In the bowels of The Slaughterhouse, Lee Crowley sits on a make-shift throne, demons surrounding him for protection. Tonight, he faces off against Nightstick, but that seems furthest from his mind.
The sound of something approaching can be heard in the distance, though we don’t see what it is. As it approaches and finally stops, Crowley smiles like a Cheshire cat.
“I’m surprised you came,” he admits, almost chuckling to himself. “But I’m glad you did.”
Whoever stands before him doesn’t say a word.
“I have a proposition for you; an opportunity if you will. I need your help and I can reward you handsomely for your efforts,” Lucifer muses. He stands up, pacing now before us. “But the contract we strike will be bound in blood. Failure to hold up your end of the contract will result in its termination.”
“Why me?” A gruff voice replies.
“No-one has experience in these matters quite like you do,” Crowley says with a snarl. “That experience will be invaluable. Besides, wouldn’t you simply love an opportunity to feel alive again?”
There’s an eerie pause whilst the person debates their decision.
“You have until the end of tonight to solve my problem; the very problem I called you here to solve. You came, which means you have your reasons. Finish this and I can make your dreams come true.”
Crowley clicks his fingers and is immediately delivered a scroll by a demon. He unravels it and tosses at the feet of the person he’s speaking to.
“Sign it in blood,” Lee demands. “Only then have you made a deal with the devil.”
Can justice prevail when two vigilantes fight!?
Reaper goes in guns blazing against Redwing, who puts his guard up. The Detroit native backs him into the corner with vengeful shots, then shotputs him into the ropes…
The Harvester snaps him in half. Mounting him, he punches his knuckles raw and bloody against Redwing’s leather cowl. Reaper peels him off the mat and strongarms him off the ropes once more…
Redwing avoids the Samoan drop, grabbing a headlock…
BULLDOG INTO THE TURNBUCKLE – THE KILLING JOKE!
Crimson Justice powers Reaper into the air—
BRAINBUSTER INTO THE KNEE!
REAPER GETS RED JUSTICE!
The Gotham resident hooks the leg…
Reaper still has one in the chamber.
The Watchful Protector pulls him up—
KICK TO THE GUT!
SINGLE ARM DDT – SWIFT REVENGE!
Reaper serves him up cold. 12-Gauge forces him up and whips him across the ring—
JUSTICE BROUGHT – SAMOAN DROP!
He lies back, covering him…
Heroes never die, and Redwing lives.
Sawn-Off cocks his wrist, then sinks to his haunches, punching the mat. He’s calling for the end!
The Watchful Protector slowly rises, then turns round…
SHOTGUN BLAST SUPERMAN PUNCH!
REDWING KICKS REAPER’S KNEE OUT…
DARKNESS FALLS – CURB STOMP!
Redwing covers him.
Redwing disarms The Reaper!
Back inside the dirty dungeon from last week and Banzan is sat around the table, opposite the man who believes he can help him. We’ve come to learn a lot about Leif Helvig from this man, who seems to have a plan.
“This has to end in a fight,” Banzan says abruptly, as if we’ve come in half way through a conversation. “At Ring of Dreams, there won’t be any other way.”
The man nods.
“I agree somewhat, but there will be more to it than that. When we realized that Leif had escaped our captivity, we immediately began searching for him and a way to stop him.”
He stands up, pulling the heavy chains off the table.
The chain is big and bulky. The cuffs themselves are inches thick and round, with an old-fashioned locking mechanism – the man can barely hold them.
“These were crafted using magic, made of the sound of a cat’s footsteps, the beard of a woman, the breath of a fish and numerous other elements. We sought a way to stop Leif Helvig and bounding him with Fenrir’s chain is the only way.”
Banzan stands up, being passed the chain.
“You want me to chain him for you? You want me to capture him at Ring of Dreams?”
The man nods and smiles.
“If you capture him, I will take him away and you will ever see him again. This is a win-win situation, Banzan. Bound him in the middle of that ring and he will lose his fight. I will then come and Leif Helvig will exist in Old School Wrestling no more.”
“Win-win?” Banzan asks. “It doesn’t sound like much of a win for Leif.”
The man shrugs, sitting back down in his chair.
“If you dare to care about a monster who murdered your people, burned down your trees and tried to murder you, that is your prerogative. If you want to survive, this is how you do it.”
Concrete, stained crimson.
Having been dragged into an obscure location, away from the prying eyes and ears of passers by, Albert Shaw lies, beginning to stir. The back of his head wet with his own blood. Standing over him is CXDY with a steel pipe in hand.
CXDY brings the steel pipe across Shaw’s cheek, knocking the weary Guv’nor back to the ground again and opening a large gash underneath his eye that begins pouring down his face. CXDY drops the pipe with a clang and slides it well out of the reach of his foe.
“The chickens have come home to roost, Albert Shaw. All this time of riding on the coat tails of others, using them as stepping stones for your advantage… It stops now. I trusted you with my life, but you are nothing more than a backstabbing son of a bitch.”
CXDY is seething. He fishes into his pocket for a moment before pulling out a large switchblade knife, flicking the blade open with an impending click… And a sadistic smile on his face.
“Now it’s time to see how much you can bleed.”
CXDY lunges at Alby, driving the knife into his mid-section, and causing Shaw to scream in agony. As the blood forms on his shirt, CXDY’s smile only grows larger.
“That’s right, asshole. Bleed.”
CXDY lunges again, slicing at Shaw’s throat, but Alby ducks away from the strike and disarms his crazed foe by kicking the blade out of his hand. It is the opening that Shaw needs, knowing that sometimes to win the war, one must live to fight another day. Before CXDY can react, the battered and broken Albert Shaw has escaped into the night.
“That’s right Alby. Run. I’ll drain the rest of your blood soon enough.”
Will dreams go up in flames, will the balance be straightened out, or will piracy reign on the seven seas? Let’s find out!
The two juggernauts starts us off. The Impaler and The Judge trading blows before Order attempts THE VERDICT!!! But The Dread Pirate has it telegraphed and ducks, connecting with a bicycle kick to The Judge. Monty Straight blind tags himself into the match. The Host is quick to take advantage, nailing THE DEAL BREAKER. No cover, he instead tags in Pyre.
The Fire Witch heads to the top rope, she waits for Judge to rise…DANCING FLAMES!!! NO!!! Order counters by pushing Pyre across the ring. The Red Queen turns, straight into THE VERDICT!!!! Order tags in Sweet Alice. The Dreamer immediately starts to hop around the ring and lands a leg drop….TERRIBLY LATE!!!!
The Impaler breaks the fall!
The Dread Pirate lifts Sweet Alice off the mat and lifts her into a military press, launching her over the top rope and out of the ring. Chaos takes over. Captain Silver tackles The Impaler to the mat and then gives him PIECES OF EIGHT to think about! Monty tries to catch out with TERMS AND CONDITIONS! But Order counters with YOUR PAST MAY BITE YOU! Meanwhile, Pyre takes down Silver with a hurricanrana and he rolls out of the ring.
Sweet Alice gets back in and catches Pyre from behind….DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE!!!!
Sweet Alice takes the psychological advantage over Pyre and gives her team the win!
Simon, the Taskmaster, the untouchable, walks through one of his many warehouses, his trail gone well cold since Dead Pixels. Deathnote could never find him, and history would always repeat itself.
Or so he thinks.
Sitting in the middle of the warehouse floor is a chess board, the pieces in the exact same orientation they were all those years ago.
