DARIN ZION VS. XANDER AZULA
The PWA and HOTv logos fade into a live shot of The Best Arena here in Chicago. Pryo explodes on stage and from above the ring as the crowd is on their feet. The camera scans over the audience and shows there is not one single empty seat in the house. The camera finally shifts over to the announcers table where our Hall of Famer Joe Hoffman is ready to get this show on the road.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome to The Best Arena here in Chicago for Chaos 020! I’m Joe Hoffman and as you can see I’m going at it alone here to start because my partner Benny Newell has not arrived yet.
Joe pauses for a moment but remains professional.
Joe Hoffman: However, we got action from top to bottom here tonight. In one semi-final match in the LSD Championship tournament we’ll see Steve Solex, who was victorious last week against Bobbinette Carey, take on Brian Hollywood to see who will advance to the finals next week.
The graphic for that match appears on the HOV which garners a pop from the crowd here in attendance.
Joe Hoffman: We’ll also see the in-ring return of the newest HOW Hall of Famer Aceldama as he takes on fellow Hall of Famer Scott Stevens in a No DQ match that you might want to be the kids to bed for folks. Lee Best has named Stevens as his first target for Aceldama and you have to wonder just how the man that has devoted himself to The House of Best will respond?
The HOV shows the graphic for Stevens vs. Aceldama which gets the bloodthirst of the fans here in Chicago rushing.
Joe Hoffman: And in the main event tonight we’ll see HOW Hall of Famer Jatt Starr go one-on-one against the Behemoth known as Clay Byrd. The winner advances to the finals of the World Championship tournament to take on Conor Fuse.
The graphic for the main event is shown on the HOV and the Chicago crowd boo’s loudly at the simple sight of Clay Byrd.
Joe Hoffman: But first we have the other semi-final match in the LSD Championship to kick things off tonight. Let’s send it to the ring where Bryan McVay is ready to make the introductions.
The camera shifts to the middle of the ring where Bryan McVay is standing along with senior referee Matt Boettcher. McVay waits for the crowd to quiet down a little before raising the microphone up to his lips.
Bryan McVay: Our first match of the evening is a semi-final match in the LSD Championship tournament and it’s scheduled for one fall!
The crowd pops with anticipation for the match that is about to happen before McVay speaks once again.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first…
The whistling intro of “ENGEL” by Rammstein plays over the PA system, setting the crowd off in a chorus of boos as Xander Azula steps out onto the stage, surveying the crowd with a snarl on his face.
Bryan McVay: From Long Beach, California. Weighing in tonight at 230 lbs. He is The Fighter… XANDER! AZULA!
The crowd show their disdain for Xander, whose snarl fades into a smirk as he taunts those jeering him during his journey to the ring, sliding in to get ready for the match at hand before leaning against the nearest turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: The last time we’ve seen Xander Azula compete here in HOW he was going toe to toe with Michael Lee Best inside of an HOFC cage for the HOFC Championship belt. And even though Xander came up short in his pursuit of the unsanctioned path, he looks to rebound here tonight and get one step closer to a shot at the LSD Championship belt.
Matt Boettcher goes to the corner and begins to check over Xander to make sure The Fighter isn’t concealing any illegal weapons as McVay raises the microphone again.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent…
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, decked out in a pink and purple robe. The words REAL LOVE are printed on the back in sequins. The sequins sparkle in the pink spotlight hitting the smug HOW superstar while he strolls down to the ring. Unphased by the fans heckling him, he swivels his hips, trying to draw the attention of the women. A cocky sneer is painted on his face as he gets down to the end of the entrance ramp.
♫ 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: From San Diego, California. Weighing in tonight at 220 lbs. He is REAL LOVE… DARIN! ZION!
Zion throws his robe on the ground, displaying his 8-pack abs. REAL LOVE starts counting them, blowing a kiss to the camera. Sliding into the ring, he poses like a French model, winking to the audience at home. While the bridge finishes, Zion leaps up to his feet. He motions towards the opposite corner, taunting his opponent for the evening.
Joe Hoffman: Last week Darin Zion was successful in eliminating Scott Stevens from the LSD Championship tournament. Only Stevens didn’t take too kindly to missing out on a chance to get a chance at JPD and the LSD Championship. Stevens viciously attacked Zion after the match and one has to wonder if Zion is 100% heading into this match tonight.
Bryan McVay exits the ring quickly and takes his place at ringside. Boettcher begins to check on Zion pre-match as Azula paces back and forth like a caged animal. Once Zion is considered clean and ready to go, Boettcher calls for the bell to signal the start of the match.
Joe Hoffman: I think it’s worth noting as a perk of his new contract that Benny Newell is not required to call any match that Darin Zion participates in. Wherever he is, I’m sure Benny is enjoying himself before joining me later tonight here at ringside.
Zion and Azula walk to the center of the ring and begin to circle each other slowly. Zion shoots in for one of Xander’s legs but Azula manages to keep his distance away from Darin and out of his grasp. The two men continue to dance around a bit more before Zion closes the distance and lunges in for a tie up. Azula sidesteps and ducks under Zion’s attempt wanting nothing to do with a tie up. Azula finds his way to Zion’s back and then begins to pound away with vicious forearm shots to the back of Darin’s head.
Joe Hoffman: Xander Azula knows Zion’s weak spot after the attack from Stevens last week and he’s wasting no time trying to exploit it. If he can get Zion to the point he can’t continue on with the match then he’s got his spot in the finals locked up.
Zion staggers forward towards the ropes trying to put distance between himself and Azula. Xander follows Zion and then gives him a stiff knee to the gut that drives the wind from Darin’s lungs. Zion gasps for air but Azula cinches in a tight headlock on Darin trying to cut off his supply of oxygen to the brain. Zion flails his arms around trying to reach for a rope but Xander has pulled him near the center of the ring and is looking to put him to sleep. Zion starts to fade a bit and his head begins to throb in pain. Zion does the only thing that he can think of to do and that’s drive Xander back into the corner and hold him there. Azula keeps the headlock clinched tight but Zion continues to press Xander against the turnbuckle pads which causes Boettcher to come over and start a five count.
Joe Hoffman: Smart move there by Zion to work Xander into the corner to get a five count from Boettcher.
Xander holds onto the headlock until 4.9999 seconds before letting go of Zion. Azula holds his hands into the air in innocence as Boettcher warns him. Xander gives Zion a stiff boot to the midsection then grabs a hold of him. Azula switches positions with Zion by tossing him against the turnbuckle. Xander lowers his shoulder then begins ramming it repeatedly into the midsection of Zion in the corner trying to keep the man from catching his breath. Xander pulls his shoulder away from Zion before Boettcher reaches a five count once again. Azula climbs to the middle rope over Zion and begins raining down closed fists to the head of REAL LOVE as the crowd counts each shot.
Zion grabs a hold of Xander by the hips then begins to walk out of the corner with Azula on his shoulders. Zion goes to plant Xander with a powerbomb but Azula counters with a sloppy hurricanrana that snaps Zion down to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: It wasn’t pretty but Xander Azula just countered his way out of trouble there. It seems as if he knows he can’t rely on HOFC matches all the time and is working on adding moves to his wrestling arsenal.
Xander gets back up to his feet quickly and begins to stomp away at Zion’s head like a madman. Zion raises his arms into the air and does his best to cover up from the flurry of kicks. Xander turns and hits the ropes before leaping into the air and dropping a big knee across the head and neck of Zion. Xander gets to his feet then repeats the process a second and finally a third time. Azula hooks the leg and makes the cover on REAL LOVE as Boettcher slides in for the count.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Kickout by Zion.
Joe Hoffman: Clearly, Xander Azula walked in here tonight with a game plan and he’s executing it to perfection. However, the series of knees to the skull only got him a two count before Darin Zion kicked out. Azula didn’t expect a three count there but he’s making Zion use up energy to stay alive in this contest.
Xander gets to his feet then grabs a hold of Zion by the hair and begins to pull him back up to his feet. Zion makes it to one knee before hitting off shots to the ribs and midsection of Xander Azula. After a couple more shots Xander finally loses his grip on Zion’s hair. Darin raises to a vertical base then whips Azula into the corner as hard as he can. Xander hits the turnbuckle hard but comes roaring out of it at full speed.
Joe Hoffman: THE SNUB!
Xander takes a mighty swing but the Bullhammer elbow does not connect and Darin grabs a hold of Xander and sends him into the ropes. Xander reverses the whip and sends Zion into the ropes. Zion rebounds off the ropes then hits Xander flush with a running spinning wheel kick that takes him to the canvas. Xander holds his jaw in pain as Zion takes a moment to catch his breath. Zion slaps the canvas with his palm and gets back up to his feet. Zion gets a running start then runs through Azula with a clothesline that sends him back down to the mat. Azula is back up quickly but eats another running clothesline from Zion that sends him right back down. Zion turns around and grabs a hold of Azula from behind as he staggers back up to his feet. Zion lifts Azula into the air and hits him with a belly to back suplex, planting him on his head and shoulders.
Joe Hoffman: Darin Zion has turned the tide in this match but Azula has proven his toughness by standing against the likes of Michael Lee Best in an HOFC cage.
Xander manages to pull himself up to his knees but Zion steps forward and begins to lay in stiff kicks to the chest of Azula.
Darin Zion: I love you!
Darin Zion: I love you!
Darin Zion: I love you!
Zion takes a step and a half back then winds up going for a buzzsaw kick to the face of Xander but Azula ducks the kick. Xander grabs a hold of Zion and tries to roll him up into a pin attempt but Zion quickly transitions the roll up into an Anaconda Vice submission hold. Zion pulls back up the hold tightly as Boettcher drops down and asks Azula if he wants to submit. Xander shakes his head and screams no at the top of his lungs.
Joe Hoffman: That was a beautiful transition by Darin Zion and now Xander Azula is in no man’s land. Instead of trying to out brawl The Fighter, Zion has decided to try and out wrestle Azula here.
Xander keeps his body in constant motion trying to find his way to a rope but Zion continues to crank back on the submission. Unable to find a way to put his foot on a rope, Xander instead slides his body out of the ring until Zion is forced to let go of the submission.
Joe Hoffman: Excellent move by Azula. He gave Zion no choice than to let go of that submission hold. Now that he’s on the outside he has brought himself precious time to recover before Zion could launch another attack.
Xander lays on the arena floor and begins to recover as Boettcher begins a ten count. Azula pulls himself back up to his feet slowly but Zion gets a running start inside of the ring. Zion goes to hit Azula with a baseball slide but Xander side steps and pulls Zion out of the ring completely. Xander hits Zion with a thrust to the throat then runs him shoulder first into the steel ring steps. Zion collides against the steel with a sickening thud as Xander slides back into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Zion hit those steel ring steps hard and I don’t think Xander will argue about walking out of here tonight with a countout victory. Zion will need to dig deep and get back into the ring before his spot in the finals slips through his fingers.
