Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
As the fire now rages inside the offices of Doctor D’Ville, the Doctor pulls on a chord that drops a set of stairs into the room. Both he and SeeSaw dart up the stairs, heading towards a secret passageway to the roof.
Waiting for them, a helicopter’s blades whip wildly in anticipation of their arrival.
They hop inside and are quickly airlifted above the burning Asylum below.
“This hasn’t worked as I’d hoped,” D’Ville says. He’s naturally disappointed. “I thought the tonic would make him more pliable. I didn’t realize it’d turn him into this crazed maniac.”
“How do we stop him, daddy?” SeeSaw questions.
“I know that I promised you a new playmate, but this isn’t the friend you need, my son. It could, however, be the battle you need.”
SeeSaw looks confused.
“The battle I need?” He queries
“I told you before, didn’t I? You have a very special destiny, my son. Defeating your half-brother was a big step towards that but you’re not finished.”
SeeSaw looks out of the window, clearly disinterested in this ‘destiny’ lark.
“I’m going to make you the OSW Champion,” D’Ville insists. “I’m going to turn you into the most dangerous competitor on this roster. You’ll face challenges and overcome them, I’m sure of it.”
“What do I need to do?” SeeSaw asks solemnly.
“Nygma must be stopped,” D’Ville says turning his son to face him. “You must stop him. He stands to ruin us, don’t you see?”
“Okay daddy, I’ll do it,” he begrudgingly agrees “But first, can I take a nap?”
D’Ville pulls his sons head onto his shoulder, watching as he slowly falls asleep.
As the helicopter flies away, the pilot looks back at the sleeping SeeSaw and D’Ville, who looks out of the window.
“Sir, can you please take a headset?” He asks. “They wish to talk.”
Doc reaches up and carefully puts it on, listening for a moment.
“No, he’s not ready yet,” D’Ville announces. “But I’m confident that he’s the to do it, even if he doesn’t understand why.”
CODY VS. SWEET ALICE
Tonight, years of abuse on the body meet years of abuse on the mind! It’s Cody versus Sweet Alice. Who will show what it takes to overcome? We find out next!
DING! DING! They tie up! Cody is overpowering Alice into the corner! He hits forearm strike after forearm strike! He backs up and charges at her! He’s going for a splash, but she counters with a drop toe hold! His face hits the middle turnbuckle! He’s stunned and sitting in the corner!
She backs up herself this time! She charges! Hesitation dropkick! Cody is rocked and he rolls out of the ring! She’s running the ropes! Suicide dive! No! He catches her mid-air! Cody hoists her up and is holding her in a stalling suplex! Cody drops! Brainbuster on the floor!
He rolls her back into the ring! He goes to the top rope! He jumps! CARPE OMNIA! He hits the double foot stomp! He covers! One! Two! Thr-no! She gets the shoulder up! He pulls her up and puts her on his shoulders! PERFECTLY EXECUTED! He hits the rolling fireman’s carry and he double jumps to the top rope!
He’s going for the moonsault! She gets her knees up! Horrible landing and he’s holding his stomach in agony! She hops up! She’s hopping like a rabbit and hits the split leg drop! TERRIBLY LATE! She’s not done! She rolls him over and locks in the camel clutch! TEA PARTY! He’s struggling! He can’t take that much tension his neck and he has to tap out! IT’S OVER!
What a match! Cody gave it his all but his years in the ring caught up to him and Alice used that to her advantage!
“Hi, this is Wynona. I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now, but–“
Ring… Ring… Ring… Ring…
“Hi, this is Wynona. I’m sorry I can’t–“
It’s been going like this for a while. Malice stands outside the bar, once again at the bottom of the bottle, but this time, he’s on his phone. He looks drunk and obsessed. Likely because he is.
Bishop steps out of the bar, sees Malice on the phone.
“…I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone–“
Bishop snatches the phone out of Malice’s hand.
“You’ve got to stop, man. Seriously. You’re looking like a complete bitch. She said she needs some time. You need to respect that.”
Malice looks Bishop up and down. He shoves Bishop, words slurred a touch. “What, are you fucking her now or something?”
Bishop shakes his head. “You’re drunk. You’re sad. You need to go home and sleep it off. Come on, I’ll give you a ride.”
Bishop wraps his arm around Malice’s shoulder, but Malice shoves him away. Bishop, having had enough over the past couple of weeks, punches Malice in the jaw. Malice drops to the ground.
The sad thing about it all is that Malice is too drunk to get back up off the ground.
“You’re lucky I’m… You’re lucky I’m fucking drunk you bastard or I’d… I’d fuck you up.”
“You already fucked me up, bud. You fucked me up. You fucked you up. You fucked the War Machine up. You fucked your relationship up. The truth is, you forgot a simple fact that every soldier knows. The only thing that comes before your mission, is your word. You broke that by getting close to the target, and you broke it again by not telling Wynona.”
Bishop kicks Malice in the chest. “You know, I thought this whole time that you were having trouble choosing between the War Machine and Wynona. But in the end, the side you chose was your own. Your word is currency, Malice. And you’re flat fucking broke. Wake up, asshole. It’s time to start doing something for someone beside yourself. Leave that bitch alone and sober up. I fucking need you, you son of a bitch. I can’t take Thom on without you.”
Bishop stomps away. Malice coughs, extremely drunk, but not so drunk that Bishop’s words didn’t stab him in the chest.
SEEKING THE TRUTH
Candy Kane rounds the corner and clumsily stumbles into the passing Monty Straight, who just came from his makeshift office within the Slaughterhouse.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so clumsy dear, please accept my apologies.”
Straight smiles in her direction.
“You’re not the worst thing I could’ve bumped into,” Straight states into his microphone.
As Straight begins to walk away, Banzan emerges from the shadows. Kane slides her hand from her pocket revealing Straight’s cellphone.
The duo quickly begin to scroll through the game show host’s recent calls, paying particular attention for the appearance of a specific number. After a few moments of searching, they find what they were looking for.
