Pressing RESET

Pressing RESET

Posted on June 23, 2023 at 11:34 pm by Darin Zion

The backstage area at Coliseo Gen buzzes with excitement as HOW scramble around, busily preparing for Chaos 033.  The atmosphere is electrifying; vibrant lighting adds to the energetic ambiance for this great show.  As show time approaches, the workers scurry around, putting the final touches in place.  Amidst all the preparations, one worker sits resting on a nearby bench, icing his nether regions, temporarily sidelined from in-ring action.


With a brooding expression etched on his face, he clenches down on his teeth, reflecting on his poor-performance at War Games.  His forehead veins bulge prominently while vividly recalling the intense ball-busting inflicted upon him by the Final Alliance.  It’s a painful experience of getting relentlessly targeted by Lee Best’s henchmen.

As the somber Zion’s face sinks, Blaire Moise strides down the corridor in a sultry #97RED dress.  She exudes an air of confidence; she readies herself for her first interview of the night.  She casts a derisive gaze downward at Zion, mocking the former ICON Champion with her expression.  Flipping her hair, she delivers a clever retort to the injured superstar.

Blaire Moise:  HEHEHEHE!  Guess The Final Alliance busted your balls so much it finally knocked some sense into that head of yours.

Zion rolls his eyes back, a gesture of his exasperation, as he gradually gets back to his feet.  Zion’s face winces while he strides directly into Blaire’s personal space, undeterred.  He wags his finger at Blaire, poised to lecture her on his accomplishments while disdainfully scoffing at her.

Darin Zion:  Cute!  Somebody clearly didn’t do their homework this week…if you would take the time to read the results page; I won my THIRD War Games match…

Tuning Zion out, Blaire lets out an audible groan; her eyes roll back into her head.  She crosses her arms tightly against her chest, impatiently tapping her toes, waiting for Zion to finish his tirade.

Darin Zion:  I single-handedly conquered Boardwalk Wrestling in my War Games debut.  I helped carry Ray McAvay to the World Title.  Now STRONK GODSON can sing my praises as I helped deliver the HOW World Championship to his 307-pound ass.  I provided the assist to help Team Solex win.  Fuck that ungrateful dipshit.  I helped give them ultimately bragging rights…

Blaire’s hand assumes a puppet-like motion, imitating Zion and mocking his efforts.

Blaire Moise:  BLAH!  BLAH!  BLAH!  It’s the same shit with you every time Zion.  Everyone’s grown tired of hearing the same sob story every time.  You keep touting your participation trophies hoping Lee will hand you another title shot.  Yet you always seem to ignore all your problems.  You’ve got 8 matches left…

Darin Zion:  9….

Blaire Moise:  Check the run sheet next week.  Lee might have a surprise for you.

Darin Zion:  OH LOVELY!  Maybe he’ll have Mike Best teaming with me next…maybe I’ll get lucky and receive an icepick lobotomy for all my efforts over the decade for the MACHINE.

Blaire casually rests the palm of her hand against her forehead, growing weary of hearing Zion’s public meltdown.  Blaire’s delicate hands rests on Zion’s shoulder before she inhales deeply.

Blaire Moise:  Look, a piece of advice Zion; look at your placement on the card the last two weeks.  Time is running out.  Don’t keep biting the hand that’s feeding you.  Trying to hold Lee Best hostage won’t do you any favors in the long run.  He sees everything; he knows how you feel.

Zion’s eyes widen, rendered speechless by Blaire’s unexpected words.  Zion’s eyes transfix on Blaire, cautiously stepping out of Blaire’s path.

Darin Zion:  I…I…I….

Blaire Moise:  Speechless?  That’s a first.  Never seen the stubborn, bullheaded Zion at a loss for words in all my years of working with you.

Darin Zion:  I’m shocked by the fact you know nothing about me at all Blaire.  Out of all people; YOU should understand my motivations in returning to HOW.

Blaire Moise:  Does anyone at this point, Zion?  You’re always all over the place.  Maybe instead of paving your pathway with words; maybe you should just let your actions speak.  Sometimes THOSE speak more volume than all the hype you generate for yourself.

