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Old 12-15-2012, 10:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

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".



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.: 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.

Quote:
You know in about a month or so, WCW is going to have a pay per view called Uncensored. Now Eric Bischoff I know you are watching, you are our biggest fan.

CENSOR THIS!

-Joey Styles
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 pussies), 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:



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::. 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.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:45 AM   #22 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 56
ShinobiMusashi 101 - 250ShinobiMusashi 101 - 250
Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

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!?:

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.



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.



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.

Quote:
Charlatan: In usage, a subtle difference is drawn between the charlatan and other kinds of confidence people. The charlatan is usually a salesperson. He does not try to create a personal relationship with his marks, or set up an elaborate hoax using roleplaying. Rather, the person called a charlatan is being accused of resorting to quackery, pseudoscience, or some knowingly employed bogus means of impressing people in order to swindle his victims by selling them worthless nostrums and similar goods or services that will not deliver on the promises made for them

-Wikipedia
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.



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.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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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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Old 12-16-2012, 09:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

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.



Also going on in the land of Extreme around this time was the departure of the biggest superstar in the company, Sabu. Sabu failed to show up for the big blowoff 3 way dance tag match at the last show I reviewed, and would be out of ECW for a majority of 1995. Sabu went on to wrestle in Japan, and eventually Dubya Cee Dubya for a cup of coffee.

Pretty much all of the major storylines leading up to this show were connected somehow or another. Cactus Jack was fueding with The Sandman, who brought in Terry Funk to help him, which caused Shane Douglas to turn face to save Cactus(because they were old training buddies in Dominic Denucci's wrestling school, and Funk was an old rival of Douglas from a year earlier in ECW). Funk got involved in the early stages of the Tommy Dreamer vs Raven storyline in a guantlet match between Tommy Dreamer and Raven's flock. Dreamer faced Raven's flock(which consisted of Stevie Richards, Tony Stetson, and Johnny Hotbody at the time) in a "Generation X Guantlet Match", where each member of the flock was handcuffed to the ring post on the outside. Dreamer had to defeat each of Raven's lackeys to unlock Raven, but before Dreamer was done with Stevie Richards, Terry Funk came out to unlock Raven from his cuffs. Raven brutally attacked Dreamer, handcuffed him to the ropes on the outside in a crucifix position, and busted his head open in one of the bloodiest moments in pro wrestling history.

After the Generation X guantlet match, Raven quickly fired Stetson & Hotbody, and replaced them with The Pit Bulls. The Pit Bulls told Raven that he was their new master, and that they were going to win the ECW Tag Team titles for him. At the end of the last show, after Public Enemy had won the titles back from Malenko/Benoit in the Three Way Dance, The Pit Bulls violently attacked Public Enemy.

Also at the previous show, Sandman's manager Nancy "Woman" Benoit turned on him to align herself with Shane Douglas. This was kind of a confusing booking call, seeing as how Douglas had just turned face. Now it was as if they did another Double Switch, turning Douglas back heel, while at the same time turning the Sandman face for the first time during his "Barroom Brawler" gimmick.

Mikey Whipwreck vs Stevie Richards

Stevie Richards is accompanied by Raven, who slouches in his corner during introductions from ring announcer Bob Artese. Richards looks so goofy here with his mullett, cut off shirt, combat boots, and cut off daisy duke shorts. I have an uncle that actually used to dress like this back in the day, same haircut and all.:

After a brief exchange, Whipreck leaves the ring to go to the back.

Whipreck comes back out with Hack Myers. This guy was pretty worthless, but was so fucking over here(thanks to the way Heyman booked him). This crowd is already fired up big time. Hot crowd.

Really good match early on. Whipreck targets Richard's left arm. Some great selling, and a good pace of action.

The crowd starts a "Daisy Dukes" chant.

Some great selling with the left arm from Richards. Raven gets involved by tripping Mikey up, and the fans on the front row lose it. Hack Myers trips Richards up to even up the score.

