Extreme Championship Wrestling
Massacre On Queens Bullevard
April 13th, 1996
Lost Battalion Hall
Massacre On Queens Bullevard
April 13th, 1996
Lost Battalion Hall
Well, we're going back to the dingy Lost Battalion Hall in Queens for ECW's fourth New York City show. Their first 3 were record breaking(for ECW), and stacked to the hilt with big money names. The Lost Battalion Hall is not to be confused with the Elks Lodge in Queens, which was the home away from home for ECW in the later years. The LBH was a dingy dump that looked like an old run down high school basketball gym. The place did have a certain charm to it though.
Not a lot has happened in between this show and the last. The major happening was Brian Lee coming over to be Raven's enforcer. Brian Lee wrestled in the WWF as the fake Undertaker(he's actually his real life cousin, and looks just like American Badass Taker in this ECW run), in Smoky Mountain, and later as Chainz in the DOA. Brian Lee would feud with Tommy Dreamer for most of 96 while Raven was busy with The Sandman. Other than that, Cactus was already gone playing Mankind in the WWF. Brian Pillman got into a pretty nasty accident in a Hummer, crippling his leg beyond repair. Pillman was on several episodes of Hardcore TV in the spring of 96, cutting some classic promos. He also had his own 1-900 number(which was a rib on anyone who ever called it, I'd love to hear it). Pillman also had a strong presence on the internet for a long time, supposedly even after he died in 97. Through it all, Vince Mcmahon seen a lot of potential in Brian Pillman, even after he injured his leg. Vince signed Pillman to a pretty good deal in mid 96 even though he was injured from the accident.
So this show is about a month before WCW Slamboree, 2 weeks before IYH 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies, and about a week before Hostile City Showdown 96. Lets open up the curtains of the Theatre and take a look at ECW in the Big Apple.
Buh Buh Ray & Big Dick Dudley vs Damien Stone & JT Smith
Joel Gertner is our ring announcer for this show. JT Smith and Little Guido come out first. JT says that he did some research about his family tree, and he just so happens to have a cousin in ECW, Little Guido. JT tells Guido that he's from Sicily, Guido calls him Paisan as they kiss like the mobsters from the Godfather films. Smith and Guido try to get the crowd to sing along with them as they sing Sinatra. The crowd is just not into these guys at all right here. Gertner's intros are pretty good.
Gertner announces Damien Stone, and JT corrects him, getting him to announce that he's Little Guido.
The wacky Dudley clan comes out next. The Mexican/Indian Dudley is being pushed to the ring on a stretcher by Sign Guy. Still no D-Von yet.
Big Dick Dudley was always a really big guy, but he always had a knee brace on and a crutch as if he were just coming off of knee surgery. What was with this? It was every time you seen this guy from 1995 to 1998 he always had an injured knee.
The whole crowd gets a "What's your name!" chant going. Buh Buh acts retarded before doing his stuttering "Buh Buh" bit, but he's interrupted by D-Von! It's about fucking time. The wacky comedic relief era of the Dudley family is officially over. D- Von storms the ring and interrupts Buh Buh's stuttering, screaming at him that the bullshit comes to an end. D-Von tells everyone who he is, and says that thou shalt not fuck with the Dudleyz. He's kind of going for a Sameul L. Jackson Pulp Fiction type of character here.
D-Von knocks Guido out of the ring and strait up beats the shit out of him. Buh Buh and JT go at it in the ring. D-Von destroys Guido with a chair on the outside of the ring as JT Smith moves out of the way of a splash in the ring. Smith does a weird springboard splash off of the ropes and goes for a pin, but D-Von comes in and kicks his ass with a chair. They beat the shit out of everyone, even the referee. Brutal chair shots. The crowd goes crazy, even getting an E! C! DUB! chant going.
Ladies and gentleman, one of the greatest tag teams of all time. Formed here before our very eyes. Joel Gertner announces that the Dudleyz are disqualified for attacking the referee. Awarding JT and Guido the win. They beat the referee up some more before leaving the scene. The crowd loves the shit out of them. JT and Guido come out and talk about how they kicked their ass, and they would kick their ass again if they were here. They come back out and smash them again, running them out of the ring.
