March 24, 2009
Austin Atwood

"HARDCORE TV"
Air Date: June 19, 1995 (taped: June 17, 1995)
Location: ECW Arena (Philadelphia, PA)

Joey Styles does the usual backstage welcome and informs us that things are already rockin' n' rolling at the Arena. He runs down some "highlights" from the night so far, including Tony Stetson in his Broadstreet Bully attire taking out some schlub in New Jersey Devils gear. Apparently there was a legit match in there somewhere. Flash forward to 911 doing his chokeslam thing on the Devil. Paul E.'s there to administer last rites. I'm not sure if that's kosher, but whatever. (Sorry.) The crowd then demands and gets two more. Other highlights feature Mikey Whipwreck pinning fat blob Val Puccio, and then Commissioner Gordon being confronted by Bill Alphonso. The crazy thing is that this is Fonzie's *second* appearance at the Arena under this gimmick and he has INSANE heat. They get into a playground shoving match and Gordon's voice goes all Bobby Brady ("time to chANge"). Cut to Hack Myers vs. Vampire Warrior (aka Gangrel, aka Luna's husband) footage. Warrior takes a beating and does so looking like a poor man's Curt Hennig. DDT out of nowhere gets Warrior the win though. At ringside Styles interviews Tommy Dreamer and Luna, which brings out Stevie Richards who's practically having an orgasm putting the Warrior over. Warrior reveals that Luna is in fact "his woman" and attacks Dreamer, causing Luna to exchange screams with her husband. Full versions of all that mess are available on the video. Which of course you can no longer buy. Because ECW is dead.

Opening montage! Wheeee!

Joey's still backstage, hyping away. Included in his rantings is the Cactus Jack-Sandman barbed wire match which they won't be able to show on TV. But they are accepting credit card orders! I believe the full match is actually on one of the compilation DVD's they put out, which I plan to review at some point in the future, so you know… you've got that going for you.

BEULAH MCGILLICUTTY (w/ Raven & Stevie Richards) vs. LUNA
(referee: Jim Molineaux)

Bell rings. Stevie hits Luna in the back with a chair. Beulah covers. Bell rings.

Result: Beulah McGillicutty via pinfall (0:11).

Raven adds a DDT post-match, just because. Tommy runs in for the save (complete with Civil War head bandage), but gets beaten down as a result. Then, because he's such a massive dick, Raven proceeds to break Tommy's fingers one at a time. Yeah, not for the squeamish. Raven & Stevie handcuff Luna to the ropes and threaten an unprotected chairshot, but Dreamer dives in to take the shot. When we come back from a commercial, Damage Control is tending to Tommy and attempting to get Luna down.

Backstage the FanCam catches up with Raven and company. He cuts the usual promo, but it's sadly lacking the demented conviction that he usually brings. Or maybe all of his promos were this flat (in terms of delivery) and I'm just discovering the truth after all these years of being lead to believe otherwise.

RAVEN & THE PITBULLS (w/ Beulah McGillicutty & Stevie Richards) vs. 2 COLD SCORPIO & TAZ (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) & TOMMY DREAMER
(referee: John Finnegan)

