Years before Vince Russo tried to kill the wrestling business, there was Hardcore Heaven 1995.
This show took place on July 1 1995 at the ECW arena. The show is off to an AWFUL start as the Pitbulls, Raven and Stevie Richards make their way to the ring. Apparently Raven and Richards are the tag team champions. The Pitbulls are facing the Dudley Boys, but not the real Dudley Boys. Big Dick is the manager, and his charges are “The Dudley Brothers.” They aren’t even named other than “The Dudley’s.” Beulah is with Raven and his crew. The Pitbulls look like they are about to explode thanks to excessive steroid use. Snot Dudley is one of the Dudleys. Not a bad dropkick by Pitbull 2. This is a squash match, but the story is supposed to be that the Pitbulls are kicking ass and Richards is acting like a dick on the outside. Studly Dudley in now, and he actually gets Pitbull 2 down. He makes the mistake of tagging in Snot, who picks up where he left off in getting the shit kicked out of himself. First offensive chair shot of the evening here. Francine is in the crowd and she starts making out with Stevie. Beulah doesn’t like this, and she breaks up the action and starts fighting Francine. Raven and his crew all leave, which distracts the Pitbulls after a super bomb on Snot. As the ref is trying to get Pitbull 1 out of the ring, Studly comes off the top on 2, rolls Snot on top, and the Dudley’s pick up the win. Not terrible by any means, but WAY to much going on for the first match of the show.
Oh man, super yelling promo from the Pitbulls and you can barely understand a word they are saying. They have had enough of Raven and Richards I think.
Wow, some super jobbers out now. Don E Allen, who I think was #500 in the PWI 500 once. Chad Austin, the Broadstreet Bully, and Dino Sendoff complete this horrible quartet. The crowd tells them they all suck dick. I think someone needs to make a telephone call, and they did. Here comes 911. Chokeslams for everyone! Shocked no one died here. I don’t know if 911 couldn’t chokeslam anyone or if none of these guys could take the move, but everyone looked like they about died here. Paul E is out with 911. The crowd wants 10 chokeslams. Hopefully they don’t get it for the sake of these guys. Double slam to Allen and Austin. Bill Alfonso is cowering by the entrance way. And that’s the end of that.
Holy shit, look at this fat piece of shit. A phrase you could say about a lot of guys in ECW history, sure, but it was really fitting for Big Malley. Big Malley is a very non athletic looking big man who has to weigh about 500 pounds. Hack Myers is a less fat but no more athletic looking man who is his opponent. Aside from the Pitbulls, I don’t think anyone on this show thus far as seen the inside of a gym ever. Hack Myers is hairy and wearing what appears to be pajama pants. So we have had guys in tye dye shirts, a hockey jersey, a guy in sweats and a t-shirt and a guy in pajama pants. At least most of the guys on these WCW shows look like wrestlers. This fat guy is just too fat to do anything, so they walk around the ring while the crowd taunts him mercilessly. Hack Myers shows that the babyfaces in ECW are as stupid as babyfaces everywhere else and he tries to slam the fat ass. Myers has a terrible look, and it’s all time bad, but the crowd is behind him and he moves pretty well, which makes him a damn star on this show. Malley is not any of those things. He must have gone to the same “fat guy wrestling school” as Avalanche or King Kong Bundy, as he hits some corner charges. The crowd chants “you fat fuck” at the fat fuck, and we get corner charge number 1,343 of this match. I hate Joey Styles, but damn he is trying here. ANOTHER corner charge. You would think Myers would move, as it takes Big Val or whatever they keep calling him, 10 minutes to get to him. Powerslam (fat guy move 4) gets a two count. Big splash (number 6) is followed by a missed elbow (number 5) and Myers pins the fat guy after the missed elbow. EASILY the worst match I have seen in this odyssey thus far. Big Val is mad and he hits another 6, followed by another 6 before he struggles out of the ring to yell at the fans. That was awful
Alrighty! Scorpio vs. Taz. This might not be horrible! Scorpio is wearing orange and black to mock Taz. Pretty good back and forth wrestling to start the match. Taz works a headlock and holds on through a back suplex from Scorpio. Scorpio breaks free and tries to do some quick spots, but runs right into a belly to belly from Taz. Nice high spot. One of the greatest booking jobs I have ever seen is the job Heyman did of getting Taz over as a legit killer. Not that Taz wasn’t talented, because he was, but he was super short, even more so than Scorpio, and that makes the aura he had amazing. Scorpio took over with a super kick and goes to work with a powerbomb and underhook suplex. Scorpio gets cocky and eats some knees when he comes off the top for a splash, but before Taz can take advantage he gets thumbed in the eyes. Scorpio hits a nice uranage, and goes for another one but Taz ducks and hits a T-bone Taz-Plex. Scorpio escapes again with a kick and hits a tombstone. Tumbleweed from Scorpio, but he doesn’t cover and Taz pops up. Half nelson Taz-Plex gets three, but Scorpio had his foot on the rope.
