The Taking of HHH
- by Chris Hyatte
The following event has never been mentioned anywhere on the Internet, therefore it never occurred
Chapter One: Leg Day in Canada
There was no waiting. There was no chit-chat. There were no gawkers - not a single fan pestered him with questions.
For the last two hours, with the exception of the gym attendant who never left the front desk, Hunter had the entire Edmonton Body Centre all to himself and his legs. It was maybe the best workout he had had in quite some time - on machines so clean they looked brand new. Deserted gyms with sparkling, unused equipment: lifters called this heaven.
For Hunter Hearst Helmsley, it just meant that he was back in Canada.
Because no one in this country seemed to work-out, Hunter had the luxury of going at his own pace and mixing things up. Total privacy made for some fierce supersetting: light and high on the free squats alternated with single curls, low and heavy, on the machine. He went toxic on his hams and beat the living shit out of his calves - blowing those bad boys straight to hell. Over the last few years, Hunter had paid more and more attention to developing his calves and hams. A ruptured quad will do that; it will remind a man that even the biggest muscle on his body aren’t worth shit without a solid support system built around it. So he tries to blow out his other leg muscles whenever possible.
It seems to be working too. His bad quad still moans and groans every morning, but he’s almost back to his peak squat. He’s getting there. A few more leg sessions like this one, and he’ll be back to full speed within six months. That alone made this a good day.
Usually, a normal leg day in a normal gym would keep Hunter in there for at least three hours. Today, in the paradise known as an empty Canadian gym, he got to wail away on everything below his waist double-hard and still finish in just under two hours. He squeezed his gluts, they clamped together harder than a fist; a sure sign that he hit maximum joy. That made this a great day.
And he had the steam room and the showers all to himself too. That made this an extraordinary day.
It was Monday. They were playing the Skyreach tonight. He was booked in three segments - the last one being a confrontation with Van Dam, which would lead to a PPV three way with Kane tossed in. The confrontation was all mic - no bumps; it was the very beginning of the arc. He wouldn’t even have to take off his sports coat.
All of this ran through Hunter’s mind as he toweled off and changed. He slipped on his Rolex. It was 12:30 p.m.; Stephanie was probably already at Skyreach polishing up the script with Gerwitz and her father. He didn’t have to be there until one. He could grab lunch and wasn’t there a massage parlor somewhere around here that Bradshaw used to rave about? Something about Canadian girls having “the thickest, meatiest hands this side of Houston”? Ain’t much to look at, Hunt, Bradshaw used to say, but these Edmunchie broads know how to squeeze ‘til your balls explode. Brad was in Calgary with the blue crew; Hunter would give his cell a buzz after lunch for directions. Why not? His legs felt mushy, but great, he was still the champ, and he didn’t have to lace up tonight. So why not grab a harmless massage? It would make this a perfect day.
He zipped up his bag and walked across the still-empty gym towards the exit. The attendant hadn’t finished his comic. Hunter glanced at the cover. Spider-Man was fighting some dude in yellow. “Spider-Man, huh,” Hunter said. “I thought the movie was pretty good.”
The attendant snapped his head up from his story and regarded Hunter as if he was a tick on his arm. “The movie sucked,” he snorted. “They should have had Todd write the script!”
The attendant sighed, “Todd McFarlane! Hellooo.”
The attendant made a sound, softer than a groan but much more dramatic than a sigh - like he was trying to teach a child how to spell and failing. “You must be an American,” he said.
With some theatrics, he ruffled his comic book and continued to read, letting Hunter know that this conversation was over.
Hunter took the cue and headed towards the door. He noticed a man standing outside looking at them. The man had his hands cupped against the window and his face against his hands, peering inside. As soon as he noticed Hunter looking back, he jerked his hands away from the glass, took a few steps back, said something Hunter couldn’t hear, and ran off. Marks.
Pasted on the door of the gym was a sign that read: Going out of Business. Partial Refunds on Lifetime Memberships. Hunter couldn’t resist.
“Going out of business, huh?”
“That’s what the sign says,” the attendant said. “They still teach reading in America, don’t they?”
“Yeah, just like they don’t teach motivation in Canada,” Hunter said. “Seems like every time I train in this country the gyms are empty.”
“Well thank you Tony Little,” the attendant said. “Any other bit of advice you’d like to give before you LEAVE?”
If he wasn’t in such a good mood, or if the guy didn’t remind him of Gerwitz, Hunter might have started getting angry.
“Or maybe it’s your cheerful personality that’s closing the place down,” he said. “I thought you Canadians were supposed the most polite people in the world.”
“I must’ve missed that memo, I guess,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day, why are you wasting it indoors, eh?”
Hunter shrugged, “Good question.” He picked up his gym bag. “Have a nice day, pal.” He walked out of the gym before the attendant could say anything in return.
The sun was bright and warm; the air was clean and crisp. The country always put him in a good mood. The atmosphere reminded him of New Hampshire—summery, but not very hot. Canadian summers were like American springs—very pleasant. It’ll get hot tonight though, he thought. It’s good to be an American in Canada. Getting booed out of a Canadian house doesn't take much effort. Usually, just dropping the name “Bret” was enough to set them off. Canadians were good little sheep like that, all the heat in the country without hardly opening your mouth – you just had to be American. He planned to cut a promo that will bring enough heat on him to roast a turkey - one of those nice ten-minute diatribes that never fails to drive the smart asses on the net insane. He started mentally writing part of his promo as he approached the rental. It would be fun to rag on Canada about their empty gyms. He saw an entire speech unfolding in his head; it was practically writing itself. The gym attendant had inspired him. He opened the rear door of his rental, tossed his bag in, and shut it. He saw his reflection in the window. He didn’t even realize he was smiling. As much an asshole as the attendant was, he actually put Hunter in an even better mood. It was going to be a great show tonight.
Then a head appeared next to him in the window.
“Mr. Triple Hearst Helmsley?”
The voice was nervous and high, like a teenager on his first date. But the balding person talking to Hunter was no boy—he looked to be at least thirty-five. His face looked like a cheese pizza with glasses and a sloppy goatee that had flecks of gray dotted on it. There wasn’t an ounce of muscle tone on his body. He was all fat and a lot of it. He was wearing cotton sweatpants that were cut-off at the knees (and not evenly cut by a long shot) and a tie dyed NWO t-shirt. It took a second for Hunter to recognize him as the guy in the window.
“How ya’ doin’,” Hunter said.
“Oh I’m doing good, good,” the fan said. “I was wondering if maybe, umm, if you’re not too busy.”
“You want an autograph?” Hunter asked, automatically reaching his hand out for whatever the guy wanted sign. “No problem, man.”
“Oh that be so minty! Thanks!” The man reached out, grabbed Hunter’s hand, and shook it several times – hard. The hand felt like cookie dough rolled in Crisco.
Hunter stood there waiting for the man to let go of his hand and get something for him to sign. It didn’t take long before the moment became several and quite awkward.
“So,” Hunter said with great geniality, “what would you like me to sign?”
“Oh, oh right,” the man dropped his hand and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a Canadian dollar. “All I have is this loony. Would’ja mind?”
Hunter chuckled, “Why not?” He made a half-hearted feel of his pockets for a pen he knew wasn’t there. “Got something I could write with?”
“Oh, oh right.” The man fumbled about his own pockets before pulling out a pen.
“Thanks,” Hunter took the items and placed them on the roof of his car. “Who do I make it out to?”
“Oh… my name? Y2Q! Make it out to Y2Q.”
“2 as in the number or the letter?”
“The number. The letter ‘Y’ and the letter ‘Q’. Y2Q.” The man said with no modesty. He even puffed out his chest a bit. “Of the continuum: B.C. Chapter.”
“Okaaaay,” Hunter said. “Got’cha.” He had no clue what the man was going on about, but from the looks of him, it probably involved computers, which meant he was probably a net mark. He started to scribble on the dollar bill. “You coming to the show tonight?” he asked. “It’s going to be a good one.”
“Oh, umm, I don’t know,” Y2Q said. His greasy face turned a shade redder. He began to sweat. “Will Stephanie be there?”
“She’ll be backstage,” Hunter said, “but she’s a Smackdown talent, so you won’t see her.” Over the years Hunter had learned to be especially friendly to the net marks, it really screwed with their heads if you treated them with a little respect. “Why? Are you a fan of hers?” He smiled with cheer, “Do I have to be worried?”
The man laughed. It sounded like a bark from a toy poodle. “Heck no,” he said. “But she is a beauty, eh?”
“I like her,” Hunter agreed. Just give the marks a little kindness, a smidge of esteem and they really aren’t that bad—not really.
“She’s great a great bum, eh? Ever ram it?”
Hunter froze. “Excuse me?”
“Come on, you can tell me, Paul. Ever pop a load in Steph’s crap trap?” Y2Q smiled. It was a sick leer. “Tame the broad, eh? Show her how the Game is played!” His teeth were the color of brown eggs, with a thin coat of film. He had something caught in between two of them; it looked like popcorn. It was the whitest item in that mouth.
Hunter turned and faced him. “I think you should shut up now, buddy.”
“Take ‘er easy Paul,” Y2Q said. He took a step back and held out his hands as if to surrender, his eyes started to dart from side to side. “Just asking if you ever pounded that back bacon, eh?”
Hunter breathed deeply. He’s just a dumb, nervous guy, he told himself. He doesn’t know any better. “Okay, look. That’s my wife you’re talking about. Just lay off, ok?” He handed the man the dollar and his pen. He opened his car door. “Hope you come to the show tonight.”
“Kay, your wife’s bum has seen more meat than a hockey stick or what?”
And finally, Hunter lost his temper. He pounded his fist on the roof and yelled, “Just WHAT is your problem, asshole?” He took a step towards the man.
“Kay. Kay, just take it easy, eh?” Y2Q started to walk backwards. He was sweating freely now. “Don’t go all cookie on me. Kay, I’m just saying that the Beaver is Canada’s national symbol. That’s all I’m saying, Paul.”
“Get the hell out of my face,” Hunter shouted. “And don’t call me ‘Paul’.”
“Yup, our national symbol is the Beaver. Canadian Beaver. Beaver. Has Stephanie ever had a Canadian in her beaver?”
“That’s it!” Hunter went after Y2Q. “I’ve had enough of your bullshit. Come here.”
Y2Q fell to the ground on his ass and held his arms up to his face. “BEAVER!! BEAVER!!!” he screamed, “RED ALERT!!! ABORT!!! ABORT!!! MUMMY!!!! HALP!!! HALP!!!”
The site of this greasy mass of jelly shaking on the ground calmed Hunter down a bit. “Hey, take it easy, pal. I wasn’t going to hurt you.”
“RED ALERT!! BEAVER!!! BEAVER!!! HALP, HALP!! NOW!! NOW, YA GOOF!!!”
Hunter heard rustling behind him. He began to turn around when something slammed hard slammed him across his butt cheeks. “OW!” He staggered back and turned around. It was a thin, small kid standing there with a baseball bat. He was wearing an Oilers jersey that was at least two sizes too small and hung down to his knees. He was a mass of pimples and acne—the pepperoni to Q’s cheese pizza face.
“Oh crud!” The kid said.
Hunter couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He was being mugged by the retarded Laurel and Hardy. “Put that bat down before I shove it up your ass!”
“He’d like that!” Y2Q screamed. “Hit him again, hoser! Whack him in the junk!”
Hunter advanced on the kid. He was going to kick his ass, the fat slob’s ass, and maybe the snotty attendant’s ass too. The hell with it. Hunter was going to lay everyone out now.
The kid took several steps back, holding the bat in front of him like a Samurai warrior with a massive esteem problem. “St.. stay back,” he said. “I’m warning you.”
Hunter heard tires squealing in the parking lot. He glanced to his right. A green van was barreling towards them. His eyes went back to the kid in time to see him close his eyes and take a swing. Hunter reached out and caught the bat in his hand. He jerked it out of the kid’s grip and threw it aside. “I’m going to break your face, you little dickhead!” He heard the van stop and a door open. Fine, he thought. More Canadian asses to kick. Bring the whole damn country on.
“The only thing you’ll be breakin’ is wind, yankee!” Q said. “Right Scooter?”
A surge of power ran through Hunter’s body as the shock stick jabbed the small of his back. Hunter lost all muscle control. Then his world went fuzzy. He fell backwards and into someone, who fell back with him and into someone else. All three went down like dominoes. From far away he heard someone grunt, “Get this damn kahuna off me!”
Then Hunter blacked out.
Eventually, Y2Q and the man who shocked Hunter down had gotten out from under his massive body. Anakin had retrieved the bat and Q’s signed loony, which went right into his pocket and later, hopefully, on E-bay before Q noticed.
“Get his gym bag,” said Scooter “Make sure his cellular is in there. We need it.”
“Took youse a ways to get here,” said Q. “What were ya doin’? Playing shinny?”
“Well, you’re the one mixing your codes,” said Anakin. “ ‘Red alert’, ‘abort’, ‘beaver’. I didn’t know if I was coming or going!”
“Yeah? Well who was that who hit him in the bum, eh? You wuz supposed to hit him in the damn legs! Next time open yer damn eyeballs!”
“My eyeballs were open, you dink! They were busy watching you sob like a princess!”
“Ahh shut up,” Q shouted,
“You shut up!” Anakin shouted.
“Both of you clamp it!” Scooter shouted. “Now I’m going to swing the van around.” To Anakin he said: “You get his gym bag and make sure the damn cell is in there.” To Q he said: “You watch out for the fuzz and looky loos. If someone sees us farting around just say that our friend here is maircan and couldn’t handle our brew.” He looked at both of them as they stood there and looked back. “Now, hosers.”
Q and Anakin took off. Scooter jogged to the van. After four steps, he ran out of breath and downshifted to a fast walk. He was nervous, but excited. He wished he was at his computer right now. He couldn’t wait to start typing. There was one beauty of a rant coming that would knock everyone’s socks off. Oh hell yeah, one beauty of a rant was on its way.
15 minutes later
“Come on now, hosers. He ain’t that heavy. One… two… three.”
“Hurry up. The stick here is almost juiced out. If he wakes up again we’re all toast.”
“Whew… (pant pant)… okay then. Now for the other leg.”
Twenty minutes and one juiced out shock stick later, the van tore out of the parking lot. Plenty of people had driven or walked by, yet no one saw nothing.
In Canada, people liked to mind their own business.
Chapter 2: The IWCC
It was a hell of a dream until the end.
Hunter was in the ring, dead center in the middle. The spotlight shown down directly on him, as if God Himself was highlighting this moment for all to see. His arms were outstretched, his head tilted back. It was his pose, the “Behold my Glory” pose. It took him a full year to perfect it—and it was worth it. It was his pose and no one else could touch it.
There he was, in the middle of the ring: triumphant, victorious, the greatest ever. About him were bodies, scores and scores of bodies laid out. Hogan, Savage, Piper, Flair, Sammartino, Thesz, Goldberg, Race, Austin, Rocky, Gagne, Morales, Lawler, Foley, Watts, Bockwinkle, Flair, Jarrett, Sting, Kiniski, Moolah, both of the Funks, Steamboat, Dusty, Wahoo, Ventura, and every Von Erich there ever was; everyone who was anyone was in this ring, laid out before him, acknowledging him as the greatest there ever was, the greatest there is, the greatest that ever...
He looked around the ring of beaten legends. Where was Bret anyway? He tried to remember if he gave Bret the Pedigree, but couldn’t. Bret Hart should be there. The Hitman was needed to make this torch passing complete. He tried desperately to remember if Bret took his place in line among the legends, but his head was throbbing. He had a banger of a headache. Which one of those bastards stiffed him with a chair? He looked around. It had to be Warrior. That jealous asshole!
The crowd started to chant: TRIPLE H, TRIPLE H! It only served to make his head hurt more. He was getting angry now. Bret should be there to make this moment perfect. Where the hell was that jerk?
Over to his right was HBK, hanging upside down against the corner like the attention getting wiseass he always was. He heard himself asking Shawn where Bret was. “Don’t ask me, brother,” his best friend said. “I’m only part timing it these days.”
Hunter looked to his left. Kevin was sitting against the corner turnbuckle with a beer in his hand. He was wearing his old Diesel gear. “How’s your head, Hunt?” his other best friend asked. “Don’t look now but you got some ‘splainin to do! And we all know what that means!” Kevin looked around slowly. Then every conquered legend and every mark in the building started to squawk, “WAUGH, WAUGH, WAUGH, WAUGH”.
“Stop it!” Hunter screamed, “This is my moment! Everyone just shut up!!”
Then the lights went out, even his spotlight. Hunter’s whole world went black. He couldn’t move. Something splashed his face. It was Bret! Bret was pissing on him! He couldn’t see anything but he just knew it. That whiny, pissy Canadian! As soon as he could move he was going to take some Tylenol (his head was screaming at him now) then he would wring the Hitman’s neck until it snapped! Damn him. Damn him and his whole ego.
Then Hunter opened his eyes and saw three people staring at him. He recognized two of them. The one he didn’t know had a half-empty pitcher of water in his hand. The other half was already on Hunter’s face, chest, and quickly spreading to his lap. Hunter tried to move but couldn’t. He was tied down to a chair with his hands were tied behind him. He looked down and saw duct tape wrapped several times around his chest. He tried to move his legs but they were strapped to the chair as well. He was helpless.
“How’s it going, Paul?” the man with the water said. He was one of those types of guys who might look good if he didn’t have such a pronounced spare tire around his waist. As it was, he looked pregnant. He was wearing an old Goldberg WCW t-shirt, with his belly managing to distend “Who’s Next” from love handle to love handle. He wore khakis with a belt. His t-shirt was tucked in. He was clean shaven, but in desperate need of a hair cut. His face was punched-in yet bloated, like one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons where the coyote gets flattened by a steamroller. Basically, he was a mess from top to bottom. “You up and about now?” he said. “You better be, because we have to have ourselves a little chat.”
