Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live

Posted on May 27, 2024 at 12:50 pm by Evan Ward

The HOW logo stamped into the TV screen as electricity buzzed along beneath it, etching out the word Aftershock in fancy, stylised font. The logo exploded out of sight to reveal a studio buzzing with canned excitement and applause. Two comfy looking seats were in the middle of a set which was over designed to look casual. The liquor cabinet, the fake window overlooking the matte painting of the Chicago skyline, the red brick wall, all carefully crafted to fit a chilled chat show. In those seats, on screen-left, was Brian Bare, while on the right was a heavily bandaged Evan Ward. Sitting on a coffee table between them, right in the centre of the shot, was the LSD Championship belt.

“Welcome to the inaugural episode of HOW Aftershock!” Brian declared to the cheers audience. “This is the show where we dig deep to get to the bottom of the events of the latest episode of Chaos and ask the hard questions of our roster. I have with me tonight the NEW LSD Champion and War Games Captain, Evan Ward!”

Evan stood up and took a bow. This made it painfully apparent the audience was just a production-controlled audio track because they actually cheered for the psychopathic douchebag. Who would do that?

“Thank you, thank you!” Ward waved to the fake crowd as he sat down. “So good to be here, Brian, SO good to be here.”

“Last night you took part in a crazy Falls Count Anywhere match against Drew Mitchell. There was a lot on the line in that match, both the LSD Championship and the right to be a War Games  captain. No one can say either of you left anything on the table as you literally tore up the Best Arena, but in the end you triumphed and ended the up-and-coming star’s reign. What was it like to fight against such a determined and motivated competitor as Drew Mitchell?”

“Brian, I have to say, Drew is a tough bast-” Ward paused and looked at the show’s host. “Am I allowed to swear on here?”

“Of course, this is HOW, isn’t it?” Brian replied.

“Cool, so Drew is a tough cunt. There’s no shame in admitting it, the dude pushed me real hard, I couldn’t believe how far he pushed me, but using my skill and talent I dived off that cart and all that pushing was meaningless.” Ward nodded humbly. “He was hungry for the win, to cement his position as LSD Champion in the history books but in the end he couldn’t do it. He was just too weak, you know? Even with all his cheating and biassed refereeing it just wasn’t enough to overcome my experience and ferocious tenacity.”

“I don’t think he cheated, Evan.” Brian Bare drowned. “Anything goes in a match like that. You used weapons and bit chunks out of him. It was equitable and balanced, especially from the refereeing standpoint.”

“Really, Brian, really? I’m disappointed in you.” Ward shook his head. “He tried to have his beef jerky adjacent manager jump in and save him, he tried to get her to taze me. Sure, he wouldn’t have been disqualified but if that’s not low down dirty cheating, I don’t know what is. The kid’s supposed to be a role model for the young’uns watching at home and yet he has to resort to the sort of disgusting tactics I use. You saw him strangling me, Brian, and Boettcher did nothing while he pulled me so hard off Drew’s ear he made me rip some of it off. I bet Drew is calling a lawyer to sue Boettcher for malpractice already, but I digress. The fact is Drew practically lynched me with that camera cable noose and as man of adopted colour, after becoming soulmates with Nettie, I find that incredibly offensive! He’s lucky this is HOW because if this were anywhere else he’d be cancelled to fuck.”

“Uhh… I’m not touching that one.” Brian Bare pulled at the collar of his shirt nervously. “Regardless, Evan, you must be very pleased with becoming a two time LSD Champion. ”

“Oh, extremely pleased, Brian, EXTREMELY.” Ward clapped his hands together excitedly. “This belt, Brian, embodies the ethos I now wrestle under. It’s so emblematic of the approach I take to everything I do in the ring that finally getting my hands on it again just fills me with such a warm, tingly sensation that I can’t contain myself! It’s like it’s finally where it belongs. Like it fills a missing part of my soul. Honestly, Brian, it makes me hard.”

“Uh, hard?” Brian said, hoping that he was confused and his first thought of what Ward meant was wrong.

