ECW Heat Wave 1995 (7/15/1995)- Philadelphia, PA
OPENING SEGMENT- decent
Bill Alfonso comes out and snatches the mic away from the ring announcer. He starts to say something but is drowned out by loud booing and chants of “9-1-1!” Fans are now throwing garbage at him, too. Tod Gordon comes out and yells at Fonzie. Tod wants to fight. Fonzie starts counting for some reason, and by the time he gets to seven Tod charges at him and tackles him and they have a pull-apart.
MIKEY WHIPWRECK vs. STORMIN’ NORMAN- 4/10
They didn’t get too much time, but they made the most of it.
ECW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Raven & Stevie Richards(c) (w/Beulah McGillicutty) vs. The Broad Street Bully & Don E. Allen- no rating, good segment.
Raven and Stevie beat up the jobbers. Stevie leaves the match to go make out with Francine in the front row. Raven DDTs both guys but instead of pinning one of them to win the match he goes over and yanks Stevie away from Francine. Then Beulah walks over and shoves Francine. Francine shoved Beulah back which made me quite happy because Beulah has definitely been the bully in this story. Beulah responded to being shoved by jumping the barricade and Franny did some combination of catching Beulah and taking her down to the floor and they had a catfight right in the middle of the crowd. It actually looked really good. Like you could believe that it was a real fight and completely spontaneous.
Meanwhile, Richards and Raven had been counted out and lost the match. Yes. They got counted out in ECW. Security separated the ladies while their boyfriends went back into the ring to beat up the shockingly-victorious enhancement talent. Then The Pit Bulls came out and brawled with Raven and Stevie. The Dudleys (Snot Dudley and Big Dick Dudley) ran in to help out Raven and Stevie, but then Tommy Dreamer came out to attack Raven and Stevie. They brawled away from the ring. Meanwhile, back by the ring, the Broad Street Bully cut a promo saying that he and Don E. Allen deserve another shot at the tag titles. Raven blindsided him and beat him up while Stevie did something similar to his partner. Then The Pit Bulls came back after Raven and Richards and then the Dudleys came back after The Pit Bulls. Tommy lays Raven out with a DDT. Francine jumps the guardrail and jumps onto the back of Pit Bull #1 to save Stevie from an attack but Beulah comes back out to pull her off.
HACK MYERS vs. VAL PUCCIO- 0.25/10
Two weeks ago these two had an utterly terrible match. And yet, for some reason, Paul Heyman decided that it was necessary to book a rematch, although this time Val was introduced under his more famous moniker (assuming anything about Val Puccio could be described as “famous”) instead of last month’s “Big Malley.” While Paul clearly didn’t learn his lesson it actually seemed like the wrestlers had, as it took them forever to actually touch each other. Then, as they tried to the very first spot of the match (Myers going for a bodyslam) we abruptly cut away from the action in the ring to look at some fans in the crowd for a few seconds before cutting back, so I can only assume that they somehow botched this. To quote Star Wars, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Anyway, this match did turn out to be better than the match they had two weeks ago, but then again that wasn’t a particularly high bar to clear. They worked it like a hoss fight, which is always at least slightly fun, but they had an utterly stupid finish. Puccio missed an elbow drop and Myers just reached out and stuck his arm on top of him and apparently Puccio was just too fat to kick out. I really hope I never see these two wrestle each other ever again. Unfortunately Myers attack Val after the match so it looks like they’re going to have a third match at some point.
Much to my surprise, it turns out that Myers was only twenty-one years old at the time this show took place. I had figured he had to be at least in his mid-thirties.
THE PIT BULLS & TOMMY DREAMER (w/Luna Vachon) vs. RAVEN & THE DUDLEY BOYS (Dudley Dudley & Snot Dudley) (w/Stevie Richards & Beulah McGillicutty)- 2.75/10
They brawled a lot, but this time it was all concentrated on the ring and they did a good job of only really giving you one thing to focus your attention on at a time. Then Bill Alfonso came out and from what I gather he said that the match was getting out of control and ordered everyone to go to their corners and obey the rules of a tag team match. After that we cut to the wrestlers standing on the apron like they would for a regular tag match. This lasted all of about twenty seconds before it broke down again.
The Pit Bulls hit Stevie with a Superbomb. Francine ran out to check on Stevie and give him mouth-to-mouth, Beulah tackled her and they had yet another catfight. Snot Dudley then ate a Superbomb for the pin. The action was all pretty good for the short time that it lasted.
DEAN MALENKO & TOO COLD SCORPIO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO & TAZ (w/Paul E. Dangerously)- no rating.
