The facilities at The Tokyo Dome for the Yomiuri Giants were state of the art. They spared no expense, which surely helped them to their record twenty two Japan series championships. The weight room even smelled new, as Clay looked over the facilities. The old, the dingy, the worn facilities he had worked out in for years were nothing compared to this.
There was no stench of sweat, he didn’t fear ringworm or hundreds of other pathogens. The slight hint of alcohol in the air assured him of the cleanliness and care that happened here. This room made champions. Clay worked out at a rabid pace. His #97Red Best Alliance shirt quickly developed a ring of perspiration as The Monster from Plainview worked with the free weights. Normally in Clay’s head, his father’s voice would ring out for the entirety of the workout. Instead, every rep Clay shouted himself. The internal vocalizations that normally haunted him had simply vanished.
The Behemoth was on a mission to destroy, and he eyed the Giants heavy bag. Clay approached with his taped fists, each one still containing a twenty pound dumb bell. He went to work blasting the bag over and over, he expected the voice to call out to him. His father had held the heavy bag for Clay since he was ten years old.
There was still nothing, nothing but eerie silence.
Clay began to call out his own combinations, mixing in knee strikes with the work he was making of the heavy bag. The weights added to the damage, and drained Clay quickly, but he didn’t stop, he couldn’t stop.
Ted wouldn’t stop.
Each weighted blast rocked the bag, and Clay kept firing in rapid succession. A series of jabs and hooks, Clay’s thoughts no longer drifted to the internal strife within The Alliance. Clay had made his decision, he had picked his team. Of course to the rest of the world when he hit Lindsay Troy from behind with a chair, that was the moment he had picked his team.
But to Clay, that was just simply business. Troy had been on the wrong persons list, and that person, the GOD of HOW made sure that Lindsay Troy got exactly what he had said she would that evening. The money that Clay received spent well, he hadn’t had a call from Claude in weeks about the ranch. The last time his fathers friend and personal trainer had reached out was after the incident at Refueled sixty three, and Clay hadn’t cared to respond. He’d been busy.
That’s how life works right? You meet new people, and you drift away from the old ones. The people Clay had met had been The Best Alliance, and of course they were a merry band of degeneracy. While the likes of Starr irritated him, and Solex’s passiveness aggravated him, the men of The Alliance had been to war with each other.
The bond they felt had allowed them to relax, there was an understanding inside The Alliance. While they would stab each other in the back for the World Championship, they would only turn on each other if it directly benefited themselves.
Clay’s survival in War Games directly benefited the Alliance, as much as John Sektor wanted to kill Teddy Palmer he wouldn’t hurt Clay in his attempt to get after Ted. Because it didn’t sit with the ultimate goal. Up until the bitter end The Alliance would be thick as thieves, there would be no betrayal, until it was well in hand. They were smart, they were calculated, and they were killers.
Teddy Palmer’s paranoia was completely justified. Especially after the interview Lindsay Troy had with her own team in attendance. Lindsay Troy would retire if she did not have the World Championship around her waist at the end of the year.
The shockwaves that had to send through the 214 locker room had to be extraordinary. Or they didn’t quite understand what her threat was. If a member of the 214 somehow managed to win the World Heavyweight title, Momma wasn’t going to be there to help them keep it. Momma Troy would be the first in line to challenge, and the first in line to drive the dagger in their back. The 214 would end at War Games, one way, or the other.
Clay hammered away at the bag, finally, for the first time since joining The Alliance he was confident. Confident with his decision, confident with his master, confident with his job. The Behemoth understood the instructions explicitly.
Defeat Teddy Palmer.
Dan… I’d been waitin’ here, fer six months fer ya ta finally utter my name. I hadn’t earned it yet, so I didn’t press the issue. I expected fireworks, greatness, pure passion ta come from yer lips. Instead I got whatever fuckin’ excuse fer a promo that was.
Which knee from Mike was it that impregnated yer brain with that dumb fucking line about Ohio? Talkin’ about my looks partner? You look like the Gerber baby and 1998 Nick Lachey fucked in a time machine fifty years ago, and what popped out was Stretch Armstrong’s dumb fuckin’ cousin with Carson Daly’s hair do. Some of us got better with age Dan, some of us are just enterin’ our fuckin’ prime. While some others should of stayed in 2002 where they fucking belonged.
Did you sing your daughter ‘Because of You’ when the petals fell? I was too busy looking for yer sunshine after the rain. It’s a shame you couldn’t win the world title, or beat the Backstreet Boys on TRL. One day Dan, one day you’ll get it. When I’m done ending Ted ‘The Last Samurai’ Palmer’s career in the middle of the cage at War Games, I’m gonna come take yer fuckin’ head off with a lariat, and while yer layin’ there thankin’ yer Japanese fairy godmother that he found yer daughter, I’m gonna let Jatt ‘Puddin’ Pop’ Starr get the three count.
Conor, I need ya ta do Lindsay a favor as her little errand boy. I know we don’t really know each other like that, but what I need from ya is gonna be a big help fer yer best buddy Ted. I need ya ta make sure Ted gets takin’ real good care of at The Dearness Living Community. Ya might be able ta convince him one a them old Betty’s is Ms. Troy herself.
