ECW Champion Shane Douglas puts over the company and says that he has survived in ECW over the last eighteen months because he has evolved. In a segment that lasts more than twenty-five minutes, he calls out Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan as old and that they no longer compare to “the Franchise” of ECW. Douglas recaps his career in ECW, with video showing his feud with Terry Funk, his first ECW title win, and his decision to refuse the NWA World Championship. He complains about Flair holding him down in WCW and how he is having to save professional wrestling by himself. Douglas warns Tully Blanchard that he will beat some respect into him. And then he suddenly pivots at the end to warn Marty Jannetty that he is not going to win the ECW title at this Saturday’s ECW Arena show. There is nothing wrong with a promotion trying to play up its champion, but this was not a good way to make the audience stick around for the rest of the broadcast. It was a meandering promo that went back-and-forth between Douglas’ personal grudges and his career and then went into hyping a random ECW Arena bout.
For the fans still watching, Joey Styles breaks down the February 25 ECW Arena card. It features Douglas against Jannetty, Cactus Jack against a mystery opponent, Mikey Whipwreck & Hack Myers against Paul Lauria & Jason, and a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire on a pole match between Axl Rotten and Ian Rotten. The main event is Sabu & the Tazmaniac defending the ECW tag team titles against Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko.
A replay of the Steve Richards-Tommy Dreamer match at Double Tables airs.
ECW pays tribute to Eddie Gilbert with a very brief video package. The USWA’s was much better.
Chris Benoit tells Sabu & the Tazmaniac that if they defeat him and Dean Malenko this Saturday they will know they are the best in the world but that will not happen.
Paul E. Dangerously tells Joey Styles that Benoit and Malenko are marked men because his team wants a piece of them and so does the Public Enemy.
Footage of how the Sandman suffered a severe concussion at the hands of Cactus Jack at Double Tables is shown. ECW shows lots of headshots with chairs, a frying pan, and a Singapore cane to explain the injury.
Styles says that the Public Enemy will be at the ECW Arena this Saturday.
The Last Word: All you can say for this telecast is that it was a show. The Shane Douglas segment at the beginning drained the life out of the broadcast and there was nothing else for fans to sink their teeth into. With the new ECW Arena show, there will be new matches to air on Hardcore TV so that should spice things up in the ensuing weeks.
ECW held a show in Pennsylvania before its big ECW Arena card. Here were the results of those shows courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania – Big Apple Dinner Theater – February 24, 1995 (225): Jason pinned Hack Myers…Tommy Dreamer beat Steve Richards…The Tazmaniac pinned Chad Austin…Ian Rotten beat Axl Rotten…Sabu pinned 2 Cold Scorpio…Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko defeated Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck when Malenko pinned Whipwreck…ECW World Champion Shane Douglas pinned Hector Guerrero.
Up Next: ECW: Return of the Funker!
My third e-book recently dropped on Amazon, which recaps WCW from the first Monday Nitro in September 1995 to December. It is $2.99 and covers all of the matches, angles, and events of the beginning of the Monday Night Wars. My author page also provides links to my other works on the WWF and WCW in 1995.