Taped from Philadelphia, PA
Airdate: April 21, 1998
Hosted by Joey Styles
Joey welcomes us to another installment of the History of ECW. To start off the show he touts the ECW Arena as the best arena in the world and disses Madison Square Garden. One of the matches shown will be Chris Candido versus Axl Rotten. Also the two #1 contenders for the singles titles will face each other one-on-one.
Joel Gertner opens the program by recapping Tommy Dreamer’s cage match against “former WCW United States heavyweight champion” Raven from Heat Wave 95 followed by the highlight of the “chair shot heard ‘round the world.” Smugly he also touts the damage inflicted upon Dreamer and Sandman last week by the Dudley Boyz in Ft. Lauderdale. Just to be an asshole he then makes fun of Lori Fullington while she’s crying and insults her children. Wow! Now even I want to cane Gertner “down there.” I fear for his life if Sandman gets ahold of him. Finally he wants to turn Cobb County into a dry county and smoke-free zone.
We get the opener and Joey’s introduction. We then get highlights of Taz attacking Douglas’ hurt elbow. While running down the card for Wrestlepalooza Styles announces that a new match has been added: Bam Bam Bigelow versus New Jack.
In the ring Joey pumps up the crowd about the upcoming PPV when Taz’s music hits. Wearing his customary black towel on his head Taz enters the ring. He badmouths Shane Douglas while also wearing the letters FTW on his wrist tape. The ECW crowd stands firmly behind Taz with a “F--- the Franchise” chant.
As he refers to himself as the uncrowned heavyweight champion Heyman’s voice interrupts. Taz yells at him not to shut his microphone off. While touting his background he viciously intimidates Joey into holding the microphone. I’m quite certain Joey’s shorts aren’t the same color as when he entered the ring. His new motto is “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Mistakenly Joey says “nice guy” with sarcasm. Off goes the towel as Taz stalks Joey. Defensively Joey tries to clarify himself. Taz wants to put him six feet under.
He asks Joey even after the WCW exodus of ECW talent and Taz stayed if Joey still disrespects him. He gives Styles a stern warning. Joey’s response: “What’s with you, Taz?” Taz’s rebuts with a tremendous shove to the corner. Styles falls like a house of cards.
In a scene much less violent and more serene The FBI are shown flipping off the camera. They make their way to the ring showing off their dancing “skills.” Nova and the Blue Meanie hit the ring. As Joey makes a wise crack about him Meanie raises the roof. With his Southern (Italian) accent Tommy Rich gets on the microphone and challenges the Blue Meanie to a dance-off with Tracy Smothers.
Tracy begins to dance with less rhythm than a piece of paper. Not surprisingly the Philly fans boo. Tommy asks “Chubby Checkers” to dance now. To the crowd’s delight Meanie jiggles. Each participant gets a second try, but as Meanie starts to dance again Smothers jumps him from behind. Really? This never happens in wrestling! I would have called Deney Terrio back in 1998 to get his input on this contest.
Next we have highlights of New Jack versus Droz. New Jack leaps from the top turnbuckle and nails Droz with a chair to the back and gets the pin.
Following that brief footage Justin Credible is in the ring with Jason and Nicole Bass. He takes us back to 4 1/2 years ago when he debuted under the name PJ Walker. He refers to that time as a “stepping stone.” Afterwards he acknowledges his time in the WWF as Aldo Montoya. According to Credible it was just a “passing phase” in his career. He claims Scott Hall as a best friend and says he’s Justin Credible “for life.” The smart ECW crowd boos that out of the building.
In another highlight Tax legdrops a referee through a table then chokes him out with the Tazmission.
Meanwhile BBB stands in front of Fonzie ready to demolish him when suddenly RVD throws the chair at him and gives him the Van Daminator. BBB no sells it however and chair shots RVD in return. Fonzie tries to escape but BBB snapmares him. To show how hated Fonzie is by the ECW crowd they are cheering BBB of the Triple Threat. Bigelow easily hoists the lightweight former referee over his head, military presses him a few times, and then tosses him into the crowd! The crowd eats it up with a spoon and an “ECW” chant.
Our next highlight shows Bubba Ray and Big Dick Dudley stalking Beulah. Sign Guy Dudley destroys the referee with his sign. As soon as the Dudleys get close the lights go out! When the lights come back on Sandman is in the ring holding his Singapore cane. Big Dick bails immediately. Scared out of their tye dye Bubba and D-von hit the bricks as well. Wearing a neck collar Sandman looks to be in really bad shape. He gets the microphone and tells the Dudley Boyz they will get their “receipt” at the PPV.
Match 1: Chris Candido (w/ Francine) versus Axl Rotten
Storm and Mahoney are barred from ringside. Rotten is in the ring holding his favorite weapon– the steel chair. Francine interrupts the introductions asking for respect and claiming to be a lady. We take a commercial break.
After the break they tie up and Rotten grabs the headlock. Candido shoots him off but gets shoulderblocked. After a leapfrog by Candido he hiptosses and armdrags Rotten. He wrings the arm but gets pummeled with a right hand. After a reversed Irish whip Candido gives Rotten a huracanrana. I’m surprised Joey didn’t call it a Franken-Skip. Upon performing his best Hunter Hearst Helmsley imitation (formal bow) Candido receives another fist to the mush. Axl claps, and the crowd claps with him.