Who am I kiddin’? Make that reservation fer two. And here I was thinkin’ Mike Best got Christmas on his Birthday fer War Games. Did ya hear what she said at that press conference? All I need ta do is stop her from winnin’ War Games? Keep her out of the title picture fer seven months? And she’ll just fuckin’ walk away? Santa might be real after all.
So what yer sayin’ is yer willin’ ta give up and leave? Pack yer fuckin’ bags? I thought this was the fight of fights! The battle of battles! Right the wrongs! Teach Lee Best a lesson! What? If ya lose at War Games? That if ya don’t get yer fuckin’ way yer gonna pack yer bag up, go home, and pout? That’s the most entitled bullshit I’ve ever heard. Ya went out there sayin’ “ Dammit, the guys that have been here fer decades keep gettin’ murdered for charity, and I wanna have my brain smashed in too!”
After that press conference I ‘imagine yer gonna be gettin’ one of them short hair cuts, buyin’ a few mocha Frappuccinos and changin’ yer name to Karen Troy promptly?
Oh and Conor, make sure ya give them Pappy Zeb’s old room. He’ll know right where it is, ya won’t have ta find that dumb son of a bitch walkin’ the halls more confused than the fuckin’ patients. It’d be embarrassin’ if ya found him fishin’ in the cafeteria and ended up with Dorothy gummin’ on his worm ya know?
Arthur Pleasant, where the fuck do I even start with you? Makin’ fun of how I talk? Dan must have hit ya with that fuckin’ elbow so hard that he gave ya a case of the bad Mike Best jokes. That’s how STD’s work ‘round here right? Yer like if Marilyn Manson became a fuckin’ wrestler. Take yer bad Alice Cooper act and get the fuck out of my way.
Ya think I’m lackin’ on stamina and willpower? I hope yer mother dropped you on yer fuckin’ head a few times before ya killed her. I went twenty three fucking minutes with Ted two weeks ago, AND I WAS STILL FIGHTING. I had enough left in me ta tread water and wait for a fuckin’ rescue helicopter instead of drownin’. I’ll have no problem grabbin’ ya by yer fuckin’ face and beatin’ ya within an inch of yer fuckin’ life after dispatchin’ Ted Palmer. Has Xander told ya about The Eternal Circle yet? I’m pretty sure them fellas believe in reincarnation, and when The Best Alliance is done tearin’ ya apart ya might wish ya had come back as an actual fuckin’ cockroach instead of a figurative one.
Ray… Ray I like ya. I really do, ya know yer a business man, ya do a great job runnin’ a small lil promotion out there. I might even let ya punch Jace a few times before I rip yer arms off. I mean really, if ya hadn’t sent Zion back ta us I’d prolly let ya keep punchin’ him. But ya gotta pay fer yer transgressions against the masses and society as a whole. Yer practically a fuckin’ war criminal. Ya should be tried in a tribunal fer cursing us with havin’ ta hear Darin Zion fuckin’ speak. The only reason I’m lettin’ ya punch Jace is ‘cause he also did a remarkable job of breathin’ life inta Zion’s career after I fuckin’ buried it once already.
Do ya see it yet Ted? Do ya see it? I’m the fuckin’ fox, and once I beat ya Ted, the henhouse is wide fuckin’ open. It’s the reason I’m gonna do my best in there ta go fer career killin’ instead of actually killin’ ya. Cause Ted, when yer layin’ in the back in a neck brace, I want ya ta have ta watch what I do ta each one of them.
And it’ll be all yer fault Ted, it’ll be yer fault that Clay Byrd got to run wild on War Games. He got ta hurt people, the people ya care ‘bout the people ya love. And that Ted, that’s gonna be somethin’ that’s real hard ta live with. Yer gonna have ta watch from the sidelines as Ms. Troy goes on the retirement tour. Rootin’ her on from the hospital bed, just wishin’ ya could be there right in the middle of it.
It’s gonna be fuckin’ great Ted, because of yer actions Jatt Starr and John Sektor get a fuckin’ handicap match against Dan Ryan and Conor Fuse. Because of yer actions, every single person who comes in that cage is gonna be at a disadvantage. Because of yer actions Lindsay Troy is gonna lose War Games, because of yer actions Conor Fuse is gonna get hit by an actual Uber, Dan Ryan is gonna face the humiliation of losing to Jatt Starr, Ray is gonna have to learn ta golf with one arm, and Xander will have ta serve the kool-aid at the after party.
And it’s all yer fuckin’ fault.
The Behemoth walked onto the stage for War Games. Being on the Boss’ team had its perks. He carried a steel chair with him as he began to walk down the ramp. Clay smirked thinking back to all the times he had seen this walk take place. Either from the stands, or on television. For a moment he allowed his mind to wander a bit as he made his way to the halfway point of the iconic ramp.
He pictured the arena packed to the gills, the shouting fans as his music played. The garbage flying through the air at him, he allowed himself a small smirk as he sat the chair out on the ramp and sat in it. He didn’t have the cigarette like Atsushi Onita had produced from his leather jacket, but a pinch of Copenhagen would do.
