What the World Was Watching: ECW Heatwave ’95

Joey Styles does commentary for the show, which took place at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 15.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew 1,000 fans.

Bill Alfonso gets nuclear heat by coming out and saying that the show is going to be cancelled.  Commissioner Tod Gordon interrupts, saying that he fired Shane Douglas so he can fire anyone.  Alfonso is undeterred, saying that he cannot be fired.  The audio is so bad you cannot understand much beyond that, but a fight between the two erupts until some of the lower midcard of the ECW locker room breaks it up.  Alfonso insists that he is running tonight’s show.

Opening Contest:  Mikey Whipwreck (5-2) beats Stormin’ Norman after a flying hurricanrana at 6:43:

Norman was an undercard ECW guy, losing on a handful of the promotion’s big cards in 1993 and 1994.  Not much is known about his career after that.  He must have an affinity for General Norman Schwarzkopf, though.  Norman spends a lot of time yelling at fans, especially after his float over effort on a blind charge almost goes awry and they tell him how much he sucks.  That deliberate pace makes for a boring match, which Whipwreck ends when he catches Norman with a flying hurricanrana out of nowhere.  Rating:  ½*

ECW Tag Team Championship Match:  Don E. Allen & the Broad Street Bully defeat Raven & Steve Richards (Champions w/Beulah McGillicutty) via count out at 2:13:

Allen and the Bully must have threatened to sue ECW after 911 interrupted their match and chokeslammed them at Hardcore Heaven because there is no other justification for why they are getting a title match.  Raven gets tagged in and promptly DDT’s his opponents, but Richards leaves the apron to make out with his admirer (Francine).  Raven interrupts the lovemaking and an irate McGillicutty gets into a brawl with the admirer in the crowd.  That distraction allows Allen and the Bully to win via count out.

After the bell, Raven and Richards destroy the jobbers so the fans remember they are a joke.  The Pitbulls rush the ring, triggering a four-way brawl until the Dudley Brothers come out to fight the Pitbulls.  Tommy Dreamer tries to help the babyface odds and the wild brawling goes on for a while, setting up a six-man tag match for later in the evening.  The Bully gets on the house mic and says that he and Allen deserve a rematch later, leading to the same cycle of violence the crowd just witnessed as Raven and Richards beat up the jobbers, the Pitbulls intervene, and the Dudley Brothers and Dreamer re-emerge.  Stevie’s admirer gets involved by jumping on Pitbull #1 and gets into another catfight with McGillicutty.  Lost in some of the chaos is that Dreamer grounds Raven and breaks a couple of his fingers until Big Dick Dudley floors him with a right hand.

Hack Myers (3-3) beats Val Puccio (0-2):

For some weird reason, the new match between these two is not included on the VHS release.  Instead, their old match from Hardcore Heaven ’95 is placed on the tape.  Myers won the rematch and I am confident it was not something special.

Tommy Dreamer & the Pitbulls (w/Luna Vachon) defeat Raven & the Dudley Brothers (w/Steve Richards & Beulah McGillicutty) when Pitbull #2 pins Snot after a superbomb at 5:27 shown:

Chaos reigns as normal tag team conventions do not apply, and everyone brawls with everyone else.  Two minutes in referee Bill Alfonso runs in and stops the match because of excessive violence.  The commercial tape is clipped after that to the match resuming so it is not clear what happened in between.  The Pitbulls superbomb Richards and Richards admirer tries to revive him via mouth-to-mouth, triggering yet another catfight with McGillicutty.  The crowd is over that, though.  When they clear out of the ring. The Pitbulls superbomb Snot for the win.  The match was probably poor, hence the clipping.  Rating:  ½*

2 Cold Scorpio & Dean Malenko defeat Taz & Eddie Guerrero (w/Paul E. Dangerously) when Scorpio pins Taz after a thrust kick at 8:22 shown:

Even though Guerrero is ECW’s television titleholder, he has not defended the belt at an ECW event since late May.  The match is clipped to its big moments, with each team scoring near-falls from creative double teams and high-flying offense.  Taz and Guerrero appear to win when 911’s music serves as a distraction and Dangerously decks Scorpio with his phone, setting up a Tazplex.  However, Alfonso comes out and restarts the match.  After the restart, Scorpio flattens Taz with a thrust kick and Malenko catches Guerrero with a double underhook powerbomb for the victory.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the actual match took twenty minutes, and I would have much rather they cut the awful opening matches to get the full bout in here.  Rating:  **

Following the match, Dangerously gets in Alfonso’s face.  Rob Feinstein, ECW’s videographer, gets in the ring and plays heel, ripping on Dangerously.  Alfonso and Feinstein double team Dangerously until 911 comes out and chokeslams Feinstein.  Alfonso is smart enough to get out of town.

