[Click.] [Static covers the screen as a Play ► symbol appears in the bottom right hand corner.] [The stoic face of Errol Flint greets us. He’s seated in front of a dark grey backdrop, the Old School Wrestling logo hanging behind him. There’s a great air of sadness as he clears his throat abruptly.]

“Last week on Monday Night Showcase, you bore witness to one of the most horrifying sights we’ve ever seen.”

[The fans inside the arena can be heard chanting. “Neville, Neville, Neville!”]

“As Chairman of Old School Wrestling, it is with great sadness that I have the duty to inform you that Neville Sheldon passed away last night.”

[The arena suddenly becomes deathly silent.]

“The Doctors did everything they could to revive him, but they were unable,” [Flint barely says, almost as if in a trance. He finally lifts fingers to his eyes, pushing on the bridge of his nose.] “It’s in times like these that we have to come together and honour his memory. It’s in times like these that we have to show unity.”

[There’s still silence from the crowd.]

“Neville Sheldon was an Internet Wrestling Federation Hall of Famer but more importantly, he was a man of the people. People looked at him and saw a hero. What we saw last week, it shouldn’t be how we remember him. Tonight will be dedicated to the memory of Neville Sheldon.”

[Flint pauses.]

“Rest in peace.”

[The footage comes to end, the picture of an extremely happy Neville Sheldon from Ring King sitting between text that honor his legacy.] [Static.] [There’s a faint crackle and pop as footage rolls from what appears to be an old style projector.] [The footage shows a man in his mid-thirties, bloodied scratch marks strewn across his face, stretching from one corner to the other. He’s running through a Cornfield with a baby, panting and puffing as he storms through each whisping stalk. He finally reaches the other side, running desperately to his car. His wife Margret sits in the front seat, frantically turning the key in the ignition.] [The man opens the door and places the baby inside, only something grabs him from behind, yanking him backwards. He tries to hold on, his legs now hanging outside the car as he scratches at the leather seats from within, trying to maintain grip. He looks up at Margret, who has terror in her streaming eyes.]

“Take Jack and go,” [he screams at her, suddenly being yanked back from the vehicle.] “I said go!”

[The car finally starts and Margret pulls away, speeding down the dirt road as a terrifying figure appears behind them in the road, rueing his missed opportunity. That figure turns and walks back towards the man, who lays there in the dirt, laughing.]

“You’ll never get your hands on him,” [he says rolling over, blood dripping from his mouth. The force of which he was dragged away had clearly taken its toll.] “You’ll never do it, Scarecrow.”

[Stood towering above him, The Scarecrow hasn’t changed. He looks exactly the same as we’ve always known him. With that as our final image, the scene suddenly cuts – that roll of footage having come to an end.] [Static.] [This match features a team of Shadow and Red River Jack against the rather odd pairing of The Scarecrow and Brent Kersh. Can Kersh and Scarecrow focus enough to earn a victory or will The Awakening be too much for the two.] [Scarecrow is in his corner, staring down Kersh as Shadow is ready to step up first for his team. It seems The Hayman has Kersh in some sort of trance as The Shadow King attacks The Enforcer from behind with an elbow to the back of Brent’s head as he stumbles forward into the corner turnbuckle. Shadow stares at The Hayman for a second before forcing Kersh out of his corner and hits a single arm DDT. Shadow with a cover. One! Kickout!] [The Shadow King drags Brent to Shadow’s corner, tagging in Red River Jack. Jack circles The Enforcer and kicks Kersh to his leg as Shadow goes to his corner. RRJ grabs ahold of Kersh’s leg and brings him to the center of the ring. Red River Jack rans at the ring ropes … BODY SPLASH! NO! Kersh rolls out of the way! RRJ catches nothing but mat! Both men are up … Shoulder tackle! Another! Kersh then waits for Jack to get to his feet. CLOTHESLINE! Kersh turns to his partner and despite his better judgement, walks over, waiting for a tag. WHAM! Scarecrow punches Kersh to the face, sending him to the outside as the referee counts it as a tag.] [Scarecrow gets a mixed reaction as he enters. BYE BYE BIRDIE! But Shadow enters. SHADOW KICK! Solid shot right to the Haystack of The Hayman as RRJ lands on top of Scarecrow. One … Two … THREE! NOOO! Kersh makes the save! Despite getting sucker punched, he doesn’t want to lose. Kersh goes to his corner, reaches over and tags himself in. Shadow enters. SHADOW KICK! The Enforcer ducks! SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT! Kersh tosses him out of the ring. As Kersh turns, SEEIN’ RED! Kersh pushes Jack into the Scarecrow! BYE BYE BIRDIE TO JACK! As both are distracted, Kersh goes for a quick cover. One! Two! THREE! The odd pairing of Kersh and Scarecrow grab the win!] [Brent Kersh rolls out of the ring, not waiting to see what Scarecrow does. He just looks at The Enforcer with an emotionless stare as Kersh goes to the back. Scarecrow shortly leaves as Red River Jack and Shadow are left figuring out what went wrong as they head to the back, not so pleased with the result.] [Static.] [There’s a faint crackle and pop as footage rolls from what appears to be an old style projector.] [Stood towering above him, The Scarecrow hasn’t changed. He looks exactly the same as we’ve always known him.]

“How long have we been dancing to this same tune, Henry?” [The Scarecrow asks, kneeling.] “Four years?”

[Henry laughs.] “Has it really been that long?”

“It’s a mere drop in the water by comparison, Kersh.”

[Kersh? Did The Scarecrow just call him Kersh?]

“By comparison to what?” [Henry Kersh demands to know.] [The Scarecrow stands, looking into the sky.]

“Do you think that you’re the first, Henry? It’s only 1941 and I’ve been hunting your family for generations and will for generations more. Your father died by my hand, as did your Grandfather. It has been a cycle repeated throughout history.”

“Why?” [Henry asks.] “Is that why you wanted my son?”

[There’s an eerie silence as the facts come pouring out.]

“I cannot die,” [The Scarecrow admits.] “You cannot poison, stab, shoot or maim me in any manner. I am not of this world. My only link to this world lies with you, Kersh. We have a bond, you and I. We have a part to play.”

