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Thread: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    The Beginning of a War

    So, we have reached the end of the Summer of 1995 for the ECW, and at the end of August both Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko would be called up to WCW. The two men wrestled their final match in the ECW Arena on August 25th. The match ended in a double pinfall in a German Suplex, and an emotional "PLEASE! DON'T! GO!" chant from the fans as a group of face wrestlers made their way out of the back to tote both of them around the ring on their shoulders. Eddie and Dean both emotionally thanked the fans. Malenko told them he would always love them, and would always be an ECW fan himself before the two men made their exit together.


    In total Guerrero and Malenko wrestled 12 total matches against each other. Nine of those matches were singles matches. Guerrero won 3, Malenko won 2, and they wrestled each other to 4 draws(3 of them going the full 30 minutes). For my money the best in the series was the match from Hostile City Showdown. The 2/3 falls match from the August 25th episode was great if only for the intense emotion in it both from the fans and the wrestlers. ECW dedicated an entire episode of Hardcore TV to Eddie and Dean's final farewell match in early September. Some say that the series is a bit overrated, and that may be true for many of their matches, but they did have some of their all time bests in ECW. The match from Hostile City Showdown was the best match in North America in 1995 in my humble opinion.

    ECW did put on a supercard in August titled Wrestlepalooza, but I don't think it was ever released commercially on DVD or VHS. Cactus Jack partnered up with Tommy Dreamer and the Pitbulls to face Raven, Stevie, and the Dudleys. Cactus would turn heel in the match, and double cross Tommy Dreamer. There was also a fantastic six man tag match later on that evening between Cactus Jack, Dean Malenko, and 2 Cold Scorpio against Eddie Guerrero and The Stiener Brothers that is among the best matches in ECW history.

    Cactus Jack's heel turn was pretty damn awesome. He turned heel to side with Bill Alphonso. This was where the classic anti-hardcore promos came from that are hailed by many to be the best promos in wrestling history.


    Cactus eventually ended up siding with Raven against Tommy Dreamer, and he had an angle where he would beg for "Uncle" Eric Bischoff to bring him back to WCW. He would eventually draw heat by doing everything within his power to NOT give the fans their moneys worth. Pretty deep little storyline.

    Also at Wrestlepalooza '95 the Gangstas went up on Public Enemy 2-1 in their ongoing blood feud by defeating them in a stretcher match. The feud would continue through the year with both teams beating the shit out of each other in a series of stiff weapons brawls that didn't resemble anything close to wrestling.

    One of the biggest game changing events that happened around this time was the launch of WCW's new weekly wrestling show Monday Nitro. Nitro was launched on September 4th 1995, and would go on to take on WWF Raw head on. The Monday Night Wars had just begun. Guerrero and Malenko would appear on Nitro for the first time in a match on the October 2nd episode, but former ECW big timer Sabu would be frequently featured during the fall of 95 on Nitro. Sabu would have a cup of coffee in WCW, eventually facing MR. JL(Jerry Lynn) in a match at Halloween Havoc in October.


    Even though WCW's Roster was offering much more down to earth athleticism centered wrestling compared to the WWF at the time, they were still stuck in the past with the storylines. The Dungeon of Doom storyline was picking up at the launch of Nitro, with Lex Luger deflecting over from WWF(without notice) on the second episode joining the Dungeon to feud with Hogan and Savage.

    Over in the WWF the Camp Cornette faction with Owen Hart, British Bulldog, and Yokozuna were picking up steam in a feud against Deisel, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker. The Million Dollar Corporation was being phased out somewhat, and the top dogs were still Diesel(10 months into his title reign), HBK, and Undertaker, and Bret(who was busy feuding with Dentists and Pirates). Later on in September Shane Douglas would make his return to the WWF as the Dean character. A school teacher gimmick that would use a paddle he called "The Board of Education" to win matches.


    WWF held their Summerslam 95 pay per view on August 27th 1995 with one of my all time favorite matches in HBK and Razor Ramon's second ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. Diesel would go on to defeat Mabel to retain the WWF Championship in the main event in a really shitty match.

    Dean Douglas would make his return to WWF pay per view at the next show, In Your House 3, where he would wrestle Razor Ramon to a pretty good little match, probably the best of the show. Douglas was great on the microphone in his early days, and I would say he was even better than HBK and Diesel at this time, but the subject material that he was stuck with by WWF creative was downright atrocious. The Dean character ended up being a total disaster. One story told by Shane Douglas about his early days playing the character was one about when he was first filming his debut promos. Vince was on hand for the tapings. Shane was displeased with the way they were pushing the character on him. They wanted him to be really stoic and emotionless with a monotone voice. Douglas convinced the team of writers watching to let him cut a promo with his own "Franchise" style that he used in ECW. Vince reportedly got a phone call halfway during his take on the character. The writers told Shane that they loved it, and that it was much better, but when Vince returned from his phone call he said that his way was better. Vince asked the writers what they thought of Shane's version of the character, and they immediately did a 180 on him, and agreed with Vince's opinion.

    During this time the Clique was apparently running things in the WWF. Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Diesel, the 1-2-3 Kid, and Triple H were a tight knit group of friends that would watch each other's backs, and do the best they could to ensure each other would remain at the top of the company. They would supposedly play a lot of school girl games, and were rumored to have burried talent such as Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido, Adam Bomb, Jean Pierre Lafitte, and eventually Shane Douglas among others.


    Meanwhile over in WCW they were making their way towards their September 17th Fall Brawl pay per view, with the big War Games showdown between Hogan, Savage, Sting, and Luger against the Dungeon of Doom.

    The next ECW show we will be taking a look at is Gangstas Paradise from September 16th 1995. Just one day prior to WCW Fall Brawl, and 1 week prior to WWF In Your House 3.

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    It's all in the reflexes Baker's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Can't wait for the Gangsta's Paradise review. What with Rey's debut vs. Psicosis and my 2nd favorite ECW match, GP definitely ranks amongst my all-time favorite ECW shows.

    I already mentioned in passing how this series brought back a lot of great memories. Two of the fondest were 911 and Fonzie.

    I had forgotten how insanely over 911 was. He was booked superbly as a sort of ECW mascot. As soon as things started getting pussified with rules and/or bad wrestling, 911 would storm out to the ring and kill dudes with the wickedest chokeslams ever. It was tremendous! Heyman always gets mad credit (and rightfully so) for maximizing the talents of wrestlers, while simultaneously hiding their weaknesses. Well, nowhere was this more evident than with his booking of 911. Here was a guy who had nothing but size and one cool move, yet Heyman got him as over as anybody in the company.

    For some reason, I always remembered Fonzie far more as the manager of Taz, and later RVD/Sabu. But his best period in the company, by far, was his 1995 run. He was just great as the sleazeball loudmouth obsessed with bringing law and order to the lawless ECW frontier.

    Now please excuse me while I rock out to "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker223 View Post
    Can't wait for the Gangsta's Paradise review. What with Rey's debut vs. Psicosis and my 2nd favorite ECW match, GP definitely ranks amongst my all-time favorite ECW shows.

    I already mentioned in passing how this series brought back a lot of great memories. Two of the fondest were 911 and Fonzie.

    I had forgotten how insanely over 911 was. He was booked superbly as a sort of ECW mascot. As soon as things started getting pussified with rules and/or bad wrestling, 911 would storm out to the ring and kill dudes with the wickedest chokeslams ever. It was tremendous! Heyman always gets mad credit (and rightfully so) for maximizing the talents of wrestlers, while simultaneously hiding their weaknesses. Well, nowhere was this more evident than with his booking of 911. Here was a guy who had nothing but size and one cool move, yet Heyman got him as over as anybody in the company.

    For some reason, I always remembered Fonzie far more as the manager of Taz, and later RVD/Sabu. But his best period in the company, by far, was his 1995 run. He was just great as the sleazeball loudmouth obsessed with bringing law and order to the lawless ECW frontier.

    Now please excuse me while I rock out to "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group
    Yeah, truth be told I'm seeing a lot of these ECW 1995 video's for the first time. I didn't get into ECW back in the day until late 96(around the time of WWF Mind Game where the ECW wrestlers crashed the show from the front row). I had seen many of the matches before, and had seen a few shows, but I never really sat down and watched ECW in chronological order. It was always just whatever I could get my hands on. Now that I'm combing through the shows in chronological order, it's like it's made me fall even more in love with ECW. The Bill Alphonso storyline is fucking brilliant. Before there was Eric Bischoff, or Mr. Mcmahon, there was Bill Alphonso in ECW, and he absolutely nailed the role of the heel authority in this storyline. From the way they introduced the storyline with Shane Douglas' exit, up to where we are now with the Cactus Jack heel turn, this storyline was really, really good. It just kind of clicked with me that the epic "Cane Dewey" promo was Cactus' explanation for turning heel, and siding with Alphonso. It was just fucking perfect.

    I also just kind of realized that this was a storyline that Heyman went back to in 99/2000 with Cyrus/The Network.

    Alphonso should get a lot of credit as a great heel, because he was outstanding in this role as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission referee trying to take the extreme out of ECW. I mean solid gold.

    His "You should be glad I'm here" line after shutting down the Taipei Deathmatch was fucking roll on the floor hilarious.

    I got to say that based on what I've seen so far, Alphonso was one of the all time best pro wrestling heel authority figures.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-19-2012 at 08:54 PM.

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Gangstas Paradise

    September, 16th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA

    Ok, so we have already missed a show. Wrestlepalooza 95 was never released commercially by ECW, but it took place in early August. Cactus Jack broke the hearts of the ECW fans when he turned on Tommy Dreamer in a six man tag team match to align himself with the diabolical referee Bill Alphonso. Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko had been called up to WCW by the end of August, and they kind of worked that into this Cactus Jack heel turn. Cactus was obsessed with going back to "Uncle" Eric Bischoff's WCW, and he wanted to take Tommy Dreamer with him. Cactus starts wearing t-shirts with Eric's face on them. He denounces all hardcore wrestling, and goes on this trip where he tries to do everything within his power to not give the fans their moneys worth. So long before Eric Bischoff was this reviled character in WCW he was the most hated heel in the ECW Arena.

    Also in August, Taz broke his neck in a tag match with Eddie Guerrero against Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio. He's out of the ring until December, but he would make non-wrestling appearances. So already up to this point in 1995 the ECW had already lost Sabu, Shane Douglas, Terry Funk, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko. The Public Enemy were being recruited by both WCW and WWF, and would be gone in a few months. The two main feuds were still going strong at this point. Raven vs Dreamer had grown into a storyline that branched off with different feuds going on. Raven's flock now includes Stevie Richards, Beulah, and The Dudley Family. The Dudleys weren't quite the Dudleys that everybody knows and love. Buh Buh Ray and D-Von weren't in the scene just yet. They were just a slapstick comedy act, and consisted of Dudley Dudley, Dances With Dudley(the Indian who speaks fluent spanish), Sign Guy Dudley(not to be confused with the front row ringside regular fan Sign Guy), and Big Dick Dudley. Raven's flock were feuding with Tommy Dreamer and the Pit Bulls(who had recently split away from the Flock(the group wasn't actually called this in ECW, but that's what I like to refer to them as). The Public Enemy vs Gangstas feud was also still running at this time. The Gangstas defeated Public Enemy in a Stretcher Match at Wrestlepalooza 95.

    For all you youngsters out there, back around this time in 1995 there was a wildly popular movie called "Dangerous Minds". A song off of that film's soundtrack called "Gangsta's Paradise" had blown up on the radio, and was everywhere.

    I have seen this show before, and it is one of the better ECW shows out there, but lets pull out our micro-analytic magnifying glass to see how it stacks up to what we have reviewed so far. Can it stand up to Hostile City Showdown? A show that I feel represents everything that ECW was all about? Lets dig in and find out.

    Bull Pain vs Tony Stetson.