ECW Championship Match:  The Sandman (Champion w/Woman) (7-5) pins Axl Rotten (4-2) after the Bitchin’ Leg Drop at 10:38:

ECW might want to check the Sandman’s beer and cigarettes for performance enhancers because he brings a seven-match win streak into this contest after starting the year 0-5.  This turns into a weapons match as the Sandman uses the Singapore cane early, so Rotten gets frustrated and goes backstage to grab a barbed wire baseball bat.  Rotten lacks the fluid wrestling ability of Cactus Jack so a slow brawl develops where the Sandman pulls apart the barbed wire to use as a weapon.  Fans have also come to expect blood from Rotten’s matches and when they do not get it they lose interest.  The Sandman dazes Rotten with a clothesline and uses a sloppy Bitchin’ Leg Drop that functions as a flying Rocker Dropper to retain.  Just an awful match.  There was no drama or hope spots for Rotten, showing how little ECW thought of him.  Rating:  ½*

Steel Cage Match:  Luna Vachon (0-1) beats Steve Richards (1-3) via submission to a testicular claw at 7:44:

Both combatants get busted open within five minutes of the match, but that appears to be more because they think they need to do it rather than fitting what they are doing in the match.  Vachon pinballs Richards into the cage to start but the combatants quickly run out of interesting things to do.  Richards hits a few powerbombs and tries a splash from the top of the cage, but Vachon blocks it with her boot.  Vachon hits a splash of her own off the top rope and locks Richards in a testicular claw for the submission.  Rating:  *½

After the match, the Dudleys try to get into the cage but the Pitbulls stop them.  They cannot stop Raven, though, who locks the cage shut and DDTs Vachon.  The Pitbulls finally break into the cage and Tommy Dreamer cleans house.  The Pitbulls slam the cage door in Raven’s face, Dreamer DDTs his nemesis on a chair, and then, in a spot that will appear on ECW television for years to come, he handcuffs Raven into a crucifix position against the cage and smashes him over the head with a chair.

Caged & Hoodie Match:  The Gangstas (0-1) beat the Public Enemy (6-1) when Mustafa pins Johnny Grunge with a schoolboy roll up at 14:26:

So this is a cage match where there are a ton of weapons scattered throughout the ring.  The teams brawl with those weapons without much rhyme or reason to their mayhem.  The crowd is also detached from the match as the Enemy were starting to flirt with the WWF and WCW, so they are on the receiving end of a “You sold out!”  The Enemy botch a Drive-By effort when Johnny Grunge fails to get out of the way when Rocco Rock comes off the top of the cage and ends up taking the blow even though it was supposed to fall on their opponents.  Two tables get stacked and New Jack placed on them so Rock can do a moonsault.  That wakes up the crowd, but all is for naught as Mustafa sprays something in Grunge’s eyes and rolls him up for the winning pin.  Because when you think of a finish to a wild, weapons brawl a schoolboy roll up is the first thing you think of.  This failed on every level.  It was a bad brawl, had a bad match layout, and was not entertaining.  Rating:  ¼*

The Last Word:  As per usual, the Tommy Dreamer-Raven stuff was excellent but the rest of it was terrible, especially the main event.  The Public Enemy are a one-dimensional act and they need someone to carry them, but that would not stop the WWF and WCW from approaching them for their services.  Also, the Sandman is going to need better challengers than Axl Rotten lest the ECW Championship remain the afterthought like it has been for much of the year.

Backstage News*:        The crowd experience at Heatwave ’95 was said to be miserable as the building felt like it was 120 degrees.

*ECW’s next big card will take place on August 5, titled Wrestlepalooza ’95.  The only two matches announced for it are the Public Enemy against the Gangstas in a stretcher match and Taz and the Steiner Brothers against Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and 2 Cold Scorpio. 

*Axl Rotten might be leaving the company soon for the USWA, which he hopes can land him a spot in the WWF.

*Finally, ECW’s television coverage will start airing in Atlanta at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday nights.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for July 24.

Up Next:  ECW Hardcore TV for July 18!