Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
“That explains very little,” Edward replies, aiming his gun at the desk clerk instead. “So, what happens if I do this.”
Blood and brain matter explode from the back of the desk clerks head as men, women and children start running in a panic.
Edward drops the gun in shock.
Storm can’t believe it.
“What did you do?” He yells, rushing to check on the clerk. “What the fuck did you do?”
Suddenly, everything goes black.
In a flash, we find ourselves somewhere entirely different.
The roof still in flames, Luke Storm hangs halfway out of the window, jagged glass raking his face, straining to hold onto Scarlett as Newton drags her out of the window!
Storm braces himself against the window frame and strains to pull Scarlett closer. With a MOAN, she catches the windowsill with her inside hand. Luke STRETCHES with his other hand and begins to INCH towards Scarlett’s wristband.
Edward Newton has a death grip on the watchband. We WIDEN, SEE that, blood flecked teeth GRITTING, he is STRAINING with his other hand to bring up the gun he is still holding!
“Wait,” Edward begs. “What the hell are we doing?”
Luke stops for a moment.
“If I release this watchband, you fall to your death,” he says with shock, looking around, perplexed.
He quickly reaches down, grabbing Edwards hand.
“What movie is this?” Newton demands to know, holding on for dear life.
“It’s Die Hard,” Storm responds. “You’re Hans Gruber and I’m John McClane. In this scene, John breaks the watchband and Hans falls to his grizzly death.”
“That’d make life a lot easier for you,” Newton admits, dangling hundreds of feet from the ground below. He looks down at the ground, then back at Storm, who reluctantly begins pulling him back up onto the ledge and through the window.
They both collapse there, deciding to peer over the edge.
“That’s a long way down,” Newton remarks, gulping.
“When you killed that Clerk, it felt real,” Storm replies. “I dare to think what’d happen if one of died here. I’m no murderer, despite what you have Bill believe.”
“How do we get out of here?” The Riddler questions, getting back to his feet and dusting himself off.
He’s dressed like Hans Gruber.
Luke, dressed like John McClane, joins him at his feet.
Suddenly, we cut to black.
To be continued…
THE LIBRARY, PART ONE
The streets of the famed Grecian city are barren as we find Aesop stood outside a nondescript doorway. He pushes forward, wandering down a labyrinth of brick hallways, each turn leading us to an older, more decrepit brick styling. Until finally he enters into a small chamber.
Inside is a library.
Not the public endeavors of modern life, but a tomb for old scripts, each one meticulously maintained.
Aesop runs his large fingers over one such scroll, smiling as he reads it.
“They forgot me.” He says, his head turned to speak behind him.
In the shadows stands the Cryptkeeper.
“Why were you forgotten, Aesop?” He responds.
Aesop turns to face his foe.
“Morality is no longer honored. They behave as children whose parents have gone blind.” He looks at the papyrus around him, a monument to his life’s work. “Why did you ask me to come here?”
The Keeper steps into the light, his eyes roaming the library.
“You have become a character in your own morality tale, Aesop.” He begins. “You speak a dead language to deaf ears. But you choose to blindly flail forward, attacking all who are in your way. Is there a place now, for a man such as yourself?”
Aesop begins to answer, but Keeper continues.
“I did not forget you. In the Crypt is written the evolution of your work. No longer mere fabrications, the words written there are true. Every single one of them.”
He snaps his fingers, and Aesop raises an eyebrow.
“When your words have failed, Aesop, you choose violence.”
Aesop’s nose curls as he smells something.
“So if you wish to be the one who lives, you must let the past die.”
Aesop pushes past Cryptkeeper as he realizes the ancient writings have set into flames.
Just the writings. Nothing more. Nothing less.
As they turn to cinder, Aesop is left alone with the ashes of his life’s work.
With only the lingering laughter of the vanished Cryptkeeper to comfort him.
KAZAKU VS. ALTON WHITLOCK
In opening action, we have THE ESTABLISHMENT versus THE CRIMINAL UNDERBELLY. Will the governing body prevail or will the syndicate’s actions once again slip through the cracks of society?
Whitlock scans the Okami Warrior over his shoulder as he removes his plush blazer, his opponent feverously pacing. She can wait no longer, attacking him as he takes his time folding it neatly. DROPKICK! sends Whitlock face first into the corner, Kazaku follows that up with another DROPKICK that pushes him back into the turnbuckle.
Letting off the throttle she ducks a clothesline from Whitlock that sets up ENZIGURI! Kazaku back at full speed, jumps into place for STANDING MOONSAULT! ONE…TWO… Whitlock bench presses her off and this time wins the race, planting her with a 180 SPINEBUSTER! He rallies the crowd as he unbuttons the sleeves on his Burberry.
Alton picks her up still dazed and SNAP SUPLEX! ONE…TWO!… Ref notices a foot on bottom rope and stops his count. Whitlock thought he had it in the bag, campaigning towards the fans and the ref. Kazaku has enough time to rise back to her feet before he turns around FRONT FLIP CLOTHESLINE! Whitlock rushes to his feet but ANOTHER! Third try! Whitlock anticipates and turns it into a NECKBREAKER!
That gives Whitlock the time he needs to fully engage the crowd. He pulls her slowly to her feet before locking in the BETTER WORLD! He drives her head into the mat and pulls a leg ONE! TWO! THREE!