The Queen’s Gambit.
“Oh, you think you’re funny, do you?”
He walks forward, confidently approaching the board only to see a figure appear from the shadows opposite him.
“This is no joke, Simon. It’s a game, and it seems we’re destined to play it for eternity.”
The Author of Death takes a seat calmly at the table, Simon wearily joining him, but not before inspecting the chair for any traps.
“Do you wish to lose again, Deathnote? I can happily show you how you lost and I’m certain you’ll still fall victim to the same old tricks.”
“Then do it.”
Deathnote leans back, arms folded as Simon eyes him.
“I do not sleep, I only search. You cannot escape Death, Simon. Show me how you did it, if you are so sure of yourself.”
Simon cockily reaches forward, grabbing the queen.
A PEN NIB SHOOTS THROUGH SIMON’S HAND! IT TRAPS HIM AS HIS HAND IS PULLED DOWN ON THE QUEEN!
Simon writhes in pain as Deathnote stands, chuckling.
“You and I are putting an end to this, Simon. Ring of Dreams. You and I are placed in a cage, and there will be no escape from my wrath. No escape from the end of your story.”
Deathnote dips a pen in Simon’s bloody hand, scrawling something in his tome before tearing out the page, throwing it to Simon and letting it fall slowly in front of him as Deathnote takes his leave.
Written in Simon’s blood in front of him is a simple note.
Mauled at Ring of Dreams by Deathnote.’
Luke Storm is stood by the grave of his brother, Edward Newton. He holds a bouquet of flowers in his hands as he looks over the gravesite, tears welling up in his eyes.
Just then, the sound of The Sandman appearing disturbs him.
“This was a good one,” Luke says arrogantly. “A real good one.”
The Sandman chuckles.
“There’s nothing like emotion to get the heart racing, is there Lucas?” He muses, stood beside The Tempest. “I’d like to think you haven’t been here since he died.”
“I haven’t wanted to,” he admits.
They remain silent for a moment.
“Will you visit Sandy’s?” He asks. “Could you? Because if what I believe to be true is true, when he dies, you’ll die too.”
The Dream Demon looks at him.
“Do you even have emotion, Sandman?” Storm queries. “Do you love or hate? Or do you simply obey? Is Rogers your master? Is he your lord and savior?”
“Enough!” Sandman snaps. “What do you want, Storm?”
Luke tosses the flowers onto the dream grave and turns around to face his enemy. They’re now face to face, nose to nose.
“I want you fucking dead, you prick,” he roars in reply, spitting as he does. “At Ring of Dreams VII, I want you one on one in the middle of the ring.”
“And then you’ll return Sandy to me?” He queries.
“No, I’m going to kill that asshole right in fucking front of you,” he bellows angrily.
“Then why would I come?” Sandman says with a shrug. “Why would I allow that to happen?”
The Tempest chuckles slightly.
“Because you know that the only way you save him, is if you’re close enough to stop me. You’ll show up, Sandman; if you don’t, you’ll never save your precious Sandy Rogers. Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to wake up.”
The Sandman snaps his fingers.
Well-versed in striking, both men exchange furious blows. CXDY edges Deathnote, however, with a flurry which ends in a roundhouse, then a single-leg dropkick—
Softening Deathnote up, Second to None snags him with a Northern lights suplex. Brainbuster imminent…
CXDY covers him…
Deathnote hasn’t penned his final chapter.
CXDY takes to the top rope…
CARPE OMNIA – DIVING DOUBLE FOOTSTOMP!
DEATHNOTE ROLLS OUT OF HARM’S WAY!
CXDY ROLLS ONTO HIS FEET!
BIG IN JAPAN!?
NO – DEATHNOTE DUCKS THE LARIAT!
He hoists CXDY up in the Go 2 Sleep—
GATHER THY SOUL!
CXDY collapses to the mat. The Author of Death heads to the corner…
KISS OF DEATH – DEATHNOTE’S OWN DOUBLE FOOTSTOMP!
Deathnote covers him…
Even CXDY’s kickouts are perfect!
The God of the New World heaves him up—
DYING WISH BURNING HAMMER!?
DENIED – CXDY DROPS DOWN!
DEATHNOTE, MEET YOUR FORETOLD DESTINY!
The 540° roundhouse—a tribute to Tyler Brooks—rocks Deathnote.
CXDY scoops him up in a fireman’s carry, then rolls forwards with him! Double-jump moonsault incoming…
PERFECTLY EXE—NOBODY HOME!
DEATHNOTE AVOIDS HIS FINAL DESTINATION!
The death scribe meets CXDY in the middle of the ring—
TURN THE PAGE – SISTER ABIGAIL!
Deathnote makes the cover…
Deathnote seals CXDY’s fate!
Loud voices are heard shouting behind a closed door. We can barely make out what is being said as we near the door, the cacophony of voices blending together as each tries to out shout the other. The door opens to a business room like setting, BEG and Royal sitting at two different sides of a large table, surrounded by their lawyers and legal teams.
“You fucking asshole! I came here for a deal! I came here to settle these issues between us so we can each move forward!”
BEG says as he throws a stack of paper.
“Fuck you and you contracts! You’ve been after me since you returned, trying to buy me out. I should kick your fucking ass right now!”
Nigel sits back and laughs, the mood settling now as they stop yelling over one another.
“You absolute peasant cunt. You cost me a lot of money, and you expect me to take it lying down? You’re an idiot if you think that was ever possible.”
“So, what do you propose?”
One of Nigel’s lawyers collects the papers that BEG had tossed across the room in his rage. He neatens the stack before handing it back to Nigel.
“Old School Wrestling is not big enough for the two of us. There is no way I’d lower myself to work in a company that employs a piece of shit like you.”
BEG sits back, an annoyed look on his face.
“Then get up and leave. You’re the asshole who came back for no other reason than to fuck with my plans. So, there’s the door, let the handle get rammed up your ass like your lawyer buddies here do to pass the time.”
“Heh. Cute. But no. At Ring of Dreams I run you out of OSW for good. No more money, no more Anonymous bullshit to get yourself back in. Loser leaves OSW for good.”
A sly grin crosses BEG’s face as he considers this offer.
“So, to ensure you don’t even try to buy your way back in. The winner buys out the other. Complete asset forfeiture. Every account, every shell company. Everything goes to the winner of this match.”
“Got tired of trying to hack in and do a hostile takeover?”
“Oh, this is a hostile takeover. But I’m a fair business man. I knew you wouldn’t take this deal if I didn’t put anything of my own on the line. It’s the art of the deal. I want to run you out, I’m sure you wish to run me out. So, why play games for months on end?”
“You’ve got yourself a deal, Royal.”
Nigel slides over the stack of papers his lawyer collected.
“My signature is already affixed to the contract. All that’s needed is yours. I’m sure your lawyers will see that everything is as it should be.”
One of the few suits BEG managed to retain after the attempted takeover from a few weeks back quickly thumbs through the paperwork and whispers in BEG’s ear.
“I can’t wait to watch your ass get the fuck out of here, Nigel. Your short time back has already damaged future prospects.”
BEG signs the contract.
“As for tonight, I’ll see you out there… Partner.”
BEG stands up as he and his legal team leave the room.
Money, Madness and Manipulation provide the recipe for certain mayhem in this tag team contest!
