Taco Daddy

Taco Daddy

Posted on September 1, 2023 at 9:47 pm by Rhys Townsend

This feels like yet another test.

Y’know, one of those things sent down from Lee Best, because Lee Best watches all, and so…Lee Best wants to see where I’m at. Y’know?

Two losses. Sure, last week…I didn’t get pinned. Hell…I dominated the match, even. Probably should have won, but I took my eye off the ball for like, ten seconds and the next thing I know?

The bell’s ringing, Evan’s been pinned…and I’ve got another notch in the loss column.

I don’t even feel like I did anything wrong. Ward barely wrestled. Fuck, the one time…I think…he was the legal man, he got pinned and we lost. And this comes after the pay per view loss, after I went ahead and remembered what the fuck a gym was last week, after I went ahead and questioned the way I went about things in my return period, and actually did some training for the first time…but yeah, a loss.

So Lee wants to see where I am. How I’m doing.

Because let’s be honest here…I’m the favourite, right? I’m getting those good odds (because I don’t know how the fuck American gambling works…), those numbers that mean that you shouldn’t put money on me when I step in the ring this week, aren’t I? I should win this week, Darin…and we both know it. It’s my chance to step up and show that the last two losses…they’ve been aberrations. A deviation from the norm.

Because no offence dude, but for me? This is about me. I don’t care if you’re now “Real Love” Darin Zion and you’re gonna offer me a hug, or if you’re gonna be the more serious Darin Zion who wanted a pay per view match with Brian Hollywood but couldn’t even headline the go home with that match. It doesn’t really matter to me if you show up and wrestle the fucking match of your life.

I mean, it’d be a real fucking waste, given that there’s absolutely nothing on the line for you other than, y’know, beating Rhys Townsend, but yeah.

It doesn’t matter if you do the whole match of your life thing because it doesn’t really matter if I win or lose.

No, seriously.

It doesn’t matter.

I get it, I get it – I should be concerned, I should be staring at rankings, or statistics or something. Right? Fight towards a championship.

Whatever man.

‘Cause, see, Darin, I think that’s where I’ve been going wrong. Not training, or the lack of it. Not the gut, the taco diet everyone loves to point at, not the hubris with the Taco Liberation Front.

Nah, it’s been staring at the Championships.

See, I didn’t get into this business to win belts, if I’m being honest. I just got into it because I wanted to see exactly how good I was. Could I go hang in a place like High Octane Wrestling? I mean, thirteen years ago…this place was a whole bunch different. More savage. Brutal. Besty, for example. Regular Bottomlines. People losing a match and literally walking out of the federation after the loss because they’re that salty. This place had a reputation for chewing up guys, spitting them out and leaving them bitter.

And little eighteen year old me, fresh out of wrestling school (a prestigious one, but still), went ahead and wrestled his debut match on the lawn of the White House at Capitol Punishment in a dark match.

Yeah. That’s right. My first match wasn’t even televised. Didn’t even get broadcast as a preshow. The people in attendance saw it, but the rest of the world? Just a one line recap in the dirtsheets.

Didn’t matter. Didn’t stop me. I won. And I had a taste. Didn’t mean I was gonna do fuck all for months, but it didn’t stop me. Every match, I turned up. Prison Yard, Kostoff. Turned up. Random match on the weekly? Turned up. I never took my ball, and I never went home. My record in 2010 is the worst of my career…but I’m proud of it. I’m just as proud of that as I am my 2011, or 2012.


I mean, I figure it should be obvious – because week after week, month after month, I showed up to compete like the machine people bill me as.

And maybe it took teaming up with Evan last week to remember that. To remember it’s all about competing.

Because if we’re gonna continue the little self indulgent history lesson here, Ground Zero – that was formed because of that same love. Not out of some desire to get everyone to wrestle in a certain way, ALL PRAISE THE FIVE MOVES OF DOOM AND THE SHARPSHOOTER, PINNACLE OF TECHNICAL WRESTLING type bullshit, nah. It was never about that – and I know I’ve said this before. It was always just about embracing the competition, the art of this sport. Didn’t matter if it was technical wrestling, deathmatch wrestling, lucha libre, King’s Road style, British style, catch wrestling – all welcome challenges, all competition to be embraced.

I got away from that at the pay per view.

And that frustrates me.

I should embrace what makes me me, embrace what made Ground Zero Ground Zero. Be that guy. Be #PREDICTABLE.


And that, Darin, (and yes, I get this has been a long winded diversion, but you’re dealing with a man who smokes a lot of medical grade cannabis here, there’s gonna be long winded diversions…comes with the territory and that.) is why it doesn’t really matter if I win or lose this week. Why it doesn’t really matter if I win or lose any week. Because I’m gonna show up with that same machine consistency.

