STEVE HARRISON VS. JATT STARR
Benny Newell: The last time I saw you we saw the mad Russian CHEAT to defeat America…I am looking forward to washing that taste out of my mouth….and immediately.
Joe Hoffman: First Chaos of the new year and it’s like we never even left! Tonight, we’ve got plenty of action as we are set to start our tournament match ups for the HOW World and LSD Tournaments. Conor Fuse will take on Joe Bergman in our main event of the evening in the World Title Tournament in what I imagine will be a tough test for Conor Fuse who went undefeated in singles action the entire year of 2022!
Benny Newell: Well, everyone’s luck runs out eventually and I don’t even fucking like Bergman but he will be another good test against Fuse so we’ll see if he can get the job done.
Joe Hoffman: We’ve also got two LSD tournament matches as one pits Darin Zion against Scott Stevens while the other pits Steve Solex against Bobbinette Carey.
Benny Newell: The last man in wrestling by a million Joe. A BILLION.
Joe Hoffman: No love for Carey or Zion?
Benny Newell: Fuck Zion. In the name of Lee does anything ever change around here?
Joe Hoffman: Anyways, all that will follow……..but to kick us off, we’ve got Steve Harrison taking on Jatt Starr in our opening match and it’s a World title tournament match!
“Take the Money and Run,” By The Steve Miller Man starts to play and the curtain flies open. Steve Harrison walks out with his arms in the air, a smirk across his face. He begins walking towards the rings and begins waving at that crowd who return his waves with boos and indifference. The smirk begins to fade after hearing the response so the Miracle Man begins jawing back at some of the audience and pointing to himself yelling over and over “ME, ME, ME!.”
Bryan McVay: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL! Introducing first, from Fairfax, Virginia, he weighs in at 245 pounds he is…STEEEEEEEEEEVE HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARISON!
Steve walks faster to the ring his smirk now a scowl, he enters the rings and leans against one of the turnbuckles and begins talking to himself, his face becoming red in anger.
Joe Hoffman: 2022 was an up and down year from Harrison who ended the year with a loss to Conor Fuse, but also had a lot of positive results leading up to that match.
Benny Newell: It’s a harricle, I mean miracle I even made it through my sobriety but here I am, Joe.
The lights dim as “Back in Black” by AC/DC begins to blare across the arena. A golden spotlight shines on the curtain as Jatt Starr emerges. The ramp lights up, spotlight after spotlight, and the Rembrandt of Wresting begins to smugly saunter down the ramp. He only acknowledges the more attractive ladies in the audience (ages twenty-eight to thirty-five because he is no creepy old man), kissing hands, signing breasts in permanent marker, and the occasional finger gun with a wink.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Havre, Montana, he weighs in at 220 pounds he is….JATT STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!
Jatt Starr walks up the rings steps sporting his black and red checkered suit. The Ruler of Jattlantis demands the referee open the ropes for him. The Jattlantic City Idol enters the ring and a lone 97Red spotlight shines in the middle of the ring. The Duke of Jattmandu takes a knee and outstretches his arms as if he is bathing in the red glow like Andy Dufresne during a rainstorm after escaping Shawshank. As the red light fades and the lights come back up, the Sultan of SeaJattle removes his checked suit jacket revealing an old school Best Alliance t-shirt which he removes and hands to the referee. The Thane of Starrkarth prepares for action as the music fades out.
Joe Hoffman: 2022 also saw some promising things for Jatt who will be looking at making a bigger difference as we kick off 2023 as he is firmly back in the good graces of Lee.
Benny Newell: All is right in the world Joe.
Joe Hoffman: …anyways folks, only one man can win here tonight to advance in their respective tournament!
DING DING DING!
Hortega has called for the bell and this match is officially underway. Harrison and Starr circle around each other in the center of the ring as both men take a moment to recognize the other before locking up in the squared circle. Jatt doesn’t take long to really set himself aside and his intentions in this match as while locked up with Harrison’s arms, he takes a strong, but hard potshot kick straight to Harrison’s knee that causes Harrison to buckle over in pain and release his test of strength on Jatt. Jatt smirks as he has Harrison down on one knee and ricochets off the ropes and comes back and connects with an enziguiri that levels Harrison straight in the face. Jatt quickly covers Harrison.
But Harrison gets the shoulder up before immediately going and grabbing his knee in pain.
Joe Hoffman: What a dirty move by Jatt there and it’s no wonder Harrison never saw it coming.
Benny Newell: Jatt doing Jatt things, Benny. Jatt knows what’s at stake in this match and I’m willing to bet there isn’t anything Jatt wouldn’t do to get himself one more step closer to a world title match.
Jatt goes back down to Harrison’s level before he starts to target the left knee of Harrison further. Starr begins to deliver several right elbow shots to Harrison’s knee and Harrison seems very defenseless about it as Hortega has to start a count on Jatt’s vicious attack.
Jatt still doesn’t stop as he tries to speed up his precise shots to the knee of Harrison.
CIN—Jatt finally lets up his flurry assault as Hortega starts to push Starr away as Harrison grabs his knee again and he is not looking good at all. Harrison riles in pain as Starr simply shrugs his shoulder wondering what the hell he even did wrong.
Joe Hoffman: I’ve never seen Harrison in this desperate of a state before, Benny. Jatt looks like he has no remorse here in this match.
Benny Newell: Finally showing the mentality he should have had in 2022. So glad to see the real Jatt back in action here.
Back in the ring and Harrison is finally able to get back to his feet, but he is off balance and can barely put any pressure on his left leg as he turns around and is quickly leveled in half by Jatt who connects with a Starrlite Express spear in the corner of the ring. Jatt then rolls out of the ring and pulls Harrison by the legs towards the corner turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: Oh no…don’t do it Jatt! Please no!!
Jatt grabs Harrison’s left leg and pulls on it hard before violently swinging it as it connects with the turnbuckle. Harrison once again grabs his leg in pain as even the crowd gasps as they hear Harrison’s leg bounce off the turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: MY GOD I THINK JATT JUST BROKE HARRISON’S LEG WITHT THAT ATTACK!
Benny Newell: Jatt is looking fierce tonight and clearly he isn’t taking any prisoners tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Harrison in a more desperate state than I have tonight!
Jatt is once again admiring his work as he rolls back into the ring. He measures up Harrison once more before he continues to target the really bad leg of Harrison and connects with not one, not two, but three volley knee drops on Harrison’s defenseless left leg. Starr drags Harrison to the center of the ring as he goes for and LOCKS IN his modified texas cloverleaf submission.
Joe Hoffman: JATTACLYSM LOCKED IN! Harrison is in A LOT of pain here and those ropes are a long ways away!
Benny Newell: That Jattaclysm is locked in hard, too! Jatt is not making anything easy for Harrison here tonight!
Harrison is yelling out in pain as he is absolutely defenseless in the center of the ring. He almost looks like he’s going to pass out from the pain, but before he can do that, he taps out and this match is over.
DING DING DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner….JATT STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!
Starr’s music begins to play but he STILL has the Jattaclysm locked in and hasn’t released it. Hortega pleads with Starr to release the hold but Jatt ignores him for a few moments before FINALLY releasing the hold and celebrates in the center of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt looking diabolical tonight and he seems laser focused to move on and get himself another shot at the HOW World Championship.
Benny Newell: Great win for Jatt, but tonight should remind you that when it comes to HOW gold, there isn’t anything that that man won’t do to get himself another opportunity for glory…..next week….CLAY BYRD GETS HIS!!!
Joe Hoffman: Well that match sure as heck just got more interesting as Jatt Starr will meet the number one seed in the World Title tournament next week after just beating and injuring his stablemate.
Back in the ring Jatt admires his work once more as he looks down at Harrison and smirks before exiting the ring and heading up the ramp as the HOW medics rush down the ring to attend to Harrison who’s leg is obviously seriously injured as Chaos shuffles backstage.
The new HOV comes to life above the entrance ramp as Earlier today flashes across the screen as a video begins to play.
Outside a brick office building against the busy hustle and bustle of the morning traffic of Chicago, we see a familiar person standing by the door. It is none other than the Queen of Epicness looking at the time on her phone. Her hair is pulled back into a bun as she wears a black pants suit blazer set with a pink button up blouse under it. She stands there anxiously as time ticks away.
Bobbinette watches as people walk in the building. Hitting a number into her phone, she calls a contact only for it to be sent to voicemail. Bobbinette starts pacing back and forth now. She sends texts but also receives no response. Time passes and the people she watches enter the building end up leaving. Finally, she sees a person approaching.
Bobbinette Carey: There you are. I was worried something happened.
Her face shows relief seeing the party she was waiting for the two time former World Champion, everyone’s favorite gamer Conor Fuse.
Conor Fuse: Yeah, hi Bob. Sorry I’m running late. I just got out of my holding cell- I mean, yeah, totally got a match tonight too I have to be ready for.
Bobbinette Carey: Stronks alive, you know. You don’t have to keep doing this to yourself.
Conor gives his eyes a roll.
Conor Fuse: Yeah, I’m aware. Guy can’t show up on HOW TV but had the time to do inter-promotional work. Hard LOL
Bobbinette studies his face.
Bobbinette Carey: We, you and I have lost a lot. And I think if we do this together it will help. I’m partly to blame ‘cause you got into this with him, because of me. And like friends do, they face challenges together.
Fuse starts shaking his head but his eyes are looking elsewhere.
Bobbinette Carey: You showed up so at least that shows that you know I’m not totally wrong…
Conor Fuse: Look, Bobbie, it’s all good. I’m kinda over things now. Not our friendship, don’t get me wrong. Just, like, I think I’m sane again. I know you’re Bobbie, not Blaire Moise, lol. Hey, I didn’t murder Steve Harrison… [under breath] but I really wanted to. Tonight, you’re wrestling Steve Solex. I’m fully aware. I have Joe Bergmen, I’m also aware. It’s not like I think he’s Ray McAvay or anything. So… I’m fine. I really don’t think I need counseling right now.
Fuse can tell Bobbie doesn’t look thrilled with his answer. It also looks like she doesn’t believe him.
Bobbinette Carey: I think we both can use it. I tried calling a few different times. Some old dude said you were… detained then said restrained then hung up.
