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Old 12-16-2012, 04:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
ShinobiMusashi
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

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.



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:



Beulah Mcgillicutty makes her ECW debut.

Beulah's hair is all messed up, and she totally pulls off the "Hot Grunge Slut" 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.::

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 slut 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.::::

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.

Quote:
This is just disgusting.

This is so offensive.

-Joey Styles
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.::::::::

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
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