– Continuing on our trip through ECW’s best year, we find Public Enemy seeking revenge on the Triple Threat for attacking them at the last show, Shane Douglas ready for a new challenger, and why exactly does Raven hate Tommy Dreamer so much
– Taped from the bingo hall.
– Your host is Joey.
– Raven & Stevie give new hired goons Stetson & Hot Body an ultimatum: Win this next match or be fired. Oh, by the way, their opponents are the Pitbulls, who just happen to be a gift to Raven from Stevie.
– The Pitbulls v. Tony Stetson & Johnny Hot Body. Status quo for the Pitbulls as they squash the competition in a brisk 0:53 with the usual. DUD
– Raven lets Stevie know he’s proud of him for his gift, a rarity in itself. I don’t know that I’d personally want a couple of doped out guys wearing leather gear and calling me “master”, but it works for Raven, I guess. Steve has another surprise: He’s found the girl who broke Raven’s heart in summer camp, thus triggering his lifelong feud with Dreamer. Sadly, she’s just some pimply-faced, fat, ugly loser named “Beulah McGillicutty”. Of course, that WAS 20 years ago, and she’s gotten a little more attractive since then.
– Raven v. Tommy Dreamer. Tommy kicks ass to start, beating Raven to the back of the arena. The CHEESE GRATER OF DOOM makes its inaugural appearance in a Raven-Dreamer match, on Raven’s forehead as usual. Raven grabs a chair and bashes Dreamer’s head in, while bleeding all over. Into the crowd, where Raven makes us of that big pole we always see. Dreamer breaks a chair over Raven’s head to come back and they head up to the Eagle’s Nest. Dreamer splashes Raven off the upper level, then drags him back in. Dreamer gets a melodramatic piledriver, but whips him off the ropes and gets DDT’d. A second one leads to a missile dropkick for two. Stevie, meanwhile, bores Beulah at ringside. Raven powerslam for two, as Stevie busts a move unsuccessfully. Dreamer comes to her aid, but she hairsprays him in the face, Stevie superkicks him, and Raven DDTs him on the concrete, then rolls him back in for the pin at 8:41. Now THAT’S how you do interference. Intense brawl, too. ***1/2
– Ron Simmons v. Mikey Whipwreck. ECW fans aren’t terribly fond of Ron. Ironically, the APA would be way over if they were in ECW today. The fans do their own unique take on the Seminole chant (“Yooooooooou suuuuuuuck, you really really, really really suck!”) as Simmons batters Mikey mercilessly. Gutbuster looked pretty sick there. Mikey gets a ballshot to come back, but Simmons doesn’t sell any of it. Mikey gets an elbowdrop for two after putting him down with a missile dropkicks, but gets caught with a powerslam. That beat Vader, you know. Simmons then signs his death warrant by CHOKESLAMMING Mikey. 911 of course charges the ring immediately on grounds of gimmick infringement as Simmons is DQ’d for hitting the ref at 4:26. Simmons then blocks a chokeslam with a low blow, and chokeslams 911! BIGTIME heel heat for that one. Some jobbers come out to help 911 up, so he uses them to get back into form by chokeslamming all of them. Match was all storyline and no substance, as is usual for Mikey matches. Ã‚Â½*
– Chris Benoit interview. Sabu is apparently a pussy for hiding in Japan. This would trigger the infamous “Fuck Sabu” chants. Taz comes out to defend his partner’s honor (oh, the irony, considering what happened at N2R) and slugs it out with Benoit, only to get jumped by Malenko. Rick Steiner then makes a surprise appearance and makes the save, thus taking Sabu’s place in the main event tonight.