Bobbinette squints her eyes looking him over. Conor puts his hands out.
Conor Fuse: Okay, okay, twist my arm. I’ll go. Maybe this will help me focus MOAR, bahahah.
Bobbinette nods and holds open the door for him to enter. The two walk down a long hallway with doors closed.
Bobbinette Carey: Plus this is my way of trying to be a better friend. And if neither of us murder our opponents then maybe this will actually work.
She says with a positive tone. Conor
Conor Fuse: Yeah no worries.
She sighs as they get to the door seeing a gentleman putting chairs away as they walk in.
Doctor: You’re late. We start on time and end on time. Try again next week.
Bobbinette Carey: But we’re here now. I’m so sorry.
She pleads. The therapist looks less than amused.
Doctor: Then you should have no trouble finding it next week.
The doctor closes the door on Conor and Bobbinette.
Bobbinette Carey: Well… next week it is.
Conor Fuse: Yep. I won’t be late next time. Cross my heart and hope to… well, not die. Yeah no murder and dying anymore.
Bobbinette closes her eyes for a second her entire posture changes and facial demenor change.
Bobbinette Carey: Fuck this let’s go get a drink.
She motions turning to leave.
Conor Fuse: I’m game for a drink of chocolate milk… or maybe even some orange juice. Hell, a mimosa, hold the alcohol, too.
Bobbinette turns around looking at Conor rolling her eyes.
Bobbinette Carey: Fuckin a… fine no alcohol for you. IPA for me.
Conor Fuse: IP…A? I am not familiar. Is that like internet lingo I don’t know???
Bobbinette laughs under her breath as they walk out of the building as the camera fades.
We cut back live inside the Best Arena where we see Blaire Moise and the Demi-God of HOW, Scott Stevens backstage.
Blaire Moise: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time, the Demi-God of HOW……
The Texan doesn’t allow Blaire to finish her introduction as he rips the microphone from her hand and stares daggers into her.
Scott Stevens: Blaire, I suggest you stand there and not say a word before this phony Hall of Fame ring leaves a permanent impression on your face.
Stevens slowly raises his hand and the HOW Hall of Fame ring glistens in the light before he slowly balls it into a fist and the interviewer lowers her head.
Scott Stevens: Not so cheery and bubbly now are you?
Stevens asks before turning towards the camera.
Scott Stevens: I’m going to make this short and sweet.
Stevens says as the camera zooms in.
Scott Stevens: Jace……..see you at March to Glory and Zion…..PREPARE TO CATCH THIS ASS WHOOPIN’!!!
Scott shouts as he slams the microphone on the ground before exiting the frame as we cut to commercial.
DARIN ZION VS. SCOTT STEVENS
Back live from commercial and we immediately cut to the ring where it is time for our next match of the evening…
Bryan McVay: The following contest is a first round match in the LSD Championship Contenders Tournament….
The lights in the arena go black as a synthesized hymn begins to play as the High Octane Vision comes to life as an angelic voice begins to sing.
“Born from pain, inside my veins.
Bred for war, begging for more.
None shall mourn, I am reborn.
Live in sin. The House always wins.”
The hymn continues as the screen begins to show the Best Arena transformed into a style of a church and the screen slowly flashes the words…..
Lee Best’s infamous blood shot eyes hover above the top. The lights in the arena begin to come on in a shade of 97 Red as smoke and fog begin to fill the stage area as well. The sound of glass breaking is heard as the screen shows a crack over the mural of the Best Arena and Lee Best’s eyes as “O Fortuna Excalibur Remix” by Apotheosis begins. Lights above the ring shine, The stage flashes with alternating red and white lights as Scott Stevens makes his way out onto the stage.
Bryan McVay: Introducing! From The Great State of Texas and representing the HOUSE OF BEST!….he is the “Demi-God of HOW!” SCOTT! STEEEEEEEVEEEEEEEENS!
Stevens’ pulls off his #97Red circular glasses. But this time–it’s personal. There’s no devilish grin, no hype drinking, no Book of Best–all business. Stevens balls up his fists, reeling from the memories of PWA fresh in his brain. As fans reach out from the barricade to touch him–Stevens avoids them–rushing straight toward the ring.
Joe Hoffman: It’s rare when Scott Stevens drops the pomp and circumstance. He’s someone who lives out his gimmick. But this LSD Championship tournament became personal for him at PWA:01. Just a courtesy heads up to everyone watching live on HOTv……per the terms of Benny’s new deal…he refuses to call any Darin Zion match….so I am back to solo work for this match…..so with that out of the way…. Let’s take a look at the clips from PWA:01.
We cut to a scene where the new HOTV Tag Team Champions The Alabama Gang nail their Double Alabama Slam, laying The House of Best Disciple out. While Hortega makes the count; we watch JPD abandoning Stevens. The scene cuts to the post-match actions. As Stevens gets back to his feet; the King of Everything makes his move. The LSD Championship gets smashed against Stevens’ head. Jace rushes and nails the BEND THE KNEE as the crowd erupts in a chorus of boos.
We cut back from the replay to watch Scott Stevens’ reaction. His fists are pressed firmly against his waist. A vein starts popping out of his forehead. In fact, Scott Stevens’ face has turned a beautiful shade of #97Red.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens sliding in the ring with a fire in his belly. He’s thrown off his Cross of Best and his eyes are focused on the entrance ramp. Let’s face it–while tonight’s Darin Zion’s big return to HOW–it’s going to be a rough night. While this intense 8 year rivalry between Zion and Stevens is personal–Stevens’ is eyeing revenge against JPD. And this Demi-God of HOW is gonna unleash hell for Darin Zion.
Stevens rushes Bryan McVay and the timekeeper along to get the match started before a familiar song plays over the loudspeakers.
The opening chords of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” hit over the PA system. On the HOV, a giant heart appears to beat to the song.
♫ You should have seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin’ missin’ ♫
Emerging from the locker room is REAL LOVE Darin Zion, only coming out sporting his tights. REAL LOVE’s got a serious look on his face as he storms down to the ring. His eyes continue to lock onto Scott Stevens.
♫ And I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you
‘Cause it’s the only thing I want to do
I don’t want to sleep, I just want to keep on lovin’ you♫
Bryan McVay: Introducing first…..FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL LOOOOOOOOOVE DAAAAAAAAARIN ZIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOON!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Zion’s been on a 2 match winning streak since October 2022–the last match before his HOW departure. Zion’s lit a fire under his tail; picking up wins over HOW’s Brian Hollywood and PRIME’S Rocky De Leon. REAL LOVE understands what’s at stake here for his career. One loss could derail the chance at earning some hardware to build the credibility back to his career.
Zion rushes up the ring steps, stopping to extend his arms towards his cheering fans. He pounds his chest, amping up for this match. As he approaches Stevens, both men glare at each other. They’re both up in each other’s faces.
Joe Hoffman: You can tell this encounter means a lot to both Stevens and Zion. It doesn’t help that HOW officials booked this match up–a blood rivalry between these men since Darin Zion joined HOW in 2014. While both men are good friends–their rivalry has brewed for years in the background. While Zion hasn’t lost a singles encounter against Stevens in HOW; you can’t discount what Stevens has accomplished. He’s a Hall of Famer, a former 3 time champion, and has all the momentum in the world behind him. He’s on a warpath to get his hands on his recent former HOW Tag Team Partner, the LSD Champion. And Zion’s in the way of him accomplishing that.
Stevens pivots, approaching Matt Boettcher. Pointing to his wrist, The Demigod argues this match needs to start now. Stevens is visibly shaking in intensity, trying to get things started.
Joe Hoffman: Scott Stevens needs to stop and…
BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!
Darin Zion: Shut the fuck up, Stevens! Fight me!
Not wanting to wait around, Darin Zion unleashes a fury of chops onto Stevens. The San Diego native tosses Stevens straight into the steel ropes. REAL LOVE scoops his opponent up and nails a stiff looking powerslam on his rival. Boettcher shrugs his shoulders and motions to the timekeeper to ring the bell.
DING! DING! DING! DING!
Zion immediately stomps a hole straight into Scott Stevens’ chest. Unwilling to become a human punching bag, The Demi-God of HOW rolls out of the ring to regain his composure. Boettcher tries to create space between rivals Zion and Stevens–but Darin won’t have it.
Rushing towards the ropes, Zion quickly gains momentum. Darin leaps straight into the air, going for a suicide dive. But no one is home!
Joe Hoffman: Brilliant move by Scott Stevens! The 45 year old Texan moves out of the way, allowing Air Zion to crash and burn. The Demi-God quickly capitalizing on his rival’s mistake.
Stevens drops knee after knee into REAL LOVE’s chest for a few moments. Stevens pulls Zion’s body off the mat. Setting him up into DDT position, Scott hopes to drop Zion head first to the ground. Unfortunately for him, Zion charges towards the stairs, sending Stevens back first into them. Darin backs up, looking to nail a running knee. But instead, REAL LOVE collides leg first into the steel as Stevens rolls out of the way.
Scott Stevens quickly grabs Zion, finally planting his head on the metal stairs with a snap DDT. Stevens rolls Zion out of the way before pushing the steel steps away from the turnbuckle. Stevens grabs Zion before smashing Darin’s head a few times against the turnbuckle. Boettcher’s count becomes more audible to Stevens as he reaches six…
Scott rolls back into the ring, motioning to Boettcher to speed up the count. Zion’s struggling back to his feet. He’s crawling towards the turnbuckle, dazed and confused.
Joe Hoffman: WOW!!! Zion’s barely saved his conquest for gold here, folks. WHEW! All those REAL LOVE fans can breathe a sigh of…
Joe Hoffman: Nevermind!
Stevens stomps a hole straight into Zion’s head like a madman possessed. Intensifying the strikes, The Demigod drops his knee brace hard into Zion’s skull hoping to knock out the hopeful Darin. With a fire in his eyes, Stevens rushes towards Zion, wraps him up, and clenches in the rear naked choke hold. As Scott sinches the hold in, Darin flails around less and less. Boettcher lifts Zion’s hand in the air.
That’s one! Zion’s face is turning a pale shade of blue. Scott Stevens constricts his airways more.