    Here we go with the jobber vs jobber match. Stetson is decked out in his "Broadstreet Bully" Philadelphia Flyers gear. Bull Pain is just a nobody. Stetson was a regular that I'm assuming lived pretty close to the ECW Arena, and would work for peanuts. Bull Pain is one of these guys like Big Val Puccio that Heyman was bringing in just to fill the card up as cheap as he could. I mean, he only had so much payout to work with for each show. A 1,200 seat bingo hall only has so much money coming in, and a lot of that went out to some of the acts later on in the card I'm sure.

    Or maybe they were just smoking all the cash up in crack, who knows. All I know is that Bull Pain just looks like the type of dude that only belongs in a wrestling ring if he's laying flat on his back looking up at the lights. No way this dude made more than maybe 50$. If that.

    Oh lord, I was hoping this would be another one of those 911 chokeslam festivals, but no, they were serious about this match.

    These guys are getting some time. Bull Pain works Stetson over for a bit. Stetson drops the gloves, and goes to work on Pain. They go to the outside where Stetson uses a hockey stick. Bull nails Stetson in the head with a steel chair. For $50?! Fuck that shit.

    Bull ddt's Stetson down onto a table that is leaned up. Joey Styles gives us a pretty funny math equation. "The number of broken tables in an ECW show usually equals the number of screwball finishes in a WCW show". So true. I've been watching a bunch of old stuff and it's absolutely mind blowing how many bullshit finishes there were. Not only in WCW, but also the WWF. There was almost never a clear cut winner and loser in pro wrestling from 1995 to 1997. People criticize ECW's run in heavy, twelve step finish booking style, but I'll take that shit any day of the week over nothing but schmozz finishes week in and week out. There was usually always a clear cut winner and loser in ECW, and that was one of my favorite things about ECW.

    Oh lord, these two guys are still going at it. They go back to the outside and fight each other with a chair. Yawn.

    The selling in this match is horrendous. I'm so tempted to hit the fast forward button.

    Sign Guy at ringside is holding a sign that says "WCW War Games: No Violence, No Talent" I think this was 1 day before WCW War Games 95.

    Pain finally ends it with a fairly devastating looking move. It was kind of like a DDT, but Stetson's legs were propped up on the ropes...Oh fuck, does it really fucking matter? This match sucked.

    1/10

    I honestly don't know why I'm not giving this thing a 0. I guess I'm feeling generous tonight. This was horrible, and received way too much time. Bull Pain did a nice superplex, and his finisher was nice, but everything else sucked bad.

    Dudley Dudley & Dances With Dudley vs Chad Austin & Don E. Allen

    Alright, this aught to be good. The comedy act against the definitive jobbers in ECW history.

    Sign Guy in the crowd holds up a sign that says "Condoms Prevent Dudleys".

    "Devious" Don E. Allen still wrestles on the northeast indy scene believe it or not.

    Austin runs from DW Dudley at the start of the match. Dudley hits him with a lariat, Austin sells it well. The only thing funny about this match is the commentary from Joey Styles. He constantly makes little jokes about how these guys are inbred, and how easy it is to call one of their matches. Joey takes a shot at the WCW commentary team, saying they would still have a hard time calling one of their matches.

    What starts out as a traditional tag match breaks down into chaos. Dudley Dudley beats Austin around the ring on the outside as DW beats on Don E. in the ring. Dudley Dudley puts Austin through a table with a vertical suplex. Dudley Dudley hits a sloppy ass splash on Don E. for the 1, 2, 3.

    1/10

    Ewww. Yeah, this wasn't good. The comedy guys didn't do a good job at being funny, and the jobbers failed at making their opponents look good. This was just a senseless wreck. Could have been better if it were just a strait up squash, but it wasn't. It's like they had no real plan at all for this match, and just went out and improvised everything. That just wasn't a good idea here. Bad match.

    Hack Myers vs JT Smith

    Alright, so around the time of this show was the birth of the Full Blooded Italians gimmick. JT Smith was a Philly regular who had wrestled quite a bit for the TSWA(ECW's predecessor). He had a run with ECW in 93-94, but just kind of fell of the map. The story goes that Smith took a nasty concrete bump where he legitimately suffered a concussion. He came back, and the storyline was that he knocked himself goofy, and actually thought he was a natural born Italian(he was black).

    He tells the crowd right off the bat that he doesn't want to hear them scream "SHIT!" for all his moves like they usually do for all of the rest of Hack Myers opponents.

    These guys tie up at the beginning, and actually surprise the shit out of me with some really good wrestling exchanges. JT lands some punches and kicks, and the crowd screams "SHIT!" with each strike. Myers goes to the outside where JT Smith misses a suicide plancha. They brawl through the crowd up to the stands, and back to the ring.

    Smith goes up top, and slips on his way up. Smith falls off of the top rope through the timekeeper's table ringside. JT Smith is counted out.

    6/10

    Quite the goofy finish, but damn it to hell if this wasn't a fairly decent match. They worked together rather nicely early on with some clean looking wrestling. The brawling looked pretty good too. I was shocked that this match wasn't total shit.

    Jason & The Eliminators vs Taz, Rick & Scott Steiner

    So Jason(Justin Credible's manager in the later years) brought in Perry Saturn and John Kronus in August as the Eliminators, one of my all time favorite tag teams. This tape cuts to Taz confronting Jason, 2 Cold Scorpio, and The Eliminators by himself for some unexplained reason. All of a sudden he's backed up by The Stiener Brothers.


    Taz had been repackaged into a shoot wrestler just a couple of shows prior to this one, but he wasn't quite the MMA style shoot wrestler that he became just yet. He was more of a Stiener type of shoot wrestler, almost a third Stiener Brother if you will.

    Scorpio cheap shots Taz. Jason targets Taz's neck, and takes him out of the picture. All hell breaks loose with a huge brawl. The Steiners clear the ring, and hit the Eliminators with some nasty stiff lariats. Scot Stiener is pretty big here. Scot puts Jason into the position for a suplex, and pulls his tights up into his ass with a hardcore wedgie before violently folding him up with a suplex.

    Steiner bros are just stiff as hell here. Nasty Belly to Belly suplexes on Saturn by both Scot and Rick. Jason comes into the ring, and Taz comes in to take him out with punches. The ref tries to pull Taz off, but he thows him into the corner. Scorpio kicks Taz in the back of the neck, and pulls Jason over his body as The Stieners and Eliminators battle on the outside.

    Jason pins Taz. The Eliminators carry Jason to the back bloodied from Taz's punches.

    6.7/10

    Not bad, but nothing special. Its cool seeing the Stieners and Eliminators working together, but they didn't really do anything great. The Stieners dominated and looked great.

    ECW Tag Team Championship, Three Falls Double Dog Collar Match: The Pitbulls vs Raven & Stevie Richards (ch)

    Raven comes out with Beulah. Beulah gets the microphone, and says that Stevie wont be wrestling. She asks for a 2/3 falls match due to the 2 on 1 advantage. Pitbull 2 goes right after Raven as Pitbull 1 goes to the back to get Stevie. Pitbull 2 hangs Raven over the ropes by the chain.

    Pitbull 1 drags Stevie Richards out of the back. Stevie's already got a crimson mask going. Pitbull 2 sets up a table. Raven attacks Pitbull 2, and piledrives him through the table in the ring. Pretty awesome table spot. Just the way it breaks looks pretty cool. Raven pins Pitbull 2 for the first fall.

    All four men get into the ring for a 2 on 2 brawl. Raven and Richards get double DDT's followed by the Superkick by Stevie on Pitbull 1. Pitbull 2 rolls out of the ring, and pushes another table into the ring. The Pitbulls take the momentum by using the chains.

    Stevie is Superbombed through the table by the Pitbulls. Pitbull 2 pins Stevie for the 2nd fall, evening it up 1-1.

    Pitbull 1 and Stevie go to the outside for a little frying pan action. Pitbull 1 beats the shit out of Stevie around the ring, and he's bleeding profusely from his forehead. They take it into the crowd where Richards gets Pitbull 1 with a chair. Pitbull 2 and Raven fight out in the entrance isle, then back into the ring. Pitbull 2 goes to the outside, and gets a guy from the ringcrew to help him pull out a third table. The fans in the front row pat the guy on the back for helping pull the table out. Pitbull 2 sets the table up in the ring. Raven pulls him into the ref, knocking him out.

    The Dudleys come out. Crowd boo's loudly.

    Raven, Richards, and the Dudleys beat on the Pitbulls. Richards and Raven simultaneously Superbomb both Pitbulls. The Pitbulls no sell the Superbombs. Double DDTs on Raven, Richards and the Dudleys.

    Superbomb on Dudley Dudley.

    Superbomb on Dances With Dudley.

    Raven and Richards are a bloody, beaten mess. Pitbull 2 arranges the table, and....

    OH FUCK!

    The Pitbulls attempt to Superbomb Raven through the table, but he lands on it awkwardly. The back of his head/neck crash into the edge of the table on his way down, and it doesn't break. The table just falls over, Raven kicks out at 2. Very painful, dangerous looking spot right there.

    Pitbull 2 pushes another table into the ring. Raven pulls out a chloroform rag. Raven smothers Pitbull 2 with the ether rag until he falls out unconscious on top of a double stack of tables. Raven goes up to the top rope, and drops a leg down across Pitbull 2, putting him through the first table. The second table doesn't break. Raven goes back up to the apron, and just jumps on top of Pitbull 2 to put him through the second table. Pitbull 1 continues to beat the shit out of Stevie Richards in the ring. Pitbull 1 suplexes Stevie through the table in the ring, and gets a 2 count.

    Beulah comes into the ring looking sexy as all get out.

    Stevie Richards super fan(Francine) comes into the ring, and attacks Beulah. Catfight. Raven pulls Francine up, and DDT's her. Out comes Tommy Dreamer. Tommy unhooks the dog collar from Pitbull 2. Dreamer hooks the collar up to his neck, and proceeds to beat the shit out of Raven. Dreamer drops Raven with a DDT, and pins him.

    Tommy Dreamer and Pitbull 1 are the new tag team champions, but wait a minute......

    Out comes Bill Alphonso. Fonzie gets up in Dreamers face, and reverses the decision. Fonzie says that the pinfall will not go down in the record books, he never pinned Raven. Out comes ECW Commissioner Todd Gordon. Gordon gets up in Fonzie's face, and tells him that the match is not over. Alphonso drops Gordon with a punch, and keeps rubbing it in that Dreamers never pinned Raven.

    Out comes 911!

    Crowd goes absolute ape shit. Biggest pop of the show so far.

    911 gets his hand around Fonzie's throat, and the crowd goes even crazier. 911 pushes Fonzie around the ring by the throat as all the fans stand up with their hands up in the air with huge smiles on their faces. 911 chokeslams Fonzie down into the canvas. Crowd eats it up. Massive "E! C! DUB!" chant.

    The Pitbulls recover, and pull Raven and Stevie up to thier feet by the chains. Tommy Dreamer and 911 help get both Raven and Stevie up on Pitbull 2's shoulders. Pitbull 2 drops both Raven and Stevie at the same time with a double Superbomb. The Pitbulls get the pinfall, and win the tag team titles. Awesome emotional moment here with the new tag champs celebrating with Dreamer and 911.

    9/10

    This my friends is a classic 12 step ECW finish. Not to be confused with the clusterfucked run in festivals that Vince Russo killed WCW with. Russo tried to emulate this type of booking, but he just didn't really get it. Heyman did it with style. It created such a chaotic, unpredictable, wild, rollercoaster ride of a match, and this was a prime example of it right here in this one. Every run in served a purpose, and did something to further develop the storylines.

    As for the match, this is one is held in high regards among ECW fans today. I think it may be a bit overrated. Its very sloppy at times. Lots of tables. A frying pan, lots of run ins. But to me all that stuff made this just a fun match to watch. I'd be lying through my teeth if I was to say I wasn't thoroughly entertained by this match even though nothing about it resembled anything close to a "Wrestling" match. Dreamer hooking up the dog collar to fight with Raven, and 911 finally getting his hands on Bill Alphonso also really made this an awesome segment/match. The crowd reaction to Fonzie getting his comeuppance was priceless.

