In Our Footsteps

Somewhere Else

Click.]

[Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right hand corner.]

[Dust floats into the heated air of Wyoming. The sun beats down upon the sand, making it warm to touch. Stood in the middle of a land once owned by his tribe, Tommy Hawk is bare foot, his toes dug deep beneath the warm soft embrace of Mother Earth.]

[He’s surrounded by his brothers, who survey what was once their home.]

“Jon Davenport and Frank Harrison tried to take this land from us for their own selfish means. They stole from us, just like the white man always has. But with my victory and this,” [Tommy holds up the OSW World Championship.] “We can get it back.”

[Suddenly, the sound of galloping can be heard from a distance. As Tommy turns in confusion, the sound becomes louder and clearer, until six Knights on Horseback surround a King, who leads them.]

[Your majesty, King Royal.]

Bow before your King, cretins,” [Sir Davos – King Royal’s Captain bellows his order loudly.] “Or we shall take your scalps.”

[Everyone immediately turns to face them.]

“On this day, on this land, you dare to threaten us?” [Tommy responds, placing his belt down on the sand.] “This is Native land, and we do not have a King.”

[Royal swings his leg over his horse and drops down, the sound of metal clashing together as he does. He steps forward, accompanied by his Knights who follow in attack formation..]

Your land?” [The King hisses.] “I think not. I purchased this land from Sir Frank Harrison and within my possession, I retain the deed. Every King needs a Castle for his Kingdom and mine shall be built upon the sweat, blood and tears of your people.”

[Hawk steps forward, his face the picture of calm.]

“It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. If you want the land of ancestors, you may try to take it.”

[With that said, The King draws his sword.]

[There’s not a moment to think. The Knights charge towards the tribe, a brawl ensuing. Tommy grabs his tomahawk, and ducks under a swing of Royal’s sword. He quickly blocks another strike, but The King pushes him backwards, forcing him to a knee – sword to tomahawk. The World Champion swivels, swiping at his shin’s, protected by metal guards.]

[He gets back to his feet and lunges low, again clashing with the metal body armour of the King who reels with the impact but thrusts his sword forward, only to have it knocked away from his grip by Hawk.]

[The King immediately tries to pick it up, only Tommy stamps his foot down upon it, forcing Royal to rethink his strategy. He rolls away, grabbing a handful of sand and flinging it into the face of the Champion. Hawk clutches at his eyes, and The King escapes to his horse, galloping away into the distance.]

[Tommy turns to his see tribe, blooded but alive. The Knights follow in retreat of their King, chased closely behind by the Indian’s, hollering and screaming at them. Hawk bends down and dusts off his Championship, looking off into the distance with great fury, his eyes bloodshot red.]

[This man has no King.]

[Cut.]

Fuck The Doctors

Somewhere Else

[We open to the face of some random blonde talking.]

“But Edgar, how could you do this to me? Don’t you love me?”

[Then some toolbag with a bad mustache, presumably Edgar…]

“Of course I love you, Molly, but sometimes love just isn’t enough. I’ve got to go, and I’ve got to go now. The plane is wai……”

[CLICK! Then the screen goes black.]

“This is fuckin’ bullshit!”

[Jake Jeckel. He’s sitting in a hospital bed, and was just watching some terrible soap opera.]

“I can’t sit here anymore. Nurse! NURSE!”

[He picks up the remote and jams the call button down over and over until the nurse comes rushing into the room.]

“What’s wrong Mr. Jeckel? Are you in pain?”

“Pain? Yeah! This fuckin’ place is killing me with boredom. There’s something wrong with my brother out there, and I’m sitting here in this hell hole watching The Days of Our Fuckin’ Lives. I want out of here.” [He raises his arm up. Tubes hang from his I.V.] “Get this shit out of me.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Jeckel, but you haven’t been released by your doctors yet. Your cuts were quite deep, and you aren’t ready to…”

“Fuck that!” [Jake says, and starts pulling the I.V. out of his arm.] “I’ve got a match tonight, and I ain’t ganna miss it!”

[He jumps up, his hospital gown not hiding anything in the back. He doesn’t care. He walks over to the cabinet and pulls out his pants and pulls them up. The nurse tries to interrupt.]

“Sir, you can’t go! The doctors…”

“Fuck the doctors! I gotta find my brother, and I gotta fight!”

[He walks out, still covered in bandages. The nurse throws her hands up.]
[Cut.]

Phoenix & Sokolov vs. The Family

Tag Team Championship Match

[This match is for the Tag Team Championships, but it means more than that to Jacob Phoenix as he searches for revenge against DTR and Jensen Cussen. Sergei Sokolov is in search of his first title in OSW. Phoenix and Sokolov argue about who will start. Finally, the ref intervenes and declares Sergei the opener. Jacob reluctantly steps to the apron as the bell rings.]

[And Jacob immediately tags Sokolov on the back, tagging himself in. Sokolov does not look amused as Jacob flies into the ring and tears into Jensen Cussen with heavy fists! Phoenix drives Cussen into the ropes and whips him across the ring. When he returns, Jacob nails him with a LEAPING DROPKICK! Jensen goes down, and DTR starts to come through the ropes, but Phoenix catches him with a high knee, knocking him back to ground. Phoenix slides to outside, and springboards back with a PHOENIX FOREARM to Cussen!! He rolls through, but gets blind tagged by Sergei! He doesn’t like it, but Sokolov steps into the ring and stalks Cussen.]

[He lifts Cussen up and slams him home with a WARHEAD! One… Two… Thr…. DTR breaks up the pin! Sergei is furious and reaches for DTR, who slips out to the floor. Sokolov scolds the Virus from the ropes, which is a mistake because he’s spun into a HAIRTRIGGER!! Cussen drops the Russian Bear, but doesn’t cover, instead tagging in DTR, who leaps to the top… LIGHTS OUT!!! One… Two… Thr… Phoenix breaks the pin, and then dives through the ropes with a SPEAR taking Cussen off the apron!]

