By Big Red Machine
From July 13, 1996
ECW Heatwave 96 (7/13/1996)- Philadelphia, PA
THE GANGSTAS vs. THE SAMOAN GANGSTA PARTY- DUD!
The Gangstas pretty much destroy the Samoans in three minutes. The match ends when the ref deems thje Samoans unable to continue, which didn’t get a good reaction at all.
MIKEY WHIPWRECK vs. PAUL LAURIA (w/Damien Kane & Lady Alexandra)- DUD!
Even shorter than the last match. After the match the Eliminators come out and beat up both guys, then cut a promo that leads to…
ECW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Eliminators(c) vs. Sabu & Mikey Whipwreck- 6.5/10
Sabu had a pretty bad botch in here, but otherwise a good match.
THE FBI (Sal Bellomo, J.T. Smith, Big Guido, & Little Guido) vs. THE DUDLEYS (Bubba Ray Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, Dances With Dudley, & Chubby Dudley) (w/Sign Guy Dudley)- no rating, good segment.
I love the way that Paul E. used the FBI as a group of people who could keep Big Dick occupied so that D-von could interact with (and assault) the other Dudleys, setting up for the long-awaited D-von vs. Big Dick confrontation at the end… only to have the FBI take it away from us again.
TARZAN GOTO vs. AXL ROTTEN- 5.5/10
Decent hardcore match
JOEY STYLES INTERVIEWS TAZ- Taz cuts a good promo, then Fonzie interrupts and says that he now owns ECW because he hangs out with Taz and everyone seems to go along with it. He fires Joey and replaces him with a very thin Joel Gertner. Joey says something that annoys Taz so Taz starts to choke him out and says “don’t you ever interrupt me! There is no one tougher than Taz! There is no one better than Taz! No one! No one! No one can deal with Taz!”
Taz eats a Chokeslam... then gets right back up like a f*cking BEAST, hits 911 with a German Tazplex, then chokes him out with the Taz-mission. It took a while to get there, but this segment was just plain awesome! Taz chocking 911 out was an amazing moment that cemented Taz as a bad-ass.
FOUR WAY DANCE FOR THE ECW TV TITLE: Chris Jericho(c) vs. 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2 (w/Francine)- 9.25/10
An absolutely fantastic match with one major stumbling block: Francine’s turn. The idea was good but the execution left a lot to be desired.
Why did Francine stop Shane from pinning Pitbull if she was just going to turn on him and join Shane a minute later? And why would you have her turn and have it almost totally not matter in the match? She turned… then immediately got taken out and the match continued on without her. Extremely poor timing. I also really didn’t like Francine taking the Superbomb here. She just turned ninety seconds ago! Why would you take all of her heat away before you use it to sell tickets?
As I said before, though; the execution of that turn was the only stumbling block in this masterpiece of storytelling. Everything from Jericho’s pluck young babyface style to the stuff between Douglas and Pit Bull and especially Douglas just being a dick to everyone, this is one of the best matches ECW ever put on.
LOUIE SPICOLLI vs. PABLO MARQUEZ- good squash. Louie came across as just an unlikeable SOB.
SABU vs. LOUIE SPICOLLI- 7.5/10
Great match, a great first real match for Spicolli, and great use of the chair.
RAGE OF THE CAGE MATCH: Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, & Terry Gordy vs. Raven, Brian Lee, & Stevie Richards- 5/10
So the way this works is that Raven and Sandman will fight in the cage while Stevie & Bam Bam will fight on the stage, and whichever one of them gets to the ground first gets to enter the cage. Meanwhile Brian Lee and Tommy will be having a Falls Count Anywhere match (actually Joey was very specific about saying "falls count anywhere in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," which leads me to think that we are going to get some sort of ridiculous Dusty Finish where Tommy pins Lee but then it turns out that they were three feet outside of the city limits so the pinfall doesn’t count or something). Also, if Stevie gets pinned, Raven loses the World Heavyweight Title. This already seems extremely convoluted, so my hopes aren’t very high.
For some reason Tommy decided to wait a few minutes before entering the match, allowing Brian Lee and Stevie to double team Gordy. Anyway, a lot of brawling happens before Tommy handcuffs Raven to the cage. Sandman lines up to hit Raven with a Singapore Cane but Lori sends Tyler Fullington into the cage to shield Raven with his own body. Tommy wants to swing at Raven anyway but Sandman won’t let him. The babyfaces argue, buying time for Nova to use wire-cutters to cut Raven loose. For the second straight Arena show we have Brian Lee giving Tommy a chokeslam from high up through a bunch of tables, Sandman winds up pinning Raven. This was just way too short for a huge cage match main event.
Overall, a very up and down show from ECW. The good was great, but the bad was quite bad. You can find the TV Title match on WWE’s ECW Bloodfest compilation, but to my knowledge the segment with Taz choking 911 out has never been released anywhere else before, so I would still recommend this DVD… just make sure that you use the chapter menu.