Page 1 of 23 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 573

Thread: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

  1. #1
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History


    In this thread, I'm going through the real history of the ECW. Not every single show, but most of them. I always kind of looked at Pro Wrestling a little bit differently than most people did. I don't put much stock in whether or not a guy can "Work" a match, or if there is proper Psychology in a match. I just want to laugh, say "Holy Shit!", and see some good looking women. In other words, I just want to be entertained. If I want real, traditional wrestling, I'll go watch the NCAA National Championships.

    While the ECW may have been a complete, and utter failure as far as "Wrestling", I think they were a huge success as far as "Sports Entertainment". ECW was not wrestling, it was something in between wrestling, and an action movie. A live action movie where the actors only get 1 take to make it look good.

    So lets get into this. Many don't know that the ECW was the spiritual successor the Joel Goodhart's Tri State Wrestling Alliance. The TSWA put on similarly raunchy shows for the Philadelphia crowd with local wrestlers, and the occasional big name headliner. Some time in 92 Tod Gordon bought the company, and changed the name to Eastern Championship Wrestling. The most common misconception about the beginning of ECW is that they were under the NWA umbrella from day 1. This is false. The ECW started out independent. They didn't join the NWA until Paul Heyman took over the booking in the fall of 1993.


    Everyone seems to have polarizing views of the ECW, and that is understood. Some people grow up and live in completely different households, with completely different lifestyles, resulting in completely different opinions of things. I'm completely open to any rational debates, or discussions from anyone at anytime here so feel free to drop in with any comments, criticism, or general ECW discussions.

    Lets get on with the show!
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-11-2012 at 09:48 PM.

  2. #2
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Best of ECW Vol. 1

    Summer of 1992
    Original Sports Bar(Philly, PA)

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

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

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-10-2012 at 07:44 AM.

  3. #3
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Roots Bloody Roots: The Tri States Wrestling Alliance

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

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

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

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

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

    It all started with Joel. I always like him, thought he was a good kid. He must have had some kind of initiative to get started. He ran a good show.

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

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

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

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

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

    We have one more show to do from the Eastern Championship Wrestling promotion's earliest days(1992) before we move into the Eddie Gilbert era, so lets get on with it.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-10-2012 at 07:43 AM.

  4. #4
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

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

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

    This is the first episode of the ECW's long running show on the Philly cable channel "Sports Channel America". On the card we have all the belts on the line, some early Sandman, and the legendary Jimmy "Super Fly" Snuka.
    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 03-06-2012 at 02:23 PM.

  5. #5
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Enter Hot Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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

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

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

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

    April 6, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Tod Gordon announces TV Title Tourny and a third announcer but Eddie Gilbert thinks its him but its Terry Funk, The Super Destroyers w/Hunter Q. Robins, III defeat The Hell Riders to retain ECW Tag Titles, TV Tourny Round 1: Tommy Cairo b Sal Bellomo w/Cosmic Commander by Countout to advance(Johnny Hotbody attacks Cairo after the match), Rockin' Rebel b Tony Stetson, TV Title Tourny Round 1: Jimmy Snuka w/Eddie Gilbert defeat Larry Winters to advance, Sal Bellomo w/Cosmic Commander b Ernesto Benefico


    April 14, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Stevie Wonderful announces Eddie Gilbert as third announcer, Funk comes out and pours Gilberts water down his shirt, TV Title Tourny Round 1: Glen Osbourne b Johnny Hotbody to advance(Tommy Cairo interferes and brawl with Hotbody after match), Larry Winters & Tony Stetson defeat Samoan Warrior & Chris Michaels(Winters & Stetson brawl with Super Destroyers after match), The Sandman b Kodiak Bear to retain ECW Heavyweight Title(before match Peaches gives Sandman a kiss), TV Title Tourny Round 1: Eddie Gilbert b J.T. Smith to advance, Tommy Cairo b Super Ninja(Cairo & Hotbody brawl after match)


    April 21, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Eddie Gilbert comes out and apologizes to Terry Funk, The Super Destroyers w/Hunter Q. Robins, III defeat Super Ninja & Canadian Wolfman to retain ECW Tag Titles, Terry Funk tries to interview Hunter Q. Robins, III but is attacked from behind by Eddie Gilbert with a chair, TV Title Semi-Finals: Jimmy Snuka w/Eddie Gilbert b Tommy Cairo to advance (Hotbody interferes, Cairo's undefeated streak ended), TV Title Semi-Final: Glen Osbourne b Eddie Gilbert by reverse decision to advance (Jay Sulli points to the ref that Gilbert used brass knucks, Gilbert goes after Sulli but is attacked from behind by Terry Funk with a chair), Rockin' Rebel tries to get a kiss from Peaches but she slaps him, Rockin' Rebel squashes ???(After the match Rockin' Rebel grabs Peaches, Sandman makes the save but Rockin' Rebel breaks Sandman's surf board over his head), TV Title Finals: Jimmy Snuka w/Eddie Gilbert b Glen Osbourne to win ECW TV Title


    April 28, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia,PA: Eddie Gilbert comes out and says he ran Terry Funk out of ECW and shows footage but was interupted by Tod Gordon, Larry Winters & Tony Stetson defeat The Super Destroyers by DQ(before match Hunter Q. Robins, III put up $500 that the Super Destroyers would win), Eddie Gilbert announces Don Muraco as new member of Hotstuff International, The Suicide Blondes (Hotbody & Candido) defeat Tommy Cairo & J.T. Smith(This is Candidos ECW debut), Don Muraco & Jimmy Snuka w/Eddie Gilbert defeat The Hell Riders, The Sandman w/Peaches b Rockin' Rebel w/Tigra by DQ


    May 4, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Terry Funk promo of him talking to a horses ass(great), Don Muraco & Eddie Gilbert defeat J.T. Smith & Glen Osbourne(Paul E. Dangerously debuts and talks about Hotstuff International & Dangerous Alliance merging), The Super Destroyers defeat Larry Winters & Tony Stetson to retain ECW Tag Titles, The Sandman w/Peaches b Sal Bellomo by Countout to retain ECW Heavyweight Title, Rockin' Rebel w/Tigra b Ernesto Benefico, Tommy Cairo b Jonathon Hotbody(Hotbody & Candido brawl with Cairo after match)


    May 11, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Terry funk promo of him running over a dummy(great), Tony Stetson & Larry Winters defeat The Super Destroyers to win ECW Tag Titles in a No DQ No Countout Hair vs Title Match(Hunter Q. Robins, III was handcuffed to Tommy Cairo during match), Jimmy Snuka & Eddie Gilbert defeat J.T. Smith & Max Thrasher, Sal Bellomo b The Canadian Wolfman, Jonathon Hotbody b Tommy Cairo in a Lumberjack Match(Hunter Q. Robins, III interferes), Sandman & Miss Peaches vs Rockin' Rebel & Tigra went to a No Contest


