I’m tired, man. I’m tired of The Highwaymen and I’ve barely wrestled any of you. You guys drive me insane. It’s like I work with fucking children…
Yet you’re grown ass men.
This is coming from a guy who’s an online gamer, where I legitimately work with fucking children.
My first impression of you Steve was nothing more than a roll of the eyes. Telling Lindsay Troy to live in the kitchen, complaining about woman’s rights or “lack thereof”. Whatever. Six months ago we attempted to be on the same team. And I mean attempted. Because no matter what I said, or did, you nimrods were having none of it.
You said I didn’t draft well. Okay, cool. Big fucking deal.
It was my World Championship to lose, Steve.
A World Championship you’ve never fucking won BTW. Where was that extreme effort at Dead or Alive, a fucking Lee Best presents show THEMED AFTER YOUR GOD DAMN TEAM and you failed to bring home the gold.
Actually kinda embarrassing. I’d likely RAGEQUIT if I lost at an event named after me.
Your group is nothing but a bunch of whiny losers and I will expose each and every single one of you.
I started with Clay. Piss poor baby had a World Title shot against yours truly… proceeded to complain about The Board screwing him over while, get this, I’m standing right there in front of him, jumping up and down, trying to explain to that gasbagging dipshit HE HAS A CURRENT WORLD TITLE SHOT. He is literally three seconds away from achieving everything he ever dreamed of and changing the entire narrative of his disposition. Yet all I heard was The Board This and The Board That.
Bored outta my fucking mind, that’s what.
Then there’s Harrison. Been in my face for a couple of years now, demanding he’s better than I am because he beat me in a couple tag team matches.
Ummm okay, guy.
1.) He never pinned me in any of them.
2.) Pretty sure I’ve achieved way MOAR than he’s dreamed of.
Oh, neat little fact, he failed like you vs. Christopher America.
Jesus tap dancing fuck, does this gamer have to do everything? I guess I really am the lovable, adorable Locker Room Leader.
Fine. I’LL DO IT. Conor Fuse to the rescue! It was my 97MarioRed to begin with. I never got a legitimate rematch after out lasting everybody plus The Highwaymen at WarGames.
I digress. Getting a little ahead of myself here, Steve.
So what are you gonna say about me, Solex? Make fun of my gaming skills? Virginity? Mommy complex? Yawn. All stuff I’ve heard before. It’s getting kinda boring and I’m getting kinda tired.
Instead, lemme tell you what Imma do to you.
A message. A signal. A warning. A final nail in the coffin, telling you directly and Steve Harrison indirectly, how I am the more skilled wrestler, the fearless combatant, the gamer who wears his heart on his sleeves… is WILLING to accept responsibility AND blame for our WarGames team not being the best it could’ve been.
When I attempted to pull us together, a last ditch rally cry to be on the same page, Clay and you walked out on me, leaving some disparaging remarks.
All for what? An opportunity that was in front of your fucking face, Steve?
I’m cool if the chips are down, the game is on Hard Mode and I don’t have a power ups. Like I said, it was my fucking World Title to lose and until you’re at the top of the chain, the last level, the guy with the immense pressure on your shoulders do me a favour.
Christopher America humbled you. He god damn humbled Steve Harrison, too. Proof you n00bs are exactly that, wimps who need each other to lean on. I have Bobbinette and that’s it. Go ahead, make your jokes there, too. It’s low hanging DK fruit. It’s fine.
But the fact of the matter is this, Steve Solex.
You could learn a lot from me.
You could, but you won’t.
I’m not gonna complain about my disposition. I’ll accept what’s coming to me, try hard and keep going.
I’ll also do what is necessary to win the match at hand.
You want proof? All ya gotta do bud is rewind Rumble at the Rock this past year… where I took a man five times your size and a fraction smarter and I stomped his fucking skull in. I legitimately killed the guy. Gave him a heart attack. Now, whether or not he REMAINS dead is another story… but he was announced as legally dead when I got through with him.
They say what really makes a man in the game of wrestling is how he responds to losses. The World Title was taken from me twice so I looked within… bettered myself… and now here we are.
Funny thing is Steve, when I entered High Octane, I wanted to be like you. I really did. I thought one day it would be cool to mimic you. You can show me how to disrespect people, take little things and burst into rambling bouts of anger. I kinda enjoy you. Sometimes. I just feel like your lil’ group has lots of misplaced aggression. You’re going at this wrong. Instead of putting aside your hate for me… for ONE fucking match… you doubled down…
And you bowed out fast.
