#12 MICHAEL LEE BEST VS. #13 SCOTTYWOOD
Joe Hoffman: Looks like we’re jumping right into this thing Benny. Welcome to CHAOS 30 coming to you live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas!
Benny Newell: Looks like we have the next victim in a hurry to get this one over with!
Scottywood walks down the ramp, and steps into the cage. He starts bouncing up and down, throwing combinations, getting himself hyped up for the match.
Joe Hoffman: What a way to kick off CHAOS, two hall of famers trying to rip each others heads off.
Benny Newell: Joe, where Scottywood is like you, a regular hall of famer. But like me, Michael Lee Best is the greatest at his chosen profession. And we’re going to get the full on Michael Lee Best experience this week. No 4th generational WAHL, no bullshit!
Dallas, Texas erupts with surprising cheers as Michael Lee Best steps through the curtain.
Bryan McVay: Making his way to the ring, the only 10 time champion in HOW history, the greatest wrestler of his generation, the SON of GOD, the CEO…
Mike stands surprised, basking in the crowd reaction. He sneers as he looks around at the crowd cheering, he starts nodding his head to his own music and makes his way to the cage. Rick Stevens holds the door for Mike as he enters.
Benny Newell: This is one of the happiest moments I’ve had in a long time. I’ve waited so long to see this happen again. To watch GREATNESS walk down that ramp and step foot in the HOFC cage, THE WAY HE WAS MEANT TO!
Joe Hoffman: Every time these two lace up the boots, it’s a big affair. Although we do not see it here tonight from my understanding, per Michael, this is being considered a HOFC Championship defense as the two men agreed to go five rounds if necessary tonight.
Benny Newell: Love it.
Rick Stevens walks over to check Scottywood for objects, but Scotty pushes him away. Stevens insists he has to check him over, but Scotty shoves him away again. Rick tries to tell Scotty he can’t start the match without it, but Mike comes across the cage and grabs Stevens by the shoulder. He whispers something into Stevens’ ear, and Rick backs away. He calls for the bell and we’re underway.
Joe Hoffman: Wonder why Mike isn’t insisting Scotty gets checked…
Benny Newell: Because Scottywood could have a gun, and Mike would take it from him and beat him to death with it. That’s why Joe.
DING DING DING
Mike comes out of the gates like a sprinter off of the starting block. He explodes forward, and tries to decapitate Scott Woodson with a flying knee, but Scottywood does a forward roll out of the flying knee attempt and Mike lands on his feet across the ring. Scottywood is already on his feet and turns around back towards Mike. The SON takes a swing with a kick to Scotty’s head as he makes his way to his feet, but Scotty manages to get his hands up in time to block most of the force of the kick.
Mike doesn’t stop though, and unloads another twisting roundhouse kick into Scottywood’s blocking arms, then another, then another, Scotty’s arms are being driven into the side of his head, and Zombiewood has to take cover from the assault and ducks into a ball. Mike keeps bringing it, kick after kick, into Woodson’s defenses.
Benny Newell: Look, he’s assaulting him. Isn’t that nice.
Joe Hoffman: Scotty better do something quick here or Stevens is going to call this.
Benny Newell: Before I get to see a knee?
Rick informs Scotty of something similar, and on the next boot into Woodson’s defenses, Scotty pounces. Grabbing Mike by the leg and pushing for a single leg. Mike hops backwards on one leg, managing to lean forward enough to start sprawling. Scotty drives the leg, but Mike fires right hands into Scotty’s now open face. Scotty stumbles, and Mike lets loose a knee, but Scotty manages to get his hands up to block.
Joe Hoffman: Tough spot for Scottywood, Mike stuffed the take down and Scotty is in trouble.
Finally Scotty stops the takedown attempt and goes back to standing with Mike Best. Scotty comes in, hands up, looking to box Mike. The SON fires off a left jab, and Scotty deflects it with his right hand, and fires off a left of his own. Another left finds its mark on Mike Best’s cheek.
Joe Hoffman: Good jab from Scotty here, if he can work that.
Benny Newell: Yeah, IF he can work that.
Scotty plays it smart, keeping the shell up and choosing to counter punch when Mike throws into the defenses. Mike, frustrated, shrugs his shoulders and puts his hands into the pockets of his sweatpants. The two men stare at each other, neither making a move. Rick Stevens looks very confused, but Mike just stands there. He keeps his footwork going, but Mike refuses to punch. Scotty keeps his hands up in the defensive shell, but Mike keeps backing Scotty backwards across the cage.
Benny Newell: You gotta throw something first Scotty, Jesus.
Joe Hoffman: Well I mean, this is a turn of events.
Scottywood and Mike continue around the cage like that for the last twenty seconds of the round.
Joe Hoffman: That might have been the weirdest round in HOFC history.
Benny Newell: It’s like Scottywood was eight minutes late or something.
DING DING DING
The two men are right back to it, Mike still hasn’t taken his hands out of his sweatpants, and Scottywood still has his hands up. The two men meet in the middle of the ring, the crowd begins to boo, and Scotty looks around confused. He turns back towards Mike, who just shrugs his shoulders at Scottywood.
Joe Hoffman: Are these two just done fighting?
Benny Newell: I mean, maybe.
Mike tries to back Scotty down, but finally, Woodson finds his nerve and explodes through Mike with a double leg takedown. Mike looks surprised, and Woodson is on top of him quickly. Mike tries to get up, but his right hand stays trapped in his pocket. Scottywood lands on top of the SON and begins throwing haymakers. Mike works his right hand out of his pocket, and is finally able to mount up a defense after three straight rights come down. Scottywood takes advantage of Mike’s hands being up by his face, and manages to pass to a half guard.
He straddles Mike’s leg, and uses it to maintain leverage, and keep Mike pinned to the mat. He postures up again, keeping a hand on Mike’s shoulder. He throws down another right hand, then another. Mike manages to push Woodson’s hand off of his shoulder, and lunges up, grabbing Woodson by the head. He pulls him down close to his chest, and takes the opportunity to contort himself onto his side with his right hip up.
Joe Hoffman: Mike Best is in a world of trouble.
Benny Newell: Mike’s moving the position, he’s working. It’s not all knees and knockouts, Joe.
Scotty almost takes the invitation to pass to side control, but thinks better of it. He starts looping right hands in, trying to smash them through Mike’s defense. Mike finds another opening, yanking Scotty’s head back down close to him. Scotty starts to scoot him closer to the cage wall.
Joe Hoffman: Smart positioning by Scotty.
Mike, realizing the danger, realizes he has to act, and when Scotty tries to slide, he slips his leg out and starts a scramble. Scotty tries to latch onto his left foot and drive Michael backwards, but The CEO uses the positioning to his advantage and stops the takedown attempt with his back on the cage. Scotty drops the leg, and takes a grip around Mike’s waist. Mike tries to get his hands between Scotty, and his grip, but Woodson keeps his shoulder pressed against Mike. The SON punches Scottywood in the shoulder, and then the side of the neck, trying to get Scotty off of him.
Benny Newell: Oh c’mon Rick! Break them up!
Joe Hoffman: Scottywood is still working Benny, it’s not all knees and knockouts, remember?
Benny Newell: HE NEEDS TO DO HIS JOB!
Mike throws his hands in the air and yells at Rick Stevens. Scotty reaches up and traps Mike’s right arm inside of his grip.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Looks like you get your wish with that bell.
Benny Newell: Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Mike is pissed off, and he’s telling Rick Stevens a mouthful during the break, while Scottywood is wiping himself down with a towel. The fans are booing, and yelling. Scottywood nods his head, smiling.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Here we go, round three.
Mike comes out, absolutely possessed. He meets Scotty across the ring before his stool is over the side of the cage. Scottywood fires a left jab into Mike’s mouth, but he doesn’t care, he fires off a left hand of his own, then fires off a left hand to Scotty’s abdomen. Scotty keeps his hands up, and Mike fires a left roundhouse kick into Scotty’s liver that stuns the Hall of Famer. Scottywood stumbles backwards, and leans against the cage, trying to stay on his feet.
Benny Newell: Liver shot! Now you got him!
Mike comes in, looking for a kill shot left hook to the body, but Scottywood manages to slip out of the way and stick the CEO with a left hand to the jaw. It’s Mike’s turn to be on ice skates, and Scotty tries to push himself to capitalize. A left jab is followed by a right cross that catches Mike on the button. Mike tries to back off, but Scottywood shoots between Mike’s arms and grabs him around the waist. He loops his arms behind Mike’s knees, and drives him down to the canvas with a vicious double leg.
Joe Hoffman: Great takedown from Scottywood!
Scotty tries to posture up, but Mike managed to wrap his arms around his neck. The Anarchist pulls Mike up with him, and drops to the canvas again. Mike still doesn’t let go, and Scotty picks him up for a second time, and slams him off the canvas again. Mike lets go, and Scotty postures right up. He throws a right hand, a left hand, two elbows, with each blow connecting.
Joe Hoffman: Scottywood’s on fire here!
Benny Newell: C’MON MIKE! LETS GO MIKE!
One of the elbows cuts Mike open above the eye, and now #97RED is starting to cover the canvas. Mike, finally gets his hands up and stops the barrage. He yanks Scottywood back down, and Scotty takes a moment to catch his breath. Mike wraps his legs around Scottywood’s torso, and tries to slip a few right hands into the side of Scotty’s head while Rick Stevens checks on him. The blows are a mere annoyance to Scotty who slips his left hand up into Mike’s face, and uses it to press himself up and start throwing again.
Joe Hoffman: Rick Stevens is going to have to stop this match if Mike can’t defend himself.
Benny Newell: It’s just a flesh wound he’s fine.
Scotty brings down the hammers again, forearm into the eye, another elbow slices across Mike’s forehead. Mike’s hands finally go up, and Scottywood starts teeing off on The CEO’s stomach. Three rapid fire shots cause Mike to drop the body scissor.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Mike Best just got saved by that bell.
Benny Newell: He was conserving energy, Joe. He knew how much time was left in the round.
Scottywood walks to his corner holding his side, while Mike Best half crawls to his. Blood is pouring from two cuts on Mike’s forehead. Mike grabs a white towel and presses it to the wound on his head. Scottywood is smiling, ear to ear. Two sips of water and a quick towel off, and Scottywood is back on his feet.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Round 4! Here we go! All Scottywood needs to do, is take this thing right back to the ground.
Benny Newell: And all Mike Best needs to do is knock his ass out.
Mike comes out of the corner much more carefully. Scottywood follows suit. As the two meet in the center, Scotty takes the initiative and starts firing off with his jab. Mike is able to keep his distance, but Scottywood’s jab follows him around the cage, and allows him to take control of the center of the cage. Mike finds himself on the outside for the first time in the fight.
Joe Hoffman: Scotty really showing off his aggressiveness.
Mike finds himself counter punching, and he is able to stick Scotty with a right hand, that shocks him. Mike tries to take control of the center of the cage with a combination, but Scotty’s constant jabbing keeps Mike at bay, leaving him to try to find a different angle. A sharp kick to Scotty’s body opens up that angle.
Benny Newell: GOT HIM!
Scotty’s arm shoots down to his ribs and Mike throws a right hand into the other side of Scotty’s midsection. He takes the opportunity to lock Scotty in a muay thai plumb, and yanks his head down for a knee to the mouth. Mike pushes Scottywood backwards, and the two men end up against the cage. Scotty stands straight up to avoid Mike’s lower body being able to connect with his face. The 10x former champion drives a knee into Scottywood’s midsection, then another, then another.
Joe Hoffman: Michael Best has Scotty standing straight up and just taking shots to the body.
Benny Newell: Great work Mike! Make him shit blood!
Scotty, finally realizing the danger after a left hook lands to his ribs, and a right knee catches the other side again, starts sliding sideways. Mike tries to cut him off with a knee, but Scotty manages to push himself through the blow. Mike tries to throw a left hook, and really start the rout, but The Anarchist drives a palm into Mike’s shoulder just as he starts to come forward and manages to escape out of the predicament. Scotty manages to turn himself around and finish staring back at the ceo.
Joe Hoffman: Look at that bruising on Scotty’s side, wow. Mike Best did a number to his ribs.
Benny Newell: To the ribs? No Joe, that’s to the organs underneath the ribs.
Mike comes in again at Scottywood, but Scotty manages to catch Mike in the mouth with a left jab that pushes him away. Scotty stays on the back foot, playing defense with his jab. Mike comes in, Scotty cuts him off, Mike comes in, Scotty fires the jab.
Benny Newell: Jabbing should be illegal. It’s not a great primary strategy. I don’t think you would dare even say jabbing could be a primary strategy.
Joe Hoffman: But it’s getting Scotty back into this fight.
The jabs stick, until finally the round is ended.
DING DING DING
Scotty puts his hands down at his side and starts sucking wind. He walks over to the cage wall and leans against it, he elevates his arms to take some of the pressure off of his core. Michael is still bleeding everywhere. He’s asking ringside technicians for vaseline, anything he can get to keep the blood out of his eyes. He wipes his face off with a towel, and turns to Scottywood, staring a hole through him.
Benny Newell: GET THE SON THE VASELINE! DO WHAT HE SAYS!
Joe Hoffman: Mike’s cut is really looking like it’s starting to bother him.
Rick comes to the center of the cage and calls for the bell again.
DING DING DING
Joe Hoffman: Round 5! Here we go!
Benny Newell: You’re fucking right! HERE WE GO! HERE WE FUCKING GO!
Scotty comes to the center of the cage, defenses up. Mike, with a huge glob of vaseline wiped across his forehead. Scotty keeps the jabs coming. Mike takes a shot at a jab of his own, but Scotty parries and sticks Mike again. Mike lets fly with a roundhouse kick, but Scotty blocks, turning in another jab to Mike’s jaw.
Joe Hoffman: Scotty’s jab has been incredible this evening.
Benny Newell: I hate it.
Mike fires off a side kick and Scotty shoots for a single leg. Mike snaps his other leg up and catches Scottywood in the ribs again. Scotty looks shocked by the pain, drops Mike’s leg. Mike sees his opportunity and lets fly.
Benny Newell: I KNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED A HEEEEEEEEEEEERO! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!
Joe Hoffman: OH! OH MY GOD!
Scotty has a delayed reaction, the knee didn’t come for his face, it was driven right into his side, just under the ribcage. Delivered with absolutely pinpoint accuracy. Scotty takes a step forward, his mouth agape, he weekly tries to swing at Mike before his body takes over, and absolutely shuts down on him, he collapses to the mat, holding his midsection.
Benny Newell: What a fucking liver shot, I haven’t seen one like that since De La Hoya got sat down by Bernard Hopkins.
Joe Hoffman: Absolutely incredible.
Benny Newell: There’s no way Scotty gets up, I know he’s kicked out of this before, but that was delivered with surgical precision. A liver shot shuts down the entire body.
Joe Hoffman: What a fight from Mike Best. Absolutely proved why he’s the best to ever step foot in this cage.
