AFTERBURN #10 – NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS
A cold open.
The tension is so thick it could be cut with a knife. We’re in the darkened boiler room where blood still stains the walls and Mike Lane, sat facing the wall, hasn’t moved in hours. The camera circles him momentarily, trying to get a look at his likely distorted and angry face.
“Go.. away.” he says in the most serious tone we’ve ever heard from him.
The camera backs up slightly and obliges, watching as Lane gets back to his feet, still beaten and battered after InVasion. He turns around to walk away and bumps into Matthew Cories, who unbeknownst to us and him, was there for a while. Matthew has a box in his hand and hands it over.
“This was left for you,” Mike Lane takes it, looking it over – except Cories isn’t done. “And that’s the last thing I’ll ever do for The System. I don’t know what the hell is going on but I’ve seen InVasion and I’ve seen the blade..”
“Look kid, I’m sorry. It isn’t until something like this happens that you gain perspective on the things you do, you know?” he honestly admits to a surprising cheer from the crowd. “But I can make it up to you. I’ve spoken with Errol and your match tonight against Master Chef is for the final entry in Pandemonium.”
Cories though, he isn’t to be appeased that easily.
“Do you think I’m just going to take your bribe and walk away? You used that blade to manipulate me and… what are you doing?”
Mike doesn’t appear to be listening because he’s flipped open the lid of the box and inside, in rather peculiar circumstances, sits a frog. He reaches out and touches it, only to immediately whip his hand back as if he was burnt.
“I’m… look, if you want to try and kick my ass, we can do that,” Lane says handing the frog in box back to Cories. “Cause if you’re feeling froggy.. leap. But if you want to accept my apology, I’ll give you the blade, you take your chances against Chef and this all ends.”
Cories thinks about it but Lane doesn’t give him a chance to answer, exiting the room with more important matters to take care of – namely a World Championship Match with Desmond Cross later tonight.
The sound of a ringing bell.
V/O: “Class is in session.”
The cheering fans lead us into a sold out School Yard here tonight and after that intriguing Mike Lane segment, we’re stood by with our Chairman Errol Flint. He’s in the middle of the ring with a microphone and it appears he has a lot he wants to talk about here tonight.
“Boy, do I have a lot to get off my chest,” Errol says looking almost a shade of his former self. “First things first, I want to talk to you about my daughter. Someone out there has her captive and last week at inVasion, they sent me a message I can’t ignore. I’m not the heartless bastard you think I am and as a result, I have to take a sabbatical to try and find her. I have to save my daughter. Now in my absence, someone has to run Old School Wrestling and with that said, I’ve appointed a commissioner.”
The beautiful flow of O Fortuna hits and out from behind the curtain walks two men, holding it from each side as Lord Merriweather steps through with his arms in the air, seeking the fans immediate approval, which never comes. He then holds out his arms, pointing towards the entrance ramp behind him, in which Nigel Royal suddenly appears to more boo’s.
They turn their nose up in disgust at their boo’s and make a purposeful walk to the ring, waiting for his two security guards to clean each ring step and then spread the ropes for their entry.
The boo’s aren’t just resounding, they’re deafening. Lord Merriweather shakes the hand of Errol Flint and takes a microphone.
“Thank you sir, thank you very much,” Merriweather sucks up live on camera. “I can assure you that Old School Wrestling is in the good hands of Commissioner Merriweather and his assistant; Nigel Royal. We’re honoured to be able to take over matters on your behalf whilst you search for your lovely daughter. We sincerely hope that you find her safe and well.”
Flint shakes their hands, thanking them for their support.
“Thank you gentlemen. Now as you’re all aware, I’ve some business to attend to with your opponent, Brent Kersh,” Flint nods at them, requiring and receiving their silence. “Brent Kersh, I know you’re back there, I know you’ve arrived here tonight, so come on out.”
The sound of “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis is heard throughout the arena, prompting the crowd to rise to their feet with a roar of excitement as the lights slowly begin to dim. Suddenly red, white, and blue pyrotechnic effects begin to explode from the base of the entrance ramp that last several seconds before “The Enforcer” Brent Kersh appears on the upper portion of the structure.
The former OSW superstar steps out onto the steel stage with his hands on his hips and looking around the arena in appreciation of the response from the crowd. Kersh is wearing a loose fitting black tee shirt embroidered with the letters “OSW” and soaked in sweat. In addition, “The Enforcer” is wearing his traditional wrestling attire of black tights, boots, kneepads, knee braces, and white tape wrapped tightly around his wrists. As the colourful collage of sparks begin to die down, Kersh begins his approach to the ring. Maintaining a calm and collected mannerism, Brent moves back and forth from one side of the walkway to the other, slapping hands with the fans lining the security railing.
Once the professional wrestler gets to within several feet of the ring apron, he sprints the remaining distance — sliding under the bottom rope and coming to his feet in the middle of the ring. The former OSW superstar grabs a microphone and waits patiently next to the Chairman, who looks uninterested by his arrival.
“A few weeks ago you told me you’d be resigning after inVasion and truth be told, you’re not supposed to be here. In fact, you’re probably wondering why I invited you and why, if you look at the card, you’ve a match here tonight,” Errol says to a nodding Kersh, who off microphone wants to know what’s going on. “Well let me put things into perspective for you. I took your resignation to my lawyers, who took it to your lawyers and as of right now, you’re tied up in so much litigation that if you walk away from me, if you walk away from Old School Wrestling, then I’ll own every single thing you love and possess.”
“Are you finished?” Kersh asks seriously. “When I decided to resign from the OSW, I did it with a heavy heart. I did it with the right intentions for my family. When I heard I was booked in a match here tonight, to compete for the United States Championship, I didn’t need your threats to come back here and fight. Fighting, competing, that’s what I do, Flint.”
The fans roar with approval.