Xander continues to take time to recover as Boettcher keeps the count on Zion. Boettcher reaches the count of nine but Zion in desperation bursts to his feet and slides back into the ring to break up the count. Xander is right on Zion with more stomps to the head trying to incapacitate his opponent. The crowd suddenly gives a mixed reaction as the HOV lights up and the LSD Champion Jace Parker Davidson can be seen standing backstage in front of a monitor. He has the LSD Championship belt over his shoulder and is watching this match closely.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like the LSD Champion is in the building and he’s scouting out the competition. I tend to wonder just who he’d rather face out of these two men here in this match.
Zion uses the ropes to pull himself back up to his feet but Azula gets him from behind into a waist lock. Xander lifts and muscles Zion up and over with a release German suplex that sends him crashing down to the canvas hard. Zion holds his hand in pain and kicks his feet on the canvas as Xander pulls himself up to his feet. Zion scratches and claws his way back up to unsteady legs as Xander charges. Azula leaps into the air and hits Zion with a codebreaker. Zion’s skull hits Xander’s knees before snapping back to the canvas. Xander scrambles over to Zion leaning over top of him before driving in knee shot after knee shot to the skull of REAL LOVE. Azula shows no mercy as Zion’s efforts to cover himself up and protect his head become non-existent. Azula pulls himself up to his feet then marches around screaming for Zion to get up.
Joe Hoffman: This could be the beginning of the end for Darin Zion. Xander Azula was the underdog heading into this match even though he was the #1 seed. One shot and he could make a major statement to whoever advances to the finals later tonight.
Zion staggers back up to his feet but it’s pretty clear that he has no idea where he is at the moment. Zion turns around but Xander charges in.
Joe Hoffman: THE SNUB!!! ZION MIGHT BE OUT COLD!!!
Xander whips out Zion with the big time elbow shot. Azula hooks the leg and makes the cover on Darin as Boettcher slides in for the count.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THREE
NO! ZION KICKS OUT BEFORE THE THREE!!!
Joe Hoffman: I thought this one was all over but Zion somehow kicked out before the three count! Might have more of a random body spasm but either way this match will continue.
Boettcher shoots up two fingers into the air to indicate that Zion is still alive as Xander pulls himself back up to his feet. Azula doesn’t argue with the referee, instead he measures up Zion who is once again using the ropes to try and regain a vertical base. Zion staggers around the ring barely able to keep himself upright as Xander strikes.
Joe Hoffman: FIST OF ERIS CONNECTS! THIS ONE IS OVER!!!
Zion took the full force of Xander’s finisher but the momentum sent him rolling out of the ring and down to the floor. Xander tried to stop Zion and keep him inside of the ring but it was too late.
Joe Hoffman: ZION’S MOMENTUM TOOK HIM OUT OF THE RING BEFORE XANDER COULD MAKE THE COVER! YOU COULD CONSIDER THAT DIVINE INTERVENTION FOR ZION IN THIS MATCH!
Xander punches the canvas repeatedly in frustration then slides under the bottom rope to go after his opponent. Xander grabbed a hold of Zion and tried to pull him up to his feet but Darin is nothing more than dead weight at the moment. It takes Xander more effort and longer than he’d like to get Zion off of the arena floor then back into the ring. Xander slides back into the ring but doesn’t immediately go for the cover. Instead he gets back up to his feet then grabs a hold of Zion and peels him off of the canvas. Azula hooks Zion then lifts into the air for a vertical suplex before dropping down and bringing Zion crashing down onto both of his knees. Zion bounces off of Xander’s knees then arches his back in pain. Xander flattens Zion down onto the canvas and places his forearm into Zion’s face to make the cover as Boettcher slides in.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THREE
NOOOOO! ZION SHOOTS A SHOULDER OFF THE CANVAS BEFORE THE THREE!!!
Joe Hoffman: Xander Azula has hit Darin Zion with everything but the kitchen sink but somehow Zion managed to get his shoulder off of the canvas at 2.999999999. Got to believe if Xander hooks a leg there then he gets the win. He’s got to keep at it and not get frustrated.
Xander rubs his hands through his hair in disbelief over Zion getting a shoulder up in time. Azula pulls himself up to his feet and heads over towards the corner. Xander crouches down as Zion fights his way up off of the canvas. As Zion staggers around, Xander goes for another Fist of Eris.
Joe Hoffman: ZION DUCKED!
The spinning back fist hit nothing but air as Zion staggered forward towards the corner. As Azula turns around Zion explodes out the corner and drives Xander down to the canvas with a running knee. Zion begins slapping himself on the head repeatedly trying to get the adrenaline flowing as he pulls himself back up to his feet. Xander staggers back up to his feet dazed but Zion grabs a hold of him.
Joe Hoffman: TOUGH LOVE!
Zion plants Xander down to the canvas hard. He hooks the leg and makes the cover on Azula as Boettcher slides in for the count.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THREE
NOOOOOO!!! XANDER GETS HIS SHOULDER UP BEFORE THE THREE!!!!!!
Joe Hoffman: ZION CONNECTED WITH THE SAME MOVE THAT TOOK OUT SCOTT STEVENS LAST WEEK BUT XANDER AZULA REFUSED TO STAY DOWN!!! JUST SHOWS HOW MUCH A SPOT IN THE FINALS MEANS TO THESE TWO MEN!!!
Zion cries in agony over not being able to put Xander away but slowly pulls himself back up to his feet. Zion grabs a hold of Xander and begins to pull him back up to his feet. However, Xander blasts Zion with a European uppercut that causes REAL LOVE to stagger backwards. Xander plants a boot to the midsection then spikes Zion down to the canvas with a DDT. Xander gets to his feet then grabs a hold of Zion and pulls him back up to a vertical base. Azula takes Zion to the corner then lifts him up and sits him on the top turnbuckle. Xander hits Zion with a couple of big right hands before climbing the turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: Xander Azula is going to the high rent district.
Xander makes it to the top rope then grabs a hold of Zion and goes for a superplex off the top rope but Zion begins to counter with shots to the midsection. Xander fires off some clubbing shots of his own trying to beat Zion into submission.
Joe Hoffman: This is dangerous. Both men are trading shots on the top rope! Xander might be a bit out of his element here but he’s going all or nothing to put away Zion!
Xander gets the better of the exchange between the two men then hooks up Zion again. Azula once again tries for the superplex off the top rope but Zion once again counters and causes Xander to scream in pain.
Joe Hoffman: ZION IS BITING XANDER AZULA! ZI-GUY HUNGIE!
Xander has lost his grip on Zion who continues to sink his teeth into the tender flesh of Azula. Zion lets go of Azula then rocks him with a brutal headbutt that just about knocks both men loopy. Zion gathers up Xander then leaps off the top rope.
Joe Hoffman: THE SIXTH STAR OFF THE TOP ROPE!
Both men crash down to the canvas in an absolute trainwreck of flesh and bone. Zion leans back against Xander, unable to make a more suitable cover, as Boettcher slides in for the count.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THREE
Bryan McVay: Here is your winner and advancing to the finals of the LSD Championship tournament… REALLLLLL LOVEEEEEEEE DARINNNNNNN ZIONNNNNNN!!!!!
The crowd pops wildly as the HOV once again lights up. It shows Jace Parker Davidson backstage still watching. Jace sees Zion pick up the win then storms off down the hallway with a look of anger on his face as we focus back on the announcers table.
Joe Hoffman: Zion had to have some kind of head injuries walking into this match against Xander Azula thanks to Scott Stevens. But somehow, someway Darin toughed it out and now he’s going to wrestle next week in finals either against Steve Solex or his former best friend Brian Hollywood.
Zion rolls out of the ring barely able to stand and hobbles his way back up the ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Let’s not short change Xander Azula here tonight. On any other week, against any other opponent, Xander walks out of here with his hand raised in victory. What a way to kick off Chaos 020 but let’s take it away from ringside at the moment as we try to reset and get Benny here to enjoy me for the rest of this broadcast.
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
The action cuts away from ringside and we open up in The Best Arena parking lot where we see a limo pull into the parking lot.
The cameraman hustles into position as we see the driver quickly exit and hustle to the back door and open it up.
The Santa hat is the first thing seen as Benny Newell exits the limo and smiles as he sees the camera.
“Oh Baby it’s cold outside”
The visible breath coming out of Benny’s mouth backs up his statement as it a cold night here in late January in the Windy City.
“Walk with me cameraman…..I got some tea to spill on my way in…….Zion’s match is over right?’
The cameraman moves the camera up and down to signify a nod in agreement and Newell’s smile goes larger.
“All credit to Lee for that stipulation in my contract. I am doing my BEST not to go back to my old ways with the drinking but I am telling ya…..watching a Darin Zion match is a fucking TRIGGER”.
The cameraman continues to follow Benny across the concrete and stops in unison with Benny as he reaches the door to enter the Arena.
“Ok….so a little treat for everyone before I enter the hallowed halls of HIS arena……you ready?”
Once again the cameraman moves the camera up and down to nod yes.
“So I got it on the BEST authority that tonight when we go off the air that several wrestlers are going to have to make sure their VISA’s are up to snuff as they find out their tickets to March to Glory have been punched. I CANNOT WAIT….GLORY TO BEST!!”
With a smirk Benny opens the door and disappears into the Best Arena as we cut elsewhere.
EVERYTHING IS OKAY
We shift to another section of the backstage area of The Best Arena where the LSD Champion Jace Parker Davidson can be seen making his way down the hallway beside Abdullah Choi. Jace has the LSD Championship belt displayed over his right shoulder and the ICON Championship belt proudly displayed around his waist. The two men are in deep discussion before they are stopped by a cameraman and HOW Hall of Fame interviewer Blaire Moise who has a microphone in her hand.
Blaire Moise: Jace, Shelley…
Abdullah Choi: That’s not my name!
Blaire Moise: Is it possible I get a few words from you both?
Davidson: Make it quick, Blaire.
Blaire nods her head and turns towards the cameraman.
Blaire Moise: Last week on Chaos 019 you were pulled from active TV time due to an altercation with your own father. Can you give us an update on that situation?
Davidson: An update? What kind of fucking update?!
Blaire Moise: His condition? How will your relationship with him might strengthen or suffer going forward?
Jace shakes his head and holds his hand up into the air.
Davidson: Blaire, it’s impossible for me to give less of a fuck right now about Terrence. He could have died from blunt force trauma to the head for all I care. If he stays out of my way then I’ll stay out of his way. It’s as simple as that.
Blaire Moise: The footage aired all over the HOW website and aren’t you worried that he could sue Lee Best and–
Jace cuts Blaire off.
Davidson: And then Lee can take it out of my paycheck along with all the other silly fines and conditions he added to my contract. I literally do not give a FUCK.
Blaire Moise: Fair enough. Speaking of Lee Best, I’m sure he’s not happy at all about the fact that you and Scott Stevens managed to lose the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts to The Alabama Gang at the PWA 01 event. Can I get your thoughts on that entire situation?
Davidson: Lee Best is pissed?! Well then… it’s a fucking day that ends in Y. Lee didn’t want to lose the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts to The Alabama Gang then here is a thought. STOP HANDING TAG TITLE SHOTS TO WRESTLERS INVOLVED IN YOUR SO-CALLED EVIL EMPIRE!
Blaire’s eyes widen a bit but Choi begins to whisper something into Jace’s ear. The LSD Champion sneers at what Choi is saying but then rolls his shoulders and looks at Blaire again.
