HOH 40 4/7/2018

Austin Aries battles Brian Cage in singles action. The first ever HOH Twitch TV Champion is crowned in a triple threat match. Tommy Dreamer teams with Billy Gunn to battle Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. in a street fight. All this plus much more!

House of Hardcore #40
Date: 4/7/2018
From: New Orleans, LA

There’s a lengthy video package before the show covering the history of HOH and various guys cutting promos about the HOH Twitch Television Championship tournament and the finals taking place tonight.

Opening Contest: Matt Lancie vs. J. Spade: I’ve honestly never heard of either of these guys so it’ll be interesting to see what these two make of their opportunity. Spade has the advantage early on with basic offense. Lancie drops Spade over the top turnbuckle followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Spade delivers a few knee strikes but misses a jumping knee strike in the corner. Lancie nearly wins with a short arm clothesline. Lancie runs into a spinning heel kick from Spade after Lancie had delivered a snake eyes. Spade fights back with a heel kick and a springboard dropkick for a near fall. Lancie almost finishes Spade off with a powerbomb. Spade dropkicks Lancie into the corner and wins the match following spinning corkscrew forearm. He calls that the Ace of Spades. (*1/2. Two green guys opening the show, but they did a decent job in there. I wasn’t expecting Spade to use a strike as a finishing move considering his style and flashy offense prior to that.)

Prior to the next match Swoggle sexually assaults two black women that had come down to the ring with MJF. He touched their breasts and then rubbed his face into them as well. Swoggle wants Reynolds to kiss MJF to show they are man enough. MJF is preparing for the kiss on the apron and Reynolds tells him no tongue. MJF says he can’t do it. Swoggle bites Reynolds on the ass and that leads to Reynolds accidentally kissing MJF anyway.

Second Contest: Alex Reynolds vs. Swoggle in the semifinals of the HOH Twitch TV Title Tournament: Swoggle hip tosses Reynolds a few times and Reynolds bails to the floor where Swoggle hits a suicide dive. MJF misses a running attack hitting the guard railing. Swoggle works over Reynolds with strikes and splashes MJF against the railing before doing the same to Reynolds. Swoggle is sent face first into the corner and MJF chokes Swoggle behind the referees back. Reynolds stands on Swoggle’s chest to keep control of the match. Swoggle decks Reynolds with a right hand but gets met with an elbow strike. Swoggle continues to be worked over in the corner. Reynolds can’t put Swoggle away. Swoggle kicks Reynolds a few times and tries to get momentum managing to hit a couple of German suplexs. Swoggle delivers another German suplex to send Reynolds back first into a corner. Swoggle plants Reynolds with a powerbomb out of the corner but MJF pulls Swoggle off of Reynolds from the floor. Swoggle grabs MJF by his nose. Reynolds almost collides with MJF and is almost pinned. Reynolds boots Swoggle to the mat. Reynolds goes to the top rope but Swoggle rolls away. Swoggle continues to roll away whenever Reynolds goes to the top rope. Reynolds misses a top rope moonsault attempt. Swoggle has a fireman’s carry and drops Reynolds with a Samoan Drop. Swoggle goes to the middle rope but MJF grabs Swoggle only for Swoggle to chokeslam MJF on the apron. Reynolds ends up hitting a Codebreaker for the win. (*1/2. I’m just glad that Swoggle didn’t actually make it to the finals. Reynolds and MJF are an entertaining duo, more so MJF in this goofy heel role, which is different from his CZW character. The involvement with MJF helped the match go along faster.)

