[The following is an excerpt from the most downloaded podcast in the United States, “Hotdogs & Handshakes… and Hot Takes.”]

Teddy LaChance: “This week the podcast is SUPER excited to welcome one of my personal childhood heroes, Masafumi Satake! Masa’, this is a huge honor, and I really can’t thank you enough.”

Masafumi Satake: “Thank you Teddy, it’s always a pleasure to meet someone who has followed my career so closely.”

Teddy LaChance: “I’m just going to come right out and say it, you and your former best friend Hate Watson, have the wrestling world buzzing with this blood feud. It’s been a wild ride, but outside of some cryptic statements from Watson there’s still a lot of questions that need to be answered, especially on the history between you two. Can you first give us some insight on how the two of you became friends? After all, it truly is an unusual pairing.”

Masafumi Satake: “Well, Hate certainly does love to hear himself talk, that’s for sure. Anyway, it all starts back in our childhood, long before either of us had even been within a mile of a wrestling ring…”

The year was 1995. 15 miles outside of Seattle, Washington.

A young Masafumi Satake slowly made his way home from another day at elementary school. It was a crisp autumn afternoon in the Pacific Northwest. The boy, equipped with a red backpack, blue jeans and a black t-shirt, meandered along the sidewalk, not paying attention to much of anything. His first few years in America had not been as smooth as his mother had envisioned. Uprooting a five year old from his home country after the passing of his father and dropping him into a new culture had been devastating.

The 10-year-old walked slowly into a wooded area, trying his best to blend in with the other kids scurrying about. He passed a younger, burly boy with shaggy hair and a tie-dyed bandanna on his left wrist. Satake barely registered the other kid, especially since Hate’s face was blank, devoid of youthful exuberance. The younger boy was used to being completely ignored by most, especially educators and school administrators. Perhaps, the administrators should have been doing their job this afternoon.

Many considered these woods best left to the dregs of society. Foul play and mischief were always afoot. But, for Masafumi and Hate this was their path home.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, three older teenagers stumbled into the path of Masafumi.  There were no words exchanged, but it was obvious what they were here to do – ruin this boy’s day. The punks pushed him down violently, ripping off his red backpack, tossing it into the air. Masafumi attempted to fight back, but he was outnumbered.

Until the stranger from before came rushing to his aid. The oversized 8-year-old boy pushed one of the teenagers from behind, catapulting his forehead into the nose of another bully. A massive spray of blood erupted. Young Hate Watson smirked with pride, but his job was not done. He picked Masafumi up to his feet.

It was not Hate’s first fight, but it was the first he fought for some reason other than self-righteousness or personal survival. With Masa’ back on his feet, the two basic strangers found themselves trading blows with the trio of older teens. Despite the glaring age difference from the other boys attacking them, Hate and Masafumi did well. They did damn well.

That day they walked home with their heads held high, and from this day forward they wouldn’t only be considered friends, they would be considered best friends.

Teddy LaChance: “Wow, you guys really have that dramatic origin story thing down pat. It really shows you how strong the bonds made in our youth can be. But, that is now a thing of the past. You two have been at each other’s throats since the New Year…”

[Teddy pauses, letting that sink in for the listeners.]

Teddy LaChance: “Now Masa’, I’m hoping you can address the whispers and innuendos that have some in the internet wrestling community foaming at the mouth. What’s the deal with the rumors of Hate Watson versus Masafumi Satake on international waters? This is one of the wildest ideas I’ve heard in an industry that is bursting with them…”

[Satake stutters, sounding perplexed.]

Masafumi Satake: “I have literally no clue what-”

[The podcast host quickly interrupts.]

Teddy LaChance: “Yeah, man it’s crazy. No wrestling promotion is willing to take the risk since Project: Violence COO JD James exiled Hate to Japan.”

[Masa’ sighs audibly out of frustration, but regains his composure before answering.]

Masafumi Satake: “Teddy… that sounds hard to believe because it is honestly asinine. This “blood feud,” as you call it, has no end in sight, and that matters a lot more to me than some silly internet story. Hate is more dangerous than a plagued rat, and thanks to that hasty decision by JD James, Hate is going to pillage and plunder his way through Rising Sun Pro Wrestling. He needs to be stopped, and one way or another, I have to be the one to do it. I have begged James at every opportunity to let me get into the ring with Watson, but he remains unwavering.” 

Teddy LaChance: “I hear you there, Masa’. But, you know what else needs to be stopped? Erectile Dysfunction! And when you use our special code HOTTAKES25 at checkout, you can save 25% on your next purchase with our good friends at Extenze. That’s right, just like Satake and Diaz are looking to extend their winning streak in the tag division, you can extend your next cuddle session!”

[Under his breath, Satake muffles in broken Japanese.]

Masafumi Satake: “<Is this guy for real?>”

Teddy LaChance: “Huh? Alright, Masa’… it’s been an absolute honor, but before we go, one last question. Your time in Project Violence and your return to the US has not gone to plan. Any words to the fan base that has followed your career so closely?”

Masafumi Satake: “I’ve seen it all in my twenty year career and I’ll be honest, I’ve never come to a crossroads like this before. But, I refuse to let my spirit waiver. Watson may have temporarily derailed things, but I won’t give up. I honestly feel as if I’m in the best fighting shape of my life, and I’ll continue upwards and onward. All I want is Hate Watson one on one… I’ll end this thing forever.”

Teddy LaChance: “Thanks again! And have a great night everyone!”

[End transmission.]

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