Welcome to the island.

Found on no map drawn by man and undetectable by satellite, no one can pinpoint when the island was first discovered. There is no record of when it became inhabited or when construction of The Shrine and other structures began or ended. Those few who have been allowed access have almost universally remarked that it feels like the structures have "always" been there. Whether this is true is unknown. What is known, however, is that there is more than meets the eye in regards to the mysterious land mass located several miles off the coast of Japan.

The island is a mystery for a reason. There is a force which has worked diligently to keep it that way for as long as anyone can remember. People who have spoken about the island, about having visited it and the things they've seen and experienced, are known to vanish without a trace or be found deceased in such ways as to dishonor their memory and family name, taking their credibility to
the grave with them. This, combined with the inability to find the island or any evidence that it exists, has led many to chalk its existence up to "myth," joining the likes of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster in the pantheon of things people desperately want to prove are real... but can't.

The Shrine and the fighter barracks are but a small part of the physical island. Upon mountainous terrain, there is a lush and deep forest along with many other hidden structures. The nature of these structures is unknown or the sources are unreliable. However, attempts to venture into the forest are ill-advised and not recommended.

Legend suggests that the island is home to a power greater than anyone has ever known. The nature of this power is a mystery like so much else on the island. The occupation of the island by the equally mysterious Black Company would suggest that there is something to the legend. With the island now welcoming combatants from around the world and events airing monthly on the dark web, those curious truth-seekers wait with bated breath in hopes that their questions will be answered.

Where is this place?

What is the power?

Why only women?

Is any of this even real?

There's only one way to find out.

Enjoy your stay.

03/06/2021 | The Shrine | Off the Coast of Japan

Commentators: Don Callis & Gail Kim

Fade up.

The classroom is dimly lit.

Everything appears faded and washed out.

The only sound is the droning buzz of fluorescent lights. After dwelling here for a moment with only the luxury of staring at the old fashioned chalkboard on the wall, the
door to the classroom gently creaks open and an old Japanese man shuffles into the room. Wearing a gray and black tracksuit and carrying a briefcase, he makes sure to secure the door behind him before proceeding inside. Without a word or even a passing glance to the camera, he places the briefcase on the desk. He approaches the chalkboard and fumbles with a piece of chalk plucked from the tray below.

The silence is deafening... awkward.

He presses the chalk to the board and begins to write with slow, deliberate motions. The board screeches obnoxiously with each letter that appears. When the man is finished, he places the chalk back in the tray and turns around to face the camera, placing both hands on the desk in front of him. Over his shoulder, we see the letters "R Q M" written on the board. He begins to speak in Japanese with a tired yet authoritative voice.

Mr. Kitano ] < Hello, class. >

Class? There's no one in the room to return his greeting.

Mr. Kitano ] < My name is Mr. Kitano. I will be your teacher this season. >

The corner of his mouth twitches as if it's fighting the urge to turn into a smile.

Mr. Kitano ] < You are probably wondering why you are here. The answer is the same for all of you. Whether it is because you are one of the best competitors in the world... or because you have done very bad things in your life, you are on this island because you deserve to be here. >

His eyes are black and dead.

Mr. Kitano ] < Some of you want money... fame... revenge... >

His mouth twitches again.

Mr. Kitano ] < ...blood. >

He purses his lips and nods assuringly.

Mr. Kitano ] < You will find all of that here. >

He turns and points toward the letters on the board. He bellows.


He slowly turns back around and rests his hands on the desk.

Mr. Kitano ] < Those of you who are here in the spirit of competition, I wish you luck. Not everyone here is honorable. There are very bad people on this island. They only want money... or to cause pain. That's no good. It is your job to keep championships away from them. >

He looks amused.

Mr. Kitano ] < Look for good people like you. Make friends... but be smart! There are no count outs or disqualifications here. Fight hard and try your best! There are many rewards to be won... if you put in the work. >

He reaches over and draws the briefcase close to him. He unlocks it and opens it up. He looks down at what is inside and then turns it around to face the camera... revealing this:

The championship glimmers under the fluorescent light.

Mr. Kitano ] < This is the Muramasa Blade. Very prestigious... very powerful. >

He nods gently.

Mr. Kitano ] < Very dangerous. >

He runs his thumb along one of the edges and pulls it away before stuffing his thumb into his mouth... an almost comical gesture in the midst of his unsettling monologue.

Mr. Kitano ] OW!

He removes his thumb from his mouth and shakes it out.

Mr. Kitano ] < Very sharp. My thumb hurts. >

He allows himself to smile as he side eyes the championship belt.

Mr. Kitano ] < Which one of you will become the first champion? Maybe we will find out soon. A lot of responsibility comes with being champion. Must choose very carefully. Not for everyone... but that is why we fight. Right? >

He closes the briefcase, hiding the championship from sight.

Mr. Kitano ] < Good or bad, honorable or not, fate does not favor one over the other. In the Shrine, there are only winners or losers. Just like life. Which one are you? >

He shrugs.

Mr. Kitano ] < Wrestling is a game. >

He huffs and lazily points at the camera.

Mr. Kitano ] < So fight for your life... see if you're worth it. >

The feed abruptly cuts to black.

Murmuring fills the main hall.

The spectators are growing impatient.

There's something about The Shrine that is unsettling.

The main hall is smoky and dim with only a spotlight over the ringside area. Elegant stained glass makes up the backdrop, giving the entire room a regal... almost religious aesthetic. The audience is made up of older men and women, all well-dressed. Their features are obscured by shadow, giving the entire room a shady, untrustworthy vibe. These men and women are obviously the rich and powerful elite who have been personally invited to witness these warriors clash on this very exclusive, very secretive stage. There is a strong, legitimate fight feel to the main hall. All of them are focused on the ring and for good reason. The stakes are high. They have invested a lot of money to be here and even more on the winners of tonight's matches. They have made a significant investment in the future of what happens on this island. For some, it is as simple as money... for others, it's something more. Something unfathomable, deep and dark. The air surrounding the main hall seems to crackle with energy, excitement... power.

The ring mat itself is a light gray. The ring aprons are black and adorned with the stylized "RQM" logo and "sponsors," who happen to act as local merchants on the island. The ring posts and ropes are black, and the turnbuckle pads carry the "RQM" logo. Seated in a balcony behind the hard camera, Don Callis and Gail Kim sit behind the announce desk. Callis is wearing a black three-piece suit, Gal Kim is in a black dress with a white collar, her hair pulled back tightly in a ponytail. They watch over The Shrine with the same dignity and stoicism as they would if they were presiding over a courtroom. Standing in the middle of the ring in a powder blue dress is the official ring announcer of REQUIEM, Yurie Kozakai. The camera pans around, revealing The Shrine to us... the ring, the stained glass, the announce team, the ring announcer... but never the faces of the spectators... not a single set of eyes is visible to us. Near the stage, a shirtless man in baggy black pants and a red mask stands next to a large golden gong. He holds a large mallet in both hands, ready to strike.

Don Callis clears his throat.

We hear a shuffling of paper.

It is now time for the broadcast to begin.

Please enjoy.

We have an overhead view of the ring when we first hear his voice.

[ Don Callis ] My name is Don Callis, sitting next to me is the incomparable Gail Kim--

His voice is flat but professional. He chooses every word carefully.

[ Don Callis ] --Welcome to The Shrine.

[ Gail Kim ] Thank you for that glowing introduction, Don.

She sounds a bit more lively than her broadcast partner despite her annoyance with his abrupt introduction. It's evident that she is just a little more comfortable in her surroundings.

[ Gail Kim ] And thank you to the ones who made this endeavor possible, the generous investors and our board of directors, headed by our most glorious CEO. Without them and--

Even though you can't see her, you can tell the pause comes with a smirk.

[ Gail Kim ] --the many sacrifices made along the way, none of this would be possible.

Yes. She definitely appears to be far more in the know than poor Don.

[ Don Callis ] You know, Gail, I've been on the island for over a month now and I've been having a lot of fun-- really, I have-- but I have yet to lay eyes on this mysterious CEO.

[ Gail Kim ] And you probably never will.

[ Don Callis ] Fair enough, I suppose.

There's another shuffling of papers.

[ Don Callis ] Tonight, our... um, most excellent hosts will be presenting a collection of matches featuring some of the most highly competitive warriors in the sport of professional wrestling. That is absolutely one hundred percent without hyperbole.

[ Gail Kim ] More than eight matches are planned, pitting numerous hand-picked fighters against one another in their quest for... well, whatever it is that they seek.

[ Don Callis ] Money, power--

[ Gail Kim ] Blood.

[ Don Callis ] That IS what Kitano said, absolutely.

[ Gail Kim ] That's Mr. Kitano-san.

[ Don Callis ] Of course it is.

[ Gail Kim ] He is the official administrator of this program. I suggest you put some respect on his name.

Don clears his throat, audibly uncomfortable as the camera begins to pan down, giving us a straight ahead shot of Yurie Kozakai. Her smile is in stark contrast to the rest of The Shrine.

[ Don Callis ] Gail, it looks like our first fight of the evening will be for the vacant Dual Wield Championship belts. It's very interesting to see our administrator put the titles on the line with no fanfare.

[ Gail Kim ] Take away nothing from the Tokyo Joshi Rangers or the Crush Gals, their credentials speak for themselves, but everything in The Shrine happens for a reason. Our investors crave passion and intensity, they want to see championship glory... Mr. Kitano-san isn't going to keep them waiting. With board approval to do as he pleases, he hand selected the two most qualified tag teams, set them against one another... and here we are.

[ Don Callis ] Let's go to Yurie Kozakai for the introductions.

Inside the ring, Daichi Murayama stands in the corner with both Dual Wield Championship belts underneath his arms. The spotlight falls on Yurie and her smile glimmers under the light. She begins to speak Japanese in her high pitch voice.

Yurie Kozakai ] < Hello, everyone! Our first match is very special! >

She tilts her head to the side, trying to look as cute as possible.

Yurie Kozakai ] < It is a humble tag team match but there is a big prize at the end for the lucky winners! Cool, right? >

There's light applause from the spectators.

Yurie Kozakai ] < The winner of the match will become the first-ever Dual Wield champions! Unfortunately, there can only be one winner, which means the other team will be losers! >

She wipes away a mock tear.

Yurie Kozakai ] < Sad! >

And then goes right back to smiling.

Yurie Kozakai ] < Today's lesson is... do your best! Fight hard and become the number one tag team! >

She cries out to a smattering of applause.

Yurie Kozakai ] < Nothing is against the rules! Let's begin! >

The competitors begin making their entrances as we prepare for the first match!


Referee: Daichi Murayama | Time Limit: 30:00

Shota Umino is ringside for the match in a leather speedo and ball gag.

[ Don Callis ] I'm not sure what to make of poor Shota out here.

[ Gail Kim ] It could be said that The Shrine calls to the strange and eccentric. The Crush Gals certainly meet both of those criteria... then again, so do Hyper Misao and Shin Ultra Shoko. Our resident beacons of peace and love.

Daichi Murayama shows each team the championship belts and then holds them over his head in the center of the ring. Once he hands them off to a ringside attendant, he signals for the match to begin which results in a loud gong echoing throughout The Shrine. This seems to highly amuse Misao and Shoko as they look at each other in gleeful awe.

[ Don Callis ] And there's the gong, signaling the beginning of the match! Let's go!

[ Gail Kim ] One of these teams will be the first to draw blood within the confines of The Shrine. Will it be Marika and Natsuko or will it be Misao and Shoko? Only fate knows for sure, Don.

[ Don Callis ] Ahem-- Yeah! Okay!

All four competitors meet in the center of the ring where Misao and Shoko insist on a handshake. Natsuko is having none of it and turns to address Marika with a nudge to the shoulder... but Misao answers Natsuko's disrespectful refusal by removing a can of silly string from her tights and spraying Natsuko in the eyes with it! Natsuko staggers back, looking furious! Before Marika can react, Shoko nails her with a basement dropkick, taking her knees out!

[ Gail Kim ] I have to question Misao's tactics. Angering Natsuko Tora would not be wise.

[ Don Callis ] When Yurie said nothing is against the rules, I assumed she meant weapons-- chains, steel chairs, maybe even a table! Not silly string!

Misao begins clubbing away at Natsuko with forearms and knee lifts before Natsuko powers out and snatches Misao off the mat, drilling her with a body slam straight into the mat! Shoko goes to work on Marika, mounting her and peppering her with forearm blows to the chest but Natsuko grabs her by the hair and pulls her off, slinging her into the corner and then backing up against her, trapping her against the turnbuckles. The smaller competitor struggles to get free until Misao regains her footing and charges into the corner, going for a HYPER SPLASH but Natsuko moves and Misao splashes Shoko! Shoko falls into a seated position in the corner and Natsuko catches Misao from behind... RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX!

[ Don Callis ] And there's the receipt for the silly string!

[ Gail Kim ] Misao is simply too fun-loving for her own good.

Marika charges into the corner and nails Shoko right in the face with a dropkick! The impact sends Shoko tumbling over the bottom rope to the floor. Marika offers a high five to Natsuko but Natsuko grabs a handful of Marika's hair and tosses her through the ropes so that she can stay on top of Shoko! Marika rubs her head and begins putting the boots to Shoko before pulling her up and whipping her into the barricade!

[ Gail Kim ] Marika Kobashi is certainly one to watch. She's young, she lacks experience, but she makes up for those things with ferocity and a penchant for violence.

