Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
In a dark and dingy jail cell, Redmond Quinn sits looking at three concrete walls and steel bars. His body is broken, his back stitched and patched by medics, but he’s still standing.
When Nightstick arrives on the opposite side of the bars, Quinn approaches carefully.
“You need to let me out of here,” The Teacher demands, grasping a hold of the bars. “This is a mistake.”
The World Champion shakes his head in disgust.
“The only mistake is that I didn’t figure it out sooner.”
Disgusted by The Cop, Quinn scoffs. “Are you kidding me?” He growls. “Why would I kill my best friend? He saved me from Wolfgang. He liberated me. You don’t have any motive, Nightstick.”
“Motive?” Nightstick asks. “Isn’t it true that everything he owned, he left to you?”
That surprises Redmond. “No?” He responds quizzically.
“I think you’ll find he has. Every building, every channel, everything he had his fingers in financially is now yours,” Stick rattles off. “How’s that for motive?”
The Teacher leans in angrily.
“You’re making a mistake,” he pleads somewhat threateningly. “And when I get out of here, and I will, I’ll prove it to you.”
The Champion backs off, heading towards the door.
“This’ll be the last time you see me, Quinn. You won’t leave this cell.”
“I would say you have the right to remain silent but if I were you, I’d sing like a canary. It’s the least Luther Creed deserves. Enjoy your day in court.”
Nightstick walks away, leaving Redmond with a grimace.
JESSIE MARTIN VS. MYSTERION
An Insurgent stands across the ring from a Villain ready to do battle. It’s Jessie Martin versus Mysterion!
The bell rings and immediately Mysterion charges Martin! THE PUNCH OF DOOM!!! NO!!! The Insurgent bobs and weaves out of the way! He wraps Mysterion up from behind! German suplex! Martin keeps him wrapped up around the waist as they return to their feet! A second German suplex!! Martin still keeps Mysterion wrapped up!! They return to a standing position!! A THIRD GERMAN SUPLEX, BRIDGED WITH A PIN!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREE!! NO!!! Mysterion kicks out in the very nick of time!!!
Jessie stands to his feet. He grabs the Villain with both hands and drags Mysterion to his! Martin places Mysterion in a side headlock! But Mysterion backs up and bounces off the ropes, shoving the Insurgent off of him! Martin bounces off the ropes and returns to Mysterion!! HURRICANRANA FROM MYSTERION! HE HOOKS THE LEGS!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREE!!! NO!!! A split second before the referee’s hand hits the ground, the Insurgent is able to kick out! Mysterion stands to his feet! STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!! BUT JESSIE MARTIN ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY!!! Mysterion has the breath knocked out of him, and Jessie reaches his feet, sending a kick to the villain’s head for good measure!!!
Martin lifts Mysterion up and wraps him up. FISHERMAN SUPLEX!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! MYSTERION KICKS OUT!!! The Insurgent stands to his feet, utterly irate! He yells at the referee, demanding he count faster, when MYSTERION SNEAKS UP FROM BEHIND!! LOW BLOW!!! SCHOOL BOY PIN!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! MARTIN KICKS OUT!!! Both men lay on the mat for a moment, catching their breath. Finally the both of them reach their feet, when Martin hits BREACH OF THE PEACE FROM OUT OF NOWHERE!!! THE SUPERKICK!!! NO!!! MYSTERION SLIDES OUT OF THE WAY!!! THE PUNCH OF DOOM CONNECTS!!! MYSTERION WITH THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREE!!!!!
Mysterion picks up a huge win over the very impressive newcomer!
Jessie Martin heads up the entrance ramp as Gameboy storms down it.
“Mysterion!” Gameboy screams.
A sneer spreads across Mysterion’s face as Gameboy marches towards the ring.
Mysterion holds his hand out towards Gameboy.
And Gameboy suddenly…
The fans in attendance are completely shocked. Gameboy stands frozen mid-stride as Mysterion remains in the ring, looking him up and down.
“And so you’ve come seeking answers,” Mysterion says with a grin. “Yet in your heart, you don’t need me to tell you what the answer is, do you?”
Mysterion steps out of the ring and approaches the frozen Gameboy.
“Look at you,” Mysterion smiles. “Powerless. And yet I finally have the power I have deserved for so long.”
Mysterion stands right in front of Player One, who remains frozen in place.
“I have seen you play the role of the hero and fail miserably at it for so long, Gameboy. The whole time, I wondered what someone truly capable of wielding all of those powers you had could do with them. I realized with powers like yours, I could become the villain I was always destined to be. And if I took them from you? You would remain the loser you’ve always been.”
Mysterion SPITS in Gameboy’s face and rubs it in with his palm. Gameboy remains perfectly still.
“See? Not only have I taken power from you Gameboy. I’ve taken control over you. You…”
Mysterion laughs maniacally.
Mysterion walks up the entrance ramp. As he steps into the back, Gameboy falls to a knee.
Player One finally regains control over his body.
But for how long?
“WAR OF THE GODS”
In an unknown location, somewhere secluded and out of the way, Yahweh and The Scarecrow sit, shocked, and alone.
The Chief hasn’t said anything in a while. In fact, neither of them have. They’ve simply stared into an abyss of flowers ahead, sat silently.
Until The Scarecrow interrupts.
“Why didn’t you disappear?” He questions, referring to the moment Rain ran at him. “He could’ve killed you.”
Yahweh shakes his head with disappointment. “I… couldn’t.”
They share a look before The Chief continues.
“The moment Zeus was killed; I felt shocked. I couldn’t move.”
The Scarecrow tilts his head. “Are you locked out of heaven?”
The Chief nods.
“The belief has been split down the middle, Scarecrow,” he admits. “Everyone terrible in this world has rallied their prayers behind Odin. He’s as strong as I am now but neither of us have full power.”
