Natural Born Killaz

Extreme Championship Wrestling
Natural Born Killaz
August 24th 1996
ECW Arena
Philly, PA

I ran out of quirky ways to open these several reviews back, so I'll just jump right into what was going on elsewhere in professional wrestling during the week of August 24th 1996. The hottest thing going right now in the business is WCW's NWO Invasion. Hogan had already dropped the bombshell last month by shooting on everyone before joining the group. During August the NWO just terrorized the WCW while still being "Outsiders" that weren't employed by WCW. It was just Hall, Nash, and Hogan, and that was it. Bischoff wasn't in on it yet. They were teasing the fourth & fifth members during August, which would go on to be Ted Dibiase & X-Pac(Syxx, 123 Kid). The buildup was going towards September's Fall Brawl, which would feature the War Games match between a united WCW/Horsemen team of Sting, Luger, Flair, and Arn going up against Nash, Hall, Hogan, and an imposter Sting. Fall Brawl would be the last time we would see 'Surfer' Sting. He would disappear after being accused of planning to join the NWO, returning weeks later as the Crow Sting that everyone knows and loves.

August was really when things started picking up for WCW as far as the quality of the show. They managed to put together a string of really good Nitro's during August with a sick roster full of guys like Malenko, Rey, Jericho, Benoit, et al. The NWO angle was arguably in it's prime as well.

Over in the WWF it was all about Camp Cornette. Summerslam '96 was a week prior to this show. The main storylines going in the WWF during this time was HBK's feud against the monster Vader, and the awesome Taker vs Mankind rivalry, which took a hard right turn at Summerslam when Paul Bearer did the unthinkable.

Meanwhile in the Bingo Hall it's all about the Gangstas vs Eliminators, Raven vs Sandman, Taz vs The Heyman Guys(Sabu, Dreamer), some up and coming young talent by the name of The Dudleyz, and Rob Van Dam, as well as a resurgence from some old diehards in Terry Gordy & Steve Williams. The main course of this show is a LOOOOONG overdue meeting between the Eliminators vs Gangstas in a "Natural Born Killaz" steel cage weapons match. The rivalry has been running throughout 1996 and is my pick for tag team feud of the year in all of pro wrestling in 1996. It's had it's ugly moments, but for the most part the fights and the promos have been really good. Absolutely one of the better, more underrated rivalries in ECW history. Lets get the curtains back open on this motherfucker and try to make our way through 1996 by the end of the summer, shall we?

By the way my copy of this DVD is autographed by Rob Van Dam himself. Had to have it.

Louie Spicolli vs Devon Storm

Show opens up with "The Godfather of Extreme" Damien Kane cutting a promo about how he's not going anywhere anytime soon. I don't know if you caught my recent post about Kane, but I did a bit of research and found out that he was supposedly the first booker to give Paul Heyman a chance to be a manager(Paul E. Dangerously) back when he was just a snot nosed photographer. Kane was booking some territory and gave Paul E. a shot, and the rest is history. I'd like to believe that to be true, otherwise I can't for the life of me think of why else Kane would be kept around in ECW for so long in 95-96. I think Heyman felt like he owed the guy, so he kept him busy on the bottom of the card.

Kane is accompanied by Devon Storm and his actual real wife, Lady Alexandra(hot!).

Something weird happens right when this match gets started. The camera shot cuts away to Taz hijacking the commentary booth. The camera zooms in REALLY close on his face(hate these shots). Taz goes on an angry tirade about how Rob Van Dam is now working with Sabu. It's hard to understand everything he says because he's really angry, but something along the lines of RVD tipping off Sabu about how to beat Taz. This angle is a little weird all the way around. The team of Sabu & Rob Van Dam is awesome, but doesn't make much sense considering the story coming into this show. On top of that, there hasn't really been any mention or setup for them to team together yet on any of the Hardcore TV episodes, so if this is how they put the team together, it's rather haphazard and ill planned. Poorly executed to say the least.

Devon Storm lands some quick, high flying offense early on. Louie gets knocked out of the ring. Damien Kane taunts Louie before hiding behind his woman. Devon Storm hits Louie with a plancha as he's distracted with Kane & his girl. Louie is surprisingly over here.

Louie overtakes Devon on the outside with a chair, destroying his leg with multiple shots. Devon Storm's leg is targeted with some vicious shots.

Louie continues working the leg over until Devon kicks him out of a Spinning Toe Hold, sending him out of the ring. They go back outside for a short period of time where Devon lands a few chair shots to Louie. They take it back to the ring where Devon lands a weird slingshot kick. Louie counters a whip and catches Devon with his Death Valley Driver. Pretty devastating looking move.

Louie picks up the clean win and the crowd gives him a surprisingly nice reaction. 6:34 is the official time.

Louie is gaining momentum with the fans. They even get a small chant of "LOUIE!" going.

Damien Kane enters the ring with his lady and makes an offer to Louie to be his manager. Damien offers a handshake. Louie pulls him in and spikes him with the DVD. Damien sells it perfectly.

Crowd loves it. Chants of "ONE! MORE! TIME!"

Louie spikes him again and the crowd loves it. Some really effective booking because the crowd's love for the guy grew through this one segment/match.


perfectly competent opener, Louie getting over slowly but surely has been kind of fun to watch. Heyman booked the guy pretty well.

Little Guido vs Mikey Whipreck

The Full Blooded Italians are a goofy mess here. We got JT Smith, Little Guido, Big Guido, and Sal Bellomo(who at least is dressed in an Italian suit now instead of his ridiculous spartan outfit). I don't think it was necessary to bring in the big guy or Sal. They were pretty worthless.

Mikey is announced as the "European Juniorweight Champion" as if this is a legit ECW title here. What's the story on this? I first heard of this belt at the last show, but I don't recall ever really hearing about it in the shows after this. I'm guessing this was their weak attempt at an ECW Cruser title.

Mikey's shirt is fucking awesome. Seriously.

Pretty even little cruiser matchup here.

They lock up in your traditional pro wrestling match, arm drags, clotheslines, blah blah. Guido plays the good guy with the dirty breaks out of the corner. Mikey struggles to get in any offense early on. They go through some decent sequences a bit later on. Mikey lands a nicely setup Rocker Dropper off of the top rope. Guido rolls out of the ring and gets hit with a Pescado by Mikey. Mikey fights with the FBI goofballs, knocking the big guy into the crowd in a pretty funny scene.

Mikey goes for a Rana flying from the ring into the crowd, but he just barely overshoots the big oaf. Looks like he almost broke the guy's neck. Shit.

Guido pounces on Mikey in the crowd, choking him with a chair.

They take it back to the ring with Guido going for an MMA style armbar, aka the Cross Armbreaker, or as Joey calls it here, a Short Arm Scissor. Love the way Joey calls holds. I've learned a lot about pro wrestling just from listening to Joey's commentary in these tapes over the past year or so. Really smart, savvy commentator. His voice is annoying at times, but the actual shit he says is priceless, and informative.

Guido continues going after the arm with stomps. Mikey lands a sunset flip and we go through a couple of nearfalls. The ref gets distracted by JT Smith when Mikey has Guido rolled up.

Mikey looks totally out of gas for real. He's so tired he severely fucks up a Frankenstiener off the top. He gets the clean pin after a real sloppy flying elbow drop. at 10:12.


Not real bad. Mikey fucked up the ending for sure, but it was an OK match. I'm starting to see why Mikey's push lost steam and he never really got his chance at the big show until years later. He would have flashes of greatness here and there, but there were a lot of times when he would just get really sloppy, possibly from being out of shape and getting REALLY fatigued, which was the case at the end of this one. He looked so tired he couldn't even climb up to the top rope for the Frankenmikey. Completely out of gas after just 10 minutes of action. It was a fast paced 10 minutes where he worked hard, but still.

Buh Buh Ray & Big Dick Dudley vs Axl Rotten & D-Von Dudley

D-Von comes out and says "Number 1, shut the fuck up!"

Always loved that.

Axl's heel turn at the last show was extremely weak.

Devon starting to cut loose on the mic with the heat drawing, near riot starting promos begining to take form here. He's fucking with the fans, singling them out, calling them pathetic, inbred pieces of shit.

He starts fucking with the front row regulars pretty hard, using a racial slur on one guy, then singling out the sunglasses/goatee guy for being spotted in the crowds of WWF & WCW shows. He calls out Straw Hat Guy for being at every ECW show week in and week out, telling him to get a life and take a fucking bath.

D-Von goes further with the rest of the crowd, calling them a bunch of sheet reading, no good, wannabe, pieces of shit marks.

The crowd goes crazy when Buh Buh Ray sprints out to the ring and goes at it with D-Von. Axl fights Big Dick as Buh Buh and D-Von fight with a chair.

We get a sloppy table spot before this thing goes off into the crowd for an ugly brawl. They make their way up to the booth/soundstage area.

This is really ugly.

Buh Buh leaps off of a speaker on the booth down to the stage onto Axl, Dick, and D-Von with a nice little dive that gets the ECW chants going. The crowd loves it.

Buh Buh and D-Von's brawl is the center stage of the match, with Dick and Axl not being shown at all really. The crowd loves every minute of this, but the thing about that is these fans were up in the cheap seats, and now their getting a taste of some front row action right in their laps. They don't give a fuck about how sloppy this is, they just mark out because the guys are right there in their faces. Everybody looks to be having a hell of a time during this particular match.

Buh Buh sets up another table and goes for a legdrop, but D-Von moves out of the way. Axl and D-Von isolate Big Dick and hold him for a chair shot. Big Dick moves out of the way, causing D-Von to accidentally nail Axl. Buh Buh blasts D-Von and pins Axl after an assisted splash from Big Dick Dudley to win it.

Axl was just thrown in this thing to take the pinfalls.

The crowd gives it up for Buh Buh, who is pretty over here as a face. D-Von gets hit with another Plancha before being run off.