Davidson: The fact of the matter is this. I didn’t choose to team with Scott Stevens. I didn’t ask for it and I sure as fuck didn’t want it. By the grace of my talent alone we won those belts and I could have done more to keep them. I could have saved Scott Stevens from being embarrassed by a pair of MVW wrestlers. But then again… what do I gain from that? To be forever tethered to Scott Stevens and have the burden of his deadweight on my shoulders as I sludge my way through title defense after title defense?
Davidson: I might be loyal to Lee Best but that doesn’t mean I’m loyal to Scott Stevens or in the business of doing charity work. Why pull the plow and try to harvest what little of a career that Scott Stevens has left when there is so much other talent on the HOW roster? Stronk is back, GREAT SCOTT is here full time. Hell, even Conor Fuse has potential even though he has horrible taste in best friends. I could easily pick a partner that is equal to or at least fucking close to my level but let’s be honest here. It would just mean more matches against MVW wrestlers. Joe Bergman would eventually want shot number 467 at the titles.
Jace extends his left arm into the air.
Davidson: For all the amount of shit that they talk and say they have a murders row of talent. PRIME wrestlers aren’t exactly eager to step into the ring against actual competition. They have their own pair of titles and Lindsay Troy’s skirt only provides so much safety for her little snowflakes. SHOOT project? sVo? Kyle McRae couldn’t win a match if his life depended on it and Lexi Gold would rather be a ringside groupie for everyone in the entire fucking industry than step up to the plate against REAL talent. Look at the HOTv belts. Has anyone done a fucking thing with them since I let them go? Is anyone out there even talking about them? Of course not. It’s no wonder the moment that Scott Stevens doesn’t have me to hold his hand in the ring that he completely turns back into a turnip and loses to Darin Zion of all people. So, maybe, maybe one day I’ll find a half decent partner and I’ll run the MVW gauntlet one more time. But until then? Until then I am focused on this belt right here on my shoulder.
Jace reaches up and adjusts the LSD Championship belt on his shoulder.
Blaire Moise: You were shown earlier in the HOV watching the opening contest tonight. Do you have any thoughts on Darin Zion overcoming Xander Azula and advancing to the finals of the LSD Championship tournament?
Davidson: Is that what this title has come to? We’re here in Chicago and you’re asking me about Darin Zion and Xander Azula? You know what? That’s fine, that’s OKAY because while these lesser talents beat each other’s heads in for a shot at the LSD Championship. I remain the standard of what this title is all about. Zion has once again shifted gears for the thousandth time and decided the LSD title his destiny. That he NEEDS to win this belt to prove that ‘LOVE STILL DOMINATES’ or something stupid like that. Well, Zion’s in the finals now and all he has to do is win one more match.
Abdullah Choi: You do realize we have a 50/50 shot of a Darin Zion vs. Brian Hollywood match in the finals of this tournament?
Jace groans but then focuses back on the cameraman. He takes the LSD Championship belt off of his shoulder and holds it up towards the camera.
Davidson: I wish I could laugh about that because it would be the only thing stopping me from weeping over the piss poor talent that is clamoring to take this title away from me. You have Darin Zion out here honking because why the fuck not? You have Brian Hollywood doing whatever the fuck it is that Brian Hollywood does. Probably still going on and on about how he used to be an HOW World Champion. About how he used to be someone important in this company when everyone important had already left for greener pastures. And then you have Steve Solex who thinks he’s a REAL man in a company full of little boys. He’s the man that I wanted to win this entire thing because his logic is so beautifully flawed. He claims he laid down at ICONIC and allowed me to retain my title because he wanted me in a match for it one-on-one. Because it makes total sense that Solex couldn’t beat me when I was distracted by three other men. He absolutely has a better chance when I’m focused on him and him alone.
Jace chuckles sarcastically.
Davidson: I don’t care if it’s Solex. I don’t care if it’s both Zion and Hollywood at March 2 Glory together against me. Lord knows it’s the only way either man will get any acknowledgement of greatness. They need to be attached at the hip for anyone to remember they even exist. Come one, come fucking all. I’ll be there next week for the finals and I’ll have an up close and personal view of that match. I don’t care if I have to shoehorn my way in as a commentator or as the referee. I am the HOW LSD Champion. I am the GREATEST LSD Champion that this company will ever see. If you think I am the mountain that you can climb back into relevance then bring it the fuck on. I’ll enjoy watching you fall just like all the rest.
Jace lays the LSD Championship belt back over his shoulder. He glares at Blaire before him and Choi continue down the hallway as we head to commercial break.
ACELDAMA VS. SCOTT STEVENS
Back live and we cut to ringside where the Hall of Famer duo is ready to call the next match up of the evening.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen where Aceldama makes his in-ring return to HOW in twelve years!
Joe’s excitement can hardly be contained as he looks toward the camera.
Joe Hoffman: The newly minted Hall of Famer is going to do battle against the self-proclaimed, “Demi-God of HOW” Scott Stevens in a No Disqualification match where pinfalls and submissions will be allowed to be conducted ANYWHERE on the property of the Best Arena.
Joe’s excitement may be getting the best of him, but can you blame him.
Joe Hoffman: In mere moments………
Joe is suddenly interrupted by the voice of…..
Benny Newell: Blah! Blah! Blah! Give it a rest Joe!
Benny shouts as he cracks open a sugar free Redbull and downs it before tosses it behind him as he arrives for the first time to the announcers table for the evening.
Benny Newell: It isn’t Jack, but it will have to do if I’m going to get through this next match where we have the Agent of Chaos himself, Aceldama, beating the shit out of that Lee Best wannabe, Scott Stevens, from pillar to post tonight.
Joe Hoffman: You’re right partner, glad to see you made it here tonight.
Benny Newell: Perks of the job Joe. It is for my mental health sir.
The HOV comes to life as static and out of focus images fill the screen until we see a small makeshift room in the basement of the Best Arena, Aceldama sits at the end of a bed, taping up his hands with black tape as two security guards are watching his every move. A red light above the only door in the room begins to flash and two large knocks are heard from the door. There is the sound of large locks unlocking and the door slides open. Eight men come through the door, each holding tasers, stand four either side of the door. Aceldama stands up and turns. The two security guards check Aceldama top to toe, even inside his mouth.
Benny Newell: The only weapons Ace needs are his hands. This dude is THAT dude.
Joe Hoffman: I think it’s more for their safety Benny since he almost escaped last week.
Ace places his hands behind his back and a guard handcuffs them, then proceeds to put a black blindfold on his head. The guards stand side by side of Aceldama and direct him towards the door. The two guards put Aceldama forward then the door closes. It’s an elevator which begins to lift upwards. Meanwhile scene cuts back to the Best Arena where we can see, from the entrance to the ring, armed guards either side. A hole opens up at the top of the entrance and Aceldama emerges. No music accompanies him, no pyro, no visuals. His head downwards with the hood on.
Brian McVay: Introducing first, from Berlin, Deutschland… weighing in at 275 pounds… he is… THE AGENT OF CHAOS…. ACEL-DAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
Benny Newell: SOOOOOOO ready for this. Aceldama wrestling in 2023. Fucking amazing.
A guard removes the handcuffs, then the hood and before he can begin his trek to the ring he gets blasted from behind and there is a thunderous boos from the Chicago crowd as it was Scott Stevens who attacked Ace from behind.
Crowd: FUCK YOU STEVENS! FUCK YOU STEVENS! FUCK YOU STEVENS!
Benny Newell: Yes…..the smartest wrestling crowd in the world again proves why.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go…….
The Demi-God of HOW cups his ear to hear the jeers before flicking off the thousands in attendance before making his way down the entrance ramp and delivering a boot to the face of Aceldama.
Scott Stevens: You’re the big bad HE was hyping about?!?!?!?
Stevens yells as he delivers an onslaught of punches to the side of Ace’s face before he begins to blatantly choke him.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens with a sneak attack and he’s pounced on Aceldama early.
Benny Newell: Hard to hate on that move by Stevens….I would have done the same.
Hortega watches as the Texan chokes the German which is perfectly legal in a no disqualification match. Stevens lets go out Ace’s throat and the former world champion starts grasping for air and Scott quickly goes for a cover.
Stevens quickly places a reverse chinlock on Ace.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens tried to go for a quick pin, but Aceldama showing Lee’s favorite disciple that it’s going to take more than a choke to slow down the Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Benny Newell: You mean Lee’s favorite simp right Hoffman?
Stevens yells at Hortega to ask Aceldama if he quits, but the German calmly says no to the delight of the crowd and Ace tries to rake the eyes of Scott Stevens, but the Texan bites his fingers before he rakes Ace’s eyes.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens remains in control with a rake of the eyes.
The crowd boos as the Texan taunts the crowd.
Scott Stevens: You cheer for this?!?!?!?
Stevens asks as he points to Aceldama who is rolling on the ground clutching his eyes.
Scott Stevens: No wonder you’re idiots!
The crowd comes unglued.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens making no friends here tonight.
Stevens reaches down and picks up Aceldama and whips him towards the ring but Ace reverses it.
Joe Hoffman: Reverse.
But Stevens is able to reverse it back into his favor and Ace hits the ring back first and he doesn’t have time to react as Stevens flies through the air and takes him out with a splash.
Joe Hoffman: Variation of the Stinger Splash has Stevens in firm control of this match.
Stevens points to his head before delivering another boot to the face of Aceldama. The Texan picks up Ace and whips him to the nearest set of ring steps and Ace barrels through them like a head on collision car crash.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like spending that week in prison prepping for this match is paying off.
Benny Newell: Give me a fucking break Hoffman! Knesus Christ, why don’t you and Stevens get a fucking room! We all know Stevens is no tough guy. Hell, he was getting his shit pushed in on a daily basis. I know a guy and he told me Stevens hired a film crew to stage that little incident in the showers to make him look tough because he was getting his lunch money stolen every day.
Joe Hoffman: The heck?
Benny Newell: I can only confirm that if you turn your pockets inside out and Stevens walks by he will gladly grab hold and will not let go.
Stevens stalks Ace as the German slowly makes his way to the front of announce table.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like the action is coming this way.
Benny Newell: Lets fucking go!!
Stevens hits his knee indicating he’s looking for the knee trembler.
Joe Hoffman: Scott Stevens about to show Aceldama why you don’t mess with Texas.
Stevens runs full force towards his opponent but before he can bend his leg to deliver the knee, a boot collides with his face instead.
Joe Hoffman: Big boot to Stevens….
Benny Newell: WHAT THE FUCK HOFFMAN?!?!?!? BIG BOOT? THAT’S DAS BOOT!!! AND IT JUST SENT HIM BACK TO TEXAS!
The crowd comes unglued as Aceldama tries to regain his whereabouts as Stevens lies on the ground with a glazed look on his eyes.
Benny Newell: FUCK YOU STEVENS! GET HIM ACE!
Aceldama gets to his feet and makes his way over to his fellow Hall of Famer and picks him up by his hair and the Texan delivers a shot to the stomach that doesn’t faze Ace as the Weapon of Mass Destruction delivers a clubbing blow to Scott’s back.
Joe Hoffman: A simple blow like a shot to the spine of Scott Stevens causing him extreme pain shows why Aceldama is a walking weapon.
