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MONDAY NIGHT SHOWCASE #97

TO THE GALLOWS
SOMEWHERE ELSE

[Static.]

[Step.]

[A Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right hand corner.]

[Step.]

[The static forms into the singular image of a pair of armored boots striding down a hallway. Behind those boots are more boots. These men are the Royal Knights.]

[And as they stop in front of a makeshift wooden cell, the Captain of the Guard seems to get a small smirk on his face as he peers between the metal bars on the door.]

“It’s time, wench!” [He calls into the darkness.]

[The Captain swings the door open and we can see the small space inside as light pours in. There’s barely any space to move or stretch, and a single bucket over to the side. Yet huddled in a corner is a small whimpering woman. She seems to be broken by her stance.]

“Come on, now.”

[This is Raquel, and last week she was imprisoned by King Royal for crimes to be revealed. She’s still wearing the same dress she wore last week, albeit far more disheveled. Her hair is ragged and thin after having no showers for a week.]

[And Raquel is frightened beyond belief at the sight of the Captain. She tries to shrink further into her corner as he approaches.]

“¡No otra vez!” [She cries, unable to fight what is about to happen.]

[The Captain grabs her roughly around her already bruised arm and brings her to stand before the Knights. Their eyes all wander up and down her body.]

“The King will pass his judgment upon you tonight, harlot.” [The Captain says.]

[He roughly throws her body to the nearest two Knights.]

“Clean her up. We will not present our guest in such tatters to the King.”

[The other Knights all look at each other with evil grins as they carry off Raquel to make her more presentable.]

[Poor Raquel.]

ARMAGEDDON VS. OLIVER ANGST
SINGLES MATCH

[The monstrous Armageddon makes his OSW debut here tonight as the Hell’s Angel looks to destroy all that stand in his way. Can Oliver Angst pull off a huge upset or will he be but the first victim?]

[The bell rings as Angst rushes forward, trying to take his larger opponent off guard with a series of lefts and rights that barely affect the larger man. Angst backs up, bouncing off the ropes as he runs into a massive right hand that nearly knocks him out cold. Angst staggers up right into the clutches of Armageddon who tosses him into the corner, running forward with a bone crushing Avalanche as Angst staggers out right into the waiting arms of Armageddon who lifts him up high, FALLAWAY SLAM ACROSS THE RING!]

[Angst slowly gets to his feet as Armageddon twists his arm before nearly taking his head off with a clothesline. Armageddon doesn’t cover, instead lifting Angst up high for what looks like a Powerbomb but Angst manages to slip out the back as he scrambles up to the top rope. Angst waits for Armageddon to turn around as he dives off with a flying kick…ARMAGEDDON CATCHES HIM…THE END IS NIGH! This should be it as Armageddon covers]

[ONE…TWO…Armageddon pulls him up! Armageddon lifts the limp Angst up, squeezing his head into a vice before delivering a series of headbutts, one, two, three, incredibly devestating before swinging Angst around and throwing him down to the canvas with a rib breaking Full Nelson Slam. Hells Angel calls for the end as he lifts up the barely concious Angst with one hand, tossing him over his shoulder, TOTAL ANNIHILATION! Angst is done as Armageddon places on foot on him for the cover, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!]

[Armageddon picks up a dominating victory tonight, absolutely dismantling Oliver Angst as he sends a message of destruction towards the whole of OSW in his debut.]

THE WISE CHIEF
BACKSTAGE

[An empty hallway; a closed door. Then we hear footsteps. Ethan Bird comes around a corner, and the camera follows him a few feet until he comes to the door. He looks at it for a moment and then knocks. Nothing. He knocks again, and the door opens. It’s Tommy Hawk. He steps out into the hallway, glaring at Ethan.]

“I told you that I am not interested in anything to do with you. Why must you harass me?”

“I thought you’d at least like to hear me out. It’s the least you could do, considering the plight you have subjected your people to.”

[Hawk looks angry, but controlled. The low blow seems to have struck a chord, though.]

“Fine. Say your piece, then leave me be.”

[Bird smirks.]

“The wise chief listens! So this is what I want. I want you to ensure that I walk out of Pandemonium the winner.”

[Hawk looks perplexed.]

“Why would I do that?”

“Because,” [Bird answers,] “I have power beyond your wildest dreams. And if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. You have people to take care of. You’re responsible for the position they’re in; you can be responsible for getting them out.”

[Tommy ponders it for the briefest of moments and then steps forward, getting in Ethan’s face.]

“I told you, I will not be manipulated anymore. The answer is no!”

[Bird chuckles.]

“I thought you might say that….”

