Was House of Glory Able to Once Again Bring High Intensity?
This being the third year running of House of Glory’s annual event High Intensity, I must say I was overly excited about being in the crowd on this night. I even left work early so I was able to get good seats for me and my Regulars crew. As I quickly walked up the block after exiting the subwa,y I was eager to get a good spot on line seeing as though I was about an hour early for the show. To my surprise there was already a strong line in front of the House of Glory event, I guess other HOG fans had the same idea as I had. I was able to snag a good spot on the line and waited anxiously for the doors to open. As my fellow wrestling fan buddies showed up, our other friend, Mother Nature, decided to pay a visit as well. This seems to be a running theme for us at House of Glory – where at some point before we enter, the weather becomes a part of the event. This time it was a torrential downpour which was the surprise guest as well as the usual delay in entering the building. So not only were we getting wet, we also had to wait an additional 20 minutes as opposed to the doors opening early and bell time at 8:00 pm. Unfortunately, this has been a common occurrence at the House of Glory wrestling events so we often joke on the bell time and preface the promise with “sometime around” said bell time. Once we entered, and shook ourselves off like a wet shaggy dog, The Regulars found their seats and prepared for House of Glory High Intensity 3.
And The Reason Why It’s Called a Dark Match Is….?
Before I continue, I would like to apologize to those involved in the upcoming match. The only wrestler in the ring I know by name for this Triple Threat match was “The Wrestling Redneck” Earl Cooter. I couldn’t get the other two wrestler’s names because of the shotty audio equipment and sound system. I knew it was bad because even the ring announcer David Adams, who has a great voice and is a constant professional, seemed to struggle with the mono audio issues. To be honest, the first match was not much to write about anyway because it was horrible. Earl Cooter seemed to be in a good mood and was helping to put over other wrestlers. The one wrestler who looked like the “before” picture of the 1980’s Flash Gordon without the steroids and gym schedule looked as nervous as RVD at a drug testing facility. The masked wrestler was able to hide his jitters but his ring work showed that there was either limited preparation or just too many miscues. The end result was a disaster even with a high flyer spot which was more scary than exciting. The only statement I can say at the end of this one was “YOU THE MAN EARL”!
When Mason Met the Masked One
The next match on the card was House of Glory’s resident example of anger management Alex Mason squaring off against Indy and promotional star Jigsaw. For Alex Mason, this was a big match for the young student because this was his first official match after breaking away from his tag partner Good Hank Flanders and also Mason is squaring off with a talented professional in the masked wonder. This would have been a match were Mason could have caught the early night nervousness from the earlier match but I must say, I was impressed with The Maniac Mason who was able to go toe to toe with the experienced Jigsaw. The match was building up to a nice tempo and pace when from out of nowhere, Jigsaw pulls off a win. The reason I wrote it this was because that is how fast this match went and was finished. I began to see this was going to be a running theme for tonight’s matches. I really hope these two face off once again at HOG or at another venue because Mason and Jigsaw were building on what could have been an epic match.
Wrestling is the Universal Language
Up next is a match which was fun to see and also inspiring as well. Since we had just seen one half of the ex-HOG bad boys Alex Mason, the crowd was now blessed with the presence of Good Hank Flanders to do battle with House of Glory’s Nicky P. Now if you are not a fan of HOG and do not know their students, Nicky P is a talented wrestler who is deaf as well as mute. In previous events Nicky has taken huge bumps and spikes from the likes of well-known heels such as Danny Demanto and many of the fans at HOG have been eagerly awaiting his in-ring debut. Enter Good Hank Flanders with his lean rock star looks and the heat to match. Once Flanders was in the ring and given a mic he pulled no punches and immediately went on the attack on Nicky and his afflictions. The crowd was in full “hate” mode and Flanders flamboyantly loved every minute of it. Flanders was the aggressor for most of the match and was ensuring ways to embarrass young Nick. Good Hank was not living up to his name and was doing his best to bring shame to Nicky until the young man pulled a fast one and scored the victory over Flanders. It was a good story and a better fight and I hope these two have more matches in the future.
Who Ordered the Three Way Dance?
The first match, a Triple Threat match was something lighter than a train wreck so when I heard there was another one on the card I was prepared to take a bathroom break. But when I heard who was booked for the match, I put my pee break on hold. We had the high flyer Marq Quen, The Zebra Kid Joey Janela, and The Mat Messiah Anthony Gangone doing battle in a three-way dance. I expected tons from this match and I wasn’t disappointed. These three men each have a specific skill set and with their agility, ring smarts and technical skills, these guys were building on making this a Match of the Night. Quen’s aerial finesse, Gangone’s gritty style, and Janela’s technical prowess made for a dynamic combination which kept all the fans in the room on edge. The battle could have gone either way with the number of near falls and close calls. But in the end it was the man you loved to hate Anthony Gangone who scored the victory. After the match Gangone grabbed the microphone and pleaded for Quen to join him in his year long quest of ridding House of Glory of its instructor and founder Brian XL. With some hesitation, Quen was about to give his answer when out of nowhere Joey Janela made a return to the ring and attacked Quen. After doing so, Janela pleaded with Gangone to take him as his next disciple and that is when the Unholy Partnership was born.