Natsuko pulls Misao back to her feet and whips her into the ropes. They collide shoulder to shoulder and Misao goes down in a heap! Natsuko hits the ropes and SPLASHES Misao before mounting her and raining down clubbing blows. Satisfied that Misao isn't going anywhere, Natsuko shouts at Umino in Japanese. He quickly begins searching under the ring and finds a large chain! He throws it under the bottom rope and Natsuko picks it up, wrapping it around her entire forearm. Misao gets up to all fours and Natsuko nails her in the lower back with the chain, causing her to fall flat on her face!

[ Don Callis ] I think reality is beginning to set in on this match.

[ Gail Kim ] It usually does. Such is the way within the walls of The Shrine.

Marika goes to whip Shoko into the ring steps but Shoko reverses the Irish whip and sends Marika into the steps instead-- NO! Shota Umino throws himself in the way and Marika only collides with his body! She falls to the floor and looks up at him, disgusted. She gets back to her feet and kicks him hard in the ribs only for Shoko to climb onto the apron, run across, and nail her in the back of the head with the KAMEN RIDER KICK!

[ Don Callis ] What a shot! What a brutal shot from Shin Ultra Shoko!

[ Gail Kim ] That's the level of brutality one needs to survive in this situation. Shoko Nakajima knows what must be done and she is doing it. Will it be enough?

[ Don Callis ] That's the big question.

Marika goes down in a heap on the floor and Shoko climbs back onto the apron. She ascends the turnbuckles from the outside and and points at Natsuko! Natsuko turns just as Shoko flies... KAMEN RIDER KICK-- NO! Natsuko hits her in the mid-section with her chained forearm! Shoko goes down and rolls to the apron! Natsuko looks pissed and turns around right into Misao firing off a glitter-filled party popper right in her eyes! <"SURPRIIIIIIIIISE!"> Misao shouts in Japanese, and then small packages Natsuko! ONE! TWO! THREE!


Natsuko kicks out with force, almost sending Misao flying. Natsuko is immediately back up to her feet but Misao is faster, escaping under the bottom rope and collecting Shoko on her way out. They make their way up the ramp with Daichi Murayama chasing them down with the Dual Wield Championship belts!

[ Don Callis ] What a shocker! What an upset! Hyper Misao and Shin Ultra Shoko have done it!

[ Gail Kim ] What an interesting outcome. I can't say I'm not intrigued.

Shoko and Misao are definitely worse for wear as they stand on the stage and hold up their championship belts. Inside the ring, Natsuko is losing it, having thrown her chain across the ring and raging out. Marika climbs into the ring with Shota Umino close behind.

[ Don Callis ] Winners or not, I think Shoko and Misao were smart to clear the ring as quickly as they did. Who knows where this goes from here.

Natsuko gets right in Marika's face and it looks like their might be some tension... before Natsuko abruptly turns and kicks Umino right in the balls! He goes down to his knees and Marika shakes her head in disgust before pie facing him to the mat!

[ Don Callis ] I guess someone had to pay for what just happened. Poor Shota Umino.

[ Gail Kim ] Give it a rest, Don. I'm sure he knew exactly what he was getting into.

We fade out on a shot of Marika and Natsuko standing over the mewling Umino.

A dressing room that looks more like a broom closet.

Mariah May is already in her gear, stretching and preparing for her match with Nia Jax later in the night. The room is dimly lit and just feels damp. She's taken special care to ensure that none of her belongings are in a position to touch any surface which might ruin them. A shadow creeps across the wall behind her, unbeknownst to her. She stops stretching and hops in place, shaking herself out. Taking a deep breath, she reaches into her bag and removes her cell phone. She looks at it quizzically, annoyed by the "No Service" notification.

[ Mariah May ] Come onnnn... ya' can't be serious.

Disappointed, she places the phone back in the bag. She tilts her head to the side, giving her neck a good crack and then she hears a sound. It's the sound of an envelope being slid under the door. She looks over her shoulder and sees it lying on the concrete floor. Nervously, she approaches it and checks her surroundings, even though she's obviously alone in the small room. She reaches down and picks up the envelope, looking it over. Her name is written on it in black ink.

[ Mariah May ] This... can't be real... right?

She opens the envelope and removes the parchment from inside... yellowed with age.

[ Mariah May ] Okay, that's a bit spooky.

Her eyes dart right to left as she reads the note.

[ Mariah May ] "...you walk among us, but you are not one of us."

Her bottom lip begins to quiver, unsure of what this means. And then a spider crawls out of the envelope and across her hand. She shrieks and drops the note and envelope on the floor. The spider lands on the concrete and scurries under the door. Breathing heavily, she looks down at the note lying in a wet spot on the floor. The ink begins to bleed.

Mariah looks down at her hands.

They're shaking.


A black quill.

Hands wearing white gloves.

Mei Saint-Michel writes swiftly and smoothly across a blank page of Sakisama's journal, documenting every captivating moment of NEO Biishiki-gun's experience on the island. Standing only inches behind her, Sakisama stands clad in her wrestling gear, stoic and statuesque. She slowly twirls a rose between her fingers, gloved in black silk. She speaks in French, sounding completely disinterested.

Sakisama ] ~ This is very boring. I hoped for more. ~

Mei stops writing and purses her lips.

Sakisama ] ~ I was promised the best competition and the grandest stakes... but there is nothing at stake in defeating the lowly wolf girl. Mei-- ~

Mei stands at attention, smiling as she hears her name.

Sakisama ] ~ Inform Monsieur Kitano that I will not be competing tonight. The assigned match is beneath Sakisama. ~

Mei nods quickly, smiling.

Sakisama ] ~ You will take my place and honor NEO Biishiki-gun, yes? ~

Mei looks uncertain for a moment and bites the tip of her finger nervously before swallowing hard and picking up her silver platter from a nearby table. She nods and poses, balancing the platter on her gloved hand. Sakisama holds her rose beneath her nose and breathes deep, a sly smile threatening to reveal itself at any second.

Exhibition Supplement
versus RUAKA
Referee: Daichi Murayama | Time Limit: 10:00

At ringside, Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb with a K take selfies. Billie Kay eyes her opponent suspiciously but prepares to engage as Daichi calls for the gong to begin the match. Billie goes in for a lock-up but Ruaka executes a go-behind, leaving Billie in shock, shouting "YOU GOTTA' BE JOKIN' ME!" Ruaka attempts to lift her, but Billie locks her knees and elbows her way out!

[ Gail Kim ] Billie Kay is a favorite of mine. Dumb as a rock but she's full of fire.

[ Don Callis ] She's a world class athlete or she wouldn't be here.

Billie takes over with forearm strikes and a knee lift before taking Ruaka down with a snapmare that leaves her in a seated position. Billie hits the ropes and nails her with a meteora. That only gets two, so Billie pulls Ruaka up by her hair and whips her into the ropes. Ruaka reverses the Irish whip and Billie ducks a clothesline, rebounds, and catches Ruaka on the turnaround with the SHADES OF KAY! She covers and hooks both legs! ONE! TWO! THREE!


Billie rolls off of Ruaka and rises to her knees, pumping her fists and celebrating like she just won the match of her life! Tenille and Kaleb hit the ring, and Billie gets to her feet, shrieking with joy.

[ Gail Kim ] It will be interesting to see if her fire flourishes on the island... or dies out.

[ Don Callis ] Well, that's grim.

We fade out on a shot of Billie celebrating with Tenille and Kaleb.

It's hot out.

There's a smell of manure.

The market is more of a wooden shack, only separated from the rest of the village by clear plastic sheets, stained with chicken blood, and hazy due to the humidity. An old man lops the head off of a chicken with a machete clutched by shaky hands. They more closely resemble claws thanks to the arthritis. He doesn't give a damn. There's bells sounding and metal clanging as another local plugs away at a pachinko machine, hoping to hit it big.


There's an arcade machine resting against a beam which supports the rickety shack. With a glance, we see that it's the original Street Fighter. Standing in front of it, Haruna Neko hammers away at the buttons, swaying back and forth as though she's personally dealing out every punch and kick. Seconds later, another woman walks into the shot and plugs in a quarter of her own.

'Here Comes A New Challenger!'

Haruna slowly turns her head, an annoyed look on her face. Shiori Sena turns and looks right back at her. There's an uncomfortable tension between them as they stare each other down. Finally, Haruna speaks, breaking the silence.

Haruna Neko ] < Hey! I was about to win! >

Neko's eyes narrow.

Shiori Sena ] < If you do not think you can defeat me, you are free to leave! >

Shiori smiles and flashes a peace sign. Haruna huffs and turns back to the game.

Haruna Neko ] < You are wasting your token, but okay! >

Shiori Sena ] < I will do my best! >

For what feels like forever, Neko and Sena mash buttons with urgency. Finally, after several long seconds, their fight comes to an end and Sena takes a step back, pumping her fists in victory.

Shiori Sena ] < Yes! I knew I would defeat you! I am the ultimate game master! >

She points right in Neko's face.

Shiori Sena ] < You are a loser! It is really lame that I have to team up with you later tonight! Let me handle the Kabuki Warriors because we will not win if you try to take them on! >

As they continue to bicker back and forth, we take a look at the far corner of the market where we see three people sitting in a makeshift booth, crafted from milk cartons and a musty love seat. An old Japanese man and woman, appearing to be dressed in rags, sit across from a younger man dressed in white slacks and a flaming hot pink button-up dress shirt... the one and only Dolph Ziggler. He runs his hand down his face and flicks the sweat into the distance. A smirk appears on his face.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] You're pretty good at this, old-timer.

He chuckles and tosses some more cash onto the crate between them.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] But this lucky streak you're on... is over!

There's a decent amount of cash and coin resting on the crate between them, serving as a gaming table. The old man looks down at it and then at the old woman sitting next to him.

Old Man ] < I am going to take everything this boy owns. >

Old Woman ] < He is so pretty but I feel like he is stupid. Such a shame. He is one who could cut glass with his handsome jaw. >

[ Dolph Ziggler ] I have no idea what you guys are saying but you're about to be saying it a lot more broke than before.

[ ??? ] They're playing you, moron.

Ziggler looks up, seeing Sonya Deville looming over him. Dressed in black slacks and a matching tank top, she folds her arms across her chest. She looks disgusted.

[ Sonya Deville ] And your cards are trash. You're losing all of our money.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] Hey, how 'bout you just let me do what I do and you go do what you do. Besides, the money's good here and it's not like there's anything else to do on this shit hole island.

Ziggler lays his cards down and the old man follows suit.

Old Man ] < All mine. Happy happy! >

[ Dolph Ziggler ] God dammit!

Sonya shakes her head.

[ Sonya Deville ] Right. Keep doing what you do.

Ziggler runs his hands through his hair, distraught as Sonya wanders away from the crates and cartons which make up the gambling area. There's a shriek from the arcade machines and Sonya looks over, seeing Shiori Sena and Haruna Neko struggling against one another, fighting as they try to pry what appears to be a gold coin from one another's hands.



[ Shiori Sena ] < I SAW IT FIRST! >

Sonya approaches the scene of the tussle and watches as the two girls continue struggling. Sonya clears her throat and speaks up, trying to interrupt them without getting physical.

[ Sonya Deville ] Hey! What are you two idiots doing?

Haruna and Shiori stop fighting and Haruna lowers the coin to her chest, clutching it tightly. Shiori looks at Sonya, confused. Sonya gestures toward Haruna's hand.

[ Sonya Deville ] What's up with the coin? Why's it such a big deal?

Without a word, Haruna drops the coin and runs out of the market. The coin rolls across the dirt floor and stops at Sonya's shoe. She reaches down and picks up the coin, looking it over carefully. Shiori watches her and huffs, placing her hands on her hips. She turns and looks at Sonya, obviously irritated.

Shiori Sena ] < Hey! That's my dragon! Give it up or you're in big trouble! >

Shiori shoves Sonya hard, almost knocking her down. Sonya catches herself on a wooden beam and looks at Shiori in disbelief. Several feet away, Ziggler stands up and watches with great interest... a knowing smirk creeping across his face. Sonya rights herself and glares at the smaller fighter. Before anyone realizes it's happening, three punches land on Shiori, cutting her open above her left eye, across the bridge of her nose, and then splitting her right cheek. The fourth blow comes with a wet crunch as Sonya takes the back of her head and smashes her face into the control panel of the Street Fighter arcade machine. Sena crumples to the floor next to the gold coin, which Sonya dropped in her flurry of punches.

[ Sonya Deville ] Stupid little girl.

Dolph Ziggler saunters over, now wearing a white jacket over his pink shirt. He pays no mind to the fallen Sena as he kneels down next to her and picks up the gold coin. He looks it over and then bites it. He looks impressed. He notices the dead silence at the same time as Sonya.

[ Sonya Deville ] What the hell is going on?

Ziggler stands up, rolling the coin over his knuckles. Every eye in the place is on them. Even the pachinko machine has stopped ringing and dinging. Out of nowhere, the old woman from the gambling area appears and snatches the coin away Ziggler's hand. He looks down at his open palm and then at her. She wags her finger back and forth in his face.

Old Woman ] < Not for you. >

She turns and looks at Sonya, smiling warmly... she has no teeth.

[ Old Woman ] Gorrdu doragon... for winn-ah... on-uh-ree.

The old woman bows, collects the old man, and leaves the market. With the dragon now out of foreign hands, it's as though everything has gone back to normal. Everyone is back to paying them no mind, despite what just happened.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] That was weird.

