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The Wrestling Fever Video Review: Featuring ECW
The Skinny on Cyberslam ’96
It was early on in the "Internet" breakout days for Pro Wrestling but those who
had already became a part of it were definitely all ECW fans. So much so that
Paul Heyman created Cyberslam, an event where it asked all the fans from
Cyberspace around the US to come together on the one night a year to be a part
of what was ECW, live at the ECW Arena. This was the very first annual of it’s
kind, and no one was disappointed.
This Cyberslam would see the Debut of Brian Pillman in ECW, the return of
the Bruise Brothers, a 6-Person Dog Collar Match, and two classic matches
featuring Shane Douglas battling Cactus Jack, and Sabu meeting Too Cold Scorpio.
And now from the ECW Arena…it’s
ECW Cyberslam 1996
Match #1: Dredd & Bad Crew vs. The Dirt Bike Kid, Dino Sendoff & Donn E.
Well by the looks of the names in this match alone you’d probably expect to see
911 head to ringside shortly, but he has just recently left the promotion so
we’re stuck here watching this enormous hunk of mookie stink. Shame on you Paul
E., for booking this match. As the match starts all 6-men are greeted with the
loudest and longest bit of jeers I’ve ever heard. In fact the boo’s didn’t stop
until the matches end. Dredd is a large man and throws the smaller faces around
the ring for a bit, adjusting his jeans in between each move. Dredd lays out
Dirt Bike Kid with a press slam into a gut buster while one of those greasy Bad
Crew guys hits a Tiger Bomb on Donn E. Allen. Bad Crew then hit the HART ATTACK
from the top rope onto Allen for the almost painless finish.
Winners: Dredd & Bad Crew at 2:01
Thoughts: This match was pointless in my opinion, most of these guys
suck…BADLY. Which is why the match was so short.
Rating: They didn’t f*ck up so I won’t minus them anything. Somewhere between
DUD and 1/4*
– YES!!! this match serves a purpose after all. There may be no 911, but the
Sandman hits the ring and canes the living shit out of everyone in sight to
the crowd’s (and my) delight. NICE! Way to go Sandman.
Match #2: "The Greek God" Spiros Greco vs. El Puerto Ricano (Pable Marquez)
Pablo Marquez is labeled a rookie here, after coming off the Indy scene working
as Ubas. Not a damn clue who Spiros Greco is or where he went after this ONE
TIME ONLY (and thank God for it) bout. The crowd shits all over Greco who
definitely doesn’t have an ECW style approach to this bout. Some chain wrestling
to start and Greco goes for a running kneelift but realizes he’s on the wrong
side of Pablo and tries to spin in mid air to hit it and totally f*cks up. The
crowd shits all over the blown kneelift so Greco decides to continue his 1980’s
offense, which is followed by loud boo’s after every move. Greco continues with
his cheap heel spots until finishing Pablo off with a pump handle sidewalk
suplex for the pin.
Winner: Spiros Greco at 4:24
Thoughts: Being in shape doesn’t always make you a star. Greco is HORRIBLE and
this one time only appearance explains why he was never invited back. His heat
wasn’t heel heat but more of "MAN YOU SUCK GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE RING SO WE
CAN WATCH THE NEXT DAMN MATCH" kinda heat. Poor Pablo.
Rating: God Awful Garbage gets a big fat DUD
Match #3: TAZ (w/Bill Alfonso) vs. Joel Hartgood
The Path of Rage continues…Taz toys with Joel Hartgood for a bit which allows
Joel to get a sunset flip for 2. Taz is enraged and unleashes a Head & Arm
Overhead Belly to Belly TAZplex! DAMN, He shoulda done that more often. Taz
follows up with a Hardway TAZplex and looks to have broken Hartgood’s neck on
that one. Lastly Taz applies the Kati Hajime TAZmission for the submission win.
Winner: Taz at 1:52
Thoughts: Amazing how Taz’s short matches meant so much and built him up so
huge. It goes to show you, It’s not how much time you have, but what you do with
Rating: Too short to be much but definitely wasn’t horrible 1/4*
– After the bout some jobber faces come out to help Hartgood, Taz hits a
trio of German TAZplexes on them for their troubles. This brings out Mikey
Whipwreck who clobbers Bill Alfonso and goes to work on Taz
momentarily until Taz catches him with a Head & Arm TAZplex and the TAZmission.
