STRONG VIOLENCE AND STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD

Welcome back to H2O. The Mom-and-Pop federation of New Jersey is back for its annual deathmatch tournament, Hardcore Kingdom. Boasting a line-up of stars both new and old, this one-day tournament was about to put all its fighters through their paces, with some added surprises too, especially for Atticus Cogar, who still didn’t know who he was fighting. Alongside that we had a 20,000-tack match for the Danny Havoc Hardcore Title, Bam Sullivan vs Mouse in Extricated Warfare for the Hybrid Title and Chuck Payne had to contend with Lucky 13 if he wanted to keep the Heavyweight Title at the end of the night. Let’s get into the action.

Round 1 Deathmatch: Atticus Cogar defeated Homicide via Pin Trap

Up first was the answer to the most asked question of the tournament. Who was Atticus Cogar fighting at the tournament? The grand reveal came and it was the Notorious 187 Homicide. Cogar was about to get a baptism by fire. Cogar jumped Homicide and beat him around the ring, getting a one-count on a Suplex. Homicide wasn’t impressed by Cogar’s chops so Cogar raked his eyes instead and bit into his forehead. Cogar used a mix of misdirection and striking to keep control, earning the crowd’s ire by choking him with his own bandana. Homicide launched Cogar with a belly to belly but Cogar went right back on the attack. Cogar charged and Homicide threw him into the buckles with a back body drop. Homicide slammed Cogar into the concrete outside, taking Cogar on a tour of the ringside flooring until Cogar smashed Homicide off a ring post. Homicide quickly shook this off and delivered another concrete slam. He took Cogar back into the ring for Three Amigos and flattened him with a splash, tweaking his knee in the process. Cogar took out the leg and went back after Homicide with cocky punches. Homicide avoided the skewers with a sit-out powerbomb and tried to take the fork to Cogar but Cogar bit free and took him out with a clothesline. Cogar set up a door and reversed a Suplex to snap Homicide into the mat. He broke the door with a stomp and gave Homicide some small joint manipulation. Cogar tried for a moonsault but Homicide dodged and hit a comeback combo into a T-Bone Suplex. He drilled Cogar with a Tornado DDT and threw him around the ring with a Butterfly Suplex. The Gringo Cutter followed but he couldn’t hit the lariat and Cogar caught him into an Air Raid Crash. He took Homicide to the top for a Superplex but Homicide trapped him in a double wrist lock and bit into his forearm. He tried to nail a sunset flip but Cogar dropped low and trapped him on the mat for a three-count. Cogar had stolen the win with no fuckery in a hardcore tournament. The crowd was livid but I can’t complain. This was a fun wrestling match with Cogar playing star-killer once again. Fuck 44OH! Count: 1

Round 1 Deathmatch: Deklan Grant defeated Devon Moore via tights-pulling Roll-up

The Grimy Bastards imploded as Deklan Grant and Devon Moore collided in deathmatch action. It would be veteran meets rising star as the two prepared to beat the shit out of each other for a spot in the Hardcore Kingdom final. Grant had won Heir to Thy Throne to be here, was he going to bow out in the first round? They started by fighting up to the widow’s walk scaffold to retrieve a bat. Neither man made it as Moore got crotched and sent both men flying back with a leg sweep. The fight fell outside and Grant carved up Moore’s head. Moore went to the eyes and took the same blade to Grant. They continued to brawl around the ring posts and Grant threw a table into the ring. He spiked Moore with a DDT and climbed to the top of widow’s walk. He brought down the barbed-wire bat and Moore kicked the bat into his face twice with Yakuza Kicks. Moore took the bat to Grant’s back and further cut up Grant’s face. Grant hit the TKO and got a two-count with a Blue Thunder Bomb. He set up the table and Moore hit a sneaky cutter. Moore placed Grant on the table and broke him in half with an elbow drop off the widow’s walk. The wreckage saved Grant from being pinned and he caught Moore out of a swing with a tights-pulling roll-up to win. Grant had taken some serious punishment but he’d bested his partner and mentor to kick the second veteran out of the tournament. This was a sprint of a match but it offered some nice bloodletting and quick hits. The pair hugged it out after the match, showing whatever beef they had, it had been squashed.

