April 17 NWA Anarchy Hardcore Hell Live Report by Larry Goodman
NWA Anarchy’s Hardcore Hell 2010, the fourteenth rendition of the longest running event in indie wrestling, most assuredly lived up to its name.
Attendance was 230. The NWA Arena in Cornelia hadn’t seen a crowd that size since July 2008. Neither had the talent roster, who busted ass up and down the card in response. It had to be morale boost on all fronts. The heat was generally amazing, until crowd fatigue set in for the last 45 minutes of this 3 and ½ hour show.
This was the action-packed-to-the-max version of Anarchy, with moments of spectacular athleticism, stretches of horrific violence, great stories and one of the best angles ever in this building. In short, it had had everything fans could possibly hope for from a big show night in Cornelia. Will fans come back in great numbers for Hostile Environment in July? Absofreakinglutely. The question is if the stories, and there were plenty of them put out there, are enticement enough to bring fans back to the shows in between, or were their appetites satisfied for a while by so much in one night?
For me, it was a hard show to rate. I found many more things to like than dislike, and parts of it were stellar. The atmosphere in the building was at its best for the first 2/3 of the show, but it peaked early and flattened out towards the end. It was way ahead of the most recent big shows, Season’s Beatings and Fright Night.
NWA Anarchy owner Jerry Palmer opened calling Hardcore Hell as sick, twisted and violent of a show as anything out there. Prophetic words.
(1) Andrew Pendleton III defeated Champion BJ Hancock and Bo Newsome and Slim J and Stryknyn and Jacob Ashworth and Skirra Corvus (with Enoch Tsarion) in a ladder match to win the NWA Anarchy Young Lion’s Championship in 12:44. As expected, tons of nutty spots in this one. I’ll hit on a few of the high points of the craziness. A variety of ladders were set up at ringside. Corvus and Tsarion didn’t appear until the match was already underway. Ashworth took ridiculous punishment. It started with an unprotected chairshot to the skull from J. They did a sequence where guys took turns trying to quickly scale the ladder while they were fresh – like the object was to win instead of just do stunts. Corvus gave Ashworth a ladder shot to the head and then delivered a ladder leapfrog guillotine leg drop on the poor guy. Pendleton cut off Strykyn’s climb and had to stall a bit, before J launched from a 6 foot ladder to bring Pendleton off a tall ladder with a huracanrana. They set up ringside contraption consisting of four chairs and two ladders. J got to the top of the 10 foot ladder, but was too far away to reach the medallion, so he dove over the top rope crashing Stryknyn and Ashworth through the ladder sandwich. Stryknyn was bleeding from the nose. Newsome hit a Spinal Tap from a ladder onto Hancock, who was sprawled out on a bridged ladder. With everyone else down and destroyed, Corvus appeared to have a clear path to victory, but Pendleton came from his hiding place underneath the ring to pull Corvus down. There was a Swagger-like delay as Pendleton had trouble unhooking the medallion to become the surprise winner (having just lost the tag titles with JT Talent, he hadn’t been in the Young Lion’s mix leading up to the match). The crowd responded with an extended ovation for the collective effort of all the participants.
(2) The Entourage (Andrew Alexander & Mike Mosley & Mr. Black) beat Don Matthews & New Wave (Steven Walters & Derrick Driver) in 14:16. Matthews and Black were in each other’s faces before the match. Crowd started chanting for Matthews as soon as Entourage got heat on Driver. The standout spot was Black’s freight train corner splash. Matthews took the hot tag. He smoked Alexander (via fallaway slam), Mosley (via BFK) and clotheslined Black over the top. While Matthews and Black were going at it at ringside, New Wave hit Double Vision on Alexander for a near fall. Mosley foiled New Wave’s attempt at the Spanish Fly. They went for the Unskinny Bop, but Black busted that up, and Alexander pinned Walters with a piledriver. Good action, good story and the crowd was up for it.
“Hands of Steel” Seth Delay was introduced by Greg Hunter. Delay said he was going to take care of the entire roster including “grand daddy” Brodie Chase and issued an open challenge.
(3) Anthony Henry pinned Seth Delay at 7:34 after Brodie Chase stripped Delay of his brass knucks. Delay took over and was acting like it was going to be a cakewalk. Crowd broke into a “we want Brodie” chant. Henry rallied with good fire but a messy spinkick took the edge of his comeback. They started trading near falls. Henry used an electric chair german suplex. Good stuff but the crowd wasn’t into it, so it felt like spots for the sake of spots. Delay pulled the knucks out, but Chase came out and took them away. As Chase threatened to hit Delay, Henry capitalized with an O’Connor Roll.
