The End of a Lunatic…
Story by Christian Cavalier, Copy by Sarah DeWintry.
℅ the Rafter Reveal
Sources say Jack Harmen, better known to the professional wrestling world as High Flyer, is currently contemplating retirement and could announce his intentions as early as Refueled XXX.
Rumors are swirling that he may have one last “Retirement” arc, or, even that his match with Black Mamba may be the last one for the Friendly Neighborhood Lunatic. As always, once information can be confirmed by sources close to High Octane Wrestling or High Flyer himself, we will update this story accordingly.
With High Flyer’s pending retirement, we here at Rafter Reveal wish to spend the next few weeks covering some of High Flyer’s most important contributions to professional wrestling. From his wrestling training school, “The Odessa Dungeon,” to owning tape libraries of long since shuttered wrestling organizations, to his current active role as a head Trainer and booker of BRAZEN, the wrestling business would not be the same without the Snowman.
Master of the top rope mid-air cartwheel elbow and innovator of the Springboard Lou Thesz Press, High Flyer began his wrestling career at the young age of 16 in a small regional company called PWA. Most wrestling credits will say he began his career straight out of the womb. His father was a former NWA talent, who routinely had his mother as his manager. After PWA was fined for using talent that was deemed too young by the state athletic commission, Flyer made his way to Mexico, where authorities were a bit more lax with ages. Learning the craft of lucha libre, High Flyer spent five years in AAA. He went on to return to America, becoming a house hold name in the larger than life IWO, the Disney owned fWo, and the PTC stalwart PRIME. Eventually, High Flyer found himself in the FWC circuit, having a wonderful showing in the 2012 Ultratitle Tournament.
Lately, High Flyer has taken on a more administrative role with DEFIANCE, and has only plied his craft in the ring in HOW Wrestling. First signing to Lee Best’s world wide organization last year for War Games he quickly made his mark in high profile matches with Max Kael, Cecilworth Farthington and others. His merchandise sold well and he was a featured player, but his stock quickly soured in HOW after numerous losses. After the break up of the Industry shunted High Flyer into an unsuccessful bid for the tag team championship with ally Mariella Jade Flair, daughter of the legendary Eli Flair, Flyer has been said to be contemplating his future, accordingly to sources close to the Rafters Reveal.
Next week, we’ll take an in depth look at his five years in Mexico, starting with his very first match again El Hijo del Santo up to his Mask vs. Career match with Samuel Potright.
Stay tuned to Rafter Reveal for all your wrestling related news and gossip!
POUND. SLAM. OPENTHEDOOR KNOCKING.
“Mary!” I shout. I’m standing outside of my former office door, here at the Odessa Dungeon. Gifted to her for like, three months and she’s already redecorated. I don’t like this.
I don’t like being on this side of the door.
“MARY!” I slam my fist into the oak so it resonates down this narrow concrete corridor. The only other sound filling the background is of distant workout grunts and bodies bouncing off of canvas mats. The wooden boards hidden underneath springing them back up to do it all again. “I used to own this off-”
The door gently squeaks open. That won’t do. I burst through with a conniption fit, shoving the door against the wall so the window shatters into a million pieces. I look at Mary, then the window, then back to my tiny red headed attorney. “When did we get a window?” I ask.
“I thought this was my office now?” Mary asks, taking a few steps back toward her office desk. Wow. This room is nice. Much nicer than when I had it. There aren’t papers strewn about to make it seem like you’re busier than you are. That was my go to. I’d point to papers and go, look, I’ve got all this work I gotta, y’know, come back later. “Or are you playing takesy-backsy. I gotta tell you, that won’t hold up in court.”
Mary-Lynn just always helps people. She’s going to help me now.
I slam my hand on the table. “Have you read this trite?” I say.
Mary-Lynn leans in and took a look. “Oh, Yes. I read it online. I didn’t take the time to print it out.”
“Well I did!” I say, raising my hand and the paper above my head. “I went to Staples…” I did. “Stupid dirtsheets! They don’t know anything.” I plop down into what I can only understand to be a guest chair. This is nice. Leathery.
“They seem to be making quite the assumption here.” Mary-Lynn says. “Is there any reason they might think this?”
“No!” I shout. I cross my hands over my chest. Defensive. “Well. I mean, it’s not like I’ve had the best year.”
“And your contract’s up soon.”
“And my contract’s up soon.” I concede.
Mary-Lynn frowns, shrugging. “You did try to kill yourself.”
“Hey!” I shout. “I didn’t try. I stopped. BEFORE I tried. Big difference.” I nod with exuberance. “If I had tried to kill myself, I wouldn’t be here to have this conversation with you.”