Benny Newell: Absolutely. Incredible fight, Scotty had some good things going, but Mike with those body shots was just too much.
Rick Stevens calls for the bell. Doctors check on Scottywood, while Rick Stevens meets with McVay, and then brings Mike Best over.
Bryan McVay: The winner of this match by knockout and STTTTIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLL HOFC CHAMPION…… MICHAEL LEEEEEEEEE BEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSTTTT!!!!!!!!!
Mike jumps up on the edge of the cage, and shouts down into one of the cameras. Mike is grinning ear to ear, blood pouring down his face as he mouths the word “JACE”….. his next opponent.
We get a final close up of the HOFC Champion before cutting elsewhere.
CLANGIN AND BANGIN
Instead of heading backstage the High Octane Vision screen comes to life at the top of the entrance ramp and a video begins to play….
The sounds of weights clanging against one another filled the gym. Fluorescent lights buzz overhead, casting flickering shadows of oversized powerlifters on every inch of matted floor in the gym. The grunts and groans of the gym goers compete with the cleaning iron for loudest in the room, when suddenly, the front door swings open and everything comes to a stop and goes silent.
Two men stand in the doorway, the light shining behind them darkens their features enough that the two would be unrecognizable if it wasn’t for their considerable size and stature. Oh, and the DOG silhouette next to them made it a dead giveaway.
Man 1: That’s Steve Solex and STROnk! RUN!A man is heard screaming out as he darts for the exit.
The sudden screech from a bald eagle obliterates the ear drums of half of the gym patrons as Valor, Solex’s trusted and jacked bald eagle, swoops in and perches himself on the MERCDAD’s right shoulder. Valor digs his talons into Solex’s shoulder, causing blood to run down the #1 Wrestler in all of High Octane’s right shoulder. Valor’s broad chest and chiseled abdomen tell the story of a bird on gear, and Solex wouldn’t deny it if he was asked.
DOG takes the lead and stomps his way into the gym with STROnk taking his six and following him in. Solex and Valor follow in tow as the four Final Alliance mainstays make their way into the gym.
Man 2: Hey! Hey!”
A bald, tattooed, muscle head shouts out with a snarl as he marches up.
Solex gives STROnk a nudge with his elbow as the man closes the distance between himself and the two stablemates. The man puts a finger into Solex’s chest, but quickly retracts it as he expression immediately turns to shock after getting a touch of Solex’s cement-like chest. The man quickly shakes it off and once again tries to be intimidating.
Man 2: This is a private gym! You are not permitted to be in this building unless you were invited by another member!
Solex lips curl into a smirk as he looks over at STROnk. STROnk grits his teeth as the knuckles in both his hands grow white as he clenches fists. He looks over at Solex and gives him a smile before grunting out.
STROnk: STROnk wILl HaNDLe!
Solex laughs as DOG immediately takes the man down with a vicious bite to the ankle. STROnk scoops up the 300-ish pound man and tosses him over his shoulder. Solex watches in amazement as STROnk casually walks across the gym with the man failing to get free as he fights like a small child would.
Solex: Where are you taking him?
Solex shouts out with one hand cupped to the side of his face, stretching out the volume of his voice. STROnk stops for a moment and looks back at Solex.
STROnk: STROnk GiVE SWiRLEY tO JERk!
Solex laughs again as STROnk turns and continues his march to the locker room; DOG right on his heels. Solex turns back to the rest of the gym, only to find everyone staring right at him.
Solex: Is this a private gym?
Everyone in the gym slowly shakes their heads no as Solex grins from ear to ear.
Valor lets out another screech as the scene fades to black and the video ends.
NO ORDINARY AMERICA
Now live, the camera cuts backstage showing Christopher America standing by.
Christopher America: For weeks now, we’ve been subjected to endless and, quite frankly, pointless updates about Joe Bergman staying in England.
Joe Bergman’s extending his stay.
Joe Bergman’s watching Wrexham.
Joe Bergman’s at King’s Cross Station ramming himself into a wall trying to find platform nine and three-quarters.
Joe Bergman’s sipping tea filtered through her dead majesty’s granny panties.
America rolls his eyes.
Christopher America: Seriously, Joe, who gives a shit? You want to stay in England? Fine. Don’t want to appear at HOW? Fine. Do that too. I don’t have any issue with Lee fining you for breach of contract. We sure as hell don’t have any problems still filling section 214 when you’re not here. So, what’s the problem? Is it an ego thing? You need to let everyone know you’re still trying to find your smile? You taking 24 days off instead of 24 hours after getting absolutely destroyed at March To Glory? If so, just make it 24 months, or even better, 24 years. We’ll all be happier.
America adjusts the gorgeous 97 red championship over his shoulder.
Christopher America: Now, during your time in England, you talked about me being a fraud, about how you’re sick of sports entertainment, and that you’re a REAL wrestler.
America nods his head slightly before leaning into the camera and whispering.
Christopher America: But we both know better than that, don’t we?
Let’s start with the fraud aspect, Joe.
See, Joe, when you called me a fraud, you have this horrible knock-on effect. When you diminish me, you diminish my championship reigns and accomplishments. You diminish the matches for those championships. You diminish the men and women I beat to win those championships. Men and women who line and adorn the Hall of Fame from Darkwing to Chris Kostoff, from Silent Witness to Shane Reynolds. You diminish those same men and women who voted me into that Hall of Fame. Because if Christopher America is a fraud, then so are they. So are the championships. So is the company. So are the leaders of the company, Lee Best and Mike Best. So are the fans that continue to pay to see us.
So no, I don’t buy into this notion that I’m a fraud.
I wasn’t a fraud by going back-to-back in War Games or winning both the ICON and World Championships in a single night. I’m not a fraud for helping to raise the status of the HOFC Championship to the main event of a Pay-Per-View, when that championship was still new. I’m not a fraud for competing in practically every match HOW has thrown my way from the fabled Bottomline Match to the accursed Battledome match.
And just in case you think I’ve had it easy, I’ve put in my dues, too.
I’ve been beaten down by the Best Alliance. I’ve been a slave to Ethan Cavanaugh. I formed an amazing tag team called The Best Americans with a man I secretly despised. I’ve been a part of the ill-fated Elite and Ground Zero version 4.5 or whatever it was, and left to rot in Solitary Confinement for A MONTH.
So, no, I’m not a fraud.
A fraud is someone who holds himself up as a champion of the people, but makes no effort to actually appear in front of those people. A fraud is someone who decries sports entertainment when he’s been the living embodiment of it for YEARS. The same man who runs around in a mask and names himself after bad breath. Lee didn’t give that to you or force that on you. That was a Joe Bergman special all the way through. The same man that STILL uses that “oh so very, definitely in no way shape or form is it sports entertainment” professional wrestling move where you spit mist in someone’s face. The same man that rather than quit and go to MVW, where they proudly profess they are a professional wrestling ONLY company, decides that he wants to stick around the sports entertainment company called HOW.
Once more, America smirks.
Christopher America: Joe Bergman isn’t a man of the people. Joe Bergman is a manipulator of the people. And don’t get me wrong, the people eat it up! They love to be manipulated. That’s why they boo me. Because I see through the lies and the bullshit. Because it’s left up to me to show people the truth.
You see, for all your billowing and blustering about professional wrestling versus sports entertainment, you forget that sports entertainment has existed since the very beginning of professional wrestling. They aren’t at odds with each other. They are synonymous with each other. I’ve seen Olympic gold medalists wear children’s cowboy hats and play guitar while wrestling circles around his opponents. I’ve seen beasts dance in a ring during a battle royale before suplexing his opponents into the next city. I’ve read about Frank Gotch, the epitome of ‘professional wrestler,’ digging his thumb into the eye of George Hackenschmidt, or pulling at his ears and butting him in the chin during their fabled match. I’ve seen a tennis-racket wielding manager, a man who is a traditionalist of professional wrestling, dress in women’s clothes and cause a distraction, only because it meant his tag team would hold on to the championships for one more day.
America licks his lips and chuckles.
Christopher America: “Professional” wrestling indeed.
America shakes his head.
Christopher America: So, you’re not willing to play the sports entertainment game anymore?
Then quit, bitch.
You think my win over you is tainted because I kicked you in the balls? Then your marriage to Laura was tainted because she’s been stepping on your balls for years.
You want to find me in War Games? Good. I’ll kick you in the balls then, too, on my way to doing what NO ONE since Aceldama was able to do… and that is RETAIN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP INSIDE WAR GAMES.
And if you wanted to give me a receipt, why wait a year, fuckface? You knew where to find me. You could’ve done it during any of my World Championship matches and helped your fellow Highwaymen take the title off of me. If you’re afraid of rule breaking, you could’ve done it before the matches. If you’re afraid of me not being 100% for those matches, you could’ve done it during the weeks I didn’t have a match.
The reason you didn’t… is you’re a coward, just like Clay Byrd. No wonder Solex turned his back on you two dipshits and Steve Harrison disappeared. You don’t have the balls necessary to do what needs to be done.
Whereas I… I have done EVERYTHING to make sure that this championship is elevated to the place she deserves. For 300 plus days I have reigned as World Champion and for 300 plus days I have turned away challenger after challenger. She has main evented EVERY Pay-Per-View since I’ve had her. I have talked about her importance more than anyone else. I have put more into her legacy than you ever have. I have treated her with a respect and a reverence that you never did.
I dedicate myself to her.
I have made the title MORE IMPORTANT than myself.
The HOW World Championship is made better because I hold it. This company is better because I hold its championship. And at War Games, I’m going to make sure you don’t come anywhere near her. Because I don’t think we can tolerate another piss poor Joe Bergman World Championship reign where you lose on your first title defense.
Lastly, you want to talk about PWA 1?
Let’s talk about it.
Yes, I crashed against HIM and I got beat. I got beat by a man taller, stronger, and heavier than me. I got beat by his associate who attempted to distract me. I got beat by the fans who put their hands on me. I don’t hear you complaining about that sports entertainment aspect of our match.
And it’s not excuses, either.
I lost against HIM.
I disgraced HOW. I disgraced this belt. I disgraced America. I disgraced myself.
And it eats at me. And I think about it every single day. Because my goal is to make this championship… THE CHAMPIONSHIP in all of professional wrestling.
But… despite all of that…
There’s some things you left out.
See, while I competed at PWA 1, putting myself and my reputation on the line, I didn’t see you anywhere.
Joe Bergman couldn’t be bothered to show up, you know, like a professional does. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t a “professional wrestling” show and more of a “sports entertainment” show? Or, maybe, just maybe, it’s because no one fucking cares about “Ordinary” Joe Bergman. No one wants to see you. No one was left asking, “Hey! I wonder why Joe Bergman wasn’t announced for this event?”
No one gives a shit!
So yes, Joe, I lost at PWA 1, but at least I fucking showed up. At least I agreed to a match. At least I chose to fly the colors of the company I work for. At least I tried to elevate the HOW World Championship to an even greater level.
You couldn’t even be bothered.
You could’ve asked for a strict Bill Watts style professional wrestling match. But you didn’t; you chose not to.
What were you doing that was more important, Joe? Were you extending your stay at the North Pole for one more week to watch Santa and his elves get started on next year’s Christmas? Were you avoiding taking any type of bookings so that you didn’t diminish your stock when you finally signed on the dotted line for the HOW money?
This little hard man attitude your trying to get us to buy into now? It doesn’t work on me and it shouldn’t work on anyone else.
So go extend your stay further.
Cry into your bangers and mash.
Hook up with an English bird to relieve some of the pressure stored in those balls so that when I kick them inside War Games, your sack doesn’t explode.
Do some actual studying on professional wrestling’s history.
And then go fuck yourself…
America smiles wickedly as we cut to commercial.
Back live and we see the locker room door of “Conor Fuse” and the familiar caramel complexioned hand knocking softly before opening the door. Nettie enters as Conor is sitting on a bench at the far end of the room. Nettie wears a black cardigan buttoned up over a thigh high red sequins dress. She has on a pearl necklace with her hair half up half down and looks innocently with a soft smile before clearing her throat.
Nettie: Hey buddy, I’m sorry I haven’t been around… I know sometimes you like your peace in your Solitude and I was giving you that respect.
Fuse nods while lacing up his purple sneakers for his upcoming match.
Conor Fuse: No worries. We’re good.
Nettie leaned against the locker stall, her face attempting empathy.
Nettie: I know you need that peace. Shutting all the other voices out and focusing on you. And I just wanted you to know I’m here for you. Even though we’re on different War Games teams you’re still my bff. This past year I don’t know where I would have been without you. You’ve been at my side through it all. Every mission, all the side quests without hesitation you’ve been there. I am in your debt.
Her eyes water a little as she pours it on thick playing at the heart strings. Conor nods along. He wants to show more compassion but likely doesn’t know if he should do anything further than just sit there.
Conor Fuse: Like I said, no worries whatsoever. Yeah, we’re on different teams. It’s cool. Won’t be the first time I wrestle a friend… or the last.
Nettie gives it a moment before continuing.
Nettie: And I know there’s some people out there who would try to paint me in a bad light in your eyes. I want you to know that no matter what lies they try to spread about me I am still your friend and I am still looking out unlike some people who claim the same and then doing scrupulous things.
Fuse raises his eyebrows.
Conor Fuse: What do you mean Bobbie?
Her face twitch is at the mention of her name, not Nettie. She wrinkles her nose pursing her lips before she continues on.
Nettie: Well, mean people like Mr Starr…
Conor thinks about the comment. Then he becomes a little defensive.
Conor Fuse: Jatt’s a good guy. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but he is. Deep down, anyway. We just talked a few weeks ago. He gave me 50 bucks.
Nettie: Of course he wants you to think that! Sure! Of course he does but the truth is he’s been doing dirty things to your mother… he’s been having relations.
She says clutching at her pearls. The reality is Conor isn’t paying full attention.
Conor Fuse: LOL he is one to lay on mom jokes, I’ll give him that. It’s right up his alley. It’s in his humour wheelhouse no doubt. Bahaha, figures. I feel like Cancer Jiles was into dead baby jokes and Jatt Starr is into “yo’ mama” jokes. Hmmm, Cancer Jiles. That’s a name I haven’t thought of for some time…
Pause for reflection.
Mischievous grin follows.
Conor Fuse: Or is it?
Nettie smacks herself in the head annoyed at the simpleness of this young man
Nettie: It’s not a joke–
She pauses, collecting herself attempting to sound softer.
Nettie: Not those type of joking relation… Jatt means intimate, physical relations. Of the sexual manner.
She gasps, making a look of horror putting her hand over her mouth.
