August 6, 2011
The Powerdriver Review
ECW: Three Way Dance
April 8, 1995
The current ECW Champs were as follows:
ECW World Champion: Shane Douglas (3/26/1994)
ECW World Tag Team Champions: Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko (2/25/1995)
ECW World TV Champion: Too Cold Scorpio (3/18/1995)
Your host is Joey Styles.
This is a rather infamous show for ECW. Arguably their biggest draw Sabu NO-SHOWS the main event to appear on a New Japan show. Who would ever think that Antonio Inoki – a guy who owns his own island – could pay more than Heyman? Anyways, Sabu is fired from ECW for his actions and then shows up in WCW for a brief run in September.
Joey brings out Raven, Stevie Richards, and the Broad Street Bullies (Johnny Hotbody and Tony Stetson) who made their return back at Return of the Funker in February. Richards wants the Bullies to prove themselves worthy. If they win, everything is cool. If they lose, they are FIRED. This gets the Bullies quite upset, so Richards tells them that this was all Raven’s idea. Who do they have to face tonight? Oh, just the PITBULLS.
The Pitbulls vs. The Broad Street Bullies
This doesn’t take long. In no time, Tony Stetson receives the SUPER POWERBOMB and the Pitbulls pick up the win in short order. (:57) So the Bullies are fired, and the Pitbulls now work for Raven and Stevie Richards. Well, more so Raven than Richards. Raven is pleased. No really, that’s how he looks when he’s pleased. ¼*
As the Pitbulls leave, Stevie Richards asks Raven about a girl he knew back at summer camp. Well, Stevie says he brought her here to the ECW arena tonight. Now Raven is NOT pleased. He slaps Stevie across the face. Raven says this chick was disgusting and overweight, but Stevie says she’s not the girl he used to know. Out comes Beulah McGillicutty.
Raven (w/Beulah & Stevie Richards) vs. Tommy Dreamer
This match ends up at ringside in no time. Out comes the cheese grater as Raven gets all bloodied up. Raven takes Dreamer through the crowd, but jabs a chair into his ribs once they come back to ringside. They head over to the Eagle’s Nest where Dreamer splashes Raven off the ladder. Back in, Dreamer lets everybody know he’s going for the piledriver and then delivers! Raven fights back with a DDT and nearly gets himself pinned for it. Meanwhile, Stevie is trying to put the moves on Beulah. Raven hits a second DDT and follows up with a missile dropkick from the middle rope like it’s the summer of 1992 in WCW. Dreamer counters a hiptoss into a DDT. Meanwhile, Stevie tries a lip lock on Beulah, but she NO-SELLS and slaps him. Being the misogynist ECW fans adore, Richards starts choking Beulah. Tommy heads out to save her, but she turns around and blinds him with hairspray! As if that’s not bad enough, there’s a STEVIE KICK into the EVENFLOW DDT on the concrete! Back inside, Raven covers for the 1-2-3. (8:46) Good, intense ECW-style brawl from the best feud in wrestling in 1995. Many would say Malenko-Guerrero, but that’s more of a rivalry than a feud. There is a difference! ***
Ron Simmons vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Simmons gives Whipwreck a chance to leave. The fans show their guy some support and their guy is NOT that ex-WCW world champ. This is all Simmons until Mikey surprises him with a shot to the balls. He hits one missile dropkick, but then takes flight into a powerslam. DON’T STEP TO RON! Simmons starts delivering chokeslams to draw out 911. He chokeslams the ref for the DQ. (5:25) Simmons throws Whipwreck out to 911. While Paul E. Dangerously helps Whipwreck to the back, 911 goes after Simmons. 911 GOOZLES him, but Simmons drops to his knees and lowblows the guy. Ron Simmons actually chokeslams 911 (!!) and leaves him laying. Some ECW fellows head out to check on 911, but he’s not really hurt. He’s just embarrassed and very angry. He chokeslams them all one by one – including Joel Hartgood who receives a whole bunch of chokeslams. That’s possibly a dig directed at promoter Joel Goodhart.
