TOY STORY – PART I
Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
Groggy eyes gently flicker as two hands carefully meet them, rubbing the blurriness away.
It’s then that the beholder understands his surroundings.
He’s in the most despicable and terrifying place imaginable – The Toy Box.
It isn’t long before his weary eyes meet those of SeeSaw. Mr. Make Believe stands over him, smiling from ear to ear.
“Welcome to my Toybox, do you wanna play?” He asks.
Our head shakes no.
“Oh, but I’ve so many cool toys,” SeeSaw says with a chuckle. “Look at this,” he points to Marvolo II. “It’s a little worn and there’s some maggots but never mind that. We can still play a game of operation.”
“If that doesn’t interest you, what about this?” He asks pointing towards the severed head of Freight Train Ferguson that contains a ring implanted in his skull. “This is the best rock em sock em robot ring you’ve ever seen!”
Again, no reply.
“Well, you’re no fun!” SeeSaw growls. He walks over to a rotten, decaying severed head that once belonged to Kenny Freeman. The sight is absolutely horrifying. The flesh is green and there’s worms, maggots and flies all over it. The toy gun sticks out of his mouth. “If none of that impresses you, then this surely will. It’s the Freeman Blaster!”
Our eyes begin to scan the entire Toybox, looking for a way out.
There doesn’t appear to be one.
SeeSaw walks back over to us and kneels.
“No friend I’ve ever brought into my Toybox has ever left, Nygma. Did you know that?” He asks honestly. “They’ve all stayed to play forever.”
He leans in.
“Let’s play, little buddy!”
Our vision goes blurry as a massive right-hand slaps around our face, knocking our equilibrium.
That’s followed by the horrifying laughter of SeeSaw.
This won’t be good for Nygma.
The usually dank and seedy underbelly of the Slaughterhouse is only but a background to the cutting edge of technology. Mark Gouldern stands in the centre of a usually dormant concrete room, yet tonight it is thriving with life.
Computer monitors flash data, graphs and various code. Telegon employees swarm him, fussing about with what appears to be a motion capture suit. Gouldern clears the small horde with a simple wave of his hand and the employees back off.
“All I want to know is are we ready to go?”
Workers scurry to various screens, cast excited-yet-nervous glances at one another before one summons the voice to respond.
“Sir. Project Doppelganger is ready for beta testing phase. You just need to connect it up to Telaris and perform a system reboot. Then, all of Luke Storm’s measurements and the scans of Storm we have conducted should allow you to replicate his fighting style when you need it. Of course, improving Storm’s style with the latest technology. All of our data, all of our alpha testing. It all looks… promising.”
Gouldern smiles, tapping afew times on a device connected into his TeleGauntlet. But his smile comes with eyes that remain stony, serious and focused.
“You do know what is riding on this working?”
“Yessir. I am confident that this suit will allow you to beat Luke Storm at his own game.”
Gouldern nods. Tapping his gauntlet once more and watching as his entire suit turns dark. Moments later, soft blue lights return, flashing as his suit’s system reconnects.
As he does so, the slightly muffled backstage sound of “Stormbringer” by Deep Purple begins to ring out from the main floor of the Slaughterhouse, announcing the entrance of Luke Storm for their upcoming match. Gouldern looks to his team.
“Excellent. Let’s go win us a Championship then.”
LUKE STORM © VS. MARK GOULDERN
The OSW Championship is up for grabs tonight. And Mark Gouldern is hoping to score a win over Luke Storm through the use of his cutting edge technology. With a suit flashing with LEDs and what look like motion-capture sensors, he approaches the ring. Will Project Doppelganger pass its Beta Test here tonight?
The bell tolls and instantly, Mark Gouldern’s motion capture-like suit sparks into life with blue lights creating somewhat of an aura about him. Storm advances, looking for a takedown, but Gouldern blocks this with somewhat of an uncharacteristically swift flip that turns the tables on Storm and lands the Champion flat on his back.
TELEGAUNTLET ASSISTED FIST DROP HITS STORM RIGHT IN THE STERNUM!
I DON’T THINK LUKE STORM SAW THAT COMING!
Gouldern picks Storm up and flings him towards the turnbuckle. Storm, however, presses off the turnbuckle and comes back at Gouldern with a SPINNING HEEL KICK!
EVEN TELARIS DIDN’T SCOUT THAT ONE!
GOULDERN STAGGERS BUT HE DOES NOT FALL!
Storm smells an opening and charges, lining up a KNEE STRIKE… BUT GOULDERN SEEMS TO INSTINCTIVELY CATCH THE INCOMING KNEE AND TWISTS IT AROUND!
ANKLE LOCK FROM GOULDERN!
HE’S GOT IT LOCKED IN!
But Luke Storm is not about to tap out. He turns the leverage of the move and pushes Gouldern away. Gouldern hits the ground on his feet and is soon joined by Storm. The pair both throw up a fighting stance and begin trading strikes. Both men square up with solid defensive stances, but STORM CANNOT SEEM TO GET A STRIKE IN PAST GOULDERN!
An Elbow Strike from Storm is parried and GOULDERN FOLLOWS UP WITH AN UPPERCUT THAT CATCHES THE CHAMPION SQUARELY ON THE CHIN!
HE ROCKS STORM WITH THAT SHOT! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
HAS GOULDERN BEEN PLUGGING INTO THE MATRIX?
The Herald swings into overdrive, lining up a SPINNING BACKFIST… BUT STORM DUCKS UNDER THE STRIKE AND TAKES HIM DOWN!
FINALLY, LUKE STORM GETS PAST GOULDERN’S SUIT!
With Gouldern down, Storm is on him in a flash, landing lefts and rights in a flurry of elbows and fists. Gouldern tries to defend but LUKE STORM RAINS DOWN DOUBLE AXE HANDLES ON HIM!
HE’S PUMMELLING GOULDERN INTO THE MAT!
When Storm finally relents, Gouldern isn’t moving. He takes a moment to amp up the crowd before hurling the battered Herald of the Future to his feet once more. He whips Gouldern into the ropes with enough force to send him spiralling out of the ring to ringside.
STORM FOLLOWS HIM TO THE RING APRON AND LEAPS OFF!
SWINGING DDT TAKES GOULDERN DOWN ON THE CONCRETE!
GOULDERN HAS THE TECHNOLOGY WORKING FOR HIM BUT LUKE STORM HAS GRIT AND FUCKING DETERMINATION ON HIS SIDE!
Storm grabs Gouldern by the scruff of his neck and pushes him up against the crowd barricade. Laying into him with body shots, Storm looks right in control of his foe… That is until GOULDERN PARRIES A RIGHT HOOK FROM STORM! HEADBUTT FROM GOULDERN SENDS LUKE STORM REELING!
GOULDERN JUST HIT A LIGHTNING STRIKE TO LUKE FUCKING STORM… WITH HIS DAMNED TELEBOOT!
STORM GOES DOWN LIKE A SACK OF POTATOES!
Gouldern rolls his opponent back into the ring. In an instant, he slides back in and hooks Storm’s leg up for the pinfall!
LUKE STORM KICKS OUT!
Both men meet each other in the center of the ring, but it is Gouldern that gets the upper hand. NECKBREAKER TAKES DOWN STORM and now it is Gouldern’s turn to lay waste to the downed body of the Champion.
Elbows and fists fly, hitting Storm with pinpoint accuracy, the accuracy of fists more educated than Gouldern’s own.
Suddenly, Gouldern stands, leaving a bleeding Luke Storm struggling to roll over.
WHERE IS GOULDERN GOING?
HE’S CLIMBING THE TURNBUCKLE?!
OH MY GOD! FIRST LIGHTNING STRIKES STORM, NOW THUNDER HITS!
MARK GOULDERN JUST HIT LUKE STORM WITH ANOTHER OF HIS OWN MOVES THANKS TO THAT SUIT!
AGAIN, MARK GOULDERN PINS!
THIS COULD BE IT!
THREE! NO! STORM JUST MANAGED TO SNEAK A SHOULDER UP!
TWO POINT NINE NINE!
Gouldern almost celebrates until the referee taps him on the shoulder to announce the two count.
MARK GOULDERN JUST TOOK OUT THE REFEREE!
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!
THE REFEREE TAPPED HIM AND GOULDERN’S SUIT REACTED INSTINCTIVELY!
Gouldern looks a little puzzled, somewhat apologetic but mainly just pissed off as there is no way to score a victory without the referee. All the commotion gives Luke Storm the small window he needs to sneak out of the ring and recuperate.
Gouldern goes after him, but he’s quickly losing control of his suit…
LIGHTNING STRIKE! OUTTA NOWHERE… GOULDERN HITS THE RING ANNOUNCER!
LIGHTNING STRIKE! GOULDERN HITS NOTHING BUT THE BACK OF THE TURNBUCKLE!
HIS SUIT IS MAKING HIM TAKE OUT ANYTHING IT SEES AS A THREAT!
LIGHTNING STRIKE! HE HITS LUKE STORM SQUARELY IN THE CHIN WITH HIS TELEBOOT AGAIN!
LUKE STORM FLIES THROUGH THE AIR AND CRASHES INTO THE BARRICADE, CRUMPLING TO A HEAP!
But there is no referee, and no way to seal the deal now that he has emptied every ounce of juice his suit has to squeeze on the Champion. Shaking his head, Gouldern begins to pull off the sensors from his suit. He taps buttons on his TeleGauntlet and the LED suit falls dark.
If he’s going to take Storm down, he’s going to finish it on his own!
The referee by now is beginning to stir, wondering what the hell hit him.
Gouldern rolls Storm into the ring and slides in after. Slowly, slowly, Luke Storm begins to rise…
LUKE STORM LEAPS FORWARD, INTO THE PUNCH AND HITS THE DOWNPOUR!
LUKE STORM HITS THE DOWNPOUR AND GOULDERN CRUMPLES TO THE GROUND!
NOW IT IS LUKE’S TURN TO PIN!
AFTER ALL HE’S BEEN THROUGH, LUKE STORM IS GOING TO PUT GOULDERN AWAY!
LUKE STORM RETAINS!
YOUR WINNER AND STIIIIIIIIIILLLLL OSW CHAMPION…. LUKE STORM!
Luke Storm weathered every bit of the technological storm that Gouldern sent his way. Somehow, someway, Storm claims his title. A victory for men over machines!
FOR MERCY I
Backstage, a black SUV parks near the rear entrance to The Slaughterhouse.
Two unlikely allies emerge.
Alton Whitlock looks out briefly at the night-time cityscape, at the country that he loves, reminding himself of what he’s truly after here.
But Berkshire Ellison Green–he only wants to look at The Slaughterhouse.
He’s grinning ear to ear.
“I’m home,” he says with a note of disbelief in his voice.
“Don’t forget why you’re here,” Whitlock says. “We have a mission, Berkshire. And a deal.”
“Allow a man his simple joys, Alton,” BEG responds. “It’s my homecoming.”
“Stay focused. This isn’t your average opponent–”
It’s just then that Alton Whitlock notices something strange.
Two huge, fast-moving streams of people in black hoods and bone-white Guy Fawkes masks are rapidly flooding into the back parking lot.
Two large crowds suddenly converge upon Whitlock and BEG, surrounding them.
The crowd begins assaulting them with taunts and threats.
“LEAVE IT TO THE ELITE TO RIG THE ODDS!”
“THE RICH MUST PAY!”
“YOUR END IS NIGH!”
Whitlock and BEG glance at each other, panic setting in.
“NO WHITLOCK IN THE WHITE HOUSE!”
Suddenly, a realization shoots across Alton Whitlock’s mind.
He calls out to BEG and then moves quickly, immediately, throwing himself into the crowd with the intention of cutting straight through thin air.
But this time–the hordes are real.
As soon as Whitlock moves, they stop shouting and start attacking. The mob descends upon him, but Whitlock lashes out, throwing off masked figure after masked figure. He sends them flying in all directions as they attempt to bring him down.
Berkshire Ellison Green strides through the crowd to him, an amused smile on his face, ducking, weaving, and punching as he goes.
As BEG reaches Whitlock, the crowd of assailants suddenly begins to disperse, fleeing the scene.
