I learned a long time ago to never set your standards too high with a debut show as there are almost always flaws and a few mess-ups along the way. So when I attended House Of Hardcore this was no exception as far as expectations went.
I am unsure how many people the Mid-Hudson Civic Center actually holds but I would estimate that it had 1950-2000 people in attendance for Friday nights show and it was nearly a complete sellout.
My biggest concern going into this show is that it was going to be another attempt to make money off of ECW’s legacy, and aside from Stephen DeAngelis being ring announcer and a few of the same stars this was NOTHING like ECW!
The opening match was Crowbar (Devon Storm) vs. Shawn Daivari.
This match was a really strong opening match and both guys worked very hard to please the crowd and oh, did they ever.
It was a back and fourth match that went outside the ring. Crowbar was impressive in this match and has made a bigger impact this year than he did his entire run in WCW thanks to his matches here and earlier in the year in Extreme Rising
Daivari took the victory in this one after landing a tornado DDT and following it with a top rope splash. The crowd really enjoyed the match and the efforts.
This match gets an 8 out of 10 in my opinion which is fantastic for an opening match. I hope Devon Storm keeps improving and that Daivari continues to impress.
The next match was FBI (Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke) vs Roadkill and Danny Doring.
The FBI had Big Sal E. Graziano as a corner man while Roadkill and Doring had some other amish man as a corner man. It has been reported since that Smith James was the other amish man but I cannot confirm this.
This match was pretty much what you would expect from these two teams and was just very good wrestling. Roadkill looked excellent seeing to how he has not wrestled a match since he left WWE/OVW in January of 2008.
When I watched this match it really felt like I was watching two teams of guys in their twenties or thirties. Everyone was so extremely impressive and it was a nice bit if nastalgia for old ECW fans as well.
The match was won by Danny Doring and RoadkIll when they hit their old ECW finisher on Mamaluke.
This match also gets an 8 out of 10 but I almost felt it needed more because of the classy moment that followed.
After the match Roadkill got a mic and asked all of the FBI to return to the ring. Roadkill said he respected all the work they did together in ECW as well as respecting The FBI themselves. This, of course, led to an “ECW” chant.
Roadkill then said that ECW was a thing of the past and HOH is going to be the future. He thanked everyone and then gave the mic to Danny Doring.
Doring said that it doesn’t matter where they are at, of if you chant ECW, HOH, or something else the fact is there would be no Doring/Roadkill team without The FBI. It was a top notch promo and a very classy moment.
Jazz vs Winter is up next.
This match was an ok match but really had a lot to follow after the first two matches and I really think this match should have opened the card to really get people into it.
Winter and Jazz both worked her and did the best they could with the time they were given. I am a huge fan of both ladies but this just felt out of place.
Good technical moves during this match including chops, sharpshooters, and more. The crowd seemed to enjoy the match just fine but not like the first two.
The match ended when Jazz reversed a slam into a Michinoku driver. I would give this match a 6 out of 10 despite efforts from both ladies.
Alex Reynolds vs Tony Nese with Mikey Whipwreck as special referee.
This was a fantastic match with a lot of back and fourth maneuvers. Lots of reverses and Nese landed a very impressive move off the top rope which resulted in “HOH” and “This is awesome. Chants.
Nese missed a 450 splash which resulted in Reynolds landing a forearm and a ‘lungblower’ but it was another two count. Reynolds had begin to grow frustrated with the two counts and eventually had words with Mikey Whipwreck
This match ended when Reynolds received a whippersnapper by Mikey and then a 450 splash by Nese. A lot of “This is awesome” chants and they were well deserved
This match gets a 9.5. This truly was an excellent match. I wish more matches would have had unestablished stars like this one.
Scott Steiner vs. Luke Gallows
Scott Steiner comes out next and cuts a promo about how Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff were pus$*es and when he told the truth about it he ended up in a lawsuit. He thanked all his followers for following him on twitter.
Luke Gallows and Eddie Kingston came out and Gallows and Steiner begin brawling. They battled outside the ring and Gallows took a chair shot to the head.
Later Steiner took a chair shot and Rick Steiner came to check on him. After Steiner recovered he went for a top rope move, Kingston interfered and was chased in the ring by Rick.
The match ended when Rick nd Scott hit Steinerlines on Gallows and Kingston. Good match. Everyone worked hard I give this match an 7.5 out 10. This match felt more like a fight than a wrestling match. Entertaining especially for old school wrestling fans.
Chris Mordetsky’s (Chris Masters) Masterlock Challenge
Mordetsky did his usual promo where he rips on Poughkeepsie (or whatever town he is in). He ripped the fans and picked some kid name Adam to attempt the Masterlock challenge.
The crowd was very upset over the person picked and a loud “bullshi*” chant broke out. Hale Collins came out and wanted to accept the challenge. The crowd popped loud as Collins is from the area
Chris Mordestsky vs. Hale Collins
This started as a Masterlock challenge but when Collins was about to break the hold, Mordetsky hit him in the back and begin stomping in him.
Collins made a decent comeback and held his own and the fans were really really behind him through the whole thing.
The match ended when a masked man pushed Collins off the top and Mordetsky hit a spinebuster. This was not a bad match but not one of the best of the night either, but, to be fair, it had stiff competition with those opening matches.
I would give this match a 7 out of 10. The fans almost turned and got lost at the beginning but Collins helped win them back. Great effort, especially from Collins.
“War Machine” Rhino vs. “Death Machine” Sami Callihan
This was another excellent match and the crowd loved this one. This is the match I was looking most forward to of all the advertised ones.
Sami Callihan is an excellent wrestler and easily held his own against Rhino. This was a battle that went all over the place.