Zion shakes his head, abruptly spinning away from Blaire’s presence.   He limps away with an ice pack hanging between his legs towards the Chaos 034 run sheet.  His eyes bulge in disbelieve, discovering he’s booked to team up with Conor Fuse.

Darin Zion:  Oh great!  MOOOOOORE PROBLEMS! Just what I need right now…


It’s funny how life starts coming into perspective after heartbreaking loss.  I’ll be the first one to admit that after all these years: I haven’t stepped between those ropes once for my benefit.  I’ve always done it to stick to someone else.  At first, I did it to show my parents I wasn’t some fuck up who ruined their pathetic marriage.  I entered professional wrestling for all the glory to show them their baby boy earned fame and fortune without THEIR name.

Over time, it evolved into some sick fetish to stick it to Lee Best and any iteration of his Alliances.  I wanted to rub their noses in the shit they’ve dragged me through because I was a self-made man without any of their fucking help over the course of my nearly two-decade long career. I wanted some sick, twisted version of revenge for all that unwarranted ball busting I’ve gotten after committing myself to the cause over the past decade.

At first, it worked; I came over from the wretched penguin wrestling federation and chalked up 7 accolades in the span of my first two years.

I was becoming a rising star.


Now during the span of nearly 5 years after my return; I’m wondering directionless amongst a pack of legends for the third time.  And honestly it scares me half to death.

You think I’m counting down the days until December because I’m trying to escape the machine.  Maybe you’re doubting my commitment to the MACHINE—I honestly don’t blame you. I’d doubt me too after looking at my win-loss record over this era.  You’d think I’d want to string Lee Best up and get some sort of revenge.  Maybe you think I wanna hold the poor man hostage.

That’s not me at all.

No, I’m fearful of losing out of one of the greatest opportunities given to me.

I’ll be the first one to admit when I debut on the November 11th, 2014 edition of Monday Night Mayhem—I didn’t think I would last long in HOW.  But honestly, that night was the best thing that ever happened to me personally.  I started out on a handshake part-time deal.  I didn’t want to wrestle every week because truthfully; I didn’t think I could cut it with the talent running around the locker room at the time. I didn’t think Lee Best and I could ever co-exist.

And then I saw the passion and love put in not only by Lee Best, but all performers.  The air felt differently here than PWX.  It felt like everyone wanted to put their best foot forward.  All competitors were driven by their love of this business.  No one ever coasted around these parts.  HOW lifted the giant burden off my shoulders in carrying a small Indiana Independent company on my back.

It was the first time I felt like I could be me without offending everyone.  It felt like the home I never had.

And I’ve had that home stripped from me TWICE this era.  Both times I meandered directionless in the lower mid-card when it happened.

After losing out on the LSD and HOW World Heavyweight Championships—I feel directionless.  That’s when my red flags go up and I seize up in terror.  That’s when the daunting December deadline keeps creeping up on me, sending me into the depths of despair.  Twice I’ve heard Lee send me packing because I didn’t put my best foot forward and perform to the best of my abilities and it feels like the walls are closing in on me again. 

It’s when I feel like everything I worked hard to earn will explode straight in my face, leaving me burned.  It’s difficult to admit this:

But I’m starting at square one, lost in the shuffle.  I’m not the best word smith with promos; hell, I certainly can’t trash talk my way outta a dumpster.  I’m certainly up there aging after all the stupid risks I took in the indies. My in-ring skills aren’t what they used to be.  But it scares me honestly to be in this position right now because I’m always in my head overanalyzing shit.  I’m constantly looking over my shoulder waiting for the shoe to drop, waiting to get fired, rather I say stupid shit in the Discord or wrestling off my game.  I always fear I’m not going to do this company the great service it has done for me for the years.

And maybe this disjointed admission is the first step in this process of resetting back to square one.

But I can’t let these things hold me back any more.  I can’t stand like some nerd paralyzed by fear letting life pass me up.  I don’t have many years left in my tank as a performer and have a lot left to accomplish.  I want to hold the HOW World Champion at least one time.  I want to win War Games once.  I want to hold every championship this company has to offer and be the best representative I possibly can be.


That’s all I got right now; my big damn heart to give to this company.  You may not think it’s enough, but damnit, I’ll show you wrong when I step into that ring.

