The SmarK Rant for Extreme Championship Wrestling – 01.09.96
People seemed to enjoy the first one well enough, so let’s carry on with the show later dubbed Hardcore TV.
Taped from Queens, NY
Your host is Joey Styles
Previously: Back in April of 1995, Raven pins Tommy Dreamer with a DDT for the first time, but not the last. The next week, Dreamer has had enough of Beulah and piledrives her for the first time. But not the last, either. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, WINK WINK, NUDGE NUDGE SAY NO MORE, SAY NO MORE. By which I mean the piledriver is his penis. And then the feud got more violent, with Raven breaking Dreamer’s fingers in June, and those are his blading fingers so you know he’s in trouble now. Of course, this leads to the famous cage match in July where Tommy crucifies Raven on the cage and smashes a chair on his head, which you may have seen before.
Joey also runs down the action from last week, including Jack and Mikey winning the tag team titles from Scorpio in a singles match, and then Jack tries to recruit Mikey into Raven’s Nest and gets turned down.
Taz v. Koji Nakagawa
Koji was an import from FMW, and Taz immediately lays him out and destroys him with a german suplex before tossing him, but Nakagawa fights back and then walks into another suplex. Head and arm suplex drops him on his head while Alfonso does running commentary from ringside in hilarious manner, and the Tazmission finishes at 2:25. And then Fonzie nearly gets into a brawl with some of the fans at ringside before Taz calms him down and hauls him off. This was a fun squash. **
Meanwhile, the Gangstas are back in ECW and they don’t give a damn about ECW or anyone in ECW.
Meanwhile, the Eliminators continue screwing the Pitbulls over with their new finisher, Total Elimination.
And then we get a crawl for the ECW Bingo Hall show coming up at the end of the month, which is literally just them listing off everyone in the promotion. Wow, you mean Sandman and Sabu are going to be there? Unprecedented!
El Puerto Ricano v. Bruiser Mastino
Oddly, the Network has the name spelled wrong, listing it as “El Puerto Riqueno”. The crowd is immediately all over Mastino, chanting “Mantaur sucks” to shoot down whatever repackage Paul had planned here. Ricano uses his speed to evade Mastino and hits some clotheslines while Mastino stands there taking it. Bruiser stomps him down and the crowd goes with “Beefsteak Charlie’s” and “All You Can Eat” for their burn of choice next. Bruiser with a belly to belly and this crowd is just having none of this, booing everything, but Bruiser misses a charge and Ricano goes up with a missile dropkick. Bruiser still won’t sell it and Ricano does three more, but gets caught on a bodypress and Bruiser pins him with a World’s Strongest Slam at 3:19. -* He continues with the slams, but 911 butts in (minus “Frankenstein” on the WWE Network) and at least manages to chokeslam him. So Bill Alfonso runs out and continues his claims of banning the chokeslam, but Tod Gordon beats up Fonzie, and then Taz saves Fonzie. This sets up a staredown between 911 and Taz. This was setting up 911 putting him over, but the relationship between Heyman and 911 fell apart completely and he ended up leaving for WCW before it could be paid off.
And then, without any kind of discernible break in the story, Richards and Meanie run down and we get a dance-off with Buh Buh Ray Dudley and Richards that ultimately goes nowhere.
#1 Contender match: Raven v. Tommy Dreamer
So it’s more Meanie and Richards, as Stevie comes out and announces that his man Raven is unable to wrestle tonight due to broken leg. But of course Tommy accuses Stevie of being a liar, and Meanie attacks to defend his boss’s honor.
Tommy Dreamer v. Blue Meanie
DDT and Dreamer gets the pin at 0:08.
Tommy Dreamer v. Stevie Richards
DDT for Stevie and that gets the pin as well at 0:10. And then Raven hits the ring.
#1 Contender match: Raven v. Tommy Dreamer
Raven attacks from behind and chases Dreamer to the floor, where he puts Tommy through a table. Back in, Raven puts him down with a headbutt to the nose and chokes him out, but Tommy fights back and gets the DDT. Stevie runs in and Tommy gives him a DDT and keeps DDTing him as Stevie absorbs the punishment and allows Raven to escape. So they head to the floor and Tommy finds a cheese grater at the Bed Bath and Beyond pop-up kiosk that is the ECW fanbase, and then adds a shot with a dirty toilet brush and a garbage can. They fight to the back and Raven takes him out to the street as both guys are bleeding like crazy, and they fight back into the building again and Dreamer uses someone’s cane as a weapon. Back to the ring, the ref gets bumped and Beulah tries to use hairspray and hits Raven by mistake, so Raven DDTs Stevie while blinded and then Tommy DDTs Raven for two. Raven gets hung in the Tree of Woe and Tommy pummels him right in the nuts. OK, I laughed at that spot. That was a pretty clever inversion (literally) of the usual corner punching spot, and a guy got hit in the junk, so it’s win-win. Dreamer brings in a piece of table and piledrives Raven onto it for two. Unfortunately we are now past the peak. And the ref gets bumped AGAIN, so this time Stevie runs in with a superkick, somehow recovered enough from SIX DDTs to be back at full strength, and he orders Meanie to the top rope for the traditional missed moonsault. But then Raven hits a DDT onto a chair and that gets the pin at 12:21. This was a lot of a lot and needed about 5 minutes trimmed off it, but it was a fun brawl. ***
And we finish with the usual series of promos done to the generic replacement for “Miserlou”. But then we do actually get a surprise, as Stevie Richards is going a grammatically incorrect promo and gets interrupted by the returning Shane Douglas, fresh out of washing out the WWF in spectacular fashion. Better put the ECW title on him right away!