[And around the corner comes a half dozen Native Americans. They pounce on Tommy Hawk and begin beating him into the ground. He tries to fight them off, but the numbers are too great. When the beat down is over, they stand back catching their breath. Tommy lies bloodied on the concrete.]

“I told you he wouldn’t do it. He doesn’t care about you boys.” [Bird kneels down next to Hawk.] “You should have taken the deal, Tommy. These men looked to you for leadership, but now, instead of a chief, they have a god!]

MUERTE VS. THUNK
SINGLES MATCH

[Next up, We see The Jungle King go up against The Great Reaper. Thunk vs Muerte]

[Right as the Bell rings, Thunk wastes no time, running towards Muerte with a howl “FROG FACE!”. He connects, and Muerte pushes up from the mat, recovering quickly. Thunk turns right into a clothesline from Muerte. Thunk stumbles back, and comes back with several Elbow Strikes thrown at Muerte. Muerte fights back with jabs. The two are going blow for blow. Thunk, with a quick thrust to the throat of Muerte, takes Muerte off guard for just a second, but long enough to take control. Thunk capitalizes with a spear, knocking Muerte to the mat. Thunk locks on the CAMEL CLUTCH. Muerte is gritting his teeth, as he is trying to get out of the devastating hold as quickly as possible. ]

[Muerte claws at the mat, pulling himself to the ropes, determined to not tap. He makes it to the ropes! ROPE BREAK. Muerte stands up and turns around, as he hears “THUNK SMASH!” Thunk runs towards him with an open palm ready to strike. Thinking quickly, Muerte stops Thunk in his tracks with a Knife Edge Chop. Thunk answers that with a Double Chop. Though the two are going toe-to-toe, It is Muerte who gains control, holding his 6 foot 11 opponent up in a Vertical Suplex. Thunk writhes on the mat , as Muerte pulls him back up intending to do a Pump Handle Slam- he doesn’t get to, as Thunk fights out and away from him. Thunk goes for a Running Crossbody, BUT! Muerte turns it into a FLAP JACK! ]

[Thunk is red with anger. He pushes up from the mat, and Headbutts Muerte. He forces a fighting Muerte to his knees with an Iron Claw clamped to the Trap of Muerte. While standing behind his kneeling opponent, Thunk even bites Muerte’s forehead. Muerte is able to get a hold of Thunk’s neck, and he turns it into a NECK BREAKER. Thunk is on his back, and gripping his neck. With that, Muerte hooks Thunk’s tree like leg for the pin 1…2…3. Muerte WINS!]

[Muerte raises his arm in victory as he stands over the fallen body of Thunk.]

JUDGMENT
SOMEWHERE ELSE

[An empty throne sits in a large hall somewhere in the bowels of the Tap Room.]

[Before the throne stand the Royal Knights, looking slightly unsatisfied almost to a man. Their eyes hang heavy behind their helmets. You can barely make out their faces.]

[Before the Knights is Raquel. She has been given new garments, a facsimile of her usual red dress, and her hair is still damp from being washed and cleaned. Yet it is not water that runs down her cheeks.]

[Tears.]

[They echo in the silent hall for a moment, tapping the ground with the ferocity of a thousand horses. The Knights do not fear her, she hasn’t even been shackled. She is theirs to command and dominate at this point.]

“Bow to your King!”

[The voice of the Captain cuts through the din, and the Knights all go to one knee and bow their heads as King Royal walks into the chamber. The King walks with his usual saunter, ignoring the Knights to stand before Raquel, who looks up at him with seemingly less fear than shown to the Knights themselves. He nods to her before looking to the Captain.]

“I trust the prisoner has been well kept as she awaits her judgment?” [Royal asks.]

[The Captain’s response is a sickening smile.]

“We have given her all of our attention, my Lord.”

[Royal looks back at Raquel and smiles thinly.]

“Good. Until the judgment has been passed, we must treat our prisoners as guests.”

[The King takes a seat on his throne, regality seeping through every fiber of his body.]

“Rise, Raquel.” [Royal commands.] “And bear your judgment.”

[Used to being commanded, Raquel stands up shakily. She makes an attempt to show strength by defiantly looking directly into the eyes of a man she once called friend. Yet the gaze of the King overpowers her to lower her own gaze to stare at the floor, her shoulders heaving as she tries to hold back sobs.]

“It has never been the intent of the Crown to see women judged. They are a foolish sort, only to serve and be bred. Yet one finds this to be a special case. Never has the King seen such a display of women’s frailties in you, Raquel. You blindly follow a fool that does not regard you as the gem you are. Beneath your servile attitude, the King has discovered your true nature.”

[Raquel’s eyes grow a little wider, and she begins to speak but is cut off by the continuing Royal.]

