November 23, 2009
Austin Atwood

"HARDCORE TV"
Date: September 3 (4), 1995 (taped: August 26, 1995)
Location: ECW Arena (Philadelphia, PA)

No messin' around this week as we jump right into a match. And WHAT a match!

HACK MYERS vs. J.T. SMITH (w/ Big Val Puccio)
(referee: John Finnegan)

THAT'S RIGHT!! IT'S THE RE-MATCH THE WORLD'S BEEN WAITING FOR!! Okay, maybe not. This would be the first stage of J.T. Smith's transformation into the Full Blooded Italian gimmick, as he is accompanied by Puccio (and a box of canolis), who helped give J.T. the win a few weeks back against Myers despite the fact the Smith dribbled his own forehead off the ringside floor in one of the nastier spills you'll ever see. Fat Val sits in a chair at ringside and eats. J.T. opens things up with some punching and kicking and the fans of course respond with "shit" on each one. He throws Hack outside and teases a tope, and suddenly Joey is all OVER J.T. on commentary, which makes no sense considering J.T. was a face in the last match and did nothing overtly heelish (particularly in the world of ECW where everybody throws cheapshots). Joey's treating him like he turned his back on everybody, when he hasn't yet. Rather than risk tripping and falling again, J.T. does a running handstand against the ropes. He nearly lands on his head though, proving how inept he truly is. Hack pulls him outside for some "shah" punches while J.T. plays to the crowd. Hack grabs a chair from the front row, but eats it courtesy of a Smith dropkick. "YOU STILL SUCK!" chant for J.T. as he beats on Myers on the outside. Back in Hack turns the tide briefly, but J.T. comes back with a front layout powerbomb. Up top goes Smith, but he misses the elbowdrop. The Shah stomps away in the corner and hits a guillotine legdrop on the apron. He throws J.T. over the top rope at Val, but J.T. overshoots the target and lands with a thud on the floor. The distraction is enough to put Val off his canolis though, so J.T. gets up and apologies via a bad Brando impersonation. While this is going on, Finnegan counts J.T. out, giving Myers the oh-so-satisfying win.

Result: Hack Myers via countout (3:11).

The heels try to administer a post-match beatdown, but Hack outwits them (scary thought) with "shah" punches. EVENTUALLY Smith and Puccio take over, but they miss a double clothesline and eat duel clotheslines instead. Finally J.T. gets a crossbodyblock to the back to put Hack down and Val follows it up with a scoopslam. Smith gets the top rope elbow he was looking for earlier and Fat Val punctuates things with a splash. To tie a ribbon on the whole mess, J.T. grabs a leftover canoli and rubs it in Hack's face. Okay, NOW J.T. is a heel. It's funny to me how Joey can watch Tommy Dreamer piledrive women left and right without being bothered by it, but a canoli to the face sends him into moral outrage. Must be an Italian thing.

Opening montage.

Backstage Joey talks over stills of the Malenko-Guerrero farewell match before throwing it to Paul E. Dangerously, who is bringing back his old WCW interview segment "The Danger Zone". His first guest is troubleshooting referee Bill Alphonso.

In the ring, Paul E. sucks up to Dean and Eddy and puts over their match as the greatest thing since the invention of the headlock. Look, I love that match as much as the next guy, but the way ECW treats anything they do that isn't a mindless brawl as if it has redefined pro wrestling is preposterous. Anyway, he introduces Fonzie and encourages the fans to swear and throw crap. Fonzie steals the mic and tells Paul E. he won't be intimidated as the crowd chants for 911. Good news/bad news time. Bad news, the Philadelphia State Athletic Commission won't stand behind Fonzie in his effort to strip Tod Gordon's promotor license (Tod is hanging out in the crowd celebrating this fact). Paul E. goes all Arnold Horshack on Fonzie in order to get the mic so he can properly introduce Tod. "TOD IS GOD" chant. Oh please. Clip ahead to Paul E. sentencing Fonzie to being "chokeslammed just like Shane Douglas right out the *bleep*ing door". Fonzie retorts by BANNING the chokeslam! Wow. Good retort. He then gets REALLY worked up and starts pushing Paul E. around while demanding that 911 come out. He's swearing at the fans and losing his mind, so much so that he's blown up (and even says as much). Clip to Paul E. threatening to smash his head in with the phone. Fonzie BRAINS HIM from behind with the phone before he gets the chance though, which brings Tod Gordon in for a CAAATFIIIIIGHT!! Oh wait, they're not chicks. Tod eats the phone as well and Fonzie proceeds to talk trash about 911. The music hits and the big guy comes out and grabs Fonzie for the chokeslam, but before he can pull it off (and get his ass suspended), Big Dick Dudley and entourage come down for a face-to-face. Nothing comes of it however, as we cut to later in the night with Paul E. attacking Fonzie from behind and then cut from there right to… <>Alphonso is backstage cutting a promo in which bans Paul E. from ECW. You know, we never did find out what Paul E's "good news" for Fonzie was.

