June 12th, 2001
"Get me a fucking Diet Pepsi or something. I'm sick of looking at you."
'The Ego Buster' Dan Ryan, standing over a gym bag, barks orders to the assistant assigned him for the show tonight. Main eventing the show is a return shot at the Global Xtreme Wrestling World Championship, held by Marcus Johnson.
The assistant, no more than nineteen years old at best, slinks out of the room.
Another wrestler, working the same show, shakes his head.
"Somethin' on your mind, Cobb?"
Randy Cobb holds his hands up, not really wanting to get into it. "Do you have to be such an asshole ALL the time, Dan?"
"Do I? I don't know, man. Do I have to be such an asshole? I'm the one taking my World Championship back tonight and you're the one jerking the curtain with Frankie Scott. Maybe you should be more of one."
The assistant comes back in the room, handing Ryan the Pepsi he asked for, then lifting up a cell phone. "Your mother called. Said Danielle wanted to talk to you before she goes to bed."
"Too busy for your daughter?"
Ryan shot a glance at the man, who visibly flinched. "I have a match for the WORLD.... CHAMPIONSHIP....IN THIRTY....MINUTES."
Cobb steps in between the two men, putting a hand on the shoulder of the young assistant to remove him from Ryan's reach.
"I doubt it would take more than a minute, Dan."
Ryan glares down at the smaller Cobb, his glare intense. "Why don't you save me the lecture on my family life, Cobb? Why don't you stay out of my business altogether for that matter? Stop telling me how to live my life. Instead, why not make yourself useful and go tell 'President'..." (Ryan makes finger quotes) "...Dupree that his future champion is on his way to the ring?"
Cobb sighs, shaking his head again starts for the door. "Fine, fine. Do what you want. I'm tired of talking about it anyway."
Cobb leaves, shutting the door behind him. The assistant stays behind, but catches a lingering glare from Ryan, before deciding he'd overstayed his welcome and leaving as well.
"Goddamn fuckin' lackeys."
Ryan cracks his neck to one side, then the other and looks down to zip his bag. Among the other items, he catches sight of a small photo of a young girl, no more than four years old. His gaze lingers on it, but he shows no emotional response.
Ryan turns and walks purposefully through the door and to the ring --