House Of Pain: Evolution 7: Please Excuse The Crudity Of This Model… I Didn’t Have Time To Build It To Scale Or Paint It, which by the way is a bit of a mouthful, is the instalment of HOP:E from the Forest town welfare in Mansfield on May 23rd.
The show began with Jurgen Heimlich vs Joseph Conners. Before the match Jurgen was walking around proclaiming to be the lady-destroyer and also having a few issues with an older member of the audience who wasn’t a fan of his, on this note telling the fan to go back to his nursing home was amusing and I get he is on this crusade against women’s wrestling, but calling yourself the lady-destroyer? What is going on there? Pretty funny though I have to admit. Anyway lets get onto the match. In the early going Joe was firing out to a point where it seemed that Jurgen just couldn’t keep up as he was getting hit from all angles, which caused him to bail from the ring at his first real opportunity to get a much needed break. It seemed like this hadn’t helped Jurgen get an advantage though as Joe was not suckered in to the cat and mouse games, that was until a attempt at a springboard into the ring got shut down by Jurgen sending Joe to the floor. This had given Jurgen the chance to get a good amount of offence in before Joe managed to fight his way back into the match. It wasn’t going to be Jurgen’s day as even when Joe’s rival CJ Banks showed up to distract Joe, Heimlich still couldn’t put a determined Conners away, leading to Joe winning the match by pinfall and going to 3 wins and 4 loses in House of Pain: Evolution.
This was a very entertaining match that flowed pretty well, while also showing Joe to be even more focused and determined after his recent losses. Jurgen as usual played around with the crowd making Joe’s job of being liked even easier than it already was on the show.
The next match was meant to be a 6 person tag match with T-Bone, Zac Northern and Nixon, facing Barricade, Bam Bam Barton and Violet Vendetta, however that wasn’t how it panned out. Before the second team had come through the curtain T-Bone was attacked by his opponent, Barricade. As Harvey Dale had a small scrap with Zac, to cut his path to T-Bone off, Barricade went to work on eliminating T-Bone. A job he did very well as T-Bone was helped off the stage not to get involved in the match. Now here everyone thought that it would be a 3 on 2 handicap match until the odds were evened for Zac and Nixon by Barricade being removed from the match and banned from ringside. The match started with a very physical Violet Vendetta against Nixon which only lasted until Nixon started to fight back, causing Violet to get out with a quick tag to Bam Bam. Even after this the pair struggle to get an advantage as the speed of their opposition caused all kinds of problems especially with Zac showing some very educated feet to Bam Bam from every way Barton looked. That way until a monkey flip attempt allowed him to show off the power edge he had over Northern. Between Barton’s power and Violets tactics behind the ref’s back, the pair worked well at keeping Zac away from the increasingly frustrated Nixon. After an accidental tag knocking Violet to the outside as Barton fell into her, utter madness began before Nixon took advantage gaining a first win for her and Zac in HOP:E.
The match worked very well especially using the mixed tag rules which allowed an almost reverse hot tag when Bam Bam fell into his partner. However I did question how Harvey Dale managed to get between Zac and him helping T-Bone, when Zac would run circles around Harvey, overall another good performance from Zac working with a larger guy included in an interesting match.
The last match before the break saw LJ Heron face El Ligero, after the last time these two were this building ending with LJ spearing Ligero, this match seemed like there was a score to be settled. With that said Ligero wasn’t messing around as he ran straight for Heron causing a brawl between the two around the outside of the ring and in the fans. After each man got some heavy shots in on the outside LJ left Ligero in the crowd as he went to take a count out win, which was nearly the case with Ligero’s return to the ring at what seemed to be 9.9. This however just lead to Heron slowly grinding Ligero down, methodically punishing Ligero’s midsection. One slight bit of separation was created by a springboard dropkick from Ligero that helped even up the match however after trading moves it was LJ Heron and his spear that would have the final say in this match.
This was a great 1st half main event with both men developing on the story that LJ stabbed Ligero in the back when they were friends, while showing off the talent of both performers.
The next match was a Danny Hope open challenge to which Barricade answered. Barricade at first didn’t seem to know what was going on with Danny and his Tasselmania as Danny was seemingly a step ahead of Barricade. That was until the uphill battle that faced Danny Hope was shown to him when Barricade got his hands on him. After a period of Barricade being on top it seemed T-Bone was not finished with the man who attacked him earlier, as he came to the ring causing a no contest and an all out war with him and Barricade around the ring which T-Bone got the upper hand in this time.
I liked the way that T-Bone got his revenge on Barricade in this segment, since it added another layer to the rivalry between the two. However I was looking forward to seeing Danny Hope for the first time, though even with the short time he had Hope was very entertaining and I am looking forward to him getting a full match in next time I see him.
Following this was Project Ego, Martin Kirby and Kris Travis, vs Battle Squad Awesome, Danny Chase and Dave Andrews. As usual for Project Ego a pre-match banter war with the fans ensued, though even after having his hair cut Travis still gets Justin Beiber chants for some reason. Kirby and Andrews begun the match with Dave having the upper hand sending Kirby off to regroup holding onto Travis before both teams tagged. This didn’t seem to help Ego as they ended up receiving the Battle Squad Awesome double elbow while in a questionable top to tail position. In their usual way though Kirby and Travis managed to bring the match back into their favour and keep it that way working some underhanded tactics and taunting the down and seemingly out Dave Andrews to try and make the tag. When he finally did Danny was fresh and firing out taking on both members of Project Ego at once before a double Battle Squad dive onto their opponents on the outside. That may not have been such a good idea in this case, as with the following outside the ring fight Project Ego seemed to have the advantage back until Kirby and Andrews re-entered the ring. This would cause mass chaos with both teams going shot for shot to try and get the win, leading to the ref getting taken out by Travis. This would allow him to take out Andrews with a chair before the Project Ego pair beat Chase with a rapid fire sequence.
This match was a great rematch from one of the earlier HOP:E shows that just flowed effortlessly as the two teams just work so well when put in a match together. “This is awesome” chants well deserved.
The Main Event had Uhaa Nation making his HOP:E debut against CJ Banks. The early going saw Uhaa show off his power edge as well as his pure athletic ability with a leapfrog to dropkick that CJ didn’t really need to duck under before being hit. Noticing this CJ took to the outside which allowed him to use the ring post to slow Uhaa down and allow him to take an advantage. After being held down for a while Uhaa managed to burst up and power his way into finding some breathing room. Following this it allowed the mix of flair and power that Uhaa Nation is to once again be shown in a sequence of trading big moves back and forth between the two, however after avoiding a standing moonsault CJ managed to take advantage for the win.
I found this match interesting as it showed how even when CJ Banks is out powered and less athletic he can still find a way to get some advantage on his opponent. It was also a big surprise to me that Uhaa didn’t win the match, which was a good curve ball thrown by the people in House of Pain: Evolution.
Overall the show kept the standard that has been set by HOP:E since their re-arrival while showcasing great local talent and some faces that aren’t seen very much in the area.
Thanks for reading any feedback to @AlphaofAwesome