The semifinals of the TV Title Tournament on tap, and I’m afraid and excited for these matches all at the same time.
EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
(HARDCORE TV #3)
APRIL 20, 1993
CURRENT CHAMPION ROLL CALL
ECW Heavyweight Champion: The Sandman
ECW Television Champion: Vacant
ECW Tag Team Champions: The Super Destroyers
– Welcome back to The Cabrini College Fieldhouse! Yes, that’s where we have been for 3 straight weeks. Jay Sulli and Stevie Wonderful are ringside to call the action. Wonderful’s multicolored vest with full silk back makes me wonder whose birthday party he will be doing magic tricks for later. And for the 3rd week in a row, Stevie introduces Eddie Gilbert to the announce team. Sulli says he will not be tricked like last week. HE’S DONE THE SAME OPENING BIT FOR 3 FUCKING WEEKS NOW!!!! Gilbert knows that and babyfaces to Sulli as Terry Funk walks out. Gilbert wants to shake his hand but the old Texican ain’t having it. Gilbert says he is sorry to Funk and leaves. UP NEXT, THE SUPER DESTROYERS!
ECW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
1. The Super Destroyers (with Hunter Q. Robins III) (C) vs. Super Ninja & Canadian Wolfman
– Holy fuck, Wolfman looks like bloody hell. Champs attack before the bell with their belts on. Wolfman can barely hit the ropes correctly, either from being poorly trained or being gassed, and SD#2 just beats the piss out of him. Crowd chants asshole and Sulli tries to kayfabe it. SD#1 comes in and just fucks up Wolfman’s whole entire week. SD#2 back in and tries to decapitate Wolfman with a lariat. I think he’s legit knocked out. SD#2 makes him tag Ninja who bounces off SD#2 with a dropkick. Good news, Wolfman is vertical on the apron. Bad news, SD#2 hits a senton on Ninja for the win @ 3:51. (This is like if you watched a compilation of Road Warrior squashes for 4 minutes. DUD.)
– Funk has HQR3 at ringside and Eddie Gilbert attacks Terry from behind. We got refs getting laid out and doing barrel rolls through the crowd and Sulli is screaming. Let’s go to break!
TV TITLE TOURNAMENT, SEMIFINAL MATCH
2. “Ironman” Tommy Cairo vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (with “Hotstuff” Eddie Gilbert)
– Gilbert has me in stitches already. He’s wearing an absurdly large cowboy hat and acting like Funk, while still sporting the same PWI t-shirt. Gilbert has moved to commentary and does Terry Funk impressions. Sulli is disgusted. Oh we have a match happening, don’t we? Headlock action again. Snuka shoots Cairo off at one point, and just turns around with his back to Cairo. Cairo has no idea what to do, so what does he come up with on the spot? Another fucking headlock. Let’s just skip to the ending. Ref bumped, Cairo with a fisherman bridge on Snuka, no ref to count. What do you think happens next? Yep, Johnny Hotbody, motherfuckers! He fumbles a set of brass knuckles as Cairo dumps him out. Snuka grabs the knucks and drops him. Superfly Splash ends it @ 5:20. With that Cairo is no longer undefeated. (More importantly, you always hear wrestlers boast how they are great improve actors because everything is done in one take. Well this fucking debacle proves, there is definitely no second take. I mean, even Tod Gordon had to be throwing shit in the back watching this car wreck. DUD. Is there anything lower than DUD, cause this is it.)
– With that, Jimmy Snuka will face either Eddie Gilbert or Glenn Osbourne. At this point, I’d rather see Tamina Snuka vs. Kelly Osbourne. Sulli is beside himself with Gilbert’s tactics as he interviews Snuka and Gilbert. Gilbert spits at the camera and does a worse Funk impression than Jim Ross. Snuka said absolutely nothing. Updated bracket, and they almost got the alignment fixed! Someone is reading my strongly worded letters I sent in! Except for the lower part that is still all kinds of fucked.
TV TITLE TOURNAMENT, SEMIFINAL MATCH
3. Glen Osbourne vs. “Hotstuff” Eddie Gilbert (with unidentified woman in a miniskirt)
– It’s as if ring announcer, Bob Artese, already knows how bad this is going to be ahead of time. ECW being dicks and taking on N off of Osbourne’s first name from last week. Oh geez, now Gilbert has a microphone. Oh her name is Tigra. Thanks Eddie. Eddie offers Osbourne the chance to walk out now. Osbourne looks like Clay Matthews, minus the really good hair…and muscles. I mean, I’m not wanting to sleep with Clay Matthews, but I he looked real smooth in those shampoo commercials. Anywho. Osbourne decides to face Gilbert. Osbourne is limited here so Gilbert has to bounce off him like he’s Superman. Gilbert does a comical rope spot where he is standing on his head. Crowd, nor commentary, nor I, give a shit. If these were all taped the same day, then many fans have already left because the bleachers are very empty. Sulli comments that no ring barricade is safe when Gilbert is around. The “barricade” he speaks of is the same rope that you would see at a bank that you form a line around. Gilbert holds onto a chinlock for a while. I’m more focused on Osbourne’s paint that has rubbed off onto Gilbert’s forehead and it looks like he participated in Ash Wednesday prior to this match. Osbourne mounts a comeback, but Gilbert nails him in the face with the brass knuckles for the win @ 6:48. Mind you, this is while the referee watched the whole act unfold, AND STILL COUNTED THE PIN. AND NOW, HE REVERSES THE DECISION???? Osbourne wins via disqualification. (This was a bit more entertaining than the first match. But the finish was comical. D.)