“Throbbing, Brian, throbbing hard.” Ward reinforced that first thought of the interviewers. “It’s like I’m the modern day personification of that belt. To hold it means just one thing, Brian.”

“And what’s that?” Brian hoped it wasn’t going to be a sexual answer.

“It means to fuck people up, Brian, and to get fucked up in doing so.” Ward stated. “To fuck people up like I fucked up Drew. Like I fucked up Silent Witness. Like I fucked up Rhys Townsend. Like I fucked up Scottywood and Baby Kostoff. Holding that belt means people will see me booked in their match and they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am going to fuck them up.”

“Well, you have your first challenger this week in Brian Hollywood.” Brian Bare tactfully steered Ward back towards the questions he had prepared. “He had some choice words to say about you on Chaos and then attacked you with a steel pipe as the show closed. Do you have any response to his lengthy proclamation?”

“Hah.” Ward scoffed. “The dude tries to make himself relevant riding the hype of my main event match with a rambling diatribe against me and declares ‘no more sneak attacks’… Then gets so pissed when I don’t give him the time of day that he sneaks up behind me when I’m beaten half to death, totally exhausted, barely able to see through the blood and cheap shots me like it’s meant to count for something. I’ve done some heinous shit over the past year but, man, that’s just low. This man just took Drew’s epic struggle to desperately try to retain this title belt, all the suffering the kid went through only to fall catastrophically short at the end, and diminished it to make it all about Brian Hollywood. And this dude has the gall to claim moral superiority over the roster? Give me a bloody break.” He shook his head despondently. “Brian?”

“Yes?” Brian Bare replied cautiously.

“Fuck off, I’m talking to the other Brian you absolute plum. And it was rhetorical!” Ward shook his head and then turned to look at the camera and cleared his throat.

“Brian?” He said antagonistically. “You wanted my attention and now you’ve got it. Not through that sorely misjudged little stunt and not through your ill conceived promo. Brian, you have my attention because you are my opponent and you have my interest because you are trying to take my belt off me, beyond that why should I even care about you? That one wasn’t rhetorical, I really want to know. You’ve been all mouth about making a stand against the Final Alliance ever since I came back but you’ve done jack shit about. Oh, oh, sorry, that’s not your fault is it, Brian? No it’s the roster’s fault. They’re to blame for not coming together, not putting their differences to the side and banding together to take on the thread of the Final Alliance. If only there was Unity! The fact you haven’t done a single bloody thing to impact the tossers isn’t your fault, is it?” Evan cocked his head to the side curiously.

“So you’ve gone out there and tried to implore cooporation to defeat the Alliance once and for all by… let me check my notes.” Ward mimed pulling out a notebook and flicking through it to a particular page, ran his finger down the fictitious paper and tapped the air where the note he was looking for wasn’t. “Ah, yes, by calling out the one man on the roster with not only a legitimate grievance against the Alliance but has actually been getting shit done against them, and demanding I fight you?” Evan looked back and forth to either of his sides with an exaggeratedly confused look on his face.

“Which is it, dude? Are you wanting the roster to stop fighting and join together to fight them or are you wanting to pick a fight with me? You’re giving so many mixed messages here, man. It’s like you’re trying to get a galaxy brain thing going on where, somehow, if you fight me then the roster will band together behind you and attack the Alliance? Honestly, mate, it’s great you have a hobby and all, but I can’t follow your logic at all. What did I ever do to you to get you so hyped up and angry about me? I haven’t had anything to do with you in suuuuuuch a long time.”

“Evan…” Brian Bare said hesitantly as he frowned. The cogs in his brain could be seen visibly spinning, calculating whether what he was about to say was worth the risk. “You viciously assaulted him on Chaos 64 and ended up putting his head through a wall.”

“What…?” Evan looked at the show’s host stunned. “That was HIM? I thought that was some nameless jobber who had just signed with the company. Jesus fucking Christ. That was Brian Hollywood? Wow.” Ward looked back to the camera. “Dude, truly, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. In my defence I really needed that interview with Bare and you were sooo in my way it was like you were literally telling me to beat the living shit out of you. So, you know, on balance…” Ward shrugged. “We’re about even in that situation.”