[ Sonya Deville ] Yeah.

Sonya stares off in the direction the old lady left. Ziggler hears a whimper from below and remembers there's a bleeding girl just a few inches away from him. She reaches out with a shaky hand and he quietly takes a step back so her bloody fingers fall just out of reach of his white shoe.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] So, uh... you think there's any ambulances around here?

He looks up at Sonya, who appears lost in her gaze.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] Sonya?

It's a long moment before she breaks her trance and looks up at Ziggler.

[ Sonya Deville ] What?


Referee: Tommy Ran | Time Limit: 15:00

Mariah May does her best to feign confidence, but is clearly shaken by the message she received earlier in the night. Nia Jax stands across the ring from her, pounding her fist into her open palm. Ember Moon is at ringside in a leather jacket, pounding on the apron in support of Nia Jax. Tommy Ran calls for the gong and the competitors begin circling one another.

[ Don Callis ] Mariah May is looking uncomfortable in there. I would, too, if I were standing across the ring from Nia Jax-- certified face breaker!

[ Gail Kim ] And Mariah May certainly does have a pretty face. It would be a shame if Nia felt inclined to rearrange it for her.

They tie-up in the center of the ring and Mariah struggles hard against Jax... only for Jax to completely no-sell it and fling her all the way across the ring! Mariah lands in a seated position, a look of shock on her face. She slowly gets up to her knees as Nia Jax advances on her, taking hold of two handfuls of hair. Jax raises Mariah to her feet but Mariah begins throwing elbows back into Jax's mid-section. Jax isn't fazed at all and CLUBS Mariah in the back of the head with a forearm! The impact sends Mariah forward with a somersault!

[ Gail Kim ] Such impact. The power of Nia Jax can not be denied.

[ Don Callis ] And who ever would? Deny it, that is. She's easily one of the most dangerous women to make her way to the island, and she's flanked by the equally dangerous and explosive Ember Moon. I'd like to try and understand the dynamic of that relationship!

Mariah rolls over onto all fours and Jax goes to work, taking Mariah by the hair and throwing her across the ring again, again, and... again! Mariah attempts to rally back but Nia Jax is undeniable, drilling Mariah into the mat with a forward falling slam and then hitting the ropes for a BIG LEG DROP... but Mariah moves out of the way! Jax remains in a seated position as Mariah hits the ropes and nails her with a basement dropkick! Nia Jax rolls to the floor, looking frustrated.

[ Don Callis ] Nia's going to the floor. Let's hope Mariah May isn't stupid enough to follow her. There's no disqualifications and Nia Jax is dangerous enough inside the ring with NO weapons at her disposal!

Mariah comes out of nowhere with a baseball slide that sends Nia Jax into the barricade! Mariah begins peppering Jax with forearms and elbow strikes until Nia comes alive, throttles Mariah with both hands, and TREE SLAMS her into the ring apron! Mariah cries out in pain and Nia forearms her in the chest, causing her to fall to her knees. Jax looks pissed as she grabs Mariah by her top and tights, then throws her under the bottom rope and into the ring. Jax follows her in and Mariah struggles back to her feet, using the ropes with a look of severe pain on her face. Jax advances on her but Mariah charges and dropkicks Nia in the knee! Nia goes down to one knee and Mariah hits the ropes... FLYING OCTOPUS STRETCH! Nia stands up on wobbly legs, struggling against the pressure around her neck. Mariah cranks on the hold!

[ Gail Kim ] The flying octopus stretch, obviously paying homage to yours truly.

[ Don Callis ] I mean, obviously. It looks like she can't quite get all of it, however. Nia Jax has a significant size advantage in this match. It's very difficult to apply submissions on limbs of that size!

[ Gail Kim ] I dare you to say any of that to Nia Jax's face.

[ Don Callis ] I'll pass.

Ember Moon pounds on the apron and Nia roars before spinning Mariah out and dropping her across her knee! Mariah goes down hard, favoring her back! Nia falls back into the corner and posts up, waiting on Mariah to stand. Mariah slowly returns to her feet, visibly in pain. Nia stalks her and cocks her fist. As Mariah May turns around, Nia throws the FACE BREAKER PUNCH but Mariah grabs the wrist and jumps, executing a picture perfect CRUCIFIX PIN-- NO! NIA REFUSES TO GO DOWN!

[ Don Callis ] Look at the power of Nia Jax! She can take Mariah May anywhere she wants!

[ Gail Kim ] Depending on where and how she decides to put her down, this could be the end of the match!

Mariah repositions herself lightning quick and cries out, bringing Nia Jax down with a SUNSET BOMB! She holds on for dear life as Tommy counts! ONE! TWO! THREE!


As soon as the gong sounds, Nia Jax kicks out with force, sending Mariah May flying across the ring. Jax is quickly back to her feet and Ember Moon slides under the bottom rope, standing between Jax and the concerned Mariah.

[ Don Callis ] Mariah May should send Ember Moon a fruit basket for that save.

[ Gail Kim ] How about that? It appears Ember Moon is trying to keep Nia Jax in check.

Nia Jax clearly isn't finished but Ember Moon talks her down and convinces her to leave the ring. Mariah looks like she's been through hell and back as Tommy Ran helps her to her feet and raises her arm in victory.

[ Gail Kim ] Enjoy the spoils of your victory, Mariah. You've certainly earned it.

We fade out on a shot of Mariah favoring her back as she holds her arm over her head.

Britt Baker, DMD.

You could cut her frustration with a knife.

Already in her gear, she wanders the backstage corridors of The Shrine with an irritated look on her face. Her white entrance coat sways behind her as she walks with confidence up to every door she passes and shoves them open dramatically with both hands... only to find nothing.

[ Britt Baker ] Seriously? What the fuck?

She shakes her head, smoldering with anger.

[ Britt Baker ] Does NO ONE work here? Am I the only professional in this whole entire building? I need to speak to someone with--

She cups her hands around her mouth.


The scene she's making is cut-off as a hand enters the shot, holding a cup of coffee with a lid on it. Britt looks at the hand and her eyes follow the arm as the camera pans over to reveal Reba smiling like an idiot.

[ Reba ] I got the coffee you wanted.

[ Britt Baker ] Are you insane? You scared the SHIT out of me, Reba!

[ Reba ] Sorry!

Britt snatches the cup of coffee from her and takes a drink before immediately spewing it straight out in front of her.

[ Britt Baker ] This tastes like pure alcohol.

[ Reba ] No! I knew I'd get the order wrong. I don't speak Japanese--

[ Britt Baker ] No, it's perfect. I need this.

[ Reba ] Yay!

[ Britt Baker ] Don't celebrate. You are literally too stupid to breathe.

[ Reba ] Oh.

Britt takes another drink and makes a face as she swallows.

[ Britt Baker ] Reba, when you were wandering around back here like a big stupid dog who doesn't realize just how destructive it is, slobbering all over everything and knocking over the furniture with its gigantic fat ass, you didn't happen to see anyone in charge, did you?

Reba thinks really hard.

[ Reba ] No, why?

[ Britt Baker ] Why? You want to know why? Because this place is ree-diculous and I want to go home. I did NOT sign up to live indefinitely on a god damn island where nobody speaks English and the only way to get to the nearest Starbucks is to ride on a creepy, rickety old boat to freakin' JAPAN-- which by the way, you can't do because we're forbidden to leave!

Britt blinks, glaring at Reba.

[ Britt Baker ] Is that good enough for you, Reba?

She blinks again.

[ Britt Baker ] Who could possibly enjoy living in these conditions?!

[ Tony Schiavone ] Hey, ladies!

Tony Schiavone walks into the shot in floral print short shorts, flip flops, and a loud Hawaiian shirt.

[ Britt Baker ] Christ on a cracker, Tony! What the fuck are you wearing!?

[ Tony Schiavone ] These are my comfy vacation clothes! This place is great! I might even be inclined to say... this is the greatest vacation in the history of my life!

[ Reba ] Congratulations, Tony!

[ Tony Schiavone ] Anyway, what are you two up to?

[ Britt Baker ] I'm not going over it again. It just pisses me off!

[ Reba ] She wants to leave.

[ Tony Schiavone ] Leave? But this place is awesome!

Britt smolders and shakes her head with disgust.

[ Britt Baker ] It's not like it matters what I want. There's literally no one in charge in this whole piece of shit warehouse or whatever it is. What's this place called again? The fucking Shack?

[ Reba ] I don't think it's--

[ Britt Baker ] The Shack! The inmates are running the asylum and someone needs to put a stop to it! Where's that creepy-ass classroom from the beginning? Where's that old man? I AM A WORLD FAMOUS DENTIST AND I NEED ATTENTION!

Tony takes a few steps past them and looks at the door Britt most recently opened. He jiggles the handle and begins to open it.

[ Britt Baker ] Seriously, Tony, don't even bother. I already looked--

[ Tony Schiavone ] Oh, hi.

[ Britt Baker ] ...what?

Britt peers over Tony's shoulder. Reba peers over the other. Inside the room, they see a man in a yellow three piece suit doubled over a table with both hands planted firmly on it. Between his fingers is a lit cigar. Lines of cocaine and bottles of alcohol are lined up in front of him. He's sweating profusely and his face is bloated and red. He tilts his head back, chewing a mouthful of pills. With the pills still in his mouth, he raises the cigar and puffs on it until his upper body is barely visible from the smoke.

[ Tony Schiavone ] Goodness! I think we found the party, ladies.

[ Reba ] Not gonna lie, I'm kinda' impressed.

The man takes a big drink from one of the bottles and slowly turns his head to look at them, a foamy concoction of alcohol and pills pouring out of his mouth. He uses the back of his hand to wipe his mouth and narrows his eyes. His face becomes even more red.


He points at them with one fat finger, a gold ring with a red jewel atop it.


He lowers his hand and puffs on the cigar again, approaching the trio. He stops right in front of them, sweat still pouring off his face. Britt looks repulsed by the thought of it touching her. He stands nearly nose to nose with Schiavone.

[ Riki Takeuchi ] < I know what this is. Kitano-san sent you to fuck on me. Nobody fucks on King RIKI. I will show Kitano-san. He might be the administrator but I am here for a reason, too! >

He reaches into the back of pants, removes a pistol and hold it up next to his face, then flicks his cigar and grabs a handful of Tony Schiavone's shirt.

Riki Takeuchi ] < HEY! NICE SHIRT! >

He pulls Tony in close.


[ Tony Schiavone ] I have no idea what this guy is saying!

Riki shouts, his eyes bulging until they threaten to fall out onto his cheeks.

Riki Takeuchi ] < LET'S GOOOOOOOOO! >

Riki pulls Tony into the room and shuts the door behind them. Britt and Reba look at one another and then back at the door. Without a single word exchanged between them, Britt turns up her cup and begins downing the entire thing.


Referee: Daichi Murayama | Time Limit: 15:00

Vinny Marseglia and Crazzy Steve are ringside.

[ Don Callis ] Vinny Marseglia and Crazzy Steve are standing by. I wonder if we'll see any involvement from those two tonight, Gail.

[ Gail Kim ] There's no official rule against it but I feel like it would be ill-advised. This competition isn't about them. Best not to involve yourself where you aren't wanted.

[ Don Callis ] Ominous.

The gong sounds and Anna Jay is clearly apprehensive about approaching Rosemary. They inch closer and closer to one another, Rosemary grinning all the while, until they finally tie up and struggle against one another. Anna Jay takes Rosemary over in a headlock but Rosemary bites Anna on the forearm, breaking the hold! Before Anna can even react to the damage done to her arm, Rosemary boots her in the stomach and grabs a handful of hair. Rosemary throws Anna Jay backward into the corner and follows her in with a brutal forearm strike!

[ Gail Kim ] Rosemary is such an unpredictable fighter. The lengths she's willing to go in order to win... to get what she wants... it's almost scary to witness in person. I'm not surprised at all that she was selected to be here.

[ Don Callis ] She has years of experience on Anna Jay but I wouldn't count Miss Jay out just yet.

[ Gail Kim ] Absolutely not. I haven't forgotten, Don... everyone is here for a reason.

Rosemary pounds away at Anna's chest with forearms until Anna comes alive and catches Rosemary in the mid-section with a knee lift! Rosemary staggers back and Anna Jay rushes forward, snatching Rosemary by the hair and throwing HER into the corner! Anna goes wild, kicking away at Rosemary's mid-section until she falls into a seated position. Anna Jay turns and gets a running start, flying KNEES FIRST... into the bottom turnbuckle as Rosemary moves and rolls under the bottom rope!

[ Don Callis ] Rosemary's gone to the floor!

[ Gail Kim ] Does Anna Jay have the guts to follow suit? There's no limit to what Rosemary is capable of, and with the tools at her disposal outside the ring... she can be as creative as she likes.

Rosemary seethes on the floor, grabbing the barricade and staring into the eyes of the mysterious patrons of the Shrine. Eyes wide, she backs up until Anna Jay is able to reach through the ropes and grab her by the hair! She pulls Rosemary back toward the apron but Rosemary wheels around and nails Anna with a big right hand to the side of the head, causing her to fall limp! Rosemary snares Anna around the neck and plants her on the CONCRETE FLOOR with a DRAPING DDT!

[ Gail Kim ] There's just a hint of that creativity. Anna Jay might have just cost herself the victory.

[ Don Callis ] With the way her head bounced off the unprotected floor, she could have cost herself far more than that!