Ace goes to pick Stevens up, but Scott shoves him back and Scott tries to catch a breather leaning on the announce table.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens trying to catch a breather…..
Unbeknownst to Aceldama, Stevens grabbed one of Benny’s Redbulls and waits for him to get closer before cracking him in the head with energy drink.
Benny Newell: I better be compensated for that!
Benny continues to yell at Stevens which gets the attention of the Texan and the two begin to bicker.
Scott Stevens: Shut the fuck up Benny before I bitch slap your ass back to rehab!
Benny begins to seethe and throws down his Santa hat.
Benny Newell: Try it!
Stevens quickly raises his hand lunges at Benny, but Big Buffy ducks out of the way. Stevens gives Joe the finger as he grabs another Redbull.
Joe Hoffman: What did I do?
Stevens gets his wiiings as he takes a swig before crushing the can in his hands and mounting Ace and using the sharp points of the can to slice into the forehead of Aceldama.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens cutting Aceldama open with Benny’s Redbull can.
Benny Newell: Don’t blame me for this Hoffhole.
A sadistic smirk comes across the Texan’s face as he reaches down and touches the bloody forehead of Aceldama and wipes it on his body.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens smearing his opponent’s blood over his body like he did last week with Darin Zion.
Benny Newell: That is one way to prove yourself to Lee that you are all about the 97Red.
The Texan picks up his opponent and tosses him over the security barrier and into the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: Ah heck.
The Chicago crowd collapse on the two wrestlers and the Demi-God begins to push people aside to get to Aceldama.
Scott Stevens: MOVE!
Stevens orders a man to get out of the way and he refuses so Scott shoves him hard to the ground and takes his chair.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens looking to tee off here with that chair.
The Texan makes his way up to Ace and unleashes a barrage of chairshots to his spine.
Stevens tosses the chair down and grabs his opponent and slowly picks him up before dropping him to a knee with a European uppercut. Stevens continues the attack with a couple of stomps before telling people to move as he grabs Ace’s arm and muscles him to his feet and into a crowd of people with an Irish whip.
Joe Hoffman: Dear God! Stevens just whipped Ace into those people.
At this point the EPU have arrived and started to administer crowd control.
Joe Hoffman: Thankfully the EPU have arrived and have a semblance of order restored.
Benny Newell: Thank Lee.
Stevens and Aceldama have made their way over to the stairs and they begin to trade punches as they climb toward the concourse level. As they reach the top, Ace has gotten the better of the Texan, but Stevens quickly goes low dropping Aceldama to his knees in pain.
Joe Hoffman: Low blow by Stevens quickly ending Aceldama’s offense.
The EPU have reached the concourse and have the fans back as Stevens looks across the way and sees the restroom and a devilish grin forms over his face.
Joe Hoffman: He’s not……
Benny Newell: I think he is.
Scott grabs Ace by his right leg and starts dragging him over towards the restroom.
Scott Stevens: It’s baptism time Mr. Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Stevens tells Ace as he pulls him.
Scott Stevens: Hope there is a shit filled toilet I can drown you in.
Stevens chuckles to him as he enters the restroom and delivers a kick to the spine of Aceldama before going to the stalls looking for the right one to baptize Ace.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like Stevens is looking for a dirty toilet to….baptize his opponent.
Joe sounds like he’s about to throw up and as Stevens emerges from the handicap stall he gets his head taken off by a big boot.
Benny Newell: DAS BOOT!
Aceldama makes his way over to the sinks and pulls off one of the mirrors and waits for Stevens to stand and smashes it over the Texan’s head so hard that Scott’s head goes through before collapsing to the crowd. The crowd goes ballistic and the EPU can barely contain them as they cheer Aceldama.
Crowd: ACE! ACE! ACE!
Ace picks up a shard of glass and begins to cut into Scott’s forehead.
Benny Newell: BLEED BITCH! BLEED!
When Ace is done, a rare smile forms over the man’s face and we see he has carved “ACE” into his opponent’s forehead.
Joe Hoffman: Aceldama making sure Stevens doesn’t forget his name.
Ace picks up the Texan and tossing him against the row of stalls. As Scott leans on the outside barely able to stand, Ace runs full speed and delivers a massive spear that breaks the walls of three stalls as Aceldama takes him that far in.
Benny Newell: HOLY SHIT!
Joe Hoffman: BERLIN EXPRESS!
Ace makes a cover on Stevens.
Stevens was able to get his shoulder up.
Joe Hoffman: HOW DID STEVENS KICK OUT OF THAT?!?!?!?!?
Ace simply shrugs as he grabs Scott and drags him towards the handicap stall and inside we see the bowl is filled with utter nastiness. Ace grabs Scott by the face and slowly pulls the big Texan up with one hand.
Aceldama: In my country, we call this a blumpkin.
Joe Hoffman: A what?
Benny Newell: This is about to get disgusting.
Ace grabs Stevens and forces his head into the toilet bowl before sitting on top of his head so the Texan can’t escape. Aceldama grabs the side of the toilet so Stevens cannot buck him off with his flailing about.
Joe Hoffman: I think I’m going to puke.
After a few minutes, Stevens body goes limp and Ace shakes his head in disgust as he pulls the Texan from the toilet and viciously stomps on his chest causing water to shoot out of Scott’s mouth and begin gasping for air.
Aceldama: We aren’t done yet my friend. I have more pain in store for you.
Ace calmly and sadistically informs his opponent as he grabs Stevens arm and pulls him out of the restroom and back onto the concourse. Ace picks up Stevens and throws him into a beer vender and various Bud and Coors products along with a ton of ice litter the concrete flooring.
Ace picks up a red aluminum, Budweiser can and waits for Stevens to get to his feet before smashing it into his face.
Aceldama: Shite beer for a shite wrestler.
Ace begins to stalk his opponent as he slowly walks behind Stevens who is trying to crawl away.
Benny Newell: Don’t just walk behind him! Hit him! Kick him! Do something for Lee sake!
As if on command, Ace grabs Stevens and tosses him like a rag doll into the opening of a taco and nacho concession stand.
Benny Newell: Townsend isn’t going to like that.
Ace jumps into the opened window and begins pouring hot cheese and chili onto the back of Stevens who growls in pain as he burns his skin. Ace grabs a head of lettuce and waits for Stevens to stand before drilling him in the face with it.
Ace looks at one of the employees.
Aceldama: Turn that grill up to full blast.
The employee is hesitant at first.
Aceldama: Don’t make me ask again.
Ace calmly tells the employee who complies and we immediately see the result which causes Ace to crack a smirk.
Aceldama: Lee brands me. I burn his Demi-God.
Joe Hoffman: You have got to be kidding me.
Benny Newell: And eye for an eye! Burn Stevens! BUUUURRRRRRRRRN!
Ace puts Stevens between his leg and lifts him high into the air and drops him back first onto the grill and Stevens begins screaming bloody murder.
Joe Hoffman: Jackknife Powerbomb by the German.
Stevens rolls off of the grill and when he does Ace pulls him towards him and makes a cover.
Benny Newell: BULLSHIT!
Ace shoots a look at Hortega who immediately backs away shouting dos.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens kicking out on pure instinct.
The next image we see is Scott Stevens flying through the open window of Townsend’s House of Tacos and Nachos with the German in tow.
Benny Newell: Ace is looking to finish it here Hoffman.
Ace picks up Stevens and throws him towards one of the outer doors and it is the only reason Stevens is still on his feet, barely. Ace rushes towards the Texan and delivers a nuclear sized shotgun dropkick that breaks the door off of its hinges and the action spills to the outer concourse.
Joe Hoffman: Someone may need to stop this.
Benny Newell: Why? Stevens is getting his ass kicked, why stop now?
Ace surveys his surroundings and makes his way over to the railing and looks down.
Aceldama: What’s another decade?
Ace says calmly with a shrug as he makes his way back to Stevens and picks him up.
Joe Hoffman: What?!?!?!?!?
Ace slings Stevens onto his shoulder and take a few steps back.
Joe Hoffman: He isn’t?
Benny Newell: Oh, but he is.
Aceldama starts running and looks to launch Stevens over the railing, but the Texan is able to get free at the last second.
Joe Hoffman: Thank goodness.
As Aceldama turns around he sees his opponent kneeling on the ground and as he gets closer Stevens springs up and hits his finisher.
Joe Hoffman: TOXIC STING!
Benny Newell: FUCK!
Stevens has trouble getting to him feet after the cutter, but when he does he has rage in his eyes as he does the slit throat motion before quickly going to Aceldama. He places Ace between his legs and lift him into the air and holds before spiking him onto the concrete.
Joe Hoffman: GAME CHANGER!
Aceldama goes limp and Stevens stares at Ace with pure hatred before making the cover.
Benny Newell: Lee dammit!
Benny Newell: What the fuck?!?!?!?
Joe Hoffman: No idea Benny. Ace didn’t kick out because Stevens was pulled off of him.
Stevens immediately shoots a look behind him and he sees……
Joe Hoffman: Holy sh……
Dan smirks at his fellow Texas brethren before delivering a sickening superkick to the face of Stevens and Scott hits the ground with a loud thump. Dan Ryan isn’t quite done as he picks Scott up and places him over his shoulders and delivers a burning hammer onto the concrete.
Joe Hoffman: Ryan just nailed his HEADLINER finish onto the concrete…….that has to be it!!!
Dan pops to his feet and looks over at Aceldama and makes his way over towards him.
Benny Newell: Uh oh.
Instead of another burning hammer, Dan grabs Ace and drags him towards Stevens and places him on top of the Demi-God of HOW.
Dan Ryan: COUNT!
Dan shouts at Hortega who does as he’s told.
Hortega signals for the bell.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Brian McVay: And your winner by pinfall….he is… THE AGENT OF CHAOS…. ACEL-DAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
The Chicago crowd goes wild for Ace winning his first match back in twelve years.
Joe Hoffman: Aceldama may have gotten the victory but he doesn’t look like a winner tonight.
Benny Newell: Hoffman, it doesn’t matter if you win by and inch or a mile. Winning is winning.
Joe Hoffman: Regardless, Ace picks up his first win in over twelve years with the help of another Lee Best iron clad contracted employee…..Dan Ryan.
We see EPU and EMTs coming over to the carnage as Dan Ryan casually leaves the scene as we cut to a commercial break.
Back from commercial, we cut backstage to hear a commotion from inside the locker room…a crash here, a clang of metal there, the intensity increasing as EPU guards start rushing in. We eventually get a look at what’s causing all the ruckus…Xander Azula throwing various items against the locker, including a steel chair!
The agents take hold of the Fighter, shoving him against the locker to keep him at bay…an action that garners a laugh from Azula as he shouts at them.
Xander Azula: I’m sorry, I thought this was America! I didn’t know you didn’t want a bit of chaos on your show called, well…Chaos.
Xander smirks at the dumb pun attempt, but the EPU aren’t having any of that as the agents pull him away from the locker. They turn him around, and he notices the camera…turning that smirk to a full grin, accompanied by a chuckle.
