ECW House Show 4/4/1997
Written by: Bob Colling
Extreme Championship Wrestling House Show
From: Scranton, PA
Opening Contest: Chris Chetti vs. Little Guido: Chetti chases after Guido to start the match before returning to the ring where Guido works over Chetti. Guido avoids a splash in the corner to hit a side Russian leg sweep for a two count. Guido works over Chetti until he runs into a spinning heel kick that gets Chetti a near fall. Chetti plants Guido with a power slam and Guido bails to the floor. Chetti takes Guido out with a dive over the top onto the floor! Guido counters a springboard cross body attempt with a power slam for a two count. Guido hits a snap suplex. They collide in the middle of the ring. Chetti hits a double under hook suplex but can’t keep Guido down on the pin attempt. Chetti backdrops Guido and heads to the top rope. Chetti hits a cross body but Guido rolls through and gets the pin. (**. A fine match to kick off the program. I’m starting to really enjoy Chetti’s in-ring work as he works a fast pace and can hit some fun moves. The fans wanted him to go over, but it’s a good win for Guido.)
Second Contest: Balls Mahoney vs. Axl Rotten: I’m completely expecting a hardcore brawl here between these two. Rotten got annoyed with the crowd and was going to leave but it stopped by Mahoney on the outside. They trade strikes in the ring with Rotten getting the better of the exchange. They go back to the floor where Mahoney gets a chair and whacks Rotten over the back. Axl stops Balls with a low blow and they return to the ring. Rotten clotheslines Mahoney and bites Mahoney’s forehead. Mahoney battles back with a scoop slam and a middle rope elbow drop for the win. (DUD. That was just bad.)
Third Contest: Spike Dudley vs. Cpl. Punishment: Spike sends Punishment over the top with a hurricanrana and hits a somersault dive off the apron onto the floor. Punishment plants Spike with a sit out slam. Punishment drives Dudley down to the canvas with a vertical suplex. The fans aren’t overly entertained by this as it gets a boring chant. Punishment misses a top rope elbow drop. Spike hits a top rope cross body to take Punishment out on the floor. Back in the ring, Spike hit a missile dropkick but only managed a two count. Punishment sends Spike to the floor but gets crotched on the top ope and Spike hits the Acid Drop for the win. (*. This was just an extended squash match for Spike since Punishment was never involved on ECW television or anything.)
Fourth Contest: The Bad Crew vs. Pitbull #2 in a handicap match: To the shock of nobody, Pitbull #2 is able to make short work of The Bad Crew even in a handicap match. He got the pin fall following a middle rope fall away slam.
Fifth Contest: Sabu vs. Louie Spicolli: Sabu gets the early advantage hitting a springboard dropkick to a seated Louie, but Louie quickly got up and backed away. Louie hits Sabu with a kick to the head and an elbow strike before dumping Sabu to the floor. Louie tosses a chair into the ring but gets sent into the guard railing. Sabu runs across a table and hits a cross body sending both men over the railing into the crowd! Sabu hits a triple jump dive and takes Spicolli out in the crowd! Sabu places Louie over the middle rope but misses a leg drop. Louie tries to use the chair on Sabu, but gets tackled to the canvas. Louie sets the chair up but Sabu hits a springboard axe handle to stop Spicolli. Sabu springboards off a chair to splash Louie in the corner but misses a second attempt.
Spicolli plants Sabu with a spine buster but only gets a two count. Spicolli hits a back suplex but again only gets a two count. Sabu hits Louie with a chair, but Spicolli recovers to jab Sabu with the chair a few times followed by a northern lights suplex for a near fall. Louie hits a snap suplex but Sabu comes back with an overhead suplex and a leg drop for a two count. Louie comes back with a German suplex but can’t keep Sabu down on the cover. Louie goes back to work with the chair and heads to the top rope but is stopped by a chair shot from Sabu. Sabu hits a top rope hurricanrana for a near fall. Sabu hits a slingshot somersault leg drop but Louie manages to kick out at two again. Sabu hits the triple jump moonsault but again Spicolli kicks out. Sabu attempts the move a second time but Louie gets his knees up to block it. Louie heads to the top rope but misses a knee drop. Sabu hits a top rope leg drop and locks in the camel clutch to win the match. (***. The ending sequences didn’t seem to have any kind of format or direction, but I enjoyed that they just went out there and got a pop from the crowd when the show needed one.) After the match, Louie plants Sabu with a Death Valley Driver!
