Bottomline was in the books, although a week late but it happened nonetheless. It was a good night for the Best Alliance, well, mostly. It didn’t start off well with Lee Best getting down on his knees and taking a knee to the head from his own son. However, the returning Jatt Starr was victorious against Xander Azula. The LSD Championship remained in the Best Alliance as John Sektor defeated fellow member Clay Byrd. Then of course yours truly was victorious and retained the HOTv Championship against the lowly Darin Zion.
With Refueled being held in the Best Arena just like Bottomline was, I decided to stay in Chicago instead of heading home to Florida. I took a few days to recover from my match at the PPV but first thing Tuesday morning I marched my way into HOW Headquarters looking for answers. After getting the runaround I found myself inside of the office of one of the production assistants. The room was cluttered and smelled of old Chinese food. The walls were lined with posters and promotional flyers for the Bottomline PPV. Posters that featured the pictures of Conor Fuse and Sutler Reynolds-Kael. Promotional posters that featured LSD Champion John Sektor.
I could feel my annoyance boiling in the pit of my stomach as I held the HOW HOTv Championship belt over my right shoulder. The chair I was seated in was old and the faux leather had begun to peel off of it. Behind the desk sat the production assistant who looked tired and overworked. He filed through the massive amount of paperwork on his desk as I began to drum my fingers impatiently against the armrest of the chair.
“It’s a simple question.” I grumbled trying to hold back my annoyance.
“Simple? Yes, but the answer is quite complicated.” The production assistant stammered as he continued to rummage through the mess of paperwork.
“Try me.” I said sarcastically as I looked down at the watch on my wrist. “I’ve got all day.”
“Well, see… the thing is that…” The production rambled as he pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. “The answer is that there is no answer… at this time at least.”
“How can there be no answer?” I gripped the armrest of the chair tightly as I leaned forward towards the desk. “All I want to know is where is Lee Best? You know, the guy that signs your paycheck? The guy that is in charge of this entire operation? Where is he?”
The production assistant paused for a moment then began to ruffle through the paperwork on the desk again like the answer was going to jump out at him. Losing my patience, I reach out and slam my fist down onto the wooden desk which causes the production assistant to nearly fall out of his chair. He grabs his cup of coffee off the desk and sips it to compose himself before speaking.
“I know who Lee Best is…” He paused to take a deep breath. “It’s just that from the moment he was stretchered out to the ambulance and taken away, no one has received word on him.”
“For fucks sake! Then tell me where Redrum is? Wherever he is at the moment is where Lee will be!” I take a moment to calm down and lean back into my seat. “All I want is the name of a hospital and a room number. I’m not asking you to move Heaven and Earth.”
“And I’d love to give you the name of a hospital and a room number that he’s staying in…” The production assistant began to move his hands in the air as he gathered his words. “If we actually knew he was at a hospital. Frankly at this point we don’t know if he’s alive or dead. I’ve been having to deal with everyone worrying about their job security all morning.”
I sat there and let his words wash over me. Not for a single, solitary moment would I believe that Lee Best was dead until I saw it with my own two eyes. The fact that people were actually questioning job security after all Lee has been through and done for this place simply pissed me off.
“Is there anything else that I can help you with?” The production assistant asked, trying not to seem completely useless.
“If you can’t find Lee then where is Michael?” I inquired.
“Uhhh… well…” The production assistant rubs his right hand over the back of his neck. “If you go by his latest promo he just moved and all so…”
“This is unbelievable!” I interjected. “First you don’t know whether the God of HOW is alive or dead and now you’re telling me you have no idea on the whereabouts of Michael Lee Best either?”
“Things have been very hectic since Bottomline took place.” The production assistant said sadly.
“And speaking of Michael Lee Best, what happened with coming up with a new design for the HOW HOTv Championship?” I raise the belt off of my shoulder and hold it up in the air. “This thing is still the old TV title! We were supposed to be getting a new belt weeks ago even before I won the thing. So what happened?”