Xander Azula: Oh good, I have an audience. Before they drag me out of here, let me get this warning out there for anyone that wants to make a mockery out of your boy Xander…the beatings will continue until MY morale improves! I don’t care–
He’s interrupted with a tug of the arm by one of the EPU agents, which causes Xander to shout.
Xander Azula: Hey! I’m talkin’ here!
Xander turns his attention back to us, composing himself as best he can before speaking again.
Xander Azula: I don’t care who they put in front of me…it can be Darin Zion, Brian Hollywood, some rando from the street…I will scratch and claw my way to get to March to Glory, come hell or high water…and you will see just how much fight this ol’ Fighter still has in him!
Before he can say any more, Xander is yanked away by the EPU agents, laughing almost hysterically as we cut away from the locker room area.
MEET THE GANG
The action cuts back to ringside where Joe and Benny are standing by…
Joe Hoffman: As you know two weeks ago at the PWA-01 show in Anaheim, California, we had a title change for the HOTv Tag Team title.
Benny Newell: Ugh. How the fuck did Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens lose to … to… who the fuck did they lose to?
Joe Hoffman: Let’s show you right now.
(REPLAY: Jace Parker Davidson/Scott Stevens © vs. The Alabama Gang-HOTv Tag Team Title)
Stevens shoves Jenkins’ head between his legs and then signals that Jenkins is finished. Stevens grabs a hold of Jenkins by the waist and begins to lift him into the air.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens is going for the Game Changer!
Stevens gets Jenkins into the air but Jenkins kicks his legs and manages to make it more difficult for Stevens to get him into position. Jenkins plants his feet onto the canvas and hits Stevens with a big back body drop that sends him crashing down to the canvas. Jenkins makes it over to his corner and tags in Hendry. With both members of The Alabama Gang in the ring they stalk around Stevens who has no idea what is happening. Stevens staggers back up his feet but Jenkins and Hendry grab a hold of Stevens and lift him into the air.
Richard Parker: DOUBLE TEAM ALABAMA SLAM!
Stevens crashes down to the canvas hard as Hendry hooks the leg and makes the cover. Jenkins places his hands on Hendry’s back as Hortega slides in for the count.
Joel Hortega: UNO
Jace steps through the ropes to break up the count.
Joel Hortega: DOS
Jace stops himself then exits the ring and hops down off the ring apron. Davidson orders both Choi and STRONKETTE not to get involved.
Joe Hoffman: Did Jace just abandon Scott Stevens?!
Joel Hortega: TRES!!!!
Richard Parker: NEW CHAMPIONS!!!
Bryan McVay: Here are your winners… AND NEWWWWWWW HOTv World Tag Team Champions… THE ALABAMA GANG!!!!
The crowd erupts as Bill Dickinson enters the ring and celebrates with both Jenkins and Hendry. Sunny gingerly enters the ring as Hortega presents Jenkins and Hendry with the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts. The Alabama Gang celebrates and exits the ring after pulling off the shocker.
Joe Hoffman: The new HOTv Tag Team Champions spoke for the first time last night at Missouri Valley Wrestling’s house show in Valparaiso, Indiana… not too far away from here. Here’s a tape of what they said and what went down.
(Taped at Last Night’s Missouri Valley Wrestling’s Valparaiso House Show)
Inside the ring are R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry… flanked by Sunny O’Callahan who, as always, seems to be swigging from an open bottle of Southern Comfort… and they receive a hero’s welcome from the MVW fans in Valparaiso.
R.G, Jenkins: Thank you.
R.G. presses his fist to his heart as the crowd’s ovation continues.
Hendry holds up the HOTv Tag Team title belt and grins.
Also in the ring is MVW’s backstage interviewer Kellie Burkowski.
Kellie Burkowski: Two weeks ago, the Alabama Gang shocked the world by winning these belts from Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens. R.G.? Mark? Has it sunk in yet just what you two did?
Mark Hendry: Yeah.
Kellie Burkowski: What about you, R.G.? You were a little hesitant about the idea at first.
R.G. Jenkins: First, it has Kellie. We did something no one thought we could do and that’s beat the HOTv Tag champions. Yes, I sure didn’t think that going to the PWA and challenging JPD and Stevens was a good idea at first but I was dead wrong. Mark and I are very proud to be the HOTv Tag team champions and we’re gonna try to be the best champions we can be and enjoy the time we hold these belts.
Kellie Burkowski: When will you have your first title defense?
R.G. and Hendry turn to Sunny. She steps forward.
Sunny O’Callahan: Kellie, all I know is that it will take place at an upcoming Sanctioned Violence Organization show out in Las Vegas. But we don’t know who R.G. and Mark are going up against yet.
Mark Hendry: Lookin’ forward to goin’ to Vegas.
R.G. Jenkins: Yeah. I’m looking forward to it, too. sVo has some good tag teams in their division and I’m interested to see who we’ll face.
Kellie Burkowski: All right getting back to MVW for a second, on February 7th down in Normal, Illinois The Alabama Gang will try for a second title against The Stevens Dynasty for the MVW Men’s Tag Team belts.
R.G. Jenkins: Kellie, I promise ya, we ain’t forgotten about the Stevens Dynasty. The Stevens Dynasty has been on our radar for a long time now. We had a crack at winning the tag belts from them last November. Couldn’t quite get it done but now that Mark and I have a little more experience teaming up with each other…
Kellie Burkowski: And the fact you just beat a very high-profile tag team from HOW to win the HOTv Tag Team belts.
R.G. Jenkins: Right. I think the Alabama Gang are a much better tag team now than we were- OOOOF
Scott Stevens suddenly appears on screen and blasts Jenkins in the back of the head with a steel chair.
Kellie Burkowski yelps out something and tries to get out of the way as simultaneously:
-Bo Stevens levels Sunny O’Callahan with a clothesline. The bottle of Southern Comfort smashes on the floor.
-George Stevens grabs Mark Hendry by the throat… lifts… and SLAMS him to the floor.
-And Scott Stevens lays in a few stomps before he picks Jenkins back up. Boot to the gut. Spin. Drop. Toxic Slam.
Kellie Burkowski: Oh my god. It’s the Stevens Dynasty!
The chaos continues.
-George Stevens scraps Hendry off the floor and hauls him up on his shoulder. He then turns and with great force SLAMS Hendry onto the floor with a Texas-Sized Slam.
-Bo starts in with the stomps on both Jenkins and Hendry.
-Even the patriarch of the Stevens Dynasty Cary Stevens gets in on the act and he gets a few stomps in on Jenkins and Hendry.
Finally, MVW Security race down the ramp to break up the two teams.
Cut back to Joe and Benny at the broadcast desk.
Joe Hoffman: So, we now know that the new HOTv Tag Team Champions will be defending their title at sVo against an opponent to be named later. It’s also interesting that Scott Stevens… one-half of the former HOTv Tag Team champions who lost the belts to the Alabama Gang… was involved in that fracas last night.
Benny Newell: Joe. This used to be the part of the show where I would pour myself some Jack and tell you that I don’t give a rat’s ass about who The Alabama Gang are nor does it interest me in the least that Scott Stevens was involved. However, even without whiskey, I can confirm I still don’t give a flying fuck about the Alabama Gang or Scott Stevens.
Joe Hoffman: Cogent commentary as always, Benny.
Benny Newell: That’s why I went to rehab, Joe.
Before Joe can say anything else the HOV comes to life as the entrances begin for our next match of the evening…
STEVE SOLEX VS. BRIAN HOLLYWOOD
“Stronger on your Own” by Disturbed blares over the PA. The crowd waits as the music plays, but Hollywood doesn’t immediately walk out.
Joe Hoffman: Well, we hear Brian Hollywood’s music, but he’s a bit late walking out….
Benny Newell: Gotta wonder if Hollywood didnt ask for help in time?
Everyone continues to wait until finally, about one minute late, he walks out. Hollywood slowly walks from the back and takes center stage as he stands there for a few brief moments, closing his eyes.
Joe Hoffman: Brian Hollywood finally makes his way out onto the stage. Hollywood, of course, hasn’t been seen in action since November, when he came up short against Great Scott in a match for the HOTv title, but he’s getting new life tonight.
Benny Newell: I had not noticed that he wasn’t in action since November. But then again, I didn’t often notice when he WAS in action either.
Joe Hoffman: Well, he’s two wins away from a shot at the LSD title, but he’s got his work cut out for him for sure tonight against Steve Solex.
He reigns in the boos from the crowd as he gets in final mental preparation for his upcoming match. As Hollywood opens up his eyes, pyro shoots off in opposite corners of the stage as it makes its way to center stage. As the pyro hits the center, the camera zooms in to see the reflection in his eyes as he finally makes his way down the ramp, quickly taking off his vest and throwing it down with intensity.
Bryan McVay: The following contest is a semi-final match in the tournament to name a number one contender to the LSD Title, and is scheduled for ONE FALL! Introducing first, from Los Angeles, California and weighing in at 225 pounds…. BRIAAAAAANNN HOLLYWOOOOOOD!!!!!!
Hollywood makes his final push as he charges the ring, rolling under the ropes. He gets back to his feet and looks about the entire arena glaring at the fans before he takes his place in the corner turnbuckle before turning his gaze intently in the ring as he awaits for the bell.
Benny Newell: He does look focused, I’ll give him that.
Joe Hoffman: This is for sure a huge match for both men, but particularly for Brian Hollywood if he wants to right the ship, so to speak.
The beginning of “This Means War” by Avenged Sevenfold thumps from the sound system as the crowd explodes into a fury of boos and hisses. 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 as the lights throughout the arena go dark. 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, and at that moment the music returns and Steve Solex makes his way out from behind the curtain.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, from Huntington Beach, California and weighing in at 252 pounds… he is the MercDad… STEEEEEEEVE SOOOOOOOLEEEEEXXX!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Steve Solex making his way to the ring, looking confident and serious as ever. Solex is riding high after a big win over Bobinette Carey last week, looking to take that next step toward the LSD Champion Jace Parker Davidson.
Benny Newell: I can’t bet against Steve Solex. The man is military for crying out loud. You think he has any patience for the likes of Brian Hollywood?
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. He soaks in the boos from the crowd before marching down to the ring. No glitz, no high fives, just a fast paced march and the look of a cold blooded killer. He slides under the bottom rope and stares down the referee before finding his corner and resting back into it.
Joe Hoffman: Joel Hortega checks both men, gives some last second instructions…
Benny Newell: Which neither man understands.
Joe Hoffman: But nevertheless, both men nod and with that… this match is underway!
The bell rings.
Solex charges in and locks up with Hollywood immediately. Both men jockey for position, going back and forth, before Solex finally manages to shove Hollywood off. They lock up again and Solex starts to walk Hollywood backward toward the ropes, but just before getting there, he turns Hollywood into a headlock and bounces backward with him against the ropes. Using his momentum, he shoves Hollywood across the ring and toward the other side. Hollywood goes with it and hits the opposite ropes, then comes back and takes Solex down with a big shoulder block. Hollywood looks down at him, points to his head and smirks, then steps back as Solex gets to a knee.
Benny Newell: Hollywood claiming intelligence is a weird flex…
Joe Hoffman: Still, Hollywood has the upper hand here first, although we are in the very early goings of this one.
