What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – April 4, 1995

A lengthy video package hypes the upcoming three-way dance for the ECW Tag Team Championship at the ECW Arena.  Footage used goes back to 1994 to show the Public Enemy’s feud with Sabu and Taz, which eventually came to include Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko.

Joey Styles commentates tonight’s show, hyping the Three-Way Dance card that will take place this Saturday.

Opening Contest:  The Public Enemy (1-1) defeat the Pitbulls (w/Jason) (2-0) when Rocco Rock pins Pitbull #2 with a victory roll at 3:19 shown:

The Enemy had to win this match in order to get Jason to sign Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko up for the three-way dance.  This bout is heavily clipped and features lots of weapons, including a coconut that Johnny Grunge uses to muzzle Pitbull #2.  The Pitbulls have the match won after Rocco Rock eats a superbomb, but Jason has them pick him up at two.  When they try to do a Doomsday Device, Rock rolls up Pitbull #2 with a victory roll for the victory.  Grunge was supposed to hit Pitbull #2 in the back with a chair to set up that finish but did not get into position in time.  Rating:  ½*

The Pitbulls cut a promo in a sauna.  They want the Enemy to win the three-way dance so they can extract revenge.  Training and match footage is mixed into the segment, with things getting silly at the end when Pitbull #1 jumps on a punching bag and tries to chew on it.

After replaying the Tommy Dreamer gauntlet match against Raven and his crew, Dreamer cuts a post-match promo, still bleeding from his forehead.  He promises to show Raven why he is extreme.

Styles gives a run down the Three-Way Dance card.  Styles casts the hair-versus-hair match between Axl and Ian Rotten as a feud ender.

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Styles interviews the Sandman and Woman.  The Sandman likens Shane Douglas to Napoleon, who tried to conquer the world but overextended themselves.  Woman, who loves touching Styles, says Douglas was stupid to not align with herself, the Sandman, and Terry Funk.

Terry Funk & the Sandman (w/Woman) defeat Shane Douglas & Cactus Jack when Funk pins Jack after a piledriver on a branding iron at 3:38:

Like the opener, this match is also clipped to its important parts and there is no flow to it.  Douglas temporarily leaves Jack alone after he and Jack get into an argument following Douglas accidentally hitting Jack over the head with the Sandman’s Singapore cane.  For a main event, the crowd is not very loud or engaged, something that only changes when Funk uses a flaming branding iron on Jack’s chest near the end of the match.  This marks the first time that the Sandman has won a televised match in 1995.  Rating:  ½*

Funk, with a flaming branding iron in tow, promises that there will be a hot time at ECW Arena on April 15 when he faces Jack.  He laughs like a madman to end the segment.

ECW Champion Shane Douglas casts himself as someone who wrestles athletes, not entertainers.  He makes fun of Dusty Rhodes en route to saying that the Sandman will become another victim of his title reign.

At the end of the tag team main event, the Sandman is seen dragging Woman away from ringside.  Styles says the situation between Douglas and Woman is far from over.

A mashup of interviews from the various teams in the three-way dance finish the show.

The Last Word:  While the clip jobs on the matches made them irrelevant, ECW did a great job making the three-way dance seem like something special throughout the show.  The opening video package would have been great for new fans, especially because ECW was gradually increasing its television exposure in this period.  The promotion does need to do more with its world title, though, as Shane Douglas is an afterthought as champion, running in what is, at best, a third-tier feud with the Sandman while the three-way dance and Cactus Jack-Terry Funk feuds trump whatever he is doing.

Up Next:  ECW:  Three-Way Dance!