April 24, 2011
Hostile City Showdown 1995, April 15, 1995, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Announcer: Joey Styles
Extreme Rules is the next show on the PPV calendar, so in honour of the movement that inspired that name, the next few weeks will be a look back at shows from the original Extreme Championship Wrestling. First up, we go back to 1995, the year that this company came into its own and really made people take notice. I'm watching this show here for the first time, but it looks like a good one as we have Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko facing off for the TV Title, an early Tommy Dreamer/Raven match, and a main event of Cactus Jack against Terry Funk. Let's see how it goes.
Opening Match: Steve Richards (w/Raven) vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Richards is Raven's lackey at this point and here he faces ECW mainstay Mikey Whipwreck, whose gimmick was that he was basically a fan who had gotten in there and started wrestling, getting killed at first, but gradually developing and becoming more and more competent. Raven trips Whipwreck up right off the bat, so Whipwreck takes a walk and returns with Hack Myers to watch is back. Now he's got confidence so he takes it to Richards with a clothelsine and dropkick. Richards can't get anything going until he goes to the eyes, but Whipwreck avoids a dropkick and covers for 2. Whipwreck continues to be a step ahead, but ends up caught with a powerbomb. Richards goes for a charge, but then we cut away and come back with a "You Fucked Up" chant, so something must have gone very wrong there. Raven trips Whipwreck up again, so Myers retaliates by tripping Richards. Richards controls regardless, but ends up caught with a rana out of nowhere and pinned at 7:36. Raven immediately hits the ring, which draws Myers in of course, but then we get The Pitbulls to help with the heel beatdown. Public Enemy makes the save as they'll be facing The Pitbulls later on. This was a perfectly acceptable little opener as the crowd loved Whipwreck and was stoked when he won, and the whole thing was a good little deal to kick things off. *1/2
Tony Stetson vs. Tsubo Genjin
I'm not familiar with either guy, but it's JIP with Stetson working him over. Genjin makes a comeback and gets the pin with a legdrop at 1:03 (shown). Stetson attacks after the bell and they cut away. For all this was worth, they may as well have just cut it out completely. No Rating
Bad Breed Death Match: Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten
These guys used to be a tag team called The Bad Breed, but they lost a losers must break up match, and then started killing each other. They would go on to wrestle each other many times over the course of the year. Axl polls the crowd on what kind of match they want to see and they go with the Bad Breed Death Match, which means that all the weapons Axl brought out in a trash can are legal, although that's hardly what they limit themselves to. Ian attacks and nails Axl with the plunder, but missed with the barbed wire bat and Axl works him over with it. Axl takes his share of the beating with it as well. Both guys are bloodied up two minues in. They go to the floor where the massacre continues as Axl uses a screwdriver, hockey stick, and the barbed wire again. There's no wrestling here, just mindless weapons shots and self mutilation, but if that's your thing, get this match, or their whole series for that matter. Ian finally wins by wrapping barbed wire around Axl's head and hitting him with an unprotected chairshot for the pin at 9:05. Again, if this is your thing, you probably would have loved it. It's not my thing though. 1/2*
Out comes Raven, Steve Richards, and Beulah for an interview. Richards rants about the recent beatings they've laid on Tommy Dreamer and how ridiculous it is that Dreamer wants another shot at Raven here tonight. He then goes into the backstory of the Raven Dreamer feud, tallking about how back at summer camp, Beulah was fat and ugly and Dreamer treated her like crap, while Raven was the one who treated her with respect. Out comes Dreamer and we have our match.
