Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label ECW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ECW. Show all posts

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed 1994

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review
February 5, 1994
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Night The Line Was Crossed was Eastern Championship Wrestling's first major event of 1994 and a big step for the Philadelphia promotion as they began to firmly cement their legacy for violence, hardcore wrestling, and all things extreme. 

Throughout 1993, events such as the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular had seen ECW presented as little more than another indie outfit in which both established, past-their-prime performers and up-and-coming superstars plied their trade. 

Tonight, however, the company let it be known that they meant business as they took the first bloody and brutal steps towards establishing themselves as one of The Big Three professional wrestling companies of the 1990s. 

Here's what went down on February 5th, 1994, a night that will forever live in ECW fans minds as the night the line was crossed. 





The Night The Line Was Crossed

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review - ECW President Todd Gordon
Tonight’s show opened with Todd Gordon sitting in front of a large map of the world and the oldest PC you’ve ever seen in your life.

Gordon informed us that Eastern Championship Wrestling had been accused of being the most violent, gory, extreme, and hardcore federation in America.

He neither confirmed nor denied these allegations, but simply said that what we were about to see was from February 4th, the night the line was well and truly crossed.

There you are then.

Wildman Sal Bellomo vs. The Ruffneck Mr. Hughes (w/ Jason)

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review - Mr Hughes beat Sal Bellomo
I must admit, it was different seeing Mr. Hughes with somebody leading him into battle rather than Hughes being the man standing behind someone else.

The man in his corner had the uninspiring name of ‘Jason’ and wore a tuxedo jacket and bow tie. Combined with his hairdo, you got the feeling this might be what Paul Heyman might look like if he dressed as Brutus Beefcake for Halloween.

Anyway, this match was a big pile of nothing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two men do less in the ring and call it a match.

A few instances of running the ropes, a slow, lumbering punch or two, then interference from Jason to give Hughes the win.
Your Winner: Mr. Hughes.

That was crap.

Double Dog Collar Match
The Sandman & Tommy Cairo vs. The Pitbull & Rockin’ Rebel (w/ Jason)

This was a fun, albeit short match full of wild brawling.

After five or six minutes of a fairly good match, Tommy Cairo dove on The Pitbull with The Sandman assisting by grabbing Pitbull’s legs.

That was enough to get the fall.

It’s a shame this will one didn’t last longer because I was just getting into it.
Your Winners: The Sandman & Tommy Cairo

Post-match, Rockin’ Rebel hung Sandman over the top rope by the chain before he and Pitbull did a number on Tommy Cairo.

No Rules Match
The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. The Bruise Brothers (Ron & Don Harris)

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review -  The Public Enemy vs. The Bruise Brothers
Coming to us by way of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, The Bruise Brothers entered into a chaotic, arena-wild brawl with The Public Enemy which looked to be even more wild and chaotic than the previous match.

I say ‘looked to be,’ because this was one example of how ECW’s low budget presentation could really hurt them.

The show seemed to be shot from a single camera which meant it was impossible to follow everything. Add some very low lighting, and keeping track of this match was hard going.

From what you could see, however, this looked to be an excellent brawl that finally ended up back in the ring where Johnny Grunge leveled one of their opponents with 2x4.

He and Rocco Rock then piled on for the three count.
Your Winners: The Public Enemy

Up next, this:

Tommy Dreamer vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review -  Jimmy Snuka vs. Tommy Dreamer
You know, the idea of a heel Jimmy Snuka appeals to me, but my goodness were his matches terrible.

On all of the Eastern Championship Wrestling shows I’ve reviewed so far, Snuka’s matches were  always one of -if not the- worst things on the show, and this was hardly an exception.

He and Tommy Dreamer spent the first third of the match stalling and playing to the crowd. I suppose that was fun for them but it was boring as heck to watch.

The second third saw Snuka beat down Dreamer in like 30 seconds, only for the plucky rookie to kick out of the Superfly Splash.

Then, in the final third, Snuka hit another splash and pinned him.

The ending was interesting as Joey Styles played up the idea that nobody ever kicked out of Superfly’s finisher, but the match itself was just dull.
Your Winner: Jimmy Snuka

Post match, Snuka beat up the official then attacked Dreamer some more.

Dreamer then sold the beat down like he’d been run over by a train while Sal Bellomo came in to ensure Snuka couldn’t do any more damage.

Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac (w/ Woman) vs. The Original Sheik & Pat Tanaka

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review -  Kevin Sullivan & Tazz
The Original Sheik
was such a wild and out-of-control force that he tipped the entrance curtain over on his way out and destroyed started throwing things around wildly.

This distracted everyone enough that Pat Tanaka was able to sneak into the ring and attack The Tazmaniac

Tanaka was wearing street clothes tonight, probably because he couldn’t be bothered.

What followed from here was really two different matches. Sheik and Kevin Sullivan brawled through the crowd and got into a fight by the barricades while in the ring, Tazmaniac spent the entire match sitting on Tanaka’s back in a half Boston Crab.

To be fair, it wasn’t terrible, but having already seen two wild tag team brawls; this just didn’t add anything new.

At least not until the finish. Sheik broke away from Sullivan to throw a fireball in the ring at Tazmaniac, allowing Tanaka to score the victory.

The whole thing was over in about four minutes.
Your Winners: The Original Sheik & Pat Tanaka. 

Afterwards, Sheik and Sullivan continued to brawl while Woman tended to the scorched and singed Tazmaniac in the ring.