Boettcher releases Zion’s hand, as it falls down on the canvas. One more and it’s lights out for REAL LOVE’S cinderella story. Stevens screams out a primal urge looking to finish it off here. Boettcher goes down.
Joe Hoffman: Boettcher’s calling for Stevens to release the hold. Zion’s foot just plopped straight on top of the bottom rope before his hand fell. While Stevens should release the hold, the wiley ring psychologist knows how to starve off Zion’s will to fight. Scott’s holding in that lock for as long as he can.
Boettcher slowly gets back to his feet, giving Stevens an extra few moments to hold the lock in on Zion’s neck. Matt starts tapping Scott on the shoulder, screaming at him to release the hold. Finally, Boettcher’s had enough of this and starts the count.
The ruthless leader of the House of Best throws his arms in the air in compliance. For a brief moment, Scott gets back to his feet, cackling and taunting at the lifeless Zion. The crowd is into this exchange from both men and erupts as Stevens continues to gloat. After a few moments, Scott scoops Zion off the mat. The Texas Native is looking for a Belly to Belly Suplex. But before Stevens can finish the move–Zion reverses momentum. Regaining his barings, Zion nails the same Belly to Belly Suplex Stevens planned on using against him.
Joe Hoffman: WHOA! Normally, Zion would unleash a series of suplexes, but the effects of Stevens’ brutal attacks slowed him down. Darin collapsed after trying to kip back up. However, Scott’s back up, ready to fight some more. And that sick man’s not waiting.
After kipping up, Stevens rushes towards Zion with a stiff, strong style kick to his forehead. Stevens rushes to make a cover.
Stevens’ fists pound against the mat. The Demigod picks up Zion and hurls him into the corner. Scott Stevens charges towards Zion, readying to hit him with a Stinger Splash.
Joe Hoffman: Will Stevens connect with the Toxic Splash?! Will he?! Will he?!
NO! Zion rolls underneath the attempt and launches one of his own. As Stevens collides with the turnbuckle–Zion wraps his arms around the Texans waist. Nailing a series of three German Suplexes–on the last one–Zion drops Stevens on his neck. Intensity burns on Zion’s eyes as he’s now got control of offense. Scott tries to get back to his feet, but Zion nails an ugly looking clothesline to the back of Stevens’ neck. Scott attempts to regain his momentum, but Zion hits a nasty looking Buzzsaw kick, cleaning Scott’s clocks.
Boettcher pushes Zion out of the way to check on Stevens. However, the brash 36 year old man pushes Boettcher away and scoops Stevens off the mat.
Joe Hoffman: T-Bone Suplex by Zion to Stevens. OOF! That’s gotta hurt! The crowd can feel it.
While Stevens attempts once again to get back up, Zion rushes towards Stevens, nailing the stiffest enziguri you’ve seen from Zion. Darin hooks Stevens’ leg.
Joe Hoffman: That’s not enough to put Stevens away. Anyone knows Stevens is one heck of a fighter in HOW. You cannot end it off that.
The resilient Zion continues his offense, not waiting for clearance. Zion wraps the Anaconda Vice around Stevens’ injured neck. Pulling back for extra power; Zion’s choking Stevens for extra measure. However, Boettcher jumps in and starts a quick count.
Darin releases the hold and argues with Matt about his officiating. The vile Texan and House of Best preacher crawls towards the ropes. However, Zion’s keen ear picks it up and snaps his neck around. Unfortunately for Darin–he fell right into Stevens’ trap.
A superman punch straight to Zion’s jaw! Scott Stevens scoops Zion up on his shoulders. Launching him straight into the air; Stevens nails a sick looking Death Valley Driver.
Joe Hoffman: Houston! We have a problem! Stevens dropped Zion neck first on that historically damaged neck. It’s all she wrote for this story. Stevens got the leg!
Joe Hoffman: 2.9 from Darin Zion. You can tell his heart is racing right now. Stevens grabs his hair and starts pulling. This is getting to him.
The crowd amps up the excitement as both men feed off their energy. Both Zion and Stevens get to their feet and exchange very loud knife edge chops. As the crowd woo’s along with them–Zion gains the advantage. The San Diegian chucks Stevens into the ropes. WHAM! Zion’s roundhouse kick takes Stevens off his feet. Darin amps up as the dazed Stevens slowly gets up. Zion unleashes another kick.
Darin Zion: HONK!
Darin keeps nailing a series of kick after kick after kick to Stevens’ chest. Scott’s chest looks like a bright red tomato. All the while, the crowd chants as each kick connects.
Crowd: HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK!
Joe Hoffman: SIX! SEVEN! EIGHT! When will this Zion madness STAAAAAWP?!
Zion hits the ninth kick with some extra power. However before Zion can finish his tenth one…Stevens grabs Zion’s leg. Darin tries to fight off Stevens, but Scott sweeps him off his feet. Nailing a couple of knees to the back of Darin’s head, Stevens locks in a patented Texas Cloverleaf on Zion, pulling him into the center of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Zion’s got nowhere to go this time. He’s trapped!
The crowd pulls for Zion while he crawls towards the ropes looking for reprieve. Unfortunately before he can grab the bottom rope again, Stevens yanks Zion back to the center, putting all his weight into the hold. The crowd begin to clap as Zion struggles.
Stevens tells them to shut up. Weighing Zion down with his 256 pounds of muscle more, Darin lets out a huge scream. REAL LOVE’S legs are burning. Scott’s looking to finish this. As Boettcher crawls down to check on Zion…
BOOM! WHACK! SLAAAAAAAAAAM!
Joe Hoffman: Zion flings Stevens off him, sending him straight into the ropes. After a picture perfect kick to Stevens gut, REAL LOVE nailed the Alabama Slam. Darin’s got Stevens covered….
No! Both men collapse to the mat with exhaustion. As they struggle back to their feet, both exchange punches back and forth to the crowd’s delight. However, it’s Stevens who gains the advantage this time with his patented Debbie Does Dallas version of the European Uppercut. Stevens nails a snap suplex on Zion. Rolling around, he continues his onslaught of snap suplexes. Stevens whips Darin Zion straight into the ropes, hitting a devastating Spine Buster to REAL LOVE. Stevens falls on top of Zion.
Darin kicks out again, to Stevens’ chagrin. Scott regains his composure. He pulls Zion off the mat and attempts the Scorpion Death Drop for good measure…but it’s no good. Zion hoists the Texan off his feet, nailing a sick back suplex for good measure. Zion hits the ropes, spinning around for his newly crafted LOVE Hammer (previously the Ban Hammer), but…
Joe Hoffman: Scott Stevens’ Remembers the Alamo! Huge Superkick to change the momentum to put his rival away. This is it!
Stevens comes unglued, motioning for the Toxic Sting. He grabs Zion by the neck, readying to put him away. The crowd gets to their feet. This is it! Stevens runs to put all his force into this one, sealing the deal…
However, the lights begin to dim in the arena. The HOV queues up as a large skull appears to the crowd. Avenged Sevenfold’s music blares over the speakers.
“HAAAAAAAAAAAIL TO THE KIIIIIIIIING!!!!”
Joe Hoffman: What the heck?! Jace Parker Davidson’s coming out here?!
Stevens’ face turns bright red as he releases Zion’s neck and REAL LOVE drops towards the ground. The music keeps playing while Stevens’ head scans the arena, the crowd, the announcers table. EVERY WHERE POSSIBLE. Stevens’ heart is beating intensely, ready to take down his rival. His sights are targeting the man who embarrassed him at PWA-01. Stevens taunts the air, hoping to find Jace before Jace finds him.
However, Zion gets back to his feet, noticing the distracted Stevens. The vein pulses out of his forehead. REAL LOVE readies himself. As Stevens backs into Zion, Darin seizes the opportunity.
Joe Hoffman: That’s the sickest looking Headlock Slam I’ve ever seen from any wrestler. That’s Zion’s trademark Tough Love Signature move. He planted Scott Stevens’ skull first into the mat with authority. Boettcher’s counting the cover.
DING DING DING DING!
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner in 18 minutes via pinfall…and moving into the second round of the LSD Championship Contenders Tournament….DAAAAAAAAAAARIN ZIIIIIIIION!
REAL LOVE cannot believe he’s done it! He drops to his knees and a look of disbelief forms over his face.
Joe Hoffman: That’s 3 and 0 for Zion now as he’s…
The celebration turns dark. The angry Scott Stevens wastes no time in nailing Darin Zion straight in the crouch after REAL LOVE jumps on the turnbuckle to celebrate. The arena erupts in boos after Stevens plays the spoilsport to the end of this contest. Stevens scrapes Zion off the mat and nails the Toxic Sting. But it’s not over.
Joe Hoffman: Stop it Stevens! Stop it! You’re ruining some REAL LOVE Zion’s showing to this crowd.
Stevens grabs his forehead before sliding out of the ring. Scott grabs the chair from the time keepers area. He runs back into the ring, nailing blow after blow to Zion’s head until he busts it open and blood goes everywhere.
Joe Hoffman: Come on, Stevens. I understand you thought this tournament was your way to get back at JPD. But this….this is too much!
Stevens’ eyes widen and a twisted smile forms on his face. He places the chair on the ground. Picking up REAL LOVE’s lifeless, bloodied body–Stevens motion the slit throat taunt.
Scott Stevens: If I can’t have Jace Parker Davidson—neither can you. Tonight I pass on GOD’S JUDGMENT onto you–SINNER.
The Demigod hoists Zion up with REAL LOVE’s head towards the ground. Stevens closes his eyes and…
Joe Hoffman: GAME CHANGER HEAD FIRST TO THE STEEL CHAIR BY STEVENS!
The camera zooms in to see Zion’s body involuntarily twitching from the blow.
Joe Hoffman: Big time concern right now for Zion…..I have no idea how he is going to be able to recover in time to take on the number one seed next week in Xander Azula.
Stevens drops to his knees as HOW officials rush towards the ring to check on Zion. Stevens wipes his hands over Zion’s bloodied head. The Sadistic Demigod wipes Zion’s blood on his chest as a sign of victory. Stevens drops to his knees and prays over his sacrifice as HOW officials rush the ring. Scott lets out a sinister laugh as the scene fades out.
