EVENT REVIEW: ECW Heatwave 1994

ECW Heatwave 1994 Review - event dvd cover

July 16, 1994,
ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ECW Heatwave '94 saw Eastern Championship Wrestling on the cusp of something groundbreaking

The company had gone from strength to strength since a lacklustre 1993, with each major show they produced throughout 1994 adding more and more of the 'extreme' elements that would make the company legendary and -perhaps as a direct result- producing shows which got better and better every time. 

By the time Heatwave rolled around, the company were only one month away from rebranding themselves as Extreme Championship Wrestling, but we'll get to that another time. 

Here's what went down on this fateful July night back in the summer of '94.

The Bad Breed (Ian & Axl Rotten) vs. The Rockin’ Rebel & Hack Meyers

I honestly expected to hate this match, but it was surprisingly good.


ECW Heatwave '94: Hack Myers prepares for battle



With Rockin’ Rebel playing the role of the babyface, he and Hack Myers gave a good account of themselves while Ian and Axl Rotten proved that they could actually wrestle rather than just brawl, something Joey Styles reminded us of on multiple occasions.


The match wasn’t anything particularly special or unique, but it was a solid and enjoyable opener which ended with a win for The Bad Breed courtesy of a top rope bulldog to Myers.

Your Winners: The Bad Breed


Post match, Rebel berated Hack for the loss. The two appeared to make up as Joey Styles gushed over what a great team they could be, only for Rebel to immediately burst Style’s bubble by attacking Myers.


This being ECW, the two then gave us the obligatory brawl to the back before our next match.


Eastern Championship Wrestling Television Championship

ECW TV Champion Mikey Whipwreck vs. Chad Austin


Chad Austin had apparently turned heel recently and aligned himself with manager Jason, who he introduced before the bell.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Mikey Whipreck battles Chad Austin


Once the match got started, Austin and reigning champion Mikey Whipwreck gave us one heck of a match.


Usually, Whipwreck would get whooped around a bit and then find some fluke way to win, but that wasn’t the case tonight.


Both champ and challenger looked evenly matched, resulting in an exciting contest that only got better the longer it went on.


After a great back-and-forth, Austin drilled Whipwreck with a guillotine leg drop to win the title.

Your Winner and New ECW TV Champion: Chad Austin


In a bizarre move (especially for a bad guy), Austin took to the mic after the match and announced that he had cheated to win by using brass knuckles, even though he hadn’t.


That prompted the referee to reverse the decision, meaning Mikey retained via DQ.


As everyone scratched their heads wondering why the new champion would have willingly given up the gold, he and Jason beat down on Whipwreck because ECW were incapable of booking a match that didn’t have some kind of post-match violence.


Joey Styles tried to explain the dumb booking here by saying that Austin hated the fans so much he didn’t want them to enjoy seeing a title switch hands.


Right then.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Steve Richards (w/ Angel)


Steve Richards and his mullet were newcomers here, going up against Tommy Dreamer in a decent but entirely forgettable match.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Tommy Dreamer gets set to face Steven Richards


Richards looked good, but was easily beaten by his more experienced opponent.

Your Winner: Tommy Dreamer


Post match, Dreamer ejected Richards from the ring then took to the microphone and called Shane Douglas a “no good piece of Pittsburgh sh*t.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Tommy Dreamer calls out Shane Douglas



This brought Douglas to the ring along with Mr. Hughes, who promptly stepped between the ropes for an impromptu match with Tommy.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Shane Douglas)

Despite Hughes’ limitations, this was a marginally more entertaining affair than Dreamer’s last match.


The man formerly known in WCW as Big Cat attacked Dreamer and beat him down in the corner, only for the valiant babyface to make a strong comeback.


Alas, such comeback was short lived. Douglas blasted Dreamer across the back of the noggin as he ran the ropes.


Hughes made the pin, and that was that.

Your Winner: Mr. Hughes


After the bell, The Franchise congratulated Hughes, then called on Angel (who was still helping Richards outside the ring) and invited her between the ropes.


Douglas asked Angel to be in his corner for his match tonight. The young manager accepted, after which Douglas vowed to prove that he -not Sabu- was the future of wrestling.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Shane Douglas (w/ Mr. Hughes) makes an offer to Angel

Naturally, Shane couldn’t resist having a pop at Ric Flair too, and he also verbally slammed Hulk Hogan for good measure.


Let’s all Just Brawl


Up next, we were supposed to see The Tazzmaniac teaming with a mystery partner to take on The Pittbulls.


However, ECW Commissioner Todd Gordon came out and announced that, since Tazmaniac’s partner couldn’t make it due to travel issues, he was postponing the match.


ECW Heatwave '94 - The Pittbulls (w/ Jason)



The Pitbulls didn’t much like that idea, and set about attacking Taz, while outside of the ring, a bunch of wrestlers randomly appeared.


Rockin’ Rebel and Chad Austin came out to help their manager Jason and their stablemates The Pitbulls, Mr. Hughes came out and brawled with somebody unknown, and then 911 answered the fans who were chanting his name by putting in an appearance.