Whitlock prevails and delivers justice, but not without an impressive display of athleticism from the Okami Warrior.
Continued from last week.
The Red Death and Sigil sit opposite each other, nursing their wounds from the fight they just had. There’s an eerie silence amongst them, until Sigil breaks it.
“You need to trust someone,” Sigil says, slumping back in the chair with a sigh of pain. “And I’m offering you a chance to understand the truth.”
“What truth?” Death growls.
“The truth that Luke Storm murdered your family; you’ve been waiting so long for vengeance, so long to distribute your wrath, and I want to help you do that.”
Bill shakes his head.
“Newton won’t let me. He has some grand plan for Luke Storm that doesn’t involve me killing him,” he growls. “Not yet, at least.”
“Who do you think asked me to help you?” Sigil says, leaning forward.
Bill suddenly pays attention.
“Newton asked you to help me?” He asks, surprised. “Why?”
“Because he knows that you’re beginning to doubt him. He knows, especially after your mask came off against The Sharkman, that you’re not sure he’s leading you in the right direction.”
The Red Death angrily stands up.
“You promised me a fight,” he roars. “And you’re trying to weasel your way out of it.”
The Collector laughs.
“We’ll fight, don’t you worry about that. I’ll beat you from pillar to post but in the end, you will follow me, you will trust me and you will see the truth.”
Death storms off, leaving Sigil alone.
MAJOR THOM VS. DICE
Picking back up we’ve got the decorated war hero against the gambler. American Pride against one of America’s Favorite Past Times.
The bell sounds and Thom tries to close the gap quickly anticipating Dice wanting an early roll. Dice nearly evades but Thom slams him into the corner and hits a combination of corner knee and back elbow strikes. Dice comes stumbling out of the corner, MILITARY PRESS DROP! Dice wisely rolls out of the ring to safety.
As the refs count begins, Dice quickly pulls out the nearest set of dice and rolls – his grin suggests good fortunes, he slides back into the ring, evades a clothesline attempt – SIDE KICK TO CHIN! Thom hits the deck but charges back up – Dice seems to have some extra juice, SWINGING NECKBREAKER!
ONE! TWO! NO!
As Thom regroups – Dice takes it upon himself for another roll, but the last one takes too long! He’s met with – BAZOOKA KNEE! Thom wastes no time and maintains control with an irish whip, Dice leaps for the cross body! Thom catches him! FALLAWAY SLAM!
Thom’s attack continues, Dice telegraphs another half-hearted sidekick, he lands RIGHT into…. FALL FROM GRACE! That electric chair drop surely giving him enough time to set-up… CODE RED! Thom’s F5 sends Dice crashing into the mat….
ONE! TWO! THREE!
Thom’s signature move proved too much for any roll Dice could have hoped for as the crowd erupts.
We find ourselves in the rain once again, the sound of tires sloshing through mud as they tear across a back road. However, we do not focus on Scrimshaw and Pickpocket. No, we focus on what is in the car with them.
Fire from their pursuers, a highly experimental piece of technology. One of the bullets embedded in the dash of the truck is more than it appears.
The camera zooms into the bullet and we find ourselves far away from the chase inside of a well lit, warm, and comfortable meeting room. In it, Imperium. More specifically, X and Alton Whitlock. Their eyes glued to a large TV. The bullet, you see, is a camera.
“Those mercenaries are horrible shots, but I suppose you accounted for that when you supplied the weaponry?”
Alton Whitlock speaks first, the politician looking towards X who doesn’t pull away from the screen.
“Of course. If one of the two dies, they may change their course of action. I had your staff source low cost, inexperienced hitmen. They only needed to land one shot, and now with Gouldern’s creation we have full audio and video inside of their truck.”
Whitlock chuckles, leaning back in his chair, enjoying a glass of expensive scotch as he watches the dialogue we heard last week between Scrimshaw and Pickpocket. Alton rolls his eyes as he waits.
“They better give us useful information, X. There best be a reason you didn’t simply try and strike them down yourself.”
X looks to his partner, stone faced.
“Don’t doubt me, Alton. I could have pursued them but I lack the knowledge required. Never go for the kill unless you have one hundred percent certainty. We must be patient.”
The duo watch in silence for a bit longer before something catches their attention, the following heard between Scrimshaw and Pickpocket.
“Where are we going, Captain?”
“Somewhere even Imperium won’t know, boy. I have a ship out at port near here. We’ll board it with some of me crew, then move towards Wolf’s Mouth. If we’re smart, we’ll be able to avoid them long enough to get to the cave and get a real ship.”
X turns to Whitlock, a slight grin forming on his face.
“I told you, Alton. They’re trying to play it smart, trying to create a diversion and lead us astray. But now we know where they’re going. After next week, when they leave the Slaughterhouse, we’ll already be five steps ahead.”
“Do you have a plan?”
“I do. Our target is acquired, Alton. Now allow me to do what I do best.”
The scene fades out there, leaving to loom on his glowing red eye before everything goes dark.
MONSTER OF CIRCUMSTANCE
Just as Dice rolls out of the ring and walks back up the entrance ramp,
A colony of bats sweep down from the Slaughterhouse ceiling…
In the center of the ring, Gabriel Drake stands face to face with Major Thom.
