The SmarK Rant for Extreme Championship Wrestling – 02.20.96
I was cruising the WWE Network tonight looking to see what I wanted to review (WWE King of the Ring Countdown? Confidential? Monday Night War?) but then I remembered the ECW reviews and I saw the thumbnail…and what other choice did I realistically have?
Taped from Philly
Your host is Joey Styles
Missy Hyatt wants Sandman to make his big stick explode all over her, so he spits beer all over. I feel like there’s a hidden message there. Very subtle.
We pick up the “action” with a bunch of goobers doing a six-man while the crowd turns on the match. There’s a guy named “The Dirt Bike Kid” involved, for those looking for some context at how big of goobers we’re talking here. So the match ends and Sandman hits the ring and destroys them all with the cane, drawing the monster reaction from the mutants. I see 911’s role was tough to fill.
Joey’s introduction to the show (at an INTERNET CONVENTION!) is interrupted by the lights going out, and Brian F’N Pillman appears in the ring, fresh off being “fired” from Nitro. Joey actually cracks a joke about the power outage on Nitro, which is cute. So Brian complains that “an announcer in Atlanta took away his constitutional rights” by firing him. But now he’s in the home of the Constitution while the “former coffee gofer for Verne Gagne” is leading the show in WCW and he’s a “piece of fucking shit”. So Joey tries to throw it to a break, but Brian continues going off, and now he turns on the fans, calling the crowd a bunch of “smart marks” just like Bischoff, and he points out that a mark is a guy who pays his last $20 for a wrestling show and believes OJ is innocent. So he’s gonna YANK OUT HIS JOHNSON and PISS ON THE RING. So everyone freaks out and Paul Heyman, playing ECW booker Paul Heyman, comes out and tells him that it’s not part of the deal. So Brian rants about the “bookerman” and Shane Douglas gets involved, informing us that “he’s shooting”. The crowd chants “let him piss”, somewhat undercutting the danger of the moment, so Pillman gets into a fight with some ginger doofus and hauls him into the ring, beating him like the red-headed stepchild he probably is. And then Shane chases him off again.
Back from a break, and Pillman is being hauled off in cuffs by the cops and thrown out of the building. And Joey notes that he’s been the Loose Cannon in WCW, but he CROSSED THE LINE when he beat up the plant fan at ringside. They should have brought in a stunt granny for him to smack around, that would have been epic.
Next up, we recap Taz’s “one man crime spree” through ECW, as he chased off 911 and prompted Bam Bam Bigelow to come to ECW to make a challenge. So we cut to Fonzie and Taz and “WWF” is bleeped out so they’re still using the 24/7 edits for these. Fonzie’s rant is hilarious, because he stresses that he loves Vince McMahon for putting him in the Betty Ford Clinic and paying the $11,000 bill. And now he’s making money and getting massages on a regular basis.
Damian Kane v. Mustafa Said
So this was apparently supposed to be a Gangstas match but New Jack was in jail in Atlanta (a story later revealed to be New Jack basically lying about it) and the Headhunters quickly double-team Mustafa and we move onto something else. So Kane calls out anyone tough enough to face his team, which brings out the Bruise Brothers, and Joey dubs that a “big surprise”. And wasn’t the world just waiting for THIS match. So they go brawling all over the arena and you can’t see shit and I’m not even 100% sure this is an actual match in the first place. Joey notes that we can thank Tommy Dreamer for them being here tonight. Well we know what Tommy’s endorsement is worth. They do a stupid double pin finish and the Bruise Brothers win. Two pairs of identical twins, one half a wrestler’s worth of talent between the four of them.
Next up, we get highlights of a triple dog collar match with Pitbulls & Francine v. Eliminators & Stevie Richards, as Francine takes a superkick and spends the entire match laying on the ground selling. The Eliminators try to give her Total Elimination but Pitbull #1 “saves”, spearing the poor girl in the process and snapping her head on the bottom rope. If that’s saving her I’d have preferred to take the move. And after a bunch of bullshit, the Pitbulls hit Stevie with a Superbomb and Francine crawls over and pins him. I should note that the dog collar stip was completely forgotten after about 15 seconds. Afterwards, the Eliminators take out the Pitbulls and then give Francine their finish after all. The stuff with the women getting beat up is really ugly heat and unnecessary.
Buh Buh Ray Dudley v. The Roughneck Mr. Hughes
OK, time for them to save the show. I have faith! We get the extended dancing session from Buh Buh while Hughes attacks the various Dudley brothers, and that brings in Big Dick to avenge his family with a crutch to the back, and Buh Buh goes up with a splash for the pin at 0:33. OK, I admit it, I wanted it too much and was just setting myself up for disappointment. That’s on me.
Tommy Dreamer joins Joey for some kind of main event interview as this brutal show crawls to the finish line like a race car driver pulling himself from the wreckage and trying to finish the race with two broken legs by using his arms to haul his remaining torso across the finish line. Anyway, Raven and his crew quickly interrupt and he talks about how in other countries they cut out your tongue for lying, and Tommy got Raven’s girlfriend pregnant so guess what he’s getting cut out. And then the Bruise Brothers shockingly come out and turn on him in a move that no one could have possibly seen coming and give him the old Jerry Lawler treatment on the post, perhaps shattering his nuts once and for all. I bet there’s a lot of Dark Side of the Ring viewers who would watch that today and think “Yeah, that’s about right.” I know I felt the same way as Tommy here watching this fucking terrible episode, a metaphorical trip to the steel post, nutsack-first.
Maybe I should have watched the King of the Ring countdown show after all.