Nettie: He’s been telling other people that he banged your mother just to take advantage of her. That is not a friend at all and you’re poor mother deserves more respect than Mr. Starr who claims to be your friend. Well, he went behind your back and married her! My heart breaks for how he is using your mother to try to get you to not want to wrestle him in WarGames and then bragging about being intimate with your mother to other men in the locker room… that’s not a man, that’s not a friend and your poor mother is being taken advantage of. I just felt you should know that he had devious plans from the jump and is manipulating you and you need to be careful of him. I just felt you should do what you need to with that information and know that in WarGames I got your back whatever you decide to do if you want us to attack him I will turn on him and attack him for you. I’m supporting my friend first.
…She realizes Conor’s drifted even further away from his undivided attention.
Conor Fuse: Yep. That sure sounds like him.
But Fuse’s tone of voice conveys he definitely did not pick up on the real issue at hand, or else Conor would’ve had a much more intense reaction. Nettie won’t quit, though. She takes a different approach.
Nettie: You should call your mother. Reach out to her. Maybe it’s not too late to help her.
Fuse gives his shoulders a shrug. This time he was listening.
Conor Fuse: I tried to reach out to her recently but she never returned my calls. It’s weird or something. Like she’s been busy.
Conor Fuse: I suppose I could try again. Can’t hurt, right?
At least Nettie got somewhere with Conor…
Nettie: Just remember if you need me you know where to find me, if and when you speak to her…
She pats him on the back and then walks out of the locker room. After closing the door she leans against the door with a smirk across her face.
Nettie: I warned him…
The feed cuts away as we head back to ringside…
THE FINAL ALLIANCE VS. CONOR FUSE AND SCOTT STEVENS
Back to ringside here in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The fans are rowdy and ready for more action tonight as we pan over to the announcer’s table. Hall of Famers Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell stand by to call the action.
Joe Hoffman: It’s time for our second match of the evening here on Chaos 030 and it’s tag team action!
Benny Newell: Tag team action implies that the other two men in this match even stand a chance. The Final Alliance is going to do to Conor Fuse and Scott Stevens what the NFL does to the Broncos every single year.
Joe Hoffman: Dont you mean the Cowboys since we are in Dallas?
Benny Newell: Come on Joe…that fruit cant get any lower…I am talking about the DENVER BRONCOS…..HOLEE FUCK they suck.
Joe shakes his head as Benny chuckles and taunts some of the fans in attendance.
Joe Hoffman: Let’s send it to the ring where Bryan McVay is ready to make the introductions.
The camera pans to the center of the ring where Bryan McVay stands alongside senior referee Matt Boettcher. McVay clears his throat and lifts the microphone up to his lips.
Bryan McVay: Our next contest is a tag team match and it’s scheduled for one fall.
The crowd here in Dallas pops knowing they are about to get more action inside the ring.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first…
The lights go black as the sound of bells is heard throughout the arena. The High Octane Vision comes to life as images begin to appear.
An abandoned church falling apart.
A field of tombstones.
The Book of Best with the Cross of Best being driven through it with blood pouring down it.
The blood pours down to form the words…
THE… DEMI… GOD… OF… H… O…W
The crowd knows who is about to walk out and they are letting him know it by chanting his favorite chant as the video screen goes black.
“FUCK YOU, STEVENS!” Clap x5
The wait is finally over as a spotlight shines toward the top of the entrance ramp as “O FORTUNA EXCALIBUR REMIX” by Apotheosis begins to play. Scott Stevens appears from behind the curtain wearing a black duster trench coat, a black Stetson hat, and his trademark 97red colored circular sunglasses.
Bryan McVay: Introducing! From The Great State of Texas!!!
Massive pop from the fans here tonight.
Bryan McVay: Weighing in at 256 lbs. He is the “Demi-God of HOW!” SCOTT! STEEEEEEEVEEEEEEEENS!
Joe Hoffman: Did you just hear that crowd reaction for Scott Stevens?!
Benny Newell: Those fans are cheering because McVay said the word Texas. It has absolutely fuck all to do with Stevens. Don’t get it twisted.
Stevens’ 97red circular sunglasses glisten in the light and his usual devilish grin is replaced by a look of pure joy about being back in his home start. Stevens gets the crowd hyped up before he begins to slowly walk toward the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Last week, Scott Stevens and Michael Lee Best were both attacked by the 4th Wahl before being thrown into the HOFC cage. Stevens fought valiantly but ended up losing to the ten-time former HOW World Champion.
Benny Newell: Stevens has been eating knees, tampons, and L’s from the moment he ever stepped foot into HOW. Yet, this delusional NERD thinks he’s the leader of the team at War Games and that being here in Dallas is going to help him achieve anything other than embarrassment.
Once he reaches the nearest set of ring steps, he climbs up and wipes his feet on the apron. Once inside, Stevens plays to the crowd one more time before throwing up the Longhorns. The Demi-God takes off his coat and tosses it outside. He begins to slowly take off his Stetson, before taking off his sunglasses to reveal that red eye. Stevens places the glasses and hands that outside also.
Bryan McVay: And his tag team partner…
BLOODY TEARS from Castlevania II begins to play. A purple mist floods the entranceway as “The Vintage” Conor Fuse emerges from behind the apron 23-seconds into the theme. He stands at the top of the rampway, head down, sporting a dark purple jacket with its high-collar raised. The jacket is open, showing his vintage SNES tights as he slowly raises his head. The fog continues to pump from the stage as Fuse methodically makes his way down the ramp.
Bryan McVay: From Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Weighing in tonight at 210 lbs. He is “The Vintage” CONOR! FUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEE!
The crowd starts a “!RANK” chant, pointing in Conor’s direction as he marches towards ringside. Once in front of the squared circle, The Vintage leaps onto the apron and then with ease clears the ropes by jumping over them and somersaulting into the middle of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse hasn’t held Championship gold here in HOW since last year’s War Games match. The former HOW World Champion has another chance to break through the armor that is The Final Alliance in Mexico and perhaps walk away as the new HOW World Champion.
Benny Newell: Even this Canadian NERD knows that shit ain’t happening. Conor admitted he isn’t motivated for this tag team match. Well fucking duh. You’re about to get your ass handed to you by STRONK Daddy and the #1 Wrestler in HOW. All Fuse has in the form of help is Scott Stevens, which is basically like bringing a rubber knife to a gunfight.
Fuse tilts his head back and Zen cries into the rafters while the fans in attendance continue to cheer him on. Stevens loosens up in the corner as Conor removes his trench coat, revealing his trademarked light purple arm sleeve on his left arm. Fuse and Stevens bump fists as McVay speaks into the microphone.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents…
The lights in the arena go down as “STRONKER” by FLAV RILLE begins to play. Michael Oliver Best walks out on stage with his cane in one hand and a handkerchief in the other. MOB uses the cloth to cover his nose and mouth, already disgusted with the foul odor that only Texas can produce. STRONK GODSON walks out onto the stage behind him carrying his barbed wire ladder over his shoulder.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first… currently residing in his ‘Sky House’ in Chicago, Illinois. Weighing in tonight at 290 lbs. Representing The Final Alliance. He is “The King of Stallions” STRONK! GODDDDDDSSSSSSSSONNNNNN!
The fans pop for his arrival—promiscuous women and drunk and disorderly men, especially. MOB points down to the ring and gives STRONK a few orders through the cloth. STRONK nods his head before he walks down to the ring. MOB follows behind the mountain of muscle looking judgingly at the so-called fans in attendance.
Joe Hoffman: The last time we saw STRONK Godson in action he was defeating Scott Stevens in the middle of the ring. He went after Stevens’ red eye but the LSD Champion came to save Stevens. Or rather, reason with STRONK but that only lead to him having the life squeeze out of him. Courtesy of the Body Dysmorphia hold, where STRONK had barbed wire wrapped around his arms.
Benny Newell: Stop it, Joe. I can only get so erect. It was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever witnessed. STRONK was just moments away from popping that Pirate King NERD like a zip. I can’t wait until Godson wins his company back. But for now? I’m going to enjoy watching him beat Scott Stevens for what feels like the billionth time.
STRONK places his ladder at ringside and just before stomping up the ring steps, grabs ahold of his ‘STRONK AF’ sleeveless tee shirt and rips it from his body with startling ease. STRONK enters the ring, while MOB takes his place at in Godson’s corner at ringside.
Bryan McVay: And his partner…
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 and the lights throughout the arena go dark.
Bryan McVay: From Huntington Beach, California. Weighing in tonight at 275 lbs. Representing The Final Alliance, The #1 ranked wrestler in HOW. He is “The MERCDAD” STEVE! SOOOOOOOLEXXXXXXXX!!!
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. At that moment the music returns and Steve Solex makes his way out from behind the curtain. 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.
Joe Hoffman: Steve Solex is a Captain of his own War Games team this year thanks to being the #1 ranked wrestler in HOW here in 2023. Solex and STRONK make a lethal combination, both here tonight and at War Games. However, I’m not sure how well Solex will be able to Captain a team that also has Joe Bergman, Darin Zion, and possibly Brian Hollywood.
Benny Newell: Steve Solex is a man of discipline and action. He’s the only person on the roster that will be able to whip NERDS into fighting shape for War Games. Just like he and STRONK Daddy are going to steamroll through Scott Stevens and Conor Fuse here in a few moments.
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 next to STRONK. McVay exits the ring as Boettcher checks with both teams. Once everyone is ready, he calls for the bell to officially start this match.
DING DING DING
Conor decides to start the match for his team. Solex convinces STRONK to let him start out for The Final Alliance team. Both Fuse and Solex circle each other in the center of the ring before locking up. At 275 lbs. Solex uses his clear strength advantage to shove Fuse down onto his ass. Solex points and laughs at Fuse before screaming the word NERD at him. The crowd boos loudly but Fuse gets back up to his feet. Solex raises his arm into the air and challenges Fuse to a test of strength which brings more hatred from the crowd. Conor slowly raises his arm into the air and closes the distance between him and Solex. Just when it looks like the two will lock fingers, Fuse fires a boot to the midsection. Solex catches Conor’s boot but Fuse leaps and hits Solex with an enzigiuri kick to the back of the head that floors him.
Joe Hoffman: Solex tried to embarrass Conor by showing off his strength but Fuse regained himself and rocked the #1 ranked wrestler in HOW with that kick to the back of the head.
Benny Newell: No way a single kick from Fuse NERD floored Solex. Bittcher needs to check his boots for foreign objects!
Joe Hoffman: There is nothing in his boots but his feet.
Benny Newell: He’s Canadian, those are still considered foreign objects. Disqualify him!
Solex gets back up to his feet and charges at Fuse but Conor catches him and hits him with a sit-down hip toss. Solex angrily gets back up to his feet again but Conor is quicker than him. As Solex turns around Fuse hits him with a combination of superkicks that sends Solex reeling back into the opponent’s corner. Conor comes over and starts to lay in Doom Stomps to Solex in the corner as the fans cheer wildly. Boettcher makes Fuse back away from the corner but with the referee’s back turned, Stevens sneaks in a shot of his own on Solex. Slowly, Solex uses the ropes to pull himself back up to his feet. Conor charges and then slides under Solex and the bottom rope hitting the MERCDAD with a running release German suplex down to the canvas. The crowd is loving it as Conor leaps back up to the ring apron. Conor turns and looks at his partner before slapping him across the back.
The crowd explodes as Conor leaps over the top rope into the ring. He stalks around Solex as he pulls himself back up to a vertical base. Solex tries to steady himself but Fuse charges. Conor leaps into the air and then brings Solex down to the canvas hard.
Joe Hoffman: TOXIC STING BY CONOR FUSE TO STEVE SOLEX!
Benny Newell: HE PICKED SCOTT STEVENS OF ALL PEOPLE TO STEAL A MOVE FROM?!?!
The cutter brings Solex down to the canvas but Conor doesn’t make the cover. He pulls himself back up to his feet before leaping into the air once again. Conor hits Solex with a standing sky twister press across the chest. Fuse hooks the leg and makes the cover on Solex as Boettcher slides in for the count.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THR–
KICK OUT BY SOLEX!
Joe Hoffman: That was nearly an upset in record time. Fuse used Weapon Get to hit Solex with Stevens’ Toxic Sting followed by a standing sky twister press. However, Solex was too big and too strong to stay down for the three.
Benny Newell: Did you really think that Swolex would allow himself to be beaten by a move used by NERD Stevens? Fuse is going to try and throw the kitchen sink at these guys from the jump hoping to walk away with a cheap win but it’s not going to happen.
Conor gets back up to his feet as Solex rolls out of the ring to the outside. Solex gets to his feet and shakes his head from the assault he just suffered. Conor gets a running start inside the ring and then leaps into the ropes. Fuse hits Solex with a reckless suicide dive that knocks him off of his feet. Conor gets up to his feet and then grabs a hold of Solex before rolling him back into the ring. Conor slides back in and gets up to his feet but Stevens reaches and tags himself into the match.
Joe Hoffman: Conor was on a roll but Stevens just tagged himself into the match.
Benny Newell: Stevens gonna Stevens.
Stevens steps into the ring and says something about being a good Captain of his team. Conor just smiles and steps to the outside of the ring. Stevens charges at Solex but Solex cuts him with a stiff knee to the midsection that doubles him over. Solex grabs a hold of Stevens by the waist and then hits him with a gut-wrench powerbomb down to the canvas. Solex staggers back to his corner and makes the tag into STRONK.
Benny Newell: Now we’re talking!
Joe Hoffman: Godson has been tagged into this match and that means Scott Stevens is in trouble.
Godson steps through the ropes and enters the ring as Stevens pulls himself back up to his feet. STRONK stands there and looks curiously at Scott Stevens who uses the time to begin to recover. Godson takes a step closer to Stevens while still having a confused expression on his face. Stevens puts up to his feet ready for whatever Godson has to throw at him but STRONK offers his hand out to Stevens.
STRONK: ME STRONK, STRONK IS NEARLY 300 LBS. AGAIN. WHO ARE YOU?
Stevens raises his eyebrow as on the outside of the ring Michael Oliver Best has a conniption fit. He begins stomping and yelling at STRONK as Solex can’t believe what he’s thinking.
Joe Hoffman: Godson just offered his hand to Stevens. He doesn’t remember who Scott Stevens is!
Benny Newell: That’s because Scott Stevens is very forgettable! Someone really needs to reboot STRONK Daddy’s brain, it’s still running Windows dare I say….97?
Stevens shakes STRONK’s hand but then plants a boot to the midsection of Godson that doubles him over. Stevens grabs a hold of Godson and hits him with a snap DDT down to the canvas hard. Stevens gets back to his feet and then whips Godson hit into a neutral corner. Stevens gets a running start and then hits STRONK with a Stinger Splash in the corner. Stevens grabs a hold of the top rope and begins stomping a mudhole in STRONK and walking it dry as the crowd goes wild for the Texas native. Stevens continues to stomp away until Solex enters the ring and clobbers him from behind. Stevens hits the canvas hard as Boettcher forces Solex back to his corner. STRONK pulls himself back up to his feet and grabs a hold of Stevens. STRONK lifts Stevens into the air and drops him with a backdrop driver down to the canvas. STRONK gets up to his feet and then makes the tag into Solex.