[With that as our final word, the scene suddenly cuts – that roll of footage having come to an end.] [Static.] [Marvolo looks smug as ever as he stands across from Rose, taunting to the crowd as the bell rings.] [Stephanie is the first to move forward, trying to tie up with Marvolo, Number One moving in and out of her reach before grabbing an outstretched arm and yanking her into a knife edge chop! Rose stumbles, Marvolo following with more and more, forcing her to the ropes before whipping her off and catching her with a knee strike TO THE FACE! Rose is down and Marvolo smirks, reaching down to peel her up ROSE ARM DRAGS MARVOLO! Number One tumbles away, getting up just in time to receive a hard front drop kick from Rose that sends him sprawling!] [Rose jumps onto Marvolo and attempts to lock in a rear naked choke, Marvolo grabbing the ropes and shaking her off, turning around and hitting a headstand head scissor to Rose! Stephanie did not see that coming as she gets tossed into the nearby turnbuckle, Marvolo backing up and running with face wash to Rose who rolls out of the way! Marvolo’s foot is stuck in the ropes and Rose capitalizes, pulling Marvolo into an impressive back suplex! Both competitors look strong as they get to their feet, neither giving an inch as they begin to trade chops and forearms.] [Marvolo gets the upperhand quickly, headbutting Stephanie and lifting her into a suplex, then another, then another! Rose is laid out as Marvolo goes to the top rope and signals for the end! SPITFIRE! ROSE HAS HER KNEES UP! Marvolo rolls away in pain from the knees, Rose struggling to her feet and using the ropes to pull herself up, unaware of Marvolo standing slowly behind her. She turns and the two make eye contact. Marvolo signals for the Touch of Death! Rose backs up as Marvolo runs forward, ROSE GRABS HIS HAND AND PULLS HIM INTO THE PETAL TO THE METAL! MARVOLO HAS NO WHERE TO GO AS HE IS FORCED TO TAP!] [Stephanie gets to her feet, raising her hands in victory as the crowd cheers her on.] [Shortly after the match comes to a conclusion, the entire Schoolyard is plunged into darkness. Pitch black. A voice echoes out in the darkness.]

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

[The words reverberate around the Schoolyard, seeming to get louder until they are deafening.]

“Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

[A flash illuminates the arena for a brief moment, almost as if lightning had struck. The voice calls out a third time.]

“But God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

[A single beam of light catches on the top of the Schoolyard’s steps. Inside that beam of light – not Lazarus, but his brother, Lux Bellator.] [With all eyes drawn to the light, none are concentrating on the darkness. When the lights in the Schoolyard return to normal, Lazarus himself now stands in the centre of the ring, behind Marvolo who is still looking up at Bellator.]

“Your judgement awaits.”

[Lazarus’s voice is enough to see Marvolo spin on his heels. He is not given the space to retort, as Lazarus continues. His hand is clasped around an unseen object which he readies in his palm for use while he talks.]

“I have given you warning, I have given you time. My request is simple. Do you repent, or suffer the consequences of your lies? Are you sorry, Mavolo?”

[Marvolo steps forward. In his eyes, he truly looks apologetic.]

“Marvolo is sorry.” [Lazarus stops dead, an inquisitive look on his face, before his lips curl up into a smile. Marvolo finishes his sentence.] “Sorry that the red mask looks far better on me than it does on you. Sorry that you are so jealous of my good looks that you have made it your mission to punish me. Take your judgement elsewhere, Marvolo doesn’t need it.”

[Lazarus shakes his head, the smile now turned into a scowl. He opens his palm, a black circular object in place. Grabbing Marvolo by the hand, Lazarus transfers the black mark onto the back of his foe’s hand in one swift motion.]

“You have been judged and you have been found wanting in the eyes of God. At Heart of Darkness, your Dark Heart will be punished once and for all.

You brought this on yourself, Marvolo.”

[As soon as he speaks the words, the arena plunges into darkness again. When the lights return, Lazarus is gone, leaving Marvolo and his dark mark standing very alone in the ring.] [The hard-nosed grappler from the UK locks it up with the reborn Lazarus! Will the veteran make the newcomer see the light? Or will Gentleman George score an upset?] [The match starts with both men settling into a Double Roman Knuckle Lock. George tries to exert his power but Lazarus manages to roll through, countering into a Hiptoss that George blocks. The Extraordinary Gentlemen tries a Monkey Flip but Lazarus Summersaults to his feet. He side steps George, dropping down only for George to try the Fujiwara Armbar off the rebound! Lazarus through quickly scurries out, missing a Roundhouse Kick but dodging a Clothesline– Northern Lights Suplex! One… Two… NO! George kicks out, rising and grabbing a Quartering Hold before uncorking a Double-Wrist Clutch Suplex! One… Two… NO!] [Both quickly stand; the Phoenix blasts George with a Leaping Enziguiri! The Wigan native crumbles through the ropes to the floor… Tope Con Hilo wipes him out! Lazarus is a house of fire, shoving George back into the ring and climbing the turnbuckles. Diving Moonsault? NO! George barely gets the knees up; Small Package! One… Two… NO! Lazarus kicks out; George off the ropes… GOOOOOOOOOAAALL! NO! Lazarus ducks, scoring with a Leg Sweep before Aiming for Dark Wish, only George catches the foot! He wants Lazarus’ Achilles Heel; it’s countered into a Prawn Hold! One… Two… NO! That was close!] [Lazarus then looks for Dawn before taking a Headbutt right under the jaw! That staggers him; George with Divorce Court! Lazarus is down and now George tries a Grounded Hammerlock, meticulously prying apart his opponents fingers! Lazarus strains through the pain; George starts bending each digit back at the knuckle before Lazarus finally makes it the ropes! George breaks the hold but quickly Arm Drags him back… A Gentleman Never Tells? NO! Lazarus squirms free, nailing a Dropkick right to the temple! DARK WISH! George’s eyes glaze over and Lazarus breaks Dawn! He hooks both legs! One… Two… THREE!] [After the match, Lazarus stands with his hands in reverence; his opponent’s still counting his teeth. Lazarus looks out into the crowd stoic before climbing through the ropes and solemnly stepping out of the Schoolyard.] [In the bowels of Dessert Springs Medical Center, a morgue holds the dead. The cold hard sterilized room looks uncomfortable and unwelcoming. A large bearded man stands by the storage, his blonde beard flowing well into his chest. We soon recognise this man – it’s Red River Jack.] [He’s dressed in a morgue attire, attempting to make himself look inconspicuous to anyone who may stumble across his appalling scheme. He looks for the cold chamber with Neville Sheldon’s name on it and finds it, pulling it open.] [Red looks over the sheet that covers the body, tilting his head. This man has to be disturbed. He runs his hand over the head, down the neck and onto the chest, taking in the moment as if it means something to him.] [Then he pulls back the sheet, smiling all the while.] [His smile soon turns to something else. His eyes widen and his heart races. This is not what he expected.] [Then it hits him – literally. Something cold and hard strikes the back of his head and he tumbles over the body, sprawling out disrespectfully across it. He can’t even look back at his attacker before another sterling strike catches him across the head, knocking him unconscious.] [Before you know it, Red River Jack is heaved up onto the slab and flung back inside the cold chamber, locked from the outside.] [The attacker stands there, hood up, his hand on the chamber, ripping off the name tag that says ‘Neville Sheldon’ to reveal one that says ‘Red River Jack’.] [Static.] [There’s a faint crackle and pop as footage rolls from what appears to be an old style projector.] [Henry spits blood out enraged.] “We’re nothing alike!” [He spews.]