“What must we do?” He asks.
“There’s only one thing we can do. You have to find and destroy his Valkyrie before he finds and destroys me,” The Chief admits, almost as if he’s powerless to stop Rain. “And I will meet Odin at Ring of Dreams and end this.”
He turns to The Scarecrow, leaning in.
“But before that happens, we must work within The Tap Room to strengthen it,” he says to the interest of The Hayman. “A battle of Gods like this could destroy humanity. If The Tap Room is too weak to house it, it’ll be the end of everything.”
“How do we do that?” He asks.
“First, we need The Championships. Those sacred belts are the keys, if you recall, and when those keys join and become one, they can do one of two things.”
The Scarecrow interrupts. “Unlock the Tap Room or lock it.”
“Precisely. It doesn’t matter how you get them or from who, they must be retained.”
The Scarecrow stands. “It will be done.”
ZANDER ZANE VS. MONTY STRAIGHT
The King of Rock and Roll takes on the King of Game Shows! It’s Zander Zane versus Monty Straight.
The bell rings and Straight shoots on Zane, grabbing the leg and dropping him with a leg whip. Zane hits the mat on hard on his back, and Straight immediately moves in with a pair of stomps to Zane’s midsection. Monty lifts up the leg he worked earlier! FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK!! Zane screams out in pain! Monty locks it in tighter as Zane tries to scramble with his elbows towards the ropes! But he can’t get there! Zane is about to tap!!!
…BUT HE ROLLS OVER! THE FIGURE FOUR IS REVERSED! Straight is the one screaming now, as the fans roar in approval for Zane’s tactics! Straight claws the mat, fighting tooth and nail to reach the ropes. Every inch is a fight! Eventually, finally, Monty is able to snag the ropes with his fingers and Zane is forced to break the hold! Zane breaks the figure four and reaches his feet! He grabs Monty and lifts him to his feet! Irish whip into the ropes!! Monty bounces off the ropes and returns towards Zander! SWINGING NECKBREAKER FROM ZANE!!!
Straight hits the ground like a sack of bricks! Zane is taking all the momentum! He brings Monty to his feet again! Uppercut from Monty to Zane’s jaw!! TERMS AND CONDITIONS!!! Zane drops like a hammer! Monty scoops up Zane and drops him with a bodyslam!! Suddenly the tables have turned and this match is all Monty Straight!!! Straight grabs Zane by his long hair and drags him to his feet. He wraps up the King of Rock and Roll from behind!! THE AVALANCHE GERMAN SUPLEX!!! THE BIG DEAL!!! MONTY MAKES THE COVER!!! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEE!!!!
Monty Straight picks up a very impressive win over Zander Fucking Zane here tonight! What a bout!
We find three men sat around a large round table.
There are three empty chairs, leaving holes between them.
“Gentlemen,” Redwing begins. “I believe this is it, for now. Spero is pursuing his ring, and doesn’t wish for Intrepid to have any idea of his location.
They all seem to turn their heads at the same time to face one of the empty chairs. Spero’s empty chair. Next to it is one emblazoned with the green logo of Intrepid, who has stolen his ring.
“First of all, I want to apologize for my absence of late. I’ve been so consumed with Darkwish, torn apart may be a better term for it.”
Before he can continue, Berengar interjects.
“No apologies are necessary, my brother. He broke bond with all of us, so we understand the pain you feel. He has a personal vendetta against you, and you know what you must do. Before it gets out of control.”
Redwing merely nods. It may already be out of control. Looking to his allies, Berengar continues.
“King Arthur embraces the dark arts, doing things that none should ever do. He must be stopped, but his power may be beyond any of you. You are both acted upon by outside forces that threaten to destroy all that you stand for.”
“I should have known it would be Mysterion. His inventions have threatened us before, have they not?”
All nod in agreement.
“I’m going to finish this with him. Spero is going to get his ring back and take care of Intrepid. Berengar will clash with King Arthur. And Redwing, you will bring Darkwish to justice.”
All three stand, placing their hands in.
“We have our missions.” Redwing states.
“We will keep our oath.” Berengar continues.
“Whatever it takes.” Gameboy finishes.
The three men all leave the table, each going off to their own mission. Shadowforce is united.
But they face off with one another later tonight, with gold on the line!
Eli Forever has arrived at the Tap Room.
His clothes and hands are still stained with the blood of his mother, the butter knife she used to kill herself in his hand. The various people milling around the entrance to the Tap Room scatter as Eli walks through the door to enter the backstage area. He sees a random guy milling about.
“Where’s Manson?” Eli roars, heading towards the man.
But out of the shadows…
“You know where he is.”
Eli turns to the darkness, cocking his head like he’s seen a ghost.
Red River Jack.
Forever approaches, hoisting the knife.
“You’re just as responsible for this as he is. You made Manson into what he is.”
Showing no fear, Jack shakes his head, taking a drag off of his cigarette before speaking.
“A killer is a killer, man. You should know that better than anybody.”
A snort from Eli.
“Why are you here?” He asks. “Did Oceanus send you?”
“Oceanus is dead.” Jack says, matter-of-factly. “Drowned in the rain, I heard. But that ain’t why I’m back.”
Forever raises an eyebrow.
“The game changed. Gods are in the open, making miracles into the mundane. All they want is to be worshiped, but man ain’t ever gonna wake up if they keep their heads bowed. Your congregation is gonna go to a new Church if it keeps on going, man.”
Forever is more intrigued now than angry, as Jack continues.
“You want to wake a man up, you gotta speak to them in their language. You get words. David’s going to get fists later. You boys want to be worshiped, but you ain’t no god. Oceanus was wrong. When you wake up, really wake up, you don’t want to be a god, man.”
He points at Eli.
