This is from the first episode of ECW. There’d apparently been a couple pilot episodes before this but this is their first shot at the big time and they kick things off with a tournament for the newly created Television Championship that two guys had already held prior to this show taking place.
Welcome everyone to Monday Night Raw! This is a review of the very first episode of Monday Night Raw. Why? Because WWE had it up on YouTube in its entirety and I, for some unknown reason, decided to watch it. Let’s get to reviewing!
It’s time for some Eastern Championship Wrestling baby! I had notes from this episode typed up but never published and have no idea why. I’m guessing that at some point it was one of the earliest ECW offerings on the WWE Network. I don’t think that’s the case anymore but whatever, here’s an episode of ECW from 1993!
Pre-Extreme ECW is a weird beast. Here we have a match between four guys who were never really ECW guys for another promotion’s title. We got the WING Tag Champs, The Headhunters, going up against a Los Boricua and the man, the myth, the Big Japan Crocodile Deathmatch King…Mitsuhiro Matsunaga.
This match is being contested under WING Rules, which means they are being contest under ECW rules before those existed (ECW still had countouts and DQs and stuff at this point). Lots of ugly brawling. Perez gets busted open in like 8 seconds or something.
The ending of the match is stupid as hell. A Headhunter hits a moonsault on Perez and goes for the cover. The ref totally ignores this. Matsunaga and the other Headhunter come in. The first Headhunter gets up off Perez. Matsunaga gets him in a small package. The ref ignores this as well. The illegal Headhunter pins Perez while the illegal Matsunaga has the legal Headhunter in a small package. The ref finally gets off his duff and counts three while both teams have illegal pins.
He’s then like, “Shit, I’ve done goofed…ummm…NO CONTEST!”
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’re in Sheffield, England tonight for this exciting card of seven bouts of grappling. Our hosts for the evening are genuine British person, Lord Alfred Hayes, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and recent WWF hire, Jim Ross. Let’s get down to the ring for action!
Adam Bomb’s WWF in ring debut and he’s sloppy as fuck. Adam Bomb has some shitty offense and Virgil pretty much runs roughshod on him for most of the match until he misses with a top rope maneuver allowing Adam Bomb to hit a terrible looking powerslam for the win.
Union of Wrestling Forces Internation (UWF-i) was founded on May 10, 1991, as a continuation of the UWF. Like the UWF before it UWF-i featured a more hard-hitting, realistic style than other wrestling promotions. Though the matches in UWF-i were predetermined, the federation is seen as the precursor to many of the popular MMA promotions that arose in Japan.
Here we have the master of the Ghettoblaster, Bad News Brown/Allen taking on MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba in one of his earliest bouts.