This one time

This one time

Posted on October 13, 2023 at 8:25 pm by Rhys Townsend

“You’ll be gone before we know it.”

Have you ever read a statement and just…hooted aloud? I mean, done one of those, sat in a room on your own, laugh out loud type of hoot.

Because that’s exactly what I did when I read that statement from Dan Ryan.

Gone before we know it.

How about that, High Octane Wrestling? That guy who, that one time, in 2012, went pretty much every single week in the single most competitive federation on the planet, that Hall of Famer, that dude who’s one of only two to win five or more High Octane Wrestling World Championships.


He’ll be gone before we know it.

I mean…you might be right, Dan. I might well be gone soon…I can’t read the fucking future. But honestly…the odds are against it.

Here’s the thing – you mentioned that I am ignorant about one of the “best” all around resumes in our sport, Dan…and then you mentioned that the fabric of High Octane Wrestling is, what was it? Woven into the very fabric of your being, I believe, was the exact turn of phrase you used.

So I’m gonna turn around to you and say exactly the same thing, Dan. You’re ignorant.

Do you understand who you are talking to? Have you actually done any research into me at all, or are you just figuring that I’m just another guy like that one guy from that one place I wrestled at for a bunch of times and won some tin plate World Championship at? Did you just hear that I was some Hall of Famer who was good back in the day and figure, whatever, that’s all I need to know? Did you even look at the history pages of High Octane Wrestling?

Fuck dude, did you even read my roster page?

Because if you had, you would realise that you are talking that shit to a guy who has had a mere handful of matches outside of High Octane Wrestling. I made my debut in a High Octane ring, Dan. I made my actual, first proper match debut here, had my first TV match here, my first PPV match, won my first belt…you get the idea.

In the professional wrestling sense…I was born here. I am not the son of Lee Best, but I am a son of High Octane.

I get it.

To you, to someone who’s spent most of their professional wrestling career jumping from federation to federation, chasing the paycheck and the spotlight, doing absolutely everything you can to get away from the shitty little armouries and gymnasiums, the sort of loyalty I have to High Octane Wrestling…you don’t get it. Don’t understand it. No. To you, things are good here now. Nice contract, understanding boss, easy schedule, get to be dominant without ever having to really worry about if you’re actually able to stand the pressure of the World Championship or anything even slightly distressing like that…but then, if everything High Octane is so great, Dan, why did you spend so many years building that “impressive resume?”

And if High Octane Wrestling is woven into the very fabric of your being, why are you even bothering to bring it up?

At best mate, it’s a fucking irrelevance.

At worst?

It just makes you look like even more of a tit. Because like…dude. I need to know. Did you….did you think about what you were writing? Or saying? Honestly dude, it’s like some words just came up in your head and you figured smashing them out was the play. Like…

Wins and losses are meaningless now because a pay per view match has been booked? Did you miss the part where, immediately after the last pay per view, the rankings decided who went into a match to get a shot at the World Championship? Or the part where the very winner of that match, a man who had just lost at pay per view, took the title shot he earned via the rankings, through wins which, you believe, would be “with nothing on the line and nothing to fight for”.

Are you really that dense?

You have been here for a couple years, haven’t you? And you somehow think that a win, any win, has nothing on the line, and there is nothing to fight for? In High Octane fucking Wrestling, where Lee “I fucking love the rankings, they make my dick hard” Best books the matches?


I mean, it felt like pretty much everything you deigned to say this week was half assed and just like you decided to vomit some words out, but mate, I did think that one was an absolute fucking belter. A true pearler of a line, some might even say. I do understand that you are the same person who says they only care about winning, but has done fuck all but job in singles matches this period.

And then there’s the whole shit about wearing me down. I would ask if you’ve even bothered to look at my biography, or my historical record in High Octane Wrestling, but we both know you haven’t. So I’d ask you if you even bother watching the product…but I mean, I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that, too.

‘Cause see, if you did watch the product, you’d know that the ambition to wear me down in a single one off, throwaway tag match on the go home because Brian Hollywood couldn’t take his traditional Go Home Main Event spot for some fucking reason might well be one of the most ludicrous things you said. I honestly cannot be fucked to muster up a long and well thought out rebuttal to this, because it’s just like…

Do you even watch the fucking show, bro? Like at all? Is it ever on in the background while you’re ferrying about in a limo doing whatever the fuck bland characterless Best Alliance big men do in their spare time?

No. I’m guessing not.

That would take too much time away from coming up with bland, characterless “ME GUN DO BIG HURTY HURT TO U AT PAPE but mayb not this week bcuz tag match n got 2 sell at pape right did i do this right lee?” type shit, wouldn’t it? Because that’s all I saw, mate.

“I give so much of a shit about this match and High Octane Wrestling that I cannot even be fucked to stay current with the product, let alone what my pay per view opponent is doing on the product. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a generic statement about my loyalty to the High Octane Flag because that’s what ‘MURRICANS do when they aren’t sure, right?”

Or that, if you want a longer, more accurate translation.