Mikey Whipreck's selling in this match is incredible. He makes the bumps look really good in this match. So far they have worked a really good, clean match inside the ring within the standard rules of a wrestling match.

Mikey counters a powerbomb attempt with a hurricanrana for a pinfall, and the victory. Raven attacks Mikey after the match, but Hack Myers fights him off. The Pit Bulls come out to beat up on Whipreck & Hack Myers until all of a sudden Public Enemy comes out. Huge pop. PE cleans house.

After Raven, Richards, and The Pit Bulls retreat, Rocco Rock reaches into Hack Myers pants, and steals his wallet. Rocco makes a joke about how there was only $2 in his wallet.

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.

Quote:
Looks like Ian Rotten has already been busted open. I guess he wont be booking any flights to Atlanta in the near future.

-Joey Styles taking shots at WCW's No Blood policy at the time
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 Slut Beulah Mcgillicutty. Beulah interfered in Dreamer's match that evening against Raven, costing him the match.

Raven comes out to Offspring's "Come Out and Play". I remember when that was the hottest CD at the time. 1994-95 was owned by Green Day & Offspring. Offspring's Smash was actually my very first ever CD(followed closely by Dookie). Good times.



Raven, Richards, and Beulah(SMOKING HOT!) come out together to talk to Joey Styles for an interview.

Stevie Richards is awesome on the mic here.

Oh my god, did I tell you how hot Beulah was here in this video with her flannel skirt? Jeez.

Stevie goes back over the storyline pretty much, talking about how Dreamer mistreated Beulah(a zitface, fat slob at the time apparently), and Raven at Summer Camp.: I got to admit that is pretty stupid. Surely they could have come up with something better. Truth is that the early days of this Raven vs Dreamer fued were just booked on the fly. Heyman didn't actually have any long term plans for Raven, and only planned on a short fued. The character really took off with the fans, and plans changed. Storylines changed, and from the looks of this one, they probably came up with it that day.

Raven immediately does a dive over the top rope onto Tommy Dreamer on the outside of the ring before he even gets a chance to enter. Raven attacks Dreamer on the outside, and beats him all the way up the entrance isle to the back kitchen/concession stand area(yeah, would you eat some nachos from the ECW Arena? I don't think so: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.:

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.

Quote:
WHAT!?!?

-Joey Styles
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::. 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.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:33 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

your writing some good shit OP, but to be honest i stopped reading half way on page 1. i have a few months of the 1st 1993 tapings and intend to get more if i can. dont want spoilers
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:45 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

Quote:
Originally Posted by dude69 View Post
your writing some good shit OP, but to be honest i stopped reading half way on page 1. i have a few months of the 1st 1993 tapings and intend to get more if i can. dont want spoilers
Awesome man. Thanks!

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.



Raven and Dreamer's feud started to heat up a lot as well. Raven(with his lackey Stevie Richards) recruited the Pitbulls as his enforcers, and Terry Funk has even helped him out on occasion. Beulah Mcgillicutty was introduced into the storyline as Raven's grungy slut girlfriend. She cost Dreamer a match against Raven at a previous show, but Dreamer got his revenge on her at Hostile City Showdown in one of the greatest moments in ECW history.

Sabu had been fired from the company earlier in the year, and wouldn't return until November. Taz was still in his Tasmaniac gimmick, but his character was starting to evolve into something else. Altogether the promotion came a long ways from that Crossing The Line show in February of 1994 up to this point. ECW evolved gradually over the course of that year, and they were really starting to make some noise among the sheet reading, internet savy, smart mark pro wrestling fans by this time in 1995. Lets see if this show lives up to the quality of the previous show that I reviewed(I don't think it can).

Hack Myers vs Tony Stetson.

The show opens up in the grimey, smoke filled ECW Arena. These two guys come out and get it going pretty quickly. Hack Myers is pretty much worthless, but he is over as fuck here. Whenever he throws a strike everyone in the arena screams out "SHAH!" along with him.

Tony Stetson is equally as worthless, but nowhere near as over.

