Brian Bare is an unfortunate soul if we’re all honest and open about it. It was only a couple of weeks ago he found himself the victim of a non-consensual attack by the 90th reincarnation of Darin Zion (this time with opposable thumbs!) and had some time recovering at the nut farm. Sure, he thought his luck was turning around when he was so forgettable that he wasn’t even fired during the massive change over of HOW on-air talent during the brief reign of the Ultimate One Percenter, Michael Lee Best but again… can’t stress enough that his balls got roughed up something fierce by Darin Zion in a manner most illegal.
This time though, this time he was about to land a genuinely big story. He wasn’t going to be stuck as a human microphone stand for Scott Stevens or any other rag tag member of the The Order as they rambled their incoherent manifesto, he was about to do a real, honest to god journalism.
You see, dear Brian had to wear a few hats at High Octane, particularly due to the staffing cuts. Sure, he was an onscreen interviewer but he also was one of the production leads on creating the television and PPV hype packages that would roll before the show. It was under his watchful eye during a late night editing session to get everything in place for the World Championship match at Rumble at the Rock that he spotted his opportunity to bring back a little credibility to his name. He had noticed what we could call for lack of a better term a bit of a dodgy dealing and he was ready to break the story wide open.
Brian Bare finds himself a bit clammy as he sets himself up in the 5 Time Office of Mike Best, cuing up some footage of the end of the 2019 War Games match. The exact moment? When Cecilworth Farthington almost committed a literal lynching murder in the ring with a rather strong piece of rope. He scans back and forth during the horrendous for some, sexy for others but brutal for all moment of the choke as he enters intense discussion with the production assistant by his side. Due to the sunlight cracking into the office we don’t get an immediate glimpse of the important footage but we can see there is a clear attempt to pan and scan, putting the focus on the ring apron.
The pow wow between Bare and his assistant is interrupted by the big dick swaggering energy of Superagent Dirk Dickwood entering the room. Dirk does his tour around the room, glad handing the variety of production staff in the room, arriving at the final destination of Brian Bare.
Dickwood: Brian, I hope this little show of yours is worth my time. I have a lot of business to attend to before Rumble at the Rock. I’m not sure if you’re aware but my client is on track to becoming the longest reigning ICON Champion in High Octane Wrestling HISTORY…
Bare wipes his rather moist hand off the maroon sweater vest he has elected to wear for his upcoming Dickwood. He extends his hand to Dastardly Dirk, who looks down with a mixture of contempt and disgust as he weighs up whether he should actually go forward and shake the man’s hand. With a painful wince, Dirk does the dutiful. The handshake is followed by Bare directing Dickwood towards the office chair that has a clear view of the video monitor. The bright stage lights beam into the sunken face of Dickwood as Bare takes his position.
Bare: Thanks for doing this Dirk, it should only take a few moments, I promise. I noticed something reviewing the War Games footage and really, you’re the only man who could possibly clear it up.
A grimaced, pained smile creeps across the face of Dickwood as he settles down into the chair, trying his best to look at ease but rather giving off an air that he definitely sharted himself and is terrified that someone is about to notice.
Production Assistant: And we go live to tape in five… four… three…
The assistant gestures at the end of the countdown as Brian Bare centres himself in front of the camera.
Bare: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us of HOTv for the Road to Rumble at the Rock, or Triple R as I like to call it. I am joined at this time by a very special guest and well known face in High Octane Wrestling, the man behind the ICON, Mr. Dirk Dickwood.
Dirk adjusts himself in a manner most uncomfortable, wiping a small bead of sweat from the bright lights just above his temple.
Dickwood: I’m… I’m happy to be here Brian.
A small satisfied smile creeps across the face of Brian Bare, he knows he’s about to establish himself as an actual wrestling journalist and he doesn’t want to waste another moment. He licks his chops like a lion getting ready for his prey.
Bare: Glad to have you Dirk. Now we all know you as Cecilworth Farthington’s most loyal supporter in HOW. You’ve been here in every run, always by his side, always supporting him in his next goal…
Dickwood: Well of course, I am nothing but lifelong loyal to C-Money and the Farthington family…
Bare holds in a squeal of delight as tries to pace himself from going in for the kill immediately.
Elsewhere in Five Time Academy, Cecilworth is cooling down after his intense training session of snapping a man’s arm clean off his body. He sits down in quiet contemplation in the gym as he wraps the finest of fine towels around his neck, fresh from the shower he just sprayed all upon his body. Cecilworth’s face takes a much redder, ruddier tone than normal as he inhales and exhales deeply. The ICON Champion’s moment of meditation is interrupted by Five Time Trainee, Tim Tomorrow who is famed for his hit catchphrase “I’ll get ‘em next time! Tomorrow’s a new day.”
