ECW House Show 5/16/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

Extreme Championship Wrestling House Show
From: Syracuse, NY

Opening Contest: Tracy Smothers & Little Guido vs. The Pitbulls: Guido and Wolfe start the match with Wolfe showing off his power by shoving Guido down to the canvas. Guido takes Wolfe down to the canvas with an arm bar but his offense is short lived. Wolfe tosses Guido across the ring but Guido works over Wolfe in the corner with chops. Wolfe clotheslines Guido and hits a neck breaker. Smothers comes in but is met with an overhead belly to belly suplex by Wolfe. Durante and Smothers are now the legal guys for the match. They go with the test of strength with Durante stomping on Tracy’s hands to win that battle. Smothers works over Durante in the corner with several right hands to get the advantage. Durante comes back with right hands of his own and sends Smothers hard into the corner. Guido avoids a tag from Smothers and Durante hits a power bomb for a near fall.

Tommy Rich pulls down the top rope and Durante falls over the top to the floor where Rich crotches Durante over the guard railing. Smothers and Guido knock Durante down with forearm shots and they keep control on Durante as Guido hits a scoop slam and knee drop. Guido continues his offense with a dropkick on Durante and they continue to double team their larger opponent. Durante has an inside cradle on Smothers but the referee was distracted and Tracy regained control with a clothesline. Durante hits both men with a clothesline and Wolfe gets tagged in. Wolfe cleans house with scoop slams and along with Durante hits snap power slams. Smothers is clotheslined over the top to the floor and Guido is all alone so the Pitbulls can hit the middle rope power bomb for the win. (*1/2. There was a few sloppy spots in this one and it was a really basic match. The finish is always a good spot to see, though.)

Second Contest: Chris Candido vs. Chris Chetti: Candido berates Chetti and is shoved for doing so followed by a backdrop sending Candido to the floor. The fans are chanting that they want Sunny. Chetti arm drags Candido a couple of times and dropkicks Chetti to the outside. Candido decks Chetti with a right hand and Chetti backs into a corner. Chetti dumps a charging Candido over the top to the floor and Chetti baseball slides Candido into the guard dialing. Chetti is sent back first into the railing as Candido finally gets some momentum going. Candido takes Chetti over with a snap suplex and hits a middle rope leg drop for a two count. Candido places Chetti on the top rope but Chetti drops Candido face first to the canvas and hits a top rope cross body for a near fall. Candido stops Chetti with a kick to the side of the head. Candido comes off the top but Chetti hits him with an atomic drop and a backdrop. Chetti clotheslines Candido in the corner and places Candido on the top turnbuckle. Chetti hits a superplex but gets only a two count as Francine came out to put Candido’s foot on the bottom rope. Chetti chases after Francine and they botch a rollup spot back in the ring so Candido wins with a sloppy rollup. After the match, Candido spikes Chetti with a piledriver. (**. Aside from the botch ending, this was a decent little match. The more I watch of Chetti the more I realize he wasn’t all that bad in the ring.)

Third Contest: Spike Dudley vs. Taz: Throughout the match, Taz yells “Sabu” at Spike because he is obsessed with his rival. Spike dropkicks Taz to the floor early on and runs off the apron to take Taz out with a somersault dive on the floor. Taz catches Spike in the corner and hits a double leg slam. Taz hits an overhead belly to belly suplex and the fans want Taz to choke Spike out already. Spike low blows Taz and nearly wins with an inside cradle. Spike hits a springboard bulldog but can’t keep Taz down lone enough on the cover attempt. Taz tosses Spike away on the Acid Drop attempt. Taz drops Spike with a t-bone suplex and locks in the Taz Mission quickly moments later to win the match. (**1/4. This was less than five minutes, but it was the most entertaining thing on the show thus far. Taz comes across like such a star in ECW and a beast, it surprises me that he never amounted to much outside of the company in the WWE. This was exactly what the fans wanted to see.) After the match, Taz grabs a microphone and taunts some fans to get in the ring.

Fourth Contest: Stevie Richards vs. Bill Wiles: This feels like a filler match just to get Richards on the show since Wiles was just a ring crew guy who would sometimes get a spot on the shows. So, as you would expect it is an extended showcase for Richards, who is one of the most over baby faces in ECW at this point. Richards gets the win following the Stevie Kick.