“How long ago was it, Raquel, that you ran from your home country?” [Royal sneers.] “How long ago was it that you came to America and tried to keep yourself as low profile as possible?”

[Raquel has stopped crying. All that remains now is rage.]

“That masked fool would never see it, but you will not fool this one, Raquel.”

[He pauses as she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.]

“House of Bourbon. Princess of Asturias. Heiress to the throne of Spain.”

[For a moment, Raquel has dropped the appearances she has kept since arriving in OSW with Marvolo. Her eyes narrow, and true anger appears behind them. Royal smiles at this and continues.]

“I have had my suspicions of this since meeting you, my Lady. There were too many unanswered questions, and your dialect was not that of a lowborn. One that knows royalty, knows these things. Marvolo would have never suspected. Once a successful blood test was obtained, there was no more doubting. That is why I left Marvolo laying, and that is why I have imprisoned you.”

[Royal stands to his feet.]

“Therefore, the King has judged you guilty of fraud, Princess. One would not see royalty stoop to such low places.”

[He walks to stand before Raquel, taking her unwilling hand as she stares lasers through him.]

“Therefore, the punishment is that you will die.” [He begins.] “The death will be of the Princess. Yet the King would have you rise again as his Queen. A consolidation of power, my Lady.”

[SLAP!]

[With her other hand, Raquel comes up and leaves a palm print on King Royal’s face. He only smiles at this before turning to his Captain.]

“Ensure she is hidden. We don’t want the masked fool to find her.” [He turns back to Raquel.] “Take her to the finest chambers you can find, Ser. A Royal wedding approaches.”

[The Knights begin to escort her away as King Royal slows goes to sit upon his throne. With this wedding, his power will grow tremendously.]

[Just as he intended.]

EDWARD NEWTON VS. CODY GREER
SINGLES MATCH

[Intelligent Edward Newton has made a big splash in OSW since his debut but he faces a big challenge in current Double Feature Champ Cody Greer. Will Newton outsmart another opponent or will Greer be too powerful for even Newton’s mind to overcome?]

[The bell sounds as Greer rushes forward, nearly decapitating Newton with a massive clothesline. Newton staggers to his feet right into a flurry of lefts and rights before he finds himself tossed over the ropes to the floor below. Newton stumbles to his feet as Greer rolls out to follow him but Newton runs away around the ring before sliding in, stomping down on Greer’s back as he follows. Newton lifts Greer up, delivering a swift kick to the gut before swinging him back down to the mat with a Snap Suplex]

[Newton covers, ONE…TW…Greer powers out, swinging a wild right that sends Newton stumbling into the ropes. Newton turns back right into a hard headbutt before Greer slams him down to the mat with a Suplex of his own. Greer backs up, calling for the Paralyser, rushing forward as Newton gets up but The Riddler manages to roll out of the ring just before Greer can get to him.]

[Greer quickly follows afterwards, Newton greeting him with a boot to the gut as he tries to ram his head into the ringpost. Greer blocks, slamming Newton headfirst into the post instead. Greer rolls him in but as he tries to lift Newton up, Newton grabs hold of the ropes, refusing to get to his feet. Greer pulls him with all his might, but gets a kick to the jaw as Newton gets up, trying to swing Greer into the Nevermind. Greer tosses Newton off, PARALYSE…HITS THE TURNBUCKLES! Greer staggers back as Newton rolls him up, ONE…TWO…NEWTON GRABS HOLD OF THE ROPES…THREE!!!]

[The Riddler does it again, outsmarting yet another opponent as he quickly rolls out of the ring, Cody Greer furious as Newton raises his hand in victory once more, 3-0 so far and with no signs of stopping any time soon]

A DIFFERENT APPROACH
BACKSTAGE

[The halls of the Tap Room are eerily quiet. Too quiet. Edward Newton has only just made it backstage and he’s already on edge. His eyes shift from side to side until they come to rest on a single tile in the middle of the hall that’s slightly misplaced.]

“Ameteur.”

[He picks up a nearby box and tosses it onto the tile, causing A BEAR TRAP TO SNAP SHUT! He furrows his brow and carefully makes his way through the hall, using the environment to slowly dispatch a number of other traps. Once he reaches the end of the hall he looks straight out and scans the opening to the next room.]

“I know you’re out there, huntress. Your traps are mediocre and outdated, you’ll need more than pressure plates and metal teeth to capture me.”

[He waits for a reply but is met with silence. Shaking his head in what seems to be disappointment, he walks on.]

[Then he ducks! Makena Jakande flies overhead, barely missing her mark with a clothesline and turning around to a surprised Newton.]

“Face me without the traps and tricks then, coward!”