“BUT,” Brent cuts them off unavoidably. “That doesn’t mean I appreciate you trying to force my hand. I’ve always been about competition and when I’m finished, you’re going to wish you let me leave. The truth of the matter is that I don’t like the way you do business. I don’t like the way The System stacks the deck in their favour whenever possible. I don’t like that Lord Merriweather isn’t a fighting Champion and I don’t like the fact that our country is represented by a man like him!”
Merriweather takes exception.
“Excuse me? How bloody dare you! I’m a fighting Champion and I’ve proved that week after week. Unlike some, I’m not a quitter,” The Commish taunts. “But you know what? Thinking about it, I think it’s high time someone taught you a lesson. Now I may not of had much say in the Night Of Champions special; my appointment didn’t come until after the booking the card but that doesn’t mean I can’t edit it.”
“Do your worst!” Kersh interrupts.
That puts a smile on The Commissioners face as Flint watches on.
“Therefore tonight, in my first act as Lord Commissioner of Old School Wrestling, I decree that Brent Kersh will face myself, Edward and Stephen in a Three on One Handicap United States Championship Match.”
Errol likes the idea of that.
Suddenly Nigel Royal attacks Brent Kersh, side swiping him from the side. He pummels away at him, beating him into the corner before Kersh finally blocks a right hand and fights back! The Enforcer sends Royal sprawling with a right hand and storms out of the corner with a Clothesline – NIGEL DUCKS! The Bloodline To Greatness rolls straight to the outside, Merriweather and Flint quick to join him.
Brent stands in the middle of the ring and picks up his fallen microphone, slightly out of breath.
“Do you honestly think that’s going to stop me, Merriweather!?” he yells towards the retreating Commissioner. “You can bring Nigel, you can bring your security, Mike Lane, Errol Flint and the whole system if you want to. THE ENFORCER FIGHTS.. UNTIL I CAN FIGHT…. NO…. MORE!”
“MOOOOOOREEEEEE!!” cheer the fans with him.
Brent Kersh’ music hits as Lord Commissioner Merriweather, Nigel Royal and Errol Flint head to the backstage area. It looks like Brent Kersh isn’t resigning after all and tonight, he has his sights set on becoming the new United States Champion.
RYAN LECAVALIER VS. KING KONSTANTINE
Before the bell can sound, Konstantine attacks LeCavalier, nailing her with right forearms to the face that send her reeling back into the corner. The referee calls for the start and he’s already on the attack, kneeing her sharply in the stomach before grabbing a handful of hair and whipping her out of the corner. He raises his arms in celebration and the fans let him have it, only that riles him up more. Ryan gets to her feet and here comes a Running Knee – she blocks, kick to the gut.. Russian Legsweep! The Greatest Of All Time slips into the cover… One…. Two… Kick Out!
The King’s Guard are quickly up onto the apron, demonstrating with the referee as Tremblay slides a chair in to the getting up Orwell. He grabs it.. SWING AND MISS! COUP DE GRÁCE! SHINING KENTA KICK TO THE CHAIR AND RIGHT IN THE FACE OF KONSTATINE! That nails him hard and she’s quickly into the cover… One…. Two… THREE! NO! The King’s Guard pull her from the ring. She quickly fights back, kicking each of them as low as she possibly can. The referee has almost had enough and warns both hurting me about interfering again.
LeCavalier meanwhile slides back into the ring and she’s scooped straight up by Orwell.. SENTENCED TO DEATH!! RUNNING BUCKLE BOMB! JESUS CHRIST!! Ryan stumbles straight out.. OFF WITH HER-NO!! Ryan ducks underneath him.. HANGMAN’S NECKBREAKER! KINGDOM COME! She drops into the cover…. and NO! NOT EVEN A ONE COUNT! The King’s Guard again! They pull her to the outside!! That’s it, the referee has enough and calls for the bell! He’s disqualifying King Konstantine Orwell!
OFF WITH HER HEAD
After tremendous match in which the King was believably Disqualified, there’s Pandemonium around ringside. Ryan is barely back to her feet before The King’s Guard have captured her, arms behind her back and forced her back into the squared circle. Lord Tremblay quickly helps Konstantine baclto his feet, who holds his jaw and looks extremely mad. He takes a microphone from the Lord and approaches Ryan.
“How dare you,” he hisses at her amongst the boo’s of the crowd. “How dare you attempt to usurp the King in front of all his loyal subjects. This Kingdom of mine, it will not tolerate people like you, Ryan. Look at the pandemonium you’ve caused and that is of course fitting, because I, your King, have decided to enter myself in the most royal of battles; The Pandemonium match. Now, do you have anything to say for yourself?”
He casually leans the microphone in closer to her.
“I do as a matter of fact. Do you know why I beat you here tonight? It isn’t because I cheated, or because you couldn’t get the job done, it’s because I’M A FREAKIN’ LEGACY!” she yells at him. “I don’t care about your Kingdom, your crown or your throne. I don’t give a damn about anything but what I do best; winning. So if you think it’s a special announcement that you’re going to be in Pandemonium, then guess what? Me too!”
Angrily, King Konstantine rips the microphone back and sneers.
“OFF WITH HER HEAD!!” he screams.
The King’s Guard suddenly throw her into Konstantine who OFF WITH HER HEAD!! QUITE LITERALLY! WHAT A CLOTHESLINE!! That turns poor Ryan inside out, who simply couldn’t do anything to stop it. Konstantine throws his arms up into the air in celebration, as all his Guard and Tremblay clap along, pleased with the outcome here tonight.
KEEPING A CLOSE EYE
Charlie Thompson is backstage with boyfriend Fate – a relationship that has been budding ever since Old School Wrestling opened in February. They are trying their best to be professional, though it seems Charlie has a few issues.
“Did you see the footage of InVasion?” she asks curiously. “I’m being stalked.”
Fate looks perturbed by that.
“What do you mean?” he says looking around. “I don’t see anyone.”
She slaps him in the arm playfully for his troubles.
“David Manson is stalking me, Fate. You team with the guy tonight, so how about you find out what he wants before I have to hire some kind of security. The last thing I want is The Awakening following me around.”
