Hometown: The Other Side of Darkness
Height: 6ft - 9in
Weight: 339 pounds
Entrance Music: "Here Comes The Pain" (Darkside Remix) by Slayer
Crowd Reaction: CHEER
Days Active: 2189
|Though Darkside’s history before pro wrestling is largely unknown, their brutal legacy is undisputable! Nightmare and Doctor Death began their reign of terror in 1993, wrestling in a small “bush league” federation headquartered in Georgia. It seems that Michael Berkstrom (Nightmare) and Gregory Lange (Doctor Death) were simply born of bad blood. They were spotted by J. P. McFarland, the crooked promoter of the XWL (Xtreme Wrestling League), during a bar brawl in downtown Atlanta. After taking in the carnage the two men had left in their wake, he knew he had stumbled upon a great opportunity. These two unknown giants sent 10 men to the hospital that night, including three armed policemen! The promoter cautiously approached these men a while later in a back alley and offered them a chance to make some money doing what they seemed to do best........beat people up. It didn’t take long for their answer. McFarland billed the two men as “Doom and Gloom”, an obvious rip-off of the WWF’s popular Legion Of Doom. They won their first match in 3 minutes and sent one of their opposing teammates out on a stretcher, bloodied and suffering from a broken neck. The man died later that night in the E.R.. “Doom and Gloom” went on to capture the XWL tag team titles a month later. However, things were not always smooth sailing for the team. Friction developed quickly between the abrasive tag team champs and their money hungry boss. They began looking for a way out of their contracts. When approached with their intentions, McFarland would have none of it! The tag team giants were his “cash cow”, and he’d never let them go as long as the money was rolling in and they were putting asses in the seats. So, Doom and Gloom continued to serve their boss, doing exactly as he commanded them to do. All through the XWL, wrestler after wrestler were becoming seriously injured by the vicious twosome. They ravaged their opponents like rabid beasts. One wrestling journalist coined the phrase that the team would take to heart in their future endeavors.....”These men are ultra-violent and destroy their prey like demons from Hell itself!” It became apparent that there was a quiet dissension brewing in the minds of the two giants. One fateful night, their plan came to fruition! As a show of favor, McFarland set up an in-ring contract signing for his tag team champions. They were to sign new 12-month contracts in front of a sold-out New Orleans crowd. However, the formidable giants had other plans that night. After a successful title defense, McFarland strutted down to the ring with the contracts in hand. He entered the ring and grabbed the microphone, announcing with exuberance that tonight Doom and Gloom would renew their XWL contracts. He handed them the contracts and a pen and told them to "have at it". They stared down at the documents in their hands for a few moments, and then began tearing the papers in shreds!! McFarland was livid!! The tag team champions would floor their former employer with a big boot to the skull. Berkstrom snatched up a chair and brought it into the ring. He set it up and Lange sat McFarland up in the chair. The promoter could barely sit up and was bleeding from the forehead. Berkstrom then ducked back out of the ring and reached under the apron.....pulling out a can of gasoline. He tosses it into the ring. Lange continues to work over his boss with stiff punches to the head, opening his wound further. They work to tie McFarland to the chair and Berkstrom goes for the gas can. He holds it high over his head as the crowd responds with gasps, screams and cheers. He douses McFarland with gasoline and shouts obscenities in his face. McFarland begged for mercy, but neither man knew the meaning of the word. They gathered the scraps of their contract papers from the mat and gave each other a genuinely sadistic nod. They stood on each side of the bound promoter, held the papers in the air and then...........pulled cigarette lighters out from their boots. McFarland's eyes were wide with unimaginable terror. They lit the paper scraps and gazed upon their feeble victim as he kicked and screamed for his life. They then dropped the flaming documents onto the gasoline-soaked McFarland and he burst into a pyre of writhing, screaming horror!!! As paramedics stormed the ring, Berkstrom and Lange ducked out of the ring and fled through the crowd. McFarland survived the attack, but he was horribly scarred with 2nd and 3rd degree burns over much of his body. He left the wrestling business a few months after the incident.
