June 2, 2009
Austin Atwood

"HARDCORE TV"
Date: July 3, 1995 (taped: July 1, 1995)
Location: ECW Arena (Philadelphia, PA)

Joey opens from backstage to let us know that stuff actually happens at house shows. First we have new Tag Team Champs, as some FanCam footage gives us Bill Alphonso announcing Raven & Stevie Richards as the new champs. Cut to Shane Douglas telling Cactus Jack to stay out of his business, then more FanCam showing Jack ripping off the old SNL skit with "Shane you ignorant slut" (always a classic) before he and Shane… shake hands? Luna growls something into the camera, then we morph into footage from ECW arena as she suplexes Stevie Richards off the ropes. Woman says nothing of note. Scorpio does the same. Big Val Puccio introduces himself. Back to the arena for clips of the Tai Pei Death Match between the Rottens, including Fonzie calling a halt to things when Ian gets a trickle of blood in his eye. The Gangstas and TPE brawl to ringside though, taking Fonzie away to break it up so a giddy Tod Gordon restarts the Death Match. Not that we see any of it, as we go to TPE's ring entrance (posing with a mailbox). Johnny gets on the house mic and promises carnage. The Gangstas make their entrance and we get…

No, not a match. The opening credits! PSYCH!

Back in the ring TPE are celebrating with a shitload of fans, as the ring keeps filling up and I keep expecting it to collapse, but apparently this is not that famous clip which would appear in the opening for years.

Joey Styles does the real show open from center ring. We're aping footage from Hardcore Heaven, says JoJo, who pimps the hotline and Shane Douglas' impending defection to WWF. Cut to Douglas all up in Joey's grill where he proceeds to take credit for ECW's success. (Douglas? With an overinflated sense of self-worth? SHOCKA!). Shane's wearing a WWF logo t-shirt by the way. The crowd gets on his case with a "Shane Is Gay!" chant, which he blames on Joey. A "We Want Flair!" chant follows it, causing Shane to take his shirt off (that'll show 'em, Shane!) and demand the camera pan the crowd and show a pro-Shane sign held by some woman. Shane goes back to… wait… a woman? At an ECW show? A CUTE woman? Outstanding! Anyway, Shane goes off on a rant about "journalists" while the crowd woos at him. He calls Paul Heyman a "piece of shit" and some other stuff that gets bleeped as he whines about a conspiracy. He goes all the way back to 1984 when he and Cactus Jack were trained by Dominic DeNucci, and Joey (speaking for me, thanks Joey!) wonders where all this rambling is going. Before Shane can give a coherent answer, the crowd busts out a "shut the fuck up!" chant (Joey's gleeful smiles here are priceless), so Shane explains *that's* why he's leaving. He drops some insider lingo before announcing what we already knew: he's headed to the WWF. Before he can go however, Woman enters the ring to congratulate him on being smart enough to use the WWF as leverage for an ECW title shot. Shane begs to differ on that logic, calling her a douchebag, which of course earns him a slap across the face. He shrugs it off, rambles some more, then stops another slap only to get blindsided by the Sandman. This brings Cactus Jack out so Sandman high-tails it outta town. Jack wants a handshake from Shane, but the future Dean just walks away, stopping long enough to promise to give the Sandman "the lesson of a wrestling lifetime". Crimeny, was that ever a long segment.

Backstage Joey once again announces that Raven & Richards are the new tag champs, putting the blame on an interfering Gangstas, a night before they were to meet TPE for the titles themselves. Hmmm… not too bright, those Gangstas. We get some FanCam footage of the interference, including Jim Molineaux getting John Finnegan to overturn the decision (because of interference? In ECW?!?), but wouldn't you know it, Fonzie isn't about to let that happen as he comes out to reverse it back.

Backstage somewhere Stevie Richards is singing "We Are The Champions" and jumping around like a goof. He cuts a promo bragging about getting the pin on Rocco Rock before calling himself and Raven "role models for little kids". Raven stands by looking stoned. Beulah stands by looking hot.

