This wasn’t what I intended to do.
I got all my thoughts down on paper. My honest ones. Did a quick little half-assed spell check, and then did what I always did. Posted them without reading a single word, doing absolutely no editing, no second guessing, nothing. Press spell check, tell it that “pissbaby” or whatever is all one word in this context, and trust that I have done a good job at doing the thing I do best at. I actually had an appointment with an old friend, and had big plans to meet up with him before our match on Monday night. What more was there to say to you? I did my best to sum up a decade’s worth of feelings into something digestible. Something a little therapeutic for me, something respectful to you, but hopefully something that the Average Joe could still put his eyes on and be at least moderately entertained by.
I was supposed to be done.
But now I’m sitting here, Rhys, and it’s going on 1AM. My pupils are dry and sore, and looking at the love letter to apathy that you so accurately called “Arse Biscuits” is literally hurting my eyes. But it isn’t just the white background (bring back Drupal), man. It’s… fuck. What the fuck happened to you?
Who the fuck is that guy?
I honestly don’t know where to start. I know that meeting with my old friend will have to wait another week, though, because I can’t just let it sit where you unceremoniously just flopped it down onto the ground. I told you that I’d tell you nothing but the truth this week, Rhys, and I’m not going back on that. This is maybe gonna be a little uncomfortable, but we’re gonna ride it out– there will be no threats of knees, or broken bones, or shit-talky one liners here. But I’m gonna say something things that I need to say, and I’m gonna say some things that I think you need to here. I called my first one “Truth or Consequences”.
Maybe I’ll call this one “The Consequences of Truth”.
Guess we’ll see where we end up.
I am so completely and utterly disappointed in you, Rhys Townsend. It probably isn’t my place to be disappointed, and maybe you don’t give a fuck, and that’s fine. You’d rather be sitting at home smoking weed and playing fake pretend soccer coach, and you clearly didn’t read a word of anything I said to you the first time around anyway. Maybe you won’t read this one either. But you wanna know what I think? Honest to God? And I assume that you do, since half of your rambling, sometimes incoherent, often meandering manifesto was posed in the form of questions directly to me, like I have all the answers. So here’s what I think, Rhys:
I think you should fucking retire.
Just go. Get the fuck out. And if you’d digested even a quarter of what I’d said to you before, you would already have known that’s how I was going to feel. There is nothing I hate more in HOW than Hall of Famers who were worth a fuck a decade ago coming back and coasting. Resting on their past achievements, and thinking that was gonna be enough to give them another run on top. I rattled through half the fucking roster, and only stopped short of the rest of it because I wanted to talk about you.
I wanted to talk about the outlier.
The one who wasn’t coasting.
Everyone around here, my father included, loves to talk shit about me being a “part timer”. About me sitting at home in my sweatpants, playing Playstation. And I don’t mind having a good laugh, or brushing off the shit talk when the 30th guy tries to drop it on me in a promo, because it doesn’t faze me. And it will never faze me, because I know the truth. The truth is that when the lights go down, and the music comes up, and I make my way down that ramp, I am consistently and undisputedly the single hardest worker this company has ever seen. I don’t phone my shit in. I don’t sign two or three match contracts, and have to have Lee begging me like Keith Sweat to help fill out a dwindling War Games card. I don’t pick and choose when I want to show up, and disappear for months every time I felt like a match should have gone my way. I have worked, every fucking week that I have been booked, for fourteen fucking years, and I have absolutely zero patience for anyone who does anything less.
Fucking retire, Rhys.
Pack a fucking bowl and a fucking bag and just go, man. I am so unbelievably frustrated with you right now, and it’s because I can’t believe how absolutely full of shit you are. Lamenting about the old days, and talking about how we were rivals back in the day. About how you’re getting this title shot in the exact ideal situation for you. And having the absolute audacity to tell not just me, not just HOW, but the entire world that you can’t be fucking bothered. That you don’t feel motivated. That you’re a “gatekeeper for the main event” and that you don’t care enough anymore to be bothered with it. Fuck you, man. And that’s coming from someone who likes you. Who respects you. Who thinks that the only reason you aren’t in the conversation about the single best to ever do this is because you fucked off for years and went off the grid. And like I said man, I should have reached out to you. I should have been in touch. I should have done more all those years than just popped in now and again to see if you wanted to come back. But at the end of the day, Rhys?
