ECW House Show 3/29/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

Extreme Championship Wrestling House Show
From: New Kensington, PA

Opening Contest: Tracy Smothers & Little Guido vs. Louie Spicolli & Chris Chetti: Spicolli and Smothers start off the contest with Smothers knocking Louie off his feet with a shoulder block. Louie hits a power slam and Chetti knocks Smothers to the floor with a dropkick. Chetti takes both Guido and Smothers out with a cross body to the floor. Louie follows up with a suicide dive to take out the heels on the floor, as well. Tommy Rich holds Spicolli on the apron but Smothers misses a punch and knocks Rich down on accident. That causes them to have a scuffle in the ring but Guido plays the peacemaker to prevent any blows. They end up hugging but are attacked by Chetti and Louie. Smothers and Guido bail to the floor following a rollup attempt. Chetti is tripped by Rich on the floor to allow Smothers the advantage which is sending Chetti to the floor where Rich crotches Chetti on the railing. Guido and Smothers drop a double elbow on Chetti to maintain control of the bout. Spicolli gets involved after Guido spits at him but isn’t able to do much thanks to the referee. Guido hits a slingshot elbow drop from the apron into the ring on Chetti for a near fall. Smothers enters to hit a double dropkick with Guido but Chetti refuses to stay down on the pin attempt.

Smothers nails Chetti with a leaping kick to the back of the head for a two count. Chetti gets a near fall on Guido following a cross body but Guido quickly regains control of the match. Spicolli tags in but the referee was out of position and doesn’t allow it. Smothers hits Chetti with another kick to the face but only gets a two count. Chetti stops Guido with a swinging neck breaker. Chetti slams Guido off the top rope and tags in Spicolli, finally. Louie cleans house with right hands. Spicolli drops Guido with a spine buster but Smothers made the save on the cover. Chetti and Louie hit dropkicks and clothesline Smothers over the top to the floor. Spicolli plants Guido with a Death Valley Driver. Chetti comes off the top to hit a big splash and pins Guido. (**1/2. A decent opener to the show with the fans heavily into it, it appeared. The FBI were capable of getting some really good heat, which helped as well. A few moments looked out of place and poorly setup, but regardless an enjoyable bout.)

Second Contest: Spike Dudley vs. Taz: Early on, Taz takes control of Spike on the canvas. Spike gets out of a choke slam attempt hitting a dropkick. Spike takes Taz out with a somersault dive off the apron onto Taz. Taz catches Spike in the corner hitting a double leg slam. Taz picks Spike up by his hair only to slam him back down to the canvas. Taz takes Spike over with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Spike low blows Taz and nearly wins with an inside cradle. Spike hits a springboard bulldog out of the corner but Taz kicks out at two. Taz counters a second bulldog attempt tossing Spike across the ring. Taz tosses Spike around with an exploder suplex. Taz locks in the Taz Mission and wins by submission. (*. A relatively quick match and again it was never in doubt that Taz was going over here. Spike got some minor offense in, but it would have been a miracle if he made it seem even close that he was going to get an upset.) After the match, Sabu runs into the ring and brawls with Taz since their showdown at Barely Legal is just a few weeks away. The locker room empties to separate the two superstars.

Third Contest: Pitbull #2 vs. Balls Mahoney: Pitbull #1 is at ringside with a neck brace since having his neck broken awhile back thanks to Shane Douglas. The fans are not liking that these guys are shaking hands. This is a dreadful start to the match as they are showing each other respect after every damn move. Balls comes off the top late in the match but is met with a low blow. Pitbull goes on the attack hitting a clothesline and spinning heel kick. Pitbull gets the win following a power slam.

The Sandman comes out and whacks Raven with a kendo stick as their title match is next. However, Brian Lee comes out and whacks Sandman with an ironing board to knock him out. Raven breaks the kendo stick in half and digs the stick into Sandman’s forehead. Tommy Dreamer comes into the ring and pulls Sandman to safety. They are selling it as an eye injury. Sandman is bleeding big time thanks to Raven and heads to the backstage area. Dreamer is left at ringside with a steel chair and brawls with Raven until Lee hits him with the ironing board. Stevie Richards comes out with Blue Meanie and Nova. Lee choke slams Dreamer in the ring. Richards will challenge for the championship now instead.

