Written by: Bob Colling
Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
From: Jim Thorpe & Philadelphia, PA
1.) The Bruise Brothers defeated Shane Douglas & Tommy Dreamer
2.) Cactus Jack defeated Mikey Whipwreck
3.) Taz defeated Chris Jericho
4.) ECW World Champion Raven defeated Shane Douglas to retain the title
1.) The show starts off with FanCam footage of a brawl between the team of the Bruise Brothers taking on Shane Douglas and Tommy Dreamer. They are battling at the concession stand where Dreamer is laid out in the doorway. Joey Styles references WCW UnCensored saying that every night in ECW is uncensored. Dreamer sends Don Harris through a table. That’s all we get for footage of the brawl.
2.) This is the final appearance for Mick Foley before selling out to the WWF machine and getting remade into Mankind. Jack works Mikey’s injured neck and stomps him. Nothing fancy there. Running knee and Mikey gets tossed. Mikey dodges a chair, but hits the post. Back in, Mikey fights back and dumps Cactus with his own Cactus Clothesline. Backdrop suplex on the floor, and back in Mikey gets a legsweep. Jack dumps him out onto the table…and it doesn’t break. Big elbow from the second rope to the concrete follows, as Jack busts out the classics for his last match. Mikey keeps fighting him off, however, and they head into the crowd. Mikey comes back in and then comes barrelling out of the ring like RVD on a sugar high with an insane somersault into the front row that nearly misses and ends his career right there. Jack clotheslines him over the railing again, and suplexes him on the floor. Back in, he debuts the Mandible Claw, but no one has a clue what’s he supposed to be doing. Just goes to show what training the audience can do for even the dumbest finisher.
Piledriver gets two. Double-arm DDT gets two. Guillotine on the apron, but he dives at Mikey on the floor and hits the railing instead, which is quite the sick bump. Back in, Mikey absolutely smokes him with a chairshot, about 0.8 on the Rocky Scale. A full 1.0 would require Mick to be handcuffed. It gets two. Again with the furniture, and Mick bails while clutching a Leonard Cohen album. I am not making that up. They brawl through the crowd and arrive over at the broadcast area, where Mikey does a balcony dive onto Cactus. They drag each other to the ring and back in, but Jack nails him on the way down from the top rope and MURDERS him with a chair. Thank god it was only on the back or the kid would be dead, I swear to god. Piledriver on the chair puts Mikey out of his pain at 16:24. This was, as Good Ol JR might say, a hellacious asskicking and a very physical encounter. Both guys sold like champs, too. ***3/4 Jack pesters the terrified Mikey into a final hug goodbye, and then delivers his farewell speech, which is actually quite heartfelt and moving, very unlike the Mick Foley that the world knew at that point. Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie come out for a dance number to “New York, New York”, and then Jack struts off into the sunset. (Credit: Scott Keith, ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash ’96 Review)
3.) Tazz works a cross armbreaker to start, and overpowers Jericho. Jericho gets a quick german suplex for two. Tazz bails. Springboard dropkick puts Tazz on the floor again, and Jericho follows up with a plancha. Back in, he goes up with a flying splash for two. Suplex and Lionsault get two. Jericho unleases the CANADIAN VIOLENCE, but Tazz gets a northern lights suplex for two. Jericho superkicks him and goes up, but gets crotched. Tazz’s superplex is countered by Jericho landing on his feet, and he gets a clothesline. Tazz gets another suplex – T-Bone this time – and Styles sells the neck injury in admirable fashion. The ref wants to stop things, but Jericho’s tough. He’s only 30 seconds tough, however, as Tazz quickly puts him out of his misery with the Tazzmission. The Path of Rage is still going strong. Nowadays it’s the Path of Jelly Donuts, but there’s not much call for a monster midget heel anyway. *1/2 Tazz keeps beating on Jericho and fellow Stampede alumnus Brian Pillman comes out to save, but then changes his mind and cackles gleefully until Shane Douglas runs him off again. (Credit: Scott Keith, ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash ’96 Review)
4.) A video package highlighting the feuds between Tommy Dreamer, Shane Douglas and The Sandman during the existence of ECW. Shane Douglas turning on Dreamer in ’94, and the violent feud between Sandman and Dreamer that involved Sandman pretending to be blinded. Sandman won the ECW World Championship from Shane Douglas in ’95. Douglas has a deal with Dreamer to protect Beulah but also apparently has a new deal with Sandman.
5.) Raven complains that he has the gout and can’t wrestle tonight, but Stevie decides to ambush Douglas and the match starts anyway. Raven DDTs Shane for two. They brawl out, Raven limping around the whole way. He DDTs Shane again, on the floor, and decides to try for the countout win. In ECW? Douglas makes it back at 8. Raven sends him to the railing and Richards & Meanie run in, but get decked by Shane. He then uses a chair on Raven’s injured leg, and DDTs him for two. Shane stops to spank Kimona, who of course was asking for it and really enjoyed it once it was done. You know, maybe if Paul Heyman’s dad was a shrink instead of a lawyer, he might have been a much nicer person with less issues towards women. It must kill him to work under Stephanie. Shane then kicks Kimona to the curb, but Raven kicks him in the curb, if you know what I mean. The ref gets bumped and Douglas wipes out the Dynamic Dipshits and Raven with the BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEXES OF DOOM, but there’s no ref to see the sure pinfall. The Bruise Brothers attack Shane, Raven gets two. Shane kicks a chair in Raven’s face and gets a hotshot for two. Atomic drop on a chair and a clothesline get two. Raven DDTs him on the chair for the pin at 8:40. They just never meshed, and the result was a dull match. ** A six-person brawl with the Bruises and Raven against Tommy, Sandman and Shane breaks out, but never went anywhere in the long run. Joey is confused, and says that the only real certainty in life is that WCW’s next PPV will suck. WCW’s next PPV was Uncensored ’96, so if you need lottery numbers, call Joey. (Credit: Scott Keith, ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash ’96 Review)
6.) The show ends with Shane Douglas on the mat yelling at both Sandman and Dreamer to remember the deal. Douglas seems to be telling Sandman that but is laughing at the apparent control that he has. Whenever Sandman turns his back, Douglas laughs. 2 Cold Scorpio comes out and hugs Sandman before leaving the ring.
Plenty of stuff going on here and the Mikey/Cactus match was nicely done as Scott puts over. ECW television is on fire and is pretty much can’t miss television. By far it’s the best TV in wrestling in ’96, sorry Nitro and RAW.
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.