Alright, so we're rolling on towards possibly the best ECW show of all time, November To Remember 95, and we have 3 more episodes of Hardcore TV to get through before we cover it. Some pretty deep storylines going on at this point with Raven playing mind games on Cactus Jack to convince him to denounce hardcore wrestling, and eliminate Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer brought Terry Funk back to ECW to help him with Cactus.
Just a couple of days prior to this airing, Dreamer faced Cactus with Raven and Terry Funk both watching. Terry Funk and Cactus Jack began fighting with a burning chair during the match as Raven and Dreamer fought up to the Eagles Nest balcony. A piece of flaming debri from the chair flew into the crowd, and burned one of the fans. The Arena was engulfed in smoke when the lights went out for an angle with Raven and Dreamer. The plan was for the lights to come back on with Tommy Dreamer strung up in the crucified position with ropes on the Eagles Nest balcony. When the lights went out a near riot broke out in the ECW Arena. The fans panicked, and all hell broke loose.
Terry Funk went on a violent tirade backstage, and severely scolded Mic Foley along with a few others after the show. Paul Heyman would start making moves to make things up to the fans for the incident immediately after the show.
We start the show with Steve Austin's infamous "Monday Nyquil" promo where he's dressed up like Eric Bischoff, and takes shots at him for firing him over the phone(while injured). Austin takes jabs at WCW and Eric Bischoff in a pretty funny little promo where he pokes fun at Eric's commentary, and the quality of the matches on Nitro. My favorite part is where he starts talking about how the main event is going to be a Bottle of Geritol on a Pole match. Cracks me up everytime.
This promo is very similar to some of the Public Enemy WCW parody promo's from earlier on in 95. ECW had positioned themselves as an enemy of WCW throughout 1995. Eric Bischoff was the top heel in the ECW Arena even though he never even stepped foot in the place. ECW was the perfect place for Austin to go after the way he was treated by the company. He fit right in.
We get the awesome intro highlight video set to White Zombie's Thunderkiss '65. Love it. How can you not love this video? It's fucking awesome. I would post a video of it, but I can't find any with the actual music still intact. Shame.
Joey Styles runs down the matches for tonight's show, goes over the rules for World Title Ladder Match, which will be decided by pinfall, not by grabbing a suspended belt. Styles plugs November To Remember, and the upcoming house show.
Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" plays in the background during the plug. The song plays on as the schedule for upcoming shows flashes across the screen.
Gangstas Paradise video tape commercial. Still fucking awesome. I'm telling you, these little highlight videos were the best thing ECW did. I wish more of them were on Youtube. Just short little 15 second highlight's of the event set to some awesome music. This one makes me want to go back and edit in a higher score for this event.
Hardcore Hotline commercial.
Lance Wright EC F'N W T-shirt commercial. A cool little song playing in the background. I remember hearing this song a lot when I was younger, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of it. Some obscure 90's grunge tune.
We cut from commercials back to Austin still dressed up as Bischoff. The camera man wakes him up from a nap on his table. Austin makes fun of WCW for being the place "Where The Big Boys Play With Each Other" before falling back to sleep on his desk.
The Pitbulls vs Don E. Allen & The Broadstreet Bully
Alright, so somewhere we missed Francine becoming the manager for the Pitbulls. She comes out with the Pitbulls in her tight leather outfit looking sexy as sexy can be. I know that her little "Fan" angle with Stevie Richards and Beulah blew off in a bra and panties match sometime prior to this(the match appears on the Extreme Warfare compilation home video), but this is the first time I've seen her with the Pitbulls at this point in the project.
Man, this is a pretty brutal fucking squash. They waste zero time. Stiff as hell with these guys. Pit Bull 2 lands a nasty Guerrilla Press Slam. Pit Bull 1 lands his little arm twist kick that he would do, then it's Super Bomb for the 1, 2, 3.
Probably about a 15 second match.
Joey Styles jokes about how Don E. Allen was #499 on the PWI 500 that year.
Jason comes out. Not Jason Voorhees, the Jason that manages The Impact Players(Justin Credible and Lance Storm) with Dawn Marie later on in ECW.
Franny is pretty hot here in leathers, but she's got nothing on Beulah.
Jason offers up his managerial services to the Pit Bulls, and says he regrets selling their contracts to Stevie Richards. Jason says he can get their tag titles back if they ditch Franny. The Pit Bulls hold Francine back from kicking his ass.
Jason hits Francine with a superkick. The Pitbulls go after him. The Eliminators come out and attack the Pitbulls.
Total Elimination on Pitbull 2.
They set Pitbull 1 up for Total Elimination, but Taz & Ric Stiener come out. Steinerline's everywhere. Taz and Stiener kick ass, and the crowd all barks like dogs as we cut away to commercials.
Lance Wright again with the T-shirt.