Fourth Contest: ECW World Champion Raven vs. Stevie Richards: Raven decks Richards a few times to start the contest. Stevie knocks Raven down and plays to the crowd instead of following up. Richards awkwardly runs the ropes until Raven stops him with a snap suplex. Raven knee drops Richards on the groin. Raven knocks Meanie off the apron and is nearly pinned by Richards but hits a clothesline before taking Meanie and Nova out with a slingshot dive. Richards comes around and knocks Raven out with a super kick! Richards has the cover back in the ring but Raven kicks out at two. Richards connects with a suplex and goes to the top rope. Raven gets his boots up to hit Stevie on the jaw. Raven dumps Richards to the floor. Richards is sent hard into the railing and Raven places Stevie on a table. Raven hits a slingshot splash to put Richards through the table. They brawl into the crowd where Raven tosses Richards down some stairs. Terry Funk appears from behind a doorway and attacks Raven towards the ring. Funk has the spinning toe hold on Raven until Lee comes back out and whacks Funk over the head with a steel chair. Richards is back in the ring but can’t hit a super kick on Lee. Lee instead plants Richards with a choke slam. Funk chases Lee to the backstage area with the ironing board. Richards drop toe holds Raven face first onto a steel chair but Raven kicks out at two. Raven collides with Richards and the referee with a steel chair. Richards has a cover but the referee is out. Richards plants Raven with the DDT onto the chair but there referee is out still. A new referee is out but Richards decks him and Raven gets a rollup for the win. (**. A lot of interference going on here but it had some fine action along with it, really. The brawling was solid and the finish doesn’t exactly hurt Stevie moving forward anyway.)

Fifth Contest: Brian Lee vs. Terry Funk: Lee hammers away on Funk knocking him to the apron. Lee continues to work over Funk with strikes in the corner and dumps Terry to the floor. Funk sends Lee into the railing and delivers several strikes knocking Lee into the crowd. They don’t brawl into the crowd and rather return to the ring where Funk hits a neck breaker. Funk delivers a few head butts and they trade strikes with neither man budging. Funk tosses Lee to the floor and spikes him with a piledriver. Funk whacks Lee over the back with a steel chair. Lee has his ironing board and hits Funk several times. Chris Candido is out at ringside as Lee continues to use the board on Funk, who isn’t going down. Candido accidentally hits Lee with the ironing board and Funk hits a DDT for the victory. (*1/2. Not sure what else would have been expected here since Lee isn’t going to be carrying anyone to a great match. They kept it mostly brawling and thus it wasn’t overly awful.) After the match, Brian Lee was going to hit a choke slam on an injured Chris Candido but Shane Douglas runs down and makes sure nothing happens. The Triple Threat stays together.

Sixth Contest: ECW Television Champion Shane Douglas & Francine vs. Tommy Dreamer & Beulah: Dreamer avoids Douglas attacking him from behind and decks Douglas several times. Dreamer low blows Douglas and clotheslines the champ over the top to the floor. Dreamer sends Douglas into the railing and whacks Douglas over the head with a cooking sheet. Dreamer crotches Douglas across the railing and whacks him over the head with a sign. Douglas dropkicks a chair into Tommy and Tommy falls into the railing. Douglas takes Tommy out with a slingshot dive to the floor. Douglas drops Dreamer throat first across the railing. Douglas strikes Dreamer after coming off the top rope. Douglas brings Dreamer into the ring from the apron with a double under hook suplex. Douglas drives Dreamer’s knee through a steel chair and puts a figure four on Tommy. Douglas continues to work over Dreamer hitting a Rude Awakening and Douglas mocks the Ravishing One. Beulah enters and low blows Douglas! Dreamer atomic drops Shane a couple of times followed by a power slam for a near fall. Dreamer low blows Douglas again but Francine gets involved to breakup the pin attempt. Francine and Beulah have a cat fight. Douglas yanks Beulah by her hair and hits a belly to belly suplex. Douglas stops Dreamer with an arm breaker for a near fall. Douglas continues with a side slam but Dreamer powers out at two.

