July 16th 1994
July 16th 1994
So Eastern Championship Wrestling was blowing up in the pro wrestling world back in 1994. After a critically acclaimed show in February(The Night The Line Was Crossed) The ECW just continued to improve from show to show. ECW grew from their humble indy roots up into a cult underground wrestling promotion that all of the "Smarks" were raving about by the end of 1994(best weekly wrestling show for 1994 from Wrestling Observer Newsletter).
After The Night The Line Was Crossed it was a steady improvement over the course of 3 more shows(Ultimate Jeopardy, When Worlds Collide, and Hostile City Showdown) leading up to this show. This show(and the 3 previously mentioned) were glorified "Supercard" tv tapings. They would usually cut a show like this up for 2-3 weeks worth of weekly "Hardcore TV" episodes with additional promos and ads edited in.
The main thing going on in ECW at this point was the push of Shane Douglas and The Public Enemy. Sabu was the CM Punk of this era, and easily the most popular indy wrestler in the game, which was quite an accomplishment for someone at this time that had not been in either WWF or WCW.
ECW was still under the NWA umbrella here, but not for much longer. You'll notice more with this show than any of the previous ones that even though they were still Eastern, the seeds of Extreme had already been planted.
Axle & Ian Rotten vs Rockin' Rebel & Hack Myers
Hack Myers and Rockin Rebel come out to "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Peppa, lol.
Hack Myers would go on to be like the Hacksaw Jim Duggan of ECW. Every time he would throw a punch he would yell out "Shah!", and eventually the fans caught on and started yelling it along with him. Then it got to the point where the fans would yell "Shit!" whenever one of his opponents would throw a punch back. He was called "The Shah! of ECW" for a while, and the fans would go back and forth yelling "SHAH!" and "SHIT!" during his matches when he would exchange punches with his opponent. He wasn't quite that over yet in this video, and was pretty much just a jobber.
Yep, This is just bad. The wrestling is almost as bad as the haircuts on these guys. Ian and Axle Rotten(The Bad Breed) had an interesting look for this era. They were two really tough guys that should have stuck together as a tag team in my opinion. Neither of these guys should have ever tried to be much of a singles wrestler.
This is just a traditionally worked tag match here, no blood, no violence, and no brawling, and it's just strait up boring.
Ian Rotten gets a Bulldog off of the top on Hack Myers for the win after about 12 minutes.
The Rebel turns on Hack Myers after the match, and they have a little scuffle.
God awful match here. They get a 1 for effort to at least put on a clean worked tag match, but damn.
ECW Television Championship Match
Mikey Whipreck vs Chad Austin
Mikey comes out to "Loser" by Beck, and that just fits his character perfectly for this time.
Mikey was loved by the ECW fans in 94. Something about an underdog that the Philly fans can really get behind for some reason(Rocky, Vince Papalli). He was a crashtest dummy jobber that would set the crowd off whenever he would finally win. He would get a pretty good push due to how over he was, eventually even defeating Steve Austin for the World Title.
Austin comes out to "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Peppa! I guess this was the designated song for all of the jobbers.
Austin is just a worthless jobber. Totally out of shape, with zero skills. He comes out with Jason Night(The self proclaimed Sexiest Man On Earth), the longtime manager that would stay with ECW up until the end in 2001.
Just a typical Heel/Face match here with Austin & Jason cheating Mikey.
Austin pins Whipreck for the title after a legdrop off of the top rope. Austin wins clean.
Now here is the screwy part.
Austin gets the microphone, and tells the referee that he used Brass Knuckles on Mikey to win the match.
The referee reverses the decision, and gives Mikey the win. Austin and Jason attack Mikey after the match. Austin cuts a terrible promo to make matter worse telling the crowd how much he hates them.
I just don't get this. Some really screwy booking going on here that I don't get at all. It was like Austin wanted to deny the fans of seeing a title change or something, but why would he screw himself out of a title?
Doesnt' make sense. Pretty crappy match too.
Tommy Dreamer vs Stevie Richards
Stevie Richards looks so weird here. This is before he was a Raven Lackey. He has a rocking Shawn Michaels '94 mullet, and looks like he was about 22 or 23 years old. Stevie actually lived like 2 blocks from the ECW Arena in South Philly.
Tommy Dreamer comes out to Pearl Jam's "Evenflow", and is wearing black pants with suspenders.
Heyman was shoving Dreamer down everyone's throats as The Face of ECW, but people were just not buying into him.
Richards is such a green rookie here, and you can see it in his performance. He's just having a hard time finding any chemistry in this match, and botches several spots.
They take it to the outside for a little bit, and Richards gets slammed into the guardrail.
Tommy Dreamer has to be in the best shape of his career here. Looks like about 230 pounds, and pretty ripped too.
Stevie takes the upper hand in the match with some decent Heel work.