BEG’s chest heaves with adrenaline. Whitlock calmly adjusts his tie and looks at BEG with a subtle grin.
“Welcome back,” he says before turning to walk once more toward the entrance.
BANZAN VS. JESSIE WILLIAMS
RING KING SEMI FINALS
Carry On hits the arena as the crowd begin to go wild for the classic OSW theme song. The Prince slowly opens the entrance doors and walks out onto the ramp, closing his eyes as he soaks in the cheers for a single moment, a slight smile and content washing over his face before he breaths deep, focus in his eyes as he rushes forward. Jessie sprints up the ramp, releasing his boomstick just as he leaves the steel, gripping onto the top rope a good ten feet away and reeling in as he slingshots forward, flipping into the ring, and landing on his feet. Jessie fixes up his gauntlet for a moment before stepping into his corner, getting ready for the war at hand.
A low pulsing purple glow fills the Slaughterhouse, pulsing in time with the music of “Wolf Totem”. Dry ice fills the entrance stage, coloured purple from the lighting. The gravelly sound of Mongolian Throat singing cuts through the atmosphere and we see the hulking frame of the Indestructible Mountain as the chanting announces his arrival.
He breathes in the incense of his lifeforce, his eyes rolling to the back of his head. When he opens them once more, his eyes are trained on the ring. Slowly, he makes his descent.
Williams is on the offensive immediately, a flurry of strikes to the shoulders and head area forcing Banzan to take a defensive stance. The Prince nails a low kick to Banzan’s knee then a forearm smash to the face. It staggers the Indestructible Mountain a little but he’s on his feet still. Williams tries to whip Banzan but is reversed against the ropes. Williams uses the momentum.
LOU THESZ PRESS!
BANZAN IS FLOORED!
Feeling imperial, The Prince ascends the top turnbuckle.
CALL OF THE CHOSEN!
BANZAN ROLLS AWAY!
Williams gets to his feet, but Banzan controls him with an arm wrench, then applies pressure with a shoulder lock and a couple of knees to the back. Banzan has his foe on his feet, whips him into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder charge, again applying a shoulder lock, which he transitions into an armbar
BANZAN IS TRYING TO NULLIFY THE POWER IN JESSIE’S RIGHT ARM!
Banzan adjusts again.
SAMUDAYA LOCKED IN!
JESSIE IS IN TROUBLE!
Momentum from the adjustment takes them closer to the ropes though and Jessie gets a foot on the bottom. Banzan lifts The Prince into a headlock, Jessie tries to counter with some blows to the back, but there is no leverage and it’s like punching a concrete wall. Banzan transitions into a reverse body lock and lands a German suplex, holding the bridge.
Banzan is still in control, a couple of forearm clubs subdue Jessie and he’s whipped against the ropes but The Prince ducks under the swinging arm, bounces off the opposite ropes and launches himself into the air…
Banzan side steps then grapples Jessie.
WHAT A SUPLEX!
Banzan wants to finish this now and he’s eyeing up Jessie as he gets to his knees. Sucking in a lungful of breath, Banzan charges like a stampeding rhino.
Jessie rolls away. He’s on his feet quickly and pummels Banzan with body shots, then a powerful uppercut and Banzan wobbles to one knee. Williams slingshots from the ropes…
BANZAN IS SEEING STARS AFTER THAT DROPKICK!
The Prince looks perplexed. He couldn’t have nailed the move any stiffer than that. He lifts Banzan, gets set-up for…
HAIL TO THE KING!
Banzan counters the piledriver with a back lift then follows up with a rapid fire
The five point palm strike has Jessie reeling.
PERFECT SAITO SUPLEX!
Banzan lifts Jessie by the shoulders and launches him into a corner. He charges but The Prince gets out of the way and Banzan bounces back off the cushion.
HAIL TO THE KING!
THE PRINCE CONNECTS!
WTF! BANZAN KICKS OUT!
The Prince knows he needs something special here and clenches his fist, lifting it high in the air. Banzan is on his feet. Jessie launches at him.
BANZAN CATCHES JESSIE’S FIST!
The Indestructible Mountain uses his power to twist Jessie around full circle then delivers a double karate chop to the shoulders. Banzan off the ropes…
JESUS H CHRIST!
MAGGA AND BOOYAH! CONNECT AT THE SAME TIME!
BOTH MEN ARE DOWN!
The crowd are wild. The ref’s eyes are wide open with disbelief. He initiates a ten count.
Banzan is up to his feet but noticeably groggy.
The Prince is rising to his feet, he’s wobbling.
Both men are on their feet, staring across the ring at each other. The crowd pop again in appreciation of their efforts. They charge each other and a flurry of blows are exchanged. Banzan swings and misses and that’s Jessie’s opening. Punch to the gut and set up for..
HAIL TO THE KING!
WHAT A COUNTER!
Banzan lays an arm across Jessie.
FINALLY IT’S OVER!
Banzan advances and is one victory away from being crowned King Ring.
The wispy white vapor fills the air as books turn to cinders upon their shelves. In the middle of the flaming chaos lies the culprits.
Pyre and Alice.
However, it is not Pyre’s flames which bring about the destruction of the archives, but the gasoline and matches held within Alice’s hands. She smiles with wicked glee as the years of books turns to nothing more than ashes.
“Stop! Alice! Why!?”
The sound of a terrified and enraged Voynich permeates the sound of crackling flames! He flies through the Archives towards Alice, the two former friends trading blows in the middle of the raging inferno! Pyre sits back and watches the melee, unsure for if she should truly intervene.
A dropkick sends Voynich back into a flaming shelf and he rolls on the ground as the flames bite at his skin!
“You betrayed me! You were my friend and you left me for this place!”
Alice’s anger boils over as she goes to throw more gasoline onto Voynich!
And then everything goes still.
And we are welcomed to the sound of silence until finally, Sigil walks into scene. Time has stopped, and he watches the scene as it lays in front of him, almost like a diorama.
“So. The fire witch was able to bring them back here. I’ll have to keep her powers in mind.”
He sighs, holding his hand up and closing his fist. As he does the entire scene reverses in front of him. Fires quench, books reform, and Pyre and Alice disappear through a flaming portal. Voynich would then find himself in the center of the now in tact library, Sigil himself takes a seat, slightly tired after the use of the crystals.
“W-what? I… was on fire, wasn’t I?”
Voynich pats himself, looking completely confused.
“Hm? Not at all, Voynich. I assume Alice has gotten to you. We have work to do, now grab those tomes and help me find just what Lance was talking about. I can’t let him get ahead of me.”
The archeologist looks around the room, cautious of it as he takes an unsure seat next to Sigil.
“R-right. I’ll get on that.”
As the scene fades to black, we see a similarly confused Pyre and Alice who find themselves at their starting point, the witch now unable to portal into the archive.
ALL THAT GLITTERS..
After his early match tonight, Mark Gouldern is in no mood to stick around.
He’s been flown straight into Telegon Towers and has gone straight to his office. He takes a seat behind his large desk and opens the computer.
Only something strikes him as odd.
A figure steps out from within the corner.
It’s Lance Norman.
“Mr. Gouldern,” he says rather sternly. “I’m glad to make your acquaintance.”
Mark looks him up and down, grimacing.
“Is it recycling day?” Mark asks, looking annoyed. “Because I’m sure the trash gets picked up on Thursday.”
“Funny,” he says sarcastically. “I didn’t know you had a sense of humour.”
Gouldern stands up and walks around his desk to confront Lance.
“Well, when a joke walks into your office, it isn’t that hard to have one,” he arrogantly replies.
Suddenly, the door opens and in walks Rain.
“Is he funny?”
Mark quickly attempts to strike, but Rain grabs him just as fast, slamming his forearm down across the gauntlet and breaking it.
The sheer force of Rain shatters it.
The Soul Taker grabs Mark by the throat and tosses him backwards over his desk.
“Last week on Warzone, we failed in our attempts at getting a Red Snow match to decide it all,” Norman announces with clear disappointment. “And it dawned on me that there’s always another way.”
Rain drags Gouldern to his feet and forcibly sits him in his chair. Mark looks shaken, his eyes meeting that of Lance Norman.
“Now, imagine my surprise when I looked into the details behind Old School Wrestling and found your name attached.”
That surprises even Gouldern.
“It’s the best kept secret in OSW, isn’t it? Mark Gouldern is and always has been, a financial backer behind The Butcher.”
Gouldern eyes dart around the room.
“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, Lance,” Mark warns. “This is bigger, deeper and broader than you’ve ever understood. It isn’t just about power. It’s about something greater.”
“When The Guild told Colin to bring Old School Wrestling back, they told him to find a backer,” Norman replies, taking a seat on the opposite side of the desk. “And he found you. All you wanted was a place to freely test your technology and receive a cut of the profits, of course.”
“What do you want?” The Tech Guru asks sternly.
“I want an aspect of control,” he demands. “I know that you own 39% of Old School Wrestling. I want you to sign that over to me. In fact, I want you to transfer everything to me.”
Mark laughs, almost hysterically.
“And why on earth would I do that?” He queries with a smile. “I own millions of dollars. I’m a millionaire, Lance. Old School Wrestling revenue brings hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year. Why would I any of it over to you?”
“Because if you don’t, Rain is going to kill you.”
To be continued.
TYLER BROOKS VS. CHORT
The Savior battles The Flickering Darkness in a rematch from their first encounter at Chain Reaction. Will The Savior go 2-0? Or will The Flickering Darkness pick up the upset victory, and his first win in the OSW?
The roars becoming deafening, Brooks shot down the ramp in a full sprint, sliding into the ring. Without missing a beat, he rushed the corner he would make his own for the night, leaping up onto the middle rope to throw his arms out to his sides once more.
BROOKS OVER THE TOP ROPE! Chort pushes him off of the turnbuckles and he tumbles down to the floor.
The Savior is back up to his feet and turns around into a TOPE SUICIDA!
Rapid fire tope suicidas from Chort and the bell hasn’t even rung yet!
He peels Brooks off the concrete and tosses him into the barricade.
The Flickering Darkness marches forward towards Brooks, but catches a boot right across the face.
Tyler Brooks goes on the offense with chops.
Repeatedly. Over. And over. AND OVER!
Chort collapses to the ground, clutching at his chest as Brooks raises his hand into the air.
The Savior grabs Chort by his hair and tosses him into the ring, and follows not too far behind. The referee finally calls for the bell and this match is OFFICIALLY underway.
Brooks allows Chort to slowly get back up to his feet. He hits the ropes with a head full of steam. He passes back again, building even more momentum before hitting the big spinning back elbow — EYE OF THE SAVIOR!!!
Brooks shakes his head and pulls Chort onto his feet. He grabs a hold of him by the wrist and swings for the fences with a short-arm clotheslines. DUCKED! DRAGON SUPLEX DROPS HIM ON HIS HEAD! Chort with the bridging pin combination!
Chort holds on.. the two of them back on their feet. ANOTHER DRAGON SUPLEX! HE STILL HOLDS ON! ANOTHER!!!
Brooks gets the shoulder up. Chort grabs at his hair in disbelief. He pounds the mat and gets into the referee’s face, backing him up into a corner. He asks why he didn’t make a three count and shakes his head in disagreement. He throws his arms in the air and turns around–
Brooks catches him with his shin right on the button! Chort collapses to the mat, his head bouncing on the canvas as his arms and legs freeze up in the air. HE IS OUT COLD! Tyler is about to go for the cover but instead slowly turns his head to the turnbuckles. He points and them and starts to ascend the ropes.
Standing perched on the top rope he looks out to the crowd and gives them a cocky smirk before leaping backwards towards the center of the ring —
GUIDING LIGHT!!!!!! PHOENIX SPLASH CONNECTS!!!
Brooks pulls off the clean sweep against Chort, putting out his flickering flame once again!
What a match between Tyler Brooks and Chort!
The Savior has done it and he is relishing in the victory! It looks like he wants a mic!
“Thank you Old School faithful for cheering on your savior but as much as I’d rather be speaking to you, I have a few words I need to say to Chort.”
“So… you wanted me to save myself right? Well I did it you son of a bitch! I’m saved!”
