Extreme Archive: ECW Television Episode 014

Apparently, Eastern Championship Wrestling television decided in 1993 to skip over two weeks of matches that were taped on Sunday May 15, 1993. Most likely this was done to shorten the gap between the taping date and the air date, and to air matches from the Sizzler over the next few weeks.

After further investigation, according to Online World of Wrestling, ECW television was not broadcast for two weeks: June 26, 1993, and July 6, 1993. I wonder why?

So, when calculating your personal rankings at home, please include the following results, which were found on ProWrestlingHistory.com:

  • The Sandman defeated Jonathan Hotbody
  • Terry Funk defeated the Canadian Wolfman
  • Ivan Koloff defeated The Sandman
  • Eddie Gilbert & The Dark Patriot defeated JT Smith & Glen Osbourne
  • ECW Tag Team Championship Match: The Super Destroyers defeated The Suicide Blondes (Hotbody & Michaels) for the titles by pinning Candido.
  • The Dangerous Alliance (Gilbert, Dark Patriot, & Muraco) defeated Cairo, Osborne, & Winters
  • Sal Bellomo defeated Chris Candido by disqualification.

Obviously the main thing that was missed was that the tag team titles changed hands to the Super Destroyers. Additionally, an angle took place where the Rockin’ Rebel squirted ink into the eyes of Peaches ‘blinding’ her.1

ECW Television – Episode 014

Taped: May 15, 1993
Broadcast: July 20, 1993
Taping Location: ECW Arena in South Philadelphia, PA
Announcing Team: Jay Sulli & Paul E. Dangerously

Previously

  • Sulli & Gordon recapped the Texas Chain Match Massacre between Funk and Gilbert. Gilbert won under mysterious circumstances and now is the official King of Philadelphia.
  • The Koloffs (Ivan & Vladimir) made their in-ring debut.
  • Eddie Gilbert went around Philadelphia and posed as the King.
  • Larry Winters and Tony Stetson found to a double disqualification.
  • Tommy Cairo got a disqualification victory over TV Champ: Jimmy Snuka
  • For the second week in a row, Eastern Championship Wrestling television ended with a huge brawl following the Sal Bellomo vs Richard Michaels match.

Synopsis

Opening

After 13 weeks of ECW television, they finally decided to edit the matches shown in the title sequence, adding footage of Road Warrior Hawk, King Eddie Gilbert, the nine man brawl from two weeks ago, Paul E. Dangerously, Terry Funk, and Sal Bellomo with a Mummers headpiece

Opening Segment

Jay Sulli, Paul E. Dangerously, and Tod Gordon. Gordon is upset due to the brawl last week, and threatens suspensions for anyone who comes to ringside who doesn’t belong. Jay Sulli announces hat the Super Destroyers are the new tag team champions. 2. Terry Funk then comes to ringside, that causes Dangerously to go running off like a scared girl. Funk is facing Snuka tonight.

Stevie Wonderful is with Tod Gordon who announces a tag title rematch for “next week”, but the graphic below says the tag title match is coming up next.3 I’m totally confused. Destroyers have the belts. Apparently Robbins is going to be handcuffed to Bellomo, and if the Blondes don’t win they must leave ECW forever.4

TV Taping Update
New wrestler added to the big television taping weekend on August 7th and 8th: former Dynamic Dude: Shane Douglas.5

Segment #1: ECW Tag Team Championship Match: Super Destroyers vs Suicide Blondes (Hotbody & Michaels)

Prematch interview with Robbins & Candido. Candido apparently has a broken arm, but is still holding onto a tag title. Just weird.

Super D #1 muscles Michaels around, who eventually reverses things and hits a top-rope splash for a near fall. Blondes illegally tag in and out while ref is tied up with Super D #2. The Blondes are working on the arm of Super D #1. 6 Finally tags into Super D #2. 7

Super D #2 faces off against both Blondes. Nails Hotbody in the throat and clotheslines him. Ref and all other combatants are outside the ring 8 Powerslam on Hotbody, but there’s no referee. Candido 9 nails Super D with a flying forearm with the cast and a second shot. Hotbody for the cover, and The Blondes regain the title which we didn’t know we lost in the first place.

Segment #2: Eddie Gilbert visits South Street

Eddie and Paul are visiting a pizza place on South Street. 10 As the King of Philadelphia, Gilbert is greeting his subjects. 11 Jay Sulli shows up pretending to be hung over.

