“THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW”
The Slaughterhouse logo flickers in glowing neon.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
In a dingy basement turned laboratory, a leaky faucet echoes throughout the dark and drab interior. There’s a large chair in the middle of the room, with Darby Sorrow sat barely conscious upon it.
His hands and feet are bound.
And his head resides in some kind of restraint.
He’s breathless and somewhat panicked.
“What’s going on?” He questions, stumbling through his words. They’re feint and tired.
An elderly man walks over, wearing a grey Doctor’s tunic and headgear. He’s wielding a needle accompanied by a terrifying smile.
“Relax Mr. Sorrow, you’re in good hands,” he hisses sinisterly. “My name is Doctor Wells and I’ve been commissioned to help you remember.”
Darby doesn’t understand.
“Remember what?” he mutters.
“The past,” Wells says, tapping his syringe. “Now, I won’t lie to you Mr. Sorrow, this will hurt. You’re going to feel like you’re back there, but every moment you recall, you will also suffer. You see, I haven’t refined this treatment as yet. It has unfortunate side effects. The more dosages it requires for you to remember, the more it attacks your nerve endings.”
Sorrow’s eyes widen.
“Please, no,” he begs.
Doctor Wells puts the needle to his neck and smiles.
“Don’t fight it,” he warns. “Fighting it will make it worse.”
He injects him with the serum, watching as Sorrow screams in agony as the dose begins attacking him almost immediately. He soon settles down, his eyes glazing over white as The Doctor retrieves a note pad and pen.
To be continued…
REDWING VS. LUKE MARSHALL
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
The Ring King crown continues to weed out those unworthy, as a troubled Redwing takes on the silver-tongued Luke Marshall!
Redwing offers his hand for a tie-up. Luke seemingly accepts, only to dish out a low kick. Redwing hobbles away but the charismatic Marshall hounds him, hacking away at his leg. He whips Redwing into the ropes and tackles him with a vicious chopblock! Luke is trying to disable Redwing’s arsenal, including the Darkness Falls curb stomp.
He stomps away at him until the referee forces a reprieve. Luke seizes his chance to pontificate to the crowd, who grill him. He turns back to the wounded Redwing, who rocks him with a back elbow. Crimson Justice turns the tide with brutal strikes, almost struggling to restrain himself. Luke goes for another low kick, but Redwing floors him with a double-leg takedown, then slingshots him headfirst into the turnbuckle!
Luke stumbles back and Redwing spins him round into the GODWATCH ripcord knee – BUT HIS KNEE BUCKLES! Luke strikes faster than lightning and plants him with a snap DDT! ONE… TWO… TH—SHOULDER UP! Redwing narrowly escapes – unable to even kick out. Luke retrieves his handwritten bible and holds it aloft while preaching to the crowd – BUT A REDBLADE SENDS THE BIBLE FLYING!
Marshall spins round furiously. He tears Redwing off the mat and butterflies the arms, looking to hit the piledriver! SENT FROM ABOVE – but Redwing crunches and straddles Luke’s shoulders… RETURN TO ARKHAM! Redwing nails Marshall with the double underhook DDT! ONE… TWO… THREE!
The Red Knight has secured his place in the Ring King brackets!
Three Days Ago
Gary, Indiana is an absolute wasteland.
The buildings are mostly demolished, all but the sturdiest of which have been reduced to rubble.
Everyone that lived here? Dead.
The news? Never even mentioned it.
The government? Didn’t even care.
Just outside the city perimeter sits a homemade sign:
Down a major intersection, a gasoline feueled gokart flies at an exciting thirty-five miles per hour.
Driving it? None other than Junkrat.
He wears a three-piece suit with a top hat, and a sash across his torso that reads, “MAYOR.”
Suddenly, Junkrat is forced to slam on the brakes of his gokart. He does so because appearing before him is none other than Sigil.
“Hi, Sigil!” shouts Junkrat, hopping out of the gokart.
“Don’t you ‘Hi, Sigil’ me Junkrat! I distinctly told you not to drop the vials. Literally told you that. And then what did you do?”
Junkrat turns and looks away.
“Junkrat, what did you do?”
Junkrat sighs and hangs his head.
“I dropped it.”
Sigil takes an almost fatherly tone with Junkrat. “Why did you drop it?”
Junkrat shuffles his feet in the rubble. “I dunno.”
Sigil sighs. He pats Junkrat on the back. “You have to listen to me, Junkrat. You have to. I only tell you to do things that are in your best interest. If you’d have listened to me, this city would still be standing.”
“Yeah,” Junkrat nods. “But I wouldn’t be the Mayor.”
“You aren’t the Mayor!”
“Yes I am the Mayor.”
“No you aren’t!”
“Yes I am, we had an election.”
Sigil shouts, “You can’t have an election if you’re the only person in the entire city!”
“Well,” Junkrat replies. “I did.”
Sigil looks Junkrat up and down. He doesn’t know whether to scream or laugh. Finally, he just sighs. “That’s a very nice Mayor’s sash, Junkrat.”
Junkrat smiles proudly.
Sigil sighs again.
SIGIL VS. MONTY STRAIGHT
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
Who wants and, indeed, needs the Ring King crown more? That’s what we’re going to find out, as Monty Straight does battle with Sigil!
