House of Pain Evolution: 5 ‘Champagne For My Real Friends Real Pain For My sham Friend’ sstarted their show with “The Special Edition” Joseph Conners vs “The Juice” CJ Banks, in the second of a best of five series, with CJ being 1-0 up on Conners. Before the match Conners gave a rally talk as to how important the series is to him and that it was essential that he won being 1 down which fueled the crowds excitement leading into the match while gathering a backing for Conners. This excitement and anticipation was lived up to with an amazing match from two of the most promising performers around, who expertly built the crowd up to a fever pitch with a well-crafted backwards and forwards match. This was all brought to a head when the crowd was silenced by Banks getting a hard fought win taking him to 2-0 in the series.
The unenviable task of following that match was left to Violet Vendetta and Shax. However previous to this Jurgen Heimlich came out to voice his opposition to women’s wrestling saying the fans were disgusting for enjoying it before throwing himself into a commentary position. These two ladies worked the crowd well as Shax played a game of cat and mouse with Vendetta, which only lead to antagonising Violet to the point where the result became inevitable after Shax got caught and then forced to tap out by a very painful looking submission.
Next up was Kaleb Hughes vs Barricade, with Harvey Dale, prior to the match Kaleb did well to get the fans on side by taking a megaphone from possibly the most annoying fan in history, then using it to state he will prolong his death following the Barricade is going to kill you chants. The match started with some high impact blows and then Barricade took over proving the chants right as power bombed his way to victory nearly putting Kaleb through the mat.
The first half came to a close with Martin Kirby vs Jurgen Heimlich, after Jurgen’s previous interaction with the crowd he was welcomed to a chorus of boos before he had even exited the curtain. As he then continued in this direction gaining even more heat even before Kirby had gotten to the ring. The fans were ready and well primed for a huge reaction to Kirby as he entered the ring, only to be assaulted by Jurgen as he played for the cheers of the crowd. This in my opinion was the best wrestling match on the card, as Heimlich began with assaulting Kirby creating a crowd sympathy for Martin as they willed him back into what became a back and forth showcase of excellent wrestling, with Kirby showing all the skills that have made him a favourite on a the British wrestling scene. Jurgen put in a good performance looking very comfortable in a match of this quality even in a loss.
After the break Max Angelus came to the ring stating how he was going to expose his billed opponent for the night El Ligero, however that he didn’t have to be the man beating him in the ring to do so. This set him up to bring out the man who had main evented the previous show Bam Bam Barton, who would replace him and face El Ligero on the night with Max lurking around ringside. During the match Max and Bam Bam worked well together distracting the ref to gain advantages until the entry on LJ Heron changed the game. After LJ dispatched of Max Angelus, El Ligero managed to find some way of rolling the giant up to gain himself a pin fall. Following the match Max returned to deal out some damage to Ligero with the aid of Barton, until Heron sent them off, or so the crowd thought as Max verbally assaulted Ligero from outside the ring before Heron speared “his friend” out of his boots from behind therefore joining the group with Barton and Angelus.
After the tension of the previous match the comedic resources of iCandy were utilised to bring the evening back to a lighter mood. Battle Squad Awesome were the opponents who showed that they themselves are not afraid to show a lighter side in the beginning of the match, having what seemed to be a foreword roll contest which went wrong causing a double count. Though throughout the match iCandy still used their abilities with comedy they also showed that they are more than capable of keeping up with the high paced Battle Squad Awesome, however in the end the Awesome ones came through with the victory.
Finally the main event of the evening between Kris Travis and T-Bone, with Melanie Price. Although not advertised as a hardcore rules match this match spiralled into a complete war around the venue with no sign of either man sparing a thought for the referee’s words to a point where it seemed they were just given free reign. As both men seemed hell bent on destroying each other through the chairs at ringside, regularly scattering the crowd as they ran for cover. Continuing this onto the stage where T-Bone took an almighty thud with a suplex onto the stage. Then much to the surprise of all in attendance some wrestling in the ring actually broke out as it had been seen through the rest of the show, however this was short lived as the referee ate a T-Bone clothesline. This lead to Travis getting what he thought would be a win however with the ref down there was nobody there to count the three. This caused the second ref of the night to come to the ring so she could attempt to count the pin fall, this gave T-Bone just enough time to kick out before the three which sent Travis into a frenzy. This lead to him calling the ref stupid before getting physical and superkicking her face nearly off her shoulders in order to get the biggest heel reaction of the night, also leading to T-Bone’s turn for and uncounted pin after his rally. However Harvey Dale in his ongoing feud with T-Bone, would not be taking any chances on a T-Bone victory as he summoned his monster, Barricade, to the ring. After attempting to fight off Barricade, T-Bone eventually fell victim to the powerbomb which had put away Kaleb Hughes early in the night. As Travis capitalised on this with the original referee recovering in time to count the one, two, three.
Overall a great night from top to bottom with no matches disappointing and most exceeding
expectations, I now look forward to the next show over in Sinfin on the 9th of May and hope that House Of Pain evolution can only continue going from strength to strength.