BEG and Two-Face start the contest. Those old foes lock-up, Two-Face driving the billionaire into a corner and pummelling him with shots to the face. EYE POKE!!! BEG gets the advantage and then a chop block to deaden Two-Face’s leg, followed by a bulldog….CHIP OFF THE ‘OL BLOCK!!!! Cover…
Viper puts Two-Face’s foot on the ropes.
BEG drags The Split to a vertical base, he tries to lock in BILLION DOLLAR DREAM but Two-Face fights out of it with a back elbow and then tags in Viper Roberts. The Head Snake slithers into the ring, grabbing BEG and drills him into the mat…ODE TO THE SNAKE!!!
The Viper peels off his leather belt….TANNIN’ THE HIDE!!! NO!!! Nigel Royal intervenes. The Bloodline grabs Viper and drills him with not one, not two, not three…but FOUR belly to back suplexes. THE ROYAL FLUSH!!!!! The Englishman drags BEG onto the body of Viper Roberts.
Two-Face flips their coin!
It lands, they smile and drop off the apron, leaving Roberts to his fate.
Observing this twist of fate, Two-Face flips their coin again. It lands and they climb onto the apron, drawing the attention of Royal and the referee. Inside the ring, Viper LOW BLOWS Green, then comes the SNAKE BITE!!!! Royal tumbles out of the ring with Two-Face as the ref counts…
The shares continue to plummet for BEG & Royal as Roberts & Two-Face take home the spoils.
Tightly squeezed inside a pickup truck, the Forever Friends and Stoner are on their way to a dire situation. They’ve stayed silent as they try to think up a strategy, dreading the thought of what could happen as they finally approach the mall…and before their very eyes, chaos.
More specifically, Sherman Dewey…or what’s left of him.
Left in his wake are people injured, even bloodied, but none dead…much to their relief as they pull up.
“Alright, boys, time to put us down a zombie.”
Stoner leaps out of the truck, grabbing a shotgun from the bed as Chunky and Miles shuffle out the other side. They reach into the bed, grabbing…a pickaxe and a shovel.
“Sorry fellas, only had one gun on me back home.”
The humor of the situation is soon undercut by a harsh realization, one that leaves Stoner in a look of dismay as the Friends turn to see Sherman running right at them, shoving mallgoers out of his way in the process.
“The son of a bitch isn’t a Romero.”
Stoner quickly aims his shotgun, but his compatriots block the shot as Chunky lunges at Sherman with the shovel…only to be tossed aside with ease! This leaves an opening for Miles to attack as he swings the pickaxe, as Sherman reaches to grab the magic man for a meal…
Dewey is taken aback by a shotgun blast to his shoulder! He’s reeling back as he looks up at Stoner with a snarl…
Another blast manages to bring the corpse down as Miles and Stoner rush to help Chunky up…only for Dewey to take a swipe at Stoner, leaving a gash on his leg. They hobble back to the truck, speeding off as they see Dewey catching up before Stoner puts the pedal to the metal. The resulting screech gives a small sense of relief as they finally start to gain some distance, affording them enough time to regroup mentally.
“Okay, so why was Sherman at the mall?”
Stoner’s inquiry is met with silence at first, before Chunky reluctantly offers a clue.
“We…we used to wove pwaying in the awcade. The best game thewe was Gwaveyawd Smash.”
That last sentence gives Stoner an idea.
“Holy shit, the graveyard. We gotta try to stop him at the graveyard, literally put him back into the ground.”
Stoner glances over at Miles, having just a slight idea of where to start.
“We gotta lure him back where he belongs.”
Stoner shakes his head, unsure of what the plan entails as they drive off to the graveyard. After what feels like forever, they make it back to the graveyard, the trio still dealing with injuries sustained as they make their way toward Ultimo’s grave site. In a scene reminiscent of how we first saw them, they gather around the grave…and they wait.
“Well fellas, here goes nothing.”
Truer words have never been spoken, as they can hear the growls of Sherman Dewey getting closer.
Sweet Alice is sitting in the White Queen’s dining hall. With her are the few friends she has left in this world, the Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, and the white rabbit that led her here all those years ago.
Alice begins to speak.
“You’ve all been so elusive but today, you all came to me, why is that?”
“I called for them dear.”
The White Queen enters the room and continues to speak.
“My sister has learned that your friends are more important to you than even yourself. Half the wonder you found in this place was in them. She also knows the connection you have here is entwined with the connection you have to your sanity. I wanted to get you fully prepared and fully connected to this world. If you’re going to fight for all of us, I’m going to give you every reason to fight so I’m going to let them speak.”
The White Rabbit begins.
“When we met, all I could say was I’m late but the truth is I was right on time. If I wasn’t late, you’d have never seen me, you’d have never followed me and came into this world. We’d never have the chance to be free from her tyranny or live like we used to Alice. I might have been late for an important date but I was right on time for a date with destiny, do this for us Alice.”
It’s the Cheshire Cat’s turn.
“We’re all mad here Alice but that’s what you love about this place and seeing how you loved it gave us reason to love it again. You freed a lot of us simply with your presence, now free us with your might.”
Lastly, the Caterpillar speaks.
“We’ve all lost a lot of loved ones due to her and so have you but the pain you have felt and the things you have learned will give you the strength you need. You’ve learned from men even more wise than me, now be the boulder he saw and the one we need.”
Tears well up in Alice’s eyes. The White Queen speaks.
“I see I got to you emotionally fired up but you’ll need more than that. You’ll need backup because we all know she’s going to bring some. You’ll have my guards like she’ll have hers, you’ll also have my knight and while I don’t have a Knave, you’ll have my bishop instead. All is fair in love and war and this is a war we must win. You understand me?”
Alice nods determined.
The Queen continues.
“Good, it’s time to make you a Queen.”
Alice nods and marches away. She’s flanked by the White Knight and the Bishop. They are followed by their legion of guards. Alice waves goodbye to her friends who are cheering for her. She knows she’s their hope and she walks with great purpose towards Pyre’s Red Keep.
They both have their issues to resolve but there will be no sharing of a peace pipe when these two collide in The Slaughterhouse.
Stoner is puffing away in the middle. He puts a sympathetic arm on Mister Andy’s shoulder and offers him a toke, a puff to make all the Toymaker’s problems melt away. Andy declines the invitation by punching Stoner in the face. Stoner turns away, Mister Andy hits the CATASTROPHIC COLLIDER CACOPHONY!
No cover from The Toymaker, instead he continues his attack on Stoner but an attempted Irish whips countered with a ripcord back elbow. The Toker is off the ropes and hits DROPKICK OF DOOM-NO!!! GOOOOORE!!! Mystery Andy almost breaks Stoner in half and a huuuuge spinebuster to follow…SUPERFINE TURBO BLAST!!!
Mister Andy climbs to the top rope….FLIGHT OF THE ORNITHOPTERN!!!! KNEES UP BY STONER!!! Then DROPKICK OF DOOM as Mister Andy rises. Cover for…
Now Stoner decides to take the aerial route…shooting star press….Mister Andy catches Stoner…Samoan Drop….NO!!! Stoner counters with the SPANKER DANKER PICKLE!!!! Edge-O-MATIC connects!!! Hooks the legs…
There’s a grimace on Stoner’s face. Is it determination or withdrawal symptoms? He lifts The Toymaker – or tries to…DOUBLE KNEE FACEBREAKER!!!! Andy covers…
As Mister Andy tries to lift Stoner, he’s dragged down into an inside cradle…
…except The Toymaker uses the momentum to roll through and hold Stoner’s shoulders down.
