Written by: Bob Colling
House of Hardcore V
From: Philadelphia, PA
Opening Contest: Danny Doring vs. Little Guido: They embrace to start the match until Doring hits the Bareback for a two count. Guido counters with a rollup for a two count. Guido takes Doring down with a backslide and dropkicks a seated Doring. Guido is shoved into the ropes and is met with a superkick to the back for a near fall. Doring sends Guido into the corner to maintain control of the contest. Doring elbows Guido followed by a splash. Guido dropkicks Doring from the middle rope for a two count. Doring tosses Guido overhead with a suplex and taunts like he’s Taz. Guido almost wins with a rollup, but Doring connects with a clothesline. Doring misses a top rope leg drop. Guido hits the Un-Prettier and wins the match. (**1/2. They did a lot for going around five minutes. I enjoyed the action and thought they worked well by using their signature moves. I was surprised by how much I liked it.)
Second Contest: Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry) & Vik Dalishus vs. Cerebus, Fungus & Gangrel: Cerebus and Gangrel send Tremendous to the floor and backdrop Vik. Gangrel bites Vik’s neck and Cerebus bites Vik on the midsection. Vik’s girlfriend gets in the ring and Gangrel decides to bite her. Cerebus bites her ass. Barry and Carr return with a heel kick and boot to knock both Gangrel and Cerebus down. Fungus hit a top rope crossbody, but Barry plants Fungus with a slam. Barry works over Fungus in the corner and tags in Carr. Carr delivers several short arm clotheslines in the corner. Carr slams Fungus and Barry hit a moonsault. Vik plants Fungus with a side slam for a near fall. Carr leg drops Fungus and Gangrel tries to get involved. Barry sits Fungus on the top rope, but gets shoved off. Fungus plants Barry with a tornado DDT. Gangrel tags in and cleans house with clotheslines. Vik accidentally hits Carr with a forearm in the corner. Gangrel is kicked by Barry as Gangrel tried a DDT on Vik. Cerebus avoids Barry in the corner and hits a DDT out of a Torture Rack. Carr clotheslines Cerebus to the floor, but Fungus hit a blockbuster on Carr. Vik powerbombs Fungus to counter a hurricanrana. Gangrel spikes Vik with a jumping DDT to win the match. (**1/4. There wasn’t a lot of stalling to the match and they kept a good pace to keep the match going. I thought everyone looked good and I’d like to see these acts in HOH. Gangrel looked to be in the best shape of his career.)
Third Contest: Drew Gulak vs. Lance Anoai vs. Ben Ortiz: Ortiz goes after Anoai with strikes against the ropes. Gulak gets involved delivering a few strikes on Anoai in the corner. Gulak kicks Ortiz on the knee, but runs into Ortiz while coming off the ropes. Ortiz continues with strikes and decks Anoai off the apron. Gulak gets a rollup on Ortiz for a two count. Ortiz takes Gulak over with a slam and knocks Anoai down on the apron. Gulak fights back on Ortiz with chops. Gulak comes off the ropes and is met with a shoulder block. Anoai leaps off the top with a missile dropkick. Anoai knee lifts Ortiz followed by a superkick. Anoai arm drags Gulak a few times. Anoai plants Gulak with a Samoan Drop and plays to the crowd. The referee ejects the manager of Ortiz. Gulak decks Anoai with a right hand. Ortiz returns to the ring and is met with a forearm by Gulak and a clothesline in the corner. Ortiz big boots Gulak coming off the ropes for a two count as Anoai made the save on the cover. Ortiz clotheslines Anoai coming off the ropes and Gulak makes the save on the cover attempt. Ortiz nails Anoai with a running uppercut to a seated Anoai for a near fall. Ortiz has a front face lock on Gulak, who had a leg lock on Anoai. Ortiz drives Gulak down to the mat with a vertical suplex.
Anoai delivers several right hands in the corner on Ortiz. Gulak chops Anoai to the mat for a near fall. Gulak chops Ortiz against the ropes a few times. Anoai forearms both men and rams them into each other head first. Anoai splashes both men in opposite corners and drops Ortiz with a running yakuza kick. Anoai splashes Gulak in the corner followed by a standing moonsault on Ortiz for a near fall. Anoai staggers Gulak with a jawbreaker and clotheslines Gulak to the floor. Ortiz is sent over the top to the floor by Anoai. Anoai takes both men out with a somersault dive and hits his face on the guard railing. Anoai tries to cover Gulak managing a two count. Anoai is stopped by a right hand from Ortiz on the top rope. Anoai crashes to the floor as Ortiz tries to slam Gulak. Gulak breaks free to lock in a sleeper. Gulak keeps a sleeper on Ortiz, but isn’t able to get a submission. Ortiz drives Gulak into the corner back first. Ortiz drops Gulak to the mat for a near fall.
