Happy Extreme Saturday Everyone!
This is another ECW DVD that I have in my collection so I decided to give it the review treatment. We’ll probably get to Doctor Is In next month at some stage, which is a good show from memory.
The Main Event on this one is Sandman and Scorpio taking on Da Gangsta’s and The Head Hunters in a three way dance, whilst Sabu takes on Mikey Whipwreck and Raven defends the ECW Title against Damien 666 of all people in the under card. We’ve also got Taz Vs Chris Jericho, but I don’t think that one is as good as it sounds.
The event is emanating from Queens, New York on the 13th of April 1996
Calling the action is Joey Styles
JT Smith and Little Guido Vs Buh-Buh Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley w/ Big Dick Dudley, Dances With Dudley and Sign Guy Dudley
The gimmick with Smith is that he’s not remotely Italian in any way, but he’s gormless enough to think he is. Guido actually is Italian, but he’s dumb enough to believe that Smith is actually an Italian relative of his, thus starting an association between the two men. This is actually D-Von’s ECW debut, as he comes out of the crowd as a foul mouthed mad man who would actually feud with the rest of the Dudley clan for about a year until they all went Heel as well. This was the beginning of a long tedious feud between the faux Italians and The Dudley Family. Joel Gertner is the ring announcer here and he would eventually manage The Dudleyz down the line.
Once the match starts it’s basically a squash for The Dudleyz, as Buh-Buh makes easy work of Smith inside the ring whilst D-Von brutalises poor Guido out on the floor, with Guido taking some huge bumps in order to put D-Von over. Smith gets some token offence in on Buh-Buh, but D-Von comes in and destroys Smith with a brutal chair shot for our first “EC-Dub” chant of the evening. D-Von eventually goes too far though, even brutalising the referee Pee-Wee Moore at one point, which the psychotic ECW crowd loves of course, leading to The Dudleyz getting DQ’ed.
WINNERS BY DQ: SMITH & GUIDO
A DQ? In ECW?
This was more an angle than a match
D-Von has pretty much lost his voice following that and continues to beat up the poor referee to get across how scary and dangerous he is. Buh-Buh adds a shot with a frying pan, but he pulled it a bit at least. Buh-Buh then gets permission to dance, which the crowd loves.
Billy Black Vs Hack Myers
Black wrestled in the south in places like Texas and Georgia. He looks a bit like a poor man’s Stan Hansen crossed with a Jerry Lawler. This match looks like a fight started up outside the Blue Oyster at closing time. Myers’ whole thing is that the fans like to chant “SHAH” when he hits people and will yell “S—“ when his opponents hit him back. Black takes control of things right from the start with a jump attack, and his offence looks mostly fine but it’s not especially exciting either.
Myers does eventually fight back so that the crowd can have their fun, and he even flings Black over the railings into the crowd at one stage, leading to some crowd brawling here in our second match on the card. Black fights back inside the ring though and heads up a Steiner Bulldog, but botches it and the crowd responds how you would expect. Black makes the mistake of following that up with a body scissors, which the quick to boo ECW audience of course dumps on.
We even get a “this match sucks” chant at one stage, which always struck me as one of the most disrespectful things a crowd can do when a match is going on. These lads are putting their bodies on the line for you guys, no need to be such jerks about it. Myers eventually makes a comeback and gets a sloppy face buster for the three count.
WINNER: HACK MYERS
This wasn’t that good but they were trying and Black took some decent bumps in an effort to get booked again
The crowd actually cheers Myers once it’s over but he looks pretty dejected that they savaged the match so much.
