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[dramatic music]

male announcer: In 12 jaw-dropping seasons

of "Ink Master,"

we've witnessed amazing artistry...

- What the [bleep]?

announcer: Insane rivalries...

- You mother[bleep].

announcer: And wild personalities.

- And if your [bleep] camera follows me, I swear to God.

I don't give a [[bleep].

I will break that mother[bleep].

announcer: Now, three iconic Ink Master champions,

Ryan Ashley... [cheers and applause]

DJ Tambe,

and Cleen Rock One

have risen to judge status,

deciding grudges between some of the competition's

most furious rivals.

- We gonna hash it out like grown men,

or are you gonna get in my face again?

- Let's tattoo!

announcer: These foes will have the opportunity

to settle the score once and for all.

- I can be in your face, okay? - I can be in your face too.

- Guys, guys, guys, guys. - We can do this all day.

- Hey, hey, hey! Hey, hey, hey!

I don't think that grudge is over.

I think it just got worse.

♪ ♪

announcer: Tonight, two epic feuds

will come to a head.

It's bad blood fueled by clashing personalities

and a mutual lack of respect,

and the grudges will be settled now.

♪ ♪

In our first grudge match, on season nine,

team representing shops were at war,

and April Nicole had zero patience

for the loudmouth Made Rich.

- You were mad. - You were crying.

- You were yelling. - You were storming out.

- Damn straight I stormed out.

announcer: Now they'll have a chance to go head to head.

- We'll just let the tattoos speak for themselves.

- Very much excited.

- And then maybe you don't have to speak so much.

♪ ♪

- Two competitors battling it out.

We got April and Made Rich. You remember April.

- I remember April, and I know she's a little spunky fighter.

I'll tell you that. - Oh, yeah.

She's--she's a little crusher,

but Made Rich came in the house with a big mouth,

the kind of person that no one wants when you're--

when you're all living together.

He was--he was the epitome of that dude.

- Y'all lines are [bleep].

- I don't agree with that. I don't think that that's true.

I don't think anybody said that that was true.

- Two.

- Some people are frustrated with you because you get--

- I don't care if you're frustrated with me or not!

- You're being obnoxious.

- Shut up. Shut up. - You can't expect people to--

- Fine. - Shut up. Shut up.

- I'm walking out because you're obnoxious.

- These are horrible tattoos!

- They are not horrible tattoos.

That's just being mean for the sake of being mean.

- I said that the same way that he said I sucked,

so I'm gonna defend my shit just how he defended his.

- Man, I'm so excited to see this.

- Me too, me too.

- Man, it's like two polar opposites.

- You're gonna run your mouth and say that you're better?

- Yeah. - Well, put up or shut up.

[train rattling on tracks]

[dramatic hip-hop music]

- On season nine, I guess

some of the competitors would think I'm a villain.

That really wasn't my intention.

I just don't put up with people's shit

and I'm gonna speak my mind.

- Inhale. Reach up.

- My only beef with April is I just don't feel like

she was respecting my work.

Coming into this grudge match,

I'm here to put the nail in her coffin, man.

I honestly don't even feel like

she has what it takes to even compete.

♪ ♪

- I like it.

- Wow. I love that.

Turn around. Do a spin.

[mellow pop music]

- I'm a very positive person and I'm very lighthearted.

I want everybody to get along and have a great time.

Well, Rich doesn't.

He really wants to fight with everybody all the time.

He just wants to be in your face and yelling,

and I'm just not about that life.

It would be amazing to take Rich down

just because he thinks that I'm not going to.

♪ ♪

Oh, my God.

- She wore her shit-kickers.

- Those boots are made for kicking ass today, not walking.

- [laughs] That's right. That's why she wore them.

- Yeah.

This is nice.

- Ooh, here he is.

Oh, I already don't like his strut.

- April. - Well, well, well...

- Nowhere to hide? - I don't need to hide.

You picked on the wrong person.

- I didn't pick on anybody. I defended myself.

- I was just here to tattoo.

You had another agenda. You were mad.

- You were crying. - You were yelling.

- You were storming out. - Damn straight I stormed out.

- You want to talk about my work, I'ma defend it.

- I didn't shut up then,

and I'm not gonna shut up this time.

- I've seen too much of this. You guys ready?

- Yeah, let's get this started. - I mean, let's do this.

- I want to prove that you don't need to be

loud and obnoxious to get your message across.

- I'm gonna be confident, and I will be arrogant.

- What's going on? - Hey, you two.

- Oh, here we go.

- How's it going in here? Hey, guys.

- Good.

- What did this beef start over?

- Ask him. - She had the problem.

People ain't like how I was playing the game.

- We just play the game a little differently.

- I wasn't upset. - I don't know.

I think you have to be pretty upset

to tell somebody to shut up over and over and over.

- I'm just not gonna let nobody speak over me.

I'ma speak my piece. I'ma defend my work.

- Ooh, well, today,

you guys both better let your tattoos do the speaking.

- 100%.

- This is it. Head-to-head.

- Let's do it. - Yeah. [laughs]

- We're gonna assign you guys a 90-minute Face-Off Tattoo.