Stetson starts to land some offense, and the crowd starts screaming out "Shit!" with each punch.:

Stetson and Myers go back and forth with the crowd screaming out "SHAH!" and "SHIT!" with each punch. Pretty funny stuff. The match is pretty sloppy. Stetson is selling everything surprisingly well.

Myers gets the pinfall with a face first piledriver after 5:30

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).



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.::

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.



Oh man, Alphonso gets this fucking crowd fired up. Fonzie(as he will be referred to from here on out) is one hell of a performer, and this is the beginning of one of the best storylines in the history of ECW. ECW owner Todd Gordon comes out. Fonzie tells Gordon that he will shut the ECW down tonight if he has any problems. The crowd starts chanting for 911.

Fonzie assumes the position to referee the match. Dreamer and Mikey come out to "Man in the Box" by Alice In Chains.



Mikey starts it off with Stevie. Dreamer gets the tag, throws Stevie out of the ring, and tries to go after him.

Fonzie keeps Dreamer from getting out of the ring, and the crowd goes crazy with "Bullshit!" chants.: Dreamer drops Richards in the ring with a DDT. Dreamer refuses to pin Richards because he wants Raven. Dreamer tags back out to Whipreck. Dreamer drops Whipreck down onto Richards, and begs Raven to come into the ring. Raven just stands in the corner looking at him with a stoic look on his face.

Mikey continues to work Richards over. Richards counters a move by Mikey, and tags out to Raven. Raven and Richards continue to beat on Mikey. Fonzie keeps Dreamer out of the ring, and keeps the match clean.

Raven and Richards use some nice double team moves on Mikey. Richards gets a drop toe hold, and Raven lands an elbow across the back of his head. Raven tries to throw Mikey off the top rope down to the concrete outside, but Dreamer catches him for the save. Dreamer rolls Mikey back into the ring where he reverses a move on Raven. Mikey pulls the rope down sending Raven to the outside. Mikey misses a dive over the top onto Raven and Richards, but Dreamer comes in and follows him up with a dive of his own that takes out Stevie. Raven DDT's Mikey into the concrete as Dreamer does the same to Stevie at the same time. Dreamer and Raven get in the ring together.

Dreamer finally gets his hands on Raven in the ring. Dreamer lays Raven out with a couple of punches, and......

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.:

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.

Quote:
This is still ECW. You know the rules, there are no rules!

-Todd Gordon
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.



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.


6.9/10

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.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

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.



Sandman was feuding with Cactus Jack starting early in 95. They had a brutal Texas Death Match that really won The Sandman a lot of fans, and brought him a newfound respect from the ECW audience. The more I see the more I realize that this Sandman/Woman vs Cactus Jack feud in ECW in 1995 is quite underrated. They took it to the next level here in the second of only four total barbed wire matches in ECW history.

After Shane Douglas was cheated out of his belt by Sandman & Woman, he put on a WWF Raw shirt, and stormed out of the front door of the ECW Arena. Douglas' character had grown tired of ECW's emphasis on weapons and brawling over real wrestling. At the next show, Douglas brought in someone that would enforce standard rules and regulations in ECW. The referee that calls it right down the middle, Bill Alphonso(from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission).

Elsewhere in the land of extreme, Raven & Tommy Dreamer's feud grew to involve Luna Vachon at the last show. There was a pretty big fued going on here between Raven's "Flock"(Stevie Richards, Beulah, and The Pitbulls) against Dreamer and Public Enemy. Luna did a run in to help Dreamer fight off Stevie Richards, Raven, and Beulah at the end of the last show.

Taz had been repackaged from Tasmaniac into the third Stiener Brother. Public Enemy were the top drawing, most over act in the promotion, which is crazy when you think about it. The reactions they were getting from these fans is hard to believe if you are only familiar with their work in WCW. They were strait up home grown Heyman talent that really worked well with the Philly crowd for some reason. I think you would really have to have been alive in the mid 90's to understand the appeal of Public Enemy. The major thing going on in pop culture around this time was the West Coast vs East Coast hip hop feud. The feud centered around Tupac Shakur & Notorious B.I.G.



