Written by: Arnold Furious
ECW has become somewhat of a legend, a myth if you will. The matches always seem more amazing in ECW because of the sense of hype that surrounded them. They were always talked up on the Internet (much like TNA’s X-Division is now) as being the business. ECW had one of the strongest cult followings in wrestling history. Let’s go back to its height in 1995. With the likes of Raven, Terry Funk, Cactus Jack and Steve Austin on board ECW was going places. Exciting times…
It’s November 18th 1995. We’re at the ECW Arena and your host is Joey Styles. It’s the 3rd annual N2R. Styles hypes the Mexican deathmatch, the Alfonso-Gordon bout and the tag team war main event. Styles shills Terry Funk’s retirement. Yeah, right.
Don E. Allen v Broadstreet Bully
Special guest ring announcer is Bubba Ray Dudley. He comes out with Sign Guy, Chubby, Dances With and Big Dick. “Let’s get ready to ru-ru-ru-ru-ru-ru” – Buh Buh. That speech impediment thing was kind of dodgy. Buh Buh powerbombs Don E. Allen and Broadstreet Bully. He pins Bully for 3 but this isn’t a match is it? Basically this was – send out 2 jobbers to put over the Dudleys.
We cut out and Paul Heyman is in the ring. He asks for the lights to be dimmed and when they come back in Sabu is in the ring. They embrace. This was Sabu’s return to ECW after a failed spell in WCW. Crowd chant “thank you” at Heyman.
Konnan v Jason Knight. Special referee – Taz.
Yes, that Konnan. Taz is injured and can’t wrestle so he’s an official. Jason badmouths him and calls him a monkey boy. Konnan hits a quick Razor’s Edge (only with more bomb) and Taz fast counts Jason down at 14 seconds. Hmm. I’m not rating this.
Stevie Richards v El Puerto Ricano
Stevie has a “RSPW sucks” shirt on thus making him the first wrestling guy to poke fun at the Internet. Blue Meanie is in the front row and Stevie brings him over the guardrail to be at ringside in his match. Ricano doesn’t enjoy the antics and hits a plancha. Top rope Lionsault back inside and a missile dropkick from Ricano. Meanie is still around so he gets a tope. Stevie takes charge because of the distraction though and hits a powerbomb. Another powerbomb and he calls for Meanie – Meaniesault misses, for the first of many times. Ricano gets a roll up for 2 but a Steviekick takes his head off and gets the duke for Stevie Richards at 3.03. *1/2. Fun crap.
The Eliminators w/Jason v The Pitbulls w/Francine
Saturn and Wolf start. They both no sell scoop slams and Saturn hammers Wolf in the corner. Wolf comes back though and hits a thrust kick. Blind tag to Pitbull 2 and he drops an elbow for 2. Kronus tags in and gets powerslammed. Kronus dodges a 2nd and hits a dragon suplex. Coolness. Saturn comes back in and spin kicks Pitbull 2 down. Springboard clothesline sends Pitbull 2 down. Back inside Saturn gets an assist on a moonsault over the ropes. Kronus tags back in and hits the Kronus Krunch and a back suplex for 2. In a side note I saw a video in a porno catalogue featuring Nicole Bass beating the crap out of Kronus. Back in the ring Pitbull 2 misses a stinger splash and he’s busted his elbow open. Ouch. Saturn hits a massive Savage elbow for 2. Super rana from Saturn gets 2. Double flapjack on Pitbull 2. Saturn goes for the super rana again and gets super bombed for 2. Everyone spills in and Jason legdrops Pitbull 2. Wolf and Kronus tag in and Wolf cleans house. Jason tries to hold Wolf but screws up and gets decked. Saturn hits a tiger bomb on Pitbull 2 for 2 (although neither of them was legal). Hart Attack over the ropes from the Pitbulls on Kronus. The Guillotine gets 2 on Saturn but Jason prevents the cover. Press slam on Jason but Kronus cartwheels in to back elbow Pitbull 2. Spinning kick from Pitbull 2 on Kronus and they set him up for the superbomb, which finishes at 11 minutes even. **3/4. Decent match with everything going crazy as soon as they stopped making tags. The mayhem continues post match as the Eliminators give the Total Elimination to everyone.
