The show opens with really badly recorded footage from Holiday Hell. The lights are going out and there are bodies everywhere. I think this is Sabu vs. Terry Funk match but it’s hard to tell since they keep shutting off the goddamn lights. I’m sure it will make more sense later on. Time for some opening credits!
We go down to the ring for the first match of the night, and what a match it is!
Match 1: Chad Austin vs. The Pitbull
This is from Holiday Hell and is the debut match of The Pitbull. Joey Styles is joined on commentary by a guy I thought was called Tony Roma until an onscreen graphic later informed me that his name was in fact Tony Rumble.
The Pitbull is dressed in a singlet that appears to have been crafted from a black, plastic trashbag. He dominates the bulk of the match, dropping elbows on Austin and biting him and shit. He does the cocky pin a guy for two and then pull him up before the ref counts three thing a couple times. Joey Styles is not pleased with this and shouts, “You’re not getting paid by the hour!” but Tony Rumble is more understanding, “This is his debut…he’s gotta show what he can do.”
The Pitbull’s arrogance ends up biting him in the ass when after letting Austin up for maybe the third time, Austin hits The Pitbull while running the ropes and goes for a quick pin scoring a three count.
Post-match The Pitbull is livid and wrecks Austin’s shit which brings out The Sandman to make the save. Sandman clobbers The Pitbull for a bit, but gets distracted by Jason, which allows the Pitbull to take control and work over the Sandman’s shoulder. Jason raises The Pitbull’s hand and we are all left to wonder what’s going to happen during the Sandman’s match later in the night?!
Winner: Chad Austin
This was a pretty alright match. The Pitbull looked dominant in defeat and Austin’s win was genuinely surprising. The sound was pretty terrible for this episode, but it sounded like the audience was doing the Daniel Bryan “YES!” chant when Austin won.
Meanwhile With Some Asshole in a Backwards Hat…
Some asshole with a backwards hat is like, “Wasn’t that nuts!?” and then replays the ending of the match we just saw before we get clips of Sandman’s match later that same night.
Match 2: The Sandman vs. Mr. Hughes
This is clipped. I have no idea how long the match actually was since we just get the last minute or so. Sandman is selling the injury to his shoulder and thus can’t fight off Jason’s roughneck, Mr. Hughes who picks up the win.
Winner: Mr. Hughes
A recap more than anything. It didn’t do much for me. I like that Mr. Hughes wrestled in sunglasses and would occasionally stop to fix his shades between moves.
Jason (The Sexiest Man on Earth) cuts a promo on the Sandman. His eyebrows were out of control during this promo so it was kind of hard to pay attention to what he was actually saying but the gist of it was that the Sandman was a moron for telling Jason, “No,” because no one tells Jason “No,” not even Miss Peaches (who I guess is The Sandman’s valet). Jason ends the promo by asking Sandman, or perhaps the viewers if they like his fur coat.
Match 3: Rockin’ Rebel vs. Don E. Allen
We go back to the ring for a bout between Rockin’ Rebel and Don E. Allen. Rebel’s got a t-shirt with “Sal’s Wife is a Fat Pig” written in permanent marker on the front and “Call 1-900-PORKER $1.95 the first minute. $0.95 cents each additional minute,” or something along those lines on the back.
Joey Styles is disgusted by this but Tony Roma-Rumble loves it. I think I hate Tony Roma-Rumble.
Rebel attacks before the bell rings and pulls Allen’s t-shirt up over his head (“like a hockey fight!” says Joey Styles) before tossing him out of the ring. Allen takes time to remove his shirt as he gets back in the ring, but it’s kind of like, why bother man? Rebel hits a jumping piledriver and picks up a quick win over Don E. Allen.
Winner: Rockin’ Rebel
This was a pretty mediocre match but there’s one thing I like about it that WWE circa today could learn from. Rebel and Sal Bellomo were feuding here and yet aside from a trash talking t-shirt, they didn’t interact at all. We don’t need to see guys in a feud going up against each other week after week to know that they hate each other. Stuff like what the Rebel did with his t-shirt or promos is more than enough.
Match 4: Terry Funk vs. Sabu
This is a no disqualification match for the ECW Heavyweight Championship. It’s really clipped here so I have no idea how long the match actually was or how it flowed, but here, with what I’m assuming to slow spots cut out, it’s a pretty decent match.
Sabu has the advantage early on as the two brawl on the outside but back in the ring Funk gets in control. My favorite bit of editing comes early on when Funk heads towards the back chasing after Paul Heyman only to have him back in the ring a second later without any mention of what happened.
Funk hits a couple piledrivers but it’s not enough to keep Sabu down. At some point a massive table ends up in the ring. Everyone gets thrown into it, including the referee, but it just doesn’t break (Funk eventually breaks it while it’s leaning up against the ropes when he hits it and falls over the top rope) .
Funk goes for a figure four leglock but Paul Heyman comes into the ring and brains Funk with his giant late 80s early 90s cellphone. The lights suddenly go out and Shane Douglas and Sherri Martel hit the ring. Sherri tackles Paul Heyman while Douglas lays out Sabu and rolls Terry Funk onto him. The ref finally comes to to make the count. One! Two! Three! New champion!
We get some clips of Paul Heyman braining Rotten Bros. with his phone and Sabu randomly moonsaulting onto a pile of broken table chunks post match because he’s CRAZY and/or EXTREME!
Winner: Terry Funk
This was a wild ECW brawl, which depending on your tolerance for such things was either good or awful. Unlike some of the brawls there was some actual wrestling in this one. Sabu hit a split-legged moonsault off the top rope at one point, but the crowd in attendance didn’t really care and just wanted violence (“WE WANT BLOOD!” was a popular chant throughout the match).
Meanwhile In Paul Heyman’s Basement Backstage…
Paul Heyman is pretty pissed off and throws the ECW TV Championship on the ground. “You think Sabu cares about a TV title?! You think Sabu cares about any title?! He only loved violence for the sake of violence, but now he has a target!”
He yells some stuff about how Douglas and Funk made a huge mistake because they pissed off the most homicidal, suicidal, genocidal wrestler alive today: Sabu. Sabu is focused now and after Funk and Douglas have their little title match on January 7th, Sabu will be waiting for them.
Funk and the Bad Breed are hanging out. The Bad Breed are holding Funk’s belt while Funk tells a story about how his dad blew a puppy’s brains out after the puppy bit a young Terry Funk. The dog apparently had crazy eyes and thus had its brains blown out. Sabu is like that puppy. He’s got crazy eyes too and needs to be taken out. Funk says that he’s just the man to do it and that he’ll do it without Ian or Axl or anyone else’s help and he’ll take Sabu out exactly the same way he won the title, “Alone!”
Meanwhile In Paul Heyman’s Basement Backstage Again…
Paul Heyman yells some more stuff about how stupid Terry Funk and Shane Douglas are for hatching some stupid plan and having a title match on January 7th. I can’t honestly remember what points he made in which of these promos but the gist of the entire thing was January 7th Terry Funk and Shane Douglas will have a match for the championship and that Sabu is pissed off and wants to kill both of them despite apparently not actually caring about having championships.
Heyman wraps it up by saying that on January 7th he’s going to be there watching their match and that he might have a surprise for “one of you, or the other, or both of you,” as the show goes off the air.
I thought this was a pretty decent episode. The Funk vs. Sabu match was pretty good even though it was clipped and The Pitbull’s debut was also solid. Technically though, this show was a mess. I was watching it off the WWE Network but it looked and sounded like some 4th or 5th generation VHS dub you would have gotten from a tape trader off the internet in 1998, which honestly might have been the source they used to get it.