ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 review

April 15, 1995
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 was the second half of a "Double-Header" attraction, the first half, Three Way Dance, taking place a week prior. 

That show had seen the debuts of both Beulah McGullicutty and Eddie Guerrero. The former was revealed as the catalyst for Tommy Dreamer's rivalry with Raven, while the latter captured both the TV title and Match of the Night honors against 2 Cold Scorpio. 

Tonight, Guerrero would defend that title against Dean Malenko, while McGuillicutty was set to be in Raven's corner for his match against Dreamer.

Elsewhere at Three Way Dance, Woman had double-crossed The Sandman to join forces with Shane Douglas. Tonight, she'd be accompanying the ECW champion as he made his second title defence against Sandman in as many weeks.

That's all the major points covered, so, without further ado, let's head down to the world-famous ECW Arena.

Welcome to Hostile City Showdown 1995

We began tonight's show with the Hostile City Showdown 1995 title card giving way to a seizure-inducing clip featuring a bunch of flashing words. 

It was only on closer viewing (and lots of frantic pausing) that I figured out this was supposed to be a subliminal messaging gimmick encouraging us to watch more TV. 

ECW Subliminal Messaging at Hostile City Showdown

This then faded out to Mikey Whipreck and Stevie Richards already in the ring, ready to kick off our opening contest.

Stevie Richards (w/ Raven) vs. Mikey Whipreck (w/ Hack Meyers)

I already like this show just because the production quality looks better than those shows that are ripped straight from the VHS release.

ECW Hostile City Showdown '95 - Mikey Whipreck vs. Stevie Richards

That means not only is the whole thing easier to watch but also that these screenshots should hopefully not suck too bad either.

Of course, it helps that this was a relatively decent opener.

In the first few moments, Richards’ boss, Raven, got involved, interfering on behalf of his lackey.

In no mood to be messed with, Whipreck stormed to the back and returned moments later with Hack Meyers in tow, bringing out the Shah of ECW to watch his back.

With the playing field even, Mikey took charge, spending a large portion of the bout going after his opponent’s arm.

All the while, the crowd added insult to injury, mocking Richards for his ridiculous attire with a loud chant of “Daisy Dukes! Daisy Dukes!

I don’t say this often, but LOL.

Moments later, the audience was at it again, this time with a “You f**led up!” chant after something went amiss with a spot in the corner.

It wasn’t easy to tell exactly what happened since the referee was in the way, but it looked as though Whipreck didn’t move out of the corner quick enough, meaning Stevie had to stop in his tracks and then dive into the post.

What I do know for sure is that Raven interfered a second time, tripping up Whipreck as he hit the ropes. Looking to capitalize, Stevie hit the ropes on the opposite side of the ring, only for Meyers to trip him up and even the score.

Both men got to their feet and Mikey Whipreck soon put away his opponent with a truly horrible-looking hurricanrana.

Blown spots aside, this wasn’t a horrible way to start Hostile City Showdown. 
Your Winner: Mikey Whipreck 

Post-match, Raven attacked and was soon joined by his other henchmen, The Pitbulls.

ECW Hostile City Showdown '95 - Stevie Richards, The Pitbull, and Raven

The duo had pledged their allegiance to Raven only a week earlier at Three Way Dance ‘95. Tonight, they set about proving their loyalty by helping in a four-on-two beatdown of Meyers and Whipreck.

The assault ended at the hands of The Public Enemy, who raced to the rescue, getting a few early blows in on The Pitbulls ahead of their scheduled match later on the card.

Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge then appeared to pull something out of Meyers' trunks and yelled something utterly indecipherable on the mic.

Seriously. I even put closed captions on, and even that describes that promo as indistinct.

Forget what I said earlier about this show being easier to watch, I still can’t make out half of what’s going on.

Tony Stetson vs. Tsubo Genjin

We joined this match in progress with the sight of Tony Stetson leaning over a barefooted man in tiger skin trunks. 

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 - Tsubo Genjin

Just when you thought Jimmy Snuka was still hanging around, however, the camera pulled back to reveal that this was not the Superfly but rather Tsubo Genjin doing a pretty good Superfly cosplay.