Third Contest: Willie Mack vs. Killer Kross in the semifinals of the HOH Twitch TV Title Tournament: Mack staggers Kross with a kick to the head after Kross was biting Mack’s hand. Kross controls Mack working over his arm until Mack reaches the ropes. Kross continues to work over Mack but Mack comes off the ropes with a running leg lariat and forearm shot in the corner. Kross catches Mack in the corner to deliver a spinebuster in the middle of the ring. Kross continues to work over Mack with kicks on the mat. Mack drives Kross down with a backbreaker and a Slingblade for a near fall. Mack continues to work over Kross with strikes and twists his nipples. Mack splashes Kross in the corner but Kross stops him with a series of strikes in the corner. Kross comes off the ropes to deliver a boot strike nearly winning the match. Kross comes off the ropes to deliver another clothesline for a near fall. Mack stops Kross with a kick to the midsection but Kross decks Mack with a lariat. The announcers are saying that Kross might have broken a rib as he controls Mack with a nerve hold. Kross is selling the ribs by constantly holding them. Mack fights back with strikes and a clothesline. Mack connects with a spinning elbow and a scoop slam. Mack comes off the ropes hitting a leg drop for a near fall. Kross boots Mack in the corner but Mack comes back with a Samoan Drop and a standing moonsault for a near fall. Kross no sells a German suplex to deliver a spear and taunts the crowd. Kross signals for the end. Mack knee lifts Kross and delivers two Stunners for the win. (*1/2. There wasn’t much of anything going on here, really. Kross doesn’t do much to hold my interest. Mack winning is the right call. I do think that HOH is going to be focusing on Kross in the future, though.) After the match, Kross gets up and looks to be disappointed in the result. Kross offers his hand and they shake hands. Kross raises Mack’s arm selling his ribs, too. Kross takes Mack down to the mat and locks in an arm bar causing Mack to scream in pain. Kross has a distant expression after the attack. Mack is selling his right shoulder as being injured before the finals.

Fourth Contest: Rock N’ Roll Express & Hurricane Helms vs. The Squad World Order (Kenny, Mikey & Randy): Kenny and Gibson kick off the six man tag match with Gibson taking Kenny down to the mat with a headlock. Mikey comes in and is backdropped by Gibson. Gibson takes Kenny and Mikey down to the mat and the fans let Gibson know that he still has it. Hurricane tags in to try his luck with Randy and takes him over with hip tosses. Randy misses a slingshot sunset flip attempt after he bailed to the floor when Hurricane taunted him. Mikey stomps on Hurricane on a figure four attempt. This leads to a three way figure four as the Squad members are all trapped in the hold. Kenny comes back with a scoop slam on Morton. Mikey casually works over Morton as the crowd supports Morton to recover. Kenny tags back in and continues to deliver basic strikes. Kenny goes to the top rope missing a leg drop as Morton moved out of the way. Gibson gets tagged in as does Mikey. Gibson takes all three members of the Squad out with right hands. Gibson gets a sleeper hold on Mikey.

All six men are in the ring brawling by this point. Hurricane hits a double chokeslam on Kenny and Randy. Morton takes Mikey over with a hurricanrana and the Express hit a double dropkick to win the match. (*1/2. The Rock N’ Roll Express are still good at hitting the classics and it’s impressive with what they are able to pull off despite their age. The crowd popped for the finish, but that was all.)

Fifth Contest: Carlito vs. MVP: This feels like a Smackdown match from 2006 or something. These two don’t really feel like they fit in with HOH at this point, anyway. They start off rather slow with nothing really happening early on. Carlito leaves the ring and grabs an apple. MVP jabs him several times followed by a slam. MVP tried for the ballin’ elbow but Carlito bails to the floor. MVP takes Carlito out with a slingshot crossbody and drops Carlito over the railing. Carlito kicks the middle rope to stop MVP on the apron followed by a dropkick to send MVP to the floor. Carlito dropkicks MVP and then removes his shirt but puts it back on when women cheer for it. Carlito slams MVP before going to the top rope looking for a moonsault. Carlito changes his mind and goes to the mat missing an elbow drop. Carlito comes off the ropes with a knee lift and clothesline. Carlito misses a splash in the corner and is stuck on the middle rope for a moment. MVP delivers a face buster and connects with the ballin’ elbow. MVP pulls Carlito up to deliver a fisherman suplex for a near fall. MVP avoids the Backstabber and hits the Playmaker for a two count. Carlito almost splashes the referee in the corner and on the second attempt Carlito hits the referee. The referee didn’t fall down or anything and Carlito superkicks MVP. Carlito grabs his green apple and spits the apple into the referees eyes. MVP drops Carlito with the Playmaker for the win. (*. Yeah, it was as bad as I was expecting that to be. I don’t understand the focus on the referee here. That just came across rather odd. I’d rather not see these guys in HOH.)