Post match and we head backstage inside the small makeshift room which has been made directly underneath the Best Arena to hold Aceldama. Inside the small room there is nothing but a bed and a small workout area. Aceldama is sitting on the end of the bed, lifting a large weight with his right hand. Above him the single lightbulb begins to flicker and then shake as the show goes on upstairs and every foot stomp and cheer from the fans can be heard. Aceldama sets the weight onto the floor and stares upwards and lets out a smile
Aceldama- I missed that sound.
Suddenly there is a siren in the room and a red beacon begins to flash. The lift at the other end of the room begins to operate and two guards slide open the lift door and step out. They are both holding tasers as Aceldama catches them entering the room.
Guard- You know the drill by now, hands behind the back, workout is over.
Aceldama obliges and begins to move his hands behind his back as the two guards slowly approach. One of the guards walks towards Aceldama and picks up the weight whilst the other keeps watch.
Guard- Funny, isn’t there normally two weights?
Without hesitation Aceldama takes his hands from behind his back and leans over and from underneath the bed grabs the second concealed weight and picks it up and smashes the guard across the face, breaking his mask. The guard falls to the ground unconscious. The second guard upon seeing this immediately tries to run to the lift, where an alarm switch can be seen. Aceldama pounces and grabs the guards legs from under him and he falls to the floor, his taser releasing from his hand. He tries to grab it but Aceldama steps on his hand, then leans down and picks up the taser, beginning to prod the guard in the back with it as he convulses and screams in agony. He finally passes out and Aceldama, crouching over him, throws the taser across the room and proceeds to the lift. He presses the button, but there is a loud female voice that blasts through the speakers in the room
“FINGERPRINT DETECTION REQUIRED”
Not perplexed by this Aceldama proceeds to turn around and bends over and picks up the guard on the floor and proceeds to pick him up over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry, lifting him towards a small panel. He props him against the wall and takes the guards right hand and presses it against the panel. An unlocking sound can be heard and Aceldama presses the lift button again. Movement can be heard as it seems the lift is beginning to ascend back down into the small room. It stops and Aceldama begins to slide the door open. Suddenly he feels the full impact of what seems to be a steel bar across his skull. Dazed and confused he falls to his knees as from the lift a further two guards move out, one holding the steel bar and the other holding a taser. The guard with the taser pushes it against the back of Aceldama and presses it down until there is literally sparks coming from it. Aceldama doesn’t go down. Instead he tries to get back up but the other guard uses the bar against the back of his legs then another across the face. Aceldama slumps to the ground, spitting up blood, then proceeds to pass out. At this time, another figure makes their way from the lift. It is Lee Best, holding an A4 folder in his hands. He walks over to Aceldama’s prone body and on one knee kneels down in front of him, leaning his body towards him
Lee Best- Made it to the lift this time, impressive. Let’s get one fucking thing clear here, I have not spent all my time, money and effort to keep you here if you think you can simply just walk out the door, your gravely mistaken. You done quite the number on my guards, it would seem you are ready for your first assignment. You are here to do my command, it is time to unleash the one thing everyone knows I love more than anything else….Chaos. It is about time to show those upstairs why I travelled across the world to get you, to bring you back. Next week, you got your first match, here’s a little bit of homework for you. You better be prepared, but hell, if you do half the damage you did to those guards to those upstairs, the roster will stand up and take notice.
Lee throws the file in front of Aceldama’s face and then proceeds to grab Aceldama’s face. Removing his protective mask he scowls closer to him, spitting in his face
Lee Best- I…..FUCKING……OWN…..YOU!!
Lee puts his protective mask back on over his face and stands up and makes his way to the lift. Aceldama begins to awaken, his eyes dazed, his mouth dripping in blood. He spits out the blood and gazes up at Lee, trying to utter words
Lee turns around looking down at Aceldama on the floor
Lee Best- The dog barks! Disobedient little dog. You seem to forget who your owner is now. I think you may need a permanent reminder. Guards get in here and hold this piece of shit down!
A mass of four more guards make their way out of the lift and two proceed to hold Aceldama down, one holding his right arm outwards and the other two kneeling on his back. The final guard comes out with what looks like a cattle prod. The end of the prod is glowing orange and the guard takes this end and proceeds to press it against the right inner forearm of Aceldama who becomes increasingly agitated and enraged and begins to try and pry the guards from him. Smoke pillows from the prod as it presses against the skin and as the guard pulls the prod away and pieces of raw burning flesh stick to it. The camera zooms into his arm as in black, chard skin the words ‘PROPERTY OF LEE BEST’ is engraved permanently. Lee Best takes his exit towards the lift, flanked by the other guards, two of which are having to be dragged towards the lift. The room empties again, leaving only Aceldama on the floor clutching his right arm. He looks towards the file on the floor, and with his left hand picks it up. He looks at the file, which seems to contain multiple pieces of paper inside. There is a name on the file. He drops the file to his side and simply sits on the floor, laughing away….
The camera pans over to the file, we see the writing-
OPERATION CHAOS: TARGET ONE
The scene fades as we cut to our next commercial break.
Back from commercial and straight to the backstage area where Blaire Moise is with Joe Bergman.
Blaire Moise: Joe, tonight you face Conor Fuse in the World Title #1 contender’s tournament.
Joe Bergman: That’s right Blaire. Tonight’s going to be a tough one. Conor Fuse is a two-time world champion and he’s been involved in some very heavy-duty matches here in HOW over the past couple of years. Conor Fuse is a legit HOW superstar.
Blaire Moise: High praise.
Joe Bergman: Blaire, I believe Conor Fuse is a HOW Hall of Famer in training. Add it all up and I am in for a tough match tonight.
Blaire Moise: Coming off ICONIC, can you put what happened behind you and focus on Fuse tonight?
Joe Bergman: Blaire, I may not have the talent that Conor Fuse has. But like Conor, I have heart. I have determination. Win or lose… no matter what happens… I promise you and I promise the fans this… Conor Fuse will get Joe Bergman’s best effort… Conor Fuse will find out just how much determination Joe Bergman has… and Conor Fuse will know just how much heart Joe Bergman has.
Blaire Moise: Joe, you and Steve Solex weren’t able to regain the HOTv Tag title from Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens at ICONIC but MVW’s Alabama Gang shocked the wrestling world at the PWA show and won the title. Thoughts?
Joe Bergman: Oh, I’m very happy about what the Alabama Gang did. I wish we would have won the belts at ICONIC but it helps when you have two guys who actually are on the same page like R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry were at the PWA show. It just goes to show that when that bell rings and the match begins, you can’t just expect to win. You have to earn it. JPD and Stevens’s arrogance and their total disregard for the Alabama Gang cost them the title.
Blaire Moise: Joe, getting back to ICONIC… your night didn’t go the way you wanted it to…
Joe Bergman: Understatement.
Blaire Moise: …and Jatt Starr was a big part of it.
Joe Bergman: Unfortunately, Simon Sparrow did. Simon’s latest Joe Isuzu-ish comments aren’t worth responding to. I will do my talking with Simon in the ring when the time comes.
Blaire Moise: As was Steve Solex. I believe Solex said this week that you shouldn’t have trusted him.
Joe Bergman: He’s not wrong. But Steve’s not worth my time anymore. I have bigger things to do and that’s trying to advance in the World Title #1 contender’s match tonight. That’s my focus. And we’ll see if I can get past Conor Fuse to the finals.
Blaire Moise: All right, thank you as always Joe.
Joe Bergman: Thank you Blaire.
Blaire Moise: Let’s send it back to Joe and Benny.
STEVE SOLEX VS. BOBBINETTE CAREY
Joe Hoffman: Thank you, Blaire…..and welcome back Benny.
Benny Newell: First off I just want to thank Lee for allowing me to take specifically timed breaks during the broadcasts as I ease my way back into this….and secondly Joe, Joe Bergman was a complete idiot for ever trusting Steve Solex. You can’t take The Merc Dad out of him. He’s not a Highwayman. He’s a natural-born killer and tonight he’s going to destroy Bobbinette Carey as The Last Man in Wrestling should.
Joe Hoffman: All right time for talking is over. We’ve got the LSD Title tournament match next. Steve Solex against Bobbinette Carey. Let’s go to Bryan McVay in the ring.
Cut to McVay.
Bryan McVay: Our next match will be one fall. Introducing first…
Arena lights go black as “ENEMY (ARCANE)” by Anna blasts throughout the building.
“Tell you you’re the greatest
but once you turn they hate us!”
A magenta spotlight shines on the entrance ramp as the Queen of Epicness herself is already standing there waiting for the light. Bobbinette Carey makes her way down the ramp. Wearing a Miss America-style crown. She stands at the top of the ramp in her pink and black leopard gear.
Bryan McVay: From Parma Heights, Ohio, weighing in tonight at 235 lbs. She is a HOW Hall of Famer. Please welcome The Queen of Epicness BOBBINETTE! CAREY!
“Oh, the misery everybody wants to be my enemy!”
The HOV plays a black-and-white video package. (We see the clip of her smashing a photo over Mario Maurako; another clip of her hitting Mario with the defib pads, then the most striking image of Bobbinette standing over Scottywood and slapping him.
Joe Hoffman: 2022 wasn’t very kind to Bobbinette Carey. Tonight, she looks to start 2023 with a win over Steve Solex.
Benny Newell: Pffffft. That’s not happening, Joe.
Carey steps up the ring steps and wipes her feet on the apron before getting in the center of the ring.
“Spare the sympathy, everybody wants to be my enemy, but I’m ready”
She stands in the center as magenta-pink and mauve pyrotechnics explode from the turnbuckle as she does a ballerina-style exaggerated curtsy.
Bryan McVay: And her opponent…
Just then, the beginning of “This Means War” by Avenged Sevenfold thumps from the sound system. The crowd explodes into a fury of boos and hisses.
Joe Hoffman: And here comes Steve Solex.
Benny Newell: That’s war hero, Merc Dad, and great American, Steve Solex to you.
A montage of Steve Solex plays on the HOV, flashing on and off in rhythm with the music. As the music stalls, the HOV goes black and the lights throughout the arena go dark.
Wait for it.
