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GOLD RUSH

[Click.]

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

[It’s the dead of night.]

[Corn sways back and forth in the brisk winter wind, barely making a sound. Slowly pushing his way through it is Brent Kersh. He looks tired, deshevelled and in a lot of pain. There’s something about him though, something determined. Brent finally breaks through the rows of corn, arriving at the perch.]

[He looks up to see The Scarecrow hung upon it, his head lowered. Unsure of what to do next, Kersh speaks up, his voice refusing to elude him.]

“I get it now,” [he admits somewhat shamefully.] “It’s inevitable, isn’t it?”

[Silence.]

“You hunt us and we die. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if it didn’t have to be inevitable?” [Kersh asks, looking up at the still Scarecrow.] “For Generations, you have hunted and killed the Kersh family. You said it yourself; you’re linked to our bloodline. So what happens when you succeed, Scarecrow? What happens when every single Kersh dies?”

[Silence.]

“Do you die too?” [He suggests.] “What if you succeed and then cease to be? Have you ever considered that our demise could lead to yours?”

[Slowly, The Scarecrow’s head rises. There’s a sickening creak as it does, his eyes eventually meeting those of Brent Kersh.]

[Click.]

[Tonight the Straight Edge Messiah battles another kind of demon. Will Tyler’s emotions get the better of him or will Doubt be left second-guessing itself?]

[The match starts with Tyler aggressively wringing his wrists in the corner. The Emotion just stands there, his head cocked to the side. The two combatants then step toward each other with Brooks kicking Doubt’s thigh! He peppers its legs, rushing Doubt into the ropes for an Irish Whip; it counters. Brooks telegraphs a Back Body Drop with a kick to the chest! Snap Suplex by Tyler! He floats into a cover! One… NO! Doubt kicks out, rising and missing a Clothesline. Tyler grabs a Waist Lock but a German Suplex is blocked. It picks an ankle; the Second Guess?]

[NO! Tyler counters into a Cradle! One… Two… NO! But Brooks looks for Eternal Salvation! Tyler works to cinch it in before Doubt squirms free. He rises, getting a knee to the gut followed by a Roundhouse Kick! He tries to run the ropes but Tyler yanks him back into a Backdrop? NO! The Emotion lands on his feet– Stretch Backbreaker! It covers! One… Two… NO! Brooks kicks out and Doubt grabs a Reverse Chin Lock. The two work back to their feet; Tyler tries to counter into a Codebreaker! NO! It catches the legs, Jacknifing him! One… Two… NO!]

[The Best in the World kicks out, swatting away a Dropkick! A Jumping Muay Thai Knee Strike staggers down– BIG Calf Calf Kick! He hooks the legs! One… Two… NO! But Typer quickly muscles it up into a Tiger Bomb? NO! Doubt counters into a ‘Rana in mid-move! One… Two… NO! Brooks kicks out; Doubt hits the END OF WISDOM! The Emotion covers! One… Two… NO! Brooks gets the shoulder up on sheer instinct! His eyes are glazed over as he stumbles to his feet……. EATING YOURSELF ALI– NO! Tyler counters, boxing him up with a Rolling Prawn Hold!]

[One… NO! Brooks can’t hold the Pin, crumbling to the mat before picking himself up right into a Jumping Corkscrew Forearm! Tyler’s humbled through the ropes! He hits the concrete with an awkward “THUD;” the Emotion stares blankly….. The referee tries to check on Brooks. HE MIGHT BE OUT! Doubt eventually rolls to the floor, picking his opponent’s dead weight up……. DDT ON THE FLOOR! The official again checks on Tyler who’s motionless on the ground. The referee threatens to the call the match but it won’t allow him. Doubt chucks Tyler back under the bottom rope. JUST LISTEN TO THE FANS BOO!]

[The Straight Edge Messiah lies in a heap on the canvas as the Emotion climbs onto the apron. The referee again begs him to back away; Doubt simply ignores him. It grabs Brooks by the head, carefully picking him…. It hooks Tyler’s arms……… NO! Brooks with an ugly, desperation Schoolboy! One… Two….. NO! Doubt quickly rises– YOUR FORETOLD DESTINY! BOTH MEN ARE DOWN! A moment passes as both men stay strewn across the ring. The official starts to count…. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5……… Doubt starts to turn over…. 6, 7, 8….. Tyler’s using to ropes to stand; Doubt’s almost up to its feet…… 9, NO! BOTH ARE UP!]

[Doubt dishes out a few shots to the skull; Tyler responds with an Enziguiri! Both men are on spaghetti legs as Tyler resorts to forearms. Doubt’s knocked into the corner and– NO! The Emotion with a Headbutt! That rocks Brooks; Doubt charges him– Tyler with Pele Kick! EYE OF THE SAVOIR! He falls into a cover! One… Two… NO! But Brooks again looks for Eternal Salvation! He struggles to keep Doubt grounded; both rise. Brooks with a Northern Lights Su– WAIT! Doubt Summersaults through! THE PESSIMIST’S END DRILS BROOKS! AND THE CAUSE OF DOUBT!! HE COVERS! One… Two… THREE!]

[After the match, Doubt stands. Eying its fallen opponent, the referee raises the Emotion’s hand before it starts to leave. Brooks struggles to pull himself off the mat but he’s just too hurt…..]

[A grueling back and forth contest has ended and both competitors find themselves trying to clear the cob webs.]

[Doubt, once on his feet, has now slumped into the corner; his hands clinging to the ropes as he sits on the middle turnbuckle. Tyler Brooks slowly rolls to the edge of the canvas; his hands grasping for the ring ropes in an effort to bring himself to his feet.]

[Still struggling, Doubt calls for a microphone from ringside and when he is obliged the staff assistant also hands him an envelope. Seemingly, the same envelope we saw Doubt bragging about last week in Miami, Florida.]

“Well, well, well…” [Doubt scoffs.] “It looks like you just didn’t have the “edge” tonight doesn’t it Brooks?”

[The crowd boos in reaction to the play on words by the Asylum member.]

“Hold your boos folks, hold your boos because…” [Doubt holds the envelope into the air.] “The results are IN!”

[Tyler Brooks has repositioned himself on the ropes now, bringing himself to his feet as he glares a proverbial hole straight through his opponent.]

“I told you I was going to release the details of this drug test tonight, Brooks, and if there is one thing I’m not it’s a liar.” [Doubt utters as he pulls himself from the corner, walking to the center of the ring.] “So without further ado, the results of this drug test from deep into Tyler Brooks past… are NEGATIVE”!

[The crowd responds in confused silence, not sure whether to boo or cheer.]

“That’s right Tyler.” [Doubt chuckles.] “It was just a distraction to get your mind off our match.”

[Brooks is boiling.]

“But let’s be honest…” [Doubt turns away from Brooks and to the crowd.] “If there wasn’t a positive drug test out there somewhere… do you think Tyler would have seemed so… UNCERTAIN?”

[Doubt rubs the salt in the wound as he turns around only to be caught by surprise by a charging Brooks who clotheslines Doubt up and over the top rope and to the concrete floor below at the tremendous roar of the crowd.]

[Doubt was able to pull one over on Brooks tonight, but it was indeed the “Straight-Edge Messiah” who got the last laugh.]

[The crowd is buzzing! Jon Davenport stands in the ring…. then Tommy Hawk just sprints from the back, slides into the ring, and the two men clash before the bell even rings! Fists fly in fury as the ref starts the match.]

[Hawk, running on pure emotion, nails Jon with a series of huge right hands! He drives the Hound Dog back into the corner! Davenport is stunned and rests with his arms on the top ropes. Hawk backs off the dazed opponent. He walks around the ring and pulls that imaginary tomahawk. He sprints at Davenport and THE SCAL…..no! Jon ducks and as Tommy bounces chest first from the turnbuckles, he turns and is met with a BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!! Davenport makes his way to his feet and immediately runs his boot down the head of Hawk, giving him his own version of the Scalp! Davenport, reaches down and pulls Hawk to his feet. He lifts him and BRAINBUSTER!!! Davenport waits, hoping Hawk stays down but he climbs to his feet.]

[Davenport grabs Hawk by the hair and whips him into the far ropes. As Tommy returns, he jumps and LEAPING SHOULDER BLOCK!! Davenport drops hard to the mat! Hawk is quickly to his feet and runs to the ropes and returns with a BASEBALL SLIDE KNOCKING DAVENPORT TO THE FLOOR!! Hawk gets up, backs up to the ropes and waits… Davenport gets slowly to his feet outside and… GOING NATIVE! FLYING DOUBLE FIST!! Jon is leveled, but Hawk smashes hard into the barrier. Both men are down. The crowd is going insane! The ref starts counting them out, but Hawk get up first, pulls Davenport to his feet, smashes his head off the apron and rolls the big man into the ring. Hawk follows.]