Tyler rolls out of the ring and grabs a chair!
“Now, what about you? I said, what about you!? How do you say it Chort? Right, save yourself!”
Chort is getting up slowly to protect himself but Tyler has other plans! He throws the chair at Chort’s head!
Chort looks completely out of it!
Tyler grabs him by the hair and drags Chort to the corner!
The Savior is untying the bottom turnbuckle! He has fully exposed it and he is tying Chort’s hair in the steel ring to keep him there!
He grabs the chair and starts swinging!
Chair shot after chair shot and a pool of blood is building under Chort’s head!
Tyler Brooks isn’t done! He rests the chair against Chort and goes to the other side of the ring!
He climbs the top rope!
Coast to coast dropkick!
Chort is out cold and he’ll stay that way unless someone can save him!
Tyler Brooks is standing over him!
“I’m the savior but there is no chance in hell I’m saving you! In fact, I’m making sure no one can.”
Tyler does a come here motion towards the back!
Hayden Hardkore comes out and he has a shopping cart full of barbed wire!
Cody Williams follows him and he has a chainsaw in hand!
Terror Squad is here and Brooks is rubbing his hands together smirking.
“You wanted me to save myself so I did it on my own. To destroy you, I brought backup.”
Tyler rips Chort off the turnbuckle leaving chunks of hair on the ring!
He throws him to the outside and Cody drags him to the ringpost!
Hayden charges with the cart! He smashes Chort’s skull between the ring post and cart!
Cody pulls Chort up, he’s got a single underhook!
He lifts Chort up!
Perfect ending into the cart!
Chort’s head must be like a hole after that drop into the barbed wire!
Hayden climbs to the top rope!
He jumps! Moonsault into a Swanton bomb!
All of his weight drives Chort more into the barbed wire!
Chort has to be done but they aren’t!
Cody grabs Chort’s lacerated head, rips it out of the barbed wire and rests it on the ledge of the cart!
He grabs the chainsaw! He’s revving it up!
He’s decapitating Chort with the chainsaw!
He’s almost all the way through but the cart stops him!
Chort is nearly headless and Cody backs up!
Running knee strike to rip it off the remaining skin!
If he wasn’t dead before, he definitely is now but they aren’t finished?!
Hayden grabs some gasoline from under the ring and douses Chort’s body!
Tyler has a lighter! He flicks it and starts to set Chort’s body aflame!
Chort’s flesh is roasting and Terror Squad are warming their hands on it like a campfire!
“This might seem like overkill but I don’t know what the fuck you are and I’m making sure our time together is Chort!
Terror Sguad laughs over the joke and make their way to the back!
BANZAN VS. MONTY STRAIGHT
Months of worry and stress of a depraved hunter nipping at his heels, the Mountain may be close to solving this mystery but is Monty Straight the monster he seeks or is the Deal Maker yet another pawn in a deadly game?
The bell sounds as Banzan rushes forward, surprising Straight with a running palm strike, jacking his jaw before he’s thrown clean over the Mountain’s head with a Belly to Belly Suplex. Monty stumbles to his feet right into a hard right to the jaw before the Mountain’s giant hand wraps around his skull in a claw hold, clean lifting Straight high up into the air
BEFORE NEARLY DRIVING HIM THROUGH THE CANVAS WITH A MODIFIED CHOKE SLAM!
Straight damn near bounced off the canvas with the pure strength from Banzan, pulling himself up by the ropes as the Mountain looks for the end early here, sizing up the straight shooter as he rushes forward,
MAGGA….STRAIGHT ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY! Banzan doesn’t notice in time as he knees the middle rope, the cables wrapping around the joint as it slingshots him down hard to the mat. The Mountain pulls himself up, visibly wincing for a moment where the ropes tweaked his knee, something Straight notices as he rushes forward,
PUNISHING THE MOUNTAIN WITH A VICIOUS CHOP BLOCK!
Banzan stumbles down to one knee but doesn’t fall for the moment but that changes as Straight springboards off the ropes, drilling him into the mat with a stiff DDT. Straight doesn’t waste a single motion, rolling over the prone Banzan before locking in a Heel Hook that makes the stoic Mountain cry out in pain. Monty pulls back on the hold with all his might, further injuring the twisted joint as Banzan slowly pulls himself towards the ropes. The Straight Shooter uses all his weight to stop Banzan but the Mountain is too strong as he grabs hold of the bottom rope, forcing the break but the damage may allready have been done.
Monty tries to pull Banzan to his feet but gets pushed away by the much stronger man, who slowly stumbles to his feet, his right leg barely able to hold his weight as a stiff low kick to the knee takes all the fight out of the Mountain, Straight locking in a headlock before spinning Banzan around
DEAL…DUKKA! Banzan manage to slip out of the backbreaker, throwing Monty across the ring with the Saito but from the agony in his face, that may have just done more damage to his knee then he wanted.
Banzan goes to pull Monty up to his feet but a low forearm to his knee stops him once more
DEAL BREAKER! DEAL BREAKER OUTTA NOWHERE!
Banzan is down on the mat as Monty goes for the end, grabbing Banzan’s legs but the Mountain springs up out of nowhere, wrapping his legs around Straight’s throat
LOCKING IN SAMUDYA OUT OF NOWHERE!
It’s a war of attrition here, the Triangle killing Banzan as he has to hope his strength can make Straight tap out first. Monty resists but he quickly begins to fade as he taps out just as the triangle begins to loosen!
Banzan collapses to the mat, the referee handing him the Rewind Championship. Straight giving him the fight of his life here tonight but the Mountain would not crack without the answers he truly needs.
Both competitors collapse against the turnbuckles in the ring after a hard fought contest. After a few moments of catching their breath, a microphone lowers from the ceiling.
“What do you want from me,” Straight asks.
Banzan gets to his feet and makes his way towards the game show host.
“Try as you might, dealmaker, your evils deeds follow you. Humanity weeps for your devious actions.”
Straight curiously looks at the Mountain.
“I told you, I’m not the killer,” Straight states, flashing a nervous smile.
“That I understand, dealmaker, you are merely the puppet master. The killer was called from your device.”
Straight takes out his phone hidden in his suit pocket and Banzan shows him the number. Straight looks at it carefully.
“This call was made while I was in the ring at Octane, look at the time. Someone else must have used my phone.”
Suddenly, the phone rings and the mystery number flashes on the screen. Banzan grabs the phone and hits the call button.
SCREAMS AND THEN AN INSTANT SILENCE FILL HIS EARS!
Concerned, Banzan slides from the ring and heads towards Kane’s makeshift office backstage. He smashes into the office and is horrified by the sight. The room is covered in blood and staring at him is Candy Kane’s severed head. He glances to the side and sees a message left for him in her blood.
Straight was but a ruse,
sent only to amuse.
Sorry for your loss, dear friend.
Looks like the case is at a DEAD end.
SWEET ALICE & PYRE VS. VOYNICH & SIGIL
TAG TEAM MATCH
Voynich and Sigil have been on a treasure hunt, but must focus their attention on a Sweet Alice that sees fire…and a Pyre that fans the flames!
Things are chaotic from the jump with Sweet Alice finally getting a chance to go after Voynich after his betrayal weeks ago! The two come to blows with some hard lefts and rights, but Voynich fights Alice back into the corner.
Voynich charges at Alice, who ducks out of the way as Pyre makes the quite literal hot tag! She takes advantage of the situation with a series of strikes that bring Voynich down to the canvas…only for a portal to open from behind Pyre!
Sigil’s had enough of this, rushing the Fire Witch with some deep, heavy lefts and rights allowing Voynich a chance to catch a breather on the outside. Sigil picks Pyre up, but she fires back with some swift kicks to get some distance from the Realm Walker…and Alice is back in!
She’s got a fire in her eyes as she charges at Sigil, who blocks a kick and quickly sends Alice reeling back. Sigil charges, only to open a portal right in front of her…COSMIC LEAP FROM BEHIND!
FINITE! SIGIL WITH A HUGE ROUNDHOUSE KICK ON SWEET ALICE!
Alice looks down and out as Sigil goes for the cover!
PYRE WITH A DROPKICK TO THE HEAD OF SIGIL TO BREAK THINGS UP!
The fighting spirit is burning bright with this team, Alice slow to her feet in the midst of the chaos unfolding as Voynich enters, leading to a big brawl between the four competitors before SIGIL TAKES PYRE ON A COSMIC LEAP OUT OF THE RING!
This leaves Voynich and Alice alone in the ring once more, allowing the Dreamer a chance to enact her revenge on the Best Kept Secret…but she’s still recovering from the damage Sigil inflicted, giving Voynich a much-needed opening!
ISHTAR GATE! A BIG RUNNING LARIAT ON SWEET ALICE BY VOYNICH NEARLY SENDS HER SPINNING IN MID-AIR!
Before Voynich gets a chance to cover Alice, a portal opens back up…and we see Pyre and Sigil fall right on top of him! Pyre manages to get to her feet, using the moment of distraction to help Alice out of the ring before turning her attention to their opponents…
TURNING RIGHT INTO A PLANESWALKER BY SIGIL IN THE PROCESS!
Pyre goes flying across the ring from that dropkick, getting busted open…and the Queen of Flames has been put out! The ref calls for the bell, it’s all over!
Voynich and Sigil have seemingly extinguished the hot pursuit of Sweet Alice and Pyre tonight!
TOY STORY – PART II
As orderlies of Doctor D’Ville’s now burned down Asylum are dragging Nygma towards the streets of New York, the Laughing Man doesn’t try and fight back.
He just laughs.
They round a corner, Nygma placed between the arms of two men. They take him into a Parking Lot where by six more orderlies await them.
As they get to the van, they suddenly stop.
Because surrounding them are twenty plus hooded enemies, all laughing too.
They quickly drop Nygma to the ground and prepare to fight.
Swarms of enemy’s attack, two and even three to one, beating the holy crap out of the orderlies.
SeeSaw quickly shows up, hot on their heels and begins dispatching them.
As the orderlies and SeeSaw fight back, the hooded attackers retreat, allowing Mr. Make Believe to grab Nygma and toss him into the back of their van. Nygma laughs, staring SeeSaw right in the face and spitting at him.
“That was close,” he sighs, wiping the spit away. “They really didn’t want you to come and play with me, did they?”
Nygma just laughs hysterically.
SeeSaw grabs a nearby baton, cracking it over The Riddler’s head, knocking him unconscious.
“Onward to my house of fun,” he proclaims happily. “The Toybox awaits.”
Nygma is surely heading to his doom. As he lays there unconcious, SeeSaw and the orderlies lick their wounds after a hard fought battle.
SEESAW VS. NYGMA
All Seesaw wanted was a friend to play with but everytime he steps inside his Toybox, he never gets to truly have his fun. Can the mentally broken Laughing Man be the playmate he always wanted or will Nygma be like all the others who dared enter Seesaw’s domain?
Playtime has begun as Seesaw begins his play date with the man possibly more twisted then he is.
Nygma looks all around him, a wide grin on his face as he looks up high, noticing Seesaw clinging to the ceiling as he waves, chuckling hard before Seesaw comes crashing down hard upon the Laughing Man in a diving hug of all things. Seesaw lands splat upon Nygma, a slight crack is heard from what had to be one of Nygma’s ribs but he smiles all the same as Seesaw wraps his mammoth arms around the smaller man, picking him up and throwing him around in a bear hug.
“We’re gonna have so much fun new friend, nobody else wants to truly play with me but you, I know you’ll be the bestest friend I could ever have.”
Seesaw finally drops Nygma who crashes down onto the wooden floor with a thud as Seesaw begins rooting around for the perfect toy. He picks up a barbed wire infused football, tossing it aside before picking up Jack, raising him up high with a giant smile on his face.
“What’s that Jack? Our new friend wants to play with you as well?”
Seesaw twists the top of Jack, razor sharp blades erupting from it’s arms as he throws it full force at Nygma who easily catches the crash test dummy. Blood dripping down his hands, Nygma stares down at the doll for a moment before gripping it with his other hand and snapping it in half. Seesaw’s face erupts into an angry scowl as Nygma just shrugs his shoulders with that wide grin ever present on his face.
