Written by: Bob Colling
House of Hardcore VIII
From: Philadelphia, PA
The show is a sellout as fans were turned away from the ECW Arena. I’ve heard good things about this one, so lets see how it goes.
Opening Contest: Brian Myers vs. PJ Black: Myers starts the match working over Black in the corner with several strikes. Black comes back with a roundhouse kick and punches Myers to the corner to hit a forearm strike and a springboard cross body for a near fall. Myers avoids a springboard moonsault attempt and Brian hits a clothesline to turn Black inside out. Myers gets a near fall following a snap suplex. Myers slides to the floor and trips Black as he was coming off the ropes. Myers plants Black with a sit down scoop slam and waits in the corner for a spear apparently. Black nails Myers with a spin kick and heads to the top rope. Black hits the 450 splash and wins the match. (**. A rather quick match between these two, but it was some solid action. Black is really crisp with his moves. That 450 splash looked more devastating with the lack of hang time as Black hit it more dead on than I’ve normally seen. A fine opener to start things off.)
Second Contest: Matt Striker vs. Amazing Red: Striker reverses an arm lock by going to the apron walks around the ring post and counters the hold. Striker keeps Red on the mat and nearly gets a pin. Striker arm drags Red and they begin to trade some quick offense. They have a standoff and the fans show appreciation for the action. Striker cheap shots Red after shaking his hand. Striker drives Red down to mat with an arm DDT and follows up with a hammerlock scoop slam. Striker delivers another arm breaker and locks in a cross face but Red counters for a quick near fall. Striker has an arm bar on Red after a roll through out of the corner but Red reaches the ropes quickly. Red hits a standing hurricanrana and a dropkick in the corner. Red plants Striker with a tornado DDT but can’t get a three count. Red runs into a big boot and Striker gets a two count. Striker ducks a kick but not a second one and Red gets a near fall. Striker is loopy as Red heads to the top but Striker crotches Red on the top. Red hits the Code Red off the middle rope and hits a standing shooting star press for the win. (***. I enjoyed this one more than I was expecting to. Striker didn’t go with the obvious “work the leg” routine considering Red’s knee injury history. His offense on Red’s arm was interesting and different. A fun finish and a well produced match.)
Third Contest: Alex Reynolds vs. JT Dunn: A slow start early on as they kept the offense very basic. Dunn hits a quick dropkick after an arm drag. Reynolds kicks Dunn and goes to the apron to flip back in but is met with a leaping kick for a near fall. Reynolds kicks Dunn in the face and sends Dunn hard back first into the corner. Reynolds sends Dunn to the floor and Reynolds goes for a suicide dive but fakes the fans out. Alex keeps control with a high knee for a two count. Dunn ducks a clothesline to deliver one of his own. Dunn drops Reynolds with several strikes a double stomp to the back of the head. Dunn kicks Reynolds over the top to the floor from the middle turnbuckle. Dunn takes Reynolds out with a suicide dive. Dunn places Reynolds across the guard railing. JT comes off the apron to hit a leg drop! Dunn hits a springboard face buster back in the ring but Reynolds kicks out. Reynolds kicks Dunn in the corner and uses the ropes for leverage but the referee sees it. Dunn hits a standing Slice Bread but Reynolds comes back with a big boot to avoid a roaring elbow. Dunn goes for a double under hook but gets distracted. Dunn kicks Reynolds to the floor, but Alex comes back in to deliver a super kick and a front Codebreaker to get the win. (*1/2. This one went a little too long. Dunn had some decent offense but Reynolds was kind of disappointing in there. The fans didn’t seem overly interested in the match, either. Take off a few minutes and this one is a better overall bout.)
Fourth Contest: Rhino vs. Eddie Kingston: Eddie starts the match with a suicide dive as Rhino made his way to the ring. They begin to brawl on the floor. Kingston drives Rhino back first into the apron but Rhino hits a back suplex onto the apron. Rhino counters a vertical suplex and hits one of his own on the floor! They get into the ring and bell officially sounds. Rhino hits a belly to belly suplex out of the corner. Rhino is looking for the GORE but Kingston gets a boot up to stop Rhino. Kingston keeps control with strikes and knee lifts to the midsection followed by a double stomp for a two count. They both go down following a collision. Rhino gets a flurry of offense going with clotheslines and a shoulder ram in the corner. Rhino hits another belly to belly suplex for a two count. Rhino avoids a swinging back fist and spikes Kingston with a piledriver for a two count! Kingston takes Rhino over with an exploder suplex for a near fall. They begin to slap each other while on their knees. Rhino hits the GORE and pins Kingston. (*1/2. I didn’t really enjoy the match. I don’t really recall a match of Eddie Kingston’s that I’ve overly enjoyed. The fans reacted well to Rhino and his offense. The GORE is always over with the Philadelphia crowd.)