The emcee plays to the crowd with monarchic pantomimes. Looking to add to his Collection, Sigil advances on him. Monty snares him in a headlock, however, as the grappler hustles the striker. Sigil hits the ropes to shove Monty off, but the host floats him over into a side headlock takedown. Sigil manages to apply a grounded headscissors, but Monty quickly escapes and transitions – STRAIGHT SHOOTING!? Sigil quickly kicks him off, evading the early Sharpshooter attempt.
Monty goes for a fireman’s carry takedown, but Sigil knees him in the ribs. A sickening thud is heard as he headbutts him with his metal mask! He backs him into the corner and lights him up with knife-edge chops, each one eliciting a woo from the fans. Sigil whips Monty into the ropes and takes his head off with a spinning heel kick! ONE… TWO… KICKOUT! The gameshow host isn’t being taken off-air yet.
Sigil hurls Monty into the corner and follows up with a stinger splash – but Straight side-steps it! Sigil lands sternum-first across the top rope and ring post, nearly clearing the ring altogether! Monty clubs him across the back and climbs up with him. He wraps him in a waistlock and lands THE BIG DEAL! The avalanche German suplex drives Sigil into the mat. ONE… TWO… TH—SHOULDER UP!
The showman signals for the end. He picks up Sigil’s legs, looking for some STRAIGHT SHOOTING – but Sigil is MERCIFUL! The Collector hits a surprise chop to the neck of Monty, who falls to the canvas and convulses. Sigil waits for Straight to regain control of his muscles. Monty gets up – PLANESWALKER! Sigil sends him flying with a freight train of a running dropkick! ONE… TWO… THREE!
Sigil is one step closer to adding the Ring King crown to his Collection!
FOOL’S GOLD, I
Perhaps better known as the Tiger’s Nest.
It is a monastery nestled in the cliffs of Bhutan. Clouds cast a serene calm over the landscape as the resident monks go about their business.
The voice of Berkshire Ellison Greene quickly disturbs that serenity. BEG ignores the beautiful blue pine trees along the trail as he and his crew of well-dressed knaves approach the famed water-powered prayer wheel. A large figure is knelt there.
“Don’t ignore me.” BEG cautions, he and his men surrounding Banzan, who slowly opens his eyes.
“You got the hell out of dodge after whatever the fuck happened to Darby happened.” BEG lowers his sunglasses with sinister intent. “I need that immortal bastard, and you’d better not be trying to deep six the competition.”
Banzan’s thin lips almost form a frown.
“There was once a man who was digging for gold.” The Mountain begins. “Deep under his town, he found a large streak of it. Pure, all he’d ever wanted. But he knew that if word of it spread, everyone would seek it. So he came up with a plan, because after all, it’s easy to fool a fool.”
Greene shakes his head.
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.”
The OSW World Champion stands to his feet, staring down at BEG and his men like one would at children. He holds out a meaty hand, grasping the OSW World Championship.
“You want this, do you not?” Banzan queries.
“It should already be around my waist.” BEG snorts.
Banzan holds it out.
“Take it, then.”
BEG looks at his men, skeptical, but he grabs the belt out of Banzan’s hand, who offered no resistance. Greene holds it up, looking it over in the sunlight.
“It’s a fake. Fool’s gold.” He says after a moment, throwing the belt to the ground. “Don’t try to bullshit me, Banzan.”
The monk nods.
“I suppose I’m the man hiding the gold from those that wish to take it, then.” Banzan replies.
A loud rumble fills the distance and BEG grins.
“No, you’re the dumb son of a bitch that’s standing on my land.”
A bulldozer pulls up behind BEG, and he grins at a curious Banzan.
“That’s right, you big bastard, I bought this land, and I’m about to tear it all down!”
“ROLE OF A LIFETIME”
People are coming and going, staff members and talent milling about in the green room area. It is here that we find Luke Storm backstage, a spring in his step and a certain swagger about him that comes with freedom. His House Rulez Championship slung over his shoulder, he takes a swing from his bottled water, ensuring that the label is clearly visible. A trade habit.
A voice greets him. Luke peels his sunglasses from his face in dramatic Hollywood fashion, turning to meet the source of the voice. A well dressed man, flanked by an equally well dressed woman. The pair are seated at a table tucked near the corner of the area. The woman beckons for him to sit, and the man ensures the free chair is comfortably pulled out from the round table. On it, a briefcase, open to reveal a stack of papers within.
“We have been watching, but you would have expected nothing less. I’ve got to say, I like what I am seeing from you.”
Luke flashes his winning smile, but remains somewhat quiet. The woman continues.
“We know what brought you here. Your credibility destroyed, your livelihood in turmoil. You knew that standing out as a legitimate talent would prove the claims before you to be unfounded. And you have done nothing but show that you truly are the Real Deal.
So… Let’s talk business.”
She motions to the stack of papers. The man with her takes out the top few pages off the stack and places them in front of Luke.
“This is the deal to make you. I’ll level with you and tell you that you’re our number one guy for the role. We need the looks, we need your charisma. But more than that, we need who you are. The true talent that you have. That is what we’re after. Look at the contract and tell me this isn’t everything you’ve wanted.”