Of course, this brings out Bill Alfonso. He wants the match restarted. Alfonso makes a point to say “if any wrestler touches him, he is shutting down ECW.” Heyman clarifies that it’s only wrestlers and threatens to kick Alfonso’s ass. Scorpio hits Taz with a chair, and Alfonso cheapshots Paul E. Scorpio lays the chair on Taz’s face and hits a big leg drop. Alfonso counts three, and they immediately go to the next segment. That was a really fun match and awesome segment. The match was only about 8-10 minutes long, but it doesn’t over extend its welcome at all and both guys looked good coming out of it. I think this will be the best thing I see tonight. If you have the network and are looking for something to watch, check it out. There are chapter breaks on the show so you can skip right to it. Just a really easy to watch sprint between the two guys.
Ugh. Joey Styles is out plugging the ECW hotline and Shane Douglas’ negotiations with WWF. So Shane Douglas comes out and cuts his typical semi shoot promo. He has a WWF t-shirt on and says he has been talking with Vince McMahon. It doesn’t take a teacher or professor to see where this is going. Douglas drops hints about leaving and the crowd chants that they want Flair. Douglas gets PISSED, which is awesome to see. Now he starts the swearing. I know people love to claim that Douglas was a good promo. He was passionate, which is a plus, but he has a tendency to ramble and go off point and just carry on and on. He’s not alone, especially in this business, when it comes to that, but he loves to talk for 15 minutes when 5 would have sufficed. He loves to react to what the crowd is chanting at him, when a real pro would be dictating what they are chanting. Now he is going on about his relationship with Cactus Jack. “Let me say it clear and simple.” Why didn’t you do that 15 minutes ago? Shane finally announces that he is leaving to WWF. I’m sure that run will be met with great success. I would grade this promo a FB for fucking boring, and a TFL for to fucking long.
And now, Woman is out. She is saying some stuff but the audio is so poor that you can’t hear anything over the crowd chanting that Shane has a woody. Classy. Shane calls her a beautiful woman and a douchebag in the same sentence, so Woman slaps the SHIT out of Shane. Shane acts like he is going to let Woman slap him, but he grabs her wrist. This brings Sandman out and he knocks Douglas out of the ring. Cactus Jack runs in to run Sandman off. That was insufferable.
Oh good, Raven and Stevie Richards are out now. I will say that the gimmick of Stevie dressing like Raven but in the nerdiest way possible is a great idea. They should have done that with Cena and Zack Ryder. The challengers for the ECW tag titles are Tommy Dreamer and Luna Vachon. I’m watching Lucha Underground all of a sudden. That said, Luna might be the most bad ass person in the match. Raven and Dreamer start fighting outside, so Richards, being a huge dirtbag, starts beating on Luna. Raven hit Dreamer with the nicest chairshot this side of Lance Storm. In the ring, Richards is whipping Luna. Dreamer finally makes his way back in and pulls Richards up. Testicular claw by Luna!! Luna is easily the best worker in this match. Dreamer goes back outside and lets a couple of marks hit Raven with frying pans. No fucking way. Never happen if I was Raven. I wouldn’t let a trained wrestler hit me with a pan, let alone some fat ass in a black t-shirt. Back in the ring, Richards is getting the dog shit beat out of him. Too much going on!!!! Dreamer has a newspaper… thing and hits Raven with it. You know, the thing you put your change into to buy a paper. A paper machine? Raven is bleeding, but he is back to help Stevie. Chair shot to the back of Luna, and Styles states that chivalry is dead. As much as I hate Styles, he was in his element calling this wacky shit. Oh, Dreamer has a broken hand. Raven goes to work on it and slams the door of the paper…thing on it.
