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AFTERBURN #7 – ALL THAT GLITTERS

AFTERBURN #7 – ALL THAT GLITTERS

THE KLAN
The sound of a ringing bell.

V/O: “Class is in session.”

The Old School Wrestling logo fades into the black as cheering fans welcome us to The School Yard. They’re on their feet as the camera circles the audience, looking out for signs and noteworthy points as Afterburn #7 goes live.

Just then, “I’m On My Way To Freedom Land” hits to a chorus of boos from the jam packed arena. The camera switches to watch Marcus X step out onto the stage, unaccompanied by his backing singers this week. Meanwhile at commentary, Rick Walker and Richard Roman sit watching the action.

Rick Walker: “That’s one hell of a way to kick off Afterburn. Folks, welcome to the show.”

Richard Roman: “We’re being joined by a man that last week found himself under attack in the middle of that ring – not by a friend, or a foe, we’ve ever seen before; but by the Ku Klux Klan.”

Rick Walker: “It just seems unbelievable, doesn’t it?”

Marcus has by now made his way to the ring and has a microphone.

Marcus X: “Last week at CyberSLAM proved one thing..”

The boos don’t get any quieter for Marcus X. That once split reaction he had from the audience is slowly fading into general dislike.

Marcus X: “It proved that without a shadow of a doubt, my black movement is getting under people’s skin. Some people have said that those men who attacked us last week are nothing but imposters. They said it was impossible for the KKK to get in here, attack us and leave without being spotted. Those people underestimate the reach of bigoted, racist, white supremacist Americans. I do not.”

The houselights all but die as a slow, pounding bass rhythm signals the start of El-P’s “Stay Down.” Sporadic strobe bursts pierce the darkness in-time with the track’s loose guitar harmonics and soon Isaiah Black staggers from the backstage area, peering disdainfully from beneath his hood.

Rick Walker: “Ladies and Gentlemen, here comes the All-Star Champion. Isaiah Black completed the difficult task of defending his title for the first time last week but tonight, despite another defence, he’s gotta address last week’s KKK situation.”

Richard Roman: “Well they left him laying too. Now don’t underestimate that, because it’s a rarity. On very few occasions have we ever seen Isaiah Black laid flat on his back like that.”

“The Grim” doesn’t stop for fanfare and starts his way down the ramp with his head bowed, cracking his knuckles as he goes. Eventually he reaches the ring and rolls beneath the bottom rope, before hopping to his feet. He pulls a microphone out from inside his hoody.

Marcus X: “Before you speak, please, listen. I know that you’re not a man willing to team with someone like me but after last week, you surely have to see that together, we can stop this race war before it begins.”

Isaiah laughs, shaking his head.

Isaiah Black: “Shut the fuck up.”

The fans cheer.

Isaiah Black: “That goes for you too.”

And back to the status quo of booing we go.

Isaiah Black: “I don’t give a flying fuck about the KKK. I don’t give a shit about you, your race war, the colour of our skin or what it is you think you want. Last week the KKK or some version of it arrived here in the OSW and I won’t be working with you to kick their asses; BUT I will happily kick their asses.”

He grins sadistically.

Isaiah Black: “See, I’m an equal opportunity son of a bitch. I’ll just as quickly rip your face off as I will theirs.. So if someone back there has a problem with ‘The Grim’, why don’t you come out here and CHOOSE DEATH. Then I’ll be comin’ for ya throat!”

Black drops the microphone whilst Marcus pleads with him off of it, that is until the Titantron flickers.

Rick Walker: “What’s this?”

Richard Roman: “That looks like Isaiah Black.”

The commentators aren’t wrong. When the footage opens, it’s in a field, with a dark skinned mannequin and a face mask of Isaiah Black. Three men dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb are pulling on a rope to lynch him higher into the sky, as we watch on in disgust.

Rick Walker: “Oh my god….”

Richard Roman: “That’s not good at all.”

The leader of the men picks up a torch and lights the bottom of the mannequin, watching as it whooshes up in flames that quickly engulf it. Back in the ring, Marcus X and Isaiah Black look on, one of them in shock, the other with a smile on his face; it’s Black that’s smiling.

“We choose death,” they say in unison, watching as the Isaiah Black look-a-like mannequin burns. “Death to all niggers.”

The arena suddenly erupts into boos as the Tron footage is cut, perhaps by backstage technicians who didn’t realize exactly what it was they were airing. Black looks towards X, who looks back.

Marcus X: “Still think you can do this alone?”

We head to a commercial break with the fans in attendance booing, not at all impressed by what just happened.

THE POWER OF THE BLADE
Backstage looks like a scene out of James Bond because Mike Lane is carefully sticking to the shadows and heading towards Matthew Cories locker room. When he finally arrives, he carefully opens the door and steps inside.

Mike Lane: “Where is it?”

He starts searching high and low, looking in the lockers, in the bags and even on top of them. Finally he finds what he’s looking for and pulls down a large silver blade with a red tassel hanging from it.

Mike Lane: “This is it? This is the almighty powerful weap..”

Matthew Cories: “What the hell are you doing!?”

The voice of Matthew Cories suddenly startles Lane who freezes on the spot, slowly turning around to see that The Green Ranger is stood directly behind him. You’d expect fireworks, except Matthew freezes too.

Matthew Cories: “I will do anything if it pleases my empress Rita.”

His drone like voices confuses the fans but not Mike Lane who holds the blade with a smile.

Mike Lane: “Your empress Rita wants you to work for a man called Errol Flint. She wants you to join ‘The System’.”

Matthew bends down to one knee and bows his head. Lane smirks, nodding at the power of the blade before heading towards the exit. Cories stops him though, speaking up at the last minute.

Matthew Cories: “Is there anything I can do for you, speaker of the blade?”

Mike shakes his head with a giggle and walks away. Matthew stands up and shakes free the cobwebs, wondering what the hell just happened as a weird green glow seems to fade from his eyes.

