The bell has been rung, War Games has concluded. The Board has demonstrated that they remain the true power in High Octane Wrestling, not the plebs in the locker room. Most people are just happy that the whole messy affair has concluded.
Not Cecilworth Farthington though.
Not the HOW Commissioner.
Farthington looks down at the fallen Conor Fuse, admiring the damage he has caused both physically and mentally in the closing moments of the match. He sees Conor staring up at the Ukrainian sky and it brings a swell of joy to his heart. He knows he can’t get ahead of himself as he begins to lick his lips. He still has a part of his mission to conclude and he wishes to be responsible with his formal duties.
So he tosses a bag over to Tyler Best.
What’s in the bag?
None of your fucking business.
At least not yet.
With his duties as Commissioner and member of The Board complete for the evening, Cecilworth Farthington decides that he has earned himself a lil treat. He gives a sly wink at Tyler Best and Christopher America and then drops to the mat, locking Conor Fuse in tight with the Article 50. He hears the screams of agony start immediately as the self-proclaimed Locker Room Leader gets his arm wrenched from its socket. Every ounce of agony escaping Fuse is felt by Farthington and it delights him oh so much. So he continues to pull, more and more force is applied.
The Ukrainian sky disappears as Farthington pulls tighter, he sees nothing but inky blackness as a blissful expression sweeps over his face. He can feel Fuse become limp, the screaming begins to dissipate as Conor fades out from the pain. A man with more heart, more soul, he would know that his work is now done. Maybe Cecilworth Farthington from Refueled I would have let up. Maybe Cecilworth Farthington from the start of the Refueled Era would let Conor Fuse go.
He was a magnanimous man. Brutal but magnanimous, his enemies were always allowed to fight another day.
Modern day Farthington? Lord Farthington? Commissioner Farthington? He swears he just heard a pop. He can’t really see anything, he’s not even sure if Tyler Best or Christopher America are even in the ring anymore. Hell, he wouldn’t be able to tell you if he was still even in Ukraine.
All he knew was he wanted to hurt Conor Fuse.
So he leans further back, yanks even harder on the defensive and limp former World Champion.
That’s the last he remembers about the events of War Games.
There’s some certainties in the grappling game and one of those came haunting dear sweet Conor Fuse at War Games. In wrestling, if you talk about retiring someone often enough, there will be a receipt. Actions always have consequences, Conor, and the more you spread the lie, the larger the punishment grows.
As Commissioner, I had a lot of tools at my disposal. Lots of options. Maybe if you’d just mocked my retirement with one throwaway line, you would’ve suffered a handicap match and we would call it even.
Taking responsibility for my heartwrenching resignation? I guess I could’ve got a few EPU agents to rough you up something fierce.
Yet to make a mockery of me and my legacy. To shit upon everything I scraped and clawed for. To consistently make a farce of everything meaningful to me. Well, that required punishment of a larger scale.
I wanted you to feel what I felt, Conor. I wanted you to understand the emotional baggage that comes with coming OH SO CLOSE to winning two War Games in a row, only to see it disappear from you at the last possible moment. I wanted to ensure that you could never surpass my accomplishments. No War Games victory, no record setting title run.
Then, as you started to digest the emotional agony, I wanted you to physically feel it too. That Article 50 was the reminder that I remain your better, Conor. No matter the lies you try to peddle, no matter the smear job you tried to put into place, I will always be your better.
Locker Room Leader, my arse.
It was with a very, very heavy heart that I chose to step away from in-ring competition Conor. That choice ate me up, I felt less of a man due to it. The amount of hurt that scratched my soul as I put out that news post is something that I don’t think I can still quantify. It takes a lot to acknowledge your faults and put your wounds out in the open. I never wanted to be a man who accepted the life ordained by being born a Farthington. I didn’t care about being a Lord, owning a manor, tending to the estate.
The political game is not one I excel at. The wrestling game was.
Yet, I knew that my body couldn’t keep up with my mind any more. Iconic 2021 was a sure fire sign of that. I killed you, Conor, I murdered you for 18 minutes, you barely layed a scratch on me. Yet, when I walked backstage that night, the agony was excruciating.
If I was in such pain when dominating a match, I had to wonder, what if I faced a much tougher challenge than you, Conor. What if I had to stand in the ring with someone who would actually test me? I mean, I may be the only person in this fucking company to remember how you won the World Championship in the first place but… it wasn’t dignified, was it, dear leader?
So, without a championship to my name and a failing body, I decide to do the right thing. I decided to step away, to step out of the spotlight.
I would have stayed out of it too.
Conor, being World Champion was honour enough, trying to claim other accolades was greedy.
War Games was the closing of the cookie jar.