[Hawk gets to his feet and tries to pull Jon up, but EYE POKE! Hawk is rocked as Davenport get to his feet. The ref scolds Jon, who yells back, “It’s no disqualification!” Hawk shakes his head to clear the cobwebs, but before he can Davenport locks him in a SIDE HEADLOCK!! Hawk struggles, and throws three elbows into Davenport’s midsection. Davenport releases and shoves Hawk to the ropes, as Tommy returns, Davenport takes him down with an armdrag! Tommy gets up quickly, but not quick enough. He gets a kick to the gut and a VERTICAL SUPLEX!! Davenport is feeling good and stands on Hawk’s head, grinding his boot into his forehead. Davenport steps off, and we see that Hawk is bleeding a bit from his forehead. Jon grabs Hawk’s foot and drags him to the corner. He climbs up…. MUD FLOP!! But he isn’t done, He climbs to the second rope! ANOTHER MUD FLOP!!!! He stands and backs away. The ref begins to count… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… Tommy pulls himself up by the ropes!]

[Davenport runs at the unsteady Tommy,who ducks down, pulling the tope rope down with him! Davenport tumbles over the rope and down to the floor! Hawk is pulling out all the stop and climbs to the top rope! RED ARROW! RED ARROW TO DAVENPORT ON THE OUTSIDE!!! Both men are in severe pain!! The ref counts again…1… 2… 3… 4… 5…. 6… Hawk to his feet… 7… 8… 9………. Davenport just makes it to his feet!! Tommy rushes at Davenport and DISCUSS CLOTHESLINE! Davenport is down! Hawk knows that won’t be enough… He backs up, waiting for Jon to gain his feet. He pulls the invisible tomahawk once again… Davenport gains his feet at a 6 count and Tommy sprints at him! The SCAL…. Davenport spots him and ducks and BACK BODY DROP ONTO THE STEEL STEPS!!! Davenport has to have it here! 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… TOMMY JUST ROLLS OFF THE STEPS TO STAND AGAIN!! Davenport can’t believe it and runs Hawk, Tommy turns and ducks a forearm, but he spins to face Jon again and GEORGIA CRAWFISH!!! Davenport forces Hawk to ground. He holds on until Hawk stops fighting it. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10!!]

[Jon Davenport retains the All-Star Championship!! Hawk is out as Davenport celebrates, raising his belt high in the air. He has guaranteed himself a shot at the World Title tonight in the Gold Rush match!]

[What a match.]

[The battle is over, but neither man is standing at this moment.]

[Slowly, methodically, Tommy Hawk is the first to rise as his eyes are piercing Jon Davenport. He staggers over to him and slugs him as the dead weight of Davenport slumps back to the mat.]

“The spirits are not pleased with this disturbance. It’s their beckoning call I hear. They request payment for the atrocities you have committed. For once, I must do against their bidding.”

[These words seem to pain Tommy Hawk as he drags Jon Davenport to his feet. His fierce gaze is staring a hole through Davenport’s head.]

“Where is Etu?”

[Davenport is still groggy, but the mention of Etu’s name brings a smile to his face.]

“Ya’ want that little injun, Tommy? You want that little redskin piec-”

[A strike to the chin floors him as Tommy Hawk grabs his tomahawk and raises it high as he places his boot on Davenport’s chest.]

“The spirits are calling for your scalping, Wendigo. I am tempted to give them what they please. Now, WHERE IS ETU?!”

[The bass in the voice of Tommy Hawk is startling as the lights momentarily flicker. Davenport pushes his boot away and brings two fingers to his mouth and whistles. A moment passes before the young Etu comes out with rope around his wrists and a man in a suit leading him by the rope attacked to him. Tommy Hawk walks over to the ropes and looks out as the kid steps down the steps hastily. Jon Davenport manages to get to his feet as he grabs another microphone.]

“Nuhuhuh! Step back, injun.”

[Tommy Hawk turns as his eyes are flushed with anger before taking a few steps back as requested. The young boy gets to ringside as the nicely tailored man lifts the kid up and hands him to The Ol’ Hunting Hound Dog. He grabs the boy by the arm as he turns to Tommy Hawk.]

“Now, you stay right there, Hawk, or I’ll bash this kid’s head in. Y’here me?!”

[Tommy Hawk doesn’t move, but he does twirl his tomahawk in his hand almost as if preparing for a moment to strike. A sick sense of glee comes over the face of Jon Davenport as he clutches the kid close.]

“You see, I’m a nice guy and all, but I believe any transaction worth having requires both parties to gain some sort of wealth. Don’t you think that’s agreeable?”

[He turns to his assistant who climbs into the ring next who just nods. His hair is combed over as he tugs on the end of his nice white suit.]

“Forgive me for not introducing you, but this is my… associate, for lack of a better word. His name is Trevor.”

[Trevor smirks and extends his hand to Tommy Hawk who just stares at it.]

“What kind of fucking savage are you? When a man extends his hand, you SHAKE IT! Now shake it, Tommy.”

[Tommy Hawk winces at the order before looking at the tight embrace that Davenport has on Etu and exhales. He shakes Trevor’s hand before returning to his antsy stance.]

“There. That wasn’t so hard now was it? Now, I’m sure you want this kid back. I’m inclined to give you what you want. You just need to give me one thing, and I’m sure you will after this…”

[DAVENPORT SLAMS THE KID’S FACE INTO THE MAT!]

[A thunder clap is heard throughout the arena as Tommy Hawk’s face has just transformed into a fiery pit of rage! He slams into Davenport with a flurry of blows as the Ol’ Hunting Hound Dog slams into the turnbuckle corner. He’s attacking him brutally until Davenport is in the bottom corner and can’t budge! The well-tailored Trevor steps in and Tommy Hawk nails him with a shot before stomping on him viciously.]

[Tommy Hawk continues stomping on him relentlessly before turning to see that Jon Davenport is halfway up the ramp with a wide-eyed expression. Tommy Hawk turns to Trevor and… LODGES THE TOMAHAWK RIGHT INTO HIS SHOULDER!]

[The crowd gasps as the blood begins to pour from the wound. Tommy Hawk grabs Etu and holds him close as his eyes never leave sight of The Ol’ Hunting Hound Dog.]

[But unlike most men’s expressions, his face isn’t contorted into either fear or disgust.]

[The Hunting Hound Dog is smiling.]

[Remember him? Tonight Ethan Bird battles with Errol Flint’s personal hired gun. Will Bird rise to the occasion or will Jack Jeckel get the last laugh?]

[The Boogeyman attacks Ethan at the bell, mercilessly beating him against the ropes. He whips Bird across the ring– Shoulder Block! NO! Ethan stands his ground, firing back with rights. Jeckel curses at opponent; the two collide into a tight grapple, stumbling through the ropes. Both men battle on the apron…. JACK WITH A DDT! Bird’s body falls limp onto the concrete before Jeckel chucks him into the ring. He covers! One… Two… NO! Ethan kicks out, maybe on instinct! Jack now BLATANTLY CHOKES HIM! The referee administers the count; the clown breaks before “5!” Bird’s really got his bell rung!]

[Jack stomps away at Bird; he shoves him into the corner…. HE’S SCRAPING HIS BOOT ACROSS ETHAN’S FACE! Jeckel sneers. Bird’s struggling to stand…. Jack plants him with a Side Slam! He covers! One… Two… NO! Bird kicks out! Jeckel drops an elbow, leaving Ethan prone….. Jeckel climbs to the top and– CAR CRASH? NO! Bird got his foot up! He gets a Small Package! One… Two… NO! Jack rises only to get Schoolboyed! One… Two… NO! Bird now starts throwing wild punches. He rushes Jack into the turnbuckle before sending him shoulder-first into the ring post! BIRD HEADBUTTS HIM!]

[Bird now hooks Jeckel up…. HE SUPLEXES HIMSELF AND JACK OVER THE TOP! WHAT A NASTY FALL! Outside, both men gradually get to their feet…. The Boogeyman grabs Bird up by the hair and– NO! ETHAN CRACKS JACK’S HAND AGAINST THE RING POST! Bird then shoves him back into the ring. He lands a few shots on the apron, staggering Jeckel…. Diving Clothesline! He covers! One.. Two… NO! Jack kicks out! The two then trade rights; Bird gets a Knee Lift! HE SCRAPS AT JACK’S EYES! He Irish Whips him but Jack telegraphs it! Neckbreaker? NO! Bird with a Backslide!]