The production assistant extends his index finger signaling me to give him a moment before shuffling through the paperwork on his desk yet again.
“It turns out that the new belt design got delayed because…” The production assistant pulls a piece of paper out of the pile and looks it over carefully. “…I don’t have an answer for that either.”
“So get Michael’s ass on the phone and tell him that his HOW HOTv Champion has been waiting long enough.” I say sternly.
“Oh, Michael doesn’t answer our calls. Especially when he has a match to prepare for like this week on Refueled. I’m sure Bobby Dean will be a hell of an opponent.” The production assistant says nervously.
“Basically Michael has time to knee his father. Skip the line and attack Conor Fuse after he wins the HOW World Championship. And work on his ‘new’ Keanu Reeves look but when it comes to my belt it’s on his to do list? Fuck that!” I lower the belt and place it back over my right shoulder.
“I wish I had more answers for you but I can say you’ve defended that title very well.” The production assistant tries kissing my ass a bit.
“Oh, have I? Then why am I not Wrestler of the Month again? I defended his belt successfully all month long while being booked every single week. Conor Fuse loses his mind one week and wins a belt and that magically makes him the best wrestler of the month of August?” I extend my arms out wide as I ask the question.
“Well it is quite the achievement for young…” I interrupted the production assistant.
“Bullshit! Ever since War Games I had to look at Sutler’s, Conor’s, and Sektor’s faces on every single piece of promotional work there has been. They aren’t the end all be all of HOW and they certainly aren’t the #1 ranked wrestler in the company.” I pound on my chest proudly.
“All very valid points, I just wish there was something I could do about it.” The production assistant leans back into his chair.
“You really want to help me?” I ask with a smirk forming over my features.
“It is my job to do so.” The production assistant says hesitantly.
“Take your computer and pull up the HOTv website.” I ordered.
The production scratches his head a bit but follows my orders and pulls up the HOTv website on his computer.
“Now, tell me what you see?” I ask nonchalantly.
“I see the listings of HOW programming from over the years. The different weekly shows and PPV’s, it’s quite the collection.” The production assistant states matter of factly.
“So tell me why I’m not featured on the HOTv website? I am the greatest HOTv Champion of all time. I represent the network, so I should be plastered all over the main page. Someone tell that drunken fuck Scottywood to put down the bottle and do his damn job.” I adjust the HOTv title on my shoulder.
“I hate to be the one to say it but Scottywood is currently locked away in Alcatraz.” The production assistant says with a sigh.
“See, this is just plain disrespect. If I were Conor Fuse or Sutler it would be a priority. I’m tired of people talking highly about trash like Darin Zion. He’s got so much heart, one day he’s gonna win the big one. Or about how someone like Xander Azula is a ‘great asset’ to HOW. Yet I come back from a five year absence and climb to the top of the company in less than a year and I face nothing but complete and utter disrespect. I demand to be featured on the HOTv website!” I can feel the rage inside of me boiling over.
“Well, see the thing is Mr. Davidson while your reign as HOTv Champion has been wildly impressive. The fact is come Saturday night someone like Daytona could be the new HOTv Champion.” I could tell the production assistant wanted to crawl under his desk and hide once the words escaped his lips.
“You honestly think that someone like Daytona stands a snowball’s chance in Hell of beating me for this title on Refueled? I’ve beaten Solex, Capone, Harrison, RAH, Dresden, and Zion but Daytona is going to be the one that gets me?” I stood up out of my seat, completely fed up.
“Daytona has been professionally trained in the Navy and she could kill a man.” The production assistant tried to defend the newcomer.
“Really? And did that work for her against Xander? Cause last time I checked that fucker seems to be pretty alive and well.” I begin to pace around in front of the desk. “You honestly think that I’m going to let someone in their third match in HOW take this title away from me and represent our network? I don’t care how much she’s improved since she lost to Xander. This belt is my ticket to winning Wrestler of the Year. Hell, ratings have been through the roof since I’ve been featured on the cards every week. No one is going to tune into watch Daytona every single week unless the HOTv title starts being defended in mud wrestling matches and wet t-shirt contests.”
