AWF House of Pain: 25 June 2012
THERE’S NO ESCAPING THE HOUSE OF PAIN
The room shook, the grounds trembled and the crowd roared as the Africa Wrestling Federation took to the stage for the latest House of Pain event at the Parow Civic. If you missed it, here’s what went down.
First into the squared circle was newcomer, Zaheer Bayat in his first ever House of Pain event. He was partnered with stalwart fighter, Vinnie Vegas. The opposition was a team of the mighty Rasta and another House of Pain debut, this time by Von Steele. Regulars will know this fighter as Johnny Palazzio’s right hand man – but on this night he took centre stage. Both newcomers looked impressive trading blows against each other and their more established rivals with the Steel / Rasta team dominating the first half of the bout. Ultimately, it was Bayat and Vegas that took the tag team glory.
Miss Gorgeous was next in the stage, and for once the queen of SA wrestling downplayed her showboating style in favour of some seriously hardcore wrestling manoeuvres against an unlucky Mr Money. Unfortunately for Gorgeous, it simply wasn’t enough to wrestle the Cruiseweight title away from the defending champ, maybe next time. Till then, Mr Money continues to have a massive bull’s eye on his back.
Boom, boom, it’s the likes of Oz and Swiegers shaking the room! That’s right, Mr Not Guilty Himself, the Oz faced Sammy Swiegers in a heavy hitting battle. These are two very complete wrestlers, with power and speed to match their technical prowess. As a result, it’s always a pleasure to watch these two fight – this event was no exception with Sammy diving straight into the fight with some ring-rocking attacks. Oz matched the big man’s menace and retaliated hard enough to take the win.
Next up was the Towbars Cape Triple Threat three-way bout between Little Hillbilly, Max the Body and the reigning Lightweight champ, Ed-Electric. It’s difficult to break this one down into too many details, but suffice it to say that Max muscled the opposition on the mat, with Hillbilly taking ownership on the skies with his brand of aerial attacks. As for the champ, it’s his ability to adapt to the fight that allowed him to hold his own against both of his challengers, despite a broken toe. At the end of the day, Max the Body showed that he had what it took to earn that Towbars Cape Lightweight battle by pinning Ed Electric after catching him mid-air and forward slamming him into a pin.
The penultimate battle was a real doozy, fought between everyone’s hero, Shaun ‘The Lion of Africa’ Koen and everyone’s favourite villain, Johnny Palazzio – holder of the heavyweight belt. Shaun was only able to contend for the title thanks to previously earning the Golden Ticket which allows any wrestler to challenge any other wrestler for any title or to settle any grudge. Blows were fiercely exchanged but in the end it was Koen who pinned the Champion. But the belts were not about to be transferred to Koen who lost the match on a technicality. The crowd was not happy with the verdict, so a defiant Koen grabbed the microphone and publicly challenged Palazzio once again to face him for the title in October at the next House Of Pain. This event would be for charity, and contested by five men hungry for the heavyweight belt. What could Palazzio do but accept? So he did.
The last fight of the night was an absolute melee, with 20 wrestlers entering and only one remaining as victor – the primitive rules of the Battle Royale. It was a manic tussle right up till the end with the larger fighters stomping their way through the lightweight contenders, who’d use their speed to trip up and gang up against the juggernauts till only four remained. After Little Hillbilly and Ed Electric accidentally eliminated each other (Hillbilly pulling Ed out of the ring along with him after Electric’s failed to attempt to eject Hillbilly over the top ropes) – it was just Bulldog and The Oz left. A flurry of blows saw Bulldog, winner of last year’s Coca Cola Royal Rumble gain ground over Oz until a missed clothesline attempt by Bulldog was followed by a hasty drop of the top rope by Oz. The end result was Bulldog crashing to the ground leaving Oz as the winner of the Golden Ticket.
PHOTOS BY: Shaun Laishley