Hunter looked around. He was in a fairly big room with lightbulbs strung across the ceilings. The floor had an old, worn carpet. The only windows he could see were two small rectangles that were set up high against the ceiling. To his right was a small set of stairs that led to a wide double door. He had doors like these at home. They were bulkheads. He was in someone’s basement.
“Where am I,” he asked.
“Albirda,” Q said. “Still in Edmuddon, techniclee, but quite a ways a way from where…”
“Shut it,” said the man with the water, then to Hunter he said, “You’re sitting in your new home for a’while, Paul. So make yourself comfy cozy.”
Hunter tested his restraints. He was strapped to one of those fold-out beach chairs that were big when Hunter was a child—the kind where the canvas was draped over the frame and tucked into the hooks. With nothing to support him, Hunter’s weight sank down against the canvas, giving him no leverage to stand. He put pressure on his binds, they held fast. It felt like they used about four rolls of duct tape on him.
“How’s your head, Paul?,” water pitcher man said. “You took some bumps when we was dragging you down here.”
“Sorry ‘boot that,” the kid, Anakin, said. “We didn’t mean it.”
“Yeah,” added Q, “But you’re one heavy sonfagun, eh?”
“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother!” Anakin said. He and Q started to giggle, then laugh.
“QUIET!” water-pitcher man barked. The two stopped immediately. “You okay, Paul?” he asked.
“You mean other than being tied down on someone’s fucking basement?” Hunter said. “Yeah, I’m doing swell. Now how about you do the smart thing and untie me before you really fuck yourselves up here. How would that be?”
“That wouldn’t work, I’m afraid,” the man said. “That wouldn’t work in the least bit. We got some plans here, Paul. Got some plans for the future.”
“Okay, fine,” Hunter said. “First of all, let’s introduce ourselves. My name is Hunter, not Paul. Hunter. And you are?”
“You go by Paul. Paul Levesque. Jean-Paul Levesque actullee,” Q said with a smile. “Hunter is your carture name. We know all ‘boot ewes.”
“Only my friends call me Paul,” Hunter said. “Everyone else calls me Hunter. People who aren’t my friends who call us by our real names are losers. We have a name for losers like you.”
“I know,” the leader said, “you call us Marks.”
“We call you Assholes,” Hunter said. “And you three assholes really need to stop this bullshit before I really get pissed.”
“Your name is Paul, Paul,” the leader said. “Cuz Paul is the one I want to have a sit-down with. Hunter is the guy on tv. Paul is the one we got right here.”
“Yeah, and we’re not assholes!” Q said. “We’re the eye doubleya cee cee!”
“You’ve met Q,” the leader said. “The other one is Anakin Cyberwalker.” He lifted his chin very slightly. “You may call me Scooter. We are the Internet Wrestling Community Coalition.”
“Oh my god,” Hunter said.
“That’s right, Paul,” Scooter said. “To prephrase the former wife of one of Canada’s greatest champions: You reap what you sow, Hunter You reap what you sow. And tonight, you’ve got a lot of reaping to catch up on.”
“I thought we wuz spose to call him Paul?” Q said.
“We are,” Scooter said.
“But you just…”
“I was prephrasing, Q.”
“What’s prephrase?” said Anakin.
“Oh my god,” Hunter said again.
“To say something someone else said but to mix it up so it’s different,” said Q.
“May I say something?”
All three looked at Hunter.
“Yeah,” he said, “first of all, it’s paraphrase, not prephrase. And you quoted her, you didn’t paraphrase her. You said the exact same words she said. I should know, I was there.”
“Yes you were,” Scooter said. “And I did say par-a-phrase, or will you just be mocking our accents throughout your entire stay here?”
“Probably, yeah,” Hunter said. He smiled at them. “So, you’re the IWCC, huh?”
“With oat a doat,” said Q.
“The Internet Wrestling Community Coalition.”
“Got that right,” said Anakin.
“Jesus Christ,” Hunter shook his head.
“We are the IWCC,” Scooter declared with an absurd amount of pride. “And this is not a work.”
“Yeah,” said Anakin, “this is a shoot!” He smiled at Hunter. It was a strange smile. His eyes lingered on him for just a moment, but it was enough for Hunter to notice.
“Okay,” Hunter said. “You’re just hardcore fans. Fine, I get it. So what do you want with me? Autographs? Front row seats to the show tonight? Couple of T-shirts? We can settle all this like gentlemen if you’d just untie me. We can all go to the Skyreach and I’ll set you up nice. Maybe meet a few Divas? Wouldn’t that be cool?”
“Deevaas?” Q chirped.
“Sure,” Hunter said with a smile. “All the girls from RAW are there. Trish is especially friendly to the mar… ah… fans,” he tipped a wink to Q, “if you know what I mean.”
Q’s face turned a shade redder.
“Is the Rock there?” Anakin said.
“Of course he is,” Hunter said. “The Rock and Stone Cold, and Goldberg, and Naitch, and…
“and lions and tigers and bears and oh my,” Scooter cut in. “Dwayne’s in Hollywood making movies. Lying ain’t gonna get us nowhere, Paul.”
Hunter heard noise from upstairs. Someone was walking around. The three marks heard it too. He saw Q look sharply at Scooter. From his worried look, Hunter guessed that whoever was up there wasn’t with these losers. He started to yell. “CALL THE POLICE!! I’M BEING HELD CAPTIVE DOWN HERE! I AM TIED UP IN THE BASEMENT WITH THREE FAGGOTS!! CALL THE FUCKING POLICE”
That’s when Scooter reached behind him and pulled out a gun. “Hey Paul, zip it.”
Hunter stopped. He looked at the gun for a few seconds, then with great deliberation he said, “This is a line you do not want to cross, my friend. Everything up ‘till now has been fun and games.”
“For you maybe,” Scooter said. “For us it’s been deadly serious. No ones gonna help you, Paul. No one but us can hear you.”
“Yeah,” said Anakin, “Upstairs is my gramma. She’s deafer than doormice.”
“And nuttier than poundcake,” Q said.
“Will you two shut UP!” Scooter shouted. “Or so help me I’ll pop both of yous as well as our new best friend here.” To Hunter he said, “We put up sound proof padding on the walls here. No busybodies is gonna interrupt us. I’ve been planning this for a while, Paul. There is no escape.”
“We was acrid, Paul,” Q said. “We hit every nail into the coffin here. No stone went untouched.”
“I like the Rock,” Anakin said. “Is he cool in real life?”
“Give me the thing,” Scooter said to Anakin. “Time to get this show on the road.” Anakin reached into his pocket and pulled out Hunter’s cell phone. Scooter took it and fiddled with the buttons. “We turned it off so we wouldn’t be interrupted while we meet,” he said. Hunter heard beeping sounds as the phone came to life.
Hunter stayed silent. He was in trouble, but he had a few things going for him already. One being that these three smarts were also morons of the highest order; even for smarts, they were pretty stupid. Another was that they were net losers, and probably oversexed virgins. He also knew that Scooter was nowhere near as smart as he thought he was. He suspected that Anakin may be more than just a fan, and he knew that he was tied up in the basement of Q’s grandmother’s house in a chair that he was sure he could muscle out of if given enough time.
What he didn’t know was if that gun was loaded.
Scooter pressed the main menu button and began to scroll. “Let’s see,” he said. “No, no, no. Ahh, here we go. Stephanie and Vince. Which one should I call?” He looked at Hunter and smiled. His liver lips seemed to withdraw into his mouth. “Let’s start at the top. Head of the class.” He pushed a button and placed the phone to his ear.
The phone started to ring.
Chapter Three: Creative Thinking
“Where is he?” Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley said.
“Maybe we should send out search parties to cover the city,” said Brian Gerwitz.
“Oh that’s quick,” Jim Ross said. “Let’s send the entire staff and roster out combing the entire city for Hunter. Me and King’ll wing it and sell two hours of an empty ring.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Gerwitz said. “I mean we can call the cops.”
“For what?” said Kevin Dunn. “Hunter’s been gone for just a couple of hours. It takes at least two days before the cops begin to search.”
“That’s in America,” said Gerwitz. “We’re in Canada.”
“So someone’s been watching too many damn cop shows on TV,” said JR. “If someone’s reported missing, the local authorities have to hop to.”
“The hell with the local police,” said Gerwitz. “Let’s bring in the Mounties!”
“Jaques Rougeau?” Michael Hayes spoke up. “That cat still alive?”
“No, he means the real Mounties,” Dunn said.
“Oh,” Hayes said. In all fairness, he was hardly paying attention. He had one banger of a hangover that was taking up most of his concentration.
“Call them both,” Stephanie said. “And let’s send out search parties. I’ve left four messages on his cell. This isn’t like him. He wouldn’t do something like this. Something happened, I know it.”
“Easy Steph,” her brother Shane said. “Maybe he caught a flat tire and his cell battery died.”
“He’d find a phone,” she said. “Someone call the police. Is it nine one one over here too?”
“Maybe it’s nine one eht, eh?” Gerwitz said with a grin.
All chatter stopped dead in its tracks. Every eye turned and glared at him.
“sorry,” he said.
“Maybe he’s still at the gym?” Kevin Dunn said.
“He left five hours ago,” Stephanie said. “Paul doesn’t train that hard on the night of the show.”
“Maybe the gym was really crowded and he had to wait his turn a lot of times?” Dunn said.
The room burst into laughter. Even Stephanie chuckled.
“Oh, yeah, that’s real funny,” Gerwitz muttered under his breath, “crowded Canadian gym. Hilarity at it’s finest. Give him a god damn cookie, why don’t you,”
“Look,” Jack Victory said after the laughter had died down, “We should call the police and send Steph and a few of the boys out to the regular spots ‘round town. Then we should proceed with tonight’s script as is. Hunter’s biggest spot is at the end of the show anyway. It’s nothing we can’t switch around if he doesn’t show.” Upon noticing Stephanie’s steel glare he quickly added, “Which, of course, he will show. No doubt about it. He’ll turn up and all this will be forgotten.”
“In the meantime, we should prepare for Hunter’s absence,” said Dunn. “We can slip Jericho in the three way and then toss him out next week when we get Hunter back. Or even Goldberg!”
“We can slip Nash in there,” said Gerwitz. “Play up RVD as the underdog against two big guys.”
“Now that ain’t half-bad,” said JR.
“And when Hunter does return, RVD gets kicked off the program.” said Victory.
“Then it’ll be Hunter as the underdog against Nash and Kane,” said Dunn. “Hey, that has some teeth!”
“Except RVD gets nothing and Hunter gets all the heat… again,” said John Greer, newly hired staff writer who left his job at One Live to Live two weeks ago for this.
For the second time, the room grew silent. All eyes focused on the new guy.
“Which…,” he stammered, “… isn’t bad or anything it’s just… I was just thinking about creating new energy and… umm… gee whiz gimmee a break… sorry, okay…. My bad.”
“Coffee. Cream and double sugar,” Gerwitz said to him.
“But I just…”
“And don’t say nothing to no one until we figure this out,” Jim Ross said.
The new guy left to fetch the head writer his coffee.
“He’s new,” Gerwitz offered as an explanation.
“So, what’s the plan?” asked Dunn.
“I still say call the Mounties, the police, and send out search parties,” Stephanie said. “This is my husband we’re talking about. What if his leg blew out and he’s crippled in a dark alley somewhere?”
“Steph, the guy is six four and weighs two sixty,” Shane said. “They haven’t built and alley big enough to hide his ass. He sticks out like a bad Steiner match.”
“He’s right, Steph,” JR said.
“So, okay then,” Gerwitz turned to the head of the table, “what’s the plan, chief?”
Staying still until he had the attention of every person in the room, including Hayes, he inhaled deeply through his nose, the sound filled the room. He took a slow pull from his water bottle and checked his watch. It was 2:00. They went live in five hours.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon held the moment by saying nothing—savoring the tension. Then with his deep, commanding voice, he said, “Everything stays as scripted for now. If we need to improvise, I’ll go out and burn the place down. If worse comes to worse, we’ll change the three way to Kane, Kevin, and Shane.”
“And the title?”
“I’ll strip Hunter of it and declare myself new champion. Kane puts over Shane and it’s Father vs Son for the title at SummerSlam.” Vince took another pull from his water bottle. “Any questions?”
“Nope,” said Dunn
“Sounds good,” said Gerwitz.
“Vince, you’ve done it again,” said Victory.
“Unbelievable,” JR said with the well-blended mix of sarcasm, disbelief, and enthusiasm that he had perfected years ago.
“Dad,” Stephanie said, “what about my husband?”
“He’s a big and smart boy,” Vince said. “He’ll show up. But we have a show to put on tonight.”
“Well, I’m calling the police anyway,” she said.
Before Vince could agree or disagree, his cell phone went off. He plucked it off his belt and looked at the screen. “Nevermind,” he smiled. “It’s him.”
A wave of relief went over the room—particularly JR, who had been dreading the idea of selling another McMahon vs McMahon match.
“Oh thank god!” Stephanie said. “Thank God thank God thank… You? Why is he calling you and not his wife?”
The first thing that came to everyone’s mind was: caught with a hooker, but no one dared say it. Michael Hayes came closest, but pulled it back in a nick of time.
Vince pressed his cell phone and said, “Where the hell are you?”
Silence, then he said, “How’s what going?”
More silence, then he said, “Who the devil is this? The I, W, what?... what? Now look pal I don’t know who you… what? … WHAT?”
Then Vince grew very quiet. The room watched as his face went from red to crimson and to purple. Finally he said, “Put him on the phone, NOW!”
“Paul? Is he okay?” asked Stephanie.
“Hunter,” Vince said, “what the Christ is going on there? If this is some sort of a rib I swear…” then his head jerked away from the phone. Stephanie’s hands shot to her mouth. Vince put the phone back to his ear. A few seconds later he said: “Very well, just don’t hurt him or so help me God I’ll…” then he stopped. A moment later he looked at the phone and pressed the “end” button. He put the phone on the table and leaned back.
“Well? Dad, what is happening?”
With great control, Vincent Kennedy McMahon said, “It seems that we have ourselves a situation here.”
Back in the basement Scooter slipped the phone in his pocket and looked at his partners. Q was holding the re-charged and re-used cattle prod like a light saber. Hunter was slumped in his seat, out cold.
“Men,” he said, “as Shakespeare once prephrased: the game’s afut, eh.”
Chapter Four: Backstage upRaw
Get a few dozen bored independent contractors together in the same room for a pre-show buffet dinner and give them something unusual to talk about (such as a missing co-worker, a top secret closed door management meeting, and a visibly shaken member of creative who refused to say what it was about as he stepped out to get coffee), and speculation hell breaks loose.
“Car wreck,” said D-Von Dudley. “Even money says he smashed into some old lady!”
“Think she was hurt?” asked Rosie
“If she wasn’t,” said Rob Van Dam, “then he probably backed up and hit her again.”
“No-selling me? Guess again, Grandma!” said Tommy Dreamer.
There was muted laughter.
“Sonofabitch went and hurt himself again,” said Steve Austin. “That’s what happened.”
“Was he training legs today,” said Batista. “Does anyone know?”
“Yeah he was,” Kevin Nash said.
“I hope he’s okay,” Trish Stratus said.
“Don’t worry,” said Chris Jericho. “If there’s breath in his body he’ll show up and find some way to blame Rob.”
More muted laughter, except from Rob Van Dam who said: “Man, that’s cold.”
“Hey, maybe he was arrested?” said Kane.
“Is he cycling?” asked Test.
“I think he’s off,” Scott Steiner answered.
“Yeah, he’s off-cycle,” Randy Orton said.
“Okay, so if he ain’t juicing,” said Val Venis, “then he wasn’t carrying. So what did he get busted for?”
There was a short silence while everyone pondered the question. Finally Austin, Booker T, and Test all spoke up at once.
“Man, he’s in the shithole now,” Austin said.
“Brother is fucked,” Booker T. agreed.
“Come on guys,” Shawn Michaels said, “this isn’t funny.”
“Yeah guys,” Nash said. “Let’s get real here.”
Everyone calmed down.
“I mean,” Nash continued, “what if the hooker re-injured his groin?”
Everyone roared—even Michaels.
“Can I have everyone’s attention please!”
The laughter died and looked over at Stephanie, who had just entered the room. Her makeup was streaked with tears. Shane was behind her.
“It’s Paul,” she said, “he’s been… he’s been…”. Stephanie began to cry harder. Earl Hebner went to her side.
“Steph? Is he alright?” Shawn said.
“What the hell is going on?” said Steve Austin. “What happened?”
“Paul has been kidnapped,” Shane said. “They just called us. Vince is waiting for them to call again with their demands.”
“Demands?” said Nash. “Who the fuck are they?”
“We’re not sure,” Shane said. “They call themselves the IWCC.”
The room grew dead silent.
“Vince spoke to Hunter briefly before they did something to him, so he’s alive,” Shane said. “And they did make one demand already.”
“What did they want,” Kane said.
“For some reason, they want us to fly in Chris Benoit from Calgary.”
“We have to call the police,” Stephanie said. “Is there an American Embassy nearby? He’s an American.”
“Ottowa,” Jericho said.
“Oh God,” Stephanie sobbed.
“Okay, look,” Shane said. “Everyone just…”
“Is the show canceled,” Test asked.
“If it is, do we still get paid,” this was from Scott Steiner, with all the sensitivity of a goat.
“The show is not canceled,” Vince McMahon roared as he entered the room with Brian Gerwitz in tow. “The show always goes on.” He looked at his wrestlers. “Now obviously, we’ll have to make some… adjustments for tonight. And until we find out what these… these terrorists want we’re just going to sit tight and wait. In the meantime, I’m arranging to have Benoit flown down from the Smackdown show in Calgary.”
“Up,” Christian said.
