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ECW House Show 1/31/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

Extreme Championship Wrestling House Show
Date: 1/31/1997
From: Lake Grove, NY

Opening Contest: Axl Rotten vs. Spike Dudley: What are the chances this goes thirty-seconds and Spike wins? I only say that because Axl may be one of the more boring wrestlers in ECW at this point. Well, for my personal taste, at least. Spike is able to dropkick Axl to the floor early on. Spike continues with arm drags and hip tosses before dropkicking Axl to the floor again. Spike takes Axl out with a somersault dive off the apron to the floor. Axl backdrops Spike over the top to the floor and plays to the crowd. Axl grabs a plastic chair and then flips off the fans deciding against using it and the fans turn on him quickly. Axl keeps control with a snap suplex for a two count. Spike fights back with a middle rope clothesline. Spike almost wins with a rollup. Axl misses a sit down splash and Spike goes to the top rope. Spike hits a flying crossbody for a two count. Spike hits a middle rope bulldog, but Axl kicks out at two. Spike comes off the top rope but is met with a clothesline in midair and Axl gets the win. (*1/4. I was actually surprised to see Axl pickup a clean win in the manner that he did. Again, Axl didn’t do anything all that good and the positives of the match where when Spike had control of the match.)

Second Contest: Chris Chetti vs. Little Guido: Early on, they trade some mat wrestling holds with Guido managing to take Chetti down to the mat a few times. Chetti counters but Guido quickly gets to the ropes to break the hold. Chetti hip tosses Guido, but gets taken down to the mat. Every time Chetti gets some momentum Guido goes to the ropes to stop him. Guido rams Chetti face first into the corner but misses a dropkick as Chetti held onto the ropes, which leads to a two count. Guido plants Chetti with a powerbomb to counter a hurricanrana attempt. Guido comes off the ropes to hit an elbow drop. Guido clotheslines Chetti in the corner and taunts the crowd. Chetti elbow strikes Guido, but gets taken to the mat quickly. Guido plants Chetti with a neckbreaker. Guido scoop slams Chetti, but Chetti nearly wins with an inside cradle. Guido cuts Chetti off with a quick clothesline. Chetti goes for a sunset flip and avoids a sit down splash attempt. Guido goes to the middle rope and nails Chetti with a double axe handle. Chetti comes off the ropes with a swinging neckbreaker. Chetti scoop slams Guido and heads to the top rope missing a somersault leg drop attempt. Guido quickly hits a swinging neckbreaker to win the match. (**. A better match than the opener even if the layout to the match didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Guido is a smaller guy than Chetti and was given spots that are normally reserved for a bigger heel when it comes to cutting off heat segments of matches. Chetti displayed some good ability and the crowd seemed to believe in him. Too short of a match and Chetti didn’t get a lot of time to shine, really.)

Third Contest: Steve Williams vs. Balls Mahoney: They have a standoff after taking each other down to the mat for a moment. They also exchange slaps in the early moments of the match. Williams works over Mahoney with strikes and a chop to drop Mahoney to the mat. Williams hammers away on Mahoney in the corner and delivers a splash in the corner. Mahoney fights back with a clothesline to knock Williams down on the apron. Mahoney beats on Williams with right hands on the floor. Mahoney sends Williams into the railing before hammering away on Williams with right hands in the corner. Mahoney scoop slams Williams and comes off the ropes to hit an elbow drop. Williams trades right hands with Mahoney until a powerslam puts him on the mat again. Mahoney slams Williams and goes to the middle rope to deliver a big splash. Williams gets his boot on the bottom rope to break the count. Mahoney goes to the top rope but gets dropkicked in midair. Williams decks Mahoney with a left hand. Williams drops Mahoney with a few short arm clotheslines. Williams catches Mahoney coming off the ropes with a powerslam and wins the match. (*1/4. It almost felt like the finish wasn’t done correctly. This never went past first gear and felt like a squash match for Williams, really.) After the match, Williams delivers a side suplex and plays to the crowd.