Joe Hoffman: Tag and now Solex is the legal man once again.
Solex enters the ring as Steven uses the ropes to pull himself back up to his feet. Stevens tries to go to his corner but Solex hits him with a side Russian leg sweep that takes him down to the canvas. Solex gets up to his feet and begins stomping Stevens right in the face. Solex grabs Stevens by the hair and then shoves his head between his legs. Solex lifts Stevens into the air and then spikes him with a piledriver. Solex pulls himself back up to his feet and yells for Stevens to get up to his feet. The Texas crowd boos loudly at Solex disrespecting one of their own. Stevens begins to pull himself up to his feet but Solex plants a boot to the midsection. Solex grabs a hold of Stevens and…
Benny Newell: SOLEXECUTION! And that’s all she wrote, The Final Alliance wins again!
Solex connects with the stunner that causes Stevens to fold down the canvas. Solex rolls Stevens onto his back and then makes the cover as Boettcher slides in.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THRE–
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse broke up the count before the three!
Benny Newell: That NERD just doesn’t know when to give up!
Boettcher forces Conor back up to his corner as Solex gets back up to his feet. Solex points and barks at Fuse as Stevens begins to stir. Solex turns around and then grabs hold of Stevens. He pulls him back up a vertical base before whipping him into the ropes but Stevens reverses the whip. Solex bounces off the ropes but Stevens catches him and connects with the Double S Spinebuster. The crowd pops as the ring shakes from impact. Both Stevens and Solex are down as Boettcher begins a ten count.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens brought himself some precious recovery time with that spinebuster. However, he needs to make it to the corner and tag in Conor.
Benny Newell: I can believe these stupid Dallas fans are actually cheering for Scott Stevens. Being fans of the Cowboys is bad enough but I guess they just are fond of things that suck.
Stevens begins to move towards his corner but Solex starts to do the same thing. Stevens leaps and makes the tag into Conor. Fuse leaps over the top rope and goes after Solex who is still crawling toward his corner. Solex reaches out but Conor is fast and cuts Solex off before he can reach STRONK. Fuse gives Solex a kick to the side of the head that sends him rolling back toward the center of the ring. STRONK takes a swipe at Conor but Fuse moves far too quickly. Conor moves forward and then hits Solex with a rolling thunder splash down across the sternum. Conor gets back up to his feet and then races toward the ropes. Fuse leaps to the middle rope and goes for a Lionsault but Solex gets his knees up. Conor crashes and burns, completely stopping his momentum. Solex gets back up to his feet and then grabs Fuse by the hair. Solex shoves Conor’s head between his legs and then motions to the crowd.
Benny Newell: Solex is done playing games with these fools. It’s time to put an end to this once and for all!
Joe Hoffman: Solex has Conor has a compromising position but I wouldn’t count out the resiliency of the former HOW World Champion!
Solex grabs a hold of Conor by the waist and then hoists him into the air. However, Conor begins laying in stiff forearm shots to the head of Solex who begins to stagger from the shots. Fuse twists his body around and then hits Solex with a poisonrana down to the canvas. Conor gets back up to his feet as Solex begins to grab a hold of the ropes. Solex pulls himself up and turns but Conor charges and hits Solex with a spinning slingblade down to the canvas. Fuse gets back up to his feet and then climbs to the middle rope in the corner. Conor stands there as Solex fights his way up off the canvas. Fuse leaps and then spikes Solex down to the canvas with a Canadian Destroyer. The crowd pops as Conor hooks the leg and makes the cover on Solex.
Matt Boettcher: ONE
Matt Boettcher: TWO
Matt Boettcher: THREE!!!
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! SOLEX GOT HIS SHOULDER OFF THE CANVAS BEFORE THE THREE!!!
Joe Hoffman: I think that might have seen Conor Fuse do a Canadian Destroyer from the second rope but it was almost enough to defeat the #1 ranked wrestler in HOW!
Benny Newell: Of course, the Maple Syrup-sucking NERD resorts to foreign flippy shit to try and take down the last man in wrestling. No way a proud American like Solex will ever lose to something Canadian!
Conor gets up to his feet then goes to his corner and makes the tag into Scott Stevens. Conor races across the ring as Stevens steps through the ropes. Fuse leaps to the top rope in one motion and then hits STRONK with a missile dropkick to the face that knocks him off the ring apron down to the floor. The crowd goes nuts for the insane move as Solex gets back up to his feet. Stevens grabs a hold of Solex then takes him down to the canvas and locks in Total Submission To The Demi-God Of HOW. The crowd is electric as Stevens cranks back on the crossface submission. Boettcher drops down and asks Solex if he wants to submit but Solex refuses.
Joe Hoffman: Can you imagine the ovation from this crowd if Scott Stevens manages to make Steve Solex right here in Texas?!
Benny Newell: Someone that has served this great country would never submit! Stevens will find a way to Stevens!
On the outside of the ring, Conor rushes at STRONK and leaps but Godson catches Fuse in his massive arms. STRONK runs Conor spine first into the edge of the ring apron. Fuse falls to the arena floor in pain as STRONK flexes. Inside of the ring, Solex slowly begins to crawl toward the ropes but Stevens keeps yanking back on the hold. Stevens yells for Solex to tap but the MERCDAD would rather die than tap out to Scott Stevens. On the outside of the ring, Conor begins to crawl on his hands and knees toward the barbed wire-wrapped ladder. Fuse grabs a hold of it and starts to pull himself up to his feet. STRONK charges with a full head of steam looking to crush Fuse but Conor sidesteps and Godson collides with the barbed wire ladder hard. STRONK hits the arena floor like a ton of bricks as Fuse begins to set up the ladder.
Joe Hoffman: STRONK just collided with that monstrosity of a ladder hard. Solex is moments away from tapping out and Fuse is climbing to the top of that ladder!
Benny Newell: Solex will never tap out! But this is sheer madness. It’s like NERD Bizzaro world! Get it together! You can’t let Papa Best down like this just weeks before War Games!!!
Fuse makes it to the top of the ladder as STRONK slowly begins to pull himself back to his feet. Inside the ring, Solex raises his hand into the air looking like he’s about to tap out from the pain but he begins punching himself in the head repeatedly. Once he’s forced the pain out of his mind, Solex continues to crawl for the ropes. On the outside, Conor leaps off the top of the ladder and takes STRONK down with a modified Phoenix Splash. The building comes unglued.
HOLEE SHIT!!! HOLEE SHIT!!! HOLEE SHIT!!!
Joe Hoffman: Conor Fuse just threw his body around like a lethal weapon and took out Godson on the outside of the ring! Michael Oliver Best is beside himself right now!!!
The roar from the crowd makes Stevens pulls back even harder on the submission hold. However, with a last-ditch effort, Steve Solex manages to grab a hold of the bottom rope with his free hand. Boettcher gets to his feet and begins a five count for Stevens to release the hold.
Benny Newell: OH THANK LEE, SOLEX DIDN’T TAP! HE MADE IT TO THE ROPES, GET STEVENS OFF OF HIM, BITTCHER!!!
Stevens releases the hold at 4.999997 and then pulls himself up to his feet. Stevens takes a moment to access what has happened on the outside of the ring before turning his attention back to Solex. Stevens grabs Solex by his glorious beard and pulls him off the canvas. Stevens shoves Solex’s head between his legs and then throws up the Longhorns once again for the fans here in Texas. Stevens grabs a hold of Solex by the waist and then goes to lift him into the air.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens is going for Game Changer. If he hits this, then it’s all over!
Benny Newell: No, absolutely fucking not! I refuse to believe we’re about to witness a Texas miracle!
Stevens gets Solex halfway up but Solex kicks his feet and drops his center of gravity. Solex’s feet hit the canvas but Stevens tries to muscle him up once again. Solex manages to counter by hitting Stevens with a big back body drop down to the canvas. With both men down, Boettcher starts another ten count. On the outside of the ring, Conor Fuse pulls himself back up to his feet. Conor sees both Stevens and Solex down inside the ring and heads toward it. But out of nowhere, MOB cuts him off. Lee Best’s brother begins to verbally assault Conor Fuse as Boettcher continues to count. Conor rears back like he’s going to punch MOB but something or rather someone grabs his arm.
Joe Hoffman: HOW IS HE STANDING SO SOON?!
Benny Newell: YOU THOUGHT FLIPPY SHIT WAS ENOUGH TO TAKE OUT A NEAR 300 POUNDER?!
Conor turns his head and sees STRONK behind him. Before Fuse can react, STRONK flings him sideways into the barricade hard. MOB points up to the ring where Solex and Stevens are struggling to get to their feet. STRONK marches up the steel ring steps and stands in his corner as Stevens gets to his feet first. Stevens stalks around Solex who isn’t far behind him. As Solex turns around Stevens leaps into the air.
Joe Hoffman: TOXIC STING!
Benny Newell: NO! HE COUNTERED IT!
Having been hit with it by Fuse earlier in the match, it allows Solex to see it coming and shove Stevens into the ropes. Stevens bounces off the ropes but Solex nearly decapitates him with The Clothesline From Heck. Stevens gets turned inside out before crashing down to the canvas. Solex staggers over to his corner and makes the tag into STRONK.
Joe Hoffman: Solex could have pinned Stevens right there but he’s decided to tag in Godson.
Benny Newell: Those that oppose The Final Alliance must suffer, Hoffhole.
STRONK steps through the ropes and stomps his way over toward Stevens. Godson grabs a hold of Stevens and pulls him up to a vertical base before locking in The Loop Hold. Conor pulls himself up and sees Stevens in trouble. Fuse dashes toward the ring but once again someone stops him.
Joe Hoffman: THE LSD CHAMPION IS HERE IN DALLAS! HE’S HOPPED THE BARRICADE AND STOPPED CONOR FUSE FROM GETTING BACK INTO THE RING!!!
Benny Newell: NERDS! NERDS every Lee-damn where! Fucking Texas, fucking NERDS!
Davidson spins Fuse around and begins telling him something. Conor is completely confused as to what Jace is saying and why he is here. Conor shakes his head and then turns back toward the ring. Conor slides halfway under the bottom rope but it’s too late. Scott Stevens is tapping out.
DING DING DING!!!
Bryan McVay: Here are your winners… the team of STEEEEEVEEE SOOOOLEXXXXXX & STRONKKKKKK GODSONNNNNNNNN!!!
Solex enters the ring and celebrates with Godson. Stevens lays almost lifeless on the canvas. Jace grabs a hold of Fuse and continues talking to him. The LSD Champion points into the ring and begins to speak with a lot more emphasis to Fuse. Jace slaps his hand down on Conor’s shoulder and then points his index finger at the former HOW World Champion. Jace lets go of Fuse and then hops back over the barricade and disappears into the audience.
Joe Hoffman: Of all the things that could happen here tonight, I didn’t expect Jace Parker Davidson to show up here during this match and start to plead with Conor Fuse. I have no idea what he was saying to Conor but it definitely left Fuse confused and distracted.
Benny Newell: Jace inserting himself into a match…HOLEE SHIT…color me surprised. Fuse looks like a weak ass NERD by not punching Jace right in the fucking eye. In the end the only thing that matters as STRONK Daddy made The Lonesome Loser NERD tap out and The Final Alliance is victorious. I told you that Steve Solex makes a great Captain!
Conor looks on at both Solex and STRONK inside of the ring. He runs his fingers through his hair but then heads back up to the ramp mumbling to himself as we cut away from ringside.
A SAD ENCOUNTER
We cut backstage where we see Clay Byrd walking through a hallway in the back of the American Airlines Center. He has jeans on and a loose fitting shirt, with a duffle bag slung over his shoulder that he holds in place with his right hand on the strap. Clay ignores the people he passes, not giving them any of his attention as they stare at the big Texan walking by.
After a few moments he approaches a door. His name is on a temporary faceplate, which he looks at briefly, then opens the door with his free hand.
Walking in, he stops in his tracks.
Sitting on the bench in front of a wide locker space is Dan Ryan. He’s sitting still, hands clasped in front of him and stares at Clay.
Dan Ryan: You’re not an easy guy to get some face time with.
Clay steps fully in the room, shutting the door behind him, but doesn’t respond. Dan frowns slightly, finally standing up as Clay takes a few more steps into the room.
Dan Ryan: At ease, man. I’m not here to fight or cause any trouble. But I do think we at least need to come to an understanding.
Dan turns slightly, sitting back down and gestures to a spot toward the other end of the bench. Clay narrows his eyes, not impressed or particularly interested. Dan sneers back at him.
Dan Ryan: For God’s sake, Clay, take a seat. Jesus.
Clay looks up, somewhat exasperated, then tosses his bag to the floor and sits down, shaking his head, not buying it.
Dan Ryan: Our first real interaction at ICONIC… I’m sorry about that. It wasn’t personal. I know everyone always says that, but I promise you, it wasn’t.
Clay Byrd: I’m sure Dan, I’m sure it wasn’t personal… Nothin’ ‘bout takin’ the greatest moment in a man’s life away from him, just screams ‘it wasn’t fuckin’ personal.’
Dan Ryan: You don’t have to trust me, man. I would be surprised if you did. But I’ll tell you one thing right now. I don’t like losing. I’m not stupid. I know what you can do out there, but we’ve got to be on the same page. We’re up against people that will rip us to shreds if we’re not working together. That bit you in the ass with the Highwaymen. I’m not gonna let that happen to us. We might be on opposing sides when this is over, but right now, we have to get this done.
Clay Byrd: Ya don’t think I know already? Ya don’t think I know that we have ta work together. That I have to trust you, and fucking Jatt?
Clay scoots over closer to Dan, snarling.
Clay Byrd: Just go tell yer little friend Evan Ward ta get ready, this time I ain’t walkin’ away when Lee’s little foot clan comes runnin’. Gonna put that boy into a coma.
Dan stands up, slowly walking toward the door, then stops there and turns around.
Dan Ryan: Just think about it. I’ve got a match to prepare for. Oh and uh… welcome home.
Clay Byrd: Ya can thank me when we get ta War Games.
Without another word he opens the door and leaves as we cut elsewhere.
HOW’S THE NECK?
The show cuts backstage to find the Hall of Famer and Ward Games team captain, Evan Ward, striding into his dressing room to prepare for his upcoming match against Clay Byrd. He throws his duffle bag onto the bench and then closes the door behind him. For some reason it doesn’t close properly. This annoys Evan so he slams it but that doesn’t seem to help.
Evan Ward: WHY. WON’T. YOU. CLOSE. YOU. BASTARD!
Every punctuation point is a slam or kick to the door or shoulder barge to try to close the mischievous door. Frustrated, Evan finally decides to open the door and see what the problem was. It turned out to be less of a what and more of a who.
Evan Ward: Oh, hey, Scott, how’s the foot…better yet…how is the fucking neck? Saw STRONK made your bitch ass tap out.