They fought all over ringside before finally making there way back inside the ring. Rhino landed everything he could but Callihan kicked out of the TKO, piledriver and even the gore which really shocked the crowd.
Rhino took the victory with a Rhinodriver off the middle turnbuckle. This is another 8 out of 10 but with the Sami and Rhino involved it could have been so much better. Excellent match nevertheless!
Big Daddy V (Viscera) vs. ???
Big Daddy V had a manager named Nicky Benz (Nick Berk). They entered the ring and completely destroyed a “jobber” whose name I don’t know. This was a quick short match and Benz called out someone else got Big Daddy V.
Jobber #2 came out and landed some useless dropkicks on Big Daddy V. V did a chokeslam turned into a sit-down power bomb for the win. Benz called for a third guy and out came….SPIKE DUDLEY
This was a nice surprise for the crowd and they loved it. Spike delivered a kick and acid drop to V for the victory. After the match, Benz was mad and went after Spike. Spike delivered an acid drop on him as well.
This match gets a 6 out of 10 due to the match not being a real match but gets points for crowd reaction and it was typical Spike Dudley. As said was a nice surprise the crowd enjoyed!!!
Edge(Adam Copeland) Promo
Edge came out and cut a promo saying he was only here because of Tommy Dreamer and that this was first time he had done a show of this level since 1997. He said seeing Sami Callihan get piledrived by Rhino reminded him of Hulk Hogan getting piledrived by Paul Orndoff.
He said the teams in next match remind him of Edge and Christian vs The Hardy Boyz and that Young Bucks, Paul London and Brian Kendrick are going to do things now that The Hardys, Edge, and Christian couldn’t do in their prime.
The Young Bucks (Generation Me) vs. Brian Kendrick and Paul London
This was an absolute amazing match and nothing I write here will do this match justice.
Both teams worked very very hard and definitely impressed the live crowd. This match was fast paced and full of crazy high spots.
This match alone will be worth the price of the upcoming DVD. Double hiptoss’s, double planchas, and a whole lot of near falls.
Brian Kendrick and Paul London won this match after Kendrick nailed sliced bread and London landed a shooting star press. This match was insane and the crowd chanted “HOH” after.
This match easily gets a 10 out of 10 and was match of the night in my opinion,
Main Event: FWE Championship Match – Mike Knox vs. Carlito vs. Tommy Dreamer (Champion)
This was yet another good match with a lot of wrestling involved. There was a funny spot where Carlito ate part of his apple and spit it at Knox, Tommy then ate part of the apple.
Carlito took the victory after nailing Tommy with a backstabber. Knox went for flying leg drop but missed and Carlito covered Tommy.
After the match Tommy handed the belt to Carlito. This led to a “Thank You Tommy” and “HOH” chants.
Knox and Carlito shook hands and then Knox knocked Carlito out and Raven entered the ring and evenflo DDTd Tommy Dreamer. Raven continued to beat on Dreamer until “Enter Sandman” played.
Sandman did his usual long entrance and when he finally hit the ring he ducked an attempted Knox clothesline causing Knox to clothesline Raven.
Sandman then caned both Raven and Mike Knox which caused them to flee and run out of the ring. Tommy Dreamer grabbed a mic.
Before Tommy could speak the crowd erupted with “Thank You Sandman”, followed by “Thank You Tommy”, and finally “Thank You Both” chants.
Tommy finally spoke and said he wanted to thank everyone for making it a success and spoke about how he thought it was going to be a disaster. He spoke of how a short time ago his mother had a stroke and he thought she was going to die, but she is here selling merchandise for the show. He said Edge blew off neck surgery to be there. He also said his wife (Beulah) and kids were in the back and had been very supportive.
The closing match and segment was a lot of fun and very entertaining. I give the ending match and segments a 9 out of 10 as the crowd loved every bit of it.
My thoughts: The whole show was a lot of fun and definitely exceeded my expectations. For an opening event Tommy Dreamer and House Of Hardcore blew this one away. Dreamer has said there would be an HOH 2 and I highly recommend anyone who could go to go. I appreciated the fact that Tommy didn’t try to make money off the legacy of ECW. The show was original and definitely established itself as its own product. I hope and believe this company will go a long way if they keep this up.
What others are saying: I spoke to a few people at the show and the feedback was nothing but positive. Quite a few people said they definitely plan to return for HOH 2 assuming it is in the same arena. A few said they would travel to other states to watch the second.
The feedback at the show as well as online have been nothing but positive and believe me this is well deserved. Tommy has definitely sparked interest in this promotion and needs to keep delivering. People are interested and this could be a very successful thing.
Changes I would make: There really are not many changes to be made as it was an excellent first show, this could, of course change going forward but as it sits right now House Of Hardcore is on the right track to hang around and last for awhile. The ONLY change I would suggest is to have more unknown stars in the future as they did with Alex Reynolds and Tony Nese.
Overall Show: I would give the overall show a 9.5 out of 10 as it delivered everything and everyone as promised. Had a few surprises which is always a plus. When the DVD comes out I highly recommend everyone buy it and if you can attend the next show if possible, if it’s like this one it will be worth your time and money.
This show had the perfect mix of technical wrestling and fan reaction. It was better than anything I have seen put out in years. It had some cane shots, chair shots, and high flying insane spots so it would appeal to ECW fans. Also of the stars and wrestlers involved depending on what ECW meant to you and what you liked about it. Anyone who appreciates wrestling would enjoy it.
If you are a wrestling fan and care about more than promos this is for you. If you want to see wrestling at its best, this is for you.
Tommy Dreamer is a well respected person within the wrestling community and has ties with WWE, TNA, and ECW. This level of respect maybe the reason people like Roadkill and Spike Dudley were on the card despite being retired for the last few years.
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