American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

Discussion in 'Old School PPV/TV Reviews' started by ShinobiMusashi, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    I'm a pretty big fan of KB's reviews here. I enjoy digging through the table of contents, and reading through some of the shows that I missed. I especially enjoy some of his opinions on the NWO storyline in the WCW, and the 2001 Invasion angle. Overall he has pretty good taste in wrestling, and I agree with him on a lot of things.

    I don't agree with everything he has reviewed here though.

    In fact, I was deeply offended by his "History of the ECW" thread of reviews. Well, "Offended" may be a strong word, but I disagreed with a lot of what he said nonetheless. That is ok though, it is ok to disagree with someone afterall. Some people grow up, and live in completely different households, with completely different lifestyles, resulting in completely different opinions of things.

    I've read, seen, and heard a lot of criticism of the old ECW, and I can really understand it. The tables, the weapons, the wild sloppy brawls, and even some of Paul's booking. Collar-and-Elbow purists hate the ECW, and I can really understand why. One thing most of the critics forget though, that the ECW was run out of the basement of somebody's mom's house. Those ECW flags behind Joey Styles were there to cover up the Washer, and Dryer. While guys like New Jack were cutting promo's, she would be behind the scenes ironing Paul's pants. The fact that the ECW got to where they got was amazing, inspirational, and a great american story(would make a great movie to do the Attitude era from the ECW/Paul Hayman perspective).

    The WWF was a Billion dollar company, and the WCW was owned by Ted "The Whole F'n Show" Turner, while little old ECW was being put together by a very small crew of people that were doing some revolutionary things.

    The ECW never threatened the WCW, or the WWF, but they did have a direct influence on them. The ECW had a direct influence on the greatest era in Professional Wrestling. From January of 1996 to Summerslam 98 was a great time to be a wrestling fan. The WCW, WWF, and the ECW was like a tri pod of awesomeness at one point when all 3 companies were jammin.

    In this thread, I'm going through the real history of the ECW. Not every single show, but most of them. I always kind of looked at Pro Wrestling a little bit differently than most people did. Here is a little background on me to kind of give you an example of what you are going to be dealing with here:

    I grew up watching Pro Wrestling, and MMA simultaneously, along with horror movies(Evil Dead, Friday 13th series, Romero series, Return of the living dead, Excorsist) and action movies(Chan, JCVD, Seagal, Norris, Lee et. al.). My tastes have changed quite a bit, but I still like all of the old stuff. I've always loved metal music. Old Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, mostly Pantera though. I also grew up playing(and still do!) Sega video game consoles. The Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast.

    Bret Hart has always been my absolute favorite wrestler of all time. I always loved, and still love the Canadian Stampede style of Professional Wrestling. Guys like Malenko, Benoit, and the Hitman could tell a story in the ring with their grappling. That is the kind of wrestling that I enjoy the most. The kind that is more of a dramatic sport centered around THE World Championship belt, instead of a Cartoon show soap opera goof off festival.

    I grew up idolizing guys like Royce Gracie, Don Frye, and Mark Coleman just as much as guys like Bret Hart, Undertaker, and Sting. I started watching wrestling when I was a boy in 90/91. Purely WWF through 95 when Nitro hit, and I was all over it due to the more athletic, down to earth style of the undercards. Then, in 96, the unthinkable happened. I found out about ECW.

    So lets get into this. Many don't know that the ECW was the spiritual successor the Joel Goodhart's Tri State Wrestling Alliance. The TSWA put on similarly raunchy shows for the Philadelphia crowd with local wrestlers, and the occasional big name headliner. Some time in 92 Tod Gordon bought the company, and changed the name to Eastern Championship Wrestling. Todd's ECW was an affiliate of the NWA(along with the WCW until the next year).

    For some reason, the Eastern Championship Wrestling history usually doesn't go as far back as 1992(Joey Styles often would only go back to 93 for the beginning of the ECW). I'm going to start with 4 different compilation tapes from 1992(Best of ECW Vol. 1/ECW's Bloodiest Matches/Best of ECW Vol. 3/ECW: Best of Jimmy Snuka), and a few other shows from the Eastern days. The early days of the ECW are a bit underrated in my opinion. They weren't great, but a bid underrated.


    Feel free to drop in at anytime with any comments, criticism, or general ECW discussions at any time.
    Lets get on with the show!
     
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  2. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Best of ECW Vol. 1

    Summer of 1992
    Original Sports Bar(Philly, PA)

    Ok, so this is Tod Gordon's Eastern Championship Wrestling from the Summer of 1992. A compilation tape of the "Best" of the ECW, and for a long time I honestly didn't even know that the ECW was doing shows as far back as 1992. These matches took place in June, and July around the same time as WWF Summerslam(Bret vs Bulldog/Savage vs Warrior), and The WCW's Great American Bash(Vader vs Sting). The ECW was still a part of the NWA here, and Paul Hayman wasn't even with them at this point, which may be why this era was never acknowledged in the later days of the ECW.

    So on this card we have Jim Niedhart, a Tag Team title match between some guys I've never heard of, and the crown jewel of the tape, the ECW Championship with WWF Legend Jimmy "SuperFly" Snuka vs another ECW legend in his own right(Triple crown champion), Johnny Hotbody(The Champion). I'm actually looking forward to the main event so lets get through some of this.

    First up we get a highlight clip of some pretty stiff wrestling to some cool early 90's rock guitar. Pretty good opener with Jimmy nailing a nice splash at the beginning.

    Tomy Cairo vs Damien Stone(7/14/92)

    "Precious" Damien Stone comes out, and he looks a lot like Guido(Nunzio). In fact, it is Little Guido...Wow, and he looks bigger. Definitely got some more shoulder, and back on him than his later days. Guido comes out as "Welcome to the Jungle" plays, and this is in a small bar with people sitting at tables(and the bar of course). Tommy Cairo comes out to Queen's "We Will Rock You", and he is wearing a biker's black leather jacket(with tassles of course), black leather chaps, and orange tights.

    there may be 100 people at this bar. If they are lucky.

    Guido circles as Cairo removes his chaps. then they tie up. Both guys look to be in good shape. Cairo was a successful bodybuilder before this match, and he went on to do work for the ECW for about another 2 years after this. Both of them are short, but jacked.

    Guido breaks the tieup twice to flex for the crowd, and he is indeed jacked. Cairo then throws him around the ring before Guido goes to the outside. Cairo flips him back into the ring, and hits him with a nice shoulder block, and a clean vertical suplex. Both guys look sharp, and on point. Good match so far.

    Guido has a mullet.

    Pace starts to slow for a while until Guido back drops Cairo, but Cairo does a full front flip to his feet before nailing Guido with a dropkick. Cairo looks good, and Guido is doing some great selling.

    The match goes outside at 5:16 Cairo slams Guido down on the floor. The commentators say he should be disqualified for it, but the match continues. Back in the ring Guido gains momentum. Guido is selling really good as a heel here.

    Oh Shit! Cairo nails Guido with a pretty sick powerbomb where Guido almost lands on his head/neck. Cairo gets the pin after 6:00

    6/10

    Too short, but not bad at all. Better than I was expecting. Guido does some great selling, and Cairo displays some pretty good athleticism. Both guys were in great shape, and should have been given more time. I was surprised to see Guido here, but he looked good while it lasted. He made a good jobber.

    Oh! Guido attacks Cairo after the match on the outside with a nasty hit from behind. Guido runs off, and Cairo celebrates.

    Sal Bellomo vs Jim Niedhart(6/23/92)

    Sal is huge, and dressed like a Spartan Warrior. He looks goofy, and the way he is working the crowd as a heel is pretty funny. Niedhart was out of the WWF after the 92 Royal Rumble, and wouldn't go back until 94. The Anvil charges the ring!

    Anvil gets a pop, and is dressed in pink and black WWF gear. Anvil clears the ring.

    I'm seeing a bunch of mullets here.

    Anvil takes Bellomo out with punches, and he is leaving the building with his manager that looks like DDP(its not).

    Bellomo gets the Anvil from behind as his manager distracts. Bellomo takes a nasty back body drop. Anvil slams Bellomo around like a ragdoll even though he is giving up a bit of weight.

    Sal's manager gets involved, and hits Bellomo with a cell phone on accident. Anvil gets the pin after like 4 minutes.

    Anvil beats up Sal's manager after the match. Don Morracco attacks Anvil from behind. Morrocco looks to be old, and out of shape.

    Whoa, somebody runs in with pink, and black gear on, and a HUGE MULLETT!, and Ultimate Warrior facepaint(Pink, and black). Morroco takes him out immediately, and helps Anvil to the back

    3/10

    I was going to give this a 4 until the scuffle at the end, which was just pathetic. The match was pretty lame too. Very short, with Anvil squashing Sal the big goofy guy in an awkward match.

    ECW Tag Team Tournament Championship Final:
    Super Destroyers vs Night Breed(Max Thrasher, and Glen Osbourne)

    Tod Gordon comes out to show the crowd the belts, and they are nice. The Super Destroyers are huge, and dressed in black tights, and an executioner style mask.

    Jim Mullinaux is the ref here. He would go on to be the Earl Hebner of ECW referees.

    Man the Destroyers are huge. One of them is at least 6' 7", 280. Night breed look like a pretty wierd team. One guy has red long hair, and a fat gut, and he squares off with the biggest of the Destroyers in a test of strength to open the match.

    This is pretty bad, and really sloppy. one of the Night Breed has Ultimate Warrior style makeup on(that's two!). He kind of looks like El Puerto Ricano, but with Warrior makeup on.

    Super Destroyers are dominating, but Night Breed isn't doing a very good job of convincing me that they are.

    This is terrible. Oh wow, Warrior Ricano has a massive bald spot on his head, with long, long hair all around it. Nice.

    Oh, man big guy off the top rope, and its a botch. He nearly falls out of the ring after landing. This is so bad, that it is almost funny, but not quite. It's just mainly bad. Ok it is terrible. I'm ready to change the channel. Make sure you avoid this one.

    Continued domination from The Super Destroyers on the Warrior guy.

    Warrior guy's partner looks like Sheamus with long hair after about 20 years of donuts, and beer.

    Warrior guy just can't make the tag to fat sheamus, and this is still going on.

    OH WAIT!! Fat Sheamus gets the tag, and cleans house!

    "Man Alive!" says the announcer,(who sounds like Don "CYrus" Callis) as the big man goes back up top. One of the Destroyers botches another dive, and overjumps his target, landing on Warrior guy with his back. Super Destroyers get the win for the ECW Tag belts. Unbelievable.

    1/10

    Real bad match here, and went way too long. Terrible teams, terrible wrestling. I give it a 1 for at least making me laugh a few times, but man they Should have left this one off of the tape.

    ECW Championship

    Jimmy Snuka vs Johnny Hotbody

    Snuka had just left the WWF in march of this year, and was the biggest star that the ECW had at the time. He was easily their main draw.

    The bar is actually a pretty cool atmoshere here. I'm a sucker for a unique atmosphere. I like the old school Philadelphia Eagles flag hanging on the wall in the background. They had a real good team back in 1992 with Randal Cunningham, and Reggie White. Reggie has said a few times that the Eagles should have won a few Super Bowls during his time with the team.

    Announcer says that this is a rematch. He says that Snuka was the original champion, and that Hotbody took the title from him.

    Hotbody has a wierd Mohawk/Mullet hybrid, sunglasses, and a pink Ric Flair style robe, with the ECW World Title around his waist. Hotbody looks like a great heel.

    Oh man, you have to see this haircut! +1

    The ring announcer calls Snuka "The Phenom".

    Snuka is jakked up, and has an afro(with his tiger stripe caveman outfit). Excellent.

    This is actually a good heel/face matchup believe it or not, as Hotbody is drawing some nice heat from the crowd, and everybody is treating Snuka like a legend.

    Snuka looks aged, but his is in great shape here. Both of them work the crowd for a few minutes in the ring with some stalling.

    And more stalling. Lets get it going!

    Snuka has the crowd in his hands, and a noticable size advantage. Oh man, now Hotbody is leaving.

    Tod Gordon stops him in the isle, and sends him back to the ring after an argument. Gordon gets on the ring, and starts a count with the crowd for Johnny to get back into the ring. 5 solid minutes of stalling here now.

    ...and counting.

    Hotbody challenges for a test of strength, then backs away.

    Crowd starts chanting "Boring" as Snuka sits down on the top rope.

    ....and counting.

    Test of strength again. Hotbody switches hands, and finally initiates a match. Snuka no sells as Johnny slams him from corner to corner. Hotbody flees the ring.

    Another exchange, then Snuka nails him with a super kick. Hotbody back outside. Hotbody complains to the ref, and stalls some more. Johnny gets a headlock on Snuka. Hotbody gets the upper hand, distracts the ref, and his manager works Snuka over.

    Hotbody with the legscissors on Snuka. Hotbody with a chop off of the top, and Snuka no sells again as Hotbody acts like his hand is broken. Hotbody continues to dominate the match with his manager interfering. You can hear some kids screaming as Hotbody's manager attacks Snuka with the ref distracted. They are screaming bloody murder "NO!".

    Hotbody again with the legscissors hold on Snuka on the mat. Snuka starts to spread Hotbody's legs apart, and this looks real awkward now. Snuka finally starts to gain momentum with some leglock on Hotbody.

    Hotbody just continues to dominate Snuka in a boring "Rest Hold" festival. Snuka finally gets some chops in, and the small crowd in still into the boring match. Snuka starts to get the upper hand, and finally gets his hands on the manager. Snuka gives him a headbutt. Both of them exchange near falls, until Snuka gives Johnny two consecutive backbreakers, and then points to the sky.

    Snuka does a nice splash, and gets the pin for his second ECW World Title after 20:00.

    6/10

    Not a real bad match, but it was pretty bad. Mostly stalling, and rest holds with Johnny Hotbody dominating until the final second when Snuka gets a double backbreaker, and a splash for the win. Two very interesting characters in a very interesting matchup, but at this point there just wasn't much Snuka could do. Hotbody was a good heel, but he couldn't really wrestle. Not here anyway.

    Overall:

    4/10

    Some nice surprises, and a cool atmosphere don't make up for the crappy wrestling matches. Only a very small handfull of entertaining moments, and the rest is terrible.
     
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  3. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    After reading this, and thinking about the show. I realized that Guido was with the ECW from day 1, all the way up until the doors closed almost a decade later.

    He should have gotten a decent push in the late days instead of guys like Justin Credible, and Steve Corino. I always thought they could have done more with Guido, and the FBI than what they did. Especially towards the end(2000/2001).

    He looked pretty good in his match on that tape, while it lasted.
     
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  4. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Ok, before we move on to the next show, lets spend a little bit of time talking about the roots of the ECW. Lets talk about the Tri States Wrestling Alliance.

    Joel Goodhart started TSWA in Philadelphia in 1990 in an attempt to take advantage of a group of wrestling fans that the WWF and WCW kind of neglected in the late 80's and early 90's. The type of wrestling fans that were a little more passionate and demanding because they had grown up with the artform, and knew all of the inside information about what really went on behind the scenes. "Smart Marks". Philadelphia was a smart mark town. The fans in Philly would react much differently to wrestling shows than other crowds around the country.

    Pennsylvania, Deleware, and New Jersey were the three states that "Tri States" stood for, and they developed a small, rabbid following because it was nothing at all like what else was going on at the time in pro wrestling. Joel Goodhart was very similar to Paul Heyman. He was a huge wrestling fan that perhaps even to the detriment of his promotion. He would overspend his budget to put together dream cards(for Indy fans) for his fans with big money talent at the time such as Jerry Lawler, Terry Funk, Cactus Jack, Eddie "Hotstuff" Gilbert, Ivan Koloff, The Shiek, Bam Bam Bigelow, Buddy Landel, Abdullah the Butcher, Missy Hyatt, Kevin Sullivan, and Manny Fernandez. Goodhart would spend more than he made to put on shows he knew would make the Philly fans happy. Goodhart was the TSWA's biggest fan, and he let his love of wrestling get in the way of running a profitable promotion. Many wrestlers would inflate their asking prices just because they knew Goodhart would pay whatever it took to put together a certain card.

    The Philly wrestling fans developed a relationship with TSWA very similar to the one they would with the ECW later on. A TSWA show in the fall of 1991 drew almost 3 times more than a WCW house show around that same time in the city. Goodhart's TSWA shows put an emphasis on violence. TSWA shows were bloody, raunchy, and extreme. One perticular show in the fall of 1991 featured a "Last Blood" Battle Royal where the only way to be eliminated from the match was to bleed. Within all of the blood and violence, there was the occasional technical gem. One such gem was a highly technical showcase match between a young Owen Hart vs Takayuki Iizuka from New Japan.

    Hardcore legends like Sabu, and the Sandman made their debut's in TSWA in the fall of 1991, and many of the regulars from the ECW were a part of the shows(Bob Artese, several referees, and even the "Straw Hat Guy" John Bailey could be found in the front row in attendance). Even though the TSWA was drawing decent crowds, the high pricetag of the performers kept the company from making any money from it. Joel Goodhart had apparently been a successful bussinesman in the insurance industry, but had blown through all of his life savings on the TSWA(and a wrestling radio show he paid to have on air). By January of 1992 Goodhart was flat broke, and had burned the fans by selling several tickets to an event that he never put on. A dream match between the "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers vs Buddy Landel. Joel Goodhart folded the TSWA, and dissapeared from the wrestling industry.

    Sadly, Goodhart never taped any of his TSWA shows, and the promotion has been widely forgotten about. I don't believe the promotion was even mentioned in the WWE's Rise and Fall of ECW Documentary.

    Todd Gordon had worked in the TSWA as an assistant ring announcer along with Bob Artese. Gordon baught half of the company sometime in 1991. Days after Joel Goodhart folded the TSWA, Gordon assembled Bob Artese, Larry Winters(as his booker), and TSWA soundman Steve Truitt to form Eastern Championship Wrestling in his Philadelphia office.

    Gordon's ECW started out with a much more humble approach to the bussiness than TSWA. Gordon only ran in small venues(Mike Schmidt's Sports Bar on 8th & Market), and only worked cheap local talent in a much more traditional wrestling setting.

    So where we are now is in this early Tod Gordon era of the Eastern Championship Wrestling promotion. Very humble beginings that were never mentioned by the company later on. The time is 1992, and pro wrestling is going through a transition due to the WWF steriod scandal. Crowds were dwindling down in America, but over in Japan a new craze was taking the industry by storm. Japanese star Atsushi Onita befriended Terry Funk, who got him work in the Memphis region during the 80's. Onita and Masa Fuchi competed in a wild bloody brawl against Ricky Morton and Eddie Gilbert in Tupelo Mississipi that went all around the arena whith both teams using anything they could get their hands on, and destroying the concession stand. Onita noticed the southern crowd's hotter than usual reaction to the violent match, and it sparked a revolution. Onita would go back to Japan and start Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling(FMW) in 1990, and created a style that would draw the same hot reactions that his match in Tupelo recieved. Onita's matches in Japan would feature barbed wire, fire, and explosives to draw crowds of over 30-40,000 people in 1992. One of the FMW's young stars would go on to become an ECW legend, Sabu.

    Larry Winters was the head booker for the ECW through most of 1992 until Tod Gordon started to get caught up in the job of owning a wrestling promotion, and started to take more control over the show. Gordon started involving himself in the show more and more until he eventually took over booking altogether. After he realized he didn't know what he was doing, Gordon brought in Eddie Gilbert in 1993.

    We have one more show to do from the Eastern Championship Wrestling promotion's earliest days(1992) before we move into the Eddie Gilbert era, so lets get on with it.
     
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  5. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Eastern Championship Wrestling
    Sports Channel America pilot episode
    Recorded early 1993 at Kensington Sports Arena, Philadelphia PA

    Alright, change of plans. I found a more interesting show to review than the 1992 Best of Jimmy Snuka episode. This episode is from the days just before "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbiert brought his Memphis Wrestling style of booking(as well as Paul Heyman) into the company. Tod Gordon(the owner) had pretty much taken over the booking at this point with Gilbert coming over in only 2 months from this show because Gordon pretty much realized he didn't know what he was doing(and had limited contacts with performers).