“Son of a bitch, you were right. This is the number the note said to call. The bigger question is who picks up on the other line,” Kane questions, looking up towards her massive partner.
“Does this not give us the answers we seek?”
As Banzan posses the question, Straight comes around the corner, noticing the pair with his phone. He’s clearly angry, but the smile hides what’s buried deep within.
“You just won’t quit, will you Ms. Kane?”
Banzan steps forward, redirecting Straight’s attention towards the Mountain.
“Ms. Kane only seeks the truth. A proposal I have for you, dealmaker. Cleanse your guilty conscience within the light of truth and a shot at my Rewind Championship at Ring King is yours.”
Straight stares at Banzan, considering his proposal.
“You have a deal, sir. The ratings will be through the roof,” Straight states into his microphone as he backs away from the duo.
THE JUDGE VS. VOYNICH
RING KING QUARTER FINALS
The Judge battles the Best Kept Secret in Round II of the Ring King Tournament. Who will prevail and move on to the next round?
This second round match is underway and right away they get to it. Voynich attacks The Judge immediately and pellets him with rights and lefts, followed by a boot to the stomach. He raises his arm into the air and hits the ropes — ISTHAR GATE!!! The Judge back peddles into the ropes, and meets Voynich in the midddle — THE VERDICT!!!
Voynich with an elbow! Chop! The Judge with a swift kick to the midsection! Overhand right. The Judge with a hard forearm, and Voynich with a jumping forearm. They both strike and the same time, colliding hard, and collapse to the mat!!!
The Judge is up first, Voynich with a LEAPING CRUCIFIX pinning combination!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREE!!!-NO!!! KICKOUT!!! The Judge with SITOUT TWO HANDED CHOKESLAM!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREE!!! NO!!!! KICKOUT!!! Both men giving it all they have, for the chance to move on in the tournament.
The two of them groggily meet in the center of the ring, exchanging crushing blows. The Judge tosses Voynich into the corner. He rushes at him but catches a boot to the face. He lifts The Judge onto the top turnbuckle and stands perched on the top rope. TOP ROPE HURRICANRANA!!! He immediately grabs The Judge — THE EIGHTH WONDERRRRRR!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREE!!!
The Best Kept secret advances to the semi-finals, and is one step closer to being crowned RING KING!!!
Almost everyday since Ring of Dreams VI, Berkshire Ellison Green had gone outside his cabin, squinted against the morning sun, and used his gun to put holes in the old dead trees that lined the edge of the forest.
On most of those days, he’d been drunk before sun-up, oftentimes escorted by any number of the local women he found himself involved with.
Each and every one of those days, he–somehow–was happy.
Booze, women, guns, no one bothering him. It was almost domestic, by his standards.
So, this morning: Berkshire wakes up, looks at his haggard appearance in the mirror. Shrugs. Finds a bottle of Jameson. Chugs. Two pieces of plain white bread for breakfast. Finds shirt. Finds pants. More Jameson. Finds gun. Goes outside.
On his porch, he breathes in deeply.
Then he glides across the grass to his makeshift shooting range, pausing only briefly to regard the tire tracks left in the yard by Alton Whitlock a few weeks ago.
When he reaches the trees, he produces his gun from his belt, and a clip from his back pocket.
Then, he starts shooting, draining bullets into rotting lumber, smiling like a maniac.
Normally, this ritual fills him with joy for the rest of the day. Nothing to do but shoot, drink, and fuck. Paradise.
But on this particular day–even after 2 clips–BEG feels, well, different than usual.
Unsatisfied, all of the sudden.
He goes inside–kills the bottle of whiskey–grabs four more clips.
He empties those too. Quickly. Yet still: he feels nothing.
In 5 minutes, two more clips are gone.
They’re no help either.
You see, ever since Ring of Dreams, BEG has been ignoring something–fighting it away at every turn.
But today, right now, BEG allows himself–for the first time–to notice the gaping void, the existential rot in the center of his pitch-black heart that has existed from the moment Alton Whitlock waved him goodbye. The soul of a carnivore, dying while it chews weeds.
Berkshire stares at the obliterated, long-dead trees for a moment. He trembles.
Then, behind him–the sound of tires on gravel.
When Berkshire Ellison Green turns around, he sees a black SUV pulling down the lane of his country home.
Crowbar in hand, Jessie Williams stalks through the backstage area. His face is twisted with rage as he rounds a corner. A snarl appears as he’s found his quarry.
THWACK! JESSIE ALMOST TAKES HIS HEAD OFF!
“You took my phone, you son of a bitch!” Jessie yells, barely in control. “That had everything on it. All my notes, everything I had of my dad. Everything!”
Jeckel dodges a shot, barely. He’s groggy as hell as he raises his hands.
“No shit.” He answers, jumping out of the way. “But I was going to give it back! I don’t give a shit about you. I want the old man. By the way, does he know you’re out here doing this?”
“So give it back.” Jessie says, his voice steel.
“I can’t.” Jeckel mutters. “Mr. Sandman destroyed it. He wants you real bad, kid.”
“No shit.” Jessie returns, stepping up on Jeckel. “He killed my uncle. I know he knows what happened to my father.”
With those words, the Juggalo’s eyes light up.
“Oh you don’t know?” He queries, getting a crowbar up against his neck for his trouble. “Before the big fucker showed up, you got a call. From a scared old lady. Said her name was Mia Ducksworth.”
“And what did she say?” Jessie squeezes in.
Jeckel spits in Williams face, causing the Prince to back up.
“Fuck you!” Jeckel says. “There ain’t shit you can do to me worse than what that monster can.”
Jay points to his head.
“He shows up in my dreams, man. There’s no escape from him. He’s going to hunt you down, and he’s going to take what he wants from you. Then he’s going to do something to you worse than death.”
Jessie shakes his head, but lowers his crowbar. Jeckel lets out a small chuckle when he sees it.
