Written by: Arnold Furious
July 1996. We’re at the ECW Arena in scenic South Philly. Host is Joey Styles.
Samoan Gangsta Party v The Gangstas
Well, this kind of represents everything that most ECW fans enjoyed at the time but don’t care for much looking back. Garbage never ages well. Matty Smalls of the SGP is Jamal, I believe. The Samoan’s get such a beating in the first few minutes that the referee’s call for the bell after 3.30 or so. DUD. Horrible. Nothing.
POST MATCH New Jack gets on the mic and wants the Bruise Brothers, Eliminators and anyone from the WWF to be in a 4-way with the Gangstas ASAP. I don’t have the follow up to this show so I don’t recall how that panned out.
Mikey Whipwreck v “The Giant” Paul Lauria
Damien Kane brought Lauria back because he couldn’t beat Mikey himself. Lauria is five foot four inches tall. Lauria gets a hardcore beating to start and they both eat the steel. Lauria goes up top but Mikey superkicks the top buckle to crotch him. Super rana and Lauria gets pinned, the wacky midget, at 1.32. Squash!
POST MATCH The Eliminators run in and kill everyone. Lauria takes the Total Elimination. They accept the challenge from the Gangstas. Saturn is all “Hey, Mikey, go find Sabu and take us on. I dare ya”. He doesn’t need to find Sabu though. Because he’s here.
Tag titles – Eliminators (c) v Sabu/Mikey Whipwreck
Sabu-Saturn to start and that should have been a singles feud, really. They run a few mat counters and reversals. Sabu with a moonsault press for 2. Saturn takes exception and superkicks him. Sabu misses an Arabian press and Saturn superkicks him again. Flying Splash gets 2. Sack of shit Kronus in. Handspring back elbow from Kronus but Sabu pounds him and Mikey hits a guillotine legdrop for 2. Mikey brings the armdragging and Sabu wipes out both guys with a crossbody for 2. Sabu uses Mikey’s back to assist him on a bulldog. Eliminators switch blind though and Saturn nails Mikey with a brainbuster. Saturn with a VICIOUS hooking clothesline for 2. Suplex/high crossbody gets 2. Kronus clubs Sabu to stop him getting involved. Pumphandle suplex from Kronus. He goes after Mikey’s arm. Jumping armbreaker from Saturn and they’re singling out Mikey’s wing. German suplex and Saturn running dropkicks Sabu off the apron. Pin on Mikey gets 2. They mess up a diving rana and in comes Sabu and go chair nuts. Sabu falls off the ropes. Egad, this is going South in a hurry. Mikey hits a jumping rana to the floor. Sabu gets caught coming off the top with a superkick from Saturn for 2. To the ropes and Sabu hits the springboard super rana for 2. Saturn hits a Doctorbomb for 2. Saturn tries a springboard but Sabu dropkicks him and sunset flip powerbombs him to the floor. Saturn prevents a follow up by shaking the ropes though and Sabu gets tabled. Mikey gets left alone. TOTAL ELIMINATION. No one gets up from that. It’s over at 11.47. **1/4. A nice story with Mikey getting an almighty ass kicking but Sabu going for too much failed high risk to stop it. Way too many mistakes for me to go higher on the rating.
FBI v Dudley Boyz
FBI is Little Guido and JT Smith. They also have Salvatore Palmero (Sal Bellomo). They decide there are too many Dudleys so they bring out Big Guido (Prima Carnera III) to even the sides up. He’s like 2 foot taller than Little Guido. Dudleyz are Bubba and Big Dick w/Chubby, Sign Guy and DW. D-Von isn’t around because Big Dick is out here. “Coincidence, or cowardice” – Joey. D-Von is up near the announce position. He’s not happy with Big Dick. He calls him out. “If you’re so bad, why don’t you come and kick my ass. Right now”. Bubba gets out numbered while he’s gone. Big Guido kills the other Dudleys. D-Von runs in with a chair though and twats everyone. He walks and Big Dick comes back. Bubba hits a double urinage on the FBI. He tries to powerbomb Big Guido but Little Guido makes the save. Big Guido just jacks Bubba up for a powerbomb but Big Dick is back in the ring. He no sells a chair shot from Uncle Sal. Big Guido v Big Dick is just about as ugly as it gets. FBI out number Dick. D-Von is back out with a chair and he lays out anyone he gets near to. DW gets in the way and takes a shot to the gourd. Sign Guy and Chubby take shots too. Crowd chants “fuck you, D-Von”. Bubba gets the chair but D-Von begs off. D-Von goes low because Bubba won’t chair shot him. Hack Myers is out here. He gets the chair and nails D-Von with it. Big Guido powerbombs him too. Is this a match still? Big Dick and D-Von square off. Big Dick gets the chair and nails Big Guido for the pin at 6.39 although Big Guido wasn’t actually in the match. Er. Ѕ*. It’s kind of hard to explain these nonsensical multi-person matches to people who weren’t there. It was all part of an ongoing storyline that got everyone over but in a one match environment it seems like an absolute mess. Well, it is an absolute mess.
