Written By: Bob Colling
Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
The show starts off with the Blue World Order hanging out and posing in New York City. Stevie Richards ends up super kicking a Santa Clause for chanting the BWO. Richards explains that he did that because he didn’t get a toy train when he was nine.
ECW Hardcore TV opening video
Joey Styles welcomes everyone to the show. Styles notes that there are new ECW World Tag Team Champions. The Eliminators defeated the Gangstas to win the titles. We go to footage of the Gangstas pinning the Eliminators last August. Then we head to the closing moments of the title change that saw the Eliminators regain the championships. The Gangstas end up handing the belts over to the Eliminators and leave without any further incident.
A promo by the new ECW World Tag Team Champions is shown. Saturn says they have the most lethal finishing move in the wrestling business named Total Elimination. Saturn names all the teams that they have taken out. Saturn puts over the Gangstas as being the tougher team in a street fight format. Kronus says nothing during the promo.
Footage from December 7th, 1996 which sees Brian Lee and Louie Spicolli competing. Spicolli was blinded by a thumb to the eye by Lee and Spicolli planted the referee with a Death Valley Driver. Spicolli managed to hit the Spicolli Driver on Lee as well. Chris Candido stormed the ring and attacks Spicolli. Spicolli drives Candido down to the mat with a Spicolli Driver and does another one to Lee. Shane Douglas comes in and counts the three while wearing a referee shirt. Douglas chuckles since it doesn’t count. Spicolli is blinded and wants Douglas to raise his hands. Spicolli and Douglas trade right hands until Spicolli goes for the Spicolli Driver. Lee prevents that from happening and choke slams Spicolli leading to the pin.
Joey Styles talks about the new Triple Threat formation that has apparently been formed in ECW. Styles says that Douglas is the only person who know what he is going to do.
Opening Contest: Rob Van Dam defeated Chris Candido: Candido with a side headlock but RVD sends Candido into the ropes. They avoid a series of moves from each other and have a standoff. Candido with a wrist lock but RVD counters with one of his own. RVD with a few kicks to Candido’s chest and knocks Candido off his feet with a spin kick. RVD springs off the ropes with a crossbody and gets a two count. Candido is back dropped to the floor and RVD leaps over the top taking Candido out with a somersault dive. Clipped towards a point in the match where they are trading pin attempts until Candido clotheslines RVD. Candido controls RVD with a sleeper hold for a few moments. Candido works on RVD in the corner with a few right hands and shoulder rams. Candido goes chest first into the corner and RVD leaps off the middle rope connecting with a heel kick. RVD with a few right hand and a rolling thunder forearm to Candido’s gut. RVD plants Candido with a double under hook face buster for a near fall. Scoop slam by RVD and leaps off the top connecting with a leg drop for a near fall. Clip forward to Candido crotching RVD on the top rope but RVD backdrops Candido down to the mat. RVD with a nice crossbody off the top but Candido rolls through and almost wins the match. RVD ducks a clothesline and is able to crotch Candido on the top rope. RVD springboards off the middle rope and knocks Candido down with a spin kick for a near fall. Candido backdrops RVD over the top to the floor. RVD has a chair and tosses a chair at Candido who ducks and hits RVD. RVD comes with a spin kick sending the chair into Candido’s face but the referee is knocked out. Shane Douglas comes down and gives Candido a chain. Candido nails RVD with the chain and covers but Spicolli comes in with referee shirt on and Candido is shocked to see Spicolli. Spicolli drives Candido down with the Spicolli Driver and RVD picks up the win. **½
Joey Styles talks about RVD having a win over all the big wrestlers in ECW, except for Taz. We see footage of Taz choking out Rob Van Dam. We see some footage of RVD wrestling Taz at the December 7th show. RVD broke Taz’s nose but at least Taz went home while RVD went to the hospital. We also see footage of a confrontation between Taz and Sabu. Styles is hinting that Taz may have a injured left arm.
Taz was interviewed leaving a arena. Taz talks about wrestling RVD and mentions how RVD had to bring a weapon while he didn’t need to bring one into the match. Taz says the only weapons he needs is his hands. Taz still knew that he was going choke out RVD. Taz reveals a black eye and tells RVD that he is going to show him disrespect.