Tim Tomorrow sits down on the bench facing Cecilworth as he begins to open up his five dollar burrito bowl from Chipotle and cracks opens his two dollar bottle of Mountain Dew. The Mountain Dew is green in hue and came from a branch of Chipotle than averaged three and a half stars on Google reviews with over one thousand reviews. So many had cried out in the comments that “it’s a Chipotle” and “the toilets are clean”, so Tim Tomorrow knew he was a made man when he could eat the FANCY Chipotle. Tim jams a forkful of rice into his large gob and then prods the fork in the direction of Cecilworth.
Tomorrow: You didn’t have to do that to Gary. He only agreed to help you to get into Mike’s good books.
Cecilworth’s head snaps back up from his post-shower stupor and he begins to glare a burning hole through the mouthy trainee that stumbled into HIS locker room.
Tomorrow: Gary’s a good guy, y’know. He provided all the Five Time guys with a free dental hygiene appointment. I had plaque stored in my teeth like crazy but thanks to Gary, it’s all gone now. He was pretty beloved by all of us… so I’m just going to say it… we all think you’re a bit of a jerk.
A perplexed smile creeps across the tanned face of the Farthington man.
Farthington: I’m a jerk… I’M A JERK? You’re training under Mike Best who has used valuable television time to give step by step guides to doing the rapes. Hell, Max Kael uses this gym any time he feels like committing like domestic abuse on his moody emo son, whose real father is a LITERAL MURDERER may I add. Now, these two men are my best friends, do not get me wrong but I think you’re pointing that fork in the wrong direction… pal.
Tim Tomorrow looks a little bit taken aback by the response, perhaps anticipating a bit on contrition from the man mostly viewed as the light hearted part of the eMpire.
Tommorow: At least Mike takes care of his sparring partners.
Cecilworth snorts derisively at the statement, finding the entire thing to be absolutely absurd but it doesn’t seem to deter the Tim on any level. Still prodding and gesturing in the direction of Farthington between shovels of rice and minced meat. The occasional bean flies off the fork and down onto the immaculate locker room floor, causing Farthington’s level of disgust to drastically rise. Cecilworth takes a good look at the mouthy trainee and it dawns on him that he’s never seen him in his fucking life before.
Farthington: When did you get here? Yesterday?
Tomorrow: Tomorrow… and I got here two months ago.
Cecilworth chuckles to himself as he nods knowingly.
Farthington: Ah you got here while Mike was buried in paperwork and Max was on a cruise. That makes more sense. Let me smarten you up a little bit bud. You and your trainee pals, you’re all cannon fodder for the eMpire. You are there to serve whatever need we have. This week Gary served the vital need of me testing out my grip strength for Dan Ryan and Halitosis in the Infirmary. Can’t very well stab me with a scalpel if they have no arms to stab with now can they young Thomas?
Tomorrow: You didn’t have to break the arm!
A bean from Tim’s fork flies off in the direction of the HOW ICON Champion, it smashes into his face. There is a brief moment of stunned silence as it dawns on Tim Tomorrow what just happened and Cecilworth processes his next move. The Farthington Man slowly wipes the bean from his cheek as he stands up off his seated position on the bench. He dusts himself down and begins to slowly approach the opinionated 5 Time Academy Trainee.
Farthington: Oh but I did Thomas. I needed to complete the experiment. How can I know if the Article 50 is going to break an arm unless I use it to break an arm? Did you learn nothing about the scientific method in school you ignorant little pleb… with your disgusting bowl of prole mush… you are a filthy little human aren’t you?
Tomorrow: I’m a Tim, not a Tom.
Farthington approaches closer, extending his jabbing finger and prodding it right into Tomorrow’s chest.
Farthington: No Thomas, you are nothing. You have achieved nothing, you will never achieve anything. You will sit there with your bowl of rice and beans and wonder why you never made it to the big time. Hell, I should be charging you right now for the privilege of even conversing with the best damn wrestling in High Octane Wrestling right now but I’ll bill this up as a charitable cause when this is all said and done.
Tomorrow pays little mind to the situation as he puts his burrito bowl to the side, seeming relatively unperplexed by the malicious tone that oozes out of every syllable of Farthington’s mouth hole.
Tomorrow: That’s pretty rich coming from a guy who hasn’t ever won a World Championship. Halitosis even managed to do it twice…
The camera begins to cut away as we hear an ear piercing shriek.
Brian Bare sits across from Dirk Dickwood, pleased with the work he has put into setting up the big moment. He’s got Dirk unquestionably stating his loyalty to Cecilworth Farthington, he has him exactly where he wants him.