“You’re right, we’re not. Because I’m the hunter and you’re the prey. I have killed thousands of souls over hundreds of years but I’m always drawn back to you. They say that time repeats itself and it’s true. I’ve been living this same cycle for as long as I can remember and every single time, it ends the same way. It ends with your blood on my hands.”

[There’s a slight pause.]

“And by killing your son, I was going to stop it. I was going to end the cycle.”

[Suddenly, laughter comes erupting from the mouth of Henry Kersh who can’t contain his joy.]

“If you mean that by saving my son, I’ve condemned you to do this again and again, then I hope my family never stops fighting. Us Kersh’s, we fight until we can’t fight anymore. It’s our creed, our motto, our lifeblood.”

“I know,” [The Scarecrow says with a sinister tone.] “I hear it every time.”

[He suddenly reaches down with one big swipe, slitting Henry Kersh’s throat in an instant. As blood spews out into the ground and he gargles and spits for air, holding his throat, The Scarecrow leans in.]

“You’re not telling my anything I don’t already know.”

[The footage abruptly stops.] [Static.] [Tonight we find two of the best in the world competing against one another. Will God’s Will be with his chosen Warrior tonight or has the Boogieman come for his soul?] [The bell rings as Lux rushes out from his corner, taking Jack by surprise with an MMA like takedown before beginning to rain down elbow strikes. Jack easily powers him off but Lux rolls to his feet, rushing forward with a big spinning wheel kick that sends Jack stumbling into the corner. Bellator doesn’t let up, springboarding off the ropes as he armdrags Jack out of the corner, before running forward as Jack gets up, spinning around with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Lux can’t transition though as Jack grabs him in mid-air, slamming him to the canvas with a big time Sidewalk Slam] [Lux slowly gets to his feet holding his back in pain as he walks right into a big knee to the gut from Jack that lifts him off the mat. Jack delivers a few more before throwing him to the mat with a Snap Suplex. Lux is pulled to his feet as he’s tossed across the ring but Bellator manages to duck under a Lariat as he springboards off the ropes, HURRICARA…BOOGIE BOMB! Jack catches Lux in mid-air, driving him onto his knees as he muscles him onto the canvas for the cover] [ONE…TWO…Lux just kicks out. Jack pulls him up to his feet but gets a sharp uppercut to the jaw before Lux bounces off the ropes with a bicycle kick that sends Jack down to one knee. Lux leaps up, drilling Jack into the canvas with a leaping facebuster before calling for the end. Bellator pulls Jack to his feet, putting him between his legs but before Lux can flip over, Jack backdrops his way out of the move, turning as Lux gets to his feet before nearly decapitating him with a massive Lariat. Jack backs up as Lux slowly gets to his feet, JACK IN THE BOX…MISSES! Lux rolls to his feet as Jack turns around, DEUM LUCEM OUTTA NOWHERE! Jack is rolled up as Lux holds on tight, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!] [Lux Bellator takes this win almost outta nowhere, infuriating the Boogieman but the decision still stands, the Light Warrior survived tonight but just barely.] [Bearing the marks of the last few weeks, and having just fought the most dangerous Jeckel sibling, Lux Bellator takes a moment to recover while the fans show him their support. The Light Warrior kneels in the centre of the ring and crosses himself while looking up above, thankful for his good health…] [FWOOSH!] [The lights are extinguished. The fans murmur as a solitary spotlight carves through the darkness, illuminating the kneeling Bellator. His eyes are wide with disbelief—or is that just belief?—as he continues gazing upwards. Is this a sign!?] [A yellow face looms out of the darkness behind him! It’s not benevolent and it sure as hell isn’t an angel, however, as Smiley’s evil visage leers down at Lux! The spiritual luchador senses his presence as he smiles to himself. He remains knelt down and turns to face the man who has haunted him for weeks as the lights return.] [Smiley brandishes a mic.]

“Ya just gotta have faith, huh?” [Smiley chuckles as he twirls his rusty crowbar, Smiley Jr., between his twisted fingers.] “I’ve debated you, stabbed you with a crucifix, tried to corrupt you; no matter what I do, you’re right back on your knees in front of God.” [He shudders as he says it. The innuendo isn’t lost on Lux, who frowns.] “Want to hear something really sick? Somewhere deep down in the very bottom of my shriveled black heart, I kind of admire your belief. I’ve had people lying on my table who’ve never gone to church in their lives, only to turn to God and beg him—her, it?—to save them from me. Cockroaches…” [He spits on the mat in disgust.]

“So I always associated faith with weakness and desperation. As much as I hate your stinkin’ guts, Lux, you’re different. You always had faith, didn’t you? No matter what I do to you, there’s no breaking it.”

