ECW Hardcore TV 1/23/1996

Written by: Bob Colling

Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
From: Philadelphia, PA

1.) Rob Van Dam defeated Axl Rotten
2.) Taz defeated Hack Myers
3.) Sabu defeated Stevie Richards (heavily clipped for TV)
4.) ECW World Champion The Sandman defeated Konnan to retain the title

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) This is RVD’s ECW debut and the crowd gives him a bit of a rough time at first. Nice exchange at first as RVD shows off a splitlegged dropdown, a somersault into a Japanese armdrag and a springboard reverse bodyblock to start things off. RVD hits some weak looking homosexual double thrust shots to Axl Rotten’s mid-section (notice he never does it again after this match). Van Dam goes into his shoulderblock, backflip, shoulderblock into the corner again routine. RVD tries a spinkick but Axl ducks and catches Rob with a T-bone Suplex. Axl works over RVD for a bit and goes for a top rope splash but of course misses. RVD hits a legsweep and hits a FIVE STAR SPLASH minus the frog. Axl to the outside where RVD now hits the somersault plancha to the floor. Van Dam back inside hits the top rope leaping sidekick and a standing moonsault for two. The crowd begins an Axl chant, but Rotten’s offense isn’t enough as RVD nails a powerslam and a split legged moonsault for the win. Good debut as RVD wins over the crowd by the matches end.

Thoughts: This match was alot better than I remembered it being for RVD. Axl basically allows RVD to put himself over the entire match to win the respect of the crowd. RVD hit mostof his basic moves that made him the star that he is today during this match and I think that helped. This would prep RVD for a feud with Sabu soon after.

Rating: Your basic ECW squash, but fun to watch in a sense. * (Credit: Inside Pulse, House Party ’96 Review)

2.) No back story here, Hack Myers attempts to wrestle Taz early on but needless to say, that gets him nowhere. Taz delivers several unique takedowns and stretches on Hack to show him up early on. Myers gives up and goes back to what he knows best, brawling. Hack hits an elbow to the back of Taz’s head and begins throwing his infamous “Shaw” Punches, but Taz catches one and takes Myers over with a Judo throw called the Ippon Sainagi. Myers is back up with some more “Shaw” punches and tries for a hiptoss but Taz counters the hiptoss into a T-Bone TAZplex, Very Nice counter. Hack ducks a clothesline and fires back again with…”SHAW PUNCHES” and a Tornado Shaw Punch drops Taz!!! Taz ducks a clothesline and dumps Myers on his head with a Head & Arm TAZplex and a nasty looking German TAZplex before applying the TAZ-Mission (Kata Hajime) for the win.

Thoughts: Needless to say Hack Myers would be “Just Another Victim” long before Taz made that term popular. Taz would run wild, plexing everyone in the company on their heads for nearly a year to set up the long anticipated feud he would have with Sabu near years end.

Rating: While Always fun to watch, Taz squashes don’t get much more than a 1/2*. (Credit: Inside Pulse, House Party ’96 Review)

3.) This is back when Konnan was in great shape and could work. Hell he does thingsin this match I totally forgot he was capable of doing. Amazing what hanging out with Kevin Nash can do for yer career. This is Konnan’s last match with ECW before heading off to WCW along with the PE. Of course it would only be a matter of weeks before the rest of the luchadores would follow. Sandman tries to wrestle Konnan, and much like the Hack/Taz match, the wrestler gets the best. Konnan stretches Sandman in several innovative and painful looking submission holds to start. Konnan gets some basic offense before getting cut off. Sandman nails a dive onto the floor sending Konnan to the concrete. Konnan uses a chair but is now in Sandman’s domain as the Sander sends Konnan onto the guardrail & into the crowd. Back inside shortly, Sandman pummels on Konnan causing the AAA star to get busted open. Sandman brings a table into the ring while the crowd chants “Bye Bye Konnan”. Sandman tries a superplex through the table but Konnan reverses and throws Sandman through it. Woman canes Konnan to no avail. Konnan goes after Woman which allows Sandman to cane the living shit out of Konnan’s skull. Rey Misterio Jr. hits the ring and throws Konnan a Singapore cane as well. Konnan fires back with some ruthless cane shots to Sandman’s head in return. The duo now begin to trade cane shots until both men collapse. Both men are down as the referee Jim Molineaux makes the 10 count. Woman pulls her man to his feet by his hair long enough to beat the count. Not sure why the ref kept counting after the Sandman was up.

Thoughts: I expected a lot more out of this match. A pretty big letdown, andother than taking those cane shots, Konnan didn’t give this match much effort. Off to WCW for Konnan AND Sandman’s manager Woman for that matter, while a face turn was on the horizon for the Sandman.

Rating: The opening and the cane shots were nice but that’s about it. *3/4. (Credit: Inside Pulse, House Party ’96 Review)

4.) Dreamer says he knows that he must destroy Raven instead of asking for Raven to be the godfather to his child. Beulah says that Dreamer has a bigger purpose, bigger than Raven. (that’s a shot at his penis size, folks.)

5.) Raven says that Dreamer had to beat him in life because he couldn’t beat him in the ring.

6.) Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie are hanging out with Meanie acting like a pig rubbing fries onto Richards.

7.) Bill Alfonso is freaking out about 911, but Taz says that 911 will not be around for long.

8.) Pitbulls are pissed at the Eliminators for hurting Francine and they are going to take out Saturn and Kronus. The Eliminators say that if the Pitbulls want a piece of their mother they will charge them $25. They just insulated their own mother?

9.) Dreamer is back saying that he took Raven’s girl and she was good. Dreamer has a promo with Douglas which is basically a keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Douglas offers and will be Dreamer’s tag partner to combat ECW World Tag Team Champions Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck. They agree that whomever gets a singles title first shall give the other man the first shot.

Final Thoughts:
Mostly action this week for ECW since a lot of angle progression occurred over the last several weeks. I’m beyond excited to see the Raven/Dreamer feud continue on.

Thanks for reading.

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