Our Story So Far…
– Leonel Howlett didn’t revert back to his old name of Hoodlum but is instead now known as Hoodie Howlett. In the NWL, he and his brother Marco made a lot of threats and raised a lot of hell. They were also members of Matt Jackson’s administration, and as such were affiliated with The Foundation.
– WWF and WCW legend Haku (AKA Meng) is widely regarded as the toughest man in all of pro wrestling, both in and out of the ring.
– Before the match, Hoodie cuts an impassioned promo about becoming a legend (dropping some shade on NWL owner Major Baisden in the process). He basically says that in the near future, he will be credited with the outside-of-the-ring accomplishments that people these days revere Haku for.
This match obviously means a lot to Hoodie Howlett, so I don’t want to rip on it, but I will say that it isn’t really the kind of match that I find entertaining. Due mostly to the 59-year-old Haku’s limitations, there are not very many wrestling moves, and Haku himself doesn’t take many bumps (though he does take a couple chairs to the back). Hoodie certainly bumps himself around quite a bit, including getting a gourd buster onto chairs on the floor. But as one might expect, most of the match is punching, kicking, chopping, and choking, and it mainly takes place on the outside. To Hoodie’s credit, he’s fired up. To Haku’s credit, he still hits hard. But it’s all pretty slow.
The Foundation of Michael Strider and Ace Steel run in to beat on Haku for an extended period, and I thought for sure that Hoodie was going to turn face and save his idol, but he didn’t. They actually leave without getting any comeuppance. But I think the match is the most interesting from this point on. Hoodie fires up against Haku’s chops and strikes, but he gets whipped into the post on the outside. He takes a couple trademark side kicks, and Haku plants him with a piledriver on the floor. Then Haku crawls back into the ring, and Hoodie is counted out (or counted down, since it’s a street fight).
The real golden part of the whole thing is the post-match, though. Hoodie pulls himself into the ring and Haku picks him up to his feet. After a pause, he tells Hoodie that it’s time to pass the torch. “I think you can be Haku.” He embraces Hoodie and takes off his King Haku shirt, giving it to Hoodie. Then he holds his arm up as the fans applaud.
So most of the match wasn’t really my bag, but the aftermath definitely was. I wonder if Hoodie is going to be announced as “The New Haku” from now on.