Sixth Contest: Teddy Hart vs. Joey Ryan: Ryan does his usual stuff with his oil and lollipop before the match begins. Teddy takes Ryan down to the mat and locks in an Indian death lock for a moment. Ryan tries to get Hart to touch his penis. Teddy keeps control of Ryan on the mat and then taunts Ryan when they get back up. Hart gets frustrated and shoves Ryan regarding the penis stuff. Hart atomic drops Ryan and then sells his knee. Hart takes Ryan down to the mat focusing his offense on the left leg. Joey sends Hart chest first into the corner and hits an overhead suplex for a near fall. Ryan gets annoyed the referee for not counting him a fall and he believes he’s won twice. Hart plants Ryan with a straightjacket backstabber to keep Ryan on the mat. Hart takes Ryan out of the corner with a Code Red after standing on Ryan’s back, which was impressive. Teddy goes to the top rope hitting a Canadian Destroyer! Hart almost wins with a split legged moonsault for a near fall. Ryan finally gets Hart to touch his penis. Ryan takes Hart over with a suplex but Hart kicks out at two. Ryan goes into his tights for a blow pop and puts it in Teddy’s mouth followed by a superkick for a near fall. Ryan talks to the referee about his frustration and Hart attempts a rollup out of the corner only for Ryan to sit down and steals the match. (**1/2. An enjoyable match with Teddy showcasing his skills and Ryan still showing he can wrestle in brief spurts when he’s not relying on the gimmick. The finish was abrupt, though.)

Seventh Contest: Ace Romero vs. Clayton Gainz vs. Myron Reed vs. Super Crazy vs. Trey Miguel: Gainz decides to step out into the middle of the ring and is met with a superkick from Miguel and splash from Romero. Romero dropkicks Gainz to the floor. Crazy and Miguel are left in the ring while the other three are sent to the floor. Crazy arm drags Miguel followed by a facebuster after lifting him into the air. Gainz pulls Crazy to the floor and tries to get the crowd to cheer him, but no luck. Gainz decides to play to the crowd by taunting them and Reed hits a springboard dropkick. Reed dives over the top to take Gainz out on the floor. Miguel springboards off the middle rope to take Gainz and Reed out with a dive. Romero is in the ring and he’s about to dive, too. Romero takes them out with a suicide dive. Crazy is in the ring and the referee stops him from diving out. Crazy just dives over the referee to take everyone out. Miguel kicks Crazy from the apron and returns to the ring. Reed and Miguel have Crazy on the middle rope but Romero comes over to do the Tower of Doom spot.

Gainz tries to cover Crazy and Reed but both men kick out at two. Reed hits a stunner on but Gainz connects with a discus clothesline. Gainz plants Reed with a TKO, but Reed rolls to the floor. Miguel boots Gainz a few times only for Gainz to put Miguel on the top turnbuckle. Miguel kicks Gainz and traps his head on the top rope to deliver a 619 and a double knee strike. Romero catches Miguel with a swinging side slam for a near fall. Crazy enters the ring and is met with strikes from Romero. Crazy nails Romero with a spinning heel kick for a near fall. Crazy hits a moonsault on Miguel sending him to the floor. Crazy drop toe holds Romero into the middle turnbuckle for a near fall. Reed is sent to the floor and Crazy slams Gainz to the mat. Crazy heads to the top rope missing a moonsault attempt. Crazy is able to get a rollup on Gainz for the win. (**3/4. The action was fast pace and everyone was given their moment to shine. Gainz looked like he’s improving and had some good power moves in there. I thought this was going to be a spot where Romero would win, but apparently the win for a former ECW veteran was more important.)

Eighth Contest: Austin Aries vs. Brian Cage: Cage lifts Aries up on a headlock attempt and shoves him away before playing to the crowd. Aries gets control following a kick and an arm drag out of the corner. Cage keeps a head scissors on Aries but Aries reaches the ropes to break hold and bails to the floor. Aries avoids Cage by running the ropes and dumps Cage to the floor. Cage catches Aries on a slingshot attempt to the floor and drives Aries back first into the post. Cage plants Aries with an F-5 onto the apron. Cage heads to the top rope but Aries cuts him off. Aries forearms Cage and meets him on the middle rope. Aries attempts a superplex but Cage fights Aries off. Aries forearms Cage and tries again for a hurricanrana but Cage holds on. Aries is able to reverse with a hurricanrana but only managers a near fall on the cover. Aries baseball slides Cage to the floor. Aries heads to the top rope taking Cage out with a dive to the floor. Aries rolls Cage back into the ring and delivers a boot scrape on the apron before hitting a slingshot splash for a near fall

