May 15, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

ECW: Return of the Funker
February 25, 1995
Philadelphia, PA
ECW Arena

The current ECW Champs were as follows:
ECW World Champion: Shane Douglas (3/26/1994)
ECW World Tag Team Champions: The Tazmaniac & Sabu (2/4/1995)
ECW World TV Champion: Dean Malenko (11/4/1994)

Your host is Joey Styles.

The Pitbulls vs. Chad Austin & Joel Goodhart
Even Mugatu from Zoolander would say that the Pitbulls are SO HOT right now. Joey says Jason is missing at ringside because he is gone negotiating contracts for Triple Threat. Whaaaat? Just a squash, but an extremely effective squash as the Pitbulls destroyed Austin and Goodhart which is exactly what the ECW fans wanted to see. SUPER BOMB on Goodhart ends this thing at 4:32. Joey tells us to not overlook the Pitbulls in 1995. After that, how can you overlook them?

Out comes Stevie Richards and Raven. Richards has failed Raven by losing to Tommy Dreamer back on February 4. Raven gives one of his famous melodramatic promos. Tommy Dreamer comes by and tells Raven to shut up and just settle this issue in the ring. Raven says this isnít the place or the time. Dreamer gives Raven one more warning and heís going to knock his block off. Richards says heís going to make it up to Raven by bringing in two guys that beat him up in a club when he was playing air guitar. HA! Itís the former ECW tag champs the Broad Street Bullies: Johnny Hotbody and Tony Stetson. Stetson says that the Broad Street Bullies are back to beat the crap out of Tommy Dreamer and anybody else Raven wants them to beat up because Raven is what Generation X is all about and they want to be a part of it. So much for the Broad Street Bullies. Dreamer takes them out and Stevie Richards with a stop sign. That leaves Raven and Dreamer for a stand off. He grabs at Raven but the Bullies and Richards keep pulling him back. Eventually, Raven EXPLODES on Dreamer and a crazy pull apart brawl ensues. Such a great angle. Weíre still not sure what the problem is, but they have done a GREAT job of still wanting you to see them fight.

Mikey Whipwreck & Hack Meyers vs. Jason & Paul Lauria
Whipwreck and Meyers really want a piece of Jason after Double Tables while Whipwreck also has his issues with Lauria. Whipwreck and Meyers control to start with clotheslines, which leads to STEREO SUNSET FLIPS and a pair of full moons. Itís like weíre on Mars! Meyers throws Whipwreck into Lauria and then gives Whipwreck a suplex onto Jason for a headscissors! Lauria gets owned for a while. We look over and thereís a crazy looking purple masked man wearing a hoodie at ringside. Jason gets drawn into the ring for a headlock-headscissors takedown by Whipwreck. Meyers lifts Lauria up for an inverted atomic drop and instead gives him a swift kick to the balls. About five minutes in, Lauria catches Whipwreck with a spinning heel kick and tags Jason. He takes care of Whipwreck and tags Lauria back in for a double dropkick. They give Whipwreck a back suplex-leg drop combo like the Midnight Express used to do. The masked man is still at ringside, but no one is paying him any attention even though heís in Jasonís corner. Jason presses Lauria for a splash on Whipwreck for two. Mikey plays possum and the crowd encourages Jason to go up top. Jason still throws off a superplex, but Meyers comes over and dumps Jason to the mat. Whipwreck gets dumped and then whiffs a missile dropkick. Lauria gets a tag and leaps at Mikey, but Whipwreck ducks and Lauria flies into the corner. HOT TAG TO MEYERS! SHAAHS EVERYWHERE! Whipwreck hits Lauria with a Flying Bulldog for 1-2-NO! Jason makes the save. Everybody takes turns pinning each other and that goes nowhere. Whipwreck and Jason go to the floor as Mikey starts using fan weapons. Meanwhile, the masked hoodie man and punches Hack in the face. He puts Lauria on top of Meyers and gets out of the ring as the ref counts the 1-2-3. (15:03) Interesting to see Jason and Lauria using so many finishers from great tag teams of the í80s. This would be the last of Paul Lauria that we would see until Heat Wave 1996 while Whipwreck finishes up his long feud with Jason in the next few weeks to go on to better things. *Ĺ

