Extreme Championship Wrestling
Hostile City Showdown
April 15th 1995
Let me get this out of the way before we even get started, This is one of my personal favorite ECW shows of all time. The main thing going into this show was a fued between a face Cactus Jack against a heel Terry Funk that is one of the absolute best storylines/fueds that ever came out of ECW, or pro wrestling in the 90's for that matter. Quite an underrated fued with some outstanding promos from both men, some of the best ever.
Also going on in the land of Extreme around this time was the departure of the biggest superstar in the company, Sabu. Sabu failed to show up for the big blowoff 3 way dance tag match at the last show I reviewed, and would be out of ECW for a majority of 1995. Sabu went on to wrestle in Japan, and eventually Dubya Cee Dubya for a cup of coffee.
Pretty much all of the major storylines leading up to this show were connected somehow or another. Cactus Jack was fueding with The Sandman, who brought in Terry Funk to help him, which caused Shane Douglas to turn face to save Cactus(because they were old training buddies in Dominic Denucci's wrestling school, and Funk was an old rival of Douglas from a year earlier in ECW). Funk got involved in the early stages of the Tommy Dreamer vs Raven storyline in a guantlet match between Tommy Dreamer and Raven's flock. Dreamer faced Raven's flock(which consisted of Stevie Richards, Tony Stetson, and Johnny Hotbody at the time) in a "Generation X Guantlet Match", where each member of the flock was handcuffed to the ring post on the outside. Dreamer had to defeat each of Raven's lackeys to unlock Raven, but before Dreamer was done with Stevie Richards, Terry Funk came out to unlock Raven from his cuffs. Raven brutally attacked Dreamer, handcuffed him to the ropes on the outside in a crucifix position, and busted his head open in one of the bloodiest moments in pro wrestling history.
After the Generation X guantlet match, Raven quickly fired Stetson & Hotbody, and replaced them with The Pit Bulls. The Pit Bulls told Raven that he was their new master, and that they were going to win the ECW Tag Team titles for him. At the end of the last show, after Public Enemy had won the titles back from Malenko/Benoit in the Three Way Dance, The Pit Bulls violently attacked Public Enemy.
Also at the previous show, Sandman's manager Nancy "Woman" Benoit turned on him to align herself with Shane Douglas. This was kind of a confusing booking call, seeing as how Douglas had just turned face. Now it was as if they did another Double Switch, turning Douglas back heel, while at the same time turning the Sandman face for the first time during his "Barroom Brawler" gimmick.
Mikey Whipwreck vs Stevie Richards
Stevie Richards is accompanied by Raven, who slouches in his corner during introductions from ring announcer Bob Artese. Richards looks so goofy here with his mullett, cut off shirt, combat boots, and cut off daisy duke shorts. I have an uncle that actually used to dress like this back in the day, same haircut and all.
After a brief exchange, Whipreck leaves the ring to go to the back.
Whipreck comes back out with Hack Myers. This guy was pretty worthless, but was so fucking over here(thanks to the way Heyman booked him). This crowd is already fired up big time. Hot crowd.
Really good match early on. Whipreck targets Richard's left arm. Some great selling, and a good pace of action.
The crowd starts a "Daisy Dukes" chant.
Some great selling with the left arm from Richards. Raven gets involved by tripping Mikey up, and the fans on the front row lose it. Hack Myers trips Richards up to even up the score.
Mikey Whipreck's selling in this match is incredible. He makes the bumps look really good in this match. So far they have worked a really good, clean match inside the ring within the standard rules of a wrestling match.
Mikey counters a powerbomb attempt with a hurricanrana for a pinfall, and the victory. Raven attacks Mikey after the match, but Hack Myers fights him off. The Pit Bulls come out to beat up on Whipreck & Hack Myers until all of a sudden Public Enemy comes out. Huge pop. PE cleans house.
After Raven, Richards, and The Pit Bulls retreat, Rocco Rock reaches into Hack Myers pants, and steals his wallet. Rocco makes a joke about how there was only $2 in his wallet.
Pretty good damn match. A little short on time, but for it's length this was a pretty good one. Whipreck got a clean pinfall over Richards, then the run ins came afterwards. Pretty good booking. Raven, Richards, and The Pit Bulls made for a pretty awesome little faction.
Tsubo Genjin vs Tony Stetson
I just don't get this. This is a match that will bring down the overall score of the show, and I just don't get why it was even on the card. The crowd rips it to pieces throughout. Amateur night at the Apollo match between two shitty looking jobbers. Genjin gets the win, and the crowd boos the roof off of the place because of how shitty of a match this was.
Waste of time. Shouldn't have been booked on this card at all, and damn sure shouldn't have found it's way onto the home video tape.
Bad Breed Death Match: Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten
Axl comes out with a trashcan sitting in the center of the ring. Axl tells the fans that the match type is up to them, and asks them what they want to see. Axl asks if they want an "I Quit Match", "Loser Leaves Town", "Leather Strap Match", "Baseball Bat Match", and the crowd boo's all of them. Axl pulls out a barbed wire baseball bat, and the crowd goes wild for him.
Axl says that he will battle Ian with everything in the arena, and the fans go crazy for him. He actually did cut a pretty nice promo here.
Ian Rotten comes out to attack Axl from behind to start the match.
The two men brawl with each other with all of the weapons in the trash can.
Ian Rotten is back body dropped over the guardrailing on the outside of the ring into the crowd. Something about this match is just much better than all of their previous matches, but I can't quite put my thumb down on what it is. Just a wild, bloody, violent, sweeping brawl.
Blood everywhere. No wrestling moves though. Axl starts to strap Ian with a leather strap that was in the trash can. Ian throws an opened chair at Axl's head. These guys get pretty brutal with the barbed wire, wrapping it around each other, then violently ripping it off, which looks painful as hell.
Ian wraps the barbed wire around Axl's face, and hits him with a steel chair to pick up his first win in this rivalry.
This wasn't a wrestling match. First and foremost this WAS NOT a pro wrestling match. What this was, was live action b-horror. It's hard for me to really give this a real high score(see previous reviews), but something about this match was just entertaining as fuck. ECW was more than just Extreme, it was also Championship Wrestling, but the Extreme put them on the map. Ian & Axl Rotten don't get the credit they deserve for putting the Extreme in Extreme Championship Wrestling. Sure, Sabu & PE were breaking tables, but nobody really did that FMW style over the top extreme violence like Ian & Axl did in this fued. People would see pictures of these matches in magazines and go "OH MUH GOD WHAT IS THIS!?! I HAVE TO SEE IT!"
Again, nothing pretty about this match. I'm not a real big fan of ultraviolent, bloodbath wrestling, but dammit if this wasn't a violent ass match. The entertaining kind of violent. Their previous matches were really sloppy, but this one was very well executed for what they were trying to go for.
Raven vs Tommy Dreamer
This is where we finally get some information on this storyline. Before this, Stevie Richards was fueding with Tommy Dreamer. Richards started coming out to matches dressed as Stevie Polo, and Stevie Flamingo(parodying Raven's WCW/WWF characters Scotty Flamingo & Johnny Polo). Richards then debuted Raven in January of 95. Raven would only cut a few vague promos, and attack Dreamer on a couple of occasions. Other than that there wasn't really any story behind it yet. There were vague references to the fact that Raven & Dreamer had a past, but nothing of any real substance yet. At the last show, Richards brought back a girl that went to summer camp with Raven & Dreamer when they were kids. She was supposedly fat, ugly, and nasty, but had turned out to have grown up to be the Uber Grunge Slut Beulah Mcgillicutty. Beulah interfered in Dreamer's match that evening against Raven, costing him the match.
Raven comes out to Offspring's "Come Out and Play". I remember when that was the hottest CD at the time. 1994-95 was owned by Green Day & Offspring. Offspring's Smash was actually my very first ever CD(followed closely by Dookie). Good times.
Raven, Richards, and Beulah(SMOKING HOT!) come out together to talk to Joey Styles for an interview.
Stevie Richards is awesome on the mic here.
Oh my god, did I tell you how hot Beulah was here in this video with her flannel skirt? Jeez.
Stevie goes back over the storyline pretty much, talking about how Dreamer mistreated Beulah(a zitface, fat slob at the time apparently), and Raven at Summer Camp. I got to admit that is pretty stupid. Surely they could have come up with something better. Truth is that the early days of this Raven vs Dreamer fued were just booked on the fly. Heyman didn't actually have any long term plans for Raven, and only planned on a short fued. The character really took off with the fans, and plans changed. Storylines changed, and from the looks of this one, they probably came up with it that day.
Raven immediately does a dive over the top rope onto Tommy Dreamer on the outside of the ring before he even gets a chance to enter. Raven attacks Dreamer on the outside, and beats him all the way up the entrance isle to the back kitchen/concession stand area(yeah, would you eat some nachos from the ECW Arena? I don't think so). They stay in the back behind closed doors for a few seconds before barreling back out to the entrance isle. Dreamer is cut open on the forehead.
They take the fight over to a soundstage area of the ECW Arena. This is why I love how ECW always did shows in this "Bingo Hall", it was such an awesome atmosphere with the way it was laid out. There was a sound stage behind the bleachers, and just above the stage was an elevated "Eagles Nest"(You know, because we are in Philly) balcony type area(probably about 10 feet up from the soundstage). Matches often ended up in this area of the ECW Arena.
Dreamer cracks Raven with chair shots, and a vertical suplex on the soundstage.
Dreamer has a pretty nasty crimson mask going. He hits Raven with a kitchen sink.
Raven hits Dreamer with the sink HARD! IN THE FACE!
Finally in the ring, and Dreamer with a sleeper hold. Both men stumble to the outside. Dreamer cracks Raven with a toy dinosaur(T-Rex) to the nuts, and then busts him with a full dozen eggs.
Back to the ring, and Raven gets Dreamer with 3 consecutive DDT's, but Dreamer kicks out! The match goes back to the outside where Dreamer gets a DDT on the concrete. Dreamer covers Raven, but Richards breaks the pinfall. Dreamer DDT's Richards, and then takes out the referee with a DDT for not calling a DQ.
Beulah attacks Tommy from behind, and then OH MY GOD!
Dreamer puts Beulah into a piledriver position, lifts her legs up, and slowly spins around to give everyone in the arena a shot of her "Mcgillicutty" before spiking her head into the canvas. Dreamer then does his trademark pose screaming ECW as the crowd blows the roof off of the place.
Dreamer then climbs into the crowd, and leads the fans on in an E! C! DUB! chant.
Yeah, nothing real special about the actual match, but Beulah alone is worth tracking this down for. She is amazing. I'm not a real big fan of violence against women, but this was just awesome. Sorry. Classic ECW moment where Dreamer further solidified himself as the Peoples Champion of ECW.
ECW TV Championship: Eddy Guerrero(C) vs Dean Malenko
Oh man, I don't even know where to start with this one. Eddy had just come in at the last show, winning his first singles title in his first ECW match by defeating 2 Cold Scorpio for the TV belt in a fantastic match. The truth is that Eddie and his tag team partner Art Barr were both scheduled to work for ECW as their legendary AAA tag team. Barr passed away shortly before they were set to make their debut's. Malenko was coming off of being a TV champion(lost to Scorpio), and Tag Team champion at the same time as part of Shane Douglas' Triple Threat faction(where Douglas also held the World Title).
I'm not even going to try to cover this match here move by move. I'll just point out the best spots, and give my overall opinion on this match.
Malenko and Guerrero slowly work their way into a great technical mat wrestling exchange. They work together here so fluidly. This is their first match in ECW, but they did have several matches in Japan prior to this. Their chemistry together here in this match is unbelievable. You can't say anybody got carried in this match at all. It was a collaborative effort from both men working together.
Malenko & Guerrero put on an impressive series of exchanges, ending in both of them performing flying head scissor takedowns, and trying to simultaneously dropkick each other. They stand up for a brief staredown, and the crowd goes crazy for them. THE best reaction from the crowd all night in a match. People legit jumping out of their seats here for this wrestling.
The pace slows down, but I love the way they grapple each other on the mat. Instead of merely resting in holds, they both grapple in a very realistic way, going for multiple submissions on each other.
Guerrero works in his Slingshot Somersault Senton in between more grappling exchanges. Malenko gets Guerrero in a legit hammerlock. Guerrero breaks out, and Malenko gets him with a dropkick to the knee.
Malenko gets Guerrero in this wicked ass submission that I don't even know how to explain in words. This is why is easily a top 3 favorite of mine because of shit like this.
Malenko targets Guerrero's knee in a series of moves/strikes. Malenko really works the knee, even going outside to slam it into the ringpost. They both go outside, and Malenko continues to target the knee with strikes. Guerrero sells it beautifully, limping around the ring, screaming out loud when Malenko catches him in submissions.
Malenko continues to target the knee for several minutes. Malenko catches Guerrero in the STF. He's already used probably about 20 different submissions at this point in the match. Guerrero gets out of the hold, and hits Malenko with a Cradle Suplex. Guerrero sells the knee very well. Guerrero gets a powerbomb, and then a Tornado DDT out of the corner that just looks awesome.
Malenko kicks out at 2. Guerrero keeps acting like he's re-adjusting his knee, as if something popped out or something. He props Malenko up on the top rope, and gets a Frankenstiener. He struggles to get the cover, and only gets a 2. Eddy fails to get Malenko up for a surfboard, but he covers it up well by putting him in an interesting looking leg submission before locking him in an STF.
Malenko gets Eddy in the corner to hit him with strikes, but Guerrero knocks him to the outside. Malenko pulls Eddy with him to the outside with his legs in a hurricanrana type of maneuver. They both get back up to the apron, and Malenko vertical suplexes Eddy to the concrete. They fight on the outiside, and Eddy goes up top for a nice looking dive down onto Dean. Eddy gets some pretty good air on the jump, and makes it look good. Dean gets a brainbuster, and slowly pulls Eddy back up. They fight for vertical suplexes, and Eddy gets a brainbuster of his own on Dean. The way Dean sells it is awesome.
Eddie goes up to land one of the greatest frogsplashes of all time. Malenko kicks out. Dean gets a Northern Lights Suplex with a very nice bridge for a 2 count.
Pretty late in the match, and they are both still moving really fast, with no real signs of fatigue. Eddie fights off the Texas Cloverleaf two times, and gets a near fall that brings out the "OH!"'s from the crowd. The fans really start to get into the match, even chanting Eddy's name.
Eddy puts Dean into a fucking awesome looking submission on his back that I can't really explain. They get a series of 3 near falls on each other before just laying on the mat to catch their breath. The fans start chanting E! C! DUB!.
Guerrero gets an amazing looking sunset flip on Malenko off of the top rope for 2, and the bell rings. The match goes the full 30 minutes for a draw. The fans give both men a standing ovation before chanting "FIVE! MORE! MINUTES!".
Eddy celebrates with the crowd in a really great moment with his championship belt.
I've seen all of Malenko & Guerrero's matches in ECW, and this one is their best. This match is in my opinion the greatest match in ECW history. You can say that they had better matches in WCW, but what their WCW matches lacked was the tremendous atmosphere of the ECW Arena. These fans were marking out for this match. Also, Joey Styles actually called the holds on the commentary. Dean & Eddy's matches in WCW never got much of a reaction from the crowds. The commentary for them was always terrible, and they were never really taken seriously like they were here in this match. I'd put this match up against any of Dean & Eddy's matches. I'd put this match up against any match in WWF or WCW in 1995. Better than Bret vs Diesel in my opinion. The thing was that Heyman knew these guys were the best that he had in the building. There never really were any 30 minute matches in ECW up to this point. He knew these guys were the best, so he gave Eddy the TV Title in his first match. He let both of them go for a full 30 minutes here, and the crowd ate it up.
ECW Championship: Sandman vs Shane Douglas (ch)
Sandman is still not drinking beers. He's just a smoker for now. I love the american flag pants. Just screams redneck trailer park brawler.
Shane Douglas comes out with Woman(Nancy Benoit). Nancy played a great heel manager in ECW. One thing I always liked about Douglas was the way he would put the spotlight on his valet during his entrances.
Shane looks pretty good early on with some great looking knee strikes, and a nice snap suplex. Really not a bad match. Sandman does some great, at times funny selling. They take it to the outside where Sandman cracks Douglas in the back with a steel chair. They take it back into the ring where Douglas takes the momentum of the match.
Shane Douglas locks Sandman into the Crossface Chickenwing. Suddenly Woman cracks Shane Douglas in the back of the legs causing him to stumble backwards to the mat on his back. Sandman pins Shane Douglas to win the ECW World Championship.
The crowd starts chanting "YOU! GOT! FUCKED!".
Shane goes outside the ring, and puts on a WWF Monday Night Raw t-shirt.:stalker:
Shane gets a microphone, and tells the crowd "If I have to go somewhere where I can wrestle, than you can all kiss my ass!". Shane gets some great heat with the crowd, pushes the camera man away from him, and exits the ECW Arena through the front door as the crowd sings "NA-NA-NA-NA, NA-NA-NA-NA, HEY! HEY! HEY!, GOOD! BYE!"
Without Woman's doublecross, and that little outburst from Douglas with the Raw shirt, I'd only give this thing about a 6. Mediocre match, with a pretty cool little swerve, and The Sandman winning the title.
ECW Tag Team Championship: The Public Enemy(ch) vs The Pitbulls
Two fairly underrated tag teams here that I don't think get enough credit for their runs in ECW in 1995.
The Pit Bulls are massive here, and dominate this match early on with power moves. Pitbull #2 picks Rocco Rock up into a military press with ease, and throws him over the top rope through a table ringside.:stalker: Awesome bump. j
All four men take it outside the ring, and this thing turns into a street fight. Rocco Rock uses a frying pan on one of the Pit Bulls:fpalm:. That is the first and only frying pan in this show surprisingly. That's about 75% less frying pan that the previous 3-4 shows I've reviewed.
The fight between Rocco Rock and Pitbull #1 goes out into the crowd. Johnny Grunge assaults Pitbull #2 with chairs and cookie sheets. 3 out of the 4 men in this match are badly bleeding from the forehead. Pitbull #2 is bleeding worse than any of the others. Johnny Grunge pulls a table into the ring. This is a pretty sloppy brawl without any real wrestling or psychology, but all 4 guys are selling everything really well to make it look like a heated fight.
Grunge moonsaults Pitbull 2 through the table off of the top rope. Rocco Rock goes after Stevie Richards on the outside. Pitbull 2 gives Grunge a piledriver on the outside down onto the concrete.
Pitbull 2 beats up on Rocco Rock around the ring, and the way they are working the crowd is pretty awesome. Pitbull 2 grabs all of Sign Guy's signs, and rips them in half.
The Pit Bulls take the frying pan to both members of PE. They set Rocco Rock up for their Superbomb, but he reverses it with a frankenstiener.
All four men battle in the ring with a series of about 4 near falls on each other. Johnny Grunge grabs the Pit Bulls chain from ringside, and takes it to them. Rocco Rock misses his "Drive By" Somesault Senton off of the top rope. Grunge clears out Pitbull 2 with the chain, and cracks Pitbull 1 in the face. Rocco Rock rolls Pitbull 1 up after the chain to the face, and pins him.
Public Enemy defend their titles with a clean pinfall victory over one of the toughest tag teams in ECW.
This was a really good tag team match. Hard hitting, bloody, and violent. It was sloppy at times, but for the most part there was just a lot of action. Great performances from all 4 men in the selling, and the way they were working the crowd. This was nothing at all like the watered down hardcore matches that PE put on in WCW, this was pretty awesome.
911 vs Ron Simmons
For some reason this match is not shown in it's entirety. Only the finish is shown, which is 911 chokeslamming Simmons off of the top rope for the pinfall.
Cactus Jack vs Terry Funk
Cactus comes out, and challenges Funk to bring the fight outside the ring to get a big pop from the fans. Funk climbs out into the crowd, and Cactus goes after him. They make it up to the soundstage where Funk cracks Cactus in the back with a chair. They climb up to the Eagles Nest balcony where Funk tosses chairs at Cactus' head. They get back down off of the balcony to the soundstage.
Cactus gets Funk with a chair shot, causing him to stumble over to the top of a table. Cactus climbs up to the balcony above the soundstage, and leaps off with his flying elbow. Funk rolls off of the table, and Cactus goes through it.
They brawl their way back ringside using anything that the fans hand to them. Chairs, crutches, cookie sheets. Funk rolls a table into the ring, but Cactus attacks him. Cactus props the table up in the corner, and slams Funk into it several times. The brawl around the outside of the ring again. Cactus goes up to the apron for a dive, but Funk hits him in the knee with a steel chair. Funk slams Cactus off of the apron to his back on the concrete. Sick bump.
Cactus and Funk continue to brawl on the outside. Cactus eventually brings a trashcan to the ring. Cactus blasts Funk in the head with the can. Terry Funk gets a beer bottle out of the can, and nails Cactus in the head HARD with it, but it doesn't break. He hits him hard again, but it still doesn't break. A third shot shatters the bottle. Holy Shit.
Funk takes the broken bottleneck to cut Cactus open on his forehead. Funk just beats on Cactus like a dog until Mikey Whipreck and Hack Myers come out to help him. Funk takes both men out. Cactus counter's Funk's spinning toe hold with a small package rollup, but Funk kicks out. Cactus DDT's Funk down onto a chair, and goes for the pin, but The Sandman comes out.
Sandman takes a shot at Cactus, but he moves off of Funk, Funk gets caned. Cactus quickly covers Funk for the pinfall, and the victory.
Sandman attacks Cactus Jack with the Singapore cane, and douses him in whiskey from a bottle. Terry Funk brings a flaming branding iron to the ring, and blows a MASSIVE fireball into Cactus' face!
