I’ve been in a funk for awhile now. I need to get out of it. This last month I feel like I have lost sight on what’s important. What’s even more disturbing is I feel like I don’t know what’s real or what’s not anymore. I can’t go down that rabbit hole…not again…at least, not in the way I did last time. Greed, obsession, hatred and shortcuts were what I turned to in order to get my business done. It worked for me and it worked well…until it didn’t. There is a fear of becoming obsolete in my profession and if you don’t adjust to it, you’re finna to be left behind. Has Brian Hollywood been left behind? Everyone in HOW would seem to think so…and maybe their fucking right. I hate to think about it. I hate the thought of it and how it feels. I’ve always been able to adapt to the times just fine in the past. But my days are becoming shorter and shorter in my wrestling career, and I know it. I just don’t want to know it. I don’t want to accept it! I’m Brian Fucking Hollywood! I don’t need that fucking bureaucratic bullshit! However, I need to first accept that and acknowledge it. I need to own it. Hold onto it. Let it fuel me. Keep the passion I have for this close to my heart and cherish it. That is where my strength needs to start. I’ve been getting back into peak ring shape again and to try and not let my personal shit get caught up with my weekly duties I have to HOW. It was hard to make the adjustment at first. However, it got easier as time went on….perhaps it’s because even when I’ve been hot on the trail of my sister’s killer, or even trying to find my brother, I have had to accept that time is patience and patience is time. I’ve always been great about playing the long game…perhaps it was time I remembered to return to those basics. Still…in the back of my mind, I know I need to do more…I needed to find that balance again…that balance that made me who I was to begin with. Yes…yes that’s it. However, these sleepless nights this past week was starting to catch up with me and in the state I have been in..deprivation and deliriousness were just going to make it worse. Perhaps I was about to find that out the hard way…..
THE PHANTOM MENACE
Hollywood was on his private jet in route to Des Moines, Iowa for his HOW match against Jace Parker Davidson. He also had business to attend to in the city thanks to a lead in his long quest and chase to find Roberto Ramirez, the man who murdered Hollywood’s sister, Serenity. Hollywood was staring out the window, almost in complete absent in thought. One might find that weird and suspect, seeing as how Hollywood had been in constant thought about everything lately, but here is not so surprisingly different as he was struggling to keep his eyes open. His eyes were red as his eyes looked like they were in duress, with sleep deprivation being the prime suspect. No one can fight sleep forever no matter what you do and Hollywood was finally looking like the undefeated natural phenomenon was about to finally score the long awaited pinfall of the inevitability millions of people succumb to on a daily basis. It was finally going to happen as Hollywood lets up and gives in as he finally drifts off to sleep…
A familiar voice comes over Hollywood’s ears and it was a voice Hollywood couldn’t believe he was hearing. It couldn’t possibly be his voice..it was impossible. Yet he was hearing it.
“As I live and breathe! Am I seeing this right?! Are you actually sleeping Brian?!”
There was no question as Hollywood all of a sudden opens his eyes. After seeing who was standing before him, his eyes widen even more. Surely it couldn’t be…but yet, it was as Hollywood replies back at him.
“Grandpa…is that you?!”
A warm smile crosses his face as the man standing in front of Hollywood was a man Hollywood was all too familiar with. He was dressed up in his military formal. He had served in World War II and was a very respected Captain. His grandpa smiled back and nodded his head.
“Yes, it’s me, Brian.”
Hollywood slowly sits up as he can’t believe he was actually talking to his grandfather again.
“There’s so much I’ve been wanting to talk to you about! I haven’t spoken to you since-“
Hollywood pauses as he can still feel the pain in his heart of what happened what seemed like over twenty years ago.
“A lot has happened since then, I know. It’s alright. You don’t have to apologize for anything Brian. You could say I’ve stayed pretty informed on your entire life.” Hollywood’s grandfather says lightly.
“So I take it you’ve seen what’s happened to Hollywood Enterprises.” Hollywood replies as a hint of disappointment and embarrassment is detected in his voice. “I never intended to let what you started crumble the way it did.”
“Nonsense! Come on now Brian, you know better. You did well and you took what I gave you and you made it your own. I’ve never been more proud of you.”
