One thing Evan disliked about the wrestling business was the amount of travelling you had to do. Especially on planes. He hated flying these days. It wasn’t the mode of transport itself, he quite enjoyed having the hours of peace it gave him to read a book or study footage or catch up on his game backlog on the SteamDeck. No, it was the three-ring circus which went with catching a flight.
He had always found airports to be super stressful places. As a kid just hitting his teens when 9/11 happened it had not only been engraved upon his malleable young mind that airports were a fundamentally dangerous place now, but they had just got worse and more stressful as the years went on. New rules, new regulations, new invasions of privacy.
Take his latest journey to Norwich, for example. He had been sat, minding his own business, enjoying a beer in the airport lounge when he realised he was surrounded by a bunch of security officers with their guns drawn. Evan had no idea why he was suddenly being shouted at by all these angry Americans. He had to take his headset off to figure out what they were saying. It totally ruined the game of Counter Strike he was playing, right when he was just bragging to his teammates about placing the bomb on the counter-terrorist’s base. Killjoys, the lot of them.
All of that put Evan in a really bad mood by the time it was all straightened out. Luckily one of the security agents was a big time Conor Fuse fan and appreciated the combination of gaming and wrestling. What a knob. Evan liked to get to the airport nice and early so he didn’t have to rush to the terminal and worry about missing the flight in the crowds, hence being in the lounge. Thanks to all that bullshit he still had to leg it to catch the flight.
Luckily he managed to reach it in time and, after a much more peaceful time on the plane, he finally arrived in Norfolk. That was another thing he disliked about all this travel, the shitholes he had to travel to. Really, Norfolk? It was a wart growing on the west coa- hang on… naughty elephants shit water… on the EAST coast. Why on earth did Lee Best decide to come here? Evan didn’t know and half wondered if it was just to fuck with him.
After making his way through the torture of security followed by the living hell which was the baggage claim, Evan finally stepped out of the mausoleum of transportation and into the fresh, fresh Norfolk air. He looked around at the bustling comings and goings of the plebs around him and there was a conspicuous absence of a seven foot tall stoner. Ward grumbled to himself and pulled out his phone to call the big dumb idiot.
“Where the fuck are you, you big dumb idiot?” Ward growled into the phone when Trent picked up.
“Where the fuck do you think? I’m at the shitting airport, ain’t I?” Trent growled back. “Where the fuck are you?”
“I’M at the bloody airport. I’m standing right outside the main entrance and you’re not anywhere near it.” Ward snapped back.
“The fuck are you talking about?” Trent sounded grouchy. “I’m blocking the fucking door way!”
Ward looked around him like a Vincent Vega meme. Despite Trent’s insistence, he definitely wasn’t there. “Trent.” Ward said softly, in the sort of voice a parent uses when they were about to seriously, gravely bollock their child for leaving the lid off the blender when they try to give the hamster a fairground ride in it. When they’re not angry, they’re just disappointed… and angry, so fucking angry. “Are you sure you are at the right airport?”
“Fuck yeah, I’m in fucking Norfolk, dude.” Trent replied confidently
“Are you sure, Trent,” Ward continued in the same, calm, rageful voice. “Are you absolutely sure you have confused Norfolk, Virginia with Norfolk, England? I know your tiny, drug addled brain finds it difficult to understand that two different places in two different countries can have the same name, but they can and you need to get this shit sorted.”
There was a long a pause from the big man. “Fuck. Maybe?” Trent admitted and Evan sighed loudly. “I mean, fuck, I thought I was in the right fucking place. I mean, HOW’s on a fucking east coast tour, right? Fucking figured it made sense to be here. Why the fuck would they have a random ass fucking show over in England.”
Ward fell silent as he looked at the cars driving on the left-hand side of the road and all the people walking around with cups of tea and plates of crumpets. He looked up at the sign above the airport entrance which read “Norwich International Airport” and suddenly felt like breaking someone’s leg. “Motherfucking piece of shit cunting asshole bastard!” Ward slightly lost his cool. “Fucks sake.”
One thing Evan disliked about this wrestling business was the amount of travel you had to do, particularly when you accidentally fly halfway across the fucking world and need to fly all the way back again in the same day. What a total waste of time, money and energy. Buy a new ticket, do the circus again, wait for the next plane, DON’T play Counter Strike again, take a nap on the plane, trudge through the underworld at the other end again, get out into the fresh American air… Still no Trent.
“Where the fuck is he?” Evan grumbled to himself again. He pulled his phone out of his pocket to call Trent again but it coincidentally started ringing. He answered and immediately got assaulted by an angry metalhead’s voice.
“Where the fuck are you, you stupid little idiot?!” Trent yelled. “I fucking fly all the way over here and you’re not fucking here! What the fuck?”
