High Octane Wrestling
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Published: Written by: High Flyer

I don’t like talking to myself. I mean, I do it, cause I’m a crazy man. Doesn’t mean I like it. I like knowing I’m talking to someone real. That someone is listening.

Are you?

Are you even real?

I don’t know who is anymore. Was never a problem before. Didn’t care. Went out, did my thing, got a few cheers or boos, whatever felt good at the time. I knew where I stood. I was Jack Harmen, the vicious man who got his entrance rick rolled and took a tv monitor to the big screen in response. I was High Flyer, the wildcard who surprised the world time and time again with violence. The man who pioneered explosive crosses.

That one didn’t quite catch on.

I’ve wrestled in so many three letter organizations over my quarter century of a career…

… wow. You know when you look back and you realize how you’ve been doing something longer than you haven’t? And you have that sobering realization, that moment of, “did I make the right choices? Did I choose the right path?”

And how the answer is, not always. But I tried. I really tried.

Sometimes greed is a seductive temptress…

Doesn’t matter. Nobody’s listening.

**

High Flyer runs the temple of his forehead in an extreme close up. He sighs in frustration.

High Flyer: Again!

The sound of fist upon punching bags, the racking of huge metal plates onto long steel bars, the groans of growth. Muscles tearing, rebuilding, growing stronger. We can rebuild ourselves. At least, for a time. The gymnasium is full of youthful exuberance, busier than ever. Weight benches to one side, an administrative area to another, a Yoga and conditioning area to the south of a makeshift wrestling ring.

The IWO, one of the most popular leagues of the late 90s, lives on as the wrestling ring they used is set up center stage, bridging the generations of wrestlers both symbolically and literally.

In the ring, two of Flyer’s youngest students are exchanging that classic 90s style of collar and elbow tie ups into arm locks and wrist locks. One is obviously more talented, his movement smooth and crisp, while the other shows a face of pain unrivaled in its drama, and gloats when having the upper hand like no other. Playing the role of referee is one of the Odessa Dungeon’s employees, DEFIANCE superstar and all around douchebag, the D. Slick black hair and bronze tanned skin, the twenty year veteran plays both teacher and dictator, demanding breaks and shaking his head at flubs and mistakes.

High Flyer: Alright STOP!

Flyer hops up onto the apron and slips into the ring through the middle ropes. His voice booms with authority.

High Flyer: SHEEEET. If I could just merge the two of you I might have the perfect wrestler.

Flyer slaps the chest of the “seller” of the group, and he promptly does so.

High Flyer: See that Craig? See how he REACTS? See how he makes all your pitch perfect strikes be felt by the people in the upper deck in the arena? The visceral, real reaction to having the blood capillaries in your chest rise to the surface, causing a beet red hue to a man’s pecs? You aren’t big enough to play the tough guy, the immovable force. So, show a little pain and anguish. Don’t care if you feel it or not, but it’ll grant you sympathy, and if you want the crowd to cheer you, you need them to feel like you’re real, not some bad ass motha fucka who doesn’t feel pain. Leave that to the supernatural seven footers. You’re a person. A regular guy. CONNECT.

Flyer turns to the man he just slapped in the chest. He looks very happy and smiles toward Flyer.

High Flyer: What are you smiling at? You couldn’t wrestle yourself out of a paper bag. He’s running CIRCLES around you in the ring. You can be a master with the crowd, but if you don’t have the fundamentals you might as well go be a manager.

Flyer looks at both men, and sighs.

High Flyer: The two of you could teach each other a lot. You could also hide each other’s weaknesses. You wanna wrestle? You better get on the same page. I recommend you tag. Tag Team wrestling is so important in the development of a professional wrestler. I spent the best years of my life in a tag team…

Flyer looks off, fondly.

High Flyer: Whatever. D, you got this?

The D, the official in the ring, flashes a thumbs up to Flyer. Flyer then promptly exits the ring as the D restarts the training session in the ring.

Flyer looks over his shoulder back to the ring as the roles are reversed a bit. Sloppy, but they’re trying. The technical marvel is showing the pain in his face, as the charismatic showman tries to become a bit crisper in the ring. Flyer can’t help but smile.

Until he turns and bumps into HIS former tag team partner, the former amateur stand out turned incredibly bad rapper turned disinterested video game playing Tony Davis. Davis, with his long almost Scottywood dreadlocks dyed a hue that could only be described as barf. Tony Davis, Jack Harmen’s very own brother in law. He shows off his singing voice.

