December 12th, 1995
Alright so we're skipping through the first three episodes after November to Remember 95 because for the most part they consist of pretty much just the matches from November to Remember 95 along with a bunch of promos for their house shows at the time(including the cancelled Thanksgiving day show). There was a lot that happened at November to Remember 95. We had Austin return to the ring for the first time since being fired from WCW in a title match against ECW Champ Mikey Whipreck(I don't think I emphasized how hilarious it was the way Mikey almost pulled Austin's trunks all the way off of his ass in order to pin him, Austin's shocked reaction to the pinfall is absolutely classic). Taz turned heel by siding with the evil Bill Alphonso, Sabu returned from his nearly year long hiatus, and Dreamer & Funk defeated Raven & Cactus. Funk would "retire" on one of the episodes of Hardcore TV that followed November to Remember, so we wouldn't see him again in ECW for another year.
We didn't miss much on those three episodes of Hardcore TV. They did show a clipped fan cam match between ECW Champ Mikey Whipreck and Rey Mysterio from a house show in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania that was very solid. The music video they put together for Terry Funk's ECW career set to "Desperado" by The Eagles was rather touching as well. Otherwise, they didn't show much of anything that we didn't already cover in the November to Remember show.
So on this episode we get Steve Austin's second(and final) ECW match as he tries to get his hands on the gold again in a three way dance with Mikey(C) and The Sandman. Other than that I'm not totally sure what to expect on this show, it's been a while since I've seen it. Lets dig in shall we?
The show opens up with Beulah saying that we will not believe what her box has in store for us tonight. Man, is she a sight for sore eyes or what?
We get the always awesome White Zombie intro. If you don't like heavy metal music or White Zombie you probably won't like this intro as much as I do, especially if you don't particularly care for ECW either. You will probably hate it in fact. I just happen to love White Zombie and ECW so this is the bee's knees to me. Sometimes it felt like maybe whoever was running ECW knew me personally somehow, because they were always playing my favorite music. That was a major part of my diehard enthusiasm for ECW through the years. The music.
Joey Styles greets us after the intro video telling us that the Heavenly Bodies will be interviewed by Beulah tonight in her "Beulah's Box" interview. The Heavenly Bodies were always pumped up by a lot of people back in the day(including the WWE) as if they were to be taken seriously, but for the life of me I could never figure out why. The Heavenly Bodies were "Jiggalo" Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard. The team was a regular act in Smoky Mountain, and had been working in USWA prior to coming to ECW here. They did have a brief run in the WWE in 1993. It is important to note that Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion folded in November of 1995 around the time of the ECW November To Remember 95 show.
On one of the previous episodes of Hardcore TV showed fan cam footage from the Jim Thorpe show where the Heavenly Bodies helped Raven and Stevie Richards fight with Public Enemy. Public Enemy broke Stevie's arm and were attacked by The Heavenly Bodies.
Ok, we cut away to Lance Wright's "Hype Central". This was a little segment where Lance would promote the upcoming ECW live shows, giving info on the cards and scheduled appearances. Lance Wright just comes off as a total clown in these segments. They cut away to the 1995 computer graphics screens displaying info on upcoming shows as this song plays along in the background:
Pretty sweet song.
A screen pops up advertising the January 5th, 1996 House Party show. The screen says that it will be the final ECW appearance of Public Enemy as sad trumpet music plays on.
More advertisements for the upcoming "Holiday Hell Tour". They promote a show for the Briarcliffe Athletic Assoc. Building in Glenolden, Pa. on December 28th 1995. Scheduled for the card........Steve Austin vs Hack Myers.
Alice In Chains "Grind" plays as they run down the card with these stunning Windows 95 computer graphic screens that look like a powerpoint presentation I put together in the 8th grade.
Lovely music so far. I'm digging it.
The song plays on as they show an ad for "Club ECW" where you could buy tickets to the next 4 ECW Arena shows in advance.
November To Remember 95 home video commercial set to Guns N Roses "November Rain", epic fucking ECW show. Great little highlight makes me want to watch it again. What a great song.
Buh Buh Ray & DW Dudley vs. Bad Crew
Now we have a wrestling match. Alright.
These Hardcore TV shows just had a weird structure to them. It worked in these early episodes because you just didn't know what you were going to get from week to week, but they tried to carry this format over into the TNN years and it just failed.
