Tully Blanchard tells ECW Champion Shane Douglas that other Horsemen might be afraid of him but he is not.
Joey Styles puts over the newly designed ECW Arena to accommodate more fans. Fans shower him with chants of “You still suck.”
Styles interviews Steve Richards, who says that he is not going to produce Johnny Polo, Scotty Flamingo, or Scotty the Body. He says Tommy Dreamer fled to Japan so he would not have to face a new star called Raven. Raven is the new persona of Scotty Levy, who left the WWF in 1994 after serving as the Quebecers manager for two years. The new star tells Richards that he wants elimination by any means necessary, with Richards meekly complying.
Opening Contest: Steve Richards (w/Raven) pins Hack Myers after Raven hits Myers with a loaded boot at 4:38:
Richards broke into the business in 1992 after receiving training at Mike Sharpe’s wrestling school in Brock Township, New Jersey. He spent much of 1994 paying his dues as a preliminary wrestler in the promotion before starting the angle where he brought Raven into the company. Myers was from another part of the country, wrestling in various Florida promotions and winning numerous titles. He became a full-time wrestler for ECW in 1994, eventually acquiring the nickname “the extreme shah.” Myers wrestles with an injured neck after Chris Benoit planted him with a dragon suplex at Holiday Hell, so Richards targets that body part with strikes and a swinging neckbreaker. A mule kick turns the tide and fans yell “shah” every time Myers lands a strike. Raven watches the match with little expression but does factor into the finish as Richards distracts the referee and Raven knocks Myers out with a loaded boot. The crowd hates Richards, chanting “You still suck!” as he makes his way to the locker room. Rating: **
Styles spends time talking about how the WWF must have driven Johnny Polo crazy, how more bleachers have been added to the ECW Arena, and how ECW hosted a party at Club Expo in New York to celebrate getting on the MSG Network.
Footage of the Public Enemy getting into the Club Expo, along with ECW Champion Shane Douglas is shown. Douglas showed up with lots of women and in a limo.
In an “Extreme Encyclopedia” segment the audience learns that the Sandman is a “cigarette smoking wrestler with a propensity for violence; an athelete (sic) with no regard for wins or losses.” Woman is “an aberration of the classic American male fantasy of beauty and servitude; a seductive henchwench with an appetite for money.” And 2 Cold Scorpio is “an aerial criminal whose high-flying actions break the laws of gravity and human comprehension.”
ECW Champion Shane Douglas awkwardly dances with his female entourage until Joey Styles interviews him. He puts over their beauty and says ECW is not the only thing that is stiff.
Ron Simmons does a taped promo where he puts over Douglas’ toughness, saying he could make it in the hood. However, he vows to finally defeat Douglas at ECW’s show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 14. Simmons warns Douglas that he has a surprise in store for him before telling Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko that he and 2 Cold Scorpio are going to take care of them in Orlando.
2 Cold Scorpio gets in the ring and calls out Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, saying that they do not intimidate him and the he and Simmons will take care of them in Florida. Scorpio dropkicks the pair, but Benoit puts a quick stop to Scorpio’s run with a dragon suplex. A double stun gun and an underhook suplex-flying leg drop combination put Scorpio down as ECW officials and Commissioner Tod Gordon pour into the ring.
2 Cold Scorpio defeats the Sandman (w/Woman) after a moonsault at 6:07:
There were many wrestlers on the ECW roster that had their sights on reaching the WWF or WCW for the first time. Scorpio was not among them. Trained in a New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo, Scorpio wowed American fans with high-flying moves for two years in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), winning the tag team titles with Marcus Bagwell. He arrived in ECW in 1994, holding the television title for a week in November. Meanwhile, the Sandman was going through a radical gimmick change. He was a main eventer in the days before ECW went extreme, holding the Eastern Championship Wrestling title, wrestling in a wetsuit as part of a surfer persona. In 1994, ECW owner Todd Gordon encouraged him to put more of his personality into the gimmick, so the wetsuit was replaced with pants and a t-shirt, the surfboard was exchanged for a Singapore cane, and he began smoking cigarettes and beer on the way to the ring. As ECW gained a wider following in 1995, the Sandman became one of ECW’s iconic characters, helped by an awesome entrance courtesy of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” song. The match happens even though Scorpio was laid out by Benoit and Malenko. The Sandman does not show a killer instinct, preferring to look at the crowd and listen to his theme music instead of getting into the ring and scoring an easy win. Woman does a good job posing for the camera, though. The Sandman works methodically when the match finally does start, hitting Scorpio with the Bitchin’ Leg Drop off the top, but he does not go for a cover. Scorpio gets a second wind when the battle spills to the arena floor, coming off the apron with a chair to the Sandman’s skull. When action resumes in the ring, the Sandman does not sell a piledriver long, avoiding a splash off the top. Scorpio gets backdropped over the top rope, but he lands on the apron, gives the Sandman a powerful forearm blow, and comes off the top with a moonsault to win. Rating: **
After the match, the Sandman gets some of his heat back by attacking Scorpio with his Singapore cane. Benoit and Malenko double team Scorpio and although the crowd chants for Sabu, he does not make a save as the show goes off the air.
