ECW Big Apple Blizzard Blast (2/3/1996)- New York, NY
THE SHARK ATTACK KID vs. TAZ- good squash
The Shark Attack Kid is actually the Dirt Bike Kid, of “getting the sh*t kicked out of him by The Great Sasuke” fame. In this match, he got his ass kicked by Taz. This one was a lot less of a shoot, though.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Taz calls out 911, and 911’s music plays… but Tod Gordon comes out and tells us that 911 doesn’t want to wrestle Taz. In fact, he has left the building altogether, and Tod doesn’t know why. Huh. Well then. Apparently our babyface is an unprofessional coward. Fonzie says he wants to fight Tod, and even asks Taz to leave the ring so he can take care of business by himself. Tod agrees to this.
Fonzie gets one good punch in, but gloats too much, allowing Tod to recover and go to town on him. Taz runs in to save Fonzie, but Bam Bam Bigelow makes his ECW debut by showing up to scare Taz off.
AXL ROTTEN & EL PUERTO RICANO vs. THE HEADHUNTERS (w/Damien Kane & Lady Alexandra)- 2/10
The monstrous Headhunters totally obliterate El Puerto Ricano, not allowing Axl to tag in, and pulling El Puerto Ricano up before the three. El Puerto Ricano manages to roll out of the way of a dive, and tag in Axl, who runs wild, taking it to both 300+ pound giants. Then he tags El Puerto Ricano back in so he can hit a diving splash… and it doesn’t even get a one count. The headhunters then totally destroyed El Puerto Ricano again, making Axl seem dumb for tagging the kid back in. They told their story well, but I thought it would have been better to let the Headhunters get some heat on Axl to make the tag seem necessary. Also, this would have made it a bit more credible when Joey tried to sell them as contenders for the tag titles.
ECW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Mikey Whipwreck & Cactus Jack(c) (w/Raven) vs. the Eliminators- 5.75/10
The story going into this match was that Mikey didn’t want to be part of Raven’s stable, and didn’t want to be tag team partners with Cactus anymore if Cactus was going to be part of Raven’s group. Raven wasn’t too fond of Mikey, either, as evidenced by the fact that he kept shoving him. The three of them did a great job getting this all across.
Cactus apparently wasn’t happy with Mikey’s performance in the first few minutes, so he tells Mikey to go to the back, and he will defend the titles the same way he won them: alone. Despite this insult, Mikey refuses, but as you can probably guess, they didn’t work too well together after this.
At one point Cactus hit a big piledriver on Saturn, but instead of going for the pin, he got a glass bottle from under the ring, broke it against the ringpost, and was going to slice Saturn up with it, but Mikey stopped him from doing so.
The Eliminators went on to win the belts, pinning Mikey. This angered Raven, who started to beat Mikey down, but Cactus made the save. Cactus yelled at Raven, but then they both did Raven’s pose and Cactus started to help beat Mikey down instead.
IN-RING SEGMENT WITH JOEY, FRANCINE, AND THE ELIMINATORS- great angle
Francine has a neck brace on because she recently got hit with Total Elimination. Francine tries to seduce them, but it was all just a ruse to distract them to that the Pit Bulls could attack them from behind. Saturn got hung over the top rope, while Kronus took a Superbomb. Then Francine pulled out a pair of scissors and cut Saturn’s hair. This whole thing was great, but also kind of weird. I’m an outspoken opponent of the philosophy that “there is no such thing as babyfaces and heels; everyone should be a shade of gray.” Here we had the heel Eliminators get jumped from behind by the babyfaces, who then did a traditionally heel thing by cutting Saturn’s hair… but I really liked it, and I will admit that it definitely made me want to see these two face off (and see the Eliminators win, so it would have worked better if the Eliminators were babyfaces, but it still did make me want to see the match), so as an angle, I have to say that it worked very well.
GANGSTAS PROMO- they want the tag titles and they don’t like anybody. It took New Jack approximately nine million words to say this, and he managed to say those nine million words in one thirty second promo. Also, Mustafa was there.