Fifth Contest: Ben Ortiz, Hale Collins & Vik Dalishus vs. Bill Carr, Dan Barry & Tony Nese: They start the match with Carr and Barry searching the referee to find a bag of weed. They eject the referee and that brings out Mikey Whipwreck to referee the match, who trained these six guys.
Collins and Barry kick off the contest with some mat wrestling based offense. Barry has a headlock and kicks Collins on the top of the head for a humorous spot. Barry hits a springboard back elbow and Collins tags in Vik and Nese enters as well. Vik works over Nese with strikes in the corner but Nese hits a springboard moonsault but it looked like Vik was out of position. Nese with a few kicks and hits a springboard cross body for a near fall. Ortiz tags in and backs Nese into the corner but misses a splash. Nese comes off the top and is ran over by Ortiz with a clothesline. Ortiz plants Barry with a spine buster as Carr enters as well for a big man showdown. Carr is triple teamed by Collins and Vik. Collins and Vik remain in the ring but Carr comes back with a clothesline and Barry comes off the top to hit a missile dropkick.
Collins is getting worked over in the corner by Nese, Carr and Barry with several chops. Barry hits a slingshot leg drop from the apron onto Collins and Nese hits a springboard moonsault for a two count. Barry slingshot dropkicks Collins in the corner to continue the offense. Barry gets distracted by somebody at ringside, who is thrown out by Whipwreck. Collins super kicks Barry and tags in Vik. Ortiz splashes Barry but only gets a two count. Barry is laid across Vik’s knees and Collins hits an elbow drop for a near fall. Vik hits an assisted standing moonsault with Collins help for a two count on Barry. Barry fights out of the corner to hit a jumping DDT on Vik from the middle rope. Carr gets tagged in and cleans house and takes Vik over with a head scissors! Carr drives Collins down with a swinging side slam but Ortiz enters to work over Carr. Carr takes Ortiz over with a hurricanrana! Vik sends Carr to the floor where Collins hits a top rope cross body to the floor. Nese hits a corkscrew dive over the top onto everyone on the floor. Barry hits a twisting dive himself to the floor. Carr is hits a somersault dive over the top to the outside! The fans want Mikey to do something so he goes to the top and hits a somersault dive off the top to everyone on the floor! Nese tries for a hurricanrana on Ortiz but hits a head scissors to the corner instead. Nese double stomps Ortiz but Collins makes the save on the cover attempt. Nese power bombs Collins into the corner and Carr puts Collins on his shoulders for Barry to hit a reverse Blockbuster but can’t get a three due to Vik. Vik has some kind of weapon but Whipwreck prevents the use of it. Mikey hits the Whippersnapper and Carr hits a Canadian Destroyer for the win. (***. Alright, so Bill Carr is a decently sized guy who you would not expect to perform the moves he just pulled of in that one. I enjoyed a lot of the match, even if it went a little longer than it probably should have. Carr, Barry and Nese provided some excellent action and the crowd responded well to all the action.)
After the match, Brian Myers, Amazing Red, and Alex Reynolds come out for the ceremony for Mikey Whipwreck. They play a video in tribute to Mikey Whipwreck. Mikey is grateful for the tribute and talks about his career briefly. A nice gesture by HOH and Tommy Dreamer.
Sixth Contest: Lance Hoyt vs. Matt Hardy vs. Carlito in a hardcore match: Hoyt kicks Hardy to the floor prior to the bell and Carlito spits an apple into Lance’s face. Hoyt works over both guys on the floor. The fans are giving Hoyt shit for his tramp stamp tattoo. Hoyt brings a ladder into the ring but Hardy is up with a chair as is Carlito. They use chairs to whack the ladder into Hoyt. Hardy slams Hoyt face first into a chair and is worked over by Hardy and Carlito until Carlito sends Hardy to the floor. Carlito climbs the ladder and realizes there is nothing up there and is choke slammed off the ladder by Hoyt. Hoyt counters the Side Effect with a butterfly suplex. Hardy goes for a suplex onto the ladder but is reversed and Hoyt slams Hardy across the ladder. Hoyt misses a spear in the corner and hits a steel chair full speed.