Storm looks over the papers for a moment, his eyes widening as he reads.
“That’s a lot of zeroes.”
She smiles at him, gathering up the papers and placing them back in the briefcase, clicking it shut and standing up in one fluid motion.
“It’s the role of a lifetime, Luke. I’ll have my people call your agent and we’ll send him over the contract to look over.”
Storm nods a thank you and the Hollywood pair leave without a further word. The smile cracks back onto his face. He pats his title belt and continues on his way, even more of a spring in his step.
It is then that a shadowy figure steps out from a doorway in which they had been hiding. Dressed in dark clothing with a baseball cap pulled over their face. The figure remains in the shadow, phone pressed to his ear.
“We need to talk.”
KENNY FREEMAN VS. JUNKRAT
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
In the next Ring King qualifier, a returning Kenny Freeman looks to defuse the explosive Junkrat!
The bell rings, and the diminutive Freeman slides through Junkrat’s legs. A dropkick from behind sends the pyromaniac into the ropes, and another dropkick on the rebound cuts him down to size. The crowd get behind Kenny, who hits a kneeling Junkrat with a hurricanrana – spiking his head into the mat! ONE… TW—KICKOUT! Junkrat has plenty of gas left in the tank.
Looking to become a trending topic, Kenny goes for a springboard moonsault – but a prone Junkrat boots him out of the air! Freeman lands in a heap, and the scrap scavenger flattens him with a senton bomb. Junkrat scoops him up, hurls him into the ropes, and plants him with a spinning side slam! ONE… TWO… SHOULDER UP! Kenny showing a lot of heart here tonight!
Junkrat lobs Kenny into the ropes. Freeman rolls over Junkrat’s back and clocks him with a Pelé kick! Junkrat stumbles into the corner. The crowd count along as Kenny climbs up and blasts him with right hands—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7–until Junkrat throws him off. Kenny lands on his feet and ducks a big boot. Junkrat charges at Kenny, but The Keyboard Warrior vaults to the top rope – Junkrat goes headfirst into the turnbuckle!
The Boomer staggers back, seeing stars. Kenny whips out his smartphone and snaps a quick photo before taking flight – BUT THE PROFILE PICTURE DOESN’T LOAD! Junkrat sidesteps the diving neckbreaker. He retrieves Kenny’s phone and ascends the ropes, where he takes his own selfie. He throws himself off – RIP-TIRE 450 SPLASH! ONE… TWO… THREE!
Junkrat advances to the next stage of the Ring King tournament!
“Big trouble for tech-mogul-turned-warrior Mark Gouldern and his multi-billion-dollar company, Telegon,” says the news anchor.
A quick montage: monstrous glass-and-steel buildings.
“At Telegon offices around the world, a violent protest and walk-out has occurred.”
Surveillance camera footage. RIO DE JANEIRO OFFICE, CONFERENCE ROOM 5 in the bottom corner.
A group of men in suits look confused. Chairs sit empty around a conference table.
“Fueled by the leak of critical documents revealing significant pay differences between male and female employees at upper and middle management levels, as well as evidence of discrimination, misconduct and harassment throughout the company…”
A group of figures dressed in flowing gowns, black as midnight, enter the room. Their faces are covered. The men back up. They’re frightened. One of them begins to yell, his face red and flustered.
“A group of female employees donned disturbing costumes…”
The women begin to tear the office apart. Leather chairs fly through windows; flat-screen TVs are ripped from the walls.
“Violently destroyed parts of the luxurious Telegon offices…”
The women in black move on from the conference room. There’s many more than first visible. They rip the hall to shreds, topple cubicles, send laptops crashing to the floor.
“And walked out, demanding equal pay, fairer treatment, and the resignation of Telegon CEO Mark Gouldern.”
Clips of women dressed in black leaving Telegon offices worldwide, en masse. They march right out the front door. Black SUVs await to carry them off.
“If their demands aren’t met, the activists are threatening to reveal damaging information, trade secrets, unrevealed patents, and more to the public. And to Telegon’s competitors.”
“The participants are calling these shocking demonstrations the Blackveil Protests, and are believed to be associated with Gouldern’s fellow OSW superstar of the same name.”
“We’ll have more on this story as it develops.”
Down the road from the Slaughterhouse, Luke Marshall has rented out a small building to talk to his congregation. We find him deep in his sermon.
“Listen to what I tell you, my brothers and sisters, all of are in danger of taking the path to damnation! A lustful eye or a bad day that leads you to wicked ways is all it takes to get barred from the gates of heaven but there’s always a way to stay away from the world’s temptations. Our God is much stronger than this wicked world, amen?”
His followers speak in unison.
“I said, Amen?!?”
“Through the power of the lord, we are stronger than anything this world can throw at us. We are stronger than the lies! We are stronger than the temptations! We are strong because our lord makes us strong! Through the lord and the power of prayer, we can overcome anything! If we don’t give in to him and think we can make it through on our strength alone, the fiery depths of hell wait for us instead! Now let us pray.”
Luke and his followers bow their heads.
“Lord in heaven, we come to you today to thank you for everything you have given us. Even though some of us are weak or early in our journey, we are still your children and grateful for everything you have given us.”
