Following an epic event in New York the night before, Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore returned to the former ECW Arena to throw down in one of the most famous buildings in all of professional wrestling history once again. Bringing together some of the hottest names on the indie scene with legends of the business, HoH rarely disappoints and their return to the City of Brotherly Love for the first time in 2016 was no different.
For this show, Dreamer assembled a venerable roster including standouts from WWE, TNA, Lucha Underground, NXT, ROH, and everywhere else in between. And though the main event featured Rob Van Dam’s long-awaited comeback to the old bingo hall at the corner of Swanson and Ritner in South Philly as he faced a formidable foe in the form of the man-beast Rhino, it was some of the younger talent that really shined and stole the show. And as always, the Innovator of Violence had some special surprises for the crowd in the form of some WWE and ECW legends waiting in the wings.
However, before the night kicked off, Tommy Dreamer, the HoH locker room, and a number of ECW Originals gathered in the center of the ring to pay tribute to Balls Mahoney. The competitor affectionately known as the Chair-Swinging Freak tragically passed away last week, so his friends and colleagues gathered to memorialize him in the arena that he helped make famous. But instead of ringing the bell ten times for him, Dreamer led the building in a sing along of ‘Big Balls’ by AC/DC.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat opened the show with a promo to thank the fans and to praise the roster of young, scrappy, and hungry talent. Vik Dalishus interrupted the WWE Hall of Famer, but gets a few chops and palm strikes for his trouble.
TNA Knockouts Champion Jade defeated Rosita
Team Tremendous was set to face “Action” Ben Ortiz and Vik Dalishus with the Double Duprees, but Eddie Kingston teamed with Ortiz instead in a losing effort against Dan Barry and Bill Carr
Student vs. Teacher Match: “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn defeated Bull James (the former Bull Dempsey). Following the match, Kevin Thorn ran in to stop Gunn and James from delivering the signature Degeneration X catchphrase, but X-Pac hit the ring to make the save. After a Bronco Buster and an enthusiastic “SUCK IT!”, the trio left the vampire enthusiast bloody.
Extreme 3-Way Dance: Tony Nese defeated Alex Reynolds and Chris Dickinson
Pepper Parks with Cherry Bomb & TJ Marconi defeated Tommy Dreamer. Halfway through the match, Dreamer brought out Mickie James to even the odds. After the ladies got involved and a strong comeback by Tommy, Parks got the better of the veteran by using the ropes for leverage.
Brian Cage defeated Sami Callihan in a strong contender for match of the night
Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Tag Team Champions The Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer) defeated Big in U.S.A. (Colt Cabana & Chris Hero) to retain the titles
Rob Van Dam defeated Rhino. After the crowd went wild during the introductions, Rhino shoved a fan for disrespecting him and reprimanded the crowd for chanting “Marijuana!”. He reminded everyone that he’s running for office and RVD said that Rhino lost his vote. Dueling “Vote for Rhino”/”RVD” chants were heard throughout the match.
Following the main event, The Sandman came out after the match for a beer bash, but Rhino cut a passionate promo about working with both men throughout his career, staying off of drugs and alcohol for a number of years, and how he loves to play the heel. Rhino gives a beer to the fan he pushed and Tommy Dreamer joins the party. Before heading to the back, the four men left a beer in the ring for Balls Mahoney and they exited to his music.