Sunday, November 28th,2021
Leeds, United Kingdom
First Direct Arena Locker Room
Once again, forces out of my control ruined another singles championship opportunity. On the outside, I maintained my composure as I ambled my way back to my locker room. Wandering down the hollow road of defeat, I spent time socializing with my peers. I shook hands with all the wrestlers and producers who celebrated my performance. Everyone told me I looked the best I had in years wrestling him in front of the Leeds crowd. They all wished me luck in my next title match, giving me a brisk pat on the back.
But deep inside, everyone knew the emptiness laying dominant in my soul. The bogus smile plastered all over my face gave it all away. While I displayed my infamous pearly whites to the crowd, I secret gritted my teeth each time. I loathed each of their well-wishes because I came home to my family emptied handed. It took every ounce of energy inside me not to unleash a rage-filled outburst in front of the locker room.
Finally arriving back at my locker room, I yanked my 15-year-old tattered and torn duffle bag out of my locker. Slamming it down on the bench, I glanced over to the reflection of me in the mirror. The glaring error of no championship around my shoulder gnawed at my stomach. I reached over for the bag of trail mix Meredith left as a present, grazing for a moment. The bleak reality of my ICONIC dreams began to set into my depleted mind.
Suddenly, the thick wooden door flew open and slammed against the brick wall. Meredith flew across the room and embraced me. We locked lips for a minute before gazing into each other’s eyes. As she petted my thick, brunette hair, she whispers in my ear in a seductive fashion. “I’m so sorry you got robbed, baby. You poured your damn heart out in your match. You didn’t deserve your old MVW rival screwing you over in your biggest moment of your career. Everything will be alright! You’ve got a chance next week in the Lethal Lottery”
My heart sank down into the pit of my stomach. For a brief moment, I pumped my fist a few times to ease the stress I felt. Barreling up off the bench, I watch Meredith’s arms fall right to her sides. Her jaw drops as she gazes on while I wipe the palms of my hands against my face. Pacing around the room, I look back into Meredith’s eyes. I animate my composure to reassure her. “Sorry for pulling away so swiftly. I need a moment to process this loss. I need a moment to regain my peace of mind.”
Fumbling around the depth of the torn bag, I remove my iPhone and dial Conor’s number with haste. In desperate need of some sage advice; I needed to hear Conor’s encouraging voice, rallying behind me. Our last interaction occurred a couple months ago before the whole Xander fiasco. I hadn’t forgotten about my best friend in the locker room. Our life paths diverged for a temporarily. I couldn’t handle my problems without some whacky hijinks in my life to destress. Conor always provides me away to level out my inner workaholic. He always has a way off helping me find the most diplomatic way of handling my disappointments in life.
The sound one ring pierces my ear drums before I get sent to the dreaded voicemail box. “Hello follow gamers! I’m off rescuing woodland creatures with a spiky blue hedgehog right now. If you’re princess is in another castle: please leave a message. I’ll get back with you on your rescue mission as soon as I can. Leeeeeet’s gooooooo!”
BEEEEEEP! CLICK! SIGH!!!
While a part of me felt disenchanted Conor hit the asshole button on me, I couldn’t it blame him for his actions. There was once a time in my career I needed to sequester myself in my innermost thoughts. To take the correct steps forward order to progress my career, I shut down from the world around me. If I didn’t take the time to figure out my problems; I couldn’t progress my career. Fuse’s loss to Mike Best hit him hard. I understand that my best bud needs some space.
But the news still hit me hard! Meredith identified the change in my demeanor in an instant. My color washed away from my face. My eyes depressed more than usual. My shouldered withered and withdrew closer to my body as I almost melted in the corner of the locker room. She leaps off the bench to consult me. “Conor’s still not answering your calls?”
I give a lethargic nod to her before my eyes sank down to the concrete. Inhaling a deep breath, I stare at her in confusion. Rubbing at my shoulders, she expresses an idea to help. “Morris mentioned he’s going to Kenmare Bay on a hunting expedition. He’s looking to hunt some Sika. Maybe you two can get out and bond some more. Make up for some lost time.”
Scratching my chin for a moment, I ponder over her suggestion. Memories of my dad and I’s hunting excursions float to the surface of my mind. While I despised leaving my comfortable city life, my fondness of those trips grew as time passed. Those experiences taught me how to become a real man. Living off the scraps of the land built the tenacity and persistence that defines me today. It provided me with a strict, rough training regimen to prepare for Lethal Lottery next week.