“You said flown down. Calgary is south of us. You have to fly him up.”
“I see,” Vince said. “You know what IS flying down tonight, pal?”
Christian shook his head slowly.
“Your fucking career, that’s what.” Vince looked around and pointed at Lillian Garcia, “You, sweetcheeks, want to wrestle tonight?”
Lillian Garcia jerked back, startled, “No, sir, not re..”
“Good,” Vince barked, “You and Christian, bra & panties and the loser has to bark like a dog.” To Gerwitz he said: “Put that in. Top of the hour.” Back to Christian he said: “I suggest you go find a bikini in your size, Mr. Canadian Compass, and practice your bow wows!”
Christian stormed off. Vince watched him go and then said: “Anyone else want to give me directions?”
No one did.
“Good,” he said. “Now we’re going back to wait to hear from them again. Everyone just be cool until I figure this out.” He looked at Shane, Stephanie, and Gerwitz. “Let’s go.”
They turned to leave, then Vince whipped back around and growled, “And if this shows up on the sheets, so help me Christ I will spend every waking minute of my LIFE hunting down the source and I will PERSONALLY cut out his OR her tongue and use it to wax my Rolls!” Then he turned around and left.
For several moments the wrestlers stood in shocked silence.
Finally, a voice from the back said: “Oh jeeze. I think I know who they are.”
Everyone turned and looked at Lance Storm.
“The IWCC. They want Chris Benoit, right?”
“Yeah,” Steve Austin said. “What’s your point?”
“Don’t you see?” Storm said. “Who loves Chris Benoit more than even his own family?”
Suddenly, Chris Jericho and Trish Stratus gasped as it dawned on them. Rob Van Dam opened his eyes wide once he realized it.
“Dude,” Van Dam said, “It’s the Internet”
“What about the Internet?” Buh Buh Ray said.
There was silence for about five seconds, until Chris Jericho started to giggle.
“Oh that poor bastard,” he said. “Hunter has been kidnapped by a bunch of Smarks.”
The room exploded in laughter.
Chapter Five: Hunter vs Scooter: Round 1
Mild electric shocks stimulate blood flow. Slightly-more-than-mild electric shocks will still stimulate blood flow even after the victim is rendered unconscious. When a victim receives the slightly-more-than-mild electric shock while immobile, the blood has no choice but to flow to where there is the most room.
And thus, Hunter slumped groggy and stunned in his chair after Q blasted him with the shock baton with a fully engorged erection. Scientifically, he had no choice.
This fact was quite lost on the IWCC, none of whom paid much attention in biology class.
“Lord Tunderin’ Jesus,” Q gasped, “He’s a pervert.”
“All Mairicans are,” Scooter said. “All they think aboot is sex, sex, sex.”
“Does this mean he’s queer?” asked Anakin.
“Prolly,” Scooter said. “Everyone knows his marriage to Stephanie is a sham.”
“I ain’t no queer,” Q declared, “but jeezus crapshine, look at the size of that thing. If it was any bigger it would need a puck.”
“Whoa,” Anakin said.
“You sure he’s out,” Q asked. “Maybe he’s faking?” Q stepped back in alarm, “Maybe he’s working us!”
“Paul hasn’t sold nothing since laying down for the Warrior at Mania twelve,” Scooter said. “From the looks of him, the only thing he’s obviously working is his sexual erotic perverted fantasies.”
“Erotic,” Anakin said, mostly to himself.
“So he ain’t awake?” Q said.
“He’s aboot to be,” Scooter said, then walked out of the room with the empty water pitcher.
“Wow,” Anakin whispered. “Just… wow.”
“Why not taker picher, it’ll last longer,” Q said. “You stare any harder your eyeballs are gonna explode.”
Scooter came back with the pitcher, now full. He threw it on Hunter’s chest and lap. Hunter jerked awake with a grunt.
“Rise ‘n shine, Paul,” Q said. “You maircan moose you.”
Hunter shook his head clear.
“Usually, you’re the one spitting water,” Q said. “How you like it when the water spits on you for a change, eh?”
Hunter noticed the situation going on in his lap and squirmed in his seat. Being a body-builder, he knew all about what electric surges did to the blood; it didn’t make things less embarrassing. He glared at all three of them and said: “Touch me with that thing one more time, and I’ll kill you.”
Both Q and Anakin looked nervous. Scooter merely smiled, “No problem, eh. I got the message to Vince loudly and clear-like. From here on now, we’ll just use this.” He pulled out the gun, wiggled it at Hunter, and put it back in his pocket.
“Yeah, you’re a tough guy,” Hunter said. “Why don’t you toss that aside, untie me, and then we can discuss whatever problem you have with me like a couple of men.” He tried to stare into Scooter’s sunken, beady eyes, “Or are you a chickenshit?”
Scooter smiled and looked at his two cohorts, “See, I told yous. Typical maircan response: challenge me to a fistfight.” He chuckled, “Sure Paul, I’ll untie you and you can pound my hash and pound their hash and punch out anything that moves. Yeah, beauty.” Scooter swung around and grabbed a folding chair from against the wall. “Is that the best plan the Ceebral Assassin can come up with? A fist fight?”
“So, you are chickenshit,” Hunter said.
“If he was any dumber, he’d be bigger, eh,” said Q, who, along with Anakin had sat down on a small sofa set to the side.
Scooter shrugged as he set up the chair in front of Hunter, “If I was, I wouldn’t have arranged all this, would I?” He looked at Anakin and Q, both of whom were smiling. “You gotta admit, this opration took a set of crazy nuts. I’ve been plotting this for weeks, Paul; it’s gonna take more than emasculating my manhood to get outta this jam.”
“Okay then,” Hunter said, “What’s it going to take? Money?”
Scooter slowly lowered himself into the chair, letting the steel squeak in protest, “I’ve got money from my books, Paul,” he said. “Don’t need much of that. What’s it gonna take to get you out of this jam is for you to admit some things and for Vince to hold up his end.”
“What end is that?” Hunter said.
“Don’t worry aboot that, Paul,” Scooter said.
“I think I have a right to know just what the fuck you expect us to do.”
“See, there’s one of ya problems,” Scooter said, “It’s ain’t us, it’s Vince, it’s creetive. That’s what we gonna chat aboot, how and why a wrestler gets to have inflence in the meetings. Why you get to decide who gets mooned and who don’t.”
“Wait a second,” Hunter said, “Mooned?”
“As in pushed to,” Scooter said. “As in your buddies, all hack workers at best, all talentless lumps at worst. Your boys, Paul. The ones always getting the preverbal rocket strapped to their backside and blasted off.”
“Preverbal rocket?” Hunter said. “As opposed to those crazy talking rockets running around these days?”
“By all means, make fun of the accent,” Scooter said. “Meanways, your sitting there and we’re sitting here and only three of the four here are allowed to leave. So keep emasculating away and deek the topic.”
Hunter shook his head. “Yeah okay, me giving pushes to all my friends. That’s the problem with you net smarts,” he said, “you think you know what more about what goes on backstage when in fact, you don’t have a friggin’ clue. You read a few dirt sheets that spread ninety percent bullshit and—“
“Blah, blah, blah, the dirt sheets lie, yeah, yeah, yeah, sing me a song and I’ll play the drums,” Scooter interrupted. “I have a few sources of my own, eh. I know what’s goin’ on, in those meetings. The dirt sheets tell more truth than yous like to admit.”
“Dirt sheets are speaking TRUTH!” Q shouted.
“So’s the web,” Anakin added.
“So is SCOOTER!” Q said.
Hunter sighed. “You know,” he said to Scooter, “You’re the guru of the retards.”
“I’m the guru of wrestling fans, Paul,” Scooter said. “You’re fans. The ones you guys claim to listen to. I don’t see you listening at all, Paul.”
“Yeah,” Q chirped, “We tards feel ignored.”
“You retards do not represent the audience,” Hunter said. “You represent a small portion of hard-core loyalists who have nothing better to do with your lives than to knock anything we try to do.”
“Check the ratings, Paul,” Scooter said. “Your audience is leaving you left and right. But guys like us are sticking around because we love the art of professional wrestling. We want to see it blossom, guys like you are holding it back with your selfish ways.”
“And how am I doing that again?”
“By protecting your spot!” Scooter yelled, not in anger but in triumph. “By making sure any threats to your spot are held back, and making sure your friends get rocketed!”
“What friends am I…”
“Nash! Big Lumpy Himself!”
“Yeah?” Hunter said. “Who else? HBK? Yeah, Shawn really sucks, doesn’t he?”
“No, Shawn is a beauty of a worker,” Scooter said. “But he’s not the same man he used to be. He’s older and more careful. You book him as a main event player. He’s not being used properly.”
“And how should Shawn be used, Genius?”
“By putting young talent over,” Scooter said.
“Oh,” Hunter said, “so I guess Randy Orton doesn’t count?”
“You mean ‘Hunter’s Boy’, Randy Orton?” Scooter sneered. “That guy has yet to put on anything more than a two star match!”
“Says Scooter!” Q said. “Scooter’s been grading matches for years. He can tell the talent from the Test!”
“Another piece of gabrage,” Scooter said. “yet Test’s ass is always getting the red capret handed to him!”
“But Test is from Toronto?” Hunter said. “You Canooks all stick together.”
“Tronno is hardly Canada,” Q added. “Hogtown is too busy keening up to the States to be Canadian. Farswecare they can send it booting down the basketweave until it smashed into Detroit, Leafs’n all.”
Hunter gaped at Q for a moment before saying, “I don’t have the slightest fucking clue about what you just said.”
“And Test doesn’t have the slightest freaking clue on how to work a match,” Scooter said, “and he has never gotten over. But there you go, strapping that rocket on his back and shooting him into warp speed time after time again! That’s the whole point I’m trying to make here, Paul!”
“Let me tell you something about Test,” Hunter said, “He shows up, does what he’s told, and gives a hundred percent every time. He’s one of our go-to guys and he’s—“
“And he’s big and bad and musclar and Vince loves the big boys,” Scooter finished. “We know, Paul.”
“See what I mean,” Hunter said. “How do you expect us to listen to you when you’re heads are so far up your own asses you won’t even let me fucking ANSWER YOU!”
“Because your answers are gonna be BULLSHIT!” Scooter yelled back.
“Yeah!” Q yelled, clearly having the time of his life. “We knew yous answers are gonna be slicker’n snot on a rooster’s lips!”
“Then why the Christ am I here?” Hunter asked.
“Cuz this is the only way to get your tenshin,” Scooter said.
“Aye ten shon,” Scooter said. “We’re tired of watching deserving wrestlers get past by, while your friends end up topping the card.”
“Like Nash!” Q said.
“Like Nash,” Scooter said. “You never did explain why he gets pushed, Paul. Go ahead, try to do it without no bull for once.”
“Kevin is my friend,” Hunter said.
“AHA!! I KNEW IT!” Scooter shouted.
“HE ADMITTED YOUS WERE RIGHT!” Q yelled and pumped his fist in the air. Even Anakin was smiling.
“He is my friend, yes,” Hunter said. “And I love him to death.”
“Must’ve been dreaming aboot him when yous were conked out, eh,” Q laughed.
Hunter ignored that and stayed on Scooter. “And Kevin was part of the NWO, and we wanted to bring the NWO into the company, so we signed him to a contract.”
“Oooh, lemme write this down,” Scooter said. “Really fascinating, inside stuff, Paul, please go on.”
Hunter sighed. “Whether you like it or not, Kevin Nash is a huge name in the industry. So he was able to negotiate himself a big contract. Why the hell wouldn’t we try to make money off our investment?”
“Because he’s Big Lazy,” Scooter said. “Because he sucks. Because he drains the life out of any match he’s in.”
“So, he shouldn’t be allowed to earn a living?”
“Sure, but not at the expense of more deserving workers.”
“He’s putting over people left and right,” Hunter shot back. “He put over Jericho a little while ago and even put up his hair! Isn’t Jericho one of those hard workers your screaming about?”
“He wuz gonna cut his hair anyways,” Q said. “Jeebus, who don’t know that?”
“So who is he holding down?” Hunter asked.
“No, no, no,” Scooter said. “He’s just a symtom of the disease. YOU’RE THE hoser holding people down.”
“Like who? Who am I holding…”
“Anyone who doesn’t fit Vince’s mold. Anyone who you don’t like for some such reason.”
“If we wuz the WWE we could look up and see his fruitcake Gramma’s feet,” Q said. “Because the ceiling would be GLASS!”
“You sucker good, quality workers into signing by promising them the sky,” Scooter said. “Then they get concussions smashing into the glass ceiling!”
“Scooter invented that phrase too,” Q squealed. “And everyone uses that one too!”
“That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Hunter said.
“I know, it’s dumber than a box of hammers,” Scooter said. “And that’s the sad thing, because it’s true. It’s all about every man for hisself. It’s all about deeking up to the boss and keeping your face up the right butts. Talent don’t mean nothing. You respeck no one who can’t help you.”
“While Vince was wasting everyone’s time with those juicy muscle-heads working those craptastic matches, Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat and the rest of WCW wuz proving left and right that great five star matches can be had without obscene muscles and stupid cartoon gimmicks. The fans were praying that once Vince got a hold of that WCW library, once he got hold of the WCW BRAND! He’d maybe realize what the business of professional wrestling was all aboot. So far, he hasn’t.”
“No, YOU look Paul. You’re fans ain’t stupid. All we want is some good wrestling. We can’t have it when guys like you work your locker room voodoo and keep workers who could out-wrestle your ass under the table out of the spotlight. You don’t want another Flair. You don’t want another Steamboat around because you know you aren’t them. You know you can’t compete with Chris Benoit. And you hate it. You HATE IT! Now yous sit there and tell me I’m lying.”
Hunter didn’t say a word.
“Go ahead. Tell me it’s bullshit.”
Hunter opened his mouth, then closed it again. He locked eyes with Scooter. Neither man blinked. Q leaned forward in his seat. Anakin stared with fascination. The silence grew.
Neither man blinked.
Then the phone rang. Both men ignored it. One ring. Two rings. Three rings. No one in the room blinked.
After the fifth ring, Scooter broke away from the gaze and slowly picked the phone up. With a smile of triumph, he jabbed the button and said, “Yellow? Oh, Vince, how’s it going, eh? Y’know, I said I’d be calling you, not the other which way ‘round. Paul? Oh, he’s fine. Just dandy and feeling good. Huh? Oh sure, hang on…” Scooter stuck the phone out towards Hunter and said: “Say hey to you’re dad-in-law.”
Hunter glared at Scooter a moment, then said: “Vince, they’re morons, do whatever it takes to…”
Scooter ripped the phone away and produced the gun in his other hand. He wiggled it and puckered his wormy lips, Hunter stopped speaking.
“kay Vince,” Scooter said into the speaker, “We’re here, he’s here, you’re there, but still here. We might as well get this shoo on the ice, eh? Good, good. To paraphrase a poplar line, “Here’s what’cha gonna do when Benoit shows up on yous.” He tipped a wink at Hunter. On the sofa, Q started to giggle.
“Ready Freddie?” Scooter asked. “Good. First, you’re gonna go on RAW live and poolgize to the fans for holding good talent down while keeping overpaid washoots like Test, Big Lazy, the Big Slow, A-Lame, Steiner, and the Undertaker on the headlines. What? Washoots! That’s right. Oh, sorry for not speaking in proper Yankee, wash oots. Right. Big Lazy is Kevin Nash, yeah, like ewe didn’t know that one. Second, after you poolgize, your gonna take Chris Benoit and put him in the main event tonight against Goldberg and after the Wolvreene carries Goldy to a five star match, your gonna give him the title. Then tomorrow he beats Lesnar and unifies the titles and the new era for the WWE begins. The era for wrestling fans everywhere. In two days we’re gonna get the F back in! It’s gonna be great!”
Scooter pulled the phone away from his ear and winced. Hunter heard Vince yelling over the line. “Man,” he said with a grin, “Vince sure can bust loose out the curse words when he wants to, eh? Color me shocked.”
“TOMORROW??” Hunter screamed. “YOU’RE GOING TO KEEP ME HERE UNTIL TOMORROW FUCKING NIGHT???”
“You’re here for the long haul, Paul,” Scooter said. “Now shut up while I finish with your fambly membrer.” He put the phone back to his ear and said: “You done yet, hoser?” A pause. “That’s right, I called you a hoser! Did you get your walking orders? Are you gonna do them? Well, you better.” Another pause. “That’s no way to speak to your fans, Vince. Of course I’m a fan, ya goof. I wrote boo… funny, me and Paul were chatting about that. He’s doing great, Vince. The way he’s hauling out the bullmalarky, you’d be proud. No, that should be it. All goes well it’ll end well. Just don’t get cute. Don’t bug this up. Do what’s right tonight, Vince. Oh take off, hoser.” Scooter pulled the phone away and stabbed the button again. “Wow,” he said to Hunter, “Between the two of you my head’s gonna end up scrambilt.”
“You can not going to keep me tied up for two nights,” Hunter said.
“I know,” Scooter said.
“Then why are you saying that you are?”
“Because you’re stuck here until as soon as Smackdown ends on Thursday night.”
“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?”
“Hell no, but I would be if I gave you back to Vince and let him fiddle around with the taped show fore he showed it.”
“YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO KEEP ME HERE FOR FOUR DAYS???”
“Oh pipe down,” Scooter said. “We loaded up on Kraft Dinner and back bacon, Anakin will even whip up a little poutine for ya.”
“PROTEIN??” Hunter paused and collected himself. Very deliberately, he said: “Fuck protein, you are not going to fucking keep me here.”
“It’s pooo teen,” Scooter said. “It’s French fries soaked up in cheese. It’s tasty.”
“I got enough to feed a house,” Anakin said.
“And I brung a coupla two-fours,” Q said. “Some real alcool for ya to get ginned up on. It’ll put some fuzz on ya chinny chin chest.”