Rosemary sits up, holding either side of her head, and begins shouting "DECAY! DECAY! DECAYYYY!" as Crazzy Steve looks on, a sadistic smile on his face. Rosemary hoists up Anna Jay and tosses her over the bottom rope where she rolls into the center of the ring. Rosemary follows her in and covers but only gets two. There's polite applause from the spectators, impressed by Anna Jay's will to continue. Rosemary snarls and goes to work, pummeling Anna Jay with forearms and right hands before trying to pin her again, only getting two again before Anna bridges out with a shriek of exertion. Rosemary pulls Anna Jay off the mat and nails her with a series of suplexes before planting her with a SKYWARD SUPLEX which again only gets two. Vinny Marseglia is kneeling, peeking over the apron, staring at the action with great intensity.

[ Don Callis ] You can see the concern just etched on Marseglia's face.

[ Gail Kim ] Anna Jay is taking the beating of her life. He has every right to be concerned.

Rosemary goes to pull Anna Jay off the mat again but Anna small packages her out of nowhere for a quick two count before Rosemary powers out and growls angrily. Anna rolls back to her feet and Rosemary feeds right into her, getting knocked down with a clothesline! Anna is on fire now, hitting Rosemary with a boot to the chest as soon as she returns to her feet! Rosemary rolls back to her feet and Anna clotheslines her over the top rope to the floor! Rosemary narrowly misses the crouching Vinny, but manages to land on her feet. She shoves Vinny out of the way, almost knocking him down, and Anna Jay nails her with a baseball slide that sees her land in a seated position against the barricade! Anna Jay follows her out and takes her by the hair, slinging her under the bottom rope. Rosemary scrambles back to her feet and meets Anna Jay coming in with a flurry of stomps to the back. She snatches Anna off the mat and goes for a t-bone suplex but Anna elbows her way out of it, snatches Rosemary's wrist and DRILLS her with an arm twist into a side-kick! Rosemary goes down and Anna Jay quickly ascends the turnbuckles and flies... SHOW-STOPPER! She gets all of it and crawls onto Rosemary, hooking the leg tightly, cinching it! ONE! TWO! THREE!

ANNA JAY via PINFALL in 07:23

Anna Jay rolls off of Rosemary and rests on her knees for a moment, looking like she's been through a war. Vinny climbs into the ring and helps her to her feet, raising her arm in victory with a stern look on his face. Crazzy Steve slinks under the bottom rope and checks on Rosemary, helping her into a seated position.

[ Don Callis ] What a fight. Anna Jay earned every inch of that victory.

[ Gail Kim ] It's an unexpected outcome... but a welcome one.

As Anna Jay nods at what Vinny is telling her, Rosemary finds her footing and approaches from behind. She grabs Anna Jay by the shoulder and immediately sprays BLACK MIST into her face! Anna Jay cries out and goes down flat on her back as Rosemary cackles, shrieking "YOU THINK YOU WON, CHILD!? NOBODY WINS HERE!"

[ Don Callis ] What a revolting move by Rosemary! What IS that stuff?

[ Gail Kim ] Never turn your back on an opponent, Don... especially a defeated one. Anna Jay should have known better than to think Rosemary would just slink back off into the darkness.

Vinny removes his shirt and covers Anna's face as Daichi provides a bottle of water to cleanse her eyes. Crazzy Steve and Rosemary leave the ring, both looking satisfied by Rosemary's parting gift. We fade out on a shot of a concerned Vinny wiping away at the face of Anna Jay with his shirt.




Nikki Cross stands in front of the wall, lightly headbutting it while mumbling to herself... seething. Already in her gear, ready for the main event tonight, she clenches and unclenches her fists over and over. Her eyes are sealed tight, lips pursed... something is clearly bothering her.

[ Nikki Cross ] Noo... noo... Nekkeh wouldn't do that--

She tilts her head to the left... hard. Her neck pops.

[ Nikki Cross ] Nekkeh... Nekkeh--

She pats herself on the chest lightly, forehead resting on the wall.

[ Nikki Cross ] Nekkeh is a GOOD friend.

She takes a deep breath, appearing at ease only seconds before the door to the room opens up and Alexa Bliss walks in, wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Alexa has two cups of coffee in her hands. Nikki turns away from the wall and smiles timidly, greeting her friend.

[ Alexa Bliss ] So, I think this is coffee. No one around here speaks frickin' English and the only girl who tried to help me order was some buttplug dressed like a kitty cat who ALSO didn't speak English.

Nikki scratches her head, looking confused.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Anyway, I'm pretty sure the barista or whatever spit in this one so it's obviously yours.

She hands Nikki the cup and Nikki doesn't even seem to process what Alexa just said because she immediately takes a sip of it. Alexa curls her upper lip in disgust but shrugs it off and takes a drink of her own. Nikki swallows a mouthful of coffee and licks her lips.

[ Nikki Cross ] Lexeh...

Alexa sets her cup down and places her hands on her hips.

[ Alexa Bliss ] What's up? I hope you haven't just been in here acting weird, going through my bags or anything. I already told you, if I catch you smelling my clothes again--

[ Nikki Cross ] Lexeh... Nekkeh... Nekkeh is a good friend, right?

Alexa looks taken aback for a moment, then sneers.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Yeah, sure, psycho.

Alexa rolls her eyes.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Look, we really don't have time for... whatever this is. The more I look around this place, the creepier it gets. I don't know exactly what it is that you've gotten us into... but it's clear that we're gonna have to fight our way out.

Nikki nods, listening intently.

[ Alexa Bliss ] So I need you to focus, okay? We're in the main event tonight. With the level of talent around here, that's a pretty big frickin' obligation. Do you understand that? Does that make sense to you?

Nikki swallows hard and nods.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Good. I need you to be one hundred percent present if this whole thing is going off without a hitch. I don't give two shits about actually being here... Japan? Not that impressive... but the money, the titles, the respect... yeah.

Alexa nods and smiles.

[ Alexa Bliss ] I'm not leaving... without getting my cut.

She scoffs.

[ Alexa Bliss ] I mean, really... you think I'd let you drag me out here for nothing?

[ Nikki Cross ] Nekkeh will do 'er best, Lexeh. I promise ye' that.

Alexa picks up her cup and takes a drink. She looks up at the ceiling, a thoughtful look upon her face.

[ Alexa Bliss ] It's just... this is my chance to show the neckbeards and workrate freaks that I'm more than just a pretty face. I can be...

Alexa holds her hand out in front of her, staring into her palm.

[ Alexa Bliss ] I can be more.


Nikki's eye twitches uncontrollably.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Are you okay? Maybe coffee was a bad idea.

[ Nikki Cross ] Noo, noo, Lexeh.... Nekkeh is fine.


Nikki jams her the heel of her palm into her eye in an effort to get it to stop going haywire. Alexa sighs and takes another drink.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Seriously, Nikki. Get that under control. I need you to be ON tonight.

Nikki nods frantically and then sets her cup down. She turns her back to Alexa and faces the wall, resting her forehead against it once more. She breathes heavily.

[ Nikki Cross ] All good, Lexeh... Ah'll geddit. Nekkeh will be readeh.

Alexa watches Nikki struggle with whatever is going on inside her head, appearing genuinely concerned for a fleeting moment. Alexa sets her cup down and prepares to get dressed for the match, allowing her eyes to linger on Nikki for a moment longer. Cross takes a deep breath.


Alexa goes about preparing her gear, seemingly unaware of her partner's internal struggle.


Exhibition Supplement
Asuka & Kairi Sane versus Suzume & Haruna Neko
Referee: Daisuke Kiso | Time Limit: 10:00

Before the gong even sounds, Kairi Sane rushes the opposite corner and cracks Haruna Neko across the head with her umbrella! Suzume attempts to fight back, pulling Kairi's robe over her head, but before she can land a single blow, Asuka is already on her, pummeling her with brutal forearm strikes until she falls to her knees!

[ Gail Kim ] Those strikes are devastating! Suzume is far too soft to compete with a talent like Asuka!

[ Don Callis ] I must admit, this beating is almost difficult to watch. I heard Shiori Sena was scheduled to team up with Haruna for this bout but an incident on the island earlier today left her unable to compete. She's probably thanking her lucky stars now, am I right?

Kairi sheds her own robe and dumps Neko to the floor. Asuka spins and buzzsaw kicks Suzume's head off her shoulders then points at the turnbuckle. Kairi nods and climbs... and caves in Suzume's chest with the SEVEN SEAS! Kairi sits on Suzume's chest and hooks the leg as Asuka dances and Daisuke counts! One! Two! Three!


Kairi gets up and puts the boots to Suzume, ultimately kicking her under the bottom rope to the floor. Daisuke exits the ring to help Suzume and Haruna to the back, leaving the ring to the Kabuki Warriors.

[ Gail Kim ] You know the Tokyo Joshi Rangers are watching this match.

[ Don Callis ] If they are, I can't imagine what's going through their heads right now.

Kairi and Asuka appear pleased with themselves and parade around the ring, basking in their victory. They smile evilly and begin to dance as we fade to black.

The Dual Wield Championship belts glimmer in the overhead lights.

Hyper Misao and Shin Ultra Shoko watch the match that just unfolded backstage on a black and white monitor that is mounted in the corner of the room like an old classroom television. With Asuka and Kairi Sane still celebrating their dominant win, there's a jolt of static and the monitor shuts off with an audible "thunk" noise. Misao and Shoko look at one another. Shoko scratches her head and looks down at the title belt on her shoulder.

Shin Ultra Shoko ] < Wow, those two look tough! >

Misao puffs out her chest and smiles.

Hyper Misao ] < They are formidable warriors, Shoko-chan. However, Asuka and Kairi Sane are well known enemies of peace of love! >

Shin Ultra Shoko ] < Oh no! >

Hyper Misao ] < That means it is our duty, as the PROTECTORS of peace of love on this mysterious island, to challenge them and show them that their villainous ways-- >

Misao taps her temple.

Hyper Misao ] < --are dumb! >

Misao looks at her championship belt proudly and then back at Shoko, smiling ear to ear.

Shin Ultra Shoko ] < You're right. However, while our dedication to peace and love has guided us to the Dual Wield Championship in our first match, we still have so much more accomplish. You can't be suggesting that we target these potential arch-nemeses so soon, right? >

Hyper Misao ] < Hahaha! Of course not. We will wait and allow the Kabuki Warriors to develop their skills as we develop our own... and then, when we are both at full-power, we will-- >

Misao stops speaking as Sayuri Namba walks into the shot, smiling ear to ear.

Hyper Misao ] < Namba-chan! So good to see you! >

Sayuri bows, still smiling.

Hyper Misao ] < Check out our brand new utility belts! Very nice, yeah? >

Namba nods quickly, appearing very caffeinated.

Shin Ultra Shoko ] < We worked very hard to earn them! >

Hyper Misao ] < Yes, I did! >

Misao throws up a peace sign to the camera.

Sayuri Namba ] < Very impressive, yes! >

Shin Ultra Shoko ] < Thank yo-- >

Misao puts her entire hand over Shoko's face and pushes her behind her.

Hyper Misao ] < Thank you! We will wear them proudly while protecting peace and love on this very mysterious island! >

Shoko lurks behind Misao, holding up two thumbs up.

Sayuri Namba ] < Your win was very impressive. So impressive that I have been sent to reveal your first defense, okay? Are you ready? >

Misao puffs her chest out, hands on her hips. Shoko peaks at Sayuri from beneath Misao's arm.

Hyper Misao ] < Hyper Misao... ALWAYS READY! >

Sayuri turns to address the camera directly, wide-eyed and smiling.

Sayuri Namba ] < In one month, Hyper Misao and Shin Ultra Shoko will defend the Dual Wield Championship against... the Kabuki Warriors! >

Misao and Shoko both look on in surprise.

Sayuri Namba ] < Wow! You two are super unlucky! >

Hyper Misao ] < Hey! That is not fair! We were saving them for last! >

Sayuri begins nodding and bowing as she backs away from them.

Sayuri Namba ] < Sorry! So sorry! Bye! >

Seconds later, she's gone. Misao and Shoko remain. Misao removes her title from her shoulder and looks down at it. She nudges Shoko with her elbow.

Hyper Misao ] < Super unlucky, huh? These babies say otherwise! >

Shoko smiles and nods.

Hyper Misao ] < What does she know-- >

BAM! Hyper Misao and Shoko are blasted from behind by Natsuko Tora and Marika Kobashi! Tora pounds away at Misao's back with two fistfuls of chain while Marika snatches up Shoko's title belt and hits her across the back with it. Shota Umino wanders into the shot, ball gag in mouth. Natsuko unravels the chain from around her fist and whips him across the ass with it. He whimpers and scampers out of shot. Natsuko shakes her head, disgusted. Marika drops the title belt on Shoko's body.

Marika Kobashi ] < Not so funny now, are you?! >

She boots Shoko in the ribs.

Marika Kobashi ] < This isn't over, okay!? >

Kobashi and Tora leave in the direction that Shota wandered off. Hyper Misao writhes on the concrete floor and clutches her championship belt. She crawls over to Shoko, covering her briefly... as she reaches over her to grab the other title belt. She clutches them both to her chest.

Hyper Misao ] < ...Crush Gals, we will get you... but first... >

She shuts her eyes and breathes the words dramatically.

Hyper Misao ] < ...the Kabuki Warriorssssss... >

She falls limp to the floor.