Why am I giving this such a high score? The Dudley Boyz are one of the greatest tag teams of all time. Not just ECW. Hell, their TNA careers have shaped up to turn out pretty well recently. This was the beginning of all that. The TLC matches, the riot level heat in their later ECW years as the top heels, all of that. This was a pretty brutal beatdown, and a pretty nice way to repackage your comedy act into a legit threat. Guido and JT Smith were pretty funny, and the crowd was white hot through the whole thing too. Pretty historical moment here. I honestly didn't think D-Von came in for a few more shows, so this was a pleasant surprise.
The Dudleyz were a home grown ECW act that would go on to be very successful in the WWE. It's interesting to think about where Bully Ray and D-Von would be without the Dudley Boyz run in ECW.
Hack Myers vs Billy Black
Alright, this is my first time seeing Billy Black. He's a strait up blast from the past. Classic mullet. Decked out in black gear of course, with a Stevie Rey Vaugh style cowboy hat. This guy looks like a jobber from 1988. Styles says that he's a regular on the southeast circuit, mainly Georgia.
Black dominates early and the crowd immediately starts up with the classic SHAH!/SHIT! chants. Black isn't half bad really. He lands a pretty nice high spot dive off of the top to the outside. Hack Myers throws him over the railing into the crowd, taking out several fans who were nowhere near ready for it. I love it when that happens.
Billy Black works Hack Myers over, playing the heel. He misses a bulldog off the top, and the crowd lets him have it. I hear some light "YOU FUCKED UP" chants in the background.
Billy Black continues to slow the pace of the match down by dominating Hack Myers, eventually putting him in a body scissors type of hold with his legs. Hack gets out, but Black lands a nice Jumping Calf Kick. Black does a pretty awesome moonsault that Hack moves out of the way of.
Classic heel/face psychology here with Hack working his way back into the match with his 5....er, 3 moves of doom. His "SHAH!" punches, his legdrop on the apron while opponent hanging out on the ropes, and then his double knee driver from the top rope. Myers gets the win after 5:55.
Not a bad match at all. Black wasn't as bad as I thought he would be, judging from his "Jiggalo"esque appearance. This wasn't anything to get excited about, but it wasn't a bad little undercard match at all. Thank god it was short though.
The Eliminators vs Joel Hartgood & El Puerto Ricano
This is just a classic ECW squash match. The Eliminators have improved a lot by this point. They were really green in their early stages in ECW, but by this event they were starting to get a good rhythm together, with a nice arsenal of moves that you didn't see a lot in tag team wrestling back during these days.
Saturn and Kronus are coming off of their feud with the Pit Bulls, where they defeated them in several matches. They are the tag team champions here, but I'm not sure this is a title match. Hartgood and Ricano were both jobbers, so I think this may just be a non title match, who knows.
Saturn and Kronus blindside Hartgood and Ricano with their belts before tossing them around with simultaneous suplexes. They do a sequence of kicks on Ricano before flooring Hartgood with another pretty awesome looking sequence. Saturn gets a chair and they do the Legion of Doom move on both men before some of the most brutal Total Eliminations of all time. If you don't know what the Total Elimination move is, it's Saturn doing a spinning back kick to the legs, while Kronus simultaneously does a spinning back kick to the upper body in the opposite direction. Really devastating looking tag team move. They land it on these two guys and it literally looks like it kills them. Really, really good squash match. Probably one of my favorite of all time, and one of my favorite Eliminators matches of all time.
The Eliminators call out the Gangstas after the match. The music hits and the Gangstas storm the ring with trashcans full of weapons. We have a full on brawl going on.
New Jack and Mustapha beat on The Eliminators until a bunch of mid card wrestlers storm the ring to separate them. New Jack hits a cop. The police arrest both New Jack and Mustapha, escorting both of them out of the arena in handcuffs.
