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ECW Hardcore TV - March 8, 1994

by Scrooge McSuck

- WWE Network. Still awesome. I was never big on ECW. That should probably disqualify me automatically from doing random looks back at the programming that was presented on a local sports network at 3 on Wednesday mornings. This was back when it was still "Eastern Championship Wrestling", under the NWA Umbrella, but the seeds were already in place for a change, as you will notice from the action we're about to witness over the course of the next half hour (I'm assuming music right edits cut footage, and the countless commercials that were probably used to hype crappy merchandise to act as bumpers).

- Joey Styles is "In the Eagle's Nest Above the ECW Arena", according to the on-screen caption. That's fancy talk for "inside Paul E.'s Parents' Garage." He's quickly joined "off camera" by "The Franchise" Shane Douglas.

- We're instantly treated to a squash match featuring 911. He Double Chokeslams Mikey Whipwreck and some other poor unfortunate soul for the easy win, then Chokeslams them again. The crowd wants more, so Paul E. Dangerously feeds him two ring attendants, because it's E-C-Dub! E-C-Dub!

Axl and Ian Rotten vs. Johnny Hotbody & Tony Stetson:

Ugh, here's ECW for you: Two fat, out of shape garbage brawlers against two soft-bodied nobodies with poor hairlines and a complete lack of muscle, or in Stetson's case, a tan. Want to know an AWESOME tidbit? Johnny Hotbody was the first Triple Crown ECW Champion. Axl shows off his rasslin' abilities, taking Stetson down with a hip toss and arm drag. Hardbody blind tags his way in, leading to team miscommunication. Somewhere in the chaos, Ian Rotten threw a pretty terrible dropkick. Stetson and Hotbody argue over the floor, probably over why anyone would willingly sell being "hit" by the phantom dropkick in question. To give those unfamiliar an image, Axl looks like a bloated Brian Knobbs, and Ian... is REALLY fucking ugly. Ian crushes Stetson in the corner and takes him down with a double underhook suplex. Drop toe hold and splash gets two. Ian works over Hotbody next, with a vicious underhook DDT and back suplex. He misses a dive from the apron, and Hotbody takes him down on the concrete with a suplex. Back inside, Hotbody with a crappy camel clutch. Powerslam gets two. He takes Ian off the top with a Super-Plex, but Stetson wants the tag. This buys time for Axl to pull a switch-a-roo, and he easily rolls Stetson up for three at around 5:45. * This could've been worse. It's shockingly the least "Hardcore" match featured on this broadcast. Digest that for a second.

- We take a look at the Sandman's recent saga. The video starts with a classy quote from him, "Life's a bitch, and then you marry one." That sure isn't family friendly like the WWF and WCW! Sandman appears to be making a transition from "weird spandex wearing surfer wanna-be" to "beer drinking, chain smoking prick." He's having issues with his wife, Peaches, and a close friend named Tommy Cairo. Weird to see him as anything BUT the Sandman of popular fame.

- The Bruise Brothers (Ron and Don Harris) come to the ring, beating down Hack Myers and some unnamed Ginger Jabroni. It's an official match, I guess, but it features a short brawl in and out of the ring, and the Bruise Brothers finishing Ginger Jabroni off with a double boot at 1:08. After the match, they continue beating on Ginger and Myers until they're out of the camera's site. OK?

ECW Tag Team Championship Match:
Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac © (w/ Woman) vs. The Public Enemy:

No entrances shown, so maybe there's licensing issues with music? Sullivan quickly tosses Rocco Rock to the floor, working him over with the timekeeper's hammer. Meanwhile, Taz seems to be having his way with Johnny Grunge. They make their way to the outside, where Taz slams Grunge through a nearby table. Chairs come into play, complete with unprotected shots to the heads of both Grunge and Rocco Rock. Back in the ring, the Champs with a double clothesline to Rocco. Suddenly, the Bruise Brothers show up, and start brawling with whoever they can. One pairs up with Johnny Grunge, the other with Taz. Taz and a Bruise Brother brawl into a brawlin' Sullivan and Rock, leading to Rock landing on Sullivan and getting a seemingly improbably three count at 2:36... did I mention we have NEW Tag Team Champions? Off of a weak bump and being fallen on top of? Woman doesn't appear to be very happy with Taz over the loss and stupid, boneheaded, mistake. Won't bother rating it, too short.

- We try to get a word with the New Champions, but they speed out of the parking lot. Kevin Sullivan isn't afraid to talk, and I guess they have a new hired muscle, some talentless looking, over-sized, grunting idiot with the name "Crash" plastered all over the screen... wait, Crash The Terminator?! Wow, HUGH MORRUS as someone's hired muscle. Someone protect me, please, I'm so scared!

Road Warrior Hawk vs. The Pit Bull (w/ Jason, The Sexiest Man On Earth):

Hey, it's time for the second half of tonight's "Double Main Event." Even Gorilla Monsoon wouldn't be able to say "A Main Event in any arena in the Country" with a straight face, and this is the man who said it about Tito Santana and Dino Bravo in 1989! I hope the trend of 2-minute matches continues. Loud LOD chant, but unfortunately, Paul E.'s checking account could only cover the cost of one Road Warrior. Lockup and Hawk gives a clean break. Knee to the midsection and a big chop, followed by what would generously be called a "diving" shoulder tackle. He takes Pit Bull down with a gut-wrench suplex, followed up with a jumping fist drop for a two count. Pit Bull comes back with a clothesline and clubberin' blows. Hawk no-sells, comes out of the corner with a clothesline, and comes off the top with another clothesline for three at 1:50. Well, it was short, and that's all I asked for. Hawk press slams Jason, The Sexiest Man on Earth™, on top of Pit Bull for good measure. Here comes the Public Enemy to pound on Hawk, despite having sped out of the parking lot 5 minutes ago. Sullivan and Taz show up with lead pipes, whackin' people like oles. Suddenly Shane Douglas ends up in the ring, punching random people. Terry Funk arrives with a LADDER, 'cause why the fuck not? He slams it on Shane Douglas, because it's Shane Douglas, why the fuck not? Yes, I'm aware I just used the same crappy joke twice, consecutively. And that's all folks!

Final Thoughts: Well, this was... something. It's technically not Extreme Championship Wrestling, but you can see where it was going. Lots of garbage brawling, nonsensical weapon use, and the introduction of edgier characters like the Sandman, potential woman (not to be confused with Woman) beater. The wrestling wasn't very good, the production levels are sub-standard, and the whole show feels like a waste-land of WWF and WCW cast-offs and rejects... and at the same time, it has a weird charm about it. No, this isn't the ECW everyone loved, but as a window into the past, to see what ECW was, what it became, and where it went as it began to crumble, it's an interesting look. Hopefully the next episode I pluck through has a bit more meat to it, but this definitely gave me plenty of ammunition. Can't complain too much about that.

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