The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – Unaired ECW TV Pilot 11.28.92
Oh man, the batshit crazy just keeps dropping for your $9.99 / month.
Taped from the Kensington Sports Arena in Philly, aka “a bar”. Or maybe a high school gym. Hard to tell.
Your hosts are…these guys…
I can tell already we’re in for a treat.
This was taped from Sportschannel America in the very early days of the promotion but never happened as a show.
Ironman Tommy Cairo v. King Kahlua
Wouldn’t be an early ECW show without Tommy Cairo. Despite the name, Kahlua appears to have nothing to do with delicious liqueurs. But to be fair, the video quality is pretty fuzzy here, nowhere near the standards of Baconman, so it’s hard to tell. My brief bit of research makes me think he actually be Lloyd “LA Smooth” Anoia of the Samoan Gangsta Party, but who really cares? King attacks in the corner with clobbering forearms, but Cairo takes him down with a hiptoss and goes to work on the arm. Jay Sulli on commentary kind of reminds me of my boy Joe Marotta from Our Vantage Point, actually. Perhaps all those Northeastern accents sound the same to me, I dunno. Kahlua comes back with more clubbing and gets a clothesline for two, before going to the chinlock. Cairo fights out, but Kahlua puts him down with a knee and drops a fist for two. Kahlua misses a charge and Cairo fights back with the punches in the corner and an atomic drop. Kahlua basically no-sells that and tosses Cairo, but Cairo gets a sunset flip back in for the pin at 6:44. Totally cromulent opener. **
ECW Tag team titles: The Super Destroyers v. Jimmy Jannetty & Larry Winters
So…why would you want to be a second rate version of Marty Jannetty? He’s actually still around in the area, apparently, so good for him. Jannetty and Winters double-team a Destroyer in the corner and work the arm. For those wondering, the Destroyers are AJ Petrucci and someone named Doug Stahl in generic black masked gear. Destroyers use some ref distraction to work on Jannetty a bit, but the babyfaces come back with a double dropkick on a Destroyer. A Destroyer rakes the eyes on Winter to turn the tide, however, and they work on him a bit in the heel corner. And then it’s just back to Jannetty again as he flails away and gets a dropkick. Winters headlocks a Destroyer and then does a very slow and gentle headscissors takedown on the other one, which is what passes for a highspot here. The faces work on the leg as this drags on, and Winters gets a figure-four, which is immediately broken up. And then Winters rolls up a Destroyer, which seems like a pin, but it’s ruled a draw instead after a grueling 10:00 (actually 8:00). Apparently Gordon could only afford the first 8:00 of the 10:00 match at this point and had to put the rest on layaway. ½*
Meanwhile, we get words from TV champion Glenn Osbourne, which sounds like a normal name, but then it’s THIS GUY…
Is he, like, supposed to be low rent Road Warrior or low rent Ultimate Warrior? I think Road Warrior judging by his Hawk-like growl and tongue. Also, his makeup and gear are totally different when the match starts. I know it’s not the WWF or anything, but could they seriously not have SOMEONE checking this stuff?
ECW TV title: Glenn Osbourne v. Jimmy Snuka
Snuka has apparently recently turned heel at this point, which we knew because he is now aligned with Hunter Q. Robbins, the single manager that works for ECW in 1992. Osbourne works the arm to start while the color guy is like “You don’t get to be TV champ by beating a bunch of chumps! You’ve gotta beat guys like Mr. Sandman, Johnny Hot Body and Rockin’ Rebel!” I’m not seeing the distinction. Snuka gets a cheapshot to escape the vicious armbars and goes up with a fistdrop while moving about as fast as he could at the time, but Osbourne gets a small package for two. Snuka hits him in the throat to put him on the floor and Generic Q. Manager gets some shots out there. Back in, Osbourne comes back with some forearms, but Snuka chops him down again and then the ref gets bumped. Osbourne gets a BODYSLAM but there’s no ref to count this obvious pinfall win, but Snuka rolls him up and a second ref counts the pin at 8:43 to give Snuka the title. BUT WAIT! The first ref wakes up and disputes this decision, giving the belt back because Snuka hit him. Yay! Dusty Finish on the pilot episode! Both guys looked awful here. DUD
ECW World title: The Sandman v. The Kodiak Bear
So this would be early Sandman, who is a happy go lucky surfer dude that literally wrestles in a wetsuit. This is a thing that happened. Kodiak Bear is, as you’d expect, a big hairy guy, who I assume is very popular in some specific circles. The Bear attacks in the corner and chokes him out, assisted by his manager “The Cosmic Commander”, who is literally dressed like the Grand Wizard. So I guess there’s two managers in ECW, my apologies. Sandman comes back with a dropkick and the announcers note “No gets higher on a dropkick that the Sandman!” Yes, this is a thing that happened. SANDMAN as an aerial technician. Bear tosses Sandman, but he tries a sunset flip back in, and the Bear clubs him down to block. Rockin’ Rebel runs in and interferes, allowing the Bear to take over with a devastating backdrop, which will surely win him the title. Amazingly, it only gets two. I’m shook. The Bear gets a splash for two and goes to his obvious finisher: THE BEARHUG. Sandman escapes that predicament and gets a clothesline to put the Bear down, and then slingshots in with a “martial arts type kick”, then follows with a missile dropkick to retain at 7:11. Yes, the HIGH FLYING Sandman! He’s here, he’s clear, he doesn’t want any more bears! ½*
Gosh, I don’t know WHY this didn’t get picked up immediately. I’m just disappointed we didn’t get any Tony Stetson or Johnny Hot Body here.