You come back, having left me just a little ahead of you, to find out that I have become the actual God of HOW, and you’re disheartened. How sad. Fucking boo hoo. Fuck you man, I worked for that shit. You know how you win twelve HOW World Championships? You lose eleven of them, and you then you keep coming back harder. Better. With more ambition, and spite, and fucking bitterness than before. You let that chip on your shoulder become a rock, and then you turn that rock into a fucking boulder. That’s what I thought that you had come back to do, Rhys. I thought you came back here to bust your ass and work your way back to the top, and maybe everyone thinks that I’ve been dreading this match, but fuck, man.
I have been so goddamned excited for this.
One last go-round with my single greatest rival.
But nah, turns out that guy fucking died. Got replaced with whoever the fuck you are, because I don’t know the guy that said all that shit to me. Who told me he “doesn’t wanna get miserable about this shit”, when the thing that always made our matches so fucking close is that we were always miserable about this shit. I’m gonna be thirty seven years old in four days, Townsend, you think it’s still easy for me to get up every day and do this? You think it’s still effortless? Fuck no it isn’t– I work harder now than I ever have in my entire life, and I will continue to do it for as long as I still have the ability to do it. And it is because I work that hard that I get to sit at home in my sweatpants and play my fucking Playstation, and can STILL step into that ring with the confidence that I can get the job done. And every loss hurts, and every win still leaves me wondering how much longer I can keep getting away with this, but I am here. I am putting in that work. And that’s why I know that it isn’t my time to go yet, no matter how many times I try. Because I still want it. Because I still feel that drive in me. Because I’m still competitive as fuck, and I can still compete at the highest level.
I think you still can.
But I don’t think you will.
Because you don’t give a fuck. Or you give all the fucks, and you’re so anxiety riddled that you’re already cutting half-assed promos about “not being arsed” because it’ll make it sting less when I beat you. Which I fucking will, with the attitude that you’re coming into this match with. Possibly the most highly anticipated match we’ve had in years, and you cut a long, wet fart and shit the fucking bed. You should be ashamed of yourself. Cause the guy I like, and the guy I respect? He lost like two straight years worth of pay-per-view matches, and every time a new show rolled around, that motherfucker got back on the horse and tried again. With confidence. With hope. He took advantage of those weekly show title shows, because he knew where he thrived and where he struggled. The same guy complaining that it doesn’t feel “life or death” is a guy who helped me feel like every match was life or death. And now that guy is dead.
And his replacement should fucking retire.
I don’t know, man. I hope it’s a ruse. A ploy. An attempt to play on my sympathies, or lull me into a false sense of security. I hope that I have been unequivocally hoodwinked, bamboozled, and otherwise played for a fool here. That when the lights go out and you make your entrance at Chaos, that a fucking murder walks through that curtain. I hope that you laugh at me. That you howl and cackle until there are tears in your eyes, because I truly believed for even a minute that you would take an opportunity like this for granted. I hope that you humiliate me, and then slap me across my mouth, and then give me the most competitive match that I’ve had since the last time we shared that ring alone together, dude, because the alternative is truly the most depressing truth that I can imagine. That of everyone… that of anyone… that I was the least full of shit person around here.
This is absolutely flabbergasting.
But you’re right.
If stepping into the ring with me, and getting the opportunity to prove that you’re still the fucking man, doesn’t get your dick hard anymore, than nothing else in the wrestling business will. That’s it. It’s over. Retire. Go home and smoke your weed. Go join PRIME, where mediocrity isn’t just tolerated, but put over on the radio for thirty nine minutes a match. And yeah, PRIME bois, I know you still read every fucking thing I put on the Internet, so enjoy five minutes of Discord celebrity with your links and screenshots. The point is, it shouldn’t be on the World Champion to get his contender hyped for the fucking match, Rhys. You should be chasing me, not the other way around, but here I feel like I’m begging you to get excited for this match. To get amped up to try and take my championship from me. As it stands now, the fuck does retaining the belt against you even do for me? Mike Best beats another apathetic challenger.
