Larry Goodman sent this report in:
NWA Anarchy’s Hardcore Hell was one hell of a show. It’s been running for 13 consecutive years now, the last 11 of them in Cornelia, the last four of them under the NWA Anarchy banner, picking up where NWA Wildside left off, and NCW before that.
It produced two truly great matches from different ends of the spectrum. The NWA National Heavyweight Championship match between Phil Shatter and Ace Rockwell produced a possible match of the year. The tag team title match was a bloody and insane spotfest true to Hardcore Hell’s violent roots.
I would place it in the upper echelon of NWA Anarchy supercards. The overall intensity level was galaxies beyond a typical television taping. None of the matches were even close to being bad. The above matches were as good as anything that has gone before in Anarchy, but they sandwiched the intermission of a show that ran 3:45, so it peaked early. The crowd was suffering from battle fatigue by the time the main event rolled around.
This year’s edition had less stipulation matches than most. The cool thing was the matchups were so fresh, they weren?t needed. The interest level was peaked without them. It was long road from Season Beating’s to Hardcore Hell, with major changes in storylines and some iffy shows along the way, but it all paid off in the end.
Hardcore Hell ?09 drew 210 to the NWA Arena. The Anarchy crowd has grown more discerning during the four years the company has been running. They almost got a Japanese bent to where they?re very attentive, but waiting for the opportune moments to really start popping.
NWA Anarchy owner Jerry Palmer started the show with the introduction of a special guest, Griffin Palmer, now approaching 9 months of age. The kid has presence and appeared totally at ease in his daddy’s arms. Palmer didn?t do his usual rousing intro. He said Griffin tends to take offense to yelling and screaming.
Backstage promo by Slim J was shown the big screen. J said Hardcore Hell had been in Cornelia since 1999 and he had been part of it for 8 years. J mentioned some of the great names from Hardcore Hell’s past – Hardy Boys, Bull Buchanan, David Young, Rainman and AJ Styles. He said Todd Sexton had no clue what he was in for.
(1) The Entourage (Jeff Lewis & Mike Mosley & Andrew Alexander & Jay Clinton) beat Rowdy Friends (Don Matthews & Jessco Blue & Billy Buck & Chris King) in 11:57. The Bleacher Bums chanted ?we want Taco (Delgado)? in honor of Entourage’s absent carpet layer. Alexander debuted old style facial hair where the sideburns connect with the mustache. His physique is catching up to the added weight. Quite the transformation. It’s a great look for him. Lewis teased squaring off with Matthews and immediately tagged out, and Rowdy Friends took his minions to task. The tide turned when Lewis tossed King out of the ring where Mosley caught him with a brutal lariat. Lewis got all big and bad. Entourage isolated King. The heat was OK. King wasn?t dead but he wasn?t super fiery either. Mosley’s Muay Thai knees need serious work. There was a screwy spot where King did a Sliced Bread #2 in the heel corner and they all just stood there and watched. The hot tag quickly degenerated into a schmozz with Lewis and Matthews going at it in the ring. Finish saw ace lackey Clinton shove Lewis out of harms way and take The Lariat from Matthews. Lewis then rolled Matthews up using the tights. Decent opener.
Malachi pinned Azrael with a diving headbutt at 4:59 to win the Young Lion’s Championship. Azrael opened with an inside leg kick. Malachi fired up. Azrael calmly took ao time out but Malachi was hot on his tail. Malachi threw a stiff chop. That woke Azrael up. They traded a ton of chops and that’s never a good idea against Azrael. Azrael creamed Malachi with a running knee. Azrael hit the Ted Bundy but Malachi got a foot on the ropes. Malachi fought off Azrael’s cutthroat piledriver. Azrael planted Malachi on the top turnbuckle, but Azrael ended up taking the bump and Malachi hit his finisher to score a stunning upset. Good stuff. Crowd was really into it.
WrestleVision promo by Ace Rockwell saying he was going to add his name to the list of NWA National champions that included Ronnie Garvin, Ted DeBiase and Nikita Koloff.
(3) Slim J submitted Todd Sexton with a flying armbar at 1:25 of the 3rd round of a knockout or submissions only match. Greg Hunter explained that it would be the match would consist of three 3:00 rounds and only three ropes breaks would be allowed. Both wrestlers came out in MMA type gear wearing gloves. Sexton had the Technicians in his corner. Bo Newsome seconded Slim. J got the first take down. He got Sexton’s back and switched to a leglock submission, but Sexton reversed into a heel hook. Slim escaped and they were back up. Slim knocked Sexton down for a four count (the knockout rule was a five count). Slim took Sexton down and got a Kimura. Sexton used his first ropes break. End of round one. As Slim headed back to his corner, Sexton gave him a rabbit punch. Ref Brent Wiley said one more and he would DQ Sexton. Sexton scored a takedown early in round two and got an ankle lock. J reversed with a leglock forcing Sexton to use his second ropes break. Sexton busted out the Muay Thai knees. J got an armlock. Sexton reversed into the mount and managed to ride out the round. The crowd’s interest held up well during round one, but they started to fade during the groundwork. J came out on fire for round three. He got a triangle and Sexton used his final ropes break. Out of nowhere, Sexton superkicked J with the first pro wrestling move of the match and set up for killer knee. J caught him coming in with a roundhouse kick and got the armbar. Sexton went for the ropes but no break and he was tapping like mad. Huge pop for the finish. I don?t sense much of an MMA crossover in the Anarchy fanbase, but this was worthwhile experiment.
