“Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival.” – Carlos P. Romulo
Darin Matthews has finally returned from the physio table. You know what that means? Yes indeed, Lee Best has delivered on his promise and booked myself and Jatt in a tag team title match. But you got it all wrong, boys. Lee isn’t trying to fuck you over. He has no interest in burying either one of you because you’ve both been nothing but good servants to the company and carried the tag division. I mean, would he rather the titles be around the waists of the Best Alliance?
But there’s no conspiracy here. For as long as I’ve known you two you’ve loved to complain and whine about Lee trying to screw you over. Shit, his names in your mouths more than each other’s dicks are. If you really think that you’re fighting an uphill battle here in HOW?
Then fuck off!
But I just think you guys have nothing else to talk about, so you just bitch and moan about Lee and the Best Alliance being out to get you.
So what’s this really all about?
The truth is that I’ve been in HOW long enough, and known Lee long enough, to know that he really has no interest in the tag team titles. The one true theme that has ran through this company in regards to those straps are that they end up being a flop. Usually because there’s only two or three teams, one of which always being the BA. Inevitably the BA ends up winning them and no one can get them back so the division goes cold. For example, many years ago myself and Mark O’neal won the tag titles. We fucking dominated the entire division until we ended up having to retire the titles. A championship is only hot as long as there are credible contenders. You two, are very credible champions. I’ve heard you both cooing over the fact that you’ve notched up victories over myself and Jatt. Bravo. You have. I know just how good you both are which is why I am more excited for this tag match than I was for Rumble at the Rock.
We, wanted this match. When Lee re-assembled the Best Alliance he did not foresee Jatt and I creating the bond that we did. Nor did he see us gunning for the tag titles. But Jatt and I can see the titles going cold. The division is dying. The Bandits are gone. HATE is fading into oblivion. With Max dead, Linds and Dan having a recent blood feud and Mike losing the plot over killing his own brother? Well, pretty sure that team is done.
We are already losing one title at Iconic. I almost cried when I heard the news that the title I probably have the fondest memories of? The Icon? Is going to be unified with the World title. So we cannot allow the Tag Titles to die. With the Icon gone, who knows who will pair up and form an alliance. But you guys are killing them. You’re both great competitors. You’ve both won it all and have many, many accolades. Yet still, the titles are freezing in the cold.
Jatt and I know how to elevate a championship. We’ve done it our whole careers. Together we could make the Tag Titles the most talked about division in the company. Don’t let our singles careers fool you. I’ve teamed with some of the greatest men in history and picked up a few tag and stables titles along the way. Chris CK. Mark O’Neal. Rhys Townsend. The AOA. Kostoff. Shit, even Scott Stevens…
Even YOU, Hollywood.
Whatever Jatt and I touch turns to gold and when we beat you? Those Tag titles are coming with us to the moon. I’m not gonna bury you guys. I’m not going to try cut a murder promo on you. As I said, I respect you both very highly and I will cherish the memory of this match as being my most fondest Tag Title capture.
Not because of the two of you, I’m afraid.
Because of Jatt.
You two have a bond that no one will understand. That goes double for Jatt and I. We literally tried to kill and belittle one another for the best part of our careers. But over that time we’ve built a bond and level of respect that I doubt will ever be replicated. To win the tag titles with him will be an honour and privilege and when you’ve achieved as much as I have? You need something new to reach for.
You guys have done all you can for the Division.
It’s time to move over and let the big boys take over!
The past couple of weeks had been strange for the Gold Standard. On one hand he was on a high. He’d knocked the first man off Lee’s hit list, Eric Dane. At Rumble at the Rock a masterclass in technical wrestling was once again exhibited by the man who claims to be the greatest technician of all time. Beating Dane, alone, was the measuring stick he needed to tell him how ready he is to compete at the top again, and boy does he feel ready. After such a huge win his morale is high and his confidence is booming, a well timed psychological kick right before a tag team title match.