Segment #3: Larry Winters vs Rockin’ Rebel

In a pre-match interview, Rebel and his tag partner Tony Stetson reveal that Rebel ‘blinded’ Peaches.12

Rebel comes down with a cane and dark glasses. Winters is rocking one hell of a mullet. Apparently the winner gets a world title shot.13 We learn that Rebel threw ‘ink’ into Peaches’s eyes. Winters and Rebel go back and forth. Lots of hip tosses, arm drags, and elbow drops. Rebel hits a nice eruo-uppercut follows with a side slam. Tony Stetson has joined us a ringside as well.

Winters gets back on top of the match. Larry hits the worst shoulder block I’ve ever seen. Rebel throws him out of the ring, and Stetson hits him with the walking stick. 14Winters back in and hits a Sunset Flip, Inside Cradle, and a Backslide in three second. Rebel goes for a clothesline, but nails the referee accidentally. Stetson throws the cane into the ring for Rebel, but Winters grabs it and nails both Stetson and Rebel. Winters wakes up the referee and gets the three count.

Segment #4: ECW TV Title Match: Jimmy Snuka vs Terry Funk

Pre-match interview: Paul E. is backstage with Muraco and Dark Patriot, hyping all of the damage that the wrestlers of the Dangerous Alliance can do. Muraco threatens all sorts of illegal antics while the Dark Patriot just growls.

Snuka is accompanied by Dangerously, and Gordon is in the booth. Snuka and Funk both eye each other down. Hard to know which one of these guys is the crazier.15 Snuka dominates at first, hurting Funk’s back with irish whips, slams, and backbreakers. Tod Gordon promises that his intentions is to keep action inside the ring from this point forward. 16 Snuka then goes for chops, and Funk starts his punch-drunk routine. Snuka follows with a headbutt. Vertical suplex. Slow moving match though.

Funk gets a vertical suplex on Snuka. Headbutts by Funk. Spinning neckbreaker by Funk. 17 Funk goes for a spinning toe hold. Snuka and Funk with rolling inside cradles, reversing it constantly. The two exchange headbutts. Snuka headbutts the referee and drops him. More refs, but Funk runs refs heads into Snuka.

Dangerous Alliance comes in, and starts on Funk. Gordon sputters about having to do something. Down come the Koloffs and Rebel. Ivan goes after Muraco. Now Osborne comes in. Funk and Snuka keep battling. In come the Suicide Blondes.

Announcement: ECW First!!!
Chris Candido is the first to bring a crazy foreign object into the ring, with a hair blower.18

Destroyers and Bellomo are in. Stetson is in and Winters is in. Fighting in the ring and out with the crowd. Now Gilbert comes down with a chain wrapped around his fist. Cairo comes down to help. All the while Jay Sulli says about 6 times, “Tod Gordon, you got to do something about this.” 19 Funk is hanging Gilbert with the chain. Cairo is nailing Snuka.

Gordon goes down with the microphone to stop the brawling, and Bellomo accidentally nails the commissioner.

Announcement: ECW First!!!
President Tod Gordon takes his first on camera bump!20

The brawl continues, as officials and wrestlers check on Tod Gordon. Cut to the credits.

Analysis

Historical Significance

  • The Suicide Blondes win back the ECW Tag Team Championship
  • A brawl ends the show for the third straight week, and President Tod Gordon in knocked out.
  • By defeating the Rockin Rebel, Larry Winters becomes the #1 contender for the ECW Championship

Debuts

none

Titles

ECW Heavyweight Champion Don Muraco Since 04/03/93
ECW Television Champion Jimmy Snuka Since 03/13/1993
ECW Tag Team Champions Suicide Blondes Since 05/15/1993
ECW Pennsylvania Champion Tommy Cairo Since 05/14/1993

ECW Spotlight: World Wrestling Federation – July 1995

Okay, so about a month ago, I explained what was happening in the world of World Championship Wrestling, but what was happening in the World Wrestling Federation?