(4) New Jack beat Radical Jack in 3:14. Crowd was silent. They brawled with Jack using his trademark weapons. Radical bled a little. Neither one bumped. Jack pinned Radical with a belly to belly suplex, the only wrestling move of the match. A hardcore match with no issue is beyond passé at this point. Low point of the evening.
Jack said he could win with or without weapons. Fans didn’t care about the former and saw little evidence of the latter. Jack said he quit the business, the business didn’t quit him, so we better get used to seeing his face. “Guess who’s comin’ to dinner, mom? New Jack.” Sadly, this segment was devoid of the electrifying quality of Jack’s previous appearances in Cornelia.
(5) Tank beat Shaun Tempers (with The Reverend) in a Compound Death Match in 15 minutes. The fans supplied the weapons. Incredibly heated. This was the hardcore match fans came to see – the final showdown for Devil’s Rejects. Tank came down the ramp talking on his cell phone. Tempers ambushed him. He gouged the edge of a broken yardstick into Tank’s head. Tank juiced right away with blood flowing heavily from above the right eye. A shopping cart filled with all kinds of **** came rolling down the ramp. Tempers took a home run swing with a baseball bat (his father is the minor league hitting coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies) and hit the post. Tank used the bat on Tempers. Tank won a tug of war with The Rev over Tempers (not much of a battle) resulting in the Rev being pulled inside the ring. After a double bionic elbow, Tank sliced their foreheads with a pizza cutter. Both of them bled. Tank set a cinder block on top of Tempers groinular region and hit it with a shovel. Crowd badly wanted to see it again, so he did the same to Rev, and the cinder block cracked in two. Tempers headbutted Tank wearing a baseball helmet. They each kicked out of the other guy’s big finishing move. The coagulated blood on Tank’s forehead looked black. Tempers was a sight himself. Tank gave Tempers and Wilson a double Samoan Drop. The lights went out and when they came back on, Azrael was in the ring. He nailed Tank with the superman punch. Lights off and on again, and Iceberg was back. He wasted no time taking care of Azrael. Tempers tried to incorporate the stop sign into the hangman neckbreaker. Tank blocked it and pinned Tempers with Go To Sleep. The crowd popped huge when Iceberg and Tank hugged in the ring. Tempers looked to be in total agony after the match. A grand finale. Gruesome, gory, vile but every bit of it was justified by the dark nature (even by pro wrestling standards) of the story, one that spanned almost five years.
(6) Ace Rockwell beat Truitt Fields via DQ in 19:25. This also killer heat. Fields was using a hair band to keep that wild mane out of his eyes. An enraged Rockwell went on the attack and pulled off the hairband. Rockwell was running wild, until Fields bashed him into the rail and went back to posing. Fields then pulled a second hair band out of his boot. Heel blood flows through those veins. Fields dominated with the crowd dying to see him get paid back for being such a dick. Rockwell no sold shots into the buckle and launched a comeback. He hit a neat combo – catapulting Fields face first into the buckles followed by a monkey flip. But Fields countered the airplane spin with a discus elbow for a near fall. Rockwell escaped from the torture rack and got two with a missile dropkick. Fields countered Aces High with the Killing Fields, and the crowd knew Fields was toast when Rockwell kicked out. Both men down off of Rockwell’s airplane spin. Fields again blocked Aces High. Rockwell met a Polish hammer coming off the top. Crowd chanted “you suck” at Fields and it was great. Rockwell managed to block the torture rack. At this point, Fields clocked a security guy and took away his handcuffs Didn’t know Anarchy security carried handcuffs. Maybe a leftover from the Death Match. Be that at as it may, Fields cuffed Rockwell and put him in the torture rack for the DQ.
The postmatch was one of the best angles I’ve ever seen in Cornelia. Total chaos. Security hit the ring and finally got the handcuffs off of Rockwell. Rockwell’s girlfriend entered to check on her man. As security was removing Rockwell from the ring, Fields put Rockwell’s girlfriend in the torture rack. Heat off the chain. All hell broke loose. Palmer went after Fields. He let the girl go. Security got involved and Palmer never could quite reach Fields, who was enjoying every second of it. Rockwell was starting to recover when he saw his girilfriend being carried out. He went completely nuts trying to get to Fields, but security kept them separated. At this juncture, Hardcore Hell 2010 was looking like one of Anarchy’s best shows ever.