On the other hand, Max had died. He hadn’t ever entertained the thought that someone would literally die in a match. He didn’t believe that for one second Lee would allow one of his own sons to pass away. But it happened. A man whom Sektor once looked up to was gone. When he was at his most lost, Max was there to guide him. He had loathed him for his care of Chloe, be really he ought to have thanked him. All the things he should have said, will lay buried deep inside.
But what’s done is done and all he can do is move forward. Besides, he’s loving life right now. His career has gathered momentum since completing his task at Rumble at the Rock. So it is time to double down and do what he does best:
The Gold Standard is standing on a round platform, arms spread eagled at his sides and feet slightly apart. He is completely nude, save for a tight pair of briefs protecting his dignity (if he had any). His body appears slightly more toned, less fat hanging over the sides of his briefs and more definition than the last time he was seen semi-naked. The platform is rotating slowly as a camera is fixed in position, shining several red lasers on various points of Sektor’s body.
They are inside the top office of the converted warehouse, which would have once been the control centre where the boss would be able to look down and make sure his men are on task. Now, it is the office of Sid, who had been intensely training Sektor over the past couple of months to improve his overall performance and conditioning. As Sektor is seemingly scanned on a turn-table, Sid, with his slicked back, blonde hair, resides behind his desk, studying the screen of his laptop. The office itself is small, designed for one person and enough room to seat one or two others to either be interviewed, disciplined or fired.
The turntable suddenly stops and Sektor’s eyes, which had been fixed in front of him, shoot over to Sid who smiles up from his laptop.
Sid: Okay, that’s good. You can relax.
Sektor let’s his arms fall naturally by his side as he steps off the turntable, picking up a pair of polyester gym shorts which are draped over the back of a wooden chair across from Sid’s desk.
Sektor: Well? How’s it look’in?
Sid holds up a single index finger whilst Sektor begins pulling on his shorts.
Sid: Just a sec, it’s still loading the results.
Sektor, never one to be patient, let’s out a sigh and pulls on a vest. He then reaches for a pair of ‘Addidas’ sneakers, which are typically flamboyant and retro mixtures of orange, black and yellow.
Sid: Grab a seat.
Sid gestures calmly at the chair which once acted as a resting place for Sektor’s clothes. The former World champ scrapes the chair across the old wooden floor and slumps down into it. The personal trainer turns the laptop ninety degrees so that Sektor can see the screen. On it, is a 3D image of Sektor’s body in the eagle position. The image is a neon blue mesh net, showing only the silhouette and no distinguishable features. There are figures listed down the sides displaying various numerics of data.
Sid: So this was last time. And this..
He clicks the mouse as the computer agonisingly creates a cliffhanger situation. Eventually another silhouette loads.
Sid: …is now.
Sektor studies the image. His brow raises as he seems presently surprised by the results. As the two, blue, silhouettes line up side by side, it is evident at first glance that the newest recorded has a much more streamlined appearance to it.
Sid: As you can see, your body fat has dramatically reduced from last time. By almost fifteen percent.
Sektor: Fifteen? That’s all?
Sid: Hey, that’s pretty good. Especially at your..
Sektor: Don’t you finish that fucking sentence!
The warning shot from Sektor about his age brings a wry smile from the PT.
Sid: Anyway, everything has improved significantly. Strength. Muscle tone and mass. Speed. Endurance. And looking at your cardiac readings from the monitor this morning..
Sid clicks the screen again which brings up four graphs on top of one another. The graph at the top is in red and reads ‘peak heart rate.’ The one underneath is a dark shade of orange and reads ‘Cardio.’ The next one down is a lighter shade of orange and reads ‘Fat burn.’ And the final one reads ‘Resting Heart Rate,’ and is in the shade of yellow. The trend on peak heart rate and resting heart rate are going down whilst the cardio and fat burn graph have an initial curve upwards with a plateau.
Sid: When you first started these sessions your peak heart rate was dangerously high. If you remember feeling unwell and sick?
Sektor: How could I forget?
Sid: Well, that’s because your body was filled with lactate. Poison, because your heart couldn’t regulate itself properly to drive oxygen around your tissues, so instead you were breaking down muscle and releasing lactic acid.