    May 18, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Paul E. Dangerously calls out Tod Gordon and says there will be no Texas Chain Masscre Match, Don Muraco comes out and challenges Sandman for ECW Heavyweight Title, Eddie Gilbert & Jimmy Snuka defeat J.T. Smith & Max Thrasher(Thrasher turns on Smith), Larry Winters & Tony Stetson defeat The Suicide Blondes (Suicide Blondes attack Winters & Stetson after match), Don Muraco b Glen Osbourne, Sandman vs Rockin' Rebel went to a No Contest


    May 25, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Super Destroyer # 3 b H.D. Rider w/Easy Rider(Super Destroyer # 3 was clearly Sal Bellomo, Super Destroyers come out and beat down Bellomo after the match), Suicide Blondes defeat Larry Winters & Tony Stetson to win ECW Tag Titles, Don Muraco b Ernesto Benefico, Tommy Cairo & J.T. Smith defeat The Canadian Wolfman & Max Thrasher, Jimmy Snuka b Glen Osbourne to retain ECW TV Title


    June 1, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA: Sal Bellomo b Super Destroyer #1 w/Hunter Q. Robins, III by DQ(Super Destroyers beat down Bellomo until Tommy Cairo makes the save, Bellomo goes nuts and clotheslines Cairo), Eddie Gilbert & Jimmy Snuka defeat Tommy Cairo & Glen Osbourne, J.T. Smith b Max Thrasher, Don Muraco b The Sandman to win ECW Heavyweight Title(Rockin' Rebel interferes)


    June 8, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Road Warrior Hawk b Samoan Warrior & Don E. Allen in a Handicap Match(Hawk's ECW debut), Tommy Cairo wins 16 man battle royal to win Pennsylvania State Title(Tony Stetson turns on Larry Winters), The Suicide Blondes w/Hunter Q. Robins, III defeat Tommy Cairo & Glen Osbourne to retain ECW Tag Titles(Hunter Q. Robins announces Richard(aka Chris) Michaels as third Suicide Blonde, Super Destroyers fire Robins and brawl with Suicide Blondes), Don Muraco b The Sandman by Countout to retain ECW Heavyweight Title
    The next show we are going to look at is one of the last ECW shows under Eddie Gilbert's direction. During the time leading up to this show, Gilbert and Heyman(who at one time were very close friends) began to stop getting along so well. Rumors swirl about why. Some say that it was all about power, and that Paul wanted Eddie's job. Paul wanted to go in a much different direction than where Eddie was taking the company, and he was starting to get Tod Gordon to see things his way.

    Next up is an episode of ECW's TV show from the summer of 1993. Like I said, this is our last look at Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert's "Memphis of the North" version of the ECW before he has a falling out with Paul Heyman, and Tod Gordon. The next show after this one will be Paul's first at the helm of the company(Ultraclash).
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-10-2012 at 07:46 AM.

  6. #6
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Pro Wrestling in June of 1993

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

  7. #7
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    ECW TV
    6-15-1993
    ECW Arena

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    The announcers also announce that Terry Funk is on the card, so this should be pretty good.
    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 03-06-2012 at 02:28 PM.

  8. #8
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    The End of the Eddie Gilbert Era

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

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

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



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

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

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

    I did in fact resign from ECW when I got the information that we would be working together with Jim Crockett. The date of my resignation was September 7th, the same day I got the news about the so called merger. I really felt it wasn't in our best interest at ECW to give away any momentum we had started to someone elsewho didn't have anything to offer us in return. The actions that transpired after that date, especially on the 9/18 card, cost me the closest firendship I've ever maintained in this bussiness. I gave the speech "That no one knew about" because I was worried how my departure would be handled. I reallly just wanted to leave with my head held high.

    -Eddie Gilbert
    Letter to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter published in October of 1993
    So you may be asking why I spent so much time on a man that was only in the picture for six months? It's simple. People like to believe that the ECW invented hardcore, extreme wrestling, but they really didn't. The style of wrestling that the ECW gets so much credit for was born in the southern territories that Eddie Gilbert was raised on. The same Memphis promotions that Paul Heyman worked his way up through in 1987. Paul also got a taste of the wild style in his days prior in the Florida wrestling scene where the blood poured on a nightly basis. ECW was really the spiritual successor to the old southern territory days of pro wrestling. The same hardcore style that was handed down from Dory Funk Jr to Eddie Graham's Florida promotion was where it all really came from. Paul Heyman just repackaged it, and put his own touches to it.

    Writers notes:

    My grandpa(RIP) grew up in Florida. He used to tell me stories when I was a kid about matches that he went to see live back in the day. Matches in Florida with Terry Funk, and Dory Funk JR where they would brawl all through the arena, bleeding all over everything, and legitimately beating the shit out of each other.

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

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



    Eddie Gilbert was my brother.

    -Tod Gordon
    NWA 50th anniversary banquet, 1998
    Here are the ECW results for the rest of Gilbert's tenure as booker of the ECW courtesy of Obsessed With Wrestling.com:

    June 19, 1993--Super Summer Sizzler in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at ECW Arena: Herve Rinestro vs Don E. Allen ended in a NO CONTEST, Jimmy Snuka b J.T. Smith to retain the ECW Television title, Tony Stetson b Larry Winters in a "First Blood" match, Peaches b Tigra, Jimmy Snuka b Tommy Cairo to retain the Television title, Rockin' Rebel b Sandman in a "Philadelphia Street Fight", Dick Murdoch b Dark Patriot II, Sal Bellomo & Stevie Wonderful & Super Destroyer #1 b Johnny Hotbody & Chris Michaels & Hunter Q. Robbins III, Eddie Gilbert b Terry Funk in a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" match (aka Chain Match)..