J.T Smith vs. Awesome Mike Awesome

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review -  Mike Awesome vs. JT. Smith
Yes, Mike Awesome was Awesome Mike Awesome here as he made his first appearance at a major ECW event.

Big Mike did look impressive here, getting over with the crowd as he destroyed J.T Smith in what looked to be a short squash match until Smith scored a quick victory with a roll up, his only offensive move of the entire match.
Your Winner: J.T Smith

Post match, Awesome vented his frustrations by taking out the referee with two powerbombs.

He then climbed to the top rope, ready to pounce on the poor, battered official. Instead, the top turnbuckle snapped and Awesome fell flat on his face in an ugly botch.

Ouch.

Three Way Dance for the Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
ECW Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas (w/ Sherri Martel) vs. Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review -  Sabu puts an armbar on Shane Douglas
Never in my life did I imagine that I’d willingly watch an hour-long Shane Douglas match, let alone actually enjoy it.

The entertainment started before any of the combatants even locked up as Paul E. Dangerously ran out and clocked Sherri Martel from behind with his ever-present cell phone.

It was such a cowardly-d*ck move and was so unexpected that you couldn’t help but be entertained by it.

From there, this three way dance started with just Douglas and Sabu as Joey Styles explained that in order for either man to win, they would first have to beat the other before dethroning Terry Funk for the title.

This got a little confusing as it was then explained that if neither man scored the victory in the first 15 minutes, Funk would come out anyway to make it a three way. That bit was clear, but it was never fully explained whether elimination rules still applied once the Funker got involved.

As both men duked it out, Styles also gave us the backstory to the match, reminding us that Sabu -in only his second match for the company- had upset Douglas for the title at NWA Bloodfest ‘93 before losing it to Funk.

Predictably, neither man scored the pin in the first 15, leading to the arrival of the ECW champion.

If you were immediately expecting the promised three-way though, you’d be dissapointed.

In the ensuing chaos, Sabu just kind of disappeared, meaning Douglas had essentially swapped opponents.

Later, the Homicidal Maniac returned sporting a bandage on his knee, with Styles telling us that he’d been injured.

The three-way then commenced and led to the most comical spot in the match:

Funk left the ring and worked his way through the crowd to Joey’s announce table.

There, he took to the microphone and practically begged Douglas and Sabu to come out and fight him in the crowd.

His opponents ignored him completely and instead went into a rest hold in the middle of the ring.

The more they ignored him, the more Funk called him out until eventually giving up and rejoining the fight.

I don’t know why, but that was hilarious.

Later, after more action, Bad Breed came out and began attacking Shane, though not without receiving a couple of chair shots courtesy of Sabu.

The match continued all the way up to an hour-long draw, and while it wasn’t the greatest technical spectacle in the world, it sure was a very entertaining hour of wrestling.
Time Limit Draw

Post match, Funk and Sabu had to be helped from the ring while Douglas left on his own power, all while the crowds gave the three men a standing ovation.

The Post-Show Media Conference

ECW - The Night The Line Was Crossed '94 Review -  Terry Funk confronts Shane Douglas
The Night The Line Was Crossed ended with Joey Styles pretending to host a media conference even though it was very obvious there was no one else in the room besides himself and ECW’s own camera crew.

First, Styles interviewed a very emotional Terry Funk, who put Douglas and Sabu over but was far less complimentary towards WCW and WWF.

The Funker was ECW all the way and was passionate about delivering hardcore wrestling for the hardcore fans.

Up next, Paul E. Dangerously came out with Sabu being restrained by his handlers.

Dangerously simply put his man over and claimed that he had been robbed of the title before making way for Douglas.

Calm, cool, and collected despite visibility seething underneath, The Franchise insisted that he should be the true ECW champion as he was the only man to leave the ringside area on his own two feet.

This brought Funk back for an intense confrontation which led to a predictable brawl that was broken up by most of the ECW roster.

I won’t lie to you, those post-match interviews were the most compelling thing on the whole show.






The fact that the “media conference” was the most enjoyable aspect of the event doesn’t mean that the rest of ECW The Night The Line Was Crossed sucked.

It really didn’t.

By now, the company had truly embraced the renegade, hardcore style that would see them establish themselves as one of American pro wrestling’s big three.

And while none of the matches were classics and there was a lot of crap on here too (looking at you, Superfly), that hour-long main event and the utterly captivating post-match interviews made it well worth a watch.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW - NWA Bloodfest '93

ECW Bloodfest '93 - Night 2
October 1 and October 2, 1993
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NWA Bloodfest ‘93 was a two-night event promoted by Eastern Championship wrestling a short while after their last event Ultraclash '93.

Unlike other ECW events from around this time, Bloodfest isn’t featured on the WWE Network, though I did manage to find a one-hour version on YouTube which features most -but not all- of the matches from night 2 of the event.

If I ever come across Night 1 of the event (or if any of you can tell me where to check it out), then I will of course, review that too.

For now though, let’s dive in and check this one out.






Welcome to Bloodfest



We opened tonight’s event with a short introductory video featuring highlights of tonight’s stars before heading right down to ringside for our opening contest.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Tag Team Championship
ECW Tag Team Champions Johnny Hotbody and Tony Stetson (w/ Hunter Q. Robbins III) vs. The Sandman & J.T Smith (w/ Terry Funk)

Something tells me this show might be a chore to watch if this match is anything to go by.

It really wasn’t much of anything.

After a few minutes of decent but uninspiring action, Terry Funk got involved, leading to a disqualification in about 5 minutes.
Your Winners via Disqualification and still ECW Tag Team Champions: Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson

Moving on..

