Joey Styles says that tonight’s footage will come Wrestlepalooza ’95, which took place at the ECW Arena on August 5. He reviews some of the events that transpired there, including the Sandman caning Mikey Whipwreck until Woman told him to stop because she did not want the Sandman to forfeit the ECW Championship. The Sandman sat in the ring as part of a strike, triggering a confrontation with the Public Enemy because they had a stretcher match with the Gangstas. A disjointed recap over still photographs reveals that the Sandman cost the Enemy the match and that Whipwreck returned to battle with the Sandman after the match was over.
The Enemy and Whipwreck are in the hood, with the Enemy giving Whipwreck a Public Enemy jacket. They try to educate him in the ways of the street before Johnny Grunge screams about the Enemy being the “MacDaddys of violence in ECW” and that they are going to take the Sandman to the extreme. As all three walk away, Whipwreck does the Enemy’s celebration wave.
Styles says that fans who want to attend the August 26 ECW Arena show should call and get their tickets early because Wrestlepalooza was a sellout. He says there will be a special show on August 28 in Philadelphia as well.
Styles interviews ECW Tag Team Champions Raven and Stevie Richards (with Richards changing his first name). Richards says that his girlfriend gave him the Winger shirt he is wearing. Styles says that the woman’s name is Francine. Richards says that Francine needs some television time, and they walk past a fan who has a huge Johnny Polo picture on a stick. Francine calls Richards “sweet cheeks,” which Styles mocks. Francine adds that for the next interview she does not want Beulah McGillicutty around because McGillicutty is a slut. McGillicutty questions Francine’s sexual abilities and challenges her to a match, waking up the crowd. McGillicutty and Francine roll around on the mat as videographer Rob Feinstein hops in for a closer look with his home video camera. The brawl, if it can be called that, is eventually broken up by referees and local talent.
The Pitbulls and Tommy Dreamer warn the Dudley Brothers that there is no escaping them. They warn Raven and Stevie Richards that they are coming for them. Dreamer, who has a bandaged left hand, says that Snot Dudley is not around anymore because the Pitbulls broke his pelvis with a superbomb. He says that the three have a strategy that cannot go wrong.
Opening Contest: J.T. Smith pins Hack Myers (4-3) after a flying elbow drop at 5:03 shown:
Smith was a mainstay on the Philadelphia independent circuit, training with the Sandman in the late 1980s, and working for the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance (TWA) and the USWA. He worked for ECW in its formative years, winning the Television Championship from the Tazmaniac in 1994. This marked his return to the company after wrestling as the Boogie Man for Japan’s W*ING promotion. The match is most known for Smith’s attempt at a pescado that goes horrible awry as his knees do not clear the top rope and falls well short of Myers on the floor. This earns Smith one of the first, if not the first, “You fucked up!” chants in the promotion. In later interviews, Smith says that the spot gave him a concussion and he remembers nothing about the match from that point on. Later in the evening, Gabe Spolsky took him to the hospital after Smith drove around Philadelphia for thirty minutes looking for a restaurant that was close to the ECW Arena. The spot gets a couple of replays and as the referee checks on Myers, Val Puccio runs in and slams Myers, allowing Smith to use a flying elbow drop and pin Myers with one foot. Rating: ½*
Raven, Stevie Richards, the Dudley Boys, and Beulah McGillicutty cut a promo from inside a dumpster. As Dudley Dudley goes through trash, Raven speaks of the dysfunction of society before Richards hijacks the promo to gloat about Francine’s sexiness. He stops that when McGillicutty gets jealous and talks about how the Dudley Boys can neutralize the Pitbulls. As Big Dick Dudley grunts, Dudley Dudley speaks to how the Dudleys will protect Raven and Richards because Raven is their personal savior. Raven dismisses the idea that Dreamer and the Pitbulls have a master plan because they are no one the same intellectual plane as him. He says that whoever Dreamer and the Pitbulls pick for an eight-man tag will worship at his altar.
Footage of Hack Myers laying waste to Val Puccio with a chair at Wrestlepalooza airs.
In an interview with Styles, Tommy Dreamer and the Pitbulls announce that Luna Vachon cannot team with them because a hurricane messed with her flight. So, her replacement is announced as Cactus Jack. Jack makes fun of the Dudleys Boys names. He says that Raven is showing his true personality in ECW and his gimmicks in WCW and the WWF are no more. Jack says that he digs Raven’s act before ending the segment.
Raven, Stevie Richards & the Dudley Boys defeat Tommy Dreamer, Cactus Jack & the Pitbulls when Raven pins Dreamer after Jack gives him a double-arm DDT on a chair at 6:36 shown:
Before the match, Raven tells Jack that he understands his pain, recalling Vader’s powerbomb in 1993 and all the times Jack came short of winning a world title. Jack refuses to fight with Raven during the match, mimicking his mannerisms at various points. The match is clipped down to its big moments, with the faces brutalizing Richards. In one spot it is hard to see how Richards protects himself as he is wearing a chair like a collar and Pitbull #2 uses another chair to smash it. Big Dick Dudley sells little, showing little injury from Jack’s chair shots and dominating Dreamer. As all hell breaks loose, Dreamer floors Raven with a piledriver on a chair. Dreamer mocks Raven’s pose for the crowd but when he turns around, Jack gives Dreamer a double-arm DDT on a chair, allowing Raven to get one over on Dreamer yet again. The fans were hot for the finish but giving this match a higher rating is impossible without seeing more uninterrupted action. Rating: **
Styles tries to find a way to justify why Jack turned heel and joined forces with Raven.
Jack delivers a promo amid some backstage rubble. He speaks to how he was late to a show because he could not remember how to get there and all of the pain he has experienced in wrestling. Jack speaks to how Raven understands him while others like Raven, Mikey Whipwreck, and the Public Enemy do not. He says he will kill for his newfound friend.
The Last Word: This broadcast was built around the eight-man tag team main event and the Cactus Jack heel turn was well executed. It gives Jack a whole new set of opponents after there was not much more for him to do as a face while also bolstering Raven’s new cult leader gimmick. As has been said before, the Tommy Dreamer-Raven feud has been ECW’s best angle and it keeps making everyone associated with it look good.
Backstage News*: In talent relations news, 2 Cold Scorpio has been contacted by WCW. Scorpio has told Paul Heyman that he will not leave unless WCW pays him an equivalent salary (or more) to what he was making when he left in 1994. According to reports, Heyman wants to prominently feature Scorpio and make him the promotion’s champion but he fears putting the belt on someone and having them leave for the WWF, WCW, or elsewhere. With regards to Sabu, Heyman has told people that he worked out a secret agreement for Sabu to return to ECW, but this was before Sabu reached an agreement to go to WCW. Sabu is telling people that Heyman promised that he would be the focal point of ECW programming and future pay-per-views if he came back. ECW is already reeling from the Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero signing with WCW, with all three reportedly agreeing to ninety-day contracts.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for August 28.
Up Next: ECW Hardcore TV for August 22!