Funk pokes and prods at Cactus with the flaming branding iron until he rolls out of the ring. Funk attacks Cactus with the branding iron on the outside of the ring until Cactus finally grabs it from him. Tommy Dreamer and Axl Rotten come out with a fire extinguisher and some wet towels causing Funk to retreat.
All of the faces tend to a beaten and burned Cactus Jack with wet towels as the show comes to an end.
Not a real, real good match, but this is perhaps their best match in North America. Just a classic brawl between two of the greatest legends in the history of pro wrestling. The match had some great moments with some unbelievable bumps, and outstanding selling from both performers.
It's remarkable how much this promotion improved up to this point. This is perhaps the best ECW show of all time. Guerrero vs Malenko is one of the all time greatest wrestling matches in my opinion, and there were several other matches/moments that would help to make this THE ECW show to start your collection with. If you are curious about ECW, or looking to get one of the shows to check it out, I highly recommend this show. Easily one of the best overall wrestling shows of 1995.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Enter The Sandman
May 13th 1995
Here we are back in the land of extreme, and we are going to take a look at a show from a time in ECW where the company was really starting to build momentum. We are coming off of perhaps the greatest single ECW show in the history of the company in Hostile City Showdown 95(a show that I feel is better than any of the company's pay per views). The promotion has put together quite the talent pool with names like Foley, Funk, Guerrero, Malenko, and Raven.
To be honest I'm watching a majority of these shows for the first time as I'm reviewing them here(including this one). I didn't find out about ECW back in the day until mid to late 1996, so I haven't really seen much ECW from 1995 up until recently when I started this project. From what I've seen so far I would have to say that it was perhaps their best year as far as the actual wrestling matches were concerned.
This show takes place about a month after Hostile City Showdown. The major storyline is revolving around the new champion The Sandman and his manager Woman(Nancy Benoit). Sandman's character has been on the rise in ECW by this point in 95. Sandman really started to pick up steam after a brutal series of matches with Cactus Jack, and a rub with Terry Funk in an angle earlier in the year. Sandman cheated Shane "The Franchise" Douglas out of his World Title when Woman doublecrossed him at the last show. Douglas threatened to go to the WWF, and stormed out of the front door of the ECW Arena.
Raven and Dreamer's feud started to heat up a lot as well. Raven(with his lackey Stevie Richards) recruited the Pitbulls as his enforcers, and Terry Funk has even helped him out on occasion. Beulah Mcgillicutty was introduced into the storyline as Raven's grungy slut girlfriend. She cost Dreamer a match against Raven at a previous show, but Dreamer got his revenge on her at Hostile City Showdown in one of the greatest moments in ECW history.
Sabu had been fired from the company earlier in the year, and wouldn't return until November. Taz was still in his Tasmaniac gimmick, but his character was starting to evolve into something else. Altogether the promotion came a long ways from that Crossing The Line show in February of 1994 up to this point. ECW evolved gradually over the course of that year, and they were really starting to make some noise among the sheet reading, internet savy, smart mark pro wrestling fans by this time in 1995. Lets see if this show lives up to the quality of the previous show that I reviewed(I don't think it can).
Hack Myers vs Tony Stetson.
The show opens up in the grimey, smoke filled ECW Arena. These two guys come out and get it going pretty quickly. Hack Myers is pretty much worthless, but he is over as fuck here. Whenever he throws a strike everyone in the arena screams out "SHAH!" along with him.
Tony Stetson is equally as worthless, but nowhere near as over.
Stetson starts to land some offense, and the crowd starts screaming out "Shit!" with each punch.
Stetson and Myers go back and forth with the crowd screaming out "SHAH!" and "SHIT!" with each punch. Pretty funny stuff. The match is pretty sloppy. Stetson is selling everything surprisingly well.
Myers gets the pinfall with a face first piledriver after 5:30
Not terribly unwatchable, but bland as fuck. The crowd kept it fun with the chants, but not much else to write about here.
Taz & 911 vs Tsubo Genjin & Hiroyoshi Iekuda
Taz isn't MMA Taz here, he's still the Tasmaniac. He doesn't get a lot of credit for his run in this gimmick because of the cartoony nature of it. He has long stringy hair, and is wearing a singlet with fuzz on it. He's still the Human Suplex Machine though, and he had some solid matches during his time in the gimmick(including one against Dean Malenko).
911 is among the most over characters in the history of ECW. Big 6'10 guy that really didn't do anything other than chokeslam guys into oblivion. This was back in the day when the chokeslam was a big deal.
Genjin & Iekuda are just a couple of jobbers. Both guys have their faces painted up like a couple of goofballs.
Taz and 911 are accompanied by Paul Heyman, who gets cheered pretty loudly by the crowd here.
Taz takes the center of the ring before the bell rings. The crowd starts singing "Na-Na-Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-Hey-Hey Good-Bye!" to the jobbers before the bell even rings.:rofl:
Taz is really over here. Heyman gets a really loud "TAZ!" chant going with the crowd. OH MY GOD! Taz nearly suplexes one of the guys through the ring. Stiff ass bump. Nasty lariat on the other guy that nearly takes his head off.
Both guys gang up on Taz, until......HOLY SHIT!
Taz lifts both guys up at the same time for a double belly to belly suplex. Damn that was awesome. Ryback aint got shit on that.
911 comes in with the double chokeslam. Jeez. They are just beating the shit out of these guys. One more chokeslam a piece on both of these guys, and it's all over.
Yeah, it's a squash match, but there are good squash matches and there are bad squash matches. This one was one of the best I've ever seen. The double belly to belly was fucking awesome by Taz.
Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Barbed Wire Chair Match
Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten
This feud looked a lot better in the magazines than it does on these old tapes. Their last match that I reviewed from Hostile City Showdown was really actually not bad. It wasn't wrestling, but it was an entertaining brawl nonetheless.
Axl comes out to talk to Joey Styles about ECW's recent shows in Florida. Axl's arms are fucking cut up to pieces from blading. Axl talks shit about the Florida wrestling fans, calls them homo's, says "Fuck You Florida!". ECW had recently expanded to Florida for the first time in the spring of 1995, and there was quite a bit of backlash over the blood and violence in Ian & Axl's matches.
Axl says that he wants to have another match tonight with his brother Ian for the Philly fans, and out comes Ian Rotten.
They go at it with the barbed wire baseball bat, and Axl is bladed open on the forehead in the first minute of the match. Ian gets backdropped onto a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire that he brought out with him. They take it out into the crowd, and this thing just starts getting nasty, and not in a good way. Here we go with the frying pans.:fpalm:
How these guys were able to have this much blood run into their eyes without any vision damage we'll never know. Both guys cut themselves directly over their eyes, and blood is running everywhere. This has to be one of the bloodiest matches in ECW up to this point without a doubt.
They beat the shit out of each other on the outside of the ring, in and out of the crowd, using chairs and a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Blood everywhere. Allover their arms, running down their faces. Pretty gruesome match. They take it back into the ring where Axl side suplexes Ian down onto the chair wrapped in barbed wire.
Axl pins Ian after 6:18.
I wouldn't dare call this a wrestling match, but they really found a different kind of chemistry with each other by this point in the feud. I didn't like their earlier matches at all. I'm not a real big fan of these types of bloodbath matches, but they kept on beating the shit out of each other through 1995 until they kind of found a rhythm that made them look at least a little entertaining. This wasn't as good as their last match, but for the time it ran it really wasn't that bad. It started off sloppy, but it picked up to turn into a decent little brawl. Ian and Axle don't really get enough credit for the attention they brought to ECW with this feud in 1995. They really were the ones that put the "Extreme" in ECW during these times. If that is a good or a bad thing is up for debate.
Raven & Stevie Richards vs Tommy Dreamer & Mikey Whipwreck (DQ)
Raven comes out with Stevie first. Suddenly Shane Douglas comes out for some reason. Crowd is booing the shit out of him. Shane says that he walked out on ECW at Hostile City Showdown because everyone thought tables and chairs were more important than actual wrestling. Pretty good promo saying that he was tired of being disrespected by all of the garbage fans in Philadelphia. The crowd starts up with the "Na-Na-Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-Hey-Hey Good-Bye!" chants. Raven sits in the corner.
Shane says that he called Harrisburg, Pennsylvania(state capital) to get in touch with the Pennsylvania state athletic commission. Shane says that the commission sent a new referee to ECW to enforce standard wrestling rules on the promotion. Shane brings out the man that calls it down the middle daddy, Bill Alphonso comes out with a bowtied referee outfit on to make his ECW debut.
Oh man, Alphonso gets this fucking crowd fired up. Fonzie(as he will be referred to from here on out) is one hell of a performer, and this is the beginning of one of the best storylines in the history of ECW. ECW owner Todd Gordon comes out. Fonzie tells Gordon that he will shut the ECW down tonight if he has any problems. The crowd starts chanting for 911.
Fonzie assumes the position to referee the match. Dreamer and Mikey come out to "Man in the Box" by Alice In Chains.
Mikey starts it off with Stevie. Dreamer gets the tag, throws Stevie out of the ring, and tries to go after him.
Fonzie keeps Dreamer from getting out of the ring, and the crowd goes crazy with "Bullshit!" chants. Dreamer drops Richards in the ring with a DDT. Dreamer refuses to pin Richards because he wants Raven. Dreamer tags back out to Whipreck. Dreamer drops Whipreck down onto Richards, and begs Raven to come into the ring. Raven just stands in the corner looking at him with a stoic look on his face.
Mikey continues to work Richards over. Richards counters a move by Mikey, and tags out to Raven. Raven and Richards continue to beat on Mikey. Fonzie keeps Dreamer out of the ring, and keeps the match clean.
Raven and Richards use some nice double team moves on Mikey. Richards gets a drop toe hold, and Raven lands an elbow across the back of his head. Raven tries to throw Mikey off the top rope down to the concrete outside, but Dreamer catches him for the save. Dreamer rolls Mikey back into the ring where he reverses a move on Raven. Mikey pulls the rope down sending Raven to the outside. Mikey misses a dive over the top onto Raven and Richards, but Dreamer comes in and follows him up with a dive of his own that takes out Stevie. Raven DDT's Mikey into the concrete as Dreamer does the same to Stevie at the same time. Dreamer and Raven get in the ring together.
Dreamer finally gets his hands on Raven in the ring. Dreamer lays Raven out with a couple of punches, and......
Fonzie disqualifies Dreamer for using closed fists. Brilliant. The crowd goes ape shit with boos.
Shane Douglas comes back out, and loves every minute of it. Tommy threatens to kick Fonzie's ass, but Douglas reminds him that Fonzie will shut ECW down if he does it. Cactus Jack comes out.
Cactus tells Shane to get his ass out of ECW, and to take his referee with him because nobody wants either of them there. Shane screams at Cactus telling him that he was the one that helped him out when he had nowhere to stay when they were training in wrestling school together(both of them trained together at Domenic Denucci's school). Shane threatens to have Fonzie shut ECW down. Cactus challenges Shane to a match, and the two start fighting each other. Douglas and Cactus are pulled apart.
This is more of a rating for the segment as a whole rather than the match itself. The match had some great psychology. When Dreamer and Raven finally hooked up, only for Fonzie to DQ Dreamer for violating the closed fist rule, that shit was hilarious. It also kept that fued going strong. That was the story of the fued for years to come. Raven was built up as this intelligent, dangerous heel that just wouldn't back down from a fight, yet managed to somehow escape Dreamer's revenge for a really long time by giving the traditional "Chicken Shit" heel a fresh new twist.
The storyline with Bill Alphonso trying to enforce traditional wrestling rules in ECW is really underrated. One of the best storylines of all time because it played on the way wrestling fans of the mid 90's were changing. People didn't want to cheer super clean Rocky Miavia babyfaces anymore, and they were growing sick and tired of the structure of wrestling matches. Now, here in this angle, fans were booing someone for following the rules. It was brilliant really. Heyman knew these fans like the back of his hand. He knew how they would react to this angle, and they ate it up. I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at this storyline in the future shows I will be reviewing.
The promos with Cactus and Shane Douglas were really good as well. This was just a really, really well booked segment that brought different stories together in a really nice way. People that think Heyman is an overrated booker, I'd present this segment as evidence otherwise.
ECW TV Championship
Eddie Guerrero(ch) vs Dean Malenko
These are always a real treat. This is the second of nine singles matches that these two men had against each other in ECW. Their previous match at Hostile City Showdown is perhaps the best match in ECW history, and among the best that Guerrero and Malenko have ever had against each other. I've seen this match before, and it isn't as good, but it is still a solid match. Lets take a closer look at it to see where it stands among the many classics that these two legends had.
Joey Styles on commentary says that he requested a special guest commentator to add his professional insight on the match. Joey puts the man over with his amatuer wrestling background, and his Judo credentials before saying his name is Peter Senerchia.
The bell rings, and Malenko and Guerrero begin circling each other. They start it off with some beautiful chain wrestling. Just really fluid transitions from submission to submission. Guerrero flips Malenko to the mat into a Fujiwara Armbar as Peter Senerchia tells us. Senerchia calls the holds as Malenko counters Guerrero into a leg lock. They make their way back up to their feet. Guerrero leaps up to the top rope, and hits Malenko with an inverted Hurricanrana.
Malenko gets the "Tiger Bomb" on Guerrero for a 2 count. Malenko continues to dominate the match, and even lands a Tombstone. Malenko controls the momentum of the match, and works Guerrero's back over. Guerrero goes for his tornado DDT out of the corner, but Malenko breaks free, and tosses him down into the canvas.
Malenko gets a powerbomb followed immediately by a Boston Crab attempt. Eddie whips Malenko to the mat with his legs out of the Boston Crab. They both catch each other in a few quick pinfall attempts before simultaneously rising up to their feet, and hitting each other with simultaneous clotheslines. Both of them go down.
They slowly recover, and Guerrero slowly works his way back into the match. Guerrero lands a Brainbuster Suplex, and a nice dive onto Malenko to the outside. They make their way back into the ring where Guerrero gets a Superplex.
Guerrero twists Malenko's arm, and springboards up the ropes to the top. Guerrero leaps off the top rope with a hurricanrana on Malenko. Eddie hits his head pretty hard on the canvas on the way down. His head is cut open, and I don't think he bladed himself. I think he was legit cut on the canvas during the hurricanrana. Guerrero's bleeding pretty badly.
Malenko goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, but gets rolled up for a two count.
Guerrero gets a hurricanrana off the top rope, and a crucifix sit down powerbomb, but Malenko kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Malenko starts to take the momentum of the match. The two men take turns catching each other in quick rollup pinfall attempts before Guerrero locks Malenko in the figure four.
The bell rings for a draw after 30 minutes expires.
After the match Joey Styles goes on listing the amateur wrestling and Judo accoplishments of his special guest commentator Peter Senerchia. Styles introduces Senerchia as Taz with Paul Heyman by his side in the commentary booth. This was how they repackaged the Tasmaniac into Taz the shoot wrestler.
This was not one of their better matches in ECW. I wouldn't put it in their top 3 out of the 9 they had. With that said, it was still easily the best match on the tape. Both guys looked really good, but they just didn't seem to have the same chemistry that they had in their previous match at Hostile City Showdown. This one doesn't stand up well to any of their WCW matches either.
The way they repackaged Taz here was pretty cool as well. It had a lot of realism to it mentioning his real name as well as all of his legitimate athletic accomplishments. He still wasn't the MMA badass Taz, but more like the third Stiener brother. A shoot wrestler. This repackaging would hit a roadblock when Taz broke his neck later on in the summer.
Sandman(ch) vs Cactus Jack
This has been a very brutal, physical, long running feud for ECW in 1995. It started with Cactus poking insults at WCW booker Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan's real life wife "Woman"(the late Nancy Benoit) was managing The Sandman at the time, and was offended by it. They had a really brutal Texas Death Match earlier in the year that put The Sandman out of action with a severe concussion. Sandman and Woman brought back Terry Funk, who feuded with Cactus leading up to this show. Funk badly burned Cactus on multiple occasions with his flaming branding iron leading up to this show.
Sandman is still not drinking beers yet. Only smoking. He's got a lot of respect from the crowd. The thing about this that I just kind of realized is that The Sandman wasn't really the real ECW World Champion during this reign. Nancy "Woman" Sullivan was the real champion. It was her idea to trick Shane Douglas out of the belt, and she was always the one holding and flaunting the belt. The belt was what her character was all about. She was a gold digger. She was the real champion if you think about it. She only used The Sandman to get what she wanted. Interesting.
Cactus comes out, and Sandman attacks him immediately. They take it out to the bleachers for a wild brawl. They make their way back ringside. Cactus slams Sandman's head into a steel chair held by a fan. All of the fans are trying to hand weapons to the wrestlers. One of the fans is holding a plunger. Cactus falls down near the gaurdrail and all of a sudden a cookie sheet, and a bowling pin are thrown near him by ringside fans.
They brawl their way back into the ring. Sandman takes Cactus back out of the ring, and clotheslines him into the crowd. Sandman leaps off of the ring apron over the guardrail to hit Cactus, and almost kills himself.:rofl:
Cactus is dragged back into the ring. Sandman brings a table into the ring, and props it up in the corner. Cactus is whipped into the table. Cactus hits Sandman in the back of the head, and sets the table up propped on the ropes.
Sandman leans up against the table, and Cactus lifts it up over the ropes. Sandman slides off of the table out to the concrete outside the ring upside down. Holy shit. :stalker:
Cactus finds barbed wire, and lands an elbow drop on Sandman on the outside with it wrapped around his arm. Sandman is cut open. Cactus continues to attack Sandman with the barbed wire wrapped around his arm. Cactus lands the double underhook DDT. Cactus attempts the pin, but Shane Douglas comes out. Douglas props The Sandman's legs up on the ropes.
Cactus is distracted by Shane Douglas, and The Sandman cracks him in the back of the head with the Singapore cane. Sandman rolls Cactus up for the pinfall at 11:39.
Nothing special at all about this match. It was an ok brawl. The spot with Cactus scooping Sandman out of the ring on the table was pretty sick, but otherwise there wasn't much going on.
ECW TV Championship
Eddie Guerrero(ch) vs Marty Jannetty
This match is not on the tape of this event that I have, but it did take place at this show. They went for about 6 minutes to separate the two title matches. Not sure why it didn't make the home video tape of the show. I've seen a short clip of the match in the commercial for the tape that used to air on the episodes of Hardcore TV. They should have cut out the opening matches to make room for this one.
ECW Championship: Sandman(ch) vs Shane Douglas
Something to keep in mind when looking at the odd structure of an ECW show like this is that these shows were primarily filmed to be cut up for multiple weeks worth of their weekly Hardcore TV episodes. I think that explains why we are getting two title matches in one show here. They probably cut it to where one was aired one week, with the other the next.
This crowd is really tearing into Shane Douglas. Shane works The Sandman over, opening his cut back open by slamming his head into the turnbuckles. Douglas lifts Sandman up into a vertical suplex, and drops him down across the ropes. Sandman bounces off the ropes awkwardly, hitting his head pretty hard.
Douglas sends The Sandman out to the concrete, and lands a dive over the top rope. Shane just keeps control of the match for a while with clean technical moves. He looks pretty good here. Sandman isn't selling worth a fuck.
Sandman pulls a rope down sending Douglas to the outside. Douglas is whipped into the steel guardrail. Sandman brings Douglas into his world on the outside, and begins to outbrawl him around the ring.
Sandman DDT's Douglas down onto a stack of folded up tables before lifting one up, and suplexing it down across him.
Sandman takes Douglas back into the ring, and lands a surprisingly good looking delayed vertical suplex. Sandman lands a catapult somersault guillatine from the apron back into the ring.
Sandman gets Douglas with his own Belly to Belly suplex. Sandman goes for the pinfall, but Douglas gets his legs up on the ropes. Cactus Jack comes out to knock Douglas' leg off of the ropes.
Bill Alfonso comes out, and says that the pinfall doesn't count because Shane had his foot on the ropes. Fonzie says that the match must go on. Sandman threatens to take Alphonso out with his cane. Fonzie says that if he does it, he will shut down ECW tonight.
Sandman takes a shot at Fonzie with the cane, but Cactus Jack jumps in his way to take the shot. Cactus falls down. Shane Douglas sneaks up behind Sandman, and rolls him up. Fonzie counts the pinfall.
The ECW referee Jim Maulinaux gets up in Fonzie's face, and says that the match was already over. Cactus tries to go after Shane Douglas, but Dean Malenko comes out. Malenko attacks Cactus Jack.
Tommy Dreamer comes out to save Cactus Jack.
Douglas and Malenko retreat. Raven comes running out all of a sudden. Raven and Stevie Richards attack Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer is layed out with a DDT from Raven. Cactus tends to Dreamer's unconscious body as Raven and Richards make their exit.
What a crazy segment with so much going on. Perhaps even a bit too much going on. The match between Shane Douglas and Sandman wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Shane Douglas looked pretty good throughout the match, but overall there just wasn't much to write about. I've reviewed several of these two guys matches together so far, and they just never could get any kind of chemistry going in the ring.
Double Dog Collar Match for the ECW Tag Championship
Public Enemy (ch) vs The Pitbulls
These two teams put on a pretty good tag match at Hostile City Showdown. The Pit Bulls are accompanied by Stevie Richards. Public Enemy were really over with the ECW fans at this time. Everybody in the crowd is waving their arms around as they make their entrance.
Todd Gordon comes in to give the rules for the dog collar match.
Johnny Grunge brings in a set of car battery jumper cables. Grunge clamps the cables on Pitbull #2's groin, and rips them off. Pit Bull 2 is set up on a table.
Rocco Rock goes up, and does a beautiful moonsault off the top rope to put Pitbull #2 through the table.