Dreamer's obviously in no condition to wrestle, so Hack Myers comes out to add himself to the match, but Bill Alphonso is on the scene to say "Uh-unh, no substitutions". Scorpio comes out and goes to town with superkicks for everybody, but Pitbull #2 no-sells his and drops Scorp with a modified powerbomb. The Pitbulls take turns stomping on Scorpio as Taz finally makes his way out. Belly-to-belly overhead suplex for Raven. One for PB2. And a third for PB1. Taz and Scorpio stand tall in the ring as Paul E. gets on the mic and asks Raven which one of the Pitbulls he's gonna fuck later (more or less). Taz and PB2 start the match proper with some macho shoulderblocking and punching. Neither's in the mood to sell until Taz gets a judo throw. Arm-wringer brings Scorpio in off the second rope with a shot to the arm. Arm-wringer by Scorpio, but PB2 headbutts his way out. PB1 in with an overhand chop and some kicking. Scoop and a slam and Raven comes in with a fistdrop for a sloppy one-count. PB2 back in, but he eats an armdrag and Scorpio slows down this blistering pace with a hammerlock. PB2 punches his way free, but misses a corner charge. He blocks a bunch of hiptoss attempts and Scorpio eventually gets a pretty ugly monkey flip. Headscissor into an armdrag (I guess) gets a two-count, but PB1 ain't having that. Scorpio dropkick sends PB2 out and then one for PB1 does likewise. Taz sends PB2 in and Scorpio looks gassed. Taz in and he gets a headlock takeover. Styles calls the gimmick change "courageous". Oh, please. Dressing up like *Captain Caveman* was courageous. The Pitbulls turn the tides on Taz with some stuff and then do some other stuff on the outside. Chairshot to the back by PB2. Back in the ring and Raven goes for a cover but Taz kicks out while the ref is distracted with the nonsense on the outside. Suplex by Raven, but Taz comes back with a low blow. They try to do a last second cut-off on a tag to Taz, but in truth the match has been so disjointed to this point that it has no heat within the context of the match. Running powerslam by PB2 brings Raven in for the pinfall attempt but Taz kicks out at two. Joey tries putting Taz's performance over as "courageous", but again, the heat segment is barely a minute old. Tazplex on Raven and the crowd gets into things with a "TAZ" chant. "Hot" tag to Scorpio who superkicks everybody (the Pitbulls standing around waiting to get kicked looks awful). Scoop slam on PB2 and then Scorpio hits a BEE-U-T-FUL moonsault for a two-count that PB1 kinda/sorta breaks up. That was seriously pretty. We cut to ringside where Paul E. is mocking a fan holding an "I *heart* Stevie Richards" sign. You would be right in recognizing a young Francine making her ECW debut. Back inside Scorpio calls for the Tumbleweed, but Taz decides to suplex PB2 instead, temporarily annoying Scorpio. Pitbulls attack Taz, so Scorpio double clotheslines them from off the top and then goes back to arguing with Taz. Meanwhile Stevie is excited about his ringside admirer, but Raven? Not so much, as he doofslaps Stevie. Beulah gets into it with the unnamed Francine as well, so Raven drags Beulah to the back by the hair. Double-teaming in the ring by the Pitbulls puts Taz down, but the doggies are confused by the sudden disappearance of their master, which allows Taz to recover. He hits a belly-to-belly overhead suplex off the second rope onto PB2 to secure the three-count and the victory.

Result: 2 Cold Scorpio & Taz via pinfall (10:23).

We come back from commercial and Joey recaps what transpired post-match, as Paul E. was putting Taz over on the mic and apparently said something which Scorpio didn't like (we don't get audio), so Scorp popped the Dangerous One. He then tries to do the same to Taz with the mic, but Taz completely no sells the mic shot and Tazplexes Scorpio as a receipt.

Thanks to the Beulah vs. Luna match going so short, Joey says we've got ourselves some extra time, so we'll head to the ring for the introduction of Axl Rotten's mystery partner against The Public Enemy, then show the match next week. Of course the partner ends up being Axl's brother Ian, which draws out Fonzie to rightfully point out that they're no longer allowed to team thanks to a stipulation from awhile back. Sooooo… the Rotten's – not ones to miss a chance for a fight – decide to take out each other. TPE, with nothing better to do, celebrate with some dancing. The party is short-lived however as The Gangstas make their ECW debut and proceed to beat the snot out of TPE. We see just enough for Joey to identify the Gangstas before the show fades out.

Overview: Raven breaking Tommy's fingers is another seminal moment in their feud, so we get that. Plus the Francine and Gangstas debuts add another notch to the history belt. The stuff with Vampire Warrior never really went anywhere, so it's hard to care much, particularly when you consider… it's Vampire Warrior. The one real match was decent which – seeing as how it involved the Pitbulls – is about the best you could hope for. Not a blow away show, but entertaining enough. The way they're tying Bill Alphonso into everything has been masterful.

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