Written by: Bob Colling
House of Hardcore III
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Opening Contest: Ben Ortiz vs. Sonjay Dutt: Ortiz attacks Dutt before the bell to get the cheap advantage. Ortiz chokes Dutt with his ring jacket but Dutt fights out of the corner with right hands. Dutt does some exercises before trying to knock Ortiz off his feet. Dutt hits a springboard dropkick managing a one count on the cover. Dutt nails Ortiz with a leaping kick, but Ortiz comes back with a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Ortiz continues his offense with a clothesline to a seated Dutt. Ortiz boots Dutt in the corner followed by another clothesline for a two count. Dutt stops Ortiz with a boot in the corner a few times. Dutt elbows Ortiz and drops Ortiz face first into the middle turnbuckle. Dutt nails Ortiz with a running boot in the corner followed by a tornado DDT for a near fall. Ortiz fights back with a heel kick for a two count. Ortiz goes for a slam but Dutt connects with a super kick. Ortiz cuts Dutt off with a clothesline for a near fall. Ortiz puts Dutt on the top turnbuckle but Dutt fights out with elbow strikes. Ortiz drops to the mat and Dutt hits a moonsault double stomp for the win. (*1/2. There were a few good moments and Dutt hit an impressive finisher to end the match. This match just lacked emotional investment and the action was relatively basic.)
Second Contest: Lance Anoai vs. Matt Striker: Early on, Striker decks Anoai with a right hand before the bell sounds. Striker continues with a back suplex and comes off the ropes to deliver a double stomp for a two count. Striker chokes Anoai with wrist tape to keep the cheap advantage. Striker sends Anoai into the corner with a snap suplex for another near fall. Striker keeps Anoai on the mat with a body scissors. Striker delivers a DDT to the left arm of Anoai and keeps control with an arm bar. Anoai drops Striker with a super kick and heads to the top rope. Anoai leaps off but misses a splash. Striker rolls Anaoi up and wins the match. (*. Well, that was a rather lame match. That went less than four minutes and nobody seemed to care for the action.) After the match, Anoai attacks Striker because he’s a sore loser. Anoai splashes Striker and monkey flips Striker out of the corner. Anoai delivers a running knee strike and Striker bails to the floor.
Third Contest: Stevie Richards & Tara vs. Carlito & Rosita: The fans chant “BWO” rather loudly towards Richards. Carlito and Richards start the match with Carlito hitting a dropkick and Richards crawls to his corner to be protected by Tara. Tara punches Carlito a few times followed by an arm drag and hip toss. Tara connects with a scoop slam and plays to the crowd before hitting a standing moonsault for a one count. Carlito has a go-behind and thrusts Tara down to the mat. Richards tags in and he wants a piece of Rosita. Richards goes to his knees to wrestle Rosita and is met with a kick. Richards grabs Rosita but Rosita takes Richards down with a head scissors. Rosita mounts Tara with right hands. Tara gets up and holds Rosita but Tara is sent into Richards sending him to the floor. Richards trips Rosita from the floor and Tara keeps control of the match. Rosita gets a two count with a rollup and Tara cuts her off with a clothesline. Richards lays over Rosita in a sexual nature and pulls her up. Rosita nearly pins Richards with a rollup and Tara gets tagged in. Tara plants Rosita with a swinging side slam for a two count. Rosita knocks Tara off the middle rope and connects with a middle rope hurricanrana. Rosita continues her offense with clotheslines and did the Matrix move too early to avoid a clothesline. Rosita plants Tara with a neck breaker for a two count.