    This is the first episode of the ECW's long running show on the Philly cable channel "Sports Channel America". On the card we have all the belts on the line, some early Sandman, and the legendary Jimmy "Super Fly" Snuka.
    The show opens with the two television announcers. One of the announcers is Stevie Wonderful. he looks like the pirate guy from "Dodgeball". They go on to tell us that we have a spectacular show in store for us tonight

    King Kaluha vs. Tommy Cairo

    Here we go for our first match, and King Kaluha comes out to some cheesy tropical music. He is billed from Hawaii. Pure goofiness. This guy is dressed in a pink robe, and matching bandana. He also has funny teal colored makeup stripes on his cheeks.

    Bob Artese is the ring announcer here. Nice. He was the ring announcer for a long time in the ECW until Paul Heyman just stopped paying the man. He wasn't bad at all. He wasn't a Michael Buffer, but not bad.

    Tommy Cairo comes out to some love from the crowd. He was a regular in the ECW during the Eastern days. He is decked out in leather, with assless chaps and all. Cairo has a bodybuilding background prior to his ECW days. He doesn't look so big here.

    This arena is very dark. The ring apron is black, and the ropes are all black. The turnbuckles are red, white, and blue. Looks like maybe 100 people here, maybe less.
    Kahula has fuscia colored pants on with a pink leopard print stripe down the legs.

    These guys are working at a very slow pace. The crowd is almost silent as the two men trade basic moves and rest holds.

    Kaluha blocks a sunset flip pin attempt by sitting down on Tommy's chest for a pin attempt of his own. Cairo rolls him through for the pin after nearly 7 minutes of boredom.

    Cairo gets on the mic after the match and says:

    The announcer says that the Iron Man is undefeated and due for a title shot.

    3/10

    Really boring match. The promo at the end was kind of funny, but this was a terrible match. No reaction at all from the crowd. King Kaluha was a terrible heel, and Cairo half assed his way through the match as the golden boy face. Quite corny.

    ECW Tag Championship
    Super Destroyers (c) vs. Jimmy Jannetty & Larry Winters


    The Super Destroyers are two massive men with black Executioner style masks on, along with black wrestling gear(and fingerless gloves). Their actual names were Doug Stall, and A. J. Fritzoid.

    They come out here to the theme song from Halloween. They are escorted to the ring by a young black man in a suit & glasses ala Clarence Mason or "Slick". These guys were just downright sloppy, and would be out of wrestling soon after losing the belts.

    Funny thing about one of their opponents is that he was one of the main bookers of Tod Gordon's ECW in it's earliest of days(1992). Larry Winters was one of the guys that first got the company off of the ground in 1992. Gordon got more and more involved in the booking, and eventually took over.

    Winters is teamed up with Jimmy Janety, who actually looks like he may be related to Marty. He has similar gear on.

    Quite a bit of stalling going on with Janety rolling around out of reach of one of the bigger Destroyers. Janety and Winters have some nice chemistry here, and are pulling off some nice tandem moves. Nothing really fast or incredibly athletic, but they are working pretty hard to make it a match.

    The Destroyer in the match does a terrible job of selling, and both of them just move around so slow it is rediculous. The only thing these guys had going for them was their size. Pretty typical old school style tag match here. Destroyers distract the ref, and double team Jannetty. No reaction from the crowd whatsoever. The announcers are calling them "Super D's".

    Spin kick by Jimmy Jannetty misses by a mile, and the "Super D #2" still sells it(poorly). Winters does half decent moves including a simultaneous side headlock/headscissor rolling takedown on both of the "Super D's".

    Larry Winters is actaully not doing a very bad job at all of working this match. He is using some legit wrestling moves, even a figure four at one point. Nothing spectacular, or exciting, but he is making it look like wrestling match at the very least. That is much more than I can say about previous Super Destroyers matches I've seen.

    Winters rolls up one of the Super D's for the win, and the tag belts after about 12 minutes.

    4/10

    Pretty boring, but Winters and Jannetty deserve credit for carrying the incredibly talentless Super Destoyers. The guys couldn't sell, and they were so slow it was rediculous. The two men playing the roles of the Super Destroyers would go on to have a brief fued with each other before realizing that perhaps they were not cut out for the Pro Wrestling bussiness, and dissapearing altogether.

    ECW TV Championship Jimmy Snuka vs. Glen Osbourne (c)

    Next up we have a wrestler who was trained by Larry Winters, Glen Osbourne. Glen was a native of Philly that got his start as one of the more hardcore wrestlers in Joel Hartgood's TSWA in the early 90's. Glen went to college at West Chester University majoring in English while he was paying his dues in Joel's TSWA.

    He looks pretty cool here for the time period. He has all black on with an all black Ultimate Warrior face paint design. He also has metal studded Judas Priest style forearm wraps like the ones Kerry King of Slayer used to wear back in the day.

    Osbourne cuts a promo in his Road Warrior Hawk voice telling everyone that Jimmy Snuka's legend is going to come to an end.

    Snuka cuts a promo next with Stevie Wonderfull, and his manager the "Slick" impersonator that led the Super Destroyers to the ring, so he is apparently a heel here.

    Snuka chows down on an apple while Stevie gives us an introduction. Snuka is eating the apple like a maniac with peices and juice just falling out of his mouth all over the place. Snuka's Clarence Mason lookalike manager does all the talking while Snuka spits chunks of apple at the camera.

    Snuka's manager isn't all that bad actually, he cuts a decent heel manager promo telling Osbourne that Snuka is going to take his manhood, and the TV title.

    Stevie ends both promo's by saying "Isn't that wonderfull", what a goon.

    Snuka comes out to the Halloween theme song from the film. Apparantly he was a part of his managers(Hunter Q. Robinson) heel stable along with the Super Destroyers.

    Both guys work the crowd for a while before the bell rings. Osbourne is the face here, and the crowd is surprisingly behind him against Snuka. Snuka is not in very good shape here. Looking a little flabby. Not nearly as ripped up as he was near the end of his WWF run a year earlier.

    Camera gives us a decent shot of the crowd, and no wonder they are behind Osbourne so much, they are 75% kids! Mostly children in the crowd and that is a stark contrast to the demographic the ECW would attract later on in its life.

    These two guys open up with a solid match in the first 4 minutes. Osbourne hiptosses Snuka around the ring, and cranks on his arm to give him a rest. Osbourne continues to arm drag and hiptoss Snuka around the ring with arm lock restholds in between.

    Snuka's manager trips Osbourne up, and the kids in attendance are pissed. Snuka just doesn't look good here at all. He is moving around pretty slow, and awkwardly, and he seems pretty winded after not much action. Osbourne gets knocked outside where Hunter Q. attacks him.

    Ref gets taken out, and Osbourne gets Snuka with a powerslam, but the ref isn't there to count. Osbourne goes to get the ref, and Snuka rolls him up from behind. The ref jumps in the ring and counts for the pin after about a 5 minute match.

    Snuka wins, and is given the title, and all of the 7 year old boys in attendance are ready to riot!

    Wait a minute! Another ref comes in and reverses the decision. Snuka is disqualified! Pretty goofy booking going on right here. Osbourne retains the title, and Snuka attacks him from behind. Snuka ko's Osbourne, and both referees to end the segment.

    3/10

    Not a real bad, sloppy match, but again, nothing to really write about. Just a bunch of simple basic moves with no real psychology involved whatsoever. Snuka didn't look very good at all, and the ending was just a sign that Gordon didn't have a clue about how to book a wrestling show. Very generic, boring match with absolutely nothing going for it.

    ECW Championship Sandman (w/Peaches) (c) vs. Kodiak Bear


    Oh my god here comes the wrestlecrap parade. The Kodiak Bear is led to the ring by his manager, "The Cosmic Comander". This guy's outfit needs to be seen. First of all he has a sultan hat on like the prince from "Aladdin". He is wearing a pink dress coat lined with shiny sequins, white pants, white shoes, and some Devo sunglasses(with the thin slit for you to see out of)

    Pretty funny sight of some old school wrestlecrap just gets better with Wonderful's goofy commentary. This is just funny.

    The Bear has a sleeveless red flannel and long black tights on, with a grizzly adams beard, and long hair(with a pretty big bald spot). He is a grizzly looking dude that comes out to a Bob Seger song(the one Kid Rock buthered up for "All Summer Long"). He kind of looks like Skinner, but a little bit bigger.

    OH MY GOD! Here comes the ECW World Heavywieght Champion The Sandman! If you want to laugh, you need to look this show up. The Sandman doesn't come out to "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, he comes out to

    "Surfin USA" By the Beach Boys!!!

    He has a surf board with him, and he is wearing a multi-neon colored wet suit. He is accompanied to the ring by his real life wife(Lori Fullington) "Peaches", who is likewise dressed in beach clothes.

    It is becoming quite clear that the Sandman's name once had a more literall meaning to it. Just seeing him like this after all of those years as the drunken bar room brawler is kind of unbelievable.

    Sandman clears the ring with his Surfboard. The TV announcers say that his popularity is on the rise in the ECW.

    Artese announces Peaches as the first lady of ECW. She looks pretty hot here too.

    Oh wow! Sandman is billed from South Beach, California! The crowd gives him the biggest pop of the evening as he is introduced.

    Bear attacks him from behind to start the match. Bear just opens up by hammering on the Sandman who is doing an ok job of selling. Sandman takes the momentum, and seeing him react to the crowd like some kind of golden boy baby face is just funny after all I've seen the man do.

    Sandman's style is much different here than what he was known for later on in his career. I think I've seen him do more actuall wrestling moves here in the first 3 minutes than the entirety of the rest of his career. Sandman does a sunset flip pin attempt, a dropkick, and a few other traditional moves.

    Just when I start to give him some credit he leapfrog's the Kodiak Bear, botches the landing, trips, and stumbles through the ropes out of the ring on accident. Pretty funny botch right there.

    Bear gets him back in the ring and takes over. Reverse Irish Whip, and a back body drop by the Sandman. The Sandman gets distracted when the Cosmic Commander attacks Peaches on the outside. Sandman goes out to her rescue, and then all of a sudden the "Rockin Rebel" comes out of nowhere to attack him from behind without the ref seeing it. Rebel runs off, and the Bear goes outside to work him over some more.

    Bear gets him back in the ring to work him over with power moves, and the Sandman does a solid job of selling, and working this match like the face that he was supposed to portray.

    Sandman hits the Bear with two consecutive drop kicks off of the top rope that looked sloppy as hell. Sandman gets the pin after a 7 minute match.

    5/10

    Defenitely the best match on the tape, but that is not saying much at all. There is some comedic value here, and that is why I'm being so generous with the score. I laughed pretty hard at the Cosmic Commander, and almost pissed my pants when the "Sand" man made his entrance to "Surfin USA".

    The match really wasn't all that bad for the time it took up. Defenitely a bit on the sloppy side, but they worked well together to get the job done. The surprise was that the Sandman actually pulled off a few actual wrestling moves.

    The real comedy comes in whe Stevie Wonderfull interviews the Sandman backstage after the match.

    Sandman says that it was a good match until the Rebel stuck his nose where it didn't belong. All of a sudden out of nowhere without any warning someone smacks the shit out of the Sandman's chest with a knife edge chop(Hilarious!).

    The Rockin Rebel attacks the Sandman to end the show as the wrestlers try to break them up.

    Overall: 4/10

    This was a terrible show, but it did have some very funny moments. Not enough of them to track this thing down though. The thing that stands out here is that Tod Gordon's booking(and even Larry Winters booking before this show) was very old school. Everything had a very 70's/80's Jim Crockett feel to it. This was a time when Pro Wrestling was really stuck in a rut as far as creativity. Everyone in the industry still seemed to be stuck in the 80's(and this was 1993). Wrestling as a whole was behind on what was going on in pop culture at the time. By 1993 grunge, and hip hop culture had really taken over, and the pro wrestling industry was still in the "Rocking Wrestling" days, trying to recreate the next Ultimate Warrior, and Hulk Hogan.

    So even though the ECW was born from the TSWA, Tod Gordon really distanced it from its roots at first. Not only did he cut down on the big money performers in favor for homegrown Philly talent(if you want to call it that), but he tried to put on more of a traditional wrestling show.
     
    #5
  6. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Ok so we are in 1993. Lets take a snap shot of what was going on in the world at this time. In January Over in the WCW, Bill Watts had just fired Paul Heyman, and he himself would be fired not long after. Ric Flair would be on his way out of the WWF around this time as well, eventually making a return to the WCW. Both the WWF, and WCW were in a transitional period that would shape the next 2.5 years for both companies.

    January of 1993 was when the ECW began to make moves that would shape the rest of their existance. One important figure in the rise of the ECW was a man named Dennis Coralluzo. Remember that name.

    Dennis Coralluzo was a man that ran a rival promotion to Joel Goodhart's TSWA in the Tri States region(mostly in Philly) named the World Wrestling Association. Coralluzo and Goodhart were like night and day polar opposites. Coralluzo and Goodhart developed a healthy competitive rivalry that was strictly bussiness. Coralluzo's WWA wasn't as popular as Goodhart's TSWA, but it was much more profitable due to better management. The two promotions co-existed in the area mainly because they maintained seperate crews, with the occasional ship jumper.

    When Tod Gordon took over with the ECW as the successor to TSWA, the rivalry got personal very fast. Gordon's ECW and Coralluzo's WWA battled over dates, and wrestlers. Both men wanted to eliminate each other to take over the Philly area. For the sake of a big pay day, the two men put aside their differences to co promote an ECW vs WWA show titled "Battle of the Belts" in January of 1993. The announcement of the co promotion shocked many who knew Coralluzo and Gordon due to the intensity of their rivalry at the time.

    The Battle of the Belts co promotion show with Coralluzo's WWA in January of 1993 was a historically significant show for the ECW for several reasons, not all of them good. One of the lowlights of the show was the appearance by Kerry Von Eric. Let me stray off topic for just one second to say that Kerry was a true forgotten Texas legend. His popularity in Texas was huge in the pre Hulkamania days. His match against Ric Flair at Texas Stadium in 83 was one of the great sports moments in Texas history in my opinion.

    With that said, Von Eric showed up to the Battle of the Belts show and really put on a terrible match. He messed up his surprise masked run in by wearing a jacket that said "Kerry" on the back of it, and he was only a mere shadow of his former self in the match that followed. Kerry was going through some tough times around this era. He was once a star in his families own successfull wrestling promotion in Texas, but that was all over. He had fallen off of the wrestling mountain due to his drug problems. Kerry was in trouble with the law over his drug habbits, and was on probation. Kerry's match at ECW Battle of the Belts would end up being the last one he ever worked. One month after Battle of the belts, Kerry commited suicide with a pistol just days away from having his probation revoked.

    [youtube]XIBxLq3J70g[/youtube][youtube]Bicj1gRpbLQ&feature=related[/youtube]

    On the other hand, another debut was quite significant. Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert made his ECW debut at Battle of the Belts to battle Terry Funk.

    [​IMG]

    Eddie Gilbert was a key player in Dennis Coralluzo's WWA. After the Battle of the Belts show, Gilbert deflected to the ECW to take the job as head booker. This move fanned the flames of the rivalry between Tod Gordon and Dennis Coralluzo. Eddie Gilbert got the ECW job because of his time as booker for Bill Watts' UWF, and Alabam's Continental Wrestling promotion in the late 80's. Gilbert also had a history with the Joel Goodhart's TSWA(where Tod Gordon worked, and eventually baught half of the company). Gilbert was involved in the TSWA's headline fued. A violent fued with Cactus Jack in 1991 where both men established themselves with the hardcore fanbase of Philly.

    Eddie Gilbert was instrumental in bringing in Paul Heyman, and even helping him get started in the booking side of pro wrestling. Heyman was brought in early in 1993 as a performer(alongside Gilbert in his "Hot Stuff International" heel faction) and eventually Gilbert's assistant booker.

    Eddie Gilbert grew up on Memphis territory style wrestling, and his booking was a reflection of it. Gilbert came into the ECW in early 1993 and cleaned house. He made several changes both in the ring, and behind the scenes. The ECW was pretty much relaunched under Gilbert's leadership. Eddie Gilbert's booking was much tighter than some of the others in the era, and he put much more emphasis on continuity in the storylines.

    To give you an idea of how Gilbert was running the ECW kind of like the "Memphis of the North" Here are some ECW results from the era in time where Gilbert was the booker courtesy of Online World Of Wrestling. I'm going to be skipping through this to get to our next show, but this will give you an idea of how he did things, what kind of fueds were going on, and who the champions were:

    The next show we are going to look at is one of the last ECW shows under Eddie Gilbert's direction. During the time leading up to this show, Gilbert and Heyman(who at one time were very close friends) began to stop getting along so well. Rumors swirl about why. Some say that it was all about power, and that Paul wanted Eddie's job. Paul wanted to go in a much different direction than where Eddie was taking the company, and he was starting to get Tod Gordon to see things his way.

    Next up is an episode of ECW's TV show from the summer of 1993. Like I said, this is our last look at Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert's "Memphis of the North" version of the ECW before he has a falling out with Paul Heyman, and Tod Gordon. The next show after this one will be Paul's first at the helm of the company(Ultraclash).
     
    #6
  7. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Pro Wrestling in June of 1993

    Alright, we are going to take a look at an episode of ECW tv from the summer of 1993. This event took place just about a month after WCW Slamboree(British Bulldog d. Vader by DQ, Barry Whindam d. Arn Anderson, Steve Austin & Brian Pillman d. Steamboat & Zenk). The WCW was in its final days as far as bieng affiliated with the NWA, and several moves were being made that would shape the next 5 years of the company. Ric Flair had made his return in February, but due to a no compete claus, he would not return to in ring competition until the next PPV, Beach Blast(where he would win the NWA title for a 10th time). Eric Bischoff was rising up the ladder at this time as well. Bischoff was a backstage interviewer at Slamboree.

    Slamboree 93 would be the event that saw Ric Flair reunite the Four Horsemen(with Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Paul Roma). Shane Douglas was fired just prior to Slamboree, and replaced with Tom Zenk. Douglas would go on to be an key player in the history of the ECW. Shane had a stint in the WWF in 1990-1991. He had the skills, the physique, and the charisma to be a star on the roster, but the creative team couldn't find an appropriate gimmick for him. Douglas was relegated to house shows until the WWF could find a storyline, and character for him to work on television. The WWF saw the potential in Douglas, and had big plans for him. This could be seen in the 1991 Royal Rumble when Douglas was one of the longest remaining wrestlers in the match in order to help build him up(26:23 the 7th longest run in the match up to that point in history). Shortly after the 1991 Royal Rumble, Shane's father became terminally ill. Douglas was granted as much time off from wrestling as he needed by the WWF in order to take care of his father.

    While away from the WWF in 1991, the creative team had come up with the perfect role for him. The WWF was planning on Shane making a return, and taking over a new heel character that they had crafted up. That character was the "Heartbreak Kid".

    However, Shane had different plans. Without contacting the WWF, Shane signed on to WCW in 1992. Douglas was immediately paired up with Rick Steamboat, and eventually won the Tag Team Championships. The WWF would not find out about Shane going to WCW until they seen him on television in action. Shane's unprofesionalism left a bad taste in WWF's mouth, and Their "Heartbreak Kid" gimmick would eventually be taken on by one half of the Rockers tag team, Shawn Michaels.

    Shane didn't last long after Flair made his return. Douglas would be fired just before Slamboree. Shane planned on walking away from wrestling in order to persue a career in teaching until Eddie Gilbert brought him into the ECW later on in the Summer of 1993.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, over in the WWF in June of 1993, they were desperately trying to find something that would draw fans. Both the WCW, and WWF had been on a steady and sharp decline in PPV buyrates, and live attendance. The King of the Ring on June 13th was a major turning point in the future direction of the company. Bret Hart would win the KOR tournament over Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Bam Bam Bigelow. The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels was on his way. Michaels put on one of the better matches of the evening at King of the Ring 93 when he successfully defended the Intercontenintal Championship against Crush. Alongside Michaels at the King of the Ring was his bodyguard Diesel(Kevin Nash).

    The main event saw the final appearance of Hulk Hogan in the company until 2002. Hogan dropped the WWF Championship to Yokozuna after an exploding camera shot from Harvey Whippleman. The WWF's original plan was to have Hogan build up the next face of the company, Bret Hart, by dropping the title to him at SummerSlam 93. Hogan refused to drop the title to a face, and refused to lose clean in the ring. Hogan insisted on losing the title to a heel(Yokozuna) via some form of cheating. Hogan left the WWF after the match to persue an acting career(Days of Thunder series, where he would be contacted by WCW).

    The rest of the Summer was spent with the WWF trying to build up Lex Luger as the next all american hero face as the one man who could topple the unbeatable "Andre the Giantesque" WWF Champion, Yokozuna.
     