Anoai kicks Ortiz a few times, but Ortiz plants Anoai with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Anoai superkicks Ortiz a few times and finally knocks Ortiz down. Anoai heads to the top rope and hits a splash, but Gulak spikes Anoai with a piledriver to win the match. (**1/2. They worked a solid match with a good finish, although nothing I’ve never seen before. Gulak seemed to get the most attention in regard to his entrance, so I’m not surprised by his win here. Anoai was fun even if he did the Uso chant a little too much for my liking. Regardless, a fine three way on the undercard.)
Fourth Contest: Chris Hero vs. Adam Pearce: Pearce attacks Hero from behind with several right hands. Pearce continues with strikes against the ropes. Hero dropkicks Pearce and pops up to deliver a right hand and chops. Hero tries for a discus forearm, but Pearce bails to the floor to regroup. Pearce decides to stall on the floor for a few moments. Pearce pulls Hero to the floor and misses a clothesline. Hero nails Pearce with a kick. Hero continues with a chop and another kick to the jaw. Hero knee strikes Pearce followed by another kick. Pearce begs off in the corner as Hero looks to continue his offense. Pearce tries for a boot, but Hero blocks a strike. Hero delivers a few more strikes and is dropped over the top rope throat first by Pearce. Pearce continues to control the match with strikes and a stomp on the mat. Hero fires back with chops, but is sent to the floor and hits his face on a table at ringside. Pearce comes off the apron to strike down on Hero. Pearce rams Hero face first onto the table several times. Hero gets the crowd behind him and fights back with strikes. Pearce back rakes Hero and continues to deliver strikes. Hero fights back with more strikes and chops in the corner.
Pearce stops Hero with a simple eye poke and follows up with an elbow drop for a two count. Hero fires back with chops to stagger Pearce. Pearce plants Hero with a spinebuster for a two count. Pearce heads to the top rope and feels he’s in control. Hero crotches Pearce on the top rope. Hero hooks Pearce for a superplex, but is shoved off. Hero kicks Pearce in midair to avoid a double axe handle. Hero flips onto the apron and boots Pearce followed by a boot to a kneeling Pearce for a near fall. Hero nails Pearce with a discus forearm for a near fall. Hero forearms Pearce in the corner, but Pearce comes back with a powerslam for a two count. Pearce tries for a piledriver, but Hero drops to his knees. Hero staggers Pearce with a right hand. Hero boots Pearce and delivers several chops. Pearce drops Hero with a running clothesline and signals for a piledriver. Pearce tries for the piledriver, but Hero counters and nails Pearce with a discus forearm for the win. (**1/2. Once they got past the stalling in the opening moments of the match, it turned into a solid match that relied on strikes and general brawling for the most part. It was a hard hitting and served a purpose on the card.)
Fifth Contest: CW Anderson & Devon vs. Eddie Kingston & Homicide in a falls count anywhere/tables are legal match: So, with the stipulations being announced just prior to the match starting they still start off with a traditional tag rules. Anderson and Homicide start the match by shoving each other until Homicide use the ropes to stall. Devon tags into the match and Homicide wants to shake hands, but that doesn’t happen. Devon shoves Homicide down to the mat after a lockup. Homicide chops Devon in the corner to gain the control. Homicide clotheslines Devon in the corner, but Devon comes back with a clothesline and a scoop slam. Devon delivers a leg drop for a two count. Anderson tags into the match controlling Homicide with a wrist lock. Kingston enters the match and Anderson keeps wrist control. Anderson elbows Kingston to the mat for another near fall. Devon and Anderson make several tags to maintain the advantage on Kingston. Anderson hammers away on Kingston in the corner. Homicide clotheslines Anderson from the apron to gain the advantage. Homicide takes Anderson over with three suplexs, but Anderson nearly wins with an inside cradle. Homicide clotheslines Anderson and taunts Devon.