– They begin to tape an interview segment with Joey Styles to open up the
TV show version of Cyberslam when all of a sudden the lights go out. When the
light come back on we see Brian Pillman in the ring!!! Straight from WCW
it’s a member of the Four Horsemen!!! The crowd marks out huge. Pillman states
he’s been fired from WCW and talks mad trash on Eric Bischoff. The crowd is
behind Pillman until he says Eric Bischoff represents each and everyone of the
smart marks…pointing to the ECW crowd. All of a sudden we get a dead silence
hush from the crowd as they feel like assholes. Pillman gives his definition of
a mark while dropping the F Bomb repeatedly. Pillman finishes the segment off by
saying he was going to whip his thing out & piss on the ECW ring. Tod Gordon
& Paul Heyman come in and state "this wasn’t part of the deal". Shane
Douglas is part of the group of Anti-Pillman as well. Security attempt to
escort Pillman from the arena. A "fan" takes a swing at Pillman, so Brian grabs
him and tosses him in the ring where he beats on him until Shane Douglas runs
Pillman off. Shane Douglas decides to have a "Sit In" in the ring until security
ejects Pillman from the Arena, which they finally do. WOW talk about a WILD
angle, in the words of Pat Patterson "The crowd was going BANANA for this".
Match #4: Buh Buh Ray Dudley vs. Mr. Hughes
I believe this is Mr. Hughes last match with the company as he even jobbed to
Hack Myers some 3 weeks prior. Hughes attacks Dances with Dudley before
the bell and then attacks Buh Buh Ray Dudley. This brings in Big Dick Dudley
who breaks a crutch over Mr. Hughes back which allows Buh Buh to ascend the top
rope and hit a falling splash for the quick win.
Winner: Buh Buh Ray Dudley in 34 seconds
Thoughts: Well at least it didn’t have time to suck.
Rating: Complete DUD
– Mustafa heads to the ring to announce that New Jack is once
again imprisoned, this time somewhere in Atlanta. However, Stafa agrees to meet
both Headhunters in a handicapped match. This brings out the HH’s
manager, Damien Kane and his hotty Lady Alexander. Kane offers
Stafa a job as a bitch boy, but Stafa says the only job he wants is a handjob.
Stafa has enough and begins to whale on Kane until the Headhunters hit the ring
to start the bout.
Match #5: Mustafa vs. The Headhunters
The Headhunters attack Mustafa quickly and nail a superplex and a top rope &
splash respectively. It wasn’t exactly Power & Glory but it got the job done as
Stafa rolls out of the ring. No pinfall here so I dunno the actual outcome.
Winners: The Headhunters in 45 seconds after killing Stafa
Thoughts: Not really a match, then again I only watched the Gangstas for New
Rating: Not really a match, DUD
– Damien Kane talks some more shit and makes an open challenge to anyone in the
back. This brings out the Bruise Brothers!!! The Bruises return to ECW!!!
Match 6: The Headhunters vs. The Bruise Brothers
We got a pair of twin brother tag teams going at it, and this is somehow still
much better than the Bruise Brothers/Cole Twins bouts from WCW circa 1993. All 4
men spill into the crowd early on. Shortly after we’re back inside. One of the
fat Hunters hits a moonsault on Ron Harris, while Don Harris nails a boot on the
other Hunter. Both men cover, but the ref decides to count the Harris’ cover
instead of the Hunters and we have winners.
Winners: The Bruise Brothers at 3:54
Thoughts: At least they’re keeping all the shit short. Horrible crapfest with a
poor ending. The Hunters were on the way out, the Bruises just came in, they
shoulda won the bout without a questionable finish. Why does Damien Kane have a
job. I sincerely hope he works for free. Although I’d totally pay his valet.
