be that good again. On free television, you have the opportunity to take away the thing in this world that means the most to me. To keep my name out of your mouth, shut me up, and force me to admit that I was wrong. To show that you’re more than just a follower.
But you’re gonna fucking earn it.
You can call me a coward, and a loser, and cut a million little burial promos with your friends, but on Saturday night, all that’s left to do is fight. All that’s left to do is back up all the shit you’ve talked since you walked into this company, and no number of dim-witted “zingers” is going to get the job done. I have not been pinned, submitted, or knocked out in a High Octane ring since 2016, so I can PROMISE you that if you don’t get your shit together, you’re going to have a bad time. If you shamble out to the ring with visions of mansions and sandwich crusts in your mind’s eye, I’m going to bash your skull in and knock you out on live television.
If you give me anything less than your absolute, knock down, drag out best, then I am going to beat you fucking senseless and embarass you in front of God and your fucking family. In front of the world, Perfection, because you know they’re going to be watching. Because I’m good at my job. Because I am the single greatest ICON Champion in the history of High Octane Wrestling, and this is one championship that Andy Murray isn’t going to be able to win for you.
Now go ahead, smoke a cigar and tell me I’m wrong, dickhead.
Really sell it to me.