“You’ll just be what you are.”
Without another word, Red River Jack walks past Eli, a match approaching with David Manson later on.
While Eli Forever grins under his beard, his eyes visible under his bloodstained glasses.
KING ARTHUR VS. LONGFELLOW
Two men will square off for the glory of victory and the joys of that triumph!
The bell sounds as Kahlil Longfellow and King Arthur circle around the ring. They lock up in the center of the ring before Arthur grabs the arm of Kahlil before wrapping it around his midsection in a wristlock. With the King behind his back, Longfellow rears back with a huge elbow that catches the Lich King right on where his nose would be. Arthur staggers back, releasing the hold and clutching at his face. Longfellow hits the ropes before rebounding with a low dropkick, taking the legs out from underneath King Arthur! He slams to the mat as Khalil climbs the top rope. FLIP THE PAGE!
The moonsaulting double foot stomp misses as Arthur was able to roll out of the way. Kahlil sticks the landing and rolls through, but he’s clutching at his left knee now. Something that Arthur didn’t let slip. Chop block! Arthur goes right for the bullseye as Kahlil is sent up and over him to the mat. Arthur quickly wraps his tendril-like fingers around the knee and begins contorting it to the right side. Kahlil is in a bad way as he’s crying out in agony. The Wandering Poet manages to reach up and put an finger into the eye of Arthur who howls in pain as he backs away.
Longfellow staggers to his feet as Arthur clears his own eye problems. Longfellow grabs King Arthur and begins just pummeling him with vicious elbow shots! Shot after shot as Arthur is caught off guard! WRITTEN IN BLOOD! Yet no matter how many shots he delivers to King Arthur, no blood comes! Longfellow even seems perplexed by this. After about the fifteenth shot, Arthur bounces back with an elbow shot of his own as they are now dueling. Arthur takes a step back and tries for the running knee strike! KINGS CR- But Kahlil falls to the mat to dodge it! Arthur whips around only to be lifted up, hit with a rolling Samoan drop followed by a crazy Phoenix splash from a standing position! POETIC JUSTICE! Longfellow covers him! One…TWO…THREE!
Kahlil Longfellow rises to his feet although he nearly falls over clutching his knee. The referee raises his hand as he grins widely, reveling in his triumph.
“Can I look now?!”
“Not yet, Zandy!”
Zander Zane is being escorted up to the front of a building by two of Tomasso Vitale’s men who have their hands covering his eyes. Vitale walks behind them with shades on and a grin plastered upon his face. They enter into the door of a small waiting room where a young woman is sitting behind the desk.
“Okay, now!” Vitale says with a laugh.
The hands are removed from the eyes of Zander Zane as he begins taking in what he’s seeing. He grins as he begins running through the rooms like a child in a candy store. Vitale leans in on the desk to the young blonde. His smile fades as he looks at her very seriously.
“Get him whatever he needs, understand? Anything.” Vitale’s eyes look her up and down as if to give her a hint.
The young woman nods and gives him a small smile. Zander Zane runs back into the room.
“Oh man, is this whole recording studio just for me?” Vitale nods. “Well, we’re going to need to make some changes.”
Vitale looks at him with a contained expression before showing a smile.
“Oh? What would that be?”
“Well, first off, the post-recording Zane Experience room is much too small. We could only fit forty people in there! And I also have a list of demands that need to be met if we’re about to be a permanent team.”
He hands the list over to Tomasso whose eyes begin scouring the list with irritation growing.
“Zandy… are we friends?”
“Of course, Vittybaby! Look, I’ll go over the list with you and help knock some items out.”
Zander throws an arm around the neck of Vitale, but he quickly ducks out from underneath it before pulling out a phone.
“Sorry, Zandy, I have to get this call, but we’ll talk in a minute.”
Zander leaves the room as he’s taking down notes. Vitale holds up his phone with no call shown before dialing a number.
“Alfred, how long until our deal is met?”
A moment passes as the other side is presumably speaking.
“Good. Let me know as soon as it’s ready. I can only stand so much more of this.”
He hangs up the phone before stepping past the receptionist towards where Zander is jotting down notes in another room.
“WAR OF THE GODS II”
In the boiler room of the Tap Room, Odin and Rain stand in the darkness, discussing what comes next after narrowing missing out on the destruction of their mutual enemy.
Rain slumps against the wall, taking a seat.
“What do we do now?” He asks. “The Dead don’t offer answers to such questions, Odin; only you do.”
Odin nods, understanding. “If I know my adversary, he’ll desire a battle to end this. He won’t come looking for me and he’ll be too afraid of what you might do to look for you personally. If anything, he’ll send his monster to do his handywork.”
“The Hayman cometh?” Rain queries with a smile. “That I look forward to.”
“Yes, he’ll come for you in no time at all, with strict instructions to destroy you,” Odin reminds him of the seriousness of this situation. “And should he succeed, our plan will be for naught.”
Rain scoffs, shaking his head. “I’ve killed Gods,” he reminds Odin. “I can kill The Scarecrow. What of The Chief?”
Odin debates that.
“I have no intention of fighting him, Rain. This war can’t be settled with a fight.”
That surprises the Ghostwalker.
“No, I want you to find him and kill him before that happens.
Rain stands up, his mission now clear.
“Should he desire a battle, he’ll need to ensure The Tap Room is a viable battleground for us to partake in such a war,” Odin muses. “That means that both he and The Scarecrow will be searching for the keys; two of which you hold.”
The Tag Team Champion looks down at its belts, slumped carelessly in the corner. He grins.
“Use that to your advantage.”
BERENGAR VS. GAMEBOY VS. REDWING © VS. SPERO
VHS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tonight, the rewind title is on the line and Redwing is defending it against his brothers in Shadowforce! United they stand, when divided who will fall? We find out next!