A bomb-like explosion blasts at the top of the entryway sending a plume of smoke up and in front of the HOV in the shape of a mushroom cloud as the music returns in a wall of sound.
Steve Solex makes his way out from behind the curtain.
Bryan McVay: Weighing in at 252 pounds and standing six-feet, three inches tall! He is from Huntington Beach, California! THIS IS STEEEEEEEEEEEVEEEEEE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLEXXXXX!
The montage continues to play on the HOV as Solex stops atop the entrance ramp and pounds his chest twice with a white-knuckled fist before throwing his hands high up into the air. Solex soaks in the boos from the crowd.
“Hide my face again, harbor in the shadows.
Feel this weight of sin hammering away.”
Solex starts his march toward the ring. No glitz. No high-fives. Just a fast-paced march and the look of a cold-blooded killer.
“Die, with the guilt of a thousand AWOL soldiers
Die, watch the scythe usher me astray.”
He slides in under the bottom rope and glares at Carey.
“I can’t go on this way
Not as I am today
The ugly side of me is strong…”
A few words are exchanged before Solex retreats to his corner and rests back on the turnbuckle.
“Take aim, a loaded gun.
Pull back on all who run.
A coward’s truth inside the wrong.”
Joe Hoffman: Big match for both Carey and Solex tonight. The winner moves on in the LSD #1 contender’s match tournament for a possible match against whomever the LSD champion is…
Benny Newell: Jace Parker Davidson.
Joe Hoffman: …at March to Glory.
“This means war
This means war
This means war…”
Joe Hoffman: Joel Hortega will be the referee for our match.
Sneering at his opponent, Solex lobs over a few more verbal grenades toward Carey that she chooses to ignore.
Referee Joel Hortega is in the ring doing the usual pre-match routine. He checks both Solex and Carey for foreign objects and the like.
Joe Hoffman: Both men are in the ring and we are about ready to go. Joel Hortega is our referee and he is just about ready to call for the bell.
Satisfied, Hortega motions the timekeeper to ring the bell.
Joe Hoffman: And this match is underway.
Solex rushes forward at the bell. Carey just barely side-steps him.
Joe Hoffman: Solex aggressive right from the bell.
Benny Newell: I’ll say it again. Steve Solex is going to destroy Bobbinette Carey tonight.
The two circle. Solex again aggressively rushes in. Carey plays defense and makes him chase.
Benny Newell: See? Carey’s afraid of him.
Quick lock up – Solex takes a headlock – Carey slips out. Carey gets back up and Solex plants her with a belly-to-belly suplex – Solex fires off right and left hands that connect. Spinebuster sends Carey hard to the mat. Solex hooks the leg.
DOS! – Carey kicks out.
Solex yanks Carey to her feet – headlock by Solex and squeezes as hard as he can.
Joe Hoffman: Solex is trying to grind Carey down.
He then spins around.
Joe Hoffman: Oooh. Neckbreaker by Solex.
Benny Newell: The Merc Dad is in great form. This will be a cakewalk.
Solex is on top wrenching Carey’s arm. He transitions to a hammerlock while throwing hard forearms into Carey’s back. Again, Solex forces Carey back to her feet. Front facelock into a headlock.
Headlock takeover from Solex and again he is back on top.
Joe Hoffman: Solex has Carey grounded and he’s pressing his forearm into her throat.
Benny Newell: YEAH!
Hortega yells at Solex about the near choke. Carey tries to fight her way out. Solex headbutts her and presses the forearm on her throat again. Carey tries to throw a couple body shots to get Solex’s attention. Then she realizes how close to the ropes she is and latches on to the bottom one.
Joe Hoffman: Hortega calls for a break.
But Solex does not give way.
Solex finally releases her and takes a few steps back with his arms raised. Hortega has a few words for him.
Joe Hoffman: Hortega letting Solex know he needs to break when he calls for a break.
Benny Newell: Smart strategy by Solex. Get away with as much as you can without crossing the line.
Solex launches Carey through the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Tough landing on the floor. That’s going to hurt.
Solex rolls from the ring – takes her by the head – runs towards the barricade – hops over the barricade – and drops Carey neck-first across the steel top.
Joe Hoffman: Steve Solex just dropped Bobbinette Carey throat-first across that steel guardrail!
Benny Newell: That’s my Merc Dad!
Joe Hoffman: Was that really necessary though?
Solex slams her headfirst into the guardrail.
Benny Newell: I’d say, yes. Whatever it takes to win.
Solex then snatches an empty beer bottle he finds on the floor and smashes it over her head.
Joe Hoffman: CAREY’S BUSTED OPEN!
Blood streams down Carey’s face. Solex takes her by the head and heaves her over the barricade into the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: Solex is manhandling the Queen of Epicness right now.
Benny Newell: WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN!
Solex rolls back into the ring as Hortega starts a count on Carey.
Joe Hoffman: Well, this is definitely a return to Steve Solex circa 2020-2021.
Benny Newell: Once he got rid of the dead weight…
Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman, I presume.
Benny Newell: …right… once he kicked Bergman to the curb he’s back 100% into being the Merc Dad again!
Joe Hoffman: Carey still trying to get herself off the floor.
Carey pulls herself up at the barricade and climbs back over.
Carey hops back over the barricade. Then she stops.
Then she stares at Solex.
Joe Hoffman: Oh oh.
She has a sadistic grin on her face.
Benny Newell: What! Is it shark week again?
Carey bends down and begins to dig under the ring.
Benny Newell: She should ask Scott Stevens if he has a spare tampon.
Joe Hoffman: Benny, at Chaos 18 Bobbinette Carey did the same thing.
Benny Newell: The same what?
Joe Hoffman: She either began channeling her inner Scottywood or she became possessed by Scottywood’s spirit.
Benny bursts out laughing.
Benny Newell: Possessed by ‘Scottywood’s spirit’? Scooter? What kind of mumbo jumbo bullshit is-
Carey first pulls out a random IPA then cracks it open and begins chugging it as the crowd reacts.
Benny Newell: …that?
Carey finishes the beer and tosses it aside. Then she reaches under the ring again and pulls out a barbed wire-wrapped Hockey stick.
The crowd rises to their feet.
Benny Newell: Oh shit.
It gets Solex’s attention, too.
Joe Hoffman: Steve Solex has no idea what’s going on with Bobbinette Carey.
Benny Newell: I’m sure he knows all about that barb-wired Hockey stick! Be careful Merc Dad!
Carey raises the Hockey stick into the air and then rolls back into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: She JUST beats Hortega’s count.
Benny Newell: Count faster!
Solex charges forward- Carey moves out of the way- Solex ends up hung up in the middle rope. Solex gets untangled from the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Shot to the midsection with the barbed-wire-wrapped hockey stick!
Benny Newell: NOOOOOOOO!
Solex doubles over in pain.
Joe Hoffman: Another one!
This one drives Solex to his knees.
Benny Newell: STOP HER!
Carey cracks Solex across the back with the hockey stick.
Benny Newell: GET OUT OF THERE!
Joe Hoffman: Solex is driven down to the canvas howling in pain.
Carey rolls Solex over.
Benny Newell: KICK OUT!
Joe Hoffman: SOLEX KICKS OUT!
Carey mounts herself on top of Solex and rakes Solex’s head with the hockey stick.
Joe Hoffman: Oh, now he’s busted open, too.
Benny Newell: SOMEONE STOP HER!
Solex fights back and uses his strength to lift Carey and toss her to the side. Then he tries to wipe the blood away from his eyes.
Joe Hoffman: Solex is having trouble seeing from that cut.
Benny Newell: Why hasn’t Carey been disqualified?
Joe Hoffman: Because she’s doing whatever it takes to win?
Benny Newell: I hate you.
Carey tosses the Hockey stick to a corner of the ring and unleashes forearm shots to the chest and face of her taller opponent.
Benny Newell: I’m sure those blows are illegal.
Joe Hoffman: No, they’re not.
Solex absorbs most of the shots but backs up toward the corner as Carey continues her relentless attack. She lands forearm shot after forearm shot. Carey lowers her shoulder and begins to ram Solex’s midsection over and over again.
Joe Hoffman: Carey’s trying to knock the wind out of her opponent.
Hortega starts a five-count on Carey to bring the action out of the corner. Carey grabs Solex’s arm and whips him – no, reversal by Solex and it’s Carey who rams the turnbuckle hard.
Joe Hoffman: Solex turns the tables on Bobbinette.
She slides down to the mat in a seated position.
Benny Newell: He’s taken Carey’s best shots and now it’s time for the Merc Dad to take control!
Solex stalks around as Carey tries to get up to her feet. He goes to the ropes and starts yelling at the crowd. When he turns around, Carey reaches out and grabs a hold of him by the throat.
Benny Newell: Wait a minute… is she actually going for a Scottyslam?!
Joe Hoffman: Yes, she is.
Carey does indeed try to lift Solex for the chokeslam.
Benny Newell: Are you fucking kidding me, here?
Solex breaks her grip and pushes her back. Bobbinette throws a right hand – Solex dodges – he takes Carey down with a side Russian leg sweep.
Joe Hoffman: Solex takes Carey down again.
Benny Newell: STAY ON TOP OF HER MERC DAD!
Joe Hoffman: GUILLOTINE CHOKE BY CAREY!
Benny Newell: Never mind. GET AWAY! GET AWAY FROM HER!
Bobbinette manages to lock in a guillotine choke on Solex and the crowd comes to their feet.
Joe Hoffman: Carey’s got her legs wrapped around Solex and she’s trying to choke the life out of him.
Benny Newell: Where’s the five count?
Hortega checks on Solex and asks him if he wants to submit.
Benny Newell: Are you fucking kidding me?
Solex screams no and tries to shove Carey off him.
Joe Hoffman: Solex is trying to escape but Bobbinette has that guillotine choke locked in tight.
She continues to crank on the hold and Solex begins to fade.
Benny Newell: No! Come on Merc Dad!
He drops down to one knee.
Joe Hoffman: Solex could be in big trouble here.
Hortega again asks him if he wants to quit.
Steve Solex: FUCK NO!
With a mighty scream, Solex pushes himself upwards…
Benny Newell: YES!
…and gets back on his feet. The crowd pops.