And you’re gonna have to find that something extra to beat it.

I don’t know if you have that. In all honesty, I haven’t paid attention to what you’ve had going on. I can’t sit here and talk shit about you because frankly, I don’t know enough about the shit you’ve got going on to be able to do that. I could wail on you about the same jobber shit that I’m pretty sure everyone else does, but man, who gives a fuck?

That…and I’ve not really talked any shit since I’ve come back.

Why the fuck am I going to start with Darin Zion?

Dear viewer…it’s been a while, hasn’t it? A good few weeks, I’m pretty sure. Not that you’ve missed me, of course, what with me merely being your humble narrator.

Regardless, despite the lack of love that one receives, we soldier on, as always.

Which is convenient, for I, as a narrator, have work to do right now. I have to set the scene, as we say in the business. I mean, if I don’t do that, then we’re nowhere, and you’re just stuck with me rambling over a black screen. I hear that’s a whole genre of thing, somewhere on the internet. Wrestlers never appear, just…words, floating in the void. Bit odd, really.

So indeed, set the scene we must.

It’s one of those days of summer. You know the one. I mean, you know the one if you live anywhere with a climate that’s even somewhat like Wales. The day’s miserable as fuck. Grey. Cloudy. Overcast, a weather broadcaster might say. Threatens to rain most of it. Maybe even has a shower or two. But then, there are occasional bits where it brightens up, the sun’s out, and you’re reminded that life on this planet can have it’s moments.

That’s today. One of those shit summer days. The promise of shorts is there…but you have to be willing to endure the wet leg if you do.

So you can picture the brief god rays streaming through the opaque bits of plastic that dot the roof of the warehouse come gymnasium.

Yes, dear viewer, for the second week in a row, Rhys Townsend is actually training. Miracles do happen.

The halls, if you’re wondering, could well be called hallowed, this place being where Townsend himself learned his craft, as well as other influential professional wrestlers and sports entertainers. They might even have influenced some other things you go watch once you’re done here – you never know.

So the ring, which, given the newness of it, obviously isn’t the one that trained some of the aforementioned wrestlers, this gym not having produced a wrestler since our titular hero, if we’re being honest about it – echoes around the mostly empty warehouse.

When you saw it last week, there was, well…taco detritus littering the place. A sign here, bits of old stock there…but now? Mostly gone. I mean, there’s still a large sign leaning against the far wall, but apart from that, it’s just a couple small things.

Almost as if the owner wants the focus to be on the ring.

As it should be, really.

The slap of flesh on canvas resounds around, along with the thunderous crack that a wrestling ring makes when someone lands on it back first. Almost like a deep, booming gunshot, though, not quite. Rhys Townsend stands triumphantly, having hurled his training partner, the previously met, possibly died on a taco related mission though we’re not currently talking about, Australian man who somehow had the misfortune to be named Sturt.

Quite a name.

He’s slow to pick himself up off the canvas, this Sturt. And Townsend? Well, our Welsh Hall of Famer is showing off that Hall of Fame gut.

It wobbles.

“See…just too easy, man. You come in too fast, you telegraph it…it’s just too easy to duck under and away you go.”

He doesn’t get a reply from the Australian, merely a grunt. Dafydd, or, Daf the Numbers Guy, is outside the ring. For some reason, today he’s decided is a day to be a Full Kit Wanker. FC Inter Miami Messi 10 home, if you must know. It’s quite a look.

“Looking good Rhys…just gotta sort the diet out, lose the rest of the fat…and you’ll be well away.”

“Y’know…I don’t think I need to change my diet. Just…”

“Do the simple things. Yeah. I know, you keep talking about it. I mean, you lost that match, but you might have given Evan something to work with. Not all bad…”

“I’d rather have a tag belt in my bag mate. No lies. But I get what you’re saying. I’m doing good shit, even if I’ve lost two on the bounce.”

“Exactly. Chin up.”

Townsend grunts in reply, as he takes a solid impact across the shoulders. Obviously, his partner has decided training isn’t quite over. The Welshman’s chest slaps off the ropes, rebounding him back into the ring. Sturt looks to grab some sort of hold, but Townsend uses his momentum and rolls out of the way, quickly coming to his feet. There’s one of those chops – the ones that are slowly becoming a thing on a High Octane Broadcast – that comes firing out from the Welshman. The cutoff Mike Best teeshirt doesn’t do much. Maybe dull the impact, dull the sound a little…but you can see from his reaction, it hurt. It really fucking hurt.