This week, I’m taking that leap of faith in this Fatal Fourway Tag Team Match.  Sure, Conor and I might not be on the same page.  But honestly, it’s a step in the right direction.  Conor’s been the only one that’s allowed me to feel free.  Conor’s the one guy who’s had my back through thick and thin.   Sure, I shot my shot and tried to steal his mantle.  But honestly, who wouldn’t want to try and dethrone a future Hall of Famer and become THE face of this place.

Conor may be wrapped up in his feud with Mike Best.  Honestly don’t blame the guy for not making this his PRIME focus.  But this is my chance to let all these burdens off my back and soar back to where I belong.  It’s a great chance to RESET expectations.

This is my chance to start fresh and while it feels daunting—honestly, it’s a liberating feeling.

It’s time to release the past and start fresh.  It’s time for me to stop looking over my shoulder and just being me again.  Rather you like it or not, it’s really none of your fuckin’ business.

It’s time for me to LOVE MYSELF over LOVING EVERYONE ELSE.



THE PRETTY PINK EXPRESS® is positioned in the middle of the parking lot of Coliseo Gran Chimu in Peru.  The vibrant hues of the sunset sky paint the horizon, giving it a captivating ambiance.  The tin halls of the bus reverberate with the nostalgic 8-bit sounds of the Super Mario Bros NES video game, transporting everyone back to the era of classic gaming.  REAL LOVE hammers away on his NES controller, jumping on the heads of turtles.  He’s lounging on a pink, fluffy bean bag with a smile on his face.

Suddenly, a loud, ear-piercing screech echoes through the bus.


Darin Zion:  I’m teaming with Conor Fuse this week at Chaos…

Vickie Hall:  That STUPID TWAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT IN H-O-W!  EWWWWWWWW!!!!  Don’t say his name around me!

Darin Zion:  Look, Vickie, we’ve been through this before…he was my first friend in HOW.

Vickie Hall:  BUUUUUUT WHHHHHHHY?!  Conor Fuse is some gamer NEEEERRD that can’t win a freakin’ War Games to save his life.  My dearest Jonathan-Christopher’s been a better tag team partner than  COOOOOONNNNEEEEEERD!  My Bae hasn’t deserted you since taking you under his precious guidance.

Zion rolls his eyes, effortlessly tuning out Vickie Hall’s drama as if she was mere background noise.  With resolute determination, Zion keeps smashing Koopa Troopas like a boss, delving further into the realm of the Mushroom Kingdom.  Zion sees this journey into retro gaming as a way to reconnect and gain a deeper understanding of Conor Fuse.  Their paths have diverged for the years and a half, and now Zion’s hoping to bridge that gap.

In the background, Jonathan-Christopher Hall reaches the PRETTY PINK® fridge, retrieving a chilled Fruitopia and tossing it to his wife, hoping that the refreshing beverage will help soothe her unrelenting anger.  But to no avail, Vickie charges towards Zion, position herself directly in REAL LOVE’S® line of sight, hoping to catch his attention.  Zion bobs back and forth in an attempt to evade Vickie, but she hurls herself over the TV, wrapping her entire body over the screen.  Zion sighs, placing the controller down.

Vickie Hall:  Do you know how HARD I’m trying to petition get you and my sweet hubby a shot at the PWA Co-World Championships at PWA-03?!  YOU BOTH COULD BE WORLD CHAMPIONS?!  But noooooooooo!  Here you go chasing after your ex like some pathetic, love-struck puppy.

Darin Zion:  Vickie….

Her eyes blaze with fiery determination as her PRETTY PINK claws poise, eagerly ready to sink into Zion’s shoulders, ready to leave their mark.   Zion pulls her close, enveloping her in a warm, friendly and affectionate embrace, trying to ease the tension between them.

Darin Zion:  I’m contractually obligated to do what Lee asks.  Currently, I’m not in the position to negotiate.

Vickie Hall:  You could pull what you did with Brian Hollywood?

Darin Zion:  And try to walk out?  I’m above that shit.  I’m not stooping down to that level again with Lee.  HOW’s my true family.

Vickie Hall:  And your PRIME FAMILY?!  The one’s who’ve had your back since you returned to HOW?  You’re just going to desert us like you did at PWA-02 when you and Fuse fought off them off.  You’d push them off to the side like some worthless NPC’s like CONNNNNERRRRRRD will do to you?!

