House of Hardcore 39 3/24/2018

The Twitch TV Title tournament continues. NWA World Champion Nick Aldis defends against Tommy Dreamer in the main event. Flip Gordon debuts against Matt Cross and much more!

House of Hardcore 39
Date: 3/24/2018
From: Philadelphia, PA

Opening Contest: Clayton Gainz vs. Trey Miguel: The fans don’t know who Gainz is and they let him know about it, too. Gainz looks like he could be Big O’s little brother. For those who don’t know, Big O is Zack Ryder’s best friend who made a few appearances a number of years go for WWE. Miguel starts the match with a running hurricanrana to send Gainz to the floor. Gainz sends Miguel to the floor and plays to the crowd before being pulled to the floor. Miguel takes Gainz out with a springboard somersault dive to the floor.

Miguel gets tripped by one of the female valets as he was running the ropes and Gainz gets control with a backbreaker and a powerslam. Gainz takes Miguel over with a snap suplex and taunts the fans as he keeps control of the match. Gainz argues with the referee after failing to get a three count and Miguel is choked over the bottom rope. Miguel elbows Gainz in the corner but runs into a big lariat for a near fall. Gainz runs the ropes to simply put a headlock on Miguel. Gainz is getting annoyed with the referee not counting to three on his covers. Miguel fights back with a head scissors and dropkick to stagger Gainz into a corner. Gainz has Miguel over his shoulder but misses a splash in the corner. The valets distract Miguel and they get ejected from ringside. Gainz stops Miguel on the top rope. Miguel attempts a top rope crossbody, but Gainz moves out of the way. Gainz attempts a superplex but Miguel wiggles free and hits a 619 on Gainz in the corner. Miguel delivers a double knee strike from the top followed by another kick and sling blade for the win. (**. I got a vibe from Miguel that he’s similar to Ricochet, both in terms of appearance and in-ring style. Gainz can’t be a very experienced wrestler, but he has a good look. He did the usual heel stuff by faking out various high risk moves and settling for basic holds. So, it was a rather simple match.)

Joey Mercury comes out and attacks Miguel. He literally holds Miguel for a Pedigree for several moments before hitting the move. Mercury has been losing matches lately in HOH and is letting his frustration known. Mercury tosses Miguel over the top to the floor. Mercury points for a microphone and demands the female ring announcer to enter the ring, which she does. Mercury cuts a promo saying that he doesn’t care about who the fans want. Mercury believes he is the face of HOH and wants it to be known that the HOH Twitch TV Championship will be his. Looks like he’s going to be the first challenger for whomever wins the tournament during WrestleMania weekend.

Bully Ray comes out and I’m just going to assume does his usual babyface promo putting over the company and fans. He has been sick and could have stayed home but he felt it was just too important for him to be there for Tommy Dreamer. He’s proud that himself and D-Von Dudley are the first original ECW act to get inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame. He has a bag with him, and it’s the HOH Twitch TV Championship. All the guys involved in the tournament come out. Bully Ray jokes that Swoggle is in the tournament and proceeds to put over the title tournament. They all pose with the title. Sami and Brian Cage are the only guys who do a wrestling guy pose. Sami Callihan remains in the ring and gets the microphone after Bully leaves. Sami thanks Bully Ray for allowing him to say his peace and his opinion on Busted Open Radio. Sami tells Bully to mind his business next time if he knows what is best for him. Bully suggests that Sami remember who he is talking to. Sami tells Bully that perhaps he’ll be next to get the baseball shot to the face.

Second Contest: Ken Doane vs. Swoggle in the second round of the HOH Twitch TV Title Tournament: Swoggle grabs the Squad Cam and rubs it on his ass. I really don’t understand the appeal of Swoggle. Swoggle starts the match with a couple of German suplexs on Doane. Swoggle splashes Doane in the corner and continues to deliver chops. Swoggle kicks Doane to the floor. Doane is carried back into the ring by his buddies. Swoggle gets distracted by the Squad on the apron. Doane is acting like he’s dead. Swoggle bails to the floor and then goes under the ring. The Squad goes under the ring to find Swoggle. Swoggle gets back in the ring kicks the Squad followed by a ridiculous spear. Doane nearly wins with a rollup. Swoggle hits a Samoan Drop but Doane gets his boot on the bottom rope. Swoggle signals for a choke hold and locks in a Taz Mission. Doane is tapping but the referee is distracted. Swoggle tosses the Squad with German suplexs. Doane finally gets up to his feet but Swoggle steals the match with a rollup. (DUD. Well, needless to say I hate this kind of stuff. It really just doesn’t make much sense to me and I don’t find it enjoyable.)