    Rey Misterio Jr. vs Psicosis

    So, WCW takes your stud wrestlers. What do you do?

    Lucha Libre.

    Heyman booked these guys on suggestion from Konnan, and they really ended up stealing this show with this match. Its a common misconception that Heyman brought these guys to America for the first time, but that is not true. Both Mysterio and Psicosis wrestled on the AAA When Worlds Collide pay per view in LA in 1994(in the Six Man Tag Match).

    Rey Mysterio is only 20 years old here, and lets get one thing strait. The Rey Mysterio from ECW and WCW was nothing at all like the Rey Mysterio the youngsters are used to seeing on WWE these days. Trust me kiddo's, it's like night and day. Rey was amazing in his younger days. Look it up.

    Both men begin circling each other very quickly in the ring. They tie up, and Rey whips Psicosis out of the ring with an arm drag. Psicosis gets back into the ring. Psicosis quickly twists Rey's arm up into a hammerlock. Psicosis takes Rey down with the hammerlock. He pulls him back up to their feet......

    Damn.

    They go through a nice little chain sequence that moved way to fast for me to follow. Just incredible speed that these guys are moving around at. Psicosis gets a powerbomb. Psicosis whips Rey into the ropes, and does back body drop of sorts that sends Rey about 15 feet up into the air before crashing down into the canvas face first. Psicosis slows the pace down, and methodically works Rey over with several power moves.


    Psicosis lights Rey up with brutal chest chops in the corner. Psicosis hits Rey with a nice "Air Sabu" type splash in the corner. He goes for it again, but Rey moves. Rey gets a springboard hurricanrana with a pinfall at the end. Psicosis barely kicks out. Rey gets a nice tilt a whirl headscissor takedown. Rey charges Psicosis with incredible speed, and gets backbody dropped over the ropes onto the apron. Psicosis turns around, and blasts Rey in the chest.

    Psicosis gets out of the ring to the apron, and Rey gets him with a chest chop of his own. They exchange chops on the apron until Psicosis knocks Rey down. Psicosis catapults Psicosis into the ringpost with his legs, and works the crowd as they go crazy for the fast paced action in the match. Psicosis comes back into the ring. Rey misses a splash in the corner. Psicosis slams Rey, and goes for his trademark legdrop off the top rope. Rey kicks out. Another powerbomb by Psicosis for another 2 count. Psicosis floors Rey with a Spinning Heel kick. Rey goes to the outside.

    Psicosis goes for a Suicide Plancha, but Rey gets him with a chair. Joey screams "DIOS MIO"(Oh My God in Spanish).

    Psicosis takes the momentum by targeting Rey's legs, trying to keep him grounded. Psicosis goes up to the top rope for nice corkscrew somersault senton splash.

    Psicosis pulls Rey up, and whips him into the corner. Psicosis goes for a flying knee, but misses, and flies over the top rope to the outside. Rey attempts his 619(Tiger Feint Kick), and no, he did not call it the 619 back then. Psicosis evades the kick by leaping over the guardrail into the crowd. Rey springs himself up to the top rope, and leaps out into the crowd with a splash on Psicosis. Awesome. The crowd screams "OH!" very loudly. Everyone is going crazy as these two youngsters steal the show.

    Awesome shot of both men sprawled out in a pile of chairs as the crowd cheers around them.

    They take it back to the ring. Psicosis goes up to the top rope. Rey springs up to bring him down with a hurricanrana off the top for the pinfall.

    8.8/10

    At almost 11 minutes, this was just too short for me to give any higher of a score. There was a lot of action in this match, and action is what I like. It didn't tell any stories, and the selling wasn't that great, but it was just an awesome visual seeing these two guys go after each other with the speed and aerial attacks that they did. I can't remember if this match was better than their Mexican Death Match(with takes place about 2 months after this show) or not. We'll have to wait and see when we review that show.

    The story goes that Heyman loved what he seen in this match, and he made plans to bring them back at future shows, along with several other Luchadores that would end up on WCW Nitro shortly after. Guys like La Parka, Konnan, and Juventud Guerrero would come to ECW shortly after this match.

    Gangstas Paradise Steel Cage Match: Mikey Whipwreck & Public Enemy vs Sandman, Too Cold Scorpio & New Jack

    Alright, so I'm just now realizing that this is ECW's knock towards WCW's War Games match which took place the very next day on pay per view. It was like a "We can do it better" type of match I guess. Let's see if they did.

    PE & Mikey come out first. Mikey is dressed up just like PE. Mikey gives the ring announcer a hug, then turns around and gives his pick-pocketed wallet over to PE.

    Sandman and Woman come out next. Crowd loves Sandman. They are going crazy for him here. Joey announces that New Jack's partner Mustapha was arrested last night, so Scorpio replaced him at the last minute. Sandman stands atop the cage cracking beers open.

    I count three beers he downs while the introductions are announced. He's visibly drunk.

    The match starts with all 6 men just brawling, throwing each other into the fence. Scorpio powerslams Whipreck. Sandman is smoking.

    Rocco Rock sends him face first into the cage, yet he manages to keep his cigarette in his mouth.

    OH SHIT! Rocco Rock does a fucking nice springboard moonsault into a Russian Legsweep on the Sandman. That was nice. Johnny Grunge is already bleeding. The thing about this match so far is that there is no real meaning or emotion in all of this brawling. Its just sloppy and unorganized as if they were all just improvising everything. Grunge and New Jack take the fight outside the cage. Sandman and Mikey fight atop the cage. New Jack and Johnny Grunge take it into the crowd. Mikey has the Sandman hanging upside down from the fence.

    Grunge and New Jack make their way over to the soundstage under the balcony. Grunge climbs up to the balcony. Grunge gives New Jack a flying elbow off of the balcony. New Jack is bleeding all over the place. Mikey and Rocco Rock beat up Scorpio and The Sandman in the cage.

    Pretty much everyone in the match is bleeding now. This thing has degenerated into a really sloppy mess.

    Johnny Grunge strangles New Jack with a phone cord. Somebody pulls a table into the cage. Sandman drops it across Mikey's body. 2 Cold Scorpio pulls another table into the cage. Sandman takes turns dropping tables down across Rocco Rock and Whipreck. New Jack makes his way back into the cage. Johnny Grunge pushes a third table into the ring. Somebody brings a frying pan into the match. Sandman and New Jack get knocked out of the cage. PE stack all 3 tables on top of each other. Scorpio and Rocco Rock fight there way up to the top rope, and then up to the top of the cage.

    OH MY GOD!!!

    -Joey Styles
    Both men fall off the top of the cage through all three tables. Sandman brings another table into the cage. Rocco Rock dropkicks The Sandman from behind, sending him falling forward through the table he holds in his hands. PE gets The Sandman with a double suplex. Whipreck gives the Sandman a Super Rana. PE brawl with New Jack and Scorpio around the cage and in the crowd.

    Whipreck lands a Jimmy Snuka splash off of the top of the cage to pin the ECW World Champion Sandman.

    The Sandman recovers as Mikey Whipreck celebrates. The cage door is locked. Woman gets the cane to The Sandman, and he proceeds to beat Mikey down like a dog. Sandman fires up another smoke before PE enter the cage and chase him away. Woman drags a beaten and bloodied Sandman to the back as PE and Whipreck celebrate in the cage.

    Sandman, New Jack, and Scorpio come back out, and crash the celebration. Huge brawl ends the show.

    5.9/10

    This was not good. The triple table spot was awesome, but nothing else sticks out here. It was just too sloppy. No psychology or emotion to it, just mindless brawling with blood and weapons. I can say that this was better than the War Games match that WCW put together the next night at Fall Brawl 95.

    Overall: 8/10

    Man, this is a tough show to grade. A lot of shit. The undercard was downright terrible. Rey vs Psicosis was awesome. The double dog collar match was awesome. The main event was ok. The Stieners/Eliminators segment was cool, but man, the rest of this was just worthless. I'm going ahead with a pretty good score because I feel like the good outweighs the bad with this show. The show did have a cool overall feel to it. There were like 11 total tables used, which is some kind of a record at this point in wrestling history when nobody else was using tables. Table usage is stupid as far as psychology goes in wrestling matches, but there's just something about a good table spot that I love. Some good ones in this show. This is just a tough show to grade really. I want to give it a really high score for a few of the matches alone, but the terrible undercard really drags this show down. Overall though I'd say this is one of the better shows I've reviewed so far.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-03-2012 at 05:44 AM.

  5. #55
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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    I absolutely loved this show. This was one of the first nshows I paid the 24.95 for because of the name alone

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    It's all in the reflexes Baker's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    I loved this show for Rey vs. Psicosis, the epic Double Dog Collar match and Taz teaming with the Steiners.

    Back in the glory days of 1998 when I first got on the internet all I wanted to do was buy wrestling tapes. So I got a job and spent about 50% of those first few paychecks on those aforementioned wrestling tapes. The majority of them were ECW shows.

    I'd usually watch the whole show once from start to finish. With each subsequent rewatch (and believe me, I wore those tapes out) I'd FF through ECW's abysmal job squad. Stetson, Donn E. Allen, Puccio, Jason, Bill Wiles, the "other" Dudleys, Skull Von Krush, all the way down to Da Baldies....those guys all sucked. The only redeeming value any of them had was in getting beat up by 911, Sandman, New Jack or Taz (depending on the era). Also, notice I didn't mentioned JT Smith or Hack Myers. That's because those guys were awesome.

    It's true that the PitBulls vs. Raven/Richards match sucks from a wrestling purist standpoint (even the rule change at the beginning makes no sense!) but I don't care. That match, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes what ECW was all about. It's sloppy as hell, doesn't make a whole lot of sense, may not contain any "good wrestling" (though I'm still not sure exactly what that means) but it's just about the most fun thing I've ever seen on a wrestling program. For one thing, the crowd is absolutely insane...

    ECW fans always got a bum rap. Back in the day they were criticized for, believe it or not, being "too smart." We know that's bogus now. But now they're criticized for being a bunch of loud, fat, obnoxious, drunk rubes. That may be true. I think they were the best fans ever. Wrestling needs more loud, fat, obnoxious, drunk rubes as fans. It's sad that the legacy of ECW fans is being carried out by a bunch of folks that I can't help but picture as an army of tophatted, monocle wearing dandies with their noses perpetually in the air unless they're at the shows scribbling down their esoteric formulas for what constitutes a good wrestling match.

    ECW fans were so insanely into everything. But the best part about ECW fans wasn't that they were so loud or passionate. It was the fact they weren't afraid to play along with the storylines. Today's "smart"/indy/alternative fans act like they're above all that and I think it often hurts the very product they're trying to support. ECW, and Heyman goes into more detail on this, put on a show that you had to see. Every show was like this awesome, over the top rock festival featuring all your favorite bands.


    Where was I....

    Ahh yes, the Pitbulls match. OK, so the fans were awesome. You also got some crazy bumps. Raven just about got killed on that Superbomb. (Botch! That's 7/9th star rating deduction!) That table Raven piledrove one of the Pitbulls through just about disintegrated. Then the Double Superbomb to finish it was just tremendous.

    The run-ins! OK, here you have several months of intertangled storylines all come together in just a total orgy of epicness, culminating with 911 hitting the mother of all chokeslams on that rat bastard, Bill Alfonso.

    Fuck it! I can't even go on about that match anymore. Just know that it's one of my favorites from any promotion (2nd all time in ECW), call it a million billion stars and let me move onto something else I wanted to mention.....

    Shinobi said, "I also just kind of realized that this was a storyline that Heyman went back to in 99/2000 with Cyrus/The Network."

    Yeah, it was.

    For all the praise I give Heyman, and I do think he's probably the best booker I ever saw, he recycled his own ideas.....a lot. Just to name a few more....

    Mikey = Spike
    Hack Myers = Balls Mahoney
    Dean vs. Eddie = Rey vs. Psicosis = (arguably) RVD vs. Lynn = Tajiri vs. Super Crazy
    911s role was filled by New Jack, Sandman or Taz at various times.

