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   November 28, 2014



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COMMENT





House of Hardcore 2 a matter of when, not if
By TOMMY DREAMER - For SLAM! Wrestling


Tommy Dreamer gets ready to go extreme on Carlito Colon during their match at Dreamer's inaugural House of Hardcore show in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in October. Dreamer will announce a House of Hardcore 2 sometime in the future. (Courtesy of Damon Catavero)

As most of you who read this column know, I started my own wrestling promotion House of Hardcore in early October.

The inaugural event was a great team effort and I couldn't have been happier. I received zero negative remarks on Twitter or Facebook, which was astounding to me. I know the event wasn't perfect, but I will correct my mistakes when the next show arrives (more on that shortly).

At its core, the show was my own vision of professional wrestling. It started as a one-man Twitter campaign (@THETOMMYDREAMER) and exceeded even my wildest dreams, even becoming a financial success. I said beforehand that if it made money, I would do more shows. Not surprisingly, I get asked pretty much daily when House of Hardcore 2 will take place?

There are a few factors at play as far as the answer goes. Consider:

As a business owner and promoter, you have to know your market. You also have to know when the right time to return to the same building is. Ideally, you want to return about four to six months after the last event.

After running a successful event, you want to announce your return as soon as possible to catch that after-show buzz. Sadly, I couldn't because of a few factors:

1. Four to six months after the October would have seen the next show taking place in the winter and running the risk of a bad snow storm in New York is always a possibility. It's a financial risk, as the promoter, I cannot take.

2. The bigger issue at play is that WWE's WrestleMania 29 rolls into the New York/ New Jersey area on April 7, 2013. That brings a couple more factors into play. The first is the financial side; how much extra money will wrestling fans have and what will they choose to spend their hard-earned money on. Also, there are at least 14 wrestling-related events taking place between Wednesday, April 3 and WrestleMania itself on Sunday. It is a financial risk for all those independent promoters. I wish them all the best, but I won't join the stiff competition for wrestling fans' money.

3) The other factor is I personally don't want to ask wrestling fans to choose what to go see. I remember driving with Paul Heyman in the ECW days and then WWE rival WCW was planning on running a show opposite WrestleMania. Heyman basically wondered why, as we were all wrestling fans. Why, he said, couldn't WCW let WWE have one weekend to themselves. I agreed then, and I agree now. I understood the competiton factor, but hell, they can have their Starcade, just let WWE be on that weekend.

The same thinking applies today.

It is WrestleMania weekend, our industry's Super Bowl. I understand why promoters try to piggyback on the large number of wrestling fans converging in one area in order to get the 'Mania runoff. I even wish WWE would have a fan access event in which it showcases smaller, independent promotions. WWE could offer it at a much cheaper rate, that way keeping it independent of WrestleMania, yet still available to the masses. I can hope and dream, right? I mean, it is my last name after all.

I obviously have a soft spot for indy promotions and want every show to sell out, but I can't throw my House of Hardcore hat into play. The good news, however, is that I do have two dates set aside for HOH 2 and HOH 3, but we will have to see when the time is right to announce the shows.

I've also decided to share some behind-the-scenes happenings that I discovered as a promoter and a fan that were very shocking to me.

To run a wrestling event, you need advertising, which costs money. I ran commercials during Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, as well on radio. In all, promoting the show cost me roughly $5,000. I also had to choose whether to do an Internet pay-per-view (IPPV) or showcase the show on DVD, or both. I chose to do just a DVD, which was made available a month after the show. The IPPV costs about $1,500, while my DVD post-production costs were about $1,000. You can see how the costs climbed long before even one ticket was sold.

The DVD was released and I consider it mildly successful, having sold about 400 units. I was alerted to a website where it could be downloaded illegally and saw that my show was viewed more than 600 times, which ripped my heart out and made me very angry. This was just on one website. I know this is a huge problem, not just for me, but worldwide. I'm fairly easygoing, I don't mind clips on YouTube, but quick math tells me that 600 times $20 $12,000 well that is money that could have been used for future shows, advertising or other budgetary things. I'm just a small-time promotion. I can only imagine the mass pirating that WWE must deal with.

I even hired a firm that goes after these types of websites and I was told that there is basically nothing I can do because most of these sites emanate from foreign countries, where there are no laws governing the Internet and piracy yet. However, these illegal sites offer users zero protection. They are in it strictly for whatever revenue they get from advertisers or sponsors, and will give up any and all the information they have on the people who are ordering from their site or downloading from it.

In time, this will be stopped as foreign governments are slowly getting involved, but in the meantime, if you are ordering or downloading, please remember that it is all traceable and illegal. I personally know two people who were charged for pirating-related crimes. I personally wouldn't go after the little guy, but other companies can and do. I was, however, disappointed at some people's responses on Twitter when I alerted them to it.

The bottom line is it is illegal to steal, whether it be movies, UFC, WWE or little old House of Hardcore. That annoying blue screen at the beginning of DVDs with the government anti-piracy label is to protect those rights of content. Now you know how the little guy feels and how it affects future business. It is taking money out of someone's pocket and putting it in someone else's hands who will sell you out in a heartbeat because they have amnesty for now, but you don't.

Because of all of this, I will probably just not make House of Hardcore 2 available on any format and go old school. Thus, I will cut my costs and make it a must-see, live only event. If you are not there, you'll miss out.

I look forward to 2013 I want to thank everyone for reading and supporting my column. Happy new year and make this year better than last. We aren't guaranteed time, so make it last.

Thanks for reading.

TOMMY DREAMER LINKS

  • House of Hardcore website
  • Tommy Dreamer bio and story archive
  • Tommy Dreamer column archive
  • thetommydreamer.com
  • Twitter: @THETOMMYDREAMER

    Tommy Dreamer is a legendary and influential pro wrestler and a father and husband who has worked for World Wrestling Entertainment, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action. His column appears in the Kingston Whig-Standard and on SLAM! Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @THETOMMYDREAMER and check out his website at thetommydreamer.com. He can be booked for live appearances through his website. Check out his new, custom-designed T-shirts and merchandise on his website as well.