Even a Cold Hearted Playa Can Smile Sometime
Just before intermission, we were graced with one of the most charismatic man in not only Indy wrestling but in possibly all of wrestling. Yes my friends, I speak of the “Cold Hearted Playa” himself Danny DeManto going against HOG’s Masked Joker himself Smiley Fairchild. Seeing how Danny and Janela tore down the house at the last event, it was pretty simple to say the the expectations were high for this one as well. Of course, once DeManto is given the mic it is verbal gold given to the fans. Danny is the man you need to hate and with him going against the crowd, one well known fan in particular as well; it is easy for us in the audience to be entertained. As for the match I don’t want to say it was a carbon copy of the DeManto/Zebra Kid match, but it did seem like a shorter condensed version of the match. Smiley is a solid performer who can mix it up with a variety of individuals and on this night it seemed this could have been an opening for DeManto to becoming the hot heel building up to total fan hatred, but like I said earlier, it seemed that everything was rushed. Demanto was able to pull off the victory but I felt if there would be a meeting of the two down the line and with a better circumstance this match, although good, it could have been better.
A Fox in the House
After intermission, the match on the card was one I was highly excited to see because there was an individual who I have only seen on YouTube and I was eager to see if he is worth the hype. And I tell you, for the short time this match ran, AR Fox is the truth. “The Whole Foxin’ Show” met up with “The Man of Faith” Brian XL and on paper this could be a match that comes off as an even match. With these two in the ring it seems it could have been an instant chemistry and genuine match of a level playing field. This was the fact for the most part, but once again this match was shorter than expected and was won by Brian XL due to outside interference by Anthony Gangone and his new disciple Joey Janela. From the limited time there was, AR seemed to be the real deal and has the look of what a pro wrestler should look like. But I was not pleased with the short time and the finish for this match where there could have a better conclusion and Gangone and his goon could have attacked after the match. I only hope AR Fox comes back around the House of Glory and squares off once again with Brian Fox or another of the students or local wrestlers.
When Crimson Becomes Gold
The Main Event is up next and it almost was a disappointment. I say this because the card was building to the House of Glory Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks facing off against The Amazing Red and his “Big Little” brother Crimson for the straps. But once the music of House of Glory’s newest tandem Andy Lee Ray and Panda Man hit, the crowd was not sure what was going on. Enter the Young Bucks who were in full “face” mode when out of nowhere the Tag Champs attacked the rookie team and were DQ’d. Out come some of the HOG students who were quickly made an example of by the brothers who then proceeded to call out anyone from the back to meet them inside the ring. This was when Red and Crimson answered the call and quickly business picked up. Once the bell rung, the action and electricity in the room grew. I can say that I never understood the fascination by many of The Young Bucks. I thought they were a pretty good tag team with a strong following but yet I didn’t see the attraction and reasoning for all the titles they have accumulated. But on this night, I began to learn and realize that The Bucks are a true team and have what it takes to be a recognized force in tag team wrestling due to their quick tags, double team moves, and chain moves which can come out of nowhere with pure finesse. I also can say the same for Red and Crimson. First off, Crimson is a dominating figure in person and seeing him live is way different than what you would see on the TV or internet. Amazing Red and Crimson should have been a natural pairing in TNA but the company never seemed to get the ball rolling with the two and push the duo for a tag title push. With the mixture of good tag team moves, hot tags, and climactic high spots this match easily made the fans to stand on their feet and applaud when the “brothers” captured the tag title. House of Glory had new Tag Team Champions and the two former TNA wrestlers finally captured the gold as they should have when they were with the promotion. This match was easily the Match of the Night and I have found a new appreciation for the teams who were involved.
Bring it Home…
Being a part of the first House of Glory High Intensity as a commentator, I have a special connection with this annual event. The title itself should prepare everyone for what is going to occur and with the shows in years’ past the bar was set. But this year’s event fell short of what I expected. The matches seem rushed, wrestler’s personas didn’t go over well, and the environment felt dull. I guess the fans were a bit put off by waiting in the rain and the time it took for the event to start. Also, I kind of felt the promotion just pushed the show along and was ready to get everyone out the door. I usually have a good time at the shows and although I enjoyed the night, it didn’t feel like a usual HOG show. Hey, they all can’t be winners and on this night the intensity was set on “medium” rather than “high.
Event Photos by Evan Arnow
Event Photos by Eric L. Cooper