Stranger Things Presents: EASTERN Championship Wrestling – 10/5/93

This is the earliest episode that is posted on The Network.

Joey Styles opens the door for us, welcoming us to NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, and already in the ring are The Public Enemy, Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. Joey’s broadcast partner is Paul E. Dangerously. Paul was actually the newly-named booker for the company, as Eddie Gilbert split after then-owner Tod Gordon had enough of Gilbert’s craziness. ECW Mutant Watch #1: the guy holding the sign that has Beavis & Butthead on it with “NWA: No Wuses (sic) Allowed”.

Match #1 – The Public Enemy vs. Silver Jet & Gino Caruso.

PE working over Caruso in their corner to start. Rocco misses an elbow drop, and Caruso tags in the Jet. Jet takes Rocco down, and hits an elbow drop. Rocco takes over, and hits a back elbow to the Jet coming off the ropes. Joey and Paul tell us that Badd Company, Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond are coming next week. Rocco hits a crisp springboard moonsault off the middle rope for the 2. Grunge tags in, and hits a powerslam off a whip. Grunge hits a Scorpion Deathdrop (called a reverse bulldog by Joey), then tags in Rocco. Rocco then promptly hits a cannonball from the top, and gets the 3 with the arrogant cover. *

WINNERS: The Public Enemy. Just a squash for the PE, as Joey and Paul built up a confrontation between Badd Company and Public Enemy.


Match #2 – The Tazmaniac vs. Sabu.

Sabu is wheeled out a la Hannibal Lecter, strapped to a gurney wearing the restraining mask. The Tazmaniac is in the ring with Sabu’s manager, Hunter Q. Robbins III,  who warns Tazmaniac not to touch him. Tazmaniac grabs Robbins, which leads to the orders to release Sabu from his restraints. Sabu charges the ring and hits Taz from behind with a spin kick. Sabu with a legdrop to the back of the neck. Taz to the floor, and Sabu hits a springboard moonsault to Taz and we’re into the crowd! Robbins calls for Sabu to be restrained, and we hit a break.

When we come back, Sabu is in the crowd tossing chairs everywhere with people GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY! Tazmaniac catches up to him out there and the brawl is on. They make their way back to ringside with Sabu bringing a table with him. Sabu puts Taz out to the floor with a spin kick, then hits a somersault plancha to Taz on the floor. Taz takes over with chair shots. Sabu comes back with a springboard flip to Taz on the floor. Back in the ring, Taz hits a rear double underhook suplex (called by Joey) that lands Sabu on his frickin’ head. JEEE-BUS! Then Taz hits an overhead belly to belly. Sabu kicks out at 2. Sabu takes Taz down by the leg, and we have a rest spot. Taz comes back with a clothesline, and he puts Sabu to the floor. Taz puts a table in the ring, but Sabu takes over and sets up the table. Taz gets put on the table, but the TABLE BOTCHES underneath him. Taz recovers and hits a belly to belly. Sabu hits a dropkick, but misses a move and hits the broken table. Sabu reverses a whip to the corner, and goes for a top rope hurracanrana, but Taz doesn’t take it properly. Ugh! Taz climbs to the top and misses a front flip. Sabu hits a sloppy moonsault from the top…1…2….3. **

WINNER: Sabu. This started off as a crazy brawl, but once they tried to hit their spots in the ring, it fell apart in a sloppy cavalcade of crap. I saw where they were going with it, but you need to actually HIT THE SPOT first.

When we come back from a break, Sabu is still in the ring moonsaulting a table for the crazy hell of it. He tries a second moonsault and misses. We get the idea that this guy is nuts, as he screams in pain for our pleasure.

Rockin’ Rebel promo. He’s bragging that he ended Salvatore Bellomo’s career, which would sadden Brian Bayless if Tony Garea wasn’t his favorite wrestler already. The Rebel hopes he gets better soon, so he can finish him off for good. Rockin’ Rebel was trained by The Rock N Roll Express, and apparently they won’t train you unless you’re true rock n roll.  Which means actively wrestling into your 50’s, acting like you’re in your 20’s, and banging chicks in their 40’s.