[As Phoenix and Cussen pick up the pieces outside, DTR pulls the Red Tsar to his feet, but Sergei throws a quick fist into his midsection. Another! ANOTHER! He gets separation and shoves DTR to the ropes. On the return, he pops DTR up… NUCLEAR FALLOUT!! One… Two… THRE… DTR kicks out! Cussen and Phoenix are hammering one another on the outside. Back in the ring, Sokolov pulls DTR to his feet and lifts him for the IRON CURT…  DTR SLIPS OUT AND FALLS DIRECTLY INTO A REASONABLE DOUBT!! … One… Phoenix tries to get in to break it up… Two… Cussen drops him with a BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA… THREE!]

[The Family retains! Sokolov and Phoenix couldn’t overcome the Virus and Vengeance tonight, but this war is far from over. Sokolov gets back to his feet and angrily clobbers Cussen backwards over the top rope. He steps over, grabbing DTR by the leg and dragging him to the outside. In one swift motion, he throws him into the steel post, knocking him out cold. As Phoenix looks on, DTR is scooped up over the shoulder of the Bear. He exits, taking the leader of the virus with him.]

The Promised Land

Somewhere Else

[Around a fire, several disheveled looking people are gathered. Some are eating directly from cans, while others look longingly at their banquet. Not to worry, everyone shares here. Coughs and sniffles echo through the vacant lot. These people can’t afford doctors; they are the forgotten. The lost. The meek. Just then, Calypso steps into the light provided by the fire.]

“I tell you the truth, blessed are the hungry and the thirsty, for they will inherit the earth. Friends, I know that things are hard right now. I understand your plight, for I live it with you. I know what it is like to be hungry beyond words. I know what it is like to curl up in the open, with nothing for warmth, and to pray to a god that I don’t believe in to make it through the night. I know what it is like to be ill, so sick that all you want to do is go to sleep and never wake up, but the bastards that they call doctors only want to make you worse…”

[The people, though downtrodden, perk up to listen to their leader.]

“Look at Cortney.”

[A young girl, maybe 13, steps up. She appears to have something wrong with her skin. She looks to Calypso to hold her, but even the Messiah won’t lay her hands on the girl.]

“Her leprosy has made her an outcast. Even her own family has disowned her, and now she lives on the streets. But, I tell you the truth, Cortney, someday people like you and me will control this earth, and no longer will we be pushed to the edges of society. No! We will lead this revolution, and I will guide you into the promised land!!!”

[We fade away from the crowd as Calypso continues speaking. Her voice trails away, and then we hear another. This one from the blackest of shadows. It belongs to a young child, but it sounds… strange.]

“Is it true, Mother? Does she speak the truth?”

[From the darkness, and into a dim pallor, steps Mother.]

“No, my dearest, she speaks of lies and deceit. But we will silence her trickery.”

[And from the darkness peers the glowing eyes of her ghastly children.]  

Jake Jeckel vs. Hayden Hardkore

Singles Match

[Tonight we see the return of OSW Original, Hayden HardKore. The Juggalo would love nothing more than to roll out the welcome wagon for the Kiwi but will his injuries prove too much? Or will HHK be ‘Downed by the Clown’?]

[Hayden HardKore looks to dictate the early pace of the match and kick start it in a high gear. Jeckel, heavily bandaged and fighting against doctors orders, readies himself and meets HHK head on. The pair clash horns for the first time since IWF. Jake, being the bigger man, easily overpowers Hayden… GORILLA PRESS SLAM! Welcome back HardKore! Hayden bounces off the canvas and comes to rest up against the turnbuckle. He rises quickly, only to be levelled by a MASSIVE CLOTHESLINE THAT SENDS HIM UP OVER THE TOP ROPE AND OUT OF THE RING!]

[Hayden sprawls to ringside and Jake follows with a smirk as the referee begins his standing ten count. He hurls Hayden to his feet once more and slams him up against the barricade. A few clubbing blows tenderise Hayden’s midsection before he lifts the Kiwi up into a POWERBOMB POSITION… HE’S AIMING FOR THE BARRICADE! No! Hayden escapes out the back door… NECKBREAKER BRINGS JECKEL DOWN! Hayden isn’t done with that. He goes right for the bandages, pummelling Double Axe handles until he can see Jake’s blood seeping through. A flurry of rapid elbows to the bandaged area sees Jake double over in agony!]

[Hayden rolls Jake back into the ring then slides in after him. He takes off at once, bounding into the ropes and building up a head of steam… RUNNING HEEL KICK! NO! Jeckel catches his foot… JUGGALO JACKHAMMER! He covers for the pin! One… Two… Kickout! HHK struggles to his feet, his eyes bulging and tongue poking out… PUKANA! Jeckel is unsure what to make of the facial expression when… MAUI’S HOOK! WHAT A LEFT HAYMAKER! HardKore climbs the turnbuckle… FLYING KIWI! THIS THING IS DONE! One… Two… Three!]

[The Maori Warrior has defeated Jake Jeckel! Medical staff enter the ring to check on Jake’s condition, as he lays clutching his ribs and bleeding through his bandages while the Kiwi celebrates his victory with another Pukana.]

Say Something

Ringside

[After that brutal match, Hayden Hardkore makes his way to the back, leaving Jake in the ring to lick his wounds. Blood seeps through his bandages, and he holds them in pain. He really shouldn’t have left the hospital. He walks gingerly towards the ropes to leave, but…]

[BOOGIE WOOGIE WU RINGS OUT THROUGH THE TAP ROOM.]