Solex snarls as he gets to his feet and Hollywood approaches as well, still with a slight smirk on his face. This time instead of locking up, Solex puts a boot right in the midsection of Hollywood, who doubles over. Solex stomps on his hand, causing Hollywood to wince and pull back, and Solex follows with a boot to the face and follows it up with three hard stomps across the chest in succession.
Joe Hoffman: Solex stomps a mudhole in the chest of Brian Hollywood. Solex is not someone you want to go toe to toe with in hand to hand fighting.
Benny Newell: The man is military trained. Hollywood would be wise to use some of his technical prowess to overcome the disadvantage…. So…… he probably won’t.
Hollywood scrambles to get his wits about him, but Solex pulls him up into a standing position and spins a hard elbow right to his jaw. He fires off a right hand, following that up with a forearm smash across the bridge of his nose before finally bum rushing him backward into the corner, where Solex proceeds to drive a shoulder repeatedly into Hollywood’s midsection.
Joe Hoffman: Solex smartly keeping Hollywood grounded here and going to work in the corner. All of these blows to the head and midsection will go far toward keeping it that way.
Solex steps back, eyebrows furrowed in a scowl, then rushes in with a clothesline that crushes Hollywood back against the turnbuckle. Solex steps back and goes for another, but this time Hollywood sidesteps it and Solex goes shoulder first through the ropes and into the post.
Joe Hoffman: Miscalculation by Solex and he hits the post hard!
Benny Newell: That’s a big mistake. He has all the momentum but he just did a lot of damage to his own shoulder with that one.
Hollywood doesn’t waste any time, and pulls Solex back out of the ropes, then lifts him up and over with a German Suplex. Hollywood scrambles over and from a mount position rains down big right hands over and over into the forehead of Steve Solex. Hortega yells for him to parada, but Hollywood does not parada, and instead continues to drive fists into Steve Solex’s head.
Benny Newell: What did he say? Parada? What the hell is a parada?
Joe Hoffman: I believe it means “STOP” in Spanish.
Benny Newell: Oh, I thought it was one of those little Mexican pastries with honey inside. I had one of those down in Tijuana once after a night of…
Joe Hoffman: Um, hold that story, Benny.
Benny Newell: Oh… right.
Hollywood gets back to a standing position, then stomps at Solex, but Solex catches his foot, and uses leverage to twist him over and down to the mat. Hollywood gets to his feet first, however and as Solex rises, Hollywood hits him with a huge clothesline and goes for the cover.
Hollywood quickly pulls Solex back up and turns him into a neckbreaker. With Solex down on the mat, Hollywood drops an elbow, then jumps up and drops another, before finishing with a leaping leg drop across the throat of the MercDad. Hollywood drops for another cover.
Another kickout at two, but Hollywood doesn’t waste time and starts to climb up the nearest turnbuckle. He starts to leap off with a flying elbow, but pauses when he sees Solex stirring and rolling out of the way. Instead, Hollywood waits, and when Solex gets to his feet, then slowly turns around, Hollywood jumps off and grasps Solex by the front of his head and snaps him down in one motion with a cutter.
Joe Hoffman: Brian Hollywood smartly waits for Solex to get up and then hits a big cutter right in the middle of the ring!
TRES…. NO!! KICKOUT
Kickout just in the nick of time. Hollywood slaps the mat, then jumps to his feet and climbs the turnbuckle again. This time Solex isn’t moving, and Hollywood leaps into the air and comes crashing down across his opponent’s chest with a devastating elbow drop.
Joe Hoffman: What an elbow drop! That may have caved Steve Solex’s chest in, it hit so hard!
Benny Newell: Unbelievable! That flying elbow drop was shades of… of… um, someone who has a really good flying elbow drop and played minor league baseball for those asshole Cardinals.
Hollywood gets to his feet and yells out into the crowd before backing up into the opposite corner and preparing to rush in with the Executive Decree. He waits and watches as Solex slowly regains his footing, and then, as Solex turns slightly in his direction, Hollywood takes off and throws the claymore kick at the head of Steve Solex, but he ducks it.
Joe Hoffman: Executive Decree misses!
Hollywood runs through, then turns around into a big right hand from Steve Solex. Solex throws a big overhead haymaker, then spins Hollywood around and hooks his arms, then hits a big Tiger suplex. Solex dives on top of Hollywood, and starts pounding away with forearms to the bridge of the nose, before finally just grinding the forearm across the same area.
Joe Hoffman: Flurry of offense from Steve Solex now! A beautiful Tiger Suplex followed up with some hard shots to the face of Brian Hollywood, and now he’s just punishing him, grinding his forearm across his nose.
Solex grabs a handful of hair and yanks Solex up and drops him again with a Russian leg sweep. He jumps right back up and leaps up and down with a big knee drop. Solex goes for the cover.
Joe Hoffman: Near fall!
Solex argues the count with Joel Hortega, who yells back… NO!
Solex turns around and Hollywood is getting to his feet. Solex pops him in the jaw with a right hand, then another, then forces him back into the ropes and whips him across the ring. Hollywood hits the opposite ropes then bounces back and ducks a big clothesline from Solex. He bounds into the ropes again and is caught by Solex with a big spinebuster.
Joe Hoffman: What impact on that spinebuster!!
Benny Newell: And he’s not done!
Solex pulls him up and throws another big right hand, but this time Hollywood fires back with one of his own. Solex fires back. Hollywood fires back. Again. Again, and again. Solex throws a headbutt that staggers Hollywood. Solex locks him around the waist and quickly snaps him over with a belly to belly suplex.
Joe Hoffman: Trading big shots to the head and finally Steve Solex gets the other hand and sends Brian Hollywood careening across the ring!
Hollywood goes flying up against the ropes. Solex rushes over and pulls him up, then whips him across the ring again. With a yell, Hollywood comes flying off the ropes and tries for the Executive Decree again. Once again, Solex ducks out of the way, but this time continues into the ropes and comes off with a big shoulder block. Hollywood snaps to his back and Solex crouches, waiting for his opponent to get to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: Solex with the shoulder block… waiting… waiting…
Just as Hollywood gets to both feet, Solex dashes into the ropes and hits a huge CLOTHESLINE FROM HECK that nearly turns Brian Hollywood inside out. Hortega drops down for the count as Solex makes the cover.
Joe Hoffman: CLOTHESLINE FROM HECK!! Can Hollywood kick out?!
Benny Newell: Like HELL he will! I mean…. Like HECK he will!
The bell rings.
Bryan McVay: The winner of this match…. STEEEEEEEEEVE SOOOOOOOOLEEEEEEEEXXX!!
Joe Hoffman: A big win for Steve Solex who will now move on to the finals next week with a shot at the LSD title on the line….but for now we have to cut to a commercial break.
The Chicago crowd can be heard still cheering for Solex as we cut to our commercial break.
The camera pans around the arena when “The Greatest American” by Cracked Prism Studios hits. The crowd offers a mixed reaction as Christopher America makes his way out. Dressed in his traditional America jacket, jeans, and American flag sunglasses, the World Champion makes his way out with the World Championship clutched tightly to his chest.
Joe Hoffman: Well, folks, perhaps this is the time. Perhaps, this is the moment. Perhaps, this is the instance where we’ll hear from the World Champion himself on what went down at PWA.
Benny Newell: You’re a real piece of work, Joe. That man is a great patriot who clearly had to endure a three on one assault at the hands of that big Russian fuck, the smaller Russian fuck, and that fat Russian fuck in the crowd! Putin’s agents were everywhere!
Joe Hoffman: Regardless, the record books will read that Ivan Stanislav beat Christopher America, who, by all accounts appears to be walking gingerly down to the ring.
The camera stays locked with America who is moving slower than normal. His face as stoic and unchanging as it was in his video interview last week. The mixed reaction continues as America gingerly gets into the ring. The champ leans against the ropes and holds out his hand. The ring attendant places a microphone in his hand as America walks towards the center of the ring. He faces the hard cam and slowly brings the microphone to his lips.
The crowd’s reaction grows louder but America ignores them entirely.
Christopher America: A few weeks ago…
The crowd cheers as the World Champion finally speaks.
Christopher America: A few weeks ago, I attempted to defend the good name of HOW and the good name of America against PRIME’s Ivan Stanislav.
The crowd immediately boos as America presses on.
Christopher America: Since that event, I’ve had time to really think about what happened in the match. About where things went wrong. About where I went wrong.
America pauses. He shifts the World Championship to his shoulder and looks down at the mat.
Joe Hoffman: I’m genuinely shocked at the level of self-realization in the champion.
Benny Newell: I bet he was practically forced to after your gotcha, yellow journalism last week. You practically hounded the man!
America pulls the microphone back up and takes a deep breath before continuing.
Christopher America: I’ve realized that there is a lot of blame to go around. But the bulk of the blame lies at my feet.
I blame myself for what happened at the PWA event. And I blame myself for what’s to come.
After I lost the match, I had a realization.
And that realization is that I’ve been going soft on everyone here.
I’ve been taking it easy on you all.
America’s stoicism breaks and a half smile curls on the left side of his face.
Christopher America: Yeah… yeah! I’ve… I’ve allowed you all to step on me, to take me for granted, to doubt me, to treat me as some sort of joke. It doesn’t matter to you at all what I’ve accomplished. Helping to take the HOFC Title to the main event of March To Glory? You don’t care. Become the greatest War Games competitor of all time? Not a big deal to you. Single handedly run through the Highwaymen? You’re unimpressed.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve beaten the best competitors in HOW. It doesn’t matter that I’ve pinned Conor Fuse and Clay Byrd or that I’ve submitted Steve Harrison. It doesn’t matter that I’ve given you Jatt Starr by drawing him out or shown you the folly of believing in someone like John Sektor.
It’s never good enough for you.
And so, it’s time that I stopped going soft.
It’s time I stopped allowing people to get away with the things they’ve gotten away with. And I’m going to start with you, Joe Hoffman, and the disrespect you showed me last week.
America slowly turns to his head towards Hoffman and scowls.
Christopher America: Last week, you asked me last week if it was true that I refused medical attention, as if I was stupid for doing so.
I don’t know, Joe.
You tell me.
Does it look like I refused medical attention?
America stuffs the microphone into the pocket of his jeans, he lays the World Championship in front of him, and he glares into the hard cam as he slowly takes his glasses off and drops them. The crowd immediately “ohhhhs” at the site of America’s black eye and the cut across the bridge of his nose. America turns around and slowly takes his jacket off. Audible gasps echo throughout the arena as America’s back is shown. Bulging skin, scabs, dried blood, and half-sealed gashes paint America’s back.
The camera cuts to the announce table as Joe Hoffman looks horrified. Instinctually, he backs aways from his monitor out of disgust.
After a moment of silence, Benny slaps Joe on the arm.
Benny Newell: Answer your question now?
Hoffman says nothing as the camera cuts back to America in the ring. He grabs the microphone out of his pocket and turns towards Joe.
Christopher America: Everything hurts, you sanctimonious son of a bitch. I struggle to see out of my eye. Putting on a shirt or taking a shower burns these marks on my back. But I endure it because I have to… because SHE demands that I do.
America points at the World title and then turns back to the hard cam.
