EVENT REVIEW: ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994

June 24, 1994 
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Event poster

The first ever ECW Hostile City Showdown event featured a hotly anticipated cross-promotional dream match between WCW's resident lunatic, Cactus Jack, and ECW's own mad man, Sabu. 

It was a main event that would prove to help everybody involved. 

Freed from the constraints of World Championship Wrestling, Mick Foley would use his stay in Philly to build the foundations of his legacy as a Hardcore Legend while Sabu -already one of ECW's top players at this point- would continue to see his star rising also. 

Not that it was only the combatants who benefited. 

If you go back and watch the first ECW show I reviewed, 1993's ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular, then continue to watch in chronological order, you can literally see the company evolving from just another indy to one of the top three promotions in the business. 

By booking a match of this magnitude and loading it up with other stars like The Funnks, Extreme Championship Wrestling's rise to prominence took a big leap forward. 

Here's what went down.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Hack Myers

As Hack Myers walked around the ring doing very little, Joey Styles reassured us that this wasn't a show that was going to end up on the Disney Channel. 

Joey was obsessed with Disney. He seemed to spend every single show telling us how un-Disney Extreme Championship Wrestling really was.

Yes, I get it was a dig at WCW, but it always came across as a little desperate and cheap. 

I thought I'd start with that because honestly, this match was boring as hell. 

The two did what they did fairly well, it's just that what they did was kind of lame and not very interesting at all.

After a rather underwhelming start to a show that you definitely wouldn't find on Disney, Tommy Dreamer came crashing off the top rope, splashing Hack Myers for the win.
Your Winner: Tommy Dreamer

The crowd were so unimpressed that they booed babyface Tommy out of the building after his match.

Chad Austin vs. Don E. Allen

Chad Austin and Don E. Allen both came to the ring looking like the biggest pair of indie jobbers in history. 

Before they could compete, however, 911 came down with Paul Heyman in tow and destroyed everybody with multiple chokeslams. 

ECW Commissioner Todd Gordon then came down but he got chokeslammed so many times that Joey Styles cried out "This man has children!"

Next, Tommy Dreamer came in to make the save but yes, you guessed it, he got chokeslammed to oblivion.

This was actually a lot of fun, and probably far more entertaining than the match itself would have been. 

Dog Collar Match
The Pitbull (w/ Jason) vs. The Tazmaniac 

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Tazmaniac chokes The Pitbull

The rules of this dog collar match were that you could either win by pinfall or via touching all four corners ala a standard strap match.

Not that either man seemed concerned about winning at first. 

Tazzmaniac and The Pitbull spent the first half of the match engaged in a wild and exciting brawl on the outside of the ring while Joey Styles tried to convince us that this was what real wrestling looked like.

Once back in the ring, the two tried to get the better of one another until The Pitbull dragged Tazzmaniac to three corners until the future FTW Champion suplexed him in the middle of the ring for the pinfall.
Your Winner: The Tazzmaniac

Post match, Anthony Durante returned to the company after a two-year absence, adopting the name Pitbull #2 as he and Pitbull #1 laid waste to The Tazzmaniac.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - The Pitbulls Reunite

Both the match and proceeding attack may not have been the finest examples of pro wrestling ever, but they sure were a lot of fun. 

The Bruise Brothers (Ron & Don Harris) vs. ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas & Mr. Hughes

One of the criticisms levied at ECW from a product standpoint is that their stars had to resort to crazy brawling and wild stunts because they weren't very good wrestlers.

I'm willing to accept that this was definitely not true, though watching The Bruise Brothers take on Shane Douglas and Mr. Hughes, you'd be forgiven for agreeing with the company's detractors.

While I take nothing away from Shane Douglas who was at least a skilled performer, Mr. Hughes and the Harris boys weren't exactly known for being good wrestlers. 

Put them together, and you got a match that was structured almost identically to the previous outing -brawl around the outside for a bit then get in the ring and work to a finish- but was nowhere near as good.

After lots and lots of reptetitive brawling and almost nothing else, The Harris Brothers got the win by pinning Mr. Hughes.
Your Winners: The Bruise Brothers

Afterwards, Mr. Hughes argued with the official while Shane Douglas got a "Ric Flair Sucks" chant going. Honestly, I kind of liked Shane Douglas, but making his hatred for Ric Flair his entire gimmick was always kind of stupid.

Hughes then grabbed a microphone and cut a horrible promo in which he declared himself the real winner of the match and promised that Ron & Don Harris would be going down for good.

Although the Tazz/Pitbull match was pretty good, this show sucks so far.

Singapore Cane Match
The Sandman (w/ Woman) vs. Tommy Cairo (w/ Peaches) 

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - The Sandman and Woman

Before we begin, can we just take a moment to appreciate what a beautiful woman Nancy Sullivan was? I don't mean that in a sleazy way, I mean she was genuinely beautiful.

