NIAGARA FALLS, ON – Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore rumbled into Niagara Falls on Saturday evening as a part of the Mindi O Fitness Extravaganza. The highlight of the evening was the main event featuring future NXT wrestlers Bobby Roode and Eric Young.

The fans sang O Canada, twice, and both wrestlers appreciated the outpouring of nationalism for the Canadian fighters. Young even wore his old Team Canada wrestling trunks as a reminder of the faction he and Roode belonged to and first made their impact.

The fans were hot for the main event which featured chain wrestling as well as high impact moves. It was evident that these two competitors are polished professionals who know their craft inside and out. The facial expressions by Young made the match. Whether he was reeling in pain, showing amazement from a two count, or interacting with the crowd, Young connected and hypnotized the raucous fans. In the end referee Jimmy Korderas gave the win to Booby Roode who put on a fantastic display of wrestling skill.

The venue for this edition of House of Hardcore was the Scotiabank Convention Centre. The large hall made for a lot of room for the wrestlers to set up their merchandise tables and talk to the fans. The VIP sections around ringside were sold out and filled with die-hard fans. I got to meet Chris Hero and talk at length with him. My impression is that he is comfortable in his own skin. The laid back wrestler really took the time to listen to the fans and was quick to give a smile. He is a gracious and humble professional.

Eric Young was showered by congratulations by fans on his recent debut in NXT, and he sincerely appreciated the outpouring of love from his long-time admirers. Rarely do I ever buy a t-shirt from a wrestler, but I did last night. Buying a shirt from Eric Young was an honour as I have been able to watch dozens of his matches in person over the years and he has always delivered the goods. I got an extra bonus, which made me laugh, when I unrolled the shirt the following morning I noticed small food stains on the back of the shirt. I couldn’t help but laugh because Eric Young entertained me again, this time with an unintentional rib.

While the venue provided a great space there were some concerns. The lighting was not very good. Half of the lights were turned off and gave the room a dreary feeling that, at times, detracted from the matches. Also, there was a dance competition a few doors down and it made for an odd mix in the hallways as dancers of all ages stretched and practiced and wrestling fans bought beer. I had a funny moment as my friend Derek and I took a wrong turn and ended up on the periphery of the dance competition stage in front of hundreds of dance fans.

The matches were well received by the fans. Anthony Nese showed the crowd that he is a ring general. His experience, fitness and creativity where evident as Nese directed a beautiful match against RJ City and Alex Reynolds. In the end, Nese picked up the win.

Other matches included Eddie Kingston losing to Bull James; Scotty O’Shea, Mike Rollins and CJ Mirron upended Adam Brooks; Maybach Beta and Ben Ortiz; Colt Cabana and Chris Hero provided an entertaining match that saw Cabana score the pin; Cody Deaner lost to Nick Aldis; Rhyno defeated Moose while Pepper Parks and Cherrybomb lost to Tommy Dreamer and Mickie James.

House of Hardcore was an entertaining event that was well received by the fans. I recommend attending House of Hardcore events, but I don’t advise anyone to crash a dance competition.

Caleb Smith has a better chance in a dance competition than a wrestling match.