That little blue bird and her ensnaring eyeless form and chirping beak, she’s a regular Max Kael that one.
Wait, does Max Kael have a beak?
He’s been augmented so many times that I’m not willing to rule it out.
Still, Twitter is a cesspool of hot takes, low effort shit posting and politics that are purely discussed through the use of snake and rat emojis. Lee Best has quit it and returned to it so many times, the counter tracking such things had to reset back to zero. It’s understandable though, it’s a necessary evil, it’s where the people are and when you own and operate a company, you’ve got to get your message out to the people. Things like “buy a ticket to our show in Rome, dickheads” – the important things.
One of the Princes of this form of media is a man known as the ChampChamp, the HOW World Champion, Cecilworth M. J Farthington. If there was such a thing as a “shitpost mountain” and it was sanitary to climb it, this man would be nearing the summit.
On the day after the shocking events of the LBI Final and Refueled, the Twitter Prince sits at the desk in his office in the currently being refurbished Six Time Academy, which is definitely not a repurposed storage closet. The room is in almost complete darkness, excluding the glow coming forth from the tiny screen of the Farthington Phone.
The glare from the phone lights up the sunken face of the World Champion, clearly demonstrating his complete lack of sleep since Teddy Palmer shocked the world and defeated Max Kael in the LBI Finals, punching his ticket to March to Glory in Rome. The camera spins to pan over the shoulder of the champion and sees that TWITTER DOT COM is locked and loaded. Farthington hits the parchment, ready to construct another completely perfect tweet and inflict it on the masses. His thumbs hover over the keyboard as he carefully considers… who am I kidding, he doesn’t think about shit, he’s a post post post boy.
“google “who is teddy palmer” added to weekly planner”
Farthington: Ha ha! Got him!
The champ goes for a high five to no one in particular, the hand slowly dipping back down when he realises that there is no one at all in the room with him and that the room is pitch black so even if someone WAS there, he wouldn’t know.
Farthington looks back at his phone screen to admire his latest shit post but as the dark screen looks back at him (NIGHT MODE BAYBEE), he raises a quizzical eyebrow. This slowly evolves into intense interest as the tweet starts to get the ole cogs turning in the champion’s noggin…
Farthington: Wait… that’s actually a good question.
HOTV as we know doesn’t just air old wrestling shows, that place where “Big Money” Darin Matthews is the champion and current live High Octane Wrestling content. No, it also creates a wonderful series of unique programming, from murder mysteries to bad fairy book tales, from documentaries to Christmas specials, the original programming banner of HOTV has never been fresher.
One pioneer of using the station for his own personal whims is the former MEGACHAMPION, now merely just a simple, humble HOW World Champion… CM!JF. Today, he was going to do it again…
Dramatic music blares as we hear the deep voice of an announcer who definitely isn’t Cecilworth playing with the pitch shift control knob.
MYSTERIOUS VOICE: Who is Teddy Palmer? A friend? A hero? An underdog? A psychotic? We’ve seen many faces of Teddy Palmer during his short tenure here in HOW but have we ever got to know the REAL Teddy?
As the voice over continues, we cut to footage of Teddy at the past few Refueleds but it has been switched to black and white with static firing over the top of it periodically to give it that “this man is a monster” feel.
MYSTERIOUS VOICE: Tonight, High Octane Television brings you a very special edition of Cecilworth Farthington Investigates…
The voice disappears as crashing through the footage of Palmer is a spinning 3D graphic that gives us the title of tonight’s entertainment “CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON INVESTIGATES: “WHO IS TEDDY PALMER?”, A CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON INVESTIGATES SPECIAL REPORT”. As the graphic fades away we cut to a studio that contains a large bank of monitors, we see that each is playing a different moment from Palmer’s HOW tenure. Some are showing his LBI Group Stage matches, one shows his semi-final bout with his own tag partner Alexander Redding and another shows his final against Max Kael. There’s a smattering of out of the ring moments on the screens too. As the camera pans back from the bank of monitors, Cecilworth Farthington is slouched atop the control centre, his left leg crossed over his right.
Farthington: It’s a story as old as time itself. I was on Twitter doing some of my quality tweets about my opponent for March to Glory, Mr. Teddy Palmer, and as I fired off another sweet piece of hotness, I suddenly became deeply troubled. A statement I had written as nothing more than a joke to shit on a man who won the LBI became something of an obsession for me. My intestines twisted and grinded against my other innards as I suddenly realised that I may be facing a sociopathic serial killer in Rome. Sure, ha ha, laugh it up, the underdog Teddy Palmer won the LBI, let’s make jokes about not even knowing who he is. I know I did. Yet… when I dug deeper, and thought harder… he may be HOW’s most terrifying monster to date.
