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AFTERBURN #12 – DRAGGED OVER HOT COALS

REST IN PEACE
A cold open.

For the first time in a long time, there’s no bell to kick off Afterburn. Instead of that, Errol Flint stands in the middle of the ring, surrounded by utter silence as he returns from a sabbatical to discuss the events of last week.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, last week in this very ring, we witnessed the unthinkable. Jack Tyler or Smoke as you know him was the victim of an assault by Red River Jack and subsequently died en-route to the hospital.”

The fans break their silence to boo. The camera circles the audience, revealing tears from many in attendance.

“I’m afraid that a current police investigation prohibits me from talking about the incident but tonight, we’re dedicating this event and the proceeds to Jack Tyler and his family,” Errol says to a cheer. He lowers his head and even wipes tears from his eyes. “Rest in peace Smoke.”

Suddenly the lights go off.

“What’s this?” Errol almost rages down the microphone. “Someone turn the lights back on immediately!”

The lights don’t come back on, oh no, instead of that, a voice booms from the entrance ramp.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt. So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days.”

The unmistakable voice of Desmond Cross booms as he makes his way towards Errol Flint. We can’t see anything except pitch black, and that’s when Errol intervenes.

“Who the hell do you think you are!?” Errol fumes. He can’t believe that Cross dare interrupt his dedication of this show to Smoke’s memory. “Do you think you’re going to get away with this!?”

“Errol, please, let’s not make this harder than it has to be. You’ve been lucky so far, haven’t you? My plagues haven’t directly affected you but tonight, darkness reigns over Old School Wrestling,” Cross says by now inside the ring, opposite Flint, though we can’t see that. “And at Pandemonium, along with destroying your future son-in-law and taking back my Championship, I will ascend to Desmond Christ and you all will kneel before me.”

“That might just happen, Desmond. It might. But darkness doesn’t ruin the show tonight. I’ve taken extra precautions and those lights you see above us, well they aren’t for show. Switch em on,” Errol demands looking upwards at the spotlights above the ring. the crowd is still entirely darkened but there’s now at least enough light to illuminate the ring.”Until we fix whatever you’ve done, these will mean that the show.. does.. go on.”

The fans roar but not just because of that good news. Mike Lane slides into the ring from behind and attacks Cross, thundering a right forearm across his back. He beats him into the ropes and whips him across the ring.. SHADOW KICK!! WHAM!! GOODNIGHT!Desmond hits the canvas hard and the fans are on their feet. He waves towards the ceiling and a cross is quickly lowered.

Mike pulls Desmond to his feet and slams him into the Cross, nailing him with a right hand for good measure. He ties him up and has him raised, waving up towards the sky until Cross is off the canvas. The People’s Choice, even amongst the roaring cheers, asks for Flint’s microphone.

“If you want to be Jesus, you have to suffer like Jesus,” Lane declares boldly. “You son of a bitch!

The cross is risen into the air and is quickly out of the sight. Mike shakes hands with Errol and WHOOSH!! Suddenly the ENTIRE CROSS IS ON FIRE ABOVE THEIR HEAD!! The crowd can’t believe it – though Desmond Cross is GONE. Lane looks up in shock, realizing that Desmond has vanished from an impossible situation. He looks towards Flint who suggests they leave the ring, The People’s Choice not needing a second invitation.

ATTICUS KYLL VS. LORD MERRIWEATHER
We begin with Kyll and Merriweather locking up in the center of the ring. MERRIWEATHER with a knee to the midsection that doubles “The Sin Slayer” over. RAKE to the back from Lord Richard that brings Kyll to an agonizing roar. Irish whip coming up now. Kyll to the ropes and the running return, CROSS BODY BLOCK FROM KYLL! Into a cover! ONE … TWO … MERRIWEATHER is able to kicked out in just the knick of time. Both men quick to their feet and SUPERKICK FROM ATTICUS KYLL! Lord Richard Merriweather goes down hard. Another pin. ONE … TWO … NO!

Somewhat surprisingly “The First Class” was able to kick out again. Atticus Kyll won’t stop there though. He brings Merriweather back to his feet and EYE RAKE from Richard! AND ANOTHER! The official is right there in Lord Merriweather’s face. He’s not going to let that go on forever. Big right hand from the OSW Commissioner. AND another. Merriweather is literally punching Kyll into the corner and after a couple more vicious hooks the referee steps in again, separating the two superstars. LOOK OUT! Merriweather with a slap to the head of Kyll. You’ve got to be kidding me!

AND THAT JUST WOKE KYLL UP! “The Homicidal Hero” leaps from the corner and nails Merriweather with a boot to the midsection. There’s a kick to the ribs. To the thigh. To the OTHER thigh. Another kick to the ribs. JUMPING knee to the gut and … SNAP SUPLEXfrom Kyll! He’s on a roll! Kyll now, going to the corner. He’s climbing the ropes! Wait a second! It’s Edward! Edward is up on the ring apron. But Kyll won’t bite and he LEAPS INTO THE AIR! “THE END”! “THE END” FROM ATTICUS KYLL! Going for the cover. ONE … TWO … THREE! Atticus did it! Kyll picks up his first OSW victory over a very formidable opponent!!