An arrest warrant was issued for Berkstrom and Lange in the attempted murder of J.P. McFarland. They fled the country and ended up in Tijuana, Mexico. There, they were safe from the authorities and they would still have the means to continue their lives. However, their days were being tormented by the disturbing images of that last night in The Big Easy. Their minds were wracked by conflict, one moment feeling guilt, and the next, feeling justified in what had transpired. No single thought could soothe their troubled psyches. The two would often meet at the local tequila bar and talk about the events, but their company brought no solace. They both were being haunted in every waking moment by the thought that they had almost murdered another human being! No amount of soul searching, no amount of reasoning could wipe the memories of what they'd done from their minds. For months, they fought a seemingly futile battle with the demons of their sordid past. As they struggled to come to terms with their heinous crime, their sense of right and wrong became increasingly skewed. One could see the other slowly slipping into madness, but they didn't try to fight it. As time went by, the horror in their minds transformed from a remorseful doubt to a subject that brought them great joy. Instead of trying to console each other, they soon began to crack jokes about it and would say that McFarland completely deserved everything he got that night! Their minds had become desensitized to any human emotion. They made the decision that it was time to start earning more money. The seedy Mexican underground was the perfect place for them to quench their desire for pain and suffering. The cage fighting circuit in Tijuana would serve them well, and bring them even closer to the brink of inhumanity. They exhibited an almost animalistic fury in battle. Their ferocity was like nothing the spectators had ever witnessed. Bones were broken and much blood was spilled. The duo became known as "Los Diablos de Sangre" (The Devils of Blood). No one could defeat them and they became rich very quickly. With each new victory, Berkstrom and Lange's aggression grew and their bloodlust became even more insatiable. They relished every moment as they would cripple all who opposed them with ease. They were truly becoming more like monsters and less like men! While they enjoyed their success, the lack of competiton began to bore them. The money was good, but it all left them wanting something more. After considering many options, they finally decided to return to the United States and go back to professional wrestling......only this time, they would go where the opportunities were much more fulfilling. Of course, they were still the subject of a nation-wide manhunt, and realized that they must conceal their identities if they are to have free reign to travel the country undetected. Berkstrom and Lange dyed their hair jet black and designed their own costumes and face masks which they would use to assume their new personas. The duo enlisted one of the skilled wrestling outfitters in Mexico to construct their creations. Michael Berkstrom would become "Nightmare", with a mask bearing the face of a demon! Gregory Lange would become "Death", wearing a mask with the skull-like face of the Reaper himself! Together, they became........................DARKSIDE!! (Lange would later add "Doctor" to his new moniker after he read a wrestling article, in which the writer commented "He dissects his opponents with an almost surgical precison!" Thus, "Doctor" Death was born!)
