What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – December 19, 1995

Highlights of the Mikey Whipwreck-Steve Austin-Sandman triangle match for the ECW Championship air, as well as a reminder about a wrist injury the Sandman suffered during the match.

Joey Styles hypes the Sandman’s next three title defenses.  On December 28, the Sandman faces Cactus Jack.  The next night in Queens, New York, the Sandman will face Steve Austin.  And at House Party ’96 on January 5, the Sandman will face Konnan.

Steve Austin admits that not being able to win the ECW Championship has shaken his confidence.  However, he regains his composure during the promo, vowing not to beg to go back to WCW because he knows he is the best wrestler in ECW.  Austin says he is going to take some time off to get his act together because the only person that can keep him away from the ECW Championship is himself.  Austin has done better promos than this in the company, but this was still a good way for his character to assess his shortcomings and hype his title match with he Sandman in Queens.

A replay of Taz getting in Joey Styles face on Hardcore TV several weeks ago airs.

Bill Alfonso says he is not crying about the Public Enemy leaving at House Party ’96.  Taz echoes those words.

Opening Contest:  Taz (w/Bill Alfonso) (1-1) beats El Puerto Ricano (0-3) via submission to the Tazmission at 3:24:

This is the first time that Alfonso serves as a manager in ECW and he wears what will become his trademark: a whistle around his neck that he will blow throughout the match.  Alfonso lays in a stiff slap before the match and when Ricano tries to do something about it, Taz attacks him.  Unlike Ricano’s other matches, this is a slow squash whose purpose was to get more crowd heat on the Taz-Alfonso pairing, and it did that well, with Alfonso bullying Ricano throughout the match.

After the match, Alfonso puts 911, Sabu, and other ECW talents on notice.  When the crowd chants for Sabu, Taz tells them that Sabu does not care about them because Sabu is in Japan.

The Heavenly Bodies talk about how they are tied of hearing about the Public Enemy.  Raven tells the Enemy that the Bodies are two more disciples that will wipe out more of Tommy Dreamer’s friends.  The Bodies are impressed by Raven’s intensity.

Styles hypes a hardcore death match between Sabu and Cactus Jack that will take place in Queens on December 29.  A video package revists Sabu and Jack’s feud a year earlier.  That feud helped put ECW on the map since it got a lot of coverage in Bill Apter’s wrestling magazines.

As the Public Enemy dance for the crowd before the next match, Buh Buh Ray Dudley interrupts and busts out some dance moves of his own.  The Bodies must not be a fan because they beat up Buh Buh Ray with a chair.  The Enemy drive the Bodies away and the crowd showers them with a “Please don’t go!” chant before the bout.  Buh Buh gets a chance to fight each of the Bodies, who he drives off, and he does some more dancing before the Enemy and Bodies finally get around to fighting.

The Public Enemy (8-4) defeat the Heavenly Bodies when Johnny Grunge pins Dr. Tom Prichard after a Rocco Rock clothesline at 8:30:

This incarnation of the Heavenly Bodies formed in 1993 when Jimmy del Ray replaced Stan Lane.  The Bodies had their biggest success in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, winning the tag team titles three times and being the last team to hold the belts before the promotion shut down in November 1995.  They were arguably the best-traveled tag team of the year, also wrestling for the WWF and USWA.  In the WWF, the Bodies were a midcard team that was used to elevate other acts like the Smoking Gunns but in the USWA they had more success by feuding with PG-13 and winning the promotion’s tag belts.  The Bodies had their fair share of street fights in SMW and they put that experience to good use because the Enemy prefer to a garbage brawl to a standard tag match.  del Ray carries the garbage brawling for his side, fighting with Grunge in the crowd and putting Rocco Rock through a table.  Rock recovers enough, though, to trip up del Ray when he tries to moonsault Grunge and then Rock clotheslines Prichard, who Grunge rolls up to win.  This was a decent brawl but one of the best parts of the Bodies team was their creative use of double team moves and they never got to use any of those in the match.  Rating:  **¼

A video package of random highlights to the tune of Christmas music plays the show out.  Buh Buh Ray Dudley has a poor time telling the audience “Merry Christmas.”

The Last Word:  This show had better pacing than some of the most recent editions as no segment overstayed its welcome.  The main event even constituted a small inter-promotional dream match between former tag team champions in ECW and SMW.  There is little problem putting the Public Enemy over despite their leaving either because Dr. Tom Prichard is also bailing for the WWF.

Backstage News*:  In talent relations news, Shane Douglas is bound to return to ECW, but Paul Heyman may want to keep him off of television for several months so his failed WWF stint can be forgotten.

*Backstage news is sourced from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 2.

Up Next:  ECW Hardcore TV for December 26!