ECW (January 25, 1994)

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Joey Styles is in the ECW Command Center and welcomes us to NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling. He tells us about how the Public Enemy didn’t get to wrestle last week on TV because of the epicness of Terry Funk’s match with Shane Douglas and then shows us footage of Jay Sulli breaking the news to them.

Meanwhile Backstage (And a Week Earlier)…

Jay Sulli’s like, “Public Enemy, because of Terry Funk’s match with Shane Douglas being a goddamn epic, we can’t show your match on TV this week that is to say last week, but will show it on TV next week, by which I mean this week since we are also airing this interview thing on the same week that we are showing your match.”

“WHAT?! YOU CAN’T SHOW OUR MATCH THIS WEEK?!”

“No, we couldn’t show it last week, but we’ll show it this week. You’ll still get to wrestle, or maybe already got to wrestle…I’m pretty confused right now…and you’ll still get paid.”

The PE aren’t having it though and go after Jay Sulli. Tod Gordon shows up and is like, “You can’t touch an annoucer!” and then gets choked out by Rocco Rock. Tod Gordon’s like “YOU CAN’T DO THAT! I’LL FIRE YOU! I’LL SUSPEND YOU! I’LL CALL THE POLICE! BUT FIRST GO WRESTLE YOUR MATCH!”

The PE leave to go grapple some dudes.

Match 1: The Public Enemy vs. Don E. Allen & Duane Gill

Holy fuck it’s pre-Gillberg Duane Gill. He’s sporting a mullet and a red singlet. The Public Enemy attack before the bell rings and ruin Allen & Gill’s shit in a surprisingly brawling light match. Not a single table is broken during this match but the PE pick up the win nonetheless, finishing off Allen with a reverse DDT drive-by combo.

Winners: The Public Enemy

This was an okay opening bout. Nothing really great, but not a bad way to kick off the show.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Jay Sulli is backstage with Tod Gordon. Tod’s like, “I talked to the NWA governors about the actions of the Public Enemy from earlier tonight and have decided what I’m going to do to them.”

The PE show up and beg him not to fire them. Tod says he isn’t going to fire them. They then are like, “Please don’t suspend us man…” Tod Gordon tells them he isn’t going to suspend them. Instead he’s putting them in a match against the Bruise Brothers on February 5th.

“The Bruise Brothers?! The team that was too violent for Smoky Mountain Wrestling?!” exclaim Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge, “Can’t you call the police?”

He cannot. The PE then cut a promo on the Bruiser/Blu/Harris Brothers about how they’ll fight ’em on February 5th.

We go back to Styles in the Command Center who hypes the match we just heard about before going back down to the ring for action!

Match 2: Tommy Dreamer vs. Doctor Disaster

Tommy Dreamer is still in his Rocky Maivia smiling babyface in goofy clothes period here. Doctor Disaster is some guy in a mask. He’s probably some dude who also wrestled on the card without a mask. He’s got tattoos if anyone wants to look at grainy footage of mid-90s wrestling and compare bad tattoos. I can’t be bothered.

Tommy Dreamer is apparently sick and tired of being called a pretty boy and a goody-two-shoes so he takes the fight to Doctor Disaster ECW style. There’s some brawling on the outside. Dreamer gets a cane out of the audience and uses it to do bodily harm to the good Doctor. Back in the ring Dreamer bites Doctor D’s face and then nails him with his new finisher: The Dream Weaver! I don’t know what it’s supposed to be but it looks like some sort of Cobra Clutch/Russian Leg Sweep hybrid. EXTREME!

Winner: Tommy Dreamer

Tommy Dreamer has been weird in these early ECW episodes. I came in circa Dreamer vs. Raven being a thing, so see Dreamer as a white meat babyface with suspender pants who does actually wrestling moves has been kind of strange. This match is maybe the first where Dreamer showed glimpses of what would make him a superstar.

Match 3: Mr. Hughes vs. Mikey Whipwreck

This is apparently Mikey Whipwreck’s wrestling debut. He’s a lot thinner here than I recall him being. Considering even when he was champ his shtick was basically getting his ass beat for the duration of the match and then somehow pulling off an unset victory in the last moments of the match, this debut is pretty much what you’d expect.

Mr. Hughes roughnecks the shit out of Mikey Whipwreck. He picks up Whipwreck by his ears for a slam. Tosses Whipwreck about. Catches Whipwreck when he tries for a high cross body block. Spams backbreakers. Does the pin attempt and then lift up the opponent’s head thing to show how much better they are than their opponent thing. Hits a Bossman Slam a couple minutes in to pick up the win.

 

Winner: Mr. Hughes

Basically this is exactly what needed to happen in this match. Mr. Hughes wrecked a dude. Mikey Whipwreck looked like he died while wrestling in ratty Nikes.

Match 4: Terry Funk vs. Pat Tanaka (w/ Paul Diamond)

 

This is for the ECW Championship. Before the match starts Funk gets on the mic and tells Paul Diamond to get to the back and let Tanaka face him alone and then mocks Paul Diamond for having wrestled in the WWF which, if my LJN WWF wrestling figures from the mid-80s are to be believed, Terry Funk did as well.

Funk attacks Tanaka before the bell rings and takes it out to the floor where he beats on Tanaka. Tanaka is wrestling in Starter windpants and a plain black t-shirt. I had the same ensemble as gym clothes in middle school. The head back into the ring where Funk score a near fall after nailing Tanaka with a piledriver.