– ECW TV title match: 2 Cold Scorpio v. Eddy Guerrero. Eddy was relatively unknown at this point. Matwork to start, neither man benefits. Scorp has his shoulder taped up to DDP levels, so Eddy concentrates on it. He suplexes him on it, and Scorp bails. Back in, we get some macho posing. Guerrero accepts the handshake of respect, then bitchslaps him. He hits the senton and a sharpshooter, but Scorp makes the ropes. Eddy hits a brainbuster, and the frog splash gets two. They exchange cheapshots and Scorp gets an armdrag and a dropkick, then a superkick puts Eddy down. Scorpio doesn’t follow up, letting Eddy recover instead. They fight outside, where Eddy bumps like a freak. 2 Cold suplexes him back in for two. Release underhook suplex gets two. Eddy comes back with a ballshot and Scorp rolls out. Eddy follows with a frog splash, onto Scorpio, who’s still standing! That’s INSANE! I know it doesn’t sound terribly impressive reading it, but seeing the move is something else. Back in, Eddy gets a fisherman’s suplex with a floatover for two. I’ve *never* seen that variation done before. Eddy goes up with a tornado DDT for two. Blind charge misses and Scorpio goes upstairs, with no luck. Eddy gets a top rope rana for two. Scorp blocks another try and hits a bodypress for two. Moonsault gets two. A powerbomb follows, and Scorpio hits the Tom Cruise somersault legdrop, which sets up the Tumbleweed. It gets two. Standing superkick leads to, well, nothing. That was kinda pointless. Scorpio whips Eddy off the ropes and tries a suplex, but Eddy rolls forward and hooks the legs for the surprise pin at 14:48 to capture the title! Eddy carried Scorpio to a fabulous match there kicking and screaming, despite 2 Cold’s usual bad habits (standing around, playing to the fans before every move, etc). ****
– Axl Rotten v. Ian Rotten. Stipulation of the week: Loser gets haircut. They brawl into the crowd, where no one can see anything due to the, ahem, less than professional quality camera work. Both bleed. Back in, Ian hits nothing but boot on a blind charge. Axl recycles the “timekeeper’s hammer” spot from the last show, digging it into Ian’s arm so that everyone in the crowd can making “Ooo and aah” noises. POINTLESS VAMPIRISM IS EXTREME! Back into the crowd for more god-awful camerawork. We literally can’t see a thing. Into the ring again, where Ian piledrives Axl on a chair, but Axl channels Hulk Hogan and no-sells, chairshots Ian, and gets the pin at 9:46. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on. Ã‚Â½* Might have been more if we could see the brawling. Axl does a half-ass job of shaving what little hair Ian has left.
– Hack Myers v. Dino Sendoff. Token squash for Hack so the fans can go “Shah-Shit” like they enjoy doing. Brainbuster finishes at 3:59. Ã‚Â½*
– ECW World title: Shane Douglas v. The Sandman. This is sold as Sandman’s first shot at the title, which means his first title reign back in 1993 is basically erased from the record books. Either that or ECW only recognizes lineage starting with the NWA title incident. The latter would make sense. The match is clipped heavily, as we only get 3 minutes aired. It ends with Woman hopping on the apron and tossing the cane in to Douglas? He nails Sandman and rolls him up for the pin to retain. Shane and Woman act all cuddly after the match as Sandman is heartbroken. I smell a rematch
– ECW World tag title: Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko v. The Public Enema v. Rick Steiner & Taz. Steiner sticks out here like Hulk Hogan at an albino convention. Benoit & Malenko attack TPE, then Steiner & Taz hit the ring and blitz everything that moves with suplexes. Benoit hits Steiner with a german suplex and Steiner cheerfully no-sells it. He follows with a top rope bulldog. Everyone else brawls around. Steiner wanders around the ring, like a kid lost in a mall. Back in, Rick steals the Screwdriver from Scott, except he adds the “Nearly Killing Your Opponent” variation to it, as Rocco’s head drills the mat at high speed. That’s not to say I disapprove of his choice of victim, mind you. Rick doesn’t seem to be terribly enamored of the idea of selling for any of these guys. Next sequence of note sees Benoit & Malenko do a 3D-like move on Taz, with Benoit adding the diving headbutt for the pin at 6:29 to eliminate Team No-Sell. Taz & Steiner take forever to leave, giving Grunge ample time to blade. What a faux pas! It’s been 8 minutes and he forgot to gig himself. Kick and punch follows. Some action would be nice here. We brawl into the crowd and Malenko and Grunge do a boring bit in the ring. Benoit & Rocco head to the Eagle’s Nest, where Rocco does a contrived missed dive that JUST HAPPENS to put him through a table. Back in the ring, Benoit & Malenko toss Grunge, and destroy Rocco. They bring in a table and Benoit superplexes him through it. Malenko encourages a “f*ck Sabu” chant. Benoit & Malenko do a Chip & Dale act over who gets to pin Rocco, allowing Grunge the chance to come in with a DDT on both, and Rocco hits the Driveby on Malenko for the pin and the titles at 19:38. An awful match that completely exposed Public Enemy. * The Pitbulls attack the new champs, setting up the next show.
The Bottom Line: Man, that main event did NOT age well at all. Benoit & Malenko were completely unsuited to that sort of sloppy brawl, and it showed. However, the awesome Raven-Dreamer storyline and Guerrero-Scorpio match are more than enough to make this one another easy recommendation.
Next up: Hostile City Showdown! Sandman gets his rematch, Guerrero defends his newfound title in a VERY famous match, and we find out exactly what the deal was with Beulah and Raven and Tommy!
(If Paul E. could still book shit as good as this, he’d be getting 1.5s and up every week on TNN, of that I have no doubt )