ECW Three Way Dance 1995 Review

ECW Three Way Dance 1995 Review - Event poster

April 8, 1995
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
In the weeks leading up to it, ECW Three Way Dance 1995 had been promoted as the biggest event in Extreme Championship Wrestling history.

The company went all out to make the event's namesake main event -a three-way tag team title match pitting tag team champions Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko against The Public Enemy and the team of Sabu and Taz- seem like a major deal.

Then, proving that the 90s really were lawless times in professional wrestling, one of those stars upped sticks and took a booking elsewhere, throwing plans for this hugely hyped show into disarray. 
Would ECW recover? Would 3 Way Dance '95 live up to the hype despite the company being ditched by one of it's top stars?
Let's head down to the ECW Arena to find out. 

Sabu is in Japan 

The Three Way dance began with Joey Styles in front of that famous ECW TV backdrop, providing something of a disclaimer for home video fans, noting that although Sabu had been advertised as part of the event’s namesake main event, he wouldn’t be there because he was in Japan.

ECW 3 Way Dance 1995 - Joey Styles

Yes, this was the time Sabu famously chose to take a booking overseas at the same time as a highly promoted show with his name on the marquee.

He’d be gone from the company for a short spell, enjoying a proverbial cup of coffee in WCW before being welcomed back into the ECW fold.

From there, we cut from Joey Styles to…Joey Styles.

Stevie Richards Replaces The Broad Street Bullies 

This time, Joey was ringside at the actual live event, welcoming his guests, Raven, Stevie Richards, and The Broad Street Bullies.
ECW 3 Way Dance 1995 - Joey Styles w/ Raven & Stevie Richards

Brimming with excitement, Richards informed The Bullies that they’d be fired if they didn’t win their upcoming match.

Naturally, Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody didn’t take too kindly to this until Richards revealed that the order had been handed down to Raven himself, at which point the duo immediately complied and hit the ring.

As they did so, Stevie revealed that he’d actually recruited an even better team than the Bullies to do Raven’s bidding:

The Pitbulls 

The Broad Street Bullies (‘Hitman’ Tony Stetson & Johnny Hotbody) vs. The Pitbulls (Pitbull #1 & Pitbull #2)

The transition from Eastern Championship Wrestling to the hardcore edgy climate of Extreme Championship may have been subtle and gradual, but there was nothing gradual or subtle about this match.

An obvious message that this was a new era in ECW, this one saw one of the company’s most popular teams absolutely demolish the former ECW tag champions in record time with neither of the Bullies getting in a lick of offence.

It was a great way to start the show.

Want your audience pumped up from the word go? Book a smash-mouth tag team like The Pitbulls to come in and bulldoze their way to victory.

That’s precisely what #1 and #2 did here, planting Stetson with a top rope spike powerbomb for the win in no time at all.
Your Winners: The Pitbulls

Post-match, Richards gloated about having found a team worthy of being Raven’s henchmen before the team gloated about kicking so much ass.
ECW 3 Way Dance 1995 - The Pitbulls pledge their allegiance to Raven

The duo didn’t take too kindly to Richards suggesting he could order them about, but they did pledge their allegiance and loyalty to Raven, who instantly flashed a rare smile and dismissed them.

Big Stevie wasn’t done with the surprises, however.

“Remember that girl you were telling me about? The girl that was at summer camp with you and Dreamer?” He asked.

Raven did indeed remember her and wasn’t too pleased when he found out Stevie had brought “that fat, disgusting, overweight piece of hell to the ECW arena,” even going as far as to backhand Richards across the mush.

Stevie was quick to explain. This girl was no longer the way Raven remembered her, and to prove it, he brought a beautiful young woman out to ringside.
ECW 3 Way Dance 1995 - Beulah McGillicutty debuts in ECW

Ladies and gentlemen, Beulah McGillicutty had arrived in ECW.

Raven (w/ Stevie Richards and Beulah McGuillcutty) vs. Tommy Dreamer 

Like the one before it, this match immediately started in high gear with Raven attacking his arch-rival before the bell.

He soon lost the advantage, however, as Tommy Dreamer took control and battered Raven up through the stands and around the arena for a very entertaining brawl.