  7. #57
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by The Industry View Post
    I absolutely loved this show. This was one of the first nshows I paid the 24.95 for because of the name alone
    Who wouldn't, that fucking highlight commercial for the tape was fucking awesome, and they would play it 1,000 times during the episodes of Hardcore TV to get you to buy it.

    Also, notice I didn't mentioned JT Smith or Hack Myers. That's because those guys were awesome.
    I haven't been too impressed with Hack Myers so far, but that match against JT Smith from Gangstas Paradise was surprisingly good(except for the goofball finish). Smith seems to be a competent ring worker from the little bit I've seen of him so far. His mic work is pretty hilarious as the black Italian guy gimmick.

    It's true that the PitBulls vs. Raven/Richards match sucks from a wrestling purist standpoint (even the rule change at the beginning makes no sense!) but I don't care. That match, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes what ECW was all about. It's sloppy as hell, doesn't make a whole lot of sense, may not contain any "good wrestling" (though I'm still not sure exactly what that means) but it's just about the most fun thing I've ever seen on a wrestling program. For one thing, the crowd is absolutely insane...
    Yeah, I hear a lot of the "This isn't wrestling" shit from critics around the internet, but I just don't get it. How much of pro wrestling is really wrestling? It's sports entertainment, and while ECW may have been severely lacking in the "Sport" side of it at times(Nowhere near as often as people make it out though), stuff like the Raven/Richards vs Pit Bulls match from Gangstas Paradise more than makes up for it in the Entertainment aspect of it. Such a wild segment. Sure, it strays away from all the pretty little rules that "Pro Wrestling" matches are supposed to follow. They didn't follow the "Five Steps to a Wrestling Match" formula, or whatever the fuck these guidelines are that they are supposed to follow in order to fit the cookie cutter mold of what they think a "Pro Wrestling" match is supposed to look like. I like shit that is a little different. Something that breaks the mold. Something that you just aren't going to be able to predict. Chaos. Insanity. You got that out of ECW, but you got it with a distinct style. That style is on perfect display with the Raven/Richards vs Pit Bulls match from Ganstas Paradise, and I think I should have given the segment an overall higher score. I guess I'm just trying to be as non-biased as I possibly can with these reviews. I'm trying to keep them from being just really one sided, but being such a fanboy, it's going to be something that is hard to do. By 99-00 I was strictly ECW. I just didn't care about The Rock, or anything WWE was doing, it just couldn't compare with ECW as a whole. ECW put on the better wrestling show in 99 than either of the big two, and in 2000, even though they had fallen off pretty hard, they were still better than WCW, and still just more my style of show than what the WWE was doing(even though I wouldn't argue that WWE was putting on the better show in 2000).

    /Rant. Awesome post baker. I'm waiting on November to Remember to come in the mail, it'll be the next big show I review. While I wait on it I'll review a couple of episodes of Hardcore TV from October/November 95. STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-24-2012 at 02:06 PM.

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post

    I haven't been too impressed with Hack Myers so far, but that match against JT Smith from Gangstas Paradise was surprisingly good(except for the goofball finish). Smith seems to be a competent ring worker from the little bit I've seen of him so far. His mic work is pretty hilarious as the black Italian guy gimmick.
    Hack was certainly no Dean Malenko. Hell, he wasn't even quite a Balls Mahoney. I always dug the guy though. His tough biker dude thing was perfect for ECW. I liked how this super lowcard guy was so over with the crowd. You already mentioned his awesome theme music. He'd put up a good fight against the stars in a losing cause but beat the guys he was supposed to beat. He was just a fun low card "only in ECW" sort of act. I also worked with his sister for a little while. She was shocked that I knew who "Hack Myers" was His greatest moment is coming up on the next big show you review.

    JT was my favorite FBI guy ever. Yep, even over Chuck Palumbo. Never got the appeal of Smothers. Little Guido was awesome taking Last Rides from the Undertaker. Aside from that, meh. Only time I ever liked Tommy Rich was when he was feuding with Lawler in Memphis. Johnny Stamboli was boring. Mamaluke was cool with his crazy bumps. He'd be 3rd. Big Sal was Val Puccio Version 2.0. So, yep, it's JT all the way. He had a quirky sort of charisma that I enjoyed. I wish they'd have dropped the "guy who messes stuff up" gimmick at some point though. He popped up at an early ROH Philly show I attended and got one of the biggest pops of the night. I probably cheered louder than anybody.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    Yeah, I hear a lot of the "This isn't wrestling" shit from critics around the internet, but I just don't get it. How much of pro wrestling is really wrestling? It's sports entertainment,


    You just earned yourself about 20 more reps with that line

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    and while ECW may have been severely lacking in the "Sport" side of it at times(Nowhere near as often as people make it out though),
    Yep. That's what Malenko vs. Guerrero, Benoit vs. Snow, Tajiri vs. Crazy, Rey vs. Luchadores, etc. were for. ECW really did try bringing something to the table for everybody.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    stuff like the Raven/Richards vs Pit Bulls match from Gangstas Paradise more than makes up for it in the Entertainment aspect of it. Such a wild segment. Sure, it strays away from all the pretty little rules that "Pro Wrestling" matches are supposed to follow. They didn't follow the "Five Steps to a Wrestling Match" formula, or whatever the fuck these guidelines are that they are supposed to follow in order to fit the cookie cutter mold of what they think a "Pro Wrestling" match is supposed to look like. I like shit that is a little different. Something that breaks the mold. Something that you just aren't going to be able to predict. Chaos. Insanity. You got that out of ECW, but you got it with a distinct style. That style is on perfect display with the Raven/Richards vs Pit Bulls match from Ganstas Paradise, and I think I should have given the segment an overall higher score. I guess I'm just trying to be as non-biased as I possibly can with these reviews. I'm trying to keep them from being just really one sided, but being such a fanboy, it's going to be something that is hard to do. By 99-00 I was strictly ECW. I just didn't care about The Rock, or anything WWE was doing, it just couldn't compare with ECW as a whole. ECW put on the better wrestling show in 99 than either of the big two, and in 2000, even though they had fallen off pretty hard, they were still better than WCW, and still just more my style of show than what the WWE was doing(even though I wouldn't argue that WWE was putting on the better show in 2000).

    /Rant. Awesome post baker. I'm waiting on November to Remember to come in the mail, it'll be the next big show I review. While I wait on it I'll review a couple of episodes of Hardcore TV from October/November 95. STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!
    Matches like Richards/Raven vs. Pit Bulls are what ECW is all about. If you like that, you're going to love ECW. If you think it's garbage, then ECW isn't for you. I was hoping for a 10/10 but that's alright. I rarely get what I want. At least you're on the same basic page I am. Epic rant btw.

    ECW was probably the best US promotion in 99. Haven't seen enough WCW to really compare the two. I can't imagine it being that great though. I did enjoy WWF more than you that year, as I ate up the Attitude Era even with its numerous flaws. Yet, as I mentioned in another post, even by my loose standards it barely qualified as pro wrestling. But by 2000, WWF was on fire and ECW was passed it. 2000 is probably my 2nd favorite WWF year behind 1997. That was the year the music died in ECW.

    ECW 2000 had the Justin Credible title reign of doom, the Rhino megapush (I couldn't stand him during this period but enjoyed him almost immediately in WWF), Chilly Willy, too much Baldies, RVD out a lot because of injuries, Sandman & Raven dogging it, the Awesome debacle, Sabu leave, the shitty New Dangerous Alliance and too much focus on the shitty Network storyline. It just wasn't a good year. Only real bright spots were Corino, the Mikey/Tajiri team and a few cameos. I think they just lost too much talent in previous years and the magic was finally gone.

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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker223 View Post
    Hack was certainly no Dean Malenko. Hell, he wasn't even quite a Balls Mahoney. I always dug the guy though. His tough biker dude thing was perfect for ECW. I liked how this super lowcard guy was so over with the crowd. You already mentioned his awesome theme music. He'd put up a good fight against the stars in a losing cause but beat the guys he was supposed to beat. He was just a fun low card "only in ECW" sort of act. I also worked with his sister for a little while. She was shocked that I knew who "Hack Myers" was His greatest moment is coming up on the next big show you review.
    There was certainly something there with Hack Myers that stuck with this crowd. He had a certain charm to him that clicked with the fans, a charm that wasn't there with the other jobbers that passed through the undercard working for peanuts. He was kind of like the Hacksaw Jim Duggan of ECW. I loved Hacksaw even though he was talentless in the ring, there was just something about the guy kind of like Hack Myers.

    JT was my favorite FBI guy ever. Yep, even over Chuck Palumbo. Never got the appeal of Smothers. Little Guido was awesome taking Last Rides from the Undertaker. Aside from that, meh. Only time I ever liked Tommy Rich was when he was feuding with Lawler in Memphis. Johnny Stamboli was boring. Mamaluke was cool with his crazy bumps. He'd be 3rd. Big Sal was Val Puccio Version 2.0. So, yep, it's JT all the way. He had a quirky sort of charisma that I enjoyed. I wish they'd have dropped the "guy who messes stuff up" gimmick at some point though. He popped up at an early ROH Philly show I attended and got one of the biggest pops of the night. I probably cheered louder than anybody.
    Smith is pretty funny in the small handful of shows I've seen him in. I thought Smothers & Tommy Rich acting Italian was absolutely hilarious. Guido was actually trained by Billy Robinson, and competed in UWFI in 1996 along with guys like Nobohiko Takada and Kazushi Sakuraba(also trained by Robinson). He is supposedly a great shoot wrestler, just like the other Robinson disciples. Guido was never in any great matches, and always had that slap stick comedy wrestling style in ECW that kind of held him down. I didn't know they brought the whole FBI gimmick to the WWE, I gotta see that shit.

    ECW was probably the best US promotion in 99. Haven't seen enough WCW to really compare the two. I can't imagine it being that great though. I did enjoy WWF more than you that year, as I ate up the Attitude Era even with its numerous flaws. Yet, as I mentioned in another post, even by my loose standards it barely qualified as pro wrestling. But by 2000, WWF was on fire and ECW was passed it. 2000 is probably my 2nd favorite WWF year behind 1997. That was the year the music died in ECW.
    I know I come off as a really biased ECW fanboy most of the time, but honestly I was really an equal fan of all 3 during 1997 and 1998. I couldn't tell you who was really the better promotion out of those two years because all 3 of them were really awesome in different ways. Each brand complemented each other really nicely, and all 3 promotions really kind of fed off of each other to make each other better. I read a lot of posts from people around the boards who say they were only a WWF or WCW fan exclusively back during this era, and I just think that's too bad. Anybody that was only keeping up with just one of these brands was really missing out on the bigger picture.

    By late 98 all three brands were really starting to lose steam simultaneously as far as the quality in the ring and with the storylines. ECW seemed to get much better through the early parts of 99, but WWE and WCW just kept getting worse in my opinion. I never missed an episode of Nitro, Thunder, Raw, or Sunday Night Heat during 1999, but I had really lost a lot of interest in what both brands were doing. By the time ECW finally hit TNN in the fall, I was about done with both WCW and WWE. Chris Benoit and Bret Hart were the only two reason's I would still tune in. Seeing Benoit win the strap in late 99 was one of my favorite moments as a WCW fan. When WCW changed the Nitro set in the spring of 99 they really started to stink the joint up imo.