I don’t even know where you were eliminated.
I give you credit, though. You’ve really manned up after your loss to Christopher America and shown you still deserve to be taken seriously, by appearing on weekly TV and thugging it inside the squared circle. You even defeated Scott Stevens and JPD with all odds against you.
Wait a second.
Steve, I get this will come across as the pot calling the kettle black but you need to chill out. Watching Christopher America manipulate you in tag team wrestling against The Board drove me batshit crazy. You have the next level right in front of your face.
You’re too angry to fucking see it.
I use anger, but I channel it in a way that works for me. Right now… when I think about WarGames and the lack of support I had from you, I’m angry. When I walk into the Best Arena on Sunday, I’ll be angry. But if you suddenly hit me back, or you’re hard to put away… or dare I say it, Steve Harrison comes out and plays MiNd GaMeS with me…
I’ll be okay, dude. I’m not gonna get worked up over someone who WANTS to get a rise over Conor Fuse. No easy money. I wasn’t born yesterday. And while you clearly weren’t, either, you really make me question what year you fell out of your mom’s snatch.
We good here? Of course not. Seriously though, I can’t wait to send Steve Harrison a message. I’m sure he’s gonna do the same in his match vs. Bobbinette.
It’s just that I’m more talented than he is, so I’ll be able to actually do it. LOL.
— — — — —
Thursday, December 1st
Okay, look, I’m outta my cage. Yes, I made a commitment to be locked into a cell, hidden in the boiler room of the Dearness Living Community after I maybe/maybe not killed STRONK GODSON. This was because I need to figure out WTF is going on in my head ATM. I’m all over the place.
I like Jatt Starr; I hate Jatt Starr.
I think I’m a killer; I don’t think I’m a killer.
I’m relaxed; I’m totally tripping balls.
I hate Steve Harrison; I hate Steve Harrison.
Oh ya, right. That one’s consistent.
Either way, I am in a furious rage, pacing down the streets of Chicago, baggage in hand, on my way to meet up with Bobbinette so we can strategize about our upcoming matches. There’s no doubt in my mind Harrison is going to give Bobbie everything she has. And let’s call a spade a spade here, eh. Bobbie’s been struggling inside the ring. Does she want to retire? Does she want to continue? The woman’s as fucked up as I am.
So there’s a lot going on for both of us. We recently took a tag team loss to Jatt Starr and GREAT SCOTT. Jeesh, I’d really like to get my hands on GREAT SCOTT some day in a one player game.
“Dude,” I say to myself. “Focus on Solex.”
Like I said, I’m all over the place.
Passing people left and right, I make my way to the Hilton Bobbie told me she’s staying at for the week, before she flies back home to Parma Heights.
“Excuse me, sir, which way to the nearest Hilton?” I stop some random on the street. He raises an eyebrow to me and gives a shrug. Hey, it’s more luck than I thought I’d have. Most people ignore me.
Insert Highwaymen here.
Also, did I say Hilton or Ritz-Carlton?
I take a HARD STOP at the corner of an intersection, dig into my pocket and pull out my iPhone complete with a vintage SNES case I recently bought. Although maybe I should get a new Mario Bros. movie case. I heard another trailer just dropped. I won’t watch it, though. Trailers ruin everything. Plus I already watched the first one a day before it was released (I have connections). I won’t get sucked into the next trailer… or the one after… because then by April 7th when the movie is out, I’d have seen the whole fucking thing through trailers already and there’s just no fun in that-
Dude, chill. Back to the iPhone.
“401 N Wabash Ave.” I read out loud, spinning around in all four directions until I collect my bearings. I used to live in Chicago for a full year, at the DLC. You’d think I would know where to go.
Eventually, however, I arrive at the destination. Walking through the entrance doors, I let the elevator lobby music calm me down.
Why am I like this?
What’s the big deal if Harrison beats Bobbinette? And I mean BEATS. What’s the big deal if Steve Solex gets a 1-up on this gamer. My mind is on the EndGame. Not the WarGame.
Approaching the front desk, I see a quaint little old lady with wavy silver hair. She approaches with a smile.