Joe Hoffman: Solex powers out of the choke. CAREY’S GOT THE HOCKEY STICK AGAIN!
Benny Newell: Oh no…
Carey charges with the Hockey stick – Solex with a drop toe hold that sends Carey throat-first down onto the middle rope and the hockey stick flying through the ropes to the floor.
Benny Newell: …YES!
Joe Hoffman: Steve Solex waited until the last second to take Bobbinette Carey down with a drop toehold.
Carey hangs over the middle rope. Solex pulls himself back up to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: Carey’s stuck on the ropes and Solex sees her.
Solex gets a running start and jumps, landing on the square of Carey’s back… pressing her down over the middle rope… and then watching as the ropes propel Carey back into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: GREAT RUNNING KNEE BY SOLEX!
Carey spins off the ropes and ends up in a seated position.
Joe Hoffman: ANOTHER RUNNING KNEE BY SOLEX!
Carey down and dazed. Solex hooks the leg.
Joe Hoffman: NO! SHE KICKED OUT! SHE KICKED OUT!
Benny Newell: SLOW COUNT! COME ON HORTEGA!
Solex pulls Carey up. He wraps her up and lifts her over for a belly-to-belly suplex. Cover…
Joe Hoffman: SHE KICKED OUT AGAIN!
Benny Newell: FASTER HORTEGA! FASTER!
Solex places Carey in the gutwrench position… lifts her … slams her hard to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB!
Benny Newell: THAT’S GOT TO DO IT! BYE BYE BOBBI!
Joe Hoffman: NO!
Benny Newell: HOW?
Joe Hoffman: Carey just got her one shoulder up in time.
Solex circles Carey who tries to get to her feet. She reaches the corner. Solex charges forward – Carey sidesteps – drops – and sends Solex face-first into the turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: And she’s not done yet. Drop toehold on Solex and he hits the turnbuckle hard.
Benny Newell: I’m sure that move’s illegal in most states.
Joe Hoffman: Solex is on the mat now.
Carey double underhooks both arms. Then she flips over.
Benny Newell: WHAT THE FU-
Joe Hoffman: THAT’S THE CATTLE MUTILATION!
Benny Newell: The what?
Joe Hoffman: SHE SLAPPED ON THE CATTLE MUTILATION SUBMISSION!
Solex feverishly tries to get loose.
Benny Newell: Any move with that name has got to be illegal.
Joe Hoffman: CAN BOBBINETTE CAREY ADVANCE?
Benny Newell: NO! UH… COME ON MERC DAD! THIS CAN’T END LIKE THIS!
Using his legs and his strength, Solex manages to roll himself over into a seated position.
Joe Hoffman: SOLEX POWERS OUT!
Benny Newell: YES! YES! YES!
Solex forces himself free.
Joe Hoffman: HE BROKE THE HOLD!
Benny Newell: Oh thank Lee!
Joe Hoffman: Unbelievable!
Solex grabs both of Carey’s legs. He leans back and falls back to the mat – Carey is propelled forward face-first into the corner turnbuckle. Carey hits – staggers back – Solex reaches around Carey and clasps his hands. He lifts her into the air and…
Joe Hoffman: Belly-to-back suplex by Steve Solex!
Benny Newell: YES! Now finish her and let’s go home.
Hortega slams his hand on the mat.
Joe Hoffman: AGAIN! BOBBINETTE CAREY KICKS OUT!
Benny Newell: FINISH HER, SOLEX
Solex pokes Carey in the eye.
Benny Newell: HAH! TAKE THAT! THE FINGER POKE OF DAD!
Carey tries to clear his eyes. Solex runs the ropes and knocks her down with a shoulder block.
Joe Hoffman: BY GOSH!
Carey is back up. Solex again off the ropes and he decks her again with another shoulder block.
Joe Hoffman: BY GOLLY!
Solex runs the ropes a third time. He sprints forward – arm extended….
Carey gets cut down and lands hard on the mat.
Benny Newell: GOT HER!
Joe Hoffman: THE CLOTHESLINE FROM HECK!
Solex rolls her up.
Joe Hoffman: STEVE SOLEX HAS DONE IT!
Bryan McVay: YOUR WINNER AT TWENTY MINUTES AND FORTY SECONDS! STEEEEEEEEEEEVEEEEEE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLEXXXXX
Joe Hoffman: STEVE SOLEX HAS DEFEATED BOBBINETTE CAREY AND HE WILL NOW MOVE ON IN THE TOURNAMENT.
Hortega raises Solex’s arm in victory.
Joe Hoffman: Big win for Steve Solex tonight as he advances and will take on the number two seed in Brian Hollywood next week.
Benny Newell: Freed from being chained down to Joe Bergman and the Highwaylosers, Steve Solex once again shows why not only is he a Number 1 Dad but he is the ALPHA DAD!!!
The camera focuses in on Solex as the Chicago faithful cheer on the last man in wrestling as we head to a commercial break.
Back live from commercial and we cut to a solo shot of Joe Hoffman.
Joe Hoffman: Folks, last week, at PWA 1, we saw an incredible match between PRIME’s Ivan Stanislav and HOW World Champion, Christopher America. In a shocking manner, Christopher America was pinned for the first time since returning in the middle of last year. The World Champion is here to offer his thoughts on that match.
I am told that we have Christopher America standing by live from his home in Chicago, Illinois.
A split screen appears as Christopher America’s face and upper body fills the camera shot. He’s wearing American colored sunglasses, an America jacket, and the HOW World Championship draped across his shoulder. America is practically hugging the title as he sits there, scowl plastered on his face, practically stone faced.
Joe Hoffman: Chris, thank you for you joining us.
Chris, I think I speak for everyone when I say that you put on an amazing match. The pain and punishment your body took and the resilience you showed in the wake of overwhelming power was astonishing. However, despite your best efforts Ivan Stanislav did come out the victor. Do you have a comment on what went down?
America’s expression is unchanged. Only his breathing is audible as he looks directly into the camera. Joe Hoffman looks to the side.
Joe Hoffman: I… I’m being told that our audio is working. Chris, can you comment on what went down in your match with Ivan Stanislav?
America continues to sit there, emotionless. Joe Hoffman, looks down sheepishly and shuffles some papers in front of him.
Joe Hoffman: Okay, uhm, Chris, you were bleeding pretty profusely throughout the match. I understand that you refused medical attention afterwards. Can you give us an update on your condition – specifically how are you feeling and what sorts of injuries did you suffer?
America’s grip noticeably tightens on the HOW World Championship. The red leather bending and curling between his fingertips. The sides of his cheeks bulge as the World Champion clearly clenches his jaw tightly. The expression on his face, however, remains the same.
Joe Hoffman: There are reports coming out of Russia that Ivan Stanislav is being hailed as a hero after his victory over you, with Russia state television reporting Alexei’s sacrifice to save a pregnant…
The feed to America cuts off.
Joe puts his hand to his ear and nods.
Joe Hoffman: Chris? Are we…?
Joe looks off to the side.
Joe Hoffman: Are we having technical difficulties?
Joe turns back to the camera and speaks to the home audience.
Joe Hoffman: I’m told that our feed to America’s home has been lost. We’ll try to get more, hopefully, before the night ends.
The camera transitions from a flustered Joe Hoffman to a wide shot of the arena as the crowd is seen buzzing as conversations restart regarding the match from PWA:01.
The camera continues to pan across the arena until, slowly the lights in the arena start to dim, almost to black, but not quite.
A lightning effect flashes in the arena, followed by a thundering sound, and music begins to play.
“Daddy’s Home” by JT Music.
Somewhere beyond the sea
Something slumbers underneath
When she wakes up from her dreams
We’ll be reborn from the deep
The strobe lightning effect continues, and as the opening lines of the first verse start to play, a large figure steps out onto the stage. His appearance is met with another thundering sound, this time the sound of boos from all over the building.
Dan Ryan stands center stage, soaking it in. He’s been booed most of his career. This time, for a unique reason. But he soaks it all in, then starts to walk down the ramp.
Hold your noses cuz we’re going for another long dive
Some call me Father, others call me Johnny Topside
Long forgotten, I was swept up by the wrong tide
Thought my bed was made but I just woke up on the wrong side
Halfway down the ramp, someone throws something in his direction, but he sidesteps it, and glances over as EPU rush in to subdue the fan responsible. Ryan makes it to the ring, then stops and looks out into the crowd once again, before finally settling on the front row near him, where there is almost an entire row of Dan Ryan lookalikes standing and cheering. Each has a business suit on, dark sunglasses, and a “Father of the Year” button on his lapel.
I’m the heavyweight champ, you won’t even last a round
Too long you brutes abused the juice, now you get smacked around
Delta’s held the belt so many years here in Rapture now
Baddest motherfucker in the building, who’s your daddy now?
I’ll ask you nicely, would you kindly put your weapon down?
And cut the cameras cuz I’d rather not be ratted out
I’m on the path to power, I would’ve made Atlas proud
Hit you with the one two punch, zap and whack you out
Ryan cracks his neck, then climbs up onto the apron and climbs through the ropes. He’s noticeably leaner than the last time he was on TV, wearing slacks and a loose fitting button-down shirt, and surprisingly, no sunglasses. He eschews his usual turnbuckle climb and simply gestures to the ring crew for a microphone, which he receives in short order.
Ryan circles the ring for a moment, letting the boos continue to rain down all over him, then finally raises the microphone to his lips.
Dan Ryan: I broke down into tears today. It was the strangest thing. Floating down a rabbit hole on an edible, watching a bunch of Bo Burnham videos, and suddenly I was just crying. Ugly crying. Sobbing, tears rolling down my cheeks with those big guttural, stuttering breaths in between. It was supposed to be a funny video, but something about it just hit me differently. It’s that fake Kanye rant, where Bo is talking about overfilled burritos and Pringles cans that aren’t wide enough for human hands. Silly kind of shit. So there I am, high as fuck and giggling over Pringles cans, and Bo starts talking about how he can’t handle this right now. How all of his fans are a blessing and a curse. How he loves them and hates them, and he wants their approval but he’s afraid of them.
He pauses. The crowd is confused.
Dan Ryan: Ok, that was actually something Mike Best said back in 2021. Let me try again… ahem.