Christopher America: I’m tired of going soft.
I’m tired of people thinking that they’re going to get one over me.
I’m tired of people not giving me my due.
I’m going to wear these scars as medals of honor for defending HOW against PRIME, something people like Conor Fuse and Joe Bergman didn’t do. For defending America against Russia, something that all of you fans didn’t do. I’m going to use them as a warning to every competitor in that World Title tournament.
I’ve persevered against the entirety of the Highwaymen. I’ve survived War Games, HOFC, a No Ropes Submission match, the Battledome, and a Bottomline match to name a few.
Believe me when I say, I’ll survive the loss against Stanislav.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for March To Glory opponent.
So, fight in your tournament.
Work your way through the best that HOW has to offer.
And I’ll see you on the other side at March To Glory.
Because my quest remains the same.
I will become the longest reigning HOW World Champion…
The crowd pipes up and yells “AMERICA!” instinctually.
Christopher America: HISTORY!
America drops the mic, bends down, picks up the HOW World Championship and taunts the crowd as “The Greatest American” plays him out.
The HOV comes to life and we see a brick office building against the busy hustle and bustle of the morning traffic of Chicago. The same as last week we see a familiar person standing by the door, only this time it isn’t Bobbinette standing there, it’s Conor Fuse.
He isn’t standing there long as Bobbinette Carey approaches. She’s got on a big pink puffer coat as her nose is red from the cold. Conor acknowledges her with a nod.
Conor Fuse: Hey, Bobbie.
Bobbinette Carey: Let’s do this!
She claps her hands together and motions for them to walk in.
Conor Fuse: Yeah, sure…
He sounds less than enthusiastic about the ordeal as they walk through the halls other people are ahead of them.
Bobbinette Carey: I wanted to let you know I’m proud of you.
Looking over her shoulder she smiles with a nod.
Conor Fuse: Proud of me for defeating Joe Bergman? I mean yeah, I guess I’m proud of me too- oh, right. You mean coming here…
Conor looks confused.
Bobbinette Carey: With everything you have been through… you haven’t let it destroy you.
Fuse starts shaking his head but his eyes are looking elsewhere.
Conor Fuse: Does this mean we don’t have to do this? ‘Cause like I said, I’m feeling good, Bob.
He asks stalling outside the door. Bobbinette smirks, shaking her head no.
Bobbinette Carey: Oh this is happening. You’re locking yourself up like some werewolf and I’m stabbing people and drinking beer.
She cringes, shaking her head.
Bobbinette Carey: The forced shark week on the roster is fine. The gross bloated beer vibe is not.
She raises an index finger.
Bobbinette Carey: Random question, what color is my hair.
Conor looks completely confused.
Conor: Dark black/brown? Is there… some type of name for it?
He asks looking as if it’s a trick question or a trap
Bobbinette Carey: No, just making sure it’s not purple… someone said it was purple. Just a color blind crazy vet.
She says walking into the room with Conor lagging behind.
Bobbinette Carey: I have valued having you around. And-
Her words are interrupted as the therapist from last week slams a chair down. Bobbinette and Conor both jump at the loud sound seeing three other sets of people already sitting. The gamer nudges her, looking like he’s not impressed.
Conor Fuse: [To Bobbie] There are MOAR people here? I thought you said this counseling session was just for you and I… since I “killed” a guy and was “going crazy” and that you’re… well it doesn’t matter what either of us are going through… I don’t want to talk with others, too. I have an online discord for that kinda shit.
Fuse looks over at the counselor.
Conor Fuse: Hey, man. Imma take a pass on this kinda stuff. It’s not for me, ya know? Like I vibe by playing video games and wrestling BOTS and bosses. Besides, I’m doing really, really well, ATM. In fact, next week I’ll battle Jatt Starr or Clay Byrd for an opportunity to become a THREE-time World Champion. Pretty sweet deal, eh? And like, Mr. Counsellor-Guy you can’t get mad at me either because I was on time for our session this week but I wasn’t expecting…
Fuse pauses and looks at the groups who are in here.
Conor Fuse: The rest of you. [Pause] No offense.
The counselor looks up from his seat.
Counselor: Running away from our problems is often the first mistake we make, Conor.
He says in a calm and inviting tone, offering the chair beside him.
Fuse rolls his eyes and turns to Carey.
Conor Fuse: [Whispering] You hear this dribble? Yeah, Imma head out-
Bobbie snatches Conor by the arm as she smiles a wide, over-exaggerated grin towards the counselor and the others in the group session, as if nothing in the world is wrong.
Bobbinette Care: [Whispering back] You’re not bailing on me. We’re doing this.
Fuse puts on a pouty face reminiscent of a two-year old working into a temper tantrum. However, he allows himself to be dragged into the session. He takes a seat along with Bobbie, right beside the counselor.
The therapist opens up to the rest of the group.
Counselor: Welcome everyone, we will begin shortly.
Fuse rolls his eyes again and mimics the counselor’s behaviours after the therapist is done talking. Bobbinette nudges Conor again, this time much harder.
Conor Fuse: Owe.
She snaps her fingers.
Bobbinette Carey: Knock it off.
Fuse tilts his head back and sighs.
Conor Fuse: Okay, okay.
He cracks his knuckles.
Conor Fuse: I’m game doc, I’m present. Let’s do this.
The scene fades as we hit our last commercial break of the evening.
JATT STARR VS. CLAY BYRD
Back from commercial we cut over to our announce team
Joe Hoffman: All right. Welcome back to the Best Arena. It is time for our main event.
The lights dim as “Back in Black” by AC/DC begins to blare across the arena.
Joe Hoffman: And it will be Jatt Starr coming out first.
A golden spotlight shines on the curtain as Jatt Starr emerges.
“Back in black
I hit the sack
I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back…
The ramp lights up, spotlight after spotlight, and the Rembrandt of Wresting begins to smugly saunter down the ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr defeated Steve Harrison last week in a match that had quite the brutal ending.
Benny Newell: Jatt broke Harrison’s fucking leg… that’s what he did.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know about that. But Harrison’s going to be out for a while with a bad leg.
Jatt 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.
…I got nine lives
Abusing every one of them and running wild, cause I’m back
Starr walks up the ring’s steps sporting his black and red checkered suit. The Ruler of Jattlantis demands the referee open the ropes for him.
… yes I’m back
Well, I’m back
Yes I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
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.
Well, I’m back in black
Yes, I’m back in black
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.
Guitar and harmonica begin to blare through the arena, the start of Gunning For You by Nick Nolan sends a silence across the crowd as Nick Nolan’s lyrics echo through the arena.
Red letters slash across the screen as “BYRD” is spelled out.
Clay appears through the fog on the entrance ramp.
Joe Hoffman: And here comes Clay Byrd.
Byrd’s cowboy hat is low over his eyes. He wears a long black duster and has a rope in his hand.
My Gun is loaded it’s getting time
Two shots of whiskey I’m takin’ what’s mine
Ain’t what you’re sayin it’s what you do
Your time has come boy I’m Gunnin for You
Joe Hoffman: Clay Byrd’s coming off a huge win at the PWA-01 show over PRIME’s Brandon Youngblood and is the number one seed in the HOW World’s Title #1 Contender’s Tournament.
When hell is rainin down you’ll see my face won’t hear a sound
You’ll feel that bullet burnin through
Take your last breath boy
I’m Gunnin for You
Clay begins his slow walk down the ramp. His eyes are fixed on Jatt Starr warming up in the ring, and he trudges on. Not paying any notice to any of the fans in attendance.
There’s desperation deep in your eyes
No turnin back now no compromise
Cause only one of us walks out that door
The other bleedin out on the floor
Clay walks up the steps, and climbs into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Both men are in the ring now. Let’s throw it over to Bryan McVay for the wrestler’s introductions.
Cut to McVay in the ring.
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen… tonight’s main event is scheduled for one fall to the finish… introducing first…
The spotlight shines on Jatt Starr.
Bryan McVay: …wrestling out of Havre, Montana… weighing 220 pounds… he is… THE REMBRANDT OF WRESTLING!!… JAAAAAAATTTT STAAAAAAAAAARRRR!!!!
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr’s getting quite the cheers from the Best Arena fans.
Benny Newell: We’re in Lee Best territory, Hoffman. And Chicago loves Lee Best.
Starr smirks out into the crowd.
Bryan McVay: And his opponent to my left…
The spotlight shines on Byrd now.
Bryan McVay: …wrestling out of Plainview, Texas… weighing 295 pounds… He is… THE MONSTER FROM PLAINVIEW!!!!… CLAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY BYYYYYYYYYYYRDD!!!!!!!
No reaction from Byrd.
Referee Matt Boettcher does the pre-match check on both men.
Joe Hoffman: All right. Jatt took out Steve Harrison last week to advance to tonight’s match.
Benny Newell: Snapped his leg like a twig.
Joe Hoffman: Yes, Jatt injured his leg. As I was saying, the winner of tonight’s match will go on-
Benny Newell: You mean, Jatt Starr.
Joe Hoffman: If Jatt wins tonight.
Benny Newell: Of course, he’s going to win tonight, Hoffman. Not only will Jatt Starr win tonight, but he’s also going to run the table to March to Glory.
Joe Hoffman: Either Clay Byrd or Jatt will face Conor Fuse next week for a title shot against the HOW World Champion-
Benny Newell: You mean, Christopher America.
Joe Hoffman: If America’s still the champion at March to Glory.
Benny Newell: Joe, Christopher America will be the champion. America versus Starr. Bet on it. And don’t forget to bet on it on the HOG.
Boettcher walks over to the ropes and signals to the timekeeper’s table.
Joe Hoffman: These two men met back at the end of November and Clay Byrd came out on top that night.
Starr starts to talk a little trash towards the Behemoth from Plainview.
Benny Newell: Byrd got lucky that night. Jatt Starr has seen the light and has realized that it’s better to work with Lee than to work against him. Jatt will fix that blemish on his record tonight.
Joe Hoffman: Matt Boettcher has called for the bell and this match is underway.
Jatt Starr walks directly to the center of the ring, that smirk still on his face.
Clay Byrd stoically responds by greeting him with a double pair of middle fingers.
Byrd springs to attack. Right-hand misses as Starr ducks under. Right hand by Starr. Right hand by Byrd. Right by Starr. Right by Byrd. Starr. Byrd. Starr. Byrd.
Byrd triples up on the right hand now and pushes Starr to the ropes.
Starr is whipped across the ring by Byrd. Starr off the ropes…
Joe Hoffman: KING TO THE GROIN BY JATT!
Byrd bends over in pain and backs up a couple of steps.
Joe Hoffman: Is going right at Clay Byrd the best strategy for Jatt?
Benny Newell: Jatt’s poking the bear to get Byrd out of his game.
Jatt off the ropes. He doesn’t see Byrd waiting for him.
Joe Hoffman: WHAT IMPACT!
Jatt lands in a heap by the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: CLAY BYRD JUST SPEARED JATT STARR OUT OF HIS SHOES!
Benny Newell: Byrd got lucky! He caught Jatt at the one moment he wasn’t-
Byrd waits for Starr to use the ropes to pull himself back up. He hits the opposite side ropes and takes off towards Jatt…
Benny Newell: …looking- WHAT THE FUCK?