Raven (w/ Steve Richards & Beulah McGillicutty) vs. Tommy Dreamer
Raven dives right on to him on the floor and we're underway. Raven beats him all around the Arena and even into a closet from which Dreamer comes out bleeding. Dreamer gets him with a backdrop on the stage and then nails him with a chair. He then uses a sink which is laying around for some reason. Into the crowd, where Raven catches him and hits him with a chair. Finally into the ring where Dreamer hooks a sleeper, but Raven pulls him to the floor to break. More fan provided weapons get used including a plastic dinosaur and a dozen eggs. Raven takes over again and nails the DDT, followed by a second one, and a third, but Dreamer kicks out at 2. Dreamer DDT's him on the floor, but Richards breaks up that pin. Joey is actually questioning where the DQ is for that. Was he new here at this point? Dreamer DDT's Richards and then gives the ref one as well. Beulah comes in, but gets piledriven as the fans are going nuts for Dreamer. So he stands tall over all the carnage, but the bell rings and I guess that match was just thrown out at 7:56. *
ECW TV Title Match: Eddy Guerrero vs. "The Shooter" Dean Malenko
One of the things ECW also did at this point to differentiate itself was to bring in workers like these guys who could put on technical clinics the likes of which wouldn't be seen in the big leagues. Of course once they got over, they were all scooped up by WCW or WWF, but for a time this was the only place in America to see matches like this. They start out trading holds and counters with neither guy really taking control, and it ends in a standoff that draws a round of applause. Guerrero starts working over the arm and then connects with a slam, followed by a sommersault splash for 2. Malenko hits a double underhook suplex, and then goes to work on Guerrero's knee. Guerrero tries escaping to the floor, but Malenko is relentless, kicking away at it and hooking a variety of holds. Guerrero finally gets a flurry in starting with a rollup for 2, then a suplex and a powerbomb for another 2. He then gets a tornado DDT for another 2 and a rana off the top, but he stops to sell the knee before covering and only gets 2. Now it's his turn to work the holds for a bit, but Malenko soon takes over again, and takes Guerrero to the floor with a headscissors. Guerrero gets back in and tries to suplex him in, but ends up getting suplexed back out. Malenko follows with a tope, but misses and Guerrero gets him with a dive off the top . Guerrero seemed to get the worst of that as Malenko rolls him in and nails a brainbuster. Guerrero takes over and hits his own brainbuster, then goes up and nails the frog splash, but Malenko kicks out at 2. He misses a charge and takes a Northern Lights suplex for 2. Malenko keeps going for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Guerrero fights to the ropes each time. Guerrero gets a few more nearfalls off of a springboard rana and a backbreaker, and then they go through a series of reversals, but neither guy can hold the other down. The go to the top and Guerrero sunset flips him from there, but again it's only 2 and then the bell rings as the 30:00 time limit expires at 25:55. Guerrero retains the Title with the draw. These guys had the rep of having lots of great matches this year, and while I'm sure this was great in 1995, it doesn't quite stand up as being an all time classic in 2011. That's not to say it isn't good, because it's very good, and it's easily the best match on the show. ***1/2
ECW World Title Match: Shane Douglas (w/Woman) vs. The Sandman
Douglas has been Champ for over a year at this point and held the belt through the transition from Eastern to Extreme. Since then a lot of his run has been about legitimizing the Title as a big deal, so he would defend against several different former WWF and WCW stars that they brought in. But here he defends against an ECW original in The Sandman. Sandman attacks from behind, but ends up taking a dropkick and back elbow. Douglas follows with a kneelift and a snap suplex. Sandman leverages him to the floor and whip him to the barricade, but gets caught with a DDT coming in. Douglas keeps taking in to him, but ends up getting tossed to the floor again. Sandman gets distracted by Woman, which allows Douglas to drop him on the barricade. Sandman returns the favour and then slams him on the floor. He then nails Douglas with a chair and starts stalking Woman, but Douglas comes back and lays him out. Back in, Sandman is on him again with kicks to the back. He goes up, but misses a legdrop. Douglas hits a backbreaker and a dropkick. He then hooks a crossface chicken wing, but Woman turns on him and whacks him with the Singapore cane in the knee. He falls back with Sandman on top and gets pinned at 7:55 to make Sandman the new ECW Champion. Woman and Sandman reveal they were in it together all along, but then Douglas reveals that losing the ECW Title is no big deal by putting on a Monday Night Raw shirt, implying that he's graduated back to the big time. The match was pretty sloppy at times due to Sandman's involvement, and Douglas tried to keep it together, but it was still pretty brutal. 1/2*
