March 17, 2009
Air Date: June 12, 1995 (taped: May 13, 1995)
Location: ECW Arena (Philadelphia, PA)
Okay, so we jump ahead by two days on the "air-date timeline" that WWE 24/7 has been using, as this episode is credited for a Monday (6/12), while the previous episodes were for a Saturday. They'll change it up again in another couple of weeks for reasons which are never made clear. The original Hardcore TV aired on different nights in different markets back in the day, so I have no clue what would constitute the true "air date". I'll keep going with whatever WWE 24/7 says. I'm sure it's keeping you up at night.
Show opens with a recap of the issues between Shane Douglas and Cactus Jack. For some reason we start with the recap in progress. Not sure what happened there. This is a pretty extensive rundown of their history in ECW, which includes – for the *fourth* week in a row – footage of Bill Alphonso's debut. Ugh. We GET IT already. The whole thing ends with a graphic hyping Sandman vs. Cactus Jack for the ECW title in a "Barbed Wire Match" coming up on June 17th.
Speaking of that match, Cactus Jack cuts a promo from backstage where he talks about dredging up the dark side of himself, which he admits is the more effective side. He reaches back into history to recall a bloody barbed wire match he had with the late Eddie Gilbert in which he had to be cut free from the wire, and which for the purpose of this promo, is considered the greatest night of Jack's life. He then crams a barbed wire crown on his own head and reminds Sandman that, unlike the champ, he doesn't need 16 beers in his system to step into the ring. He's crazy enough as is. Can't argue that point.
Opening credits. Actually, I'm misleading you people. It's an opening montage. Nobody gets credit for anything.
Backstage with Joey, who hypes the Public Enemy-Pit Bulls match to come. He also pumps up the following weekend's card, which ended up getting all switched around anyway, so I'm not gonna go over it here. And here's Paul E., apparently all caffeinated out, to mock Joey and pimp his man Taz. Along the way he manages to reference Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan, and Michael Jackson, and have it all make sense. Rock on witcha bad self, Paul E!
*ECW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP*
#DOUBLE DOG COLLAR MATCH#
THE PITBULLS (w/ Stevie Richards) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY ©
(referee: Jim Molineaux)
If TPE wins, they get the ever-popular "five minutes alone" with Richards, a stipulation which has never really worked out in the way it was intended. Anyway, Johnny Grunge is tied to Pitbull #1 (Gary Wolfe) while Rocco Rock is tied to Pitbull #2 (Anthony Durante). Bell rings and they brawl. SHOCKA! Usual kicking, punching and chain related violence follows, none of which is worth getting into detail over. This is one of those matches that just goes to show why I can't take a lot of ECW seriously in retrospect. We're barely a minute-and-a-half in and already all four guys are moving like they've been in a 20 minute slugfest. They're all so slow, either because they're "selling" or because they don't have the first idea of what a transition move is. I have no idea what that ECW crowd used to get so worked up over. Nothing is happening. Anyway, flash ahead to Rocco trying for a hurricanrana and getting powerbombed instead. PB2 gets a lazy two off of it and outside Grunge is already busted open. We're at the 2:30 mark by the way. Just thought I'd mention it. Grunge and PB2 each use chairs for purposes other than that for which they were designed and we get a wonderful shot of Rocco Rock going for an open slap on the skull (wow, that's hardcore) and missing, resulting in him slapping the guardrail which for some unknown reason prompts Joey to declare "Rocco Rock is merciless". Jeez, Joey, pick your spots. Rolling pin gets involved and at this point the guys are *totally* gassed. I guess the Pitbulls are on dog time or something, where four minutes is equal to a year. Frying pan shot from PB2 busts Rocco open. Stevie has a little trouble getting a table into the ring, but Rocco eventually winds up on top of it as it is straddling the corner. A *very* scary looking powerslam by Pitbull #2 off the table follows. That had disaster written all over it, although somehow PB2 managed to avoid sliding off the precariously perched table. Funny moment in the WWE 24/7 universe as we go to commercial on the original broadcast and Taz from 2006 interrupts to regale us with a tale of a certain dog collar match he once had back in a hotel room with some tomata, but he gets cut off as we head back to '95. I won't usually reference the 24/7 drop-ins, but that was too funny not to mention.
Upon return, Rocco is moonsaulting PB2 through a table in the ring and Grunge gets a two-count off of it before PB1 breaks it up. More brawling follows as Rocco and PB2 head up to the Eagle's Nest and Rocco loses a tug-o-war with the chain, but wins the battle (wait, that's backwards) because PB2 pulled Rocco ONTO himself. Moron. In the ring Johnny's whipping PB1 with the chain. We're just kind of bouncing back-and-forth between the action now as Rocco's taking some time to set up another table. This time PB2 plays it smart (sort of) by superplexing Rocco through it. He goes for a cover like a tool, but I don't remember this being a Falls Count Anywhere Match as well. Apparently the ref agrees, as he stayed in the ring. Rocco and PB2 wander back to the ring and we get some weapon shots and another table is brought into the ring. The Pitbulls set up Rocco for a superbomb through the table and deliver. Stevie's ecstatic, but his boys are apparently too worn down to cover in a reasonable amount of time and by the time one of them does, Grunge has recovered enough to make the save. That all leads to Richards getting knocked off the apron through yet ANOTHER table. Pitbull #1 superplexes Grunge while Rocco reverses a similar attempt by PB2 in mid-air, and while we would appear to have a double pinfall, Molineaux only recognizes the Rocco cover and the champs retain. The Pitbulls and Richards are obviously not happy about that result so they go to town on Rocco and Grunge.
Result: The Public Enemy via pinfall (12:33).
Ring announcer Bob Artese announces that TPE now gets 5 minutes alone with Richards, but Stevie gets on the mic and says *he's* the one with the upper hand and begins his own personal beatdown. That lasts all of about ten seconds before TPE recovers and lays the whoopin' on Stevie. They get a double backbodydrop and set up for the Drive-By, but Raven enters the mess and things just kind of disintegrate from there with the Pitbulls returning and lots of punches being thrown. Richards gets a pair of Steviekicks on the fallen champs to put an exclamation point on the proceedings. Of course it wouldn't be an appearance from Raven without one from Tommy Dreamer, so he runs down, chairs Stevie, then gets one in return after a brief fracas with Raven. DDT on Tommy, who makes his own comeback before being joined by Luna, looking about as punked-out and frightening as ever. Somehow Beulah winds up in the ring, and with no Stevie or Raven to save her, she eats a Tommy piledriver. You know, 12 years later and I'm still not sure how that makes Tommy the babyface, but I guess I'm not "hardcore". The post-match shenanigans had more action than the actual match.
Outside the arena we go, as a showered and celebrating TPE make plans for the night only to discover some nearby graffiti which puts a damper on their parade. "TPE TOS" apparently means "The Public Enemy: Terminate On Site", leaving the duo with the sinking feeling that "we're not the only hoodies in town anymore". Hmmm… another set of "hoodies" in ECW? I wonder who *that* might be.
Overview: Well we got a decent but not spectacular promo from Cactus Jack, a quickie from Paul E., and then an interminably long brawl between two teams I can't stand. For me, this show kinda sucked, but your mileage may vary depending on how much you care for those involved. This is actually pretty representative of ECW, so I guess I can't complain, as you know what you're getting with them. I just prefer my hardcore when it's mixed with some decent wrestling.