Matthew Cories: “What the..?”

The scene comes to a close with a puzzled look on The Green Rangers face.

JENSEN CUSSEN VS. RICK MAD
The much-respected Rick Mad, as always, walks out to M83 and a hearty reaction, ready for a mouthwatering clash of contrasting skill-sets. Cussen, the master manipulator, is as loathed as always, but shows little regard as he slithers down to the ring and locks-up with Mad following the bell. Mad, the larger man, succeeds through strength. He gets Cussen in a side headlock and smacks him in the head a few times, before pushing Cussen against the ropes. His clothesline is duck, however, and Cussen spinning heel kicks Mad in the gut, before downing him with a bulldog.

Cussen goes to work on the mat, attempting a kimura, but Mad’s tree-trunk arms prove tricky to manipulate and Cussen is forced to transition to a mounted sleeper. Rick battles to his feet, though, and forcibly backs Cussen into the turnbuckles. A little winded, Cussen is nonetheless able to quickly launch a couple of leg kicks off before Mad can turn. Cussen skips past Mad and bounces off the ropes, coming back with a front dropkick. He covers… 1! 2! Mad powers a shoulder up. Knowing he can outstrike anyone on the roster, Cussen pulls Mad up and creates space for some more kicks, but Mad catches the first one! Dragon Screw! Cussen rolls through it, and right into Mad’s grasp… fall away slam! Mad hooks the leg… 1! 2! Cussen kicks out.

Rick pulls Cussen up, looking to immediately drop him again with a gutwrench suplex, but Cussen limpets himself to Mad’s body. Wrapping an arm around Mad’s throat, Cussen plants the big man with a DDT, before hopping up to the top rope and steadying himself! Double knee drop into the cover… 1! 2! No! A HUGE kick-out from Rick Mad.Cussen’s had enough of Rick Mad’s fighting spirit. He hops up, and peppers the sitting Mad’s body with kick after kick after kick. Sensing the Infinity Rush coming, Mad counters the running knee with a big drop toe-hold! Cussen hits the mat face first, and Mad has him in his clutches! He pulls him up, and here it comes… MAD DDT!? No! Jensen squirms loose! One kick! Two kicks! Three! Four! A huge knee sends Mad down! Cussen backs off… side kick! The INFINITY RUSH is complete! 1! 2! 3! Jensen Cussen with the win!

MANY FINGERS, MANY PIES
The backstage office of Errol Flint is a bustling area of activity here tonight. Mike Lane arrives with the blade from earlier, placing it on the desk in front of him, much to the confusion of Marvellous Master Chef and Jensen Cussen. Destiny sits nervously in the corner, still shaken from the Pay Per View invasion of her privacy.

Errol Flint: “That’s a good job, Mike. That’ll help going forward.”

Mike Lane: “I thought you were crazy, but after seeing the look in his eyes, he’s the crazy one.”

Errol chuckles with a nod, acknowledging the same fact most of us already knew.

Marvellous Master Chef: “Enough! I didn’t come here to talk about some pathetic piece of mierda. I want my Championship back; the Championship that perra stole from me at CyberSLAM.”

The room quickly falls silent.

Errol Flint: “And you’ll have a chance at that. The problem is that Desmond Cross is the number one contender and you have a rematch clause. So what I’m going to do is make a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at inVasion. It’ll be DTR vs. Desmond Cross vs. Marvellous Master Chef. Not that it’ll matter anyway…”

Chef looks perturbed by that one.

Errol Flint: “If DTR doesn’t make it back from his cell here tonight, he’ll forfeit the title and it’ll go straight back around your waist.”

That brings smiles all round.

Errol Flint: “As for you Mike, you’re going to the inVasion Match. After beating the Champion two weeks ago, you deserve an opportunity and inVasion is exactly what we’ve been gearing up for with Matthew Cories. You’re going to win that briefcase, alright? It should be down to just you, Crash and Fate because joining you in the match are Brent Kersh and Scarecrow.”

Mike Lane: “Those two won’t be able to keep their hands off each other.”

Errol Flint: “Exactly.”

Suddenly the door knocks, stopping them in mid-conversation. Mike heads over and answers it, taking in a box of chocolates with yet another note for Destiny. She stands up and barges past everyone to see, snatching the box from Lane and opening it; only to reveal stone inside where there should be chocolate. Lane reads the note.

Mike Lane: “You’re just a stone’s throw away.”

Destiny angrily throws the box down on the floor as Lane scrunches up the note enraged. She runs to her daddy, in tears, quickly being consoled by Flint.

Errol Flint: “You need to find the asshole behind this and put a stop to it, do you understand me?”

Lane nods in agreement.

SMOKE VS. MARCUS X
The match begins with Marcus X and Smoke locking up in the center of the ring. With his massive size, Smoke is able to quickly push Marcus back into the corner. The official steps in to break the two up and while doing so, Marcus sends an open palm strike across the cheek of Smoke, obviously taking exception to the way “The Chump Buster” brought him to the corner. Smoke doesn’t let him bother him though and shrugs it off with a grin before the two lock up once more. This time Smoke uses leverage to send Marcus X into the ropes.

“The Freedom Fighter” returns ducking a clothesline attempt and then hitting the ropes again to build up some more momentum in order to deliver a clothesline that knocks “The Bad New Bears” back a few feet. Seeing the job isn’t quite done, Marcus moves in to grasp the upper torso of Smoke and performs a beautiful belly to belly suplex that brings the crowd to their feet. Marcus X makes a quick cover. ONE … but that is all he gets! Marcus questions the official about the speed of the count before redirecting his attention to his opponent.

When he does; however, “The Baddest Asset” catches him with a left uppercut that startles “The Freedom Fighter” into a stumble. Smoke quickly pulls himself from a knee and after a few short steps delivers a powerful spear into the midsection of Marcus X, sending both men to the canvas. He doesn’t stop there though. Marcus is pulled to his feet and Smoke hits the ropes. On the return and HE NAILS MARCUS X WITH “THE CHUMP BUSTER”. Marcus X timbers to the mat and Smoke jumps to make a cover. ONE … TWO … THREE! “The Scariest Thing in the Ring” has picked up an impressive victory.