The Japanese grappler beat Tony Stetson so quickly that I barely had time to prevent autocorrect from changing his name before it was all over.

What we saw looked inoffensive enough, but it wasn’t compelling enough to make this fan want to go back and watch it more closely.
Your Winner: Tsubo Genjin

Up next, we cut to Axl Rotten inviting the fans to decide the stipulation for his upcoming match with brother Ian.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review - Ian Rotten

Armed with a trash can full of props, Rotten offered multiple options, including ‘I Quit,’ ‘Loser Leaves Town,’ a strap match, a baseball bat match, or a barbed wire baseball bat match.

Unsurprisingly, the bloodthirsty fans were most in favor of the barbed wire, though when Axl gave them a final option, a death match involving everything in his trash can, they clearly decided that was the one they wanted.

I bet if WCW had let Sting do this back in the day, we’d never have ended up with that Coal Miner’s Glove match.

Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten

The crowd was still cheering for the death match idea when Ian Rotten hit the ring, meaning the death match was underway immediately.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review - Ian Rotten vs. Axl Rotten

Of course, it didn’t really matter what the stipulation was. This proved to be pretty much the same match the Rotten Boys had given us several times already.

In other words, they sauntered around inflicting meaningless acts of grotesque violence on one another until somebody won.

In this case, it was Ian Rotten who picked up the victory after driving his brother’s head into some barbed wire with a DDT.

Everything up to that point was the usual Rotten Brothers Garbagefest Special, and though it was marginally more entertaining than their previous outings, it still wasn’t very good.
Your Winner: Ian Rotten 

Up next, Raven and Stevie Richards made their way to ringside for an interview with Joey Styles
ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 - Joey Styles, Stevie Richards, and Beulah McGuillicutty

Accompanied by Beulah McGillicutty, Richards did all the talking for his man, Raven, essentially recapping the recent history between the former Scotty Flamingo and his arch-nemesis, Tommy Dreamer.

It was a decent promo that gave context to our next match, and it ended with the crowd imploring Stevie to “shut the f*k up.

Raven (w/ Stevie Richards & Beulah McGillicutty) vs. Tommy Dreamer 

The two bitter enemies wasted no time laying into one another, brawling all the way up to the back of the arena and demolishing one another with fists, boots, and whatever plunder happened to be available.

ECW Hostile City Showdown '95 Review - Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven

When they ran out of things to hit one another with up there, Raven and Dreamer brawled back to ringside for a game of “fans bring the weapons.”

There, Dreamer cemented his control of the match by battering his opponent with a kitchen sink, a plastic dinosaur delivered right to Raven’s bollocks, and, finally, a carton of eggs.

Not long after, Raven turned the tables but was unable to maintain the advantage for very long as Dreamer, with the full, unwavering support of the ECW faithful; went on an unstoppable rampage.

Richards inevitably ran in, so Dreamer took him out then DDT’d the referee for no real reason.

Finally, Beulah got in Tommy’s face, so he picked her up, flashed her knickers to the ECW arena, and obliterated her with a DDT.

ECW Hostile City Showdown '95 Review - Raven

This wasn’t much of a match, but it was certainly good for what it was.

Unlike the Rotten Brothers and their garbage matches, Raven and Dreamer showed that it was possible to have a weapons-filled brawl without it sucking, injecting their bout with a well-placed sense of pace and purpose that made it compelling.
Your Winner Via DQ: Raven 

Afterward, a bloody Tommy Dreamer took center stage, basking in the adulation of the fans before heading over the guard rail to join them in that familiar chant of “ECW! ECW!

Make no mistake about it, Dreamer was over like Rover here. 

If Heyman had put the title on him the next day and made him the focal point of the company, I'm sure it would have worked extremely well.

Extreme Championship Wrestling Television Championship
ECW TV Champion Eddy Guerrero vs. ‘The Shooter’ Dean Malenko 

Speaking of things working extremely well, that’s precisely what ECW TV Champion Eddie Guerrero (presented here as “Eddy”) and Dean Malenko did in our next contest.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 - Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko

I’ve produced over 200 reviews for this blog and written about countless matches, but I don’t think I’ve ever before in my life said what I’m about to say about this one:

This match was flawless.