Not a real, real bad mess, but still pretty bad. Buh Buh's stage dive was alright I guess. Just a really sloppy mess. The crowd reaction and a few other things keep this from being a total waste of time, but really it was pretty bad. Axl being involved is pretty random and useless.

After the match we get Joel Gertner in the ring with Sandman and Missy Hyatt. Lori Fullington(Sandman's wife) is in the ring dressed like Raven, accompanied with Nova, Blue Meanie, and Stevie. This was supposed to be a cat fight, but Joel Gertner announces that the match is off because of an injury to Missy Hyatt's arm. Gertner begins further pissing the crowd off by calling them a bunch of drunk morons. The crowd wants The Sandman to cane Gertner down. Gertner is just asking for it, telling Missy to come to his motel room tonight, and bring change for a 20.

Missy gets the cane and drops Gertner. Sandman gives him a couple of real man shots for his troubles. The Blue Meanie gets the mic and gets his ass caned down by Missy.

Stevie Richards gets the mic and tells Missy that he still has a sexual harassment suit filed against her. Stevie's shorts

Stevie tells Missy that he will drop the suit if she agrees to leave the Sandman. Missy disses the Sandman for having a small dick before she dumps him. Poor guy.

She turns her back on the Sandman and he canes her in the back of the head. Poor girl.

Sandman is flying solo now. I think this was Missy's last ECW appearance. She was pretty damn hot.

Bad Street Match: Terry Gordy vs Brian Lee

This match was setup a few shows back when Gordy fought Raven in his ECW debut. Lee cost Gordy the match.

Gordy comes out and runs the ropes like he always does. Lee decks him with a cheap shot and powerslams him. They immediately take it into crowd and begin fighting up to the stage.

Some standard brawling going on here. They take it out the front door to the parking lot, slamming each other into vehicles, setting off car alarms. The shot of the graffiti on the wall in the background is a nice touch.

They don't stay outside for long, taking it back through the small foyer, slamming each other's heads into the steel door.

They take it back to the ringside area where Brian Lee gets backdropped onto a table that doesn't break. They make it back in the ring to exchange some heavy punches. Terry Gordy is doing alright and keeping a pretty good pace here for a guy his size/age, and considering he's nearly died after 2 drug overdoses prior to this. He could have very easily just went out there and dogged it for a check, but that's not how he approached these matches at all. You can tell he's giving it everything he's got, and I think that's what led to him being picked up for a run in the WWF(Executioner) a couple of weeks later. He's making a pretty good comeback here considering his circumstances.

Brian Lee goes for a chokeslam, but Gordy blocks it with a kick. Gordy picks up the clean win with his Asiatic Spike submission, pinning Lee in the center of the ring around/under 10 minutes.


Short little brawl, not bad, but not great. A bit of a weak finish, but Gordy looked alright. Nothing really special here though. This was semi-watchable at the very least.

Rob Van Dam vs Doug Furnas

This is RVD's first match coming off of his feud with Sabu, which lasted all through the Summer of 96 with 4 fairly awesome matches. He lost the last one in a stretcher match. RVD at the beginning of that feud and the RVD here for this match are two completely different wrestlers. Sabu really was very instrumental in helping RVD develop his style through that series of matches, and now by this point he's kind of developed into that "Whole F'N Show" that we all(well some of us) know and love.

Doug Furnas is from All Japan Wrestling, and would go on to the WWF with Phil Lafon a few weeks after this to help out their despicable tag team division.

Van Dam lands some really nice spin kicks early on. All of them miss, but still some really nice, fast martial arts style kicks that look really good.

They finally tieup in the collar-and-elbow, with Furnas lifting Van Dam up and slamming him face first into the mat. Nice.

They go through a pretty awesome chain of moves. Furnas blasts Van Dam with kicks and forearms across his back before sending him into the ropes with a whip. Van Dam reverses the whip and drops down with his Splits. Furnas leaps over him, and pulls him into a brutal German Suplex as RVD tries to go for his Monkeyflip. Very nice.

Furnas continues dogging on Van Dam with headbutts in the corner. He whips him into the other corner and runs into a boot. Van Dam follows with a Beautiful moonsault off of the top rope to his feet behind Furnas, drilling him in the face with a nice Thrust Kick, following up immediately with his Springboard Cross Body Press. Van Dam continues to keep the pace up, running into the ropes for another move, but Furnas lifts him up for the "Stun Gun" drops across the ropes. They overshoot it and Van Dam flies all the way out of the ring.

Van Dam gets back up to the apron and gets knocked out into the crowd with no warning. Poor fans.

Great match so far. Van Dam's improvement compared to earlier in 1996 is remarkable.

Furnas begins brawling Van Dam all over the Arena, blasting him with chairs, and fighting with him up through the audience.

Doug Furnas beats Van Dam's ass all through the bleachers. He pulls him up to the top of the bleachers and dumps him off to the soundstage with a press slam.

Van Dam is just taking a beating around the Arena. Furnas is managing to keep a pretty intense demeanor that keeps it entertaining. Van Dam is just getting his ass whooped. Still think they should have just kept it in the ring. The crowd brawling gets a little old when every single match on the show just has to have it. I don't think it's fair to hold that against this match though, more so the event itself.

They finally make it back to the ring and fight each other with Vertical Suplex attempts with Furnas in the ring and RVD on the apron. Van Dam wins the battle and drops Furnas HARD on the apron. Ouch!

I think we probably take little bumps like this for granted sometimes. That shit has to hurt pretty bad. Something else that is often taken for granted by pro wrestling fans is just how far of a fall it is from the top rope to the canvas/apron, and even further from the top rope to the floor on the outside. I frame houses for a living and have to walk on top of 3 & 1/2 inch thick walls about 8 ft. tall(usually taller, but 8' is the average and is roughly the same distance from top rope of a ring to the floor). The thought of falling off of one of those walls is really scary when you are up there looking down. Pro Wrestlers take that fall a LOT! Sometimes on their BACKS! Terry Funk MOONSAULTS AT 50 YEARS OLD! That's crazy to me. Pads or not. Got to give it up for the toughness of pro wrestlers I don't give a damn who you are.

RVD hits Furnas with a stiff Slingshot Guillatine Legdrop as he's draped over the apron with a chair laid on him.

This match is devoid of any storytelling or psychology, but it's a pretty damn hard hitting match between two really tough guys. To be honest back in the day I kind of thought RVD was some pretty boy that couldn't hang with guys like Taz or Sabu, but eventually he really won me over as one tough motherfucker. One of the toughest even.

They tieup with another fairly decent chain of moves. Furnas reverses a whip into the ropes and goes for a backdrop, but Van Dam does a spinning roll off of his back and goes for a Spinning Back Kick. Furnas ducks the kick and tosses Van Dam over his head with a Belly to Belly suplex. Van Dam gets up and hits the ropes, but Furnas catches him with a Powerslam for 2. Not Bad.

They slow down a little bit. Van Dam lifts Furnas up and racks him on the ropes before springing out of the corner to hit him with a Back Kick that gets another nearfall. The crowd is a little dead. Not a bad match though.

Furnas pushes Van Dam to the canvas as he goes for a Superplex. He leaps off the ropes with a Flying Clothesline. Things start getting a little sloppy as that "Tin box with no air conditioning in August" effect comes into play. I wouldn't be surprised if it was 90 to 100 degrees in this building right now.

Van Dam starts to get frustrated. He goes for a Flying Crosbody, but Furnas catches him and OH!

Looks like he almost breaks his neck with a fucked up Tombstone onto the chair in the ring. Damn that was dangerous. Van Dam survives and kicks out of the pin attempt at 2.

Both guys are really tired. Van Dam goes for his Monkey Flip out of the corner to the chair, but Furnas catches him and slams him back down into it.

Furnas blasts Van Dam in the head with a brutal shot. Van Dam goes down. The ref tries to take the chair away from Furnas for some reason. Furnas pushes him away as Van Dam pulls himself up. RVD drills him in the face with the VAN DAMINATER! Lights out. Van Dam wins after 14:02.

Van Dam gets the mic after the match and tells Furnas that he respects him. He offers a handshake, but Furnas drops him before flipping him all the way over with a BRUTAL Belly to Back Suplex.

Crowd loves it.

EMT's come out and stretcher RVD out of the Arena. This booking looks like Heyman had some plans for Doug Furnas.


This was a good match. It was better early on before the heat took it's toll(something I didn't even consider during the Mikey match, looks like it hit him hard). Van Dam's improvement from show to show has been fun to watch through. This was a pretty physical match between two tough athletes that were in great shape. It definitely had it's moments. I liked it. The brawling was decent, but I would have liked this match a lot better had they kept it in the ring, maybe with some submissions/grappling thrown in there. This is one of those ECW matches that I believe would have been better without the chairs and crowd brawling. The Van Daminator at the end was very nice though, so at least he's got a good finisher now.

Taz vs Tommy Dreamer

Taz's intensity on the microphone here before the match starts is god damn unbelievable. Fuck, I love this character.


I got some bad news for you people.

I got some very bad news.

You see, every time Dreamer comes out here and wrestles someone, he's breaking tables, breaking chairs, busting somebody's ass with crutches, busting somebody's ass on a pole...

You people are not going to see a chair shot.

Your not going to see a table broken.


The only thing you're going to get to see, is Tommy Dreamer, get out-wrestled by the Human Suplex Machine!

So Dreamer, get your fucking ass out here so I can stretch you!"

Love it.

Beulah comes out with Tommy with a cast on her arm for some reason. Hotness almighty!

Taz and Dreamer get face to face for an awesome staredown before going right into it. Taz immediately takes Tommy out of the ring and starts whipping him into the railing. Really intense.

Tommy catches Taz back in the ring with a Drop Toe Hold and I can already see what the story of this match is. Hopefully they stick to it.

Tommy catches Taz in a hiptoss. He's actually going to try to wrestle Taz clean here, but Taz only baited him into it so he could have the advantage with the hardcore stuff, or so it seems early on. Taz looking up at Tommy after the hiptoss is an awesome shot.