[Newton backs away, a scowl on his face.]

“I see you took another approach, sadly you still haven’t learned the patience needed to succeed. What a sad excuse for a hunter.”

[MAKENA LUNGES AT NEWTON- FLASHBANG! Makena is left deafened as Newton escapes down an adjacent hallway. Jakande shakes her head, the Riddler escaping by the skin of his teeth here tonight.]

THE SHARKMAN VS. VIKTOR NORTH
SINGLES MATCH

[Two of the biggest OSW names come head to head tonight as the vigilante Sharkman goes one on one against the career killer Viktor North. Can the Sharkman continue bringing evil to justice or will the Skull Splitter be too much for him?]

[The bell rings as North rushes forward, taking the Shark by surprise with a hard running knee strike to the jaw, stunning the vigilante before tossing him to the canvas with a quick scoop slam. North tries to pull Shark up but gets a knee to the jaw of his own before a hard headbutt staggers North back. Shark ducks under a wild right before driving North to the canvas with a hard bulldog. The Shark lifts North up, dragging him to the corner but an attempt at a Tornado DDT has the Shark thrown to the canvas]

[North runs forward, but Shark ducks under a Lariat, leaping up with a kick as North turns around but Viktor manages to grab Shark’s leg. The Shark leaps up, North ducking under an enziguri and as the Shark lands on his feet, explodes forward with a massive Lariat that turns the Shark inside out. North backs up, waiting for the Shark to slowly get to his feet, GUNGNIR! North covers for the sure victory]

[ONE…TWO…THR…THE SHARK KICKS OUT! North can’t believe it as he pulls the Shark up to his feet, a low headbutt stunning North as the Shark leaps up for a desperation hurricanrana but North catches Shark, POWERBOMB! North doesn’t cover, lifting the Shark up again as he pulls him towards the corner, lifting him up onto the top rope as he tries for a Superplex. Shark fights out however, nailing North with a series of hard headbutts before tossing him to the canvas. The Sharkman sizes him up for a moment, SHARK DIVE…MISSES! The Shark staggers to his feet, GUNGNIR! A second one tears through The Sharkman as North covers, ONE..TWO…THREE!!!]

[The Skull Splitter picks up a massive victory over the vigilante, giving him a massive boost of momentum only a few weeks before Pandemonium]

OPEN SEASON
BACKSTAGE

[Not long after the sound of the bell does The Shark rolls out of the ring and heads to the back.]

[We follow and in a moments time The Sharkman finds himself on the other side of the curtains; his movement coming to abrupt halt as he comes eye to eye with the likes of Thunk.]

[The behemoth of a man is nearly foaming at the mouth in rage and The Shark isn’t taking any chances. He moves into a defensive position when suddenly a hand from the darkness reaches out for his shoulder.]

[The Sharkman flinches, looking to his right only to find a calm and collected Cody Greer.]

“It’s ok” [Cody explains.] “I brought him here.”

“What’s the occasion?” [The Shark questions.]

“MUERTE”!

[Thunk angrily shouts prompting Greer to place his hand on the chiseled chest of the wild man in an attempt to calm him.]

“Muerte thinks he can mess with us, but he can’t” [Greer warns.] “We’re all natural hunters and if you’re up for it Shark, we need to go on a little death drive!”

[The Sharkman pulls his eyes from Greer and moves them to Thunk and then back before giving a subtle nod and then…]

[BZZZT! BZZZT!]

[The lights flicker and the evil laughter of Muerte echoes through the hall. The three hunters begin to glance around, looking for their advisory but to no avail.]

“WHERE MUERTE!” [Thunk growls.]

“Show yourself!” [Demands The Sharkman.]

“We’re coming for you death!” [Greer proclaims.]

[And then there is a silent stillness. Thunk, The Sharkman, and Cody Greer back to back waiting for an attack but none comes. Only…]

“The hunters become the hunted! Death is coming for you!”

[Muerte’s voice cracks with wickedness followed by another evil laugh as we pan to darkness.]

ETHAN BIRD VS. MAKENA JAKANDE VS. MARVOLO
[Three competitors stand in the ring. Suspended above the ring is a clipboard with a contract for the Double Feature Championship number one contendership. The bell rings, and the match begins.]

[Makena Jakande immediately heads for Marvolo, who ducks under a haymaker. He grabs her by the back of her head and drops her with a REVERSE CUTTER!! He gets quickly to his feet, only to be spun around and kicked to the gut! WORLD’S END DDT!! Bird slides quickly to the outside and grabs a ladder. He tossed it through the ropes and slides under the bottom rope. He sets it up in the center of the ring and begins climbing… But Makena grabs his ankle! He kicks back at her, but she dodges it, and slides in between Bird and the ladder… POWER BOMB! She somehow uses his position to drive him into the canvas!!]

