You can’t choose your family. That’s the famous cliche, god knows how many times we all hear it in our lifetimes. It’s a weird thought, if you dig into it for even a second, it has massive cult-like vibes.
When you’re spat out of the womb, you’re here forever. Ignore any trauma, pain, abandonment… you are obliged to continue loving the monsters because if someone grabbed some of the ooey, gooey red that leaks out of all of us from time to time, they can prove with scientific certitude the people that screwed up your entire existence.
I suppose I got some advantages with my birth. One, I exist, so that’s nifty. If I didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be the most important champion in PRIME wrestling right now. So that’s cool. All about that.
If my father wasn’t a mid-level failed politician using his title of “Lord Farthington” to imply he was some kind of intellectual heavyweight, I wouldn’t have been able to take the title as my birthright and do literally nothing with it apart from make my wrestling name longer.
Which is pretty funny to be fair.
So, I got to thank the ole parental units for allowing me to exist and making my name funnier. I’m genuinely trying to find something else, truly… give me a minute, there must be something…
I guess if my father wasn’t a cold, heinous piece of trash, I wouldn’t have been excommunicated from the family and shipped to America to start my professional wrestling career without darkening “The Farthington Reputation”.
People get to see me on their beautiful televisual screens, so that’s a big plus. I mean, putting aside all the childhood and adolescent trauma.
The big point here is, it’s true, I can’t pick my family, if there was a choice involved, Lord Farthington would have died childless and alone. If there was justice in the universe, that would be equally true. I have some of the genes, I now have the name, I am the embodiment of the Farthington legacy at this point. I even took over the manor.
I hate that saying, yet I live it. Despite everything I went through.
The Patriarch of the Glue Factory, the Founder himself, Phil Atken was, despite his current wheeled form, still a powerful presence in Cecilworth Farthington’s life. Ahead of Tropical Turmoil, Atken had made it very clear that he did not like the clown show that his legacy had turned into through The Glueminati. FLAMBERGE was his, and that project was coming along quite nicely. On the other hand, Cecilworth’s picks for the group, well they hadn’t quite created the same pop and zazz. One was trying to destroy PRIME from the inside and take the belt elsewhere for.. reasons… I guess… and the other two were Joe Fontaine and Sid Philips.
So, you know. That’s Joe Fontaine and Sid Phillips.
I don’t think I need to explain further why The Founder was less than cockahoop about the new batch of recruits.
Atken also had one large skeptical eye on Farthington ahead of Turmoil and had really rubbed it in that Farthington had failed at what Atken had achieved – defeating Brandon Youngblood. The no-contest main event at the ReVival before Turmoil had been the opening Atken was seeking to drive a wedge in and reassert some authority.
Cecilworth Farthington for his part wasn’t overly concerned at his mentor’s involvement. He was still oozing confidence. He saw the path of destruction FLAMBERGE was on, he saw the hunger in the eyes of the now christened Glue Man Group.
To Farthington, the vibes, the vibes were good.
Then someone went on a tirade about Chicago for fifteen minutes and the vibes became less good but that’s not a story for now, or for any time really. It’s not even a story, more a pointless detour.
Tropical Turmoil put the power struggle in an odd place. Farthington had claimed the 5 Star Championship, FLAMBERGE the Intense. Farthington had also set himself up to be the hero of PRIME should one belt have disappeared from company eyes. For Farthington, it had been an incredibly successful night for the group under his leadership. He probably could have won the argument if not for…
“WHY THE FUCK WAS I ON A ZOOM CALL FOR A CAR FUNERAL? THE CAR WASN’T EVEN THERE!”
Atken had made the Study Room of Farthington Manor his headquarters, ever since he decided to have a hand in the group one more and it was in this exact room that Farthington got his pre-Turmoil dressing down. For this meeting, shortly after ReVival 31, Atken still had the fury running through his bones that he possessed in the weeks prior, Farthington though, he had a rather cockier smile as he watched The Founder’s face develop into a beautiful beetroot hue. It was very clear to Farthington that Phil was not exactly pleased about The Flamborghini’s funeral, nor he expected attendance at it.