Too Cold Scorpio vs. Hector Guerrero
Scorpio is going to regret messing with those pesky Guerreros. First Hector, then comes Eddie. Feeling out process leads to a headscissors that takes Hector to the floor. Back in, Guerrero delivers a pumphandle backbreaker for two. Hector ties him up in a bow and arrow variation. He starts working the arm and runs a hammerlock into the top turnbuckle. They go to the floor where Guerrero takes the hammerlock a step further and drives Scorpio arm first into the ringpost. The always present ECW hippie at ringside holds up a chair for Hector. He tries for a pinfall on the floor, but itís not falls count anywhere Hector. He starts yelling at the ref like itís his fault which allows a comeback from Scorpio. Itís short lived as Hector takes Scorpio down with a hammerlock. He misses a splash and Scorpio hits a superkick for two. Powerbomb gets two. Hector thumbs Scorpio in the eye and then thumbs the ref in the eye! Scorpio slams Guerrero for a moonsault, but misses. He slams Hector again and misses a top rope moonsault! You dummy. Guerrero goes all Terry Funk on Scorpio with the spinning Oklahoma Roll for 1-2-NO! They trade advantages on an OíConnor roll, which lands them in the ropes. Hector charges Scorpio, but gets launched for a hot shot. SCORPIO SPLASH gets the 1-2-3. (11:26) Disappointing considering Hector seemed like he was game for something better, but Scorpio just wouldnít follow him there. Within the next few weeks, Scorpio would regain the TV title, but would meet Eddie Guerrero at the end of the road. **

Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten Ė Barbed Wire Bat Match
Ian Rotten steals the barbed wire bat away from the ring attendant and hits him with it! And the crowd approves! This was supposed to be a Ďbat on a poleí match, but that has been changed thanks to Ian. Axl grabs a chair to block the barbed wire bat swings. Ian misses a swing up against the ringpost, which hands the bat over to Axl to GRIND the bat onto the back of Ianís head. There comes the blood. NASTY. Ian fights back with a chair and grinds the barbed wire on Axlís forehead to bust him open. They brawl into the crowd where more chairs get physically involved with skulls. Back in the ring, Ian beats Axl with the barbed wire bat some more and gets the bat stuck in Axlís knee pad. Ian sticks the bat on the top turnbuckle, but Axl reverses a whip and Ian goes into the bat. Now the barbed wire bat gets GRINDED on Ianís bicep! Next, Axl pulls the bat back on Ianís throat! WHO THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO WRAP BARBED WIRE AROUND A BASEBALL BAT? Axl gives Ian a big John Kruk swing across the forehead and covers for 1-2-NO! After that, Axl takes Ian to the floor and delivers a flying clothesline off the apron. He beats Ian with a cookie sheet. Really? Youíre going to use a cookie sheet after using a BARBED WIRE BAT? Back into the crowd, Axl hits Ian with a suplex on the bleachers. They fight back into the ring where Axl uses the barbed wire bat again on Ianís forehead, but Ian stops him with a piledriver. Ian splashes the bat on Axl, but he NO-SELLS. Joey says if Gordon Solie was watching this match, he would say these two are wearing the crimson mask. Iím going to go ahead and say that Gordon Solie would NOT be watching this match, Joey. Pancake Slam by Axl onto the barbed wire bat gets the three-count. (12:17) Thereís shock and awe and then thereís just plain stupid. This was DEFINITELY the latter in my opinion. I just donít care for hardcore matches that are centered around a single weapon like a barbed wire bat as opposed to hardcore matches that have some structure to them. These two would have a ridiculous string of stipulation matches over the next several months Ė resulting in a Taipei Death Match at Hardcore Heaven in July. CRAP

ECW World Champion Shane Douglas vs. Marty Jannetty
Douglas and Jannetty have an interesting past. When Shawn was injured in 1990, Shane Douglas was his temporary replacement on the Rockers tag team. All Shane wants to do tonight is give Marty a wrestling lesson. Douglas wants a handshake and kicks Jannetty anyway, but Marty sees it coming. He spins Douglas around only to be met with a right hand. Jannetty slips out of a slam and OíConnor rolls Douglas for two. Douglas leapfrogs too soon and Marty punches him in the face! Armdrag gets two and Shane has to bail out. Back in, Jannetty gets a headscissors on Douglas and the champ has to bail out again. Back inside, they trade hammerlocks. Douglas breaks free with a back elbow, but charges into a powerslam for two. Douglas ducks low off a whip and gets stuck in a chinlock. He fights out and nearly gets caught with the Superkick, but Douglas retreats to the corner where his trick knee acts up into Jannettyís balls. Marty rolls to the floor and gets beat on the apron, but then he necksnaps Douglas and slides back into the ring to clothesline him out. VINTAGE JANNETTY! He whips Douglas into the crowd and flies over the guardrail with a clothesline! Awesome. They brawl through the crowd and back into the ring where Douglas takes over. Jannetty ear claps out of a bearhug, but Douglas catches him for the 360 degree clothesline sell. Back to ringside as Douglas whips Jannetty into the guardrail and throws him into the ringpost. In a nasty spot, Douglas backdrops Jannetty onto some folded out chairs. Douglas misses a chairshot up against the ringpost and turns around into a Superkick! He catches Douglas with another Superkick and rolls him back inside. Douglas starts whipping Jannetty from corner to corner, but misses a charge and runs shoulder-first into the ringpost. Marty running hotshots the arm and stuns Douglas with a suplex on the guardrail! Back inside, he delivers the ROCKER DROPPER! Cover, 1-2-NO! Jannetty hits an atomic drop to set up a third Superkick. He heads up top, but Douglas rolls away from a Fist Drop. Instead, he stands up into a DDT! Cover, 1-2-NO! Shane gets his foot on the bottom rope. Jannetty ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes for a hurracanrana, but Douglas counters with a powerbomb for the 1-2-3! (18:22) Everybody loves a great convincing title match where you never knew exactly who was going to win up until the end. ***Ĺ