DING! DING! LEVEL ONE to Spero! Gameboy hits the superkick to start the match! LEVEL ONE! He levels Redwing with another superkick! LEVEL ONE! He hits Berengar with a third… No! Berengar catches the leg! He pulls Gameboy in and turns him inside out with a lariat! He covers! One…Two…Gameboy kicks out! Berengar is pulling Gameboy up but Spero dropkicks both men and they roll out of the ring! Spero runs the ropes! He’s going for a suicide…No! Redwing stops him with a pounce! Redwing bounced off the ropes himself and hit Spero with a spear! He covers! One…Two…No! Berengar grabs his leg and pulls him out of the ring!
Redwing, Gameboy, and Berengar are all on the outside pummeling each other with punches and kicks! Spero pulls himself up! Springboard moonsault to the outside! He takes out all three of his opponents with that beautiful move! He pulls Berengar up and tosses him into the ring! He slides in after him! He charges Berengar! Berengar pushes him up! VANQUISHER! Pop-up powerbomb out of nowhere! Berengar covers! One…Two…Redwing breaks the pinfall! Berengar gets up and starts throwing massive rights at Redwing! He Irish whips Redwing into the corner! Berengar charges at him with a clothesline! Redwing gets his feet up and Berengar runs into them! Redwing clutches Berengar’s head! KILLING JOKE! He hits the running bulldog into the second turnbuckle!
Redwing doesn’t get to make the cover! Spero hits him the poisonrana! Redwing gets spiked! Spero goes to the top rope! LAST BEACON! He hits the corkscrew shooting star press and covers! One…Two…Thr…No! Gameboy breaks it up with THE RESET! Running shooting star press and Gameboy covers! One…Two…Thr…No! Berengar rips Gameboy off Spero and locks in DESTINY’S MAW! What a standing sleeper hold and Gameboy looks like he is going to pass out! Gameboy crumples to the ground and Berengar holds onto it! Both men are on the ground in the middle of the ring! Gameboy shifts his body and force Berengar’s shoulders to be flat on the mat! One…Two…Three!
Gameboy did it! What an ingenious move to make sure he is the new VHS champion!
“THE HUNT BEGINS”
Intrepid paces in a back office somewhere in the halls of OSW, lights dimmed down to the documents scattered around on a table. Most are small text jumbled with images, but three things stand out among them.
A warehouse, with the initials TLC circled in red
The Kennedy Space Center
Military papers, marked with a Roswell, New Mexico.
He stands over the table looking down over the papers with a concern that can be read from his body language that
“Three possible ways of getting off planet. Three ways, angles to go and exploit. All to save them.”
A noise from the office door catches his attention, making him look up from his notes. He’s tense eying the front door with suspicion and caution. A mouse, catching wind
The window behind him suddenly shatters, as Spero crashes in from above. In his hand, a grappling hook borrowed from his Shadowforce ally Redwing. He stands launched, anger and tension clearly evident to the surprised Intrepid. Something however, seems a little bit off. A strangeness to him, a sense of desperation. He speaks, almost growling out his demand.
“Give me back what you stole. Give me back the ring.”
Intrepid does not stay, bolting out of the small back office and into the darkness of the hallways of the Tap Room. Spero lunges forward, but stops. He turns to the table, looking over the variety of folders and files scattered about. He picks one up, talking to himself.
“You may have stole my ring Intrepid. You may have broken my trust. But you left a trail of clues that any one could follow.”
A laugh echoes from him, eerie and strange from the once hero.
“Let the games begin. And I shall get back my prize.”
Rain falls upon Miami.
The moon barely peeks through the clouds to illuminate the roof of the Tap Room, where we find Darkwish sat up against a wall.
“They’re gone.” He mutters to himself.
“They’re all gone.”
He holds up his hand, opening it and letting bullets fall to the ground. Bullets removed from a gun by Redwing.
To teach him a lesson.
“Jigsaw. Redwing. They took them from me.”
His hand forms into a fist…
“I took everything from them.”
…then falls to the ground in defeat. His whole body is slumped over.
“But Redwing stands firm. He doesn’t give up. Doesn’t compromise who he is.”
The sullen Darkwish stands to his feet, walking to the edge of the roof to look over the city.
“I burned his house. I took his suit. He’s got nothing left. No family, no home, no identity outside of his mask. Nothing that makes him human anymore.”
His eyes find something in the distance that draws their attention.
“He took me in when he shouldn’t have. He saved my life. I stole his suit, blackmailed him into making me his partner. Betrayed his trust.”
A smile begins to form on his face, rain drops falling around him.
“But he won’t break, will he? He’ll bend. He’ll do what it takes, all except that one rule he won’t go against.”
Darkwish’s eyes cast down to the city streets below, particularly following a young lady walking alone.
“I’m going to make him break that rule. There’s still one more thing I can take from Redwing.”
Following the girl along the edge of the roof, Darkwish seems to fade into the dark rain as the moon is swallowed up by the clouds.
ELI FOREVER VS. ETHAN BIRD
The Heir Eternal has had his fill of men who believe themselves Gods as one from OSW’s past returns to singles competition. Can Eli clip a Bird’s wings before his final Nightmare or will he be force to Remember Ethan Bird?
The bell sounds as Eli Forever rushes forward, taking Bird by surprise with a stiff knee to the kidneys, lifting him up high into the air before spiking him down with a Reverse Powerbomb. Bird sits up holding his chest as Eli springboards off the ropes with The Atonement! The flying knee hits true but Eli doesn’t cover, instead heading up to the top rope, leaping off with a Twisting Moonsault that hits knees! Bird just counters the aerial assault, getting to his feet as Eli stumbles to his before nearly taking Forever’s head off with a massive Lariat.
