EVENT REVIEW: ECW November to Remember 1994

November 5, 1994 
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A lot had changed in Philly by the time ECW November to Remember 1994 came around.

Since we last saw Eastern Championship Wrestling back at Heatwave '94, the company were Eastern no more.

Earlier that summer, Shane Douglas had famously won the NWA title and threw it to the ground, heralding the arrival of Extreme Championship Wrestling.

I’d love to review that event, but alas, I can’t find it anywhere:

Along with the name change had apparently come increased production values. Either that or WWE didn’t start improving the quality of ECW footage until this event.

Whatever the case may be, this one certainly looked a lot better than previous events:

Still, looks aren’t everything.

So, let’s go down to ringside and see whether November to Remember was a solid start for the rechristened company.

Welcome to November to Remember

We began with a cold open in which our ring announcer and timekeeper made their way to the ring.
ECW November to Remember 94 Review - Bob Artese

Seriously, look at the screenshot above and tell me that it’s not a thousand times better than other screenshots I’ve done for my Eastern Championship Wrestling reviews. It's not perfect, I grant you, but it's certainly better.

Ring announcer Bob Artese welcomed us to a night of extreme action and ran down the cars, including a main event pitting champion Shane Douglas against Ron Simmons.

Artese then pulled a few baseball hats out of a plastic shopping bag and threw them into the crowd before asking us to rise for an ‘extreme’ version of our national anthem.

 By ‘extreme,’ I assume he meant ‘extremely bad.’

The Star Spangled Banner was butchered by some anonymous dork on an electric guitar.

Mercifully, 911 arrived on the scene with Paul E. Dangerously and destroyed the talentless nerd with a chokeslam.

Heyman then tried to talk on the microphone, but the mic didn’t work, so 911 entertained the crowd by granting their request to chokeslam Guitar Dork into oblivion one more time. 

Back in the ring, Artese tried to introduce Joey Styles but Dangerously chased the dude around the ring while the guy operating the hard camera desperately scrambled to show us what was going on.

Predictably, 911 went after Bob Artese, but when he couldn't catch him, the brute simply grabbed the other ring announcer (the dude I thought was the time keeper) and chokeslammed him instead. 

By this point, we were almost nine minutes to the show, and the whole thing had been a tedious clusterfuck.

Still, the rabid ECW faithful loved it, so I’m sure that’s all that matters.

Finally, Joey Styles got his mic working as the poor, broken announcer was stretchered out of the arena to the sound of the audience chanting, “CPR! CPR!


After that, Artese introduced referee John Finnegan to a rousing chorus of boos, and at last, over 11 minutes into the show, our first combatant made his way to ringside.

Hack Meyers vs. JT Smith

This relatively short opening contest was decent enough for the time it was given. Hack Meyers and JT Smith soon taking the action to the outside and beating each other with chairs supplied by the audience.

The two tumbled over the guard rail, but nothing much happened there, and the two soon made it back in the ring, where JT picked up the win thanks to a bridging German suplex.
ECW November to Remember 94 Review - JT Smith vs. Hack Meyers


Imagine that. 11 minutes for 911 to hit a couple of chokeslams, barely six minutes for our first match of the night.
Your Winner: JT Smith

Afterward, Meyers interrupted Smith’s celebration by whacking him with a chair, and the two fought all the way back to the locker room.

Clearly, this wasn’t over yet.

The Bad Breed (Axl & Ian Rotten) vs. The Pitbulls (Pitbull #1 & Pitbull #2)

The Pitbulls raced to the ring and wasted no time tearing Axl & Ian Rotten limb from limb in another short but enjoyable contest.
ECW November to Remember 94 - The Bad Breed

Seemingly fought under tornado rules, the match saw Pitbull #1 beat up Ian Rotten inside the ring while Pitbull #2 duked it out with Ian outside and completely out of veiw of the camera.

ECW may have invested in a better quality camera, but they still only had one of the things, so you still only saw everything from the hard camera and would quite often miss stuff.

Eventually, both Pitbulls made it to the ring and took down Ian with a spike powerbomb off the buckles.
November to Remember 1994 - The Pitbulls beat Bad Breed

That was fun to watch, even if it was short and you could only see half the match.
Your Winners: The Pitbulls 

Post-match, Bad Breed got their revenge by beating up The Pitbulls while the always classy ECW crowd literally bayed for their blood.

‘The Ruffnek’ Mr. Hughes vs. 2 Cold Scorpio 

Look out! Here comes 2 Cold Scorpio!

Ahem, I’m sorry. It’s just that whenever I see 2 Cold Scorpio, I can’t help but think of that rad jam of his from the WCW Music Album.

I always have a soft spot for Too Cold, but there was nothing he could do to get an enjoyable match out of Mr. Hughes.