Seesaw rushes forward, picking up the still laughing Nygma before driving him into wall with a massive SUPERFINE TURBINE BLAST! Chips crack off the wood as the entire Toybox shakes with the force from that spear as Seesaw picks Nygma up, hoisting him onto his shoulders before tossing him down onto a steel chair. Seesaw straps Nygma in before looking down on him with a frown
“If you won’t play properly, I’ll have to put you in time out just like daddy used to.”
Seesaw flicks a switch beside the chair as electricity begins sparking in the air, Nygma begins jolting and convulsing as he’s trapped in the electric chair for what seems like ages before Seesaw finally shuts the chair down. Blood pooling down Nygma’s mouth but the Laughing Man barely notices the pain as he just laughs and laughs, Seesaw unstrapping Nygma as even he looks slightly unnerved by the Laughing Man but he persists in trying to have the perfect play date.
Seesaw picks up a small, ordinary baseball, tossing it in his hands as he smiles at Nygma.
“How about we just play some catch best buddy? You can do that can’t you?”
Nygma jerks his head up and down but it’s unclear if he’s just laughing too hard or actually agreeing with Seesaw. Either way, he throws the ball at Nygma who catches it, staring down at the ball for a few seconds before throwing it back, far far too hard as it soars over Seesaw’s head and crashes into the hard wooden wall. Seesaw just shakes his head, going after the ball with a small chuckle.
“It’s okay best buddy, I’ll go get it….oh what’s this? Another friend come to play?”
Seesaw kneels down, picking up a small porcelin doll, one with a wide, green grin plastered upon it’s face as he looks down at it with curiosity.
“Come play with me Andy, let’s play forever and ever.”
The doll stops talking for a minute WHEN SUDDENLY BLACK MIST SPITS INTO THE FACE OF SEESAW!
Seesaw scrambles around, clutching at his face as he throws the doll in anger at the wooden wall, Nygma chuckling harder then ever, damn near bent over in half from laughter at his latest joke as Seesaw finally wipes away his eyes, trembling fury in them.
“THAT WASN’T FUNNY!”
Nygma wipes a tear from his eyes, grin wide as ever as he just shakes his head
“Sorry if you didn’t get the joke Andy, I thought you’d love our little playtime”
“I’ve had enough of how you play, you mean old man. You don’t play fair Eddie, you never did.”
Nygma suddenly stops laughing, the smile fading at hearing his old name.
“Wh…what did you call me Andy? That’s not funny, not funny at all. You wouldn’t like me when I’m not funny.”
“I don’t like you at all Eddie, you’re a bad man and a bad friend. I’m done playing with you”
Nygma rushes forward for the first time in his time in the Toybox, trying for a right hand that Seesaw catches before swinging Nygma around, slamming him down backfirst onto his knee before flipping out, ROCK A BYE ON THE HARD WOODEN FLOOR!
Nygma collapses on the floor, spitting out a huge glob of blood as the smile slowly crosses his face once more, not noticing Seesaw right above him with absolute fury in his eyes.
“You’ve been a bad boy and you need to be punished, just like my daddy punished me.”
WHAM! Seesaw slams a steel chain into the back of Nygma as a loud cracking can be heard from impact. More blood pools out of the Laughing Man’s mouth as Seesaw lashes him over and over with the chain before wrapping it around Nygma’s throat.
“Stop laughing, it’s not funny, IT’S NOT FUNNY!”
Seesaw chokes Nygma out who continues to laugh hard but the laughter is growing fainter and fainter as Seesaw’s grip on the chain around Nygma’s throat tightens.
Nygma collapses to the floor, the laughter stopping on a dime as his neck is at a horrendous angle. Seesaw letting go of the chain as even he doesn’t believe what he’s done.
Edward Newton, Nygma…is dead.
TOY STORY – PART III
Nygma has been brutalized.
SeeSaw has absolutely dominated him.
The Riddler is dead.
SeeSaw looks highly amused.
Suddenly, there’s a crackling noise.
A hissing, almost.
THE TOYBOX GOES UP IN FLAMES!
Before you know it, smoke has begun to engulf The Toybox has flames burn away the wooden exterior.
Mr. Make Believe bellows, coughing as he stumbles towards his secret exit.
He drags the panel away and tosses it aside, stepping out of the Toybox only to look back inside and see the raging inferno it’s become, along with the toys he’s made and Nygma’s body, all perishing to the roaring fire.
Tears begin streaming down as his face, but he’s forced to turn around – the smoke just too much for him.
That’s when a sight knocks him on his ass.
The Riddler LIVES.
What the fuck?
SeeSaw can’t believe his eyes. We just watched Nygma get utterly destroyed inside that Toy Box; we watched him die.
“Guess who, puddin’?” Edward hisses.
As the fight between the orderlies and the hooded enemies rage, a couple of them grab Nygma and drag him away.
It’s in that moment that an identical figure, with green hair and makeup, takes his place on the ground.
A sacrificial lamb.
He Who Laughs wasn’t ever in that Toybox with SeeSaw.
“Bamboozled by the old switch-a-roo, huh?” Nygma says with a wild laugh. “But how else would I know where you go to play without becoming a victim myself?”
He peers inside the raging inferno.
“I have a lot of friends like him, ready and willing to sacrifice their life for me,” The Riddler chuckles. “They’re microchipped like obedient little puppies. I call them The Laughing Stock, hahahaha!”
He bends down, grabbing a terrified SeeSaw by the weepy face.
“Now, I have a Ring King Semi-Final to get to, so I won’t keep you too long deary,” he softly says, looking SeeSaw in the eyes. “But the next time we meet, we need to have a little heart to heart about daddy dearest, don’t we? I think someone has been telling you porkies, big fella!”
The Laughing Man stands up, hands on hips.
“I’ll see you at Heartbreaker!”
Edward suddenly lunges forward with a kick that knocks SeeSaw out and allows for his escape.
We thought he was dead.
We were wrong.
KERSH & WILLIAMS VS. JECKEL & SANDMAN
TAG TEAM MATCH
Tonight, we have a grudge match! Brent Kersh and Jessie Williams have showed up to get the answers they seek! Will they survive long enough to hear them? We find out next!
Jay Jeckel and Jessie Williams are starting this one out! Jessie charges at Jay but Jay hits a low dropkick right to the kneecap of Jessie! Jessie drops hard while Jay stands over him! Jay bends down and slaps him hard in the face! He keeps slapping! Slap! Slap! Slap! Jessie grabs the wrist to stop the slaps but Jay pokes him in the eye with the free hand!
JAY PULLS UP JESSIE!
JESSIE CAN’T SEE A THING!
JAY HOISTS HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS!
HE HITS THE FIREMAN’S CARRY NECKBREAKER!
INSTEAD OF COVERING, HE DRAGS JESSIE TO KERSH?!
“I WANT YOU YOU OLD SON OF A BITCH!”
JAY SPITS IN KERSH’S FACE!
KERSH TAGS HIMSELF IN!
Jay laughs and goes for a spear through the ropes! Kersh moves out of the way and lets Jay crash to the floor outside! Brent jumps off the apron! Elbow drop to the prone spine of Jeckel! Brent Kersh takes out his aggression on Jay and starts stomping away on him! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
KERSH PULLS JECKEL UP!
HE HOISTS HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS IN AN ELECTRIC CHAIR POSITION!
HE NODS TO JESSIE!
JESSIE NODS BACK AND RUNS THE APRON!
HE HITS THE SUPERMAN PUNCH AND JAY FLIPS OFF KERSH’S SHOULDERS!
THAT MODIFIED DOOMSDAY DEVICE ROCKED JAY AND KERSH ROLLS HIM BACK INTO THE RING!
. . .
. . .
. . .
NO! JAY GETS HIS FOOT ON THE ROPE!
The match goes on and Kersh pulls Jay up! Brent Irish whips Jay into the ropes! He bends over for a back body drop but Jay sees it from a mile away and hits a running knee strike to the side of the skull!
Kersh is stunned and Jay shoves him into the ref! The ref is down and Jay smirks!
HE HITS THE LOW BLOW AND SMILES WIDE!
HE DRAGS KERSH TO HIS CORNER AND TAGS IN SANDMAN!
HE SHOVES HIS THUMBS IN THE EYES OF A DOWNED KERSH!
KERSH IS SCREAMING AND MIGHT TAP ANY SECOND!
JESSIE SEES ENOUGH!
HE SHOOTS THE BOOMSTICK FROM A LONG RANGE TO BREAK IT UP!
BOTH THE SANDMAN AND KERSH ARE DOWN!
THEY BOTH LOOK OUT OF IT BUT KERSH DRAPES HIS ARM OVER THE SANDMAN!
. . .
. . .
NO! THE SANDMAN SITS UP AND THROWS KERSH’S ARM OFF HIM!
SANDMAN STARES DAGGERS AT A VULNERABLE JESSIE WILLIAMS!
He marches towards the prince and starts to choke him out! Jessie is fading! Chop block! Kersh surprises Sandman from behind and makes him drop to a knee! Kersh hits a big boot to the back of the head! Sandman hits the mat hard!
KERSH DRAGS HIM TO THE MIDDLE OF THE RING!
HE GRABS THE LEG AND LOCKS IN THE FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK!
THE SANDMAN IS STRUGGLING!
WILL THE SANDMAN TAP?
HE’S SHAKING HIS HEAD NO!
JAY JECKEL IS ON THE TOP ROPE!
DIVING KNEE DROP!
KERSH IS FORCED TO LET GO!
JAY HELPS SANDMAN BACK TO THEIR CORNER AND TAGS HIMSELF IN!
HE PULLS KERSH UP AND HOISTS HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS!
THE RAW DEAL!
HE HITS THE GO TO SLEEP AND COVERS!
. . .
. . .
. . .
Jay has done it! He has beaten the legend and he wins it for his team! Jessie is celebrating and running his mouth as always! Jessie blindsides Jay with a massive Boomstick and is dragging him to the back! Kersh is slowly getting to his feet and looks confused!
The lights go out!
They are back on and Sandman is gone leaving Kersh all alone! He looks even more confused! What’s going on?!
ASHES TO ASHES…
Backstage, we catch up with Jessie Williams, who has Jay Jeckel by neck in a dark room.
“What did she tell you!?” Jessie says, referring to Mia Allen.
Jeckel laughs in his face.
“Fuck off, kid.” Jay says to the growing anger in Jessie’s eyes. “I wanted Kersh gone, and all you got me was a match. I ain’t telling you shit.”
Williams tosses Jeckel down, the Juggalo sitting up only to find THE BOOMSTICK IN HIS FACE!
“Let’s try this again.” Jessie says, his tone steel. “Tell me what I want to know.”
Jeckel smiles in the face of the weapon, looking up at the Prince without a care.
“I know you ain’t got the guts to do what it takes.” Jeckel mocks. “And me dead doesn’t give you the answers.”
Jessie kicks Jeckel back, towering over him.
“Sandman killed my uncle.” The Prince says, half a growl, half a plea. “Everything I have led me…”
“And the bitch is dead.” Jay cuts him off. “Or did you think Mr. Sandman wouldn’t respond.”
On Jessie’s face, we can see frustration.
A dead end.
It all comes exploding out in one sharp motion as Jessie leaps into the air, wielding the prosthetic with all of his might. Jeckel refuses to close his eyes, spitting in the face of his own demise.
BUT JESSIE GETS KNOCKED OUT OF THE WAY!
BRENT KERSH IS HERE!
The Enforcer pushes Jessie up against a wall.
“What the hell are you doing?” He yells.
“She’s dead.” Jessie mutters. “Jeckel won’t talk. Sandman’s going to win.”
Kersh steps back, brushing himself off.
“Sandman,” he points back to Jeckel, “and this punk both win if you do what you were going to do. You stoop to their level, and you lose.”
Williams pushes Kersh while Jeckel looks on amused.
“If my dad is alive, I’m going to get him back. ” He argues. “It’s what he’d do for me. He wouldn’t sit around and let everyone else lead me by the nose.”
Kersh steps back, something in those words stabbing him in the heart.