A treasurer in the back of the church collapses to the ground, the bullet still rolling in the back of her skull as a masked man runs off with today’s offering plate.
The rest of the congregation runs out the building in fear and Monty Straight is outside the building handing out flyers to the game that never stops to anyone who looks panicked.
“Please come to my show if you need another place to go, rest assured everyone in my studio audience is completely safe.”
Luke Marshall is the last to leave.
“Father Marshall, it would be an honor if you came to the show, your congregation needs you now more than ever and if you assure them my show is as safe as I tell them, then you will have a friend forever in me. What do you say, will you come to the game that never stops? They need you, friend.”
Luke Marshall is struggling, he just told his church all about resisting temptation but here’s one that’s hard to resist. He rips the flyer out of Monty’s hand.
“I’ll think about it.”
SCRIMSAW VS. LUKE STORM
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
To determine the next to advance in the first Ring King under the Butcher’s tenure, we have Scrimshaw and his former vessel, Luke Storm.
The bell rings and Luke Storm shoots on Scrimshaw and drops him with a single leg takedown! Immediately Storm transitions to an arm bar! Scrimshaw screams out in pain, “ARGH! YA BASTARD!” The old sea dog fights and stretches to get his leg on the rope!
But Storm stands up and drags Scrimshaw by the arm back to the center of the ring! He pins Scrimshaw’s arm to the mat! STORM DRIVES HIS KNEE RIGHT INTO SCRIMSHAW’S ELBOW! He locks the armbar back in! Scrimshaw cries out in pain again, once again clawing and stretching for the bottom rope! He’s nearly there!
…But Scrimshaw grabs the harpoon gun with his free hand and FIRES IT at Storm’s head!!! Jesus fucking Christ!!! Thank god his other arm wasn’t free, or he’d have put a harpoon straight through Storm’s face, but Storm let go right in the niche of time for the harpoon to scrape his arm!
Luke Storm stands to his feet, clutching his arm which now has an open wound cutting across the bicep! Scrimshaw climbs to his feet! LIGHTNING STRIKE!!! NO!!! SCRIMSHAW DODGES AND GRABS STORM’S LEG!!! STORM WITH AN ENZIGUIRI COUNTER!!! SCRIMSHAW HITS THE MAT!!! STORM LEAPS TO THE TOP ROPE!!! THUNDER!!! HE MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEE!!!
Luke Storm gets one over on the man who was once, in a sense, his captain! Is arm is raised in victory, and he advances to the next round!
The match may be over, but as Scrimshaw stands in the ring, leaning against the ropes and trying to get his bearings, the lights in the Slaughter House go dark, only a dim light coming from the entrance able to illuminate the arena. And finally, words boom, echoing against the walls.
The light flickers out, and in the total darkness, a match is lit. Scrimshaw. Bringing the flame to his face, he lights his pipe, and in the withering light we see behind him a a figure in glinting black armor.
Striking out, we are once again plunged into darkness as Scrimshaw is forced to drop his match and pipe. We hear the sounds of a struggle, with blows being shared between the two men before a meaty THUNK ends in silence. And slowly, the lights come on.
And in the center of the ring, The Judge’s axe is buried in the mat. Scrimshaw’s coat is torn, revealing his chest, a tattoo scrawled across his chest, a strange insignia showing the face of a sea monster, archaic symbols around it. His foot is planted firmly on the axe, and in hand, is a flintlock pistol pointed at the face of the Judge. Scrimshaw snarls, the ancient looking pistol engraved with similar runes and symbols. He finally breaks the tension as he speaks.
“Guilty o’ what, boy?”
The armored giant does not speak for a moment, merely pointing at the tattoo upon the Sea Dog’s chest.
“Guilty of plunder, guilty of desolation, guilty of disorder. You must be atoned, and I shall bring about your reckoning.”
Scrimshaw remains stone faced as he pulls back on the trigger, seemingly sure of his choice as soon as he’s made it.
“I don’t take kindly to your accusations, Judge.”
The lights flicker off once more as the pistol fires off, and when they come back up, The Judge is GONE, and Scrimshaw is snarling in the center of the ring, the once calm Sea Captain seemingly out for blood as the scene fades out.
“We need to talk…”
Alton Whitlock pulls the phone away from his ear slightly, looking at the screen for a moment with a puzzled look on his face.
“Who is this? How did you get this number?”
“We need to talk. Back alleyway, now.”
The line goes dead. Whitlock mulls as he places the phone away but ultimately moves in the direction of the outside door. After a short walk, down a few corridors, he pushes open a service entrance to the back alley. Nobody else is in sight, just darkness and a flickering light to illuminate almost enough of the alley to get by. The door closes behind him and Whitlock steps forward. A figure steps beside him dressed in black with a baseball cap over his face, in the shadows, giving him no time to respond.
“Thank you for coming. This could not be discussed within earshot of anybody else.”
Whitlock relaxes slightly when he sees the figure, to which we are still yet to identify.
“What do you need from me?”
A pause as the figure checks for the coast to be clear.
“Luke Storm. He needs to be made to look bad. One thing is clear… The studio needs to see him as a bad choice. Deals are on the table but not signed yet. You need to change their mind. Get the role taken away.”
