Revenge is the latest instalment from House of Pain at the Arnold working men’s club on May 25th. The show started with Kane Arnell accompanied by his security, Bear, issuing an open challenge to anybody in House of Pain, to which the Tornado, Matt Hopkins answered. In the early going of this match Matt showed off his impressive athletic skills as he seamlessly flew around the ring keeping Kane off balance. This flash and flair however would end up costing Matt as Kane managed to bring himself back into the match, then using this slight edge he went on the take control of the match doing well to play with the crowd throughout the time he was on top. However Kane made a mistake of going to the top rope which cost him this advantage after playing around a bit too much. The match would then look to be finished after Bear decided to cut Matt off behind the ref’s back by pushing him off the top rope however maybe Kane took a little too long and got caught with a quick roll up for Matt to take the win. Following the match Alex Gracie would attack Matt Hopkins from behind bringing Joe Conners and Matt Hall out to help Hopkins. Joe would go onto call LJ Heron out, which Gracie would reply with bring out T-Bone as LJ wasn’t going to do this on Joe’s time.
Another well worked opening contest from Kane utilising Bear to help in not only the match but also in playing with the crowd, which is something Kane doesn’t seem to need much help with but why not. Matt Hopkins showed a great display of his athleticism which added to the showcase of both sides of this match showcasing their strengths very well.
As could be guessed from the end of the previous match Joe Conners faced off against T-Bone in the next contest. T-Bone would get in an early onslaught while showing through the entire match his physical dominance against an always fighting Joe Conners, who would never give up at any point in this match. It would be T-Bone however who would let Joe back into the match when he was too focused on what the fans were chanting at him to concentrate to the talent he needed to deal with in the ring. Joe would get fired up in getting some revenge for the beat down and a bit of frustration of not getting to face LJ Heron and unleashed it all onto his opponent, this wouldn’t take him to the win however as an Alex Gracie distraction would cost Joe the match and give T-Bone the win.
This match was a pleasant surprise from T-Bone appearing on the show. The match itself played well on the bigger man in T-Bone using his power with Joe using the fire and frustration he has created over LJ Heron and his turn towards joining Alex Gracie and Bam Bam Barton.
The next match was started with Felony entering and telling everyone that she had banned the House of Pain champion and her monster Barricade from the show and that she now has a new weapon in Syntax. Which set up for the next match being Syntax and Alessandro versus Wazz and Tommy Taylor. Syntax and Alessandro didn’t wait to let their opponents get some crowd cheers before attacking them while they had their backs turned to start this match. After getting back into it Wazz got his leg hooked by Alessandro to yet again allow Syntax and Alessandro to take an underhanded advantage in this contest. Even after Tommy finally getting back in it would be Syntax and Alessandro who would continue the in the same way the had the entire match in ending up on top as Alessandro got the three count and the win for his team.
This match was an interesting mix of styles and characters between the four guys and Felony on the outside. Playing on the comical love of Alessandro’s pizza that he had at one point was funny, however I did think that Felony could have been more involved. Apart from that it was a pretty good match that left you with no clue on what would happen next.
Gabriel Kidd and Stevie Mitchell, accompanied by Tony Asbo, was the next match and the last before the break. A seemingly reluctant Mitchell got caught with an early dive to the outside by Kidd to start this one with a fight on the outside that caught Stevie off guard. Following this Kidd should have probably stayed in the ring as when it took to the outside again Asbo was back from the bar in time to get involved and help Mitchell take the advantage. After getting beaten down for a while Kidd finally managed to create some space by catching Mitchell with a dropkick, taking this match back to a more even playing field. Mitchell however must have thought he was going downhill as he used a chain to get disqualified and start his post match beat down on Kidd.
This match used the anger in Kidd seeing Mitchell disrespect the full throttle championship by stealing it from Zac Northern pretty well. Also it was an interesting clash of styles with Mitchell’s ground and pound, against a more high flyer type wrestler in Gabriel Kidd.
After the break we saw team House of Pain, Big Mike Wyld, Timberwolfe and Steve Harris, go up against Caz Crash, Danny Jacks and JD Boom, in team NGW. Caz and Steve started this match with Steve having the speed edge and sending the NGW team back out for and early regroup. After a bit of cat and mouse or maybe should I say dog and cat with Timberwolfe fetching Boom’s megaphone and running off from the pursuing owner, Steve got caught in the wrong corner of the ring causing him to experience the physicality and questionable tactics of the NGW team. Even after getting Timberwolfe back into the match NGW still were on the up until Mike managed to finally get into the match and cause destruction all over the ring and chaos broke out in the match. This would allow Boom to take advantage with a megaphone shot to Mike Wyld to slow him down which would allow Caz to take advantage of Steve Harris as he got himself in the ring and then would loss the match. Following this Robert Sharp would offer Steve a way to stop “being a looser” and that Sharp would take him to the top, apparently an offer Steve couldn’t refuse as he shook hands and took off with Sharp.
I liked the invasion angle of this match and am interested to see where it goes from here with extending what is being done. Also I wonder where the Harris and Sharp connection goes from here. As far as the match goes I think it was a good showcase of what these guys can do in the ring though maybe needed a little more time with so many people involved, saying that I still enjoyed the mesh of character and talent.
The main event saw Alex Gracie face Matt Hall in a match where T-Bone was banned from ringside after the earlier interference from Gracie in T-Bone’s match. In the early going Alex doesn’t seem to be capable of keeping the pace with Matt as he is getting hit from all sides, until Gracie got in Conners head causing Joe to distract the ref costing Hall and causing Joe to be sent to the back after repeated interference. The match was chaos for the most part as it took to the outside where Matt was caught trying to leap from a fence and Gracie getting caught off the top rope then the ref getting taken out. With that it allowed the return of T-Bone to do Gracie’s work for him after Matt got what would have been a three count if there was a ref. Matt managed to recover enough to get in at 9.99 on a ten count to avoid the count out loss, after that T-Bone takes out the ref again before Joe Conner finally takes him out leaving the match back to the numbers it should have been. T-Bone’s frustration also cost Gracie a win as the ref didn’t get a three count for him which in turn would allow Matt to pick up the win in the end.
This match was an outstanding performance and utter chaos well deserved to be the main event of the show. I think all the part combined well to create a great finished product.
Overall another good showing with some room to develop the pre-existing storylines on future shows as nothing seems like it is over with. Also watch out for Kane taking it to a whole year of a win less streak on the next show, which is June 22nd.
I’m @AlphaofAwesome and as usual thanks to the Indy Corner and thanks to you for reading.