Richards and Carlito tag in with Carlito clotheslining Richards followed by a springboard back elbow. All four wrestlers are in the ring where Richards and Tara hit stereo super kicks and the referee was knocked down during that spot. Tara wants to go for a moonsault but Richards decides he wants to do it. Richards decides against that and here comes Blue Meanie. Richards and Tara help Meanie get to the top rope but Carlito and Rosita hit backstabbers on Richards and Tara. Carlito spits an apple into Meanie’s face and Meanie falls off the middle rope. Rosita hits a moonsault on Richards but the referee is stilled wiped out. A second referee comes out and counts the fall. (*1/2. Rosita was the most entertaining wrestler out of the group and Carlito was having a lot of fun being sexual with her because she’s a good looking girl. It seems like the HOH audience isn’t all that invested in the action, at least when it pertains to the undercard.)
Fourth Contest: Hardcore Battle Royal: The majority of the people involved in this match are unknowns though there are a few ECW legends such as Little Guido and Danny Doring. There are twenty wrestlers involved in the match. Apparently, there are several HOH students in the match. One of the wrestlers attacked the female referee, Brooke Danielle. Of course, the next entrant just so happens to be the female referee. She eliminated the guy that attacked her earlier, but she quickly gets eliminated as well. Tony DeVito is also involved in the battle royal. DeVito got eliminated quickly and yanked Guido off the apron to screw him over. Wow, seeing Bill Carr not working as his character in Team Tremendous was a little jarring. Spike Dudley is a surprise entrant in the battle royal getting a good pop from the crowd. He hit a double Acid Drop and pinned two guys. Vik Dalishus ends up winning the match managing to outlast Hale Collins.
Fifth Contest: Big XLG (Luke Gallows) vs. MVP: They lockup and go to the floor maintaining the lockup. They roll back into the ring keeping the lockup position before breaking apart. MVP works over Gallows with strikes in the corner and goes for a big boot but Gallows bails to the floor. MVP takes Gallows out with a slingshot cross body to the floor. MVP nails Gallows with a boot to a seated Gallows for a near fall. MVP gets grabbed by Amber O’Neil and Gallows nails MVP with a big boot to get control of the match. Gallows drops MVP with a clothesline for a two count. Gallows pummels MVP with several elbow strikes on the mat. MVP battles out of a headlock but is met with a big boot. Gallows sends MVP to the floor and quickly follows to send MVP face first onto a table. Gallows chokes MVP with Amber’s belt on the floor. Gallows comes off the ropes but misses a big splash. MVP tosses Gallows with an overhead belly to belly suplex. MVP hits Gallows with several clotheslines in the corner followed by another overhead suplex. MVP connects with an elbow drop followed by a fisherman suplex but Gallows powers out at two. MVP drives Gallows down with the Playmaker but can’t get a three count. Gallows avoids the move a second time and plants MVP with a chokeslam for a near fall. Gallows whacks MVP over the head with a steel chair as the referee was distracted but MVP kicks out at two. Gallows misses a knee strike in the corner hitting the turnbuckle. MVP delivers a curb stomp and wins the match. (*. God, I just get so frustrated watching MVP on the independents. He’s not having good matches and yet he continually gets booked. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone talk about him positively since his WWE days. Gallows seemed to try hard in there but this match just lacked enjoyment for me.)
Sixth Contest: Eddie Kingston & Homicide vs. Devon & Matt Hardy: Homicide and Devon kick off the tag match with Devon tossing Homicide to the mat and tells Kingston to suck it. Devon continues to work over Homicide with a scoop slam and leg drop. Homicide throat thrusts Devon and knocks Hardy off the apron. Kingston tags in but Devon tags out to Hardy. Hardy and Devon deliver a double team leg drop for a two count. Hardy looks like he’s busted open on his forehead despite not having been in the match prior to this. Homicide works over Hardy while the referee was distracted by Kingston. Hardy takes Kingston over with a snap suplex and tags out to Devon. Devon clotheslines Kingston in the corner and tells Hardy he doesn’t jump off people’s backs as Hardy wanted to do Poetry in Motion. Devon nails Kingston with a spinning elbow strike. Homicide trips Devon and rams him groin first into the ring post. Devon is worked over for several moments with basic offense from Homicide and Kingston. Devon stops Kingston with a side slam. Hardy and Homicide get tagged in with Hardy cleaning house on Homicide hitting a sleeper hold slam. Hardy bulldogs Kingston out of the corner and clotheslines Homicide for a two count. Homicide is trying to open the cut up on Hardy some more with right hands. Devon and Kingston are brawling on the floor. Hardy plants Homicide with a Side Effect but Amber O’Neill breaks up the count. That brings in Reby Sky and they have a cat fight, as you’d expect. Well, it’s not the usual cat fight as Reby actually hit a tornado DDT. Hardy slams Homicide and they hit the What’s Up. Devon calls to get the tables. Hardy has a ladder and runs over Homicide with it. The same happens to Kingston. Hardy climbs the ladder delivering an elbow strike instead of the trademark leg drop, which disappointed the fans. Devon chokeslams Kingston while Homicide hits an ace crusher on Hardy for a near fall.
