Tommy Dreamer's new House of Hardcore promotion issued the following press release this week:
PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING WILL CHANGE FOREVER!
THE HOUSE OF HARDCORE DEBUTS AT THE LAST HISTORIC WRESTLING VENUE STANDING, THE MID-HUDSON CIVIC CENTER!
IT ALL BEGINS SATURDAY OCTOBER 6th, 2012 IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK!
All great things begin with two combustible elements - passion and work ethic. With one, a competitor may make it far but risks the chance of crashing and burning. The warriors who are able to balance and manifest both, however, are destined for greatness. Those elements form the origin of the term hardcore and the very backbone of the House of Hardcore when it debuts at the last historic wrestling venue still standing and unchanged, the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY on Saturday October 6th.
The term "hardcore" in professional wrestling has been perverted over time and has come to be synonymous with the more violent elements of the business. However, while that gritty aspect may be an element of hardcore, it's not what true hardcore wrestling is only about.
"House of Hardcore is about work ethic," says HOH founder Tommy Dreamer, himself a veteran of countless wars inside the squared circle. "I have chosen the men and women who will compete in House of Hardcore to wrestle on this first show for that reason, work ethic. Hardcore isn't about blood, barbed wire and tables. It was always and will always be about a competitor giving everything they have physically, mentally, emotionally in their match. It is about the passion of what you do, what you give of yourself in the ring. Hardcore is about giving your heart and soul to the fans. That is the backbone of what House of Hardcore will be about."
That mission statement has been the mantra of Tommy Dreamer's professional wrestling career, both behind the scenes and in front of the eyes of the fans. Dreamer has fought the wars, won the world championships and suffered the agony of defeats. He's overcome injuries. He's faced desperation and trials and anguish. Through it all, with each fall, he's risen back to his feet, ready and willing to fight again, his spirit unbroken.
Now, it's time for the broken spirit of professional wrestling to rise like a Phoenix out of the politics, the sideshow, the haze that has hindered its evolution, its honor and its passion. It's time for the House of Hardcore to rise. It's time for a place where wrestling fans can find the wrestling they desire, with no catches.
"Without the fans, quite simply, there is no Tommy Dreamer," said the former ECW World champion. "I am forever in debt to all of them for letting me live my dream. When I left WWE, I said the fans were my family and I mean that. They are my family and they've fed my family. Now, it's time to give back to them. We have the chance to entertain the fans the only way I know how, wrestling, in the last historic building left. The others are gone, gutted or renovated or destroyed. So, we make our stand in Poughkeepsie, for the fans. This is my money, my reputation and my quest to give my family, the fans, an event they will remember for a lifetime. I can remember being there for so many special moments as a fan and being part of so many as a wrestler. I want those moments to happen on October 6th. Via social media, my website and from speaking to fans at events and in airports, I've heard everyone's pleas for there to be something different. So, I am going to risk it all to show the world that change can be made. Pro Wrestling can be great again - and it should be great."
To that end, House of Hardcore announces the first of many competitors who will enter Poughkeepsie that night to do battle -
RHINO - "Rhino is a 34 year old man who remains as intense as any competitor I have ever seen. He's a well established veteran, even at his young age, from WWE, ECW and TNA. He is beyond dedicated and is out to prove to the world that he is still the 'Manbeast" and seriously, who's going to stop him? He is the Juggernaut come to life. Outside of the ring, he is the nicest human being I have ever met. An easy choice for the roster."
SAMI CALLIHAN - "This Combat Zone Wrestling mainstay is the greatest unsigned talent ever. Growing up on the mean streets of Philadelphia, he has a great amateur background and his work ethic is at such a premium that he's lost over 140 lbs. to be taken seriously as a force in professional wrestling. A gritty chameleon who can adapt to every style of professional wrestling. He reminds me of the ferocity Bruiser Brody and Buzz Sawyer mixed with the work ethic of Finlay and Taz's FTW attitude. A great addition to any roster."
CHRIS MORDETSKY - "Known to national audiences as Chris Masters, he was signed to a WWE deal at 19 based on his looks and his physique. He was thrust onto TV too soon in his career and honestly, wasn't ready for what was ahead of him. So, he refocused his life and career, traveling the world over to improve inside the ring and it shows. He has the power and speed as well as an unbreakable full nelson that can't be escaped when it is applied. He has always had the tools to be a top tier player in this industry. Well, now, his talent will be shown."
THE BIG XLG - "This 28 year old is as quick and agile a big man as I have ever seen. Known to WWE audiences as Luke Gallows and Festus, he was signed there at only 21 years of age and at 6'6", he's done it all. He's made headlines internationally for his travels to Mexico, Great Britain, Japan and South Africa, where he wrestled for the President of the country and was involved in many infamous riots. He loves being the antagonist and will inflict as much ring punishment as he can to anger the audience. He will get in your face and let you know how tough he really is. That attitude is just what this roster needs."