“Yes, hi, could you connect me with Bobbinette Carey’s room please? Or at least be able to call her? She’s not answering my text messages and we had plans to meet at the local wrestling gym earlier, you see. I hope everything’s alright…”
The receptionist looks at me with a concerned face. She turns to her left, then her right… as if inviting me to do the same and follow her gaze.
I don’t get it.
“So, uh, I guess you can’t disclose if people are here or not, it’s cool dude. Sis. Whatever pronouns you wanna use. Is it okay if I wait in the lobby for my friend? I promise I won’t be a bother.”
Once again, she stares at me, totally unsure of what’s going on. In fact… she’s starting to feel uncomfortable. Not for herself, either. It seems like she’s uncomfortable… for me.
“Um, sir,” her face lights up softly. It’s as if she’s going to drop some devastating news.
“We’re a convenience store.”
I scratch the back of my neck and take a step back. This time I actually look to my left and my right, the same locations the elderly woman was.
I don’t see a lobby. I don’t see an elevator. Lounge. Chairs. Busboy. I don’t see any of that.
I see medications behind her. To my right I see a bunch of chocolate bars. To my left-
It really doesn’t matter now, does it?
“What the hell is going on with me?” I feel myself mumble softly before I carefully place my iPhone back into my pocket, attempt a pleasant smile and backtrack from the counter.
“I am so, so sorry,” I exclaim. “This isn’t what I’m normally like. I- I-”
I can hear her saying “it’s okay” a few times over before I power walk out of the store. God only knows what medicine I should’ve taken with me from behind her check out table.
Taking a deep breath, I reach into my back pocket again and pull out my iPhone. I scan Bobbie’s last text.
It’s the address for the JW Marriott which is nowhere near me. She says she’s checking in on Thursday, December 1st.
So WTF am I doing here, in DT Chicago, looking for her…
When it’s Monday, November 28th?
— — — — —
Thursday, December 1st (actually this time)
Bobbie stretches her arms out, letting out a huff in the process. She’s tired, like I am. Exhausted, likely. Either way, I sit on the edge of her sofa, in her luxury penthouse suite hotel, dangling my feet around. Clockwise, counterclockwise, whatever direction I feel like. Bobbie, on the other hand, is chilled out in the corner of the room, resting on the floor, just trying to make ends meet. She’s yawning a lot, trying not to nod off.
“Hey, so,” I begin, fighting through the sluggishness, “it was a great idea you had, getting together like this and strategizing on each other’s opponents. I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about Harrison. You’ve wrestled him more than I have.”
She looks up and rubs her eyes, it’s clear she may not have heard me and yet she continues on as if she did. “I know you’re not doing well right now, Conor,” she begins and as she speaks I can see concern flooding her face. “A few weeks ago you called me Blaire Moise.”
“You did,” Bobbie responds, even though I don’t think I asked the question out loud.
“I feel absolutely terrible,” The Queen of Epicness explains. “I feel like I put you in this position-”
I cut her off. This time, I know I’m speaking out loud.
“No worries. I was happy to fight STRONK GODSON. If I’m being honest, it also wasn’t just for you…”
My voice trails. Does this make me a bad person? That I wasn’t simply fighting in Bobbinette’s name?
However, as I look in her direction she doesn’t seem phased. It’s as if the words I said didn’t bother her one bit and she knew I wasn’t ONLY wrestling in her name.
“Truth is… I felt like I lost an edge. And Alcatraz, you’re right, it changes everyone. It’s changed me three times. Twice for the better… maybe once for the worst. This last one. But I didn’t know that.”
I see my reflection through one of the many rose petal pictures hanging in the penthouse suite.
“I had failed during Rumble at the Rock. I needed to see if I could go to a different place… channel something new. I had gone to great lengths before when I defeated Sutler. But it was a one-time thing…”
“Conor,” she interrupts. “That’s not what I’m talking about.”
Seriously, if I don’t even know when I’m speaking out loud anymore.
“I meant about locking yourself up,” Bob conveys.
My heart skips a beat, my mind starts to race. How the hell does she know where I’ve been spending my time?
“Look,” I begin to defend myself. “I know you offered to give me a place to crash while I worked through all this shit… but, eh, that’s not for me, ya know?”
She stares at me, deadpan. Guess she’s not letting me out of this one.