DEATH BY
Vespertine walks down the hall dressed in her wrestling outfit, she rounds a corner and runs smack dab into the resident backstage interviewer, Fred Sanders, who turns around with a growl, sees it is her and looks at her salaciously up and down. She backs up a step and raises an eyebrow. He regains his composure.

“Ahhh, the new girl on the roster. Don’t have many of them. Can I ask you a few questions?”

She just looks at him

“ Wait…. can you speak English? Or is it Engrish in your language?” he speaks loudly and slowly so she can understand him better. “CAN… YOU….SPEAK…. ENGLISH? DO…. YOU… UNDERSTAND… WHAT… I’M…SAYING?”

She still stares at him

“Fuck! I need an interpreter for her,” Fred says looking around at some of the techies. “Do any of you know where I can get an interpreter? Crazy japy girl here can’t speak a word of English. Errol hired her for some reason I can’t understand and she can’t speak English,” he rudely continues whilst catching a techie by the arm, “You! Go get an interpreter. My, I would love to get in bed with you and see what you Asian women are all about. Give us a kiss.”

She narrows her eyes at him, then takes a step forward, grabs the microphone and turns to the camera to address it.

“Fate, you can thank Mr. Oblivious over here for the fact that I’m now in a bitchy mood because of his dog vs. kitty cat attitude and because of that, I WILL kick your ass all over this arena. I don’t care about Charlie and in this match, you shouldn’t either. I am coming and I will NOT stop until I have made an example of you. I want this win, I WILL get this win and whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, you will feel death by diva You think you’re on cloud nine because you got this great looking woman and you have a good record here in OSW. Well that ends tonight and that woman, yeah, sorry not impressed. I’m better than she will ever be. I’m better in bed, I’m better in the ring, I’m better at kicking her ass all over the place if she decides to step in the ring to save you.”

Suddenly a heavy breathing interrupts her spiel. She turns to the left and there stands The Hangman – who takes her entirely by surprise. He looks ominous, a rope hung around his neck whilst looking as pale as can be.

“Pride comes before the fall,” he says stepping closer. “And the fall is steep from the tree of woe when rope is hung about your neck.”

The Hangman doesn’t await a response and simply continues down the hall, leaving everyone utterly dumbfounded by his eerie nature. As he finishes, Vespertine looks back towards the equally shocked and dumbfounded Fred.

“ Yeah? Who needs an interpreter now, douche bag?” she says referencing her English and the fact that The Hangman spoke in riddles. Ves walks off, throwing the microphone back at Sanders who has no idea what just happened. Meanwhile, her match is up NEXT.

FATE VS. VESPERTINE
The bell and for a few moments Vespertine and Fate stare at each other in the ring. Fate has a smirk on his face while Vespertine grimaces back at him. Suddenly they lock up and for a few seconds neither gains the advantage. Then, because Fate is a lot heavier than her, he backs her up into the corner, pulls her back out and then pushes her into the ring post which slams her back into the ring post. He backs up and gives her a big kiss then tries to slap her across the face but she ducks and moves out of the way, he turns and gets hit by a huge roundhouse kick. He doesn’t move in time and gets caught in the ropes. She grabs his arm and tries to irish whip him across the ring but he puts on the breaks and reverses it. As she comes back, he tries for a short arm clothesline but she ducks under it, rebounds off the ropes, and then flies and tries a cross body block on him but he catches her in mid air and holds her there for a few seconds.

He attempts a Side Walk Slam but she hangs on and wraps an arm around his neck and executes a tornado DDT but it gets her as well because she is under his arm. Both of them are up at the same time and in the space of the next five minutes, both are attacking, countering, dodging, running and flying, the height of which she jumps on the ring post and attempts a 450 splash onto him but he moves out of the way at the last second. She sees this and lands on her feet in a crouched position but as she gets up he grabs her around the waist and executes a perfect German Suplex. He doesn’t stop there as per Chris Benoit, he goes for a second one with success.

Then he tries a third time but he doesn’t see she put her hands on the ropes and as he tries to execute it. She then uses her elbow to hit him in the head which connects and he lets go of her. She falls onto the ropes but quickly regains composure and then attempts an off the rope jumping spinning heel kick. It connects and he goes down hard. She quickly rolls him up in a schoolboy pin rollup and a 1 2 3 count later, she wins.

YOU ARE NOT MY KING
Lord Tremblay enters the arena to address the audience. He asks everyone to rise for the entrance of “King Konstantine of the House Orwell, first of his name, Ruler of the Ring and Defender of Wrestling.” Queen Kassandra enters next, followed by King Konstantine. The King sits on a throne, carried to the ring on the shoulders of his King’s Guard. No music accompanies the royal family, only the sounds of his loving admirers in attendance.

They all enter the ring, placing the Throne on the canvas as Konstantine retakes his seat upon it, a microphone handed to him by Lord Tremblay.

