Extreme Archive: ECW Television Episode 018

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend, last week. I was rather busy with stuff, so unfortunately the Extreme Archive had to take a backseat to real world concerns. But, I figured that most of you should be hanging out by the beach or pool or at a cookout rather than reading this stuff. But, back in the swing of things, and hopefully refreshed.

This week, we have ACTUAL NEW MATCHES! I know I’m excited. We’ve moved into the television tapings from Saturday August 7th at the ECW Arena. Plus, we have some ECW DVD news.

ECW Television – Episode 018

Taped: August 07, 1993
Broadcast: August 17, 1993
Taping Location: The ECW Arena in South Philadelphia, PA
Announcing Team: Jay Sulli and Paul E. Dangerously

Previously:

  • The Rockin’ Rebel has been suspended for 90 days.
  • The main event for Ultra Clash I was announced: Terry Funk & Stan Hansen vs Eddie Gilbert & Adbulah the Butcher

Synopsis:

Pre-Segment
In a voice-over segment, Jay Sulli announces the brackets for the ECW Tag Team Title Tournament that will take place over the next few weeks on ECW Television.

ECW Television Title Tournament
Bellomo & Sandman Tournament Quarter Finalist Tournament Semi Finalist Tournament Winner
Stetson & Michaels
The Headhunters Tournament Quarter Finalist
The Koloffs
Gilbert & Patriot Tournament Quarter Finalist Tournament Semi Finalist
JT Smith & Cairo
Super Destroyers Tournament Quarter Finalist
The Suicide Blondes

I think the Vegas odds are on the Gilbert and Dark Patriot team, but I can see JT Smith and Cairo making a run as well. 1

Segment 1: Introduction

Jay Sulli is in the ECW Production Studio and introduces the action for the show tonight:

  • ECW Tag Team Title Tournament – Round 1: Sal Bellomo & The Sandman vs Tony Stetson and Richard Michaels w/ Hunter Q. Robbins III
  • ECW Tag Team Title Tournament – Round 1: The Headhunters vs The Koloffs
  • ECW World Heavyweight Title Match: Don Muraco vs The Metal Maniac
  • ECW Television Title Match: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka vs Stan “The Lariat” Hansen

Eddie Gilbert joins in and challenges that he can find a better host for the show than Jay Sulli. Much to my disappointment, he finds a homeless looking guy who is later revealed to be secretly wearing an Eddie Gilbert T-shirt.

Segment 2: ECW Tag Team Title Tournament: The Headhunters vs The Koloffs

The Headhunters are the current W*ING Tag Team Champions, and are joined by their manager Victor Quiñones. If you’ve never seen them, just imagine the Samoans but shorter, fatter, and Hispanic.

In the dumbest ‘stipulation’ in wrestling, ring announcer Bob Artese announces that if the match is a draw, then they will FLIP A COIN to determine who advances in the tournament. WTF! 2

Of course both teams attach each other before the bell. At first the Headhunters dominate the Koloffs, especially Ivan. Vladimir is tagged in, and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Called a belly-to-back suplex by Jay Sulli, who has to be verbally admonished on air about the difference between the two. Both teams take turns dominating. Then, in a really dumb finish, both teams take turns shoving the referee drawing the double DQ.

After the exciting COIN FLIP3, it is determined that the Koloffs win the coin flip. Needless to say the Headhunters are not happy.

Segment 3: ECW World Title Match: Don Muraco w/ Freddie Gilbert vs The Metal Maniac

The Metal Maniac makes his debut on ECW Television, but apparently, he made several appearances in ECW in 92 and 93. 4 He is your typical face painted 90s wrestler. He very much reminds me of Brian Adams (aka Crush), as he is easily over 300 lbs. Sources say that he was trained by BOTH Don Muraco and Jimmy Snuka. 5

During the match it is announced that Don Muraco had an open challenge for the World Title and that the challenge was accepted by the man who defeated Don Muraco for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, Tito Santanna.

As Muraco jaws with Tod Gordon, Metal Maniac attacks Muraco. Muraco quickly gains the advantage hitting a running body slam. Total squash by Muraco as he hits a tombstone piledriver. Muraco throws him over the top rope, where Freddie gets some shots in. Muraco pulls him back in the ring, hitting him with a very lazy clothesline. Finally, Muraco finishes it off with a piledriver for the pinfall.