[One… Two… NO! Jack powers out; Ethan scrambles to attack but gets pulled right into the BOOGEYBOMB? NO! Bird breaks free! He catches Jeckel’s arm off a Clothesline attempt, looking for a Full Nelson Slam? NO! Jack counters to a Waist Lock; the German Suplex is blocked…. JACK WITH AN EXPLODER SUPLEX INTO THE TURNBUCKLE! He covers! One… Two…. NO! Bird grabbed bottom rope! JECKEL CAN’T BELIEVE IT! He hauls Bird back up, cursing at him before just Slapping the taste out of his mouth! Wait, NO! Bird gets a RUNNING SPIKE SLAM OUTTA NOWHERE! Both men are down!]

[With both men fighting to move, the referee starts to count….. 1, 2, 3, 4….. Jeckel turns over….. 5, 6, 7……… Ethan begins to stir; Jack’s almost up…. 8, 9….. The Boogeyman’s up! He starts pulverizing Bird with hard shots, scoring with a Big Boot and– JACK IN THE BOX? NO! Bird evades it; HE WANTS THE WORLD’S END! But Jack holds on, countering……. THE BOOGEYBOMB! HE COVERS! One… Two…. NO! Jack can’t believe it! IRATE, he begins climbing to the top again……. He readies himself– NO! Ethan tries to stop him; he gets shoved back down! THE CAR CRASH! Jack hooks both legs! One… Two….. THREE!]

[After the match, Jack rises to his feet as the referee raises his arm.]

[After that match, Ethan Bird rolls to the outside, grabbing a microphone.]

“You look lost, Jack?” [Bird asks.] “I used to be like that. When Errol Flint kicked me to the curb, I wasn’t sure what I’d do. What I knew, was that I’d come back. I knew that I’d get my revenge, [he admits.] “But tell me, how does it feel knowing that you started the chain of events that led to your brother’s murder?”

[Jack turns to him, grimacing.]

“You wanted him dead, didn’t you? You wanted nothing more than to end his career, and his life. Well, you succeeded. Errol Flint now sits in a jail cell whilst detectives pull his life apart and you have me to thank for that. All I needed to do was get you out of the way long enough to effect change. Why do you think I falsely identified you, Jack?”

[Bird rolls into the ring and gets closer to the Juggalo than is probably smart of him to dol.]

[The Juggalo is seething, but takes a moment to retrieve a microphone.]

“You know he didn’t kill my brother, Bird. You know it and I know it. A man like Errol Flint could never kill Jake Jeckel. Never.”

[Bird nods.] “Perhaps you’re right, perhaps this has all been a misunderstanding, “[he says as if he’s reconsidered.] “But then perhaps.. Not.”

[Ethan suddenly clouts him with the microphone, taking him to the canvas out of no-where. He drops to his knees and pummels away at him, busting him wide open with every single punch to the skull.]

[With Jeckel’s blood on his knuckles, he stands up, taking in a deep breath.]

[Just then, Lance Norman steps out of the tunnel and stands atop the steps at ringside. The fans boo, Bird turning to him with a smile. He flashes one back, then turns around and walks back out the way he came from.]

[The feed cuts.]

[Click.]

[Continued.]

[Slowly, The Scarecrow’s head rises. There’s a sickening creak as it does, his eyes eventually meeting those of Brent Kersh.]

“This cycle will never end,” [The Scarecrow growls.] “Because I am meant to kill Kersh‘ and Kersh’ are meant to die. Don’t you understand, Brent? You’re but an insignificant pinprick on the fabric of time. You’re one in an endless stream of your name.”

[Kersh walks straight up to him, defiantly.] “No! I don’t accept that. I refuse to accept that, Scarecrow. I refuse to accept that one day, my son will fall by your hand.”

[The Scarecrow suddenly starts moving, stepping down off his perch until he’s stood before Brent Kersh. They stand nose to nose, in the pitch black, staring into the depths of each others souls.]

“And how will you stop me?”

[Brent takes a deep breath.]

“I will take his place. You said it yourself, this will never end. But you know that I’m not going to lay down and let you take my life. You know that I’m going to fight you until my dying breath. What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if at Red Snow, I surrendered myself unto you and took my place as the next victim.”

[The Scarecrow tilted his head in confusion.] “You would sacrifice yourself for your son?”

[Brent nods heroically.]

“I could run,” [Brent admits.] “I could stow my family away and you’d never find them, Scarecrow. I could take on a new name, I could become someone else. I could make it so that you toil in obscurity for years until one day, maybe you find a Kersh. But what I’m offering you here is what you want; you kill me and my son lives. You leave the Kersh family alone for Generations. You give us a chance to live before you take.”

[The Scarecrow considers the offer. He steps backwards and looks at his perch.]

“Why couldn’t I have it all?” [he muses.] “What makes you think I couldn’t, little birdie? You aren’t the only Kersh with fire in his belly. It’s true, you know. Your father almost found a way to end the link between us. I couldn’t let that happen.”

[Kersh interrupts.] “Just take my offer. Give me a month to get my affairs in order. I will conceed defeat to you at Gold Rush and then at Red Snow, I will give you my life.”

“Very well,” [The Scarecrow surprisingly agrees.] “In one month at Red Snow, in the middle of the ring you call home, I will end you,” [he hisses, grabbing Kersh by the collar.] “But if you renege on our deal, I will kill everyone. Your mother, your brother, his sons, your daughter, your wife; everyone.”

[The Enforcer looks at him, gulping as he nods. The deal struck, the arrangement made. At Red Snow, Brent Kersh will surrender himself to The Scarecrow and end this nightmare once and for all.]

[A true battle of good versus evil takes places tonight as the Light Warrior tries to save the broken soul of Smiley. Can Lux bring the once Lee Crowley back to the light or will he become yet another victim of the Deranged One?]

[The bell rings as both men circle around the ring, staring deep at one another. A focused look on Lux as a sadistic smile creeps onto the face of Smiley. Lux rushes forward, trying for a spinning heel kick but Smiley ducks under, nailing Lux with a series of hard forearms across the jaw before grabbing Lux by the back of the head, throwing him stomach first into the corner. Lux staggers out of the corner, right into the clutches of Smiley as he lifts him up high, ANTIDE…Lux manages to wiggle out, leaping over Smiley and driving him into the mat with a bulldog variation]

[Lux pulls Smiley up, taking him down as he tries to rain down elbows but Smiley grabs one, turning it into an arm lock as he tries to fishhook Lux. Bellator manages to roll away but gets kicked in the face as Smiley pulls him up, nailing him with a hard knee that drives all the air out from Lux before driving him into the mat with a spike DDT. Smiley doesn’t cover, instead backing up as he waits for Lux to stand up, Bellator using the ropes to pull himself up, SHOCK THERAPY…MISSES AS SMILEY DIVES THROUGH THE ROPES!]

[Smiley slowly gets to his feet, groggy on the outside as Lux sizes him up, Somersault Plancha! Lux takes Smiley out as he pulls the Deranged One up to his feet, slamming him head first into the apron before rolling him back into the ring. Smiley staggers to his feet right into a big spinning backfist by Lux as he’s lifted up high before being driven shoulder first onto Lux’s knee. Lux backs up as Smiley slowly gets to his feet, rushing forward with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors spinning into a single arm DDT but as Lux tries to lock Smiley into the Fujiwara, Smiley manages to slip out]

[Lux rolls to his feet rushing forward, CHELSEA GRIN! Smiley nails Lux out of nowhere as he drops down for the cover, ONE…TWO…TH…Lux manages a shoulder up. The Deranged One pulls Lux up, FUJIWARA ARMBAR OF GOD! Lux locks it in out of nowhere as Smiley is stuck in the middle of the ring. Smiley tries to break free but Lux has the hold locked in tight, pulling back on the arm as much as he can to try and force the tap out. Smiley holds his hand up, quivering as it looks like he’s about to tap out when he begins to power himself up to his feet, Lux holding onto his arm with all his might as Smiley slams Lux down with a modifed powerbomb, breaking the hold!]

Both men slowly get to their feet, Smiley kicking Lux in the gut suddenly as he lifts him up high, ANTIDEPRESSANT! Lux is planted but Smiley doesn’t cover as he climbs up to the second rope, waiting for Lux to slowly get to his feet. Bellator stumbles up, HIDEOUS LAUGH…LUX DUCKED UNDER AS SMILEY HITS THE CANVAS! Smiley gets to his feet stunned as Lux rushes forward, DEUM LUCEM! LUX HOLDS ON FOR THE COVER, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!]

