“The Franchise” Shane Douglas is backstage getting his wrists taped up by Sherri Martel. He says that tonight he becomes ECW Champion once again…
“Pssst…hey, you! Yeah you…this is ECW. Pro-wrestling’s best kept secret.” Matty Indahouse then appears and screams, “Not anymore!” like a goddamn asshole.
Meanwhile in the ECW Command Center…
Joey Styles is here to give us a quick rundown of what’s coming up in this special 90 minute episode of ECW.
We got the tag team champs in action in a six man tag match and Terry Funk will be defending his ECW Heavyweight Championship against the Franchise, Shane Douglas. Let’s get down to the ring for that big six man tag match!
This is really weird. Kevin Sullivan, the Tazmaniac, and Johnny Hotbody are making their way toward the ring when suddenly it cuts to backstage where a subdued Terry Funk (with Axl and Ian Rotten) cuts a mellow promo about how his father and brother lived for this business. He lives for it too but he knows he’s not the youngest guy in the locker room. He talks how ECW is his last chance in the wrestling business he loves and respects and how it’s an honor to wrestle there where people are allowed to be individuals. He says that Shane Douglas is one of the best and that it will be an honor to fight him. I have no idea what’s going on.
Match 1: Kevin Sullivan, The Tazmaniac & Johnny Hotbody vs. Tommy Dreamer, Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond
We’re back in the ring for six man tag team action. There’s some good back and forth in the early going of the match, but Sullivan and company soon take control, first isolating Paul Diamond and later Pat Tanaka. The heel team makes a lot of quick tags and work to keep their opponent isolated. Woman is on the outside and occasionally distracts the ref allowing for double and triple team maneuvers to go down.
At one point Kevin Sullivan hits Pat Tanaka in the dick with a hammer, but he gets too worked up afterwards and stops trying to make pin attempts. He needs to calm down so he can finish the match so Woman blindfolds him on the outside of the ring, causing him to mellow out. Taz sees this and copies him by laying down outside the ring.
Johnny Hotbody leans over the ring ropes to jaw with Taz and/or Kevin Sullivan allowong Pat Tanaka to get a surprise roll-up for the one, two, three. After the match Taz, Sullivan and Woman lay Johnny Hotbody out and put the boots to him. So much for that trio.
Winners: Tommy Dreamer, Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond
Dreamer’s really young here and not particularly great in the ring (he has trouble getting Hotbody over while doing a powerslam at one point) so the bulk of the match is Diamond and Tanaka getting beat on by the heels, but it’s a pretty decent opening bout. Even though the match did involve a guy getting a hammer to the cock, this was more or less a wrestling match that kept the brawling to a minimum. Guys put each other in holds and did Irish whips and stuff, which at this point is something of a rarity in ECW.
Meanwhile in the Ring…
Paul Heyman is there to talk about where he and Sabu stand on the entire Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas match. 911 (at this point still just “Sabu’s handler”) is there as is Chad Austin. Austin interrupts Heyman to ask a favor.
“Is the favor a match? Here, have a match!” says Heyman.
Match 2: Chad Austin vs. 911
911 chokeslams the fuck out of Chad Austin and pins him by stepping on his chest. One! Two! Three! After the match 911 chokeslams Austin one more time for good measure. The entire thing lasts maybe 10 seconds.
Yay squash matches! Yay a replay of a squash match causing Joey Styles to bellow, “Here’s the replay…REPLAY OF WHAT?!” This match was more or less exactly what it should have been. 911 (who may not even have “a wrestling license”) looks like a goddamn world beater and no one important looks like a chump.
Matty Indahouse is interviewing Jason (who has some 1990s babe hanging all over him) about his recent problems with The Sandman. Matty Indahouse mocks Jason by asking, “Do you like my t-shirt?” Jason accurately calls him a slob. At one point Matty Indahouse bellows “NOT!” after momentarily agreeing with something Jason says. Christ on a crutch is this guy annoying. Jason then proceeds to narrate highlights of a trio of bouts between his Pitbull and a variety of foes.
Match 3: The Sandman (w/ Miss Peaches) vs. The Pitbull (w/ Jason)
This is, of course, clipped. We get The Pitbull working over The Sandman’s injured arm (from the Pitbull’s attack and match with Mr. Hughes back at Holiday Hell). Sandman gets some brief offense in. Jason cracks wise about how he was nice enough to put a highlight of the Sandman in even though it’s a pretty short highlight. I think I kind of like Jason.
Sandman hits a superplex and then he goes up top but Jason grabs his foot to stop him. Miss Peaches intervenes and the she and Jason have words. Sandman dives onto Jason but hits the ground hard and gets counted out allowing The Pitbull to pick up the win.
Post-match Jason and The Pitbull lay out Sandman. Pitbull gets his chain and beats the fuck out of the Sandman with it.
Winner: The Pitbull
There’s another backstage back and forth between Matty Indahouse and Jason before we get another Pitbull match. This time he’s up against Tommy Cairo.
Match 4: The Pitbull (w/ Jason) vs. Tommy Cairo
Another clipped match. “Look at my Pitbull’s chains. They are almost as nice as my suit.” This is a little more evenly matched and in the end Cairo picks up the win, but post match Jason hits a top rope maneuver on Cairo and Pitbull hits a power bomb. They go for a double clothesline but Cairo ducks and hits one of his own. Rockin’ Rebel hits the ring to help out Jason and Pitbull but Sandman makes the save.