    June 22, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Don Muraco b Tommy Cairo to retain ECW Heavyweight Title(Cairo subed for Hawk who wasn't there), The Dark Patriot b J.T. Smith by Countout(Smith gets thrown off 20 foot balcony and Dark Patriot jumps off 20 foot balcony), The Sandman & Larry Winters defeat Rockin' Rebel & Tony Stetson, The Suicide Blondes vs The Super Destroyers & Sal Bellomo went to a No Contest(Big brawl involving everyone breaks out)


    July 13, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Ivan & Vladimir Koloff b Harve Renesto & Glen Osbourne, "King of Philadelphia" Eddie Gilbert visits Delaware Avenue, Tony Stetson vs Larry Winters went to a NO CONTEST, Tommy Cairo b Jimmy Snuka via reverse decision (Terry Funk comes out and tells ref Muraco interfered), Sal Bellomo b Sir Richard Michaels w/Hunter Q. Robins,III (Brawl between Suicide Blondes & Super Destroyers break out, Bellomo breaks Candido's arm)


    July 20, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Tod Gordon says anybody that comes out to the ring thats not suppose to be there will be suspended, Suicide Blondes (Michaels & Hotbody) b The Super Destroyers to win ECW Tag Titles (If Suicide Blondes would of lost they would of left ECW forever), ECW Heavyweight Title Contention Match: Larry Winters b "Rockin Rebel w/Tony Stetson, Terry Funk vs Jimmy Snuka went to a NO CONTEST (Brawl involving everyone breaks out, Tod Gordon gets knocked out)


    July 27, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Press Conference with ECW board about brawl last week, Gordon says he'll hand out fines and suspension, Gordon strips Suicide Blondes of Tag Titles, Gilbert interupts conference wanting to know who his opponent at UltraClash 1 is, Terry Funk b The Canadian Wolfman (Hotstuff International tries to jump Terry but he goes to the back and gets Road Warrior Hawk), The Sandman w/Miss Peaches b Sir Jonathan Hotbody (Rockin' Rebel and Tigra show up and rip Peaches clothes off), Eddie Gilbert b Glen Osbourne (After the match Gilbert has a confrontation witn Ron Jaworski)


    August 3, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: The Dark Patriot & Eddie Gilbert w/ Paul E. Dangerously b Glen Osbourne & J.T. Smith, Footage from Japan's W*ING, Jimmy Snuka b Tommy Cairo to retain ECW TV Title (Taped from Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular)


    August 17, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Eddie Gilbert finds someone on the street to host the show better than Jay Sulli, Tag Title Tourny Round 1: Ivan & Vladimir Koloff b The Headhunter to advance, Don Muraco b Metal Maniac to retain ECW Heavyweight Title, Tag Title Tourny Round 1: Sal Bellomo & Sandman b Tony Stetson & Sir Richard Michaels to advance, Tod Gordon announces matches for UltraClash 1 but Stan Hansen comes out and challenges Jimmy Snuka, Stan Hansen b Jimmy Snuka via DQ


    August 24, 1993--ECW Television in Phildelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Tag Title Tourny Round 1: Eddie Gilbert & Dark Patriot b J.T. Smith & Tommy Cairo via reverse decision(Sherri Martel shows up and chases Freddie Gilbert to the back), Shane Douglas debuts and joins Hotstuff International and has an open challenge with $10,000 on the line, Shane Douglas b Don E. Allen & Harve Renesto, Tag Title Tourny Round 1: The Super Destroyers b Suicide Blondes(Suicide Blondes forfeit, Hunter Q. Robins, III offers $25,000 to the Super Destroyers to back to him, SDs said no), Terry Funk b The Canadian Wolfman, Tito Santana b Don Muraco to win ECW Heavyweight Title


    August 31, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Tag Title Tourny Round 2: Sandman & Sal Bellomo b Ivan & Vladimir Koloff to advance, Tod Gordon announces the participants for the Mixed Gender Battle Royal, Freddie Gilbert tries to give Sherri Martel a rose but Angel pulls him to the back, Tag Title Tourny Round 2: Eddie Gilbert & The Dark Patriot b The Super Destroyers to advance,(SD #2 turns on SD #1 with help from Hunter Q. Robins, III), The Headhunters vs Miguelito Perez & Mr. Danger went to a NO CONTEST, Shane Douglas & Don Muraco vs Tito Santana & Stan Hansen went to a NO CONTEST(After the match Eddie Gilbert hit The Dark Patriot with a fireball instead of Stan Hansen.)


    September 7, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Super Destroyers & Sal Bellomo vs Headhunters & Freddy Krueger was a Double DQ(SD #2 attacks SD #1), Sir Richard Michaels, Tony Stetson, Super Destroyer #2 & Hunter Q. Robins, III attack Sal Bellomo & Sherri Martel(Sir Richard Michaels whips Bellomo with a leather strap, J.T. Smith vs Mr. Motagi went to a Time Limit Draw(Motagi retains W*ING Junior Heavyweight Title, After the match Dark Patriot & Shane Douglas attack J.T. Smith but Mr. Motagi makes the save), Tag Team Title Tourny Finals: Eddie Gilbert & The Dark Patriot b Sandman & Sal Bellomo to win the ECW Tag Team Titles


    September 14, 1993--ECW Television in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Tony Stetson b Tommy Cairo to win Pennsylvania State Title, Review of past couple shows
    Keep in mind when you are reading these results that Tod Gordon filtered many of his booking decisions(with Paul Heyman in his ear), and limited his roster to mostly cheap locals. After Gilbert's resignation, Paul Heyman was given total, and complete control almost immediately. Tod Gordon gave Heyman the keys, and stepped back out of his way.

    Our next show is the first show under Heyman's helm, and the first under the affiliation of Jim Crockett's NWA. It was also the last show that Eddie Gilbert appeared in for the ECW. Gilbert sat at a merchandise booth signing autographs for the fans as this show was going on.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 03-15-2012 at 02:51 PM.

  9. #9
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Eastern Championship Wrestling
    Ultraclash

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

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

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

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

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

    Jason Night & Ian Rotten vs The Public Enemy(Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge)

    Right off the bat we open the show with some new, original characters that were Heyman originals. The Public Enemy, and the Ian Rotten characters were a glimpse of the direction that Heyman wanted to take the ECW, and he let everyone see it right from the start of his very first show.

    Public Enemy take it to Rotten and Knight right from the start. Joey Styles is our commentator, and he is flying solo for this one. Ian Rotten goes outside the ring, and appears to be blading himself. Flyboy Rocco Rock stuns the crowd with a nice somersault over the top rope down onto Rotten. Rock later hits a moonsault off of the second rope onto Jason. Jason has apparently cut himself, but he isn't bleeding much.

    Rock and Grunge taunt the crowd as the heels here, and they dominate Rotten and Jason here. Rock nails Rotten with a nice moonsault off the top rope, and the PE pick up a nice win after about 5 minutes.

    4/10

    Squash match with the PE debuting, and looking strong with some nice aerial offense from Rocco Rock. They just pummeled Ian and Jason here, and busted both of them open for a little bit of color. The Public Enemy looked clean, and compared to the other majority of tag teams in the fall of 1993 in WWF and WCW they were defenitely a good looking tag team for their first match.

    Tony Stetson vs Tommy Cairo

    The ECW Arena looks strange compared to the way I'm used to seeing it in later ECW events. It almost doesn't even look like the same place in this event.

