Tommy Dreamer was given the book to make the card for Impact’s Hardcore Justice special event. Like a savvy veteran with complete control, he put himself in the main event for Hardcore War. Dreamer was scheduled to be joined by Rich Swann, Willie Mack, and Eddie Edwards to do battle with Eric Young, Joe Doering, Deaner, and Rhino, however, the Innovator of Violence was unable to participate in the signature match of his own choosing.
Dreamer’s dream team of friends were ready to go hard in the paint. Swann, Mack, and Edwards were pumped to battle Violent by Design.
.@THETOMMYDREAMER, @Willie_Mack, @GottaGetSwann and @TheEddieEdwards are FIRED UP for Hardcore War! #HardcoreJustice pic.twitter.com/65Kw7gqH2T— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 10, 2021
One big problem though. Dreamer was found beaten up backstage prior to the bout. The Impact physician ruled Dreamer out of action.
.@THETOMMYDREAMER has been LAID OUT ahead of the Hardcore War. #HardcoreJustice pic.twitter.com/S7RYlZr7Tm— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 10, 2021
The rules for Hardcore War were two men enter for a five-minute period, then a new man joins every two minutes. Once everyone is in, the match can reach a conclusion via pinfall or submission. The final rule is no disqualifications.
Edwards and Deaner started the fracas. Edwards had momentum with a backpack stunner when Rhino came out third. Rhino and Deaner double-teamed Edwards. Mack was fourth, and he entered with a heavy chain to take control. Doering was in the fifth spot using hammering clotheslines to regain dominance for Violent by Design. Rich Swann came hot at sixth to clean house with a street sign and kicks. Young was the final member of VBD. A hockey stick was his weapon of choice.
When the clock ticked down to the last entrant, Dreamer did not make a miraculous arrival. Instead, Trey Miguel filled the spot as a surprise. He used a golf club to crack skulls and run amok for a suicide dive. Doering brought Trey back down to Earth with a crushing running crossbody.
.@TheTreyMiguel has taken @THETOMMYDREAMER's place in Hardcore War! #HardcoreJustice pic.twitter.com/55vHcTVjhh— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 10, 2021
The action became wild and woolly with big moves hit all around. Rhino finished the sequence by picking up Swann over his shoulder to smash through a table. Swann kicked out on the cover to keep the match alive.
The next big move was a Tower of Doom with Doering at the base.
.@bigjoedoering sends the tower of doom CRASHING down to the mat. #HardcoreJustice pic.twitter.com/GLh2bfFdHX— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 10, 2021
Doering set up Edwards on a table outside. As Doering was on the apron ready for lift-off, Trey took flight for a Meteora to send Doering crashing onto Edwards through the table.
METEORA THROUGH A TABLE! #HardcoreJustice @TheTreyMiguel pic.twitter.com/oQkH5NSbDN— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 10, 2021
Mack was all alone with Swann, Edwards, and Trey incapacitated. He was surrounded by Young, Deaner, and Rhino. Mack had fighting spirit, but the numbers were too much. Young escaped a stunner to push Mack toward Deaner holding a trashcan lid. Bop! Deaner thumped Mack on the head. Young finished the bout with a piledriver on Mack to win.
Young’s group of goons celebrated victory in Hardcore War.
This world belongs to them. #HardcoreJustice @CodyDeaner @TheEricYoung @bigjoedoering @Rhyno313 pic.twitter.com/eRxUjFWHen— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 10, 2021
To be honest, I was a little disappointed that Dreamer did not wrestle. The build to make the match was quick yet efficient. I was excited to see Dreamer teach those punks a lesson. The action was fine without him, but I think he would have provided an extra boost of drama and energy given the story. After all, one of Dreamer’s areas of expertise is hardcore war.
Was Trey Miguel substituting for Tommy Dreamer fair play? Or did it lean too much into bait and switch territory?