The problem was that ECW was still shooting everything from a single hard camera which meant that you couldn’t really see what was happening outside the ring other than a group of wrestlers hanging around.


Worse yet, there was no Joey Styles on commentary (at least not on the Network version of this event), so there was nobody to try and help you as a viewer make sense of it.


The result was a confusing mess that ended when Sabu ran in to help Tazzmaniac and the bell randomly sounded.

Dueling Singapore Canes
The Sandman (w/ Woman) vs. Iron Man Tommy Cairo (w/ Peaches) 

The Sandman and Tommy Cairo had been feuding since the dawn of time. Tonight, the two looked to settle their lengthy, bitter, and violent rivalry once and for all by basically smashing the crap out of each other with singapore canes for ten minutes.


ECW Heatwave '94 - Woman (Nancy Sullivan)


If you were expecting actual professional wrestling here, you’d be greatly disappointed, but if you’re the sort of person who enjoys the kind of extreme brutality that helped set ECW apart in the 1990s, you’ll find a lot to like here. 

Neither man held anything back as they wailed on one another with cane shots that only got louder and more punishing as the match went on.

I must admit, it was a joy to watch. 

After a good bit of violent fun, Sandman knocked Cairo down, at which point Woman and Peaches both entered the fray and the referee got knocked down.

As Sandy took peaches to the corner, Cairo threatened to bash Woman’s head with the cane, only Sandman to come to her rescue and take out Cairo with the cane.

That was enough for Sandman to pick up the win.

Your Winner: The Sandman

Post-match, Woman lit Sandman’s victory cigarette and the two posed with singapore canes before taking to the microphone to ask Cairo who had won their war. 


ECW Heatwave '94 - Woman and The Sandman


When Iron Man was unable to respond, the victor smacked him across the back one last time and declared “I guess you haven’t paid your bill,” a reference to the fact that this whole thing started because Sandy insisted Tommy should pay him money for sleeping with his wife, Peaches.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship 
ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Mr. Hughes and Angel) vs. Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously and 911)

Billed as a match to determine which man was the future of professional wrestling, this heavyweight title match between reigning champion Shane Douglas and former champion Sabu was -in this writer’s humble opinion- the best thing on the show so far. 


ECW Heatwave '94 - Sabu vs. Shane Douglas


Starting off with some mat-based offence and technical wrestling, the bout eventually spilled outside and into the crowd for the kind of wild brawl that was a hallmark of ECW’s product before the two men got back between the ropes for more old-school wrestling.

Add in Sabu’s usual death-defying offense and some good work from Paul E. Dangerously on the outside, and this was exactly what you’d want a heavyweight title match to be.

It was entertaining, compelling, and a lot of fun to watch.

Towards the end, Sabu went for a moonsault off the apron to the outside, but missed his opponent and crashed into a propped up table.

That was enough to knock the challenger out, leading the ref to award the match to Douglas by technical knockout.

Your Winner and still ECW Champion: Shane Douglas 

Post match, Paul E. clocked Mr. Hughes with his ever-present cell phone, but the burly brute simply popped back up and laid waste to the loud-mouthed manager. 

That brought in 911, who first took out Douglas with a chokeslam then went to do the same to Mr. Hughes.

Hughes seemed to have no idea how to take the move, and at one point, you visibility saw 911 (himself not the most gifted of workers) having to put Hughes into position and give him some instructions before sending him down to the mat like the proverbial sack of potatoes.

Finally, 911 took out Angel with another chokeslam, causing the crowd to errupt and chant his name. Yes, a guy who wasn’t even in the match emerged as the most over dude in the whole thing. 

Barbed Wire Match for the ECW Tag Team Championship
ECW Tag Team Champions The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.

Proving how hardcore they were, all four men came to the ring wearing about 29 layers each to protect them from the barbed wire.


ECW Heatwave '94 - The Public Enemy vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.


The Public Enemy further showed what bad asses they were by hiding in the eagle’s nest until Terry Funk called them cowards and the match was on.

I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of these types of matches and it took me a while to get into it, but I can’t deny that it was a fun, wild, and incredibly violent brawl:

At one point, Terry called for a chair from the crowd, who responded by tossing almost every chair in the arena into the ring.

It was a cool scene, but clearly dangerous, so dangerous in fact that the ring announcer had to declare that the match would be stopped if the fans continued to throw chairs.

Public Enemy won the match to retain their titles by piling on Terry as The Funker lay writhing on the mat in a tangled mess of barbed wire.

Your Winners and Still ECW Tag Team Champions: The Public Enemy

Post match, Terry and Dory Funk Jr. battered Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge I til the two could no longer stand as Joey Styles wished us a good night.


Heatwave 1994 wasn’t the best ECW show I’ve reviewed so far, but from the enjoyable opener to that crazy and bloody barbed wire main event, there was certainly a lot to like here.

The Sabu/Shane Douglas match was the highlight of the night, though the TV title match and Singapore cane matches in particular also helped make this a very good show. 

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