The Tazzmaniac & Tommy Dreamer

ECW Bloodfest '93 - The Tazzmaniac hurts Tommy Dreamer
Here we had the ECW debut of Tommy Dreamer as he took on The Tazzmaniac (Tazz), a man who himself had only debuted the previous evening against fellow newcomer Sabu.

Dreamer’s debut is well known as an early example of Paul Heyman’s booking prowess, having the future hardcore legend lose the match but gain the fan’s respect after putting on a solid show against Tazzmaniac.

That certainly happened, but it wasn’t as though Tommy completely got his ass whooped here. He held his own against a man who still had long hair, worn a loin cloth and pretended like he was an actual savage from the island of Tasmania.

It was a decent match. Not great by any stretch, but competently performed and reasonably entertaining.
Your Winner: The Tazzmaniac

Post match, the usually belligerent ECW crowd gave Dreamer

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Sherri Martel) vs. J.T Smith (w/ Terry Funk)

ECW Bloodfest '93 - Shane Douglas
And so we have our second appearance from J.T Smith. According to Wikipedia, both of his matches happened on night 2.

That seems odd, but there you go.

There wasn’t much to this match. Going into it, the story was that Smith had an injured knee, so Shane Douglas wasted no time going right after it.

Within the space of 4 minutes (at least as it was presented here) Douglas wore down Smith to the point that Terry Funk had to throw in the towel.
Your Winner and Still ECW Champion: Shane Douglas

Post match, Funk turned on Smith, beating him up with his boot then tossing him to the outside and dumping a chair on him.

It was the most entertaining thing that had happened in the first 20 minutes of this show.

Yesterday’s Trash

Prior to the next match, Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge threw some garbage in the trash which allowed them to deliver the very original and very clever line:

“Diamond, Tanaka, we’re going to take you out like yesterday’s trash!”

Right on.

Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka) vs. Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge)

Finally, we got a match this fan could really sink his teeth into.

Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka were excellent and Public Enemy didn’t exactly phone it in either.

Their combined efforts gave us a compelling match which proved to be the best thing on the show up to this point.

After a very strong contest, Badd Company picked up the win following a miscommunication between Rock and Grunge.
Your Winners: Badd Company

And on we go.

Rockin’ Rebel vs. Chris Michaels

We joined this match in progress and it wasn’t really anything.

Rockin’ Rebel beat up on Chris Michaels for a bit, then beat up the referee too and got disqualified.
Your Winner via disqualification: Chris Michaels

Post-match, Rebel went to attack Michaels with a chair, but his arch-rival Big Sal Belomo charged the ring and saw him off.

Bad Breed (Axl & Ian Rotten) vs. Chad Austin & Don E. Allen

This was essentially a squash match, with Axl Rotten & Ian Rotten demolishing their opponents in rapid order.

It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it was very obvious (especially given Joey Styles commentary), that this was intended as nothing more than TV filler to help Bad Breed get over.
Your Winners: Bad Breed

Up next, more Public Enemy.

Don Muraco & Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs. Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka)

ECW Bloodfest '93 - Jimmy Snuka
Everywhere you look online, this is listed as Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco beating Public Enemy by forefeit, but that’s not actually what happened.

Badd Company came out second, looking like they were gearing to fight Snuka & Muraco, only to be blindsided by Public Enemy. As Rock & Grunge attacked, Joey Styles yelled:

“We haven’t seen Public Enemy since they lost to Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka!”

So like, ten minutes ago then Joey?

Anyway, Bad Breed then came out and attacked Public Enemy and the announcer declared the match a forefeit.
Your Winners via forefeit: Don Muraco & Jimmy Snuka.

What a waste of time that was. It was good news for Snuka & Muraco though, and probably the easiest pay check they ever made.

Afterwards, Styles confirmed that Badd Company really were supposed to be the intended opponents.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
ECW Heavyweight champion Shane Douglas (w/ Sherri Martel) vs. Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)

ECW Bloodfest '93 - sabu
This was supposed to be Douglas vs. Sandman but the latter had been incapacitated backstage, so Sabu was wheeled out chained to what looked like a sack truck.

Wikipedia says this match lasted nigh on 13 minutes so this version must have been severely edited because it was over in less than 3.

Sabu got attacked by Douglas but then slammed him and landed a moonsault to capture the title.
Your Winner and New ECW Heavyweight Champion: Sabu

Post-match, the new champion was dragged, thrashing and lashing away, to the back.

Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs. Chad Austin


Snuka destroyed Austin in no time at all then hit him with a slingshot suplex and pinned him with an arrogant ‘one foot over the chest’ cover.

The sling shot suplex looked good. The rest of this match did not.
Your Winner: Jimmy Snuka

And finally...

Steel Cage Match
Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka) vs. The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge)

This match went from the entrances straight to Bad Breed running in and a whole bunch of chairs being swung about.

It looked like a good brawl, but by this point I have to admit, I’d completely switched off.

Public Enemy won by escaping the cage.
Your Winners: Public Enemy

Thank goodness that’s over







If anyone out there has a copy of night one of this event that they’d like to send me, I’d be glad to review for the sake of completion, but if it’s anything like Night 2, I dare say I won’t enjoy it much.

By the time this hour-long presentation was half way through, it had become very apparent that what NWA Bloodfest really was, was a two-night TV taping with matches shot in no particular order to be played on ECW TV.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, the fact that we only saw abridged versions of mediocre matches did not make for an entertaining hour of pro wrestling viewing.