[Makena gets back to her feet and heads up the ladder. Marvolo somehow is back to his feet and pushes the ladder over! Makena flies off and bounces neck first off the top rope! She stumbles back, holding her throat! Marvolo meets her with a series of Machine Guns Chops! She is driven back to the ropes again and he grabs her… BRAINBUSTER!! Makena is down! Marvolo sees Bird trying to get to his feet! Marvolo wants to clear his path and marches towards Bird.He grabs Ethan by the hair and goes to pull him up for a…. LOW BLOW! Bird was feigning to bring Marvolo closer! He looks smug and throws his arms out to his sides.]

“I’m a god!!” [Bird screams out!]

[He turns and sets the ladder back upright… but he’s spun around straight into an ENZIGURI!!]

[Now Makena turns and starts her way up the ladder. She’s almost there! But Bird is back to his feet! He grabs her ankle and yanks he down two rungs. She spins and kicks him once… twice… thr…. NO! Bird grabs her foot and lungs forward, just to fall back off the ladder! WORLD’S END FROM THE LADDER!! Makena is done! Bird sits up and smiles! Ethan heads up the ladder, but Marvolo is flying up the other side! They start trading punches, until Marvolo starts getting the upper hand! Then…. FIVE POINT PALM EXPLODING HEART TECHNIQUE! Bird tumbles from the ladder! Marvolo grabs the contract and signs it sitting atop the ladder!!]

[Marvolo is going to Overkill!! He will challenge for the Double Feature Championship as Bird and Jakande are left to pick up the pieces!]

ON THE INSIDE
BACKSTAGE

[White.]

[The camera slowly zooms out from the shiny, metallic mask of Doubt to reveal The Emotion standing in front of a door, far from the entrance to the ring. It is motionless, seemingly lost in thought. A figure moves into frame behind him, the focus racking to reveal none other than Viktor North entering the room. He slams the door behind him, announcing his presence.]

“You! You’re far from the battlefield, aren’t you? Scared of meeting the same fate as the Rose you love so much?”

[Doubt stays motionless, North grits his teeth as he marches towards Doubt, only stopped as the Emotion speaks.]

“Always so quick to violence, Viktor. What causes your outbursts? Is it a deep seated sense of pride? Are you uncertain about what you would be without your brutalistic identity?”

[North grabs at Doubt, gripping its shoulder.]

“You can’t try and make me back down, weakling. Maybe I should be asking you what you’re hiding under that mask!”

[North violently whips Doubt around, knocking off its coat and mask to reveal…]

[A wax statue of Viktor North.]

[North recoils in disgust, pushing the wax caricature back at the door, letting it fall to the ground. Doubt’s voice speaks once more.]

“You won’t get your hands on me, I won’t allow the satisfaction of war. Not until you realize you don’t have to fight me. You must first face what’s on the inside.”

[North yells in anger as he tries to leave the room, finding the doors locked. The scene cuts away as he pounds on the door.]

[And cuts to Doubt, the Emotion placing down a microphone before entering the arena for his match.]

DOUBT VS. SMILEY
SINGLES MATCH

[Knock Knock are no stranger in the ring, either beside one another or as adversaries as we see another bloody chapter tonight, a No Holds Barred Barbed Wire Ropes Match. Will the Deranged One make his brother look like him or will the Emotion be too quick for him tonight?]

[The two competitors circle one another at the ring of the bell, a twisted smile on the face of Smiley as Doubt nods before the two rush forward as they begin tearing into one another with hard rights and lefts, neither man letting up before Doubt snaps forward with a lightning fast headbutt. Smiley is stunned as Doubt throws him across the ring. Smiley stops himself just before he hits the barbed wire, turning around into a kick to the gut, END OF WISDOM!]

[Smiley stumbles to his feet as Doubt grabs him by the back of the head, biel tossing him into the barbed wire! Smiley slinks to his knees in pain as blood slowly drips down his back. Doubt pulls him to his feet by his hair, slamming him down over his back before carefully climbing up to the top rope, barbed wire sagging as he climbs. MISERY RAIN…MISSES!]

[Both men slowly get to their feet, exchanging hard rights and lefts as Smiley shifts the mask blinding Doubt for a moment as Smiley backs up, CHELSEA GRIN! Smiley doesn’t cover, instead sizing Doubt up as he slowly gets to his feet SHOCK THERA…DOUBT MOVES AS SMILEY VAULTS INTO THE BARBED WIRE! Smiley slowly pulls himself out, bleeding heavily as he pulls down the wire on the left side with him before collapsing on the mat. Doubt pulls him but Smiley collapses again. Doubt shakes his head sadly as Smiley pops up, BARBED WIRE RIGHT HAND! The Emotion is doubled over as Smiley drops the wire on the canvas, lifting Doubt up high, ANTIDEPRESSANT ON THE BARBED WIRE! Smiley covers, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!]