Segment 4: ECW Tag Team Title Tournament: The Sandman & Sal Bellomo vs Tony Stetson & Richard Michaels w/ Hunter Q. Robbins III

This match shows off two of the true marks of a small-time indy wrestling fed from the 80s/90s. First, you pair two heels or faces even though they have no relationship whatsoever. In this case, Stetson and Michaels makes some limited sense, as Stetson recently had been pairing with Rockin’ Rebel who has been suspended for 90 days. But Sandman and Bellomo have NOTHING in common except the fact that they are faces.

The match starts off with the Sandman pairing off against Tony Stetson, when the production crew decides to interrupt the match for highlights of Abdulah the Butcher?

I’ve never understood the idea of interrupting a taped match for other taped material. ECW would do this in later years, but they wouldn’t interrupt an actual match. I mean you could have put this before the match even started. Anyway, it’s stock footage of Abdulah from over the years both in the States and in Japan.

Back to action, as Michaels and Stetson cheat by trading off camel clutches on The Sandman as the referee’s back is turned. Sandman escapes and tags in Big Sal who punches Stetson and hits the standing dropkick. Tag into Michaels, who nails Bellomo with a headbutt and knife edge chop. Sal tags in The Sandman

Sandman chops Michaels in the corner. Michaels with a shoulder block. Sandman goes for a suplex, but Michaels reverses into a gourd buster. Referee Jim Molineau is distracted by Hunter, and Stetson and Michaels switch places. But Sal uses this opportunity to switch places with the Sandman, without Stetson realizing it. Stetson goes for the easy pin on the fallen “Sandman”, but the refreshed Sal surprises Stetson and gets the rollup. Mollineau shrugs his shoulders and gives the pinfall victory to Sandman and Bellomo.

Segment 5: Interview Segment with Stan Hansen

Tod Gordon announces the Ultra Clash I main event to the live crowd at the TV Tapings: Terry Funk & Stan Hansen vs Eddie Gilbert & Abdulah the Butcher. Crowd pops, and out comes Stan Hansen. Stan Hansen says something about teaming with Terry Funk, as he starts to wrap his rope lariat around the neck of Tod Gordon. He seems happy that he’s going to be fighting, but it sounds like he doesn’t care who he fights.

During the break, another match for Ultra Clash I is announced: Pennsylvania Championship Match: Tommy Cairo vs Tony Stetson w/ Hunter Q. Robbins III.

Segment 6: ECW Television Title Match: Jimmy Snuka w/ Eddie Gilbert vs Stan Hansen

In the pre-match segment, Paul E and Snuka are backstage talking about the upcoming match. But more importantly, is that we start to see the progression from Paul E. Dangerously to Paul E, as Paul is no longer wearing the suit and tie, but instead has removed the tie, opened the shirt, and is wearing a baseball cap. I wonder if we’ve seen the last of the WCW Paul E. Dangerously.

For those of you who don’t know Stan Hansen, he is pretty hard to describe. Imagine if you crossed Bradshaw with Vader, but with only intense brawling skills. And the chewing tobacco in his mouth6 while he wrestles completes the visual.

Snuka attacks before the bell, delivering a chop and a series of headbutts. Snuka off the ropes and gets a hip toss by Hansen. A shoulder block sends Snuka out of the ring. Hansen gives chase but then goes after Gilbert allowing Snuka to hit him with a double axe-handle from the apron and then slam his head into a table.

Back in the ring, Stan is thrown off the ropes, and Snuka nails him with a knife edge. Back outside, the two fight more. Snuka nails Hansen with a chair, but Hansen throws Snuka into Eddie Gilbert. Back in the ring, Snuka kicks and punches Hansen, and nails Hansen with a chop to the throat. Hansen thrown off the ropes, but Snuka lowers his head and Hansen kicks it. DDT on Snuka. Hansen picks up Snuka, who thumbs him in the eyes.

Snuka irish whips Hansen into the ropes, but Hansen holds on and levels Snuka with the Lariat.7 Cover by Hansen, but Eddie comes in to break up the count. Hansen goes after Eddie, but now Freddie Gilbert comes in as well. Hansen kicks Freddie and actually yanks down Freddie’s trousers and starts spanking him in the middle of the ring.8 Philly crowd roars in approval, as the show ends.

Analysis

Historic Significance

  • ECW Tag Team Title Tournament Brackets are announced, and two teams have advanced: The Koloffs and Sal Bellomo & The Sandman.
  • Jimmy Snuka retains the Television Title against Stan Hansen.