The call with Mike Best had been brief and was certainly the most business-like call that the two men had ever had. The final Refueled show was scheduled, the end of an era. An era that Cecilworth felt he had defined. So, a very simple question was asked…
Did Cecilworth have a match in him?
Although a simple question, the answer was much more complicated. A heart vs. head conundrum.
Cecilworth knew the game, he knew that there was no such thing as a “one match” return. HOW wasn’t going to let him do one last victory lap in the ring and bow out at the 100th Refueled. The final Refueled.
He’d already had to confront this issue earlier in the year, where, for the briefest of brief moments, he was almost part of War Games. His heart had agreed to being Mike Best’s first draft pick before his brain could catch up and boy, when his brain caught up, it was panic stations central.
Not only due to the consequences of being involved in the War Games match itself but also the much bigger question.
What if he won?
The very question that Christopher America is currently confronting was one that Cecilworth had deemed too challenging to answer back in April.
The head won out, the heart sank.
Yet two months later, a similar conundrum. Perhaps the stakes would be lower, there was, after all, very little possibility of Cecilworth having to carry the weight of a championship.
The notion of being on the first and last Refueled shows, of being the first ICON champion of the Refueled era, of reinvigorating the World Championship, that was a victory lap he felt he had earned.
So if the victory lap was earned, what was holding him back?
For a minute, both men on the call fell silent. They both knew the answer but neither wanted to speak it out loud.
This wasn’t going to be one and done.
Cecilworth needed to go.
Could he go?
As the HOW Commissioner, some people probably have the idea that I am able to hand pick my opponents. When you look at my opponent for the final Refueled, I can understand why people would think so.
Ms. Carey, my hand did not pick your fate but I am delighted to be your executioner. We’ll circle back to that idea in a moment.
First though, I want to actually praise and celebrate Bobinette Carey as the Refueled era draws to a close. She has grown a lot as an athlete since Refueled I, casting aside the childish fantasy of a relationship with Alyssa Milano, for god knows what reason, and instead becoming the embodiment of the cultural issues of our time.
It would be easy to dismiss Carey as a joke, god knows that enough people have tried to do so over the past year or so but it’s also incredibly foolish. Maybe if the Carey from a hundred shows ago was in the ring with me, I could consider my night at the Best Arena to be an easy one. The Carey who flopped out of the World Championship Tournament just as hard as I did. The Carey who embarrassed herself in the ICON Championship Battle Royal.
That Carey would have been cannon fodder to me.
We’ve both changed as people though, time does do strange things. Carey has gone from desperately clinging on to relevance through a fictional celebrity romance to becoming one hell of a talented emotional manipulator.
You might bring up Bobinette Carey’s win-loss record and scoff. Some people tend to treat the art of professional wrestling as a numbers game, spreadsheets determining worth.
Wrestling is a human game and boy, Carey plays it well.
She wraps people around her thumb, convinces them that she is a beautiful soul who is simply seeking mutually minded allies. She knows how to wield that power too well. Does anyone ever talk about her loss at March to Glory? Nah, they talk about the Cucking of the Woodman. In a company where every single failure gets thrown in your face ahead of your next match, Bobinette Carey has created a situation where people don’t remember her defeats.
I don’t know how she managed to cultivate it.
Well, beyond the obvious.
Our roster can’t be that desperately horny though, can they? Throwing themselves in front of bullets meant for Carey while she screeches “I Will Always Love You” at an ear piercing pitch.
Bobinette Carey is a master in the art of manipulation and that concerns me. She has improved, she has become a true tactician. I have remained static.
The 100th Refueled should be a celebration of Cecilworth Farthington, the man who embodied The Refueled Era. The man made sure that HOW’s return from the grave was enduring.
I should be fucking worshipped in the Best Arena.
I can’t be humiliated. I can’t be caught out.
Embracing your family line can have its perks. Sure, you lose the cool, “no fuck you, dad” edge but instead you get to live in what many people, due to being uneducated, would call a castle.
Embracing your family line provides access to the family wealth that you had chosen to shun when you went to carve out your own name in America as a professional wrestler.
Embracing your family line gets you access to the finest doctors in Britain, instead of exhausted nurses working the 3am shift at a Chicago A&E.
This is what had started dawning on Cecilworth the moment he claimed his rightful title as Lord Farthington. For a decade, he’d scraped and clawed to exist on his own terms. He didn’t want to be another in a line of Farthington men, he wanted to be THE Farthington. The only one to matter. The only one to make something of himself on his terms.
The one thing that Cecilworth hadn’t considered is what was next. He had been so fuelled by the idea of carving out his own path that even the death of his own father had barely registered. It was a source of irritation rather than sorrow, any piece of legal legwork viewed as an inconvenience that distracted him from his focus on wrestling.