“Kersh taught you well, didn’t he?” He taunts. “Show up at Ring King, kid, and bring the old man. I’ll get Sandman and we’ll all fight. If you survive, and I mean if, then I might tell you what the bitch said.”
Williams charges up, pushing Jeckel up against the wall with his crowbar.
“I’ll survive.” He says through gritted teeth. “And then we’ll finish this talk.”
Williams walks away while Jeckel watches with a smile.
He carried out his end of the bargain. Sandman will get Williams.
And Jeckel will get Kersh.
STORM © & GOULDERN VS. WHITLOCK & ANOMYMOUS
TAG TEAM MATCH
Bitter enemies make for pure motivation as two teams destined for a brutal fight face off. Can Whitlock trust the man who tried to ruin his life or will his former friend make an example of him before his world championship rematch?
The bell sounds as Alton Whitlock and Luke Storm start off the match, Whitlock ducking under a running clothesline, clocking Storm with a hard elbow to the jaw before hoisting him up high and dropping him on the back of his head with a hard Back Suplex. Storm stumbles to his feet right into a leaping knee before Alton’s leg wraps around his head, PARTY POLITICS! Storm crashes hard to the mat as Alton goes for the cover.
ONE…TW…STORM KICKS OUT! Alton pulls Storm up off the mat but Luke pushes him off, clipping Whitlock in the back of the head with a hard enziguri. Alton stumbles back as Storm tries to go for the tag but Gouldern just stares him down with focused intent and motions for Storm to continue. Storm looks pissed but Anonymous tags himself in, drilling Storm from behind with a hard clothesline before a biel toss sends Storm into the turnbuckles. Storm slowly getting to his feet right into the path of a running Anon.
FAWKE’S SPECIAL! The Running Swanton crushes Storm into the buckles as he stumbles out into a kick to the gut, GUNPOWDER PL…NO! Storm dodges the Fameasser, LIGHTING STRIKE! The Superkick hits flush out of nowhere with such force Storm falls back into his own corner as Mark Gouldern tags himself in. Storm throws Gouldern a dirty look as he simply pats Storm on the shoulder before sizing Anonymous up for the kill. Anon slowly stumbles up to his feet, DISRUPTION! The Superman Punch hits flush as Gouldern hooks the leg for the easy ONE…TWO…THREE!!!
The World Champ and the #1 contender pick up the victory here tonight as the Herald leaves all the hard work to what he hopes will soon be the former champion.
The match is over as Luke Storm tries to roll out of the ring, only he’s stopped by a hand on his shoulder. The Herald holds Storm back with one hand as with his other, he holds out in a manner of sportsmanship, a gesture that Storm looks at with confusion.
“I just wanted to wish you luck next week Luke, I know you’ll do OSW proud.”
Storm looks at the outstretched hand with doubt before finally, reluctantly shaking it briefly. Storm tries to let go but Gouldern pulls him in, lowering his glasses as he stares deep into Storm’s eyes.
“Of course I’m betting Legion is going to hurt you bad, you might never be the same again after what he does. And then I’m going to destroy whatever is left and take back what is mine. So cherish that title Storm because it is coming home very soon.”
Gouldern tries to let go but he’s pulled in this time by Storm who simply laughs at Gouldern’s words.
“Or maybe, maybe I just kick your teeth down your throat right now, show everyone a little preview of how I’m going to retain my championship.”
Before both men can kick off an impending brawl, ‘Rusty Cage’ by Johnny Cash begins to play as a southern, hick like voice echoes throughout the Slaughterhouse.
“You ladies done making out or is a real man going to have to come down there and knock some sense inta ya?”
Both Lane and Gouldern turn around to see Cooter Hayes on the entrance way, big goofy grin on his face as he has an old championship belt around his shoulder. Cooter raises the belt high as we get a good look at it, one of the old IWF tag team titles.
“You admiring my belt there Stormy? This here is the world tag team titty, my pride and joy, way more prestigus then that crappy world titty of yours. I figured since you two were such good partners, maybe I could see if youre good enough to step up to a real champeen.”
Storm composes himself for a moment, silencing a grin as a look of confusion fills his face.
“Don’t you usually need two people for a tag team match? I mean I know smarts ain’t exactly your strong suit but you do know we outnumber you two to one, and god knows I’ve been dying to kick the shit out of one of you IWFers for weeks”
Storm and Gouldern take a few steps forward to head out of the ring up to Cooter but Hayes backs up, motioning for them to stay as he slaps his head in frustration.
“Now hold on there, I wasn’t finished. Shucks I must have gotten dropped on my head one too many times cause I damn well forgot the most important thing. Yall should look behind ya”
A hard thunk fills the arena as Mark Gouldern goes down to a steel title belt to the back of the skull from a slim hooded figure who begins to stomp a mudhole down onto the Herald. Storm turns around, and after watching the beatdown for a few moments, goes to help out Gouldern but that hesitation allows Cooter to rush down into the ring, drilling Storm in the back of the head with his tag team titty.
Both men beat down on the pair before Cooter pulls down the hood of his mystery partner.
IT’S BERNIE FREAKING MCCALISTER! INVERSE FUNCTIONS ARE BACK AT IT!
Gouldern gets drilled into the mat with a stiff DDT as Cooter pulls Storm up, hoisting him up high into the Razor’s Edge.
THROWING HIM HIGH BEFORE BERNIE DRILLS HIM DOWN WITH A LEAPING NECKBREAKER!
The crowd boos hard as both men raise the IWF Tag Team Titties high, making a huge statement in their intent here tonight
INTO THE FIRE
The flames we’ve seen so many times before once again introduce us to the scene, one of Sweet Alice laid back on a table, sweat dripping down her face as she rocks from side to side. A hand comes into frame, resting on Alice’s shoulder to try and calm her.