Dreamer's set of moves is so different from what I'm used to seeing in his later days. He's using a lot of traditional moves.
Stevie jumps off of the top rope down towards Tommy, and Tommy catches him in a sleeper hold. Joey calls it "The Dream Weaver".
Stevie goes limp, and the referee drops his arm three times. Tommy picks up the W.
Tommy cuts a promo telling Shane Douglas that he wants a shot at his title, and calls him "A No Good Pittsburgh piece of shit!".
This brings out his next opponent, Shane Douglas' bodygaurd at the time.
Not bad, but not good. Best match on the tape so far.
Tommy Dreamer vs Mr. Hughes
Mr. Hughes comes out, and the match is on.
Shane comes out to watch Hughes beat the crap out of Dreamer. Dreamer takes the momentum with a low blow.
Hughes overpowers Dreamer to get an easy win after about 5 minutes. Shane Douglas comes out, and cuts a promo.
He calls Hughes his "Offensive Line", and shows off his new "Head Cheerleader", a woman named Angel. Heyman was building Douglas' character up to be this cocky quarterback type of character, or "The Franchise". His promo is pretty damn good. He had some mic skills here, especially for this era.
Douglas finishes by saying that Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Bret Hart are not the future of Pro Wrestling, but The Franchise is.
Not a real good match, but a nice promo from Douglas kind of makes up for it.
Sabu & The Tazmaniac vs The Pit Bulls
The Pit Bulls are an underrated tag team from this era in my opinion. They come out to White Zombie's "Thunderkiss 65".
The Tazmaniac comes out alone to one of Offspring's songs off of "Smash"(that CD was HUGE about this time).
Taz in the Tazmaniac gimmick was just another thing that wasn't working for Paul Heyman. Just a bit too cartoony.
The Pit Bulls beat on Taz with chains for a while. Taz is just getting destroyed here until 911 comes out. 911 was a huge guy that was incredibly over with the fans at this time. 911 was like the "Enforcer" of extreme. Any time someone did something that the fans disapproved, 911 would come out, and choke slam them into oblivion for some of the biggest pops in ECW for the era.
Mr. Hughes gets involved for some reason, and keeps 911 out of the ring.
5 minutes in and it's still 2 on 1 with Taz getting killed. The fans explode when Sabu finally comes out.
Sabu throws a chair into the face of one of the Pit Bulls, and the bell finally rings.
Taz tosses one of the Pit Bulls out of the ring with an overhead belly to belly suplex, and Sabu slingshots himself outside the ring for a hurricanrana. The fans pop huge for Sabu's move.
Taz gets a suplex on the other Pit Bull for the win in under 10 minutes.
Another really weird segment with the booking. Not much of a match either.
Dueling Canes Match
The Sandman vs Tommy Cairo
This is the early days of the Sandman's drunken barroom brawling character. Prior to this he was the literal "Sand" man, complete with surfboard, and wetsuit.
He comes out with his Singapore cane puffing on cigarettes, and accompanied by the late Nancy Sullivan.
Interesting note, no beers yet, just smokes.
He has one hell of a gut on him, and he looks trashed drunk.
Both guys chase each other around the ring with these canes for quite a while to start things off, neither man really lands anything.
Cairo takes a few shots to the face, and blades himself. He doesn't even try to hide it, just right out in the open slices his forehead open with two slices.
Sandman cracks him a few more times, and gets the pin.
Total waste of time. These guys were barely hitting each other through most of this. All they did was chase each other around, and trade light shots.
As shitty of a segment as this was, the crowd was really behind The Sandman here. Something about the guy that appealed to these wrestling fans.
ECW World Championship Match
Shane Douglas(C) vs Sabu
This match is billed as "The Battle for the Future of Professional Wrestling".
Sabu makes a sweet ass entrance. He busts through the sheetrock wall like a madman, and sprints to the ring full speed like a maniac.
Paul Heyman comes out with 911(Sabu's handler). Heyman says that Sabu is the future of Pro Wrestling, and the crowd pops loud for him.
Douglas comes out with Mr. Hughes, and his newly acquired valet, Angel.
They work a surprisingly fluid, good technical grappling match early on believe it or not, and it's quite impressive.
The crowd is behind Sabu 100% here. Douglas keeps saying that he is the future of pro wrestling.
Douglas works the crowd, and draws some pretty good heat. Both guys are working together really well here. Nice selling, and a good pace. Shane keeps the momentum early with a few submissions, and some sharp wrestling. Sabu takes the momentum with a sitdown powerbomb, and we go outside the ring.
Sabu hits Douglas with a light chair shot. Sabu goes up to the top rope, and hits a nice dive onto Douglas on the outside.
Sabu brings in a chair, and the match really starts to take a nosedive.