[Lux gets to his feet celebrating as Smiley gets up, furious at coming so close as he rushes Lux from behind, Lux ducking under a clothesline before kicking Smiley in the gut, DISCIPLE MAKER! Lux kneels down on the defeated Smiley, delivering the sign of the cross as he celebrates a hard fought victory]

[Lux and Smiley lie on the gritty mat, stained with their sweat and blood. Bruises and future scars taint the flesh of both men, having ripped each other to pieces in this brutal contest of beliefs and conviction. At least now, it’s over. It’s finished…]

[Smiley laughs. A disconcerting, twisted giggle, like some nightmarish warped child’s laughter. He crawls over to the ropes and dumps himself onto the concrete floor, further punishing his body. Ripping the apron back, he rummages through the masochistic pile of presents under the ring.]

“Ooohhh…” [The crowd groan as he reunites with his loved one: Smiley Jr., the rusted crowbar.]

[He throws himself back into the ring, where he uses Jr. like a cane to prop himself up. Smiley raises the cold metal cudgel above his head and slowly advances on a prone Bellator, who does not back away but instead looks Smiley right in the eyes. Even ignoring his mask, Lux’s expression is hard to read.]

“You don’t have to do this, Lee…” [Lux speaks through a mouthful of blood which dribbles down his lips. Smiley chuckles softly, doubling over to nurse his aching ribs.]

“Oh, but I do, Lux.” [He straightens up, wielding Jr. overhead once more.]

“If there is even a tattered handkerchief of a soul left in your body, you won’t do this.” [Lux still doesn’t crawl away but braces himself either way.]

“I don’t think I had a soul to begin with.” [Smiley sneers at him, aiming his shot as though playing golf.]

“It’s not too late… It’s never too late.” [Lux pleads but he doesn’t beg.]

[Smiley laughs in sheer disbelief, once again lowering Jr. to wheeze through his injured ribs.]

“Jesus Christ, Lux! I showed you the skeletons in my closet—” [He steps towards him.] “I nailed you to a piece of wood—” [Closing in.] “And you’re still saying God will forgive me!?”

[Lux looks up fearfully at Jr.’s claws.] “I don’t know…” [He confesses.] “But maybe it starts with you forgiving yourself.”

[LOW BLOW BY LUX!] “OOOHHH!”

[Smiley’s eyes damn near pop out of his head as he falls to his knees, clutching his nethers. Lux leaps on him and they jockey for control of the deadly equaliser, Smiley Jr.]

[Blood and spit flies through the air as teeth gnash and both men go into survival mode, overdosing on adrenaline as they struggle for supremacy.]

[Ultimately, Lux forces Smiley onto his back and jams Smiley into his mouth. Smiley, however, giggles and bites the cold steel.]

“’oo i’! ‘oo i’!” [Smiley goads Lux on, as he has before, but not after the literal torture he has since inflicted on him.]

[Lux looks tempted. Severely tempted. He looks at the backs of his hands as they push down on Jr.; the bruised and scabbed wounds from where Smiley hammered nails through them…]

“Uuuurrgghhh!”

[A muffled scream escapes Smiley as blood gushes from the corners of his mouth! Lux grits his teeth as the crowbar reopens Smiley’s scars! Blood soaks into the ring mat as Smiley laughs and screams while kicking his feet, a glazed-over look in Lux’s eyes.]

[Lux wrestles himself away from his nemesis, standing tall with a white-knuckled grip on Jr. But did he really give in? Smiley wanted it but there was still a visible struggle…]

[The mist clears as Lux looks up at the sea of shocked faces in the bleachers. Smiley’s blood is on his hands. It stains his ring gear.]

[Backup referees and EMTs flood the ring to tend to Smiley, who, despite his grievous injuries, crawls over to Lux.]

“Finish it!” [He demands, the corners of his mouth flapping grotesquely.]

[Lux steps back in silence, white as a ghost. He drops Jr. onto the mat with a thud, then exits the ring. Smiley cackles as the medics desperately try to mop him up and treat him.]

[Lux retreats up the ramp, running his red hands over his bloodstained mask, the crowd stunned into silence.]

[Did Lux give in, or did Smiley inflict those wounds on himself!? Is this the end of this war of angels and demons?]

[Ozric stands proudly in the ring, his smirk piercing into the strangely docile Hysteria opposite him in the ring. The bell rings and the match begins!]

[Ozric is quick to advance towards Hysteria, grabbing onto the smaller man and trying to toss him across the ring! He lifts and Hysteria nails Ozric with a righ! The Nightmare barely notices the blow, but Hysteria throws another and another at the giant, getting Ozric to stagger! Dropkick to the knee followed up by a snap DDT onto the monster! Hysteria is full tilt out of the gate, not letting up. He moves to the top rope, begging Ozric to rise, LEAPING FOR THE FALL OF MAN! OZRIC’S NECK SNAPS BACK FROM THE MASSIVE IMPACT! Hysteria is already to his feet, not letting up his assault!]

[The crowd is in awe at Hysteria’s frenzy of offense. He yanks Ozric up by his hair and whips him across the ring into the turnbuckle! Hysteria bounds forward, leaping for a clothesline- BATTERING RAM HEADBUTT TO THE STERNUM! Ozric catches Hysteria hard and sends him rolling backwards from that massive hit. Ozric is sneering, not willing to take the punishment anymore as he gets to the second turnbuckle! Hysteria is on a knee when Ozric jumps LANDING A MASSIVE LEGDROP BULLDOG! ALL OF HIS WEIGHT WAS BEHIND THAT! Hysteria’s face meets canvas with a sickening smack, the Mad mastermind laid out after that attack!]

[The entirety of Ozric’s weight has left Hysteria reeling, The Mastermind not moving as Ozric peels him off of the mat. He whips Hysteria across the ring AND HYSTERIA COLLIDES WITH THE REF! The referee goes down and Ozric shakes his head as he goes to grab Hysteria once more. He picks him up BRASS KNUCKLES FROM HYSTERIA! OZRIC IS BLOODIED BY THE BLOW! Hysteria had brass knuckles hidden in his ring gear! Ozric is to a knee and Hysteria goes crazy with the knuckles, nailing Ozric with blow after blow until he collapses to the mat! Hysteria tosses away the knuckles and pins as the ref begins to stir!]

[The groggily counts the pin. One! Two! Kickout! Hysteria rolls off of Ozric, angry at the ref for the slow count. Hysteria is too preoccupied to notice Ozric rising behind him. Ozric grabs Hysteria by surprise picking him up AND GOING FOR SUSPENDED ANIMATION! NO! HYSTERIA JABS A THUMB INTO THE EYE OF OZRIC! Ozric is defenseless as Hysteria throws knee after knee at his opponent, rolling back off of Ozric’s shoulder and landing on his feet. He turns Ozric around- Ozric bell claps Hysteria! He grabs him and hits a massive belly to belly suplex!]

[Both men are down, their intense battle leaving both out of breath. Ozric looks to stir but Hysteria rolls out of of the ring to the floor. At his feet, Ozric makes his way to the apron, but Hysteria is waiting! The Mastermind yanks Ozric’s leg out from under him and sends him crashing to the concrete below! A quick boot to the head and Hysteria moves to the top turnbuckle inside the arena. He signals for The Cataclysm and leaps. BUT OZRIC WAS TO HIS FEET AND HE CATCHES HYSTERIA! GRACE AT GROUND ZERO INTO THE APRON! HYSTERIA IS BROKEN IN HALF!]

[Ozric smiles as he looks over the battered Hysteria, grabbing him and rolling him into the ring, slithering in after him and going for the pin. One! Two! Thre- KICKOUT BY HYSTERIA! OZRIC CAN’T BELIEVE IT! The nightmare looks down at Hysteria wondering just how he can keep going. He shakes his head and yanks Hysteria to his feet, dragging him to the nearby turnbuckle and forcing him atop of it. Ozric signals for the end- Hysteria kicks him off of the turnbuckle! Ozric lands on his feet and HYSTERIA LEAPS FROM THE TOP TURNBUCKLE WITH THE LOST HOPE! OZRIC SLUMPS THE GROUND AND HYSTERIA PINS! ONE! TWO! THREE!]

[Hysteria gets to his feet, groggy after his victory. However Ozric doesn’t stay down as he slowly makes his way to his feet.]

[The match is now over. The Double Feature Championship has been decided.]

[However Ozric Mortimer appears to have something else up his sleeve. He quickly slides out of the ring, digging underneath it, while Hysteria cocks his head to the side in confusion. The Mad Mastermind isn’t going to let it continue.]

“Ozric, if you give me the remains, this will all be over.” [Hysteria begins.] “I have Cyrus and Morgan. The mother isn’t good for much, but the brother can still produce children. I’ll have another little brat for you to ruin soon.”