There is way too much to keep up with here, but it’s actually been kind of fun. Double DDT from the champs, and now the ref feels like enforcing the tag rules before he counts the fall, and that allows Luna to kick out. Luna crotches Richards on the top and hits a superplex while Dreamer hits Raven with a chair. While the ref is distracted by Raven and Dreamer, Beulah throws powder at Luna and Richards gets the win. Amazing spectacle. I wouldn’t call it a match as much as a brawl, but all four people were on point and played their roles perfectly. The type of match I should hate, but I couldn’t help but watch it and it was actually pretty damn entertaining.
Oh no. I forgot this was on this show. The fucking Tai Pei Death Match. Before the match, Tod Gordon appoints Bill Alfonso to ref the match. Now, if you don’t know, a Tai Pei death match is a match where both competitors have their fists wrapped in tape, the tape dipped in glue, and then broken glass glued to the tape.
Read that again.
Yeah, this really happened. As you can imagine, the participants are legendary technical wrestlers Axl and Ian Rotten. Who fucking thought this was a good idea? Alfonso checks Axl to make sure the glass is real, I guess. He also checks them for foreign objects. I got a kick out of that. These guys can punch each other with their glass covered hands, but they better not have a chain in their tights! The crowd chants we want blood. I don’t think that will be a problem. Axl hits a punch and Ian goes right down to cut himself open. He barely knicks himself, and Alfonso stops the match. Fucking amazing heel heat. “You should be happy that I am here.” If that’s the end of this, I am! Now the Gangstas and Public Enemy come brawling out of the dressing room. What the fuck? Cops are out to break them up and take them to the back, and Bill Alfonso goes with them. Now Tod Gordon is in the ring with the two idiots. He restarts the match and both the fat morons start cutting each other up and hitting each other. If I go to a Broadway theater and tape my fists in glass and start hitting someone and cutting him up, does it make me an actor? Because doing it in a wrestling ring doesn’t make you a wrestler. And Axl Rotten has done some things I have found entertaining in the past. Ian Rotten is a low life piece of shit, but Axl at least entertained me at some point. Ian rips glass off of his fist and basically gigs Axl with it. And now Axl is doing the same. So they go outside and poke each other with glass and both guys are bleeding and it’s just a mess. Both guys were smart enough to wear white shirts. Best work they did was their wardrobe. I’m a fan of guys bleeding, but after this match I never need to see it again. Oh good, thumbtacks. Axl backdrops Ian onto the tacks, hit a splash, and pins Ian. A complete and total pile of shit. No redeeming qualities at all and I hate wrestling a little more after watching it.
Now Luna and Dreamer are back out fighting Richards and Raven? What? Seriously, that’s what happened. The shitty glass match ended, and now two teams that fought earlier and fighting again with no explanation. The Pitbulls are out, and Richards wants the Bulls to super bomb Luna. The Pitbulls refuse, and suggest hitting the move on Dreamer. Richards shoves the #1, and Raven hits a chair shot on #2, but he no sells and now the Pitbulls attack both guys. Raven bails, leaving Richard to eat a super bomb. Before they hit it, the Dudleys are back in. What? This is the weirdest fucking thing. Now Raven and Dreamer are going back at it. Dreamer hits the DDT on Raven. Is this the same match as before, a new match, a brawl after the match, was this before the match but aired after? I have no idea what is going on. The Pitbulls threw the Dudley’s through a wall. Luna has the biggest smile on her face. Now everyone is fighting near the commentary position. There’s a broken table, but I don’t know how it happened. And now the fucking Dudleys are back.
IS THIS A HARDCORE MATCH TONY? WHAT IS GOING ON?
At least I don’t recall any of these guys beating The Great Muta. This is what I get for saying nice things about the match earlier. A completely confusing segment that literally came out of nowhere.
Speaking of guys who aren’t wrestlers, here’s the ECW champion, the Sandman! No lie, Sandman might be Summer’s least favorite wrestler. He’s been on the screen for a minute, tops, and I’ve already gotten two “how can you watch this shit” lines. He’s drinking and smoking. Woman tells him to cool it, and he listens. Sandman is in prime fighting shape, meaning he looks like I did about 3 years ago. He meanders about and it means nothing with the terrible music replacing Enter Sandman. Cactus Jack is the opponent here, and he is out with barbed wire wrapped around his wrist. Sandman has two canes, Cactus has the barbed wire. I have the second doubts.