The Federal Athletic Commission fella is in the ring and says he was appointed by Donald Trump. They are really doing that kind of angle? He claims this is really his job. He believes the fans don’t know what good professional wrestling actually is. There is a real wrestler who has the right values and is talented. The man is known as Sam Adonis and is from CMLL. He is Donald Trump’s favorite wrestler. Adonis cuts a promo suggesting that another fan smoke some more crack. Adonis thinks that HOH needs a guy like him. Adonis thinks that politics are what make wrestling great. They proceed to issue an open challenge.

Third Contest: Sam Adonis vs. Dennis Jackson: Of course, the guy to answer the challenge is a guy that nobody has ever heard of or seen. Jackson has a rather bad back tattoo that covers his entire back. I’d imagine this would just be a way to promote Adonis as new heel for the company. Adonis has Trump on his tights, too. Adonis hits a middle rope blockbuster and taunts the fans before getting a two count. Adonis continues with a neckbreaker for a two count. The fans aren’t exactly enjoying the match and I can’t disagree with them. Jackson puts Adonis on the top turnbuckle to break free from a choke. Jackson tosses Adonis off the top to the canvas. Adonis drops Jackson with a big boot on the chin. Adonis hits a dangerous looking 450 splash for the win. (DUD. I wouldn’t consider this a good debut Adonis and I really don’t know how I feel about using Trump as a way to get heat. It just seems like a cheap way to get heat. Plus, the finish as bizarre that he’d use a high spot when the entire match felt like he was purposely avoiding them.)

Fourth Contest: Crazzy Steve vs. Alex Reynolds in the second round of the HOH Twitch TV Title Tournament: MJF came to the ring with Reynolds, but walks backstage rather quickly into the match. Steve takes Reynolds down to the mat early on but Reynolds gets to the corner and looks to regroup. Steve dropkicks Reynolds and continues with a few strikes and bites Reynolds forehead. Steve drops Reynolds with a short arm clothesline and gets yanked off the middle rope. Reynolds sends Steve hard into the corner and gets a near fall. Reynolds continues with a backbreaker. Reynolds pummels Steve with strikes in the corner. Reynolds pulls Steve ribs first into the post. Steve bites Reynolds fingers briefly. Steve takes Reynolds over with a head scissors. Steve misses a cannonball splash in the corner. Reynolds manages to get a near fall. Steve fights back with a jaw breaker and clotheslines in the corner. Steve continues with an uppercut in the corner. Reynolds bails to the floor but Steve hits a crossbody to the floor. Steve takes Reynolds out with a second crossbody to the floor. Steve settles for a running uppercut against the railing. Steve continues with a running cannonball against the railing. Steve nearly wins with a crossbody off the middle rope. Reynolds stops Steve with a jaw breaker but Steve delivers an arm breaker and dropkick to the knee. Steve comes off the ropes with a running knee strike for a near fall. Steve locks in the Crossface but Reynolds is reaching for the ropes and is able to do so. Steve comes off the middle rope but runs into a superkick. Reynolds delivers a powerbomb for a near fall. Reynolds nearly wins following a popup Codebreaker. Steve almost steals the match with an inside cradle. Steve comes off the middle rope with a DDT but MJF comes running down and puts Reynolds leg on the bottom rope. Steve mists MJF but Reynolds is able to get a rollup and uses the ropes for leverage for the cheap win. (**1/2. I thought the match was okay and there were bright moments largely thanks to Steve’s offense. It seems like HOH loves to have heels use the ropes for leverage to win matches, though. Reynolds has to be considered one of the favorites to be in the finals for the tournament.)

Fifth Contest: Bull James vs. Killer Kross in the second round of the HOH Twitch TV Title Tournament: There’s not a whole lot going on in the first few moments of the match as it’s mostly Kross frustrating James and taunting the fans. James gets some momentum by taking Kross down a few times with leg trips. James drinks a beer and enters the ring again but Kross kicks the middle rope to low blow James. Kross decks James on the floor and drives him face first onto the apron. Kross also sends James shoulder first into the post. Kross continues to beat on James with strikes on the mat. Kross stagers James with a headbutt and uppercut for a near fall. James takes Kross over with another suplex. James gets out of a rollup and gets the Crossface on Kross, but Kross is able to reach the ropes. Kross elbows and uppercuts James a few times followed by a clothesline. James begins to make his comeback with clotheslines and a spine buster for a near fall. Kross low blows James several times in the corner and is met with a right hand. James comes off the middle rope with a Whoopee Cushion, but holds his leg. Kross recovers and puts the ankle lock on to win the match. (*. I wasn’t interested in the match going in and they didn’t do anything to change that.)

