Anarchy Wrestling put the finishing touches on Hostile Environment 2017, which sets up to be a great show on June 24.
In the other key piece of business, “Nightmare” Kyle Matthews became the first Landmark Arena Heritage Champion by defeating Billy Buck in an outstanding match. The match and choice of champion certainly got the new title off on the right foot.
Burning questions Hostile Environment about were still on the table heading into last night. Who were the yet to be named members of Gladiator Jeremiah’s War Games team? Which team would have the man advantage in the War Games? Would Dany Only be barred from ringside for the Anarchy Triple Crown title match between his partner and former champion Stryknyn and reigning champion Jacob Ashworth?
The answers made for an interesting night of storytelling from booker Dan Wilson, and the Anarchy crew came through with some great promo work to drive home the points.
Attendance at the Landmark Arena was a vocal group of 75. I wouldn’t read anything through to attendance at Hostile Environment from that lowly number. The groundwork that sells tickets has already been laid. War Games is always a draw in Cornelia. If anything, the attendance suggests six shows per month at Landmark is oversaturating the market.
This was my first visit to the Arena since Hardcore Hell and the improvements to the building just keep on coming. The video production is now a five camera shoot. They’ve beefed up the lighting for the ring. There’s finally an actual ticket window. The overall appearance has been spiffed up.
In all of its 18 years as a wrestling venue, the infrastructure, both physical plant and support staff, has never been as robust.
(1) Jeremy Foster & AJ Gray defeated Ryan Vega & Lenny Stratton in 9:38. Crowd was into Foster and Gray. A lightning quick ankle lock had Vega scrambling for the ropes and his newfound headbutt attack was in full effect. Gray popped the crowd with a leapfrog dropkick sequence. The heels got heat on Foster. Vega spit at Gray, who lost his cool and a golden opportunity for a tag. Stratton came off the ropes landing gonads first on Foster’s knees. Tags made and things got squirrely. Gray and Vega went at it on the outside until Gray chased Vega to the back brandishing an ink pen (threatening payback for Vega stabbing him in the eye with a pen). Foster pinned Stratton with a flying knee strike.
We got a live shot on the video screen of a grumpy Adrian Hawkins entering the building. Hawkins blew off the losers of the opening match and headed to the ring where he taped his fists and pounded the crap out of poor Ryan Rembrandt.
Hawkins confronted Wilson at the announcer’s desk. “It’s their (Lynch Mob’s) blood on your hands.” Hawkins said Rave Approved would walk out of Hostile Environment as the new tag team champions. Rave Approved faces Lynch Mob for the titles in a taped first match at Hostile Environment.
Gladiator Jeremiah revealed the other members of his team for the War Games (along with Se7en) as Cyrus the Destroyer and Iceberg. Cyrus was there in the flesh to take on Team TAG. Iceberg was introduced via video to a monster pop.
(2) Cyrus the Destroyer destroyed Team TAG (Kevin Blue & Chris Spectra) in 14 seconds. A stunned Team TAG never knew what hit them. Cyrus took Spectra out with a flying boot and pinned Blue with the black hole slam.
(3) “The Nightmare” Kyle Matthews defeated Billy Buck via submission to become the inaugural Landmark Arena Heritage Champion in 15:16. Buck was greeted with a "Brokeback Billy" chant. Matthews busted out a bow and arrow early. Buck threw one terrific dropkick. Buck took over with a classic Eddie Gilbert hotshot. Buck capped off a sweet series of reversals by faking a clothesline and dropping Matthews with a DDT. They traded hellacious chops. Matthews' tope was the one and only dive off the night. Another stellar sequence of reversals led to a backcracker by Matthews. Buck used a Blue Thunder Bomb and set up for the superkick. Matthews blocked. Buck with the double AA spinebuster for a near fall. Buck went up top and got nutted on the turnbuckle. That landing did not look like fun. With Buck still perched on the top, Matthew hit a dropkick and brought him down with a huracanrana but nobody home for Matthews' frogsplash. Buck locked in the figure four. Matthews made the ropes. Matthews blocked another superkick, nailed Buck with the Slurpee Kick (corner dropkick) and Buck applied the octopus. The back and forth reversals were the best wrestling of the night. My thought was this was just what the first title match needed to be.
Postmatch standing O for Matthews.
The second half opened with a live backstage shot of Jeff G. Bailey rallying his troops (Miller and Team TAG) for the War Games. The audio was fouled up but Bailey’s body language was crystal clear. He was livid about Team TAG’s showing earlier in the evening and lectured Miller to fire him up. Miller took charge of the huddle.
(4) Rock-C defeated Nicole Pain (with Crystal Rose) via submission in 6:38 to retain the Anarchy Women’s Championship. A lot Ruby Riot influence in Pain’s character and a boatload of arrogance to boot. Rock-C’s offense looked sharp. When Pain grabbed a headlock, Rock-C deadlifted her into a back suplex. Rock-C was hampered by a legit knee injury suffered during the match. Rock-C made the comeback after Pain missed a splash off the top. Crystal grabbed Rock-C’s leg to momentarily stall her momentum. Pain put on the brakes to avoid kicking Crystal. Rock-C capitalized on the snafu and submitted Pain with an inverted cloverleaf.
