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ECW Hardcore TV 2/8/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

Extreme Championship Wrestling presents Hardcore TV
Date: 2/8/1997
From: Philadelphia, PA

Matches:
1.) Stevie Richards defeated Ricky Morton
2.) Steve Williams defeated Axl Rotten
3.) ECW World Champion Raven defeated Steve Williams to retain the title
4.) The Sandman defeated D-Von Dudley

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Paul E. Dangerously and the entire locker room is in the ring to kick off the program. He hypes up the first pay per view taking place on April 13th. He announces the main event as being a match between Taz taking on Sabu. Half the locker room is in the ring and the other half is on the Eagles Nest. Dangerously reveals that the show won’t just be seen in the ECW Arena, because they will show the whole world on pay per view.

2.) The Triple Threat cut a promo with ECW TV Champion Shane Douglas talking about getting to legendary status and leaving their mark. They left their mark on the Pitbulls and Tommy Dreamer, now they want to fight them in a six man tag match. He plans on people talking about them for centuries to come. Brian Lee has his back and Chris Candido chimes in saying that Pitbull #1 tried to comeback and break Shane’s neck. When Candido broke his neck nobody cared about him. Candido is pissed that nobody cared about him.

3.) Wrestling, being the spectator sport that it is, relies on a specific criteria for its lady managers. Unfortunately, Ricky Morton does not understand this, bringing his very real girlfriend to the ring for god knows what reason. She looks like one of the rejected girls who didn’t make it to TV from last week’s Cedar Rapids Miss nWo contest. Thankfully, the Blue Guy knows exactly how to handle the “SHOW YOUR TITS” chants.

Morton takes a lot of heat, not getting anywhere near the old school respect that Terry Funk commands. And it’s for that reason Morton tells them to kiss his ass, and starts in with his antiquated offense. Stevie hits a clothesline, which kicks off a loud “BWO” chant. Morton plays possum and tosses Stevie outside, but Meanie was waiting for him and slams Morton’s face into the ring post. Back in, the Emerald City Slam gets 2. Stevie tries a cross arm breaker, but Morton wriggles out and stomps on his face. Morton punches Richards in the pooter, but Stevie only sells for a second before mounting Ricky in the corner and playing the 10-punch count-a-long, complete with face-fucking on 9. The Jackknife Powerbomb only gets 2, so Stevie warms up the band and finishes with the Stevie Kick at 5:35. Morton’s girlfriend joins the bWo after the match, wearing the t-shirt like a diaper thong. Totally one-sided, exactly as it should have been en-route to establishing Stevie as a legit challenger to Raven. *1/2 (Written by: Chris Fothergill-Brown, ECW Crossing The Line Again ’97 Review)

4.) ECW TV Champion Shane Douglas cuts another promo on Pitbull #1. Douglas says that everyone has talked badly about him for what he has done to Pitbull. Douglas recalls a time when nobody question his word, but times have changed. He remembers that Pitbull had power bombed Francine through a table prior to breaking his neck. Shane protected himself when Pitbull attacked him while wearing a halo. He can’t wait for Pitbull to be escorted out in an ambulance.

5.) Steve Williams takes out Axl Rotten in under two minutes with a running power slam and wins with a back drop driver.

6.) ECW Tag Team Champions the Eliminators cut a promo about two teams getting a shot at their titles. They take it as a great opportunity to take out two teams at once. Both teams will experience total elimination.

7.) Joey Styles interviews Steve Williams, who wants a shot at ECW World Champion Raven. That brings out Raven who says that if he wants the gold then he is going to have to take it from him. So, that leads to a brawl and eventually a title match is made for right now.

8.) Raven wastes no time in throwing Williams face-first to the ring post, and smashes a chair over the Doc’s back. Styles does a fantastic job selling Williams as the most dominant North American wrestler of the last decade, even though the only reason he hasn’t been pinned since the late 80’s on US soil is because he’s been hanging out in Japan and doing minimal high profile work in the States. Raven sets Williams on a table by the guardrail, but he rolls away as Raven flies in with a legdrop off the top and through the table. Williams grabs the chair, and gives Raven a shot to the face that would draw the ire of every medical professional in America today. Both guys are busted open, but Williams refuses to sell the pain, tossing Raven back into the middle of the ring. A powerslam gets 2, and a couple of fans were gasping there thinking that was it. Doc throws a series of clotheslines, and just as Raven escapes the third and looks to be on the move, Williams throws him halfway across the ring with a release German for 2. Raven staggers around, completely lost, and Williams nails a top rope shoulderblock for 2. He goes up again, and Raven throws a bunch of desperation haymakers to stop the attack. Williams is stunned just enough for Raven to jump up and hit the superplex. Charged with momentum, Raven jumps up in his pose to a massive reception … and passes out.