This wasn't as good as the Taz squashes, but it's up there in brutality. The Eliminators looked like a million bucks, and setting up a rivalry with them against The Gangstas, who were probably the top face tag team in ECW at this point, was a pretty good move. Pretty chaotic scene with The Gangstas being arrested. Overall this was a pretty good segment.
ECW World Championship: Raven vs Damien 666
Raven comes out first with Kimona, who is on fire hot. She works the crowd with some moves that you would see at your local strip club. I'd have to say that Kimona brought sex to wrestling like no other Diva or valet in wrestling I've ever seen. She had moves like no other. Must see.
The Blue Meanie and Stevie also come out with Raven. They do a little pose mocking HBK and Diesel. Stevie is wearing a catchers mask for some reason.
Damien 666 is a luchadore from Mexico. He wasn't one of the better ones, but he was pretty good. He has a nephew or a son(I forget) who has wrestled some pretty good matches at the recent Extreme Reunion shows(Bestia 666). Damien also wrestled occasionally in the WCW cruiser division from time to time. He had some weird face paint that is a bit hard to explain in words.
Before the match begins a woman comes into the ring from the crowd. She tackles the Meanie to the ground and sprays him down with whipped cream. Raven stops it by pulling the girl up by a handful of hair. Kimona stops Raven from hitting her. Raven smacks Kimona down to the ground. Stevie gets up in Raven's face questioning him. Raven just gives him a look and Stevie starts stomping on Kimona.
Kimona gets rolled out of the ring and carried to the back by referees. Stevie gets the mic and insults Damien 666, asking if he knows any English. Damien gets close to the microphone and puts his middle finger up in Stevie's face, screaming "FUCK YOU!"
Raven and Damien hook it up. Raven is bulked up with some big arms. Raven makes Damien look good early on. Damien lands a DDT, followed by a dropkick that sends him out of the ring. Damien lands planchas on Raven and the Meanie before sending Raven over the railing into the crowd. Damien pulls Raven back over to the ringside area only to send him over into the other side of the crowd. Raven gets beaten with chair shots for a while before Damien takes it back to the ring. Damien continues to dominate Raven, landing an Arabian facebuster with a chair, followed by a series of moves from the top rope. Damien goes to the well one time too many, and gets caught by Raven.
Raven tosses Damien off to top to the outside, sending him crashing into the railing. Pretty stiff bump there. Raven throws Damien over into the crowd with another really good looking bump. The crowd finally starts getting into the match as Raven starts to work his way into it.
Raven takes Damien back into the ring and works him over like a heel should do. He slows the pace down a lot and targets Damien's groin. Damien sells the groin as Raven keeps posing in front of him in his classic crucifix pose. He poses for too long and Damien hits him with a low blow. Damien hits Raven with several kicks before getting a chair from the crowd. Raven gets the chair from him, but misses a splash in the corner with it. Damien smashes Raven with the chair on his back.
Damien goes back into his cycle of moves off of the top rope, going to the well one time too many, once again. Raven counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb, then pulls him up and spikes him with a DDT for the win.
Not a bad match at all. Damien just wasn't a real charismatic or athletic guy, so he didn't really do anything that looked great or anything, but he worked a pretty decent match here with Raven. The psychology was there. The selling was poor, but the pace of the match wasn't bad at all. There were a few stiff bumps, and the brawling on the outside of the ring had a nice flow to it.
Shane Douglas vs Axl Rotten
This matchup is a hipster internet wrestling fan's nightmare. I know it's against the IWC rules to respect anything that Shane Douglas has ever done in his career, but I think he was one of the greatest Worked Shoot promo men of all time, and one of the guys that popularized them to begin with. I watched an episode of WCW Nitro from 97 recently where Kevin Nash cuts a worked shoot promo about Ric Flair, and it's a nearly word for word identical promo to what Douglas said in his "Evolution of a Franchise" promo from ECW Hardcore TV in 95(which I covered in great detail a few pages back). As for Axl, yeah he was shit, but I'd take him over Brodus Clay or Santino any day of the week and twice on sunday. Really he was just in the same boat as those guys though, he was just cannon fodder. All promotions need cannon fodder. Some critics make it out like ECW pushed Axl or something. He was primarily just a jobber.
