4/7 House of Hardcore in New Orleans, La.: Carlito vs. MVP, Rock & Roll Express & Hurricane Helms vs. Squad, Joey Ryan vs. Teddy Hart

April 7, 2018, 11:15 PM, CST
The Sugar Mill, New Orleans, La.

Please send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thank you! Also, please include any photos you take of either the arena setting, entrance stage, and clear pictures of wrestlers on way to ring or inside the ring.

The last House of Hardcore event I went to was in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena in November of 2015 and I always tout it as my favorite live event I’ve ever gone to, so I was pretty excited to see what The Sugar Mill in NOLA had in store. This time I was with my one buddy (a fellow ardent fan), my brother (a casual-yet-leaning-to-ardent fan), and my other buddy (a non-wrestling fan) so we had an eclectic group of judges.

The Sugar Mill started out with a growing crowd in front of the gate as the ROH and NXT events let out. My gang of four arrived there pretty early considering we didn’t go to the other shows and they opened the gates at about 10:15. Show didn’t start until about 11:15 and I asked my buddies what they thought about the attendance and we all guessed around 800 for the show.

(1) “Wildcard” J Spade vs. “Outlaw” Matt Lancie. Even though the two were the opener you could tell that the crowd was pretty exhausted from the 11:15 pm CST start time as well as the earlier activities throughout the day (WrestleCon, ROH & NXT.) Despite that, the two did their best to get the crowd going, particularly J Spade who was showing off his athleticism. Spade won after about seven minutes.

(2) Alex Reynolds (w/Maxwell Jacob Friedman) vs. Swoggle – Twitch TV Title Tournament Semifinal Match. Assess this match anyway you want to considering the severe height difference and believability, but if you look at it from an entertainment / storytelling perspective then this was a really fun match. Swoggle got the crowd amped up and it was neat to see how his height would come into play throughout. It provided some entertaining spots (such as Reynolds blatantly missing Swoggle with a standing clothesline) and Reynolds and MJF were great as the obnoxious heels. Reynolds won with a little help from MJF to advance to tonight’s final.

(3) Willie Mack vs. Killer Kross – Twitch TV Title Tournament Semifinal Match. Crowd was pretty well into Mack as he got to showcase his athletic ring prowess and Kross has a look that McMahon would want to have somewhere on his card. Mack wins and advances. After the match, Kross goes to congratulate Mack on his win, but turns on him and begins destroying his right arm. Mack is assisted to the back as we’re left to question what’s going to happen in the main event.

(4) The Rock & Roll Express & Hurricane Helms vs. The Squad. Kenny from the Squad cut an ultra heel promo as the crowd chanted for Dolph Ziggler. Kenny said Ziggler only wishes that he was a member of the Squad now rather than be jobbing somewhere in WWE. That got a reaction. Kenny is very good with riling up the crowd.

As for the match itself, perfect for the halfway point of the card. Helms was a surprise partner so he got a big pop. Speaking of surprising, it was shockingly impressive to see both Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton both work the majority of the match. Additionally it was also impressive to see the duo move in the ring like they did for their age (if I had to compare it to someone it was like Ricky Steamboat fighting Jericho at WrestleMania 25.) Crowd got really behind the HOF tag team and they ended coming out on top in the end after about 10 minutes.

(5) Carlito vs. MVP. Slower match, but both guys did a good job at keeping the crowd’s attention. Both started off as the faces and had some comradery before Carlito got frustrated by MVP tussling his hair. This caused Carlito to stomp his way to the back to grab an apple. Ref took the apple away and set it in the corner. Later, a fan yells at Carlito “where’s his apple?” and Carlito yells back and points: “It’s right there!” Really, really hilarious. MVP ended up winning with a Playmaker.