Fifth Contest: ECW Television Champion Shane Douglas & Francine vs. Tommy Dreamer & Beulah: Dreamer and Douglas start the match with Dreamer low blowing Douglas and sending him over the top to the floor with a clothesline. Dreamer sends Douglas into the guard railing a few times as the fans are eating this up already. Tommy hammers away on Douglas and Beulah gets a shot in from the apron. Dreamer drops Douglas with a clothesline for a near fall and sends Shane to the floor again. Dreamer flips over the protective mat on the floor and scoop slams Douglas on the floor. Tommy gets a chair from a fan and rolls Douglas back into the ring. Douglas recovers and dropkicks the chair into Dreamer’s face knocking him off the apron to the floor. Douglas baseball slide dropkicks the chair into Tommy’s face to knock Dreamer down on the floor.

Douglas goes to the floor and scoop slams Dreamer on the concrete floor. Douglas sends Dreamer into the railing and drops Tommy chest first across the railing to keep control of the match. Francine cheap shots Dreamer on the floor as Douglas distracted the referee. Douglas brings Dreamer in from the apron with a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Douglas spikes Dreamer with a piledriver and Francine tags in to leg drop Dreamer and quickly tags out. Dreamer low blows Douglas but Shane comes back with a swinging neck breaker. Douglas scoop slams Dreamer and Francine comes off the top to hit an assisted swanton bomb for a two count. Dreamer gets out of a chin lock as they seemingly screwed up an electric chair slam spot. Beulah distracts Shane on the top and Dreamer slams Shane down to the canvas. Dreamer atomic drops Douglas but only gets a near fall on the cover.

Dreamer delivers another atomic drop and a power slam for another two count. Dreamer plants Douglas with a DDT but Francine breaks up the cover attempt. Dreamer has Francine and Beulah wants the tag, which she gets. Douglas grabs Beulah and tosses her away from Francine. Rick Rude makes his way to ringside and takes Francine with him after sticking his face in her ass and groin. Dreamer and Douglas slug it out in the ring with Dreamer hitting a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Beulah gets a chair from a fan for Dreamer. Louie Spicolli enters the ring and plants Dreamer with a Death Valley Driver. Douglas is put on top and gets the victory. (***. It’s a good match that kept the women at a minimal involvement and the guys working an enjoyable match. I thought for sure Dreamer and Beulah were going to win after the Rude involvement, but the twist was refreshing.)

Sixth Contest: ECW World Tag Team Champions The Eliminators vs. The Gangstas vs. Dudley Boys in an elimination match: Saturn and D-Von start the match trading slaps with Saturn knocking D-Von down and he bails to the floor. D-Von works over Saturn in the corner until Saturn comes back with a couple of standing spin kicks. Kronus tags into the match and Big Dick Dudley is in the match, instead of Bubba which I didn’t realize. Kronus works over Big Dick with several strikes and decides to hit a power bomb for a near fall. Dick gets control and press slams Kronus. Dick chokes Kronus in the corner but Kronus quickly comes back with a slam and hits a handspring moonsault for a near fall. Saturn and D-Von are now in the match with Saturn hitting a double springboard cross body for a near fall.

Bubba grabs Saturn’s foot from the floor and D-Von hits a back suplex but Saturn pops right up and stomps D-Von. Saturn hits a fisherman suplex for a near fall. Kronus enters and that brings in Dick for all four men to start brawling. The champs hit kicks to both men but Bubba enters and hits a double ace crusher to help his buddies. Uh oh, here comes the Gangstas. As expected, New Jack and Mustafa use various weapons on everyone. Bubba drives Saturn through a table with a power bomb and hits Kronus with a power bomb on the floor. Kronus hits the 450 splash off the top onto D-Von but doesn’t go for the cover. Bubba whacks Kronus with a street sign on the apron. Total Elimination on the Gangstas and New Jack eats it a second time to cause the first elimination.

