What would it be like if the New York Giants came into your town to play your local high school or college football team? Would your town be excited? Would you drop everything to be there? Well, on a Sunday afternoon this sort of thing occurred in Queens, except the Giants are instead members of Ring of Honor and the hometown team is a promotion known as House of Glory. Ring of Honor was in town for Manhattan Mayhem so why not stop into the House of Glory and cause some trouble there as well? The line outside told the story of what was going to happen that afternoon. The buildup was hyped for weeks, some fans carried over from the ROH show to this one and the momentum from the last House of Glory show was all that was needed to know what night the fans and wrestlers were going to have. House of Glory presents: Glory Brings Honor had the potential to be not only the event of the summer, but also the independent wrestling event of the year.
The Show before the Show
As always, there were a few matches before the big kickoff. Usually these are just early filler to get the audience comfortable and situated. But to be honest, these two matches were captivating enough to be on the main card. The first match featured the child the 1980’s forgot Steve Parson going up against Johnny Knockout. Both men are known in the NYC indy scene and heard a loud appreciation from the crowd. Both these men had a solid opening, but I did question why Knockout had half his face painted? Parsons scored the win in that matchup, which led into a tag team match between The Axis Powers versus Josh Glide and The Caveman. I must say, if I had to give a “Gimmick of the Night”award, it would go to The Caveman. This guy was awesome as soon as he came through the curtain. And the guy stood in his gimmick even through intermission. I have to thank him because he made me look like a hero in front of my daughter. The Axis Powers had the upper hand through most of the match but it was the fan favorites who pulled out the win. The Caveman was the sleeper hit of the night.
Only the Strong Survive…Then Smile…
The opening match of the card started on a strong movement. Former Ring of Honor Champion Roderick Strong squared off against House of Glory student and standout Smiley Fairchild. Accompanying Strong to the ring was Prince Nana who is never a man without words and tonight was no different. While Nana did most of his mouth work outside the ring, Strong put on a chop clinic in the ring. Both men traded moves but it was the HOG student who was able to pull off the win. His match was a great start to the show proving that each stable was ready for war.
Hot Tag! Get Your Hot Tag Here!
A tag team match was next in the lineup and man oh man was it a match. Adrenaline Express was tossed in a match against the wildest and dangerous men in the indy scen – Homicide and The Cuban Crippler. These men entered the HOG Ring and you knew you were in for veteran ring work and tag team schoolwork. AE was on top for most of the match, but as the crowd waited for the “hot tag” Mr. 187 and Reyes were able to bring the action once it happened. Both men showed why they are (although small) a handful to deal with. After a Gringo Buster by Homicide the team pulled out the win.
A Nerd, A Redneck, and A Stryker Walk Into A Ring…
The third match on the card was HOG student and resident Pokemon master Andy Lee Ray versus Matt Stryker. Before the match was to start, we were interrupted by the local redneck Earl Cooter who was not pleased he wasn’t on the card. Enter Matt Stryker who quickly made the singles match into a three way dance. After the sound of the bell, we had a small wrestling clinic by Stryker and Ray and then the real fun began after Stryker was able to get his hands on Cooter. The back and forth swing was great until Stryker was tossed out and Ray was able to finish off Cooter for the win. After the bout, Stryker topped off the match by finishing Cooter with a Pedigree while giving him a DX salute as his exit.
Then a Battle Royal Breaks Out
Before intermission, we were presented with a Battle Royal with a mixture of HOG students and local indy wrestlers. The match was fast paced, had multiple angles of action as well as guest appearances. Wrestlers such as Eric Draven, Kai Katana and House of Glory’s rising star Panda Man were a part of the all out assault. After the tag team of Rampage and Flanders found a way to eliminate each other it was Katana and Panda Man who were left in center ring. After a short exchange, it was Panda Man who was able to get the victory and also a pound of sour grapes from Katana. It was then we were presented with the Panda Saver himself Kevin Steen who offered up some justice for the attack. Steen, not wanting to wait till after intermission, requested the presence of the one known as Brian XL.
Fight Steen Fight!
If you have not been able to see Kevin Steen in action both on and off the mic, as true wrestling fan do yourself a favor and buy a ticket. Steen is one of those genuine wrestlers where is what you see is what you get. On the mic, it is as though you are at a bar trading stories; in the ring, the man has the power of a Heavyweight and the agility of a Cruiserweight. It would have seemed HOG lead instructor Brain XL would have his hands full. Both men showcased aggressive ring work and the ability to use their environment. Chairs and barricades were thrown, and other tools of the trade used were in this match. But all it took was a roll up from Brian XL to get the win.
The New Generation vs. The New Generation
After intermission, we went right into action with the former Ring of Honor Television Champion Adam Cole against “The Rogue” Anthony Gangone. For those who may not be aware of Mr. Gangone, this match may have looked uneven but in all actuality they both were pretty even. I would have liked a little mic time from Gangone to get the heel heat going, but regardless the match was exceptional. The tides swung both ways for each competitor and the chain wrestling and counters were spot on. It was really hard to tell who was going to get the better of the other until Cole was able to bridge a victory.
Match of the Night?
So far the action was intense. We had streamers flying to the ring, the crowd was hot, and the ring was packed with talent. Speaking of talent, we had one half of Tru-Talent Marq Quen going one on one with Anthony Nese. For the ladies, this man is straight out of Hearthrob magazine and for Quen it was questionable to see him in singles competition. Quen is agile and has finesse on his side but it is surprising to see how agile Nese is as well. Through the match we saw both competitors square off and show the crowd why they were so high on the marquee. In fact, Quen performed two aerial acts; one being a suicide dive off the top rope onto the floor on Nese that was so high he may have needed oxygen to stop from passing out. But it was the quick ability of Nese who edged out the high flyer. This had the me amped to label this one match of the night. Until…
The “Unbreakable” Against The “Amazing”
The final match of the night had “The Unbreakable” Michael Elgin going against HOG leader himself Amazing Red. The old premise of “David versus Goliath” was in effect here but let’s not underestimate the little guy. Red was able to handle his own. As much punishment Elgin was dishing Red was able to return it. The chants of “Elgin’s Gonna Kill You” could be heard throughout, but that only amplified the HOG lead trainer and his supporters. Both men put on quite a show but one slip up from Red cost him heavily with the response of a tremendous powerbomb from Elgin. Once the match was over, Elgin put his hand out in solidarity to Red as the example of a Code of Honor, but slipped in a clothesline before the other Ring of Honor members ran in for the takeover. After a minute of a beatdown, music blared into the arena, and through the curtain came former TNA Tag Team Champion Crimson. The big little brother of Amazing Red rushed into the ring and handled business by clearing house. As the ROH members left with their tails between their legs, we heard a that for the next HOG event, the brothers will team up for a chance at the new Tag Team belts.
Taking It Home…
The night was electric, action packed, all the clichés you can name. My only negative was the bell time. HOG seems to have time issues. Each event we have a promised door time and frequently have late shows. This night was especially important seeing it was the same day as SummerSlam. Other than that, this event lived up to the hype. From the devoted fans, shoutout to my Regulars, Ricardo Edwards and Richard Ruiz for the help on this article, the signs, and the respect from all parties. This night was the making of event of the year. Ieagerly await the Tag Team Tournament in November and hope to see a strong backing from the fans as well. Without honor there may be no glory…