[The Nightmare’s head quickly pokes above apron level, almost daring Hysteria to continue.]

“Don’t look at me like that, Mortimer. You’re worse than me. You’re worse than the whole Asylum. I know your secret, and its time for everyone else to know it.”

[With menacing eyes, Ozric Mortimer slowly stands up. In his hands is the box from last week. Inside is some remnant of the Hysteria’s family. Supposedly.]

“Nicholas may have given you a name, but you’ve been floating around for generations. They thought it was just genetic mental illness, but we both know better, don’t we?”

[Mortimer begins to get into the ring as Hysteria’s eyes do not leave the box. However, the masked man forges ahead.]

“I don’t know how long ago. I doubt you even know, but either way you died. And when you died, you tried to rest. But they didn’t let you. They dug up your remains, and decided to move you elsewhere, didn’t they?”

[The Sparrow merely holds out the box to Hysteria, his eyes commanding his creation to open it. Hysteria continues onward.]

“Somehow you ended up floating from person to person, some apparition they talked to in the dark. You were the boogeyman everyone warned their children about. Except you were real, and you had to grow from nothingness to become something. The Sparrow needed its wings to fly. The Nightmare needed the night to become real.”

[Ozric shoves the box into the hands of Hysteria, a smile forming behind his lips as he decides to retort.]

“And then what?” [Ozric sneers.] “After years of learning how to interact with the living, I finally decided to find a host? An out of work steel worker named Kinsey? Is that what you were going to say?”

[Hysteria looks down at the box before Mortimer continues.]

“Were you going to tell me that I grew tired of his feeble body? That I convinced him to kill himself so that I could take someone else? The wife shattered instantly, so I abandoned her quickly. Cyrus, the boy you harbor, was my only failure. He covered my proselytizing with hallucinogens and ran away. So the youngest became my host, and I slowly broke him. With every fiber of his being, he hated his lot in life. So eventually, he just gave himself up. Now, Nicholas may as well be eulogized next to your beautiful wife and children.”

[The masked one steps forward, enraged, but Ozric points down at the box, his words no longer musing. Now they are a cold steel.]

“And now, I’ve sentenced your family to that fate. Now they will wander the Earth forever. One day they’ll learn how to interact, and when they do? Well, it’s only a matter of time before they become just like me. I created you, my little daydream, but now I’ve unleashed three little nightmares into this world. For that, my creation, I thank you.”

[Almost dumbstruck by the way Ozric flat out revealed his plan, Hysteria seems a little shocked. This is unlike Mortimer entirely.]

“Open the box, and see what I made for you. It’s a small token of my thanks.”

[Anger flies off the body of Hysteria, as palpable as sweat or tears. Yet he complies, opening the box to look inside. Upon feasting his eyes on the inside, he jerks up as the box bounces off the canvas.]

[Empty.]

[The box was empty.]

“This ends now!” [Hysteria proclaims as he leaps for Mortimer.]

[However, Mortimer sidesteps, a laugh coming from his lungs.]

“Look again, Hysteria!” [He taunts, kicking the box at the Mad Mastermind.] “Haven’t I taught you anything?”

[Dropping to a knee, Hysteria goes to look at the box again. His hands touch inside of it, yet he finds nothing.]

“You’re better than this, my child!” [Ozric chants, creepily.] “Your family must have died for nothing!”

[THWACK!]

[With staggering force, Hysteria uses the box as a weapon, knocking the Nightmare clear out. However, the box has shattered from that assault, and lying on the mat is an object. Upon seeing it, Hysteria drops to his knees to cradle it.]

[A nail.]

[A nail made of bone.]

[Bone belonging to one of his family.]

[The very thought of this seems to bring Hysteria to a different state of mind. He quickly dashes away from the ring with the nail in hand. Meanwhile, Ozric Mortimer lays in the middle of the ring, knocked plum out.]

[What the hell is going on here?]

[Is what we found out true?]

[What happens next with these two?]

[Can OSW handle it?]

[Hatred runs deep in this match as Bruce Van Chan fights for his family and friends against Anarchy himself in David Manson. Can Van Chan get some sort of revenge or will Manson prove Bruce should never have come back?]

[The bell sounds as the rest of the Awakening stay at ringside, watching Bruce closely as Van Chan tries to keep his focus on Manson. Neville shouts words of encouragement at his partner as Jack sneaks up behind him. Bruce tries to warn Neville, turning right into a massive Lariat from Manson. Bruce stumbles to his feet right into a flurry of lefts and rights before a hard knee drives all the wind out of him. Manson lifts him up, driving Bruce down hard onto his knee with a backbreaker. Van Chan screams out in pain as Manson throws him back down to the mat in a cover]

[ONE..TW..Bruce kicks out as Manson tries to lock him in a sleeper hold. Bruce gets to his feet, elbowing his way out as Manson tries for another knee, Bruce catching this one as he spins Manson to the mat with a dragonscrew. The New Horror stumbles to his feet right at the ropes as Van Chan leaps up, dropkicking him over. Manson stumbles up, taking a breather with the rest of the Awakening as Bruce sets up, rushing forward, SLINGSHOT PLANCHA WIPING OUT THE AWAKENING! The crowd cheers as Van Chan lifts up Manson, throwing him back into the ring]

[Bruce lifts Manson up, hoisting him high up into the air before dropping him down to the canvas with a vertical suplex. Manson hits the canvas in pain as he stumbles to his feet, trying for a right hand that’s blocked by Van Chan as he leaps up, drilling Manson with an enziguri that makes the New Horror stumble into the corner. STINGER SPLASH! Manson stumbles out, falling to the canvas face first as Van Chan climbs up to the top rope, FROG SPLASH! Bruce covers, ONE…TWO…T…Manson gets the shoulder up]

[Bruce waits for Manson to get to his feet before running to the ropes, but he gets tripped up by Jack on the outside, which is enough of a distraction to allow Manson to grab Bruce from behind, dumping him on his head with a Half Nelson Suplex. Bruce slowly gets to his feet groggy right into a massive running Boot from Manson that turns him almost inside out. Manson quickly covers, ONE…TWO…TH…Bruce just gets the shoulder up]

[Manson lifts Bruce up, planting him with a belly to belly suplex but keeps a hold on Van Chan as he locks in a Full Nelson, using all his power to make Bruce suffer. Van Chan cries out in pain, refusing to tap as Manson pulls back with all his strength but Bruce manages to slowly power his way out but before he can get free, Manson drives him back down with another backbreaker. The New Horror calls for the end, lifting Bruce up, GOOD NIGHT! Manson gets planted out of nowhere as Van Chan gets the shoulder over]

[The referee isn’t counting as Hate gets up on the apron, distracting the referee from the count. Bruce gets up, wondering why he hasn’t won as Neville pulls Hate down from the apron, clobbering him with a massive clothesline as he begins to fight with the Awakening. Manson gets up, spinning Bruce around as he kicks Bruce in the gut, trying for the Reign of Terror but Bruce backdrops his way out, nailing Manson with another stiff enziguri before climbing up to the top rope. Van Chan sets Manson up, SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! Manson is out as Bruce covers, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!]

[The crowd cheers as Bruce celebrates for a moment before the Awakening rush in, beating him down. Sheldon rolls in himself, trying to fight them off as the Knights stand off against the Awakening]

[After that violent and grueling match, Bruce Van Chan wearily gets back to his feet to be clobbered from behind by Shadow and Red River Jack. They drag him to the middle of the ring, each grabbing an arm as David Manson gets back to his feet.]

“Do you think you won?” [Manson screams.] “Huh?” [he says slapping him around the face.]

[The New Horror paces back and forth in front of him whilst Jack and Shadow smile sadistically. He gets a microphone.]

“I told you that you had until tonight to get out and never look back. So what do you say, Bruce? What’s your decision? Is it wrestling or your family?”

[Manson holds the microphone down to his face.] “My family. It’ll always be my family.”

[The Awakening laugh, knowing they’ve broken him.]

“Then get the fuck out of my arena!” [Manson yells.]

[Shadow and Jack release Bruce to the canvas, allowing him to get back to his feet. With the fans booing, he turns and walks towards the ropes. Only before he can exit, he turns and changes his mind.]

[Manson looks at him with a grimace, absolutely furious that he’s decided to stay. He’s about to approach, when Red River Jack stops him, taking the microphone.]

“What about you, man?” [Jack says to Sheldon.] “Are you going to kneel before me and renounce your old ways. Are you going to open your eyes and see the world for what it is? Are you going to stop lying to these people?”

[Sheldon walks over and takes a deep breath.]