D-Von hits a middle rope leg drop on Saturn but can’t get a three count on the cover attempt. Moments later, Saturn hits a top rope frog splash on D-Von. Dick tries his luck but is knocked down. Bubba enters and is met with an ace crusher from Saturn. D-Von attempts a reverse DDT on Saturn but Kronus kicks him. Total Elimination to Dick ends this one. (**3/4. This is probably the best clusterfuck of a match these teams have put together on the show show circuit. The Gangstas were kept short with their involvement and the Eliminators shined pretty well here, I thought.)

Seventh Contest: Balls Mahoney vs. The Sandman: These guys are buddies, but it is ECW and that won’t prevent them from killing each other. Mahoney has a chair while Sandman has a kendo stick in a standoff. Neither man gets to use their weapons so Mahoney has the early advantage with basic strikes on Sandman before sending him to the floor. Balls tosses the protective mats on the floor away so he can work over Sandman some more. Sandman sends Mahoney into the guard railing and gets control of the match as a result. Sandman places Mahoney across the railing and leaps off the apron to elbow drop Mahoney. Balls sends Sandman into the corner in a flipping manner. Back in the ring, Mahoney plants Sandman with a piledriver. Mahoney leg drops the chair onto Sandman for a two count. Balls misses a middle rope elbow drop and Sandman connects with a DDT for a near fall.

Mahoney comes back with a power slam and grabs the steel chair to put under Sandman’s head. Balls heads to the top rope and misses a leg drop hitting the chair instead. Balls gets up and is whacked over the head with the kendo stick but kicks out at two. Mahoney super kicks Sandman but only gets a near fall. Mahoney misses a chair shot and hits the ropes causing him to hit himself and Sandman gets the rollup victory. (*1/4. Well, it could have been worse, I guess? This was just bad.)

Bill Alfonso comes out and says with Sabu and/or Rob Van Dam issues a challenge to the winner of the main event.

Main Event: ECW World Champion Terry Funk vs. Raven: Early on, Raven has a top wrist lock on Funk but that doesn’t last too long as Funk takes Raven down to the canvas. Raven backs away into a corner and covers up before working over Funk with more strikes and sends Funk to the floor where Raven sends Funk over the railing into the crowd. They brawl into the crowd where Funk sends Raven into the railing back and shoulder first. Funk whacks Raven over the back with a steel chair several times. They had back towards the ring where Raven slams Funk face first onto a table and hits a slingshot splash over the top onto Funk through the table! Funk comes back with sending Raven into the broken table. Funk stomps the broken piece of table onto Raven a few times. They return to the ring with Raven in control hitting a drop toe hold sending Funk face first onto a chair. Raven keeps control with a chin lock.

Funk wildly throws a chair, which Raven avoids and continues to beat on the champ. Funk stops Raven with a low blow and hits a neck breaker. Funk sends Raven to the floor and tells the fans to move out of the way as Raven is sent into the crowd and several chairs. Funk puts a spinning toe hold on Raven in the crowd but a submission there won’t win the match for him. Back in the ring, Funk puts the spinning toe hold on Raven again, but a Flock member distracts Funk only to get knocked off. Funk uses a chair on Raven’s ankle and uses the spinning toe hold again. Stevie Richards comes out and decks the referee while grabbing a microphone. Richards knocks Funk out with a super kick and tells Raven to beat Funk so they can take care of business backstage.

Blue Meanie and Nova come out and confront Richards. Meanie thinks there is something more important to talk about and that is the Blue World Order. Funk is laid out as Meanie hits a big splash, too. Meanie says they have thought about electing a new leader for the group, nominating himself with Nova agreeing with them. Richards attacks Nova and Meanie to seemingly put an end to the BWO. Funk nearly pins Raven with an inside cradle. Funk puts the spinning toe hold on Raven and his manager. Raven nearly steals a win with a rollup but Funk hits a DDT for the win. (**. Well, it was a fine brawl, but the ending sequence was not very good and the crowd seemed to be flat on the one DDT finish, but that’s going to happen with the constant over the top finishes in ECW and in wrestling in general. A standard ECW style brawl is all this really was.)

Final Thoughts:
Well, considering we didn’t have Sabu, RVD, and Bigelow the show still had a strong lineup and several top talents. This may be the time period where ECW had the greatest depth of top talent. The mixed tag match is the best match on the card, but there is some quality wrestling on the show throughout. It’s a fine house show in a first and only show in the market. An easy two hour watch.

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