Rating: The Garbage Continues, another total DUD
– Joey Styles does yet another TV Show opening this time interviewing
Tommy Dreamer and his new woman, Beulah McGuillicutty. Raven
hits the ring shortly there after with his flunkies and his new chick, Kimona
Wana Laya. The Bruise Brothers hit the ring to back up Dreamer, or so
it appears. SWERVE, SWERVE, SWERVE! The Bruises then attack Dreamer instead and
ram his nuts into the ringpost, as part of the payback for Tommy stealing Beulah
from Raven and "knocking her up". Quick segment, kinda rushed, but served it’s
Match #7: JT Smith vs. Axl Rotten
Smith and Axl were set to team just a few weeks prior but JT Smith turned on Axl
Rotten before the bout even started. Smith KO’d Axl with the microphone after
and viola, insta-feud. Smith is in the early stages of his "Italian Stallion"
gimmick, with the FBI waiting in the wings. Axl plows over Smith for a while
with weapons on the outside. Now inside the ring JT takes a wicked ass backdrop
and continues to bump like crazy for Axl until Rotten misses an Avalanche. JT
counters with a goofy twisting splash that looks so horrible I’m not sure if he
meant to make it look shitty for heat or not. JT goes out for a chair and grabs
one before heading to the top rope. JT climbs to the top but falls off like a
cluts (he made this his gimmick after actually falling once during a match a few
months prior). Axl turns to laugh at the crowd but JT is FAKING IT!!! JT gets up
behind Axl’s back and nails him with the chair for the win. After the bout Smith
hits a moonsault with a chair onto Axl for good measure. Hack Myers comes
in for the save with some "SHAH" Punches chasing Smith all the way to the back.
Winner: JT Smith at 6:07
Thoughts: Man Axl was jobbing to everyone. Smith was a card, one of the few
comedy acts I really enjoyed, yet could always work when he needed to as well.
Ratings: Both men have had better matches but JT’s overselling helped. *1/4
Match #8: The Eliminators & Stevie Richards vs. The Pitbulls & Francine
(Triple Dog Collar Match)
The Eliminators are currently in a feud with the PitBulls while Stevie Richards
is semi feuding with Francine because she is his "ex-girlfriend". The bell
sounds as Franny spits on Stevie. Richards retorts but Superkicking her right of
the bat. YEAH show that bitch who’s boss Stevie! And the Eliminators now hit the
Power & Glory Superplex/Splash combo on Pitbull 1 for a 2 count. We get alot of
brawling and choking with chains early on. The PitBulls amount a comeback on the
Eliminators but Richards nails them with several superkicks from behind and
we’re back to brawling on the floor. A few chairshots later and we’re in the
crowd. The Eliminators head up onto Joey Styles commentary platform and Kronus
uses his hands to propel Saturn with a moonsault onto PitBull #2 on the floor.
Shortly after PitBull #1 suplexes Kronus through a table. All 4 men head back to
ringside where Stevie Richards is standing with a frying pan. PB1 clocks
Richards to make the save before Stevie could nail Francine. PB1 then hits a top
rope frankensteiner on Kronus for 2. The Elims hit stereo powerbombs on the
PitBulls and go after Francine. Eliminators try Total Elimination on Franny but
PB1 makes the save. The PB’s then take control and hit both Saturn & Kronus with
the SUPERBOMB! The PB’s then grab Richards and hit a Superbomb/Neckbreaker combo
that is just totally wicked. Francine finally crawls over and covers Richards
for the win. Following the bout the Eliminators get their heat back by hitting
TOTAL ELIMINATION on both PitBulls and Francine.
Winners: Francine & The PitBulls at 14:00
Thoughts: A lot of the match was simply mindless brawling all over the building
with spots thrown in at the beginning, middle & end. Okay match, woulda been
better without Stevie & Francine IMO. That was just overkill.
