Praying To GOD

Praying To GOD

Posted on December 6, 2023 at 6:50 pm by Mike Best

Being the World Champion used to be a big deal. 

I’m gonna be pretty candid here. I know that sounds strange, considering I’ve been speaking my mind pretty openly the last few weeks as it is, but this is different. This isn’t just venting. This isn’t just annoyance. This is something really important to me, and I think something that really needs to be talked about. It isn’t going to be popular. Lee Best is going to really hate it a lot, and the legions of Yes Men that he loves to have on his “trust me” list are going to come for my head, but fuck it. We need to talk about it. 

HOW is fucking dead, man. 

It’s over. We had a good run. I can’t speak to the years before I came to HOW, outside of knowing that this company has been operating in some capacity for literally over 20 years. That’s a fucking lifetime in this industry. We have the largest and most legit Hall of Fame in wrestling history. We have enough fond memories to occupy literally years of weekly radio. We’ve had some of the best matches, champions, feuds, and wrestlers ever. But when we talk about those days, the truth is that it’s time to start using the past tense. 

HOW was the best wrestling company. 

For a really, really long time. 

I remember the first time I captured the HOW World Championship. It’s a memory that occupies so many of my senses— I remember the smell in the ring that night. The sound of the crowd. The feeling of the belt between my fingers, as I climbed the ladder. The taste of blood in my mouth. But more than anything, I remember how much it meant. How many absurdly talented wrestlers I had to scrape and claw through to put that belt around my waist. How proud I felt of what I’d accomplished. The belt fucking meant something. Any given week, you might defend your title against a fucking killer, and titles changed hands regularly on weekly shows. You never felt safe. You never felt secure. You never felt like “just another guy on the roster”. You were something special. 

You were the champion. 

Nothing was safe. It didn’t matter what you had lined up for the next pay-per-view, you were gonna fight David Black or Rhys Townsend next week, and maybe fuck up a whole main event by losing your title. Happened to me more than once. Every single day of your title reign meant something. And the longer it went, the more legendary you became. Shit, Aceldama was an absolute cunt and made his Hall of Fame argument purely based on the sheer dominance he held for one year in HOW. You said it yourself, just a couple of years ago… we were live on the radio, and you told me that the records this era didn’t mean shit compared to the old days. That title defenses were few and far between. That the level of talent wasn’t the same. That 90 days in the Machine Era was worth more than a year in the Refueled Era, and you were right. Those days were a different animal, man, and it was the absolute apex prime of High Octane Wrestling. They were stealing OUR talent. OUR artwork. OUR gimmicks. We were number one, not “by definition”, but by fucking EXAMPLE. 

But fuck man, those days are over. 

Rhys Townsend and I passed the HOW World Title back and forth in main events for like two years. I used to get palpable anxiety waiting for the card to pop up every week. He’d whip my ass on Mayhem or Turmoil, and then I’d take my title back at the pay-per-view. And what are we looking at this week? 

I’m facing Zion and Stevens. 

Again. 

I don’t know if you honestly expect me to cut a scathing promo against the dipshit and the moron for the ninety seventh time this era, but you’re out of luck. Nothing left to say about them. Seriously. That’s kind of the point, right? The whole point in booking this match was that I’ve complained about facing them hundreds of times over the last couple of years, and the best way you could retaliate was to do it again. I get that. But I’m not cutting the promo this time. They’re bad, I’m good. They’re stupid, I’m smart. They’re… ugly, and I’m handsome? I don’t fucking know, man. It’s bad TV, it’s bad booking, and it makes you look like a fucking moron. A mark for yourself. Not that that’s anything new. 

Look, Lee, I get it. 

You’re trying to annoy me. 

To be annoying. That’s the whole schtick. You brought back a legion of guys who have beaten me, to annoy me. You made Sektor the referee in an absurdly one sided tag match to annoy me. You booked this title defense this week to annoy me. But I guess that’s the difference between you and I, isn’t it? You’re annoying me for the sake of annoying me. I’m annoying you because I’m reminding you that all empires eventually fall, and the only child you love more than me is in its final days. You didn’t just book me against the LeeVPs to irritate me, Dad, you did it because you really don’t have anyone else. You like your safe defenses now. You have to protect your main events, because you have so few stars who can step in and step up. You didn’t just make this match to annoy me, Lee. 

You booked it because you need me to win. 

Because I’m your biggest star. 

Dan Ryan is a huge star, but you’re getting his gravy run. He’s already a made man. His best days are behind him and that’s by design— the man was retired when he came to work here, and you’ll never make him a bigger star than he already was. Don’t get me wrong, Dan is a killer, but no one… including Dan… expects 2005 Dan Ryan to appear at ICONIC. He’s Michael Jordan, and prime Jordan vs prime LeBron might be something to see… but there’s no doubt who wins if they play 1 on 1 in December of 2023. Dan will read this, and he won’t even see any shade in it– the man was already a legend, and he’s here for the love of the game. He’ll never be in your Hall of Fame, and it’s not because he isn’t talented enough… it’s because he was already a Hall of Famer when he got here. 

And then there’s Jatt. 

