Eastern Championship Wrestling (Episode 1)

Greetings, Blog of Doomers.  Its been a while…

—  For the majority of you that don’t know me, my name is Michael Bradley.  I used to do recaps for Scott about 5 years ago on his old site.  I used to recap the old WWECW shows on Sci-Fi and Impact Wrestling every week.  I missed doing the recaps, so Scott was cool with me coming back and contributing.  Hope you enjoy the journey as I walk you through the evolution of ECW.

eastern_championship_wrestling

EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

(HARDCORE TV #1)

APRIL 6, 1993

CURRENT CHAMPION ROLL CALL

ECW Heavyweight Champion:  The Sandman

ECW Television Champion:  Vacant

ECW Tag Team Champions:  The Super Destroyers

 

– “Live” from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  we are welcomed by the hosts, Jay Sulli (yes, that Jay Sulli) and Stevie Wonderful.  Wonderful is the cliche’ party guy color analyst.  ECW President, Tod Gordon is welcomed out and has the ECW Television Title (no side plates, looks like hell) in hand.  Gordon announces they will be starting a tournament to crown a new TV champion as his voice cracks like a 13 year old kid.  He also announces a third man in that will be calling the action tonight.  A living legend, if you will!  Out walks Eddie Gilbert, but Gordon will NOT be putting up with his shenanigans (voice cracks again) and brings out Terry Funk.  Funk tells Gilbert if he has a problem with him, he can get in the ring and the old timer will kick his butt.  Funk plays to the crowd as I’m drawn to the basketball goal hanging in the background.

– Back from commercials and now the high school gym is dark except the ring.  Hunter Q. Robbins III is in the ring to introduce his tag team, The Super Destroyers.  Don’t bother googling this guy, he didn’t last too long.

ECW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

1.  The Super Destroyers (with Hunter Q. Robbins III) (C) vs. The Hell Riders

– The Hell Riders are identified as EZ and HD.  Super Destroyers are identical, so I’ll use the Uso Method and refer to them as either #1 or #2.  Destroyers as doing the Fargo Strut and they get attacked before the bell.  Riders attack them before the bell.  Announce team has no idea who is whom in the Riders team.  Funk is asked which Destroyer is which and he has no clue.  In fact, the entire announce team has no clue who ANY of these guys are.  Destroyers take turns beating the “larger” of the Riders until he tags out to the shirtless, tattooed one.   One of the Destroyers hits a somersault senton for the win @ 2:57.  (Complete squash, DUD.)

– Funk is at ringside with HQ3, and he demands to be called MISTER Hunter Q. Robbins, the third.  Funk calls him Hunter Q. Robbins, the turd and throws it to a music video of SURFER SANDMAN!  Ironically, all the footage is from the USWA.

– Back to ringside and Funk decides to interview Tommy Cairo before his match.  Cairo plugs the local television affiliate and tells everyone “when the Cairoman comes to town, everyone else is going down”.  Fair enough.

TV TITLE TOURNAMENT, 1ST ROUND MATCH

2.  WILDMAN Sal Bellomo (with The Cosmic Commander) vs. “Ironman” Tommy Cairo

– Commander looks like a poor man’s Grand Wizard.  Cairo billed as undefeated here.  Cairo is listed as the #4 seed, Bellomo is the #6 seed.  Cairo begins with a series of armdrags and Bellomo is getting frustrated.  Funk stutters through commentary as Bellomo works the arm.  Announce team mulls over who they would sleep with and discusses the wardrobe of the Commander.  Cairo has enough of feeding for Bellomo and just beats the piss outta Sal.  But Cairo runs into Bellomo’s boot and Sal just lays on top of him so he can catch his wind.  Cairo with the comeback as the Commander distracts the referee.  Johnny Hotbody runs out and jumps off the top rope to hit Cairo, but nails Sal instead.  Bellomo rolls out and walks around, for some unknown reason, and gets counted out @ 5:31. (Fucking brutal show here people, DUD.)