Cecilworth marched on, the World Championship, the eMpire, the Group of Death, the Hall of Fame spot… all part of establishing his own personal brand.
The Hall of Fame spot…
You achieve the pinnacle, recognition of your success, of your contributions, of your domination. You become THE Farthington.
After Iconic 2021, Cecilworth finally realised that the answer was at home, in Buckinghamshire.
He didn’t need to worry anymore about his own legacy, he had assured it some time ago. There was nothing left for him to fight for as his own man. So, if that were true, why would he not start to enjoy the luxuries of life that being Lord Farthington can bring.
By Iconic 2021, Cecilworth Farthington had dragged his body through the hell of the Refueled era, paying little attention to caring for himself, no matter how many warning signs his body provided.
He was entitled to claim everything he was owed in life.
So the new era of Farthington began as Lord Cecilworth Farthington embraced the world of private health care.
He was recovering, quicker than he expected. It had taken even Cecilworth by surprise how much his broken and aching body was now back on fighting form. He felt 100 shows lighter. The pain of the body had been handled rather well by an expert medical team.
The pain of the soul?
That required a trip to Ukraine.
Bobinette, my heart truly weeps for what you have went through on the road to War Games. It would drive a lesser soul off the very edge. I understand that more than most. You went to Ukraine with a lot of hope in your heart. You had schemed, planned, plotted and broadcast your desire to be part of War Games. You had started putting in the leg work to be drafted before anyone even knew what War Games 2022 was even going to look like. You embedded yourself with every possible option that would get you in the cage. You traded on your Hall of Fame name, your War Games victory…
Even as you failed to qualify, you thought there was still a way in. You didn’t let hope die.
Suddenly, due to a shitstorm that this little conversation is neither the time nor place to explore, you had one of the biggest opportunities in the world. You could become the LSD Champion, World Champion and War Games victor all in one night.
Then, as if through the hand of GOD smighting you himself, you suffered the harsh effects of a Harricle.
Fuck, Carey, you must be broken right now. I’d find it tough to face myself after enduring premium, first class, soul crushing embarrassment like that. I’d probably think it was a good time to take a bit of a breather. Clear my head, smell the sea air, become one with nature.
I wish you’d decided to take the night off for Refueled 100.
See, I have a little bit of a problem with a fellow by the name of Conor Fuse. He used to be the World Champion of High Octane Wrestling but then he fucked around and found out. Poor Conor, we’re not entirely sure when or if he will even be medically cleared to return to competition. I hope he does have a speedy recovery, just so we can repeat the ending of War Games all over again.
Now Conor, he’s kind of a simple guy. Simple of mind, simple of heart. He probably has been foolish enough to think that his punishment has now concluded. It makes sense, I cost him his World Championship, I very likely broke his arm. That seems very much like a job well done. To most people, they would think that they had already sent their message. Conor doesn’t realise my work is not yet done. I don’t know if it will ever be done. I do know that War Games was merely the opening of my grand performance.
The problem for me is that I’m not satisfied. The man tried to piss on my grave, Carey, do you understand that? The man tried to fuck on every accolade that I put myself through hell to achieve. So, it got me thinking, how would Conor react, watching the show from a hospital bed, presumably, and seeing his BEE EFF EFF beautifully destroyed. I wonder, Carey, as he chokes on his pudding and calls on the nurse, how he would feel to know that everything I do to hurt you in the ring is because of him. That sense of helplessness as he knows there is nothing he can do to help you. The man fancies himself a hero, it would probably destroy him when he realised just how inept he had become.
Watching the television, knowing that what happens is all his fault.
I haven’t smiled a lot recently. There hasn’t been much to spark joy. That mental image though, oh boy does it set the heart aflutter.
When I lock you in the Article 50 and ignore your shrieks of submission, as no one even dares to stop me from inflicting untold damage upon you for fear that they too will be punished, do you think Conor will regret his words? Do you think he will regret his deeds?
Will he apologise to you?
Now, will hurting you be easy? Oh my goodness no, it’s going to be a lot of hard work. I don’t take my desire to break your body apart as a given, Ms. Carey, I know that it shall require quite a lot of fortitude on my part. I will need to dig very deep into myself to find a man who is able and willing to crush you to such an extent that you wish you could get back in a time machine and have some warm coco with Alyssa Milano, rather than electing to align yourself with the gamer scum.
I’m sorry that an event that should be a celebration of your growth as a competitor will very likely be an impromptu retirement party. Maybe choose better friends in the next life. 100 shows of growth are soon to evaporate, perhaps we should schedule some time to celebrate together before the match.
Some people will likely think this sustained era of punishment is disproportionate to Conor’s actions.
Those people are fucking idiots.
Chaos is about to reign.