Darin Zion:  Look, you know I love everyone equally and I’m not about to engage in some bullshit backstage politics between both promotions.  I got bigger things to worry about when I step into the ring with 5 world champions and the Final Alliance vying for opportunities.  That’d be the dumbest career decision I could ever make.

Vickie Hall:  The dumbest decision you made was siding with that reject Walter White at PWA-02 when he doesn’t love or respect what you bring to the table.  He doesn’t love you like Jonathan or I do.  All he and the Final Alliance do is take cheap shots at your crown jewels whenever they get the chance, shortening that in-ring career of yours.

Zion takes a step back, his anger intensifying, evident in the steam emanating from his head. He paces furiously up and down the aisle of the bus, consumed by thoughts of what Vickie said, his mind filled with a storm of emotions.

Vickie Hall:  You know it’s damn true because you give 110% to his MACHINE and it spits on you every chance it gets. He uses and abuses you…

Darin Zion:  Just stop, Vickie.  If you don’t understand I gotta do this for me; maybe Conor’s right…maybe I’ve lost my damn way in this…

Tears begin to well up in Zion’s eyes, their intensity mirroring his sweltering emotions in him, as he hastily storms off the bus.  JCH swiftly charges right after him, catching up to his bestie in his pursuit.  Jonathan compassionately wraps his arm around Zion’s shoulders, pulling him in closer for an earnest conversation.

Jonathan-Christopher Hall:  Pay no attention to my love; she’s emotional because she cares about your best interests.  She’s blinded by the love we both share for you, buddy.

Zion clenches his fist by his side, patiently gathering his thoughts before speaking.  He wants to hear out what wisdom the Vow of Virtue wants to share with him.

Jonathan-Christopher Hall:  I get it; sometimes you gotta do things you don’t enjoy doing…

Darin Zion:  But that’s just it; all this time I wanted to team with Conor Fuse in HOW.

Jonathan-Christopher Hall:  Wait WHAT?!

Zion releases an exasperated sigh, his hand scratching his forehead, as he waits for the opportune moment to respond to his bestie.

Darin Zion:  WAAAANTED to a year ago….

Jonathan-Christopher gazes up at the sky, a palpable sense of relief beautifully etched on his glorious face.

Darin Zion:  I dreamt of getting tutored by the greatest champion of the modern HOW era.  But I let that dream go once Conor went chasing after waterfalls.  You and Vickie have shown me the light.  You’ve given me a reinvigorated purpose.  Teaming with Conor means nothing compared to teaming with you, TCG, and Vickie.  You ALWAYS have my back.

Jonathan-Christopher Hall:  We get you even if we don’t share your passion for H-O-W.  We know it’s something you’ve gotta keep chasing, even if you’re starting back at square one again.  If I’m being truthful—you’ve got a huuuuuuuuuge platform to show the message of our undying love for the WOOOOOOOORLD.

Darin Zion:  Damn right!  It’s honestly the message HOW needs to hear right now.  But I can’t share that message off on the sidelines.  I gotta wrestle with people that don’t see eye to eye with our vision. Sure, you and Vickie acted cordial.  I get you may not like the guy.  But I can’t leave someone high and dry when they need me to have their back.

Jonathan-Christopher Hall:  I wouldn’t ask you to do that; it’s not LOOOOOOVING.  Do what you gotta do, but remember; put the CONVOY first.  Don’t make us look like fools out there.

Darin Zion:  You know I’ll do you proud.

From behind him, Jonathan-Christopher Hall retrieves an NES controller that bears the scars of barbed wire damage, holding it with a mix of nostalgia from War Games past.  He smiles at his BFF.

Jonathan-Christopher Hall:  Mind if I join you in your match prep?  Figured we can blow off some steam after Vickie goes to sleep.   Gotta make sure you’re ready PLAYER ONE.

Zion rolls his eyes at JCH’s corny joke.  Both men walk with their arms around each other, their bond now evident as the scene fades.


