“From Ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”
William Shakespeare 1591
The events that occurred at the House of Pain, on the 30th of June 2009, played out in the vain of a Shakespearian classic. It brought climactic ends to two epic feuds, saw the introduction of a new force in the AWA and whet our appetites for a colossal clash in the months to come. A sold out Parow Civic Centre set the scene for what was, beyond the shadow of a doubt, one of the best wrestling shows of the year.
Revyv vs. Vamp vs. Ed Electric vs. Blankman
Kicking things off was a four-way encounter, pitting some of AWA’s most exciting wrestlers together in a number one contenders match to gain a shot at my AWA Tow Bars Cape Lightweight Title. These four, as always, got the match off to a fast paced in-your-face start. In the opening minutes the others seamed wary of getting to close to Vamp; he is by all accounts the powerhouse of the lightweight division. When he did enter the fray the match went into a free-for-all, the passion and drive each of these guys had to be number one contender is truly remarkable. All put their bodies on the line for the cause, however as the match wore on it seemed to me that the experience of Blankman would take it, in my eyes he truly began to control proceedings (I believe there is method in his madness). His rise to prominence was cut short by a spine chilling power bomb by Revyv that saw the common-mans caped crusader very nearly exit the arena in a body bag. Ed-electric managed to briefly gain the upper hand on numerous occasions and he was (judging from his screaming fans) the crowd favorite. The stand out performance was of course that of the eventual victor, Revyv. His extraordinary ability in the air is only equaled by his knack for reading opponents and his corkscrew finisher is a terrifying sight for someone who is destined to face him. That said, he is a deserved winner and he has earned the position as No 1 contender.
Tow Bars Cape Lightweight Title Match El-Matador vs. Nick Fury
(AWA Tow Bars Cape Lightweight Champion)
Entering this match I was unsure of what to expect. El-Matador has on countless occasions proved my Achilles heel, not once in the numerous times we have faced each other have I left with my hand raised. This shocking reality I was anxious to remedy at House Of Pain. I went out there with a mission to get in his face and quickly gain the upper hand. This method would work against most lightweights but not the self-assured El-Matador. I hate to say it but he was more than prepared for my game plan, his speed and composure under pressure make him a tough opponent for any wrestler, especially one that runs on adrenaline and verbal intimidation (like me). His greatest asset in this match was his resilience; I hit him with just about every move in the book and just couldn’t put him away. Each opportunity he got he grabbed with both hands; his counter for my top rope Huracanrana was lucky but he capitalized with his finisher, the top rope Frog splash; I managed a kick out only to fall victim to his deadliest weapon the flip pile driver, or as the likes to call it the “heartbreaker”. Although I am sure I would have been able to kick out, we were joined in the ring by a couple of my good friends… Johnny Palazzio and Rasta. While I caught my breath they taught El-Matador a lesson. My disqualification was an acceptable loss in the greater scheme of things as the world, at that moment, was introduced to a new era of AWA wrestling. The interference by Willie McQueen and Mr. Money was childish and unprofessional. the Italian Stallion was rightfully unimpressed, grabbing the mic, JP issued a challenge to Willie McQueen stating that in their tag match later that night The Cruiserweight Champ would put his belt on the line with the stipulation that if McQueen lost he would never be allowed another shot at the title as long as JP was champion. This heated up the atmosphere as Willie McQueen and Johnny Palazzio have been at each other’s thoughts for well over a year.
Medieval Torture Match
Vinnie Vegas vs. Warlock
Over the last year and a half AWA has seen an unbelievable rivalry grow between two of its greatest stars. Vinnie Vegas and Warlock, at each event these guys get into each other with more and more passion. Their dislike for each other has boiled over into sheer unadulterated hate, before this event there has been very little separating these two masters of their profession, each have pin falls against the other and each has gained the upper hand briefly throughout the feud. Warlock pushed for this Medieval Torture match, surroundings which he felt would surely suit his gothic and violent personality. This on all accounts was his best opportunity to put away the “Rock Star” Vinnie Vegas for the last time. Vegas is known as a clean and technical wrestler, sticking to the ground he is probably one of the best in South Africa and when it comes to striking there are few that can match his ‘machine gun elbows’, this match however saw him step way out of his comfort zone into a Warlocks domain. The match would be no disqualification last man standing, requiring a ten count by the ref on one of the unconscious wrestlers to declare a winner. To further stack to odds against Vegas, the two combatants would be attached to each other’s left wrist by a six meter long chain. As expected, Warlock took early control using the chain as if it were merely an extension of his arm. Vegas soon adjusted and showed his wrestling skills despite the adverse conditions. Things took a dramatic shift in Warlocks favor when he counted an uncharacteristically high risk move by Vinnie Vegas, crushing him on the hardwood floor with a devastating power slam. From there it seemed one way traffic that had Vegas bloodied and bruised. Warlock used a nail to further inflict injury on Vinnie who resisted wholeheartedly. As the match wore on Vegas’ move set became darker and more brutal, the crowd could feel his struggle and were transfixed on his battle with the seemingly evil Warlock. When Vegas managed to hit the Hard rock Hangover the whole building knew it was over; using the ropes Vegas pulled his limp body up, beating the ten count and leaving the lifeless body of the Warlock in the centre of the ring. This match brought an end to perhaps the greatest feud in AWA history, as “the rock star” triumphed over “the dark one” for the very last time.
