The SmarK Rant for Extreme Championship Wrestling – 02.27.96
Carrying on with the Cyberslam 96 shows. NXT 2.0 is doing an amazing job of making these shows seem calmly put together and logical by comparison.
Taped from Philly
Your host is Joey Styles
Last week: Bad things happened to Tommy Dreamer’s privates. And I’m not talking about Jim Nelson and Don Kernodle. Joey points out that last week was “Murphy’s Law” at the arena, where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Nerd moment time, as in fact, that’s not Murphy’s Law. The “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” saying is a telephone game corruption of the original concept, which came from the famous Murphy’s job as an airplane engineer during the war. Basically he observed that if you have a layperson who doesn’t know better and ask them to pull a needed lever for you, offering them a choice of two identical levers to pull and no information to distinguish them, they will inevitably pull the lever that accidentally causes catastrophic damage instead of the one that actually serves the intended purpose. Obviously the distilled version is easier to understand and catchier, though.
Anyway, enough learning. Back to the idiots hitting each other in the nuts!
Raven hangs out with the Bruise Brothers backstage, calling them “two men railroaded by the system”. That’s hilarious on so many levels.
ECW Fan Cam: Shane Douglas faces Raven in what looks like someone’s garage, which is your normal house show for them. Brian Pillman wanders down to ringside with a camera and a press pass, which leads to “WCW’s Loose Cannon” getting hauled out by security while taking pictures. And you thought Vince McMahon was harsh on people taking photos at his shows.
“The Italian Stallion” JT Smith v. Axl Rotten
Kind of crazy that we started out small with JT exploring his Italian roots and it ended up being a gimmick that lasted a decade and crossed into WWE after the death of the company. They immediately brawl at ringside and Axl sends him into the front row and smashes a chair on his head before choking him out with a rope provided by a fan. Man, I bet the Bruise Brothers were pissed that no one invited them for some of that action. Sorry, I guess that’s me railroading them on behalf of the system again. Axl keeps slugging away while the potty mouthed fans call for more violence, but JT hits him with a DDT on the floor and then knocks the hat right off Hawaiian Shirt Guy’s head! Back in the ring, Axl beats on him in the corner and follows with a clothesline for two. Corner splash gets two, but JT pretends to be out cold after “missing” a moonsault, suckers Axl into grabbing a chair for him, and then hits him with it for the pin at 6:31. Man, that’s like a HHH level master plan, but with a chair instead of a sledgehammer. It is pretty clever as a finish because it pays off Smith’s longtime secondary gimmick of blowing spots in kayfabe, so I’ll give it a point. 1 for 1. And then Hack Myers gets involved for some reason and they all brawl to the back.
Shane Douglas v. Cactus Jack
It’s the battle of DeNucci students, complete with cameo referee appearance from Mark Curtis, another DeNucci student. And in fact Curtis was a better worker than a good chunk of the wrestling school rejects in this promotion. Because he’s rich and fancy now, Jack is wearing a shirt and tie for his ring gear. Like Mick would ever get over wearing a shirt and tie to the ring! Next you’ll tell me he’ll become World champion by putting a sock on his hand! You’re CRAZY! Luckily Shane tears off Jack’s fancy gear and reveals his classic “Forgive me Uncle Eric” shirt as they brawl to the floor, where Shane abuses his crotch with a crutch. Shane goes up with a double axehandle to the floor and continues beating on Jack with the crutch, and back in the ring where Shane continues targeting the nutsack for some psychology you don’t see every day. Back to the floor and Shane suplexes him onto the guardrail before going to the top and hitting a flying bodypress into the front row. Back in the ring, Shane Pillmanizes the ankle, while the crowd chants “Ahmed Johnson” to annoy Shane. Jack beats on him with a chair while the crowd switches to a “Razor” chant, just totally turning on the match now to amuse themselves. So Jack hauls Shane to the apron and puts the boots to him as this drags on. You’d think they would have worked together enough times to have a great match but they are just not clicking here at all. Back in the ring, Jack hammers on him in the corner and Shane does a sell where he falls out of the ring and onto the table, so Jack flips the table on him and drops an elbow on it. And then he hocks a loogie in the air and catches in his mouth to celebrate. Back in for Raven’s DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM on the chair, and that gets two. Piledriver gets two. And then Mark Curtis proves to be a crooked ref, giving Shane a pair of handcuffs that Shane uses to KO jack before cuffing him. So with Jack handcuffed, Shane beats on him with the chair repeatedly as young Flex Kavana no doubt watches the tape at home and thinks “Now there’s a finish I can use if I ever have a match with that guy!” So Jack calls out Mikey Whipwreck to help him while Shane puts him in the figure-four, but Mikey has had enough of Jack and wallops him with the chair to knock him out, as Shane gets the pin at 15:00. This was really bad and just dragged on and on. 1 for 2.
Taz v. Joel Hartgood
Hartgood is of course Heyman’s HILARIOUS cheapshot at Philly promoter Joel Goodhart. Taz takes him down for a choke attempt and pounds away on him, then suplexes him before Hartgood gets a sunset flip for two. So Taz drops him on his head with another suplex and finishes with the Tazmission at 1:50. And we get a bunch of geeks out to try and save Hartgood, and Taz clobbers them all in turn before Mikey Whipwreck is the one who finally gets some offense. And that doesn’t last long either, although Mikey actually gets a rare shot on Fonzie. Taz destroying geeks is always fun. 2 for 3.
And lucky us, we finish with a Shane Douglas promo, as he tells Cactus to say hi to Vince for him and calls himself the real Loose Cannon, unlike Brian Pillman who does his act with the backing of a billionaire. And then he reveals his secret deal with Tommy Dreamer, as Tommy came to him looking for protection for Beulah and the baby no matter what happened. Of course as it turned out there was no baby because the storyline was completely dropped out of nowhere, so all this emo nonsense from Tommy and “deal with the devil” shit with Shane lead to nothing.
Although the points say it’s 2 for 3, the Jack-Shane match took up the bulk of the show and made this one a real drag to watch overall. And there’s very little worse to watch than ECW when it’s boring.