Sixth Contest: Flip Gordon vs. Matt Cross: Flip is a surprise for the show and didn’t seem to get a big reaction or anything. They have a standoff after they both show their agility by landing on their feet on various moves. Gordon knee strikes Cross to the floor and follows up with a suicide dive. Cross comes back with a clothesline turning Gordon inside out. Gordon kicks Cross from the apron and hits a springboard missile dropkick. Flip dropkicks Cross in the corner and comes off the ropes with a kick followed by a standing moonsault for a near fall. Gordon keeps Cross on the mat with an abdominal stretch. Gordon kicks Cross to the mat and misses a springboard moonsault. Cross hits a handspring elbow in the corner but a second attempt is blocked. Cross sends Gordon chest first into the ropes before delivering a double stomp to Gordon’s back. Gordon clotheslines Cross a few times making his comeback. Gordon hits a springboard spinning shoulder strike. Flip goes to the top rope but Cross cuts him off with a strike. Gordon fights back and is able to crotch Cross on the middle rope with a kick. Gordon continues with a running dropkick to the back of Cross. Gordon hits a spinning Falcon Arrow for a near fall.

They begin to trade forearm strikes in the middle of the ring. Gordon is met with a kick coming off the ropes. Cross plants Gordon with a cutter for a near fall. Cross is stopped on the top turnbuckle but avoids Gordon managing to hit a tilt a whirl head scissors for a near fall. Cross goes to the top but is crotched by Flip. Gordon delivers a springboard kick on the top turnbuckle. Cross slams Gordon to the mat and gains footing on the top. Cross misses a shooting star, but lands on his feet. Gordon quickly hits a Star Spangled Stunner for the win. (**1/2. I thought it was a kind of a lackluster debut for Gordon, honestly. Sometimes Gordon is really good and other times it feels like he’s just really flat. This felt like a flat outing for him. There wasn’t even a lot of actual wrestling if you negate the counters or avoiding of move spots.) After the match, Gordon and Cross shake hands because they respect each other.

Seventh Contest: MJF vs. Ace Romero vs. Sami Callihan in a second chance Twitch TV Title Tournament match: MJF’s face is still stained from the mist earlier. Sami charges towards MJF in the corner, but MJF rolls out of the way. MJF wants Romero and Callihan to calm down before any more action occurs. Sami gets the crowd to be quiet so MJF can insult Romero. MJF says that Sami is unsafe, which gets a boot to the floor. Sami delivers a boot to Romero, too. Romero dropkicks Sami to the floor. MJF stops Romero with a knee lift to send him to the floor. MJF fakes a dive to the floor and says he doesn’t need to flip to get over. MJF turns around and is met with a boot from Sami. Sami kicks MJF on the apron followed by a springboard clothesline. Romero catches Sami on a suicide dive and drops Sami face first over the apron. MJF kicks Romero and attempts a moonsault but lands on his feet outside the ring. Romero powerbombs MJF into the guard railing back first. Sami works over MJF with a chop after spitting on his had and then getting the spit back into his mouth. That’s always gross, really.

Sami delivers another chop and rubs his spit all over his face. MJF sends the referee into the ropes to crotch Sami on the top turnbuckle. MJF hooks Sami for a superplex on the middle rope. Romero grabs MJF off the middle rope to the canvas. Romero takes Sami off the middle rope with a suplex and it also takes out MJF. MJF eye pokes Romero to get control of the match. Sami gets on the apron and boots MJF away buts is met with a knee lift a short piledriver for a near fall. Romero stalks MJF into a corner and then just tosses him dangerously into the ropes. Romero almost wins with a sit down powerbomb on MJF. Sami boots Romero in the corner but Romero comes back with a senton splash for a near fall as MJF made the save on the cover. Ace runs into a superkick from MJF and Sami boots Romero into the ropes. Romero misses a clothesline and is knocked down with a double boot. MJF spikes Sami with a Canadian Destroyer. Sami rolls to the floor and Romero hits a Canadian Destroyer of his own.

Romero comes off the ropes with both opponents on the floor and Romero takes them out with a dive. Sami kicks Romero on the middle rope a few times and has Ace on his shoulders. Sami hits a Death Valley Driver and MJF nearly pins Sami with a rollup. MJF decides to spit on Sami and is met with a slap. Sami drops MJF with a double under hook shoulder breaker for the win. (***. The match was solid enough and they didn’t waste any time in there, so that’s good. Considering his segment earlier in the show, it wouldn’t have made much sense for Sami not to win here. It seems like Ace Romero is someone that HOH needs to push, though.) After the match, Sami sets up the same baseball bat spot that smashed Eddie Edwards face on MJF. Sami decides to flip off the fans and walks out of the ring.

