“I’ll tell ya’ what, Clay. If you really want to get these pricks hurt. If you really want to get them back for the bullshit they pulled last week, we gotta go for Conor’s tiny, soft skinned carnie hands. Break his fingers, hands, whatever. If that bitch can’t play on his Nintendo, he can’t concentrate. You know how shit is with these kids, these days. All screens, no balls,” Clay smirked at Solex’s comments. He had walked right into the strategy that he wanted to work in the match.
“Exactly Steve, were gonna break Momma Troy’s newest toy. That bitch thinks she can pull one over on the boss by goin’ out and recruitin’? Fuck her.” Clay said as he took a sip of the glass of whiskey. He needed Solex to put it all in on this plan at Refueled. Full buy in, it had to go off perfectly.
“Fuck her.” Steve agreed as the second beer from the barmaid arrived at the table.
“So what I’m thinkin’ is we isolate that Fuse boy. Try ta keep him in our corner, play it dirty. Ya hit the nail on the head by workin’ over them hands, break a few fingers, and keep Zeb over there on the outside lookin’ in.” The Behemoth from West Plainview said with a smirk. Decades of experience in the wrestling business dictated the approach.
“Bro, sounds good to me. If we beat the breaks off that Zelda lovin’ asswipe, we can handle business. Just punch in the fuckin’ blood code and knock that pasty fuck out, then we can get to Zeb. And that won’t be much of an issue at all, cause Zeb’s not quite the man he used to be. The only reason he even exists these days is to lick the mud from the queen bitches boots.” Clay nodded along in agreement with The Number One Dad Soldier.
He continued to nod as he continued putting the plan into motion. “See Steve, that’s the beauty of it. We let Zeb fuck over Zeb. That boy is greener than grass. Puts himself in terrible situations in that ring, and goes out there with a ton of emotion. When we got Fuse in the corner, workin’ him over? Zeb’s gonna get fired up every time we stick a finger in Fuse’s eye, or hold onta a choke fer a few extra seconds.”
“That fuckin amateur, I’ll bet money you’re right.” Put money on it, the HOG keeps eating Clay thought before he continued.
“Every time that boy gets mad and tries ta come inta that ring, it’s just more time we get ta lay inta Fuse. If we have it our way, with that bass fishin’ moron out there, we’ll be able ta put Conor Fuse out of commission permanently.” Clay said with a snarl as he stuck his fist out towards Solex. The Dad Soldier returned the fist bump in agreement.
“That’s the plan. Take these fuck-boys out one by one, so the bossman can get the bitch on her own. Fuckin Local Grapplers 214, what the fuck is that anyway?” Solex said angrily.
“‘Bout ta be a bunch of sad mother fuckers is what it is.” The two men nodded. A motivated and focused Steve Solex was dangerous on his own, adding in The Monster from Plainview’s plan and decision making?
Ya want an encore already?
I thought I was done with ya Zebby, I figured after puttin’ yer brain box into the third row with a lariat you’d of got the fuckin’ point. When Momma Troy had ta come inta the ring and work so hard ta put Humpty Dumpty back together again, drag yer recently concussed ass back ta the back like she was carryin’ a bag of potatoes.
I did exactly what I said I’d do ta ya Zeb. I talked it, and then I fuckin’ walked it. The devil wen’t down ta Georgia and sadly Johnny wasn’t ‘round ta take the bet and it was only Zeb. I walked inta Refueled and I took my third fuckin’ body, and I played ya like a fuckin’ fiddle while I did it.
Every time ya came at me with that head of steam, when ya were really tryin’ ta reel the big one in. I slipped the hook every time Zeb. I slipped it by puttin’ a thumb in yer eye, by wrappin’ my mits ‘round yer mouth. I slipped that hook by rippin’ yer fuckin’ head off with a lariat.
Zeb, I tried ta teach ya a lesson in that ring. There ain’t nothin’ but pain and sufferin’ the direction yer headin’. Nothin’ but the bottom of Best Alliance boots in yer future. But makin’ that crystal fuckin’ clear fer ya wasn’t ‘nough. No. That couldn’t just be it, see the heroes in all them movies take a beatin’ but they come back and prove that Justice is always achieved. That the good guys always win.