Hollywood shakes his head. “Yea, but the man who was held responsible is a man I’ve gotten quite close to. It’s awkward, I know it is. I’ve gotten so deep in what I’m involved with and I have oddly grown accustom to it and I know I shouldn’t.”
Hollywood’s Grandfather holds up his hand as if he were trying to wave away any explanation Hollywood was giving. “Life is complicated, son, you don’t have to explain it to me. I’ve had my own demons and personal errands of business that I did in my life as well. Besides..I think there’s more to what you’re doing right now. I know what your quest is. I know what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. In regards to your sisters tragic murder and the discovery of finding out you have a brother…I think you’ll find that both answers will be discovered in the same place at the same time and I think deep down you know that.”
Hollywood was filled with surprise and shock as if his conscious had been trying to tell him all this time the answer that he knows to be true, but hasn’t come to accept it. “You mean to tell me-“
“Yes, Brian. You already know and I think you’ve known for some time now but haven’t wanted to bring yourself to accept it.” His grandfather replied. “But I implore you…you must be careful. Life is full of all sorts of twists and surprises but one thing that you are about to find out is a big surprise about an even deeper background on our family. But that is something you must discover on your own…it will be big and when you discover it, you may have several questions and even question your own family history and ancestry. But you’ve never just been an ordinary man. You’ve had purpose ever since you’ve been born and you’ve had a destiny that you haven’t even begun to understand yet. But you will, I promise. However, in between that, you must always stay true to who you are…even if you find out the roots that run through your veins.”
“Wait…what do you mean?!” Hollywood asks looking confused but curious at the same time.
“You and I both know I can’t give you those answers, Brian…but they are close by. You just have to establish your already established roots and connections to find those answers, and find them you will. You’ve always been great with people and you have established yourself to be very respectable and connected to some of the most powerful people on earth.” Hollywood’s grandfather says as there is a shake in the background as both Hollywood and his grandfather notice. “It’s time for me to go now, Brian. Trust yourself. Trust your sources and above all, use what has made you one of the most powerful people the business world has ever seen.”
“Wait…don’t go grandpa, please!”
“Always remember I have and will always be so proud of you! Take care, my grandson and make our family proud!”
“Grandpa wait, no!”
Just then, Hollywood opens up his eyes and actually wakes up having discovered that his grandfather is gone and wasn’t really there as a look of disappointment crosses his face. Hollywood looks around his jet and looks across from him as he sees a man staring back at him with a look of amusement on his face. It’s clear Hollywood was awake at this point and looking back at the two others who were in flight with him. Lukas Montana and The Chair.
The Chair: “Having dreams of your long lost grandfather, are we?”
Brian Hollywood: “Shut the fuck up, wise ass!”
The Chair can’t help but to laugh as seeing Hollywood in his state was quite delightful to see.
The Chair: “Hey, what can I say? Some of this is all new to me! We’ve been working together for quite awhile now, you know!”
Brian Hollywood: “You don’t have to rub it in asshole.”
The Chair smirks again and just shrugs his shoulders still wrapped up in his amusement towards Hollywood as Lukas Montana can be seen getting off the phone. He looks confused as he remains silent for a few moments as Hollywood and The Chair both look at Lukas in curiosity.
Brian Hollywood: “That look doesn’t look too delightful. What’s going on?”
Lukas Montana: “Yea sorry, just got off the phone with Buck Wringley. I told him to call me if he had gotten any information before we landed in Iowa and asked him not to call you and let you sleep.”
The Chair: “Ok, who cares, what information did you find out?”
Hollywood facepalms and shakes his head ignoring The Chair’s obvious unconcern for Lukas’s bewilderment. He was obviously just waiting for answers.
Brian Hollywood: “Alright, well what is it Lukas? What did Buck tell you?”
Lukas Montana: “Have either of you two ever heard of The Phantom?”
Hollywood’s eyebrow raises in intrigue but doesn’t seem to know what Lukas is talking about.
Brian Hollywood: “The Phantom? Well that doesn’t sound ominous at all. I can’t say that I have. Why, who is he? Did Buck tell you?”
Lukas shakes his head.
Lukas Montana: “No…he didn’t have a name. Just a name that crossed his desk as he pinpointed Roberto’s current whereabouts and business dealings. Told me it was likely he was meeting with someone only named the Phantom. I don’t have anything to go on more than that right now.”