The first Badd Company/Public Enemy match was enjoyable, but nothing else here was up to much.



Thursday, 5 August 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW Ultra Clash 1993

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Event review
September 18, 1993
ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 may not be the most widely-remembered wrestling event in history, but that doesn't mean it isn't significant in its own right.

This was the first event for which Paul Heyman had taken control of Eastern Championship Wrestling's booking and creative vision. 

It was the event in which he first began to turn this little indie outfit into an extreme institution and one of the Big Three US wrestling companies. 

It was also the event at which we would first meet future ECW mainstays like Joey Styles and The Public Enemy...

But was it any good?

Let's head down to the ECW arena to find out.




Welcome to Ultra Clash


ECW was still Eastern Championship Wrestling at this point in time but our opening video (set to what sounded like a cut from a low-budget PlayStation skateboarding game) featured shots of a woman getting her top ripped off and JT Smith being knocked from a balcony, so it was already fairly extreme...at least more so than the fairly tame product we’d seen back at ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular earlier in the year.

After said video, we went straight into our opening match.

The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Jason Knight & Ian Rotten

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - The Public Enemy
If your only exposure to The Public Enemy was as the party-loving jobbers from WCW, you’ll likely be surprised to find them here as two ass-kicking heels who just destroyed their opponents.

I mean they demolished them. So much so Ian Rotten and Jason Knight didn’t manage to get in a single offensive move between them for the duration of this five-plus minute slaughter.

In fact, Jason Knight didn’t even get tagged in. He just got his ass kicked on the outside while Rotten got destroyed between the ropes.

Unsurprisingly, Johnny Grunge and Flyboy Rocco Rock prevailed when the latter cannonballed onto Rotten for the win.
Your Winners: The Public Enemy

Post-match, The Public Enemy further drew the ire of the crowd by continuing their beat down of Ian Rotten.

When they’d had enough, Joey Styles started to tell us all about the group’s next big event, NWA Blood Feast ‘93.

Sadly that isn’t on the WWE Network, though I did find a https://youtu.be/WRltkUbMV0Qone-hour version on YouTube so we’ll get to that soon.

ECW Pennsylvania State Championship 
ECW Pennsylvania State Champion Tony “Hitman” Stetson (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III) vs. “Ironman” Tommy Cairo

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Tony Stetson vs. Tommy Cairo
Imagine still using the nickname “Hitman” in the 1990s and not considering changing it.

Here, the not-so-excellence of execution put his title on the line against Tommy Cairo in a decent if somewhat unremarkable match that failed to maintain this fan’s attention.

After roughly ten minutes, Stetson’s manager, Hunter Q. Robins III distracted referee Jim Molyneux while the champ blasted his opponent with the title belt.

One three count later and this one was done.
Your Winner: Tony Stetson 

Mask vs. Mask Match
Super Destroyer I vs. Super Destroyer 2 (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Super Destroyer 1 vs. Super Destroyer 2
Prior to the match, Robins took to the microphone to berate Super Destroyer I, but the quality of this recording is so bad that I could only make out the words “building” and “ugly face.”

This was a weird match that was very slow and basic. 

Though that doesn’t necessarily make it bad, it was like watching two wrestlers early in their training being told to demonstrate a basic sequence of moves for a match.

Plus there was the fact that both men wore identical attire and masks. Sure, Joey Styles told us that one of them was technically bigger than the other, but it was still impossible to tell them apart.

In the end, the babyface Super D. 1 picked up the win.
Your Winner: Super Destroyer 1

Super Destroyer 2 was then forced to unmask, and while Styles pretended like he recognized him but couldn’t remember his name, The Dark Patriot came down and helped Super D. 2 carry out a beat down of S.D 1.

Eventually, J.T Smith came down to make the save and this led us right into our next match.

Scaffold Match
The Dark Patriot vs. JR Smith

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - JT Smith vs. The Dark Patriot in a scaffold match
No joke, this was probably the best scaffold match this fan has ever seen.

All of the scaffold matches the NWA had in the 1980s (including at Starrcade '86 and Starrcade '87) saw big, tough men hanging around the edges of the platform where it was safe, and then basically hanging onto the edge of the platform and dropping down into the ring as gently as possible.

JT Smith and The Dark Patriot showed no such restraint.

They brawled fearlessly in the middle of the platform and took bumps. Smith even threw a neat dropkick.

Speaking of threw, Patriot won the match by hurling his opponent off the scaffold. Smith took an unbelievably nasty bump but then popped back up so that Patriot could come down and attack him some more.
Your Winner: The Dark Patriot

And attack him he did.

Smith got thrown into the crow, hit with a chair, thrown into another part of the crowd, hit with another chair and so on until he was destroyed.

Tag Team Bunkhouse Match
Kevin Sullivan & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Abdullah The Butcher & Kevin Sullivan vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen
I don't know why anybody would think this was good.

Sure, I can see how it might have been entertaining if you were there live, but watching it back now, it just looks like four sloppy-arsed drunks falling over each other after closing time.

At various points, Kevin Sullivan tried a brand new, never-before-tried approach to winning a pro wrestling match:

He would just walk up to his opponents and look at them.

 Seriously, there was a moment when he wandered towards Stan Hansen and just stood there staring at him for a while until Hansen thought 'screw it' and slapped the Taskmaster silly.

In the end, Eddie Gilbert ran out with a steel chair, causing a disqualification, which was dumb because this was a weapons-filled, anything goes brawl.
Your Winners via Disqualification: Terry Funk and Stan Hansen

Post-match, Kevin Sullivan and Abdullah The Butcher started fighting each other for no explainable reason until some dudes ran in to break it up. 

