It was about an hour after Refueled 72 here in Chicago on September 11th. The show had gone off the air and the arena had emptied. Yet I remained back in my dressing room seated on a wooden bench inside the room. Madison was inside the dressing room too leaned against one of the lockers. My hands rested on my knees but on top of my palms sat the HOW HOTv Championship belt. The belt that I put on the line in the main event against Daytona and managed to retain.
My head was down and I just stared at the belt as the match earlier in the night replayed in my head. My mind focuses on the end of the match where Daytona was perched on the top rope ready to hit her finisher. At that moment I could literally feel the HOTv Championship slipping through my fingers. Yet somehow I was able to reach down and pull that last bit of effort out of my body. It was enough to manage to boot Daytona in the midsection and hit her with Unscripted Violence.
Three seconds later it was all over.
The bell sounded, my music played, the crowd booed, but I was handed my Championship belt. A belt that I’ve held for so long now that I felt naked if it wasn’t in my hands or in my line of sight. However, after tonight I was thankful that it was still in my possession. That it was still my name on the gold plate on this Championship belt. I let out an exhausted sigh and raised my head up to look away from the Championship belt.
“It’s getting harder and harder.” The words escaped my lips as I looked over at Madison.
“It was a close match against Daytona but I had faith that you would pull it out in the end.” Madison said with a smile on her face.
“That almost didn’t happen tonight. If I hadn’t trained my ass off and scouted her the way I did I would have lost for the first time since the War Games match.” The words stung to say out loud.
“So Daytona happened to be a little bit better than we expected and gave you a run for your money.” Madison stated nonchalantly. “You did say that everyone brings their best effort against you.”
“It’s not just the opponents I have to worry about, it’s me.” I took the HOTv Championship and placed it over my right shoulder. “If it wasn’t for the fact that we got an extra week before Bottomline, I’m not sure I’d still be Champion right now.”
“I guess it doesn’t help that one you retained the title and two that you have Clay Byrd to deal with at Rumble at the Rock.” Madison shook her head.
“This whole Best Alliance being disbanded thing has really screwed me over.” I took my free hand and ran it through my hair.
“You didn’t sound too bothered by it earlier tonight when Blaire interviewed you.” Madison raised an eyebrow.
“That was before I knew I’d have an angry redneck looking to knock my head into the bay at Rumble at the Rock.” I stretched my neck a bit side to side, uncomfortable with the mere thought. “At least with the Best Alliance around we had sort of an unspoken agreement not to try to end each other’s careers.”
“That’s at Rumble at the Rock. We got time to prepare for the thunder that clothesline of Clay’s packs but you know being HOTv Champion means you’re in another title defense next week.” Madison stated the obvious.
“Let my guess, I’ll be defending the title against the returning Bobbinette Carey? Yeah Another Queen vs. King matchup. They eat that shit up.” I chuckled at the thought of being blindsided by another wrestler I never seen perform before.
“That would have been my guess but no.” Madison looked down at her cell phone in her hand and began reading from the HOW website. “Actually next week we’re headed to Minnesota and you’re defending the title against QT Reese.”
“Say what?” I tilted my head to the side in confusion. “The Reesemart guy? The guy with the so-called sponsorship of Rumble at the Rock? I’m defending against that guy of all the people on the roster?”
“Afraid so.” Madison moved her finger across the screen on her phone. “Going by this height and weight it’s gonna be fighting Daytona or Eli Dresden all over again.”
“Another small competitor that uses speed and likes to come off of the top rope?” I asked, nodding my head.
“QT Reese’s roster page has him listed at five foot eight inches tall and he weighs in at 153 lbs. soaking wet.” Madison reads from the HOW website. “So you’ll have like eight inches in height on him and a 100 lbs. in weight.”
“Well QT Reese isn’t going to beat himself.” I pulled myself up off of the bench and looked down at Madison. “I’m going to hit the showers then we can get the hell out of here and back to our hotel room.”
I handed the HOTv Championship belt to Madison and headed towards the shower area of the dressing room as the scene fades.
I began as I typed on my cell phone during the plane ride back to Miami.
“I figured I could have gone to an arena or some isolated place and cut a promo but that wouldn’t work for you. I decided to come at you this way in written form since you seem to love those social media platforms. Especially Twitter of all things.”
Simply writing the word Twitter made my stomach turn a bit but I pressed on.