[Lux nods.]

“That’s when it hit me!” [Smiley sneers.] “It doesn’t matter what I do to you because you’re already convinced that God will smite me down and that you have a VIP seat waiting for you in Heaven, right? It’d be like me trying to beat the sight back into a blind man.” [His eyes glaze as he smiles whimsically at the thought.] “If I want to break your precious faith—and I do want to, Lux—all I have to do is show you a sheep so black and so hopelessly lost that it can never rejoin your flock.”

[Smiley advances menacingly on Lux, who holds up his hand to stop him. Lux takes the mic.]

“You’re a lot smarter than you look, Lee.” [The fans ooohhh as Smiley twitches at the use of his old name, his abandoned identity. Lux continues.] “Many men before you have tried to break the lock that is my faith, all with the subtlety and complexity of a sledgehammer. Ripping up Bibles and telling me there is no God is child’s play. Your plan is good on paper, I’ll give you that. Attacking a Christian’s goodwill and forgiveness is far more effective.” [Smiley nods, twirling Smiley Jr. eagerly as Lux proceeds.] “The problem is that my faith in people has already been tested over the years. Look at Lazarus. Actually—” [Lux slaps his forehead.] “I have an even better example! Somebody you know very well, personally brought here by me…”

[Bellator turns to look at the top of the nearest concrete stairs set into the bleachers.] [FWOOSH!] [Blackness engulfs The School Yard once more, save for the ring, which is still lit. A spotlight shines down at the top of the stairs, revealing… TOBIAS CROWLEY! Smiley mouths off furiously at the former member of the ill-fated Crowley Family, dissolved by Smiley himself when he took over Lee’s mind and body.] [Tobias stares back at him, here but not quite present. He looks… better? Clean-shaven, groomed, and fuller.] [Lux scrutinises Smiley.]

“You don’t hate my faith. You hate hope. You’ve resigned yourself to being only what others see you as, because life is easier that way. Tobias saw the light.” [Smiley goes to retort but Lux beats him to it.] “The light doesn’t have to be God. Tobias simply had hope. Progress has been slow, and he’s a long way from reintegration, but you could be in his shoes, Lee.” [Smiley grips his crowbar even tighter at his weak old name.] [The spotlight dies. The lights return and Tobias is gone. Smiley and Lux engage in a tense standoff. Smiley finally walks up to Bellator once more and passes him a folded piece of paper.]

“Like I said, I’m going to show you a helpless case.”

[With that, Smiley exits the ring, smacking Smiley Jr. into the steel stairs on his way out, leaving a dent. Lux watches him leave with an unreadable expression on what little of his face can be seen.] [What is on that piece of paper Smiley gave to Lux?] [A drop of sweat falls into the paint upon the face of Jack Jeckel as the camera zooms out to show him dabbing at his brow. He turns a corner and turns to a door with ‘Errol Flint, Chairman’ written on it. Jack turns the nob and enters.]

“Whew, that masked freak just got his ass kicked tonight. Did you see that match, bosssssss?”

[It’s with that word that Jack stops in his tracks to see the carnage before him. The boss’s office has been destroyed with paperwork torched in the trash can and Errol’s desk upturned. It’s then that Lance Norman and Errol Flint are shown standing. Norman looks curious, but Errol’s hands are balled up into fists as he pounds on his desk. He turns as his rage-filled eyes lock on Jack.]

“Do you see what you’ve caused?! We handpicked you to be OUR guy at Ring King. WE picked YOU to be our bump in the night when assholes come knocking. This ends at Heart of Darkness. I want you to put this asshole into the ground.”

“Well he’s got a match tonight, I’ll just-”

“No.” [Lance Norman interrupts him as he turns to step up to Jack.]

“What you’re going to do is break his legs. You’re going to break his arms. And once those are taken care of, you will break his spirit. But you’re going to do that on a larger stage. After all, there is no need to ruin another match. I know how the complaints flood from The Network when promised matches end abruptly or never happen. Keep your distance tonight.”

[Lance Norman looks at Errol Flint who is still seething. Errol reaches forward and glares into the eyes of Jack Jeckel.]

“At Heart of Darkness, you WILL exterminate The Red Emperor and you WILL eradicate us of this fucking moron. If you fail to do so, HELL will befall you.”

[With that motion, Errol waves his hand absentmindedly to his right as he turns to look at the rampaged room in dismay. Jack Jeckel balls up his fists as he exits the room to find The Red Emperor standing at the end of the hall dressed fully in his armor.]

“Your strategy last week may have won you that battle, but, at Heart of Darkness, I will defend my honor, my power, and my title.”

[Austin Fernando holds up his United States Championship which gleams in the light.]

“Make your preparations for war, jester.”

[With that, The Red Emperor turns the corner and disappears leaving Jack Jeckel to seethe himself.]

“It’s time to go nighty, night little prince.”

[The blood-feud between Hysteria’s Asylum and Ozric Mortimer continues to wage tonight! Will the Nightmare continue to torment his enemies or will the Emotion leave him second guessing?] [The match starts with Ozric glaring into Doubt’s hollow eye sockets. The Emotion doesn’t budge, taking the first punch before retaliating. The two monsters batter themselves into a corner. Ozric hurls Doubt across the ring, clobbering it with a Running Lariat! Doubt tries to beg off, only to get tossed head-over-heels again! The Nightmare looks for Suspended Animation but Doubt elbows out. It hits a Dropkick and tries to pull him into a Backbreaker when Ozric breaks free… Jumping Corkscrew Forearm by Doubt! It then looks for the End of Wisdom but Ozric catches it in a Fireman’s Carry Rollover!] [Ozric now chucks Doubt through the ropes; the Emotion hitting the concrete hard! The Nightmare follows, ramming Doubt into the ring apron. He lands a few knees to the ribs before just squashing it against the ring with a Running Body Avalanche. Doubt crumbles… Ozric sneers, pulling the Emotion up and methodically setting it into position for a true Traumatic Incident when Doubt starts to battle back! Desperation Neckbreaker on the floor! Both are hurt, steadily rising; Doubt leaps onto the apron… The Pessimist’s End? NO! Ozric catches it and Powerslams it into the concrete! What a sickening THUD!] [Ozric chucks Doubt into the ring, looking to cover when the Emotion picks his ankle! It tries to Second Guess; the Nightmare holds on. He pulls Doubt up into a Headbutt. MIRROR, MIRROR! Ozric brutalizes the Emotion before Doubt’s body finally falls limp! There’s the cover! One… Two… NO! Doubt grabs the bottom rope! But Ozric’s quick to capitalize! TASTE THE CUR–NO! Doubt counters! EATING YOURSELF ALIVE! OUTTA NOWHERE! It slumps into a cover! One… Two… NO! Doubt then tries to Second Guess again. Ozric fights back; both rising and– THE TRAUMATIC INCIDENT! He covers! One… Two… THREE!] [The bell rings and Ozric stands, staring down a motionless Emotion. The referee raises the Nightmare’s hand and Ozric leaves the ring slowly, and with a purpose.] [The match concluded, Ozric stands to his feet and goes to retrieve his iconic bat. Doubt slides out of the ring, but does not leave ringside.] [STATIC] [Ozric is intrigued as the video screens begin to play a very shaky image, looking like it was recorded on a handheld.]