Back at ringside, Dreamer borrowed some plunder from the ECW faithful, hurting his opponent with a cheese grater and sign before throwing him into a chair held aloft by a fan.

This only seemed to snap Raven into focus. He immediately grabbed the chair and bashed his nemesis over the head with it

Yet it was Dreamer who dominated this highly enjoyable bout. He even looked to have the win in the bag until he was distracted by Richards choking Beulah at ringside after she rebuked his kiss.

The babyface hero leapt to the lady’s aid, only for Beulah to blind him with hairspray.

That allowed Raven to DDT Dreamer on the floor and steal the match.
Your Winner: Raven 

Joey Styles claimed the whole ending had been a rouse. 

This was most likely true, but wouldn’t it have been a nice idea to confirm it by showing Richards and Bealuah giving it their best “ha! Gotcha sucker!

Instead, we cut straight to this:

Ron Simmons vs. Mikey Whipreck

Up next, Ron Simmons hit the ring and took to the microphone, urging his opponent, Mikey Whipreck to stay in the back and avoid an ass-whooping.
ECW Three Way Dance '95 - Ron Simmons vs. Mikey Whipreck

Mikey failed to heed the warning and soon found himself at the mercy of Simmons’ brutal demolition job.

You know, I’ve never been the biggest Ron Simmons fan, but after watching his ECW run as of late, it’s all the more baffling that Vince McMahon would take this obnoxious and sadistic heel and make him a goofy Roman gladiator.

Here, the former WCW champion threw his opponent around like a rag doll before finishing him off with a couple of clotheslines, a clear message to the fans who had been chanting for 911 throughout the match.

At that point, Simmons could have shown. mercy to his opponent and won the match. Instead, he got himself disqualified by wrapping his hand around the referee’s throat and slamming him into the mat.
Your Winner Via DQ: Ron Simmons 

Post-match, Simmons gorilla pressed Mikey and hurled him to the outside, only for 911 to finally show up and catch Whipreck before he splattered on the concrete.

A brawl immediately ensued, ending with Simmons sending shockwaves through the land of extreme by drilling 911 with a clothesline.

At that point, a gaggle of jobbers hit the ring to help the fallen One Move Wonder. So, naturally, 911 recovered and chokeslammed each and every one of them, called Ron Simmons a “piece of sh*t” and stormed to the back, presumedly in search of his arch-rival.

Rick Steiner Arrives in ECW

With the Chokeslam Party over, we cut to Joey Styles conducting an in-ring interview with Chris Benoit.

In his usual deliberate style, The Crippler lambasted The Tazmaniac for costing Dean Malenko the TV title before turning his attention to Taz’s originally scheduled partner, Sabu.

Benoit got a big pop for calling Sabu a “p*ssy” who was too scared to face he and Malenko, but soon reverted to full-on heel mode by challenging Taz to a fight.

Sure enough, Tazmaniac rushed to the ring and went fist and fire with the tag team champion until he was blindsided by Dean Malenko.

The subsequent two-on-one beatdown didn’t last long, however, as none other than Rick Steiner arrived on the scene to even the score.

Earlier, Joey Styles had promised us that he would have a surprise partner to replace Sabu as Tazmaniac’s partner.

The Dog Faced Gremlin was clearly that surprise partner and the fans seemed perfectly happy with that choice, chanting “f**k Sabu!!” in unison as Steiner, Tazmaniac, and Dangerously celebrated in the ring. 

Extreme Championship Wrestling Television Championship 
ECW TV Champion 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Eddie Guerrero

From one debut to another, the one and only Eddie Guerrero made his first appearance in an ECW ring next, challenging 2 Cold Scorpio for the TV title in a phenomenal match.
ECW Three Way Dance '95 - Eddie Guerrero vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

Things were evenly matched at first, the two men feeling each other out and delighting the audience with a brilliant display of catch-as-catch-can before the challenger gained firm control.

With the fans clearly on his side, Guerrero threw everything he had at the champion yet it still wasn’t enough to secure a victory.