“I saw that thing you called a promo and I have to say that I was slightly amused. Telling your little story about how some grungy cunt you lost to in some dead federation took over your precious ‘Reesemart’ and kept you from getting inside. The problem is that I don’t know whether I should feel sorry for you or feel sorry for him that he had to take up residence in such a place. I find myself sitting here asking myself questions like ‘Why Reesemart?’ and ‘What exactly is Reesemart?’ as I type this.”
I didn’t know if it was the boredom of the flight or the fact I was set to defend against a man named after a Halloween treat but the questions remained.
“Apparently Reesemart is a floundering business venture by one Christmas Quarterman Reese that offers bootleg goods for those in the hardcore or deathmatch line of professional wrestler. Some of the products you make yourself Mr. Reese. Like that so-called mitten with the corn cob holders that you showed a fan. I can only imagine someone your IQ level actually bringing something like that down to the ring with him. But that leaves the question of ‘Why Reesemart?’ Why is this our so-called sponsor for the Rumble at the Rock PPV?”
I paused to ponder that very question. However, with the contract that Lee signed and left for Michael, anything was possible.
“It can’t be because Reesemart is a successful business because come on. One glance at Twitter and one can see you screaming at the top of your lungs to any fly by night federation that will listen. Shilling your crap left and right like this is stuff that couldn’t be found at any local garage sale. Actually, that’s a pretty fitting description of Reesemart. One big yard sale full of crap that you or anyone else for that matter has any practical use for at all. So how did you do it? How did a man that’s admittingly broke manage to convince Lee Best to let him and his shitty business be the sponsor for arguably the most brutal PPV that HOW has to offer?”
I turned to look over at Madison to gather her opinion but she was fast asleep in her seat.
“Well, we all know that Lee Best can be bribed and brought. But again you have no money and are pretty much shitting your pants about a mere four grand and some pocket change. So what did you do Reese? Did you show Lee Best just how much of a ‘cutie’ you can really be? Did you offer to blow him like you nearly did with the guy squatting in your place of business? Maybe you offered him one of the nine fingers that you have left? Whatever it may be, I know Lee was big on the whole ‘Every hole is a goal’ motto on life. So, hey at one hundred fifty-three pounds that asshole must have been deliciously tight. I understand though, in a place like HOW where people dying is a natural circumstance. I bet you couldn’t resist shilling your shit here in the Mecca of chaos and violence.”
I squirmed in my seat a bit trying to get comfortable as Madison rested her sleeping head on my shoulder.
“So here you are back for another round after your short stay in the HOFC event that took place. Fresh off of a win against a disappointing Scottywood. Now you set up to the big boys, now you’re coming after the #1 ranked wrestler in HOW and HOTv Championship belt. And unlike with your HOFC match against the eGG bandits and your match against Scottywood. You didn’t offer me the chance to just pin you and for us to get the fuck out of the ring as soon as possible. That’s because you think that winning the HOTv Championship belt will bring notoriety and credibility to your precious Reesemart. You think that winning the HOTv Championship belt will cement you a spot on the Rumble at the Rock card. That would be embarrassing, right? The sponsor of Rumble at the Rock not even being booked on the card.”
I waved off the stewardess who wanted to know if I wanted a drink or a pillow.
“I mean you fail to beat me and you’re left hoping that Xander Azula isn’t doing anything for Rumble at the Rock and trying to spark up some last minute heat. But you’re going to bring the best you got against me but this isn’t new. I bring out the best in all my opponents. This is what it means to have your name carry weight in this business. I made it as both a wrestler and a business owner. While you’re trying to get someone to buy a fucking gun that squirts nacho cheese for $500 I’ve got girls all over the country give the best massages and happy ending that money can buy. Wait, I forgot that’s cliche, isn’t it? I mean the fact that I can get women, or that I’m around women, or the fact that I have sex. That’s played out, right? That’s some 1998 bullshit that was popular back then to make someone seem edgy.”
I rolled my eyes at the backhanded insults that QT tried to throw my way.