“It’s strange, you know. I’m looking into your eyes, and into the very flames that consume your vision… but I can’t quite seem to make sense of them. I’ve done some searching, but things aren’t quite clear.”
She sounds sincere as though she’s even worrying about Alice. However, as she finishes speaking Alice shoots up right, clawing at her eyes as she finally opens them up, the fire gone… for now. She breathes heavily, looking to Pyre, the looks of even more claw marks adorning her face, the likes of which seem to have have been inflicted and healed since we last saw her.
“I DON’T GET IT!”
Pyre backs up as Alice jumps from the table, her hair frazzled as she once again tries to claw her eyes before stopping herself just short. She takes a deep breath, slamming her hands onto the table.
“I’ve been seeing this, nothing but flames, for weeks. And you can’t help me? You’re supposed to know fire… why don’t you know why I’m seeing these… images in my mind?”
Pyre remains calm as she once again places a hand on Alice’s shoulder.
“It’s new to me, I’m still not even fully sure of my own abilities. But, if there’s one thing to know, it’s that a fire needs fuel and something to light it. Can you think of anything? Anyone who may have caused this?”
Alice holds her head as she thinks about the question, finally snapping back up with a look of fury on her face.
Alice cocks her head to the side, looking at Pyre.
“Sigil. That… thing has been around me since this started. And what’s worse, he took my friend, he took Voynich with him to do… something. And since he’s had Voynich, I’ve been seeing these flames in my eyes!”
Pyre looks concerned, but she probes for more information.
“So… you think Sigil could be part of the cause?”
“I think he IS the cause!”
Alice snaps back at Pyre, grabbing the girl’s hand and prying it from her shoulder.
“Take me to him. Take me to… wherever he and Voynich are!”
Pyre looks to speak again, but relents, nodding her head.
“If you’re sure this will help you.”
And with that, they leave the room, looking for the duo.
JESSIE WILLIAMS VS. JUNKRAT
RING KING QUARTER FINALS
Round Two of Ring King is upon us and a battle between to all-out brawlers looks to excite the fans. Junkrat takes on Jessie Williams!
The legendary sounds of ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’ are still ringing through the crowd as the bell tolls, amping up the crowd as Jessie strikes first. A wild Clothesline spins Junkrat 360 degrees and lands him flat on his ass. The Prince SPRINGBOARDS off the ropes and lands an ELBOW DROP TO THE CHEST for good measure.
As Williams goes to pick his foe up off the mat, Junkrat gets a FINGER TO THE EYES! Shoulder tackle from Junkrat drives Jessie back first into the turnbuckle. Left and right strikes to the body soften The Prince up. SUPERPLEX DRIVES WILLIAMS INTO THE MAT!
Junkrat climbs up to the top… Signals to the crowd with his best Junkrat salute… RIP-TIRE! NO! Jessie Williams rolls out of the way and Junkrat crashes and burns! Jessie hurls Junkrat to his feet, being wary of his eyes. UPPERCUT TO JUNKRAT GETS HIM GROGGY! GROOVY ECLIPSE!! NO MY GOD! JUNKRAT JUST SWATTED WILLIAMS OUT OF THE AIR WITH A MID-AIR LOW BLOW!
Jessie is down but he’s not out! He writhes in agony as the ref accosts Junkrat. By the time Junkrat is given the all-clear, Jessie charges at him… BOOMSTICK JUST MISSES! JUNKRAT DUCKED IT! He about turns, lining up Williams but walks right into ANOTHER BOOMSTICK! THIS ONE NEARLY TAKES JUNKRAT’S HEAD OFF! JESSIE COVERS. ONE… TWO… THREE!
Jessie Williams keeps his Ring King hopes alive!
TURN THE TABLES
The Reaper swims through dark waters, trying with all he has to reach the light ahead.
But he tires.
Stopping to tread water for a moment, Reaper gasps as he tries to suck in as much oxygen as possible. The Blood Shark left him here.
Left him to die.
But the Reaper refuses to do it.
Summoning his energy, he swims onward. Ahead of him, something has dropped into his path. As he comes up to it, he sees it’s a red life preserver. Clinging to it, Reaper’s muscles get a much needed rest.
“We’ve got to get out of here.” A voice calls.
Reaper looks up to see none other than Redwing dangling from a grappling hook. It must be affixed to wherever Shark dropped Reaper in from.
“Redw…” Reaper begins.
“Save it.” Redwing cuts him off. “This place is a death trap. He’s got a current running through here, from that light you see. It keeps the water flowing enough to where you’ll never get there.”
Having caught his breath, Reaper shakes his head.
“He wants to tire me out, so that he can use his serum on me.”
Redwing nods, reaching down to grab Reaper and lift him up.
Just as they begin to ascend, a voice echoes through the dark chamber.
“Set a trap for a bird, and he always flies right into it.”
The Blood Red Shark.
Somewhere in this chamber, his voice echoing throughout the whole thing.
“Now I will turn the tables on your heroism.” Shark mocks.
Redwing turns with a start as Shark is leaping from the roof down on them.
But he never reaches them.
Instead, a blue portal opens, and Shark finds himself on the floor of none other than The Judge’s domain. Judge hoists his ax, standing over the shocked Shark.
“Allow me to turn the tables on you, partner.” Judge says authoritatively. “The next time you kidnap someone I have interest in, I will bring judgement upon you. We both know the ruling there, don’t we?”
Shark shakes his head, coming to his knees.
“Fine, I’ll leave Reaper alone. I want Redwing, though.” He counters.
The Judge nods.
“Then we will engage them at Ring King, tempt them with the Tag Team Championship.” Judge commands. “And then I will handle my business with the Reaper. Do not interfere again.”
Shark stands up, someone obviously smiling despite his mask.
“No promises, Judge. You know how a shark gets when there’s blood in the water.”
The Judge turns on his heels, another portal appearing beneath the Shark, who falls through it.
He lands in the same water he threw Reaper into.
But Reaper and Redwing are no longer in his chamber.