Fate’s tone quickly turns serious.
“You don’t need anyone but me to protect you. As for Manson, wait… is that him?”
Suddenly the camera spins to see that David Manson is stood at a distance, watching. Fate isn’t happy and storms over, quickly getting in his face.
“What’s your malfunction, huh? Are you stalking her?” he points to Charlie. “Do you want a piece of that ass, is that it? Do you think she’s chum for you and your buddies?”
Manson pretends to be taken back by that. “Wait a minute, I just came to talk to you about our match. I want to make sure we’re on the same page child, that’s all.”
Looking rather embarrassed, Fate doesn’t know what to say.
“But look, your girlfriend is a pretty woman, there’s no denying that. I’m not saying that, child. I’m just saying that we have some important opponents tonight and I don’t like to lose – do you understand me? The Awakening, we don’t like.. to lose.”
Manson barges past Fate and walks towards Charlie, who side steps him and catches a wink for her troubles. She rushes over to Fate and tries to make it good, except Mr. Inevitable doesn’t seem too impressed.
THOMAS ROLL VS. TERROR
With the entrance of Terror having already been completed, the fans can’t believe it when Ed Famous’ music hits and out walks Thomas Roll – dressed as Ed Famous. He has fake tattoo’s painted up and down his arms, his afro flattened on the sides to make an awful looking mohawk. He makes his way to the ring with a strut, and of course, a bandana across the lower half of his face.
Is there nothing this man won’t try to be apart of the OSW roster?
The match starts off as Big Evil attacks Thomas Famous with a thunderous clothesline. Then he picks Famous up and drops him with a huge sidewalk slam that plants Thomas to the mat. Big Evil covers. One! Two! Shoulder up! Terror goes back on the attack, dragging Famous to his feet and tossing him to the corner turnbuckle. As Terror is about to nail Thomas with a charging elbow, Thomas moves out of the way, running at the ring ropes and hits a hard clothesline that barely makes Terror budge but then runs at the ropes again and lands a spinning heel kick that causes Terror to stumble towards the ring ropes!
Thomas Famous grabs Terror and goes for a suplex but Terror knees Thomas to the midsection … C.T.H.! A huge chokeslam by The Baddass as he goes for another cover. One! Two! – THR – KICKOUT! Terror almost had him that time. Terror grabs the afro of Famous and lifts Famous up for a Tombstone Piledriver. Famous slips out of it, landing to the back of Terror. Roll up! One! Two! Big kickout by Terror!
Terror is about to get back up to his feet as Famous goes to the top turnbuckle … FAMEASSER! Cover, hooking the leg. One! Two!THREE! NO! Big kickout as Thomas Famous goes flying across the ring. Terror is about to get back up as Oblivion gets on the ring apron, attempting a distraction. Thomas Famous alertly moves out of the way as Terror mistakenly runs into Oblivion as Thomas Famous scoops him up… THE BIG WHIRLY! He covers Terror! One! Two! THREE! What a win for Thomas Famous as the feud between Terror and Oblivion rears it’s ugly head.
After picking up the win against Terror, Thomas Famous rolls to the outside and celebrates as if he’s just won the World Championship. He looks to do a victory lap, except OBLIVION NAILS HIM WITH A BIG BOOT!! Jesus Christ! Thomas hits the floor like a sack of brightly coloured shit and HERE COMES TERROR THROUGH THE MIDDLE ROPE WITH A DIVE!! DID THE BIG MAN REALLY JUST DO THAT!?
No-one can quite believe it as The Big Evil goes flying to get his own back on Oblivion. He quickly starts pummelling away at him, beating the holy hell out of a man that not only got in his way last week but cost him the match this week.
The trouble is, Thomas has taken exception and is back to his feet with a steel chair. Terror gets back to his feet and turns around.. STEEL CHAIR TO THE SKULL!! HOLY SHIT! HE JUST NAILED HIM! The fans cheer as Roll slides back into the ring and demands a microphone.
“No-one attacks Thomas Famous! I’M THE ONLY REAL MONSTER ON THIS ROSTER!” he yells.. thinking about it – and still, not actually on the roster. “Wait, which one attacked me again?”
Gurtooth – his DJ, points to Oblivion, not Terror.
Oblivion suddenly sits up on the outside and Thomas thinks twice, exiting the ring about as fast as he entered it, running up the ramp with his fake tattoos wiping off as he goes.
NIGEL ROYAL VS. MARCUS X
Marcus X and Nigel Royal meet in the center of the ring. It’s a lockup, but Marcus quickly takes momentum, wrapping his arms around the torso of Royal and DELIVERING a belly to belly suplex that puts “The Bloodline To Greatness” flat on his back. Both men; however, are quick to their feet and it’s Nigel that ends up worse off for at as “The Freedom Fighter” NAILS him with a kick to the midsection, followed by a DDT! Marcus X going for the early cover. He’s got ONE … TWO … and that’s all he’ll get out of that one.
Marcus not slowing down as he brings Royal to his feet, BUT LOOK OUT! Nigel Royal sticks a thumb into the eye of Marcus X and now he’s setting him up for a belly to back suplex AND HE HITS IT! Royal HOLDING on to the hold and pulling Marcus up again FOR ANOTHER belly to back! And now he’s going again… YES! AND HE STILL HOLDS ON! Nigel Royal going for the “Royal Flush” here…AND IT’S ANOTHER BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX! Marcus X does not look in a good way. Nigel Royal makes the cover. Will he pick up his first win?!?! ONE … TWO … NO! Marcus X kicks out just in time!
“The Bloodline To Greatness” sheds some disappointment and brings himself to his feet, allowing Marcus to make it on his own. No wait, he’s measuring Marcus. Nigel Royal watching his opponent fight to his feet. And now he hits the ropes. Coming back!SPINNING HEEL KICK! NO! MARCUS DUCKED IT! ROYAL SPINS! “BLACKOUT”! “BLACKOUT” BY MARCUS X! And if he can make the cover that should do it! Marcus draping an arm over the unconscious body of Royal! ONE … TWO … THREE! Marcus X picks ups a victory of a newcomer to Old School Wrestling that I’m sure we have NOT seen the last of.