Sabu lands several of his traditional aerial moves, and even attempts a nice slingshot 450 splash that I've never seen anybody do. He misses it, and Douglas goes right back to dominating him on the mat, placing him in several different submissions.
The match goes outside the ring, and Sabu back body drops Shane into the crowd, taking out several fans. They brawl in the crowd for a little while, exchanging chair shots.
Sabu leans a table up against the guardrail, and leans Shane up against it. Sabu does a moonsault into the table, and Shane moves. Sabu crashes into the table, but the table doesn't break. Sabu crashes down into the concrete similar to Shane Mcmahon vs Kurt Angle at King Of The Ring 2001.
They act like Sabu has been ko'd, and Shane forces the referee to count him out. Shane gets the win via countout.
They had something great going early on, but killed it when they brought in the chair. Would have loved to have seen them keep it clean because they were really working well together.
Really this was one of the better matches of the tapes I've reviewed so far. Nothing epic, but a nice little gem that I have never seen, or heard about before.
Mr. Hughes decks Paul Heyman, and Paul sells it beautifully. 911 comes to the rescue, and drops Shane Douglas with a chokeslam.
911 and Mr. Hughes stare each other down. 911 drops Mr. Hughes with a chokeslam, and the crowd pops louder than they have all night.
They get even louder when he grabs Douglas' valet, Angel, and violently bounces her off of the mat with another chokeslam.
The arena goes apeshit chanting 9! 1! 1!
No Rope Barbed Wire Match
Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs The Public Enemy
All 4 of these guys come out wearing probably 5 t-shirts. Just a reminder, Terry & Dorry are both WWE Hall Of Famers. Funk a former NWA World Champion for 14 months when the title was the best in the world.
Public Enemy immediately go up to "The Eagles Nest" balcony in the ECW arena, and challenge for The Funk's to come to them.
Some of the fans are still chanting 911!
The Public Enemy were drawing heat before this fued, but this was what really put them over as one of the top draws in ECW's earliest days. Public Enemy finally come to the ring.
Dory Funk Jr. looks like he is 90 years old here, and barely moving around. Public Enemy are being pretty stiff, even with Dory. Public Enemy escape the ring, and the crowd starts chanting "Asswhole" at them.
The Funk's take it outside after them, and we have a wild brawl. Terry Funk and Rocco Rock finally get into the Barbed Wire. Rocco Rock's shirt gets ripped to shreds. It's a sloppy brawl around the ring where they trade chair shots, and shove each other's faces into the wire.
It doesn't take long, and all 4 guys are bleeding.
Things get really sloppy, and it seems like they all forget about what to do or something as they try to communicate.
Terry Funk and Rocco Rock lay in the ring together, and Terry Funk suddenly waves to the fans for someone to throw him a chair.
One fan throws a chair, and then suddenly 50 more fly into the ring.
This isn't the infamous "Chair Throwing Incident", but the one that inspired it. The next time this would happen nearly 300 chairs flew into the ring.
The brawl goes outside to the parking lot of the arena, but the camera stays inside focused on Rocco Rock still out of it in the ring. They come brawling back in, and back to the ring.
Things just get wild from here. They brawl with trash cans, chairs, and a pair of scissors. All 4 men busted wide open bleeding, and steadily getting tangled up in the barbed wire.
Terry Funk gets tangled up in some loose barbed wire until it is all bundled up around his body.
Johnny Grunge cracks Funk with the trash can, and Public Enemy both cover him for the pin, and get put over by the legends.
Terry Funk is just a bloody mess, tossing chairs all around. Public Enemy get taken out after the match, and more chairs get thrown into the ring.
Nothing pretty about this at all. Not one of the better barbed wire matches I've seen, but it was a fun little brawl. It was just so chaotic, wild, and violent.
The Funk's put Public Enemy over here. It's hard to realize what was so great about Public Enemy looking back on them with a 2012 state of mind, but back in 1994 they were pretty edgy compared to what else was going on in tag team wrestling.
They were believable south Philly hoodrat mid 90's east coast gangsters, and they were tough as nails.
After this victory they were the top heels in the ECW.
The main event was a little fun to watch, and historically important for ECW, but not really worth tracking down and paying for. Sabu vs Shane Douglas was a surprisingly good match, and the best match on the tape, but nothing to really get excited about. Putting over The Public Enemy in this event was one of the hundreds of things that Terry Funk did to help the ECW. Just think of how much more awesome pro wrestling would have been through the years if guys like Hogan and Nash thought more like Terry Funk did.
The future was looking bright for ECW though. Sabu and Shane Douglas didn't turn out to be much, but you can't deny their potential during these earliest of days in the ECW.
Shows are getting better, but they still are not very good. The ECW in Heyman's earliest days of booking really wasn't much better than the Eddie Gilbert era, and with this show you can see him struggling a bit.