Stay The Course.

Stay The Course.

Posted on June 17, 2022 at 10:01 pm by Xander Azula

Everyone who was in War Games is still feeling its effects.

Everyone who rallied behind Conor Fuse is still reeling from the final moments.

Trust me, I’m still sore as hell from it all.

And it sucks losing War Games, after all was said and done.

But, I managed to achieve something remarkable that night, in the midst of everything else going on.

I took someone out of the equation.

A minor victory, I know, but considering how many were counting me out of War Games before it began?

I’ll take it.

Especially when it’s the Hardcore Artist himself.

A man I made an example out of at War Games.

What sweet, sweet music to my ears it was when Bryan McVay made the announcement.

“Scottywood has been eliminated via pinfall by Xander Azula.”

I wanna break that moment down for you Scotty, just to make sure you understand the full weight of your embarrassment.

You, a man who seemingly overlooked ol’ Xander Azula on your path to War Games, getting knocked the fuck out with a Fist of Eris.

Counting the lights in Kyiv as I pinned you to the canvas for the elimination.

There’s no doubt in my mind you’ve been trying to downplay what happened that night all week, Scotty.

Looking for any excuse you can muster for your shortcomings.

But the record books will show that Xander Azula got the better of you at War Games 2022.

And that will probably eat you up for the rest of your career.

I sure hope so.

Because now I’ve got you right where I want you, Woodson.

You pride yourself on ramping up the violence in hardcore bouts…but this is far from such an occasion.

I tried to play that game the last time we faced off in singles competition, and it cost me dearly.

So now, I’m going to put all that training I’ve had to good use.

Joe Bergman’s taught me a thing or two, and I have remapped my strategy accordingly.

I’m not going to outfight you, Scottywood.

I’m not going to match your penchant for violence at Refueled 100.

No, I’m simply going to wrestle circles around you.

I’m going to outlast you.

And I realize how passé that sounds…but I’ve also listened to you spewing tropes on a regular basis, so I think that makes us even.

So, let’s see what you’ve got this time around, Scotty.

See if you can get through this without making excuses for yourself.

After all, all the insanity of War Games is past us, now.

There won’t be a dozen or so others to lean on, to assist, or to get in our way.

No cage, no double-ring setup, just a normal squared circle…just the two of us.

And boy, are you in for a surprise at Refueled.

“Stay the course.”

Bergman’s Barn
Plattin, Missouri

The trip back from the Ukraine was a rough one for Xander and his followers, but he knew he needed to regroup. After all, his next steps were carefully mapped out for him…he just needed to walk the path. This week marked the end of the Refueled era of High Octane Wrestling, and with it an opportunity to knock a Hall of Famer down a few pegs.

Xander realized in his training that the more he let his old ways interfere, the less likely he was to succeed…so, taking on a man calling himself the Hardcore Artist meant a completely different plan of attack. It was a point that his coach, Joe Bergman, tried to drive home as much as possible during their session that day.

“Scotty has always had a thing for taking things to the extreme, and to put it simply, he’s damn good at it. If you try to play that game with him, you will lose…so, consider instead a chance to take away any chance he has at ramping up that violence. Wear him down, outrun him if you have to, but make sure you try and keep things in the ring as much as possible.”

Xander gives a nod of understanding, doing his best to take the information in as he continues his drills. Double-leg and single-leg takedowns…simple, basic, but effective all the same. With every takedown, Xander considers the best method of applying a simple technique as this to his upcoming encounter with Scottywood.

Will the Hardcore Artist see this coming? Certainly…but anything you practice enough times becomes natural to you, and the ebb and flow of Xander’s offense will be the key to victory here. One more set of takedowns, this time with an emphasis on ankle picks…the surest way to try and catch Scottywood by surprise in the course of the bout.

Keep at this enough, and Scotty will fall right into the trap…and Xander can level him with a Fist of Eris at that time. That’s the ticket. Pull him in…and knock him out. Stay the course.

“Now you’re getting the hang of it, Xander. Keep up the good work, and I think you’ve got a good shot at picking up the victory.”

With that, the drills come to an end. Xander shakes hands with his coach, eager to gear up for his trip back to Chicago, his opportunity to pick up a big win and gain some much-needed momentum…and, perhaps most importantly, his chance to shut Scottywood the hell up for once. The thought of it brings a smile to Xander’s face as he and his followers take their leave from the Barn, shuffling into the Azulamobile–a name still being workshopped–before driving off into the night.

Congratulations, Scott Woodson.

For the second year in a row you managed to be an extra body for War Games.

And not a damn thing more.

Only this time, you didn’t get away with it for long.

I made sure of that.

That was all me, Scotty ol’ pal.

When you talked about having one last shot at a memorable War Games performance…I don’t think you counted on this.

But it happened.

And it brings a smile to my face.

But now, we can move the hell on.

Refueled 100, the end of an era.

Thousands of fans watching in the Best Arena, and millions watching around the world.

And they will all watch you stumble and fall again, this time without all the extra distractions of War Games.

No excuses for what’s coming your way, Scottypoo.

All I have to do is stay the course.

To chip away at you as much as necessary.

Watch you suffer from a lack of preparedness.

Take you on a little journey, before bringing it to a screeching halt.

You’ve done a hell of a lot in this business, Scotty…but it doesn’t mean you can’t be taken down a peg or two.

And after all that mad trash you had to talk the past few weeks, especially going into War Games…I’m gonna leave you speechless.

And once I’m done with you, I can move on.

I have my eyes on the prize, Scotty…and it ain’t you.

You’re just another hurdle standing in my way.

Just another stepping stone on the path.

And I’m gonna get to steppin’.