    Both of these guys had been around since the Todd Gordon early days of ECW at this point, and were even in ECW before Eddie Gilbert came along. Both of them were Philadelphia locals, and probobly performed for little to no money.

    Pretty basic, generic wrestling match at the start. Nothing spectacular, but they seem to be working together pretty well. Joey Styles commentary isn't very good here. He rambles on a lot, and gets pretty annoying. To the point where you want to turn the volume down. A few minutes in, and we have a lot of stalling from both men. Very little action.

    When these guys do finally exchange it reminds me of some basic 1950's pro wrestling. Really basic moves, and a really slow pace. Cairo manages to land some impressive belly to belly suplexes. Stetson goes back to the outside, and we have more stalling. Not much to write about in the later minutes. Legendary ECW fan "Straw Hat Guy" is seen in the front row, where he could be found for just about every ECW show after this. John Finnegan is the ref, and would stay with the company until the end.

    Stetson gets his nose bloodied somewhere in there. Tony Stetson's manager(Hunter Q. Robinson, a Clarence Mason lookalike) gets up on the apron to distract the referee, and Stetson nails Cairo with his belt for the pin around 9:00 into the match.

    4/10

    Pretty boring, with quite a bit of stalling to stretch it out for time. Nothing impressive here at all.

    Mask vs Mask match
    Super Destroyer #1 vs Super Destroyer #2


    These two guys are completely worthless from what I've seen so far. Two really big guys that were really slow, and sloppy in the ring as a tag team. This little fued here is the end of their careers in Pro Wrestling. They were regulars in the pre Eddie Gilbert ECW, and I'm assuming they were just a few more cheap local Philly guys to fill up the card for little to no money.

    Both of them are in all black with a plain black mask on. They both look to be over 300 pounds to me. They put on a sloppy as hell, slow match that almost puts me to sleep. These guys are just terrible, and the crowd is not into the match at all. One of the guys(hard to tell them apart) jumps up mid air, and crashes down across the other guy with his back in a nasty looking senton splash that looked like it seriously hurt both men.

    After the match the winning Super Destroyer unmasks the losing Destroyer, and the Dark Patriot(another masked man) comes running in the ring, and attacks the winner with a chair.

    1/10

    Terrible, and sloppy. I would be embarrased if anyone ever caught me watching wrestling like this, but there is a good reason why I'm doing it. It's interesting to see how far the ECW would evolve with Paul Heyman after this show.

    JT Smith comes out for some reason to make the save. The Dark Patriot heads up the scaffold set up over the ring, and Smith follows him up. Here we go with our next match! This is traditional Heyman booking with the way we flow from the chaos of the ending of one match right into the next match.

    Scaffold Match
    The Dark Patriot vs J.T. Smith


    These two guys meet out in the center of the scaffold over the ring, and the Patriot throws some sort of powder into JT Smith's Eyes. The Patriot nails a DDT on the scaffold, and tries to push JT Smith off. One of Smith's legs dangles over, but he manages to get back onto the scaffold. The Patriot rams Smith's head into one of the hanging ventilation pipes, and Smith goes down. The Patriot then pulls the drawstring out of his pants, and proceeds to choke Smith with it. Smith teases another fall with his body hanging over the edge of the scaffold. Smith gets the string, and chokes The Patriot with it.

    One cool spot happens when The Dark Patriot pulls JT Smith up onto the vent pipe over the scaffold, and drops him down to his face on the scaffold. Pretty stiff bump down onto an unforgiving steel scaffold. This scaffold looks to be between 16-18 feet over the ring to me. After a bit of stalling the Patriot finally throws JT Smith over the edge. Smith lands awkwardly on his knee to give the Dark Patriot the win after about 10 minutes. The Patriot teases to jump down on to Smith, and the crowd ags him on, but he chickens out, and climbs down. The Patriot continues to attack JT SMith, and the brawl goes into the crowd. They clear out several rows of chairs, and proceed to brawl through the crowd. Patriot picks up a table, and drops it down on Smith's back. They brawl from one corner of the arena to another, and eventually back to the ringside area.

    The Patriot continues to hammer on Smith with chairs before finally making his exit.

    5/10

    Not bad, but not great. I've seen much worse scaffold matches in my lifetime, but scaffold matches were never really very good. The brawl through the crowd would have made more sense before they went up the scaffold. The brawling atop the scaffold was sloppy, and awkward, but it had some cool moments, and Smith's fall was pretty nasty.

    Bunkhouse Match
    Terry Funk & Stan Hansen vs Kevin Sullivan & Abdullah the Butcher


    You want to talk about two legitimately tough pro wrestlers, and you have to mention Funk and Hanson. The Butcher and Sullivan come out, and this looks like it is going to be a great old school brawl.

    Terry Funk throws Hanson a chair to start things off, and they clear the ring together. After a bit of a delay, Funk cracks Sullivan with a few weak chair shots, and it's on. We have a melee. Its Funk vs Sullivan, and Abdullah vs Hansen on the outside of the ring in a wild brawl. 5 minutes in and Funk is already chasing Sullivan up the scaffold. They dont stay up there long before climbing back down.

    Its a pretty chaotic brawl, and everything looks sloppy, but these guys made it look sloppy in a good way. Wild brawls are supposed to look sloppy.

    It doesn't take long though, and these guys all get pretty fatigued. Then it gets sloppy in a bad way. None of these guys were in any kind of cardiovascular shape.

    Kevin Sullivan pulls out a damn Hammer! Abdullah pulls out some sort of knife, and things get boody. Sullivan blasts Funk with the hammer, and the crowd starts to get really into the match. All of a sudden Eddie Gilbert comes running into the match just as Funk goes to put Sullivan into the figure four leglock. Gilbert hits Funk with a chair to give Funk and Hansen the win via DQ after around 12 minutes. the Dark Patior comes out, and begins fighting with Hansen. Hansen chases the Patriot around the ring. Eddie Gilbert brawls with Funk back to the entrance area. Hansen and Funk retreat, and Gilbert makes his way back to the ring.

    Back into the ring Sullivan turns on Abdullah, and they begin brawling with knives and hammers. Hansen and Funk come back, and things just get wild. This is a crazy brawl. Blood everywhere. Sullivan and Abdullah brawl through the crowd with blood all over each other. Joey Styles begins pleading for someone to call 9-1-1. The men all continue to brawl near the entrance area, and eventually to the backstage area finally ending it.