“The whole ‘jail’ thing, it was to mimic a prison. Solitary confinement matches, they’ve happened before during Rumble at the Rock. Mine was simply an unofficial one…”
“And now, son?” She raises an eyebrow. Again, how the hell does she know I’ve decided to keep myself locked up in the basement of the DLC?
“I need to do some soul searching. Maybe, deep down inside… maybe I ENJOYED what I did to STRONK GODSON, I dunno. And if I did, what the hell does this make me? An MDK Conor Fuse? What could I do to Steve Solex if he mails in his match against me this weekend?”
My mind starts to wander. I want to answer my own question.
I could squeeze his temples from both sides until his head burst.
I could take a barbed wire controller… you know, the one Steve Harrison stepped on… and I could wrap it around Solex’s neck and hang him in the park. Eh, one close to Dearness.
I could pluck Solex’s grey hairs out of his head, one by one by one. Could even Head Stomp him, knock him unconscious and proceed to bring him to a tattoo parlor, ask the woman to sketch some vintage video game shit on his forehead.
Or I could just straight-up castrate him. Rip his fucking nutsack off and feed his testicles to my dogs. Hmmm… I would needed dogs.
I want to send a mother fucking MESSAGE to Steve Harrison. Again, seriously, no clue what I did to piss those guys off.
“Conor! Hey, Conor!” Bobbie snaps as I pull my head up and look in her direction.
…Only to find it’s not Bobbinette in the corner of the hotel room. FFS, we’re not even in a hotel room.
Here I am, in the boiler room of the Dearness Living Community, locked up in the jail cell I created…
Speaking to Walter who’s sitting on the cement floor.
“I never should have gone along with this, son,” Walter states, glancing up and down the prison I reside in. “But it’s too late now. I guess you do have some soul searching to do.”
It’s a struggle for Wally to get on his feet but give the old man some credit, eventually he does. He saunters by the front of my cell before stopping.
“I’ll be back to with your dinner tonight. Take it easy on yourself,” he reminds, exiting from my view.
I sit peacefully on the edge of my mattress, wondering if anything that’s happened to me this week has actually happened.
Do I even have a match against Steve Solex on Sunday or did I make this up, too? Maybe I’m pitted against Scott Stevens. There’s lots of Steve’s here. First name, last name. I think JPD’s middle name might be Scott, too.
My feet dangle. Clockwise, counterclockwise, any direction I feel. I do think I’m facing Steve Solex on Sunday. So far, I haven’t screwed up my wrestling schedule.
Yeah, Steve Solex. Let’s go with that.
And when Walter lets me outta my cage on Sunday, I know one thing is for sure.
I will rip, rip FUCKING RIPPPPPPPPP Solex’s head off.
And feed it to my dogs.
— — — — —
I’m sorry it didn’t work out for our WarGames team. I failed you. I failed Clay. I failed everyone.
I deserve your wrath.
I am practically a virgin gaming n00b, with no real business being in the land of High Octane anymore.
How did I survive this place for so long, you ask? Well maybe it’s because I haven’t had a one-on-one match with a grizzled vet like yourself.
I take full responsibility for the shit team I put together at WG. Not only did I screw up once by selecting Arthur Pleasant…
When given the option of choosing someone like David Noble or Darin Zion, I let me emotions get in the way and I chose Darin Zion.
Christ, Zion and I haven’t been friends in months. He’s off doing PRIME things with some love struck Hallmark movie dreamers. Pathetic.
I digress. It happens a lot. I steer away from the actual narrative at hand.
I’m sorry our partnership didn’t work out. I really am.
I grew arrogant and stupid. The LOVABLE, ADORABLE, LOCKER ROOM LEADER shit was cringe. While I was World Champion, yes…
I certainly didn’t act like it.
You have my utmost respect, Steve. Take it or leave it, it’s all good. I don’t expect you to be cool with me upon saying these things. But I have a lot of honour for someone who’s been through the wringer and always ready to go.
You might be an angry, pissed off guy but you wear your heart on your sleeve and tell it like it is.
On Sunday, I know you’ll be fighting for Steve Harrison. You’ll want to wear me down so he can crush me at ICONIC. With my recent actions… I think I deserve everything you’re going to bring in our match.
I know we won’t shake hands. We won’t have much to say post-match, either.
Give me everything you’ve got, Solex.
I deserve it.