ECW would do their own spin on the East Coast vs West Coast rivalry that was going on when The Gangstas came over from Smoky Mountain Wrestling. The Gangstas(New Jack & Mustapha) would draw heat in Smoky Mountain by really pushing some people's buttons with their over the top stereotypical racial characters. The Gangstas would often times come out eating fried chicken and watermelon. New Jack would rant on with promos about slavery, and southern bigotry. They even pushed it further by enforcing Affirmative Action to win matches with 2 counts instead of 3.: It got to the point where the NAACP would even show up to Smoky Mountain shows to protest the Gangstas for representing the African american community in the wrong way.



New Jack and Mustapha would leave Smoky Mountain for ECW with proper notice, but rumors are that Jim Cornette was so angry about their departure that he blackballed them from anywhere and everywhere that he could.

The Gangstas represented the West coast against the East coast Public Enemy. The feud started on Hardcore TV leading up to this show during PE's trademark promos that they would cut in the back alleys of Philadelphia. At the end of one of their promos they stumbled upon some of the Gangsta's spray painted graffiti on one of the walls in their neighborhood. This show would see The Gangsta's ECW debut.

Broad Street Billy (Tony Stetson) vs The New Jersey Devil

Alright, before we even get started with this match lets stop and think for a second when and where this event takes place. This is June 17th 1995 in southern Philadelphia. Just four days prior to this show the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated from the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 6th game of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals by the New Jersey Devils(Who went on to win the cup).

The Devil is some skinny jobber. Stetson is pretty much a jobber as well, but he had been wrestling in ECW for a few years by this point. Both men are wearing hockey jerseys. Stetson is wearing hockey gloves. He drops the gloves, and beats the crap out of the Jersey Devil for the win after about 15 seconds.

Stetson celebrates until The Devil hits him from behind. The Jersey Devil beats on Stetson until all of a sudden 911 and Paul Heyman come out together.

Crowd goes crazy. 911 gives The Jersey Devil the nastiest chokeslam I have ever seen in my life! Good god almighty. Stiff.

Crowd is blowing the roof off of the Arena. Heyman leans over Devil's dead body and gives him the last rights. 911 gives him another chokeslam. The crowd starts chanting "ONE! MORE! TIME!". Oh man! Another really hard chokeslam. This guy's body bounces off of the mat. Ouch.

The crowd still chants "ONE! MORE! TIME!":rofl:

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.: 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::. 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.:

911 avoids a splash, and chokeslams him down for the pinfall. The crowd starts chanting "FOUR! MORE! TIMES!". 911 chokeslams him again, and the crowd starts singing "Na-Na-Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-Hey-Hey, Good Bye!". The crowd chants "THREE! MORE! TIMES". Heyman gets a microphone, and says that the next chokeslam is dedicated to all of his associates in the CNN towers in Atlanta Georgia. 911 chokeslams him again.

"TWO! MORE! TIMES!":

Heyman says that they can't chokeslam him again.........Unless!

He gets to dedicate the next chokeslam to WCW's Renegade(WCW's Ultimate Warrior rip off). 911 gives him a fourth chokeslam. The crowd chants for one more, and Heyman says that he can't do it. Heyman says that he can forgive Shane Douglas for wearing a monday night raw t-shirt, but he just can't give Jim Steele one more chokeslam. Heyman and 911 act like they are leaving the building. Heyman climbs through the ropes, but before he climbs down off of the apron he says "Unless!".

Heyman dedicates the fifth and final chokeslam to "BILL MOTHERFUCKIN' ALPHONSO!". 911 gives Steel a 5th chokeslam. The crowd starts chanting "E! C! DUB!" as 911 and Heyman make their exit.

Much like the opening segment, this isn't really a match. Just kind of a skit. Heyman really knew how to work this crowd up into a frenzy, and that's what he did here. I don't really know how to put a grade on it. The crowd really makes the segment. They were just eating out of Heyman's hand here.

