Written by: Bob Colling
Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
From: Philadelphia, PA
1.) Terry Funk defeated Tommy Rich
2.) Lance Storm defeated Balls Mahoney
3.) ECW Tag Team Champions The Eliminators defeated Sabu & Rob Van Dam to retain the titles
1.) Beulah says on April 13th we’ll see something so extreme that is will be barely legal. Yeah, she’s a clever one.
2.) Really? This needs to be paid off? The fans use a surprisingly witty “YOU SUCK COCK” chant which gets a laugh out of me. Funk soaks in the love while Rich heads into the crowd to feed it to the locals, instead of getting fed as was the style in 1981. Terry busts him open with his left hands all of 3 seconds into the match, and Rich is on weak legs. They head outside, where Rich tries a kneelift, but he hits the guardrail instead of Terry. Funk smashes a chair into Tommy’s leg a dozen times or so, and Rich hobbles around like Zack Gowen. Back in the ring, Terry takes a seat on the chair, and starts lecturing Rich about respect while bitch slapping him over and over. Then he tosses the chair away cuz that’s not how Funk do; but that turns out to be a mistake because Tommy finds his wild fire and gives it to Terry. Funk is introduced face to face with the ring post, and dropped into the front row. Rich gives Terry a couple of REALLY weak chair shots to the head, and they head back in. Rich works a half crab across the top rope, while the fans give him the love via a “YOU FAT FUCK” chant. Tommy uses it for inspiration, and clotheslines Funk until he starts to bleed. A DDT looks to finish, but Funk won’t stay down. A second DDT gets another 2, and Rich finally has enough of the ref’s “slow” counts and DDTs HIM too – twice! Terry rolls to the “safety” of the table set up at ringside, but Rich grabs a chair and drives it into Funk’s knee. Rich gives himself a standing ovation, but Funk’s not down til he’s down, and starts throwing his desperation windmill punches. Rich sweeps Funk’s legs, and tries to finish Terry with the spinning toe hold – how heelish! Terry escapes and drops a knee to Rich’s junk, and now HE works the spinning toe hold until Rich gives it up (again?) at 10:51. Funk celebrates with another kick to the plums, and stands victorious with the fans. **1/2 (Written by: Chris Fothergill-Brown, ECW Crossing The Line Again ’97 Review)
3.) Backstage, Terry Funk cuts a promo but we can still here the crowd in the background which makes it kind of hard to heard him at first. Funk tells a story about Freckles Brown riding a bull, which he managed to do for eight-seconds. Funk wants to have his day in the ring with ECW World Champion Raven. Funk can give his family a memory if he can defeat Raven for the championship. “This dog is going to have its day.” He is confident that he will raise his hand saying that they were able to do it their way.
4.) Bubba and D-Von Dudley cut a promo saying that they have been looking around for the Gangstas all over town but they haven’t been able to find them. Bubba laughs saying that the Gangstas are cowards. D-Von says that the Gangstas will not be healed when they get their hands on them.
5.) This seems to be joined in progress, but it’s not far along because Balls isn’t sweaty. Balls no sells a lot of the early offense, but a spinning heel kick takes him off his feet. Balls tries one of his own, but Storm sidesteps and he twists his knee up between the ropes and the fall to the floor. A slingshot senton from Storm keeps Balls down, but back in, Mahoney turns the tables with a gutshot to stop a flying attack. A legdrop gets 2, while a t-bone gets nothing but probably hurt like hell. The Vaderbomb connects, and Balls grins sheepishly about his impending victory, but Storm kicks out. Balls whips Lance to the corner, by a springboard back elbow knocks the big guy down, and Storm gets back on the attack with his speed. A beautiful missile dropkick, with Storm’s rattail flowing like a beautiful golden sunset over a pristine lake setting gets 2. Balls recovers fast, and piledrives the small guy and goes for an elbowdrop off the second rope. It misses, and Storm quickly finishes with the spinning heel kick off the top at 5:22. This was a fun small man / big man clash, and probably about as good as anything you’ll get out of Mahoney. **(Written by: Chris Fothergill-Brown, ECW Crossing The Line Again ’97 Review)
6.) ECW World Champion Raven cuts a promo on Terry Funk. He wants Funk to at least buy them a round of drinks if he is going to bore them with war stories. Raven says that fate will bring them together, but Funk won’t get his happy ending. Raven wishes that his father died in his arms because he’d have a better childhood. Raven is ECW World Champion because nobody can beat him.
