WARNING: STRONG VIOLENCE AHEAD
Welcome back to H2O. It should be a time of celebration for the world of Hardcore Hustling but this time, as their 5th-year anniversary comes around, they’re fighting for their very identity. The stakes couldn’t be higher as 44OH! have held the company at gunpoint demanding that they be given shots at every H2O title. Now, they have just that and on a day of celebration nonetheless. Today the green of the H2O logo could take on a very different meaning. That’s not all there is on offer though as there’re creative deathmatches to enjoy and H2O roster members fighting so let’s get into the action.
Nolan Edward defeated Kennedi Copeland via Turnbuckle Curb Stomp
The show opened to the tune of My Chemical Romance’s Na Na Na as Kennedi Copeland took to the ring for her open challenge. Nolan Edward had already appeared to accept it and was frantically getting his gear in shape as she made her entrance. This was the perfect opening match. It had nice rounds of striking and limb work with Copeland showing off her martial arts expertise and how she could quickly cripple a limb. Her submissions were incredibly well implemented and Edward was forced to overpower her at any chance he could get or he’d lose that arm. Desperation was his most powerful tool and he ended up winning the match with one of the single most brutal Curb Stomps I’ve ever seen after Copeland kicked out of the Drill Bit. All in all, this really kicked off the show strong and offered a whole lot of action in one small package.
H2O Hybrid Title: Gregory Iron defeated Mouse via Bam Sullivan being a bitch
Up next was the first of four title matches as Gregory Iron looked to secure the first bit of gold for 44OH! It wasn’t going to be easy though as he was going up against the rabid and unpredictable Mouse. They may match up size-wise but these two couldn’t be more different when it comes to wrestling styles. Who was going to take the first big win? Sadly, Iron took this as after an excellent back-and-forth showcase, a certain someone got involved. Mouse and Iron are surprisingly good opponents for each other, Mouse scared Iron early with bites and potential tetanus whilst Iron would be the devious veteran pulling out dirty tricks and surprise counters. Whilst some of it got a bit messy, that added to the personal nature of the match and the stakes involved. It was one of those matches where you could never work out what was coming next. Alas, just as Mouse looked to have Iron in his trap, Bam Sullivan came out to interfere and gave Iron the chance to roll Mouse up and pull the trunks for the win. Sullivan had thrown his own company under the bus to make a point. That notion is quite the scary one, as what else would he do to prove it further? He even speared Mouse post-match just to be more of a dick. 44OH! Takeover: 25%
Deklan Grant defeated Bam Sullivan via TKO
After that, Bam Sullivan had his match of the night. The former Danny Havoc Hardcore champion was taking on the newest Hardcore Kingdom winner, Deklan Grant. In the build-up to this match, Sullivan had scoffed at fighting Grant but look at it this way, Grant has won a lot more than Sullivan recently… Now we’d see who’d be eating the dust after the one. Grant even came out with a machete just for added intimidation. This match really cemented the Sullivan change of attitude. He was brash, disrespectful, and caught off-guard by hostile fans. Despite all that, this was mostly his match. He was able to extinguish any moments where Grant fired up, used the environment to his advantage, and when he needed to knock Grant’s head off his shoulders. Despite the change in attitude, all the things that made Sullivan great are still there. He still hits hard, takes a beating, and has the ring IQ. The problem is, he underestimated Grant. He was reckless in covers and lackadaisical when it came to ending things. Hell, when he couldn’t put Grant down fairly, he went after the machete and threatened Grant’s missus. That was a big mistake and Grant quickly made him pay with the TKO, also taking the win. I should also mention just how good Deklan Grant has gotten. We’ve seen him with plunder but this here showcased some of the pure wrestling and creative moves he can pull off. He no longer seems like a rising star and more of a made man in the company. This was a big win for him in a great match.