Devon spears Homicide as Hardy avoided an ace crusher. Devon sets up the table as Hardy plants Kingston with a Twist of Fate. Homicide gets put through the table with a double choke slam and Hardy ponds Homicide to win the match. (*1/4. Well, this felt like just an exhibition match to put over Hardy and Devon as a nostalgia act. It wasn’t a very good match. Hardy and Devon came across like old legends wanting to get over on Homicide and Kingston.)
Seventh Contest: Kevin Steen vs. Rhino: Steen attacks Rhino before the bell hammering away on the veteran. Rhino sends Steen to the floor following a clothesline but quickly follows to the floor where Rhino continues to hammer away on Steen. Rhino slams Steen face first over the announcers table at ringside. Steen sends Rhino face first into the guard railing. Rhino gets control after Steen was yelling at a fan at ringside. Rhino opens up the guard railing loosening a piece of the railing to hit Steen with it. Steen stops Rhino on the apron with a right hand and tries a suplex but Rhino blocks it. Rhino goes for a shoulder but Steen counters with a DDT over the middle rope to the mat. Steen chokes Rhino over the middle rope and eye rakes Rhino to keep him down. Steen nails Rhino with a spinning heel kick for a near fall. Steen continues to work over Rhino with kicks and basic strikes. Steen runs the ropes only to put a sleeper hold on Rhino. Steen knee lifts Rhino but they collide heads as Rhino was coming out of the corer. Rhino elbows Steen and connects with a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Steen comes off the ropes looking for a clothesline but Rhino doesn’t budge. Steen tries a dropkick but Rhino doesn’t move. Steen comes off the middle rope with another dropkick to knock Rhino down. Steen hits a running cannonball in the corner for a near fall. Steen goes to the floor and is looking for something underneath the ring. It took Steen awhile to find a chair. Steen licks the chair and wedges it in the corner. Rhino drops Steen with a TKO after countering an Irish whip. Steen avoids the GORE and Rhino hits the chair. Steen nearly pins Rhino after an F-5. Rhino counters the package piledriver attempt and hits the GORE but Steen kicks out. Rhino grabs the guard railing and slides that into the ring. Steen leg sweeps Rhino onto the railing and goes to the top rope. Steen hits a swanton bomb and nearly wins the match. Rhino puts Steen on the railing with a belly to belly suplex. Rhino does another one and Steen lands on a chair. Rhino goes for the GORE and on a second attempt is able to finish Steen off. (***. I enjoyed this largely because of the brawling and use of weapons. It’s easily the best match on the undercard to this point. I’m constantly surprised that Rhino continues to be entertaining on the independents.)
