The crack of the seal on plastic bottle top being broken echoed through the room. The gentle scraping sound of the bottle top being twisted off followed, before a thirsty Joey Conrad eagerly raised the bottle to his mouth. The liquid flooded his mouth, akin to a burst dam releasing a river of water upon a small village. The carbonated soda danced on Joey’s tongue; sugary and sweet…
What a load of fucking bollocks. Joey Conrad took a fucking sip of Cola, put the bottle down and grabbed a pool cue. That’s all anyone needs to fucking know – nobody gives a shit about the rest of it, so you can fucking forget about this story being a George R. R. Martin novel right fucking now.
Joey’s having a proper fucking party. He’s in Florida, in a pool house, music blaring (Party Rock Anthem, if you really need to know) and, as we know, he’s playing pool. His opponent is irrelevant, but just know that there is one, ok?
Joey’s wearing his sunglasses, even though he’s inside – because he’s a cunt. He’s also wearing one of those stupid fucking half-tops that you see NFL players wear in training – because he’s a cunt. It’s fucking tie-dye as well, the fucking twat. He’s got some bright white sneakers on, brand fucking new on today, with another brand new pair ready to wear tomorrow – because he’s a cunt.
See where this is going?
But the cuntiest thing Captain Cunty is wearing today is a pair of denim speedos. Seriously.
What. A. Cunt.
“Mate, get me some vodka?” he yelled at another random poolhouse guest, as he headed towards the kitchen. “Coke is fucking boring on its own.” Well, John Sektor would probably argue that point, but that’s not the coke Joey is talking about…
Ever since Refueled: Two, Joey has been partying, drinking, fucking hookers, smoking shit he shouldn’t, snorting shit he definitely shouldn’t and, well… generally trying his best to re-enact Charlie Sheen’s epic breakdown from 2011. He hasn’t trained, he hasn’t shown up for any promotional gigs, he hasn’t made any appearances and he hasn’t answered any of the 300+ calls and messages Silent Witness has left him.
Now that’s one thirsty motherfucker right there, amirite?
And all of this because, so far in his wrestling career, he has not been winning.
See what I did there? With the Charlie Sheen thing? Winni- oh never mind.
Anyway, Joey leans over the table, cracks the cueball with just enough screw-back to see the 7-ball slot into the far corner pocket and land perfectly placed for his next shot. That’s the thing about Joey, you see – he’s fucking good at sports. Remember when you were at school and there was always that one kid that was on the football team, but he was just as good at rugby or cricket or whatever the fuck else sport your school had? Well, Joey’s that kid, all grown up.
So losing at wrestling is an unwelcome fucking change. He’s listened to all the people that supposedly know better – Silent Witness has invested heavily in him; Rhys Townsend has had plenty of words of wisdom for him – and he’s done everything he’s supposed to do along the way. Yet here he is, 0-2 with the whole world looking at him thinking he’s a joke.
Well, fuck ‘em. All of them. Witness; Townsend; the dickhead fans laughing at him; the cunts in the back that look down on him… Fuck them all. If Joey can’t win… Joey’s going to have a fucking good time trying. Because that’s what Joey wants to fucking do. Is that enough Joey’s?
So here we are, just a few days out from Refueled: Three and the young Brit is drinking, smoking and fucking his way through Florida at 3 in the afternoon. Well, he’s playing pool right now, as we know, but that’s what he’s been up to. Did I say that already? Doesn’t matter.
The guy comes back from the kitchen with a bottle of Smirnoff and a glass – which is fucking handy, because Joey never asked him for one, did he? – and hands it over to our favourite idiot. As Joey begins pouring the vodka into his glass, there’s an almighty racket behind him (fuck me, how British did that sound?) and the music stops, before the sound system tumbles to the ground in another loud crash.
Joey – and the dozen or so randoms in the room with him – all snap their heads towards the sound, to see a stern-looking Silent Witness holding a baseball bat. Or at least, half a baseball bat – I guess he hit that stereo pretty fucking hard.
“What the fuck!?” yelled Joey; angrily walking over towards the Hall of Famer. “Mate, you’re paying for that!” he added as he approached. Silent Witness wasn’t in the mood to give a fuck about Joe’s finances, though.
“I have been calling you for the last 10 days, trying to find out where you are and what you’re up to. You haven’t been training, you haven’t been studying and by the looks of this place…” Silent Witness paused to look around the room. Most of the guests averted their gaze – nobody wants to fuck with an angry wrestler with a baseball bat.
… Half a baseball bat and an old wrestler, but neverthefuckingless… You know what I mean.
“… you haven’t been looking after yourself like a professional!” screamed the LSD Legend. “I’ve called you I-don’t-know-how-many times! I’ve left messages for you, I’ve even called your damn mother to make sure you’re not dead in a ditch somewhere!”
Man, Silent Witness has gone full Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I wonder if he’s related to Daenarys… Anyway, I digress…
“You have a match in less days than you’ve been coked out of your fucking skull” he began again, pausing as Joey looked at him in horror. Silent Witness pointed at him and continued. “Yeah, I know you’ve been snorting that shit, kid – your pupils are so dilated your eyes look like a fucking eclipse” he added, before lowering his accusatory gesture. “Do you even know who you’re facing?” asked Silent Witness, angrily.