Referee: Tommy Ran | Time Limit: 15:00

Sakisama is standing ringside in her gear, clutching a rose and appearing completely disengaged from what's about to transpire in the ring. Mei Saint-Michel doesn't want to give up her metal platter and Tommy Ran doesn't force her.

[ Don Callis ] Mei Saint-Michel, refusing to give up her shiny silver platter.

[ Gail Kim ] There are no rules in the Shrine, Don. She's well within her right to maintain her weapon of choice. Things like honor or even tag rules in a Dual Wield match... they're at the discretion of the competitors alone.

Once the gong sounds, Kris and Mei meet in the center of the ring. Mei poses with her platter balanced on one hand. There appears to be some playful banter back and forth about whether or not Mei intends to serve any meat on that platter, to which Mei responds by stomping on Kris Wolf's foot and bonking her in the head with it!

[ Don Callis ] What a shot! With Kris Wolf's history of concussions, you have to wonder if Mei Saint-Michel did her research before this match.

[ Gail Kim ] I'd say it's very likely. I'm not saying it's right but it's certainly smart to target your opponent's weak point.

Like a woman possessed, Mei goes to work, driving the edge of the platter into Wolf's ribs and back. Standing up, she stomps away at Wolf and then jumps up and down, celebrating her savagery. Wolf uses the ropes to get up to her knees and then elbows Mei in the mid-section as she approaches from the rear. Wolf gets back to her feet and bounces off the ropes, going for a SHOTGUN DROPKICK but Mei holds up the tray, hoping to deflect it... only to get it kicked right into her face!

[ Gail Kim ] And there's the downside of bringing a weapon to the ring.

[ Don Callis ] Sure, you can use it on your opponent... but they can also use it on you!

Wolf goes for a quick cover but only gets two! Wolf pulls Mei back to her feet and drives her into the mat with a snap suplex. She rolls right back to her feet, keeping her grip on Mei and plants her with a falcon arrow! She covers again, hooking the leg! Mei kicks out at two!

[ Don Callis ] Ruthless combo by Kris Wolf!

Wolf looks frustrated and Mei struggles back up to her knees. She elbows away at Wolf, creating separation. Once she's back on her feet, Mei comes alive and hits the ropes, drilling Wolf with a dropkick to the chest! Wolf goes down and Mei goes to the top rope. Wolf slowly returns to her feet and Mei leaps... FLYING MONGOLIAN CHOP! Mei hops and down, celebrating, and then double stomps Kris Wolf in the chest! Mei covers but Wolf kicks out with force at two!

[ Gail Kim ] The level of ferocity Mei Saint-Michel brings with her to the Shrine is deceiving!

Wolf slowly gets back to her feet and Mei is waiting on her... locking in the full nelson! They struggle over it for a moment before Wolf throws her ass back into Mei's mid-section, sending her backward into the ropes. Mei rebounds and Kris catches her coming off... EXPLODER SUPLEX! Kris Wolf wastes no time in going to the top rope and flying off... with DIVING DOUBLE KNEES! But Mei Saint-Michel grabs her platter and deflects the move, smashing it into Wolf's knees!

[ Don Callis ] You know she's gonna feel that in the morning. That could be the end for Kris Wolf!

[ Gail Kim ] It will be interesting to see if the resilient Kris Wolf can rebound from that.

Mei scrambles back to her feet and instantly covers Wolf with a jackknife pin! One! Two! Thr-- Wolf kicks out! Wolf and Mei both quickly roll to their feet and Wolf throws a haymaker. Mei ducks it and catches Kris around the waist, shoving her forward into the ropes. Wolf's head emerges between the ropes right in front of Sakisama. Sakisama looks disgusted by Wolf and takes a swing at her with her rose... but Wolf ducks it, causing Mei's head to come through the ropes and take the shot! Rose petals go everywhere and Kris Wolf quickly cradles Mei for three!


Wolf releases the cradle and rolls under the bottom rope, celebrating up the ramp. Mei Saint-Michel is quick to her feet, jaw hanging open in surprise.

[ Don Callis ] In the end, it wasn't the silver platter... but the rose that did in Mei Saint-Michel!

[ Gail Kim ] That miscommunication certainly cost Mei the match, but you have to wonder what would have happened if Sakisama had wrestled the match as intended? She has to know she can't just back out of a scheduled match. Every match is booked with a purpose.

[ Don Callis ] I... I didn't think about that but now that you've said it... yes, very curious indeed.

Sakisama rests her elbow on the apron, glaring up at Mei and shaking her head. We fade out on a shot of Kris Wolf falling to her knees on the stage, pumping her fists in victory.


We're outside The Shrine.

The wind rustles the nearby trees.

There's a large iron door with a guard standing on either side of it. Each one is shirtless, wearing baggy black pants and red masks that cover everything but their eyes. They stand with their arms folded across their chests. There's a loud creak as the door is forced open from the inside. Nia Jax storms through the door, still in her gear. She's visibly angry following her battle with Mariah May earlier in the night. One of the guards growls in Japanese.

Guard ] < What the hell are you doing out here? Go back inside with the others! >

Nia Jax turns around, glaring hard at the guard. She begins to advance on him. He doesn't budge at all, but Ember Moon emerges from the open door and stands between Jax and the guard. Jax stops in her tracks but stares the guard down over Ember's shoulder.

[ Ember Moon ] Easy, girl. This ain't it.

Jax clenches a fist and shakes her head.

[ Nia Jax ] That's twice you've got in my way tonight, Ember.

[ Ember Moon ] Hey, I get it. What happened tonight sucks. There's no reason you shoulda' lost to that girl but, hey... that's far from the weirdest thing going on around here. Suck it up, learn from it, and do better next time. Right?

Nia Jax turns her back on Ember and begins walking down a dirt path from The Shrine toward the forest. Ember follows her, looking concerned.

[ Ember Moon ] Where are you going? It's dark as hell out here--

[ Nia Jax ] I know!

Jax turns around at the edge of the trees. Darkness emanates from the forest, creeping, threatening to reach out and grab her. Jax is breathing heavily as she glares at Ember.

[ Nia Jax ] Something is off here, Ember. Can't you tell?

Ember looks up at the sky. The clouds part, revealing the moon.

[ Ember Moon ] Yeah. I can tell.

Jax looks down at her hands and clenches two fists.

[ Nia Jax ] I don't feel like myself. I should be able to crush little girls like Mariah May with no effort. I feel... drained. Like this place is sucking the energy right out of me.

Ember looks away from the moon and back at Jax, confused.

[ Ember Moon ] That sounds a little crazy, Nia. Maybe you should come inside and lie down.

Jax shuts her eyes and gently shakes her head.

"...is cookin'..."

The familiar voice floats away on the wind. Nia Jax perks up, looking around.

[ Nia Jax ] Did you hear that?

[ Ember Moon ] Hear what?

Jax looks around frantically. She mutters under her breath.

[ Nia Jax ] ...dwayne?

[ Ember Moon ] Nia, what are you talkin' about?

[ Nia Jax ] He's out there... he needs my help.

[ Ember Moon ] No one is out there, girl. What are you doing?!

Nia turns and enters the forest, allowing the darkness to consume her. Ember Moon's red eyes go wide. She looks around, seeing if anyone is watching what's taking place. The guards standing nearby make no effort to stop them. Ember shakes her head.

[ Ember Moon ] I'm gonna regret this...

She bites her bottom lip.

[ Ember Moon ] Nia, here I come.

Ember enters the forest behind her. Seconds later, there's no indication that either of them were ever standing there. The wind rustles the leaves and we fade to black.

Her eyes are still burning.

Her flesh is still stained black.

Anna Jay sits in front of a vanity mirror with a wet cloth, wiping at the skin surrounding her irritated, bloodshot eyes. Vinny Marseglia paces around behind her, still shirtless. His eyes are narrowed, teeth clenched. Despite Anna Jay's victory, it's obvious he isn't happy about how things went down tonight. She glares at his reflection in the mirror and sighs.

[ Anna Jay ] Seriously, sit down or something.

She shakes her head as a tear runs black down her cheek.

[ Anna Jay ] You're not making this any better with your pacing and your... mumbling. I won the freakin' match. I won the match and Rosemary did... what Rosemary does.

He stops pacing and places his hands on his hips.

[ Vinny Marseglia ] That's not the point, Slayer.

He approaches her, standing only a few steps behind her.

[ Vinny Marseglia ] We're out here in the middle of nowhere, fighting for something we know absolutely fucking NOTHING about... you win and she pulls that shit? Uh-uh. Not cool, man. I don't think so.

Anna Jay curls her upper lip and drops the wet cloth on the table in front of her. She stands up and faces Vinny, the red around her eyes less evident away from the light of the vanity mirror.

[ Anna Jay ] I've got a feeling this isn't the last time I'll cross paths with Rosemary. It's obvious that she was chosen for a reason... just like me. She'll get hers when the time comes and not a minute before, okay?

[ Vinny Marseglia ] Whatever. I don't like it.

Anna nods, silently agreeing.

[ Anna Jay ] Just go with the flow.

Vinny huffs.

[ Vinny Marseglia ] Yeah.

[ Anna Jay ] Regardless of what happened after the gong--

[ Vinny Marseglia ] What's up with the fucking gong, now that you mention it? Was this whole thing not weirdly stereotypical of a seventies kung-fu movie enough without the fucking gong?

She rolls her eyes and ignores him.

[ Anna Jay ] ...regardless of what happened after the... match.

He smirks.

[ Anna Jay ] I won tonight... decisively. This whole thing is about proving that I am the best in the world. This is about getting noticed--

There's a sound of flapping wings and the familiar screech of a raven.

[ ??? ] And be noticed, you have.

Anna and Vinny both jump, startled by the voice. They whip around and find a man standing in the darkest corner of the room, clad in all black, a black leather jacket dragging the ground behind him as he joins them in the center of the room. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's grizzled features crack as an eerily welcoming smile creeps across his face.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] The Black Company has great interest in you, Anna Jay.

He looks her up and down, a glimmer in his eye.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] ...and your many talents.

[ Vinny Marseglia ] Man, what the fuck? Have you been in here the WHOLE time?!

Tagawa doesn't even spare Vinny a passing glance. His eyes remain locked on Anna Jay.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] We will be watching... very closely.

He glides past them and out the door. It clicks shut behind him. Anna Jay and Vinny look at one another, visibly disturbed by the encounter. She notices something on the floor and kneels down to pick it up. Holding it up between her thumb and finger, the black feather of a raven glistens in the light.

[ Anna Jay ] Vinny... what's going on here?


Exhibition Supplement
Referee: Daisuke Kiso | Time Limit: 10:00

Mark Henry is at ringside in a salmon pink jacket, supporting Belair. Hoshino offers both hands for Bianca to accept but Bianca responds with a shake of her head... and then whips Hoshino across the ribs with her ponytail! The sound reverberates throughout the entire main hall! Hoshino recoils in pain but that doesn't stop Belair from snatching her by the hair and pulling her in for a powerbomb that accordions her straight into the mat!

[ Don Callis ] Itsuki Hoshino's face has been caved in by her own knees!

[ Gail Kim ] Bianca Belair is a force to be reckoned with. What strength!

Wasting no time, Belair doesn't even go for a cover, she pulls Hoshino back to her feet, hoists her onto her shoulders, and plants her head first with a sick, neck drop variation of the K.O.D.! Belair sits on Hoshino's chest while twirling her ponytail as Daisuke counts! One! Two! Three!


Mark Henry climbs into the ring and hoists Belair onto his shoulder as she smiles and twirls her ponytail.

[ Gail Kim ] Bianca Belair is someone we will have to keep a close eye on, for sure.

[ Don Callis ] She completely obliterated poor Hoshino. I'm impressed!

We fade out on a shot of Daisuke pulling the unconscious Hoshino out of the ring by her ankle.


An empty room.

The sound of footsteps.

The room is cold, smooth, and concrete. There's nothing warm or inviting about it. There's nothing inside or on the walls to give you any indication of where we might be. The only illumination is a pale light from somewhere off-camera, its source... unknown. The footsteps are soon accompanied by a menacing chuckle. When the man walks into the center of the room, his very appearance is in stark contrast to the bleak, distant surroundings. Clad in a black three-piece suit, the man wears a purple cape, clasped across his chest with a gold chain gripped tightly in the mouths of two golden lions at each shoulder.

On his head... the ceremonial crown of the Ashanti tribe.

There's a sound of coarse paper on paper as he peels hundred dollar bills off one another, eyeing each one hungrily, noisily licking his thumb after every one or two or three. The smile on his face is one of confidence... arrogance... entitlement. There's a burn scar on his left cheek which looks as though there have been attempts made to correct with surgery.

The attempt was almost successful.


The scars from a past life still remain.

But that's a story for another day.

Prince Nana looks up from his money and into your eyes, his own bulging with glee. Breathing heavily through his nose, he folds the money in his hands and tucks the roll inside his jacket. He takes a deep breath and smiles... his teeth threaten to light the room on their own.

[ Prince Nana ] Ha ha... my mans!

His mouth forms a perfect "o" as he catches himself.

[ Prince Nana ] ...or in this case, WHOA-mans, yeah? HA HA!

He snorts and wipes his nose with fingers decorated with jewel encrusted rings.

[ Prince Nana ] Joke was bad, yes? Let us get down to de' business, then.

He rubs his hands together, burning a hole through you with his bugged out eyes.

[ Prince Nana ] After all, what is Prince Nana if not a man o' de' business, ah?