THE PERCH
Grainy footage appears on the Titantron, the fans murmuring amongst themselves as the sound of someone sawing can be heard. They’re making angry, emphatic noises as they saw and it isn’t until the camera lowers that we see Brent Kersh.

This isn’t a live link, we’re told. It was recorded earlier and Brent is stood by the perch of the Scarecrow, trying to cut it down.

Brent Kersh: “If you think…”

Rick Walker: “Jesus, Brent is a man on a warpath.”

Richard Roman: “I don’t think he knows what he’s getting himself into. I don’t think he’s ever truly known.”

He’s breathless, tired and clearly angry.

And in the darkness behind him, a figure can be seen.

Brent Kersh: “For one second…”

Brent doesn’t stop.

The figure gets closer.

Rick Walker: “This will come around full force tonight when these two meet in our Main Event.”

Richard Roman: “And I honestly think that Brent will regret ever stepping into the ring with him. I think he’ll know tonight that he’s done all of this to himself.”

Brent Kersh: “That I’m not going to rip down everything you are, everything you’ve ever been…”

Finally the perch falls, making an almighty crash as it hits the corn behind it.

Then The Scarecrow appears! He attacks Brent with a massive right hand but The Enforcer was ready for it, taking the saw to him and quite literally trying to cut him down. They struggle back and forth until the strength of The Nightmare overpowers him, throwing him to the ground. He pounces back to his feet but it’s ultimately too late; he’s gone.

Brent wipes the dirt off his forehead and stands there, scanning the darkness as quickly as he possibly can, looking for The Scarecrow.

The perch remains broken and on the ground and this one is far, far from over.

MOTHER VS. PROFESSOR BORDEAUX
The bell rings as the professor edges along the ring, warily of Mother who just stands there, staring at Bordeux with a blank expression on her face. An attempt at locking up is met with that same blank stare as does a shoulder tackle, which takes Mother off her feet but she quickly sits up, the same blank stare. Eventually, Bordeux in a rage, starts throwing wild punches, which Mother seems to easily dodge until a hard right lands flush, dropping Mother to one knee. Bordeux turns around, clearly proud as he jeers to the crowd, as Mother slowly gets to her feet, the blank expression turning into one of fury as she rushes forward, landing a huge Spinning Kick as Bordeux turns around

Bordeux goes down hard as Mother leaps on him, landing savage rights and lefts, Mother clearly out for Bordeux’s blood, as she finally pulls Bordeux up, throwing him into the corner as she rushes forward, but Bordeux manages to get out of the way as Mother crashs hard into the turnbuckle. GERMAN SUPLEX. The Professor got behind Mother and dropped her with an almost desperation suplex, as Bordeux gets his breath for a few moments. He picks Mother up, landing a few hard European Uppercuts before throwing her over his shoulder and slamming her down with a huge Scoop Powerslam, hooking the leg upon impact ONE…TWO…kick out!

The Professor lands a few hard kicks to Mother’s back before turning her over and locking in the Extra Credit. Bordeux has her in the middle of the ring as he pulls back as hard as he can but Mother lies motionless in the ring, before slowly dragging herself to the ropes. Despite Bordeux’s best efforts, she gets a hold of them forcing the break. Bordeux slowly pulls Mother up to her feet, and tries for the Early Dismissal, but a huge knee to the gut stops him as she pulls Bordeux in, trying for the Goodnight Kiss. At the last second, The Professor gets a thumb to the eye, staggering Mother as Bordeux quickly takes advantage, grabbing Mother and landing a quick Early Dismissal, hooking the leg, ONE…TWO…THREE!! The referee signals for the bell as Bordeux almost sprints out of the ring, not wanting another second of Mother.

OPPORTUNITY
After that exhausting match, Professor Bordeaux stumbles up the entrance ramp and demands that a microphone be handed to him by nearby staff. Someone quickly hands him one and watches on as The Professor schools us here tonight.

Professor Bordeaux: “Enough is enough!”

He pauses to catch his breath.

Professor Bordeaux: “It is about time that you people understood something. Since the opening of this federation, I have been defeating the hicks you put in front of me with relative ease. Lord Merriweather stole my Championship, but not my desire to proceed and progress. That is why, I believe, I should be your World Heavyweight Champion!”

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Professor Bordeaux: “BE QUIET, class is in session. Desmond Cross may be your number one contender but I deny that. I dispute it. I should be your number one contender to the World Championship and I should reign supreme over you idiotic excuses for human beings.”

Suddenly a clearing of a throat can be heard. Bordeaux looks around and finally sets his sights on the Titantron where Errol Flint can be seen grinning.

Errol Flint: “Professor, I apologize for my interruption but when I heard your speech, I simply had to interrupt. I can understand your frustration but believe me, you are not the only one who wishes to get his hands on DTR. So here is what I propose, my dear boy. At InVasion, it’ll be Professor Bordeaux…”

Bordeaux grins.

Errol Flint: “Verses Jensen Cussen, with the winner earning a match with DTR on Afterburn the following week. If you are then successful, you will have in my eyes, earned yourself an opportunity at the World Heavyweight Championship.”

Professor Bordeaux: “Fine! Put whoever you choose in front of me, Flint. I’ll tear them down, just like this country has tore itself down.”

WHACK!! Suddenly a massive boot leaps almost through the head of Professor Bordeaux from behind. The camera quickly stumbles backwards to reveal Jensen Cussen, having just nailed Bordeaux with a Blunt Force Trauma.

Cussen kneels down beside him and smirks, tapping him on the back of the head before raising his hands to surprising cheers from the crowd.

They may hate Jensen Cussen but you had better believe they hate Professor Bordeaux more.