Whitlock puzzles, not sure what to make of everything.
The figure cuts him off.
“Yes. And then we have a deal.”
Whitlock runs his finger over his face, absently feeling the line of his scar.
“But how am I supposed to…”
His voice trails off, the figure has gone.
VERITAS VS. DARBY SORROW
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
Up next, we have Veritas vs Darby–
Wait, no we don’t.
We cut backstage.
Veritas sits tied to a wooden chair in a room lit by a single light bulb.
His mask is torn in places, and covered with blood from his lips.
Standing over him?
“I’m going to ask you one last time, Veritas. What do you know about my parents killer?”
Veritas grins through his busted lips, showing bloodsoaked teeth.
“Do you know where I’m from, Redwing?”
Redwing turns away from Veritas, lifting off the ground a solid, red baseball bat.
“Yeah,” Redwing replies. “Truth or Consequences.”
Veritas watches Redwing pat the bat in his palm. “The thing about that town, it was named on a bad premise.”
Redwing turns to Veritas, “Oh?”
“Yeah,” he says. “It should be called Truth and Consequences. Because the consequences of the truth always follows it. Like a shadow.”
Veritas continues, “And even if I knew who killed your parents, I wouldn’t tell you. Because despite its shadow, the truth is clear as day.”
Veritas spits blood from his mouth onto Redwing’s boot and says, “You aren’t ready for the consequence.”
Redwing’s bat collides with Veritas’s temple! Veritas and the chair topple sideways!
Redwing mounts Veritas and starts beating the living shit out of him!!
By the time he’s done? Veritas is out cold. And Redwing storms out of the room, locking the door behind him.
We cut back to the ring.
“There will be no match between Veritas and Darby Sorrow tonight.”
The ring announcer declares.
“Since neither competitor was able to compete, this bout has been ruled a no contest.“
The screen of the small, dated television screen crackles with static for a moment before coming to life. The tape playing seems worn and old, as if it has been reused many times.
Waves crash upon the golden sands of a sunny beach for a moment.
Immediately afterwards an eyeball lies upon a chopping board, bloodied from being separated by its owner.
A severed arm lies in the sand, seemingly blown from its owner in a gruesome fashion.
A beautiful meadow, long wild grasses gently blow in the breeze.
A man secured to a chair screams as a much larger man stands over him, digging at his face. His large frame obscured the identity of the man.
“What a melody. A symphony to my ears.”
The sand dunes sit quietly with a picnic blanket weighed down by a wicker picnic basket.
An eyeball presented in the palm of the large man’s hand.
Blasts from further into a jungle blast dirt high into the air. A man runs, shirtless, bloodied through the jungle.
The clear waves lap quietly against the shore.
A loud blasts blows the man backwards. A closeup of his bloody face. His eye missing. He looks with his other eye, his face pale now, at the spot where his arm once was.
A closeup of the face of X.
A closeup of the arm of X.
Sitting across the darkened, windowless room sits Mez. His arms are tied to the wooden chair arms. His legs are secured to the chairs legs.
He watches, whether he likes it or not, the taped montage over and over.
“Ah, to once more feel that breeze against my face.” he thinks to himself, “and all I have to do is take what he has.”
The tape rewinds itself.
The whole thing starts again.
MEZ VS. X
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
The straight jacket of Mez is released by a couple of orderlies who quickly drop to the outside of the ring. X glares across the ring at the first man to stand between him and ultimate victory in the competition. The bell sounds.
Soundlessly, Mez charges at X, his hands clawing and grasping at the eyeballs of X. His long, unkempt nails scratching at the skin of his opponent. X staggers back into the corner but lifts himself up, using both feet to kick Mez backwards. Mez rolls over and straight back to his feet before charging again at X. X swings his bionic arm but Mez sidesteps it. Hip toss! Armbar! Mez quickly locks an armbar in OJ ax’s bionic arm, yanking at it as if to rip it from its owner. X is far too strong and pulls his arm free almost immediately.
Both men clamber back to their feet and turn towards one another. TONGAN DEATH GRIP! X grabs the head of Mez with his bionic arm! But wait, TONGAN DEATH GRIP! Mez grabs X by his head too! Both men stand defiantly, neither wishing to yield. BAM! Headbutt from Mez. X is down. Instead of pinning X, Mez claws at X’s face again, grabbing for his eyeball, reaching his fingers behind X’s eyelid! X rolls over, mounting Mez. X rolls backwards and leaps in the air, sitting himself on the top turnbuckle. Mez gets to his feet. EXECUTION! A double axe handle!
Mez side steps it! He grabs X in a cross face chicken wing. THE STRAIGHT JACK— no! X slips the hold. He ducks under Mez taking Mez’s back. Half Nelson using the bionic arm! Mez flails his arms around in panic as the bionic arm does its work, the hold locked in, X wraps his legs around Mez’s waist, taking him to the ground. Unmedicated, Mez feels the pain and succumbs! Mez has tapped out!
X picks up the win tonight in a hard-fought battle. He slides from the ring holding his swollen eye as Mez’s orderlies quickly sedate him. Mr Johnson looks on from the outside, seemingly seething with rage.