Round 1 Deathmatch: Kennedi Copeland defeated Mickie Knuckles via Car Hood Crucifix

This was going to get ugly. We’d just seen Awesome Odyssey get destroyed by the H2O Tag Team champions and now we were getting the next round 1 battle. Kennedi Copeland is one of the toughest new stars on the deathmatch scene and had been the first announced for the tournament. Her opponent, the deathmatch veteran, Mickie Knuckles. This wasn’t Knuckles’ first deathmatch tourney as she was going to give Copeland hell. We opened with heavy strikes and Knuckles torturing Copeland with chops. Copeland quickly got revenge by sending Knuckles through a door with a John Woo. Copeland followed up with a corner crossbody and tried for a second but Knuckles sent her flying into the wreckage with an overhead belly to belly. The fight broke outside and Knuckles continued to pummel Copeland, giving her a pep-talk as she did so. A slugfest threatened to break out but Knuckles stopped it with a powerbomb through another door. A brawl kicked off as Copeland fought back and the pair lobbed water bottles at each other. Copeland smashed Knuckles against the ring apron and smacked her across the face with another bottle before splashing a beer in her face. This powered Knuckles up and she went to town on Copeland with trashcan lids. Knuckles took things a step further by ripping out Copeland’s lip ring and the back-and-forth brutality fired up again as Knuckles went headbutt wild. Another door was set up and Copeland sent Knuckles into it by reversing a whip. Copeland took a chair to Knuckles’ back and Knuckles knocked her into a seat for a door to the head. The two returned to the ring and Knuckles flattened Copeland with a senton.

She dragged a car hood into the centre and stabbed Copeland with a dislodged wiper. Copeland woozily booted Knuckles onto the hood for some ground and pound, then tried to tear her arm out of the socket with a Fujiwara armbar. Knuckles countered into a roll-up so Copeland teed off on her with kicks and kneed free of a pump handle. Knuckles punched Copeland down, put her on the top rope, and kept her in place with a low blow. She drove Copeland onto the car hood with a DVD but Copeland held on and rolled Knuckles up with a Crucifix. Copeland took the win after one hell of a beating and proved she can hang with the big guns. This was the hardest fight yet and by far the most entertaining. It’s nice to see Copeland get the big win, especially since she gave me an emo flashback coming out to Na Na Na by My Chemical Romance.

Round 1 Deathmatch: Eric Ryan defeated Jimmy Lyon & Alex Colon via Snuff Stomp to Lyon

Last but not least, the final round one fight. Eric Ryan and Jimmy Lyon were scheduled to compete but an extra variable entered the equation in the form of Alex Colon. We were about to watch three ultraviolent experts clash in a triple-threat fight for deathmatch dominance. This was going to be incredible. Chondo was bleeding before the match had begun as Ryan jumped him and beat the shit out of him. He emptied a box of forks on Lyon and slammed him onto the cutlery. Colon’s music hit as Lyon was getting stabbed up and entered the fight. Lyon tried to roll up Colon and Ryan dropkicked them both. He got rid of Colon and continued to fork up Lyon. He pelted both with forks and went keyboard warrior mode on Lyon. Ryan swatted away Colon and rained down fists on the bloody Lyon. Ryan dived on Lyon and Colon dived onto them both as all three men ended up in the crowd. Colon attacked Ryan with a stop sign and dropped a plant pot over Lyon. A headbutt battle broke out so Colon took a barbed-wire pipe to Lyon. Ryan took the same pipe to Colon and everyone traded on the floor. Colon made both opponents take a seat and ran a shopping trolley into both. He suplexed Lyon onto the shopping trolley and threw both opponents back into the ring. He hit Lyon with a water jug but Ryan dodged and drilled Colon with a knee to the gut. He took the water jug to both and slammed Colon onto Lyon. Colon was placed on the top and after a series of unfortunate events broke both opponents with flatscreen TVs, crushing them further into each other with double knees. He hit Ryan with a bridging Northern Lights onto another monitor and tried for a Tornado DDT but Ryan caught him into a German. We got a three-way headbutt fight and Colon trapped Lyon in the Camel Clutch. Ryan broke this up and knocked out Lyon with the Snuff Stomps. Ryan had had to battle two tricky opponents here and had somehow still come out on top. Colon had given him hell and Lyon had held on until the very end. This was an excellent bloodletting bout from some of the best in the game. Colon wants Lyon one-on-one next time. I can’t fucking wait. Fuck 44OH! Count: 2

Danny Havoc Hardcore 20,000 tacks four-way: Jeff Cannonball (w/Terra Calaway) defeated Austin Luke, Marcus Mathers & Mitch Vallen via Tack Chair Iconoclasm to Mathers