[Jake steps back into the ring, and looks towards the entrance. After a short time, Jack Jeckel steps out. He has a concerned look on his face. He looks straight at his brother, who stares right back. Finally, Jack starts making his way towards the ring, as Jake grabs a microphone. Jack climbs the ring stairs, and steps through the ropes. He stands opposite his brother, as Jake begins.]

“What’s going on, little brother? I’ve spent a week and a half in the hospital thanks to what you did at Pandemonium. You made me miss the fuckin’ match, man! And you didn’t visit, you didn’t even fuckin’ call? Did the Family get to you? Are you infected with the Virus?”

[Jack just looks down. He doesn’t want to make eye contact with his brother. Jake pushes on.]

“Come on, man, don’t just stand there! Say something! I’m all cut up because of you, and they only reason I ain’t kickin’ your ass right now is because I know somethin’s wrong with you. Now talk!”

[Jake holds out the microphone. Jack still won’t make eye contact, but reaches out and takes the mic. He holds it up to his mouth… and blasts Jake in the head with it!! Jake goes down like a ton of bricks and Jack pounces. He pummels Jake into the canvas with a series of stomps. Then he drops to his knees and punches Jake over and over again in the head. Finally, he stands up, looks at his brother who is now bleeding from his cuts profusely, as well as a new laceration on his head. Jack stares down a moment longer, and then slips out of the ring. He walks backstage without looking back, as paramedics rush by with a stretcher.]

Desmond Cross vs. The Hangman

Singles Match

[We have a battle of the returning stars here tonight as the Fallen faces off against the Hangman. Will Cross show why he’s a former world champion or will he slip up into the Hangman’s noose?]

[The bell rings as Cross rushes forward, taking The Hangman by surprise with a big running crossbody, just driving him down to the mat. Cross pulls the Hangman to his feet, landing a few heavy shots to the kidneys before lifting him up and slamming him to the mat with a hard Belly to Belly Suplex. Desmond holds on as he lifts The Hangman up, trying for a second but the Hunter fights out, landing a heavy headbutt that staggers Desmond back as The Hangman rushes forward, LARIAT!]

[Desmond ducks under however and as The Hangman turns around, Cross delivers a hard Big Boot. The Hangman stumbles into the ropes, bouncing off, BIG BOOT OF HIS OWN! Cross takes it full force, crashing to the mat as the Hangman calls for the end. He patiently waits for Cross to get to his feet, holding his hand in the air before slamming it over Cross’s throat and powering him in the air, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT!]

[The Hangman covers, ONE…TWO…Cross gets the shoulder up! The Hangman calls for another but as he lifts Cross up to his feet, the Fallen kicks his knee out before swinging him down to the mat with a lightning fast Awakening! The Hangman slowly gets to his feet as he’s met with a kick to the gut but the Hangman slides down Cross’s shoulders as he lifts Cross up, trying for the Hunter’s Kill! Cross backdrops his way out of the Piledriver, drilling the Hangman with a hard knee to the temple before in an impressive show of power, pressing the Hangman onto his shoulders, FALL FROM GRACE! That has to be it as Cross covers, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!]

[The Fallen picks up a massive victory in his return to OSW, proving that the former champion hasn’t lost a step and any current champion best watch out for Cross is coming for them]

The Warrior

Backstage

[Backstage, Hayden HardKore is walking down the hallway when a voice calls him from the distance.]

“Welcome to VHS, my little Warrior. An opportunity awaits for you!”

[He turns around to find a large net engulfing him! As HHK struggles with the net, we see Fluffy tying it shut as Alistair Huxley steps in, a grin on his face.]

“Looks to me like you’re all tangled up, aren’t you? That’s okay, you’ll learn to appreciate it where you’re going, my friend.”

[HardKore pulls at the rope, giving a confused glare at Huxley.]

“What are you on about, ya hard case? I’ll have your guts for garters!”

[This just makes Huxley chuckle with delight.]

“Now this is what I’m talking about! You have the strength of a warrior, you’re the descendant of a demigod, and you have an amazing sense of humor to boot! You’d be perfect for my Circus, a new headliner to rebuild what was broken down. I’ll even call you Maui the Maori…how does that grab ya?”

[HardKore pulls the rope harder, eventually tearing it apart!]

“That’s a good yarn you’re spinning, but you’re two sammies short of a picnic if you think I’m interested. Ka kite, pakeha!”

[Fluffy quickly pulls a flabbergasted Huxley away, leaving the Maori Warrior to shake his head as Huxley and Fluffy escape down the hallway.]

“Next time you wanna throw a wobbly, you’d better bring a helmet…cause I’ll knock ya for six!”

[He turns to the shelf next to him, where his trusty Mere rests. He smiles with a nod as he grabs the club, heading down the other direction.]

[Cut.]

Death's Shadow

Backstage

[The DEAD walks down through the halls of the Tap Room, the usual bright lights being mysteriously dim, shadows from the various tables and equipment being cast across the walls. The DEAD eyes them warily, watching his back as he makes his way to the ring entrance. Suddenly the lights flicker, going out for mere milliseconds before coming back on, a new shadow joining those on the wall.]

[Or rather, new shadows.]

[The visage of hanging bodies swaying now cover the walls, DEAD turning around to see multiple men strung up across the ceiling like deranged little decorations. He backs up, his eyes widening as he takes a better look at the bodies.]

[They all resemble him.]

[He snarls knocking them to the side as he looks around the hall.]

“Do you think this is funny, Hangman? Trying to scare me? It won’t work. I’ve hung you once before, I have no qualms about doing it again.”

[DEAD glares as he searches the halls, knocking the hung bodies to the side, tearing them down as he does. He’s suddenly stopped in his tracks as The Hangman’s voice booms through the hallway.]

