ECW Hardcore TV 7/26/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
From: Philadelphia, PA

1.) Kronus defeated Prodigy
2.) ECW World Champion Terry Funk defeated Shane Douglas by disqualification

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) The show opens with highlights from the Gangstas vs. Dudley Boys steel cage match. New Jack climbed to the top of the cage and jumped off to deliver a diving headbutt on D-Von Dudley. The crowd went nuts for that. Dudley Boys get control of the match as Bubba atomic drops Mustafa and D-Von drops Jack onto Mustafa. D-Von manages to escape as Jack knocked D-Von off the cage with a right hand. Bubba hit an ace crusher off the top rope on Jack but the moves knocks Bubba out as Bubba is holding his ankle. Mustafa takes advantage and pins Bubba to regain the titles.

2.) Joey Styles starts the show with his usual opening but notices Blue Meanie in the crowd. Lance Wright comes over and interviews Meanie. Meanie has a Taz shirt on and appears to be mocking Taz. Meanie runs away when Wright suggests that. Rick Rude makes his way down to the ring with two women. Rude says he has signed a two year deal with ECW and is no longer on a day to day agreement. Styles and Rude promote the six man tag team cage match taking place later on. A few fans think that Rude may be the mystery tag partner for Dreamer and Sandman.

3.) Joel Gertner and the ECW Tag Team Champions Dudley Boys cut a promo about defending the tag titles at Hardcore Heaven 1997. Gertner jokes about defending the titles against the Eliminators, but Saturn is still hurt. They will instead be defending against the Gangstas if they are able to show up to the event. Bubba says the belts are theirs if they wish to have them. Gertner is going to petitioned that the Dudley Boys regain the tag titles since the Gangstas can’t make the pay per view.

4.) Joey Styles says that New Jack hurt his back in the cage match and wonders who will defend the tag titles if the Gangstas can’t defend the titles.

5.) Prodigy attacks Kronus at the start with right hands followed by a hurricanrana and dropkick sending Kronus to the floor. Prodigy takes Kronus out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Prodigy goes to the top and hits a hurricanrana to take Kronus down in the ring. Kronus backdrops Prodigy over the top to the floor and Saturn breaks his crutch over his back. Kronus hits a gut wrench suplex. Kronus continues with a spinning heel kick. Kronus slams Prodigy and goes to the top hitting a 450 splash for the win. (**. It was a quick match and Prodigy looked rather good in there. I’d say he looked better than Kronus. That’s what I gathered from it. I mean, Kronus needed help from Saturn to defeat a lesser known name. This should have been a hint as to what his future looked like in ECW.)

6.) Shane Douglas cuts a promo before the title match with ECW World Champion Terry Funk. He basically repeats the promo he said last week about people holding it for him before and how tonight he’ll get it back.

7.) Funk tosses his championship at Douglas but misses and the championship lands in the front row where the Hat Guy catches it. Douglas comes off the apron with a double axe handle but Funk hits him with a chair. Funk tosses Douglas over the guard railing into the crowd. Funk delivers a few headbutts and left hands in the front row. Funk puts Douglas on the announcers table and whacks Shane with a steel chair. Funk chases Douglas into the crowd as Douglas looks for an exit. They are outside now as Douglas is literally trying to get in the ring truck! Funk sends Douglas into the truck and garage door a few times. Douglas whacks Funk over the head with a steel chair several times in the crowd. Funk staggers on his feet and whacks Douglas with a chair a few times. They get back into the ring where Douglas hits Funk over the legs with a crutch and stomps away on Funk’s left knee. Douglas goes for a spinning toe hold but Funk counters with a rollup for a two count. Douglas chop blocks Funk and chokes the champ with a crutch. Funk drops Douglas throat first across the top rope. Douglas begs off after being slapped a few times. Douglas punches Funk several times but Funk asks for more right hands. Douglas comes off the ropes but can’t drop Funk. Funk chops Douglas against the ropes several times. Funk backdrops Douglas coming out of the corner. Funk tosses Douglas over the top and Shane lands on the announcers table, which doesn’t break. Funk puts Douglas through the table with a vertical suplex on the floor! Funk rolls Douglas into the ring and tosses a few chairs into the ring.

Douglas low blows Funk to avoid a chair shot in the ring. Douglas sets up two chairs. Douglas attempts a suplex onto the chairs, but Funk counters and hits a vertical suplex driving Douglas back first onto the chairs! Funk whacks Douglas over the back with a chair. Funk connects with a knee breaker over the chair and slams a few chairs onto Douglas legs and body. Funk puts the spinning toe hold on Douglas but Francine gets in the ring. Funk grabs Francine and atomic drops Francine! Francine rolls to the floor while it has allowed Douglas to roll to the floor. Funk tosses a chair onto Douglas and goes back to the spinning toe hold on the floor. Chris Candido comes out from behind and attacks Funk. Francine is choking Funk, too. Funk gets to his feet and returns to the ring. Funk slams Francine and decks Douglas a few times with right hands. Funk puts the spinning toe hold on Douglas again but Douglas fights out of the hold with right hands. Funk drops the referee with a headbutt as Francine gets back into the ring but the camera cuts off. We don’t see the finish of the match. We come back and Joey Styles tells us that there was a disqualification finish. (**. Not seeing the finish of the match is a bummer and makes me think it was ad-libbed after the fact. They mostly brawled, which was expected. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it, and it was okay as it’s setting something bigger up, I’d imagine.)

8.) Todd Gordon issued the disqualification and said there was no excuse after Francine got involved. They apparently recreated the Mike Tyson incident as Francine bit the ear of Terry Funk.

9.) Jerry Lawler is ripping on Tommy Dreamer and Sandman during their entrance saying that nobody would be their partner. Rick Rude gets a microphone and refutes Lawler saying they have a partner, and it’s him! Rude leaves the commentary area and makes his way towards the ring. Dreamer gives Rude a beer and Rude chugs it before entering the ring. Rude enters the cage with Sandman and Dreamer! Lawler loves the idea of beating up Rude, too. Rude ends up clotheslining Dreamer and Sandman gets taken out by Sabu. I was totally expecting that heel turn by Rude. Rude setup Dreamer and Sandman! Beulah slaps Rude and Rude rams Beulha face first into the cage! Rude slides a chair into the ring as RVD and Sabu are beating down Dreamer and Sandman. Rude shoves referees down and locks the cage door. The show closes…

Final Thoughts:
I don’t understand the Gangstas winning the cage match but then not being the tag champs because they got injured. It kind of makes the title change pointless. I’m not gonna lie, but I’m rather bummed to see Rude turn heel. I was enjoying his face persona in ECW. The episode is pretty good and continued the feuds heading into Hardcore Heaven.

Thanks for reading.

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