“Press charges? Are you fucking insane, Christian?”
In a pristine office at his home, Mark Gouldern sits in front of a laptop with a glass of whiskey.
He’s video conferencing with his COO, Christian Edmundson.
“With what they could reveal…” Mark continues, “They’re some of the most powerful people in the company. CFO. CTO. Pressing charges will just make it worse.”
On the screen, Christian sighs. He’s a white-haired man wearing a suit and tie.
“You’re sure they won’t take the money?” Mark asks. He sips his drink.
“I got Emily on video chat,” Christian says. “Didn’t say a word, didn’t even take the damn veil off. Laughed in my face and hung up.”
“Damn it,” Mark says.
“This Blackveil,” Christian says. “Know much about her?”
Mark Gouldern looks down from the screen.
“She’s… unnatural. Some kind of specter. Undying. Angry. Vengeful.”
For a moment, Mark rests his head in hands, eyes closed.
“She wants nothing more,” he says softly, “than to see men like you and I suffer. But we both know I’d rather die than resign. This is my empire, built by my own hands.”
Slowly, his eyes adjusting once more to the light, Mark looks up.
On the screen, he sees a black shape rising above and behind his COO.
“Christian, behind you!” he shouts.
But it’s too late. The shape–a gloved hand–swiftly finds the Telegon COO’s tie.
It does not hesitate.
With a disgustingly powerful yank, the hand pulls it.
The old man’s neck snaps instantly. His body slumps downward.
Into the video frame comes yet another woman, face hidden, clad in darkness.
She cackles; the voice is telltale.
Gouldern stares forward. For a single instant, he’s petrified.
Something between fear and fury flashes in his eyes.
Suddenly calm, Mark ends the call and closes the laptop.
He drains his glass of whiskey.
A smirk crosses his face.
FOOL’S GOLD, II
The rumbling engine of a bulldozer flanks Berkshire Ellison Greene as he stands before Banzan after informing him he’d bought out the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
“You see, there was a fire here twenty-some odd years ago, and the government of Bhutan decided to restore this place, but they needed the cold hard cash. I gave them the loan, and I’ve decided to claim my property.”
Banzan merely nods.
“And after you’ve destroyed this place, will it bring you any closer to what you seek?” The Champion asks.
BEG raises an eyebrow, annoyed at the unflappable nature of Banzan.
“I may not be able to knock the mountain down, but you can bet your ass that I can take everything off that’s on it.” BEG replies, his intentions for Banzan clear.
Another nod from Banzan.
“As you may have guessed from the fake Championship, the man who struck gold used fool’s gold. He planted it around town, and told the world that he’d found gold. Naturally, once others began to seek out this buried fool’s gold, they quickly ascertained the truth of it’s falsehood.”
Reaching to the prayer wheel, Banzan pulls away a cloth, revealing the true OSW World Championship.
“All while the man collected every piece of real gold he could. Once people dismissed all the gold as fool’s gold, then they even brought what they found to the man, believing him to be a strange collector of oddities.”
“What’s your point?”
Banzan allows a tight grin.
“It’s easy to fool a fool with the allure of that which they cannot attain on their own. They’ll keep digging and handing you exactly what they want without realizing they’re just another tool.”
The story complete, Banzan walks through BEG’s men to begin heading away from the Tiger’s Nest.
“I’m not a fool, Banzan!” BEG calls out. “You haven’t fooled me one bit!”
Banzan continues to walk away.
“I am not the one doing the fooling.” He says.
BEG doesn’t even hear it, his attention already focused on the demolition ahead. He turns to one of his cronies.
“I want to go through this place first, I think the big son of a bitch grew up here. He’s the fool if he thinks I can’t buy whatever I want.”
Greene heads into the Tiger’s Nest, while Banzan grows smaller and smaller in the distance.
BLACKVEIL VS. ALTON WHITLOCK
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
These two have a history! It’s Alton Whitlock taking on Blackveil to determine who advances in Ring King!
The bell rings, and Alton Whitlock charges towards Blackveil! Blackveil snaps her finger and disappears, NOW YOU SEE ME! But Alton has SEEN THIS BEFORE! He stops and charges towards the opposite side of the ring, sending her over the top rope with a lariat just as she reappears! The Politician immediately slides out of the ring!
He grabs Blackveil by the hair and drags her to the guard rail! He slams her head into it! Again, again, again! But suddenly, a woman in the crowd moves right up to the guard rail and throws powder in Whitlock’s eyes! He staggers backwards and tries to wipe the powder from his eyes, but the woman hands Blackveil a steel chair! Blackveil takes it!
CRACK!!! Right over Alton’s head!!! Alton hits the mat! And now, Blackveil grabs Alton by his own hair and drags him to the ring, shoving him onto the mat and rolling him inside the ring. She follows, and immediately reaches her feet. Tendrils extend from her hand, wrapping around Alton’s throat!! BUT ALTON STANDS UP!!!
He kicks her in the gut, moves behind her and slides her up onto his shoulders!! SNAP ELECTION!!! ALTON KEEPS HOLD OF HER LEGS FOR THE PIN!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEE–NO!!! BLACKVEIL KICKS OUT!!! Alton stands to his feet! He lifts Blackveil to hers, hooks her arms, twists!!! BETTER WORLD!!! ALTON MAKES THE COVER AND HOOKS THE LEGS!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEEEEEE!!!