    ECW 2000 had the Justin Credible title reign of doom, the Rhino megapush (I couldn't stand him during this period but enjoyed him almost immediately in WWF), Chilly Willy, too much Baldies, RVD out a lot because of injuries, Sandman & Raven dogging it, the Awesome debacle, Sabu leave, the shitty New Dangerous Alliance and too much focus on the shitty Network storyline. It just wasn't a good year. Only real bright spots were Corino, the Mikey/Tajiri team and a few cameos. I think they just lost too much talent in previous years and the magic was finally gone.
    Yeah, 2000 was the worst year ECW ever had. They did some ok shows on PPV, but overall it was just too much of a mess. Pretty much everything you listed really irked me, but I still have fond memories of spending my Friday nights drinking the cool aide. I did absolutely love he Network storyline. Cyrus was solid gold imo, and the way that storyline was spun off of what was really going on behind the scenes was pretty cool. Hate, hate, hated the Baldies. Everything they did with Simon Diamond, Jazz, Justin Credible, all that shit was garbage. The Unholy Alliance was cool. Super Crazy, Nova, Chetti, Kid Kash, Jerry Lynn, and a few others put on some pretty good matches. Rob Van Dam was awesome in 2000 while he was around. It was crazy how over he was during 2000 in ECW. He really was the Whole F'n Show.

    As much as they fell off in 2000, ECW was still without a doubt better than WCW in 2000. This was when they were doing "The Reset", and shit like that, and totally spiraled down into "So Bad It's Good" territory. From the numbers I've seen around the web ECW was doing better pay per view numbers in 2000 than WCW, even though Nitro & Thunder were still getting better ratings than ECW on TNN. 2000 was the year I really stopped watching pro wrestling altogether. I kept my eye on Taz, The Hardy Boyz, Edge, Christian, The Dudley Boyz, and The Radikalz in the WWE, but I just really lost interest, and stopped watching from week to week. Same with WCW. There were just a few guys that I would follow, and those guys weren't being booked very well, and it just kind of turned me off altogether. By the Summer ECW had pretty much given up, so as a fan, I did to. I didn't get back into it until late last year.

  10. #60
    Senior Member SensesFailed's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    any time I get to listen to Bam Bam talk is awesome. Dude was so underrated as a worker and as a talent. Seriously, the WWE could have had a huge guy working for them and he got buried and was pretty much nothing in that company. I've always loved Bam Bam(RIP) and always will. I had the pleasure of meeting him at an ECW show before the event and he is and always will be one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure of talking to in this business. He's right up there with Dreamer, Steamboat and Finely as the 4 guys I loved to meet.
    Now you're on the field callin' me an asshole, 'Cause I roped up your body like a lasso

    And I could be just like Mr. HK, runnin' cause a melee
    Bring my team a W, I'm poppin' shots like Pele

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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by SensesFailed View Post
    any time I get to listen to Bam Bam talk is awesome. Dude was so underrated as a worker and as a talent. Seriously, the WWE could have had a huge guy working for them and he got buried and was pretty much nothing in that company. I've always loved Bam Bam(RIP) and always will. I had the pleasure of meeting him at an ECW show before the event and he is and always will be one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure of talking to in this business. He's right up there with Dreamer, Steamboat and Finely as the 4 guys I loved to meet.
    Awesome. I think Bam Bam really showed the WWF what they missed out on during his ECW run. The Taz feud reinvigorated his career, and I've seen him in a lot of really, really good matches in ECW. He had great chemistry in the ring with Rob Van Dam for some reason. Definitely one of my favorite big men ever(Loved him in the Survivor Series '87 match).

    Anyone who has ever actually seen ECW live back in the day, I would love to read about the experience. Feel free to post anything ECW related here, whether it's bad or good. Myself, I never got to see ECW live. I came close to making a road trip to Louisiana in 99, but fell short on funds. They came to Texas finally in 2000, but long story short I missed it. The second go around in Texas later in 2000 was cancelled.

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    Senior Member SensesFailed's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    They had a show up here at the Kingston Armory, I had won tickets off a local radio show. So I go to this show, and I'm younger kid at this point, but I loved ECW with a passion so I'm down getting another ECW shirt and there is Lori(Sandman's wife) is working the merch stand, and I only realized who it was because she had been on TV before. So I strike up a convo because it was me and my buddy as the only two standing there and in from behind the merch table comes Sandman, sees the shirt(I believe it was his Blood, Sweat and Beers one) and smiles, throws up the cane and continues.

    Well, of course, Sandman entrance, can't do it normal, music hits and we do the look around. Now, I can sit, to this day, when I go to the armory for drill, where I was exactly sitting and where the Sandman came out from and of course I turn around, and he's standing right behind me, beer, smoke and can in hand. Sandman's entrance was always awesome, but to see it live, the energy, the passion, was just amazing.
    Now you're on the field callin' me an asshole, 'Cause I roped up your body like a lasso

    And I could be just like Mr. HK, runnin' cause a melee
    Bring my team a W, I'm poppin' shots like Pele

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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Pro Wrestling In The Fall of 1995

    So we are getting closer and closer to the end of 1995, and I wanted to take a closer look at what else was going on in pro wrestling during this period of time. 1995 was a really bad year for the WWF, but by the fall things started to get a little better. Due to the competition from WCW's Nitro, Raw at least started to see some decent matchups every week. Jim Cornette's "Camp Cornette" heel faction was ruling the roost with Owen Hart, British Bulldog, and Yokozuna feuding with the top faces in Diesel, HBK, and the Undertaker. The six men squared off in a six man tag on the October 9th episode of Monday Night Raw. Still, the characters were beyond cartoonish, and the booking was atrocious. Nearly every match ended in some kind of DQ, count out, or schmozz. Each show was still riddled with wrestlers with terrible gimmicks such as hog farmers, trash men, and race car drivers. Chris Candido was brought in from Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and given a personal trainer/fitness guru gimmick. Bret Hart was still busy feuding with dentists and pirates. The Hitman blew his freakshow feuds off when he defeated Jean Pierre Laffitte(The Pirate) by submission on October 2nd episode of Raw, and he took out Isaac Yankem(Glen "Kane" Jacobs as a Dentist) in a steel cage match on the October 16th episode of Raw.

    One of these cartoon gimmicks that was prominently featured on WWF Raw during the fall of 95 was "Dean" Douglas. Former ECW World Champion Shane Douglas was getting a pretty good little push with plenty of TV time as the evil school teacher with the "Board of Education" wooden paddle he would use in matches.


    Douglas would go on to capture the WWF Intercontinental Championship at the In Your House 4: The Great White North pay per view. Shawn Michaels was attacked by a group of Marines prior to the pay per view, and could not compete in a scheduled match against Douglas. Douglas won the title by forfeit, and turned around and lost it a few minutes later in a match against Razor Ramon. Also at the October 22nd Great White North pay per view, Diesel defended the WWF championship against the British Bulldog(DQ).

    Meanwhile, over in WCW, they were really putting up a nice competition for the WWF right from the start with the first 8 episodes of Monday Nitro. WWF Raw was full of squash matches and DQ finishes while Nitro was putting on matches like Ric Flair vs Brian Pillman on September 8th, Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko on October 2nd, Arn Anderson vs Ric Flair steel cage match on October 9th, Eddie Guerrero vs Chris Benoit on October 16th, and Eddie Guerrero & Jerry Lynn(Mr. JL) vs Benoit & Malenko on October 23rd. Also prominently featured in WCW during this time was ECW's most loved figure at the time, Sabu. Sabu had a series of matches in WCW against a masked Jerry Lynn leading up to the October 29th Halloween Havoc pay per view where they wrestled each other for 5 minutes. The launch of Nitro was like the beginning of a new era for WCW. It's interesting to note that what was the end of an era for ECW was the beginning of one for WCW, with numerous wrestlers from ECW filling out the undercard of Nitro(Sabu, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and soon, Public Enemy).


    While the undercards of Nitro were where the action was, the main even scene was still cluttered with the terrible Dungeon of Doom storyline. The Dungeon of Doom was a strait up blast from the past, and chocked full of the older WWF transplanted superstars. The Dungeon of Doom feuded with Hogan and Savage, with Lex Luger pulling a double cross to join the Dungeon. The Dungeon of Doom storyline rolled on as WCW made their way to the October 29th Halloween Havoc pay per view. Hogan headlined the show by facing off with The Giant. Hogan's match against the Giant at Halloween Havoc was an eventful contest to say the least.


    Not only did Hogan and The Gaint hook up in the ring at Halloween Havoc, they hooked it up Monster Truck style!


    In traditional WCW tomfoolery, Halloween Havoc 95 took the wrestlecrap to a new level with an epic sumo style battle between two monster trucks that represented Hogan and The Giant. Not all of Halloween Havoc was bad though. The Four Horseman were reborn when Ric Flair turned on Sting in a tag match against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. Flair, Anderson, Pillman, and later Chris Benoit brought the legendary heel stable back to life to show the Dungeon how it was done.


    While all of this malarkey was going down in the WWF and WCW Rey Mysterio and Psicosis were tearing it up in ECW. The two men made their ECW debut's at Gangsta's Paradise, and would go on to wrestle one of the match of the year candidates on the October 7th "South Philly Jam" show in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match. The 2 out of 3 falls match is one of the best matches in ECW history, and is included in the bonus features of the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD. Also going on in ECW was the ongoing blood feud between Tommy Dreamer and Raven. The feud had exploded by now to include multiple different storylines going at once. The primary storyline involved was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commissioner Bill Alphonso's attempt to take the extreme out of ECW. Alphonso sided with Raven in an attempt to eliminate the ECW fans favorite wrestler Tommy Dreamer. Cactus Jack turned on Dreamer to align himself with Alphonso during the Summer. Cactus sided with Raven, and would cut some of the best promos in wrestling history in a pretty deep little storyline where he blames the fans for pushing wrestlers like Ray Stevens and Dynamite Kid too far. Cactus told the fans that he was through with the hardcore wrestling, and that he was going to punish them by not giving them their money's worth. Not only that, but Cactus was trying to convince Tommy Dreamer to do the same, and to go to WCW with him.


    Also sided with Raven, Stevie Richards, and Beulah Mcgillicutty was the goofball slap stick lackey family, the Dudley Brothers. Buh Buh Ray and D-Von weren't the Dudley's just yet, rather a hodge podge motley crew of guys named Dudley Dudley, Dances with Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, and Sign Guy Dudley. Raven and his "Flock" would make life miserable for Tommy Dreamer and The Pit Bulls. Raven and Richards would win the ECW Tag Team titles back from The Pit Bulls on the October 7th show, only to turn around and lose them that same evening to Public Enemy in a three way dance that also included The Gangstas. Tommy Dreamer would end up bringing Terry Funk back to ECW to help him fight Cactus and Raven during the month of October in ECW.

    Also going on in ECW during this time Taz was still nursing a neck injury. Taz was still working, but it was an angle with non-wrestler Jason, who brought in the Eliminators(Perry Saturn and John Kronus) at Gangstas Paradise. Mikey Whipreck became the number one contender to The Sandman(and Woman)'s ECW World Championship when he won a battle royal in September. Mikey got a pinfall over The Sandman at Gangstas Paradise during the tag team cage match. Mikey and Sandman's feud over the ECW World Championship would become interesting when WCW fired "Stunning" Steve Austin.

    Steve Austin made his ECW debut with his classic Hulk Hogan parody at Gangstas Paradise. The skit did not make the home video of Gangstas Paradise, but it did air on Hardcore TV during the fall. During the skit, Austin talked about how he never got the chance to rise above mid-card status in the WCW.


    Austin made his first in ring appearance in ECW on September 28th in Middleton, NY. Austin came out before a match between Sandman and Mikey Whipreck, and cut a foul mouthed promo talking about how much of a shithole ECW was, and bad mouthing the Sandman for being a fat, out of shape, beer drinking champion. Austin called Mikey a sorry piece of shit that didn't deserve to be in the ring. Right from his very first night in ECW, Austin was "Stone Cold". His promos in ECW resembled nothing at all the "Ringmaster" or "Stunning Steve" stuff. Heyman gave Austin the freedom to go out there, and develop this character, and a legend was born. Austin would cut another promo on Hardcore TV going into details about how he was mishandled in WCW, even talking about ideas he had mentioned to Eric Bischoff & Dusty Rhodes that were shot down. Austin talked about how much of a shithole ECW was, and how it was "Just a bunch of Violent CRAP!" in the promo. The "Just a bunch of violent crap" promo reminds me a lot of the Shane Douglas "Evolution of a Franchise" promo that I took a look at earlier in this project where Shane pretty much just did a shoot on his beef with Ric Flair. So much of what I've looked at from ECW in 1995 has been very "Shooty". From Terry Funk and Cactus Jack's "Charlatan" feud earlier in the year, to Shane's shooting on Flair, to Cactus' heel turn and the "Cane Dewey" promos, to this Steve Austin stuff. It was all shooty, but it had a distinct style to it that was different from(and much better than) the Vince Russo WCW train wreck shit.