“Tell me, just how the fuck does someone born in 1993 know what was edgy and popular back in 1998? Was Momma Reese working the corner every single night and bringing home one too many ‘uncles’ for you to meet? I’m sorry that the act of sex is so offense to such a ‘toddler’ like yourself. Do you know the kind of people that cringe and call people who have sex ‘edgy’, QT. Those are people that aren’t getting any. Hell, at 5’8” and 153 pounds soaking wet, I’ve fucked women as big as you. You’re basically the same size as HOW’s resident replacement pussy Elizabeth Dresden. You shouldn’t have been selling towels and lube at that strip club. You should have been selling yourself as an authentic Reesemart pocket pussy. I’m sure you would have left that restroom with a pocket full of cash and more creme filled than those eclairs in the Van Wilder movie.”
I chuckled a bit and reminded myself that I needed to watch that movie again.
“So the next time you’re going to try and kink shame someone for having sex? Try not to do it in the middle of a strip club and charging people for the lube to use during some hand to gland action. But I get it QT, you hate me because you ain’t me. I’m a legend in this company. I’m the greatest HOTv Champion of all time. I’m on the precipice of a Hall of Famer in the only federation where the Hall of Fame actually means shit. I’m ranked #1 and I will be getting a shot at #97red come hell or high water, Mike Best be damned. While you’re a broke, fed whoring, keyboard warrior that lives his life on Twitter with the refugees of 4CW. Busy screen shorting people’s accounts who get tired of your bullshit and block you. Posting it like it’s some kind of badge of fucking honor. ‘Wooooo, people want me to go the fuck away, I’m cool!’ Fucking pathetic.”
“Fucking Twitter.” I grumbled under my breath.
“So I hope you change your mind QT, I hope you bring every gadget and piece of junk you can find to the ring with you this week. You’re going to need it if you think for a second I’m going to lose the HOTv Championship to a parody of a human being like yourself. It’s fitting one of your names is Toddler because I’m going to beat your ass like a redheaded stepchild just because it’s a day that ends in Y. I’m going to make the beating that Scottywood and Bobbinette laid on you look like spooning. Call yourself Toddler, Santa, Christmas, whatever bullshit name you can come up with. Christmas ain’t coming earlier for you. You’re not going to leave Minnesota with any gold around your waist or a spot on the Rumble at the Rock card. The only thing you’re getting is my boot print on the back of your head as I pop your head like an oversized zit. Just like all that came before you, you will Bend the Knee QT. And you will be another in a long list of opponents I’ve crushed on my way to a fourth reign as HOW World Champion.
So instead of tweeting, you better train.
You better train like your life depended on it.
Cause I promise you it will depend on it.
Cross me and I’ll make sure they send you back to YoshiMario pro or whatever the fuck it’s called in pieces.
But for now I’m going to smack Madison on the back of the head. I’m going to make her blow me and I’m going to enjoy the rest of this flight because I fucking can.
So get ready you little Target logo stealing bitch.
A few days later back in Miami, I gathered both Carmen and Madison and headed over to Warrior’s Pride Academy. The last time I was here was when I was training for my HOTv title defense against Elizabeth Dresden. That was the day that Madison demanded to step into the ring with me to train while using Elizabeth Dresden’s moves. I lost my cool and beat Madison down to a bloody mess.
Needless to say that the owner wasn’t too happy with me after that. I had to make a formal apology and assure him that Madison and I were back on good terms. Of course once I agreed to wear their t-shirts on television that sealed the deal and I was allowed inside to train. I looked over the people training inside of the gym and picked out a certain fellow that fit the build of one QT Reese. Turns out he was an aspiring wrestler in his own right from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Once the initial shock of getting to train with an actual HOW superstar wore off we came to an agreement on price for his help sparring. He was also familiar with QT Reese which would help me immensely prepare for the challenge that laid before me in Minnesota. We climbed into the ring and stretched a bit before running the ropes. Madison watched from outside of the ring. Carmen played the part of referee for this session. Once I was nice and warmed up I turned to my Canadian counterpart and explained how I wanted things to go.
“Okay since you’re quite familiar with the fighting style of QT Reese. I want you to come at me with everything you got. The more fierce the competition the better prepared I’ll be for the match.” I clapped my hands together and bounced in place.
“Alright, I won’t hold back against you but man I gotta tell you. Sparring with you here in the ring will help my progression leaps and bounds.” Said the Canadian wrestler.
The two of us circle each other in the middle of the ring a bit until finally locking up collar and elbow. Using my size and strength advantage I transition to a side headlock on the Canadian. The smaller wrestler struggles to get free but then drops down to one knee. The Canadian swiftly raises his arm up between my legs and hits me with a low blow followed by a rabbit punch to the back of the head. I collapse onto the canvas holding my balls as the Canadian bounces in place.