Eighth Contest: Alex Reynolds vs. Petey William vs. Tony Nese: Reynolds starts the match working over both opponents with strikes. Nese dropkicks Reynolds but is sent face first into the corner. Williams hammers away on Reynolds in the corner with strikes. Williams head scissors Reynolds and plays to the crowd. Williams continues with a hurricanrana on Reynolds and dropkicks Reynolds over the middle rope for a two count. Nese is also dropped over the middle rope but Reynolds cuts off Williams sending him to the floor. Reynolds misses a springboard cross body hitting the floor. Williams takes Reynolds out with a suicide dive to the floor. Nese takes them both out with a twisting dive to the floor! Nese elbows Reynolds in the corner and drops him face first over his knee. Nese connects with a spinning heel kick and nearly pins Reynolds. Williams gets back in the ring and hammers away on Nese. Nese trips Williams and hits a springboard moonsault for a two count. Nese elbows Williams in the corner but Reynolds nails Nese with a running boot. Reynolds delivers a running knee to Williams for a near fall. Reynolds connects with a knee drop on Nese for a two count. Reynolds plays to the crowd after an elbow strike to Nese. Reynolds dropkicks Nese and plays to the crowd for a near fall. Reynolds blocks a suplex attempt but Nese hits a suplex. Nese trades shots with Reynolds until Williams hits a slingshot Codebreaker on Reynolds. Williams slams Nese and bulldogs Reynolds onto Nese. Williams dropkicks Reynolds and senton splashes Nese.
Williams hits a slingshot hurricanrana on Nese on the floor. Williams plants Reynolds with a side Russian leg sweep for a near fall as Reynolds reaches the ropes. Reynolds elbow strikes Williams and delivers a backbreaker. Reynolds clotheslines Williams from behind for a two count. Reynolds clotheslines Williams in the corner and Nese leaps over Reynolds to splash Williams. Nese head scissors Reynolds into Williams and nearly pins Williams. Nese plants Williams with a pump handle power bomb for a two count. Reynolds stomps Nese in the corner and heads to the top rope. Reynolds hits a moonsault but can’t get a three count on the cover. Williams puts a Sharpshooter on Nese, who was stuck in a head scissors on Reynolds. Reynolds is able to reach the ropes to break the hold. Williams chops Reynolds several times but they all trade superkicks. Williams and Reynolds get their legs tangled but manage to eventually superkick Reynolds. Nese puts Reynolds on the top turnbuckle but Reynolds shoves Nese off and delivers a kick. Reynolds goes for a tornado DDT but Nese blocks it and kicks Reynolds on the top turnbuckle. Nese hits a top rope hurricanrana for a near fall. Williams sends Nese to the floor and attempts the Canadian Destroyer but Nese comes back in and power bombs Williams into Reynolds in the corner. Williams plants Nese with the Canadian Destroyer but Nese rolls to the floor. Reynolds nearly pins Williams with a rollup.
Reynolds drops Williams with a big boot and signals for the Destroyer. Reynolds hits the Destroyer! Reynolds goes for the cover but Williams kicks out at one. Williams drops Reynolds over the top turnbuckle but Reynolds gets out of a Destroyer to hit the Reynolds Wrap for a near fall. Reynolds sits Williams on the top turnbuckle and attempts a superplex. Williams fights out of the hold and proceeds to hit a top rope Canadian Destroyer to eliminate Reynolds. Nese follows up with a 450 splash to pin Williams and wins the match. (***1/4. Nobody told us that this was an elimination match, and that always bugs me. The announcers didn’t even know until it happened. Anyway, they worked a good match and it was enjoyable. That’s two good matches back to back after a rather slow start to the show. The top rope Canadian Destroyer was pretty awesome, I have to say.)
Sean Waltman cuts a promo saying he’s at HOH to kick the ass of Funk and Dreamer because it’s “what is best for business.” Lance Storm comes out and cuts promo talking about his career in the building and eventually introduces Justin Credible to come out to ringside. Angelina Love comes out as well. Credible comes out and looks to be in great physical condition and probably could have worked on the show if he wanted to.