Scott Stevens shoves his way into the room now grabbing his neck instinctively at the mere mention of STRONK and his LOOP HOLD finisher.
Scott Stevens: Fuck off, Ward.
Evan Ward: Me fuck off? I know you’ve only got one eye, but you know this is my locker room, right? Are you sure you put your patch on the right eye today? Look, I’ve got a match with Clyd to get ready for but I’m sure, after I humiliate him in the ring tonight, he’ll let you go cry with him and share the saddest Texas handjob in the world.
Scott Stevens: Har. Har. Har. Keep making jokes while you can, kid.
Evan Ward: Oh, I will. All the way to Ward Games. You know I’m a captain, right? Top dog, big cheese, guy calling the shots. You… not so much, what with being a last round pick. I’d ask how it feels being a peon for once, but I bet you’re used to it by now.
Scott Stevens: Ward Games?
Stevens lets out a loud sigh.
Scott Stevens: The most unoriginal fucking thing. Tell me Ward, how long did it take you to come up with that? I’m sure it came to you when you were taking a shit because it’s full of shit just like you.
Ward and Scott get face to face.
Scott Stevens: Besides, you’re a captain of nothing, Ward. Aceldama doesn’t trust you, he’ll sooner kill you than follow your orders after what you did to him last week… And America? He hates all you foreign scum and he knows you’ve got your eyes on his World Championship, he knows you’re going to stab him in the back. And who the fuck is Charles de Lacy?
Evan shakes his head and sighs, putting a hand on Scott’s shoulder.
Evan Ward: You’re right, Scott, you’re so right, thank you. I never thought of it like that before… Who even is Charlie der Lucy? What even is Chunky de Lazy? I mean, really, why is Luke de Chasey? WHEN IS HE GOING TO DO SOMETHING, SCOTT?!
Stevens angrily shrugs Evan’s hand off his shoulder and shoves him out of this face. Ward giggles to himself.
Evan Ward: Dude, seriously, spend less time wagging that jaw of yours and spend more time worrying about your own team. I mean, apart from beating the snot out of you guys, what even is Mike doing, huh? You gotta make sure Scottywood’s stitches stay in, you don’t want his leg falling off mid match, that would suck. Hey, and what about Fuse, when’s he going to stop snacking on the cheetos and put that controller down to train a little? Dude fucking needs it. I’m sure you’ll get on with Jace in the match, though, you could do this double team move where you take Clyd’s double-ended dildo and stick it in both your eye sockets to hit a super gross clothesline.
Stevens starts to get chuckle at Ward’s irreverent mocking.
Scott Stevens: Me? Worry about my team?
Scott Stevens: My team hates the Final Alliance and we hate you the most Evan. You see, Mr. “Third Generation Superstar” when you get in that cage you’ll be on your own, none of your team members will have your back. Hell, I bet most of them will take the chance to knock that smirk off your ugly face, you annoying little shit. I know your Alliance fuckbuddies on Byrd and Solex’ teams will be jumping at the chance to break you in two. Everyone hates you, Ward.
Ward bursts into laughter.
Evan Ward: They hate me? Haha, good one, Scotty, why would any of those cunty motherfuckers hate me?
Scott Stevens: I don’t know…..maybe it’s because you’re a gutless douchebag?
Stevens shrugs before continuing.
Scott Stevens: Maybe it’s because you took a shit on the things you used to believe in and sold your soul to a man that will replace you at the drop of a dime.
Stevens bends down so he’s eye level with Ward.
Scott Stevens: Tell me, how’s Rhys these days?
Ward looks at the Texan confused.
Evan Ward: Fuck knows, I haven’t talked to him in years, why? Are you looking for a job on his Taco stand?
Scott Stevens: No reason, I’m sure he’ll be getting a phone call eventually because a best alliance always needs a member of Ground Zero to complete it, and we all know he’s the preferred choice and you’re the duff of the group.
Ward glares at him.
Scott Stevens: Looks like I touched a nerve.
Stevens begins to chuckle while Ward continues to glare, before seeming to snap out of it.
Evan Ward: Sorry, I was lost just trying to figure out if you were deluded into actually believing that or just projecting because you’re always remembered as a worse member than Hollywood. You were worse than Christopher Diamond, Scott, Christopher fucking Diamond!
Stevens sneers at Ward.
Scott Stevens: Dick. Anyway, you must be a fool to think Aceldama will even let you get to the ring after what you pulled?
Evan frowns in concentration.
Evan Ward: Hmm, ya know, I have no idea. Why don’t we ask him? Hey, Ace, how’s it hanging?
The camera moves around to see Aceldama standing in the doorway behind Scott Stevens, looking very angry as he stared a hole through the back of the Texan’s head.
Aceldama: Everything ok here, boss?
Stevens mouths the words boss before shaking his head.
Evan Ward: All good, here, Ace. Right, Stevens?
The Texan looks towards Ace and then back to Ward and leans in for Ward’s ears only.
Scott Stevens: You won’t be able to hide behind your whipping boy at War Games.
Scott pats Ward on the shoulder before turning to leave but stops by Aceldama, who is carrying the dragon statue which was left by him when he was beaten down a few weeks ago.
Scott Stevens: Since when did you start taking orders and become Ward’s little bitch?
Aceldama just smiles angrily and shoves the dragon into Stevens’ chest.
Aceldama: You can have this back. I know what you did to me, you better watch your back.
Scott Stevens: And make sure Dan Ryan is available to have yours.
Stevens pushes his way out of the locker room, smashing the dragon statue on the hall’s wall as he goes leaving the two Ward Games team members who are seemingly back on the same page to discuss strategy as we head to a commercial break.
Back live and The Behemoth steps out of his locker room, right into a HOTv camera. The crowd in the American Airlines Center once again erupts into cheers. Clay, in full ring gear, snarls and walks down the hallway. Brian Bare follows at a generous distance, making sure to keep the cameraman between him and Clay.
Brian Bare: Clay, why did you attack Evan Ward!?
The Monster from Plainview gives no answer as he continues his
Brian Bare: Clay, why were you talking to Dan Ryan earlier?
Bare and the camera crew continue to follow Byrd through the bowels of the American Airlines Center, he continues onwards, picking up a small group of backstage personnel and EPU following him.
Brian Bare: Clay, do you have anything you want to say to Evan Ward before you walk through the curtain!?
The Behemoth stops. He turns towards Bare, his snarl slowly becoming a twisted, devious smile.
Clay Byrd: Yeah, tell that son of a bitch and these wonderful Texan’s that I’m sorry I never got to make it out there tonight. I beat a cokehead, junkie, reporter to death with my hands and never made it out there…
Bare takes another five or six steps backwards as Clay stares a hole through him. Finally, satisfied he turns to continue his march to the gorilla position. As he turns, The Behemoth is startled.
Nettie shouts at The Behemoth as he almost stepped right through her.
Clay Byrd: I think yer meanin’ ‘sorry sir.’
Nettie, raises an eyebrow looking at Byrd.
Nettie: In your delusional cowboy dreams.
Nettie: Hometown and not in the Main Event. Not surprising… captain.
Clay Byrd: Who the fuck cares, I get what I want. I’m going to smear Evan Ward all over the canvas out there in about a minute…
Nettie looks over at her nails picking at the dirt on it, ignoring most of Clay’s words.
Nettie: That’s the type of attitude that doesn’t win War Games.
Clay smirks back.
Clay Byrd: But ‘nough ‘bout me, ol’ Danny came ta see me ta try ta get me on the same page before his match. And I ain’t no friend of Dan’s. So, take that title, but make sure ya leave ‘nough of him ta drag himself out there in Mexico City.
Nettie: One thing I don’t need is someone telling other me how to get the job done. I’ve won War Games before and the main belt. Taking your own advice may work. As for leaving any of him left? I’m not a fan of charity work. Whatever happens to him isn’t my concern.
Clay Byrd: Well ya do yer own thing, and I’ll do mine. Gotta run, got a War Games Cap’n to leave in a fuckin’ crater.
Clay tips his cowboy hat, while maneuvering around Nettie and starting his walk to the ring.
Nettie: Weird ass giants great…
Nettie just shakes her head as we cut back to ringside.
#10 CLAY BYRD VS. #NR EVAN WARD
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen where we have a powder keg waiting to explode. We have the 2022 Wrestler of the Year, and one of the War Games captains, Clay Byrd…..
Benny Newell: Clydmydia.
Joe Hoffman: Taking on Hall of Famer, and another captain of War Games…..
Benny Newell: (coughs)
Joe Hoffman: (sigh) correction, the captain of Ward Games.
Benny Newell: Put some respect on Ward’s name Hoffman.
Joe Hoffman: These two individuals have had a war of words since Evan Ward has returned and the Monster of Plainview hasn’t been fond of Ward’s comments about his dedication or lack of it to competing in HOW.
Benny Newell: Who the fuck cares what crybaby Clyd thinks Hoffman? The truth hurts and Evan is just speaking it. Not his fault the Vagina from Plainview got Brokeback Booty Hurt by wrestling three matches in 2023.
Joe Hoffman: I think it’s more than that Benny.
Benny Newell: I’ve fucked more whores this week than Clyd Byrd has been on HOTv.
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.
My Gun is loaded its 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
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
Red letters slash across the screen as “BYRD” is spelled out. Clay appears through fog on the entrance ramp, cowboy hat low over his eyes, a long black duster on and a rope in his hand.
Bryan McVay: Introducing, from Plainview, TX and weighing in at 295 lbs….he is THE MONSTER OF PLAINVIEW! CLAY! BYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYRDDDDDDDDDDD!!!
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 begins his slow walk down the ramp.
Joe Hoffman: Listen to this crowd for the hometown hero.
Crowd: CLAY! CLAY! CLAY!
Benny Newell: God, I hate Texas. You know there is only two things from Texas.
Joe Hoffman: Don’t start…..
Benny Newell: Idiots and more idiots!
Clay’s eyes are fixed on the ring, and he trudges on. Not paying any notice to any of the fans in attendance. Clay walks up the steps, and climbs into the ring before making his way to his corner and stretching out on the ropes waiting for his opponent as the lights fade out.
Benny Newell: WARD GAMES TIME HOFFMAN!
Strobes hit the stage as “Collective Consciousness” builds up over the speakers. Evan Ward walks out onto stage and raises his hands, slowly turning around to let the booing crowd soak in his awesomeness. The HOV lights up with an effect laden video package of the most high impact and extreme moments from Evan‘s classic matches. As the lyrics hit, he strides down the ramp.
The unenlightened masses
They cannot make the judgment call
Give up free will forever
Their voices won’t be heard at all
Bryan McVay: And his opponent, making his way to the ring, hailing from Hay-on-Wye, Wales, weighing in at 215lbs… He is a HOW Hall Of Famer, the self-proclaimed most awesome athlete to ever step into the ring, and the lead captain for Ward Games…..he is EVAN WAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRD!
Crowd: FUCK YOU WARD! FUCK YOU WARD! FUCK YOU WARD!
Joe Hoffman: Evan Ward not winning many fans here in the Lonestar State.
Benny Newell: Texas Nerds are the fucking worse. All that come from this cesspool should drink bleach and play in traffic.
Joe Hoffman: So what about Dan Ryan?
Benny Newell: What?
Joe Hoffman: He’s a Texan?
Benny Newell: He’s an adopted Texan because he’s the only winner they can claim but we all know he resides in Parts Unknown.
While never stepping out of line
And blindly swear allegiance
Let your country control your mind
As Evan walks around the ring, he welcomes the negative attention from the crowd and riles them up even further with his smug attitude. He hops onto the apron and faces the crowd, throwing a fist in the air.
Live in ignorance
And purchase your happiness
When blood and sweat is the real cost
Thinking ceases, the truth is lost
Don’t you worry
You’ll be told exactly what to do
I give my people the lives they need
The righteous will succeed
Evan slingshots himself over the top rope with a twisting flip, landing on his feet in time with the lyrics shouting “The righteous will succeed!” as he throws his arms up powerfully. He poses in the ring for a moment before taking to his corner while the music fades away as Hortega calls for the bell.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Joe Hoffman: And here we go…….
Ward and Clay come out of their respective corners and make their way towards center ring.
Joe Hoffman: You can tell the size difference between the two as Clay is the taller and larger athlete.
Benny Newell: Oh yeah?!?!?!? Clyd may be bigger, but Ward is quicker and smarter. Flippy shit for life Hoffman. FOR LIFE!
Ward and Byrd don’t move and stare daggers into one another as you can cut the tension between the two War Games captains with a knife.
Crowd: CLAY’S GONNA KILL YOU! CLAY’S GONNA KILL YOU! CLAY’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Benny Newell: These idiots need to kill themselves. Ward is a third-generation superstar so that means he’s three times better than Clyd.
The two break the stare down as they look to the opposite as the noise from the Dallas crowd is deafening.
Joe Hoffman: This is a dream match as we have one of the very best in HOW today taking on one of the greats from the “Modern Era” of HOW.
Benny Newell: Clyd? Great? Please Hoffman. I get that Clyd is a hungry young lion looking to knock off the older and established lion of the pride, but every time Clyd steps up he gets smacked down and reminded his place in the order.
The two begin to circle one another and lock up. Ward showing some power as he starts to make Byrd walk slowly backwards, but is suddenly stopped when Clay brings Ward forward a bit and shoves him backward to the mat with enough force to cause Evan to somersault backwards.
Joe Hoffman: What a show of power by Byrd!
Benny Newell: Hortega needs to test Clyd because he’s obviously on the juice.
A wide-eyed Ward looks up at Clay as the Texan motions for him to bring it.
Crowd: BYRD! BYRD! BYRD!
Joe Hoffman: This crowd is fired up for Byrd and we have only just started the match.
Benny Newell: Well, when a whole state is used to failures, they got to cheer for the one that has failed the least number of times.
Ward kips up and makes his way over to Hortega and motions to the official by grabbing his hair and makes a yanking motion before pointing to Clay.
Joe Hoffman: Is Ward actually trying to tell Hortega he was yanked down by his hair.
Benny Newell: I knew Clyd would try and do anything to win.
Hortega makes his way over to Byrd and repeats Ward’s claims and the Texan shakes his head no.
Benny Newell: Look at that man trying to lie to our official with a straight face.
Hortega issues a warning to Clay and Byrd lumbers forward and the two once again lock up and Byrd tosses Ward back to the ground. This time Byrd attempts to pick up Ward, but Evan scrambles to the ropes and ducks between them as Clay puts his hands on him drawing boos from the crowd.
Evan Ward: OYE! OYE! GET HIS ASS BACK!
Hortega uses all of his strength to pry Clay away from the ropes and Ward tries to cautiously come back in only to hide between the ropes again when Byrd barrels towards him.
Crowd: EVAN SUCKS! EVAN SUCKS! EVAN SUCKS!
Ward turns to the crowd.
Evan Ward: YOUR MOTHER SUCKS!