Joel Gertner says that Bryant Gumbel begged him to be his replacement on the Today Show but he decided to stay at ECW. Gertner says no one is better than him.
Joey Styles announces that on January 11th, 1997 Terry Funk will be returning to ECW and will be competing against Brian Lee!
ECW Television Champion Shane Douglas cuts a promo with Francine by his side. Douglas mentions all the guys that got in his way and failed to take him out. Douglas says that Tommy Dreamer is public enemy number one. Douglas tells Dreamer that he will not get his championship. Francine chimes in and says “just like me”.
Joey Styles talks about the actions of Shane Douglas throughout 1996. Douglas won the ECW Television Championship from Too Cold Scorpio. Douglas lost the belt to Pitbull #2 but regained the championship in a match involving Jericho and Scorpio. We see footage of Douglas regaining the belt after Francine turned on Pitbull #2. Francine ended up being power bombed off the middle rope though a table! Douglas DDT’s Wolfe on the title belt and almost won the belt. Douglas again almost won the belt following a shot with the broken piece of table. Douglas still couldn’t get the job down after a brass knuckles shot. Yet again, Douglas fails to win the belt following a chain shot. Pitbull #2 misses a spin kick in the corner and Douglas hit’s the belly to belly suplex to win the match after almost a forty minute match.
Joey Styles talks about what happened on August 5th, 1996. On this date, Douglas was trying to break Pitbull #2 neck as he broke Pitbull #1 neck at Heatwave 1996. Wolfe gets on the apron and motivates Pitbull #2 to get out of the full nelson. Douglas manages to DDT Pitbull #2 however and mocks Wolfe. Douglas tosses Wolfe to the mat, the man has a broken neck! Chaos ensues as Tod Gordon runs down and tries to swing at Douglas for doing that. We see backstage footage of Tommy Dreamer trying to attack Douglas before he leaves the arena.
Main Event: Raven defeated Mikey Whipwreck to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship: Raven with a side headlock to start the match but Raven shoves Whipwreck away as he gets distracted by the BWO who are in the crowd. Raven takes Whipwreck down with a side headlock and hip tosses Whipwreck. Seems that there are filtered in BWO chants for the match. Raven sends Whipwreck into the corner and plants Whipwreck with the DDT to win the match. DUD
After the match, Lori Fullington chokes Whipwreck until the Sandman comes in. Raven is able to take care of Sandman with a DDT. Lori has the kendo stick and hits her ex-husband the Sandman with the kendo stick over the eyes. Raven nails Whipwreck with the championship and avoids a kendo stick shot from Sandman. Raven DDT’s Sandman onto the ECW World Championship and breaks the kendo stick. Sandman comes back with a DDT on Raven and walks out with the ECW World Heavyweight Championship to close out the show!
End of show.
My Take: Let me first say that the show did a good job of catching fans up with what was happening in ECW at the time. The show clearly helps fans who are not in the Philadelphia area to keep up with the product and it is presented in a way that it doesn’t get boring nor does it get repetitive really.
A Spicolli/Douglas feud seems to be getting developed at this point and from what I saw it is a interesting one. It seems for the most part Douglas gets the upper hand on Spicolli so Spicolli is the under dog. I would have to think Spicolli is going to be dethroning Douglas of the ECW Television Championship when the time comes.
If anyone tries to say Perry Saturn couldn’t cut a good promo then they are wrong. I thought Saturn did a good job of carrying his teams promo this week. Kronus must not offer much to the tag team as he literally just stood there. It seemed like he didn’t even know when to hold the belt up to showcase it!
The matches are heavily clipped on Hardcore TV. From what was shown of Candido/RVD it seemed like a fun match. Raven/Whipwreck was given maybe two minutes of air time and was presented like it was a complete squash for Raven.
Overall, 1997 started off pretty well for ECW. Taz/RVD or Sabu, Douglas/Pitbull or Dreamer, Eliminators/Gangstas, Candido/Spicollo and Raven/Sandman appear to be the main feuds being developed for ECW heading forward. Who can complain with that? Those all seem like interesting angles and future matches.
Thanks for reading.