    #7
  8. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    ECW TV
    6-15-1993
    ECW Arena

    This episode of ECW TV was filmed just 2 days after the WWF King of the Ring PPV. I've never seen this perticular episode, so I'm not real sure what/who to expect. I do know there is an appearance by Road Warrior Hawk, so I'm pretty excited to see what kind of show this is.

    Eddie Gilbert was still the booker, but by this time he had brought up Paul Heyman as his assistant booker. Tod Gordon was the owner, and really kind of kept a cap on Gilbert's booking. Most of Gilbert's ideas were being filtered through Gordon, who had Paul Heyman in his ear behind the scenes. All of this was going down as Paul was steadily trying to work his way up to have some creative say in the ECW. Gilbert and Paul Heyman's relationship had fallen apart by this time.

    Something else that was going on behind the scenes at this time was Paul Heyman's relationship with Jim Crocket. Heyman was set to be the booker for Crocket's promotion that never came to be(the reason why he was playing an apprentice role to Gilbert in the ECW's booking). When the two men finally realized that Crocket's promotion would never get up off the ground, Heyman started to make moves behind the scenes in ECW that would secure his future as head booker. Heyman negotiated with Crocket to get the ECW a membership in the NWA. These moves(and the rising tension between Gilbert and Heyman, whom Gordon had begun to side with) would eventually drive Eddie Gilbert out of the ECW.

    So this is the last ECW show with Eddie Gilbert's booking that we are going to look at. Lets see how it compares to what else was going on at this time, and how it compares to the older ECW with Gordon at the helm(someone who didn't know anything about booking Pro Wrestling).


    Here is our opening with the same old announcers from the earlier ECW shows, Jay Sulli, and Stevie Wonderfull(total goon). They give us a rundown of tonights card, and tell us that Hawk gets a tv title shot against Jimmy Snuka.

    Road Warrior Hawk walks into the picture, and all the kids in attendance swarm him. Funny shot as the camera man shoves them out of the shot!

    Hawk cuts a very crappy promo, and he looks like he may be screwed up on drugs here.

    The announcers also announce that Terry Funk is on the card, so this should be pretty good.
    Oh man, here is a pre recorded promo with Jimmy Snuka, and his manager....Paul E. Dangerously(Paul Heyman).

    Paul E. shows them how to cut a promo! Paul cuts a pretty entertaining promo as Snuka's heel manager. Snuka looks to be in very good shape here. Much better than the last show we seen him in. Paul and Snuka make their way to the ring, and Paul has a mullet from HELL!

    Here we go with our opening match

    ECW TV Championship
    Jimmy Snuka(with Paul E. Dangerously) vs Road Warrior Hawk


    Hawk has the standard Road Warriors attire on, shoulder pads and all.

    Snuka is ripped! Hawk is pretty jacked up here as well, both guys are in excellent shape. They tie up in the middle, and Hawk shoves Snuka through the ropes and out of the ring.

    Snuka is just in excellent shape here, even better than his 91/92 WWF run. They tie up again, and Snuka breaks. Headlock by Snuka, Hawk pushes him into the ropes, and they collide in the middle for a brief staredown. Hawk throws Snuka out of the ring over the top rope. Both men stall a bit as Snuka is on the outside talking with Heyman. Snuka gets back in, and Hawk challenges for a test of strengh. They tie up after a delay. Hawk powers Snuka down to his knees, but he starts to rally himself back up to his feet very slowly. Hawk kicks him in the gut to send him back down.

    Heyman stops the ringside photographer from taking pictures while Snuka is down on his knees. Paul was such a great manager back in his "Paul E. Dangerously" heel days.

    Snuka moves out of the way of a shoulder ram from Hawk, and sends him crashing into the post, and to the outside. Heyman distracts the ref, and Snuka gives Hawk a chairshot to his back.

    Heyman guides the photographer over to take a shot of Snuka beating on Hawk, nice.

    Snuka gets Hawk back in the ring, and works him over in the corner. Hawk does a pretty good job of selling me on the fact that Snuka is kicking his ass right now.

    Hawk begins to no sell Snuka's shots. Punches himself in the face a few times, and then blows up on Snuka. Gives Snuka a neckbreaker, and then a flying clothesline off the top. Hawk goes for the pin, and Paul smashes him on the back with his cell phone. Hawk rises to his feet, and picks Heyman up by the throat. All of a sudden the rest of Paul's heel faction comes out(Hot Stuff International). Eddie Gilbert gets taken out by Hawk, then Don Moracco & The Dark Patriot(Eddie's brother Doug Gilbert) come out, and get double clotheslined by Hawk. Moracco attacks Hawk from behind, and gives him a piledriver. Hawk no sells, but Gilbert runs in with a chair and cracks him on the back. Hawk finally begins to act hurt. Morocco and Snuka hold Hawk up by the arms, and Eddie Gilbert throws a fireball into his face!!!

    Wow, I wasn't expecting that. Hawk rolls around in agony as the face wrestlers come out to give him some help to end the segment after nearly 10:00.

    6/10

    Short segment that wasn't that great of a match, but seeing these two in the ring together was pretty cool. Both men looked to be in great shape. Nothing notable about the match itself, but the ending segment was pretty good. Hawk was clearly the most popular wrestler in the building, and they used him to make the top heel faction in the ECW look good. The fireball was a nice surprise too. The segment did what it was supposed to do, and that was to build up Hot Stuff International as the top, sinister heel's in the ECW.

    Suicide Blondes(Chris Candido & Johnny Hotbody) vs Super Destroyers

    We join our next match already in progress. First shot of the match is a shot of a man that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Chris Candido was highly underrated. He passed away due to complications from injuries suffered in a match in TNA in 2005. I almost cried when the crowd started chanting his name at ECW One Night Stand 2005 in the match between Lance Storm vs Chris Jericho. I thought that was pretty awesome.

    Candido is parnered up with Johnny Hotbody. They are taking on the Super Destroyers. The Super Destroyers had zero talent, and were just two really big guys. Hotbody & Candido have the tag belts here, and made a nice heel tag team.

    Candido steals the show with a nice cross body press dive off of the top turnbuckle down onto the "Super D's" on the outside. The Destroyers chase them back in the ring with a chair. Candido does another impressive slingshot dive over the top rope down onto the Destroyers.

    Hotbody takes out the ref.

    Sal Bellomo walks out with a plate of cake. Chris Michaels(the third member of the Suicide Blondes, a team that worked similarly to the Freebirds) comes out as well, and this turns into a confusing brawl. Ref rings the bell for a DQ. Michaels, Candido, and Hotbody come in to attack the Super Destroyers, and Sal Bellomo. The D's, and Bellomo give the Suicide Blondes simultaneous atomic drops in the ring to clear them out.

    Sal calls out Tod Gordon. Sal asks to be partnered up with the Super D's in a 6 man tag match against the Suicide Blondes at the next ECW event. Tod plugs the next show, and asks the crowd if they want to see the match. Tod sets the match.

    4/10

    Chris Candido was the highlight of this segment. He was clearly the most talented person in the ring, and he did a couple of pretty nice aerial dives in the match. The ending was really goofy, and was all put together to set up the next match in the fued. Couldn't really give this much of a rating because it wasn't shown in it's entirety, but you could tell there was something special about the young Candido here.

    Eddie Gilbert cuts a heel promo talking trash about Terry Funk. Gilbert defenitely had some great mic skills, and cuts a great promo here telling everyone that after he defeats Funk, everyone is going to have to bow down to the real king of Philadelphia.

    Texas Chain Match
    Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert vs Herve' Renesto


    Gilbert comes out with Paul Heyman wearing a big king's crown. It was obvious that Gilbert was trying build up the ECW as the "Memphis of the North" with himself as the "King of Philadelphia", similar to Jerry Lawler's epic heel days in the southern territory.

    Heyman takes the microphone from Bob Artese, and announces Gilbert as "The King of Philadelphia". Gilbert takes a bow.

    Renesto is the typical jobber here. Really frail, skinny guy. Both men are tied together at the wrist with a chain. The announcer says that the the rules are very similar to a leather strap match.

    Gilbert just works this guy over with the chain around his neck, and repeated clotheslines and kicks while he is down. Gilbert touches all 4 corners for the win after about 3 minutes.

    After the match Gilbert screams for Terry Funk. Gilbert then grabs the jobber by the face, and forces him to tell everyone who the "King of Philadelphia" is.

    2/10

    Nothing but a squash match here. Not a very good one either. It did what it was supposed to do, which was build up the chain match between Gilbert vs Funk, and that was about it. Gilbert had skills on the mic, and came off as a great heel, so I gave it a 2.

    Terry Funk cuts a promo after the match, and he looks surprisingly young. Full head of hair, and no grey to be found yet. He cuts the promo without a shirt on, and a chain draped over his shoulders.

    Funk just looks like a tough as nails ole Texas dude that you serously would not want to get into a real fight with.

    Funk cuts a down to earth promo about his Texas Chain Match Massacre vs Eddie Gilbert at the next show. Funk says that he plans on being on top of Philly for a long time because they are different than other wrestling fans around the country.

    The show then cuts to a video package highlighting the fued between the Sandman vs The Rockin Rebel. The announcer says that unless you have been watching reruns of "Who's The Boss" instead of ECW on Sports Channel Philadelphia, than you already know about these two mens history. The clip takes us through their long running fued with clips of the Rebel breaking the Sandman's surfboard over his head.

    Rockin Rebel cuts a promo building up his match against the Sandman. Rebel's valet Tigra is also set to take on the Sandman's valet Peaches in a catfight(only way to win is to strip your opponent naked). Sandman and Peaches answer with a promo of their own. Sandman is dressed in his surfing wetsuit.

    Paul Heyman cuts a promo with the Dark Patriot(Doug Gilbert). Heyman gets pretty juicy telling Funk what the Patriot is going to do to him.

    The Dark Patriot(with Paul E. Dangerously) vs Terry Funk

    Funk comes out, and the crowd loves him. He is dressed in his old school cowboy gear on his way to the ring.

    Funk lights up the Patriot's chest with a vicious chop to the chest. Funk goes after Paul, and the crowd goes wild. Patriot attacks Funk from behind, and rams him into the ringside timekeepers table. Patriot pulls out a wire clotheshanger out of the back of Paul's pants. Paul distracts the ref as the Patriot strangles Funk with the clothesline. Patriot knocks Funk out of the ring, and he bumps the concrete head first. Paul chokes at Funk as the Patriot distracts the ref in the ring.

    Patriot slams Funk into the guardrail, and gives him some nasty chops on the chest. Patriot rolls Funk in the ring for a piledriver. Patriot throws Funk back outside, and Paul attacks Funk with his cell phone. Funk gets back in the ring, and nails the Patriot with a series of headbutts. The Patriot goes down, and Funk acts like he is out on his feet right now with double vision. I've always loved the way he would stumble around the ring like this.

    Funk stumbles over to the ref, and takes a wild swing at him like he can't see what is going on. Pretty funny stuff.

    Funk gives Patriot his trademark punching combo, and then throws him to the outside. The Patriot goes over the guardrail. The action goes back into the ring. Funk gives the Patriot 2 DDT's, and then Paul jumps into the ring. Funk stands up, and Paul stops dead in his tracks. Funk backs him into a corner, and follows him to the outside.

    Funk gets back in the ring, and gives the Patriot another DDT. Funk starts to tear away at the Patriot's mask, and then Eddie Gilbert runs in with a chair shot to Funk. Funk and Gilbert brawl away at each other as we run out of time.

    5/10

    Funk did some decent work here that made it at least fairly entertaining. The Patriot wasn't very good at all. Not much to write about, but it wasn't really bad at all. Heyman was excellent as a heel manager, and his involvement in this match helped it out a bit. Much like the rest of the show, it was just helping build up the next show where Funk would meet Gilbert in a Texas Chain Massacre Match.

    Overall: 4/10

    Not a bad show at all compared to the previous Eastern Championship Wrestling shows I've reviewed. You can see the improvement with Gilbert in charge of booking, and in this show you can start to see some of Heyman's influence just starting to shine through. Overall there were a small handfull of cool moments(Snuka vs Hawk, Chris Candido, Funk's promo), but I would recomend passing on this show.

    The whole thing was pretty much a commercial for their "Super Summer Sizzler" supercard show that was to take place within days of the airing of this episode.



    We move on to the end of the Eddie Gilbert era of the ECW, and the beginning of the Paul Heyman era. With the next post I'll examine Gilbert's exit before we move on the Paul's first show as the Booker: Ultraclash 93.
     
    #8
  9. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    The End of the Eddie Gilbert Era

    The interesting thing about Paul Heyman was that he was finished with Pro Wrestling before he came to ECW. After he was fired by the WCW, he landed a radio job, and considered himself done with the business. Rumor has it that Paul even turned down an offer from the WWF in early 1993 to come in as a performer. The one thing that lured him back was the oppurtunity to do something that he had always dreamed about, book the shows. Jim Crockett was on the verge of getting his own wrestling promotion off the ground(The WWN), and he contacted Paul Heyman to come in and book his shows. Heyman agreed, and decided to cut his teeth in booking alongside his good friend in the ECW, Eddie Gilbert, until the WWN was ready to launch later that year.

    Eddie Gilbert brought in Heyman in early 1993 to be an on screen performer in return to show him the ropes of booking wrestling shows. Heyman worked alongside Gilbert in the ECW in 1993 as his assistant booker off screen, and as his manager in the "Hot Stuff International" heel faction on screen while awaiting the launch of Jim Crockett's WWN promotion. As the year progressed, it became apparant that the WWN was a pipe dream. As Heyman began to realize that the WWN job wasn't going to happen, he started making moves in the ECW to secure his future.

    Through 1993 Paul Heyman and Eddie Gilbert began to have major disagreements about the direction of the ECW, and eventually their friendship dissolved. Paul had developed a relationship with Tod Gordon, and convinced him that he had the ideas to take ECW to the next level. Around this time Eddie Gilbert's relationship with Tod Gordon began to fall apart as well. Rumors are that Gilbert began making bold passes at Gordon's wife, and began to milk him for as much money as he could get from him.

    [​IMG]

    Things got heated, and tense when Gilbert told Gordon that he was offered more money to book shows for Jim Crockett's upcoming WWN promotion. Tod Gordon gave Gilbert a raise in order to keep him from jumping, only to find out from Paul Heyman that it was all a lie, and that the WWN job was supposed to be his. This was the event that seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back. It was also around this time that Eddie Gilbert allegedly began taking credit for a lot of Paul Heyman's ideas. Upon talking with his performers, Tod Gordon would eventually find out that most of the good ideas that he was liking were coming from Heyman.

    It all came to an end when Tod Gordon sent Paul Heyman to represent the ECW in a meeting with the NWA. Heyman had a good relationship with Jim Crockett, and worked a deal for the ECW to be the NWA's premier northeastern promotion. This was a decision that drove Eddie Gilbert out of the company. Gilbert had beef with Jim Crocket due to the way Jim Crocket treated him in the UWF when he purchased the promotion in 1987(when Gilbert was the head booker there). Eddie Gilbert wanted nothing to do with Crocket, or the NWA. The last time Gordon and Gilbert spoke to each other was a backstage shouting match over the issue in front of all the performers.

    Eddie Gilbert would step down from his position in the ECW, and one week later he would make his final appearance at Ultraclash where he would give a farewell speach to the fans. After his speach, Gilbert made his rounds backstage shaking hands, and thanking the performers for their work. Gilbert never had any negative words to say about Paul Heyman, or Tod Gordon, even though they pretty much squeezed him out of the ECW.

    So you may be asking why I spent so much time on a man that was only in the picture for six months? It's simple. People like to believe that the ECW invented hardcore, extreme wrestling, but they really didn't. The style of wrestling that the ECW gets so much credit for was born in the southern territories that Eddie Gilbert was raised on. The same Memphis promotions that Paul Heyman worked his way up through in 1987. Paul also got a taste of the wild style in his days prior in the Florida wrestling scene where the blood poured on a nightly basis. ECW was really the spiritual successor to the old southern territory days of pro wrestling. The same hardcore style that was handed down from Dory Funk Jr to Eddie Graham's Florida promotion was where it all really came from. Paul Heyman just repackaged it, and put his own touches to it.

    Anyone who knows anything about old school Memphis and Florida wrestling can see the influences are obvious. Eddie Gilbert doesn't get nearly enough credit for what he did for the ECW, and it goes beyond his six months that he spent as head booker. He competed first hand in the single match(the Tupelo Concession Stand Brawl) in the Memphis territories that inspired the Japanese FMW(the place where Sabu got all of his scars). Gilbert played a major role in the way ECW grew up into the Extreme Championship Wrestling that it became, and he also played a major role in the evolution of the "Hardcore" style of wrestling.

    Eddie Gilbert passed away on February 18th, 1995. He was 33 years old.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the ECW results for the rest of Gilbert's tenure as booker of the ECW courtesy of Obsessed With Wrestling.com:

    Keep in mind when you are reading these results that Tod Gordon filtered many of his booking decisions, and limited his roster to mostly cheap locals. After Gilbert's resignation, Paul Heyman was given total, and complete control almost immediately. Tod Gordon gave Heyman the keys, and stepped back out of his way.

    Our next show is the first show under Heyman's helm, and the first under the affiliation of Jim Crockett's NWA. It was also the last show that Eddie Gilbert appeared in for the ECW. Gilbert sat at a merchandise booth signing autographs for the fans as this show was going on.
     
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  10. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Eastern Championship Wrestling
    Ultraclash

    September 18th 1993
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA
    Attendance: 1,131
    Gate: $16,147​

    Alright, so this show is a historical one for ECW because it was a transition from Eddie Gilbert to Paul Heyman as the head booker. Paul Heyman was supposed to be the head booker for Jim Crockett's promotion, but was brought into the ECW by Eddie Gilbert until Crockett could get his fed off the ground. Heyman was Gilbert's assistant booker, and a performer in Gilbert's Hot Stuff International heel faction. Through the year in 1993 it was becoming apparent that Crockett's promotion wasn't going to happen, and as it did, Heyman started making moves in the ECW to secure his future. Eddie Gilbert's relationship with Heyman, and ECW owner Todd Gordon soured by the fall of 1993 due to various reasons. The end came when Jim Crockett made a deal with Todd Gordon to make the ECW the NWA's premier northeastern territory. Paul Heyman was the middle man in the deal, and this deal ultimately ended up running Eddie Gilbert out of the ECW. Gilbert had heat with Jim Crockett for the way Crockett handled the UWF, which was being booked by Gilbert at the time of the purchase by Crockett.

    Eddie Gilbert refused to be a part of the NWA with the ECW, and resigned as the head booker for Gordon's Eastern Championship Wrestling. Gordon handed to keys over to Paul Heyman who came up alongside Gilbert in the memphis, and florida promotions of the late 80's. The very promotions that the Eastern Championship Wrestling shows were heavily influenced by, and would continue to resemble under Heyman's booking at first. Eddie Gilbert did make one final appearance at this show, and sat at a merchandise booth signing autographs during the event.

    So lets get down to Ultraclash. Lets take a look at Heyman's first show as the ringmaster of the circus that was the ECW. It should also be noted that this was the very first show with the ECW being affiliated with the NWA contrary to popular belief.

    We start off with a different intro than the one from the older shows. Still the old school blue Eastern Championship Wrestling graphic, but this intro shows some pretty ruanchy stuff that would be more expected of the Extreme than the Eastern. A clip of someone being knocked off of the 20' balcony area of an arena, followed by a woman being restrained with her hands behind her back while someone violently rips her shirt off, exposing her bra. Then it cuts to clips of a young Shane Douglas, and some vintage Paul E. Dangerously, and Terry Funk footage that is just too classic. Great stuff.

     
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  11. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Paul Heyman's Eastern Championship Wrestling, and the state of Pro Wrestling in 1993

    So in September after the Ultraclash show, ECW was on their way up. Paul Heyman took over the booking, and it was a seamless transition due to Heyman's role as Eddie Gilbert's assistant booker throughout his tenure at the helm. With the exception of the debut of a few new characters that were more in tune with what was going on in pop culture at the time(Public Enemy, Ian Rotten), The Ultraclash show looked a lot like an Eddie Gilbert show. The ECW would continue to resemble Gilbert's Memphis style of booking under Heyman for the rest of 1993, but with a darker, more up to date spin on the tried and true raunchy, bloody, violent style of wrestling shows handed down from the Memphis/Florida territories that Gilbert(and Heyman) were raised on.