THE BLUE WORLD ORDER, complete with TYLER and LORI FULLINGTON, make their way down to the ring. A confused Raven asks Stevie what the deal is, and the next thing you know they’re throwing punches at each other. He forgets all about Richards, who punches Raven in the back of the head, and he falls forward, noggin to noggin with Richards, knocking both men out. The Doc gorilla presses Raven into the entire bWo at ringside, except for Richards who’s still in the ring and offering his shirt to Williams. Williams tears it apart, so Richards gives him the Steviekick, but Williams pops up! A second one yields the same, and Death tells him to bring it on. The fans chant “ONE MORE TIME”, but this one’s blocked. Williams spins him around, and Stevie manages to snap off that third Steviekick. Williams isn’t getting up this time. A bloodied Raven sees his opportunity, hits the Evenflow, and retains the title at 8:27. A shame this was a one shot deal, Williams was put over like the birth of a hardcore Hulk Hogan, and he easily could have done a series with Raven. ***(Written by: Chris Fothergill-Brown, ECW Crossing The Line Again ’97 Review)

9.) ECW Tag Team Champions The Eliminators cut a promo about Sabu and Rob Van Dam saying that they have great matches. They will meet again to upstage their previous outings and they will prove they are the best tag team.

10.) D-Von manages to sit through Sandman’s entrance for roughly 45 minutes before he grows bored and jumps over the top to attack. I figure that was just to get the damn match started before his next birthday. D-Von grabs the stick, and smashes it over Sandman’s face repeatedly, and he’s already bleeding. D-Von sticks to the basics of punching Sandman in the face and jawing with the fans, but Sandman eventually figures to have had enough and kicks a field goal. The fans chant their rallying cry of “FUCK HIM UP SANDMAN, FUCK HIM UP!”, and Sandman obliges with a hotshot onto the guardrail, followed by a spinning heel kick off the apron. A table has been helpfully left at ringside, so Sandman smashes it over D-Von’s head and retrieves his Singapore cane. Repeated shots wind up breaking his toy, so Sandman whips him in the face with the splintered cane and DDT’s him. Bored, Sandman grabs a chair, drapes it across D-Von’s face, and drops a leg onto it from the top to score the easy win at 5:31. Sandman stares on, looking completely lifeless following the loss of his family, and doesn’t seem to particularly care that he won. The Sandman is probably one of the most tragic characters in wrestling history, because clearly feeds off of, and lives for the adulation of a group of fans who only love him because he’s a violent miserable drunk. But once that bell rings, he returns to his broken home, where you KNOW his fridge is stocked with about 400 cans of beer, and a half empty squeeze bottle of mustard. He’ll eventually pass out in his arm-chair, to the quiet flicker of late night infomercials from spirit-healing priests just begging you to send them money in exchange for miracle spring water, before he wakes up in a fog and returns to do it all again tomorrow. He’s the wrestling embodiment of an award winning short-film director who once said “don’t cry for me, I’m already dead”. *(Written by: Chris Fothergill-Brown, ECW Crossing The Line Again ’97 Review)

11.) Joel Gertner announces D-Von Dudley as the winner of the match, but that’s just not true. Sandman whacks Gertner over the head with a kendo stick, but is attacked by D-Von who uses the kendo stick on Sandman. Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley come down to make the save. Bubba whacks Sandman over the head with a steel chair. Spike can’t believe what he just saw. Bubba smiles at D-Von, who smiles back. Spike decides to fight his estranged brothers, but that doesn’t work well for too long. Dudley Boys hit the 3D! Sandman proceeds to get destroyed by the Dudley’s, too. Oh boy, here comes New Jack and Mustafa to make the save. New Jack drops D-Von face first onto a chair, but Bubba attacks Jack from behind. The Gangstas have been laid out by the Dudley Boys to end the program.

Final Thoughts:
Well, it’s the birth of D-Von and Bubba as a heel tag team, and it’s probably one of the best decisions the company could have done long-term. Raven/Williams is a good brawl, and I agree that a series of matches between the two on the house show circuit probably would have been a good decision. There isn’t a major development on the program, but it wasn’t a waste of television.

Thanks for reading.

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