“I understand where you’re coming from but she still has a puncher’s chance at victory.”
“Zion had a puncher’s chance at beating me and look at what happened. I ripped his arm out of its socket so that he couldn’t use the Ban Hammer against me. The only chance that Daytona has against me is if I decide to lay down and take a nap in the middle of the ring.” I stop pacing and look down at the production assistant. “You know what? I got better things to do with my time then to stand here and deal with the likes of you. Get on the phone and get shit done or come Monday morning after beating Daytona on Refueled I’ll be back here and not in a pleasant mood.”
The production assistant nods his head up and down vigorously and picks up the phone on his desk. I walk out of the office and slam the door on my way out as the production assistant wipes the sweat from his brow.
Hours later I find myself back in the hotel room that I’m sharing with Madison. The Virgin Hotels in Chicago was a bit pricey but the room was well worth the price. The off white walls complemented the white pillows and comforter on the bed. The large mirrored wall beside the bed made intimate relations that much more fun. The sound of moaning can be heard coming from the bed as the camera focuses the bare back of Madison who can be seen grinding her hips on top of me.
My hands cover Madison’s chest as she continues to gyrate and thrash on top of me. Finally one loud scream escapes Madison’s lips before she collapses down on top of me. We both take a moment to catch our breath before Madison rolls onto her side and joins me under the sheets.
“Goddamn, sex is great when you’re pissed off.” Madison gasped as she ran her fingers through her disheveled hair.
“Are you saying it’s not great unless I’m annoyed at something?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“It’s great all the time but when you’re mad it’s extra special.” Madison giggles as she lets her index finger dance along my chest.
“Well, let’s just say this seemed like the most fun way to work on my cardio.” I smirked as I reached down and pinched one of her pierced nipples.
“You’re such a delinquent Mr. Davidson.” Madison says in a soft purr.
“It takes one to know one.” I replied, rolling my eyes a bit.
“Maybe so, but you’re such a creep.” Madison teases.
“You’re just trying to piss me off again, aren’t you?” I turned my head to look at Madison.
“Is it working?” Madison said with hope in her eyes.
“If I’m going to expend more energy at the moment it’s going to be with actual training for my match at Refueled.” I reach over and grab a bottle of water off the nightstand.
“I’m glad you brought that up.” Madison rolls over and grabs a hold of her laptop. “We need to get you in the right headspace to deal with someone like Daytona on Saturday night.”
“We’re talking about Daytona here. She’s barely gotten her feet wet here in HOW. It’ll be like stepping into the ring with Elizabeth Dresden all over again.” I said dismissively.
“Well their styles might be similar, there are a few differences between them.” Madison pulls up the HOTv website on her laptop. “Daytona is two inches taller than Eli. And she weighs about 15 lbs. less than Eli, which means she’ll be even quicker than her.”
“Do you really think that two inches and 15 less pounds is going to make that much of a difference in the ring?” I ask before taking a drink from the water bottle.
“The devil is in the details.” Madison advised as she fired up Daytona’s first match against Xander Azula. “See how she dominated most of this match against Xander? She had this thing in the bag, she just made the rookie mistake of telegraphing her finisher and got caught.”
“The fact that she hasn’t spent much time in a wrestling ring shows. If she telegraphed her move to the point that even Xander saw it coming then you know it was bad.” I commented.
“Yes but she’s not going to make rookie mistakes forever. She walked into HOW with her eyes fixed on people with Championship belts around their waist. Which means she’s had her eyes on you from the jump. And there is plenty of film and tape to study on you in the ring for her to prepare for this match.” Madison lectures.
“I still don’t see what separates her from the rest of the broads I’ve faced in HOW.” I said with another roll of my eyes.
“Well unlike the others Daytona isn’t afraid to use her feminine wiles to get inside of the head of her opponents.” Madison points out. “The perfume that she sprays up and down her cleavage and the way she waves her chest in front of everyone’s faces.”