    Ultraclash was a finacial success for Tod Gordon's ECW, and things looked to be heading in the right direction with his new booker(Heyman), and their new affiliation with the NWA. Eastern Championship Wrestling was being pushed by the NWA as their premier northeast promotion, and their next big show would be the 2 day "Bloodfest" show at the ECW Arena on October 1st & 2nd of 1993.

    ECW's two part NWA Bloodfest show was another step in the right direction for the company. The show was marked by the debut's of two wrestlers that would go on to define the ECW in later years.

    Sabu made his Eastern Championship Wrestling debut at Bloodfest part 1. Sabu was trained by The Original Shiek(his uncle). The Shiek, and Sabu both competed in the successor to the ECW in Philadelphia, the TSWA years before. Sabu was a veteran of the Japanese FMW promotion in Japan in the early 90's. The FMW took the violence of the Memphis/Florida territories of the southern US to a whole other level. By The NWA Bloodfest show, Sabu had already accumalated many of his trademark scars due to the incredibly violent barbed wire matches he competed in over in FMW.

    [​IMG]

    For his ECW debut at NWA Bloodfest, Sabu was rolled to the ring strapped to a dolly with a mask, and a bunch of chains tieing him up ala Hannibal Lecter. The man he would be wrestling that evening was none other than Taz, also making his ECW Debut. This was way before the bad ass MMA Taz of later years, this was "The Tasmaniac". The Tasmaniac was a similar gimmick to Sabu's. They were both uncontrollable forces of choas. Even though their gimmicks were still quite cartoonish, Sabu and The Tasmaniac were glimpses into the darker, grittier direction that the ECW was headed under Heyman's booking. Gone were the goofy characters, and comedy heavy storylines of Gilbert's booking. Another aspect of Gilbert's booking that was on it's way out was the traditional definition of heels and faces in pro wrestling. The Public Enemy continued their rise up the ranks, and kicked off their first ECW rivalry with two more new characters that were Paul Heyman originals. Ian and Axle Rotten may not look like anything impressive these days watching the old tapes, but they really were quite a bit ahead of what other tag teams were doing for gimmicks. Grunge had swept the nation by 1992, and in 1993 it was everywhere. Ian and Axle Rotten formed the newest tag team in the ECW at Bloodfest, The Bad Breed, and they embodied the grunge look and attitude like nobody else in wrestling at the time.

    Here are the results for ECW's NWA Bloodfest shows, and the preceeding episodes of ECW TV:

    Through the end of 1993 Paul not only kept working to establish his new characters, but he kept working to establish a trademark Attitude for the ECW. Heyman gave the violent old Memphis style he inherited from Eddie Gilbert a fresh 90's twist. It was also during this time that Paul established the ECW's Attitude as the scrappy underdogs that were going to stand up to "The Big 2", which would eventually lead to the ECW becoming the #3 promotion in the states by a wide margin. At the 1993 November To Remember event, Paul turned the WWF into an enemy of the ECW in the storylines by telling the fans that Medusa(Alundra Blayze) would not be making her scheduled appearance at the show because she was told not to by the WWF after being signed by the company. Joey Styles would even take shots at the WWF's steriod scandal at the beginning of ECW tv episodes.

    By the end of 1993 Paul Heyman's ECW was well on it's way to being the top independant promotion in America. The trademark Attitude was there, the talent was there, and it wouldn't be long before the little hole in the wall Philly promotion would rise to be the #3 fed in states.

    Here are the results for the rest of ECW's 1993 year under Paul Heyman's booking:

    You will notice that Paul continued to operate the ECW under traditional wrestling rules at this time. Even though the shows were wildly violent for the time, there was still that structure of DQ's, Coutouts, and traditional rules. To give an idea of what else was going on in Pro Wrestling at the time here are the WWF results for the same time period:


    ..And, WCW:

     
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  12. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    1994: The Rise Of Eastern Championship Wrestling

    The ECW took off under the NWA banner with Paul Heyman booking shows. 1994 would be a huge year for the company. All of the shows in the promotions history up to this point have been really terrible, but starting in 1994 the ECW would begin a steady rise in quality from show to show. It all started in February's "The Night The Line Was Crossed". The Night The Line Was Crossed was really the night that it all started for Paul Heyman's ECW. The show was an instant success, and would generate a tremendous amount of buzz in the pro wrestling industry for the ECW. All of the newsletter reading smarks of the time had to get their hands on The Night The Line Was Crossed tape. One of the standout matches of the show was a No Rules match between The Public Enemy and the Bruise Brothers. The Public Enemy burst on the scene in the ECW on Paul's first show(Ultraclash) as the booker for the promotion, and he pushed them as the dangerous, violent, thugish east coast hood rats throughout the fall of 1993.

    Heyman booked the Public Enemy to be nearly unstoppable. At The Night The Line Was Crossed, The Public Enemy gave a glimpse of things to come for the ECW when they battled the Bruise Brothers in an incredibly stiff, violent "No Rules" match(recieved 4 stars from Wrestling Observer Newsletter). Another future mainstay that took a big step up at The Night The Line Was Crossed was Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer was being pushed down the throats of the fans as the clean babyface. The problem was that nobody liked him the way Paul envisioned. Tommy had a match against Jimmy Snuka at The Night The Line Was Crossed. Snuka played a snarling, villanous heel in an attempt to get Tommy over as "THE" face of the ECW, but it just didn't work. Something about Tommy was just not jiving with the Philly ECW crowd. Future World Champion Mike Awesome would also compete at The Night The Line Was Crossed. Awesome always was a very quick, strong, agile heavywieght that could fly through the air like a cruiserweight. Awesome did what he did best at The Night The Line Was Crossed, and nearly decapitated JT Smith with a dive over the top rope down to Smith on the outside of the ring.

    In the main event of The Night The Line Was Crossed, Terry Funk helped out the ECW again by putting over their best two wrestlers in the very first ever 3 Way Dance match(or Triple Threat as it would come to be known in the WWE later). Terry Funk battled the most popular wrestler on the independant scene at the time, Sabu, as well as Shane Douglas. The three men battled to a 60 minute time limit draw that drew a standing ovation from the fans in the ECW Arena. After the match Terry Funk helped establish Shane Douglas as "The Franchise" in one of the all time classic pro wrestling promos. The match would go on to inspire hundreds of three and four way matches throughout the rest of the 90's, and generated the buzz among the Smarks of the "Pre Internet" era that the ECW needed to become #3 in North America.

    [​IMG]

    After the match, the hype around Sabu and Shane Douglas grew to phenomenal proportions amongst the indy wrestling fans of the mid 90's. Sabu's aerial style of suicidal spot wrestling had never been seen before. Shane Douglas looked like "The Next Big Thing", and it was all really thanks to Terry Funk, and the original 3 way dance at The Night The Line Was Crossed. Looking back at the match now, it isn't really anything to get riled up about, but back in 1994, this was the match that put Eastern Championship Wrestling on the radar of the smart indy wrestling fans.

    The very next month ECW would continue to push Shane Douglas. Douglas would win the ECW World title from Terry Funk in a War Games match by smothering him with a plastic bag. In April of 94, ECW would take another step up. When WCW used "When Worlds Collide" pay per view name for their AAA show in 1994, the title was already trademarked by ECW. ECW threatened to sue, but were able to reach a settlement out of court. As part of the settlement, WCW agreed to send two wrestlers to compete at the ECW's When Worlds Collide show in April. Paul Heyman originally requested Steve Austin and Bobby Eaton, but Austin was unable to make the show for some reason. Arn Anderson would take his place. Bobby Eaton would partner with Sabu to defeat Terry Funk and Arn Anderson in a tag match for the main event of When Worlds Collide. Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton's presense in the ECW at When Worlds Collide only helped to propel the promotion into the #3 behind WCW, and WWF(multi million dollar companies). The very next show at the ECW Arena in June of 1994, an old Philadelphia favorite would be making his debut in the ECW while still under contract with the WCW.

    Cactus Jack became an immediate favorite of the city of Philadelphia when he was a regular in the Tri States Wrestling Alliance(the precursor to the ECW). In TSWA in 1991, Cactus fueded with Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert in one of the most memorable, violent fueds in indy wrestling in the 90's. Cactus would go on to have a successful career in WCW, and would eventually win the Tag Team Titles. While a tag champion in WCW, Cactus was allowed to wrestle in the ECW Hostile City Showdown card in the ECW Arena in June. Cactus Jack was defeated in his ECW debut by Sabu. After the match Cactus cut one of his classic promos by spitting on the WCW tag belt before throwing it to the ground. This would be a move that got Cactus in a lot of hot water with his regular gig in the WCW, but it was a pivitol angle for the ECW. An angle they used to help establish themselves as the top indy promotion in North America.

    Also at Hostile City Showdown in June of 1994, Paul Heyman pushed the Public Enemy into their first major headline fued. A fued that would establish them as a serious threat in the ECW. A fued that would put them over as one of the ECW's biggest draws for the next couple of years. The Public Enemy were defeated at Hostile City Showdown by Terry Funk, and his legendary brother Dory Funk Jr.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the results for the ECW from January of 94 to Hostile City Showdown in June:

    It just kept getting better for the ECW through 1994, from show to show, it was a constant improvement. By the summer, ECW Hardcore TV was hot(Best weekly show for 1994 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter), and the buzz for the company was there. The ECW continued to get more and more violent through the year, and by the summer the Eastern Championship Wrestling was already looking like the Extreme Championship Wrestling that it would later become.

    Another important note about this time period was the relationship with Paul Heyman and the NWA's Jim Crockett. Crockett had originally planned for Heyman to book his WWN promotion once it got launched. As the ECW grew through 1994, Heyman's desire to run Crockett's promotion started to fade. Crockett was old school, and wasn't going to fly for the types of ideas Heyman was pushing in the ECW. Paul Heyman declined to take the job, and remained in the ECW. Soon after, ECW owner Todd Gordon declined an offer from Crockett for ECW to even further entrench themselves into the NWA by becoming an affliate of his WWN(World Wrestling Network).

    The next show we are going to take a look at is another pivitol show, and another where the promotion just seemed to keep improving. Our next review will be Heatwave, from July of 1994. The promotion is still affiliated with the NWA, and they are still Eastern Championship Wrestling, but things are changing big time by now. ECW is starting to outgrow the NWA, and things are starting to get really Extreme.
     
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  13. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Eastern Championship Wrestling(NWA)
    Heatwave

    July 16th 1994
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    So Eastern Championship Wrestling was blowing up in the pro wrestling world back in 1994. After a critically acclaimed show in February(The Night The Line Was Crossed) The ECW just continued to improve from show to show. ECW grew from their humble indy roots up into a cult underground wrestling promotion that all of the "Smarks" were raving about by the end of 1994(best weekly wrestling show for 1994 from Wrestling Observer Newsletter).

    After The Night The Line Was Crossed it was a steady improvement over the course of 3 more shows(Ultimate Jeopardy, When Worlds Collide, and Hostile City Showdown) leading up to this show. This show(and the 3 previously mentioned) were glorified "Supercard" tv tapings. They would usually cut a show like this up for 2-3 weeks worth of weekly "Hardcore TV" episodes with additional promos and ads edited in.

    The main thing going on in ECW at this point was the push of Shane Douglas and The Public Enemy. Sabu was the CM Punk of this era, and easily the most popular indy wrestler in the game, which was quite an accomplishment for someone at this time that had not been in either WWF or WCW.

    ECW was still under the NWA umbrella here, but not for much longer. You'll notice more with this show than any of the previous ones that even though they were still Eastern, the seeds of Extreme had already been planted.

    Axle & Ian Rotten vs Rockin' Rebel & Hack Myers

    Hack Myers and Rockin Rebel come out to "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Peppa, lol.

    Hack Myers would go on to be like the Hacksaw Jim Duggan of ECw. Everytime he would throw a punch he would yell out "Shah!", and eventually the fans caught on and started yelling it along with him. Then it got to the point where the fans would yell "Shit!" whenever one of his opponents would throw a punch back. He was called "The Shah! of ECW" for a while, and the fans would go back and forth yelling "SHAH!" and "SHIT!" during his matches when he would exchange punches with his opponent. He wasn't quite that over yet in this video, and was pretty much just a jobber.

    Yep, This is just bad. The wrestling is almost as bad as the haircuts on these guys. Ian and Axle Rotten(The Bad Breed) had an interesting look for this era. They were two really tough guys that should have stuck together as a tag team in my opinion. Neither of these guys should have ever tried to be much of a singles wrestler.

    This is just a traditionally worked tag match here, no blood, no violence, and no brawling, and it's just strait up boring.

    Ian Rotten gets a Bulldog off of the top on Hack Myers for the win after about 12 minutes.

    The Rebel turns on Hack Myers after the match, and they have a little scuffle.

    1/10

    God awful match here. They get a 1 for effort to at least put on a clean worked tag match, but damn.

    ECW Television Championship Match
    Mikey Whipreck vs Chad Austin


    Mikey comes out to "Loser" by Beck, and that just fits his character perfectly for this time.

    Mikey was loved by the ECW fans in 94. Something about an underdog that the Philly fans can really get behind for some reason(Rocky, Vince Papalli). He was a crashtest dummy jobber that would set the crowd off whenever he would finally win. He would get a pretty good push due to how over he was, eventually even defeating Steve Austin for the World Title.

    Austin comes out to "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Peppa! I guess this was the designated song for all of the jobbers.

    Austin is just a worthless jobber. Totally out of shape, with zero skills. He comes out with Jason Night(The self proclaimed Sexiest Man On Earth), the longtime manager that would stay with ECW up until the end in 2001.

    Just a typical Heel/Face match here with Austin & Jason cheating Mikey.

    Austin pins Whipreck for the title after a legdrop off of the top rope. Austin wins clean.

    Now here is the screwy part.

    Austin gets the microphone, and tells the referee that he used Brass Knuckles on Mikey to win the match.

    The referee reverses the decision, and gives Mikey the win. Austin and Jason attack Mikey after the match. Austin cuts a terrible promo to make matter worse telling the crowd how much he hates them.

    2/10

    I just don't get this. Some really screwy booking going on here that I don't get at all. It was like Austin wanted to deny the fans of seeing a title change or something, but why would he screw himself out of a title?

    Doesnt' make sense. Pretty crappy match too.

    Tommy Dreamer vs Stevie Richards

    Stevie Richards looks so weird here. This is before he was a Raven Lackey. He has a rocking Shawn Michaels '94 mullet, and looks like he was about 22 or 23 years old. Stevie actually lived like 2 blocks from the ECW Arena in South Philly.

    Tommy Dreamer comes out to Pearl Jam's "Evenflow", and is wearing black pants with suspenders.

    Heyman was shoving Dreamer down everyone's throats as The Face of ECW, but people were just not buying into him.

    Richards is such a green rookie here, and you can see it in his performance. He's just having a hard time finding any chemistry in this match, and botches several spots.

    They take it to the outside for a little bit, and Richards gets slammed into the guardrail.

    Tommy Dreamer has to be in the best shape of his career here. Looks like about 230 pounds, and pretty ripped too.

    Stevie takes the upper hand in the match with some decent Heel work.

    Dreamer's set of moves is so different from what I'm used to seeing in his later days. He's using a lot of traditional moves.

    Stevie jumps off of the top rope down towards Tommy, and Tommy catches him in a sleeper hold. Joey calls it "The Dream Weaver".

    Stevie goes limp, and the referee drops his arm three times. Tommy picks up the W.

    Tommy cuts a promo telling Shane Douglas that he wants a shot at his title, and calls him "A No Good Pittsburgh piece of shit!".

    This brings out his next opponent, Shane Douglas' bodygaurd at the time.

    4/10

    Not bad, but not good. Best match on the tape so far.

    Tommy Dreamer vs Mr. Hughes

    Mr. Hughes comes out, and the match is on.

    Shane comes out to watch Hughes beat the crap out of Dreamer. Dreamer takes the momentum with a low blow.

    Hughes overpowers Dreamer to get an easy win after about 5 minutes. Shane Douglas comes out, and cuts a promo.

    He calls Hughes his "Offensive Line", and shows off his new "Head Cheerleader", a woman named Angel. Heyman was building Douglas' character up to be this cocky quarterback type of character, or "The Franchise". His promo is pretty damn good. He had some mic skills here, especially for this era.

    Douglas finishes by saying that Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Bret Hart are not the future of Pro Wrestling, but The Franchise is.

    4/10

    Not a real good match, but a nice promo from Douglas kind of makes up for it.

    Sabu & The Tazmaniac vs The Pit Bulls

    The Pit Bulls are an underrated tag team from this era in my opinion. They come out to White Zombie's "Thunderkiss 65".

    The Tazmaniac comes out alone to one of Offspring's songs off of "Smash"(that CD was HUGE about this time).

    Taz in the Tazmaniac gimmick was just another thing that wasn't working for Paul Heyman. Just a bit too cartoony.

    The Pit Bulls beat on Taz with chains for a while. Taz is just getting destroyed here until 911 comes out. 911 was a huge guy that was incredibly over with the fans at this time. 911 was like the "Enforcer" of extreme. Any time someone did something that the fans disapproved, 911 would come out, and choke slam them into oblivion for some of the biggest pops in ECW for the era.

    Mr. Hughes gets involved for some reason, and keeps 911 out of the ring.

    5 minutes in and it's still 2 on 1 with Taz getting killed. The fans explode when Sabu finally comes out.

    Sabu throws a chair into the face of one of the Pit Bulls, and the bell finally rings.

    Taz tosses one of the Pit Bulls out of the ring with an overhead belly to belly suplex, and Sabu slingshots himself outside the ring for a hurricanrana. The fans pop huge for Sabu's move.

    Taz gets a suplex on the other Pit Bull for the win in under 10 minutes.

    4/10

    Another really weird segment with the booking. Not much of a match either.

    Dueling Canes Match
    The Sandman vs Tommy Cairo


    This is the early days of the Sandman's drunken barroom brawling character. Prior to this he was the literal "Sand" man, complete with surfboard, and wetsuit.

    He comes out with his singapore cane puffing on cigarettes, and accompanied by the late Nancy Sullivan.

    Interesting note, no beers yet, just smokes.

    He has one hell of a gut on him, and he looks trashed drunk.

    Both guys chase each other around the ring with these canes for quite a while to start things off, neither man really lands anything.

    Cairo takes a few shots to the face, and blades himself. He doesn't even try to hide it, just right out in the open slices his forehead open with two slices.

    Sandman cracks him a few more times, and gets the pin.

    0/10

    Total waste of time. These guys were barely hitting each other through most of this. All they did was chase each other around, and trade light shots.

    As shitty of a segment as this was, the crowd was really behind The Sandman here. Something about the guy that appealed to these wrestling fans.

    ECW World Championship Match
    Shane Douglas(C) vs Sabu


    This match is billed as "The Battle for the Future of Professional Wrestling".

    Sabu makes a sweet ass entrance. He busts through the sheetrock wall like a madman, and sprints to the ring full speed like a maniac.

    Paul Heyman comes out with 911(Sabu's handler). Heyman says that Sabu is the future of Pro Wrestling, and the crowd pops loud for him.

    Douglas comes out with Mr. Hughes, and his newly acquired valet, Angel.

    They work a surprisingly fluid, good technical grappling match early on believe it or not, and it's quite impressive.

    The crowd is behind Sabu 100% here. Douglas keeps saying that he is the future of pro wrestling.

    Douglas works the crowd, and draws some pretty good heat. Both guys are working together really well here. Nice selling, and a good pace. Shane keeps the momentum early with a few submissions, and some sharp wrestling. Sabu takes the momentum with a sitdown powerbomb, and we go outside the ring.

    Sabu hits Douglas with a light chair shot. Sabu goes up to the top rope, and hits a nice dive onto Douglas on the outside.

    Sabu brings in a chair, and the match really starts to take a nosedive.

    Sabu lands several of his traditional aerial moves, and even attempts a nice slingshot 450 splash that I've never seen anybody do. He misses it, and Douglas goes right back to dominating him on the mat, placing him in several different submissions.

    The match goes outside the ring, and Sabu back body drops Shane into the crowd, taking out several fans. They brawl in the crowd for a little while, exchanging chair shots.

    Sabu leans a table up against the guardrail, and leans Shane up against it. Sabu does a moonsault into the table, and Shane moves. Sabu crashes into the table, but the table doesn't break. Sabu crashes down into the concrete similar to Shane Mcmahon vs Kurt Angle at King Of The Ring 2001.