Axl Rotten v Tarzan Goto
This is going to be fucking hideous. Axl breaks out a spinning heel kick but then crossbodies himself into the ropes. Outside for a CHAIR DUEL! I like those. They brawl around and head into the fans. That kills a few minutes without doing anything. Back inside Goto hits Axl with a chair a few times in the back. Well, he hits the mat rather than his back but it’s still a nice visual of him breaking the chair. Clothesline gets 2. Goto gets another chair but Axl clotheslines him in the face to stop that and hits some chair shots of his own. Axl drops an elbow for 2. DDT gets 2. DDT on the chair is blocked and Axl takes more chair shots. BRAINBUSTER ON THE CHAIR and Goto wins this at 7.06. There’s something very final about a brainbuster on a chair. *1/2. It could have been far, far worse. Aside from the 2 minutes in the crowd this wasn’t too hideous at all.
PROMO TIME – Taz. He can’t find any more shoot fighters to choke out so he’s going to talk instead. “Fuck you, Taz” – Philly. “Yeah, I love you too” – Taz. He talks about choking out the WWF’s Bam Bam Bigelow and choking out WCW’s Devon Storm and choking out “that big dick” Paul Varlens from the UFC. Fonzie says that Taz has never lost, ever. He fires Joey Styles for saying bad things about Fonzie and Taz. “You can’t fire me, you don’t have the authority”. “Shut your mouth, motherfucker” – Taz. “I’m fired” – Joey. HAHAHA. Fonzie introduces his own personal commentator – Joel Gertner. Taz forces Joey to shake hands with his replacement. “Fuck you, Taz”. He talks about how Sandman has no control over his kid and chastises Tommy Dreamer for “chasing your two slut lesbian rats around”. Taz chokes Joey down, which brings out 911. Oh two unstoppable forces clash! CHOKESLAM FOR GERTNER! He goes to chokeslam Fonzie but Taz chop blocks him. 911 CHOKESLAMS TAZ! But Taz no sells it and HEAD DROP GERMAN SUPLEXES 911. TAZMISSION! Just another victim!
TV title – Chris Jericho (c) v Shane Douglas v Pitbull #2 v Too Cold Scorpio
I’ve done this before so I’m taking the review from Path of Destruction. As per usual I’m referring to Pitbull #2 as Anthony Durante because it’s easier to type. Douglas jumps Durante with a chair pre-match. Francine is in his corner. Jericho and Scorp start. Crowd chant for “lion-heart”. They run some near misses at speed before Scorp hits a dropkick. Somersault legdrop gets 2. Floatover from Jericho into a tiger bomb for 2. Version of a grounded Octopus from Jericho. Scorp sits up into a camel clutch. Durante is up and bleeding. Spinning back kick from Scorpio and in comes Douglas to fight Jericho. Suplex w/floatover from Jericho gets 2. Leg roll up with bridge gets 2 for Jericho. Slingshot knee drop from Jericho. Lionsault on Douglas’s back gets 2 so he tags in Durante. Douglas runs and tags in Scorpio. Durante goes for a press slam which is countered into a sunset flip for 2. Press powerslam from the somewhat agitated Durante. Scorpio goes for the spinning rana and gets powerbombed for 2. Scorpio flips Durante over the ropes and he hits hard. Chair shot for Durante and he’s bleeding badly now. Douglas comes in to beat the fallen Durante. Back suplex gets 2. Durante tries to get back up so Douglas tags Jericho in. Jericho goes for a leapfrog and Durante hits a spinebuster for 2. Jericho kicks out of a waistlock and hits a German suplex for 2. He follows up with a rana attempt and gets powerbombed. Scorpio in to battle Jericho. He heads up top and gets crotched – super rana from Jericho from right up top! Douglas tags himself in and pins Scorpio for 2. Spinning heel kick from Scorpio and he punches Douglas outside. They brawl out on the floor. Bulldog on a chair from Scorpio gets 2. Durante comes back