ECW World Tag Team Titles
Champs: The Eliminators (Saturn and Kronus) Vs Pablo Marquez and Joel Hartgood
Saturn would have the best career of all four of these guys as he got to win Titles in both WCW and the WWF. Marquez would get a brief run in the WWF as a manservant for Tiger Ali Singh. This match exists to allow The Elims to destroy their opponents Road Warrior style, with the two opposing lads taking some big bumps for the Champs. It’s entertaining and the crowd digs the big moves. Eventually both men end up taking TOTAL ELIMINATION and mercifully it’s over with a double pin.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE ELIMINATORS
This achieved what it set out to do, so it was a success and entertaining
Saturn grabs a mic post-match and calls out Da Gangstas of New Jack and Mustafa, who join us for a brawl as these two teams were feuding at the time. The locker room ends up emptying, which leads to New Jack hitting a cop (New Jack doing something illegal you say? Perish the thought) and getting arrested, which puts the Main Event in jeopardy. This was a decent angle and a good example of show long storytelling. Mustafa also gets arrested, which seems unfair as he didn’t really do anything other than brawl with The Elims and that stuff happens on a wrestling show all the time without people getting arrested.
ECW World Title
Champ: Raven w/ Stevie Richards, Blue Meanie and Kimona Wanalaya Vs Damien 666
This is clearly going to be a wild styles clash, as Damien is a luchadore whose gimmick in Japan was that he’d steal other wrestler’s moves. Meanie and Richards mock the Shawn Michaels/Diesel high five spot as they were currently feuding in the WWF at the time. Gertner does an impressive job of introducing Damien en español, which the crowd appreciates. Before the match starts, a lady comes into the ring to put whipped cream on Meanie at one stage in an image I don’t think anyone needed to see. Raven puts a stop to that and then slaps Kimona for good measure. Kimona would eventually ditch Raven not long after this.
Stevie cuts a promo before the match starts, saying anyone who messes with Raven will have to deal with him, a threat that I’m sure left the locker room shaking in their collective boots. Stevie then talks down to Damien, asking him if he speaks English, which leads to the payoff of Damien telling Stevie to “F—“ off in perfect English. That didn’t get as big a pop as I was expecting but it was a fun gag. When the actual wrestling starts it’s sloppy in parts due to both men perhaps not really gelling that well, but it has good energy and it’s entertaining to watch as a result.
Raven takes some of his customary big bumps, including getting flung into the crowd at points, as he tries really hard to make Damien look like a viable contender to the Title. Damien gets some near falls, although his pins are a little loose to explain why Raven is able to keep kicking out. Raven flings Damien off the turnbuckle down to the floor at one stage and follows with an elbow drop before sending Damien into the front row. Raven gets a pair of low blows back inside, with the second one looking better than the first as it was just a straight up punch to Damien’s giblets.
Damien replies by getting Raven right in the Flamingos with a shot of his own, before adding a few chair shots for good measure. Damien heads up to the second rope following that flurry and looks to get a flying move of some kind, but Raven counters it into a powerbomb and then follows up with a DDT, which is enough for the three count. I actually thought they’d do the Flock Finish there with Raven’s lackeys running in and Damien dealing with them until he got caught, but instead they just had Raven counter one of Damien’s moves and win clean.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: RAVEN
Some of this was good but other parts of it were sloppy. It just didn’t feel like they meshed well together as opponents, but I appreciated the fact they just let Raven be the better man and win. He is the Champion after all
Raven doesn’t stick around following that and gets out of there pretty sharpish.
Shane Douglas Vs Axl Rotten
Douglas can’t pass up a chance to have a pop at Shawn Michaels before the match starts, as he rags on the quality of the Iron Man match from Mania XII that had happened recently. It’s a rare occasion where I actually agree with him, as I’ve never really enjoyed that match and I’d actually say Rock Vs HHH from 2000 was better. I think Shawn Michaels had recently made some negative comments about ECW and Douglas online, so this was his receipt. Douglas says that Rob Van Dam was originally supposed to be his opponent, but he’s broken his wrist, so he throws out the open challenge.
Blue Meanie tries to answer the challenge at first, although Douglas doesn’t seem thrilled about fighting a weak opponent. Axl Rotten joins us with a barbed wire baseball bat to send Meanie packing and then says he wants to fight Douglas, adding a slap for good measure. The fight is on following that, with Rotten getting the better of things whilst Douglas tries to fight back. Douglas does a great job selling for Rotten here, covering up and looking for an opening to fight back, giving the match a feeling of legitimacy to it.