Dan Ryan: Because now the biggest bastard in the prison yard is looking for you. He knows you’re coming, there isn’t any surprise, there isn’t any shock, you aren’t unexpected Azula. I see you. I see right through the man that says he’s a fighter, I see right through the man that looks for your worst moments but doesn’t understand the context. I see right through all of it Azula, and I’m going to fucking show you that on Chaos. I’m going to show you what it’s like when the biggest son of a bitch in the yard sees you coming.
He pauses again.
Dan Ryan: Wait, no, that was Clay Byrd last year….
A few peals of laughter can be heard as some fans start to catch on to what’s going on. Others continue to boo their asses off. The front row CV Club cheer like they just won the World Series.
Dan Ryan: Sorry. I just… I don’t know what’s gotten into me. Ok, how about this…
He clears his throat.
Dan Ryan: America was right that I was broken and without direction because I clinged to the past and wouldn’t let go and that held me hostage from moving forward, but ever since I have embraced HIM wholeheartedly I was finally set free. Now, I am whole.
He stops again, this time completely in his tracks, a look of disgust on his face.
Dan Ryan: Oh dear God, that was actually something Scott Stevens said a few months back…
Dan goes into an involuntary dry heave, which he does three times, before finally righting himself, holding up a hand as if to say he’s okay.
Dan Ryan: Whew… I um…. I almost threw up in my mouth a little bit… Okay okay, I’m good.
He stops in the center of the ring, lets out a long breath, then looks directly into the hard camera.
Dan Ryan: Enough beating around the bush. Time to address the Bobby Dean in the room. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve stood here in a High Octane ring. A long time since Steve Harrison put me out of commission, seemingly for good. So much has happened, most of it my own doing. I fell into a deep, dark hole, and I have only myself to blame for it. Now, I’m not out here to make excuses. Everyone here knows what the deal is. I did what I did. No excuses. But maybe an explanation is in order.
Ryan pauses and sniffles once, looking sideways into the crowd.
Dan Ryan: For twenty years, I was a God of the wrestling ring. From the late 90s into the late 2010s, my resume was unmatched. There have been some big names come and go in this business. But I took a backseat to absolutely no one. Everywhere I went, I ended up headlining the big shows, wrestling the biggest matches, winning the most prestigious championships. Over and over for two decades, I was the absolute fucking man. And then… in 2017, I stepped away…
Ryan starts to pace again.
Dan Ryan: I was content, or so I told myself. I found a way to live without the competition, to thrive in a business setting and do my best to help the next generation along. Then one day, I got a call from Lee Best. I’m notorious for never paying attention to anything outside of what I’m doing at the moment, so while I’d heard of Lee Best, heard of High Octane Wrestling, I wasn’t well versed in what High Octane was all about. But he made an offer based on the recommendation of people he trusts, and convinced me to put the tights back on and come back for War Games.
Ryan stops on one side of the ring, places a hand on the top ropes and leans forward toward the crowd.
Dan Ryan: It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t have it anymore. I was a step slower, my timing was a bit off, and mentally, I wasn’t prepared for the chaos of War Games, nor was I in a place to take the job as seriously as I should have. But of course, over the years, I have always been the last to know my own brain and what’s going on with me, and I lived in denial for that entire first year. Then, before you know it, I got a title shot against Cecilworth Farthington. I lost. Then I wrestled him to a draw. Then I wrestled him to another draw. Then I lost an iron match match where I won the ICON without winning the match.
He pauses, sighing with irritation.
Dan Ryan: Ultimately, it was the most frustrating year of my entire wrestling career. It was uncharted territory for me, because no matter what I did, I couldn’t get over the hump. The spark was missing, and I had no idea how to get it back. So I did something I should never have done. I took a shortcut. I was desperate. I was panicking on the inside but not recognizing it. I felt a responsibility to be as great as I was supposed to be, as I expected to be, and I made the worst possible choice. I cheated. I cheated all of you. I cheated the boys in the back. The girls. I cheated all of the men and women who work their asses off to put on High Octane shows week after week, and I cheated the man who brought me in here in the first place. I cheated Lee Best. I cheated to beat enemies, and I cheated to beat friends. Then, just last week, I had to look my best friend in the whole world in the eye and admit that I had done this horrible thing, and I had to see the rage in her eyes, and have her be so upset they could barely stand to look at me, let alone talk to me. And then, when the chance to speak finally came, that friend told me to fuck off.
He looks momentarily hurt, sad even.
Dan Ryan: I deserved it. And then I saw it again and again, as I sat down and spoke to so many when it came about. That’s the bed I made for myself. The bed I have to lie in until time, hopefully, softens some of the anger they all felt, all of the hurt.
Ryan stands back up straight, then starts to circle again.
Dan Ryan: When the news broke, sitting there in my dressing room, stunned beyond belief, questioning my sanity and wondering how I could have done such a thing, it started to hit home. EPU showed up at my door, told me I needed to leave. I was being escorted out of the building in disgrace. And I went home to Texas, and I felt sorry for myself. I drank… a lot. I slept a lot. I stopped working out for a long time. I got soft, out of shape. But then I went back into the gym, and I took it all out on the weights, on the treadmill. I poured every ounce of disgust and shame into what I was doing. Finally, it looked like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m leaner now than I’ve been my whole career, probably 20 pounds lighter than my usual fighting weight. More cut than I’ve ever been at any point in my life.
He stops in a corner, looking out at a hushed crowd.
Dan Ryan: But it’s funny… It’s funny how things happen in life. When I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started getting back to work, in my darkest moment, people started reaching out. Some of them shocked me. I had no idea or expectation that some of these people would give a damn about me. Some of the names would shock you, and I won’t name names because I don’t wanna blow anyone’s cover. But they know who they are, and I have to say it meant the world to me. The ones I will name… Mike Best… and Lee Best.
Ryan pauses as the fans cheer at the sound of the names of the Best Family.
Dan Ryan: Mike is one of my best friends in the entire world. Our careers are forever linked, and I let him down just like I let everyone else down. But he came by, we talked for hours, he told me some hard truths, but most of all, he didn’t walk away. Lee Best… Well, Lee Best is a tough, miserable son of a bitch. But Lee Best reached out to me also, made sure I was okay. And he told me the truth also, but he also kept coming around, just to make certain I was hanging on. And I took my lumps, because personal responsibility has always been important to me. I did this thing. I had to pay the price. And so many others reached out to me as well. I had long conversations with people I’d hardly had two words with prior. And that too, means the whole world to me. I’ll just say, the Alpha Dad is okay with me.
Ryan stops, and some of the crowd clap lightly. The booing subsides a bit.
Dan Ryan: So where does that leave things? Obviously, I’m out here tonight because I’ve been invited back to the roster, and it’s a funny feeling I have standing out here right now. Clay, I’d like to say I’m sorry about the chair shot at ICONIC. I’d like to say it, but I’m not sorry at all. Sometimes you have to take dramatic action to make a statement. I’m not new to those moments, and I couldn’t let an ICONIC go by without being part of the main event somehow. Beyond that, I was tasked with a job, and so I did my job. You have been utterly and totally lost since then, my friend. You’ve been fighting battles you don’t have to fight. And I get it. I do. I’m from Texas too. You the rural Texan, and me the city boy, born in a skyscraper and moved to Japan by age four. I fought the same battles you’ve been fighting when I came to HOW, too. I failed spectacularly in front of the entire world, and earned the scorn of disappointment from all corners of the business. You got a little bit of your smile back last weekend. But I can’t stick around and deal with you right now. I have a lot of work to do. But the time will come when you and I need to have a serious Texan-to-Texan conversation. Your struggle doesn’t have to be in vain. Someone needs to remind you who the fuck you are, and who you can be.
The big Texan pauses for emphasis.
Dan Ryan: In the meantime, there are so many people around here I need to either make peace with or face some hard truths with. Most of all, I’m having a reckoning with myself. Nothing… and I mean nothing on earth… means more to me than this business. Nothing. I owe this business more than I could ever pay back, and I owe all of you more than I could ever pay back. And I’m gonna tell you right now. To quote a country song, “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.” I’m not the Ego Buster anymore. But I’m still a tough son of a bitch. I’m going to earn my name back in this business, and I’m going to do it the right way, without shortcuts. I will fight tooth and nail, shed blood and do whatever it takes to re-earn my stripes, and I’ll never forget the ones who made this possible. I’ll never betray that trust. I’m done feeling sorry for myself. It’s time to fight. I thought my career was over… but I was wrong. I’m just getting started.
Ryan drops the mic in the ring and climbs back out to the floor. He glances over at the CV club and chuckles a bit, then walks up the ramp as take our final commercial break of the evening.
CONOR FUSE VS. JOE BERGMAN
Back from commercial and immediately “Bloody Tears” from Castlevania II begins to play throughout the The Best Arena. A purple mist floods the entrance way as “The Vintage” Conor Fuse emerges from behind the curtain. He stands at the top of the rampway, head down, sporting a dark purple jacket with its high-collar raised.
Bryan McVay: This match is a first round match for the World Heavyweight Championship Number One Contendership Tournament. Coming to the ring first from Toronto, Canada, standing six-foot one inches tall, and weighing 210 pounds.
The jacket is open, showing his vintage SNES tights as he slowly raises his head. The fog continues to pump from the stage as Fuse methodically makes his way down the ramp.
Bryan McVay: He’s a two time World Heavyweight Champion… HE IS COOOOOOOONNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOR FUUUUUUUUSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE!
Benny Newell: Remember those times Mike Best caved this kid’s skull in, Joe?
Joe Hoffman: How could I forget, Benny.
The crowd starts a “!RANK” chant, pointing in Conor’s direction as he marches towards ringside.
Joe Hoffman: This round of the tournament is stacked.
Benny Newell: With guys I don’t like. It’s great. At least Jatt’s still in this thing.
Once in front of the squared circle, The Vintage leaps onto the apron and then with ease clears the ropes by jumping over them and somersaulting into the middle of the ring.Fuse tilts his head back and zen cries into the rafters while the fans in attendance continue to cheer him on.
Joe Hoffman: The crowd here in Chicago loves this kid.
Benny Newell: Yeah, that’s just because the other guy comes out to Freebird.
