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By Mike Johnson on 2017-04-23 11:57:00

Matt and Jeff Hardy did indeed wrestle their final scheduled appearance for House of Hardcore last night, but it almost didn't happen.    After signing their WWE deals, the Hardys were almost pulled from the appearance but demanded that they finish out their HOH dates.  At that point, they were given permission to appear but were instructed not to wrestle.

On Friday in New Jersey, Matt Hardy was booked to be laid out by The Spirit Squad (with the idea that Vince McMahon sent them to stop Hardy from wrestling) but last night at the 2300 Arena, Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer vs. The Hardys had not only been advertised for months before the Hardys signed but had sold out the venue.

Initially, the Hardys were not going to wrestle.  Dreamer had reached out to Ring of Honor, which agreed to help him out by sending Matt and Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks, to replace the Hardys.  ROH COO Joe Koff personally signed off on the idea and we are told he was happy to help Dreamer out.  Given that ROH runs the same market and building, they very easily could have blown off the idea, but instead paid it forward to make sure the Philly fans wouldn't have been screwed.

Given the fact that Bucks are the hottest team in wrestling and had worked HOH early on in the company's run, it was certainly a suitable substitute.  The plan was for the Hardys to appear and then run an angle that would see the Bucks replace them.  Saturday morning at 6 AM EST, Dreamer received a call that one of the Bucks had taken ill and would not be able to do the flight from California or the booking.   At that point, Dreamer was left without a main event or a surprise.  

More than one person who had worked with Dreamer going back to ECW noted that yesterday was the angriest they had seen Dreamer since ECW closed in 2001.   Given that Dreamer had built the HOH promotion under the mantra of "No Politics, No BS, just wrestling", he was furious that on his 25th show in front of his home building, he was now dealing with politics from another company changing his plans - plans that had been set way before the Hardys signed.  He was also looking at going in front of fans in Philly and having to explain to them that he was not only giving them what he advertised, but didn't have anything to replace it with.

Dreamer finally reached out to WWE via email late Saturday afternoon, explaining the situation and how he had been completely left in the lurch by the company pulling the Hardys.  We are told that some in WWE claimed they didn't even know the Hardys were supposed to wrestle on the show, which just sounds silly.  What made the Hardys being pulled completely ironic to begin with was that just two hours away, Drew McIntyre was finishing up his dates with EVOLVE in NYC and that in the past, WWE has always been adamant about talents finishing up the right way.  

We are told that the situation went all the way to the top of the chain within WWE with Vince McMahon and Triple H making the final call to let the Hardys wrestle.  WWE obviously warned all involved to be careful as they didn't want Matt and Jeff to be injured.

Dreamer and Bully Ray came out for a "State of the Union" address where he teased that politics had hurt his company.  The Spirit Squad came out to announce the Hardys wouldn't be there and ripped Dreamer and Bully apart on the mic.   Finally, the Hardys showed up and Matt claimed that even though they had been told they could not wrestle tonight, that was not good enough and they would wrestle even if it meant they were getting fired on Monday.  Obviously, they were not going to get fired, but the idea they were going rogue on WWE got a big reaction.   

After the match with the Hardys, Dreamer specifically thanked ROH and Joe Koff as well as WWE, Triple H and Vince McMahon, saying that as far as he was concerned, House of Hardcore all owes them one.  We will see what that means, if anything in the future.

In the end, the entire thing came together and gave the Hardys a nice farewell in Philadelphia and a great moment for HOH.

Additional HOH Notes:

Christian was backstage at the event.

A number of New York Giants were in attendance at both the New Jersey debut on Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia.

Philly and New Jersey were both complete sellouts. 

There was concern that MVP may have gotten hurt in Philly but  he was OK in the locker room following the show.

Rhett Titus earned a lot of respect in the locker room among the veterans as he showed up and helped set up and take down the ring without being asked either night.  We are told Titus was one of the last talents to depart the Friday show in New Jersey and one of the first to show up in Philadelphia.

Chuckles, who worked the opener in Philly, is a Team 3D Academy graduate.

Blue Meanie and Joel Gertner were visiting at the Philly event.

Kevin Keenan was backstage in case HOH wanted to use him in the Hardys segment as he had turned heel the previous event in Philly, playing off being Matt Hardy's "licensed official" in the Hardy compound segments on TNA TV.

Vik Dalishus has dropped over 100 lbs.

Next up for the promotion is their 5/19 return to Long Island, NY, headlined by Tommy Dreamer vs. Cody Rhodes.

The promotion will run a four city Australia tour in June on the following dates with Dreamer, MVP, Colt Cabana and Bull James already announced:

6/17 in Sydney at the Sydney Showground.
6/18 in Perth at the Cyril Jackson Recreation Centre.
6/23 in Melbourne at the Whitehorse Club.
6/24 in Adelaide at the Marion Leisure & Fitness Club.

HOH will return to Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena on 8/12 and debuts in Illinois on 8/26.  HOH is looking at adding a few more dates in August as well.  For more, visit

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