Seriously, the only one minor negative moment in this match involved the crowd turning their focus on an unruly audience member who was causing trouble off camera.

The crowd's chant of “THROW HIM OUT! THROW HIM OUT!” distracted from the match at hand, though thankfully, not for very long.

That was partly due to a solitary fan on the front row who kept pointing to the ring and turning back to face the rest of the audience as if to say “You seeing this s**t? Ignore that guy, you’re missing something incredible here.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review - Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko

Mostly, however, it was because Guerrero and Malenko were so good.

Their performance was so utterly mesmerizing that they would have demanded your attention even if the building was on fire and a guy with bad breath yelled jokes about your momma right down your ear hole.

OK, maybe not, but you get the idea, I’m sure.

From the fast-paced technical masterpiece of the bout’s early minutes to a gripping climax in which both men made one desperate lunge at victory after another, via a lengthy second act compromised mostly of submissions, this was so enthralling that you just HAVE to see it.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, as this did when the time limit expired with both champ and challenger still trading the advantage.
Time-Limit Draw (Eddy Guerrero retains the TV title)

The crowd demanded an encore, but their cries of “FIVE MORE MINUTES!” fell on deaf ears and we went right into the next match.

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

I know it would be a tricky one to pull off, but Nancy “Woman” Sullivan is more than worthy of a posthumous Hall of Fame induction.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review - ECW Champion Shane Douglas w/ Woman

She was always so excellent in her role and enhanced the presentation of everyone she managed, it’s a terrible shame that these days she’s talked about more the tragedy that befell her rather than what a tremendous manager she was.

Back at Three Way Dance, Woman had callously betrayed The Sandman, costing him the win in a title challenge against Shane Douglas and aligning herself with The Franchise.

Tonight, she and Douglas took their sweet time making their entrance as a stoic Sandman stood center-ring and watched them, his stare unwavering.

The split second the bell rang, the challenger pounced, attacking Douglas from behind but eventually succumbing to what Joey Styles tried to convince us was Shane’s superior wrestling prowess.

Look, I’m not saying Douglas wasn’t the better of the two from a technical standpoint, but the way Styles tried to sell it, it was as if Sandman was only good for brawling and wouldn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch.

ECW Hostile City Showdown '95 - The Sandman

I would’ve bought into that much more had Sandman not proved himself to be at least competent in the art of catch-as-catch-can in the aforementioned Three Way Dance bout.

Minor continuity error aside, this was a reasonable match with a tremendous finish.

After absorbing The Franchise’s offense, Sandman regained control out on the arena floor and punished the champion by splattering his body on the concrete.

Back between the ropes, it appeared Sandman’s brawling superpowers were weakened and he soon found himself in the clutches of a Shane Douglas sleeper hold.

The challenger staggered for the ropes, dragging the champion with him until they were close enough for Woman to pick up Sandman’s trusty Singapore cane and whack her own man in the legs with it.

Douglas fell back.

Sandman fell on top of him.

The referee counted.


The Sandman and Woman had duped Shane Douglas.


Woman had double-crossed The Franchise.


The Sandman had beaten Shane Douglas for the ECW title.
Your winner and New ECW Champion: The Sandman 

After the bell, Woman returned to The Sandman’s side, confirming the con on a now former ECW champion who paced outside the ring looking momentarily bewildered.

That bewilderment quickly turned to a moment of rage as The Franchise threw a chair, turned over a table, and then stopped, an evil grin forming that soon turned to wicked laughter.

Douglas turned his back to the ring. 

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 - Shane Douglas in a Monday Night Raw shirt

When he turned round again, he was holding a WWF Monday Night Raw t-shirt.

The Franchise slipped on the merch with menacing glee before yelling at the crowd and then leaving the ECW Arena, marching straight out of the company and into an ill-fated role as evil school teacher Dean Douglas.

At that point, we suddenly remembered that a new champion had just been crowned.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 - Woman and new ECW Champion Shane Douglas

Cameras turned back to Sandman and Woman, who apparently hadn’t moved an inch during Douglas’ entire dramatic exit.

