Put the children to bed

Put the children to bed

Posted on December 8, 2023 at 10:18 pm by Jace Parker Davidson

City Creek Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thursday, December 7th, 2023

The Go Home show for HOW’s December PPV ICONIC will go live here in Utah, of all the places in the world. It isn’t the most attractive place in the world to hold an event, however, seeing as Chaos would go down here on Monday night differently meant that it would be the top trending event that Salt Lake City has seen in a good long while. Gone are the days of Karl Malone and John Stockton giving Utah some kind of pulse on the basketball court. The only reason to come to Utah was for religion or you know… the whole marrying more than one wife thing.

I decided that I would walk about the City Creek Center here in downtown Salt Lake City. It’s an open-air shopping center with various shops and restaurants packed into it. There’s a fountain to look at and a pond where people can come bring their kids to feed the fish. I was bored out of my skull with the entire experience. I managed to arrange for a HOW cameraman to follow me around on this little journey and film what I had to say. I looked around the surroundings before continuing to walk around the area.

“One last Chaos event to ring out 2023 and it happens to be here in Salt Lake City, Utah. Honestly, I could think of better places I’d rather be but this isn’t about sightseeing or a luxury vacation. There is business that needs to be taken care of with this being the last show before ICONIC.”

I paused for a moment as a small smile crept over my lips.

“And if you’re not Mike Best or living under a rock, then you would know that business for me involves another Lee Best classic. The famous random tag team match to soften me up before the last show on my HOW contract. This week Lee has decided to team me with the guy I just beat a few weeks ago… that’s Brian Hollywood for those of you who aren’t keeping score. The two of us are expected to work together to take on Final Alliance members Steve Solex and the HOTv Champion John Sektor.”

My smile soon turned into a sneer as I reached up with a free hand to touch the back of my head where Solex busted me open last week with a steel chair.

“I’ll give you credit, Steve. You got me good last week. You saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. I’m sure you got plenty of pats on the head for a job well done by Lee Best. And now this week you get a shot to finish what you started since of course you and Sektor are teamed together. I, on the other hand, have Brian Hollywood in my corner and we all know that means this is basically another handicap match in back-to-back weeks.”

I exhaled a deep sigh and rolled my eyes.

“And yes, I realize that what I said is insulting to the one person eager to stand in my corner and fight alongside me. It’s just that I’m not going to lie just to spare Brian’s feelings. No amount of smoke that I could blow up his ass is going to change the fact that what I said is true. I know, you both know it and pretty much every wrestler or fan in HOW knows it. Brian should know it better than anyone, but I’m sure he’s going to push that thought to the back of his head and think he’s going to make a difference in this match.”

I bobbed my head side-to-side.

“Which is fine for Brian but like I said it’s Steve and John versus me before ICONIC. I just find it funny that Lee picked Utah for all places to have this event.”

I paused again to look around at all the people moving around and shopping here in the City Creek Center.

“My first thought was that Lee was turning it up to eleven on the whole ‘I’m God’ thing. He would choose this place which is the epicenter of Mormonism, to come and try to convert an entire section of people to drop their beliefs and worship him and him alone. It’s a very Lee Best thing to try and do. Could you imagine visiting the Salt Lake City Tabernacle and listening to a choir of people clad in 97red singing Lee’s entrance music 24/7? Truly, it’s the thing that nightmares are made of but then I realize the real reason that Lee booked Utah for this Go Home show.”

I raised my off-hand into the air to reveal I had been holding something the entire time.

“I was going through one of the shops here and found this buried deep in one of their clearance bins. It’s a Best of UTA DVD which I’m sure features guys like Michael Lee Best, Rhys Townsend, and if memory serves me correctly… you, John Sektor.”

I allowed that to sink in for a few moments before continuing.

“I got quite the judgemental looks from the people working at the shop when I got in line to purchase this bad boy. For those who are confused… UTA was a company that rivaled HOW back around 2015-2016. Rivaled isn’t the right term… more like they raped the HOW roster and some of its talent to make a statement. Disgruntled HOW wrestlers like Michael, John, and Rhys joined their ranks just to stick it to Lee Best. This was the beginning of the dark age of HOW.”

I raised my index finger of my free hand into the air.