Aries attempts a brainbuster but Cage counters and dumps Aries to the apron. Aries drops Cage over the middle rope with a neckbreaker. Aries heads to the top rope but Cage catches Aries hitting a vertical suplex. Cage sends Aries chest first into the corner several times. Cage tosses Aries with a release German suplex and plays to the crowd. Cage goes for the cover but Aries kicks out at one. Cage grabs Aries and brings him to the middle rope but Aries fights off and they are both on the apron. Aries has Cage on his shoulders but Cage elbows out and Aries elbows free to knock Cage off the apron. Aries takes Cage out with a suicide dive to the floor. Aries heads to the top rope hitting a missile dropkick. Cage boots a charging Aries in the corner and hits his vertical suplex from the apron for a near fall. Cage heads to the top rope missing an elbow drop. Aries locks in the Last Chancery.

Cage is able to quickly break free from the hold. Aries forearms Cage several times but Cage comes back with a press slam and a discus clothesline for a near fall. Cage attempts the Drill Claw but Aries forearms his way free. Aries hits a running dropkick into the corner and looks for the brainbuster but Cage throws him away. Aries hits a crucifix bomb, dropkick in the corner and a brainbuster for the win. (***1/4. A solid match with good action overall. This would be a match I’d eventually like to see occur in Impact Wrestling. Which, kind of surprises me that it happened in HOH first and there was a clean finish. Up to this point, it’s the match of the night.) After the match, they show respect for each other shaking hands and embracing. Aries gets a microphone and asks who loves professional wrestling. Of course, this leads to Aries putting over Cage. Aries then cuts a promo saying he wants Pentagon and Fenix at Impact Wrestling Redemption in a three way dance.

Lance Archer gets a microphone and says that himself and Davey are wrestling gods in Japan. They aren’t going to have a street fight. He brings out the State Commission, who is the same guy from Philadelphia. They are essentially trying to get out of the street fight. The guy is capable of getting great heat from the crowd, I must say. He goes through all the things that won’t be seen in the match and it will be a regular tag team match.

Ninth Contest: Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) vs. Billy Gunn & Tommy Dreamer in a street fight: Archer and Gunn kick off the tag match. Archer hip tosses Gunn and then taunts him with a crotch chop. Gunn takes Archer over with a hip toss and returns the crotch chop. Smith tags into the match to try his luck. Dreamer gets tagged into the match to take on Smith. Smith knee lifts Dreamer a few times to get the advantage. Dreamer comes off the ropes with a crossbody followed by jabs. Dreamer staggers Smith with an elbow strike. Gunn tags into the match and they deliver double elbow strikes. Gunn continues to work over Smith’s left arm. Smith big boots Dreamer and knocks Gunn off the apron. Smith keeps control on Dreamer delivering a headbutt to the lower midsection. Smith chokes Dreamer over the top rope before tagging Archer into the match. Dreamer is met with a double shoulder block and a leg drop/splash combo for a near fall. Archer comes out of the corner to run over Dreamer with a shoulder strike. Archer takes Dreamer over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Smith knee lifts Dreamer and attempts a vertical suplex driving Dreamer down to the mat. Smith heads to the top rope but misses a leg drop as Dreamer rolled out of the way.

Dreamer reaches his corner and tags in Gunn as does Archer. Gunn cleans house but Archer cuts him off with a knee strike and overhand strikes to the back. Archer runs into a clothesline a few times. Gunn tosses Smith to the floor and Gunn attempts the Fame-Asser but settles for a neckbreaker. All four men are in the ring brawling with Dreamer and Gunn getting the better of the exchange. Smith and Archer are sent to the floor. Gunn and Dreamer fake dives to the floor and instead just go to the floor to brawl with them. Dreamer and Gunn come back from the backstage area to bring weapons to the ringside area. Gunn has a trash can and whacks Archer over the head with it. Dreamer sets a ladder up in the corner before chopping Smith. Smith is sent back first into the ladder and Dreamer connects with a DDT for a near fall. Archer grabs Dreamer looking for a chokeslam but Dreamer bites his hand. Dreamer is punched on the middle rope and Archer has Dreamer lifted into the air to deliver a crucifix slam for a near fall.