Fourth Contest: Roadkill vs. Bubba Ray Dudley: Roadkill attacks Bubba from behind and drives him into the corner face first followed by right hands. Roadkill splashes Bubba and continues to deliver overhand strikes. Bubba stops Roadkill with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring. Roadkill is apparently knocked loopy. He’s telling the referee that he’s out of it, I think. Bubba proceeds to cover Roadkill and wins the match. After the match, a female EMT runs into the ring and checks on Roadkill. Paul Heyman and several others check on Roadkill and he’s carried out on a stretcher.

Fifth Contest: Rob Van Dam vs. Mikey Whipwreck: Mikey avoids RVD in the corner and gets wrist control. RVD kicks Mikey a few times to knock him down to the mat. Whipwreck dropkicks RVD and then grabs his knee after a leapfrog. Mikey claims he heard a pop. RVD forearms Mikey and goes to send him into the ropes, but Whipwreck collapses. RVD rolls Mikey up and wins the match. After the match, Taz runs in and attacks RVD. I honestly thought it was an injury angle, but that appears to be a serious knee injury. Sabu appears in the ring and Taz is held back by the Eliminators. The ring proceeds to flood with wrestlers preventing them from attacking each other. Sabu does dive to the floor to take out the Eliminators.

Sixth Contest: Sabu vs. D-Von Dudley: The trend of mat wrestling to start a match continues with this one before D-Von sends Sabu to the floor. Sabu ducks a chair shot and has a standoff until Sabu strikes D-Von a few times followed by a splash in the corner. Sabu springboards off the middle rope to hit a dropkick on D-Von. Sabu dropkicks D-Von’s knee and delivers a kick to send D-Von to the floor. Sabu hits a somersault dive to the floor to take out D-Von. Sabu springboards off a chair to take D-Von out with a splash in the corner. D-Von avoids a second attempt with a clothesline in midair. D-Von springboards off a chair to splash Sabu in the corner. D-Von nails Sabu with a forearm smash for a two count. Sabu avoids a chair shot, but D-Von hits a second attempt for a two count. D-Von whacks Sabu over the head with a steel chair. D-Von drives Sabu down with a side slam and comes off the middle rope hitting a leg drop for a two count. D-Von clotheslines Sabu followed by right hands. D-Von comes off the ropes to hit a jumping headbutt for another two count. Sabu smashes D-Von with a chair right to the face for a two count. Sabu scoop slams D-Von to hit a slingshot leg drop for a two count. D-Von delivers a clothesline followed by more right hands. Sabu hits a springboard heel kick after sending D-Von chest first into the corner. Sabu hits a moonsault for a two count.

Sabu runs into a powerslam by D-Von for a two count. D-Von climbs to the top and is met with another chair shot. Sabu completes botches a hurricanrana attempt and lands on his head. Sabu goes to the top turnbuckle but is stopped by D-Von. D-Von drives Sabu down with a superplex for a two count. Sabu tries for a suplex, but D-Von counters with a front suplex. D-Von climbs to the top rope and barely hits a diving headbutt. D-Von brings a chair into the ring and whacks Sabu over the head with a few shots. D-Von decides against another chair shot and instead goes to the top rope with the chair. Sabu dropkicks the chair into D-Von’s face and hits a springboard moonsault for the win. (*1/2. Ya know, this was actually decent at the start, but it spiraled into a mess and that can’t be a surprise when it comes to Sabu matches. I’m honestly just glad there wasn’t a legit injury to derail the match like the previous two matches.)

Joel Gertner comes out and is welcomed with an “asshole” chant. Gertner is getting trash thrown at him and is clearly over as a heel in ECW. He’s putting over Sabu, but is actually claiming that D-Von won the match. That leads to Sabu beating him up. Sabu gets a table and places it over the apron and railing. Sabu goes for a dive, but Taz comes out and pulls Gertner off. Sabu goes to attack Taz, but Taz ducks on the apron and Sabu crashes through the table on the floor.