“You didn’t kill me, DEAD. You never even got close. I still walk this earth, I will ALWAYS walk this earth. Hang me, burn me, behead me. You cannot kill what is already dead.”

[DEAD turns around, looking for the voice, seeing nothing, he turns back to the bodies.]

[But all of them are gone.]

“You cannot stop me, DEAD. I will not stop until I have my revenge.”

“You’ll never even get a chance to lay a finger on me, Hangman. I feel no pain, and I feel no remorse for what I will do to you once you find the courage to meet me face to face.”

[He turns, walking away from the hall and to the ring, not shaken by the altercation. As he leaves the hallway behind, the lights flicker once more, Hangman standing in the middle of it, noose in hand.]

“You can try to run from me, DEAD. But in the end, I’m gonna getcha.”

Ethan Bird vs. The Dead

Singles Match

[The Dead stands in the ring awaiting Ethan Bird. The Sounds of the Streets comes over the P.A. and The Shepherd of Destruction makes his way to the ring. The Cavalera waits for Bird to enter the ring, and the bell sounds.]

[Bird motions mockingly at The Dead, and Dead obliges, rushing forward towards Ethan. Ethan nimbly dodges and rolls the Dead up with a schoolboy! One… Kickout! Both men quickly get to their feet and Bird taps his temple, insinuating his superior intelligence. Dead lunges forward again, this time clipping Bird with a hard elbow to the very same temple. Bird drops to a knee and tries to shake the cobwebs, but before he can, The Dead yanks him over with a snapmare! Dead leaps into the air, and drives a flying knee into Bird’s head! He mounts the downed Ethan and drives his thumbs into Bird’s eyes! SEE NO EVIL! The ref pulls Dead off of Ethan, and gives Bird a few moments.]

[Then Dead pushes past the referee, but Bird explodes up and grabs Dead, dropping him to his knee with an INVERTED ATOMIC DROP! Dead is stumbled even though he feels no pain! Bird rushes over and tosses Dead with a GUTWRENCH SUPLEX! He wastes no time with the painless one, and lifts him, and delivers a RUNNING POWERSLAM! One… Two… Thre… Kickout! Bird is unimpressed and lifts Dead once again for a PILEDRIVER!! Dead’s head almost went through the canvas! He looks unconscious as Bird covers again! One… Two… THREE!!]

[NO! The Dead somehow kicks out. Bird sits up and looks like he can’t believe it. He climbs to his feet and yanks Dead to his own. He throws Dead into the ropes, and bends for a back body drop, but Dead kicks him in is face! Bird reels, and Dead locks him in a bearhug, and begins to deliver vicious head butt after head butt! DEATH RATTLE!! Blood pours from both foreheads, but Bird grabs Dead’s head and drops to his knees delivering a big JAWBREAKER! Dead stumbles and Ethan kicks him to the gut, doubling him over… WORLD’S END DDT!!! One… Two… THREE!!!!]

[Ethan Bird pulls off the victory in a very difficult match tonight, and the Dead may feel no pain, but he will feel the sting of defeat once he wakes up.]

Book of Genesis

Ringside

[The match over, Ethan Bird rolls to the outside of the ring to grab a microphone.]

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” [He begins, chuckling as he does so.] “And I think we all know how that one fucked everything up!”

[He snorts as he begins to walk up the ramp.]

“But it’s time for a real god to emerge.” [Bird states with a smile.] “And this god isn’t going to make the same mistakes as the false god so many people worship.”

[Bird looks around the arena as he stands in the entrance way.]

“Because the mistake wasn’t in creation, the mistake was in giving the puppets the ability to realize they had strings. So this god isn’t going to do that. Instead, I’m going write my own Book of Genesis!”

[He begins to walk out of the arena as the camera follows him.]

“Adam and Eve were made in God’s image, but my puppets won’t be made in my own image. Because my image is perfect, and the two broken creatures that make up my creation story are far from that. They are soulless abominations that only exist to destroy.”

[Bird winds through the labyrinth of the Tap Room before finding his way to the parking lot where a vehicle waits for him, engine on.]

“Both of them have existed beyond the measurement of time, so in my mind, it’s time to set things right. It’s time for a god to pay these timeless beings back for what they have brought upon the Earth. Because humanity has suffered under their sway for too long, in my mind.”

[He climbs into the vehicle before rolling down the window to look at the camera.]

“It’s time for the Genesis to end. And they may not know it, but this god is not as forgiving as the last one.”

[Ethan Bird laughs as the window to his vehicle rolls up and it heads off.]

[Where is he going?]

[And what the hell is he talking about?]

Jack Jeckel vs. Calypso

Singles Match

[Calypso and Jack Jeckel stand in the ring ready to go toe to toe. The Boogieman and the Prophet begin to circle one another, and then the bell rings.]

[They come together and Calypso puts up her hands for a test of strength. Jack looks at her hands and laughs. He has over half a foot height advantage and weighs more than double her bodyweight. He shrugs and goes for it, and Calypso immediately kicks him in the balls! Jack drops to his knees and the ref scolds Calypso. She doesn’t care as she bounces off the ropes and hammers the kneeling Jeckel with a RUNNING KNEE LIFT! Jeckel’s lights go out as he collapses to the mat. She runs to the corner and runs up the turnbuckles… DIVING HEADBUTT! One… Two… Thre… Kickout!!]