Ward’s shoulders dropped in despair. “Trent… You were in the right Norfolk before. You were meant to stay here while I flew over.”
Trent fell silent for a long moment. “Motherfucking piece of shit cunting asshole bastard!” Trent lost his cool in a major way. Evan could hear an innocent trash bin being beaten up and possibly flung through a window. Trent hung up. Ward was starting to wonder if euthanasia was an option as he headed off to find a stiff drink.
Eventually Trent turned up and the two wrestlers were in the correct location. It only took 2 days more than they had planned. The stopovers in Amsterdam and Atlanta were such a pain in the arse, which was another reason he hated air travel. Why couldn’t you just go from one place to another?
The two wrestlers were now sitting at a table in a bar eating burgers. Evan had a hefty double bacon cheeseburger with all the trimmings. Trent had four. The place was nice and quiet, not too many people around to cause a ruckus, it was the sort of place where two people who had jet lag on their jet lag could sit and chat while they showed down on fancy schmancy burgers. At the same time.
“For fuck’s sake, Trent.” Evan said through a mouthful of artisanal burger. “After all that bullshit we’ve only got a couple of days left to prepare.”
“Fuck off.” Trent said through a mouthful of his own burger. “Ain’t my fucking fault you went to the wrong fucking country.”
“But it is your fault that YOU went to the wrong country!” Ward out the burger down to take a drink of his beer.
“The fuck was so fucking urgent I had to fucking fly down here anyway?” Trent carried on, ignoring Evan’s jabs.
“I need your help.” Evan said after swallowing down the beer. “I’ve got this big match against Mike coming up and the way I am right now, well, you know what the guy’s like, don’t you? He’ll trounce me. So I need your help and you’re the only dude who can do it.”
“Ah, I fucking get it.” Trent indignantly slammed a fist on the table and leaned forward, pointing a massive finger at Evan. “You fucking ditch me, take a fucking dump on my career, and now you’re crawling the fuck back, begging me to fucking beat the shit outta Mike to help you fucking win, that right?”
“Fuck off.” Evan snapped back, picking up a big, chunky chip off the plate. No, not an American potato chip like you get in a packet, a proper chip. Like a french fry except a ton thicker and triple cooked in goose fat. So good. “Why would I ever do that? I’m going to go into that ring and beat the snot out of Mike on my own, fair and square… well, maybe not exactly fair but definitely square. I definitely don’t want an idiot like you involved, you’d do more damage to me than you would to Mike!”
“Oh, so I’m relegated to just a fucking glorified training dummy now?” Trent angrily finished his first burger. It’s odd to describe eating as angry, but Trent was most definitely eating angrily, it was the most violent of mastication.
“What?” Ward was momentarily confused but then realised how Trent had connected those dots. “No, that was last week and I didn’t bloody need you anyway. That’s not why I told you to meet me here.”
The cyclops looked baffled, he couldn’t figure it out. If it wasn’t interference and it wasn’t training, what could Ward possibly want him to do?
“Urgh,” Evan rolled his eyes. “Look, if I want to win this match I need to be prepared. Preparation is next to victory, and if you know your opponent you can prepare for him. You’ll know his weakness and you can exploit it. And that’s why I need your help.”
“The fuck are you talking about?” Trent said shiftily, a bead of sweat dripping down his forehead, rushing to put another burger in his mouth.
“Don’t give me that. I know you deal weed to him.” Ward rolled his eyes. “You’re the only dude I know who’s at all close to him.”
Trent tried to make himself small and inconspicuous, which was difficult for a man so ridiculously huge. “No idea what you’re talking about.” He mumbled.
“You sold him an entire hedge of the shit live on air, Trent.” Ward accused him with facts. “Stop trying to pretend you didn’t,”
“So you want me to fucking rat on the dude?” Trent sat up straight, trying to make himself look in charge again. Difficult for such an idiot. “I’m not a fucking nark, dude, I’m not gonna fucking sell out my fucking customers, dude.”
“You’re such an idiot.” Evan rubbed his forehead, feeling like he was getting a Trent induced migraine. “I don’t want you to dob on Mike’s secrets, Trent, that wouldn’t be fair. All I want you to do is spike his weed.”
Trent raised an eyebrow. “Spike his fucking weed?”
“Yeah, dunk it in some LSD or medical grade anaesthetics or whatever.” Ward explained casually, like he was suggesting Trent put an extra scoop of sugar in someone’s tea.
“Why the fuck didn’t you just say so?” Trent grinned. “I’m always up for a fucking prank like that. Mike’s laugh his shit off at it, ‘specially if he’s tripping fucking balls.”