He looked back up the ramp visualizing the garbage trail leading back to the entrance of the arena. In two days, Clay had his chance to go down in High Octane Wrestling history. He may not win War Games, but anything he did after fighting Teddy would be stunning. Walking after he fought Teddy would be nice.
Arthur Pleasant was right, barring a critical error, an absolute collapse, Clay would be feeling the match with Ted as the War Games match progressed. As he got to ringside looked up the ramp for a moment, imagining Teddy coming out to meet him. The girls shrieking Teddy at the top of their lungs, the madness the 214 would command in that moment would be outrageous.
Clay checked the door to the structure and smirked, at least he didn’t have to climb the fucking cage and find a way to slip in. Or beat the fuck out of random people with keys to accomplish his mission this evening.
Clay felt the chair over as he held it in his hands. He ran his hand across the first dent. Teddy hadn’t begun his roaring and posturing yet. The dent was the largest in the chair, and roughly fit the shape of The Monster from Plainview’s skull.
Is this what you wanted?
Teddy had screamed the question that evening as the chair connected with The Behemoth’s skull. Clay’s finger twitched, finding the second dent.
I will give you exactly what you wanted!
The third dent in the weapon caused The Behemoth to snarl. He finally slid the bent and battered chair under the ring.
He knew it could have been any chair, but he had spent the time watching Bobby Dean and Doozer digging through the trash room on the Octane. Surprisingly with Bobby on board their were more broken chairs than expected, but eventually… eventually they found that exact chair. It had to be that chair, it had to be the symbol of Teddy’s cowardice. It had to be the symbol of Teddy Palmer’s fear.
He wasn’t going to just break Teddy Palmer physically, he was going to destroy the man mentally. He allowed himself once more to picture the moment in the War Games cage. The women crying, the trash flying onto the cells, and The Monster from Plainview laughing in the middle of the ring with a broken Teddy Palmer at his feet.
Let’s be honest with each other for once Ted.
Yer a hell of a fighter. Yer an animal in that ring. I know that, I saw it. Hell, half of the boys in the back have seen it Ted. They whisper in hushed tones about how Ted Palmer is one of the favorites on The Witness Report. They talk ‘bout how we’re doin’ somethin’ special at War Games.
They don’t seem ta get that nothin’ we are doin’ is special. They don’t understand what it does to our minds, what it does to our bodies, they don’t quite get it. Maybe some of the boys do, but the people who watch this from home? Who chant your name and revel at mine?
They don’t understand.
They never will.
This isn’t ‘bout doin’ somethin’ special on Sunday night. This is ‘bout survival. One of us is goin’ ta survive the confrontation with the other, and then that person will try ta survive sixteen other men and women who walk in that ring after us. One of us is goin’ ta the hospital on Sunday night, truthfully it’ll prolly be both of us. ‘Cause we both know what it will take ta put the other down, we’ve both done it. And we both know the other is too damn stupid to quit.
Ya can talk till yer blue in the face ‘bout Harrison. Yer cowardice brought that on Ted, ya pickin’ up that chair and tryin’ ta remove my skull. That’s why Steve Harrison happened. Hortega didn’t do his fuckin’ job in that ring, the match wasn’t bein’ called evenly, and Lee Best made sure he fixed the issue.
So we get ta do it again. This time, I’ll get ta choke ya all I fuckin’ want without some crazed referee screaming at me in Spanish fer doin’ it. Cause even Hortega understands there aren’t fuckin’ rules at War Games. Have you mentioned the way Hortega officiated? Have you brought the real demon to the forefront?
No, because yer afraid of the fuckin’ truth of that night. Ya wanna talk ‘bout Harrison? Let’s talk ‘bout where yer team was ta even the fuckin’ odds? Was Conor too busy playin’ as his hero in the HOW video game? Was Lindsay Troy swiping right on Tinder?
I’m sure ya watched the match as much as I have this week, I’m sure ya know that it takes 86 seconds from when the match ends for me ta rewind. It takes 88 seconds ta rewind if ya watch Harrison throw ya in the drink. I’m sure while ya were out doin’ yer best Tom Cruise, Last Samurai impression ya watched it back a hundred times.
One hundred and twenty three.
That’s how many times I studied that match, I could tell ya ‘bout how ya twitch yer thumb before ya feint, I could tell ya how ya reach fer the chair with yer right hand. I know you better than you know yourself Ted. That’s how I know I’m the better fucking man Ted, and that’s how I know yer a fuckin’ coward.
You’re a fuckin’ killer? Give me a fuckin’ break Ted. The only thing ya ever killed was a deer ya hit by accident drivin’ down the road. Hell ya didn’t even kill yer daddy fer fuckin’ yer wife. Yer not a killer Ted, you’ll never be a killer Ted.
You’re the king of what should have happened, what could have happened, if Ted Palmer had got his way the world would be a better place. Get over your past Ted, cause I’m ‘bout ta change yer future forever.
It’ll start with me winnin’ the LSD title Ted.
And if Cancer ain’t up ta it, I’ll take that red one home with me as well.
See ya at War Games.