“That’s a fantastic idea, Meredith! It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve felt the thrill of a true hunt in the wilderness. It will bring some clarity and perspective I need. Instead of the crazy and fun guys nights I have with Conor, I’ll get away from all the bullshit distractions. I can crank down for the next opportunity in my court. I can’t afford anymore mistakes!” I exclaim before I toss my iPhone to her before leaping back up to my feet.
“I don’t want any media calls or distractions; I only want to quench those cravings for fresh air. Please handle any of my media needs.” I continue as she waves her hand, pushing me out the door. Racing towards the exit, my heart beat hastens. The prospect of releasing those inner desires for blood continues to peak. If I couldn’t wrap my hands around Dickinson’s neck; then I would bag a buck instead. Living only off the land would humble me more on my conquest for gold. Next week, I have the fortune to bag the biggest prize: #97Red, if I got lucky. Everyone in HOW knows Mike’s giving his peak performance since returning. The only way one grooms themselves to take on GOD’s son in HOW is through rigorous preparations.
Should I draw another match out; I wouldn’t have to sweat. I could snag the easier prey of JJR, Sektor, or the rest of the roster with that level of training. No one else operates on Mike’s level, nor dared to touch him. The man not only has 10 World Championship to his name, but he still remains undefeated in Lethal Lottery. To achieve greatness, you needed to survive the wilderness. Sustaining your life while fighting for food strengthens one’s will. It pushes you to fend for your spot in the HOW ring. It’s the exact experience to push me to the next level. I need to thirst for my opponents’ blood like a Best does to walk out with the jackpot. Otherwise, I’d still be that dumb gazelle starring at the headlights. And there’s no God damn way I was waiting for the sweet release of death anymore.
Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
Kenmare Bay, Ireland
My hunger pangs continue to grow with each passing second. The audible growls from my stomach echo throughout the trees. Three days passed since the sweet taste of meat grazed the palate of my mouth. No longer did plants and berries appease my appetite. It now only craves the flesh and blood of deer. Red veins ran down my pupils from the exhaustion of the hunt. The sensation of tasting fresh meat drove my compulsion to move forward. I searched like an unrelenting scavenger for the Sika. The madness increased my sense of smell. I could smell the scent of a buck 40 yards away. Either that or the delirium finally sat in on my weakened state. I couldn’t wait another few hours for some real protein. My obsession for food conquered all obstacles holding me back. I didn’t have time to think; I had to act.
This focus etched itself in my brain, training it for my next quest: Lethal Lottery. My mind often wandered from the prize over the last three years. Often times I found myself focusing on all the other outside bullshit cluttering my mind. My hasty, brash nature continued circumvent all my senses. Now unhindered from all my bad impulses, my instincts took over. As my feet scurry across the flat ground around the base of the hills, everything fades behind me.
Morris’ old, feeble body couldn’t keep up with my pace. He stops in place as I rush 20 yards due north with my 243-rifle clenched between my hands. Seven years passed since I last held a gun, and suffice to say, the nervousness of this occasion filled my brain. The last time I shot, I did it like a reckless moron, hoping to become a bad ass in action movies. I only did it to give off some false sense of perception to improve my credibility. Now my life depended on this tool and shooting my prey.
As I made my way into the nearby forest, my ears picked up the snapping sensation of the brush beneath me. Twigs snapped, blades of grass rustled, and leaves broke. All the noises echo off into the distance. “Quiet! You’ll scare off all the deer, asshole.” My brain yelled at me. I couldn’t let this one escape. Each passing moment, I creep closer to my prey.
Finally, my eyes lock onto a huge Sika buck off into the distance. No time to celebrate the accomplishment in peace. It’s now or never! Raising the rifle to my nose cavity, I position the shot in a careful manner. My mind calculates the wind’s trajectory as I aim for my target.
The bullet leaves the chamber of the gun and flies straight into my prey’s head. JACKPOT! Uncle Morris leaps off the boulder far away. I can almost pick up the words of his faint cry while he celebrates. “Aye! Atta boy, laddie! Feckin’ finally bagged the damn buck.” It takes him forever to hobble over to our trophy.
Quickly withdrawing his knife from his holster, he starts to skin the deer. Going off on a tangent, he yammers on about his hunting stories from his youth. I tune him out before he gets to the point.