Having seemingly exhausted his arsenal, Eddie eventually found himself back on the defensive, Scorpio busting out one big move after another to leave his opponent laying practically motionless in prime position for a Tumbleweed.

When that only earned a two count, the champ shot his opponent into the ropes. Guerrero, who brief moments earlier had appeared dead on his feet, suddenly shot at Scorpio, catching him with a roll-up to end what truly had to be one of the best matches of 1995.
Your Winner and New ECW TV Champion: Eddie Guerrero

After the match, Guerrero and Scorpio shook hands while Joey Styles gave a shout-out to the late, great Love Machine Art Barr.

Hair vs. Hair Match
Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten

Life can be cruelly unfair sometimes. Like when it rains on the day you’re supposed to go to the beach, or when the ECW show you’re watching follows up an amazing TV title match with more boring trash from the brothers Rotten.

This was now the third major match between Axl Rotten and Ian Rotten, and not only was it every bit as bad, it was practically the same match as the last two.

The two men met at the foot of the entranceway for a brawl, beat each other up outside the ring with some weapons, then got back in and hit each other with yet more weapons.

That could be a description of any of the three recent outings between these two men, with the only difference being the kind of plunder they used to batter one another with.

Even the piledriver on a chair shot had a faint ring of deja by to it, and when Axl finally used that chair to put his brother out for the count, it was a small mercy.
Your Winner: Axl Rotten 

After the bell, Axl began to shave Ian’s head, but when the victor turned to display his trophy to the audience, Ian attacked him from behind with a chair and stabbed him with whatever hair-cutting product was being used.
ECW Three Way Dance '95 - Ian Rotten vs. Axl Rotten

Finally, Ian left the arena, though not before hurling a trash can in the ring as a perfect symbol of how truly garbage this whole feud was.

Hack Meyers vs. Dino Sandoff

Destined to be a footnote in the annals of pro wrestling history, generic jobber Dino Sandoff was obliterated in a standard squash match that neither entertained nor offended.

Sandoff looked terrible, tripping over Hack Meyers in one drop-down spot and barely making it over him in the second one.

That was literally the only notable thing he did. 

Though he did get in a modicum of offence towards the end, it consisted of 95% clotheslines and wasn’t very interesting.

Clearly, he was there merely as a body Meyers could bash around so that the fans would have an excuse to shout “Shah!” with every blow.

After much Shahing, Meyers hit a brain buster to send off Sandoff further into the depths of obscurity.
Your Winner: Hack Meyers

Up next, this:

Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship 
ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman (w/ Woman) 

This show hasn’t been very well edited by WWE’s music department.
ECW Three Way Dance '95 Review - Woman & The Sandman

Earlier, I swore I could hear Alice In Chains underneath the generic “we’re not paying for those song rights” soundalike, and now I know for sure you can hear the familiar growl of James Hetfield beneath this Enter Sandman soundalike.

Of course, that wasn’t as jarring as the fact this home video version features a heavily edited cut of the match.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me question why, if any match had to be cut down, it was the world heavyweight title match which is supposed to be important and not that dumb Rotten mess.

Anyway, the editing did make it very easy to follow the story.
ECW Three Way Dance '95 Review -  The Sandman vs. Shane Douglas

The Sandman was able to out-wrestle the world champion at every turn, wearing him down without relying on his usual hardcore weapons-and-brawling style in an effort to prove himself worthy of the title.

When a crossface chicken wing wouldn’t do the job, Sandman leapt from the top rope with a flying leg drop, hilariously eliciting another “f**k Sabu” chant from the crowd.

Whenever he tried to get his manager, Woman, in on the fun, however, she refused to strike Shane Douglas.

Naturally, the champion made a comeback, but was once again overpowered by the challenger, who, with the match seemingly in the bag, sparked up a cigarette and sent Woman to fetch his Singapore cane.

She obliged, yet rather than handing it straight to her charge, she waited until he was distracted and discreetly tossed it to Douglas.

One low blow and a roll-up layer, the champion retained.
Your Winner and Still ECW World Heavyweight Champion: Shane Douglas

I’m not sure if I’m just high right now, but I’m pretty sure that’s at least the fourth or fifth Shane Douglas title defense I’ve seen recently where the so-called “fighting champion” wins with a fluke roll-up.