“What the fuck, man?” I groaned while rolling on the canvas in pain.
“You told me not to hold back, right?” The Canadian said innocently.
“Yeah, cheap shot but whatever, I guess I need to be prepared for anything.” I pulled myself off of the canvas and tried walking off the pain.
Once the pain subsided we once again met in the center of the ring and locked up collar and elbow. I took the advantage once again, this time hitting him with a knee to the midsection that doubled him over in a pain. I unleashed a series of knife edged chops to the chest of the Canadian and whipped him into the ropes. The Canadian bounces off the ropes as I duck my head down looking for a big back body drop. However the Canadian leaps over my back and tries for a sunset flip. Of course the size advantage doesn’t allow the Canadian to pull me over. I reach down to grab a hold of the smaller wrestler but he reaches up and punches me right in the groin. That allows him to complete the sunset flip as Carmen slides in for the count.
No, I managed to kick out before a three count but once again I found myself on the canvas clutching my balls in pain. Frustrated with this little bastard’s antics, I pulled myself up to my feet and marched right over towards him. I grab the Canadian by the throat with my left hand and raise my fist into the air.
“What the hell is your problem?” I shouted as I squeezed his throat a little tighter.
“Have you never seen QT Reese wrestle?” The Canadian managed to cough out while I choked him.
“Well, there was his match last week against Scottywood. However the most interesting thing about that was the fact that Bobbinette Carey returned after it was over.” I admitted.
“Let him go, Jace.” Carmen grabbed my hand from around the Canadian’s throat. “He’s right about QT Reese.”
“Seriously? What kind of Indy fed, carny bullshit is that?” I questioned, wondering how much more pain my groin would have to endure.
“This is a good thing.” Said Madison from the outside of the ring. “You’re not familiar with QT’s moveset so this will be a nice test to see how well you react in the moment.”
I sighed but reluctantly agreed to continue the sparring session. For a third time we met in the center of the ring and locked up collar and elbow. I maneuver myself behind the Canadian but he does a standing switch to get behind me. The Canadian reaches down and tries to grab a hold of my underwear to give me a wedgie but I manage to fight him off with a back elbow to the face. The Canadian staggers a bit but I grab a hold of him and whip him into the turnbuckle spine first hard. The Canadian hits the turnbuckle with a thud then staggers away from the corner. I get a running start then leap into the air and hit the Canadian with a standing double stomp to the face and chest that sends him down to the canvas.
“There you go when you hit QT Reese, you gotta hit him hard!” Madison encouraged from the outside.
With the Canadian down on the canvas I made my way over to the corner and began to climb the turnbuckle. The Canadian pulled himself off of the canvas and made his way over towards the corner. The smaller wrestler reaches up and hits me with a shot to the back of the knee that causes me to get crotched on the top turnbuckle. The Canadian reaches up and pulls me down so that I am hanging from the tree of woe. The smaller wrestler squats down towards me and tries to fart in my face but luckily I pull myself up on the turnbuckle before he can let one rip. I hit the Canadian with a mule kick to the face that sends him down to the canvas.
“Jesus Christ, man! Did you just try to fart in my face?” I shouted down at the Canadian on the mat.
“Just another one of QT Reese’s classic moves.” Said the Canadian as he held his jaw in pain.
“I kinda want to beat the living dog shit out of you just because QT Reese is an idiot.” I mused as the Canadian pulled himself off of the canvas.
“You want to know what the best thing about QT Reese is?” The Canadian asked with a smile on his face.
“If you say Reesemart, I’m going to punch you in the nose.” I threatened.
“No, it’s the fact that he’s a Newfie!” The Canadian said with a chuckle.
“Huh?” I scratched my head.
“It means he’s from Newfoundland.” Madison added from the outside of the ring.
“So, what does that mean?” I asked, confused.
“Well, It means that, uhh, Newfie’s are…” The Canadian tried to find the right words.
“Newfie’s are pretty much the R word that we’re not allowed to say on television.” Carmen interjected.
“Totally! Check this out, one of my favorite Newfie jokes.” The Canadian began. “An Italian, a Mexican, and a Newfie are working steel on a high rise 30 stories up in the air. At lunch time they all sit down on one of the beams and open their lunch pails. The Italian open his and says ‘Mama Mia not pizza again! If I get pizza one more time I swear I’m going to jump to my death!’”
