November 11, 2012
The Powerdriver Review
ECW: Enter Sandman
May 13, 1995
The current ECW Champs were as follows:
ECW World Champion: The Sandman (4/15/1995)
ECW World Tag Team Champions: Public Enemy (4/8/1995)
ECW World TV Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/8/1995)
Your host is Joey Styles.
Tony Stetson vs. Hack Meyers
Stetson BUM RUSHES THE SHOW and attacks Hack during his entrance. This continues until Meyers kicks Stetson in the balls. SHAH! Flying forearm drop and a fist drop from Meyers, but Stetson thumbs him in the eyes. Hack fires back with punches (SHAH!) and legdrops Stetson on the apron while he’s draped on the bottom rope. The Ivan Koloff knee drop out of the corner gets the three-count. (5:33) Certainly an example of Paul E’s genius – take two people with relatively no athletic ability and make them a local hero. ½*
The Tazmaniac & 911 (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Tsubo Genjin & Hiroyoshi Iekuda
Hardly a match, but pretty awesome watching Taz suplex and 911 chokeslam these two into a pile of ruin in 3:32.
Before the next match, Joey Styles introduces Axl Rotten who cuts a profanity-laced promo on the state of Florida for complaining about his “matches” with his brother Ian being too violent for television. Philly still loves them though, so we get another gem from these two.
Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten – Barbed Wire Weapons Match
That’s right. Now we have barbed wire bats and barbed wire chairs. It’s more of the same crap we’ve seen them show after show. They bleed like crazy until Axl finishes with the only wrestling move of the whole match – a back suplex onto the barbed wire chair for the win. (6:13) It’s outside of my mental capacity to understand how anyone could enjoy this. CRAP
Raven & Stevie Richards (w/Beulah) vs. Tommy Dreamer & Mikey Whipwreck
After Raven and Stevie Richards head down to the ring, Shane Douglas appears and introduces Bill Alfonso to the ECW arena. Douglas feels this is a good thing because maybe now we can get some law and order around here. He’s gotta be the only ref who worked in every company of the “big three” in the 90s. Todd Gordon comes out to tell Alfonso that he doesn’t have a job here. I can’t quite make out what Alfonso’s rebuttal is, but he threatens to shut down ECW if Gordon doesn’t comply. Anyways, Alfonso refs this match. Richards runs down Whipwreck off a headlock to start and does his best HBK impression since he resembles him so much. Blind tag to Dreamer, he throws out Richards and wants to brawl on the floor, but Alfonso holds him back to enforce the rules of wrestling. HUGE chorus of boos. Oh, this is brilliant. Richards back in, he takes a DDT. Now that Richards is out, Dreamer wants Raven. Whipwreck comes in and tries to get Dreamer back on track and just pin Richards. Since Dreamer doesn’t live by the rules, Whipwreck tags in and splashes Richards for 1-2-NO! Back to Dreamer, he picks up Whipwreck to leg drop Richards. He still won’t cover Richards though and just stares at Raven. Tag to Whipwreck, he tries going for the pin though. Richards keeps kicking out though. Mikey telegraphs a backdrop allowing Raven to get a tag. O’Connor roll on Raven is blocked, but Whipwreck gets a rollup anyway for 1-2-NO! The Franken-Mikey to Raven just serves to piss him off more than anything. Raven pounds on Whipwreck, but he comes back with a headscissors. Raven shoots back up with a clothesline for two. Tag to Richards, he powerbombs Mikey for two. Raven tags in for a DOUBLE GOURDBUSTER. Alfonso makes sure to wait for Richards to return to the corner before he counts. Cover, 1-2-NO! Raven and Richards give Whipwreck the Midnight Express drop toe hold and elbow drop combo. Big knee lift from Raven gets two again. Raven puts Mikey up in the corner and tries to slam him down to the concrete, but Dreamer catches the guy in mid-air. Back in, Raven delivers a swinging neckbreaker by his hair. Mikey tries to come back as Raven charges and misses to fall out to the floor. HOT TAG TO DREAMER! Mikey wants a pescado, but Richards pulls Raven out of the way just in time as Mikey goes splat on the concrete. Dreamer, however, does not miss as he takes out Richards. In another awesome moment, Dreamer and Raven deliver STEREO DDTs ON THE CONCRETE on their separate opponents. Now we have Dreamer v. Raven. Dreamer punches Raven out of the ring until Alfonso DQ’s Dreamer for using a clinched fist on his opponent! HA. (8:51) Just brilliant booking as they use the very thing that made ECW different from the other two organizations against their own fanbase to get incredible amounts of heat. Other organizations have had their unpopular refs like Danny Davis helping the Hart Foundation win the tag titles or Teddy Long fast-counting the Road Warriors, but they were just dirty. Bill Alfonso is just following along with the rules. Let’s not forget that he’s also depriving the fans from getting to see Raven and Dreamer hook it up in the name of what’s right. Fantastic. ***¼
Afterwards while other refs hold back Dreamer from Alfonso, Shane Douglas jumps back in the ring to stir the pot and dare Dreamer to punch Alfonso. Now Cactus Jack comes down to be the voice of reason (this is ECW, after all). He tells Douglas that nobody wants him around anymore. Shane is on his way soon back to the WWF anyways. They share some words to get a little intrigue building because the winner of Sandman v. Cactus meets Shane Douglas later on in the show for the ECW title.