    6/10

    This was just an old school brawl. This was the kind of wrestling that was born in the Florida territories that Kevin Sullivan came from(and worked with both Eddie Gilbert, and Paul Heyman). It was sloppy as hell, but not all of it was necessarily in a bad way. Nothing really notable happened, but it was a very interesting matchup that resulted in a brawl that was almost a little fun. At the end of the day though it was really kind of confusing, and pointless. This was Eddie Gilbert's final appearance in the ECW.

    Battle Royal

    Here we go with an intergender battle royal. Not really looking forward to this. Sherri Martel, Longtime jobber Don E. Allen, Tigress(hot!), and the former announcer, Jay Sulli are the participants.

    This is just a terrible, goofy comedy act waste of time. One of the women's tits almost falls out of her shirt a few times, but other than that this was totally pointless. Sherri Martel eliminates herself to chase after some guy for some reason, and Tigress gets the win after not doing anything, and sitting on the top turnbuckle watching everyone eliminate themselves.

    0/10

    Awfull waste of time.


    Sal Bellomo vs Richard Michaels


    Bellomo comes out in a spartan outfit with an empty trashbag in his hands for some reason. Bellomo gets on the mic, and Sherri Martel comes out. Sherri gets in Sal's corner for the match. Sal starts getting toys out of his trashbag, and throwing them to the fans. They finally start the match, and Sal does some pretty good selling with his facial expressions. Sal claws at Michaels face while making some narly faces, and then proceeds to bite him on the face!

    Another match that stays pretty boring, and gets stretched out for way too long. Bellomo gets the win after a splash around 8 minutes in.

    2/10

    I'll give Sal some credit for his great selling at times, but this match was as lame as it gets really. Traditional Heel/Face match with Michaels' manager(Hunter Q Robinson) cheating on his behalf to help him gain the upper hand. Bellomo gets beat down after the match, and Sherri checks on him to see if he is ok.

    ECW World Heavyweight Championship
    Shane Douglas vs The Sandman


    This is way before the drunk barroom brawling Sandman that we all know and love, this is the surfer dude Sandman in his surfing wetsuit. Shane is accompanied to the ring by Paul E. Dangerously.

    Paul has his phone, and the crowd starts chanting "Pittsburgh Sucks!" at Shane.

    This causes Shane and Paul to act like they are leaving. Go home folks, no match tonight, sorry.

    They go to the back, and don't return until the referee threatens to strip Douglas of the title. Douglas sprints back to the ring, and the match is on.

    They get it started fast and furious. Seeing the Sandman act like this type of face is just hilarious. Douglas looks much smaller than he did when he was tag champ in the WCW alongside Rick Steamboat. Douglas lost a lot of his mass when he suffered a few injuries prior to his release from the WCW in 1993, and he never really gained it back until after his Dean Douglas days in 1996.

    The pace of the match, and the action is on another level compared to the previous matches on this card. Douglas is clearly on another level of wrestling than the Sandman at this point. The two struggle to gain any chemistry early on largely in part because of the Sandman being a few steps behind Douglas.

    The action stalls with a few restholds. Sandman then sends Douglas into the corner post, and then to the outside to a table that doesn't break. The referee gets taken out, and the Sandman has Douglas beat. Heyman gets in the ring, and the Sandman gets his hands around his throat, but Dougals cracks him from behind. Douglas covers him, but Sandman kicks out. Sandman goes up top for a cross body press, but Douglas rolls him through for a pin after nearly 10 minutes.

    5/10

    Defenitely the best actual wrestling match on the card, but that is not saying much at all at this point in the show. Douglas just didn't have good chemistry with Sandman, and they never really managed to get anything going. Nothing really great about this match, but nothing really bad.

    Baseball Bat Match
    The Headhunters vs Miguelito Perez & Crash the Terminator


    This is a wierd main event. It starts out with a countdown to 10. When the countdown ended, the competitors raced into the ring to get a baseball bat that was laying on the center of the mat. The Cuban team got the bat first, and began to brawl with the Headhunters.

    This just turns into a sloppy brawl with weak chair/baseball bat shots.

    Oh SHIT! Crash the Terminator ends up brawling with one of the Headhunters completely through a wall in the Arena! Pretty cool with the shot of the big massive hole in the wall, and the metal studs hanging all bent up.

    I've never really seen much of any of these guys. I've seen the Headhunters in a few FMW matches, and another ECW match later after this event, but I've never seen either of these Cuban Wrestlers. The brawl continues, and eveybody gets busted open bleeding.

    The brawl eventaully makes it's way up the scaffold. One of the Headhunters gets kicked, and teases a fall, but only falls down racking himself on one of the ladder bars of the scaffold. Crash misses a moonsault, and the Headhunters take the momentum.

    Holy SHit! One of the Headhunters performs a moonsault onto Crash from the top rope! Thats the biggest man I've ever seen do a moonsault. Headhunters get the win after about 10 minutes. The brawl continues after the match.

    3/10

    Pretty shitty main event. Some interesting spots like the guys going through the wall(which wasn't actually shown, the camera missed it), and the 350lb moonsault don't make up for the sloppiness of the match. Just a pointless brawl with blood everywhere.

    Overall Event Rating: 4/10

    As a whole this was terrible. Very boring. I do not recommend tracking this down. This was Paul's first show, and that was really the only thing it had going for it. The only reason I took the time to review it was to take a look at what it all came from, because from here, it just continued to get better. None of the things that made the ECW great in later days are really anywhere to be found in this event. Joey Styles commentary is unbearably annoying, and most of the matches are quite boring.

    We got a glimpse of the future direction with the Public Enemy in a decent squash match, but everything else like the wild bloody brawls, all of that was going on in ECW when Eddie Gilbert was booking the shows. Heyman didn't change much at first. He didn't invent hardcore like the wild chaotic matches like the ones on this tape. Many of these matches resemble the type of matches that went on in the Memphis/Florida territories, and even the Tri States Wrestling Alliance that proceeded the ECW in Philly.

    One thing to note was that Paul taking over the shows meant that we were seeing a lot of these faces on this card for the last time. Guys like the Super Destroyers, Tony Stetson, Tommy Cairo, and Sal Bellomo were cheap local Philly talent that could fill a card out with little to no money, but Heyman knew that the ECW was going to remain a small fry indy promotion if they continued to use that kind of talent. Heyman had big plans for the ECW, and this show was the beginning of them.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 05-07-2012 at 02:41 AM.