Like…do you actually get it mate? Like, really, actually understand where you are now? I can throw all the analogies out there, the overused sports cliches about “Championship Rounds”, and “Deep Water”, but like you enjoy reminding us, you have the most “well rounded” resume in professional wrestling. (Man’s still over here hunting for that High Octane Wrestling World Championship you must have won if you really do have the most well rounded resume. Lemme know what page it’s on? Cheers.), so you should know all about it.

I mean, you experienced it the other month…when you choked against Stronk, no? You’ve been in the world for a couple weeks – dropping meaningless matches with “nothing on the line”, no? Nah.

All I feel from you, Dan, is fear.

You have come to realise that Lee Best was not doing you a solid when he booked our match, but instead, have learned that you are in there against one of those High Octane Wrestling guys. Not some dude who hangs about and wears a lot of #97Red and thinks he’s High Octane because he’s doing a stint in the Alliance.

But one of those guys that High Octane Wrestling built it’s reputation on being a machine off of.

No match is meaningless, or throwaway…every match gets everything I have that week. Would I like to sit back and conserve for the pay per view?

Of course. Who wouldn’t?

But that? That’s not how I do things. That’s not how High Octane Wrestling does things. So a meaningless tag match against a guy I’ve gone toe to toe with in more main events than I care to remember and Dan “How do I operate a TV remote, I don’t know how to watch a show” Ryan becomes, for me, the most important thing that week. Mike becomes the most important thing this week. You know?

Hi Mike.

No looking past it, no looking at the PPV, no staring until 3am at pictures of the High Octane Wrestling World Championship…maybe some idle stoned daydreams about winning the belt, but it’s gotta be the same as it is every single fucking week.

Full speed. Full everything. Leave everything out there, so even if I lose, when I walk back through that curtain, I can look myself in the mirror. Same shit, different week.

And yeah, you’re right, Mike – bit of an odd thing to be just thrown on the card the week before the pay per view. You know me as well as anyone here not named Evan, and so, you know I’m that guy that will just show up and go, week after fucking week – I’ve been on every single fucking show this period, so another match this week? I won’t lie, I almost expected it.

But this?

As you yourself described it mate, a dream match. Just randomly there to main event a Chaos. Nothing more than the win on the line…hell, you’ve got no business with either me or Ward at the PPV, and Jatt Starr is off wrestling Xander Azula for some fucking reason, rather than being in this match for the traditional pre PPV tag hype match, so we’re all literally just here to wrestle for the entertainment of the fuckers who love our sport.

That’s it.

And that, for us, Mike, feels a bit fucking weird. Yeah, we could both probably pump out thousands of words about the other if we wanted to sit and write exclusively about each other (And I’m sure we will, when the inevitable match rolls around), but facing you like this?

Feels fucking weird, bro.

I’m sure we’ve done it before and I’m sure we’ll do it again…but shit dude, how many matches did we have where something was on the line? Where absolutely everything mattered? And then…yeah. Boom. Random tag match. Have at it boys, don’t break each other, you’ve both got important matches at the PPV.

…which actually, is kinda a salient point when it comes to the booking of this match, isn’t it? If you continue living up to recent history, you’ll beat Conor Fuse at the PPV and win your eleventh World Championship. And if I beat Dan Ryan? I’ll be the Number One Contender…and all of a sudden, the booking makes a little more sense, when you remember how much your father loves to lay little seeds for the future. Maybe. Just hypothesising, really.

‘Cause that’s what’s really salient, right?

The future.

A decade or so ago, I’d say that, in the ring, I knew you better than anyone else on the planet. More importantly, I felt like back then, I could say a thing few could say. A thing I don’t think any fucker on planet Earth can say right now, that a match between us? Fifty fifty. Could go either way.

But as I’m writing, I know I’m not the same guy I was a decade ago. You love to remind us, to tell us at every opportunity you get that you, also, have entered the adult equivalent of puberty (I hear they call it “turning thirty.”) and are starting to grow up. I got no doubt you’ve changed. But I also reckon some things are the exact fucking same. Same ego, same devastating tongue…still just as good in the ring.

But honestly, Mike?

I don’t know. I haven’t spent time keeping up with what you’re doing outside of watching your matches. I don’t know or care if you’re in the Final Alliance, or if you’re talking with your Dad, or if he’s mad because you’ve been on the PlayStation twenty minutes longer than your allotted playtime or what…and honestly, as much as I could write thousands of words of shit on it, whatever the situation is…I don’t think it really matters.

I don’t think much of anything else matters when it’s Mike Best versus Rhys Townsend, if I’m being honest. It’s the sort of feud that High Octane Wrestling was built on…that professional wrestling was built on.


Maybe your good friend and tag team partner, Dan Ryan, is either delusional or ignorant, and maybe mine has finally lost his mind, having full blown conversations in public toilets…maybe your mind is on the High Octane Wrestling World Championship and mine is on becoming Number One Contender for that very Championship.

It’s not gonna matter.

I know you’re the same competitor you were a decade ago.

And me?

I plan to show you and Ryan exactly how relentless I am when someone’s dangled the World Championship near me.

I’ve missed you, Mike. I can’t wait to see you at Chaos.