Tony Davis:”I CAN FEEL IT, COMING IN THE AIR TONIGHT…”

High Flyer: Stop.

Tony Davis: “Oh LAAWWWWRD!”

High Flyer: No.

Tony Davis: “AND I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT.”

High Flyer: Stop. Please.

Tony takes a moment of hesitation, and then continues to belt out.

Tony Davis: “FOR ALL MY LIFE!”

High Flyer: Would you STOP!?

Tony Davis: “OH LAAWAWWWD! OH LAWRD!”

Harmen literally facepalms.

High Flyer: Are. Are you that bored?

Tony Davis innocently looks up at Flyer with his hands placed behind his back. He sheepishly kicks an imaginary can.

Tony Davis: Yeah. You got me.

High Flyer: Go. I don’t know. Teach someone?

Tony Davis: You’re the boss brosef!

Tony Davis salutes Flyer and quickly rushes off. Flyer pauses, doing a double take.

High Flyer: Don’t call me brosef!

Flyer shakes his head and takes a few more steps toward his office, only to be interrupted by the red head from his previous promo for Chaos, the Tiny Attorney, the scarlet smartypants Mary-Lynn Mayweather. Mayweather has a few papers in her hand and lowers her emerald glasses to meet Jack’s eye line. She wears her trademarked red skirt suit with knee high boots.

Mary-Lynn Mayweather: That Ho TV called again. Are you sure they aren’t a porn site?

High Flyer: No no. That’s High Octane’s TV archive. Whatta they want?

The two start to walk and talk to Flyer’s office, as Mary-Lynn flips through papers.

Mary-Lynn Mayweather: They’re interested in licensing old IWO shows for Whore tv.

High Flyer: That’s Ho T… nevermind.

Mary-Lynn Mayweather: They also sent us an offer to get some DEFIANCE and BRAZEN content on their network.

High Flyer: Lemme see that.

Flyer reaches out and grabs the clipboard and starts to flip through the paperwork.

High Flyer: My share is minority. I can float it. As for IWO, see if he’ll pay the usual rebroadcast fee. And offer him Legacy and All-Star with a finders fee. FWO’s at a premium, yeah?

Mary-Lynn Mayweather: Got it.

Mary-Lynn smiles and nods, before walking off. Flyer continues walking down what narrows into a small corridor. At the end, High Flyer’s office resides. He throws open the door, revealing an almost Beautiful Mind-esq office, with various notes written onto the walls. The floor is covered in discarded paperwork. It’s a bit more Charlie Day than Beautiful Mind. To be honest.

High Flyer slams the door behind him. Now, the room is noise proof, and the silence is almost overwhelming.

Flyer walks over strewn papers, almost slipping as he gets to his desk. He reaches out and grabs a classic rotary phone receiver, and starts to use the rotary to dial. It takes quite a long time, as Harmen uses one of his free hands to just quickly pick a booger out of his nose before remembering he’s on camera. So, he just flicks the booger at the camera.

We hear a ringing sound resonate through the silent office, until we hear someone pick up on the other line.

Female Voice: Young residence. Kate speaking.

Flyer tries to hide a smile but can only control half of his face.

High Flyer: Hey.

Kate: Fly.

High Flyer: Kate. What’s good?

The female voice on the other side sighs deeply.

Kate: You wanna talk to Victoria?

High Flyer: I’d love to talk to you too, of course, but you’ve made your position quite clear.

Kate: Have I?

High Flyer: It’s her birthday. She should at least hear my voice.

Kate: She should at least SEE you.

High Flyer: Yeah… She should. I never said I made good decisions.

Kate: Let’s not do this now. Hey. HEY! Vikki! Yeah. Your father’s on the phone.

Vikki: (softly off the receiver) DADDY!

There’s a bit of fumbling heard as the phone receiver’s are passed into the hands of an uncoordinated twelve year old. Victoria speaks with a sense of wonder and bewilderment.

High Flyer: Hey Vikiki. Happy birthday! I love you, you know that right?

Vikki: Of course daddy. Thank you. I got your gift but mommy won’t let me open it.

High Flyer: Really? Well, you should listen to your mom. She’s always there for you. But if you ever need me, I’ll drop everything, yeah?