  10. #10
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    September 21, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Jimmy Snuka b Metal Maniac to retain ECW TV Title, Footage from UltraClash


    September 28, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Hunter Q. Robins, III shows footage of Sabu in FMW, Sal Bellomo b The Canadian Wolfman


    October 1, 1993--NWA Bloodfest: Part 1 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at ECW Arena: Ian & Axl Rotten b Chad Austin & Todd Shaw, Rockin' Rebel b Don E. Allen, The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) b Silver Jet & Gino Caruso, Malia Hosaka b Molly McShane, Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka) b Ian & Axl Rotten, Sandman b Metal Maniac, Abdullah the Butcher & JT Smith & Terry Funk b Jimmy Snuka & Kevin Sullivan & Don Muraco, Sabu b The Tazmaniac, Tony Stetson & Johnny Hot Body b Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka) to retain the ECW Tag Team titles, Rockin' Rebel b Richard Michaels, Kevin Sullivan vs Abdullah the Butcher ended in a DOUBLE DISQUALIFICATION, Terry Funk b Jimmy Snuka in a "Steel Cage" match to win the ECW Television title.


    October 2, 1993--NWA Bloodfest: Part 2 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at ECW Arena: Tony Stetson & Johnny Hot Body b Sandman & JT Smith to retain the ECW Tag Team titles,The Tazmaniac b Tommy Dreamer, Kevin Sullivan b Gino Caruso, Shane Douglas b JT Smith by DQ to retain the ECW Heavyweight title, Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka) b The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge), Sir Richards Michaels b Rockin' Rebel by DQ, Ian & Axl Rotten b Don E. Allen & Chad Austin, Don Muraco & Jimmy Snuka b The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) by forfiet, Sabu b Shane Douglas to win the ECW Heavyweight title, Jimmy Snuka b Chad Austin, Kevin Sullivan b Abdullah the Butcher in a "Steel Cage" match, The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) b Ian & Axl Rotten and Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka) in a "Triangle Steel Cage" match.
    Through the end of 1993 Paul not only kept working to establish his new characters, but he kept working to establish a trademark Attitude for the ECW. Heyman gave the violent old Memphis style he inherited from Eddie Gilbert a fresh 90's twist. It was also during this time that Paul established the ECW's Attitude as the scrappy underdogs that were going to stand up to "The Big 2", which would eventually lead to the ECW becoming the #3 promotion in the states by a wide margin. At the 1993 November To Remember event, Paul turned the WWF into an enemy of the ECW in the storylines by telling the fans that Medusa(Alundra Blayze) would not be making her scheduled appearance at the show because she was told not to by the WWF after being signed by the company. Joey Styles would even take shots at the WWF's steriod scandal at the beginning of ECW tv episodes.

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

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

    October 5, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Public Enemy b ??? & Silver Jet, Sabu b Tazmaniac(From NWA Bloodfeast), Sandman b Metal Maniac, Terry Funk b Jimmy Snuka to win ECW TV Title in a Steel Cage Match(From NWA Bloodfeast)


    October 12, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: J.T. Smith, Terry Funk & Abdullah the Butcher b Don Muraco, Jimmy Snuka & Kevin Sullivan, Malaya Osaka b Molly McShane, Bad Company(Tanaka & Diamond) b Bad Breed, Rockin Rebel b Don E. Allen(After the match Rebel & Chris Michaels brawl), Rockin Rebel b Chris Michaels


    October 19, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Bad Company b The Public Enemy, Jimmy Snuka b Cahd Austin, Paul E. Dangerously announces the new members of the Dangerous Alliance which is Shane Douglas, Sherri Martel & Sabu, Shane Douglas didn't like Sabu joining, Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson b The Sandman & J.T. Smith via DQ to retain ECW Tag Team Titles(Terry Funk hit Sandman with a chair), Tazmaniac b Tommy Dreamer(Dreamer's debut)


    October 26, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Bad Breed b Don E. Allen & Chad Austin, Rockin Rebel vs Chris Michaels went to a NO CONTEST(Sal Bellomo returned and chased Rockin Rebel out of the building), Don Muraco & Jimmy Snuka b Bad Company via forfeit(Before the match Public Enemy attacks Bad Company with Steel Chairs, Bad Breed attacks Public Enemy), Shane Douglas b J.T. Smith to retain the ECW Heavyweight Title(Terry Funk throws in the towel for J.T. Smith, Terry Funk attacked J.T. Smith after the match)


    November 2, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Sabu(sub for Sandman) b Shane Douglas to win ECW Heavyweight Title(Before the match Sandman was found knockedout in the dressing room so Paul E. Dangerously announced Sabu as Sandman's replacement), Bad Breed b Chad Austin & Todd Shan


    November 13, 1993--November to Remember in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at ECW Arena: Salvatore Bellomo b Rockin' Rebel by forfeit in a "Chair" match, Sandman vs Jim Niedhart ended in a DOUBLE DQ, The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) b Badd Company (Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond) in a "South Philly Hood" match, Kevin Sullivan b Tommy Cairo in a "Shoot" match, Malia Hosaka b Sherri Martel by DQ, Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson b Ian & Axl Rotten to retain the ECW Tag Team titles, Johnny Gunn & Tommy Dreamer b Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson in 9-seconds to win the ECW Tag Team titles, The Tazmaniac b Tommy Dreamer, Mr. Hughes b Johnny Gunn, Sabu & Road Warrior Hawk b Terry Funk & King Kong Bundy (Sabu won Terry Funk's ECW Television title)..

    November 16, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Jim Niedhart vs The Sandman went to a DRAW(From November to Remember, Mr. Hughes & Jason attack Sandman after the match), Public Enemy attacks Bad Company

    November 23, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Footage of Public Enemy being arrested after attacking Bad Company last week, Kevin Sullivan b ???, Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson b Sandman & J.T. Smith, Mr. Hughes b ???, Tommy Cairo b Chris Michaels

    November 30, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA: Sabu b Tazmaniac to retain the ECW Heavyweight Title, J.T. Smith, Sandman & Peaches b Johnny Hotbody, Tony Stetson & Hunter Q. Robins, III(After the match Jason & Mr. Hughes attack Sandman)

    December 6, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA: Mr. Hughes b "Stormin" Mike Norman, J.T. Smith b Johnny Hotbody(Hunter Q. Robins, III hit Hotbody with his cane), Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac b Bad Breed in a #1 Contenders Match(Sullivan attacks J.T. Smith before the match), The Lumberjack w/Hunter Q. Robins, III b, Mr. X, Women asks Shane Douglas if he wanted to join her and Douglas said no

    December 13, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Sal Bellomo b Don E. Allen, Tazmaniac & Kevin Sullivan b Tommy Dreamer & Shane Douglas(sub for Johnny Gun) to win the ECW Tag Team Titles(After the match Shane Douglas, Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac attack Dreamer), The Sandman b Tony Stetson, Mr. Hughes vs Chad Austin went to a NO CONTEST(Match never started, Lights went out and huge brawl between everyone in ECW breaks out)

