Rebooking ECW: ECW Wrestlepalooza 1997 (05/31/97)

Extreme Championship Wrestling returns to the ECW Arena again for this years Wrestlepalooza extravaganza! Saying tonight will surely change the course of ECW’s present and future is an absolute understatement as Terry Funk defends his ECW Heavyweight Chamionship against the suicidal, genocidal, homicidal maniac Sabu. Where is Raven and will he make an appearance? Also, “The Human Suplex Machine” Taz has hunted down Chris Candido, will he defeat the ECW Television Champion tonight? Plus, the ECW Tag Team Champions face arguabley their hardest opponents yet in The Dudleys. And what about “Ravishing” Rick Rude, will he make another mysterious appearance tonight? All these questions and more lie in wait heading into Wrestlepalooza 1997!

Extreme Championship Wrestling presents:

ECW Wrestlepalooza 1997 – 05/31/97 (Philadelphia, PA)

MATCH CARD:

Singles Match

Danny Doring Vs. The Blue Meanie

Four-Way Dance

“The Franchise” Shane Douglas Vs. Chris Chetti Vs. Mikey Whipwreck Vs. Lance Storm

Singles Match for the ECW Television Championship

Chris Candido (c) Vs. “The Human Suplex Machine” Taz w/Bill Alfonso

Tag Team Cage Match

Saturn & ??? Vs. “Prime Time” Brian Lee & Kronus

Singles Match 

Rob Van Dam Vs. Mike Awesome

Tag Team Match for the ECW Tag Team Championships

Spike Dudley & Roadkill (c) Vs. The Dudleys

Singles Match for the ECW Heavyweight Championship

Terry Funk (c) Vs. Sabu

The results were as follows:

1. Opening Segment: Joey Styles opened the show from the center of the ring by welcoming everybody to Extreme Championship Wrestling’s Wrestlepalooza 1997 super show event! He presented most of the match card until Danny Doring’s theme hit and he made his entrance toward the ring. Before Joey was able to get out of the ring and head to the commentators area (as he seemed to have no interest in talking with Doring) he was stopped halfway through the ropes. Doring got on the mic and asked Joey to come back in the ring and interview the star of the card. Without letting Joey speak once (just forcing him to stand there awkwardly) Doring began to put himself over. “Now, I understand that The Blue Meanie wants to face me tonight. That’s fine, I wasn’t in much of a fighting mood tonight anyway. You see, because the Meanie is a joke. I should be facing Funk for the ECW belt, but of course I’ve been over-looked. Nobody credible wants to face an undefeated man and I don’t blame them one damn bit. So, Joey. We can chat later. Right now I have to take some revolting trash out to the curb. So, get out of here!” With that, he flung Joey by his suit jacket toward the ropes again. After Joey Styles made his quick exit, Danny Doring awaited the arrival of The Blue Meanie.

2. Obtaining his fifth consecutive victory in ECW was a lock for Danny Doring tonight. It was perhaps fate that was on his side however. “Hollywood” Nova and Stevie Richards would accompany The Blue Meanie to the ring and this would end up biting him later on. The two put on a pretty balanced contest with Meanie earning an early lead. He would hit a Meaniesault on Doring and nearly pin him for a three count almost derailing the undefeated streak. However, this wouldn’t be the case, as afterward Doring was able to build some good momentum. After a decent opening contest, the bWo would seemingly ruin it for their man in the ring. It was obvious they had devised a scheme against Doring as Nova lured him toward the apron with taunting shouts and allowed Meanie to began to creep up behind his opponent. With Doring seemingly trapped, he suddenly spun himself around, grabbed Meanie, and put him forward right in the way of Nova who was administering a low blow intended for Danny Doring. With Meanie stunned and Stevie blowing up on Nova, Doring hit a hugely impactful Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma’am on his opponent of the night and subsequently got the three count. Angry and embarrased, the bWo collected their man from the ring and headed for the back, too upset to deal with Doring. As the crowd booed him, he held up a full hand of fingers signifying his fifth consecutive win in ECW. (11:10)