“My royal subjects, I thank you for your adulation,” Konstantine says to a roar of boo’s that he apparently ignores. “I know that tonight, you’ve come to see your King seek vengeance for the treasonous acts committed upon him last week. My royal bowels were turned into knots and I made a disgrace of the commode backstage. Such embarrassment will be dealt with swiftly. Ryan LeCavalier, get yourself out here immediately!”

He waits, waits and waits some more – except there’s no sign of LeCavalier.

“You coward!” he screams angrily. “How dare you disobey an order from your..”

“God Save Our Queen” flares up and out steps Nigel from behind the curtain, union jack flag draped over him like a cape. He signals to the crowd for silence right now and to listen and obey the greatest anthem in the world. The crowd naturally don’t play along which brings a look of disgust on Nigel’s face.

Standing at the top of the ramp way he stands as tall as a mountain, hand on his heart and blares out God save the queen with all his heart, after the first verse he proceeds to make his way down the ramp, scowling toward the people he thinks have just disrespected his great country. Upon reaching the ring Nigel unties the union jack flag he has been wearing as a cape and holds it high for all to see, before placing it on the canvas and receiving a microphone.

“Konstantine, this has been a few weeks coming, has it not? You see, since your debut here in Old School Wrestling, you’ve been running around here with a King’s Guard, acting as if everyone should bow and listen to your every command,” he notes, thinking about it. Nigel steps forward to the throne, the Guard quickly getting between he and the King. “But let me make this abundantly clear to you now, I don’t recognize you as my King.”

King Konstantine Orwell cannot believe it. He demands that his guards step aside and they do. He stands up and approaches Royal, looking disgusted.

“I’m from the GREAT country of ENGLAND and we have a QUEEN.”

“A QUEEN you say? An imposter to my throne? Let me tell you something, Nigel. Let me enlighten you. Your King doesn’t need peasants like you to bow before him. You should be a chamber maid, serving the King’s Guard – not out here with your falsehoods and accusations. Don’t you have enough trouble with Sir Kersh? Are you sure you want to continue down this path?”

Nigel suddenly strikes him with a right hand, only for the Guard to attack him quickly with right hands. He tries to fight them off but they’re very strong, grapping by both arms and throwing him into Konstantine who OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!! MASSIVE CLOTHESLINE THAT TURNS ROYAL INSIDE OUT!! Konstantine stands over him, his grown slightly aside his head. Tremblay offers him a microphone.

“You will see it, peasant. You will see the world bow before their King at Pandemonium. You may be in that ring second, but only KING KONSTANTINE will be first! OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!”

The King and his Guard quickly make haste towards the backstage, their message having been sent. King Konstantine has an intent to win Pandemonium and no-one, not Ryan LeCavalier or Nigel Royal is going to stop him; though you had better believe that Royal will seek revenge at Pandemonium.

MARCUS X VS. MIKE LANE
A nervous look around from Marcus before this one, must be on edge after last week. Sensing the nervousness Lane, using his champion-like instincts tries to pounce, goes for a drop toe hold. X dodges and tries to go for a power attack of his own, Lane this time the reverser and the two men end in a standing position once again facing each other in a standing position. The crowd in attendance sound there appreciation for two technically sound athletes putting on great technical exhibit there.

Appreciative nods out the way and this one gets really physical. Lane used his size advantage and some big moves end with Marcus laying flat on the floor, quickly applying a half Boston crab, pain evident in Marcus’ eyes. “LETS GO MARCUS!! COME ON LANE” chants ring out. Marcus reaches the ropes and Lane is forced to let go. Back to the grind, the two show off there skills again, Marcus picking up the momentum with a body block knocking Lane for six, X also down but throws his arm over Lane for a cover. Nothing more than a short two count there.

Up top. BODY SPLASH! Cover again one… TWO…. KICK-OUT again. X relentless here, the frustration of last week washing over him puts the boots to Lane, Belly to Belly suplex which sends Lane across the ring like a beanbag. Pin Again, ANOTHER KICK-OUT. Throwing the champion off the ropes X hooks him up for blackout, struggle ensues. Lane is free but Marcus behind now. Locked in, its locked in, TIMES OF CHANGE is in. No sign of tapping, Lane looks dreary. He’s out cold, Hand drops once….. Twice….. THREE TIMES, its over. Our world champion couldn’t be beat by pin-fall, wouldn’t tap, blacking out was literally the only way. He’s not been having a good time of it lately and with his confidence at an all time low, how can he go on to defeat Desmond Cross.

NO BUSINESS
In the locker room of the newest formed Tag Team on the roster, we arrive to find them arguing back and forth.

“Look, I don’t know what your problem is pal but there’s just no way that’s going to happen,” Thomas Roll argues. “We may be the most formidable team to ever form on this roster but that doesn’t mean you’re always right!”

Pickpocket scoffs.

“Always right? Come on man, isn’t it obvious?”

“NO!” Roll yells. “Only one will win Pandemonium and..”

“Buford and I know exactly who that will be, we’ve told you.”

“SERGEANT BANANAS, SHOW HIM!”