- And we pick the challenge.

- Yeah, bring it on.

- Lay it on me.

- The winner of the 90-minute Face-Off Tattoo

gets to determine the style and subject

of the six-hour Grudge Match Tattoo.

- Heck, yeah.

- Whoever wins the Grudge Match settles the score,

and ends this thing once and for all.

- Put your money where your mouth is.

- I put my money where my tats are.

- What are you guys thinking for this 90-minute challenge?

- I don't want to make it easy on them.

- Gotta do something geometric. Something with symmetry too.

- How about mandalas? - Mandalas.

- Mandalas is definitely a great head-to-head.

If you mess up one line,

that throws your whole entire pattern after that off.

- I agree. - Yeah.

- 90-minute mandalas.

- Yes. - Wanna squash this?

- I'm so ready. - Yeah.

- Let's get to your shops and get these tattoos started.

- Showtime. - Whoo!

[dramatic music]

We'll just let the tattoos speak for themselves.

- I'm excited. Very much excited.

- And then maybe you don't have to speak so much.

♪ ♪

announcer: In our second grudge,

rookie artist LT's loud bark

was checked by the veteran hothead Ryan Eternal.

- We gonna hash it out like grown men,

or are you gonna get in my face again?

- Let's hammer it out right [bleep] now.

announcer: Now LT wants respect.

- I'm not letting nobody else telling me

that I don't have what it takes.

- Never said you didn't have what it takes.

I said you never listen.

- Back the [bleep] up.

- Back me the [bleep] up.

♪ ♪

- All right, both of these guys

were on my very first season of "Ink Master."

These two in the house-- I mean, it was insane.

LT, he snaps,

and Ryan Eternal-- he's a firecracker.

Both of these guys were pushing each other's buttons,

and the house was insane.

- I don't really care what anybody has to say.

I don't have to prove myself to any of you guys.

- Look at how much experience

is sitting right next to you right now.

- I don't care about your experience.

- That's why we're [bleep] confident.

You don't care? - That's why I'm here.

- I don't give a [bleep] about...

- I don't give a [bleep] how loud you [bleep]!

You wanna [bleep] talk to me like that?

- Yeah. - Yeah? Yeah?

- Yeah. Yeah. What you gonna do?

- [bleep] talking about it. - I'm talking to you!

- Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, come on.

- I'm talking to you, bro. [overlapping chatter]

- You don't know who the [bleep] I am.

- You don't know who the [bleep] I am!

- Oh!

- I mean, hopefully, LT, you know,

got better at tattooing and Ryan doe--

isn't as explosive as he was, you know?

[laughing] He can keep it cool and just do a good tattoo.

- I mean, that's gonna be a tough one, man.

I know Ryan, and I know LT. - Oh, I know them too.

- And I think that both of these guys

are gonna come out swinging no matter what.

[rock music]

- What's up, Elton?

What's going on, man? - How you been, bro?

- How's the paint? How's the tattoos?

- You know, art is-- tattooing is amazing.

- Love that. - It's been going good.

It's been going great.

Season five was a long time ago.

I was just a kid, and I've grown so much as an artist.

- Ah, ya, ya, ya.

Back and back, and right, left, boom.

There we go. LT, ready?

- I do a lot more things than Ryan can ever do--

music, art, I'm a dancer.

I'm just a multitalented artist.

Ryan Eternal disrespected me.

Listen, Ryan, bring it,

'cause I'm coming guns blazing.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- The way I grew up,

you had to be a tough-ass to get through,

but now I'm at the beach living the dream.

I'm a laid-back hothead.

We're living that good life, huh?

Yeah.

LT just had a mouth that wouldn't quit,

and he just came to the wrong person

and pointed the wrong finger,

so I just let him know what was up.

LT probably thinks I'm a bully.

I'm not really a bully.

I'm just a big, tough [bleep] guy that doesn't take shit,

and I sure as hell ain't gonna take it from some kid.

♪ ♪

- Oh. - Ryan, there he is.

- Ol' Ryan throw--he looks like a lumberjack with that beard.

- Wow. - Holy moly.

- [mutters] [bleep].

- Dude, he looks pissed, man.

- The calm before the storm. - He's pacing back and forth.

- He's like, "All right, where are you?"

- [chuckles]

What's up, Ryan? - [scoffs]

- It's been five years, man. Long time.

- Five years it's been. - [gasps]

Ryan does not look pleased.

- Oh. - Still holding a grudge?

- We gonna hash it out like grown men,

or are you gonna get in my face again like last time?

- Oh, you've grown? - I'm grown.

- Ryan could bench press this dude.

- It don't look like you learned no respect from back then.

- Did you forget that you was running your mouth?

- Watch your little hands with me, all right?

- [chuckles] Listen, this is a bubble.

I can do whatever I want in my bubble.

- Well, what if I step in this bubble?

- I mean, then you're crossing that bubble.

- And then what? What are you gonna...

- Now you're crossing that bubble, bro.

- Back the [bleep] up. - Back me the [bleep] up.

- Whew. - We gotta get in there.

