EXTREME RETRO REVIEW #002:
Eastern Championship Wrestling
HARDCORE TV 04/05/93
Hosts: Jay Sulli & Stevie Wonderful
Location: Cabrini Field House
Attendance: 75… Maybe
-Eastern Championship Wrestling theme music opens and it shows shots of guys you will be seeing in the promotion, including: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, The Super Destroyers, J.T. Smith, British Bulldog, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Don Muraco’s Henny Gut, Sandman’s Keg Gut, “Wildman” Sal Baratheon, Nikolai Volkoff (AS A BABYFACE!!) 1000-year old Ivan Koloff and other local geeks…
-Jay Sulli looks like Kevin Kelly doing a Bob Barker impersonation. Stevie Wonderful looks like DDP when he first broke in the business. They bring out ECW president Tod “Is God” Gordon, who is holding the new Television Title. Gordon announces that there will be TV title tournament. Tod then announces THE LIVING LEGEND, Terry Funk, will be accompanying Sulli and Stevie in the PBP booth, but “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert comes out instead. Tod has Eddie look at the monitor as they go to a “Quantum Leap” clip to lead-in to Funk joining the booth (He did a guest spot… Oh Boy.) Funk comes out, puts over ECW and we go to a break.
-Commercial Time: So, I have the VHSRips (Due to being an IWC Pirate/Tape Trader) so I’ll be throwing random commercials from the 90’s here and there. They are showing ECW from SportsChannel: The collective name for a former group of regional sports networks in the United States that was owned by Cablevision, which from 1988 until the group’s demise, operated it as a joint venture with NBC.
Operating from March 1, 1979 to January 27, 1998, it was the country’s first regional sports network, and along with Prime Network, was an important ancestor to many of the regional sports outlets in the U.S., particularly Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet. At its peak, SportsChannel operated nine networks serving several of the nation’s largest cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. (Credit: Wikipedia)
-ECW is sponsored by CARVER W. REED (Tod’s pawn shop.)
Hell Riders vs. Super Destroyers (w/Hunter Q. Robbins III)
Hell Riders are EZ Rider and HD Rider… umkay… Hell Riders jump-start the heat, but the D’s take over. The D’s are super terrible. Stuff happens. Commentary is just talking about which D is which. Stevie isn’t bad on color and the D’s go over with a powerbomb/Somersault senton combo in about 3-4 minutes. (*) Funk gets into a verbal spat with Hunter Q. Funk calls him Hunter Q. Robbins “the Turd.” Hilarity ensues.
-Long as fuck Sandman vignette, set to the tune of “Big Shot” by Billy Joel. He looks like a Fat Sting in 1993, still in the surfer gimmick. Sandman is doing moves. Nothing like the iconic sloppy drunk I’m used to, so the “De-evolution” of him is gonna be fun to watch. (Spoiler: It’s not.)
-They show the TV Title tournament bracket. Round 1 is #1 seed Jimmy Snuka vs. #8 seed Larry Winters. (Note: Larry Winters was part owner of Tri-State before it folded.) Also #4 seed “Iron Man” Tommy Cairo vs. #6 “Wildman” Bellomo. #2 Eddie Gilbert vs. #7 J.T. Smith. Stevie puts over Smith/Gilbert possibly being one of the greatest scientific matches of all-time. (L.O.L.) I’m sure he has not watched either guy wrestle ever. Lastly, #3 Glenn Osbourne vs. #5 Johnny HotBody.
Round 1 TV Title tournament match: #6 “Wildman” Sal Bellomo (w/ Cosmic Commander and a rat) vs. #4 “Iron Man” Tommy Cairo
Cairo is in Zubaz tights and a fringe leather jacket. Funk has Cairo cut a quick promo shilling the SportsChannel/ECW marriage. Commentary puts Cairo over as being undefeated, so I’m sure he will be the top young babyface they push. Bellomo is just terrible. Test of strength is won by Cairo, but then gets jumped by Sal. Nice armdrag into an overhead wristlock by Bellomo. It’s still terrible, but I will put over cool moves. Funk: “I wouldn’t wanna wake up in a bed next to Bellomo.” I guess Vicki is a beard. Cosmic Commander is jaw-jacking to Funk and then jumps on the ring apron. Johnny Hotbody does a run-in. Heel miscommunication sends Bellomo to the outside for the count-out. (*) HotBody Pearl Harbors Cairo. He misses an elbow drop and powders.
Tony “The Hitman” Stetson vs. The Rockin’ Rebel
Overdubbed music plays as Stetson faces off against local journeyman Rebel. I don’t know whose mullet is better. They trade moves as nothing of note happens. Stevie puts over Rebels body #Pause. Funk puts over the babyface. It’s the first show, so, growing pains like Hollywood and I… More sloppy stuff happens. Rebel puts his feet on the ropes for the W (*) Sulli cuts a promo with Rebel as he is the #1 contender for the ECW Heavyweight Title. Rebel cuts a quick promo calling out the Sandman.
Round 1 TV Title Tournament match: #8 Larry Winters vs. #1 Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
Jungle music brings Snuka to the ring. Sulli is brought to ringside to conduct an interview. Snuka escorts Sulli to tell the fans that he has a contract (L.O.L.) and Eddie Gilbert is his new manager. Heel Snuka… Nice… Eddie Gilbert comes out to reform HOT STUFF INTERNATIONAL (Old Mid-South/Memphis faction/stable) Sulli puts over Funk on commentary while (Heel) Snuka is getting his new move set in. Basically, it’s a complete squash with a couple of hope spots. Crowd is intrigued at Heel Snuka because its different. Another thing is the pairing with Gilbert. Memphis cheating mixed with NY pacing. It’s sneaky chicken-shit + arrogant savage, and it works because Larry Winters’s noodle appendages and sissy mullet isn’t going over anyone. Fans pop for the Superfly splash for the W (*) Snuka throw Winters out of the ring to let you know he’s a heel.
-Funk and Sulli try to wrap up the show, but Sal is beating up a local geek for the W?!? What was that?!
-Funk and Tod plug the matches for next week and they go off the air. Voice-over plugs the mailbox.
OVERALL: Not a bad start… Just bad characters… Thumbs in the middle.
The following link is for the audio version of this review. It’s our second episode and it shows.
Next week: We continue the suck that is 1993 ECW.
Tags: 1993, Eastern Championship Wrestling, ECW, Eddie Gilbert, Extreme, Extreme Retro Review, Hardcore, paul heyman, Philadelphia, Street Smark Audio, terry funk, The Fuj, Tod Gordon, wrestling, WWE Network