Major Thom sneers at Drake. “If you’ve come to confess your sins, I’m not a priest. I won’t be absolving you for them. I will fuck you up for them.”
Gabriel Drake laughs, “Oh, just shut up Major. For it was never me on that battlefield. You see, I’ve come to realize something about you.”
Thom chuckles, “About me?”
“Yes, you. See Major, you looked at me and you did what everyone else in the world does. You saw a monster. But what is peculiar about you, is that in a very important way, you saw yourself.”
Thom grits his teeth.
“What are you talking about, Drake?”
“It was fair for you to do so,” Drake continues. “For we are both monsters of circumstance. Someone made me the way I am, the military made you the way you are. And so that vision, that awful nightmare you dreamt of me… That was you.”
Thom shakes his head. “No…”
“You killed your brothers. You killed those civilians. You killed everyone. You are a monster, Major Thom. And I? Well, I hunt monsters.”
Thom stands in the ring, by himself.
BISHOP VS. HELSTROM
Tonight on Nitro, we have 1/3rd of The War Machine debuting in the ring against Helstrom, Enigma’s enforcer.
The bell rings, and Helstrom and Bishop circle one another. Helstrom and Bishop lock up! The Punisher quickly shifts Helstrom into a side headlock. But Helstrom lifts Bishop into the air! TEARDROP BACK BODY SLAM! Bishop hits the mat hard! Helstrom makes the cover! ONE! TWO! KICKOUT BY THE PUNISHER!
Bishop shows some resolve, sending a stiff shot to Helstrom as he breaks the pinfall attempt! Helstrom grabs Bishop by the arm, brings him up to his feet. He whips Bishop into the ropes! Bishop returns! DEAD EYE!!! THE SPEAR!!! Bishop nails Helstrom!!! He mounts Helstrom and rains down on him with lefts and rights!
But Helstrom wraps his massive hands around Bishop’s neck and squeezes. Bishop is forced to give up his ground! Helstrom rises to his feet, still squeezing Bishop’s neck! Helstrom sets him up! UNWORTHY!!! THE SPINNING GOTCH PILEDRIVER TO THE GIANT KNOWN AS BISHOP!!!
Helstrom is feeling it!!! He roars and sends boot after boot after boot into Bishop’s ribcage! Helstrom backs off, lets Bishop get up to a knee. All of the sudden, SMACK!!! YING YONG’S FLAME!!! THE RUNNING BUSAIKU KNEE!!! BISHOP’S LIGHTS ARE OUT!!! HELSTROM MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEEEE!!!
Helstrom picks up the victory over the debuting Bishop, who learns his first of many difficult lessons among the ranks of OSW!
FROM MOLVANIA WITH LOVE
We find the macho of macho-ist figures backstage, chest hair glistening with sweat from his pre-match warmup workout. He is alone. Not even Junkrat or Raquel stand at his side. Casting an eye around an otherwise empty room, Marvolo notices a brown package left in a conspicuous location. Clearly somebody meant for him to stumble across it.
Drawing near to the package, he reads the label on the top.
‘From Molvanîa: With Love’
Naturally, Marvolo wastes little time in picking up the package and shaking it. Something inside rattles around. An excited grin forms on his face and he unties the string from around the package.
He lifts the flap.
Marvolo is knocked back onto his sizeable macho rump as the package emits a cloud of unknown smog. Then, the package begins to laugh. A maniacal laugh of an uncontrollable nature. Stunned, it takes time for Marvolo to reach his feet. He checks himself for damage, but finding none, he creeps closer to the unknown parcel and gingerly peers inside.
And on that screen, SeeSaw’s face, still laughing uncontrollably until he runs out of breath and gasps for air.
“Hooooo-hohohoho! Surprise! You should have seen the look on your face!”
Naturally, Marvolo II simply puffs out his chest in response.
“Marvolo has no idea what you are talking about. Marvolo doesn’t…”
His voice trails off as he notices another object in the box.
He picks it up and inspects it.
The spitting image of Marvolo II himself, in doll form.
Only, the legs and arms have been pulled off and thrown back into the box. The eyes of the doll have also been gouged out.
SeeSaw’s laughter returns.
“Oh yes, you found my little gift.”
Marvolo says nothing.
“You break my toy, I break… You.”
Marvolo’s eyes stare at the doll in his hands. Not a toy at all but…
“A warning, if you will. It’s been fun playing with you all week. But next week…” SeeSaw’s voice turns from a playful innocence to a dark and sinister tone. “… I’m going to make you bleed. I’m going to break every finger, listen to them snap one – by – one. I’m going to make you feel the way you made my toy feel.”
Then, as abruptly as it had turned, his voice changes again.
“So, I’ll see you next week. Have fun!”
The screen falls black and moments later the phone explodes, knocking Marvolo over again. He manages a chuckle of bravado, but his eyes show something deeper. Fear.
In a dark room somewhere in the depths of The Slaughterhouse, The Judge sits in deep meditation.
Around him, one thousand sheets of paper-thin crystal float in mid air, perfectly still. They glow deep purple.
The Judge’s eyes are closed tight; his breathing is perfectly paced.
The crystal-cards begin to move in perfect unison.
They flow through the air like a snake, arcing and fluttering. Then they hang right above The Judge’s head, becoming a triangle, then a diamond, then a square.
