The Ghost In The Machine

The Ghost In The Machine

Posted on June 15, 2020 at 6:47 pm by Mike Best

Alright Murray, let’s talk. 


And pay attention, because unlike you, I’m not gonna repeat the same shit over and over for the next three months. I am not intimidated by you. I am not in awe of you. I am not even particularly impressed by you— the only reason I’m even addressing you is because you have this idiotic notion that the lack of retaliation is victory. So you want a retaliation? Here’s a retaliation:


I am so overwhelmingly disappointed by you. 


Seriously. Maybe you don’t care, and maybe I don’t care if you care, and maybe you don’t care if I care that you don’t care, but you have been such a momentous letdown that it sometimes legitimately makes me question why I still do this for a living. I don’t know man, maybe it shouldn’t bother me. Maybe I should just shrug my shoulders like everyone else does, and say “that’s just Murray”. Maybe I should let you off with a free pass, because of who you used to be. 


But shit, man. 


What’s happened to you?


Yeah yeah, you’re a great wrestler. One of the best. Blah blah blah, suck your dick, put you over, you get it. I don’t need to tell you, the world, or Lee Best what a phenomenal career you’ve had, or how impressive you’ve been inside of a HOW ring. You’re Andy Murray. Everybody knows who you are. 


Everybody but you, I guess. 


For all of the giant neon cases of identity crisis in HOW, yours has really gone relatively unnoticed, and I think that’s a damned shame. Because you’re the stuff of fucking legends, my dude. That first night, when you showed up in a HOW ring and dropped me on my head, I was almost too busy being a shitty mark to even stop and be mad at you. ANDY FUCKING MURRAY in HOW! All I could think about was the dream matches. The business we could do. The money we were gonna make. The questions that the world has always had about who was better than who, finally answered, and we’d do it in the company that means the most to me. We had ANDY FUCKING MURRAY! 


But we don’t, do we? 


We’ve got his shitty ghost, who wanders the hallways and talks about the good old days like a Pop Pop telling his grandkids about the war. A ghost who can’t open his mouth without talking about how he’s shitty and old now, but still better than any of us kids. I expected a shit-talking, ass-kicking, name-taking Scottish warrior who could revitalize a company full of the same old stale promos, the same old stale ideas, and the same old stale matches.


Instead, we got Eric Dane. 


A bitter vet who took too long to get here, and doesn’t want to adapt. There was a time when Mike Best versus Eric Dane should have headlined pay-per-views across the country, and do you know where it finally went down? In an untelevised match, in a shitty gym, for a shitty promotion, in a shitty tournament semi-final. It’s not about age, or knees, or gray fucking ball hair– by the time Eric Dane signed with HOW, there was no fucking fire in him. There was no passion. There was no give-a-fuck. What should have been the biggest signing of all time fizzled out and went nowhere, because ghosts can’t have dream matches.


And now here you are in the hallways, rattling your chains. 


Andy Murray struggles with injury. Andy Murray may or may not have a drug addiction. Andy Murray has a loved one who is about to die right before a major pay-per-view. Andy Murray is stuck under a no compete clause, or something… I’ll be honest, it sounds like human slavery and it’s really, really stupid.  There is literally nothing unique or interesting about you in any way shape or form— you’re a human ransom note, made out of magazine cutouts of every wrestler who never made it in HOW. Like an apparition with unfinished business, you just float around aimlessly backstage, uttering the same old formula week after week, cashing soulless checks that should be twice as big as they are. 


You know the formula, Murr. 


Build him up, build him up, but he’s not as good as MEEEEE! Yeah, we know. It’s the same song you’ve been singing since day one, and it’s off key, you stupid fuck. Tell me something new. Tell me something you haven’t said before, and use less words, because the only thing sadder than the bullshit that comes out of your mouth is the way it always takes you twenty minutes to say it. 


You are a human fucking madlib. 


(PROPER NOUN) is a (goober/dipshit). The (NAME OF A TITLE) is a consolation prize to me, but it’s everything to (PROPER NOUN). I am a (ADJECTIVE FOR OLD OR KNEELESS) man but I am still better at being a wrestler than (PROPER NOUN). Your victory over (24K MEMBER MIKE BEST HAS BEATEN SENSELESS) means nothing. I will overcome (MADE UP ISSUE FOR BIG MATCH DRAMA) and win. Cunts. 


This is the laziest dogshit I’ve ever seen, and I was in OCW


You kicked down the door to HOW, and then promptly went and had a seat on the fucking couch. You phone it in so hard that I’m expecting our first singles match to take place over Zoom, and then you have the balls to call Dan Ryan a fucking house cat? 


Who the fuck are you, bitch?