ECW World TV Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
Taz joins Joey for special guest commentary. Now there’s three Malenko v. Guerrero matches from ECW ’95 that everybody talks about. There’s the Hostile City Showdown 30-minute draw (****1/2), the 2/3 falls match before both men left for WCW (****1/4), and this one. Some people may want to point out some of their matches on fancam, but for sake of argument, there’s really those three matches that people need to see. This was a 30-minute draw as well, but unfortunately we only get a piece of the action here. Lots of chain wrestling on the mat to start. Skip ahead to Guerrero nailing Malenko with a beautiful float over headscissors out of the corner. Another JIP to Malenko applying a dragon sleeper with Guerrero struggling to reach the ropes. Malenko briefly takes Guerrero to the floor for some guardrail action. Back in, Malenko delivers the butterfly powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Fatigue sets in on Eddie as he is out on his feet at this point. Back suplex by Malenko gets two. Tombstone piledriver gets another two. Guerrero tries to rally back with a tornado DDT, but Malenko throws him off to the other side of the ring. Eddie attempts a headscissors, but Malenko blocks with a powerbomb. Guerrero counters a Boston crab to lead to a series of back and forth nearfalls, but they stand up and run into a double-KO. We JIP again to Eddie giving Malenko one of his signature dives from the top turnbuckle on the floor. Back inside, Guerrero delivers the Brainbuster to set up the FROG SPLASH, but Malenko brings up the knees. Eddie still manages to stop Malenko up top for a superplex and follows up with the rope walk hurracanrana nearly knocking himself out in the process for 1-2-NO! He’s definitely busted open though. Malenko has the clear advantage and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Guerrero still counters with an inside cradle for two. Guerrero delivers the headscissors out of the corner and hits Splash Mountain for 1-2-NO! Malenko still able to capitalize hammers on Eddie’s head and applies the prawn hold for two. Eddie grabs a quick rollup and only gets two. Skip ahead again to when Eddie gives Malenko a slight bronco buster and then applies the Figure-Four until the bell sounds. (12:36) Unbelievable chemistry between these two. I miss Eddie. ****
Taz gets a suplex music video. Why not.
ECW World Champion The Sandman (w/Woman) vs. Cactus Jack
As alluded to earlier, the winner gets Shane Douglas. Sandman attacks Cactus on the floor and beats him with a chair, but then Cactus throws him over the guardrail and CANNONBALLLLLLS on him. They fight through the crowd, but not quite as much as we came to expect in 1994. It seems more TV-minded now that they have a rabid core audience that shows up every month regardless. Back to ringside, Cactus wants to suplex the table on Sandman and can’t pick it up, so he settles for audience participation and a chair. Sandman takes over with guardrail action. Inside the ring, Sandman delivers a suplex and whips Cactus from corner to corner a few times. Cactus punches and bites Sandman before delivering a swinging neckbreaker for two. He calls for the Cactus Clothesline, but Sandman ducks and backdrops Cactus to the floor. Now Sandman dumps Cactus in the front row and tries to leap from the apron onto Cactus, but his feet get caught on the upper part of the guardrail. You silly drunk. Back inside, Sandman drops Cactus with a piledriver. In comes a table, which lands on Jack’s ankle. OUCH. Cactus avoids the impact of being whipped into the table in the corner and drops Sandman with a face slam. Just to be awesome, Cactus puts Sandman on the table and literally tips it over the top rope to send Sandman crashing on the concrete. Some chick throws a pail in the ring that had barbed wire inside. Cactus wraps the barbed wire around his arm and drops an elbow off the apron on Sandman. Inside the ring, Cactus delivers a series of elbow drops with the barbed wire still on his arm. DOUBLE-ARM DDT gets 1-2-NO! Unfortunately for Cactus, Douglas ran in and stuck Sandman’s foot on the bottom rope to save the title. Now Cactus and Douglas start jawing at each other. With his back turned to Sandman, Cactus gets a kendo stick in his testicles for the 1-2-3. (11:32) It’s about what you would expect from a guy like Sandman. Smart on Shane’s part too. Now beating Sandman SHOULD be a piece of cake. *½
ECW World Champion The Sandman vs. Shane Douglas
