Posted by Christopher America
Previously on HOTv…………
Back live and we cut backstage where we see Scott Stevens in the referee’s locker room on the phone.
Scott Stevens: Yes.
Stevens answers and is listening to the other end.
Scott Stevens: I’ll leave right away and head to Manchester for Lethal Lottery.
The Texan hangs up the phone and places it into his pocket. He takes his referee shirt from his locker and opens up his suitcase and inside we see his wrestling gear before tossing in his shirt.
Scott Stevens: Good thing I’m always prepared.
Stevens says to himself with a smirk as he shuts the suitcase and walks out of the room as we cut back to ringside.
And now the conclusion……..
The image comes into focus of a darkened room with a single spotlight above a wooden table and brown leather chair. Nothing fancy about the table except it has an unopened red and white colored Bicycle brand playing deck. The sound of a door closing is heard in the distant before the sound of footsteps against the concrete floor.
The beating of the concrete continues to echo on until it stops when a certain individual comes into view, and that individual is Scott Stevens. The Texan is seen wearing his HOW referee shirt as well as his red and white, scorpion embroidered wrestling pants. Stevens places a hand on the back of the leather chair and pulls it away from the table before taking a seat. Stevens sees the deck of cards and reaches across the table for it and begin to open it. He tosses the plastic to the side and opens up the deck and begins to shuffle the cards on the table top.
Scott breaks the silence as he does a couple of shuffling tricks before continue.
“Everyone’s favorite time of the year not named War Games or Rumble at the Rock because it’s a pay-per-view level event on free television.”
Stevens says as he spreads the cards across the top of the table.
“Everyone vying for a championship opportunity”
Stevens eyes the cards and moves his hands across the top of them.
“Friends fighting each other. Comrades in Arms destroyed in a single night. Unexpected individuals making history when normally they wouldn’t be given the opportunity. Unpredictability is what Lethal Lottery is about. Andy Murray made history a few years ago when he became the only man in HOW history to win and lose a championship to himself.”
The Texan smirks as he lightly lifts the cards and they all shift to the red backing.
“However, that only happens if you are one of the few lucky ones that are chosen.”
Stevens informs as he brings the deck back to its original form.
“Nothing in Lethal Lottery is guaranteed because you have either a fifty percent shot at competing in a match for the Television championship, the LSD title, or 97 Red herself. If you aren’t one of the ones to challenge for a title on that night you still have the same fifty percent as those individuals to compete in a battle royal where the winner can declare a match with any of the champions as they can challenge for any title at a future date.”
Stevens holds up the deck of cards.
“There are a total of fifty-four cards in this deck and not everyone gets played. Sometimes the best cards and hands get left out until the next game and that is the other fifty percent of this equation.”
Stevens informs as he ruffles the deck with his thumb.
“Lethal Lottery can give anyone the greatest opportunity or not because it doesn’t matter if you are Wrestler of the Week, Month or Year. A Hall of Famer, Legend, Alumnus, or a snot-nosed rookie, you are just like everyone else when the names are being drawn. Lethal Lottery is the time of the year when everyone from Hall of Famers to Champions to Lonesome Losers are humbled because for one night everyone is equal.”
Stevens begins to shuffle the deck again before throwing the top card onto the table.
Black: 7 of Clubs
“This card represents a lot of things.”
Stevens leans forward to get a better look.
“Sin. Pain. Violence.”
Scott takes a moment before continuing.
“And what a way for Arthur Pleasant to make a return. Arthur Pleasant represents all of the things I mentioned and more.”
Stevens leans back in his chair.
“Arthur is violent and sadistic as you saw what he did to Eli Dresden with that piece of barbed wire after her hard fought match with the Television champion. He made a statement and with Arthur you don’t know what you’re going to get with him. I guess that’s why a seven best represents him because it’s in the middle of the deck and if he is focused he can beat anyone when paired with his unpredictability. However, he can fall from being the high card if all he cares about is hurting and maiming his opponents.”
Stevens begins to shuffle the deck once again.
“Only Arthur Pleasant knows which version of Arthur Pleasant is going to show up in Manchester.”
Stevens tosses another card onto the table and this time it’s a……
Red: 2 of Diamonds
Stevens has a worrisome look on his face.
“Don’t let the number of this card or Xander’s record fool you ladies and gentlemen because I believe he is actually the one person that everyone is hoping doesn’t get drawn and I’ll tell you why.”
Stevens cautiously taps on the table as if he was drawn to face Xander.
