July, 1st 1995
July, 1st 1995
So, here we are just a few weeks after the infamous E! C! DUB! chants at the 95 WWF King of the Ring. You know Heyman had the big head after that. Raven and Stevie Richards won the tag team titles from Public Enemy just a day or two prior to this show at a house show in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania. Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko have been having a series of matches during this summer that have been generating a shitload of buzz among the smarkies(ended up winning fued of the year from WON for 95). At this point Guerrero and Malenko had swapped the ECW TV title around a few times, and had just finished a best of 3 falls series of matches that took place in 3 different cities over 2 days. The hottest angle's going into this show are the Shane Douglas/Bill Alphonso anti-hardcore angle, Raven's ongoing feud with Tommy Dreamer, and the East Coast vs West Coast urban feud between Public Enemy and The Gangstas.
Shane Douglas threw the NWA belt down around a year earlier proclaiming that the ECW was going to put the sport back into professional wrestling. A year later and Douglas is fed up with the hardcore trash violence that the Extreme in ECW went on to define. Douglas' frustration boiled over when he was scammed out of the ECW World Title by Woman and The Sandman. Douglas stormed out of the front door of the ECW Arena wearing a WWF Raw shirt after the loss, and the next week he brought an official from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to clean up the ECW, Mr. Bill Alphonso, the man that calls it right down the middle daddy.
Alphonso was brilliant in this role. He threatened to shut ECW down, he DQ'd Dreamer for using open fists on Raven in a match, and he reversed a decision that would have awarded fan favorite Cactus Jack the ECW World Title at the last show. This angle was kind of brilliant really. Alphonso gave the heels the heat they needed to keep the heel/face psychology in place in their feuds. Raven and The Sandman were the top heels in ECW, but were cheered more than they were boo'd up until they were helped out by Alphonso at the last show. This angle really had the ECW fans stirred up, but in a way that turned traditional pro wrestling ideology on it's ear. The ECW fans were booing someone for enforcing the rules, and the heroes were the ones that broke them.
Raven and Dreamer's feud has picked up quite a bit from January of 95. Raven has crucified Dreamer and busted him open in one of the bloodiest scenes in pro wrestling history. Raven also "Broke" Tommy's fingers one by one at the last show. Dreamer has spiked Raven's girl Beulah with piledrivers at the past few shows. Luna Vachon came in to help Dreamer a few shows back, but she was viciously beaten by Raven at the last show(along with Dreamer).
The Public Enemy vs Gangstas feud is one that perhaps hasn't aged too well. The Gangstas made their debut in ECW at the last show as two invading thugs who weren't even employed by ECW(ring any bells?). The Public Enemy were the most over act in ECW at this time believe it or not. The reason was their personality really clicked with the Philly fans. They were fun, and really violent. They won the fans over with their campy promos where they would often parody WCW. Their matches were incredibly violent, usually with multiple tables broken. This was a time when Sabu was gone as well, so they were perhaps the most hardcore act in the promotion. PE's feud with The Gangstas is one that never really produced any good or great matches, but the feud itself is wildly interesting to me. They really captured that East Coast vs West Coast hip hop rivalry that was center stage in the US at the time. It was an angle that was really well done for it's time, and light years ahead of what WCW and WWF were doing with their storylines.
The Dudley Brothers(Little Snot & Dudley Dudley) vs The Pit Bulls
This is the debut of the Dudley family in ECW. There isn't any storyline or anything, they are just brought in as a tag team of jobbers. It's not D-Von and Buh Buh Ray, it's Little Snot and Dudley Dudley. Two nobodies. Raven, Stevie Richards, Beulah and The Pit Bulls are already in the ring. The Dudley brothers are accompanied by Big Dick Dudley, who would go on to be one of the main characters in the family for years to come.
Vintage Stevie Richards here as he works the crowd while the lackluster match is going on. Some of the fans hold up a series of signs that reads "The Dancin' Stevie Fan Club".