– Post match. Now, keep in mind, the referee saw Gilbert reach in his tights, grab the knucks, and nail Osbourne. He counted to 3 and awarded the match to Gilbert. But when Jay fucking Sulli grabs him and tells him what happened, now we have a DQ. So Gilbert is in the midst of arguing with Sulli and the referee, when “White Denim” Terry Funk returns and blasts him with a chair and chases him to the back. Now, keep in mind, back in Episode 2, we saw the debut of “White Denim” Terry Funk. But he wasn’t White Denim when he appeared at the top of Episode 3. So I ask you, did he revert back to White Denim for that run-in, or are we taping shit all out of order here? It’s a legitimate question.
– Funk is stumbling around, being incoherent. He threatens Stevie and throws chairs. What the fuck did Stevie do? He reminds everyone who he is..Terry Funk, the meanest bastard in the town. They let ass go through, but bastard gets bleeped.
– Back from break, and Rockin’ Rebel is at ringside with Sulli. He calls Peaches over to him and asks her what he doesn’t have that SURFER Sandman has. He grabs her and wants a kiss. She slaps the taste out of his mouth, literally. Rebel slides into the ring in a RAGE! This leads to…
4. Rockin’ Rebel vs. Frank Cody
– Rebel just chops Cody to shit. Spinebuster ends it for Cody @ 23 seconds. (DUD)
– Post match, Rebel has enough time from dropping poor Frank Cody to catch Peaches in the aisle and bring her into the ring. May or may not have taken some sexual liberties with her head and his crotch as they enter the ring. But here comes SURFER Sandman! And no sneak attack by SURFER Sandman isn’t complete unless he brings his giant surfboard with him into the ring. Such a great idea that Sandman about slips and faceplants himself bringing it into the ring. Sandman punches Rebel until Tigra comes in and claws the eyes of Sandman. Rebel grabs the surfboard and BREAKS IT OVER SANDMAN’S HEAD! I legit popped for that, even if it was styrofoam. Sandman is laid out and Sulli yells that Sandman may be dead! This is too much. We have the TV Title Finals up next.
FINALS OF THE ECW TELEVISION TITLE TOURNAMENT
5. Glen Osbourne (0nly one N) vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (with “Hotstuff” Eddie Gilbert)
– This match given an odd, 40 minute time limit. I don’t see it going more than 6. Oh, NOW the ref wants to check Snuka for brass knucks in his tights. Gilbert and Tod Gordon have joined for commentary. I wish I had a counter for Gordon’s voice cracking. Gordon is asking what the hell is going on around here. “You got broken surfboards….WOMEN”. That’s an actual quote. Fans in the background are more focused on Gilbert and Gordon arguing at the announce table. Snuka gets dumped outside. No one cares. Gilbert distracts Osbourne and Snuka capitalizes. I just noticed that Stevie is not there. Gilbert on the apron arguing with the ref and Osbourne shoves Snuka into the referee. Osbourne rolls up Snuka, but Gilbert drops an elbow on him. Superfly Splash ends it @ 4:03, and Jimmy Snuka is your new ECW Television Champion. (A dreadful match. Even though I knew who won, I was hoping we would have something fun in this. Literally the same exact match from earlier with Snuka and Cairo. DUD.)
– Now standing by in the back is Stevie to get an update on Sandman. This is what pops up on my screen, and it deserves to be shared with you all.
– He is very nice to Peaches, I’ll give him that much. She is, well trying to muster up some real tears. No update on Sandman. But Stevie promises we get to see Don Muraco next week. Well, let me just send out a mass text right now so I can have everyone gathered around for that!
– I was so amped to be coming back and doing recaps. And not knowing the history of ECW from the start, I was hoping I would get something of substance. What I get is comparable to the old UWF show reboots from ’94. At least its so bad that I can get plenty of material to share with you guys. So yeah, we get Muraco next week. Plus, Rebel face Sandman for the ECW Title, so I guess he is going to pull through. I would also like to apologize for the number of times I use the word “fuck”. I tend to overuse it. Finally, if anyone can assist me in finding these lost episodes of Hardcore TV, please give me some guidance. Because after next week, there is no episode 5 and I’ve hit many dead ends (and possibly viruses for my computer in the process) in my journey to fill in these blanks. Until next time, take a second and let all of this show set in.