Tommy continues going move for move with Taz, and I'll be damned if he doesn't look pretty good here. What a nice surprise.

Dreamer catches Taz with a Fireman Carry Rollover, but Taz follows through into a Headscissor Takeover. Tommy quickly scrambles free to a headlock on Taz. Taz transitions around into an armlock on Dreamer, pulling him up and wringing it out(twisting it). Taz pulls Dreamer in for a Headlock Takeover and goes for some amateur style pin. Tommy uses a bridge to avoid even a 1 count. This is awesome.

Tommy makes his way out from under Taz, but Taz quickly catches him with a takeover into a lateral press for 2. Joey calling moves on commentary is awesome.

Taz pulls Tommy up and whips him into the ropes. Tommy slides down under Taz's legs and blasts him with a punch to the balls, just as he starts losing the grappling battle, I love that.

Tommy lands a Snap Suplex for a 2 count of his own. This is a really solid match believe it or not.

Tommy locks Taz into an armbar. I'm just now noticing a huge crew of Team Taz guys in orange windbreaker's sitting crouched down near the apron. About 7 or 8 guys it looks like.

Tommy catches Taz with a Sunset Flip for another close 2 count. Tommy continues to surprise Taz, catching him with a Belly to Back Suplex. Both guys stay down for some reason.

Taz is the first to get up and he immediately goes after Tommy's ribs with stomps. He goes for the submission with a Leglace/Chinlock "STF" type of move. He release the hold and reveals some tape around Tommy's ribs under his ECW shirt. He begins ripping the tape off and targeting the ribs again. Tommy tries to fight back with a reverse whip, but Taz catches him with the T-Bone Suplex, followed by another nice Tazplex that I didn't catch the name of.

Taz then folds Tommy backwards with a Bow and Arrow with a fantastic fucking bridge. Completely stretching Tommy out here just like he said he would.

Taz knocks Tommy out of the ring where Team Taz gets involved, holding Tommy for Taz to use a chair on him. Tommy starts to outshine Taz in the brawl on the outside when he gets his hands on a chair. Tommy takes the chair back in the ring with him and slams Taz into it face first.

Tommy goes for the DDT on the chair, but Taz pulls free and pushes Tommy's back down into it. Taz sets Dreamer up for a German off the top, but Dreamer holds the ropes, sending Taz down to the canvas. Tommy leaps off the top rope down onto the Team Taz guys with a plancha, taking all of them out. Crowd starts chanting E! C! DUB!

Tommy pulls a table out and sets it up in the ring. He runs and baseball slides into the table, knocking into the Team Taz guys as they recover on the floor. Taz gets Tommy from behind and slams him with the German Suplex. Taz picks up the chair, but the referee tries to take it away from him. Big mistake. Taz folds the ref in HALF!

Taz sets the table up in the corner and puts Tommy through it with an Overhead Belly to Belly. Nice spot. He gets on his knees afterward and mocks Sabu's pose.

Taz goes for another Suplex, but Tommy blocks it. Tommy goes for the DDT, but Taz counters with the Northern Lights Suplex. Taz brings it home by locking Tommy in the Tazmission. The ref is still out cold. Pretty dramatic scene here when Beulah gets into the ring and begs Taz to let Tommy go. Fonzie gets in the ring and goes after Beulah. MOTHERFUCKER!

Fonzie backs Beulah down in the corner with the chair, but Terry Gordy hits the ring for the SAVE!

Ah, shit, here come the Eliminators.

Gordy gets dropped with Total Elimination. Brian Lee comes out and locks Gordy in his own Asiatic Spike submission. Another referee comes out and immediately gets knocked the fuck out with the Total Elimination.

Pablo Marquez(El Puerto Ricano) comes out and gets a violent Total Elimination out of nowhere. Brian Lee dumps him out of the ring with a sick Chokeslam to the concrete floor. Good god almighty. The crowd is going insane.

Don E. Allen comes out next and gets Totally Eliminated. God damn I love this.

Bad Crew comes out next and gets a DOUBLE TOTAL ELIMINATION! Oh my god!

Buh Buh Ray Dudley comes running out and goes toe to toe with the Eliminators. Crowd is fucking WHITE HOT!

Buh Buh Ray drops the Eliminators, but Brian Lee drops him with the chokeslam.

Sign Guy Dudley gets a Total Elimination. This is hilarious.


Hack gets in some "SHAH!" punches before getting dumped on his head with a Tazplex. The Eliminators and Taz in there with Fonzie is a great trio. Brian Lee not so much.

So these guys pretty much just cleaned out the whole roster. Taz makes his exit with his Team Taz guys and Fonzie. He looks into the camera and says that he's coming for Sabu. Tommy Dreamer and everybody else is left laying. Nobody wins, nobody loses, but who cares, this was fun.


You want to talk about a clusterfuck, this was the Master Clusterfuck.

Taz working with other heels isn't a direction I really like to see that character go in, and this might even be some kind of answer to the NWO angle or something, maybe Heyman experimenting with a big mastergroup of heels of his own. I'm not sure.

With that out of the way though, I had a blast watching this match. I wasn't ready for it and it totally took me by surprise. The random Total Elimination on the referee at the start of it got me laughing pretty hard and by the time random jobbers started coming in and getting killed I lost it. The actual wrestling with Taz and Tommy Dreamer was really good to boot. Dreamer with some surprisingly good technical mat wrestling believe it or not, and Taz just a total badass with the Suplexes. The belly to belly through the table was a nice spot, and overall the match was pretty damn good before all of the shenanigans took place. The teaming of Taz with the Eliminators would have been better without Brian Lee in the picture, but Lee made sense to be there considering his feud with Dreamer/Gordy going into this. Had an absolute blast watching this match. Laughed really hard.

Double Dog Collar Match: The Sandman & Pitbull 2 vs Raven & Shane Douglas

Sandman's out first with the dog collar on talking about how he's got nobody right now. No wife, no son, no manager. Poor guy's been through hell this year. Looking at Sandman's storyline arc it was like his character never really recovered from this little era, just getting further and further out there into being a drunken brawler. He started out as a surfer, evolved into a hardcore pimp that was being pimped in the end in order to win the ECW championship(Woman), Lost the championship, his family and his manager Missy due to Raven & Stevie's bullshit tactics, and degenerated into a drunken madman before disappearing away to WCW. god dam I love ECW.

Sandman says Douglas jumped Pitbull and he will have to fight by himself, but that's alright because this is all he's got. He's the king of extreme. The emotion coming out of the Sandman is just very awesome, screaming for Raven that if he want's his life to come and get it.

Douglas and Raven come out together with Franny and the BWO posse. Sandman immediately takes out Meanie/Nova, and takes a shot at Douglas with the cane.

Raven crouches down in the corner with Sandman's son in his lap. Shane Douglas eats a couple of cane shots. Sandman's wife hits Sandman with the cane. Raven hits the DDT and we get our first nearfall.

Shane Douglas punches on Sandman with the chain wrapped around his hand. Raven and Douglas are the two top heels in ECW right now for sure. I'd have to put Taz at #3 right now on the heat scale.

Sandman and Raven are chained together at the neck with the collars. Shane Douglas is in street clothes. We get some more great camera work with an excellent shot of Raven holding the belt over The Sandman.

This is your typical sloppy dog collar match, but it's 2 on 1. Sandman gets his shots in every now and then, but he's just outnumbered here. Things get a little bloody and gory with the horrifying shot of Shane choking Sandman with the chain around his mouth. They knew how to make this shot look over the top.

Pitbull 1 walks out with his halo on his head and the crowd immediately starts chanting "SHANE! SUCKS! DICK!" as soon as they get a sight of him.

We get another really gritty shot when Sandman and Raven take it outside the ring. Raven holds The Sandman while his wife Lori canes him in the face like 5 times. BRUTAL!

Shane Douglas gives Sandman a piledriver and goes for the win, but Sandman kicks out. Raven and Shane pulls him to the corner and post his groin on the ring post. All of a sudden Pitbull 2 comes running out with a neck brace on. Pitbull 2 kicks some ass as the crowd cheers him on. He lands a belly to belly suplex on Shane before dropping Raven with a DDT and ripping the neck brace off. Got'em with their own finishers.

Sandman and Pitbull 2 take the upper hand for a bit before Raven lands a low blow on PB. From here it degenerates into a pretty mind numbing brawl. I seriously started drifting off there for a second.

Pitbull 2 beats on Shane Douglas and targets his neck. Sandman beats the fuck out of Raven on the floor. Raven and The Sandman are having a backyard wrestling level sloppy brawl out in the outside, fighting over pieces of a broken table. Raven and Shane retake the momentum by working together. They help each other Superbomb Sandman off the top rope, but he kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Pitbull drops Raven with a low blow and locks Shane Douglas in the full nelson suplex. Raven loads up his boot in the corner and takes a swing. Pitbull 2 ducks and picks up the boot after Raven misses.

Pitbull cracks Raven with the loaded boot and pins him in the center of the ring, 1, 2, 3. Shane Douglas bails on Raven, leaving him high and dry. Pitbull has pinned the Champ.

The scene fades out with Raven and The Sandman laid out in the ring chained together at the neck.


Alright, the whole concept of Raven working with Shane Douglas doesn't make much sense. I've watched the Hardcore TV episodes that led to this show, and the setup for this match was rather weak to begin with(mostly just advertisement graphics flashed across the screen). The actual booking of the match itself is also a bit weird. Shane Douglas is made out to be an even slimier, stronger heel than Raven, who is the World Champ here. Pitbull 2 continues to look like a beast now with a pinfall over the champ in a tag match to keep his momentum going, but this was kind of making it clear that Shane was the top heel with the booking of the finish.

This was some pretty sloppy stuff. Nothing really major as far as storyline progression. Just kind of a filler match really. Some weird stuff going on with the heels of ECW right now.

