Report by Bob Magee of PWBTS.com.
House of Hardcore debuted at the 2300 (ECW) Arena before a sold-out crowd Saturday night, even with a number of events in the Northeast this weekend, including Northeast Wrestling, and Jersey All-Pro Wrestling’s return show in Rahway, NJ
Pre-show after the fan photo sessions in ring, Tommy Dreamer announced EC3’s bicep tear (already announced on Twitter). Jigsaw was announced as having the flu, and Davey Richards off due to a “medical emergency.” Dreamer announceed that he’s lucky that he has a lot of good friends, and there would be surprises as replacements.
Stevie Richards was surprise number one as he came out as BWO’s “Big Stevie Cool” and defeated Danny Doring by pinfall after a Steviekick.
Christian York defeats Brian Myers (aka Curt Hawkins) by pinfall after a swinging neckbreaker
Good back-and-forth match with York playing babyface. Myers nailed him with a great looking dropkick and sent him inton the corner. They battled in the corner until York nailed him with a spinkick.
Then came the first of the major surprises. Myers took the mic, whining he lost due to a “fluke and a fast count”, and that “The Arena is a dump and he won’t leave unless someone makes him.”
Well, out comes Richardo Rodriguez…who then announced…to an explosion…”El Patron Alberto……..with the crowd loudly adding….(instead of Rodriguez to keep the WWE copyright lawyers away) ‘Del Rio’”.
Out came former Del Rio in street clothes. He looked jacked to be there, and reminded the crowd he was originally told by WWE he was stuck with a non-compete in the United States for a year, which has been “resolved”. Del Rio said he was here “to have fun and was excited to be in the ECW Arena for the first time.” The crowd chanted “ECW”, then “f*** McMahon” Del Rio concluded by saying in House of Hardcore “we aren’t sports-entertainers, we are f***ing wrestlers.”
Myers tried to jump Del Rio, who ducked, follweod by Richardo giving him a ballshot, followed by Del Rio nailing on the cross armbreaker and Myers tapped.
Team Tremendous (Bill Carr and Dan Barry) and Little Guido defeated Anthony Green, Vik Dalishus, and Ben Ortiz, with Little Guido pinning Anthony Green in a great comedy match…plus. This wound up being a great mix of wrestling and suprising flying.
Team Tremendous and Guido cornered Green and worked him over hard in the corner. Ortiz tagged in and took control on Barry. The heels worked Barry over in their corner, tagging in and out. Dalishus slammed Barry down with authority. Ortiz nailed Guido and Barry in the corner and then hit a running forearm smash in the corner.
Barry finally make a comeback and made the hot tag to Bill Carr, who cleaned house with all sorts of big power moves. He and Barry hit a reverse cutter on Dalishus off Carr’s shoulders. Everyone ended up on the floor. Then came the flying. Carr hit a tope con hilo, followed by Barry, who then hit a shooting star to the floor on everyone (note: Barry is a big guy, and about the last person you’d ever expect to see doing a shooting star). Guido went to do his dive, but the ref stopped him, and in the CHIKARA moment of the evening, the ref did a standing moonsault to the floor on everyone. Guido went for another dive but Dalishus’ female manager stopped him. He kissed her, grabbed her wig, which fell off. Green tried to come back on him, but Guido nailed him and rolled him up for the pinfall.
Eddie Edwards defeated Eddie Kingston. Kingston came out to “Walk”, RVD’s old music,and the crowd though at first RVD was coming out. Eddie Kingston heeled on the crowd, laughing them for thinking RVD was coming out.
A lot and back-and-forth with Kingston working over Edwards; then Edwards returning the favor. Edwards finally ending the series with a big superplex. Eddie Edwards and Eddie Kingston went to the floor, then finally beat the count back, then Edwards used a big boot to put Kingston out on the floor yet again, followed by a series of topes. After getting back in, Edwards and Kingston did a semi-reasonable facsimile of Samoa Joe-Kobashi stiff chopping each other to pieces.
Kingston hit a lariat for a near fall, folllowed by Edwards getting a backslide for his own near fall. Edwards went to the top rope, Kingston moved and hit a double stomp, followed bt a series of suplexes. Edwards came back with a German, then Kingston hit a lariat for another near fall
Then, back to the slapping, followed by Kingston hitting his spinning backfist for a nearfall. The match finished with Edwards getting a one-legged crab to submit Kingston.
Stephen DeAngelis pointed out the Arena’s Hardcore Hall of Fame banners on the Arena south wall, and announced the names of those inducted (notably absent was Eddie Gilbert, whose banner wasn’t there…there had been an error in his birth year, which may be getting fixed finally)
Tony Nese defeated Alex Reynolds and Lance Anoaia, pinning Alex Reynolds after a reverse rana
Good athletic, fast paced action early. Nese’s speed is something to behold. He controlled the ring with some ranas and other moves until he was stomped down as he charged Reynolds.