The Toymaker proves necessity is the mother of invention inside The Slaughterhouse!
In the ring, Jessie Williams stands, microphone in hand.
“For my whole life, it’s felt like I’ve lived it through a filter. The world has always seemed a little darker for me than for the other people my age. I’ve always wondered why that was, until recently.”
“Now I can see that this filter was just a shadow. The shadow that my Dad has cast over me for as long as I can remember. It started off as a comfort blanket. It let me know he was there, watching, guiding me. I was glad of it. But the shadow became darker and reflected on his state of mind. The comfort blanket started to smother me.”
“He’s done some truly awful things. But he’s my father, I had to forgive him. And the shadow swelled in size each time I did. It’s only now that I realise that his shadow has blocked the sun from my life. I am stunted because of his past. But that past is not mine, and I shouldn’t be expected to carry it with me as he does.”
Ash appears at the top of the ramp.
“Jessie, son,” he growls. “We’ve had our issues, just like any family, but let’s go home. Let’s talk it through there. I know I called you naive but that is something we can change. With just a little more training you might be ready to-”
“No!” Jessie replies, his eyes stern but misty. “I can’t do it. Not anymore. I don’t need any more training. I’m ready to thrive now.”
He shakes his head and looks up with a sadness that only family issues can bring.
“But to thrive I need sunlight. I need the shadow to go away. I need you to leave this place. I can’t have you in OSW anymore…”
He drops the microphone and exits the ring, barely looking Ash in the eye as he passes him into the backstage area.
The Boiler Room.
The very place where Heaven made its first move just one week ago.
This time, however, Nightstick and Solveig are sleeping…
And their bodies are in a quite precarious situation.
With the two angels hanging from the ceiling, rope wrapped around their ankles, it appears the tables have turned.
“Water,” Crowley’s voice says.
Solveig and Nightstick wake up SCREAMING!!!
IT WAS BOILING WATER THAT SPLASHED THEM!!!
“Quit your bitching,” Nocturne says, and sends a boot directly into Nightstick’s teeth.
“I’m shocked,” Crowley admits. “Truly, shocked. I thought for sure that Heaven’s own would never make the first strike. But I was mistaken. It seems things are done differently than when I was cast out so long ago.”
“How did we end up here?” Solveig asks, almost to no one, wondering aloud.
“Come on,” Lucifer says. “I’m the most powerful entity in the Slaughterhouse. The things I can do… well, let’s just say, you fucked with the wrong ones last week.”
Nightstick, trained in the art of the right to remain silent, says nothing.
Solveig stammers, but the words can’t be found.
“Knife,” Lucifer says, holding his hand out towards Nocturne.
Nocturne produces for Lucifer a small pocketknife.
“I’m sure you’re both wondering as you dangle from the ceiling, why oh why would Lucy need himself a pocket knife.”
Lucifer kneels down, slaps Nightstick in the face. He smiles wide.
“I’m going to flay the skin from your bodies.”
Solveig and Nightstick’s eyes widen, but they bravely express no concern otherwise.
“I know, I know… your heavenly skins will grow back. But, maybe I’ll decide to remove it again. After all, given last week? The two of you have Hell to pay.”
Can the hacker crack portals!?
Sigil strikes first, utilising his height and weight advantage. He backs Zero into the ropes with debilitating blows, then sends him across the ring—
BIONIC HANDSTAND BY ZERO!
SIGIL CHARGES… INTO A HEADSCISSOR TAKEDOWN!
The Realm Walker races to his feet—
ONLY TO EAT A FIREWALL CLOTHESLINE!
Zero-1-0 covers him…
Sigil will continue to walk this path.
The hacker pulls him up—
SIGIL WRAPS HIM UP IN A CALF-CRUSHER!
ZERO WRITHES ON WOUNDED LEGS!
Bet he wishes he had a bionic leg to go with that arm of his!
The official slides in to ask Zero if he quits, but the cyberpunk screams “No!”. He’s too far away from the ropes, though…
HE GRABS SIGIL’S MASK!
THAT AUGMENTED HAND MIGHT REMOVE IT—
SIGIL RELEASES THE HOLD!
Zero hobbles back to his feet, as Sigil adjusts his mask.
GOOZLE BY ZERO!
ABSOLUTE ZERO CHOKESLAM!?
SIGIL CUTS HIM OFF WITH A MELEE COMBO FOR THE COLLECTION!
Zero staggers back—
SIGIL BENDS HIS BACK OVER HIS KNEE…
ELBOW, ELBOW, ELBOW – IT’S A LONG ROAD AHEAD FOR ZERO!
Zero hasn’t crashed yet!
They scramble to their feet.
COSMIC LEAP BY SIGIL!
THE PORTAL OPENS BEHIND ZERO…
ZERO FLIPS THROUGH THE AIR!
Sigil reboots Zero!
“We’ve been through so much here on the Show That Never Ends, haven’t we? As we close in on the season finale, how about we look back on all the fun we’ve had?”
Once again, appearing out of thin air is Monty’s stage. And upon it, Reaper and Judge, his most beloved contestants. He motions out to the crowd with a smile and a wink, but the crowd is no longer the invisible crowd we know and love.
No. It’s filled with many people. Damned souls who lost their lives in Monty’s show. Kahlil Longfellow, The Ripper, and… Reaper’s wife. All of them cheering against their own will as Reaper and Judge look on.
“I know that recap shows are a cop-out, so let’s have fun with it, shall we?”
Reaper and Judge rush towards Monty, but the show host takes off, his entire stage turning as though on a wheel!
We come across many scenes from the past as Monty is chased past them in a futile effort at capture by Reaper and Judge.
The Ripper’s death upon Monty’s debut.
Mister Andy seeing SeeSaw behind the door.
Longfellow giving his life for the library.
Reaper’s wife making her choice.
And every single time Reaper and Judge set foot on his show.
Each one blurs by faster and faster until Monty leaps and stomps the stage! Reaper and Judge slam into the floor in a heap! They struggle to stand, but chains shoot from the audience, pulling them back to the seats!
“Are you ready to join the audience once you make your final choice, boys!? Get ready for one heck of a finale!”
Judge swings his axe, cleaving the seat in two! Reaper fires off shots from his shotgun and turns the chair to confetti!
As the chairs disappear, so does the stage, the audience, and Monty.
Leaving Judge and Reaper staring at one another, awestruck by what just occured.
Sat upon a snake-skin recliner, we find one of Viper Roberts snakes. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth quivering in fear.
In fear of what? The lead pipe resting up against his neck.
Held by none other than Two-Face.
“Don’t make us ask you twice.” The fractured growls.
All around the pair are downed bodies in pools of blood. Arms have been broken, skulls have been shattered.
Two-Face is on a war path.
“It don’t work like that.” The frightened man rushes out. “I don’t…”
Two-Face raises the pipe up, and the man finally cracks.
“I’ll do it.” He shrieks, his eyes welling up.
The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out his cell phone. He dials a number, and waits.
“Put it on speaker.” Two-Face asks menacingly.
He acquiesces, letting us hear the ringer go off once. Twice.
Until someone picks up.
“I’m sorry.” The snake says, barely able to keep it together.
“Fear is the weapon of the fearful.” Roberts replies. “That’s why Two-Face is there and not here. They want to make me afraid of them.”
“You’re already afraid.” Two-Face cuts in, yelling at the phone. “You’re afraid we’ll destroy your den of snakes.”