“You’re right.” He says after a moment. “That’s what sons do for their fathers.”
The Enforcer looks at Jeckel.
“And fathers for their sons.” He finishes, looking back at the Prince. “You’re a good kid, but you’ve got your fight and I’ve got mine. Mixing them led us to this point. You want to be a hero? Then you’ll have to learn to walk alone.”
Kersh reaches out his hand, and Williams takes it.
“I’m going to go save my son.” Kersh says. “Do what you have to here.”
The Enforcer nods to Jessie, and walks away. Their partnership is over.
But the matter of Jay Jeckel and his knowledge remains.
Of course, the Juggalo laughs in Jessie’s face.
“I didn’t think it was going to work.” Jeckel chuckles. “How the fuck was making you team up going to split your team? But it sure fucking did.”
Jeckel engineered this? He wanted to split Kersh and Jessie!
Williams looks at Jay with as much hatred as you can expect to see in his eyes. But Jeckel turns serious for a minute.
“Now that my business is done, let’s get to yours.” Jay says. “Now, I don’t give a shit about you.”
“But if the Sandman gets what he wants, we’re all fucked.”
Williams is confused as Jeckel continues.
“Lucid Falls ain’t a paradise. It’s a prison. The real shit you’re looking for only shows up when you’re asleep. That old bitch woke up, and she paid for it with her life.”
Williams takes a deep breath, before Jeckel finishes.
“Before she woke up, she found your daddy.” Jeckel says, matter-of-fact. “He sent her to you.”
ASH IS ALIVE!?
Jessie practically falls backwards as Jeckel looks down at him, conflicted.
“You want to rescue your pops, then good fucking luck, just don’t let Sandman get that book.”
The Juggalo leaves, while Jessie reels from the news.
His father is alive.
This changes everything.
MALICE & BISHOP VS. MAJOR THOM
TWO V ONE MATCH
The fact is this: Malice and Bishop stand in the ring, finally, with a chance to take down the man who turned his back on them.
But Malice? He can’t focus.
Because standing outside the ring is Wynona.
And she’s in Major Thom’s corner.
DING! DING! Malice screams and charges at Major Thom — AND RUNS RIGHT INTO THE FUCKING CODE RED!!!
DAMN IT!!! Major Thom makes the cover!
BISHOP GRABS THE ANKLE AND YANKS MAJOR THOM OFF OF MALICE!
And since he’s got it in his hands anyway, Bishop goes ahead and locks in an ankle lock! Major Thom cries out in pain, reaches and strains for the ropes, but there nowhere to be found!
Malice finally starts climbing to his feet. Halfway up he sees Wynona standing outside the ring. He bites his lip and shakes his head. “I’m sorry,” he words to her.
Malice turns just in time to see Major Thom grab the ropes, freeing himself from the ankle lock. Malice prepares himself. Major Thom slowly climbs back up to his feet.
MALICE CHARGES ACROSS THE RING!
BUCKSHOT!!! THE VICIOUS GORE STYLE SPEAR!!!
BUT MAJOR THOM DIVES OUT OF THE WAY!!!
MALICE COLLIDES INTO BISHOP!!! NO!!!
Major Thom laughs. This shit is hilarious. Malice is completely unhinged. Which is exactly where Thom wants him. Can Malice get his head screwed on right? Malice sees the devastation he has left Bishop in, holds his hands over his face.
Malice shakes his head, turns around.
SABOTAGE!!! THE BICYCLE KICK FROM THOM!!!
NOOOO!!! MALICE SIDE STEPS THE KICK!!! HE GRABS THOM FROM BEHIND!!!
GREETINGS FROM BERLIN!!! GERMAN SUPLEX!!! WITH THE BRIDGE PIN!!!
THOM KICKS OUT IN THE VERY LAST MOMENT HE COULD!!!
Malice pounds the mat and scrambles up to his feet. The crowd cheers him on. Bishop is back up to his feet as well. Malice sticks his hand out to Bishop, taps himself on the chest. “My bad.”
Bishop nods. “You good now?”
Malice tosses a look towards Wynona, then looks back at Bishop. He nods. “Yeah, I’m good.”
Bishop slaps Malice’s hand. They hug it out.
The crowd eats it up!
Finally, the duo are back on the same page.
Just in time for Major Thom, who has climbed back to his feet. He senses the change in the energy, tries to back away.
BUT MALICE AND BISHOP START STOMPING A MUDHOLE INTO MAJOR THOM!!!
BOOT AFTER BOOT AFTER BOOT COLLIDES INTO MAJOR THOM’S BODY!!! THEY STOMP HIS ASS INTO OBLIVION!!!
Malice brings Thom to his feet, whips him into the ropes!
DEADEYE!!! BISHOP SPEARS THOM, AND HE FOLDS LIKE A CHAIR!!!
HE MAKES THE COVER, HOOKS THE LEG!!!
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!! THOM’S FOOT IS ON THE BOTTOM ROPE!!!!
Bishop doesn’t stress it. He simply stands to his feet, and helps Major Thom to his. But Major Thomas reaches into his pocket!!! He pulls out a can of bear mace!
MAJOR THOM SPRAYS BISHOP’S EYES WITH IT!!! BISHOP CRIES OUT IN PAIN!!!
MAJOR THOM DROPS THE CANNISTER!!! LIFTS BISHOP ON HIS SHOULDERS!!!!
CODE FUCKING RED!!! THE F5!!!
Thom stands up, looks Malice in the eye, grins.
Malice stares him down.
Malice charges across the ring! Thom slides out of the way!
BUT MALICE ANTICIPATED IT!!!
MALICE MAKES THE COVER!!!
It’s over! Malice and Bishop have beaten the man they used to consider their leader!!!
Malice helps Bishop up to his feet, and the two hug it out again.
Wynona immediately enters the ring. She has a microphone in her hand. Malice immediately tries to go to her, but Bishop holds his arm out to stop him.
Thom stands in the opposite corner from his former stablemates.
“Have you even considered what all of this has done to me?” Wynona asks, looking at Malice.
“You told me that you might piss me off, but you’ll never lie to me. Word for word, that’s what you said. And yet, you lied to me the entire time. I was your TARGET!”
Major Thom laughs, grabs the microphone from Wynona.
“You lonely piece of shit,” Major Thom chuckles. “You’re supposed to be a man. You’re supposed to be a soldier. Ain’t that what our brotherhood was supposed to be about? But I soon realized, based on your bizarre behavior towards our target that you were a lonely man. And me? I ain’t got use for a lonely man. Because a lonely man quickly becomes a selfish man, especially once he finds someone who makes him feel good again.”
Thom shakes his head and continues. “And the truth is, you were so selfish you mixed business with pleasure. It was bad enough when I thought you picked her over us. It was when I realized that actually, you picked yourself over her and us, that the War Machine could no longer function. You destroyed us, Malice. And you destroyed her.”
“But me? I gave her an option. She could choose tonight to get away from you, and I could take her someplace real nice and safe, with a bed, and maybe even a real man…”
Wynona looks at Major Thom, smiles.
Malice tries to charge Major Thom, but Bishop jumps in the way, cuts Malice off.
“Or she could choose a piece of shit liar who manipulates everyone around him to feed his own selfish desires.”
Major Thom looks at Wynona.
“What’s it going to be, sweetheart?”
Wynona glances briefly at Malice, before she walks over to Thom and drapes her arms around his shoulders.
He hugs her waist.
Malice’s jaw drops to the floor, his heart absolutely shattered.
WYNONA DROPS TO HER KNEES!
LOW BLOW!!! LOW BLOW TO MAJOR THOM!!!
WYNONA RUNS ACROSS THE RING, AND JUMPS INTO MALICE’S ARMS!!!
SHE MADE HER CHOICE!!!
BISHOP STARTS STOMPING THOM!!! HE PICKS THOM UP!!! SETS HIM UP PERFECTLY!!!
THE LAST RITES!!! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!!
Malice and Wynona hug each other tightly. Bishop finishes beating Thom with a few more boots that sends Thom out of the ring, under the bottom rope!!!
Bishop walks over to Malice. Malice, still hugging Wynona, bumps fists with Bishop.
And for the first time in a while, both Bishop and Malice are smiling.
BLOOD SHARK & THE JUDGE VS. REDWING & REAPER
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Will the past come back to bite the vigilante and the anti-hero?
Reaper insists on starting out for his team. Judge steps over the top rope, having sought answers from him for a long time.
The referee holds up the Tag Team Championship belts – that’s what’s at stake!
DING, DING, DING!
The Harvester rushes his opponent. He slugs Judge in the gut, nearly breaking his own hand against those metal ribs! The 380-pounder sandbags an Irish whip, instead sending Reaper into the ropes… But a retaliatory leaping shoulder block stumbles him!
Determined to fell the iron giant, Reaper tears into the ropes again—
JUDGE DELIVERS HIS VERDICT!
BUT REAPER DUCKS THE SPARTA KICK—
SAMOAN DROP TO JUDGE!
Tag Team gold is on the line!
BLOOD SHARK BREAKS IT UP!
The Man-Eater stomps away at Reaper, as the official desperately tries to restore order. He issues a five-count—
REDWING STORMS OVER—
BUT THE REFEREE CUTS HIM OFF!
The Slaughterhouse boo as zebra-stripes assures Redwing that he’s got this under control – all while Blood Shark mauls Reaper!
Redwing throws his arms up in exasperation. He returns to the apron and holds the tag-rope, hoping to save his partner.
Finally, Shark relents – but the damage is done.
Reaper crawls over to Redwing. His partner’s expression, however, is grim—
Reaper cries out and turns round. The Judge is standing on his ankle! Reaper claws at his oppressor’s steel extremity, but Judge snatches him up off the mat. He lifts him into a double-handed choke, then tosses him into the corner!
Shark gets his licks in, earning a scolding from the official – not to mention the ire of the crowd. The Judge himself seems to disapprove his teammate’s actions; he desires balance, after all…
The axeman javelins Reaper into the adjacent corner. He takes him up on his shoulders and climbs the ropes – oh, no…
PERFECT BALANCE – THE TOP-ROPE ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP!
The ring quakes as both men crash to the mat! Judge covers—
THE CHAMPIONS ARE GOING TO RETAIN!
BUT DARKNESS FALLS ON THE GOLD!
REDWING CURB-STOMPS JUDGE!
Big pop for the anti-hero, who points at Shark – “we’re even!”.
Shark himself tries to interject, but the official finally does his damn job and holds him at bay.
Reaper is too beaten to capitalise with a pinfall. He crawls towards Redwing, who stomps the apron to rally the crowd behind the challengers.
The Judge slowly comes to. He drags himself over to Shark, who smells blood…
DOUBLE HOT TAG!
REDWING AND SHARK ENTER THE FRAY!
Shark ducks an elbow and kicks Redwing in the gut—
BLOODMONEY – NO!
Redwing breaks Shark’s grip on the hammerlock DDT. He pulls him in and jumps up—
SHARK BLOCKS THE RIPCORD KNEE – WITH HIS MOUTH!
HE SINKS HIS TEETH INTO REDWING’S KNEECAP!
The referee tries to pry him off, but his jaws are clamped. Redwing writhes on the mat; he never thought he’d have to account for shark bites when designing his armour!
Releasing his prey, Shark backs into the corner. Nursing his knee, Redwing scrambles to all fours…
BLOODY MARY SHINING WIZ—
REDBLADE TO THE KNEE!
THAT STOPPED SHARK IN HIS TRACKS!
Redwing grabs Shark by the head and points to the turnbuckle – but hesitates. His knee is shot; he can’t do the Killing Joke running bulldog…
That split-second is the only opening that Shark needs; he pulls Redwing’s head under his arm—
HE SPIKES HIM WITH THE HAMMERLOCK DDT!
HE LEANS ACROSS HIM—
THE JUDGE IS READY TO DISPENSE JUSTICE—
BUT THE REAPER WANTS VENGEANCE!
THE VERDICT CUTS REAPER DOWN!
BLOOD SHARK AND THE JUDGE ARE STILL YOUR TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!
Shark snatches his belt from the referee, while The Judge is handed his.