in and Douglas runs and tags in Jericho again. He rolls Durante up for 2. Jericho goes for a slam but can’t hold Durante up – he falls on top for 2. Durante fakes into the corner and Jericho comes flying off with a tip up and lands on his face. Powerbomb from Durante gets 2. Scorpio comes back in to face Jericho. Butterfly suplex from Scorpio. Jericho fires back with a DDT and tags in Durante. He hits a super fall away slam on Scorpio for 2 but Douglas tags in. Durante hip tosses him over the ropes. They brawl outside and Jericho hits a springboard plancha. Scorpio plancha’s out onto all of them. Jericho backdrops Scorpio out into the crowd and they brawl. Everyone looks knackered at this point. Douglas bulldogs Durante into a chair and pins for 2. Douglas wants to tag out but the other guys are down on the outside. Douglas takes a beating and a press slam from Durante. Jericho comes flying out of nowhere and missile dropkicks him at the same time. Jericho covers for 2. Jericho and Douglas now. Dropkick from Jericho gets 2. Spinning toehold from Jericho and a figure 4 to piss off the anti-Flair Shane Douglas. Douglas manages to tag Scorpio in – Jericho fisherman suplexes him for 2. Jericho goes for the Lionsault and Scorpio DROPKICKS HIM IN MID AIR. JERICHO LANDS ON HIS HEAD! Scorpio trying to kill Jericho there. Scorpio stalls to my irritation and drags Jericho back up – JUST PIN HIM YOU MORON. LEARN SOME FUCKING PSYCHOLOGY. Powerbomb from Scorpio and HE STILL WON’T COVER. More stalling from Scorpio. If I was Jericho I’d be pissed off and he promptly dropkicks Scorpio in the back of his stupid head. Somewhat screwed up tiger suplex sends Scorpio down and Jericho tags Douglas in. Douglas tags Jericho back in and Scorpio tombstones him. Tumbleweed is enough to dump Jericho at 26.50.
Douglas replaces him and offers Scorpio a handshake. He wants an alliance. Scorpio refuses. He dropkicks Douglas down and goes to an abdominal stretch, shades of the late Wilbur Snyder. Scorpio mucks about instead of capitalising and Douglas belly to bellies him. He’s tired though and Scorpio sunset flips him for 2. Scorpio attacks Durante as well and stacks them but they both dodge the moonsault. Douglas comes in and DDT’s him. Unbelievably Douglas and Durante agree to eliminate Scorpio first. Superbomb on Scorpio and Durante pins to dump him at 31.25. Fuck you Scorpio.
Just Douglas and Durante now. They brawl outside but not for long. Durante sets up a pair of chairs in the ring and powerbombs Douglas on them. Durante brings a table into play. Belly to belly from Douglas but Francine gets on the apron. Douglas drags her in. They kiss. Ref gets bumped. Durante goes for a press slam but Francine throws powder into his eyes. She’s turned on the Pitbulls! Low blow from Douglas. Francine reveals Franchise underwear. Wolf is out and he’s pissed off. Durante is mad. He hammers Douglas down and outside. Wolf comes in to grab Francine. SUPER TABLE BOMB and Francine has been slaughtered. Durante didn’t protect her from the bump at all. Douglas comes back in and destroys the injured arm of Wolf with an armbreaker. Belt shot on Durante gets 2. Piece of table shot gets 2. Brass knucks gets 2. Quick Shane, get a shotgun or something. Chain shot gets 2. Durante PITBULLS UP but misses the corner spin kick. Belly to belly and that’s it at 39.26. Shane Douglas is the TV champion. Fantastic match. ****1/2. One of the best in ECW’s history. Scratch out some of the irritating Scorpio psychology, or lack thereof, from earlier in the match and that was a maximum score. Great stuff.
Louie Spicolli v El Puerto Ricano
Spicolli Driver should finish in short order but he pulls Ricano back up for a chair shot. 3 spot. 1.10. Squash.