- Come on, come on. - All I'm hearing is barking.

- I can't wait till we get this started, man.

- If you want me, let's handle this right [bleep] now.

Right [bleep] now. You brought me here.

Let's have it out right [bleep] now.

- The whole room disrespected me, bro.

- First of all,

change your [bleep] voice with me, you understand?

- All right, all right... [together] Whoa, whoa, whoa.

- Yo, yo, yo, yo. All right, all right, all right.

- Whoa, whoa, whoa. - Break it up. Easy.

- Calm down. - Easy, easy.

- This was years ago. You guys still hold on to this?

- Someone is.

- I'm not letting nobody else telling me,

you know, that I don't have what it takes.

- Never said you didn't have what it takes.

I said you never listened.

There's a big [bleep] difference.

Talk is cheap. - He's an obstacle,

and anybody else who's in front of me is an obstacle, so...

- Talk's cheap. Let's see it.

- I'm hoping you guys... - Use some of this energy.

- Quit some of this and start doing some of this.

- Obviously, there's some shit still stirring between you guys.

We're gonna totally level the playing field today.

We're gonna throw at you guys a 90-minute Face-Off Tattoo

where we get to pick what you guys are gonna be tattooing.

- Yeah, let's do it. - Okay, cool.

- The winner of that 90-minute Face-Off Tattoo

is gonna get a huge advantage

for tomorrow's six-hour Grudge Match Tattoo.

- That's what's up.

- And the winner of that Grudge Match ends it all.

Grudge settled.

Somebody's walking away with some bragging rights.

- You guys need to get out of each other's bubble.

- Awesome.

- What do you got for us?

- I mean, both of these guys are popping off at each other.

- The two of them definitely have a pretty short fuse,

if you know what I mean. - For sure.

- Explosive.

- Let's do that. - Do what?

- Explosives.

- So anything that explodes? - Yeah.

- Anything that explodes.

- [imitates an explosion]

- Think you can handle that?

- Don't ask me no questions.

- [imitates barking] - He's ready to tattoo.

- All right, well, get to work. You only got 90 minutes.

- Light some fuses. - Let's do it.

Whew.

Shit.

- I'ma blow you out of this competition, bro.

- Blow me out of this completion.

- You need help? - Yo, mine--

yo, why you looking at my stuff, bro?

- You need help? - Why you cheating?

- You need help. - You need help, bro!

- I'm here helping you. I'm here for you.

- This is how you want to play it?

- Distractions, huh? - It's okay. Don't get mad.

- Oh, okay. That's how we playing?

- Look at--don't get mad. We'll hang out.

- What are you doing, bro? - I just want to talk to you.

- I don't wanna talk, bro.

I just wanna, like, create art, bro.

- I'm just saying, if you need some help...

[laughs]

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- Made Rich, you ready? - I'm ready, Cleen.

- April, are you ready? - Yeah.

- Let's tattoo!

- Whoo!

- I'm excited for these color blends.

[dramatic rock music]

- Yeah. I love it.

- Yeah.

You ready? Okay. - Yeah.

♪ ♪

- One line down. - Yeah.

- I'm trying to channel that mandala energy in here.

Mandalas are supposed to be a calming, meditative art,

and this is not meditative at all. [laughs]

I have the habit, the first time,

of making all of my tattoos way too big...

- Yeah. [tattoo machine buzzing]

- And then I would get to that five-hour mark,

and I'd be like, "How am I gonna finish this in an hour?"

As long as my lines are straight

and my dots are evenly distributed,

I'll be fine.

[suspenseful music]

- My clients be telling me I'm not heavy-handed,

but I'll use my whole damn body to hold them down.

- [laughs]

- Mandalas are a breeze.

My biggest issue is figuring out

how to make this a little more exciting.

People have the tendency to judge me off of my character

instead of my artwork, so this time,

I'm gonna show my artwork creatively.

- [whistles] It's gonna be something different, huh?

- Oh, I gotta, man.

I can't come back and do the same old shit.

I'm doing my color blend.

It's kinda risky, but I'm feeling very confident.

- What are your plans for this blue transition to the red...

- And then the red into the black. [laughs]

It's not the place to play safe. I'm here to compete.

- Oh, my God. He's doing colors?

[tattoo machine buzzing] Psycho.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- 60 minutes left.

That is only one hour to finish these mandalas.

- 90 minutes isn't enough time to shade it in,

so I'm just gonna do dot work.

[long exhale] [tattoo machine buzzing]

So many lines.

I'm a human being. I'm not a machine,

so doing perfectly-straight line work

is definitely a challenge.

I'm freaking out!

[whispers] It's a lot.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- All right, LT, Ryan,

you guys have 90 minutes to do an explosive tattoo,

and it better blow me away.

And your time starts now!

♪ ♪

- Oh, yeah.

- This is gonna be a super interesting battle.

Ryan has way more experience than LT.

I mean, he's been tattooing for a long time.

LT is the one that has something to prove here.

- Let's get it popping.

- On the flip side, what if Ryan's a old dog

that hasn't learned any new tricks

and LT is the new, fresh meat that's coming in hungry?