ECW World Tag Team Championship
Natural Born Killaz Steel Cage Match:
The Gangstas(C) vs The Eliminators

This one gets going pretty quickly. The Gangstas hit the ring and the fight is on in the crowd. Fast, furious, violent brawl. Mustapha on Kronus and Saturn on New Jack.

All four men brawl on the outside of the cage, in the crowd and around the ring for a good while. Saturn goes up to the top of the cage and lands a nice plancha on the three others below. Saturn gets up and dominates New Jack all over the floor. Saturn and New Jack were the core of this feud. Both guys were always at the center of it, and whenever somebody got pinned it was always either Mustapha or Kronus. Saturn and New Jack were kept strong throughout the feud.

Kronus and Mustapha finally take it into the cage. There are two men dressed in executioner masks that hold weapons up near the corners of the ring. Pretty goofy concept for a match. Reminds me of Beyond Thunderdome

Saturn lands another dive off the top of the cage, this time catching New Jack in the ring with a flying clothesline. The pace of the action slows down a lot. All 4 guys blade themselves and the blood runs everywhere.

Really slow sloppy stuff with a dead crowd right about now.

Saturn lands a sick Snuka style splash off of the top of the cage onto Mustapha. New Jack dives off of the other corner of the cage with a trash can shot to Kronus immediately after.

This is just a back and forth bloody brawl. Saturn goes back up to the top of the cage and lands his always awesome Elbow Drop. Nice.

New Jack gets a keeboard from the masked executioner. Kronus knocks New Jack down, gets the keeboard and goofs off.

Really slow pace now. Kronus is bleeding very badly.

New Jack goes up top to get a guitar from one of the masked executioners. The masked man busts the guitar over New Jack's head and pulls his mask off to reveal Shane Douglas. Shane holds up the Triple Threat sign as if this was the unveiling of the new Triple Threat. Shane Douglas is helping the Eliminators.

Saturn lands yet another dive off of the top of the cage for a 2 count as Shane watches on from the outside.

Saturn goes back up top for another splash off the cage, but New Jack tosses a trash can at him, knocking him down through a table on the floor. That wasn't a Foley/KOTR 98 caliber fall, but it was still a pretty good drop. DAMN!

Mustapha drops Kronus with the running powerslam followed immediately by New Jack's 187 chair dive. Gangstas win and retain their tag titles. Notice who took the pinfall again.

Shane Douglas is pissed. The show ends pretty abruptly.


More weird stuff with the heels. I don't remember Shane Douglas working with the Eliminators, but this was honestly still a bit before my time. It will be interesting to see how this develops, but overall the angle with the mask was poorly executed. The match itself was pretty bad as well. If your a Perry Saturn fans like I am you should at least check it out for some of his sick dives/bumps off of the cage. He definitely stole the show, but still didn't save the match. This could have been a lot better even considering both teams weaknesses.

Overall: 7.3/10

This was a pretty short show at just under 2 hours long. Most of the other shows have been 3+ hour marathons on 2 tapes/discs. A lot of mediocre to downright terrible stuff on here, and plenty of ammunition for a pickier wrestling fan. I enjoyed the Taz vs Dreamer segment/match probably more than I should have, and I thought RVD vs Furnas was alright. The main event was the Perry Saturn show, but was still nothing to brag about. There was some funny business going on with all of the heels working together, Shane Douglas, Raven, Brian Lee, Taz, and The Eliminators were all working together in one way or another or in some combo. NWO effect? Who knows. Maybe Heyman was thinking about doing his own supergroup for a short period of time before changing his mind. Maybe not.

One of the shorter, weaker shows of 96 so far, almost like a filler show to get to the next big mega-supercard. I still enjoyed the show and found it very interesting. Especially considering the storylines that have been running for quite some time that were coming into this show. Not bad, but definitely nothing spectacular.

The Doctor Is In

Extreme Championship Wrestling
The Doctor Is In

August 3rd 1996
ECW Arena
Philly, PA

What doctor?

This one:

Dr. Death Steve Williams is a guy I don't know a whole lot about outside of the Brawl for All debacle to be 100% honest with you. His name was always one of those like Terry Gordy, in that I always read about them being big deals, but never really seen why with my own two eyes. He was just one of those guys that was before my time. After doing some quick research he was at his best in Japan where he was a perennial main eventer, as well as being one half of the famed "Miracle Violence Connection" with Terry Gordy(awesome name for a tag team). His most successful run in the US was with the Universal Wrestling Federation where he was World Heavyweight Champ until Jim Crockett Promotions bought them out in 1987. I never had access to Japanese wrestling back in the day so I missed the boat on what made Steve Williams such an important figure. I do remember reading a lot about him and Gordy both during their Miracle Violence Connection heyday in Japan.

As far as this show, it's one of those ECW shows that I've never really seen all the way through. I watched a match or two back when I first bought it, but for the most part I've saved it for tonight. Just from looking at the back of the case this looks like it could be one of the best ECW Supercards ever. The main event is the fourth match between Sabu & Rob Van Dam, this time a Stretcher Match. Honestly 96 ECW is still kind of new to me for the most part, so I've never really gotten into the 96 series of RVD vs Sabu matches. I do remember this particular match, and if my memory serves me correctly, I think it's one of their best ever. We'll have to take a closer look here tonight.

As for the rest of the card we get the Four Way Dance for the tag team titles, Dr Death & Dreamer vs Taz & Brian Lee, as well as head to head meetings between the four competitors from the epic Four Way Dance from Heatwave. Jericho will face Scorpio, and Douglas defends the TV title against Pitbull 2. I'm fairly certain this is Chris Jericho's final match in ECW. Douglas and Pitbull 2 have a pretty heated rivalry going now with Francine turning on Pitbull 2 at the last show.

The Sandman vs Raven rivalry continues on this show with the Sandman taking on Raven's right hand lackey Stevie Richards. The undercard looks tolerable as well with D-Von Dudley, Louie Spicolli, and Mikey Whipreck. I got a good feeling about this one, lets get it going.

Interview: JT Smith/"Kiss"

JT Smith comes out without his FBI goons. He fucks with the front row guys, pointing out a WWF shirt on one of them(the sunglasses guy), and violently snatching Straw Hat Guy's hat off of his head(looked legit pissed about it).

JT Smith says that he's not going to sing tonight. Instead he brings out KISS!

Stevie Richards, The Blue Meanie, Nova, and Don E. Allen come out dressed up like Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss.

If you go back and look at the catalog posted by Kilgore, in the ad for this show they just advertise "KISS ROCKS THE ARENA!". I thought this was the real Kiss back when I seen that. I would have been pissed if I had bought this tape and seen this.

This is actually a pretty funny little segment though. They sing I Want to Rock & Roll All Night together. The crowd has a blast.

I don't know if Stevie Richards gets enough credit for the comedy stuff though. You weren't seeing this type of slap stick, parody comedy in wrestling if I remember correctly. I may be wrong, but it seems like all of these Stevie Pre-BWO parodies were pretty influential on how bookers looked at how comedy could be used in a pro wrestling show. Comedy in the WWF/WCW in 1996 consisted of someone getting dumped in slop, or a guy that disco dances, I don't know.

What was comedy in wrestling like before ECW?

This thing gets good when The Sandman comes out to cane the fuck out of everyone. I guess he's not a Kiss fan.

Huge pop from the fans. Raven comes out with Sandman's ex wife Lori, and his 6 year old son Tyler. Raven's foot is in a cast. He gets in the ring and distracts Sandman long enough for Stevie to drop him with a kick to the back of the head. Raven gets Sandman's cane and cracks him in the eye with it.

Pretty interesting opening.

Mikey Whipreck vs Devon Storm

Devon Storm is with his manager Damien Kane, who is accompanied by Lady Alexandra. Lady Alexandra looks pretty damn hot here.

Mikey has a belt of some sort. Bob Artese(ECW Ring announcer) says that he won it last night at the LuLu Temple(somewhere in Pennsylvania) from the Dirt Bike Kid(a jobber that usually hovers around the 490's of the PWI 500 for these years). The belt is the European Juniorweight Championship? Huh?

They go for some chain wrestling sequences early on. Not bad, but not great either. Devon Storm works Mikey over as the heel early on. They exchange some decent looking headscissor takedowns. Mikey dumps Devon to the outside and hits him with a sloppy ass corkscrew somersault(if I can even call it that). Damien Kane interferes with a kick on Mikey while he's down.

They work some decent heel/face psychology to keep the crowd into the match after a rocky start. Devon grinds on Mikey with some not so good looking submissions for a little while. A weird looking variation of the Figure Four/Indian Deathlock, and a Gory Special.

Devon acts like he's going to do a Rana down into a chair, but he changes his mind? Alright. He goes for a clothesline instead and we get a sloppy series of nearfalls. There is a small pocket of THIS MATCH SUCKS chants in the crowd at this point.

Damien Kane interferes again to keep the psychology going. Devon takes it to the outside and hits Mikey with his Somersault Plancha as Mikey is seated. Awesome looking spot. Joey lets out an intense OH MY GAAAWWWD! The crowd starts getting back into it as Mikey starts his comeback.

Damien Kane orders Devon Storm to break the pinfall and hurt Mikey some more. Devon listens to him and lands a sloppy moonsault splash. Damien Kane again orders him to break the pinfall and inflict more punishment. Devon listens again and goes for a Belly to Back suplex from the top rope. Mikey rolls out and lands on his feet. Mikey lands a Hurricanrana for a 2 count. The crowd is really behind Mikey at this point. Damien Kane tries to interfere again, but it backfires on him. Mikey hits him with a dropkick, then finishes Devon Storm off with a hurricanrana from the top rope for the 1, 2, 3 after what felt like around 10 minutes(didn't hear the official time).