Raven, Beulah and Stevie lurk the outside working the crowd until all of a sudden Stevie Richards approaches his "Fan" in the crowd. A hot young planted female by the name of Francine, who made her debut at the last show, nearly getting into a fight with Beulah. Francine was actually a trained wrestler who would go on to be perhaps the definitive valet in ECW history, even earning the nickname "The Queen of Extreme" in the later years.
The Dudley bros and The Pit Bulls carry on with their mediocre match as Richards flirted with Francine on the outside. Beulah approaches Francine as if she were jealous. Beulah and Francine grab each other's hair, and start a little catfight. The crowd loves it. Raven breaks it up, and drags both Stevie and Beulah to the back by their hair. The Pit Bulls look around wondering where Raven left off to. Pitbull #2 is hit from behind by one of the Dudley's as Pitbull #1 is distracted looking for Raven. Snot pulls Dudley's body over Pitbull #2, and the Dudley brothers get the win. The Dudleys escape with their lives.
Joey Styles does an interview with The Pitbulls after the match. They cut a horrible promo where you can barely make out what they are saying. They pretty much say that they are tired of Richards and Raven not watching their backs. They say that things are changing before storming off.
Not a good match at all. Nothing special about the overall segment either really. This was the beginning of the a face turn for the Pitbulls, who were quite over due to their muscled up appearance, and intense attitudes. The obvious question pops up from this booking though, did the Pitbulls really need Raven and Richards to beat these two clowns?
Chad Austin & The Broadstreet Bully vs Don E. Allen & Dino Sendoff
This is nothing but jobbers here. I would have to say that Don E. Allen was the definitive jobber in ECW history. I recently discovered that Don E. actually still wrestles in the Pennsylvania/Tri States independent scene.
This is real sloppy stuff here. The crowd boo's the shit out of them. Austin takes a backbody drop, and nearly botches the fall to put himself in a wheelchair. I don't know if they are trying to make it look sloppy on purpose or what, I think so. Joey Styles takes a shot at WCW.
Out comes 911.
Chokeslams for everybody. 911 had a good chokeslam. He was stiff as hell. The crowd loves him. Heyman comes out and the crowd starts chanting his name. Heyman holds up his fingers asking how many more chokeslams they want to see. The crowd holds up both hands, and starts chanting "WE WANT 10!".
911 grabs Don E and Chad Austin at the same time with both hands. Heyman gets a mic and tells both men "Welcome to EC Fucking W!" before they are chokeslammed into oblivion.
Pretty funny little segment. 911 was pretty fucking awesome.
Hack Myers vs Big Val Puccio
Big Val is a massive fat guy. The crowd knows he's worthless, and they let him know about it early on. Val works the crowd for several minutes, and it's kind of funny really. He's so fat.
Val gets some punches in first, and the crowd chants "SHIT!" very loudly with each strike landed. This is hilarious.
Myers lands a few punches and the crows screams "SHAH!" with each strike. Myers grounds Val with punches and kicks as the crowd chants along. Myers gets reversed into the corner, and squashed by this huge man.
Here we go with the "YOU FAT FUCK" chants.
This crowd is all over this guy. Val works the crowd while barely doing anything to Hack Myers for several minutes. Val tries to drop an elbow on Hack, but Hack moves out of the way. Val crashes into the mat, and Hack covers him for the pin.
Val drops a few splashes on Hack before leaving.
The crowd was funny early on, but this was about 8 minutes of my life that I want back.
2 Cold Scorpio vs Taz
This is one of Taz's first matches as a repackaged shoot wrestler. He is accompanied by Heyman.
Scorpio avoids a Taz-Plex early on by countering it with a nice armdrag. Taz gets a lariat sending Scorpio to the outside. Scorpio comes back in and we have ourselves a nice clean little match here. They go back and forth locking each other in holds, and reversals. One thing that sticks out early on is how freakishly athletic 2 Cold Scorpio was. He jumps strait up at one point, and reaches some incredible height.
Taz lands a beautiful belly to belly overhead suplex. They go back and forth in a test of strengh. Scorpio with a monkey flip, and a thrust kick to the chin, followed by a powerbomb.
