What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – January 24, 1995

ECW Tag Team Champions the Public Enemy get on a boxcar so they can get from Philadelphia to Florida. In Florida, in front of a Daily Planet sign, Johnny Grunge says that Superman is scared of them, which is why a chain link fence is in front of the sign. Then, Grunge finishes doing some graffiti and makes fun of Sabu’s appearance. Spliced between the promos are video highlights of an Enemy match in Florida against Mr. President and Death Row 3260.

Joey Styles says that tonight’s show is happening during a tornado warning in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Call 1-900-884-4ECW to hear a debate between Ian and Axl Rotten!

Opening Contest: Chris Benoit pins 2 Cold Scorpio (1-0) after blocking a front roll at 13:28:

Benoit was a Canadian wrestler trained by the legendary Stu Hart. Idolizing the Dynamite Kid, Benoit added some of the Kid’s moves to his arsenal like his snap suplex and diving headbutt and he began his career in Hart’s Stampede Wrestling promotion in 1985. Benoit got further seasoning in New Japan, where he wrestled under a mask as the Pegasus Kid and won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title, two Super Junio tournaments, and the first Super J-Cup. In between his Japan stints he had a less than stellar run in WCW as a tag team partner with Bobby Eaton before coming to ECW in 1994. When he accidentally broke Sabu’s neck at November to Remember that year, he acquired the nickname “the Crippler” which stuck with him for the rest of his career. Benoit and Scorpio had a history, with Scorpio beating Benoit with a second to spare at SuperBrawl III in 1993 and in the NWA title tournament last year. Throughout the match a fan is knocking a cowbell and that gets annoying fast. The action picks up after the six-minute mark, with Scorpio scoring two near-falls from a splash and somersault leg drop and Benoit doing the same after a German suplex and powerbomb. A vocal fan urges Scorpio to “kick Benoit in the balls” several times so Scorpio obliges with a mule kick after doing a leapfrog and that gets a small pop from the crowd. Scorpio kicks out of a Tombstone piledriver and diving headbutt, with the crowd booing after Scorpio puts his arms out to cushion the Tombstone’s blow. The match seems over when Benoit goes for a super side suplex and Scorpio adjusts his weight in mid-air, but Benoit kicks out of that as well as a moonsault. Scorpio drops down to escape a dragon suplex and tries a front roll, but Benoit drops down to block and gets the three. After a slow start this moved along at a great pace. It was really anyone’s match by the end. Rating: ***½

Styles puts over the “Double Tables” show happening at ECW Arena, giving a rundown of the card. Matches include Benoit against Al Snow, Mikey Whipwreck against Paul Lauria, Ian Rotten against Axl Rotten, Steve Richards against Tommy Dreamer, and the Public Enemy defending their titles against Sabu and the Tazmaniac. Tully Blanchard was supposed to face Shane Douglas, but Styles says that Blanchard has left ECW, so Douglas has no challenger.

Paul E. Dangerously talks up Sabu and the Tazmaniac and how they will end the Public Enemy’s reign of terror. This was a surprisingly mediocre promo by Dangerously and his weird allusions to how Sabu and the Tazmaniac were cops was odd.

This week’s Extreme Encyclopedia defines Cactus Jack as a “toothless, earless freak whose psychotic style and spirit truly epitomizes that of ECW.”

Styles says that Tully Blanchard must have left ECW because he did not realize that in 1995 he still had to fight.

Raven does a taped promo in a playground at night, saying that Tommy Dreamer will relive the anguish of an uncertain youth.

ECW Championship Match: Shane Douglas (Champion) beats Ron Simmons via referee stoppage at 6:48:

Before the match starts, Simmons tells Douglas that he is going to beat him with a fractured shoulder. Giving away information like that may not be beneficial and sure enough, Douglas concentrates his attack on the weakened body part for the duration of the contest. That attack is not very interesting, though, as Douglas uses basic fists and stomps to wear Simmons down. The exception is when Simmons goes to throw Douglas off the top rope and Douglas takes Simmons arm and snaps it across the top rope as he falls to the floor. 2 Cold Scorpio runs into the ring and the referee stops the match when Simmons cannot lift his arm. Simmons did a good job selling the arm, but this match and result were abysmal. Rating: *

After the match, Douglas issues an open challenge to anyone in Florida to face him as garbage pelts the ring. Tully Blanchard runs out in a t-shirt and shorts to answer it, tearing into Douglas as Styles hypes him as the old, Four Horsemen Blanchard. Blanchard delivers a slingshot suplex but Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko hit the ring, allowing Douglas to put Blanchard in a figure-four leg lock as the show goes off the air.

Tune in next week to see the Sandman face Cactus Jack in a falls count anywhere match!

The Last Word: The opening match along made this show fun viewing. Tully Blanchard showed some good fire in the last segment until he had to bump and fell awkwardly to the canvas. It appears that ECW is going to go all-in on a Blanchard-Douglas rematch for the February 4 ECW Arena show. One would assume that they will not do an hour draw again.

Backstage News*: ECW is trying to paper over the bad Shane Douglas-Tully Blanchard match from the previous ECW Arena show by saying that Blanchard tried to make a comeback as a wrestler but this time he is going to wrestle as a brawler. ECW plans for the feud to go through March.

*ECW expanded its television coverage into Birmingham, Alabama on WABM. It will air there at eleven o’clock in the morning on Saturdays. The MSG Network is bouncing around the show’s airtime but it looks like one in the morning would be a good guess.

*Although the Florida shows in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando did not draw a lot of fans, the promotion made more than $7,000 in merchandise, especially videotape sales.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 6.

Up Next: ECW Hardcore TV for January 31!

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