A moment of silence before the head snake replies.
“I’ve learned much of who you’ve become over the last couple months, but I never once doubted the two of you to be capable of this. But this ain’t a battle of brawn, and I ain’t brought out the big guns just yet. See you at Ring of Dreams.”
The phone screen lights up to indicate Roberts has hung up. Two-Face knocks the phone out of the snake’s hands, holding up his coin to the light.
“Heads, you live.”
He flips it up into the air.
“You know the rest.”
Corvus is an unseen blade, one of the world’s most talented killers. But can the Taskmaster see him coming?
The match begins and Simon rushes Corvus! Corvus goes to dodge the strike but Simon catches him with a massive hiptoss once he’s caught off guard! He rolls forward INTO A SLEEPER SLAM!
Simon holds on for a sleeper hold and has the upperhand BUT CORVUS SLIPS OUT! PELE KICK TO SIMON’S NOSE!
The Taskmaster stumbles back AND GETS NAILED WITH THE MURDER OF BLOWS! UPPERCUT! PALM STRIKE! ELBOW! SIMON IS DOWN!
CORVUS HITS THE ROPES! SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR PRESS FLATTENS SIMON AND HE COVERS!
NO! CORVUS STARTS CONVULSING AND SIMON PUSHES HIM OFF!
The referee checks on Corvus as Simon makes distance and the crowd watches him throw a tazer to ringside! Corvus tries to get to his feet as the referee backs away!
BUT SIMON IS ON HIM! SIMONPLEX! FISHERMAN SUPLEX TO THE SHADOW AND HE BRIDGES!
NO! KICK OUT AT THE LAST SECOND! CORVUS IS STILL IN THIS!
Simon gets to his feet and looks back but Corvus is gone seemingly into thin air! He looks around in confusion-
WHEN CORVUS LEAPS ON HIS BACK! THE GARROTE! REAR NAKED CHOKE!
SIMON FIGHTS FOR HIS LIFE! BUT CORVUS CLINCHES AS HARD AS HE CAN!
THE TASKMASTER PASSES OUT! SIMON IS OUT!
Corvus lets go of the hold and rolls out of the ring as Simon fights to regain consciousness!
Last week, Rune demanded that Mister Andy face him right here in this terrifying structure – the same terrifying structure that had taken the lives of Kenny Freeman, Marvolo II, Freight Train Ferguson and faux-Newton.
You’d expect to see Mister Andy turning the door handle to enter, only it isn’t him; it’s Rune.
The Glitch steps inside and looks at the rotting corpses that SeeSaw once called toys; holding his nose to survive the rancid and putrid smell.
“The den of a madman,” Rune mumbles to himself and he takes a look at the toys that surround him.
“It was,” Andy replies.
Mister Andy is here after all!
He’s now stood behind Rune inside The Toybox. He looks sheepish and unconvinced; he doesn’t want to be there.
“I came,” he says bravely. “I didn’t want to, but I came.”
Rune claps sarcastically.
“I’m all out of medals, princess,” he says, being an asshole. “But I’m glad you decided to stop being a pussy and fight me.”
“First, I want to know why? Why are you doing this to me?” Andy questions. “I just finished proving myself to Redwing; why now?”
The Glitch laughs, shrugging his shoulders.
“You’re the biggest conspiracy in Old School Wrestling,” Rune announces. “Everyone knows it. You’re SeeSaw masquerading as this polite shopkeeper; but I know differently. Redwing did what he could in his limited arsenal to prove that you’re a danger to us all, but I have a much less limited arsenal.”
Mister Andy takes off his glasses and places them down on the side.
“So, this is what you want?” He asks politely. “You want to fight me inside The Toybox?”
“Then so be it.”
Both men rush towards each other.
To be continued.
Will lightning strike the mountain peak!?
Luke Storm bolts towards Banzan. He ducks a martial-arts strike, leaping onto the monk’s back with a sleeper hold!
Banzan stumbles forwards, quickly turning purple. He reaches over his shoulders, but The Tempest keeps his head low.
The superheavyweight is fading…
HE BACKS UP—
PANCAKING STORM IN THE CORNER!
Marching forwards, he grabs Luke and snapmares him to the mat.
Category Five fights his way up—
STORM EVADES THE BULL ELEPHANT!
Indestructible Mountain runs sternum-first into the corner. He staggers back…
BANZAN DIVERTS THE SUPERKICK!
DUKKHA – SUFFERING EXISTS!
Banzan folds Luke in half with the Saito suplex. He covers him—
The Storm rages on!
Banzan yanks him up. He sends him into the corner with authority—
LUKE RUNS UP THE TURNBUCKLE…
Banzan has Storm on his shoulders…
LUKE DROPS DOWN—
STORM FLOORS BANZAN!
He covers him—
BANZAN PRESSES HIM OFF!
Luke stomps his foot in the corner, gathering momentum as Banzan recovers…
The superkick sends the spiritualist reeling into the ropes—
GALE FORCE—TIGER CLAW!
THE FIVE-POINT PALM STRIKE CUTS OFF THE STUNNER!
Storm falls to one knee—
MAGGA – KINSHASAAA!
Banzan covers him—
Banzan proves himself Indestructible!
The Knight and the Knave nod while she continues to speak.
“That’s why I let you work on the castle why I worked on my own traps. Come with me.”
They follow her down the hall to a room she has told them to stay out of.
“Ready to see my secrets?”
They men nod in nervous anticipation.
Their eyes open wide and their jaws hit the floor when Pyre opens the door and reveals a room that is filled with the stuff of Alice’s nightmares.
The Knave speaks up.
“Is this what I think it is?”
“Of course it is, I can throw tea parties too. I even brought a guest that will be here to make her feel more welcome.”
The Knight intersects.
“How will you get her to go into this horrific room?”
“That’s the best part, that’s where the throne will be moved to so she has to see the work I put into this, it was a true labor of hate and she will feel all of it the moment she sees this.”
The Knight nods and replies.
“Understood, anything else we need to do?”
“Not today just make sure the guest is here by Ring of Dreams.”
“Gladly, any special requests?”
Pyre laughs and replies.
“Make sure he has two spots reserved.”
The knight chuckles and the Knave laughs hysterically. The Queen hushes them and speaks.
“They’re preparing for war when they should be preparing for hell. Can’t wait to make sure we give them both. Now take some inspiration from what I created, do the last minute touches, and make sure she never wants to come back let alone rule this place.”
They nod and all three go in separate directions to make sure Alice’s nightmare becomes a reality.
A rising bullet speeds towards the path of a speeding world champion. Can the Guv’nor pick up his biggest win yet or will he just be a statement of Voynich before the biggest title match of his career?.
The bell sounds as Albert Shaw rushes forward, nailing an unsuspecting Voynich with a flurry of lefts and rights before picking him up onto his shoulder, rushing forward
PLANTING VOYNICH INTO THE MAT WITH A HARD POWERSLAM!
Voynich is rocked as Shaw mounts him, trying for his series of devastating elbows but Voynich manages a stiff headbutt before slipping out. Voynich nails a rising Shaw with a kick to the face before rolling back, bouncing off the ropes
The Running Lariat hits hard, Shaw staggering into the ropes as he bounces off into a kick to the gut
MONOL…NO! Shaw slips out, drilling Voynich with a hard neckbreaker as he comes down. Shaw backs up, waiting for Voynich to get to his feet before rushing forward
SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Voynich goes flying into the corner, his back getting driven into the steel buckles.