[tattoo machine buzzing] - What made you choose this?

- Well, I was in the military, so...

- Oh, yeah?

- This is badass.

- My tattoo is a tough-as-nails bomb

falling out of the air with explosives behind it,

and there's a big shark face painted across it.

[bleep], yeah.

Sharks are bad as [bleep], and everybody knows

when you put a shark on anything, it makes it tough.

How you doing over there?

You over there concentrating?

- Stop talking shit.

- Dude, if LT even wants a shred of a chance to beat me,

he better step the [bleep] up.

90 minutes to me is a regular tattoo

that I do every day of the week.

LT is gonna sweat the shit out of this tattoo

'cause he doesn't tattoo like that.

This is a banger. You go in.

You kill it. You get the [bleep] out.

- It's gonna be a close one, but we got this.

♪ ♪

- You've got 30 minutes left.

30 minutes.

- I'm feeling like we need to hurry the [bleep] up.

I've been so focused on doing these color blends

and working on these lines that the time's almost done,

and I haven't even put the black in yet.

I need to make sure that this does not bite me in my ass.

I'm not trying to be antisocial.

I need to finish this shit.

- Made Rich is being really quiet.

I thought that he was gonna be yelling at me the whole time,

and he's just over there doing his tattoo.

It makes me a little nervous.

♪ ♪

- Five, four,

three, two, one.

This Face-Off is over.

- Whew. both: Yay.

- Breathe now. [laughs]

- [laughs] Catch a breath, oh.

- That was a really crazy 90 minutes.

I'm proud. We did it. - Yeah.

Holla. [laughs] - Yay.

- All right, all right. - Yeah.

- So who's gonna win this thing?

- I'm ready to check out some good tattoos.

- Rich is confident.

I see it in him always like a damn statue.

- Always. Always.

- He said he's happy to be done. - What?

- Hour and a half?

Last time you did a hour-and-a-half tattoo?

[laughs]

- That is a good question. - Think about that, man.

- It's a hard challenge. It's a hard challenge.

- First off, I didn't want to do just a regular mandala.

- Why? - I'm not here to play it safe.

- So did you find her design boring?

- Yeah, it looked like every other mandala.

- I don't think it's boring.

I think classic-looking designs are timeless.

- I think April's tattoo--

the overall appearance looks great.

The overall line work--

there's a few light lines here and there,

but the biggest inconsistency would be the little, fine dots

throughout the whole tattoo.

- I mean, to do every dot like a computer

is just mind-blowing, you know?

You'd have to spend more than an hour and a half on it.

- 90 minutes. - Yeah.

- Yeah, but one thing I wish that it had

that it didn't have was solid black.

For the time it took you to do that stippling,

whip that solid black in, half the time,

and it would put in that pop.

Other than that, it's a really pretty tattoo.

I mean, for an hour and a half, it's in there.

- All right, Made Rich, I like the overall design.

Everything's really proportioned and tight.

I'm not a huge fan of the outline in color,

but you pulled it off. The black looks nice.

I wish there was just more of it.

- The problem that I had with putting the color in

was the inconsistencies where your colors connect

because you stopped the line in the middle

and you picked up another color

and some of them don't match up perfectly.

And if you would have run just a solid black line,

you wouldn't have had those issues.

- I think my only mistake was doing too many tricks too soon.

- I mean, it's never a bad thing

to try to push yourself, you know I mean?

- For sure.

We have to come up with a decision here,

and it's a tough one, you know?

Because both of them have flaws.

- Made, if you put those lines in black,

you would have my vote all day, man.

But my vote is for April.

- I also vote for April.

- The black lines that you had on yours were dead nuts.

It was the colored ones that got you.

My vote is for April.

- [squeaks, laughs]

- April, you won the Face-Off Tattoo,

so now you get to determine the subject or style

for the Grudge Match Tattoo.

- I'm gonna choose the subject.

Maybe we could do,

like, fantasy ladies?

'Cause I love them.

- [laughs] - Me too.

I'll take that. Thank you.

Thank you. - The Grudge Match is set.

You guys gotta do fantasy ladies.

- All right, guys, get to work. - We'll see you tomorrow.

- Thank you, guys.

- Fantasy ladies?

Wow. - Oh, man.

- I'm actually surprised

that you picked a subject instead of a style.

Kind of a waste of an advantage.

- Who are you to be giving advice on what--

what style and subject and all that?

I won. - Your win today is irrelevant.

- What?

- Tomorrow's victory is what matters.

- Game on.

♪ ♪

[grungy rock music]

♪ ♪

- I don't know about yours, but mine's explosive.

- It's explosive, dawg?

- It's gonna blow your mind, bro.

- I hope so. Confident?

- Very confident. - Yeah?

- Are you? - I'm always confident, dawg.

- Then show me how confident you are.

Don't talk about it.

Ryan's gonna do some traditional tattoo,

just like he does all the time,

playing the safe zone.

Me, I like to challenge myself.

This tattoo has a lot of details.

I have a lot of creases in the jeans, in the shirt.

I have a couch that he's sitting on.

