Cactus Jack says there should be no controversy when he faces the Sandman for the ECW Championship. He says this title shot is the most important moment of his career to this point. When Jack goes to open a door, he is met by the Triple Threat, with Shane Douglas claiming that Jack is taking his title shot. Jack refuses to back down and is hit in the back of the head by the Sandman’s Singapore cane. Douglas tries to take a swing at Jack too but hits the Sandman instead, prompting Woman to tell the camera that Douglas blew their deal.
Joey Styles says that footage for tonight’s show is coming from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
ECW Tag Team Champions the Public Enemy are on the waterfront and gloat about being the promotion’s resident titleholders. They drink wine and chat about the Sandman-Cactus Jack title match.
Opening Contest: Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko (1-1) beat Norman Smiley & Mikey Whipwreck when Benoit pins Smiley with a schoolboy rollup and holding the tights at 5:17:
2 Cold Scorpio was supposed to Whipwreck’s partner, but Scorpio had flight trouble out of Atlanta so Smiley replaced him. Smiley was trained by Dean’s father, Boris, in the 1980s and had a bevy of international experience, wrestling for the Japanese-based Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and Mexico’s Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libra (CMLL) promotion before making a few ECW appearances. America fans had only seen Smiley at Starrcade 1990 when he partnered with Chris Adams in a losing effort against Konnan and Rey Misterio, Sr. The match is joined in progress and clipped for its big spots, with Whipwreck taking a beating at the hands of the former tag team champions. The fans are really into Whipwreck, though, popping for his attempted comebacks. Smiley gets a hot tag and nearly pins Benoit after a Northern Lights suplex, only for Malenko to interrupt and when Smiley gets too preoccupied with Malenko, Benoit rolls him to secure the win. The clipping makes the match hard to rate, but it seemed to have a fast pace and the crowd was into it throughout. Rating: **
Footage of ECW’s “Extreme Party” at Killian’s Rock Café in Ybor City, Florida is shown. The Sandman is dismissive when the camera tries to get in his face.
ECW plays the highlights of Eddie Guerrero’s draw with Dean Malenko at Hostile City Showdown ’95.
Raven attacks Tommy Dreamer at the “Extreme Party” as various ECW wrestlers try to break it up.
ECW Championship Match: The Sandman (Champion w/Woman) (1-5) beats Cactus Jack (5-0) after Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko interferes at 11:41:
Going into this match, the Sandman was 0-3 against Jack in singles matches, so Jack would be the betting favorite. Jack had a gift for getting decent matches out of the Sandman and this is no exception, with both men wasting no time using weapons to wear out the other. A trash can becomes the Sandman’s primary weapon of choice, although a well-placed bullrope is used to smash Jack’s head into the concrete floor. The referee gets bumped during a sleeper spot thanks to Woman hitting him with a Singapore cane, allowing Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko to double team the challenger. Benoit powerbombs Jack and Woman revives the referee, who scores a pin for the Sandman even though the champion is awkwardly slumped over Jack’s legs. Rating: **½
Jack comes into the Triple Threat’s locker room, yelling about how they cost him the ECW title. Shane Douglas says he will become the ECW champion this Saturday at the ECW Arena, but the Sandman interjects at the end that it will not be as easy as he thinks.
The Last Word: Since Shane Douglas missed the Fort Lauderdale show he had to get worked into some backstage segments and those did not run smoothly, largely due to some weird camera angles and placements. ECW did not give a lot of hype to its next ECW Arena show on this broadcast either, which was a curious decision since fans who could not make it to Philadelphia would wonder what Douglas was going on about in the last part of the show. Those concerns aside, this show featured two new matches and they were a good mix of the technical and hardcore sides of the promotion.
Up Next: ECW: Enter Sandman!