ECW Television Title Tournament
Bellomo & Sandman The Sandman &
Sal Bellomo
Tournament Semi Finalist Tournament Winner
Stetson & Michaels
The Headhunters The Koloffs (Ivan & Vladimir)
The Koloffs
Gilbert & Patriot Tournament Quarter Finalist Tournament Semi Finalist
JT Smith & Cairo
Super Destroyers Tournament Quarter Finalist
The Suicide Blondes

Debuts

  • The Metal Maniac (on ECW Television, not ECW itself)
  • Stan “The Lariat” Hansen

Titles

ECW Heavyweight Champion Don Muraco Since 04/03/1993
ECW Television Champion Jimmy Snuka Since 03/13/1993
ECW Tag Team Champions --vacated-- Since 07/27/1993
ECW Pennsylvania Champion Tommy Cairo Since 05/14/1993

ECW Spotlight: The Biggest Matches in ECW History DVD

Next week the WWE will be releasing a new DVD/Blu-Ray Disc titled: The Biggest Matches in ECW History, which will contain the following matches:

  • NWA Championship Match: Shane Douglas vs 2 Cold Scorpio
  • Hostile City Showdown 95: Raven vs Tommy Dreamer
  • Heat Wave 95: Dean Malenko & 2 Cold Scorpio vs Taz & Eddie Guerrero
  • ECW Television Title Match: Dean Malenko vs Eddie Guerrero
  • CyberSlam 96: Cactus Jack vs Shane Douglas
  • The Doctor is In: Chris Jericho vs 2 Cold Scorpio
  • CyberSlam 97: ECW Tag Team Championship – Tables and Ladders Match: Rob Van Dam & Sabu vs The Eliminators9
  • Barely Legal: Sabu vs Taz
  • November to Remember 97: ECW World Championship Match: Bam Bam Bigelow vs Shane Douglas
  • Heat Wave 98: ECW Tag Team Championship: Rob Van Dam & Sabu vs Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki
  • ECW Television Title Match: Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn
  • Guilty as Charged 99: ECW World Championship Match: Shane Douglas vs Tazz 10
  • Heat Wave 99: The Impact Players vs Rob Van Dam & Jerry Lynn
  • November to Remember 99: ECW World Title Match: Mike Awesome vs Masato Tanaka
  • CyberSlam 00: ECW World Title Match: Tazz vs Tommy Dreamer
  • CyberSlam 00: ECW World Title Match: Tommy Dreamer vs Justin Credible11
  • Heat Wave 00: ECW Television Title Match: Rhino vs The Sandman
  • Massacre on 34th Street: ECW Television Title Match: Rhino vs Spike Dudley
  • Jerry Lynn vs Christian York12

And the Blu-Ray has the following exclusive matches:

  • The Night the Line was Crossed: Jimmy Snuka vs Tommy Dreamer
  • The Night the Line was Crossed: ECW World Title Match: Shane Douglas vs Sabu vs Terry Funk

This is a pretty good set of matches. You have to wonder if there will be a lot of editing, especially with the early ECW matches.  The two real gems that stand out to me are the Jericho vs Scorpio match and the Malenko & Scorpio vs Taz & Guerrero match. Two very unique matches, and the tag match is where Taz broke his neck. It’s worth $20.00, I guess.

Am I going to purchase this? Probably not. But that’s because I prefer full cards to select matches from different eras. I like understanding all of the storylines that are happening at a particular super show. I want to see the matches in the order that the booker intended. And I want to experience how the fans in attendance experienced the card. Just my preferences.

Verdict

Wow, actually refreshing to see the advancement of storylines and actual matches. And even though it wasn’t a good match, I have never seen Stan Hansen versus Jimmy Snuka. I wouldn’t call it a dream match, but if it was on a card, it would certainly raise my eyebrows. So, a good one after weeks and weeks of crap. Let’s hope this continues. See you next week.

Footnotes

1 – I actually don’t know who wins this tournament. It’s probably one of the last title changes that I have no clue about.
2 – Wow, that’s annoying. And the worst part is, that you would only come up with that stipulation if you were going to use it. Most likely in the match, where you first announce it.
3 – Told ya, we wouldn’t have to wait long.
4 – Thank you www.wrestlingdata.com
5 – Nepotism in wrestling? Say it isn’t so.
6 – Usually tobacco juice running down his chest as well, if you really want to be disgusted.
7 – I’m not a huge Stan Hansen fan, but even I pop at his lariat clothesline. It is a thing of beauty.
8 – Tighty Whities for Freddie if you must know.
9 – I actually was in the audience for that one! Fun match, as I recall.
10 – This should not be on the DVD. Everyone knows that the rematch that took place a few weeks later at the ECW Arena was much better.
11 – They actually made this into two separate match listings for the disc?
12 – I have no idea why this match is on here. Did someone owe Christian York $20.00, and figured it was easier to put him on here and give him royalties?

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