Later on tonight, Isaiah Black defends his All-Star Championship for a fourth time against The Black Widow, except she’s been the one to save his ass from the KKK only one week ago. When we arrive in the backstage area, Black is taping his wrists and The Widow – well she interrupts.
“Can I have a word?” she asks sternly. Isaiah stands up and stops wrapping, not saying a word. “I’ve been watching the events unfold between yourself, Marc us and the KKK. Why aren’t you fighting alongside him? They have your title.”
“Are you kidding me? You’ve got a set of balls on you, lady,” Isaiah says with a smirk. “I don’t care about that trinket. I don’t need it to defend it, I don’t need it to carry around with me like something of importance – it isn’t. You do know that I didn’t ask for your help, just like I didn’t ask for Marcus’. As you’ll find out tonight, I’m a one man wrecking crew that’s only two title defences away from standing atop this mountain – like death looming over his victims.”
“Is that what you pride yourself on, huh? Fear?” she growls at him.
“I don’t care if you fear me. The Ku Klux Klan want to demolish every single black person on this roster. That means me, that means you, that means Marcus X and whoever else they set their sights on. Do you think that for one second, I give a damn if some woman fears me? No. Do you know who will fear me? The men in the white cloaks and hoods. Because what they don’t see is what you and Marcus don’t see; death’s sweet embrace is comin’ for their throats.”
Widow shakes her head, placing her hands on her hips.
“Just like I’m comin’ for your throat tonight. There’s only one thing you, Marcus and the KKK can do about it..”
“What’s that?” she ignorantly asks.
Isaiah turns around and takes a seat, continuing to wrap his hands as we close in on the angry face of The Black Widow. It doesn’t matter what happens, Isaiah Black is determined to take out The KKK alone and not with the help of Marcus X or The Black Widow.
MATTHEW CORIES VS. MASTER CHEF
The two men stand opposite sides of the ring, the bell rings and this one is go! Tying up to start, similar weights, Cories height advantage see’s him start to gain the upper hand. Sensing danger Chef delivers a thundering kick to Cories mid-rift which takes the wind away. Flinging himself off the ropes, Chef delivers a cross body block on the way back. Early pin by Chef, 1 count. Wanting the early finish and Cories still groggy, Chef Applies a Dragon sleeper. Cories is alert enough to start throwing punches over his own head to loosen the grip.
Punches continue to reign in and chef gets more and more groggy. Grip now loosened the two men are back standing and Chef is retreating slightly. Almost chasing his opponent, Cories delivers a running knee strike which doesn’t floor Chef but rocks him. Ceasing the momentum its followed up with a power slam which lays Chef out. Remembering what is at stake in this match Cories wastes no time and starts climbing the corner post. High risk coming up!! Chef looks to be out cold from the high impact move. Standing high above his man, SHOOTING STAR PRESS!
At the last minute, Chef has rolled out the way. Laying almost motionless the referee begins a count. The count hits four before we have any type of movement from either competitor and its Chef who is coming around first. By 8 Cories is up hands on knees, missing the aerial must of really knocked the stuffing out of Cories there. Chef charging, he out stretches his arm to deliver a crushing clothesline, intelligently Cories hooks under the arm and neck and …… THE CHUMBAWAMBA! BAM!!!! Pin ONE…..TWO….. THREE!!! CORIES Wins and with it the chance to enter Pandemonium last, that is huge!!!
RUN FOR THE HILLS
We shoot to the backstage area where there’s utter panic. Backstage staff are running down a corridor somewhere, passing the camera man who’s trying to make a run for it as well. The camera man quickly stops, noticing two guards holding a door shut amongst the chaos backstage.
Stopping just shy of the door, the camera man focuses in on the guards, who both look scared straight. The noise from the panicking staff running down the hall has died out and the camera picks up on some strange noises coming from behind the door the two guards are holding shut.
“How the fuck did locusts get in here!?” one guard says out loud, letting us know what’s behind the door they’re trying to keep shut.
As the camera turns to head back down the hallway, Desmond Cross is seen standing at the end of the hall, grinning from ear to ear. Desmond takes a few steps forward, the smile never leaving his face for one split second …
“This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your fathers nor your forefathers have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.”
Desmond Cross lets out a sadistic laugh as the camera man makes his way past Cross, trying to get to safety as the camera cuts out …
DTR VS. JENSEN CUSSEN
With Jensen Cussen waiting, Dead To Rights’ music hits and he appears from the back on a dead sprint to the ring. The crowd roars in anticipation as DTR slides under the bottom rope, only to be approached by “The Mastermind”. A decision that turns out to be a mistake as DTR BRINGS HIM HARD to the canvas with a shoulder tackle. Mounted by his opponent, Cussen receives aFLURRY of closed fists as he does his best to block the assault with his hands and forearms. DTR will not be deterred; however, and he pulls Cussen to his feet, quickly SENDING him through the ropes and to the outside.
The official has not even called for the bell yet as Dead To Rights climbs through the ropes, but is PULLED OFF his feet by Cussen. DTR smashes against the canvas on his way to the padded concrete floor below with “The Mastermind” pounding the ring with both fists in a fit of rage. Suddenly, Cussen begins to unleash a series of VICIOUS kicks to the head and upper body region of his opponent. The referee climbs to the outside in an attempt to gain control of the contest. DTR works to his feet, all the while Cussen continues to attack him with an assortment of kicks, chops, and punches.
The crowd erupts again as Dead To Rights indeed makes it to his feet, immediately responding to “The Mastermind’s” blows with shots of his own. DTR and Cussen exchanging shots on the outside. Fists, slaps, chops, elbows, and knees. It’s a back and forth brawl that neither man is willing to forego as they fight their way around the ring and up the entrance ramp. The official has seen enough and he’s calling for the bell. This one is going to end in a Double Disqualification, but it doesn’t look like either man cares as they continue to fight into the backstage area.