Bird peels Eli off the mat, drilling him with stiff lefts and rights before tossing him into the corner. A running Big Boot rings Eli’s bell, as he staggers out into an Atomic Drop before his legs are taken out from under him as Bird tries to lock in the Texas Cloverleaf! Eli quickly scrambles for the ropes, just breaking the hold as Bird is forced to let go. Those few moments hurt Eli, his back screaming as he’s pulled off the mat, RUNNING…REVERSE DDT! Eli just counters the Powerslam at the last moment but that took it all out of him as well
Both men get to their feet, exchanging lefts and rights before a stiff headbutt stuns Eli. Bird throws him across the ring, trying for a Big Boot but Eli ducks under, bouncing off the other side before diving forward, grabbing Bird’s head and slamming him down with FROM EAST TO WEST! Eli wastes no time, pulling Bird up as he hoists him onto his shoulders but Bird gets out of the Torture Rack, sliding down as he grabs Eli from behind and snapping him down to the mat with a German Suplex. Bird calls for the end but Eli was playing possum, tripping Bird up as he locks in the Boston Crab. Bird tries to fight out but Forever manages to bend back, forcing Bird to CONFESS AT THE ALTER! Bird tries to fight it but he’s stuck in the middle of the ring as he’s forced to tap out!
Eli Forever picks up a big victory tonight, putting down one self professed God as he only has one more left to take down
“DEAL OR NO DEAL”
In a dark room backstage a candle flickers.
A piece of paper sits on a desk.
Khalil Longfellow busily scribbles on that paper.
As he does so, the paper burns away.
“Damn it!” Khalil screams. “Fucking damn it!”
Suddenly, a silver microphone appears in the room.
Monty Straight stands in front of that microphone.
“Hello, friend.” Straight says with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face.
Khalil stares at the ashes that were once paper sitting on the table. “Your audacity knows zero bounds, Monty.”
“My audacity?” Straight asks. “All I have done is deliver on the deal you made. Meanwhile, you vandalized my studio. You set it ablaze.”
Khalil screams, “You set MY LIFE ablaze!!”
“YOU set your life ablaze!” Monty retorts.
Khalil finally turns and looks Monty right in his twinkling eye. “Why are you here?”
“I demand recompense for your actions,” Monty replies. Khalil scoffs.
Monty continues, “I don’t care that you made a deal with a demon. I don’t care that your involvement was indirect. Your soul is burning. My studio burned to the ground. So how about we make one final deal?”
Khalil lifts an eyebrow. “Surely you jest.”
Monty laughs. “Fortunately for you,” he says. “I don’t.”
Suddenly, the microphone is gone.
And so is Monty.
But on the table, atop a pile of ashes?
With a golden pen sitting beside it.
He hates himself for sitting down to read it.
Solomon Rhodes kneels in the middle of the ring, a little trinket style box in his hand. He plucks a hair from his head and places it inside. Within that box is a photograph of himself, numerous small bones and minerals.
He places it on the canvas.
Lee Crowley appears.
Crowley – once a captive of The Underworld, was summoned here by Solomon Rhodes.
“On this fateful ground, we must talk,” he growls, looking into the eyes of his sworn enemy.
Lee chuckles. “I knew you’d come eventually,” he says with a shake of the head. “I thought you’d have found the key by now?”
“I thought I did,” Rhodes responds. “But Lucifer didn’t want to make a deal with God.”
The King laughs.
“Surprise, surprise,” he says with a big smile, pissing Rhodes off. “But you know I will, don’t you?”
“Name it,” Rhodes demands. “I want Bellator’s freedom, whatever the cost. He’s suffered long enough, Crowley.”
Lee thinks about it for a minute, contemplating one or two ideas.
“A match,” he bargains confidently. “Inside a steel cage, right here, right now. Should you defeat me, I will remove what’s left of Lux Bellator from his cell with Lucifer.”
Rhodes grimaces. “And if I don’t?”
“Then you will trade places with him.”
The Templar steps forward eagerly, offering a handshake. Crowley smiles, knowing what’s ahead.
“Once this agreement has been penned by our handshake, it’s an unbreakable contract.”
Rhodes forcefully grabs his hand, shaking it.
“Lower the cage.”
Oh boy, we’re about to see one hell of a fight.
SOLOMON RHODES VS. LEE CROWLEY
STEEL CAGE MATCH
Solomon Rhodes has searched heaven and hell for one opportunity, one shred of hope that he can do the impossible and his journey ends here tonight. Can the Dragon save his brother or will the Mad King condemn him to the same fate?
The bell barely gets to sound before Rhodes explodes forward, nailing Lee with a massive flying dropkick that sends him crashing into the cage wall before he begins raining down knee after knee into Crowley’s face, driving the back of his head into the steel mesh over and over again. Rhodes backs up for a moment, allowing Lee to rise to one knee, BEFORE TAKING HIS BLOODY HELL OFF WITH DARK WISH! A massive Superkick busts Lee wide open, blood spilling down the Mad King who simply…smiles. Lee sits up off the mat, urging Rhodes forward with one hand and a sickening laugh, an urge that Rhodes obliges.
Rhodes rushes forward once more, Lee leaping to his feet as Solomon runs right into a massive CHELSEA GRIN! The Spinning Heel just seems to piss Rhodes off, as he nails Lee with an enziguri before leaping over Lee with a Sunset Flip. Crowley catches him in mid-flip before driving him back down to the canvas with the Stepford Smile! Rhodes is dazed as Lee quickly drops down, hooking in the claws, trapping the right arm before locking in the Glasgow Smile! Rhodes screams in pain, Crowley almost orgasmic in delight as he pulls back with all his might, trying to force Rhodes to fail his brother.