Apparently this is for the ECW title. Sandman weighs 276 pounds. Sure he does. This ought to be downright awful. Sandman goes outside the ring and hits the ropes with his stick about 115 times. He then walks around the ring. Hey, whatever keeps the actual match from starting is ok with me. Woman throws a beer in Jack’s face, and Sandman fucking whacks him right in the face with his stick. So Sandman repeatedly hits Jack with the stick. He tosses Jack outside and hurls himself over the top to hit Jack with the stick. Pretty impressive sight, to be fair. So Sandman hits Jack with the stick about 85 times before he finally misses. Jack comes back with a DDT and now Jack has the stick. He hits Sandman with the stick a bunch of times. That’s the move list for this match thus far.
Oh, Jack has a chair. Add chair shot to the above. His hand is still wrapped in barbed wire. Now Sandman blocks a punch with the chair, so we are still waiting for our second non weapon assisted maneuver. A kick from Sandman, a kick from Sandman!! DDT onto a chair from Sandman, and he holds onto the stick the whole time, making him look like an even worse whatever the fuck he is, because he’s not a wrestler. A BODYSLAM BY SANDMAN!! Slingshot leg drop!! He’s a regular Dean Malenko in there. Body slam onto the chair. Woman runs to the back and comes back out with barbed wire and she is carrying it in the most comedic manner possible. Best worker in the match by far. She is offended by even having to touch it. So great. Sandman wraps barbed wire around his body and runs into Cactus Jack. UGH. Sandman hits an all time bad looking splash off the top. You could do better. Whoever is reading this, you could do better.
So they go back and forth some more, hit each other with more shit, including a cane from a handicap fan, and Cactus Jack turns heel to me by pulling Sandman’s shirt up over his head. Sandman is bleeding from his huge stomach thanks to the barbed wire, and Jack finally hits a punch with the barbed wire. Sandman is busted up now, because the excessive blood in the last match wasn’t enough. A ref bump. Really? All the shit in this match and we had to do a ref bump? Fuck this shitty match. Now Shane Douglas is in and he hits a piledriver on Sandman. Oh no he has the mic. He messes up the “keep your friends close” line and attacks Jack as well. Sandman rolls over and thankfully pins Cactus Jack. Shane Douglas says that ECW can kiss his ass goodbye. What an awful, awful match. Jack is obviously talented, as we would learn over the years, but he wasn’t here and Sandman never was, so this is just flat out horrible.
Something happens with Tod Gordon and Shane Douglas. I stopped caring. I physically cannot care. A bunch of shit happens. Douglas beats up a bunch of people until 911 comes out and chokeslams Douglas to WWF. Wow.
The rotten cherry on this turd sundae is Public Enemy vs. The Gangstas. So they have a great, southern style tag team match and I loved it.
No, they hit each other with a bunch of shit and brawled all over the building. Who cares? They were bleeding and jumping off of shit and hitting each other with shit and people were into the whole thing, which is awful. No one is wearing gear, although what Mustafa is wearing looks like what Reigns wears now, and everything is just so bad. Taz and Scorpio and the tag title match aside, this was a fucking abysmal show. A bunch of people who had no business in a wrestling ring doing stupid things to other people who had no business in a wrestling ring. The cult popularity of ECW might be the worst thing to ever happen to pro wrestling. Sure, they had their moments and had some very good matches. The six man tag from Barely Legal is one of my favorite matches of all time. Tajiri and Super Crazy had some awesome matches too. But for every match like that there was 10 like the shit on this show. There was the business exposing matches of RVD vs. Jerry Lynn. The shitty “shoot” promos of Shane Douglas. The terrible “smark” commentary from Joey Styles. As I am typing all this, the main event is still going on. Men are still hitting each other with weapons and no one is selling anything. Get hit, bleed, get up and get your shit in, son! If they would have had one match like this on this show, I would be ok with it. It’s not my cup of tea, but there’s room for one match like it on a full wrestling card. That match on this show was the tag team title match. Ironically the first match like that on this show. Public Enemy wins and Joey Styles promises that this was just the first match in a war. Public Enemy has a bunch of the ugliest human beings I have ever seen jump in the ring, and as they lift Rocco Rock onto their shoulders, the look of panic on his face is that of a man who instantly regrets his decision.
That’s my first and last ECW review during this whole thing unless I get desperate. A bad show that made me almost hate being a wrestling fan. ECW is the worst. If Mike Rotunda ever had a match in ECW, it would be the worst thing to happen on any planet in any universe ever.