Crystal was not thrilled with Pain’s performance and laid her out with a snapmare driver. Pain got up way too soon.
Stryknyn was introduced as guest color commentator for Ashworth’s match with Only.
Ashworth instead got a video promo from Only at the beach. Only admitted using his helmet to help Stryknyn win the number one contender’s match last time. He did what it took to win. Hate Junkies and Ashworth were Anarchy family and he had Ashworth’s back all the way to the title, Only said he decided to take a vacation accept being barred. “I’m giving you the day off. You’ll need it.”
Torque came out to seize the moment and challenge Ashworth to a title match. He got an Oompa Loompa chant from the crowd. Ashworth said the competition came up a little short (haha) but since Torque was man enough to ask for it, he would grant him the match.
(5) Jacob Ashworth defeated Torque in 7:48 to retain the Anarchy Triple Crown Championship. Good match. Torque showed lots of personality. He couldn’t cope with Ashworth’s power and skill until the cut off –a throat snap across the top rope. Ashworth gave Torque plenty of offense but there was no way the crowd was buying the idea Torque would win. Torque tried to fly. Ashworth cradled him like a small child and hit a fallaway slam followed by a reverse splash. Torque came back with a swinging neckbreaker and went up top for the 450, landing brutally across Ashworth’s knee. Ashworth finished him off with the roll of the dice.
Stryknyn and Wilson joined Ashworth in the ring. Wilson talked about the odd couple friendship that Stryk and Ashworth had formed. He did not want to see that friendship deteriorate but every man that laces up the boots wants the title.
Ashworth said he was glad he would be facing Stryknyn without Only at ringside, but it didn’t matter who was outside the ring because he was inside and Stryk would have to deal with him. Ashworth said he had been through hell and torture for 12 years and he was going to do what it took to stay on top of Anarchy.
Stryk said he had the utmost respect for Ashworth, then questioned what lengths Ashworth was willing to go to to keep the title because he knew what he was willing to do to take it.
“Truth is country boy; I don’t think you have the mean streak in you."
Ashworth said he had to develop a mean streak to deal with Nemesis. He sent him packing and he would show that mean streak to Stryknyn.
“I respect you and you’re my brother but this is for the championship.”
Champion and challenger went nose-to-nose with Wilson trying in vain to separate them. They shook but it was one heated handshake. This was a great final build up. The tension was palpable. It was on the razor’s edge of getting physical without going there.
Next up were video promos from Tank and Brad Cash for their Taipei Death match at Hostile Environment. The video of Tanks’ promo showed only his fist. Tank said he was the hardest hitting SOB in wrestling, naming Ian Rotten, Bull Pain, Necro Butcher and Samoa Joe among the victims he had dropped. Tank said he was going tape that fist, dip it in glue and glass, and punch Cash in the face until he was unrecognizable.
“I hope Anarchy pays for the ambulance so you don’t have to bum a ride.”
Cut to Cash punching the outside wall of the Landmark Arena. Cash said he and Tank had been doing this for years and it would all come to an end on June 24. He didn’t care about Matt Tremont or Tank’s impending retirement. Cash said he didn’t get the reputation and the scars from being scared. He was going to make Tank’s trip to retirement a little bit shorter.
“This is about you and me and shredding each other’s faces.”
Wilson ran down the entire card, which also has the Ryan Vega/AJ Gray grudge match, Matthews making his first title defense against Anthony Henry (with Amber Young, Rock-C defending against Crystal’s next handpicked opponent, Jessica Leigh and Jeremy Foster vs. Chase Jordan.
(6) “The People’s Captain” Gunner Miller (with Jeff G. Bailey) defeated Gladiator Jeremiah in 16:48 to win the man advantage in the War Games. Jeremiah said bring it. Miller was in no hurry. Jeremiah took control, working on Miller’s arm. Jeremiah tweaked his recently injured knee and Miller was all over it. Jeremiah, was agony personified. Jeremiah’s tornado DDT out of the blue left both men down. Jeremiah with a ferocious comeback despite the nagging knee. Jeremiah escaped Miller’s powerslam and hit Screwdriver on the Rocks for a near fall. But Miller slipped away from Jeremiah’s neckbreaker finisher and hit a spinebuster slam. Jeremiah dodged Miller’s first spear attempt but missed off the top and got speared out his boots for a near fall. Miller planted Jeremiah with a major league Rockbottom and Jeremiah kicked out again. Jeremiah used a wheelbarrow flatliner to set up the neckbreaker. Bingo. Bailey jumped on the apron to distract referee Dee Byers while Jeremiah scored a visual three count. Jeremiah confronted Bailey. Bailey begged off, then grabbed Jeremiah’s leg as he turned towards Miller. Miller blasted Jeremiahs with the CTE and it was over. For a first meeting, this was a really good match and I strongly suspect there will be more. Jeremiah’s bumps for Miller’s big moves were tremendous.
Gladiator needed help getting to the back and it appeared doubtful he would be 100% for War Games.