Earlier this week at La Guardia Airport, we see Tyler Brooks smug and waiting on the person he called last week.
We see who he’s waiting for in the distance. No one could miss him. He’s massive. He looks to be about seven feet tall and at least 350 pounds of pure muscle. He’s dressed in all black, sweater, pants, boots, even a ski mask so no one knows who Tyler brought in.
Tyler Brooks pumps his fist as if he’s won a jackpot!
The man approaches Tyler and speaks in the lowest voice imaginable.
“Mr. Brooks I presume.”
“You got it right, I’m the savior and I can usually handle my own but you know what they say, every savior needs a disciple.”
“Indeed Mr. Brooks but as I recall, you said you can take care of yourself.”
Tyler does a double take and the masked man levels him with a super kick!
The man takes off his mask!
It’s Chort! He’s disguised himself with platform shoes and padding under the sweater!
“I asked you who saves the savior and if you hadn’t answered the way you did, you would have the mountain of a man you were expecting but you said you can save yourself so I’m making you save yourself. I feel bad about your guy by the way. For a big man, he sure screams like a little bitch.”
“How did you even get to him, why didn’t security stop you?”
“This is La Guardia, you think security cares what happens here? Now if you actually put your money towards JFK, he might be in a hospital rather than where he is now.”
Tyler Brooks gets up and swings at Chort!
Chort grabs the fist!
“No, savior, you’re going to have to figure out another way to save yourself. I hope for your sake you figure it out soon. This time, don’t call anyone.”
Chort pats Tyler’s head.
“Good luck in your match this week, it might be your last chance at some glory.”
Chort kicks Tyler in the stomach and hits a DDT on the pavement!
Tyler is out cold!
“At least you’ll have better luck than you’ve been having with me.”
Chort walks away with a big smirk on his face.
BANZAN VS. REDWING
RING KING QUARTER FINALS
It’s the second round of Ring King, and it’s a crossroads of justice and peace as Redwing takes on Banzan!
Redwing takes a quick survey of the situation at the start, not wanting to be overeager against the Mountain with so much on the line tonight. Banzan is able to fend off an early flurry of offense by the Red Knight, hitting an occasional throw to really keep Redwing off-balance!
Banzan looks to overwhelm Redwing now as he switches into tiger stance, rushing the Watchful Protector with some hard strikes before hitting another hard throw…but Redwing manages to land on his feet, much to the Mountain’s surprise! Redwing charges at Banzan…who catches him mid-air with a big Saito suplex! DUKKHA!
This turns the tide in favor of the Mountain now, who switches to the namesake stance to recharge. Redwing finds this frustrating as he struggles to get much offense in, before Banzan hits snake stance and rushes Redwing once more…ONLY FOR REDWING TO CATCH THE MOUNTAIN WITH A GNARLY GODWATCH!
Banzan is rocked now, reeling back after that knee to the face as Redwing takes advantage of this second wind with another flurry of strikes…but Banzan blocks the last kick and sends him reeling with a hard right hand…MAGGA! BANZAN NAILS REDWING WITH THAT RUNNING KNEE AND THE COVER: ONE…TWO…THREE!
Banzan picks up a big win over Redwing, the Mountain advancing in Ring King over the Red Knight!
When Alton Whitlock gets out of the SUV and gets close enough to really see BEG’s face—
His stomach churns, and he wants to vomit.
Haphazardly, BEG tosses his pistol behind him, and begins walking toward Whitlock.
“It’s rude to show up unannounced, Alton!” he yells as they draw nearer.
When the two men are upon each other, both of them look as if they’re seeing a ghost.
“Welcome back,” BEG says.
“Do you know why I’m here?” Whitlock asks.
“No,” continues BEG. He starts walking slowly in a circle around Whitlock. “But I can wager a fairly accurate guess. Wild accusations again, Alton?”
“No accusations,” Whitlock replies. “Whoever is behind that mask, they’re too smart to be you.”
“Seems like they’re smarter than you and Gouldern, too,” BEG responds, smirking.
“I’m here to practice your trade, Berkshire,” Whitlock says calmly. “Business.”
Whitlock reaches into his suit coat pocket.
BEG chuckles to himself. “You need money? Don’t let this place fool you. I’m richer than ever–”
The piece of paper that Whitlock produces from his jacket stops BEG’s boasting dead in its tracks.
“I need you,” Whitlock says. Now BEG is frozen in place–and Whitlock strides toward him defiantly.
“I’m up against a vile, disgusting, manipulative fucking creep, Berkshire,” Whitlock says, his voice flat and serious.
“An utter waste of breath.”
He takes another step closer.
“And you know what? He’s kicking my ass.”
“So I need the only person I know who’s more evil, more rotten, more putrid than him.”
“I need a conniving, immoral, self-interested bastard to help me stay ahead of this asshole. To help me beat him.”
“And you, Berkshire?”
“You’re the worst man I know.”
“If you give me your word that you’ll help me stop Anonymous–I’ll rip this contract into shreds right here where we stand. Void it. You come back to OSW. But you owe me.”
“And if you betray me after I do this for you, I’ll use my connections to ensure your entire crooked business empire goes under.”
For a long moment, Berkshire Ellison Green stands completely still. Gears turn in his head: predatorial machinery starting back up after months vacant; his old friend bloodlust.
A wild grin crosses his bearded face.
“I’m ready to come home, Alton.”
“Do you agree to my conditions, Berkshire?”
“Yes. You have my word.”
The two men shake hands.
Then Whitlock holds the contract up in front of him and tears it apart, piece by piece.
Luke Storm seems a little more jumpy than usual of late. Perhaps it is the underlying threat of Legion weighing on him, perhaps the ease in which the Champion was captured… Or perhaps because the only reason he is still alive is because he was saved by a man who days earlier had said he wanted to strangle him.