Funk and Hansen then returned to beat up those dudes and we got another wild brawl into the crowd that was exactly the same as the Dark Patriot/J.T. Smith brawl except with more people.

I'll say it again, this was not good.

$5,000 Intergender Battle Royal
Sensational Sherri vs. Tigra  vs. Angel  vs. Don E. Allen  vs. Jay Sulli vs. Hunter Q. Robbins III

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Tigra
Nor was this. 

While Tigra spent the whole match sat on the turnbuckle, watching, each of the men took turns in walking over to Sensational Sherri and Angel and being routinely eliminated by them.

Sherri then did a Mil Mascaras and eliminated herself, though rather than hitting a top rope splash, she chased off some dude in a shell suit who Joey Styles told us was Freddie Gilbert, Eddie's brother and ECW referee.

At that point, Angel deliberately popped herself up on the ropes making her an easy target. Tigra came over, poked Angel in the bum with the tip of her finger, and won the match.
Your Winner: Tigra

I'm a big fan of Sensational Sherri, but this was dumb and pointless.

Loser Receives 10 Lashes
Wildman Sal Bellomo (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Sir Richard Michaels (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

Did Hunter Q. manage every single heel in ECW?

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Wildman Sal Bellomo
I’m sure he did, because here he was again, backing Sir Richard Michaels.

Not to be outdone, Wildman Sal Bellomo got on the microphone before the match started and said ”whmph, mmph, bumpy bum bmmph, Sherri would you come to the ring, please?”

OK, so it may not have been that exactly, but like I said earlier, the recording quality is so bad that I’ve really no idea what he said beyond asking Sherri to join him in the ring.

The Sensational One did so, making her presence felt in Big Sal’s corner for what was a fairly average, if inoffensive, match.

After a few minutes of uninspired action, Sal fell like a sack of potatoes onto Richard Michaels and got the one, two, three.
Your Winner: Wildman Sal Bellomo

If you were worried that this show didn’t have enough post-match brawls,  you’ll be delighted to know that yet another one came right up.

Wildman Sal started to lash Michaels with a training belt while Sherri rolled around on top of Hunter Q and made him the luckiest dude in the whole building.

At that point, Rockin’ Rebel ran down to blast Sal with a chair and throw Sherri around the ring.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship 
Fabulous ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Sandman

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Shane Douglas vs. Sandman
Yes, Shane Douglas was “Fabulous” here, apparently. 

Though, to be fair, he almost wasn’t much of anything as he first walked off and threatened not to defend his title until the referee promised that he would give said title to Sandman if Douglas didn’t return to the ring immediately.

The champion did so, and consequently entered into what I have to say was the best match on the card up until this point.

No, I can’t quite believe that I just wrote that either, but it’s true. It was a competently wrestled heel vs. face match with some stuff which, while fairly textbook, was still pretty fun.

In the end, the ref took a tumble and Paul E.‘s phone came into play as an international object to give us a very near fall.

The challenger then dove off the top with what looked to be the match-winning flying cross body only for Douglas to roll through, grab a handful of tights and retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still ECW Heavyweight Champion: Shane Douglas 

Afterwards, Sandman berated the referee while Fabulous Shane made his escape.

Baseball Bat Match
W*ING Tag Team Champions Headhunters (Mofat & Mahim) vs. Miguel Perez & W*ING Heavyweight Champion Crash the Terminator

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - The Headhunters
Ok, scrap what I said about Douglas vs. Sandman, this was the best match on the card.

As a baseball bat match, things started with all four men outside the ring and a baseball bat inside.

After the count of ten, they charged to the ring to grab the bat and beat the living hell out of each other with it.

And beat the living hell out of each other they did.

The match immediately spilled back out into the crowd for a wild brawl which was hampered only by ECW's lack of budget. 

The show was filmed entirely on a single camera, and when you have two teams pairing off and brawling all over the building, that one camera is going to miss stuff.

At one point, one of the Headhunters got thrown through a fricken wall by Crash the Terminator and the camera was focussed purely on the other Headhunter hanging around in the ring doing nothing much of anything. 

That gave us the odd moment where Joey Styles called something that we didn't actually see.

When we could see stuff, it was all good stuff, culminating in one of the big fat Headhunters hitting a sweet moonsault for the three.
Your Winners: The Headhunters

At this juncture, Joey Styles told us that The Headhunters had successfully defended their W*ING tag team titles, though there was no mention on the show -or in anything I've read since- that says the titles were actually on the line.

Afterward, both teams continued fighting to end the show with yet another brawl through the crowd because why choose to end your show with something different when you could just repeat the same damn thing you'd been doing from the beginning?

To be fair, it was a pretty entertaining brawl, but I can't help but feel that it would have meant so much more had we not already seen the exact same thing multiple times.







So no, Paul Heyman's start as ECW booker was not a spectacular one by any stretch of the imagination.

When one of the best matches on the show is Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman, you know things are pretty bad.

Sure, it's historically important, and if you do watch it you'll get to see not only Heyman's first attempt at booker but also the ECW debut of The Public Enemy and Joey Styles on commentary, but don't expect to be entertained very much.

If you can get the moment JT Smith plummets to his doom and the main event on YouTube, those are the only moments you need to see from what was otherwise a poor show.


Thursday, 11 March 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993

June 19, 1993
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular was the first major event promoted by ECW and was a long, long way from the kind of PPV events the company would be putting out just five-six years later.