Carlito and Hardy work together to slam Hoyt onto the ladder. They perform the move a second time to bend the ladder. The ladder is rammed into the groin area of Hoyt. Hardy hits a chair into the ladder which again goes into Hoyt’s groin area. Hardy rolls Carlito up and nearly pins him. Their alliance is short lived as Hardy hits the Side Effect for a near fall. Carlito slams Hardy onto the ladder that is laid across the middle rope in the corner. Hardy crotches Carlito on the top rope and stands on the ladder but Carlito crotches Hardy on the ladder and hits the Backstabber for a two count thanks to Hoyt breaking up the cover. Hoyt slams both men and heads to the top rope but misses a moonsault. Hardy and Carlito collide with a double clothesline. Hoyt big boots the ladder into Hardy and punches a chair into Carlito’s face.
Hoyt avoids the Twist of Fate but not the Backstabber from Carlito. Carlito misses a splash in the corner and Hardy hits a Twist of Fate onto the ladder and pins Carlito. (*1/2. Honestly, that felt really slow for the most part and the finish was just not good. This felt like a WWE hardcore match that you’d get on a live event.)
Justin Roberts, a former WWE ring announcer, comes out and cuts a promo about feeling nothing while at WrestleMania last year. However, standing in the ring at the ECW Arena brings him nerves. Roberts came out to send a local radio DJ named Rocco out of the ring. Roberts is sucking up to the crowd as they turned on him pretty quickly. He lost his passion for the business. Honestly, does anyone care about a ring announcer cutting a promo? We see a little kid being lifted up by his father to give Roberts the finger! Roberts says the people are here “for a good fucking show.” Unlike what he had to sit through every Monday. Roberts thinks that WWE is dying a slow death and he is done with politics and that’s why he is here in House of Hardcore to have fun. He will ring announce the next match.
Seventh Contest: The Addiction vs. The Dudley Boyz: Daniels and Kazarian take the Dudley Boys out with dives to the floor to start the match. Kazarian works over Bubba while Daniels works over D-Von. D-Von is sent into the ring post and Daniels hits an elbow drop off the apron while Kazarian works over Bubba with several kicks. Bubba rolls into the ring to be worked over by the Addiction with a double backdrop. A leg sweep/clothesline combo on Bubba to maintain control of the match. Bubba is put through a table on the floor and D-Von is worked over in the ring. D-Von is clotheslined by Daniels and double stomped by Kazarian for a near fall. D-Von fights back until Kazarian chop blocks the left leg of D-Von and Kazarian takes Bubba out with a cross body to the floor. Daniels drives D-Von to the canvas with a neck breaker. Kazarian grabs a microphone to taunt D-Von and Bubba. D-Von fights back with a leaping clothesline to take out the Addiction. A neck breaker on Kazarian followed by a clothesline on Kazarian and a lifting reverse DDT. Bubba is back to scoop slam Daniels and D-Von comes off the top to deliver a diving head butt.
D-Von grabs a table from under the ring and brings it into the ring. A random female wrestler comes out to low blow the Dudley Boyz and that brings out Velvet Sky. That leads to a cat fight. Sky and Bubba hold the female wrestler for the What’s Up. D-Von stays between her legs and she sells it like she enjoys it! The Addiction hit the Dudley Boys with steel chairs and hit STO’s for a near fall. Dudley Boyz hit the Doomsday Device on Kazarian but don’t go for the cover. Daniels slams D-Von and attempts the Best Moonsault Ever but D-Von gets a foot up. Daniels stumbles into the 3D through the table for the win. (**. A fairly standard match with nothing overly nuts going on. Dudley Boyz seem to have found a basic formula for independent shows and keep to the formula.)
Eric Young cuts a promo as if he had never wrestled in the building, though he did in 2006 for the UWF/TNA shows. Anyway, Young rips on the fans and the city of Philadelphia claiming they ruined professional wrestling. Eric is going to burn the building to the ground after he beats Tommy Dreamer.
Eighth Contest: Tommy Dreamer vs. Eric Young in a street fight: Young goes to the floor and attacks before the bell. Dreamer fights back with strikes and sends Eric into a steel chair face first. Dreamer spits a beer into Young’s face and punches Young in the face with the drink as well. Tommy uses a cane to hook Young’s groin area and grabs a stop sign. Young is sent head first into the stop sign. Dreamer works over Eric in the ring with a walking stick as well before wedging a chair into the corner. Young sends Dreamer face first into the chair in the corner. Young wraps a chair around Tommy’s head and sends him into the ring post. Young crotches Dreamer groin first across the guard railing to maintain control of the bout. Eric stomps the stop sign onto Dreamer’s face.
