TORONTO – While Philadelphia is generally considered the birthplace of extreme wrestling, Toronto should now be considered its adopted home. So says the crowd that attended — and many of the talent that performed on — last night’s House of Hardcore show in Toronto. The show was the international debut for Tommy Dreamer’s company, and based on the success of the event, it’s safe to say it won’t be the last time extreme comes north of the border.
A sold-out crowd filled the Ted Reeve Arena, and reportedly set a new attendance record for the building — and, as ring announcer Justin Roberts, formerly from WWE, joked (we think), a new inside temperature record of 51°C. But it was the action in the ring that was truly hot — from opening bell to closing.
The main event saw the legendary Team 3-D take on the thrilling duo of Matt & Nick Jackson, the Young Bucks. Team 3-D came to the ring with their “old-school”, no music entrance, and Bully Ray proved why he is among the most compelling promo guys in the business today. In the end, the two teams agreed to make the match a Toronto street fight, much to the crowd’s delight. The brawl that ensued was a great blend of power vs. speed, high-flying vs. hard-hitting, and filled with various double-team combinations by both teams. Twice, a team hit their opponents’ finisher and nearly got the pin, but the other team member pulled the ref out of the ring to break the count. Eventually, with the chants of “This is awesome” echoing in the building, Team 3-D put one of the Bucks through a table to win.
After the match, Bully Ray took the mic to give props to the Bucks, saying that they may be the current greatest tag team anywhere in the world. He then thanked the crowd for supporting the company, and brought out Tommy Dreamer for the obligatory fat joke, but more importantly, to allow the Toronto faithful to thank the Innovator of Violence once more for bringing his show to the city. And from the look on Dreamer’s face, and the tears of appreciation filling his eyes, it’s safe to say, the feeling was mutual.
House of Hardcore 9 – Other results
1) Tommy Dreamer vs Chris Hero.
This was a fun match, with the crowd solidly backing both combatants. There were some good comedy moments early on, but the end saw action really pick up. Ultimately, Hero won after delivering his patented Knockout Elbow.
After the match, Tommy took to the mic to address the crowd, but Pepper Parks and Cherry Bomb interrupted him. They insulted and challenged Tommy, who then made a match between Parks and, in a surprise appearance, TNA star Bobby Roode.
2) Pepper Parks w/ Cherry Bomb vs Bobby Roode.
This was a solid, technical match. Cherry Bomb interfered several times, but got her comeuppance when Roode avoided a charging Parks who ran into her and knocked her hard off the apron. Roode then hit the distraught Parks with a Fisherman’s Suplex to get the pin.
3) Ben Ortiz w/ Kaitlyn Moore, Vik Dalishus w/ two Hos, RJ City, Ethan Page vs Matt Striker w/ Miss Toronto Fitness, “Hacker” Scotty O’ Shea, and Team Tremendous.
Guest referee Jimmy Korderas was called in when the original ref was found to be in cahoots with Dalishus and his team. Fun match with lots of flips and dives from the top rope to the floor and other daredevil moves, leading to several “Holy s***!” chants at various points during the match. At one point, even Korderas seemed poised to leap from the top onto the horde, until he climbed up there and came to his senses. Striker’s team got the win after a sweet double-team move by Team Tremendous. After the match, Kaitlyn was mouthing off to Jimmy Korderas, but Havok (surprise #2) came out and destroyed her with a chokeslam to the delight of the crowd.
4) Tony Nese vs John Hennigan.
Hennigan is former WWE star John Morrison, and now wrestles as Johnny Mundo in the Lucha Underground promotion. At one point, Nese hit a great looking pump-handle slam into a piledriver but crashed and burned on a follow-up 450 splash attempt. Hennigan hit Starship Pain to end it.
5) Matt Taven and Michael Bennett (The Kingdom) w/ Maria vs Kazarian and Christopher Daniels (The Addiction)
This was a fun, RoH-style match with plenty of action throughout. At end, after a flurry of superkicks, the referee accidentally ate one, and was knocked out. Maria tried to take advantage of the situation and help her team by giving her men the RoH Tag Belts to knock out the Addiction. But Traci Brooks ran to the ring and speared Maria out of her boots, thwarting the plan. The Addiction recovered and shortly thereafter got the win.
After the match, they held a tribute to Traci’s career (this was billed as her last wrestling appearance ever). After a touching video tribute, and appearances by trainers Rob Fuego and Scott D’Amore, who Brooks said were instrumental to her career, Traci tearfully thanked the crowd for the years of support. She said that the only thing better than wrestling for a living was her new job, as mother to her and Kazarian’s son, Rebel.
6) Eddie Kingston vs Tommaso Ciampa
The bottom rope snapped during this match, which saw lots of stiff shots delivered by both men. Despite the malfunction in the ring, Ciampa was able to recover, and get the win after a running knee to the head.
There were some fun chants flying as the ring crew (several local wrestlers, including the popular Tomer Shalom) fixed the rope. Justin Roberts also had some fun, joking with the fans during the wait, which lasted about 5 minutes. In the end, they were fortunately able to reconnect the rope, but had to remove its protective covering on one end, leaving just the bare cable.
Afterwards, Toronto TV star Spenny came out and dissed Tommy Dreamer. The ever-angry Rhino stormed the ring to shut him up with a big clothesline to great applause. Rhino then called for an opponent for his open challenge. Thea Trinidad entered the ring, and introduced “The Greatest Man Alive”, Austin Aries, who accepted the call.
7) Rhino vs Austin Aries w/ Thea Trinidad
Very good match. Rhino was going to use a chair, but Thea got in the ring to defend Aries. Rhino put down the chair… and instead, in the tradition of the original ECW, hit Thea with the GORE! GORE! GORE! Aries capitalized on Rhino’s distraction, attacking the big man from behind and finishing him with a 450 Splash to get the win.
8) Team 3-D vs Young Bucks
Team 3-D won the Toronto Street Fight.