So when the second one comes, and then the third…it’s all he can do to not double over. To not clasp at his chest, to not do something to make the remorseless pounding stop.


It doesn’t. The fourth comes. He can’t stop it anymore. The fifth…and he’s defenseless. Smoothly sliding into position, there’s a quick wrist clutch…before he’s hoisted up and dropped almost on his head with an exploder suplex variation! The ring trembles with the impact…this would be the point to go for the pinfall, if it was that sort of time and place.

But it’s not. And that…that should be enough.

Y’know. To win this little bout.

“See? You’re looking good buddy. You looked good on Chaos, even if you lost – it was like you went fucking apeshit. It’s not like you’ve had a loss of form or nothing…”

“Daf, mate…no offence, but I know, alright?”

Townsend’s tone puts an end to his friend’s needless cheerleading. I mean, really, is there a point? He’s clearly a self confident man, our protagonist.

“I know I had a good showing. I had a good showing at the pay per view. Didn’t lose anything from losing. I know. I’ve read the dirtsheets. I get it. Maybe I was focusing on the wrong things, but then, maybe I wasn’t. Who fucking knows. I also get it’s the easiest thing in the world for me to focus on every little thing, start pissing myself because it’s two losses. In a row.”

He holds his hand up, stopping his friend from speaking. He obviously just wants a pause.

“And I get that’s no big deal for most wrestlers, right? Maybe I shouldn’t let it bother me. But…it does. Right now though? Double down on what we did last week. Keep it simple. Keep it about the professional wrestling. Maybe, Dafydd, I lose again. Maybe Darin Zion wrestles the match of his life…but it won’t matter if I go out there and wrestle the same as I have in the two losses. The same I did in the victories I picked up before that.”

“Because you’ll be doing you. You’ll be competing.”

“Yeah. I mean…I’m getting fucking sick of saying it, but…there’s always some new way to come at it. Some new way to find some motivation. This week? I just want the fucking win. I want to rebound.”

“Which is good, right?”

A chuckle emanates from Townsend. It sits nicely over the sound of Sturt’s occasionally twitching leg slapping the canvas.

“Dumb question, but yeah. Just gotta keep doing the simple things. Training with Ward, getting to go toe to toe with Dan Ryan…maybe I was looking for the wrong things when I was staring at championships. Maybe I should just have been staring at the victory.”

“Same thing, aren’t they?”

“Not really. I mean, wins will bring belts, but…no. Staring at championships, focusing on that shit means I’m not focusing on what’s in front of me. Means my eyes are somewhere down the road, and not looking at the guy in the ring this week. Sure, maybe I’m too fucking lazy to do some proper research on Darin Zion, or maybe I’m just big timing him…honestly, I don’t know.”

A brief, troubled pause in the monologue.

“I really don’t. But I feel faking some sort of interest in him past he’s the guy I need to beat this week feels fake, Daf. Feels wrong. Yeah, you bet I’m gonna go watch his matches. You can be damned fucking sure I’ll have a good idea of the sorts of things he’s gonna wanna do inside that ring on Sunday night. But his promos, his gimmick, who he has and hasn’t had beef with lately? Nah. I just feel like it doesn’t matter.

It’s just gonna come down to the two of us in there on Sunday. Who wants it more. Who’s the better guy on Sunday night.”

“Right…and you figure it’s gonna be you?”



“Don’t know. I mean, I know I’m gonna turn up and give it the same level of effort I’ve given it the past couple weeks. Know I’m gonna go until I can’t. But I don’t know exactly how good Darin Zion is. Maybe he’s gonna turn up and annihilate me, send me back into retirement. I mean…I don’t think so. I feel like if he was hot shit right now, I’d know. So maybe it’s just a routine singles match. Maybe it’s just a bone Lee Best is throwing my way because he knows I’m money, as long as I’m on the card. I honestly don’t know.

Pretty much the only thing I do know, Daf, is me, y’know? No tacos. No fancy bullshit, no hubris. Some boring ass training in a gymnasium. Some boring ass focus on the professional wrestling. On my match. On the next step in my career. Because who fucking knows what’s coming next, right?”

“Yeah. Fair. Been watching some, shit’s…well, shit’s crazy, Rhys.”

“Yup. So all I can do? Focus on the match. Go give it everything.”

There’s a brief silence before Townsend steps out of the ring, marching over towards the bag which undoubtedly contains cannabis. And this, dear viewer, seems like a good time to leave you. Our protagonist seems set on his course, to focus in on what made him famous – the professional wrestling. But is that a mistake? Should he be indulging in taco related sports entertainment shenanigans?

Be sure to tune in to the next episode of the Stoned Adventures of Rice Townshed!