WrestleMania IX ended with Yokozuna pinning Bret Hart for the WWF Championship, but was immediately challenged for the title by Hulk Hogan who pinned Yoko for his fifth WWF Championship. However, at the King of the Ring (06/13/1993), Hogan was defeated by Yokozuna. 21 This pretty much shocked the world, as there was no apparent successor, as no one believed Bret Hart was part of Vince McMahon’s vision of a WWF Champion.22

Long story short, Lex Luger came out and body slammed Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid becoming the #1 contender for the title. So in July, Lex wasn’t training for the match or facing large opponents to prepare, he was taking a bus around the country to get ‘support’ for his match. 23

Meanwhile, Bret Hart had gone back to his roots, and essentially become the Daniel Bryan/CM Punk of 1993, by winning the King of the Ring, unofficially becoming a “Best in the World” wrestler. 24 And this began his feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler at SummerSlam.

Shawn Michaels was the Intercontinental Champion, but had not quite shaken his “former member of The Rockers” persona. This would change with the addition of his new bodyguard Diesel (aka Kevin Nash). Also currently in the federation was Razor Ramon (Scott Hall), who was doing a slow turn into a fan favorite after losing to a young talented upstart known as The 1-2-3 Kid (Sean Waltman).

So you can see the pieces that were in place for the transition from the late 80s/early 90s wrestling dominated by Hogan, Dibiase, IRS, Savage, Big Boss Man, and others to a more athletic style where stars like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, The Undertaker, and so on would thrive. 1992-1993 were the transition years before moving to the WWF New Generation movement 25

There’s plenty more that was happening in 1993, but that gives you a quick sense.

Verdict

Well this was an embarrassing mess. I understand why they had to do it, especially if some sporting event or some other issue kept ECW off the air for two unexpected weeks, but that aside it was pretty embarrassing. But, if it moves us closer to actual Summer Sizzler footage, then I’m all for it. But yeah, not much to enjoy in this episode.

Footnotes

1. I’ll make more jokes about that angle further in the column.
2. Okay, even for a small bush league federation like Eastern Championship Wrestling in 1993, this is pretty unforgivable. It would take nothing to quickly splice something small together showing the title change.
3. If I was handing out report cards for ECW, I would be sending a note home with the following message: “ECW, needs to work on attention to detail and paying attention in class.”
4. I’ve never known a wrestling promotion to telegraph finishes like this one does.
5. Do you see the pieces coming into place? Well, you have Terry Funk and you have Shane Douglas. There’s a third piece that goes together with them. Hmmmmmm
6. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew they are not.
7. Sulli actually says “The big man in the ring” – okay, he might be bigger than Super D #1, but it’s not like it’s Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart out there.
8. Can you see the finish coming? I knew that you could…
9. It’s the most non-subtle run in you’ve ever seen. I think he actually passed the referee and you can see Super D #2, even in the mask, watching Candido run around the ring to his blind side before coming in.
10. I go between being really delighted in the old-school small town wrestling angle and being thoroughly embarrassed for this angle.
11. I’m guessing these are people who owe a significant amount of money to Tod Gordon’s jewelry store Carver W. Reed.
12. A blind angle involving the Sandman? I’m pretty sure they used that angle again. Usually it takes 3-4 years to run out of indy wrestling angles.
13. See footnote #4.
14. Stetson barely nails him with it, and Paul E brilliantly covers it up by saying that Stetson is only just annoying Winters and letting him know he’s there.
15. And I’m including Paul E. Dangerously as one of the candidates.
16. Oh ho ho ho…. Bwah hah ha! Sure! Right!
17. Tod Gordon sounds like someone who has brought the A-Team into save the small business. Does that put Funk in the Hannibal Smith role? With Tommy Cairo as Face-man, Sal Bellomo as Howling Mad Murdoch, and the Super Destroyers as a joint version of B.A. Baracus.
18. Awesome choice, given his persona at the time.
19. Jay Sulli says this at least 5-6 times during the brawl. He repeats the exact same words, like a bad actor who
can’t handle when a scene has gone off-script. I’m telling you, Sulli is making me crave talented announcers like Tony Schiavonte and Todd Petengill.
20. This would be the first of many for Tod Gordon, I’m afraid.
21. Either due to not wanting to face Bret Hart at SummerSlam or because he wanted to start working on Thunder in Paradise the television show.
22. Sound familiar? Yes, nothing really changes in the WWE/F
23. Trying to tap into the kiddie market, but also I think to see if there really were people who bought Lex Luger as the Hulk Hogan successor. Well, history suggests that people did not.
24. Go watch the Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect match from King of the Ring 1993 for a hint of what I mean.
25. A bit of a failure, but only compared to the Hogan years and the later Attitude era. Kindof reminds me of the era we’re currently in, actually.

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