I have a background to do,

so the fact that there's a time limit--

it's gonna be a tough one.

- All right, guys, we're at the halfway point.

There's 45 minutes left to finish your explosion.

♪ ♪

- So are you taking more of a illustrative approach?

- Uh-huh. I'm just trying to be as free as I can with it.

- Yeah, okay. You gonna make it?

I mean, you got 40 minutes.

- Whoo. - Yeah.

- Don't tell me about the time, bro.

I get it. [bleep].

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- Come on.

How many minutes do we got left?

- 15 minutes left to finish up your explosive tattoos.

- I need more time! [tattoo machine buzzing]

Just kidding.

♪ ♪

- Try not to move. - Okay.

♪ ♪

[tattoo machine buzzing] - Five seconds to detonation.

Five, four,

three, two, one.

Stop everything.

- Good job. - Definitely.

- Killed it.

- That was, like, the quickest 90 minutes...

- Right?

- I've ever experienced. - I love it.

- Fire. - Thank you.

- How you feel about it?

- Confident. - Yeah?

- You? - Oh, I'm always confident

'cause I've been doing this a long time.

- When I win, are you gonna give me the respect I deserve?

- I give respect that's earned.

- What's going on, guys? - Come on down.

Let's do this.

- So whose explosive tattoo was the bomb, and whose was a dud?

- His was the dud. Mine was the bomb.

- Mine was better. You know that.

Mine was more solid.

- Ryan, I really like the design you chose.

My favorite part about this tattoo

is how you blended the black into the dark green.

It's blended really seamlessly.

I think that solid saturation

is the highlight of your tattoo.

- You do got some good lines in this thing,

but there are some that run away.

You know, your line work should be a little tighter

on your points on the little explosions,

but I feel like it was a good, solid tattoo in 90 minutes.

- Thank you very much.

- LT, I feel like the line work you put in was very sculpted.

Your line weight transitioned really neat

to all of the different shapes and silhouettes.

It was a very illustrative, sketchy,

comic book sort of style you're going for,

but I really wish you would have went in

with these super solid, single-pass lines

because you have to have some sharpness

to separate the textures in your image.

Right now, everything looks a little bit flat.

- I like the overall drawing.

I think it's a cool idea,

but where the bomb's at is just a little too dark.

I feel like it just needs some big highlights.

- I 100% understand.

I wanted to go and put more whites on the bottom.

It was time. - Yeah, I mean,

I think you definitely swung for the fences on this one.

It's a tough call because LT went out of the box

and showed us something that's really creative,

and Ryan kept it simple and gave you a bulletproof tattoo

that has a few little hiccups in the line work.

- Both of you guys had some amazing shining moments,

but judging on tattoo fundamentals alone,

I'm gonna go with Ryan.

- Clean and simple. My vote's for Ryan today.

- Whoo!

- I'm gonna have to go with Ryan on this one.

- Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

- I'm ready, man. Just give me the six hours.

Just--what do-- what do you want to do, man?

- Ryan, you get to pick the style or subject

for tomorrow's six-hour Grudge Match Tattoo.

- Well, here's the thing.

I'm built on tradition. It is what it is, you know?

It shows technical ability.

It lasts.

It's everything that I love, and it's what I'm proud of.

I want to see his fundamentals. That's where all this starts.

That's why we become tattoo artists.

We want to be fundamentally sound,

and we want to give people great tattoos.

- What's it gonna be, dude?

- I'm choosing American traditional.

- LT, do you do any of this stuff at home?

- Nope.

- I believe he can do it if he takes the time

and settles down and, like, uses his head,

so I don't wish ill against him, but I want to see him shine.

- There is nowhere to hide in that style.

- Mentally prepared.

I mean, I'm an artist, so I'm here.

I'm here for this.

- That's what I wanna hear, man. That's a fight.

All right, good luck, guys. Hey, get to drawing.

- I'll get to drawing, man. - Let's go.

- Okay, guys, good luck.

- He's gonna have to pull some clean lines, man.

- He probably didn't expect to be doing that right now.

- If you pull it off,

you will earn my respect 100.

- I don't even want to talk, bro.

I just want to focus.

Not here to be buddy-buddies. We're here to settle the score.

- It's a lot harder than it looks.

- Oh, my God.

This is what American traditional is?

♪ ♪

- [laughs]

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- You guys ready to end this grudge?

- Yeah, let's do it. - April, ready to kick this off?

Let's do this. Six hours.

Time starts now.

- All right, let's get this stencil on.

- April called fantasy ladies.

That could mean anything.

Is it a cricket with lips?

Half donkey, half lady?

This is your chance for something different.

- I think it looks pretty good.

- Anything outside the box. What's your fantasy lady?

- I'm gonna let that dry.

I always get-- get a little anxious

before every tattoo, man.

It's like a game day jitter.

- You ready? - Hell, yeah.

- [rough voice] Hold still. [laughs]

[tattoo machine buzzing]

♪ ♪

It's a little nerve-racking

going into the Grudge Match Tattoo because I picked it,

so if I do a bad job, I'm gonna look like a weenie.