Alton gets a measure of retribution tonight over Blackveil. His arm is raised in victory, and he advances to the next round!
Moments after Drag ‘Em to Hell
99 dead Junkrats float in outerspace.
Suddenly, a portal opens and a flying saucer flies through. It beams the cluster of dead Junkrats on board.
Commander Spacerat, who looks exactly like Junkrat in an astronaut costume, walks down a long, metal corridor. A door decompresses and slides open to reveal the Captain’s office. Commander Spacerat reports to Captain Spacerat, who looks exactly the same.
“Mission accomplished, Captain. The Junkrats have been secured.”
Captain Spacerat smiles a toothy smile. “Excellent. And the O.G. Junkrat?”
“Alive on Earth, blowing up Gary, Indiana as we speak.”
Captain Spacerat looks out the window. The faintest hint of an explosion in North America.
“So he is. That means everything is going according to canon.”
Commander Spacerat nods. “Yes, Captain.”
“Commander,” Captain Spacerat says. “Revive all 99 of these junkrats and beam them down to Gary, Indiana.”
Commander Spacerat interjects, “Permission to speak freely, sir?”
“Go ahead, Commander.”
“Well, why in the name of the Big Bopper himself would we ever send 99 Junkrats to one planet?”
The Captain smiles. “Because you idiot,” he says. “Their primitive existence predates our own by thousands of years. These 99 Junkrats are our ancestors, so to speak.”
“How so Captain?”
With the help of these 99 Junkrats,” the Captain says. “The O.G. Junkrat will steal the Replicator from The Collector’s bag and create what will eventually become us.”
“Jeez,” Commander Spacerat says. “I had no idea that’s how we were made.”
Captain Spacerat rolls his eyes at Commander Spacerat’s stupidity.
“Just revive those Junkrats and beam them down before I demote you.”
Commander Spacerat salutes Captain Spacerat.
Captain Spacerat salutes Commander Spacerat.
Apparently, a Spacerat salute is just pulling out your willy and wiggling at someone.
Well, some things never change.
THE JUDGE VS. SEESAW
RING KING ROUND OF ’16
The Judge and Seesaw stand in opposite corners. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the clown in the ring, and he hopes to make good on his return by advancing in the Ring King tournament. The Judge would like nothing more than to ruin Seesaw’s return with a victory of his own!
DING! DING! The Judge lumbers towards Seesaw, but Seesaw is quick to step out of the ring and get away from the Judge! The fans jeer Seesaw heavily as he’s outside the ring. Eventually Seesaw climbs onto the ring apron. The Judge reaches out to grab a hold of Seesaw, but Seesaw smartly grabs hold of the Judge’s head and jumps off the apron, hanging his neck over the top rope!
The Judge hits the mat, clutching his neck, and Seesaw slides in the ring immediately. He drags the Judge to his feet, and drops him with a Snap DDT! Seesaw makes the cover!!!
NO!! The Judge kicks out!!
Seesaw quickly attempts to maintain the upperhand on the Judge by wrapping his large, skinny hand around the Judge’s throat! Seesaw is strangling the Judge!
But the Judge reaches out and grabs Seesaw’s throat as well!!! Seesaw immediately lets go and tries to pry the Judge’s hand away, but he’s just too strong! The Judge stands to his feet and he lifts Seesaw high into the air!!!
CHOKESLAM!!! SEESAW’S BACK AND HEAD COLLIDE ONTO THE MAT!!!
The Judge isn’t done with Seesaw yet! He grabs him by his red hair and shoves his head between his legs!
NO!!! SEESAW PUTS HIS THUMB IN THE JUDGE’S EYE, FORCING HIM TO DROP HIM!!!
Seesaw runs and bounces off the ropes, clothesline!!!
But the Judge does not go down!!!
Seesaw runs and bounces off the ropes again, another clothesline!!!
The Judge. Will not. Go down!!!
One more time, Seesaw runs and bounces off the ropes!!! This time Seesaw dives low and drives his shoulder into the Judge’s knee! That drops him!!!
STEP UP ENZIGUIRI FROM SEESAW!!!
AND THE JUDGE STILL HASN’T FALLEN, HE REMAINS ON ONE KNEE!!!
RUNNING BULLDOG FROM SEESAW!!!
THAT DROPS HIM!!!
The Judge rolls onto his back and Seesaw climbs to the top rope.
HE FLAPS HIS WINGS!!!
FLIGHT OF THE ORNITHOPTER!!!
THE BIG SPLASH!!!
SEESAW MAKES THE COVER!!!
NO!!! THE JUDGE KICKS OUT!!!
Seesaw is livid. He rolls out of the ring and opens his toy box! He digs through all of the toys, perilously searching for his favorite. Finally, he finds Jack. Seesaw pulls him out and turns around!
LARIAT FROM THE JUDGE!!! SEESAW DOES A FUCKING BACKFLIP IN MIDAIR!!!
The Judge drags Seesaw to his feet. He lifts Seesaw in the air and into a gorilla press position. He walks over to the guard rail!!!
