April 9, 2009
Austin Atwood

"HARDCORE TV"
Air Date: June 26, 1995 (taped: June 17, 1995)
Location: ECW Arena (Philadelphia, PA)

We open with the continuation of the footage that ended last week, as the Gangstas put the beatdown on the Public Enemy. The local cops arrive on the scene and cuff New Jack and Mustafa, who take it all in stride (hey, just another Saturday night for them). Backstage Joey is all serious, discussing the apparent dilemma about showing the footage because it encourages other non-ECW wrestlers to show up and jump guys. He outs "Jerome Young" and "Jamal Mustafa" and brings up their history in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, making sure to point out they're a knock-off of TPE. He has the balls to call Grunge & Rock "young men". Compared to WHO exactly, Joseph?

Opening montage time. The WWE original music they overdub has really grown on me.

Backstage again, as Joey pimps the line-up and can barely contain a smile as he mentions the debut of WCW jobber/reject "Jungle" Jim Steele. He announces that the TPE threatened to quit if they didn't get a match with the Gangstas, so they get their way at the next Arena show… and it's FOR THE TITLES!! Sorry, Joey got all excited so I thought I would. He does some more recap of the Raven-Dreamer feud, including the footage of Stevie Richards' over-the-top introduction of Vampire Warrior. They let it run longer than last week and things morph into a match between Dreamer and the Warrior.

TOMMY DREAMER (w/ Luna) vs. VAMPIRE WARRIOR (w/ Stevie Richards)
(referee: John Finnegan)

Warrior absolutely POPS Dreamer to start things, and then they brawl through the ring and back out again. Dreamer gets whipped into the barrier and then bulldogged onto the concrete. Luna screams at Warrior some and gives her hubby a weak chair shot, buying Dreamer some time. Doesn't help much as Tommy gets slugged down and he's already busted open as he wanders back to the ring. Inside he turns the tide with some skillet shots and a fallaway slam. Outside again and Tommy does some damage with various crap the fans keep giving him. He also gives a receipt for the bulldog on the concrete. They head over to the Eagle's Nest, where Tommy gets a chairshot that Warrior pretty much no sells before getting a couple of his own. From there it's a brawl through the crowd, but the cameras don't catch much so we cut to shots of Luna (or more to the point, Luna's massive cleavage). Back at ringside Luna wipes some of Vampire Warrior's blood onto her face (as sick as it sounds) and Warrior takes things inside where a wrestling match breaks out! Clothesline puts Tommy down, but Dreamer fights back with a low blow. Table gets involved as Warrior gets DDT'd onto it, causing Joey to proclaim that Warrior must've learned it from Raven, since only two guys in wrestling do a DDT like that, Tommy being the other. Uh, Joey? Jake Roberts is on line two for ya. Dreamer backbodydrops out of an attempted DDT onto a chair, then propels himself off said chair into a very ugly "flying DDT" of his own for the pin.

Result: Tommy Dreamer via pinfall (7:09).

That's way okay-ish. It was mostly just you-do-stuff/I'll-do-stuff, without any real story being told. But on the upside they let it all hang out, so it wasn't embarassing or anything. Just kinda there.

(LAST WEEK ON ECW) Stevie gives Beulah a cheap win over Luna thanks to a chairshot, and Raven breaks a bunch of Tommy's fingers. Man, Raven really is a sick, sick boy. They also replay Raven's promo. His evil laugh just felt forced on this one.

Luna gives a growly promo from the bowels of the building, promising to be Raven's worst nightmare. Tommy name drops a bunch of blood feuds before dubbing himself "just a regular guy in a violent world with an extreme girl." Good line.

Time for "Extreme Encyclopedia", as we get some jokey encyclopedia definitions for "Jungle" Jim Steele, Paul E. Dangerously, and 911. Cute. Then we get a quick recap of 911 chokeslamming jobbers from last week's show. All of which leads us to…

JIM STEELE vs. 911 (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)
(referee: Jim Molineaux)

Steele comes out doing his best Ultimate Warrior impression while Joey buries him on commentary. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm not expecting this to be long. Roided up corner charge by Steele misses, leading to a 911 chokeslam and the three count. And THERE'S your match. Gotta wonder how much they paid Steele to come in for that appearance.

Result: 911 via pinfall (0:36).

Post-match sees another chokeslam while the Arena crowd sings the "Na-na-na hey goodbye" song and then starts chanting for more chokeslams. Paul E. gives the okay, dedicating the next one to "all our friends at CNN Tower in Atlanta". That's followed by a dedication to "that goofy Renegade, who can't even imitate a good gimmick". Paul E. refuses another slam… UNLESS… they let him dedicate it to "Bill 'Motherfucking' Alphonso". He gets his wish. Paul E.'s over-the-top histrionics made this a really fun segment.

Back to Joey for some "severely edited highlights" (his words) of the Cactus Jack vs. Sandman Barbed Wire Match.

*ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP*
#BARBED WIRE ROPES MATCH#
CACTUS JACK vs. THE SANDMAN (w/ Woman) ©

(referee: Jim Molineaux)

Molineaux's decked out like he's training attack dogs, with long sleeves and big padded gloves. Highlights include: Jack falling into the wire and getting his mangy hair tangled up in it. Sandman dropping Jack stomach first across the top of the wire. Sandman leaping OVER the wire to land a knee on Jack on the outside. Jack taking a cheese grater to Sandman's noggin, then whipping him with a strand of loose barbed wire. We then see the end where Cactus is announced as the winner and NEWWWWW ECW CHAMPION! But WAIT… along comes troubleshooting referee Bill Alphonso to spoil the fun. He reads from the contract/rule book (who's to say, really) that the title can NOT change hands on a 10-count (which is how Jack apparently had won), so the match must continue! This actually sets Molineaux off, as he rips off his ref's jersey and does his best Hogan impression ("YOU!"), but Cactus steps in to calm him down. Sandman takes advantage of the situation to sneak up from behind and choke Jack out with the wire. This goes on for awhile before Sandman just gives up and hurls Jack into (and through) the wire ropes. Alphonso then calls for the match to end because Jack can't continue, declaring Sandman the winner. Wouldn't you know it, that brings out Commissioner Gordon to argue but Fonzie's not having it tonight and clotheslines Tod down.

Result: The Sandman via referee stoppage (5:06).

Somewhere in the dark, Sandman lights up a cigarette and cuts a promo on Shane Douglas. They include a clip of Sandman pinning Shane to win the ECW title some months back. Back to the promo, where Sandman admits that he's a scumbag, but he's a CHAMPION scumbag. He also talks about not really caring about titles before, but admits "I'm starting to like this!". Good promo.

In the back it's Joey yet again, hyping the current storylines and upcoming matches.

In the parking lot the Gangstas are standing on top of a destroyed car where they issue a warning to the Public Enemy. And we're out!

Overview: This was a fun episode because it focused on the stuff ECW did well: an okay brawl between Vampire Warrior and Dreamer, a hot segment with 911, and the complete barbarism of the barbed wire match, which you just weren't going to see anywhere else at the time. Yeah, it's not great "wrestling", but it didn't need to be. And by this point, nobody was really coming to the party for that anyway. Again the Fonzie stuff was sprinkled in well and the promos were all good, plus the show moved at a really good clip.

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