THE SANDMAN - "The former ECW champion is a demented Peter Pan. He's still the beer drinking, chain smoking cane wielding SOB. We made our careers together in ECW, destroying each other's bodies to entertain the fans and establishing our legacy. When I texted him to say I am doing a show, he said, "If you are doing it, I am in." Then he said, "God, I hope you don't want to wrestle me, I am horrible." I told him that he was always horrible and he responded that I was right. If you can't respect your friendship with a guy like that, what can you do? I am happy to have Sandman there. If there is trouble, he will be the first to have my back. Plus, I know there is a beer plant right up the road...but that will be for after the show."
These are the first five of many, many more competitors to come. It has been a journey decades in the making, literally a lifetime, birthed out of the love of professional wrestling Tommy Dreamer has carried in his heart seemingly forever.
"I have prepared for this day most of my life. Since I saw my first match as a child, I have loved professional wrestling. Some wrestlers will distance themselves from this, but I am proud to say I am still a fan. I can recall my entire journey with great vivid detail. Taking red marker to my Star Wars toys while imagining they were Tommy Rich and Mr. Wrestling 2 in the heat of battle. Going to the wrestling matches with my Dad. Buying every wrestling magazine and merchandise I could fine. Slapping hands with Bob Backlund - my favorite at the time - before he wrestled. The excitement of my first autograph, Arnold Skaaland. Buying the first 8x10 photo of my hero, a bloody Dusty Rhodes. Wearing my first wrestling t-shirt "Barry Windham - The Kid is Hot Tonight" until it fell off. The joy of Hulkamania. The sadness of waking up Christmas morning and not getting tickets to the Omni's Christmas Day spectacular. The joy of riding the escalator into the first Wrestlemania. Getting up the courage to meeting Ricky Santana in a gym and telling him I would be a professional wrestler. My first day of training. The welts under my arm pits and across my back. My body hurting so bad from the first bump. Setting up the ring. Carrying jackets to the back. The joy of my first match. My first trip on the road. Signing my first autograph. Wrestling my first big star, Tony Atlas. Being flown to a show the first time by a promoter. Finding the ECW Arena. Making the business my life 24/7. My first WWF tryout. My first WCW contract offer. Living and dying by ECW - in the ring, in the studio, in life. Being a part of something so groundbreaking. Designing shirts. Running locker rooms. Winning the ECW World title. Booking shows and angles. My first action figure. My first video game. The lowest part of my life when ECW went under. Getting hired by WWE. Being on the opening of Monday Night Raw. Wrestling in the Garden that first time against Perry Saturn. Working in the WWE office. Helping others achieve their dream. Writing a WWE PPV. Getting to see ECW return to life and be recognized for what it was. Wrestling at Wrestlemania. Receiving another shot as a talent in the ring when I was written off. Winning the ECW title again. The sadness of choosing to leave WWE. My farewell night. Going to TNA. Writing a successful PPV there. Leaving TNA. Returning to the indies. Preparing for life after wrestling. There have been so many memories. All of them, good and bad, happy and angry, have prepared me for this."
But why now? Why the House of Hardcore?
"I have done it all. It's a bad cliche but it's so true. I've seen it all - so much of it great and sadly, so much of it bad. I see the state of wrestling and it kills me, as someone who loves it. I needed to do something about it. I needed to prove to the world and especially myself that pro wrestling isn't based on politics and that the person in charge shouldn't determine your career path. The paying customer should decide who they like and want to see. Talent should be the reason a competitor rises to stardom. Fans want to come to a wrestling show to cheer, to boo, to hold up signs and scream and basically, to be entertained. They don't want BS. They don't want politics. They just want great wrestling. On October 6th, my journey takes me to a place where we can give fans that great wrestling."
"I don't want people to think this show is about Tommy Dreamer. It's about me giving back to the fans and everyone who made Tommy Dreamer so that a new crop of wrestlers can live the dream that I lived. This is my way to thank my parents for supporting me with my wrestling habit. To thank Dusty Rhodes for being my hero. To thank Johnny Rodz for training me. To thank Paul Heyman for believing in me and mentoring me. To thank Terry Funk and Mick Foley for making me Hardcore. To thank Joey Styles for making me legit. To thank Jim Ross for hiring me and never, ever lying to me. To thank John Laurinaitis for supporting me and helping get ECW off the ground in WWE, growing from a PPV to a new show. To thank Shane McMahon for fighting battles for me in the corporate world. To thank Vince Russo for letting me have creative freedom. To thank Dixie Carter for making me have passion again about wrestling and to thank Vince McMahon for being the most influential man in my life beyond my father. Vince's life journey and decisions have really created my career and life path. Every person who worked in pro wrestling has to admit that it did for them as well. Most of all, this is a thank you to every wrestler, both male and female, I have worked with, travel, bled, sweat, laughed, cried and shared so many amazing moments with. I am blessed to have met you all. You have all made my life better knowing you...and beyond all else, this is my thank you to the wrestling fans, my family. I was lucky enough to cross over the guard rail, but I never forgot my roots. I never will."
On October 6th, professional wrestling returns to it's roots as the sport of kings, where men fought for glory, for vengeance, for gold and for honor.
The House of Hardcore is coming!