“You know that period that a majority of us don’t even acknowledge. The time when supposedly HOW lost all of its star power. I was one of the only people who stayed behind, stayed loyal, and waved the HOW flag proudly. That is until I got bored and tired of facing the likes of Darin Zion, Brian Hollywood, Scott Stevens, and Scottywood week in and week out. I was the HOW World Champion but at that point, it just wasn’t worth it anymore to me. So… I left for greener pastures. It just so happened that the place I went to had been scheduled to compete against the HOW in that year’s War Games event. It’s War Games so of course I dipped my toe back into the water. I walked out of that event as ICON Champion after getting screwed out of a fourth reign as HOW World Champion.”

I tilt my head toward the sky and relish the walk down memory lane.

“I was riding a high of adrenaline until the next card was posted and I came crashing back down to the earth. I was booked to defend that title against Darin Zion. The very reason I left HOW was once again smacking me in my face. The same fucking guys over and over again. So, once again I willingly dropped a title and went my separate way. That period is when Scott Stevens became a HOW World Champion. When Brian Hollywood became the HOW World Champion and held every belt at one point. Guys like Scottywood finally checked winning the HOW World Championship belt off his bucket list. Those guys reveled in their accomplishments. They thought that they had arrived but we all know it wasn’t the same.”

I lowered my head and looked at the camera.

“These titles didn’t mean anything close to what they had before. You guys had run off to UTA or as Lee loves to refer to it as UTAH and I had gone my own way. That really stuck with Lee. It’s a blemish that he will never wash away. I was there, and I saw how much your deflection to the competition bothered him. So, this show here in Salt Lake City? It’s a message being sent from Father to Son. It’s also a reminder to guys like you, John.”

I take the UTA DVD and toss it into a trash can that I walk by.

“GOD doesn’t forget. He might forgive when it benefits him. He might welcome you back when he’s in desperation mode. But he never truly forgets. Each one of us in this match played a part in that whole sad situation. Steve… his good little soldier was nowhere to be found. John… you left him high and dry to go cosplay ‘The Machine’ in UTA with Michael because it was somehow really funny to mock the place that made you who you are today. Brian… you were the one responsible for carrying the torch moving forward in HOW at the time but with you at the top of the card HOW ultimately closed its doors and shut down.”

I stopped walking and turned toward the camera. I looked around at all the people bicycling past on the streets here in the City Creek Center.

“Then there’s yours truly. The guy that stayed and bled 97red until I got tired of bleeding 97red. The guy who has declared that not only would he not re-sign with HOW in 2024 but has made it my mission to get revenge on Lee Best for the things he’s done. The final Chaos of 2023 here in UTAH seems like the perfect place to put a bow on this disaster of a Christmas present.”

I placed my hands into the pockets of my coat.

“See you Monday night, gentlemen.”

I turned on my heels and walked away as the scene faded.

—–

John Boy…

The GOLD Standard.

Looks like our paths will cross one last time before my HOW career is over. As you can see… everything around us is pretty much on fire. The man that you claim to follow is talking about blazes of glory and the ship sinking every week. The Final Alliance is a clusterfuck that even I can’t make sense of at the moment.

The old man is losing the firm grip of control he’s had over this place since day one.

But here we are, right?

You the returning Hall of Famer that has been on a tear since you came back for the… shit, I need a calculator to figure out what number of John Sektor returns that we’re on now. Either way, you’re back again, and not only are you back but you’re the current HOTv Champion.

There is a funny fact about that title that you may or may not know about.

That belt you hold? It was first won by your tag team partner this week, Steve Solex. He was beaten for that title belt by yours truly. I was the second ever HOTv Champion and I took that belt to heights that it had never seen before.

Originally that belt was a gift from Lee Best to the bottom-tier competitors to fight over to keep them engaged and happy. But then I won the belt and I went on a fucking tear with it. Lee lined up roster member after roster member to challenge me for that title weekly and none of them could take it from me.

I went on such a rampage with that title that it went from being a belt for the less talented member of HOW to a beat that the top guys in the company wanted to get their hands on. Eventually, the weekly defenses caught up to me and I got beaten by a guy that wasn’t here on the roster long enough to make his locker room smell like him. He immediately lost the belt in his first defense but the prestige I put into that title stuck.

Guys like Clay Byrd, Steve Solex, STRONK, GREAT SCOTT, and others all won that title and went into tears that rivaled the one that I started with that title. It was a thing of pride to represent the HOTv Network and HOW as a whole.

But now? Doesn’t feel too good, does it?

That title used to be a marathon. A test of strength and endurance both physically and mentally. Every single week a different defense… a different opponent… a new challenge. Now it’s just another belt. You aren’t made to wrestle every single week and defend that belt against a relentless streak of opponents.