“Forget the religious foolery and other things he does that may make you brush him off as a non-threat, but he is far from it. The man is a diamond.”
Stevens says with authority in his voice.
“Diamonds are beautiful gems that everyone wants to own, but not everyone can afford them and people will do whatever they can to get some. Xander may say beautiful things to get you to listen and follow him, but the man is dangerous as he will use you to do whatever his bidding is. You saw what he did to Zion right? Not only that, the man is hard to beat and his emotional state is that of a rock because he has none. Xander cares about nothing or no one except to please his Goddess Discordia because since his debut he has been brought nothing but discord to High Octane Wrestling.”
Stevens tosses another card onto the table and it turns out to be….
Red: 4 of Hearts
Stevens leans over the table and picks up the card and examines it.
“The new old guy.”
Stevens rotates the card front to back between his fingers.
“The man of mystery or so he’s counting on.”
Stevens says as he tosses the card back onto the table.
“Most people may not know you, but I do David. I know that you are a student of the sport. A well traveled veteran that has carved his name in places such as PRIME and fWo as well as…..DEFIANCE.”
Stevens pauses waiting for a FUCK DEFIANCE that never comes before continuing.
“Since coming into HOW you’ve done well for yourself for someone that has been gone from active competition for the last six years.”
Stevens gives a polite applause.
“However, are you truly ready for an event like this? I know what it’s like David to be in this position and fail.”
“Continue to spiral downwards because I couldn’t live up to my abilities and turn to alcohol, pills, harder drugs, or random sexual encounters to numb the pain of defeat as it slowly eats away at me like a cancer. The difference between you and I see I found a way to push on. Can you do this and win championship gold or will you be drinking from a bottle of Jack and snorting lines of oxy while you lay in bed thinking what-ifs?”
Stevens asks as he tosses another card.
Black: 3 of Spades
“The three of spades represents no one better than the Superman of Wrestling, Doozer. Three has always been associated with this man because he’s in a trio of men called the eGG Bandits. Every wrestling promotion has given him three million chances after he’s burned ever bridge there is to burn.”
“Despite all of this though, Doozer at the end of the day is a wrestling legend, Hall of Famer, and former multiple time world champion. Before people were getting sick of Mike Best running his mouth, people were sick of the Dooze.”
“Without Doozer there may have been no Mike Best as he is the original template. Doozer dominated DREAM, UTA, Death Row, and other Wingate owned wrestling promotions. When he opened his mouth people listened and hated everything that came out of it. Companies tried to blacklist him based on his reputation. Doozer was a big fish and he went to other pounds to punch their big fishes in the dick for fun. Sound familiar?”
Stevens asks as he mixes the cards in his hands.
Red: 9 of Diamonds
“Diamonds are forever and so is Jatt Starr.”
Stevens begins to hum the James Bond song before stopping himself.
“The HOW Classic. The King of Grapple from the Big Apple. The ManJatthan Monarch. The Jattinum Standard. Blah. Blah. Blah. BLAH!”
Stevens says in annoyance.
“Jatt Starr can be an annoying little toad from time to time, but that’s all part of the show. You see Jatt likes to play games and be the special comedy attraction of High Octane Wrestling and if you think he is nothing but the company clown you’re already defeated.”
The worried look of Stevens reappears.
“Jatt Starr is one of the original Hall of Famers from the Golden Era of HOW back in 2002 and he’s still competing at a high level here in HOW going into the year 2022. That’s almost a solid twenty fucking years at competing at the highest level and he doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon!”
Stevens shouts with amazement.
“Jatt continues to prove why he may be the greatest in-ring performer in the history of High Octane Wrestling because did doesn’t matter if you’re twenty-two or fifty-two because at the end of the day he still has the ability to win at the highest level.”
Stevens gives a nod of respect before tossing out another card.
Rules for Draw and Stud Poker
The Texan says confused.
“I’m sure that was the same reaction from a lot of you as well, but that card represents the wrestlers on the roster we don’t know if they will be competing in the Lottery or not.”
Stevens picks up the card and takes a long look at it.
Stevens places the card on the table.
“All the names mentioned above we don’t know their status heading into the show. The only two that we know that will be there is Steve Solex and Bobby Dean. However….”
Stevens holds his index finger up.