At one point, they did the whole run the ropes/drop-down/leapfrog routine, ending with Mr. Hughes catching Scorpio coming off the ropes with a hip toss.

In most matches, that would be a fairly basic spot.

In this one, it was practically the high spot of the match.

I mean, compared to the rest of this boring match, that spot looked like Angle vs. Michaels or something.

Things got so dull that the audience began chanting for 911 to come and put them out of their misery.

Eventually, after getting his ass whipped for most of the contest, Scorpio made a sudden and miraculous comeback, drilling Hughes with a sweet 450 splash for the win.
Your Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio

Afterward, the loser of the match attacked the winner for the third time in a row.
Mr. Hughes on the microphone at ECW November to Remember 94


What a fantastic display of originality.

I know Paul Heyman gets all this praise for his creativity and booking prowess, but was he really backstage saying, “So how did that last match end? With the loser attacking the winner and them both brawling some more. Great! So how should this next match end? Hmm…I know! How about if the loser attacks the winner, and then they both brawl some more! And how about the match after that? Well…here’s a crazy idea…”

It’s just repetitive, that’s all I’m saying.

Anyway, prior to the next contest, our ring announcer told the audience that their beverage of choice was available at the concession stands, but how did he know that for sure?

What if there was someone in the audience whose beverage of choice was chamomile and honey tea? 

Anyway, Artese also shilled some ECW merch and their next tour dates before it was time for our next contest.

Iron Man Tommy Cairo vs. Tommy Dreamer

Tommy Cairo came to the ring waving a kendo stick and pretending to be blind, his way of making fun of his long-standing rival, The Sandman, who had been inadvertently blinded by Tommy Dreamer.
ECW November to Remember 94 - Tommy Cairo

Tonight, Dreamer was apparently wrestling “for” The Sandman, though whether that meant he was substituting for him or out to gain vengeance on his behalf, was never quite explained.

Not that it mattered. 

The short of it was that Dreamer had meant to hurt Cairo, and Sandman had been blinded by Dreamer, but the two were still on the page, even though Sandman was having a “farewell” later in the show since he would have to retire what with being blind and all.

I’ve mentioned before that I know very little about the early years of ECW, and I’ve never seen this show before today,  but even I can see The Sandman heel turn a million miles away.

The match itself was good fun, the action quickly spilling to the outside where Dreamer went to the audience for some plunder and revived a frying pan and plastic rowing oar with which to punish his adversary.

Moments later, the action spilled into the entrance way where a wooden pallet came into play.

Joey Styles had apparently never seen a pallet before, referring to it as “whatever that piece of wood is.”

Seriously, how did Joey Styles get to be a fully grown adult without knowing what a pallet is?
ECW November to Remember 94 - Tommy Dreamer stands over a fallenTommy Cairo


Anyway, back in the ring, Dreamer took complete control of the match, utterly destroying Cairo until the referee decided the Iron Man had taken enough and stopped the match.
Winner Via Stoppage: Tommy Dreamer

After that enjoyably violent match, Dreamer murdered Cairo a little more, eventually leaving him for dead in the middle of the ring.

A stretcher was brought out for Cairo, but he struggled to the ring and left on his own two feet, all the while selling the impact of the assault and bringing to an end the best thing about November to Remember '94 so far.

ECW World Heavyweight Championship 
ECW World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas vs. Ron Simmons 

Prior to the official match introductions, Ron Simmons took to the mic and went full heel on the Philly crowd, claiming he’d never liked them or the city and was only here for Shane Douglas’s title. 

Ron Simmons prepares to face Shane Douglas at November to Remember 94

The match started fast and explosive but soon descended into a one-sided beat down in which Simmons demolished his opponent.

While all this was going on, Joey Styles inferred that the likes of Ric Flair, Bret Hart, and Hulk Hogan were all cowards because they wouldn’t fight Douglas for the title.

I don’t know, something tells me that might have less to do with cowardice and more to do with contractual obligations.

Eventually, Douglas proved what a credible, dominant champion he was when he suddenly stopped getting his ass kicked and won with a fluky roll-up.
Your Winner and Still ECW Champion: Shane Douglas

Predictably, Ron Simmons attacked Douglas after the bell because that’s the only idea the ECW brain trust seemed to have.

The champ fought back, only to find himself outnumbered when Too Cold Scorpio ran in to assist Simmons in his assault.

After the dastardly duo left, Styles began stressing the fact that Douglas had burned all his bridges and had nobody to help him, only for Cactus Jack (who didn’t even like Shane) to come down to check on him.

Enter Sandman

Accompanied by Todd Gordon, The Sandman came out o the ring wearing a leisure suit and face mask.