FATE VS. LORD MERRIWEATHER
What will surely be two of the night’s loudest crowd reactions – sweet for Fate, sour for Merriweather – prefix a potentially intriguing clash between two of OSW’s most (in)famous names. Yet one participant – Lord Richard – clearly isn’t here to appease the fight-hungry masses, as he bails from the ring as soon as the bell rings. Fate, never one for fuckery, slides out after him, but the Englishman slides in as Fate goes out.

Jeers rain down. Fate holds his hands out, desperate to engage. Merriweather wags a finger, and immediately slides out again as Fate charges the ring. Merriweather turns, ready to repeat the charade. Fate charges again, but stops himself just short of sliding out! Merrweather isn’t quick enough to stall his roll into the ring, and finds himself in Fate’s clutches. Finally able to exert offence, Fate stomps on Merriweather, before kneeling down and hammering a few fists into his skull. He hauls him up, throws him into the corner, and follows up with a flying knee that staggers Richard out. Fate sneaks behind him, and drops him with a huge belly-to-back! The cover… 1! 2! No! Richard kicks out.

Fate is in control. He pulls Merriweather up by his balding head, but the Lord low blows fate and follow’s up with a flagrant eye poke! The referee admonishes Merriweather, giving Fate a brief recovery window, but it’s not long enough as Merriweather suckerpunches his opponent. Roll-up with a handful of tights… 1! 2! NO! Kick-out. They brawl, with Fate’s technicality winning out. He flattens Merriweather with a DDT close to the ropes. Lord Richard rolls out again, but Fate follows him. Fate tries to whip Richard back inside, but it’s reversed… and Fate flies straight into the ring steps!

Merriweather slides back-in, more than content to win by count-out as his opponent struggles outside. The count reaches 5… 6… 7… but Fate’s stirring, and by the time 9 hits, he’s back inside. Merriweather curses and grabs Fate, but the (much) younger man elbows Merriweather in the gut and follows-up with the double-knee facebuster… ADVERSITY! Fate hooks the leg… 1! 2! 3! And that’s all she wrote.

BUMPING UGLIES
Jeremiah Jett is walking through the backstage area with Lenore, rubbing his shiny All-Star Championship replica. Tonight, Jett faces Black for the actual All-Star Championship. As he makes his way through the back, Lenore accidentally bumps into the OSW’s newest acquisition.

Jeremiah Jet: “Watch it, don’t damage the merchandise.”

Despite his reaction, Lenore says nothing.

The Black Widow on the other hand, she isn’t impressed.

The Black Widow: “What did you just say? Are you going to stand for that?”

Lenore just whips her hair and scoffs.

Jeremiah Jet: “Whoa baby, there’s plenty of the amazin’, misbehavin’, star gazin’, guns blazin’ Superstar Candy Bar to go around. I can see it in your eyes, you’re about to feast on the beast that is the All-Star Superstar Champion of Champions.”

She looks disgusted.

The Black Widow: “You disgust me. What makes you think I’d have any interest in you, and you..”

Widow points at Lenore who folks her arms in disgust.

The Black Widow: “You should be ashamed of yourself. What kind of woman allows herself to be treated like that? You need to wake up and smell the coffee, this guy, he’s an asshole.”

Despite the truth being spoken, Lenore ain’t too happy. She suddenly snaps, grabbing Widow by the hair and a fight quickly ensues, with Jett interjecting himself amongst the brawling ladies with a toothy smile on his face. He finally pulls Lenore away before she finds herself damaged and blocks The Black Widow from approaching again.

Jeremiah Jet: “You don’t have to be green baby, but if you put one more hand on my woman, I’m going to make you black and blue.”

The Black Widow: “Just bring it, and Widow is goin’ to kill you.”

Both of them go nose to nose before Jett smiles, nodding at Lenore as if to suggest they’re leaving before heading off down the corridor.

MIKE LANE VS. CRASH
The bell rings as Mike Lane rushes forward with a Lariat attempt that is ducked under by CrAsH, who delivers a quick Dropkick, sending Lane staggering into the ropes. CrAsH bounces off the ropes, leaping up in mid-air as he rebounds, delivering a Crossbody block, sending Lane to the mat as he holds on for the cover ONE…TWO… Lane swiftly kicks out but as he gets to his feet, a hard knee to the gut doubles him over as CrAsH tries to pick him up, going for a backbreaker manoeuvre

Lane fights out of it however, landing several hard elbows to the jaw that force the break, staggering CrAsH and as he turns around, DEGENERATION! An impressive T-Bone Suplex sends CrAsH halfway across the ring. Lane signals for the end, waiting for CrAsH to slowly get to his feet, SHADOW KIC…NO! CrAsH seeing the kick coming, rushes to the turnbuckle, backflipping off it, over Lane who lashes out into thin air. Capitalising on the confusion, CrAsH grabs Mike by the back of the head, leaping up and landing a lightning quick Lung Blower, leaving Lane lying in pain.

The Blockbuster throws his fists into the air, yelling out “Cannonball” as he rushes to the ropes, bouncing off into a forward roll and leaping up with the Rolling Cannonball. CrAsH calls for the end, as he climbs up to the top rope for the Crash Course, but Mike somehow gets to his feet, staggering towards the corner as he lands a hard right to CrAsH’s midsection. Lane climbs up, trying for a Superplex but a sharp headbutt stops him as CrAsH tosses him off the top, leaping off with a huge Shotgun Dropkick as Lane gets to his feet. Not wasting anytime, CrAsH rushes up to the top once more, diving off with a huge Crash Course, hooking the leg for the cover as the referee counts ONE..TWO…THREE!! The Daredevil has pulled out a huge victory that has to be seen as a big upset

RETIREMENT II
Stood backstage looking about as dejected as could be is Rick Mad. The man has had one hell of a career and almost retired last week at the Pay Per View, only to retract his decision on an odd whim that involved defeating Jeremiah Jett. Tonight, he stands again, again looking like this may be the end.