Bare: … Thank you for that Mr. Dickwood. It really clears up your relationship with the ICON Champion. I don’t think there’s a single person who is aware of your history with Cecilworth Farthington that would question the relationship between the two of you. So, I’m certain what I’m about to share with you will be easily explained.
Brian Bare leans back to give Dirk and clear eye-line to the video monitor in front of him. It is frozen on Cecilworth choking the ever loving life out of MJF during the War Games match, Bare’s hands begin to tremble as he hits the play button on the video machine. The footage begins to roll as the footage slowly rooms in to a clear view of under the ring apron. MJF’s legs flail wildly and as she uses the apron to try and relieve some pressure, pulling up the apron as she does so. Bare freezes the footage when there’s a clear vantage point of the contents beneath the ring.
Bare: …that’s you under the ring there, is it not Mr. Dickwood?
Dirk begins to mutter to himself as he pulls out a pair of eyeglasses, he leans in close to look at the monitor closely with his glasses on.
Dickwood: That could be anyone, it’s very blurry footage.
Bare: Oh I understand your confusion, me and the production team were confused too. We thought it couldn’t possibly be correct but…
Bare makes a gesture a member of his crew off camera. They produce a cleaned up and zoomed in still image of the same moment of the footage. The image clearly shows Dirk Dickwood under the ring, wielding a knife.
Dickwood: An image Brian? I thought you were a better journalist than that. That’s clearly a Photoshop job if I’ve ever seen one. I didn’t think High Octane Wrestling was peddling in fake news these days but clearly you are… this interview is over…
Dirk Dickwood goes to pull himself up from his chair but Brian gestures for him to hold up and wait for a second.
Bare: Can we move forward in the footage just a little?
The footage speeds through the intensely awful choking scene until John Sektor arrives into frame. Much clearer in the camera view this time is a clear hand from under the ring handing Sektor the knife he uses to free MJF.
Bare: Care to comment?
Dickwood: I think it’s disgusting that John Sektor had to conspire at War Games to cheat my client out of what would have been a clear World Championship victory. We all know that if the end of the match went to Captain’s Pick, that Mike Best would have chosen Cecilworth Farthington to be the HOW World Champion. The fact that John Sektor had to collude with unseen forces to steal that away from MAH BOY it intensely upsetting and I thank you for altering me to it, Brian.
Bare: But Sektor almost seemed a bit confused about getting handed the knife. Like it came from an unlikely source…
Dickwood is now producing sweat at levels not seen since the televised Nixon/Kennedy debate. He is rapidly using his pocket square to mop up all of his internal juices. As he tries to de-moisten, Bare grabs a t-shirt from the desk next to him and unfurls it.
Bare: I mean, it would have all been coincidence but then I noticed the box of t-shirts you were protecting in the Five Time Warehouse. Can I ask why the t-shirt celebrate Cecilworth Farthington as “The Longest Reigning ICON Champion”…
Dickwood: Because that’s our brand, we’ve made the ICON championship THE go to brand in HOW and I am the protector of that. MAH BOY made that belt into the most talked about thing in the promotion. I can celebrate his mighty reign as DUAL ICON and World Champion, can I not?
Bare clicks his pen against his teeth as he continues to prod and probe.
Bare: Yet this t-shirt doesn’t mention the World Championship at all. Is it not true that you are VERY concerned about being dumped by your client should he finally climb to the top of the mountain? You are hardly the industry’s most discussed manager… is it not true you have been sabotaging your client in his World Championship dreams? I mean a talent like Farthington has NEVER had a World Championship to his name, does that not strike you as odd?
The sweat has become a pool as Dickwood because perhaps the moistest human in existence.
Dickwood: Now hang on here Brian…
We cut back to the Five Time locker room where for the second time in the same day, a large batch of the trainee’s are trying to break Cecilworth’s vice-like grip of a man’s arm as he yells out in fury. The unfortunate victim of the Article 50 this time around? Tim Tomorrow. The trainees seem to have very little impact in breaking up the hold. Cecilworth continues to yank and yell as tears stream down the face of the formerly so cocky star of the future.
Cecilworth hears the pop and rolls off of Tim Tomorrow with a very satisfied grin. The Five Time trainees look on in horror at the damage caused by Farthington, clearly looking in his direction for answers. Cecilworth swaggers over to the bench where Tomorrow was sitting and pops open the injured man’s Mountain Dew and begins to chug. The HOW camera crew rush into the room to catch the scenes of chaos. Cecilworth smugly spins around to meet them head on.