STEVIE RICHARDS & RAVEN (w/Kimona Wanalaya & The Blue Meanie) vs. SHANE DOUGLAS & TOMMY DREAMER (w/Beulah McGillicutty)- 7.25/10
In a fantastic bit, Dreamer sat in the corner across from Raven, then Beulah came and sat in his lap, just like Kimona does for Raven. Then Dreamer flipped Raven off. Then Beulah sucked on his finger.
The overbooking was fine until Sandman decided to cane the referee for no reason. In fact, the only purpose of doing that spot seemed to be setting up Raven, the heel, getting a visual pinfall on Shane, the big babyface returning hero. Along the same lines, why the hell did STEVIE RICHARDS get a visual pinfall on Shane?
I thought the match did a great job of showing us that Shane is all business now that he has returned from the goofy Dean Douglas character in the WWF. I thought the finish was really cool (this is the one where Beulah ties a frying pan to Dreamer’s foot, then he gives Stevie an enzugiri), but based on what appears to me to be the logical direction for all of these characters, I think I would have had Shane pick up the pin on Stevie via Belly-to-Belly Suplex instead. The interference from Sandman and Cactus would be used to book a six-man tag in a main event where Shane would pin Raven, setting up a title shot for Shane (preferably in Pittsburgh, but based on the reaction he got here, doing it in this building would do perfectly well).
Joey Styles: “If we harvested the cerebral energy of Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie, we could… toast bread… lightly… on one side.”
WWA WORLD WELTERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Rey Mysterio Jr.(c) vs. Juventud Guerrera- 7/10
Gertner did the introductions in both English and Spanish, which was cool. This is one of those matches that, in retrospect, is mostly spots, and in some ways wouldn’t stand out in any way today, but the reactions of the crowd manages to immortalize the sense of wonder that they felt upon seeing it for the first time, and allows the viewer to get caught up in that as well. They did do some good storytelling with Juvi using power moves and Rey using ranas to counter everything. If not for the half-botched finish, I would have given this a 7.25. Still, it was a spectacular ECW debut for Juvi and NYC debut for Rey.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Fonzie and Taz came out to talk crap about 911. Rey told them that it’s not cool to talk crap about someone who isn’t here. Rey says that Taz did something to 911 that was “personal.” I have no idea what he’s talking about. He also says he isn’t afraid of Taz.
Fonzie slaps Rey, so Rey responds by giving Fonzie a spinning wheel kick. Rey then even gets the chance to get some flying offense in on Taz, including a lionsault press and a hurricanrana that looked like it spiked Taz right on his head. Taz soon puts a halt to all of this by catching Rey in a Belly-to-Belly Taz-plex, the mocks 911 by picking Rey up for a chokeslam… which was countered into a hurricanrana, which was completely awesome. Taz then immediately cut Rey off again with a big German Taz-plex. The fans were really into this. They hated Taz’s guts.
A bunch of referees, J.T. Smith, and Hack Myers came out to check on Rey. Considering that Hack is supposed to be a crazy madman and J.T.’s gimmick is that he’s a klutz, it’s probably a good thing that J.T. decided to attack Rey instead and Hack quickly made the save, rather than them both actually trying to help.
A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT SEGMENTS THAT ALL FLOWED INTO EACH OTHER- Joey is trying to do the intro for the TV show, but Woman interrupts him. She puts over the wrestling action on TV on Monday nights (well… her husband was booking one of them, so what do you expect?), but puts over ECW, too, by emphasizing that she wants to stay here. Then she tries to get Joey to come to WCW with her. Sandman shows up, and Woman asks him if he has changed his mind and was to “come with” her. Get it? “Come with?” Yeah. They kind of beat that one into the ground a bit here.
Sandman has apparently FINALLY come to the realization that Woman isn’t a very nice person. She says that the only way she will leave is if someone physically makes her. Then 2 Cold Scorpio showed up. It looked like he was going to side with Woman, but it turns out it was all a swerve and he, too, wants to get rid of Woman. So he does exactly what she challenged anyone to do: He physically picks her up, carries her out of the building, dumps her in a limo, and orders the driver to “take that b*tch to Atlanta.”