Taking to the microphone, Gordon praised Sandman as the epitome of all things extreme and hardcore and even referred to him as his best friend. 
The Sandman makes his "retirement" speech with Todd Gordon at ECW November to Remember 94

As he prepared to retire, The Sandman insisted that even though he’d now lost his sight, his career, his manager, and his “broad,” he wouldn’t change a thing.

On cue, said “broad” (Sandman's estranged wife, Peaches) made her way to the ring and claimed she didn’t know whether to kiss him or slap him in the face.

When he didn’t say much in response, Peaches also informed her ex that she’d changed since last he saw her.
November to Remember 1994 - Peaches confronts The Sandman

The insinuation was that she’d had a boob job or something, but the visually impaired Sandman told her it didn’t matter how much weight she’d put on, a genuinely funny moment that had this writer laughing along with the audience.

Before Peaches could respond to any of that, Woman interrupted proceedings, making her way to the ring with a mic in hand and promising to tell us which wrestler she was going to manage.

Before she got to that, however, Woman clocked Peaches with the Singapore Cain and threatened to do the same to Sandman.

As he backed into a corner, valiant (and presumed my gullible) white knight Tommy Dreamer ran to defend The Sandman.

Of course, it was all a rouse.

The turn I predicted earlier went down as Sandman revealed he wasn’t really blind at all and attacked Tommy from behind.

Although this was set up as a heel turn, the crowd cheered wildly for The Sandman as Nancy Sullivan announced that he was the man she’d be managing all along.

As predictable as all that had been, it was thoroughly compelling stuff

Shane Douglas Reveals His Team Mates

Up next, Shane Douglas came out to give an interview with Joey Styles.

The ECW Champion started by laying into Hulk Hogan. It was unnecessary, but at least it was something different.
ECW November to Remember 94 - Shane Douglas gets on the phone in an interview with Joey Styles

For almost his whole Shane Douglas’ entire gimmick had been “Guy Who Hates Ric Flair,” so it was good to see him broaden his character to “Guy Who Hates Ric Flair and Also Hulk Hogan.”

Turning his attention to wrestlers who were actually in the same company as him, The Franchise gloated about beating Ron Simmons and chastised 2 Cold Scorpio for sticking his nose where it didn’t belong.

He then picked up the phone to Sensational Sherri. Sherri, who clearly wasn’t on the line,  apparently confirmed that she’d be returning to manage him on November 19th for a tag team match against Simmons and Scorpio.

At that point, Douglas teased and teased a dramatic reveal of his mystery partner, only for some smart-ass dirt sheet reader in the crowd to shout “Steve Austin” just moments before Douglas could announce that yes, Austin would indeed be his partner.

Finally, the champ laid into Hogan again because he just couldn’t help himself, then stormed off as we got ready for our next match.

Non-Title Match
ECW TV Champion Dean Malenko (w/ Jason) The Tazmaniac

This could have been a tremendous match had Dean Malenko and The Tazmaniac been given enough time to just go out and wrestle the crap out of one another.
Dean Malenko and Tazz square off for the TV title

Instead, we got a few minutes of very promising action before Tazmaniac went to the outside to beat up on Jason.

With the referee distracted, Malenko grabbed a chloroform-soaked towel and knocked Tazz out with it.

A three count later, this one was over at just past the five-minute mark.
Your Winner: Dean Malenko 

Afterward, the ECW faithful erupted with a loud chant of “Bullshit! bullshit!” And I have to agree.

I get that maybe they wanted to protect Tazmaniac without jobbing the TV champion, but that was still a waste of squandered potential.

Eventually, The Human Suplex Machine was revived with smelling salts and celebrated coming back to life by suplexing a referee.

Brawl Game Match for the ECW World Tag Team Championship
ECW World Tag Team Champions Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipreck vs. The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge)

Alright, there’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get at it, starting with this ‘Brawl Game’ thing.

Not to be confused with War Games or Fall Brawl, a Brawl Game was presumedly a take on the phrase “ball game,” which was clever, you see, because baseball bats were involved.

The only thing was, a wrestler could only hit their opponents with a baseball bat once they had already knocked him on his ass so bad that he couldn’t get up before a referee’s ten count.

Only at that point could either team go for a pinfall to win the match.

Got all that?

I hope so.

If not, don’t worry because you had at least two minutes to get your head around it while both teams stood around the ring doing nothing.
Rocko Rock slams Mikey Whipreck into a table in their Brawl Games match

Well, I say nothing, Rocco Rock did at least get on the microphone and yell something totally incoherent at the crowd.

At one point, I swear I heard him call the audience “sentimental bitches,” though there’s no way on earth that’s what he actually said.

Once the match got started, it turned into what is legitimately my favorite ECW match of the relatively few I’ve seen so far.