[The Deranged One wins a brutal match, taking advantage of his partner’s heart to get a huge victory. Smiley lifts up his partner, Doubt shaking his head before raising his brother’s hand in victory]

OR DIE TRYING
BACKSTAGE

[The image of a man torn inside. Head bowed, dejected and clearly battling with the decision, quite literally, of a lifetime. That man, Bruce Van Chan, sits on a bench in his locker preparing for his upcoming match.]

“I must implore you to reconsider. This is not a wise choice Mr. Van Chan.”

[The voice comes from a frantic doctor who stands opposite Bruce, trying desperately to talk him out of competing.]

“There must be something beyond this ring that you could do? It is really worth risking it all?”

[Bruce stands, raising his head for the first time. His eyes show his fear, yes, but they also reveal something much more powerful… His determination. It is this look that renders the doctor silent.]

“I am a wrestler, and I know my body. I can do this. The moment that I have been waiting for my entire life is within an arm’s reach and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop now.”

[The doctor interjects with a single word before being cut off.”

“But…”

“I have got to do this. I don’t expect you to understand, but I have got to. This is for my family, for everything I have worked for. Win it all or die trying.”

[He clasps a bottle of pills, popping the cap and downing a couple dry. Much to the doctor’s protest, he continues taping his wrists and begins to make his way towards his fate. He stops only to toss the bottle of pills back to the doctor.]

“Put these back in my bag, would you… I’ll be needing them later. I’m going out there, doc, and I’ve never felt more alive.”

[Van Chan walks through the door and walks in the direction of the ring entrance. We close on the image of his figure walking off into the distance.]

BRUCE VAN CHAN VS. KING ROYAL
[Not satisfied with beating Bruce Van Chan into fealty at RetroACTIVE, the heartless King Royal looks to make the ailing Real Freakin’ Deal bow before him and his throne tonight!]

[Both men eye the Iron Throne, which faces the hardcam. Royal invites Bruce to a tie-up – only to kick him low! Royal sends Bruce into the ropes—leapfrog—Bruce bounces back—leapfrog—Bruce on lap three now… leapfrog!? Bruce clings onto the ropes as Royal sneers at him. Royal puts his hands over his heart, panting mockingly! Royal is purposely exerting Bruce! The fans grill Royal but give a big pop as Bruce storms him with a Lou Thesz press! Left, right, left, right – Royal manages to throw Bruce off of him. He gets to his feet, only to eat a dropkick! Running on autopilot, Royal stumbles right into a hurricanrana! One… two—kickout by the King!]

[Bruce drags Royal to the Throne and takes a seat, but The King snatches him off by the legs! Bruce’s back cracks against the stone steps, and Royal drops an elbow into his heart! More heat on Royal from the fans, who rally behind Bruce. Royal heaves Bruce up and drops him chest-first over the arms of the Throne! Bruce writhes in agony, coughing and spluttering. The Bloodline looks at his own hand, cogs turning, then raises a fist. Bruce gets up… FIVE POINT PALM EXPLODING HEART TECHNIQUE!? Royal nails Bruce with Marvolo’s finisher, albeit a less potent imitation! Bruce stumbles back, bounces off the Throne, and right back into a DUNGEONS OF LONDON! Royal’s hands, however, aren’t locked around Bruce’s face, but his heart!]

[The merciless King is damn-near trying to kill Bruce Van Chan, but Bruce has the heart of a lion and won’t quit! Royal breaks the hold. He bends down to drag Bruce over to the Throne – GOOD NIGHT, SWEET PRINCE KING! Bruce decapitates Royal with the surprise cutter! Both men are down and this one is ripe for the taking, but who can capitalise!? Bruce uses the Throne to pull himself up—Royal is on jelly-legs—Royal charges him—NOW I LAY YOU DOWN TO SLEEP! Bruce catches Royal with the DDT right into the Throne! An exhausted Bruce collapses into the seat, while an unconscious Royal slides down at his feet – he’s bowing! It’s over!]

[The referee raises the lionheart Bruce Van Chan’s hand in victory, only to quickly apologise as Bruce withdraws it, holding his chest in pain. What a gutsy performance tonight! He exits the ring, stopping for a moment to clutch at his chest. He doesn’t feel right, not at all. EMT’s rush down from the back to assist him towards the exit, whilst inside the ring, the callous King slowly comes to.]