Back in 1993, there was no way of telling that this little-promotion-that-could would eventually establish itself as one of the "Big Three," offering a viable option for those who preferred a more extreme alternative to WCW and the WWF.

OK, so may be some people - like Paul Heyman, for example - wanted it to happen, but to watch Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular you'd be forgiven for dismissing ECW as nothing more than another low-rent indie promotion with nothing much going on.

Still, that's not what we're going to today. Rather than dismiss ECW, we're going to head down to Philadelphia and see what went down at the company's first big super show.





Welcome to the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular 


We began tonight’s show outside the ECW arena where Todd Gordon and Jay Sulli stood around hyping up a small group of middle-aged men who were apparently die-hard ECW fans.

Gordon hyped one of tonight’s big matches before calling the ECW Super Summer Sizzler 93 ‘the hottest show in independent history.’

With that, we got our opening video package, a typically early ‘90s amateur-hour affair featuring early ECW stars like Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco as well as people this writer had no idea had ever appeared for the company like British Bulldog and Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart.

We then went straight to the action with Sulli being joined on commentary by the one and only Paul E. Dangerously.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Television Championship
ECW Television Champion ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka vs. J.T Smith

Superfly was a heel here and aligned with Paul E.

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 - Jimmy Snuka
Apparently, his gimmick was that he didn’t give a sh*t. Either that or he just didn’t actually care and was only there to pick up a paycheque.

The match wasn’t awful or anything but you really just got the impression that Snuka was simply going through the motions until he could hit the Superfly Splash and get out of there.

That happened in about six minutes, ending a pretty ‘blah’ match.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Jimmy Snuka.

Moving quickly on...

First Blood Rules
Larry Winters vs. Tony “Hitman” Stetson

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Larry Winters vs. Tony Stetson
Things got a little better with this next match. Not great, but better.

The action wasn’t particularly special, but both Larry Winters and Tony Stetson concentrated on attacking each other’s foreheads and actually trying to make their opponent bleed right from the word go. Honestly, that’s a far better approach than many first blood matches where the two wrestlers compete in a relatively normal match and drawing blood seems like a an afterthought.

With that working in its favor then, it’s disappointing that the finish to this match was kind of dumb.

Rockin’ Rebel got involved, distracting the referee so that Stetson could pull a chain out of his pants and blast his rival with it to win the match.

Sure, that would have been a standard finish in a regular match, but it had already been announced that there were no rules besides making your opponent bleed, so why bother with the distraction?
Your Winner: Tony Stetson

Post match, Stetson and Rebel beat up on poor old Larry Winters until Winters battled back and sent them packing.

Cat Fight Humiliation Match
Miss Peaches vs. Terrible Tigra

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Terrible Tigra
‘Cat fight humiliation match’ - well, at least ECW were honest and didn’t try to pass this off as any kind of genuine athletic competition because it certainly wasn’t.

Miss Peaches was Sandman’s wife and Terrible Tigra had been getting involved in Sandman’s matches which was a good enough reason for the two to roll around on the mat tugging at each other’s clothes in a bout that had no clearly defined way to win.

The way to win wasn’t by removing an item of your opponents' clothes because Tigra did that to Peaches in about sixty seconds and the match continued.

It could have been by regular pinfall or submission but since neither lady even attempted a cover, that’s probably not it either.

After another minute or so of nondescript rolling around, Tigra tried to leave only to be blocked at the isle by the debuting Angel, who was being presented here as a mystery woman.

Angel ordered Tigra back to the ring to roll around again for another minute before simply letting her leave. At that point, the referee called for the bell and awarded the match to Peaches.
Your Winner Via Goodness Knows What: Miss Peaches

Post-match, Peaches went to cut a promo but Rockin’ Rebel and Tony Stetson chased her off then ganged up on Angel and ripped her top off, exposing her boobage to the audience. Seriously, can you imagine any show today where two men could overpower a woman and rip her clothes off and it being allowed to air?

I’m sure there are people for whom this kind of stuff constitutes entertainment, but this fan is certainly not one of them.

Anyway, Larry Winters eventually came to the rescue and Angel’s dignity was preserved with a beach towel.

Eastern Championship Wrestling TV Championship
WCW TV Champion Superfly Jimmy Snuka (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Iron Man Tommy Cairo

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Iron Man TommY Cairo
With Paul E. now accompanying his man to ringside, Terry Funk joined Sulli on commentary.

This was the better of Jimmy Snuka’s two title defences on the show, but only because challenger Tommy Cairo turned up ready to go and worked his butt off.

Snuka still seemed like he didn’t want to do much of anything, so his opponent bounced around for a while before losing in the most feeble way possible.

Paul E. tripped up Cairo and Snuka pinned him with one foot barely grazing the middle rope.

Apparently, Cairo was so weak that he couldn’t kick out and the match was over.
Your Winner and Still ECW TV Champion: Jimmy Snuka

After the bell, Cairo hi-fived the fans while Terry Funk put over his main event match with ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert and the ring announcer put over the ECW Hotline.

Remember that?

Philly Street Fight
The Sandman vs. Rockin’ Rebel

After his awful double-murder suicide killing his wife and then himself in 2018, Rockin’ Rebel now recives the Krispin Wah treatment on WWE Network which captions this match only as ‘Sandman Competes in a Philly Street Fight.

Much as I do with Benoit matches on this blog, the best way I can think to approach this is to focus purely on the quality of the match out of respect for their opponent and leave my own personal feelings about the crimes committed out of the equation.