    The next four shows I will be taking a look at are the Oct. 24th, Oct. 31st, Nov. 7th, and Nov. 14th episodes of Hardcore TV from 1995. It's the build up to the November To Remember show, which is probably one of the best ECW shows of all time. Lets take a look at ECW's weekly show, and see how it compares to Nitro and Raw from this time.

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    Senior Member SensesFailed's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Figure I would put this here. It's part 2 of an interview, but this is where Shane talks about Dean Douglas and makes mention of the incident you mentioned with Shawn.

    Now you're on the field callin' me an asshole, 'Cause I roped up your body like a lasso

    And I could be just like Mr. HK, runnin' cause a melee
    Bring my team a W, I'm poppin' shots like Pele

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by SensesFailed View Post
    Figure I would put this here. It's part 2 of an interview, but this is where Shane talks about Dean Douglas and makes mention of the incident you mentioned with Shawn.

    Nice. You know, Douglas's career work wasn't even a speck on HBK's ass cheek at the end of the day, but back during his run as Dean in the WWF, he was really one of the best guys on the microphone in the company. The material he was saying was garbage, but his delivery was there. It's a real shame that he couldn't just tough it out until the clique left because he really had a lot of potential to be a top heel. When he left ECW in 95 he was getting ridiculous heat. I still think he could have toughed it out, and made a pretty good run in the WWF in 1996 before his physical performance started to nosedive by 1997.

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Hardcore TV(Episode #131)

    October 24th, 1995

    Alright, so we take our first look at the show that won Best Weekly Show of the year for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for 1994, 95, and 96. Lets jump right in to see if it really was better than what was going on over on Nitro and Raw during this time in 1995.

    ECW World Tag Team Championship Three Way Dance: The Gangstas vs Public Enemy vs Raven & Stevie Richards

    This is a clip of the match from the South Philly Jam on October 7th where Public Enemy wins the titles back. We are immediately thrust into a shot of the ECW Arena with all of the fans waving their arms from side to side along to the Public Enemy's music. PE comes out, and the crowd loves them. They dance around for a bit before The Gangstas attack them from behind. The Gangstas beat on Public Enemy in and out of the ring.

    Interesting thing is that this match has been clipped up, so this is really just kind of a highlight reel of the match. This was something that was done quite frequently on Hardcore TV.

    Mustapha brawls with Rocco Rock up to the Eagles Nest balcony. New Jack lands a beautiful flying headbutt on Johnny Grunge in the ring, very nicely executed. New Jack always had a nice flying headbutt. Mustapha sets up two tables on top of each other under the balcony. Rocco Rock is body slammed off of the balcony through one of the tables(one doesn't break). Really painful, dangerous looking spot. Raven and Richards are nowhere to be found in the match yet. New Jack mocks the Public Enemy's dancing in the ring as be beats on Johnny Grunge.

    Raven and Stevie Richards come out finally. Richards fucking daisy dukes are so short and tight it is fucking hilarious. They are literally wedged up his ass. Raven and New Jack square off face to face in a pretty cool little stand off. Raven sits down in the corner as Richards and The Gangstas beat on Public Enemy. Johnny Grunge is busted open bleeding. Whats new? Raven sits and watches as The Gangstas and Stevie continue to beat the shit out of PE.

    Rocco Rock catches New Jack in a surprise rollup for the 1, 2, 3. The Gangstas have been eliminated.

    The match skips ahead to Public Enemy in the ring with Stevie Richards on top of two tables stacked on top of each other. One table is on top of the ropes in the corner with a chair on top of it. This is just fucking crazy. Johnny Grunge lights the bottom table on fire, Rocco Rock does a moonsault off of the chair that is on the table in the corner on the top rope. Rocco Rock's knees crash down onto Stevie really hard, putting him through both of the tables.

    Holy shit.

    That was a pretty crazy fucking spot. If I was a pro wrestler, and somebody asked me to be a part of a spot like this, I'd tell them to kiss my fucking ass. This was just wild, and dangerous.

    I kind of liked it though. Not something you see in your everyday wrestling match. A level of violence that just wasn't being done anywhere at this time except for Japan's FMW.

    Johnny Grunge pulls Stevie out of the smoking table wreckage for the 1, 2, 3, and the tag team titles.

    Crowd goes ape shit. Arms waving side to side all through the arena. As much as I sing the praises of all the technical wrestling, and advanced storylines/characters that were in ECW, there is no denying that this stuff was what put asses in the seats of the ECW Arena. The ECW Arena really was the house that Public Enemy built. This crowd loved the shit out of them. Just about all the fans pile into the ring with Public Enemy, and start chanting E! C! DUB!. Pretty cool little sight. Just looks like a good time. Everybody's happy and having fun. Party on.

    6.9/10

    Keep in mind that this was not the complete match. They probably cut a lot of shit out. With that in mind, this wasn't a bad little segment. It was violent in a pretty fun way. The double flaming table moonsault was a pretty sick spot. It was just a stunt, but hey, stunts are entertaining sometimes. Stunts are cool in the movies, and sometimes they can be cool in wrestling, take the Foley HIAC bumps for instance. This stunt in this match was pretty cool I guess. Nothing spectacular, just one of those "Holy Shit" moments.

    Intro

    After the match we get the awesome intro highlight set to the tune of White Zombie's "Thunderkiss 65". Awesome.


    Back before Rob Zombie made mediocre movies, and even more mediocre music as a solo act, White Zombie was a pretty awesome little band. Everything about White Zombie just screams 90's.

    Jason/Stevie Richards Interview/Commercials

    We cut from the intro to an interview with Joey Styles and Stevie Richards. They cut the interview in front of some ECW flags, and they claim to be at the ECW Arena, but these segments were all filmed at Ron Buffone's parent's house. Ron Buffone and Charlie Bruzesse were the unsung heroes of ECW. These two guys were the ones that would put this TV show together, and make it look as edgy and up to date as it did. They would put together some really, really awesome, way ahead of their time highlight music videos(like the Intro), and put the show together on some small, cheap computers in Ron Buffone's parent's basement. These flags behind Joey Styles and Stevie Richards in this segment are covering up the Buffone's washer and dryer. Ron Buffone's parents were probably in the middle of doing laundry as they cut this segment, much like the scene in the film "Beyond The Mat".

    So they would take one of those 3 hour long shows like the ones I have reviewed here up to this point, and they would cut them up for 2-3 weeks of Hardcore TV episodes like this one. All of the music videos and promos would be filmed later and edited in at Ron's parent's basement at a later date.

    Stevie talks about how Public Enemy lit a fire under his ass at the last show. Stevie challenges Rocco Rock to a "Ragedy Ass Ho" match, where the loser has to wear a dress. The segment cuts over to Johnny Grunge saying he was going to treat Stevie like the guy he shared a cell with in prison. They cut back to Stevie and Joey, and they are joined by Jason. Joey Styles acting like he's allergic to Jason(euro trash gimmick) is almost funny. Almost. Jason asks Stevie if he can wear the dress if he loses the "Ragedy Ass Ho" match.

    Commercial time.

    Yeah, pretty much, these Hardcore TV shows were just a big one hour long ECW infomercial. They would use a lot of the TV time to plug upcoming shows, advertise T-shirts, and home videos. The first commercial block kicks off with Lance Wright in a segment he apparently called "Hype Central", ok. He plugs the upcoming live shows. Lance Wright wound up getting a job in the WWF somehow as an interviewer by late 96/early 97, but he was never even a speck on the ass of the great Todd Pettingail or Sean Mooney. Seriously I don't know how he got the WWF gig, the guy was terrible. Vince probably hired him because he was juiced in with Heyman. Maybe the guy was dating his sister or something, who knows.

    A pretty cool song plays that I can't recognize as the card for the October 28th ECW Arena show flashes by the screen match by match. Sandman vs Mikey Whipreck's ladder match is advertised. Terry Funk is advertised to be in the corner of Tommy Dreamer in a match against Cactus Jack.

    Gangstas Paradise home video commercial set to the actual Gangstas Paradise song.


    Fucking awesome highlight video of that show. Makes me want to watch it again. I loved these old commercials for the old tapes.

    ECW 1-900 Hotline Commercial

    Back to Lance Wright, who plugs the Original Three Way Dance April 8th show available on Home Video. Merchandise hotline plug.

    Back to Joey Styles and Stevie Richards. Jason brings a dress into the scene, and asks if Johnny Grunge would be able to fit in it. Stevie makes fun of Grunge's weight. Corny.

    Joey goes off into a video chronicling 2 Cold Scorpio's feud with Public Enemy. They show the awesome triple table spot from the Gangstas Paradise steel cage match. They show highlights of a six man tag match at a house show in Chicago where Public Enemy put Scorpio through a flaming table. Scorpio is show confronting Public Enemy backstage, telling them that they are clowns who can't fly like him. Scorpio's upcoming match against Rocco Rock is plugged, and advertised to be for the Tag Team titles. I never liked it when anyone put the tag team titles on the line in a singles match. Stevie comes back into the scene, and talks about his upcoming "Ragedy Ass Ho" match against Johnny Grunge. Jason comes walking into the scene with another dress, asking Stevie's opinion of the color & texture of it. These are probably Ron Buffone's Mom's dresses.

    Really corny stuff. I'd be embarrassed to watch that last segment with anybody.

    Back to Lance Wright in an "EC F'N W" t-shirt commercial. Wright makes a sarcastic joke:

    As you can tell by the very nature of our program, ECW is governed by a very conservative, right wing, politically correct establishment.


    Pretty cool shirt for only $20(postage paid).

    Another ECW Hardcore Phone line commercial.

    ECW Title Match: Mikey Whipwreck vs. Sandman

    Ah, finally another match. We cut back to The Sandman and Woman about halfway through their long ass entrance already. They would usually take up the entire "Enter Sandman" song during the Sandman's entrances. Woman holds and flaunts the belt around. Sandman has a cigarette in his mouth, cane in his right hand, and a beer in his left hand.

    This is the match from The South Philly Jam on October 7th, which was Steve Austin's second ECW Appearance.

    There is a stack of tables folded up near the ring, maybe about 5 or 6 of them. Mikey Whipreck comes out to Beck's "Loser"


    Perfect.

    The ring announer goes through the motions introducing Whipreck and Sandman, and then all of a sudden Steve Austin comes out with his flowing golden locks of hair, and his EC F'N W t-shirt. Austin romps his way to the ring looking like Stone Cold.


    Austin violently grabs the microphone from the ring announcer, and shoves Mikey Whipreck's face backwards with his hand. Hilarious. He is just really intense.

    Now listen here you son of a bitch, last time I was out here, I came out here to say good luck to the both of you bastards.

    It pisses me off to see a piece of crap like you, defending a damn world heavyweight belt. The doctor tells me that in six weeks son, I'll be ready to walk all over your ass, because your name ain't Hulk Hogan.

    But naw, oh, we ain't got to wait six weeks, we ain't got to wait six weeks. You can throw his ass out of the ring, and you and me can get it on RIGHT NOW!
    Austin violently shoves Sandman, and turns his back on him to taunt the crowd. Sandman canes the dogshit out of Austin in the back of the head. Sandman gets a microphone.

    YO!

    Yo STEVE AUSTIN!

    YO!

    This ain't Atlanta. THIS AIN'T THE WCW!

    This is Philadelphia, and I am the extreme HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!

    YOU!

    *Canes him in the head as he tries to get up, knocking him back down*

    YOU, are just another jabroni!