“Uhhh, I don’t think many, if any, people would agree with you, Evan.” Brian Bare must have been feeling rather ballsy to take that tone with Evan. Ward made a mental note of the transgression. “It was an unprovoked attack. It’s fair that he wants revenge for it.”

“That’s what I’m talking about, Bare, exactly!” Ward patted him on the shoulder. “Good journo, well done boy. If Brian Hollywood really, truly believed in any of that unity bullshit, if he actually believed everyone should let bygones be bygones to fight the Final Alliance then he wouldn’t be after revenge against me, he’d be crawling over to kiss my ass and beg me to be my underling. He should want to be my henchman and follow my orders in the fight against the Alliance. Can you believe he had the gall to question what I have achieved against them? Does he even pay attention to the shows?”

“I would expect he does.” Bare answered, risking the possibility that it wasn’t a rhetorical question. “He probably has seen you fight against them and understands it’s had no lasting effect on the Alliance or the company as a whole. They’re still here and causing hell for the roster.”

“Bitch, please!” Ward scoffed. “The Final Alliance is a shambles compared to when I joined them. Back then they were an absolute unit of pure domination. They were a generational threat to everyone. Now they’re a few ass-hats just chilling and competing. Hell, what Brian did after the main event last night was far worse than anything the Final Alliance has done for months. And you want to know why, my pair of perky pricked Brians? Want to know the reason they’re so tame and relatively under control these days?” Ward paused and then pointed at himself with both hands. “Because of this guy.”

“Brian, while you’ve just been wagging your tongue I’ve been waging war. While you were making idle threats about the Alliance, I’ve actually been getting the job done. I have systematically worked through their team and, with the exception of Mike, demolished every single one who I have faced. Sure they’re still here, they’re still bellends, but they’re broken. Jatt Starr and Dan Ryan, gone because of me. John Sektor and Steve Solex, humbled because of me. I did that by myself. You can go fuck yourself with your calls for unity, all of that is just your excuse for not doing a single sodding thing about them. It’s just your thinly veiled, desperate attempt to latch onto someone else’s coat tails and take credit for them taking action while you sit back and do the same thing you’ve done for the entirety of the last year: Absolutely nothing.”

“That is a bit harsh, Evan.” Brian Bare protested. “Brian Hollywood is HOW’s Conscious and the Consequence. He’s doing great work raising the tone of the federation and dealing with the undesirable aspects of it.”

“Oh, come on, he’s as effective as groups like Women Against Naughty Kids Entertainment & Recreation are at keeping our airwaves clean of filth like we peddle.” Ward huffed an indignant response. “Just like those W.A.N.K.E.Rs, he’s just a mouthpiece begging other people to do what they want. Honestly, Bare, honestly, Hollywood is so slow that he’s finally, finally taking those lessons which Ground Zero tried to teach him over a decade ago and actually trying to live by them… only he’s doing a TEMU, Wish dot com, dollar store reject attempt at it and failing miserably at even that low bar. To use his own words, Brian, who really gains from Hollywood starting a pissing contest with me? The Final Alliance, the guys he’s supposedly trying to take down. The dude can’t touch them, he can’t get near them without having his head shoved through a wall, so he’s projecting on me instead. What a joke. Take it from someone with a wealth of experience, that obnoxiously preachy, goody-two-shoes moralistic approach doesn’t do shit…”

 “But you know what does work?” Ward smiled at the camera egotistically. “Doing what I do. Fucking shit up. Doing to the Alliance what they do to everyone else to them. Bully the bullies, is what I say. Who gives a shit if chumps like Hollywood get caught in the crossfire? The ends justify the means and the end is whatever suits me.”

“Thank you, Evan.” Brian turned to the camera. “We’re heading for a break now, folks, but we’ll be right back to talk about War Games, Captaincy and more about Evan’s upcoming title defence. Don’t go anywhere!”

The camera dollied out as Evan and Brian began to chat off-mic before the show cut away to a commercial break.