Conor removes his trench coat, revealing his trademarked light purple arm sleeve on his left arm. Fuse waits in his corner.
The opening piano played by Billy Powell followed by the iconic guitar licks from Gary Rossington’s slide guitar at the beginning of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s epic ‘Freebird’ blare out of the speakers.
Joe Hoffman: Speaking of Freebird.
Seconds later, the lovely Sunny O’Callahan emerges from the back dressed in the fashion of a female background singer from a late seventies Southern rock band wearing a spaghetti strap top, a pair of jeans, heels. and her usually straight hair is all frizzed out and curly.
Benny Newell: She knows I’m recently through recovery. How could she bring that bottle of whiskey out here?
Joe Hoffman: I… I…
Sunny takes a swig from a bottle of Southern Comfort and sways on the stage as Ronnie Van Zant’s vocals come on over the sound system.
“If I leave here tomorrow… will you still remember me?”
Bryan McVay: Hailing from Plattin, Missouri and weighing in tonight at two hundred and fifteen pounds…
“For I must be traveling on now… ‘Cause there’s too many places I want to see…”
Joe Bergman comes out dressed as normal in a plain black robe over his wrestling trunks.
“But if I stayed here with you girl… Things just couldn’t be the same…”
Bryan McVay: HOW Hall of Famer and former two time World Heavyweight Champion…
“Cause I’m a free as a bird now… and this bird you cannot change…”
Bryan McVay: “ORDINARY!” JOE! BERGGGGGG-MAN!
The crowd roars. Joe pumps his first in the air.
“And this bird you cannot change…”
With Sunny leading the way, she and Bergman start down the ramp towards the ring.
“And this bird you cannot change…”
Bergman slaps people’s hands along the way to the ring.
“And this bird you cannot change…”
Benny Newell: It never fucking ends.
Joe Hoffman: I mean. It’s Freebird.
Joe climbs up on the ring apron and opens a path for Sunny to climb into the ring. Then he leaps over the top rope and climbs up on the turnbuckle.
Benny Newell: This song is infuriating.
Joe Hoffman: I normally don’t have an opinion on these things… but, yes.
“Lord knows, I can’t change”
Looking out over the ropes with Sunny right by his side, Joe raises his arms in the air and a can of PBR in tribute to the ‘ordinary people’ in attendance tonight and, of course, Section 214.
Benny Newell: I hate section 214 almost as much as I hate this song.
Matt Boettcher calls for the bell.
Benny Newell: Finally.
Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman and Conor Fuse are set to be our second match of the World Heavyweight Title Tournament.
Benny Newell: The winner goes on to face that big dumb cowboy or one of the greatest Hall of Famers of all time… JATT STARR!
Bergman tries to take a methodological approach, but Conor Fuse comes bolting across the ring. Bergman ducks out of the way of a leaping forearm attempt, and Fuse turns around into a big chop across the chest from Bergman. Fuse reels backwards into the corner as Bergman comes in ferociously. Bergman drives a boot to Fuse’s sternum, followed by a second one to his midsection. Fuse fires back with a right hand that staggers Bergman, but Bergman comes back with another stinging knife edge chop.
Fuse fires back with a right hand, Bergman with a chop, Fuse with a right hand, Bergman with a chop. Fuse takes a step forward and blasts Bergman with a right hand and Bergman stumbles backwards. Conor grabs Bergman by the arm and sends him into the ropes. Fuse leap frogs Bergman and goes to the ropes as well, Bergman comes back swinging with a big lariat, but Fuse leaps to the other side and plants him to the canvas with a spinning slingblade.
Joe Hoffman: Big impact there from Conor Fuse!
Fuse jumps to his feet quickly and slides over the top rope to the apron. He leaps up to the top rope from the apron and springboards off looking for a leg drop, but Bergman springs into action and catches Fuse by the face and pulls him down with a leaping cutter that smashes Fuse to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: What a cutter from Joe Bergman!
Benny Newell: Sneaky Joe Bergman playing possum, go figure.
Bergman is first to his feet and he pulls a woozy Conor Fuse to his feet. ‘The Vintage’ is a bit wobbly as Bergman lines him up, and hits him with a standing dropkick that sends Fuse back into the ropes. Fuse is leaning against the ropes, as Bergman heads across the ring to the far ropes, he comes back across looking for a lariat again, but Fuse pulls the top rope down and Bergman flips over the top rope all the way down to the arena floor. Fuse looks to the outside, and takes off across the ring. He bounces off the ropes and leaps through the middle and top rope, diving into Bergman on the outside.
Joe Hoffman: Big risk again from Conor Fuse, this time it pays off!
Benny Newell: I guess a blind squirrel finds a nut.
Fuse slams into Bergman, sending Bergman into the guardrail back first. Fuse is up to his feet first and grabs Bergman by the arm and tries to irish whip him into the ring apron. Bergman reverses and sends Fuse, who leaps up onto the apron from the floor, and then leaps off the apron with a moonsault. Bergman manages to counter by catching Fuse in mid-air with another dropkick and Fuse flips over, coming down stomach first, but still manages to land on Bergman. Boettcher starts a count.
Benny Newell: We got a pile of bodies!
Joe Hoffman: Joe Bergman countered that moonsault with a dropkick, but Fuse still landed on top of Bergman, and both men are down on the concrete floor. Thank goodness Bergman was there to break Fuse’s fall.
Benny Newell: I was kind of hoping he’d land on his head.
Joe Hoffman: Who’s head?
Benny Newell: Either way.
Bergman and Fuse both slowly get to their feet as Boettcher hits 6 on his count. Both men wobble but Bergman grabs Fuse by the head and throws him under the bottom rope, and dives in himself. The two of them scramble back to their feet, Bergman throws a big chop into Fuse’s chest, and Fuse wobbles a bit coming back with a right hand, Bergman throws another big chop, and follows it up with a boot to the stomach. Bergman tucks Fuse’s head between his legs and tries to lift him up for a piledriver.
Benny Newell: Yes! Spike him!
Fuse frantically kicks his legs and gets Bergman to set him back down, Fuse tries to lift Bergman up and over for a back body drop, but Bergman flips over the top and brings Fuse to the mat with a sunset flip.
Matt Boettcher: ONE!
Matt Boettcher: TWO!
Fuse clicks his heels together upside Bergman’s skull, causing Bergman to release the pinning attempt. Bergman falls backwards, while Fuse rolls back over his head and to his feet. He backs against the ropes and comes in with a low dropkick to Bergman’s face. Bergman rolls through grabbing at his head and is back to his feet and tries for a short start Penalty kick, but Fuse launches himself backwards from the seated position, causing Bergman to whiff. Fuse kips up to his feet in one motion, grabs Bergman by the arms and slams him to the canvas with a big sitdown hip toss.
Joe Hoffman: Great wrestling on display from these two men.
Fuse jumps back to his feet, and comes off the ropes with a lionsault, catching Bergman across the midsection. Fuse hooks both legs.
Matt Boettcher: ONE!
Matt Boettcher: TWO!
Boettcher gets dragged out of the ring before he can bring his hand down for a three count by Sunny O’Callahan.
Joe Hoffman: She did this at PWA-1! She cheated Jace and Stevens out of the HOTV tag team championships.
Benny Newell: BERGMAN KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO DO THAT!
Boettcher and O’Callahan are immediately in each other’s faces on the outside. Fuse gets to his feet and pulls Bergman up to a standing position. Bergman shoves Fuse away and into the corner, he follows it up with a big lariat to the back of Fuse’s head. Fuse hits the mat holding his skull, and Bergman lays a few stomps in.
Benny Newell: Look at Joe go.
Joe Hoffman: Who are you rooting for here?
Benny Newell: Chaos.
Bergman heads to the top rope and leaps off going for an elbow smash, Fuse manages to slip out of the way and Bergman comes crashing down on his side. Fuse is back to his feet, and grabs Bergman by the head, pulling him up. Fuse sends Bergman into the ropes, he leaps for a hurricanrana attempt, but Bergman catches him, and takes Fuse across the ring for a sit out powerbomb.
Benny Newell: Never seen Joe do that before.
Joe Hoffman: That’s because everyone’s normally a lot bigger than Joe.
Bergman puts his feet over Fuse’s shoulder and looks to the outside, and O’Callahan starts pointing into the ring frantically at Boettcher, who ignores it, and lets Sunny know she’s been thrown out!
Joe Hoffman: Sunny O’Callahan is gone!
Benny Newell: Good?
Bergman stops the pin attempt, and both men slowly get to their feet. Bergman grabs Fuse and irish whips him into the ropes. Fuse hits the ropes and comes back, Bergman fires off the green mist!
Benny Newell: BERGMAN’S A CHEAT! I TOLD YOU!
Joe Hoffman: Fuse ducks under!
Fuse ducks under the mist, grabs Bergman by the shoulder and sends purple mist flying into Bergman’s face! Bergman takes the mist to the face and begins to stagger. Fuse smashes the stumbling Bergman across the bridge of the nose with a super kick and immediately ascends the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: MIST OF FUSE’S OWN! MIST OF FUSE’S OWN!
He holds his arms in the air and the crowd shouts Rank! Once again as Fuse leaps off flipping forward, coming down across Bergman’s chest with the super splash.
Joe Hoffman: SUUUUUUUPER SPLAAAAASH!
Fuse hooks both legs as Boettcher slides in from the nonsense with Callihan for the count.
Matt Boettcher: 1!
Matt Boettcher: 2!
Bergman struggles but Fuse holds on.
Matt Boettcher: 3!
Bergman kicks out but it is one half second too late.
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: WINNER OF THE MATCH IN 20 MINUTES AND 31 SECONDS…….CONOR FUUUUUSSSSEEEEE!!!!!!
Boettcher raises Fuse’s hand as the man stares down at his opponent who just went to war with him.
Joe Hoffman: With the win Fuse now must wait to see who wins next week between Jatt Starr and Clay Byrd. What a main event on our first show back…….for myself and Benny Newell…..we thank everyone for tuning in and we look forward to seeing you right back here..
Benny Newell: Same Best time…..same Best place…..and same motherfucking channel!!!
With that Chaos 019 comes to a close as we see a final shot of Fuse standing in the middle of the ring holding his arms high in the air.