Two knights strode into the throne room of Fruitstadt, the great capital of the scenic, yet diabolical nation of Fruitsylvania.
The opulent throne room stretched out across a large hall. A red carpet went from the door leading to the rest of the castle all the way to the throne. Tapestries lined the walls, each emblazoned by the official symbol of Fruitsylvania – a blackberry in the clutches of an iron fist. The large throne, much bigger than any single man should sit upon, was constructed out of golden and silver championship belts. The chandeliers hanging over the throne room lit the whole room up in torch fire. Next to the throne, two large tables were surrounded by other, unruly knights. Many of them were becoming increasingly drunk, as unruly knights often did.
One of the two knights, Sir Fontaine, stood more than a head shorter of the massive Sir Phillips. They both wore armor, but Sir Fontaine chose simple leather armor that emphasized mobility, while Sir Phillips wore heavy plate armor and had a huge sword strapped to his back in the literal shape of a torpedo. He also wore a helmet with a visor on it.
The king sat upon his throne.
His massive crown was nearly as big as his head, and made out of gold and velvet. It seemed to stay on his head only through the powers of spite, as it would appear that any minor head movement would make the thing fall right off. There’s also the trivial fact that half of his head was a blackberry, and he was shirtless underneath his cape and lab coat. By his throne were two shapely women, both of whom also had blackberries on their head.
Once the two knights stood before the throne, they knelt before their king.
“THOU HAST PERSERVERED WELL TO REACH MY THRONE!” the king shouted, his voice echoing throughout the cavernous hall.
Sir Phillips lifted his visor, wincing as though he had to hear the proclamation from within an echo chamber.
“Your Excellency, would you kindly not shout so loud? We’re standing right here.”
There was a long, hushed silence after Sir Phillips’ request. Every head now turned to the pair of knights standing before their king. After all, the first words out of his mouth were a challenge to the king. Any further disrespect, and every knight in the hall would descend upon the pair with their many weapons.
As Sir Fontaine’s eyes met the knights, he saw their armaments. One knight had an array of kendo sticks all tied together into one extra big kendo stick. One knight carried a flail, with the flail head looking like a ring bell. One knight had an entire folding table strapped to his back. One particularly huge knight had two aluminum garbage cans, which he carried as though they were boxing gloves.
It could be a bad scene, so Sir Fontaine elbowed Sir Phillips in the ribs.
Sir Fontaine was the next to speak.
“Your Excellency, we have journeyed far throughout the lands to reach your throne,” Sir Fontaine, “We are on a quest, you see, and you are a known giver of quests.”
The King of Blackberries stroked a beard that wasn’t actually there as he considered Sir Fontaine’s quest. Indeed, the King of Blackberries, who came from a distinguished and long line of other Blackberries going back generations, was a known giver of quests. His quests ranged from the mundane to the farcically impossible, depending on his ever-changing mood.
“You, who have traveled so far, heed my words!” the King decreed, “To west, beyond this scenic, yet diabolical nation of Fruitsylvania, lies a vast and prosperous kingdom. The Colton Midlands. Therein, you shall discover terrible enemies to my kingdom, and to the stability of all of the PRIMElands. Thou shalt go forth and slay thy enemies, rescue at least three princesses, and return henceforth for a place in my scenic, yet diabolical kingdom!”
“Wow, three whole princesses?” Sir Fontaine asked.
“Verily,” the King confirmed, “It is so.”
Sir Fontaine smiles to his heavily armored counterpart, “Hear that, buddy? We don’t have to bring back only half of a princess this time.”
“Thank the wrestle gods. That got real messy,” Sir Phillips confirmed.
“So, Your Excellence, who’re these terrible enemies you’re speaking of?” Sir Fontaine asked.
The King raised his hands and clapped loudly twice. The two blackberry maidens left his side, coming towards the two knights with a pair of wanted posters. Drawn upon them were crude visages most terrible. Because true art of the King of Blackberries could only be appreciated, not comprehended.
“Lord Nathaniel Colton, son of the great King Colton, has become a powerful wrestle wizard in a short amount of time. His powers are at the apex of the Colton Wizarding School. However, we believe that he’s seeking a forbidden spell to bring the surrounding kingdoms to heel… the Miracle Chaos Annihilation Suplex!”
The moment those words left the King’s mouth, a pall fell over the entire hall.
Then one of the knights exclaimed, “Holy fucking shit!”
“That’s fucking insane!” Sir Fontaine chimed in.
“Great Wrestle Jesus!” another knight added. “We’re doomed!”
The raucous ruckus continued abated until the King of Blackberries shouted, “SILENCE!”
Everyone fell silent at the king’s decree.