Bad Crew and Damien Fucking Cane. This is a dude you will hear me bitch about in quite a few of these upcoming reviews. Damien Cane is a guy that I have no clue where he came from. Heyman brought the dude in with a weird looking valet, and a tag team(Bad Crew) that looks strait out of 1989. The whole getup wreaks of Road Warriors/Mad Maxx/Beyond Thunderdome type shit to me for some odd reason. The guy isn't all that bad on the microphone, but he just doesn't really fit in ECW. The whole act just comes off as very dated compared to what else is going on at the moment in ECW. Overall the whole Damien Cane ordeal in ECW was just bad wrestlecrap that has aged terribly today. No way around it.
The Dudleyz come out acting like total clowns as their AC/DC "Highway To Hell" music plays on. They are actually kind of funny here. Almost. Still no D-Von, just a bunch of no namers. The crowd starts chanting "WHATS YOUR NAME!?" when Buh Buh gets the microphone.
Buh Buh stutters his name, and Damien makes fun of him. Damien calls Buh Buh a retard before asking him if there was anything else he can do other than stutter like an idiot. The Dudley's start kicking ass!
Dudleyz beat the shit out of Bad Crew as the crowd stutters Buh Buh's name out loud in unison.
DW(Dances With) Dudley is perhaps the most comical of the group in this stage. He's playing an Indian Dudley that speaks fluent Spanish. DW loses the momentum of the match, getting hit with Bad Crew's tandem moves. Buh Buh comes in cleaning house, landing dropkicks, and just generally kicking ass like a badass. DW regains the momentum of the match. Bad Crew keeps DW isolated to regain control.
Double clothesline on DW.
Bad Crew kind of looks like maybe Heyman's idea for a replacement for Public Enemy. Just a shot in the dark there.
The match goes to the outside and Buh Buh kicks ass with a chair. Buh Buh puts one of the Bad Crew guys into position for a powerbomb, but he struggles to lift him up until DW slaps him on the back. Buh Buh pins the Bad Crew dude after his "Buh Buh Bomb" after about 10 minutes.
This was something that could have been watched on 2X speed and you wouldn't have missed anything. Not much to write about at all except for the fact that the ECW fans had really accepted Buh Buh Ray Dudley as one of their guys at this point. You could tell they cared about him in this match. The rest of the guys they could care less about. This wasn't really a terrible match per se, hell it almost got a little bit fun, but overall there was just nothing going on here. Move along folks.
Lance Wright EC F'N W t-shirt ad. God I can't wait to see Taz dump this dude on his head in some of those later shows.
Some obscure 90's grunge song(Awesome!) plays on in the background as an advertisement comes on the screen for "Hardcore Action On The Internet" at gstand.com/ECW.
They show a brief clip of the "Beulah's Box" interview with Stevie Richards and The Heavenly Bodies. Stevie acts like a goofball.
ECW World Title Match: Sandman vs. Steve Austin vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Austin debuts with his shaved head. It's not down to the skin yet, but he's cut his golden blonde locks.
Austin and Mikey start it off just the two of them. Austin has his way with Mikey in the ring with superior technical skill and strength. Austin backs Mikey back into the corner and smacks him in the face. Mikey surprises Austin by smacking him back, and pushing him out of the corner. Austin extends his hand out of for a handshake and apologizes. Mikey shakes Austin's hand. Nice.
Mikey and Austin surprise me here with this next sequence. Pretty smooth chain wrestling sequence with some clean grappling. Mikey manages to get Austin backed into the corner. The referee calls for a break and Mikey breaks clean. Austin nods his head at Mikey. Very nice.
They tie back up with standing switch reversals, and drop toe hold counters to take it to the ground. Austin moves around pretty well on the ground like a real wrestler. Austin locks Mikey into a front facelock on the ground. Mikey gets his foot on the ropes. Austin breaks the hold and shakes Mikeys hand with a smile. I like this match a lot so far.
Austin is in fantastic shape here. You could tell he was getting ready to make another serious run.
They tie up again and Mikey locks Austin in a side headlock. Mikey hiptosses Austin to the ground in the headlock multiple times. Mikey keeps Austin grounded in the headlock. Austin rolls Mikey back to surprise him with a pinfall, but he only gets 1. Mikey tries to keep Austin on the ground in the headlock, but Austin brings it up to the feet. Austin pushes Mikey into the corner. Mikey slowly breaks the hold. Austin kind of pauses for a second.......and proceeds to beat the living hell out of Mikey in the corner.
