Episode 2 has to be much better, right?
EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
(HARDCORE TV #2)
APRIL 13, 1993
CURRENT CHAMPION ROLL CALL
ECW Heavyweight Champion: The Sandman
ECW Television Champion: Vacant
ECW Tag Team Champions: The Super Destroyers
– We are welcomed to tonight’s show in Philadelphia by Jay Sulli and Stevie Wonderful. Sulli mentions what college they are broadcasting from, but I can’t hear it because they didn’t do such a great job in post production. Stevie introduces the third man joining them tonight, “The King of the Texas Death Matches”, Eddie Gilbert. Gilbert walks out in a PWI shirt and is being a real dickhead to Sulli. Sulli has had enough and introduces the REAL third man, Terry Funk. Gilbert dares Funk to try him and Funk grabs Eddie’s bottle of Perrier and dumps it all over him. Seeing how this is 93, I’m willing to bet Funk’s white shirt matches his denim white jeans. TV Title Tournament bracket is shown and I’m really getting upset that no one has corrected the alignment of names since they had a whole week to do it.
– Back from break, and looks like we are headed right into…
TV TITLE TOURNAMENT, 1ST ROUND MATCH
1. Johnny Hotbody vs. Glenn Osbourne
– I had to actually pause this before the match started cause I have several observations. A) How awesome is it, that Hotbody is announced at “weighing in at over 300 pounds, including his ego”? B) Hotbody, is anything but what his name mentions. Looks like a low-rent jobber, balding, hairy body, obnoxious tights…maybe that is what he’s going for…okay, I’ll give that a pass. C) Osbourne looks like Glenn Danzig, but balding, and I’m pretty sure present day Danzig is in better shape than 1993 Osbourne. ONTO THE MATCH! Osbourne tries to fire the fans up by ramming his head into the turnbuckle. Audio doesn’t capture the pop he got. Hotbody gets more of a reaction by posing for the camera. Funk is ready to jump in the ring cause these youngsters aren’t wrasslin! Osbourne works the headlock too many times and Hotbody escapes. I’m starting to wonder, if this is the only spot they know. Hotbody finally dropkicks him down for a 2. Just when I think we may have a bright spot in this, chinlock. Hotbody tosses Osbourne outside. He goes for a vertical suplex, then walks Osbourne over to the crowd and suplexes him on the floor. Back inside, Hotbody applies the sleeper and just lets go. He charges Osbourne and nails the ref. Low blow by Hotbody and now attempts a superplex. Ref laid out literally underneath them so, lets assume shenanigans are afoot. Yep! Here comes Tommy Cairo out to throw Hotbody down. Osbourne with a big splash off the top and wins it @ 7:56. (I can pick this thing apart from beginning to end, but as of now, its the longest match in ECW television history. So, eh, D+.)
– Funk wastes no time in grabbing Osbourne for a post match interview. Osbourne screams “YEAH” into the mic and it’s time for a break.
2. Larry Winters & Tony “Hitman” Stetson vs. Chris Michaels & The Samoan Warrior
– Didn’t even get introductions for Michaels and Warrior, so I took a guess and totally got it right! Winters and Michaels start it off with a bunch of chain wrestling. Winters and Stetson double team Michaels, and it actually looks crisp and decent. Michaels makes sure to get all his shit in by skinning the cat over the top rope, but Stetson just tosses him again. Winters back in and they double suplex him back in. Michaels refuses to tag his partner, even the commentary makes note of it. Stetson back in and they just do a blatant double team without a tag. Samoan Warrior won’t be one to be upstaged and he nails Stetson as he hits the ropes. Warrior finally gets in and feeds into a faceplant, but he no-sells and drops Stetson. Apparently Samoans won’t sell a faceplant, but they will sell a ring post shot. Michaels somehow is brought in without a tag. Veg-a-Matic finishes him off @ 5:05. (Stetson and Winters do look good together in the ring. But this match was a clusterfuck from the opening bell. D.)
– At this point, the WWE Network is being a real dick and keeps having errors. It’s like I’m forcing myself to be beaten here. But I was promised some Eddie Gilbert later, and by god, I’m gonna watch some Eddie Gilbert!
– Ok, we’re all good now. Funk is with Stetson and Winters at ringside. He tries to make a Jeffersons reference about moving on up, but fucks it up 8 ways of Sunday. Out comes HQR3 with the Super Destroyers. Hunter says something about Bart Simpson, and we have a pier sixer on the floor. Funk growls into the mic and stops Hunter from hitting Winters with his cane. We gotta go to break DAMMIT!