“I’m not so sure,” she replies, taking her seat in her large comfortable looking executive chair, “You could always pull a Brenton Cross and suddenly I see the 26 year old version of you.” She shrugs toward the camera. “I mean, you used to travel through time.”
“I also used to wear blackface and eat dairy.” I shake my head. “I can’t do any of those things anymore.”
“Old man Jack, bum knees, stabbed eyes.” She laughs, briefly. “It’s a wonder you’re still in one piece.”
She’s not wrong and she knows it. I’ve had more bruises and broken bones and operations than I can think to count. My medical chart is like an endless scroll of pain, each one symbolizing a moment of my personal accomplishment in the wrestling ring. The most recent ones stinging the most.
Mary can tell by the silence, and doesn’t wait for me to respond. “So, what are you going to do about it?” she asks me. And to be honest, I was asking myself the exact same thing.
“Well,” I take a deep inhale. “If the wrestling world thinks I’m done… I’m going to go out there and do what I did twenty years ago.”
“Prove ‘em wrong?” She nods. She knows.
“You know it.” I reach over and grab the printed out dirt sheet. “This is what I think about my so called retirement…” as I set the printed out copy ablaze.
“Wait! No!” Mary-Lynn screams. But it’s too late as an alarm goes off. A moment later, and I’m rained on by a sprinkler.
“So,” I chomp my lips together. “You fixed the smoke detector…”
MULTIPLE BURSTS of STATIC, interlaced with the HOW97 Red Logo.
Fade in to an empty sound stage. It’s dark, too dark to see anything. Until a single spotlight illuminates center stage. High Flyer stands there, arms outstretched in a t-pose.
High Flyer: The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.
CUTTO: A medium close up. I slowly raise my lowered head to the camera.
High Flyer: I was unable to compete in War Games. I didn’t even show up. I wanted to. I wanted to just climb into that ring and smash the face of LT and D-Ry… to help support MJF. But as I watched War Games from the comfort of my two bedroom empty apartment… I realized. I may very well be holding her back.
I look away as the camera cuts to a side angle.
High Flyer: MJF. She’s so talented, and she has a shot at the LSD title. I can’t stand in her way. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m the reason she’s not Main Eventing every Refueled. At least, the man I am right now…
I pause, letting the moment sink in. Not just for me, but for everyone. I rub the back of my neck.
High Flyer: The man that HOW has shaped me to become. The man I look in the mirror and no longer recognize. I’ve been all over the world, but the squared circle of HOW has been like no other, and has challenged me to my very core.
There’s a quick snarl of my nose.
High Flyer: But I am ready to rise to that challenge, to overcome all the obstacles that stand in my way, to go out there to the ring and not only prove that I still have it, but that I never lost it. Prove to YOU, prove to ME even, that I am STILL, one of the greatest wrestlers in the WORLD. TODAY? Yeah! Any day? EVERY day! And to do that? I’ve got to start at the bottom, start at the very lowest ranked HOW competitor, the worst of the best, and beat. Every. SINGLE. WRESTLER. RISE to the top of the ladder the ol’ fashion way.
I grit my teeth. I believe it, but… it’s going to take a long time, and there’s no guarantees. Nowhere better to start than…
High Flyer: So I stand across the ring from a man who’s shared my luck. Black Mamba. It’s nothing personal, but you’ve come to me on the day of my awakening, my rebirth as a phoenix from the ashes, You came to me on the day I wiggled my big toe…
I smile at my movie reference. It’s an older one, but it’s new to me still.
High Flyer: You and I may share the same bad luck thus far, but my fate changes today. We both have all the talent in the world, it’s the only way we’re here in High Octane… but I’m not satisfied with just BEING here… I need to excel. I need for everyone here to call me CHAMPION. SO! I shall make my way up the mountain that is HOW, one step at a time. Starting with … YOU. The man who stole Kobe’s ID and pretends he’s a dead man to… I don’t know? Sell t-shirts? Maybe get free Starbucks? Listen, Ma’am-Baaaaaaa-ut Ma’am Butt. Listen Ma’am Butt.
I just thought of that. I’m so smart. S-M-R-T.
High Flyer: You’re going to regret stepping into that ring against me. You’ll probably not even remember it, when I run you OVER, with a Locomotive.
High Flyer: That being said, I can’t take you lightly. As you’ve said in the past, you’ve shared the ring with some of HOW’s greats.
I smile. I pop my imaginary collar. Some version of me has a collar…
High Flyer: Prepare to add me to the list.
I smash my hand into the camera lens and push it away, before walking away. I’m done. I have nothing else to say.
Words mean nothing. Actions mean everything.
Time to get ready.