Either way, Storm seems uncomfortable. The only comfort is the fact that his Championship belt remains as it is in this moment, around his waist. Suddenly, a trio of tiny drones buzz towards him out of nowhere. They break their perfect triangle formation and begin zipping around his body. As they fly, they engulf Storm in a soft green glow. Moments later, as quickly as they had arrived, they buzz off.
The drones return to their owner, who steps out from behind a wall with a smirk on his face. Mark Gouldern. The trio of drones now hovering around his Telegauntlet and beeping slowly.
‘Scan complete, transferring measurement data.’
Gouldern takes in the look on Luke’s face, chuckling to himself.
“If only I had my phone on me, the look on your face right now says a thousand words. I’ve been watching you, Luke. Analysing. Synthesising. Measuring…”
The fire rises within Storm again until his eyes are filled with thunder again.
“For all of your wheeling and dealing, you can’t simply come out and face me like a man? Just what the hell are you up to?”
Gouldern smiles at the fact that he has so easily gotten under Storm’s skin.
“I wanted to make sure that when I win that belt back, I can ensure that it will fit snugly. It has to, you see, I don’t plan to ever need to take it off. I’m simply gathering the information I need to make the necessary adjustments to my belt.”
Luke looks down at the Championship around his waist.
“Like hell. You’ve got to get through the eye of the storm before you claw this belt away from my cold, dead hands.”
Gouldern isn’t faded by Storm’s retort. In fact, he hasn’t even seemed to notice.
“I have something in store for you Luke, something that I’ve been working on. Now, the Alpha tests have been promising, only one malfunction this week that maimed one test subject. It’ll be ready for a Beta test right about when I get my rematch.”
Gouldern slinks away, leaving Storm to his thoughts and growing frustrations.
STRAIGHT © VS. THE REAPER VS. BISHOP VS. BROOKS
Monty Straight is set to defend his Championship against some pretty stiff odds. Can the Champion retain in what will surely be a numbers game that will not be in his favour?
All four men meet in the centre of the ring for a staredown before all hell breaks loose into an all-out brawl. This plays into the hands of Bishop and Reaper who both overcome a foe each – Reaper going after Monty with a gut-punch that doubles the Showman over and Bishop taking out Brooks with an uppercut, allowing him to toss Tyler out of the ring!
Reaper POWERBOMBS MONTY straight in the centre of the ring, but is blindsided by Bishop soon after, A BIG BOOT sending Reaper staggering into the turnbuckle. BISHOP RUSHES REAPER… DEADEYE SPEAR IN THE CORNER! He pulls Reaper into the center of the ring for a pin. ONE!… TWO!… Tyler Brooks slides in and breaks up the pinfall!
Tyler then takes to work on Bishop, putting the big man into a HAMMER LOCK! It’s enough to take Bishop down to one knee. Brooks then bounds off the ropes and comes back with a MISSILE DROPKICK THAT TAKES BISHOP DOWN! With a head full of steam, Tyler goes for his ETERNAL SALVATION CORSSFACE! HE’S GOT IT LOCKED IN!
Before Tyler Brooks can turn the screws on Bishop enough to score a submission, Monty breaks up the hold out of nowhere. The Champion cleans house, tossing Tyler back to the outside of the ring and whipping Bishop into the corner turnbuckle. He picks up Reaper… COMMERCIAL BREAK! HE NAILS IT! But before Monty can get the pinfall, HERE’S BISHOP! HE TAKES DOWN MONTY… LAST GASP! THE HOLD IS LOCKED IN! NOBODYS COMING TO BREAK IT AND MONTY TAPS OUT!
We have a NEEEEEEEEEEEW VHS Champion! Bishop claims the title by making the Champion tap out!
“Ready to head back, Voynich?”
We find ourselves once again with Sigil and Voynich, the duo of collectors walking through the hallways of Old School Wrestling. They come to the end of an empty corridor, Sigil creating a portal into the Archives. He offers for Voynich to go in first.
The shout comes from behind them, catching both men by surprise as they are TACKLED INTO THE PORTAL! The Void Walker finds himself on his back in the Archives, Sweet Alice clawing at him! The Collector disappears and reappears at the side, kicking Alice away!
“What is going on here?”
Sigil does not yell as he keeps distance between himself and Alice, Voynich standing between them as Pyre enters the portal. Just as she does, Sigil closes it, allowing for the Fire Witch to speak.
“Well, I guess the easiest answer to that is-”
Alice’s shout silences the room as she once again walks around Voynich, stalking Sigil like an animal. The young archeologist reaches for Alice, but the girl grabs his hand, digging her nails into it and eliciting a yelp from Voynich’s mouth.
“Don’t you dare touch me. You abandoned me, and ever since you left to help this… thing, I’ve been seeing nothing but fire. And I just know it’s related! I know it!”
Sigil cocks his head to the side, confused as he walks forward, Alice once again lunging at him but Voynich grabbing her and shoving her back!
“What are you talking about?”
Voynich turns his head between Alice and Sigil, trying to make heads or tails of the situation before Alice gets back to her feet, Pyre trying her best to restrain the girl as Voynich continues.
“Sigil asked for my help, Alice! You can’t truly believe he’s part of what you’ve been seeing!”
Alice tries to fight out of Pyre’s grasp, the young witch struggling to keep a hold on her.
“You were the spark that caused this! It won’t go out until it’s doused in your blood!”
She breaks free once more and pounces!
With those words, time comes to a stop within the Archives. Sigil looks between Alice and Voynich before opening a portal into the middle of New York, the Plansewalker pushing both Alice and Pyre out onto a sidewalk and closing it before time resumes.
“Voynich. Before we can continue our work, we must deal with Alice.”
Voynich barely hears as he looks around, confused as to what just happened.
“W-what? What did you just do?”
Sigil shakes his head.
“Nothing that you need to know, Voynich. But for now, we must discuss the new problem at hand.”