Mexican deathmatch – Rey Mysterio Jr v Psicosis
Psicosis misses his opening charge badly and lands on his head. Rana from Rey and Psicosis misses another charge and lands on his head again. Dragonrana from Rey gets 3 but this is a Mexican Deathmatch so he has to answer the 10 count, which he does easily. Rey takes Psicosis’s legs out on a charge and Psicosis lands on his head again. Rey hits a rana over the ropes and re-arranges the guardrail. He screws up whatever he had in mind and gets chaired by Psicosis. Back inside Psicosis hits a missile dropkick and a moonsault for 3 but Rey answers the 10 count. Powerbomb from Psicosis gets 3 but Rey beats the 10 count. I hate this – why is everything finishing in a 3 count just because this is a deathmatch? Psicosis does the exact same spot twice (where he throws Rey into the buckles). Dragon attack from Psicosis gets 3 and Rey beats the 10 count. That’s REALLY pissing me off now. Psicosis grabs a chair and hits a DDT on it. Moonsault w/chair gets 3 but Rey answers the 10 count. Psicosis goes after the knee with a dropkick but a moonsault gets chair and knees. Springboard clothesline from Rey and a crossbody off the apron takes them into the fans. Perfect Asai moonsault from the top rope into the crowd from Rey. They brawl in the crowd with chairs for a while which I’m sure was thrilling if you were there but I can’t see a damn thing. They fight onto the lower announce position and Rey hits a rana off the higher up bit and that’s a 3 count for Rey and Psicosis can’t get back into the ring because he’s miles away at 14.47. ***. Some of it was decent but it got real repetitive real fast. Everything was a pinfall in this thing. I can’t help feeling without the crappy lucha booking this match might have been really something. If that wasn’t enough then Jason comes in to offer Rey a contract as his property. Naturally he refuses and that brings out the Eliminators. That in turn brings out 911 who chokeslams both Eliminators. In the words of Liam Lynch – whatever.
ECW tag titles – Sandman/Too Cold Scorpio (c) w/Woman v Public Enemy
This match symbolises everything that I hated about ECW in 1995. I can’t stand anyone in this match. They have a feeble and horribly unfunny dance off pre-match until PE are too over for the Sandman’s liking and they get jumped. PE clear the ring and dance some more. Oh for fecks sake – I don’t watch wrestling shows for this shit. Grunge and Sandman start out with something that’s predictably awful. Everyone runs some top rope stuff until Sandman falls off and botches his bit. Everyone grabs a chair and they run the weakest double chair duel in the history of wrestling. Loads of brawling on the outside. I like brawling as much as the next guy but this is bad brawling with no point to it. Grunge is busted wide open although I have no idea how because apparently the Sandman getting squirted with mustard is more important in a wrestling match. Rocco proves himself the best wrestler in the match by dragging tilt-a-whirl moves out of the Sandman. Scorpio hits a crappy splash for 1 and everyone starts brawling again. Ugly side slam from Scorpio but Rocco dodges a follow up dropkick. Lionsault press misses for Rocco and Scorpio kicks him down. Double underhook bomb from Scorpio that just didn’t look right. I guess I just can’t stand Scorpio. Backflip splash gets knees but Scorpio can’t even sell that properly. Everyone in again and more brawling. On the outside Sandman gets backdropped onto a table, which doesn’t break. Rocco suplexes Scorpio over the ropes. Sandman gourdbusters Grunge through the table that didn’t break. Rocco sets him up on the remains and hits a slingshot somersault plancha. Back inside Rocco hits a messy rana on Sandman but the pinfall is broken up by Scorpio’s terrible looking stick shots. Scorpio hits a moonsault on Rocco for 2. Spinning heel kick from Scorpio and for some reason he sells that like death. What’s wrong with Scorpio? Does he have any remote understanding of what a wrestling match looks like. PE miscue a Drive By and Sandman falls on Grunge for the pin at 16.03. DUD. Worthless, horrible, botched mess of a match. I never want to watch any of these guys work ever again.
Todd Gordon v Bill Alfonso. Special referee – Beulah McGillicutty.
Alfonso is a referee brought in by Shane Douglas to uphold the laws and Gordon is the commissioner of ECW who was opposed to Alfonso’s constant upholding of laws that ECW simply doesn’t have. They fight at ringside before the match even starts. Alfonso pushes Beulah over and Gordon fights back with rights. This is bad comedy stuff with wild swinging punches and brawling. The fans send crap flying into the ring to express how happy they are with this one. Alfonso gets opened up on a chair at ringside. Gordon hits a low blow and a frying pan shot, which should be enough, but Beulah is still bumped from earlier on. Taz (who’s a referee for tonight only) comes out and punks out Gordon. He counts the pin himself at 6.37 and Alfonso wins the match. 1/2*. Taz is pissed off about Sabu coming back and he didn’t get any sympathy when he got injured. Alfonso is Taz’s new manager. Let the path of rage begin! Taz mouths off a lot about how pissed off he is and almost gets into a fight with a fan at ringside.
Sandman comes out ready to face Mikey Whipwreck for the ECW title but gets jumped by the Superstar Steve Austin who hits a Stun Gun on the guardrail and takes him out with a kendo stick. Damage control haul Sandman’s corpse backstage and Austin is going to take on Mikey.
ECW title – Mikey Whipwreck (c) v Steve Austin
Austin gets on the mic and bitches about Bischoff, Hogan and Flair before jumping Mikey and beating the crap out of him ahead of the bell. Sign Guy’s sign – “Austin, the future has arrived”. So true. The fans chant “Hogan” at Austin to upset him so he hits a big boot and legdrop for 2. Hahaha. “That lame ass crap ain’t gonna get it done here” – Joey. Mikey takes over on the floor and Austin begs off claiming a bad elbow. Mikey ignores it and stomps away . Austin reverses into a Stun Gun for 2. Mikey hits a sunset flip with a huge pull of the tights at 4.38 and retains the title. Austin hammers Mikey down to demonstrate his superiority despite losing. *1/2. Okay little match – the Hogan imitation was quite funny. Did anyone take Mikey seriously as a world champion though?