Rocco Rock and Pitbull #2 take the fight over to the soundstage of the ECW arena. Rocco Rock climbs up to the Eagles Nest balcony. Grunge does a somersault off the balcony onto Pitbull #2.
Rocco Rock sets up another table on the soundstage. Rock sets Pitbull #2 up on the table, and climbs back up to the balcony(10'). Before Rock can leap, Pitbull gets off of the table, and climbs up to the balcony. Pitbull 2 superplexes Johnny Grunge off of the balcony through the table.
They make their way back ringside where this thing just gets out of hand sloppy. The Pit Bulls bring in another table. The Pit Bulls superbomb Rocco Rock off the top rope through the table. Grunge kicks out at 2.
Stevie Richards holds Johnny Grunge up from the apron, and the Pit Bulls accidentally take him out with their chain. Richards falls through a table on the outside.
Rocco Rock pins Pitbull #2 while Pitbull #1 simultaneously pins Johnny Grunge. The bell rings, and the Pit Bulls celebrate with the titles momentarily. The ref strips the belts out of their hands, and awards them to Public Enemy.
The Public Enemy are awarded 5 minutes alone with Stevie Richards after the match. They work him over briefly before Raven comes running out. Public Enemy fight Raven until The Pit Bulls come running back out. Stevie, Rave, and The Pit Bulls beat up Public Enemy until Tommy Dreamer comes out.
Tommy Dreamer drills Stevie Richards in the back with a chair, and fights with Raven. Dreamer is outnumbered, and beaten by Raven and Stevie with a steel chair. Beulah watches from the apron while Dreamer is beaten down.
All of a sudden Luna Vachon comes running out.
Luna takes out Stevie Richards as Dreamer drops Raven. Dreamer pulls Beulah into the ring, and lifts her up into the position for a piledriver like he did at the last show. Dreamer spins around slowly to give the crowd a peak at Beulah's Mcgillicutty before spiking her into the ground.
Dreamer poses with Luna as the fans chant E! C! DUB! to close the show.
The double dog collar match was really not good at all. It had some cool looking spots. The superplex off the Eagles Nest for example was an awesome looking moment of the match. I'll be generous with the rating because I liked the way the story progressed. Luna was a good performer, and she was a natural fit in ECW. You just never knew who was going to come out next in ECW. That was one of the reasons why I loved it so much. It was so unpredictable that it was crazy.
This show wasn't as good as Hostile City Showdown(few ECW shows are), but it was really not bad at all. It had some great moments. Taz & 911 squash match is one of the greatest squash matches of all time. The way they repackaged Taz here was pretty cool too. Taz was in the beginning of something really awesome here at this show. His character would gradually evolve into one of my all time favorite things that ever happened to pro wrestling. Bill Alphonso's introduction, and that angle with Shane Douglas is another really good part of this event worth mentioning. On top of all that you also had a solid Malenko vs Guerrero match, and a really good match/segment with Dreamer/Whipreck vs Raven/Richards.
The Sandman's matches with Cactus and Shane, and the main event were not very good. The storylines and depth in the characters made it all interesting, but the actual matches were not very good at all.
Overall this event had a lot of things going for it. It was the beginning of a lot of cool stuff, and it did have a few solid matches to enjoy. Nothing real great, but still a pretty good show.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Barbed Wire, Hoodies, and Chokeslams
June 17th 1995
A fat spliff, a box of pizza, and an old ECW vhs tape. What else would you rather be doing on a Friday night?
This show took place about a month after Enter Sandman, and 8 days prior to WWF King of the Ring 95. Behind the scenes the promotion was making an ownership transition from Todd Gordon to Paul Heyman. The ECW was owned 50/50 by Heyman & Gordon up to this point, and rumors were that the two were starting to have some friction between each other over the direction of the company. Gordon liked things the way they were, but Heyman wanted to expand. Heyman would buy out Gordon's half of the company in June of 95 right around the time of this show. Gordon would remain employed by the ECW as a performer(ECW "Commissioner"). Supposedly the ECW's debt at this point was only() around $15,000. Interesting note. The ECW was already running in the red, and would never really get it's head above water financially. I'm going to go fan fic on everyone's asses and ask a "What If?". What if some rich mogul like these guys, or this guy stepped in and bought the ECW around this time in 95? They already had guys like Guerrero, Malenko, Raven, Foley etc. A man named Steve Austin would land in their lap a few months later. What if some rich company came in and bought them, paid down their $15,000 debt, kept Heyman in charge of booking/creative, and signed their talent to good paying contracts? With proper funding and financial management I think ECW would have become more popular than WWF & WCW by the late 90's. There was a small window here where I think the right people could have done it.
Moving on from my crazy speculations and psychobabble, lets refresh our memories of what the hell was going on in ECW at this time. The Sandman was the ECW world champion, but he wasn't really. The real world champion was his manager Nancy "Woman" Sullivan(Benoit). She was a highly intelligent, conniving, gold digging character who only used The Sandman to get what she wanted, and what she wanted was the ECW World Championship. The belt was hers. She did the work that won the title. Woman left The Sandman for Shane Douglas, only to doublecross him at the next show to help The Sandman win the strap. After taking a closer look at this character, she played a really interesting role. Woman could care less about what happened to The Sandman. Sandman wasn't good enough to win it without her, so if you really think about this storyline The Sandman wasn't really the champion at all. Sandman had the body that could take more punishment than almost anybody, but Woman had the brains to make things happen. ECW gets criticized for it's violence towards women, but there were also times when they had female characters that were very empowered, tough, and in Woman's case, highly intelligent.
Sandman was feuding with Cactus Jack starting early in 95. They had a brutal Texas Death Match that really won The Sandman a lot of fans, and brought him a newfound respect from the ECW audience. The more I see the more I realize that this Sandman/Woman vs Cactus Jack feud in ECW in 1995 is quite underrated. They took it to the next level here in the second of only four total barbed wire matches in ECW history.
After Shane Douglas was cheated out of his belt by Sandman & Woman, he put on a WWF Raw shirt, and stormed out of the front door of the ECW Arena. Douglas' character had grown tired of ECW's emphasis on weapons and brawling over real wrestling. At the next show, Douglas brought in someone that would enforce standard rules and regulations in ECW. The referee that calls it right down the middle, Bill Alphonso(from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission).
Elsewhere in the land of extreme, Raven & Tommy Dreamer's feud grew to involve Luna Vachon at the last show. There was a pretty big fued going on here between Raven's "Flock"(Stevie Richards, Beulah, and The Pitbulls) against Dreamer and Public Enemy. Luna did a run in to help Dreamer fight off Stevie Richards, Raven, and Beulah at the end of the last show.
Taz had been repackaged from Tasmaniac into the third Stiener Brother. Public Enemy were the top drawing, most over act in the promotion, which is crazy when you think about it. The reactions they were getting from these fans is hard to believe if you are only familiar with their work in WCW. They were strait up home grown Heyman talent that really worked well with the Philly crowd for some reason. I think you would really have to have been alive in the mid 90's to understand the appeal of Public Enemy. The major thing going on in pop culture around this time was the West Coast vs East Coast hip hop feud. The feud centered around Tupac Shakur & Notorious B.I.G.
ECW would do their own spin on the East Coast vs West Coast rivalry that was going on when The Gangstas came over from Smoky Mountain Wrestling. The Gangstas(New Jack & Mustapha) would draw heat in Smoky Mountain by really pushing some people's buttons with their over the top stereotypical racial characters. The Gangstas would often times come out eating fried chicken and watermelon. New Jack would rant on with promos about slavery, and southern bigotry. They even pushed it further by enforcing Affirmative Action to win matches with 2 counts instead of 3. It got to the point where the NAACP would even show up to Smoky Mountain shows to protest the Gangstas for representing the African american community in the wrong way.
New Jack and Mustapha would leave Smoky Mountain for ECW with proper notice, but rumors are that Jim Cornette was so angry about their departure that he blackballed them from anywhere and everywhere that he could.
The Gangstas represented the West coast against the East coast Public Enemy. The feud started on Hardcore TV leading up to this show during PE's trademark promos that they would cut in the back alleys of Philadelphia. At the end of one of their promos they stumbled upon some of the Gangsta's spray painted graffiti on one of the walls in their neighborhood. This show would see The Gangsta's ECW debut.
Broad Street Billy (Tony Stetson) vs The New Jersey Devil
Alright, before we even get started with this match lets stop and think for a second when and where this event takes place. This is June 17th 1995 in southern Philadelphia. Just four days prior to this show the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated from the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 6th game of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals by the New Jersey Devils(Who went on to win the cup).
The Devil is some skinny jobber. Stetson is pretty much a jobber as well, but he had been wrestling in ECW for a few years by this point. Both men are wearing hockey jerseys. Stetson is wearing hockey gloves. He drops the gloves, and beats the crap out of the Jersey Devil for the win after about 15 seconds.
Stetson celebrates until The Devil hits him from behind. The Jersey Devil beats on Stetson until all of a sudden 911 and Paul Heyman come out together.
Crowd goes crazy. 911 gives The Jersey Devil the nastiest chokeslam I have ever seen in my life! Good god almighty. Stiff.
Crowd is blowing the roof off of the Arena. Heyman leans over Devil's dead body and gives him the last rights. 911 gives him another chokeslam. The crowd starts chanting "ONE! MORE! TIME!". Oh man! Another really hard chokeslam. This guy's body bounces off of the mat. Ouch.
The crowd still chants "ONE! MORE! TIME!"
Heyman gets a microphone, and tells The Devil "Welcome to Phila! Fuckin' Delphia!". Heyman gets the crowd white hot. Heyman asks them if they want to see another chokeslam, and they start chanting "DO! IT! NOW!". 911 almost slams the dude through the ring. Jeezus.
This wasn't really a match, just a little skit, and it really got the crowd shook up. Everybody is just fired up. Vicious, brutal fucking chokeslams though. Pretty funny little segment.
Mikey Whipwreck vs Val Puccio
Val is a guy that looks really, really unhealthy. Real bad overweight, like heart attack overweight.
Whipreck just didn't really have anything going on in ECW at this time. He won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter award for Rookie of the Year in 94, but he they just didn't really have anything for him so far from what we've seen in 95.
Val tosses Mikey to the ground. The crowd is still really fired up from the previous segment. Val slams Mikey down again. Mikey goes to the outside, and sells his arm like it's broken. He keeps it tucked close to his body as he gets back in. Mikey hits Val with 5 low blows to the groin, and drops him with a DDT for the pinfall after about 2 minutes.
What the fuck?!
I don't get the purpose of this one. I'll give it some points for Mikey's selling of the arm, which was really good, but this match was really stupid.
Vampire Warrior vs Hack Myers
Alright, Hack Myers is the Hacksaw Jim Duggan of ECW here. Something I did not know was that Vampire Warrior is Gangrel.:stalker: Hmm. Not sure what to think about that. I didn't know exactly who Vampire Warrior was when I read the matches for this event, but I was kind of hoping for someone better than Gangrel. This should be interesting.
Myers comes out to the original version of "Am I Evil". I guess Myers' gimmick was that he was like a biker dude. He had some leathers and a chain. Meh.
Gangrel looks really weird here. He's got some freaky looking eyebrows. Fangs too. Billed from "The Other Side of Darkness". Gangrel keeps screaming out loud with this really annoying, high pitched scream. The crowd is just not digging it. Gangrel hits Myers with some punches, and the crowd screams out "SHIT!" with each strike. Myers lands a series of punches, and the crowd screams "SHAH!".
Gangrel hits Myers with a DDT for the win after about 4 minutes. Gangrel goes to the back screaming out loud with his annoying scream.
Another big WTF!? Gangrel won without really landing any offense. All he did was land a few chops, a kick to the stomach, and a DDT. The funny crowd reactions saved this from being a 1. Terrible match.
Tommy Dreamer vs Vampire Warrior
This tape cuts away immediately to a Joey Styles interview with Tommy Dreamer & Luna Vachon together. Stevie Richards cuts Tommy off on the interview, and says that he has Gangrel for an interview. Gangrel comes out. Dreamer tells Gangrel that he's hanging out with the wrong crowd. Dreamer welcomes Gangrel to ECW, and offers him a handshake. Gangrel tells him that he doesn't want to shake his hand. Gangrel tells Dreamer that he is here to get Dreamer's hands off of his woman. Gangrel punches Dreamer in the face, and it looked like a real punch. One of the best fake punches I've ever seen in my life.
Dreamer and Gangrel brawl around the ring, and back towards the backstage door. Luna cracks Gangrel in the back with a chair. Gangrel chases her away, and proceeds to continue brawling with Dreamer. Dreamer is busted open bleeding. They make their way back ringside where Dreamer gets a frying pan from the crowd:fpalm:. Dreamer cracks Gangrel in the head with the skillet. Gangrel is busted open bleeding profusely. They brawl around the arena in a sloppy looking brawl with mostly chairs involved. They make their way back ringside where Luna Vachon wipes the blood off of Gangrel, and wipes it on her face with her hands. They bring a chair into the ring. Gangrel opens the chair up. Dreamer runs, leaps off of the chair, and hits Gangrel with a sloppy ass flying DDT. 1, 2, 3, it's over.
Never was a big fan of Gangrel, or The Brood. He really kind of sucked in both of these matches. The crowd hated him. Turns out that Gangrel and Luna Vachon were actually married at this time. Still though, this was all just some weird stuff.
Right after the match Todd Gordon comes out to talk to Bill Alphonso. Alphonso just nails this role with his performance. Fonzie gets some really, really good heat from the crowd when he threatens and insults Gordon. ECW face wrestlers come out to hold Gordon back, and the crowd starts changing "LET! HIM! GO!" very loudly. This angle really had this crowd going.
911 vs Jim Steele
Steele was a graduate of WCW's Power Plant training facility. He wrestled briefly as "Jungle" Jim Steele as a caveman gimmick. This crowd is just ruthless towards him, jeez.
911 comes out, and the crowd starts chanting "WE! WANT! FIVE!" very, very loudly.
911 avoids a splash, and chokeslams him down for the pinfall. The crowd starts chanting "FOUR! MORE! TIMES!". 911 chokeslams him again, and the crowd starts singing "Na-Na-Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-Hey-Hey, Good Bye!". The crowd chants "THREE! MORE! TIMES". Heyman gets a microphone, and says that the next chokeslam is dedicated to all of his associates in the CNN towers in Atlanta Georgia. 911 chokeslams him again.
"TWO! MORE! TIMES!"
Heyman says that they can't chokeslam him again.........Unless!
He gets to dedicate the next chokeslam to WCW's Renegade(WCW's Ultimate Warrior rip off). 911 gives him a fourth chokeslam. The crowd chants for one more, and Heyman says that he can't do it. Heyman says that he can forgive Shane Douglas for wearing a monday night raw t-shirt, but he just can't give Jim Steele one more chokeslam. Heyman and 911 act like they are leaving the building. Heyman climbs through the ropes, but before he climbs down off of the apron he says "Unless!".
Heyman dedicates the fifth and final chokeslam to "BILL MOTHERFUCKIN' ALPHONSO!". 911 gives Steel a 5th chokeslam. The crowd starts chanting "E! C! DUB!" as 911 and Heyman make their exit.
Much like the opening segment, this isn't really a match. Just kind of a skit. Heyman really knew how to work this crowd up into a frenzy, and that's what he did here. I don't really know how to put a grade on it. The crowd really makes the segment. They were just eating out of Heyman's hand here.
Beulah vs Luna Vachon
Beulah comes out with Raven and Stevie Richards. Luna comes out solo. Beulah takes off her shirt and unwraps the flannel from around her waist to reveal a tight little one piece swimsuit. OH MY GAWD! HOTNESS! This woman was amazing. The reaction of the guys in the crowd when they disrobes is fucking hilarious.:rofl: Beulah taunts Luna from across the ring. The bell rings, and Stevie immediately sneaks up behind Luna. Stevie cracks Luna in the back with a steel chair.
Beulah pins Luna immediately. Raven drops Luna with a DDT, and gives her a loaded boot to the side of the head. Tommy Dreamer comes out with his head wrapped up from his previous match. Raven hits him in the head with the steel chair. Raven drops Dreamer with a DDT, and proceeds to "break" Tommy Dreamer's fingers one by one. Raven goes to the outside, and handcuff's Luna to the ropes in a crucified position. Raven gets a chair. Raven tries to hit Luna in the head, but Dreamer puts himself in front of it to shield her.
This is another segment that wasn't really a match. Beulah is one of the best looking women that ever lived. Raven taking the upper hand in the feud like this was pretty interesting. He beat Dreamer and Luna pretty badly here. This segment did a pretty good job of making Raven out to be a pretty ruthless heel.
Handicap Match: Too Cold Scorpio & Taz vs The Pitbulls & Raven
This match was supposedly going to be 2 Cold Scorpio, "The New" Taz, and Dreamer vs The Pitbulls & Raven.
Hack Myers comes out to take Dreamer's place. Myers clears the Flock out of the ring. Bill Alphonso comes out. Fonzie won't allow Myers to wrestle in the match. He orders him out of the ring, and makes the match a handicapped match. This crowd hates Bill Alphonso.
Scorpio comes out to fight Raven and The Pitbulls solo. They overwhelm him until all of a sudden "The All New" Taz comes out. He has a new orange and black singlet on, and he has cut off his long stringy hair. He comes in and tosses Raven & The Pitbulls around with some of the best overhead belly to belly suplexes I have ever seen in my life. You could see Taz had a lot of legitimate power. He throws these guys around like ragdolls. The crowd loves it.
Taz and Pitbull #2 start if off together. Taz throws the bigger man with a nice Judo hiptoss. Scorpio gets tagged in. The Pitbulls take the momentum of the match by double teaming Scorpio. Raven gets tagged in. Raven and The Pitbulls take turns beating on Scorpio. Scorpio gets a reversal on Pitbull 2 to take him down in an armlock submission. Scorpio does what he does best and carries The Pitbulls through an entertaining couple of minutes. Taz gets tagged in, and is soon double teamed by The Pitbulls on the outside. The Pitbulls take a chair to Taz on the outside. Raven and The Pitbull take turns beating on Taz in the ring. Taz ducks a clothesline, and tosses Raven with his Head and Arm "Tazplex". Taz gets the hot tag to Scorpio. Scorpio comes in to clear the ring.
Scorpio goes up top for a fucking amazing moonsault. Beautiful.
Paul Heyman points out a fan in the front row holding up an "I Love Stevie Richards" sign. It's Francine.
Stevie approaches Francine. Raven goes over to Stevie, and smacks him in the face for being distracted. Beulah and Francine start a little scuffle before Raven drags both Beulah and Stevie away to the back by their hair.
The Pitbulls lay out Taz and Scorpio. The Pitbulls look around for Raven wondering where he went. Taz catches one of the Pitbulls by surprise, and tosses him off the top rope with a suplex for the win.
This is pretty much the only real wrestling match so far in this show. Not bad, but not great either. Taz looked really, really good. This is the beginning of the Pitbulls split from The Flock, as well as the start of the Beulah vs Francine feud with good ole Franny making her ECW debut here as Stevie's crazed fan.
Public Enemy vs Ian & Axl Rotten
Public Enemy comes out, and the Arena is just rocking. Everybody looks to be having a lot of fun, waving their arms around to their music as they come out to the ring. Axl Rotten comes out with a barbed wire baseball bat, and calls PE out on their "Mack Daddies Of Violence" nickname. Axl says that his fued with Ian is more violent than anything PE has ever done. Axl calls his brother out, and challenges PE to a match.
Ian Rotten comes out with a chair, and reunites with his "brother". All of a sudden Bill Alphonso comes out.
Fonzie tells the Rottens that they wrestled a match in January where the losing tag team was to split up for good. Fonzie says that if the brothers have any tag team contact in the match that he will shut down Todd Gordon's ECW, and that everybody could take that to the bank daddy!
Trash starts flying into the ring. Fonzie says that the match will not go down at all, and calls out Todd Gordon. Fonzie takes their weapons away from them. The crowd starts a camptown races chant about how Fonzie takes it up the ass.:rofl:
Axl says that he doesn't want to screw the people out of their hard earned money, and starts brawling with Ian Rotten. The two men brawl their way out of the scene to the back. PE starts celebrating with their fans. Everybody is dancing and having a real good time until all of a sudden........
These guys come out to crash the party:
The Gangstas make their ECW debut by attacking Public Enemy. Styles acts like he doesn't know who they are. Joey thinks they are fans that jumped the railing, and talks about how they aren't even working in ECW. The Gangstas beat down PE as Joey cries out for help. Public Enemy are busted open bleeding all over the place.
Todd Gordon comes out with Philadelphia Police. The Gangstas are handcuffed and arrested.
Some stupid booking going on with the whole Ian & Axl Rotten ordeal(just a way to squeeze them into the show), but Bill Alphonso is just hilarious in this role to me for some reason. He really nails it with his performance, and gets some great heat from the crowd. The Gangsta's debut was pretty cool. PE needed a good rival, and The Gangstas were perfect for them.
Barbed Wire Match: Sandman(C) vs Cactus Jack
Would you believe that there were only 4 barbed wire matches in ECW history? This is actually the second one. Lets take a look at this one to see how it stands up to the other 3.
This feud had been running since the later parts of 1994. The beef wasn't even really between Cactus Jack and The Sandman, it was between Cactus and Sandman's manager Woman. Cactus was running his mouth about Nancy "Woman" Sullivan's real life husband, and WCW booker Kevin Sullivan(Cactus had recently been released by WCW). The feud escalated in the brutal Texas Death match earlier on in 95. It heated up when Sandman & Woman brought back Terry Funk, who badly burned Cactus multiple times with a flaming branding iron. Sandman won the title from Shane Douglas, who cheated Cactus out of his title match with The Sandman at the last show. Now the rivalry goes to the next level with the Barbed Wire match. Lets check it out.