Rhodes begins to fade as the pain begins to overwhelm him but he refuses to go down, forcing adrenaline to flow through him as he slams his head back, stunning Lee enough to slip out of his grasp, CHAOS THEORY! Both men are down and hurt as Rhodes couldn’t get all of that Codebreaker, allowing Lee to get to his feet first. A stiff kick to the jaw puts a rising Rhodes down as Lee begins climbing the cage, he’s halfway up before Rhodes can stir to one knee, he’s at the top as Rhodes is on his feet, instead of climbing down the other side, Lee urges Rhodes forward once more. The Grand Master begins climbing up slowly, Lee urging him on more and more but as his right hand touches the top of the cage, Lee drives a hard fist into it, causing Rhodes to scream out in pain.
Lee smiles, driving down another as Rhodes begins to slip from the top, one hand hanging on tight as Lee raises one last hand, Rhodes moving slightly as Lee feints before driving a massive right to the face of Rhodes that sends him crashing off the cage down to the mat below. A sadistic laugh echoes throughout the arena as Lee slowly climbs down the other side, Rhodes looking up broken and battered as he watches the Mad King…win.
Months and Months of a brutal crusade have come to a heartbreaking end. Solomon Rhodes has failed to win…and Lee Crowley made sure he felt every moment of agony while doing so.
“LET’S MAKE A DEAL.”
Solomon Rhodes has been beaten.
But not all is lost.
Lee clicks his fingers and the cage becomes a burning cell of fire. The inferno rages around Solomon as he gets back to his feet, only he’s smiling.
Crowley walks through the now open door, watching as it automatically slams shut behind him.
“A deal is a deal, Rhodes,” Crowley says with a smile and a nod. “Any last words?”
Solomon puffs out his chest.
“Tell my brother I regret nothing.”
The King of The Underworld heinously chuckles. “Oh, you will. Send Lucifer my regards.”
The arena lights flash abruptly, changing from darkness to light as Solomon Rhodes suddenly disappears from before us.
With the shake of the ground so powerful it rattles our screens, Lux Bellator appears in the middle of the ring.
He’s fetal, shaking and quivering, naked and alone.
Crowley clicks his fingers, returning to him his mask and clothing.
Lux slowly rises from the floor, taking a look at his surroundings in surprise. He falls, landing on all fours, still barely able to move.
“Your brother-in-arms gave up everything he knew to free you from the cage with Lucifer, sacrificing himself so that you could walk this mortal plain once more.”
The Light Warrior stutters and mumbles. “W-Why?”
Crowley laughs. “Because he’s selfish, that’s why. He believed his pain of losing you was worse than what you were suffering in the cage. If he only knew what torture you endured, broken and slaughtered, only to be rebuilt so that the suffering could continue.”
Lux stands, falling backwards into the ropes.
“You will release him,” he demands.
The King shrugs. “Let’s make a deal.”
“SCORE TO SETTLE”
Eyes as black as night. The night as cold as death. Standing atop a clifftop, staring out into the darkness of the vast ocean, Nocturne surveys. Time itself seems to stand still as those evil eyes scan the darkness, staring out into the void.
“I know you’re here.”
Nocturne calls into the night, a voice that booms with power despite not seeming to shout.
“I know you’ve come alone.”
His voice echoes around the hills, sending rocks crumbling to the waiting ocean from the cliffs above. Expectedly, the presence to which he calls soon reveals itself. Appearing from the mist behind him, swinging his mighty hammer at the Demon’s head.
But Nocturne is expecting him. He turns, stopping Vǫlsungr with a single palm and disarming his foe. The second hand clasps around Solveig’s throat. With otherworldly strength, Solveig is hoisted into the air. High above the rolling ocean below.
“We’ve been here before. The fear in your eyes, the water below ready to claim your life. It is the very thing that brought me back to this realm… I have a score to settle.”
“I don’t fear you. It’s not fear in my eyes you see.”
Nocturne smiles, shaking his head at his defiant foe.
“Well, you should.”
With that, Nocturne tosses Troy out, high into the air and sending him soaring toward the rocks below. Only… Troy is nowhere to be found. In the blink of an eye, he had disappeared. Nocturne only smiles once more. His voice booms, and more rocks fall from the clifftops.
“Very well. But your tricks will only delay the inevitable. I will not stop until I feel the life drain from your body, Troy Solveig. I will not relent until I give you the very same fate you gave me.”
Again, Solveig appears from behind Nocturne. Vǫlsungr in hand, swinging at the Demon. This time he catches him as Nocturne turns to face him, the hammer hitting him square in the chest. Knocking him off the edge of the cliff.
Nocturne falls towards the rocks below, the waiting waters. Laughing as he falls.
“You fool! You cannot kill me.”
A crunch as Nocturne’s body hits the rocks below. Then silence. Troy Solveig looks over the edge of the cliff. The Demon’s body is gone. Of course, he had expected as much.
“Maybe not this night… But that was strangely satisfying. But I will slay you, Nocturne. Only then, will I be rid of you once and for all.”
RAIN VS. NIGHTSTICK
It’s a battle between two of the most dominant wrestlers with Rain stepping up against the OSW World Champion, Nightstick!
The bell sounds as these two quickly tie up. Nightstick gets the better with his size before he just slams Rain down into the mat with a huge side slam. He begins bringing the heavy shots down onto Rain who tries to cover himself up. Nightstick grabs the arm of Rain, yanking him to his feet. However, Rain manages to rake the eyes of the OSW Champion! Rain hits the ropes and bounces off before leaping into the air with a lunging clothesline! Both men hit the mat before Rain rolls to his feet. He rushes towards Nightstick before stepping up into an enzuigiri!
