February 4th 1995
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 weird 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.
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 tassels 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 feud 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 devastating 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.
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 feuding 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 feud. 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.
It had some sloppy moments, but overall was a nice paced well wrestled match with some good action.
Ian Rotten vs Axl 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 Axl 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 feud in ECW history.
Over the course of the next couple of shows this feud would bring over some of that over the top gore that was commonplace in Japanese FMW shows. Axl 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. Axl 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. Axl 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 Axl as they continue to just beat the shit out of each other. Ian rolls into the ring, and begs for mercy. Axl just continues to bash him in. Ian trips Axle down, and pins him by holding his legs on the ropes. Axl just keeps on beating on him with chairs.
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 Triangle Choke in UFC history.
Very good opening grappling exchange. Some fluid wrestling here.
They go through the Test Of Strength 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."
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.