Jatt hasn’t had a real shot at winning the HOW World Championship since before I joined HOW, Lee. You know it. I know it. Jatt knows it. He’s a great guy to have around and he’s a lot of fun and the crowd loves to hear him put his own name into unrelated words, but he’s not a draw, he’s an attraction. This main event at ICONIC is a final gift to him. But exactly zero people are buying a ticket to ICONIC because they think “this might be Jatt’s year”. Nah, you need me, Lee. You need me so fucking desperately, because I am one of the last true relics of a time that HOW was the top of the food chain.

This match at CHAOS isn’t annoying, Lee. 

It’s desperate. 

Imagine I did the unthinkable. Imagine if I just laid down, Lee. Imagine if I Lee those two sentient pussy farts fight over who got to become the HOW World Champion, and I just walked away for real. Put on my sweatpants permanently, and stopped answering the phone. How long does the machine keep rolling? How many people tune in to see Darin Zion defend his belt at ICONIC? Come on, Lee… you know I’m gonna win this match. That’s why you booked it. Because if you wanted to punish me, I’d be defending against Townsend. Or Sektor, who fucked me over last week. Or Solex. Literally anyone you know has a single chance in hell of taking away the thing that means the most to me in the world. 

Nah, you’d rather just keep devaluing your own belt. 

You got mad at Conor for destroying your title. You got mad at me for throwing it into a river. But neither of us have done the amount of damage to the HOW World Championship that you have, Lee. Your constant meddling, your inherent need to have a red jacket holding the belt, your incessant need to be the star of your own show. You’ve made this entire ICONIC build about you and I, instead of what’s supposed to matter. And I’m starting to think that I’m the only motherfucker left who remembers what this belt is supposed to mean. 

What it used to mean. 

So yeah, man. I’ll beat up your lackeys, I guess. We’ll see how many people change the channel after my entrance. We have literally zero engagement with the shows anymore anyway, so who cares? “Oh, X did a promo backstage on the show, can’t wait to hear the zero feedback on it from our viewing audience”. Rinse and repeat, for every show. People used to give a shit. And for a long time, I blamed them for not giving a shit. But fuck, even I hardly give a fuck about the parts of our shoes that I’m not on— everything feels generic. Uninspired. Stuck in a time loop. You’ve got me in a company with Shane Reynolds, John Sektor, and Rhys Townsend in FUCKING 2023, and you’re… what, saving those matches for a rainy day? 

You lazy, pedantic fuck. 

And sure, those are all reruns too, but at least they’re nostalgic. We get what, two or three new wrestlers a year? From a company that used to have a waiting list? This whole company feels like it’s sitting on life support, and everyone is looking around, afraid to be the one to say that it’s time to pull the plug. Well, I’m not afraid anymore, Lee, and I’ll be the one to say it:

It’s fucking time. 

It’s dead. It’s over. Even our core audience doesn’t give a shit anymore, and this episode of Lee Best’s playground has run its course. Shut it all down and maybe in a few years, everyone will get nostalgic again and give a fuck, but we’ve been slowly losing air since 2019 and this company is a goddamned ghost just roaming its own halls and shaking its chains. Don’t like what I’m saying? You can throw another tantrum and bring back five guys no one remembers for a one off beat down that kills all the heat on your World Champion. Or, you know, you could WAKE THE FUCK UP and make something happen. Anything. Something new. Something fresh. Something worth giving a fuck about. 

Here, I’ll get you started. 

The Best Ladder Match. 

I’ll tear through your little junior janitors this week just like you planned for me too, but when I win, that’s what I fucking want. The Best Ladder Match. We both know this might be our last ICONIC, so let’s do it right: Six men, one ring, in the same match where I won my first ever HOW World Championship. Get the rest of your company involved. Make them give a fuck, Lee. We have a couple of weeks left before ICONIC, which means we have more than enough time for these three matches: 

Rhys Townsend vs. Steve Solex 

John Sektor vs Jace Parker Davidson 

Shane Reynolds vs Evan Ward 

Three elimination matches to determine the final three spots. Make them qualify. Make them wrestle for a spot in the biggest ICONIC main event since 2010. Give them an opportunity to shine. Give ME an opportunity to make this title worth a fuck again. You constantly talk about what your credit rating with me is, you constantly ask me to trust you, so put a little fucking faith in me and let me tap into that credit. Don’t tell me it’s stupid, cause it’s not. Don’t tell me it’ll ruin the PPV, because fuck the PPV— it doesn’t feel like an ICONIC and you know it. When I was putting those names into the brackets above, I literally couldn’t even contemplate whether it would fuck the rest of the card up… I have no idea what else is booked. What else is being built to. What the fuck else is even going on

Do it. 

Do it, Lee. 

FUCKING DO IT. 

I am literally asking you for the hardest possible title defense, because I actually care about what is best for this company. You want proof? You want me to back it up? 

Fine. 

Let’s fucking go. 

Give me the Best Ladder match at ICONIC, and after I wipe the floor with your fucking scrubs this week. I’ll give you your birthday present. The only gift you can give the man who has everything. The only thing you want from me this year. 

Give me the Best Ladder match…

…and I’ll join the Final Alliance