It’s no secret that we’re big Tommy Dreamer fans here at Chinlock.com. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who will argue against the fact that Tommy Dreamer is one of the best human beings on Earth, and his passion for professional wrestling is unparallelled. It was with great disappointed that I missed the first House of Hardcore event back in October, although Chinlock.com columnist and co-owner Jan Murphy attended the event, and raved about it’s success. So it was with great excitement that I found out about RFVideo.com‘s delayed iPPV offering for House of Hardcore 2, beginning last night. At $14.99, I couldn’t say no, and placed my order the moment the show became available. This was my first iPPV offering from RFVideo.com, and part of this review will include comments on the service they provided, as well. But first, lets get to the results:
House of Hardcore 2 Results:
Former ECW Ring Announcer Stephen D’Angelis handled ring announcing duties.
1) Devon Storm (WCW’s Crowbar) defeated Hale Collins with a Dragon Sleeper.
2) Vik Dalishus defeated Guido Maritano (WWE’s Nunzio) via a school boy roll-up.
3) MVP defeated Sami Callihan with a straight kick followed by a pinfall.
4) Carlito defeated Mike Bennett via pinfall after former TNA Knockout Rosita hit Bennett with a moonsault.
5) Petey Williams defeated Alex Reynolds (with a Canadian Destroyer) and Tony Nese (eliminated by Reynolds with a Whipper-Snapper Stunner).
6) The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) defeated Eddie Kingston and Homicide with a Steiner Bulldog.
7) John Hennigan (WWE’s John Morrison) defeated 2 Cold Scorpio with Starship Pain.
8) The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) defeated Brian Kendrick and Paul London with More Bang for Your Buck.
9) Tommy Dreamer defeated Lance Storm when Dreamer and Terry Funk hit Storm with a DDT, followed by a pinfall.
I’ve got to be honest with everyone before proceeding forward with this review. I’m not a great “indy” wrestling fan. A number of names on this card I had heard of before, but had never seen in action. A number of my friends have raved about Sami Callihan and Mike Bennett, but again, this was my first exposure to either of them, and a number of others, so my review is just based on what I saw last night, with no prior background leading in.
In the opener, Devon Storm defeated Hale Collins via Dragon Sleeper. Storm still looks the same as he did 13 years ago in WCW, and looks like he could still go in the national scene if given the opportunity. That said, the commentators made it clear that this match would be his last, as he had decided to retire following House of Hardcore 2. The match moved at a decent pace, with a few sloppy moments, but a good opener to get the show started.
The second match was probably my least favourite on the card. Nunzio did has very best with Vik Dalishus, but I just didn’t enjoy Dalishus’ work in the ring. He felt very “generic indy worker,” and it took away from the match slightly. He was accompanied by an unnamed blue shirt guy (even the commentators didn’t know his name), and FWE’s Monique Dupree. Post match, Dalishus challenged any former original ECW star to come to the ring for a fight, which was answered by The Blue Meanie. As to opposed to a fight, Meanie offered a dance off. This was soon interrupted by a surprise appearance from The Sandman. In true old school ECW fashion, this soon broke down into a Fandango dance-off (complete with Fandango music), leading to The Sandman dancing with Monique Dupree. As he bent her over to plant a kiss, he pulled off her wig, revealing a completely bald head. Sandman then canned Dalishus, Blue Shirt Guy (for lack of a better name), and then canned the wig repeatedly. In all, probably my least favourite effort on the card, but still a fun throwback to some old school ECW shenanigans.
In one of the more anticipated matches of the evening (at least for me), MVP defeated Sami Callihan in a great, hard-hitting strong-style match. This was my first exposure to Callihan, as I noted above, and from what I understand he is WWE bound. I think with a little bit of WWE-refining, his gimmick could really take off. The best way to describe it is if Bray Wyatt and Mick Foley met, and had a baby. MVP showed up in incredible shape, which cannot go without being mentioned. His time in Japan has done him a world of good, and he has come out a much different, and more well-rounded professional wrestler. This match spilled into the crowd, with both wrestlers literally being thrown into the crowd’s lap. Both guys worked their asses off, and provided the first memorable match on the card. An excellent bout that was enjoyable to watch.
Following that, Carlito and Mike Bennett had another good match. Mike Bennett is national TV ready. He has the look, he has the talent, and he has the ring presence. Going in I had only ever heard of him, but never seen him. Coming out, I believed that Bennett was going to be the next big professional wrestling star. Everything about him screams star, and if he doesn’t get a big national contract somewhere, it’s a complete travesty. Bennett was accompanied to the ring by his real-life fiancee Maria Kanellis, who looked absolutely gorgeous as always. Mid-way through the match, after ongoing interference from Maria, Rosita (a former TNA Knockout) came to Carlito’s aide, and played into the finish of the match. After Carlito hit a Back Stabber, Rosita hit a moonsault from the top rope, and Carlito scored a pinfall victory.