One of their connections in Mexico had given them the contact information for a man named Paul E. Dangerously, who ran an up and coming promotion called ECW. With a little research, Darkside knew that the raw, unadulterated style of ECW would suit their ruthless ends. They would make their debut at a house show in Philadelphia in late 1999. They were offered a run-in opportunity during a match featuring The Dudley Boyz. Darkside laid waste to all four men in the ring that night and stood triumphant over thier incapacitated foes as the crowd chanted wildy....E-C-W....E-C-W.....E-C-W!!! The brutality they unleashed that night impressed Paul E. Dangerously, and he approached them the following evening with a proposal to face The Dudley Boyz at their next Pay-Per-view for the ECW Tag Team titles. Doctor Death spoke up, assuring Paul E. that Darkside would be like nothing more than to devour The Dudleyz' souls and leave their shattered corpses in the ring at the end of the night. It wasn't about the gold for these two. It was simply about inflicting pain and punishment in the most shocking and violent manner possible. Paul E was visibly shocked by the omen put forth by the beast in the skull-mask, and even considered going back on his offer, fearing for the welfare of his current tag champs. Perhaps hiring Darkside would be a business decision that he would live to regret after all. At the Pay-Per-View, Dvon Dudley slapped Nightmare across his face just as the script stated. This did not set well with the demon! The slap enraged him, and he exploded on Dvon, clotheslining him out of the ring. Nightmare grabbed a steel chair and crushed Dvon's skull with it, knocking him out cold. This left Bubba Ray to fend for himself against two seven-foot tall monsters who were bent on his destruction! The entire match went awry and Paul E Dangerously ran to ringside, begging the ref to call the match. Nightmare bolted around to the entrance ramp and clotheslined Paul E hard to the floor. He then tagged his partner in, and Doctor Death wasted no time in locking Bubba Ray in a cruel submission hold. Bubba Ray screamed and struggled as he felt the ligaments and tendons in his leg popping and his knee starting to rip from its socket. He had no choice but to tap out. The bell rang and Darkside posed in the ring with the belts held high! They had become the new ECW tag team champions! Later that night, Paul E confronted them in the locker room and admonished them for not following the scripted course of the match. "What in the Hell were you doing? You knew the rules about tonight's match!! You weren't supposed to....." Doctor Death grabbed Dangerously by the throat and lifted him up. He replied, "Paul, rules are just like bones.....they are MADE to be BROKEN!!" He released Paul E, and the ECW owner ran from the locker room. He had a lot to deal with after that night, most of which was to try and explain to the former champions why they lost their titles. Darkside would prove to be a thorn in Dangerously's side for the next several months. The new tag team champions became notorious for their "loose cannon" attitudes. They refused to follow the predetermined outcomes of their matches and would often cause severe injuries during hellish fits of rage. They became wildy popular with the ECW fans nonetheless, and held their titles until ECW was bought out by the WWE about a year later. With the sale of ECW, Darkside contracts became inactive andthey were left to search for other means of satisfying their hunger for human carnage. That is.......until they received a phone call from the WWE head offices!
Vince McMahon personally invited Darkside to Titan Tower in Stamford, Connecticut for an interview. He made it perfectly clear that, while he was greatly impressed by their in-ring performances in ECW, they needed to "back down a bit" if they were to compete in the WWE. He wanted to ensure his other superstars would not fall prey to the same fate as many of ECW's top stars. That would be bad for business! The monsters grudgingly agreed to Vince's conditions and a course was set for their debut. They competed in dark matches and appeared at house shows for the first two months, scoring victories over lesser teams and appeasing the Chairman's wishes by being less violent. Wrestling for the WWE wasn't shaping up quite how they'd expected and they soon grew tired of keeping their aggressive style so watered down. It was time for Vince to present Darkside to the WWE television audience! He ordered another conference with his new acquistions to go over the plan for their role and what they would be expected to do. Darkside were billed as former enforcers of The Undertaker, from back in the Ministry days. They were to appear during Taker's matches, as a grim reminder of his mysterious past. This would all eventually lead to an attack on The Deadman at Survivor Series, which would cause him to take some time away and return at WrestleMania as his old-school character once more. While carrying out the planned storyline, Darkside also had matches against some of the other WWE tag teams, and they also branched out to compete in singles matches. They were handed several losses via disqualification as they were becoming more primal