Thursday, 5 August 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW Ultra Clash 1993

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Event review
September 18, 1993
ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 may not be the most widely-remembered wrestling event in history, but that doesn't mean it isn't significant in its own right.

This was the first event for which Paul Heyman had taken control of Eastern Championship Wrestling's booking and creative vision. 

It was the event in which he first began to turn this little indie outfit into an extreme institution and one of the Big Three US wrestling companies. 

It was also the event at which we would first meet future ECW mainstays like Joey Styles and The Public Enemy...

But was it any good?

Let's head down to the ECW arena to find out.




Welcome to Ultra Clash


ECW was still Eastern Championship Wrestling at this point in time but our opening video (set to what sounded like a cut from a low-budget PlayStation skateboarding game) featured shots of a woman getting her top ripped off and JT Smith being knocked from a balcony, so it was already fairly extreme...at least more so than the fairly tame product we’d seen back at ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular earlier in the year.

After said video, we went straight into our opening match.

The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Jason Knight & Ian Rotten

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - The Public Enemy
If your only exposure to The Public Enemy was as the party-loving jobbers from WCW, you’ll likely be surprised to find them here as two ass-kicking heels who just destroyed their opponents.

I mean they demolished them. So much so Ian Rotten and Jason Knight didn’t manage to get in a single offensive move between them for the duration of this five-plus minute slaughter.

In fact, Jason Knight didn’t even get tagged in. He just got his ass kicked on the outside while Rotten got destroyed between the ropes.

Unsurprisingly, Johnny Grunge and Flyboy Rocco Rock prevailed when the latter cannonballed onto Rotten for the win.
Your Winners: The Public Enemy

Post-match, The Public Enemy further drew the ire of the crowd by continuing their beat down of Ian Rotten.

When they’d had enough, Joey Styles started to tell us all about the group’s next big event, NWA Blood Feast ‘93.

Sadly that isn’t on the WWE Network, though I did find a https://youtu.be/WRltkUbMV0Qone-hour version on YouTube so we’ll get to that soon.

ECW Pennsylvania State Championship 
ECW Pennsylvania State Champion Tony “Hitman” Stetson (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III) vs. “Ironman” Tommy Cairo

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Tony Stetson vs. Tommy Cairo
Imagine still using the nickname “Hitman” in the 1990s and not considering changing it.

Here, the not-so-excellence of execution put his title on the line against Tommy Cairo in a decent if somewhat unremarkable match that failed to maintain this fan’s attention.

After roughly ten minutes, Stetson’s manager, Hunter Q. Robins III distracted referee Jim Molyneux while the champ blasted his opponent with the title belt.

One three count later and this one was done.
Your Winner: Tony Stetson 

Mask vs. Mask Match
Super Destroyer I vs. Super Destroyer 2 (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Super Destroyer 1 vs. Super Destroyer 2
Prior to the match, Robins took to the microphone to berate Super Destroyer I, but the quality of this recording is so bad that I could only make out the words “building” and “ugly face.”

This was a weird match that was very slow and basic. 

Though that doesn’t necessarily make it bad, it was like watching two wrestlers early in their training being told to demonstrate a basic sequence of moves for a match.

Plus there was the fact that both men wore identical attire and masks. Sure, Joey Styles told us that one of them was technically bigger than the other, but it was still impossible to tell them apart.

In the end, the babyface Super D. 1 picked up the win.
Your Winner: Super Destroyer 1

Super Destroyer 2 was then forced to unmask, and while Styles pretended like he recognized him but couldn’t remember his name, The Dark Patriot came down and helped Super D. 2 carry out a beat down of S.D 1.

Eventually, J.T Smith came down to make the save and this led us right into our next match.

Scaffold Match
The Dark Patriot vs. JR Smith

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - JT Smith vs. The Dark Patriot in a scaffold match
No joke, this was probably the best scaffold match this fan has ever seen.

All of the scaffold matches the NWA had in the 1980s (including at Starrcade '86 and Starrcade '87) saw big, tough men hanging around the edges of the platform where it was safe, and then basically hanging onto the edge of the platform and dropping down into the ring as gently as possible.

JT Smith and The Dark Patriot showed no such restraint.

They brawled fearlessly in the middle of the platform and took bumps. Smith even threw a neat dropkick.

Speaking of threw, Patriot won the match by hurling his opponent off the scaffold. Smith took an unbelievably nasty bump but then popped back up so that Patriot could come down and attack him some more.
Your Winner: The Dark Patriot

And attack him he did.

Smith got thrown into the crow, hit with a chair, thrown into another part of the crowd, hit with another chair and so on until he was destroyed.

Tag Team Bunkhouse Match
Kevin Sullivan & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Abdullah The Butcher & Kevin Sullivan vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen
I don't know why anybody would think this was good.

Sure, I can see how it might have been entertaining if you were there live, but watching it back now, it just looks like four sloppy-arsed drunks falling over each other after closing time.

At various points, Kevin Sullivan tried a brand new, never-before-tried approach to winning a pro wrestling match:

He would just walk up to his opponents and look at them.

 Seriously, there was a moment when he wandered towards Stan Hansen and just stood there staring at him for a while until Hansen thought 'screw it' and slapped the Taskmaster silly.

In the end, Eddie Gilbert ran out with a steel chair, causing a disqualification, which was dumb because this was a weapons-filled, anything goes brawl.
Your Winners via Disqualification: Terry Funk and Stan Hansen

Post-match, Kevin Sullivan and Abdullah The Butcher started fighting each other for no explainable reason until some dudes ran in to break it up. 