“Hey Phil, you’re the one that wanted to be back involved in the group. Would you rather I spent the company’s funds on a deep sea rescue for a now dead car? That’s the kind of decision you would have yelled at me for!”
If you could hear the insides of a man, it was certain from the tone of Farthington that he was having a self-satisfied chuckle with every word. If you could hear inside of Atken, you would immediately go deaf due to the power of the shrieking ball of rage that resided within… and that’s when he’s in a good mood.
“Don’t start that shit Cecil, you know exactly why I’m mad. I told you to stop turning this thing into a clown show…”
Cecilworth had already heard the lecture numerous times by this point and had no concerns cutting the man off, clearly bolstered by what many outside pundits viewed as a shock win over the legendary Coral Avalon. No longer the meek schoolboy in the Principal’s office, Cecilworth was now the 5-Star Champion and he very much knew this.
“…that clown show is getting people talking. It’s getting eyeballs. It’s getting merch sales. FLAMBERGE’s lizard thing that’s going on, people love it! They love lizard folks and their passion for large bulging penii…”
It was at that moment, the third party in the room decided to step in, a man who knew how to mediate these two personalities pretty well. No, not Hank. Although he could. He definitely could. On this occasion, it was Dirk Dickwood.
“C-Money, until that weird penis detour, I was totally with you. Whatever the hell you’re doing is working…”
“… I don’t even know what I’m doing.” Cecilworth immediately leapt in with.
“We noticed” was the snippy retort from Atken.
At this point, Dirk threw his hands at both men, no, not like “throw hands” way, he didn’t put himself in a handicap street brawl you fools, more of a “settle down the pair of you” sorta deal. You know, that kind of hand throwing. More flappy than punchy.
“We can’t have this same fucking meeting after every show. Phil, it’s clear that the Glue brand has gone in a different direction from your original goals. I know this was your chance to be seen in a serious light, this was your chance to be one of wrestling’s elder statesmen, and I know what Cancer and the Cult Boy did to you is a wound that will never heal…”
“Well obviously, I’m in a fucking wheelchair.”
Dirk quickly bats some teacher eyes at Atken, who gives an apologetic head nod and invites Dirk to continue.
“And Cecilworth, you’re used to just barrelling in and having your way ever since you rose to the lofty heights of becoming a Lord, thanks to Eric Dane killing your father…”
Cecilworth gives an encouraging head nod, agreeing with this version of events.
“…but you’re with a group now, and you know, just like The eMpire, just like the Group of Death, if you want it to work, you have to listen to others… this isn’t a one man show. The young talent we’ve embraced are looking to us for guidance that will put them on Hall of Fame trajectories. We’re there as much for FLAMBO, Joe and Sid and as we are for us. You’ve been hanging out with them, you’ve seen the hunger, the passion, these people are looking to us and we need to be there for them. That’s as true for you, Cecilworth, as it is for Phil.”
Atken lets out an exasperated sigh.
“Okay Dirk, point made. Cecilworth, you did win the 5 Star, FLAMBERGE did win the Intense. I’m willing to believe there’s some magic, just don’t Zoom call me into some wild bullshit again.”
Cecilworth takes a moment to stop and think about correcting the record that the call was Joe’s very excited idea but decides in the spirit of team bonding to not throw the youngster immediately under the bus.
“I appreciate your trust Phil, not just with this conversation, but with your entire wrestling legacy…”
Phil shows the first signs of a small smile, but wants to make his terms very clear.
“You’re the Captain now Lord Farthington, you’ve got full control until Ultraviolence. Try not to Costa Concordia it.”
“Didn’t want to go with a Titanic reference?” inquires Farthington.
“Oh no, Cecil, I know exactly what kind of Captain you are…”
All Cecilworth can do is shrug his shoulders and smile.
Are Dirk and Phil family? I didn’t choose them either. I got absorbed by them when I was first looking for a place to train in America. There’s a lot of Brits in the US wrestling scene and yet those two found me and brought me in from the cold. Paired me with Hank. I never felt free from them after that, not that I was seeking freedom. It was working really well.
Sorry, I just find the whole family thing very curious. I’ve been watching the recent actions of Nate Colton and his family and it’s all so morbidly fascinating. He’s a young kid, for sure, and he’s been a top star on a national product for the best part of two years. That could easily have enough toxic allure to crush even the strongest of minds.