NYGMA VS. BLOOD RED SHARK
RING KING QUARTER FINALS
It’s time for our main event! Two violent competitors in Nygma and Blood Red Shark are facing off to move on to the final four of Ring King! Which bloodthirsty competitor will be satiated? We find out next!
DING! DING! Blood Red Shark charges right at Nygma! Nygma matches him! They’re trading punches in the center of the ring! Shark is getting the upper hand but Nygma pokes him in the eye! “Hahahaha, got to keep an eye out for that!”
NYGMA CLINCHES SHARK BY THE BACK OF THE HEAD!
KNEE STRIKE AFTER KNEE STRIKE!
KNEE! KNEE! KNEE!
HE LETS GO AND SHARK FALLS HARD ON THE MAT!
KNEE DROP TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!
HE ROLLS SHARK OVER AND COVERS!
. . .
. . .
SHARK BARELY GETS THE SHOULDER UP!
Nygma pulls Shark up and shoves him into the corner! Shark bounces right back off and turns Nygma inside out with a massive lariat! He grabs Nygma by the hair and starts headbutting him non-stop! Nygma looks out of it and Shark smiles a sickening smile to match Nygma’s!
SHARK OPENS HIS MOUTH WIDE!
HE’S BITING NYGMA’S FOREHEAD!
NYGMA IS BUSTED OPEN BUT STILL LAUGHING!
SHARK STANDS UP AND CHARGES!
HE TRIES TO SHUT UP NYGMA WITH THE SHINING WIZARD!
HE HITS ALL OF IT AND COVERS!
. . .
. . .
NYGMA GETS THE SHOULDER UP!
Shark mounts on top of Nygma and starts hitting hammer fist after hammer fist! Nygma is getting rocked but he’s still focused and he starts choking Blood Red Shark! Shark is fading and before the ref can break it up, Nygma uses the leverage and tosses Shark out of the ring!
BLOOD RED SHARK HITS THE FLOOR HARD!
NYGMA ROLLS OUT OF THE RING TO FOLLOW HIM!
HE RUNS AND PUNTS THE DOWNED SHARK!
NYGMA PULLS HIM BACK UP AND HITS THE NEVERMIND!
JUMPING IMPLANT DDT ON THE FLOOR!
NYGMA ROLLS SHARK INTO THE RING AND SLIDES IN TO MAKE THE COVER!
. . .
. . .
NO!!! SHARK’S FOOT IS ON THE ROPES!
THE MATCH GOES ON!
Nygma sees the foot on the ropes! He jumps! Double foot stomp on the exposed leg! Shark holds it in agony! Nygma is not done and he wraps the leg around the ropes! He runs and hits a dropkick to the hurt leg!
NYGMA IS PROUD OF HIS HANDIWORK!
HE UNTIES BLOOD RED SHARK AND HOISTS HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS!
HE’S GOING FOR THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!
NO! SHARK REVERSES IT INTO A CRUCIFIX DRIVER!
HE HOLDS ON FOR THE PIN!
. . .
. . .
NYGMA GETS THE SHOULDER UP!
They both slowly get back to their feet and they are looking out of it! Shark is limping and Nygma is bleeding like a faucet! Nygma goes for a shoulder tackle to the hurt leg but Shark intercepts with a knee to the face!
THAT HURT BOTH OF THEM BUT NYGMA GOT THE WORST OF IT!
SHARK PULLS NYGMA UP!
HE GRABS THE HEAD AND ARM!HE’S GOING FOR THE HAMMERLOCK DDT!
NYGMA CHARGES AND SHOVES SHARK INTO THE CORNER!
SHARK LETS GO LONG ENOUGH FOR NYGMA TO CATCH A BREATH AND GET SHARK ON HIS SHOULDERS!
HE HITS THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER AND COVERS!
. . .
. . .
SHARK KICKS OUT!
Nygma is still smiling but he’s stomping on Shark like a mad man! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Shark catches the leg! He stands up with it and puts it on his shoulder! He turns it into a falling powerbomb into the turnbuckle!
NYGMA IS SEATED IN THE CORNER!
SHARK GETS UP AND CHARGES!
THE HURT LEG CAN’T HANDLE IT AND HE FALLS TO A KNEE!
HE CRUMBLES TOO CLOSE TO NYGMA!
NYGMA STANDS UP AND THROWS SHARK INTO THE RING POST!
BLOOD RED SHARK SPILLS TO THE OUTSIDE!
Blood Red Shark looks out of it out there! Nygma climbs to the top rope! He jumps! He’s going for a diving double foot stomp! Shark rolls out of the way just in time and Nygma rolls through it! He turns around into a massive big boot from Shark!
SHARK PULLS NYGMA UP!
HE TACKLES HIM INTO THE GUARD RAIL!
THE GUARD RAIL FALLS UNDER THE WEIGHT!
SHARK PULLS NYGMA UP! SUPLEX ONTO THE FALLEN RAIL!
NYGMA’S BACK IS ARCHING IN PAIN!
SHARK THROWS HIM BACK IN THE RING!
SHARK SLIDES IN AND COVERS!
. . .
. . .
Blood Red Shark can’t believe it and he’s stomping on Nygma for good measure! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Nygma catches the foot this time! He turns it into an ankle lock!
CAN THE SHARK WITHSTAND THIS?!
THAT LEG HAS TAKEN A LOT OF DAMAGE!
BLOOD RED SHARK LOOKS LIKE HE IS ABOUT TO TAP OUT!
NO! HE ROLLS THROUGH!
NYGMA IS LAUNCHED FORWARD THROUGH THE ROPES!
NYGMA LANDS HARD ON THE FLOOR!
Shark steps through the ropes and gets on the apron! He’s waiting for Nygma to get up! Nygma pops up and shoves Shark’s leg! Shark falls hard on the apron and Nygma climbs up there with him!
NYGMA PULLS HIM UP!
HE HAS SHARK BY THE HEAD!
HE’S GOING FOR THE JUMPING IMPLANT DDT!