“You are insane,” Hunter said.
“Take ‘er easy, Paul,” he said. “It’ll be fun.”
“You are the man, Scooter,” Q said as he stood up. “You are the man with the plan and that ain’t just Stan!” he held up his hands for the high five. Scooter gave him one, they almost missed each other. “Beauty,” he said, “But I gotta go boot scootin and pick up my mom at her work.”
Scooter looked at his watch. “Yeah, I’m getting hungry too. Kay Q, you take off and me ‘n Anakin’ll order up some pizza delivery.” He looked at Hunter, “Whattaya like on it? Prootein powder?”
Q and Anakin both giggled.
“Fuck you,” Hunter sneered.
“K, have it your way, or don’t,” he said. “Not much is gonna wreck my good mood.” He handed Anakin the gun. “I’m goin’ upstairs to call for take-out. So he won’t hear me give the address. He moves, cap ‘im in his bad leg.” He looked at Hunter again and said: “We were never gonna kill ya’, Paul. But if things went haywire, we were gonna make sure you lived up to your nickname.”
“What nickname is that?”
“Why, Cripple H, of course,” Q said. “Scooter made that name up, now everyone calls you it!”
“Whatever, asshole,” Hunter said. “Nice shirt, by the way.”
Q looked down at his tie dyed NWO shirt. “Thanks! I got it dirt cheap on Ebay!”
“Might have been worth sumptin’ if Vince didn’t kill the whole gimmick,” Scooter said.
“If you say so,” Hunter said, drained. “Can I ask you something, Scooter?”
“What kind of fuckhead gives himself the code name Scooter?”
Scooter stared at Hunter for a moment, then shook his head and smiled. “It’s a goof. It’s a play on my real name, but it’s also indigenous of how the WWE looks at their fans. Dumb, goofy sooks. I thought you might preshate the ironical sub-test. Who else but a Scooter would try this? Yet surprise surprise, I’m pulling it off, eh? That sort of thing.”
Hunter stared at his kidnapper.
“And Paul,” Scooter continued, “how aboot you quit pretending that you don’t know who I am. Why don’t you start being honest with that.”
“You heard me,” Scooter said, then he and Q left the room. Hunter was left alone with Anakin, who was staring at him with the gun pointed on the floor.
After a few moments of quiet, Hunter said, “Hey kid, how about you untie me and we’ll walk out together. I promise, I won’t tell anyone you were in on this.”
“I can’t do that,” Anakin said.
“Why are you following those shitheads?” Hunter said. “You’re a young, good looking kid. You can do better than hanging with those jackoffs. Untie me and I’ll bring you backstage tonight. You’ll have a blast!”
“I can’t leave,” Anakin said.
“Because I live here with my Gramma.”
“I have to make us dinner later, and I have to put her in the tub.”
Hunter gave up. There was no reasoning with this kid. He was utterly fucking…
“Do you really think I’m good looking,” Anakin said.
…hopeless? Hunter looked the kid in the eyes and saw something flicker in them. It was a type of look he recognized. Something clicked in his mind. He looked the kid over for a few minutes, then he flashed his best, most charming smile and said: “Oh yeah, you’re very good looking.”
Anakin smiled back, “Thank you.”
“No problem, Anakin.” Hunter’s smile widened. He knew the opportunity would present itself if he waited long enough. Now that it has, he began doing what he always did best—he began to make a plan.
Chapter Six: The Modern Day Warrior
My life is slipping away
I'm aging every day
But even when I'm grey
I'll still be grey my way
Fifteen minutes after he got off the phone with the IWCC, Vince McMahon was sitting alone in the meeting room listening to Rush and thinking about the Italian Stallion.
After explaining what the terrorists wanted, he threw everyone out of the room. There was something he had to do, something that he couldn’t do in front of anyone. He was Vincent Kennedy McMahon: a conqueror, a winner, an emperor. There were things that he prided himself on never doing; things that were for lesser men. In fact, he hated people who routinely did what he was doing now—couldn’t stand them. He considered them weak—weak and pathetic. Now here he was, forced to do it himself. He wanted to blow up this shitberg country and erase the memory of this day from history. That’s how furious he was for being forced to do this.
So, with only a bare control over his outrage, he cleared the room, picked up the phone, and dialed the Edmonton headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Stephanie was kind enough to give it to him before she left, still dangerously close to hysterical. For the first time in years, decades maybe, Vince McMahon had to go ask someone for help.
And those Canadian bastards put him on hold.
And those Canadian bastards were nice enough to treat people on hold to song after endless song by the rock band Rush.
Thus Vince sat there, listening to Rush and waiting for the Mounties to pick up the phone so he can lower himself by asking for help. He made a personal vow to end a life before the night was over. Hopefully with his bare hands wrapped around their neck. It wouldn’t be the first time, but it would be the most pleasurable.
You can be the Captain
I will draw the Chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the Heart
Vince had always been a fast thinker; time never afforded him the luxury to be otherwise. Building and running a billion dollar entertainment empire, complete with several television shows (of which he was the head writer), a monthly pay per view, a movie and DVD division, a record label, an Internet presence, and a book and magazine division kept him busy enough, but then factor in the full-time job of maintaining his near-competition level physique, which hadn’t gotten any easier to maintain as the years go by and it’s easy to see why he was never one to dwell on decisions. Quite simply, there wasn’t enough hours in the day for him to think things over.
So, even under in the midst of this nightmare, with being so enraged he was ready to murder someone (again), he took advantage of the situation and allowed his mind wander. He tried to calm himself by avoiding the current situation and think about nicer things.
For some odd reason, he started thinking about Rocky, one of his favorite movies.
With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun
In the glory game on the power train
Thy kingdom's will be done
And the things that we fear are a weapon to be held against us...
He had few regrets—for regret was a crutch for the weak—but Vince had always wanted to do a WWF version of Rocky Balboa. He envisioned the building of some luckless loser who was given a once-in-a-lifetime shot at the champ and pull off the upset of the century. He dreamt of the money spot, that one moment where the champion, confident in victory after finally beating down his unbelievably courageous challenger, turned his back and raised his arms to the audience in victory. Then he would slowly turn around and see the challenger stumble to his feet and, with more guts and heart than brains would wave his arms at the champion and gasp, “Come on!”. The money shot would be the look on the champ’s face, the look of disbelief and shock. For years, Vince had hoped to find the right circumstances and the right person for this role. He even invented the phrase: Anything can happen in the WWF, specifically for that dream angle, and for a few months, thought he found the perfect man for the job in Barry Horowitz, but Horowitz didn’t catch on with the fans and Vince ended up playing it safe and made millions on Hulk Hogan instead. Dreams are dreams but Hogan made his empire possible. It was a small sacrifice, and even though Vince loathed sacrifices of any kind, this was one that he could live with.
Besides, after Hulk-A-Mania had ran its course, Shawn Michaels provided him with at least a remnant of his dream storyline. Good enough. Foley did an even better job, but the timing wasn’t right and Vince needed the Rock as is champion. Such is life.
Cast in this unlikely role,
Ill-equipped to act,
With insufficient tact,
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact.
Even without the dream angle that he never got on the card, Vince loved the first Rocky. Why wouldn’t he? It was a movie about heart and desire and a hero who never asked for help either. He took an opportunity and, despite naysayers all around him, went for it. Rocky’s whole life was a million to one shot, yet he didn’t care, he just went ahead and did it. Rocky would never call anyone for help, dammit. He would hear the bells go off in his head and get to work, those rousing, dramatic bells: dong… dong… dong. Those were the sounds of glory, of achievement, of inspiration.
Rocky would understand Vince’s dilemma. In Rocky, Vince saw a kindred spirit. He even met Sylvester Stallone and even though Vince found Sly a bit on the prissy side (and a lot smaller than he would’ve imagined), he still admired the man’s drive. Stallone was given only the slimmest shot at stardom, and he pulled it off. Sly would understand Vince’s fury too. Calling out for help, how dare those terrorist bastards. Vince hated weak people and refused to associate with them. There was no room in his life for weak people. Only the strong survived in Vince’s empire.
A modern-day warrior
Mean mean stride,
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean mean pride.
Though his mind is not for rent,
Don't put him down as arrogant.
His reserve, a quiet defense,
Riding out the day's events.
The song caught his attention. Someone used to use it as a theme, not on his dime, but in a territory. Who was that again?
Oh right, Kerry “Stumpy” Von Erich. Another weak man who used drugs as his crutch until he couldn’t take it anymore and blew his brains out. Vince remembered that boy with equal parts fondness and disdain. Tall, built, handsome, curly Greek God hair; Vince would’ve made that man a major superstar. He screamed main event from head to toe. Kerry Von Erich was a bank just waiting for the right man to open an account in. But he was a feeble man, he had no heart. He was crippled by worthless demons. Vince tried to change Von Erich’s attitude but couldn’t. Von Erich was too far gone by the time he signed with the Federation, he had already sacrificed his foot to his demons, it would only be a matter of time before the rest of him followed. What a shame, what a waste.
It wasn’t until years later when Hunter arrived that Vince saw the sort of potential that Von Erich had, only Hunter had the strength to go along with it. From the very beginning, Vince knew that Paul LeVesque was cut from the same cloth as he was. A man who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. In Paul, Vince saw the type of passion and drive that was just waiting for the opportunity to grab the brass ring. Paul was everything Vince wanted in an employee, and a son. And now Paul was being held by a group of god damn marks.
Knowing Paul as he knew himself, Vince had no doubt that Paul wouldn’t wait for help. Paul would be doing whatever he needed to get out of this. What did Paul say to him over the phone again? Vince, they’re morons, do whatever it takes to… before getting cut off. That’s the sort of man Vince wanted in his life. The sort of man who… who…
The sort of man who would rather die than ask anyone for help.
What you say about his company
Is what you say about society.
Catch the witness -Catch the wit,
Catch the spirit -Catch the spi...
“So sorry to keep you waiting, this is RCMP Sergeant Morris, how may we assist you today?”
dong… dong… dong.
Vince did not hesitate. “You can assist me by kissing my ass in HELL,” he barked.
“Very good, sir. Have a nice day, eh.”
Vince cleared the line. Quickly, Vince located another number and hit the speed dial. It only rang once.
“Did Benoit get on the plane yet?” Vince asked. He heard the answer and said: “Good.”
Moments later, he barged out of the room and faced his entire RAW staff (except for Goldberg, who was napping in his dressing room). They were all gathered in the dining area, waiting for his orders.
“Dad”, Stephanie was the first to approach him, “I think we should dedicate the entire show to Triple H. We can tape the superstars breaking character and speaking to the fans about how important Hunter is and how…” she was stopped by Vince’s finger on her lips. Vince looked into his daughter’s eyes with love and understanding.
“Take a seat,” he said. She did.
Vince looked over his staff, eyeing each employee one at a time. Some were weak, some were strong, some had a spot in his empire for as long as they wanted, others would be tossed out on their ass the moment their contracts expired. He loved a few of them, liked a lot of them, and was sickened by more than a couple of them, but they all had one thing in common: they were all about to be part of something special.
Vince cleared his throat and said: “I’d like to say a few words.”
At the furthest end of the room, Shawn Michaels nudged Kevin Nash in the ribs and said: “Oh brother, here comes the speech.”
Nash smiled, “Think he’s hearing those stupid Rocky bells again?”
“Does a bear shit in the woods?”
Both men giggled like schoolgirls.
“When I bought this company from my father, it was an open wound that hemorrhaged money like it was going out of style,” Vince said. “It was held together by literally nothing but luck and dried spittle. People told me that it was a dead horse and that I would lose everything. But I didn’t listen.
“And when I wanted to run a show at Madison Square Garden featuring a non-wrestler that would be fed live to close circuit monitors all across the country, people told me that I was making the mistake of my life. But I didn’t listen.
“When I set out to fill every single goddam seat in the Silverdome, people told me that it couldn’t be done. But I didn’t listen.”
Vince felt his voice begin to rise, and was roused by it.
“When the Federal Government attacked me with everything they had, people told me to settle, to bargain, to plead for leniency. They said I would lose everything and go to prison. But I didn’t listen.
“When the IRS crawled up my ass with a goddam microscope and examined my entire life top to bottom, people begged me to sell off the business and get the hell out of ther country. But I didn’t listen.
“When an inbred hillbilly by the name of Ted Turner spent big money on big names and almost stripped my company of every single superstar, people told me to hang it up and call it a career. But I didn’t listen.
“When WCW spent two years kicking this show’s ass every week. When they buried us by going live for three hours after we jumped to two, when they started giving away our match results live on-air before we got to broadcast them, people told me I was drowning in my own arrogance and I should move RAW off Mondays.” He looked directly at Eric Bischoff, “But by God I didn’t listen!” Bischoff smiled and nodded at him.
“And when my top creative writer abandoned me like a thief in the night and jumped to the competition, people said it was over for me, I couldn’t recover! But I didn’t listen.
“When I opened my company to the public, people screamed that I was crazy! I was going to going to ruin myself! But I didn’t listen!
“And when I split my staff into two distinct brands, people screamed market overload. People screamed that I was commiting financial suicide! But I didn’t listen!
“Unimaginative fools, the Feds, the IRS, my own damn government, redneck millionaires with a speech impediment. All of them thought they had me… they had us by the god damned balls. Time and time again, people screamed about how I was finished, about how I was done for, about how I would lose! And do you know who those people are?” Vince looked around the room, there wasn’t a single person not completely mesmerized. “DO YOU??”
No one dared speak up. Michael Hayes almost shouted: The Jews!, but stopped himself just instants before it came out.
“Well, I tell you who. The same god damn people who now want me to go out there tonight and re-write my show. The same god damn people who are holding my brightest star hostage. THE SAME GOD DAMN PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY KNOW HOW TO RUN MY COMPANY BETTER THAN I DO!”
There was a murmur among his audience.
“So, I stand here before you tonight and I ask, do any of you think I should do what I have never done before in my life? Is there anyone out there who thinks I should cave in? IS THERE ANYONE IN THIS ROOM WHO THINKS I SHOULD LISTEN TO A BUNCH OF GOD DAMN MARKS??”
And everyone in the room, in unison, screamed, “NO!”
“Good,” Vince said. “They wanted my attention, well they’ve got it. They wanted to be heard, well by God now it’s our turn to talk. They wanted to play with me, well by Christ I INVENTED this Game. They think they’ve won, well, by the love of all that is holy, I say the war has just goddam BEGUN!!”
And the room exploded in cheers, chest bumps, high fives, and back slaps.
After the frenzy began to die down, Vincent Kennedy McMahon held up his arms and said, “Now here’s what we’re going to do.”
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE
Chapter Seven: Hunter vs Scooter: Round 2
There was a hunk of sausage on Goldberg’s bloody forehead. A glop of cheese was on his nose. Hunter was dangerously close to puking.
Scooter’s pizza had arrived.
It wasn’t the stench of pizza that was making Hunter sick, it was the fact that Scooter was devouring his lunch with his mouth open right in front of him. Hunter watched him re-enter the basement with three large pies, toss one to Anakin, sit down in the chair, and begin to feed. The first pie was finished within minutes.
And there wasn’t a napkin in sight. Hunter thought that by the time lunch was over, poor Bill would be covered in greasy handprints.
The only saving grace was that Scooter didn’t try talking while eating. He could just imagine several chunks of chewed up pizza mixed with spittle landing on his cheek, or in his eye, or in his mouth. Oh God, please no.
So Hunter watched Scooter obliterate his pizza and prayed that the silence would last. And when Scooter dropped his final slice back in the box, only half-way finished, and wiped his hands on his t-shirt (poor, poor Bill!) Hunter sighed in relief. Crisis averted.
Scooter took a pull from the bottle of Molson he had next to him and belched deeply. Hot, Canadian Geek gas blew into Hunter’s face. His stomach retched. He concentrated and calmed himself down. He would not dry heave in front of a Net Mark. He refused.
“I guess the napkin trade hasn’t established a foothold in the Great White North, huh?” he said once the danger of a Scooter shower had passed.
“Or maybe I am treating my shirt the same way you treat the people on them?” Scooter shot back without hesitation, as if he was waiting for Hunter to mouth off. He looked over to Anakin with a smile. Anakin was quietly (and very civilly) finishing his third slice of pizza. Hunter saw no stains on his Oilers jersey. He had a rag by his side and was using it to wipe his mouth. Anakin smiled politely back at Scooter but offered no praise. Scooter’s smile dropped as he turned back to Hunter.
“I have a question,” Hunter said with much innocence, “how is this plan of yours going to help Chris Benoit get out from under my supposed shadow? Really, I’m curious.”
“Because after Thursday night,” Scooter said, “the world will see Chris Benoit as the unified champion with two clean wins over Goldberg AND Brock Lesnar.”
“And as soon as I get out of here, the belts will come off,” Hunter said. “And everything goes back to normal.”
“Not if the crowd goes blalistical once he beats them!” Scooter said. “You say it’s all aboot the bizness? Well once Vince hears the pop from the crowd, he’ll have no choice but to let the Wolvreen stay champ.”
“I see,” Hunter said. He decided to put the topic aside for a moment and go into a new direction. “You know, since I’m obviously going to be here a while, I could outline a nice diet and exercise program for you. Help you lose that gut. Tone up that body. Maybe then girls will start talking to you.”
“Well thanks for the offer, Paul,” Scooter said. “Why all the concern over my sex life all of the sudden?”
“Well, to be honest,” Hunter said, “I’ve never seen a human being in more desperate need of a blowjob than you.”
Tried as he might to hide it, the bright blush over Scooter’s cheeks sold the shot. Hunter scored big.
“Girls talk to me just fine, Paul,” Scooter said with a slightly cracked voice. “I’ve even been laid.”
“Oh yeah? What’s her name?”
“Her name is Nanya.”
“Nanya Beeswax from Parts Unknown,” Scooter said and glanced back at Anakin. Anakin didn’t sell it.
