Tommy Dreamer’s in the ring demanding that Shane Douglas come out and give him a match. The Franchise shows up and hits the ring and the two start tussling as we get the opening credits.
Match 1: Shane Douglas vs. Tommy Dreamer
We join the match in progress since it apparently started while the opening credits were playing. Dreamer’s got quite the outfit on: silken Aladdin pants and suspenders. His ribs are taped up.
There’s some decent in ring storytelling with Douglas working the ribs for the early part of the match. Douglas dominates the early going, but Dreamer makes a comeback and chokes out Douglas with tape from his ribs.
They spill out to the ringside area and brawl out there for a bit. Dreamer lays out Douglas with a chairshot while he’s on top of the timekeeper’s table. Dreamer heads back into the ring and a short while afterwards Douglas returns to the ring as well.
They fight a bit more and Dreamer gets Douglas up on his shoulders. REF BUMP! Dreamer hits some kind of slam and makes the pin. ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE! SIX! SEVEN! EIGHT! NINE! TEN! The ref is still down. Dreamer gets up to check on him. While his back is turned, Douglas takes a small chain from his trunks and wraps it around his hand. When Dreamer returns, Douglas blasts him with the chain, knocking him out cold.
Douglas then wraps the chain around Dreamer’s fist and lays down beside him and feigns being knocked the fuck out. The ref finally revives and begins a ten count since both men are down, but stops when he notices the chain and calls for the bell.
Shane Douglas, still on the ground and facing the camera opens his eyes and laughs wickedly as he is declared the victor by DQ.
Winner: Shane Douglas
This was a pretty decent match but the ending was really weird since I cannot recall a single ECW match ever ending in a DQ. Also if they’d wanted to do a DQ ending here for whatever reason, they probably shouldn’t have had Dreamer choke out Douglas with the tape from his ribs or blast Douglas with a steel chair in clear sight of the ref earlier in the match.
Meanwhile In Paul Heyman’s Basement The Locker Room
Tod Gordon and Jay Sulli are hanging out in the back hyping the upcoming Holiday Hell event. They give us a rundown of the card and Tod Gordon’s like “At ECW we never lie to you. When I said someone would get stripped nude in a match, someone got stripped nude. When I said someone would get unmasked, someone got unmasked, so when I say someone is going to be blown up in the ring this Sunday, someone is going to get blown up in the ring this Sunday!” I have no idea what the fuck is going on, but apparently someone is going to explode in the middle of the ring.
Gordon hypes a match at Holiday Hell between the ECW Tag Team champions Kevin Sullivan & the Tazmaniac and J.T. Smith and a partner of his choosing. That partner? Murderer Jimmy Snuka!
He also talks about the power outage during the last TV taping and the chaos that ensued and how that sort of mayhem was truly ECW style wrestling so he’s added another match to the Holiday Hell card: a LIGHTS OUT BATTLE ROYAL! And if that isn’t enough, the winner of the match will get a holiday turkey…STUFFED WITH $100 DOLLAR BILLS! Oh Eastern Championship Wrestling, you are a delight!
Meanwhile in the Ring…
Terry Funk’s in the ring yelling for Sabu to be brought out. Axl and Ian Rotten wheel out someone (Chad Austin) on a dolly trussed up like Sabu used to be with the Hannibal Lecter face mask and stuff. They toss Chad Austin into the ring and Funk beats the fuck out of him.
Paul Heyman shows up at the production area and cusses out Terry Funk. Terry Funk implores him to “take off your jacket like a man!” Heyman takes off his jacket. “Now take off your shirt!” Heyman removes his necktie and unbuttons the top two buttons of his shirt. Heyman’s then like, “Maybe in Texas you settle things in the ring but this is Philly and we settle things in the street you son of a bitch!”
Funk makes his way through the crowd, narrating the fact that he is walking through the crowd, but Paul Heyman bails before Funk gets to the production area. Funk says that Heyman’s a coward and then threatens to fight some guy in the crowd.
“Take off your shirt and say that again tough guy!”
Up In The Eagle’s Nest…
Joey Styles says tells us about the next match and how Kevin Sullivan and the Tazmaniac made short work of their opponents. I don’t understand how he knows this since the match has not happened yet according to how this show is laid out but we go down ring for this squash match which either happened earlier or proves that Joey Styles has psychic powers.
Match 2: Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac (w/ Woman) vs. Mike V. & Stormin’ Mike Norman
Sullivan and Taz ruin Mike V.’s shit and toss him out of the ring pretty early on which brings in Stormin’ Mike Norman. Norman also has his shit ruined by Sullivan and Taz. They double team Mike N. in the corner with Taz biting his leg and Sullivan doing something equally violent.
Mike V. has seen enough and apparently throws in the towel. “Our camera’s missed it!” explains Joey Styles when we all scratch our heads and ask, “What towel?” This doesn’t stop Sullivan and Taz from mauling poor Stormin’ Mike Norman, so Woman hits the ring and puts some blindfold thing over Kevin Sullivan’s eyes which causes him to instantly collapse to the ring. Taz mimics this which pisses off Woman. She yells at Taz to stop it and the three then depart.
Winners: Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac
Joey Styles wasn’t kidding. This entire match was like a minute long and didn’t appear to be clipped at all really. It was a decent enough match though to make Sullivan and Taz look like an unstoppable force going into the supercard so as a match it served its purpose.
Also holy hell was Woman hot. When she was in WCW I never really noticed how hot she was because Miss Elizabeth was always about but goddamn!
Match 3: J.T. Smith, Sal Bellomo & Sandman vs .Terry Funk & Bad Breed
Sal Bellomo is dressed as a Roman centurion and has a sack. He is throwing something (Joey Styles claims them to be teddy bears) into the crowd from the ring. Sandman is wearing neon green spandex. I think I love Eastern Championship Wrestling.
Terry Funk and the Rotten Boys enter the ring. J.T. Smith wants Funk for some reason but he’s chilling behind the Rottens. All six men begin brawling. Bodies are everywhere. Some guys are on the outside some are in the ring as the lights begin flickering.
Joey Styles is like, “Aw not again!”
The lights go out for a bit and when they come back on Kevin Sullivan is there pounding on J.T. Smith. More dudes head down to the ring and begin battling one another with fists and chairs and stuff. The lights flicker some more. Mr. Hughes is there punching faces in. Rockin’ Rebel appears in jeans and battles with Sal Bellomo for awhile.
Sal throws chairs into the ring. It’s a clusterfuck.
We go to Joey Styles who is like, “This was just a taste of what was going to happen on Sunday,” as he hypes how awesome guys throwing chairs at each other in a darkened arena is going to be to watch.
ECW style mayhem. I probably would have thought this was the best thing ever if I had seen it at 1:00 am on the MSG Network in ’96, and then probably ripped it off with the wrestling federation my friends and I ran out of backyards and basements, but as a grown-ass adult it was just kind of stupid. There wasn’t really any storytelling to it. It was just violence for the sake of violence.
Eastern Championship Wrestling is a weird beast. It’s not quite the ECW it would become when they decided the E stood for Extreme, but they’re not entirely a normal wrestling promotion anymore either. Like matches end in DQs and stuff but chairshots are sometimes okay and the entire Holiday Hell card seems to be comprised of gimmick matches.
The Dreamer vs. Shane Douglas stuff probably worked the best for me which is really weird since I never really liked Shane Douglas as a wrestler, but here he’s not so terrible. Maybe for the same reason I can’t really enjoy an old fashion Lights Out Chair Tossin’ Clusterfuck anymore I’m beginning to appreciate Shane Douglas…