Rating: **1/4 considering the type of match it was
Match #9: ECW Television Champ Too Cold Scorpio vs. Sabu
Sabu gets a title shot for no apparent reason other than he is an ECW legend and
this is definitely an Extreme Dream Match if you will. The duo start right off
exchanging blows until Sabu bring in a chair for AIR SABU and then dropkicks Too
Cold Scorpio off the ring apron into the railing. Sabu hits a wicked looking
somersault dive over the top rope and into the crowd. Back inside an Arabian
legdrop gets two which allows TCS to gather his thoughts and nail Sabu with a
vicious powerbomb. Scorp now with a top rope legdrop and then brings in a chair
of his own. TCS bulldogs Sabu into the chair, and tries for a second one but
Sabu reverses it. Sabu leaps off the chair and nails a Cactus Clothesline
sending both men over the top to the floor. Sabu with another somersault dive
from the apron this time onto Too Cold. Back inside Scorpio regains control
after use of a chair and nails a STINGER SPLASH. Scorp tries a Rock Bottom but
Sabu counters out of it, the duo continue to fight, TCS then tries an Ocean
Cyclone Suplex to which Sabu again reverses with a victory roll for 2. Sabu
applies the camel clutch to slow things down, TCS fights his way out but Sabu
gets right back on top with a chinlock of sorts. Scorp breaks out again this
time using the old kick to the nuts. Too Cold slaps on the Mexican Surfboard but
Sabu will not quit. Scorpio releases the hold which allows Sabu to retort with a
slingshot somersault legdrop for a close fall. Scorpio’s having none of Sabu and
takes control again and attempts his Picture Perfect Moonsault but Sabu gets his
knees up. Sabu pops up and hits the Arabian Facebuster for a 2 count. Sabu with
some more suicidal stuff and injures himself in the process. Scorpio sees an
opening and blasts Sabu with a chair. TCS toys with Sabu for a few minutes and
goes up top but misses the inside out splash. Sabu somehow now positions Scorp
for a victory roll off the top rope for another near fall. TCS is up and charges
at Sabu but is backdropped to the floor. Sabu follows up with a suicide dive and
tries for a Mike Awesome/JT Smith #2 on the landing. Back inside the guys are
drained but are still going at it. Scorpio tries some kinda Samoan Drop but Sabu
counters and both men fall over the top rope. Sabu hits an Asai on Scorpio (more
like the guardrail but whatever). Sabby lays TCS on a table in the crowd. Sabu
takes a running start and leaps off a chair into the crowd but Scorp moves and
Sabu goes THROUGH THE TABLE!!! Somehow both guys make it back inside the ring,
Scorp tries a Doctor Bomb but Sabu counters with huracan rana. Sabu again with
an Asai in the ring for a 2 count. Sabu tries a moonsault but TCS gets out of
the way. Scorp hits a powerbomb and goes up top for the moonsault legdrop which
he calls "DA BOMB" but it somehow only gets a two!!! At that point I’d be
chanting bullshit but hey it’s Sabu in ECW so I guess it’d believe able. TCAS
places a chair on Sabu’s face and lands a legdrop from the top onto Sabby for
the ONE, TWO. NOOOO. WTF?!?!?!?, all right this is getting ridiculous. Scorp
takes too long for his next move and Sabu pops up and nails a huracan rana off
the top rope butonly gets a two. Both men are dead tired but Scorpio somehow
still pulls out the 450 Splash but fails to go for a cover. TCS goes back up and
tries with a diving chairshot but misses. Sabu returns the receipt and ledrops
the chair onto Scorp’s face with 30 seconds left in the time limit. Sabu nails
the slingshot somersault legdrop for a two count as the time expires.
Result: 30 Minute Time Limit Draw
Thoughts: Definitely an ECW classic, and this was my first time watching it. I
was very impressed with the match, one of Sabu’s better nights for sure.
Couldn’t believe some of Sabu’s kickouts but then I remembered, it was 1996 ECW
so I let it go.
Rating: Not quite a 5 star battle but it does deserve at least ****
Match #10: Shane Douglas vs. Cactus Jack
This match is just weeks prior to the in ring debut of "Mankind" in the WWF.
Cactus Jack is in full Anti-Harcore mode here and Shane Douglas wants a piece of
him to make him change his mind. Your referee is Mark Curtis…err Brian
Hildebrand. Cactus enters the ring in a suit and Shane attacks CJ using the tie
as a weapon. The suit finally comes off and Cactus gets a little revenge on
Douglas before Shane cuts him off and low blows Cactus with a crutch. Shane
follows up with a double axe handle to the floor and several shots with a
crutch. Douglas suplexes Cactus onto the gaurdrail and then hits a dive into the
crowd. YES that’s right Douglas did some form of a dive into the crowd. Shane
wraps Cactus’ leg in a chair and tries to Pillmanize it. Jack finally gets up
and and hits a few chauirshots on Douglas and drops a couple Dick Murdoch elbows
onto Shane’s throat on the ring apron. Cactus places a table on top of Shane and
nails a Cactus elbow, very different that’s for sure. Jack hits a drop toehold
on Shane into a chair for two. Cactus now with a stuff piledriver for another
near fall. Cactus starts whaling away on Shane in the corner and as referee
Hildebrand pushes Cactus back he also hands off some handcuffs to Shane Douglas.
