Written by: Bob Colling
Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
From: Tampa, FL
1.) Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko defeated Norman Smiley & Mikey Whipwreck
2.) ECW World Champion The Sandman defeated Cactus Jack to retain the title
1.) Cactus Jack is interviewed backstage saying he is the man tonight trying to win the ECW World Championship. Jack says he has been in every brutal battle and this is the most important match of his career. Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit cut Jack off with Shane Douglas entering the scene as well. Douglas tells Jack that there is no reason to take his championship from Sandman. Douglas suggests Jack can either give up his title shot or go through Shane’s dead body. Sandman attacks Jack from behind and Douglas tries to get his hands on Jack but is held back. Sandman and Woman casually walk away.
2.) The tag team match is clipped and thus won’t get an in-depth review. Norman Smiley is the same guy from WCW who would get really popular in late 1999/2000. No, he wasn’t screaming during this match as he would be known for doing years later. As you could imagine, Malenko and Benoit control most of the match showcasing their talents while Whipwreck and Smiley take the beating the best they could. Whipwreck seems to be really over with the fans and he is honestly taking some really good bumps and comes across like a great underdog. At one point, Whipwreck hit a top rope cross body to the floor onto Malenko, but his offense was short-lived. For a heavily clipped match, they showed the good parts to it and I found myself not fast forwarding through the segment. Malenko and Benoit looked like absolute stars and I was interested in what Whipwreck was dong. Benoit would pin Smiley with a rollup from behind to end the match.
3.) Raven attacks Tommy Dreamer at an Extreme party and they go to a hallway exchanging blows. Several wrestlers come over to break them apart to end the brawling after some difficulty.
4.) Raven is interviewed saying that Dreamer can never escape from him. It’s probably the shortest Raven interview, ever.
5.) Public Enemy cut a promo about their double dog collar match with the Pitbulls, which was the bloodiest match of their careers. Grunge says they proved to the Pitbulls that they aren’t going to take the belts from them. They’ll be having another dog collar match on May 13th. If they win they will get five minutes in the ring with Stevie Richards.
6.) Sandman starts the match working over Jack in the corner but is sent into the corner and Jack hits a running bulldog. Jack tosses Sandman over the top to the floor and sends Sandman into the railing a couple of times. Sandman sends Cactus into a wooden stage chest first to counter a DDT attempt. Jack uses a crutch on Sandman to keep control of the match as they head into the ring. Jack has a cheese grater and starts to grate the forehead of the champion busting him wide open in the process. Cactus uses a steel chair on Sandman and leg drops the chair onto Sandman. Sandman whacks Jack with a chair as Cactus tried to pull him to the floor. Sandman continues to work over Jack with a chair but Cactus comes back with a trash can shot. Jack gets on the apron but misses his diving elbow and lands on the trash can instead.
Sandman tosses a trash can into the ring and continues to work over Jack in the corner. Cactus rams Sandman head first into the trash can. Sandman hits a belly to back suplex landing Jack on the trash can. Sandman continues with a DDT on the trash can. Sandman grabs a table from the floor and sets it up in the ring. Jack shoves Sandman through the table, which breaks very easily. Sandman low blows Jack with the piece of table. Sandman leg drops Jack on the apron and comes running off the apron to drive Cactus face first onto the trash can. Sandman has a rope and tosses Cactus across the floor. Sandman leaps off the top and rams Jack head first into the trash can in the ring. Jack is able to send Sandman over the top to the floor and hits Sandman with a surfboard and trash can.
Cactus continues to work over Sandman in the corner but Sandman decks Jack with a chain for a near fall. Sandman chokes Jack with a chain but Jack stops the champ with a few low blows. Jack hits a swinging neck breaker and hammers away on Sandman with several chain shots. Cactus has a sleeper hold locked in with the chain around Sandman’s throat. The referee is checking Sandman’s arm three times until Woman decks the referee with a kendo stick. Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit enter the ring and attack Jack with Benoit hitting a power bomb! Woman tries to wakeup the referee and puts Sandman on top of Jack to get the victory. (**1/2. It’s a decent brawl of a match, but I didn’t like the interference. I mean, it protects Jack but in ECW you should be able to have the heel win since there hardly is ever a disqualification anyway.)
7.) Backstage, Cactus Jack confronts the Triple Threat for their involvement. Jack is held back by several people. Shane Douglas says he never put his hands on Cactus Jack. Douglas says that Cactus has no idea how easy it will be for him to become champion again. Sandman enters and says “it’s not going to be as easy as you think” before leaving the two challengers in the locker room being held back by other wrestlers.
I enjoyed the program this week as the clipped match seemed like it was a good match and the main event wasn’t a bad match since it was mainly just a hardcore brawl, which both men are strong at doing. The Florida venue looks a lot better than the Arena on camera, too.
Thanks for reading.
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.