High Octane Wrestling
Published: Written by: Dan Ryan

Sunday, June 30.
Around 36 hours after Refueled V.

Dan Ryan is, well, not pacing around his house exactly. But, he’s aggressively getting some minor chores done. There was a crew here to take care of some minor repairs to the deck on the guest house out back. He sent them home.

“Where the FUCK is the hammer?”

Ryan practically growls as he stomps his way into a large shed connected to the back of the house, knocking over a large metal cabinet no match for the big Texan’s wildly flailing right arm. Ryan doesn’t even acknowledge this, but faces his wife in the doorway to the main house, staring back at him incredulously.

“The hammer is the FUCK where it belongs — in the FUCKING drawer in the FUCKING kitchen.”

Alaina Troy-Ryan stands her ground as her husband looks at her for a brief second before mumbling something under his breath, then turning away with a growl.

A few minutes later, Dan Ryan is rummaging through a drawer in his kitchen that he hasn’t opened in months. Alaina is on his heels, and yes, he knows what’s coming next.

He doesn’t look at her.

She doesn’t require it.

“You wanna tell me why you’re stomping around the house like a neanderthal? Or, why you’re suddenly so interested in do-it-yourself home improvement?”

Ryan spins around faster than you’d expect for a man his size, glaring daggers at his wife. But the daggers aren’t for her. “These motherfuckers…..”

His eyes close for a brief second, then pop back open, containing extremely veiled rage. “These motherfuckers…. They came…. To ME. I didn’t go to that place with my hand out looking for a job. Do they think that I’m some rookie do-nothing hack that’s never been through war?”

Alaina’s eyes furrow a bit. “Lee seems to think quite a lot of you.”

Ryan shakes his head. “I’m not talking about Lee. I’m talking about the HOW circle-jerk squad. I’m talking about all of these old HOW fuckers who act like they invented the sport just because they hung out together like the fucking trenchcoat mafia for ten years playing wrestling Wolfenstein with each other and popping each other with their corny-ass insults, taking breaks only to clean the fucking cheeto dust off their ball sacks because they wanna have their little circle jerks and a snack at the same time. A group of people who think calling someone gay is cutting edge trash talk, while they ironically spend almost all of their time giggling with one hand over their chuckling pie-holes and the other on each other’s dicks.”

Alaina blinks. “I…. I don’t know what they think.”

Ryan continues, not even listening.

“It’s bad enough that I’ve got Cecil-tits Pity-fuck over here crying like a bitch because he barely escaped with his fucking life last night, and then is being FORCED to do something crazy like…. another match…..”

“I’m sorry,” Alaina interjects. “Cecil-tits Pity-fuck?”

No time for jokes. Ryan’s past the line.

“Yeah, that’s right. Pity. Pity is what that guy is all a-fucking-bout. Pity because poor Farthy two-belts couldn’t hang for once. Pity because the golden boy ran up against the motherfucking KING DICK in yours truly and couldn’t intimidate me with his grade school banter and random ass bullshit. Pity because that motherfucker was at my mercy at ringside, I let him off, but because his feelings are hurt over having to defend his title again, everyone’s worried poor Little Lord Pity-fuck might walk away after he drops the title.”

This time, she just nods. He’s not done.

“Not only that, but we’ve got more ‘hall of famers’ on a radio show, where this tool goes on some sanctimonious rant about being left out of War Games…. You know, because NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT HIM… then puts our names in his mouth talkin’ about how we may talk a big game, but he’s been through a War Games and we haven’t, like that gives him some sort of advantage.”

Alaina though, is a student of wrestling history. “I dunno. They have one of the most legit Hall of Fames in the business actually. The people in the HOW Hall of Fame earned those rings, as far as I’m concerned.”

“Yeah well…” Ryan smiles that super insincere smile. “That may be so, but I think that some of the other hall of famers in their legit hall of fame should tell some of the other legit hall of famers in their legit hall of fame to legit shut the fuck up before I legit put my foot up their legit ass.”

Alaina Troy-Ryan shrugs. “Who cares what he thinks anyway?”