Rick Mad: “I don’t know what to tell ya..”

He shakes his head.

Rick Mad: “Last week I almost pulled the trigger on ending a career that has spanned decades. I’ve been hearing people talk about it, talk about the fact that I changed my mind on a whim and you know what? The truth is that I was looking for an excuse to keep going.”

Rick sighs.

Rick Mad: “An excuse that I simply don’t have any more..”

He with hands on hips, takes one more moment to think about it.

Rick Mad: “I just can’t do it anymore. I quit. I’m done.”

Abruptly, Rick simply walks off camera and heads towards the exit. The fans don’t know what to make of it, neither does the camera, who simply watches from a distance as Rick makes his exit.

Rick Walker: “Did I really just see that?”

Richard Roman: “I can’t believe it, he just quit on air.”

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
When we come back from a commercial break, Lord Merriweather is stood atop a podium in the middle of the ring with red carpet surrounding him. The United States Championship is propped up in front of him, like some kind of glorified trophy.

Lord Merriweather: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the United States of America, may I have your attention please.”

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Lord Merriweather: “SILENCE! Your PRESIDENT is speaking!”

Again, the fans let him have it.

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Lord Merriweather: “Last week I singlehandedly became the United States Champion and as a result, I have decided not to take this Championship to England and proclaim it The Great British Championship. I have decided that you people need a leader, that you people need a voice, that you people need some decorum and decency in your lives. That’s the Lord Merriweather way.”

The entire arena are by now booing so loudly that Merriweather can hardly be heard.

Lord Merriweather: “You people need to show me some respect! This isn’t a democracy, it’s a dictatorship! I lead, you follow. I say jump, you ignorant inbred buffoons ask how high, m’lord?”

Suddenly the arena darkens.

The sound of children singing nursery rhymes slowly and melodically begins to play, leaving Merriweather looking extremely confused in the ring. Children accompany Mother out onto the stage and towards the ring, making their way towards the United States Champion and self elected President. Mother stands outside as the children swarm the ring, quickly surrounding the podium.

Lord Merriweather: “What the hell is this? Edward? Stephen?”

The bodyguards want to come to his aid but they too are surrounded by the freaky children of Mother. She remains on the outside of the ring, watching as a panicked Merriweather grabs the US Championship and pushes his way past the kids, escaping to the outside, looking utterly terrified.

“What do you want?” he yells from the opposite outside of the ring. “Get away from me you rotten little rascals.”

Much like you’d expect, the children ignore him and start to follow to the outside. Lord takes his chances and dives into the angry crowd, running through them as they too try to attack him.

Mother then enters the ring, turning her attention to Edward and Stephen. She walks around Ed, suddenly JUMPING ON HIS BACK!! THE MATERNAL INSTINCT!! The fans are going wild as Stephen quickly tries to drag her off, only to be jumped on by the children. This is a mugging, a complete mugging. Edward can’t seem to shake Mother who finally wears him down to one knee, stroking his hair lovingly as he begins to pass out.

Stephen has quickly had to bail, rolling to the outside and trying to reach back inside for his partner, only to be stomped at by the angry children as he does. Mother finally releases him, telling the children to back off and let Stephen pull his partner out.

She’s sent a direct message to Lord Merriweather here tonight. He may think himself the President of the United States but in Mother’s land, she rules.

HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP
The match begins with all three men circling the ring as Hate goes after Manson. Almost on cue, that causes Cultivator and Consumer of Worlds to attack Hate. As Brandon is down, Red River Jack wastes no time searching for some goodies underneath the ring. First weapon of choice is a steel chair, tossing it into the ring. As he goes to roll into the ring, Manson goes ahead and grabs it. The Creator looks at Manson, wondering if he is actually going to hit his ally with it but motions for The Bad Seed to pick up The Final Solution. WHACK! Jack nails Manson with the steel chair! WHACK! Chair shot across the back of Hate!

The first pinfall of the night ensues as Jack tosses away the steel chair and hooks the leg of Hate. One! Two! Elbow drop across the neck of RRJ! Manson brings Red River up to his feet … Shoulder jawbreaker! Smirking, he grabs the chair and hits both Red River and Hate across the back for good measure before wedging the steel chair into the corner turnbuckle. The Creator brings Brandon up to his feet and goes for an irish whip … The Final Solution stops as RRJ runs at Hate but Hate moves out of the way and tosses Jack into the steel chair!

The Final Solution brings Manson up to his feet … CHESIRE GRIN! Cover! One! Two! SAVED BY RED RIVER JACK! RRJ and Hate both get up at the same time … SEEIN’ RED! Seein’ Red on the steel chair that fell from the corner turnbuckle on the ring mat. Red covers … One! Two! THREE! RRJ wins as Red River Jack has successfully defended his Hardcore title here tonight.

TIME TO WAKE UP
Red River Jack, David Manson and Brandon Hate all get back to their feet, staring each other out in the middle of the ring. A confrontation could be afoot but instead, they embrace, soaking in the boos from a crowd who wanted to see them rip each other to shreds.

Rick Walker: “It looks like even a brawl like we just witnessed isn’t enough to put a divide between these three men.”

Richard Roman: “It’s like a brotherhood, Rick. They can fight, rip each other to pieces and damn near destroy each other but in the end, they’re here to awaken all these lost souls.”

Just then..

The arena lights drop out as a series of deafening guitar riffs takeover the airwaves and allows “Meet the Monster” by Five Finger Death Punch to come to life. A lightshow of white strobes overtakes the entrance area a few seconds before the massive mountain muscle known simply as Smoke steps out of the back with a strong stride. The Baddest Asset stands with his head down among the flashing strobes before snapping it up to look at The Awakening.

Rick Walker: “Here comes Hate! He’s making a b-line for the Baddest Man Alive!”

