Sometimes I like to take a gamble on wrestling companies and shows. Since I follow a wide range of deathmatch companies and wrestlers on Twitter, I often hear and see a lot about H20 Wrestling. This is a deathmatch promotion that until now, had yet to grace my screen so after seeing this show getting buzz and as it was their maiden Fite TV stream, I decided to give it a watch. This is a collection of some of the top deathmatch talent out there on the American scene gathered in one place for a night of deathmatch fuckery and violence. Let the blood flow, the glass break and the violence of the Hardcore Hustle commence.
Danny Gallagher defeated Raven Havok, Eddy Only, Jimmy Lloyd & Steve Sanders via Death Valley Driver to Havok
Following a montage of violent acts from previous shows and an impassioned promo opener from H2O spokesmen and creators Danny Havoc and Matt Tremont, we got our first match and the introduction of Larry Legend as the host. The first match was a suicidal five-way match for the H2O Hybrid Openweight Title. It was Raven Havok vs Eddy Only vs Jimmy Lloyd vs Steve Sanders vs The Champion Danny Gallagher. Commentary handily provided the information that Sander, Lloyd and Gallagher have all been battling for that belt in recent events. This also explained why they quickly cleared Havok and Only from the ring. The match quickly got chaotic with people flying into everyone and security having to work overtime to contain the men brawling, even the fans got caught by collateral damage. Everyone was flipping. It became a mess of flying, head drops and strikes as all men looked to make a name for themselves, except Lloyd who is already a massive deal on the deathmatch circuit (at least to me.) Everyone was getting downed as the quintet went hell for leather on the strikes. The champ had to work overtime to prove why he had the belt and quell the efforts of the challengers. It was a solid enough opening bout as it was chaotic fun and probably the tamest match on the card. It felt very backyard which, I do not think it is negative in the slightest.
Lone Rangers (Jeff Cannonball & Mitch) defeated Brooklyn Death Crew (Casanova Valentine & Lowlife Louie Ramos) via VCR to the Head
The first deathmatch of the card featured the Hipster Heartthrob and Lowlife Louie getting a chance at the H2O Tag titles. Casanova Valentine is one of my current favourites on the American deathmatch scene so it’s always fun to see him in action. The two teams started with a pair of hockey fights before we got to see Cannonball fly to the outside. The fight spilled to the outside and the hardware started to come out. Valentine found himself in his element as the deathmatch lost the ring element outside. This match also featured one of the wackiest contraptions I’d seen in a deathmatch as it was a water bottle on a pole covered in carpet grippers. There were also fights with razor blades, barbed wire and more throughout the course of the match. Mitch was a bloody mess for a lot of it but was always coming back to attack Valentine and broke a skateboard over Louie. The Lone Rangers were merciless in their application of the hardware on offer. Louie and Valentine retorted with barbed wire, a skateboard and ripped up cans… yes, ripped up cans. It was an awesomely unpleasant sight. The pair also utilised a double Muta Lock with Garden equipment and then introduced a nail filled dildo because… nope, I got no reason for that one. The match ended up getting interrupted by Kit Osbourne who had been attacking Louie in recent weeks and did enough damage for a VCR to the head to cost The Brooklyn Death Crew the titles. The Lone Rangers were thankful for the match and wished death on Kit Osbourne. This was an insanely wild ride with a hell of a lot of fun spots and the featuring of a deathmatch mainstay in Louie. It wasn’t the most technically sound match but it was enjoyable to watch.
Markus Crane defeated Conor Claxton via Powerslam
This match was officially declared to be fought under deathmatch fuckery rules. I was not surprised to see it featured Markus Crane. The man personifies the title, Deathmatch fuckery. He had a tough opponent to deal with in Tournament of Death 18 winner, Conor Claxton. Claxton had a size advantage but Crane had an equaliser in a horde of barbed wire chairs. A tool he used to great effect by but not limited to slamming him awkwardly into a duo of them. Claxton finally found his way back into the match by leaping into Crane off the ropes. We got more inventive weapons as this match had a tetherball covered in spikey things and Claxton going face-first into a board covered in barbed wire, carpet grippers and more painful cutting implements. it went one step further as a board of hacksaws were introduced into the mix. Crane ended up getting the win with a Powerslam after Suplexing Claxton into the board and more barbed wire chairs. This match was fought to celebrate the genre and you could tell the two wanted to pull off the worst they could get away with for the fun of it. Though the match did leave Claxton in need of a stiff drink. Once again this wasn’t a technical masterclass by any stretch but it once again tried to differentiate itself through different uses of violent tools.
Chuck Payne defeated SHLAK via Spear Through Door
Who’s ready for a hardcore hoss fight with light tubes? SHLAK may be one of the most recognisable men in American deathmatches, for good or for bad. He may look like he lacks technical ability but he can tie you in knots whilst also being totally insane and an absolute brute. That technical ability went out the window the second SHLAK wrapped a plastic bag around Payne’s face and stabbed at it with a screwdriver. The glass started breaking and Payne started to make his comeback, breaking a chair with SHLAK’s body. We also got our first and only show of thumbtacks courtesy of Payne. It became proper hard-hitting violence as the pair doled out hard shots mixed in with light tube smashes. It even escalated to a top rope powerbomb into a light tube board from Payne. It finally ended when Payne was able to temporarily knock out SHLAK with a Spear through a door. Both men earned the crowd’s respect and it just so happened to be the first match in a while to feature more wrestling than weapons spots. Okay, that’s a lie but it did have a bit more wrestling than the last couple of matches. It was exactly as I stated a hardcore hoss fight. It wasn’t my favourite match of the night by any stretch but I can see its appeal.