Bananas suddenly jumps up into the air and nails Thomas Roll with an impressive Hurricanranna – one that in fairness, Roll flung himself into.

“What does that prove?” Pickpocket scoffs. He nods at Buford who looks at him as if to warn that he’s no dancing puppet. “Buford and I don’t need to stoop to your level to prove that we’re going to win Pandemonium.”

“Did you just see that Hurricanranna!? What can Buford do?” Roll says picking himself back up again. “You need to face it, we’re going to win Pandemonium and headline Ring Of Dreams. There’s just nothing you can do about it.”

Pickpocket just sneers at him as we head to a commercial break.

THE SERPENT
Darkness is faintly illuminated by a lit fireplace. The humming of static emitting from a television tuned to a lost station seems to sway with the thick flames. At the forefront, Reichous Marx sits on a folding chair in front of an easel that brings with it a blank canvas; a tray of gourmet colors rests in his lap as he tilts his head and focuses at the white square.

“We are the dream makers. We’re the ones with wands. We could make anything we want come true with a simple flick of the wrist.”

Marx dips his index finger into a pool of red paint and starts to slide it against the canvas – making a straight line initially, and connecting a backwards “C” at the top.

“What counts is how we manage to sustain that moment in time.”

Marx continues, dabbing a little bit more paint on his finger to draw out an “A” and then an “N” before stopping, sitting back, and staring at the canvas again.

“Because it’ll run away if you don’t pay attention to it. And then what? What are you? You are exactly the person that you made every attempt to elude to begin with. You had your chance to capture the stars and instead – you let them burst and scatter. All because you chose to remain stationary.”

Marx finishes up the lettering with some more reds and yellows, before initiating something different below – this time with pure black paint. This seemingly takes no effort, as Marx aggressively rubs the globs of coloring all over the bottom half of the canvas – his eyes closed in the process.

“You remain stationary because of your church, your God, your belief that you are far too powerful for anything to move you. What you don’t understand is that nothing can stop movement. Nothing will get in its way, nothing can penetrate it, nothing will – ruin it.”

In mere moments, Marx sits back again and opens his eyes. The word “PANDEMONIUM” is spread across the canvas like a jagged header to an epitaph. Below, a black snake with its tongue unraveling up toward the final letter. Marx lets out a sigh of relief and closes his eyes again.

“I need no God. I need no church. All I need is what I am – the truth. And with the truth out there, the movement that all of you fear the most will only become that much more aggressive. Sound the serpent, I’m coming.”

THE HANGMAN VS. MATTHEW CORIES
The bell rings and we’re underway here. The Hangman steps forward and wasting little time, punishes Cories with a boot deep to the midsection doubling over the former Hardcore Champion. From that position Hangman kicks Cories right in the shoulder, chest area and he pops back up. Dazed, The Hangman connects with a devastating Bicycle Kick, dropping him to the canvas. The Hangman doesn’t stop there, he goes to the canvas after grabbing the right arm, looking to lock in The Noose but Cories is able to wiggle himself away and to the corner, being safe for a mere minute.

The Hangman charges at Cories but he’s able to duck, reigning in right after right now, Cories looks to take advantage. He backs away before stepping up on the knee, SHINING WIZARD!! Matthew Cories connects with that giant boot, he looks to make the cover, here it is, no, kickout at two from The Hangman, it won’t end that easy. Cories is giddy as he’s waiting for The Hangman to slowly get to his feet, connecting with a super kick, he’s looking to nail the March of the Dragonzord combination. Cories climbs to the top rope, he’s ready, he flies!!

But no one is home. The Hangman very smartly got out of the way as Cories crashes and burns on the hard canvas. Cories is able to get to his feet but is quickly met with a big boot that floors him once again. He struggles to his feet again and the massive hand of The Hangman is waiting, Capital Punishment, a huge chokeslam and that could be all she wrote when it comes to Cories. The Hangman makes the cover…The referee is in position….One…..Two……T….NOO!! Kickout right before three. But Hangman doesn’t stop there, right out of the pinning combination he locks in The Noose!! Cories has nowhere to go, HE TAPS!!! The Hangman wins!!

THE CAMELS BACK
The backstage locker room is filled with sadness – a lot of that belonging to a distraught Marcus X. The self professed freedom fighter has had a tough few months, none more so than last week. He enters the locker room of the All-Star Champion Isaiah Black with one thing on his mind; retribution.

“We need to talk,” he sternly announces to Isaiah Black, who truth be told, looks rather nonchalant. “I want to end this once and for all at Pandemonium but I’m going to need your help. Those bastards ended the career of The Black Widow. You wanted to know where your next challenge was? Well this is it – The Ku Klux Klan.”

Isaiah scoffs.

“She’ll never wrestle again!” he repeats himself, angry at the response of Black, who truthfully couldn’t care less.

“Do you think I care about The Black Widow? Do you think I care about you? Death comes to us all, Marcus. The death of her career, the death of your freedom movement; even the death of my Championship reign; it’s all inevitable. I’m going to beat them into next century but not because of you and especially not because of her.”