– With that hard fought win, Cairo is not only undefeated still, but advances in the tournament.  Hotbody isn’t through here, and goes to attack Cairo, but Cairo chases him out the ring.  Finally we get a look at the bracket, and I’m distracted at the alignment of the names in the graphic.  Nonetheless, Cairo will face the winner of tonight’s main event, Jimmy Snuka vs. Larry Winters.

“SPECIAL CHALLENGE MATCH”

3.  Tony “Hitman” Stetson vs. Rockin’ Rebel

– Rebel is billed from “The Rock N Roll Capital of the World”, wherever that is and he is also the #1 contender for the ECW Heavyweight Title.  Stetson is one half of the #1 contenders to the ECW Tag Titles.  More importantly, they may be #1 and #2 in the top ten mullet hairstyle rankings.  Rebel might actually hold the Mullet Title with that hair.  Stetson controls early until he Bret Harts into the corner, chest first.  Rebel controls until he telegraphs a backdrop and Stetson drops him.  Stetson hits a top rope legdrop for 2.  He argues with the ref and Rebel rolls him up with a foot on the rope to help him get the win @ 4:38.  (I can’t shit on all these matches, so I’ll give this a D.)

– Rebel is interviewed at ringside and Sulli doesn’t even bring up the foot on the ropes.  Rebel promises to take Sandman’s ECW Title.

– Back after the break, Sulli is at ringside with Superfly Jimmy Snuka.  I must note that some woman in a dress was at ringside for the last match and is now standing next to Snuka.  He tells everyone he has a new manager and brings out Eddie Gilbert.  Gilbert kind of pushes her out of the camera angle and clarifies that Hotstuff International is alive and well in 1993.  (Actually…..well, I’ll leave that one alone.)  He promises that Snuka will win the TV Title, which is mind boggling, because Gilbert is in the tournament also.

TV TITLE TOURNAMENT, 1ST ROUND MATCH

4.  “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (with Eddie Gilbert) vs. Larry Winters

– Snuka is billed as the #1 seed, Winters is the #8 seed.  Wouldn’t hurt Winters to do a sit up or two.  Snuka attacks Winters immediately and falls down backdropping Winters.  Winters mounts a comeback with a cross body for 2.  Gilbert on the apron and drops down when Winters covers for another 2?  Gilbert BACK on the apron and Winters nails him.  Winters hits the ropes and get tripped up.  Ref does nothing and Superfly Splash gets the win @ 4:31.  (Jesus, its hard to find any good in this show.  D-.)

– Hotstuff comes back in and they toss Winters as we go to break.  Now we come back and Terry Funk is at ringside to say something and out comes WILDMAN Bellomo and the Cosmic Commander again.  Bellomo acts all WILDMAN and jumps in the ring leading to….

5.  WILDMAN Sal Bellomo vs. Ernesto Benefico

– Benefico opts for the George Steele boots and trunks combo.  Bellomo attacks him with a bodyslam and wins it @ 19 seconds.  (DUD.)  Post match, Bellomo celebrates as if he won the World Title.

– Back from break, Terry Funk and Tod Gordon are at ringside to give us a preview of next week.  Funk blows the spot and Gordon has to clean it all up.  Funk signs off with an “EDIOS, POTNAS!”.  BUT WAIT!!! We are interrupted with an ECW SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!  Well, not really.  Its just an address for you to mail in you Dream Match ideas.  Then a correct preview of next week’s show that is awkwardly cut off in the middle of the card rundown for the ending credits.

IN CLOSING…

– Not a really strong debut show.  But I get it.  Its a local show with not much coverage, but in 1993, you don’t have use of Wikipedia to figure out who is champion or any of the feuds at the time.  Wildman Bellomo and his lame manager is ironically entertaining.  Plus, its fun to watch Eddie Gilbert in his rise to power.

– Hopefully I can crank at least one of these out weekly.  Possibly more, but keep in mind, there are gaps of time in some of these shows. See you next week.