The screen slowly fades from Farthington and his cross-legged swagger to the final seconds of the LBI semi-final bout between Redding and Palmer.
Farthington: This is where my quest for questions began, I’d been sitting backstage watching this bout with an intense focus but… when you start to think about what happened at the end of the match, it’s really quite harrowing.
We see the moment where Teddy Palmer looks upon his partner in a two man stable and whispers his now infamous and devastating words… “I’m sorry”. The screen quickly scans through that curb stomp and three count that quickly follows.
Farthington: We’ve been told time and time again that Red and Ted are for life. That this match would not stand in the way of their relationship. Told that it would be a sporting competition and Teddy Palmer just wanted to prove that he had overcome his case of the Batmans and wished to earn his companion’s respect, shaking a monkey off his shoulder. That’s the kind of thing that warms the heart, doesn’t it? That plucky underdog getting a big redemption victory but being so heartbroken to do so that he must apologise to his good friend before putting him down. Yet… I have a question…
We cut back to the studio where Cecilworth is casually stroking the area where a beard would be if he could grow such a thing.
Farthington: If both men KNEW that this was a bout for respect, why apologise? I mean, it seemed like Alexander Redding got over his hopes and dreams of a March to Glory being crushed pretty quickly but we are not here to investigate the easy cucking of Mr. Redding, we are here to explore the monster that is Teddy Palmer. So… if Redding already knew his partner was going to give him a fight, why the apology to him? Maybe the apology wasn’t for him…
An undertone of spooky music begins to play in the background as a lightning bolt and a cat’s meow prompt a black and white photo of Teddy Palmer consume the screen.
Farthington: That apology wasn’t for Alexander Redding, Teddy Palmer cared not for the fact that Mr. Redding had to cancel his HOTV studio booking for the creation of more great Fables. I hear in the last one he was going to defeat me but also I’m a lion, that’s some trippy shit right there. No, that apology was for you, the viewing audience, that apology was for the braying heretics in the arena and shockingly, it worked! He played a fucking blinder, I got to give him big props, big ups for that level of master manipulation. Palmer was trying to put the wool over the eyes of you sheeple and I am here tonight to make you WAKE UP and sheer your eyebrows. I think that’s how that one works…
Cecilworth screams the words WAKE UP in that pitchy screeching manner in which you would have to assume that he consumed something not entirely legal before embarking on this high quality television programming.
Farthington: Teddy Palmer isn’t some upstart fighting against the system and for the people, he’s a delusional egotist who watches a YouTube video of himself performing karaoke so bad that I believe it caused Elton John to kill himself just so he could spin in his grave. He didn’t even just watch it once, he watched it upwards of twelve times in a row! He wants you to think he’s a remorseful tag partner who just happened to stumble blindly into the biggest moment of his career – And you? You all ate it up like it was delicious cheesecake or an eighty five dollar steak. Teddy Palmer is a devastating talented string puller and he used ALL of your miscreant energy to overcome Max Kael at Refueled. He fed off your worship like a disgusting, wet, sloppy leech and I have to admire the play. It got him that final little push against Max. Make no mistake, he’s dangerous and right now it feels like I am the only man in the world who has realised just how much of a risk he is to my glorious reign.
We cut to footage of Teddy Palmer “struggling” with the cable ties that Max Kael wrapped around his arms during the tag title match.
Farthington: A few weeks ago, we were supposed to believe that he was a man off his meds and imagining himself as the goddamn Batman in the days before our Tag Team Title bout. That that he was SO out of it Max Kael could zip tie against the ringside barricades without putting up much of a fight. That he couldn’t break free no matter how hard he tried. Perhaps though, that was just a chance to allow his partner to take most of the beating in the bout. After all they are about to face each other in the LBI. “Oh no, these cable ties, they are just too tough to break”… sure thing buddy. Good thing Redding is gullible enough that he didn’t spot your trap and got tossed from multiple ladders. Softened him up nicely for your LBI Semi-Final bout did it not Palmer? You basically disappeared from that match while Redding constantly cruised to get bruised.
Farthington stops on a dime for a second to interrupt his own speech.
Farthington: Also Doozer, that egg thing was VERY rude. Don’t make me boot your bum again mister.
Rerailing his thoughts, we see weird webcam footage of one of Palmer’s closet sessions was a man called “Binh”, it is clearly a camera that neither man is aware is present.
Farthington: Next thing you know, suddenly a wise Asian – which makes sense as we know, all Asians are very insightful and probably do naked yoga or some shit – gets him to “clean up his act” and man, he just digs down deep and has the ultimate epiphany to get his career wheels a-spinnin’ once more. A bit convenient that, ain’t it? Like he would be luring his tag partner into thinking he was easy pickings, still on the road to recovery. Next thing you know he feels downright rotten about crushing the wittle caweer aspiwations for Alexander Redding. So, which Teddy Palmer is the real one? The drunkard? The med dependent? The Batman? The reborn and redeemed crusher of hopes and dreams? If you answered any of the above, guess what, you’re wrong.