[Calypso pounds on the mat in frustration! She grabs Jeckel by the hair and whips him to the ropes. But when he returns, he leaps with a CROSS BODY BLOCK that levels the smaller opponent! He rolls her into a pin… One… Tw… Kickout! He drops a couple knees into her midsection and then yank her up, just to slam her down with a CHUCK THE CHAINSAW!! The discus clothesline takes her head off, but he doesn’t cover, instead locking her into ECHO SIDE!! She screams in pain, but refuses to tap! Jack gives up on the move, just to stomp her head into the mat! He tries to pull her up, but she grabs his balls! TESTICULAR CLAW!! She follows with several heavy fists which drop Jack to the mat!]

[Calypso is in control once again, and stomps Jack into the canvas!  She jumps onto his back and locks him in an ILLEGAL CHOKEHOLD!! The ref gives her a hard 4.5 count until she releases the choke. She then pulls him to his feet and tries to whip him, but he reverses it and whips her instead. When she returns, he pops her up… MODIFIED BOOGEYMAN BOMB!! He quickly covers… One… Two… THREE!!!]

[Jack Jeckel gets the win over Calypso tonight, as the fallen Messiah is left to pick up the pieces in the ring.]

Rise of the Fallen

Recorded Earlier

[Previously Recorded]

[Nothing stands, only rubble and charred remains. A single figure kneels in the dust of what once was a place of his faith. A charred book, all too familiar to Solomon Rhodes. He brushes the ash off the charred cover of the bible, now illegible, casting his eyes about what once was his temple. Now, only rubble and ash. The Dragon shakes his head.]

“Pathetic…”

[He tosses the bible back down into the ashen remains of his temple, snuffing it down with his boot.]

“It took the betrayal and burning every aspect of my faith to see things clearly. Now, I can stretch my wings. Born out of the fire.

[Maniacal laughter sounds, echoing all around him in the rubble. He catches sight of the source of the laughter, watching him from what once stood a pillar of his temple. Slowly, Desmond Cross steps across the rubble toward the Dragon.]

Pathetic, yes… Look how much of your life has been given to the fight for a God who doesn’t care. You may turn from him, but his marks forever scar your flesh. And for what?”

[Cross turns abruptly, as if reacting to a voice behind him, only there is none. He shakes his head, muttering to himself before returning to face Solomon. A wild smile is on his face.]

“Born in the flames, risen from the flames…” [Desmond draws ever closer to Rhodes.] “Did you really think it was Bellator who burned this place to the ground?”

[Solomon fires him a brief moment of an inquisitive look, enough to receive another flurry of laughter from the imbalanced Fallen.]

“Everything that God’s hand has touched will be destroyed. Bricks, mortar… And flesh that bears the scars of the Lord who abandoned me. His hands mark your flesh, you cannot simply walk away from that. You must meet the same fate.”

[Solomon stands his ground.]

“I stand not in the name of the Lord, but to tear the veil between the hypocrisy and falsities that the manipulators of men impose. Those manipulators come in many shapes and forms. Religious, or scorned by God… You are still one of them. I walk to shatter the veil, risen as a beast of which you cannot control and you cannot destroy.”

[Cross simply smiles at Solomon’s stand.]

“It’s almost poetic. That the Fallen should rise from the ashes of your broken faith. The rubble of your past life breeding life to he who seeks vengeance on God himself. This is just the beginning, man.”

[Desmond tosses a cloud of ash from the rubble of Lazarus’s temple into the sky, sending the scene to black momentarily. When the ash settles, he is gone… and so is the Dragon.]

King Royal vs. Solomon Rhodes

Singles Match

[Pandemonium was a great night for both men but for the King, he just fell short of victory once again. Can he regain his dominance with a victory over the Dragon or will Rhode’s new found fire be too much for him?]

[The bell sounds as Rhodes rushes forward, nailing a flying dropkick that sends Royal crashing into the turnbuckles. Rhodes lands a hard knee to the side of the head that stuns Royal before Rhodes leaps up, FRANKENSTEINER! Royal crashes to the mat as Rhodes climbs up to the top rope but Royal slides out of the ring, trying to get a breather. Rhodes turns to Royal, leaping off, MOONSAULT…MISSES! Royal just moved as Rhodes splatted onto the hard concrete!]

[Royal looks over, a cocky smile on his face as he lifts Rhodes up to his feet, throwing him back in the ring. Royal quickly follows, not pinning Rhodes but lifting him up to his feet as he slaps him to the mat with a Snap Suplex. Royal hangs on as he pulls Rhodes up, dropping him to the mat with a Belly to Belly. Nigel hangs on again before snapping Rhodes down with a Fisherman’s Suplex. Royal follows through with the cover as the referee counts]

[ONE…TWO…Rhodes gets the shoulder up. Royal tries to pull Rhodes up again but gets a kick to the back of the knee before rolling back, DARKWISH! Rhodes drills Royal but doesn’t cover as he heads up to the top rope, sizing up Royal before diving off, BLOO…MID-AIR DROPKICK! The King drills Rhodes out of the air as the Dragon collapses to the canvas. King Royal signals for the end as he drops down, hooking in the Dungeons of London! Rhodes struggles, refusing to tap as he tries to claw his way to the ropes but Royal pulls him back into the middle of the ring. Rhodes raises his hand as if about to tap when he suddenly bridges back, putting Royal’s shoulders back on the mat. The referee counts, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!]

[The Dragon wins this out of nowhere, taking victory out of sure defeat as the never say die heart of Rhodes allows him to prevail once more]

Watching

Somewhere Else

[Rain lashes down against the window of an old apartment building, violently battering it thanks to the wind. Inside, the walls are covered in oozing black veins of the Virus.]

[The front door opens and in walks Jensen Cussen, looking for his daughter.]

“Stephanie?” [He yells out, searching the rooms one by one. Finally, she appears behind him, as if out of no-where. He turns around, startled, and steps backwards.] “Where did you come from?”

“What’s the matter, daddy?” [She hisses.] “Did you miss me?”