But see Zeb, this ain’t one of them fuckin’ movies.
So instead of just takin’ yer body, I’m gonna take yer fuckin’ soul on Saturday night. I’m gonna rip yer heart right outta yer chest. It’s gonna be a site. See Zeb, I’m gonna teach ya a ‘nother lesson on Saturday Night. The people ya meet in this business Zeb, don’t get close to ‘em. Don’t believe in them. Don’t fuckin’ like them.
Cause they might not be there for long.
I’m gonna open up hell on Conor Fuse’s Street Fighter loving ass. After that double chair shot from that thunder thumbed mother fucker and skinny jeans ya best believe Conor Fuse is gonna have a lesson of his own ta learn.
Like Mike Best tried ta teach him, ya just don’t fuck with people out of yer league. Steve and I are gonna rip that little psychopath apart in that ring. I don’t care if he thinks he’s the second comin’ of High Flyer, I don’t care if he transcends his fuckin’ body like Goku in some Dragon Ball Z bullshit.
I’m gonna break everythin’ that’s important ta that boy. I’m gonna snap his fuckin’ fingers, I’m gonna gouge out his fuckin’ eyes.
I’m gonna take away what he loves the fuckin’ most Zeb. I’m gonna rip it all away from that little man child. He’s gonna realize he just went straight ta Shao fuckin’ Kahn and had his back blown out.
And yer gonna watch every agonizin’ fuckin’ second of it.
Yer gonna try ta stop it, but it’s only gonna make it worse. Every time ya try ta make it inta that ring lookin’ ta put an end ta the punishment? It’s just gonna go one step further. Yer gonna be the fuckin’ cause of Conor Fuse’s destruction.
And yer gonna scrape yer friend off that canvas just like Lindsay Troy had ta do ta yer sorry ass a few weeks ago. And yer gonna look yer friend in the eyes and realize that Steve and I beat the fuckin’ madness out of him. That he ain’t gonna have that same twinkle. That’s how I’m gonna take yer fuckin’ soul Zeb. That’s how I’m gonna rip the fight right outta ya. Cause this is fuckin’ war Zeb, and it’s time fer ya ta learn the most valuable lesson. How ta lose someone ya love.
So you’ll get yer fuckin’ encore Zeb. I’ll give ya ‘nother lecture, but this time I want ya ta pay attention ta the teacher in the ring. Cause when Steve and I are done with Conor Fuse, he’ll never be the fuckin’ same again.
Chase Park Plaza, was there anywhere else for a wrestler to stay in St. Louis? Every legendary battle this building had seen? The history of the building was intimidating, from Lou Thesz and Buddy Rogers to Dusty Rhodes, Bruiser Brody, and Harley Race this building had seen it all.
Clay had splurged on the accommodations to appreciate the history of the building. Every time he had been in St. Louis watching his father wrestle the room at The Chase Hotel was on the house. The art deco entrance had stayed the same through the years. Sure, the rooms had more modern accommodations, but walking into that entrance as a farm boy from Texas was one of the most intimidating experiences Clay had ever had with architecture.
This evening he’d found himself alone in the bowels of the hotel, there wasn’t any iron around to rack, but the machines would be enough of a warm up. The Behemoth from Texas took the pin out of the machine and sat down. The Butterfly press was the one workout that felt better on the machine. Holding the dumb bells in the barn put pressure on his hands, as he aged the years of caving skulls in and abuse they had begun to cause him pain.
None of that mattered right now though, he had to treat his gigantic frame like the Ferrari it was. A wrestler was nothing without his body, it had to be dependable, and to keep a sports car dependable you had to keep up with the routine maintenance. As Clay continued working out he thought back to Refueled last week. He’d made a mistake last week, and it had cost him and The Alliance. After taking Troy out he should have been prepared for Zeb.
The boy was dumber than he looked, but he had managed to surprise Clay that evening in Chicago. It wasn’t the first time he had been hit with a chair in his life, but it had been at a critical moment. The Alliance had the advantage in the ring, and Clay had let Zeb even the odds.
“Gotta keep yer head on a swivel, kid.” Is what Robert Byrd would have said to him.