“Will they pull double duty after their opening match up and go for an opportunity at championship gold? Most people will say no because Bobby Dean just showing up is a miracle in itself and who knows if Solex’s multiple personalities will let him compete again. Regardless, if they do they have to be taken seriously…..yes, even Bobby Dean. Don’t let the blonde hair, fat rolls, and high pitch voice fool you, but Bobby is a world class athlete even though he looks like a Z-List boy band member that ate an entire buffet. He can’t beat any given time when he gives and fuck and a shot at gold may make him give a fuck.
Before he became the Number One Dad in HOW and started talking to pillow cases, Solex was an Army veteran. That means he knows how to legally kill you with his bare hands if he wanted to. He’s a trained killer and depending on the right personality coming through he can easily become a champion because I know this better than anyone else as the two of us fought over gold many times.
The report we got on HOWrestling.com says Eli Dresden would be medically cleared to compete, but being cleared really doesn’t tell us much. I mean she is a feisty competitor, but how is her focus going to be after suffering the embarrassment and torture that Arthur Pleasant, and if you’re not completely of sound mind and focus her chances of winning are slimmer than a bus full of anorexic women headed to a Bobbinette Carey meet and greet.
Mario Maurako is a Hall of Famer and a beast inside the squared circle, but who knows if he’s going to show up and compete that night outside of possible whacking Bobbinette back into obscurity.
Clay Byrd probably won’t be there because he’s injured, but he may show up because I’ve seen other cowboys in the past use casts as weapons in their matches and Clay could use his broken arm to his advantage if he decided to step back into a HOW ring at Lethal Lottery.
Conor Fuse is a question mark because even though he has been appearing at shows on his, “Mope Around the World Tour”. Or maybe that is the plan all along? Maybe that is the cheat code he has put into the HOW video game to throw you off track and he reappears better than ever and takes his place back as the End of the Game Boss? Whatever the case may be with Conor, he has all the talent in the world to beat anyone as he has dominated HOW this past few months.
Stevens scratches his chin.
“This one is a toughie to crack because he is Mike Best’s best friend and number one contender to the world title, and you would think he wouldn’t cash in on that opportunity early, but Farthington could and what better way to do it than at an event were your best friend isn’t even expecting it? I mean Farthington is as devious as he is dangerous. He has held championship for long periods of time while breaking the arms of others just because he finds it fun. Cecilworth may be a friend, but if you happen to step across the ring from him the friendship dies once that bell rings because he wants to prove to everyone that he is the best that is why Mike is scared shitless of him and that is why he is so dangerous because if Mike is scared of him so should you.”
Stevens says sternly as he points towards the camera as he tosses another card.
Red: 5 of Hearts
“How ironic the five of hearts pop up isn’t it Jack?”
Stevens asks with a slight chuckle.
“I mean are we going to see the God of High Flying that battled the likes of Rah and Max Kael or are we going to get the High Flyer whose heart isn’t in it this week and he only shows up to collect his weekly paycheck?”
Stevens asks allowed before continuing.
“The only reason I’m asking Jack is because I know what you are capable of inside of that ring when you actually give a fuck. You are dangerous. You are crazed even. We have battled many times in many different promotions and you’ve always given me your best and my advice to you is that you show up and deranged and crazed and win something big in High Octane to complete your wrestling promotion championship resume.”
Stevens bluntly states as he throws a card from the bottom of the deck this time.
Black: 6 of Clubs
Stevens says to himself as he leans back in his chair.
“What can I say about Hollywood that hasn’t already been said before except he is the best at being streaky.”
Stevens nods as he picks up the card.
“Think about it. When he was Brian James Thomas he was barely a cliff note in HOW history and he’s barely remembered because of a tag title reign that’s forgettable at best. However, when he transformed and become Mr. Sex and Money himself, Brian Hollywood, his career took off. He was one of the most despised men in High Octane Wrestling along with Darin Zion and Noah Hanson. They dominated the tag team scene for a long time before Hollywood decided to shed the dead weight of Hanson and Zion and became not only a two time World champion, but the last ever World, ICON, and LSD champion of the Modern Era when he won a winner takes all match against his best friend, Darin Zion. When the Refueled Era started up, he was the runner up in the World title tournament to reclaim something he never lost. Since then, he has been hit and miss hence why he is streaky. When he’s down on his luck he is colder than Nick “The Brick” Anderson trying to shoot free throws in clutch moments. However, when he is on, he is one superkick away from beating anyone, and that’s not a prediction, a spoiler, but an Executive Promise.”
Stevens says with an authorities tone as he tosses another card onto the table.