Winner: Tommy Cairo
Some more back and forth between Jason and Matty Indahouse and then it’s time to head back to the ring for tag team action.
Match 5: The Pitbull & The Rockin’ Rebel (w/ Jason) vs. The Sandman & Tommy Cairo (w/ Miss Peaches)
“Look at my tag team.” Pitbull looks like he’s wearing tinfoil instead of a garbage bag. Brawling. Again the match is clipped to hell. “Oops, I guess I forgot to show their victory,” says Jason as the referee raises Cairo and Sandman’s hands. They head to the back but are jumped by Mr. Hughes who brings them back to the ring where Rebel and Pitbull beat the fuck out of them with chains. They put a collar around The Sandman’s neck and toss him over the top rope so he gets hanged. Cairo is busted open for some reason. ECW I guess.
Winners: The Sandman & Tommy Cairo
We go backstage one more time where Matty Indahouse talks about how a Double Dog Collar match between the two teams we just saw has been signed for February 5th. Jason promises victory and then is summoned into the laundry dressing room by the 90s babe. Matty Indahouse is like, “EW GROSS! SEX! DON’T GO IN THERE!”
Meanwhile Somewhere Else Backstage…
Sherri Martel has incredible cleavage and is still taping up Shane Douglas’ wrists. She tells him he has less than five minutes to his match. Shane is like, “Less than five minutes?!” and then tells her to get the camera crew out of there. She screams at them and they leave.
We go then down to the ring where Douglas and Funk have both gotten jobber entrances. Paul Heyman is joining Joey Styles on commentary for the match.
Match 6: Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas
This is for the ECW Heavyweight Championship. Funk starts off with a side headlock. “He’s trying to cauliflower Douglas’ ears!” screams Styles. Douglas bails and goes over to Sherri to rest his head upon her pillowy bossoms for a moment before returning to the ring.
Funk goes back to the headlock and really wrenches it in. They spill out to the floor but the Funker keeps the headlock locked on. Both men get counted out and the ref rings the bell. The fans are furious. Funk is apparently furious too.
He goes back to the ring and gets on the mic and says that count outs are bullshit and demands the ref restart the match. Funk’s the champ so the ref is cool with it and rings the bell to restart the match as we go to commercial. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
We come back from the break with Shane Douglas working over Funk’s arm in the ring. They fight in and out of the ring. Funk gets occasional bits of offense in, but it’s mostly all Douglas here.
He’s focused in on Funk’s arm. In the ring it’s all armbars. On the outside he’s slamming Funk’s arm into the ringpost or driving a chair into it. Funk cannot catch a break.
At one point he manages to hit Douglas with an inverted atomic drop but Douglas manages to keep the hold locked in. He hits a second atomic drop. Douglas is in agony but still he keeps the armbar applied.
They go to the outside again and fight down to the entrance area. Douglas chokes Funk with a chain used to corral the fans and the throws Funk into a wall. Funk’s arm is somehow busted open. He gets put on a dolly and whacked with a chair by Douglas before they make their way down to the ringside area.
Funk hits a DDT on the outside and we get a decent shot of his arm just gushing blood. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an arm that bloody in a wrestling match that didn’t involve glass or barbed wire before. Funk goes to DDT Sherri Martel but Douglas makes the save.
Back in the ring Douglas hits a piledriver and goes for the first pinfall attempt of the match, but only gets a two count. He hits a second piledriver that has Funk crawl out of the ring to the floor where he gets choked by Sherri Martel.
Finally Funk makes a comeback. He unloads on Douglas and nails him with a soda can that he hits Sherri with as well. He hits Douglas with a piledriver and a Rude Awakening, but it’s not enough to put Douglas away. They fight into the crowd again for awhile.
When they make their way back to the ring the two men collide. Shane rolls up Funk and puts his feet up on the ropes. The ref doesn’t notice and makes the three count. We got a new champion! Wait…
Bad Breed comes out to the ring to complain about what happened. Paul Heyman goes down to argue with Bad Breed and the ref. Tod Gordon comes down and tells Heyman and Bad Breed to get out of the ring. He the is like “Douglas had his feet on the ropes. Restart the match!”
The ref restarts the match. Right away Funk gets thrown to the floor. Heyman attacks him but is chased off by Bad Breed who then work over Douglas on the outside.
Both men head back into the ring. They’re spent. Clobbering occurs. The timekeeper is like, “One minute is remaining.”
“They have like 90 seconds left!” screams Joey Styles.
A minute later the bell rings. Both men have fought to a 45 minute time limit draw. Old school! The show goes off the air with Styles yelling that if a decision was made they’ll show it next week. I have no idea what he’s talking about.
This was a great match. It was a mix of an old school NWA World Heavyweight Championship match and 90s ECW style brawling that somehow worked really well. One of the better ECW matches I’ve seen so far.
This was probably the best episode of ECW I’ve seen since I started doing this rewatch. The six man tag match was a solid opener and Jason schtick is quickly winning me over so his stuff with Matty Indahouse was pretty good. Even the 911 squash match accomplished what it needed to. As I said above, the main event was honestly one of the better matches I’ve seen in ECW. I’m starting to appreciate Shane Douglas a lot more than I did in the 90s when I thought he was boring because he rarely hit guys with shit or lit things on fire.