(6) Joey Ryan vs. Teddy Hart. My goodness. It wasn’t until this event that I saw the full effect of Joey Ryan’s “sleaze” gimmick and let me tell you, it is something to behold. 100% NSFW, but 100% entertaining. Again, say what you will about the lack of believability, but his match was the most electric of the night. My one friend in attendance who is a non-wrestling fan, immediately fell in love with the whole gimmick. Spots included everything disgusting with a lollipop (including have a fan licking it and him pulling an extra one out of his tights) and oil rubbing a-plenty. Part of the story told throughout the match was Ryan trying to get Teddy to “touch it” and Ryan would scream that desire at the top of his lungs. Joey Ryan got the win in the end and I’m not going to lie, he was the highlight of the night.

(7) Clayton Gainz vs. Ace Romero vs. Trey Miguel vs. Myron Reed vs. Super Crazy. Two big things to take away from this match. With his size presence and his ability to move around, Ace Romero may become the biggest spectacle the wrestling business could see in the near future, and damn, can Super Crazy still go. All of the other wrestlers looked great too, but you couldn’t help but enjoy the ability of Romero and Crazy. Crazy got the win.

(8) Austin Aries vs. Brian Cage. Joey Ryan may have been the highlight of the night, but this was absolutely the match of the night. Aries and Cage were fighting against the crowd’s proverbial Mr. Sandman (not the ECW Sandman to be sure) but they put on a clinic for the ages. Cage and Aries both displayed their “above level” athleticism and Aries ended coming out on top. Highly recommend watching this. Afterwards, Aries credits the crowd for staying past their bedtime and credits the professionalism of Brian Cage, Fenix and Pentagon Jr. (indirectly referencing the Alberto El Patron Lucha Underground/TNA no-show.) He’s going to fight Fenix & Pentagon Jr. at Redemption.

(9) Killer Elite Squad vs. Tommy Dreamer & Billy Gunn – Bourbon Street Brawl. KES come out and they bring out a Louisiana State Commission suit to put the kibosh on the weaponry that was planned for the match. Major heat from the crowd (particularly Lance Hoyt) and the match begins without the foreign objects. Eventually it gets brought into the fold and the suit returns to try to stop things. Billy Gunn hits the fed with a Fame Asser (because nothing was kiboshed regarding that.) Really fun match that melded two guys that can still go with Gunn and Dreamer and two guys at the height of their careers so far in Hoyt & Smith.

(10) Alex Reynolds vs. Sami Callihan vs. Willie Mack – Twitch TV Championship Match. Despite his major arm injury Willie comes out to compete, the bell rings and we’re under way. Throughout, Mack gets his arm taken to task as the story shows him fighting through the pain. The plastic folding chairs get used throughout that look a lot more unruly than your typical folding chair. Mack eventually becomes the champion at the end of things as Sami got some crowd feedback regarding his incident with Eddie Edwards. Very cool to see Mack come out as the newest flag bearer for HoH since he’s unique in look and wrestling style.

OTHER NOTES: Mick Foley and Shane Douglas were in attendance and The Rock & Roll Express were there greeting people as they filtered into the arena. Due to it being such a late event, the crowd dwindled as the night wore on which is a shame since the wrestlers were putting on quite the spectacle for the fans that stayed.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’d always recommend a House of Hardcore event to any adult ardent or casual fan and non-wrestling fan because it has something for everybody (my non-fan buddy and brother were great examples of that.) Absolutely not for kids considering the language and content, but if you’re looking to cut loose and enjoy some good wrestling with crowd interaction, actual music for wrestler entrances, and good storytelling, then go and see this puppy live. Dreamer does a great job at producing and it shines through in his HoH baby.

Please send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thank you! Also, please include any photos you take of either the arena setting, entrance stage, and clear pictures of wrestlers on way to ring or inside the ring.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 4/6 WWN Mercury Rising in New Orleans, La.: Will Ospreay vs. Matt Riddle, plus Zack Sabre Jr., plus Keith Lee, Timothy Thatcher, AR Fox, DJZ

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