Hardcore Phone line ad.
Back from commercials, and the Eliminators come back to the ring....Where did they go?
The Eliminators attack Ric Stiener and Taz. The Pitbulls come back out....
What the fuck. I just don't get it. These guys all left, and then came back? Some goofy booking going on with this segment.
We get a pretty sloppy brawl with Taz, Ric Stiener, and The Pitbulls helping each other fight off The Eliminators. Perry Saturn is really young looking here. I don't think I've ever seen him with long hair like he has here.
Pretty good squash match, but there was some screwy booking in this segment with the guys getting run off from the ring, then just hitting the reset button like nothing happened and coming back out to the ring again. The Pitbulls looked good, and I really like The Eliminators even though they were really, really, really green looking in this segment. They botched several spots, and just looked really uncoordinated together. They would improve a lot over the next year though. Should be fun to watch.
We cut away to Lance Wright again. I guess I should post a picture of this dude. Ah, fuck it, he doesn't deserve it. He "hype's" November to Remember. A pretty cool little song by a 90's band called "Live" plays on as more shows are advertised across the screen in text. Can't think of the name of this song, but it is pretty cool. I'm digging the music in these old episodes.
*Turns TV up*
The show cuts to a little segment they were running throughout 1995 on Hardcore TV called "Extreme Encyclopedia". Some classy music would play as graphics would flash onto the screen showing certain characters with encyclopedia/dictionary type descriptions of them. The first one shows The Sandman as "A cigarette smoking, cane swinging, beer drinking world champion with a propensity for violence; a fighter who has climbed the ladder to the top." They show Sandman's manager Woman, with text that says "An abberation of the classic American male fantasy of beauty and servitute; a seductive henchwench with an appetite for money.", Mikey Whipreck's says "a 19 year old messenger of improbable upsets, the former ECW TV & Tag Team Champion with Cactus, tries to use his 188 clean living, non smoking, drug & disease free pounds to beat the nicotine addicted Sandman."
Hmm, what have we here? Whipreck was strait edge? Nice.
More awesome music plays that I can't remember the name to as upcoming shows are plugged with text across the screeen.
Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" comes on as the plugging continues.
We cut to the Dudley family cutting a promo together. A graphic flashes across the screen saying "Dudley: It's not just a name, it's a way of life".
Something else we also missed, the Dudley clan now includes a robust, young, stuttering Buh Buh Ray Dudley. D-Von is yet to be seen, but Buh Buh is here all decked out in tie dye along with Dudley Dudley, Dances With Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, and Big Dick Dudley. Pretty funny little promo where they introduce Buh Buh as the special guest ring announcer for the opening ceremonies of the upcoming November to Remember.
The show cuts to a segment where Public Enemy train Mikey Whipreck for his upcoming ladder match against The Sandman. They are outdoors somewhere in the middle of the night. Pretty goofy little segment where PE send Mikey up and down a ladder to fetch beers for them to drink, saying that if you want to beat The Sandman, you have to think like The Sandman. Not a good segment. Just looks like a couple of dudes fucking around with a camera somewhere out in the woods.
Enter Sandman video tape commercial....Hold on a damn minute! They showed a clip of Eddie Guerrero wrestling Marty Jannetty in this highlight. The tape of that event that I reviewed was this same tape they were selling here in this ad, and that match is not of that fucking tape. Shady.
More ads for upcoming shows set to the tune of Mad Season's "I Don't Know Anything". Awesome song. Watching these tapes influenced me to go out and pick up the Mad Season "Above" CD recently, which is just phenomenal. Mad Season was a side project of Lane Staley(Alice In Chains), and one of the guys from Pearl Jam. They only released one album, and it is really good. Highly recommended.
ECW World Championship Ladder Match: The Sandman(C) vs Mikey Whipreck
We get an abridged version of The Sandman & Woman's entrance. The rules for this ladder match is that the only way to win is by pinfall or submission. The belt was not suspended from the ceiling. Not sure how I feel about that. I kind of like the psychology involved with the traditional "suspended belt" ladder matches.
Sandman and Woman were doing this weird thing at this time where they would just stand and stare into each other's eyes for a long time as "Enter Sandman" played on. Whipreck coming out to Beck's "Loser" is just too awesome. It's just the perfect song for him.
The Sandman sits on top of the ladder smoking a cigarette and drinking a cold beer.
"The Extreme Superstar" Steve Austin interrupts the introductions. The crowd gives him a pretty good applause.
"Now stop it.
A couple of people got smart with me on the way to the building today, and said I was a Hulk Hogan wanna be.
One of 'em said I looked like Hulk Hogan.
I been crapped on for 4 years, I believe I deserve a break.
*Climbs Ladder*I didn't get to climb the ladder to the top in the WCW like this.
I'm up here all the way at the top, and I look down, and I see two jabroni's....