Still, a heel’s gotta heel, which meant Douglas left not only with his title but with a new companion, embracing and snogging Woman in the middle of the ring before exiting with her, leaving Sandman alone to smoke a cigarette.

Sandman Swears Revenge

Sandman was still smoking as we cut to a backstage promo in which the pissed-off wrestler promised to beat Douglas in their scheduled rematch and reign unholy misogyny down on Woman.
ECW Three Way Dance '95 Review -  The Sandman swears revenge on Shane Douglas

Offering a retort, Douglas cut a much better promo, vowing to shut Sandman’s mouth once and for all when they met for the “ECW world heavyweight belt.

I’m convinced Vince McMahon heard this promo and signed Douglas just so he could punish him with the Dean Douglas gimmick for using the word “belt.”
ECW Three Way Dance '95 Review -  Woman and Shane Douglas

As his lengthy yet captivating promo neared it’s conclusion, Douglas also promised to put his fist deep inside The Sandman’s ass, which is…



Finally, Woman added her a few comments of her own, letting Sandman know that not only was she in no way scared of him, but she was the very reason for his success.

That was great; especially with it fading out in the pair’s evil villain laugh.

Three Way Dance for the Extreme Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
ECW World Tag Team Champions Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. The Public Enemy ('Flyboy' Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Taz & Rick Steiner (w/ Paul E. Dangerously & 911)

The tag team champions wasted no time getting stuck into this one, going straight after Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge before the third team, Taz and Rick Steiner, had even stepped through the curtain.

ECW Three Way Dance 1995 - Flyboy Rocco Rock

When they did arrive on the scene, Paul E.’s men did so in a whirlwind of suplexes and general violence.

As the duo took the fight to their opponents, Steiner in particular looked as though he clearly gave no fucks, throwing his weight around with some brutally stiff-looking offense and at one point no-selling a vicious German suplex from Benoit in a way that really stretched credibility.

The early chaos soon gave way to a wild six-man brawl. Unfortunately, some of this was hard to follow since most of it was shown from the perspective of a single hard camera that was zoomed all the way out to try and fit everyone in the frame.

So it was relief, both to myself as a viewer and probably to the guys Rick Steiner was running roughshod over that he and Taz were the first team eliminated.

Not that they went quietly.

After Benoit & Malenko took out Taz, the Dog-Faced Gremlin pounced back into the ring and all hell broke loose.

Once the dust finally settled, we were left with a reasonably enjoyable battle between the remaining two teams.

The champs emerged from that battle with the match seemingly in the bag, especially after Benoit suplexed Rocco Rock off the top through a table.

ECW Three Way Dance 1995 - Dean Malenko mocks Sabu

Feeling confident, Malenko even took a moment to respond to the fans’ “f*k Sabu" chant by mocking the AWOL grappler.

Confidence soon turned to cockiness, however, as he and Benoit courteously offered one another the opportunity to pin Rock. Obviously, this gave Flyboy enough time to recover so that, when Malenko did eventually go for a nonchalant cover, the challenger was able to kick out.

That was the beginning of the end. Moments later, Public Enemy hit the Drive-By to end this underwhelming main event and capture their third tag team championship. Your Winners and New ECW Tag Team Champions: The Public Enemy

No sooner had the bell ring than Steiner and Taz were back, brawling with Malenko and Benoit all the way to the curtain while Rock and Grunge celebrated.

Moments later, The Pitbulls hit the ring and ECW Three Way Dance came to an end with them attacking the new champions, setting up a match for the following week’s Hostile City Showdown.

So, did ECW live up to the hype? For the most part, yes it did. Sure, the main event may have been hard to follow and it certainly looked messy in places, but I've seen enough ECW by now to believe that it wouldn't have been any better even if Sabu had been involved. Elsewhere, the debuts of Beulah McGillicutty and Eddie Guerrero added some excitement to the show, with the latter's match against 2 Cold Scorpio stealing "match of the night honors" by a large margin. With that, I'm off to start my Hostile City Showdown '95 review. I'll get that posted in the next few weeks.

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