That lights a fire within Marcus X – a fire unlike we’ve ever seen. He suddenly attacks, punching Isaiah square in the jaw. That stumbles The Grim but he has no time to react as Marcus pounces, slamming his head into the lockers. Isaiah bounces back and blocks another shot, kicking The Freedom Fighter low and nailing him hard across the face with a left hand of his own.

The brawl spills out into the halls, Isaiah now dragging Marcus towards the brick wall, only for Marcus to get a foot up, stop his momentum and drive Isaiah back first into it instead. He starts pummelling away at him, hitting him with everything he’s got as security storm into the middle and try to break it up.

“You will respect her honour,” Marcus yells spitting with rage. “Or you’ll join her!”

The security team can barely hold them back as Isaiah gets up off the floor, blood dripping him from his laughing mouth.

CUSSEN & DTR VS. MONKEY BUSINESS
The match begins with the sound of the bell, and immediately kicks off with a little argument between Cussen and DTR about who will start the match first. Monkey Business tries to take advantage and both Roll and Pickpocket run and fly towards their opponents, but the savvy veterans quickly back drop both men over the top rope and to the outside! DTR shrugs, says, “Fuck it,” loud enough for everyone to hear, and steps onto the ring apron. With Jensen Cussen officially the in-ring combatant, he waits as Thomas Roll is the first one to… roll… underneath the bottom rope and back into the ring.

Immediately Cussen starts raining boots down onto Thomas’ midsection, who tries to absorb the blows as best as he can, still endeavouring to reach his feet. Cussen helps him up by his fro the rest of the way, and whips him into the ropes! BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA! NO! ROLL DUCKS IT! SPINNING HEEL KICK TO THE BACK OF CUSSEN’S HEAD! Roll goes for the pin! One… Two… Kickout by Cussen! In control of things now, Roll whips Cussen into the ropes himself, only DTR tags in as he bounces off! Thomas Roll tries to back drop Cussen, who slides beneath his legs instead, and DTR tries to nail Roll with a running double knee lift, but Roll sidesteps with a disco slide, and literally dances to his corner to make the tag.

Pickpocket steps into the ring and is blasted with a running clothesline! Dead to Rights lifts the Showthief up to his feet and locks him up, double underhook backbreaker!!!! Pickpocket writhes about in pain as Dead to Rights signals to the crowd, clearly in his corner, that this match is about over. Pickpocket is once again lifted to his feet, only he drops a boot right into DTR’s gut!PICKPOCKET GOES FOR THE RATTLER!!! WHAT AN IMPACT!!! DTR WAS JUST DROPPED WITH HIS OWN FINISHER!!! ONE… TWO… SMACK!!! JENSEN CUSSEN JUST NAILED PICKPOCKET WITH A STEEL CHAIR!!! NOW HE NAILS DTR!!! THE REFEREE CALLS FOR THE BELL, JENSEN AND DTR HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED THANKS TO CUSSEN’S RUTHLESSNESS!!!

VIOLENCE TELEVISION
With Monkey Business having left the ring, Jensen Cussen is straight back down on top of DTR, beating the holy hell out of him with right hands. Dave though rolls him over and the struggle quickly spills to the outside. They bounce each other off the ring steps, Jensen stumbling towards the backstage with Dead To Rights in tow. He’s clubbing at his back with forearms, throwing him down the steps on the other side of the ramp and dropping down after him.

These two are going to rip each other apart. Jensen is back to his feet in agony, swinging at Dave and catching him in the jaw. He grabs him by the head and marches him towards the backstage exit, throwing him through the double doors and out into the parking lot. The sun is beaming down on them as DTR hits a high knee and launches Cussen over the bonnet of a car, hitting the concrete floor.

He walks around but Jensen has moved. He looks for him, unaware that the Mastermind had moved around the vehicle and when he walks around that, BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA! JESUS CHRIST! Jensen watches as he splats on the floor but isn’t done, pulling him back to his feet and THROWING HIM STRAIGHT THROUGH A CAR WINDSHIELD! HOLY FUCK!! DEAD TO RIGHTS JUST SMASHED BACK FIRST THROUGH A WINDSCREEN!! Cussen stands there, sneering as he finally backs away, slightly bloodied in his own right.

These two are going to kill each other.

CRASH VS. TERRY MCGUIRE
Crash and Terry hook up in the middle of the ring. They each push back and forth a few times but nothing happens between them. They break and look at each other, Terry stands back and mock smiles at Crash who gets a dark mad look on his face. He runs forward and pushes Terry into the corner post. Terry covers himself while Crash wails away on him with lefts and rights. Seeing this isn’t working, he stands back, and gets ready to charge but Terry comes out from the corner and nails a short arm lariat and Crash goes down hard. Terry looks around with a smile on his face and then covers Crash. No count is forthcoming as this is a buried alive match. Terry realizes this, so he gets up, picks Crash up and throws him through the ropes. He takes his time going over to follow up.