Hard punches and kicks. He pulls him up and gives him some chops. Austin starts playing a heel role, choking Mikey on the ropes. Austin sends Mikey into the ropes. Mikey sunset flips over Austin, and tries to pull his tights for a pinfall. Austin spins out of it and starts beating the shit out of Mikey in a fit of rage.
Austin slams Mikey's head into the mat when all of a sudden.......
Enter Sandman kicks onto the sound system of the Arena. The crowd goes crazy. Sandman and Woman step out together. Sandman is wearing the tag team title and carrying a beer bottle. Woman holds the Singapore Cane.
Ah, I see that this is the show where this photo was taken:
Austin is distracted with The Sandman and Woman's entrance when Mikey blindsides him. Mikey knocks Austin out of the ring. Austin pulls Mikey out and whips him into the steel. Austin gives Mikey a piledriver on the concrete to get a great "OH MY GAWD!" out of Joey Styles. Sandman and Woman look on as Austin beats the crap out of Mikey. Austin gets in the ring waiting for The Sandman to finish his beer. Sandman just stands on the outside drinking his beer, smoking his cigarette staring up at Austin in the ring.
Oh man, Sandman gets in the ring and trades punches with Austin and it just looks fucking awesome! Sandman throws the first punch and Austin sells the hell out of it. Austin responds with one of his trademark classic haymakers, and Sandman does a likewise hell of a job of selling it. They both sell the punches beautifully before simultaneously nailing each other with punches at the same time. They both go down at the same time as Mikey climbs up onto the top rope in the ring.
The Sandman beats Austin to his feet and Mikey hits him with a Hurricanrana off of the top rope. Sandman rolls out of the ring. Mikey goes up top to do the same move on Austin, but Austin slams him down into the canvas with a sick powerbomb. Mikey kicks out of a pinfall attempt at 2 1/2. Sandman climbs back up on the apron and pulls the rope down when Mikey whips Austin into the ropes, sending him out of the ring. Sandman picks up his beer bottle and takes a drink as Austin recovers. Sandman and Austin trade chest chops when Mikey hits them with a Slingshot Somersault dive over the top rope to the outside. All 3 men get in the ring and Mikey works both Austin and Sandman over with punches. Sandman and Austin stumble around out on their feet. Mikey hits them both with a low blow, and tries a springboard cross body press on both of them. Both Austin and Sandman duck underneath. Mikey crashes into the mat. Sandman crawls out of the ring to recuperate as Austin begins working Mikey over with his "5 Moves Of Doom".
Austin drops Mikey across the ropes with his "Stun Gun" finisher that he was using at the time, and pins him. Mikey's title reign has been brought to an end. Austin gets the pinfall.
It's down to Austin and Sandman. This is a fucking great match so far.
Austin fights with Sandman on the outside, whipping him into the steel railing. Sandman clotheslines him over the rail into the crowd. Sandman and Austin fight in the crowd a bit before Sandman pulls a table into the crowd, and drops it over Austin's body as he lays on the concrete floor. Sandman tries to suplex the table down onto Austin again, but Austin hits him from behind, knocking both Sandman and the table back over the railing. Austin drops Sandman over the railing with his "Stun Gun".
Sandman recovers and hits Austin in the stomach with a chair. Both men stumble around the ringside area in pain. Sandman bodyslams Austin down onto the concrete floor. Austin pushes Sandman through the table that is propped up against the railing. Sandman crashes through the table. Austin chokes Sandman with the trim piece of the table, and whips him into the steel around the ring. Austin rolls Sandman back into the ring and continues to dominate him, dropping him with an inverted Vertical Suplex and a knee drop to the throat.
Austin gets out of the ring and grabs Sandman's beer from Woman. Sandman takes a swig of Sandman's beer and spits it in his face. Austin walks around the Sandman stomping down on him as he drinks his beer. Austin gets up in the corner of the ring just like classic WWF Stone Cold with Sandman's beer, turning the bottle upside down to empty it down his throat. Meanwhile Woman pours another beer down Sandman's throat as he lays flat on his back.
Sandman jumps up revived all of a sudden.
The crowd goes wild.
Sandman hits Austin from behind. Sandman goes to suplex Austin, but Austin lifts Sandman up for a body slam. The referee gets bumped into and goes down. Austin pulls a set of brass knuckles out of his trunks.
Austin drops Sandman with the brass knuckles. Austin goes for the pinfall for the belt, but Sandman gets his leg up on the ropes. Austin loses it on the referee. Sandman picks up the brass knuckles and hits Austin in the back of the head. Austin goes down and Sandman pins him.