He licks his lips, the sound of which is wet and loud in the confined space.

[ Prince Nana ] Dis ground on which you stand... dis mysterious island, ah? It promise you many thing! Money, wealth, many prospers and riches! Dis right 'ere be... de' ISLAND OF OPPORTUNITY, MAN! AH!? HA HA!

His voice echoes from every corner of the room.

[ Prince Nana ] Dey say dey bring you 'ere... for a reason! And dat reason, ah? Only you can figure it out... only you can work out de' reason why you were brought 'ere... some o' you may t'ink you know... some o' you may even be right, ah?! But most of you don't! Prince Nana... can not help you dere... Prince Nana... do not know... why you are here!

Nana takes a step forward and the pale light falls away from his face, casting a shadow across his features. His eyes remain fully visible.

[ Prince Nana ] ...but Prince Nana know one t'ing for sure... Nana know dat you are not stupid, is you? Ah? Ah-ah. Prince Nana know betta' dan dat... Prince Nana may not know why girlie is 'ere... but Prince Nana have de' means to HELP 'er find out!

Two shirtless men in baggy black pants and red masks wander into the room, carrying a large purple trunk with African designs painted on it in gold. These men are huge. Their muscles have muscles. They set the trunk on the ground in front of Prince Nana and then leave the room. Nana kneels down next to the trunk and traces along the edges with his fingers, so lightly that it's as though he doesn't want to disturb what's inside.

[ Prince Nana ] Inside dis trunk... 'chu will find de' most wealthiest of currencies in all de' land, ah?! Join me. Stand side by side wit' Prince Nana 'n he will grant you full access... to what waits for you inside dis box... to all o' de treasures Prince Nana has collected in his travels... every... last... bit!

He runs his fingers across the golden padlock on the front of the trunk and smiles.

[ Prince Nana ] 'Chu see, ladies, Prince Nana is also here for de' reason but Prince Nana KNOW why he is 'ere... Prince Nana know, yes... many times in de' service o' de Black Company Prince Nana have spent... years! Prince Nana do many bad t'ing for de' greata' good, ah? But Nana's sacrifice has taught him important t'ing... dere is great powa' 'ere for de' taking and dat is exactly what Prince Nana has set out t' do!

Prince Nana slowly stands upright, rubbing his hands together.

[ Prince Nana ] Prince Nana want one of you to stand beside him... to help him conquer dis island, seize dat powa', and expose de' mysteries therein! Who 'ere is brave enough to embark on dis journey wit' Prince Nana!? Stand up, make your intention known, join me!

He reaches into his jacket and removes a golden, jewel encrusted key. He looks at the key and then down at the lock on the front of the trunk.

[ Prince Nana ] I might just have de' key... to your future.

His smile stretches from ear to ear.

[ Prince Nana ] Forgive Nana for one final joke... this one much betta', yes?

He chuckles and takes a step back into the darkness and the camera slowly pans downward to focus on the trunk in the middle of the floor. What treasures lie inside? What is the true meaning of his offer?

And who is crazy enough to accept it?

Behind the curtain.

Lurking in the deepest darkest corner of The Shrine.

Crazzy Steve is smiling ear to ear as he approaches a cluster of exposed pipes and reaches behind them. He grabs onto something and appears to struggle for a moment before pulling his hands back... clutching Kevin. He tilts his head, looking the inanimate monkey in the eyes.

[ Crazzy Steve ] There you are, Kevin. Where were you, pal?

His smile fades and contorts into a sneer.

[ Crazzy Steve ] Maybe if you had come with us instead of hiding back here among the shadows, the outcome of Rosemary's match would have come out differently!

Sitting with her back to the wall, still in her gear, Rosemary snaps.

[ Rosemary ] Don't blame this on Kevin, Steve.

Her yellow eyes narrow.

[ Rosemary ] Don't you dare.

Her mouth is smeared with the black mist she spewed on Anna Jay earlier tonight.

[ Rosemary ] What happened out there... it was meant to happen.

She shakes her head, frustrated.

[ Rosemary ] We lost before that retched gong sounded.

Steve raises an eyebrow, looking at Kevin with a look of confusion.

[ Crazzy Steve ] That doesn't make any sense--

[ Rosemary ] We can feel it!

She grabs a handful of her hair and pulls it lightly... then harder.

[ Rosemary ] We can... feel it.


Her head snaps toward the direction of the voice.

[ Rosemary ] Courtney's not home right now!

Steve looks around, even more confused.

[ Crazzy Steve ] Who are you talking to? I didn't say anything.

He looks at Kevin.

[ Crazzy Steve ] Did you? No. Kevin didn't say anything either.

Rosemary looks up at Steve, eyes narrowed.

[ Rosemary ] It's strange... there's such a sense of power here. It's like electricity in the air... we want it... and yet, it's not ours to have.

[ ??? ] ...yet.

There's a menacing chuckle from somewhere in the shadows. Rosemary pushes herself up to her feet, still with her back to the wall. Steve holds Kevin close, squinting his eyes to see as best he can in the darkness. From the shadows, Father James Mitchell appears in a crimson red suit, clutching a cane. He wears a Cheshire cat's grin.

[ Rosemary ] What do you want? How dare you breach the inner sanctum of the Hive, Sinister Minister?

[ James Mitchell ] It's been a long time since I've heard that name.

He looks down lovingly at the cane in his grasp.

[ James Mitchell ] But alas, I've had so many.

Rosemary breathes heavily, slowly approaching Mitchell.

[ Rosemary ] We asked you a question.

She stands close enough that she can reach out and boop his nose. And she does.

[ Rosemary ] What... do... you... want?

He continues smiling, feeling no sense of danger at all in his surroundings.

[ James Mitchell ] You really have no idea what you've gotten yourself into, do you? I thought better of the great and powerful Rosemary... but then, I suppose something more powerful than The Hive had to come along eventually.

He shrugs.

[ James Mitchell ] All the ghosts and demons and ancient entities that come and go, it becomes hard to keep track of them eventually.

[ Rosemary ] Nothing is more powerful than The Hive.

Her yellow eyes narrow. A black strand of saliva falls from the corner of her mouth.

[ Rosemary ] The Hive was FIRST.

[ James Mitchell ] You can't possibly believe that.

She looks uncertain. Steve approaches, listening.

[ James Mitchell ] I have such sights to show you.

His smile becomes even more pointed. There's a flicker of flame in his eyes.

[ James Mitchell ] You have so much to learn.

Steve is crouched down, almost shoulder to shoulder with Mitchell.

[ Rosemary ] ...teach us, then.

[ James Mitchell ] With my guidance, the suffering you inflict on this island will be legendary.

She nods, liking the sound of that.

[ James Mitchell ] Even in Hell!

He tilts his head back and laughs. Rosemary laughs as well. Crazzy Steve joins in and the trio's laughter fills the darkened corridors, echoing off the walls, throughout the Shrine. Finally, the laughter begins to die down and Mitchell looks to the side at Kevin, still being clutched by Steve.

[ James Mitchell ] Nice monkey.

He tilts his head back and laughs again.

Rosemary and Steve join in.

Kevin remains silent... because he knows.

Kevin knows everything.

Referee: Tommy Ran | Time Limit: 15:00

Chris Brookes and Dolph Ziggler are ringside for the match.

[ Don Callis ] Well, Vinny Marseglia and Crazzy Steve were able to play nice earlier tonight. Let's see how these two fare, shall we?

Sonya Deville seems amused by Maki Itoh standing across the ring from her, an arrogant type of amusement, bordering on overconfidence. Maki Itoh stands in her corner, a serious look on her face. It's apparent that she knows how important this match is in her plan to become world famous. Tommy Ran signals for the gong and both competitors begin circling one another, neither one taking their eyes off the other. Ziggler smirks at ringside, appearing painfully arrogant, while Chris Brookes seems to genuinely be paying attention to the match, shouting encouragement at Itoh.

[ Gail Kim ] Both of these women know how important this match is. A victory tonight could be critical to their future. How different their backgrounds are, which led them to this point in their lives, is startling.

[ Don Callis ] These two women could not be more polar in their opposites.

They converge in the middle for a lock-up but Sonya executes a go-behind and immediately drops Itoh high on her shoulders with a snap German suplex. Itoh flips over onto her stomach and Deville mounts her, grabbing a handful of hair and drilling her with three crossface strikes before rubbing her face in the mat. Deville stands, a smile on her face, and nudges Itoh in the head with the toe of her boot. Itoh looks up, anger coursing through her veins, and pounds the mat before pushing herself up to all fours. Deville charges at her and goes for a running punt but Itoh sits up on her knees and sweeps Deville, causing her to fall flat on her back!

[ Don Callis ] Sonya Deville might be underestimating Maki Itoh!

[ Gail Kim ] That would be a mistake. Of everyone on the island, Maki Itoh has one of the most unbalanced psych profiles on record. Maybe even THE most.

[ Don Callis ] That's very interesting-- wait, we have psych profiles?!

Itoh quickly mounts Deville and grabs either side of her head... and headbutts her! Deville falls flat and Itoh rises, runs into the ropes and comes back with a FALLING HEADBUTT but Deville rolls to the floor, rubbing her forehead. As Deville converses with Dolph Ziggler, Ziggler suddenly looks up and moves out of the way, leaving Deville to turn around just in time to catch Itoh on a FLYING CROSS BODY to the floor!

[ Don Callis ] Ziggler got out of the way just in time!

[ Gail Kim ] Maki Itoh with the high risk, high reward! She may not have the legitimate fight background of Sonya Deville but she makes up for it with her reckless killer instinct.

Maki Itoh gets up, smacking herself on the sides of her head and then turns to grab Deville. She pulls Deville to her feet and pushes her backward into the barricade. She chops away at Deville's chest until Deville comes alive, snatches Maki by her pigtails, and whips HER around into the barricade. Deville nails Itoh right in the head with four rapid fire BOMBS, almost causing her to tip over the rail and into the front row of well-dressed business men. Deville catches Itoh by her skirt and pulls her back in before planting her with a snap suplex on the unprotected concrete floor!

[ Don Callis ] I don't know how much longer Maki Itoh can keep up with this level of punishment.

[ Gail Kim ] I'm in love with the way Sonya is dissecting her with every blow. This match, combined with what I heard Sonya did to Shiori Sena in the wet market earlier today, makes me believe she has to be a frontrunner for the Muramasa Blade... when the time comes.

The match is all Deville for the next few minutes as she ragdolls Maki Itoh into the rail, the steps, and the apron, all the while peppering her with brutal, punishing MMA strikes, targeting the hard head of the cutest idol wrestler in the world! Deville posts Itoh up against the ring post and throws a big right hand but Itoh ducks it out of desperation, allowing Deville to punch the steel post! Deville looks to be in a great deal of pain as Itoh whips her around, forearms her repeatedly, and then throws her under the bottom rope! Itoh goes to follow her in but Ziggler casually grabs her ankle, keeping her grounded long enough for Deville to descend on her with brutal knee strikes! Chris Brookes quickly makes his way around the ring and confronts Ziggler, the two men getting into a heated shoving match!

[ Don Callis ] They're getting physical!

[ Gail Kim ] Not very smart... not very smart at all. This isn't their battlefield.

Tommy Ran yells at them in Japanese to split it up but while her back is turned, Mizuki hits the ring and climbs the turnbuckles from the outside. Deville and Itoh have fought back to their feet and Mizuki launches off the top rope... only for Deville to move! Mizuki accidentally nails Maki Itoh with a MISSILE DROPKICK!

[ Gail Kim ] And now Maki Itoh has to pay the cost for Mizuki's mistake.

[ Don Callis ] I understand wanting to help your friend succeed in a new environment but she might have just cost her the whole match. It really seems the like the entire world is against Maki Itoh tonight!

Mizuki can't believe it and she turns right around into a roundhouse kick right to the head! Mizuki rolls to the floor! Deville shouts at her to "get the hell outta' here!" but turns right around into a TORPEDO HEADBUTT from Itoh! Deville goes down and Itoh ascends the turnbuckles and flies... FLYING BIG HEAD! Deville rolls out of the way and Itoh lands hard, the impact sending her straight back up to her knees with tears in her eyes! Deville scrambles back to her feet, hits the ropes... SQUARE-UP KICK! She covers Itoh and hooks both legs, cradling her up! ONE! TWO! THREE!


The gong sounds and Deville rolls off of Itoh, backing into a seated position in the corner. She watches as Chris Brookes and Mizuki climb into the ring to check on Itoh. Ziggler climbs onto the apron, conversing with Deville through the ropes, that cocky smirk never leaving his face.

[ Don Callis ] There's your winner of the match... Sonya Deville. She had a little help along the way but she definitely put in the work. What a fight.

[ Gail Kim ] Neither woman should be ashamed of that performance. However, only one of them could win and that woman was The Pride Fighter. We haven't heard the last of Maki Itoh. Her future here in The Shrine runs deep.

Deville exits the ring, looking satisfied with herself. She stands in front of the entrance curtain, knowing she's been in a fight as the camera turns and focuses on Brookes and Mizuki helping Itoh to her feet. We fade out as they try to let Itoh stand on her own, only for her to fall to her knees and begin bawling obnoxiously.



Over the above graphic advertising the upcoming title match, we hear the voices of Gail Kim and Don Callis, speaking about the Spirit of the Ronin Championship.

[ Don Callis ] Another championship to be decided here inside The Shrine. Four women picked completely at random and thrown against one another for the opportunity to call herself a champion.