Nancy comes out looking pretty damn hot, with the ECW strap over her shoulder. She lights up a pre-match smoke for The Sandman as they take their time walking to the ring.
I'm starting to wonder now when exactly the Sandman starts bringing beer out with him. We are halfway through 95, and still no beer, only smokes.
Cactus comes out with a hand drawn t-shirt that has the faces of Stan Hanson and Bruiser Brody on it.
The crowd starts chanting "LOVE! THE! SHIRT! CACTUS!, LOVE! THE! SHIRT!, clap-clap". Sandman refuses to enter the ring as Cactus taunts him. Cactus gets a microphone, and says:
Sandman drops Cactus across the barbed wire with an inverted vertical suplex. The wire collapses all the way down due to the weight, Cactus falls to the outside of the ring. Sandman hits a dive to the outside. Sandman wraps Cactus' face up in the wire. Sandman cuts Cactus' arm open with a loose strand of the wire. Cactus hits Sandman with an elbow, and throws him into the wire a few times. Cactus rips Sandman's shirt off, and pulls it over his head. Cactus knocks a blinded Sandman into the wire. Cactus rakes the wire across Sandman's belly.
Both men are bleeding a little bit from their arms. Cactus throws Sandman to the outside. They brawl on the outside for a while raking each other's foreheads across the wire.
Here we go with a cheese grater. Nice. Both guys start bleeding from their foreheads. Sandman lifts Cactus up, and drops him down groin first across the wire. We get a really good "OH MY GAAAAWD!" from Joey Styles.
Styles commentary throughout this entire tape has been really good. He was really at his best here, and starting to get a lot better.
Cactus recovers and slugs it out with Sandman. A fan throws a Hulk Hogan action figure into the ring. Sandman picks it up, and looks at it for a moment with a "WTF?!" look on his face before tossing it out.
Cactus drops Sandman with a DDT on a chair for a 2 count. Cactus sets two chairs up on Sandman's head, and drops a legdrop on him. Cactus gets out of the ring, and rolls a full roll of barbed wire into the ring. Sandman throws Cactus down on the wire, and drops a legdrop across the back of his head. Cactus kicks out of a pinfall attempt. Sandman drops an elbow, but Cactus moves out of the way, causing Sandman to land on the massive roll of wire in the ring.
Cactus wraps the loose barbed wire in the ring around his entire right arm. Cactus whips Sandman across his bare back with the loose strand of barbed wire.
OUCH! It sticks into his back. Shit that has to hurt.
Blood everywhere now. Cactus throws Sandman to the outside, and drops an elbow on him with his arm still wrapped in wire. Cactus rolls Sandman in the ring, and hits him with 3 chair shots to the head.
Both men collapse, and remain motionless. Cactus recovers first, but he falls back down. The bell rings.
CACTUS WINS THE STRAP! Cactus wins on a ten count.
Holy shit, Bill Alphonso comes out.:fellah:
Fonzie reverses the decision because the strap can't change hands on a 10 count. The ref argues with Fonzie until Fonzie pushes him. The ref gets up in Fonzie's face. The Sandman takes a loose piece of barbed wire, and wraps Cactus's neck with it as he's distracted with the melee. Sandman chokes Cactus unconscious with the wire, and tosses his unconscious body out of the ring. Bill Alphonso counts Cactus out, Sandman retains. The crowd goes crazy with boos and trash.
Cactus lays beaten and bloodied totally wrapped up in barbed wire on the outside of the ring.
Todd Gordon comes out, and Fonzie drops his ass with a hard clothesline!:rofl: I'm sorry for all of the lol smileys, but this shit is just hilarious to me for some reason.
Sandman escapes with his title as the crowd chants "Bullshit". Cactus climbs back up to the ring with barbed wire all over him. The crowd gives him a standing ovation as he stumbles his way to the back wrapped up in the wire.
No real psychology in that match whatsoever. I've seen much, much better barbed wire matches where they really milked the barbed wire spots, and they didn't really do a good job of that here at all. The selling really makes a barbed wire match great, and it was virtually non-existent here. With that said, I kind of liked this match to be honest. It was very brutal, and just crazy. The ending with Bill Alphonso overturning the decision was hilarious. I'm loving his angle so far the way he's made life easier for all of the heels. It was a pretty good move with his character to draw more heat to the heels of ECW at the time. The Sandman and Raven were bad ass heels to the point where they were cheered by the crowds. Fonzie's character really gave them the heat that they needed.
Man, this is a tough show to grade really. Not much wrestling, but the storyline progression was pretty entertaining. A lot of the show was a total mess. Overall I would say this show had some great moments, but I wouldn't recommend tracking it down. Their were a lot of firsts here. Sandman's first televised beer, Taz's first match since being repackaged into a shoot wrestler, The Gangsta's debut, and Francine's debut. That's quite a bit. ECW was changing. Evolving gradually from show to show. The storylines and characters were the most interesting going on in pro wrestling at the time by a country mile. WCW and WWF couldn't compete with the depth of some of these characters, and the down to earth nature of these storylines in 1995. The Sandman vs Cactus barbed wire match was ok, and I would say that would just about sum up this whole show. Just ok. I did laugh my ass off while watching this though. A lot of very funny moments. Heyman and 911 were great.
Pro Wrestling In Mid 1995
To really understand what made ECW special, first you have to consider what the alternatives were back in the day. The last ECW show we took a look at took place the day before WCW Great American Bash, and about a week before WWF King of the Ring. Over in the WCW, they were in the middle of pushing an Ultimate Warrior clone named Renegade. Renegade would go on to win the WCW TV championship with a clean victory over the legendary Arn Anderson at WCW Great American Bash.
Also going on in WCW, they were in the early stages of the Dungeon of Doom storyline where Kevin Sullivan brought together a freakish faction of ghoulish characters to bring down Hulkamania's reign in WCW. WCW's product before Hogan arrived on the scene was more down to earth, and athletic "Sport" oriented(for the most part, especially compared to WWF of the early 90's). Here we are a year after his arrival, and WCW has pretty much turned into a cheap knockoff of late 80's WWF. The gimmick's became more and more cartoony as the former WWF stars kept coming over. The cartoonish gimmicks would reach their pinnacle in WCW with the Dungeon of Doom, which consisted of former WWF stars of the 80's like Ed Leslie, Earthquake, Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor, Kamala, One Man Gang, and eventually even Zues.
WCW was still 3 months away from going live with Nitro, and were still stuck in the past as far as the gimmicks and storylines. Not all of it was bad though. Savage and Flair had an alright match at Great American Bash. Brian Pillman and Alex Wright stole the show with perhaps the best match on the card.
Meanwhile over in the WWF, a week after Great American Bash, they held their third annual King Of The Ring pay per view at Philadelphia's Spectrum. King of the Ring 95 was perhaps the all time low for the WWF as far as quality was concerned. Stars like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were eliminated from the tournament in the first round, setting up a final between......Gulp!.....Mabel & Savio Vega.
If you look closely at the crowd at the King of the Ring show, you will notice several of the regular ECW Arena fans in attendance, including the famed John "Straw Hat Guy" Bailey. During the horrible final match in the King of the Ring tournament, a massive E! C! DUB! chant broke out throughout the Arena. The chants caught Mcmahon's ear, and the rest is history.
Through the first half of 1995 ECW gradually evolved into a force to be reckoned with. The depth in the characters, and the "Attitude" of the storylines was unrivaled by WCW or WWF in 1995. While both companies seemed to be stuck in the past creatively, ECW was doing storylines based on the East Coast vs West Coast hip hop feud, the Dreamer vs Raven rivalry, and a lot of angles that were based off of behind the scenes drama of professional wrestling. While Ian & Axl's bloody feud was creating the buzz with their over the top violence, Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko's matches were also getting critical acclaim from the wrestling press at the time.
King of the Ring seemed to be the end of an era for ECW. After King of the Ring was when a majority of their top talent started to get plucked away for WCW and WWF. Shane Douglas would begin contract negotiations with the WWF shortly after King of the Ring. Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko would be gone by the end of the summer, and both WCW & WWF began courting ECW's most over act, Public Enemy throughout the end of 1995. Through the rest of 1995 a majority of ECW's best talent would be gone.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
July, 1st 1995
So, here we are just a few weeks after the infamous E! C! DUB! chants at the 95 WWF King of the Ring. You know Heyman had the big head after that. Raven and Stevie Richards won the tag team titles from Public Enemy just a day or two prior to this show at a house show in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania. Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko have been having a series of matches during this summer that have been generating a shitload of buzz among the smarkies(ended up winning fued of the year from WON for 95). At this point Guerrero and Malenko had swapped the ECW TV title around a few times, and had just finished a best of 3 falls series of matches that took place in 3 different cities over 2 days. The hottest angle's going into this show are the Shane Douglas/Bill Alphonso anti-hardcore angle, Raven's ongoing feud with Tommy Dreamer, and the East Coast vs West Coast urban feud between Public Enemy and The Gangstas.
Shane Douglas threw the NWA belt down around a year earlier proclaiming that the ECW was going to put the sport back into professional wrestling. A year later and Douglas is fed up with the hardcore trash violence that the Extreme in ECW went on to define. Douglas' frustration boiled over when he was scammed out of the ECW World Title by Woman and The Sandman. Douglas stormed out of the front door of the ECW Arena wearing a WWF Raw shirt after the loss, and the next week he brought an official from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to clean up the ECW, Mr. Bill Alphonso, the man that calls it right down the middle daddy.
Alphonso was brilliant in this role. He threatened to shut ECW down, he DQ'd Dreamer for using open fists on Raven in a match, and he reversed a decision that would have awarded fan favorite Cactus Jack the ECW World Title at the last show. This angle was kind of brilliant really. Alphonso gave the heels the heat they needed to keep the heel/face psychology in place in their feuds. Raven and The Sandman were the top heels in ECW, but were cheered more than they were boo'd up until they were helped out by Alphonso at the last show. This angle really had the ECW fans stirred up, but in a way that turned traditional pro wrestling ideology on it's ear. The ECW fans were booing someone for enforcing the rules, and the heroes were the ones that broke them.
Raven and Dreamer's feud has picked up quite a bit from January of 95. Raven has crucified Dreamer and busted him open in one of the bloodiest scenes in pro wrestling history. Raven also "Broke" Tommy's fingers one by one at the last show. Dreamer has spiked Raven's girl Beulah with piledrivers at the past few shows. Luna Vachon came in to help Dreamer a few shows back, but she was viciously beaten by Raven at the last show(along with Dreamer).
The Public Enemy vs Gangstas feud is one that perhaps hasn't aged too well. The Gangstas made their debut in ECW at the last show as two invading thugs who weren't even employed by ECW(ring any bells?). The Public Enemy were the most over act in ECW at this time believe it or not. The reason was their personality really clicked with the Philly fans. They were fun, and really violent. They won the fans over with their campy promos where they would often parody WCW. Their matches were incredibly violent, usually with multiple tables broken. This was a time when Sabu was gone as well, so they were perhaps the most hardcore act in the promotion. PE's feud with The Gangstas is one that never really produced any good or great matches, but the feud itself is wildly interesting to me. They really captured that East Coast vs West Coast hip hop rivalry that was center stage in the US at the time. It was an angle that was really well done for it's time, and light years ahead of what WCW and WWF were doing with their storylines.
The Dudley Brothers(Little Snot & Dudley Dudley) vs The Pit Bulls
This is the debut of the Dudley family in ECW. There isn't any storyline or anything, they are just brought in as a tag team of jobbers. It's not D-Von and Buh Buh Ray, it's Little Snot and Dudley Dudley. Two nobodies. Raven, Stevie Richards, Beulah and The Pit Bulls are already in the ring. The Dudley brothers are accompanied by Big Dick Dudley, who would go on to be one of the main characters in the family for years to come.
Vintage Stevie Richards here as he works the crowd while the lackluster match is going on. Some of the fans hold up a series of signs that reads "The Dancin' Stevie Fan Club".
Raven, Beulah and Stevie lurk the outside working the crowd until all of a sudden Stevie Richards approaches his "Fan" in the crowd. A hot young planted female by the name of Francine, who made her debut at the last show, nearly getting into a fight with Beulah. Francine was actually a trained wrestler who would go on to be perhaps the definitive valet in ECW history, even earning the nickname "The Queen of Extreme" in the later years.
The Dudley bros and The Pit Bulls carry on with their mediocre match as Richards flirted with Francine on the outside. Beulah approaches Francine as if she were jealous. Beulah and Francine grab each other's hair, and start a little catfight. The crowd loves it. Raven breaks it up, and drags both Stevie and Beulah to the back by their hair. The Pit Bulls look around wondering where Raven left off to. Pitbull #2 is hit from behind by one of the Dudley's as Pitbull #1 is distracted looking for Raven. Snot pulls Dudley's body over Pitbull #2, and the Dudley brothers get the win. The Dudleys escape with their lives.
Joey Styles does an interview with The Pitbulls after the match. They cut a horrible promo where you can barely make out what they are saying. They pretty much say that they are tired of Richards and Raven not watching their backs. They say that things are changing before storming off.
Not a good match at all. Nothing special about the overall segment either really. This was the beginning of the a face turn for the Pitbulls, who were quite over due to their muscled up appearance, and intense attitudes. The obvious question pops up from this booking though, did the Pitbulls really need Raven and Richards to beat these two clowns?
Chad Austin & The Broadstreet Bully vs Don E. Allen & Dino Sendoff
This is nothing but jobbers here. I would have to say that Don E. Allen was the definitive jobber in ECW history. I recently discovered that Don E. actually still wrestles in the Pennsylvania/Tri States independent scene.
This is real sloppy stuff here. The crowd boo's the shit out of them. Austin takes a backbody drop, and nearly botches the fall to put himself in a wheelchair. I don't know if they are trying to make it look sloppy on purpose or what, I think so. Joey Styles takes a shot at WCW.
Out comes 911.
Chokeslams for everybody. 911 had a good chokeslam. He was stiff as hell. The crowd loves him. Heyman comes out and the crowd starts chanting his name. Heyman holds up his fingers asking how many more chokeslams they want to see. The crowd holds up both hands, and starts chanting "WE WANT 10!".:rofl:
911 grabs Don E and Chad Austin at the same time with both hands. Heyman gets a mic and tells both men "Welcome to EC Fucking W!" before they are chokeslammed into oblivion.
Pretty funny little segment. 911 was pretty fucking awesome.
Hack Myers vs Big Val Puccio
Big Val is a massive fat guy. The crowd knows he's worthless, and they let him know about it early on. Val works the crowd for several minutes, and it's kind of funny really. He's so fat.
Val gets some punches in first, and the crowd chants "SHIT!" very loudly with each strike landed. This is hilarious.
Myers lands a few punches and the crows screams "SHAH!" with each strike. Myers grounds Val with punches and kicks as the crowd chants along. Myers gets reversed into the corner, and squashed by this huge man.
Here we go with the "YOU FAT FUCK" chants.
This crowd is all over this guy. Val works the crowd while barely doing anything to Hack Myers for several minutes. Val tries to drop an elbow on Hack, but Hack moves out of the way. Val crashes into the mat, and Hack covers him for the pin.
Val drops a few splashes on Hack before leaving.
The crowd was funny early on, but this was about 8 minutes of my life that I want back.
2 Cold Scorpio vs Taz
This is one of Taz's first matches as a repackaged shoot wrestler. He is accompanied by Heyman.
Scorpio avoids a Taz-Plex early on by countering it with a nice armdrag. Taz gets a lariat sending Scorpio to the outside. Scorpio comes back in and we have ourselves a nice clean little match here. They go back and forth locking each other in holds, and reversals. One thing that sticks out early on is how freakishly athletic 2 Cold Scorpio was. He jumps strait up at one point, and reaches some incredible height.
Taz lands a beautiful belly to belly overhead suplex. They go back and forth in a test of strengh. Scorpio with a monkey flip, and a thrust kick to the chin, followed by a powerbomb.
Scorpio is playing the heel here keeping the pace slow, working Taz over while fucking with the crowd. Scorpio lands a nice standing backflip splash onto Taz. Scorpio goes up top for a splash, but Taz gets the knees up. Heyman gets a Taz chant going on the outside as he works his way back into the match. Scorpio squashes his comeback with a thumb to the eye.
Taz blocks a Rock Bottom with three elbows to the head, followed by his T-Bone Taz-Plex. Scorpio counters a move from Taz, and gets him with the Tombstone. Scorpio lands a fucking amazing Tumbleweed corkscrew moonsault legdrop. Crowd gives him a nice standing ovation, beautiful move.
Taz no sells it.
Taz hops up, and drops Scorpio. Taz pins Scorpio for 3, but Scorpio's leg was on the ropes. Taz ges the win.
Bill Alphonso comes out. Fonzie says the match is not over, and must restart. Taz gets up in his face. Fonzie tells Taz and Heyman that if any wrestler touches him he will shut ECW down.
Heyman tells Fonzie that he's not a wrestler, and that he is going to kick his ass. Scorpio comes in with a steel chair, and hits Taz in the back. Heyman turns around, and Fonzie hits him from behind. Scorpio covers Taz, and Fonzie counts the 3. Crowd boo's the roof off.
Pretty good match. Scorpio was amazing. Nice heel turn with him too because he had nothing going on. The Fonzie vs ECW storyline progresses nicely here. I like it.
Shane Douglas comes out next with an interview with Joey Styles. Douglas announces that he's signed a contract with the WWF.
The crowd starts chanting "NA~NA~NA~NA, NA~NA~NA~NA~, HEY~HEY, GOOD~BYE!"
The crowd drowns Shane out with chants of "SHANE! IS! DEAD!".
The crowd won't give Douglas a chance to finish his promo, they start chanting "WE! WANT! FLAIR!" just to get under his skin. That's pretty deep. Shane snaps on the crowd with an amazing promo, saying "I WANTED THAT PIECE OF SHIT FOR 2 YEARS, SO SHUT UP!".
Everybody in the ECW Arena is screaming "WHOOO!" at the top of their lungs. This is an amazing segment. Douglas orders the camera man the pan around the crowd to look at all the losers in the crowd, and finds a planted sign saying "Forever the Franchise, Forever the ECW Champ".
This crowd is fucking killing Douglas here with the Flair chants, and "Whoo's". He can't even finish his promo. This is some great heat here.
Douglas calls Heyman a piece of shit. Says that he and Cactus are best friends, and have been for 12 years since they trained together at Domenic Denucci's school. The crowd cuts him off with a "SHUT THE FUCK UP" chant. Douglas says that's the reason he's leaving. The crowd cheers.
Shane says he talked about his WWF negotiations with Cactus Jack, and that they remain best friends. Douglas says he's sick of sweating in a building with no air conditioning(while dripping sweat), and that he's sick of carrying the entire ECW roster on his back each and every night.
Shane Douglas officially announces he's gone to WWF after tonight. The crowd starts singing "NA~NA~NA~NA, NA~NA~NA~NA~, HEY~HEY, GOOD~BYE!". Joey joins in with them when Douglas' back is turned on him.
Suddenly Woman comes out. Woman says Douglas is perhaps the smartest man in ECW. Shane says that Woman is the most gorgeous, beautiful woman he's ever seen, but that she is also the biggest slutbag he's ever seen in his entire life. Woman smacks him in the face.
Douglas asks for another. Nancy takes a swing, but Douglas catches her hand. Douglas acts like he's about to hit her, but Sandman comes out. Sandman clears Douglas out of the ring. Cactus comes out to clear Sandman out of the ring. Douglas tells Joey Styles that he's going to teach Sandman the lesson of his life tonight before he leaves to the WWF.
Raven & Stevie Richards vs Tommy Dreamer & Luna Vachon
Man, I'm watching this on a European DVD release, and the music is edited out.:thumbsdown: Take the music out of these old ECW tapes, and you really take a lot of the charm out of them for me.
Dreamer comes out with his hand/fingers taped up. Raven and Dreamer fight on the outside early on with a DDT on Raven to the concrete. Stevie Richards fights Luna in the ring.
Luna grabs a handful of Richards' cock n' balls.:stalker:
Luna violently slams Stevie around the ring by his balls. Luna gets two nice swinging neck breakers on Stevie. Dreamer takes a bloodied Raven to the back where they brawl with a metal TV antennae near the entrance. Dreamer brings out a Newspaper vending machine, and flings Raven into it. Luna continues to work Richards over in the ring. Dreamer drops the vending machine across Raven's back.
Dreamer brings a metal ironing board to the ringside area where he and Luna smash it over Richards' head. Raven returns to the ringside area, and blindsides Dreamer. Richards cracks Luna in the back with a stiff as hell chair shot. Damn. Raven targets Dreamer's taped up hand.
Raven drops Dreamer on the concrete on the outside with a DDT. Raven head back to the ring with Luna/Richards. Raven and Richards are just really stiff in the way they attack Luna. They do a double suplex, and a double DDT on her. Dreamer comes back o the ringside area, and drops Raven off the apron. Luna goes up top and drops Richards with a super plex.
Luna goes for a pinfall, but Beulah comes into the ring. Beulah throws powder in Luna's eyes. Stevie rolls Luna up for the pinfall. Stevie and Raven retain.
This DVD cuts immediately away to a clip of Luna and Dreamer brawling in the ring with Raven and Richards, I'm guessing this was from later on in the evening because Dreamer is wearing different clothes.
Raven and Richards take out Dreamer and Luna. The Pitbulls come out. Richards orders The Pitbulls to Superbomb Luna. Raven stomps on Dreamer's broken fingers. Luna lays motionless on the mats. The Pitbulls look down on her, and refuse to Superbomb her. Richards gets up in Pitbull #1s face. Richards pushes Pitbull #1's face back, and it's on. The Pitbulls turn face, and fight with Raven and Richards. The Pitbulls set up to Superbomb Richards after Raven flee's the scene.