Naturally, perennial underdog Mikey Whipreck was the one who spent most of the first part of the match on the canvas struggling to get up before the count of ten.

That was until Cactus Jack shifted the momentum for his team by running in and decking The Public Enemy with a chair.

So wait...

Baseball bats were only legal once you could knock a guy down for a ten count, but you could bring a chair into play any time you liked?

Well, I suppose this is pro wrestling, a strange world with a logic all of its own. 

Turning the momentum back in his team’s favor, Johnny Grunge incapacitated Jack by throwing powder in his face.

Blinded, Cactus inadvertently DDT’d his own partner. 

Mikey couldn’t get up before the ten count, giving Public Enemy permission to use the baseball bats and kicking off the second act.

That saw the match make its way up the entranceway and eventually into the crowd, where Johnny Grunge and Cactus Jack disappeared off camera while Rocco Rock set up a few tables on top of one another, positioned Whipreck on them and climbed into the crows' nest:

Before he could dive into Mikey, however, Sabu appeared.

With Heyman and 911 loitering in the background, Sabu got into it with Rock and eventually chucked him off the balcony into the tables.

I imagine it was a great spot, but we’ll never know because the awful cameraman misses it.

I also assume Mikey got up before Rocco landed on him, as that would explain why he was up on his feet moments later and lying out his rival with a chair. 

Still, despite his valiant effort, Whipreck soon found himself back on the mat in the ring, staring at the lights and losing the match for his team.
Your Winners and New ECW Tag Team Champions: The Public Enemy

Afterward, Cactus helped his fallen comrade to the back.

Get Your Tickets Now, Folks!

The man from Truth or Consequences was back moments later, interrupting commissioner Todd Gordon to put Mikey over and announce that he was bringing Kevin Sullivan with him to challenge for the tag team titles on the next show.
Cactus Jack takes the mic at November to Remember 94

Speaking of the next show, that’s precisely what Gordon was here to tell us about.

With Cactus finally gone, he announced that we’d also see the aforementioned Douglas/Austin vs. Scorpio/Simmons match, Sandman vs. Dreamer with Tommy Cairo as the special referee, and The Malenko Brothers against Tasmaniac and Sabu.

Chris Benoit vs. Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)

“This match will go on until there’s a victor,” said Styles as we skipped right to our next match with Chris Benoit already in the ring.

About a minute later, that proved not to be the case.

Very early in the match, Benoit launched Sabu over his shoulder, and the Houdini of Hardcore fell right on his head, genuinely injuring his spinal cord. 

As Sabu rolled to the outside, Benoit stalled by working for the crowd, probably unaware that he’d now have ‘The Crippler’ as his nickname for most of his career.
No Contest

With the show thrown into disarray, 911 stepped up, stalking Benoit around the ring in an effort to buy more time. 

It was The Canadian who struck first, catching his larger adversary off-guard, only to wind up on the wrong end of one of those big-time chokeslammed. 

911 pinned Benoit, and the referee counted to three even though there was no match. 

The chaos continued as Public Enemy ran down to attack 911, with Cactus Jack following in hot pursuit of his Brawl Games rivals. 

At that point, most of the lockerroom piled out, brawling through the crowd as Joey Styles began to sign-off. 

Before he could get that far, he was interrupted by Benoit, who heeled it up by grabbing a microphone to diss Sabu. 

This prompted 2 Cold Scorpio to return to the floor, defending the fallen grappler's honor and challenging Benoit to a match. 

The challenge was accepted, and we had ourselves a revised main event. 

2 Cold Scorpio vs. Chris Benoit 

Our impromptu main event was as good as it could have been given the circumstances and limited time alloted to it. 

Benoit and Scorpio worked well together, and I genuinely hope I encounter another match of theirs somewhere down the line. 

For now, all I'll say is that this was short and sweet in the best possible sense, ultimately ending with a double-countout. 

Double Countout

The usual post-match shenanigans ensued until Scorpio, Cactus Jack, JT Smith and The Bad Breed were left standing. 


Following some final promos from 2 Cold and Cactus, Joey Styles finally got to sign off for real, and November to Remember 1994 faded into the history books.


In my initial draft of this review, I noted that Sabu's serious injury would scupper his planned tag match with Taz against The Malenkos. I later learned that wasn't the case and the match did go ahead as scheduled just a few weeks later. I suppose that tells you everything you need to know about Sabu.
As for this show, it was a vast improvement on the early days of Eastern Championship Wrestling, with the Brawl Games match so far standing out as the best ECW match I've seen to date, and nothing other than Mr. Hughes being outright bad. 
Still, I'm a fan of variety, and following every single match with the same beat down soon got old. I may not be completely sold on ECW yet, but I'm certainly starting to enjoy the company more and more with every show I watch.

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