Brian Hollywood: “Huh. Beats me. Well that’s curious indeed. I guess well just have to do more research. Hard to really find out who he is other than the name. As well connected as I am, I’ve never heard that name before.”
Lukas nods his head as both he and Hollywood turn towards The Chair as they both notice he’s been eerily quiet and hasn’t chimed in whatsoever after hearing the name. Hollywood and Lukas both look shocked as they see a look of concern and actual fear cross The Chair’s face. This was an absolute FIRST for both of them as they’ve never seen The Chair looking as he does now.
Brian Hollywood: “Chair? I take it you HAVE heard of him.”
The Chair remains quiet at first before turning back towards Hollywood and Lukas and finally replies.
The Chair: “You could say I’ve heard of him…but I always thought he was merely a myth and simply a made up man designed to drive fear and terror into the hearts of people who end up on the wrong side of the man.”
Brian Hollywood: “What do you mean, a myth?”
The Chair: “Let’s just say once you found out and came to know me, you thought I was shrouded in mystery and terror of the people who cross me…this man makes me look like child’s play. There is a fable, a story about three of the most powerful and well connected men on this earth in terms of resources and reputation. You know me to be one of them. Whether you choose to believe it or not, you’re involved in this story too, Brian. The Phantom is most definitely an alias. I don’t have really any information on him..but moving forward…this whole thing has now just changed and it doesn’t matter how you or I feel about it. We NEED to be careful moving forward, Hollywood…this story and our methods of obtaining justice on Roberto has just taken a sudden turn..”
Hollywood and Lukas both look at The Chair in shock and awe. Hollywood couldn’t believe the words he had just heard from The Chair but obviously there was more to the story of what The Chair was talking about. He all of a sudden can’t help but to recall his dream he had of his grandfather and what his grandfather said to him. He was starting to wonder if there was more to what his grandfather had told him and wondered if there was actual truth to what he said as Hollywood looks out the window as they close in on Des Moines, Iowa. Who was this Phantom and how was he connected to Hollywood and The Chair as the scene slowly fades to black…
Jace Parker Davidson.
A man I have had so much history with here in HOW.
Also a man who seems to be on borrowed time.
It’s obvious that you haven’t been happy as of late when it comes to HOW. A lot of people could say that you and I seem to be in a similar situation. You might have been on a more successful run in HOW than I have been lately, but that doesn’t take away what I am still capable of doing in this company.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately, Jace. One could say soul searching. While I’ve found it hard this last month to really get going, I’ve had to spend a lot of time this last week really thinking and pondering just exactly what that means for me. I’ve been uncomfortable about my performance this last month, almost been a ghost.
That’s on me.
However, as we gear towards ICONIC, I’ve had this time to really ponder and really look within myself just where I stand right now in HOW.
Still making up for my past sins. My past behavior and how I’ve treated people.
I know I’ve done so much to a lot of people here that has since alienated me with practically the entire HOW roster. That is something I live with going forward and it’s something I’ve come to accept for myself.
But you, though? You don’t seem to be apologizing to anyone about the way you’ve conducted yourself as of late. As an expert on the matter, let me tell you…that’s a mistake.
I know what I have done and I’m making it right for myself first and foremost.
I’m wanting to put things back to a state of order here in HOW as well. I haven’t given up that mantle. I know where I stand. I can’t and won’t be bought by the system in order to help serve a constant injustice this company has seen for quite a long time now. I’m done serving that fucking system. You and I will fight this weekend in Des Moines, but make no mistake, it’s going to be a fight I want it to be. It’s my fight. I make no apologies for it, either.
Win or lose, I won’t let it define me.
Whether or not I find allies again here in HOW, I don’t know. But I’m here to fight the injustice and to make a difference again.
I’ve made peace with that and if I have to go at it alone, then so be it.
Either way, you’re going to get a fair fight, Jace. We may be opponents when that bell rings, but make no mistake about it…it doesn’t have to mean that you don’t have someone here willing to help fight WITH you and FOR you!
I still believe in Jace Parker Davidson. Question is do you? What happens after that bell rings? Win or lose…what will happen after our match is finished? The choice is yours, Jace.
I look forward to seeing you Monday. May the best man win!