The match was easily the most entertaining thing on the show so far but to be honest, given the lacklustre quality of this event that’s not the huge compliment it might first seem.

The Sandman wasn’t yet fully ‘The Sandman’ as fans would later get to know him as. Instead, he was somewhere between the beer-swilling hardcore icon and the surfer dude he had started his career as.

Whatever his gimmick was, Sandman wasn’t a great wrestler here but could swing a chair around with the best of them and did so with gusto until another mystery woman (Tammy Sytch) entered the ring and sprayed him in the eyes with something.

That allowed Rebel to get the win via roll-up.
Your Winner: Rockin’ Rebel

Afterwards, Tony Stetson (who had put in a cameo in the match) helped Tammy to the back but thankfully saw no reason to rip her clothes off.

Dark Patriot II (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Dick Murdoch

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Paul "Flappy Tits" Heyman
Prior to the bell, Paul E. announced that the original Dark Patriot was in Japan and thus he had recruited the originally named Dark Patriot II to take his place.

Dick Murdoch didn’t care. He was here to make his ECW debut and was only interested in kicking some butt.

He did that pretty effectively in an inoffensive but largely bland match that was typical of your average low-rung indie show.

Like I say, it wasn’t awful or anything, just not that entertaining.

Murdoch won with a roll-up.
Your Winner: Dick Murdoch

Ready for some more?

Six-Man Tag Challenge
Wildman Sal Bellomo, Super Destroyer #1, and Stevie Wonderful vs. Hunter Q Robins III & ECW Tag Team Champions The Suicide Blondes (Sir Jonathan Hotbody & Sir Richard Michaels)

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -Sal Bellomo
Joey Styles
made his ECW debut here, joining Sulli on commentary and playing a heel which was interesting and fun.

Speaking of fun, that’s exactly what this match was, at least compared to the bland bag of meh that the rest of this show had been.

Played partly for laughs and partly as a straight match, this still came across as the kind of thing you’d only find on an indie show, but since that’s exactly what this was, I can hardly complain.

After some decent action, Wildman Sal Bellomo splashed the crap out of Richard Michaels to earn the win.
Your Winners: Sal Bellomo, Super Destroyer, and Stevie Wonderful.

Finally, with just shy of 25 minutes left on the clock, it was time for our main event.

Joey Styles left the announce booth to be replaced by Todd Gordon, delighting nobody but Gordon himself.

King of Philadelphia Texas Chain Match Massacre
Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert vs. Terry Funk

This was your standard ‘touch four corners’ strap match using a chain instead of a strap with the winner claiming the title of ‘King of Philadelphia.’

Though it certainly wasn’t a technical classic, it was a compelling and bloody brawl that captured the attention and held it from start to finish.

Both men busted each other open as they brawled in the ring, around the ring, and later up in the crowd.

At one point, referee John Finnegan got squashed in the corner and was replaced by Kevin Christian.

At first, this seemed like a random and pointless move but later it proved to be important to the finish.

Terry Funk touched all four corners only to discover that Christian had been distracted by Paul E. and didn’t see it.

As Funk argued with the official, Gilbert waffled him with a chair, hit him with a piledriver and then touched all four corners to win the match, and the crown.
Your Winner and King of Philadelphia: Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert

Afterwards, Paul E. Dangerously revealed that he and Kevin Christian had been in cahoots the whole time. He also cut an excitable promo but the quality of this video is so poor that it’s impossible to make out what he said.

Finally, things ended with Todd Gordon firing Christian, who pushed the boss man down and wandered off arm in arm with Dangerously while Gilbert got sent packing by Funk.

The Funkster then placed the King of Philadelphia crown atop Gordon’s head as the ECW Super Summer Sizzler 1993 event came to a close.






If all you had to go off was this one event, you’d never in a million years be able to guess that ECW would become one of the hottest wrestling promotions in the world.

The Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular came off as a low-rent indie show filled with mediocre performances, a gang rape spot and only the occasional flash of genuine entertainment.

Things would get better -much better- over the course of ECW’s existence, but their first major event wasn’t much to get excited about.

—————-

Other ECW Reviews:

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

PPV REVIEW: ECW November to Remember 1999

November 7th, 1999
Buffalo, New York

(NOTE: This ECW November to Remember review was originally written back in 2009. I recently discovered a bunch of my archived reviews and wanted to include them here on RPW, hence the introduction referencing 'ten years' and the different format from normal RPW reviews) 

Ten years (2017 update: make that 20!) to the day that Paul Heyman's Original Extreme Championship Wrestling presented the '99 version of their pay per view event, November to Remember, your favourite wrestling reviewer does just that; remembering  an event which featured Masato Tanaka challenging Mike Awesome for the ECW title and a great three-way dance between Jerry Lynn, Tajiri and Super Crazy.

Joey Styles and Cyrus the Virus opened the show







In front of a rabid crowd, ECW's legendary announcer, Joey Styles and the smooth-talking Cyrus the Virus welcomed everybody to the show before Joel Gertner arrived. Gertner did absolutely nothing of note, instead taking a back seat to the arrival of Tazz.

The Human Suplex Machine, about to embark on a career in what was then the World Wrestling Federation, was greeted by loud chants of 'You Sold Out!' from the Buffalo crowd.

Ignoring them, Taz instead turned his attentions to antagonising Styles. The announcer made the smart move and left the ring, leaving Tazz to take his frustrations out on Gertner before hyping his upcoming match with crowd-favourite Rob Van Damn.