Not a bad match at all. It was almost good. Devon Storm and Damien Kane played the heels nicely, helping to get the crowd into Mikey's comeback into the match. They weren't into the match at first, but through that heel/face psychology they were able to capture the audience by the end. Devon's somersault suicida onto a seated Mikey on the outside was a sick spot, and really got the crowd into the match. Overall though, I don't know, for me it just seemed to lack that rythm, or chemistry. Still a decent undercard match for sure.

Johnny Smith vs Louie Spicolli

This is Louie Spicolli's second big ECW show. He wrestled Sabu in his last show in a decent match. Louie played "Madona's Boyfriend" in AAA, and he also had a brief run in the WWF as Rad Radford. Some time in early 96 Louie was found unresponsive, overdosed on pain pills. The WWF supposedly released him, but I have my suspicions that he was sent to ECW for a little probationary run. I've also read that he was going through a pretty bad depression before he started working for ECW.

This is Johnny Smith's ECW debut. I haven't seen much of him, but the first thing that comes to mind is that he was the originally planned opponent for Rob Van Dam at Anarchy Rulz 99, he got taken out by Balls Mahoney and was never really seen again if I remember correctly. Johnny Smith actually wrestled in Stampede Wresting for a bit, as well as a brief stint as Dynamite Kid's replacement in The British Bulldogs. Smith was also a regular in All Japan. He was trained in the UK by Ted Bentley.

These guys both come out and really work a sharp, well executed, on point match. Some really sharp, crisp exchanges early on. A very realistic clinch struggle.

Just a really fast, explosive pace for both guys. Wow.

Johnny Smith gets backdropped to the outside and they brawl into the steel railing a little. The pace slows down a bit as they re-enter the ring. Louie dominates Johnny Smith with power, landing a really nice German Suplex. Louie gets overzealous and goes for a running splash, but Johnny Smith gets the knees up. He goes up top and lands a nice dropkick.

The crowd responds very well to this match. Johnny Smith works Louie over with some really well executed moves. Louie catches him with a Lateral Press to take the momentum back. The transitions back and forth have been pretty good. Nice back and forth battle.

Louie lands an excellent Northern Lights Suplex with an outstanding bridge. The crowd reacts to everything like a Japanese crowd would. Not so much vocal cheering, just some really nice applauses for everything these guys are doing. This is a surprisingly good technical wrestling match.

Louie goes to the outside and brings in a steel chair. Johnny Smith cuts him off and knocks the chair out of his hands before snap maring him to the canvas. Smith lands an Elbow Drop. Louie suprises him with a Small Package. Johnny Smith kicks out and takes to Louie with some European Uppercuts. Louie counters the third uppercut and hooks Smith in a backslide. Smith kicks out and goes into the ropes. Louie goes for a backdrop, but Smith rolls off his back ala Sabu.

Johnny Smith lands the Tiger Driver for the pinfall at around the 6 minute mark.

The crowd chants both guys names at the end with a nice standing ovation.


I hate to give it such a high score because it was so short, but I'll be damned if this wasn't a surprising little ECW hidden technical gem. Everything was on point and really sharp from both guys. It's interesting to see Johnny Smith bring that Regal/Finlay style to ECW and actually get a good reaction from the fans. This match was really good and would have been a whole lot better with a couple more minutes.

D-Von Dudley vs Axl Rotten

Here we go with WMS' Newcastle homeboy Axle Rotten. He was randomly jobbed out on the last show to an FMW guy that will never be seen again in ECW.

D-Von debuted earlier in 1996 and has been a pretty nasty heel from the start. He pretty much brought the heat to the Dudleyz, who were over as faces(and still are up to this point).

We get some stalling for a while as the referee tries to get the chair away from D-Von.

This gets stretched out for some time with Axl walking around on the outside looking for a steel chair. He gets back in the ring and we finally get it going with a pretty intense dueling chairs exchange.

D-Von and Axl beat the fuck out of each other's back with chairs until Buh Buh Ray comes out(with Sign Guy and Chubby).

D-Von drops all of the Dudleyz with the chair and fights with Buh Buh for a while. Some pretty stiff chair shots to the head here. A lot of them.

Axl just sits back and watches everything.

Big Dick Dudley hits the ring. D-Von threatens to hit him, but he pussies out and runs. D-Von and Axl talk with each other for a while and agree to partner up in a makeshift tag team I'm guessing.


He almost kills D-Von by flying into him and pancaking his head into the steel rail. Damn that was nasty.

E! C! DUB!


Well, that crazy bump at the end definitely bumped this score up a bit. This was some pretty sloppy stuff with enough unprotected head shots to go around for everyone. I'm just glad they got the FBI out of the picture. D-Von and Buh Buh are still feuding against each other, and now D-Von is partnered with Axl. Lets see how long this lasts.

The Sandman vs Stevie Richards

Raven's entourage is just crazy here. He has Sandman's ex wife Lori Fullington, Sandman's 6 year old son Tyler, and......Kiss.

Raven comes to the ring with his motley crew. He says that he won't be defending his title tonight. Todd Gordon(ECW "Commissioner") comes out and tells Stevie to tell Raven the news. Stevie breaks it to Raven that he will be defending his title for him against The Sandman. Raven loses it on Stevie, dropping him with a DDT. Todd Gordon tells Raven that he promised these fans a title match, and that if Raven can't defend it, Stevie must do it for him. Gordon ques the music. Enter Sandman hits the speakers.

Sandman hits the ring and drops Kiss with the Cane. Stevie's already KO'd with his face painted like Paul Stanley.

Raven pulls Tyler in front of him in the corner. The Sandman's stops dead in his tracks. Stevie recovers and drops him with a superkick to the back of the head. 

 Stevie beats on Sandman with the cane. Sandman recovers and drops him with a DDT on the cane.

Sandman is bleeding from the forehead and selling the whole "emotionally distraught" angle very well. He just looks deeply disturbed.

Sandman lands a few of his trademark moves, his Guillatine Legdrop while Stevie teeters over the railing on the outside, as well as his Slingshot Somersault Legdrop upon re-entering the ring.

Stevie hits The Sandman with a low blow. Raven throws the belt into the ring and Stevie uses it to deck The Sandman in the face. The Blue Meanie comes in and tries to hit the Moonsault, but Sandman quickly recovers and knocks Stevie down in his place. The Meanie accidentally hits Stevie with the Moonsault for 2.

Stevie surprises Sandman a little later with another Superkick to the face. The Meanie comes in again, but this time The Sandman blinds him with a shot to the face. The Meanie accidentally gives Stevie a Tiger Driver. Sandman gets a close 2 count. The crowd gets more and more hyped up with each nearfall, with the backfiring interference making it look like Sandman is about the capture the gold finally. Nova comes in and accidentally hits Stevie with a Legdrop. Stevie barely kicks out again.

Sandman lands some good chest chops before both guys collide with the referee, knocking him out cold.

Here we go with one of those trademark Raven/Heyman 12 step finishes.

Raven hits the ring limping around on his bum foot. Missy Hyatt runs into the ring and jumps on his back, pulling his hair. Lori Fullington comes in and loads up a boot before taking Missy out.

Raven loads up a boot in the corner(I'm guessing this is some old school heel stuff, they take a boot and slam it into the turnbuckle a few times, I'm assuming to pack a piece of steel or a roll of dimes, or some other object in the boot). Raven swings the loaded boot at The Sandman, but Sandman ducks it. Sandman drops Raven with a DDT!

They have the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands now.

The Sandman is just overflowing with emotion. I really like it. Raven see's it in his eyes and backs away. This is a great scene, like from a movie or something.

Sandman collapses under his own mental duress. He pulls himself back up and gets the cane, but now Raven has himself shielded by Tyler in the corner, sitting with him in his lap.

Stevie loads up the boot and cracks Sandman in the back of the head. Raven quickly pushes Stevie away and steals the pinfall just as the referee recovers. Raven gets the pinfall over The Sandman.

Crazy finish. Great booking.


The overall storyline really bumps this up probably .3 of a point for me. This was a great scene. The emotion was there. The psychology was there. Modern day ECW haters can nitpick the 12 step booking and call it clusterfucked, but what this did was keep this crowd(a crowd that's seen it all) on the edge of their seat. Raven's retained his title all through 96 with a lot of lackey interference. In this match it all backfired on Stevie, but Raven still managed to get inside Sandman's head for the victory. Some really good moments in this match with Sandman's emotions pouring out in the scene. This all went beyond pro wrestling and was pretty much like a live action movie scene.

Chris Jericho vs 2 Cold Scorpio

Scorpio is ripped up and in great shape. This is indeed Jericho's final ECW match.

We get a great staredown before the match. This is such a dream match.

Jericho gets a good reaction from the fans during intro's, even though everyone knows he's on his way to WCW THE ENEMY!

I hear the first dueling chants I've ever heard in an ECW show before the match starts, with chants of both YOU! SOLD! OUT!, and LIONHEART!

These guys lock up in the best chain wrestling I've seen on this show yet by far. Jericho transitions from a Leglace into a Bow & Arrow, but Scorpio rolls out into a pinfall attempt that doesn't even get a 1.

Scorpio takes Jericho to the canvas with some nice mat wrestling of his own, locking him into a Surfboard variation, then transitioning into a version of the Camel Clutch. Jericho escapes and locks Scorpio in a crazy fucking submission that I just have to show you a picture of. 

Scorpio escapes and catches Jericho's arm in a nice looking submission. Some great technical wrestling going on right here. Great match so far.

They go back and forth in a test of strength that turns into an exchange of Monkey Flips. Some really good chemistry here between these two.

BISCHOFF SUCKS(DICK) chants. Joeys says he loves these honest fans in the ECW Arena.

Jericho continues to shine for a bit in the role of the babyface, but Scorpio begins heeling it up with some low blows. Scorpio purposefully slows down the pace of the match. Scorpio does the dumb bit where he goes up top for an aerial strike, but changes his mind perhaps to spite the fans. I get that he's trying to draw heat as he works the heel psychology, but stuff like this really just hurts the flow of the match. I've learned recently that this is the entire purpose of a heel in a match though, so I guess that's what he wants.