The boos grow louder as Evan Ward tries to slither back into the ring, but hides amongst the ropes once more when Clay gets nearby.
Joe Hoffman: The fans can boo all they want, but Evan Ward is wrestling within the rules.
Benny Newell: Smartest thing you’ve said your entire career Hoffman. I’ll buy you a Red Bull later tonight.
Frustration has grown on the part of Clay Byrd has he shoves his way forward passed Hortega and lunges at Ward who ducks. Ward quickly springs up headbutting Byrd under his chin before coming back down and grabbing Clay’s head and slingshotting his neck on the top rope.
Joe Hoffman: Clay’s overzealousness to get his hands on Ward cost him there.
Ward slingshots his way back into the ring by delivering an elbow drop to the downed Texan.
Clay powers out and Evan rolls out of the ring.
Benny Newell: Smart strategy there. That is why he’s a Ward Games captain.
Ward throws up a “T” sign with his hand drawing immediate boos from the crowd and anger from his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: There’s no timeouts in wrestling.
Benny Newell: When you’re a Final Alliance member the regular rules don’t apply.
Ward begins to slowly walk around the ring.
Benny Newell: Ward looks parched Hoffman. We need to get him some Powerade to help him regain some electrolytes.
Ward cautiously crawls onto the apron before slowly rising to his feet. He drops down immediately when Byrd comes towards him.
Benny Newell: HA! FUCK YOU CLYD! YOU WRESTLE WHEN WARD SAYS SO!
Clay growing tired of Ward’s shenanigans rolls out of the ring and Ward immediately takes off. When Ward puts some distance between himself and Clay he immediately rolls into the ring and Clay feigns diving in causing Ward to hit the canvas with an elbow drop.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like Ward was caught napping there.
Benny Newell: Fuck you!
Byrd grabs both of Ward’s arms and a sadistic smile forms over his face as Evan’s eyes grow wide and he begins to shake his head and begins to plead, but Clay’s not listening as he uses his monstrous strength to pull Ward out of the ring and slam him into the security barrier.
Joe Hoffman: What an incredible display of strength by Clay Byrd.
Benny Newell: Roid rage at its finest.
Byrd pulls the dazed Ward to his feet and lays him against the barrier before looking out towards his home crowd and bringing a finger to his lips.
Clay Byrd: SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
The arena goes silent to hear the sickening thud of an open hand slaps to the bare chest of Evan Ward echo throughout the American Airlines Center.
Benny Newell: I think I saw Evan’s heart suddenly stop.
Evan rolls on the floor gasping for air as the menacing Clay Byrd stares down at him prompting Ward to try and crawl away. Byrd saunters behind Ward before stopping him with a stiff kick to the Hall of Famer’s ribs. Byrd pulls Ward up to his feet and throws him back into the ring. Clay pulls himself up onto the apron as Ward is center ring on all fours. Clay climbs through the ropes and makes his way to Ward who leaps straight up and collides his knee into Clay’s face.
Joe Hoffman: Second Generation Flying Knee has Clay stunned.
Benny Newell: Ward channeling his father proving that the Wards are better than Byrd brains.
Clay stumbles backwards and hits the ropes and uses the momentum to launch himself forward looking for the homerun shot.
Joe Hoffman: Clay missed with the Texas Lariat!
Ward uses his speed to evade the attack Matrix style by ducking underneath. Ward bridges back into a handstand and when Clay turns Ward hits him with a handstand dropkick.
Benny Newell: LONG LIVE FLIPPY SHIT!
Ward pops back to his feet and rushes at Clay before leaving his feet.
Joe Hoffman: Head scissors takedown!
Ward continues the assault by stomping onto Byrd before leaping into the air and hitting a knee drop to Clay’s sternum.
Clay kicks out.
Ward pulls Byrd up to a seated position so he can begin to cave in the Texan’s chest with some soccer style kicks.
Benny Newell: Look at those kicks Hoffman! Manchester United should sign him as their new striker.
Joe Hoffman: You’ve got to be kidding.
Benny Newell: Absolutely not, if I was, I would’ve said FC Dallas should sign him.
Ward continues to kick Byrd in the chest but the pain looks to be fueling him as he grits his teeth and begins to block out the pain causing Ward to strike harder.
Joe Hoffman: Those kicks apparently are having no effect on Byrd.
Benny Newell: Who does he think he is, Tim Howard?
Evan Ward: Oye! Oye! You’ll take these kicks Clyd and like it!
Ward rears back and looks to bend Clay’s head like Beckham, but the Texan grabs Ward’s foot.
Joe Hoffman: Ward got caught.
Benny Newell: No shit Captain Obvious.
Clay slowly gets to his feet as Ward hops up and down trying to maintain his balance.
Joe Hoffman: Clay has evil intentions in mind.
Ward pleads Clay to let him go, but the Texan shakes his head no and Ward tries to cheap shot Clay with a quick enzuiguri, but Clay anticipates this and ducks the cheap shot. Ward immediately fires a mule kick surprising Clay causing him to stumble back. Ward sees this and drills Byrd in the face with a superkick.
Benny Newell: That superkick was executed so beautifully that the fifth and sixth generation of Wards will be studying that.
Clay starts to fall backwards only for the corner to break his fall. Ward immediately makes his way over and jumps to the middle ropes. Ward looks out toward the rabid crowd and slowly balls up his fist before colliding it to the side of Clay’s face. When the punch count of nine is reached, Ward looks out to the crowd again before flipping all them off and delivering the tenth punch causing Byrd to slump down in the corner.
Benny Newell: These idiots in Dallas should be cheering Ward since he is going to become their new hometown hero.
Ward slaps Clay across the face before running across the ring to the opposite corner and jumping onto the bottom pad and turning around and running full speed leaping into the air looking to break some ribs with knees to the chest.
Joe Hoffman: Clay caught him!
Benny Newell: Fuck!
Clay catches Ward midair and Ward tries to get loose, but the Texan drops down and Ward’s face hits the top turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: Modified snake eyes.
Clay pulls Ward from the corner and makes a cover.
Ward kicks out and Byrd quickly locks in a reverse chinlock. Hortega slides into position and sees if Ward wants to quit, but the official signals no.
Benny Newell: Ward isn’t going to quit that easily you idiot.
Clay begins to pry at Ward’s eyes causing Hortega to make his count.
Clay goes back to the chinlock.
Benny Newell: Come on Hortega! Disqualify his cheating ass!
Byrd puts his fingers into Ward’s mouth and fish hooks the Hall of Famer.
Clay reapplies the chinlock.
Joe Hoffman: Clay pushing the limits there.
Benny Newell: Where the fuck is Bitcher at Hoffman? He wouldn’t have let that happen.
Clay releases the chinlock unexpectedly and rings Ward’s bells with a duo open hand slaps to the ears.
Joe Hoffman: Deacon Jones ear slaps by Byrd and Ward’s bell is rung.
Clay then drives his elbows into the shoulder and neck area of Ward. Byrd continues to do this until Evan falls onto his stomach and Byrd mounts Ward and drives his forearm into the back of his head.
Benny Newell: Get the fuck in there Hortega and stops this!
With each clubbing blow the crowd chants for Byrd. Clay acknowledges the crowd as he winds up his hand before delivering a final blow to the back of Evan’s head. Byrd pushes Ward onto his back and makes a cover.
Ward pops the shoulder up.
Clay hooks both legs and puts all of his weight onto the shoulders of Ward.
Ward slips out before the count of tres.
Joe Hoffman: Clay almost came away with the victory there.
Benny Newell: Looked like a fast count to me Hoffman.
Byrd turns towards Hortega and holds up three fingers, but the official says it was a count of dos. Clay shrugs and gets to his feet and grabs Ward by the arm. Clay yanks Ward up and knocks him back down with a short arm clothesline. Clay repeats the process and Ward’s body goes limp.
Joe Hoffman: Clay Byrd is trying to crack Evan Ward open like a pinata with those clotheslines.
Crowd: ONE MORE TIME! ONE MORE TIME! ONE MORE TIME!
A sadistic smile begins to form over the Texan’s face as he holds a finger up. Byrd begins to pull Ward to his feet but the Hall of Famer drops to a knee.
Joe Hoffman: Ward may be out of it.
Clay tries to pull Ward up again, but he falls back down to the canvas.
Benny Newell: You may be right Hoffman.
Clay lets out a primal scream as he yanks Ward up, but the Third Generation Superstar was playing opossum and grabs ahold of Byrd’s wrist and uses the momentum to bring him down to the canvas as he ducks under the clothesline.
Benny Newell: HA! I TOLD YOU WERE WRONG HOFFMAN! THAT’S FIFTY BUCKS YOU OWE ME!
Joe Hoffman: I never bet you.
Benny Newell: Cheap ass mother fucker!
Ward transitions over and locks in a deep arm bar.
Joe Hoffman: A variation of the First Generation Spinning Armbreaker.
Benny Newell: Ward showing Byrd his grandpa wrestled better than his.
Hortega slides into position and asks if he quits.
Clay Byrd: FUCK YOU!
The crowd roars with cheers.
Joe Hoffman: Seems that is the typical Texan response to anything.
Evan Ward: Oye! Oye! Hortega that was Texanese for he quits!
Ward shouts towards the official, but Hortega isn’t having none of it.
Joe Hoffman: Ward must think Hortega is dumb.
Benny Newell: He can’t count passed three Hoffman so you be the judge.
Hoffman gives Benny a what the fuck look as Ward begins to lift up with his legs putting more pressure on the elbow and shoulder area.
Joe Hoffman: Clay may want to tap or risk having his arm broken.
The Monster from Plainview tries using his free arm to alleviate the pressure by pushing up, but Ward quickly drops down before returning to the position he was previously in.
Joe Hoffman: A whiplash effect by Ward.
Byrd puts his fist into his mouth so he doesn’t accidently verbally quits.
Benny Newell: That’s it. Only a matter of time until Byrd taps like that bitch Shayla.
Joe Hoffman: Who?
Benny Newell: Shayla?
Hoffman throws his hands up confused.
Benny Newell: The whore I fucked last night! Keep up Hoffhole!
Joe simply shakes his head as Byrd scream out in pain and holds out his free arm as if he is signaling he is ready to tap.
Benny Newell: Tap Shayla!
Ward sensing the end may be near stands up a little bit more, but makes the mistake of shifting his weight off of Byrd’s arm and Clay is able to roll him up.
Joe Hoffman: CRUCIFIX!
Benny Newell: Thank Lee!
Ward kicks out and as he gets to his feet he is quickly sent back to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Big boot from Byrd sends Ward crashing to the mat.
Clay grabs Ward and pulls him to his feet and the Texan uses every bit of strength he can muster to whip Evan towards the nearest corner. As Ward slumps in the corner, Byrd backs into the opposite corner and kneels down.
Benny Newell: Uh oh.
Byrd points towards Ward before running full speed at his opponent looking to cut him in half.
Bone meets steel post and steel remains undefeated as Clay Byrd’s weakened shoulder collides with the ring post. Ward pulls himself up to his feet and takes a few moments to catch his breath before flipping on top of Clay.
Joe Hoffman: OH MY! WARD CONNECTS WITH A RING SHAKING FIRST GENERATION PRIZE WINNING PILEDRIVER!
Byrd is sprawled out in the middle of the ring following a Canadian Destroyer. Ward scrambles towards Byrd to make a cover.
Byrd kicks out.
Benny Newell: WHAT IN THE FUCKING FUCK?!?!?!?!?
Joe Hoffman: CLAY BYRD KICKED OUT ON INSTINCT THERE!
The crowd comes unglued and Evan Ward goes ballistic that Byrd kicked out. Ward gets in Hortega’s face.
Benny Newell: Calm down Ward. Focus on Byrd not that idiot.
Ward turns his attention back to Clay Byrd and goes over and pulls him up to a seated position. Ward looks out toward the crowd and begins to pat his knee causing the audience to boo.
Joe Hoffman: Ward looking to finish it here.
Ward hits the ropes and when he gets close to Byrd leaps forward with his knee.
Joe Hoffman: CLAY DUCKED!
Clay fell backwards as the knee approached and Ward spins around quickly to get another attack off, but Clay grabs him and tosses him into the air.
Joe Hoffman: POWERBOMB!
Clay hooks both legs as he rolls into a cover.
Benny Newell: FUCK YEAH!
Ward pops his shoulder up at the last inkling as the crowd begins to cheer and clap for both competitors who lay in the middle of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Both men have given it there all here tonight.
Benny Newell: Don’t worry, Ward is seconds from winning this.
Hortega checks both men and begins his count as they both lay on the mat.
Clay and Ward begin to stir.
Both men get to a knee.
Ward throws a punch.
Clay returns the favor with a punch of his own.
Ward begins to get to his feet as he throws another right.
Clay shakes off the effects and delivers a haymaker that rocks Ward.
Ward stumbles back, but springboard off of the ropes and delivers a wheel kick to Byrd.
Benny Newell: Step One.
Ward takes a moment to catches his breath as he rushes towards the opposite ropes and springboards once more and this time connects with a corkscrew senton on the down Byrd.
Benny Newell: Step Two.
Ward slashes his throat to signal that it’s over as he measures Byrd before running towards the nearest corner and hops all three ropes before flipping backwards.
Benny Newell: Step Three. Awesome Combo……..OH SHIT!
As Ward is in mid flip, Clay Byrd launches himself at Ward and turns the Hall of Famer inside out with a devastating lariat.
Joe Hoffman: TEXAS SIZE LARIAT!
An exhausted Byrd crawls towards Ward and drapes an arm over him.
Benny Newell: Kick out!
Benny Newell: Kick out! Kick out!
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Benny Newell: FUCK!
Hortega signals for the bell and Clay can barely roll off of Evan Ward as the two are breathing heavily as Hortega points to Byrd as the victory.
Bryan McVay: And your winner by pinfall….THE MONSTER OF PLAINVIEW! CLAY! BYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYRDDDDDDDDDDD!!!
Joe Hoffman: Evan Ward made Clay Byrd earn this victory tonight, but with only one show left Clay has serious momentum heading into War Games.
Benny Newell: Fuck off Hoffman, the fix was in.
Clay begins to stir as he allows Hortega to help him to his feet as he throws the hook ‘em horns sign to his hometown crowd as they chant the Monster of Plainview’s name as we shift elsewhere in the American Airlines Center.
DEAL WITH IT
We cut backstage where Blaire Moise stands.
Blaire Moise: Blaire Moise here with Joe Bergman’s valet Sunny O’Callahan.
Sunny steps into the shot holding a cell phone in one hand and a bottle of Southern Comfort in the other.
Blaire Moise: Sunny, Joe Bergman has not returned to HOW… he has not returned to the country since March to Glory. Our fans would love to know what’s going on and why he hasn’t returned?
Sunny holds up the cell phone.
Sunny O’Callahan: I’ve got Joe on the phone right now from Wrexham, Wales. Let me ask him.
She listens to Joe for a second and responds.
