Momentum, Part II: No Distractions

Momentum, Part II: No Distractions

Posted on May 14, 2024 at 4:12 pm by Silent Witness

Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

The St. Regis Hotel, Chicago, IL.

 

The elevator doors opened, and Silent Witness stepped inside. He tapped his keycard and pressed the button for the Presidential Suite. The best of the best. The irony was not lost on him. ‘My keycard does get to that level, after all,’ he thought to himself, remembering Mike Best’s words from a few weeks earlier, and choosing to use it as a metaphor to remind himself that he had earned his second shot at the HOW World Championship.

The truth that he hadn’t admitted before his first shot – either to himself, or to Mike Best – was that he severely doubted himself heading into the match. Just a couple of months back in HOW, after five years out, and he was in a title match? Against Michael Lee Best, of all people? Yeah… Silent Witness’ self-doubt had been pretty fucking high. 

All those doubts and fears that maybe he couldn’t hang at the top tier in HOW had faded almost immediately, however. As soon as the bell rang and he had rolled Mike Best into that small package, almost ending the match in just a few seconds, Silent Witness’ confidence had returned. He belonged there. Doubt was no longer a factor heading into the rematch.

The elevator doors opened, snapping the veteran from his thoughts. He stepped out from the elevator, into the most grotesquely beautiful hotel suite he had ever seen. The lavish, luxurious surroundings were a little sickening – especially given his history of sleeping atop wet cardboard boxes on the cold, relentlessly windy Chicago streets. Nonetheless, Silent Witness walked through into the main living area, where he was greeted by a smiling Mickey Gibson.

The agent had booked the suite for the entire week – leaving Silent Witness to wonder just how much fucking money this guy really had – to celebrate the upward trajectory of both his own company, and that of his star client. 

“There he is!” shouted Gibson, greeting Silent Witness with his arms stretched. He had a bottle of champagne in one hand and a champagne flute in the other, and the biggest smile on his face that the HOW star had ever seen. “The next HOW World Champion!” he added, before offering the glass to his approaching client. “Here, have a drink with me,” he said. Silent Witness waved it away.

“No fucking way, Mickey” he said, stubbornly. “Maybe next weekend, if I win. Until then, it’s 100% focus on Mike Best” added the HOW veteran, to the disappointment of his agent. Silent Witness was already out of his comfort zone inside the opulent hotel suite, and there wasn’t a chance in hell he would be drinking in the lead up to probably the biggest match of his career. This wasn’t about to become some fucked up, reverse-Rocky III parody where the contender takes things easy because he almost beat the champion once. No, Silent Witness was not going to allow any distractions this week – his mind was on one thing, and one thing only.

“Fine” replied the Brit, a little annoyed. He quickly shrugged it off, however, and replaced it with a huge grin. “Well let me tell you about the month I’ve had. I know I haven’t been around much, and I’m sorry about that, but dude…” he paused, slamming his hands against a table and resting on it, leaning in towards the HOW veteran. “I fucking got it!” he said, unable to hide his excitement. “I got the deal, I took over the agency, and now I have a fucking huge stable of boxers on my books. Gibson Sports Agency is about to go to the next level – with HOW World Champion Silent Witness as the fuckin’ poster boy!”

The beaming smile on his face did not subside as he poured the entire glass of champagne down his throat, then reached for the bottle for more. Mickey Gibson was a very, very happy man. He was also a man about to go on a ‘massive fuckin bender’ as he liked to call it in his inimitable style. Silent Witness needed to make this his only interaction with his friend and agent for the next week, or he would be dragged into the festivities. NO. DISTRACTIONS. No matter how much he would love to celebrate his friend’s success, he couldn’t. Much like that fucking psychopath from Baby Reindeer, there was only room for one person in his thoughts this week: Michael. Lee. Best.

“That’s awesome!” exclaimed the HOW star, walking around the table to embrace the Brit. “I’m really happy for you” he added, grabbing the agent by the shoulders and giving him a shake. You know, the shake like old people do at weddings to the bride and groom, or grandparents to new fathers when they have their first child. It’s a little bit weird, nobody really likes it and yet… Silent Witness was doing it. Was he an old man?

There was no time to worry about that now. Focus.

“Thank you. I’m looking forward to having you celebrate with me on Friday night” replied Gibson. “You almost had that cunt last time, this time you just have to finish the job – and I know you can do it!” he added. “Hell you beat him last week, it’s a fucking given.”

Silent Witness shook his head. “No. I didn’t beat Mike last Friday” began the veteran’s retort. “I beat Steve Solex, while Mike was brawling with Drew on the outside. I tell you what, though – Drew’s a damn good tag team partner. That’s two weeks in a row he’s distracted Michael, to let his partner pick up the win” he continued. “I’m really impressed with that kid, he’s going to do big things. But no, I didn’t beat Mike.”

Maybe it was maturity, maybe it was being forced to come face-to-face with reality during his absence from HOW, when his next meal was dependent on when a kind stranger might throw a few bucks his way, but during his absence from HOW, Silent Witness had learned a lot from his past mistakes. He had a better idea of what he was good at – his resourcefulness, his resiliency, tenacity… All useful things for a professional wrestler. 

But he was also more aware of his flaws, and the biggest flaw he had in the past was failing to recognize when he was allowing his ego to get the better of him. The LSD Legend moniker was synonymous with him now, but it was borne from ego. Borne from the unbelievable arrogance of a man that was so out of touch with reality, he had lost sight of the fact that he was resting on his laurels. Essentially, Silent Witness, before his self-imposed exile from HOW, had been a more extreme version of what he had accused Mike Best of being ahead of their first encounter.

