What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – August 29, 1995

Joey Styles narrates a video package that recaps the Eddie Guerrero-Dean Malenko feud.

Styles announces to the ECW Arena that 2 Cold Scorpio is the new television champion after defeating Guerrero in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.  When asked about Taz, Scorpio says that if Taz wants some, he can come and get some.  And when asked who he thinks will win the two-out-of-three falls match between Guerrero and Malenko, Scorpio says he does not care because he is the champion.

After a commercial break, Styles informs the ECW Arena that “due to the relationship between Mr. Ted Turner’s wrestling company and New Japan Pro Wrestling” Guerrero and Malenko are heading to WCW.  Fans facing the hard camera have a banner that says “Bischoff sucks” and ECW fans chant it.

Opening Two-out-of-Three Falls Contest:  Dean Malenko (1-2-2) wrestles Eddie Guerrero (3-1-2) to a draw when the third fall ends in a double pin at 18:56:

Previous falls:  Guerrero wins the first fall with a roll up at 10:32; Malenko win the second fall via the Texas Cloverleaf at 13:20

Based on the way that ECW framed the news of both men’s departure, each receives a standing ovation before and after the match.  Fans also shout, “Please don’t go!” after the opening bell.  As has been the case for much of their series, Malenko wins the portions of the match on the canvas, while Guerrero does better when both men are in a standing position.  The hard-hitting portions of the match start after a ten-minute feeling out process, with Guerrero scoring the first fall from a roll up.  Malenko dominates the second fall, working over Guerrero’s leg and then using a double leg slam to set up the Texas Cloverleaf.  A bevy of near-falls cover the third and final fall, with Malenko unable to get the win with a tigerbomb and stomachbreaker, and Guerrero failing to secure the win after a tornado DDT and frog splash.  After some nice callbacks to their previous match finishes, Malenko tries to secure the victory with a half nelson bridging cradle, but Guerrero locks his arms in place to where neither man can get their shoulders off the match, causing the match to be a draw.  It is fitting that ECW chose neither man to win this feud since they were booked so evenly in their matches.  And the promotion was unsure which of these men might return in the future since their prospects in WCW seemed like a long shot.  Rating:  ****

After the match, Guerrero tells a critical fan that he paid for his ticket and has the right to his opinion, while saying that it is an honor to wrestle in front of fans at the ECW Arena.  Malenko takes the mic too and, after not speaking during his ECW tenure, tells fans that he is honored to get their respect for his style of wrestling, and he is an ECW fan.  Guerrero and Malenko hug and Paul Heyman, Tod Gordon, Hack Myers, Tommy Dreamer, and the Pitbulls come in to hoist Guerrero and Malenko on their shoulders.  On his way to the locker room, Guerrero slaps hands and hugs several fans around ringside.

The Last Word:  While it is wrestling convention to bury talent on their way out of the company, ECW took a different approach here and created a great television tribute to Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko.  Although fans know that both men reached new heights in WCW – they would go on to feud over the United States Championship and Malenko became the number one ranked wrestler in the PWI 500 in 1997 – that was far from certain in the late summer of 1995 when WCW had yet to create a cruiserweight division and had a track record of taking technical hands without good microphone skills and turning them into glorified enhancement talents.  If you are a fan of Malenko or Guerrero, this is a program worth checking out to see where they made a mark before reaching the big time.

ECW ran a show in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania to follow up on the WWF’s SummerSlam card that took place in Pittsburgh on August 27.  Here were the results of that show, courtesy of prowrestlinghistory.com:

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania – The Big Apple Dinner Theater – August 28, 1995 (300):      Mikey Whipwreck defeated Dino Sendoff…Television Champion 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Hack Myers…ECW Tag Team Champions Raven & Stevie Richards beat the Pitbulls.  Before the match, Francine ran out and attacked Richards before she was removed by ECW officials…Ian Rotten beat Bull Pain in a death match…ECW Champion the Sandman beat Tommy Dreamer…The Steiner Brothers beat Dances with Dudley & Dudley Dudley…Cactus Jack pinned 911…Mikey Whipwreck (substituting for Johnny Grunge) & Rocco Rock beat the Gangstas in a falls count anywhere match when Whipwreck pinned Mustafa.

Backstage News*:        Eddie Guerrero also thanked Art Barr after his last match at the ECW Arena because it was Barr’s idea for the two to come to the promotion and get over in the United States.

*ECW’s next big show on September 16 will be built around Raven and Stevie Richards defending the ECW Tag Team Championship against the Pitbulls in a double dog collar match and Mikey Whipwreck and the Public Enemy facing the Sandman and the Gangstas in a cage match.

*There are rumors that ECW is looking into operating a vacant warehouse in Forest Hills, New York and using it as the New York version of the ECW Arena.  If this happens, the building will open in October.

*When Konnan comes into the company he will probably feud with 2 Cold Scorpio.

*In talent relations news, Ian Rotten quit the company after the Kennett Square show on August 28 over a pay dispute.  Rotten was not happy to be paid $350 for three hardcore-like matches in short succession.  Also, ECW is in contact with the Eliminators (Perry Saturn and John Kronus) but they have not been given a debut date yet.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for September 11.

Up Next:  ECW Hardcore TV for September 5!