“And how many fucking Hall of Famers does this place have anyway?? Is Lee’s secretary in the hall of fame?? The caterer? Max Kael’s plastic surgeon??”

Dan isn’t even listening at this point.

“Does this dumb, basic motherfucker really think that we haven’t been through a War Games match before? Does this gap-toothed trailer park sister-fucking, mayonnaise sandwich-eating son of a bitch think we haven’t been to war? That we haven’t main evented time and time and time and time again? Like I haven’t shredded a man’s face to ribbons for fun? Like I haven’t wrapped my fist in broken glass and dragged it down a man’s face to get what I want? HAVE THESE MOTHERFUCKERS LOST THEIR MINDS?”

Mrs. Ryan, now, thinks it’s time.

“Dan, I think you need to settle down.”

Too late, he’s at level red.


Ryan slams a fist down on the open drawer, which never had a chance. It smashes into a million pieces all over the kitchen floor, along with screwdrivers, nails, bolts, an old light switch plate, and yes…. The hammer.

Alaina walks slowly toward her husband, one hand out, which finally comes to rest on his chest, a chest expanding with heavy breathing simply from temper alone. If he were Bruce Banner, he’d have long since shredded his purple sweatpants and turned green by now.

He closes his eyes again.

Alaina is legitimately concerned.

“I’m legitimately concerned. Lindsay told me you guys ambushed Maximillian Kael and the bad breath guy in the parking lot after the show. Usually after a disappointing night in the ring, beating up a blatant H.P. Lovecraftian Joker ripoff cheers you right up. This must be serious.”

Ryan’s eyes open. He’s still pissed. But now he’s holding back a smile. Her sarcasm is appreciated. And, she’s not done.

“Maybe you should also add beating up vagrants to your post-match routine.”

She sees the crack in the mood, and turns with something of a flourish. “And I also understand you went out for steak afterward. That didn’t do it? You’ve always been a big fan of beef.”

Ryan’s shoulders drop a bit.

“The steak was fine, and I was fine too, until I woke up to more bullshit, and the Farthington woe-is-me sadness parade.”

“Yeah, well…” Alaina Troy looks down at her watch. “Seeing as you have a flight to catch to Cuba tomorrow morning, a show, then a flight to Jamaica and another show, how about you shake it the fuck off and get your stuff packed and ready to go. Not to mention, I have an appointment to keep with my hairdresser, unless you called her and fired her too.”

Ryan scoffs. “I didn’t fire the construction crew. I just sent them home for the day.”

Alaina nods. “Good call. Now you have a deck to fix… not to mention a big mess to clean up in here.”

Ryan raises an eyebrow. “I do? I didn’t fire the maid either.”

Ryan’s wife makes an audible sound of disgust, scrunching up her nose in disapproval. “Ugh… don’t be a dick.”

Rolling his eyes, Ryan bends down and starts picking up the scattered remains of the kitchen drawer. “Fine, I’ll take care of it. And I’ll be careful…. I’d hate to hurt the little drawer’s feelings.”

“Good.” Alaina smiled. “After all, that little drawer’s had a rough week.”

Three days later.
Kingston, Jamaica.

Dan Ryan is sitting out under a palm tree on a nice very private beach a little down from Port Royal. The Ray-bans are on, the drink is next to him on a little table, and all is well. It’s a far cry from earlier in the week when he raged his way into spending an entire Sunday doing backyard carpentry.

Flying out to do some work in the Caribbean helps. No offense to Tampa, but compared to this place, Tampa is basically a garbage scow.

And speaking of garbage….

Cecilworth Farthington.

“So, Cecilworth. Here we go again, right? Last week, I watched you absolutely phone it in with some of the most infantile, unimaginative trash talk in the history of this profession, doing Johnny Carson bits, calling me old when I’m younger than your stupid Cthulhu-worshipping teammate, making diaper jokes, poo-poo jokes, and Dirk Dickwood stumbling over his words even having trouble finishing complete sentences.”

“All of this done promoting our match last week, and you have the sheer gall and courage to call yourself ‘The Best Boy’ with that amateur hour simpleton crap.”