“Can’t say that I blame her. If you got it you might as well flaunt it and she’s definitely got it.” I observed from watching Daytona on screen.
“I mean, I wouldn’t kick her out of bed in the morning at all. However, she’s going to play up to that against you. She’s going to flaunt herself around and talk about how you can’t wait to get your hands on her once the bell rings.” Madison says as she points at the screen.
“Okay, fair enough but why don’t you pull up her match against Kevin Capone?” I asked, ready to see more.
“There isn’t any footage of her match against Kevin Capone. It was a dark match only wrestled in front of HOW staff.” Madison said solemnly.
“Great, so she improves and there is no footage of it whatsoever? Well it’s not like I haven’t been in this situation before.” I said as Madison closed her laptop and put it away. “So what do you suggest I do to combat Daytona and her feminine wiles?”
“Well I highly suggest we find a gym and you get into the ring with me. I’m small and fast just like Daytona and I don’t mind going to the top rope.” Madison wags her index finger at me. “As far as her feminine wiles go I’m going to have to make you so sick of sex that come Saturday night that you won’t even give her a second glance.”
Madison climbs back on top of me and runs her fingers along my chest before her head disappears underneath the sheets.
Fast forward a couple of days and we focus on the Best Arena here in Chicago. It’s Friday night and the building is nearly empty. The ring and stage have been set up and the arena has been cleaned since Bottomline last weekend. A lone cameraman wanders down the aisle filming the empty seats in the arena. The cameraman walks along the ringside area filming the empty front row seats along with the lonesome announcers table without Joe or Benny there. The camera finally focuses on the ring where yours truly is seated Indian style in the center. I have the HOTv Championship belt over my left shoulder and a microphone in my right hand.
“I thought it would be fitting to come to the location of your biggest accomplishment here in High Octane Wrestling, Daytona. Bottomline live on PPV from this very arena. Oops. I guess it wasn’t live at all since you had a dark match against an overly eager Kevin Capone. No one out in those stands to boo or cheer your efforts. No fans leaning over the barricade for you to taunt and tease before stepping into the ring. I wonder did they even give you theme music for this match?”
I ask with a shrug of my shoulders.
“Did you come out with your cute little Daytona helmet and your bomber jacket on? I mean, from the way it sounds this dark match you had was nothing more than a glorified tryout match. And while the news was that you were impressive it was more so that Mr. Capone was rather disappointing. Your very first win in HOW and no one out there even saw it. But I guess you impressed enough people backstage that they decided to give you a televised match this week. But not just any match but a main event match for the HOTv Championship belt.”
I pause for a moment and look down at the gold plate of the HOTv Championship belt on my shoulder.
“I mean it’s a big leap to go from not even having your first win in the company televised to being in the main event of Refueled 72. Let’s be honest here, Daytona. You’ve done nothing to deserve to be in the main event of a televised HOW event. The only reason you’re even on this card in the main event is because I’m the greatest HOTv Champion that’s ever lived. The only reason you’re in the top match on the card is because I’m the #1 ranked wrestler in this company. So, you’re welcome, Daytona. I hope you enjoy your 15 minutes in the spotlight.”
I extend my arms as I lower my head in a sort of gracious bow before raising the microphone back up again.
“I don’t want you to misunderstand things here, Daytona. Nothing about this is personal for me. Given different circumstances I’m pretty sure that the two of us would get along famously. You’re a beautiful woman that knows exactly what she wants and has no problem trying to reach out there to take it. Let’s cut the bullshit here. I know you thrive on the fact that you’re a strong independent woman that’s wrestling against men. I’ve seen the type before but I’ve dealt with it too. I trained one of the only two women to hold the HOW World Championship belt. I guided her there. Pushed her to be the absolutely best that she could be. And just when she thought she had reached the promised land? I snatched it away from her and crushed her dreams just like that.”
I raised the arm holding the HOTv Championship belt into the air and snapped my fingers for emphasis.