NO MORE RUNNING
The match over, the Tag Team Champions take possession of their belts, but both teams slowly get back to their corners.
The action’s not over yet.
Redwing puts himself in front of the Reaper, and calls out to the Judge.
“Why can’t you leave him be?” The Red Knight says. “Justice is blind, but you are not.”
The Judge nods.
“I must take him for judgement. I must find out what makes him different.”
Redwing shakes his head, and prepares for battle, but the Reaper grabs his arm, turning him around.
“Thanks for your help, Red.” Reaper says, sincerely. “But I won’t live my life running from this guy. He’ll hound me until I die, and I won’t have that.”
Reaper steps forward, holding out his hands.
“No more running, Judge.” Reaper says to a surprised Judge. “Take me.”
Blue-hued guards appear around Reaper’s wrists, locking his arms into place. The Judge hoists his ax, and pulls Reaper to a growing blue portal. They step into it, vanishing.
The Reaper has chosen to face his judgement, but what of the Blood Red Shark?
“Axel.” Redwing pleas. “Come with me. I’ll find a way to reverse whatever D’Ville has done to you!”
The Shark tilts his head.
“I am who I am.” The Blood Shark intones. “This is who I’ve always been.”
With that, the Blood Red Shark dives outside of the ring, leaping under it to make his escape. Redwing watches and shakes his head.
“This isn’t who you’ve always been.” Crimson Justice says. “And I’m going to show you that.”
Redwing leaves the ringside area, with his mission now clear.
He has to save Axel from the Blood Red Shark.
But will it cost him his life to do so?
NYGMA VS. VOYNICH
RING KING SEMI FINALS
Lights go off in the Slaughterhouse as Voynich’s theme song starts. The entrance tunnel is filled with smoke and, after a few seconds, Voynich emerges from the entrance tunnel with a flashlight in his hand. Voynich walks down the ramp slowly, moving his flashlight from left to right, pointing it at the crowd, as if he was searching something.
When Voynich reaches the ring, lights go on and Voynich gives his flashlight to a fan in the first row. He then jumps over the top rope and climb in a corner of the ring to make his traditional V-sign using both of his hands.
After a few moments of hesitation and feints, Voynich and Nygma engage in a collar tie-up. Voynich wins that little duel, headlocking Nygma then transitioning to an arm wring, whipping The Laughing Man into a corner and following up with a running knee to the midsection and then a running bulldog. Early pin attempt by Voynich…
Voynich tries to lift Nygma but the latter counters with a rake of the eyes and rolls out of the ring. Voynich protests to the referee then follows, but Nygma runs away around the ring. Voynich gives chase but Nygma cuts through the ring as Voynich gets close and exits again at the opposite side. All the while that maniacal grin is on Nygma’s face.
Voynich rolls into the ring and signals to his opponent that he wants to get on with it. Nygma lurks outside the ring, laughing and leaning against the railed crowd barrier. Voynich by now has had enough and surprises Nygma.
SLINGSHOT SENTON SPLASH ON THE OUTSIDE!
THAT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE!
Voynich rolls Nygma back into the ring, the Laughing Man gets to his feet and grabs the referee, leaning on him against the ropes. Voynich grabs Nygma from behind.
The Laughing Man catches the Best Kept Secret with a mule kick between the legs. Nygma bursts with energy, a few elbow smashes to the face then a Russian leg sweep. Nygma gets to his feet and begins to laugh in callous tones. Voynich rises, Nygma uses the ropes for momentum to connect with a running…
The Jumping Implant DDT plants Voynich face first. Nygma hooks the legs.
Nygma gets up and tears away the cushion of one of the top turnbuckles, exposing the metal ring beneath. The ref warns him but The Laughing Man looks at the official and cackles, then grabs Voynich who is rising. Nygma headbutts Voynich then tries to run him into the exposed corner metal
THIS COULD END IT NOW!
The Best Kept Secret blocks Nygma’s intention by grabbing the ropes then counters with a back elbow. Nygma pivots away, Voynich turns the Laughing Man and gets caught by surprise.
JOKES ON YOU, BUDDY!
Nygma drops and lands his trademark uppercut. The Laughing Man leaps onto the back of Voynich, wrapping his arms around his throat and tightening the grip of the sleeper hold. It doesn’t take long for Voynich’s oxygen deprived brain to begin to shut down and slumps to the floor but Nygma continues to hold on, laughing away in his manner. The ref checks Voynich and raises an arm….
It slumps to the mat.
The ref repeats the check, but Voynich is seemingly out cold.
For the third time Voynich’s arm is raised and let go. It begins to fall…
WAIT A SECOND!
VOYNICH LIFTS HIS DROPPING ARM HIGH!
HE’S PUSHING HIMSELF UP OFF THE MAT!
But Nygam continues to hold on, laughing louder than ever! Voynich slams an elbow back into Nygma’s ribs and the grip loosens. He repeats and The Laughing Man slides off his back. Voynich bounces against the ropes…
A RUNNING LARIAT THAT SHAKES EVEN THE GHOSTS INSIDE THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE TO THE CORE!
Voynich is slow to make a cover, the synapses in his brain still not fully connected.
NOT QUITE! NYGMA KICKS OUT ON THE FINAL ‘E’!
Voynich drags Nygma off the mat but then staggers back clutching his face.
THUMB TO THE EYE BY NYGMA!
The Laughing Man runs to the corner he worked earlier and hops on to the top turnbuckle, bringing his hands together as he lines up a flying double axe handle…
A COLLECTIVE WINCE FROM THE CROWD!
Voynich recovers and pulls down the top rope, Nygma slips and crushes his nuts against the metal he exposed. Voynich moves toward his prone foe when suddenly…
The Slaughterhouse lighting returns after a couple of seconds but it has distracted Voynich and allows Nygma the opportunity.
MISSILE DROPKICK FROM THE TOP ROPE!
Nygma rolls up Voynich and puts both feet on the ropes for extra leverage, unbeknownst to the referee.
Nygma takes his place in the King Ring final, grinning from ear to ear!
…DUST TO DUST
A bleak hellscape greets us.
Men and women scream from cages, starving and emaciated. Their eyes are bloodshot, their faces streaked with dried tears.
And all around them, children run and play.
The dream Lucid Falls, that is.
Suddenly, it’s as if the night sky grows even darker. The children run from the roads into small shacks along the side. The caged adults cease all noise, lowering their eyes from the being now walking down the middle of the familiar road.
The Dream Demon walks to the end of the cul de sac, entering the prison we saw Mia Allen run into at Chain Reaction.
The one where, we now know, she found Ash Williams.
Sandman walks betwixt cells, coming to the end of the row. He stands before the enclosed cell, with only a small peep hole. An eye appears in it, watching Sandman with disdain.
“Mia’s dead.” Ash Williams’ voice sadly says, already knowing the answer.
“Yes.” Mr. Sandman responds. “But she did her job. Your son now knows you are here.”
The eye vanishes, and what sounds like a sigh escapes from the cell. Mr. Sandman seems amused, however.
“Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.” The Demon begins. “You spent months calling to him, invading his dreams, but he only saw what I wanted him to see.”
It was ASH that gave Jessie the dreams? The ones that called out to him?
“Even after placing you in this cell, you still found a way to call for rescue.” Sandman continues. “But the boy is all alone now. I took care of your partner. The girl is dead. Even Kersh has deserted him. All of your efforts, all of the pain you’ve endured, it was all to my own ends.”
The eye reappears in the cell window.
“Now your son will be forced to come to my domain if he wants you back. And when he does, he will be mine.”
Sandman gestures to the cells around him.
“When the Dark Ones put together the Necronomicon ex Mortis, they never dreamed it would fall into the hands of he who bridges the gap between worlds.”
Sandman slams his hand on the cell, his mouth opening to reveal his jagged wall of teeth.
“But for me, dreams and reality are two sides of the same coin.”
The Dream Demon begins to laugh as he turns to leave Ash Williams alone. But in the cell window, the eye no longer is filled with disdain.
It’s filled with hope.
ANONYMOUS VS. BEG & ALTON WHITLOCK
TWO V ONE MATCH
The enemy of your enemy is your closest ally as the possible future president of the United States finds out that truth here tonight in this latest chapter in the war against anonymity itself. Can he trust his former worst enemy to finally take down Anonymous or did he just unleash a devil that will destroy him completely?
The bell sounds as Anonymous stands on the apron, eyeing down both Whitlock and BEG who look down at their masked foe with eyes hungry for vengeance and blood. Whitlock tries to rush forward to attack but BEG holds him back with one hand before urging Anonymous to come forward and face them with the other. The masked man reluctantly steps through the ropes as he gets blindsided by a flurry of blows from Whitlock before a huge clothesline sends him tumbling head over heels to the floor below.
Whitlock barely lets Anonymous hit the floor, quickly rolling out as he drills a rising Anon with a savage concussion dealing knee to the back of the head before he biel tosses him hard into the steel steps. Alton sizing Anon up for a moment before rushing forward once more
DROP TOE HOLD ONTO THE STEPS!
Anonymous dupes a rampaging bull into his trap as Whitlock stumbles to his feet, kick to the gut
GUNPOWDER PLOT ONTO THE STEEL!
Alton is busted open as his face impacts onto the steps, a soft chuckle coming from underneath the mask as Anonymous looks to finish the job on Whitlock but gets grabbed from behind as he’s lifted up onto the apron
SUPLEX INTO THE RING BY BEG!
Anonymous takes his eyes off his other opponent and immediately pays for it as Green transitions into an armbar, trying to make Anon scream in agony. The masked one claws and scrapes his way to the ropes without a sound, BEG pulling him back into the middle of the ring as he lets go of the armbar for a moment, looking to lock in the Financial Crisis but Anon kicks hard at BEG’s knee before rolling him up into a tight Small Package.
BEG just gets the shoulder up! Berkshire gets to his feet livid, swinging a hard right that catches Anonymous flush but an attempt at a clothesline is countered into a drop toe hold into the middle turnbuckle. BEG gets up, holding his forehead in pain
The running Swanton hits flush as BEG gets crushed into the steel, staggering out into a kick to the gut
GUNPOWDER PLOT! The Fameasser drives BEG into the mat as Anonymous hooks the leg
Damnit is Anon going to deprive Whitlock of his revenge once again?
ALTON BREAKS IT UP! 2.9999!
Whitlock just breaks up the pin, pummeling down on the prone Anon before pulling him up and damn near taking his head off with a stiff Lariat. Whitlock pulls BEG up to his feet as the pair begin to beat down on Anonymous before whipping him into the ropes.
DOUBLE CLOTHES…DUCKED! Anonymous ducks under, delivering a hard Superkick to the jaw of Alton before a leaping knee nearly cracks the mask if not Anon’s jaw. Alton gets to his feet, delivering a stiff soccer kick to the jaw of a rising Anon before pulling him up onto his shoulders, BEG leaping up as he does
BETTER WORLD 2.0! ASSISTED VERTEBREAKER! and this has to be it, Anon’s finally vanquished by Alton Whitlock as he hooks the leg for the cover
THE LIGHTS GO OUT!
They come back on and Anonymous surrounds the ring, easily outnumbering Whitlock and BEG who waste no time in swinging hard and furious, taking down mask after mask but they don’t notice the real Anon standing up behind them, holding a familiar cane with a razor sharp edge. Anonymous sprints forward, looking to skewer Whitlock but BEG notices in time, grabbing hold of his cane as both he and Anon struggle over the weapon
WHEN THE LIGHTS TRIP OUT AGAIN!
They come on again to see the cane driven deep into Whitlock’s side, BEG looking shocked before he’s clocked hard by a massive headbutt from Anon who lifts him up into the air
BEG counters the running Tombstone into the Crossface, bridging back with all his strength as Anon is forced to reluctantly tap out
BEG does it here for his former friend, as he pulls a hurting Whitlock up, savouring his return victory here tonight
FOR MERCY II
Suddenly–the lights cut out.
The arena sits in complete, absolute darkness.
Then a horrendous, ear-piercing blast of static emits from the P.A. system.
It stops. There is an instant of silence.
Then the lights turn back on…
And the ring is surrounded by a massive crowd of shrouded figures wearing Guy Fawkes masks.