“Very clever,” Hunter said. “Looks, brains, and a razor sharp wit. You’re just busting every mark stereotype there is. I can’t wait to get back home and tell all the boys just how wrong we were about you net marks.”
“Oh right,” Scooter said. “We’re all just twelve years old without a single brain amongst us, eh? Isn’t that what you say to dismiss the fans who dare knock ya boots?” He began to speak fast, anxious to move away from the topic of girls.
“Well, maybe if you quit acting like twelve year olds, we’d stop thinking you were.”
“How do we ack like twelve year olds, Paul? By voicing our disagreements? By not blindly follering the WWE party line?”
“No, we welcome criticism,” Hunter said. “But it has to be constructive. All you net geeks do is bitch, bitch, bitch and offer no solutions.”
“We offer solutions all the time, jerk! You guys don’t pay any attention to us. You don’t respeck us in the least.”
“Maybe we would if you supported us.”
“WE DO SUPPORT YOU, DUMBASS!!” Scooter shouted. “We’re the one part of your audience that isn’t deserting you like rats on a sinking steamliner!”
“You watch the shows and bitch about what you just saw,” Hunter said. “That’s not support.”
“Then what is your defernition?” Scooter said. “I would love to hear this.”
“Go to the house shows, go watch us perform for you. How’s that?”
“Bullshit!” Hunter spat. “Attendance is down from last year while the show ratings have been fairly stable, lower than we’d like, but stable. So the people who watch aren’t going to the houses. That’s not support.”
“You can’t blame the hardcore fans for that.”
“The hell I can’t. You said it yourself, genius. The marks are the only audience we have left. That’s what you told me. So if that’s the case, then the marks aren’t coming to the houses. And that’s where the workers you love so damn much make their living. That’s not supporting the sport you claim to love so much, that’s pretty much the opposite.”
“Well,” Scooter said, then paused to think about it. Finally he said: “Maybe if you pushed the guys we loved the most, we’d sport you more to your likin?”
“We push everyone, Scooter. Some guys score and the rest don’t.”
“You push the guys that don’t threaten your spot, Paul. You don’t respeck talent.”
“Who haven’t we pushed? Who’s a threat to my spot? I’m married to the boss’s daughter, for Christ sake, I think my spot is safe”
“The man aboot to get the push of his creer tonight because of me, for one.”
“Oh right, Benoit,” Hunter said. He started to laugh.
“What’s so funny, Paul?”
“Do you know what the most popular t-shirt in WCW was?” Hunter said, then answered before Scooter had a chance, “The NWO. Those bastards sold shirts by the millions. It was unbelievable. No matter what color, black, red, or tie-dyed like the one your buddy had on.”
“What’s this got to do with…”
“You know which WCW shirt was the second most popular? I’ll give you a hint: it’s in this room stretched over a mountain of a belly and covered with pizza grease.”
“Do you have a point that isn’t sitting under your eyeballs and over your gumflappers?”
“Now in the WWE,” Hunter continued, “neither NWO or Goldberg merchandise could touch the sales of Stone Cold products during his peak years. The Rock stuff is pretty huge too. The Undertaker has made an absolute shitload of money over the years on his shirts. Every year he does consistent business. My shirts always did okay, not phenomenal but good enough for me to make a few bucks over the years.”
“I’m still waiting for something resebling a point.”
“In Canada, now The Hart Family is a merchandising giant. I bet you have a couple of Bret shirts.”
“I have all sorts of Hart shirts.”
“I’m sure you do. Bret merchandise always did well in the States; Jericho shirts are big sellers too.” Hunter stopped and appeared to be thinking, then he said: “Hey, remember that cool Chris Benoit shirt? The one with the X-Ray of the broken jawbone on the front?”
“Do you have that one?”
“Yeah, no one does. It hardly made a dent in the marketplace. No one bought it for some reason. He wore it every week during that main event angle against Austin. I tore my quad during that storyline, remember?”
“I know what you’re doing, hoser. It won’t work.”
“All I’m doing is giving you the respect of conversing intelligently about how the business is run. You want to be taken seriously, fine, let’s talk business.”
“You…” Scooter began to say something then stopped. After a few seconds he said: “If you pushed him like the superstar he is, his t-shirts would have sold hotter than a November Chinhook.”
“And if you supported him like the superstar he is, we would have. I’m sorry, Scooter, but a few childish posts on a message board isn’t enough for a wrestler to get over.”
“But if there were enough columns from your hardcore fans praising him and demanding that he be put over, and yet he isn’t, what that tells me is that not only do you not respeck your fans, but you don’t respeck anything they have to say!”
“Money talks and bullshit walks, kid,” Hunter said. “And all we see on the net is bullshit, bullshit, bullshit!”
“Fuck off,” Scooter said.
“Fuck you and fuck the Internet,” Hunter said. “You haven’t made a single difference tonight. And you never will.”
“I already do make a difference!” Scooter said with a raised voice. “I have published books about the business! I have legions of fans who respeck me!”
“Yeah, okay,” Hunter snorted.
“You gawd damn know it too,” Scooter snarled. “Quit pertending that you don’t!”
“Okay, I’ll quit pertending,” Hunter said. “Oh, that’s right. I’m NOT pretending. Who are you? Help me out here, pal.”
“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, and FUCK YOU,” Scooter screamed.
“Don’t look now, Scooter, but you’re acting like a twelve year old.”
“I have a Cactus Jack t-shirt,” Anakin said. “The one that says ‘Wanted’ on the front part. It’s really cool.”
Scooter had stood up and was staring hard at Hunter. He was panting.
Hunter held Scooter’s gaze for a moment, than casually looked at Anakin and said: “That’s cool, kid. Mick’s a great guy.”
It was then that Q returned. He bounded down the stairs and ran into the room. “How’s it goin’ eh?” he said. “What I miss?”
Scooter slowly lifted his arm and checked watch. He looked back at Hunter and said: “RAW’s almost on. I… I… I have to get home and do some stuff before the show starts. I’ll be back when Benoit is world champ.”
Hunter cocked his head at him and made a funny face. Then his eyes widened and he said: “Wait a second. You’re not watching the show here?”
“My gramma don’t like TV,” Anakin said. “She thinks it’s eviler than homemade sin. We do have the innernet tho’. I go online all the time!”
Hunter started to laugh, laughter soon became hysterics. He couldn’t have stopped himself even if he wanted to.
Scooter stared at him and tried to think of something to say. He couldn’t. He walked over to Q and said: “Don’t get too close to him. Don’t talk to him either.” He handed Q the cell phone and the gun. “If there are any hassles, ring me. If he gives you any grief, shake this at him.”
“You okay, chief?” Q asked. “Ya look like you just came in ninth in a ten man hammer fight.”
Scooter looked back at Hunter, who was finally starting to calm down. “I’m minty,” he said. “And after tonight I’ll be stoked hotter than hay in a barnfire.” He left the room and trudged up the steps.
After tonight, he thought, there will be respect.
Chapter Eight: Flirting With A Legend
What with all that was going on, Y2Q had managed to spend all day away from the Internet. This personal record lasted almost a full five minutes after Scooter left. The Internet was created for everyone, but it was made for folks like Q.
Truth be told, Q didn’t care much for people. He found them boring and insipid. All they wanted to talk about was dumb stuff, like what the PM did or how their days are going. Q wasn’t much of a political guy and he never gave a good god damn about anyone’s life except his own. Q fancied himself a man of distinction; he only liked certain distinct topics and had little use for anything else. He knew they weren’t important topics, he knew that there was more to life than television, wrestling, hockey, Star Trek, and comic books, but he didn’t care—those were his passions, those were what he liked. If anyone had a problem with that, they could take off.
This is why he was so drawn to Scooter. In his brilliant internet postings, Scooter had shown to be remarkably bright and insightful on the same topics that Q himself was remarkably bright and insightful on. Q had been reading Scooter’s work for years before summing up the guts to reach out and say how do. It didn’t take them long to become friends. Q saw talent in Scooter’s head; he looked up to him. Why shouldn’t he? It wasn’t too many people who can say they were friends with an real life author of wrestling books!
So when Scooter hatched the plan to kidnap Triple H, Q didn’t need to be asked twice to help.
And so far, the plan was going swimmingly. When Scooter verbally slammed Hunter earlier that day, and called him to the carpet on issues he had no defense for, Q was so excited he almost hugged the man. The plan was working; the IWCC were well on their way to becoming legends.
And legends got laid. All the time. Q found that very appealing. He was no dope, he understood that super-models only slept with famous people and last he checked, legends were famous people. To Q, it was only a matter of time before he was knee deep in tits and ass, and then he’d show them who was boss. Yes indeed.
At the moment, however, Q’s experience with girls was relegated entirely to after hours T and A romps on TV. It wasn’t his fault, lord knows he spent the last thirty eight years of his life (not counting his years growing up as a little ankle biter) trying to wine and dine the ladies, but very few of them seem to appreciate the finer things in life, such as comparing the Borg with Communist Russia or the working theory that DS9 is actually the last outpost between Heaven and Hell (a theory that Q created and has since tried very hard to spread), or who would win in a fight between Superman and Spawn (the answer, of course, is Spawn, for a multitude of reasons the least of which being that he’s a creation of proud Canadian, Todd McFarlane). No, girls just refuse to handle this sort of intellectual stimulation, they were too busy with their Barbie Dolls and make-up and Eminem. Q didn’t understand girls, and really didn’t want to. From the neck down, they were A-OK; other than that, they were useless windbag bimbos, and most of them were big-heads, too.
So Q avoided the outside world and spend his time online, primarily as moderator for four different message boards: one for wrestling, one for comic books, and two for Star Trek. At the moment, he was busy cleaning up a rather silly fight between two geeks about whether harnessed warp power could generate and control chronological worm holes without disrupting the space/time continuum. As usual, the thread degenerated into the obligatory “Your mother blows Cardassian Drunga Lambs” exchange. That was the problem with these damn sooks, all hell breaks loose the moment Q isn’t there to babysit.
Besides, warp power can’t be harnessed, it can only be contained and re-directed, any damn fool knows that. A point that Q was just about to post when the cell phone buzzed in his pocket. Just Scooter checking in, no doubt.
He pulled it out and glanced at the screen, he didn’t recognize the number flashing at him, and no name flashed over it. It wasn’t Scooter checking in, it was someone else.
Q froze. Maybe it was the cops? Maybe it was the RC? Maybe they had them surrounded right there! Maybe it was the FBI? The PM? Who knew how much pull Vince McMahon had? He began to sweat freely; it wasn’t a pretty sight.
The cell continued to buzz. Q thought about letting it just ring away but thought it wiser to at least answer. If it’s trouble, he can always throw the phone away and run like the devil. Dopey Anakin can take the heat; they were in his gramma’s house after all. He summoned up his courage and pressed the receive button.
Just as he was about to speak, he remembered that so far, no one had heard his voice yet. Scooter had done all of the talking so far. Q wasn’t sure what sort of fancy-shmantzy voice identification device the cops had out there, but only a damn hoser would make it easy for them to hunt him down. So he deepened his voice as low as he could, squeezed both eyes tightly shut and said: “Yello?”
One eye flipped open. It was a girl. A female girl. A very sexy female girl, judging from the sound of her voice. Who was it? Maybe Paul had rats in Edmonton? All of Vince’s boys had f-bunnies all over the gosh darned continent, according to Scooter.
“Hello?” the very sexy female voice said.
Okay hoser, Q thought, either get with the chinning or she’ll hang up. “Hello, there,” he said, thankful that he chose his deepest, sexiest voice.
“How are you doing?”
“How’s it going, eh?” he said. “And to whom do I owe the pleasurable oopertoonty of conversating with?”
“Huh? Oh… well, this is Trish.”
“Trish? Trish who?” he said. The message being, of course, that there were so many chickadees in Q’s little black book, that just ‘Trish’ wasn’t enough info for him. Message sent, Q thought smugly, pow!
The girl giggled, it was the kind of giggle that made grown men melt. “This is Trish Stratus, silly,” she said. “Who is this sexy voice I’m talking to? Is this Scooter?”
Q couldn’t answer because he was lying down and breathing heavy. Black spots had appeared in his eyes. Then he became light headed. This had occurred somewhere between the giggle and realizing that he was speaking with Trish freaking Stratus.
“Hello?” Trish said. “Are you still there?”
Get up, get up, GET UP, YA DIM HOSESUCKER
“HI, hello,” he said, forgetting all about his deep voice, “I’m here, yes I am. How’s it going, eh?”
“It’s going great,” Trish said. She sounded so happy and bouncy and cute and hot. Q almost passed out again. “Is this Scooter?”
Scooter? No way in hell he’s getting in on this action. “Negative,” Q said. “This is…” He paused. He almost gave her his real name, but what if it was a trap? His mind raced, his body perspired, “This is…”… oh what the hell… “this is Y2Q.”
“Ah… okay,” she said. “But this is one of the IWCC I’m talking to, right?”
“Yes,” he said. “The IWCC is many heads combined into one snake. We are one unit, with many tentacles!” The idea was to make as many innuendos to the male genitals as possible. Q was quite proud of himself for such inspired thinking.
Trish laughed again. “Well,” she said, “I’m calling you to say thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Princess. For what?”
“For doing what you did. For giving the rest of the locker room a chance to finally get out from Hunter’s shadow.” She lowered her voice: “There are a lot of us who are like, totally excited about what you guys are doing.” She paused a moment, then purred: “Myself included.”
Excited? Trish Stratus is excited? Be cool, don’t be a dipstick here. “Well,” he said. “Anything for a hot, happenin’ babe-o-lectible dish like Trish!”
Another giggle, Q was scoring!
“It’s just so cool to see a man, a fellow Canadian like you, take charge and show these Yankees what’s right,” Trish said. “Hunter is such a keener putz, sometimes.”
“Yes,” Q said, his mind racing for something suave to say. He finally settled on: “So, what can I do you for?”
“Maybe it’s the other way around?” she cooed. “Maybe it’s what I can do YOU for?”
Q had to take off his glasses, they were fogging up. Why was it so hot in here?
“I like a take charge man,” Trish said. “And I can tell you are as take charge as it gets, Y2Q.”
“Call me Q, doll,” he said. “And believe you me, any charge I get, I take.”
“Okay, Q,” she said. “So I want to reward you for helping out the locker room. I want to reward you on behalf of all of Canada.” She sighed deeply and loudly over the phone; Q imagined her chest heaving up and down, those yams, those….
“Are you still there, Q?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Q whispered. If that ankle biting Anakin or his cookie head gramma walked in on him, he would kill them both. End of story.
“Would you like to be rewarded?”
“Does a Newfie like milk?” he hissed. He almost moaned out loud but stifled it.
“Where are you, Q, let me come see you.”
“I’m at 243…” he stopped. Reality swept in and rudely knocked him upside his head, “Waaiit a second, how do I know this isn’t a scam? I tell you where I’m at and next thing I know, I’m up to my elbows in RC’s and coppers.”
“It’s not a scam, I swear,” she said. “How’s aboot we meet somewhere neutral?”
“Ahh, in the neutral zone,” Q said. “We can get in a lot of trouble for going in there, my love.”
There was a distinct pause from Trish. Q figured she was just blown away with his slickness.
“Okaaay, if you say so,” she said. “Do you know the Comfort Inn on 100th?”
“With oat a doat.”
“Good, meet me there.”
YES!!! THANK YOU GOD!!
“Which room, my sweet, sweet Trish?”
“I’ll tell the front desk to tell you. Ask for Patricia.”
“Patricia, beauty. What time?”
“As soon as you can, Q. I can’t wait to get my hands all over you and thank you for your courage.”
“I’m gonna lick you like a tub of vanilla ice cream, ya gorgeous creature, ya,” Q said. “I’m on my way.”
She giggled one last time, then said: “Ciao.”
Q listened to the dial tone for a full ten seconds before pressing the end button. Then he calmly stood up, calmly pocketed the cellular, calmly switched off the computer, calmly walked out of the room, calmly walked down the hall, calmly walked down the stairs, and calmly entered the basement. Anakin was sitting quietly on the chesterfield looking at Paul. Paul was looking at nothing in particular. Calmly, Q said, “I have to scoot for a bit. I’ll be back when I get back.”
“Where are you goin’” Anakin said. “Scooter told us to stay put.”
“Important business, very, very important. Hugely important,” Q said.
“But we can’t leave him alone and I have to…”
“LOOKIGOTTAGOANDNEVERMINDWHEREANDWHATAREYOUWRITINGADAMNBOOK???” he shouted. He pointed to the gun and said: “He gives you any trouble, shake that in his face. Then he looked at Hunter and said: “But you won’t give him any problems, will you hoser?”
“Actually, I probably will,” Hunter said.
“Good enough for me,” Q said. I haveta go home for a bit, then go do some business. I may be gone for a long time, but just be minty, kay?”
“If you say so,” Anakin said.
“See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya,” Q said, then rushed out. He needed to shower up and put on some good duds and splash on some after splash and brush down his choppers and then…
… and then…
Q hustled up the steps and tore out the door. He was running full tilt. He forced himself to stop and walk to his car.
After all, legends didn’t have to run.
Chapter Nine: RAW is WAR
The plane had landed. The cargo were on-route to Skyreach.
The show had been re-fitted. There weren’t too many adjustments to make anyway.
Vince had the promo outlined in his head. He knew exactly what to say. He didn’t need a script. He never needed a script. He’d been playing with people’s minds for decades.
The audience was there and they were hot. Every seat had been filled, and just a few of them were comps. This is why Vince loved Canada: they always made him money, they always delivered. Well, it was his turn to deliver something special.