3. To put it simply, this four way dance was awesome. All four men meshed together very, very well. Just when one guy would be put down by someone, another would come from nowhere and put that guy on his back. The action was crazy and every man had a piece of each other at one point or another. Storm and Douglas noticeably kept their distance from one another, as both at this point are most likely unsure where they stand with each other. Lance would pin Chetti for the first elimination while Douglas and Whipwreck found themselves among the crowd in a fistfight with each other. After getting back into the ring it seems Douglas tried laying low, letting Storm and Mikey really go at it. Storm hit a huge superkick on Mikey as he was coming off the top turnbuckle. It would have been a sure elimination, however, Douglas would blindside Storm and hit him with the Pittsburgh Plunge for the elimination. After taunting the crowd following the pin, he would then begin to shout at Storm who was making his way to the back, “It’s over. Triple Threat is done, you piece of s***. It’s your own damn fault!” During this belittling of Storm, Douglas had completely forgotten about the match. A recovered Mikey would capitalize on this and roll Douglas up for a stolen three count. The ECW Arena just about exploded from excitement as this was a pretty big upset finish and marked the first big win for Mikey Whipwreck in some time! Mikey would celebrate for seconds before having to duck out of the ring away from an irate Shane Douglas. (23:25)

4. Commercial break + Hype Central for merchandising information.

5. Chris Candido entered with perhaps the most serious demeanor he has put on yet. Keeping his head down and championship up, it was obvious that Candido had a lot of pride riding on this one. Taz entered with Bill Alfonso and company and the announcements for the title match were made. Big cheers for Candido, which came as no shock for the fighting champ. Once the formalities were done, this one was off and running as a strong technical base was firstly established. The beginning of this match could have almost easily been mistaken for an amateur wrestling contest. Surprising enough it was Candido who was getting the better of Taz! This would force Taz to snap and really start using some force. He threw Candido around the ring once or twice with big suplexes of the belly to belly variety, and realizing he couldn’t let Taz get off on a tangent, Candido immediately slowed the pace down again with a few submission holds. These two were firing on all cylinders tonight and both men wanted to prove to the other who the better man was. Unfortunately for the champ’s sake, the pace would only pick right back up again with huge clotheslines, leapfrogs, duck unders, and Irish whips into the corner became the norm. Taz seemed to be dishing most of the punishment until Candido hit a heart-stopping delayed vertical suplex from the second rope! ECW chants immediately broke out, even before the suplex concluded. Further on in the match Taz would slap on the Tazmission and Candido would almost tap out due to Alfonso pulling the bottom rope away from him as much as possible. Candido would bite Taz’s arm to escape out of pure desperation, which the crowd enjoyed. Finally, Candido would make his last mistake as Television Champion. As he began to set up for the Blonde Bombshell superbomb to Taz who seemed out of it, Taz would goat Candido into setting himself up for a top rope Tazplex! This would earn Taz his biggest victory yet as he became the Extreme Championship Wrestling Television Champion. (17:44)

6. As Kronus and Brian Lee awaited their opponents in the cage, Saturn would walk down and before entering the door of the cage, would ask for a microphone. He addressed Lee and Kronus directly. “Boys, I’ve waited a long time for this. Tonight, your asses get handed to you complements of Saturn…” He paused, “… And Tommy Dreamer!” Tommy’s music would hit and he would shortly be at the side of Saturn. The two entered the cage together and as soon as the bell rang both Lee and Kronus began climbing the cage walls in a ditch effort to escape. Of course, they were both pulled down and given quite a beating. Saturn really worked on Lee until he witnessed Kronus gaining a little bit of momentum over Tommy. Grabbing Lee and Kronus he would bash them together and he and Tommy both would throw them into the cage wall. Dreamer and Saturn were going to have fun with these two, as Dreamer and Lee have had somewhat of a storied history in the past previously and didn’t hesitate for another opportunity to square off with him. After getting bashed around the cage, Kronus and Lee were pinned simultaneously. Both Kronus and Lee would receive a Total Elimination, complements of Dreamer and Saturn. (15:59)

7. Commercial break + Announcement that ECW will be holding it’s first ever Pay-Per-View event, Barely Legal on June fifteenth!