Black: 8 of Clubs
“The Trump Card; Darin Zion.”
Stevens says with a gentle ease.
“Darin Zion is a guy that is annoying as fuck and gets shit on just as bad as me and Scottywood, but he’s also a hell of a talent.”
Stevens nods in acknowledgement.
“This is the God’s honest truth and that is you can build a wrestling promotion around him because the guy is loyal, will do what you ask, but more importantly can get it done when that bell sounds. Only negative is he gets drunk and says and posts stupid shit that gets him ridiculed by his peers and banned from social media platforms for awhile, but other than that any promoter would love to have him. Even though Zion has come up short in his title matches this era that doesn’t make him less dangerous. Sektor said it himself that Zion is the type of wrestler to study the tape and tweak his performance to correct the mistakes he made and he could potential walk out a champion if they were to meet once again. Zion takes this business very seriously. He wants to prove he is the best and trying to prove you are the best makes you a dangerous competitor.”
Stevens tosses a card and a bewildered look comes over the Texan’s face once it hits the pile.
Black: ACE of Spades
Scott leans back in his chair and scratches his face.
“Don’t need to say much about Death Bringer because anyone that put the original Death Bringer on the shelf has to be feared and respected.”
Stevens respectfully replies as he shuffles the cards.
“However, speaking of ACEs; I forgot to mention Mr. ACE himself, the LSD champion and Gold Standard of HOW, John Sektor. I’ve known John Sektor for a long time, we have had many battles through the years and I consider him a friend and this version of him is the best I’ve ever seen. If you don’t believe me then you haven’t been watching any of his matches as of late. Sektor is proving to everyone that he literally is a walking weapon and this is evident by being the LSD champion which is normally associated with an extreme style and using his technical skills and prowess as the only weapons he needs to win. Sektor is stretching, bending, and suplexing his way to get his opponents tapping out. Sektor is a well oiled fucking machine and it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to beat him especially if they have the preparation advantage because he’s that good.”
Stevens compliments his friend before tossing out another card.
Black: King of Spades
“The King of Everything. Jace Parker Davidson.”
The tone in Scott’s voice says it all as his feelings for Jace haven’t changed through the years.
“When Jace isn’t bitching and complaining about getting not getting a world title shot or begging like Keith Sweat for Hall of Fame votes the man is very dangerous. Jace is a Hall of Fame talent that can and has done it all. He has held every championship there has been in HOW since he debut and I don’t mean he held a title here and there, but he held them at the same time, but he’s done it multiple times. Hell, most former and current Hall of Famers can’t claim that feat. Jace is probably the one challenger you can look at and most people will say he has the best chance at walking out with a victory and a new shiny belt slung over his shoulder. Especially since Clay Byrd is on the shelf.”
“In all seriousness, Jace is probably the biggest threat that anyone will face that doesn’t have a championship around their waist.”
Stevens tosses another card out.
Black: Queen of Spades
““The Queen of HOW” Lindsay Troy…..er…..I mean Bobbinette Carey.”
Stevens corrects himself.
“Sorry Bob, the deck doesn’t come in poke my eyes out with a pencil pink.”
Stevens says with great sarcasm.
“Carey, I’m sorry, but I can’t take you serious right now. I get that you’re a Hall of Famer, and a former world champion, but you’re mind is all over the fucking place right now. Here is a spoiler alert for you Bobbi, but no one gives a fuck about your sex life. People became interested in it when you blabbed about it of your own free will that you banged half of the CWA locker room. Besides that, no one was ever concerned about who was sticking what up your va-jay-jay. Hell, I doubt you even take yourself seriously at this point in your career. Your black half bitches and moans about how people have been racially insensitive towards you especially in the countries we’ve been touring through, but yet your white half still calls herself a Queen. Kind of ironic, don’t you think? I’m sure when we get back to the states you’ll be wanting your forty acres and a mule while buying name brand knock off handbags from China.”
Stevens says bluntly before continuing.
“You turn on Scottywood because you claim he used you. Yeah, ok. You claim you’re going to defeat Mario in an electrified cage match. Really? You need to electrify the man to defeat him? I’m sure he was already defeated when you took his anal virginity on your wedding night. You’re a leech Carey, plain and simple. You leeched off of Shane Reynolds to win your first world title, you leeched off of Scottywood to become relevant again, and you’re leeching off of this electrified cage at ICONIC to try and upstage the other matches.”
Stevens shakes his head in disgust.