Beulah vs Luna Vachon

Beulah comes out with Raven and Stevie Richards. Luna comes out solo. Beulah takes off her shirt and unwraps the flannel from around her waist to reveal a tight little one piece swimsuit. OH MY GAWD! HOTNESS! This woman was amazing. The reaction of the guys in the crowd when they disrobes is fucking hilarious.:rofl: Beulah taunts Luna from across the ring. The bell rings, and Stevie immediately sneaks up behind Luna. Stevie cracks Luna in the back with a steel chair.

Beulah pins Luna immediately. Raven drops Luna with a DDT, and gives her a loaded boot to the side of the head. Tommy Dreamer comes out with his head wrapped up from his previous match. Raven hits him in the head with the steel chair. Raven drops Dreamer with a DDT, and proceeds to "break" Tommy Dreamer's fingers one by one. Raven goes to the outside, and handcuff's Luna to the ropes in a crucified position. Raven gets a chair. Raven tries to hit Luna in the head, but Dreamer puts himself in front of it to shield her.

This is another segment that wasn't really a match. Beulah is one of the best looking women that ever lived. Raven taking the upper hand in the feud like this was pretty interesting. He beat Dreamer and Luna pretty badly here. This segment did a pretty good job of making Raven out to be a pretty ruthless heel.

Handicap Match: Too Cold Scorpio & Taz vs The Pitbulls & Raven

This match was supposedly going to be 2 Cold Scorpio, "The New" Taz, and Dreamer vs The Pitbulls & Raven.

Hack Myers comes out to take Dreamer's place. Myers clears the Flock out of the ring. Bill Alphonso comes out. Fonzie won't allow Myers to wrestle in the match. He orders him out of the ring, and makes the match a handicapped match. This crowd hates Bill Alphonso.

Scorpio comes out to fight Raven and The Pitbulls solo. They overwhelm him until all of a sudden "The All New" Taz comes out. He has a new orange and black singlet on, and he has cut off his long stringy hair. He comes in and tosses Raven & The Pitbulls around with some of the best overhead belly to belly suplexes I have ever seen in my life. You could see Taz had a lot of legitimate power. He throws these guys around like ragdolls. The crowd loves it.

Taz and Pitbull #2 start if off together. Taz throws the bigger man with a nice Judo hiptoss. Scorpio gets tagged in. The Pitbulls take the momentum of the match by double teaming Scorpio. Raven gets tagged in. Raven and The Pitbulls take turns beating on Scorpio. Scorpio gets a reversal on Pitbull 2 to take him down in an armlock submission. Scorpio does what he does best and carries The Pitbulls through an entertaining couple of minutes. Taz gets tagged in, and is soon double teamed by The Pitbulls on the outside. The Pitbulls take a chair to Taz on the outside. Raven and The Pitbull take turns beating on Taz in the ring. Taz ducks a clothesline, and tosses Raven with his Head and Arm "Tazplex". Taz gets the hot tag to Scorpio. Scorpio comes in to clear the ring.

Scorpio goes up top for a fucking amazing moonsault. Beautiful.

Paul Heyman points out a fan in the front row holding up an "I Love Stevie Richards" sign. It's Francine.

Stevie approaches Francine. Raven goes over to Stevie, and smacks him in the face for being distracted. Beulah and Francine start a little scuffle before Raven drags both Beulah and Stevie away to the back by their hair.

The Pitbulls lay out Taz and Scorpio. The Pitbulls look around for Raven wondering where he went. Taz catches one of the Pitbulls by surprise, and tosses him off the top rope with a suplex for the win.

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!:

Trash starts flying into the ring. Fonzie says that the match will not go down at all, and calls out Todd Gordon. Fonzie takes their weapons away from them. The crowd starts a camptown races chant about how Fonzie takes it up the ass.:rofl:

Axl says that he doesn't want to screw the people out of their hard earned money, and starts brawling with Ian Rotten. The two men brawl their way out of the scene to the back. PE starts celebrating with their fans. Everybody is dancing and having a real good time until all of a sudden........