There aren’t many people who are falling over themselves to be the next person to challenge you for that belt.

I mean… there is Brian Hollywood but that just solidifies my point.

It’s gotten to the point where you had to request a gauntlet match just to have someone to defend that belt again at the biggest show of the year. And your challengers? People from another company.

Not one single person outside of Brian Hollywood on this roster stood up and said I want a shot at that title at ICONIC!

That’s how things are now, John.

You might hold a Championship belt that used to mean something but you aren’t The GOLD Standard anymore.

You’re a man standing on a soapbox, waving his arms and screaming at the top of his lungs just so he doesn’t get lost in the mix of things. That is because as usual… the main focus is Mike Best. Anytime that Mike Best is an active (I use that word loosely) member of the roster he is the main attraction whether he’s earned it or not.

We all get to see back and watch the family drama unfold. We get to sit there and listen to Mike parrot back all of the things I’ve been saying about Lee Best and HOW as a whole since a few weeks after War Games passed this year like he’s the one that came to that revelation. But alongside that Father and Son squabbling there is me.

The guy who has tossed it all aside and has been moving forward with one thing and one thing only left to accomplish.

The sad thing is…

I don’t think you, Solex, Brian Hollywood, or anyone else on this roster understand the magnitude of what is happening here.

You don’t comprehend what you’re walking blindly into.

See, John… while you sit there and worry about defending a title. While you plot and scheme about how you can impress Lee Best enough for him to trust you to be the guy that carries the flag both in the Alliance and the company. While you daydream what it would mean to be the 3rd guy ever to reach five reigns as HOW World Champion.

I’m making moves to end it all.

Not just the Final Alliance. Not just someone’s title reign. ALL OF IT!

I’m planning on killing the one thing that the so-called machine cannot live without.

There is no Final Alliance without a leader.

There is no HOW without it’s GOD.

John… you’re going around looking for how you can fix things. How you can raise your standings in the ranks of HOW and with Lee Best. You’re plotting out courses to a future shot at the HOW World Championship belt.

None of that will exist if I accomplish what I set out to do, John.

There will be no John Sektor as the top wrestler in the Final Alliance. There will be no John Sektor vs. Mike Best match to main event a PPV for the HOW World Championship belt.

Things are beyond repair, John.

The only merciful thing is to put it down… once and for all.

Open your eyes, man. Look around… Lee isn’t worried about where you rank or how you’re going to defeat a bunch of people from another company to retain the HOTv Championship belt. You and Solex are just human roadblocks to protect him from me.

This is why Scott Stevens and Darin Zion are wearing knock-off Final Alliance jackets. This is why the main event of this show will be Mike Best defending the HOW World Championship belt against Scott Stevens and Darin Zion.

Think about that, John.

I beat both of those guys single-handedly last week and yet this week they have a shot to become the HOW World Champion?!

Not you, Steve Solex, or any other current or future Alliance member.

SCOTT STEVENS

&

DARIN ZION

That cannot sit well with you no matter how much you pretend that it does. It’s a slap in the face to you, and to anyone else that has been loyal to the Final Alliance since this whole Letter Jacket thing became a thing.

Lee Best would rather see Scott Stevens or Darin Zion hold the most prestigious belt in this company over you or anyone else here.

That’s how laser-focused Lee is on Mike.

That’s how fucking desperate he is to keep me from ending all of this.

The real talent is tasked with taking me out. Not becoming someone to hold the belt we’ve all dog-piled over and literally killed ourselves to hold.

The threat is REAL.

Steve Solex will charge in head-first without a second of doubt in his mind just because it’s what Lee wants. You on the other hand… I think you’re a bit smarter than that, John. You value yourself and your well-being more than someone like Steve Solex.

I’m not walking down to the ring to trade wristlocks with you.

I’m not looking to give Salt Lake City a tag team classic that they will talk about for years to come.

I’m walking down to that ring to mow through anyone who dares present themselves as an obstacle on my path to Lee Best.

So, tell me, John…

Is it worth it to stand as a shield for the man who would rather put focus on his own son or see Scott Stevens or Darin Zion become HOW World Champion over you?

I guess I’ll find out on Monday night.