    They act like Sabu has been ko'd, and Shane forces the referee to count him out. Shane gets the win via countout.

    7/10

    They had something great going early on, but killed it when they brought in the chair. Would have loved to have seen them keep it clean because they were really working well together.

    Really this was one of the better matches of the tapes I've reviewed so far. Nothing epic, but a nice little gem that I have never seen, or heard about before.

    Mr. Hughes decks Paul Heyman, and Paul sells it beautifully. 911 comes to the rescue, and drops Shane Douglas with a chokeslam.

    911 and Mr. Hughes stare each other down. 911 drops Mr. Hughes with a chokeslam, and the crowd pops louder than they have all night.

    They get even louder when he grabs Douglas' valet, Angel, and violently bounces her off of the mat with another chokeslam.

    The arena goes apeshit chanting 9! 1! 1!

    No Rope Barbed Wire Match
    Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs The Public Enemy


    All 4 of these guys come out wearing probably 5 t-shirts. Just a reminder, Terry & Dorry are both WWE Hall Of Famers. Funk a former NWA World Champion for 14 months when the title was the best in the world.

    Public Enemy immediately go up to "The Eagles Nest" balcony in the ECW arena, and challenge for The Funk's to come to them.

    Some of the fans are still chanting 911!

    The Public Enemy were drawing heat before this fued, but this was what really put them over as one of the top draws in ECW's earliest days. Public Enemy finally come to the ring.

    Dory Funk Jr. looks like he is 90 years old here, and barely moving around. Public Enemy are being pretty stiff, even with Dory. Public Enemy escape the ring, and the crowd starts chanting "Asswhole" at them.

    The Funk's take it outside after them, and we have a wild brawl. Terry Funk and Rocco Rock finally get into the Barbed Wire. Rocco Rock's shirt gets ripped to shreds. It's a sloppy brawl around the ring where they trade chair shots, and shove each other's faces into the wire.

    It doesn't take long, and all 4 guys are bleeding.

    Things get really sloppy, and it seems like they all forget about what to do or something as they try to communicate.

    Terry Funk and Rocco Rock lay in the ring together, and Terry Funk suddenly waves to the fans for someone to throw him a chair.

    One fan throws a chair, and then suddenly 50 more fly into the ring.

    This isn't the infamous "Chair Throwing Incident", but the one that inspired it. The next time this would happen nearly 300 chairs flew into the ring.

    The brawl goes outside to the parking lot of the arena, but the camera stays inside focused on Rocco Rock still out of it in the ring. They come brawling back in, and back to the ring.

    Things just get wild from here. They brawl with trash cans, chairs, and a pair of scissors. All 4 men busted wide open bleeding, and steadily getting tangled up in the barbed wire.

    Terry Funk gets tangled up in some loose barbed wire until it is all bundled up around his body.

    Johnny Grunge cracks Funk with the trash can, and Public Enemy both cover him for the pin, and get put over by the legends.

    Terry Funk is just a bloody mess, tossing chairs all around. Public Enemy get taken out after the match, and more chairs get thrown into the ring.

    Madness!

    6/10

    Nothing pretty about this at all. Not one of the better barbed wire matches I've seen, but it was a fun little brawl. It was just so chaotic, wild, and violent.

    The Funk's put Public Enemy over here. It's hard to realize what was so great about Public Enemy looking back on them with a 2012 state of mind, but back in 1994 they were pretty edgy compared to what else was going on in tag team wrestling.

    They were believable south philly hoodrat mid 90's east coast gangsters, and they were tough as nails.

    After this victory they were the top heels in the ECW.

    Overall: 4.8/10

    The main event was a little fun to watch, and historically important for ECW, but not really worth tracking down and paying for. Sabu vs Shane Douglas was a surprisingly good match, and the best match on the tape, but nothing to really get excited about. Putting over The Public Enemy in this event was one of the hundreds of things that Terry Funk did to help the ECW. Just think of how much more awesome pro wrestling would have been through the years if guys like Hogan and Nash thought more like Terry Funk did.

    The future was looking bright for ECW though. Sabu and Shane Douglas didn't turn out to be much, but you can't deny their potential during these earliest of days in the ECW.

    Shows are getting better, but they still are not very good. The ECW in Heyman's earliest days of booking really wasn't much better than the Eddie Gilbert era, and with this show you can see him struggling a bit.
     
    #13
  14. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    The Split From NWA, and the Birth Of Extreme Championship Wrestling

    Lets go back to August of 1994. Hulk Hogan had taken his talents to WCW, and the company was on their way to a level playing field with the big dogs, WWF. Hogan and Flair finally had their long awaited match in July of 94 at WCW's Bash At The Beach pay per view, and the company seemed to be headed in the right direction with talented performers such as Steve Austin, Dustin Rhodes, Vader, Terry Funk, Cactus Jack, and even a young Triple H on the roster.

    Over in the WWF it was the epic Brother vs Brother storyline of Bret Hart vs Owen Hart that had taken center stage, leading up to a 5 star cage match at Summerslam. Even though things were getting better in the WCW/WWF than they were in 1993, they were still pretty stale. Both promotions were still using the tried and true "Good Guys vs Bad Guys" formula that had grown quite stale by this point, and everything still had a thick cartoon feel to it. For instance, take a look at the Undertaker vs Undertaker main event from Summerslam 94, and a majority of the characters in WCW/WWF at the time including Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, Kwang, Doink The Clown, and Thurman "Sparky" Plugg, all of which were prominently featured on Raw throughout the summer of 1994.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile in a small bingo hall in Philly an NWA affiliated promotion named Eastern Championship Wrestling was using characters that were drastically more up to date with what was going on in pop culture in 1994.

    [​IMG]

    Throughout 1994 the ECW continued to improve from show to show, and they continued to get more and more extreme and gritty with each show as well. As the buzz grew around Eastern Championship Wrestling, it was becoming evident that ECW didn't need the NWA.

    The entire split from the NWA centered around Todd Gordon's(Then ECW Owner) rivalry with cross town Philadelphia promotion named WWA, ran by Dennis Corruluzo.

    Dennis Corruluzo's beef with the ECW went all the way back to it's spiritual successor Tri States Wrestling Alliance, ran by Joel Goodhart(see one of the previous posts for more details). Corruluzo and Goodhart had a healthy competitive relationship, but when Tod Gordon took over TSWA, and transformed it into ECW, the rivalry started to get personal.

    Corruluzo and Gordon's fued got personal when Gordon stole away the WWA's main draw, Eddie Gilbert. After that, Corruluzo repeatedly tried to sabatoge ECW shows by calling the Philly fire department complaining that the shows exceeded the maximum occupancy of the ECW Arena.

    This is where the story gets a bit fuzzy, because all of the books leave out the part where Corruluzo becomes an authority figure for the NWA. I don't know when/where it happened, but somewhere along the ride he became the president of NWA, and continued to try to make life miserable for Todd Gordon's ECW.

    Sources have stated that Corruluzo was jealous of the buzz surrounding ECW, mainly because his WWA promotion was much more successful financially, but it didn't recieve half the press that ECW was at the time.

    The situation boiled over when Todd Gordon and Paul Heyman decided to kill two birds with one stone.

    The plan was set into motion when NWA decided to hold a tournament for their vacant World Title in the ECW(due to the fact that they were the territory with the best television coverage). During one of the matches in the tournament 911(the enforcer of Extreme) defeated Doink the Clown. After the tournament Joey Styles took a swipe at the WWF/WCW:

    Shane Douglas would go on to win the tournament, and the NWA title, and what would happen immediately afterwards kicked off the beginning of a new era in pro wrestling.

    That was the original pipe bomb. May not seem like much now, but it was a big deal back then.

    The major consensus is that Paul Heyman, Todd Gordon, and Shane Douglas were the only ones who knew about this shoot. Evidence says otherwise. Ring announce Bob Artese has been quoted that he knew it was coming, and was even told to grab the NWA belt as soon as Shane threw it down. I personally believe all of this was a work, and that Corroluzo was in on it. Dennis Corulluzo's comments after the event are seen in The Rise and Fall of ECW documentary, and what he says is incredibly like a wrestling promo.

    I believe that Gordon and Heyman convinced Corroluzo to go along with this in return for an ECW vs NWA storyline. The work came when they never delivered on their promise to Corroluzo.

    ECW was officially done with NWA, and the next day they were officailly changed from Eastern Championship Wrestling to Extreme Championship Wrestling.

    Many don't know that Paul Heyman actaully considered changing it to Extreme Combat Worldwide, to further distance themselves from traditional wrestling, but at the end of the day he felt like was a bad move.

    I'm going to skip through the first couple of shows of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and pick up at their first show of 1995, Double Tables. You'll notice that the promotion never stopped improving, and that they did in fact do what Shane said they would do.

    Here are the results of the shows that I will be skipping:


    And these are the end of the year awards the ECW won from Wrestling Observer Newsletter for 1994:

    Best Technical Wrestler: Chris Benoit(also wrestled in Japan)
    Best Brawler: Cactus Jack(also wrestled in WCW)
    Best Weekly Television Show: Hardcore TV
    Rookie Of The year: Mikey Whipreck
    Best Television Announcer: Joey Styles
    Best Booker: Paul Heyman
    Readers Favorite Wrestler: Sabu(previously won by Ric Flair for 10 years prior)
     
    #14
  15. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Raven

    In January of 1995, on the very first episode of ECW Hardcore TV, a new character was introduced that would become the center of all the major storylines in ECW for the next two and a half years.

    Tommy Dreamer was a wrestler that the ECW was trying to push as their ultra clean, poster boy baby face. Just one problem though. The crowd hated him early on. The fans just didn't like the way the character looked, or his old school baby face antics. It wasn't until Dreamer fueded with The Sandman in 1994 that the crowd finally accepted Dreamer. Dreamer lost a Loser Gets Caned match to The Sandman, and refused to back down when it came time for him to take his licks. The stipulation was that Dreamer could stop the caning at anytime by getting down on his knees, and kissing the feet of The Sandman's manager at the time(the late Nancy "Woman" Benoit). Dreamer refused, and took so many shots from the cane that his back began bleeding from the welts. Dreamer's toughness finally won the crowd over.

    [​IMG]

    After feuding with The Sandman, Dreamer began a feud against the young Stevie Richards. In late 1994 Stevie Richards began calling himself by different knicknames based on the previous characters of one Scot Levy. Richards began calling himself Stevie "The Body", Stevie "Flamingo", and Stevie "Polo" based on Raven's Scotty The Body, Scotty Flamingo, and Johnny Polo characters in Continental Wrestling Association, WCW, and WWF. On the January 7th episode of Hardcore TV Stevie Richards came out to an interview with Joey Styles with a pink Scotty Flamingo jacket like the one Raven used to wear in WCW. Styles told Richards that he had been at the Arena all day, and that he did not see Johnny Polo in the building like Stevie had promised last week. Richards responded by telling Styles that this was the biggest day in the history of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and introduced "The Birth" of Raven.

    [​IMG]

    Raven was a character that was crafted by Scott Levy himself. Levy started wrestling in 1988 in Memphis' Continental Wrestling Association with Eddie Gilbert. He went on to have brief stints in WCW and WWF with really goofy gimmicks. In WCW he was a florida surfer, and in WWF he was a rich spoiled snob that was relegated to managerial duties(was Adam Bomb's manager).

    Levy crafted the Raven character after Patrick Swayze's "Bohdi" character in the film Point Break.

    [​IMG]

    Throughout January of 1995 Raven was pushed in ECW through some edgy highlight videos mixed in with the music video for Offspring's "Come Out And Play". Raven would also cut promo's in dark boiler room type settings, and school classrooms vaguely taunting Tommy Dreamer about their childhood.

    The ECW continued to improve and break new ground with the introduction of the Raven character at the very beginning of 1995. There weren't any characters in pro wrestling like Raven in WWF or WCW. He was just more down to earth and dare I say....Realistic?

    The next show we will take a look at is the first big supercard for the ECW in 1995, the February 4th "Double Tables" show. The format at this time for ECW is that they would typically take a show like Double Tables, and cut it up for several weeks worth of their weekly Hardcore TV episodes. These supercards were pretty much their pay per views in 1995, but at the same time these would be what you seen on the weekly show(with extra promos and music videos mixed in).
     
    #15
  16. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Double Tables

    February 4th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    This show is part of a trilogy of shows for the ECW where you can see the progression as a promotion. The company continued to improve starting with The Night The Line Was Crossed up throughout 1994. The first 3 shows of 1995 would see the company transform into a beast, starting with Double Tables.

    The month of January 1995 was a busy month for the ECW. One of the major storylines going into this show was Shane Douglas steady trashtalking towards both Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen. Douglas would disrespect Flair every chance he would get. It was always "Flair can kiss my ass", or "Fuck Ric Flair", and he was always holding the four finger Horsemen hand sign upside down as a gesture of disrespect towards the legendary group(which Joey Styles would talk about how much he was a fan of them during the shows). In early January ECW ran an angle on one of the episodes of Hardcore TV where Joey Styles introduced a envelope at the beginning of the show. Within the envelope contained Shane Douglas' next opponent. Styles teased viewers throughout the show saying that the wrestler was not currently employed by ECW. At the end of the show Styles opened up the envelope to reveal former Horseman Tully Blanchard to be Douglas' next opponent. The angle was that Blanchard had come to ECW to get revenge on Douglas for the things he had said about Flair.

    In the weeks prior to this show Shane Douglas was coming off of a fued against Ron Simmons over the World Title. Douglas formed the first incarnation of The Triple Threat with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit as kind of like a newer, better version of The Four Horsemen. Two weeks before Double Tables Tully Blanchard attacked Shane Douglas after a match against Ron Simmons. Blanchard beat Douglas pretty badly until Malenko & Benoit came running to his rescue. Blanchard was beaten down like a dog.

    [​IMG]

    Joey Styles kicks the show off with an interview with "The Self Proclaimed Sexiest Man on Earth" Jason. This is the same guy that managed Justin Credible in later years.

    Jason brings out his tag team, The Pit Bulls. The Pit Bulls come out to White Zombie's "Thunderkiss 65", which is just awesome, and it fits them really well.

    Jason then brings out Jason The Terrible, a Jason Voorhees gimmick wrestler with a hockey mask.

    The Pit Bulls & Jason The Terrible vs The Young Dragons & Hack Myers

    The Pit Bulls were really big intense guys, and quite an underrated tag team in my opinion. They were getting a pretty good push in early 1995. Jason The Terrible is a guy that dresses up like Jason Voorhees. I've seen some matches of his in FMW that weren't really that bad. He isn't very good though. As for the Young Dragons I'm pretty sure this is Mikey Whipreck and Paul Lauria in disguise. They are wearing karate gi's with wierd Japanese style masks.

    Not much to write about in this one. Myers gets a pretty good reaction from the fans. He would always let out a "Shah!" whenever he would throw a punch or a kick, and the crowd started to go along with it. Myers would go on to be like a Hacksaw Jim Duggan type of babyface, and it kind of started in this match.

    Myers partners The Young Dragons disappear later on in the match leaving him to go it alone 3 on 1. Myers gets overwhelmed eventually, and pinned by Jason The Terrible after nearly 8 minutes.

    3/10

    Nothing special here. Not a bad 6 man tag match, but definitely not a good one. An interesting booking decision because it further elevated Hack Myers even though he lost. The fans got emotionally attached to this character pretty much because he was a loser. The Pit Bulls worked the match pretty stiff, and looked like strong, powerful monsters. This was Jason Voorhees one and only ECW appearance if I'm not mistaken.

    The Young Dragons come back out for some reason, and get beaten down by Hack Myers as Jason tries to cut an interview with The Pit Bulls. Myers takes out The Pit Bulls with a steel chair, and then takes Jason into the ring. Myers kicks Jason's ass.

    Some woman comes out in a white wedding dress, and pushes Myers around a bit. Suddenly Myers hits the woman in the face with a punch, and bends her over his knee for a spanking.

    She gets up off the ground smiling, and starts to kiss Hack Myers. What the fuck?!

    Myers kicks her in the stomach, and gives her a piledriver. Wow. I was going to give this segment/match a 5 until I seen this garbage aftermath.

    Tommy Dreamer vs Stevie Richards

    Stevie comes out in a Scotty Flamingo outfit. Pink Jacket with pink tassles hanging off. Stevie is accompanied to the ring with Raven.

    Dreamer comes out to "Evenflow" by Pearl Jam. The crowd absolutely loves Tommy Dreamer here. He looks weird not seeing him in his black pants/ECW shirt outfit. He is wearing a red ECW shirt with cutoff sleaves, and some short tights with knee pads.

    The ring announcer announces Raven being from "The Bowery", whatever the hell that is. Most of the fans cheer Dreamer, but there are a small handful of boo's, and even a small chant of "Dreamer Sucks". This is the first time Dreamer & Raven were ever in the ECW Arena together at the same time. Up to this point the fued has only consisted of Raven's brief, vague promos. Stevie knocks Dreamer out of the ring, and nails him with a chair shot, and a Super Kick. Richards pulls Dreamer's ECW shirt off, and puts it on for a Shawn Michaels type of pose in the ring.

    Dreamer regains momentum of the match with some devestating moves. He takes his shirt off of Richards, and puts it back on. Dreamer takes it back outside, and gives Richards a chair shot to the back. The match gets fun when Dreamer slams Richards' face first into a chair held up by one of the fans at ringside. The crowd really starts to get into the match.

    Somebody in the crowd hands Dreamer one of those candy necklaces to use to strangle Richards with.:lol:

    Dreamer gets a frying pan from the crowd, and busts Richards over the head with it. Dreamer then takes the match into the ring, and busts him in the nuts with the frying pan. I'm looking closer into this crowd and seeing all kinds of crazy weapons in everyone's hands. Stop signs, kitchenware, etc.

    Dreamer counters a hip toss into a DDT, and the crowd goes crazy for him. Richards kicks out of several pin attempts from Dreamer. Raven eventually gets in the ring, and holds Dreamer from behind for Richards.

    Stevie nials Tommy Dreamer in the face with a Super Kick while being held from behind by Raven. Richards pulls Dreamer back up for another Super Kick, but Dreamer ducks underneath it. Tommy hits Richards in the groin, and rolls him up for the pin. Raven gets back in the ring, and takes off his flannel. Richards and the ref hold Raven back as Dreamer stands in the center of the ring telling him to bring it. Raven backs off, and gets out of the ring to make his exit.

    The crowd starts a "PUSSY!" chant as Dreamer leads them on.

    Dreamer gets a microphone and tells Raven to go back to the WWF, and when he does to tell everyone to kiss our ass! The entire arena pops loud for that. Biggets pop of the night so far.

    Dreamer then starts an E! C! DUB! chant, and climbs into the audience to lead them on. Awesome moment.

    7/10

    Hard to find much wrong with this one. Nothing spectacular in the ring. They botched a few times, and there were times when they weren't sure what to do next. Just a fun little brawl while it lasted. The finish wasn't bad, and we got a tease of our first fight between Raven and Dreamer.

    The aftermath was a preview of things to come for Tommy Dreamer, and one of those moments where you could see him well on his way to becoming The Peoples Champion of the ECW.

    Mikey Whipreck vs Paul Lauria

    The buildup to this match came off of Whipreck's Rookie Of The Year award from 1994 Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Lauria was a former tag team partner of Whipreck's apparently, and appeared at one of the January 95 Hardcore TV shows to congratulate Whipreck on his award. Lauria attacked Whipreck, and announced that he was working for Jason(who had been fueding with Mikey throughout late 94).

    Pretty good fast paced cruiserwieght wrestling going on early on. Lauria is a surprisingly good worker here. I've never hear of him outside of this fued. Things get sloppy later on in the match when Mikey botches a head scissor takedown. No protective mats on the floors here, just cold, hard concrete. Whipreck takes pretty stiff bump on the concrete, and Jason gets involved. Jason gives Whipreck a kick to the face on the ouside followed by a back body drop down to the unprotected floor.

    Lauria spikes a chair down into Whipreck's face, and accidentally hits him too hard on the chin. Whipreck starts bleeding from his chin. He's lucky he still has all of his teeth. Wow!

    Mikey lands a Bulldog off of the top, but Jason pulls him off of the pin to the outside of the ring. Whipreck is bleeding pretty good from his chin. Whipreck floors Jason with a punch.

    Whipreck reverses a pin attempt to win the match.

    Really not a bad match at all.

    6.5/10

    It had some sloppy moments, but overall was a nice paced well wrestled match with some good action.