Backstage Joey puts over the results of a recent house show in Jim Thorpe, PA. FamCam footage follows. Mikey Whipwreck pins Don E. Allen. The Sandman destroys Chad Austin then smokes a cigarette before caning him. Mikey appears behind him like a ninja with a cane of his own and delivers a half-dozen shots to the ECW champion's skull. Woman pumps Sandman up on the outside, but every time he rolls in Mikey goes to town again. He adds one to Chad Austin as well, just for fun. Next up is footage of Nw Jack vs. Johnny Grunge, but of course Mustafa and Rocco Rock get involved. Mustafa then pins Rocco later in the night. It's all variations on a theme with these two teams, and that theme is VIOLENCE!! Sandman and Mikey each do a run-in later on to help build heat for the upcoming 6-man.

Back in the WWE 24/7 universe, Taz and Joey Styles interrupt to spend a few quality minutes BURRYING the Flagstaff building and Jim Thorpe, PA in general. Wow, burn a few bridges why don't ya, fellas. Of course, I don't imagine they have any reason to go back there, so what the hell, have at it. They tell a couple of classic stories. Great fun.

*ECW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP*
THE PITBULLS vs. RAVEN & STEVIE RICHARDS © (w/ Beulah McGillicutty)
(referee: John Finnegan)

Lock-up between Pitbull #1 and Raven starts thing off, with the PB taking the advantage with a nice sidekick. Raven quickly scurries to the corner to tag out, but Stevie's not really feeling up to it, begging not to be tagged in. "STEVIE IS A PUS-SY" chant naturally follows. This allows PB1 to sneak up from behind and roll Raven up. Drop toehold takes Raven down and PB2 comes in off the top with a big splash for two. Not sure if there was ever a tag by the Pitbulls, but whatever. Raven again tries to tag out, but Stevie is in uber-wuss mode tonight, so PB2 blitzes Raven in the corner and clotheslines both men out. He hammers Raven on the outside for a bit, then rolls him back in. Still no tag from Stevie, as now both Pitbulls are in the ring, down on all fours waiting for something to happen. Having had enough of his shenanigans, Raven decks Stevie on the apron and yanks him into the ring by the hair. He literally tosses him to the Pitbulls who pounce like wolves in what is a pretty cool visual. Double Irish whip leads to a two-man flapjack. "Steve Richards is mat pizza", says Joey. PB2 just BITCHSLAPS Stevie, then hauls him up on his shoulders so PB1 can run the ropes and clothesline Stevie out from that position. That was a nasty fall to the floor. Fans start calling for a superbomb and the Pitbulls set up for it but instead deliver a kind of spike neckbreaker which, I gotta say, looks like crap. That might explain why I don't recall ever seeing that before or after this. Raven dives in to break up PB2's pin, but gets tossed out by PB1 soon after. With Raven and #1 going at it outside and drawing the attention of the ref, Stevie comes in and blasts #2 with a chairshot. PB1 exacts quick retribution however, although Stevie makes a brief comeback with a Steviekick. PB1 gets slingshotted in with a shoulderblock on Stevie, then they drag Raven in and do the same to him. Double suplex by the Pitbulls on Richards and then they hit the SUPERBOMB ON RAVEN!! It looks like we've got new champs until Beulah comes in to break it up. SHE then gets set up for a superbomb, but Raven uses a chair to stop that nonsense. Things break down and Stevie eats a shoulderblock and is covered by PB2, but Finnegan is distracted yet again and now Dudley Dudley runs down and delivers a top rope double axehandle on PB2. He rolls Stevie on top! ONE! TWO! SHOULDER UP! Stevie goes for a hurricanrana, countered to a POWERBOMB BY PB2!! ONE! TWO!! NO!! Raven breaks it up and DDT's the Pitbull! Stevie gets two off that, but he catches a spinning knee in the corner soon after. PB2's momentum takes him to the outside and there's Big Dick Dudley! He drops #2 throat-first on the railing, rolls him inside, and the three-count is academic! Hot DAMN! That was actually a REALLY good match. And the Pitbulls were involved! Will miracles never cease?! I mean sure, there were times it was sloppy as all get out, but it was well paced and never uninteresting.

Result: Raven & Stevie Richards via pinfall (9:09).

Time for a Cactus Jack promo, "via satellite from New York". Jack is sitting in his finished basement, his arm covered in a white bandage that runs from the wrist to the elbow. Trying to recap it couldn't do it justice, as this is a prime example of the stories old ECW guys tell of Jack starting off on some tangeant and yet bringing it back around to the angle at the end. So instead, here's a full transcript. It only tells half the story, as his vocal delivery is a big part of what makes it so effective, but it's better than simply saying "here's a great promo". Enjoy.