Funk and Hansen then returned to beat up those dudes and we got another wild brawl into the crowd that was exactly the same as the Dark Patriot/J.T. Smith brawl except with more people.

I'll say it again, this was not good.

$5,000 Intergender Battle Royal
Sensational Sherri vs. Tigra  vs. Angel  vs. Don E. Allen  vs. Jay Sulli vs. Hunter Q. Robbins III

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Tigra
Nor was this. 

While Tigra spent the whole match sat on the turnbuckle, watching, each of the men took turns in walking over to Sensational Sherri and Angel and being routinely eliminated by them.

Sherri then did a Mil Mascaras and eliminated herself, though rather than hitting a top rope splash, she chased off some dude in a shell suit who Joey Styles told us was Freddie Gilbert, Eddie's brother and ECW referee.

At that point, Angel deliberately popped herself up on the ropes making her an easy target. Tigra came over, poked Angel in the bum with the tip of her finger, and won the match.
Your Winner: Tigra

I'm a big fan of Sensational Sherri, but this was dumb and pointless.

Loser Receives 10 Lashes
Wildman Sal Bellomo (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Sir Richard Michaels (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

Did Hunter Q. manage every single heel in ECW?

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Wildman Sal Bellomo
I’m sure he did, because here he was again, backing Sir Richard Michaels.

Not to be outdone, Wildman Sal Bellomo got on the microphone before the match started and said ”whmph, mmph, bumpy bum bmmph, Sherri would you come to the ring, please?”

OK, so it may not have been that exactly, but like I said earlier, the recording quality is so bad that I’ve really no idea what he said beyond asking Sherri to join him in the ring.

The Sensational One did so, making her presence felt in Big Sal’s corner for what was a fairly average, if inoffensive, match.

After a few minutes of uninspired action, Sal fell like a sack of potatoes onto Richard Michaels and got the one, two, three.
Your Winner: Wildman Sal Bellomo

If you were worried that this show didn’t have enough post-match brawls,  you’ll be delighted to know that yet another one came right up.

Wildman Sal started to lash Michaels with a training belt while Sherri rolled around on top of Hunter Q and made him the luckiest dude in the whole building.

At that point, Rockin’ Rebel ran down to blast Sal with a chair and throw Sherri around the ring.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship 
Fabulous ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Sandman

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Shane Douglas vs. Sandman
Yes, Shane Douglas was “Fabulous” here, apparently. 

Though, to be fair, he almost wasn’t much of anything as he first walked off and threatened not to defend his title until the referee promised that he would give said title to Sandman if Douglas didn’t return to the ring immediately.

The champion did so, and consequently entered into what I have to say was the best match on the card up until this point.

No, I can’t quite believe that I just wrote that either, but it’s true. It was a competently wrestled heel vs. face match with some stuff which, while fairly textbook, was still pretty fun.

In the end, the ref took a tumble and Paul E.‘s phone came into play as an international object to give us a very near fall.

The challenger then dove off the top with what looked to be the match-winning flying cross body only for Douglas to roll through, grab a handful of tights and retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still ECW Heavyweight Champion: Shane Douglas 

Afterwards, Sandman berated the referee while Fabulous Shane made his escape.

Baseball Bat Match
W*ING Tag Team Champions Headhunters (Mofat & Mahim) vs. Miguel Perez & W*ING Heavyweight Champion Crash the Terminator

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - The Headhunters
Ok, scrap what I said about Douglas vs. Sandman, this was the best match on the card.

As a baseball bat match, things started with all four men outside the ring and a baseball bat inside.

After the count of ten, they charged to the ring to grab the bat and beat the living hell out of each other with it.

And beat the living hell out of each other they did.

The match immediately spilled back out into the crowd for a wild brawl which was hampered only by ECW's lack of budget. 

The show was filmed entirely on a single camera, and when you have two teams pairing off and brawling all over the building, that one camera is going to miss stuff.

At one point, one of the Headhunters got thrown through a fricken wall by Crash the Terminator and the camera was focussed purely on the other Headhunter hanging around in the ring doing nothing much of anything. 

That gave us the odd moment where Joey Styles called something that we didn't actually see.

When we could see stuff, it was all good stuff, culminating in one of the big fat Headhunters hitting a sweet moonsault for the three.
Your Winners: The Headhunters

At this juncture, Joey Styles told us that The Headhunters had successfully defended their W*ING tag team titles, though there was no mention on the show -or in anything I've read since- that says the titles were actually on the line.

Afterward, both teams continued fighting to end the show with yet another brawl through the crowd because why choose to end your show with something different when you could just repeat the same damn thing you'd been doing from the beginning?

To be fair, it was a pretty entertaining brawl, but I can't help but feel that it would have meant so much more had we not already seen the exact same thing multiple times.







So no, Paul Heyman's start as ECW booker was not a spectacular one by any stretch of the imagination.

When one of the best matches on the show is Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman, you know things are pretty bad.

Sure, it's historically important, and if you do watch it you'll get to see not only Heyman's first attempt at booker but also the ECW debut of The Public Enemy and Joey Styles on commentary, but don't expect to be entertained very much.

If you can get the moment JT Smith plummets to his doom and the main event on YouTube, those are the only moments you need to see from what was otherwise a poor show.


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