Match #3 – The Metal Maniac vs. The Sandman.

It’s different to see Sandman in a surfing bodysuit, when you know where the gimmick eventually went. Also, he doesn’t get much of a reaction from the mutants. Go behind and take down by The Sandman. Huh? He wrestles? Back elbow to the Maniac coming off the ropes. Sandman with a dropkick and Maniac bails. Maniac takes Sandman down from the outside and wraps the leg around the post. In the ring now, and Maniac hits a side suplex for 2. Whip off the ropes, and Maniac hits a clothesline. That gets 2. Maniac puts the head down on a whip and sandman hits a kick. Enzuguiri by Sandman. Sandman to the top and he hits a flying clothesline. 1…2…3. *1/2

WINNER: The Sandman. Sandman showed some decent offense here, which surprises me because I have only seen him as the zubaz-wearing goof.

Chris Michaels promo, doing a decent Bullwinkle impression, proclaiming that Eastern Championship Wrestling is no cartoon. Unless you’re high. I added that last part.

Match #4 – Terry Funk vs. Jimmy “Supefly” Snuka (c) – Cage Match – ECW TV Title.

Escape rules for this match, with Funk not getting any more title shots if he loses. Snuka controls early, whipping Funk from corner to corner, apparently snapping the ropes. This should be fun. Snuka with knees and chops on the ropes, then takes Funk to the cage. Snuka hits a pretty sweet piledriver on Funk and then climbs the cage. Funk recovers and climbs up there with Snuka. Snuka hits a headbutt and Funk gets crotched on the top rope. Snuka takes Funk’s head across the cage. Funk makes the fiery comeback with chops. Funk takes Snuka to the cage now, hitting all four sides. Funk hits his own piledriver on Snuka. Funk with headbutts, but no effect on Snuka (of course). Snuka hits one of his own, and chops him down. Body slam, and Snuka misses a diving headbutt from the middle rope. Then we hit a break.

Coming back, they’re on top again, as Funk is hanging upside down. Snuka kicks him down to the mat. Swinging neckbreaker for Snuka. Backbreaker now, and another break. Coming back, they are trading headbutt blows. Then they take turns taking each other to the cage. Funk climbs up and is hanging over the edge. Snuka climbs to bring him back in. Funk kicks Snuka down to the mat, and jumps down for the win. ***

WINNER: And NEW ECW TV Champion, Terry Funk. Surprisingly good match between these two, who were past their primes in 1993. A lot of back and forth offense, with Snuka appearing much more dangerous here than he did in his last WWF run.

Joey is backstage with the new TV champ. Joey asks him how he feels, and Funk is gracious and giving respect to Snuka. Funk talks up the ECW roster, and says that ECW is educating the people on wrestling. A very calm and well-spoken promo from Funk there, as he attempted to put over ECW as a wrestling organization.

Paul E. is trying to coax Snuka out of his dressing room for an interview, but is coming up a little short. You know it’s Snuka’s dressing room because there is a piece of tape with “Snuka” sharpied on it.

Joey is backstage outside Funk’s dressing room where there is a celebration going on. The celebration consists of loud country music, “yahoo’s” and Joey dodging some streamers thrown at him from off camera. Next week’s show was supposed to have Badd Company vs. The Public Enemy, but that episode is not uploaded to The Network.

The Post Game Opinion: I have gone on record as stating that I was not a fan of ECW. I watched this episode with an open mind and came away with a few things. First, it breezed by very quickly, which is good. Second, Sabu was as botchtastic then as he always was, and his character was completely batshit insane and will take some getting used to. Third, this episode made me want to see more. So, we’ll hit the episodes in chronological order as The Network has them, and continue to recap the trail of a little known company called NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling. Thanks for reading.