Sunny O’Callahan: Blaire, the reason is simple. Joe is enjoying his time over in the UK not having to deal with Lee Best’s bullshit and, more importantly, watching Wrexham return to the Football League. What happened at last week’s chaos with Xander Azula getting royally screwed out of the World Title by Lee simply confirms every reason why he hasn’t returned to the States.
Blaire Moise: But, Joe will be at War Games?
Sunny takes a swig from the bottle of Southern Comfort and listens to Joe’s response.
Sunny O’Callahan: Yes. Even though Joe warned Steve Solex about drafting him, Joe does feel an obligation to the others on the team and will appear at War Games-
Steve Solex rushes out and stands face-to-face with Sunny.
Steve Solex: Are you kidding me? Watching Wrexham? What the fuck does that even mean?!
Sunny puts the phone closer to her ear and listens.
Sunny O’Callahan: He thinks that’s pretty self-explanatory.
Solex shakes his head and grits his teeth. He points at the phone in Sunny’s hand.
Steve Solex: You tell that shithead that we’ve got War Games to win and that he needs to get his ass back in the United States stat. Or else I’m gonna take my happy ass over to England and start another fuckin’ revolution in that bitch and the first thing I’m going to do is put my foot in Joe Bergman’s ass!
Sunny seems a bit taken aback, but not overly surprised, by Solex’s sudden hostility. She manages to maintain her composure and keep a solid poker face and responds in a cool, calm voice.
Sunny O’Callahan: He warned you about drafting him. In fact, he told you specifically not to pick him. But you did it anyways. Joe says he would love to come back sooner but there’s an open-top bus celebration and parade on Tuesday to celebrate Wrexham winning the title. So he’s afraid he’ll have to extend his stay in the UK just a little bit longer.
Solex seethes as his eyebrows narrow, pinching a wrinkle between them.
Steve Solex: I’m not surprised one fuckin’ bit, Sunny. Joe loves to celebrate mediocrity and this Wrexham thing reeks of it. You tell that nutless prick that this AWOL bullshit is about to get on my fuckin’ nerves!
Sunny listens to what Joe is saying.
Sunny O’Callahan: Are you referring to the Wrexham team that just won promotion to the Football League ddd has more heart in their little pinkies than you ever will?
Steve Solex: Does he want to win War Games or does he want to drink beer with some mediocre soccer playing, unAmerican fucks across the pond?
Solex shakes his head in disbelief as Sunny takes in what Joe is telling her.
Sunny O’Callahan: Sure, Joe would love to win War Games. But not on your team.
Solex is about to erupt again but Sunny adds…
Sunny O’Callahan: Seriously Steve, like Joe’s really going to trust you after what you did to him at ICONIC. You burnt that bridge, not him.
Steve Solex: Holy shit, how much longer am I going to have to hear this guy cry about ICONIC? You’d think I killed his fuckin’ dog.
Sunny O’Callahan: Well, you did cost him the LSD title and the tag title he’d worked hard to win back after you lost it the last time.
Solex places his hands on his hips and rolls his eyes so far back he almost knocks himself off balance.
Steve Solex: Sure, yeah…ok.
Solex relents with an overbearingly sarcastic tone.
Sunny O’Callahan: So, since Joe was ‘chosen’ to be on your team at War Games, Joe will be at War Games… not because he feels an obligation to you… because he feels he owes an obligation to Zion, Hollywood, and even STRONK to be there. He’ll be there, but it’s going to be on his terms.
Again, Solex is about to respond but Sunny cuts in.
Sunny O’Callahan: Let’s be clear here. Joe Bergman is done with you. He’s done with Lee. He’s done playing games. He’s done with putting up with the sports entertainment bullshit. He’s done with it all. If you want Joe to show up at War Games, my advice to you Steve is this… deal with it. Deal with it or else you’d better hope and pray Brian Hollywood wins the four-way so you won’t be a man down to start War Games.
Solex stares blankly at Sunny, his face cherry red. Solex throws his arms in the air.
Steve Solex: This fuckin’ guy…un-fuckin’-believable.
Solex storms off, cursing Joe Bergman under his breath as the camera centers back on Blaire and Sunny.
Sunny rolls her eyes and takes another drink from her Southern Comfort.
Blaire Moise: All right then, thank you Sunny O’Callahan and thank you… Steve Solex.
With that we cut to another commercial break.
I CANNOT TELL A LIE
Back live from commercial and we open to another area backstage with Brian Bare.
Brian Bare: I’m standing outside Christopher America’s dressing room where I’m hoping to get some comments from the World Champion on the actions of Scott Stevens for the last few weeks.
Brian knocks twice before stepping back and composing himself.
The door opens and Christopher America looks at Bare, disgusted.
Brian Bare: Chris, apologies for the interruption. I was hoping to get some comments about the actions of Scott Stevens over the last few weeks.
A slow, almost creepy smile spreads across America’s face. He leaves the doorway of his dressing room and stands next to Brian. The HOW World Championship is quickly shifted from the shoulder near Brian to the one away from Brian.
Christopher America: My thoughts? Sure. Let me give my thoughts. Let me deconstruct Scott Stevens. Let me pull back that curtain and break down a man.
Scott Stevens for weeks or months, who really gives a shit at this point, dedicated himself to Lee Best. He called himself the Demi God of HOW. It was a moniker he gave himself. It wasn’t earned. It wasn’t bestowed upon him. It’s a title he hoped would right a ship that has been swirling the drain for years. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t. Because a silly title wasn’t going to fix what is wrong with Scott Stevens.
He was given an opportunity at EVERY HOW championship WEEK AFTER WEEK and Scott Stevens won only the tag team championships thanks to Jace Parker Davidson and myself. The two longest reigning champions struggled to carry that dead weight to a victory. You know who was to blame for all that failure? According to him, everyone else. Everybody, but Scott Stevens. What he doesn’t realize is that championship opportunities aren’t going to fix what is wrong with Scott Stevens.
And now, after all that failure, Stevens shed his dedication to Lee Best and decided to take on the Final Alliance. Just like a truly false prophet, his faith wavered the moment it became difficult. An apt parable for Stevens’ career. This is a man who failed continuously and miserably, only to then wonder why he wasn’t favored by Lee Best. He wonders why absolutely no one wants him on their War Games team. He wonders why no one wants to work with him against the interests of the Alliance. Oh! And my favorite part? When someone hands Stevens a lifeline… when Mike Best extended his hand in motivation, what did Stevens do? He resigned himself to his fate. He accepted a loss. He accepted a knee to the face. Not to move forward. But out of pure futility. So was his loss in HOFC a surprise? Nope. Because even with people helping him, they aren’t going to fix what is wrong with Scott Stevens.
Scott Stevens, as a man, as a human being, and as a wrestler, is a failure. Not respected as a former World Champion, not respected as a Hall of Famer, not respected by the wrestlers who came both before and after him. He throws so much spaghetti at the wall, that the wall is now nothing but spaghetti. It’s rotting. It smells. It reeks of decay and desperation. What he doesn’t realize is that no amount of new ideas are going to fix what is wrong with Scott Stevens.
Last week, probably because he couldn’t say something more off-color or offensive, Stevens chose to call me an abuser.
But in reality, Scott Stevens is the abuser. He’s the biggest abuser of this entire company.
He abuses this audience by continuing to roll out this sad, pathetic excuse of a wrestler that he is. He mistakes insanity for perseverance. He mistakes defeat for toughness. He mistakes irritation for credibility. He mistakes revulsion for interaction.
He abuses our interviewers, people like you, Brian. You’re forced to interview him not because Lee grants him time, but because he requests the time. He puts on this brave face, looks like a 6 year old trying to act tough, and tries to reach deep down in his destroyed ego, hoping to pull out whatever semblance of intimidation he thinks is left in there, but that well is beyond dried up. It’s an arid and barren wasteland.
He abuses the locker room, running around, begging people to talk or engage with him. “Help me! Tag with me! Work with me! Forget about everything I’ve done to make this work environment miserable! Change my diaper!” And when that doesn’t work, he forces himself into their locker rooms to talk about the steaming shits he creates.. Look what he did last week to Jace and I.
He abuses our championships. When he wins one, it’s not because the title chose him. It’s because he was carried to victory by someone more talented than he was. The singles championships in particular are abused verbally when he threatens to take them from their holders. Because they want fuck all to do with him.
Worst of all, Scott Stevens abuses himself. He deludes himself with dreams of accomplishments that will never come. He makes promises he never keeps. He resigns himself to constant and consistent failure. He believes he is owed and expected rewards for that failure. And then angers himself when those rewards never come.
And you know what’s sad about all of this? About all this abuse he puts us all through on a weekly basis? Me pointing out the truth ALSO isn’t going to fix Scott Stevens.
But fear not… I know what will fix Scott Stevens.
Do you, Brian?
Brian goes wide eyed and shakes his head.
Christopher America: Nothing.
Scott Stevens is nothing more than a leper to be pitied and ignored. When you see him, spit at him. Gouge out his eyes. Cut out his tongue. Deprive him of food and water. Avoid all contact and interaction. Leave him to die at the hands of the wild dogs.
If Stevens wants to scare people, if he wants his credibility back, if he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to win. Not a match once every other month. He needs to win consistently.
But he can’t do that.
Somehow, someway, he has to “Stevens” it up.
Instead of training and focusing on his shortcomings, he bought Clay Byrd an outfit.
Instead of building on his momentum after his victory over Scottywood, he continued to prance around in a red dress acting like a priest.
Instead of trying to build momentum for War Games or focusing on his HOFC match with Mike, he sends flowers and shoots shitty vignettes that make fun of abusers.
Think I’m being too harsh, Scott?
Then tell me what is Lee Best getting for the nearly $750,000 he’s paying you.
What’s his return on investment?
Tell me, in the ring, what’s he getting from you? And don’t spin it either. Don’t say shit like “competitive matches” or “entertaining vignettes” because we all know that both aren’t true.
For once in your life, tell the truth. Be honest about yourself… to yourself.
And when you manage to actually do that…
You’ll realize there is no place… in HOW… for Scott Stevens.
America smirks, nods at Bare, and ducks back into his locker room, whispering to his championship, as we cut elsewhere.
THERE ARE NO FRIENDS
The camera shifts to an undisclosed section of the backstage area in the American Airlines Center. The sound of footsteps can be heard going back and forth before the camera truly comes into view. The source of the footsteps is the HOW LSD Champion Jace Parker Davidson. He can be seen dressed in the same clothing he had on earlier tonight. His hand is upon his chin as he continues to walk a path across the concrete floor.
Davidson: There are no friends in HOW…
Jace mumbles, barely audible as he continues to walk back and forth across the dark and isolated area.
Davidson: …there are no friends in HOW.
He repeats it again as his fingers begin to dance along his chin. Suddenly, his pacing comes to a halt as he screams at the top of his lungs.
Davidson: THERE ARE NO FRIENDS IN HOW!!!
His body contorts in a flash of onset pain as he reaches up to cover his patched eye. He groans in agony for a while before straightening his posture. His breathing soon goes from heavy and labored to more calm and relaxed. He turns on his heel and then faces the camera.
Davidson: That’s what I believe, I believe it because it’s a fact of life. I’m not wrong about that in the slightest bit but yet here I am.
Jace pauses to sort through the many thoughts crashing against each other in his head.
Davidson: I don’t need friends, love is a burden, and people who trust easily are the ones that end up suffering the most.
He nods his head slowly at his own words.
Davidson: Conor Fuse. Conor… I…
The words get stuck in his throat, unable to pass through his lips. He grunts in frustration and begins a mini course of pacing once again. His lips move as if he’s in an argument with himself but the only sound is his footsteps along the floor. He turns to the camera once again and holds out his hands.
Davidson: I hope you listen. I hope the words I said to you sink in between the ears. Everyone out there is blinded by misconceptions and greed. They see only what they want to see. Even with one fucking eye, I can see the bigger picture.
A small chuckle escapes from within him.
Davidson: I want you to gaze upon it with me. I want you to see what I see. You just have to shut off all the other noise and look. Really, honestly, look at it and realize it’s the only answer. It’s beautiful in its sheer simplicity… But for you, only you!
Jace wages his index finger up and down as the pacing commences once again.
Davidson: Scott Stevens.
The name comes out of his mouth before he turns and focuses on the camera.
Davidson: Would you please… SHUT THE FUCK UP?! Noise… noise… noise! That’s all that ever comes out of you. Delusional fucking dribble that every single person on this roster is tired of hearing. You, seriously, think you’re the Captain of this War Games team? You think you’re going to lead us to victory. Stevens, you can’t even lead yourself to the win column on a regular basis.
Jace hands and fingers become very animated all of a sudden, moving in various directions without rhyme or reason. In an instant, the movement stops as a single index finger remains raised into the air.
Davidson: You have exactly one win as a singles competitor here in 2023. You’re not talented, Stevens. You’re a little boy sitting in his room, a fan of HOW that collects little trinkets and bobbles that no one else wants. You track things about this company like they were baseball cards. Sitting there, alone, looking over statics before locking the card for safe keeping in your flimsy little plastic holder.
Jace looks down at his hands as he continues speaking.
Davidson: You cling to these minuscule accomplishments like they were a life preserver in the open sea. No one gives a shit about your two hand-me-down World Championship reigns outside of yourself. You go around thinking you’re something special because you have a Hall of Fame ring. Blaire Moise, Joe Hoffman, Benny Newell, Joel Hortega, Matt Boettcher, and Bryan McVay all have Hall of Fame rings. And yet… you aren’t even a 1/4th as important as they are to HOW.
Jace rubs his hand down his face slowly.
Davidson: You’ve lost way more matches in your HOW career than you have won. This is a fact but your mind… your ego… looks at failure and sees nothing but success. You just tapped out earlier tonight in your home state but to you? You’ve just hit the winning homerun in Game 7 of the World Series. You’re like Darin Zion, only slightly smarter but without a filter. The only thing you need to lead, Stevens, is yourself to a much-needed retirement from professional wrestling.
Jace tosses his hands into the air as his eye widens.
Davidson: And then there is Scottywood. Holy fuck, Scottywood of all people. It was nice, it was quiet for months here. Scotty was dead and gone and Zion was busy running his mouth over in PRIME. And then like fucking magic, War Games comes around and Scottywood decides to crawl his way up out of his grave. Why? To accomplish what, exactly? Scottywood’s literal reason for being is to drink beer, talk about shitty Hockey, and collect L’s 24/7. Scottywood isn’t going to win War Games and walk out as HOW World Champion. Neither is Scott Stevens.
Jace presses his palm against his forehead.
Davidson: This isn’t a movie. It’s not some Hollywood underdog story where either of you is going to overcome the odds. You both are literal anchors to weigh me and Conor down. That is what you are, learn to fucking accept it.
Jace lets out a heavy sigh and then rolls his neck a bit.