From there, they disperse once again, spacing themselves out perfectly to fill the cavernous room.
It is at that exact that moment a massive, gut-rattling boom emits from just outside the heavy iron door.
A crazed voice screams: “YEEEEHAWWWW!!!”
The the one and only Junkrat comes flying through the door, chased by flames. .
One thousand ancient, precious, irreplaceable pieces of crystal fall to floor and shatter.
The Judge’s eyes shoot open. He flies to his feet. His axe is in his hand instantly.
He’s laughing–and rolling around in the shards of crystal while doing it.
“You playin’ solitaire in here!?” he asks hysterically.
“You have interrupted a sacred ritual,” The Judge says. “Destroyed timeless, beautiful artifacts. Ruined a sacred rite performed only once every 12 years. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
Junkrat looks lost in thought for a moment.
“Y-y-yeah!” he says, finally. “Solitaire’s fucking boring! And so are you!”
He reaches into his pants… and pulls out a stick of dynamite? In his other hand, he holds a shard of purple crystal. He takes a large bite out of it.
“And this shit tastes awful,” Junkrat says. “Anyway, get a life, man. Blow some shit up! It’s fun!”
Gleefully, Junkrat flicks his massive silver lighter, sparks the dynamite’s fuse, and tosses it at The Judge before rolling directly through a large pile of crystal fragments and out of the room.
The Judge moves quickly to open a portal; briefly visible through it is the vast emptiness of space. He hurls the dynamite through the portal and closes it instantly.
THE PLAGUE RAT VS. MALICE
One man loves to inflict pain; the other loves to feel it. It’s a match made in heaven…
Malice tackles The Plague Rat with a spinebuster and pummels away at him – but Rat spits a tooth in his face! Malice throws his demented ass outside and follows. He grabs a trash can and wails on TPR! He dumps it over his head, then whacks the human piñata with a kendo stick! No count-outs or DQ here!
The Michigan Mauler tosses the binned Rat over the commentary desk. TPR, however, pops up and rings his bell with, uh, the ring bell! The Pandemic—no, not that one—scrambles over the booth and starts biting Malice! He hurls him into the steel stairs, then one-man-conchairtos him! He rolls him inside. ONE… TWO… Near-fall!
Plague grabs a burlap sack and tips it upside-down. Rat traps fall to the mat, ready to snap! Stalking a recovering Malice, he leaps onto his back. Malice, however, drives TPR back-first into his own rat traps! A normal man would howl in pain, but this sick bastard is smiling! Malice goes to pin but reconsiders – he’s enjoying this chemistry, too!
He yells at Rat to get up! The madman obliges – GORE! GORE! GORE! Malice cuts him in half with the spear, then signals for the end. He realigns Plague in the torture rack, then transitions into the piledriver – MALICIOUS INTENT! TPR has survived everything Malice has thrown at him—literally—but he ain’t getting up afer that! ONE… TWO… THREE!
No need to call the exterminator – Malice has taken care of this Rat!
THE LIBRARY, PART TWO
Tuesday, April 21.
Peace takes the land as the sun rises on the ancient Chinese capital. Banzan takes in the fresh air from a seated position, his large form dominating a small garden. He smiles as the aura around him seems to shift, not even opening his eyes.
“I do not know your purpose, Cryptkeeper.” He calls out. “But I enjoy this place.”
The Cryptkeeper stands before Banzan, his eyes studying the area.
“You came here for enlightenment, didn’t you?” The Keeper asks. “Just another stop on your quest.”
“Yes.” Banzan replies. “It was the first stage of what led me to learning what it truly means to bear my name.”
“Indestructible Mountain.” Cryptkeeper says. “But you’ve proven to be very destructible, haven’t you?”
Banzan opens his eyes finally, taking in his visitor.
“Where you were once commanded respect, you now endure mocking. Where you were once strong, there now is shown weakness. Imperium has reduced you to a shell of what you once were.”
In one fluid motion, Banzan steps to his feet, regarding Cryptkeeper with a sinister expression, who continues.
“You desire to instruct those around you with lessons you have learned, but all people hear is a useless fable. Little to no truth behind vague words.”
“Why bring me to the other side of the world to berate me?” Banzan snarls.
The Keeper smiles as the leaves begin to rustle.
“Because I needed you to see the man you once were, the man you aspire to be. If you wish to survive, Banzan, you must bring your past and future together.”
Out of the ground, the garden’s roots sprout out to grab at Banzan’s arms and legs. They coil themselves around him, drawing him down to the ground.
“Will you find the power, Indestructible Mountain, from within to break free?” Keeper taunts as Banzan struggles against his restraints. “Or will your fable turn to a true morality tale?”
Cryptkeeper vanishes into the air as Banzan’s body is slowly covered by the roots.
Only his sinister laugh remains.
GABRIEL DRAKE VS. THE JUDGE
The Lord of Shadows exploded onto the OSW scene, becoming a champion in his very first match but he has a huge test in the Judge tonight. Can his momentum continue to explode or will he be judged unworthy?
The bell sounds as Drake rushes forward, taking the Judge by surprise with a ferocious right hand that knocks him for a loop before a vicious knee knocks all the wind out of him as Drake grabs him by the throat and begins slashing his long nails down his torso. THE BLOOD DRIVE FAILS THOUGH as Drake can’t quite penetrate the Judge’s armor.