[Stephanie isn’t the same. She’s a twisted, sickened, disturbed individual. Even Cussen, despite his infection, is taken back.]

“We need to get you out of here, darling. Phoenix has defeated the infection. He’s going to come for you.”

[She smiles.] “Oh, I’m not afraid of the big bad bird, daddy. Jacob is weak. I could sense his purging of our Virus long before he revealed himself to me. He told me, didn’t you know? He sat me down, stroked my hair and told me that he was going to rescue me.”

[Cussen seems surprised.]

“He said he was biding his time and when the moment was right, he was going to pluck me from the arms of my family and destroy the darkness inside of me. I couldn’t let him do that,” [she says with a shake of her head.] “Oh no. What would father say?”

[Jensen pulls her close, into his arms and embraces her.]

“How dare he try to take you from me,” [he says.] “How da-“

[Stephanie pushes him backwards.] “Oh, you’re silly daddy. I didn’t mean you, stupid. I meant father.”

[She looks towards a decrepit painting on the wall, whereby she sits on the lap of DTR, with Jensen, Jacob and The Dead stood around him. She meant David, not Jensen. Phoenix’ face has been scratched away, revealing a hole in the canvas.]

Father wants you to destroy Jacob. He wants you to break his spine. At No Exit, inside Cellular Infection, he wants you to kill him.”

[Jensen looks at her, confused.] “Cellular Infection?

[There’s a boisterous laugh that you wouldn’t believe emanates from her, as she wanders away with her back turned.]

“A Steel Cell covered in what makes us, us, daddy,” [She bellows.] “Ain’t that somethin’?”

[A sinister smile creeps across the face of Cussen, who rubs his hands together in glee.]

[The camera spins back to the window, where the rain still splashes fiercely up against it. Only this time, we look closer.]

[Sat perched on the fire escape railing, Jacob Phoenix sits, having heard it all. The rain drenches him, every pitter patter nailing him as he watches. He cuts a lonely figure, sat there in the rain, the love of his life on the other side of a glass window, wishing for his demise.]

[Cut.]

Alistair Huxley vs. Mother

Rewind Championship Match

[Mother vs Huxley. Can the Ringmaster tame this act, or will Mother tear him apart?]

[The bell rings and Mother doesn’t waste a minute in going after Huxley, firing away with a barrage of lefts and rights, forcing Huxley into the ropes! She leaps for a dropkick but Huxley dodges by falling back over the ropes and onto the apron! Mother tries for a  quick jab but Alistair catches it and ARMDRAGS MOTHER TO THE OUTSIDE! The champ lands on her feet, turning around INTO A DOUBLE FOOTSTOMP! Huxley taunts to the crowd before trying to pry mother up, the champ hitting a harsh headbutt before slamming Huxley headfirst onto the apron and rolling him into the ring!]

[The ringmaster is dazed and Mother is unrelenting as she goes on the offense, catching Huxley with a sharp kick to the ribs before pulling him into a short-arm lariat! Mother is on fire, landing hard kicks on the downed Huxley before lifting him up by the hair, she whips him into the ropes, going for an elbow strike when Huxley ducks! Mother turns around into a harsh backhand the only seems to piss her off! She headbutts Ali before pulling him into a DDT- HUXLEY REVERSES INTO A SNAPMARE DRIVER! Mother is taken by surprise, the impact grounding her!]

[Both competitors are down and Huxley is the first to stir. He rolls to the ropes where he shouts orders to a waiting Fluffy! The big man moves around to the opposite end of the ring and distracts the referee by getting on the apron! Huxley reaches under the ring and pulls out A BASEBALL BAT! He gets into a batter stance and waits for Mother to get up, the champ slowly rising in a daze, turning around AND DUCKING A SWING FROM HUXLEY! BLACK MIST! HAPPILY EVER AFTER! Mother clobbers Huxley with the knee before pinning! ONE! TWO! THREE!]

[Despite Huxley’s best attempts, Mother still comes away with her title in hand. Can anyone stop this monster?]

A Special Report I

Recorded Earlier

[White words, black screen.]

AN ALVIN J. HOFFERMAN INVESTIGATION
OSW INVESTIGATIONS AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS

In the year 2000, William Edwards–a bright young man born in rural Pennsylvania–graduates from the undergraduate history program at Northern Forest University.

[An old photo appears. A smiling young man in his high school graduation gown: short-cropped hair, green eyes. Another photo, college freshmen move-in day. A fraternity party. A class presentation video. Overtop, a voice.]

Soon after he begins a doctorate program at the prestigious Stewart College in upstate New York. Excelling in his studies and popular with his classmates, Edwards is a lock for a tenured teaching position at Stewart, right out of graduate school.

[A photo montage: the green and white emblem of Stewart College, its scenic campus; the quad; Flickinger Hall; a slightly older Edwards posing at a party, his hair longer and a beard on his face.]

I’m Alvin J. Hofferman and this is an Old School Wrestling special report. Attentive viewers may be asking themselves, “What does this have to do with OSW?”

[The photos disappear. A man enters the frame. In his twenties and slender, clad in thick-rim glasses and gray suit, with a maroon ties. His hair is parted to one side.]

Don’t worry. You’ll find out soon enough.

[Alvin J. Hofferman smiles.]

At Stewart College, William Edwards spends three years, enjoying the academic life. He teaches and inspires many students, who to this day sing his praises.

In his first year teaching he falls in love with a fellow professor, Persephone Mills, seen here. They become engaged after two years of dating.

[A beautiful woman appears. Her hair is dark, down to her shoulders. Her skin is porcelain white. She smiles warmly in the picture, cooking scrambled eggs, morning sunlight shining through the window behind her.]

All the while Edwards engages fervently in research projects as well as his own writings and treatises. He is published in several academic journals.