♪ ♪

- It's all back and gray? Cool.

- Yup. - Okay.

Make good choices, you know? - Yeah.

I'm taking the critiques that the judges gave me

on my Face-Off Tattoo to heart,

so I'm gonna tone down my design,

but I refuse to let it tone down my creativity.

- What is your fantasy?

- [laughs] I wouldn't call it my fantasy.

I'm pretty sure it's a lot of people's fantasies.

I worked off an image of you.

- Oh, really? - Yes.

- No, you did not. - [laughs]

- Are you trying to get brownie points with that?

- [laughs] Whatever works.

- You've got them, baby-- a whole tray.

- I'ma be using Ryan's face as a reference.

She has this moon tattoo,

and I'm just gonna build off of that.

We're gonna make this starry night scene

on the side of the face.

We're gonna work some trees.

I'm gonna have her hair flowing down.

I can't even be basic if I tried.

Like, it's not in my blood.

- Does it look familiar?

- It kinda looks like Cleen.

- That's what I was going for. Cleen.

- You got a [indistinct]. - He doesn't have the moon--

he doesn't have the moon on the side.

- Oh, it could be you.

It could be you. - [laughs]

- It could be you.

- It takes a lot to stump me, and, uh,

I think in this moment, I might be a little stumped.

I look good as a stencil.

- [snickers]

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- All right, LT, Ryan,

you guys have to do a six-hour American traditional tattoo.

You ready for this? - [bleep], yeah.

- You ready? - I'm ready.

- Let's tattoo!

[grungy rock music]

- Just like that.

- Let's [bleep] get this.

- Ryan took it to American traditional

because it's the whole backbone and the beginning of tattooing.

- Let's have some fun, bro.

♪ ♪

[tattoo machine buzzing] - I'll probably talk to you more

after I'm done with the line work.

- No, no, no. It's okay.

In my world, there is nothing tougher

than an American eagle.

Eagles are American, and that's me.

- Did you pick American traditional

because that's your strongest suit?

- It's pretty much to see him own up to what he says, man.

I want to see his fundamentals.

Everybody knows fundamentals lie in a traditional tattoo.

When we go to school,

we learn our history, where we came from.

We learn about our forefathers.

Wouldn't you want to know everything about tattooing?

But this newer generation-- their head's so big.

And they're very talented, but they're lawless,

and I'm not a fan of people that are in my industry

that don't know where we come from

because respect is the only thing in tattooing.

I don't give a [bleep] about much else.

- All right, guys, first hour is down.

You guys have five hours remaining.

- What I chose for today's Grudge Match

is a snake wrapped around a dagger going through a rose.

- Having any issues or anything?

- No, surprisingly. [laughs]

- [sarcastic] Yeah, American traditional is tough.

- I didn't do American traditional ever.

It's my first time.

- This is your first time ever? Really?

- Yeah, officially. [laughs]

♪ ♪

Ryan picked American traditional because he knows

that I don't do American traditional.

What a dick. - You enjoying yourself?

- I am. - Good.

- The beauty of American tradition.

- LT needs to be taught a [bleep] lesson.

Let's see him pony up and actually do a good tattoo.

[dramatic music]

[tattoo machine buzzing]

- All right, we are now halfway there.

Three hours remaining.

- So you don't do a lot of traditional tattoos back home?

- Nah, I don't.

Me myself, I don't--just don't wanna be a one-trick pony.

I don't-- you know what I'm saying?

I'm an artist.

It's good to have more than one skill

when it comes to this profession.

Growing up for the most part, I was always out on the streets,

and I was trying to figure out different outlets

to get me out of trouble, and art was one of them.

Tattooing has freed me.

It has definitely taught me a lot about life.

These are the moments that I live for.

American traditional? Sure, no problem.

All right, cool. Yeah, I haven't done it.

No problem. I'll do it.

♪ ♪

- There's four hours to go, guys.

Four hours.

♪ ♪

- What made you create this?

- This is an illustration of how I feel when I'm here.

I got a lot of butterflies in my stomach.

- Yeah, yeah, I'm with you.

- I'm doing the lady with her ribcage exposed

with butterflies flying out of it.

There's a lot of line work-- a lot of different colors.

There's a light source, which I don't typically do.

This tattoo is a little difficult,

but I wanted it to be weird.

- So you're gonna do blue--like, a blue glow from the inside?

- Yeah.

- Yeah, I was curious how you were--what you were doing

'cause I didn't see any black. - I thought that'd be cool.

Light sources are hard to make up.

If I could rip open a woman's ribcage

and shove a blue light bulb in there,

I'm sure it would be really easy,

but that would be murder.

- I really like April's outline, but where's all the black?

- We had that whole conversation

about black yesterday.

- So I'm curious if she's gonna throw

some [bleep] heavy black in it to really get that glow.

- Even though he says it's not a portrait, Made Rich--

he's following the reference as exact as he could.

Why would you do that on a day

you could make anything look like anything?

- I'm just happy his fantasy wasn't my ass.

- Oh, yeah. Are you flattered?

- Oh, man, this guy has my face tattooed on him forever.