Eighth Contest: Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack in the second round of the HOH Twitch TV Title Tournament: A slow start to the match as they start with some mat wrestling. Cage takes Mack over with a standing hurricanrana. Mack arm drags Cage into a corner and punches Cage from the apron. Mack comes off the top with another arm drag. Mack delivers a jumping kick to knock Cage off his feet. Mack monkey flips Cage out of the corner. Mack continues with a somersault neckbreaker to a seated Cage. Mack twists Cage’s nipples in the corner. Mack nails Cage with a kick to his face for a near fall. Cage hits a sit out double leg slam. Cage uppercuts Mack and delivers a kick before hitting a suplex out of the corner for a near fall. Cage keeps control with a clothesline and sleeper hold. Cage continues with a swinging neckbreaker. Cage continues to pummel Mack in the corner until Mack fights back with a clothesline. Mack scoop slams Cage and delivers a leg drop. Mack kicks Cage followed by an overhead suplex. Cage gets up and does the same move. They collide as they both went for clotheslines.

Mack misses a standing moonsault and is dropkicked by Cage. Cage hits a sit out suplex for a two count. Mack continues to work over Cage in the corner and delivers a cannonball in the corner leading to a near fall. Cage fights back with a forearm, German suplex and a sit out powerbomb for a near fall. Mack delivers a Flatliner but Cage gets his shoulder up at two. Mack is able to hit a jumping stunner and heads to the top rope. Mack hits a frog splash but Cage is able to pop his shoulder up at two. Mack attempts another splash but Cage avoids it and nails Mack with a discus clothesline for a two count. Cage knee strikes Mack but Mack counters the F-5 with a stunner. Mack puts Cage in the tree of woe in the corner. Mack goes to the corner and hits a dropkick off the top! Mack goes to the top again and finishes Cage off with a frog splash. (***. Well, the finish was nicely done thats for sure. Brian Cage usually produces a fun match and Mack held his own in there, too. It’s one of the few matches on the show that flew by for me.)

Austin Idol is in the corner of NWA World Champion Nick Aldis these days. I’m assuming that marks the end of Shane Douglas and his association with Aldis.

Main Event: NWA World Champion Nick Aldis vs. Tommy Dreamer: Aldis shoves Dreamer in the corner and delivers a shoulder block to knock the challenger off his feet. Dreamer does a cartwheel and flexes. Dreamer delivers an elbow drop. On the floor, Austin Idol sends Dreamer face first into the ring post. Dreamer has been busted open from that as Aldis beats on the challenger and Idol gets a shot in as well. Aldis catapults Dreamer throat first into the bottom rope. Aldis drives Dreamer down with a vertical suplex. Aldis keeps control with a clothesline and taunts the fans. Aldis hits a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Dreamer elbows Aldis and they trade right hands in the middle of the ring. Dreamer nails Aldis with an elbow strike and a crossbody for a near fall. Dreamer spikes Aldis with a piledriver in the middle of the ring for a near fall. Dreamer goes to the floor and punches Austin Idol. Dreamer whips Idol with his belt. Dreamer uses the belt on Aldis before misting Aldis. Aldis comes off the middle rope but is met with a cutter in midair for a near fall. Dreamer puts a figure four on Aldis using the belt for extra leverage, too.

Aldis chop blocks Dreamer and locks in the Cloverleaf. Dreamer is able to reach the ropes after a brief struggle. Dreamer hits a superplex for a near fall. Dreamer goes under the ring to grab a table. Aldis low blows Tommy and puts Dreamer over the table. Aldis heads to the top rope and misses an elbow drop going through the table. Dreamer plants Aldis with a DDT but Aldis kicks out at two. Dreamer wedges a chair in the corner and is sent face first into the chair. Aldis spikes Dreamer with a piledriver. Aldis heads to the top rope and hits an elbow drop for the win. (**. It’s really not that bad of a match, but it just seemed really rush and the finish felt a little flat. I don’t think Dreamer should be putting himself in these main event matches. I have no problem with him using himself on the shows, but he needs to step aside and give these spots to younger names.) After the match, Austin Idol snatches the championship from Dreamer and celebrates with Aldis. Dreamer talks to Aldis and wants to shake his hand but Aldis rejects that offer and walks off.

Final Thoughts:
It took me numerous attempts to get through this whole show. There is some quality wrestling, but certainly not anything on the show that is must-see. Hopefully with the finals coming up for the tournament the shows will get stronger. Not recommended viewing.

Thanks for reading.

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