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American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

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  • #16
    Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

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

    Comment


    • #17
      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, 10:37 AM.

      Comment


      • #18
        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.

        Comment


        • #19
          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

          Comment


          • #20
            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.

            Comment


            • #21
              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.

              Comment


              • #22
                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, 11:19 AM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

                    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, 02:33 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      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, 04:21 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

                        ShinobiMusashi, must spread some reputation before giving it to you. ECW in 1995 was awesome. I loved the Public Enemy vs Taz and Sabu match, it was awesome. That was my faviurite match on the show. Just a fun brawl.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

                          The Evolution Of A Franchise

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

                          At WWF I was just on the verge of exploding into greatness when my father became terminally ill. When I burst back on the scene in WCW, I became the worlds tag team champion alongside Ricky Steamboat. And it was something that was made possible by the fact that Ric Flair was not in WCW, now let me explain. Has nothing to with me ever backing down from Ric Flair, or that Flair was a better man.

                          But Ric Flair, for just a minute I'm going to look into the camera. Because I'm tired of talking to the announcer over here, and I'm going to talk to you.

                          You see Ric Flair, as long as you were in WCW. As long as you were the political force there that you had always been, Shane Douglas was never going to get a fair shake. Everybody told you about it Ric Flair.

                          From the front office.

                          From Steamboat.

                          Even your own Four Horseman, Arn Anderson and JJ Dillon looked at you and said, "This is the kid", "This is the guy that we got to pass the torch to", "He is the next great athlete", "He is the next Nature Boy", "He is the next Bruno Sammartino", and Ric Flair like a coward, you took a pencil from behind your ear, and with that eraser, and that political power that you had because you kissed Ted Turner's rear end, You erased my name off of all the great matches, and instead the world saw Shane Douglas, a great athlete in the making, relegated to opening card matches, relegated to a fiasco in a ring with Jim Cornette, when I should have been wrestling you Ric Flair. When You should have been teaching me exactly how it was to be a worlds heavywieght champion.

                          You should have been teaching what it took to be a worlds heavywieght champion Ric Flair.

                          And so now let me answer once and for all the question. The burning, eternal question in this sport. The sheets have asked it. The magazines have asked it, and I know you've thought about it day in and day out.

                          Is Shane Douglas really talking the truth?

                          Does he really hate my guts as much as I think he does?

                          Does he really abhor the things that I've done as much as he says he does?

                          Well Ric Flair, I can look at you through this camera tonight. I can't look you in the eye man to man, because you ain't man enough to face me, but I'll say it once and for all and for the last time.

                          Ric Flair, I hate your guts. I hate everything you stand for, and worse than that I hate everything you've done to this sport. You've made my job that much harder as a "Franchise" in this industry to get this sport back to the level it once was. Back into the condition it was handed to you in, as a thriving, invigorated sport capable of putting people in the seats.

                          And instead Ric Flair, you handed me a dead horse. You didn't hand it to me, I took it from you. A dead horse that we are resurrecting, and I am in the process of doing that, and it ain't easy. Whenever I turn on and see Hulk Hogan stuffing handkerchiefs in your face, an entertainer.

                          Ric Flair, you don't have to face me, but for the rest of you stinking life. Every single time you look in the mirror, everytime you turn on the tv for a wrestling match, every time you hear a bell, whether it's a doorbell or a bell signifying the start of a match. Your going to think of one thing. Could I have taken Shane Douglas in my prime? Could I have defeated the Franchise?

                          And Ric Flair, I'll tell you now, for the rest of your life, the answer will always be no. I don't have what it takes to defeat the Franchise.

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


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

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

                          Also something to note. Flair's generation really did hand down a dead horse to the next generation. In 1993-94-95 the sport was really at an all time low as far as ratings/ticket sales are concerned. It wasn't really until the Monday Night Wars/NWO that the business really started to pick back up. Me personally, I think ECW had some influence on what brought pro wrestling out of the sad state that it was in from 93 to 95, so in a way Shane Douglas was really speaking a bit of truth here.
                          Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 08-18-2012, 10:19 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

                            Extreme Championship Wrestling
                            Return Of The Funker

                            February 25th 1995
                            ECW Arena
                            Philadelphia, PA

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

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

                            The Pit Bulls vs Chad Austin & Joel Hartgood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            Can you say Over?

                            4/10

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

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


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

                            Hooray big word usage!

                            Tommy Dreamer comes out and they are face to face.

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

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

                            The crowd starts calling Raven a pussy.

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

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

                            Quothe The Raven Nevermore.

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

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

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

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

                            Jason Knight & Paul Lauria vs Mikey Whipreck & Hack Meyers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            2/10

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

                            2 Cold Scorpio vs Hector Guerrero

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            6/10

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

                            Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Match
                            Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            CENSOR THIS!

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

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

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

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

                            5/10

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

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

                            ECW World Championship
                            Shane Douglas(C) vs Marty Jannetty


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            Cant see shit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            8/10

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

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


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

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

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

                            This brings out Benoit & Malenko.

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

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

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


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

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

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

                            So it's just Sabu against Malenko and Benoit.

                            Sabu goes crazy, and flies all over the place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            8.2/10

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

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

                            Cactus Jack vs DC Drake

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

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

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

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

                            Nancy was really good on the microphone.

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

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

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

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

                            Huge pop from the crowd!

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

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

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

                            Out comes Cactus' former training partner Shane Douglas.

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

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

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

                            7/10

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

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

                            Overall: 6.8/10

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

                            With that said the Jason/Lauria vs Whipreck/Hack Myers tag match really stunk up the joint and brought the overall score of this show down. Terrible match. Other than that we got to see some vintage Sabu at his best, a cool Raven vs Dreamer segment, and a solid Douglas vs Jannetty match. Overall this was really an in between show to push these storylines, and build up to the next show I will be reviewing, Three Way Dance.
                            Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 08-19-2012, 12:27 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

                              Pro Wrestling In Early 1995

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

                              -Wikipedia
                              Pretty deep shit huh?!

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


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

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

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

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

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

                              Heyman offered the fans refunds for their tickets, but asked for everyone to at least wait until intermission to decide whether or not they wanted one. Before intermission Sabu's replacement was revealed to be none other than Rick Stiener.
                              Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-03-2012, 01:56 AM.

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                              • #30
                                Re: American Hardcore Theatre: ECW's Real History

                                Extreme Championship Wrestling
                                Three Way Dance

                                April 8th 1995
                                ECW Arena
                                Philadelphia, PA

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                The Pit Bulls vs Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson

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

                                5/10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                Beulah Mcgillicutty makes her ECW debut.

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

                                Raven vs Tommy Dreamer

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

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

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

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

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

                                Tommy Dreamer really has the fans behind him here.

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

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

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

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

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

                                6/10

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

                                Mikey Whipreck vs Ron Simmons

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                Whipreck wins by DQ.

                                Out comes 911.

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

                                5/10

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                Loudest pop of the evening.

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

                                8.5/10

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

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

                                Hair vs Hair Match
                                Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten


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

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

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

                                This is just disgusting.

                                This is so offensive.

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

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

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

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

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

                                4/10

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

                                Hack Myers vs Dino Sandoff

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

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

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

                                Myers gets the pinfall after a Brainbuster.

                                3/10

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

                                ECW World Championship
                                Shane Douglas(C) vs The Sandman


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

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

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

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

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

                                Sandman is actually using wrestling moves on Shane Douglas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                7/10

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                7/10

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

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

                                Overall: 6.6/10
                                Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-09-2012, 04:38 AM.

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