Shane comes out first and singles out a fan in the front row. You all know the guy. If you have ever seen a wrestling pay per view from the 90's, you have seen this guy in the crowd. He's got long black hair and black sunglasses with a black goatee.
Shane singles him out and says:
"I see a man who was at WrestleMania, WHO IS STARVED FOR SOME EXCITEMENT!
Cus god knows that after that shit match with Shawn Michaels, this man deserves to see some excitement.
Now, by voice vote, how many thought Shawn Michaels and WrestleMania sucked a big one!?!?(Big pop, the goatee guy, who was actually in the front row for the show, gives a big enthusiastic thumbs down).
I thought it would be unanimous. Shawn Michaels, I'm not talking to you through some computer lines PUNK! Bring that fat little face of yours to ECW, and I'll smack it back to Stamford Connecticut PUNK!
Shawn Michaels, when you got on America Online and said that you didn't want to work in ECW in front of a couple thousand smart marks, I got the reason. Because they see right through that shit gimmick of yours.
Now I ain't hard to find. I came to the great city of New York because....because I wanted to face the toughest sons a bitches in THIS SPORT TODAY!
...And I know in ECW I can find them.
Now it seems we have a bit of a problem ladies and gentleman because Rob Van Dam hurt his wrist and can not receive the ass whoopin' of his lifetime tonight.
So, I offer every wrestler here tonight the same opportunity I gave to "Dick" Flair, to that piece of shit Hulk Hogan, to that cocksucker Razor Ramon, to that heartburn punk Shawn Michaels....
If you want to fight, if you want to SHOOT....and these people know what a shoot is...come on down.
I know somebody in the dressing room has got the guts, I want to wrestle somebody tonight, CUS THE BLOOD IS FLOWING, AND I WANT TO KICK SOME FUCKING ASS!"
Do I think Shane is better than HBK or Razor, or Flair, or even Hogan? Absolutely not, but you don't really have to agree with what he's saying here to appreciate how ballsy and entertaining it was for him to come out and say it. This was a pretty rare deal during this time to have a wrestler come out and challenge the champion from another promotion to a shoot fight. If I were in this crowd when Shane said all of this I would have been marking out pretty hard. I was pretty deflated as a wrestling fan when Bret lost his title to HBK at WrestleMania XII. That was the beginning of me smartening up to how things worked behind the scenes.
The Blue Meanie comes out and Douglas is all WTF?!
The crowd starts chanting YOU FAT FUCK! immediately as the Meanie does an HBK pose. Gertner starts to do intros, but Shane interrupts him and says "This is the best they could find in the dressing room?". Shane says he doesn't want the Meanie, he wants Raven. Axl Rotten comes out and takes the Meanie out with a barbed wire bat. Axl tells Shane that he's the measuring stick of ECW and he wants to find out where he stands.
Axl smacks Shane in the face and tells him to bring it on.
The thing about this match is that if you put down your hipster smark card long enough to watch it, you'll see that it was a match that told a story and had some pretty good selling. Axl dominates Shane early on by taking him out of the ring and outbrawling him. Axl hurts Shane's back with whips into the steel railing. Axl continues to work the back in the ring with Shane doing a great job of selling it and making Axl look like a million bucks. Shane teases a comeback with a few punches and chops, but Axl keeps him in peril, catching him in an abdominal stretch. Shane hiptosses out, but Axl catches him in a bearhug and slams his back into the turnbuckles. Douglas sells it all beautifully. Axl goes up top for a splash, but Shane moves out of the way. Shane works his way back into the match by blocking a DDT. Axl gets tossed to the ground with a nice Dragon Screw Legwhip. Axl goes to the outside, but Shane follows him with a plancha over the top. Shane then targets Axl's back with a steel chair.
Axl teases a comeback of his own, but Shane catches him slipping. Axl hesitates after ducking under a clothesline, and Shane drops him upon turning around with quite possibly the best belly to belly suplex I've ever seen anybody do.
Shane picks up the clean win after 6:55 in match that I really can't find anything wrong with, as much as I want to.