The go back to the outside where Tanaka mounts a comeback. Back in the ring Tanaka hits a flying forearm. There’s chaos at ringside as the Bad Breed come out and beat on Diamond. Diamond fights back and the three of them fight to the back. Diamond apparently succeeds since he returns sans Bad Breed only to get attacked by the Tazmaniac and Kevin Sullivan. This dude cannot catch a break!

Tanaka gets distract by all this nonsense and gets rolled up by Funk for the win.

Winner: Terry Funk

 

How weird is it that they used a heavyweight championship match to further a tag team feud that did not involve the champion at all? Funk was probably the least important person involved in this match which is just bizarre to me, but at the same time kind of awesome since it makes it seem he tag team straps are on a similar level to the heavyweight championship.

Hey! It’s Matty Indahouse…

He gets an on screen graphic that informs me I’ve been wrong about his name this entire time. It’s actually Matty In The House, which I think is Dutch. Anyway he’s here to do his least favorite part of his job: interviewing Paul Heyman.

Matty wants to know about 911 (since he’s not actually 911 yet) and asks Heyman who 911 was. “What’s his name? Where does he come from? Why is he here?”

Heyman’s like, “I want to talk about the upcoming Sabu vs. Funk vs. Douglas match so shut up about 911 and do your job and ask me about that before you regret it!”

Matty’s like, “Whatever bro, I’m not afraid of you.” 911 in all his fringe leather jacket glory taps Matty on the shoulder which causes Matty to be like, “Okay, that guy I’m afraid of. Tell me about that thing you want to talk about.”

911 is all Dutch angled to make him look taller than he actually is. I mean he’s a big dude but unless Matty Indahouse is like 6’5″ 911 is not as tall as they are claiming him to be.

Heyman’s like, “This big man has the most dangerous job in the entire universe because it’s up to him to keep Sabu under control until February 5th when he’ll take on Terry Funk and Shane Douglas for the ECW Championship on February 5th. Sabu is going to commit acts of violence the likes of which you have never seen on the 5th of February. Don’t miss it! Oh also I’ll tell you this big man’s name on that same date as well. The date of which I speak being, of course, February 5th.”

He and 911 then bail and Matty’s like, “That’s a tough dude,” and they show him chokeslamming the fuck out of Chad Austin again.

Match 5: The Bad Company vs. Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac

This match is supposed to be Duane Gill and Don E. Allen going up against Sullivan and Taz, but Diamond and Tanaka cut them off as they enter and somehow convince Gill and Allen to let them take on the tag team champs instead. Gill and Allen shrug and head to the back while Diamond and Tanaka hit the ring and start wrecking house on Sullivan and Taz.

Diamond ends up in the ring with Sullivan as the impromptu match begins. Diamond hits a second rope bulldog on Sullivan. Both men make tags. Taz comes in and destroys Tanaka with a t-bone suplex. Tanaka comes back with a tiger bomb for a two count.

Taz answers with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Tanaka is able to get to Diamond and make the tag. Diamond hits a cross body block for two and follows up with a spin kick. Sullivan and Tanaka apparently leave the building and are fighting in the parking lot, though we are not shown this.

They eventually return to the ring as Paul Diamond gets a roll up on Taz. Sullivan comes in to break up the count, but he’s two slow and Diamond picks up the win.

Post match Taz and Sullivan wreck house on Diamond. They hit him with a spike piledriver and then a regular edition piledriver before leaving the ring. A bunch of wrestlemen hit the ring to check on Paul Diamond who is down and done. He gets stretchered off as we go to commercial.

 

Meanwhile in the ECW Command Center…

Joey Styles rings up Pat Tanaka who’s still at the hospital waiting to see what’s up with Paul Diamond following that brutal attack by Kevin Sullivan and The Tazmaniac. He’s pissed off that they took out Diamond and also for what they said about his father in their interview (which either ECW never actually aired, or has been excised from the WWE Network version). He vows to get revenge and capture tag team gold on February 5th.

“How?!” shrieks Joey Styles, “There’s no way Diamond can compete!”

“I’ve got a replacement…a man that when my father brought him into Florida scared Kevin Sullivan so badly that he had to leave Florida. He had to leave the country!” replies Tanaka.

“WHO?! WHO IS THIS MAN?!” asks Styles.

Now normally when wrestling promotions do something like this, they keep it a mystery to drum up fan interest a la all the “Who’s the third man going to be?!” stuff prior to Hogan joining the nWo. ECW, however does not play like that and Pat Tanaka point blank tells everyone, “It’s the Sheik.”

WE GOTTA GO!

Final Thoughts

There was a surprising amount of wrestling in this episode of ECW which is okay in my book. Usually with ECW we’d get a couple of matches clipped to hell and then some promos and stuff. Here we had five bouts that seemed to more or less be completely intact.

As I mentioned above there did seem to be a segment cut since Tanaka (and Styles while on commentary) both mentioned an interview with Kevin Sullivan where he talked shit about Pat Tanaka’s dad “earlier in the night,” that was nowhere to be seen. Whether this actually aired back in ’94 I can’t say, but it’s nonexistent on the WWE Network. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter much since both Styles and Tanaka summarize the content of Sullivan’s promo later on.

All in all this was a really good episode of random wrestling. None of the matches reached the highs of the Funk vs. Douglas match from the previous week, but it was a solid show nonetheless.

 

 

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