“Hello Ozric.” [The deranged voice of Hysteria begins.] [The image displays a dark room, where Hysteria is standing with his hands rubbing together. The Shark can be seen behind him, head cocked sideways in what appears to be hunger.]

“I wish I could be with you in person, but my guest needs constant attention.”

[Hysteria walks forward to circle his ‘guest,’ who has his head covered by a sack. Whoever this is has been tied down to a chair, with the surrounding area seemingly blocked off by wooden planks, creating a small foot tall barrier.]

“My associate had some rather gruesome plans for Cyrus here, but the Shark already has one victim waiting for him in his pit, he doesn’t need another.”

[At ringside, Ozric’s eyes raise up in surprise at that name. He knows what this means. On the video, Hysteria keeps about his business.]

“The one place in the world where the Asylum doesn’t look out of place was in one of those raves. It’s rare that we are the normal ones, isn’t it Ozric?” [The deranged one chuckles at his own comment before continuing.] “Yet there your brother was, high out of his mind. He didn’t even care that Sharky was sniffing his neck, tracing his veins. He almost came willingly.”

[Another chuckle.]


[Ozric hefts his bat, walking towards Doubt, who merely lays a wallet he produced from nowhere on the mat.]

“Go ahead and go through that, it’ll verify that I’m not lying.” [Hysteria says, nodding to Shark.] [The VHS Champion walks over to the side of Cyrus, and pulls a small level. It’s barely able to be made out on the video, but a grey substance begins pouring into the area around Cyrus.]

“That’s the difference between you and I, Mortimer.” [Hysteria says as Ozric goes through the wallet, Doubt having vanished.] “You kill with no rhyme or reason. What’s the fun in that? I want to know people’s names before I kill them. I want to be able to feel the sorrow of their family as they rot six feet under. You’re a Nightmare, but I’m a daydream.”

[Ozric throws the wallet down and begins heading up the staircase.]

“Come find us, Mortimer. The man behind this monster fears you. It’s time for Nicholas to fear Hysteria. He couldn’t save his father. He couldn’t save his mother. Maybe the idea of saving his brother will bring him to laugh.”

[Hysteria kneels down to look at the grey substance, which appears to be concrete.]

“You’ve attacked me with fire. You’ve attacked me with water, mocked me with ice. I will attack with cold hard concrete, the earth itself will revolt against Cyrus as this sack begins to cut off his air flow. Trapped between the heavens and the earth, little Cyrus will go straight to hell.”

[The video shuts off, leaving the eerie memory of Hysteria laughing in our minds.] [We’re in some kind of old fashioned library. Brent Kersh is sat at a large wooden desk in front of a news slider, flicking through old articles of news. He finally stumbles across a piece dating back to Monday April 14th 1941.] [The article explains reads as follows.]

Henry Brent Kersh was found dead in his drive way last night by Willoughby police officers. In what looked to be a gory animal attack, Mr. Kersh had his throat slit and claw marks strewn across his face. It is believed he was attacked by some kind of wild animal and as a result, the police are not treating this as suspicious.

[Brent pulls his eyes away from the machine, a look of complete shock etched across his aging face. He turns to his left, where son Trevor appears.]

“What is it Dad?” [Trevor – roughly twenty-one years of age, enquires.]

“It’s your Great-Grandfather. Dad always told me that he died of a heart attack but these newspaper clippings report differently,” [Kersh says standing up so that Trevor can take a look himself.] “The Scarecrow told me that I wasn’t the first Kersh he’d fought.”

[Trevor looked up from the slide with a frown.]

“Not this again. I know you’ve been having a rough time of it lately, what with Danielle and Phoebe, but you have to let this Scarecrow thing go. Can’t you see that it’s driving you insane?”

[Kersh looks at him with widened eyes.] “He’s everywhere, son. It isn’t just where your eyes don’t go, it’s where they do go too. This proves it. Now if I’m right, your Grandpa didn’t die in a car accident.”

[Brent heads back to the slide, barging past his son who barely gets out of the way.]

“Grandpa Jack wouldn’t want this for you, dad.”