As Terry goes through the ropes, he doesn’t realize that Crash looked under the ring and came back out with a sledgehammer. He jumps down on the ground right into a sledgehammer shot to the gut. He doubles over and Crash uses the sledgehammer again on the back of Terry’s skull. Terry falls to the ground in agony. Crash rolls Terry over and then strikes Terry on the forehead with the sledgehammer again. He then throws the sledgehammer away and goes back to the ring to look for another weapon. He comes back out with a trashcan and a chair. He puts both aside for a second and picks Terry up who is now bleeding from his forehead. Crash stands Terry up and puts the trash can over Terry’s head. As Terry wobbles around a little bit, Crash picks up the chair, kisses it for good luck and then bangs it against the trash can hard. Terry falls over. But now he is convulsing and Crash sees this and gets a dark evil smile on his face and then starts wailing on the trashcan with the chair.

After a minute or so of this, Crash picks Terry up and guides him over to the grave. He also picks up the sledgehammer as well. They go up the dirt mound and Crash sizes Terry up, he then winds up and hits the side of the trashcan. Terry falls to the ground but not into the grave. Crash throws the chair into the grave and then picks up the sledgehammer and precedes to strike the trashcan, denting it and striking Terry’s legs which soon become covered with blood. He picks Terry up again but because of his injured legs, Terry won’t stand. So Crash kicks him into the grave, jumps in after him and hits him several more times with the sledgehammer. He then crawls out of the grave, goes over to the shovel and throws dirt into Terry who by now isn’t moving. When the grave is full of dirt. He throws the shovel away and kneels on the dirt, scooping it up in handfuls. He gets a mad look on his face as if to say, this shouldn’t have been that easy.

MURDERER
The lights dim to a shade lighter than darkness as the humming start of ‘To get to you’ brings about the immediate rise of the fans. Red River Jack steps out onto the entrance ramp with the burning ember of his cigarette being the first immediate thing we see – accompanied by a Tombstone that reads “SMOKE”. He places that down and meets Crash with a right hand, knocking him back into the dirt. He picks up the Tombstone and heads to the ring, sliding it in and following. Whilst Crash tries to gain some composure by the mound of dirt, Jack as a microphone.

“Surprised to see me?” Jack smugly asks whilst placing the tombstone down in the middle of the ring. He takes a seat on it, smiling with a cigarette in his mouth. “What’s wrong man, you don’t seem happy?”

The sound of the crowd booing has almost drowned him out. They hate him, they despise him, they wish it were him and not Smoke.

“Heh, it’s been an awkward week for me, man. I’ve been sittin’ in a prison cell awaiting an autopsy, waitin’ for your society to be my judge, jury and executioner. But that hasn’t happened, oh no, that just hasn’t happened. You see, Smoke was a ticking time bomb, man. Your hero was just waiting to die, just waiting for that one moment when the clock refused to tick again.”

He looks down and pats the tombstone as the fans continue to nearly drown him out.

“MURDERER!” they shout. “KILLER!” they yell.

“Don’t you get it? The chump buster was a steroid abuser, man. He popped those pills, got those gains and never looked back. His heart just couldn’t take it anymore. I broke it. I beat him senseless at CyberSLAM and last week, I killed him.. but not in the eyes of the law.”

The fans don’t like that.

“Your hero was a fallacy, a falsehood man and last week I stood in this ring and I beat his brains out and broke his heart. I’m the heartbreaker, the soul destroyer, the end of all your heroes and it’s just a matter of time until you’re next,” Jack says pointing at Crash who gets back to his feet and slowly starts making his way to the ring. “The man you just buried, he was a scapegoat, a lamb you led to the slaughter, or so you think. The reality is, man, that I led him through you to his demise and he did the dirty work for me. The Rockport Nightmare was just another victim, man.”

Crash angrily rolls into the ring and goes straight for Jack, clocking him in the mouth and knocking the cigarette from it. Jack stumbles and HERE COMES DAVID MANSON! Manson is in from behind and this whole thing was a SETUP! Manson grabs Crash and drags him away, only to receive a right hand for his troubles. Suddenly the crowd roar because HERE COMES FATE! Fate slides straight into the ring and nails Red River with a Clothesline, sending him over the top to the outside. Meanwhile Crash dispatches David in likewise fashion and these two former enemies now stand tall in the middle of the ring.

“YOU’RE A MURDERER!” Crash yells into a microphone that he picks up off the canvas. “A KIDNAPPER AND A SANCTAMONIUS SON OF A BITCH! Do you think we’re afraid of you, is that it? Do you think the General Lee of 1-2-3 is going to pack his bags, run away and hide in a corner somewhere? Maybe you just don’t get it Jack, maybe you’re the delusional one after all. Crash doesn’t run, Crash doesn’t hide and you had better hope that Zander Zane is in one piece or else YOU’LL BE THE ONE WHO’S NEXT WHEN I GIVE YOU A CRASH COURSE IN ASS KICKING!”

Fate tries to calm a furious Crash down, asking him for the microphone.