The crowd goes mild.
I’m so sick of this shit. Not just from you, but from everyone. You can’t beat me? Tough shit, try harder. You think I’m constantly jammed down your throat with incessant title reigns? Oh well, fucking beat me then. I’ve been dealing with ten years worth of “oh, Mike is just the favorite” or “Oh, Mike can only win in HOW”, despite winning the World Title in literally every single company I’ve ever wrestled in. People write books of excuses before they ever even step into the ring with me, because their shitty little egos need it, and it hurts them to think that the man who hurts their feelings is also the gatekeeper to their ever achieving a fucking thing around here. And that was always my favorite thing about you, Rhys: you kept me in check. Called me on my bullshit, but didn’t need to resort to petty excuses. And then here you come, with 2500 words of fucking excuses.
I don’t know, man.
I guess it was fun to come back and play with your buddy Evan again, and stay in your safe space, and ride your fucking tanks or whatever. But now it’s scary, because if you get into the ring with me for the first time in ten years and I’m just plain fucking better, it’s not gonna feel good in your tummy? Like I said, man, I’m not gonna threaten to knee you to death here, or separate your fucking shoulder, or any of that tough guy bullshit. I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do when we get into the ring, and by the way things sound, you’ve already decided for yourself that I’m gonna be the better man. What a smart dude, beating himself before I get the chance to do it myself. You hit a home run with this one, Rhys. Good job, well fucking done.
Well, I’m done with it.
I’m done with this part time mindset. In 2024, I don’t give a fuck if you wrestle two weeks out of the year or fifty two, but if you step up in this company with that weak ass part-timer attitude, I’m going to fucking end you. If you want to be on this roster, and you want to compete at this level, then you’ll either do it with the right fucking attitude or I will run you out of this company faster than you can quietly leave a Discord with a sack full of donated money from the roster. Sektor, if you’re content with being the lifetime HOTv Champion, and you don’t have my belt in your sights? Then fuck you, get the fuck out. Jace, if you wanna sit the sidelines and say “I’m not under contract” every time a challenge comes your way? Then fuck you, don’t sign a new one, and go the fuck home. I am the HOW World Champion, and no matter how much you miserable fucks try to devalue the title just because you aren’t good enough to win it, I will be here every fucking show to defend it like my life and my career is on the line.
And that’s why I’m better than you.
That’s why you will never touch me.
That’s why the Mount Rushmore is five statues of my fucking face, because I want it more than you, and so I work harder to fucking get it. It’s funny, because when Townsend and I fought many years ago at Rumble at the Rock, I told him that “you have to want to be here”. That in my day, people used to talk trash to get heat and earn title matches, but all they were doing was whining and crying about not getting their turn. And now here we are in 2024, and I’m still telling you, Rhys… you HAVE TO WANT TO BE HERE, but instead of addressing a bunch of crybabies and entitled douchebags, I’m talking to a bunch of apathetic pissbabies who just want to go home.
Well go the fuck home then.
I’ll wrestle fucking bears, midgets and brooms to an arena with four people in it before I give up this title to someone who isn’t sure this is even what they want to do next week. I’ll watch you all walk away one by one. I’ll let the World Title division become HOFC, where everyone has given up all hope that they’ll ever beat me for it, so they just pretend like the title doesn’t exist. They’ll start saying shit like “Oh, World Title matches aren’t really my style, I don’t like those” instead of admitting they can’t get the job done. I’ll let this entire company die a heatless, penniless death before I compromise who I am for even a fucking second.
So who am I getting, Rhys?
You wanna do a fucking shot, slap yourself in the fact, and stop talking like a teenage girl who can’t decide if she should keep following Taylor Swift’s world tour? Or do you want to get your ass beat on live television, and then go home to smoke weed and be sad by yourself? Because on a professional level, it makes absolutely no difference to me– I’m gonna go out there on Monday night and do what I do best. On a personal level, though? I hope I get the you that you know you can be. I hope we can have a match that can burn the house down, so we can finally learn a little something about ourselves after all these years. I hope I get Rhys fucking Townsend at Chaos on Monday night.
And that’s the truth, Rhys.
You show me what the consequences are.