Thank you, Cecilworth, for telling me exactly what I expected to hear.
Quite the journey we’ve been on, yeah? Lots of examples, good and bad, of loyalty and sacrifice. And I guess, from an outside perspective, yours should make the most sense. You and Mike, you’ve got what everyone wants.
Sure, there’s 24K. Andy’s got the Icon title and the Bruvs have the tags, but they’ve still got that new car smell. Mike’s the World Champion and you’re the Final Boss. What you say counts as Loyalty and Sacrifice should be law, right?
Cecil, this is exactly what I was saying about creativity. You used to have some. Maybe you lost it when your dad choked to death on a New Orleans sausage; maybe it was some other time. But… Cecil?
That’s your definition of sacrifice? Really? Have you met me?
So by your definition, I should’ve given up at War Games an entire fucking year ago, to give you a better chance to win the World Title. Wow. Bruh. As much as you and your Group seems to spend your free time digging into the public details of my personal life…
Sidenote? You’re really talking about a boyfriend that’s got nothing to do with this sport, and a five piece that I’ve jammed with once as character flaws that you can exploit.
Have you met me? More to the point, for as much shit as you and your club talk about my family, did it ever occur to you to ask Ryan or Troy about them? Once that bell rings, we don’t quit. Once that bell rings, I keep going until I can’t physically keep on going anymore.
You and your treehouse gang seem to spend your days – and a fairly pathetic number of nights – talking shit and throwing shade at a Mariella Jade Flair that you’ve obviously never met.
I don’t blame you for that, Cecil. You live in the penthouse with the Duo of Death and your domestic servants – I’m sure you’ve kept Max’s quarters just as he left them for his inevitable return – there’s no reason why you should take even a second’s notice.
Why sacrifice your precious time for a loser on the bottom rung who has less than a longshot’s chance of winning her LSD title shot?
The way I see it, Cecil – knowing that I’d end up right here? Knowing then what I know now? Could I have changed my destiny this year if I’d have just sacrificed my pride when you were trying to choke me?
Would I make the same choice?
Fuck. To the. No.
Your lesser side wants to hurt me for my hubris? Your greater side wants to hurt me for unleashing the Silent but Deadly version of Fartypants? Why the fuck would I care which side tries to do the job?
Secondly, but no less important… because it seems to piss you off so goddamn much. And that makes me happy.
I’ve been accused of a lot of things this year, Cecilworth, literally all of which you’ve repeated in the past week. I’ve never had to sacrifice anything. We’ve established that your definition of ‘sacrifice’ is self-serving and idiotic. I’m a fraud, for some reason.
Because I’m somehow not a wrestler here in High Octane? Because I’m not a former LSD Champion? Because I’m not Mariella Jade Flurstein, professionally known as MJ Flair?
Fraud. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
Drum roll please – my favorite! Handed a shot at the LSD Championship. Just… on a silver platter. Because Lee Best and I are clearly thick as thieves, and my record this year is an obvious sign that I’m the best choice for whatever plan he’s got cooking. But the best part of all of all this? Watch your fuckin’ mouth, boy – because after War Games I was undeservedly handed this shot just as much as Dan Ryan was undeservedly handed a shot at Andy Murray’s ICON Title. And I know the Circle Jerk of Death would never say anything to disparage another member of their special club.
Oh, Cecilworth… it’s an amazing feeling to have nothing left to lose. You can just… say what’s on your mind without having to worry about tomorrow.
But something’s been tripping me up, Cecil. Something you said did stump me, if only for a second.
Just a second.
That’s been the thought dragging down the back of my mind all year, as I blamed myself for the destruction of the Industry. Despite Jack Harmen telling me point blank he understood my frustrations and never held me responsible for the other two’s reactions… that didn’t matter.
I held me responsible.
Even as you and Mike and LT and Ryan all said it… again and again and again…
…and again, and again, and again…and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again…
Dude. I’d already said it.
But then, like a bucket of cold water in the face… I remembered. I remembered what Dan Ryan himself said to me. What Lindsay Troy herself said to me.
And remember, Cecilworth. Their words.
We weren’t friends. We weren’t partners. I was foolish for assuming their prior associations with my family counted for anything. At best, I was a means to an end; at worst I was a stone in their shoe.
And I was tossed aside the second I became a nuisance. My crime, Cecilworth? The one that you and Mike and Danny and Linday all spent half a year accusing me of?
I’m guilty of a lack of cynicism, not lack of loyalty. Fortunately, you’ve cured me of that shit.
Besides. What’s loyalty in this sport, anyways? You and Mike and Max–
–I’m sorry, The Minister–
But you three fell in love early and managed to stay more or less monogamous. Awesome, you’ve beaten the odds, along with the Hollywood Bruvs. And the children won’t have to grow up in a broken home.
The rest of us, we work with temporary and non-binding partnerships of convenience. Like I already said, the smart money is on Troy and Danny at each other’s throats again in five years or less. As much as Andy and Joe hated each other, they defended their tag team titles with a stubbornness that you can only find with the alliance of convenience. Hell, I held tag team gold, literally, as a part of the Tag Team of the Damned.