Drake staggers back, holding his hand in pain as the Judge takes advantage, nearly taking his damn head off with a huge Big Boot and as Drake staggers to his feet, The Judge rushes forward with an almighty VERDICT! Drake collapses in the corner from the force of the Spartan Kick as The Judge pulls him up to his feet and giving the vampire a taste of his own medicine, begins biting down on Drake’s forehead as blood begins to pool down his forehead.
YOUR PAST MAY BITE YOU! The Judge drops Drake with the cutter but the Hunter is back on his feet almost instantly, feral with anger from the blood pouring down his face as he delivers a stiff headbutt before grabbing The Judge by the throat and nearly putting him through the mat with THE FALL CHOKESLAM!
Drake doesn’t cover, pulling the Judge up to his feet as he gets a throat thrust for his troubles before the Judge nearly takes his head off with a huge Lariat. The Judge pulls him up to his feet looking for the end but staggers back as he gets a lashing of Drake’s SHADOW cape before the vampire spins the Judge around, locking in a cobra clutch before showing his tremendous strength as he lifts the Judge up high and plants him down onto his knee with a backbreaker style FEAST OR FAMINE! Drake begins bending the Judge over his knee like he’s going to snap him in half as The Judge is forced to tap out!
Gabriel Drake continues his tremendous run here as he gains another victory here in OSW and escapes the Judge’s verdict here tonight.
A RAT’S FEAST
Backstage, The Plague Rat is walking towards the locker room but before he can get there, he hears an ominous voice.
“Roll for perception.”
The Plague Rat hears it, but he shakes his head and keeps on walking, he falls through a portal! He falls into a field of lush green grass next to a river rapidly flowing. He is enraged!
“What the fuck? Where am I?”
The same ominous voice as before speaks.
“Roll for initiative.”
A baseball-sized D20 falls out of the sky. The Plague Rat shakes his head no.
“Bad decision, Rat of Plague.”
A colossal Thunderhawk pierces the skies and dives towards The Plague Rat!
“Roll an evasion check.”
“Fuck this dice bullshit, I’m just dodging!”
The Plague Rat jumps out of the way of the Thunderhawk’s beak, but the colossal bird has him in its talons!
“You won’t survive this realm without the use of this.”
The D20 flies into The Plague Rat’s hands!
“What do you do?”
“I’m going to bite this bird’s ankle off!”
“Roll for it.”
The Plague Rat rolls his eyes.
He rolls! It’s a Nat 20!
“Um… you did it.”
The Plague Rat bites at the Thunderhawk’s ankles until he bites fully through them! The talons fall to the floor dropping The Plague Rat with them! The Thunderhawk is pouring blood onto the falling Plague Rat!
“You’re falling to your death! Roll a saving throw!”
Another die flies towards him. The Plague Rat does not have an option! He rolls! 17!
The Plague Rat falls through another portal and he lands in the halls of The Slaughterhouse. Dice is standing above him.
“Well done, you survived. I did not think you had it in you. A rat doesn’t normally feast on a hawk.”
“You know Dice, I get it now, that’s kind of fun.”
“You want to do it again?”
“Sure, fuck it.”
“Roll for initiative.”
The Plague rat rolls a normal-sized D20. It’s a 2.
Dice rolls one himself. Nat 20! He drops the Plague Rat with a twist of fate!
FABLE © VS. POCKET SAND
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
We have a tasty treat tonight, the Tag Team Titles are on the line as Fable defend their belts against Pocket Sand!
The bell rings, and Aesop and Pickpocket kick things off! Pickpocket charges across the ring! CRUCIFIX PIN ATTEMPT! NO!!! Aesop stays upright! BACK BODYSLAM!!! Jesus!! Aesop immediately attempts the pin!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! KICKOUT!!! Aesop grins and digs his elbow into the throat of Pickpocket! Scrimshaw runs in the ring to stop Aesop!
But the referee prevents Scrimshaw from going forward! Aesop uses all that time to drive his elbow even deeper into Pickpocket’s throat!!! Scrimshaw finally leavea the ring as Aesop keeps grinding his elbow into Pickpocket!! Pickpocket, somehow still alive, SHOVES HIS THUMB into Aesop’s eye! Aesop backs off!
Pickpocket starts for his feet! BIG BOOT FROM AESOP! Pickpocket ducks it! LOWBLOW!!! Both men fall to the ground! Pickpocket and Aesop crawl to their respective corners! Both of them scrapping and clawing! CLAP! CLAP!!! TWO TAGS!!! Scrimshaw and Banzan charge into the ring! Banzan takes Scrimshaw down with a clothesline!
Banzan beckons Scrimshaw to his feet! Scrimshaw rises, another clothesline!!! NO!!! SCRIMSHAW DUCKS IT!!! HE TURNS AROUND!!! BRASS KNUCKLES TO BANZAN’S JAW!!! Banzan staggers backwards!!! BRASS KNUCK UPPERCUT FROM SCRIMSHAW!!! BANZAN AVOIDS IT!!! HE WRAPS SCRIMSHAW UP!!! DUKKHA!!! THE SAITO SUPLEX!!! BANZAN MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEEEE!!!
Fable retain their titles as Pocket Sand, the scrappy underdogs, walk away empty handed.
In a dark room, a single flicker of fire hangs in midair, inches away from Mez’s face.