Scorpio lands some really stiff running push kicks to Jericho's face and chest that look like something from a hardcore puro match. The kick to the face was god damn brutal.

Jericho stalls for a bit on the outside to recover. He gets back into the ring and backdrops Scorpio to the apron. Jericho goes for his Adjacent Springboard Plancha, but the ref was in the way. By the time Jericho lands the move Scorpio see's it coming and moves out of the way. I don't know if that was planned or not. It worked though.

Scorpio drops Jericho to the floor with his awesome Handspring Backflip Kick. I love, love, love moves like that.

Scorpio continues to dominate Jericho back in the ring with a powerbomb and a Guillatine Legdrop.

Scorpio gets backdropped to the apron again, this time Jericho lands his Adjacent Springboard Dropkick, knocking Scorpio down to the floor. Jericho then lands a sloppy looking dropkick to the outside. They take it back into the ring and it's starting to get a little on the sleepy side for me. The crowd is really getting into it though.

Scorpio lands his awesome Sunset Flip/Powerbomb off the top for 2 and a standing ovation from the fans. Jericho lands a DDT before going for his Lionsault. Scorpio rolls out of the way, but Jericho lands on his feet before immediately leaping up for a quick Hurricanrana for a 2 count.

Jericho goes for a Tiger Bomb, but Scorpio counters it with a sloppy looking headscissor type of maneuver. 2 Cold goes for the Moonsault, but Jericho moves out of the way. Jericho hits a pretty lame splash from the second rope. The crowd is really digging this match. They take it back outside with some more sloppy looking dives. Jericho takes it back into the ring and sets up the Lionsault.

They bring it home after 19:57 with Jericho missing a weird spinning plancha of sorts. Scorpio hits the tombstone and finishes Jericho's ECW career with a Shooting Star Press.


The match got off to an awesome start with some outstanding chain wrestling/submission grappling. It hit some spots where my short attention span started to wander off, but overall this was a fantastic match. Perhaps one of Jericho's best out of the 20 or so that he worked in ECW. The ending got really sloppy, but that's expected when you're wrestling at such a fast pace in a tin box with no air conditioning in August. Definitely one of the better technical/clean ECW matches out there and worth looking up. I've heard Jericho tossed into that "Cup of Coffee" group often, and I guess it's justified since he really wasn't there long at all. He definitely made his mark though. He got over as a clean technical babyface, and he wrestled some of the best matches of 1996 while there.

One counter point that I got to throw at the "Cup of Coffee" argument that ECW haters use as evidence that I'm wrong(or stupid) for thinking ECW was ever good. Why wasn't WCW and WWF knocking these guys doors down before ECW? Dean Malenko is a pretty good example of this seeing that he was a wrestling for decades before he hit ECW, then all of a sudden he's being courted by WCW in the twilight of his career. Same goes for a lot of guys. Public Enemy, all of the guys from the AAA "When Worlds Collide" show in 1994. WCW and WWF could care less about guys like Eddie, Benoit, Dean, Rey, Jericho etc until they seen what ECW did with them.

ECW World Television Championship: Shane Douglas(C) vs Pitbull 2

The Pitbulls come out together first with Pitbull 1(Gary Wolf) in a Halo neckbrace. The Single Arm DDT that Shane Douglas gave him at Heatwave actually broke a bone in his neck. Shane Douglas claims that it was Wolf's fault in the Forever Hardcore documentary, saying that he took the bump like a traditional DDT when he was specifically instructed not to before the match. Regardless of who's fault it is this is pretty terrible to see a guy get that seriously injured in a worked match. The sight of him in the halo here is just, man. I don't know.

Joey Styles is in the ring to interview Pitbull 1 with a very somber, grim, serious demeanor. Pitbull tells everyone about the specifics of his injury, saying that the doctor told him to never wrestle again. The crowd sits silently listening. 

Shane Douglas and Francine come out together laughing and making fun of Pitbull 1. This is borderline tasteless, but it kind of helps to know that Pitbull 1 did indeed make a comeback.

Shane Douglas greets Joel Gertner at ringside, shaking hands and smiling at each other. This is where Gertner begins his short stint as Shane's personal ring announcer ala Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo. I like Gertner a lot better. He was actually a really good bi-lingual ring announcer.

Joey Styles on commentary before the match really puts over Pitbull 1 as one of the pioneers of ECW, saying that Douglas took out a member of Team Extreme and it's going to be hard for ECW to go on without him if this is indeed the end of his career.

Everybody, including Joey Styles, wants to see Shane Douglas get his motherfucking ass whooped. It's an almost dangerous level of tension that you can feel between the crowd and Shane Douglas where it feels like they could just snap and lynch the guy for real at any moment.

Joel Gertner gets on the mic and insults Bob Artese for max heat. He introduces Shane Douglas and Francine who are just really milking the heat out of this crowd with some great, smug acting. 

Before we get into the match, I'm looking at these hot shots of Francine, and I'm thinking that she deserves some credit for her heel turn at the last show. She could have easily botched her role in the finish of that match, but she pulled everything off perfectly, including the table bump at the finale. She deserves a lot of the credit for this heat that they are both getting right here. Contrary to popular belief, Women in ECW were often more important in the storylines than just being eye candy or sexual props.

Pitbull gets it going by beating the shit out of Shane Douglas all over the ring and the crowd loves every fucking bit of it. Pitbull 2 targets Shane Douglas' neck with some really devastating looking moves. He lands a Brainbuster and a Neckbreaker.

The crowd all starts chanting BREAK! HIS! NECK!

That's heat.

Pitbull 2 lands a fucking brutal Spike Pildedriver and the crowd eats it up. They legitimately want to see Douglas get his neck broken here I think. That's both disturbing and wildly intriguing to me. It's horrible to wish that on anyone, but at the same time it's interesting that they were able to get the crowd to wish that on Shane in the first place with this angle. Some serious human nature psychology being exposed here that is perhaps a bit too deep for me to go into here.

Pitbull 2 cranks on Douglas' neck with a Guillatine Choke as they both stand. He's just being ruthless here. Douglas gets spiked again with a DDT. Some good psychology here with PB 2 targeting Douglas' neck with some really brutal looking offense.

Pitbull 2 continues trying to twist Douglas' head off of his body as the crowd starts chanting BREAK! HIS! NECK! again.

They brawl on the outside for a bit with some chair shots. Shane threatens Pitbull 1 with a chair and the crowd can't believe it.

Shane keeps the momentum for a while in and out of the ring. Pitbull 2 gets cut open pretty badly, bleeding all over the place. Shane lands a Vertical Suplex in the ring and gets blood all over him. Pitbull 2 starts to hulk up and the crowd loves it. Francine tosses her bracelet to Shane, who wraps it around his knuckles and cracks PB2 with it. Pitbull 2 kicks out of a cover attempt.

Franny distracts the ref as Shane Douglas pulls a chain out of his boot, wraps it around his hand, and decks Pitbull 2 with it. Shane goes for the pin, but Pitbull 2 kicks out!

The crowd really starts to rally behind Pitbull 2. Shane lands a piledriver on a chair for the pinfall, but Pitbull 2 kicks out again! THE CRIMSON MASK!

Pitbull hulks up bleeding all over the place. He Press Slams Douglas 2 times, but he drops him on the third attempt due to the blood loss. Shane Douglas gouges his fingers into Pitbull's cut, making it bleed worse. He's using it as psychology in the match, rather than just some gratuitous bleeding. The loss of blood wears down the Pitbull because after all, he's only human.

Shane manages to block the Super Bomb due to the blood loss effecting PB's strength. Shane drops Pitbull with 2 Belly to Belly Suplexes for the win.

Joel Gertner props his foot up on Pitbull 2 after the match as he announces Shane the winner. The crowd is pissed. They thought this was going to be the feel good title win for PB, but it wasn't to be.

Pitbull 2 sends the fans home happy when he recovers and Superbombs the ref and Joel Gertner(who Shane just left in the ring ).


As is the case with most of the previous Shane Douglas matches I've reviewed from his 96 run, this match had some pretty good storytelling going on. One could question the humanity of a storyline that capitalizes on such an injury. It was a bad accident that shouldn't have happened, but it did, and they made the most of it by generating some serious buzz with this angle. Shane Douglas was getting some dangerous white heat. The psychology of the match with Pitbull 2 trying to break Shane's neck for revenge, then losing due to Shane taking advantage of a bad cut, made for a pretty good match. A purist wrestling fan has enough ammunition here for some major criticism, but to me this is all something that kind of goes beyond the pro wrestling boundaries and goes into movie territory with the way this angle suspends the disbelief. Vastly intriguing stuff no matter what side of the fence you stand on. The bingo hall fans here are a really good microcosm of what American society was like during this time. People say that ECW desensitized the wrestling fans, and I think that's total bullshit. The fans, and American society in general was getting more and more desensitized through the 90's due to a lot of different factors. ECW was just the first pro wrestling promotion to see it and cater towards it.

Tommy Dreamer & "Dr. Death" Steve Williams vs Taz & Brian Lee

Taz's walkout was years ahead of it's time. It's a strait up MMA walkout, with the crew of "Team Taz" students behind him, his annoying coach, the big "Team Taz" banner that fighters hold up during their intros these days. I love this character. A full decade ahead of his time. Had this character debuted in the WWE in 2006 he would have shot strait to the top and maybe even drew some good numbers in that time period where the sport was arguably at it's peak in popularity, even with Taz's physical shortcomings. He was a very believable MMA character.

Joey still pushes Taz as an "Ultimate Fighter" on commentary. Very interesting to me.

Bill Alphonso gets on the mic before the match and cuts a great promo, reminding everyone that Taz is still undefeated. He calls out Paul Heyman and Sabu to bring it on.

Beulah leads Dreamer and Dr. Death to the ring. She's gorgeous. Where's Kimona?