“That’s why you trust y’er instincts, boyo! Without a clear mind on your shoulders, your prey always escapes. Y’er mind often strays off the target. I seen it first-hand last Saturday. Ya kept looking over y’er shoulder doubting you had Sektor’s number. Yew can’t do that with Mike. The first moment you take your eyes off him; he’ll feckin’ pounce. It’s how you should operate in all y’er matches” He proclaims with his deep tone.
“Yes, it’s easy to say, but putting it into practice has proven difficult. Every damn time I’ve stepped into the ring for a championship, someone else decides to screw me over.” I balk at him while I roll my eyes.
“But yew showed what you can do when yew clear y’er mind, boyo. Don’t give me excuses! Excuses only make the hunters weak. The McMatthews clan aren’t feeble minded people. Y’er forgettin’ all the lessons y’er father taught you on the hunt.” He retorts back at me, scolding me. His hand continues to shake my direction before he continues skinning the meat.
While I prepare the fire, my mind ponders on that thought. Every time I lost; I gave into the banal victim mentality I created. It became a destructive pattern I took every single time interference happened. Hell, Mike hammered on how predictable I became. Every single opponent locked in on his words like gospel. I whimpered like a Gurber baby needing a fucking pacifier. I didn’t act like a true combatant. But the story only ends when I complain and don’t seize the next opportunity. Now I had the element of surprise on my shoulder. I could release those bad memories of the other predators stealing my prey. They wouldn’t see my attack in time to act this time. I held the advantage over each one of my opponents.
After a grueling blood-filled, three hours; we finally finished preparing our meal. The sweet scent of burning wood filled my nostrils. The serene sound of deer meat finishes sizzling over the campfire. The saliva from my mouth drenched the front of my garb as my eyes locked onto the meat coming out of the fire. Ripping a chunk of meat from the pile, I sink my teeth into it. My eyes roll into the back of my head at the divine taste of the smoky meat.
“Feelin’ better now, aren’t, boyo?! That’s the sweet taste of victory. Remember it!” Uncle Morris blurted out as he watches my reaction.
I concur with my uncle as I raise my prize in the air. “Don’t worry, Morris. I won’t forget this lesson.”
Can’t say I’m surprised with the outcome of last Sunday’s LSD Title match. It’s become a predictable pattern in HOW lately. Every time Darin Zion earns a championship match; someone else jumps in and steals the kill from me. Don’t give me the bullshit excuses that Sektor got the visible finisher win. That bastard couldn’t take the time to pin my shoulders to the mat to prove his manhood. He took his eyes off his prey and focused on the bullshit outside the ring. Everyone who knows me fucking understands I’ve got a lot of damn fight in me. The ole’ Irish blood keeps me kicking more times than not. I still had tricks in my sleeve waiting to subdue my damn prey.
But no, once again, a more ravenous predator sneaks in and steals food off my damn table, leaving me hungry. It’s been three long years since the sweet taste of singles gold touched my lips. I could sit all day bitching about the list of screwjobs I’ve faced at the hands of all the wrestlers in HOW. Kael, Pratt, and now Dickinson all make the list! You’re all hoping I cry like all the other bitches in the locker room do when they can’t beat champions. They air their laundry list of excuses for the world to see.
But real men and women don’t fucking do that!
I squandered that opportunity. I took my eyes off the damn prize for one single moment, and Sektor planted my head down into the mat. He didn’t finish the hunt; but he asserted dominance in that moment. That angers me! It infuriates me Bill Dickinson stole food off my family’s table. He annihilated a huge pay day opportunity I could have earned becoming the LSD Champion. He left that gnawing sensation of hunger to grow another damn week in my empty stomach. The longer that feeling goes unquenched, the more dangerous the predator becomes.
Go ahead, laugh your asses off at that statement. Use the same old boring one-liners from Mike Best’s promos. I’m a loser with a 6-13 record. I choke more than Kirsta Lewis did on Lee Best’s cock. None of you fuckers have even spent the last four weeks building a path to ICONIC. Come on! Give me your shitty trash talk. It only fuels that unquenched appetite of mine
Bobbinette’s fucking focusing on a decades long rivalry with no return on investment. Scottywood’s drowning his goddamn sorrows knee deep in IPA. He’s probably still using half his damn brain to figure out what else he can lose to Mike Best. Brian Hollywood’s working on some worthless martyr pyramid scheme. Bet you I know his attempts to win Lethal Lottery. He’s going to convince you he’s changed again. Hell let’s not forget Jiles is probably knee deep, begging like Keith Sweat for another shot at Michael. Don’t count out future Hall of Famer Jatt Starr. He’s craving some sweat off Conor’s balls. Man only wants forgiveness. Xander can’t pull his head out of his ass for one single minute to realize he’s lost his fucking steam. And don’t even get me started on Eli Dresden’s failed revenge attempt on JJR.