Sixth Contest: ECW Television Champion Shane Douglas & Brian Lee vs. Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer: Brian Lee works over Funk while Douglas and Candido hammer away on Dreamer and Sandman. I don’t believe Sandman and Candido are part of the match due to Candido having an arm injury. Douglas whacks Dreamer over the back with a kendo stick several times while protecting Sandman. Funk scares the heels from the ring while having a chair in hand. Sandman is helped to the backstage area to make the match a regular tag team match.
Funk and Douglas start the match with Funk hitting a neck breaker but only gets a near fall on Douglas. Lee enters and is met with a DDT for a near fall. Dreamer low blows Douglas and delivers an atomic drop a couple of times sending Douglas over the top to the floor. Lee big boots Dreamer and drives his knee into the groin area of Dreamer. Lee elbow drops Dreamer several times. Lee power slams Dreamer to keep control of the bout. Douglas and Lee continue to work over Dreamer on the canvas while Funk is on the apron. Lee catapults Dreamer throat first into the bottom rope for a near fall. Douglas keeps control of Dreamer with a chin lock while jumping down onto Dreamer’s lower back. Dreamer gets up and has Douglas on his shoulders to hit an electric chair slam and Funk gets the tag.
Terry cleans house on Lee with several strikes and has the spinning toe hold on Douglas. Funk takes Lee down to the canvas and along with Dreamer put spinning toe holds on. Francine enters the ring and is nearly attacked by Funk, but Douglas knocks Terry to the floor. Douglas comes off the apron to hit a double axe handle on Funk. Sabu comes out and misses a leg drop through the table and instead crashes through the table. All four men are brawling in the ring. Sabu is tossed to the floor for Taz, apparently while Dreamer hit Douglas with a chair. Sabu hits a springboard splash on Douglas and Dreamer plants Douglas with a DDT onto a chair for the win. (**. It was a rather basic match and not much in terms of hardcore brawling that would have made it more entertaining. The final few minutes were confusing largely because of so many people out at ringside and the one camera not being able to cover it all.)
Seventh Contest: ECW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boys vs. The Eliminators vs. The Gangstas in an elimination match: The Dudley’s and the Eliminators start the match fighting in the ring with the Eliminators getting the advantage. Saturn whacks D-Von over the head with a steel chair and the same happens to Bubba. Kronus hits a moonsault on Bubba for a two count. D-Von is double teamed by Saturn and Kronus with strikes and kicks. Bubba comes out of the corner and is met with double spinning heel kicks. Saturn slams D-Von and hits a springboard moonsault for a two count. Dudley Boys battle back with stereo power bombs but here come the Gangstas and their weapons to make this a three way tag match.
New Jack and Mustafa use their various weapons as do the Eliminators on the Dudley Boys for several minutes. That’s literally what this match is about for the most part. Eliminators hit Total Elimination on Bubba, however D-Von enters and whack Kronus with a steel chair. Saturn is met with a chair shot over the back and D-Von gets the win. (*1/4. I mean if you like nothing but weapon shots and nothing much wrestling wise, you’d love this. I’m annoyed with these kind of matches in ECW, honestly.) After the match, Joel Gertner is attacked by the Eliminators.
Eighth Contest: Rob Van Dam vs. Taz: Taz slaps RVD but they trade strikes early on with RVD hitting a super kick in the corner. Taz catches RVD in the corner to hit a double leg slam and plays to the crowd before going back to work on RVD. RVD dropkicks Taz to counter a choke slam attempt. RVD botches a move badly as he leapt off the top rope, crotched himself on the top rope and still landed on Taz. That was one of the worst botches I’ve seen by RVD. RVD avoids Taz with a split in the corner but can’t avoid a t-bone suplex. RVD hits a spinning heel kick and a twisting leg drop to keep Taz on the canvas. Van Dam kicks a chair into the face of Taz and taunts the fans before hitting a standing moonsault for a two count. RVD heads to the top rope and hits the frog splash but Taz kicks out at two. Taz locks in the Taz Mission after a leapfrog and keeps RVD on the canvas and wins the match. (*1/2. That was a surprisingly quick match that I was not expecting to see as I thought they had plenty more to offer. I’m sure it would have been better if they were given more time.)
Main Event: ECW World Champion Raven vs. Stevie Richards: They have a basic start to the match with Richards working on Raven’s arm in the opening moments of the match. Raven takes Richards down to the canvas with a drop toe hold but that doesn’t last long. Raven works over Stevie in the corner with strikes to take the challenger down to the canvas. Richards avoids an elbow drop and works over the arm of Raven. They go into the crowd brawling briefly before returning to the ring where Raven has control on Richards with stomps. Raven gets a steel chair and whacks Stevie over the back with it. Richards drop toe holds Raven face first onto the steel chair. Richards attempts a running bulldog onto the chair but Raven shoves Stevie face first onto the chair instead. Raven drives his head into the groin of Richards for a near fall.
Raven dumps Richards to the floor where Blue Meanie and Nova check on their leader. Raven keeps control of Stevie with a headlock on the canvas. Raven tries to reach the ropes on a sunset flip attempt but Richards gets a near fall. Blue Meanie gets knocked off the apron and Richards gets another two count. Raven quickly stops Stevie with a clothesline and dives over the top to take the Blue World Order out with a cross body. Richards recovers to super kick Raven on the floor! Richards goes for the cover but Raven kicks out at two again. Richards scoop slams Raven and heads to the top rope but is met with a boot in midair. Raven stomps on Richards to keep the advantage in his favor. Raven sends Richards back first into a steel chair in the corner. Raven sends Stevie face first into the chair as well.
Stevie is sent to the floor and dumped over the railing into the crowd. They brawl into the crowd heading to the backstage area with the camera following them. They are going up the balcony but hey come back down. The camera gets with them as they are up in the rafters where Richards is hammering away on Raven. Richards sends Raven down stairs and plays to the fans. Raven sends Richards into the wall as they head back down the stairs were all the fans are waiting. Richards sends Raven into several empty chairs in the crowd. Richards whacks Raven over the back with a chair. Raven is pissed that a fan hit him with a chair and wants him ejected. They are back in the ring where Raven hit a double under hook suplex for a near fall. Richards fights back with right hands but is stopped by a low blow from Raven. Raven waits for Stevie to get up and hits a dropkick for another two count.
Richards nearly wins with an inside cradle and Raven regains control with a snap mare. They trade shoulder blocks and elbow strikes with Raven knocking Richards off his feet. Raven is stopped by a low blow and Richards begins to fight back with right hands and a leaping forearm strike. Richards backdrops Raven and hits a side slam for a two count. Stevie works over Raven in the corner with punches. Richards sends Raven into the referee for the ref bump. Richards plants Raven with the DDT but there is no referee for the count. Richards sets up for the Stevie Kick but Raven rolls to the floor only to be rolled back in. Raven tries to fight off Meanie and Nova but that doesn’t work. Meanie slams Raven and misses a top rope moonsault. Richards goes for the Stevie Kick but he hits Nova instead on accident. Raven misses a clothesline and Richards hits the Stevie Kick but the referee is still down. Richards has the cover but Raven gets his boot on the bottom rope, which pisses off Richards. Raven surprises Richards with an inside cradle and wins the match. (***1/4. I enjoyed that far more than I was expecting. The brawling was fun and they kept a good pace to keep my interest for a twenty plus minute match. Richards came across like a main event guy for the company here and I enjoyed his work.)
It’s a disappointing show since it seems like a loaded card and the only match that really delivered or exceeded expectations was the main event between Raven and Richards. The tag match with Funk was okay, but nothing to be impressed by. It’s not an awful show and it went by fairly quickly, it just doesn’t feature a lot of entertaining action.
Thanks for reading.