    *Canes him again*

    YOU, are just another HULK HOGAN WANNA BE!


    This is just hilarious going from one of the all time best on the microphone to one of the all time worst all in one segment. Austin loses it on Sandman after being called a Hulk Hogan wanna be. Austin bum rushes Sandman, and tackles him to the ground. Austin beats on Sandman with punches until all of the other wrestlers come out to separate them.

    Konnan tries to keep The Sandman back as the other wrestlers keep Austin back. Konnan and Sandman begin staring each other down for no apparent reason.

    Random chest smacking contest. OH MY FUCKING GOD I LOVE IT.

    Sandman and Konnan just start tearing into each other's chests with chops out of nowhere as a haggleload of wrestlers hold Steve Austin back. Konnan drops Sandman, and the wrestlers separate them. Austin rushes the Sandman again. All of the wrestlers separate them. Austin rips Sandman's shirt off. Order is eventually restored, and the match begins. Whipreck hits Sandman with a hurricanrana and a leg drop for a 2 count.

    We cut away to more commercials.

    Advertisement for the October 27th New York show set to Mad Season's "I Don't Know Anything"


    Cactus vs Konnan, Sandman & Scorpio vs Public Enemy, and Dreamer vs Raven falls count anywhere are advertised for the event. More plugs for the October 28th event.

    Back to the match, and they are fighting in the crowd. Mikey whips Sandman into the steel gaurd rail. Mikey hits Sandman with a somersault plancha out of the ring down to the floor. Mikey hits Sandman with 3 hard, unprotected chair shots to the head. Sandman drops Mikey ribs first across the guard rail, and follows up with a leg drop across the back of his head from the apron. Sandman attacks Mikey with the steel gaurdrailing.

    These guys are being really fucking stiff with each other.

    Sandman hits Mikey in the head with the railing multiple times. Mikey sends Sandman into the railing with sickening force. Sandman separates one of the pieces of railing, and suplexes it down onto Mikey. Mikey's shirt is torn up, and he looks like he's been in a damn dogfight. Sandman hits his top rope legdrop, rises back up to his feet, and fires up a mid-match smoke.

    Steve Austin comes back out with a ladder. Austin hits Sandman in the gut with the ladder. Austin throws the ladder into the ring before making his exit again. Sandman back body drops Whipreck out of the ring, and follows him down with a leg drop. They throw each other into the ladder multiple times. Whipreck teeter-totter's the ladder into Sandman's face. I've seen people try this spot a lot, and this was the best I've ever seen it done. They made it look good here.

    Sandman drops a legdrop onto Mikey from the top rope for the 3 count after 15 minutes of brutal brawling.

    Sandman brutally attacks the referee with the ladder before storming off with Woman and his belt. The crowd chants "MIKEY! MIKEY! MIKEY!".

    9/10

    Austin bumps this up alot. He gave everybody a preview of Stone Cold here with his attitude and demeanor. Loved everything about all of the pre-match drama, the random chest smacking contest that broke out with Sandman and Konnan had me rolling on the floor. Just the way they started looking at each other out of nowhere before blasting each other's chest was hilarious. The actual match was surprisingly good too. Really physical and stiff. Not that that is a good thing, but you can't deny that this was an intense war. Sandman was really rough with Mikey. These two would go on to have a pretty brutal series of matches that get overlooked quite a bit. I really enjoyed this segment, and would advise everyone to track it down. Awesome stuff.

    Another ECW Hardcore Hotline commercial.

    Gangstas Paradise home video ad again, still fucking awesome. Really nice little highlight video set to some old school jams.

    More plugs for the October 28th show. Lance Wright's "Hype Central" running down the card.

    We cut to a Sandman promo. Sandman says he's the king of extreme, and that he hasn't been extreme yet with him. Sandman says he will be so extreme with Whipreck that not even Johnny Cochran will be able to get him out of trouble.

    Woman takes the center stage of the promo, and damn. This woman, Nancy Benoit, had a lot of talent in front of the camera from what I've seen of her in ECW so far in 1995. She talks about how much she lives for the title as she holds it across her shoulder. She says that she breathes for the belt, she owns the belt, and that her and The Sandman will own Mikey on Oct. 28th. I love it. I touched on this earlier in this thread, but there was a lot of depth and substance to this Woman character. She was a strong, intelligent, powerful woman, and she was the real ECW World Champion during this reign of the Sandman's during 1995. Anyone that thinks ECW was just always about degrading and beating women, I present exhibit A.

    Commercial for the "Enter Sandman" show on ECW Home Video set to the tune of the Metallica song. Another really nice little highlight of the event with the double suplex on the two jobbers by Taz. I love these short little jamming highlight videos that they would air to sell the tapes.

    Another ECW Hardcore Hotline commercial. Like no other hotline in professional wrestling. I could only imagine.

    Styles plugs the next ECW show when all of a sudden JT Smith walks into the scene. Smith is in the "Knocked himself Stupid" gimmick here, and thinks he's Italian(he's black). He's actually pretty funny the way he's acting. He keeps calling himself the big don, and doing stereotypical Italian hand gestures and whatnot. He says that this saturday night he is not going to mess up in his match as he begins shadow boxing around Joey Styles. Smith accidentally knocks Styles in the face with a punch, knocking him backwards out of the scene.

    Pulp Fiction Promos

    I liked the Pulp Fiction promos. They would just roll through a series of promos set to the tune of "Miserlou", from Pulp Fiction.


    The song would play on in the background as one by one characters would cut promos from various locations. I thought this was a cool way to give the characters a bit of depth, and flesh out the storylines. Pulp Fiction promos were an ECW tradition.

    This one on this episode is just all over the place. It goes back and forth from the Dudley family(now with Buh Buh Ray), JT Smith heckling Joey Styles, The Eliminators(Perry Saturn and John Kronus) taunting the Pit Bulls, Tommy Dreamer talking about how he's going to bring Terry Funk back to ECW, and Cactus Jack cutting some excellent promos like this one:

    I guess it's true isn't it Tommy?

    I guess it's all true.

    I tried to believe in my heart that it wasn't, but I guess down in my heart I knew it was true.

    Your really going to bring him here.

    The one man that you know, that can step in the way of my path to righteousness in my final resting place.

    You threw a big obstacle at me Tommy, and I'm going to have to hope that I have enough love for the both of us, because apparently you've got no love or respect for yourself.

    Because the fact is that Terry Funk makes me do things, that I don't want to do. He makes me the kind of man.....THAT I DON'T WANT TO BE ANYMORE!
    Tommy reveals Terry during the promos. Terry sends a message saying "I'M BACK CACTUS!"

    Steve Austin is shown in the promo saying that ECW is about to find out what Steve Austin can do. You got that shit right.

    Woman is shown caressing the ECW World championship saying that it means more to her than anything or anyone as she looks directly at the Sandman.

    Tommy Dreamer is shown screaming at the camera that he was going to drag the hardcore back out of Cactus.

    Beulah Mcgillicutty is shown on the beach in a bikini. The perfect woman.

    Terry Funk is shown blowing the flames out on his branding iron from an older ECW event.

    Cactus is shown again saying this:

    Dory Funk Sr.....I spit on your memory!

    *Spits*

    I spit on your family!

    And when you bring that pathetic son of yours, that gutless coward, I guarantee to you I'll spit on him in the face. Because Terry Funk, you can't stop me on the road to my kingdom.

    You can't stop the wheels that have already been set in motion.

    The only thing that you're going to do, is guarantee that your protege Tommy Dreamer, suffers a horrible fate.

    Forget about the WCW Tommy!

    Because you've gone too far!

    and now YOU'VE GOT TO PAY!

    *starts crying*

    God dammit Terry Funk.

    *Raven walks into scene*

    We were on the verge of something very important.
    Cactus breaks down in tears when Raven gets the microphone and says:

    Look at his pain. Look at his torment. Tommy why must you do this?

    After what you put me through years ago, I finally find, someone that would stand beside me.

    *Cactus clings to Raven's waist crying*

    And look at the anguish, you've caused him. This man will not desert me like you. Why do you do this to me Tommy Dreamer?

    Why can't you just let it alone?

    Then maybe Raven has found a little solace.

    And Terry Funk, you're a decrepid old fossil. However, your legendary status is also meaningless, because I am Raven, and I'll put you through a table, and bash your brains in.

    But it really doesn't matter. Cactus Jack does not need my help. Cactus Jack will annihilate you Tommy Dreamer.

    He will annihilate you.

    HE WILL ANNIHILATE YOU!

    And all of the pain I've suffered all these years, when you left me, when you should have stood beside me, will be vindicated. Cactus Jack, you will do for me, what I should have done a long time ago. Vanquish Tommy Dreamer.

    Quothe the Raven, Nevermore.
    Raven poses as Cactus Jack hugs his waist laughing and crying at the same time.

    Dreamer says that he will sacrifice Raven at the alter to bring an end to the show.

    Overall Show Rating: 9/10

    Well shit, that was awesome. The Raven/Cactus vs Dreamer feud is really fucking awesome. I never realized how awesome this storyline was. The Raven character was playing mind games with Cactus, and turned him against Dreamer to do his dirty work for him. That was the root of this heel turn from Cactus Jack. Raven's mind games. Beautiful. People who claim that ECW lacked substance, and was just all about shock television, I present to you exhibit B.

    Also take into consideration what was going on over in Raw and Nitro during this time in 1995. I mean, damn. This was just so far ahead of it's time it was scary. Stone Cold being Stone Cold. A brutal match between The Sandman and Mikey Whipreck, some outstanding promos, and some awesome 90's music. The show was just chocked full of awesome jams. Every commercial, every segment, everything had an awesome song playing through in the background. There were multiple classic 90's grunge tunes that I recognized during various moment of this show, but I couldn't think of the names of them.

    The show did have some shit on it. Lance Wright is a tool that just did not fit in ECW. This show had about 90% too much Lance Wright on my television, and nowhere near enough Beulah Mcgillicutty. The segments with Public Enemy/Stevie Richards/Jason, and Joey Styles were really corny too. Some of the stuff on this tape hasn't aged well, but for the most part there was a lot of really interesting stuff in this one single hour long show. I enjoyed it a lot. Check it out.

  17. #67
    Senior Member SensesFailed's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    Nice. You know, Douglas's career work wasn't even a speck on HBK's ass cheek at the end of the day, but back during his run as Dean in the WWF, he was really one of the best guys on the microphone in the company. The material he was saying was garbage, but his delivery was there. It's a real shame that he couldn't just tough it out until the clique left because he really had a lot of potential to be a top heel. When he left ECW in 95 he was getting ridiculous heat. I still think he could have toughed it out, and made a pretty good run in the WWF in 1996 before his physical performance started to nosedive by 1997.
    He could have, but this is Vince, it's his way.. or you go home and starve. Shane has too much pride to deal with the bullshit just to try and tough it out. He's stated through out his career then he has and always will hate the business side of the sport. While his career is nowhere near Shawn's, I think the only people that let Troy actually be Shane is ECW. WWE dropped the ball badly with Shane. While I didn't like the character, if you they would have let Shane do his "Franchise" style promos with that type of character, I think it would have worked out much better.. oh... and change that damn outfit of his lol
    Now you're on the field callin' me an asshole, 'Cause I roped up your body like a lasso

    And I could be just like Mr. HK, runnin' cause a melee
    Bring my team a W, I'm poppin' shots like Pele

  18. #68
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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by SensesFailed View Post
    He could have, but this is Vince, it's his way.. or you go home and starve. Shane has too much pride to deal with the bullshit just to try and tough it out. He's stated through out his career then he has and always will hate the business side of the sport. While his career is nowhere near Shawn's, I think the only people that let Troy actually be Shane is ECW. WWE dropped the ball badly with Shane. While I didn't like the character, if you they would have let Shane do his "Franchise" style promos with that type of character, I think it would have worked out much better.. oh... and change that damn outfit of his lol
    The damn Guy worked at Target

  19. #69
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by The Industry View Post
    The damn Guy worked at Target
    Good for him. Probably added years to his life. RIP Bam Bam & Candido.