They are perfectly silent and completely still.
Anonymous stands on one side of the ring; Whitlock and BEG on the other. All three are exhausted and fatigued, but somehow still upright.
The voice of Anonymous booms throughout the arena.
“How could you possibly be the president when you can’t even solve your own problems, Alton?” Anonymous asks.
“How could you help an entire nation when you can’t even help yourself?”
Whitlock looks around desperately, but sees no way to locate a microphone.
BEG looks ready to fight again.
“How can anyone trust you after what you’ve done, Alton? Let alone vote for you?”
Members of the Anonymous horde climb up on the ring apron, standing poised to strike.
“And you, Green?”
“You of all people should have known a bad deal when you heard one.”
“You of all people should have known that Alton Whitlock can’t be helped.”
“You of all people should have known to stay away.”
“The ruthless tycoon, always in control.”
“Manipulating the lives of everyday people like pawns on a chessboard.”
“It’s time you know how it feels, Berkshire.”
Then–two things happen at once.
Anonymous moves lightning fast, sending a haymaker punch directly at Alton Whitlock. The politician’s body drops to the mat.
And the figures surrounding the ring ropes move in with a grim sense of purpose.
They converge upon BEG, who is fighting like a cornered animal. He brings two, three, four of the shrouded figures down before the rest overwhelm him and begin beating him into the ground.
Meanwhile, Anonymous isn’t done. He sends a barrage of kicks and stomps to Whitlock’s body.
BEG collapses to the mat, bloody and motionless.
Then, one of the masked figures picks him up.
Slowly, the figure carries him out of the ring, heading backstage. The rest of the horde follows at a deliberate pace.
Anonymous stands over Whitlock’s broken body as the area clears.
The lifeless eyes of his inscrutable mask gaze directly at Alton Whitlock.
“We have deeper scars to give you yet,” says Anonymous.
He turns and walks away.
NYGMA VS. BANZAN
RING KING FINAL
The time has finally arrived.
The Ring King crown sits on a velvet cushion inside a glass case at ringside.
Who will sit upon the throne when the night is done!?
Ozzy Osbourne’s laugh is followed by the guitar riff of “Crazy Train”. Acid-green lights swirl around The Slaughterhouse, as Nygma tears onto the stage. The volatile psychopath stalks his way to the ring, violent intentions in his eyes.
A low pulsing purple glow fills the Slaughterhouse, pulsing in time with the music of “Wolf Totem“.
Dry ice fills the entrance stage, coloured purple from the lighting. The gravelly sound of Mongolian Throat singing cuts through the atmosphere and we see the hulking frame of the Indestructible Mountain as the chanting announces his arrival.
He breathes in the incense of his lifeforce, his eyes rolling to the back of his head. When he opens them once more, his eyes are trained on the ring – on Nygma. Slowly, he makes his descent.
The stage is set.
He Who Laughs.
Two legends-in-the-making stand across the ring from one another. They stand head-and-shoulders above their competition; sixteen men, whittled down to two. They have braved and conquered the qualifying round, quarterfinals, and the semifinals.
But there can be only one King.
Nygma has been to the mountaintop; looked down from its summit on all his peers – scratching and clawing to breathe the same rarified air.
Majestic and imposing, as his namesake suggests, Banzan has broken countless daring individuals, who would plant their flag and make their name off of his.
Both men are beaten and bruised, having already competed in the semifinals earlier tonight. Though their skin no longer shines with sweat, their movements are stiff and laboured.
The referee holds aloft the bejewelled Ring King crown; that’s what it’s all about.
He hands it to ringside personnel, then calls for the bell.
DING, DING, DING!
HERE WE GO!
TIME TO CROWN THE 2020 RING KING!
Banzan enters the tiger stance, his hands resembling claws. He’s going to maintain discipline whilst focusing on offence and power; Nygma may be comparatively diminutive, but he’s dangerous. Banzan knows he needs to put him down as quickly as he can.
Sure enough, Nygma doesn’t heed the tiger enclosure signs. He sets on the Mountain with ice-pick lefts and rights. He chisels away at him, pushing him back into the ropes. The acid-green wildcard Irish whips Banzan. The superheavyweight counters, however, sending Nygma into the far ropes…
HIIIGH BACK BODY DROP BY BANZAN!
Nygma must have gotten ten feet of air! He arcs his back, flexing his fingers to check that he can still control his extremities. You’d be forgiven for thinking he’d grimace, or scream in pain – but the madman merely laughs at his own misfortune!
Banzan picks him up. Nygma socks him in the gut, doubling him over. He springs up into an uppercut, then headbutts him on the bridge of the nose!
The Slaughterhouse crowd gasp as Banzan whips his head back. Blood gushes from his nose, dripping from his chin onto his chest, then the mat.
That didn’t take long!
The official slides a pair of black nitrile gloves on.
Banzan is reeling, but the Mountain still stands tall. The Emporium escapee, Nygma, tears into the ropes…
HE USES HIS BODY AS A PROJECTILE!
NYGMA HURLS HIMSELF AT BANZAN…
BUT THE CRIMSON MONK CATCHES HIM IN MID-AIR!
THE RIDDLER ELBOWS HIM IN THE RIBS, TRYING TO ESCAPE—
BANZAN DUNKS HIM OVER THE ROPES!
NYGMA SPLATS INTO THE UNFORGIVING CONCRETE FLOOR!
The audience groan as Nygma lands in a heap. In the ring, Banzan takes a step back. With what looks to be a broken nose, his breathing is inhibited. Coupled with his size, he needs to be mindful of his stamina.
As he gasps for air, however, a maddening sound reaches his ears.
A hand shoots up from the floor, grabbing a fistful of the ring apron. The twisted visage of Nygma rises into view – and he is laughing hysterically!
Banzan shakes his head in disbelief. The spiritualist gobs out a mouthful of blood and takes a big gulp of air, before advancing on his deranged opponent…
NYGMA GRABS HIS FOOT!
The lunatic yanks with all his might. Banzan doesn’t fall, but he is forced through the ropes. Joining Nygma on the floor, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery alumni is gored into the ring skirt!
Banzan grits his teeth and groans in pain. Nygma drives his shoulder into the big man’s abdomen over and over again, taking the wind out of his sails!
Leaning over the ropes, it’s all the official can do to ask these gentlemen to return to the ring; there are no count-outs in The Slaughterhouse!
Nygma grabs Banzan by his wrist pulls him away from the ring. Jerking him towards him, he drops down—
DROP TOE-HOLD INTO THE STEEL STAIRS!
BANZAN’S SKULL BOUNCES OFF THE STEPS!
The two halves disconnect on impact, with a metallic crash. Banzan does not go down, but kneels. The referee pleads with Nygma to bring the fight back into the ring, but he retreats as the driver of the Crazy Train laughs in his face!
Banzan slowly rises. His hair comes loose from its knot, so that it hangs down in his bloodied face.
Nygma snatches him by his dark locks, guiding him towards the barricades…
NYGMA SLAMS BANZAN’S HEAD INTO THE STEEL BARRIER!
The Laughing Man is doing everything he can to chop the Mountain down – but that mighty landmark won’t go down without a fight!
Banzan leans against the railing—almost tipping it over—trying to catch his breath.
Nygma leathers him with a chop to the chest – then another, and another! Each knife-edge blow pushes the breath out of Banzan’s lungs.
The chemically-altered creation of Doctor D’Ville stoops down. Heaving one of Banzan’s tree trunk-like legs in his hands, he tries to lift the giant over the barricade – to no avail! Nygma instead applies a waistlock and strains, but he still can’t pick him up; Banzan is twice his weight!
Laughing maniacally, Nygma backs up. He charges at Banzan…
NYGMA HITS A BIG CLOTHESLINE ON BANZAN!
THE MOUNTAIN, HOWEVER, REMAINS UPRIGHT!
Pulling on his hair, Nygma chokes on his own laughter. Looking around, he spots just what he’s looking for. Scaring the ringside staff out of his way, he grabs a black steel chair. Folding it closed, he carries it over to his battered and bloodied opponent. He props it open on the ground in front of him, then backs up once more.
HE SPRINTS FORWARDS…
THE CRAZY TRAIN IS FULL STEAM AHEAD!
SPRINGBOARD OFF THE CHAIR—
LEAPING CLOTHESLINE TO BANZAN!
BOTH MEN TUMBLE OVER THE GUARDRAIL, INTO THE BLEACHERS!
NYGMA NUTS THE GROUND; IF HE WASN’T CRAZY BEFORE, HE WILL BE AFTER THAT!
BANZAN ROLLS BACK-FIRST INTO THE EDGE OF THE STONE STEPS!
Black-and-white stripes reappears, ushering members of The Slaughterhouse crowd away from the competitors. He checks on both men—particularly Banzan—but rules that both are fit to continue.
Nursing his back, Banzan wipes the clotted blood from around his nostrils. He turns and starts to crawl up the concrete stairs. Fans vacate their seats as the Mountain lumbers towards them. Pulling himself up on the backs of their wooden chairs, Banzan stands tall.
Nygma has pulled him off-balance, tripped him, and made him bend the knee. He even forced him to take a seat – but he hasn’t felled the Indestructible Mountain. He hasn’t taken him clean off his feet, and forced him onto his back.
Can he even physically cover Banzan – let alone score the three-count!?
Sucking air through blood-stained teeth, Banzan looks around…
NYGMA DIVES FROM THE TOP OF THE STAIRCASE—
HE STRIKES BANZAN LIKE A GODDAMN BULLET!
THE MOMENTUM KNOCKS HIM BACKWARDS…
BUT HE GRABS HOLD OF THE RAILING, STEADYING HIMSELF!
Banzan’s 343-pound frame slides down several steps, nearly ripping his arm out of its socket.
Nygma, having rolled to the base of the stairs, props himself up on his elbows and knees. He chuckles to himself.
Spectators surround the competitors, baying for blood – well, more blood.
Refusing to go down or stay down, Banzan pulls himself back up. Holding his arm at his side, he towers over everybody as he descends the staircase.
Nygma is waiting for him, like a scavenger waiting on its wounded prey to breathe its last breath.
He Who Laughs sicks him—
FUCKING TIIIGER CLAAAW!
IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, BANZAN HITS THE FIVE-POINT PALM STRIKE!
Nygma stops dead in his tracks and looks down at his heart. He laughs, but it gets caught in his throat. Struggling to digest what just happened, he stumbles backwards – into the metal door of The Butcher’s ringside office!
Glancing over his shoulder, and finding himself between a rock and a hard place, Nygma looks back at Banzan—
INDESTRUCTIBLE MOUNTAIN CLOSES THE GAP BETWEEN THEM…
THE 343-POUNDER CHARGES INTO NYGMA – INTO THE OFFICE DOOR—
THEY RIP IT OFF ITS FUCKING HINGES!
CHUNKS OF WALL ARE TORN FROM THE FRAME, AS THEY CRASH THROUGH THE DOOR!
Plaster and masonry litters the floor, and dust fills the air. The fans back up, not wanting any of that in their lungs.
Several moments pass, with no signs of movement.
Is The Butcher himself inside?
Have they just crashed into the man leading the charge against Lance Norman and the IWF!?
The dust slowly settles.
The hulking silhouette of Banzan emerges – dragging Nygma in his wake!
It looks as though The Butcher is tending to business elsewhere during this contest.
Likely fearing for his livelihood, the official begs Banzan to return to the ring. The Bhutan native obliges, stepping over the crowd barrier, still dragging Nygma’s carcass.
He rolls him into the squared circle, then follows suit. He pushes him onto his back and covers him—
WILL BANZAN BE CROWNED RING KING!?
NYGMA KICKS OUT!
BANZAN GIVES NYGMA AN ARRHYTHMIA, PUTS HIM THROUGH AN OFFICE BUILDING, AND HE STILL KICKS OUT AT TWO!
Banzan, however, is unfased. He remains cool, calm, and collected, as always. He has to, because he knows that, under King Nygma, great suffering would exist…
Stooping down to pick Nygma up, Banzan traps him in a waistlock—
BANZAN FOLDS NYGMA IN HALF WITH THE SAITO SUPLEX!
