ECW Hostile City Showdown 96 (4/20/1996)- Philadelphia, PA
OPENING SEGMENT- great!
The Gangstas came out and New Jack cut an AWESOME promo (and I mean like Promo of the Year candidate awesome) calling out The Eliminators. The Eliminators showed up and a brawl ensued. They brawled in the crowd for a while then back into the ring before the locker room emptied to break it up.
SUPER NOVA vs. EL PUERTO RICANO- 3.25/10 (but excellent for the time it got)
You knew the moment this match between two undercard guys started that it was going to end with them both getting killed via run-in, and the smart money was on one of the teams from the previous segment wanting to resume their brawl, and that’s exactly what happened. That being said, these two managed to pack A LOT of stuff into the short time they were given. The match was exciting enough that I was quite disappointed when The Eliminators ran in.
ANOTHER ELIMINATORS-GANGSTAS BRAWL- great segment
They disposed of Nova and El Puerto Ricano, and then it was Saturn’s turn to cut a profanity-laden promo calling out the other team. Obviously The Gangastas weren’t going to not come out, so they did, and more brawling happened. They went for a few minutes before the locker room emptied once again to break them up. Joey Styles came up with a halfway plausible reason for why they just couldn’t let them fight (something about unscheduled brawls and ECW’s insurance. Joey made it sound like it made sense).
While the two teams were being held apart J.T. Smith tried to convince them to get along with each other by singing Fly Me to the Moon. This ended when Devon Dudley hit Little Guido with a chair, and J.T. fled in order to avoid Devon’s second swing. Devon chased them backstage. New Jack and Saturn managed to get free and they bawled to the back. Meanwhile, people just started fighting in the ring, with Hack Myers standing tall at the end. A fun, wild, and very ECW segment.
THE PIT BULLS (w/Francine) vs. THE DUDLEY BOYS (w/Big Dick Dudley & Sign Guy Dudley)- 4/10
The Dudleys did their pre-match schtik. Bubba is still stuttering at this point and Devon is trying to get the other Dudleys to not be goofballs. “Thou shalt not f*ck with the Dudleys” is one of the most underrated catchphrases in wrestling history.
The match was just random brawling and violence, really for no reason. Even the referee got beaten up at the end for no reason. We didn’t get a finish because there was no referee. I don’t think anyone even went for a pin. This was entirely pointless, and it was patently obvious that it was pointless the whole time, and yet it somehow managed to remain mostly enjoyable.
DEVON STORM vs. TAZ (w/Bill Alfonso & Team Taz)- 5/10
Another match that was great for the time it got. I was quite surprised at the amount of offense they let Storm get in here, especially with the way Joey had introduced him as appearing for WCW, but they had their reasons for letting him do so, and those reasons were quite ingenious. The main reason we had to see so much of Storm’s offense was to show us that, as Joey said, Storm was copying his offense from Sabu. This served the double function of both building to Taz vs. Sabu, and indirectly burying WCW for copy ECW’s star. Devon Storm almost died on the finish when he only hit the table he was supposed to go through with his legs, causing him to bounce backwards and fall on the floor, possibly on his head.
AXL ROTTEN vs. LITTLE GUIDO (w/J.T. Smith)- 4.5/10
I’ve seen so much ECW brawling tonight that I totally forgot that Axl could actually wrestle two.
THE BRUISE BROTHERS vs. 2 COLD SCORPIO & THE SANDMAN (w/Missy Hyatt)- 4.5/10
The entrances took forever because in addition to Enter Sandman we also had to get Scorpio’s entrance, when involved firs thim dancing with Missy, then Missy Dancing with Sandman, and then what Joey Styles called as “a Missy Hyatt sandwich; for the first time on television, though probably not the first time recorded on videotape.”
The match started off with Sandman being taken out so Scorpio had to face the two monsters alone, then Scorpio got taken out just as Sandman was recovering so Sandman now had to face the two monsters alone. While Sandman was getting his ass kicked, Missy was getting off on it, telling the Bruise Brothers to hit him “harder!” Sandman made a comeback, then went over to drink beer from Missy’s breasts… and then promptly returned his attention to the ring just in time to eat a big boot. He came off like such an idiot. Fortunately Scorpio was there to save his butt.
More stuff happened and they spilled out into the crowd (yes, again), then came back. Scorpio got to do his cool high-flying stuff, including pinning one of the Bruise Brothers, who was absolutely furious (you may insert your own joke here) and went after the referee.