The Law staggers towards the ropes before Rain rushes towards him for another clothesline. Nightstick lowers his shoulder and lifts him out onto the apron. Rain catches himself there, but he catches two bullhammers as he steadies himself! SMITH & WESSON! Rain slumps to the floor outside of the ring as Nightstick steps out. He grabs Rain by his hair before lifting him up, spinning, and dropping him back down to the floorboards of The Taproom! ODE TO BOSSMAN! Nightstick slowly rises to his feet as Rain’s face is contorted in pain. The Cop lifts him up slowly.
‘Stick rolls Rain back into the ring before climbing into the ring after him. Rain slowly begins to stir as Nightstick grabs him by his hair. ACID RAIN! Black ink just spews into the eyes of Nightstick who staggers back clawing and scratching at his eyes in anguish. Rain leaps up and nails Nightstick with a vicious uppercut before hooking his arms. He grins widely showing that blackened smile. But he’s flipped over his back! Rain hits the mat as Nightstick furiously wipes at his eyes. He manages to free his right eye which opens. Rain staggers to his feet… HARD JUSTICE! NO! RAIN DUCKS OUT OF THE RING! He rolls to the outside and grabs a steel chair, re-entering the battlefield. Nightstick lunges forward again but STEEL CHAIR TO THE SKULL! The referee sounds for the bell, chastising the grinning Ghostwalker.
The Law manages to secure a huge victory here tonight, but only by Disqualification. Rain simply refused to be beaten. He tosses the chair down, sending the arena to darkness, before vanishing in said darkness.
“THE RIGHT CHOICE”
Khalil Longfellow sit in an extremely quiet room, by a lit candle, reading the contract delivered to him earlier tonight by Monty Straight.
He’s debating whether or not to sign it, the gold pen sat idly beside him on the table.
The candle goes out.
Longfellow leans over to relight it, stopping once he sees the gnarly teeth of The Scarecrow.
“How may I help you?” Longfellow asks with a stammer.
“I need something that belongs to you,” The Scarecrow says solemnly. “Something important.”
Khalil looks confused.
“Your Championship is key to the protection of humanity. On behalf of Yahweh, I come to request it.”
The Rewind Champion looks at his title, sat beside his chair.
“I understand,” Khalil muses. “But how can I be assured that he has the best of intentions for it?”
That seems to surprise ‘Crow. “How do you mean?”
“The battle of good versus evil wages war within the walls of The Tap Room, influenced by Gods who desire our obedience; doesn’t it stand to reason that one of said Gods may be in this for themselves?”
The Hayman nods.
“How do I know that you champion the right one?”
“If I were Championing the wrong God, I would not approach you for your title, I would take it,” he says with a grimace. “I would obliterate you where you stand and take what I needed.”
Longfellow gulps, reaching down to grab the title.
“Am I still The Champion?” He asks honestly.
The Scarecrow nods. “You are and you’ve made the right choice.”
The damp, filthy dungeons of King Arthur’s castle welcome us back to the horrific state of the enormous Ser Percival laying on a table. Stood before him is the castle’s lord grinning with his crooked teeth exposed as he looks his monster up and down.
Their moment is interrupted by the dungeon’s door opening as Maester Frey steps into the room. He steps forward to his lord’s side.
“Sire, the monster should be fully functional at this point.”
“Forsooth, that gent is. Riseth Ser Percival.”
The creature begins stirring as it sits up and stands up rising to nearly seven foot tall. Both Maester and King Arthur look up at the creature with black blood oozing from his eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. King Arthur looks across the room where he sees Excalibur on the table.
“While I useth Excalibur, I expose mine own humanity. It’s a weakness at this pointeth, but, once I buildeth this monster into mine own champion, I shalt beest able to destroyeth any monsters that cometh into my own way.”
“My liege, where are the guards that we had posted here? I noticed there was no one watching guard when I entered.”
King Arthur’s smile stretches a little as he turns towards Frey. He puts a hand on his shoulder.
“I hath asked those folk to perform a task for their king, and those gents performed admirably. Those gents shalt beest honored for their sacrifice.”
With that parting word, Arthur releases his shoulder and steps past him.
“As shalt thee, Maester Frey. Timeth to feed, Ser Percival.”
As he says those words, the enormous arms of Ser Percival wrap around Maester Frey as Percival’s CHEST opens up with black vine-like tendrils wrapping themselves around Frey and pulling him in until he’s vanished! The opened wound seemingly resealing itself without scar.
Ser Percival lets out a primal bellow before his very form seems to grow.
“Berengar shall lief joineth you, Maester Frey, as a sacrifice to mine own rule.”
DAVID MANSON VS. RED RIVER JACK
The Nightmare has fought to get out from under the shadow of the Awakening but Jack is back and here to teach his former ally a lesson in pain. Can Manson prove to the world that he’s greater then Jack ever was or will he be forced to wake up to the truth?
The bell rings as Manson rushes Jack, nailing him with furious lefts and rights, unleashing every ounce of his rage and hatred towards his former leader, Jack absorbing every ounce of punishment as Manson wiffs a wild haymaker, allowing Jack to drill him with a hard hook to the kidneys that sends Manson staggering back before a stiff boot to the jaw sends Manson into the corner. Jack rushes forward, delivering a hard knee to the jaw before holding Manson’s chin to his knee, jumping off
A THOUSAND WORDS! Bone onto bone as Manson’s jaw must be in tremendous pain, Jack not letting up as he pulls Manson to his feet, locking him in an Abdominal Stretch for a moment before spinning out
INTO NUMBER TEN! Manson is driven into the mat with the Flatliner as Jack hooks the leg for the cover
Manson slowly gets to his feet, dodging another boot before leaping up as he tries to lock in a chokehold on Jack. He can’t get it fully locked in however as Jack rushes forward, slamming Manson back first into the buckles, breaking the hold before Jack grabs his head, and drives him into the mat with a stiff DDT! Manson is stunned on the mat as Jack gets onto the apron, pulling Jack up and through the middle ropes, taking all his breath away with a clubbing forearm to the chest. Jack drops down to the floor, backing up for a moment before running forward
APRON NECKBREAKER! Jack snaps Manson’s neck over the ropes as Manson is damn near gasping for air right now. Jack looks down at his former ally, a smug smile as he looks to finish him off as he pulls Manson up to his feet
Manson almost in desperation nails Jack with a massive punch to the dick that drives Jack to his knees, he damn well can’t take that blow as Manson drills the kneeling Jack with a sadistic punt to the face, busting open RRJ’s lip from that kick. Manson turns to the timekeeper, tossing him to the floor before grabbing his steel chair as he begins
DRIVING IT DOWN OVER AND OVER ON JACK’S EXPOSED BACK!