[ Gail Kim ] It actually is completely random, Don. The Spirit of the Ronin Championship is the brainchild of Riki Takeuchi. Something of a... wild man... he introduced this championship as a way to inject an element of unpredictability into the title scene. Any woman in the world can challenge for the championship. If they win, they remain on the island and collect unheard of wealth, power, and credibility until they're unseated.

[ Don Callis ] And when that happens?

[ Gail Kim ] They go home. Unless, of course, they were already here to begin with.

[ Don Callis ] Interesting concept from the wild and unpredictable Takeuchi-san.

[ Gail Kim ] Wild and unpredictable... such is the nature of Spirit of the Ronin.

We go backstage.

Her tummy rumbled.

Kris Wolf shifted uncomfortably as she made her way toward the unmistakable smell of food. Still beat up from her match with Mei Saint-Michel, Wolf has a bit of a hitch in her step. She leans against the wall of the corridor for a moment and rubs the top of her head... the point of impact from Mei's platter. While her body aches, especially her knees, her head feels... fine. No ringing, no dull or echoing pain... nothing.

[ Kris Wolf ] Weird.

Taking a breath, she continues down the corridor until she finds the source of the smell. A small Japanese girl dressed in white stands behind a counter, chopping away at vegetables with a large knife. Relieved, Wolf approaches the counter. The woman greets her with a warm smile.

Chef ] < Wolf-san. What can I get you this evening? >

[ Kris Wolf ] Meat.

She grins, holding her hands out wide.

[ Kris Wolf ] Lots of it!

The woman looks confused.

[ Kris Wolf ] Oh, sorry.

She clears her throat and then speaks in fluent Japanese.

[ Kris Wolf ] < Meat. All the meat you have. >

The woman's warm smile almost seems like a taunt.

Chef ] < There is no meat here, Wolf-san. >

Kris Wolf looks confused. She smells the air.

[ Kris Wolf ] < I can smell it. You are cooking it right now. >

The chef's eyes narrow and darken.

Chef ] < There is no meat here... for you. >

[ Kris Wolf ] < Are you kidding me? >

Wolf looks around and then back at the woman.

[ Kris Wolf ] < Joke? >

The chef holds up the knife next to her smiling face.

Chef ] < If the wolf wants meat, it must hunt. >

[ Kris Wolf ] Yo, that doesn't even make sense.

She shakes her head.

[ Kris Wolf ] No, it makes sense-- just... what the hell?

The woman holds up a bowl filled with chopped up lettuce.

Chef ] < Salad? Very yummy! >

Wolf sneers.

[ Kris Wolf ] Dude, get that outta' my face.

She turns and walks out of the room, back into the corridor. She seems more shaken by that exchange than from her actual match. With her head down, she walks down the corridor, listening to her stomach rumble in protest until-- WHAM! There's the sound of a body hitting the corridor wall and Wolf moves in to get a closer look.

[ Chris Brookes ] I said I ain't goin' nowhere wit' ya', mate!

Keeping one of the masked guards at arm's length, Chris Brookes pins him to the wall with a hand around his throat. Mizuki stands a few feet away, covering her mouth with both hands. As if she's paying no attention to what's going on, Maki Itoh has fallen to her knees in the middle of the corridor, staring up at the ceiling and ugly-crying with two middle fingers raised.


Another masked guard approaches Brookes from the rear and he whips around, pointing right in the guard's face. The other slouches against the wall, rubbing his throat.

[ Chris Brookes ] I said FUCK OFF!


Kris Wolf approaches the scene apprehensively.

[ Kris Wolf ] What... what's going on?

Brookes looks at her and then back at the guards.

[ Chris Brookes ] What's goin' on is this lot thinks they're gonna escort me to a bloody private room 'cause I stopped Dolph Ziggla' from interferin' in our match! Well, I ain't fallin' for it. This ain't where I die, mate!

The guard continues rubbing his throat, then chokes out some words.

Guard ] < We were escorting your party... to the meal area... following the girl's match. >

[ Chris Brookes ] You what?

[ Kris Wolf ] Sounds like they were trying to feed you.

Brookes swallows hard and then awkwardly straightens out the guard's mask and dusts off his shoulders.

[ Chris Brookes ] That's... um... what I thought he said.

Without another word, the two guards leave in a huff, abandoning their quest to feed the Itoh Respect Army. Mizuki bends over and tries to help up Itoh, causing Itoh to lash out and shove her away.

Maki Itoh ] < Don't touch me! You are supposed to respect me! You are supposed to help me in my quest to become a rich and famous number one idol wrestler! But you SCREWED ME OVER! YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!? FUCK! >

Mizuki looks upset. Itoh points at Kris Wolf.

Maki Itoh ] < But you had no problem winning your match! You got an easy one! What kind of bullshit is that!? FUCK! >

Wolf looks around awkwardly.

[ Kris Wolf ] If you guys are good, I gotta find somethin' to eat... soon.

Without another word, Kris Wolf wanders off-camera, leaving Chris Brookes to tend to Itoh and Mizuki. Suddenly, Itoh launches off the floor, reaching for Mizuki but Brookes catches her around the waist and hoists her onto his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He looks frustrated as he carries her away, shrieking and swearing all the way with Mizuki trailing behind them.

Britt Baker & Reba versus Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Referee: Daichi Murayama | Time Limit: 30:00

Reba stands behind Britt Baker, massaging her shoulders as she stands in her corner, eyeballing Bliss and Cross. Bliss and Cross are conversing, each one smiling as though they know they've got this match in the bag. Bliss and Cross play rock, paper, scissors and Bliss wins, prompting Cross to stand on the apron. Inspired by this, Britt and Reba do the same. Reba wins and jumps up and down but Britt pie faces her back and makes her get on the apron anyway.

[ Don Callis ] It seems clear to me that Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are more focused on the task at hand here, Gail.

[ Gail Kim ] I feel like Alexa Bliss has come here with a clear head, knowing she has something to prove. While Nikki Cross may not be an ideal tag team partner, Alexa knows she has to utilize the tools at hand to succeed. I don't think Britt Baker has grasped that yet.

[ Don Callis ] Work with what you have, not with what you want.

[ Gail Kim ] Exactly.

Daichi sounds the gong and Alexa and Britt meet in the middle of the ring. Britt snaps her fingers and makes Reba bring her a rubber glove. Britt snaps it in place and offers Alexa her gloved hand to shake. Alexa sneers and delivers a loud open hand slap to Britt's face, knocking her on her ass! Britt scrambles to tag in Reba, who charges in full force and dives at Alexa, only to get taken down with a drop toe hold! Reba goes down face first and Alexa mounts her, grabbing two handfuls of hair and rubbing her face into the mat! Nikki jumps up and down, losing her mind... until Britt returns to the ring and viciously boots Alexa right in the back of the head!

[ Gail Kim ] What Britt Baker lacks in teamwork, she makes up for with ferocity.

[ Don Callis ] Britt Baker knew exactly when and where to strike and now the advantage is hers!

Britt kicks Reba in the side to wake her up and begins directing traffic. They both hoist Alexa up and whip her into the ropes. They go for a double clothesline but Alexa ducks it and comes back with a CROSS BODY that takes down both women! Nikki Cross ascends the turnbuckles from the outside and perches on the top rope. Reba slowly gets to her feet, visibly disoriented, and Nikki flies, taking her down with a FLYING SHOULDER BLOCK! Reba sells it like death and rolls under the bottom rope to the floor! Britt and Alexa return to their feet at the same time and begin trading forearms! Alexa takes over with a knee lift and Nikki Cross joins her. They each take one of Britt's arms and whip her into the ropes... but Reba grabs Britt's ankles and pulls her out of the ring!

[ Don Callis ] Reba has rescued Britt Baker!

[ Gail Kim ] I don't know if I'd call it a rescue just yet... there's plenty that could go wrong outside the ring, especially with a wildcard like Nikki Cross involved in the contest.

Britt and Reba both look relieved but then Britt looks up, sees something coming, and... pulls Reba in the way as Nikki Cross flies through the ropes with a SUICIDE DIVE! Reba is down and out but Britt snatches Nikki Cross off the concrete floor and whips her hard into the barricade! Satisfied with Nikki Cross being taken care of, Britt turns around as Alexa Bliss flies off the top rope to the floor with a FLYING CROSS BODY! All four women are down!

[ Don Callis ] Bodies are flying! What a car wreck!

[ Gail Kim ] I told you. Going outside the ring is never the answer.

Alexa returns to her feet, looking fired up. She grabs Britt by the hair and whips her into the ring steps before following her in with DOUBLE KNEES! Britt's head wobbles like it's full of ball bearings and Alexa pulls her back to her feet. She pushes Britt under the bottom rope. Britt rolls to the center of the ring and Alexa goes up top. She prepares to go for Twisted Bliss but Reba climbs onto the apron and snags her ankle! Alexa tries to fight her off but Britt returns to her feet and ascends the turnbuckles, forearming Alexa in the mid-section and bringing her down with a vicious SUPERPLEX!

[ Don Callis ] What an impact! It's safe to say that Britt Baker knows what's at stake in this match!

[ Gail Kim ] This is a very important match. For these two teams to be chosen for the first main event, you have to believe that there's a plan in place for them. All eyes are on this match tonight!

Britt covers! ONE! TWO! Alexa kicks out! Britt uses Alexa's momentum to trap her arm and goes for LOCKJAW but Alexa refuses to open her mouth, turning her head as far as it will go out of Britt's reach! As Alexa struggles, Nikki Cross dives through the ropes and tackles Britt off of her! Britt rolls back to her feet and immediately knees Cross in the stomach before nailing her with a big forearm to the head. Nikki retaliates with a forearm of her own before headbutting Britt right in the face! Britt staggers back into the ropes and Nikki charges at her! Britt dodges and Reba comes out of nowhere to pull the top rope down! Nikki tumbles over the top rope to the floor but lands on her feet and immediately grabs both of Reba's ankles... pulling her down off the apron and behind the apron skirt! With her lower body trapped, Nikki Cross goes to town, demolishing Reba with a flurry of forearms! Reba collapses behind the skirt, finished!

[ Don Callis ] Nikki Cross is a wild animal!

[ Gail Kim ] That attitude will likely take her very far here.

Nikki Cross rolls under the bottom rope and Britt immediately begins putting the boots to her before pulling her up off the mat and delivering a fisherman's neckbreaker! The impact leaves Nikki Cross in a seated position and Britt wastes no time in smearing her make-up with a SUPER KICK right to the face! Cross rolls to the floor and Alexa Bliss whips Britt around booting her in the stomach and going for a DDT... but Britt rushes forward, posting Alexa in the corner. Britt punches away at Alexa until she falls into a seated position. Britt begins stomping a mudhole and walking it dry before pulling Alexa out of the corner and planting her with the BAKER BUSTER! She covers! ONE! TWO! THR-- NIKKI CROSS MAKES THE SAVE!

[ Gail Kim ] That very well could have been the end, if not for Nikki Cross.

Britt sits up, visibly losing her shit, and mounts Nikki Cross, punching away at her head. She stands and pulls Nikki up behind her. With a hold on her wrist, she goes for the RAINBAKER but Cross ducks it and executes a go-behind! Cross goes for a German suplex but Britt elbows out of it! Britt goes for the RAINBAKER again but Cross manages to duck it one more time! Go-behind! GERMAN SUPLEX! Britt rolls right back to her feet and Nikki Cross turns right around into a SUPER KICK! Cross is staggered but doesn't go down! Reba returns to the ring and charges at Nikki Cross but Cross falls out of the way and Reba accidentally SPEARS BRITT BAKER! Baker falls to the outside and Nikki Cross returns to her feet. She whips the confused Reba around... KICK! THE PURGE!

[ Don Callis ] Britt Baker is out of commission thanks to her own partner and now that same partner has fallen victim to The Purge!

[ Gail Kim ] I don't see any way out of this one, Don-- wait, Alexa Bliss is going up top!

Reba is flat out unconscious! Alexa Bliss goes to the top and flies... TWISTED BLISS ON REBA! ONE! TWO! THREE!


The gong sounds to signal the end of the match. Alexa sits up and appears to have a nosebleed from landing face first on the Baker Buster. Nikki Cross dives onto Alexa, hugging her on her knees.

[ Gail Kim ] What a match. What an impressive victory for Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.

[ Don Callis ] Britt and Reba really let it all hang out, but in the end it was the superior teamwork that won out.

Britt Baker lurks at ringside, peering over the apron into the ring at Reba. She shakes her head in disgust and leaves up the ramp without her. Daichi eventually helps Reba to her feet and out of the ring where she trails up the ramp behind Britt like a lost puppy dog.

[ Don Callis ] Britt Baker, clearly not happy with that outcome.

[ Gail Kim ] Why would she be? She was taken out by her own partner, humiliated in her first main event... THE first main event in this company's history. She has every right to be upset. Either way, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross have done it. They have pulled out the win and you have to believe this win has put them on the map.

[ Don Callis ] Oh, absolutely.

[ Gail Kim ] I think it's safe to say... all eyes will be on Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross going forward.

Inside the ring, Nikki Cross raises Alexa's hand in victory, shouting "WE DID IT, LEXEH! WE DID IT!" Alexa smirks, soaking it all in. With her free hand, she reaches up and wipes the blood from her nose. Breathing heavily after a hard fought match, her smile stretches even further when she sees the bright red color on her fingers.