Suddenly Raven comes back out with the Dudley brothers. The Dudleyz attack The Pitbulls. Dreamer starts fighting with Raven again as Luna and The Pitbulls fight with Stevie and The Dudleyz. The Pitbulls throw the Dudleyz through the sheetrock wall in the ECW Arena. Huge mess. Raven and Dreamer brawl their way up to the soundstage under the Eagles nest. Richards, Luna, and The Pitbulls make their way up to the stage. Raven and Richards escape. Raven orders The Dudleyz to attack Dreamer, Luna, and The Pitbulls on the soundstage. The Pitbulls run The Dudleyz out of town.
Luna, Tommy Dreamer, and The Pitbulls stand victorious on the soundstage. The Pitbulls pick Luna up on their shoulders for a pretty cool little scene. She was a nice fit in ECW.
Man, this was a big sloppy mess to be honest. Raven lost the Pitbulls, and replaced them in his flock with the bumbling idiot Dudleyz. The storyline would develop a little more depth on the following episodes of Hardcore TV where the Dudleyz background would be revealed. The wrestling wasn't very good at all. The storyline progression was interesting, and the whole match/segment had some cool moments, but overall the action was very sloppy here.
Taipei Death Match: Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten
ECW "Commissioner" Todd Gordon comes out before the match, and calls out Bill Alphonso with a special surprise for him. Gordon says that Fonzie will referee the Taipei Death Match.
The Rottens come out with their hands taped, and dipped in broken beer bottle glass. They walk around the ring letting the fans in the crowd touch the glass to prove it's real. Joey says he doesn't expect to see many drop toe holds or flying head scissors in this match.
Joey Styles commentary in this show, and the last couple of shows has been excellent. He calls the holds, and he is constantly making little inside jokes about pro wrestling. He really improved a lot since his earlier ECW days, which were nearly unbearable with his high pitched voice. I'd say that Styles commentary in the shows I've seen from ECW up to this point in 95 is among the best of all time. He was really good.
Axl and Ian circle each other in boxing stances, throwing jabs out at each other from far out. Axl lands a surprisingly good looking jab to Ian's face. Ian has already bladded himself apparently. Ian begins trickling a very small amount of blood from his eyebrow.
Bill Alphonso stops the match, too much blood.:rofl:
Alphonso tells the crowd that they should be glad that he's here.
Oh my god that was hilarious the way he said it. The crowd hates his fucking guts is what makes it so funny.
Out of nowhere, the Gangstas and Public Enemy come brawling out of the back. The police come in and separate them. New Jack is brutally arrested with the cop being way too rough on him. The Gangstas are ejected from the building in forceful fashion. They made that look good with the way security and police were manhandling them. Alphonso follows the ruckus out of the building, Gordon restarts the death match with no referee.
2 minutes into the match, and we have a bloody fucking mess. Blood all over their arms, foreheads, everywhere. They pick the glass loose from their hands, and gouge each other in the forehead.
I think it's safe to say that this is the bloodiest match in ECW history.
These two guys aren't wrestling, they are mutilating each other. Not a real big fan of this type of pro wrestling. Stuff like this isn't really why I love ECW.
The blood gradually just gets worse and worse as the match goes on. They don't do anything other than just punch and grind on each other with the glass. Ian drops Axl with a DDT. Ian gets out of the ring, and gets a bag of thumbtacks. Ian pours the thumbtacks allover the ring. Ian attempts a piledriver on Axl into the tacks, but Axl backdrops him down into the tacks.
Axl covers Ian for the win.
I've heard this match mentioned quite a bit around the web as one of those ECW matches that you just have to see, but I don't really see why. It's just a lot of blood. It would have been better if they had actually used some sort of psychology to tell some type of a story or something with it, but they just brawled around a bit before bringing in the tacks. Not real big on this match. I think their match at Hostile City Showdown 95 was better than this.
ECW World Championship: The Sandman(C) vs Cactus Jack
The Sandman and Woman come out first. No Enter Sandman on this DVD really neuters the entrance.
This is a long running feud that goes back to late 1994, and has been running strong throughout 1995. I'd say that this feud is quite underrated really. They had several brutal matches including the Texas Death Match, and the Barbed Wire match that I reviewed from the last show. Cactus nearly wins the ECW world title a few times. The Sandman even brought in Terry Funk for a nice little heel run where he burned Cactus a few times with his classic flaming branding iron.
Cactus Jack comes out with his hand wrapped in barbed wire. Sandman has two canes in his hands. The crowd really loves Cactus Jack here.
Sandman exits the ring as soon as the bell rings, and taunts Cactus from the outside with his cane. Woman lures Cactus to lean out of the ring where she cracks him very hard in the head with a glass beer bottle. Cactus turns around, and is immediately cracked in the face with Sandman's cane. Sandman throws Cactus to the outside.
HOLY SHIT:stalker:. Sandman hurdles over the top rope down onto Cactus on the outside. I've never seen him do anything like that.
Cactus and Sandman fight back to the ring where Cactus lands a DDT. Cactus gets the cane, and cracks Sandman in the skull with it three times before he finally falls down. Cactus takes Sandman to the outside with more cane shots, and a steel chair to the face. They go back to the ring where Cactus starts to take a punch with his barbed wire wrapped fist. Sandman picks up a chair, and blocks the punch with it. Sandman takes the cane to Cactus as he remains down on the canvas.
More cane shots to the head from Sandman. Sandman lands a slingshot legdrop from the apron for a 2 count. Sandman body slams Cactus down onto a chair. Woman goes to the back, and brings out a long strand of barbed wire. Sandman drops Cactus with a piledriver on the chair. Sandman brings in the barbed wire, and wraps it around his body.
Sandman hits Cactus with a splash with the wire wrapped around him. Sandman lands another splash in the corner, and another one to Cactus while he's down. Cactus pulls a rope down sending Sandman to the outside. Cactus drops an elbow off of the apron with a steel chair. Cactus beats Sandman around the ring, and back to the inside where he pulls the barbed wire up onto The Sandman's head with his shirt. Sandman's stomach is cut open in several spots from the wire.
Sandman is a bloody mess with barbed wire tangled up in his shirt over his head. The crowd cheers thinking Cactus is about to become world champion, but Sandman kicks of a cover. Cactus lands three punches with his barbed wire wrapped fist. Sandman kicks out of another cover. Cactus chokes Sandman with the wire until Woman comes into the ring. Woman lands a cane shot to the back of Cactus' head. Cactus shoves Woman to the ground.
Sandman and Cactus collide with the referee. The ref goes down. Shane Douglas comes into the ring, and drops an elbow on the ref. Douglas spikes Sandman with a piledriver. Douglas gets a microphone to say that his lesson is that you should keep your friends close, and your enemies right by your side. Shane hits Cactus with the cane.
Douglas pulls Sandman over Cactus for the 1-2-3, and tells ECW to kiss his ass goodbye.
Todd Gordon comes out. Douglas gets in his face, and says that he'll stay in ECW if Gordon gets down on his knees and asks him to stay. Gordon goes down to one knee, and says.
Out comes 911.
911 almost chokeslams Douglas through the fucking ring. Crowd goes insane.
I liked the segment after the match with Shane Douglas' exit from ECW. The match itself was pretty good too. Just another really brutal brawl with not much wrestling involved. People like to hate on matches like these for not having psychology or telling stories, but the match did tell a story. The story of the match was that the two men were trying to find out who was tougher. Which one of them could take the most punishment. It was pretty much what the entire feud revolved around. I'd say they had better matches previously, but this one was still pretty good.
Public Enemy vs The Gangstas
This is just a damn brawl. They take it all over the ECW Arena. Mustapha takes Rocco Rock up to the sound stage. Rocco Rock leaps off of the 10 foot tall eagles nest balcony to put Mustapha through a table with a somersault. They brawl their way back up to the balcony where Mustapha suplexes Rocco Rock through a table. New Jack has Johnny Grunge bloodied in the ring, attacking him with a nightstick. Johnny Grunge takes a mailbox to New Jack, dropping him in the corner.
Mustapha and Rocco Rock continue to brawl on the balcony, destroying everything. Johnny Grunge puts New Jack through a table in the ring with a scissor kick off the top rope. New Jack is bleeding profusely from the forehead. The four men beat the shit out of each other with various weapons for several minutes. They manage to make it look like a heated street fight, which was what it was billed as. ECW never pushed stuff like this as Wrestling. Rocco Rock moonsaults New Jack through a table at one point in the match.
They have several moments where they kind of stand around wondering what to do next, but overall this wasn't a bad little brawl at all. Rocco Rock hits Mustapha with a croquet stick from the top rope, and gets the pinfall. PE wins.
PE brawls with The Gangsta for a while longer. The Gangstas retreat. PE celebrates in the ring with the fans. The crowd gets into the ring. Everybody is having a good time, dancing around with PE. The ring packs up full of people. The fans lift PE up on their shoulders and start chanting ECW. Awesome scene.
Really sloppy at times, but this was a pretty good little hardcore tag match with some emotion in all of the brawling. The end scene is pretty awesome considering neither Flyboy or Grunge are alive anymore. People easily forget, but PE deserve respect for what they did for ECW in the early days.
This show had a lot of crap, but I really liked it. It had a lot of great stuff, and some surprisingly good matches. Watching it by itself, this probably wouldn't be a good show to watch, but watching the shows in order to see how the storylines were moving along at this time, this was a fun show. ECW was just crazy. You never knew what the fuck was going to happen next.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
July, 15th 1995
Alright man, I'm running out of cute ways to open these things up, so lets just dive right into an update on what the fuck was going on in ECW around the time of this show.
Shane Douglas was gone to the WWF. Apparently they seen something in him worth going after even though people around the internet would have you believe he had zero talent whatsoever. I think he was better on the microphone than about 95% of the WWF roster in 1995, but that's my opinion. I haven't been tainted by the last 10-11 years of his career, so I still kind of think highly of Shane Douglas. He was never the greatest, but he was never anywhere as bad as some of the message board history revisionists make his career out to be.
The way Heyman wrote him out of the ECW was just brilliant. First he lost his title to the Sandman(with the help of his manager Woman). He put on a WWF shirt, and stormed out of the front door of the ECW Arena pissed off about being cheated out of his belt. The next show he brings in a referee from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to clean up the ECW. The referee was Bill Alphonso, and he would wreak absolute havoc in ECW over the next couple of shows. Alphonso and Douglas got some of the hottest heat in ECW history during this angle.
The Raven vs Dreamer storyline had really picked up by this point. It started out with Stevie Richards bringing in Raven in January of 1995. Raven was supposedly a kid that Tommy Dreamer knew in Summer camp when they were youths. Dreamer was the popular kid, Raven was the poor nerd that was looked down upon by Dreamer. Dreamer defeated Stevie, and fought Raven off at the Return of the Funker show in February. The feud got serious in March when Dreamer faced Raven's flock(which consisted of a bunch of jobbers at this point) in a gauntlet match. Dreamer defeated all of Raven's lackeys, but when it came time for him to finally get his hands on Raven he was handcuffed in the crucifix position on the ropes, and beaten to a bloody pulp. Raven brought in his girlfriend Beulah in April. Beulah was a fat, zit faced slob that Dreamer rejected in Summer camp, but now she had grown up to be the uber grunge slut Penthouse centerfold hot mama. Beulah cost Dreamer in his first one on one match against Raven with the ole' hairspray in the eyes trick. Dreamer got his revenge at the next show when he spiked Beulah with a piledriver. Dreamer would get a bit of help when Luna Vachon came into the ECW at the very next show. Dreamer and Luna were savagely attacked by Raven at the "Barbed Wire, Hoodies, and Chokeslams" show in June. Raven "broke" Dreamer's fingers one by one, and viciously attacked Luna.
Raven just keeps throwing lackeys at Dreamer. First he had a group of jobbers(Tony Stetson & Johnny Hotbody), then he fired them, and replaced them with The Pitbulls. The Pitbulls grew frustrated with Raven, and left his "Flock" at the last show when they refused to Superbomb an already badly beaten Luna Vachon(thus, turning them face). Raven replaced the Pitbulls in his "Flock" with the Dudley brothers. The Dudley Brothers were a couple of jobbers(Snot Dudley & Dudley Dudley). The Dudleys were an idea cooked up by Raven backstage inspired by the goofball family in the Paul Newman film "Slapshot". The idea was that Raven would keep his chickenshit heel heat by constantly avoiding Dreamer by throwing lackeys in front of him. Whenever Dreamer would get through the lackeys, Raven would always find a way to get the upper hand on him. No matter what Dreamer did, he was always getting one upped by Raven. Dreamer getting his hands on Raven was something rare, but when it happened it was something special because of the way the rivalry was booked. Paul Heyman gets all of the credit for this feud, but the truth is that a lot of it was designed by Raven himself.
The other main feud of this time in ECW was the east coast vs west coast storyline between Public Enemy and The Gangstas. Public Enemy are the most over act in the ECW at this time. These fans loved the shit out of them. It was just one of those deals like 80's hair rock, you just had to be there in Philly in 1995 to really get why exactly Public Enemy were so loved by the ECW fans. The Gangstas were invaders from south central Los Angeles. Real thugs. The two teams have been trading jabs at each other in some nice promos on Hardcore TV. Public Enemy defeated The Gangstas in their first match at the last show I reviewed, which was two weeks prior to this show. Tonight the feud goes to the next level when they meet in a Steel Cage match.
Oh man, we start it off with ring announcer Bob Artese throwing out free ECW merchandise to the crowd. Bill Alphonso comes out, and puts a stop to it. This crowd fucking lynches him. They are on him so hard you can barely make out what he's saying. This fucking crowd is FIRED UP!
Trash flies into the ring at Bill Alphonso as he tells the fans that there will not be any wrestling tonight. ECW "Commissioner" Todd Gordon comes out. Gordon says that he's had enough of Fonzie. Gordon talks about how he fired Shane Douglas. Fonzie tells him that he can't fire him because he doesn't work for ECW, he works for the Penn State Athletic Commission. Gordon tells Fonzie that he wants to kick his ass. Bill Alphonso is fucking gold in this role. He makes you want to reach through the screen and ring his fucking neck. He's nailed this role. The crowd is more fired up than any of the previous ECW shows I've reviewed up to this point.
The crowd is so loud I can barely hear what the two men are saying. Fonzie tells Gordon that he's going to give him a 10 count to get out of the ring, and that if he doesn't leave the ring he will have his wrestling promotion shut down. Fonzie starts to count, and the crowd starts a 911 chant. Gordon floors Fonzie at 7. Gordon hits Fonzie with punches until a couple of jobbers come out to pull him off. Bill Alphonso tells Gordon that he just made the biggest mistake of his life. Fonzie ejects Alphonso from the building, and takes over the show.
This is just an awesome storyline that I have really fallen in love with since taking a look at these shows in chronological order. Alphonso nailed his role, and was perfect in this performance. He was drawing heat for enforcing rules, something that people used to cheer guys for. Things were changing, and ECW was ahead of the curve with this storyline. The fucking crowd wanted to kill Alphonso here in this segment.
Mikey Whipwreck vs Mike Norman
Mikey Whipreck has just had nothing going on up to this point in 1995. His gimmick was that he was just a crash test dummy with absolutely zero offensive moves to his name. He partnered up with Cactus Jack to win the tag team belts from a heel Public Enemy team in late 94, and the Philly fans fell in love with him. Mikey would win matches on accident, without landing a single offensive maneuver. So far in 95 he's just been there. He has a few moves now, but no storylines. Go figure.
Mike Norman is a jobber, and he hits Mikey while he has his guard down to start the match. Norman chops on Mikey until Mikey reverses a whip into the corner. Whipreck hits Norman with a few arm drag takedowns, and a bodyslam sending him to the outside to recover. Whipreck does a corkscrew somersault senton splash to the outside. Norman regains the momentum of the match.
Norman lands a few moves including a double axe handle off of the second rope. The crowd starts chanting "You Still Suck!(DICK!)"
This crowd is just killing this poor guy.
One of my favorite parts of ECW was the fans. The guys in the front row were the same couple of guys that would show up at every single show. You had John "Straw Hat Guy" Bailey, who would wear a straw hat all the time. His brother "Sunglasses Guy", who was an old grey haired dude that would wear sunglasses all the time, even though the ECW Arena was already dark enough. There was also "Otto Rocket Guy", who would often appear shirtless, and overly animated during the matches as if he were on PCP or something. His hair apparently resembles someone named Otto Rocket, whom I have never heard of until I found this guy's nickname. There was also "Goatee guy", and "Donovan". These two guys could be seen in just about any WWF pay per view from 1991 to ECW One Night Stand 2005. I've spotted these two guys in WCW and WWF pay per views going all the way back to Summerslam 91, and WCW Superbrawl V. Last but not least there was "Sign Guy". A fat guy that would show up at just about every ECW show from 1993 up to about 96(that I'm 100% sure of at the moment, I know he kind of disappeared later on) with a multitude of quirky cardboard signs. The sign he's holding during this Mikey Whipreck match says "WCW: Trash at the Beach".
I get a kick out of the reactions of these guys during the ECW shows. The crowd is a huge part of what makes these ECW shows so enjoyable to me. They create an awesome atmosphere for wrestling. Even when a match sucks the crowd still makes it kind of funny because they were fucking relentless.
Back to our match, and Norman takes off to the back like he's done for the evening. Whipreck chases him down, and hits him with punches in the isle.
Norman beats on Mikey back to the ringside area, and does a suicide plancha through the ropes. Whipreck reverses a whip into the corner, and hits Norman with a Hurricanrana off the top rope for the pinfall after 6:48.
Real shitty match right here. Mikey did some decent selling, and the crowd tearing into Norman kept it from being a zero. Whipreck won it with a Hurricanrana, and that was it. Just doesn't make sense. Norman was terrible too.
Tony Stetson & Don E. Allen def. Raven & Stevie Richards
Raven and Richards come out with the tag team belts first. Beulah Mcgillicutty is a fucking work of art. Perfection. She's so hot here in this little red dress it is ridiculous.
The camera shows Stevie Richards' obsessed "fan" in the front row. This is Francine planted in the crowd.
Don E. and Stetson work Stevie Richards over for a while. Stevie gets the upper hand in the match, and tags out to Raven. Raven beats up on poor little Don E. Allen for a while as Stevie goes over to Francine. Stevie and Francine begin french kissing. Raven drops both Don E. and Stetson with DDT's, and notices Stevie and Francine kissing in the front row. Raven goes over to them, and snatches a handful of Stevie's hair. Raven drags Stevie off to the back.
OH MY GOD....
Beulah and Francine start fighting in the crowd, and HOLY SHIT. Ass everywhere. Pretty good looking cat fight going on.
Huge smile on the security guard's face as he separates the two women. :rofl:
The referee counts Raven and Stevie out. Stetson and Don E. win by count out.
Raven and Richards go back into the ring to beat up on Don E and Stetson until the Pitbulls come running out. The Pitbulls fight with Raven and Richards until the Dudley brothers come running out. Raven, Richards, and the Dudleys(Snot and Dudley Dudley, not Buh Buh & D-Von yet) beat on The Pitbulls until Tommy Dreamer comes out. Dreamer goes right after Raven.
Huge brawl all over the ECW arena with Raven, Richards, and The Dudleys vs Tommy and the Pitbulls.
Tony Stetson gets a microphone, and says that he wants a rematch. Raven comes running up on him, and floors him from behind. Raven takes Tony Stetson into the ring, and beats him down. The Pitbulls come running back out. The Dudleys come running back out. Dreamer comes back out. Where did all these guys go? Weird.
Dreamer drops Raven with a DDT. Francine comes into the ring, and jumps on the back of one of the Pitbulls. Beulah comes in the ring, and JEEZUS. Another cat fight, this time it's a real good one. One of the sexiest things I've ever seen in my entire life.
Huge E! C! DUB! chant ends the segment as the brawl separates.
Big mess here. The cat fights between Beulah and Francine were epic, and added about 3 points to the overall score I gave this thing. I would be lying to you if I said I didn't want to watch that again. Sexy, Sexy.
As for the segment without the catfights, pretty sloppy mess. Nothing special about any of the brawling. Just a way of reminding the audience of who's on who's side in this ongoing Dreamer vs Raven saga I guess. It was weird how they all brawled and disappeared, and then one by one came back out like they just reset everything.
Hack Myers vs Big Val Puccio
Man, Big Val is about as worthless as it gets. Huge morbidly obese fella that can't really do anything in the ring due to his physical state. Hack Myers is almost as worthless, but he's at least over with the crowd for some ungodly reason. Big Val gets heat from the crowd for the wrong reasons.
Immediately with the "YOU! FAT! FUCK!" chants.
Hack Myers comes out to the original version of "Am I Evil", which is pretty awesome.
Big Val is billed at 538 pounds. He has a really weird ponytail haircut where all of his head is shaven except for this long ponytail in the back. The two men stare each other down. Val challenges Hack to bodyslam him.
Val backs Myers into the ropes with punches, and the crowd screams "Shit!" with every one of them. Myers fires back and the crowd screams "Shah!" with each of his punches.
Val crushes Myers in the corner with a couple of splashes, and nails him with a pretty brutal powerslam. Val attempts a splash, but Hack Myers moves out of the way. Myers rolls Big Val up for the pinfall.
Val hits Myers with a few splashes before leaving.....
Wait a damn minute. I just got a serious fucking case of deja vu. Either this was the exact same match that these two guys had at the last show, or they just redid it all again to make it look like it. My mind is blown.
Yeah this was terrible. Pretty sure this is the same match that was on the last tape, and I wonder why.