    December 21, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena:Shane Douglas b Tommy Dreamer via DQ(Douglas knocked out Dreamer with a chain and wrapped it around Dreamer's hand and the ref saw it), Funk's Grill with Sabu: Terry Funk brings out a Sabu impersonator(Chad Austin) and attacks him, Paul E. Dangerously shows up and Funk chases him off, Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac b Mike V. & "Stormin" Mike Norman(Mike V threw in the towel), J.T. Smith, Sal Bellomo & Sandman vs Terry Funk & Bad Breed went to a NO CONTEST(Lights went out again and a brawl between everyone in ECW breaks out again)

    December 26, 1993--Holiday Hell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at ECW Arena: Chad Austin b Pitbull #1, Mike Awesome b Randy Starr, Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac b JT Smith & Tommy Cairo to retain the ECW Tag Team titles, Shane Douglas b Tommy Dreamer, Mr. Hughes b Sandman by KNOCK OUT, Rockin' Rebel b Don E. Allen, Terry Funk b Sabu in a "No DQ" match to win the ECW World Heavyweight title, Pat Tanaka b Rocco Rock in a "Body Count" match, Tommy Dreamer won a "Lights Out Battle Royal"..

    December 28, 1993--ECW Television in in Philadelphia, PA at ECW Arena: Chad Austin b The Pitbull(ECW debut, After the match Pitbull attacks Austin, Sandman makes the save, Pitbull attacks Sandman), Mr. Hughes b Sandman, Rockin Rebel b Don E. Allen
    You will notice that Paul continued to operate the ECW under traditional wrestling rules at this time. Even though the shows were wildly violent for the time, there was still that structure of DQ's, Coutouts, and traditional rules. To give an idea of what else was going on in Pro Wrestling at the time here are the WWF results for the same time period:

    Spoiler


    ..And, WCW:

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-09-2012 at 08:35 PM.

  11. #11
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    1994: The Rise Of Eastern Championship Wrestling

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

    The next show we are going to take a look at is another pivitol show, and another where the promotion just seemed to keep improving. Our next review will be Heatwave, from July of 1994. The promotion is still affiliated with the NWA, and they are still Eastern Championship Wrestling, but things are changing big time by now. ECW is starting to outgrow the NWA, and things are starting to get really Extreme.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-09-2012 at 08:38 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kingmohd84's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,409
    vCash
    2000
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Whats with the long post, are you trying to write a short book?

    Any warm you have the right to express your opinion. I didn't see too much ECW but I can tell you that wrestling wise its probably better than WCW and WWF , and maybe sometimes entertainment wise.

    WCW+WWF sure have the money to make big shows and market wrestlers like Flair and Hogan , but when you look at quality I think every ECW wrestler gave his best every night. All hits and maneuvers look real, please go watch Konnan on Nitro and tell me what the hell is this? Or Raw where you get stuff like Savio Vega vs jobber then for the main event they have something like New Age outlaws vs the head bangers...meh. Please watch RVD vs Jerry Lynn on first episode on TNN , thats wrestling that I still want to see even if I know its fake.

    ECW could not pull big world-wide events like Wrestlemania, but they sure put on an entertaining show.

    Here are some wrestlers made or made famous because of their ECW run, as far as I know:
    1-TAZZ
    2-RVD
    3-Cactus Jack
    4-Sandman
    5- Team 3D/Dudley boys
    6-Rey Mysterio
    7-Benoit
    8-Eddi Guerrero
    9-Sabu
    10-Raven
    11-Tommy Dreamer
    12-Stevie Richards

    Thats not to mention other great wrestlers who joined for sometimes like Steve Austin, Bam Bam Bigelow, Psycho Sid, Sunny, Bushwackers, Terry Funk, even Scott Hall....

    So am not sure what you mean when you say ECW is over - rated .
    everybody has a price!
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  13. #13
    Moderator Raven*'s Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Age
    24
    Posts
    12,981
    vCash
    4610
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Seriously, this is one of the best reads ever posted on PW. I have been sitting here for well over thirty minutes reading this. I have always wanted to know more about the history of ECW, and this is filling that empty hole. Very descriptive and informative for those who are not familiar with certain aspects of the company. Can't wait to read about next show. Shinobi, you are great.

    Hoping to learn about a few feuds along the way.

  14. #14
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Eastern Championship Wrestling(NWA)
    Heatwave

    July 16th 1994
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA

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

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

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

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

    Axle & Ian Rotten vs Rockin' Rebel & Hack Myers

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1/10

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

    ECW Television Championship Match
    Mikey Whipreck vs Chad Austin


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now here is the screwy part.

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

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

    2/10

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

    Doesnt' make sense. Pretty crappy match too.

    Tommy Dreamer vs Stevie Richards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    4/10

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

    Tommy Dreamer vs Mr. Hughes

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

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

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

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

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

    4/10

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

    Sabu & The Tazmaniac vs The Pit Bulls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    4/10

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

    Dueling Canes Match
    The Sandman vs Tommy Cairo


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

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

    Interesting note, no beers yet, just smokes.

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

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

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

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

    0/10

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

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

    ECW World Championship Match
    Shane Douglas(C) vs Sabu


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    7/10

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

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

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

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

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

    The arena goes apeshit chanting 9! 1! 1!

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


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

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

    Some of the fans are still chanting 911!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Madness!

    6/10

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

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

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

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

    Overall: 4.8/10

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

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

    Shows are getting better, but they still are not very good. The ECW in Heyman's earliest days of booking really wasn't much better than the Eddie Gilbert era, and with this show you can see him struggling a bit.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 07-01-2012 at 03:22 AM.

  15. #15
    Heartbreak Kid
    Guest

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

    Awesome thread. The effort you have put into this thread is incredible. You should write an ECW book with the amount of effort you have put into this. ECW was great for what it was and I enjoyed it right until the very end. I rememeber reading about Heatwave 94 in a wrestling magazine in the 90s and looking at the pictures. Looking back at the early shows and comparing it to what WCW and WWF was doing at he the time, ECW ws really revolutionary in the US. There was nothing like it before in the US. Thats the kind of impact that a new promotion needs to have if the business is ever going to boom again like it did in the mid to late 90s.

  16. #16
    The Industry
    Guest

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

    Thank God somebody other than me gave Eddie Gilbert credit. Awesome thread

  17. #17
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That's one clown down, Bischoff & Mcmahon remain.
    Shane Douglas would go on to win the tournament, and the NWA title, and what would happen immediately afterwards kicked off the beginning of a new era in pro wrestling.

    I stand here before god, and my father in heaven tonight. As I said I would be Worlds Heavywieght champion.