(7) Wild Bunch (Billy Buck & Chris King) beat Jeremy Vain & Orion Bishop to retain the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Championship in 13:57. Wild Bunch are way over with the crowd. Bishop and Vain were having issues. Vain was bumping like mad. I write that about every Vain match, but he’s peerless in that regard. King was babyface-in-peril. V accidentally superkicked Bishop to set up the house cleaning by Buck. They gave Bishop the necktie double Russian legsweep and played ping pong with Vain. Everything was fine until the finish, which was a dragged out mess. The ugliness ended a Buck superkick for the 1-2-3.
Afterwards, Entourage laid out Wild Bunch and dropped the belts on top of their lifeless bodies. Wild Bunch recovered enough to leave under their own power and got the big pop on their way out.
Vain said farewell to the Cornelia fans. If there was ever a time for breaking character, this was it. He said all his wrestling dreams had come true during his 9 years in that ring. He put Anarchy over as having the best locker room and best show in the Southeast. A fan interrupted with something nasty to which Vain replied, “Damn, I must be good.” He thanked various members of the roster and said without them he wasn’t a damn thing, then hugged Hunter before making his final (you know how that goes) exit.
(8) NWA Anarchy TV Champion Caprice Coleman beat NWA National Champion Phil Shatter (with Jeff G. Bailey) via DQ when Delay attacked Coleman at 17:35. Shatter attacked before the bell. It didn’t work out all that well, though. Coleman slammed his knee into the rail, and it became the focal point of his attack. Shatter stayed on Coleman with power moves. This was when the crowd fatigue set in, and the heat wasn’t the same for the rest of the night. Coleman hit a great slingshot move where he landed across Shatter’s ankle on the apron. Shatter bludgeoned Coleman to get protect the injury. There was cool sequence where Coleman tried a slingshot sunset flip and Shatter goozled him, only to have Coleman escape into a springboard sunset flip. They traded near falls. Shatter blocked That’s Life and went for the PTSD, and Coleman reversed into an ankle lock. Crowd was chanting for Shatter to tap, but he managed to break the hold. As Shatter went a spear, Coleman sprawled and caught him in a front facelock. Delay ran out and nailed Coleman with a knuck shot for the DQ. Coleman was carried out. A very good match. I don’t think Shatter and Coleman can have any other kind. It just didn’t have the benefit of great heat. The timing on the finish wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t a finish that fans were going to like in any case.
(9) Shadow Jackson defeated Mikal Judas to retain the NWA Anarchy Heavyweight Championship in 11:13. Jackson got a great pop despite the crowd fatigue. Judas refused to shake Jackson’s hand. Jackson was making Judas miss his big moves early, and it was Jackson scoring with shoulder block knockdowns, and winning a test of strength to gain a reversal. Judas kicked Jackson low to take over. Judas methodically dismantled the champion. He gave Jackson a chokeslam and didn’t bother with a cover. Jackson was quivering on the mat. Even the “Shadowmania” chant couldn’t rouse the champion for a comeback. Judas was taunting Jackson, who was unable to stand. Judas had Jackson up for El Crucifijo, when Jackson countered with a roll up out of the blue.
Judas raised Jackson’s hand then blinded him with the red mist. It was great point to end the show, but that’s not what happened. Instead, Judas gave Jackson a beatdown that went on forever and day. Judas blasted one security guy with a chair, and rest of the Anarchy personnel were afraid to get near him. Couldn’t blame them for that. Jackson bled. The bell kept ringing like crazy, but nobody came out to save Jackson. What the hell were they doing back there? It was silly. Judas gave Jackson two belt shots and started in with chairshots to the back. Wrestlers finally came to ringside to find Judas standing over Jackson holding a chair. Before Judas could deliver a third chairshot, they swarmed into the ring to cover Jackson’s body. Crowd was more stunned than heated, and probably more spent than anything.
NOTES: Kevin Marx and Amanda Starr were back doing production. They got the works – intro by Greg Hunter complete with ramp entrance. They’re presence has been missed. The Hardcore Hell video package was well done. It definitely got the crowd amped…Rockwell’s girlfriend sustained an ankle injury during the pull apart and was taking to the ER to get checked out…Aaron Lee and Chris Mayne sat in the bleachers wearing suits…A nostalgic reference in the Compound Death Match was the “El Kabong” stop sign, which dates back to 2001 NWA Wildside and Tank’s brief tag team title run with White Trash as Project Mayhem…Vain will be appearing for Rampage Pro Wrestling on the Saturdays he formerly had reserved for NWA Anarchy