The three-way dance between Alex Reynolds, Tony Nese and Petey Williams was the match of the night, and it wasn’t even close. Nese and Reynolds were both trained by Mikey Whipwreck, and Petey Williams doesn’t look like he’s missed a single step since his last national run in TNA. Nese is another guy that either TNA or WWE should be racing to pick up, and have on their roster. He is an absolute beast in the ring, and looked great in defeat. Enough good things cannot be said about this match, and it is worth ordering the iPPV just to see.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Homicide and Kingston was an interesting match in that I don’t think I’ve ever seen Homicide/Kingston dominated in the fashion that the Steiners did to them. The Steiners carried a slow, and deliberate pace, but brought the goods when it came to hitting some devastating suplexes. Scott Steiner still looks great, and while Rick is starting to show his age, both carried their end of the match, and it was cool to see the Steiners on PPV again.
In the first of the three main events, 2 Cold Scorpio, who looked to be in great shape, took on John Hennigan (the former ECW Champion John Morrison). I have to be honest…this match lost me a little bit. Maybe it was that I was expecting a faster pace, or flashier offence, but this match felt about 10 minutes too long. This match also broke down into somewhat of a dance-off, which seemed out of place given that it was one of the main events of the evening. Although coming into the match as a babyface, Scorpio worked the majority of the match as a heel, and was eventually defeated with Starship Pain.
In what was, arguably, the second best match of the night, The Young Bucks met London and Kendrick to attempt to avenge their loss from the first House of Hardcore. It was rumoured that London had hurt his neck the previous night at another independent event, but that injury was not clearly apparent as both teams brought their A games to this match. There were a number of really innovative tag team wrestling spots that reminded me why I love tag-team wrestling so much. You would struggle to find two better tag teams in any promotion any where than these two. Also, of interesting note, Brian Kendrick was trained by Shawn Michaels, and the Young Bucks were trained by Marty Jannetty. That feud will never die. In any event, this is another match that you need to go out of your way to see, and is worth the price of the the iPPV alone. Hell, Nick Jackson absolutely nailed Paul London with a Tombstone on the outside of the ring, on the cement floor. It needs to be seen to be believed. Incredible match.
And finally, in the main event of the evening Tommy Dreamer and Lance Storm had a great 15+ minute match to send the fans home happy, which featured Terry Funk nailing some of his signature punches on Lance Storm, and a surprise appearance by WWE star X-Pac, who attacked Tommy Dreamer but was dispatched by Funk in short order. Although only working live events occasionally, Lance Storm looked absolutely fantastic in this bout, proving there are few if any better than him in professional wrestling. The crowd was hot, start to finish, for this match, as well, which really added to its atmosphere. Funk’s eventual involvement, and X-Pac’s interference were great surprises, and the finish of the match featuring a double DDT from Dreamer/Funk was great for this old-school fan.
In all, a good second effort from the upstart House of Hardcore promotion. RFVideo’s on-demand video quality was excellent (I streamed the iPPV from my laptop, via HDMI, to my 50-inch flat screen plasma television, and it looked great). The audio, especially in the in-house mic, left a lot to be desired, though. After almost every match, there was a promo, and they were largely inaudible to the iPPV audience as the mic feed only went out into the arena, and was not fed directly into the video stream. I experienced very few moments of buffering (I can think of twice, at less than five seconds each time), and didn’t lose the video feed once during the entire broadcast. The commentary team was decent, featuring guest commentary from former ECW original Danny Doring, and their audio remained consistent all night. The arena looked good, but maybe not as good as the first House of Hardcore did. The were no video screens, and the house lights were left on during the entire show (which highlighted noticeable empty seats on the hard-side camera). That said, this was a completely star-studded event that should be regarded as a complete success both from an in-ring and technical standpoint. Where else can you go to see the Steiner Brothers, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, Lance Storm, MVP, and John Hennigan, amongst a number of excellent up-and-coming independent workers all in the same event? House of Hardcore, that’s where. Enough cannot be said for how good the Three-Way Dance and tag-team matches really were, and how awesome it was to see Terry Funk fire off a couple of rounds and light up Lance Storm. A complete photo stream of the entire event can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
For more information on upcoming House of Hardcore events, please visit their website at: www.houseofhardcore.net