“What’s it gonna be, Sheldon? What’s right, or what you’re told to do?” [Jack scoffs.] “How valuable is John Cho to you, man? How valuable is his life?”

[Neville thinks about it for a minute and snatches the microphone.]

“It’s more valuable than you’ll ever know.”

[Jack smiles.] “Then kneel!”

[Sheldon looks at Van Chan, then at Red River Jack, shaking his head. The Awakening can’t believe it. Both members of the Knight’s have refused to do as they’re told.]

“No?” [he chuckles.] “NO!?” [he says louder, his face smiling.] “Then once I’m done beating the life out of you, I’m going to drag your bloodied carcass out of here and beat John Cho to death in front of you. I’ll cut your eyelids off so you’ll see, man. I’ll bound you, gag you, and cut pieces off of him whilst you’re forced to watch!”

[An ultimatum hangs in the balance between the maniacal Red River Jack and the loveable Neville Sheldon. Will Sheldon be able to overcome his mother’s killer?]

[The bell sounds as The Awakening step down off of the apron of the ring as Bruce Van Chan is on the opposite side of the ring. Red River Jack turns to tell his boys some instructions but turns around and… FOREARMS OF FURY! Neville Sheldon unloads like a machine gun with lightning quick strikes to Red River Jack! The Creator, Cultivator, and Consumer of Worlds is being physically assaulted at the onset of this match! Sheldon knocks him all the way to the mat before turning to the crowd who are on their feet!]

[He pumps his fists before turning around and seeing Jack to his knees. Running dropkick flattens him once more! He gets to his feet and pulls Red River Jack up as well. He nails one more forearm strike to the temple before hitting the ropes. He bounces off but high angle kick to the jaw! Neville staggers as the shot catches him off guard. Red River Jack kicks him right in the abdomen before wrapping his hands around his neck before hitting a full nelson bulldog! Neville Sheldon kicks his feet wildly as he holds his face. Red River Jack places a boot on his chest. One…Two…KICKOUT!]

[Red River Jack pulls Neville back to his feet and slaps him right across the cheeks. “C’mon maaaaan! Is that all- “. That thought is interrupted by a stiff right hand by Neville Sheldon. Red River Jack throws a right hand, but Sheldon ducks underneath and lifts RRJ up onto his shouders. N.E.R.D. but no! Red River Jack gets out and nails a chop to the back of Neville’s neck! He cringes in pain before Red River Jack yanks his head back and smashes him with a forearm! CLUBBING FOREARM! Red River Jack doesn’t miss a beat as he hits THE BONE BREAKER! He pins Neville to the mat once more. One…Two…NO!]

[Sheldon showing that fire but Red River Jack doesn’t seem to care. He grabs him by his ears and chunks him out of the ring before digging into his pockets to pull out a pair of brass knuckles. The referee reaches for the brass knuckles, but Red River Jack isn’t letting him have it. While the referee is distracted, David Manson grabs up Neville and whips him into the steel steps. Shadow gets up on the apron before leaping off for a diving elbow strike. They leave him alone, in fear of a disqualification, when they turn to see… SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! Bruce Van Chan off the top rope comes down on both of them! The referee finally clues in.]

[He turns to see a myriad of bodies strewed about outside of the ring. Neville Sheldon gets back up, clutching his shoulder as he slides into the ring. Red River Jack comes running up and begins stomping on the shoulder of Neville Sheldon. He cries out in pain but Red River Jack drags him into the corner before lighting up his chest with a chop. A THOUSAND WORDS! Neville’s jaw is nailed by a knee strike before leaping off and delivering another knee slam into his jaw. He covers Sheldon. One…Two…TH-NO! NEVILLE IS STILL ALIVE!]

[Red River Jack is furious! He grabs the Nerd up by his head and goes for a WHO BETTER BU-But Neville rolls him up! One…Two…NO! Red River Jack kicks out but turns around right into a body slam followed by a leg drop! WRESTLEMANIA! The crowd is on their feet as he hooks a leg! One…Two….THRE-NO! The crowd is booing as Red River Jack manages to get a shoulder up. Neville slowly gets to his feet as his energy seems sapped. Jack gets to his feet as well as Neville throws another forearm, but Jack grabs his arm and drops! Sheldon’s shoulder slams into the mat as he howls out in pain.]

[Bruce Van Chan is back to his feet on the outside but Manson low blows him as Shadow nails a SHADOW KICK that floors him. Red River Jack pulls Sheldon up, but Neville leaps up for… THE NKO! Neville Sheldon bounces back up to his feet but he’s not going for a cover here. The crowd is cheering him on but it’s then that he notices that Bruce Van Chan is being held in a full nelson by Shadow and being pounded on by David Manson. He turns back to SPARTAN KICK! The kick knocks him back, shoulder-first into the corner before he bounces back for… SEEIN’ RED! Red River Jack pins him down to the mat. One…Two…THREE!]

[The match is over, but Red River Jack is just smiling. His numbers advantage has managed to do in The Knights here tonight.]

[Whilst The Awakening restrain Bruce Van Chan on the outside, Red River Jack stomps down on Neville Sheldon, absolutely enraged]

[He grabs him by the heel and begins dragging him across the ring, stomping him off the ring apron and to the concrete floor. He’s going to do exactly what he said he would and drag him out of here.]

[Static.]

[Suddenly, our footage changes.]

[There’s a split screen and neither are inside the arena. One shows the white picket fence of Bruce Van Chan’s home and that’s the one we focus on. Out of no-where, men wearing balaclava’s storm the property, leaping the fence and running up the path. The Awakening continue to hold Bruce, who can only watch as these guys surround his house.]

[The second screen, it’s the Warehouse where John Cho is being kept. The footage shows similar men from the other scene storming the building, rushing into where he’s kept and finding him bound.]

[Just then, the unthinkable happens.]

[The men outside Bruce’s house stop, turn and face the camera. The men inside the Warehouse undo the restraints of John Cho.]

“Watch your tongue or have it cut from your head
Save your life by keeping whispers unsaid
Children roam the streets now orphans of war
Bodies hanging in the streets to adore!”

[Back inside the arena and red flashing lights circle the arena enthusastically as The Awakening look at each other in confusion. Jack looks at Shadow, who looks at Manson, who looks at Hate and no-one has any idea what’s going on.”

“Hail to the king, hail to the one
Kneel to the crown, stand in the sun
Hail to the king (hail, hail, hail, the king)!”

[As the chorus strikes, NIGEL ROYAL appears on the entrance ramp with his crown and scepter, staring at his loyal subjects. The fans go absolutely bananas. Just then, Bruce Van Chan pushes his captors away. Neville Sheldon gets back to his feet and runs Red River Jack head first into the steel steps! Royal makes an b-line down the steps and clobbers Manson with his scepter. Hate is next, taking a shot to the head for good measure.]

[Sheldon pummels away at Red River Jack, just as Bruce Van Chan nails Shadow with a massive Steel Chair shot to the skull!]

[All three men roll back into the ring, meeting in the middle. Sheldon is the first to hug Royal, thanking him for what we can only think is saving his best friend. Nigel Royal must have sent those guards to both rescue John Cho and protect Paige. Van Chan offers a big handshake too, all three men placing their hands into the middle, atop each other. The Knights are here. The Knights have a new member in Nigel Royal and by God, The Awakening now has a battle on its hands.]

[We come back from a commercial break to find Brent Kersh stood in the middle of the ring with a microphone. His match against The Scarecrow is supposed to be up next, but he doesn’t look ready to fight.]

“I’ve come out here tonight because I struck a deal with The Scarecrow,” [he says to boos from the crowd.] “And as a result, I will be forfeiting the match against him.”

[Again, the crowd boos.]

“I know that you don’t understand. But the deal I stuck provides security for my family. It ends this nightmare at Red Snow. I’m sorry. I just can’t do it anymore.”

[Everyone is silenced in surprise.]

“All along I have said that The Enforcer fights until he can fight no more. Well, I can almost fight no longer. I’ve always been in this business for my family. I’ve always stepped through those ropes to provide for them. The Scarecrow wants to hurt them all. He wants to rip them apart and if I can give him myself to stop that, I’m going to.”

[His head soon lowers, his eyes teary but without the flow.]

“Therefore, I invite you all to witness the farewell tour of Brent Kersh. Tonight in the Main Event, I’m going to give it everything I have so that at Red Snow, I can go out on top. I’m sorry to let you down. I’m sorry that I can’t win this battle. I’m sorry that my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren will have to shoulder this burden. I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong enough.”

[He lowers the microphone.]

“I’m sorry.”