Sektor rolls his eyes and waves a hand dismissively.
Sektor: Save me the biology lesson, just get to the point.
Sid: The point is, that you’re less likely to have a coronary event now when you’re in the ring and your heart is operating more in the fat burn and cardio zones. If you keep up the training you’ll soon be back to peak physical condition.
Sektor nods and reaches down into his gym bag, pulling out a cigar and placing it between his teeth. Sid tilts his head to the side with a disapproving look as Sektor just frowns.
Sektor: What? I’m celebrating, this is my reward..
Sid: This is a non-smoking office.
Sektor proceeds to flip the zippo and draw the flame up to the end of the cigar, lighting it rebelliously and flicking the lighter shut.
Sektor: And I don’t give a fuck!
Sid grits his teeth together and watches as Sektor, nonchalantly, tilts his head back and breathes out a thick cloud smoke into the office’s, once clean, airspace. A roll of the eyes from the PT indicates that he chose his battles and letting this slide, not that he would be able to do much about it. Sektor knows how valuable a client he is to Sid. His name on his books alone will attract more interest and revenue from others in the area.
Sid: How did you feel against Dane, anyway?
Sektor calmly shrugs his shoulders, as though it was no big deal, regardless of how hard a match it was to win.
Sektor: I felt okay. I was in control for large periods. I blew up about half way through and he was able to gain some control. It’s how I ended up with this..
He points to a healing wound in the middle of his lip, with the unlit end of the cigar, which had been split courtesy of an Eric Dane double fish hook.
Sektor: But it was the longest match I’ve had since coming back, and I feel I held up pretty good. Main thing is I got the double-u.
Sid: And looked great doing so, from what I hear.
Sektor frowns, both confused and angered.
Sektor: You haven’t seen it?
Sid shakes his head, turning the laptop back around and clicking around on the screen.
Sid: No, I got it on my watch list. Got a three year old at home and can’t find a spare minute to watch it. Heard it was some show though?
Sektor’s eyes go cold for a moment, as he stares into space and reminisces about the main event of Rumble at the Rock. He quietly begins to reply, with hoarseness in his tone.
Sektor: Ya. Don’t let your kid watch that.
Sektor’s attention is broken by the bellowing, of a familiar voice, down on the main floor of the old warehouse. Sid stands from his desk and looks out the window.
Sid: It’s your buddy.
Sektor stands up to look, knowing full well who it is. As he gazes out through the dirty glass, standing on the floor below them is none other than Jatt Starr, who see’s them looking down at him and opens his arms wide in an embrace.
Jatt Starr: WHAT A BLESSED DAY THIS IS, BROTHER!
Sid turns his head slowly to Sek, raising a single eyebrow.
Sektor: Don’t ask.
The two begin to make their way towards the door of the office.
Sid: He still addicted to video games?
Sektor: No that’s all done with, thankfully. He’s moved onto something else now.
The tired sigh at the end of Sektor’s sentence intrigues the personal trainer, who regards him as they make their way out of the office to the top of a steel, spiral, staircase. Sektor looks down at Jatt who is now on his phone, talking to somebody.
Sektor: He, uhm, he now thinks that there’s such a thing as ‘HOW Gods?’ And that he upset them somehow, which is why he lost to Brian Hollywood last week. So now he’s embracing them so that he and I can reap the rewards of being good followers.
Sid strains to raise his single brow as high as he can. Sektor just rubs a hand over his face and gasps.
Sektor: Look, the thing with Jatt is that, when he gets any idea in his head? There’s no shaking it. It’s best to just let it play out and eventually he’ll move on to something else. At least this time he’s showering and leaving his house.
Sid: If you ask me, I’d say he’s a liability, John.
Sektor turns sharply, shooting a finger less than a whisker’s length away from the tip of Sids nose. His eyes narrow as he glares into his soul.
Sektor: HEY! That man is a fucking LEGEND!
Sid holds his hands up in surrender, taken aback by Sektor’s defensiveness.
Sid: Ai’ight! Chill!