Being the fresh man, Douglas controls to start beating the crap out of Sandman. The Hennig neck snap and a front suplex across the rope puts the hurting on Sandman. Douglas gets yanked onto the apron, but skins-the-cat headscissors Sandman to the floor and follows with the pescado. Back in, Douglas is just schooling this guy. Flying body press and a dropkick gets two. Nice springboard splash gets two as well. Again, Sandman seizes the moment and dumps Douglas on the floor to create some distance. Sandman delivers some guardrail punishment and hangs Douglas out to dry on the guardrail. Back inside, Douglas tries the Flair Flip and runs down the apron only to be met with a clothesline. WOOOOO! Douglas wants to leave through the crowd, but Sandman grabs him and delivers a DDT on a stack of tables. Yes, at ringside, there is a stack of tables just lying there. Now Sandman gives the table suplex to Douglas! Back inside, Sandman hits a stalling suplex and a somersault senton bomb from the apron. Flying legdrop misses horribly. Douglas calls for the end and tries the BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX, but Sandman counters for one of his own. What. Sandman covers and Douglas gets his foot on the bottom rope, but Cactus appears and knocks his foot back onto the mat to give Sandman the win. (10:43) Afterwards, Bill Alfonso heads out and says he saw the whole thing and restarts the match to give Douglas a fair shake. Sandman threatens to cane Alfonso, which would result in the end of ECW, apparently. As he swings, Cactus Jack takes the bullet to keep that from happening. Sandman canes Cactus again and then as he redirects his attention to Alfonso, Douglas rolls up Sandman for the 1-2-3 to regain the ECW title. Fonzie raises Shane’s hand and gives him the belt, but ref John Finnegan refuses to let this injustice go forward. While Finnegan and Alfonso argue, Dean Malenko runs out and attacks Cactus Jack who tried getting up in Shane’s face until Tommy Dreamer makes the save. Now Raven and Richards attack Dreamer! DDT on a metal fan cover! Once the damage is done, Cactus scares Raven and Stevie away and checks on his knocked out friend. *½
ECW World Tag Team Champions Public Enemy vs. The Pitbulls (w/Stevie Richards) – Double Dog Collar Match
If Public Enemy wins, they get five minutes with Stevie. Todd Gordon comes out to emphasize to everyone that there will be NO RULES in this match. Pitbull #2 is with Rocco, which means Pitbull #1 is linked to Grunge. Obviously, lots of brawling in this one. Nothing terribly interesting though for the first five minutes until Pitbull #2 powerslams Rocco from the top rope for two. Oh, and I believe Pitbull #1 gets his balls electrocuted. Rocco moonsaults Pitbull #2 through a table for two. More brawling ensues as Rocco and Pitbull #2 head over to the Eagle’s Nest where Rocco takes a superplex of sorts through a table. Back to the ring, the Pitbulls SUPERBOMB Rocco through a table. That only gets two. Heel miscommunication with Stevie Richards occurs as the Pitbulls clothesline him with the chain. As Pitbull #2 goes for a slam on Grunge, Rocco springboard moonsaults and bumps Grunge on top, but Pitbull #1 breaks up the pin. The Pitbulls deliver a superplex in opposite corners, but Rocco falls on top of Pitbull #2 for the 1-2-3. (16:41) Pitbull #1 thinks the pinfall was intended for him, so he picks up the tag titles and starts to celebrate with his buddies. Unfortunately for him, that was not the case. Now TPE gets five minutes with Richards. He goes for the DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER, but they clothesline the crap out of him. Grunge hits the Slop Drop on Richards to set up the DRIVE-BY, but Raven shoves Rocco off the top rope to save his friend. The Pitbulls join Raven and Richards to beat on TPE. They hold Grunge and Rocco for STEVIE KICKS. As the Pitbulls leave and let Raven and Richards celebrate whatever, this gives Tommy Dreamer the perfect opportunity to get his hands on these two. He immediately lays out Richards with a chair. This has reached the boiling point, folks. Raven charges Dreamer and they pound on each other until Richards blasts Dreamer in the back with the chair. After Raven bashes Dreamer with the chair, he drops him with a DDT. Somehow, Dreamer fights back and low blows Raven to make one more comeback. Next thing you know, Luna Vachon is in the ring! She takes care of Richards while Dreamer cleans house on Raven. Wait a sec, Beulah is still standing around. Dreamer grabs her again for another piledriver and then makes out with Luna to close out the show. Only in ECW. **
Final Thoughts: A little too much Dreamer v. Raven stuff on this one. It seemed to be intertwined in nearly every big match on the card until the connections between everybody are bound to get a little confusing. Anyways, there’s enough here to like with the awesome Bill Alfonso inclusion and the Eddie-Dean match, which rounds out the trilogy for me. Slight thumbs up for Enter Sandman.