[Books and research articles written by Edwards appear on the screen. One, published in Philosopher’s Quarterly, is titled “The Unifying Godhead.” Another, a thick tome,entitled, “To Dream of a Higher Purpose: Parsing True Meaning from Ancient Texts.”]

Edwards continues to dig deeper and deeper into ancient texts. Searching for answers, clues, hints at the cosmos, sacred wisdom. Anything that could make it all make sense. The duty of a philosopher, as he would often say.

[Alvin J. Hofferman smiles.]

In February 2013, he abruptly leaves the United States on a midnight, one-way flight to Rome. Records show that William Edwards purchased his ticket merely an hour before takeoff. All his books and papers went with him, but not much else.

[Travel documents, surveillance footage, and the times and dates of various communications sent by Edwards, including locations. A letter to his mentor, Doctor Regulus, sent from Alaska. An email to Persephone, noting he’s in Moscow, and that he misses her. A letter to his mother sent from Rio de Janeiro. Postcards from London.]

From there, official documents and testimonies from his acquaintances paint a scattershot picture of someone constantly on the move. Edwards seems to cross the globe three times a week in between 2013 and 2015. His by-then-estranged fiancee, family, colleagues, students, and mentors report brief and vague but consistent correspondence with William Edwards throughout this time period.

At the end of 2015, Williams goes dark. You may remember #FindWilliam, a brief social media phenomenon, and the subsequent efforts to locate Edwards. Still, he goes unfound.

[Persephone, older now. Her face is more gaunt, her eyes colder. She is still beautiful.]

Until Christmas Eve, 2016. Recently unearthed informations shows that Persephone received a phone call from what had by then become her former fiancee, sent from a satellite connection. Logs show his signal originated from a remote rainforest in South America.

On New Year’s Eve, 2016, surveillance footage shows that Persephone Mills left the country via a one-way flight to Greece.

[To be continued.]

It'll Only Hurt A Little

Somewhere Else

[The sound of a blade sharpening against a honing stone can be heard in the background of a decrepit and out of use warehouse. Cobwebs are strewn across the empty room, with only broken boxes and general waste to keep them company.]

[Sat in the middle of this room, tied to a wooden chair, is none other than The Virus. He has a piece of tape across his mouth, ensuring he cannot speak.]

[Slowly and methodically, Sergei Sokolov enters the frame, still sharpening his blade.]

“Do you know why Sergei brought you here?” [The brute asks, kneeling opposite.] “It because you have something I need.”

[DTR’s head tilts. He’s heard this before.]

“Not first time you heard this, huh?” [He says with a grimace, rolling his head slightly.] “Sergei understands. Everybody want Virus. Everybody want find out what make Dave tick.”

[The Red Tsar stands up and walks closer, looming largely and casting a giant shadow over DTR.]

“Sergei not care why you infected. Sergei not care what Virus to do him. You understand, David? Sergei need you to tell him how you came to be infected.”

[He rips the tape off, demanding answers.]

“Oh son, do you know how many times I’ve been asked that?” [DTR says, grinning devilishly.] “It’s getting embarrassing. You’re not the only one who understands, okay? I understand too. I have something you want, something you need, and you’re going to use that big sharp knife to get it from me. You don’t need to, son. If you want the Virus, you can have it.”

[Sergei’s eyes widen slightly. He didn’t expect that.] “Sergei can have it?”

[DTR nods in agreement.] “All you have to do is join The Family. Our virus, it takes time to take a hold of you but once it has, you’ll feel indestructible.”

NO!” [Sokolov yells.] “I not have time for this. I not have time for your foolish games!”

[With the knife in hand, he looks at it, then down at DTR.]

Hold still. It’ll only hurt a little.”

[His looming figure covers our screen as the screams of The Virus echo throughout the warehouse. The Russian Bear uses his knife, his sharpened knife, looking for answers that DTR may not be willing to share.]

[What’ll be left of DTR by the time he’s finished?]

[Cut.]

A Special Report II

Recorded Earlier

[Continued.]

[Suddenly, OSW headquarters, seen from far away. A man steps out of a limousine.]

In the early part of May, a man named William Abraxas arrived at the Old School Wrestling headquarters, clad in black, his voice an insidious baritone.

[A woman steps out of the limousine, dark hair fluttering in the breeze.]

He demanded a contract having never stepped foot in the ring, never wrestled, never been in a reported altercation or drunken bar fight.

[Alvin J. Hofferman is glaring.]

For reasons this reporter is still struggling to understand, his request was granted. Further negotiations were handled by Abraxas’ manager: his wife, Persephone.

[William Abraxas: Dark brown hair, tucked behind his ears, falling to just above his shoulders. A flat nose, arched eyebrows. He looks bemused, like a cat smiling at its prey.]

We here at the OSW Investigations and Internal Affairs Department can confirm a major revelation in the saga of the disappeared philosopher, William Edwards.

Eye witness accounts from the meeting with William Abaraxas at OSW headquarters–as well as the official OSW photography you’re looking right now–prove undeniably that newcomer William Abraxas is the same person as the believed-dead professor, author, and Internet obsession, William Edwards.

A shocking conclusion to this tale, and one no one saw coming.

Still, questions remain. What was Edwards–or Abraxas, I suppose–doing all this time? Why didn’t he speak with anyone when the whole world thought he was dead? What was he seeking? And why, of all places, has he come to OSW? What could he possibly want here?

Until we see Abraxas up close and personal and hear it from his lips, your guess is as good as mine. Who is this man? What does he want? Only time shall tell.

Until next time, I’m Alvin J. Hofferman. This has been an OSW special report.

[Alvin J. Hofferman smiles.]

[Black text, white screen.]

