House of Hardcore returned to the ECW Arena on Friday, kicking off a 21-person tournament to crown the first Twitch TV Champion.
With several events taking place across Philadelphia for Royal Rumble weekend, there were many stars on hand for the pre-show fan fest, including Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, Terri Runnels. Before the action, HOH owner Tommy Dreamer invited students from Diversified Community Services of South Philadelphia.
— Andrew Kramer (@Philly_Kramer) January 27, 2018
HOH37 was less crowded than the past few shows have been at the 2300 Arena, perhaps due to a number of factors such as fans having only WWE events in their budget or a feeling that they don’t need to attend live events because they’re streamed for free on Twitch.
On the other hand, you could argue that the influx of wrestling fans in the city this weekend would lead to more folks at House of Hardcore. Plus, Twitch has allowed the company to carry out storylines and build matches at a more efficient pace due to its weekly HOH show. (One positive of the lighter crowd was extra food, as the concession attendants pushed a cart of chicken tenders around during the main event, selling them for a huge bargain of $3.)
Nevertheless, the crowd was rabid as always, creating an electric vibe that keeps you coming back.
10. “Who Are You”
The most compelling evidence that the Philly regulars haven’t been following the weekly Twitch show was their cluelessness regarding “Killer” Kevin Kross. Catcalls of “Who are you” and “Randy Orton” rained down upon the newcomer, who has honed his craft in Global Force and AAA. It’s a shame a loud majority of the audience didn’t know who Kross was, because his sinister promos have been the highlight of HOH on Twitch. As a matter of fact, he literally talked me into buying a ticket.
9. “Five More Minutes”
As the time limit expired, and Matt Riddle refused to give up in the Last Chancery, the crowd pleaded for the referee to extend the bout. Austin Aries and Riddle agreed, and after five more minutes passed, it was Aries who refused to submit to Riddle. What happened next was vintage Aries.
This was directed toward either Alex Reynolds or Maxwell Jacob Friedman, or both. Similar to Eli Drake and Chris Adonis’ fun partnership in Impact Wrestling, Reynolds and MJF have tried to hog the spotlight in HOH, chastising Dreamer at every opportunity. Reynolds defeated Super Crazy in a great match; however, MJF fell victim to Crazzy Steve’s antics.
7. “John!” “John!” “John!”
An unsung hero in HOH’s success, a fan named John was praised by Dreamer for bringing the Twitch deal to fruition.
6. “You Suck Dick”
Randy, the newest member of The Spirit Squad, is not a fan favorite.
5. “He’s Got Herpes”
Either is Mikey of The Squad. While it’s not confirmed that he has an oral infection, his ass definitely has bite marks after Swoggle chowed down.
4. “Fuck Him Up, Swoggle, Fuck Him Up”
A traditional chant in the 2300 Arena, and a friendly reminder that HOH is far from PG.
3. “You Fat Fuck”
That’s how Danny Maff was greeted by the HOH faithful, and for good reason as you’ll soon find out. “He’s a machine, he’s been in this business a long time and I’m glad to give him an opportunity,” Dreamer told The Wrestling Estate.
2. “Kenny Likes It”
Taking a page out of Joel Gertner’s notebook, Kenny of The Squad delivered a dirty limerick before facing Lisa Maria Varon. In a classless display, Kenny simulated taking the former Victoria from behind. Unfortunately for him, Varon turned the tables and simulated pegging the male cheerleader, much to the crowd’s delight.
1. “Acey Baby/Fuck Tom Brady”
Maff became public enemy No. 1 by sporting a Tom Brady jersey in Eagles’ territory. With blood trickling out his nose, Ace Romero tore the Brady shirt off and delivered blistering chops to Maff’s bare chest. In the end, Maff emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle, ultimately earning the crowd’s respect.