GG Everson defeated Dylan McKay, Austin Luke & Jonny Nova via Top Rope Splash on McKay
Just before the second half of the show kicked into gear, we were treated to a little four-way exhibition match between four of the trainee talents from the H20 academy. They were given about ten minutes to show off what they were capable of for the FITE TV audience. It was a mixed bag as some were clearly pretty good whilst others were lacking. Two of them managed to mess up their dives to the outside, nearly injuring themselves in the process and there was a clear standout among them all. Three out of four of them, I won’t name names impressed in some degree but the clear favourite from both commentary and the crowd was the hoss of the group, GG Everson. He seemed the most wrestling sound and had the best moves. It also helps his case that he won the match. There’s not much more to say here. It was a trainee showcase and did the job well for three out of the four stars in it.
Drew Blood defeated Alex Colon via Fisherman Buster onto Light tubes
It’s always a good sign when you see glass panes set up in the ring before a match. It’s an even better sign to see Alex Colon in said match. Colon is another example of the full package when it comes to deathmatch wrestling. He’s technically gifted, athletically gifted and also violent as hell. He’s had a monster 2019, winning Tournament of Survival 4 and seemed set to add another win to the year here. Drew Blood seemed just as happy to throw down though. The pair started technically but as always it wasn’t long till a door was broken with Blood’s body and the light tubes came out to play. We even saw creative uses for a chair as Colon used it to launch into a Sunset Flip and Blood performed a Tombstone onto it. Colon was sadistic towards Blood and continuously tried to rake the broken glass against his forehead. My favourite moment of the match was a Top Rope Double Stomp through a glass pane from Colon. Blood made a shocking kick out and was able to reverse Colon, throwing him through another glass pane, setting up for the win with the Fisherman Buster. Blood got the shock win over a deathmatch elite and I think based on the punishment he took, he earned it. What an excellent, glass filled bout.
Lucky 13 defeated Devon Moore & Orin Veidt via Irish Car Bomb to both men
This match was called the Widow’s Walk. I didn’t quite know what that meant but it had a massive cage built at ringside. Once you saw that, you all knew someone was going off the top of it. Also, Lucky 13, the defending H20 champion, has Headbanger by Babymetal for entrance music, that has to win an award on its own merit, right? Once the match started, we were treated to a festival of flips, a disgusting German Suplex onto a door that didn’t break, a turnbuckle Brainbuster and an Assault Driver through a table within the first ten minutes. The champ was at a clear disadvantage against two bloodthirsty opponents who worked together when it suited them. The Widow’s Walk finally came into effect when Moore tried to do an Elbow Drop off the top of it through 13. Then they decided to one-up it with Veidt performing a Death Valley Driver off the top of the Widow’s Walk. Since 13 wasn’t involved in that manoeuvre he still had enough energy to take advantage of the damaged opponents and pick up the win retaining his title. This was the best Oein Veidt match I’ve seen to date and all three men were fun to watch. It was a bit short for a title match though and I’d have loved to see more offence from atop the Widow’s Walk.
Kody Rice defeated Matt Tremont via Second Rope Splash
The main event decided to top everything by being the throw in everything but the kitchen sink deathmatch. The ropes were wrapped in barbed wire, light tubes were present, carpet grippers lined two sides of the ring and the Widow’s Walk was still available should either man want to use it. Kody Rice is a name I hear a lot but this was my first time viewing him in action and I was not disappointed. He was fun, flamboyant and unafraid to fight the legend that is the Bulldozer Matt Tremont. The two showed respect before getting into the action. With the number of objects in the ring, it was going to get messy. The opening was a tense shunting section as both men tried to throw the other into any of the ringside fuckery. Rice went first into carpet grippers but got an ounce of revenge with one breaking on top of Tremont’s head. The pair next went into Light tube bundles and started to bleed. Rice had the upper hand through his use of the broken glass. You can never sleep on Tremont though as he soon came back into the fight and took the action outside. There were even more tools outside of the ring as Tremont found a board wrapped in barbed wire and covered in light tubes. Both men suffered for that one as the board was big enough to attack them both following a Superplex. The pair staggered back into the ring and commenced a game of duelling light tubes, smashing tube after tube until Rice collapsed to the corner. The pair started to trade stiff strikes with Tremont becoming more alive the more blood he lost. In the end, Kody smashed enough tubes over his head and won with a splash. This was great to watch. It was two big brutes locking horns in a passing of the torch style match. Tremont made Rice look like a million bucks and was sure to make sure the crowd knew who he was. It was a proper feel-good moment to end the show.
So, there you have it. That was my first exposure to H2O Wrestling. It was as outlaw as outlaw gets and felt very backyard at times but overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There was enough variety in the deathmatches to keep me interesting and the crowd were highly into it. The production values were great for a first show and despite the sometimes-apparent lack of wrestling skill, everyone involved was giving it their best. It felt like a special celebration of deathmatch wrestling and I am down for that. It won’t be for everyone but it was never meant to be. This was meant to be pure deathmatch fuckery at it’s most unashamed and this was me trying my best to word it as eloquently as possible. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did watching it.
— All Wrestling Fanatic! (@SEclectical) November 17, 2019