We cut to full colour footage of Teddy Palmer locking Max Kael in the triangle choke, the footage zooming around the Chicago faithful cheering him on.
Farthington: Every single one of those moments was carefully calculated to get him the groundswell of support that he is currently basking in. Apparently he done some stupid rant in a bar and it’s viral on Vine or some shit. Then because of his inspiring words, suddenly the most fickle crowd in the entire of the United States is on board with the lad? Dupes, patsys, puppets, the lot of you. He is not a man you can trust, he is not a man to put your faith in. He will let you down. You have been sold a false bill of goods and I hope you are able to understand that I have your best interests at heart, that I am here on this programming to educate, inform and entertain you. See, we have no idea who Teddy is, and this is a scary thing because he certainly wants us to THINK we know him. Sucking up the adulation like some form of energy vampire. It must end and I will be the one to do it.
We cut back to the studio with a very sincere and severe looking Farthington, his legs now uncrossed, making direct “eye contact” with the camera.
Farthington: You don’t know who the real Teddy Palmer is, I don’t know who the real Teddy Palmer is… but one thing that if you search deep down, search deep in your own heart you know it to be true, love me or hate me, and it’s definitely the former, you know who I am and what I stand for. I have never hidden my malice from you, I have never attempted to trick you into cheering me on, partly because you all disgust me but mostly because I believe you all have the intellect to see the truth.
A sneer creeps across the champions face, directly implying a level of disgust in himself in even pretending the HOW fanbase qualify as “intellectual”. However, needs must for the man so he carries on like a real trooper.
Farthinton: I have stood in the ring and told you I would be the longest reigning ICON Champion in HOW history and I did it. I told you I was going to win my first World Championship at Rumble at the Rock and one toilet death later, the 97Red leather sat atop my shoulder. I told you I would survive ninety seven minutes of hell and finally pin Dan Ryan’s shoulders to the mat and ended that debate once and for all.
The studio footage monitors blink on and off, all of the footage of Palmer has been replaced with that of Farthington. We see him winning the ICON Battle Royal, escaping the cage against Dan Ryan, pinning Doozer, locked High Flyer into the Article 50 and choking MJF to near death during War Games. The monitor directly over Farthington’s shoulder shows the arm breaking
Farthington: Jesus, I told you I would break a man’s goddamn arm and I did that too! I don’t hide from you, I don’t try and reinvent myself to get your praise when things aren’t going quite right. For almost an entire year I have stood proudly in HOW arenas and showed every single person from the front row to up in the stands just exactly who Cecilworth M! J. Farthington is. I’m not a conman, a charlatan like our new friend Tedward.
The monitors converge into three clear scenes, one of Cecilworth holding up the ICON championship, one with the Tag Team Title and one with the World Championship.
Farthington: So many of the High Octane roster fall into a pit called “rebirth” so often that the HOTV office floors are covered in a fine layer of placenta. They are pretenders, one minute they are a corporate executive, next thing you know they’re committing hockey assault. A Texan ruffian suddenly slinks into the cubicle and emerges a Numbers Von Fuckstick. A mansion millionaire becomes a humble trainee. Why? Why the constant need for change and reform? It’s that desperation for the sweet scent of adulation. For those I just described, it did not work but boy oh boy, Teddy Palmer tried to persuade us he was on a similar ilk as part of his elaborate con and it worked… for the LBI. It worked for Alex, it worked for Max. They certainly thought they were going to steamroll the man. Who could blame them, he had they convinced that he thought he was Batman weeks prior. Hell, he almost trapped me in the tag title match. He’s… he’s smart.
There’s a small glint in Farthington’s eye that should a cautious viewer observe, would validate there is a genuine sense of fear from Farthington around Palmer.
Farthington: Me thought? I am not a reinvention nor a con artiste. I am something much more petrifying – a constant. Being a constant scares people, sends shivers down their spines, causes their bodies to ache all the time. I haven’t lost a match in almost a year but you don’t hear people talking about that on Twitter, on radio shows, in their blogs like you would with a Jace Parker Davidson back in the day. You know why? People thought they could beat JAY PEE DEE. They talked up his spectacular streak because they thought they would be the one to break it. They would get the props for doing the unfathomable. They didn’t hype Jace out of respect, they hyped him out of ego. I took that moment away from all of them when I ended his nine month undefeated streak at March to Glory 2015.