Brandon Hate storms the entrance ramp to try and cut the Bad News Bear off but he’s nailed with a giant Boot that almost takes his head off. Smoke grabs him by the hair and swings him into the guard rail at full power, decimating him on the outside. Red River Jack stands in the middle of the ring as Smoke hops onto the ring apron and is suddenly caught my Manson from behind, who attacks him quickly, whilst he’s half in and half out.

DROPKICK TO THE CHIN! Jack nails him! He runs and catches him clean as Manson holds him from the outside, both men now dragging him back to the entrance ramp and going to town with right hands. Smoke tries valiantly to fight back but the numbers game has him, Manson slamming him hard into the steel ring steps! Red River Jack walks over, taking out his cigarette and having a puff, watching as Manson puts a near unconscious Smoke in the Camel Clutch.

Rick Walker: “Please tell me that he’s not going to do this…”

Richard Roman: “WHAT ABOUT HIS LOOKS!? HAHA!”

CIGARETTE TO THE NECK!! JESUS CHRIST!! SMOKE IS IN AGONY!! Jack burns the cigarette fortunately into his neck, mouthing at him that “Next time, it’ll be worse” before Manson lets him go to squirm on the floor, the pain just too much.

The fans roar with boo’s as Jack and Manson stand tall, Hate shortly coming to join them and sticking in a boot for good measure.

NO ENTRY
The camera heads to the parking lot outside The School Yard to witness DTR attempting to get himself inside, though having problems with a rather disgruntled security guard.

Security Guard: “Name?”

DTR looks at him confused.

Dead To Rights: “Mike Lane.. what do you think it is?”

The guard looks at the list and shakes his head.

Security Guard: “Sorry sir, Mike Lane is already inside.”

Dead To Rights: “Are you an idiot? I’m the World Heavyweight Champion. Check your list for D… T….. R.”

He rolls his eyes and looks again.

Security Guard: “Nope.”

Clearly Errol Flint has banned DTR from entering the building, knowing full well that he’s already said that if DTR doesn’t make it in time for the Main Event, he’ll have his title stripped away. What Errol doesn’t know is that DTR is well aware of that.

Dead To Rights: “Look kid, I know you’re just doing your job. I know that you’ve been told to keep me out and by all means, I get it. You don’t want any trouble, do you?”

The security guard grins.

Security Guard: “Trouble? Dealers choice.”

Dead To Rights: “Have it your way.”

Suddenly DTR slips a lead pipe down the sleeve of his jacket and CLOCKS THE GUARD STRAIGHT ACROSS THE FACE WITH IT! The once smiling security official now lays completely unconscious on the concrete floor as DTR steps over him, entering the building with a smirk on his face and the idea of getting his Championship inside his head.

JEREMIAH JETT VS. ISAIAH BLACK
Both men await the bell as the sold out Wrestleplex crowd serenades them with a chorus of boos. The bell finally rings bringing Isaiah Black and Jeremiah Jett out swinging. A big right hand from Jett is met with a couple left jabs from Black. Back and forth they, exchanging blows. Eventually it’s “The Superstar” that gains the upper hand by raking the eyes of “Walking Death” and that’s followed up with a scoop slam that puts Black flat on his back. With his opponent down, Jett heads to the ropes timing things enough to nail Black with a brutal running knee.

Jett moves to make a cover, but “The Grim” viciously grabs him by the throat, bringing an almost pleased response from the fans, as he controls Jett enough to work back to his feet. Black lands a knife edge chop and again before driving an elbow into the jaw of “The Superstar”. That sends Jett reeling backwards and Black takes advantage with a running clothesline that sends both men up and over the top rope and to the outside. Isaiah Black maintains his composure and grabs Jett, sending him face first into the steel post as the official begins his count.

“The Superstar” takes a massive shot, but uses his momentum to swing him around the post and back into the ring. “The Grim” is quick to the punch and rolls back in as well only to be caught with a poke to the eye once he arrives. Jett seems to be barely conscious from the blow to the ring post, but gathers himself enough to perform a belly to back suplex that puts Black to the mat. Just then, The Black Widow heads out to the ring.Not wasting any time, Jett hurries back to his feet and heads to the corner. Scaling the turnbuckles THE BLACK WIDOW PUSHES HIM OFF THE TOP ROPE AND HE FALLS FLAT ON HIS FACE! Black rolls out of the way and Jett remains in a sitting position in a ton of pain! “Walking Death” hurries to his feet and hits the ropes. Coming back! “THE GRAND LEVELER!!” This has to be it! Black covers. ONE … TWO … THREE! Isaiah Black retains his All-Star Championship with a helping hand from The Black Widow who blows Lenore a kiss on the way to the back.

CRASH COURSE
When we head to the backstage area, we catch up with Fate who appears to be stopped alongside a rather impressive looking bike; one that obviously belongs to Crash – especially given the number plate. Fate looks it up and down with an impressed eye.

Then Crash turns up, helmet on, ready to ride.

Crash: “Welcome to Crash-CITY!”

He hops on the bike, starts it up and revs it before speeding off down the corridor – STRAIGHT INTO THE WALL!! HE MISSED HIS TURN ENTIRELY AND PLANTED HIMSELF FACE FIRST INTO THE CONCRETE!

Rick Walker: “Oh my god, is he okay?”

Richard Roman: “He must of missed his turn because he just went sideways into that wall. If that was head on, this could of been a lot worse.”

Security, EMT’s and backstage workers rush over to check on him after that awful impact. Fate heads over too, trying to figure out what’s going on as Crash lays there, removing his helmet.

Crash: “The breaks… they didn’t work!”

They help him back to his feet and watch as he checks on the bike, heading straight to the break cable and realizing it’s been disabled.

Crash: “Someone disabled them.”

He turns to see Fate looking on, his mind instantly jumping to the most obvious conclusion. When he arrived it was Fate standing next to his bike, alone and with all the opportunity in the world.

Crash: “You…”

Crash approaches him, getting straight in his face.

Rick Walker: “There’s no way Fate would of done that. Besides, we saw him and he didn’t touch the bike.”