There was, however, nothing beautiful about this match.

Though it was at least a step up from their mixed-tag encounter back at When World's Collide, it was still a fairly uninspired match with nothing exciting, or even all that interesting, happening until the finish.

At that point, The Sandman and Tommy Cairo brawled near the corner, causing the Singapore cane to drop to the floor in an embarrassing moment.

Woman then threw a second cane into the ring and Sandman hit Cairo with it.

For some reason -probably because the whole match had gone skew-whiff- the referee simply declared it a "no decision."
No Contest

Afterwards, Sandman and Woman beat down on Cairo and Peaches with their Singapore canes. 

Non-Title Match 
ECW Tag Team Champions The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. The Funk Brothers (Terry & Dory Funk)

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Terry and Dory Funk

I hate to speak ill of two all-time legends like Terry Funk and Dory Funk, but this whole match was slow and stupid.

It started off as a standard tag match which, although it felt like you were watching in slow-motion- was decent enough.

Then it all spilled outside for the inevitable arena brawl which was decent but again, incredibly slow and nothing that hadn’t been seen in every single ECW match ever to this point.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Terry and Dory Funk vs. The Public Enemy

At one point, Johnny Grunge and Terry Funk got lost in the crowd, turning the footage dark, grainy; and terrible. As it did so, Master Bullshitter Joey Styles tried to convince us that the cameraman was doing an amazing job.

In the end, 911 came down and destroyed the referee, so The Public Enemy beat up Dory and made their own count.

In retaliation, The Funks hit back, pinned their opponents, and made a self-count of their own.

This wasn’t good.
No contest

Post-match, the brawl continued. Terry Funk took Rocco Rock up to the ‘eagle’s nest’ where Joey Styles did his commentary, tied a cable around the tag champ’s ankles then pushed him off, head first towards the ground.

It was a super dangerous spot. That cable only had to be an inch longer and Rock would have cracked his skull on the floor.

As dangerous as it was, it was the most entertaining thing on this whole show so far.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Television Championship
ECW TV Champion Mikey Whipwreck vs. The Rockin’ Rebel (w/ Jason)

As per Mikey Whipwreck’s gimmick as the reluctant champion, he didn’t get a single offensive move in against Rockin’ Rebel, instead getting his ass kicked from pillar to post until Jason got up on the apron to interfere.

At that point, Whipwreck hit his first offensive move ever when he drilled Jason with a forearm smash, only to get rattled over the back with a chair.

Jason then went for a chair shot of his own, only to hit Rebel instead.

A two-on-one beat down then followed, causing the ref to call for the bell and give us our third non-finish in a row.
Your Winner via DQ: Mikey Whipwreck 

Afterward, The Pitbulls and Taz ran in, but the latter got beaten up by the former and Jason’s stable stood supreme as we finally went into our main event of the evening.

Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously & 911) vs. Cactus Jack

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Cactus Jack

This wasn’t the greatest match in the world, but compared to the rest of the show it looked like a five-star classic.

Yes, there was a lot of brawling on the outside as there was in every ECW match, but it seemed to make sense here whereas in other matches it looked like it was being done to avoid coming up with a decent idea for a match.

Both inside and outside of the ring; the two craziest stars of WCW and ECW gave us some entertaining spots and well-put-together action until it all ended when Paul E. cracked Cactus Jack with his trusty phone, allowing Sabu to get the fall.
Your Winner: Sabu

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Cactus Jack cuts a promo

The two inevitably continued brawling for a while after the match, with Mr. Hughes, Shane Douglas, and The Bruise Brothers all putting in cameos and fighting among themselves

Eventually, the others disappeared, leaving Cactus and Sabu to finish things off by nearly killing each other in the middle of the ring.

The War is Not Over

Finaly, we finished things up with promos from Cactus Jack and Heyman.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994 Review - Paul Heyman and 911

Cactus started by giving us the now famous moment where he spat on his WCW tag team title belt and threw it to the ground, claiming that it now meant nothing to him as he was focused only on bringing about Sabu’s demise.

Then, Paul E. insisted that Sabu was going to be used to being about the demise of not only Cactus Jack himself but the entire  Ted Turner-owned organisation that paid him.

Both promos were amazing and were the best things on the entire show by a mile.

I mentioned in my last ECW review that if you watched the company’s shows from 1993 onwards, you saw a company lifting itself up from being another low-rent indie company to a major player.

I also said how each show was getting better than the last.

This wasn’t the case with ECW Hostile City Showdown ‘94, which was a major step back after the significant improvements made at When World’s Collide.

Make no mistake about it, this show sucked about as bad as any wrestling show could ever suck, though the main event and those two gripping promos at the end were at least worth watching. 

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