The library is dim.

Shadows dance against the rows of books.

The room smells... old. It looks old. That's because it likely is... older than we can even comprehend. A lone woman walks from shelf to shelf, well-dressed with her head held high. She places books on the shelves, occasionally removing one to wipe dust away with a cloth before replacing it. Her blue hair is painfully out of place in the ancient room.

Leva Bates doesn't know how long she's been here.

She just feels like she always has been.

She goes about her duties in the poorly lit room, organizing the books, shining the trophies and treasures, and ensuring that the candles remain lit at all times. The room should always be ready. She's less of a librarian... more of a curator. Her eyes light up, as they always do, when it's time to give attention to the artifacts in the room... the spoils of war, the prizes of days gone by, now forgotten to time... or something more... something worse. She shakes her head and adjusts her glasses, finding herself again after becoming entranced by the forbidden nature of it all--


Caw! Caw!

She barely pays any mind to the raven which flies into the room. It lands on the arm of a leather couch, and as we focus on Leva Bates placing another book on the shelf, we hear a flurry of flapping wings and a screech. A single black feather floats into the shot and lands on her shoulder. She removes it gently with two fingers and places it inside the front cover of the book she's holding. She touches the front cover lovingly and places it on the shelf. There's a commanding voice from just off-screen.

[ ??? ] It has begun.

She glances over her shoulder as Mr. Tagawa walks into the shot, clad entirely in black. He looks around the room, stoic pride on his face... and for a moment, you would swear his eyes were completely black as well. His footsteps echo in the chamber. As Leva places another book on the shelf, she turns toward him and finds his back to her. She speaks.

[ Leva Bates ] Do you think--

She catches herself and places the back of her hand against her lips, clearing her throat.

[ Leva Bates ] Is... is it possible that it will turn out differently this time?

With his back turned to her, she doesn't see the half-smile that begins to form on his face.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own... that you can not possibly imagine it. In many forms since the dawn of time, this has all happened before... it will all happen again.

She averts her eyes, picking up another book and dusting it off.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] Would you like to hear a story, Miss Bates?

She places the book on the shelf and looks at Tagawa, not answering him verbally.

"I assure you... it has a happy ending."

She picks up another book and clutches it tightly to her chest. She offers a gentle nod as we slowly fade out into a shot of competitors arriving on the island, stepping off the boat. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, taking in their surroundings with looks of confusion... apprehension. Mariah May placing a hand on her chest, feeling her heart pound with excitement. Hyper Misao and Shin Ultra Shoko watching with looks of glee as their boat burns behind them, smoke billowing against the night sky. Kris Wolf smiling ear to ear... Anna Jay and Vinny Marseglia giving one another a look, telling the other without words that something is wrong here.

"It is... a simple story... a story about a group of women, who were filled with darkness... as all women are. Wrought with darkness and despair... a penchant for violence... why, you ask? Hmm. They do not know a better way... because what are they, but human?"

Britt Baker and Reba appear behind the curtain following their main event match. Reba is favoring her mid-section. Britt glares at her through narrowed eyes. You can hear a pin drop. It is as though no one else is backstage at all. Reba looks at her, tears in her eyes.

[ Britt Baker ] Don't. Don't even LOOK at me, Reba.

Reba quickly averts her eyes.

[ Britt Baker ] If you start crying, so help me GOD, I will strangle you to death.

"They followed a man... who was very powerful.
He vowed to show them a land of promise.

Kris Wolf stands in the tree line and stares into the forest. The darkness is unlike any she's ever witnessed. She knows her eyes have to be playing tricks on her... because darkness doesn't move and pulse... and seep. Her stomach growls... the need for meat is strong. She looks up at the sky and sees the moon. She wonders how a moon so full and bright can't illuminate the forest in front of her at all.

"He did not tell these women what truly awaited them."

In their room, following the event, Shin Ultra Shoko has fallen asleep on her bed, cradling her half of the Dual Wield Championships. Hyper Misao remains awake, wearing her mask and cape with pajamas. She poses with her championship in front of a cracked mirror, smiling ear to ear.

[ Hyper Misao ] < Look out! Here comes Hyper Misao! >

She gives herself a big thumbs up in the mirror.

[ Hyper Misao ] < Coming to get you, Kabuki Warriors! >

As the words leave her mouth, she begins to creep toward Shoko's bed and successfully pries the title from Shoko's grasp without waking her up. Misao falls backward onto her own bed, holding both titles tightly, grinning madly as she fades into sleep.

"He did not warn them about the dangers which lie in front of them."

We hear the lash of leather on flesh. Shota Umino cries out around his ball gag as Marika Kobashi steps on his back, forcing him to lie flat on the concrete floor. She shakes her head in disgust. There's a sound of a hammer going to work and then we see it... Natsuko Tora pounding nails into a baseball bat. With her face streaked red with war paint, she holds the bat up and looks at it with a sinister smirk.

[ Natsuko Tora ] < Fun. >

Marika Kobashi approaches her from behind, placing her hands on her shoulders. She smiles evilly as her eyes fall upon Natsuko's new weapon.

[ Marika Kobashi ] < Hey, cool bat! Very pointy! Just right for Misao's stupid head! >

"He did not warn them... because he, too, was consumed by darkness."

Mariah May sits on the edge of her bed, scrolling on her phone, still distraught over the lack of service. The note she received earlier tonight rests on the nightstand. The ink has run and the parchment is now marked by water. She tosses her phone next to it and glares at the note. She picks it up and looks at it again, reading over it... mumbling the words. She places the note back on the table and lays back on her pillow, staring at the ceiling.

"Secretly... he was more consumed by darkness than any of them."

Ember Moon makes her way through the forest, hearing Nia Jax in front of her. Ember feels as though Nia should be close enough for her to see but... the darkness doesn't allow her to. Ember pushes forward in search of her friend and suddenly walks into a clearing. The moon illuminates the clearing in such a way that it's impossible for the rest of the forest to be so dark. Nia Jax is seen several yards away, struggling with something against a tree. She looks over her shoulder and sees Ember Moon.

[ Nia Jax ] Get over here and help me!

Ember approaches and realizes what Nia Jax is struggling with... there's a woman tied to a post in the middle of the clearing. Nia rips the rope free and the woman falls to the ground, breathing heavily. Nia kneels down next to her and Ember joins, immediately recognizing the woman as Eve Torres.

[ Ember Moon ] I don't understand, how did she get here? How did you know she was out here?

Nia looks at Ember, shaking her head, genuine fear on her face.

[ Nia Jax ] I-- I don't know.

"But still, they followed him."

Classical music wafts down the corridor, pouring forth from an old time phonograph. Sakisama has changed from her gear and into a flowing black robe, though she's still clad in her shoulder length gloves and black hat with its large and dramatic black feather. She sighs loudly and looks down at the rose in her gloved hand.

Sakisama ] ~ What an uneventful evening. ~

Mei Saint-Michel walks into the room, a glowing smile on her face. She bows and offers Sakisama a glass of wine on her silver platter. Sakisama takes the glass and holds it lackadaisically, not bothering to take a drink.

Sakisama ] ~ The competition here is very lackluster. I thought the promise of money and power would lure more desirable opponents... but alas. ~

Mei pouts, looking sad on behalf of Sakisama.

Sakisama ] ~ Mei, inform Monsieur Kitano that I will not be competing next month either. I am exhausted by the lack of excitement here. I will spend my time picking chestnuts instead. ~

Mei nods quickly but looks concerned when she hears three distinct thumps on the door. Sakisama raises an eyebrow, tilting her head back and staring down her nose at the door. She nods at Mei, and Mei reluctantly walks to the door. Gripping the knob, she opens it slowly and quietly... only to find an envelope sealed with wax. Mei picks up the envelope and looks it over, noticing the letter "A" stamped into the wax. She shuffles back to Sakisama and bows, holding the letter out. Sakisama looks offended.

Sakisama ] ~ How would you like me to read this? X-ray vision? ~

Mei retracts the letter and removes a sharp blade from her apron. She cuts the envelope open delicately without breaking the seal. She removes the letter inside, unfolds it, and hands it to Sakisama. Sakisama looks over it and her stoic nature threatens to falter... just a bit.

"Your matches are your own. Fight and win. Do not disappoint me."

Sakisama places the back of her hand to her forehead and falls onto her bed. Mei snaps into action, fanning her with both hands.

"They followed him... to the end of the earth."

Sitting in her room following the event, Sonya Deville hears a thump just outside her door. Raising an eyebrow, she stands and approaches the door. Standing just in front of it, she places her ear to the door just as someone on the other side knocks loudly, startling her. With her heart pounding out of her chest, she whips the door open and sees no one standing there. She looks both directions down the corridor... and then looks down to find a small black trunk.

[ Sonya Deville ] What the... fuck?

She kneels down in front of the trunk and pops the latch before raising the lid. Her eyes widen as she sees it's filled with Gold Dragons. She reaches out, her hand trembling a bit, and is almost touching them when she hears a voice.

[ Dolph Ziggler ] Holy shit.

Ziggler approaches in his white slacks and pink shirt. He kneels down on the other side of the trunk. He reaches down and goes to grab one of the coins but Sonya slams the lid shut, almost catching his fingers. He looks at her, surprised.

[ Sonya Deville ] Winners only.

She grabs the trunk and takes it inside, closing the door behind her. Ziggler runs his hand through his hair and smirks before strutting down the corridor, shaking his head.

"What they found when they arrived was not what they expected."

Dark and dreary and wet.

Rosemary and Crazzy Steve rest on their knees on the concrete floor, their foreheads pressed together. They stare into one another's eyes, smiling evilly. Together, they say one word over and over, becoming louder and more forceful.

"Decay! Decay! DECAY!"

Standing just outside the room, James Mitchell holds Kevin and scratches him just underneath the chin, a grin stretched across his face.

[ James Mitchell ] Pain and pleasure... indivisible.

He looks down at the monkey, cupping his ear as if to listen.

[ James Mitchell ] Oh, I know. It sounds like fun to me, too!

He cackles.

"The women had been deceived. Upon seeing the gate to the so-called promised land... and what lay behind it... they would not dare enter... because they knew it would be their end."

A lamp crashes against the wall. Maki Itoh cries out in frustration.

[ Maki Itoh ] < Fuck! Fuck! It isn't fair! Fuck! >

Mizuki sits against the wall, just outside the door to Maki Itoh's room. She looks uncomfortable. Chris Brookes leans against the doorway as Itoh has a complete meltdown, trashing her room before falling to her knees and crying out to the heavens above.

[ Maki Itoh ] < I will not fail! Not again! You can not stop me! I will become a NUMBER ONE WRESTLER! >

"The women waited there at the gate for a very long time. They waited for a sign that it was safe to enter... but the sign... it never came... because it would never be safe for them to enter. Their doom would always await them beyond the gate... but there was no going back."

Anna Jay's head pounds as she leans on the sink, both hands planted on either side of it. A dull, throb that doesn't hurt so much as it... just is. Her hair hangs down in her face. She takes a deep breath and uses one hand to brush the hair out of her eyes. She almost shrieks when she sees her reflection... because the black mist is back, covering her features... but thicker, running down her face-- no... out of her eyes. She turns away and staggers into the main room, falling to her knees. Vinny Marseglia runs to her and falls to his knees in front of her.

[ Vinny Marseglia ] What's going on?! What's wrong?!

[ Anna Jay ] My eyes! It's coming out of my eyes!

She's breathing heavily, like she can't catch her breath. Vinny brushes the hair out of her face and looks at her, confused. With his thumb, he rubs beneath both eyes and then looks at his hands. She looks up at him, panicked.

[ Vinny Marseglia ] There's... nothing there, slayer.

She touches her face and looks down at her hands... nothing.

"...because their path had vanished behind them."

The water is calm.

Nikki Cross stands on the dock, staring out over the ocean. There's a heavy mist all around. She mumbles to herself... and then tilts her head to listen. She mumbles again in response before giving her hair a sharp tug. She jumps nearly a foot in the air when she hears the voice behind her.

[ Alexa Bliss ] What the hell are you doing out here, Nikki? I've been looking everywhere.

Nikki doesn't say anything, just shaking her head and looking out into the mist.

[ Alexa Bliss ] I thought I heard you talking to someone.

[ Nikki Cross ] Noo, noo... Nekkeh weren't talkin' t' no one.

Alexa huffs.

[ Alexa Bliss ] You know I don't like it when you start acting weird.

Nikki lowers her head, looking down at the wood beneath their feet. Alexa looks out over the dark water, into the mist herself. She can't see anything further than a few feet out. Alexa steps out past Nikki, almost standing right on the edge of the dock. She seems to be in awe.

[ Alexa Bliss ] Would ya' look at that, Nikki?

The corner of her mouth twitches, she struggles to smile.

[ Alexa Bliss ] It's like the rest of the world doesn't even exist.

Mr. Tagawa stands silently for what feels like forever. Leva shifts uneasily where she's stood the entire time. When it becomes apparent that he isn't going to continue, she speaks with an unsure tone.

[ Leva Bates ] What-- what happens next?

He raises an eyebrow and turns his head slightly.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] With no further option, the women took their final step toward destruction.

Leva swallows hard and bites her bottom lip nervously.

[ Leva Bates ] ...and then?

Tagawa smiles a knowing smile.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] ...and then Onibaba destroyed them all.

His voice swells with pride.

[ Mr. Tagawa ] See... I told you it has a happy ending.