Richard Roman: “He could of done it before we got to him, Ricky.”

Fate: “What? Don’t look at me, tough guy. I’m not the one who moments before takeoff welcomes me to Crash-City before you know, crashing. Seems like you kind of had it coming if you ask me.”

Crash: “I had it coming? Huh? Unlike the man who couldn’t get a job done to save his life, I always get the job done. This isn’t your time, Mr. Inevitably Boring, so why don’t you stick to sabotaging your own career and leave me to mine.”

Now Fate steps in closer.

Fate: “I hate to BREAK it to you, but the only thing sabotaged around here was your bike. Why don’t you do like a good crash test dummy and bounce yourself head first off a couple more walls. That way, unlike when we have to watch you wrestle, we’d be entertained.”

That just about does it and CRASH NAILS HIM WITH A RIGHT HAND! Fate doesn’t waste any time, driving one straight back into his skull and these two are now brawling around here in front of us. Right and left hands, boots, they’re all being exchanged as the referee’s, security and EMT’s quickly try to break this thing up.

THREE ON THREE
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.

Rick Walker: “I’m telling you right now, I have no idea how this man is going to keep his hands off of Scarecrow here tonight.”

Richard Roman: “There’s going to be a lot of tension in that ring and it could boil over at any point. Kersh already took a saw to the Scarecrow, he already tried flames and none of it worked.”

The 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 OSW superstar lifts both hands into the air as he manoeuvres his way around the ring.

Rick Walker: “He might look calm but I don’t buy it.”

Richard Roman: “I suppose we’ll find out when Scarecrow makes his way out here.”

“Go Green Ranger Go!” starts playing over the P.A. system , bringing fans to their feet. Matthew Cories walks out on the top of the ramp in a Bayside Tigers varsity letter jacket. He high fives the fans as he makes his way to the ring, sliding under the bottom rope. He gets to his feet, handing his jacket over to the time keeper at ringside.

Rick Walker: “This guy could very well be losing his mind. There’s something about a sword that just seems to be making him lose it.”

Richard Roman: “I think he’s finding a way into the Main Event and you know what? All credit to the kid. He’s doing what he has to do and if that means act a little loopy, well, welcome to the show.”

Rick Walker: “Here’s the moment all these people have been waiitng for…”

The opening riff from “State of the Union” blares throughout the arena, the lights strobe along to the music. Dave steps out from behind the curtain, title belt around waist and his arms extended . He moves down the ramp in a fast motion, slapping hands with the fans as they go. The crowd are on their feet as the Champion rolls into the ring.

Rick Walker: “Listen to that ovation! This is the moment he’s been waiting a long time for.”

Richard Roman: “Give it a rest. DTR this, DTR that, he’s soon going to off your top list, believe you me.”

The hyped up beginning of Lil Wayne’s “Watch My Shoes” kicks off, the legendary rapper spitting game immediately, working the crowd into an immediate stir. Pyrotechnics fire off as Marvellous Master Chef steps out from the back with a skillet in one hand, a middle finger lifted by the other.

Rick Walker: “The former Champion couldn’t look less pleased. Only last week he was the World Heavyweight Champion and now he’s chasing the belt.”

Richard Roman: “(nearly crying) He’s still the champion in my eyes.”

He lays the skillet down on the entrance ramp and humps it for a bit, before picking it up and running to the ring. After sliding under the ropes, he forfeits the skillet to the referee and waits in his corner for the opening bell.

The lights in the arena dim and a bright spotlight shines on Desmond Cross, clad in a white trench coat, as he appears at the entryway. Clutched in his hands is a massive wooden cross, the length of his massive frame. He smiles as he drags the cross to the ring. Propping it up, he climbs into the ring and falls to his knees, looking upward towards the heavens

Rick Walker: “There’s the number one contender and we’re just one man away from having a full house. It’s The Scarecrow and lord knows what Brent Kersh will do to him tonight.”

Richard Roman: “Let’s not forget who he’s dealing with, okay?”

The arena is suddenly thrust into darkness as the sounds of squawking crows can be heard, accompanied by a creepy and sinister tune. They flutter away and the lights turn back on, revealing the Scarecrow standing in the middle of the ring, his arms spread and his head lowered.

WHACK! BRENT KERSH ATTACKS! In a vicious start, Brent doesn’t even wait for the bell before attacking The Scarecrow with thunderous right hands. Everyone else vacates to the ring apron as the bell finally sounds. ‘The Enforcer’ clobbers Scarecrow down to one knee, refusing to stop at the referee’s command and nails him with an elbow to the top of the skull. He runs off into the ropes, storming back with a massive knee, taking Crow down to the canvas. Brent should cover but doesn’t, instead he stomps away at him, stomping him to the outside where he follows. He grabs him by the head and bounces it off the barricade, again, again, and here comes Master Chef off the ring apron with a FLYING HEAD SCISSORS!! HE TAKES KERSH DOWN! That brings around DTR who NAILS CHEF WITH A CLOTHESLINE!

Matthew meanwhile has stormed the ring alongside Cross and ducks a Clothesline, SPRINGBOARDING OFF THE MIDDLE ROPE AND INTO A TORNADO DDT!! He nails him! Kersh rolls Scarecrow back into the ring and follows, only to get nailed with a Clothesline. The Monster is finally back to his feet and he’s had enough. Kersh rolls straight up and into an Uppercut, another, a massive thrusting right that sends him sprawling back into the corner. He storms in and BIG BOOT TO THE FACE! THAT CLEANLY CAUGHT KERSH STRAIGHT ACROSS THE MUSH! Scarecrow drags him out and into a massive Side Walk Slam. Just like Brent though, Scarecrow doesn’t go for the cover and pulls him straight back to his feet, whipping him across the ring and looking for another Boot –EXCEPT BRENT DUCKS! He springs on back, leaping into a Powerful Clothesline that downs ‘The Hayman’.