Seventh Contest: ECW Tag Team Champions Perry Saturn & John Kronus vs. Brian Lee & Chris Candido: Saturn and Candido start the championship match. The fans are chanting “Rest in Peace” towards Lee, in reference to the fake Undertaker gimmick in ’94. Saturn takes Candido down to the mat but they quickly have a standoff. Saturn shoulder blocks Candido and misses a spin kick leading to another standoff. Candido works over Saturn with right hands in the corner. Saturn fights back and hits a heel kick on Candido. Candido tags in Lee after taunting Saturn. Saturn goes right after Lee, but is met with a chokeslam. Lee does the same to Kronus. Candido taunts the champs again leading to them attacking the challengers and superkicking Lee to the floor. Kronus sends Candido to the floor following a spinning kick. Saturn dives to the floor and takes out Lee with a crossbody. Kronus hits a handspring back elbow on Candido. Kronus and Lee trade strikes on the floor. Saturn takes Candido out with a sit out vertical suplex for a two count. Saturn delivers another kick and Lee enters the ring. Lee drives Saturn down to the mat face first. Candido connects with a slingshot vertical suplex on Saturn for a two count. Saturn is double teamed and choked on the mat by Lee.

Kronus enters and trips over Saturn in a weird comical moment. Lee continues to beat on Saturn with strikes in the corner. Saturn spin kicks Lee to the mat but Lee fights back with a quick clothesline. Candido controls Saturn with a sleeper hold on the mat. Candido delivers a kick to Saturn’s head for a two count. Lee pulls Saturn to the apron and sets a table up on the floor. Lee suplexs Saturn onto the table, which doesn’t break. Lee sends Saturn hard back first into the corner. Lee whacks Kronus with a chair on the floor. Saturn is kneed by Lee on the apron and decked by Candido with a right hand. Candido puts Saturn on the top turnbuckle but Kronus gets involved and Saturn kicks Candido off the top rope. Lee gets tagged in and misses a big boot allowing Saturn to deliver a superkick. Kronus gets the hot tag and cleans house with strikes. Lee blocks a kick by Saturn and attempts a chokeslam but Saturn lands on top for a two count. Lee gets kicked by the Eliminators and the same happens to Candido. Lee stops them with a double clothesline. Candido dumps Saturn over the top to the floor and Lee powerslams Kronus. Candido goes to the top and they hit a rocket launcher for a two count as Saturn breaks up the cover.

Lee clotheslines Kronus to the floor and punches Saturn to the mat. Candido climbs the top and accidentally dropkicks Lee. Candido is sent to the floor and Lee is met with Total Elimination leading to a three count. (***. That was a really solid tag team match and filled with mostly entertaining offense. This exceeded my expectations. Lee felt like he was being protected before the finish and I enjoyed the way he was presented.) After the match, The Gangstas come out and they brawl with the Eliminators.

Eighth Contest: ECW Television Champion Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2: Pitbull storms the ring and Douglas hits him with the championship. Douglas yanks Pitbull down by his chain and tries to toss him across the ring, but Pitbull counters and hammers away on Douglas in the corner. Pitbull sends Douglas hard back first into the corner. Pitbull clotheslines Douglas with his chain. Pitbull scoop slams Douglas for a two count. Pitbull tosses Douglas with a fallaway slam but Douglas backdrops Pitbull over the top to the floor. Douglas takes Pitbull out with a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Pitbull sends Douglas into the guard railing and pulls padding off the floor. Pitbull scoop slams Douglas onto the floor. Francine gets on the apron and distracts Pitbull allowing Douglas to deliver a chop block and works over the left leg. Douglas takes Pitbull down with a dragon screw leg whip. Douglas wraps Pitbull’s leg over the middle rope but Pitbull fights back only for Douglas to deliver a dropkick to Pitbull’s left knee. Douglas locks in a half Boston Crab, but isn’t able to get a submission. Pitbull hammers away on Douglas with right hands and takes Douglas down with a swinging neckbreaker. Pitbull spikes Douglas with a piledriver. Pitbull lifts Douglas up by his throat and connects with a clothesline. Pitbull twists Douglas neck trying to get a submission. Douglas fights out of the hold with right hands in the corner.

