Joey Styles calls the matches on tonight’s card, which come from ECW’s event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A video package showcases some of the action in Fort Lauderdale. A lot of attention is paid to a brawl between Raven and Steve Richards against Tommy Dreamer and Luna Vachon, with Raven and Richards laying Vachon out with a double DDT before Dreamer cleared the ring with a foreign object and smashed Raven’s hand.
Styles says that Taz suffered a neck injury in Fort Lauderdale, but the severity of his injuries are unknown.
Opening Contest: Eddie Guerrero & Taz (w/Paul E. Dangerously) (0-1) defeat Dean Malenko & 2 Cold Scorpio (1-0) when Guerrero pins Malenko with a front roll at 10:37 shown:
Like their Heatwave ’95 match, the match is not aired in its entirety and clipped to the big moments. As The Wrestling Observer noted, fans were divided over how they perceived this match as some were into it and others thought the technical action was boring. The negative reaction is unwarranted based on what is shown here as Guerrero wrestles fun sequences with both opponents and Taz seamlessly transitions to his suplex offense at various points. Still, the dead crowd at various points hurts how the match comes off on television. Taz suffers his neck injury when Scorpio and Malenko do a spike piledriver but Scorpio drives Taz down like he is doing a Tombstone, causing Taz’s head to bounce off the mat unprotected. That is a reckless spot that never should have been attempted. Guerrero wrestles the rest of the match alone, kicking out of a Scorpio moonsault and Malenko tigerbomb and surprising Malenko with a front roll to even the series between the two teams. That was Guerrero’s go-to finish in a close match. Rating: ***¼
Styles announces that Guerrero and Malenko will wrestle for the Television Championship on the next show. He adds that Taz’s injury shows that no one in ECW is invincible.
Styles recaps the Tommy Dreamer & Luna Vachon-Raven & Steve Richards feud before a taped promo airs featuring Raven, Richards, and Beulah McGillicutty that was taped at 5 a.m. on a Florida beachfront. Raven says that there is no sanctuary for Dreamer regardless of what time it is. Richards marks out over watching Championship Wrestling from Florida that featured Kevin Sullivan and Woman, but he claims that Vachon ruined the promotion and his childhood. Raven dismisses his crucifixion and two broken fingers, warning Dreamer that their feud is not over.
After recapping Rob Feinstein’s recent ECW appearances, Styles says that a new distributor will be recording and sending out ECW videotapes. If you buy Hardcore Heaven ’95, you can get a copy of Mountain Top Madness where Raven and Steve Richards won the tag team titles! It will only cost you $14.95!
Mikey Whipwreck (6-2) pins the Terrorist at 5:25 shown:
Ah, the pre-9/11 world where terrorists could openly promote their causes at wrestling events. The Terrorist is Fidel Sierra, better known to fans as the Cuban Assassin. Sierra also worked for WCW in 1995 as part of the Cuban Connection, Los Especialistas, and the Barrio Brothers with Ricky Santana. In a bad match, the Terrorist works over Whipwreck with a lot of strikes and all Whipwreck can counter with is a low blow. That is until Whipwreck reverses a whip into the ring post and flies off the top to trap the Terrorist with a flying body press. Rating: ½*
After the bout, referee Bill Alfonso criticizes the referee for not checking Whipwreck for foreign objects before the bout, even though the Terrorist attacked Whipwreck before the bell. Whipwreck is not having Alfonso’s criticisms and pushes him, prompting the Terrorist to lay Whipwreck out. Alfonso announces that the Terrorist will be his protector as garbage litters the ring. 911 and Paul E. Dangerously are not deterred, coming to the ring. The Terrorist punches 911, who does not sell the blows, and he ends up on the receiving end of a chokeslam. Seeing his protector destroyed, Alfonso flees. 911 tries to grab him but only ends up ripping off Alfonso’s referee shirt. The Terrorist is chokeslammed several more times to appease the fans.
The Public Enemy, appearing in the hood, argue that the Gangstas are taking them back to their roots.
The Pitbulls (3-4) defeat Bull Pain & Joe DiFuria when Pitbull #2 pins DiFuria after a superbomb at 1:25:
Pain was in the business for more than a decade to his point, working as a jobber for the AWA and WWF in the late 1980s and having small runs in the USWA and Global. He had the most success to this point in Puerto Rico, winning the WWC tag team titles four times. DiFuria was a long-time jobber in the big time, working for WCW and the UWF in 1990 and 1991. He was based in Florida, though, and later worked for NWA Florida. The Pitbulls tear into their opponents, although a slingshot sequence goes awry when Pitbull #2 does not get a lot of hangtime, so he goes splat on the arena floor. He just shakes it off, though. Styles acknowledges the sloppy nature of the contest, but it is soon brought to a close after DiFuria eats a superbomb.
After the bell, Steve Richards comes to the ring and attacks Pitbull #2. That goes about as well as you would expect, and Raven comes to aid his partner. The Vampire Warrior and Dudley Dudley come in to turn the fight into a four-on-two beatdown, so Luna Vachon runs in and jumps her husband, only to end up on the receiving end of a suplex. Tommy Dreamer rushes in with a trash can and lays waste to the heels and that is how the show goes off the air.
Tune in next week to see Television Champion Eddie Guerrero defend the title against Dean Malenko!
The Last Word: This was the best episode of Hardcore TV in a while, aided by new matches that did not come from the ECW Arena and some great promo work by Raven. Taz’s injury is bad timing for him because he started a new gimmick, but it does not do a lot of damage to the midcard because ECW can still rely on Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and 2 Cold Scorpio for the time being.
ECW held a big card in Middletown, New York on July 28, marked by the Steiner Brothers ECW debut. Here were the results of that show, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:
Middletown, New York – The Orange County Fairgrounds – July 28, 1995 (1,400; 1,056 paid): Jim Powers beat Primo Carnera III…Hack Myers pinned Val Puccio…2 Cold Scorpio beat Mikey Whipwreck via TKO…ECW Tag Team Champions Raven & Steve Richards beat the Pitbulls when Richards pinned Pitbull #1…Marty Jannetty wrestled Jim Neidhart to a double disqualification…Eddie Guerrero pinned Television Champion Dean Malenko after a roll up at 14:30 to win the title…The Steiner Brothers beat the Vampire Warrior & Dudley Dudley when Scott pinned the Warrior after the Steinerizer at 5:50…Cactus Jack beat ECW Champion the Sandman via disqualification…The Public Enemy wrestled the Gangstas to a double count out.
Backstage News*: The company was happy with the turnout for the Middletown, New York card since the MSG cable network is their only television exposure in the area. Attendance might have been larger, but a storm took place on the card. That hurt the workrate of the participants because the ring ropes were slick.
*WCW is showing interest in signing Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko to fill out its midcard in anticipation of launching its new Monday night show next month. Guerrero wants a guaranteed contract, a demand that budget conscious WCW executive Eric Bischoff does not want to provide. There are also concerns from the aforementioned individuals that WCW will not be able to get them over, noting that Benoit did not get a strong push there in 1993.
*Taz’s neck injury was not as severe as originally thought, but he will still be out until the end of the month.
*The reason that Dudley Dudley has been making original appearances is that Snot Dudley was in a serious car accident, so the Dudley Brothers team is scuttled for the time being.
*In talent relations news, Ricky Morton is in negotiations to come in since he was fired by Smoky Mountain Wrestling. If he was brought in, he might become the newest member of Raven’s stable.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for August 7.
Up Next: ECW Hardcore TV for August 1!