“Verily, it is so,” the King of Blackberries proclaimed, “We stand before the brink of annihilating suplexes of annihilation.”
“That’s like a double annihilation!” Sir Fontaine said.
“Indeed. And he is not alone. He is in league with a powerful lich.”
“Oh no! Not a lich!” shouted one of the knights in the room. This knight, armed as he was with a sword whose blade was shaped like the world’s least practical metal folding chair, looked particularly spooked. He also looked suspiciously like Beef, but don’t worry about that.
“Sweet Wrestle Jesus!” another knight with a mace that had a carving of Melvin Beauregard’s head on top of it shouted, “We’re all dead!”
Once again, a pervasive panic overcame the halls of Fruitstadt.
“SILENCE, YOU FOOLS!”
And once again, the King of Blackberries shut it all down.
“A lich, Your Excellency?” Sir Phillips asked. “What’s that?”
“FOOL!” the King shouted, “A lich is a wrestle wizard that has forsaken his very soul to obtain even greater power! But losing thy soul means losing thy understanding of the human heart. Insanity soon follows! This lich in particular has been abducting people for his cruel wrestle experiments. The most sadistic, torturous submission holds ever devised by a wrestle wizard could come only from the cruelty of Filmix the Unconquerable!”
The moment that name left the King’s lips, a new panic gripped the halls of Fruitstadt.
“No! Not Filmix the Unconquerable!” shouted one knight, who carried nunchakus made from attaching a chain to the ends of two microphones and happened to look like the spitting image of El Janito, “He can’t be conquered!”
The panic subsided.
“Indeed, it is so,” the King of Blackberries said. Then he turned to Sirs Fontaine and Phillips, and asked, “Whilst thou accept this quest, knowing the danger?”
“We do.” Sir Fontaine said.
“Dude.” Sir Phillips said. “I don’t know about this.”
“No, we got this! We’re handsome, we’re cool, and we’re no slouches at wrestle wizardy. The best part? There’s no mannequins this time!” Sir Fontaine declared, smiling confidently as he said this. “Three whole princesses, coming right up!”
“Then so be it! Go forth! Become the gale of revolution against the nefarious Lord Colton and the sinister Filimix the Unconquerable!” the King of Blackberries declared.
And so, our brave heroes went to do just that.
It was only halfway out of Fruitstadt that both knights were bewildered on how one could be a “gale of revolution” against just two guys. They decided not to put any further thought into the ramblings of an insane blackberry king.
The journey to the Colton Midlands was a long and perilous one for our brave heroes.
They first had to cross the deadly Rolling Rock Canyon. There, they battled a deadly skeleton band and their evil mannequin soldiers, which brave Sir Fontaine battled very bravely and without and girly screams. Sir Phillips cast his powerful powerbomb spell, and laid those skeletons and evil mannequins to rest.
Then they entered the Tomb of the Sacred Jigsaws in order to reach the other side of a perilous mountain. There, they had to solve the tomb’s many puzzles. They had to overcome the stabbing sorceries of the undead elven punk rock wrestle witch, Ria Nightshade. They had to overcome the infernal winds, which threatened to undo all of the progress they made on the puzzle. And they also had to fight more evil mannequin soldiers.
When they had successfully solved the puzzles, they passed through the Tomb and wound up in the Feast of Duke Beauregard, a yearly festival and eating contest. The brave heroes partook in the festivities, unaware that a nefarious and evil mastermind was poisoning the contestants! Despite Sir Fontaine getting poisoned, Sir Phillips was able to save the day and escape from the Feast with his companion in tow, dispatching more of their enemies with his potent powerbomb spell. Also, they had to fight more evil mannequin soldiers.
Before their brilliant escape, Sir Phillips encountered the swamp wizard, Rezinopunk, who provided him with a strange talisman to guide him on his way.
After their daring escape from the Feast, the brave heroes came to a humble village, which sought to complete a ritual that would protect their village from the hordes of evil mannequin soldiers that attacked their farms with their horrible Destroyer spells. Knowing they couldn’t simply leave the villagers to the fiends, the heroes sought out the items that they needed. They had to negotiate for the Jeweled Owl of Disapproval from a ludicrously powerful and temperamental wrestle witch in the region. They had to do battle with a humble, yet nefarious glue prospector for the Totem of Unspeakable Superkicks. There was banana pudding. When they returned, they found the village being overrun by evil mannequin soldiers. That wasn’t very cool, so they definitely fought those, too.
After saving the village from the mannequins and helping them complete their protection spell, the heroes made their way to the most ominous obstacle standing between them and the Colton Midlands.
This being the dreaded Labyrinth of Blind Rhine.