As I watched from the shadows before Culture Shock, I was incredibly jealous of Colton. A champion, a star… a loving father who went out of his way to make it clear how much he cared for his child.
I mean, let’s not dig too deeply into the fact that Nate Colton’s father uses a public social media website to reveal all the wounds and worms on his family. That shit’s really messed up.
OH NO NATE’S NOT TALKING TO ME, BETTER LET THE ENTIRE COMPANY KNOW AND ALSO SOME RANDOMS WHO KEEP LOGGING INTO THE PLATFORM.
If that’s your father’s worst quirk though, Nate, it’s not a bad one by any means. Better to be overburdened with love and attention than try and find your own way in life in the cold. Trust me, your situation is a good one, even if you don’t feel it to be true. I wish I’d had that kind of moment even once. A little bit of recognition of my success. My father actually appreciates the man I had become.
Just once. That’s what I dream of.
I dream of something you got on the daily.
Got of course being the appropriate word to use in the here and now because as the weeks have moved forward, I seem to have moved from jealousy of the adorable and supportive Colton family, to empathy for you, Nate.
Maybe it’s because I have the belt that was once synonymous with your name. The belt that made everyone know that you were a cut-above Colton. That you could be your own man.
Being your own man means making your own mistakes and boy, I think we can both agree that you’ve made a lot of those in the recent weeks. I mean, having a dumbarsed journalist asking shitty questions to spin up to be consumed by moronic masses, that’s just typical life for the son of a Lord.
Oh look, another News of the World exclusive where my dad is snorting coke while wearing nothing but a frilly pink bra.
You get numb to salacious scandal in the world of the British red top. I mean, with my father, it could have been true, it could have been photoshop. Fuck, it could’ve been worse.
Your poor family though, guess it’s not as usual for them. Same for much of the PRIME roster it would appear. I’m guessing Justine Calvan is looking to mount your balls in lovely ornamental fireplace display after her run-in with Ms. Scandal.
I can’t imagine the anger that’s running through you right now. Both to inflict pain like that on the ones you love and to your friends in the company who supported you. Your mind can only be mixed up. I can’t imagine it makes things easier when your father runs around talking about how it was actually correct for your friends to abandon you and kick you out of the locker room when you are at your lowest ebb.
Makes me start to think all this visible charity work for good mental health causes that Colton’s jab about endlessly might just be public relations rather than genuine belief. Maybe you’re as much of a puppet for the family to make an example of as I was when I was exiled.
The thing about glue is it can mend what’s broken. I think Mr. Atken saw the truth to your life when he approached you to join us all that time ago. You were flying high at the time, embraced by legends, fingers reaching out for that first big PRIME title. The good endorphins give that kind of confidence, that you can stand on your own.
You may not like me saying this, Nate, but perhaps you should have joined us. All these people who you were certain had your back and now the ones driving in the dagger. Instead of supporting you, they publicly mock and decry you because what? You let an annoying journalist backstage? That’s enough these days for friendships to end?
They shouldn’t be demanding an apology from you. You should be demanding one from them. It’s pathetic how quickly they all turned.
In another universe, maybe you’re The Glueminati’s Universal Champion at Tropical Turmoil. The Universe where you see through your family and friends and turn towards those who want to see you succeed.
We’re bastards, sure. We’re in it for the profit, certainly. That’s why we take care of people like you Nate, you’re investments. You can’t shoot the horse after its first run.
For the record, Hank loves it wet, Ms. Scandal. Please put it in your newsletter that Hank loves it wet.
It’s the day after the events of ReVival 32 and Cecilworth Farthington’s quiet conversation with his good, close, personal friend LT over the shocking (to them) end of the show.
You see, for those unaware, Cecilworth Farthington had watched Max Kael die, live on Pay Per View. His two best friends at the time, Mike Best and Max Kael, had decided to have a LITERAL DEATH MATCH. Yes, not one of those death matches where no one dies and then you have to issue a refund because of the false advertisement. No, these two signed a contract where you could only win by LITERALLY MURDERING THE OTHER MAN.