Jeff Cannonball had regained his hardcore fire when he took the Danny Havoc Hardcore title from Bam Sullivan. Now, he was going to see if it was still burning by fighting not one but three opponents in a match full of tacks. Would Cannonball prove to be the apex predator in the title scene or would he lose in his first defence? They started with a team battle as the Kids tried to take out the Lone Rangers. That failed and after the Rangers got rid of them, they turned on each other. They slugged it out so Luke and Mathers sent them flying with superkicks. Luke kicked Mathers in the head and forced Vallen’s hand into the bucket of tacks. He spilled some of the tacks into the ring and had them slapped into his face after an Atomic Drop from Vallen. The two both drove tacks into the other’s head and headbutted them in further. Vallen poured even more tacks into the ring and smashed Luke’s face into them until Mathers took him out with a crossbody into the tacks. Mathers hit Vallen with a tack forearm and Cannonball pelted Mathers with a chair, then delivered a sickening headbutt. He continued the head-based assault with a homerun chair shot and tried to throw Mathers into a corner chair. Mathers dodged and Cannonball collided with the chair. Mathers covered a chair in tacks and curb-stomped Cannonball into them. Cannonball sacrificed his own body with a sidewalk slam into the tacks and crushed Mathers in the corner until Luke booted his head off.

Luke rained down the final tacks and Vallen dumped him in them with a spinebuster. Cannonball tried to follow up with a splash but Luke dodged and he only ate tacks. Mathers and Luke double-teamed Vallen into the tacks and dragged him through the pile before dumping him outside. They slugged it out and Luke dodged the Kip-Up Cutter to hit a Regal-Plex into the tacks. Luke tried to make Mathers quit and pierced his ears with tacks. Mathers got revenge with a tack bat to the thigh and the back before dumping him with a rolling flatliner. Luke kicked out and Mathers covered more chairs with tacks. He stomped Cannonball onto them and Vallen took out Luke with an apron DDT. Mathers took out Vallen with a dive and climbed widow’s walk. Cannonball hit him with tacks and drove him through the chairs with an Iconoclasm. A DVD later and Mathers was out. Cannonball had retained but Mathers and Luke had stolen the show here. What a brutal fight with a whole lot of pain for everyone involved. Definite fun to watch though.

H2O Hybrid Title: Mouse (w/Aiden Baal) defeated Bam Sullivan via Belt-Assisted Stunner/Shiranui Combo

Time for some Extricated in-fighting. Bam Sullivan had turned his back on his Extricated brothers after losing the Danny Havoc Hardcore title. Now, he was being granted a shot at another title, but it would mean going through one of his old brothers, the rabid one, Mouse. This new attitude was turning Sullivan against everyone but it could prove worthwhile if it gained him more gold. Sullivan attacked during Mouse’s entrance and ran down the crowd on the mic as he assaulted Mouse. He blasted Mouse with the title before the bell rang and hit him with a spear when it did. He smacked Mouse down and choked him in the ropes, revelling in the revilement he was getting. He trapped Mouse in a side headlock and squashed a comeback with a spinebuster. Mouse was being torn apart here. Sullivan tanked Mouse’s shots and delivered a stiff PK to the back followed by an imploding Suplex. Mouse held on as Sullivan arrogantly threw him to the outside and bit into Sullivan’s head before introducing him to the buckles. He followed up with a slingshot moonsault and ran right into a decapitator clothesline from Sullivan. The crowd distracted him with chants and Mouse brought Sullivan into the buckles with a head-scissor. He dived onto Sullivan with a crossbody and the two had a grounded slugfest. Mouse avoided another slam and slapped the taste out of Sullivan’s mouth. He beat down Sullivan with a Thesz Press and corner tackles, then dropkicked him out of another spear. Casanova Valentine tried to attack Mouse but Aiden Baal made the save there. Those two brawled away and Sullivan tried to attack with the title again. Mouse stopped him and hit a belt-assisted Stunner into a Shiranui for the win. He had survived Sullivan and Valentine’s onslaught but it was clear Mouse is a marked man. This had been a very stiff contest and Sullivan proved just how far removed from the Extricated he really was, especially since Valentine seems to have aligned with him.