[Kersh ignores him, flipping through the slides as the scene slowly fades to black.] [We have a scintillating contest tonight as Smiley takes on Tommy Hawk. Will the Spirit Walker’s hunt of the biggest Smile in OSW be successful or will the Deranged One’s sadistic nature prove too much for Hawk?] [The bell sounds as both men circle around one another, Smiley coming forward as he fakes a test of strength before sucking punching Hawk with a massive right to the jaw that barely affects the bigger man. Smiley tries for another but it’s grabbed by Hawk who tosses Smiley across the rings, rebounding him off the ropes right into a massive headbutt that sends Smiley down to one knee. A thin trickle of blood pools down where he was hit as Smiley wipes it off with a finger, licking it with his tongue as a sickening smile creeps on his face, unnerving Hawk] [Hawk goes to pull Smiley up but gets a thumb to his eye before he’s slammed into the canvas with an Inverted DDT variation, rolling through onto the mat as Smiley grabs Hawk’s Scalp hand, wrenching it apart as Hawk yells out in pain. Smiley pulls as hard as he can, Hawk trying to get to his feet as Smiley lets go, stomping down as hard as he can on the hand. A laugh of pure joy comes from the Deranged One as he backs up, before landing a hard knee drop on the hand as pain radiates through Hawk] [Smiley backs off, allowing Hawk to get to his feet as he rushes forward, CHELSEA GRIN…MISSES! Hawk just manages to duck as Smiley nearly runs into the turnbuckles, turning around right into a kick to the gut, RED ARROW! The crowd roar as Hawk lets out a roaring warcry, reaching behind his back and pulling out the tomahawk as he waits for Smiley to get to his feet. Hawk rushes forward, THE SCALP…HIDEOUS LAUGHTER! Smiley brings Hawk crashing down to the mat outta nowhere as he quickly covers, ONE…TWO…THREE!!!] [Smiley gets to his feet, allowing the referee to hold his hand up high before grabbing his tag title, holding it up in the air, stomping down hard on the chest of the fallen Hawk as he revels in his destruction] [The match is over and Tommy Hawk is getting ready to leave the ring when he pauses in place.]

“Their shadows are tearing me into tiny pieces.

I don’t remember where I am,

I just remember frustration.”

[The Masked Emotion’s theme song hits and Tommy Hawk is ready for a fight. Smoke billows into the arena as the eerily ambiguous Doubt moves out onto the stage wielding the very blade in which Tommy Hawk so desperately sought to obtain. Hawk leans over the rope as he sticks a leg out in preparation to give chase.]

“That’s close enough, Hawk.”

[It’s at that moment that Smiley slinks out of the fog holding a tomahawk of his own. Hysteria pops out at another corner of the arena. The Shark also pops out near ringside. Two more Asylum goons pop up around the ring wearing Hysteria and Doubt masks. All six men are holding identical tomahawks to the one that Tommy Hawk has lost. His eyes follow each monster before reverting back to Doubt and Smiley at the top of the stairs.]

“It seems we’re at an impasse, Hawk. You don’t seem to be a betting man, and I don’t feel quite ready to relinquish your toy back to you. The odds are not in your favor.”

[The whole Asylum seems to find that humorous as Tommy Hawk is permeated by their laughter as he’s clenching his fists in irritability. Doubt twirls the tomahawk he holds before taking a few steps down from the top of the entranceway.]

“You want your tomahawk back? You shall get it. At Heart of Darkness, I am willing to give you your tomahawk back on one condition. You must defeat your fear. You must defeat your inner monsters. You must defeat Doubt. This match won’t just be a normal match. At Heart of Darkness, I will suspend your tomahawk above the ring and the first to retrieve the weapon will retain it. Can you climb the rungs of your doubt and retrieve your beloved weapon? Or will you perish under the weight of your personal self-doubt?”

[At these words, the two goons slide into the ring and jump Tommy Hawk! They get a few blows in before Hawk pushes them back and hits a double shoulder block! They stagger to their feet as Hawk yells out… THE SCALP TO BOTH MEN! They hit the mat as Hawk turns around to face The Shark who stands on the apron with his teeth bared before slowly getting down with a grin. The Spirit Walker turns around and grabs a microphone as he glares up at Doubt.]

“You want a dance in the moonlight with A Spirit Walker so bad? I accept. But this Monday will not be for the weak. I will pull off that mask and reveal you as nothing more than smoke and mirrors. This Monday, Doubt meets… THE SAVAGE!”

[The crowd pops big for this as Tommy Hawk smiles wickedly displaying his contrasting teeth to his skin.] [THE LIGHTS GO OUT!] [A HOWL!] [They return and Tommy Hawk is face-to-face with…] [Nothing.] [Panic is stricken across his face but there is no one there. He turns around and is berated by the laughter of The Asylum as they have all vanished from sight. Hawk’s fingers run through his hair as his face is buried in his palms. The mind games from Doubt continue.] [Will Tommy Hawk be able to overcome his fear and doubt come Heart of Darkness? Tune in Monday Night to see how it all goes down!] [Hysteria and The Red Emperor stand across from each other in the ring, both men waiting patiently for the match to start.] [Fernando is quick to push the offensive against Hysteria, hitting jab after jab and forcing The Mad Mastermind into a corner. Fernando pushes the offensive, yanking Hysteria back into a short arm lariat! The Red Emperor stands on the middle rope and riles up the crowd, Hysteria having gotten up and grabbing the taunting Emperor, bringing him down into a massive german suplex! Fernando rolls across the mat, landing middle of the ring as Hysteria scales the ropes, leaping off WITH A MASSIVE DIVING ELBOW DROP! Hysteria lands hard on The Red Emperor, forcing a yell of pain from him as Hysteria rolls away.] [Hysteria gets to his feet and as Fernando gets on all fours rushes forwards with a basement dropkick! The Red Emperor is sent rolling as Hysteria bounces off the ropes again, trying for a leg drop but Fernando moves just in time! Hysteria gets up and is pulled into a strong exploder suplex by The Emperor! Fernando rolls on top and begins laying into Hysteria with massive rights and lefts! The Mad Mastermind is taking a beating when EYE GOUGE WITH HIS THUMB! Hysteria plays dirty, forcing The Emperor off of him and rolling outside of the ring to collect himself.] [The Emperor is to his feet and foaming at the mouth as he rushes to the ropes, baseball sliding into Hysteria! Fernando slides out of the ring and runs Hysteria into the barricade before forcing him inside of the ring! The Emperor is on the apron when Hysteria hits him with a leaping knee strike! The Emperor is dazed and gets arm dragged over by Hysteria! Both men are on their feet, the Emperor refusing to give in, landing hard blows to Hysteria when HYSTERIA CATCHES A FIST! He pulls Fernando close and heaves him overhead INTO THE SECOND FALL STRETCH! FERNANDO HAS NO WHERE TO GO! HE TAPS HE TAPS!] [Hysteria doesn’t take the time to soak in the victory, rushing backstage as soon as the bell is rung.] [CRACK!] [A wooden door splinters beneath the sheer force of the Nightmare behind it as Ozric Mortimer enters a dark room in the bowels of the Schoolyard. He has his bat over his shoulder and an amused look on his face. Before him is his brother. Well, it’s Nicholas Brocken’s brother. Who knows what remains of that boy inside of the Nightmare. Ozric steps forward, showing no haste to reach his masked brother, who is still bound to the chair with his face covered.] [Mortimer turns off the concrete machine, stepping into the uncured concrete to grab at the man in the middle. After one touch, Ozric suddenly stands up. His face narrows, and he hoists his bat.] [CRUNCH!] [The full force swing with the nail covered bat knocks Cyrus’s head clear off!] [Clap.] [Clap.] [Clap.] [Mortimer turns around with amused look on his face to see Hysteria, fresh off his match and still slightly short of breath, golf clapping behind him.]