8. Mike Awesome would earn himself a solid victory over Rob Van Dam tonight, much to the disapproval of the ECW fans who are not very keen on Awesome to say the least. No other Triple Threat members would accompany Awesome for his fight, but in the end they weren’t needed. Van Dam, who relied heavily on his aerial game, put up a great effort but it would be Awesome’s sheer power that would do him in. Van Dam would be Awesome Bombed from the ring through the time keepers table on the outside during the match, destroying much of his momentum. After missing a Frog Splash, Van Dam would again receive an Awesome Bomb, this time across two standing and opened folding chairs. He would be pinned right there by Awesome, thus Awesome picked up the win and ended this brutally physical fight. (10:53)

9. The ECW Tag Team Champions would see another successful defense tonight as they went head to head with The Dudleys. Any other team would have handed the belts to The Dudleys after the beat down they applied to Spike and Roadkill. After several things were broken over all four men’s heads at one time or another, this tag match just simply broke down.At one point, Roadkill used D-Von as a battering ram against Buh-Buh, causing him to be hit from the apron and bounce off the steel barricade. The Dudley came a hair close to winning the belts though when Spike was set up for the 3D. Instead of Buh-Buh catching Spike’s head and driving it to the match though, Spike was able to come down on him with a clothesline and avoiding the finishing maneuver. Realizing what happened, D-Von sprung to his feet with the intent to avenge his partner and was immediately ran over by Roadkill. D-Von would be flung to the outside due to this, leaving Buh-Buh to take the fall. Spike, with steel chair in hand, would be hoisted up by Roadkill in a military press position then dropped right on top of Buh-Buh Ray. Spike would then stand up, run the ropes and dive out onto a just standing D-Von. Roadkill would follow this up with a running splash of his own on an already beaten Buh-Buh Ray Dudley for the victory. (13:19)

10. Commercial break + Video package hyping for the main event of the evening.

11. Once again “Ravishing” Rick Rude would appear in the ECW Arena and sit besides Joey at the commentator’s table. He briefly got on a head set and announced his business. “Shut up, Joey. I can do whatever the hell I want! Listen up you little piss ants, my search for talent for my client to fight is not over. Finding somebody who doesn’t have lead in their ass and two left feet is proving to be a lot harder than I thought! So, I’m gonna’ sit down right here and scout the main event and I hope I see something that impresses me tonight, that I can bring back to my guy. Like I said he is a former proud ECW Champion but, I’ve been grooming him and believe me he’s ready to make the jump to the big leagues, leaving this place in the dust!” With that, Rude slammed the set back onto the table and the main event would shortly begin.

12. Tonight, Extreme Championship Wrestling history was made when Terry Funk was finally defeated for the ECW Heavyweight Championship by Sabu. In another very good match, Terry Funk held his own against the quicker, younger man. Sabu dished most of the punishment and surely had his sternum injury in mind while he punished the ECW Champion. At one point it looked as if Terry was going to pull the chair in place of himself while Sabu was performing a triple jump moonsault. However, Sabu was able to witness this and react, perhaps saving himself from even more shelf time, or worse. This only fired Sabu up even more and he became angered with Terry. The brawl eventually lead these two all the way up to the the commentator’s area above the crowd. As Sabu trailed behind Terry as they made their way up there, Funk was able to reach the top and stand first. Before Sabu could reach a standing base, Funk scoop slammed him off the platform down onto the merchandise tables below. With Sabu disappearing in the crowd of people and underneath fan apparel, Terry celebrated with the crowd from the platform as they chanted, ECW! As soon as Sabu was visible again on an a stable pair of legs, Terry Funk jumped down in a body attack position on top of him causing both men to disappear into the fray. After minutes of crawling around on the floor between fans, the two emerged in a fistfight about center crowd. The two would eventually make it back to the ring again. By the time the match became a match again, Raven, followed by several security men ran through the match. Without touching Funk and Sabu or being caught by the team of men, Raven ran through the crowd and out onto the street. After a few minutes of confusion went by, he would appear again from where he left only to be bound and held back by the team as he tried to push his way to the ring again. While Raven struggled, Sabu leveled Funk with the ECW Heavyweight title and slapped on a Camel Clutch. Funk refused to tap out and this only angered Sabu. Out of sheer desperation and recklessness, Sabu set Terry on the apron and dangled his head and torso into the ring while the rest of him knelt on the apron. Sabu then climbed to the top turnbuckle with a chair and leaped off with an Arabian facebuster only it was the back of Terry Funk’s head that would be hit and then driven into the mat. In a state of shock and pandemonium, the crowd erupted with very angry shouts and boos due the danger and seriousness of the the maneuver just hit. Sabu would pin Funk after this and Raven would be detained and removed. A medical team from the back came to Terry Funk’s aid who was unresponsive and bleeding from the back of his head. After trying to assault Funk more and taunting, Sabu quickly exited the match. As he did so, Rick Rude rose from his seat and applauded him from the commentator’s area. (27:04)

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