    Ian Rotten vs Axle Rotten

    The background to this one is that these two were a tag team going back to Paul Heyman's first show(Ultraclash). Behind the scenes Axle Rotten was requesting a chance to wrestle single from Paul Heyman, who granted his wishes. The team was broken up the week prior to this show in a "Loser Splits Up" match against The Pit Bulls.

    The two "brothers" began fighting each other after the match, kickstarting arguably the goriest, bloodiest fued in ECW history.

    Over the course of the next couple of shows this fued would bring over some of that over the top gore that was commonplace in Japanese FMW shows. Axle and Ian Rotten helped put the Extreme in Extreme Championship Wrestling with this feud.

    The match starts off very quickly when Axle storms out of the back, and is met in the isle by Ian. They immediately begin brawling around the ring. Axle beats on Ian with the stop sign I spotted in the crowd earlier. He then busts him in the head with a chair, and Ian doesn't even attempt to hide blading himself. Just right out in the open where everyone can see it. They take the brawl out in the crowd. Its just a real fast paced, violent brawl going on here. Ian is busted open pretty good. The pace finally slows up a bit, and the blood is pouring down Ian's face. Ian takes the momentum of the match, and is doing a good job of putting some emotion into the match.

    Ahhh, more frying pans.:lol: I'm hungry for eggs all of a sudden.

    They continue to beat the shit out of each other until they finally make their way back into the ring. Ian is a bloody mess. Kind of disgusting really. Axle jabs Ian in the face with the hammer they use to ring the bell. I don't think I've seen a single wrestling move used so far in this match. Just kicks, punches, and weapons. Oh, just when I say something Ian throws a dropkick. Ian is even bleeding from one of his arms somehow. Did he blade his arm? Wow.

    More stiff chair shots from Axle as they continue to just beat the shit out of each other. Ian rolls into the ring, and begs for mercy. Axle just continues to bash him in. Ian trips Axle down, and pins him by holding his legs on the ropes. Axle just keeps on beating on him with chairs.

    4/10

    Oh man this was just bad. The crowd was all into it, but it was pretty much just a bunch of shit. The Axle vs Ian fued was what gave the ECW it's Extreme reputation in the early days, but looking back on the matches now you kind of wonder what was so great about them. I think a lot of it was the unbelievable photographs in the magazines back in the day. One positive I can say about it is the emotions Axle & Ian put into the match. They did give it a heated, emotional brother vs brother type of vibe, which helped it out a lot.

    Chris Benoit vs Al Snow

    Ah, some real wrestling. This is the gem of the tape right here.

    Al Snow had just made his ECW debut in a previous episode of Hardcore TV in January of 95 where he wrestled a pretty good clean technical match. Snow's wrestling abilities are quite underrated in my opinion, especially his early days.

    Benoit was coming off of his match with Sabu at November To Remember 94, where Sabu botched a move that injured his neck. ECW pushed the incident as if Benoit broke Sabu's neck on purpose, and gave him his "Crippler" persona. Benoit and Dean Malenko were regular tag partners at this time, and had just been recruited by Shane Douglas into a faction named The Triple Threat.

    Joey Styles talks about Al Snow helping Dan Severn train for his performance in UFC 4 which was in December of 1994. Snow was indeed in his corner at that tournament, where Severn dominated his way to the finals where he took then UFC champion Royce Gracie into the longest fight of his career before being tapped out to the very first ever Traingle Choke in UFC history.

    Very good opening grappling exchange. Some fluid wrestling here.

    They go through the Test Of Strengh before going into a series of rolling pinfall attempts.

    Just some really solid sequences so far in this match. A good back and forth match. Joey keeps selling how dangerous Benoit is. Benoit destroys Snow's chest with some nasty chest chops. Really loud.

    The fans are more behind this match than any of the previous ones. Al Snow gets a standing ovation.

    Al Snow misses a missile dropkick, and gets a German Suplex for his troubles. The pace has slowed down quite a bit. Benoit nearly takes Snow's head off with a nasty lariat. Snow lays motionless of the mats for a moment as Benoit taunts him. Snow slowly drags himself up only to get slammed back down.

    Snow is selling all of Benoit's offense beautifully.

    Benoit keeps the pace slow, and continues to beat down on Snow, who sells everything like a real pro. Benoit looks down on Snow trying to recover with pity.

    Benoit goes up top, and lands an amazing flying headbutt nearly all the way across the ring.

    Snow continues to get dominated, but continues to kick out of pinfalls, even after a powerbomb.

    Benoit's snap suplex was always amazing. He does a real good one here in this match, seemingly putting Snow away for good. Benoit lands another nice German Suplex with a bridging pin attempt, and Snow continues to frustrate Benoit by kicking out.

    Benoit is the heel in the match, but he gets a lot of respect from most of the crowd just because of how good he is. Snow was getting a lot of love as well. There really wasn't a good guy or bad guy in this match as far as the crowd was concerned. They just wanted to see a good match, and that was one of the things I always really like about ECW. The crowd set a really good atmosphere, comparable to the respectful crowds of Pride Fighting Championships MMA in Japan.

    Snow starts to come back with a couple of reversals that look awesome. These two guys had a good chemistry and rythm working together here. Very nice. Both of them get back up at the same time, and Snow takes the momentum after a stiff lariat.

    Snow gets a Back Body Drop, Super Kick, and a Fisherman Suplex on Benoit, but can't get the pinfall. Benoit gets a reversal for a release German Suplex. Snow beats him up to the feet, and attempts a move, but gets reversed into a Full Nelson "Dragon" Suplex with a bridge for the pinfall.

    Excellent match.

    Benoit gives Snow some powerbombs after the match to get some heat. Snow has to be carted out of the ring in a neckbrace and on a stretcher. They were really pushing "The Crippler" angle with Chris Benoit. Something that I forgot to mention was that he also kayfabe injured Hack Myers and Ron Simmons in matches in late 94 after the Sabu incident.

    8.3/10

    Hands down the best ECW match I've reviewed so far. This is probobly one of the more underrated matches in ECW history.

    To me one of the biggest misconceptions about pro wrestling was that ECW was all about blood, guts, violence, and hardcore garbage wrestling. This was just not true. This match is one of the many, many obscure rarely seen matches that proves that notion wrong.

    ECW World Heavyweight Championship
    Shane Douglas(C) vs Tully Blanchard


    Oddly enough Shane Douglas is playing the heel in this storyline, and Blanchard is playing a face.

    Blanchard competed in one of my all time favorite matches in his I Quit match against Magnum T.A. Incredible match, but I digress.

    Blanchard starts off looking really good. One of the things Blanchard always did really well was make a match look like a fight. He does a really good job of that in this match.

    Really good pace here. Solid match right from the start. Blanchard looks really, really good with his offense. Douglas's selling makes it look even better.

    The match goes to the outside, and OH SHIT! Douglas vertical suplexes Blanchard through the timekeepers table!

    The match turns into a sloppy brawl on the outside.

    I don't know if Blanchard just got tired, or if the table bump hurt him, or perhaps the combination of both, but this match goes downhill fast. They just kind of sloppily brawl in and out of the ring at a real slow, boring pace.

    Blanchard tries to suplex Douglas into the ring off of the apron, but Douglas reverses it on the way in for a pinfall.

    5.5/10

    They had something good going on early. They should have just worked a clean match. It probably would have been much better. Just a short, kind of boring match overall.

    Texas Death Match
    The Sandman vs Cactus Jack


    Not much of a backstory to this one. Cactus was settling in after being released from WCW, and pretty much putting The Sandman over in this series of matches.

    Standard Texas Death Match rules here. You get 10 seconds to get up after a pinfall.

    Sandman comes out with Nancy Benoit. He has a pretty fat gut. Cactus attacks him in the entrance isle, and the brawl is on!

    Cactus lands 3 stiff unprotected chair shots on Sandman. Sandman doesn't stick a hand up in the way or nothing. Cactus gets a pin, but Sandman gets back up immediately for 2 more unprotected shots. Cactus gets another pinfall.

    The Sandman gets up at 6. Cactus gets a frying pan:lol:. He breaks it over Sandman's head. Sandman is just dazed standing there in la-la land with brain damage. Holy shit.

    They send each other into the steel guardrail several times before re-entering the ring. A sloppy brawl ensues until Cactus takes it back outside.

    Pretty slow paced, sloppy brawl, but I've seen much worse. Sandman works over Cactus' knee for a while. Nancy even takes a shot at it with the Singapore Cane.

    Sandman takes it to Cactus with a piledriver and a DDT on a steel chair to get his first pinfall.

    Cactus gets up at 4. This is just a brutal brawl. These guys had this stuff down to an artform. They did a good job of making this look like a brutal, grueling brawl.

    Cactus gets the Singapore cane, and cracks The Sandman in the face 5 times.

    Cactus knocks Sandman out of the ring to the concrete, and hits him with a diving elbow off of the apron with a chair in his arms. Cactus then gets back up on the apron, and throws the chair down into the Sandman's head as he tries to get up. Cactus follows up with another dive off of the apron down onto the concrete. Jesus.

    Cactus gets a pinfall. Sandman gets right back up to keep fighting. Holy shit.

    Cactus gets another pinfall after a DDT to the concret, and the Sandman keeps getting back up!

    Another DDT on the concete for yet another pinfall. Sandman gets up again.

    A third DDT on the concrete for another pinfall. This one does the trick, and the Sandman finally stays down. Cactus gets the win, but damn!

    8/10

    If you can get past the sloppy brawling and see this for what it is, and for what these guys were trying to make it look like they really did a very good job.

    Very brutal match. Both of these guys at their best. Some good selling and psychology believe it or not.

    Double Tables Match For The ECW World Tag Team Championship
    The Public Enemy(C) vs Sabu & The Tazmaniac


    Rocco Rock gets a microphone saying something about computer internet nerds. They had Internet in February of 1995? Wow.

    Taz immediately with the beautiful suplexes. Taz is still playing the cartoony Tasmaniac gimmick here, but I'm going to call him Taz.

    Sabu brawls with Johnny Grunge on the outside. He lands a suicide plancha through the ropes onto a seated Johnny Grunge. Taz and Rocco Rock brawl to the back of the arena. Taz gets a broomstick to use across Rock's back.

    Sabu and Grunge go off into the crowd. Another fucking frying pan! This one is still wrapped in cellophane.:lol:

    Two separate brawls going on in the arena, both of them really sloppy.

    Taz lands another nice overhead belly to belly suplex as Sabu lands his "Air Sabu" onto the other guy in the corner.

    Public Enemy bring in the tables.

    Sabu puts a chair up on the top rope, and tries to put Rocco Rock through a table, but the table doesn't break.

    Sabu and Taz do something awesome. Taz suplexes Sabu onto Rocco Rock. You don't see that often.

    Johnny Grunge tries to Moonsault Taz through a table, but Taz gets up, and suplexes him through it.

    Rocco Rock puts Sabu through a table with a somersault off the top.

    Pretty interesting concept for a tag match. More interesting than a regular tables match. A double tables match is more like a 2/3 falls match.

    Sabu drops a guillatine leg drop off the top rope putting Rocco Rock through the table for the win.

    NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!

    The Public Enemy fight with Sabu & Taz after the match. Sabu arranges the tables in the ring with one up on the top rope, and one underneath it on the mat. Sabu puts a chair up on top of the table on the top rope!

    Chris Benoit comes out.

    Benoit powerbombs Sabu off of the table on top through Rocco Rock on the table below.

    OH MY GOD!

    6.7/10

    Not bad, but not great. Could have been much better. Just a bit too sloppy and spread out.

    After the match we get a classic Chris Benoit promo. The camera's focus in on his hands as he rubs them together talking about Sabu and Taz. Benoit says that they will learn what pain and humility is all about, and says that he and Dean Malenko are the future tag team champions. Pretty good promo.

    Overall: 6.2/10

    Really not a bad show. 2 real good matches, and a couple of ok matches. This event had some great moments, but it also had it's fair share of shit. The one thing to consider when judging this tape is what else was going on at this time in WWF and WCW. Also, the constant improvement of the ECW. They never really stopped getting better up to a point. This show was much better than anything I've reviewed yet, and the shows would just continue to get better.
     
    #16
  17. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    The Evolution Of A Franchise

    The Double Tables show that I last reviewed was cut up and aired in pieces over the next 3 weeks on ECW Hardcore TV leading up to the next show that I will be reviewing, Return of the Funker. On the February 21st episode, the first half of the show consisted of a 25 minute long promo with Shane Douglas entitled "The Evolution of a Franchise". Through the promo Douglas talked about his career as highlights of him played on from his early fued with Terry Funk in 1994 to his tossing of the NWA belt. Douglas got to a point in the promo where he pretty much did a shoot on why he hated Ric Flair.

    The thing that stands out about this promo, and something that stood out in the last show I reviewed with the beginning of the Raven/Dreamer fued, ECW was using an anti WWF/WCW stance to build and develope their main characters. In the Dreamer vs Stevie Richards match on the last show I reviewed it was like Raven & Richards were invading WWF wrestlers. Stevie Richards ripped Tommy Dreamer's ECW shirt off, put it on, and did an HBK pose in the center of the ring. Tommy Dreamer took the shirt back off, defeated Richards, and told Raven to go back to the WWF to tell them to kiss the ECW's ass. When Dreamer started the ECW chant after saying that It was really the beginning of Tommy Dreamer becoming the ECW peoples champion. It was "That Moment", similar to when DDP became the WCW peoples champion.

    [​IMG]

    Something similar here with this Shane Douglas promo. Something else that I realized was that this promo was eerily similar to Steve Austin's promo's later on in the year when he would come over after being fired from WCW. It was becoming clearer with this promo that at the core of "The Franchise" character was a bitter, disgruntled worker that was sick of being done wrong by the politics in pro wrestling. At the core of the "Stone Cold" character that was really the same thing.

    Shane Douglas is coming off of a victory over former Four Horseman Tully Blanchard at the last ECW show, and was in the process of forming his own Horseman type of stable with Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko called The Triple Threat. Douglas was still the ECW World Champion at this time, and was set to defend his title at the next show I will be reviewing against former WWF Intercontinental champion Marty Jannety.

    Also something to note. Flair's generation really did hand down a dead horse to the next generation. In 1993-94-95 the sport was really at an all time low as far as ratings/ticket sales are concerned. It wasn't really until the Monday Night Wars/NWO that the business really started to pick back up. Me personally, I think ECW had some influence on what brought pro wrestling out of the sad state that it was in from 93 to 95, so in a way Shane Douglas was really speaking a bit of truth here.
     
    #17
  18. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Return Of The Funker

    February 25th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    This show took place 3 weeks after the last show I reviewed(Double Tables). The major buildup for the show on Hardcore TV is a World Title match with Shane Douglas against former WWF Intercontinental champ, Marty Jannety.

    Also advertised was a special mystery opponent brought in by The Sandman to face Cactus Jack. Sandman and Cactus were in a pretty violent fued right here with 2 pretty brutal matches preceding this event.

    The Pit Bulls vs Chad Austin & Joel Hartgood

    The Pit Bulls are in the middle of a really good push right here. They broke up Bad Breed(Axl & Ian Rotten) in a "Loser's Split Up" tag match. They have been smashing jobbers left and right. One thing that Heyman used that really got The Pit Bulls as over as they got was music. Heyman used White Zombie's "Thunderkiss '65" as their entrance music, and also aired their highlight clips on Hardcore TV mixed in with the actual music video for the song. This was just a really popular song back then, and it fit the Pit Bulls really well.

    Austin & Goodhart are jobbers. Interesting note, Joel Goodhart is actually kind of a poke at the old Tri States Wrestling Alliance owner Joel Hartgood. TSWA was the predecessor to the ECW.

    The Pit Bulls are jacked up here. Big muscles. They definitely had a great look. Imagine two Rybacks.

    That's what this looks like too. The Pit Bulls no sell everything, and are stiff as hell with these guys with similar moves as Ryback.

    Goodhart goes to the outside, and Pitbull #1 grabs a crutch from one of the fans at ringside. This crutch belongs to a mentally disabled guy that sat ringside at pretty much every ECW show from 1995 to 96. Mick Foley would pick the guy up for each show, and the wrestlers would often use one of his walking crutches as a weapon in the matches.

    Goodhart gets Superbombed off the top rope, and the crowd goes crazy for these two monsters as they get the win.

    The entire ECW Arena breaks out in a chant of "ONE! MORE! TIME!"

    Can you say Over?

    4/10

    Hard to grade a squash match. This one wasn't anything special, but you could see this team rising up in popularity. They were big, powerful, and mean, and the crowd really loved them here.

    After the match we get Raven coming out with Stevie Richards still dressed up as "Stevie Flamingo".

    [​IMG]

    Raven talks to Joey Styles cutting one of his poetic promos about how Stevie Richards lost to Tommy Dreamer at the last show. He rambles on with a bunch of big sofisticated words that don't really add up to much as far as making sense.

    Hooray big word usage!

    Tommy Dreamer comes out and they are face to face.

    Tommy tells Raven that they have had enough problems in the past, and orders him to shut up with his rambling or else to climb in the ring so they can go right now!

    Pretty awesome segment here. Raven replies in his emo ultra feel sorry for me attitude saying that it isn't the time, but that Dreamer could go ahead and hit him if he want's to telling him to "Feel my pain". Raven says that he won't hit back.

    The crowd starts calling Raven a pussy.

    Dreamer tells Raven to keep his mouth shut, or else he would be getting his ass kicked. Dreamer leaves.

    Raven says that Dreamer can't escape their past, and may god have mercy on his soul.

    Quothe The Raven Nevermore.

    Stevie Richards gets on the microphone, and tells Raven that he met a couple of guys at a bar in Philly that can help them kick Tommy Dreamer's ass. Stevie Richards brings out two old school guys from the early Eastern Championship Wrestling days, former champions Tony Stetson, and Johnny Hotbody.

    Stetson and Hotbody come out telling Raven that he is a creation of today's society, and that society made him. They go on telling Raven that he is what Generation X is all about, and that they will help him kick Tommy Dreamer's ass.

    Raven gets in the ring, and all of a sudden Tommy Dreamer comes running out with a stop sign. Dreamer cleans house with his sign, and we have an awesome stand off with Raven & Dreamer.

    Raven and Dreamer fight each other for the first time, and get pulled apart by Stetson, Hotbody, Richards, and a few other wrestlers that come out of the back.
    Joey Styles keeps hinting around that there is something more to the story that we aren't getting yet as the brawl comes to an end.

    Jason Knight & Paul Lauria vs Mikey Whipreck & Hack Meyers

    You know you are a good booker when you can get Hack Myers over. He is quite over here with everyone in the arena chanting "Shah!". Wow.

    They do a wierd spot with simultaneous sunset flips, pulling both Lauria & Jason's pants down exposing their asses. They get up and kick both of them in the bare ass. Not sure how I feel about that spot.

    The crowd screams "Shah!" at every move that Hack Myers lands.

    This is a terrible match. Some really sloppy wrestling from Jason, and a bunch of wierd double team moves with Lauria that the crowd boo's because they look terrible.

    Here we go with our first frying pan of the evening. Jason cracks Whipreck over the head on the outside with a frying pan he was handed by one of the fans in the crowd.

    Wow, this is getting quite a bit of time. Boring, sloppy match here.

    I can't believe this match went on as long as it did. This was a really bad match that literally almost put me to sleep at around 15 minutes. None of these guys were tag team wrestlers, and only one of them was even remotely talented in the ring to begin with.

    Some big masked guy interferes in the match to give Jason and Lauria the win. How goofy does it get?

    2/10

    Horrible match. One of the worst I've ever seen.

    2 Cold Scorpio vs Hector Guerrero

    Yep, Eddie Guerrero's brother, the Gobbledy Gooker himself, and current TNA Spanish broadcaster.

    Hector is in pretty good shape, and looks a lot like Eddie did around this time.

    They start it out with some solid mat wrestling, trading a couple of leg submissions. Solid technical match so far.

    5 minutes in and this match is nothing special. Slow paced match with mucho rest holds, and nothing spectacular going on as far as selling, psychology. Just a mediocre match.

    10 minutes in and Scorpio starts up with the high flying stuff. He lands a couple of moonsaults, and then the two men roll around the ring in a series of near pinfalls.

    Scorpio gets the win after a 450 splash at the 12 minute mark.

    6/10

    Nothing special to write about, but not really a bad match at all. It was clean with some nice submission attempts, but overall the slow pace with all of the rest holds held it down. Really just kind of a bland match.

    Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Match
    Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten


    Oh wow, this is actually an "On A Pole" match, where's Russo?

    Ian Rotten storms the ring early to get his hands on the bat before the ring crew guy can put it up on the pole. Ian gets the bat, and cracks the ring crew guy in the back with it!

    This was the fued that put the Extreme in Extreme Championship Wrestling. I remember seeing pictures of these matches in magazines back in the day, and they were unbelievable. Unfortunately this series of matches looked a lot better in the magazines than they did in motion.

    Axl slowly comes out as Ian screams for him in the ring with the bat.

    Axl gets in the ring with a steel chair, and the crowd starts chanting Axl's name. Axl gets the bat from Ian, and proceeds to beat him around the ring. Axle opens up Ian by rubbing the barbed wire across the back of his head.

    I think these guys have a razor blade taped to their finger tips. You can see both of them blading themselves plain as day with them. They take the fight into the crowd, and the fans hold up a chair for Axl to slam Ian into.

    And we get our second frying pan of the evening.:lol: Somebody should make a drinking game with these things.

    Back in the ring, and Ian takes the bat to Axl's leg. The bat gets stuck in Axl's leg! These guys are bleeding pretty good right now.

    This is some really sloppy stuff, but it's just so over the top with the violence and blood that I can't help but feel somewhat entertained. Still though, I don't feel real good about myself for being entertained by something like this. It is just a tad bit over the top, but when you think about the fact that it was exactly what these guys were trying to make this look like you can kind of appreciate it for what it is.

    The fight goes out into the crowd again, and Ian takes a belt off of the waist of one of the fans to whip Axl with. Back in the ring, and Axl rips Ian's shirt up with the barbed wire.

    Oh wow, we finally get a......Wresting move?:stalker: Piledriver from Ian, but Axl kicks out at 2.

    Both guys are a bloody mess. Axle gives Ian a type of pedigree move onto the barbed wire baseball bat for the pinfall after nearly 15 minutes.

    Ian attacks Axle with the barbed wire off of the bat after the match as Joey says that we haven't seen the last of this fued.

    5/10

    As extreme as it looked, it was just a bunch of blood really. You can say that shit like this was bad for the safety of the wrestlers, but cuts aren't really that big of a deal. The worse thing to come from cuts in the long term is a scar(as long as everyone is clean from blood diseases, which can easily be detected by a 40$ blood test). There weren't really any unprotected chair shots or blunt head traumas in this match. With that said this wasn't really good. It was different for sure, and it wasn't as bad as their last match. At the end of the day if you look at this match for what it was in kayfabe, two brothers that hate each other's guts and want to kill each other, it really wasn't that bad.

    I don't know what to think about it really. I've been cut open pretty badly in the past, and it doesn't hurt as bad as one might think. I don't really buy into the whole "Inhumane" argument from the purists(because most of them are just soft *****es), but at the same time I'm just not real crazy about watching a match like this. It wasn't a wrestling match at all, but it did have some entertainment value. The same type of entertainment you would get from watching a choreographed fight in an action movie.

    ECW World Championship
    Shane Douglas(C) vs Marty Jannetty


    I've heard around the internet that Shane Douglas was originally planned to play the Heartbreak Kid gimmick that Shawn Micheals played after turning on Marty Jannety. I've never seen any proof, but it seems like it could have been possible. Douglas was in the early stages of a push before he left the WWF in 1991 to take care of his terminally ill father. The counter argument was that Mr. Perfect gave the HBK gimmick to Shawn, but that could have just been the nickname itself(HBK). Not sure if Hennig ever had anything to do with the WWF creative department.

    Marty is decked out in his Rockers gear. Something interesting to note here, Jannetty accidentaly injured a jobber in the WWF in 1991. The jobber, Charles Austin suffered a broken neck, and sued the WWF. In the spring of 94 the court case was brought forward, and Jannetty dissapeared from the WWF. He would stay out of the mainstream wrestling scene until this event, almost a year later.

    Shane gets a microphone before the bell rings, and talks about how he and Jannetty were good friends in the WWF. Douglas says that he doesn't want to fight Janetty tonight, he just wants to teach him a wrestling lesson.

    Shane offeres a handshake, and tries go give Marty a kick to the mid section, but Jannetty blocks it.

    Pretty good stuff to open up. Jannetty works at a fast pace with several near falls on Douglas. Shane plays the heel here slowing the pace down. Some good, smooth sequences here. These guys do have some nice chemistry in the ring together.

    This is a surprisingly good match here. Nice pacing, excellent selling, and some good moves.

    Marty keeps trying to land the superkick, but Douglas keeps finding a way to avoid it. Jannetty keeps the momentum of the match in his favor until Shane lands a low blow kick to Marty's groin that brings out the boo's from the crowd.

    Jannetty is a very nimble, agile guy here. The match goes to the outside and Marty slams Douglas around the ring, and eventually into the crowd taking out the entire first row of fans!

    Jannetty follows him into the crowd with a running dive. They fight through the crowd towards the concession stand.

    Cant see shit.

    Douglas drops Jannetty across the steel guardrail pretty hard, and attacks him with the crutch that I talked about in a previous match.

    They get back in the ring, and Shane works Jannetty over. Marty with some really nice selling here.

    Shane lands a clothesline that sends Marty spinning around in mid air.

    They take it back outside, and Shane sends Jannetty into the steel guardrail, and the ringpost. Marty sells it like a champ, and makes it look really good.

    OH! back body drop across two chairs! Pretty wicked bump by Jannetty.

    This is a really good match. Douglas misses with a chair shot on the outside, and Jannetty lands his superkick.

    Jannetty gets Douglas with the Rocker Dropper, but Shane kicks out. Marty is breathing hard and sweating profusely from working his ass off. He lands a nice superkick, and a DDT, but Douglas gets his leg up on the ropes.

    Marty goes for a hurricanrana, but Douglas counters into a powerbomb for the win after nearly 18 minutes.

    8/10

    You can make a strong case that Jannetty carried Shane Douglas in this match, but a good match is a good match. Not a classic, but a damn fine match. Jannetty worked his ass off, and looked pretty good. Shane Douglas really didn't do much, but he looked better here than any of his previous matches that I've reviewed.

    After the match the Public Enemy come out to this song:

    [youtube]l7MK5Esy-L0[/youtube]​

    This was hot shit back in 1995, and the perfect theme song for these guys really.

    Rocco Rock comes out in a wheelchair(put there by "The Crippler" Chris Benoit). They talk with Joey Styles about how they lost their titles at the last show. They say that they were robbed, and that it was the ultimate dis, because they were the ones that do all of the robbing around here. The Public Enemy characters just had a lot of depth to them in ECW that they didn't have in WCW. In WCW they were just the guys that came out with tables. They were quite bland in WCW, but in the ECW they were some interesting, often times humorous "East Coast Gangsters" characters.

    PE calls out Paul Heyman and Todd Gordon for running the ECW, and say that they aren't running anything, PE runs ECW. They send a message to Benoit & Malenko that they aren't The Crippler and The Shooter, and that PE was the only real cripplers and shooters around here.

    This brings out Benoit & Malenko.

    Johnny Grunge tells Benoit that PE is coming for his ass, and the fight is on. Grunge gets taken out by Benoit with a chair, and Rocco is pushed over out of his wheelchair. Benoit puts Rocco back in the wheelchair, and shoves him into the steel guardrail. Total beatdown here.

    Sabu & Taz(maniac) come out and the crowd pops. Here we go with our tag team title match!

    ECW World Tag Team Championship
    The Tasmaniac & Sabu(C) vs Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko


    They start it off with some wild brawling in the ring. Everybody starts chanting SA-BU!, nobody cares about the Tasmaniac.

    Beniot and Malenko control the match until Taz starts tossing them around the ring with a bunch of different suplexes. Taz tosses Benoit with a beautiful belly to back suplex.

    Benoit & Malenko go after Taz's leg, and take him out of the match. 911 comes out and carries Taz out of the arena, even though he is still trying to fight. 911, Taz, and Sabu were kind of like a face stable managed by Paul Heyman here.

    So it's just Sabu against Malenko and Benoit.

    Sabu goes crazy, and flies all over the place.

    Vintage, classic Sabu here with about 3 high flying, suicidal, kamikaze moves(including a springboard moonsault out of the ring to the floor) in the about 15 seconds of time. Awesome stuff.

    Sabu pushes a table and a chair into the ring. He sets the chair up, and hits both Malenko & Benoit with a triple jump somersault out of the ring. I love it. E! C! DUB! chants echo through the arena.

    Sabu sets the table up on top of the ropes in the corner, and sets a chair up on top of the table. He goes up to the top of the chair, but Benoit pushes him off. The chair folds out from under Sabu, and he falls on top of it down on the mats in a very painful looking bump.

    Benoit then powerbombs Sabu off of the table set up on the top rope.

    1, 2, 3, and we have new tag team champions.

    Benoit gets a microphone and says that anytime the Public Enemy want a shot at the belts they know where the gold is.

    Public Enemy come out and a brawl is on. 911 brings Taz back out, and he limps around. PE, Benoit, and Malenko take the brawl to the outside. 911 picks Taz up and throws him out of the ring on top of them. Sabu follows up with another dive off of the top rope onto Rocco Rock, and the 3 way brawl continues outside the ring.

    911 chokeslams the referee down into the canvas for no reason, and the crowd loves it. Hilarious.:rofl:

    8.2/10

    The way Taz was taken out and brought back was kind of goofy, but it really gave Sabu a chance to shine, and boy did he. Sabu was very awesome at this time compared to what else was going on in pro wrestling. This was before the luchadores really took of in WCW, so Sabu was doing things that you just did not see. It was a lot of action, and that was always why Sabu was one of my favorites. This match was really one of his best.

    This match gets extra fractions of a point from me because it was just fun. The random chokeslam at the end, the pandemonium, it was starting to really look like ECW finally, and I loved it. I also loved the psychology involved with bringing in the table the way they used it merely as a platform on the top rope. Also, this segment really set up the main event for the next show quite well. You can't doubt that Heyman had really stepped up his game as a booker with this 3 way tag team fued between Benoit/Malenko, Public Enemy, and Sabu/Taz. You have to remember that the 3 way dance really came from ECW, and there weren't many 3 way fueds going on in pro wrestling up to this point(except maybe The Von Erich's vs Freebirds vs Devastation Inc. in WCCW in the 80's).

    Cactus Jack vs DC Drake

    Alright, I don't know who the hell DC Drake is, but based on the title of the this event, I'm willing to bet it ends up with Terry Funk facing Cactus instead of Drake. The Sandman and Cactus had been fueding going back to late 1994, and were coming off of a brutal Texas Death Match on the last show I reviewed. Sandman was supposedly KO'd for real, and had to go to the emergency room after that match. So I'm assuming that he was unable to compete tonight, and brought in someone to take his place.

    So far up to this point Sandman wasn't really drinking beers out in the open. He was just smoking cigarettes, but the personality of the character was there.

    Joey Styles does a very interesting interview ringside with The Sandman and his manager here, the late Nancy "Woman" Benoit.

    Nancy says that first of all, Cactus has been running his mouth about her husband, and that everybody knew who he was. Her husband at this time was Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan was the booker for WCW, where Cactus had recently been fired. She goes on cutting a really decent promo talking about how Cactus tried to take out her meal ticket, The Sandman in their last match.

    Nancy was really good on the microphone.

    Cactus Jack comes out and people in the crowd are trying to hand him weapons, including an empty vodka bottle. Cactus gets in the ring, and some dude gets out of a box in the nearby ringside area. Joey puts Drake over as one of the most sadistic, violent wrestlers in Pennsylvania wresting history. He gets no reaction from the crowd. He looks like the Repo Man with his costume, black paint around the eyes and everything.

    Boy this is sloppy, slow, and terrible. Just a brawl. Cactus works the guy over. Here we go with our third frying pan of the evening:fpalm:. Drake takes the timekeepers hammer to Cactus. Drake smacks the hat off of Straw Hat Guy, he's pissed.:fellah:

    Cactus gets his DDT for the win, and The Sandman attacks him with the cane. Woman rakes Jack's eyes, and Jack goes after her. Drake and Sandman attack Cactus, but he takes them out. The brawl goes near the box at ringside. Cactus shoves Sandman into the box. The box is covered with a black sheet.

    Cactus pulls Sandman back out of the box covered up in the sheet. Cactus rolls Sandman into the ring, stands him up, and pulls the sheet off to reveal Terry Funk!

    Huge pop from the crowd!

    Cactus and Funk circle each other in the ring smacking each other in the face as the crowd goes ape shit. Cactus and Funk begin fighting in the ring. Sandman comes into the ring with the cane, and takes it to Cactus. Funk and Sandman double team Cactus. Cactus gets the cane, and clears Sandman out of the ring. Cactus takes the cane to Terry Funk with some hard shots to his face. Funk takes them, and gets the cane. Funk and the Sandman both destroy Cactus with canes. Wrestlers come out of the back to save Cactus, but each of them gets a cane shot for their efforts. The beating continues for several mintutes as Woman stalks the ring.

    Tommy Dreamer comes out and gets a cane. Dreamer clears Sandman out of the ring, and we have a staredown with Dreamer and Funk. Styles says that Dreamer is Funk's protege. Funk slaps Dreamer across the face as he stands in the center of the ring looking at him with a cane in his hand. Dreamer drops the cane as Funk continues to slap him across his face. Sandman takes Dreamer down with a cane shot to the back of the head.

    Dreamer and Cactus are destroyed, and Terry Funk turns heel on the crowd by talking shit about them. Funk tells Cactus that he hasn't forgotten about their past. Cactus cries out in a microphone for help as Funk & Sandman beat on him.

    Out comes Cactus' former training partner Shane Douglas.

    Shane just watches as Terry & Sandman continue beating on Cactus with canes and chairs.

    Woman tells Shane Douglas that she used to manage the Four Horseman, and promises him that she can help him take them down if she joins Funk and Sandman.

    The Sandman holds Cactus Jack up as Terry Funk tells Shane Douglas to hit him in the face with his ECW World Title. Douglas starts to hit Cactus, but hits The Sandman! Shane takes out Funk & The Sandman with his belt to bring the show to an end.

    7/10

    Kind of a wierd segment with mystery guys coming out of boxes. Surely they could have come up with a better idea.

    With that said the Cactus vs DC Drake match itself was terrible. I'd give it a 3-4 on it's own. The segment that followed with Funk aligning himself with The Sandman turning heel, and Shane Douglas turning face by saving Cactus Jack was a pretty good double switch. This was all giving Douglas and The Sandman a pretty good rub with the already established hardcore legends Cactus and Terry Funk. Not sure why it was necessary to bring Tommy Dreamer in, but perhaps it will lead to something in the future. We'll have to find out on the next episode. Same Shinobi time, same Shinobi channel.

    Overall: 6.8/10

    This show and the last show I reviewed, the first two shows of 1995 for ECW, were really the turning point for the promotion. The turning point for all of the major characters. There were still some issues with Heyman's booking, but you could see some real talent in him with this 3 way tag team fued, and the way he was pushing Dreamer, Sandman, The Pit Bulls, and Douglas, all homegrown talent. The thing with Heyman at this time was that he had really figured out his audience. It was the same group of people coming to all of the shows, and by early 95 Heyman knew exactly what they were going to cheer or boo. That was one of the benefits of running shows in a bingo hall like the ECW Arena, the same crowd came to every show, and you could really give the characters a good chance to develope some depth.

    With that said the Jason/Lauria vs Whipreck/Hack Myers tag match really stunk up the joint and brought the overall score of this show down. Terrible match. Other than that we got to see some vintage Sabu at his best, a cool Raven vs Dreamer segment, and a solid Douglas vs Jannetty match. Overall this was really an in between show to push these storylines, and build up to the next show I will be reviewing, Three Way Dance.
     
    #18
  19. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Pro Wrestling In Early 1995

    So what was the big deal with ECW? Why did the smart marks think it was so cool back in the day? I don't understand this love affair that the promotion's fans had, I mean the shows were put on in a.......Bingo Hall!?:lol:

    The budget was so low, the shows were shot with two cheap cameras. There weren't any flashy production values. There weren't any HBKs, or Diesels, or Hogans, or Hitmans, or Stings, or Randy Savages, I mean ECW didn't have anybody like that.

    So what was the big fucking deal? Why did ECW fans have this love affair with them? Were the ECW fans just idiots with really poor taste?

    To get a feel for why there was this loyalty from the ECW's fans, lets go back to when the the ECW really started to win them over, and lets take a good look at what else was going on in pro wrestling. Lets see what the alternatives looked like. Lets take a look at what was going on in the WCW & WWF in the months leading up to the next show I will be reviewing, ECW Three Way Dance from April 8th 1995, just 6 days after Wrestlemania XI.

    In the WCW, they were on their way to their very first ever Uncensored pay per view. The show was promoted as an unsanctioned event, which meant that there were absolutely no rules. ECW called WCW out on the show several times on Hardcore TV in the weeks leading up to the event, going as fas as saying that Eric Bischoff was ECW's biggest fan. Public Enemy also took several shots at the show(and WCW) in their promo skits on Hardcore TV in March of 95, which were pretty fucking hilarious.

    [​IMG]

    At the show, even though it had been billed as a No Disqualifications show, the Savage vs Avalanche(the late John Tenta) match did in fact end in a disqualification. A previously recorded "King of the Road" match for Uncensored between Dustin Rhodes and The Blacktop Bully was heavily edited due to the blood in the match. Due to WCW's no blood policy at the time, both Dustin Rhodes & The Blacktop Bully were fired for blading in the match.

    Also at Uncensored was a Texas Tornado tag match between Harlem Heat & The Nasty Boys where the two teams made their way to the concession stand to beat each other with lethal objects such as Cotton Candy. The match was heavily parodied in a skit by Public Enemy in the following week's ECW Hardcore TV with both men dressed up like women. If you forget momentarily that Public Enemy would go on to compete in these same watered down WCW hardcore matches themselves about a year later, you will see that these WCW spoof skits were a big part of why they were arguably the most over acts in the ECW at this time in 1995.

    A little known fact is that the biggest heel in ECW history is without a doubt Eric Bischoff. This all started really right here with Uncensored where the ECW painted him as completely ripping them off with the entire Uncensored concept, trying to capitalize on the style that ECW used to generate the hype they were generating at the time.

    [​IMG]

    In the WWF all of the buzz for the upcoming Wrestlemania was over NFL Hall Of Famer Lawrence Taylor coming in to have a match with Bam Bam Bigelow. Diesel was still in the early stages of his year long World Title reign, feuding with the up & coming heel Shawn Michaels. Ted Dibiase's Million Dollar Corporation was the lead heel stable with Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy, Tatanka, Kama, and IRS fueding primarily with The Undertaker. Bret & Owen Hart's epic fued had been brought to an end on Raw in March, and Bret was set to face Bob Backlund in a rematch at Wrestlemania XI

    Wrestlemania XI is generally conceived to be one of(if not the) worst Wrestlemania's of all time. Worse than that, characters like Doink the Clown, Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, Henry Godwin, Mantaur, Jean Pierre Lafitte, and Aldo Montoya were prominently featured week in and week out on Monday Night Raw throughout the spring of 1995.

    Meanwhile, over in the bingo hall, the ECW's main storyline was the double switch between Shane Douglas & Terry Funk. Cactus Jack had been fueding with The Sandman & his valet Nancy "Woman" Benoit. Cactus & The Sandman's fued centered around Cactus talking shit about Woman's real life husband Kevin Sullivan, who was the booker of WCW at the time(Which was common knowledge among ECW fans at the time). Cactus had recently been released from WCW, and his fued with The Sandman really helped put him over as one of ECW's most popular characters. Cactus put The Sandman out of action in a brutal Texas Death Match. The Sandman promised Cactus a mystery opponent at the next ECW show, which turned out to be Terry Funk. Funk turned heel with The Sandman & Woman that same evening with the vicious way he attacked the Philadelphia favorite Cactus Jack. Funk insulted the crowd as he helped The Sandman beat the dogshit out of Cactus with chairs & Singapore canes. Shane Douglas came out, and turned face when he saved Cactus. Shane Douglas & Cactus Jack were training partners in Dominic Denucci's wrestling school, and that was the storyline reason why Shane came to help him.

    During the following weeks Funk cut some epic heel promos that were a throwback to his feud with Ric Flair. Funk talked about Cactus's real life stuff. Mentioned his son Dewey, and said that Cactus was a Charlatan.