Deathmatch: G-Raver defeated Jimmy Lyon via Rope-Hung Death Drop onto a bed of nails
Time for the first deathmatch. G-Raver had filled in for Alex Colon here to give us a bloodbath between two deathmatch veterans. Both are H2O originals and they were going to celebrate in the best way, through plunder and bloodshed. Okay, this was incredible. Lyon and Raver threw every sense of caution to the wind and deliver an excellent little deathmatch that saw Lyon get party balloons stapled to his forehead. The real crux of the match seemed to be Chondo’s barefoot berserker fighting style. Sure it helps sometimes but here it just proved to be a target as broken tube and tattoo needles really hampered his ability to do anything in the later match. Up until then, he’d kept up with Raver and dished out as much punishment as he took. The plunder was creative and seeing the 20/20 Driver delivered onto a car door/shopping trolley contraption was definitely cool. The finish saw Raver hit his rope-hung Uranage onto a bed of nails and finally keep Lyon down for a three-count. The pair had gone from sharing a bottle of MD 20/20 to nearly killing each other, somehow that rings true to the spirit of H2O. Friendship and violent bloody murder. How poetic.
H2O Tag Titles: 44OH! Young Studs (Eric Ryan & Bobby Beverly) defeated Chris Bradley & Kristian Ross via Double Brainbuster on Bradley
Now it was time for the tag champions to defend their gold. Ross and Bradley had taken the gold for themselves but now were going to have to defend H2O’s honour against the deadly unit of Eric Ryan and Bobby Beverly. We’ve seen how well both teams work but who was going to come away clutching those titles? Ross and Bradley knew what was at stake and wasted no time going after 44OH! Their early attacks gave them a huge advantage but experience trumped enthusiasm and Bradley found himself the victim of a 44OH! beatdown. Ross eventually got to come in and be the powerhouse monster of the match but even he couldn’t stop inevitability as 44OH! kept surviving like cockroaches and eventually finished what they started by ending Bradley with a double Brainbuster. These two had done everything they could to defend H2O but sadly when you’re fighting veterans like the Young Studs, you’re in for a rough time. This was a valiant effort but the veteran teamwork, menacing tactics, and sheer survivability of 44OH! got them the win and another set of titles. 44OH! Takeover: 50%
That cut to intermission where Tim Donst shouted at people and Kit Osbourne brought that to a close early by trying to hold up the show. He was once again unhappy no one was booking him despite being a pivotal part of the company and came to bitch about it. Director of Anarchy Terra Calaway wasn’t going to let that happen and called the police on him. By that, she meant the one and only Big Scare Dan O’Hare. Osbourne fled so O’Hare made his point by putting one of his masked goons through a door. Osbourne came back for a staredown but when O’Hare wanted to fight, Osbourne smartly fled.
Mitch Vallen defeated GG Everson via Chokebomb
After the chaos of intermission, it was time for more chaos. Mitch Vallen and GG Everson were set to fight but when the time came, Everson was nowhere to be seen. Oh, wait, nope he was there and attacked from behind with a chair. That descended into a fun if very loud hoss fight. The pair threw meaty shots with a whole host of screams and trash-talking. Once again, the crowd played heavily into this, driving Everson mad with belittlement and vigour for Vallen. Life definitely was a Mitch as Everson’s best shots couldn’t keep Mitch down and Vallen ended things with a combo of back-fists into a Saito and the finishing Chokebomb. It was a fun way to return to action with another showcase for both Vallen and Everson.
Rising Star Scramble: Reid Walker defeated Austin Luke, Dyln McKay, Marcus Mathers, Rocket & Ryan Redfield via Top Rope Powerbomb on Rocket
The rollercoaster wasn’t slowing down yet as we went into the Rising Star Scramble. Six rising stars were about to battle it out and basically break the laws of physics. Only one could win so you had five hungry competitors to put down before victory was assured. Bodies flew everywhere as McKay, Mathers, Luke, Redfield, Walker, and Rocket all showed off and showed out. This is as stacked as scrambles get and the rising stars were all out to one-up each other. With all the overhanging warfare going on they were taking their time to remind people just how good the H2O school is. Everyone had their moments as this absolute melting pot of styles propelled everyone into the spotlight. Walker was the eventual winner after a sprint of sheer carnage it all came to a top rope battle between Walker and Rocket. Walker landed a top rope Powerbomb and stood tall amongst the students. Battered, beaten but victorious. Hopefully Mathers and Luke are okay after their nasty spills in the fight.
