November 23, 2009
Austin Atwood

"HARDCORE TV"
Date: September 10 (11), 1995 (taped: August 26, 1995)
Location: ECW Arena (Philadelphia, PA)

Opening montage kicks things off. And why shouldn't it, really.

Backstage Joey runs down the line-up for tonight, as well as the ECW debuts of Rey Misterio Jr. and Psicosis (accompanied by some Mexican footage of said duo in action) which is to occur at the upcoming ECW Arena show.

Lance Wright pimps the return of "Club ECW", which for a measely hundred bucks gets you… umm… some stuff.

The Pitbulls join Joey for a surprisingly subdued promo. I mean, for them. Pitbull #1 manages to contain his roid rage (barely) long enough to announce that if they can't beat the team of Raven & Stevie Richards in their upcoming Double Dog Collar Match and win the ECW Tag titles, they'll break up as a tag team. Pitbull #2 adds the coda, "If I can't be a Pitbull… I'd rather DIE!". Well they're nothing if not intense. PB1 actually managed to scare Joey just by flipping his hair back. Somewhere Kevin Nash is stroking his chin thoughtfully and thinking, "not bad, kid… not bad".

Cactus Jack promo time! Apparently Tommy Dreamer is an ignorant little boy because he thinks Cactus originated the hardcore style. Ray Stevens and his non-functioning liver, the broken down Harley Race, and the wheelchair bound Dynamite Kid were the REAL innovators according to Cactus. And the more they gave, the more wrestling fans took. Under Raven's guidance, Cactus is trying to help Tommy avoid that same fate. But Tommy ain't listening, so Cactus is pleading with him to follow the age-old lesson that "he who learns to run away, returns to fight another day". Another brilliant promo in a series of them from Mrs. Foley's baby boy.

DUDLEY DUDLEY (w/ Big Dick Dudley) vs. TOMMY DREAMER
(referee: Jim Molineaux)

Dreamer SPAZZES on Double D with some playground punches, then levels him with a running clothesline out of the corner. Kick to the gonads is pretty much no-sold however, and Dudley makes Tommy pay for his low blowing ways with a nice looking neckbreaker. Top rope clothesline from Dudley and Dreamer is barely able to stand. Jeez, Tommy, at least wait till we get to the 1 MINUTE MARK! Marathan Man Dreamer manages to backdrop a charging Dudley over to the floor however, and once on the outside uses the ever-popular cheap-skillet-to-the-head to stay in control. The ringside fans get involved with some chair assistance before Dudley and Dreamer make their way into the ring… and then right back out, as Dudley just hurls Tommy through the ropes via a handful of pants. Skillet shot earns some payback for the tyedyed wonder. Big Dick earns his paycheck by sending Tommy into the barrier and then rolls him in where brother Dudley Dudley gets a two-count. European uppercut by DD and then he just STANDS there doing nothing for like 15 seconds before finally deciding to give Tommy a scoop-and-a-slam. Did his brain just completely lock-up on him or what? It's not like he was stalling or getting into it with the fans. He was just… kinda… there. Anyway, he goes up top and walks the rope for a superfly splash, but Tommy comes right back with a clothesline and then starts driving his knee into the crotch. He gets some sort of stick from a fan and JAMS it into Dudley's family jewels! Suplex attempt is reversed though and Tommy gets dropped across the top rope (badly). Suplex attempt by Dudley is then reversed by Dreamer into a HUGE DDT! ONE! TWO!! NO! Big Dick put Dudley Dudley's foot on the ropes. Dreamer goes outside and starts clobbering Big Dick with anything he can get his hands on (rolling pin, can of Coke, etc), but gets pummeled and DDT'd by DD when he goes back inside. Dudley makes the mistake of going up top and Tommy follows him up. SUPERPLEX! ONE! TWO! THREE! And that's all she wrote!

Result: Tommy Dreamer via pinfall (6:46).

Big Dick throws Dudley Dudley over his shoulder and hauls him to the back as Tommy drags himself to his feet in order to soak up a "HE'S HARDCORE" chant from the crowd. He goes outside and decides to exact a little more punishment by dragging Sign Guy Dudley out of the front row and into the ring. CHAIRSHOT! DDT! Welcome to the world of pro wrestling, dude. Still wanna help out?

Blue Collar Taz (dig that flannel!) gives a quick no-nonsense interview with Backstage Joey about his upcoming return to the ring against 2 Cold Scorpio. Yikes! He broke his neck barely two months ago and he's ALREADY coming back?! Dude, I'm not so sure that's wise.