The Pitbulls & Tommy Dreamer vs Raven & The Dudleys
Raven and Richards come out withe Dudleys in tow like this is a totally new show. I touched on this in my previous post in response to StranglerLewis question. These shows would be cut up for about 2-3 weeks worth of ECW's hour long weekly "Hardcore TV" syndicated tv show. They tried to make it look like these guys are coming out for the first time tonight.
Raven storms the isle to get it started in the isle. The Pitbulls beat the shit out of the Dudleys around the ring as Tommy gets a bit of help with Raven from Luna Vachon in the ring. Dreamer works Raven over with a Snap Suplex and an elbow drop as Luna goes after Stevie Richards. Stevie runs from Luna. Pitbull 2 does a pretty nice double axe handle off of the top rope to the outside. He's a pretty big dude to go for something like that.
Bill Alphonso comes out trying to stop the match.
The brawl continues as Bill Alphonso tries to shut the match down. Alphonso disappears. The Pitbulls work Stevie and The Dudleys over. The Pitbulls get Stevie with a Super Bomb. Francine comes into the ring, and gives Stevie mouth to mouth. Beulah comes in, and here we go again with another beautiful catfight. I love it. I could watch these all day. Good god almighty the ass on Beulah Mcgillicutty. Damn.
The Pitbulls drop one of the Dudleys with a Super Bomb, and get the win with a pinfall.
Nothing special here, and nothing to really write about other than the Beulah and Francine stealing the show. Raven and Dreamer just disappeared in the later parts of the match. More weird booking here. The crowd did love the Pitbulls though, and this match/segment made them look pretty good.
Dean Malenko & Too Cold Scorpio vs The Tazmaniac & Eddie Guerrero
Alright, so Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero had been burning it up all summer in ECW at this point. Taz had been repackaged as a no-selling shoot wrestling monster. More of a third Steiner brother than the MMA type of character he would evolve into the next year. His repackaging and push would hit a roadblock shortly after this match, but we'll get to that later. 2 Cold Scorpio did a little heel turn at the last show in a match against Taz. Scorpio sided with referee Bill Alphonso in an attack on Taz after their match.
Taz and Scorpio start it off here. Taz nails Scorpio with a stiff as hell forearm to the face coming off of the ropes. Oh yeah, that was a botch. Taz got Scorpio for real. Scorpio rolls out of the ring with a busted nose. Not good.
Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero come into the match. Oh man, these guys show'em how it's done. They go through a very nice chain wrestling sequence where they do one of those staredowns at the end of it. Guerrero just looks really sharp. He's so young looking with his mustache.
Guerrero hits his classic slingshot senton before tagging out to Taz. Malenko works Taz's leg before tagging out to Scorpio. Scorpio lands a stiff as hell lariat that may have been a bit of payback for earlier on in the match. Scorpio and Taz go through a chain wrestling sequence of their own that doesn't look bad at all. Joey Styles points out a similar position they were in to the Ken Shamrock vs Dan Severn match that took place around this time at UFC VI.
Scorpio gets Taz with a powerbomb, and tags back out to Malenko. Malenko continues to work Taz's leg over. Taz manages to get a tag to Eddie. Every time Eddie and Dean tie up in this match is fucking solid gold. They have such great chemistry here in this match. Eddie gets Dean with the Frogsplash for a 2 count. Dean manages to tag out to Scorpio, who comes in to work Eddie over pretty good. Eddie goes for a powerbomb, but Scorpio flips out to his feet. Scorpio hits Eddie with a vicious powerbomb.
The two teams exchange a series of double team moves until all hell breaks loose. Taz gets knocked to the outside. Scorpio does a splash to the outside that hits Paul Heyman. Malenko goes to the outside, and gets hit with a splash off the top rope by Eddie. Scorpio goes back into the ring to go up for a splash, but Heyman hits him with his huge brick cell phone.
Bill Alphonso comes out, and says that the match must restart because of Heyman's interference. Heyman gets up in Fonzie's face. Dean Malenko and Scorpio attack Taz and Eddie from behind as they look at Fonzie and Heyman arguing. Scorpio and Malenko roll Taz and Eddie up for the pin, and Fonzie gives the fast count. Fonzie declares Scorpio and Malenko the winners.
What happens next is really weird. Alphonso tells Heyman that he has his own videographer to document ECW for his records. Fonzie brings out Rob Fienstien. Fienstien was the actual videographer for ECW, and was responsible for taping the shows. Fienstien is a small young looking dude here. Fienstien says something towards Paul Heyman about Sabu and the NWA. Heyman gets up in the guy's face telling him not to tell him shit about anything. Alphonso and Fienstien jump on Heyman, and knock him to the ground.
911's music hits the speakers.
Oh my god.:stalker:
Most brutal chokeslam I have ever seen.
Some stiff stuff between Scorpio and Taz here. Guerrero and Malenko were fantastic together in this match. Overall though, there was nothing spectacular about this match. Easily the best match of the tape so far, but nothing great. The end segment was rather odd. Fienstien was a nobody, so I didn't really see the need to bring him in. I guess they just needed someone to take a chokeslam.
Taz's repackaging/push would grind to a screeching halt when these two teams had a rematch shortly after this event. Taz took an assisted piledriver that broke his neck, and would put him out of action for 5 months. Heyman paid Taz throughout the 5 month period, and would bring him back in November with a new attitude.
ECW Championship: Sandman (ch) vs Axl Rotten
Sandman and Woman come out. Woman proudly holds the ECW World Championship as the Sandman drinks and smokes his way to the ring with Enter Sandman playing along. They take up the full song before they enter the ring. Axl comes out second for some stupid reason.
The people in the crowd look fucking hot. No AC, this is July. Bunch of guys have their shirts off. Everybody is sweating. So far I've only seen one ceiling fan in the ceiling shots.
Sandman immediately jumps on Axl with punches and kicks. Sandman canes Rotten down with the cane. Sandman hits Axl with several brutal cane shots across his chest as he lays flat on the canvas. Axl retreats to the back. He comes back out with his barbed wire baseball bat. Sandman runs from him to the outside. Sandman discusses strategy with Woman briefly before re-entering the ring. They brawl with their weapons. Axl beats on the Sandman with the bat.
Axl attempts to unravel the wire from the bat, but the Sandman clocks him. The Sandman gets the bat. The Sandman successfully unravels the wire from the bat. Axl knocks him to the ground, and rolls to the outside with the wire tangled up in his shirt. Sandman goes outside, and throws Axl over the railing into the front row. They brawl in and around the ring beating each other with the wire for several minutes.
Axl wraps Sandman up in the wire while he stands in the corner. Axl slaps Sandman in the face until Woman canes him in the back of the head. Axl gets the cane from Woman, and chooses not to hit her with it. Axl busts The Sandman in the head with the cane while his midsection is still wrapped in the wire. Sandman unwraps himself from the wire. The Sandman drops a legdrop across the back of Axl's head from the top rope for the pinfall after 12 minutes.
Man, this match had nothing going for it at all. Lame all around. I'm noticing that it's fucking hot as hell in the Arena. Everyone looks miserable in the crowd fanning themselves. I don't know if that was a factor or not, but so far this show is just not jiving with me. Some terrible matches with some bad booking going on.
Steel Cage Match: Luna Vachon vs Stevie Richards
I'm pretty sure this was Luna's last ECW appearance. Too bad. I think she was a great fit, and had a lot of potential in ECW, especially when her main squeeze Bam Bam Bigelow came over a few years later. Luna comes out looking pretty good. She immediately begins to work Richards around the cage beating his ass. Richards just keeps getting driven into the cyclone fence cage. The crowd starts chanting "Kick his ass Luna, Kick his ass!(Clap-Clap)".
Stevie is busted wide open, bleeding everywhere. Luna hits him with a swinging neckbreaker. Luna lands a nice little Vader style splash. Stevie surprises her with a stiff as fuck inverted Atomic Drop. Luna recovers, and throws Stevie around by his hair with snap mare takedowns. Luna has Richards' blood all over her. Stevie gives Luna a stiff as hell powerbomb. Damn. Stevie is not pulling back on Luna at all. Luna is in excellent shape here though. She had a pretty good looking body here, still quite feminine as opposed to the overly muscular Chyna/Nicole Bass types. She was just really fit and trim here.
Stevie locks Luna in a nice leglock submission. Luna starts landing some low blows, and a DDT for a 2 count.
This match is not bad.
Stevie gets Luna with another really hard powerbomb.
Luna has been busted open on the forehead. She's bleeding pretty good along with Richards who just has a strait up crimson mask here. Richards starts to really grind down on Luna with hard punches and kicks. Richards goes up top to the very top of the cage. Richards jumps down, but Luna gets the boot up to get him in the face. Luna lands a swinging neckbreaker. Luna goes up to the top of the cage. Luna lands a nice splash off the top of the cage for a 2 count.
Luna grabs a handful of cock n' balls.
Stevie screams out in pain, and submits.
Luna wins by submission with the Testicular Claw.
The crowd starts a chant of "SHE'S! HARDCORE!". Nice. I like it.
Luna continues beating on Stevie until the Dudleys come out. The Pitbulls follow them, and we have another big brawl. Raven comes into the cage. Raven slams the door shut with only him, Stevie, and Luna inside. Stevie gets Luna with a low blow. Raven DDT's her into the canvas. Pitbull 2 rips the cage door open.
Dreamer and the Pitbulls storm the cage with nowhere for Raven to run to.
Dreamer takes Stevie out with a chair, and DDT's Raven. Everybody leaves the cage leaving just Raven and Dreamer. Dreamer slams Raven's hand in the door of the cage, and then hits it with a chair. Dreamer drops Raven with another DDT on a chair. Dreamer pulls out a pair of handcuffs from his boot. Dreamer whips Raven into the cage a few times before locking him up on the fence in a crucified position. Dreamer hits Raven in the groin with a piece of steel, and then gets a chair.
Dreamer emotionally screams ECW before smashing Raven in the head with the chair.
Dreamer poses for the crowd, and a massive E! C! DUB! chant breaks out. The crowd goes wild.
Luna vs Stevie Richards was actually a pretty damn good mixed gender match. Luna was tough as nails, and in great shape here. Seeing her beat Stevie's ass all over the ring was kind of fun. She took some hard bumps, and looked really good here. Probably the best I've ever seen her perform. The aftermath with the Raven and Dreamer fight was eventually nicknamed "The Chairshot Heard Round The World" for some reason. I think maybe that came from the magazines back in the day, but I'm not sure. It was an unprotected headshot with a chair, and those are really bad, but damn it if this wasn't fucking awesome. There was just a lot of emotion to it. Dreamer had been through so much by this point, and it just felt good to see him get a bit of revenge here. It was an awesome moment when Dreamer finally got Raven cornered in the cage. The build up to this moment made it really cool to see. The Raven vs Dreamer rivalry just got serious.
Steel Cage Match: The Gangstas vs Public Enemy
Right from the start there are already weapons set up in the cage ala Beyond Thunderdome.
PE's music hits, and from the reaction you get the sense almost that these people have been sitting in this hot ass Arena, sitting through some god awful wrestling matches, just waiting to see Public Enemy. Everybody is all of a sudden really lively, waving their hands around along with Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock. Big smiles on everybody's faces, everybody is having a good time. They were ECW's main attraction at this time for sure. They were being recruited by WCW and WWF at this time as well.
Both teams just go back and forth beating the shit out of each other with the various weapons in the ring. Mostly frying pans.
This goes on for several minutes, nothing pretty here at all.
The Gangstas take control of the match after about 10 minutes, and just beat the shit out of Public Enemy. All four men are bleeding pretty badly. Public Enemy reclaim the momentum of the match, and bring a table in. Make that two tables.
Stacked on top of each other.
PE put New Jack on top of the two tables. Rocco Rock moonsaults off of the top of the cage to put New Jack through both tables. Nice spot.
Mustapha pulls out some sort of spraycan. Mustapha sprays Johnny Grunge in the eyes with his spraycan, and rolls him up for the pin. The Gangstas get the win in the second match in this feud to tie it up at 1-1.
The moonsault spot saved this one from getting a really low score. It had some good moments starting out. It just degenerated into a really sloppy, unorganized mess. Just a bunch of senseless weapon brawling with no real psychology or emotion or anything to it. As I've mentioned before, the storyline itself was much better than the actual matches in this Public Enemy vs Gangstas feud. This match was borderline terrible without the nice double table spot at the end.
Man, there is just no way around it, this show pretty much sucked. It had a few great moments. The catfights were amazing. Raven and Dreamer was excellent. The Scorpio/Malenko vs Taz/Eddie match was pretty good, Luna vs Stevie was awesome, and Bill Alphonso was brilliant in the opening, but other than that this show gets no love from me at all. Some of the booking was pretty bad here too. Overall I feel like the show did have enough high points to merit an above average score. It was a fun little show to watch. While it doesn't stand up well to some of the previous shows I've reviewed, it did have some pretty awesome moments, and was an enjoyable viewing considering I've been watching through these in chronological order. I would not recommend this show on its own at all though.
The Beginning of a War
So, we have reached the end of the Summer of 1995 for the ECW, and at the end of August both Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko would be called up to WCW. The two men wrestled their final match in the ECW Arena on August 25th. The match ended in a double pinfall in a German Suplex, and an emotional "PLEASE! DON'T! GO!" chant from the fans as a group of face wrestlers made their way out of the back to tote both of them around the ring on their shoulders. Eddie and Dean both emotionally thanked the fans. Malenko told them he would always love them, and would always be an ECW fan himself before the two men made their exit together.
In total Guerrero and Malenko wrestled 12 total matches against each other. Nine of those matches were singles matches. Guerrero won 3, Malenko won 2, and they wrestled each other to 4 draws(3 of them going the full 30 minutes). For my money the best in the series was the match from Hostile City Showdown. The 2/3 falls match from the August 25th episode was great if only for the intense emotion in it both from the fans and the wrestlers. ECW dedicated an entire episode of Hardcore TV to Eddie and Dean's final farewell match in early September. Some say that the series is a bit overrated, and that may be true for many of their matches, but they did have some of their all time bests in ECW. The match from Hostile City Showdown was the best match in North America in 1995 in my humble opinion.
ECW did put on a supercard in August titled Wrestlepalooza, but I don't think it was ever released commercially on DVD or VHS. Cactus Jack partnered up with Tommy Dreamer and the Pitbulls to face Raven, Stevie, and the Dudleys. Cactus would turn heel in the match, and double cross Tommy Dreamer. There was also a fantastic six man tag match later on that evening between Cactus Jack, Dean Malenko, and 2 Cold Scorpio against Eddie Guerrero and The Stiener Brothers that is among the best matches in ECW history.
Cactus Jack's heel turn was pretty damn awesome. He turned heel to side with Bill Alphonso. This was where the classic anti-hardcore promos came from that are hailed by many to be the best promos in wrestling history.
Cactus eventually ended up siding with Raven against Tommy Dreamer, and he had an angle where he would beg for "Uncle" Eric Bischoff to bring him back to WCW. He would eventually draw heat by doing everything within his power to NOT give the fans their moneys worth. Pretty deep little storyline.
Also at Wrestlepalooza '95 the Gangstas went up on Public Enemy 2-1 in their ongoing blood feud by defeating them in a stretcher match. The feud would continue through the year with both teams beating the shit out of each other in a series of stiff weapons brawls that didn't resemble anything close to wrestling.
One of the biggest game changing events that happened around this time was the launch of WCW's new weekly wrestling show Monday Nitro. Nitro was launched on September 4th 1995, and would go on to take on WWF Raw head on. The Monday Night Wars had just begun. Guerrero and Malenko would appear on Nitro for the first time in a match on the October 2nd episode, but former ECW big timer Sabu would be frequently featured during the fall of 95 on Nitro. Sabu would have a cup of coffee in WCW, eventually facing MR. JL(Jerry Lynn) in a match at Halloween Havoc in October.
Even though WCW's Roster was offering much more down to earth athleticism centered wrestling compared to the WWF at the time, they were still stuck in the past with the storylines. The Dungeon of Doom storyline was picking up at the launch of Nitro, with Lex Luger deflecting over from WWF(without notice) on the second episode joining the Dungeon to feud with Hogan and Savage.
Over in the WWF the Camp Cornette faction with Owen Hart, British Bulldog, and Yokozuna were picking up steam in a feud against Deisel, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker. The Million Dollar Corporation was being phased out somewhat, and the top dogs were still Diesel(10 months into his title reign), HBK, and Undertaker, and Bret(who was busy feuding with Dentists and Pirates). Later on in September Shane Douglas would make his return to the WWF as the Dean character. A school teacher gimmick that would use a paddle he called "The Board of Education" to win matches.
WWF held their Summerslam 95 pay per view on August 27th 1995 with one of my all time favorite matches in HBK and Razor Ramon's second ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. Diesel would go on to defeat Mabel to retain the WWF Championship in the main event in a really shitty match.
Dean Douglas would make his return to WWF pay per view at the next show, In Your House 3, where he would wrestle Razor Ramon to a pretty good little match, probably the best of the show. Douglas was great on the microphone in his early days, and I would say he was even better than HBK and Diesel at this time, but the subject material that he was stuck with by WWF creative was downright atrocious. The Dean character ended up being a total disaster. One story told by Shane Douglas about his early days playing the character was one about when he was first filming his debut promos. Vince was on hand for the tapings. Shane was displeased with the way they were pushing the character on him. They wanted him to be really stoic and emotionless with a monotone voice. Douglas convinced the team of writers watching to let him cut a promo with his own "Franchise" style that he used in ECW. Vince reportedly got a phone call halfway during his take on the character. The writers told Shane that they loved it, and that it was much better, but when Vince returned from his phone call he said that his way was better. Vince asked the writers what they thought of Shane's version of the character, and they immediately did a 180 on him, and agreed with Vince's opinion.
During this time the Clique was apparently running things in the WWF. Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Diesel, the 1-2-3 Kid, and Triple H were a tight knit group of friends that would watch each other's backs, and do the best they could to ensure each other would remain at the top of the company. They would supposedly play a lot of school girl games, and were rumored to have burried talent such as Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido, Adam Bomb, Jean Pierre Lafitte, and eventually Shane Douglas among others.
Meanwhile over in WCW they were making their way towards their September 17th Fall Brawl pay per view, with the big War Games showdown between Hogan, Savage, Sting, and Luger against the Dungeon of Doom.
The next ECW show we will be taking a look at is Gangstas Paradise from September 16th 1995. Just one day prior to WCW Fall Brawl, and 1 week prior to WWF In Your House 3.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
September, 16th 1995
Ok, so we have already missed a show. Wrestlepalooza 95 was never released commercially by ECW, but it took place in early August. Cactus Jack broke the hearts of the ECW fans when he turned on Tommy Dreamer in a six man tag team match to align himself with the diabolical referee Bill Alphonso. Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko had been called up to WCW by the end of August, and they kind of worked that into this Cactus Jack heel turn. Cactus was obsessed with going back to "Uncle" Eric Bischoff's WCW, and he wanted to take Tommy Dreamer with him. Cactus starts wearing t-shirts with Eric's face on them. He denounces all hardcore wrestling, and goes on this trip where he tries to do everything within his power to not give the fans their moneys worth. So long before Eric Bischoff was this reviled character in WCW he was the most hated heel in the ECW Arena.
Also in August, Taz broke his neck in a tag match with Eddie Guerrero against Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio. He's out of the ring until December, but he would make non-wrestling appearances. So already up to this point in 1995 the ECW had already lost Sabu, Shane Douglas, Terry Funk, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko. The Public Enemy were being recruited by both WCW and WWF, and would be gone in a few months. The two main feuds were still going strong at this point. Raven vs Dreamer had grown into a storyline that branched off with different feuds going on. Raven's flock now includes Stevie Richards, Beulah, and The Dudley Family. The Dudleys weren't quite the Dudleys that everybody knows and love. Buh Buh Ray and D-Von weren't in the scene just yet. They were just a slapstick comedy act, and consisted of Dudley Dudley, Dances With Dudley(the Indian who speaks fluent spanish), Sign Guy Dudley(not to be confused with the front row ringside regular fan Sign Guy), and Big Dick Dudley. Raven's flock were feuding with Tommy Dreamer and the Pit Bulls(who had recently split away from the Flock(the group wasn't actually called this in ECW, but that's what I like to refer to them as). The Public Enemy vs Gangstas feud was also still running at this time. The Gangstas defeated Public Enemy in a Stretcher Match at Wrestlepalooza 95.
For all you youngsters out there, back around this time in 1995 there was a wildly popular movie called "Dangerous Minds". A song off of that film's soundtrack called "Gangsta's Paradise" had blown up on the radio, and was everywhere.
I have seen this show before, and it is one of the better ECW shows out there, but lets pull out our micro-analytic magnifying glass to see how it stacks up to what we have reviewed so far. Can it stand up to Hostile City Showdown? A show that I feel represents everything that ECW was all about? Lets dig in and find out.
Bull Pain vs Tony Stetson.
Here we go with the jobber vs jobber match. Stetson is decked out in his "Broadstreet Bully" Philadelphia Flyers gear. Bull Pain is just a nobody. Stetson was a regular that I'm assuming lived pretty close to the ECW Arena, and would work for peanuts. Bull Pain is one of these guys like Big Val Puccio that Heyman was bringing in just to fill the card up as cheap as he could. I mean, he only had so much payout to work with for each show. A 1,200 seat bingo hall only has so much money coming in, and a lot of that went out to some of the acts later on in the card I'm sure.
Or maybe they were just smoking all the cash up in crack, who knows. All I know is that Bull Pain just looks like the type of dude that only belongs in a wrestling ring if he's laying flat on his back looking up at the lights. No way this dude made more than maybe 50$. If that.