7.) A freshly shorn Saturn starts with RVD, who struts around looking far too comfortable in his own skin right now. A spin kick knocks down Saturn, but he comes right back with a gorgeous dropkick to the face for 1. Kronus tags in and shows off, but he’s in there with the biggest show-off of them all, and Kronus is taken down with a bunch of martial arts kicks. A double-team slingshot splash introduces Sabu to the match, but Kronus hits a spinning heel kick to keep him at bay. A pumphandle suplex gets 2. Sabu hits a springboard back elbow off an Irish whip and turns matters back to Van Dam. Kronus rakes the eyes, and Saturn joins the fray as they hit stereo spinning heel kicks for 2! Sabu quickly holds Saturn hostage in a camel clutch, allowing RVD to hit a baseball slide dropkick to the face. Gory special is applied mid-ring, and Sabu flies off the top with an elbow to Saturn’s ribs. Kronus barely saves at 2, but it’s enough for Saturn to come back with a dropkick to the face. Saturn tries to block a tag by throwing a knee to Van Dam’s ear, but he manages to get there and Sabu heads in … right into a Saturnbomb for 2! Kronus and RVD throw down outside the ring, while Saturn drops Sabu with a Diamond Cutter. Everything breaks down now, and guys wind up in all parts of the outside area. Sabu dives at Saturn in the front row, drawing an “ECW” chant when he clears the guardrail. They head back in, and Sabu works a single leg crab while RVD drops a leg for 2. Rolling Thunder is complimented with a legdrop, and that gets 2. Saturn tags in his buddy, and Kronus greets Van Dam with a pump kick. Top rope splash gets 1 before Sabu saves, but he doesn’t see Saturn flying in next with a splash, and THAT gets 2.
The show gets stopped with a quick scoop slam, and the challengers hit a top rope legdrop/splash combo for 2. Kronus tries to DDT Sabu, but it’s reversed into a hammerlock. Saturn breaks it up, Kronus hits an enzuigiri, and Saturn drops a leg for 2. Another enzuigiri sets up a superkick, and Kronus gets 2. A second rope senton backsplash has Kronus fired up and saying Bad Words, but he’s a little too full of pip and zip, getting backdropped to the outside by Sabu. Sabu sets up a table with Kronus on it, gets in, and goes for the triple jump legdrop; except Saturn’s too close and trips Sabu up while going for the top rope springboard. Sabu uses a leg lariat to fight off Saturn, while Van Dam brings the table into the ring. The Eliminators clean house before anything comes of it, but it remains in the ring, lurking like a bad dream. Saturn adds to the mess by getting a short painter’s ladder, but when he heads up to attack Van Dam, Sabu dropkicks it from behind and he falls on his partner instead! Both guys are wiped out with ladder shots, and they try for a dual pin. Both guys kick out, so the challengers climb each side of the ladder, giving the champs just enough time to get up and nail the ladder with Total Elimination to bring them crashing back down to reality. The fans are on their feet chanting “ECW” as Styles fills with company pride, while Saturn sets the ladder up ON the table. The table doesn’t look too sturdy, and as Saturn slowly makes his way up for whatever the hell he has planned, Van Dam kicks him off and nails him with the Van Daminator! Kronus barely saves the day, and once Sabu tosses Saturn, he’s left alone with the challengers. With nowhere to go, he fights as best he can, but succumbs to the numbers. The Triple Jump Moonsault misses, because Saturn just barely returns to shove Van Dam in the way, and Total Elimination finishes RVD off at 20:03. So, this match has been heralded a classic in some circles, but it didn’t do it for me. There were a lot of nice spots, but it literally felt like “ok, I did my move, now it’s your turn”, with very little selling of any kind, and absolutely no storytelling at all. Where Sabu’s concerned, you either love him or you don’t, and you can find me in the Don’t section. **(Written by: Chris Fothergill-Brown, ECW Crossing The Line Again ’97 Review)
8.) Taz shows up and takes out Rob Van Dam. He teases to go after Sabu, but settles for spitting in his face and hopes that Sabu has the balls to show up to the pay per view on April 13th.
I’m hoping that Funk and Raven actually have a heated feud to warrant a championship match instead of Funk just wanting to prove that he can still do it. I understand the reasoning behind it, but in ECW I’m accustomed to blood feuds and heated rivalries. Plenty of action on this episode, and I can’t complain with that.
Thanks for reading.