Dreamer's House of Hardcore gets off to awesome start
JAN MURPHY - Kingston Whig-Standard
|Tommy Dreamer shakes the hand of Carlito the Body Guy Colon after their match. Photos by George Tahinos
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- Hundreds upon hundreds of fans, sporting everything from ECW wear to newly purchased House of Hardcore shirts, filed into what Tommy Dreamer bills as the last traditional wrestling arena on Saturday afternoon and into the evening for the debut of Dreamer's brainchild promotion.
Line-ups for meet-and-greets stretched through the building as fans waited for an autograph, picture or handshake from their favourite superstars.
Former WWE superstar Adam (Edge) Copeland was a huge hit among fans, his line as far as the eye could see. When it shrunk, it grew again. Another former WWE superstar, Maryse, was also a huge hit among fans, particularly the, ahem, male crowd.
All of the House of Hardcore superstars were more than accommodating as the meet-and-greet sessions extended well beyond the allotted time. Among other superstars at the meet-and-greet were Jazz, Rhino, Mike Knoxx, Chris Mordetsky, Carlos Colon, Raven, Sami Callihan and others.
A lively crowd of all ages were full of life as the inaugural event opened.
By the end of it, they were exhausted, and deeply moved -- just like Dreamer, who delivered a passionate, teary-eyed speech to the crowd following his three-way bout with Mike Knoxx and Carlito the Body Guy Colon. Dreamer announced that there will be House of Hardcore 2 down the road.
The finale started out with the fans going wild for Dreamer, and he acknowledged the cheers -- including "F--- 'em up, Tommy!" Almost immediately, chaos began, with action outside the ring and kendo sticks swinging. While the crowd chanted for tables, a ladder came out and was broken. The requested table was next, and Dreamer drove Colon through one off the ring apron. In the end, Colon won after putting Dreamer into a ladder. With the win, Colon becomes the new FWE champion. The celebration was brief, however, as Raven, Dreamer's nemesis, arrived, followed by Sandman to even the odds. Chants of "Thank you, Tommy" and "H-O-H" rang as the evening concluded.
Here are the rest of the results and my thoughts from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY:
I chatted with Big Daddy V for a bit. He talked to us about how nostalgic this building is -- it is one of the locations the WWWF and WWF used to tape its TV shows at -- and that its great to be back.
At the signings, Luke Gallows and Mike Knoxx were amazing with the fans, and Chris Masters was popular too. The VIP autograph signings extended past allotted time, meaning the show started a little later than planned.
In Match 1, Shawn Daivari defeated Crowbar, with the referee Kevin Keenan, formerly of WWE.
By the second match, featuring The FBI (Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke), with manager with Sal E. Graziano, vs Danny Doring and Roadkill, the crowd was pumped. Random chants of "E-C-W" were quickly replaced by "H-O-H" as performers paid homage to the new promotion. Danny and Roadkill win and the highlight was the ref (wrestler Scotty Charisma) delivering an armbar and pin to FBI mid-match.
Match 3 changed the pace, and had Jazz defeating Winter in a women's bout.
The fourth match highlighted some younger talent, as Alex Reynolds faced Tony Nese, with special guest referee Mikey Whipwreck. The amazing, brilliantly-booked bout got the crowd on its feet, particularly by the high-flying Nese. In the end, it was Nese with the win with and assist from Whipwreck.
Scott Steiner came out to talk on the microphone, and he took swipes at Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, until he was interrupted by Big XLG (Luke Gallows) and Eddie Kingston. An impromptu match starts between Big XLG and Steiner, which is a violent-ish affair that featured chairs and kendo stick, spent largely outside ring. It all concludes when Rick Steiner comes out mid-match and the Steiners hit dual Steinerlines on XLG.
There's a $500 cash prize up for grabs in Chris Mordetzsky's Masterlock Challenge. A guy was pulled from the crowd to take the challenge, which does not please the crowd, especially when he passes out. Hale Collins arrives to take the challenge, which morphed into a match which Mordetzsky won with an assist from a masked person.
Rhino vs. Sami Callihan was up next. The match started with major energy, and built from there. Callihan flew a lot, and Rhino endured the punishment. Outside the ring, chairs came into use. Callihan kicked out following a gore, which was an amazing moment that the crowd never saw coming. To finish off his smaller foe, Rhino hit Callihan with a Rhino Driver off top rope to win. This is a perfect example of someone getting over huge despite losing, so kudos to both warriors.
The next bout was more of a break than anything after the emotional roller coasters so far. In this one, Big Daddy V beat up some jobber in 25 seconds or so. Another opponent came out, and Big Daddy V took about a minute and a half with this one. Lastly was Spike Dudley, who came out, hit his finisher, forcing Big Daddy V to flee the ring. The crowd went bananas in this one.
When it was announced that the semi-main event would have an hour time limit, it was a good indication that promoter Dreamer saw tons of potential for excitement as the Young Bucks faced Brian Kendrick and Paul London. But before the wild match started, Edge -- now going by Adam Copeland -- delivered a five-minute promo setting up the match and thanking the fans and Dreamer for everything. The match was expected to be the highlight match of night, but there were some tough acts to follow. It lived up to the billing, and was high-flying, insane and dangerous. The crowd gave them all a standing ovation, and Kendrick and London win.
Paul London is flipped by the Young Bucks.
Phew. As tired as the wrestlers were, I was pretty drained too.
House of Hardcore debut show Photo Gallery
House of Hardcore website
Jan Murphy is the news editor at the Kingston Whig-Standard and has written about wrestling for 15 years. He's on Twitter too.