“Your pathetic effort filming anything that could be considered worth anyone’s time to watch was the best insult you put forth last week, because absolutely nothing you said was anything but half-assed and embarrassing.”

“So we go out, we have our little match and well… I lose track of time.”

“I know I’ve said it before, and I guess it bore itself out on High Octane TV for all the world to see.”

“You are very very punchable, and I just couldn’t stop hitting you. I didn’t lose to you, of course. But I did lose myself for a moment there. I underestimated how fun it would be to toss you around and beat you up, and before I knew it, the referee was yelling out ‘ten’.”

“So… fine. We have ourselves a draw. Lucky you.”

“And when there’s a return match scheduled — standard booking 101, by the way — you absolutely lose your shit. You acted as if you just proved something — as if you earned something when you didn’t earn a damn thing. You survived with your title because I didn’t roll you back in the ring. What a fuckin’ talent you are.”

“And then the next thing we all know, you’re lashing out in rage at people and why? Because word starts getting around that the boys in the back think you might have gotten lucky. Because it hits your ear that maybe you didn’t earn that draw, as if the whole world didn’t see for themselves how you took off running the moment the referee hit the end of his ten-count.”

“What did you expect? Did you expect a hearty congratulations from everyone as soon as you came back through the curtain?”

“Well done, Cecilworth! A finely fought contest by you, sir! A technical masterpiece, milord! Once again you have outfoxed your opponent with your knack for verbal mastery and grappling acumen!”

“You aren’t invisible, you half-witted stand-up comedian wanna-be. Everyone saw what you said and what you did. You were outclassed on every level. You know it. I know it. Lee Best knows it. And worst yet for you, Michael Best knows it. You’ve got nothing but your very closest friends left to tell you how fucking great you are, because after last week, everyone else knows better.”

“So what now, huh? What will you do now? I know what you’ll do. You’ll scrape what scraps are left of your pride out of the toilet and come at me all DOUBLE TOUGH. You’ll put together some brilliant fucking comedy bits that no one really gives a fuck about, but that your friends tell you are FUCKING HILARIOUS DUDE!”

“You’ll call me old. You’ll wait to see what I say, so you can twist it into something herp derp hilarious since you can’t think of any material of your own. You’ll get with Maxwell House Kael and come up with more FUCKING GOLD jokes about promotional photos that he’ll have his herald, your cousin, regurgitate all over twitter. You’ll give your champion his props and click the little heart, lighting up his notifications and filling his heart with glee, your cousin will get up off his knees after telling him that he’s good to the last drop, and you’ll all share laughs over your ‘comedy for dummies’ book that you picked up six years ago at the clearance sale when Waldenbooks went out of business.”

“Yeah, and then we’ll go from ‘super funny men’ Dirk and Cecilworth, the greatest comic duo since Pinky and the Brain, and we’ll get serious and ANGRY CECILWORTH. We’ll get the Cecilworth that only comes out when his pride is wounded and he needs to prove that he’s not just Ace Ventura. No, he has RANGE. He can be Truman Burbank, too. He can be up for Best Actor at the Golden Globes just as well as he can be up for Favorite Actor at the MTV Movie Awards. He can do it ALL, he just has to have the right MOTIVATION.”

“You fucking hack.”

“Guess what?”

“No one gives a shit.”

“You say stupid shit like…” (Ryan takes on a mocking tone) “.. it was a real mess after that Joey Ryan match. Such a TIMELY reference. Well, no one gives a shit about ‘Farthy two-belts’, BECKY — at least, not anyone without a big MMMMMMM in their name.”

“Your lazy takes on me living in the past while I’m winning championships NOW are another embarrassment. As a matter of fact, you right now, encompassing your words and your actions, are the most embarrassing person in our sport. And it’s insulting as fuck to the legacy of HOW, too — not that you give a damn. But I imagine there are people around here who do give a damn. I’d rather be in the ring with Bobby Dean than team with you. I guess my boy Dane is living the dream.”