Joe Hoffman: TEXAS LARIAT! TEXAS LARIAT!
Starr does a complete flip in the air and lands just underneath the bottom rope. Byrd pulls him back out and covers…
Joe Hoffman: COULD THIS BE IT ALREADY?
Benny Newell: NOOOOOOO!
Benny Newell: OH MY LEE! JATT GRABBED THE BOTTOM ROPE!
Joe Hoffman: Somehow… Jatt Starr found the bottom rope and latched onto it before Matt Boettcher completed the three count.
Matt Boettcher steps in and tells Clay to back up.
Benny Newell: That’s right Matt. Rope break.
A shocked Byrd can’t believe Jatt hasn’t been pinned.
Benny Newell: Get him back.
Joe Hoffman: This match almost came to a quick end. Jatt Starr had the presence of mind to grab onto the bottom rope in time or else Clay Byrd would have pinned him right there.
Benny Newell: Jatt was just playing possum there. He’s got this all under-
Byrd pulls Starr up and immediately throws him through the ropes.
Benny Newell: …aw, come on Jatt!
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr’s been dumped out of the ring!
Joe Hoffman: And Byrd is following him.
Benny Newell: Get up Jatt!
Byrd pulls Starr up. Right hand. Right hand. Right hand. Right hand. Right-
Joe Hoffman: LOW BLOW BY STARR!
Benny Newell: THAT’S THE WAY!
Joe Hoffman: Desperation move by Jatt Starr and Byrd falls to a knee.
Starr takes him by the head and…
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr just slammed Clay Byrd headfirst into the steel barricade!
Byrd staggers away, blood spilling from a gash above his eye.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd’s busted open.
Benny Newell: I said it last week. Jatt finally chose the right side and he’s back to doing Jatt Starr things. He knows what’s at stake and as Lee as my witness I know he’ll do what he needs to do to get himself one more step closer to a world title match.
Starr follows him over to the timekeeper’s area. Right hand by Starr. Now he chops him. And again. Three times. Four times.
Joe Hoffman: Matt Boettcher did start a ten count on both men being on the outside.
A fact Starr is aware of and immediately rolls back into the ring as Boettcher hits seven. Byrd follows right behind – Starr runs the ropes and builds speed – he dives at Byrd.
Joe Hoffman: STARRLITE EXPRESS!
Again, Byrd is driven to a knee. Starr swings around his boot – Byrd catches the boot -*SMACK*
Joe Hoffman: ENZIGUIRI!
Byrd topples over. Starr hooks the leg.
Benny Newell: Come on Matt… count it!
TWO… Byrd kicks out.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd kicks out!
Jatt roars in again. *SMACK*
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr drives his knee into Byrd’s face and again the Texan falls to the mat.
TWO… Byrd kicks out.
Joe Hoffman: NO! Jatt hit the Art Starr-Knee but again Clay Byrd kicked out.
Benny Newell: ARRRRGHHH! COME ON!
Starr drags the besieged Byrd up again. He grabs Byrd around the waist from behind.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt has Byrd set for the Jattlantian Suplex…
lifts – falls backward and bridges his back and legs while slamming Byrd the mat shoulder and upper back first.
Joe Hoffman: Starr bridges with his back and legs!
Joe Hoffman: NO! AGAIN, CLAY BYRD KICKS OUT!
Benny Newell: Slow count!
Joe Hoffman: Starr appears a bit frustrated but he drags Byrd back up- Byrd CHOPS Starr. Starr CHOPS Byrd right back. Byrd CHOPS Starr and this he falls down.
Byrd puts Starr in the corner. Byrd CHOPS again! Starr sputters and falls over. Byrd stomps at Starr – pulls him back up – front face lock – lifts – and SLAMS Starr to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Suplex by Clay Byrd and he scrambles over for the cover.
Benny Newell: KICK OUT!
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr got the shoulder up on that.
Byrd hooks the leg and tries again.
Joe Hoffman: Jatt gets the shoulder up again!
Annoyed, Byrd clamps on a rear bearhug! Back kick by Starr breaks him free. Starr fights back with elbows. This fires the fans up but Byrd then kicks low.
Benny Newell: Clay Byrd is a cheater.
Joe Hoffman: But Jatt isn’t for doing the same thing?
Benny Newell: Jatt Starr is a smart wrestler.
Byrd whips Starr to a corner. He rushes in- Starr raises his boot and Byrd’s head slams into it.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd recklessly waded in that time and Jatt was waiting.
Benny Newell: I said, Jatt Starr is a smart wrestler.
Starr to the top of the turnbuckle… he flies…
Joe Hoffman: MISSILE DROPKICK CONNECT and both men are down!
Boettcher stands over both Starr and Byrd and starts a standing 10 count.
Joe Hoffman: Who will beat the count?
Benny Newell: Come on Jatt! Get up!
Byrd and Starr start to stir.
Starr sits up first.
Both men get back to their feet by the count of seven.
Joe Hoffman: They beat the count and we go on.
Byrd advances. Boot to the gut by Starr. He spins Byrd around – lift – and drives him down onto the edge of his right knee.
Joe Hoffman: MANJATTAN DROP! And that will hurt.
Byrd’s mouth forms an ‘O’ and he gingerly falls back to the ropes. Jatt moves in. Kick… no…ENZIGURI!
Joe Hoffman: Beautiful move by Jatt Starr.
Byrd staggers to a corner. Starr runs in – BOOT TO THE GROIN! Side headlock. Jatt falls… STARRMAGEDDON! Jatt for the win…
Joe Hoffman: NO! Clay Byrd rolled and got a shoulder up at the last second!
Starr rolls Byrd up.
Joe Hoffman: SURPRISE ROLL UP!
Benny Newell: YES!
Boettcher goes for the count!
Joe Hoffman: NO!!! BYRD GETS HIS ARM UP AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND!
Benny Newell: SON OF A BITCH!
Joe Hoffman: Starr can’t believe it.
Benny Newell: I can’t believe it.
Starr clubs Byrd with a right hand – Byrd ROCKS Starr with a right of his own. And another…
Joe Hoffman: Wait a minute! Now Byrd’s rallying back!
Headbutt to Starr causes him to stagger backwards. Byrd with a fireman’s carry right into a SUPER DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!
Benny Newell: SHIT! COME ON JATT!
Joe Hoffman: BYRD FOR THE WIN!
Joe Hoffman: KICK OUT BY JATT STARR!
Benny Newell: Oh thank Lee.
Now it’s Byrd who’s frustrated. He gets more frustrated when Jatt kicks him in the groin.
Joe Hoffman: LOW BLOW BY JATT!
Benny Newell: Again, Jatt’s a smart wrestler.
Starr drags Byrd up to his feet and cinches him in.
Joe Hoffman: He’s going for the Falling Starr.
Jatt turns him over.
Benny Newell: YES!
Joe Hoffman: Here we go-
Joe Hoffman: …THAT’S JOE BERGMAN ON THE STAGE!
Indeed, ‘Ordinary’ Joe Bergman stands on the stage accompanied by Sunny O’Callahan. Sunny is swigging from a bottle of Southern Comfort.
Section 214: RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Everyone Else: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Benny Newell: Again… really? Sunny brings a bottle of Southern Comfort around a recovering alcoholic?
Jatt sees Bergman standing on the stage with Sunny… arms crossed… just staring at him. Jatt drops the hold and walks toward the edge of the ring.
Benny Newell: NO! FINISH HIM!
Joe Hoffman: TEXAS LARIAT! TEXAS LARIAT!
Benny Newell: NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Joe Hoffman: Byrd launched himself forward… arm outstretched… and cut Jatt down from behind. Starr hit the mat hard face first.
Byrd rolls him over and hooks the leg.
Benny Newell: NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Joe Hoffman: BYRD FOR THE WIN!
Joe Hoffman: HE’S DONE IT! CLAY BYRD SURVIVES AND HE WILL FACE CONOR FUSE NEXT WEEK FOR A TITLE SHOT AT MARCH TO GLORY!
Bryan McVay makes it all official.
Bryan McVay: YOUR WINNER AT FIFTEEN MINUTES AND TWENTY-THREE SECONDS…. CLAAAAAAAY… BYRRRRRRRRD!
Joe Hoffman: Jatt Starr royally screwed over Joe Bergman and the Highwaymen at ICONIC. Tonight, Bergman gets a measure of payback on him by providing the distraction that allowed Clay Byrd to hit the Texas Hammer and win the match.
Benny Newell: FUCK YOU JOE BERGMAN.
Joe Hoffman: Only in HOW can a face be booed and the heels are cheered.
Benny Newell: FUCK-
There’s a sudden commotion off-screen.
Joe Hoffman: WAIT A MINUTE! THAT’S… THAT…
The camera cuts back to the stage. Dan Ryan stands over a fallen Joe Bergman.
Joe Hoffman: DAN RYAN!
Joe Hoffman: During the staredown, Dan Ryan came out and shoved Sunny aside and blasted Bergman from behind with a massive forearm.
Benny Newell: ANOTHER VICTIM!!!! YES!!!
But Ryan’s not done. He pulls Bergman up and loads him up over his shoulders with Joe facing up.
Benny Newell: YES… YESSSS!
Ryan drops to a seated position and drives Bergman down head first.
Section 214: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Joe Hoffman: BURNING HAMMER… BURNING HAMMER ON THE STAGE!
Bergman’s knocked out could.
Benny Newell: Stevens AND Bergman!! This man knows the way to my heart!
Dan suddenly flinches and a Southern Comfort bottle shatters over his back.
Joe Hoffman: WHAT THE HELL DOES SUNNY THINK SHE’S DOING?
Bravely… or stupidly… she has just marched up to Dan Ryan and broke the Southern Comfort bottle over his back.
Benny Newell: Signing her death warrant?
Dan slowly turns around and ‘smiles’ at Sunny.
Joe Hoffman: Oh no.
Benny Newell: Oh yes.
O’Callahan suddenly realizes just how much trouble she’s in and tries to back away.
Dan grabs her by the arm.
Joe Hoffman: NO!
Benny Newell: GET HER DAN! GET HER!
Loads her up on his shoulder…
Joe Hoffman: DON’T DO IT!
Joe Hoffman: BURNING HAMMER TO SUNNY O’CALLAHAN!
Benny Newell: HEADLINER!!!! HEADLINER!!!
The camera focuses on Ryan standing over the broken bodies of Joe Bergman and Sunny O’Callahan.
Joe Hoffman: What a night folks. Clay Byrd gets the win over Jatt Starr and next week he will take on Conor Fuse for a World Title shot at March to Glory. Joe Bergman and Sunny O’Callahan get destroyed by Dan Ryan after the match….much like Scott Stevens earlier tonight…… Darin Zion and Steve Solex both got wins tonight and will face off next week for a shot at the LSD Title at March to Glory.
Medical personnel come out to check on Bergman and Sunny.
Joe Bergman: All right, we will see you next week.
Benny Newell: Wait. One. MOAR. Minute.
To pay off Benny’s promise from earlier we see the HOV come to life and the crowd begins buzzing immediately as an image appears on the screen and it lingers there for a minute before we fade out to end the show.