Scorpio is playing the heel here keeping the pace slow, working Taz over while fucking with the crowd. Scorpio lands a nice standing backflip splash onto Taz. Scorpio goes up top for a splash, but Taz gets the knees up. Heyman gets a Taz chant going on the outside as he works his way back into the match. Scorpio squashes his comeback with a thumb to the eye.
Taz blocks a Rock Bottom with three elbows to the head, followed by his T-Bone Taz-Plex. Scorpio counters a move from Taz, and gets him with the Tombstone. Scorpio lands a fucking amazing Tumbleweed corkscrew moonsault legdrop. Crowd gives him a nice standing ovation, beautiful move.
Taz no sells it.
Taz hops up, and drops Scorpio. Taz pins Scorpio for 3, but Scorpio's leg was on the ropes. Taz ges the win.
Bill Alphonso comes out. Fonzie says the match is not over, and must restart. Taz gets up in his face. Fonzie tells Taz and Heyman that if any wrestler touches him he will shut ECW down.
Heyman tells Fonzie that he's not a wrestler, and that he is going to kick his ass. Scorpio comes in with a steel chair, and hits Taz in the back. Heyman turns around, and Fonzie hits him from behind. Scorpio covers Taz, and Fonzie counts the 3. Crowd boo's the roof off.
Pretty good match. Scorpio was amazing. Nice heel turn with him too because he had nothing going on. The Fonzie vs ECW storyline progresses nicely here. I like it.
Shane Douglas comes out next with an interview with Joey Styles. Douglas announces that he's signed a contract with the WWF.
The crowd starts chanting "NA~NA~NA~NA, NA~NA~NA~NA~, HEY~HEY, GOOD~BYE!"
The crowd drowns Shane out with chants of "SHANE! IS! DEAD!".
The crowd won't give Douglas a chance to finish his promo, they start chanting "WE! WANT! FLAIR!" just to get under his skin. That's pretty deep. Shane snaps on the crowd with an amazing promo, saying "I WANTED THAT PIECE OF SHIT FOR 2 YEARS, SO SHUT UP!".
Everybody in the ECW Arena is screaming "WHOOO!" at the top of their lungs. This is an amazing segment. Douglas orders the camera man the pan around the crowd to look at all the losers in the crowd, and finds a planted sign saying "Forever the Franchise, Forever the ECW Champ".
This crowd is fucking killing Douglas here with the Flair chants, and "Whoo's". He can't even finish his promo. This is some great heat here.
Douglas calls Heyman a piece of shit. Says that he and Cactus are best friends, and have been for 12 years since they trained together at Domenic Denucci's school. The crowd cuts him off with a "SHUT THE FUCK UP" chant. Douglas says that's the reason he's leaving. The crowd cheers.
Shane says he talked about his WWF negotiations with Cactus Jack, and that they remain best friends. Douglas says he's sick of sweating in a building with no air conditioning(while dripping sweat), and that he's sick of carrying the entire ECW roster on his back each and every night.
Shane Douglas officially announces he's gone to WWF after tonight. The crowd starts singing "NA~NA~NA~NA, NA~NA~NA~NA~, HEY~HEY, GOOD~BYE!". Joey joins in with them when Douglas' back is turned on him.
Suddenly Woman comes out. Woman says Douglas is perhaps the smartest man in ECW. Shane says that Woman is the most gorgeous, beautiful woman he's ever seen, but that she is also the biggest slutbag he's ever seen in his entire life. Woman smacks him in the face.
Douglas asks for another. Nancy takes a swing, but Douglas catches her hand. Douglas acts like he's about to hit her, but Sandman comes out. Sandman clears Douglas out of the ring. Cactus comes out to clear Sandman out of the ring. Douglas tells Joey Styles that he's going to teach Sandman the lesson of his life tonight before he leaves to the WWF.
Raven & Stevie Richards vs Tommy Dreamer & Luna Vachon
Man, I'm watching this on a European DVD release, and the music is edited out. Take the music out of these old ECW tapes, and you really take a lot of the charm out of them for me.