NO LAUGHING MATTER
The brawl quickly spreads to the backstage, where DTR and Jensen Cussen remain unable to take their hands off each other. The former World Champion whips Jensen into door, attacking him with right hands that take their toll. He finally drags him away and slides him face first across a table of assorted equipment, causing literal sparks to fly as he does. Jensen cost DTR his Championship only last week and there’s hell to pay as he pulls Cussen off the table and throws him into a vending machine. The crowd are on their feet, chanting back and forth.
“LET’S GO VIRUS..”
“LET’S GO VENGEANCE..”
Being referred to by their former names spur something different in each of them, as DTR stops and takes a moment. Jensen though, bloodied as he may be, is smiling. He attacks Dave from behind with a forearm, grabbing him by the hair and THROWING HIM THROUGH A GLASS FUCKING WIDOW!! JESUS CHRIST!! THERE’S GLASS EVERYWHERE AND DTR HAS TO BE BROKEN IN HALF!!
Cussen opens the door to the room and the glass crunches under foot as he walks in and starts beating the holy hell out of a now bloodied DTR with right hands. Security rush this little room but Jensen – armed with a shard of glass, threatens them to back off. He puts the glass shard to DTR’s throat and everyone panics.
“Right now, inside this room, I could end everything,” Jensen sneers, pressing the glass against his enemies jugular. Dave pushes up, almost demanding that he cut it, even piercing the skin slightly. “And it would be a long time coming.”
DTR though grabs a shard of his own and STABS JENSEN CUSSEN IN THE ARM! HE STABS HIM IN THE FUCKING ARM!! OH MY GOD!!Jensen falls backwards in agony and Dead To Right’s scoots across the bloodied floor, glass cutting both men in every which way and direction. He sits against the wall as Cussen does the same, opposite him. Everyone stands there, watching as these two men recover opposite each other, a glint in their eye that tells us.. perhaps.. just perhaps, they love this war.
SCARECROW & MOTHER VS. FATE & DAVID MANSON
The match begins with Scarecrow and David Manson starting things off. Both men trade rights and lefts hands. The Hayman lands a hard right that sends Manson stumbling to the ropes and runs into a Big Boot. Scarecrow brings The Street Rat to his feet but as he does, Mother tags herself in and grabs Manson. Scarecrow stands there for a moment before heading back to his corner. THE GOODNIGHT KISS! Mother has Manson pinned. One! Two! FATE pulls the leg of Mother WITH THE SAVE! Fate goes back to his corner.
Mother looks at Fate as this keeps Mother distracted for a brief moment, receiving a Lariat as soon as she turns around! Manson laughs menacingly as he looks at Fate for a moment and slaps the chest of Fate. Fate runs in and begins landing some rather stiff rights to Mother’s head on the ground. Manson shouts something at Fate as Fate turns … HUGE CLOTHESLINE BY SCARECROW!
The Hayman picks up Fate but Fate fights back with strikes to his face and midsection using punches and kicks. Fate runs at the ring ropes … FOREARM SMASH! That sends Scarecrow backwards a few inches as Fate charges … THE HAYMAKER! Scarecrow is about to pin Fate as Manson runs into the ring and hits Delusional Illusion on Scarecrow! Manson and Mother are fighting it out. Mother strikes Manson with karate kicks to his chest followed by a snap suplex that sends him down. Scarecrow is back on his feet, looking for The Perch. He has Manson up … The lights go out! As they return, Scarecrow is covering Manson. One! Two!THREE! What a win for The Hayman and Mother!
After that tremendous victory, Mother invites her children into the ring to celebrate as Scarecrow stands in the corner, watching on. The children rush to her, all but two of them clamouring for a victory hug – but doing so in a creepy almost brainwashed way. Despite her flock coming to her as demanded, it’s the two that stay on the opposite side of the ring that for some reason, perturb her.
“Children!” she bellows in their direction off microphone. “Come…”
They don’t move. They instead turn to look at The Scarecrow, who’s head creepily angles downwards to see them.
“Do not be afraid of him, he cannot harm you,” Mother assures, walking over to her lost children. “He was a means to an end and that end has been completed.”
Now kneeling with them, they refuse to break their gaze with The Scarecrow.
“Come children, come to me. Mother knows best.”
Finally the children walk forward and embrace her, which hasn’t appeased her one bit. She releases them and looks back towards Scarecrow, who slowly begins to perch himself before the lights go dark. When they return, as per usual and as is to be expected, The Hayman has gone.
Mother looks down at her children and angrily grabs them by the hands, leading them towards the others so that they can take their exit.
WHEN THEY CAME FOR ME
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
You stare at a cube of white space, throbbing with the tension of silence like April flowers. It may very well be vacant, but it’s not. Developed in uniformed lines, motionless beings sit on the trite floor with their legs indian-crossed – like soulless manikins. For all you know, that’s all they may be.
One step, two step, three step, four.
From the right corner of a room that seems to wander away for miles through commonplace perception, you focus on determined animation; brows that seemingly furrow permanently, eyes red with rage and boundless intelligence, and a strut that comes with an echoing tap against the floor by a staff in the shape of a spiny dragon and serpent hybrid – its tongue protruding to taste the air that’s made up of vulnerability, delicacy — and fear.
He stops, mere inches from the manikin presence, and leans himself against the staff – his expression slowly turning to that of a faint grin.
“They came to me in the middle of a lonesome night. I was lost, emotionally disfigured, confused, distraught, and afraid. They told me not to hide, not to stow myself away in a corner among the shadows, because these emotions weren’t going to move on until the transition was complete. I was advised that this was all that I had – eyes wide open or eyes wide closed – and every door that seemingly led to an exit would prove itself to be nothing but a portal that led me back to the same moment over, and over, and over again.”