Shane gets the mic after the match and gives Axl props and respect. They shake hands before making their exit. Shane's face run here is growing on me. I kind of forgot about his face run in 96, and I still think he would have been better as a strait up heel during this time.
I think this is Shane Douglas in the prime of his career here in 96 ECW. He was in the best shape he had ever been in, and he seemed to have a lot of passion for what he was doing. He pulls Axl Rotten through the best match he's ever had, and they worked a really solid short match. The selling, psychology, storytelling was all there. Douglas let up a little on the selling with the back at the end, and there wasn't anything overly impressive as far as action or athleticism, but overall this was about as good of a 6 minute undercard match as your going to get, ECW or otherwise.
Martial Arts Shootfight: Taz vs Chris Jericho
These guys had a decent match at the last ECW show. Jericho is just a clean technical babyface, "The Last Survivor of the Hart Family Dungeon".
Jericho comes out first with ECW Commissioner Todd Gordon. Gordon is Alphonso's arch enemy. We have a referee in the ring wearing a martial arts gi. Taz comes out with an entire team of guys behind him wearing matching black and orange suits. Team Taz. Bill Alphonso leads them to the ring. I love this. This is them pushing this MMA shoot fighting character even further by giving him his own team of lackey trainees. This reminds me of the way Ken Shamrock would come out to the UFC fights during this time with his Lions Den fighters(Guy Mezger, Jerry Bohlander, Tre Telligman, Pete Williams, and his brother Frank).
Gertner announces that Alphonso and Gordon will be handcuffed together for this match. The special guest referee is Tom Delmano, a supposed black belt in Judo, Karate, and Ju Jitsu.
Fonzie gets the mic and says he hates New York. Taz gets a good pop from the NY fans during the intros.
This is a pretty cool, short little match. My only complaint was that it just wasn't stiff enough for a shoot fight. Jericho threw some good looking kicks and knees, but they just didn't have any pop to them. The actual grappling sequences were nice. Jericho would miss a kick and get caught with a suplex. They take it to the ground with some nice exchanges. Jericho counters a head and arm Tazplex into a Fujiwara armbar. They get back up to their feet with Jericho taking Taz's back. They execute two standing switches followed by a nice German Suplex from Jericho. The referee does a 10 count, and Taz is up at 6.
While all of this is going down in the ring Bill Alphonso keeps trying to get up out of his seat next to Todd Gordon. One of the guys from Team Taz drops the referee on the outside of the ring with a thrust kick. The Team Taz guy gets the key and unlocks the handcuffs. The ref in the gi in the ring is distracted with the downed ref on the outside as Fonzie cracks Jericho with a steel chair. Taz locks on the tazmission and chokes Jericho. The referee calls for the bell even though Jericho never tapped out. The ref gets the chair from Fonzie and asks the crowd if he used it in the match. All of a sudden the ref wearing the gi hits Todd Gordon with the chair. The sensei chokes Todd Gordon out with the tazmisson as Taz chokes Jericho out.
They leave both men laying unconscious. Fonzie pays the sensei off cash money in the center of the ring as Taz strikes a Sabu pose from his knees in the center of the ring. Taz and Fonzie gather Team Taz and make their exit.
This wasn't much of a match really. It was pretty short, maybe 2 or 3 minutes long. I just love the Taz character here. I love that Joey Styles called him "One of these new hybrid warriors like you see on these Ultimate Fighting pay per views" at one of the previous shows, and now he has his own team of guys to go along with his sleezy piece of shit whistle blowing manager. It's all perfect. One of my favorite things pro wrestling ever did, let alone ECW. This was a pretty cool little match with some nice reversals and counters. Jericho comes out still looking pretty good as Taz's path of destruction through ECW continues. It's interesting to me that Jericho wasn't completely thrown under the bus here and sacrificed to Taz. He actually got a pretty good little rub out of this feud, and came out of the other end of it a bigger deal than he was going into it.
The Bruise Brothers & Brian Lee vs The Pit Bulls & Tommy Dreamer
Say what you will about the actual talent of The Bruise Brother and Brian Lee, but they are 3 really big, intimidating wrestlers. Interesting how they are like hired guns in this storyline to take out Tommy Dreamer. They done fucked up and got the Pitbulls involved.