- Maybe he's gonna turn it into somebody else.

- Oh, yeah. It's fantasy Ryan.

Not real Ryan.

Different. Very different.

♪ ♪

- Two hours to go. Two hours.

♪ ♪

- Nosy time. - Hiya. [laughs]

- So this your fantasy? [tattoo machine buzzing]

- It's not my fantasy. It's just, like, fantasy.

- Oh, okay.

- Every line I pull on this thing,

I'm realizing what's on the line.

- I'm making you uncomfortable standing here?

- Not at all, actually.

- That's unfortunate.

- I wanna show him once and for all that

I can do a really good tattoo whether I'm nice or not,

'cause I am nice.

- I'm gonna do this line. [hisses]

I might want to darken this eye up a little bit too.

And now I feel like I'm just searching for shit to do.

- Yup.

- I need to stop overthinking this shit.

Right now, my biggest challenge is me.

It's just in me to want to add stuff.

I'm trying my hardest to not add more black,

do a little bit of this, a little bit of that,

and just keep it simple.

And we are almost done.

♪ ♪

- All right, guys, five, four,

three, two, one.

Time's up, put them down!

- Boom. That's it, brother.

- Oh, man, that's awesome. Absolutely gorgeous.

- That's all she wrote.

- This is definitely the best work I have on me.

- Oh, stop that. - By far.

- Do you think the way you picked,

it was smart to not pick your opponent's weakness?

- I think I was more excited to just pick what I wanted to do

'cause you only get so many chances here to, like,

do something you're jazzed about.

- But, like, we here to settle a grudge.

I definitely just would've picked something that

I knew damn well you wasn't gonna do a good job at.

- Yeah. That's how we're different.

- You right.

- Made Rich is definitely playing the game.

- He could have made it anything.

Why would he make it harder for himself?

- It's just a little weird to me

that he decided to use one of the judge's faces.

- He was trying to get some brownie points.

- And it wasn't mine, so....

- Yeah, but he made it harder for himself.

- I could be a pretty chick. - You could be.

- He could have used me.

- That could have been a fantasy.

- Or Cleen.

Look at that fricking pretty head.

You kidding me? - Yeah.

- Yeah, we would have nailed that one.

- There they are. - What's up, Made?

- April, what was the strategy behind your subject matter?

- The last time we were here, it was a lot harder for us

to showcase the kind of work that we actually do,

so I thought that it would be a good opportunity for me to,

like, kinda put a lot of tricks in it and kinda, like, show off,

like, what I can tattoo, I guess, and I think I did it.

- I was super impressed by the design.

It looked like you put a lot of time

into the composition, into the elements.

- The butterflies look great.

- Love the blue glow from the inside.

I thought that was a really cool effect,

and that line work spoke for itself.

It was clean.

- Super crispy,

but your tattoo definitely could have used more black

just to hold it together.

That's gonna make your colors look brighter.

It's gonna make everything look way cooler.

- This face definitely had some beauty to it.

It definitely was well put together, well-tattooed.

- It was cool,

but it could have been a lot more dynamic, in my opinion.

- Definitely two very different approaches.

- All right, Made Rich, let's talk about your tattoo.

- I guess I'll start this one off since it's a little--

little close to home for me.

Conceptually,

I think it was a really cool take on a fantasy tattoo.

I like some of the elements that you played in.

You used the little moon that I had

and you created a scene

and I love the use of the contrast that you brought in.

You made your lights really, really light,

and you made your darks really, really dark.

- I did like the darkness around the eyes.

That made the eyes stand out,

but there were some spots on the face

that maybe could have been a little over-shaded--

down on the chin area, eyebrows.

It kinda looked like-- - I'ma call those high brows.

- Yeah, they looked a little high.

And then it looked like you just kinda took a huge liner

and blasted them in there, you know?

- I feel like that's a style choice.

They were consistent through.

- Made's tattoo has a ton of super high contrast.

April's doesn't have enough.

- April didn't [indistinct].

- You guys made this hard for us.

- I'm on the fence.

[dramatic music]

- I honestly don't think it was a snowball

on either of these guys as far as a winner goes.

I don't think that either of them crushed one another.

- It's not the type of challenge

where we're really comparing apples and apples.

It's definitely apples and oranges.

- You have a black-and-gray tattoo

that's kind of a little dark with good composition.

- Yeah, and then you have a color tattoo

that has some saturation issues.

- That being said, when I saw April's line work,

I could not believe how clean that was put in.

My vote is for April. - Yay!

- I mean, Made had some good outlines too.

- Absolutely.

- Made's tattoo--

I like the flow of it, the composition.

April fell a little short on that.

It's a little stiff.

I like the creativity of April's.

♪ ♪

My vote's for April.

- I won. Sorry. [laughs] - [high-pitched] Yeah.

- Thank you, guys.

- Congratulations, April. You won the Grudge Match.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- I feel like, at the end of the day,

today was kinda like, all right,

just who liked whose tattoo better.

I'll take that.

Losing this Grudge Match,

y'all only fueled a different kind of fire.

My competitiveness has now expanded.

I'll be back.