Manson slams the chair down over and over, bending the damn steel slightly before he tosses the dented chair inside the ring and pulls Jack to his feet before rolling him inside as well. Manson backs up, waiting for Jack to get to his feet before rushing forward
AND WELCOMING JACK TO MANSON STREET! A neckbreaker of his own drives Jack into the mat as Manson quickly hooks the leg
Manson gets to his feet, setting the chair up in a seated position before pulling Jack up to his feet, hooking his head into his arm
DDT ON THE CHAIR…NO! Jack pushes out, sending Manson into the ropes before dropping down as Manson rebounds
SENDING HIM FACE FIRST INTO THE CHAIR WITH A DROP TOE HOLD!
Manson’s face bounces off the steel as Jack pulls him up to his feet, lifting him up into a backdrop before running forward and sending him crotch first into the middle turnbuckle. Jack pulls the chair, still seated closer before pulling Manson backwards by his hair
CLUBBING FOREARM, DRIVING MANSON BACK FIRST ONTO THE CHAIR!
Manson screams out in pain as Jack calls for the end, lifting David up to his feet. He grabs his hand, kicking him in the gut before swinging his leg over, wrapping up David as he hooks his former allies head into his other arm
SEEING…MANSON SLIPS OUT! Kick to the gut, Manson lifts Jack up high before running forward
WITH THE HORRORSHOW!
Manson hooks the leg as this may well be it
THRE…JACK KICKS OUT!
Manson can’t believe it, fury filling his eyes as he looks for another Horrorshow but before he can pull Jack up
CLOTHESLINE FROM BEHIND!
Eli Forever has run into the ring, absolutely drilling Manson from behind as he begs for him to get to his feet, trying to end Manson right here. Jack staggers to his feet, confused for a moment at Eli’s presence before smiling, a smile that quickly fades as Eli kicks him in the gut, lifting Jack up high
ETERNAL RIVER…MANSON PULLS ELI AWAY!
The pair begin throwing lefts and rights at one another, Eli getting the better of the Nightmare with a massive right hook, turning around
INTO THE AWAKENING! A huge Spartan Kick sends Eli flying into the turnbuckles, crumpling from the sheer force as Jack lifts up the rising Manson, drilling him with a stiff kick to the gut
WAKE UP CALL! A massive Double Underhook Piledriver spikes Manson into the mat as Jack hooks the leg,
Jack does it, putting away his former ally as he looks down at the carnage in the ring, a satisfied look on his face. Red River Jack grabs his hat and cigarette, rolling out of the ring before disappearing into the crowd once more.
The sound of a phone calling another rings almost endlessly.
“Dad?” Says the voice on the other end. “It’s me, Redmond.”
The picture opens to see Redmond Quinn stood beside a payphone inside prison, wearing orange scrubs. He’s obviously been moved to a nearby detention centre and he’s now making an important call.
“I’ve been framed,” he says wallowing in his own self-pity. “And I need your help. I didn’t know where else to turn.”
There’s a pause.
“What do you need?” Asks his father.
Quinn pushes his head against the wall, the phone placed tightly against his ear.
“I need bail,” he admits. “I need to get out of here so that I can go about clearing my name. Someone out there knows I’m not responsible and I need to find out who before I end up another black man lost in the system.”
“I told you not to go,” his dad reminds him. “Didn’t I?” he says with a sigh. “I told you what these people are like but you went away.”
“I know,” Quinn says sadly. “But I’m here now and I need your help. Will you help me, dad? Please?”
“I’m on my way.”
“THE VOID WALKER”
In a darkened hallway backstage, Rain stands alone beneath two flickering lights. The interference is immense as stands with his eyes closed, summoning some kind of spirit. The harder he winces, the grainier the screen becomes.
Until finally, one of the lights above him bursts.
And a deep voice growls.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” the voice threatens.
Rain swivels to attack but he’s gone.
“Requesting spirits from my void is dangerous, even for you, little birdie,” The Scarecrow says, now standing at the opposite side of the hall. “For I can feel you tapping into their presence.”
“What’s the matter?” Rain asks. “Are you afraid of a little death?”
“Death?” The Scarecrow scoffs. “Boy, I was dabbling in the business of death long before you were even a thought.”
The Ghostwalker smiles. “I doubt that.”
The Hayman shrugs his opponent’s arrogance off.
“Why are you trying to gain access to my void?” He demands to know.
“Trying? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Scarecrow, but I more than tried – I succeeded,” He cockily replies, walking down the hallway. “And I must say, the conversation there doesn’t flatter you.”
“Fight me or flee, little birdie,” he beckons. “I’m waiting.”
Rain waves him on.
The Scarecrow storms down the hallway, rushing at Rain only to walk straight through him. He turns around, realizing the Ghostwalker isn’t there.
“You’ll come to understand that where your eyes do go, I may not always be,” Rain says with a chuckle in his voice. “I walk all paths, Scarecrow. But for now, I must head somewhere familiar, somewhere I want your eyes to go.”
“Follow me if you dare.”