“And guess what else? I don’t give a shit about your belt over in OCW, either. I’m a fucking World Champion right now. So I’m supposed to think something of you for having the second most prestigious belts AT BEST in two companies? Is that what you do in the rest of your daily life, too? Collect a bunch of ‘almost as good’ shit, then show it off like you’re top of the line? COOL. I’ve got the rookie cards of two backup quarterbacks in a display case at home. But whatever. I don’t give a fuck. Do what you gotta do. What I DO give a fuck about is that you’re parading around here as a fraud, carrying this mantle as some hot shit motherfucker when the truth is, you aren’t fit to even be in the same ring as me. You exist at my pleasure, Farthington. That was proven true last week and it’ll be proven again this week. You’re here as long as I fucking tolerate you.”

“No one takes you seriously. Just get up and do your little dance for the people, you fucking monkey. That’s all you’re really good for.”

“And what do you think I’m good for, Cecilworth? Huh? Let’s hear your cool-guy jokes about it. I’m here to fuck you up, motherfucker. Lee Best reached out to me, why? Because of something I did fifteen years ago? No. No. He called me up because people told him what I can do right now. We’re not playing some wrestling based card game for dibs on who gets to ride shotgun on the way to the comic book store. This isn’t 2003 Dan Ryan vs. 2019 everyone else. No, I can fuck you up right in the here and now. That’s why I was asked here. That’s why I was asked here and thrown directly into the fire. It’s because I don’t give a fuck about that fire. I’ve been in that fire my whole professional life. I don’t hear the phrase ‘WAR GAMES’ and piss my pants at the prospect, no matter some halfwit on the radio says. I didn’t sign onto a tournament with a dumb middle name, BUT I’VE GROWN UP SINCE THEN SO PWEASE TAKE ME SERIOUSLY EVVVYBAWDY!!”

“Nah… I was a bad motherfucker then and I’m a bad motherfucker now. I’m oh so excited about your journey from boy to man, but do me a favor and fuck off with that. You didn’t change. All you did was learn how to kinda talk gud. Everything is just a window dressing that’s supposed to dazzle people in this business who don’t know any better. It probably works for most, because most are morons. But it doesn’t work with me.”

“Lee Best brought me here for War Games. I’m here to do a job and fuck people up. And the truth is? Yeah, I was pissed off the other night. I was pissed off. Not because you slipped out without losing the belt, but because everything about you is gross. You’re a phony. There’s nothing tough about you. It’s all smoke and mirrors.”

“Besides, you should be fucking thrilled that I’m here. I go out to the ring and beat the ever living fuck out of you next week and you get to cry a stain in your ascot all the way back some fucking shithole company you’re more comfortable in, where there’s absolutely no challenge for you and your ‘wacky but accessible’ brand of professional wrestling. That’s obviously what you want, since you won’t fucking shut up about it on Twitter. That way, you can run rampant over a bunch of kindergartners, where everybody talks like their brains stopped developing at sixteen years old after a Korn concert, and they all look EXACTLY like wrestlers from the 80s and 90s. It’d be the perfect kind of place for you, wouldn’t it? You know, since you like all your wrestling to be super CURRENT. You can call everybody grandpa and make metamucil jokes, and the guy who runs the joint will laugh his ass off at your wacky wacky fuckery.”

“Lee Best and I have a little tit for tat situation set up here that suits me just fine. I come in and remind his mainstays what it means to be on the top of this fucking game FOR REAL, and it puts him in a win-win situation. Either you fuckers get your shit together and get real, and bring this place back to the powerhouse it used to be, or he burns the motherfucker to the ground. Either way, I get to wreck shop, and that’s all the fuck I need. I’m not here for trust, I’m not here for money, and I’m not here for your feelings. You don’t like having to do this again after escaping with your little draw?”

“Tough shit.”

“Run it back, Farthington. Run it back. And when you do, make sure you bring your balls this time, you sniveling cunt. When this match, and War Games is all said and done, I intend on being here for a good long fucking while. Step up…. or fuck off.”

“Comedy hour is over.”

Ryan takes a long swig of his drink, then nonchalantly tosses it over his shoulder.


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