It was five minutes before go time. He was at the gorilla position, he was going to open the show with the most important promo in the history of his company. He smiled. Most men would face this moment with trepidation. Most men would be scared to death right now. He peeked out and looked into the crowd. If history repeats itself, they will try their damndest to boo him out of the building. Every time Vince walked into a Canadian arena, it became a test of wills to see who would shut the other up first, it became Vince McMahon vs. Canada.
He nodded to himself. Nervous? How can he be nervous. He’s gone head to head against these fans—against this country a thousand times and has never lost.
“Vince, we have a problem.”
Vince turned around. It was Sgt. Slaughter. “What is it? Is it Paul?”
“No, it’s Goldberg.”
“What about him?”
“Well, he woke up thirty minutes ago and we told him what was happening and…”
“And… well hell Vince, since when do wrestlers carry their contracts with them to wherever they go? Jesus, back in my day, a double pump handshake was enough to secure a three year contract with a gross from the houses, you know?”
“Goldberg has a problem with what we have planned?”
“He’s got a clause in his contract, Vince,” Slaughter said. “Showed it to us. Says that he has to option to refuse to put anyone over when the match is held in Canada.”
Vince stared at him.
“He’s got the Bret Clause, Vince,” Slaughter said.
“Oh shit,” Vince said.
“He don’t want to lay down for Benoit, not here, not anywhere. You know Goldberg, Vince.”
“Did you explain to him just what we had planned?”
“Hell yeah,” Slaughter said. “He says no matter what happens, he’ll look weak. So we took a hard look at his contract. We found something else.”
“That sonofabitch. What did you find?”
“It says that Goldberg will be willing to overlook the Bret Clause in exchange for… well…”
“Well… umm… you know…”
“No I do not kn…”. It dawned on him. He sighed. “How much does he want.”
“A hundred thousand dollars?”
“He says usually he’d demand cash, but since you’re in a jam right now, a personal check will do.”
Vince’s blood boiled. He sneered and started to spin around, looking for something to hit. He settled for the thick velvet curtain and started kicking and punching at it. Slaughter waited out the tantrum by looking down and examining his Keds.
After a few moments, Vince stopped his attack and turned back to Slaughter. “Alright, dammit,” he spat, “Tell him he has a deal.”
“Yes sir,” Slaughter said.
Vince turned around and looked back at the crowd. These god damnable Canadians, he thought. If I ever get my hands on a nuclear bomb, I swear on the soul of Andre that…
He turned back. Slaughter hadn’t moved.
“He wants it NOW??”
“That slimy, bald-headed…” Vince ripped into his sportscoat and pulled out his checkbook.
“Don’t worry, Boss,” Slaughter said. “Everything’s gonna work out fine.”
“Worried?” Vince said. “Don’t make me laugh.”
In the control truck, Kevin Dunn studied ten different mini-screens at once. “On my mark, people.” He raised his hand and held his thumb and forefinger in snapping position.
In a basement somewhere just outside Edmonton, Hunter Hearst Helmsley sat alone and accepted his fate.
In an apartment south of downtown Edmonton, Scooter got up from his computer—having completed a blog post, two DVD reviews, and a thorough scouring of two dozen message boards and various wrestling columns for any sign of his name (with responses for most board posts)—and grabbed a six pack of Pepsi, a box of Timbits and plopped down in his much strained easy chair. He flipped on his TV and programmed his VCR. He opened a pop and tossed three Timbits in his mouth. The only sign of excitement was the nervous smile that came and went as his small lips twitched up and down on his oversized head. This was it, he thought. In two hours, he will have changed the world. He popped in another donut ball. Then another.
Kevin Dunn snapped his fingers.
And Monday Night Raw went on the air.
“Well Ladies and Gentlemen, we are LIVE in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Thank you so much for inviting us into your homes. I’m Jim Ross along side Jerry “The King” Lawler and tonight, Mr. McMahon will be making a very special announcement. Nobody knows what he has up his sleeves, here folks. All I can tell you is that in involves RAW world champion Triple H, who has not yet arrived here tonight!”
“We also have a very special match! For the first time ever, JR. A inter-gender bra and panties match between Lillian Garcia and CHRISTIAN!!”
“And whoever loses the match has to humiliate his or herself by barking like a dog in the middle of the ring! How humiliating!”
“Lillian gets to bark like a dog while showing off her PUPPIES!! WHOO HOO!!”
“Promises to be a very interesting night here in the Great White North, and it starts… right now.”
No chance, that’s what you got…
“And here he is, the Chairman of the WWE, Mr. McMahon.”
“Is he still the genetic jackhammer, JR.”
“Well, I don’t know, King. Never saw fit to ask him. Why don’t you ask him.”
“I wonder what he has to say?”
“Some call him the Devil himself. And no matter what he says, I’m sure it’s to cause misery for someone.”
“Look at how he fills out that suit. Mr. McMahon sure knows how to dress, don’t he JR.”
“We looking for a pay raise, King? Is there another honeymoon you’re hoping to pay for?”
“Someone has to be nice to him. Look at how these Canadian fans are treating him.”
“Canada holds some of the... most passionate fans in the world,” Ross said.
In his recliner, Scooter pumped his fist in the air and shouted, “Damn Right!!”
“I wish these people would shut up,” Lawler said. “I want to hear what Vince has to say!”
“We all do, King. We all do.”
In the ring, with the microphone in hand, Vincent Kennedy McMahon patiently absorbed the jeers of an entire sold-out arena. The irony was that in about ten minutes, they would so in love with him he could be elected Prime Minister. Let them boo away, clueless little fools.
Finally, he said, “Thank you for your warm, Edmonton response. Now I’d like to say a few words.”
The boos didn’t let up.
“SHHHUT UP!!!!” Vince roared. Why not, he thought. If Paul was watching, he’d understand.
In the recliner, Scooter stopped chewing and re-checked his VCR for the fourth time. He found that he couldn’t stop his leg from bobbing up and down. He was surprised to find himself a little worn out. Truth be told, today held more exercise for him than the last three years combined.
“I’ve always maintained that anything can happen in the WWE,” Vince said. “I’ve always maintained that you fans deserve the best! Even with the callous, inhuman way you treat a man such as myself, I still believe you do.”
Scooter leaned forward in his chair and studied the screen. McMahon was mixing it up. He was shooting in character. If Vince was up to funny stuff, there was gonna be trouble.
“And in the WWE, the best means a world championship match, tonight on RAW, for you people, right here in Edmonton.” He went for the cheap pop, and got it. It was all part of throwing them off guard. He was the puppeteer.
“But unfortunately, our RAW champion, Triple H isn’t here tonight.” As expected, the boos returned, but more muted this time.
“Triple H isn’t here?” Lawler said.
“Hasn’t been seen all day,” Ross said.
Scooter’s leg started bobbing faster. His knuckles grew white from gripping his arm rest.
“Yes, Triple H is at home, nursing injuries he received at a WWE event last week,” Vince said.
“OH YOU LYING JUICE-HEAD YANKEE,” Scooter screamed. Chunks of donut mush flew through the air, some of which hit the television screen. “PAUL DIDN’T EVEN WORK THE HOUSES LAST WEEK!! EVERYONE KNOSE TAT!!” He was ranting out loud, alone in his apartment, to a television screen—something his neighbors were quite used to hearing.
“The problem with this,” Vince continued, “Is that according to his contract, as champion Triple H must defend his Raw title a set number of times per month. Well, as of twelve noon today, he has exceeded his allotted time between title defenses.”
“Dumb, dumb, DUMB!” Scooter shouted. “Ebberyone knose that he’s yer sonlaw, old man!! This storyline is so illogicalal it’s stupid!!”
“So as of right now, Triple H is hereby stripped of the RAW world title,” Vince said. The crowd started to cheer.
“So tonight, we will be having a match between two WWE Superstars to decide a new champion. I have thought long and hard over who should get the opportunity tonight. With such a long list of superstars to choose from. One name stood out clear, but for the other name. Well…”
Scooter has slid his body to the very edge of his seat.
“In the WWE, I have always prided myself on giving chances to those who might not get them anywhere else. I have prided myself in looking WWE Superstars in the eye and spotting the fire… the passion to be champion. There is one superstar who has that very fire, that very passion burning into his very SOUL that I am looking for! In this WWE Superstar, I see a champion, just waiting for the right moment, the right time, the right opportunity.”
The crowd stirred. Scooter’s eyes were so locked on the screen that he knocked over his pop as he blindly reached for it. Cool Pepsi ran over his dirty socks and soaked his toes. He didn’t bother cleaning it up.
“This WWE Superstar is on his way to the arena right now as we speak, he was flown in all the way UP from Calgary,” Vince emphasized the word “up”. Scooter had a brief panic attack. Why did he say “up” like that? Was the jig up? Were they about to be tossed in the can? Maybe he better check in with Q. But the phone was way over on the other side of the room. He didn’t want to miss this. So he stayed put.
Meanwhile, the audience started to cheer slowly. As Vince expected, a chant of “You Screwed Bret,” began. He cut it off before it filled the building. “This WWE Superstar is a local hero of this… fine… Canadian Province of yours, so I felt it would be fitting to fly him in from Smackdown to give him a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY to exceed every expectation he’s ever had and wrestle for the RAW world title! Before tonight, he was just another WWE Superstar, but if he has enough heart, if he has enough guts, he will end this evening as the RAW heavyweight champion!”
The crowd started to fire up. Scooter forgot all about calling Q.
“So tonight… in this very ring, for the RAW heavyweight championship, in one corner will be the number one contender, Bill Goldberg.”
The crowd cheered.
“And in the other corner, it will be… The Canadian Crippler, Chris Benoit!”
Vince had barely finished the word “Crippler” before the entire building exploded. The walls shook. The pop carried itself outside the Skyreach and could be heard for several blocks.
In his apartment, Scooter stood up and began dancing around his living room. Tonight in this very ring. Vincent K McMahon had actually said tonight in this very ring! He paused too, Vince actually PAUSED!! He started to jump up and down and holler, “I KNEW HE KNEW ME!!! I KNEW THEY KNEW MY NAME!!!”
He jerked past his window and caught his reflection. He quickly yanked the curtain shut before someone saw him. He tried to remember when he took his pants off. For some reason, he couldn’t.
He also realized that Vince hadn’t honored his deal by apologizing for jamming all the washoots down everyone’s throat. Give the man time, Scooter decided. They’ve got a two hour show to fill.
Back in the arena, Vince had handed the microphone to Earl Hebner and left the ring, not sure if his music was even being played. It was simply too deafening. He walked up the aisle not with joy, but with satisfaction. Few men had the resolve to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive. Without knowing it, these idiot marks with their deluded fantasies had actually helped Vince fulfill a fantasy of his very own.
He smiled to himself, threw a last look at the exploding crowd, and wondered if Chris Benoit had ever seen “Rocky”?
Chapter Ten: Stratusfaction Guaranteed
It had taken the newly crowned legend Q longer to get gussied for Trish than he had anticipated.
For starters, he had stormed home and found that there was nothing to wear. His only pair of usable dungarees (several clean ones hung in his closet, and one day he’ll lose enough weight to fit back into them) looked like they had been rolled in moose crap. All of his nice shirts were wrinkly and balled up from sitting in the hamper and he hadn’t had a perfectly matched, hole-less pair of socks since Gretsky skated on Oiler ice. Washer day was every other Friday, same as always, and he never had any special reason to make an exception ‘til today, and it was too late for that now. Not with HER waiting for him.
So with all other options out the door, Q decided to put on his zoot suit. It was the navy blue get-up he reserved for weddings and funerals. He found a white dress shirt getting raided by a gang of dust mites and chose his best tie: black with a red stripe over the black with a slightly less red stripe and the black with a red stripe criss-crossed with green stripes. He settled for the fact that there wasn’t a black sock to be found in his house and selected the cleanest two white socks he had that almost looked alike.
As for undies, well, Q had always believed in letting his boys run free.
After he laid out his clothes and squirted them down with Lysol, Q had to wait for his big-head sister to finish up with whatever she was up to. He wanted to physically throw her out on her great white arse but that was the sort of commotion he didn’t need right now. Didn’t need to get Mom sticking her nose into his business, no sir, not today.
So he waited as patiently as he could for his little sister. After four minutes he was banging at the washroom door, “Let’s go, saddlehead! Other people live here, ya know!”
Ten minutes later he was having the most intimate encounter with a bar of soap in his life. To save time, he scrubbed his teeth and shaved while he was in there. There wasn’t a mirror in the shower, so Q shaved on touch. He didn’t do that bad either; he only missed a few spots that he forgot to touch up on afterwards.
The one lucky break was that his old man had picked up a fresh bottle of Aqua Velva. Q was generous with it. He even rubbed a little on his unmentionables—a special treat for the lovely Miss Stratus.
There was minor drama when Q’s shirt collar had to fight with his neck in order to get buttoned. Q forced the ends together and buttoned it. The button lasted thirty seconds before popping off and flying across his room. Q decided to put on the tie anyway.
Dressed to kill; breathe smelling like heaven; body smelling like a man; Q examined himself in the mirror and winked. “Hey good lookin’,” he said. “How YOU doin’?”
He was about to get laid, for the first time, by Trish Stratus.
He was doing alright.
From his house to the Comfort Inn, Q traveled at warp factor 2.
“Excuse em mwa.”
The clerk at the Comfort Inn desk, a snotty little thing whom Q might have found attractive before Trish became his girlfriend, looked up from her Vanity Fair magazine, “Can I help you?”
“Oh, I think you MIGHT!” he said with funk. Now that he knew how to talk to girls, he’ll be boning his legendary arse off a storm in no time. “I’m looking for a room.”
“You want a room? Okay, smoking or non…”
“No, no, NOOO my little hunk of candy floss,” Q said. “I am on the hunt for a fox who is said to be hiding for me in this abode. SHE said that you would duly inform me on where I can find her.”
The little hunk of candy floss stared at Q.
“Come on, sweet puff,” Q said. “Destiny is checking its watch.”
“Your name is Q, isn’t it?” she asked.
And a legend is born.
“Why of course, it is,” he sang
“Yeah, she said to be on the lookout for someone like you,” the girl said. “Room 209.”
Q slapped his hand on the desk. “209! Right back at’cha!” He shot at the girl with his finger and said: “Pow!” for emphasis. “Now, you’re gonna hear screaming coming outta that room, eh. Do yourself a fave and keep in mind that they are only screams of total, beautiful passion, kay.”
“And maybe later, if you’re a good lass, we’ll invite yous up in our love nest for a little tri-ways?” He reached over and tried to caress you chin. She backed well out of reach.
“I’ll take a pass, thanks.”
“Suit yerself, eh,” Q said and then left. Wasn’t like they needed her anyways, hag bag like that was lucky Q even looked in her direction. He was in a different league now.
Room 209 stared at him. On the other side was paradise. Q had to wait and catch his breath. He wiped his forehead with his blazer sleeve. He breathed on his hand and sniffed. He patted his hair back with his hands. He felt under his pits, they were only mildly damp. He took one more deep breath and knocked three times on the door.
The door opened.
“Hello, Q,” Trish Stratus purred.
“Lord Tunderin’ Jesus,” Q the New Legend gasped.
She was wearing her white cotton belly shirt and jeans so tight they could’ve been spray painted on. Her hair was straight and silky. Her lips shined blood red. Her teeth were whiter than pound sugar. Had Q bothered to look, he would have seen open toe sandals on her feet that showed off hot pink toenails. She smiled and held out her arm. “Are you going to come in, or do you want your reward out here in front of everyone?”
“I… I… I’ll come in,” Q stuttered.
“Good boy,” Trish said.
Q stepped in. Trish shut the door behind him. “Nice suit,” she said. “I like a man in a suit.”
“O… o… only the best for Stratest,” Q said.
Trish giggled. “Well, I think the first thing we should do is get out of all these lunky clothes, Q. Make ourselves more comfortable.”
“Okay,” Q said, then in perhaps the smoothest moment in his entire life, he added: “You first.”
Trish Stratus looked at him with her hands on her hips. She walked over to him with a look on her face that Q assumed was lust (having nothing to compare it to, he had no choice but to assume) and said: “There is nothing sexier to me than watching a man get undressed. When I feel sexy, I get sexy. Now, you want to be sexy for me, don’t you… Q?” She placed her finger on his chin, then slowly ran it down his chest, over his belly, and to his belt buckle, where she lightly traced a circle around it a few times. She tried to look into his eyes, his eyes were busy staring at a different body part.
“I want to do you between your yam yams,” Q croaked.
“Get undressed first, and then we’ll see,” Trish said.
Q tore is zoot suit off at warp factor 4. He stood there, naked as the day he was born, and held his arms out wide, “I’m in love with you Trish,” he said.
Trish smiled. “I know,” she said. “Get on the bed.”
Q dove on the bed. The springs were quite outraged. He lay on his back completely spread and waited for her.
“Turn around, baby,” Trish cooed.
She walked over to him and lightly traced her finger across his back. “Because I want to give you a massage, silly.”
Q flipped over. Trish slipped on the bed and straddled his back. Her hands rolled up his skin, then slowly slid them down. With him being in such complete sensory disarray, what happened next really couldn’t be helped.
Q farted. It was a sloppy one too, he could feel it.
“Sorry, aw crap, I’m so sorry. I had poutine for dinner and all that cheese just goos trough me.”
“It’s… okay, Q,” Trish said, then she cleared her throat. She continued to massage his back, letting her hands roll further and further down his arms. Q felt her hair caress his skin. He started to kick his feet.
Trish’s hands touched his. She grabbed his wrists and gently guided them forward. “Grab the bed posts, Q” she whispered in his ear. He did. She moved her hands back down and began working her way up again, only now she was using one hand, then the other. “Do you like this, Q?”
“Does a Klingon like prune juice,” he answered.
She giggled. Q was officially at the stage where he would cheerfully execute his entire family for her, if she wanted. To show his love for her, he began to hump the mattress.