Cause you aren’t Andy Murray. You’re the Herald of what Andy Murray used to be. You stopped being the King of Wrestling when you disappeared off the grid long enough to be declared legally dead,, and you’ve made absolutely zero effort to reclaim that crown since the day you walked back into wrestling. You’ve won all your matches? GREAT JOB, ANDY! You did your FUCKING JOB. You’re a fucking professional wrestler. That doesn’t make you the Wrestling King any more than making a fucking Whopper makes you the Burger King. You walk into this company with a chip on your shoulder and a couple of spurs in your knee, and you think you can just pick up where you left off. You think you can walk into this company, MY FUCKING COMPANY, and we’re all gonna kneel and kiss the ring of the man that Andy Murray used to be. 


Well the King is dead, motherfucker. 


Long live the King. 


That crown belongs to me now. It belongs to me, because I didn’t walk away from the business and come back for a quick paycheck and a blowjob from fans who bought your t-shirt during the Bush Administration. Because I get on the microphone and I tell the world who I am now, not who I used to be. Because I’m the type of motherfucker who will beg for a match with you for three months, and still put in the work to make the fans wanna see us fight even though I’m so disappointed in the man that you’ve become that I legitimately don’t give a fuck about a dream match anymore.


The sad part is that I wanted to give a fuck. 


And maybe I could have. Maybe if you’d bothered to come to HOW with a thimble-full of desire to be anything more than “KNOWN LEGEND ANDY MURRAY”, I’d be shaking in my boots. Maybe if you’d try to make a name for yourself HERE, instead of just reminding us all what they used to call you, I’d have some fucking sweat on my brow. Maybe if you actually believed that you were as good as you keep saying you are, then I’d believe it too. But I don’t, Murray, because I don’t believe in ghosts. 


And I don’t believe in you. 


So at War Games, when I kick your fucking teeth down your stupid throat in front of thousands of disappointed fans, and I crown myself the KING OF MOTHERFUCKING WRESTLING, it isn’t going to be because I need to, Andy. It’s not going to be because I’m angry, or because you riled me up.


I’m gonna do it to get it over with


Because you’re a king who rules over nothing, and you’re trespassing in my fucking Kingdom. Because for every day that passes without me showing you that you can do more with a knee than just repetitively complain about it, it lends a little more credence to this bullshit theory that I can’t do it. Like somehow, you’re gonna be the first motherfucker to walk into this company and say “ I’M BETTER THAN MIKE BEST” and be right? You stupid fuck, do you actually know who I am, or did you do the same amount of research that 24K does for all of it’s matches? 




Yeah, no one does, because much like a Perfection singles victory over the Group of Death, he talked a lot about it but it never fucking happened. 


All the “hard work” you’ve put in over the last three months has earned you a title shot, Murray, and not dogshit else. You think you deserve to be treated like a God, but you can’t even earn the respect of the Son of one— and if your gut reaction to that is that you don’t care, then that’s exactly the fucking problem. 


You don’t care. 


Well I care, Andy. My people care. I’m the Architect of the Group of Fucking Care. We cared when we held this company on your backs before you got here, and we’ll care when you take your last paycheck and go home. But you have the audacity to look into a camera and talk like the passion you feel for professional wrestling is any more than memory. You have the audacity to look someone in the eyes and say that you’d rather die than stop doing this. 


To be honest, I’m good with either option. 


You’ve spent three months playing single player mind games. Trying to sew the narrative that the Group of Death are going to eat eachother alive, and can’t work as a team. Trying to put it into our heads that Lindsay Troy is dead weight, and Dan Ryan is too old, and that I’m too selfish. Trying to cast doubt that Cecilworth Farthington and I would be able to co-exist, because I want that HOW World Championship. Great job, Andy— I see all that time spent with Bergman has taught you the lost art of the long winded, obvious recap. 


But let me tell you a secret, Andrew. 


You’re absolutely right. 


Lindsay Troy HAS seen better days. She’s like 50/50 this year. She lost to you and James. She lost to the Bruvs. She’s lost to Max twice, and her confidence is on the wane. She’s on the cusp of forty, and it’s fucking with her mojo, and she’s current being carried by the Group of Death. You’re absolutely right about that. 


Dan Ryan IS old as shit. I mean, he’s literally the reason I became a wrestler as a teenager, and I’m now 34 years old. He’s a grizzled veteran with a family and friends and a stable life, and in this industry that can become a crutch. He absolutely took a cheap shot and an easy DQ against you. He’s absolutely fighting to find his edge again. Two for two, Andy, you’re batting a thousand. 


Cecilworth Farthington IS bound to stumble, sooner or later. It’s a statistical unlikelihood that he won’t eventually lose a match. He DID come in second place at last year’s War Games… on the winning team. He DOES have that big target on his back, and everything to lose. He IS probably tired of carrying that fucking belt around, and it IS probably weighing him down, because no one has held it longer or defended it harder than he has. Are you a psychic? HOW DO YOU KNOW ALL OF THIS? 


And then there’s me, Andy. 