I am utterly furious at ECW right now. This match was clipped down to eight and a half minutes from an apparent twenty or so. What we did get to see here was awesome. Taz was the babyface in peril. Yes, you read that correctly. TAZ was the babyface in peril… and he made it work with his excellent selling of his knee. The finish had 911’s music play which distracted Scorpio so that Paul E. could hit him in the head with the cell phone, allowing Taz to hit him with a Taz-plex for the win. Bill Alfonso shows up demanding that the match be restarted because Paul E. hitting Scorpio with his phone was illegal. Paul E. yelled at him. Meanwhile, Malenko and Scorpio attacked Eddie and Taz from behind and Scorpio went to pin Taz and Alfonso counted the pinfall.
We cut again and Paul E. is yelling at Fonzie and Fonzie is yelling back at him. Then we cut again and all of a sudden Rob Feinstein is in the ring, also yelling at Paul. We cut again and Paul is cursing up a storm at RF and shoving him. RF shoves Paul back. Fonzie takes Paul down hard form behind in the guise of trying to break up the fight and RF puts the boots to him. 911’s music plays and RF eats a chokeslam. Yeah. We had to have THIS stupid segment on the tape and the sh*tty match between the two fatties that started off with them not touching for two whole minutes and the entire Sandman entrance that is coming next, but we couldn’t get the full twenty minutes of what has been so obviously the best match on this show.
(I did some looking into it and it turns out this match is available on ECW Unreleased Vol. 1. It’s definitely worth checking out. I’d give it a 7.75/10. Taz’s selling is wonderful.)
ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: The Sandman(c) (w/Woman) vs. Axl Rotten- 4.5/10
Sandman starts out by blindsiding Axl and caning him a few times so Axl heads to the back… and then comes back out with his barbed wire-covered baseball bat, which sends Sandman running in fear. That was a great spot. Axl then calls Sandman out for being a wuss and goads him into getting back into the ring, despite Woman’s objections.
The rest of the match was… fine, I guess. They made good use of the weapons and had an exciting finish, but it only went ten minutes and there wasn’t much storytelling or psychology to speak of. It was, however, quite interesting to see Sandman being booed so vociferously in ECW, and this isn’t like 1993 Sandman. This is our “modern,” Singapore Cane-wielding Sandman in 1995 getting booed out of the building and having the ECW faithful chant “SANDMAN SUCKS!” at him.
STEEL CAGE MATCH: Luna Vachon vs. Stevie Richards- 5/10
A mediocre match that is somehow the best of the night so far. The only I didn’t like her was the finish, simply because the Luna pulling Stevie up when she had him beat after that big splash just to do a testicular claw for the victory felt completely douchy and unnecessary. She’s supposed to be a babyface!
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Speaking of un-babyface-like activities, Luna releases the testicular claw when Stevie submits… but then starts beating him up again right afterwards. Dudley Dudley came out to try to save Stevie but he was cut off by Pit Bull #1. Big Dick Dudley and Pit Bull #2 soon followed. Raven did manage to make it into the cage and then locked it with a chain he brought with him. Raven saved Stevie by DDTing Luna, but apparently Pit Bull #2 managed to rip the door off of its hinges, and he, Pit Bull #1, and Tommy Dreamer all came into the cage and attacked Raven. They used the cage door to smash Raven’s fingers (going after the fingers has been a recurring theme in this feud over the past few months), and Tommy put a beatdown on Raven that ended in the now-famous “Chairshot Heard ‘Round The World.”
STEEL CAGE WEAPONS MATCH: The Gangstas vs. The Public Enemy- 6.25/10
New Jack cut a great little promo before getting into the ring. The first four fifths of the match was just hitting each other with stuff, which not only felt redundant after a while but was also hurt by the fact that they shot about 95% of the match from the hard cam which was very far away, making it impossible to tell TPE apart and only possible to do so with New Jack and Mustafa because New Jack was wearing a shirt. The one positive thing I will say about this part of the match was that New Jack really stood out as someone who felt exciting to watch (which I guess isn't so much a positive thing about this part of the match as it is a positive thing about New Jack).
The final portion of this match revolved around some big dives by TPE which were probably pretty crazy for their time and one of which still looked really crazy even by today’s standards (especially because they probably didn’t hit it exactly the way they wanted to and so the fall looked pretty bad). These two dives definitely did make it feel like the match had been building to something more than just hitting each other and helped to really solidify it as not just the Match of the Night but also as what will probably be my one lasting memory from this show (aside from the Chairshot Heard ‘Round The World, obviously, but I’d seen that so many times before watching this show that it feels more like a general ECW memory than it does like something specific to Heat Wave 1995).
Anyway, this was a pretty crappy show from ECW, made even worse by them clipping what was almost certainly the best match on the show. Pile some bad wrestling and questionable booking onto the terrible editing decisions, and you’ve got a pretty terrible show.
WCW, ECW, UPW, etc
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