The duo received their ovation from the audience and then, a few seconds later, we cut straight to our next match as if the crowning of a new world champion was no big deal.

Extreme Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship 
ECW World Tag Team Champions The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. The Pitbulls (Pitbull #1 & Pitbull #2 w/ Stevie Richards)

The Pitbulls had been on a hot streak as of late, steamrolling over every team put in front of them and even joining forces with Raven and Richards.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review - The Pitbulls vs. The Public Enemy

Tonight, they finally had serious competition on their hands in the form of reigning tag team champions The Public Enemy.

Honestly, I’ve watched this match twice over now and I still can’t decide what I think about it.

There were moments when it was genuinely exciting when the wild, bloody brawling, and typical ECW weapon spots made for a captivating watch.

Then there were moments when it felt like you were watching four knuckleheads staggering blind-drunk out of a bar at three AM and attempting to fight one another.

It wasn’t that bc anything was outright bad here, but the longer the match went on, the more it seemed to lose focus, all four men simply wandering around aimlessly whacking each other with stuff until it was time for the next big spot.

Eventually, Rocco Rock scored the win for his team with the most deadly finishing move of all time - The Roll-Up.
Your Winners and Still ECW Tag Team Champions: The Public Enemy Enemy

Up next, 911 faced Ron Simmons.

Thankfully, we were spared the horrors of watching 911 wrestle as the show cut right to the end of the match. 

That saw 911 hurl Simmons from the top rope then jump down after him and pinning him.

I’m so glad I didn’t have to sit through that.

Terry Funk vs. Cactus Jack

Terry Funk made his way out for our main event wearing a shirt that said “CACTUS MY ASS.”

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 Review - Terry Funk with 'Cactus My Ass' written on his shirt

I hope whoever took him up on that offer used lube.

Ahem, dirty jokes aside, this was yet another weapons-filled brawl, albeit one with a drama and intensity that the others on this show had lacked.

ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 - Terry Funk vs. Cactus Jack

Things quickly spilled to the outside, where Cactus battered his nemesis with a toilet seat and took him on a trip to the back of the arena. Yet it was Funk who returned from that trip in control of the match, taking Jack back to the ring and decimating his flesh with a broken bottle. 

Terry continued his deadly assault until Mikey Whipreck ran into save his friend and former tag team partner. 

Not that Whipreck's assistance did any good. Funk merely clocked him around the head and sent him packing to the outside. 

Foley battled back, drilling Funk with a DDT on the chair a cover that was broken up by The Sandman. Much as Funk had done with Whipreck, Cactus disposed of Sandman, returned his attentions to The Funker, and won the match.
Your Winner: Cactus Jack

Not that he looked like much of a winner. 

No sooner had the bell sounded than Sandman was back in the ring, walloping Cactus with cane shots aplenty and dousing him in lighter fluid. 

Funk then returned with a flaming branding iron that he used to prod Cactus out of the ring.

It was an impressive visual, for sure, though if you were expecting a blazing inferno or a recap of the ECW Arena Fire, you'd have to wait a couple of months. 

Instead, Cactus grabbed the branding iron and crawled around. Funk fled, babyfaces like Ian Rotten and Hack Meyers came to Foley's rescue, and ECW Hostile City Showdown 1995 ended with a sincere "Oh My God" from Joey Styles. 

Buy The Complete History of Starrcade Volume 1 on Amazon

Reviewing ECW shows can be a chore sometimes, especially when those shows feature one wild brawl after another. Don't get me wrong, I like a good brawl as much as the next fan, but when the whole card is full of them (and when half of them are mediocre), it gets very old, very fast. 

Still, I'll keep reviewing these shows because, hidden among the garbage there's the occasional diamond or two. 

That was certainly the case with Hostile City Showdown 1995. Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko for the TV title is one of my favorite matches of all time and undoubtedly one of the best ECW matches ever.
That match, along with the world title change and Shane Douglas' leaving the company made this one of the more memorable and important Extreme Championship Wrestling shows. A recommended watch for sure.

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