AN ALVIN J. HOFFERMAN INVESTIGATION
OSW INVESTIGATIONS AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS

The Scarecrow vs. Tommy Hawk

Singles Match

[The crowd is whipped into a frenzy as the OSW World Champion Tommy Hawk squares off with the VHS Champion Scarecrow. These two forces of nature eye each other from their respective corners.]

[The match starts off innocuously enough as Hawk and Crow each step out to the center of the ring. Crow sneers in the face of Hawk, disrespecting the Chief and showing that he fears no mortal man. The Champ smiles back before going for a punch. But Scarecrow NAILS THE HAYMAKER! Hawk hits the mat with force as Crow goes down for the cover. ONE… KICK OUT BY TOMMY HAWK! The World Champion is back to his feet, rubbing his jaw while shaking his head. It won’t be that easy. The Hayman shrugs and ducks a Hawk clothesline, but the Champ NAILS A GERMAN SUPLEX!]

[The feeling out process over, Crow rolls outside the ring, but Hawk isn’t done. GOING NATIVE THROUGH THE ROPES ON CROW! Both men rise to their feet, just in time for Tommy Hawk to throw his opponent back into the ring. Hawk slides in after Crow, but the monster is ready for him, laying in shots on the back of Tommy. Scarecrow throws Hawk into the corner and begins to lay in with vicious strikes to the face and body of the Champ. He nails a huge uppercut, but that seems to empower Tommy, who slips behind Scarecrow. DRAGON SUPLEX!]

[In the middle of the ring, Scarecrow sits up only to find Tommy Hawk flying at him. CLOTHESLINE! ONE… KICK OUT! Both men rise to their feet, Hawk nodding his acceptance that it won’t be that easy to beat Crow either. Scarecrow rushes in with shocking swiftness to grab Hawk around the throat! But Hawk kicks the Hayman in the leg before grabbing his arm. EXPLODER SUPLEX! Crow is slower getting up this time, and Hawk quickly charges in hooking a front face lock. BRAINBUSTER TO CROW! ONE… TWO… KICK OUT FROM SCARECROW! The VHS Champion isn’t done, not by a longshot!]

[With Crow down, Tommy Hawk gets to his feet and begins to look out to the people assembled in the Tap Room. He holds his hand up to the heavens and reaches behind his back to a huge pop. He pulls his imaginary tomahawk out and begins to go into his usual theatrics. As Crow gets to his feet, Hawk powers up and runs at him, but CROW GRABS HIM AROUND THE NECK! Hawk drops to a knee, but Scarecrow powers him up in the air for the Bye Bye Birdie. HAWK SLIPS DOWN. OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Both men jump to their feet!]

[The crowd is at a high as the two gladiators clash in the center of the ring, each of the throwing their best strikes at one another. Tommy Hawk has thrown the kitchen sink at Scarecrow, but the Hayman keeps coming. Hawk gets battered back by a vicious right hand from Crow, and gets goozled right after. BYE BYE… NO! Hawk hits the mat in front of Crow RED ARR… NO! HAYMAKER TO HAWK! The World Champ falls backwards, but hits the ropes instead of the ground. He bounces back and somehow finds his weapon again. THE SCALP! CROW IS DOWN! ONE… TWO… THREE!!! HAWK HAS DONE IT!]

[The World Champion sits up as the crowd goes crazy for the spectacle they just witnessed. He rolls out of the ring to head to the back while Scarecrow just begins to sit up, angry at what just happened.]

The Forbidden Tree

Ringside

[The main event is over, and what a main event it was!]

[But the lights quickly drop and the video screen above the entrance way lights up.]

“Scarecrow!” [A voice calls, grabbing the attention of the Hayman.]

[Ethan Bird is on that screen with a wide grin behind his beard. He cocks his head to the side as we can see that Bird is standing in some outdoor area. Trees rise all around him like some kind of wooded cage, yet this is no caged Bird.]

“Just like Adam, you follow a woman to your own demise.” [Bird begins.] “You were created to answer to no one, but you’ve bowed your heard to Mother. Even though you could destroy her without a care, you still do her bidding.”

[Scarecrow seems amused by this development, but extremely interested in what Bird has to say.]

“She builds an army of children around you, while you still stand alone. Do you truly believe that she is your Mother?”

[Bird spits on the ground.]

“Why would you serve a mother when you could serve a GOD?”

[Bird seems to inhale power with his every breath.]

“You do it because she holds power over you. You do it because she saved you from demise. You do it because you are weak, Scarecrow. And if there is one thing I cannot stand, it is weakness. You are meant to be so much more than that.”

[Ethan Bird holds his hand out.]

“Bow to me, Scarecrow, and I will give you power beyond your wildest imaginations. Leave behind the weak woman you serve, and bow to your god.”

[He walks over to the nearest tree and looks up at the fruit dangling from it.]

“Because she is like that old God, Crow. She tries to deprive you of your own ability to walk on your own. She controls you with the very power she used to bring you back from the brink of eternal darkness.”

[Bird pulls down the fruit off the tree. It’s a red apple that he seems to take a look at it intently.]

“I won’t stop you from eating of the forbidden tree. It contains the knowledge you will need, Crow, if you are to endure beyond this current trial.”

[He takes a bite of the apple, bits of it resting in his beard.]

“Come to me, Scarecrow. Bow to me.”

[Bird eats the apple with a grin on his face as the video cuts.]

[In the middle of the ring Scarecrow seems intrigued, yet he begins to laugh aloud as darkness falls over the arena.]

[The sounds of crows fluttering fills our ears, and when the lights come back on, Scarecrow is gone.]

[What will Scarecrow do?]

[Is Ethan Bird telling the truth?]

[Darkness ends VHS as these questions ring in our ears.]