Johnny Palazzio (AWA Cruiserweight Champion) and Rasta vs. Willie McQueen and Mr. Money
As I accompanied Johnny Palazzio to the ring I felt the gravity of the situation. This match would dictate the success of our planned Revolution in the AWA. As Cruiserweight Champion, Johnny Palazzio is the front man of our movement, the loss of his belt would be a devastating setback. William McQueen was going to go all out, if he lost he would never again have a shot at the Italian Stallion’s title. The tag match got off to a classic start, Rasta gained early control and the bad boy of Professional boxing stamped his authority on Mr. Money with shots to the gut and head. While I was minding my own business, taking in the supreme performance of Johnny Palazzio, that feisty little Latino attacked me from behind. Without having time to defend myself he got the better of me, seeing this blatant cheating going on the Italian Stallion grabbed the mic and declared that if El-Matador wanted to “play with the big boys” then the match should be made a 6 man Tag. Here things heated up even more, Rasta put forward that we should focus our attention on Mr. Money (who had the crowd heart and soul) and El-Matador, staying clear of McQueen. This worked well as we used quick tags to stay fresh and inflict punishment on our targets. Something tells me they had the same idea as more than once I found myself stranded away from our corner. As the match progressed we worked on Mr. Moneys ribs (a weakness Rasta spotted), setting him up for JP to use the bear hug submission. We tried this tactic a couple of times but Mr Money proved a tougher opponent than we foresaw and each time he got the tag to McQueen. After forty minutes frustration took over and chaos reigned; JP and McQueen, the legal men, we split up and I found myself one on one with William McQueen. Crunching me with a spear he went for the pin fall, which of course didn’t count, JP took the opportunity to sneak up on McQueen and finished both the match and Williams hopes of again being AWA Cruiserweight Champion with a devastating Stallion DDT. This display was simply the beginning, AWA wrestling had better batten down the hatches because the revolution has begun.
Rashidi vs. Missing Link (All Africa Heavyweight Champion)
One can only feel sorry for the Congolese mystic, Rashidi. When he was told that morning about filling OZ’s place on the card his heart must have sunk. OZ was sorely missed this event, his charisma, power and die hard attitude have made him respected by not only the fans but also the wrestlers of AWA. We hope the opportunity to show his Big Match potential will come again soon. The Missing Link’s savage beating of Rashidi sent out a warning to all that have aspirations on challenging the masked man. Rashidi’s heart is bigger than most men’s and yet he barely got into the match, Link punished him without breaking a sweat and the demolition was over in a matter of minutes. I think it is safe to say Rashidi has the record for the quickest defeat in the history of the AWA.
Shaun Koen vs. BDX
The last house of pain saw Koen and BDX have a dramatic confrontation in the main event and ever since there has been a renewed rivalry between these two behemoths. In the time since I have trained with both men, each refuses to acknowledge the other and when one arrives at the AWA training facility the other leaves. BDX slapping Shaun Koen gave these two age-old nemesis new reason to hate each other, to compound this situation it was inevitable that the winner of this match would be the number one contender for the All Africa Heavyweight Championship. Seeing these two lock horns is in itself a event; The Lion Of Africa has consistently proved himself to be one of the best South African wrestlers of the last decade any no disqualification showdown with a rival like BDX will make any true fan of the sport salivate with anticipation. The start of the match proved just as one might expect, heavy pounding action with Shaun displaying his technical power game against the demon bashing “bone crusher”. As always Mr. Rossouw could-not/would-not let an event pass without butting in and diverting the attention away from the athletes. Accompanying Mr. Rossouw was “his champion” Missing Link, who soon entered the melee, chain and all. The brawl picked up pace and as always at HOP the crowd got off their seats and surrounded the ring. Support for the Lion of Africa was immense, and he fed off it overpowering both men in some truly awesome displays of strength. Missing Link had no allegiances and simply went berserk attacking both men with equal distain. If one looks at the match as a whole the stand-out performance must be that of BDX who was beaten down by both Link and Koen and never gave in. One could see the pain and anguish in his eyes but he fought on; he eventually got the pin fall on Shaun who was left cold by a chilling chair shot from Missing Link. In the aftermath the Lion Of Africa demonstrated his anger at Mr. Rossouw and Missing Link for interfering in his showdown with BDX, here he challenged Missing Link to a Chain Match for the title. Hearing this BDX put forward a claim that he should rightfully be the number one contender adding that he would like another opportunity to beat down both Shaun and Missing Link.
After thinking a moment Mr. Rossouw declared that at the next HOP we would see a three way Chain match for the title, pitting three of the biggest wrestlers in South African wrestling against each other in a bloody battle that would surely see a new All Africa Heavyweight Champion.