What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – October 31, 1995

Beulah McGillicutty promises “an up close and personal feel” and talks about TNT.  This gives way to Steve Austin doing an Eric Bischoff impression on Monday Nitro, talking about his joy in firing people over the phone.  Austin calls WCW’s talent old and their show “Monday Nyquil” where “the big boys play with each other.”

Joey Styles does the commentary for tonight’s matches, which come from the October 28 ECW Arena show.  He says that the ladder match between ECW Champion the Sandman and Mikey Whipwreck means that the match will have a ladder, but you do not have to climb the ladder to get to a title that is suspended from the roof.  In addition, Styles hypes a November 17 show in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania where Whipwreck will wrestle Rey Misterio, Jr. and talks about November to Remember ‘95 the next night where ECW Tag Team Champions 2 Cold Scorpio and the Sandman will defend the titles against the Public Enemy.  Also, Raven and Cactus Jack will face Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk.  Styles hints that this could be Funk’s final match as he is thinking of retiring.

Austin is still doing a Bischoff impersonation when a sound guy has to wake him up at a desk.  When he wakes up, he keeps screaming about firing people.

Opening Contest:  The Pitbulls (w/Francine) (5-7) defeat the Broad Street Bully & Don E. Allen (1-0) when Pitbull #2 pins Allen after a superbomb in 31 seconds:

The Pitbulls rush the ring and destroy their opponents in less than a minute.  Styles makes a crack about Allen moving up a notch in the PWI 500 from 500 to 499 since Allen has “499” on the back of his tights.

After the match Jason, the Pitbulls former manager, walks into the ring.  He admits to making an error when he sold their contract to Stevie Richards and claims that if he were still managing the Pitbulls that they would have never lost the ECW Tag Team Championship.  Jason offers to revisit his old role if the Pitbulls ditch Francine, who he calls a prostitute.  As the Pitbulls hold Francine back, Jason kicks her in the head, and the Pitbulls corner him but are attacked by the Eliminators.  After Pitbull #2 eats Total Elimination, Rick Steiner and Taz make the save with Rick doing all the work because Taz is in no shape to bump around due to his neck injury.

Following a commercial break, the Eliminators return to the ring to fight with Taz and Steiner.  John Kronus puts Taz in a crossface chicken wing until the Pitbulls return the favor by making the save.  Steiner and Pitbull #2 work together to give Perry Saturn a Doomsday Device.

The Extreme Encyclopedia segment defines the Sandman as “A cigarette smoking, cane swinging, beer drinking world champion with a propensity for violence; a fighter who has climbed the ladder to the top.”  Woman is described as “An aberration of the classic American male fantasy of beauty and servitude; a seductive henchwench with an appetite for money.”  And Mikey Whipwreck is defined as “A 19-year-old messenger of improbable upsets, the former ECW TV & Tag Team Champion with Cactus, tries to use his 188 clean living, non-smoking, drug & disease-free pounds to beat the nicotine addicted Sandman.”

Dudley Dudley says that there will be a guest ring announcer to open November to Remember.  This will be Buh Buh Ray Dudley.  He has a stutter that he can only overcome when Big Dick Dudley hits him with a crutch.

Styles says that Steve Austin will make his in-ring debut for ECW at November to Remember.

The Public Enemy put Mikey Whipwreck through his final training before facing the Sandman for the ECW Championship.  His “hoodie training” starts by climbing a ladder to get a six-pack of beer, grabbing each one in turn for Johnny Grunge.  Whipwreck gets gassed going up the ladder as Grunge gets drunker from the beer and Whipwreck has to do his best not to corpse.  Rocco Rock, who went to get weapons for the training, reappears at the end but he knocks Grunge into the ladder Whipwreck is on, causing the challenger to hang onto the tree where the beer cans were hanging before falling to the ground.  There was good comedy in this sketch as Whipwreck is a good, clueless straight man.

Steve Austin crashes another Sandman-Mikey Whipwreck match, coming out before their title match to insult both combatants, as well as Woman.  When Woman sneers at Austin he jabs back by saying she is the one “who married a midget, not me.”  What sells that line – an attack on Woman’s husband Kevin Sullivan – is that there is a fan behind Woman in the crowd who does not get it and asks his friend “Who is that?”  When Woman tries to hit Austin with a Singapore cane after he exits the ring, he picks her up and carries her to the locker room over his shoulder, with some fans seizing the opportunity to slap her on her behind.