BRIAN LEE vs. TOMMY DREAMER- 5/10
When I watch these old shows I sometimes run into things that I, twenty years later, have trouble wrapping brain around because they seem impossible today. For example, one of the first spots in this match was Tommy Dreamer placing a chair on his shoulder, then grabbing Brian Lee and performing a sit-out three-quarter facelock jawbreaker. Joey Styles, not wanting to be overly technical, merely referred to it as a “jawbreaker” but I was so taken aback because in my brain, this move has always been the Stone Cold Stunner… except that this show took place two months before there was a Stone Cold to name that move the “Stunner.”
They, too, brawled into the crowd. Tommy Dreamer is a crazy man. He jumped off of things, took a essentially a con-chair-to, except with the chairs being booted into his head by the Bruise Brothers instead of swung by responsible wrestlers like Edge & Christian, and was willing to have someone hammer a cinderblock with a chair onto his groin (which probably hurt quite a bit, but with the way they laid it out, it wouldn’t have been the nut shot that Tommy sold it as).
NO TIME LIMIT MATCH: Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu- 8.25/10
Exactly what you’d expect from these two, which was crazy athleticism and weapon-use. Sabu won, but offered Rob a handshake after the match to show that Rob had earned his respect, but Rob snubbed him on it, setting up a rematch in a few weeks at A Matter Of Respect. Rob’s snubbing got MASSIVE heat.
KIMONA WANALAYA HAS AN ANNOUNCEMENT- Yes. That announcement.
You all know the story. Beulah’s not actually pregnant. She’s been cheating on Tommy with Kimona, but Tommy is apparently okay with that and he’ll take ‘em both because hardcore. They get kicked off of various TV outlets because lesbians.
ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Raven(c) (w/Stevie Richards & Da Blue Meanie) vs. Shane Douglas- 6.5/10
Apparently the big announcement has messed with Raven’s head. I’m really sure why. We already knew Beulah was cheating on him. Shouldn’t it be Tommy who is upset by this news?
They brawled around. Lots of ether dives or bumps off the apron. Then they brawled into the crowd. Then they brawled outside where no one could see them. When they got back to the ring Shane got a visual pinfall. When got up to investigate why the referee wasn’t counting he apparently saw Dreamer distracting the referee even though Joey claims that Dreamer was dealing with the Nest who were doing so (we couldn’t actually see almost any of this because it wasn’t within frame).
Yes, Tommy’s back already. That was quick. Then again, I guess it’s pretty amazing if he was even able to get an erection after the trauma he suffered barely a half hour ago. Shane and Tommy hug it out… which of course ends with Tommy getting nailed with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Tommy got pretty much right back up and ran over to attack Shane, basically killing Shane’s finish. If I were Shane I would have been stiffing Tommy during the brawl after that.
People came out to break them up and drag Tommy away. Raven rolled Shane up from behind but Shane kicked out, and the singles match resumed. Some stuff happened, the Shane started to work on Raven’s leg. Stevie, the Meanie, and one of the Bruise Brothers all got their spot to save the belt for Raven before Raven clonked Shane with his boot to get the win.
Shane cuts a passionate promo about how disappointed he is that he failed to win the ECW World Heavyweight Title tonight, saying that “there is no other belt that means sh*t.” This offended ECW TV Champion 2 Cold Scorpio, who came out to let Shane know that he was upset that Shane had denigrated the title he had worked so hard for. Shane acknowledged that Scorpio was a great champion but simply said that he didn’t want the TV Title. Shane went to leave, but the moment Scorpio turned his back on him, Shane attacked him out from behind. Scorpio tried to fight back but ate a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Then Shane began whipping Scorpio with his own championship belt. Sandman came out to try to save his partner, but he, too, ate a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Then Shane hit Scorpio with Sandman’s Singapore cane. Sandman tried to protect Scorpio so Shane caned the sh*t out of him. Then Shane gave Scorpio a piledriver onto the ECW TV Title. TREMENDOUS angle!
A great show from ECW, which is shocking considering how repetitive it felt at times. More than anything else, this show does a great job of encapsulating what makes ECW so fun to watch, even when we get repetitive matches and bad finishes galore.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Shane repeatedly dropped Raven stomach-first on the ropes, and Joey always insisted on referring to this as Raven being dropped “kidneys-first.”
Your kidneys are located in the back.
WCW, ECW, UPW, etc
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