“Crash, we’ve had some history between us man, but if you think that you’re forced to fight alone against Pinky and Perky over here, you’re mistaken. You see, David Manson has taken his crush to a whole new creepy level. He’s convinced that my girl is his, that his blow up doll, corpse or whatever the hell he uses to get off, has come to life. Newsflash for you Manson, Charlie Thompson has a pulse you necrophilia loving son of a bitch,” Fate says to a cheerful roar from the crowd. “So how about at Pandemonium, you two assholes put your Tag Team Championships on the line against myself.. and Crash!”

The Awakening continue to back up the entrance ramp, refusing to give an answer as Fate and Crash shake hands in the middle of the ring – perhaps signalling an alliance that could very well give The Awakening a run for their money.

MISUNDERSTANDING
Matthew Cories is backstage, the blade in his hand. He’s mesmerized by it, almost to the point where he refuses to put it down. Just then and to his surprise, into the locker room walks Atticus Kyll – who for some reason, Cories thinks is an enemy known as Darkonda.

“Relax Ranger, I just want to talk,” Atticus says with hands raised. “I don’t know what happened between us last week but I want to assure you that I’m not who you think I am, alright?”

Cories doesn’t believe him.

“You can lie to me Darkonda but I know you’re here to win the all-out-war next week. This company may call it Pandemonium but I know it to be something else; a place where all the worlds villains come to fight.”

“You’re delusional, kid.” Atticus responds with a shake of his head. “I’m just going to tell you now that if you get in my way at Pandemonium, or at any point for that matter, I’m going to take that blade to your throat.”

Matthew gulps.

“Empress Rita and Lord Zedd are unafraid of your threats.” he meekly replies.

“Perhaps that’s true,” Atticus says with a shrug of his shoulders. “But you aren’t, are you?”

Both men stare each other down for a moment before Atticus smiles and exits the locker room. Cories looks at the blade, his eyes now glowing and a grin appearing on his face.

“Fear not, for I am inside his head, Empress.”

ISAIAH BLACK VS. BRENT KERSH
The bell rings as Isaiah and Kersh rush towards one another, both men exchanging heavy hands, the Enforcer quickly getting the advantage with a huge right hand as Isaiah staggers against the ropes, Kersh rushes forward, landing a huge knee to the sternum as he throws Isaiah across the ring once more, following him and landing another heavy knee before throwing him across the ring again, but an attempt at the spinebuster is thwarted as Black manages to turn it into a DDT in mid-air. Kersh may be out cold as Black rolls over for the cover ONE…TWO…Kersh just gets a shoulder up

The Enforcer slowly gets to his feet as Black starts taking over, landing a series of hard kicks to the chest and elbows to the face, trying his best to stagger the Enforcer. Finally, a spinning kick to the midsection drops Kersh to one knee as Black backs up,ROUNDHOUSE…NO! Kersh ducks under, grabbing Black by the arms and pulling him back into a Backslide. ONE…TW..Black kicks out and as he rises, ducks under an attempted Lariat, grabbing Kersh by the back of his head and delivering a sickening Backstabber.

Walking Death and Kersh both slowly get to their feet as Black rushes to the ropes, bouncing off as he tries to give a beautiful Death to the Enforcer but Kersh has it scouted, landing a crisp knee to the gut that drives Black upwards before driving him back down into the canvas with a huge Spinebuster. The crowd roars as Kersh signals for the end, pulling Black to his feet, hoisting him up high, SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT! Black lands hard as Kersh hooks the leg, the crowd counting along with the referee,ONE…TWO…THREE!! The Enforcer picking up a huge win over a very dangerous Black.

THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Brent Kersh barely has time to breath before the beautiful flow of O Fortuna hits and out from behind the curtain walks two men, holding it from each side as Lord Commissioner Merriweather & Nigel Royal step through. All four make a focused walk to the ring as Kersh looks on, trying to regain some composure and energy. They’re quick to surround him, covering each side of the ring – not that The Enforcer would run anywhere.

Then they pounce. Kersh doesn’t know where to turn because every direction he heads in to punch, he receives a punch for good measure in the opposite. All four of them are quick to pummel him to the canvas, stomping away at him with all eight of the boots, switching legs when one gets tired as if to continue the onslaught. Finally The Commissioner demands that everyone back off.

Yet Brent does the unthinkable.

He tries to get up. Merriweather runs over with a boot to the mid-section that puts him straight back down again, looking for the First Class Stamp if he can just about get it. He backs up one more time and once again, Brent refuses to lay down.

“For Christ sake you maggot, quit, lay down, give up!” The Commissioner yells enraged that The Enforcer would dare not just lie down and take it. “Get em Nigel!”

Nigel attacks him with a dropping double forearm, taking him face first to the canvas once again. He almost mounts him, beating him with vicious right hands whilst the fans boo and The Lord simply smiles sadistically. Royal finally backs away, out of breath and watching.

KERSH TRIES TO GET UP AGAIN!

The man just has no quit in him! He once again pushes himself up onto all fours, enraging Nigel who has to be held back by Edward and Stephen who tell him they’ve got this. They each grab Kersh, dragging him up into position as Merriweather takes a run and a leap… FIRST CLASS STAMP! WHAM! HE NAILS IT! Brent hits the canvas with a giant thud, finally unconscious after a brutal beating.