—–

The Green Pig Pub
Salt Lake City, Utah
Saturday, December 9th, 2023

As I stated the other day, there are not a lot of things to do while in Utah. That left a lot of time in the day to kill and there is only so much internet and training that a person could take. I found this spot in the city, it was a sports bar that showed various games from different sports and offered live music. Neither of those things interested me. I was just here for the alcohol. It was the only thing that could numb my annoyance level of being stuck in Utah.

I was seated at the bar with a glass full of whiskey sitting in front of me. I looked down at it but my mind was elsewhere at the moment. I was thinking about Monday night, I was pondering what I would do if Lee Best manages to slip by or not show up for this Go Home show. That meant there would only be one show left on my contract. And then what? Go to ICONIC… try and finish the job but what if I don’t? What would that mean? Could I just walk away and live with that failure? Could I just walk into the next chapters of my life completely content while Lee Best continued to walk this earth without a single consequence for his actions?

My train of thought got cut off as a random male decided to walk up and take the seat right next to mine. I didn’t make eye contact but I heard the man order some fucking craft beer that I had never heard of in my life.

For all I knew… I could be sitting beside Scottywood right now.

The bartender served the man his drink and he exhaled a delighted sigh after taking his first swallow. The man turned his head and I felt his eyes looking me over. I reached out and grabbed hold of my glass before he started to speak.

“Hey, I think I know you…” The man pointed the open end of his bottle toward me while trying to piece together the puzzle in his own head.

“Most likely not, I’m afraid,” I replied in a low tone before taking a sip of the whiskey.

“Nah… I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you somewhere but I just can’t put my finger on it.” The random customer said before looking around the pub. After a moment or two, he slapped his hand on the bar and shouted. “I got it! You’re one of those wrestling guys from that company that’s come to Salt Lake. You’re Jace Parker Davidson, aren’t you?”

I groaned under my breath as I placed the glass back down on the bar. “No autographs,” I responded in a stern tone and lowered my head.

“No, no… I wouldn’t bother you with all of that. I’m just shocked I’m sitting here beside a celebrity in the flesh in the Green Pig of all places.” The man chuckled before taking another drink from his bottle. “You know… a lot of people are talking about that Chaos event that is going to take place on Monday night.”

I nodded my head but remained silent.

“I try and catch those HIgh Octane Wrestling shows whenever I can…” The man started again. “But you know how it is with work and family. Still, I’m both surprised and excited that you all brought the show to this neck of the woods.”

“Should be quite the show,” I added, half-heartedly hoping he would catch the hint.

“Oh, I definitely know that! But…” His voice trailed off for a moment before he shook his head. “I have a feeling that the locals are going to take too kindly to the kind of entertainment that HOW has to offer.”

I should have just finished my drink and left. However, morbid curiosity took over my better judgment.

“What makes you say that?”

“Well…” The man began grunting as he got comfortable on his stool. “Us Mormon folk are all about Church and Family, as you can plainly see by just looking outside. The kind of things you all do in HOW will not line up well with the values that the people of Salt Lake City hold near and dear.”

I let out a soft but snarky chuckle. “Imagine that…” I grabbed my glass again and took another drink.

“This place isn’t so bad though, it just takes some getting used to.” The man paused to take another drink from his bottle. “I’m not going to bore you by trying to talk up Salt Lake City, Utah to someone like you…”

Thank the Heavens.

“…So, let’s talk about you there, big wrestler man.” The man said in a cheerful tone.

Goddammit.

“Do you think that you and that other fellow…” The man’s voice trailed off again. “I can’t seem to remember his name at the moment.”

“Brian Hollywood,” I answered with disgust in my voice.

“That’s the guy!” The man exclaimed. “Do you think you and him have a good chance of winning that tag team match on Monday night against those Final Alliance guys?”

I growled in a low tone before taking another drink from my glass. “There is no tag team, there isn’t a me and Brian Hollywood. It’s pretty much just me versus John Sektor and Steve Solex.”

The man was shocked speechless but only for a moment.

“You’re not going to accept his help?” He asked while sounding almost offended. “Now, it’s just my opinion, but… a man in your situation should exactly be turning away any help that you can get.”

“Help? Is that what you consider Brian Hollywood to be? You think he’s help?!” I laughed sarcastically before finishing off the rest of the whiskey in my glass. “Brian Hollywood is the polar opposite of help.”

“That’s pretty harsh to say about a man that is expected to fight beside you.” The man chimed in before taking a drink from his bottle.

I raised my hand to request another refill from the bartender.

“Sometimes the truth is harsh.” The bartender filled my glass.