For fuck sakes, we’re in ICONIC season! None of you fuckers realize the gravitas of earning a championship match on the card. It punches your name amongst the greatest wrestlers of HOW. Yet, let’s have an electric shark cage or a clusterfuck match. Call it good! You get some worthless sense of applause and a participation trophy. Because each one of you assholes wait around for Lee Best to hand you a damn match.
While I’m busting my balls trying to fight with the elites. Sure, I’ve failed, but I a’int seen any of you fuckers chasing after me. I don’t see any of you touching my desires and stepping on my dreams. Hell, an MVW rookie understood the assignment better than the veterans and it pisses me off. It increases that desire and it makes that frail 6-13 record pale in its comparison.
That’s what makes me dangerous in this setting. I’m operating in my fore: the element of surprise. I don’t have to overthink about what I’ve got to say. I let fate decide my opponent. And you better believe I’m preparing for the God King himself: Mike Best. Because everyone else pales in his fucking shadow. He’s the top of the food chain. His head’s the one you want to line your damn mantle. And I a’int saying that to polish his balls off.
No, I want to knock his ass down a few pegs. That bastard wants you to believe the propaganda spewing from his damn mouth. He’s letting his vanity blind him. I don’t blame the bastard; he’s fucking earned his claim to the damn throne. But if he fucking thinks a dick swinging contest with his best friend puts butts in seats…well….that fucker is off his damn rocker. His eyes are off the prize around his waist, even though he talks a good damn talk.
We all know Mike feeds off everyone’s attention. If he’s the center of attention; it fuels that ego. It gives him power.
Sure, he’s boosted my ego the last few weeks, but let’s cut to the damn chase. If I luck into choosing him; you best believe my eyes will be focused on #97Red more than Mike Best.
But that’s not all that’s the on the line for me. I could draw John Sektor’s name out of the damn hat. Most people would fucking cry because they got another LSD Championship match. But I won’t. I’ve seen that championship main event Pay Per Views. I know Sektor’s the longest reigning singles champion in HOW today. We all remember that fucking story from last week. His mullet would sure look damn great on my mantle alongside the LSD Championship.
I pray out of all the champions; I get you. Because if you can’t handle Mike Best; then certainly you can’t handle me this week. Because I’ve been training for the best. You might swing your proverbial dick in the air, touting you’re as great as him. But we all know you couldn’t beat his ass in singles competition. We all know you couldn’t even finish my damn ass off. You couldn’t floor Dickinson in time to stop the DQ. You’re a fucking coward ducking HOW veterans fighting some pathetic MVW rookie. You’re a fucking hypocrite whose squandered the gift Lee Best gave you. JPD said it best last week. While time dictates, you’re the prime target; you’ve wandering around like a lost puppy dog. You haven’t asserted a dominant bone in your body to protect that precious golden child of yours. You’ve abandoned her. And if I get my hands around your neck; trust me, your ass will tap out.
Don’t even get me started on the pound of flesh JJR owes me for his debut match. He’s a failed Hannibal Lecter clone who should rot away in our prison system. Sure, he’s gotten 10 wins, but I had an undefeated streak when I came into HOW too. I fucking squandered that shit. After he loses greenie to me; he’ll become another afterthought. He’ll be a disgarded misfit toy like Xander Azula.
And if I get the battle royal, well, I guess I struck gold. Because I won’t let the system call out my title shot. I’ll fucking call it out at ICONIC. I’ll make my claim and do what the hell I want. I’m tired of marching to the beat of someone else’s drum. I will punch that ticket to ICONIC and win Greenie like I set out to do.
Either way you slice it; I’ve got the element of surprise in this damn hunt. No one will stop me from staking my claim. Rather you’re a Hall of Famer, title holder, or regular roster member; you’re all in my way. I’m looking forward to the hunt this week. I’m looking forward to the unpredictability. I’m looking to shake up the vary foundation of HOW. Rather you want it to happen or not; it will. And there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop this hunter from striking.