Lance came back with some high cross bodyblocks and clotheslines Reynolds to the floor. He nailed a nice dive to the floor. Reynolds cut him off and worked over Nese, using a curb stomp. He tossed Nese to the floor and turned into a Lance missile dropkick.
They did a lot of back and forth stuff that was really good. Lance was eliminated after a splash off the top by Reynolds. They went back and forth. Reynolds hit a belly to back superplex. He followed up with a nice neckbreaker for a near fall. They exchanged a series of boots.
Nese nailed him one armed powerbomb into the corner. They battled to the top rope where Nese nailed a reverse rana for the pin. Good stuff!
Then, major surprise number two (in the match originally scheduled to be The American Wolves vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer); which in any other case would have been a major disappointment to miss. Smith said from the house mike that “Davey Richards has a tummy-ache and doesn’t want to come fight. He said that’s carny for being scared” Smith went on to say “they were the best tag team in the United States… Japan…. and the entire world” Archer heeled on the crowd, saying no one would do anything about what they’d said.
No music played…then out came Team 3D…known at Swanson and Ritner as The Dudley Boyz..followed by the crowd going batshit.
Bubba Ray took the mic and said to Archer and Smith “he’s going to be really honest with them – they are in the wrong place at the wrong time”. The usually notorious Arena crowd chanted, “We want fire.” Bubba explained to Archer “…in Philadelphia when a crowd wanted someone set on fire, they really mean it.”
He said that no one wants to see them wrestle, but want to see “Team 3D” fight. He said that if he knows these people like he thinks he knows these people, they want to see “you motherf***ers go through tables.” They all brawled and 3D cleared the ring.
Team 3D cleaned house on Hoyt and Smith. Bully drilled Hoyt over the back with a chair. They all brawled on the floor. The crowd chanted for tables. Back in the ring, Smith and Hoyt cut off The Dudleys and worked them over. The crowd was all over there.
Hoyt drilled Ray with a big boot to the face. The crowd rallied 3D, chanting, “Dudleys.” 3D made the comeback and hit a Doomsday Device. The crowd called for tables but Hoyt and Smith cut off 3D and placed Devon on the table. Hoyt went to the top to moonsault Devon but Bubba hit him with a chair. The Dudleyz powerbombed Archer off the ropes through a table and pinned him.
Bubba Ray Ray took the mike and asked everyone to welcome home..not Team 3D…but The Dudley Boyz.
Austin Aries defeated Drew (McIntyre) Galloway by pinfall
Again, as with so many matches…a LOT of back and forth, physical action, showcasing both wrestlers. The crowd did razz Galloway with a “3MB” chant.
The match concluded as Aries nailed a dropkick, followed by a Galloway brainbuster attempt, with Aries escaping by kneeing him while upside down. Galloway hit the ropes and was caught with a knee. Aries came back, and scored a pin out of nowhere.
Extreme Rules/TNA World Heavyweight Championship match: TNA World Champion Bobby Roode (replacing Ethan Carter III) defeating Tommy Dreamer by pinfall. Dreamer came out with Beulah McGillicuty, who was billed as bringing him to the ring for the final time. She got a nice “Beulah” chant when they announced her
Out came TNA World champion Bobby Roode to face Dreamer, replacing EC3.
Roode controlled the early part of the match. Dreamer made a comeback and they fought on the floor, where Dreamer did the old school “sprayed a fan’s soda in the opponent’s eyes like mist” spot. He threw Roode into the steps and posted him, then did another old favorite having a fan hold up a chair and running Roode into it. Roode finally cut off Dreamer, and crotched him with an atomic drop on the ring rail.
Roode took over, throwing Dreamer out and in the ring, then worked him with punches and kicks, finishing with a dropkick. He then continued a Dreamer, then missed a kneedrop. Dreamer made his comeback on Roode with a clothesline, then right hands in the corner. Dreamer whipped Roode into the corner, but Roode hit him with an elbow coming in. Roode set up a chair and nailed a drop toehold, followed by a sunset flip attempt. Dreamer ducked, put Roode into to the tree of woe, then hit him with a chairshot. Dreamer charged in, with the crowd chanting “E-C-W”, so he stopped and got them to chant instead “H-O-H”, he THEN nailed Roode with the dropkick.
Velvet Sky did a run in, so Beulah hit the ring, resulting in an old school ECW Arena catfight (calling Joey Styles…). Roode grabbed Beulah but she ball shotted him. Dreamer hit a DDT on Roode for a near-fall.
Dreamer pulled out a barbed wire board from under the ring…then came cameos galore.
