POPCORN AND PATIENCE
Backstage, as ReV18 carries on, we’re treated to the pacing of Coral Avalon as he prepares himself mentally for his contest against Ivan Stanislav that is mere moments away. In the background of the shot, Joe Fontaine and Sid Phillips stand there with their trademark salty snack of popcorn.
Coral Avalon is trying very hard not to notice the popcorn.
But he can’t.
Coral Avalon: Seriously. I know I said you could accompany me this week, but… I’m afraid to ask why you have the popcorn. Again.
Joe Fontaine: Popcorn’s good when you’re about to witness the Russian space program at work. Feels like I’m back in school, sleeping in a planetarium again. We’re gonna witness a new shooting star tonight. It’s gonna be fantastic. I mean, Sid and I even have a prop bet on how far into the crowd Ivan’s gonna launch you.
Coral tries very hard not to smack his forehead with his own palm. No. It’s too early in this conversation to do that. There will be plenty of times later for him to do this. Just watch. One of those two dipshits is bound to say something even dumber later.
Coral Avalon: I liked this dynamic better when it was me doing what you’re doing now.
Joe Fontaine: Funny how that works.
Coral Avalon: Look, I know last week didn’t pan out for me. What I don’t know is why you’re eating popcorn when I’m about to get out there to fight Ivan Stanislav.
Joe Fontaine: ‘Cuz popcorn’s delicious.
Sid Phillips: We’d be eating catering either way. At least this way, we can enjoy ourselves while you enter a low geosynchronous orbit above the MGM Grand.
Coral Avalon: Seriously?
Sid Phillips: Look, man. I haven’t done a powerbomb in almost two months. I mean, good for you that you’re able to get out there and do your thing, but… we haven’t.
Joe Fontaine hands Sid the popcorn bucket. The big guy takes it and starts munching away as Joe approaches Coral.
Joe Fontaine: Hey. We’ve been doing this your way the whole time. Training, eating prayers, saying our vitamins, that kind of thing.
Coral Avalon: Not sure about some of those.
Joe Fontaine: And you know where that got us? A pat on our back and some kind words from a man in a blueberry mask after we went out there and lost in front of everyone. And after all that work to get that far, I thought that all we needed to do was get back out there to earn our shot again. Turns out, what we should’ve done to get another shot any time we want was to try and do a big torture instead.
Coral turns significantly to Joe. When he palms his face, it’s to slide his hand down to wipe away a cold sweat that hadn’t quite formed yet. He calmly steps up to Joe, and while his tone remains polite, his expression and body language suggests a man willing to pick a fight.
Coral Avalon: Joe, that’s a very slippery slope you’re looking down. There’s no getting back up that slope once you’ve fallen down it. There’s jagged rocks at the end. Also, discarded syringes, broken glass, and at least one rabid badger. My point is, you don’t want to go down that path. It never ends well.
Joe holds up his hands, pleadingly.
Joe Fontaine: Hey, I know there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. It’s just that lately, doing things the “right way” seems to be losing.
Sid Phillips: I mean, the right way involves powerbombs, so I’m all for the right way, personally.
Both Coral and Joe turn to Sid. Sid responds by stuffing his face with more popcorn.
Sid Phillips: What? What I’d say?
They ignore him.
Coral Avalon: Listen, Joe. I understand the frustration, but let’s put a pin on the whole “considering war crimes” talk. For forever. Besides, other than Jared and Justine, nobody’s beaten you guys in the ring. So your number will get called up sooner rather than later. Just be patient.
Joe Fontaine: “Be patient.” Right. Hey, man, quick question. How well did FLAMBERGE react when you told him to be patient?
Coral simply glares down at Joe, but it’s clear that the question rattles him a little.
Joe Fontaine: Not well, I take it?
Joe crosses his arms and glares back up at Coral.
Joe Fontaine: Funny how that worked out, huh?
He waves for Sid to follow him.
Joe Fontaine: Come on, Sid. Let’s “be patient” at ringside. Maybe the boss will teach us how his patience works against the Berlin Wall of pro wrestling.
He walks past Coral, who simply lets him walk by. Coral stands there for a few moments, casting a glance at Sid. Sid puts a little more popcorn in his mouth, then shrugs his big shoulders.
Sid Phillips: Don’t look at me. I gave up thinking about anything but powerbombs in this company a while ago.
Sid holds out the bucket of popcorn, which Coral looks at incredulously for a few moments.
Sid Phillips: Want some?
Coral waves his hand dismissively and goes to make his way to ringside.