“Too right.” Ward nodded as he finished his burger and grabbed a napkin to wipe his mouth. “I’ll take any advantage I can get right now and that’s the Best one I can think of.” He picked up his pint for a drink and belched loudly when he put it back down. “Seriously, dude, Mike’s a monster when he’s on form, you know? I can’t risk him being even close to top form. Then again his head’s all over the place at the moment. You read those blog posts he made? Jesus fucking Christ. Dude’s on his semi-annual sob story, crying about how he wishes people liked him. It’s like, dude, we get it, you’re a bad man who’s done bad things, stop being a little bitch about it. If you want to stop being a total cunt of a human being and be cheered by all the fans as you head down the ramp each and every match then, whatever, just fucking do it. The fans are fickle as hell, if you’re coming out and spewing catch phrases, denouncing the bad guys and putting on a show they don’t give a damn what you did last week, let alone a year ago.”
Ward looked up at Trent, who had his mouth completely stuffed with meat. It sounded like he’d tied to say something but it was entirely indecipherable, so Evan just continued to rant.
“Me, I’ve had plenty enough of that in my career. Been there, done, that. Can’t be fucked with that ever again.” Evan sat back in his chair with his arms crossed. “I mean, it’s so overrated, constantly trying to appease the little shits in the audience. Dude talks about taking care of his mental health, but desperately seeking approval from the fans is a mental breakdown waiting to happen. Why the hell does he want that?”
“Ain’t it fucking tiring being hated all the fucking time?” Trent suggested, gulping down his latest burger.
“Not in the slightest. It’s liberating. You can do whatever you like without worrying what anyone else thinks. You’d have to be soft as shit to want anything else. Honestly it sounds like he’s just getting fed up with being lumped in with the rest of the Final Alliance twats. I mean, he’s a Best, ain’t he? His daddy says jump and Mike leaps off a ladder for him. He’s not part of the Alliance but he’s happy to do their dirty work, ain’t he? He needs to stop with that fence sitting bullshit and make a choice. Either fall in line and take up the family mantle or grow a pair and stand up to his dad for once.”
“Mwafa.” Trent shrugged. Evan thought he had meant to say “That’s fair.”
“Until then, he’s just as much an Alliance shithead to me as any of the other bastards. If he doesn’t like that then that’s on him. Can’t say I expect much in that regard, not from a dude who takes my excitement at being served up the Son of God on a silver platter as complaints about being mistreated.”
“It did sound a bit like fucking bitching, dude, ain’t gonna lie.” Trent said while he picked meat from between his teeth with a steak knife.
“Bite me.” Ward snapped back. “This is a dude who points at the fact I’m aware Lee’s trying to kill me like some kind of gotcha that I’m acting all woe-is-me as if no one would ever get punished with an LSD title match before boasting and revelling in the fact he is weaponized against the enemies of the Best Family. Like I said, pick a bloody side, you can’t have it both ways. Same dude can’t tell the difference between not actively chasing title shots right this moment and not caring about them at all. You stoners can be dumb as shit sometimes, you know that?”
“Hey, don’t fucking take it out on me, dude.” Trent said defensively. “He’s the fucker bagging on you.”
“The only thing he’ll be bagging on Sunday is his teeth to take to the dentist, the self-important twat. He can bang on about how the titles are the most important thing there is all he wants, but he betrays himself with his own words. He said it himself, the truly most important thing to him is being the best, it’s dominating the federation and being on top. Just like I said. I don’t doubt for a minute that he’s going to defend that belt with all he’s got, but that doesnt men’s, when the dust has settled, he won’t look at the loss of the belt and the loss of his dominance and think, fuck, losing the belt hurts but no longer being the best, no longer being the end boss everyone fears, that’s like having the heart ripped right out of me, so leave me alone while it go cry some more about no one liking me.”
“And that’s fucking why you want me to spike the shit outta his weed…?” Trent frowned, cocking his head to the side, trying to wrap his head around the machinations of his employer.
“Exactly!” Ward exclaimed. “Now you’re getting it. So, Trent, off you hop, go take your weed, spike it and sell it to Mike.”
Trent shook his head. “Fucking can’t, mate.”
“What do you mean, you can’t?” Ward growled.
“Just been fucking globe trotting through a dozen shitty airports, ain’t I.” Trent said in a bit of a huff. “You fucking see me light up while we’ve fucking been here? I don’t even fucking have enough on me to knock up the smallest fucking joint you’ve ever fucking seen.”
Ward sat silently for a few minutes, staring a hole through Trent’s head, willing daggers out of his eyes, but as that didn’t happen he flipped the table and rage quit the conversation and the pub.
“For fucks sake,” Trent said, looking at the mess littering the floor. “Now I’ve gotta fucking pay the bloody bill!”