Shaw barely lets Voynich get to his feet before he rushes forward, AVALANCHE SPL…NO!
Voynich just moves out of the way as Shaw hits steel but Voynich is already on him, grabbing him by the back of the head before leaping forward
THE EIGHTH WONDER! SLICED BREAD #2
Voynich delivers that full force as he quickly pulls back both legs for the cover
The World Champion picks up another big victory here, showing Shaw that no man can withstand the Eighth Wonders.
With Voynich’ match in the bag, The Best Kept Secret gets back to his feet to a standing ovation from The Slaughterhouse crowd.
He nods in appreciation and heads towards the ropes, when suddenly, a portal opens before him.
Without having a chance to move, he slips straight inside.
Within seconds, he’s transported to Darby Sorrow’s apartment. Immediately confused, as you’d expect, he begins hunting the room for the Gravedigger.
“He’s not here,” a voice booms. It belongs to Zero.
The Hacker steps out from hiding behind a door and folds his arms.
“Where’s Sigil?” Voynich demands to know.
The Collector soon joins in from behind with a forearm to the back of the skull, knocking Voynich into a pile of trash and tumbling to the floor.
Zero walks over and opens the window, allowing some fresh air in.
Though truth be told, they have other ideas.
Sigil pulls Voynich up and drags him over to the window. The Best Kept Secret looks out, thirty feet above the ground, before being tipped outside violently.
Just then, the door bursts off its hinges!
It’s Darby Sorrow and The Butcher!
Both men have Shotguns!
Zero and Sigil immediately stop, looking back towards them.
“Bring our boy back inside,” The Butcher demands, tipping his gun to ensure they understand.
Sigil and Zero do exactly that, dumping Voynich on the floor.
THE BUTCHER FIRES HIS SHOTGUN!
HE’S AIMING RIGHT AT SIGIL!
But The Collector was wise to the act, grabbing Zero and pulling them into an instant portal almost as soon as the shot was fired.
Colin angrily tosses the Shotgun down.
“Fuck!” He roars.
Sorrow quickly checks on Voynich.
“You can’t do this alone,” he says, helping him back to his feet. “You need my help.”
The Best Kept Secret wipes the blood away from the back of his head and shakes it.
“I told you,” he growls. “Leave me the fuck alone. I’ve got this.”
He storms off.
The Sandman is a terrifying force, but Jessie shows no fear as he steps into the ring, squaring up with the massive demon!
BOOMSTICK! BOOMSTICK TO START THE MATCH PUTS SANDMAN ON HIS ASS!
Jessie leaps on top of Sandman and lays into him with lefts and rights, a barrage of bloody blows that just won’t let up!
SANDMAN GRABS JESSIE’S HEAD! HEADBUTT TO JESSIE! ANOTHER! ANOTHER! SANDMAN IS CAUSING A MEETING OF THE MINDS!
The Night Terror stands as he continues headbutting! He throws Jessie into the corner and grabs him, pulling him to the second rope!
LEAPING END OF DAYS! DEEP SLEEP FROM THE SECOND ROPE!
Jessie bounces lifelessly off of the mat, Sandman not even covering as he peels Jessie up AND GETS CAUGHT WITH A GROOVY ECLIPSE!
UPPERCUT DROPS SANDMAN TO A KNEE AND A DROPKICK ROCKETS HIM INTO THE CORNER!
Jessie is already out of it as he tackles Sandman in the corner and assaults him with anything he can throw at him! Punches, kicks, elbows, headbutts! Nothing is off limits!
FLAPJACK BY SANDMAN ONTO THE TURNBUCKLE!- NO! JESSIE HOLDS ON! HE’S ON THE TOP ROPE AND SANDMAN IS COMING AFTER HIM!
TO SAND! LEAPING CHOKESLAM FROM THE TOPE ROPE SENDS JESSIE BOUNCING LIKE A RAG DOLL!
SANDMAN HOOKS THE LEG!
Sandman once again comes out ahead against Jessie, looming over him as the match ends before disappearing.
Sometime next week.
Throngs of people move up and down busy city streets. A bright marquee shines in the distance, showing some fluff movie playing at the cinema.
But none of that matters to the man walking down the dark street in a haze.
He gets some strange looks as he walks down the road, but the people got used to seeing him there all those months ago.
The Caped Crusader ignores them all as he knows the path he walks now is the one his wife and son took on that fateful night. His expression is vacant as his mind whirs with reliving their last moments. He turns down an alley to find that it’s deserted.
All except for the man standing in the middle of it.
The Crow looks down at the pavement beneath his feet.
“It happened right here, Bill.” He says, emotionless. “This is where your life changed forever. This is where our destinies became intertwined.”
Redwing takes a step into the alley, his face full of conflict.
“I’ve waited for this moment for years.” He says, his voice full of emotion. “To stand face to face with the man who murdered Sarah and Jason.”
“Then do what you came to do.” Corvus responds.
Redwing shakes out his limbs, forcing some blood into them.
“I’ve come to end this.” Redwing says, stepping forward. “To get justice for Sarah. For Jason. For all those whose life you’ve ruined.”
Corvus lets a small grin cross his lips.
“If you want for justice, you have come to the wrong place.”
He gestures around them.
“Here you will find only death.”
Redwing smiles back.
To be continued at Ring of Dreams!
The forces of Heaven and Hell go head to head tonight. Will Lucifer snuff out Heaven’s resistance or will the Archangel deliver some law and order to the Mad King?
The bell sounds as Nightstick rushes forward, delivering a stiff running hook to the jaw that staggers Crowley back. Before Lee can react, Nightstick follows up with a flurry of blows. Lefts, rights, uppercuts, finishing up with a massive haymaker like blow to the jaw that sends Crowley down to one knee and busts it open.
The Mad King reaches up, wiping away the thin trickle of blood as he runs it across his tongue.
Nightstick is deterred for a moment before kicking Crowley’s teeth in with a massive Boot to the jaw. Crowley crashes to the mat but quickly staggers up into hands around the throat before he’s Biel Tossed across the ring.
Crowley stumbles up before he’s grabbed by the hair with Nightstick’s left hand and repeatedly uppercutted with the right, a final uppercut sending blood spraying across the ring before Nightstick lifts up a groggy Crowley in a bearhug, marching him across the ring and placing him on the top rope
BEFORE HEADBUTTING HIM TO THE OUTSIDE!
Crowley crashes to the outside, slowly getting to his feet with the help of the ring steps still with that damn smile etched upon his face as Nightstick rolls to the outside, sizing up the Mad King for a moment before rushing forward
DROP TOE HOLD…ONTO THE STEEL STEPS!
Crowley suckered in Nightstick there, dropping him face first onto the steel but he’s not done as he pulls Nightstick up
STO ONTO THE STEEL STEPS…RIGHT INTO NIGHTSTICK’S EYE!
The edge of those steps slammed hard into Nightstick’s eye, causing the Archangel to cry out in pain, blood seeping down his face and a sickening chuckle from Crowley who picks him up and tosses him carelessly into the ring.
Lee pulls Nightstick to his feet, delivering a hard knee to the damaged eye before spiking Nightstick into the mat with a stiff DDT. Lee doesn’t cover, instead heading up to the top rope, leaping off
ROLLING KNEE DROP..RIGHT TO THE BAD EYE!