Main Event: Lance Storm & Sean Waltman vs. Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer: Waltman starts the tag match and tells Dreamer that he wants a piece of Funk first. Dreamer doesn’t give into the request and Waltman tells Dreamer to suck it. Dreamer drops Waltman with a right hand but Waltman comes back with a short arm clothesline. Dreamer hip tosses Waltman, who stumbles to his corner and tags in Storm. Storm forearms Dreamer and works over Tommy in the corner. Dreamer atomic drops Storm but Storm gets control of the left arm quickly. Dreamer drops Storm with an elbow strike to the chest. Storm gets up and wants a piece of Funk and spits at the legend. Funk gets the tag and the crowd goes nuts for that. Funk starts off with several jabs to drop Storm and the same happens to Waltman. Funk plants Storm with a DDT for a two count. Dreamer tags back into the match and Storm gets dropped with a double strike to the chest. Dreamer gets tripped by Credible on the floor to help out his former partner. Storm dropkicks Dreamer to keep him on the mat. Funk attacks Credible on the floor with right hands. Funk sends Credible back first into the guard railing and continues to beat on Credible. Dreamer continues to be worked over by Storm in the corner with stomps and strikes. Funk appears to be brawling with Credible to the backstage area to take him out of the match.
Storm elbow drops Dreamer over the apron and gets back into the ring where Waltman tags back in and Dreamer gets met with a backdrop. Waltman continues with a quick leg drop for a two count. Storm comes off the top to strike Dreamer with a right hand to the face. Storm nails Dreamer with a standing dropkick for a near fall. Storm lifts Dreamer up hitting a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Funk has come back to ringside with Beulah. Dreamer continues to be worked over by Waltman and Storm with kicks. Waltman hits the bronco buster on Dreamer and plays to the crowd. Storm tags back in and headbutts Dreamer followed by a jaw breaker and heel kick. Waltman gets tagged back in but Dreamer knocks them both down with a clothesline. Funk tags in and jabs Waltman several times along with Storm. Funk puts a spinning toe hold on Waltman and Dreamer does the same to Storm. Waltman gets to the ropes while Storm kicks Dreamer away. Dreamer goes to the floor to find a trash can lid. Funk has the lid and whacks Waltman with it. Funk uses the lid on Storm in the ring and knocks Waltman off the apron with it. Dreamer tosses a trash can into the ring and Funk hits both Storm and Waltman. Funk continues to work over Waltman with trash can shots and puts the trash can over the body of Waltman before hitting Waltman.
Dreamer uses the ring bell on Storm using the hammer to ring the bell on Storm’s groin. Waltman is getting a few shots in on Funk. Storm nails Dreamer with a short arm clothesline. Dreamer blocks a super kick and plants Storm with a Death Valley Driver but Angelina Love gets in the ring to breakup the cover. Dreamer grabs Love but Storm enters to super kick Dreamer. Storm holds Dreamer but Beulah gets in the ring and has a cat fight with Angelina. Storm clotheslines Beulah! Storm puts the half Boston Crab on Beulah! Dreamer sends Storm to the floor to save his wife and looks at Angelina. Dreamer proceeds to spike Angelina with a piledriver. Waltman nearly wins with an X-Factor on Dreamer. Storm is on the floor looking for a weapon and settles on a broken chair. Storm wedges the chair in the corner and sends Dreamer face first into the chair. Funk has a ladder and jabs Storm in the midsection on the floor. Funk brings the ladder into the ring and spins around to knock Storm and Waltman down several times. Funk weakly hits Waltman with the ladder over the back and wins the match following a DDT. (*1/2. Terry Funk shouldn’t be wrestling 2013 and he’s had several matches since then as of 2018. He’s the only guy I know that can have dozens of retirement matches and people still care about him. They brawled and did their usual spots, so it wasn’t an awful match or anything. They played the classics and Funk got the win. If you’re a big fan of Funk, then you’d probably really enjoy moments like this.)
A rather lackluster HOH this time around though there were a couple of fun matches. The crowd didn’t seem overly hyped into most of the action and the whole Funk farewell nonsense if just really old to me since Funk can’t let go of the business. A skippable show from HOH.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.