Dr. Death just looks like the perfect matchup for Taz here. I can't wait to see them hook it up. They way they stare across the ring at each other with Alice In Chains "Man in the Box" playing kind of gives me goosebumps. 

DR. Death gets a great reaction from the fans during the intro's, similar to Terry Gordy's reaction a few shows back. I just thought about it, Dreamer was getting some really good rubs here in late 95 on into 96, tagging with Funk, Gordy, and now Steve Williams.

Everyone wants to see Taz and Williams hook it up, including Joey Styles on commentary. Brian Lee starts it off with an attack on Tommy Dreamer from behind.

Dreamer hits Lee with his Neckbreaker. Lee tags out to Taz, who comes in and challenges Dreamer to bring the wrestling. Dreamer goes move for move with Taz in a nice exchange. Taz lands a FUCKING BEAUTIFUL Northern Lights Suplex with an awesome bridge, one of the best bridges I've ever seen in wrestling. Holy shit that was nice.

Taz calls out Dr. Death. Dreamer gets the tag and it's on!


Taz vs Williams!

Brian Lee blindsides Tommy and this turns into a two on two melee. Brian Lee fights Steve Williams in the ring as Tommy takes Taz out of his element in a wild brawl outside the ring through the crowd. Dreamer takes Taz up to the sound stage where they setup three tables side by side by side.

Tommy takes Taz up to the top balcony over the Soundstage(I've been calling this the Eagles Nest in past reviews, which is wrong. The Eagles Nest was the small balcony over the front doorway). Tommy slams Taz through the sheetrock wall!

Brian Lee drops Dr. Death and heads up to the soundstage with Dreamer and Taz. Dreamer starts to Suplex Taz off of the balcony through the tables below, but Brian Lee strikes again! Lee blocks the suplex, allowing Taz to T-BONE TAZPLEX DREAMER OFF THE STAGE THROUGH A TABLE! 

E! C! DUB!

Meanwhile back in the ring Fonzie drops Beulah with a clothesline like the punk bitch pussy motherfucker that he is. Just the way he does it and his little celebration pose made me laugh pretty hard.

Beaulah drops Fonzie with a kick to the balls! Beulah kicks Fonzie's ASS! CLASSIC!
Fonzie rolls her over and starts slapping her in the face. Dr. Death comes in and gets his hand on him and the crowd goes NUTS!

Fonzie gets press slammed out of the ring onto all of the Team Taz guys.

Taz finally makes his way into the ring for a one on one showdown.


They circle each other for a bit before Williams gets a side headlock takeover, which gets countered into a headscissor by Taz. Taz lands a side headlock takeover, which in turn gets countered into a headscissor by Williams. Tit for Tat in a quick little feeling out exchange.

They get back up and tie up in a collar and elbow. Taz goes for a waist lock, but Williams counters with a standing switch. Williams takes Taz down with a trip takedown. Taz rolls through into a hammerlock, but Williams picks his ankle for a single leg takedown. Taz seizes an arm, and locks on an armbar. Williams hits him with a punch, a chop, then a slap to the face as they stand near the ropes. Taz slaps Williams back multiple times in a pretty awesome little scene where Taz stands up to the one man that he fears(as they built it up during the promos on HCTV).

Williams whips Taz into the ropes, but Taz comes back and catches him into the position for a T-Bone Tazplex. Steve Williams counters the T-Bone with an awesome Dr. Bomb!

Brian Lee comes in and attacks Steve Williams. Taz recovers and helps double team Williams. Dreamer brings a trash can into the ring and goes for the DDT on Brian Lee. Lee counters it with a chokeslam for the win.


This was an awesome match. Taz vs Dr. Death was awesome. The way they built up to the one on one moment was really good. Taz's T-Bone off the stage on Dreamer is classic ECW highlight reel material. Fonzie's fight with Beulah was hilarious. This was a good, short, chaotic, exciting match with more than a few all time classic ECW moments. Highly recommended.

ECW World Tag Team Championship 4 Way Dance: The Eliminators(C) vs The Gangstas vs The Bruise Brothers vs The Samoan Gangsta Party

The Eliminators come out first with the tag team titles. Joey plugs this as the first ever four way tag team elimination match.

The Bruise Brothers come out next to Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". The Bruise Brothers(Harris twins) battle with the Eliminators for a bit before The Samoan Gangsta Party come running out with their hands cuffed. They show a short clip of earlier in the night when they were arrested for an attack on The Gangstas. They are still wearing the handcuffs.

Saturn does land a really nice Diving Headbutt from all the way across the ring. Natural Born Killaz hits, and the crowd goes crazy.

The Gangstas come out with a trash can full of weapons, beating the fuck out of everyone.

This is a trashfest brawl. All over the Arena.

The Gangstas and Eliminators are dominating this. New Jack lands the 187 Chair Shot on one of the Samoans to eliminate them first.

Music stops.

New Jack and Saturn hook it up in a pretty heated fight that goes out the front door to the street in front of the Arena. So crazy, there's a huge mob of fans outside already. Where these fans that were turned away due to sellout? If so, that's insane that they wouldn't start doing some bigger venues. I've noticed this at another previous review where there would be a big mob of fans outside the front door just trying to peek in and see the show.

Saturn hits New Jack with a flying knee off of a truck before they brawl their way back through the crazy mob and into the Arena.

Things slow down a lot. The Eliminators hit one of the Bruise Brothers with one of their best Total Eliminations that I've ever seen them do. They just hit the guy out of nowhere. Really nice. The Bruise Brothers are eliminated.

It's down to the Gangstas and Eliminators. Pretty good booking so far. This hasn't been nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be.

New Jack is bleeding everywhere. Both teams fight each other inside the ring. The Eliminators set New Jack up for Total Elimination, but New Jack evades it by pulling Saturn into Kronus' high kick. Really awesome counter.

The Gangstas make a really dramatic comeback with New Jack selling pretty well as he bleeds everywhere. Mustapha hits the Powerslam to setup New Jack's 187 Chair Dive.


Saturn and Kronus argue with each other for a bit before the Gangstas jump them out of the ring. The crowd goes bananas. We have new Tag Team Champions.


This was surprisingly good. There was a lot of ugly trash brawling, and the whole deal with the Samoans coming out handcuffed was beyond stupid, but overall the booking, and the pace of the action was nice here. The Samoans and Bruise Brothers were just used to enhance the Gangstas vs Eliminators rivalry, which just heated up with a nice title change that I honestly didn't see coming. The Eliminators were built up masterfully on the recent episodes of Hardcore TV so this was a huge win for the Gangstas, and one that keeps this great tag team rivalry going strong. Hopefully now we'll see these other fodder tag teams fade out because they are god awful.

Stretcher Match: Sabu vs Rob Van Dam IV

Sabu gets the Japanese streamers thrown at him during intros. Nice.

Van Dam and Sabu go back and forth in a feeling out period early on. Van Dam steadily works the cocky, disrespectful heel role, flipping Sabu the bird.

Sabu works RVD's legs early on. He then lands a Slingshot Legdrop followed by a Slingshot Headbutt. Van Dam fights back by going after Sabu's neck with his Double Underhook Piledriver. There just kind of going back and forth with moves here so far. Some targeting here and there, but the selling has been rather lackluster on both ends.

The action starts to pick up early on with Sabu hitting RVD with a dropkick in mid air as he tries to springboard into the ring from the apron. Sabu follows it up with a fucking awesome Slingshot Somersault Plancha. Sabu sets a table up from the apron to the ring.

RVD hits Sabu with a few nice springboard kicks before they brawl around the ring and into the crowd for a bit. Sabu tosses chairs into RVD's face. They bring it back to the ring where Sabu goes for his Triple Jump Hurricanrana from the top rope. Van Dam causes him to lose his balance and rack himself on the ropes. Van Dam quickly hits Sabu with a really nice spinning back kick from the top rope as he sits racked on the ropes.

Van Dam drops the axe kick onto a chair on Sabu's face from the top rope as he's draped over the apron on the outside. Van Dam calls for the stretcher, but Sabu quickly rolls off of it. Van Dam continues to dominate Sabu, hitting him with a nice looking Jacknife Piledriver.

Van Dam mocks Sabu by offering him a handshake as he's down on the canvas in pain.

Van Dam continues dominating Sabu, going back to his neck with chokes. Sabu gets dropped with a nice legsweep, followed immediately by a Standing Moonsault Splash. Van Dam has improved a lot since the beginning of this series.

Van Dam goes up top for something, but Sabu follows him up. Van Dam falls out of the ring, pulling Sabu's neck across the ropes on his way down.

Sabu sells it up for a bit before he counters a Suplex attempt from RVD. He drops RVD across the ropes and hits him with his Flying Guillatine Legdrop as he's teetering on the middle rope, with a chair setup under his head.

Van Dam rolls out to the table. Sabu goes for his Triple Jump, but RVD springboards himself back into the ring to hit a counter lariat. Van Dam falls short and hits face first into the canvas. Sabu immediately drops a leg across the back of his neck. Sabu hits Van Dam with two Arabian Facebusters before calling for the stretcher.

Van Dam gets stretchered down the isle before rolling off and returning to the ring. Sabu drops him and lands his Triple Jump Moonsault. Van Dam recovers and tries to counter another Triple Jump move, but Sabu changes it up in mid air to hit RVD with a flying clothesline. Van Dam goes back to the stretcher, but this time Sabu hits him on the outside with an Asai Moonsault! Sabu's legs crash down into the steel rail on his way down into the stretcher. HOLY SHIT!

Both men are carted off on the stretchers. Sabu is the first to roll off. He climbs up to the top of the steel rail and hits Van Dam on his stretcher with a Legdrop. They both make their way back to the ringside area where Van Dam hits Sabu with a hard Van Daminator. Van Dam follows it up with an excellent moonsault press off the rail. Good battle right here. The psychology has kind of gone out the window, but the athleticism, and the arsenal of moves that these guys are hitting each other with is just really fun to watch.