and often resorted to illegal weapon use. Referees began backing down from officiating Darkside matches and the demonic duo were reprimanded repeatedly by Vince McMahon for being too violent. Nightmare and Doctor Death became more annoyed by the Chairman's counseling sessions and continued to refuse his demands. They crushed their opponents and paint the canvas red with their blood! Vince felt he needed to take action, so he gave the demons one final chance to prove their allegiance. The night arrived when the "Ministry Reborn" angle would come to a head. The Undertaker was facing Brock Lesnar that night. Darkside had been instructed to run in toward the end of the match and attack The Phenom, supposedly beating him unconscious, carry him out of the arena and send him off in a hearse. The storyline was not the only thing that would come to a brutal climax. Darkside had other ideas of how to put Taker out of action. They waited backstage as Taker and Lesnar squared off. The Deadman gave the cut throat sign and Darkside acted right on cue! Their entrance music suddenly boomed through the arena. The Deadman dropped his groggy opponent and stared down the hell beasts as they marched down the ramp. Nightmare guarded on end of the ring while his partner took the other side. Lesnar tried to capitalize on the distraction with a cheap shot, but Taker flew into a rage and chokeslammed Brock straight to Hell!! He then pointed to both Darkside members and did a cut throat taunt toward them. He hoisted Lesnar high up over his head and dealt The Last Ride. The Undertaker got down for the pin. Just before the ref counted three, Nightmare rushed in from behind and booted Taker's head. Doctor Death slid into the ring and stomped The Deadman's head and back. The ref called for the bell, but the vicious onslaught continued. Nightmare delivered a chokeslam of his own to the weakened Undertaker. Darkside took a moment to pose for the crowd, and Taker suddenly sat up!! He jumped to his feet and brought the fight to Darkside. He traded blows with Nightmare and the demon rolled out of the ring. Doctor Death was whipped hard into the corner. Taker backed up and charged for a corner splash. Doctor Death quickly dodged the attack, sending The Phenom crashing hard into the ring post. As Taker stumbled backward, Doctor Death brought him to the canvas with his finisher....a reverse Diamond Cutter he called The Flatline! Nightmare returned to the ring with a steel chair. He raised the weapon high over his head and swung down! Taker kicked the chair back up as it came down, causing it to repel back into Nightmare's masked face. This temporarily stunned the monster, and Taker began to battle back. He got to one knee before Doctor Death swooped in, but Taker caught him by the throat and signaled for a chokeslam. Before he could lift Death up, Nightmare dove in and took The Deadman down with a chop block. Taker howled in pain and held his left knee as he rolled on the mat. Doctor Death was like a shark that smelled blood in the water! He motioned to Nightmare to prepare for the finish! Nightmare nodded and pulled Taker back up by his hair. The demon hooked The Undertaker into a Fisherman's cradle and lifted him vertically. Death gave the cut throat sign, and Nightmare jumped up, and Taker's neck cracked and his body folded up like an accordian against the demon's shoulder when Nightmare landed. This torturous maneuver was "The Worst Nightmare", one of the hell beasts excessively cruel finishers! Taker slumped off of Nightmare's shoulder and lay motionless on the mat. Doctor Death was virtually salivating at his chance to take over! He picked up Taker's legs and quickly locked him into a Sharpshooter. Nightmare compounded the brutality with relentless kicks to Taker's forehead, which opened a wound and blood began to flow. The Deadman passed out from the excruciating agony. The crowd roared as "No Chance In Hell" began to play, and Vince McMahon himself appeared on the stage, accompanied by several security guards. McMahon growled, "Get those ungrateful sons of bitches out of my ring and remove them from the arena immediately!" As the security personnel rushed to the ring, Darkside directed their attention away from limp, lifeless body of The Undertaker. The security guards circled the ring, but Darkside refused to back down. A few guards jumped through the ropes and they were met with vicious retaliation. More tried to subdue the raging monsters, but were dispatched as well. Vince called down to the ring, "Darkside, if you think I'm just going to stand by and let you destroy the WWE, well YOU CAN KISS MY ASS!!" Doctor Death and Nightmare locked onto McMahon with a steely glare that seemed to burn straight through to his very soul! Nightmare lifted a mic to his mouth and retorted, "McMahon, honestly......I'd rather KICK your ass! Let's go, Doc!" With that, Darkside ducked out of the ring, plowed through the security and stormed up the ramp toward the frantic Chairman. Vince called for more security and soon found himself backed up against the stage......with nowhere to go! Doctor Death reached Vince first and instantly layed into him with hard fists to his head. Nightmare joined his teammate in the assault. The punches from