After Rotten takes some bows he drags Candido corner-to-corner and makes him eat turnbuckle. A chop and a cross-corner whip put Candido down temporarily. From a different corner Rotten delivers a couple of clubbing forearms. He then cross-corner whips Candido again. Chris was seeking the springboard off the ropes but crotches himself instead. OUCH!
Rotten grabs a side headlock but gets shot off the ropes. When Francine grabs Rotten’s ankle Candido tries to attack him but gets vaulted over the top rope to the concrete floor. Rotten follows him to the floor and gives him a couple of shots. The crowd chants “Axl.” He then whips Candido over the steel railing. Wielding a chair he nails Candido in the head! As Candido returns to ringside Rotten gives him a chair shot to the back.
Francine rakes the eyes of Rotten. Candido then gives him a chair shot to the back and whips him into the steel railing. As soon as Candido works him over with chops and punches he rolls Rotten back into the ring and asks the crowd: “Who’s hardcore now?” He continues to work over Rotten then gets admonished by the referee. Shortly thereafter Rotten slides out to get a breather, and Francine gives him a knee to the gut!
Candido hits Rotten with a pescado. They exchange blows on the floor until Candido rams Rotten’s head into the ring apron. Back in the ring Candido gives him his patented delayed vertical suplex then six chops in the corner as the crowd “Woo’s.” Rotten fires back with five chops of his own. After an Irish whip he elbows Candido to the canvas. He tries another whip but puts his head down and gets caught.
An ill-advised headlock by Candido gets easily broken. Rotten comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock. After another leapfrog by Candido Rotten chops him again. After another cross-corner whip Rotten avalanches him. Another whip gets a clothesline by Axl, and another whip gets a back body drop. A few punches lead to the bionic elbow.
Rotten clotheslines Candido from the second rope. As soon as he signals for the SST Francine enters the ring. Rotten confronts her in the corner. Francine tosses a chain to Candido. Chris tries to nail him but misses. Instead Rotten gives Candido the SST and pins him. He drags Francine back into the ring to give her some retribution but is thwarted by a chair shot to the back.
All of a sudden Balls Mahoney hits the ring and nails Candido with punches and a back body drop. He clotheslines Candido but gets slapped by Francine twice. Mahoney grabs her by the hair and puts her over his shoulder in preparation for the Nutcracker Suite. Seeing BBB hit the ring he puts her down to go after him. Unfortunately Balls gets the Greetings from Asbury Park while Candido gives another chair shot to the back of Rotten. **
We return with a promo from Fonzie. Which corner will he represent in the RVD-Sabu match at Wrestlepalooza? He flips a coin but does not reveal his choice. Buy the PPV to find out!
Match 2: Al Snow (w/ Head) versus Sabu (w/ Fonzie)
As Snow enters the ring the crowd headbang their Styrofoam heads overhead. After a quick break Sabu sets up a table and goes to work on Snow. Upon coming off the ropes he tries a victory roll but Snow drops him on his face instead. He repositions the table then DDTs Sabu. He places Sabu on the table and climbs to the top. Sabu greets him there and gives him a huracanrana through the table! Awkwardly Snow is bent backwards. Sabu is cut under the right eye and blood is all over the right side of his face.
As both men lay on the canvas RVD comes to ringside to check on Sabu. He wants the match stopped as Sabu gets a 2 count. Fists are exchanged until Sabu dropkicks the legs out from under Snow. He sets up a chair and gives Snow the Whisper in the Wind. Slingshot moonsault by Sabu gets another 2 count. Snow tries to fight out of the corner, but Sabu throws a chair right at his head!
Triple jump moonsault by Sabu onto Snow’s back. After a delayed cover he gets a 2 count. He sets up the chair again and plants Snow with a DDT. Sabu tries another triple jump moonsault but doesn’t land properly on the top rope. Is it me or is anyone else tired of Sabu trying spots and f------ up? In order to gain momentum (and save face) Snow clotheslines him out of the ring.
They fight on the outside until Snow hits an Asai moonsault into the front row! Back in the ring Snow gives him the sit-out powerbomb. In lieu of covering him he grabs a chair. He hits Sabu three times with the chair. He leaves the chair on top of Sabu and mounts the top turnbuckle. As he descends Sabu throws the chair at him again! As they get to their feet Sabu throws the chair at him a third time!
Sabu follows with the Arabian facebuster, sets up another table, and delivers another chair shot to Snow. Yet another chair shot puts Snow on the table. In a cruel twist Sabu mounts the top rope, and Snow greets him there. RVD gets up on the apron to distract the referee. Snow tries the Snow Plow from the top, but Fonzie trips the leg of Snow. Just as Sabu was pinning Snow for the three count RVD throws in the towel! Angrily the crowd pelts the ring with their Styrofoam heads. Sabu takes exception to RVD’s actions and they fight over the belt again! Would have been *** if not for the Sabu mishap and sports entertainment finish.
Joey promotes the pay-per-view and informs us that Shane Douglas will require surgery again on his right elbow after Wrestlepalooza.
From the WWE Studios Joey wraps up another edition of the History of ECW.
Wrestlepalooza is fast approaching, and this show did a great job of tying up loose ends for it. The flow of this show can be summed up pretty quickly. The first part of the show was for the storyline while the second part was for the wrestling despite the cop-out finish of the main event. With one more show before the PPV it’ll be interesting to find out what happens next!
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