The labyrinthine labyrinth swallowed all light that tried to pierce through it. There was said to be a one-eyed minotaur wandering the blackened halls of the labyrinth, hefting an axe made of steel folding chairs, the most deadly material in all of wrestle wizardry. The skeletal remains of those who attempted to brave the horrors of the labyrinth cluttered the floors. The smell of death was like an ominous cloud wafting through the corridors. It compelled those of weaker bravery to flee. The very thought of continuing was an insanity beyond the wildest dreams of all but the bravest heroes.
Yet, Sir Fontaine and Sir Phillips pressed deeper into this nightmare.
But all that awaited them was tragedy.
Sir Fontaine was swallowed by the darkness, and the only thing Sir Phillips could hear other than the screams of his friend were the mooing of a demonic bull. Alone, now, Sir Phillips could do little but press on through the death and the darkness. When he finally saw the light of the exit, he could do nothing but weep at the loss of his friend.
Only, it wasn’t the exit.
He’d escaped the Labyrinth, but only by returning the way he came.
It had been all for naught.
Just when all seemed lost, a traveling wizard appeared before Sir Phillips. His wizard’s hat was enormous. Like, you could land a plane on that thing, sir, what are you doing? He had features that Sir Phillips found familiar, like the short black hair and the serious, steely blue eyes.
However, he couldn’t place a name on it.
“I say, good sir, are you okay?” the wizard asked.
“No, sir, I am not okay,” Sir Phillips said, “I lost my friend in the Labyrinth of Blind Rhine.”
The wizard cast a glance towards the Labyrinth, and then returned his gaze towards Sir Phillips.
“Ah. Not all is lost, you know. A path remains for you to reach your destination. You need only to visit my tower,” the wizard said. He cast a knife-edged chop at the air, and clouds parted in the distance, revealing a splendid ivory tower. The top of the tower had a glass dome, which refracted rainbows from the sunlight.
When Sir Phillips turned to look at the wizard, he was gone.
And so, Sir Phillips, with little else to do, journeyed to the tower.
When he arrived, the wizard greeted him and gave him room and board.
The following day, the wizard told him of the path he must take to reach the Colton Midlands. He told them that the path through the Punk Wildlands would be extremely dangerous to undertake with only a powerbomb spell at his disposal. When the wizard noticed the talisman held by Phillips, delivered to him by the Rezinopunk, he offered to instruct Sir Phillips the spell to counter the Miracle Chaos Annihilation Suplex.
This counterspell, dangerously unstable in of itself, was called the Exploding Cyclone Homicide Driver.
In order to learn this spell, Sir Phillips had to let go of his single-minded pursuit of the purest and full mastery of the powerbomb, if only for a moment. To allow a second spell to invade the purity of his first and only one. His pure mastery to turn everything into a powerbomb could be lost, but he would have the power to overcome Lord Colton’s potentially cataclysmic spell.
Noble Sir Phillips accepted this, knowing it was the only way forward.
And seven days and seven nights passed as Sir Phillips gained the knowledge necessary to cast this anti-cataclysmic spell.
“Is it really anti-cataclysmic, though? I mean, the words ‘exploding’ and ‘cyclone’ and also ‘homicide’ are in the name of that spell. That can’t be good, right?” Sir Phillips asked.
“Don’t think about it too much,” the wizard said, and then he pointed in the direction of the Punk Wildlands and slapped Sir Phillips on his ass, “Off you go, now!”
“Wait!” Sir Phillips said, “I’ve been here for a week, so I feel it’s a bit awkward to ask this now, but… who are you?”
“I am Lord Avalon, and that should’ve been your first question when you arrived here. So rude.”
“Oh. My bad, Lord Avalon.”
“It’s cool. I’m used to it.”
With their identities shared and his training completed, Lord Avalon sent Sir Phillips on his way.
And so, Sir Phillips journeyed across the swamps of the Punk Wildlands. With Rezinopunk’s weedy talisman at hand, Sir Phillips was kept safe from the torrents of horrible monstrosities that awaited him. And also the evil mannequin soldiers, because those kept popping up for some reason.
Finally, at long last, Sir Phillips would reach the Colton Midlands.
His journey was nearly at an end.
Sir Phillips traveled through the Colton Midlands, careful to not catch the eye of any of the myriad of Coltons that ruled the land. Because there’s a lot of Coltons. Like, a lot a lot of Coltons. Holy shit, that’s a big family. Was this nation more Coltons than commoners?
Eventually, Sir Phillips tracked down the manor of Lord Nathaniel Colton, very likely the first of his name.
The manor was built like a fortress at the top of a sheer cliff, surrounded by walls and guards and protected by various wards built from a pro wrestling understanding of how restraining orders work. Infiltrating it from the front would be tantamount to suicide, and Sir Phillips had not come all this way just to learn how to cast a suicide dive.