Louie Spicolli v Sabu
“Sabu’s gonna kill you”. I feel a bad taste gag coming up but I’ll let you formulate that in your heads and determine whether you’ll be joining me in hell or not. Spicolli works over Sabu’s already hurt neck while the crowd chants “you fat fuck” at him. That’s a BIT harsh. Neckbreaker gets 2. Sabu sets early and gets planted with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Slingshot back suplex gets 2. Sabu kicks at him so Spicolli bails. Sabu runs the apron and crossbodies Spicolli into the crowd. Spicolli takes his time getting up so Sabu hits a TRIPLE JUMP PLANCHA W/CHAIR! He goes to guillotine legdrop Spicolli into a chair but the rookie moves and Sabu legdrops a set up chair. Sabu won’t stay down though and he hits a rana. He tries for another triple jump but as soon as he’s airborne Spicolli has the chair away and nails Sabu with it. CHAIR DUEL. That’s the second one of these tonight. Spicolli isn’t used to it and loses easily. He gets set up on the ropes. AIR SABU. Spicolli on a table bridging rail and apron. Sabu heads up – MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR THROUGH THE TABLE. HOLY SHIT. How did he not break his neck? Sabu is insane. But then, you knew this. TRIPLE JUMP MOONSAULT…gets 2. Spicolli plants Sabu with a German suplex for 2. Sabu goes after a springboard super rana but Spicolli grabs the ropes to stop those wacky antics. Spicolli goes to knee drop Sabu w/chair but Sabu moves so he just gets chair. Bad knee alert! Sabu dropkicks it. Spicolli avoids the Arabian Facebuster. Right knee btw but they’re working it fine. Spicolli climbs but Sabu throws a chair at him and hits a SPRINGBOARD DDT OFF THE TOP. Arabian Facebuster and Spicolli is finished at 11.56. ***. That was fun. I love watching Sabu. It’s very much like watching the Demolition Derby but hey, car crashes are fun too.
ECW title – Raven (c) v Sandman
This is a cage match. Three fights here. Raven v Sandman in the cage. Stevie Richards however can be pinned to in order for the title to change. He’s on the stage and he’ll be fighting Terry Gordy out there. Also we have Brian Lee v Tommy Dreamer on the floor. They can fight anywhere in Philadelphia. Raven offers Sandman his son back if Sandman leaves him alone. But that’s just to allow a sucker punch. Raven hits a DDT and canes the shit out of Sandman with his own weapon. Figure Four applied. Gordy heads up to fight Stevie while Sandman is still getting roughed up. Stevie bleeds straight away and gets pinned on the stage for 2. Gordy tries to toss Stevie into the cage but Lee is there to attack Gordy. That finally brings out Dreamer. Nova and Meanie are out here too. Lee is busted open. Gordy is in the cage meanwhile and Stevie is REALLY bleeding badly. Stevie dives off the cage onto Gordy but Gordy punches him for 2. Clothesline gets 2. That was a GREAT clothesline that Gordy did. ADRIATIC SPIKE! Raven saves. Dreamer is bleeding as well, as is Raven. Only Gordy isn’t bleeding. He piledrives Stevie and Raven. Gordy is trying everything he can to get a pin. No dice. Gordy with another piledriver on Stevie. Dreamer manages to get himself suplexed on the floor. STEVIEKICK X 2 on Gordy but he’s still up and he clotheslines Stevie for 2. Lee distracts Gordy and they fight out to the floor. Now Sandman is left 2 on 1. Dreamer DDT’s Lee on the floor. Raven has the Figure Four on Sandman. Dreamer in and he superkicks Stevie. Dreamer canes Raven until he releases the Figure Four. Dreamer gets cuffs and handcuffs Raven to the cage looking to re-enact the “chair shot heard round the world”. Sandman DDT’s Stevie and keeps him down with cane shots. Little Tyler – Sandman’s son gets in there and protects Raven. Sandman won’t swing but Dreamer considers it. “Fuck you, ya little piece of garbage”. HAHAHAHA. Sandman is all ‘that’s my boy’. Nova is in with wire cutters to clip Raven free. Raven gets loose and runs the faces together. DDT on Sandman…for 2. Raven is irritated with Stevie’s lack of contribution so he runs him into the cage face first. Dreamer DDT’s Raven for 2. Heels are stacking tables outside the cage. Dreamer and Lee fight on top of the cage over that stack of tables. TOMMY GETS CHOKESLAMMED OUT OF THE CAGE THROUGH FOUR TABLES. Now THAT is extreme. Sandman has a DDT though and that gets the belt back at 14.48. **. Bit of a mess but there was enough fun stuff going on that it didn’t suck.
POST MATCH Brian Lee chokes out Kimona, Missy Hyatte and Beulah.
Overall tape thoughts – C+
One great match and a bunch of decent stuff. It’s a good show. If you’ve not got Path of Destruction (which has the 4-way match on it) then it’s well worth picking up for the TV title match, a decent Sabu match and some other ECW antics. Minor recommendation based on whether or not you’ve seen the TV title match.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.