Sektor lowers his finger and takes a step back, gazing back down at his partner, who is talking on his phone with one hand and scratching the crack of his ass with the other.
Sektor: Regardless of anything else? There is no man I would rather have in my corner.
With that, Sektor begins his descent down the staircase, Sid slowly following behind. As he reaches the shop floor, he approaches Jatt who notices him coming and wraps up his phone call, placing it in the pocket of his bright red, two-piece, track suit.
Jatt Starr: QUE PASSAAAAAA!
Jatt holds out a hand which Sektor slaps his own into, cusping it and pulling him in for a quick pat on the back.
Sektor’s smile is warm as he greets his tag partner, cigar pointing out between his teeth. There is a natural chemistry and bond between the two that perhaps no one from the outside would ever understand. Jatt notices Sid walking up to them and his expression changes to a look of distaste. Sid, on the contrary, has a bemused smile.
Sid: Jatt, good to see ya.
Jatt Starr: Sid..
Sid: I see you haven’t been following your partners training regime.
Sid, annoyingly, pats Jatt’s belly which causes Jatt to stare at him as though he wants to kick his head off and lock in the stiffest version of the Jattaclysm that he can muster.
Jatt Starr: Do I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy? Don’t touch what you can’t afford!
Sektor just watches the awkward exchange whilst grooming his moustache. Sid looks at Sektor out of the corner of his eyes with the same wry smile.
Sid: O-kay, I got work to do so I’ll be in my office if you two need anything.
Sektor waves him off while Jatt just scowls in his direction. He waits for him to get out of ear shot.
Jatt Starr: I don’t know what it is, but I wouldn’t pee on that man if he was on fire!
Sektor just rolls his eyes and folds his arms.
Sektor: He has a point.
Jatt frowns, a look of betrayal casting over his complexion.
Sektor: I mean would it kill ya to hit the treadmill once in a while? We have a fucking title match this week.
Jatt pulls his best ‘duh’ expression.
Jatt Starr: Why do you think I’m here now?
Sektor rubs the sleep out of his eyes and nods, placing a hand between the shoulder blades of his team mates as he begins to walk with him.
Sektor: Listen, Jatt. I don’t need to run down just how important this tag title match is to us. I know you want them just as much as I do. Lee needs us to make the tag division hot, because right now it’s cold as ice.
Jatt Starr: And..he ain’t willing to SAAAACRIFICE?
Sektor, trying hard to have patience, smirks with a tight mouth.
Sektor: Right. Anyway, what’s more important is that this is our chance to show the World how, when two of the biggest legends in the business come together? We dominate!
He pats his and Jatts chest quickly and simultaneously.
Sektor: You and me. Tag team champions of the World, solidifying the Best Alliance as the elite force in High Octane Wrestling, and putting our stamp on tag team wrestling.
Jatt closes one eye and nods confidently, patting his fist on his chest. Sektor relaxes and continues to walk slowly towards the far end of the warehouse where a bunch of training machines and weights are laid out.
Sektor: Now, I spoke with Solex and Dooze this morning..
Jatt frowns, seemingly puzzled by this notion.
Jatt Starr: Why? They’re not in this match..
Sektor cocks his head to the side and takes a deep breath.
Sektor: Well they may need to be.
Jatt stops him in his tracks, holding his words in his mouth for a moment.
Jatt Starr: Hold your horses there, amigo. We don’t need them. You and I are good enough to get this done on our own. Besides, the HOW God’s will smile down on us and smite those Hollywood losers!
Sektor: Jatt, you saw what happened last week. The two of them are more than up for this challenge. They brought the fight to us before the bell even wrung. They’re just as hungry as we are and we needed Solex last week. I’m sure you’re right and I, one HUNDRED, percent have confidence that the two of us can get this done clean and easy. But..
Jatt shakes his head.
Jatt Starr: No buts, that’s how it goes. Need I remind you, last week I did not have the support of the gods, this week I do. Nice and easy, StarrSek Industries cleans up once again and takes out the trash.
Sektor; BUT! We need a plan B. I want to guarantee those titles come home with us. Hollywood beat you last week and..