He leans in, staring at the motionless audience.
“I couldn’t extrapolate my bearings because I was living my life like nothing more than a manikin – attached to a meathook and on display for all to see. I was born to be gazed at, to be judged, to be pointed at because I was told that this was all that I’d ever amount to. That was, until they came to me. And when they did…”
He lifts up the staff and stares into the eyes of the spiritual ghost head that mounts it, pressing his lips against its scaly snout.
“I woke up.”
Suddenly, the eyes on all of the motionless beings in attendance open up simultaneously and white wash flickers into nothingness.
RED RIVER JACK VS. CRASH
Before the referee can even signal for the bell, the Hardcore Champion Red River Jack is outside the ring grabbing a steel chair. He slides back in the ring but Crash is able to cut him off at the pass, stopping him by stomping on the chair and then dropping a leg drop to the back of the head, pushing the chair straight into the face of the Champ. Crash picks the chair up and measures Jack, BOOM, chair shot to the face. Jack takes the full shot from the chair and he falls through the ropes, crashing to the floor.
Crash wastes little time, going outside and begins to pull back the padding. Jack is able to get to his feet and races right at Crash and connects with a running elbow that sends both men crashing into the barricade. Jack shakes the cobwebs out and goes under the ring once again, grabbing a table this time and another chair. Jack positions Crash on the apron of the ring, his body half hanging off to the floor. Jack climbs to the top rope with the steel chair and flies off, CRASH MOVES!!! Jack was looking to drive that chair into the head and neck and kill Crash.
Jack quickly shakes off the attempt, Crash comes back at him swinging the steel chair now, the two men connect steel chairs, once, twice, three times before Jack kicks him right in the gut, steel chair to the back, steel chair to the face, Crash is down. Jack has Crash absolutely out on his feet, positioning Crash on the middle rope he’s looking for his devastating Apron Neckbreaker, this time through the table on the outside!!! The crowd pops knowing what’s going to happen next. APRON NECKBREAKER!!! THROUGH THE TABLE!!! CRASH IS OUT!!! Jack makes the cover… One…..Two…..Three!!! Jack retains the Hardcore Title.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Mike Lane is backstage – looking worse for wear. Whatever he touched on that frog earlier tonight has him sweating profusely. That makes it a bad time for Marvelous Master Chef to angrily storm in, slamming the door behind him as he does.
“What the fuck amigo?” he yells at Lane, who quinces at the loudness of his voice. “You didn’t tell me I was going to be facing Matthew Cories for the final spot of Pandemonium. I want my Championship rematch!”
Lane wipes the sweat off his forehead.
“Speak to Merriweather. He’s in charge, I’m just another guy, just like you.” Lane quietly replies, closing his eyes to relax.
“Oh it’s like that? Your little puta gets kidnapped and all of a sudden, The System means nothing to you, perro?” MMC says to a boo from the crowd. Mike Lane’s eyes open almost immediately, the rage in them almost unimaginable. “Well let me tell you, I don’t give a shit about your girlfriend.”
That was enough to do it. Lane jumped up and clocked him straight across the skull with a right hand! Chef doesn’t know what’s hit him but The People’s Choice isn’t stopping there, grabbing him by the head and running him head first into the wooden door, causing a massive hole to appear. He angrily opens it, putting Chef’s head between the frame and the door… no… don’t do that..
“OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” roar the fans.
WHACK!! HE SLAMS THE DOOR ON HIS FUCKING HEAD!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
No-one can quite believe it.
“THAT WAS SICK!”
Lane pulls the door open and looks down at the unconscious Luncha Underground leader, blood dripping from his mouth. He picks him up by the back of the trousers and the shirt, walking him straight towards the exit and SLAMMING HIM THROUGH THE DOORS – THROWING HIM TO THE OUTSIDE!”
He dusts off his hands, leaving Master Chef bleeding, unconscious and laid down face first in the rain.
“You’re fired!” Lane yells, storming back inside the building.
The People’s Choice may not have the power but after what Chef said, could you imagine Merriweather or Flint will disagree with the call? I doubt it.
ISAIAH BLACK VS. THE BLACK WIDOW
Isaiah Black and The Black Widow approach the center of the ring and lock up. “Walking Death” has the size advantage and he easily sends The Widow HARD into the turnbuckle with an irish whip. She stumbles out of the corner and Black will use the momentum to send her into the ropes. The Black Widow on a sprint now and RUNNING HURRICARANA! FROM OUT OF NOWHEREThe Black Widow takes Black down and she goes for the pin. ONE … TWO … but Black is up easy. The Black Widow gets to her feet and BLACK puts her on her back with a double leg takedown.
BOOT to the gut from Black and he’ll drop down for a cover. ONE … TWO … AND it’s The Black Widow this time with a kick out. “The Grim” pulls his opponent to her feet and locks in an arm bar. The Widow screeches in agony before CARTWHEELING out of the hold and FOLLOWS IT UP WITH A RUNNING FOREARM SMASH! Black is dazed and… WHAT THE HELL? It’s those men in the white robes and hoods. IT’S THE KU KLUX KLAN and they have Isaiah Black’s All-Star Championship Belt with them.
The hooded men stand at ringside crowding the entrance ramp as Black and The Black Widow have given up their fight momentarily to keep an eye on the group. WAIT A SECOND! “I’M ON MY WAY TO FREEDOM LAND” IS HEARD AND THERE’S MARCUS X! “The Freedom Fighter” sprinting to ringside! He SPLITS the group and slides into the ring, standing in front of Black and The Widow, begging for the KKK to get into the squared circle. The crowd is going crazy! This is unbe… WHAT? NO! ISAIAH BLACK FROM BEHIND! ROLL UP! ONE … TWO … THREE! ISAIAH BLACK TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE DISTRACTION and he’ll pick up yet another defense of his All-Star Championship as he rolls to the outside. Marcus X and The Black Widow are stunned and Black continues his winning philosophy of looking out for “Number One”.