Rotten takes the majority of the match, with Douglas constantly on the defensive in an almost Flair-like style, which is ironic as Douglas hated Ric Flair. Rotten eventually misses a splash off the top rope, which leads to Douglas making a comeback, although they make a bit of a mess of an inverted Atomic Drop at one stage. Douglas eventually manages to get the Belly to Belly Suplex OUTTA NOWHERE and that’s enough for three.
WINNER: SHANE DOUGLAS
I can see what they were going for here, with Douglas weathering the storm and picking up the win, but Rotten was perhaps in control for too long and he almost looked like a bit of a chump due to having that much offence only to get beaten somewhat easily by something as basic as a Belly to Belly Suplex. Douglas sold really well in the match itself and it had good energy, so it wasn’t boring to watch and ended up being an okay outing
Douglas says that he respects Axl Rotten following that, so Rotten got a bit of a rub from it at least.
Extreme Hardcore Shoot Fight
Guest Referee: Tom Delevano
Taz w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Chris Jericho w/ Todd Gordon
Gordon has arranged for himself to be handcuffed to Alfonso here to ensure there isn’t any funny business. Joey keeps pointing out that Taz has his training buddy Maco with him though, who is probably way more dangerous that Alfonso anyway. They don’t really go through the rules prior to the match starting, but I’m guessing it’s a match where you either win by submission or knock out, something that seems to be the case when Jericho is down and the ref starts a 10 count.
The shoot rules take away from the match in some way, as Jericho is more of a straight wrestler as opposed to a UWFi shoot style worker, so this match doesn’t really play to his strengths. That’s not to say the action is bad, because it isn’t, it’s just not the best use of Jericho. Maco ends up helping free Alfonso, whilst the ref gets grazed by a Jericho kick. Alfonso clocks Jericho with a chair and that leads to Taz locking in the REDRUM for the submission.
This was also more of an angle than it was a match, but the actual wrestling wasn’t terrible
Delevano goes Heel post-match and accepts a payoff in order to choke out Gordon. I don’t know if Gordon ever really got his revenge on Alfonso, as the Heels got the better of him on more than one occasion.
Brian Lee and The Bruise Brothers (Ron and Don Harris) Vs Tommy Dreamer and The Pitbulls (#1 and #2) w/ Beulah and Francine
Lee and The Harris’ would eventually join up to form the Disciples of Apocalypse faction in the WWF. Lee and Dreamer were the two with the big issue here, as Lee had been brought in by Raven in order to take Dreamer out. It doesn’t take long for everyone to brawl into the crowd, leading to chairs getting swing and limps all over the shop. It’s nothing we haven’t already seen tonight, but the crowd is into it and it’s the sort of wild anarchic action that ECW did so well. They did it so well in fact that WCW and the WWF started doing it eventually as well because they saw it as viable match style.
They end up fighting quite literally into Queen’s Boulevard, as they brawl out on the street for a bit before gradually working their way back into the venue. Lee ends up putting a sack over Dreamer’s head, which Joey is surprisingly calm about on commentary seeing as you could quite literally suffocate someone to death if you did that. The babyfaces rally and it looks like Dreamer has Lee pinned, but Raven interferes to break up the three count with a chair shot, which eventually leads to The Harris’ kicking chairs into his head so that Lee can get the pin.
WINNERS: LEE & BRUISE BROTHERS
This was a decent wild brawl that continued the feud of the forces of Lee and Raven against Dreamer
The Heels try to further beat down Dreamer following the match, which leads to Francine taking a big boot from one of the Harris’ as a result. This fires up The Pitbulls, who run wild on the Heels to send them packing whilst Dreamer puts a table in the ring with plans of putting Raven through it. That does indeed happen, as Dreamer sacrifices himself so that the Pitbulls can Super Bomb him and Raven through the table at the same time for a big pop. Paul E really had his cake and ate it there, as he got the finish he wanted but he still gave the crowd something to be happy about by having Raven get laid out. It totally worked as well, especially Dreamer sacrificing himself to hurt Raven and then sitting up from the wreckage of the table to do Raven’s pose.