“I might not seem like it but I’ve always been an advocate for women wrestlers. I embraced Kirsta Lewis. I hired Carmen Jennings to work for me. I trained Tara Michaels. Hell, other than the fact that I despised the fact that she called herself the ‘Queen of the Ring’ I didn’t mind Lindsay Troy. I gave Elizabeth Dresden the time of day when she was nothing more than a replacement pussy. And now you Tona, you’re only here because I pushed for Lee Best to sign you. HOW contracts aren’t easy to acquire, just ask Kevin Capone. When I found out that you’re friends with an old acquaintance of mine in Vixen? I knew she’d be getting you trained up and that you would be a female that could handle yourself on this roster.”
I raise my arm into the air and tip my imaginary hat in honor of Daytona.
“Yet this message is for you Vixen Foxx, or is it Staggs now? Whatever you’re calling yourself now, I hope you have Daytona training like she’s never trained before for this match. I hope you’re telling her exactly what she is walking into in a match against someone like me. I know at Refueled I’m going to get your best shot, Daytona. My name alone causes everyone to bring their A game against me. Week in and week out I step up and take everyone’s best shot right on the chin. I take the best match they’ve wrestled in their life with their hopes and dreams of obtaining Championship gold. And with a single boot to the back of the head I snuff it all out in an instant.”
I roll my neck around a bit and speak in a more serious, deliberate tone.
“For eight straight weeks I’ve walked into this ring in nothing but Championship matches, one right after another. And for eight straight weeks I stood tall in this ring with my hand raised in victory. What is going to make this week any different? Do you really have what it takes to pull off an upset? Maybe in a few months you’ll be an opponent that will make me sweat a bit. But right now? I think Kevin Capone was close in his assumption about you. It’s not that you don’t want it enough, it’s that you’re not ready for the big time. Sure you beat Capone but the upper echelon of HOW? The weight of being HOTv Champion and being booked every single week? You’re not ready for it. You only got on the Bottomline card because Capone begged for a match. You don’t know how to make things happen for yourself yet. You don’t know how to create heat in HOW.”
I raise the HOTv Championship belt high into the air.
“As HOTv Champion you’d be like a deer stuck in the headlights. You wouldn’t be able to last two, three, four, five, and so on weeks as the Champion. But you’re going to try, I know you are. So what are you going to do? Shake her ass a bit and rub your chest in my face? I admit you’re a beautiful woman and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to play Charlie in your Chocolate Factory. However, as I stated before this is business. This title in my hand is my ticket to main eventing either RATR or ICONIC or both. It’s the reason why I’m the #1 ranked wrestler in HOW. Just because I don’t want to mess up that pretty face of yours, doesn’t mean I won’t. So go ahead and tell me how you’re going to climb the mountain that everyone before you has failed to climb. Sit back on that I can kill a man with my bare hands bullshit just like Vixen did with her ‘military training’ she had. Hell, go ahead and make a few ‘Deepthroat Davidson’ jokes.”
I lower the HOTv Championship belt back down onto my shoulder. I take my microphone and act like I’m going to shove it down my throat but then just shake my head.
“None of it is going to matter because I’m not about to let you make a name for yourself at my expense. I’m not about to let go of this Championship belt until I find someone worthy to carry the prestige that I’ve put on this title. So run around the ring using your speed. Jump off the top rope. But when I catch you? I’m going to hit you hard. And when I hit you? You’re going to go down. And when you’re down? I’m going to keep you down until I’m ready to cut the cord on your 15 minutes of fame. Luckily for you? You’ll come out of this match a little bit smarter, a little bit more experienced. You’ll understand a little more what it takes to be great here in HOW. But before all of that? You will Bend the Knee before me. Those full, pouty lips of yours will kiss the canvas. You’ll stare up at the lights as I get my hand raised in victory once again. Then you will show respect for the King of Everything and you will acknowledge my greatness. You’ll thank me later for the experience.”
I dropped the microphone and stood up in the center of the ring with the title over my shoulder as the scene fades to black.