Sabu's chair throws to the face of Van Dam are BRUTAL!

Sabu sets Van Dam up on the top rope and hits his Triple Jump Rana. Van Dam rolls out to the table where Sabu goes for the Triple Jump DDT. Van Dam counters it by putting Sabu in the position for the Fisherman Buster before he leaps off the top rope. Van Dam spikes Sabu through the table to the concrete!

I really like how they built up to this table spot, and using the Fisherman Buster this way ties into their previous three matches. Great stuff.

Sabu gets setup on the stretcher, but he fights to stay alive, rolling off of it and returning to the ring. Van Dam attacks Sabu with the chair with some really sloppy strikes.

Another awesome spot that I really like is when they both simultaneously springboard off of the ropes on opposite sides of the corner. Van Dam quickly beats Sabu's Leg Lariat with a side kick in mid air. Really well executed spot.

Van Dam goes for another Fisherman Buster to finish it. Sabu counters and spikes Van Dam in the center of the ring with a Fisherman Buster Suplex.

Sabu goes for the finish with another Triple Jump Moonsault, but Van Dam quickly recovers to his feet and shields himself with the chair just in time for Sabu to come crashing into it. AWESOME!

Sabu's done. He gets rolled to the stretcher and wheeled out. Van Dam did it again.

Or did he?.....

What's this?

Van Dam gets greedy and goes for one more splash. He flies off the top rope to the outside with a Somersault Plancha, but Sabu rolls off of the stretcher at the last second. Van Dam crashes into the edge of the stretcher, knocking it over and tumbling down into the concrete HARD! FUCK!

Van Dam gets rolled out on the stretcher the cocky son of a bitch. The Hardcore Hero wins after a 24:16 long battle. The show ends with a brief, modest celebration from Sabu.


This was the best of the Van Dam vs Sabu '96 series. A really good finale to the rivalry with a few elements being carried through from match to match, such as the psychology around the Fisherman Buster, which was what Van Dam used to defeat Sabu after being tipped off about his previously injured neck by Taz/Fonzie. Van Dam evolved from match to match and is much better here than he was in their first match a few reviews back. The evolution was fun to watch. Sabu really made him.

The stretcher match concept itself is a bit of a goofy gimmick match, but when you consider the overall storyline here it worked well in this match. Sabu went up on RVD 3-1, with the only loss coming because of Taz & Fonzie's inside info on his neck.

Something else I really liked about this match. There was only 1 table spot, and it was built up to really well. At the end of the day my final thoughts on this series of matches is that it's a bit like Bo Jackson. They were hyped up, and built up by magazines, and word of mouth among fans until they reached this legendary status that was even a bit mythical. Like these guys were doing things that just wasn't even humanly possible. When you watch through the actual matches there's just no way in hell they could ever live up to these impossible expectations that you have for them, but the fact that something could get your expectations that high in the first place itself is quite an accomplishment. With that said though, they were all highlight reel quality matches, and really revolutionary compared to what else was going on in pro wrestling during this time. There was a certain style to the extreme stuff Van Dam and Sabu did that was lost on a lot of other hardcore wrestlers that followed in the 90's.

Overall: 10/10

This was the best overall show of 96 so far, and really one of the best ECW shows up to this point. Every match was pretty good from top to bottom, and there was a vast variety of wrestling styles represented nicely here. You had the suicidal spot fest main event, a nice street fight trash brawl(with a tag title change that I really liked), some good clean technical wrestling in Jericho vs Scorpio, some good storytelling from Pitbull 2 & Shane Douglas, a little bit of the European Style brought in with Johnny Smith vs Louie Spicolli(Gem), the whole dramatic Sandman vs Raven rivalry unfolding, I mean there was just a lot here. This show is highly recommended by me. One of the best overall wrestling shows of 1996 period in my opinion. This is a must see ECW show. Everything was clicking for this promotion here at this point in 1996 and it's starting to look like their ready for the big lights of Pay Per View. It's just crazy to me to see how much ECW improved from show to show from 93 to 94 to 95 to where we are now in 1996. It's crazy. Heyman's booking is much tighter here than it was in those 95 tapes. This was a great show.

Hardcore TV Report

ECW Hardcore TV report

Alright, so just to give everyone a good idea of the format ECW was using during this time, I want to take a closer look at what happened on the three episodes of Hardcore TV that followed Heatwave 96, which was held on July 13th 1996. Basically everything was running on a three week schedule. Every three weeks they would put on a show like Heatwave, then they would use that footage of said show(Heatwave for example here) and cut it up for three weeks worth of TV. I don't want to write full reviews for these episodes because 90% of the material was filmed at Heatwave. The other 10% consists of interviews, music videos, and an occassional clip of a house show match from some small town east coast venue.

July 16th 1996

This episode of a pretty good example of what I'm talking about. The Gangstas vs Samoan Gangsta Party, Mikey vs Paul Lauria, and Sabu/Mikey vs Eliminators matches from Heatwave were all shown on this episode. A good bit of the show was spent building up the 4 way tag team feud going right now between The Gangstas, Samoan Gangsta Party, Bruise Brothers, and Eliminators. The Gangstas vs Eliminators rivalry is brewing very slowly much like the Sabu vs Taz rivalry in that it's just a long running feud that rarely ever seen both teams going head to head in a match up until the big blowoff. Overall though, I can say that the Tag division is a huge mess. Some really sloppy matches and some even sloppier booking. The Bruise Brothers and Samoan Gangsta Party are just fodder for the main teams, but this really diluted everything and took a lot of the focus off of the main course, which was Gangstas vs Eliminators.

This episode also featured a promo from D-Von Dudley talking about how he's the rightful ruler of the Dudley Boyz. I have to say that I really haven't liked the Dudleyz here in these 96 tapes. They've been feuding so far all year with the FBI with not even one clean pinfall in the entire rivalry up to this point. The FBI has ballooned to include a worthless old hack from the Eastern days named Sal Bellomo, as well as a big worthless oaf named Big Guido. The Dudleyz vs FBI stuff so far in these 96 tapes has been really weak.

Taz & Bill Alphonso also cut some promos with Taz just chomping at the bit to get his hands on Sabu, doing workouts with a Sabu T-Shirt hanging on the wall in front of him. Some good stuff. I'm starting to realize that the Sabu vs Taz storyline was just as good as all of the Raven/Sandman/Dreamer stuff.

One awesome thing that was on this episode was a world premier music video of House of Pain's "Fed Up". I've said it a lot here in this project, the music videos is what makes ECW my favorite. This particular video is a great example of why because it really makes The Eliminators look like one of the greatest tag teams to ever lace up boots. I can't say enough about how awesome these highlight videos were. The clips were masterfully put together with the music and it was one of the things that ECW did best in my opinion. Really awesome video that I wish I could upload to show all of you. One day I may try to learn how just so I can share all of these amazing ECW music videos.

July 23rd 1996

This entire episode consisted of the epic Four Way Dance from Heatwave. I watched it again as I was checking these tapes out, and I think I may have underplayed just how well Shane Douglas was built up as the heel in the match. He was constantly doing little things in the match that would just be the most pussy, dickheadish things a guy could do in a match like this. It all comes together in the end with Francine nailing her performance. The Franchise's epic heel run is officially in full swing. Another thing I noticed about the match was when Chris Jericho's Lionsault was countered by Scorpio's dropkick in mid air. Jericho came down on his head and looked like he came close to seriously injuring his neck on that spot.

July 30th 1996

This episode opened up with the Taz vs 911 segment from Heatwave. INSANE pop when 911 chokeslamed Taz. Taz just no sold it and hopped right up to dump him on his head. One of the underrated heel runs that all of us forgot about in the other thread was Taz in 1996 ECW. He was really over as a heel here, and Heyman's booking pushed it all into overdrive. The guy no sold a fucking 911 chokeslam for crying out loud. If 911 can't stop this guy nobody can. Some great heat from the fans for this, constantly chanting FUCK YOU TAZ! His line about Tommy Dreamer focusing on his wrestling career instead of chasing around a couple of lesbian slut rats, that shit was hilarious.

This episode also aired the Louie Spicolli vs Sabu match that happened at Heatwave. Also got some clips of a Sandman/Raven confrontation at a house show where Raven's lackeys jumped him. Along with that there was a segment where The Gangstas were attacked in the street by the Samoan Gangsta Party.

The Pulp Fiction promos pretty much just setup the major matchups for the next big ECW Arena show, "The Doctor Is In". The big matches being plugged for this show is the Sabu vs RVD Stretcher Match(their fourth meeting), as well as a dream partner match with Dreamer & "Dr. Death" Steve Williams against Taz & Brian Lee.

The end of the episode featured probably one of the best music videos I've ever seen in ECW. A highlight package set to Metallica's "Until It Sleeps"(which was a brand new song during this time in 1996) was put together chronicling RVD & Sabu's feud, as well as the Raven vs Sandman story where Raven has brainwashed Sandman's 6 year old son Tyler.

One thing I realized while watching the video was the subtle way they were pushing Paul Heyman & Sabu's friendship. This is a big part of what drives the Taz character. Jealousy. He desperately wants to destroy the "Paul Heyman Guy". At the core of Taz vs Sabu is Taz vs Heyman. And everything is just so long term. It all ties into Taz's heel turn at the November to Remember 95 perfectly. You can tell as you watch through this saga that all of this was pretty intricately planned.

The video closed with a clip on Raven & Sandman with the classic image from Heatwave closing the show. Pretty cool how that moment tied into the epic "Chairshot Heard Round The World" moment from the previous year's Heatwave. Dreamer had Raven setup for another shot, but now Raven had positioned himself to where his enemies almost destroy themselves.

Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got them. I'm no authority on what is good or bad, but all I know is that these old ECW tapes are just far more entertaining to me than any modern day wrestling show that I've seen, be it TNA or WWE. This music video was a great example of why. It was just the stories that ECW told and the way they would tell them with videos like these. ECW fuck the world.