“Morbid but okay.” I said as the Canadian continued.
“Next the Mexican opens his lunch ‘Not tacos again! Man, if I get tacos one more time I’m going to jump to my death!’” The Canadian said.
“Who doesn’t love tacos?!” Madison proclaimed.
“Finally the Newfie opens up his lunch ‘Oh Lord a bologna sandwich again! If I get a bologna sandwich one more time I’m going to jump to my death!’” The Canadian could barely contain his laughter.
“I would probably kill myself if I had to eat bologna.” Carmen commented.
“So the next day at lunch time the Italian opens his lunch to find a slice of pizza. ‘That does it!’ He exclaims and jumps off the beam to his death. Next the Mexican opens his lunch and sure enough it’s tacos. ‘That does it!” He also cries out and jumps to his death. Finally the Newfie opens up his lunch and wouldn’t you know it’s a bologna sandwich. ‘That does it!’ And he jumps off the beam to his death.” The Canadian is snorting now.
“I never knew lunch was so damn important.” I said, waiting impatiently for the punchline.
“A few days later the three widows of the deceased men are standing around at the funerals chatting. ‘I wish he would have said something!’ Said the Italian wife. ‘I would have made him something different for lunch!’ The Mexican wife agreed. ‘I know, my husband never once complained about the lunches I made him. I wish he would have told me how much he hated tacos.’ ‘Ya I don’t understand it either.’ Said the Newfie wife. ‘My husband made his own lunches!’” The Canadian leaned against the top rope in full out hysterics.
“Yeah that pretty much sounds like QT Reese.” I said with a laugh. “Too bad I’m going to have to kick both your asses.”
I unleashed another series of chops to the chest of the Canadian then whipped him into the ropes. Instead of bouncing off the ropes the Canadian leaps to the middle rope. I follow him in but the Canadian springboards off the ropes and hits me with a vicious poke to the eye.
“Son of a bitch!” I cursed as my hand covered my eye.
“That happens to be QT’s signature move. He calls it the Lazy Eye.” The Canadian said proud of his work.
The Canadian gives me a boot to the midsection while I’m blinded and snaps me down to the canvas with a DDT. The Canadian gets up to his feet then makes his way over towards the corner and begins to climb the turnbuckle. Once perched on the middle rope the Canadian begins to lower his pants.
“Oh boy, here comes the Brown Star Press.” Madison said with a nervous tone.
“I wouldn’t do this if I were you, kid.” Carmen said, shaking her head.
I regained my vision on the canvas only to look up and see the bare assed Canadian perched on the middle rope. The Canadian leaps off of the middle rope but I get the hell outta dodge. The Canadian crashes and burns down to the canvas ass first as I pull myself back up to my feet. As the Canadian sat on the canvas holding his tailbone in pain, I got a running start and hit him with a V-trigger knee strike to the back of his head. I found myself in the opposite corner just waiting for the Canadian to try and peel himself off of the canvas. As the Canadian got up to all fours, I dashed out of the corner and hit him with Bend the Knee. His head bounced off the canvas with a sickening thud. Rolling him over I covered the Canadian as Carmen slid in for the count.
I pulled myself to my feet and caught the towel that Madison threw into the ring. I used the towel to wipe the sweat from my face as the Canadian pulled up his pants and made it up to a vertical base. I dropped the towel then used both hands to shove the Canadian back against the turnbuckle.
“Did you honestly just try to drop your bare ass onto my face?” I questioned the Canadian with an angry tone.
“I figured QT calls it the Brown Star Press for a reason.” The Canadian pleaded.
“Do you have any idea what I would have done to you if you would have landed that move?” The Canadian shook his head. “It would have been a lot worse than what happened the last time I was here. I would have been arrested and you would have left in a body bag.”
The Canadian gulped loudly until I finally reached up and patted him on the head.
“However, that’s exactly the kind of tenacity I’m looking for in a sparring partner. QT Reese is a bit of a wildcard. So I’m going to need you to continue to bring it just like that and more.”
“So you’re not angry?” The Canadian asked in a hopeful tone.
“Nah, let’s run it back again and show me more of his scummy offense that QT Reese likes to use.” I patted the Canadian on the back.
We moved back to the center of the ring and continued training as the scene fades to black.