2 COLD SCORPIO vs. TAZ (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)
(referee: John Finnegan)

This is the fallout from an earlier match where they teamed up to beat the Pitbulls but Scorp took offense to some post match comments from Paul E. and he and Taz went at it. Scorpio's wearing orange & black tights tonight, apparently to mock Taz, says Joey. 2 Cold jawjacks with some fans to stall. Nose-to-nose at center ring and Taz gives the old two-handed shove to knock Scorpio over. Tazplex is blocked and countered to a hiptoss. Taz comes back with a clothesline and Scorpio bails. Jump ahead to a lock-up into a hammerlock exchange. Scorpio pounds away by the ropes and drops into a rear chinlock. Taz turns it into an overhand wristlock and then a headlock. Scorpio side suplexes Taz, but he hangs onto the headlock. Push-off, leap frog, missed leap frog, TAZPLEX! Scorpio bails again as Taz gives Paul E. a high-five. Back in for a test-of-strength which turns into a reversal of back-bridges. Monkey flip into a superkick by Scorpio puts Taz down. He follows up with a Powerbomb and then a double-underhook suplex. Scorpio is taking FOREVER in between moves here. BIG forearm shot by Scorp leads to a standing moonsault, but again he takes his sweet ass time before doing any follow-up. Second rope splash meets Taz's knees and both guys are selling like it's been an epic. Scorpio stays on top with a urinage slam, but Taz blocks another and elbows his way into a Tazplex. Joey's been putting the move over all match, which is good, because it's the only one Taz has hit yet. Scorpio fights back and hits a tombstone piledriver before going up to hit a Tumbleweed (twisting moonsault legdrop), but Taz goes all Road Warriors on his ass and pops up like he's fresh as a daisy. ANOTHER Tazplex gets a three count, but Scorpio CLEARLY had his foot on the ropes, and as you'd expect, Bill Alphonso comes out to point out the obvious and re-start the match. Taz menaces Fonzie, prompting Bill to announce "if any wrestler touches me, I'm shutting this place down". Thanks to the verbal loophole, Paul E. comes in to announce that he's not a wrestler so *he's* gonna kick Fonzie's ass. Before he can commence to whoopin', Scorpio hits Taz and Paul E. each with a chairshot and drops a legdrop on the chair on top of Taz as Fonzie counts the three. Clip ahead to the crowd chanting "Fonzie must die!" while Paul E. whips the mic around to each side of the arena before putting it in Taz's face. All the Human Suplex Machine can muster is "Fonzie… must… die!". Anyway, I'm going with the original result on this one, as there was never a re-start bell and never a bell to end the re-start, so it would appear to only live on in Fonzie's mind.

Result: Taz via pinfall (8:12).

Backstage promo from Bill Alphonso where he bans the fans from ECW Arena. Yeah, I'm sure that'll work, Fonzie. Good job.

Joey hypes the video version of Hardcore Heaven '95 via picture-in-picture (production values, baby!) over footage of Shane Douglas piledriving Sandman and cutting a promo where he fucks up a cliché by saying "keep your friends closer… (pause while he figures out how to recover) …and your enemies right by your side". Shane was such a dumbass ("blithacree" anyone?). This all leads to Sandman pinning Cactus to retain the title. Commissioner Gordon comes into the ring to demand the result be overturned (what is this, the Dusty Finish tribute show?) thanks to Shane's interference. Shane tells him he "doesn't have the authority to overturn the match". Umm… he's the Commissioner, Shane-O. If anyone has the authority, it'd be him. He then says he'll stay in ECW if Tod will just get down on his knees and blow him… I mean, beg him. Tod DOES get on his knees, only to fire Shane. That earns him a beating from the Franchise. The crowd demands a 911 appearance. Instead they get John Finnegan and Jim Molineaux followed by Don E. Allen and Dino Sendoff, all who get popped by Shane. Finally 911 makes his appearance and the crowd goes crazy as he drills Shane into the mat with a chokeslam. Thank you and good night!

Overview: Too much Shane Douglas is not good for my digestive system. On the WWE 24/7 post-show, Taz puts over how Shane "did business the right way" on his way out, which is true in the sense that he showed ass and helped put 911 over in doing it. But at the same time, it took him what seemed like an eternity's worth of air-time to do it as he has this terrible habit of going about five miles out of his way to make a point. The lone match was passable, but Scorpio clearly wasn't feeling all that motivated and it showed. Even though there was only one actual match aired, we got FIVE Dusty Finishes if you count the Tai Pei Death match, ECW Tag Title match Double-Dusty and ECW World Title match highlights, which is just ridiculous on so many levels. In short, not one of ECW's better shows.

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