“And sometimes it’s best to keep silent and not be an asshole.” The man offered before finishing off his beer.

This motherfucker has the nerve to say that to me? I’ve wanted him to shut the fuck up from the moment he sat beside me. However, it took a massive amount of balls to say that to my face. I started to laugh a little bit harder as I grabbed hold of my glass.

“Maybe you’re right about that.” I offered in response. “It’s just that I’m done with gimmicks, man. And that is all Brian Hollywood is… a gimmick. He spends his time cosplaying like he’s some rich executive. That he has his own personal security and that he’s on a mission to find and or kill someone for some reason. If that was the case… #1 he wouldn’t be wasting his time making less than 100K in HOW. #2 he wouldn’t get his own hands dirty, he’d just pay someone else to do the work for him.”

The man nodded his head slightly in acknowledgment of the logic.

“I’ve got two shows left on my contract as a HOW wrestler.” I moved my wrist around and watched the whiskey swirl around inside the glass. “Brian says that he wants to help, that he wants to fight beside me, and that he wants to take the fight to the Final Alliance. The truth of the matter is that Hollywood just doesn’t want to be left off of the card of ICONIC. He isn’t in this to do what truly needs to be done, he’s in this to line himself up to get a shot at John Sektor’s HOTv Championship belt.”

“And that’s a problem?” The man questioned.

“When I walk out to that ring… I’m putting my life on the line.” I explained. “Brian Hollywood comes out with a name that isn’t even his and he pretends to be someone he’s not. If he just walked out to the ring one day and said ‘Hey, I know I’m not the best wrestler in the world. I know that I’ve fucked up more times than I can count, but this is the real me and I’m going to do the best that I can.’ Then I would have a lot more respect for him. That’s not going to happen though, so this tag team match is just me outnumbered again.”

I took a drink from the glass.

“I don’t do wrestling matches anymore. I walk into battlezones and I keep fighting until I make it to Lee Best himself. Every single person that Lee Best throws in front of me has the order to finish me off for good. It’s not about pinning my shoulders to the mat. It’s not about holding a win over Jace Parker Davidson. It’s about snuffing out any chance of me being capable of getting my hands on Lee Best. That means making sure that I am no longer breathing. Brian Hollywood isn’t equipped for the kind of fight that I am heading into.”

“Lee Best is your boss, right? The guy that signs all your paychecks?” I nodded my head to confirm. “Wow… I guess every single person out there has dreamt of kicking their boss’s ass and getting away with it. That being said, I know you’re planning on doing a lot more than just kicking his ass.”

I remained silent, neither confirming nor denying his assumption. The man leaned in close and whispered to me.

“What is it like to kill someone?”

I narrowed my brow and shot him a look.

“I don’t mean any offense… it’s just that I’ve never even killed an animal, let alone another human being.” He rambled trying to defuse my anger. “I just imagine what drives a human being to do such a thing.”

I exhaled through my nostrils like a bull ready to charge.

“What is the worst thing that someone could do to you or your family?” I asked him out of the blue.

“Some fellow having sex with my daughter before marriage!” He didn’t hesitate to shout that answer.

I raised my eyebrow in confusion but then again… I am in Utah.

“Okay… not what I was expecting but I’ll work with it.” I took another drink of the whiskey. “Imagine someone grabbed your daughter and did unspeakable things to her. Completely ruined her marriage or any man that she would ever fall in love with. That is what I’m dealing with in his situation.”

I could tell the man was confused but pretending like he understood.

“Lee Best slept with your daughter before marriage?!” He asked while placing a hand on my shoulder.

“I don’t have a daughter.” I hissed in response. “But if I did? Yeah, that would totally be something that Lee Best would try and do.”

“Then what did he do?” He pleaded for details.

I turned my head to look at the man and then pointed to the eyepatch on my face with my free hand. The man’s eyes widened a bit before he nodded his head.

“Understandable but you know what they say…” The man waited for me to respond but I didn’t. “An eye for an eye makes the entire world blind.”

“Lee is supposedly already blind. So, taking his eye isn’t something that I’m interested in doing.” I finished the rest of the whiskey in the glass. “He’s had his goon try and cripple me and he urinated on me on live television. It’s going to take a lot fucking more than an eye to make us even.”

I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and left some money on top of the bar beside my empty glass.

“Yeah, I sure hope no kids are watching the show on Monday night.” The man said to himself as he finished off his beer.

I turned around and walked out of the pub as the scene faded to black.