    Pretty deep shit huh?!:stalker:

    Cactus' promos that he cut in response on ECW Hardcore TV in March of 1995 were some of the all time greatest wrestling promos. Cactus talked about how he was a real person, and that his name was Mic Foley. Cactus called Funk out on Jobbing to Patrick Swayze in Road House.

    [​IMG]

    The feud culminated at the ECW Arena March 18th 1995 show where Cactus & Shane Douglas faced Terry Funk & The Sandman. During the match Cactus Jack was burned by Terry Funk with a flaming branding iron. Pretty awesome double switch between one of the top heels and the top face in Funk & Shane Douglas. The Funk vs Cactus fued also really gave The Sandman & Shane Douglas a good rub to help establish them as some of the top characters in ECW.

    Also at the same March 18th 1995 show was a "Generation X Guantlet Match", where Tommy Dreamer had to face off against Raven's flock in order to get a match with Raven. Dreamer beat up Raven's lackeys, but was viciously beaten by Raven afterwards. In one of the most extreme, gruesome moments in ECW, Tommy Dreamer was handcuffed to the ropes on the outside of the ring, busted open bleeding like a stuck pig, and beaten to within an inch of his life by Raven.

    Starting to see what all of the fuss was about now? ECW was way more down to earth, and adult oriented.

    The next show up is the Three Way Dance show from April 8th 1995. The main storyline going into this show was a three way tag team fued between The Public Enemy, Sabu & The Tasmaniac, and Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko. A very well booked 3 way fued, but problems would arise with Sabu screwing up the big payoff.

    Sabu had a Japan show booked for the same date, and was unable to make the show. Paul Heyman lambasted Sabu in a pre show speech to the crowd for choosing not to show up, but he failed to mention that Sabu had turned down a lucrative Japanese tour down just weeks prior to perform at ECW shows for less money.

    Heyman offered the fans refunds for their tickets, but asked for everyone to at least wait until intermission to decide whether or not they wanted one. Before intermission Sabu's replacement was revealed to be none other than Rick Stiener.
     
    #19
  20. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Three Way Dance

    April 8th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    This was a huge show for ECW. This is the show that the ECW was building towards starting as far back as the end of 1994 with the 3 way fued between Public Enemy, Benoit & Malenko, and Sabu & Tasmaniac. Sabu, the most over wrestler in the ECW at the time, no showed the event in order to make a much higher paying date in Japan, but Heyman found a pretty good replacement for him(at the time) in Rick Stiener.

    Also going into this show were two of the greatest fueds in pro wrestling history. The Raven vs Tommy Dreamer rivalry was just starting to heat up. Prior to this show Raven had beaten Dreamer pretty badly on Hardcore TV, but the reason for the rivalry was still kind of a mystery at this point in the storyline.

    One of the most underrated fueds/storylines in pro wrestling absolutely has to be this Terry Funk vs Cactus Jack fued in ECW in 1995. The storyline started out with Cactus fueding with a heel Sandman(with manager Woman), but eventually included a double switch with Terry Funk turning heel on the same night that ECW World Champion Shane "The Franchise" Douglas had turned face. It culminated in a tag match in March between Terry Funk & The Sandman against Douglas & Cactus Jack where Terry Funk burned Cactus with a flaming branding iron. The storyline continues on this show with Shane Douglas defending his ECW World Title against The Sandman.

    The show opens up with Joey Styles bringing out Raven, Stevie Richards, and their newest aquisitions to "The Flock", Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson. Stetson and Hotbody are former Eastern Championship Wrestling champions who came out to join Richards & Raven in March of 95. Richards brought out Stetson & Hotbody on Hardcore TV as the guys that were going to help them kick Tommy Dreamer's ass. Dreamer faced Stetson, Hotbody, Richards, and Raven in a "Generation X" Guantlet Match on Hardcore TV in March. Dreamer beat Stetson, Hotbody, and Richards, but was then handcuffed to the ropes in a crucified position, and bloodied by Raven.

    Stevie Richards tells Stetson & Hotbody that they need to prove their worth to Raven, and that if they lose the next match they will be fired.

    Richards says that he will make Raven proud by bringing out the men that can get the job done against Tommy Dreamer, Stetson & Hotbody, and probably anyone else in the ECW, The Pitbulls.

    [​IMG]

    The Pit Bulls vs Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson

    The Pit Bulls were two really big, intense, powerful guys like Ryback. They come out and immediately destroy Stetson & Hotbody with martial arts kicks, and a superbomb for a quick 1 minute squash.

    5/10

    Not bad. Pit Bulls look real tough here, so this did it's job. They were getting a pretty good push, and they took a step up here by becoming Raven's enforcers.

    Richards gets a microphone after the match to tell Raven that he did a good job of recruiting The Pit Bulls. Richards plays probably the greatest lackey of all time. Raven tells Richards that he finally succeeded. The Pit Bulls come ringside to tell Raven that he is their new master, and that they will win the tag team titles to give them over to him.

    Pretty interesting storyline progression. As we continue to examine the Raven vs Tommy Dreamer fued, you will realize that it involved a lot of different characters over the two and a half years that it lasted.

    The segment continues after The Pit Bulls make their exit. Richards tells Raven that he has a bigger surprise for him tonight. Richards asks Raven if he remembers "That Girl" that he was telling him about how she was at the Summer Camp with Raven & Dreamer. Richards tells Raven that he brought the girl to the ECW Arena, and promtly gets the shit smacked out of him by Raven.

    Just a quick note, Raven's look just screams 1995 here. I remember people actually dressed like this believe it or not.

    Raven screams at Richards for bringing "that fat, overweight, disgusting" woman to the ECW Arena

    Richards tells Raven that she isn't the same girl that Raven left at Summercamp. Richards brings her out, and this walks out:

    [​IMG]

    Beulah Mcgillicutty makes her ECW debut.

    Beulah's hair is all messed up, and she totally pulls off the "Hot Grunge ****" look perfectly!

    Raven vs Tommy Dreamer

    Tommy Dreamer comes out for his first one on one match with Raven, who patiently waits for him perched in the corner.

    Raven and Dreamer start brawling with each other with a lot of emotion. The crowd really gets into it as they furiously brawl all over the ECW Arena.

    Dreamer uses a frying pan. We have our first frying pan of the evening.:fpalm:

    Dreamer then gets a cheese grater, and a metal street sign out of the crowd to hit Raven with. Raven is already busted open with a pretty gruesome crimson mask.

    Just a really intense brawl here. Both guys did a real good job of making it feel like it meant something. There was definitely some emotion here, and not just two guys beating each other around the building.

    Tommy Dreamer really has the fans behind him here.

    Raven takes the momentum of the match after countering a backbody drop with a DDT.

    Raven beats on Dreamer in the ring as Stevie Richards tries to make a move on Beulah on the outside. Stevie gives Beulah a kiss, but she smacks him in the face.

    Stevie grabs Beulah by the throat and starts choking her like Homer Simpson does Bart.:rofl:

    Tommy goes to the outside to save Beulah, but she sprays him in the face with hairspray. Dreamer is blinded on the outside, and takes a Superkick from Richards, followed immediately by a DDT to the concrete from Raven.

    Raven rolls Dreamer into the ring to get the win after about 8 minutes.

    6/10

    Nothing special about the match, but I kind of liked the finish. A good match that really felt like there was some legit emotion in it, and kept the storyline rolling along with this new uber grunge **** character in Beulah Mcgillicutty.

    Mikey Whipreck vs Ron Simmons

    Man, it's not looking too good for Whipreck here, Simmons is JACKED UP HUGE!

    The crowd starts a "KICK HIS ASS MICKEY, KICK HIS ASS! clap, clap" chant before he even comes out to the ring.

    Ron Simmons dominates Whipreck by slamming him around the ring like a Ragedy Andy doll as Joey Styles says.

    The fans start chanting for 911, who was in the middle of a feud with Simmons in the early parts of 95.

    Ron Simmons devastates Whipreck with two chokeslams before chokeslamming the referree.

    The bell rings signalling a........DQ!?!?!?!?

    Whipreck wins by DQ.

    Out comes 911.

    Simmons and 911 fight like two monsters in a Godzilla movie. Ron Simmons drops 911 with his own finisher, The Chokeslam.

    5/10

    Nothing spectacular here as far as the wrestling, but nothing too bad either. Simmons looked like a total monster here, and was in great shape.

    ECW TV Title Match
    Too Cold Scorpio(C) vs Eddie Guerrero


    This was Eddie Guerrero's debut in ECW. His brother Hector wrestled at the previous ECW show.

    Scorpio has a taped up shoulder due to a kayfabe injury at the hands of "The Crippler" Chris Benoit.

    Guerrero looks really good in the opening minutes of the match with some really good looking moves. The crowd quickly gets behind Eddie because of his talent.

    Eddie leaps off of the top rope to the outside on top of Scorpio with an AMAZING dive. Incredible height and distance. Awesome.

    Eddie lands his Tornado DDT out of the corner to get a standing ovation from the crowd in the Bingo Hall. Eddie then gets a Frankenstiener off the top for a 2 count. Eddie goes up top like he is fixing to attempt another Frankenstiener, but Scorpio pushes him off. Eddie does a backflip to land on his feet, but Scorpio follows him with a Flying Cross Body Press.

    Scorpio takes the momentum of the match, and lands a nice looking moonsault followed by his amazing "Tumbleweed" flying guillatine somersault legdrop with a twist.

    Eddie counters a Wheelbarrow Suplex attempt to catch Scorpio in a victory roll to win the title, and the crowd goes crazy. Really, really good looking counter.

    Loudest pop of the evening.

    Eddie offers a handshake, and Scorpio accepts. Joey Styles says that somewhere Art Barr is looking down smiling on Eddie Guerrero with a crack in his voice like he is about to cry.

    8.5/10

    Outstanding match, and a really emotional win. One of those matches that makes me say that ECW was the best wrestling promotion of 1995. I've seen better Scorpio matches, but overall this was a really good match. Eddie looked great in the ring. The selling, psychology, and action were all there. You could see here with his first major US title victory that he had a lot of potential.

    Eddie wins his first title in his very first ECW match, and would go on to win the WWE Championship 8 years later.

    Hair vs Hair Match
    Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten


    Ian & Axl are in the middle of THE fued that put the Extreme into Extreme Championship Wrestling. They had a pretty brutal strap match in March that was ECW's way at taking a shot at the terrible Hogan vs Vader strap match that took place that month at WCW's Uncensored pay per view. Axl and Ian's feud was really the first to bring in the over the top FMW type of blood and gore to the ECW.

    15 seconds into this match, and we already have our second frying pan of the evening.:fpalm::fpalm:

    These guys just brawl with each other sloppily in and out of the ring, and around the ECW Arena with razor blades taped to their finger tips. Nothing pretty here. Ian has a pretty gruesome crimson mask going.

    Believe it or not these guys do actually use more wrestling moves in this match than their previous 3 matches combined. We get to see a Swinging Neckbreaker from Ian.

    Both guys are bleeding from their foreheads and their arms as they brawl through the crowd.

    I love watching how the crowd reacts to something like this. Mixed reactions here between the bloodthirsty E! C! DUB! chanters, and those that are kind of disgusted, trying not to get any blood on them.

    Axl gets another win after a chair shot, and cuts Ian's hair off with scissors.

    Ian hits Axl with a paint rolling pan, and jabs him in the forehead with the scissors before making his exit.

    4/10

    I'm not a real big fan of these matches. This one in particular wasn't very good at all.

    Hack Myers vs Dino Sandoff

    Sandoff is a small jobber. Myers is quite over with this crowd for some reason, probably the way he was booked through the earlier parts of the year.

    The crowd loudly shouts "Shah!" with every strike landed by Myers as he just wears this jobber out.

    This match sucks. Sandoff actually gets some offense in, and I'm not really understanding why it was necessary.

    Myers gets the pinfall after a Brainbuster.

    3/10

    I like my squash matches short, sweet, and dominant. This was not any of those, and was quite terrible really.

    ECW World Championship
    Shane Douglas(C) vs The Sandman


    People like to knock on The Sandman because he isn't a wrestler, but what about his character? It's an entertainment business in the first place, not wrestling, and I personally find The Sandman's character quite entertaining. He's a pool-hall hustler/bar room brawler who traded in his pool stick for a Singapore cane, should that type of character really know how to "Wrestle"?

    Sandman comes out smoking a cig(no beers yet) with Nancy "Woman" Benoit, who is smoking hot here.

    Nancy was actually a very talented manager who was pretty damn good on the microphone.

    Shane Douglas looks pretty good starting out with a vertical suplex, and a rolling neckbreaker.

    Something weird about this tape that I have is that for some reason we cut away to a later part of the match where The Sandman is winning the match.

    Sandman is actually using wrestling moves on Shane Douglas.

    Yeah, this match is clipped up for some reason. This is an officially released tape of the show, so I don't get it. Usually they wouldn't clip up the matches like this(unless it was on Hardcore TV).

    Joey Styles says that The Sandman has dominated Shane Douglas without using his cane, or brawling out of the ring throughout the match.

    There seems to be some tension between The Sandman and his manager. Sandman orders Woman to bring him his cane. Sandman gets her to light him a cig, but as she does, she throws the cane into the ring for Shane Douglas to use.

    Shane racks Sandman in the groin with the cane. Douglas rolls Sandman up in a small package cradle to get the win.

    Woman kisses Shane Douglas, and has apparently joined him as his new valet.

    Douglas crushes The Sandman's cig's and pours them out on him.

    Pretty cool shot afterwards of The Sandman in the ring all alone dejected, and beaten lighting up one of the crumpled up cigs.

    The show cuts away to a promo with The Sandman telling Woman to bring all of the women's activists that she can with her to the ECW Arena at the next show, because he will beat all of them into the ground along with her.

    It cuts away again to a promo from Shane Douglas & Woman, and it has become obvious to me that this was all just buildup to their next match at the next ECW show. I think that is why they didn't show too much of this match on this tape.

    7/10

    Hard to grade it because it didn't show the entire match, but it was a pretty cool little segment with a really good promo from both Douglas & Woman. From what little bit I did see of the actual match there was some actual psychology in the match, with both characters swapping roles. Sandman outclassed Douglas with clean wrestling, but Douglas stole the win by using the cane.

    ECW World Tag Team Championship Three Way Dance
    Public Enemy vs Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko(C) vs Rick Stiener & The Tasmaniac


    Public Enemy's entrance is awesome. They were so loved by this crowd. Some of their WCW parody skits from Hardcore TV in 1995 were pretty funny, and a big reason why they were so over with the Philly crowd.

    Benoit & Malenko come out next, and immediately start to brawl.

    Taz and Stiener come out next with Heyman and the brawl is on.

    Suplexes everywhere. Taz and Stiener made a good pair, and clean the ring out upon arrival.

    Taz and Ric Stiener continue to suplex guys around the ring. Stiener drops Benoit with the Steinerline.

    All three teams take the fight to the outside. Malenko drops Taz with a steel chair.

    Rocco Rock uses two frying pans, one in each hand to attack Dean Malenko, and Ric Stiener.

    That's four total frying pans on this show so far, I think that may be a record.:fpalm::fpalm::fpalm::fpalm:

    Benoit and Malenko double team Taz in the ring as Public Enemy fights with Stiener in the crowd.

    Chris Benoit hits Taz with his flying headbutt, and pins him. Taz and Stiener are eliminated first, but stay in the match.

    Stiener and Taz destroy everyone with suplexes before making their exit.

    Benoit and Malenko double team Grunge and Rocco Rock. The pace of the match slows down tremendously with all 4 men sloppily brawling in the ring.

    PE take over the match with a steel chair, and it just turns into a wild weapons brawl.

    Benoit and Rocco Rock brawl over to the sound stage/eagles nest balcony area of the ECW Arena. Rock sets Benoit up on the table, and climbs up to the balcony. Rock leaps off with a somersault, but Benoit moves out of the way. Pretty awesome looking table spot.

    Benoit & Malenko set up a table in the ring. Benoit superplexes Rocco Rock off the top through the table. Dean Malenko mocks Sabu in the ring as he and Benoit continue to dominate PE.

    Johnny Grunge drops both Malenko & Benoit with a double DDT in the ring, and Rocco Rock immediately follows it up with a somersault senton splash off of the top rope to get the pinfall, and win the ECW World Tag Team titles.

    Everyone in the ECW Arena starts waving their arms back and forth as PE's music comes on.

    Taz and Stiener come back out to fight off Malenko & Benoit as Public Enemy celebrate the victory with the fans.

    The celebration is cut short when The Pitbulls come out to attack Public Enemy, bringing the show to an end.

    7/10

    A pretty long match, over 20 minutes, but not all of it was good. It had some great moments, and it had a pretty good ending, but there was just a little too much sloppy weapon brawling going on to get any higher of a score. The Pit Bulls attack would kickstart one of the best tag team fueds in all of wrestling. Overall the Public Enemy's run in the ECW was just a bit underrated in my opinion.

    Altogether this wasn't really a bad show at all. It had some great matches/moments. Eddie Guerrero vs 2 Cold Scorpio was great. Raven and Dreamer's storyline progressed with the introduction of Beulah, and the involvement of the Pit Bulls. With that said there was a lot of mediocre to downright terrible stuff on here that keep the overall score down.

    Overall: 6.6/10
     
    #20
  21. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Hostile City Showdown

    April 15th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    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.

    [youtube]EZJCuYWEMAk[/youtube]​

    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.:lol:

    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.

    7.7/10

    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.

    0/10

    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 unravels barbed wire from the bat, and wraps in around Axl's face. The barbed wire gets tangled around Axl pretty good, and the match turns into a bloody mess.

    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.

    6.9/10

    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 **** 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.

    [youtube]eFwkv14u3b4[/youtube]​

    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.:lol: 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:huh:). 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.

    Epic.

    8.5/10

    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.

    10/10

    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.:lol:

    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.

    Woman doublecrossed Shane Douglas.

    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!"

    7/10

    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.

    8/10

    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.

    8/10

    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.

    Overall: 10/10

    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.
     
    #21
  22. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Enter The Sandman

    May 13th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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 **** 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.:lol:

    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

    5/10

    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).

    [​IMG]

    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.

    9/10

    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.

    6/10

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [youtube]TAqZb52sgpU[/youtube]​

    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.:lol: 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......

    Holy Shit.:rofl:

    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.

    9/10

    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.

    8/10

    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.

    ECW Championship
    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.:lol:

    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.

    6.3/10

    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.

    6.5/10

    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.

    Both teams drag each other around, and beat each other up with the chains. Johnny Grunge and Pit Bull #1 take it to the outside. This thing just gets real sloppy. Grunge and Pitbull #1 beat each other with a frying pan. Rocco Rock tries to put Pitbull #2 through a table, but the table doesn't break.

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.


    6.6/10

    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.

    Overall: 7/10

    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.
     
    #22
    Hollywood Naitch likes this.
  23. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Barbed Wire, Hoodies, and Chokeslams

    June 17th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    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:)suspic:) 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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [youtube]rvL44DxNjpY[/youtube]​

    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.:lol: 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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    1.5/10

    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.:lol: 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.

    2/10

    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.

    3/10

    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.:lol:

    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!":lol:

    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.

    6.5/10

    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!:lol:

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    ECW Championship
    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:

    OH! Here we go. Woman pulls out a cold one. Sandman goes back to the outside, and drinks a beer. Sandman finishes his beer and smoke before entering the ring. Cactus tries to push Sandman's face into the wire, but Woman hits him with the cane. Cactus is sent into the wire. Cactus' hair gets tangled up in the wire.

    OH SHIT!

    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.

    7/10

    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.

    Overall: 6/10

    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.
     
    #23
  24. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.:lol:

    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.

    [youtube]1STxb5SEIwo[/youtube]​

    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.
     
    #24
  25. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Hardcore Heaven

    July, 1st 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA​

    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).

    [​IMG]

    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".:lol:

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    4/10

    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.:lol:

    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.

    7/10

    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.

    3/10

    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.

    8.2/10

    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:lol:), 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 ****bag 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:

    OUCH!

    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.

    5.7/10

    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.:lol:

    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.:lol:

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    4.8/10

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    Shane Douglas attacks Todd Gordon, and rips his suit off of him. A ref comes out, and Shane hits him. The jobbers come out, and Shane clears them out of the ring. Shane continues to bully Todd Gordon.

    Out comes 911.

    911 almost chokeslams Douglas through the fucking ring. Crowd goes insane.

    8/10

    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.

    6.9/10

    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.

    Overall: 7.7/10

    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.
     
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