Gunn is in the ring helping Dreamer as they grab Smith. Dreamer tries for a piledriver but the commission guy gets in the ring to tell Dreamer he can’t use a piledriver. He threatens Dreamer to hit him. Gunn calms down Dreamer and says not to worry about it. Gunn hits the commission with the Fame Asser. Archer comes in and boots Gunn but Dreamer hits a cutter on Archer. Dreamer has the cheese grater. Dreamer tries to use the grater on the commission but he instead is met with the Killer Bomb and is pinned. (**1/4. A decent brawl of a match. I was a little concerned that they weren’t going to do anything hardcore, which would have sucked. Luckily, it turned into a serviceable tag match.)

Main Event: Alex Reynolds vs. Sami Callihan vs. Willie Mack in the finals to crown the first ever HOH Twitch TV Champion: Jerry Lynn is the special referee for the match. Callihan kicks Reynolds in the corner but Mack hits a Samoan Drop on both Sami and Reynolds. Mack nearly wins following a standing moonsault on both men. Mack splashes Sami in the corner and avoids Sami in the corner. Mack comes off the ropes with a leg lariat on Sami for a near fall as Reynolds breaks up the cover. Mack kicks Reynolds but MJF distracts Mack allowing Reynolds to dump Mack to the floor. Sami waits for Reynolds to turnaround and delivers a kick. Reynolds forearms Sami but Sami decks Reynolds with a clothesline. Reynolds goes to the apron and Sami delivers a springboard clothesline to knock Reynolds to the floor. Sami comes off the ropes and misses a clothesline on MJF. Reynolds is able to hit a suicide dive to take Callihan out on the floor. Mack takes them both out with a somersault dive and then sells his shoulder injury. Reynolds gets kicked by Mack on the apron and Sami drops Mack’s arm over the top rope. Sami gets the crowd behind him and comes off the ropes but MJF stops Callihan by getting in his way. MJF gives Sami the finger and gets his finger bitten. Sami powerbombs MJF over the top to the floor before tossing a few chairs into the ring.

Callihan whacks Reynolds over the back with a steel chair shot. Sami sets a chair up in the middle of the ring and attempts a suplex onto the chair but Reynolds drops Callihan with a forearm strike. Reynolds gets dropped onto the chair with a suplex by Sami for a near fall as Mack broke up the cover. Sami chops Mack on the injured right shoulder several times. Mack lifts Sami up to deliver a forearm shot and a jumping kick to the head. Reynolds whacks Mack over the shoulder with a chair shot. Reynolds stomps Mack’s chair on a chair a few times. Reynolds smashes another chair onto Mack’s injured shoulder. Reynolds gets a modified STF on Mack and delivered a few knee strikes. Sami puts an STF on Reynolds, too. Mack has gotten free and kicks Sami a few times, but Sami doesn’t break the hold until the third kick does the trick. Mack delivers running forearms and kicks to both Sami and Reynolds. Mack tosses Reynolds into Sami in the corner with an exploder suplex. Mack hits a cannonball splash on Sami in the corner. Mack tries for a stunner on both men but can’t hit the move. Sami and Reynolds trade rollups until Reynolds delivers a knee strike on Sami for a near fall.

Mack has gotten a steel chair and talks trash to Reynolds, who also has a chair. Mack drops the chair due to his shoulder. Mack is able to hit a midair stunner on Reynolds. Mack goes to the top rope but MJF wiggles the ropes to crotch Mack. MJF gets in the ring and Lynn tosses him out. MJF spits in Lynn’s face. Lynn proceeds to kick MJF and attempts the cradle piledriver. Sami kicks a chair into Reynolds face. Sami spikes Reynolds with a cradle piledriver and Mack comes off the top to hit a frog splash on Sami to win the match and title. (**1/2. The story of Mack’s shoulder really made it obvious that he was going to win the title. I can appreciate the story and the level of sympathy he was able to get. I’d imagine he’ll feud with Kross for causing the injury, though.)

Final Thoughts:
HOH always seems to have a variety on their shows with sometimes the shows delivering and other times being lackluster. This time around, I thought HOH had a fine overall show. It’s important that they have a title to build purpose for future matches and angles. I’m certainly intrigued to see what directions they go in with Mack as champion and the possible contenders in the next several months.

Thanks for reading.

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