Ladder Match for the ECW Championship:  Mikey Whipwreck (8-6) beats the Sandman (Champion w/Woman) (12-6) with a splash off the top rope onto a ladder to win the title at 6:51:

As Styles noted before this is a match where the ladder can be used as a weapon, but the object is to score a pin or submission on your opponent rather than climb the ladder to get the title.  The match is a short brawl, which makes sense when one factors in the weapons shots both men get in with the ladder and chairs.  There are some cringe-worthy blows as well as the Sandman tosses the ladder down on Whipwreck with reckless abandon and then uses it as a teeter-totter to smash Whipwreck in the face.  Whipwreck responds in kind by smashing the Sandman in the face with the ladder several times, weakening the champion to the point where Whipwreck can use a splash to end the Sandman’s six-month title reign.  Styles sells this as a “Do you believe in miracles?” story but the match never built up enough drama to get that story over.  Based on what we know about head trauma today it is also tough to watch in spots, akin to seeing Mick Foley take a lot of unprotected chair shots to the head from the Rock at the 1999 Royal Rumble.  Rating:  **¼

After the match, Cactus Jack runs into the ring to give Whipwreck a hug.  The babyface side of the roster pour out of the locker room to lift Whipwreck on their shoulders and they let Jack know that his presence is not wanted.

A video package puts over the Sandman’s run with the ECW Championship.  A bloodied Sandman tells Woman at the end of it that it is now time to do things his way.

The Last Word:  The Steve Austin impressions of Eric Bischoff were weak, but the rest of the show filled in nicely after that.  Fans responded positively to Mikey Whipwreck’s title win although the layout of the match could have presented a better story of Whipwreck fighting from underneath (and Joey Styles could have done better in getting that story over in his commentary).  The program also laid the groundwork for a feud between the Pitbulls and the Eliminators where the Pitbulls will serve as the gatekeepers between the Eliminators and the ECW tag team title picture.

ECW ran two house shows in Pennsylvania in early November.  Here are the results of those shows, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Reading, Pennsylvania – Bodyslams Arena – November 3, 1995 (500):  Hack Myers pinned J.T. Smith…The Pitbulls beat Buh Buh Ray Dudley & Dances with Dudley…Axl Rotten defeated Dino Sendoff…ECW Champion Mikey Whipwreck beat Jason…The Bad Crew beat the Flamingo Kid & George Love…Television Champion 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Axl Rotten via disqualification…Cactus Jack beat Tommy Dreamer via disqualification in a match where no punches could be thrown…The Public Enemy defeated Raven & Stevie Richards.

Glenolden, Pennsylvania – The Briarcliffe Fieldhouse – November 4, 1995 (250):  J.T. Smith defeated Hack Myers…Axl Rotten beat Jason…Television Champion 2 Cold Scorpio wrestled 911 to a double disqualification…The Public Enemy defeated Buh Buh Ray Dudley & Dances with Dudley…ECW Champion Mikey Whipwreck pinned the Sandman…Tommy Dreamer & the Pitbulls beat Cactus Jack, Raven & Stevie Richards.

Backstage News*:  The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission will hold a close-door meeting about ECW on November 9 after receiving several fan complaints about the post-main event activities at the ECW Arena on October 28.  It is unclear what sanctions they might levy on ECW since the body’s authority has not enforced its rules in a long time.  ECW is worried, though, as evidenced by reports of its house show in Reading, Pennsylvania on November 3 where there was less brawling, no blading, and no table spots because commission members were present.

*Taz is still in no condition to do a full match because of his neck.  As a result, Axl Rotten substituted for him against 2 Cold Scorpio in Reading.

*To supplement his income, the Sandman is working construction in Utah and flies in for shows.

*In talent relations news, the Public Enemy met with Vince McMahon on November 2 and all signs point to them departing for the WWF.  Paul Heyman brokered the meeting, who has been told by the WWF that they do not want to hurt his company.  While there was speculation that the WWF was also interested in 911 that interests appears to have dissipated.  Missy Hyatt is now telling people that she is not coming into the promotion despite rumors to the contrary.

*Backstage news is sourced from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for November 13.

Up Next:  ECW Hardcore TV for November 7!