Sabu v “The Shah” Hack Myers
Sabu misses the single leg, hehe but gets it the 2nd time. Early DDT from Sabu and he spills outside for a chair. Springboard leaping sidekick and then another one w/chair. Why does he repeat spots like that? Armbar from Sabu and the crowd get on his case about it being “boring”. Springboard sidekick AGAIN from Sabu. He goes for a flip, which he botches, and the Shah hits a powerslam for 2. Russian double knee drop from Myers and he pulls Sabu into the ropes before pinning him. Huh? He saved Sabu himself. That was stupid. Guillotine legdrop from Sabu and he’s hurt himself. Off the shoulders swinging DDT from Sabu gets 2. Myers bails and Sabu leaps over the ropes into a less than perfect rana. To be fair that’s probably due to the Shah’s sheer size. Air Sabu against the guardrail. Back inside Sabu goes for another leaping rana and gets powerbombed for 2. Suplex from Myers but Sabu cuts him off on the ropes and hits a victory roll from the top for 2. Sabu gets crotched on the ropes though and a chair shot sends him crashing down onto his head. Guillotine legdrop from the Shah. He goes for the double knee finish again but gets dragged off into the chair face first. Sabu hits a rana over the ropes. Sabu sets Shah up on a table and hits a painful looking dive onto him over the ropes. Shah drags himself in and gets pinned for 2. Somersault Arabian facebuster from Sabu and that is it at 12.55. **1/2. Decent encounter with Sabu throwing himself around as per usual. Not a whole lot of variety in the match though which I think killed it’s overall appeal.
Terry Funk/Tommy Dreamer v Raven/Cactus Jack
Guess which match I came for? This starts out as a brawl on the floor but Raven goes back inside only to get dinged in the back of the head by a Funk chair throw. Stevie Richards shows up while Funk empties a trashcan of plunder in the ring. Richards goes for a ride in a shopping cart. Dreamer belts Raven in the head with a VCR. Funk works Cactus over with a snow shovel. Funk beats referee Jim Molineux down with a dustpan just so he can feel involved. Funk whacks Raven in the groin with a golf club. I wonder if New Jack made his whole career from watching this match? Raven chokes Funk with a toilet seat. Dreamer gets clotheslined with a chain and a bloody faced Raven celebrates. DDT on Dreamer but the referee is out. Cactus slices up Funk’s arm with a fork and then busts his head open with another shot. Raven DDT’s Dreamer again. Tommy avoids a 2nd chain clothesline and DDT’s Raven. Cactus takes his shirt off to reveal an Eric Bischoff shirt with “forgive me Uncle Eric” on the back. Dreamer is busted and in a great spot he pulls Cactus Jack’s shirt over his face and chair shots “Bischoff”. Cactus hits a double arm DDT onto a chair on Funk. Everyone is bleeding now. Raven hits a dive onto Dreamer. Funk is down and not moving so Cactus makes a count of 3 himself but there’s no official so it doesn’t count. Alfonso and Taz come down to ringside and Alfonso counts 2 on Funk and then boots him and so does Taz. Dreamer gets in Taz’s face and Raven knocks him down. Alfonso and Taz leave. Dreamer hits a leaping DDT on Raven and another standard DDT. Ref is back up and Dreamer piledrives Raven on a chair. Funk pins him and it’s over at 13.36. ***. Crazy match with some solid brutality but the finish was a complete mess. It doesn’t end there as everyone continues to brawl. The worst part of this is Raven getting ‘crowned’ with barbed wire before headbutting Dreamer in the guts. Lots of brawling and blood but not a whole lot of wrestling. Still everything they did was entertaining and the sight of Raven bleeding and wearing barbed wire around his head was something else.
Overall event rating – C
Apart from Rey-Psicosis and the main event the show wasn’t much of anything. Even with those matches I disagreed highly with the booking. The deathmatch had no suspense to it at all just a bunch of spots tacked together into a match. The main event was just a garbage brawl when everyone involved was capable of doing the same match with some actual wrestling in it. To those ECW fans that argue that 1995 and other Todd Gordon run ECW years were better than the later ECW stuff – you’re wrong. It was probably more innovative but it all ages badly. Some of the later wrestling based ECW shows will always be superior to the garbage they threw up way back when. Yeah, the WWF sucked in 1995 but frankly ECW was more violent but not superior in terms of wrestling ability. It was the ideas that made ECW so interesting. The wrestling only really kicked in later. So in wrestling terms this show is nothing remarkable. It was great at the time because it was different and innovative but time isn’t kind to it. Recommendation to avoid.