John "Bushmaster" McIver returned to New York City to revenge against the Stokes family and reclaim Harlem's Paradise. He killed Nigel Garrison and usurped control over Yardies. Also, he learned about Luke Cage, local hero who would stop him if he began war at streets.
The first meeting of Bushmaster and Cage took place at former Yardies' Hideout. Bushmaster confronted Cage and offered an alliance to fight Mariah Dillard. Unable to work together, he ordered the Stylers to attack Cage. Cage successfully took down all Stylers while Sheldon was recording the fight. Once Cage left, Bushmaster began making preparation for his fight against Cage. He inhaled another batch of Nightshade as he trained while observing Shaw's recording of Cage during the fight.
Bushmaster managed to locate Cage as he walked down the streets of Harlem. Cage was unaware of McIver approaching him as Bushmaster caught him by surprise and attacked him. Using his fighting style, his own enhanced strength and knowledge of Cage's fighting style, Bushmaster handily defeated Cage in front of the people of Harlem. He knocked his opponent unconscious. Dave Griffith recorded their fight and asked Bushmaster who he was. Bushmaster introduced himself before leaving the scene.
Griffith's footage of Cage's defeat went viral. Fall of their hero was hard for Harlem community to see and Cage's reputation declined. Cage recognize Bushmaster as the serious threat and began investigate him. In the meantime, McIver put his plans to revenge Mariah Dillard in motions.