SHARK HOLDS HIM MID-JUMP AND CHARGES HIM INTO THE POST!
NYGMA IS ROCKED AND SHARK TOSSES HIM INTO THE RING!
. . .
. . .
NYGMA SOMEHOW GETS HIS FOOT ON THE ROPE!
THE MATCH GOES ON!
Both men are exhausted and Blood Red Shark slowly pulls Nygma up! He drags him into the corner! Shark hits punch after punch and he lifts Nygma onto the top rope! He climbs up with him!
SHARK IS DESPERATE FOR THIS TO END!
HE HITS SOME RAPID FIRE ELBOWS TO STUN NYGMA!
HE TRAPS THE HEAD AND ARM!
HE’S GOING FOR BLOODMONEY!
NYGMA KICKS THE LEG OUT AND SHARK CRASHES HARD TO THE MAT!
NYGMA JUMPS OFF THE TOP ROPE!
HE LANDS ON HIS FEET AND IS WAITING FOR BLOOD RED SHARK TO GET UP!
SHARK IS PULLING HIMSELF UP!
AIN’T NO LAUGHING MATTER!
HE HITS THE SHINING WIZARD AND COVERS!
. . .
. . .
Nygma has done it! He has taken care of a very game Blood Red Shark and moves on to the semifinals!
AN NYMATIC END
After that brutal Ring King match, Nygma gets back to his feet, laughing hysterically in the middle of the ring.
That laughter is soon cut short as The Blood Shark tackles him to the canvas.
Shark crashes right and left hands down upon him as SeeSaw makes a b-line for the ring. He slides in just as his Emporium team mate gets off, allowing him to take his place.
Mr. Make Believe swings like a wild man, only Nygma doesn’t stop laughing, which only seems to infuriate him more.
Blood heads to the outside and grabs a couple of steel chairs, tossing them back into the ring.
SeeSaw gets one, getting off of He Who Laughs.
As both Emporium members batter up, steel chairs in hand, they wait for Nygma to get back to his feet and when he does…
DOUBLE STEEL CHAIR TO BOTH SIDES OF HIS HEAD!
The Riddler crumbles to the canvas.
He may not be laughing but he lays with what appears to be an impossible smile.
SeeSaw stands over him, steel chair in hand.
“I just wanted a friend,” he says, driving the chair into Nygma’s mid-section. “And I chose you!”
Another chair shot driven into his chest this time, echoes throughout The Slaughterhouse.
“But now, now daddy says that I need to invite you to play at Ring King,” SeeSaw says, winding the chair up so that its looming above Nygma’s smiling face. “So, why don’t you come and see my other toys?” he continues before slamming the chair down across The Riddler’s face. “My Toybox is ready.”
SeeSaw nods at Shark who drags Nygma to the ropes, kicking him out of the ring. They both exit, each with a leg in hand, dragging The Riddler up the entrance ramp.
Everyone who has ever entered the Toybox has become a gruesome Toy of SeeSaw.
They’ve perished there.
What will become of Nygma?
New York City.
The Butcher sits in a large plush leather chair in the middle of a mansion he calls home in New York City.
Despite being full of lovely things, it feels empty.
Devoid of love.
He’s looking at a photograph, though we don’t see who’s in the frame, his eyes welling up with tears.
“You’ve lost everything, haven’t you?”
A voice abruptly shocks The Butcher, who drops the framed photo in surprise, watching as it shatters across the floor.
It’s Lance Norman and he’s not alone.
Stood beside him are the entire Internet Wrestling Federation group.
He’s completely surrounded.
“Is this it?” Butcher asks, almost resigned to defeat. “Is this my end?”
“It would be very easy to make it so,” Norman says, looking at the crew of monsters and fighters stood behind him. “But no, that wouldn’t solve anything. For Old School Wrestling to end, it needs more than your death.”
Colin walks over to his bar, taking a glass and filling it with whisky.
“It’ll start with a Warzone,” he announces. “Next week, you’ll pit your best against mine and if mine win, you’ll assemble a team of five for Red Snow. You’ll lead that team and I’ll lead mine; if we win, you fire everyone on your roster and close the doors of Old School Wrestling for good. If you win, we’ll leave.”
“Why wouldn’t you just choose that stipulation for Warzone?” The Butcher asks the obvious question. “Do they know you need time? Do you?” He says, then addressing those behind him. “Your fearless leader here isn’t in this with one goal in mind; that’s why he won’t stipulate I close the OSW next week.”
Lance smiles, laughing somewhat.
“All they care about is that this shit-show stops,” Norman says with a smirk. “Now, if you refuse to agree to my terms, then our next best option is to return to the idea of your untimely demise.”
The Butcher takes a sip of his drink and puts the glass down, leaning on the bar for a moment.
“Legion vs. Luke Storm, Rain vs. The Sandman, Rick Plant vs. Brent Kersh, Banzan vs. Anna Goodchild and Jimmy Sartyr versus Jessie Williams,” Colin says, having thought about the options.
“Okay,” he agrees. “And the following; Tyler Brooks vs. Blood Red Shark, Cody versus Alton Whitlock, Mark Gouldern versus Jim Jenkins, Hayden Hardkore versus The Judge and Inverse Functions versus what’s left of your War Machine.”
The Butcher walks back to his desk, looking down at the photograph on the floor. He nods in agreement.
“And a tiebreaker; a view to a possible Red Snow if you will. Redwing, Sigil, Sweet Alice, Reaper, Monty Straight and Voynich versus five of yours.”
“Rain, Rick, Anna, Jimmy, Tyler and Hayden,” Norman replies.
Both men stare at each other, a decision made.
“You’ve made the right decision,” Lance says with a smile. “Next week, it’ll be IWF versus OSW Warzone.”
The IWF slowly filter out of The Butcher’s house, exiting onto the street, As the door closes, we take one last look at Colin, who has the once dropped photograph in his hand, frame laying in tatters on the floor.