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Merriweather parades around the ring, grabbing the United States Championship and lifting it into the air as Royal drops down and grabs Brent… CROSSFACE!! THE DUNGEONS OF LONDON! FOR CHRIST SAKE MAN, HE’S UNCONCIOUS!! The Bloodline to Greatness is utterly despicable, holding the move with such ferocity that by the time he decides to let go, Brent is so utterly limp that he may as well be dead.

The British Empire are quickly in celebration mode, dropping the title on the canvas and heading to the backstage area. They may have one up on Kersh tonight but in the ring at Pandemonium, there will be hell to pay for The Commissioner.

THE COAL CHAMBER
This match starts with the burning hot coals adding extra lighting to a rather darkened arena. David Manson kicks this one off with Nigel Royal and both men lock up in the middle of the ring. Royal quickly takes him down to the canvas with a Hip Toss, nailing him with a Clothesline as he gets back to his feet. There’s no pinfalls in this one and Royal quickly gets him up, attempting to whip him across the ring – except Manson stops just short of the coals, turns around and DROPKICK!! HE LANDS ON THEM BACK FIRST AND IS ELIMINATED!! He quickly rolls off touching his back in agony and Nigel has an elimination in record time here.

He stands in the middle of the ring and awaits the next pod – Ryan LeCavalier’s opening up and out she comes. She storms across the ring and is nailed hard with a Clothesline. Royal stomps away at her, crushing her with massive stomps to the face and mid-section. He pulls her to her feet and picks her up into a Body Slam.. STRAIGHT ONTO THE COALS! JESUS CHRIST! ROYAL HAS A SECOND ELIMINATION! THIS GUY IS ON FIRE! The referee quickly helps her off the coals and to the outside, leaving Nigel looking at the remaining four opponents with disgust.

Suddenly the buzzer downs and here comes Mother. She hits the ring and ducks a Clothesline by Royal, kicking him low and hitting a DDT. She isn’t going to go down as easy as the other two and rolls him over, mounting him with a ground and pound. He pushes her off and they both get back to their feet, Mother swinging herself underneath him and Neckbreaker! She tries to drag him over to the coals but Royal kicks out, again, again, forcing her to let go of his leg. She tries this time to grab him by the hair but is very quickly put off by the Buzzer.

Out comes King Konstantine who clocks her from behind with a forearm. He wants Nigel Royal and grabs him back to his feet, only to receive a quick Snap Suplex for his troubles. Konstantine felt that one but is quickly back to his feet, walking into Royal and Mother who’ve decided to team up, dropping him with a Double Suplex. They both head back to their feet and turn on each other, slugging it out with right and left hands until The Bloodline To Greatness kicks her low and drops her with a right hand.

Just then the buzzer goes and here comes the last man. Desmond Cross is quick to hit Royal with a Clothesline, then Mother as she gets back up. He goes after Konstantine but the King begs off.. NAILING HIM WITH A LOW BLOW! Nigel meanwhile grabs Cross and drags him towards the flames – only Cross scoops him up and DROPS HIM FEET FIRST INTO THEM!! NIGEL ROYAL HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! The crowd are on their feet now because Desmond turns around and DROPKICKBY MOTHER! DESMOND CROSS HIT THE FLAMES TOO!! MY GOD!!

It’s down to Mother and King Konstantine now, who both end up in the middle of the ring. Konstantine pleads with her to let him go, but Mother grabs him and attempts to whip him into and across the coals. Orwell though blocks it, SENDING MOTHER INSTEAD!! NO!! SHE STOPS JUST SHORT!! She turns around and Konstantine pushes her! SHE’S DONE! SHE’S IN THE COALS!! She angrily steps out as Orwell celebrates the most feeble Coal Chamber victory! He won it by push!

ONE LEFT
With the Chamber match over, Desmond Cross is angrily back into the ring and slams Konstantine to the canvas with a Clothesline, stomping him to the outside. Mother has long escaped, making sure she’s no-where near the angry and insane Messiah’s Messenger.

He stomps to the outside and grabs Ryan LeCavalier, throwing her back into the Chamber and entering. He locks the door behind him and stands there with her, slapping her around the head like some vile animal.

“STOP IT!” suddenly shouts a voice from the backstage. It’s Mike Lane who knows what’s about to happen. “Don’t you do it you son of a bitch!”

Desmond Cross looks at him as he runs to the ring and tries his damndest to get inside.. but he can’t.

“One more left, Michael..” Desmond taunts as he THROWS RYAN FACE FIRST INTO THE HOT COALS! JESUS… STOP IT! YOU SICK BASTARD! LET GO OF HER! Desmond holds her into the coals, scolding her once pretty face, her screams of agony doing nothing to dissuade him otherwise. “Just one more left.”

He finally lets go of her as the fans boo and Mike Lane looks on from the outside, almost in disbelief at what he’s just done. Desmond Cross has tortured Ryan LeCavalier tonight, scolded her face in the hot coals and now he has his sights set on Mike Lane.

Afterburn comes to a close, the smell of burning flesh under our nostrils.