Cactus Jack: Well I guess the last you left Cactus Jack you described it as a catatonic state. And certainly there's been a lot of questions for my actions… and I understand… because you never met Uncle Willy. And at this point, Tommy Dreamer, I can sense you looking at my arm… wondering what happened to Cactus Jack, and yes there's been rumors circulating around, and well, Tommy, this is what happened to Cactus Jack. [he holds up a magazine showing a photo from one of his Japanese death matches] This is what happened and this is the result but it's really not that big a deal, because the doctors have assured me that on second degree burns there will be some discoloration for some time but really no permanent scarring. Which is more than I can say for my opponent, Terry Funk, WHO WEASLED HIS WAY OUT IN AN AMBULANCE, SCREAMING AND CRYING LIKE A LITTLE BABY WITH HIS THIRD DEGREE BURNS! And the irony did not escape me… that the man who stepped into the ECW Arena with a branding iron and *sssss*sizzled his name on my chest… is the one who walked away with the permanent scars. And that one match signified to me that I was in Japan the king of the death match, which I guess in ECW would make me the king of the hardcores. [he does a raspberry] Because my Uncle Willy new all about Japan. You see, Tommy Dreamer, you never met my Uncle Willy… and neither did I… because he's been dead for 50 years. But I always felt like I knew him because there was a big picture of my Uncle Willy at 18 years old, ready to save the world, hanging up in the hallway of my home in East Setauket. And every day I'd see my dad almost get down and genuflect in front of that picture… almost like you used to do in front of my picture, Tommy Dreamer… because Uncle Willy was a hero. You see Uncle Willy was on the boat that brought the bomb over to Japan to save the day for the good guys. And what happened to that boat after it delivered the bomb is a well known story and although they never saw or found Uncle Willy's body, we've all got a pretty good idea what happened. [he makes a shark fin with his hand on his forehead and starts humming the Jaws theme] BUT WE REST ASSURED… that my Uncle Willy died a hero. That is until I made my way to Japan… to Hiroshima and saw, generations later walking in the Peace Park, the pictures of people with flesh burning down their arms the flesh hanging off their bones. Let's hear it for the bombing of innocent children! U-S-A! U-S-A! LETS HERE'S IT FOR THE BOMBING OF HELPLESS WOMEN!! WIL-LY! WIL-LY! You see all my life I saw people who's idea of suffering was to kick back on that last six pack until the next welfare check came in… AND THEY SAY "WE BOMBED THOSE NIP BASTARDS"! THEY WERE HUMAN BEINGS, YOU SONS-A-BITCHES!! And you killed them. So I went back to my dad and I said, "Dad, I hope that Uncle Willy died a painful death! I hope they they ate him good. I hope they swallowed his spine if he even had one, THAT BABY KILLER! …And for the the first time since the infamous 1968 Parsonage Road spanking… my dad hit me. And he said, "take a look at yourself, son. Take a look at the scars, take a look at the burns, and take a look at the missing body parts and find out that the same thing that makes those Japanese wrestlers so tough is the same reason that we had to sacrifice a hundred and thirty-thousand human lives. Because they keep going and going and going. AND THE ONLY WAY… to save millions of more lives… was by a show of force". And I said, "Dad, by whose authority do you believe in the following words you just spoke?" And he said, "the Government of the United States ". The Government of the United States. And I believed his words. And I looked at that dollar bill and saw that the father of our country was a slave holding, wig-wearing, wooden tooth wearing… bastard. And so its very simple, Tommy Dreamer… if we can sacrifice one-hundred and thirty-thousand human lives in the goal of a highher purpose… THEN REALLY THE DDT OF YOUR HEAD ON THE MAT IS PRETTY DAMNED INSIGNIFICANT NEWS!! AND IF YOU CAN TRUST A GOVERNMENT THAT MUTILATES BABIES… then I ought to get the benefit of the doubt. Because I… and Raven… have a higher purpose. And that thought brings me peace. [in a whisper] Bang, bang.

Overview: So yeah, that promo ruled all. The grammar's a little suspect, but the emotion is off the charts and the story is so out-of-left-field and at the same time spot-on that it's a wonder to behold. I'm not sure I'll be able to transcribe all his promos, but that one alone should give you an idea how brilliant the guy was during his ECW run. Meanwhile, the tag title match was about a million times better than it had any right to be, and the segment with Paul and Fonzie was also on the Highly Entertaining end of the chart. Even the Smith-Myers match was useful in it's own way. I must be at that point where I'm officially drinking Paul E's Kool-Aid, because I'm starting to enjoy all this garbage way more than I ever thought I would.

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