Saturday, April 21, 2012

NHO Road Report: HWA Heartland Cup 2012 Night 1

For my bachelor party, my friend Todd orgainzed for a bunch of us to go to the Heartland Cup, the now annual two-day spectacular from HWA. For the first night, Todd and myself were joined by my friend Tim, fellow NHO members Brian and Jessie, and former NHO contributor Didge.

1. Remi Wilkins vs. Billy Roc - 4
2. Gerome Phillips vs. Nick Cutler - 3

I’ve heard of Billy Roc but never really seen any of his work. This was billed as a teacher vs. student match as apparently Wilkins is Roc’s top student. When Brian, Geo, and I went to see Dragon Gate in Indianapolis, Wilkins was on the card and he didn’t look all that great as he was teamed with some pudgy scrub in a throw-away tag. This was a really good way to kick off the show. Some pretty good spots here including a big superplex that had us jumping up and down in excitement. Fun and enjoyable this was. Always dug Phillips work. Cutler came out and did some dancing and cut a promo about a bunch of stuff I’ve already forgotten about. Some stalling from Cutler to start but once Phillips got offense this got good. I’ve always dug Phillips work and this was no exception. His intensity is great and his power stuff is just great. Cutler’s manager looked like an 18-year old going to his first job interview and can’t sell worth a damn.

3. Alex Colon vs. Dave Crist - 4
4. D.J. Hyde vs. Chrisjen Hayme - 2

What the fuck has Dave Crist been smoking? He came out wearing a Jason mask with a mohawk and looking like he ripped off Jeff Hardy. Colon looked really good but I had a couple issues with Crist, as usual. Biggest problem I had was Crist taking an apron bump and then about 45 seconds later doing a huge dive over the top rope not even selling his back whatsoever. At least he wasn’t chewing gum as I’ve seen him do in the past. I was half expecting Crist to advance so I was pretty surprised with Colon got the win. Sugar Dunkerton from CHIKARA was supposed to be in this tournament but from what I understand he got injured so I’m guessing that Hayme was his replacement. I’ll always remember Hayme for busting his skull open falling off the top rop during a pre-show match at Dragon Gate in Indianapolis. This amounted to a squash with Hyde just wailing on Hayme throughout the match. Hyde provided us the biggest laugh of the night where, in his pre-match promo, he said he was the “best athlete in the world” which caused us to laugh heartily.

5. No DQ Match: Drake Younger vs. Jesse Emerson - 6

This gets match of the night honors right here as it was nothing but a brawl from start to finish. Emerson’s fat heel manager, the bloated gasbag known as Brock Guffman who has seemingly been working indies around this area for ages, did a pre-match promo (what is it with pre-match promos? Three out of the first five bouts have had them) trying to weasel out of the No DQ stip but it was to no avail and Drake took the initial offense and just wailed on Emerson with cookie sheets and chairs, including brawling right into the area where we were sitting at ringside. I used to think Emerson was pretty good but the more I see him, he looks like a clone of some of the people in FCW. Turning point of this was when Drake introduced a staple gun into the proceedings. Emerson got control and stapled what appeared to be toilet paper to Drake. Some good nearfalls and a bunch of pretty wild spots including one where Emerson took a bump on a chair with the legs sticking out. To his credit Emerson took a hell of a beating. Post match saw an angle with Guffman and HWA President Tim Tatum with Tatum accepting Guffman’s challenge for Emerson against a mystery opponent for night two.

6. Four Way Scramble Match: The Heavyweight Heroes (Jon Murray & Clark Konnor) vs. The American Wrestling Warriors vs. DNA vs. Lord Matthew Taylor & Dre Jacobs - 3
7. Steve Corino vs. Ron Mathis - 3

Bonus match time and it appears that the phrase “scramble match” is a euphemism for lucha rules where once a guy goes to the floor another competitor can come in legally, basically the rules for all CHIKARA tag matches. Murray strikes me as someone who desperately wants to be either Balls Mahoney or Mick Foley but can’t decide which one he wants to be, so he just mixed the two. The big dive spot happened right in front of us and was pretty cool. Aaron McCormick of DNA did a wild springboard corkscrew type move which resulted in not only one of the Warriors breaking his nose but McCormick smacking his head against the railing and nearly knocking himself out. Here’s were things started sort of going downhill. Crowd really died after the four way tag as this was worked a completely different style than the other matches in the tournament thus far. Corino kept the pace more based on the mat and the crowd liked some parts but seemed to be disinterested in most of his. Biggest pop of the match was for Corino’s “Thumb in the Butt” move where he literally sticks his thumb up Mathis’ butt. Mathis looked decent here but I don’t think Corino was the right opponent for him as I think their respective styles may have clashed a bit.

8. Chad Collyer vs. Jake Crist - 4
9. B.J. Whitmer vs. Michael Elgin - 5

Another mat based match this was and it was really cool to see Collyer back in HWA after all these years. He’s slimmed down a lot and looks in really great shape. Again, much like the Corino match, the work was good but the majority of the crowd was disinterested. Collyer is always solid wrestling a mat-based style so I think it may have been a challenge for Crist. We had some fun with the referee during the match as he was really emphatic when yelling out “No!” on a submission or “Two!” on a two count. So everytime he yelled that out, we yelled it out as well. It kept us entertained and I must say we were quite surprised when the match ended on a backslide of all things. Stiff is in the house brother! Elgin has had some star making appearances in ROH as of late, including winning a 45-minute elimination match in Dayton which we saw live and then, from what I’ve heard, a five-star match with Davey Richards over WrestleMania weekend in Miami. Whitmer’s been good since he returned in 2010. Loved the chop exchanges as they echoed throughout the auditorium. Elgin busted out an awesome delayed vertical suplex which had us applauding with approval. I was expecting a brawling style match from these two so wasn’t overly excited with the final product but looking back on it a day later, it’s better than I initially though. Was really surprised to see Elgin tap out. After the show, we all made the trip over to the local Steak N Shake for some burgers and cheese fries.


Brian said...

I'd have to Dave Crist match at a 2 and that's being kind.. - i liked the Corino match way more than you, though, easily a "5".. - was a bit silly how much they protected Mathis letting him kick out of all that big stuff.. but Corino was real impressive.. - instead of doing his ECW stall-a-thon shtick or his ROH "mentor" role he basically (ring attire and in-ring style) did his ZERO1 stuff which was awesome.. stiff strikes.. and all the puroresu shout-outs like the Misawa, Tanaka, Hashimoto, etc. tributes.. - real surprised you had that throwaway train wreck tag higher..

Anonymous said...

Man, this one doesn't have near the star power of last year's.