Joey Styles meets Chris Benoit in the ring. Benoit calls Sabu a pussy for hiding out in Japan and challenges Tazmaniac to come out and prove his manhood. That leads to a slugfest until Dean Malenko comes out and nails Taz from behind. Who makes the save but none other than Rick Steiner, who instantly becomes Sabu’s replacement. Together, they suplex the house clean to a HUGE pop.
ECW World TV Champion Too Cold Scorpio vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is Eddie’s first night in ECW. That should tell you just how much Paul Heyman thought of Eddie Guerrero. I feel its worth noting: Eddie’s wearing his Los Gringos Locos tights in this match. On the other hand, Scorpio’s got his shoulder taped. No mention from Joey how it was injured though. Back and forth mat stuff to start. Eddie ends all that with a back suplex on Scorpio’s taped shoulder to send him rolling out to the floor. Back in, Eddie wants a handshake, so Scorpio responds with a shove. Eddie reacts with a KIP-UP! How cool is that. They trade heel trips to come to a stalemate. Now Scorpio wants a handshake. Eddie shakes his hand and then pulls him in for a clothesline! Hilo by Eddie into a Sharpshooter, but Scorpio makes the ropes. Eddie teases a knucklelock and then explodes on Scorpio with a dropkick. Eddie delivers a Brainbuster and then the FROG SPLASH! Cover, 1-2-NO! Scorpio kicks out of a chinlock and catches Guerrero with a Japanese armdrag and a dropkick. They go to the floor where Scorpio whips Eddie into the opposite sides of the guardrail. A fan wants to hand Scorpio a pan, but Scorpio won’t wrestle that kind of match tonight. No way, no how. Back in Scorpio hits a suplex for two. Eddie’s trick knee acts up on Scorpio’s promised land and then he hits Scorpio with a clothesline. To the floor again, Scorpio moves away from a possible flying Eddie, but Guerrero stops himself as he hits the ropes. With Scorpio thinking he’s out of harm’s way, Eddie launches himself on Scorpio down the entrance way. Incredible. Back in the ring, Eddie hits a Tornado DDT for 1-2-NO! Eddie misses a corner charge, but still manages to crotch Scorpio as he goes up top for a Hurracanrana for 1-2-NO!. He wants another rana out of the corner, but has to flip off instead and gets nailed with a flying bodypress from Scorpio for 1-2-NO! Scorpio looks to finish Eddie off quick before he can start up again with a perfect MOONSAULT! He covers for 1-2-NO! Powerbomb sets up the TUMBLEWEED. That gets 1-2-NO! He lifts Eddie up off the mat? It’s got to be the pot! Scorpio levels Eddie with a superkick and whips him into the ropes, but Eddie catches Scorpio with a victory roll for 1-2-3! (14:50) Eddie Guerrero wins the title. He doesn’t just debut in ECW, he kicks the door down and shows us what he’s made of. This match made Eddie an ECW star and led the way to his legendary American career. ****
Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten – Hair v. Hair
These guys were always having a different gimmick match on every big show back then. They take turns beating the heck out of each other with various objects. They make each other bleed like crazy. It’s the same old song and dance. Finally, there’s a little bit of wrestling happening. Ian gives Axl a piledriver on a chair and comes off the middle rope for an elbow drop, but misses. Axl whips Ian into the ropes and delivers a running chairshot to the skull for the win. (9:51) Axl cuts off the little hair Ian had on his head to start with, but then Ian hits him from behind with a paint pan. Why they used SCISSORS to cut hair here, I’ll never know. Ian attacks Axl with the scissors and that triggers a “Sid” chant. Ouch. Ian then tosses a trash can at Axl and leaves. Still nowhere near finished with this feud. ¾*
Hack Meyers vs. Dino Sendoff
Only an ECW diehard in 1995 could understand why they love this man. They yell “SHAH!” after every blow. Since he’s all clotheslines, it’s very likely that he would miss one up against the ringpost. They try to make this squash a little more as Dino works the arm a little bit. He’s not an Anderson though as Meyers comes back and hits the Brainbuster for the win. (4:16) SHAH! ¾*
ECW World Champion Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman (w/Woman)
Joey talks about how Sandman would certainly not be the role model champion of someone like Shane Douglas. That reminds me of a future WWF champion who was no role model either. His name was Steve something. I can’t remember. They cut this one short as Woman refuses to slap Shane Douglas while Sandman has him in a CFCW down on the mat. Sandman tells her to go get his Singapore cane and when she does, she slides it over to Douglas to turn on the Sandman. Douglas lowblows Sandman and the inside cradle gets the 1-2-3. (3:20 shown) Well, they just made a fan favorite out of Sandman there. Makes sense that Woman would want to be with the world champ though. Not even half the match was shown here. No rating.