Dreamer and the Pitbulls storm the ring and this is a fast and furious brawl right from the get go. They take it out into the crowd in the first 2 minutes. Lots of chair shots. This crowd is just going ape shit and having a lot of fun with it. I'm looking at the people in this crowd and I'm seeing a sea of 18 to 30 year old men. No kids or females. The Pitbulls and Dreamer beat the shit out of the Bruise Brothers and Brian Lee all through the crowd as these guys in this crowd just go crazy with the E! C! DUB! chants. Brian Lee takes it behind the bleachers. Nothing pretty about this, except for the occasional shot of Francine in leather. I'm not seeing Beulah at this show for some reason.
Oh shit, they take it out to the lobby of this venue, and eventually out into the parking lot. A bunch of guys follow them out to the street as they beat the shit out of each other. Everybody is loving every minute of this as they slam each other into the cars in the street. All of the fans follow all of the wrestlers back into the arena, everybody trying to get on camera as they scream and go crazy. They eventually make their way back to the ringside area and brawl around the ring with a bunch more chair shots, a chain, and even a burlap sack over Tommy's head. Dreamer and the Pitbulls kick ass in the ring on Brian Lee. Lee gets DDT'd, then Superbombed, but Raven comes out and breaks up the pin. Raven drops Dreamer with a DDT and flees the scene. The Bruise Brothers clean house with chairs. We get a shot of Beulah and Francine together watching distressed as their men get their asses kicked. The Bruise Brothers drop the Pit Bulls with big boots with chairs. Dreamer gets a double big boot with two chairs held by Brian Lee, and it's lights out. Brian Lee and The Bruise Brothers get the win.
Raven comes back out and watches as The Bruise Brothers and Brian Lee target Tommy Dreamer's groin with repeated strikes. Beulah comes in and tries to save her man's manhood. Francine comes in and tries to get Beulah out of the ring, but just as she pushes her, she takes a big boot from the Bruise Brothers. Francine goes down. The Pit Bulls come into the ring fired up, kicking ass. Tommy goes to the outside and brings a table into the ring. Raven attacks him in the ring, sending him into the ropes. Dreamer catches Raven with a DDT. Dreamer poses with his arms up and the crowd goes crazy. The Pit Bulls set Raven up on the table and Dreamer sacrifices himself, allowing the Pit Bulls to superbomb him onto Raven through the table!
The crowd eats it up and goes nuts as the Pit Bulls pose in the ring. Dreamer recovers and we have a group pose with Francine and Beulah with the Pitbulls.
This was a pretty cool ECW brawl. It was just crazy, fast paced, and violent. One thing I've noticed about this show, and the past couple of reviews, there hasn't been any blood. The chair shots and random object strikes aren't the types that give concussions. Nobody was hurt in this brawl, but it just looked really violent. They were all over the place. I love the random shot of Dreamer being choked with a burlap sack over his head. Typical ECW madness. The ending with Raven costing Dreamer, then Dreamer sacrificing himself, I loved it. There wasn't anything pretty about this match, but there was some great storytelling going on here. The Raven vs Dreamer feud had been going strong for about a year by this point, and it was still kicking ass here. These two characters really hated each other and you could feel it every time they were on screen together.
Sabu vs Mikey Whipreck
These two guys had a pretty awesome little 12 minute match that was on Hardcore TV in the spring of 95. That match made my top 25 matches of 95 list. Lets see how the rematch plays out.
I really like Joel Gertner's ring announcing here. He's better than a lot of guys I've heard in my days.
Mikey and Sabu start it off with some nice mat wrestling. They pick each other's ankles for single leg takedowns. Mikey goes after Sabu's leg with a couple of submission attempts. Sabu outgrapples Mikey and hits him with the teeter totter guillotine legdrop. They go move for move until Sabu brings in a chair. Mikey moves out of the way of Air Sabu. Sabu moves out of the way of a springboard splash from Mikey into the corner. Mikey catches Sabu with a swinging DDT out of the corner and goes for a splash off of the top rope. Sabu moves out of the way and lands a fucking awesome looking Triple Jump Moonsault from the chair to the ropes, then down to Mikey. Really love that move, and he landed it perfectly here.