On the floor, Douglas pummels Pitbull with right hands backing him against the railing. Pitbull press slams Douglas on the floor. Douglas misses a springboard crossbody off the middle rope. Pitbull goes to the top rope but Francine shakes the ropes and Pitbull is crotched. Douglas comes over and hits a superplex for a two count. Douglas takes Pitbull over with a double under hook suplex. Douglas takes Pitbull over with a vertical suplex. Douglas takes Pitbull over with a side suplex for a two count. Douglas locks in an abdominal stretch and Francine adds some leverage. Suddenly, Rick Rude is heard on the microphone and says he’s back. Rude is wearing a mask and he wants his woman. Francine walks over to Rude and slaps him. Pitbull drives Douglas down with a back suplex for a near fall. Rude is staring down Francine after the slap. Rude picks Francine up and puts her over his shoulder and then spanks her as the crowd goes nuts. Rude sits down and puts her over his knee and spanks her several times. Pitbull backdrops Douglas and pummels him with right hands. Brian Lee and Chris Candido enter the ring and attack Pitbull leading to a disqualification. Pitbull #1 comes out with a steel chair and makes the save for his partner to end the match. (*1/2. There wasn’t much going on here for entertainment. It felt slow and was just mainly basic wrestling. They did a few things on the floor that added interest to the match, but the main issue is between Douglas and Pitbull #1 to begin with, so this was just a matter of getting Douglas on the card and protecting the bigger match.)

Prior to the main event, Stevie Richards tries to recruit Tommy Dreamer for the bWo, but that doesn’t work very well. Richards tries to convince Dreamer, but Raven attacks from behind. Richards says it wasn’t a trap.

Main Event: ECW World Champion Raven & Stevie Richards vs. The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer: Raven is nearly pinned by Dreamer with a rollup as Richards and Raven shove each other. Dreamer tosses powder into Raven’s eyes. Raven proceeds to DDT Richards, Meanie and Nova while blinded. Sandman gets into the ring with his kendo stick and whacks Raven over the head with it. Dreamer goes to the floor and sends Raven into the guard railing back first. Dreamer whacks Raven over the back with a steel chair. Dreamer clotheslines Raven as Sandman sent Raven into Dreamer. Dreamer places Raven over the railing gut first and Sandman comes off the apron with a leg drop. Sandman’s music has been playing for most of the match. Sandman whacks Raven with a chair and Dreamer does the same. Dreamer baseball slides the chair into Raven’s face. Dreamer low blows Raven with the kendo stick. Sandman and Dreamer clothesline Raven with the kendo stick. Dreamer breaks a crutch over the back of Raven. A fan tried to jump the rail and was stopped by security. Richards is just watching Raven get his ass kicked. Sandman asks Richards if he wants a piece of Raven.

Richards goes a superkick but misses Raven and hits Dreamer on accident. Raven holds Sandman for Richards, but Richards hits Raven on accident. Richards ducks a clothesline and superkicks Sandman. Richards walks out on the match and goes backstage. Raven low blows both Dreamer and Sandman but is backdropped. Dreamer DDTs Raven and Sandman gets the three count. (1/2*. Well, this wasn’t even a tag match, really. It was just Raven getting beaten up and teasing Richards eventual full face turn, I’d guess. I was hoping for an actual match and instead it was all angle.)

Final Thoughts:
For the most part, this didn’t feel like it was a true ECW show. They focused a lot on mat wrestling to start matches and they didn’t have much usage of weapons throughout. There was a lot of angle advancements, which you’d think would be saved for TV and focus on in-ring for house shows. Aside from the tag title match, the show is skippable and there’s nothing must-see here.

Thanks for reading.

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