While that was happening, Stevie and the Meanie showed up in the ring, bearing a message for Sandman from Raven: Raven is giving Sandman one once to back to out of his upcoming ECW World Heavyweight Title match. Sandman, like a good babyface, says that he has never backed down from a fight, and he won’t start now. Stevie threatens to have the Meanie attack Sandman, so Sandman canes the Meanie, then tells Stevie to tell Raven that he is coming for his belt!
Sandman leaves, and Stevie panics. Raven is not going to be happy at all! Raven then shows up (with Kimona), and as Stevie predicted, he is not happy one bit. He goes off on Stevie for various things, including the fact that Meanie always gets beaten up, and (and this one is really crazy) it is apparently Stevie’s fault that Beulah is pregnant with Tommy’s child because Stevie was the one who was apparently responsible for feeding Beulah her birth control pills. I swear to G-d that this is the angle.
Raven said that Richards is close to being fired (Stevie works for ECW, not Raven, so how can Raven fire him?), and if his surprise tonight (this is the first time we’re hearing of this) isn’t good enough, then Raven will fire him. Raven then slaps Stevie around until Stevie begs him not to hit him anymore.
Stevie builds up his surprise as something that will “shock every wrestling fan around the world.” Then he reveals his surprise: Stevie is suing Missy Hyatt for sexual harassment for kissing him against his will at the last New York show, Holiday Hell ’95.
Then Missy Hyatt comes out. She can’t believe any of this. She tells Stevie that when she kissed him, it was probably the best day of his life, which is the disgustingly arrogant delusion that many people guilty of sexual harassment have used over the years to justify their actions to themselves and blame the victims in their own minds. I don’t know if this was intended as social commentary or comedy, but it works both ways.
Raven offers Missy a deal: Stevie won’t sue her if she joins up with Raven’s stable. Missy calls Kimona a whore (which doesn’t seem to be a stretch, based on the way she is dressed), says Raven has a small penis, and claims that Beulah getting knocked up by Tommy is proof that Raven has a low sperm count. Raven responds the way most people probably would in that situation: “I’m gonna beat your ass, b*tch!” Before he can do say, Sandman comes out to make the save. Missy then makes the whole thing disgustingly creepy by saying that Sandman “needs to be nurtured by Momma.” They then share a beer and a cigarette.
None of these segments were bad or anything (in fact, the one with Sandman and the flunkies was quite good), but it just felt like too many in a row.
J.T. SMITH vs. BUH-BUH RAY DUDLEY (w/some other Dudleys)-no rating. Okay segment.
J.T.’s head is taped up from his earlier altercation with Hack Myers, so he tries to pay Bub-Buh off with a $100 bill. J.T. then hit him in the nuts and took the money back. Buh-Buh quickly made a comeback and won the match, then took J.T.’s money anyway. This might have worked better if it hadn’t been right after all of those other segments. By this point, I want a damn wrestling match.
SABU vs. MR. HUGHES- 7/10
Sabu has a taped up shoulder, so Hughes targets that. Sabu can’t trade blows with the enormous Hughes, so he tries for some single-legs in the beginning but those don’t work. He eventually settles on a strategy of using weapons and high-flying moves (in other words, extra force) to allow him to match Hughes’ power. Great storytelling here. The best Mr. Hughes match I’ve seen.
THE GANGSTAS vs. 2 COLD SCORPIO & THE SANDMAN- 1/10
The Gangstas entered first, so thankfully the requirement to play Enter Sandman saved us from having to hear New Jack’s entrance music all match. In an unexpected turn of events, the fans started to throw trash into the ring as soon as the match began. While this is obviously a safety concern, it was good to know that they shared my opinion of this match: Garbage wrestling. The only person who came out of this match looking like he had any wrestling talent whatsoever was (unsurprisingly) Scorpio. The two teams kept fighting after the match, which really makes you ask what the point was of even having a match with pinfalls and a referee?
A solid show from ECW. There was some great wrestling here, but also a lot of crap. The real reason to buy this show is the multiple important storyline developments. Also, a must-buy for any die-hard Mr. Hughes fans out there.