TRIAL BY COMBAT
RINGSIDE

[Before Royal can even catch his breath after the exciting match with Bruce Van Chan, he is quickly overtaken by a blur of orange and black.]

[Marvolo!]

[Number One is a house of fire as he throws Royal out of the ring and into a barricade, doing nothing by laying in with hard strikes and grabbing at Royal’s neck and face area. This is revenge for kidnapping Raquel. For imprisoning her.]

[For trying to marry her.]

[As his Knights run down to the ring, Royal tries to head for them, but Marvolo throws him back into the ring. The Knights are held off as an uncharacteristically aggressive Marvolo now has Royal down with his knee on his neck. Number One also has a microphone.]

“Marvolo saw your judgment of Raquel.” [Stopping for a moment, perhaps out of remembrance of those revelations, Marvolo seems to grow more angry.] “The King forgot his own rules.”

[Royal tries to roll away, but Marvolo applies more pressure.]

“Raquel gets to fight your judgment.” [The Knights jump up to the apron, but Marvolo sends them down with a stare.] “She either fights you herself, or she gets to choose a champion.”

[The crowd erupts at that proclamation.]

“Marvolo will be her champion!”

[Number One lets Royal up, kicking the armored lord to his waiting Knights. Royal spits as he looks at Marvolo with disgust.]

“And when Number One beats you next week, the King will have to release Raquel. She will not be bound by your judgment.”

[Royal only smiles at that.]

“And when the King crushes your pathetic body in the Trial by Combat, you personally, Marvolo, will walk Raquel down the aisle to be given away. One might even allow you to view the consummation.”

[Marvolo rushes at Royal, but the Knights spirit him away.]

[Next week on Showcase, it’ll be Marvolo verses King Royal.]

[For Raquel’s freedom.]

MOTHER VS. MIKE LANE
SINGLES MATCH

[In a match that is only too apropos with all that has transpired in Mike Lane’s life, the 4-time World Champion battles the VHS Rewind Champion, Mother, in a non-title special attraction cross-brand match!]

[A weary-looking Mike Lane looks at Mother’s children, who surround the ring, before locking eyes with The Mother of All, who greets him with an unnerving smile. Both competitors step forwards and circle each other; more caution on Mike’s part, whereas Mother seems almost playful by comparison. They tie-up and Mike takes charge, using his height and weight to send Mother into the ropes. He knocks her down with a shoulder tackle, but the spritely Mother is back up in the blink of an eye. Another lockup—Mother into the ropes—shoulder tackle! Mother races back up for a third collar-and-elbow and is once again sent packing into the ropes – shoulder tackle to Lane! Mike is taken aback, but pays for his hesitance – running knee to the face!]

[The otherworldly Mother immediately targets Mike’s leg, stomping away at his ankle and knee – looking to remove the Shadow Kick from his repertoire! She flips him over for an ankle lock, but Mike kicks her away and scrambles to his feet. Mother rushes him but Mike side-steps her and catches her with a hip toss on the rebound! Mother is back up but a stiff lariat puts her down proper. One… tw—strong kickout by Mother. The 4-time World Champion pulls her up and clobbers her with a European uppercut before sending her into the corner. He hits a big splash and another uppercut floors Mother. One… two… kickout!]

[Mike backs into the corner and slaps his knee. He could be looking to end this early! Mother climbs to her feet and turns around… SHADOW—the lights go out! A child’s laughter fills The Tap Room, but it’s not a happy sound. It haunts the room, a spine-chilling demonic laugh that makes the hairs on your neck stand on end. The lights come back and Mike Lane is standing in the corner, staring at an unharmed Mother. The Shadow isn’t one to show fear, and it’s not a look of fear on his face, but whatever that was… it seems to have gotten inside his head!]

[The Shadow shakes it off as best he can. He darts behind Mother with a waistlock, looking for a German suplex, but she kicks his knee out and rolls through into a calf killer! Mike slaps the mat and grabs at the air, but Mother has him stranded in the middle of the ring! The official asks Mike if he wants to quit, but he shakes his head and screams “NO!”. Mother clamps down even harder on the leg, once again showing her supernatural strength. Mike grits his teeth and drags himself closer to the ropes, Mother not letting up! Nearly there… So close… can he reach!? Rope break!]

[Mike escaped a hairy situation there, but it took a lot out of him. Mother stalks him as he gets up – chop block! Mike crumples to the mat. Mother kicks Lane’s afflicted limb over and over, then makes sure to hook the leg tightly. One… two… shoulder up! Mother smiles and backs up. Mike struggles to his knees and turns round – Mother is crab-walking towards him! Mike scoots backwards into the corner, only to find himself face-to-face with Mother’s children! Caught between a rock and a hard place, he pulls himself up in the ropes… CRAB KICK—caught by Lane—STF! Holy hell, what a save! Mike Lane turns the tables on Mother as he locks in his own submission!]