SUFFERING EXISTS – ESPECIALLY FOR NYGMA!
BUT WOULD BANZAN TRULY BE A BENEVOLENT RULER?
OR WOULD THE CROWN CORRUPT HIM!?
NYGMA JUST LIFTS HIS SHOULDER OFF THE MAT!
The Slaughterhouse fanbase groan as the madman refuses to die.
Banzan shakes his head. He knows what he must do, and he takes no pride or pleasure in it. He forms a claw with his hand…
Nygma pulls himself up with the ring ropes. His heart has been stopped and started, his bones have been turned to dust, yet still he fights – that is how much this crown means to these men!
He turns around groggily…
NYGMA HITS THE DECK BEFORE FIVE!
HE DUCKS THE CLAW—
THROAT CHOP TO BANZAN!
THE JOKE’S ON YOU, BUDDY!
Banzan doubles over, clutching his windpipe. He’s really struggling to refill the gas-tank now. Nygma scrambles back to his feet and traps Banzan’s head in the crook of his arm—
JUMPING IMPLANT DDT TO BANZAN!
NYGMA FUCKING PLANTS HIM HEAD-FIRST!
HE FINALLY CHOPS THE MOUNTAIN DOWN ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Banzan lands face-down. Blood pools under him. The Riddler leans up against Banzan’s side and kicks and pushes frantically with his legs. Grunting with exertion, he eventually manages to roll the 343-pounder onto his back—
WILL WE BE RULED OVER BY THE MAD KING, NYGMA!?
WILL A KING-SLAYER RISE UP AND DELIVER US FROM THAT MADNESS!?
THE SUFFERING HASN’T YET ENDED FOR BANZAN!
Whether they be competing for money, honour, or championships, any other competitor might slap the mat, heckle the fans, or even assault the referee. Nygma, however, competing for the prestigious Ring King crown?
I think you know his response.
Always looking on the bright side of life, Nygma turns to face Banzan—
WHO WRAPS HIM UP IN A TRIANGLE SUBMISSION!
ATTACHMENT IS SUFFERING, AND IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE NYGMA WILL PRY BANZAN OFF OF HIM!
The Shaolin practicioner would normally execute the shining variant of this move—with a run-up—but Nygma certainly didn’t bank on him using it here!
Nygma thrashes like a fish on dry land, desperately feeling for the ropes, a loose article of clothing on Banzan, or any other means with which he can escape. Banzan himself closes his eyes, a look of serenity washing over him.
Sliding into action, the referee asks Nygma if he gives up. The former World Champion grabs a handful of his stripey jersey and pulls him to within an inch of his face, which is rapidly turning blue.
WILL HE GIVE UP?
IS THIS HOW WE USHER IN KING BANZAN’S REIGN!?
HE CACKLES IN THE OFFICIAL’S FACE!
Laughter soon turns into spluttering, as Nygma runs out of air.
Releasing the referee, he struggles briefly. Spittle flies out of his mouth, as his lips turn blue. Nygma, however, soon falls limp.
IS THAT IT?
IS IT OVER!?
The official gently takes Nygma’s wrist and lifts his arm.
He drops it…
He picks it up again, and once more it falls limp…
If the arm drops a third time, Banzan will be crowned King!
NYGMA FLIPS OVER INTO A PIN!
BANZAN’S SHOULDERS ARE ON THE MAT!
WILL NYGMA TAKE IT!?
BANZAN GETS HIS SHOULDER UP – BREAKING THE HOLD!
THE REFEREE HOLDS UP AN EMPHATIC TWO FINGERS!
Nygma flops to the mat, blood and air rushing back into his system.
Banzan breathes deeply; he came this close, both to winning—and losing—that elusive golden crown. He does not covet such things, but he cannot let evil men and demons abuse the power that it grants.
Indestructible Mountain clambers back to his feet. He stands tall over Nygma. He Who Laughs clutches Banzan’s ring gear, slowly pulling himself up. He looks up into the calming ocean that is the eyes of Banzan – a stark contrast to the swirling chaos of his own.
For one fleeting moment, that calming influence seems to affect Nygma. The lunacy melts away, revealing a previously-unseen inner calm…
IT WAS A RUSE!
NYGMA LEAPS UP…
HE GRABS BANZAN’S HEAD—
BANZAN THROWS HIM OFF!
NYGMA RACES TO HIS FEET –
BANZAN TOSSES HIM INTO THE CORNER LIKE A BAG OF POTATOES!
Banzan turns Nygma round and heaves him up, seating him on the top turnbuckle!
What is he doing!?
We never see the superheavyweight go up top – but he isn’t going to dive off. No, he secures a waistlock on Nygma…
Is he going to…!?
YES HE IS!
BANZAN LEAPS BACKWARDS WITH NYGMA—
BUT THE RIDDLER TURNS IN MID-AIR…
THE RING QUAKES AS BANZAN LANDS BACK-FIRST – WITH NYGMA STRADDLING HIM!
HIS SHOULDERS ARE DOWN!
THAT’S IT! THAT’S GOTTA BE IT!
BANZAN NEARLY WENT THROUGH THE RING!
KING NYGMA! KING NYGMA! KING—
HOLY SHIT – BANZAN IS STILL IN THIS!
The Slaughterhouse explode as Banzan doesn’t relinquish his grip on the crown – but neither has Nygma!
At this rate, there’s not going to be anything left of these men to crown!
Exhausted, Nygma’s full-bodied laugh is reduced to a wheezy chuckle. What does he have to do!?
That’s the question…
Nygma shakily walks round to the meaty legs of Banzan.
Digging deep, he takes them into his hands – one at a time. With Herculean effort, he tuuurns Banzan over…
HE’S GOT THE LION TAMER LOCKED IN!
BANZAN FINDS HIMSELF IN THE RIDDLE BOX!
PAIN COURSES THROUGH HIS VEINS AS NYGMA CONTORTS HIS LEGS AND SPINE!
THE ANSWER TO THE RIDDLE, HOWEVER, DANCES IN FRONT OF HIM!
THAT’S THE ONLY LOGICAL ANSWER – TAP OUT!
BE DONE WITH IT!
THE PAIN WILL GO AWAY INSTANTLY!
THE OFFICIAL ASKS BANZAN “DO YOU QUIT!?”!
HOW CAN ONE TRINKET BE WORTH THIS TORTURE!?
BANZAN’S SOUL IS INTACT – IT’S ON THE RIGHT PATH!
IS HE REALLY WILLING TO TEAR IT APART FOR THAT CROWN!?
HIS HAND HOVERS OVER THE MAT…
GIVING UP WOULD BE SO EASY…
HE’S GOING TO…
HE’S GOING TO—
Banzan closes his eyes.
That same look of serenity washes over him once more.
Opening them, he sees Aesop – his old friend.
Not the man himself. No, this is not a corporeal being. It’s just… a memory of him.
The greying storyteller merely smiles silently – knowingly. He nods.
He dissipates, as quickly as he manifested.
“BANZAN, DO YOU QUIT!?” The referee repeats.
Banzan crashes back to reality – to the world of suffering in which he finds himself.
Rejuvenated by the memory of his friend, who lives on in his heart, his hand—which hovered so perilously close to the mat—clenches into a fist!
“NO!” HE SAYS DEFIANTLY!
BIG POP FROM THE CROWD!
BANZAN GRITS HIS TEETH—
HE TUUURNS WITH EVERYTHING HE’S GOT!
NYGMA RAMPS UP THE TORQUE…
BUT BANZAN KICKS LIKE A HORSE—
NYGMA CARTWHEELS THROUGH THE AIR, BREAKING THE RIDDLE BOX!
BOTH MEN ARE DOWN – BUT NOT OUT!
They look at each other across the ring.
Dragging their weary, broken bodies to their feet, running on nothing but fumes, they each slump against the ropes.
They cannot take any more.
This tournament, and that fucking crown, have killed them.
But there can be only one King.
Sharing a knowing look, they both push off from their corners.
THEY BOTH CHARGE ACROSS THE RING, LIKE TWO JOUSTING KNIGHTS!
DO OR DIE!
THEY LEAP INTO THE AIR—
AIN’T NO LAUGHING MATTER SHINING WIZARD…
BANZAN FOLLOWS THE ENLIGHTENED PATH—
BUT NYGMA ENDS HIS SUFFERING!
THE SHINING WIZARD BEATS THE KINSHASA!
NYGMA LANDS ON TOP OF BANZAN!
THE MAD KING!
NYGMA HAS DONE IT!
NYGMA IS THE 2020 RING KING!
Ozzy Osbourne’s maddening laugh from “Crazy Train” echoes around The Slaughterhouse.
Nygma has done it.
The Laughing Man gets back to his feet, a smile forever present on his face and falls backwards into the ropes as the referee raises his hand.
Luke Storm is going to have to present his former crown to his evil brother.
We flick to the backstage area where Luke Storm was shown standing earlier, only he isn’t there. We pan out to see him on the phone.
“What do you mean?” He asks.
There’s a slight pause.
“Alright, okay, I understand. What do you need me to do, mama?” Storm says looking struck.
She says something.
“No, I can’t do that,” he replies. “You have no idea what’s happened, mom. There’s just no way – not on top of this, not amongst everything else.”
Again, he listens.
But this time, he tosses the crown down.
Back in the ring, Nygma finds that hysterical.
“It’ll haunt me until the day I die,” Luke replies to whatever his mother said. “It’ll tear me up inside, but I can’t. I just can’t. He was dangerous enough before. Believe me, you wouldn’t recognize him now.”
The World Champion looks utterly starstruck.
Whatever this conversation is about has him completely lost.
He begins walking towards the exits, leaving the crown behind.
“I’m sorry, mama,” he says, lowering his head as he leaves. “I’m sorry.”
The camera flips between Nygma in the ring and Luke Storm leaving the building. Nygma may be our King, but Luke Storm isn’t recognizing his authority.
Yet the laughing man…
…IS NOT GOLDERN
Back in the office of Mark Gouldern, Rain now has his massive muscular arm wrapped around the Tech Guru’s neck.
We’ve come to learn that Gouldern is not only a financial backer of Old School Wrestling but a 39% owner.
A well-kept secret.
“It’s simple, Mark,” Lance says with a smirk, putting a piece of paper down on the desk. “This contract signs your shareholdings in OSW over to me. If you sign it, I’ll have the power I need to force Colin into a battle at Red Snow.”
“You’re making a mistake,” Gouldern complains.
“And once you’ve done that, I want you to login to your computer there and transfer everything you own into this account.”
Lance slides a second piece of paper across the desk.
Mark has no choice.
He reluctantly grabs a pen.
With Rain’s giant bicep squeezing his throat, he signs the paperwork.
The Monster squeezes a little tighter.
“Remember, there’s no-one here to save you; if you don’t finish the transfer, the cleaners will find your body in the morning.”
Gouldern logs into his computer, his glasses reflecting what he’s doing on screen. He accesses his accounts and reaches out for the account details, carefully inputting them on screen.
With a couple more clicks, everything is done.
Not only does Lance Norman own a 39% stake in Old School Wrestling but he’s now a millionaire thanks to Mark Gouldern.
“I’ve done what you’ve asked,” he groans utterly despondent. “You own everything, now.”
Lance walks around the desk and allows Rain to let him stand with a nod. The Monster looms over him as Norman approaches.
“Now, what was it you said about trash collection?” He asks.
“Come on, remind me,” he probes.
Mark looks at Rain, then back at Lance.
“I-I said trash gets picked up on Thursday.”
The IWF Chairman laughs quite loudly.
“I don’t think I can wait that long.”
Suddenly, our entire view changes. We switch to the beautiful night sky, with the stars glistening above.
Our camera lowers, revealing Telegon Towers.
The clear and quiet night sky is suddenly interrupted by a horrifying sound.
And Mark Gouldern with it.
Glass shatters as Mark is tossed through a window on the top floor, plummeting through the air with a deafening yell.
Until that yell is replaced with a sickening thud.
We zoom in to the window, looking at Rain and Lance Norman as they approach the now empty space.
They look down, Mark Gouldern a red dot on the concrete floor below.