Johnny Grunge brings out Rocco Rock in a wheel chair who was put there courtesy of Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko. They claim they were screwed out of the tag titles because Rocco Rock KNOWS he put Sabu through a table. Public Enemy spout off their catchphrase and out comes Benoit and Malenko. Grunge his mouth and gets beat with a chair. Thereís nothing Rocco Rock can do but get wheeled into a clothesline by Benoit! HA! From there, Benoit puts Rocco Rock back in the chair and wheels him into the guardrail just for giggles. Grunge attacks Malenko and gets taken out again with the chair. Out comes Sabu and Taz to start the next match.

ECW World Tag Team Champions The Tazmaniac & Sabu (w/Paul E. Dangerously & 911) vs. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko
HUGE brawl to start as you would expect. Malenko pairs off with Taz while Benoit and Sabu tear it up. Benoit takes Sabu down with a clothesline and goes over to chop Taz. Sabu snapmares Malenko and delivers a springboard legdrop. Meanwhile, Taz drills Benoit with an overhead suplex for two. Sabu misses a charge up against the ropes and flies out to the floor. Taz gets double-teamed for a while. Once Sabu gets back inside the ring, Malenko drops him with a pair of brainbusters for two. Doomsday Device on Sabu, but then Taz goes on a suplex frenzy on the both of them. Benoit heads up top, but Taz brings Benoit down into an electric chair position. He bounces Benoit forward off the ropes into a German Suplex! Awesome. Taz wants an electric chair drop on Benoit for real this time, but Malenko clips the knee for the save. Benoit and Malenko continue to keep Sabu floored while Malenko applies a kneebar. However, Sabu causes enough of a distraction to allow Taz to roll out to 911 who carries Taz back to the dressing room, but then that leaves Sabu all alone now. Sabu dropkicks away a double backdrop and somersault planchas onto Malenko down on the floor. Back in, he runs across the ring and suicide dives on Benoit. Asai Moonsault wipes out Benoit and he doesnít stop there as he dives on top of both men at the same time. Now he puts a chair in the ring and leaps off the chair onto both men again. He sets a table up on the top turnbuckle and slams Malenko down to the mat. Sabu puts a chair on top of the table and climbs up onto the chair, but Benoit shoves him off! Benoit puts Sabu back onto the table for a SUPER POWERBOMB. Meanwhile, Paul E smashes his phone over Malenkoís head! Cover by Benoit on Sabu, 1-2-3! (10:27) Weíve got NEW tag team champions. The Triple Threat is complete! Benoit issues the challenge over to Public Enemy if they ever want a tag titles shot. As hurt as they are, Public Enemy comes out to fight anyway. Grunge gets in his licks as 911 carries Taz back out to the ring. All this craziness sets up the three way dance for April 8. Oh yeah, and of course 911 delivers the CHOKESLAM to the referee. Just a thoroughly entertaining contest. ***Ĺ

Woman says that Sandman wonít be wrestling tonight thanks to Cactus Jack giving him a concussion, but he can wrestle whatever is in the box. And itís DC Drake! Whoever that is.

Cactus Jack vs. DC Drake (w/The Sandman & Woman)
Cactus doesnít care. Heíll fight anybody. Just a squash as Cactus beats Drake all around ringside and comes back in with the DOUBLE-ARM DDT for the win. (4:08) Right at the count of three, Sandman nails Cactus with his Singapore Cane. Cactus fights back and clotheslines Sandman out to the floor. They fight over to the box where Sandman falls in the box and back under the sheet. Cactus pulls Sandman out while heís covered by the sheet and puts him back into the ring. Once he pulls off the sheet, the man under the sheet is TERRY FUNK! Well, that explains the name of the show now. Oh, itís on now. Sandman joins Funk and beats Cactus with the cane. Cactus gets the cane away and beats the crap out of Funk while Sandman gets another cane. A few wrestlers try to stop this assault including Tommy Dreamer, but they prove useless until the ECW world champ Shane Douglas heads out. Funk and Woman try to convince Douglas to join in, but Douglas remembers how he broke into the business with Cactus and beats Sandman and Funk away using his title belt. Awesome.

Final Thoughts: Another fun show with even better all-around match quality this time and a great angle as they closed the show. Thumbs up for Return of the Funker.

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