Sabu arranges a table propped up with one end on the apron and the other on the steel rail. Sabu tosses Mikey out into the crowd and runs the table for a splash. They take it back to the ring where Sabu sets Mikey up for a Hurricanrana off the top. Mikey pushes Sabu off to the table below on the outside. Mikey knocks Sabu out into the crowd and lands a dangerous somersault from the ring. He barely misses his head on the guard rail. The crowd blows up with the E! C! DUB! chants.
They take it back to the ring for a brief moment with Sabu landing a few of his springboard/catapult moves. Mikey moves out of the way of a somersault legdrop and hits Sabu with a quick dropkick. They take it back to the outside where Sabu sets another table up in the crowd. The fans move out of the way as Sabu sets Mikey up on the table and gets back in the ring with a chair. Sabu springboards off of a chair to the ropes, performing a somersault out onto the table in the crowd. Mikey moves, and I don't know how Sabu didn't break his fucking back with this crazy motherfucking spot. Good god almighty.
From here the pace of the match slows down to a crawl. Sabu sells his hip so well that you don't know if he's selling or if it's for real. That's always something you had to give Sabu. He knew how to sell the shit and make it look more devastating than it was. His talent for selling mixed with the crazy shit he did really blurred the lines and made you wonder if he was selling at all or if it was all real sometimes. One of the fans in the crowd helps Sabu up as he sells the hip beautifully. He sells the hip to the point where Mikey botches a suplex because Sabu doesn't assist it any way. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Sabu wasn't even selling and actually injured his hip on that spot. Things get real slow and sloppy as Sabu favors his hip. Mikey brings in a chair and looks at Sabu clutching his hip. Mikey opts not to use the chair. Mikey pulls Sabu up in the corner for a move, but Sabu hits him and drops back down to the canvas. Sabu springboards off of the chair up to Mikey to pull him down for a Hurricanrana. Sabu wins it.
Sabu shakes Mikey's hand and gives him respect after the match. The crowd eats it up.
This was a cool, action packed match early on. After the somersault through the table it really slowed down and got sloppy, but I think that was all part of the story the match told. Mikey noticed Sabu's "injury"(which was sold beautifully), and opted not to hit him with the chair, but in the end it cost him the match. Even though Mikey lost the match, he still won Sabu's respect, which might have been just as valuable to Mikey given his reaction. Whoever said ECW was just all violence and no substance? You need to take the hate blinders off and give it a real chance.
Three Way Dance: The Gangstas vs The Headhunters vs The Sandman & 2 Cold Scorpio
First shot of this match/segment is a shot of Missy Hyatt's tits and ass all up on the camera shot. Good god almighty. She was the perfect match for The Sandman. Scorpio comes out dancing with a Singapore cane. He is the TV champion here, his fourth reign. Sandman gets up on the apron with Missy Hyatt and pours beer down her tits before lapping it up. Missy dry humps the Sandman on the apron before doing a dance with Scorpio.
Whoa, Damien Kane comes out with his valet and.....The WWF Tag Team championship belts!?!? WTF?!
The Headhunters take it to Scorpio and Sandman and we have a sloppy brawl around the ring to kick it all off. The Gangstas were taken out by the police earlier in the show. The Headhunters beat up on Scorpio and Sandman around the ring with some pretty stiff chair shots. Scorpio goes up top and hits one of the Headhunters with a crazy moonsault out into the crowd for the OH MY GOD!, followed by the loudest E! C! DUB! chants of the evening.
The Headhunters dominate the match early on. Sandman is hit with a powerslam in the ring, but he fires back with a low blow and an elbow that drops one of the 400 pound twins. Sandman goes up top and can't hold his balance. He falls off the ropes to the outside. Damien Kane comes in and gets a cane shot to the face. Damien's valet comes into the ring and Missy Hyatt follower her. We get a CAAAAT FIIIIIGHT!