These guys come out to crash the party:



The Gangstas make their ECW debut by attacking Public Enemy. Styles acts like he doesn't know who they are. Joey thinks they are fans that jumped the railing, and talks about how they aren't even working in ECW. The Gangstas beat down PE as Joey cries out for help. Public Enemy are busted open bleeding all over the place.

Todd Gordon comes out with Philadelphia Police. The Gangstas are handcuffed and arrested.

Some stupid booking going on with the whole Ian & Axl Rotten ordeal(just a way to squeeze them into the show), but Bill Alphonso is just hilarious in this role to me for some reason. He really nails it with his performance, and gets some great heat from the crowd. The Gangsta's debut was pretty cool. PE needed a good rival, and The Gangstas were perfect for them.

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:

Quote:
You know, Sandman, I never thought I would be saying this, but...

Get your ass IN the ring right now!
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.:stalker:

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.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #28 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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@cloverelf.....my thoughts exactly

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:03 AM   #29 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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This stuff would make a great book,i can't stop reading

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Old 12-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #30 (permalink)
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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Default Re: American Hardcore Theater: ECW's Real History

Pro Wrestling In Mid 1995


The last ECW show we took a look at took place the day before WCW Great American Bash, and about a week before WWF King of the Ring. Over in the WCW, they were in the middle of pushing an Ultimate Warrior clone named Renegade. Renegade would go on to win the WCW TV championship with a clean victory over the legendary Arn Anderson at WCW Great American Bash.



Also going on in WCW, they were in the early stages of the Dungeon of Doom storyline where Kevin Sullivan brought together a freakish faction of ghoulish characters to bring down Hulkamania's reign in WCW. WCW's product before Hogan arrived on the scene was more down to earth, and athletic "Sport" oriented(for the most part, especially compared to WWF of the early 90's). Here we are a year after his arrival, and WCW has pretty much turned into a cheap knockoff of late 80's WWF. The gimmick's became more and more cartoony as the former WWF stars kept coming over. The cartoonish gimmicks would reach their pinnacle in WCW with the Dungeon of Doom, which consisted of former WWF stars of the 80's like Ed Leslie, Earthquake, Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor, Kamala, One Man Gang, and eventually even Zues.



WCW was still 3 months away from going live with Nitro, and were still stuck in the past as far as the gimmicks and storylines. Not all of it was bad though. Savage and Flair had an alright match at Great American Bash. Brian Pillman and Alex Wright stole the show with perhaps the best match on the card.

Meanwhile over in the WWF, a week after Great American Bash, they held their third annual King Of The Ring pay per view at Philadelphia's Spectrum. King of the Ring 95 was perhaps the all time low for the WWF as far as quality was concerned. Stars like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were eliminated from the tournament in the first round, setting up a final between......Gulp!.....Mabel & Savio Vega.:

If you look closely at the crowd at the King of the Ring show, you will notice several of the regular ECW Arena fans in attendance, including the famed John "Straw Hat Guy" Bailey. During the horrible final match in the King of the Ring tournament, a massive E! C! DUB! chant broke out throughout the Arena. The chants caught Mcmahon's ear, and the rest is history.



Through the first half of 1995 ECW gradually evolved into a force to be reckoned with. The depth in the characters, and the "Attitude" of the storylines was unrivaled by WCW or WWF in 1995. While both companies seemed to be stuck in the past creatively, ECW was doing storylines based on the East Coast vs West Coast hip hop feud, the Dreamer vs Raven rivalry, and a lot of angles that were based off of behind the scenes drama of professional wrestling. While Ian & Axl's bloody feud was creating the buzz with their over the top violence, Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko's matches were also getting critical acclaim from the wrestling press at the time.

King of the Ring seemed to be the end of an era for ECW. After King of the Ring was when a majority of their top talent started to get plucked away for WCW and WWF. Shane Douglas would begin contract negotiations with the WWF shortly after King of the Ring. Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko would be gone by the end of the summer, and both WCW & WWF began courting ECW's most over act, Public Enemy throughout the end of 1995. Through the rest of 1995 a majority of ECW's best talent would be gone.
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