    Work at Target or chase peanut paydays in wrestling. At his age, I would have taken Target too. I think it's funny how people hate on the dude for getting a real job when most of his peers have died young trying to stay in the wrestling game for a few pay days. Maybe if guys like Bam Bam and Candido got real jobs they would still be alive today too.

    Nothing wrong with working a real job. I don't think that takes anything away from the potential he had in 95-96 either.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-01-2012 at 11:25 AM.

  20. #70
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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Let him tell it he was the best wrestler in the world, and that wasn't just a promo, he really believed it and in a 95 shoot said he was the best in the business.

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    I don't hate on Douglas that he works for Target. My mom works for target. I just think it's funny that Mr. Anti-Corporate, Mr. Swearin' like a sailor, THA FRANCHISE, now works for a family-friendly corporate entity.

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    It's all in the reflexes Baker's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    Anyone who has ever actually seen ECW live back in the day, I would love to read about the experience. Feel free to post anything ECW related here, whether it's bad or good. Myself, I never got to see ECW live. I came close to making a road trip to Louisiana in 99, but fell short on funds. They came to Texas finally in 2000, but long story short I missed it. The second go around in Texas later in 2000 was cancelled.
    Too bad you never got to see ECW live. It was a special atmosphere.

    I went to eight ECW Arena shows in 1999-2000 plus one of the ECW Arena reunion shows. First one was in March, 99. I'd be lying if I said I didn't kiss the grungy old building upon arrival. Yeah, I wasn't particularily cool but The Arena was sacred to me. The best of those shows was, by far, the October, 1999 card. Sandman's return from WCW remains the coolest thing I ever saw at a live show. Plus I got to see a Sabu vs. RVD match. That was a huge deal for me back in the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    I know I come off as a really biased ECW fanboy most of the time, but honestly I was really an equal fan of all 3 during 1997 and 1998. I couldn't tell you who was really the better promotion out of those two years because all 3 of them were really awesome in different ways. Each brand complemented each other really nicely, and all 3 promotions really kind of fed off of each other to make each other better. I read a lot of posts from people around the boards who say they were only a WWF or WCW fan exclusively back during this era, and I just think that's too bad. Anybody that was only keeping up with just one of these brands was really missing out on the bigger picture.
    *Raises Hand*

    I went off WCW in August, 1996 and never really went back aside from an occasional peak at Worldwide or Saturday Night. I was always, first and foremost, a WWF guy but I did appreciate NWA/WCW as a sort of quaint little alternative for when Hogan & Warrior got too out of control. Image was everything. WWF just seemed so much bigger than WCW with its larger than life characters and cleaner looking production. But I did appreciate WCW in that "nice little mom & pop shop" sort of way.

    Then the Monday Night Wars happened and I gulped down every drop of Vince's "WCW is the evil empire" Kool Aid. I was at the age when folks get passionate about the ideas of "selling out" and "loyalty." To my Vince-influenced mind, guys like Nash, Hall, Hogan, Savage, Piper, etc. were the wrestling equivalent of an army of Benedict Arnold's. And Sleazy E giving away Raw results was an ultimate dickhead move.

    But the WCW product was still good in those early days. Flair, Arn and Lord Regal were still awesome. New guys like Benoit, Malenko, The Giant, Norton and Disco (don't ask) quickly won me over. GAB 96 was one of the better WCW PPVs ever and was a show I kicked myself for not attending live. Plus Hogan was on one of his many hiatuses! So while I viewed WCW as something more than untoward, I was still grudgingly a fan. A good product will triumph over ideology.

    But WWF, despite my hatred of champion, HBK, was still #1 in my heart.

    August, 1996 was the last straw. The nWo started off good. They were definitely in the "pay money to see the heels get beat" category the first few months. WCW wisely put 3 of the biggest turncoats in one group. I'd gladly fork over some dough to see Flair, Sting and the boys knock them down to size. But then Hogan was on top again. Worst of all, he beat my boy, The Giant, who I was really digging at the time. I had visions of him being the next Vader: a badass monster heel who was respected by all. Then "The Huckster" survived Flair at Clash of the Champions and I was done.

    Being a one promotion guy wasn't ideal. I tried supporting AWF (Where we wrestle in rounds!!!!) but even I had to admit that fed sucked. So ECW, with its extreme counterculture mentality, was a perfect fit for my teenage self when I finally got around to seeing Barely Legal. Became a big ECW fan just by watching the pre-show promos. I had goosebumps just about the entire time. This fed was something else! Remained a huge ECW fan up until that fateful day when Scotty Riggs was brought in as a big opponent for RVD.

    Re: FBI

    I'm not against comedy in wrestling. Pro wrestling needs some levity at times. But one-note comedy gimmicks have a limited shelf life for me. Even the good ones only entertain me for about 6 months to a year. "Haha look at that fake Italian" worked with JT Smith but it was beating a dead horse by the time Smothers & Rich came around. Although putting Tommy Rich's face on the Italian flag was a brilliant move

    Don't bother seeking out the WWF version of the FBI. They're basically just another generic, low-card tag team. Whatever limited comedy value The FBI may have had was killed off by using 3 real Italians. Their big claim to fame was a feud with The Undertaker that lasted about a minute. I do like Chuck with his awesome punches and nice belly to belly suplex. Stamboli had an occasional nice power move but was mostly boring. And Guido.....

    Well, I know about Guido's real wrestling credentials. It never translated to a pro wrestling setting though. He was mostly a one-note comedy character. The frequent attempts to make him a legit competitor always flopped. Just always viewed him as one of the most forgettable wrestlers ever. Seriously, when I go back and think about all the ECW guys, Guido is like always the last 'major' wrestler I think about.

    Fuck Douglas. I never liked the guy. Probably one of my all-time 10 Least Favorite wrestlers. He earned my wrath from the get go. There are two things that a wrestler could do to piss me off in the mid-late 90s.

    1. Bash WWF
    2. Bash Ric Flair

    And that was pretty much every Douglas promo ever.

    Was Dean Dougals even that bad? I say "no." That basic gimmick worked for Lanny Poffo (his best WWF run) and it's working for Damien Sandow now. Matt Striker got a lot of TV time with it. As did Chris Nowinski. I am one of the few that will still admit to liking "The Dean" character. In fact, it's my favorite run of his overrated career. It was over with the crowd too. Or at least he got good heat during the one WWF show I went to during that period.

    Furthermore, if Douglas had been willing to play along, perhaps things would have ended up better for him in the long run. I mean HHH as a fake Regal, Bradshaw as a fake Stan Hansen, and Kane as a stupid dentist didn't exactly scream "OMG decade long stars!" but that's exactly what ended up happening.

    But it's more than just his awful attitude. The so-called "great wrestler" wasn't even that good. I can't think of too many great Douglas matches in ECW (Just the 4-Way for the TV Title and a bizarrely awesome match with Justin Credible). Using a weakass belly to belly suplex as a finisher when every other match on the card features crazy ass powerbombs, suplexes, drivers and high-flying flippity doos was beyond lame.

    He was the one major ECW star that I was thrilled to see leave when he bolted for WCW in 1999. Loved how that turned out for him too. First he tries working with Flair, saying his 5 years of ranting was all just a work. Of course, Flair's all "fuck that shit." Then he wants to bolt with the rest of the Radicals for the greener pastures of WWF but the Radicals are all, "Umm, I don't think so, buddy" So Douglas ended up slumming for XPW, and later working at Target.

    It may not be nice and proper to take such delight in seeing a man come down in the world, but I'm not always nice or proper. All of Douglas' failings later in life amused me to no end. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

    I didn't get around to seeing Austin in ECW until 1998. So I was already familiar with how great Austin can be. BUT if I had caught Austin in ECW during 1995 I would have been blown away. Outside of the Hollywood Blondes team, I had always viewed WCW Austin as a sort of 1990s Randy Orton. Not bad, but kinda bland. Just not a guy I'm gonna go crazy over. Of course, he blew that perception out of the water during his WWF days. But it was in 1995 ECW that he first found the voice that would eventually become "Stone Cold."

  23. #73
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Yeah, I can't defend his work from 97 to whenever, but he was a great heel in ECW in 95 & 96. Nobody ever drew heat in ECW like Shane Douglas did in 95 and 96. He wasn't great in the ring during that time, but he was ok. He was a better than average talent in 95-96. He had a great match against 2 Cold Scorpio at A Matter of Respect 96, and his match against Razor at IYH 3 was pretty good too(best match on the PPV). He wasn't anywhere near the best, but he was better than a lot of guys in 95 & 96. Nowaday's he's up there with New Jack as one of the coolest guys on the internet to hate on. The things he said & did outside of the ring, and the twilight years of his career really overshadowed the years when he was actually a pretty talented performer, and that's too bad.

    The best of those shows was, by far, the October, 1999 card. Sandman's return from WCW remains the coolest thing I ever saw at a live show.
    YOU WERE THERE?!

    You lucky son of a bitch. I probably would have had a heart attack from marking out too hard had I been there for that show judging by my reaction from watching it on TV back then. Easily one of my biggest mark out moments ever as a wrestling fan. I still get goosebumps from watching the video on youtube.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-01-2012 at 07:32 PM.

  24. #74
    It's all in the reflexes Baker's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    Yeah, I can't defend his work from 97 to whenever, but he was a great heel in ECW in 95 & 96. Nobody ever drew heat in ECW like Shane Douglas did in 95 and 96. He wasn't great in the ring during that time, but he was ok. He was a better than average talent in 95-96. He had a great match against 2 Cold Scorpio at A Matter of Respect 96, and his match against Razor at IYH 3 was pretty good too(best match on the PPV). He wasn't anywhere near the best, but he was better than a lot of guys in 95 & 96. Nowaday's he's up there with New Jack as one of the coolest guys on the internet to hate on. The things he said & did outside of the ring, and the twilight years of his career really overshadowed the years when he was actually a pretty talented performer, and that's too bad.
    But I was hating Douglas before it was cool

    I'll say this much in his defense.....I legit hated the guy. That means I'd buy shows to see him lose. So I guess he did his job as a heel in a sense. I was so pumped to see him drop the strap to Snow and was wicked pissed when he didn't. But his loss to my man, Taz, a few months later made up for it a bit.

    I honestly never saw the big deal about Douglas vs. Scorpio. Both guys annoy me as wrestlers. Scorpio really gets on my nerves because he was as athletically gifted as anybody during that era but he has these real annoying habits like hitting a big move and then just wandering around for ages twirling his fingers. It just drives me crazy.

    Speaking of Taz....Can't wait until his superpush begins in earnest. Taz may well have been my favorite wrestler from 96-00, taking into account all those years. I'll have much more to say about his awesomeness later in this series.

    Loved New Jack back in the day. He had amazing natural charisma. But yeah, I've really soured on him over the years because he comes off as another colossal jackass. Still, "Natural Born Killaz" blaring over the speakers while New Jack bludgeons heels with crazy ass weapons for a few minutes is as ECW as it gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    YOU WERE THERE?!
    Yep

    It's one of my favorite things to randomly bring up. Right up there with "Flair is the GOAT!" "The New Generation gets a bad rap!" and "Eddie has been insanely overrated since his death!" I must've mentioned it 5 times already since I've been here.


    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    You lucky son of a bitch. I probably would have had a heart attack from marking out too hard had I been there for that show judging by my reaction from watching it on TV back then. Easily one of my biggest mark out moments ever as a wrestling fan. I still get goosebumps from watching the video on youtube.
    I was hoarse for a week

  25. #75
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker223 View Post

    Speaking of Taz....Can't wait until his superpush begins in earnest. Taz may well have been my favorite wrestler from 96-00, taking into account all those years.
    Same here. Huge Taz mark. I think all of the Taz stuff in ECW has aged really well. He had a great 1996, and I can't wait til we get to that stuff in this thread.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-01-2012 at 08:52 PM.

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