[Mother doesn’t scream, but she does claw the mat with broken fingernails in a bid to escape! Wait a minute… the referee orders—well, politely asks—one of Mother’s children to get down from the apron! Mike Lane slackens his grip for a nano-second, but it’s all Mother needs – fingernails to the eyes! A blinded Shadow rolls away in agony, suffering who knows what damage to his vision, as The Rewind Champion recovers. Mother’s children slap the mat in unison, willing their maternal figure on. Mike goes to pull himself up in the ropes, only to have it pulled away from him by Mother’s spawn. He shakes his head and forces himself up, as does Mother…]

[Both warriors meet in the centre of the ring, sporting bruises and cuts from this battle. Mike rocks Mother with a right hand, only for her to rail him with a left! They stand toe-to-toe, trading shots, crowd chanting and children watching. A big haymaker sends Mother back into the ropes, but a retaliatory roundhouse kick staggers Mike! Black blood oozes from Mother’s scabbed lips and dribbles down her chin – this doesn’t bode well for Mike! THE BLACK MIST—SHADOW KICK! Mike catches Mother flush on the chin, causing her to spit mist upwards into the air! She looks back down at Mike – SHE DUCKS ANOTHER SHADOW KICK—HAPPILY EVER AFTER! Mother still clocks Mike with the kinshasa! One… two… three!]

[A Mother’s touch overcomes The Shadow itself! Mike Lane left it all in the ring, as he does every night, but Mother’s children and mindgames appear to have worked, reminding Mike of his own kidnapped daughter! Mother holds her Rewind Championship above her head, representing VHS with this huge victory!]

A BEAR OR A BELT
BACKSTAGE

[BZZZZT!]

[As the match ends, the lights around the Tap Room surge in brightness before the entire Arena plunges into darkness. From within the black, the familiar sadistic chuckle of a of a certain yellow-faced maniac fills the air.]

“Mikey… Do you want to play a game?”

[Silence. Darkness. No reply.]

“Don’t spoil the fun now. Who knows what might happen to your family if you don’t play by the rules.”

[BZZZZT!]

[The lights return and Mother is gone. In her place Smiley stands, face to face with an, until now, none the wiser Mike Lane. Sick smile on his face. He holds a brand new teddy bear, which he thrusts towards Lane.]

“What do you think of my little gift? It seems a little cliche. I was going for something with more of a… Smile to it. Do you think she’ll like it?”

[Lane pushes out, grabbing Smiley by the throat and pushing up against the turnbuckle. He begins to choke Smiley out, but relinquishes his hold when Smiley’s smile only grows bigger. Lane turns, breathing deeply and running his fingers through his hair, driving himself mad.]

“You don’t like the game? Well how about this… Let’s call it a trade. You have something I want, I have something you want. If you get what I mean…”

[Smiley’s eyes flick over toward Mike Lane’s newly won Championship Belt, still sitting at ringside. Lane’s eyes follow his gaze.]

“That’s it… You want the belt?”

[Smiley pushes himself up off the turnbuckle.]

“Well… That’d be a nice start. Call it a sign of good faith and there’l. With a shiny belt around my waist, I might be a little clearer about where your daughter is.”

[Lane considers the deal, eyeing up his belt. Just when it looks like he is about to retrieve the belt…]

[‘SHOT THROUGH THE HEART… AND YOU’RE TO BLAME.
YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME.’]

[Bruce. Van. Chan. He charges at the ring, running around and standing between Mike Lane and the Championship Belt.]

“No you don’t Lane.” [His glare is directed at Mike Lane directly.] “After everything I have been through, I’m not about to let you hand that Championship off to that psychopath and ruin my chances. This is my time. This is my moment. As much as I feel for you and your family, you cannot give him the belt.”

[Slowly, Van Chan steps into the ring. He comes in between Smiley and Lane, a hand on his chest for a moment while he waits for his heart to slow down.]

“There are not going to be any shortcuts here. Nobody is taking the easy way out. We will fight, and one of us will win. One of us will walk out of Pandemonium with that title. But it is NOT going to change hands before then.”

[Smiley takes the moment to step forward. He take the teddy bear in both hands, ripping the head clean off – a grin on his face.]

“Oooh, you had better hope that title ends up around my waist Lane… Or you might never see her again.”

[Smiley tosses the headless bear at Mike Lane as the show goes off the air.]