Jatt Starr: For the love of HOW, we’ve been through this!
Sektor, almost out of breath with the exhaustion of this conversation, takes a second to catch it, planting a reassuring hand on his partner’s shoulder.
Sektor: He’s beaten me too! I’ve fought with and against that man and above all else I have learned not to underestimate him. Him, or his mouthy little shit of a partner Darin Zion. Matthews. Whateverthefuck! Point is, Jatt, they’re both good. Both highly decorated as singles and tag wrestlers and whilst they will never be as good as you and I? They are still the reigning champs for a reason. So, for that? We need a plan A,B and C.
Jatt smiles, seeming to agree or at least go along with Sektor’s rigorous planning and forward thinking. His expression then quickly switches gear to a perplexed state.
Jatt Starr: Wait? What’s plan C?
Sektor just shrugs and carries on walking.
Sektor: That is where we will improvise. How are you feeling anyway, you good?
Jatt Starr: Never better. I am fueled with the love of the warm embrace of the Gods, my man.
Sektor: I mean your body. You still stiff?
Jatt narrows his eyes and Sektor rolls his head, quickly realising where his thought process is going.
Sektor: Your joints, dick-head!
Jatt Starr: AH! I feel fine. Limber as a ballerina.
Sektor: Good. All the same, I think I, should take the lead in this match. Do the lion share of the work.
This seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as Jatt snatches Sektor by the arm and turns him around aggressively. Sektor, who is shocked, looks at his arm and then his partner.
Jatt Starr: Okay, what the hell is going on here? Do you not trust me or something, huh?
Sektor frowns, genuinely confused as he holds up a calming hand as though trying to reign in a horse.
Sektor: Woah, of course I trust you. I trust you with my fucking life! It aint a question of trust, brother.
Jatt Starr: What is it then?
Sektor: Jatt, you operate on faith and confidence. I, use science. And the scientific facts of this match are that you have not had as much rest since Rumble at the Rock as I have. You just had an epic War with Connor Fuse and a really tough match with Hollywood. You looked tired on Saturday, whereas I haven’t wrestled a minute since I emasculated Eric Dane. You see what I’m saying?
Jatt purposely scratches his head, clearly irritated and not enjoying the vibe he is getting from his partner.
Jatt Starr: All I’m hearing, is that YOU want to control this match because you don’t think I’m up to the task. Admit it, John. You think because I lost to Hollywood that I’m a liability.
There goes that word again, but the expression on Sektor’s face is sincere. It’s abundantly clear that Jatt has got his wires crossed and Sektor genuinely has a game plan in mind.
Sektor: Jatt, get a hold of yourself. Listen to what your saying, for fuck sake.
Jatt softens his stance slightly, but still seems to need more reassuring.
Sektor: I know I can rely on you. All I’m saying is let me do the heavy lifting. I’m fresher and I’m in great shape. I’ll wear them down slowly, tagging you in for a rest and I’ll try and leave you with Matthews. The fucker only just got back from injury so he’s going to be in the worst shape out of the four of us. When the time is right? I’ll make the hot tag and you come in all HAIL MARY and wipe the ring clean. We isolate one of them and then bish-bash-bosh..
His hands clap in unison to the ‘bish-bash-bosh’ remark.
Sektor: You’re looking at the new Tag team champions of the World!
Sektor plants his hands firmly on both of Jatt’s shoulders.
Sektor: This is the hardest part. Once those titles are around our waist we won’t be letting go. Then? We go to Iconic and carry out our individual missions.You take our Linds. I take out Flyer. We’ll have HOW by the balls and show everyone that the Old Boys can still reign supreme. And then?
Sektor confidently shrugs with his head slowly cocked to the side.
Sektor: Well, you heard what Lee said..
Sektor cusps a hand around the back of Jatt’s neck as smoke from the ember of the cigar delicately rises above his head. Softly he places his forehead against his and grinning from ear to ear maniacally.
Sektor: ..We’re going to the moon, amigo!
The smirk on Jatt’s face slowly grows as the two Hall of Famers stare into one another’s eyes with a burning hunger.