Douglas goes towards Beulah but here comes the masked man that sounds a lot like Rick Rude. Rude puts down Douglas saying that he hit a belly to belly suplex on a woman and claims he is a great champion. Rude says he is going to show how a man treats a woman. Rude goes over to Francine who is seemingly interested in this. Douglas tries to use a chair but Dreamer stops Douglas and hits him with a chair instead. Dreamer hits a DDT on Douglas on a chair and puts Beulah on top to get the pin fall. (**1/2. I enjoyed the action since it was mainly just a Douglas/Dreamer singles match to begin with. Plus, the involvement of Rude at a non-TV show is neat.)

Seventh Contest: ECW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boys vs. The Gangstas: As you might expect with every New Jack match in ECW, the Gangstas come running into the ring with a trash can full of weapons. Jack and D-Von brawl into the crowd with both men busted wide open. Mustafa hits a power slam on D-Von onto a chair. Jack leaps off the top but Bubba catches him with an ace crusher in midair to win the match. This was literally just a brawl.

Main Event: Perry Saturn & John Kronus vs. Sabu & Rob Van Dam in a tables and ladders match: Sabu and Saturn kick off the contest with some mat wrestling as the match will be contested under normal tag team rules, which I’ll never understand. Van Dam and Kronus enter with Van Dam kicking Kronus in the corner but Kronus clotheslines Van Dam over the top to the floor. They both grab a ladder on the floor and begin to joust with them. Sabu and Saturn baseball slide the ladders into their other opponent. Saturn takes Van Dam out with a dive and Sabu takes Kronus out with one as well. Van Dam power slams Kronus but only gets a near fall. Saturn and Sabu go to the floor where Sabu tosses a ladder at Saturn. Saturn rams the ladder into Sabu but Van Dam slingshots over the ropes to kick the ladder into Saturn’s face. Van Dam takes Kronus out with a springboard moonsault off the railing. Back in the ring, Sabu leg drops Saturn with the ladder on him. Van Dam plants Saturn with a power bomb and comes off the top to hit a leg drop for a two count.

Saturn and Kronus knock Van Dam silly with kicks but Sabu makes the save on a pin attempt. Kronus hits a somersault leg drop on Van Dam. Kronus puts Van Dam over the top rope and delivers another leg drop for a near fall. Van Dam places Kronus on the ladder and goes to the top with Sabu but they miss a big splash/leg drop combo. Sabu is double teamed as the Eliminators deliver several kicks to him. Saturn spikes Sabu with a brain buster and hits a springboard leg drop for a two count. Sabu holds a ladder up against Saturn’s face to allow Van Dam to dropkick the ladder into Saturn’s face. Sabu and Van Dam climb two ladders to hit big splashes off the top onto Kronus and Saturn for near falls. Saturn hits a gut wrench suplex on Van Dam. Sabu takes Saturn over with an overhead suplex and taunts Taz but is met with a kick from Kronus. Saturn hits a splash off the top of the ladder onto Van Dam, which got virtually no reaction. Sabu places Kronus on a table on the outside of the ring and puts Kronus through the table with a senton splash from the ring. Van Dam drives Saturn down with a double under hook face buster. Van Dam splashes Saturn onto a ladder. We see that Kronus is busted open on the cheek as Saturn gets kicked in the face by Van Dam. Sabu leaps off of Van Dam’s back to splash Kronus. Saturn returns to clothesline Van Dam. Kronus and Saturn super kick Sabu to the floor. Saturn and Kronus climb the ladders next to each other for some reason. Sabu and Van Dam climb up as well and they all crash to the canvas. That spot made little sense, really.

Saturn plants Van Dam with a sit out suplex. Kronus is nailed by Sabu with a springboard heel kick. Sabu hits a springboard moonsault on Kronus while Saturn does the same to Van Dam. The Dudley Boys run into the ring and attack both teams. Bubba hits an ace crusher on Kronus while D-Von worked over Sabu before leaving. Van Dam hits Kronus with a split legged moonsault for the win. (***. Some of the match was clunky and didn’t make a lot of sense. The action was mostly non-stop and is enjoyable. The ending is incredibly lame, though. I remember reading that these teams had some classics, but I’ve yet to witness one.)

Final Thoughts:
On paper, it’s a strong card for ECW, I’d say. However, the action doesn’t live up to what I was hoping for this time around for ECW. There are a few entertaining matches, but most of the matches had the same formula to them and they all blur together. This is an example where constant brawling and not enough different wrestlers really hurts a show. Recommendation to avoid.

Thanks for reading.

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