And from the places I've been about a $5 piece of ass.
Whipreck you amaze me son, because you're a go getter. You ain't go no quit in you, you don't know what the word quit means.
I respect you for that.
But you're still just a loser in my book son.
This is Steve Austin talking to you, and if I'm calling you a loser, you can damn well bet it's the truth.
*Looks at Sandman*
Keep drinking a few more beers, smoke a couple more cigarettes because yeah, you're sure really, really cool.
Brother I'm gonna get your ass in the ring, and I'm gonna run circles around you.
And when your tongue's hanging out of there by your feet, and I'm walking off with the damn belt in my hands, you're going to wonder.. what the hell was I thinking? That's Steve Austin.
This is not Mikey Whipreck. This is not one of the misfits back there in that god forsaken dressing room man...()
This is Steve Austin.
*Looks at Woman*
Don't get me wrong, hey, if I could rustle up $5 and a clothespin to put on my nose I'd give you a try.
And don't even think about looking at me pissed off lady, because it's you that married a midget, not me.
I wish both of you guys best wishes. I hope one of you kills the other because who ever comes out on top, god dam, you're looking at the next champ, right here."
Solid gold. I love this promo. Stone Cold has arrived on the wrestling scene ladies and gentleman. This man was a game changer. The Midget Austin is referring to is Kevin Sullivan, who was booking WCW at this time, and was married to Nancy "Woman" Benoit in real life.
Austin walks off, and gets attacked by Woman. He scoops her up on his shoulder, and carries her off to the back. Several of the fans reach out and smack her on the ass as she's carried out on Austin's shoulder. That shit is just not right. It's funny as fuck, but it's not right.
Sandman attacks Whipreck with a beer from behind. Whipreck hits Sandman in the face with the ladder several times. They take it to the outside. Whipreck dominates Sandman, and takes him back in the ring. Sandman lifts Mikey up, and slams him down into the ladder.
Sick bump. Sandman goes for a Somersault Splash onto a ladder on top of Whipreck, he slips at first, then lands the move. Whipreck rolls to the outside. Sandman throws the ladder down across his back from in the ring. Shit. Sandman props the ladder up, and drapes Whipreck's body on it for a legdrop from the apron. Whipreck blasts Sandman with like 4 chair shots to the head. Sandman backdrops Mikey into the first row of the crowd. Sandman beats the shit out of Mikey in the crowd, and props the ladder over the guardrail for the teeter-totter spot. The fans break out in E! C! DUB! chants.
Sandman pulls Whipreck back over the rail, and rolls him into the ring. Whipreck rolls out from under another slingshot move, and just plain beats the shit out of Sandman with the ladder for reals. Good god almighty. Really stiff.
Mikey puts the ladder over The Sandman's body, and hits him with a splash off of the top rope. Whipreck gets the pinfall for the huge upset title victory. Cactus comes out congratulating Mikey Whipreck. All of the face wrestlers come out, and celebrate with Mikey on their shoulders as the crowd chants "MIKEY! MIKEY! MIKEY!".
The Sandman stumbles off defeated and bloodied.
A graphic comes on the screen showing the dates of The Sandman's title reign as sad music plays. April 15th, 1995-October 28th, 1995. Highlights of the Sandman's reign play on with the sad music. I enjoyed this title reign, mostly because of the Woman character. She was the brains of the operation, and the Sandman would have never won the title without her. Turns out that he couldn't defend the title without her in this match. Austin carried her off, and Mikey stole the gold. Woman was the real champion if you think about it, so I kind of hate to see her lose the strap. Maybe it's this sad ass fucking music. This is what plays as highlights of The Sandman's world title reign play on:
And that ends the show. Pretty cool little tribute video to Sandman & Woman's 6 month title reign.
This is a grade for this entire segment really. As for the match by itself, it was pretty damn brutal. One of the best brawls I've seen so far, and Whipreck winning the title was a pretty cool moment. Stone Cold Steve Austin's promo is a major reason for such a high score. One of his best promos ever, including his work in the WWF. The little highlight package they put together commemorating Sandman & Woman's title reign was pretty cool too.
Overall Show Rating: 9.3/10
A big part of this high score for me is the music. The tunes made this a lot of fun to watch. Without the music, you really take a lot of the enjoyment out of ECW for me. Hardcore TV was just a hip, jamming wrestling show in 1995. Light years ahead of what the WWF and WCW were doing in that regard. Another big part of this ridiculously high score is Steve Austin. This was his show. Possibly his best ECW show. Classic Steve Austin here in this one little hour wrestling show. Add a brutal Sandman vs Whipreck title match, and some cool music on top of that and you have an ECW show that is well worth tracking down. The only thing that keeps it from getting a higher score was a sloppy, poorly booked segment with The Eliminators, Pitbulls, and Taz/Ric Stiener.