Clay knew Robert would have been right. It would not have been hard for Clay to keep his eyes peeled looking for the next member of Local 214. His lust for the mission had exceeded his intelligence in the moment and The Alliance paid the price.
The next shot there was nothing he could have done. Palmer and Fuse connecting to make a chair sandwich on his skull was unavoidable at that point. The show had ended with Lindsay Troy flying through the air and throwing herself at Clay. He began to grunt and snarl as the presses wore on his pectorals, but the sound of the weights smacking the ground intensified as Clay worked, his thoughts spinning in his head.
The Best Alliance wasn’t the most mentally strong team. They relied on Lee to be the director of their violent symphony. Point and destroy was almost The Alliance’s motto. That chair shot from Zeb had let Clay know where the team was deficient, and where he had to apply his considerable talents.
The boys were a carnival of carnage and disaster. Alcohol was expected at every gathering, women everywhere, gambling, the group of degenerates were a living and breathing nightmare anywhere they congregated. You could do those things when everything was coming up The Alliance. You could act that way when there wasn’t a unified opposition.
Now? High Octane Wrestling was even dangerous for The Alliance. They’d have to let their pride go, they needed a conductor. Someone who could plan a few steps ahead, who could think during the battle and didn’t see #97Red all the time in the ring.
While being blessed with being intelligent, he had realized that only a few others possessed foresight. He’d have to play the role of manipulator, he’d have to understand their strengths and weaknesses. He was never going to be able to take the booze away, but he could steer the conversation in the right direction. Just subtly nudge and manipulate The Alliance in a slightly more focused direction.
They had to operate like a pack of wolves, playing this one by one game wasn’t going to work for them. They needed to outnumber the opposition, strike when they were weak. He thought back to a speech he had heard in the eighth grade. The local VFW had brought a few veterans into the school to talk to an assembly.
The clacking of the weights had stopped for a moment as Clay was finally exhausted and switched the machine up to continue to work out.
The first three men who spoke had talked about the good times, they had barely acknowledged the horrors of war. The children in the assembly were joking as the men spoke, he’d heard the other children
“I bet ya he ain’t never killed no Viet Cong.”
“Guy looks like a fat turd in a green uniform.”
Clay had noticed the last man looking back into the crowd of students, who had ignored the last speaker. Talks of the football game at the high school was raging amongst the junior high students. More worried about who was staying with who that evening or sitting near each other at the game, or where they’d meet than to give the men in uniform the respect they deserved.
The last man stepped onto the stage and started off quietly. He talked about the good times of course, how could you not? The time he had dug a fox hole and found a nest of fire ants, the time he had to steal new boots off of a North Korean supply train to keep his feet from freezing. The stories were funny, the crowd of pubescent children slowly came back around.
Then the man had told the truth.
“War is hell.” The words burned into Clay’s psyche. The man spoke about the horrors of The Landing at Seoul, South Korea. The fighting in the streets, the first time he had lost a friend battling the North Koreans through the streets of the city. The man explained the Korean winter, and spoke about The Chosin Reservoir. He spoke about the scars of war. Not being able to feel his toes since Chosin, how that night he had almost lost his life while he checked to make sure the Chinese down the hill from him were dead. He talked about loading his wounded and dead friends into tanks while they retreated.
He talked about how war had changed him.
This wasn’t Korea, this wasn’t actual war. But men and women would change from this confrontation, and there was nothing that any of them could do about it. The merry band of misfits that made up Local 214 would be different after these battles, as would the men of The Best Alliance. Someone had to remind them. Someone had to be the one to pull the crowd back together.
Clay finished his last set, grabbed a towel off the rack wiping his blonde hair out of his face and drying his beard. He always thought best while he worked out, the physical activity was mindless at this point. It had become elementary over the years of building and sculpting his body. He could use his brain on everything else. He knew he had to be the one to keep them focused.
Now that he had focused Steve in the plan had to work. He had to get the buy-in from the others, and having The Dad Soldier in your corner would go a long way with the other members. The talk with Steve would be the first of many. Focus on the mission, destroy what needs destroyed, and remember there’s no honor in war.