The Last Word: The biggest event on the show was the debut of Raven, who would also become of the superstars people would immediately associate with ECW. In addition, the company is doing a great job building Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko as a threat to anyone on the roster without having either of them talk. Based on the opening of the show fans probably expected word on how the Shane Douglas-Tully Blanchard match turned out but no mention was made of it on this broadcast. Seeing Douglas act like Ric Flair at Club Expo was not needed as it just made Douglas look like a cheap imitation to the genuine article.
And here were the results of ECW’s big house shows since their last Hardcore TV broadcast (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – ECW Arena – January 7, 1995 (1,000): Stevie Richards pinned Hack Myers…Al Snow defeated Osamu Nishimura…2 Cold Scorpio beat the Sandman…Paul Lauria pinned Mikey Whipwreck…The Pitbulls defeated Ian & Axl Rotten when Pitbull #1 pinned Ian. Due to pre-match stipulations, the Rottens had to break up…JT Smith defeated Chad Austin…ECW World Champion Shane Douglas wrestled Tully Blanchard to a 60-minute time-limit draw at the 43-minute mark…Sabu, 911 & the Tazmaniac defeated Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko & the Public Enemy when the Tazmaniac pinned Rocco Rock.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Davie Rodeo Arena – January 14, 1995 (300): Joe Malenko wrestled Steve Richards to a time-limit draw at 16:33…Kendall Windham pinned Hack Myers at 9:14…Mike Whipwreck defeated Jason at 8:42…The Tazmaniac beat Television Champion Dean Malenko via disqualification at 3:35…Cactus Jack beat the Sandman in a falls count anywhere match at 12:25…Chris Benoit pinned 2 Cold Scorpio…ECW Tag Team Champions the Public Enemy beat Mr. President & Death Row 3260 when Rocco Rock pinned President at 18:56…ECW Champion Shane Douglas beat Ron Simmons at 6:56 via referee stoppage.
Backstage News*: The ECW Arena show on January 7 drew a sellout crowd and the crowd hated the Shane Douglas-Tully Blanchard time limit draw, claiming that Blanchard ran out of gas after ten minutes and rest holds were much of the match. As expected, this triggered angry crowd reactions that included “Who booked this crap” and boos on kick outs of near-falls. Even though the audience reacted poorly, ECW is pursuing its plans for a rematch as Blanchard accompanied talent to the Fort Lauderdale show and did a staredown with Douglas after Douglas defeated Simmons.
*The ECW Arena crowd on January 7 was also upset that the four-on-three match between Sabu, the Tazmaniac, and 911 against Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and the Public Enemy only went six minutes and did not include a big angle at the end. One piece of good news was that Al Snow looked strong in his debut against Osamu Nishimura.
*The card in Fort Lauderdale did not draw well, although fans in attendance were excited by what they saw, and ECW might return in April.
*According to reports, Tod Gordon vetoed booking plans that called for 911 to chokeslam midgets.
*In talent relations news, Barry Windham was contacted to wrestle Shane Douglas as part of the Ric Flair proxy angle, but Windham is suing WCW over a knee injury and cannot work. Also, ECW has entered into an agreement with Japan’s W*ING promotion with plans to send Shane Douglas and the Public Enemy to Japan for a tour in March and receiving Jason the Terrible in return.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 16 and 23.
Up Next: ECW Hardcore TV for January 17!