ECW Tag Team Title Match: Public Enemy vs. The Pitbulls (w/Steve Richards)
Rock and 1 start out with 1 quickly taking control and stomping away. He dumps Rock to the floor and makes the tag. Grunge helps his partner back in, but the beating continues and Rock gets press slammed from the ring through a table on the floor. Grunge tries taking on both Pitbulls, but that ends badly for him as he takes a double headbutt and double suplex for 2. They get Rock and in and 1 covers him for 2. Tag to 2, who hits a running powerslam and tags right back out to 1. Rock gets a springboard press out of nowhere for 2 and from there it breaks down into a four way. Everyone goes to the floor and the weapons get involved. Grunge sends 2 to the barrier and beats him with a chain and a chair while Rock takes care of 1 in the crowd. I think everyone is bleeding by this point. Grunge and 2 get back in the ring where Grunge misses a charge, but he nails 2 coming off the top. Clothesline gets a 2 count as Rock and 1 have finally made theri way back ringside. A table gets brought in and setup. Grunge puts 2 on it and puts him through it with a pump splash. The brawl continues on the floor, with Richards also taking a beating from Rock. They keep trying to show the crowd brawling, but the production isn't that great and we can't see anything at all. Finally The Pitbulls have Rock back in the ring and kill him with a frying pan, but he kicks out at 2. They set him up for the Superbomb, but he rans out of it and gets 2. Pitbulls remain in control, but can't get the pin. Grunge comes back with a chain and lays them both out to setup the Drive By, but 1 moves out of the way and Rock crashes. And then Grunge clobbers 1 from behind and he stumbles into a rollup by Rock for the 3 count at 16:53. PE retains the belts, but Joes says the issue is far from over. This actually started out as a decent little tag match before they abandoned the rules and just started brawling everywhere. The crowd was really into it though so I can't fault the guys for giving them what they wanted. *
911 (w/Paul E.) vs. Ron Simmons
Simmons was one of those guys brought in to put Douglas and the Title over and he hung around a bit longer, including this match which is JIP with Simmons setting him up for a superplex, but 911 chokeslams him off the 2nd rope and gets the pin at 0:29 (shown) Like the earler match where they just showed the finish, why bother? No Rating.
Main Event: Terry Funk vs. Cactus Jack
Funk says everyone knows who they are so let's skip the intros and so Cactus can get in the ring and get this thing started. Cactus says that's fine, except Funk should come in the crowd with him before they start. Funk goes into a different part of the crowd for some reason, but Jack follows and the fight is on. They make their way up to the stage and then Funk throws chairs at him from the broadcast position. Cactus then lays him on a table and goes to drop the elbow, but Funk moves and he crashes. Back to ringside where Funk beats him with a chair and then into teh ring where a table gets involved. Funk is the one who gets run into it, but then Cactus goes up fro some reason and Funk hits him with the table to knock him off. The brawl continues on the floor where Cactus sets the elbow up again, but Funk nails him with a chair instead. They go up the asile where Cactus finds a garbage pail and balsts Funk with that. Funk then fires back with a beer bottle and breaks it over Cactus' head on the third try. He then rakes the broken bottle across the body. Mikey Whipwreck tries running in to make the save, as does Hack Myers, but Funk lays both of them out with ease. Funk turns his attention back to Cactus and goes for the spinning toehold, but Cactus cradles him for 2. Cactus then gets a DDT on a chair, but Sandman runs into to break it up. Cactus lays him out and then hits another DDT on Funk for the pin at 13:02. Sandman returns for the postmatch beating with the cane, and he also pours lighter fluid all over him. Funk then comes out with the flaming branding iron and tries lighting him up, but Cactus gets it away and chases him off to end the show. I liked this one better then any of the other brawling matches, but then that's not surprising considering who we have here. **
Overall Thoughts: Obviously in 1995, this was a very different product and I can see why it would have appealed to people back then. But watching this in 2011 it doesn't really come across as a big deal. In the time since I've seen better hadrcore matches, better technichal matches, and much better presentation so other then for nostalgia if you were a fan during this time, there's not really much reason to watch it. Now I didn't hate the show and there wasn't really anything that bad on it, so I'll give it a mild Thumbs in the Middle instead of a Thumbs Down, but if you've never seen it before, there's no reason to go out of your way to do so.