“Now I want to show you something I think you’ll really like,” Trish said. Then Q felt something hard and cold clamp down against his wrists, first the right one, and then the left. He looked up and saw that his arms were shacked to the bed by two handcuffs that were obviously hidden behind the mattress. Then he felt Trish get off the bed. More importantly, he felt her get off him.
“Wh… what are you doing?” he said. And why wasn’t she getting stripped?
“I said I had something you’ll really like,” she said, reaching into her bag. She pulled out something long and white that had two thin white straps on it’s end. She held it out to Q, “Do you know what this is, baby?”
Q had seen enough girl on girl porn to recognize it. “Uh huh.”
Trish laughed. “Well, I thought that it would be fun if we…” she was stopped by a knock on the door.
Q jerked his head back as far as he could. “Who’s that?” he said.
“Must be room service,” she said. “I ordered some champagne for us.” She walked to the door.
“But I’m butt nude and stuck on this bed,” he said. “What if they see me and call the fuzz?”
Trish opened the door. Q turned his head and slammed his eyes shut. He heard a voice say: “Well now, we come all the way from Calgary for a party and THIS is what we get?”
Another, more deeper voice said, “Now what the hell is this white boy doing with his ass out like that?”
Q opened his eyes and turned his head.
“Howdy”, said the white man. “I’m Bradshaw and this is my partner Faarooq. We are the APA. Want to tell us where you’re keeping our boy, Triple H or do you wanna have a little fun first?”
Q’s eyes opened wide.
“Please say you want to have some fun first,” Faarooq said. “Not everyday we get ourselves a white boy to mess around with.”
Trish had picked up her bag and was about to put the strap-on dildo back in when Bradshaw took it away from her. “Oh, we’ll be keeping this,” he said.
“I’m sorry, Q,” she said. “But, you know… give me a break here.”
“Ohhh,” Trish frowned. “Try not to hurt him too bad, guys, okay. He’s sort of sweet.”
“Ain’t gonna hurt him, much,” Faarooq said. “Unless we sober up.”
“Yeah, we sober up we’re gonna get pissed,” Bradshaw said. “So our Canucklehead friend here better give with the directions to Hunter.”
“Trish, please,” Q pleaded. “I love you!!”
The APA howled. Trish picked up her bag and headed for the door. “God, you are such a… I’m so sorry, Q. Just… just tell them what they want and you’ll be okay, okay?” She walked out the door and closed it behind her.
“Come back Trish,” Q called. “COME BAAAAACK TRIIIIISH.”
“My, that’s a wide mouth you got there, boy,” Bradshaw said.
“Wide ass, too,” Faarooq said. “Look at the zits on that thing. Say Bradley, remember when you first came into the WWF?”
“I do believe I do. Yes, I do.”
“Remember that gimmick you had?”
“Why I most certainly do, my brother. I was a cowboy straight out of Texas.”
“Do you remember what your gimmick used to be?”
“Why yes, I do,” Bradshaw said. “I used to brand people.”
Faarooq snapped his fingers. “Hell yeah, you used to brand people. Now that was a damn fine branding iron you used. Long, strong, nasty! Say Bradshaw, whatever became of that long, strong, nasty branding iron?”
“Good question, my brother man,” Bradshaw said. “Why, I do believe I left it in this hotel.”
“You did? Well, where in hell is it?”
“Well, my memory’s fuzzy,” Bradshaw said. “But I do believe I left it right outside of room 209. But this was six years ago, it has to be gone by now.”
“Room 209?” Faarooq said. “Isn’t THIS room 209?”
“As a matter of fact, it is!” Bradshaw bellowed.
“Well hell,” Faarooq said. “I bet it’s sitting there, after all these years, waiting for a couple of brothers to put it to good use.”
“No way, my brother,” Bradshaw said. “After six years? That would be impossible. No friggin’ way!”
“But there is only one way to find out, ain’t there?”
“Well, alright, I’ll walk all the way to the door and check, but if it ain’t there, then you’re buying the beer tonight.”
“Now that’s a deal,” Faarooq bellowed.
Bradshaw walked to the door and whipped it open. Standing in front of him was Trish with her arm up and her fist in knocking position. “You’re all set here, honey,” Bradshaw said. “Let us handle this now.”
“Hang on a sec,” Trish walked in and went for Q’s head. She crouched down and waved a DVD in his face. “Here Q,” she said. “I feel horrible about how this turned out. Not that I was going to sleep with you or anything, but… well, you seem too harmless to be caught up in this. So here’s a copy of my DVD. Take it and I hope you don’t hate me TOO much for this, okay?”
Q blinked several times before saying, “But, I don’t have a DVD player.”
Trish bit her lower lip and stood up. “I’m just so sorry, Q. Tell the boys where Hunter is and it’ll be over, okay.”
“Yeah, yeah yeah, thank you Miss Thang,” Faarooq put his hands on her shoulders and lightly guided her towards the door. “White boy will tell us where damn Jimmy Hoffa is by the time we done with him. Don’t worry your pretty little head one bit.”
“Bye Q,” Trish called. She passed Bradshaw on her way out. Bradshaw was holding his branding iron. “Well, I’ll be damned,” he said. “It was still sitting there after all these years!”
“Hot damn,” Faarooq yelled.
“Th… that wasn’t there before,” Q said. “You put it there!”
“Well no shit, Sherlock!” Bradshaw said. Both men laughed.
As Trish shut the door behind her, she heard Faarooq say: “I just thought of a great place to stick that thing!” From outside she heard Q scream out her name several times. She winced. That poor, poor freak.
Feeling horrible, she walked down the Motel’s walkway and then down the stairs. She got into her car and started it up. She put it into drive and took off. I did my part, she told herself. I lured him in and set him up. Ohh, if only Vince gave me five minutes to get Paul’s location out of him. He would have done anything for me. Poor kid.
Kid? That was the worst part. That guy was in his thirties, at best. Maybe he’s mildly retarded or something? It wasn’t fair. Brad and Ron can sometimes take things too far. Poor guy. Just another loser who got too caught up into his fantasy. Trish drove down 100th street feeling like garbage. She loved her fans. She tried so hard to be kind to all of them—even the idiots. Most of them were cool, but it was the pathetic ones who she always ended up feeling bad for. How can she make it up to poor Q? How can she show him that there were no hard feelings on her end?
Trish was stopped at a red light. She glanced to her right and saw a way. She made a right and parked her car.
Twenty minutes later, she was knocking on room 209. There were various human and inhuman sounds coming from the other side—not a single one of them was pleasant. Faarooq ripped the door open. He was shirtless and holding a mini-bottle of complimentary shampoo. “What now?”
“Here,” Trish handed him a box holding a new DVD player. “You make sure he gets this, Ron. I’m serious. He gets this and my DVD. Make sure he gets it AND make sure he knows I gave it to him, okay?”
Faarooq gawked at her. His mouth was opened so wide his jaw looked unhinged.
“Promise me he’ll get this,”
Faarooq continued to gawk.
“Trish?” Q said from inside. “TRISH? HELP ME, TRISH!!! FOR THE LOVE OF EBBERYTHING HOLY, HALP MEEE”
“Shaddup,” Bradshaw said. “Or I’ll pull this out and make you clean it with your mouth, boy! Such a purty mouth you got there too!”
“Promise me, Ron,” she said.
Very slowly and with his mouth still completely ajar, Faarooq nodded.
“Thank you, now don’t be too rough on…”
Faarooq slammed the door. From outside, she heard Bradshaw say: “She WHAT?? Hoooleeey sheeit!”
Trish took the same path from the room to her car that she did before. Only this time she was smiling.
One thing she loved was going out of her way for her fans. Even the morons.
Chapter 11: Doing The Job
Anakin had left Hunter alone for a quite some time, during which Hunter struggled, strained, and used every ounce of strength he had to power himself out of his chair.
The damn thing didn’t budge; he was stuck, but good. The duct tape that held him hardly moved either. He’s been in the ring with some of the worst selling bozos the business has ever produced, but compared to this chair, even Mero was a dream to work with. He sighed and looked at the gun that Anakin had left of the sofa. So close and yet, so far.
Great, he thought, I’m thinking like these marks now. Next thing you know, I’ll be writing Internet columns bitching about how I suck, Triple H Sucks: by Triple H. I’ll leave my wife and move back into my parents home and spend my weekends making posts on the message boards about how drunk I am and how Triple H sucks even when he’s drunk. And I’ll stop getting laid and gain a ton of weight and call people who disagree with me gay all the while hiding my own friggin’ homosexuality. You had to laugh.
But Hunter wasn’t laughing. Because meanwhile, three of these losers managed to shang-hi him and keep him trapped longer than anyone would have expected. And the only way he was going to get out of here was to exploit one of the mark stereotypes and use it to get free, and that was assuming that he properly read the signals that Anakin had been sending out. In order to get out, he was going to have to embrace some big time irony here.
If he was going to escape, he was going to have to give the kid one hell of a blowjob.
Hunter used the rest of the time he had before the kid returned mentally preparing himself. It had to be like riding a bike. Once you learn how, no matter how long it’s been… etc, etc, etc.
Anakin had come down the stairs some time later. “Sorry, boot that,” he said. “But I had to make Gramma’s dinner and wash her up, and then put her to bed. My mom usually does that but she’s visiting my aunt in the Peg.”
“No problem, Anakin,” Hunter said, flashing his winningest smile. “When do I get to eat?”
“Starving,” Hunter said.
“I’ve made a lot of Kraft Dinner with back bacon,” Anakin said. “I crumble the bacon into little bits and mix them in the mac. It’s good. Want some?”
“Sounds great,” Hunter slid his tongue across his top lip and made a slurping noise.
“Uh…” Anakin was speechless for a moment. Then he said, “Kay, be back in a flash.” He darted back upstairs.
Hunter focused all of his energy on one last effort to free himself. He jerked violently in his seat, searching for the slightest give. Neither tape nor chair gave him any. Doing what all desperate people do in times of crisis, he cleared his mind and focused completely on an S.O.S to God: God, if you’re listening, it’s me, Paul. Now, I may have not been a saint my whole life but for crying out loud, will you please take pity on my situation and PLEASE MAKE IT SO I DON’T HAVE TO DO WHAT I THINK I’LL HAVE TO DO??? I’M BEGGING YOU GOD, DON’TMAKEMESUCKTHISKID’SCOCK!!!
Anakin came down with a huge bowl of macaroni and cheese with bacon bits mixed in. “Supper’s ready!” he said.
“Smells great,” Hunter said. “Now if you untie me so I can eat it, I promise I won’t make trouble!” And if the kid agreed, Hunter owed God a HUGE favor.
“Sorry, but Scooter would kill me,” Anakin said. He sat down in front of Hunter and picked the spoon out from the bowl “But don’t worry, I’ll make sure every drop goes in.”
“Great,” Hunter said. Thanks God. You’re a real peach.
Anakin swirled the spoon around the bowl and dug out a huge pile of yellow goo. “Here it comes, Paul.” He brought it forward.
Oh fuck it, Hunter thought, then reached out with his mouth and slowly took the spoon in. He closed his lips around it and slid his head back until the spoon slipped out clean. He chewed softly and stared at Anakin. Anakin stared back and swirled the spoon back into the bowl. Hunter swallowed and the process was repeated.
After two more spoonfuls, the last of which, he licked the spoon with his tongue, Hunter said, “He’s not gay, you know.”
“The Rock. You asked me if he was gay. He’s not.”
“Oh,” Anakin looked disappointed.
“Lot of wrestlers are, though.”
Anakin looked into the bowl, as if he was absorbing this information. When he had it processed, he looked up and said, “Like who?”
Hunter winked at him and smiled.
Anakin needed more time to process, Hunter gave it to him.
“But aren’t you married?”
“How can you be married to a girl when you’re…”
“Nobody knows but you now,” Hunter said. “It’s going to have to be our little secret, okay.”
Anakin shook his head fiercely. “I won’t even tell Scooter or Q,” he said.
“Good man, very good man.” Inside, Hunter was getting ill, and it wasn’t the crappy macaroni dinner.
There was silence for a while as Hunter thought about how to get this going. Meanwhile, Chris Benoit had entered the ring to the largest pop in his life.
“I saw it, you know,” Anakin said with a sheepish grin.
“Your pecker. You had a boner after Q knocked you oot.”
“Oh,” Hunter smiled back. Do or die time, motherfucker, he thought, and then went for it, “I was dreaming about you at the time. It was a very cool dream.”
Anakin’s jaw dropped. “Really?”
“Oh yeah.” God, it’s Paul. You SUCK. “Want to know what the dream was about?”
“Please tell me,” Anakin’s voice was quivering. Meanwhile, Goldberg had entered the ring. He and Benoit were facing each other, eyes locked.
“Take off your pants and I’ll show you,” Hunter said.
Anakin stood up quick and started to unzip his pants, then he stopped.
“What’s the matter,” Hunter said.
“I have a dream of my own that I want to show YOU, Paul,” Anakin said. He walked over to the chesterfield and picked up the shock stick.
“Oh no, Anakin,” Hunter said. “Don’t blast me with that thing again.”
“Relax, stud,” Anakin said with a voice much deeper and more confident than before. “This won’t hurt a bit.” He walked towards Hunter.
At Skyreach, the bell rang and Chris Benoit began working the match of his life. Goldberg was wondering how soon he can get Vince’s check cashed.
In his apartment, Scooter had dropped to his knees and was six inches away from his television screen. “This is it,” he said. “This is it, this is it, this is it!!”
In the gorilla position backstage, Vince was staring at his cell phone and screaming, “RING, DAMN YOU, RING!!”
In room 209, Bradshaw had loudly wondered if there were any pet stores opened at this hour, and if there were, did they sell gerbils.
“What are you doing,” Hunter yelled.
“Well, you’re a big boy, Paul,” Anakin said from behind him. “There’s no way I can lift this chair forward by myself, but if I use this shock stick as a lever…”.
Hunter felt something bump under the fabric of his seatless chair. Then Anakin started to lift. Hunter felt himself move forward. Desperately, he went for broke. “Anakin,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be easier if I just sucked it?”
“No can do, Paul,” Anakin said. “You might bite it off.”
“No, I swear I won’t.” The chair tilted forward. Once he was forward enough, he tried to use his legs as a brake, but he was still too deep in the seat and his legs, having been held motionless all day after a tremendous work-out in the morning, were weakened. He was helpless and the chair went further and further ahead. In a moment, he would fall to the floor facefirst with no means to protect himself. His poor, huge nose.
“Even if you didn’t try to, you would bit it anyway,” Anakin said. Your mouth is too small.”
Before Hunter could respond, the chair fell forward. He twisted his head as much as he could before crashing on the floor. It still hurt like hell. He yelped.
At Skyreach, Goldberg nailed Benoit with a side mule kick that sent him sailing over the top ropes and down on the mat. Benoit sold it like the champ he was.
In his apartment, Scooter screamed, “YOU ARE THE MASTER, CHRIS!! YOU ARE GOD!! GOLDBERG NEVER LOOKED SO GOD DAMNED GOOD!!”
Hunter shook off the pain when he felt movement under his ass. It felt as if Anakin was drawing a line down his crack with his finger.
“See,” Anakin said. “My mom always said was blessed, but I didn’t know what she meant. I just thought everyone was the same, ya know?” Hunter felt more pressure under his ass and heard fabric rip as Anakin slid his pocket knife over the fabric, ripping out a neat slit. “When I saw your wood, and how small it was, I realized what Mom was talking about.”
Hunter felt more pressure as the knife cut a slit down his sweat pants. Cool air touched his skin. He heard Anakin unzip his pants. The next thing he felt was something warm and thick dropped on the small of his back—something huge.
“Oh my God,” Hunter said. “Tell me that’s your arm.”
“Why do you think I agreed to Scooter’s plan, Paul?” Anakin said. “How else was I sposed to get you into my house? The only bad thing is that my Mom took my CD player with her to Winnipeg. We could really use some Bryan Adams right now to set the mood.”
“Oh shit,” Hunter said.
“Greeting from the Great White North,” Anakin said and stuck it in.
At Skyreach, Goldberg had gorilla slammed Benoit, and was standing at the ready for the Spear. The crowd made the floor shake with their stomping.
“He’s too early!! He’s too damn early!!” Vince yelled.
“Dad, do something,” Stephanie screamed.
Vince gripped the cell phone tightly. “Come on, dammit,” he growled. “Ring!”
Benoit had climbed to his feet and was looking around dazed. He stumbled towards Goldberg. Goldberg crouched deeper.
Goldberg plunged forward like a lion on a gazelle. He speared Benoit.
“NO!!” Vince and Scooter screamed at the same time.
With agility that was beyond human, Benoit spun himself around the Spear and in one fluid motion, used Goldberg’s momentum to take him down and lock down the Crossface. Dead center in the ring. Benoit pulled back on Goldberg’s head with everything he had.
“YES, YES, YES, YES!!!” Scooter was bouncing up and down.
Vince stared at the monitor in shock. Dimly, he heard screaming and cheering behind him as the wrestlers went nuts. Finally, he said: “Did he just do that?”
“He did,” said Michael Hayes.
“Was that supposed to happen?”
“He called that spot live?”
“How the Christ did he do that?”
Michael Hayes shrugged, “He’s Chris Benoit.”
Vince was dumbfounded.
In the ring, Goldberg tried mightily to power out of the Crossface, but Benoit was too strong. Not a single fan in attendance was in his seat.
Finally, Goldberg’s hand went up. Then went down again as he renewed his effort to escape.
“Aw God,” Jim Ross screamed, “Could it be? Could this be Benoit’s night??”
Goldberg’s hand went up again. This time it stayed up. The audience were at a fever pitch. Jim Ross began to rave: “BENOIT CAN FEEL IT, BENOIT CAN TASTE IT!!! IT’S SO CLOSE!! IT’S SO CLOSE!!”
Vince’s cell phone went off. He whipped it in front of his face. It was Hunter’s ID. He stabbed the button and screamed, “HELLO??”