Darkside's taped fists had busted McMahon open. Doctor Death slapped Nightmare on the back and pointed toward the edge of the stage. The demon let out a psychotic laugh and he began to drag Vince toward the edge. He wedged Vince's head down and prepared to send the Chairman crashing to the floor below with a powerbomb. Vince's face was pale with the horrifying thought of what was happening to him. Luckily, several more armed guards spilled out onto the stage and one of them rammed a tazer into Nightmare's back. The demon roared in pain and Vince slipped from his grasp. Vince laid on the side of the stage and watched as the policemen did their best to incapactiate the raging giants. Nightmare went down after repeated applications of the tazer and being beaten in the head with a police baton. The security surrounded Doctor Death and attempted to take him by force. Death fought back, sending a few of the guards sailing off the stage and knocking others to the ground. He was eventually taken down in the same manner as his partner was. They were handcuffed and escorted out of the arena at gunpoint. The events that occurred after that night are left only to speculation. It is widely rumored that Darkside resisted their arrest and trashed the police station before escaping into the night. No one is sure of that, but the only fact that remains is that Darkside were not heard from since that night and their whereabouts were shrouded in mystery.
As the weeks and months passed, the WWE would gradually continue to heal itself and return to its former disposition. The superstars who had been put out of action by Darkside's cruel rampage slowly began returning to the active roster. Many months passed, and the carnage caused by the demons was all but forgotten. Wounds heal, scars fade, and bad memories are eventually replaced. The WWE was entering a new era. Eric Bischoff arrived and was appointed as the General Manager of Monday Night RAW. It was business as usual and all was seeming to get back to normal. In early November of 2003, RAW eminated from San Antonio, Texas and the superstars gave their all to perform before a sold out crowd!! The mood backstage was light, and the superstars were enjoying themselves. General Manager Bischoff spent most of the evening tending to office matters and only knew his guys and his Divas were having a good time because of the occasional giggle or loud noise down the hall from his office. Toward the end of the night, as the main event was winding to its completion, the commotion got more intense outside. He shrugged it off.............until a frantic and hysterical Trish Stratus came pounding urgently on his door! Bischoff jumped up and ran to the door. When he opened it, Trish darted into his office, screaming bloody murder. The GM tried his best to calm her down, but she was nearly insane and quivering with terror. He swore he would get to the bottom of it. He found a camera man and had him follow him as he investigated the situation. The thousands in attendance fell to a hush as they watched the events unfold on the TitanTron. What Bischoff saw when he turned the corner made him freeze in his tracks! The long hallway was littered with broken tables, debris and the bodies of many WWE superstars. Some were bleeding and many other were injured and barely able to stand. He found Kane, who was stumbling down the hall holding his ribs and bleeding from the mouth from internal injuries. He asked, "Kane! What the hell went on down here? Answer me DAMN IT!!!" Kane was gasping for breath and simply pointed down the hall. Bischoff continued his search. As more RAW superstars were found incapacitated, he called for paramedics. The GM could barely believe what he was seeing. Most of his roster had been decimated and the walls were streaked with blood. All that lay before him was a trail of carnage and general destruction. Victoria ran down the hall, her cheek and arm smeared with blood. She shrieked as Bischoff came into view and she ran to him. She told him that "they" had gone out to the parking lot. "Who are "they"?", Bischoff asked. Victoria said she didn't get a good look but she was frightened out of her mind. She told him that she was just sitting in the women's locker room when she heard people fighting in the hall......the next thing she knew, Simon Dean came tumbling into the locker room and he was covered in blood! Bischoff swallowed hard and was getting visibly alarmed himself by now. Victoria peeked cautiously around the corner and told the GM to follow her. They ran out into the parking garage, where the trail of destruction led them. There were cars with huge dents, broken windows and blood streaks as far as they could see. Victoria and Bischoff continued through the parking lot area, following the path of wreckage. "What's that?", Victoria shrieked as she pointed toward the far end of the lot. She and Bischoff ran to check it out. Bischoff stopped short and Victoria stood frozen with a look of terror and confusion on her face. All Bischoff could say was "Oh.....my.......God! No!!" The camera panned down the lot to reveal a large metal garage door. On it was an ominous message scrawled out in human blood! There were only two words......................WE'RE BACK!