Then the flame grows until it’s a blinding white wall.
When the blinding white recedes, Mez stands unmoving in an ancient, undisturbed forest.
In front of him stands Helstrom and a beautiful nine-tailed fox with burnt-orange fur.
“This is the being,” Helstrom says to the fox. “Your help is needed, Zenko. His his soul must be brought to the Underworld, where it may be judged. But nothing lies within this one. A void. Reveal what has become of his soul.”
“Some secrets are best left to crumble away, forgotten. You believe the fiery maw of your masters’ judgement can bring light to this darkness?”
“There is little time for questions and games, spirit,” Helstrom says.
“I owe no allegiance to your kings.”
“They shall be in your debt. Even a being of your powers must value that. Help us.”
Zenko’s piercing eyes look the hulking madman up and down. Then the fox nods solemnly.
The fox floats into the air, eye closed, levitating in front of Mez, who seems unable to move in this realm.
Then the fox opens its eyes–and they’re wide with absolute terror.
“You know not what you reckon with,” Zenko says, low and fierce. “A man he once was, yes. And some flicker of that remains, somewhere. But now? That darkness within him has made him strong, knight. He despises the world that did this to him, no doubt. But he hates himself even more. Hell rages within him; tortures him. And the only relief comes from destruction.”
“But what of his soul?” Helstrom asks.
“It may be somewhere in the mortal world. I believe I smelled its trail on the wind, faintly. Souls… are difficult to destroy entirely. But that’s besides the point,” the fox replies. “The spiteful power festering within this creature is one that even your liege lord should fear. ]The best way to serve your kingdom may be to destroy him, not bring him to judgment. But I shall let this darkness linger in my woods not a moment longer. Send him back. Your battle must be fought elsewhere.”
Helstrom raises a hand. There’s a flash of light, and Mez is gone.
SIGIL & THE RED DEATH VS. MARVOLO II & JUNKRAT
TAG TEAM MATCH
A pairing from Enigma, Sigil and Red Death, takes on quite a pair in their own right, #1 Grenades, here in tag team action on Nitro!
The bell rings and its Red Death and Marvolo to kick things off. They lock up, and Marvolo quickly transitions Red Death into a headlock! Death shoves Marvolo away! Marvolo bounces off the ropes, clotheslines Red Death to the mat! Death tries to get to his feet, but Marvolo lays a boot into his ribs!
Marvolo helps Death to his feet! And Death lowblows Marvolo on the way up! RETURN TO ARKHAM! Double Underhook DDT! Red Death tags in Sigil, who TELEPORTS and DROPS a leg across Marvolo’s chest! He makes the cover! ONE! TWO! KICKOUT!!! Sigil stands and drops an elbow!
…But Marvolo rolls out of the way!! His fat ass damn near shoves the referee over as he scrambles to make the tag! Sigil teleports and cuts Marvolo off from Junkrat! DOKUGIRL!!! NO!!! SIGIL DUCKS IT!!! HE HITS JUNKRAT!!! JUNKRAT SCREAMS LIKE A DAMN WOMAN!!! Marvolo tries to apologize! But Sigil spins him around!
FINITE!!! Roundhouse right to the jaw! Sigil bounces off the ropes! PLANESWALKER!!! CRACK!!! NO!!! JUNKRAT DESTROYS SIGIL WITH A STEEL CHAIR MID-KICK!!! Red Death rushes into the ring! THE CONCUSSION MINE TO RED DEATH!!! Marvolo makes the cover!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEE!!!
#1 Grenades pick up a huge victory over Sigil and Red Death, solidifying themselves as a tag team contender.
Middle of the night.
Streets illuminated by street lights.
Luke Storm stands on one side of the lawn, opposite Edward Newton.
It’s raining heavily.
“How about it, Jack? Would you like a shot at the title?” Storm growls.
“Don’t mind if I do,” Newton replies with a smirk.
The Riddler rushes forward with a kick that Storm ducks.
Elbows, headbutt, everything is swinging back and forth as these two enemies duke it out on the lawn of Murtaugh’s house.
Police cars come pulling around the corner.
Rodger runs out, stopping them from getting involved.
Storm with a spin kick almost takes Newton’s head off.
Newton with a big body drop, planting Luke.
He follows that up with kicks, kicking a rolling Storm across the ground.
They fight some more, until Newton finally flips Storm over into the dirt, drowning him.
“Wait,” Storm gurgles, barely able to breathe. “Wait!”
Edward stops, releasing the grip.
“Another movie?” He growls, absolutely exhausted from the fight.
The World Champion chokes, coughing up a lung.
“It’s Lethal Weapon,” he finally manages to say. “I’m Riggs and you’re Mr. Joshua.”
“Shit!” The Riddler shouts. “How the fuck are we going to get out of here?”
“They want us to kill each other. Whoever’s doing this, they won’t stop until one of us is dead.”
“That’s why they keep putting us in these movie fights?” Edward asks. “The first was a test, wasn’t it? We weren’t enemies, but every single fight since then has been a position of life or death.”
“I know what we have to do,” Newton concludes.
He grabs Storm’s head, ramming it back into the pool of water.
He holds it there, leaning in to whisper something inaudible.
The World Champion struggles fiercely at first, but slowly succumbs, drowning in the water.
With his final kick, Newton releases him.