Dreamer comes out with his hand/fingers taped up. Raven and Dreamer fight on the outside early on with a DDT on Raven to the concrete. Stevie Richards fights Luna in the ring.
Luna grabs a handful of Richards' cock n' balls.
Luna violently slams Stevie around the ring by his balls. Luna gets two nice swinging neck breakers on Stevie. Dreamer takes a bloodied Raven to the back where they brawl with a metal TV antennae near the entrance. Dreamer brings out a Newspaper vending machine, and flings Raven into it. Luna continues to work Richards over in the ring. Dreamer drops the vending machine across Raven's back.
Dreamer brings a metal ironing board to the ringside area where he and Luna smash it over Richards' head. Raven returns to the ringside area, and blindsides Dreamer. Richards cracks Luna in the back with a stiff as hell chair shot. Damn. Raven targets Dreamer's taped up hand.
Raven drops Dreamer on the concrete on the outside with a DDT. Raven head back to the ring with Luna/Richards. Raven and Richards are just really stiff in the way they attack Luna. They do a double suplex, and a double DDT on her. Dreamer comes back o the ringside area, and drops Raven off the apron. Luna goes up top and drops Richards with a super plex.
Luna goes for a pinfall, but Beulah comes into the ring. Beulah throws powder in Luna's eyes. Stevie rolls Luna up for the pinfall. Stevie and Raven retain.
This DVD cuts immediately away to a clip of Luna and Dreamer brawling in the ring with Raven and Richards, I'm guessing this was from later on in the evening because Dreamer is wearing different clothes.
Raven and Richards take out Dreamer and Luna. The Pitbulls come out. Richards orders The Pitbulls to Superbomb Luna. Raven stomps on Dreamer's broken fingers. Luna lays motionless on the mats. The Pitbulls look down on her, and refuse to Superbomb her. Richards gets up in Pitbull #1s face. Richards pushes Pitbull #1's face back, and it's on. The Pitbulls turn face, and fight with Raven and Richards. The Pitbulls set up to Superbomb Richards after Raven flee's the scene.
Suddenly Raven comes back out with the Dudley brothers. The Dudleyz attack The Pitbulls. Dreamer starts fighting with Raven again as Luna and The Pitbulls fight with Stevie and The Dudleyz. The Pitbulls throw the Dudleyz through the sheetrock wall in the ECW Arena. Huge mess. Raven and Dreamer brawl their way up to the soundstage under the Eagles nest. Richards, Luna, and The Pitbulls make their way up to the stage. Raven and Richards escape. Raven orders The Dudleyz to attack Dreamer, Luna, and The Pitbulls on the soundstage. The Pitbulls run The Dudleyz out of town.
Luna, Tommy Dreamer, and The Pitbulls stand victorious on the soundstage. The Pitbulls pick Luna up on their shoulders for a pretty cool little scene. She was a nice fit in ECW.
Man, this was a big sloppy mess to be honest. Raven lost the Pitbulls, and replaced them in his flock with the bumbling idiot Dudleyz. The storyline would develop a little more depth on the following episodes of Hardcore TV where the Dudleyz background would be revealed. The wrestling wasn't very good at all. The storyline progression was interesting, and the whole match/segment had some cool moments, but overall the action was very sloppy here.
Taipei Death Match: Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten
ECW "Commissioner" Todd Gordon comes out before the match, and calls out Bill Alphonso with a special surprise for him. Gordon says that Fonzie will referee the Taipei Death Match.
The Rottens come out with their hands taped, and dipped in broken beer bottle glass. They walk around the ring letting the fans in the crowd touch the glass to prove it's real. Joey says he doesn't expect to see many drop toe holds or flying head scissors in this match.
Joey Styles commentary in this show, and the last couple of shows has been excellent. He calls the holds, and he is constantly making little inside jokes about pro wrestling. He really improved a lot since his earlier ECW days, which were nearly unbearable with his high pitched voice. I'd say that Styles commentary in the shows I've seen from ECW up to this point in 95 is among the best of all time. He was really good.