Homicide claps Anderson’s ears and tags in Kingston to deliver a double shoulder block. Anderson fires back with chops to Kingston, but an atomic drops stops Anderson and Homicide gets a near fall after an elbow strike. Anderson hammers away on Homicide with strikes, but Anderson gets tripped to the mat and elbow dropped by Kingston. Anderson and Kingston begin to trade strikes. Anderson ducks a spinning back fist and drops Kingston to the mat. Devon is tagged in and shoulder blocks Kingston. Devon cleans house sending Homicide to the floor. Devon hits a leaping shoulder block for a two count as Homicide breaks the cover. All four men are in the ring now brawling. Devon clotheslines Kingston to the floor. Anderson plants Homicide with a spinebuster and holds Homicide’s legs for a diving headbutt from Devon. Devon gets a table and slides it into the ring. Kingston nails Anderson with a yakuza kick for a two count. Anderson fires back with strikes to Kingston, but Homicide plants Anderson with a cutter for a near fall.
Anderson clotheslines both Homicide and Kingston. Devon clotheslines Homicide to the floor. Kingston is superkicked by Anderson and Devon slams Kingston through the table leading to Anderson pinning Kingston. (1/2*. I hated this. First, they hardly lived to the stipulation of the match as they didn’t do anything outside of the ring and the table was used for one spot. This was not a good match.)
Sixth Contest: Abyss vs. Tommy Dreamer in a Monster’s Ball Match: Dreamer goes right after Abyss with right hands in the corner. Abyss fights back with right hands and stomps Dreamer. Dreamer low blows Abyss in the corner sending Abyss to the floor. Dreamer baseball slides Abyss into the guard railing chest first and spits water into Abyss face. Dreamer grabs an ECW replica title and nails Abyss with it. Dreamer sets a table up on the floor up against the post. Dreamer sends Abyss into the table face first. Dreamer rings the the bell on Abyss’s groin. Abyss drops Dreamer over the guard railing groin first. Abyss spits water into Dreamer’s face and hits Dreamer with a water bottle. Abyss sends Dreamer into the corner back first. Abyss lays a chair onto Dreamer’s chest and delivers a sit down splash for a one count. Abyss grabs a barbed wire chair from under the ring. Abyss jabs Dreamer with the barbed wire chair a few times. He’s essentially not using the barbed wire part of the chair. Abyss lays the chair onto Dreamer and runs the ropes looking for a sit down splash, but Dreamer uses the chair to low blow Abyss.
Dreamer fights back with right hands in the corner and a clothesline. Dreamer uses a chair on Abyss a few times to knock Abyss to the mat. Abyss plants Dreamer with the Black Hole Slam for a two count. Abyss grabs a bag full of thumbtacks from under the ring. Abyss sits Dreamer on the top rope, but Dreamer fights free with a few headbutts. Dreamer shoves Abyss off the middle rope and onto the tacks. Dreamer plants Abyss with a DDT for a two count. Dreamer grabs a piece of barbed wire from under the ring. Abyss counters a DDT and tries for a chokeslam. Dreamer elbows free and hammers away on Abyss. Dreamer looks for a Death Valley Driver, but Abyss gets out of it. Dreamer bites Abyss fingers, but runs into a Black Hole Slam onto the barbed wire for another near fall. Abyss chokeslams Dreamer onto the tacks for the win. (1/2*. These two seemingly can’t have good hardcore matches, which just blows my mind. They didn’t tell a story and were just in there hitting each other with the same spots they’ve been doing on the Indies for the past four years.) After the match, Sandman makes an appearance and hits Abyss with a kendo stick several times.
Seventh Contest: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Petey Williams & Tony Nese: Daniels and Nese start off the tag team match. Nese arm drags Daniels leading to a standoff. They trade arm drags leading to another standoff. Nese has wrist control keeping Daniels on the mat for a few moments. Daniels takes Nese down to the mat to control with a headlock. Daniels shoulder blocks Nese and controls Nese with another arm drag. Nese keeps a head scissors on Daniels. Daniels pops out and is met with an elbow in the corner. Nese hits a hurricanrana for a one count. Williams tags in and dropkicks Daniels after Daniels was over Nese’s knee. Daniels hip tosses Williams and Kazarian tags in. Williams takes Kazarian to the mat with an arm drag and a head scissors. Williams comes off the middle rope to hit a hurricanrana and dropkicks Kazarian over the middle rope for a one count. Williams knocks Daniels off the apron and tries for the Destroyer, but Kazarian breaks free. Daniels trips Williams from the floor allowing Kazarian to hit a springboard leg drop. Daniels and Kazarian double team Williams leading to a near fall.