The footage switches entirely to Cecilworth’s first ICON championship victory five years ago, edging out JPD in a two out of three falls match.
Farthington: Now though? None of the chattering, nitpicking nancies could dream of defeating me so they bury their head in the sand and pretend my all-time great career run just isn’t happening. None wish to hype my success because it scares them to death. They KNOW they cannot end it, they know there’s not point trying. Guess what buddies? They’re damn right! I made one mistake in 2019, ONE! John Sektor knows that very well. I will NEVER repeat that error ever again.
The monitors start to flicker off, one by one, leaving no distraction, the full focus of Cecilworth in the eyeline of the viewer, his eyes wide, his face red, clearly exerting his full energy and effort in sharing the secrets of his investigative report.
Farthington: The question that begs then – why did I do all this? Why spend the time highlighting the shady antics of Mr. Palmer? Simple question, simple answer. You deserve better. All of you deserve better. Right now, I bet you anything our pal Tedward is begging you on bended knee to hoot and holler for him as the simple, straight forward underdog at March to Glory. He thinks of you as simpletons who will do his bidding when he needs it the most. He wants to trick me into underestimating him as I did the drugs riddled Sektor. But dear viewer I am far too smart for these games, too smart to fall for the trap a second time and now… now you know the truth too. Now you know who the real hero of High Octane is. For our “diamond drill” level of dense skulled viewers, let me spell it out for you.
As his conclusion, Cecilworth simply pivots around the face to monitor banks, as he raises his arms up, the monitors click back on. Each other shows a different wrestler locked in the Article 50. The monitors power in time with Cecilworth raising his arms. When the top shelf on monitors comes to life, Cecilworth exits the set, leaving you, the adorable viewer with a final image of HOW’s best and brightest screaming out in agony.
We find ourselves in the hellscape that is the Chicago O’Hare International Airport a few days after the taping of the ever exciting “Cecilworth Farthington Investigates” program. CM!JF, our beautiful boy is sitting at his boarding gate, playing around on his phone to help pass the wait away.
Just as he had before he decided to do a deep and rich investigation on the winner of the LBI, he can’t help but navigate using the siren call of the blue bird. He scrolls through the feed once more to see the happenings. Mike’s heating some idiot up about abortion, Scott Stevens is sharing wrestling result from the 1800s, Woodson is BADA BA BA BA, he’s HATEing it. The usual antics for the most part. Cecilworth fires up his account and looks once more for the parchment icon, ready to reclaim his shit post throne for the day. His thumbs hover above the keyboard once more.
They remain hovering.
Cecilworth bites his bottom lip, deep in thought as he continues to glare at the darkened background of the social media website. The thumbs aren’t moving like they normally do, this doesn’t typically take any thought at all. TWEET TWEET TWEET is the mantra of our Farthington friend. This time though? This time something has caused pause.
Frozen as if cursed by a wizard, the thumbs don’t even caress the keyboard as Cecilworth’s eyes shift from the screen of his phone to the item that sits on the chair next to his.
The HOW World Championship.
Cecilworth’s eyes dart between the phone and the belt a few times over, his thoughts clearly consumed by something causing resistance to his normal smug, braggart ways.
Farthington: … he beat Max.
The World Champion mutters to no one in particular in the half full departure gate. Trying to distract his mind, he looks over to the Tap House, the Applebees, the people chitting and chatting as they walk by the variety of shops, bars and restaurants. Despite the distractions, his head is almost pulled magnetically back to his World Championships.
Farthington: I don’t even know if I could beat Max…
Cecilworth feels his thumb moving without thought to the top of his phone, it slides against the screen from the top, bringing up the options and settings. As if instructed by forces outside of CM!JF’s control, “Flight Mode” gets activated. All WiFi, all mobile data disappeared in seconds flat. The Twitter app finds itself closed, a tweet unconstructed.
Farthington: This isn’t Ryan. This isn’t Iconic. I KNEW Ryan. I knew his game… this is new… this is different.
Farthington opens up his travel case and tosses the phone inside, all methods of contact and interaction fully disabled. The shitpost mountain has caved in and our champion has tumbled all the way to the bottom.
Farthington: Now is not the time for that… now is not the time.
The ding dong of a boarding announcing snaps Cecilworth out of his championship stupor. The airline invites first and business class passengers to early board. Taking this as his cue, Cecilworth hoists his World Championship on his shoulders, dragging his travel case to his back.
Farthington: I need to take care of business.
Farthington looks at the small screen at the gate announcing the flight’s destination as he hands over his boarding pass to the attendant for scanning. The destination? London Heathrow. Fancy Lad Farthington is planning a stopover at home.
Farthington: Family first.
For the only time since HOW decided to rise from the grave a year prior, Cecilworth Farthington was off Twitter.