Davidson: And that leaves me. The forever ICON, the current LSD Champion, and the King of Everything. Just what am I going to do? Am I going to conform and do the teamwork thing? Am I going to hold hands and ride high on the power of friendship?
Jace holds out one of his hands.
Davidson: Or will I rebel against everyone and everything? Will I march into that cage of horrors as a one-man army, taking out as many of you as I can on my obvious suicide mission?
Jace holds out his other hand. Both hands begin to move and down slowly before he laughs.
Davidson: That’s the thing I love about being a wildcard. No one knows what I am going to do, not even me!
The laughter becomes a bit more maniacal before he composes himself.
Davidson: However, before War Games, before Mexico, there is one more stop along this path. One that I’m sure will involve me. I mean, they’ve only been screaming it from the rooftops for weeks. Jace Parker Davidson vs. Michael Lee Best in a HOFC match.
Jace’s face gives off a deadpan expression as his voice is filled with sarcasm.
Jace begins to pace around yet again before speaking.
Davidson: There are no friends in HOW.
He stops and turns his head toward the camera.
Davidson: Roommates… are a completely different story.
Jace walks out of camera range as we head to our final commercial break of the evening.
#13 BOBBINETTE CAREY VS. #2 DAN RYAN
Back live from our last commercial break of the evening and we cut to our Hall of Fame announce team for the final time.
Joe Hoffman: It’s main event, title match time!
Benny Newell: I have Dan Ryan for the easy victory. EASY.
Joe Hoffman: Not so sure about that, with Bobbinette- I mean Nettie, as she wants to be called now, is sporting a new edge…
Benny Newell: She is?
Joe Hoffman: Well we kind of saw this backstage earlier tonight when she was attempting to tell Conor Fuse what Jatt Starr has been up to – which, in my opinion, is none of Carey’s business.
Benny Newell: I wasn’t paying attention.
Joe Hoffman: Of course you weren’t.
Benny Newell: Also, I thought her and Conor were friends? So maybe it is her business? Jesus Christ, I am not defending any of this. I’m going to fucking vomit in my mouth, so I’m moving on. Can we just get on with the match?
The scene switches to ringside.
Bryan McVay: This is the MAIN EVENT and it is for the HOTv Championship!
Bryan McVay: Introducing first… the challenger… from Parma Heights, Ohio… weighing two-hundred-thirty-five pounds… NETTIE CAREY!!!
Arena lights go black and then a magenta spot light shines down as Nettie Carey walks out. But this isn’t her normal disposition or pandering to the crowd. Instead, she power walks down the rampway as her theme song, “Enemy” by Anna blares on the PA. Magenta pyrotechnics explode from the turnbuckle as she enters the ring and takes a serious glare into the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: As stated earlier, I think Carey’s ready to go.
Benny Newell: Uh-huh.
Bryan McVay: And her opponent… from Houston, Texas… weighing two-hundred-ninety-five pounds… the HOTv Champion… DAN RYAN!!!
The camera pans over the Best Arena. There’s a buzz in the air as the High Octane faithful wait. Slowly, the lights in the arena start to dim, almost to black, but not quite.
A lightning effect flashes in the arena, followed by a thundering sound, and music begins to play.
“Daddy’s Home” by JT Music.
Somewhere beyond the sea
Something slumbers underneath
When she wakes up from her dreams
We’ll be reborn from the deep
The strobe lightning effect continues, and as the opening lines of the first verse start to play, a large figure steps out onto the stage. His appearance is met with another thundering sound, this time the sound of boos from all over the building.
Dan Ryan stands center stage, soaking it in. He’s been booed most of his career. This time, for a unique reason. But he soaks it all in, then starts to walk down the ramp.
Hold your noses cuz we’re going for another long dive
Some call me Father, others call me Johnny Topside
Long forgotten, I was swept up by the wrong tide
Thought my bed was made but I just woke up on the wrong side
Ryan makes it to the ring, then stops and looks out into the crowd once again, soaking in the reaction with no expression.
I’m the heavyweight champ, you won’t even last a round
Too long you brutes abused the juice, now you get smacked around
Delta’s held the belt so many years here in Rapture now
Baddest motherfucker in the building, who’s your daddy now?
I’ll ask you nicely, would you kindly put your weapon down?
And cut the cameras cuz I’d rather not be ratted out
I’m on the path to power, I would’ve made Atlas proud
Hit you with the one two punch, zap and whack you out
Ryan cracks his neck, then climbs up onto the apron and climbs through the ropes. He dashes into the ropes, bounces off and sprints to a turnbuckle, step-climbing up and then roaring into the crowd and settling into a snarling stare out at the masses.
Ryan hops down, then circles the ring for a moment, letting the boos continue to rain down all over him, then finally backs into a corner and waits for the bell.
Boettcher does just that, he calls for it.
Nettie shows a rather aggressive side immediately. She sprints at Dan Ryan and looks for a spear-
Ryan is barely able to move aside! He takes a partial spear from Nettie, as in Carey’s shoulder goes right into the edge of his hip and knocks the champion back. While he doesn’t fall over, he’s certainly stunned. Carey is quickly on her feet, kicks Ryan in the side of the hip she hit with her shoulder and then performs an olympic slam to the big man!
The crowd is stunned!
Joe Hoffman: Hell of an offensive move by Nettie!
Benny Newell: Yeah, surprised she lifted Ryan up with such ease but if she uses any hockey moves, I’m fucking out.
Carey kicks Ryan in the back as the champion is trying to get on his feet. The kicks are hard and stiff, it’s making Ryan struggle a lot more than he thought he would. Dan rolls into the ropes, places his hands on the second turnbuckle and then slings himself up, through the heavy boots Carey is applying. Ryan goes for a forearm smash but Nettie ducks, snatches Ryan by his trunks and hits a belly-to-side suplex!
Joe Hoffman: Carey throws Ryan directly on his hip!
And now Nettie has a body part to work on. She keeps kicking the hip of Ryan and then drops her elbow on it.
Joe Hoffman: It’s a smart move. Carey looks like she made her mark on that partial spear. It’s not a typical body part – like a leg or knee – but it’s still something that can keep Ryan on the mat.
Carey is dropping numerous elbows while Ryan works to the ropes and fights on his feet. Nettie with an Irish whip to Ryan, sending the big man into the ropes. Dan looks for a big boot in return but he grabs his hip the second he lifts his leg. This allows Carey to slide underneath the leg, pop up and hook her arms around Ryan’s waist. She lands a belly-to-back suplex this time.
Joe Hoffman: Incredible offense from Carey.
Benny Newell: I do like this a lot better than the Bobbinettewood bullshit.
Carey drops another elbow. Now she lowers her base and falls onto her knees, wrapping her arms around Ryan’s torso and working him into an abdominal stretch. Meanwhile, with her free hand, she begins punching the same spot in Ryan’s hip.
The champion obviously has a ton of strength. He is able to take a step back and then with his own arms, he takes hold of Carey and whips her forward, slamming the challenger down to the mat. The hold is broken, Ryan is into the ropes and he drops a leg across Carey’s neck.
Now it’s Ryan’s turn to inflict punishment. He reigns down elbows into the side of Carey’s temple, before launching her into the ropes and finally laying in that big boot of his. An elbow drop to Carey’s head follows… then a bounce off the ropes and a leg drop to the same location, Carey’s head.
Ryan won’t pin yet. Instead, he looks rather annoyed that his hip is still hurting and he was caught off guard in the beginning stages of the match. He reels Carey in and looks for a snap suplex, which he hits, and then he drops a high angle leg drop across Carey’s head once again.
The champion picks Carey up… this time he’s looking for a brainbuster slam when Nettie escapes! She bounces off the ropes, ducks a back elbow and hits the next set of ropes. She leaps across for an attempted crossbody block but Ryan catches her!
No! Dan ends up dropping Carey because he grabs his hip instead. Nettie shoots up with a European uppercut, clubbing Ryan under the jaw. She takes hold of the big man and pumps him in the face with a right fist. Then she kicks the hip and looks for a second olympic slam…
Ryan breaks free! He hits the ropes with Carey’s back towards him and performs a jumping bulldog. The Murder Daddy slowly gets to his feet, cracks his knuckles and then takes Carey along for the ride…
It’s a powerbomb attempt…
Joe Hoffman: Nettie is trying to anchor herself to the canvas…
Eventually, however, Ryan has Carey lifted up. But Nettie has no quit. She is drilling Ryan in the forehead before she is slammed to the mat, in the hopes Ryan will break the hold.
For a moment there, it looks like Dan might not connect with the powerbomb. Instead, he hurls Carey to the canvas… however, it’s not a 10/10 powerbomb. Maybe more like a 6/10.
He drops down and hooks a leg.
Ryan’s face looks rather impressed but also, it’s a chance to deliver more punishment. He doesn’t wait. He spins Carey to her feet and he hooks both arms around her neck/head. A full nelson slam…
It doesn’t connect because Carey slips free. She kicks Ryan in the hip, then she bounces off the ropes and looks for Royal Pain, her running lariat.
Dan ducks! Carey goes into the next set of ropes. She comes back to the center of the ring and this time Ryan goes for his spinning rolling elbow smash, the Hammer of God.
Carey moves out of the way this time, and she runs into the next set of ropes.
But this time she IS met with a maneuver, in the form of a Dan Ryan spinebuster slam!
Joe Hoffman: Both wrestlers avoided the other’s signature set-up move. In the end, however, Ryan catches Carey with a spinebuster.
The ring shakes on impact. Most of the fans think it will be over and Dan goes for a cover…
Ryan rises from the canvas but he also rises with Carey in his mitts. He hurls the challenger into a corner and comes roaring in with a body splash so hard the referee Matt Boettcher is surprised one of the turnbuckles didn’t break off its hinges on impact.
Carey fumbles out of the corner, seemingly on roller skates. Ryan, to his credit, doesn’t waste a second other than to turn himself around and measure Nettie for his next move.
Ryan charges at her-
POWERSLAM BY CAREY!
The arena LEAPS out of their seats! The announcers are stunned!
Joe Hoffman: That was one hell of a powerslam! We might have a new champion!
Ryan isn’t moving. Carey, for good measure, can barely move herself but she ends up draping an arm over top of Ryan as Boettcher counts!
LAST SECOND KICKOUT!
A lot of the crowd thought it was over, so some cheer and most others boo, but Boettcher is a pro. He shoots to his feet and screams into the bleachers that it was only a two.
Nettie doesn’t look happy, nor does it seem like she agrees with the count. She narrows her focus on Ryan, propping him to a standing position before connecting with a belly-to-belly suplex but ensuring Ryan is dropped on his hip. She dusts off her hands… she has a serious, menacing look in her eyes. She shoots into the ropes and looks for the Epic Ending…
Ryan moves and Carey hits the mat!
However, the champion is SLOW to get up and Nettie is up first. She rifles a kick forward, hitting Ryan swiftly in the back of the head!
She sends another kick his way. Another. Another. A final blow!
Joe Hoffman: Ryan is OUT!
But the champ remains on his knees, even though no one looks to be home.
Joe Hoffman: What’s Carey doing!?
With a smirk on her face, Nettie smacks Dan across the shoulder blades.
Joe Hoffman: Is she… Weapon Getting him!?
Benny Newell: Fuck is this a Conor Fuse thing? I’m out.
Joe Hoffman: Perhaps she’s trying to show her loyalty to Conor.
Carey hits the ropes, bounces off them and leaps up in the air, hitting a modified Head Stomp to Dan Ryan!
Joe Hoffman: The lights are OFFICIALLY out now!
Carey drags Ryan away from the ropes and pushes him onto his back. She hooks a leg while Boettecher counts.
KICKOUT AT THE LAST SECOND ONCE AGAIN!
The crowd is going wild! Once more, many of them thought it was a three. Carey pulls at her hair but she knows she’s VERY close to securing the victory. She rises, backtracks into the ropes and slowly bounces off them. It looks like she’s building up speed to go for her finisher again when Dan Ryan finds an incredible second wind, pops upright and lands an overhead belly-to-belly suplex!
The fans scream! Seeing Carey fly through the air like that is not something that happens often!
Joe Hoffman: Both wrestlers are down! No doubt that was a desperate move Dan Ryan was able to pull off!
Benny Newell: He’s got nothing left, Joe. Nothing.
Joe Hoffman: I would not be so sure… for either of their cases.
Carey is eventually on her feet but… once again with help from the ropes so is Dan Ryan. With a fury in her eyes, Nettie charges at Dan but the champion ducks and Carey goes into the ropes. On return, Ryan hits a German suplex, dropping Carey on her crown!
Ryan cracks his neck, lets out a bellow and waits for Carey to get on her feet. He’s cautious at first, just because he doesn’t want to be surprised but then he connects with the Hammer of God.
Nettie crashes into a corner of the ring. She stumbles out and eats a second Hammer of God, falling back into the corner again.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know if Ryan can go for the Headliner. Carey worked on his hip for the majority of this match…
It doesn’t matter. Carey’s eyes have rolled back in her head. Although Nettie is draped across the corner of the ring, it looks like she’s out cold. Ryan pulls her into the center of the ring and for good measure he drills her in the temple once again.
Nettie falls to the mat.
Ryan hooks her leg.
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: The winner of this match… and STILL HOTv Champion… DAN RYAN!
Ryan’s theme plays as he rolls over and sits up, placing his right hand on his right hip. Boettcher collects the HOTv Title and hands it over to him.
Joe Hoffman: This is just my perception but I almost feel like Ryan walked into this match and let his guard down a little. Carey brought it but, ultimately, the power of Dan Ryan prevails.
Benny Newell: A win is a fucking win. All that fucking matters in the end….. The Weapon Get was stupidity, though.
Eventually, Ryan stands under his own power and raises the title. He retrieves his letterman’s jacket, putting it on after he straps the belt around his waist. He smiles at Carey as he pats the B on his jacket with one hand and pats the HOTv Championship with his other hand.
Benny Newell: I can only cringe at the thought of Ryan losing his Jacket and or Championship to Carey tonight. HOLEE FUCK would the GOD of HOW came down HARD on the Hammer of GOD.
Joe Hoffman: He almost did. He almost did. But nevertheless…..Big win for Ryan and more momentum rolling into War Games for The Final Alliance. That is all the time we have tonight folks…we will see you ALL next week in Houston for the penultimate show of this PPV period…..for Benny and all the crewmembers…..HAVE A NIGHT EVERYONE!!!!!
Chaos fades out as Dan Ryan marches up the rampway, content he survived as Chaos 30.
Somewhere in the depths of the arena we cut to a man sitting on a bench………due to the lack of lighting and the overhead view from the camera…..it is tough to make out the identity of the man.
The camera tracks the man as he reaches inside of his bag and he pulls out what is clearly a mask of some sorts.
Slowly the man stands up as he slips the mask over his head.
With a slow turn the man starts for the door of the room and then pauses.
He turns and then stares up at the camera and then we see the man and his mask in all their glory before exiting the room and closing the door behind him.