A different, only marginally less suicidal path, would be to climb the cliffs. A dangerous prospect in of itself, made more dangerous by the fact that Sir Phillips had no experience in climbing things. After all, climbing was a skill that wasn’t casting powerbombs.
But, as it so happened, there was a gathering that night. One that took place but twice a month. A gathering of the strongest muscle wizards in the land. The only time where Lord Colton would be vulnerable enough to challenge.
What Sir Phillips did not count on when he infiltrated the ReVival, however, was the presence of Filmix the Unconquerable. The lich, skeletal yet swole at the same time, had descended upon the scene the moment that Sir Phillips made his move to assassinate Lord Colton with a powerbomb.
Alone, Sir Phillips could not hope to challenge the pair of insidious wrestle wizards, together weaving a powerful wrestle magic that could shake the very foundations of the PRIMElands. Even with his pure mastery of the powerbomb spell and the counter-spell he learned, Sir Phillips was in danger.
Lord Colton laughed, “Dare you to challenge US!?”
“I AM UNCONQUERABLE,” Filmix the Unconquerable said in a bland monotone that was almost robotic.
“Yeah!” Lord Colton said, “So am I!”
“NO WAY. I HAVE IT AS A TITLE. GET YOUR OWN.” Filmix said.
In his time of need, Sir Phillips needed a friend.
He needed a hero.
“I am here!” shouted Sir Fontaine, as he descended upon the ReVival on a winged steed. He wore a belt made of severed mannequin heads.
The moment he landed, he disoriented the evil wrestle wizards with a dazzling display of dropkick dominance. With his enemies thoroughly bamboozled, Sir Fontaine looked to his partner with a charming smile.
Sir Phillips looked at his friend, thought to be dead, with a perplexed look. Then he closed his eyes, and looked up to the sky.
“Okay, stop. Stop. This is stupid. Stop this. Stop this right now.”
“What?” Sir Fontaine said.
“This whole narrative framework, what are you thinking?” Sir Phillips asked, “You’re supposed to be dead. Everyone saw you die. Why are you suddenly here in an hour of need? This makes no sense.”
“Dude. You’re speaking blasphemies here. You’re being a blasphemer.” Sir Fontaine said. “That’s the first commandment you’re violating – thou shalt not break kayfabe.”
“Yeah, man, you’re not being very cool.” Lord Colton said, sheepishly.
“No. Fuck you,” Sir Phillips said, pointing at Lord Colton, “Go sit down in the corner or something.”
“Oh, okay…” Lord Colton said, deflated, going over to a corner, sitting down in front of it, and staring at it. Filmix the Unconquerable, bereft of things to do in the sudden shift in tone, wandered over to Lord Colton and started patting him on the back to console him.
Sir Phillips shook his head, “We’re done here.”
And then the story just ended here, I guess.
Joe and Sid sat at the break room of the gym they’d been working out at, in preparation for their match with the Nates. It’d been a whirlwind few days since their unceremonious elimination and embarrassing showing from Survivor. Coral Avalon had suddenly appeared in Las Vegas, without much fanfare or explanation, and took them back to the Gates of Avalon Wrestling School for further training.
After all, as farcical as the above tale was, it was true that Colton and Filmix were wizards in a ring.
They needed all of the help they could get.
“What?” Joe asked, “You don’t like my thrilling narrative?”
“It could use some work,” Coral Avalon said, a half-hearted smile on his face.
“Yeah, but… but, I put a lot of thought into it, you know? Cut me a little slack here.” Joe said.
Coral smiled, “Rather than work hard on this insane narrative you built up, why don’t you get back into the ring and work hard on your moonsaults? The more you can control yourself in the air, the better you’ll be able to land with minimal damage to yourself.”
Joe hung his head low.
He went back into the ring, and began backflipping off the ropes onto a large cushion that Coral brought out when wrestlers wanted to practice their aerial moves.
As Joe was doing sick backflips off the ropes, Sid asked, “Okay, but seriously, is he okay?”
Coral shrugged, “Physically? He’s fine. He was only passed out in that maze. Mentally? That’s a whole other kettle of fish. He obviously didn’t take the Survivor loss well. Oh, and… I wouldn’t let him go near Jared’s mannequin again.”
“Yeah. No fucking shit.” Sid said. “At least I won’t get lost trying to powerbomb the Nates. Still pissed off that we got separated and I got lost.”
Coral laughed, “Don’t worry about it.”
Coral was proud that they made it as far as they did in Survivor.
But looming over the horizon was the first real test for the Winds of Change.