Austin gets his foot up on the ropes, but the referee doesn't see it.
Sandman is the new champion.
Austin loses his fucking mind on the referees on the outside of the ring as Sandman fires up a smoke and holds his belt up. Woman pours beer down Sandman's throat in celebration.
I know I've been handing out a lot of 10/10's here lately, but I'm kind of going by different criteria than your standard wrestling review.
This very well may be the perfect ECW match.
I don't know why this doesn't top any of the lists or ever gets brought up in the discussion of great ECW matches, hell, why isn't this on any of the WWE DVD's?!
It was definitely up there as one of the best. Austin and Whipreck going 1 on 1 at the beginning was fantastic. Sandman came in and the match only got better. We got to see Stone Cold Steve Austin in this segment more so than any of his ECW appearances before this. His attitude. The way he was swigging Sandman's beer in the corner up on the ropes. Also, his wrestling style. Austin was a technical wrestler in WCW. He came to ECW and kind of incorporated that ECW brawling style into his style. The style that the Stone Cold character became known for in his epic matches with Bret Hart, Undertaker, and Dude Love. The style that played a big part in WWE overtaking WCW in the Monday Night Wars. The WWE adapted the rules to cater to that style. Suddenly we were seeing title matches where there were all of a sudden no rules(Summerslam 98), brawls all over the Arena(Over The Edge 98), and we got a really good little preview of that stuff in this match. This is easily one of the best Three way matches I've ever seen. The Psychology was there, and the performances were golden. Excellent ECW match. Actually one of the better matches in pro wrestling in 1995 really.
We cut away to the commercial for the Enter Sandman home video. That was one of the better shows for ECW in 1995, but it was nowhere near as good as Hostile City Showdown or November To Remember, two of the best wrestling shows of 1995 in my opinion.
More obscured 90's grunge that I can't even begin to think of the name of. Pretty cool music though. More ad's for upcoming shows.
Just to note that there were more commercials that were cut out of these tapes that I'm reviewing. They would have local commercials for Philly jewelry stores stuff like that. Luckily all that stuff was edited out of these tapes.
Pulp Fiction Promos
Here we go with the Pulp Fiction promos. We get an old clip of the Sandman saying "Politically Incorrect.....And damn proud of it!"
Beulah talks to the Heavenly Bodies. They say they met Raven at a show down in Florida and all he would talk about was "Beulah's Box". Meh.
Taz and Fonzie cut a promo. Fonzie does all the talking saying that they will bring the Hell to Holiday Hell.
More Dudley goofiness. DW sings "I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas".
More Bill Alphonso threats with Taz standing behind him. Fonzie says he will make Todd Gordon put a rug over his bald head, and he will make Beulah wear a rag over that ugly face. That was hilarious.
They show one of the Heavenly Bodies talking side by side with Beulah and I didn't even pay attention to what he was talking about. Beulah + Red Dress = Hotness!
The Pitbulls cut a promo with Francine threatening The Eliminators. Francine is really young and really hot here.
Joey Styles ends the show plugging the upcoming Holiday Hell 95 show. Joey says that The Sandman suffered a fractured hand in his title victory, but he has already agreed to defend his belt twice at Holiday Hell, against both Cactus Jack and Steve Austin.
Overall Show Rating: 8.8/10
The centerpiece of this tape is without a doubt the incredible, highly underrated three way dance for the belt with Austin, Mikey, and Sandman putting on one of the best matches in ECW history. The match just played out beautifully. It was Stone Cold Steve Austin's final ECW show, but it was definitely the first show for Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin would cut a promo on the next episode of Hardcore TV talking about how close he was to winning the belt, but that would be it. He wouldn't appear in any of his other scheduled matches that were continuously advertised throughout this show. He would move up to the WWE a few weeks after this match to become "The Ringmaster", with Ted Dibiase as his manager.
As for the rest of the show the music was jamming, but there wasn't much going outside of the title match. Had we gotten some worthwhile promos or another solid match the score would have been higher, but there just wasn't anything there. Overall this was a fun show to watch. A fantastic, underrated match, and just a jamming good time.
The next show we will take a look at will be the final review for 1995, Holiday Hell. I'll post a Final Thoughts on ECW 1995 along with my MVP's, and Matches of the year lists before we move on to 1996. This will be the last episode of Hardcore TV we look at for quite a while because all of my 1996 shows are the actual events that were sold on home video.