Sandman cuts a promo in the locker room. If Sandman would smack his old lady around on TV, what do you think he would do to Woman? He also vows to beat Shane Douglas worse than he’s ever been beaten before.
Over to Shane Douglas and Woman. They reflect back on the screw job and tell Sandman that he doesn’t have what it takes to beat him and win the ECW world title. Woman says that she was the brains and the power behind Sandman. Now that she’s left him, he’s got nothing left.
ECW World Tag Team Champions Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. The Tazmaniac & Rick Steiner vs. Public Enemy
This is elimination rules. Some super heavyweight black dude the size of Mabel gets an honorary Public Enemy jersey. Benoit and Malenko try to start early on Public Enemy, but Steiner and Taz come out and clean house again. They actually do it again and again. Steiner NO-SELLS a German suplex from Benoit and drills him with a Steinerline. He hits the STEINER BULLDOG and out goes Benoit as everyone brawls around ringside while Steiner wanders around in the ring. Back inside, Rocco tries a Quebrada on Steiner and takes the STEINER SCREWDRIVER SUPLEX. That gets two. Out come the frying pans. While Public Enemy double-team Rick Steiner on the floor, Benoit delivers the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT to Taz while Malenko jackknife rolls him up to send Taz and Steiner to the showers at 6:47. Since Taz and Steiner don’t take showers, they stick around ringside for a while longer to suplex everyone. DFG uses Paul E’s phone on Public Enemy in a bit of irony to bust them open. Once they leave everyone laying, Paul E directs them backstage. While Grunge and Malenko hang out in the ring, Rocco and Benoit trade off using a chair around ringside. Not sure what he’s got, but Grunge is choking Malenko with it. Benoit and Rocco brawl over to the Eagle’s Nest where Rocco misses a dive through a table. Benoit heads back to the ring to save his partner and gives Grunge a superplex through a table. Why not. Rocco makes it back to the ring, but he gets tossed out. It looks like curtains for Public Enemy here. Double dropkick connects, but Grunge gets his foot on the bottom rope to avoid being pinned. Grunge catches both the tag champs telegraphing a backdrop and drops them with a double DDT. Here comes Rocco out of nowhere to cannonball splash Malenko for the 1-2-3. (19:56) Ladies and gents, we’ve got NEW ECW tag team champs. This was seen as an all-exposing match for the Public Enemy as nothing more than “glorified stuntmen”. Philly doesn’t seem to mind though. Steiner and Taz head back out to brawl with Malenko and Benoit on their way backstage while Public Enemy celebrate their third tag team title victory. With everyone else gone, the Pitbulls storm the ring to attack the new champs and whip them with chains. And just like that, you’ve got Public Enemy’s next contenders. *½
Final Thoughts: On one hand, it’s a two match show and that’s typical of the time. On the other hand, it’s a really well booked show from start to finish. Paul E gave the ECW fans what they wanted, he furthered storylines, and brought in a great talent despite Sabu’s crooked double-booking. Thumbs up for the booking, but thumbs in the middle for the wrestling.