THE BEST LAID PLANS
We’re looking at a wall, cream of colour. In the background Beethoven’s most warlike number, “Wellington’s Victory” can be heard. As if the person listening is building themselves up for war. From the side hands the size of shovels come into view, holding a picture. When focus brings itself upon the photo we see it is Queen Elizabeth II. A stern and very British voice is heard.
“Upon these shores you have sent us. You have chosen a leader to spearhead this attack and I? …… Well I, much like the brave Generals of Past, Sir Edmund Allenby, Arthur Wellesley and the greatest commander of the twentieth century, William Slim, Well I? I shall follow the new leader, to my death, if need be.”
The scene opens up a little bit to see Lord Merriweather sad behind the desk of Errol Flint with a grin.
“If winning this war shall lead to ones demise, then one would be honoured to have been associated with such a bloody fantastic commander in chief.. To die a death in war is not shameful but courageous. To live a life knowing I stood side by side serving one of the best men in the world doing it for the queen of the world, then slay me know. I re-iterate I will follow this man to my union jack laden coffin.”
“You’re a bloody masterful man, do you know that?” Merriweather replies. “I’m honoured to have an assistant, a General to spearhead my war of your caliber Nigel. I feel like you need to be rewarded for your undying loyalty, sir.”
Commissioner Merriweather hands him an envelope. Nigel accepts and looks inside, rather stunned by what lies in there. He pulls out a ‘Medal Of Valour’ and places it on his suited chest.
“Commissioner Lord Merriweather, the President of the United States – the opportunity you have awarded oneself with is phenomenal. Mr President, my loyalty lies with you. I thank you for this offer of grattitude. Now may our night end in victory over Brent Kersh.. for QUEEN.. for LORD..”
“For COUNTRY.” Merriweather chimes in.
The fans boo as both men shake hands and the segment comes to a close.
LORD MERRIWEATHER VS. BRENT KERSH
In typical Merriweather fashion, the three on one match started with not one, but both of his security team in the ring with Brent Kersh. The referee tried to reason with the Commissioner but a “do it or you’re fired!” response is all he received for his troubles. Edward and Stephen went straight to work as Nigel looked on from the outside, Brent somehow managing to fend them off with Clothesline and a boot to the mid-section. He launched Stephen over the top rope and went to work on Edward, pummelling away at him until Royal hopped onto the apron with a distraction. Brent rushed over and swung with a right hand but missed, Nigel hanging him up on the top rope.
That gave Ed the chance to dominate and he did, dragging Kersh to his corner where he beat the holy hell out of him with right hands and stomps, dropping to his knees, taking his tie off and choking The Enforcer. The referee tried to do his best to keep order but his hands were tied. Stephen then entered with a chair, demanding that Edward pull Brent up so that he could take his head off. He did as he was told and CHAIR SHOT TO THE SKULL!! BUT BRENT.. HE… HE MOVED AND STEPHEN NAILED EDWARD!! Ed hits the canvas in a heap and Stephen turns around to be scooped up.. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT!! NAILED HIM WITH THE SHOULDER BREAKER TO PILEDRIVER!!
Royal quickly slid into the ring and attacks from behind, clubbing Kersh into the corner where Merriweather looks petrified. He whips him out and across to the other side, following up and BIG BOOT!! The fans are on their feet as The Enforcer drops Nigel Royal. He turns around and UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP TO THE SKULL! MERRIWEATHER TAGGED HIMSELF IN! He drops down into the cover…. ONE….. TWO……. THREE – KICK OUT!! Brent kicks out! The Commish can’t believe it and gets back to his feet, calling for the First Class Stamp. Brent slowly gets back up and here comes Merriweather – NO! Brent ducked it! He ducked it!CLOTHESLINE!! Kersh instantly reaches down for his leg and locks it in.. THE FIGURE FOR LEGLOCK!! THE LONESTAR!! MERRIWEATHER TAPS! HE TAPS IMMIEDIATELY AND WE HAVE A NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION!! The fans are ecstatic as The Enforcer releases the hold and gets back to his feet, being handed the United States Championship!
THE DEATH MACHINE
The lights dim to black, plunging the arena into silent anticipation. When the epic guitar riff of “World on Fire” by Slash hits, a single spotlight illuminates the entrance stage as a rather dejected and hurt looking Crash makes his way out. He heads towards the ring and slides in, forgoing any of his usual stunts after a brutal Hardcore Championship Match tonight.
Crash receives a microphone from Paloma Ruiz and settles in the middle of the ring.
“You know, Crash can’t believe his luck. I was this close,” Crash begrudgingly makes a sign with his fingers to display how much before pausing, unable to continue for a moment. “I was this close from winning InVasion. The General Lee of 1-2-3 made the most of that match and Crash is sure that all you Crashmasters know it too. There was no-one like me in that match and by the time it was all said and done, Crash had amassed a library full of highlight reel moments.”
He stops talking to soak in the chants from the crowd. “IT WAS AWESOME!” they roar at him.
“But someone out there didn’t want me to win. Someone out there wanted to take away my glory and I want to know who!” Crash yells. He starts pacing the ring now, angry and in demand of answers. “Whoever you are and whatever you want, I want answers. I want Zander and I want him now.”
The lights dim to a shade lighter than darkness as the humming start of ‘To get to you’ brings about the immediate rise of the fans. Red River Jack steps out onto the entrance ramp with the burning ember of his cigarette being the first immediate thing we see.
He stops there on the entrance ramp, The Hardcore Championship that Crash failed to win being draped over his shoulder.
“Hold on a second, man.” Jack says into a microphone pulled from his back pocket.
“What the hell do you want? We fought already, it’s over.” Crash assures Jack who stands there grinning.
“Not quite,” he retorts. “You see man, you thought InVasion was all about you. I watched you with Fate, man. I watched you declare that no-one here could stop you, that you were a force to be reckoned with – well meet the freight train knockin’ you off the tracks, man.” Red says whilst pointing to himself.