Sabu Vs Mikey Whipwreck
This would be a battle of ECW Triple Crown winners, as both men have held the World, TV and Tag Titles. It’s a match that doesn’t have the crispest work, but it has good energy as both men are working very hard to have a good match and the crowd appreciates it, so it’s fun to watch and has a good atmosphere, even if the actual wrestling itself isn’t always to a high standard. Mikey gets a decent chunk of offence, which Sabu being happy to bump around for him.
It’s mostly a back and forth contest, with both men getting a chance to shine. There are some genuinely inventive spots as well, as Sabu props up a table between the ring and railings with a goal of putting Mikey through it, but Mikey ends up in the crowd instead, so Sabu just runs along the table to dive out onto him. That was slickly done and looked good. When Sabu managed to land these spots they could be really good.
Sabu ends up getting shoved off the top through his own table, with Mikey following up with a big cross body to the floor, as both wrestlers are really going all out to have a fun match here. Sabu ends up getting a series of big moves and sets up another table in the crowd, but he ends up going through his own table once again when Mikey moves out of the way of his dive. I do like how they’ve kept the crowd guessing on these big spots actually. This has not been formulaic if nothing else.
Things do start getting a bit sloppy in the closing stages sadly, with a Mikey attempt at a German Suplex looking more like an aggressive waist lock takedown. Thankfully the crowd is generous about it. Mikey tries to bulldog Sabu off the top onto a chair at one stage, but Sabu fights that off and uses the chair as a boost in order to give Mikey a rana off the top for the three in a fantastic sequence.
This was sloppy in places but it was good fun too
Sabu shows respect to Mikey following that, with the idea being that Mikey is no longer the hapless underdog but a genuine competitor in his own right.
Three Way Dance
The Sandman and Scorpio w/ Missy Hyatt Vs The Head Hunters (A and B) w/ Damien Kane and Lady Alexandra Vs Da Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa)
Ring entrances eat up about 10 minutes here, and as Scorpio makes his Sandman and Missy are practically trying to shag one another at ringside. Scorpio was also the ECW TV Champ at the time and his wacky mismatched tandem of he and Sandman were actually quite effective. Da Gangstas are still being held at the governor’s pleasure when this one starts, so it instead gets worked as a Two Way Dance, with all four men quickly fighting out to the floor.
Chairs get swung and heads get cracked in typical ECW style, which The Head Hunters fit into well as they had experience of doing this sort of wrestling in Japan and Puerto Rico. All three managers get involved as well, which gives us our contractually mandated CAT FIGHT between Missy and Alexandra. The women get cleared out by security, which leads to one Head Hunter trying to put Sandman through a table with a Moonsault, but the table doesn’t break, meaning I now have to post this…
Anyway, Da Gangstas show up following that, although their music sadly doesn’t hit, and fighting to their music was roughly 85% of their act. Da Gangstas have things in hand, even whilst cuffed, but The Eliminators join us and take them out, with Mustafa taking TOTAL ELIMINATION. The Head Hunters decide to leave at this point, whilst The Elims also decide to walk away rather than fighting Sandman and Scorpio.
Da Gangstas are pretty much defenceless due to The Eliminator beat down, but New Jack manages to kick out and both Gangstas end up getting uncuffed, thus allowing them to make a comeback. More brawling follows, with everyone fighting all over the building until we head back to ringside for some near falls. Sandman of course takes some brutal weapon shots and Scorpio ends up taking a big double team back drop/fist drop combo move. New Jack comes off the top with a chair shot to Scorpio following that and that’s enough for three.
WINNERS: DA GANGSTAS
This was certainly the wild crazy fight you would expect from ECW, although I personally thought it got a bit overbooked with the run-ins and things like The Head Hunters just evaporating in the way they did. Once it came down to just Sandman/Scorpio and Da Gangstas though it became less chaotic and they had a good tornado styled brawl to close things out
We at least get to hear Natural Born Killaz on the way out, complete with the intro where the man walking home with his girlfriend getting into an argument with some thugs in the hood. Oh yes, it doesn’t start with the firework/gunshot.
This is one of those shows that was an easy enough watch but ECW put on FAR better shows from their 95-97 peak, so you’re probably better off seeking out those ones instead of this show. It is up on WWE Network/Peacock if you don’t mind watching it in dubbed form.
Not a recommended show