(4) Orion Bishop pinned Iceberg (with The Reverend) in 5:39. Not much heat. Fans are still trying to figure out what to make of Bishop, who’s all business and pays them no mind. The two behemoths brought out the heavy artillery. In an amazing power move, Bishop hit an overhead belly to belly suplex that came damn close to dropping the 400 pounder on his head. Bishop followed with a Vader Bomb for a near fall. Iceberg leveled Bishop with a body block for a two count. Double lariats X 2. Neither man budged. Iceberg invited Bishop to try it again and gave him a powerslam instead. Bishop hit a german suplex. Bishop missed charging in. Iceberg capitalized with a corner splash and the dreaded cannonball splash, but Bishop kicked out. The Reverend showed his displeasure by wacking Iceberg with the Staff of Righteousness. A costly distraction for Iceberg, as Bishop speared him for the three count. Reverend walked out on Iceberg, who was not a happy man. This could get very interesting.
(5) Phil Shatter (with Jeff G. Bailey) beat Ace Rockwell to retain the NWA National Heavyweight Title in 27:10. I had high expectations based on the great match they did last year. Rockwell had the crowd behind him huge. The first task was to firmly implant the idea that Rockwell had a legitimate shot at the taking the title, and they did a beautifully job of constructing the early portion of the match to do just that. They opened with agility moves running the ropes. Rockwell got the better of it. Shatter turned to brawling and Rockwell hung right with him. Shatter tried matwork and chain wrestling. Still no advantage. Shatter took one of his trademark big bumps to the floor. Ace went after him, and that’s where Shatter took over. Shatter focused on Rockwell’s back, hitting a really sweet slingshot suplex along the way. All kinds of near fall. At one point, Shatter catapulted Rockwell over the top rope and gave him a press slam back inside, but Rockwell kicked out. Shatter hit his fallaway slam, and Rockwell got a foot over the ropes. Shatter’s frustration gauge was redlining. Rockwell got a crossface that had Shatter in deep trouble. The heat was off the hook as Shatter teased the tap out before making the ropes. Shatter applied a Texas Cloverleaf. Rockwell clawed his fingers into the mat to pull himself to the ropes. Crowd was going nuts with the chanting here. Shatter continued the torture on Rockwell’s back with a camel clutch and a spinebuster slam. Rockwell crotched Shatter on the top and did a 20+ revolution airplane spin. Both men down and dizzy for a six count. Rockwell hit a bulldog of the middle ropes, and Bailey put Shatter’s leg on the rope to prevent the pin. Shatter speared Rockwell, but he kicked out again. Bailey took his jacket off. This was freaking serious. Shatter went for the PTSD. Rockwell tried to counter with the Ace High (RKO) and Shatter reversed with the RKO. When Rockwell kicked out, the place came unglued. It was about as good a false finish as you?re ever going to see. Rockwell slipped on a sunset powerbomb. Dangerous bump there. Bailey tried to use his loafer, but Rockwell slipped away and Shatter had to put on the breaks to avoid taking the hit. Rockwell shoved Shatter into Bailey and used a reverse roll up for another great near fall. Rockwell crashed and burned on a flying bodypress. Shatter hit the PTSD and it was over. The finish was the only thing lacking, which was a shame after doing such a great match. Still, with the story, and the heat and the near falls, its a legitimate match of the year candidate any way you cut it.
(6) New Wave (Steven Walters & Derrick Driver) beat Talent & Money (JT Talent & Drew Pendleton III) in a Falls Count Anywhere Georgia Streetfight to win the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Titles (17 minutes). This is where Hardcore Hell lived up to it’s name. Crazy violence. Talent took some of the most brutal and bloody punishment in Anarchy history during this match. All four were wearing proper streetfight apparel. New Wave came flying out of the ring and it was on. The Bleacher Bums chanted for blood. Little did they know. Walters launched Talent off the ramp into the announcer’s booth, blasted him with a chairshot across the back, then backdropped him onto the ramp. Talent’s back was toast. Talent and Money were both butsed open. Talent was bleeding profusely. Somewhere in here, Walters made a pin attempt on top of the announcer’s table. I think that was a first. Walters got Talent in the rocking horse, and Driver drove Talent’s head into a chair with a top rope guillotine leg drop. Brodie Chase and Seth Delay hit the ring and laid out New Wave. Chase sent Driver head first into a wedged chair. Pendleton ordered Chase and Delay to the back. Pendleton wacked New Wave in the head with a piece of sheet metal. Awesome sound effects there. Pendleton gave Walters a sick unprotected chairshot the head. Walters was busted wide open. Talent hung Driver with his belt and looked like he was out of his skull doing it ? crimson mask in full effect and spraying red mist as he exhaled. Driver nailed Pendleton with a wicked chairshot. Driver scaled the 10 foot fence used for cages match and did a plancha onto T & M. A table was set up inside the ring. Talent gave Driver an inverted backbreaker and climbed to the top rope, but Walters ran up a table propped against the apron like a ramp to crotch Talent. New Wave gave Talent a Spanish Fly driving him head first through the table, and Driver (I think) pinned Talent. Awesome finish. As sick and brutal as the entire match was, the finish topped all. Crowd was loving on New Wave. Talent bled buckets. It was down to his jeans. There was a pool under the table and another one on the floor. Crowd gave him a bigtime respect pop for his efforts. They?re going to have to turn him if they?re not careful. It took a while time to clean up the mess.
