By Big Red Machine
From May 17, 1997
ECW Buffalo Invasion (5/17/1997)- Buffalo, NY
THE PITBULLS vs. THE F.B.I. (w/”Don” Tommy Rich)- 3/10
Extremely disappointing to see great wrestlers like Guido and Smothers wasted being the Pitbulls whipping boys. The Pitulls got in about 80% of the offense in this match and I only enjoyed about %5 of that.
BALLS MAHONEY vs. WILD BILL WYLES- 2/10
Balls is much less hairier than usual. Not that he isn’t hairy here. He is just less hairy than normal. The crowd was pretty bored for a good chunk of this match, though they started getting into Balls after he hit some manner of spinning kick over the top rope. A very boring match. The only reason I am giving it a two is because Balls managed to make the crowd care towards the end.
My favorite moment during this match was easily Balls responding to the crowds WOOOing in response to his chops by doing a Flair strut, prompting Joey Styles to say “Nature Balls… that’ doesn’t sound right.”
LITTLE SPIKE DUDLEY vs. TAZ- extended squash. I would say that this dragged on, but the crowd loved every moment of it.
At one point during the match, Taz turned to the camera, stuck up his middle finger, and said what sounded like “F*ck you”… and they blurred it out! WTF?! I thought this was supposed to be ECW?!
ECW TV TITLE MATCH: Shane Douglas(c) (w/Francine) vs. Chris Chetti- 5.75/10
Francine interferes, breaking up a Figure Four that Chetti had locked in, so Rick Rude comes out and removes Franny from ringside, horribly sexually harassing her in the process. Once that happened, the match picked up a lot. Shane really let Chetti shine here and there a few good almost nearfalls.
TOMMY DREAMER & TERRY FUNK (Beulah McGillicutty) vs. STEVIE RICHARDS & RAVEN (w/Chastity & Lupus)- 6.5/10
A decent brawl with great storytelling. If you want to look at it more as a segment, I’d say this was a great one that dragged whenever the brawling got in the way of the story.
On his way to the ring, Raven shoves Gabe, just because. The gimmick here was that Tommy and Raven would each get to pick a “dream partner.” Tommy, of course, picks Terry Funk. Raven, on the other hand, picks Stevie Richards. Now I am a big fan of Stevie’s, but… Terry Funk. Raven. Tommy Dreamer. Stevie Richards. One of these things is not like the others.
That being said, they did do a good job of playing up the dissension between Raven and Stevie. Raven was such an abrasive asshole that it really made you want to see Stevie just turn around and slug him in the face. Stevie almost became a babyface here… to the point that you actually popped when Stevie pinned the ultra-babyface Terry Funk. Great overbooking on the finish with Spicolli, setting up for his match with Tommy later.
THREE WAY DANCE FOR THE ECW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Eliminatros(c) vs. The Gangstas vs. Big Dick Dudley & Devon Dudley (w/Bubba Ray Dudley & Joel Gertner)- 6.5/10
I’m not sure why, but they decided to start this match without the Gangstas. I really shouldn’t complain, though. The less we see of New Jack and Mustafa, the better the match will be. Well, right after the Eliminators and the Dudleys do some cool stuff (Saturn countered a chokeslam with a hurricanrana!) the Gangstas come out and it immediately devolves into a weapon-fest brawl.
The match did get better once things calmed down (although maybe that’s just because the camera wasn’t focusing on New Jack- Mustafa wasn’t too bad here).
TOD GORDON BILL ALFONZO SEGMENT- Standard stuff. Fonzie comes out and says he will get ECW kicked out of Buffalo so that they will never come back, but then Tod comes out and talks ECW up and beats up Fonzie.
LOUIE SPICOLLI vs. TOMMY DREAMER (w/Beulah McGillicutty)- 4.5/10
They brawl all over the arena. The only real highlight here was Dreamer getting thrown all the way down a large section of bleachers. After eating Tommy’s DDT for a pin, Spicolli gets back up and hits Tommy with a Death Valley Driver which Tommy sells like a champ.
FOUR WAY DANCE FOR THE ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Terry Funk(c) vs. The Sandman vs. Stevie Richards vs. Raven (w/Chastity & Lupus)- 2.5/10
Horrible match. As before, the stuff with Raven and Stevie was good, but once Raven was eliminated (which happened WAY too quickly), the only redeeming feature of this match was gone and it went VERY far downhill. Things got annoying, as they spent a few minutes constantly repeating the same spot: Funk and/or Sandman would hit a move on Stevie, then both would pin him at the same time, but Stevie would kick out. Once is cool. Twice is tolerable… after that it is just dull. Once that par t of the matches ended, we got the final two eliminations very quickly. This was just totally unacceptable for a main event.
Overall, a horrendous show from ECW. They are debuting in a new market in a big city just a month after putting on an excellent first PPV… and they put on a crapfest like this? Yes, they were pretty short-handed this show (no Sabu, RVD, Lance Storm, Bigelow, Candido, Pitbulls, or Mikey), but that’s no excuse when your show is this bad. Whatever you do, do not buy this sh*tfest of a show.