“Well your team won the damn match, that’s a win in my book” said Gibson, bluntly. “Mike’s record is drawn one, lost two – and he has a third loss on the fucking way” he continued. “Fucking prick” he added, with an absolutely unnecessary sting to his voice.

Silent Witness chuckled lightly. “I hope so, Mick. But I’m not taking anything for granted. He’s the best in the fucking world – and now he’s angry. He asked somebody to help him remember who he is. I asked him to wake up. Well… I’m pretty sure he’s done both” explained the HOW star. “This is a different animal from a few weeks ago. This is no longer a man that knows he can just show up and win, this is a man that wants to win, Mick. It’s a completely different experience – the best wrestler on the planet is going to be ready, he’s going to be sharp and he’s going to do absolutely anything it takes to make sure that he retains his title. But not only that, he’s going to do anything it takes to humiliate me.” 

“Fuck that guy. Best in the world, my arse. There’s probably some dickhead up in Canada that can knock seven shades of shit out of him before eating seven fucking stacks of pancakes and literally shitting seven shades of maple syrup on the silly cunt before he’s woken up from it” ranted Gibson. “He’s a fucking prick, you’re going to smack the fuck out of him, and we’re going to have a fucking party. I’M GOING TO SNORT A LINE OFF OF THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BELT!” he exclaimed.

Silent Witness waved it away. “Calm the fuck down. No. This week, I’m pretty sure I will get to fight the man I wanted to fight three weeks ago. He’s incredible, Mick” he explained. “In the past, I’ve been awe-struck, watching him, I’m not afraid to admit that. He does things in that ring that is literal poetry in motion” added the veteran.

Mickey’s head snapped back, with an expression forming on his face that was equal parts puzzlement and concern. “You sound like you’re doubting yourself,” he accused. “I heard your podcast last week – you had him within a second of losing his title. You oversaw him losing his first match of 2024. You beat him last week…”

Silent Witness smiled. “No, no. You’re misunderstanding me, Mick” he protested. “I’m not doubting myself, I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to looking at the greatest of all time, at the peak of his powers, directly in the eye from across the ring. I’m looking forward to taking everything he has got, smiling back at him, and giving it all right back” said the HOW star, his smile unwavering. “Part of what makes Mike the best in the world is his aura; he’s exceptional at making people think that they cannot beat him before he’s stepped in the ring. Before he’s even said a fucking word, sometimes… Well, I don’t have that fear anymore” he explained. “I believe I can beat him, whether he’s at 97% like he was a few weeks ago, or at 100% like he will be this week. Because he will find that three percent, but I’m looking for four…” 

Mickey Gibson looked confused. “This is starting to sound like wrestler math again, kiddo. The fuck are you talking about?” he asked.

Silent Witness laughed. “I suppose it is,” he conceded. “But let me explain. Mike wants three percent. That’s what Jim Crow, or whatever his name is, was brought in for. To help Mike find his fucking smile again and actually be the best in the world, instead of the five dollar, rent-a-Mike halloween cosplay version of himself that he has become. I know that sounds like I’m shitting on everyone he’s wrestled recently, including myself, but it isn’t that. The point is, the myth of Mike Best has been debunked – I did that. I should have beaten him, but my own misgivings and mistakes meant I didn’t. I have learned from that” explained the Hall of Famer. “I have removed from my own conscience the idea that I can’t beat Mike Best. That’s the one percent, Mickey” he added.

Mickey looked more puzzled than ever. He stared at his confident client for a moment, before raising an accusatory finger towards him. “You’re not making sense, mate,” he said. “You’ve just told me that you were both at 97%, he’s found three percent, and you’ve found one percent… What shit are you chattin’?” he asked, drawing another chuckle from Silent Witness.

“Well, remember how last week I talked about casting a doubt in Mike’s mind? How I wanted to make him question himself and his ability to win against a credible opponent in 2024?” asked the HOW veteran.

“Yeah, I remember,” said Mickey, as he took another sip of champagne, his expression still consumed by confusion.

“Well, as you might say, my bloody English friend – it was all a load of bollocks” explained Silent Witness with a chuckle. “Any doubt in Mike’s mind, if he has any at all, will disappear as soon as he gets the upper hand on Friday night – and at some point, he will. That’s how wrestling goes, it’s the ebb and flow that you have to ride if you want to stand even half a chance of being successful” he explained, like he was some kind of wrestling savant. A professor of some kind.

Professor Keller? No. No, not that…

“But momentum, Mick…” he added in hushed tones, almost whispering it as though it was some kind of secret. “Michael will be more focused than he has been for a long fucking time, I have no doubt about it. He’s going to be more dangerous than ever, because he wants to make an example of me. He wants to show everyone in HOW that he is still the standard: Mike Best, at his best, can still beat anyone. But momentum is going to be the difference between us. That’s why he was looking for it last week.

“He wanted to halt my momentum and gain some for himself, because he knows that is where he can find three percent. Well, momentum is on my side now. So, yeah, maybe I’ll sacrifice myself to a little bit of wrestler math, Mick: He will find his three percent, I have no doubt. But I will take the one percent that comes from knowing he’s beatable, and I’ll take the three percent from the momentum that is in my favor… And I will be the one, that beat the one, that can beat anyone…”

Silent Witness smiled. “But this…” he said, waving his hands around indiscriminately. “I need to get away from this,” he said, with a laugh. He pointed at Mickey, with a beaming smile on his face.

 “You’re no good for me right now, Mick. I’m gonna leave before you get us both into trouble.”

 

No distractions.