Axl and Ian circle each other in boxing stances, throwing jabs out at each other from far out. Axl lands a surprisingly good looking jab to Ian's face. Ian has already bladded himself apparently. Ian begins trickling a very small amount of blood from his eyebrow.
Bill Alphonso stops the match, too much blood.
Alphonso tells the crowd that they should be glad that he's here.
Oh my god that was hilarious the way he said it. The crowd hates his fucking guts is what makes it so funny.
Out of nowhere, the Gangstas and Public Enemy come brawling out of the back. The police come in and separate them. New Jack is brutally arrested with the cop being way too rough on him. The Gangstas are ejected from the building in forceful fashion. They made that look good with the way security and police were manhandling them. Alphonso follows the ruckus out of the building, Gordon restarts the death match with no referee.
2 minutes into the match, and we have a bloody fucking mess. Blood all over their arms, foreheads, everywhere. They pick the glass loose from their hands, and gouge each other in the forehead.
I think it's safe to say that this is the bloodiest match in ECW history.
These two guys aren't wrestling, they are mutilating each other. Not a real big fan of this type of pro wrestling. Stuff like this isn't really why I love ECW.
The blood gradually just gets worse and worse as the match goes on. They don't do anything other than just punch and grind on each other with the glass. Ian drops Axl with a DDT. Ian gets out of the ring, and gets a bag of thumbtacks. Ian pours the thumbtacks allover the ring. Ian attempts a piledriver on Axl into the tacks, but Axl backdrops him down into the tacks.
Axl covers Ian for the win.
I've heard this match mentioned quite a bit around the web as one of those ECW matches that you just have to see, but I don't really see why. It's just a lot of blood. It would have been better if they had actually used some sort of psychology to tell some type of a story or something with it, but they just brawled around a bit before bringing in the tacks. Not real big on this match. I think their match at Hostile City Showdown 95 was better than this.
ECW World Championship: The Sandman(C) vs Cactus Jack
The Sandman and Woman come out first. No Enter Sandman on this DVD really neuters the entrance.
This is a long running feud that goes back to late 1994, and has been running strong throughout 1995. I'd say that this feud is quite underrated really. They had several brutal matches including the Texas Death Match, and the Barbed Wire match that I reviewed from the last show. Cactus nearly wins the ECW world title a few times. The Sandman even brought in Terry Funk for a nice little heel run where he burned Cactus a few times with his classic flaming branding iron.
Cactus Jack comes out with his hand wrapped in barbed wire. Sandman has two canes in his hands. The crowd really loves Cactus Jack here.
Sandman exits the ring as soon as the bell rings, and taunts Cactus from the outside with his cane. Woman lures Cactus to lean out of the ring where she cracks him very hard in the head with a glass beer bottle. Cactus turns around, and is immediately cracked in the face with Sandman's cane. Sandman throws Cactus to the outside.
HOLY SHIT. Sandman hurdles over the top rope down onto Cactus on the outside. I've never seen him do anything like that.
Cactus and Sandman fight back to the ring where Cactus lands a DDT. Cactus gets the cane, and cracks Sandman in the skull with it three times before he finally falls down. Cactus takes Sandman to the outside with more cane shots, and a steel chair to the face. They go back to the ring where Cactus starts to take a punch with his barbed wire wrapped fist. Sandman picks up a chair, and blocks the punch with it. Sandman takes the cane to Cactus as he remains down on the canvas.
More cane shots to the head from Sandman. Sandman lands a slingshot legdrop from the apron for a 2 count. Sandman body slams Cactus down onto a chair. Woman goes to the back, and brings out a long strand of barbed wire. Sandman drops Cactus with a piledriver on the chair. Sandman brings in the barbed wire, and wraps it around his body.
Sandman hits Cactus with a splash with the wire wrapped around him. Sandman lands another splash in the corner, and another one to Cactus while he's down. Cactus pulls a rope down sending Sandman to the outside. Cactus drops an elbow off of the apron with a steel chair. Cactus beats Sandman around the ring, and back to the inside where he pulls the barbed wire up onto The Sandman's head with his shirt. Sandman's stomach is cut open in several spots from the wire.