First, CW Anderson hit the ring and nailed Dreamer with a spinebuster, follwoed by “Enter Sandman” and out came The Sandman . Sandman hit the ring and cracked open a beer, but it was slapped out of his hand by Anderson. Sandman nailed him with the cane, but missed a second sho, got nailed with a Anderson superkick.
Then ”Highway to Hell” finally played, followed by Spike Dudley hit the ring, who hit an Acid Drop on CW Anderson’s manager. Dreamer and Roode both went for death valley drivers, but Roode finally hit his on Dreamer on a barbed wire board to score the pinfall for retain his TNA World Champion. The two hugged post-match, with Dreamer kissed the TNA belt and giving it back to Roode, followed by the crowd chanting, “Thank you Tommy.”
In typical Dreamer proceeded to put over TNA to an Arena crowd that doesn’t really respect it, largely due to some of the nonsensical storylines. He (deservedly) put over the in-ring product, reminded the crowd a lot of the show wouldn’t have happened if TNA didn’t allow their talent to appear (leaving out the fact that there may not be a “their” if no TV contract is signed soon).
Dreamer than talked about being a fan of the business since he was nine years old, with October 28 being his 25th anniversary innwrestling. He said Thomas Loughlin might have been born in Yonkers, NY, but Tommy Dreamer was born in the ECW Arena and everything he has in this life is because of this business. He said “he was a proud overachiever, and got to and hook up with Beulah McGullicuty”. Dreamer continued “Every strong man has a strong woman by their side”, then said “During one of our many arguments, Beulah once said that she knew she would always come second to professional wrestling and accepted it.” Dreamer said Beulah she is his light and gave him the best gift in the world,…his two daughters. Cue their daughters came into the ring with roses for Mom. Dreamer introduced them to the Arena crowd, and said “these people are the people I work for, and this is the building where I met their mother. For once, I’ll shut up, and said the ring and the mike is Beulah’s.”
Beulah said that she “hadn’t planned on saying anything”. The crowd chanted her name. She said “that she may not have made it to the Hall of Fame, she made it in the ECW Arena and that means the world to her. I said I had the best ride ever, and I will carry all the fans in her heart always.” She really felt what she was saying.
For anyone else in wrestling, this would have been a perfect feel-good go-home to end the show. But that wouldn’t be Tommy Dreamer, the worker…or the promoter….who always, always, always puts others over…and remarkably for the wrestling business…actually means what he’s saying.
Main event: The Young Bucks defeated The Hardy Boys
This match was everything you’d expect it to be. Matt Jackson and Matt Hardy started out. The Hardys worked over Matt Jackson, and then caught Nick trying to interfere and took him out. The match featured all of the Young Bucks trademark spots. The Bucks worked over Matt Hardy for a long time, with Jeff trying to come in to help, which resulted in the ref holding him back and the Bucks working Matt even more.
Matt finally caught Matt Jackson with a Side Effect, tagged out to Jeff, who worked over Nick Jackson. Hardy hit a windmill kick, but got thrown into the corner. He elbowed Nick Jackson as he came out, and hit the Whisper in the Wind for a near fall, then Jeff went for a swanton, broken up when Jackson pulled his knees up.
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy worked over Matt Jackson and nailed a Splash Mountain for nearfall. Jeff Hardy tagged in and cinched in a chinlock (they had to catch a breath sometime…), made a comeback and worked over Matt Jackson. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Jackson reversed it into a Northern Lights suplex. Matt Jackson went for the tag, but Matt had just knocked Nick off the apron. He finally made the tag and made his comeback on Jeff Hardy. Hardy cut him off and went for the Twist of Fate but was nailed with a stiff elbow.
The Hardys went for a double team on Nick, but he superkicked Jeff. Jackson DDTd Hardy with a DDT to the floor, followed by Young Bucks stereo splashes for a near fall. They then worked on Matt, but Nick accidentally kicked his brother off the apron, into the railing. Matt Hardy nailed Nick; then The Hardys made their comeback, swung Jackson upside down and backwards to the mat, followed by The Hardys going to the top, but Matt Jackson nailed Hardy. Nick Jackson caught Jeff with a superkick as he went up and over. The Bucks used of Hardys own signature spots on them, culminating with Nick hitting Jeff with a swanton for a near fall.
The Bucks nailed their powerbomb/kick combo in the corner, but Matt Hardy pulled the referee out of the ring for the save. Nick did a tope out of the ring for Hardy but plowed the referee instead.
The Hardys took control and nailed the Young Bucks with their own finishers. In comes referee number two in to count the near fall. The Hardys hit swantons and moonsaults but this time, Nick Jackson pulled out the ref to prevent the fall. Jeff dove at Jackson but took out referee one? two?.
The Bucks hammered Matt Hardy with multiple superkicks, then hit one on Jeff Hardy off the apron with one, putting him through a table. The Young Bucks then nailed the “More Bang for Your Buck” combo for the pinfall on Matt.