The main course, right? Because of course that’s how I’d think of myself. I’m the spoiled, selfish, look-at-me, look-at-me center piece of the whole show. It must just be KILLING ME that my best friend is the champion. It must be KILLING ME that walking out of War Games with the ICON Championship would be considered by many to be a “failure”. My jealousy and insecurity must be an EVERY DAY STRUGGLE, and no one knows if tomorrow is the day I’ll snap and turn on them, just like Max did. Just like my own flesh and blood brother did… right? I must have really met my match with Andy Murray, because he sees through the “bullshit facade” that I project to the world”, and he knows underneath that I’m just an insecure little boy who can’t handle being second best. Bravo, Andy– fuck Batman, you may truly be the World’s Greatest Detective. 


Who else would have thought to take a cursory glance at the title history? Who else would have thought to do thirty seconds of research? Who else would have considered trying to turn our stable against one another, using basic information that we’ve been willingly putting out there for literally your entire HOW tenure? These aren’t secrets, dipshit. 


We just don’t need to be infallible. 


You’re goddamned right I want the HOW World Championship. You’re goddamned right I’m envious of my best friend. You’re goddamned right that I’m a fucking yap dog who doesn’t shut the fuck up, and those are the things that make me great. Those are the things that keep me competitive, after all these years in wrestling. These are the things that light a fire underneath me— the very same fire that went out in you a long fucking time ago. 


We own our flaws, and they make us better. 


Your kiddie pool analysis is way more telling about who YOU are than it is of who WE are. That you think even the slightest amount of humanity, vulnerability, or relatability is a weakness explains why you are sincerely and completely incapable of being human, vulnerable or relatable. It explains why you know how to say lots of words that sound like they should be hard hitting, but fall apart at the first sign of scrutiny. It explains why you’re a flash in the pan that looks a little more dull with every passing week, Andy. You think that the worst thing someone can be is less than Superman, and even when you try to acknowledge that, you STILL DO IT LIKE SUPERMAN. 


So yeah, Andy. 


We’re human. 


You sure got us there. 


You’re right, we need each other. Cecilworth Farthington would not be the dominant champion that he is without the eMpire at his flank, and now the Group of Death. Lindsay Troy would be a fading star, wondering if this was all still worth it. Dan Ryan might have smiled, hung up his tights, and went back to his beautiful house and his beautiful family. And me? Who knows– before the Group of Death, I was wandering aimlessly, and without purpose. Starting to wonder if there was anything left in this business for me. We needed each other to grow. To survive. 


To not become YOU, Andy. 


To not become bitter, jaded, lazy fucks who would rather get on TV and say that they’re old than admit that they were bitter, jaded and lazy. To not become the kind of people who fuck their own teammates over to win a fucking Tag Title, because we’re so desperate to be what we used to be that we’d screw our friends to get ahead. Everything that we are, we are TOGETHER. Everything that we achieve, we achieve together. We win together. We lose together. We celebrate together, and we mourn together. 


And together, we’re going to win War Games. 


I could have drafted you, Andy. Since my Father saw the value in drafting a Group of Death member over all else, he left you wide open for my second pick. He knows what everyone else around here knows– he knows the thing you have failed to learn, over one hundred and “who cares” days. He’s learned that the Group of Death is a force of nature that you are not fucking prepared for, and his ONLY HOPE of making his match winnable for his team of scrappy soldiers was to steal from my ranks. I didn’t draft the Group of Death out of sense of duty, Andrew. 


I drafted them because they’re the winning team. 


Not Lindsay Troy. Not Dan Ryan. Not Cecilworth Farthington. Not even Mike Best. The Group of Death, Andrew. That’s who I chose.  Me, the greedy, self-serving, must-win child of HOW, chose to draft this group of “losers” to the most important match of the entire year. Shouldn’t that SCARE YOU? Shouldn’t that make you wonder what I know, that you don’t? IMAGINE HAVING FLAWS, Andy– imagine not being so insecure that you feel the need to be made out of teflon all the goddamned time. Imagine being a real human being, with real problems, and real struggles. Imagine knowing that it’s okay to let your insecurities out, and admit that you aren’t perfect, because you can trust your friends and family have your back. 


Imagine being more than the sum of your parts, Murray. 


This is my family. This is my fucking team. They aren’t here because I slipped a couple of big words about non-compete into a contract, and they were too dumb to Google them. They’re here because like your shitty, diabetic knees, they need support. Because I need support. Because I’m man enough to admit that. Because while you’re busy figuring out how you can best use your hodgepodge mod squad to try and get your hands on the HOW World Championship, we’re figuring out how to win War Games as a team and walk out with the glory, no matter which of us walks away with the championship. Because War Games is a team sport, dickhead, and together, we are unstoppable.


You can have your rebuttals now, Murray. I’m sure they’ll be fascinating, but you won’t be hearing from me again until it’s time for the eulogy.  


I’m done chasing ghosts.


At War Games, maybe you will be too.