Sandman is a bloody mess with barbed wire tangled up in his shirt over his head. The crowd cheers thinking Cactus is about to become world champion, but Sandman kicks of a cover. Cactus lands three punches with his barbed wire wrapped fist. Sandman kicks out of another cover. Cactus chokes Sandman with the wire until Woman comes into the ring. Woman lands a cane shot to the back of Cactus' head. Cactus shoves Woman to the ground.
Sandman and Cactus collide with the referee. The ref goes down. Shane Douglas comes into the ring, and drops an elbow on the ref. Douglas spikes Sandman with a piledriver. Douglas gets a microphone to say that his lesson is that you should keep your friends close, and your enemies right by your side. Shane hits Cactus with the cane.
Douglas pulls Sandman over Cactus for the 1-2-3, and tells ECW to kiss his ass goodbye.
Todd Gordon comes out. Douglas gets in his face, and says that he'll stay in ECW if Gordon gets down on his knees and asks him to stay. Gordon goes down to one knee, and says.
"On behalf of all the fans in the ECW Arena, on behalf of all the wrestlers in the back, on behalf of myself, I'd like to tell you......
YOU ARE FUCKING FIRED!
Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."
Shane Douglas attacks Todd Gordon, and rips his suit off of him. A ref comes out, and Shane hits him. The jobbers come out, and Shane clears them out of the ring. Shane continues to bully Todd Gordon.
Out comes 911.
911 almost chokeslams Douglas through the fucking ring. Crowd goes insane.
I liked the segment after the match with Shane Douglas' exit from ECW. The match itself was pretty good too. Just another really brutal brawl with not much wrestling involved. People like to hate on matches like these for not having psychology or telling stories, but the match did tell a story. The story of the match was that the two men were trying to find out who was tougher. Which one of them could take the most punishment. It was pretty much what the entire feud revolved around. I'd say they had better matches previously, but this one was still pretty good.
Public Enemy vs The Gangstas
This is just a damn brawl. They take it all over the ECW Arena. Mustapha takes Rocco Rock up to the sound stage. Rocco Rock leaps off of the 10 foot tall eagles nest balcony to put Mustapha through a table with a somersault. They brawl their way back up to the balcony where Mustapha suplexes Rocco Rock through a table. New Jack has Johnny Grunge bloodied in the ring, attacking him with a nightstick. Johnny Grunge takes a mailbox to New Jack, dropping him in the corner.
Mustapha and Rocco Rock continue to brawl on the balcony, destroying everything. Johnny Grunge puts New Jack through a table in the ring with a scissor kick off the top rope. New Jack is bleeding profusely from the forehead. The four men beat the shit out of each other with various weapons for several minutes. They manage to make it look like a heated street fight, which was what it was billed as. ECW never pushed stuff like this as Wrestling. Rocco Rock moonsaults New Jack through a table at one point in the match.
They have several moments where they kind of stand around wondering what to do next, but overall this wasn't a bad little brawl at all. Rocco Rock hits Mustapha with a croquet stick from the top rope, and gets the pinfall. PE wins.
PE brawls with The Gangsta for a while longer. The Gangstas retreat. PE celebrates in the ring with the fans. The crowd gets into the ring. Everybody is having a good time, dancing around with PE. The ring packs up full of people. The fans lift PE up on their shoulders and start chanting ECW. Awesome scene.
Really sloppy at times, but this was a pretty good little hardcore tag match with some emotion in all of the brawling. The end scene is pretty awesome considering neither Flyboy or Grunge are alive anymore. People easily forget, but PE deserve respect for what they did for ECW in the early days.
This show had a lot of crap, but I really liked it. It had a lot of great stuff, and some surprisingly good matches. Watching it by itself, this probably wouldn't be a good show to watch, but watching the shows in order to see how the storylines were moving along at this time, this was a fun show. ECW was just crazy. You never knew what the fuck was going to happen next.