[Brent drops the microphone, looking into the camera with a heavy heart, before turning to exit the ring. His match here tonight has been forfeited but at Red Snow, he’s going to be expected to hand himself over to The Scarecrow; once and for all.]

[Previously Recorded]

[War. Since the beginning of time it has been viewed as glory, where men rise as leaders and write their names in the books of history. Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Ghengis Khan, Sun Tzu… Each cemented their empire through blood.

It is through an impending war which an Emperor can rise. It is through battle that the Emperor can overthrow the Kingdom. The Red Emperor knows this even as the scene opens onto a large table – a map spread out on the table, complete with red and black figurines clustered in different locations. The Red Emperor’s guards stand with him around the table, hushed discussions of battlefield tactics whispered around the War Room.]

“My liege.” [A chief member of the Emperor’s guard approaches him, placing his hand in a fist to his own chest and bowing.] “The time is nearly upon us. We await your orders.”

[The Red Emperor halts the conversation in the room with a single hand raised in front of his chest. However, before he can begin, there is a nervous knock and the War Room door swings open. Another guard, much less confident than the first, stumbles into the room.]

“My liege… Apologies, but he insisted on speaking with you personally.”

[The small amount of confusion is soon put to rest as Shadow himself bursts into the room. At once, the guards each step forward, each looking ready to strike – but the Emperor quells their eagerness with another hand raised.]

“To what do I owe the displeasure, King?” [The final word is almost spat out of his mouth, edged with insincerity.] “Have you come to hand over your Kingdom?”

[Shadow does not smile. He speaks with confidence, addressing the Emperor personally as if they were standing alone.]

“Your arrogance is your downfall. You can conquer whatever you like, but this…” [He thumps the OSW World Heavyweight Championship on the table.] “…This will never be yours.”

[The Red Emperor laughs, though his eyes do not stray from the title.]

“What makes you so sure of yourself? Have you planned for the Awakening to give you a little ‘reassurance’? My guards will make sure this battle is honourable.”

[Shadow shakes his head.]

“No. It will never be yours because it is mine.

I have been King longer than anybody in history, or anybody who will ever come in the future – including you. I have endured challenger after challenger after challenger. None could keep this from me – it always finds its way back to the Shadow King. You may have defeated Red River Jack, and that may be impressive. But what makes you think that you can do what even the Scarecrow could not?”

[The Red Emperor leans forward, over the table and facing Shadow.]

“You mean you have reigned tyranny for so long that people are used to it. Imagine how they will feel when they step into a new Empire with the destined Emperor standing tall?”

“I don’t have to.” [Shadow lifts the Championship up off the table and slings it back over his shoulder.] “Rome was sacked by Barbarians, not Emperors. Let’s humour you enough to say if you defeat me – the Barbarians are waiting at the gate and at Gold Rush, they will strip your newly formed Empire right out from underneath you.

No… You will not be King. You will not even make it to Gold Rush. You will kneel before the Shadow, for I have endured enough of you. I will enter Gold Rush as King and I will leave as King. Bring your whole damned army, Emperor… You cannot stop the Shadows from overcoming you.”

[Red Emperor stands upright, sending a hand signal to the guards standing around the table. Two of them spring forward and grab Shadow by the shoulder. It is the Red Emperor who fires the final word.]

“Oh, I plan on it. What grander stage to proclaim the Empire’s dominance than here at Gold Rush? Guards… See that he finds his way back from the Shadows whence he came.”

[With a wave of the wrist, the guards escort Shadow out of the War Room. The war is ready to commence.]

[The Gold Rush Match is set with exception of this. Who will be the OSW World Champion going into the big main event?]

[The bell sounds as The Red Emperor meets Shadow in the center of the ring. Both of these men have a strong presence in the ring, but neither looks ready to back down. They tie up in the center of the ring as neither man seems to have the upper hand. Shadow throws a right hand, but The Red Emperor parries his blow. Kick to the knee and Shadow groans. He staggers back as the old injury from Fast Lane comes into play. The Emperor gets into his fighting stance before throwing two jabs into the ribs of Shadow.]

[The World Champion tries to cover up but the boxing background is coming into play here as The Red Emperor throws a right hand for the fences that rocks Shadow. He staggers to the corner where The Red Emperor charges in and hits a low dropkick to that injured knee. Shadow falls to the mat clutching at his knee and The Emperor gets to a knee as a grin spreads across his face. He grabs the leg of Shadow and drags him out to the center of the ring. The Red Emperor drops an elbow right onto the knee of Shadow as the former Ring King sits up with muffled screams.]

[Shadow, using his other leg, begins kicking The Red Emperor right in the face. It’s enough to get him off as Shadow pulls himself to the ropes. He utilizes them to pull himself up to his feet as he gingerly puts weight on it. The Red Emperor charges, but Shadow manages to get a boot up to knock him down. Emperor pops back up but he’s being taken on with some vicious elbow shots to the face. The World Champion takes a step back before grabbing Emperor around the waist and lifting him for a Northern Lights Suplex.]

[He doesn’t go for the pinfall as the diligent champion slinks away to test out his knee some more. He seems to be recovering already from the damage by putting weight on it. The Red Emperor gets to his feet but Shadow grabs him quickly for a DDT before rolling over into a mounted position. Elbow strikes are coming quick and in a flurry as the World Champion is trying to inflict as much pain as quick as possible. The urgency in ending the match soon is evident. Shadow takes a few steps back and begins sizing up The Red Emperor.]

[The Red Emperor staggers to his feet and… SHADOW KICK! But The Red Emperor dodges to the right and brings both arms down fiercely on the injured knee that is striking. Shadow hits the ground as Emperor grabs one leg and slams it down to the mat! Shadow is clutching at the injured knee, but The Red Emperor drags it to the bottom rope and leaps up to drop his full weight on the knee. Shadow cries out in pain as his hands fling to his shaven head. The Red Emperor pulls Shadow to his feet before wrapping his head and lifting for… GOODBYE, FRIEND!]

[The spike brainbuster hits as The Red Emperor pins him to the mat and hooks a leg. One…Two…Kickout by Shadow! He grabs Shadow by the head and lifts him up before delivering one strike to the midsection, bending Shadow over. The Red Emperor hits the ropes before hitting an axe kick that knocks him to the mat. He rolls Shadow over and begins turning the legs of the World Champion into a figure-4-leglock. He goes to finish it, but Shadow leans up and wraps his head before pulling him in for a rollup! One…Two…NO! The Red Emperor barely kicks out!]

[The Red Emperor gets to his feet and he is not happy. He grabs Shadow by the head and lifts him up before shouting in his face. “Where is your honour, ‘champion’?!” The Red Emperor headbutts him before lifting him up. He rushes off the ropes and comes back to Shadow with THE REV- ROLLING IN THE FAST LANE! The rolling knee connects as it flattens the challenger! However, Shadow cries out in pain as it was his injured knee that collided with the face of the challenger. Shadow leans over and places an arm across the chest of The Red Emperor. One… KICKOUT!]

[The Red Emperor gets back to his feet quickly as he looks down at the champion with a look of disdain. He strikes with a running knee strike before pulling him back to his feet. THE EMPEROR’S STRIKE! The Red Emperor is ready to finish this, just like that! He covers him. One…Two…TH-NO! Shadow gets a foot on the bottom rope. The Red Emperor is incensed. He looks at him, but climbs the top rope. He leaps off for a FROG SPLASH! Shadow manages to roll out of the way though! The Red Emperor collides with the mat. Shadow grabs him quickly and… DEGENERATION! He hooks both legs as the referee slides in to count. One…Two…Th-NO!]

[The Red Emperor manages to kick out, but both men are slowly getting back to their feet. The Red Emperor tackles Shadow by targeting the leg with a vicious chop block. Both men hit the ground, but The Red Emperor begins driving an elbow into the knee as Shadow is desperately trying to kick him away. The Red Emperor gets away as he gets back to his feet. He beckons for the champion to get to his feet as well. Shadow slowly manages to get up but is nailed by THE REVELATION! The Red Emperor quickly hooks a leg. One…Two…THR-NO! Shadow barely is able to kick out.]

[The Red Emperor is incensed! He begins kicking wildly at the injured knee of Shadow before the referee gets in between them. He begins pulling The Red Emperor back as Shadow slowly staggers to his feet. He pushes the referee aside as he charges towards Shadow. LOW BLOW KICK from Shadow as the referee is down momentarily. The Red Emperor is pauses in place as Shadow is barely able to stand. SHADOW KICK nails him right in between the eyes as the challenger falls. The king stands tall as he realizes he may have successfully defends his territory. Shadow hooks a leg as the referee comes back to consciousness. One…Two…THREE!]