Nightstick screams out in pain but Lee doesn’t cover again, heading back to the top rope as he basically springboards from the top
WITH ULTIMATE TRAUMA! LEGDROP AGAIN TO THE INJURED EYE!
Nightstick is in a world of hurt here as Crowley finally drops down for the cover
NIGHTSTICK GETS THE SHOULDER UP!
Nightstick slowly gets to his feet, half dazed from his damaged vision as Lee dances around him, peppering the injured eye with jabs before “accidentally” letting his thumb slip
AND DRIVE INTO NIGHTSTICK’S BAD EYE!
The Law screams in pain as Crowley gets admonished by the referee, feigning backing up for a moment before his smile finally turns to a scowl as he rushes forward
AND DELIVERING HIDEOUS LAUGHTER TO THE REFEREE!!!
The referee drops to the mat in massive pain as Crowley spits venom down upon him for daring to interrupt his violence party before turning around
INTO HARD JUSTICE!
Nightstick obliterates Crowley with that massive Lariat, dropping down for the cover
Nightstick has this but the referee’s completely out of it thanks to the Mad King as Nightstick pulls Crowley up to his feet
Crowley using that old dirty trick as it staggers Nightstick back, as Lee rushes forward
SHOCK THERAPY INTO THE CORNER! Nightstick is driven into the steel with that massive spear as Lee climbs up, raining down elbow after elbow to the busted eye, now swelling up massively as blood covers Crowley’s elbow who winds up for a massive one
NIGHTSTICK STOPS IT! He delivers a massive headbutt, rocking Crowley before lifting him up high in the air. Nightstick walks forward, Crowley trying to stop him but he can’t stop
91 Fucking 1! Nightstick nearly Powerbombs Crowley through the ring but he’s absolutely spent as he collapses to the canvas alongside the Mad King.
Both men slowly rise to their feet, exchanging heavy lefts and rights that Crowley gets the better of with a snap jab to the bad eye before he rushes to the ropes, bouncing off
WITH THE CHELSEA GRIN! Nightstick doesn’t go down as Crowley goes for a second one but Nightstick catches him in mid-air
ODE TO…NO! Crowley swings out of the Bossman Slam, leaping up high as he tries for a Tornado DDT.
Nightstick catches him mid-rotation, throwing him high up in the air
SMITH AND WESSON IN MID FUCKING AIR!
Crowley looks out cold as the referee is finally coming too but Nightstick isn’t sure, he wants to put the exclamation point on this match as he backs up, looking to show LuciLee some Hard Justice.
Crowley slowly gets to his feet as Nightstick rushes forward,
HARD…CROWLEY DODGES IT
CROWLEY HITS IT OUT OF NOWHERE AS HE ROLLS OVER FOR THE COVER
THRE…..NIGHTSTICK KICKS OUT!
LuciLee looks incensed, gripping at his hair, his fingers pricking at the crown of thorns before an idea fills his head that soon turns that frown upside down. Rolling to the outside for a moment, Lee reaches under the ring, and pulls out an old faithful. He hoists Smiley Jnr up into the air, still that sickening blood red but now with heavy barbed wire wrapped tightly around it.
He swings it through the air a few times, giving it a few practice swipes before driving it down upon the struggling to stand Nightstick. Over and over Crowley drives Smiley Jnr down onto Nightstick, rivets of blood dripping down the strands of barbed wire before Lee pulls Nightstick’s head up, leering down at him before looking for the killing blow
Nightstick just headbutted the damn crowbar right back at Crowley, stunning the Mad King for a moment before a massive Big Boot sends him crashing to the canvas.
Crowley stumbles to his feet right into a kick to the gut as Nightstick lifts him up high. Crowley still brandishing Smiley brings it down over and over onto Nightstick’s skull but the Archangel refuses to stay down as he drives Crowley into the canvas
WITH 911! But he’s not done as he lifts Lee up once more, rushing forward
911 into the Turnbuckles! BUCKLE BOMB! Crowley slams into the steel hard as Nightstick lifts him up once more
SMILEY JNR TO THE BACK OF THE KNEE!!
Nightstick gets dropped down to one knee as Lee quickly jams Smiley across his face before leaping up
HIDEOUS SMILING LAUGHTER! SMILEY JNR ENFUSED BACKSTABBER!
This is how Crowley became the Mad King and is it the way he puts down Nightstick tonight? Crowley collapses down onto Nightstick for the cover
The Mad King does it, putting down the Archangel with that sickening Hideous Laughter but can he do the same when it counts next week and win this war against Heaven?
With that sound, the static begins to fade away, leaving us with the visage of The Scarecrow. He stands, looking forward, until the sound of something approaching can be heard behind him.
His head swivels slightly, looking over his shoulder.
“I could feel you here,” he growls.
The Scarecrow turns around, revealing Brent Kersh – in his wheelchair.
“I had to come,” Kersh says gruffly in reply. “Crowley told me what you’re trying to do. After everything we’ve been through; after everything you’ve seen from humanity, you’re willing to take their paradise for your own?”
There’s a silence as Crow thinks about it for a moment.
“You know I can’t let you do that.”
The Scarecrow steps forward.
“You made a deal, little birdie?” He asks cautiously. “After what I sacrificed for you?”
Kersh nods stoically, standing up out of his wheelchair.
They come together, almost face to face.
Brent Kersh and The Scarecrow, together inside The Slaughterhouse – two intrinsically linked behemoths.
“I haven’t come to rub your face in it, old foe,” Kersh admits. “I didn’t come to betray you. I spent a time looking at my cornfield with Lane, waiting for your return. It never came.”
“That’s because I was in purgatory, having sacrificed my immortality for you,” he angrily growls. “I gave you life, Brent Kersh; after spending my existence exterminating your family heritage and linage, I gave you life.”
Kersh steps forward, somewhat angrily.
“What about Trevor!?” He roars. “What happens to my son in paradise if you and your monsters invade it? You must know why I’ve come. I couldn’t protect him in life, but I sure as hell won’t let you ruin his paradise in death.”
The Scarecrow tilts his head.
“Very well, little birdie,” he responds, clicking his neck. “But unless you’ve experienced purgatory, you have no idea what I’m fighting for.”
Kersh shakes his head.
“You’re right,” he admits, pointing at his chest. “Because I’m not a monster. Purgatory is what it is because of what you creatures are; what you’ve done. You can take that to paradise, but you’ll make it your own personal hell. Purgatory is a reflection of what exists within it and until you realize that, you’ll never understand.”
Both of them stare at each other for a moment, letting their debate sink in. It’s The Scarecrow who speaks first, shrugging his shoulders.
“So, what now?” He asks.
“Either you back off and abandon this insane plot of yours, or I’m here to make you.”
That brings a smile out of The Hayman.
“I was hoping you’d say that.”
They both rush towards once another, as if it was old times reignited here tonight.
They lock up, The Scarecrow immediately tossing Kersh aside and into a nearby wall. The Enforcer smiles, dusting himself off and storming forward with a good old-fashioned Clothesline that drops The Hayman.
Scarecrow immediately rolls away to a knee, himself grinning.
With both of them back to their feet, there’s a nod of mutual respect. They lock up, Kersh running Crow back into the wall and delivering some fierce body shots.
Shot after shot, broken only by a knee to the gut that stops him in mid-punch.
The Scarecrow switches places, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him into the wall instead. He follows that up with a ginormous headbutt before using his double handed choking grip to toss Kersh aside and across the floor.
