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#BANKONIT: Project: Diverge Hockey Fight Review

Welcome to my latest article for Hardway HQ! Unlike my previous Bank Statements, I’ve decided to go old school and write a review on an event I watched. I’m calling this #BANKONIT.

Four years ago, I reviewed the original event for Project: Diverge called Operation New Wave on my old Blogspot account.

Looking back on that initial review of the show, I find that my feelings remain the same for the most part. I honestly felt like I was a little too angry in my critiques at times, but it was spot on!

So when Project: Diverge announced that it was returning on 4.21.22 with the HOCKEY FIGHT, I knew I had to go back and review this as well.

Consider me the DIVERGE guy.

Without further adieu…


THE BUILD: The return of Project: Diverge began with a video uploaded April 7, 2022 from Hardway HQ Studios in South River, NJ. “Tough” Tim Hughes showed up at Jon Harder’s house and came around back. The founder of Diverge walked Tim down to the HQ Studios and sat Tim down. From there, true insanity.

Come to find out, back in the original days of the Road of Operation New Wave, “Tough” Tim signed a fake contract Jon Harder drew up to rib the performers. The other seven men knew that and Mr. Old School didn’t. Refusing to read a contract cost Tim big, as Jon, professionally and legally, owns Tim’s career.

I absolutely enjoyed this. Seeing how the initial event and little minute details from the initial show four years ago set as a solid retcon to everything. Although I wish Diverge returned a heck of a lot sooner, this wet the whistle.

The only knock: we now know, thanks to “Tough” Tim’s initial statement down the staircase, that the Hardway HQ Studios possessed a massive amount of toilet paper. If the world wants to know where TP was during that shortage in early 2020 during the initial pandemic, just visit Jon’s house!

Seriously, “The Challenge” was a lot of fun.

“The Old School Workout” released on April 14 expanded on the initial video. In something completely different from the first video, this one expanded on Tim mentally getting prepared for the war with the hockey goon from LI.

I just have to say it. I’ve seen a number of workout montages. I’ve watched Rocky Balboa train to get ready for Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. I’ve viewed the Cleveland Indians preparing themselves for a massive win streak in Major League on repeat. I’ve even enjoyed Kevin McCallister setting up his battleground against Harry and Marv in Home Alone 1 AND 2.

Tim Hughes’s preparation for the Hockey Fight was the most absurd, ridiculous, brilliant thing I’ve ever seen.

His egg consumption alone put Balboa to shame. His mannerisms were completely out of control. If there was any true “final form” to what Tim Hughes brought to the table, then this video was it.

I’ve followed Tim’s career since the beginning. Even though his chopping the holy Hell out of Johnny Miyagi at a Beyond Wrestling taping was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen, his performance in the Old School Workout trumped that times 100!

MVP on this video though had to be Tim’s girlfriend Flo. Calling Tim a dumbass…perfect. Probably made a whole lot of anti-Tim people pop in delight.

Tim got his body prepared for battle and, according to him, dropped 75 lbs in total. Incredible way to do that, mixing massive egg intake and a hard cardio workout while beating up a stuffed bear in a Rick DiPietro orange Islanders jersey. But there left only one thing to transpire:


Four years to the day of the initial event, Project: Diverge returned.

I’ve decided to break it down into PROS and CONS, similar to my first Diverge review as it comes to the Hockey Fight itself. Makes things so simplistic to me.


THE FIGHT ITSELF: I absolutely loved Richards vs Hughes. It told a simplistic story, with Hughes scared to death of Richards’s hand-to-hand combat. Tim tried to cheat his tail off every which way possible, and ultimately fell victim to his own arrogance. Richards pummeled the holy hell out of Hughes, leading to the knockout win. Unbelievable. It felt real in so many ways.

THE ENDING: I think it was the perfect way to end the entire event. Hughes chained up to the fence and took, what possibly could be, a vicious slap shot to the face from Richards. Not knowing the extent of Hughes’s injuries from that puck leaves you hanging on for more. Also watching Richards’s goons in on the celebration and ED SCANLON loving life while this transpires was perfect.

THE FOOTAGE: I don’t know the guys who put this together, but it was tremendously edited. The film felt tight, expertly put together. It felt like a movie, at times. Big ups to the Diverge editing crew, especially for Ricky’s tremendous entrance.

NO GIOVANNI MARRANCA: Yeah, I said it. Screw the Magnificent one. Hope he enjoys retirement.


THE TRI-STATE JERSEYS AS FRIENDS: I know this might be a little persnickety of me, but I cannot picture a Rangers, a Devils, and an Islander fans being friends with one another. Seems like a lot of in-fighting with one another. Hockey might bring people tonight, but not this jaded fan. At least the tuxedoed jersey hippie guy seemed neutral.

JON HARDER: I just have to ask: if Ed Scanlon was guarding the door, how did Jon Harder get into the cage so quickly? Boss, were you one of the cameramen secretly? Were you hiding? How did you get in there so quickly? INQUIRING MINDS MUST KNOW.

And there it is. Not too much to go after; just nitpicky stuff.

I absolutely enjoyed the Hockey Fight that Project: Diverge put on. The crew and the performers did a great job with the event. Ricky Richards and Tim Hughes had the kind of cinematic match many of the major league promotions could only dream of having. It was the most fun I’ve had watching one of those since the Broken Universe in 2016. It was that much fun.

Welcome back Project: Diverge. You’ve earned your return.

Bankie Bruce

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