Weekend indies & overseas wrestling notes: House of Hardcore, OTT, WrestleCircus

Over in Belfast, Ireland, Sunday, Marty Scurll and Ricochet hooked it up in the main event of OTT’s Invasion: Belfast show, the promotion’s second of two weekend events.

While Scurll picked up the win by submitting Ricochet, the highlight of OTT’s weekend was former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor making a surprise appearance at Saturday’s show, sporting a sweet beard.

The promotion returns to Belfast on Sunday, February 5th with Mark Andrew, Eddie Kingston, and more.

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WrestleCircus ran a show Saturday in Austin, TX, in front of around 500 people according to reader Steve Conway. The promotion is relatively new with just a handful of shows, but they loaded up their lineup this past weekend. Here’s a few highlights with notes from Steve:

– Lance Hoyt b Adam Page in a really good opener.

– Rachel Ellering b Christi Jaynes 

– Sammy Guevara b Colt Cabana

– Jade b Joey Ryan in a no DQ match

Leva Bates interfered cosplaying Shinsuke Nakamura. Entertaining with Joey doing his usual intergender schtick. Crowd liked it a lot, especially the finish where the lollipop ended up in a place Joey definitely didn’t want it. 

– ACH b Chris Hero

Another match the crowd loved and was really into from the start. Hero played a subtle heel well. Excellent match.

– Donovan Dijak b. Tessa Blanchard

This was not good. A lot of missed spots and the intergender stuff was pretty pointless. This wasn’t comedy, but we’d also already seen the “big v small” spots with other matches, so this brought nothing new to the table. 

– Michael Elgin b Jeff Cobb

Crowd wasn’t into this. It was disappointing in they just did forearms, versions of power German suplexes and clotheslines endlessly. They hit the forearms hard and both are really strong, but again we’d seen everything they did already with Lee/Rowe/Dijak. This had very little creativity and very little heat. To be fair, the show was going on five hours by this point. 

– Ethan Carter III b Pentagon Jr.

Bad main event for the “Ringmaster” championship. The crowd was very happy to see Pentagon, but EC3 did this thing with a Jame Ellsworth ripoff called the “Trashman” where EC3’s handpicked opponent from the last show came out and interfered. Crowd was more annoyed by it than anything else. Second show in a row EC3 was champ and did virtually nothing. This was a really flat ending to the marathon. 

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Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore ran Friday from Philadelphia, PA, delayed by nearly an hour on FloSlam due to some technical issues. Here’s some notes from reader Daniel Kelly who was in attendance:

– Alex Reynolds vs Brooklyn Brawler

Brawler came out and talked about how great it was to be in Philadelphia and what an honor it was to perform in the original ECW arena. He then proceeded to take off his Yankee Jersey and reveal a Flyers jersey under, stating that for one night only he would be the “Broad Street Brawler.” Quick 2-3 min match with Brawler making Reynolds tap with a Boston Crab.

– Lio Rush vs Tony Nese

This was Nese’s last indie show before heading to WWE. Great back and forth match displaying both competitors’  athleticism. Rush continued on with his black heart gimmick that he has been doing as of late. Crowd very over for Nese, hitting him with the streamer show upon entering the ring. Exciting match with a lot of high spots throughout. Nese got the win with his pump handle driver.

After the match, Nese credited Rush and shook his hand. Nese then gave credit to Striker, Reynolds, Bull James, and Dan Barry who joined him in the ring after. Ended with Reynolds hitting a superkick on Nese after embracing and telling him WWE “settled for Marty when they could have had Shawn”.

– Colt Cabana vs Moose

Entertaining back and forth match. Moose able to show his athleticism, executing two moonsaults both from the top and middle ropes. Cabana still looks great and hasn’t skipped a beat in the ring. Crowd split between both competitors, but arena filled with Moose chants throughout. Moose got the victory hitting a playmaker.

– Brian Cage vs Sami Callihan

This was a return match from a previous engagement these two had in HOH. I was in attendance for the first contest which did not disappoint, nor did this one. For some reason, the crowd was not nearly as loud as in the previous matches. Great back and forth action with Cage able to display his freakish strength. A lot of out of the ring work with Callihan executing dives to the outside and utilizing the guard rails quite a bit. Near falls throughout with Cage landing clotheslines and Callihan hitting pump kicks.

Cage hit Callihan with a Weapon-X at one point which resulted in a close near fall. End of the match came with Callihan reversing Cage into a code red which he kicked out of into a stretch muffler. Cage taps to give Sami the victory. After the match Cage tells Callihan it’s 1-1 and extends his hand. Callihan proceeds to kick it away to an ovation. 

– Fenix vs John Hennigan

Crowd was over for this one from the moment Fenix walked out. Match began with both Fenix and Hennigan playing the babyface role and competing with one another for crowd reaction. Both competitors did a tight rope walk from corner to corner, with Hennigan crotching himself on the top rope. Lucha chants throughout the match with back and forth action.

Only took a matter of minutes for Hennigan to go heel after getting shown up. Many highspots off the top with Fenix hitting springboard hurricanranas. Closely contested match that saw Hennigan pick up the victory with the End of the World. Great match that the crowd was really into. Both competitors embraced afterwards.

– Matt Hardy vs Tommy Dreamer cage match

Match started with Matt stating “Tommy’s dreamer I knew you’d come” only to get pulled to the outside. Had about a solid five minutes of out of ring action before heading into the cage. Both competitors took bumps on the outside and multiple guard rail spots. Once in the cage, Tommy took majority of the offensive. Some back and forth until Dreamer was able to hit a DVD. Dreamer goes for the cage door, only to have it slammed on his head by the licensed official. Sandman’s music hits, as per usual with an HOH show, as he hits the ring to cane the official, followed up by one to Hardy as he tries to leave the cage.

Another DVD by Dreamer to a near fall. Crowd goes absolutely insane as out of nowhere Brother Nero hits the ring to cane Sandman and throw him into the side of the cage. Jeff then enters the cage and produces a bag of tacks. Jeff attempts a twist of fate but gets reversed and set up for a DVD. Matt hits Dreamer in the head with a cane and follows it up with a side effect on the tacks for the victory. Short match that was saved by the appearance of Jeff.

After the match, the crowd begins a “swanton bomb” chant directed towards Jeff. Hardy teases taking off his jacket and heading to the top, however is reprimanded by Matt for his thoughts on turning back into a spot monkey. Jeff proceeds to flip off the crowd to much dismay. Show ends with the Hardys grabbing the licensed official and dragging him to the back.

The promotion also ran Saturday in Joppa, MD. Here’s the quick results:

Jessicka Haovk def. Taya; Eddie Kingston def. Lance Anoa’i; Matt Stryker/Conor Braxton/Kikutaro def. Vik Dalishus/Benjamin Boone/Hale Collins; Moose def. Brian Cage; Alex Reynolds def. Sonjay Dutt/Dan Barry/Brandon Scott; Tommy Dreamer/Sandman def. Spirit Squad (Kenny/Mikey): Fenix def. John Hennigan.

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