Vikki: I know. I started High School.

High Flyer: Jeez, I’m old.

Vikki: Yeah. You are.

High Flyer: *laughs* Send me your student pictures.

Vikki: Ewww, no.

High Flyer: C’mon.

Vikki: Never.

High Flyer: I’m your dad.

Vikki: I didn’t even let mom see ‘em.

High Flyer: What did you do?

Vikki: I burned them.

Flyer wipes away an imaginary tear.

Vikki: Are you okay daddy?

High Flyer: Yeah. I just, you really are your father’s daughter.

Vikki: I miss you.

High Flyer: I miss you too. You enjoy your birthday?

Vikki: When can I see you again?

High Flyer: Soon. I hope. You don’t give your mom any guff yeah? She’s awesome.

Vikki: She is. Doesn’t say the same about you.

High Flyer: Why would she.

Vikki: … I love you daddy.

High Flyer: I love you too.

There’s a click on the other end of the receiver. Flyer’s eyebrows turn and twist, before he leans forward and holds his head in his hands. There’s a light SOB that cuts through the silence. Everyone can hear him. But he doesn’t care…

**MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC**

Jack Harmen stands in front of a flowing HOW flag. The camera moves around wildly from a left dutch tilt to a right dutch tilt as Flyer looks on.

High Flyer: Faith…

Flyer looks off, almost lost in his thoughts for an extended period of time.

High Flyer: I have FAITH, in Mariella Jade Flair. She is the guiding soul of the industry. The future of professional wrestling. I see so much of my favorite student in her. She and Mary-Lynn Mayweather are the same. Incredibly intelligent, personable, and dangerous in that ring.

Flyer scratches his chin.

High Flyer: I think I know more of what she’s capable of than she does.

Flyer raises one finger to the camera.

High Flyer: That being SAID! I have more faith in MJ Flair than I do in myself these days. I’m a shallow husk of a legend. I should have maybe tied the boots together and threw them onto the electricity line ages ago. I’m almost forty three. My knees are that of a geriatric alzheimer patient. But I love the ring. And the day I leave it is the day I die inside. I’d rather die in that ring than never enter it again…

Flyer pauses, and sniffles

High Flyer: But I love my family. I love my wife, who hates my guts. I love my son, who thinks I’ve ruined his life because he can’t live up to my legacy. I love my daughter. She’s smarter than me. She’ll be a millionaire.

Flyer laughs to himself.

High Flyer: But that’s not my only family these days. Eric Dane, the curmudgeon destructive force of nature I can only hope to match the violence of. The legacy of Dan Ryan is that of me times two point five. Lindsey Troy, who helped shape my greatest pupil. We are wrestling mother and father to Mary-Lynn Mayweather, the greatest talent not given an opportunity to shine. And then..

Flyer runs his hands through his hair.

High Flyer: There’s MJ Flair. The offspring of one of my greatest rivals. Eli Flair. And she’s BETTER than her dad.

Flyer shrugs.

High Flyer: Sorry Eli, you know I’m right. Listen, if I could wrestle alongside MJ Flair until my end of days as a tag team, I’d certainly extend my career by at least five years. At her detriment.

Flyer rubs his temple.

High Flyer: You ever wonder if you made the right decisions in life? I dunno. I’ve been questioning everything. I at least have people that care for me. That’s more than most can say. I know Harold the Herald cares, even if he denies it. I know Evan Ward cares about my condition because I could influence his chance to win the LSD title. And I do know… that MJ Flair very well could worry that I may be an influence that causes her to potentially lose her LSD title…

Harmen stops, sighing. He reaches out and grabs the camera on both sides, holding it close to his face in a medium close up.

High Flyer: I can only promise I do not want any championship. Ever. I’m done with titles. Carrying them through security at the airport? Who wants to do that? But I will say, whether it’s our tag team matchup where I intend to RAWK the CASSSSBAH with you, or at Rumble at the Rock…

Flyer leans his head back and rubs his hand through his hair.

High Flyer: I got your back MJ.

Flyer shrugs.

High Flyer: Unless Harold tells me we’re best friends. I gotta follow my heart! Love you Harold! I’d never call you Harry…

Flyer smiles, winking toward the camera as the camera dollies away. Harmen throws both hands out as it does, lower his head ever slightly to create a perfect crucifix silhouette as the scene fades to black.

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