Brent slides straight into a set of chairs, sending the whole lot tumbling. The Hayman quickly approaches, grabbing a chair…
RIGHT ACROSS THE ONCE PARALYZED BACK OF BRENT KERSH!
Kersh looks up, kicking out as the next one flies, stumbling The Scarecrow. He quickly grabs a chair of his own, getting back to his feet and…
LEAPING CHAIRSHOT TO THE SCARECROW!
RIGHT TO THE SKULL!
That drops him to the floor in a heap as Kersh holds his back in agony. He stumbles forward and slams the chair down on him once more for good measure.
There’s no pinfalls and no submissions in this one, folks.
This doesn’t end until one of these two are unconscious.
Kersh immediately mounts The Hayman, driving fierce right hands into him.
SHOT AFTER SHOT.
But The Scarecrow kicks him off powerfully overhead. Kersh slams into the concrete, crawling away.
The Monster is back up and grabs him, running him into the nearest wall.
CONCRETE DUST FLIES EVERYWHERE.
Reminiscent of Red Snow, he grabs him again.
STRAIGHT INTO THE FUCKING WALL FOR A SECOND TIME!
THERE’S A HUGE DENT THERE NOW!
Kersh may be going through another wall. The Hayman grabs him one more time and this time takes a run up…
KERSH REVERSES MID-RUN!
HE SENDS THE SCARECROW FLYING THROUGH THE FUCKING WALL!
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!
THE SCARECROW JUST FLEW THROUGH A GOD DAMN WALL!
HE ROARS THROUGH THE OTHERSIDE, CONCRETE EVERYWHERE!
Brent smirks, looking into the room he just threw Crow into by the window.
“You need to listen to me,” he demands.
Suddenly, THE SCARECROW RISES!
RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE WINDOW…
THE SCARECROW RISES!
He lunges through the glass with both hands, shattering it everywhere!
DOUBLE HANDED CHOKE AROUND KERSH’ THROAT!
HE DRAGS HIM INTO THE ROOM!
Kersh cuts his legs and hands trying to stop himself from being dragged inside, but fails to manage it. The Scarecrow tosses him straight into the wall behind them, grabbing him on the return…
AND THROWING HIM THROUGH THE FUCKING DOOR!
THE FIREDOOR JUST GOT BLEW OFF ITS FUCKING HINGES!
BRENT KERSH SLAMS THROUGH THE FIRE DOOR, SENDING BOTH HE AND THE DOOR INTO THE HALLWAY ONCE MORE!
The Enforcer is damn near broken in half.
He hit the deck with such a thud!
As Brent tries to crawl back to his feet, The Scarecrow storms out after him.
He reaches down and pulls him straight back up, holding him there with one powerful hand.
THE ENFORCER ISN’T DONE!
HE’S FIGHTING BACK!
THE MONSTER RELEASES HIM – HE HAS NO CHOICE!
Brent turns around, grabbing a large metal pole.
HE RUNS IT STRAIGHT THROUGH THE SCARECROW!
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!
HE RUNS IT THROUGH HIM AND RIGHT INTO A GOD DAMN WALL! HE PINS HIM TO IT! OH MY GOD!
THE SCARECROW JUST HAD A METAL STAKE DRIVEN STRAIGHT THROUGH HIS GOD DAMN BEING.
Unable to move, unable to yield or fight…
The Scarecrow slowly drops into unconsciousness.
And Brent Kersh wins!
The Enforcer reaches forward, grabbing the pole and pulling it with all his might from within The Scarecrow, releasing him to the floor.
With that match over, Brent Kersh stands victorious over his old foe, The Scarecrow. He looks down at The Hayman, who awakes from his unconsciousness to see The Enforcer stood over him.
“You have to end this crusade,” Kersh demands.
The Scarecrow gets back to both knees, shaking his head vehemently.
“You don’t understand, do you?” He questions with a look of disgust. “You have no idea what I’m fighting for because you’ve not once seen the afterlife.”
Brent shakes his head.
“It doesn’t matter; you once sacrificed your life for me,” The Enforcer reminds him. “Now I need you to do the same for everyone else. Their souls need a paradise, Scarecrow – you can’t take that away from them.”
The Scarecrow rises back to his feet, a big decision to make. Does he give it all up; his entire crusade, and step aside? Does he do the right thing?
Instead, he reaches for Brent Kersh’s throat, squeezing it so hard he almost falls to his knees.
“I won’t,” he growls sinisterly. “And you can’t make me, little birdie.”
With that declaration, he releases Kersh – only The Enforcer doesn’t remain on his feet, he falls immediately to the floor with a wicked squeal.
The Hayman looks confused.
“What is it?” He demands to know, surprised. “Get up.”
“I-I can’t,” Kersh replies in agony. “It’s you that doesn’t understand, Crow.”
The Scarecrow puts his hands on his hips.
“I made a deal with the devil tonight,” Brent admits with a disgusted look on his face. “I believed I could convince you to abandon this quest to steal paradise. Crowley offered me the use of my legs again if I succeeded.”
That changes things slightly for The Scarecrow. He reaches down, pulling Brent back to his feet.
“And if you failed?” He demands to know.
“I would be paralysed once again,” Kersh admits with a deep and horrible sadness.
They share a look.
Years of history.
Hundreds of memories, many of them terrible.
But there’s a connection; a sincere and honest connection between them.
The Scarecrow lifts him up by placing his arms beneath him.
“I cannot leave here, but I will ensure that you do safely,” he says honestly. Kersh nods stoically.
“Please think about it, Scarecrow,” he pleads. “Should you take heaven, your monsters will torment the souls of those who exist and come there. It’ll become hell. You’re the only one who can change Purgatory for the better.”
They share a look, heading down the corridor.
“I’ll consider it,” Crow responds.
We catch up with Voynich just in time to see him storming down the street and away from Darby Sorrow’s apartment.
He’s furious that The Butcher and Darby Sorrow had just saved his life; but why? It doesn’t make any sense.
He walks past a television store, with televisions in the window and stops.
The show headline reads; “Interview with a Champion.”
As it turns out, Luke Storm is on a chat-show.
“You’re just one week away from becoming the OSW World Champion,” the presenter asks. “Is it a foregone conclusion?”
“Look, I respect Voynich – my opponent, you may or may not have heard of him, but he’s a great wrestler; a great man and a great Champion. But I’m a multi-time OSW World Champion. I’ve won Ring King and Lambs to the Slaughter. I’ve done things in my career that this kid can only dream of. I hate to say it, because he is great; but he doesn’t have what it takes to beat me.”
The presenter laughs and the audience cheers. Voynich’ face screws up, his hands finding his hips.
“You don’t think he’ll bring his best?” The presenter asks.
“Oh, he’ll bring everything he has, there’s no doubt about it,” Storm replies. “But Voynich has never had to step up to that next level. He’s never been on the main stage; Ring of Dreams is the biggest event in OSW outside of Red Snow. As much as I respect the kid, and I do – he just won’t be able to get that next gear. I’m not sure he has it.”
Suddenly, The Best Kept Secret throws a wild punch towards the glass window, shattering it with the ferocity of his right hand. As passers-by panic and run off in each and every direction, Voynich squeezes his blood-soaked hand with bloodied shards of glass sticking out of it.
“He just isn’t capable of being ruthless,” Luke says with a toothy smile. “And in the ring with me, that’ll cost him.”
We close in on the blooded fist.