Oh lord, I was hoping this would be another one of those 911 chokeslam festivals, but no, they were serious about this match. :fpalm:
These guys are getting some time. Bull Pain works Stetson over for a bit. Stetson drops the gloves, and goes to work on Pain. They go to the outside where Stetson uses a hockey stick. Bull nails Stetson in the head with a steel chair. For $50?! Fuck that shit.
Bull ddt's Stetson down onto a table that is leaned up. Joey Styles gives us a pretty funny math equation. "The number of broken tables in an ECW show usually equals the number of screwball finishes in a WCW show". So true. I've been watching a bunch of old stuff and it's absolutely mind blowing how many bullshit finishes there were. Not only in WCW, but also the WWF. There was almost never a clear cut winner and loser in pro wrestling from 1995 to 1997. People criticize ECW's run in heavy, twelve step finish booking style, but I'll take that shit any day of the week over nothing but schmozz finishes week in and week out. There was usually always a clear cut winner and loser in ECW, and that was one of my favorite things about ECW.
Oh lord, these two guys are still going at it. They go back to the outside and fight each other with a chair. Yawn.
The selling in this match is horrendous. I'm so tempted to hit the fast forward button.
Sign Guy at ringside is holding a sign that says "WCW War Games: No Violence, No Talent" I think this was 1 day before WCW War Games 95.
Pain finally ends it with a fairly devastating looking move. It was kind of like a DDT, but Stetson's legs were propped up on the ropes...Oh fuck, does it really fucking matter? This match sucked.
I honestly don't know why I'm not giving this thing a 0. I guess I'm feeling generous tonight. This was horrible, and received way too much time. Bull Pain did a nice superplex, and his finisher was nice, but everything else sucked bad.
Dudley Dudley & Dances With Dudley vs Chad Austin & Don E. Allen
Alright, this aught to be good. The comedy act against the definitive jobbers in ECW history.
Sign Guy in the crowd holds up a sign that says "Condoms Prevent Dudleys".
"Devious" Don E. Allen still wrestles on the northeast indy scene believe it or not.
Austin runs from DW Dudley at the start of the match. Dudley hits him with a lariat, Austin sells it well. The only thing funny about this match is the commentary from Joey Styles. He constantly makes little jokes about how these guys are inbred, and how easy it is to call one of their matches. Joey takes a shot at the WCW commentary team, saying they would still have a hard time calling one of their matches.
What starts out as a traditional tag match breaks down into chaos. Dudley Dudley beats Austin around the ring on the outside as DW beats on Don E. in the ring. Dudley Dudley puts Austin through a table with a vertical suplex. Dudley Dudley hits a sloppy ass splash on Don E. for the 1, 2, 3.
Ewww. Yeah, this wasn't good. The comedy guys didn't do a good job at being funny, and the jobbers failed at making their opponents look good. This was just a senseless wreck. Could have been better if it were just a strait up squash, but it wasn't. It's like they had no real plan at all for this match, and just went out and improvised everything. That just wasn't a good idea here. Bad match.
Hack Myers vs JT Smith
Alright, so around the time of this show was the birth of the Full Blooded Italians gimmick. JT Smith was a Philly regular who had wrestled quite a bit for the TSWA(ECW's predecessor). He had a run with ECW in 93-94, but just kind of fell of the map. The story goes that Smith took a nasty concrete bump where he legitimately suffered a concussion. He came back, and the storyline was that he knocked himself goofy, and actually thought he was a natural born Italian(he was black).
He tells the crowd right off the bat that he doesn't want to hear them scream "SHIT!" for all his moves like they usually do for all of the rest of Hack Myers opponents.
These guys tie up at the beginning, and actually surprise the shit out of me with some really good wrestling exchanges. JT lands some punches and kicks, and the crowd screams "SHIT!" with each strike. Myers goes to the outside where JT Smith misses a suicide plancha. They brawl through the crowd up to the stands, and back to the ring.
Smith goes up top, and slips on his way up. Smith falls off of the top rope through the timekeeper's table ringside. JT Smith is counted out.
Quite the goofy finish, but damn it to hell if this wasn't a fairly decent match. They worked together rather nicely early on with some clean looking wrestling. The brawling looked pretty good too. I was shocked that this match wasn't total shit.
Jason & The Eliminators vs Taz, Rick & Scott Steiner
So Jason(Justin Credible's manager in the later years) brought in Perry Saturn and John Kronus in August as the Eliminators, one of my all time favorite tag teams. This tape cuts to Taz confronting Jason, 2 Cold Scorpio, and The Eliminators by himself for some unexplained reason. All of a sudden he's backed up by The Stiener Brothers.
Taz had been repackaged into a shoot wrestler just a couple of shows prior to this one, but he wasn't quite the MMA style shoot wrestler that he became just yet. He was more of a Stiener type of shoot wrestler, almost a third Stiener Brother if you will.
Scorpio cheap shots Taz. Jason targets Taz's neck, and takes him out of the picture. All hell breaks loose with a huge brawl. The Steiners clear the ring, and hit the Eliminators with some nasty stiff lariats. Scot Stiener is pretty big here. Scot puts Jason into the position for a suplex, and pulls his tights up into his ass with a hardcore wedgie before violently folding him up with a suplex. :rofl:
Steiner bros are just stiff as hell here. Nasty Belly to Belly suplexes on Saturn by both Scot and Rick. Jason comes into the ring, and Taz comes in to take him out with punches. The ref tries to pull Taz off, but he thows him into the corner. Scorpio kicks Taz in the back of the neck, and pulls Jason over his body as The Stieners and Eliminators battle on the outside.
Jason pins Taz. The Eliminators carry Jason to the back bloodied from Taz's punches.
Not bad, but nothing special. Its cool seeing the Stieners and Eliminators working together, but they didn't really do anything great. The Stieners dominated and looked great.
ECW Tag Team Championship, Three Falls Double Dog Collar Match: The Pitbulls vs Raven & Stevie Richards (ch)
Raven comes out with Beulah. Beulah gets the microphone, and says that Stevie wont be wrestling. She asks for a 2/3 falls match due to the 2 on 1 advantage. Pitbull 2 goes right after Raven as Pitbull 1 goes to the back to get Stevie. Pitbull 2 hangs Raven over the ropes by the chain.
Pitbull 1 drags Stevie Richards out of the back. Stevie's already got a crimson mask going. Pitbull 2 sets up a table. Raven attacks Pitbull 2, and piledrives him through the table in the ring. Pretty awesome table spot. Just the way it breaks looks pretty cool. Raven pins Pitbull 2 for the first fall.
All four men get into the ring for a 2 on 2 brawl. Raven and Richards get double DDT's followed by the Superkick by Stevie on Pitbull 1. Pitbull 2 rolls out of the ring, and pushes another table into the ring. The Pitbulls take the momentum by using the chains.
Stevie is Superbombed through the table by the Pitbulls. Pitbull 2 pins Stevie for the 2nd fall, evening it up 1-1.
Pitbull 1 and Stevie go to the outside for a little frying pan action. Pitbull 1 beats the shit out of Stevie around the ring, and he's bleeding profusely from his forehead. They take it into the crowd where Richards gets Pitbull 1 with a chair. Pitbull 2 and Raven fight out in the entrance isle, then back into the ring. Pitbull 2 goes to the outside, and gets a guy from the ringcrew to help him pull out a third table. The fans in the front row pat the guy on the back for helping pull the table out. Pitbull 2 sets the table up in the ring. Raven pulls him into the ref, knocking him out.
The Dudleys come out. Crowd boo's loudly.
Raven, Richards, and the Dudleys beat on the Pitbulls. Richards and Raven simultaneously Superbomb both Pitbulls. The Pitbulls no sell the Superbombs. Double DDTs on Raven, Richards and the Dudleys.
Superbomb on Dudley Dudley.
Superbomb on Dances With Dudley.
Raven and Richards are a bloody, beaten mess. Pitbull 2 arranges the table, and....
The Pitbulls attempt to Superbomb Raven through the table, but he lands on it awkwardly. The back of his head/neck crash into the edge of the table on his way down, and it doesn't break. The table just falls over, Raven kicks out at 2. Very painful, dangerous looking spot right there.
Pitbull 2 pushes another table into the ring. Raven pulls out a chloroform rag. Raven smothers Pitbull 2 with the ether rag until he falls out unconscious on top of a double stack of tables. Raven goes up to the top rope, and drops a leg down across Pitbull 2, putting him through the first table. The second table doesn't break. Raven goes back up to the apron, and just jumps on top of Pitbull 2 to put him through the second table. Pitbull 1 continues to beat the shit out of Stevie Richards in the ring. Pitbull 1 suplexes Stevie through the table in the ring, and gets a 2 count.
Beulah comes into the ring looking sexy as all get out.
Stevie Richards super fan(Francine) comes into the ring, and attacks Beulah. Catfight. Raven pulls Francine up, and DDT's her. Out comes Tommy Dreamer. Tommy unhooks the dog collar from Pitbull 2. Dreamer hooks the collar up to his neck, and proceeds to beat the shit out of Raven. Dreamer drops Raven with a DDT, and pins him.
Tommy Dreamer and Pitbull 1 are the new tag team champions, but wait a minute......
Out comes Bill Alphonso. Fonzie gets up in Dreamers face, and reverses the decision. Fonzie says that the pinfall will not go down in the record books, he never pinned Raven. Out comes ECW Commissioner Todd Gordon. Gordon gets up in Fonzie's face, and tells him that the match is not over. Alphonso drops Gordon with a punch, and keeps rubbing it in that Dreamers never pinned Raven.
Out comes 911!
Crowd goes absolute ape shit. Biggest pop of the show so far.
911 gets his hand around Fonzie's throat, and the crowd goes even crazier. 911 pushes Fonzie around the ring by the throat as all the fans stand up with their hands up in the air with huge smiles on their faces. 911 chokeslams Fonzie down into the canvas. Crowd eats it up. Massive "E! C! DUB!" chant.
The Pitbulls recover, and pull Raven and Stevie up to thier feet by the chains. Tommy Dreamer and 911 help get both Raven and Stevie up on Pitbull 2's shoulders. Pitbull 2 drops both Raven and Stevie at the same time with a double Superbomb. The Pitbulls get the pinfall, and win the tag team titles. Awesome emotional moment here with the new tag champs celebrating with Dreamer and 911.
This my friends is a classic 12 step ECW finish. Not to be confused with the clusterfucked run in festivals that Vince Russo killed WCW with. Russo tried to emulate this type of booking, but he just didn't really get it. Heyman did it with style. It created such a chaotic, unpredictable, wild, rollercoaster ride of a match, and this was a prime example of it right here in this one. Every run in served a purpose, and did something to further develop the storylines.
As for the match, this is one is held in high regards among ECW fans today. I think it may be a bit overrated. Its very sloppy at times. Lots of tables. A frying pan, lots of run ins. But to me all that stuff made this just a fun match to watch. I'd be lying through my teeth if I was to say I wasn't thoroughly entertained by this match even though nothing about it resembled anything close to a "Wrestling" match. Dreamer hooking up the dog collar to fight with Raven, and 911 finally getting his hands on Bill Alphonso also really made this an awesome segment/match. The crowd reaction to Fonzie getting his comeuppance was priceless.
Rey Misterio Jr. vs Psicosis
So, WCW takes your stud wrestlers. What do you do?
Heyman booked these guys on suggestion from Konnan, and they really ended up stealing this show with this match. Its a common misconception that Heyman brought these guys to America for the first time, but that is not true. Both Mysterio and Psicosis wrestled on the AAA When Worlds Collide pay per view in LA in 1994(in the Six Man Tag Match).
Rey Mysterio is only 20 years old here, and lets get one thing strait. The Rey Mysterio from ECW and WCW was nothing at all like the Rey Mysterio the youngsters are used to seeing on WWE these days. Trust me kiddo's, it's like night and day. Rey was amazing in his younger days. Look it up.
Both men begin circling each other very quickly in the ring. They tie up, and Rey whips Psicosis out of the ring with an arm drag. Psicosis gets back into the ring. Psicosis quickly twists Rey's arm up into a hammerlock. Psicosis takes Rey down with the hammerlock. He pulls him back up to their feet......
They go through a nice little chain sequence that moved way to fast for me to follow. Just incredible speed that these guys are moving around at. Psicosis gets a powerbomb. Psicosis whips Rey into the ropes, and does back body drop of sorts that sends Rey about 15 feet up into the air before crashing down into the canvas face first. Psicosis slows the pace down, and methodically works Rey over with several power moves.
Psicosis lights Rey up with brutal chest chops in the corner. Psicosis hits Rey with a nice "Air Sabu" type splash in the corner. He goes for it again, but Rey moves. Rey gets a springboard hurricanrana with a pinfall at the end. Psicosis barely kicks out. Rey gets a nice tilt a whirl headscissor takedown. Rey charges Psicosis with incredible speed, and gets backbody dropped over the ropes onto the apron. Psicosis turns around, and blasts Rey in the chest.
Psicosis gets out of the ring to the apron, and Rey gets him with a chest chop of his own. They exchange chops on the apron until Psicosis knocks Rey down. Psicosis catapults Psicosis into the ringpost with his legs, and works the crowd as they go crazy for the fast paced action in the match. Psicosis comes back into the ring. Rey misses a splash in the corner. Psicosis slams Rey, and goes for his trademark legdrop off the top rope. Rey kicks out. Another powerbomb by Psicosis for another 2 count. Psicosis floors Rey with a Spinning Heel kick. Rey goes to the outside.
Psicosis goes for a Suicide Plancha, but Rey gets him with a chair. Joey screams "DIOS MIO"(Oh My God in Spanish).
Psicosis takes the momentum by targeting Rey's legs, trying to keep him grounded. Psicosis goes up to the top rope for nice corkscrew somersault senton splash.
Psicosis pulls Rey up, and whips him into the corner. Psicosis goes for a flying knee, but misses, and flies over the top rope to the outside. Rey attempts his 619(Tiger Feint Kick), and no, he did not call it the 619 back then. Psicosis evades the kick by leaping over the guardrail into the crowd. Rey springs himself up to the top rope, and leaps out into the crowd with a splash on Psicosis. Awesome. The crowd screams "OH!" very loudly. Everyone is going crazy as these two youngsters steal the show.
Awesome shot of both men sprawled out in a pile of chairs as the crowd cheers around them.
They take it back to the ring. Psicosis goes up to the top rope. Rey springs up to bring him down with a hurricanrana off the top for the pinfall.
At almost 11 minutes, this was just too short for me to give any higher of a score. There was a lot of action in this match, and action is what I like. It didn't tell any stories, and the selling wasn't that great, but it was just an awesome visual seeing these two guys go after each other with the speed and aerial attacks that they did. I can't remember if this match was better than their Mexican Death Match(with takes place about 2 months after this show) or not. We'll have to wait and see when we review that show.
The story goes that Heyman loved what he seen in this match, and he made plans to bring them back at future shows, along with several other Luchadores that would end up on WCW Nitro shortly after. Guys like La Parka, Konnan, and Juventud Guerrero would come to ECW shortly after this match.
Gangstas Paradise Steel Cage Match: Mikey Whipwreck & Public Enemy vs Sandman, Too Cold Scorpio & New Jack
Alright, so I'm just now realizing that this is ECW's knock towards WCW's War Games match which took place the very next day on pay per view. It was like a "We can do it better" type of match I guess. Let's see if they did.
PE & Mikey come out first. Mikey is dressed up just like PE. Mikey gives the ring announcer a hug, then turns around and gives his pick-pocketed wallet over to PE.
Sandman and Woman come out next. Crowd loves Sandman. They are going crazy for him here. Joey announces that New Jack's partner Mustapha was arrested last night, so Scorpio replaced him at the last minute. Sandman stands atop the cage cracking beers open.
I count three beers he downs while the introductions are announced. He's visibly drunk.
The match starts with all 6 men just brawling, throwing each other into the fence. Scorpio powerslams Whipreck. Sandman is smoking.
Rocco Rock sends him face first into the cage, yet he manages to keep his cigarette in his mouth.
OH SHIT! Rocco Rock does a fucking nice springboard moonsault into a Russian Legsweep on the Sandman. That was nice. Johnny Grunge is already bleeding. The thing about this match so far is that there is no real meaning or emotion in all of this brawling. Its just sloppy and unorganized as if they were all just improvising everything. Grunge and New Jack take the fight outside the cage. Sandman and Mikey fight atop the cage. New Jack and Johnny Grunge take it into the crowd. Mikey has the Sandman hanging upside down from the fence.
Grunge and New Jack make their way over to the soundstage under the balcony. Grunge climbs up to the balcony. Grunge gives New Jack a flying elbow off of the balcony. New Jack is bleeding all over the place. Mikey and Rocco Rock beat up Scorpio and The Sandman in the cage.
Pretty much everyone in the match is bleeding now. This thing has degenerated into a really sloppy mess.
Johnny Grunge strangles New Jack with a phone cord. Somebody pulls a table into the cage. Sandman drops it across Mikey's body. 2 Cold Scorpio pulls another table into the cage. Sandman takes turns dropping tables down across Rocco Rock and Whipreck. New Jack makes his way back into the cage. Johnny Grunge pushes a third table into the ring. Somebody brings a frying pan into the match. Sandman and New Jack get knocked out of the cage. PE stack all 3 tables on top of each other. Scorpio and Rocco Rock fight there way up to the top rope, and then up to the top of the cage.
Whipreck lands a Jimmy Snuka splash off of the top of the cage to pin the ECW World Champion Sandman.
The Sandman recovers as Mikey Whipreck celebrates. The cage door is locked. Woman gets the cane to The Sandman, and he proceeds to beat Mikey down like a dog. Sandman fires up another smoke before PE enter the cage and chase him away. Woman drags a beaten and bloodied Sandman to the back as PE and Whipreck celebrate in the cage.
Sandman, New Jack, and Scorpio come back out, and crash the celebration. Huge brawl ends the show.
This was not good. The triple table spot was awesome, but nothing else sticks out here. It was just too sloppy. No psychology or emotion to it, just mindless brawling with blood and weapons. I can say that this was better than the War Games match that WCW put together the next night at Fall Brawl 95.
Man, this is a tough show to grade. A lot of shit. The undercard was downright terrible. Rey vs Psicosis was awesome. The double dog collar match was awesome. The main event was ok. The Stieners/Eliminators segment was cool, but man, the rest of this was just worthless. I'm going ahead with a pretty good score because I feel like the good outweighs the bad with this show. The show did have a cool overall feel to it. There were like 11 total tables used, which is some kind of a record at this point in wrestling history when nobody else was using tables. Table usage is stupid as far as psychology goes in wrestling matches, but there's just something about a good table spot that I love. Some good ones in this show. This is just a tough show to grade really. I want to give it a really high score for a few of the matches alone, but the terrible undercard really drags this show down. Overall though I'd say this is one of the better shows I've reviewed so far.
Pro Wrestling In The Fall of 1995
So we are getting closer and closer to the end of 1995, and I wanted to take a closer look at what else was going on in pro wrestling during this period of time. 1995 was a really bad year for the WWF, but by the fall things started to get a little better. Due to the competition from WCW's Nitro, Raw at least started to see some decent matchups every week. Jim Cornette's "Camp Cornette" heel faction was ruling the roost with Owen Hart, British Bulldog, and Yokozuna feuding with the top faces in Diesel, HBK, and the Undertaker. The six men squared off in a six man tag on the October 9th episode of Monday Night Raw. Still, the characters were beyond cartoonish, and the booking was atrocious. Nearly every match ended in some kind of DQ, count out, or schmozz. Each show was still riddled with wrestlers with terrible gimmicks such as hog farmers, trash men, and race car drivers. Chris Candido was brought in from Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and given a personal trainer/fitness guru gimmick. Bret Hart was still busy feuding with dentists and pirates. The Hitman blew his freakshow feuds off when he defeated Jean Pierre Laffitte(The Pirate) by submission on October 2nd episode of Raw, and he took out Isaac Yankem(Glen "Kane" Jacobs as a Dentist) in a steel cage match on the October 16th episode of Raw.
One of these cartoon gimmicks that was prominently featured on WWF Raw during the fall of 95 was "Dean" Douglas. Former ECW World Champion Shane Douglas was getting a pretty good little push with plenty of TV time as the evil school teacher with the "Board of Education" wooden paddle he would use in matches.
Douglas would go on to capture the WWF Intercontinental Championship at the In Your House 4: The Great White North pay per view. Shawn Michaels was attacked by a group of Marines prior to the pay per view, and could not compete in a scheduled match against Douglas. Douglas won the title by forfeit, and turned around and lost it a few minutes later in a match against Razor Ramon. Also at the October 22nd Great White North pay per view, Diesel defended the WWF championship against the British Bulldog(DQ).
Meanwhile, over in WCW, they were really putting up a nice competition for the WWF right from the start with the first 8 episodes of Monday Nitro. WWF Raw was full of squash matches and DQ finishes while Nitro was putting on matches like Ric Flair vs Brian Pillman on September 8th, Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko on October 2nd, Arn Anderson vs Ric Flair steel cage match on October 9th, Eddie Guerrero vs Chris Benoit on October 16th, and Eddie Guerrero & Jerry Lynn(Mr. JL) vs Benoit & Malenko on October 23rd. Also prominently featured in WCW during this time was ECW's most loved figure at the time, Sabu. Sabu had a series of matches in WCW against a masked Jerry Lynn leading up to the October 29th Halloween Havoc pay per view where they wrestled each other for 5 minutes. The launch of Nitro was like the beginning of a new era for WCW. It's interesting to note that what was the end of an era for ECW was the beginning of one for WCW, with numerous wrestlers from ECW filling out the undercard of Nitro(Sabu, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and soon, Public Enemy).