H2O Heavyweight Title: Chuck Payne defeated Lucky 13 via Screwdriver

The last title match of the night would see the Monster Chuck Payne take on some stiff competition in the former champion Lucky 13. Payne had seen off all-comers both new-school and old but now he would have to take on the crafty veteran with hatred for rules, Lucky 13. This could just be his toughest fight yet. 13 started showing off his speed and went right for Payne’s legs. Payne threw him away and did his own bit of posturing. The two traded jabs and Payne showed off more power with a corner beatdown into a sidewalk slam. Payne hammered 13 around the outside and 13 took Payne and himself out with a Fosbury Flop. 13 drove Payne into the concrete with a rebound DDT and threw him back in for a slingshot senton. He changed tactic and went after Payne’s leg, stomping, snapping, and elbowing it. Payne fired back with a big boot and tanked a backflip knee to launch 13 with a Suplex toss and powerslam. 13 raked the eyes and went right back to the leg. Payne tried to fight back so 13 went to the eyes again and floored him with an enzuigiri. 13 fought out of another chokeslam but jumped right into a lariat and ate Payne’s comeback. He signalled for the end but 13 used the ref as a shield and kicked low. Payne dodged a double stomp and dropped 13 with a powerbomb but could only get two. 13 rolled to the outside and used the ropes for a spike driver and nailed the double stomp but took too long to pin the monster. Payne tried to jab it out but 13 drove him into the buckles with a head-scissor and drilled him with a superkick. He flipped out of a chokeslam so Payne rocked him with a lariat and hit the chokeslam for two. Payne followed up with the Screwdriver and 13 was dead. Payne had bested another tough foe but hit had been a very tight battle. This was awesome to watch despite 13’s horrific early landing and provided a very nice wrestling bout.

Hardcore Kingdom Finals Rise and Conquer Elimination Deathmatch: Deklan Grant defeated Atticus Cogar, Kennedi Copeland & Eric Ryan via Cup Retrieval

Four fighters had fought through their first-round matches and were now about to go to war one final time for the Hardcore Kingdom cup. All four fighters had seen off deathmatch veterans to get their spots in this final and now, they’d have to cull off each other until only one was left standing clutching that trophy. Who would have their hand raised and what would be left of them? In the battle of H2O vs 44OH! who would win when both sides had two dogs in the fight? 44OH! instantly charged Grant through a door and Cogar kicked Copeland into another. Ryan pelted her with a door and Cogar skewered her forehead. They bullied Copeland and occasionally pelted Grant to keep him out of the match. Copeland beat down both with a cookie sheet and KO’ed both with knees. Grant saved them both by breaking up the pin and attacked both with suplexes. He held both in place and Copeland dived onto both from widow’s walk. 44OH! avoided chair shots and took Grant out of the match with another pelted chair. Copeland got the green skewers to the head and got thrown into the Snuff Stomp. Cogar prevented the ref from stopping the hold despite the fact she was out so Grant threw Ryan through a door. Cogar attacked Grant with a barbed-wire bat and Ryan held him in place for the skewers. Grant dodged and forced Cogar to skewer Ryan before launching him with a German. He took out Ryan with an enzuigiri and took him out with a Superplex into the TKO. It was now just Grant and Cogar in a race to climb the ladder to the cup. Cogar blasted Grant with a chair and set up a glass pane. He softened up Grant with the barbed-wire bat and the pair fought around the pane with Grant blindsiding Cogar with the Stundog Millionaire. They rolled outside and Cogar hit low. The pair fought towards the ladder and Grant got skewered. Grant skewered Cogar’s foot, trapped him in the ladder, climbed onto the platform, and grabbed the cup. Deklan Grant was your Hardcore Kingdom V winner. He had bested not one but two tournaments and fought off 44OH! to claim the trophy in one hell of a final bloodbath. 44OH! Fucked Count: 1

That would have been that. A happy moment as a rising star claimed the ultimate glory but with 44OH! that’s not how it works. Rickey Shane Page had a message to deliver and he did so perched atop the widow’s walk after attacking Grant for winning and breaking the trophy. The whole of 44OH! had gathered for this sermon as RSP once again blamed everything that happened to Matt Tremont for not just sitting back and watch the destruction. They were even holding the Danny Havoc Hardcore Title hostage. Devon Moore tried to fight for H2O but RSP shot him down and threw him through the glass pane. Chuck Payne came out and RSP demanded that each 44OH! member has a title shot at the anniversary show meaning RSP was coming for the heavyweight title. That will be awesome. The segment might have been bleak but the future sounds awesome as H2O vs 44OH! goes up another ante. I’ll be on the lookout for that.

All images courtesy of H2O Twitter, Earl Gardner Photography,