Crash meanwhile is going mad inside the ring, damn near coming out of it.
“YOU SON OF A BITCH!” he yells furiously.
“Hold it man, hold it. You don’t wanna come up here, you don’t wanna do that,” Red warns him only once. Crash reluctantly stops in his tracks, if even for a moment to hear out what he has to say – knowing that Zander is being held somewhere. “See, and now I know you see – I’ve already beat you here tonight. The man you wanted all this time though, it wasn’t really me. It wasn’t. This endeavour of The Awakening’s, it’s a group effort man.. it’s a team effort. Let me show ya.”
Red River Jack points to the tron in which flickers once again. Laying down on the bed in chains is Zander, looking extremely worse for wear. This time though, a figure steps in front of the camera and takes a seat on a rickety old chair. He’s got long hair, a black shaggy beard and we saw a debut promo from him this week; it’s Terry McGuire.
“What’s the matter funny man, aren’t you laughing now?” Terry says with a stiff, sadistic, horrifying tone. “Don’t you see what’s happening around you? I know your head is spinning but let me clarify what’s going on for you – The Awakening wants you to wake up and smell the roses. Red doesn’t like your attitude and to be honest with you, I know it’ll break your achy breaky heart but me? I just don’t think you’re funny,” he says looking over his shoulder to a gagged but unconscious Zander Zane. “I suppose you ain’t laughin’ now, are ya?”
SUDDENLY CRASH IS SPUN AROUND…. IT’S MCGUIRE!! HE’S BEHIND HIM!! THE DEATH MACHINE!! HOLY FUCK WHAT A DISCUS BIG BOOT TO THE SKULL!! The fans are on their feet, angry, yelling, booing like mad men and woman, possessed with rage.
Red River Jack casually walks down the ring to meet Terry, who stands over Crash, laughing like a maniac.
“Do you have all the answers you need now, man? Do ya? We made you lose InVasion, I beat you here tonight and he beat you down like the dog that you are. Your arrogance is nothing, man. Your arrogance is words and hope, hope that we’re going to extinguish. The Awakening has chosen you,” Red says taking the cigarette out of his mouth and handing it to McGuire. “We have chosen you to WAKE UP!”
McGuire uses the cigarette to burn through the costume of Crash, causing him to squirm in agony on the canvas. The Awakening members walk away, having introduced us to a new member of this already fierce group.
DESMOND CROSS VS. MIKE LANE
Desmond Cross was out first, so when the opening tune of California Love hit the speakers, he was ready for it. Mike Lane on the other hand stepped out from behind curtain with a stumble, for some reason, barely able to stand. He slowly made his way to the ring and entered, the referee checking to if he’s okay. That’s when Desmond Cross interrupts, revealing a microphone.
“Feeling a little queasy, brother Lane?” Desmond enquires, circling Mike with a smile. “This is what the great LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will go up on you and your people and all your officials,” he quotes suggesting that the box Lane opened earlier was yet another plague – the second of tonight. He goes on to confirm. “Plague six.”
Mike suddenly drops to his knees and The World Champion strikes, nailing him with a knee to the face. He throws the microphone down and works in on him quickly, pummelling him with right hands. The People’s Choice tries to crawl away but Desmond refuses it, dragging him back to the centre of the ring and crashing his head off the mat, bouncing him like a ragdoll in a furious rage. He finally pulls him straight to his feet and kicks him low, scooping him up and… AMAZING GRACE!! F5!! He dropped him head first and that’s it, that’s it man, Mike Lane is done.
The crowd are absolutely shocked by this complete and utter domination of Mike Lane. Whatever poison entered his body from that frog has made him weakened and unable to fight back. The referee looks like he wants to stop the match but Desmond refuses, pushing him away. He wants to make a statement in front of the LORD here tonight. The World Champion picks Mike up once again and this time, pulls him into position for The Redeeming – even though poor Mike Lane can’t stand. He signals for it with a stretch of the arms and pulls the dead weight of The People’s Choice up onto his shoulders… CRUCIFIX POWERBOMB!! MY HOLY GOD WHAT A POWERBOMB!!
That damn near broke Mike Lane in half!
Desmond crawls over to him, a smirk on his face and having barely broke a sweat – looking at a man who’s sweating profusely and clearly in need of medical attention. Then he does the unthinkable.. he lays down next to him, reaches over and drags Mike Lane’s sweating limp arm over him. The referee doesn’t know what to think but is bouyed on by Cross, who’s shouting as loud as he can.. “Count it! Count it!” ONE…. ……. TWO…….. THREE!! Huh? Desmond Cross just… Desmond Cross.. what? He pushes Mike Lane off of him and gets back to his feet, smirking the whole time like a lunatic. What the hell is he doing? The People’s Choice is the new World Champion and Desmond of all people just made it happen.
The reaction of this sold out crowd is unsurprisingly split. They don’t understand what the hell just happened. Desmond Cross just destroyed Mike Lane and handed him the OSW World Championship. He gets back to his feet and looks down at the fallen People’s Choice – who just so happens to be the NEW World Champion to boot. Paloma Ruiz reluctantly rolls in a microphone to Cross, who grins.
“I appeal to you therefore, brother Lane, by the mercies of God, to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
He bows down to his knees and hits Mike in the head with the microphone, once, twice, three, four times.
“The LORD speaks through me brother Lane,” Desmond says catching his breath as the crowd boo relentlessly. “And he has chosen you to be sacrificed at Pandemonium. This is why I have bestowed upon you the only means by which you’ll make it there. There are bigger plans than you, bigger plans than the World Championship. I will see you there, I will sacrifice you.. there.”
Desmond snatches the World Championship from the referee and drapes it over the bloodied People’s Choice.
“And then I will ascend to become Desmond Christ. You will fall in worship of your new LORD and SAVIOR, or that will be your cross to bear.”
He drops to his knees, drops the microphone and spreads his arms, laughing maniacally as Afterburn goes off the air.