“You may be a Hall of Famer, but I’ve never needed gimmicks to get myself over Carey. I’ve been the Texas bad ass since day one and it hasn’t changed. I’m me and that’s all I ever needed to get the job done.”
Stevens confidently boasts as he tosses another card and raises an eyebrow when it appears.
Black: Jack of Spades
“I was wondering when I was going to see you old friend.”
Stevens says as he reaches over and picks it up.
“Scottywood. Scottywood. Scottywood. You are more dangerous than ever especially now that Bobbinette has screwed you out of your latest opportunity at the world title. I know Scottywood better than anyone in this company and this is the most dangerous he has ever been and this is coming from the guy he stabbed in the heart with a syringe full of black tar heroin. Scotty is in his don’t give two fucks mode and is looking to take his anger out on anyone in front of him. Problem is, beating the shit out of someone may be fun, but it doesn’t win championships if you get disqualified. If Scottywood can channel and focus that rage and anger then we could potentially have a brand new world champion at Lethal Lottery.”
Black: 10 of Spades
“Hannibal Lecter himself, Jeffrey James Roberts.”
Stevens says with a slight whimper of fear in his voice.
“I’m going to say what a lot of people has only been thinking; Roberts is a future HOW Hall of Famer. Yes, he is currently undefeated inside the ring at an impressive ten wins and zero losses as well as the Television champion and current and former Wrestler of the Month. Really think about it when you look at him and who does he remind you of?
Three of the most sadistic and vicious in HOW history along with two of the most cerebral as well. Everything Jeff does has a purpose and it always involves someone ending up in serious pain. It’s very difficult to challenge a guy whose intelligence is as great as their enjoyment for hurting people.”
Stevens shutters at the thought of facing Roberts when he notices what the recent cards he threw out formed.
Five Spades: Royal Flush
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the King of the HOW jungle himself, Michael Lee Best.”
A humble tone is in his voice.
“The man that has legal custody of my youngest son and the man who retired me from actively competing inside of a HOW ring.”
Stevens informs as he looks down.
“Mike Best ended me, but he also humbled me into realizing that what I was doing wasn’t working and it hadn’t been working for a long time. He made it a point just like the point of his knee when it knocked me into unconsciousness that I have to change everything about what I was doing to succeed. Leave the past in the past and focus on the present. The Mike Best that stands in the ring to defend 97 Red isn’t the Mike I defeated at ICONIC all those years ago. He isn’t the Five Time ICON champion Mike Best. He isn’t even the Mike Best that dominated OCW and the HOFC division because he was fucking bored. This Mike Best is at his peak and he’s still fucking hungry to dominate because that’s what drives him. Most people would be complacent with his championships and accolades, but to Mike Best that’s just another Tuesday. Mike wants to face the best because he wants to be the best and the only way to do that is to beat the best. And if you want to claim you’re the best in HOW than there is no bigger way to test your mettle than defeat arguably the great HOW wrestler in history.”
Stevens tosses one final card and it happens to be a…..
“Why am I not surprised?”
Stevens says to himself as he shakes his head.
“I’m sure everyone was wondering if there was going to be a joker in the deck and that happens to be me. And no, it doesn’t mean because I’m a clown or the lovable Lonesome Loser either. It means I’m the wild card of this Lottery because while everyone has a fifty/fifty shot at getting a championship match or into the battle royal, I’m not so lucky. I only have a thirty-three and a third chance of anything happening to me because I’m Scott Stevens and I’m not normal. You see, I can get chosen for a championship opportunity, I can get selected to referee one of the matches instead, or I could be left off the show entirely.
The only reason I am here is because I was asked to. I am a professional and when I’m asked to do something by upper management I do it. I’m not in a position of power anymore and technically I’m not supposed to be on television or wrestling in a ring, but when the man behind the curtain tells me to do something I know that supersedes all prior restrictions.
Am I beat up and passed my prime? Yes. Do I deserve an opportunity at any championship in HOW? Fuck no, but here I am because that’s what I was told to do. Everyone knows that when I step into that ring I am going to give it my all and my all may not be much, but you’re going to have to wheel me out on a stretcher because I’m not going to back down and I damn sure ain’t going to quit! I love this company and respect those championships more than anything else that if I happen to get one final opportunity I’m going to give it my all and who knows that may just be enough to become a champion one more time.”
Stevens pridefully boasts.
“See you in Manchester.”
Scott get up from his chair and turns and walks back from where he came as the scene fades.