Daniels sends Williams hard into the corner. Williams is slammed to the mat and Kazarian hits a standing moonsault for a near fall. Kazarian keeps Williams on the mat with a front face lock. Williams is double teamed while the referee is distracted by Nese. Williams is sent to the floor where Kazarian delivers a few shots as the referee continues to be distracted. Daniels connects with a delayed vertical suplex. Williams has an inside cradle on Kazarian, but Daniels is distracting the referee. Kazarian stops Williams with a clothesline. Daniels heel kicks Williams for a two count. Daniels rams Williams into the corner back first followed by a dropkick and taunts the crowd. Daniels drives Williams down to the mat with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Daniels scoop slams Williams and tags in Kazarian. Kazarian comes off the top rope missing a leg drop. Nese and Daniels are tagged in with Nese delivering a few kicks to knock Daniels down. Daniels stops Nese with a jawbreaker. Nese battles back with a springboard moonsault for a near fall. Nese takes both Kazarian and Daniels out with a twisting dive to the floor.
Nese hits a top rope crossbody on Daniels for a two count. Nese hammers away on Kazarian, but is met with a sit out powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for a near fall. Nese sends Kazarian into Daniels and Williams hits a Codebreaker on Daniels. Williams nearly pins Daniels after a side Russian leg sweep. Williams gets another two count after an STO on Daniels. Daniels locks in the Sharpshooter on Kazarian. Nese and Williams have double submissions on Daniels and Kazarian, but neither get a submission as Daniels breaks free. Daniels tries for Angels Wings, but Williams counters with a hurricanrana. Williams tried for the Destroyer, but Daniels counters with a pin attempt. Williams hits a slingshot hurricanrana on Daniels outside the ring. Kazarian sends Nese into the ring post and Williams takes Kazarian out with a suicide dive. Kazarian hits a slingshot cutter leading to the Angels Wings by Daniels for a near fall. Nese superkicks Kazarian several times and powerbombs Daniels with one arm into the corner. Nese nails Daniels with a knee strike, but Kazarian stops Nese on the top rope. Kazarian hits the C4 off the top. Williams plants Kazarian with the Destroyer, but Daniels hits the BME after slamming Williams and wins the match. (***1/2. The closing minutes of the match was really good. I enjoyed the action and this was the kind of match the fans were waiting to see all night. A well done tag match by these four men.)
Main Event: Kevin Steen vs. AJ Styles: Steen sends Styles to the floor to start the match and follows up with right hands around ringside. Styles battles back with strikes and sends Steen into the guard railing. Steen sends Styles into the railing and taunts the crowd. Styles sends Steen into the railing ribs first and they continue to trade blows around ringside. Steen rams Styles into the apron back first. Styles sends Steen into the ring post shoulder first. Steen crotches Styles into the ring post. They enter the ring where Styles dropkicks Steen to gain the advantage. Styles splashes Steen in the corner. Styles slams Steen followed by a knee drop. Styles works over Steen in the corner with a few strikes and shoulder rams. Styles hooks Steen for a suplex, but Steen blocks it. Styles boots Steen in the corner, but Steen plants Styles with a DDT over the middle rope for a near fall. Steen slams Styles and stands on Styles hair while pulling his arms up. Styles drops Styles with a forearm strike and stomps Styles after mocking Cena’s five knuckle shuffle.
Steen works over Styles in the corner with chops. Steen runs the ropes and simply puts a sleeper on Styles. Steen keeps the hold on for quite a bit of time. Styles gets up and counters with a sleeper of his own. Steen fights out and goes back to a sleeper. Styles elbows free and decks Steen with a clothesline after several strikes. They trade several forearm strikes. Steen knee lifts Styles and tries for a suplex, but Styles counters with a suplex into the corner. Styles hits a springboard forearm smash to send Steen to the floor. Styles kicks Steen and gets dropped face first over the apron. Steen hits a running cannonball splash in the corner for a near fall. Steen hits the stunner, but Styles avoids an F5 and hits a messy looking springboard reverse DDT. Styles kicks Steen on the top turnbuckle, but Steen hits a middle rope fisherman buster for a two count. Steen slams Styles and heads to the top rope. Steen tries for a swanton, but Styles got his knees up to block the move. Styles goes to the apron and is caught on a springboard with an F5! Styles gets out of the Package Piledriver with a Pele kick. Styles drops Steen with a brainbuster and finishes Steen off with the Styles Clash for the clean win. (***. The comedy and headlock spot hurt the flow of the match and quickly prevented this from feeling like a marquee match. The action was good aside from that and it makes me wonder what they could have done if it was presented without the comedy aspect for several minutes.)
On paper this may be one of the more weaker cards for HOH, but there was some decent wrestling on the undercard and the final two matches delivered quality matches. So, I’m going to give this a mild thumbs up recommendation.
Thanks for reading,