Danny Havoc Hardcore Title: Atticus Cogar defeated Jeff Cannonball via Brain Haemorrhage to chair
It was time to get serious again. This fight was for the prize that had sparked the entire event. The Danny Havoc Hardcore Title. A belt that had been held hostage by 44OH! until they got what they wanted. Now was their chance to own it legitimately as Atticus Cogar looked to wrestle the belt away from the soda sommelier Jeff Cannonball. This one was going to get personal. 44OH! already own half the belts now, could Cannonball put a stop to their domination? Cogar tried to get the jump early but Cannonball floored him with a clothesline and carved him up with tubes, giving the fans a show. He dragged Cogar onto more tubes and tried to hit his namesake through a barbed-wire board but Cogar turned the board on him. Cogar took more wire to Cannonball’s head and stabbed up his mouth with skewers. Cannonball remained defiant but more skewers and strips to the body and head shook that resolve. He dragged a wired bat across Cannonball’s head and exploded more tubes on him with a pelted chair. Cogar started trash-talking so Cannonball put him through a tube contraption with a DVD. Cogar used the chair to break more tubes on Cannonball and skewered Cannonball’s head, giving him on greenhorn. Cannonball fought up again and looked to break the super bundle on Cogar but Cogar broke it on his head and nailed the Brain Haemorrhage onto the chair for the win. Cannonball tried. He really did but the scheming sadist that is Atticus Cogar had taken the win and the title. It was a brutal, bloody affair that I’d have happily seen another ten minutes of. 44OH! Takeover: 75%
H2O Heavyweight Title: Rickey Shane Page defeated Chuck Payne via General Order 24
It all came down to this. One final title, one final chance. The two top guys battling it out. Rickey Shane Page was the last to fight for 44OH! and was fighting for H2O’s grandest prize, the Heavyweight Title. In his way, the Monster Chuck Payne. He was the last hope for H2O. Was he up to the task? Payne removed his mask for the first time since he was nearly blinded by a fireball and manhandled Page. Matt Tremont had come to commentary for this match and watched as the Monster pummelled Page from the ropes to the posts. Payne got too ambitious with a moonsault and Page made him pay with a kicking. He methodically tried to down the champ but Payne kept trying to rise up. He gave Payne the manhandling treatment and Payne made him pay for attempting a Suplex. The momentum shifted as Page got revenge with an enzuigiri. Payne fought up out of a chin-lock but Page put him down on his back again with a running crossbody. Payne got payback with a Samoan Drop but Page wisely rolled out. Payne knocked Page around ringside and gave him some hydration through a water bottle to the head. Page ran Payne into a ring post and tried to take the count-out. Page got mean and kept stomping, biting, and clawing away at the weakened Payne. He scored a near-fall with a Swanton and continued to throw shots at Payne’s jaw. Page ran into a clothesline but once again, wisely rolled out so he couldn’t be pinned. They quickly re-entered the ring and Page ate the Chokeslam but wouldn’t stay down. The ref interjected himself and gave Page the chance to hit Payne low. He dragged Payne off the top into General Order 24 for the win. RSP had done it. He had beaten the Monster and taken the final title for H2O. They now held every belt in the company. It hadn’t been easy but he’d done it and had put on an excellent big man match to do so. It was a sad day for H2O but love 44OH! or hate them, they’d helped put on one hell of a super show. Matt Tremont though was justifiably furious. On the day of celebration, he had just lost control of all his titles. One person wasn’t going to give up though… G-Raver. RSP, come Homecoming Weekend, you get buried. 44OH! Takeover: 100%
All images courtesy of H2O, Chris Grasso