Everyone else looks on as Brent drops into a mount, beating the holy shit out of The Scarecrow with fierce right hands that show no relenting. He finally gets back up and stumbles backwards just enough for Matthew Cories to unbelievably tag himself in. Even DTR looks at him and says “Are you serious?” knowing the implications of that tag, watching as Cories ignores him and walks straight past an absolutely irate looking Kersh towards Scarecrow, pinning him.. 1…… 2….. SCARECROW KICKS OUT! Kersh exits to the ring apron and shares a word with DTR, both men in disbelief that given the circumstances, Corries would intervene like this. Matthew pulls Scarecrow back to his feet and nails him with a right hand, pushing him backwards into his own teams corner so that Desmond Cross can tag himself in.

Matty turns back around to Kersh and smiles; which is short lived as Desmond storms the ring, catching him cleanly with a Spear! He covers almost instantly… 1…. 2… Kick Out! Cross gets back up and grabs him by the head, hitting him with a forearm and then whipping him across the ring. Matt comes back and ducks a Clothesline attempt.. ZIG ZAG! OUT OF NO-WHERE! He quickly covers…. 1….. 2…. Kick Out! The Fresh Prince Of Wrestling is really hearing about it from the fans right now, who really wanted to see Brent Kersh and Scarecrow fight – their wish very quickly becoming true as Brent refuses to stay on the ring apron and makes a b-line around the ring for The Scarecrow. He pulls Scarecrow off the ring apron and both of them begin brawling again!! Referee’s rush down from the back to try and separate them as meanwhile in the ring, Matthew Cories has Cross on his knees..“IT’S MORPHIN TIME!” he yells, running back into the ropes and SHINING RANGER! SHINING WIZARD!! NO!! DESMOND DUCKS!

Cross is back to his feet and makes the sign, spreading his arms and signalling for it. Cories is up slowly, turning around and..AMAZING GRACE! OHHHHH HE NAILED HIM!! There’s chaos outside of the ring and HE NAILED HIM! Desmond into the cover… 1……. 2…….. 3…. NO!! THE WORLD CHAMPION BREAKS UP THE NEAR FALL! DTR grabs the Number One Contender by the head and hits him with a right hand, except Marvellous Master Chef is in now and straight after him, a 2 on 1 assault beginning. Cross and Chef back DTR into the corner and pummell away at him, Cross pushing Chef out of the way to maximize his assault, only for Master Chef to push Desmond as well. These two can’t seem to get along and the boiling point is quickly reached, Marvellous Master Chef spinning Desmond around and a BROWN POWDER MIST!! MIST TO HIS OWN TEAM MATE! Cross stumbles backwards and into a roll up by Matthew Cories…. 1…….. 2……. 3! NO! THE LUNCHA LEADER BREAKS UP THE NEAR FALL!

Marvellous Master Chef drags Cross to his own corner and makes the tag, entering the ring just as Cories tags in DTR. Meanwhile on the outside, about twenty referee’s and security have finally separated the brawl between Brent Kersh and Scarecrow, dragging Brent up the entrance ramp towards the backstage area. They daren’t touch Scarecrow who simply walks after The Enforcer, carefully being stopped in short bursts before continuing to hunt his prey. Those two are out of this one and heading backstage. Back inside the ring and MMC has DTR into a Headlock, running towards the ropes, bouncing up the middle and flipping over into a Slam. He pops straight back up and as DTR follows, nails him with a spinning kick to the back of the head.

The former World Champion signals for the head but HERE’S DESMOND CROSS! Cross spins him around and scoops him straight up into the air… AMAZING GRACE!! NO!! MASTER CHEF SPINS OUT AND DROPS DOWN! He grabs Desmond and RUNS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE OUTSIDE!! MMC turns around and THE RATTLER! THE WORLD CHAMPION OUT OF NO-WHERE! HE GETS IT ALL! HE’S ABOUT TO DROP INTO THE COVER BUT MATTHEW CORIES!? WHAT THE FUCK!? MATTHEW CORIES GRABS HIM, TURNS HIM, CHUMBAWAMBA!! LEAPING INVERTED STO TO HIS OWN TEAM MATE!! The Green Ranger grabs Master Chef and places him over Dead To Rights, watching as the referee counts…. 1………. 2…….. 3!! It’s over! Matthew Cories just screwed DTR! Brent Kersh and The Scarecrow have long vanished into the backstage area, perhaps to continue their brawl, perhaps not. DTR meanwhile just got laid out by his own tag team partner who clearly, CLEARLY, has joined The System. Matty heads to the backstage area, knowing that he just made one hell of an impact here tonight.

OF HAIL AND FIRE
The fans are going wild at ringside, knowing that Matthew Cories just did the unthinkable.

Then the lights dim.

The ring shakes, it shakes thunderously as DTR and Marvellous Master Chef get back to their feet and hold on for dear life.

Rick Walker: “What the hell is going on!? The entire ring is shaking!”

Richard Roman: “Is that… is that hail?”

The entire arena is suddenly overcome by hail, falling from the ceiling at such pace that the fans are ducking for cover. Richard Roman and Rick Walker use their folders for shelter as DTR and MMC stand shocked and overwhelmed inside the ring.

Then they see it. Then we all see it.

Desmond Cross.

Desmond is stood outside the ring, his arms spread like Jesus Christ himself, bringing this entire thing on.

TWWWHCRRAAAACKKKK! LIGHTNING STRIKES THE RING!

Rick Walker: “Were… signal… ”

Richard Roman: “This… extraordinary. I’ve never… anything… like…”

TWWWHCRRAAAACKKKK!

ANOTHER BOLT!

OH LORD…

The ring posts suddenly ignite in a fiery blaze as pandemonium reaches the crowd. Everyone has stormed towards an exit, damn near emptying out The School Yard. DTR falls over in the middle of the ring, the flames barely missing him. Master Chef falls down too, hugging the bottom rope in fear, unknowing and wondering.

Then we lose the signal entirely.

Static.