And the entire landscape changes.
It falls away.
THE CRYPTKEEPER VS. SEESAW
THE MAIN EVENT
Will it be playtime all night, or will we hear a bedtime story?
SeeSaw raises his Double Feature Championship into the air. This is a non-title exhibition match, but SeeSaw pinned The Cryptkeeper at The Eliminator – thus anointing him VHS Champion. ‘Keeper has since lost his title, but SeeSaw still holds his. The skeletal librarian scoffs at his mindgames.
The bell rings, and it’s time to play! SeeSaw tears into ‘Keeper with rights and lefts, utilising his height and reach advantage. He sends his emaciated opponent into the ropes, then takes him down with a sidewalk slam!
Strong kickout by The Cryptkeeper!
Mr. Make Believe knew that wouldn’t be enough – he’s just looking to wear Crypt out. He mounts him, smashing him in the mouth with forearms and grinding the point of his elbow into his gaunt face! ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR—SeeSaw skirts a disqualification.
He pulls Keeper up by his wispy hair and whips him hard into the corner! He winds his arms slowly and runs on the spot, building up steam like a locomotive… BIG SPLASH – but SeeSaw EATS STEEL POST as Crypt ducks!
SeeSaw stamps his feet and holds his mouth as blood oozes between his fingers. It looks like his TEETH have been pushed back into his GUMS!
Keeper spins him round and hits him with a JAWBREAKER of all things! SeeSaw yelps like a wounded animal. He lashes out with an instinctive big boot which Crypt side-steps. Popping up behind SeeSaw, Keeper puts one spider-like hand on top of his head, and the other on his chin. HE CLAMPS DOWN, SQUEEEZIIING SEESAW’S JAW AND CUUURLING HIS TEETH SOME MORE!
The whites of SeeSaw’s eyes are visible, his limbs flailing, but the excruciating—and primitive—submission is bizarrely quiet, as his muffled screams rattle around inside his own head! It’s not a chokehold, so it’s perfectly legal! The referee tries to ascertain if SeeSaw wants to throw in the towel, but he can’t get an answer. Cryptkeeper fixes the official with an icy stare and answers for him.
“This isn’t how it ends.”
The unnerved referee simply nods before retreating.
Tranquility Lane’s favourite resident buries his elbow in Crypt’s ribs. He sticks him again, and again, and again – CRACK! Keeper relinquishes his grip and doubles over, nursing what sounds like a broken rib! SeeSaw escapes his vise-like grip and plants him with a snap DDT!
It looks like SeeSaw is back in the driver’s seat now. He looks down at Cryptkeeper, his face contorted in rage.
“You BROKE my SMILE!”
He peels him off the mat and stuffs his head under his arm… RUNNING BULLDOG! But he isn’t done yet. ANOTHER RUNNING BULLDOG! “How would you like it if I broke YOUR smile!?” SeeSaw screams, spiking him with A THIRD RUNNING BULLDOG! That’s a PACK of bulldogs!
SeeSaw drags Crypt to the middle of the ring, then flaps his arms – oh no… Sure enough, he climbs the ropes. If he hits this, he won’t just break Keeper’s smile – he’ll shatter his skull! SeeSaw flaps his arms again, ready to take flight…
FLIGHT OF THE ORNITHOPTER—
CRYPTKEEPER RAISES HIS LEG!
SEESAW CRASHES FACE-FIRST INTO HIS BOOT!
SeeSaw remains standing, but he’s swaying on the spot, seeing stars! The referee breaks his focus to stand with his hands on his hips and watch in fascination. The macabre clown slowly rocks to and fro, groggily using one hand to steady himself. His head lulls from side to side as he fades in and out of consciousness. Time itself seems to stand still as an immovable object meets an irresistible force…
The Cryptkeeper saves SeeSaw—and us—from his neverending loop with an EYE RAKE! He WHIPS him across the ring… BIG BOOT! A BEGINNING, MIDDLE & END!
SeeSaw kicks out at 2.9! Crypt shakes off the cobwebs and pulls him up. He tosses him into the far corner with terminal velocity! SeeSaw hits the turnbuckle inside-out and upside-down. His feet get hitched on the top rope, and he finds himself in the dreaded TREE OF WOE! You know what’s coming… BASEBALL SLIDE by Keeper! That’s the TALE OF WOE!
The Cryptkeeper adds another chapter to his grimoire!
SEESAW HAD HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES!
The referee alerts Crypt to the non-finish. He spins round –
SUPERFINE TURBINE BLAST!
SeeSaw lifts him into the air with a spear into a spinebuster!
Both men lie in a pile. The official begins a ten-count. ONE! TWO! Faint signs of life. THREE! FOUR! SeeSaw rolls onto his front. FIVE! SIX! Keeper gets onto his hands and knees. SEVEN! EIGHT! They pull themselves up using the ropes.
They stumble back and bump into each other—
THE CURSE OF THE CRYPT—SeeSaw ducks it—WOODY’S ROUNDUP!
SeeSaw yanks the invisible lasso, smashing Crypt’s skull off the canvas!
With that, SeeSaw proclaims that “Playtime’s over!”. He hauls Keeper off the mat and up onto his shoulders…
INVERSE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER—
But a spry Cryptkeeper drops onto his feet behind him!