Cecilworth was never quite the same man after he saw that match. He wasn’t in the arena, he was watching on TV just like many others and he blamed himself for the end result. To his mind, these were his buddies, whatever had brought them to this point, it was never going to end with ACTUAL MURDER, no, that wasn’t possible. Both of them would see sense at some point in the match. They had to.
Neither man saw sense.
That’s a hard thing for anyone to watch. For Cecilworth, it was crushing. An entire human body, deflated like one of those tube men at the end of a hard day flailing at the used car lot. Cecilworth had racked up a lot of injuries during his run as World Champion in the town of Chicago and was rehabilitating when the two men who were his chosen family decided to lose their goddamn minds.
Cecilworth was still guilt ridden even at his PRIME debut. If he’d been there, if he’d been there as the voice of reason, if he’d been there to point out how fucking stupid the entire idea was. If he could have just spoken to both of them… maybe they could have sorted out their issues in a match that didn’t end due to the PHYSICAL DEATH OF ONE OF THE COMPETITORS.
Put yourself in Cecilworth’s shoes after ReVival 32. You just saw what might as well be your dead brother and he’s living, he’s breathing.
“Hey, Lindz, can you call me back again. I’m still a bit fucked up here…”
We can’t say it’s unusual to see Cecilworth on his telephoular device, in fact, it’s the enduring image of him on the PRIME website, next to the bit that says “Fart”. He was rapidly scrolling his contact list, clearly looking for specific people after LT didn’t answer the call. He scrolls back up from the Ls of the phones and settles at the Ds (STOP YOUR FILTH).
“Hey… Dan… it’s Cecilworth. I know it’s been a while but there’s some wild shit happening in PRIME and… I… I just don’t fucking know what’s going on… if you could, if you got a moment, call me back. Maybe you know something I don’t…”
Cecilworth hangs up and begins to panic and scrolls through the list once more. This time he arrives at the Ms, and he takes a big pause. His finger hovers over the green “call” button for a few seconds, awkwardly lingering in the air. Cecilworth’s head darts around the small hotel room he finds himself in, hoping perhaps the cheap hotel art will give him the answer he seeks. He returns to the phone and he can’t quite convince his finger to make contact. After a few moments, maybe seconds, maybe minutes, maybe hours… he tosses the phone away and sighs at the ceiling.
“What the fuck is going on.”
That’s when the phone buzzes again, Cecilworth picks it up and peers at the picture message that’s just come through in the Glue Boiz Chill Zone.
A picture of Max Kael?
On the PRIME website?
“That’s him but… his eyes… his face… you know what, I can’t right now.”
And if you know Cecilworth, you know how he deals with anxiety. That’s right, kids, property destruction!
“Oh, I didn’t know phones could leak like that… I should leave this room…”
These past few weeks have been tough for me, I’m not going to lie. For one thing, I had to arrange my own transport for the first time in my life, because Phil laughed at me and said “well, you’re the boss now, fix it yourself” and so whoopsie doopsie, missed the last show.
I mean, sure, I was mentally traumatised by my best friend… or someone who looks REALLY close to him… suddenly came back to life and perhaps that preoccupied me a little so I didn’t file the right paperwork in time.
I think people should be able to forgive that particularly unique once in a lifetime event.
It’s given me a lot of time to reflect on the nature of family though. My entire career, I’ve been seeking out new ones. From Dirk and Hank at the start, to Mike Best and Max Kael in the eMpire, to Dan Ryan and Lindsay Troy in the Group of Death. Families that were never supposed to fight, until we did. Well not me and LT, we have a spa day booked! That’s not the point.
The point is, I understand you Nate, I understand that you had your first experience of this. Those guys you hang out with, your father, your siblings, all these people were your family. Until you made one mistake, until you became a little less hinged. Suddenly, everyone is out there to smack you down and make it clear to any outsider that you are the problem, not them.
So, I’m going to make you the same offer that Phil Atken gave you last year. About this time if I remember correctly.
We can be the family who doesn’t judge. We can be the ones who lift you up. Well, after I retain the Five Star, of course. That’s just business though.
You deserve to be with us, Nate.
You deserve a family who cares.