Picture credit: Brett Hadley & House of Pain: Evolution
This was the one year anniversiary for HOPE and the show began with a match between Ruffneck and Brricade after Money Benjamin reinstated Ruffneck on the last show it seemed like he wasn’t going to make it to this match until he appeared from the back knocking LJ Heron and Bam Bam Barton out of the way to get to Barricade. This was less a match more a brawl that Harvey and Money played their parts in throughout. In the end after Barricade got punched by Harvey Ruffneck hit a Spear to pick up the win.
I found it a bit odd that Ruffneck can manage to beat up LJ, Bam Bam, Barricade and Harvey in one night and still look like he is pretty good, surely after having to “fight through” Heron and Barton in the back he would show some signs of something? Then saying that this match kicked the show atmosphere up and got the room going from the start.
The 1-3 Robert X went against one of many debuting for HOPE at this show in being Sebastian Radclaw. Robert had a lot to say to anyone who would listen in this match and he had plenty of time to say it as he comtrolled most of it apart from a flurry from Radclaw after Robert beat up his stuffed monkey. The end of the match did pick up the pace as Radclaw fought back however Robert took the win.
I really enjoy the way Robert X plays heel after seeing so much of him playing the good guy it’s a nice change. Also Radclaw is just so funny, though I feel I need to go and find out what is with the monkey he brings with him.
Next was the second debuting wrestler Rampage Brown facing the 0-1 Paul Malen. This was a physical encounter as could be expected and Malen kept his own however it did seem like we were waiting for the bigger more powerful Rampage to destroy Paul
which after the clothesline before the piledriver it looked like he had when Rampage took the win.
Seeing Rampage for the first time was pretty cool as he is a guy who I hear and see some great stuff about, but had never got chance to see him. Though I feel like nobody knew if we should boo or cheer him.
Before the break was time for some 6 pack craziness with; Danny Chase, Matt Myers, LJ Heron, Bam Bam Barton, Zac Northern and Ryan Smile. Throughout the match there was spots of fast stuff mixed with Barton and Heron using their teamwork to isolate the others and slow the match down, which was a nice way to break it up. LJ Heron won by pinning Ryan Smile in the end then challenged him to a match on the next show. Elimination order; Chase, Myers, Northern, Barton, Smile.
This match dragged on for a pretty long time even for a match with so many people in it. Also I thought that the match got lost in places which I guess is a problem when it takes this long. There was some very good moments throughout however.
Ashton Smith took his 1-0 start to HOPE against Nathan Cruz in the first match after the break. The whole match Cruz zoned in on Ashtons back after a heavy bump on the apron, which seemed to slow Smith down and kept plaguing him throughout the contest. However after a series of quick pin exchanges Ashton took the win.
I really enjoyed the way the Cruz worked away at a specific body part of Ashton and the way it kept costing him in the match. Also not finishing the match with the hit finish, match won style mixed it up from the rest of the show.
The penultimate match saw the 3-2 Violet Vendetta go against Nixon. Violet spent most of the match using he normal underhanded chokes and hair pulls however when the two got onto the stage a nasty looking suplex gone wrong, that could have gone extremely wrong and been much worse than just the double count out match restart after it. Nixon in the end rolled Violet up for the win as Vendetta showed out to the crowd too much.
I am just going to leave this match with the comment of, that looked like it hurt and it would have been fine to finish at the double count out rather than the extra ten seconds of match.
The main event saw the third match in the best of five series between Joe Conners and CJ Banks. This match saw CJ make it obvious he was attacking Joe’s shoulder by repeatedly applying the same hold every time he got Joe down. Joe came into the match 0-2 in the series and it was obvious that he really needed the win with the amount of pins used early and how much he wanted to beat down CJ. In the end that payed off as Joe took 1 back in the series forcing it to a forth match.
This match seemed to really drag in the middle as CJ worked the same hold over and over, though it did emphasise that he was aiming for Joe’s bad shoulder. Overall a good main event though I feel after the rest of the show being the way it was, especially the 6 pack challenge, this match didn’t really have much room it could go into and hence probably didn’t get the reactions it deserved.
Thanks to Indy Corner, I’m @AlphaofAwesome, thank you for reading.