While the undercards of Nitro were where the action was, the main even scene was still cluttered with the terrible Dungeon of Doom storyline. The Dungeon of Doom was a strait up blast from the past, and chocked full of the older WWF transplanted superstars. The Dungeon of Doom feuded with Hogan and Savage, with Lex Luger pulling a double cross to join the Dungeon. The Dungeon of Doom storyline rolled on as WCW made their way to the October 29th Halloween Havoc pay per view. Hogan headlined the show by facing off with The Giant. Hogan's match against the Giant at Halloween Havoc was an eventful contest to say the least.
Not only did Hogan and The Gaint hook up in the ring at Halloween Havoc, they hooked it up Monster Truck style!
In traditional WCW tomfoolery, Halloween Havoc 95 took the wrestlecrap to a new level with an epic sumo style battle between two monster trucks that represented Hogan and The Giant. Not all of Halloween Havoc was bad though. The Four Horseman were reborn when Ric Flair turned on Sting in a tag match against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. Flair, Anderson, Pillman, and later Chris Benoit brought the legendary heel stable back to life to show the Dungeon how it was done.
While all of this malarkey was going down in the WWF and WCW Rey Mysterio and Psicosis were tearing it up in ECW. The two men made their ECW debut's at Gangsta's Paradise, and would go on to wrestle one of the match of the year candidates on the October 7th "South Philly Jam" show in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match. The 2 out of 3 falls match is one of the best matches in ECW history, and is included in the bonus features of the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD. Also going on in ECW was the ongoing blood feud between Tommy Dreamer and Raven. The feud had exploded by now to include multiple different storylines going at once. The primary storyline involved was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commissioner Bill Alphonso's attempt to take the extreme out of ECW. Alphonso sided with Raven in an attempt to eliminate the ECW fans favorite wrestler Tommy Dreamer. Cactus Jack turned on Dreamer to align himself with Alphonso during the Summer. Cactus sided with Raven, and would cut some of the best promos in wrestling history in a pretty deep little storyline where he blames the fans for pushing wrestlers like Ray Stevens and Dynamite Kid too far. Cactus told the fans that he was through with the hardcore wrestling, and that he was going to punish them by not giving them their money's worth. Not only that, but Cactus was trying to convince Tommy Dreamer to do the same, and to go to WCW with him.
Also sided with Raven, Stevie Richards, and Beulah Mcgillicutty was the goofball slap stick lackey family, the Dudley Brothers. Buh Buh Ray and D-Von weren't the Dudley's just yet, rather a hodge podge motley crew of guys named Dudley Dudley, Dances with Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, and Sign Guy Dudley. Raven and his "Flock" would make life miserable for Tommy Dreamer and The Pit Bulls. Raven and Richards would win the ECW Tag Team titles back from The Pit Bulls on the October 7th show, only to turn around and lose them that same evening to Public Enemy in a three way dance that also included The Gangstas. Tommy Dreamer would end up bringing Terry Funk back to ECW to help him fight Cactus and Raven during the month of October in ECW.
Also going on in ECW during this time Taz was still nursing a neck injury. Taz was still working, but it was an angle with non-wrestler Jason, who brought in the Eliminators(Perry Saturn and John Kronus) at Gangstas Paradise. Mikey Whipreck became the number one contender to The Sandman(and Woman)'s ECW World Championship when he won a battle royal in September. Mikey got a pinfall over The Sandman at Gangstas Paradise during the tag team cage match. Mikey and Sandman's feud over the ECW World Championship would become interesting when WCW fired "Stunning" Steve Austin.
Steve Austin made his ECW debut with his classic Hulk Hogan parody at Gangstas Paradise. The skit did not make the home video of Gangstas Paradise, but it did air on Hardcore TV during the fall. During the skit, Austin talked about how he never got the chance to rise above mid-card status in the WCW.
Austin made his first in ring appearance in ECW on September 28th in Middleton, NY. Austin came out before a match between Sandman and Mikey Whipreck, and cut a foul mouthed promo talking about how much of a shithole ECW was, and bad mouthing the Sandman for being a fat, out of shape, beer drinking champion. Austin called Mikey a sorry piece of shit that didn't deserve to be in the ring. Right from his very first night in ECW, Austin was "Stone Cold". His promos in ECW resembled nothing at all the "Ringmaster" or "Stunning Steve" stuff. Heyman gave Austin the freedom to go out there, and develop this character, and a legend was born. Austin would cut another promo on Hardcore TV going into details about how he was mishandled in WCW, even talking about ideas he had mentioned to Eric Bischoff & Dusty Rhodes that were shot down. Austin talked about how much of a shithole ECW was, and how it was "Just a bunch of Violent CRAP!" in the promo. The "Just a bunch of violent crap" promo reminds me a lot of the Shane Douglas "Evolution of a Franchise" promo that I took a look at earlier in this project where Shane pretty much just did a shoot on his beef with Ric Flair. So much of what I've looked at from ECW in 1995 has been very "Shooty". From Terry Funk and Cactus Jack's "Charlatan" feud earlier in the year, to Shane's shooting on Flair, to Cactus' heel turn and the "Cane Dewey" promos, to this Steve Austin stuff. It was all shooty, but it had a distinct style to it that was different from(and much better than) the Vince Russo WCW train wreck shit.
The next four shows I will be taking a look at are the Oct. 24th, Oct. 31st, Nov. 7th, and Nov. 14th episodes of Hardcore TV from 1995. It's the build up to the November To Remember show, which is probably one of the best ECW shows of all time. Lets take a look at ECW's weekly show, and see how it compares to Nitro and Raw from this time.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Hardcore TV(Episode #131)
October 24th, 1995
Alright, so we take our first look at the show that won Best Weekly Show of the year for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for 1994, 95, and 96. Lets jump right in to see if it really was better than what was going on over on Nitro and Raw during this time in 1995.
ECW World Tag Team Championship Three Way Dance: The Gangstas vs Public Enemy vs Raven & Stevie Richards
This is a clip of the match from the South Philly Jam on October 7th where Public Enemy wins the titles back. We are immediately thrust into a shot of the ECW Arena with all of the fans waving their arms from side to side along to the Public Enemy's music. PE comes out, and the crowd loves them. They dance around for a bit before The Gangstas attack them from behind. The Gangstas beat on Public Enemy in and out of the ring.
Interesting thing is that this match has been clipped up, so this is really just kind of a highlight reel of the match. This was something that was done quite frequently on Hardcore TV.
Mustapha brawls with Rocco Rock up to the Eagles Nest balcony. New Jack lands a beautiful flying headbutt on Johnny Grunge in the ring, very nicely executed. New Jack always had a nice flying headbutt. Mustapha sets up two tables on top of each other under the balcony. Rocco Rock is body slammed off of the balcony through one of the tables(one doesn't break). Really painful, dangerous looking spot. Raven and Richards are nowhere to be found in the match yet. New Jack mocks the Public Enemy's dancing in the ring as be beats on Johnny Grunge.
Raven and Stevie Richards come out finally. Richards fucking daisy dukes are so short and tight it is fucking hilarious. They are literally wedged up his ass. Raven and New Jack square off face to face in a pretty cool little stand off. Raven sits down in the corner as Richards and The Gangstas beat on Public Enemy. Johnny Grunge is busted open bleeding. Whats new? Raven sits and watches as The Gangstas and Stevie continue to beat the shit out of PE.
Rocco Rock catches New Jack in a surprise rollup for the 1, 2, 3. The Gangstas have been eliminated.
The match skips ahead to Public Enemy in the ring with Stevie Richards on top of two tables stacked on top of each other. One table is on top of the ropes in the corner with a chair on top of it. This is just fucking crazy. Johnny Grunge lights the bottom table on fire, Rocco Rock does a moonsault off of the chair that is on the table in the corner on the top rope. Rocco Rock's knees crash down onto Stevie really hard, putting him through both of the tables.
That was a pretty crazy fucking spot. If I was a pro wrestler, and somebody asked me to be a part of a spot like this, I'd tell them to kiss my fucking ass. This was just wild, and dangerous.
I kind of liked it though. Not something you see in your everyday wrestling match. A level of violence that just wasn't being done anywhere at this time except for Japan's FMW.
Johnny Grunge pulls Stevie out of the smoking table wreckage for the 1, 2, 3, and the tag team titles.
Crowd goes ape shit. Arms waving side to side all through the arena. As much as I sing the praises of all the technical wrestling, and advanced storylines/characters that were in ECW, there is no denying that this stuff was what put asses in the seats of the ECW Arena. The ECW Arena really was the house that Public Enemy built. This crowd loved the shit out of them. Just about all the fans pile into the ring with Public Enemy, and start chanting E! C! DUB!. Pretty cool little sight. Just looks like a good time. Everybody's happy and having fun. Party on.
Keep in mind that this was not the complete match. They probably cut a lot of shit out. With that in mind, this wasn't a bad little segment. It was violent in a pretty fun way. The double flaming table moonsault was a pretty sick spot. It was just a stunt, but hey, stunts are entertaining sometimes. Stunts are cool in the movies, and sometimes they can be cool in wrestling, take the Foley HIAC bumps for instance. This stunt in this match was pretty cool I guess. Nothing spectacular, just one of those "Holy Shit" moments.
After the match we get the awesome intro highlight set to the tune of White Zombie's "Thunderkiss 65". Awesome.
Back before Rob Zombie made mediocre movies, and even more mediocre music as a solo act, White Zombie was a pretty awesome little band. Everything about White Zombie just screams 90's.
Jason/Stevie Richards Interview/Commercials
We cut from the intro to an interview with Joey Styles and Stevie Richards. They cut the interview in front of some ECW flags, and they claim to be at the ECW Arena, but these segments were all filmed at Ron Buffone's parent's house. Ron Buffone and Charlie Bruzesse were the unsung heroes of ECW. These two guys were the ones that would put this TV show together, and make it look as edgy and up to date as it did. They would put together some really, really awesome, way ahead of their time highlight music videos(like the Intro), and put the show together on some small, cheap computers in Ron Buffone's parent's basement. These flags behind Joey Styles and Stevie Richards in this segment are covering up the Buffone's washer and dryer. Ron Buffone's parents were probably in the middle of doing laundry as they cut this segment, much like the scene in the film "Beyond The Mat".
So they would take one of those 3 hour long shows like the ones I have reviewed here up to this point, and they would cut them up for 2-3 weeks of Hardcore TV episodes like this one. All of the music videos and promos would be filmed later and edited in at Ron's parent's basement at a later date.
Stevie talks about how Public Enemy lit a fire under his ass at the last show. Stevie challenges Rocco Rock to a "Ragedy Ass Ho" match, where the loser has to wear a dress. The segment cuts over to Johnny Grunge saying he was going to treat Stevie like the guy he shared a cell with in prison. They cut back to Stevie and Joey, and they are joined by Jason. Joey Styles acting like he's allergic to Jason(euro trash gimmick) is almost funny. Almost. Jason asks Stevie if he can wear the dress if he loses the "Ragedy Ass Ho" match.
Yeah, pretty much, these Hardcore TV shows were just a big one hour long ECW infomercial. They would use a lot of the TV time to plug upcoming shows, advertise T-shirts, and home videos. The first commercial block kicks off with Lance Wright in a segment he apparently called "Hype Central", ok. He plugs the upcoming live shows. Lance Wright wound up getting a job in the WWF somehow as an interviewer by late 96/early 97, but he was never even a speck on the ass of the great Todd Pettingail or Sean Mooney. Seriously I don't know how he got the WWF gig, the guy was terrible. Vince probably hired him because he was juiced in with Heyman. Maybe the guy was dating his sister or something, who knows.
A pretty cool song plays that I can't recognize as the card for the October 28th ECW Arena show flashes by the screen match by match. Sandman vs Mikey Whipreck's ladder match is advertised. Terry Funk is advertised to be in the corner of Tommy Dreamer in a match against Cactus Jack.
Gangstas Paradise home video commercial set to the actual Gangstas Paradise song.
Fucking awesome highlight video of that show. Makes me want to watch it again. I loved these old commercials for the old tapes.
ECW 1-900 Hotline Commercial
Back to Lance Wright, who plugs the Original Three Way Dance April 8th show available on Home Video. Merchandise hotline plug.
Back to Joey Styles and Stevie Richards. Jason brings a dress into the scene, and asks if Johnny Grunge would be able to fit in it. Stevie makes fun of Grunge's weight. Corny.
Joey goes off into a video chronicling 2 Cold Scorpio's feud with Public Enemy. They show the awesome triple table spot from the Gangstas Paradise steel cage match. They show highlights of a six man tag match at a house show in Chicago where Public Enemy put Scorpio through a flaming table. Scorpio is show confronting Public Enemy backstage, telling them that they are clowns who can't fly like him. Scorpio's upcoming match against Rocco Rock is plugged, and advertised to be for the Tag Team titles. I never liked it when anyone put the tag team titles on the line in a singles match. Stevie comes back into the scene, and talks about his upcoming "Ragedy Ass Ho" match against Johnny Grunge. Jason comes walking into the scene with another dress, asking Stevie's opinion of the color & texture of it. These are probably Ron Buffone's Mom's dresses.
Really corny stuff. I'd be embarrassed to watch that last segment with anybody.
Back to Lance Wright in an "EC F'N W" t-shirt commercial. Wright makes a sarcastic joke:
Pretty cool shirt for only $20(postage paid).
Another ECW Hardcore Phone line commercial.
ECW Title Match: Mikey Whipwreck vs. Sandman
Ah, finally another match. We cut back to The Sandman and Woman about halfway through their long ass entrance already. They would usually take up the entire "Enter Sandman" song during the Sandman's entrances. Woman holds and flaunts the belt around. Sandman has a cigarette in his mouth, cane in his right hand, and a beer in his left hand.
This is the match from The South Philly Jam on October 7th, which was Steve Austin's second ECW Appearance.
There is a stack of tables folded up near the ring, maybe about 5 or 6 of them. Mikey Whipreck comes out to Beck's "Loser"
The ring announer goes through the motions introducing Whipreck and Sandman, and then all of a sudden Steve Austin comes out with his flowing golden locks of hair, and his EC F'N W t-shirt. Austin romps his way to the ring looking like Stone Cold.
Austin violently grabs the microphone from the ring announcer, and shoves Mikey Whipreck's face backwards with his hand. Hilarious. He is just really intense.
This is just hilarious going from one of the all time best on the microphone to one of the all time worst all in one segment. Austin loses it on Sandman after being called a Hulk Hogan wanna be. Austin bum rushes Sandman, and tackles him to the ground. Austin beats on Sandman with punches until all of the other wrestlers come out to separate them.
Konnan tries to keep The Sandman back as the other wrestlers keep Austin back. Konnan and Sandman begin staring each other down for no apparent reason.
Random chest smacking contest. OH MY FUCKING GOD I LOVE IT. :rofl:
Sandman and Konnan just start tearing into each other's chests with chops out of nowhere as a haggleload of wrestlers hold Steve Austin back. Konnan drops Sandman, and the wrestlers separate them. Austin rushes the Sandman again. All of the wrestlers separate them. Austin rips Sandman's shirt off. Order is eventually restored, and the match begins. Whipreck hits Sandman with a hurricanrana and a leg drop for a 2 count.
We cut away to more commercials.
Advertisement for the October 27th New York show set to Mad Season's "I Don't Know Anything"
Cactus vs Konnan, Sandman & Scorpio vs Public Enemy, and Dreamer vs Raven falls count anywhere are advertised for the event. More plugs for the October 28th event.
Back to the match, and they are fighting in the crowd. Mikey whips Sandman into the steel gaurd rail. Mikey hits Sandman with a somersault plancha out of the ring down to the floor. Mikey hits Sandman with 3 hard, unprotected chair shots to the head. Sandman drops Mikey ribs first across the guard rail, and follows up with a leg drop across the back of his head from the apron. Sandman attacks Mikey with the steel gaurdrailing.
These guys are being really fucking stiff with each other.
Sandman hits Mikey in the head with the railing multiple times. Mikey sends Sandman into the railing with sickening force. Sandman separates one of the pieces of railing, and suplexes it down onto Mikey. Mikey's shirt is torn up, and he looks like he's been in a damn dogfight. Sandman hits his top rope legdrop, rises back up to his feet, and fires up a mid-match smoke.
Steve Austin comes back out with a ladder. Austin hits Sandman in the gut with the ladder. Austin throws the ladder into the ring before making his exit again. Sandman back body drops Whipreck out of the ring, and follows him down with a leg drop. They throw each other into the ladder multiple times. Whipreck teeter-totter's the ladder into Sandman's face. I've seen people try this spot a lot, and this was the best I've ever seen it done. They made it look good here.
Sandman drops a legdrop onto Mikey from the top rope for the 3 count after 15 minutes of brutal brawling.
Sandman brutally attacks the referee with the ladder before storming off with Woman and his belt. The crowd chants "MIKEY! MIKEY! MIKEY!".
Austin bumps this up alot. He gave everybody a preview of Stone Cold here with his attitude and demeanor. Loved everything about all of the pre-match drama, the random chest smacking contest that broke out with Sandman and Konnan had me rolling on the floor. Just the way they started looking at each other out of nowhere before blasting each other's chest was hilarious. The actual match was surprisingly good too. Really physical and stiff. Not that that is a good thing, but you can't deny that this was an intense war. Sandman was really rough with Mikey. These two would go on to have a pretty brutal series of matches that get overlooked quite a bit. I really enjoyed this segment, and would advise everyone to track it down. Awesome stuff.
Another ECW Hardcore Hotline commercial.
Gangstas Paradise home video ad again, still fucking awesome. Really nice little highlight video set to some old school jams.
More plugs for the October 28th show. Lance Wright's "Hype Central" running down the card.
We cut to a Sandman promo. Sandman says he's the king of extreme, and that he hasn't been extreme yet with him. Sandman says he will be so extreme with Whipreck that not even Johnny Cochran will be able to get him out of trouble. :rofl:
Woman takes the center stage of the promo, and damn. This woman, Nancy Benoit, had a lot of talent in front of the camera from what I've seen of her in ECW so far in 1995. She talks about how much she lives for the title as she holds it across her shoulder. She says that she breathes for the belt, she owns the belt, and that her and The Sandman will own Mikey on Oct. 28th. I love it. I touched on this earlier in this thread, but there was a lot of depth and substance to this Woman character. She was a strong, intelligent, powerful woman, and she was the real ECW World Champion during this reign of the Sandman's during 1995. Anyone that thinks ECW was just always about degrading and beating women, I present exhibit A.
Commercial for the "Enter Sandman" show on ECW Home Video set to the tune of the Metallica song. Another really nice little highlight of the event with the double suplex on the two jobbers by Taz. I love these short little jamming highlight videos that they would air to sell the tapes.
Another ECW Hardcore Hotline commercial. Like no other hotline in professional wrestling. I could only imagine.
Styles plugs the next ECW show when all of a sudden JT Smith walks into the scene. Smith is in the "Knocked himself Stupid" gimmick here, and thinks he's Italian(he's black). He's actually pretty funny the way he's acting. He keeps calling himself the big don, and doing stereotypical Italian hand gestures and whatnot. He says that this saturday night he is not going to mess up in his match as he begins shadow boxing around Joey Styles. Smith accidentally knocks Styles in the face with a punch, knocking him backwards out of the scene.
Pulp Fiction Promos
I liked the Pulp Fiction promos. They would just roll through a series of promos set to the tune of "Miserlou", from Pulp Fiction.
The song would play on in the background as one by one characters would cut promos from various locations. I thought this was a cool way to give the characters a bit of depth, and flesh out the storylines. Pulp Fiction promos were an ECW tradition.
This one on this episode is just all over the place. It goes back and forth from the Dudley family(now with Buh Buh Ray), JT Smith heckling Joey Styles, The Eliminators(Perry Saturn and John Kronus) taunting the Pit Bulls, Tommy Dreamer talking about how he's going to bring Terry Funk back to ECW, and Cactus Jack cutting some excellent promos like this one:
Steve Austin is shown in the promo saying that ECW is about to find out what Steve Austin can do. You got that shit right.
Woman is shown caressing the ECW World championship saying that it means more to her than anything or anyone as she looks directly at the Sandman.
Tommy Dreamer is shown screaming at the camera that he was going to drag the hardcore back out of Cactus.
Beulah Mcgillicutty is shown on the beach in a bikini. :bow: The perfect woman.
Terry Funk is shown blowing the flames out on his branding iron from an older ECW event.
Cactus is shown again saying this:
Dreamer says that he will sacrifice Raven at the alter to bring an end to the show.
Overall Show Rating: 9/10
Well shit, that was awesome. The Raven/Cactus vs Dreamer feud is really fucking awesome. I never realized how awesome this storyline was. The Raven character was playing mind games with Cactus, and turned him against Dreamer to do his dirty work for him. That was the root of this heel turn from Cactus Jack. Raven's mind games. Beautiful. People who claim that ECW lacked substance, and was just all about shock television, I present to you exhibit B.
Also take into consideration what was going on over in Raw and Nitro during this time in 1995. I mean, damn. This was just so far ahead of it's time it was scary. Stone Cold being Stone Cold. A brutal match between The Sandman and Mikey Whipreck, some outstanding promos, and some awesome 90's music. The show was just chocked full of awesome jams. Every commercial, every segment, everything had an awesome song playing through in the background. There were multiple classic 90's grunge tunes that I recognized during various moment of this show, but I couldn't think of the names of them.
The show did have some shit on it. Lance Wright is a tool that just did not fit in ECW. This show had about 90% too much Lance Wright on my television, and nowhere near enough Beulah Mcgillicutty. The segments with Public Enemy/Stevie Richards/Jason, and Joey Styles were really corny too. Some of the stuff on this tape hasn't aged well, but for the most part there was a lot of really interesting stuff in this one single hour long show. I enjoyed it a lot. Check it out.
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