The inaugural Hardcore Homecoming event was held from 8:00pm to 11:55pm on June 10, 2005 at the New Alhambra Arena, formerly known unofficially as the ECW Arena, in South Philadelphia; this was two days before the WWE produced/promoted ECW One Night Stand 2005 reunion show that was held in New York City. The show was preceded by a fan tailgate party in front of the former ECW Arena, with several wrestlers in attendance. This was reminiscent of territorial wrestling in the 1980s, when many independent promotions would hold barbecues before and after the event.
None of the former ECW performers under contract to WWE appeared at the event (nor the latter three events which soon followed), although Mick Foley, a retired worker who wasn't under contract to WWE at the time, made an unannounced appearance. Former ECW ring announcers Bob Artese (referred to in the DVD's on-screen graphics as "Bob Ortiz") and Stephen DeAngelis worked the event, as did former ECW referees John Finnegan, Mike Kehner and John "Pee Wee" Moore and former ECW timekeeper Rocco Musciano.
Following the success of the inaugural event, Hardcore Homecoming launched an "Extreme Reunion Tour" in the month of September. Originally, the tour was supposed to produce three shows, but the September 17 show in Buffalo was shut down just days before the tour started; it is believed that the promoter was unaware that he needed a promoter's license to run a show in New York. However, the tour did continue with two shows, and would make a return to Philadelphia on November 5 (billed as November Reign) for what Tod Gordon has said will stand as the final Hardcore Homecoming show. However, at an ECW reunion convention, Douglas announced that Hardcore Homecoming would return, first with a 'November to Remember' card in 2009 which would later be renamed Legends of the Arena and took place on June 27, 2009.