“Vince, it’s Faarooq. We got him.”
“You got him?”
Thank you, Jesus! Vince yanked the phone away and screamed, “WE GOT HIM!! TAKE IT HOME!! TAKE IT HOME NOW!!! GO GO GO GO GO!!!”
Goldberg’s hand remained raised. It started to shake. Canada’s brightest son was about to become Raw’s heavyweight champion. The building was just inches away from shaking itself into dust. The camera had a money shot on both men: Benoit on top with a mask of strained agony on his face as he pulled back, Goldberg on the bottom, his face concealed by Benoit’s arms, his one free hand, about to come down for the first time in his career.
The audience was so riveted that they didn’t see him show up until he entered the ring and dropped an elbow on Benoit, forcing him to break the Crossface. Benoit was picked up and tossed out of the ring.
Then Kevin Nash picked up Goldberg, put his head between his legs, gave the Wolfpack sign to the audience, and Jackknife Powerbombed Goldberg hard to the mat. He laughed at the boos and did it again, this time looking directly into the camera as he did it.
The final shot of the night was of Kevin Nash, standing triumphant over Golberg with a sick smile on his face. Jim Ross shouted: “KEVIN NASH HAS THROWN DOWN THE GAUNTLET TO GOLDBERG!!! DAMN HIM, DAMN HIM ALL TO HELL!!!” Chris Benoit was all but forgotten.
In the control truck, Kevin Dunn snapped his fingers a second time. “Annnd, fade.”
Monday Night Raw went off the air.
In his apartment just a few kilos from the Skyreach, Scooter sat motionless.
“Nash,” he whispered. “Kevin fucking Nash.”
He got up and went looking for his pants.
Backstage, Vince told the agents to get everyone out of there as fast as possible. “These yahoos may start a friggin’ riot over this,” he said. “I want everyone gone now. We can break down the set later.”
Stephanie had other things on her mind. “They found him? They found Paul? Let me talk to him.”
Vince put the phone back to his ear and said, “Well done Ron. Put Paul on the phone, someone wants to talk to him.”
“Put Paul on the phone, Ron.”
“Oh shit,” Faarooq said. “Vince, we don’t have him yet.”
“No, I said we have IT. His cell phone. It was in white boy’s pocket. I was calling to tell you that we know where he is and we’re gonna go get him. White boy finally gave it up. Took a while too. Boy’s got some stamina, I tell ya.”
“But you don’t have him?”
“We know where he is and we’re going to get him, boss,” Faarooq said. “Just as soon as we get directions.”
“DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU’VE DONE YOU DUMB SONOFABITCH!!! I JUST SCREWED CHRIS BENOIT IN FRONT OF ALL OF CANADA WITH THE LAZIEST WORKER I’VE EVER HIRED ALL BECAUSE I THOUGHT YOU HAD HIM!!!”
“We DO have him, boss,” Faarooq said. “We just don’t HAVE him.”
“Well you better goddam GET him, and he better be unharmed or so help me God I’m going to… to… JUST BRING BACK PAUL, YOU DUMB BASTARD.”
Vince ended the call, smashed the phone on the ground, and proceeded to stomp it to pieces. “Motherf… morons… stupid… WRESTLERS!! THE GOD DAMN DUMBEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WORK FOR ME AND I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT!!!”
“Dad, calm down,” Shane said. “Paul will figure out a way to stay safe until the boys get there. Remember, no one knows they’re coming.”
“God, I hope so,” Vince sighed, a bit calmer.
“Paul’s good at getting out of tough situations,” Shane added. “I’ve never seen him get too jammed up. He’ll be okay.”
“Urrrrgh, hunh, hunh, uuuff… uhh, Paul?”
“Could you maybe, loosen up? I seem to be jammed in here good.”
Hunter was in pure agony, but he was through selling anything tonight.
“Seriously, Paul. I’m wedged in there good.”
“Hey kid,” Hunter said with great casualness, “Did you know about my special gift?”
“Hunh… hunh… uhhhh… come on, Paul. Ease up here and relax.”
“Whenever I have a great Leg Day in the gym, my ass can crack walnuts.”
“I don’t know, it’s crazy,” he said. “But after a monster leg day, I can clench my ass tighter than a drum. I mean, I can hold a chain with my ass and tow a car. Maybe even a truck! It’s amazing.”
“I’m not kidding, Paul. Let go.”
“I swear, I once stuck my finger up my ass and clenched it. My finger went numb. And that’s just a finger! Imagine what would happen to your monster python if I clenched as tight as I could. Like now, for instance.” Hunter squeezed.
“Blood flow is cut off, gangrene sets in, and suddenly you’ve got the world’s limpest kick-stand. They’ll have no choice but to chop the thing off and use it to rope cattle or something.”
He squeezed again. Anakin shouted, “OKAY, OKAY!! LET ME GO AND I’LL UNTIE YOU!!”
“Untie me first,” Hunter said.
“HOSER!! I’ll cut you! I SWEAR!” He poked Hunter’s back with his pocket knife.
“You cut me with that and I will squeeze until you explode,” Hunter said.
“Then I’ll shock you with the stick,” Anakin whimpered. “I have it right here!”
“Electric current travels through skin, moron,” Hunter said. “You blast me and you’ll feel like you’re fucking an outlet.” He grit his teeth and squeezed as hard as he could.
“Oh GOD!” Anakin screamed.
Hunter felt something slide back and forth on his wrists. Moments later, he was finally free. He twisted his right hand and said, “Give me the knife.”
Hunter squeezed. Anakin moaned and he felt the knife go into his hand. He brought it around his front and started to hack away at the tape around his chest.
It wasn’t until he stood up that Anakin was released. The kid fell backwards and started massaging his gigantic member—and not in a sexual way. Hunter went to work on freeing his legs, his muscles were overjoyed to be stretched again.
Once he was free, Hunter looked at Anakin and said, “Get up.”
Anakin fumbled to his feet. He was shaking. “Paul,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking clearly, eh? My head was all hacked up from Scooter. I’m very sorry aboot all this.”
“Shut up,” Hunter said. “Now listen to me very closely, because I’m only going to say this once.”
“Tell anyone about this and I will find you and end your life, and your Grandmother’s. Understand?”
“Good, now here’s a bit of advice for you,” he leaned forward. “Three words that apply to you better than any man I have ever met, including 2 Cold Scorpio. Are you ready?”
“Gay porn star.”
And then Hunter punched Anakin in the face. Anakin went down and stayed down—out cold.
“Stupid mark,” Hunter said.
“Typical maircan,” said a voice from behind him. “Always punching out the smaller guy. Real tough, Paul.”
Hunter whipped around and saw Scooter standing near the sofa. He was pointing the gun at him.
“How’s it going, eh?”
Chapter 12: Game Over
“You look upset, Scoot,” Hunter said. “What happened? Things didn’t go as planned on Raw?”
“Maybe it did,” Scooter said. “Maybe Chris Benoit is the new champion.”
“Not a chance in hell.”
“Really? You’ve got that brain reading power? You know what happened?”
“No, but I know Vince. I know how he thinks. I know how everyone in that locker room thinks,” Hunter said. “That’s the problem with you smarts, you THINK you know what goes on behind the scenes. You THINK you know how I think or how Vince thinks. Hell, right now I’m sure there is some Internet moron who is writing some bullshit story about what he thinks goes on behind the scenes at a wrestling show. He probably has Vince and me and Stephanie and even the Agents saying words and making decisions based on nothing but the crap rumors he reads. You idiots who have never built a ring from the ground up or never ran the ropes or never put on a left boot on your right foot because you sprained the thing the night before and can’t afford to take a night off. Think you know us well enough to pull a stunt like this. I know Vince. You wish you did. Your master plan was doomed from the beginning. All you did was expose yourself for what you are.”
“And what would that be, Paul?” Scooter sneered. “Make it good because it’s the last promo you’ll ever be cutting.” He waved the gun at Hunter, as if to remind him that he had it.
“You won’t shoot me,” Hunter said. “You’re a lonely, sad man who needs an audience of other pathetic losers to survive. I watched you today, you only came alive when you had that idiot Q cheering for you. When it was just this kid no-selling your little shots, you folded like a bitch. No contest.”
Scooter said nothing.
“You’re pathetic,” Hunter said. “I feel bad for you. Hell, I won’t even call the cops. Why give you any fame? You haven’t earned it.”
Scooter’s face flushed red. He cocked the hammer of the gun and said, “I earned one thing tonight, Paul.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“I earned the right to hear you call me by my name. You know who I am, Paul. Tell me my name and I’ll let you go.”
“I’m going whether you like it or not.”
“I’ll blast your freaking leg to kingdom come. What’s my name?”
“Okay fine,” Hunter said. “Dave Scherer.”
“Go to hell!”
“No? Okay, I know you’re not Meltzer… umm… Wade Keller?”
“I swear I’ll shoot!”
“Fine fine… lemme think,” Hunter put his hand to his chin and thought it over. Then his face brightened, “Waaaait a second! Are you Chris Hyatte? Dude, I LOVE your columns!!”
And that’s when several small veins in Scooter’s cranium succumbed to the pressure and ruptured.
In other words, that’s when Scooter’s head exploded.
He fired the gun.
Chapter 13: A Visit From God
“I spefically said to get bullets with the gun, hoser.”
Q shrugged. “You told me to buy the gun and a pizza. You said to make sure it was loaded. How wuz I to know which wuz which?”
They were playing Tony Hawk’s Underground on Scooter’s Game Cube. Neither of them were any good at it.
“Whaddayou care,” Q said. “If you blasted him, you’d be in the can now.”
Scooter ignored that logic.
“All you got wuz some dirty looks once the APA showed to pick the big guy up,” Q said. “I’m gonna have to sit on pillows for weeks.”
“Oh take off,” Scooter snapped. “Least you got rubbed down by Trish.”
“And a DVD player, eh,” Q said. “I did real good off this. And I’m gonna marry that babe one of these days.”
“Right,” Scooter said. “And Quebec is gonna be beamed up in a star ship and be whizzed off to Mars. I’ll buy that load when I see it.”
“Oh you’ll see, me and Trish were made for one and each other,” Q said. “So how come Vince isn’t siccing the law on us again?”
“Deal is, he don’t rat us out and I don’t post the story.”
“And you have his word on that?”
“Paul sort of made it clear before he left,” Scooter said.
“He said it word for word?”
“He made it clear.”
“How’d he do that?”
“He just did, now shut up.”
Q did for about ten seconds, then he said, “Anakin just up and moved, eh?”
“To Los Angeles.”
“So he said.”
“Poor sook. Those maircans will eat him alive. He ain’t street smart like you ‘n me.”
The conversation was stopped by Scooter’s doorbell. “Pizza time!” Q said. “Man, I’m so hungry I could eat air!”
Scooter paused the game and got up to get the grub. A few moments later, Q heard Scooter shout, “Great Tunderin’ Jesus!”
Q got up, limped into the main parlor and stopped dead in his tracks.
Chris Benoit was standing in the middle of the room. He looked at Q and said, “How’s it going, eh?”
Scooter was literally shaking. “You… you… the Wolver… Crip… Crip…”
“Now which one of you is Scooter?” Benoit asked.
“I.. I… I mean me… me… holy cow,” Scooter felt his legs go rubbery. He forced them still. He would not faint in front of Chris. No he would not.
“Yes sir,” Scooter said. “How did you find me? If I may ask? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”
“Someone recognized your plan to make me world champ,” Benoit said. “You used it as a sample when you applied for a writing job with Vince.”
“It stood out, eh?” Scooter looked at Q and said, “See, I told you they knew who I was!”
“In eighteen months you sent out four resumes,” Benoit said. “All with the same script sample. It kind of got everyone’s attention.”
“God, Chris,” Scooter stammered. “It’s such an honor to have you here. We have pizza coming. Want to hang around and watch some DVD’s or something?”
“I can’t,” Benoit said. “I have a Doctor’s appointment. I just came to look you in the eye and do this…” he stuck out his hand at Scooter.
Scooter gawked at it as if it was the Holy Grail. “I… I can’t shake your hand. I’m not worthy, Mr. Benoit. SIR!”
“Come on,” Benoit smiled. “I insist.”
“Jesus,” Scooter blushed, “This is… I mean… of course I will… it’s just… wow… I mean WOW!” He reached out and took Benoit’s hand. Benoit’s grip was like a vice. Scooter was in ecstasy. “This means so much to me, Chris,” he said. “This makes it all worth it.”
“Yeah?” Benoit said. “Asshole.”
Then Benoit punched Scooter flush in the stomach. It felt like punching a sack of cookie dough. Scooter crashed down on the floor. Benoit began to kick Scooter all over. If Scooter hadn’t had the wind blasted out of him, he would have screamed.
“You worthless,” (kick), “gutless”, (kick), “piece of”, (kick) “SHIT!” (kick).
Scooter found some air and sucked it in. “Wh… why?” he croaked.
“You scumbag,” Benoit yelled. “Do you know how it feels? Do you know what it’s like to be the poster boy for you damn Net Smarts???”
Scooter whimpered. Tears rolled down his face. “It… it’s cuz y…yer the best.”
“Every damn time someone goes on the Net about me being the best, I get crapped on,” Benoit yelled! “All I want to do is wrestle! Do you understand me!! All I want to do is work a decent match! I don’t care aboot being champion! I just want to steady work!”
“But… but you deserve the b… belt.”
“Every time Vince looks at me now, he thinks of you little bastards! He’s gonna screw me over for the rest of my career just to piss you off!! I’ll never get a god damn t-shirt made ever again! You little hosers RUINED IT FOR ME!! I’M IN THE DOGHOUSE FOR THE REST OF MY FUCKING LIFE BECAUSE OF YOU MARKS!!”
“Fer you,” Scooter sobbed, “I did this all fer ewe.”
“And because of ewe, that potato factory Goldberg kicked me so hard my neck is killing me!! I may not even HAVE A CAREER BECAUSE OF YOU!!!”
“I… I.. oh God. I’m sorry.”
“So I’m here to even the score, hoser. You took away my career, I’m gonna mess up yours!” Benoit reached down and grabbed Scooters sweaty hand. He forced Scooter’s fingers apart and grabbed the middle one. “Here’s something you can rant about, asshole!” He jerked the finger backwards with all his might.
Scooter heard it snap and wailed.
“Shut up, hoser,” Benoit said. “Only nine more to go.”
After he was finished, and after the wave of fury left him, Chris Benoit remembered that Scooter had a guest there. He went into Scooter’s bedroom and found Q playing a video game.
“You going to cause me problems, fatso?” Benoit asked.
“No sir,” Q said, not looking away from his game.
“Gonna call the cops?”
“For what? I didn’t see nuttin,” Q turned and looked at the Wolverine. “‘Sides, who’d believe me, eh?”
“Smart man,” Benoit said. “Have a good one, eh?”
“Pleasure to meet you, sir.” Q said.
Q played for half an hour more before Scooter’s sobbing became annoying. “Oh all right, ya whiny baby,” he said. “Let’s get you to the doctors.”
Chapter 14: Overrun
Stephanie sat up in bed. “It’s been weeks, already. You still haven’t touched me.”
Paul turned over and faced her, “I know. I’m sorry”
“I know what happened was traumatic, but this is…” she spread her arms out, “this is starting to scare me.”
“Don’t be scared, baby,” Hunter said. “This has been bothering me too.”
“Did something happen to you that you didn’t tell me about? Did it involve the hole in your pants? I told the boys not to make jokes behind your back anymore.”
“I don’t care about that,” Hunter lied. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Paul.”
“I know. And I think I know what’s wrong and how to fix it. You trust me, right?”
“Good, wait a second.” Hunter got out of bed and went into the closet. After some rummaging, he pulled something out and brought it back with him. Stephanie couldn’t see what it was.
“What is it?” She asked.
“Just something Trish loaned me,” Hunter said. He held up the strap-on and held it in front of her. “Would you mind putting this on? Just for a little while?”
Stephanie stared at it, then stared at her husband, finally she said, “Those Canadian fucks.”
Alone, in his apartment, Scooter was pecking away at his keyboard, stopping every so often because his neck was killing him.
His hands were in thick casts, and would stay so for months, according to the Doctors. Scooter wore those casts with honor. They were badges, given to him by the greatest worker of all time, they were symbols of pride and encouraged him to increase net awareness of Benoit’s glory.
He was completely convinced McMahon made Benoit say those evil things to him. The Chris Benoit Scooter knew would have NEVER done this to his fans on his own.
The only downside to this, aside from the roaring pain in his fingers and the fact that he couldn’t write a single word about the entire adventure, was the head pecker. The plastic headband with the long staff sticking out of it’s centre was made for people who wanted to type stuff without using their hands. Writing his various reports and posts now took days instead of hours, he hardly ever left his computer anymore.
Plus he looked like a damn unicorn and typed like a damn rooster.
He pecked away with a vengeance, looking like a fool but feeling like he had been touched by God, when Y2Q walked in—actually, he ran in, all out of breath and sweaty. Nothing unusual there.
“Been to the TNA site yet?” he panted?
“Yous gotta see this,” he panted and practically shoved Scooter aside. He stabbed out the NWA’s website and hit enter.
“Excuse me, hoser,” Scooter said. “But who said I want to see what…”
“Ahh shaddup, and look,” Q found the special announcement site tab and clicked it. The screen jumped. “Now read, rooster boy.”
“See what I see?”
“The T and A is bringing their show to select cities next April,” Q said. He pointed a sausage finger at one date, “Including right here in good ol’ Edmonton.”
Scooter nodded slowly.
“So, hoser,” Q said. “Think maybe Vince Russo will bother to show?”
Scooter thought he might.
“Be nice for Vinnie Russo to have a nice meetin’ with the eye double yous see see, eh?”
Yes, it would be nice.
This is Hyatte too