HE DROPS SEESAW NECK FIRST OVER THE GUARD RAIL!!! JESUS CHRIST!!! SEESAW HITS THE GROUND CLUTCHING HIS NECK!!!
But The Judge gives him no time to relax!! He immediately drags Seesaw back to his feet. He lifts him up in the gorilla press position again!!!
HE HURLS SEESAW HEAD FIRST INTO THE RING POST LIKE A GOD DAMN JAVELIN!!!
Seesaw crumples to the ground! The Judge has seized complete control of this match, and he knows it! Once more he lifts Seesaw up into the air, but this time, he hurls him into the ring.
The Judge climbs onto the apron and steps over the top rope! He attempts the pin fall, hooking Seesaw’s leg!
THE JUDGE HAS DONE IT!!!
NO!!! SEESAW KICKS OUT!!! WITH NOT A MOMENT TO SPARE, SEESAW KICKS OUT!!!
The Judge stands up and drags Seesaw up with him!!!
LOW BLOW FROM SEESAW!!! LOW BLOW!!!
The Judge haunches over, his jewels now thoroughly unbalanced!!!
BIG BOOT TO THE SIDE OF THE JUDGE’S HEAD FROM SEESAW!!!
The Judge still won’t fall!!!
BACKBREAKER FROM SEESAW!!!
Seesaw immediately climbs over the judge and has a seat!!! STUMP PULLER!!!
The Judge is screaming out in pain!!! He can’t bear it!!! He lifts his hand into the air!!! He’s going to tap!!!
No!! He grabs the bottom rope instead!!! Seesaw has to let go of the hold. He does so but not without anger.
Seesaw grabs The Judge and brings him to his feet. He swings an invisible lasso, then bringa both of the Judge’s arms around his neck.
WOODY’S ROUND UP!!! THE JUDGE’S HEAD COLLIDES WITH THE MAT!!! SEESAW MAKES THE COVER!!!
NO!!! THE JUDGE HAS ONCE AGAIN KICKED OUT!!!
At this point, Seesaw has to be wondering what it will take to tip the balance of this teeter totter of a match in his favor for good! He lifts the Judge up to his feet by the arm, slowly but surely.
BUT THE JUDGE BITES SEESAW ON THE TOP OF HIS FUCKING HEAD!!! SEESAW SCREAMS!!! BLOOD STARTS TO POUR FROM HIS RED HAIR TO HIS WHITE FACE!!! AND THE JUDGE DROPS HIM WITH A CUTTER!!!
THE PAST MAY BITE YOU!!! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!! THE JUDGE MAKES THE COVER!!!
The Judge has done it. After a brutal and vicious match, he–
NO!!! THE REF POINTS TO SEESAW’S FOOT!!! IT’S BARELY TOUCHING THE BOTTOM ROPE!!!
The Judge cannot believe it. Seesaw smiles through the blood on his face and pulls himself up by the ropes.
Seesaw reaches his feet and The Judge waits for him to charge. Seesaw does just that, but the Judge MEETS HIM HALFWAY!!!!
KNEE TO THE GUT!!! HE PLACES SEESAW’S HEAD BETWEEN HIS LEGS!!!
RESTORATION!!! THE JUDGE WITH THE POWERBOMB!!!
NO!!! SEESAW MANAGES TO PULL OFF A HURRICANE REVERSAL!!! HOW DID THE CLOWN MANAGE THAT!?!?
HE HOOKS THE JUDGE’S LEGS!!!
With an unbelievable hurricanrana finish, Seesaw’s return is a triumphant one! He advances to the next round of Ring King!
Black and White.
We’re suddenly transported to almost one hundred years ago. Darby Sorrow looks entirely different. He has no make up and short slicked back black hair. His age isn’t any different than now, but you can tell it’s an entirely different time period.
He enters a large building, lit inside by candles and approaches a desk where a man sits, fiddling with a watch.
Sorrow walks over, leans in and gives the man a peck on the cheek.
“Stephen, are you still tinkering with those blasted things?” Sorrow says playfully.
“Listen darling, since you’re preoccupied with other matters and I’m certainly qualified, it makes sense I do, does it not?” Stephen replies with a wry smile of his own. “Besides, you know I’d do anything for you?”
Darby takes a seat on a rickety wooden chair; his mood having changed to become rather solemn.
“Do we have to talk about that?” He asks. “It’s bad enough we have to keep our love secret, my dear, but- “
“But nothing,” Stephen interrupts. “Your immortality isn’t the gift you believe it to be. One day you’ll be alone, in a different world, wishing you hadn’t lived forever.”
Sorrow rolls his eyes. “I will miss you; you know.”
Stephen stands up and walks over, kneeling before him.
“I know you will,” he remarks. “But I’m dying, my love. You’ll have to live with the memory of that forever. I will save you from your immortality, if it’s the last thing I do.”
The world begins melting around us.
A scream warps us back to the present, where Darby Sorrow bellows in agony, tears streaming down his face. His eyes open to see Wells stood before him, taking notes on what’s been told.
“Enough, please, enough,” Darby begs.
“Oh Mr. Sorrow, I’m afraid we’re just getting started. By the time I’m finished, you’ll be my crowning glory.”