Farthington: Ah, the camera boys are here. DELIGHTFUL! Mr. Ryan, Mr. Halitosis. I’ve heard a lot of commentary on how our match in the Infirmary is SUPPOSED to go. Dan Ryan, the melted Terminator that he is, will use his immense power and pressure to send us all to an actual infirmary. That’s real cute. Or is it THE ULTIMATE UNDERDOG who will pluck his way to victory through grit, determination and a mouthy coach that he used to replace the last person who used to speak for him that I’ve already forgotten the name of…
Cecilworth’s rant to camera is not really deterred by the screams of agony and anguish going on directly behind him.
Farthington: Let’s talk about the stakes of this match for a moment, shall we. Dan Ryan is an eight billion time World Champion all over the world and is looking to add another notch to the tally. Halitosis is a two time HOW World Champion and instead of looking strong and dominant as an all conquering champion, he has a mouthpiece whine to an independent wrestling crowd that he’s a real boy with a real belt and we should all just believe.
Cecilworth chuckles to himself as he takes another swig from his victim’s bottle of DA DEW. Truly, he is a man DOIN’ THE DEW.
Farthington: Gentleman, do you know why Scottywood wanted to make the ICON Championship the main prize in this match? Did you ever manage to crack that code? The man makes the title, the title does not make the man. Halitosis can wave the 97 Red Leather to the heavens and proclaim himself the best in the business but also a complete underdog in oxymoronic style and no one believes him for a second. They talk about me and the ICON championship not because I’ve said a few disrespectful words in interviews, no, they talk about me because I’ve went out there since HOW relaunched and staked my claim as the best in this company. I didn’t wait for the plaudits and praise to roll in, I made something of myself, I made the ICON championship THE championship in HOW. People were ready to jump on my dick the moment they smelled that I failed. There were finger wags and victory laps when John Sektor knocked me out of the World Championship tournament, people could not WAIT to look down on me. Chris America did it, Scottywood did it, Scott Stevens did it.
Cecilworth looks over as the trainees attempt to help Tomorrow back to his feet, he rushes in a drills a stiff elbow to the head of the trainee holding Tomorrow up. The entire group collapses back to the ground as Cecilworth returns to the camera.
Farthington: Yet ask any of them now and a very different tune would be sung. So Mr. Tosis, the two time World Champion underdog… I pity you. Two unspectacular runs as World Champion, a goal I have never even been able to achieve in my career and you get so ho-hum about it. There’s a real woe-is-me ambiance to your whole deal because your mouthpiece and assume you by proxy wish that you were recognised as a true world beater. The problem is, are you HOW World Champion and a symbol of the best in the industry or are you the ULTIMATE UNDERDOG because you can’t be both you mealy mouthed prick of man. You want people to care about the World Championship? EARN THAT FUCKING RESPECT. Make that championship matter. I had to scrape and claw to make my name, to earn my spot in this match, to earn my legacy. Do you know how many fucking people retain their championships at War Games? CLOSE TO ZERO.
Cecilworth turns towards the human pile of Five Time Trainees and drives a boot into the pile with very little interest in where it ends up. Helps work off all the energy he’s building up, y’know.
Farthington: And Dan, dearest Dan, we dance the dance once more. First a tie, then I escaped a cage and yet people… people they don’t seem to believe that I’m just better at this whole grappling thing than you. I mean, I wouldn’t think a master tactician such as yourself would enter TAG TEAM HELL in the Guard Tower before stepping into the Infirmary. It’s bravery and stupidity at its finest combination. I plan to make the Infirmary the final waltz in this little series we’ve been having. I certainly haven’t been yanking arms out of sockets for my own amusement, I’ve been doing it for you Daniel. It has all been for you.
Cecilworth returns to his bench in the locker room and pulls out the HOW ICON Championship, hoisting it over his shoulder and giving the camera a wide eyed stare.
Farthington: I am Cecilworth Motherfucking Jamelia Farthington, the best wrestler in this company. The best wrestler in this industry. I have been to Alcatraz, I have survived Alcatraz, I have survived Solitary Confinement on the damn island. I know the risks, I know the dangers, I have destroyed TWO whole arms today in anticipation. Dan, Hal… this isn’t a game, this isn’t talk tough and be whimsical, this is a real deal. This is all the eyeballs on us. This is a career shortener. I have proven myself on “The Rock” and I WILL prove myself again. I will leave a World Champion ICON. I will leave putting John Sektor’s legacy up in smoke. I will leave as the undisputed best of HOW’s new era. I will leave with prestige returned to the HOW World Championship. It is finally my time, it is my era… second place just isn’t good enough.
Brian Bare rushes into the scene, a microphone in hand, the camera spins around to face him and he thrusts the mic straight into the maw of Farthington.
Bare: CECILWORTH! What do you think of the recent revelation, discovered by ace reporter Brian Bare that Dirk Dickwood has been steadily sabotaging your career in fear of being dropped as your manager?
Farthington: You fucking what now?