Joey shrugged his shoulders. “No idea, mate. Probably some cardboard-cut-out cunt!” he said, causing laughter among his crowd of friends. A wide smile formed on his face, before he continued. “Snatch, mate – what a fucking movie – we watched it last night. DO YOU KNOW WHAT NEMESIS MEANS?!” he yelled, once again quoting the Guy Ritchie classic and once again drawing laughter from the onlookers. He high-fived the kid nearest him and chuckled away.
Silent Witness was not laughing. Probably because he’s a boring old fart that takes everything far too fucking seriously, but whatever the reason… he was far from happy. He took a step forward and raised the broken ball bat towards Conrad.
“Dan Ryan… Do you know who that is?” he asked, waving the bat in front of Joey. Once again, Conrad shrugged. “No, mate. Do you?” he replied. Silent Witness lowered the bat.
“Not really… that’s why we need to train. That’s why we need to study! Joe… You can’t beat him if you don’t know how to capitalise on his weaknesses!” strained the LSD Legend. His anger had turned to frustration and desperation – Joey was a talented young man with a bright future, but Silent Witness had seen countless up-and-comers fall by the wayside over the years. They lacked focus and they lacked discipline and they never fucking made it in this business. Joey Conrad was showing all the signs of another could-have-been, if he continued down this path.
But Joey couldn’t give any less of a fuck. He turned his attention to the partygoers and pointed to the pool outside. “There’s a DJ booth outside – the party is moving to the pool!” he yelled, drawing cheers from the crowd that was now eagerly making their way outside, save a few onlookers that wanted to see where this argument was headed. Joey turned his attention back to Silent Witness.
“I’ve done it your way, mate… I’ve done everything you fucking wanted me to do – I learned all the moves; I studied all the greats; I studied all the tapes; I fucking hulked up like Bruce Banner for the last one – where has any of it got me?” he asked, all the while turning his back on Silent Witness and walking back towards the pool table. He grabbed the bottle of coke and poured it into his vodka, before lifting the glass and looking at Silent Witness.
“Nowhere, mate. I lost to Troy, then I lost to Dane. Doing things your way. What’s the fucking point doing that again? Now I’m going to do this shit…” he paused, taking a sip of his drink. “My way…” he raised his glass to the LSD Legend. “Cheers!”
Silent Witness shook his head; dejected. “Joe…” he pleaded, but Joe wasn’t listening. He gulped down the rest of his drink. “Fuck off, mate” he added, before reaching for the vodka bottle.
Silent Witness sighed. He gestured as though he was going to try again, but Joey turned his back on him and grabbed his pool cue. The LSD Legend knew this argument was lost and slumped his shoulders. He dropped the bat and headed to the door, pushing his way past the partying girls in his path. For a second, Conrad turned to look at him; feeling guilty for his actions. Before he could act on it, though, an arm appeared over his shoulder as one of the guests beamed a smile at him.
“Do you like dags?!” he asked, chuckling to himself. Joey laughed at yet another Snatch reference and quickly forgot about Silent Witness and the associated guilt. “Get some drink down ya, boy!” added the random dickhead, as he grabbed the vodka bottle and shoved it towards Joey’s mouth. Conrad grabbed the bottle from him and began guzzling down the vodka. A couple of seconds later, Conrad lowered the bottle and half of the contents were gone. He slammed the bottle down on the table and raised his arms in the air, screaming out at the top of his lungs. Everyone still inside cheered – all three of them – and Conrad began walking around the pool table with his arms aloft.
After a few seconds, the random guy that gave Joey the bottle just moments ago once again has his arm around the HOW rookie. This time, however, he is less jovial.
“What’s the deal with that guy, Joe? Is he your uncle or something?” he asked, disparagingly. “Who, Witness?” replied Joe. “No, man… He’s helped me a lot… Maybe I should go after him…” he added, before turning towards the door. Before he could take a step, though, this douchebag that’s weirdly clinging on to him pulled Joey back.
“No, no, no… Let him go… Like you said, you’ve tried it his way… You’ve got to follow your own path, man…” he said. Conrad looked at him; confused. He suddenly realised that he didn’t know who the fuck this guy damn-near molesting him was. “Who are you?” he asked. Obviously. The man offered his hand.
“Adam Kingsbury” he replied. Joey shook his hand, as Adam continued. “I’m a sports agent – well… I’m trying to be” he added, before handing over his card. Joey pushed it back towards Adam’s chest. “I’m not interested” he said, but Adam was having none of it.
“Look, I know you’ve already got a manager or whatever… But like you said, it’s not really working out for you right now. That guy wants you to go watch some tapes of your opponent, but what’s the point of that, bro?” he asked. “You know what you can do – just go out there and beat the shit out of this dude…” he added.
Conrad looked to the ground; he wasn’t sure what he should do. Kingsbury was a shark, though; he pounced on the hesitation.
“Look… Just… Think about it” he said. “Don’t have him at ringside… If you win… Maybe you don’t need a hands-on approach” he added, before once again handing over his card. This time, Joey took it. “Maybe you need someone that lets you be yourself…” he continued, before reaching for the vodka bottle and reaching out to hand it over to Joey.
Conrad hesitated again, before finally breaking into a smile and taking the bottle. Adam Kingsbury smiled back. He couldn’t have planned this encounter better if he had tried…