Footage of fans celebrating in the ring with Public Enemy at one of ECW’s Florida shows, and the ring collapsing because of it, is shown.
Joey Styles says that the matches on tonight’s show come from the Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, New York.
A video package shows highlights of various matches in Middletown. These include Marty Jannetty against Jim Neidhart, the Steiner Brothers against the Vampire Warrior and Dudley Dudley, Hack Myers against Val Puccio, 2 Cold Scorpio against Mikey Whipwreck, and the Gangstas against the Public Enemy. A beatdown of Tommy Dreamer by Raven, Steve Richards, and Beulah McGillicutty is also shown.
Opening Contest for the ECW Tag Team Championship: Raven & Steve Richards (Champions w/Beulah McGillicutty) (2-1) beat the Pitbulls (4-4) when Richards pins Pitbull #2 after McGillicutty interferes at 8:02:
Unlike most ECW tag matches, this one sticks to the conventional formula rather than have the participants pair off and brawl around the venue. The Pitbulls destroy Richards and have him positioned for a superbomb, but Raven breaks it up and helps the heels regain the advantage. Richards screws up again, leading to Pitbull #2 getting the hot tag and cleaning house. Pitbull #2 has Richards pinned after a running powerslam, but the referee is distracted by a fight between Pitbull #1 and Raven. McGillicutty distracts Pitbull #2 and sprays him in the eyes with hairspray, allowing the champions to retain when Richards schoolboys #2. The Pitbulls work better in a babyface role because they can use their power offense in short spurts for reactions and they do not have to carry the action. Rating: **
After the match, the champions beat on the challengers until Tommy Dreamer and Luna Vachon make the save. After driving off the champions, the Pitbulls capture McGillicutty and feed her to Dreamer, who gives her a piledriver.
2 Cold Scorpio puts over ECW before bragging about putting Taz on the shelf. He reiterates his earlier words about not fearing the Steiner Brothers.
Television Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero (2-1-2) pins Dean Malenko (Champion) (1-1-2) after a cradle pin at 11:45 shown:
Like their match the previous week this is subtly clipped at various points to eliminate slow spots. Guerrero flies all over the ring at various times, as Malenko throws him up in the air for some hangtime on a stomachbreaker and tosses him across the ring to block a tornado DDT. The former prevents Guerrero from capitalizing when he hits a frog splash and Malenko locks in an abdominal stretch, but Guerrero refuses to submit. Malenko tries to toss Guerrero high into the air for a flapjack, but Guerrero hits a hurricanrana and the two roll around the mat, with Guerrero coming out on top this time to regain the belt. Chalk this one up as another fine match in the series between these two. Rating: ***½
Styles announces that Guerrero will defend his title against Dean Malenko in a best-of-three falls match at the ECW Arena on August 26.
Styles acknowledges that several television stations refused to carry the Sandman’s beating of Mikey Whipwreck on the previous telecast. Styles adds that Taz has been doing some intense training with the Steiner Brothers recently despite his neck injury. Taz’s doctors must be thrilled with that news.
The Steiner Brothers say that they are hungry for fresh meat, and Taz says that he has been Steinerized, taking off a neck brace and barking with Rick.
The Last Word: This was another good episode of Hardcore TV, giving fans the follow-up match to Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero’s encounter the previous week. The Steiners run will not last for long but ECW hopes that their joint appearances with Taz can give him his new, serious character additional legitimacy.
Backstage News*: WCW is succeeding in its effort to poach members of the ECW midcard as they have reportedly agreed to deals with Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko and are on the cusp of signing Eddie Guerrero. The contracts for all three would allow them to wrestle for New Japan and independent promotions in the United States except for Smoky Mountain and ECW. WCW will also be bringing in Sabu, who ECW fired in April for not appearing at its Three-Way Dance card. Paul Heyman says he wanted to book a triangle match between Benoit, Malenko, and Guerrero later in the year, with tentative plans to put it on pay-per-view if he could find a distributor, but WCW signing the three will scrap those plans.
*Since ECW has not solved its contractual dispute with the Sunshine Network it has scrapped its plans for a Florida tour in mid-September since they would not be able to hype it on area television. Heyman and Tod Gordon are scheduled to go to Florida to meet with executives. According to reports, the Sunshine Network wants ECW to pay $1,500 a week to air its broadcast, which is too pricey for the promotion since it was paying half of that under its previous deal.
*With regards to ECW’s other business dispute with video producer Rob Feinstein, Heyman says that there were a lot of tapes that had to be redubbed for free because they were of poor quality and it cost the promotion money. Heyman says this means that ECW owes Feinstein less than the $6,000 he is claiming.
*ECW is planning a house show for August 28 for a Japanese tour group that is coming to the United States to see the WWF’s SummerSlam card in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Japanese visitors typically buy a lot of merchandise, so ECW hopes to come out ahead financially via this move.
*In talent relations news, ECW is trying to contact Steve Williams and Rey Mysterio, Jr. for bookings.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for August 21.
Up Next: ECW Hardcore TV for August 15!