    In the tradition of Lou Thesz, in the tradition of Jack Briscoe, of The Briscoe Brothers, of Dory Funk Jr., of Terry Funk the man that will never die....

    And the REAL Nature Boy Buddy Rogers up stairs tonight. From the Harley Races, to the Barry Whindams, to the..................

    Ric Flairs.

    I accept this heavywieght title......

    Wait a second...

    Wait a second...

    Of Kerry Von Erick, of the fat man himself Dusty Rhodes......

    This is it tonight dad.

    God this belt is beautiful.

    ...And Rick Steamboat.....



    ...And they can all KISS MY ASS!!!


    BECAUSE, I AM NOT THE MAN THAT ACCEPTS THE TORCH TO BE HANDED DOWN TO ME FROM AN ORGINIZATION THAT DIED, R.I.P, 7 YEARS AGO!

    THE FRANCHISE, SHANE DOUGLAS IS THE MAN WHO IGNITES THE NEW FLAME OF THE SPORT OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING.

    TONIGHT, BEFORE GOD AND MY FATHER AS WITNESSES I DECLARE MYSELF "THE FRANCHISE", as THE NEW ECW HEAVYWIEGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!

    We have set out to change the face of professional wrestling. So tonight, let the new era begin. The era of THE SPORT of professional wrestling, the era of The Franchise, the era of the ECW!
    That was the original pipe bomb. May not seem like much now, but it was a big deal back then.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Spoiler


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

    Best Technical Wrestler: Chris Benoit(also wrestled in Japan)
    Best Brawler: Cactus Jack(also wrestled in WCW)
    Best Weekly Television Show: Hardcore TV
    Rookie Of The year: Mikey Whipreck
    Best Television Announcer: Joey Styles
    Best Booker: Paul Heyman
    Readers Favorite Wrestler: Sabu(previously won by Ric Flair for 10 years prior)
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 08-07-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  18. #18
    but secretly C to the C Engel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Age
    36
    Posts
    19,934
    vCash
    0
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Awesome thread. Cool to see the detail you put into the history of Tri States and Eastern.


    Flowers gathered in the morning,
    Afternoon they blossom on,
    Still are withered by the evening:
    You can be me when I'm gone.

    @Foos

  19. #19
    Bosh! Coolstuff's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    England
    Age
    25
    Posts
    3,572
    vCash
    2000
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    I'm going to get round to reading all of this. Great thread, Shinoba.
    Thanks too Fresh Prince

  20. #20
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Thanks guys. As necessary as it was, I'm glad to be moving on from the Eastern era. This is where the shows start getting much better.

    I did watch the beginning of The Rise and Fall again last night, and they spent maybe 30 seconds talking about Eddie Gilbert, and didn't even mention Tri States. Shame.

    Just a reminder, this thread is totally open to any ECW discussions whatsoever at any time.

  21. #21
    but secretly C to the C Engel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Age
    36
    Posts
    19,934
    vCash
    0
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Start a blog to back this up somewhere in case of a board crash. I lost some stuff when PW crashed and I changed computers like this (well far, far shorter) so definitely get a secondary source of just your posts going.

    From a pure history standpoint this is gold and I am sure a lot of people will want to read it even when this thread vanishes. Link the blog in your sig.

    I think that Jack vs Sandman match was the one where Foley legit knocks Sandman out.


    Flowers gathered in the morning,
    Afternoon they blossom on,
    Still are withered by the evening:
    You can be me when I'm gone.

    @Foos

  22. #22
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Raven

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

    The pain and suffering of a childhood lost. An empty swing, an empty promise, a broken dream, a broken home. It's strange how laughter looks like crying......with no sound, and raindrops taste like tears.....without the pain.

    Tommy Dreamer, you will relive the turmoil and anguish of an uncertain youth....

    Quoth the Raven, nevermore.

    -Raven, ECW Hardcore TV January 1995
    The next show we will take a look at is the first big supercard for the ECW in 1995, the February 4th "Double Tables" show. The format at this time for ECW is that they would typically take a show like Double Tables, and cut it up for several weeks worth of their weekly Hardcore TV episodes. These supercards were pretty much their pay per views in 1995, but at the same time these would be what you seen on the weekly show(with extra promos and music videos mixed in).
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 08-07-2012 at 11:19 AM.

  23. #23
    Heartbreak Kid
    Guest

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

    Raven was one of the best characters i've ever seen in wrestling. He was awesome from 1995 up until 1999. Should have been a main eventer outside of ECW.

  24. #24
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartbreak Kid View Post
    Raven was one of the best characters i've ever seen in wrestling. He was awesome from 1995 up until 1999. Should have been a main eventer outside of ECW.
    As awesome as he was in ECW I would have absolutely loved to have seen him in WWF in 1996-97 fueding with guys like Undertaker, Goldust, HBK, and Bret Hart. Would have been really awesome, but he wasn't crafted up in their lab.

    I always thought that Edge was a blatant ripoff of Raven back when they first debuted that character in 1998. Edge went on to have a much better career, and was in my opinion a better performer, but the character came from Raven(at first. I think they turned Edge into a vampire later on iirc)
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 08-07-2012 at 02:33 PM.

  25. #25
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    13,104
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

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

    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Double Tables

    February 4th 1995
    ECW Arena
    Philadelphia, PA

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    3/10

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

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

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

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

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

    Tommy Dreamer vs Stevie Richards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    7/10

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

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

    Mikey Whipreck vs Paul Lauria

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

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

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

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

    Whipreck reverses a pin attempt to win the match.

    Really not a bad match at all.

    6.5/10

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

    Ian Rotten vs Axle Rotten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    4/10

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

    Chris Benoit vs Al Snow

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

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

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

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

    Very good opening grappling exchange. Some fluid wrestling here.

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

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

    There has been more wrestling...Wrestling in this match in the last 5 minutes than I have seen on pay per view in the last 5 years.

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

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

    Snow is selling all of Benoit's offense beautifully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Excellent match.

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

    8.3/10

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    The match turns into a sloppy brawl on the outside.

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

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

    5.5/10

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

    Texas Death Match
    The Sandman vs Cactus Jack


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8/10

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Public Enemy bring in the tables.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!

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

    Chris Benoit comes out.

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

    OH MY GOD!

    6.7/10

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

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

    Overall: 6.2/10

    Really not a bad show. 2 real good matches, and a couple of ok matches. This event had some great moments, but it also had it's fair share of shit. The one thing to consider when judging this tape is what else was going on at this time in WWF and WCW. Also, the constant improvement of the ECW. They never really stopped getting better up to a point. This show was much better than anything I've reviewed yet, and the shows would just continue to get better.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 08-07-2012 at 04:21 PM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •