“All that’s what’s on top. What’s underneath?” – Harry Luck (The Magnificent Seven)
This week is a rather unimpressive but important stepping stone. The Tri-State Wrestling Alliance was known for hardcore matches in front of small crowds. In this episode two ECW wrestlers start the daredevil high-flying style that the promotion would be known for. And no one, including me, would have ever guessed that they would be the ones who started it.
ECW Television Episode 012
Taped: May 14, 1993
Broadcast: June 22, 1993
Taping Location: ECW Arena in South Philadelphia, PA
Announcing Team: Jay Sulli & Paul E. Dangerously
- ECW was gearing up (on television) for the final push before the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular
- Road Warrior Hawk made his debut against Jimmy Snuka. Hot Stuff International interfered in the match, and Eddie Gilbert threw a fireball in his face.
- The Super Destroyers agree to team with Sal Belomo against the Suicide Blondes, specifically in a 3 on 4 match at the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular, the fourth being Hunter Q. Robbins III.
- Terry Funk fought with the newest member of Hot Stuff International, The Dark Patriot. The other members of Hot Stuff International get involved, attacking Funk.
- Pre-Title Segment
- Full rebroadcast/recap of the Hawk vs Snuka match from the previous week where Gilbert threw the fireball into his face. Getting a big push for Hawk’s injury angle.
- Opening Segment
- And it’s the team of Jay Sulli and Paul E. Dangerously. It’s amazing, I actually prefer Sulli and Wonderful, only because they are closer to the same talent level. When Paul is in there, it makes Sulli look inept and outdated, and it limits Paul because there’s no one he can verbally spar with. 1
- Then, in a very weird segment. Jay Sulli asks Paul about the location of Stevie Wonderful. Paul says a comment about Stevie washing cars. Then later Stevie comes out and confronts Paul E. saying that he’s been talking trash about him.
- Interview Segment: The Koloffs
- Before the next match, Stevie Wonderful is interviewing the Russian Bear, Ivan Koloff. Ivan introduces his latest protege, his nephew, Vladimir Koloff. 2 Basically a larger version of Nikita. Apparently they’re a heel team, as they are challenging the Super Destroyers.
- Segment #1:ECW Championship Match: Don Muraco vs Road Warrior Hawk
- The announcers speculate whether Hawk will make the match, following the injuries last week. Muraco is listed at 288 lbs… ahem… okay.
- Hawk’s music is played 3, but out comes Tommy Cairo. Cairo, listed at 257, is dwarfed by Muraco slightly by height and substantially in girth. 4
- Cairo hits a back body drop that is more like a somersault that drops Muraco on his head. Cairo remains in control until he goes after Eddie Gilbert on the ring apron. Muraco takes over by nailing Cairo from behind. Cairo suplexes Muraco, who rolls up Tommy while pulling the trunks. Was a really strange ending as Cairo was making the babyface comeback, and Muraco quickly ended it.
- Interview Segment: Paul E. Dangerously & The Dark Patriot
- Paul cuts a very strange promo that gives me a 90s flashback nightmare talking about he big bad wolf and the three little pigs, referencing the song “Little Pig” by Green Jello. Now there’s a memory that I never thought would be brought out of the brain archives.
- Oh and the Dark Patriot uses a claw hold as his big move. That’s always the sign of a talented wrestler, the Claw Hold! 5
- Segment #2: The Dark Patriot vs J.T. Smith
- Paul mentions that Eddie Gilbert and the Dark Patriot fought for the North American title. 6 Wow, wrestling continuity. Brawling by the Patriot, and Paul E actually puts over JT Smith as one of the bright young stars in ECW. JT hits a head scissors and scoop slam on the Dark Patriot. And JT then hits a very nice (for 1993) moonsault press on the Dark Patriot. 7
- JT misses a shoulder block in the corner and hits the ring post. Ref gets bumped. Patriot takes it outside the ring, and the two of them fight to the Eagles Nest, which is an area up high where the creative team would watch the happenings. The Dark Patriot pushes JT Smith off of the Eagles Nest, which is legitimately 20 feet over a concrete floor. Then the Dark Patriot dives down onto JT Smith!
- That’s right, the first big bump for ECW Television was performed by the Dark Patriot and JT Smith! I bet no one had them in the pool! Match is called.
- Interview Segment: Tony Stetson and Rockin’ Rebel
- Stevie Wonderful gets to be the backstage heel interviewer. Typical heel team up, but at least these two seem like they know each other. Stetson claims that it was Winters fault that they lost the tag titles.
- Segment #3: Tony Stetson & Rockin’ Rebel vs Larry Winters & The Sandman
- Sandman and Winters run to the ring to attack. Winters faces off with his partner to start. Stetson looks a lot less goofy as a heel. Winters dominates for a while, but Stetson tags in Rebel. Rebel and Stetson dominate Winters. Winters fights back and eventually tags in Sandman. DDT by Sandman on Rebel, but drops his head as he irish whips Rebel off the ropes, and Rebel makes him pay with a spinebuter.
- Finish comes when Peaches gets on the ring apron. Rebel confronts her, and she slaps him for good measure, allowing Sandman to roll him up for the pinfall.
- Video Segment: King Eddie Gilbert
- This would become a staple of later ECW. The music video highlighting a particular wrestler or feud. This one is pretty lame showing a few highlights from Eddie Gilbert’s recent antics while wearing the crown. But a sign of things to come.
- Segment #4:The Suicide Blondes (Hotbody, Candido, & Michaels) w/ Robbins vs The Super Destroyers & Sal Bellomo
- Now what’s the purpose of announcing the 4 vs 3 match at the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular if they’re just going to have the same match.
- Supposed to be a typical power vs Speed match, but actually the faces dominate the Suicide Blondes, starting with Candido. Eventually he tags in Johnny Hotbody, and the faces totally devastate him with power. I’m thankful that they don’t have Sal Bellomo be the weak link in the team, just cause it’s so cliché.
- Super Destroyer 1 helps Johnny to tag in the newest member of the Blondes, Richard Michaels. 8 The faces cheat to dominate Michaels, and Paul E. rightfully gets on Sulli for not having issue with it, as he is so outspoken when the heels do it. Michaels goes for a splash. Super D #2 rolls out.
- Things start to break down, and all six men are fighting. For some reason, Paul E. comes down to interject in the match. And the Super Destroyers nail Paul E. Dangerously. And now here comes Hot Stuff International: Gilbert, Snuka, and Muraco. And it’s a pier 6 brawl, where all nine men are hitting each other, face and heel lines be damned. Jay Sulli takes it home as the chaos in the ring rules the day
- Dark Patriot and JT Smith are the first to use the high area of the ECW Arena for a spot.
- Road Warrior Hawk is scrapped from a match, due to the fireball from Eddie Gilbert.
- Hot Stuff International gets involved in the Suicide Blondes vs Super Destroyers & Sal Bellomo feud.
Ivan Koloff & Vladimir Koloff (interview only)
|ECW Heavyweight Champion
|| Don Muraco
|ECW Television Champion
|| Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
|ECW Tag Team Champions
|| The Suicide Blondes (Candido & Hotbody)
|ECW Pennsylvania Champion
|| Tommy Cairo
ECW Spotlight: World Championship Wrestling – June 1994
So, we’re fully engrossed here in 1993, right? Eastern Championship Wrestling, Philadelphia, the emergence of Paul E. Dangerously, the rise of a new style of wrestling, etc. etc. etc. But what else was going on in the wrestling world? Because ECW was always reacting to what was going on in both the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. 9 This week, I’ll focus on World Championship Wrestling.
In 1993, Eric Bischoff took over as Executive Vice President of WCW, and appointed Dusty Rhodes as his main booker. As a result 10, 1993 became the year of Vader. Vader became a monster champion, and fought off the challenges from Sting, Davey Boy Smith, and Cactus Jack. WCW was gearing up for their big summer PPV: Beach Blast. And they shot an infamously cheesy video where Vader and Sid Vicious formed “The Masters of the Power Bomb”, and the heroes of Sting and Davey Boy Smith challenged them for a tag match at Beach Blast. It was pretty embarrassing, but as Sting had an awesome match with Vader at SuperBrawl III, fans were willing to give WCW some leeway. 11
The other main development, was the re-emergence of the NWA World Title 12 as a second world championship. That title was currently held by Barry Windham as a heel. At Slamboree 1993, Barry Windham and Arn Anderson had fought each other for the title. And everyone knew that it was just a matter of time before Ric Flair would face Barry for the title .
In the tag division, two young wrestlers were paired together as a makeshift heel tag team, that caught fire. Both members would make their stamp on the wrestling world and ECW, specifically. Stunning Steve Austin and Flyin’ Bryan Pillman became the Hollywood Blondes, a cocky flashy heel tag team with great chemistry.
Other recognizable talented members of the WCW Roster: Cactus Jack, 2 Cold Scorpio, Chris Benoit 13, Ricky Steamboat, Shane Douglas, Kevin Nash. Scotty Flamingo, Steven Regal, Dustin Rhodes, and Johnny B. Badd.
These were the highlights for the internet wrestling fans. I’ll choose to forget about the Amazing Kongs, Paul Roma, Erik Watts, Johnny Gunn, and many others.
In the 80s and 90s, you always had a weird period after a supercard or PPV, and ECW is no different in 1993. For weeks, you were building for the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular, but you are left with television matches that do not reflect on what the ECW world looks like after the supercard.
The Dark Patriot vs JT Smith match was very unexpected. Wasn’t quite a great match, but started the tradition of letting average workers pull off high spots to wow the crowd. So we’re getting somewhere, people!
1. Now that’s one of the worst back-handed compliments I’ve ever given in a column.
2. Following the tradition of using stereotypical Russian names.
3. At least I think it’s Hawk’s music. The only players with recognizable theme music is Eddie Gilbert (Hot Stuff by Donna Summers) and The Super Destroyers (the theme from Halloween).
4. I think both wrestlers weights are exaggerated. One up, the other down. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
5. The claw hold, the full nelson, and the heart punch are three moves that usually indicate a complete lack of skills.
6. I think that was in Global Wrestling, but someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
7. I mean in 1993, I had only seen like 8 wrestlers perform a moonsault. So, it’s a little sloppy, but very forgivable. Today would be unacceptable.
8. I guess they changes his name from Chris Michaels. By the way, the only similarity between Chris and Shawn Michaels is the hair and the purple Rockers pants.
9. Especially with Paul Heyman helping out. You could say he was obsessed with it. Especially World Championship Wrestling.
10. And an injury to Ravishing Rick Rude
11. After Bill Watts had booked a World Title match between Ron Simmons versus The Barbarian in 1992, Sting & Davey Boy Smith vs Vader & Sid was a godsend!
12. The big gold belt herself!
13. As a tag team partner of former Midnight Express member, Bobby Eaton
Tags: ECW, Extreme Archive