Young heads to the top but misses a moonsault as Dreamer rolled out of the way. They begin to trade strikes with Dreamer getting the better of the exchange. Dreamer comes out of the corner with a clothesline for a two count. Dreamer gets a kendo stick but Young baseball slides Dreamer to the floor. Dreamer hits a side Russian leg sweep back in the ring and uses the kendo stick on Young. Young is whacked over the head with it from the apron and falls to the floor. Young has been busted open as Dreamer works over Young with a cooking sheet. Dreamer has a cheese grater and scrapes Young’s forehead! Dreamer uses the cheese grater on Young’s groin! Dreamer brings a barbed wire board into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Young counters Tommy’s attempt but Dreamer has Young on his shoulders only for Young to break free and hit a leaping forearm strike. The referee gets knocked down after a right hand from Eric. Dreamer catapults Young chest first into the barbed wire board and hits a piledriver but there is no referee! A referee comes out wearing a hat to hide his face but it is Ethan Carter III who fakes out the pin attempt at two. Dreamer realizes who it is as Carter goes to attack. Dreamer goes for a Death Valley Driver but Young low blows Dreamer and hits a piledriver! Young covers and gets the three count. (**1/2. A few fun moments between these two and the involvement of ECIII made for some good crowd heat. I have more interest in an eventual match between Dreamer and Carter as Ethan is getting some good heel reaction from the Arena fans.) After the match, some of Dreamer’s students run into the ring but they are sent to the floor. The lights go out and it’s Rey Mysterio Jr. in the ring! Rey head scissors Young and Carter. Rey proceeds to hit a 619 to send the heels to the floor. Rey grabs a microphone and says he would have been pissed off had Dreamer not invited him to the Arena. He gets an ECW chant going. Rey thanks Dreamer and gets the fans to chant as well. Dreamer thanks Rey as well and says that you can always come home.
Main Event: Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. The Young Bucks: Nick and Aries kick off the main event. Aries comes off the ropes to shoulder block Nick and they have a standoff. Roode tags in and works over the left arm of Nick. Aries comes off the top to hit a double axe handle and Roode does the same on Matt, who recently tagged in. Matt pokes Roode in the eyes and the Bucks work over the left arm of Roode. Roode and Aries works over Matt briefly. The teams are continually tagging in and working on each others arm. Matt hit a top rope double stomp to Aries arm. Aries comes back with a seated dropkick and tags in Roode. Roode knocks Nick off the apron and avoids a super kick from Matt. Nick is on the apron and kicks Roode to the floor. Aries is kicked off the apron as well after trying to get involved. Aries dropkicks the Young Bucks and hits a double axe handle off the top onto Matt followed by a slingshot senton splash.
Roode drives Matt down to the canvas with a vertical suplex. Aries works over Matt with a stiff chop and Aries hits a back suplex for a near fall. Matt tries to fight out of the corner and dropkicks Roode from the middle rope. Aries yanks Nick off the apron as Matt tried to make the tag. Roode takes advantage and works over Matt and catapults Matt into a forearm from Aries. Aries hits a twisting elbow while Matt was across Roode’s knees. Aries runs into a big boot on the corner and Matt hits a springboard twisting modified Blockbuster! Roode gets off the apron and yanks Nick off the apron but Nick nails Roode with a super kick! Nick gets the hot tag and cleans house on Aries. Nick nails Aries with a spinning kick and takes Roode out with a moonsault. Aries comes back with a suicide dive to the floor! All four men are brawling on the floor now. Bucks take Aries and Roode out with double suicide dives! Aries is sent hard into the corner and kicked to the back of the head. Aries is held across the top and Nick hit a swanton bomb for a near fall.
Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver but Roode crotches Nick and super kicks Matt. Aries is freed up but can’t hit the brain buster. Aries and Roode roll the Bucks up but can’t get a three count. They lock in their submission holds the Last Chancery and the cross face but Bucks don’t give up. Aries and Roode are punched off the middle rope and the Bucks attempt double 450 splashes but Roode and Aries get their knees up. Aries dropkicks Nick in the corner and Roode hits a spine buster! Aries goes to the top and hits his 450 splash but that’s only good enough for a two count. Matt super kicks Aries and Roode and Nick delivers a double super kick to Roode! Aries fights off Bucks with forearm strikes. Bucks double super kick Aries and they hit the Meltzer Driver to win the match! (***1/2. A very good main event as the formula tag match stuff early on was still enjoyable and the high pace action delivered very well, as well. The Bucks are truly the best tag team going today. A good way to end the show.)
There is some solid wrestling here with Striker/Red, the six man tag and the main event providing the best action on the show. Dreamer/Young was a decent hardcore brawl. I think we need a Carter/Dreamer match in HOH and it needs to be violent to satisfy the fan base with Carter getting destroyed. A solid show, but I wouldn’t highly recommend it like some other wrestling websites have apparently been praising it.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.