“You saw through that quicker than I might have anticipated.” [Hysteria comments.]

“Life feels and looks much different than what you put together. There is no heat, no soul in this false image before me. Did you really expect it to fool anyone?”

[Hysteria chuckles behind his mask.]

“No. It was never meant to fool you, Mortimer. I just wanted some quality time with you before our pending fight.”

[Mortimer doesn’t take the bait, instead he lifts up his bat.]

“Cyrus Brocken is still in your grasp though, you wouldn’t send your associates to pick someone’s pocket. Not when disturbed individuals like Smiley and Shark are wired the way they are.”

[Hysteria nods in return.]

“You’re right as always, Ozric. You seem to know the human condition better than many I deal with. We’re not ruled by our emotions, are we? Our past lives remain in the mists of time.”

“My past is dead.” [Ozric states, coldly.]

“As is mine.” [Hysteria replies, his mask almost mockingly smiling.]

“So Cyrus is dead?” [Ozric asks.] [Hysteria shrugs.]

“Couldn’t tell you.”

[Ozric takes a step forward before Hysteria begins to speak again.]

“The Asylum descended upon some rave, and none came out.” [Hysteria points up.] “Remember those bodies I flung down at you? Those were our haul from the rave. I even tossed a couple to Shark for his pit. God knows what Smiley did to some of them. I didn’t know those people, Ozric. So I left them alive, let them die of the hanging. Then I pilfered their corpses and read every single thing I could find. I walked into some of their funerals, no one the wiser. There is no greater feeling than seeing the fruits of your labor so powerfully.”

[Seeing that Mortimer isn’t satisfied, Hysteria continues.]

“Cyrus remains preserved. We kept him separated from the throng of people. I pulled the weeds and left the beautiful flower.”

[The deranged masked man leans on the smashed door frame.]

“It’s amazing what you can find in our line of work. I found a crooked nurse who would make sure he stayed alive, that we didn’t kill him. Cyrus is somewhere out there, in the dark corners of the world we live in. He has very little, and we’ve had to revive him a couple times. I’ve had many a conversation with him. I know all about Nicholas and the whole Brocken family. Very interesting info from your brother.”

[Ozric shakes his head.]

“I would have told you all you wished to know of Nicholas Brocken’s life. It’s of no matter. It won’t stop me from doing what I am going to do to you.”

[Hysteria cocks his head back and laughs.]

“Do I look like I care what you do to me? That’s not what this is about. This is about me proving that you are the same as me. You’ll never kill Nicholas, and instead of feeding on that, you ignore it. It would give you power, make you stronger. Make you… wiser.”

[Ozric hoists the bat.]

“We will see.”