Darkside had returned, and the tale of their conquests would be written in the blood of those who were foolish enough to incite their devilish rage!
That is, until Vince McMahon took a stand and approached his lawyers about the recent course of events in his company. What Darkside was doing to his superstars was definitely "not good for business". McMahon was granted a permanent restraining order against Nightmare, Death and anyone else who was affiliated with them. He posted security at every entrance and increased the number of guards inside the venues at each consequent WWE event. You may have seen the security outside the arena, guarding the doors, manning the metal detectors and roaming throughout the common areas when you attended a live WWE event in the past decade or so. They are there for your safety....and also under special edict from Vince McMahon himself to make sure no one associated with Darkside gets within spitting distance of his property or his employees. They are ordered to open fire on sight! So far, no instances have been documented....but eternity is a long time to wait...for a mortal, anyway.
With the "law" being put in place to protect WWE from them, Darkside made the decision to move on to more fertile hunting grounds. Along the way, they became caught up in a bitter rivalry against DX II, and some time later, members of DX II had returned and formed a new stable called Revelation...renewing their war against the hell beasts. They often battled to a stalemate and the feud is still not completely resolved to this day.
After taking some time to regroup (and recruit some new members), they soon made their presence felt in Beantown Professional Wrestling. They soon developed a bitter rivalry against the Viking warrior, Kryksen Havgrimur....a man who could easily match any member of Darkside in size and sheer power. Their feud lasted for years with neither side gaining a real advantage. Darkside eventually wore the aging Norseman down to the point where his battle with them began to seem tiresome. He recruited his good friend, a massive German war machine named Ulrich Vinzenz to aid him in his efforts. However, things began to take a strange turn within the ranks of Darkside.....
Enter, Gregory Sage...know at that time as "The Saviour". Sage somehow managed to convince Nightmare and Death that HE was some sort of higher power and could lead Darkside to heights of dominance never seen before. Being ever the power-hungry opportunists, Darkside gave Sage control over the faction and waited to see where it would lead. Sage would soon betray Darkside and consequently, have to face a very angry and bloodthirsty Nightmare, who took back leadership of Darkside after Sage was revealed to be nothing but a self-serving charlatan.
Darkside soon learned of a new federation just opening up....a sister fed of BPW, called Circus Pro Wrestling (CPW). Darkside arrived and cemented their dominance in a very short matter of time. Nightmare and Death quickly claimed the CPW tag team titles, just as they had done in BPW before that.
To become better established, Nightmare thought it wise to use the other members to branch out on thrie own in other smaller feds. He sent Minion and Angel to CWE and later to AWF to claim more souls in the name of Darkside. CWE was shut down, some say due to events stemming from actions that Minion and Angel had taken against some of the talent backstage. No one is really sure of the circumstances, but Minion and Angel soon left to focus solely on their conquests in the Atlantic Wrestling Federation (AWF). Angel won the AWF women's title in a 6-Diva battle royal and she held the title for just over two months. In the meantime, Minion set the wheels of fate spinning by approaching the members of SIN and offering the services of himself and his sister, Angel. They are both now official members of SIN. Could an unholy merger be in the works to combine the forces of SIN with Darkside? The wrestling world will surely be shaken to its foundations if these two dominant factions unite.....
Now, Nightmare and Death, along with Minion and Angel have arrived in MAWL.
Thus begins the next chapter in Darkside''s "crimson legacy".......
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