– Sulli and Funk hype the next match involving ECW Heavyweight Champion, SURFER SANDMAN! They cut to about 7 seconds of his music video from last week then he’s standing next to Funk. His rubber wetsuit has colors that haven’t even been discovered yet on them. Sandman puts over Funk and the crowd, allowing me to laugh out loud at the yellow “HANG 10” painted on the back of his wetsuit. He says “its my pleasure” about 15 more times and that brings us to…………
ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
3. The Kodiak Bear vs. The Sandman (with Peaches) (C)
– Ooooh, fancy. 1 hour time limit here. Sandman billed from “Southern Beach, California”. I’ll have to google map that later. Kodiak could have sired Luke Harper. Purely speculation on my part. Funk finally acknowledges Peaches for us that don’t know her. Peaches plants one on Sandman and Funk pleads for some of that business. Bell rings and Kodiak is backed into the corner. Kodiak then makes sure every person in the gym knows that his tights were pulled. Sandman hiptosses him and Kodiak is still complaining about his tights being grabbed. In all fairness, Kodiak easily is 3 bills plus, so there may have been some tights grabbed in the exchange. They continue to roll around the ring in attempted schoolboy roll ups into the ropes for another 3 minutes. I’d love to know where some of these guys are present day. More so, I’d like to see how many are still wrestling and using this as past accolades. Kodiak misses a corner charge and Sandman tries to bulldog him down. Its so out of place near the corner that Kodiak just crumples in a ball. Sandman with a cobra clutch and wins it @ 5:04. (Christ almighty, that was brutal all the way around. Sandman couldn’t even make chicken salad out that chicken shit. DUD!)
– Now what I’ve been patiently been waiting for……
TV TITLE TOURNAMENT, 1ST ROUND MATCH
4. J.T. Smith vs. “Hotstuff” Eddie Gilbert
– This is pre-paisan J.T. Smith. But his singlet with giant lightning bolt has me riveted. Gilbert just looks like a fucking star here. That nameless girl in a sundress is on the apron to take Gilbert’s jacket. Funk threatens Stevie on commentary as the match starts. They go the floor and Gilbert drops him with a steel chair. Funk tries to put over Smith on commentary and gets accused of being a racist. I don’t follow. They go through the crowd and Gilbert returns and grabs the ring bell. I have no fucking clue what’s happening here. Now Funk is talking to the ref as Smith comes back but Gilbert just throws him into the table at ringside. Smith mounts a comeback and Gilbert begs off back in the ring. Funk is screaming gibberish over everyone on commentary. Smith heads up and misses a moonsault. Gilbert just about takes his head off with a lariat and Smith just crumples on the apron right over the announce table. Gilbert misses an elbow and here comes the lanky J.T. Smith! Gilbert is somehow on the apron and Smith tries to back suplex him back in. Gilbert cracks him with brass knucks and wins it @ 4:32. (You see some spots of brilliance here, but Gilbert just shot down everything Smith tried to do. D+, and that’s being generous.)
– Now we get an updated bracket with fancy closeups of the semifinal matches we are promised for next week. #1 seeded Jimmy Snuka faces #4 seeded Tommy Cairo. Then, #2 seeded Eddie Gilbert will face #3 seeded Glenn Osbourne. That second match sounds brutal.
– Back from break and, for some reason, we are joined in progress with….
5. “Ironman” Tommy Cairo vs. Super Ninja
– What are the credentials to make this ninja so super? Not sure why the graphic says “joined in progress” because it looks like the bell just rang. Ninja tries some generic karate shit on Cairo. Cairo has enough and kicks the fuck out of him. Ninja rakes the eyes, attempts a handspring elbow, minus the handspring, and jumps into a back suplex. Cairo covers and it should be 3, but the ref pauses at 2.8 when a late Johnny Hotbody is back out here to cause a DQ @ 1:48 (DUD.)
– This is becoming a running joke that every match these to have ends with a run-in. It’s the most thought the booker has put into any star they have showcased so far. Hotbody tosses him to the floor and they brawl to the dressing room. Awkward edit and we cut to Funk with Tod Gordon at ringside. Funk actually gets the correct matches for next week’s show. Gordon calls ECW “Hardcore Haven” and kisses Funk’s ass. Funk then asks Gordon who all are left in the tournament and stumbles through it as they sign off with Funk yelling “YEAH” real loud and a quick cut to the ending credits.
– In ring, compared to last week’s show, it was better. But it’s like deciding whether to ride a tricycle or a bicycle across the country. Either way, it sucks. But, again, it’s 1993 and still mostly a local, small company. But until Paul E arrives and livens things up, there’s plenty of material for me to make fun of. Be on the look out for episode 3 tomorrow after college football is over.