HE GOT OFF THE TEETER-TOTTER!
THE CURSE OF THE CRYPTKEEPER!
HE JACKS SEESAW’S JAW WITH THE EUROPEAN UPPERCUT!
WILL THAT BE ENOUGH!?
AND IT IS A THREE!
Cryptkeeper puts SeeSaw to bed with one hell of a story!
The sound of hospital machines beeping can be heard as Doctors, Nurses and Patients can be heard bellowing in fear. When we see them, they’re scurrying in various different directions.
Suddenly, three armed men wearing tactical military gear storm the halls in formation, guns drawn.
They stop at a private room and bust open the door, storming inside.
With every corner checked, they come to rest their guns and stand before their high value target.
They remove their masks.
“Target secure,” Major Thom says, keeping a watchful eye on the door.
“We need to be oscar mike in two minutes, is he mobile?” Bishop asks Malice, who searches the bed.
He kicks a couple of breaks from the wheels and begins taking medical equipment off their stands and placing them on the bed.
Before you know it, all three men are storming down the hall with The Butcher’s bed, heading as quickly as they can towards the exit. They slam through the emergency doors towards a wating van with its doors open and slide him inside.
They hop in, the van speeding away quickly.
“Sierra Three to control,” Malice says, pressing the button on his comms. “Target is secure and on the move to location Alpha.”
“Received,” a female voice responds.
“Any idea why we’re doing this, Bishop?” Thom asks, removing his mask and tossing it aside.
“If the General wanted him dead, he’d have had us put two in his chest and one in his head,” Bishop concludes, thinking about it. “I’d wager he’s a key figure in the campaign.”
“Alive, dead, it doesn’t matter,” Malice grunts. “As long as someone pays the cheques.”
Major Thom and Bishop share a look of disagreement. Malice, he spots that.
“What?” He asks. “They don’t pay us to reason why, boys. They pay us to be mean mother fuckers who do the job.”
“We’re conditioned to follow orders,” Thom replies. “I understand that. But the file said a war is coming; I want to make sure we’re on the right side.”
“Amen to that, brother,” Bishop replies with a fist bump.
“I hear ya, we’re in this together,” he joins, adding his fist to the bump. “The War Machine.”
“The War Machine,” Thom and Bishop reply together.
“We’re here!” The driver chirps in.
The War Machine pile out of the van, grabbing The Butcher’s bed and pulling it out after. As it drops to wheels, Malice grabs his weapon, taking the safety off.
“I’ll take care of the loose ends,” he growls.
Thom and Bishop wheel The Butcher inside their base, leaving The Mauler to his duty.
A gunshot rings out.
There’s a round of applause.
Luke Storm lays dead on the ground, beside a tray of water that appears conveniently placed.
They’re in the middle of a testing facility and those applauding? Berkshire Ellison Green and Mark Gouldern.
“We were beginning to wonder if you’d ever figure it out,” Mark says, shaking his head with disappointment. “I’m surprised it took you this long.”
Edward gets back to his feet, groggy as hell.
“What did you do?” He demands to know, looking back at the body of Luke Storm.
“A simulation,” Green chimes in. “It’s new technology but it’ll be at the forefront of virtual reality soon enough. We kidnapped you, drugged you and threw you into a simulation that we controlled. You saw what we chose. Unfortunately, the nano tech laced drug was broken down too quickly by your systems.”
“That meant we couldn’t control your function for long enough to have you do what was necessary automatically,” Gouldern continues. “We had to hope you’d figure it out.”
“You made me murder him?” He growls. “I had plans. Big plans.”
Green and Gouldern chuckle amongst themselves.
“What now?” Newton asks, moving them around the room by walking in a half circle. “I suppose you finish me off?”
“That depends on you,” Gouldern says, glancing back at the body of Storm that lays perished behind him. “If you lay no stake or claim to his Championship, then our business is concluded.”
“That’s what this is about; power?” The Riddler says with a bellowing laugh. “I have no claim to his Championship, not yet. But he does.”
“He’s dead,” BEG says, turning to glance at Storm.
SUPERKICK TO THE FUCKING FACE
LUKE STORM ISN’T DEAD!
The World Champion lays Green out with a single strike.
Mark Gouldern looks immediately panicked.
“How?” He cries. “I saw you murder him.”
“You saw what we wanted you to see,” Storm hisses, positioning himself alongside Newton. “I’m an actor, I can play dead.”
“That’s what you whispered,” The Tech Tycoon says with a grimace. “So, what now?”
Edward clocks him with a right hand.
Storm meets him on the other side with a left.
They begin playing pinball with Gouldern, beating him from pillar to post until Newton kicks him low and pulls him in.
KILL IT WITH FIRE!
MARK GOULDERN IS NOT GETTING UP FROM THAT ANYTIME SOON!
Newton gets back to his knees to be met by a hand up from Luke Storm, that he accepts.
“It would’ve been easier for you to kill me,” Luke says, his brow furrowed. “Why didn’t you?”
“You think that’s what this is about?” Edward asks, releasing the hand. “You think I want to kill you? I don’t want to kill you Luke; I want to destroy you. I want you to crawl back into that hole of a town you came from and live a miserable little life.”
“You have to let it go, Edward,” he pleads. “Enough is enough.”
“I’ll tell you what it’s enough, now let’s get out of here before they come to.”