[As he approaches, Hysteria ducks away. By the time Ozric Mortimer reaches the door, the hallway is bare.] [Hysteria is gone.] [It’s main event time as Nigel Royal looks focused as he stares across the ring at HAtE and David Manson. No tags are necessary in this battle.] [The bell sounds as both members of The Awakening charge Nigel Royal. The Ring King hits the mat and avoids their attack. They yell out of the ring towards him as Nigel just taps his head with his index finger. He dares them to come out and meet him and they do on different sides of the ring. Nigel attacks HAtE by connecting with a dropkick which trips him up as he comes out of the ring. He falls to the floor as David Manson comes flying around the corner. Nigel Royal takes off with Manson in pursuit before rolling into the ring. Manson pursues but Nigel catches him with a number of strikes before he can get back up!] [Nigel Royal pulls David Manson back up to the feet before wrapping the head of Manson to drill it into the mat for a DDT. He goes for the cover. One…Two… HAtE reinserts himself into the match with a break-up! HAtE pulls Nigel up to his feet by his hair, but the Bloodline grabs his arm for an armdrag. HAtE gets right back up in the corner but gets nailed by a forearm smash by Nigel! He wraps the arm and pushes off the turnbuckle for a bulldog. The Bloodline gets to his feet as he slaps his chest in celebration. The crowd is on their feet watching their Ring King.] [HAtE gets back to his feet and Nigel goes to him. He pushes Royal backwards as David Manson wraps one arm up and nails a half nelson suplex! Manson grins down at him before turning to HAtE who grins down at him. The Bad Seed directs traffic as he instructs HAtE to lift him up. He does so and whips him again to The Anarchy who hits a spinning lariat knocking Nigel to the ground. David Manson lifts Nigel Royal back up before locking in a full nelson with Royal trapped. HAtE grins down at him before hitting some vicious right hands.] [Nigel Royal is beginning to fade as HAtE is right in his face yelling at him. NIGEL BITES HAtE’S NOSE! Manson releases the hold to strike the back of his head with a forearm strike forcing him to relinquish the hold on HAtE although blood is now pouring from his nose! David Manson goes to check on his partner before turning back around to Nigel Royal who is laid out. He pulls him up to his feet but Nigel manages to get a finger into the eye of Manson! He recoils clutching at his eye as Nigel Royal staggers to his feet holding his head.] [HAtE goes for a clothesline toward Nigel, but he lowers a shoulder and lifts him to the floor outside. He slides to the outside and grabs up HAtE before throwing him flying over the announce table. David Manson slides to the outside and nails Nigel from behind. The angered, half-blind monster grabs Royal up and begins clearing off the table. He whips Nigel on top of it before climbing up himself. HAtE gets up on the table as well as both men wrap the arms of Nigel for a double suplex. Nigel goes to his knees and moves his arms out before hitting two strikes to the gut before wrapping both heads for a DOUBLE DDT THROUGH THE TABLE!] [All three men are down outside of the ring as the referee doesn’t seem to know what to do. Nigel Royal gets to his feet as if experiencing a horrendous hangover before rolling into the ring and demanding the referee begin a count. The referee begins to count as both HAtE and David Manson are still laid out in the remnants of the table. They slowly begin to rise at around eight. They charge towards the ring and both slide in right at nine and a half. Royal hangs his head in exhaustion before running over and grabbing HAtE around the waist. THE ROYAL FLUSH! He hits the belly-to-back suplex four times before coming up in celebration.] [He turns around and gets OBLITERATED by a deadly elbow strike to the neck before being pulled down into an… UNSPOKEN WORDS! Nigel’s face plants into the mat with the spike DDT before Manson cockily lays his arms across his body. One…Two…NO! Nigel Royal powers out at the very last second as Manson begins admonishing the referee for the slow count. Manson is tired but he grabs Nigel up by his hair but Royal grabs his arm and tries to lock in THE DUNGEONS OF LON- but HAtE decides it’s a great time to wake back up and kicks Nigel right on the chin. The Bad Seed gets back to his feet having seen the light flash before his very eyes. The two men begin just stomping away on Nigel who is all-but balled up as the furious stomps rain down.] [The Awakening stop their assault only to antagonize the fans with their jeering. They turn back and Nigel Royal has slowly brought himself up to a standing place in the corner! These guys can’t believe it. Nigel looks like he’s been through war as a huge lump is starting to form on his head, just above the hairline. The two men look at one another as Nigel Royal smiles with blood coating his teeth. David Manson charges first to which Nigel just sidesteps him and follows with a clothesline. HAtE comes flying in but Nigel hits a drop toe hold on him which forces HAtE’s nose to go straight into the crotch of David Manson!] [Both men are in obvious pain as the previously bitten nose comes back into play as David Manson falls to the mat holding his crotch. Nigel Royal rolls to the outside apron and climbs up. Manson is very close to the corner, but Royal doesn’t seem to care. Both men are lined up. He leaps straight up before coming down close with a SPITFIRE FROG SPLASH! Both HAtE and Manson take the blow as Nigel rolls off holding his midsection. He yanks HAtE to the center of the ring and… THE DUNGEONS OF LONDON! HAtE’s nose is being forced back upon itself as the blood is gushing out from the bite. Nigel Royal’s eyes are shut as he wrenches the hold back. It’s due to this that he doesn’t see the boot nail him right on the chin! David Manson grabs him with a pissed off scowl. He hooks both of Nigel’s arms and… THE REIGN OF TERROR! The tiger driver drives Nigel’s hurt head straight into the mat as David Manson covers hooking both legs! One…Two…THREEEEE!] [David Manson gets up slowly alongside his partner, HAtE. The Awakening successfully won this match, but it seems Nigel Royal put up one hell of a fight!] [The Awakening get back to their feet and bask in the glory of beating the number one contender. Nigel slowly squirms on the floor, using the ropes to pull himself back up. Manson runs at him, but Royal dips the top rope and sends him falling to the concrete floor. Hate is next, swinging wildly with a Clothesline but Nigel runs him over the top rope as well. The Ring King is livid and desperate for a fight.] [That’s when he gets one.] [The lights suddenly dim, a spotlight flashing around the arena. The intensity ramps up, Nigel turning left and right, following it in every direction, looking for the Shadow.] [SHADOWKICK! NO! NIGEL CAUGHT IT! He spins Lane around and snaps on his arm, dragging him into the DUNGEONS OF LONDON! The World Champion screams in agony as Nigel purposefully wrenches as hard as he can on him. Security storm to the ring, trying to pull Royal off of him but he won’t let go.]

“This for Neville, you bastard!” [Royal screams.] “This is for him!”

[The Shadow finally loses consciousness due to the pain, passing out and going limp in the arms of The Ring King. Nigel lets him go, rolling away to find the World Championship on the floor. He picks it up and raises it into the air.] [Could this be the scene come Heart of Darkness?] [The steady sound of a machine beeps ever so carefully inside a hospital room that shouldn’t exist. The door opens slowly, a man wearing a hooded jumper making sure to enter softly. He was responsible for the assault on Red River Jack earlier, but why is he here and who is he here to see?] [Suddenly, the patient springs to life.] [It’s Neville Sheldon. He’s not dead.]

“It looks like the rumours of your demise have been greatly exaggerated,” [the hooded man says with some kind of voice augmentation.]

“As have yours,” [croaks back Neville Sheldon.] [The man pulls up a seat and sits down.]

“What do you want from me?” [Sheldon asks politely, his voice still strained.] [There’s a short silence.]

“I don’t want anything from you, Neville; in fact, I want to help. I’ve taken care of your problem. Red River Jack won’t be able to harm you any longer.”

[Neville doesn’t say anything.]

“I caught him snooping around the morgue, trying to make sure you were dead. Let’s just say that I put him on ice.”

“I don’t want that,” [Sheldon interrupts.] “I don’t want any of this.”

“You do realize why they lied to Errol Flint, don’t you? The police believe your hanging was suspicious but from what I’ve heard, you aren’t talking. They killed you to protect you because you won’t protect yourself.”

[Sheldon sits up in bed a little.] “I didn’t try and kill myself.”

“I believe you,” [the man responds.] “But none of that matters now.”

[Neville suddenly remembers.] “The locket!”

[He jumps out of bed in nothing but a hospital gown, ripping wires and IV’s from his skin and tossing them aside. He storms past the man and out into the hall, running down it towards the morgue with the man in hot pursuit. They end up in an elevator that heads down and once there, rush towards the Cold Chambers. Neville quickly spots the one that reads ‘Red River Jack’ and opens it, determined to find his mothers locket.] [But the chamber is empty.] [All except a note.]

“I knew you were alive, man. Be at Heart of Darkness, or else.”

[Sheldon looks towards his mystery helper with a look of horror as Monday Night Showcase comes to a close.] [Cut.]