- You did an awesome tattoo. - Thank you.

- Good job. Good tattoo.

- Now that I've won, me and Rich have squashed our grudge.

We're gonna send each other fruit baskets for Christmas.

He's getting some cookies in the mail.

It's gonna be awesome.

- Psh. - Hug me!

- [laughs] Get out of here.

I ain't messing with you. Whatever.

[laughter]

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- Okay, guys, this is the power hour.

60 minutes remaining.

[tattoo machine buzzing]

- I've just learned so much in these past hours.

- Did you? - Yeah, I did.

I'm gonna switch my whole style to traditional from now on.

[chuckles]

- It feels amazing to know that

I'm still doing what I love this many years later.

Like, tattooing and my daughter are, like,

the only things I care about in my life.

I was in a gnarly car accident.

It was, like, 12, 13 years ago.

My whole hand was torn apart.

All my tendons were rolled up in my arm.

- Oh, my God.

- They told me I'd never tattoo again,

let alone open or close my hand...

[tattoo machine buzzing] So for me to do what I do,

it's way harder,

and to know that American traditional is what I do,

and it has to be clean, it's my way of pushing myself...

- Okay.

To do the absolute best tattoo

that has to be bulletproof, you know?

- That's awesome. - Yeah.

♪ ♪

- All right, this Grudge Match is over in five,

four, three, two, one.

That's it. Machines down.

- We're done, bro. - The white in the rose--

- Makes it pop, right?

Not bad for a guy who doesn't do traditional, right?

- Thank you very much. - Yeah, dude.

It's awesome, man. You killed it.

- I think you're scared, bro.

- Do I look like I've ever been shook since day one?

- I don't think you take me serious.

- You still don't think I take you serious?

- Not really. - Next time we go around,

maybe we can do a black-and-gray realism.

- When you lose? - Oh, today?

You said "when." I got confused.

- Got this in the bag. - I got it.

- I'm most definitely gonna win. - I got it 100.

We shouldn't even talk about who's got it.

- LT has never done a traditional tattoo before today.

- I mean, this blows my mind, man.

- LT's the one that called Ryan out,

so in that case, hey, step up.

- Usually, you know, when an artist wins the advantage,

you can either play to your strength

or your opponent's weakness.

With this call, I feel like Ryan played to both.

[tense music]

- What's up, guys? - Hey.

- How's it going?

- It's about time you showed up for lunch.

- Yeah, right?

- 'Cause we are about to eat you alive.

- Bring it.

- All right, since Ryan called American traditional,

let's start with his.

- Ryan, I could tell that this was

a big, bold, American traditional tattoo

from all the way across the room.

- You did a solid-ass outline.

It looks really intentional.

Every line you put in there

doesn't look like you questioned it.

- I love the red tips of all of the wings.

Bringing that red pop into the feathers, I think,

adds to the overall balance of the color in the tattoo,

and it was really smart.

- Thank you.

- It's super obvious that this is your wheelhouse.

This is what you specialize in. You do this all the time.

LT, this was your very first time

attempting an American traditional tattoo.

- Yes, it was.

- Crazy. [laughing] It's crazy to me.

- This blows Cleen's mind. - [laughs]

- Honestly, I'm pretty much self-taught.

I really didn't get to actually learn the proper way,

so I went a long route

to actually get to the position where I'm at, so...

- It's definitely a tough road.

- Two different generations of tattooers.

- 100%.

I commend you for showing up and putting your all into this.

As far as the outline goes--

night and day from what you turned in yesterday.

You just really plow in one pass.

You got some spots in this thing

that are super solid.

You definitely showed some strong fundamentals,

but you need to do a little more research

as far as the whole stylistic approach you took on this.

- You brought too many tricks.

You took something that should have been flat

and then you kinda stylized it.

You made the snake look like a tube.

You made the handle look like it's got a shine up it,

and you should have not pulled white out,

you know what I mean?

It's a tough challenge, man.

- Yes. - For--even for me.

- LT, you did a good tattoo today,

and it being your first American traditional tattoo,

you proved to us that you do have

some pretty solid fundamentals.

- Thank you.

- On another day with another call,

this shit could have been totally flipped, but today,

my vote is for Ryan.

- Thank you very much.

- LT's got some great lines. He's got some great saturation.

- I mean, he's got balls calling out Ryan.

- LT showed up and put up a good fight.

♪ ♪

Experience got him today. My vote's for Ryan.

- My vote's for Ryan. - Congratulations, Ryan.

You won the Grudge Match.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- I appreciate him for giving it effort

and putting in the work and trying,

so I appreciate that you're growing as an artist,

you know what I mean?

- I'm just happy at least I got to show a solid tattoo

with clean lines, clean shading.

Traditional has grown on me.

- Whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

- I took the challenge, and I feel like I crushed it.

I feel like gave it my all,

but I guess I gotta do a little bit more studying.

But I'm not giving up, so I'm only getting better,

and I'ma keep coming back.

Hey, good job, man. - Yeah, take it easy.

- Thank you, man. - Good job.

♪ ♪

The Description of All Bark and No Bite