The Headhunters bring a table into the ring and set The Sandman up on it. The 400 pound Headhunter overshoots the moonsault, and looks to have broken his fucking neck by hitting the table. Good lord. The table doesn't break.
The Gangstas return to the arena and attack the Headhunters.
The Eliminators storm the ring and beat the fuck out of the Gangstas with chair shots. Vicious beat down. Total Elimination on Mustapha and The Eliminators mock the Gangstas X pose. Sandman comes into the ring with Scorpio and confronts The Eliminators. The Eliminators leave the Arena. Scorpio and Sandman start beating up the Gangstas. Scorpio lands a moonsault. The Sandman lands the sloppiest fucking flying elbow drop I've ever seen in my life.
Scorpio tries to pin New Jack, but he kicks out. This match just hits a weird moment where it's like what the fuck is going on? Is the match over or what? The Headhunters are gone, and Scorpio and Sandman just keep beating on The Gangstas, who were already beat up by The Eliminators.
Scorpio brawls with Mustapha up through the crowd to the back of the Arena. Sandman hits New Jack with an elbow from the apron to the floor. Mustapha sends Scorpio through the merchandise table. Sandman continues to kick New Jack's ass in the ring. Scorpio and Mustapha make their way back to the ring. Mustapha fights with Sandman on the outside as Scorpio attacks New Jack in the ring with a chair.
The Gangstas eventually overcome Scorpio and The Sandman. Mustapha lands the hardest chair shot of the evening on The Sandman. They land a nice powerbomb/elbowdrop combo move on Scorpio. Mustapha lands his powerslam, and New Jack follows it up immediately with his 187 chair drop for the pin.
The Gangstas fight back from vicious attacks from The Eliminators, and going to jail to take home the victory.
I kind of like the overall theme with the Gangstas fighting through adversity to come up victorious at the end, but overall this was a really sloppy match. I'll have to do some research, but I'm not sure why the Headhunters had the WWF tag team belts on this show. I remember seeing them in the 96 Royal Rumble, but I do not remember them on WWF television at all in 96. This may confirm my speculation that they were only in ECW during this time was because ECW was getting paid to keep them on ice. ECW was being used as a farm league by the WWF(and WCW with the Brian Pillman stuff) in some aspects. Mick Foley was allowed to work in ECW during the time that his Mankind character was being established in February/March of 96 for example. I couldn't think of another reason why ECW would have flown the Headhunters in for all of these shows in 96. Overall this match wasn't very good. It got really sloppy at the end as if everyone forgot they were even having a wrestling match. I do like how the Eliminators vs Gangstas rivalry is shaping up though.
So far 1996 is shaping up to be ECW's best year. I love everything about what's going on here with Taz. The Dreamer vs Raven storyline continued and remains as awesome as it was a year ago. The undercard matches were bearable. The Eliminators vs Gangstas feud got off to a pretty good start, with a classic Eliminators squash match. We also had the historic debut of D-Von Dudley, with the first real debut of the Dudley Boyz we all know and love. This show was one of the weaker shows for ECW in 96, but it was still a lot better than a lot of the 95 shows, and it was a really cool show considering the storylines coming into it, as well as taking in what else was going on in wrestling during this time into consideration. Raw still sucked, and WCW was in their pre NWO days, which were still pretty terrible even though they would have the occasional Malenko/Guerrero/Benoit classic. The interesting thing was that there was a lot of psychology and storytelling in the matches of this show. Nothing to get excited about or put on a "Greatest matches of All time" list, but it was there. Things were nowhere near as violent and extreme here as people like to make out either. There wasn't any blood. Only a couple of stiff chair shots, and like 3 tables used. Nobody got hurt, yet it still was a pretty hardcore, zany, hectic, unpredictable, crazy show. People like to talk about how ECW ruined pro wrestling, and ended a bunch of wrestlers lives/careers prematurely, but I think that sentiment is a bit over the top. ECW didn't need blood and guys getting hurt for real to be extreme, and we seen that with this show. Extreme was an attitude for ECW.