The echoing steps reverberate through the halls of Coliseo Gran Chimu as we draw closer to a door marked with the name “CONOR FUSE.”  Darin Zion emerges into focus, adorned in his LOVE CONVOY attire, holding a note in his hand. With a roll of tape, he securely attaches the note to the door. Zion then knocks twice, taking a step back from his message. In a brief glimpse, we catch a glimpse of the note’s contents.


I hope this finds you. I pressed start to join the game.  I forgive you for leaving me behind; if I’m being honest; I was a dead weight to your cause all these War Games.  Sure, you might remember all the fun times we had over two separate War Games…but we both knew you were the one destined for greatness.  At the time, I hadn’t quite found out exactly who I was.

But now I know myself better…

I’m the wrestler with a ton of love deep in my heart.  You might not agree with that stance and I don’t expect you to fully grasp it.  If I’m being honest, I still haven’t fully grasped it yet either.  But it’s who I’ve become.  You might think others are taking advantage of a weak, vulnerable, broken hero—but I can assure you it’s not the case.

They’re the ones responsible for my recent renaissance.    They carried me to the January Wrestler of the Month spot.  They helped guide me to find some shreds of self-confidence I had hidden within my heart.  It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on our friendship.  It means we both have grown in different directions, chasing different paths.

I’ll admit, I’m still a bit nostalgic when I got the news we’d be teaming.  I’d only lobbied 97 million times over the past two years.  But now, you’ve gotta focus on Mike Best and I’ve gotta focus on climbing back to the top of the mountain, forging my own path forward.  I can’t expect you to do the work to get me over like I did in the past.  You taught me its best to rally behind yourself to improve your !rank.  I took those lessons into my HOW return with the Convoy, becoming the truest form of who I am.

I’ve got to put Convoy business first.  But when I step into that ring and team with you this week; it’s HOW business first.   After losing War Games, I understand why you felt lost.  I kinda feel lost myself right now.  I’m standing amongst the 7 best wrestlers in HOW today.  I feel like a fish out of water right now.

But we can’t get caught up in the past.  Look what happens when you do—you turn into Scott Stevens.  And both of us while we respect the kid’s moxie don’t want to turn into Scott Stevens.  We want to etch our names into the HOW Top Scoreboard, just like the arcade nerds we are.  People change for the better.  You’ve got to assume positive intent…that’s REAL LOVE.

Don’t worry about me aligning with you.   I’ve always got your back, just like you had mine.

We both want what’s best for HOW right now.  We both see what Lee Best has done to the place right now.   If you’ve seen American Reunion (the final TRUE American Pie Sequel)—you’ll understand Lee Best has become Steven Stiffler.  He’s that popular jock who can’t let his high school success go.  Honestly, look around at who he keeps hiring!  He keeps bringing back his jock best friends in their beaten-up old letter jackets.  He celebrates beating up nerds like it’s 1997 or some shit like that.

We gotta put aside what differences we may have for the greater good. Think of us like Mario and the Rabbids.  Maybe Sonic and Shadow…I honestly don’t understand all the video games references and hope this connects.

Anyways, we both gotta squash dem Koopa Troopas and save the princess we call HOW.  I think we can honestly do it together.  Suuuuuure, the odds are against us…well me…buuuut look at our field:

  • Two Meatheads who have their heads shoved so far up Lee Best’s ass they’ve become the Human Centipedes
  • A sex-addicted Jace Parker Davidson who probably won’t stop trying to hit on Nettie Carey
  • A failed Taco Salesman and his comatose buddy ran by an RC Car controller

I think the odds are in our favor….if we can rekindle our chemistry.

I’m willing to let bygones be bygones so we can pick up the win and gain back our momentum.  I know I’m sorry about digging at you bro.  But honestly, you of all people know I wanted my chance to shine.  Maybe if you have some time, we can grab some mimosas—sans the alcohol and forge a battle strategy.  It’d be pretty cool if we could level up and take out the 317 pound STRONK after he won his first World Championship.Would be quite the news trending the net. 

LET’S FUCKIN’ GO OUT IN PERU and kick some major ass.  It’s The Super Gamer Bros against the World….or maybe Conor Fuse vs the World with the help of his loveable side kick.  I’ll let you decide how we want to rip off Scott Pilgrim.  After this, kick Mike Best’s ass extra for me.

I love you always buddy, even if life has taken us down different paths.


REAL LOVE® Darin Zion