I like and respect Andy Murray and had his back in full during War Games, but I don’t trust him. I trust Jack Harmen and have his back as much as I can. You know, when the post-bell attack lasts longer than fifteen seconds of quick brutal pain. Fucking hell, that’s almost as unrealistic as Little Jimmy’s sense of immersion.
But that’s cool, man. High Flyer notwithstanding, I’m cool to solo this boss fight. Sort of what my family’s always done in this sport; there’s been temporary alliances here and there, but by and large, we’ve always had to walk alone.
It took me longer than I’d like to admit, however… that doing so in High Octane is a death sentence. Nobody here does things on their own. Seriously, Cecil. Think about it. Literally every singles champion that’s been champion since the day I stepped foot in the door has been part of a group, with the sole exception of Halitosis Joe – and you can argue he was a two-time former World Champion more because of timing and luck than actual skill and staying power.
Also, MJ Flair’s LSD Title run. Because we’ve established that the Industry was never a group – it was a means to an end for Dan Ryan and Lindsay Troy.
I know I’ve got an uphill battle, Cecilworth. There is literally nobody in this company that wants me to win this match with the singular exception of Jack Harmen. There’s the prestige of holding the LSD Title, there’s the street cred of dealing a swift kick to the nuts of the company’s weirdest group-grope, and there’s the Everest of handing Cecilworth Farthington his first unqualified defeat since the Refueled Era’s World Title tournament?
Doing this would rob everyone else in this company of having the chance to do it themselves. It would turn the entire rankings on their heads if the chick at the bottom of the list can somehow get it done before her ‘betters.’
Most of all, leaving Refueled 33 with the LSD Title would take a massive chunk out of the rest of the company’s ‘let’s shit all over MJF’ bandwagon.
And we can’t have that now, can we?
You have all the momentum here, Cecil. You’re the Final Boss. You’ve got your group behind you and they’ll clearly be there to back you up if you get into the slightest bit of trouble. Not a single person in this company would put their money on me except for me.
But. Again. Going into this match knowing that I’m going to lose instead of fearing that I’m going to lose… You have no idea how liberating that is.
So let’s agree to be honest with each other, Cecil. You can pin me for a three. You can get me in a compromising position and force me to tap.
Those are your options.
You can’t break my body.
You can’t break my spirit.
It is literally impossible for you to drop me any lower than I’ve dropped myself already this year.
Your record is on the line. Your reputation is on the line. Your title is on the line.
I’ve got nothing to lose except one match – and I’ve done that plenty so far this year.
And that makes me free.
My father dedicated his life to this sport, but he knew – and he made sure I knew – you won’t survive if you don’t recognize when you need to walk away.
But you know that. What did you even do between the end of Utah and the beginning of the Refueled era?
Did you walk away? You fucking hypocrite?
The best part of it all, Cecil… oh, this makes me so, so, so happy. You, Cecilworth. The Forever Champion.
The Final Boss.
You are a prisoner of High Octane Wrestling.
You lose this match, you will become single minded of purpose. You will think of nothing else until you get your revenge. You won’t have a moment of peace, you won’t have a moment of reflection… you won’t have a moment of rest from that three count until you get me back in the ring again.
Not for the sake of the LSD Title, but because you would clearly not accept the blow to your ego of bottom-ranked MJF getting one over on you. I will live inside your subconscious and you will obsess over getting a rematch until the day it happens. And I’d enjoy the visual of the mentally broken Cecilworth, lost inside himself, trying desperately to remember which of his parents most enjoyed swallowing hot loads.
I lose this match?
I walk out these doors and your name will disappear from my brain three seconds later, never to return. Because… that ‘other life’ you so desperately try to use to hurt me? That’s the carrot at the end of the stick that motivates me to keep on going.
Because that life is the end goal, Cecil. If I get to it a little earlier than I’d prefer? I still win.
You’re still gonna win this match, Cecilworth. Likely. I mean, as much as a pedantic, unoriginal, douchey little bitch that you’ve revealed yourself to be this past week – your in-ring skills are still top notch and you would have to be even dumber than your lame ass to deny it. You’re living proof of how far you can get with the athletics of Jim Thorpe and the brain of Forrest Gump.
But there’s two things that I’ll promise you in the process.
You’re going to have to earn it.
And I’m going to make you suffer for it.
“Wow. That was direct.”
Wasn’t it, though? You know, with Mike holding ownership stake you’ve always gotta be careful cutting too deep on his boys, since I’m pretty sure he’s got no ethical concern with using company resources to bury you.
“Not worried anymore, huh?”
Hah. Would you be?
“…So you’re serious.”
“That’s… I mean, that’s what I asked you.”
Hah. You’re so cute, I love your face.
“You didn’t answer me.”
No, no I didn’t. Was that naughty of me?
Oh man, too much fun. No, babe. Don’t know if I’m serious or not. Honestly, I beat Cecilworth, it’s immaterial because I’ll have a championship, and you don’t ditch on that shit, man.
“And if you lose?”
I lose, there’s nothing holding me here.
I heard that in your voice. You looking for one outcome over another?
“Honestly? …No. I’m really not.”
“I swear, babe. Honestly, I want you to be happy and I don’t want you to have any regrets. Whatever outcome that leads to, we’ll work it out.”
“Good wow, or bad wow?”
Oh, good. Definitely good.
Because if I win or if I lose… I win.