WHAT AN EVIL ASS REFEREE!!! Shane then lasts Cactus with them and cuffs Jack’s
hands behind his back. Uh Oh, you know what’s coming now…Long before the Rock,
Cactus is cuffed with nowhere to go and Douglas begins blasting Foley with
several chairshots. Shane tries to get Cactus to say I QUIT but Jack refuses and
calls out for Mikey Whipwreck, his former tag team partner before beating the
living crap out of him. Shane then slaps on a Figure Four leglock, but wait it’s
MIKEY WHIPWRECK!!! Whipwreck comes in with a chair and stalls a second
then BLASTS Cactus in the head with it. Holy Shit I bet that hurt. The ref goes
down and makes the count to give Douglas the win.
Winner: Shane Douglas at 15:42
Thoughts: Good match, nice to see yet another storyline stolen by the WWF(E) to
an extent. Shane ends his mini-feus with Jack and Mikey sets up his match
against Cactus which was Jack’s ECW farewell match.
Rating: An Average ECW-esque bout for Main Eventers but very enjoyable. ***
Match #11: ECW Heavyweight Champion Raven vs. The Sandman
Raven has just recently defeated Sandman for the strap and this is Sand’s return
bout. For some reason we are treated to Sandman’s entire entrance, thank
goodness I can fast fwd. Raven’s out with Stevie Richards, The Meanie and
Kimona Wana Laya, while Sandman has Missy Hyatt in his corner. The
two start off with an outside brawl, oh goody! Back inside Sandman hits a very
long delayed suplex and a somersault splash. Raven falls to the floor and
Sandman hits some form of a drunken dive. Back inside Sandman has the advantage
but is distracted by the Blue Meanie. This allows Raven to blast Sander
with a chair and nail a DDT. As Raven covers however, Missy Hyatt distracts the
referee. This enrages Raven who then goes after Missy, only to allow Sandman to
then attack Raven from behind and hit a DDT of his own, but it’s broken up by
Kimona Wana Laya. This brings in Missy and we got a CAT FIGHT!!! With all of
this going on Stevie Richards hits a superkick on Sandman allowing Raven
to get a two count as the ladies are sent to the back. Sandman tries to slam
Raven but they collide into the ref. Sandman then hits a very horrible looking
drunken legdrop from the top rope for two. The referee is then sandwiched in the
corner and goes down again. Meanie tries to attack but gets caned for his
troubles. The Bruise Brothers hit the ring but are also caned. Raven
nails the Sandman and he runs right into a Bruise Brothers double chokeslam.
Raven covers but the groggy ref can only make a two count. Both men ascend to
the top rope and duke it out. Raven shoves Sandman off face first into a set up
chair in the middle of the ring…OWWW! Raven then hits a DDT on the chair for
Winner: Raven at 8:15
Thoughts: Match was shorter than the entrances. Kind of out of place on the
card, should have came before the Foley and Sabu matches. Quick, and the run
in’s and catfight make it a lot less painless to watch. Sandman was definitely
in one of his drunker stages this night though. He was very off, more so than
usual. Not their best.
Rating: Very rushed, but Sander seemed pretty wasted. Not much to give it more
After the bout the Blue Meanie decides to stay in the ring to mock the
Sandman with the Singapore cane and a beer. But Meanie spills beer all over
Sandman’s face, and just like Popeye to his Spinach, the Sandman is revived
by Budweiser!!! Meanie lays in a few cane shots but Sandman takes over and
canes the shit out of the Meanie. Sandman calls for "Mommy" and out comes Missy,
ummmmm okay. And that my friends, is that.
Overall Thoughts: They fit most of the garbage into the first hour. Add in some
Taz for violence, some JT Smith for comedy and it’s bearable. The Shane/Foley
and Sabu/Scorpio matches are exceptionally good, although the main event was
very lack luster.
Match of the Night: Too Cold Scorpio vs. Sabu: Hands down, this match stole the
Recommendation & Final Rating: While the first hour isn’t that great, the second
hour makes up for it with two classics, followed by a quick drunken brawl to
close the show. The overall show gets **3/4