On the WrestleVision, Truitt Fields was interviewed by John Johnson. Fields said Tempers threw away their friendship and vowed to bring it to an end tonight.
(7) Shaun Tempers beat Truitt Fields to win the NWA Anarchy Television Title in 11:10. The crowd was suffering from a little PTSD after the last match, so it was a wise decision to do a match based on wrestling match and sound psychology. Reverend tried to stay at ringside with Tempers, but Palmer came out wielding his ax handle and had security enforce the stipulate of no Devil’s Rejects at ringside. It opened with Fields on offense. Tempers took a thudding back bump on the hardwood floor off a Fields lariat. Back inside, Tempers ducked away from a high crossbody. Tempers proceeded with a methodical dissection of Fields? neck. Fields? comeback built to a top rope huracanrana and a flying shoulder block for a two count, but Tempers answered with a driving back suplex for a near fall. Fields fought off Tempers? finisher and hit bridging Northern lights suplex. Ref Ken Wallace got bumped. Fields hit the Killing Fields and the crowd made the three count. Shatter entered the ring with a PTSD on Fields. The 10 minute time limit came and went while Wallace was down but no bell sounded. Tempers hit his hangman neckbreaker. Wallace recovered to make the three count. The Reverend taunted Palmer with the belt when he came out to check on Fields. A very good match in a very tough spot.
(8) Kimo (with Jeff G. Bailey) vs. Mikal Judas ended as a double DDQ at 10:25. They started pounding the hell out each other at the opening bell. Kimo escaped a choke slam attempt and used chops to the kidney area. Judas went for a Mafia kick and Kimo chopped his knee. Kimo worked on the knee. Kimo went for the killer blow, but Judas leveled him with the Mafia kick. Judas took over. He hit a top rope clothesline for a near fall. Judas again went for the choke slam, and Kimo countered into an arm submission. Kimo scored a knockdown with a spinning chop off the ropes. Cool move. With Judas on his knees, Kimo used double chops to the trapezius muscles. Judas sent Kimo over the top with a standing dropkick. Amazing for a guy 6-7. Back inside, they got into a heated exchange in the corner. They started playing ref toss with Wes Grissom and he called for the bell. Match was fine, although in the context of this show and that finish, they could have done much less. Hell, they could have done two minutes and announced a rematch as a hook for the next TV taping. It’s not like anybody would have complained about not getting their money’s worth.
The ring filled with an assortment of Anarchy personnel and random job guys trying to break up the fight. Judas gave Dany Only a chokebreaker.
(9) Shadow Jackson beat Jeremy Vain (with Mr. Rob Adonis) to retain the NWA Anarchy Heavyweight Title in 18:40. This match was heavy on the drama and light on athleticism. Exhausted or not, the crowd revved up a giant-sized ?Shadowmania? chant for Jackson. The Bums chanted ?Kill the Cracker.? Jackson pointed at them and shrugged his shoulders at Vain. Jackson got Vain’s leg and he was screaming bloody murder as he scrambled for the bottom rope. Jackson go the figure four, but Adonis pulled Vain over to the ropes. Vain did a Flair tribute ? taking a flip bump into the corner and a slam off the top. With Jackson in the midst of the raining down the 10 punches, Vain attacked his vulnerable ankle. Vain did a lengthy number on Jackson’s knee. The heat wasn?t much. The crowd was spent. Vain got the figure four, and the crowd mustered up one more Shadowmania chant. Jackson blocked the DDT. Jackson ducked the VKO and Vain ended up crotched on the top. Jackson took him down with a lariat. Jackson did the flip, flop and fly. Vain clubbed him from behind. Jackson hulked up. Vain hit the VKO, but Jackson again blocked the DDT and hit the 1031 for the pin. Not bad but anticlimactic. It was 11:45. Fans were heading for the exits before the wrestlers were out of the ring.
NOTES: Executive Producer Kevin Marx put together a terrific video package to open the show, The crowd popped in appreciation?Bailey, Kimo, Judas and Shatter are all booked for the CWA 5th anniversary show on May 1?Alternative Pro Wrestling’s next supercard is May 1 in Royston?Kareem Abdul Jamar, Anthony Henry and Brandon Parker from APW worked Mike Porter’s NWA Main Event show in Nashville last night?During his intro, announcer Greg Hunter said Hardcore Hell was the longest running supercard in indie wrestling.