Spike Dudley beat Simon Diamond 

Prior to the bout, Diamond and Dick Hertz went through an innuendo-laden promo before Jazz came out for no reason and was swiftly destroyed by Hertz.

The match itself was nothing special, with Diamond essentially brutalising his opponent throughout until Spike Dudley scored the upset with the Acid Drop.

Little Guido beat Nova

After the match, The Full Blooded Italians ran in and attacked Dudley, causing Nova to run in for the save and resulting in an impromptu match against Little Guido.

Better than the previous contest, Nova looked genuinely impressive against his diminutive opponent until Big Sal interfered on behalf of his FBI teammate and ultimately cost Nova the match.

The two men continued their assault in the post-match until Chris Chetti came to the rescue. Danny Doring and Roadkill then ran in, destroying the returning Chetti and bringing to an end the overkill of run-ins.

Honestly, if WWE or TNA presented that many pre and post-match run-ins in such quick succession, your reporter is sure that fans would hate it. But of course, this was the original ECW, who could seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of their ever-loyal fans.

 Jerry Lynn beat Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Crazy in a Three-Way Dance. 



Tajiri was led to the ring by a wheelchair-bound Jack Victory and Steve Corino, who cut a pre-match promo putting over 'The Japanese Buzzsaw' as the 'King of the three-way dance'.

Tajiri certainly disappoint here, but neither did his opponents, Jerry Lynn and Super Crazy; the latter hitting a jaw-dropping moonsault from atop the entrance set. Unfortunately for Crazy, it wasn't enough to win the match and shortly after he was eliminated by The Japanese Buzzsaw.

Jerry Lynn eventually pinned Tajiri to end a very exciting bout that was easily the best on the card to this point.

Afterwards, Lynn was attacked by Steve Corino, but managed to overthrow his adversary and leave with his head held high.

Da Baldies (Spanish Angel, Tony Devito, P.N. News and Vito LoGrasso) beat New Jack and The Chair Swingin' Freaks (Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten) in a handicap match.

With a 4-on-2 advantage, Da Baldies wasted no time in attacking The Chair Swingin' Freaks until New Jack and his plethora of weapons came to the rescue. What followed was one of ECW's trademark out-of-control hardcore brawls that spilled all over the arena and was thus hard to keep track of.

Save for a death-defying spot in which New Jack leaped off the top of a basketball board and nearly killed himself, nothing interesting happened until Spanish Angel blasted Jack with a guitar and won the match for his team.

Sabu and Bill Alfonso Cut a promo

In a rare sombre moment for ECW, Alfonso put over Sabu's upcoming contest against Chris Candido, dedicating the bout to the memory of Sabu's recently-deceased friend.

Sabu beat Chris Candido 

Back on home turf following an ill-fated run in the WWF, the sadly-no-longer-with-us Chris Candido made his way to the ring with real life partner Tammy Lyn Sytch (who had a much better run in the big leagues as Sunny) to take on Sabu in a disappointing affair.

As one of the most popular stars in the company, Sabu had the full support of the ECW faithful behind him as he and Candido made full use of chairs and tables to beat the hell out of each other. Unfortunately, the two didn't do anything fans hadn't seen a million times before, and when Sabu finally made his opponent submit with the Camel Clutch, nobody cared.

Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka warmed up

Backstage, Tanaka stopped running on a treadmill long enough to tell Mike Awesome that he would take his title. Awesome, busy working on his arms, replied by threatening to break Tanaka's back.

Mike Awesome beat Masato Tanaka to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship

With Judge Jeff Jones in his corner, champion Awesome successfully defended his title against Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling's Masato Tanaka in the best match on the card.

The two behemoths collided in a hard-hitting battle with some high-flying action which belied their well-built frames, and after withstanding some brutal punishment at the hands of the challenger, Awesome finally beat his foe with a top-rope Awesome Bomb.

Rob Van Dam beat Taz to retain the ECW World Television Championship

Hoping to leave the company with some gold around his waist, a WWF-bound Taz met Rob 'Mr. Pay Per View' Van Dan in a decent bout. The challenger looked to be on form too, dominating the bulk of the contest with some heavy-handed offence. Ultimately, however, it was Van Dam who left with the title after beating Taz thanks to the Five-Star Frog Splash.

Afterwards, a departing Taz showed his respect to the champion, slapping hands with Van Dam and shaking hands with the Television Champion's manager, Bill Alfonso.

Rhyno and The Impact Players (Lance Storm and Justin Credible) beat The Sandman and ECW Tag Team Champions, Raven and Tommy Dreamer. 



For most of its tenure, and certainly afterwards, Raven, Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman were the true embodiment of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and seeing all three on the same team was a huge attraction for this pay per view.

Their opponents, Lance Storm, Justin Credible and Rhyno were the newcomers on the scene and out to make a name for themselves.

The Sandman, making his return to the company followed a disastrous run in World Championship Wrestling, takes more time to get to the ring than the actual match lasts for; soaking up the adulation from the fans before joining his partners to take on the Impact Players and Rhino.

The match itself was decent enough, though hardly fitting of a true main event performance and after ten minutes of action, Raven turned on The Sandman, drilling him with a Singapore Cane shot that allowed Justin Credible to pick up the victory for his team.







This event would ultimately prove to be ECW's penultimate November to Remember event. The group presented one more in 2000 before eventually being taken over by the global wrestling powerhouse that is World Wrestling Entertainment.

Thankfully, the final outing for November to Remember was a much better send off for the pay per view, as despite a couple of great bouts, the 1999 version was ultimately nothing special.


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Thanks for reading.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.