[The Champion is successful here. Shadow stands to his feet as he holds his World Championship high. It’s this momentary victory that he soaks in before turning his focus to the matter at hand. Will he be champion after the Gold Rush match up next?]

[When the bell sounded for our Gold Rush Main Event, the looks on the faces of those in this match were that of tired competitors. Everyone had been in brutal fights tonight; everyone.]

[When the bell sounded, Jon Davenport blindsided Brent Kersh from behind, knocking him to the canvas. He wanted to make sure the intruder wouldn’t take his title, so he stomped away at him. The Knight’s on the other hand, they went straight for Shadow. The Double Team was on, Sheldon and Bruce pummelling away at Shadow in the corner with right and left hands respectively. Hysteria meanwhile, he slipped out of the ring unnoticed, making sure to sit back and enjoy the action.]

[Whilst the World Champion may have been in jeopardy, he slung a right hand at Sheldon that knocked him half way out of his boots. Bruce quickly grabbed him close, but Lane slammed him head first into the turnbuckle. He stormed out of the corner, catching Neville with a Clothesline that almost took his head off. Davenport meanwhile tossed Kersh to the outside and followed him. In another life, these two men might have been friends, but right now, Davenport slammed him into the steel steps with such force, the steps flew backwards. Hysteria saw this and attacked from behind, catching Davenport with a Double Axe Handle to the back of the head. He turned Jon around and threw him over the announce table, sending our announcers sprawling for cover.]

[Lane saw this and ducked under a Clothesline by Bruce Van Chan, Clotheslining him over the top rope and to the outside. Shadow followed, heading out onto the apron as Chan landed near Hysteria and DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE! The World Champion clobbers both men, taking them to the concrete floor. Sheldon meanwhile is back to his feet, seeing Lane, Bruce and Hysteria getting back to theirs on the outside. He jumps on the spot for a moment, only to hit the ropes and LEAP STRAIGHT THROUGH THE MIDDLE ONE! SUPERMAN ONTO ALL THREE MEN! SUPERMAN!! All four of them crumble to the floor in a heap as the fans go absolutely ballistic.]

[Kersh gets back to his feet and shakes free the cobwebs, walking around the ring as Sheldon gets back up and catching him low with a kick. The Enforcer grabs him by the head, walks him around the ring and slams him head first off the ring apron before rolling him inside. Kersh follows, and as he gets back to his feet, connects with a DDT. He quickly covers… One…. Two… Kick Out! Brent gets him back up and runs him into the corner, connecting with Shoulder Barges as Shadow, Van Chan and Hysteria get back to their feet. All three men slide into the ring, Shadow attacking Kersh from behind with a forearm across the back.]

[Bruce meanwhile goes to spin him around, only Hysteria is there. Hysteria scoops him up and down with a Body Slam. Shadow though, already turned around, SNAPS A SHADOWKICK OUT OF LITERALLY NOTHING! HE JUST TURNED AND BOOM, DOWN GOES THE DOUBLE FEATURE CHAMPION! He quickly slips into the cover.. and holy fuck, Hysteria is about to be the first eliminated! One….. Two…. Three!! KICK OUT! HE KICKED OUT! HOLY SHIT! Lane looks up at the referee in shock, but before he can respond, Davenport drags him out of the ring. Whilst those two exchange shots, Kersh turns around to see Hysteria stirring. He gets back to his feet and is scooped up… SOUTERN DIS.. NO!! HE WRIGGLES OUT! Hysteria drops down behind, turns him around and THE LOST HOPE! CODEBREAKER! HE GOT IT ALL! HYSTERIA COVERS… ONE…. TWO…. BRENT KERSH IS DONE…. THREE! NO!! HE GOT A SHOULDER UP! KERSH KICKED OUT!]

[Both men lay exhausted on the canvas as Sheldon and Van Chan look at each other, knowing what they need to do. Neville stalks Hysteria as he slowly gets back to his feet whilst Bruce climbs the turnbuckle… NKO!! NKO!! SHOT THROUGH THE HEART… NOOOOOOOOO!! WHERE THE FUCK DID SHADOW COME FROM!? SHADOWKICK IN MIDAIR TO BRUCE VAN CHAN! WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM!? HE TURNS AROUND… SMALL PACKAGE BY SHELDON ON SHADOW… ONE…. TWO…. KICK OUT!! Both men spring away, Sheldon saving Van Chan from being covered here and… THAT’S RED RIVER JACK! RED RIVER JACK IS IN THE RING… SEEIN’ RED! BUS DRIVER! HE PLANTS SHELDON!! Shadow covers… One…. Two…. Three! Neville Sheldon has been eliminated from Gold Rush and walks away with nothing!]

[The fans boo but here comes NIGEL ROYAL! Royal slides into the ring to chase off Red River Jack, both men darting out the other side. Bruce slowly comes to his senses in the middle of the ring, wondering what the fuck has just happened. He gets back to his feet, but there’s Davenport… GEORGIA CRAWFISH!! IT’S LOCKED IN!! BRUCE IS ALMOST PARALYZED FROM THE PAIN BUT HE’S NOT TAPPING OUT!! HE FALLS TO HIS KNEES… HE TAPS! HE TAPS OUT! BRUCE VAN CHAN TAPS OUT AND WALKS AWAY WITH WHAT HE WALKED IN WITH! BRUCE IS STILL A TAG TEAM CHAMPION! Davenport releases the hold and there’s Brent Kersh! Kersh scoops him up… SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT! OUT OF NO-WHERE! HE COVERS…. ONE….. TWO…… SURELY NOT… THREE!! BRENT KERSH ELIMINATES THE NOW FORMER ALLSTAR CHAMPION! JON DAVENPORT WALKS AWAY WITH A NEW TAG TEAM PARTNER IN BRUCE VAN CHAN!]

[This is coming thick and fast. Brent turns around, seeing Hysteria. The Mastermind scoops him up… PACKAGE PILEDRIVER!! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER!! THE MOCKERY!! He covers… ONE…… TWO….. THREE!! NO!! NO DAMNIT!! HYSTERIA ELIMINATES BRENT KERSH WHO WALKS AWAY WITH THE DOUBLE FEATURE CHAMPIONSHIP! We’re down to two. It’s Shadow vs. Hysteria. Both men get back to their feet at the same time. Hysteria runs at him, leaping into the Codebreaker. THE LAST HOPE! NO!! LANE CATCHES HIM AND SLAMS HIM CHEST FIRST ACROSS THE TOP ROPE!! They both stumble away… Hysteria turns… THE SHADOWKICK! SHADOWKICK TO HYSTERIA!! THE MASTERMIND STUMBLES BACK, BOUNCES OFF THE ROPES AND… SHADOWKICK! ANOTHER FUCKING SHADOWKICK!! HYSTERIA GOES DOWN, LANE FALLS ON HIM IN EXHAUSTION…. ONE……. TWO….. THREE! IT’S OVER! HYSTERA WINS THE ALLSTAR CHAMPIONSHIP BUT SHADOW RETAINS! HE FUCKING RETAINS!]

[There’s bodies strewn around the ring.]

[Everything happened so fast.]

[The referee turns to grab the World and All-Star Championships, bringing them to the center of the ring for their holders to retrieve.]

[Pop.]

[Psssssssss.]

[The ring suddenly fills with gas. The fans start coughing at ringside, falling to their knees as the referee hits the canvas with a thud. Everyone is struggling to breathe, gasping for air as what appears to be tear gas engulfs the entire area.]

[The cameraman tries to get an angle on what’s going on, but the camera is shaky. He’s coughing and spluttering. It wobbles, falling down slightly, as if the man behind it has landed on his knees and grasps at the ring apron.]

[The bodies of Shadow and Hysteria lay unconscious in the ring as our camera rests on the apron, prone and in alignment with them. Suddenly, we see black boots approach, and a gloved hand bending down to retrieve the World and All-Star Championships that have been dropped by the referee.]

[It scoops them up, snatching them from the canvas.]

[The cameraman finally falls to the floor, dragging our camera down with him.]

[Abrupt silence.]

[You could hear a pin drop.]

[The crowd have vacated or collapsed.]

[There’s no-one at ringside. No-one is conscious.]

[Except the man who picks up the camera, turning it to face him. We can’t make him out. He’s wearing all black from head to toe, and he’s wearing a gas mask. The man looks into the camera, his head tilted and his words muffled.]

“This Gold Rush, it’s a steal!”

[He spins the camera around to see two other men, wearing exactly the same clothes. They’ve picked up the Tag Team and Double Feature Championships. With the World and All-Star draped over his shoulders, he snaps the camera away, cutting it off.]

[Static.]