RICK STEINER & SCOTT STEINER (w/ Taz) vs. 2 COLD SCORPIO & CHRIS BENOIT
(referee: John Finnegan)

This is Benoit's last appearance on ECW TV before shuffling off to WCW. Thankfully these episodes aired on WWE 24/7 before the Benoit Ban took effect. The fans response to the announcement that Benoit is the "mystery partner" is pretty tepid, which I find kind of funny considering the way retrospective history makes it out to sound like ECW fans were so ahead of the curve. The truth is, while they *liked* Benoit, Guerrero and Malenko, they were far more into Public Enemy and all the garbage wrestling. Benoit and Scott go it at first, working the mat with some amateur stuff. Tight armdrag by Benoit puts Scott onto the apron where he jaws with Scorpio. Scott works a headlock into some more mat wrestling. Collar-and-elbow won by Scott who powers Benoit into a corner and then brings him out with a HA-YUGE biel! CLIP. Benoit goes for a German suplex, Scott blocks it, and Benoit counters right back into a Northern Lights suplex! ONE! TWO! Kickout by Steiner! Benoit with some weak chops (by his standards) and his follow up is turned into a tilt-o-whirl slam by Steiner. That's enough for Benoit to tag out, so Scott does the same, bringing in Scorpio and the Dog Faced Gremlin. Lock-up won by Rick. He pounds away but gets shoulderdriven into the corner. Backflip by Scorpio, who then armdrags the charging Steiner and follows up with a nice dropkick. Up top he goes, but Rick isn't THAT hurt yet, so he nonchalantly tosses Scorpio off the top. CLIP. Scorpio is outside the ring taking a breather when he comes face-to-face with Taz, who is NOT happy to see him. They staredown and we… CLIP. Rick goes nuts with Steinerlines! CLIP. Benoit and Rick slug it out at center ring and Rick wins that battle long enough to hoist Benoit over his shoulder and drive him into the corner stomach-first. CLIP. Benoit exacts his revenge with a German suplex. Scoop-and-a-slam gets a two-count, but Scorpio isn't happy because he went up top thinking that the slam was a set-up for him to hit the Tumbleweed. He and Benoit hash things out while Joey recounts how that was the same way the initial riff between Scorpio and Taz occured. Scott suplexes Scorpio off of a lock-up and then goes for a powerbomb, but Scorpio ain't having that and hits one of his own. He motions for Benoit to go up top, but when the Crippler does, Scorp drops down for the pin. That cheeky Scorpio. 2 Cold misses a crossbodyblock and eats a couple of Steinerlines from Scott. Press slam by Scott! He tosses Scorpio outside for another staredown with Taz. CLIP. A cornered Benoit gets the boot up into the chest of a charging Rick Steiner. He nearly trips over his own feet delivering a clothesline and THERE'S something you don't see very often. Speaking of things you don't often see, Benoit puts Rick up top and hits a HURRICANRANA!! A nice one too! I don't recall ever seeing him use that, but then he was capable of using just about any move and doing it well, so I shouldn't be surprised. ONE! TWO!! Scott in for the save! Benoit holds Rick for a Scorpio superkick, but you can guess what happens there. Benoit eats the kick and then – CLIP – he and his "partner" get into a quick argument that ends with Benoit dragon suplexing Scorpio. Outside the ring Taz takes a running start and PASTES Scorpio with his own TV title belt! Meanwhile, Rick catches a distracted Benoit from behind with a RELEASE German Suplex! Benoit got some AIR on that one! Two-count, but Benoit kicks out, so Rick tags out to Scott. Little brother puts Benoit up top and delivers a sort-of Samoan drop from the second rope. ONE! TWO! Benoit will NOT stay down! Rick comes back in and puts Benoit on his shoulders. Scott comes off the top and DDT's BENOIT OFF OF RICK'S SHOULDERS! ONE! TWO!! THREE!!! Now THAT was a sick finish!

Result: Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner via pinfall (9:24 shown)

We close the show with what I believe is the first of the promo montages that ECW would make famous over the years. No surf music yet, but that may just be because the WWE 24/7 overdubbing machine has got it's hands into things. Anyway, The Public Enemy start us off by celebrating the impending Lucha invasion with some Corona! Mmm. Corona. I'm enjoying one as I write this, I might add. New Jack promises to beat some ass. Sandman (with Woman) shows off his Singapore cane scars. Back to New Jack, who doesn't give a crap about Sandman, but he admits they got stuff in common as they both dig violence. Mustafa adds the usual moans and groans. Back to Sandman for a quick word to TPE, who themselves whip out a Raggedy Andy doll (complete with blackface!) to show what they're gonna do to New Jack by ramming it into a mesh fence and then hanging it with some cable. No, that was not at all racist, why do you ask? Mikey Whipwreck brings things to a close by announcing that it's time he became a man. Just as soon as those balls drop, Mikey, which by the sound of your voice, hasn't happened yet.

Overview: Kinda started slow as Dreamer vs Dudley did nothing for me. I actually like Dreamer quite a bit, but that match was just "you hit a move, I hit a move, repeat, go home", with nothing ever having any consequence. At one point Joey was putting over how Big Dick got a shot in on Tommy due to the ref being distracted, but all the low-blows, weapon shots, choking and the like happened in full view, WITHOUT repercussion. I hate that about ECW. 95% of the time it's a no DQ environment, but every now and then they decide to enforce rules or Joey decides to act like they SHOULD, which makes no sense. The Cactus Jack promo was gold, of course, and the tag match was aces, as the clipping didn't hurt it too much this time. All-in-all a pretty good episode.

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