Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Canon Wrestling Review: ECW Hardcore TV, March 26, 1996

Sorry for yesterday's lack of activity, I had a lot to do and the whole day was just bonkers, so by the time I sat down on the computer, I was too exhausted to come up with anything to review. But fear not, as I plan on double dipping today, so you fine people get not just one, but two whole Canon Reviews! Isn't that exciting? What do you mean you don't care? Anyway, this review, as you could probably tell by the title, is an episode of ECW Hardcore TV, the weekly television show that ECW had back in the day. Since all the wrestling I've reviewed seems to be WCW shows, I wanted to switch it up a bit, and what better way to do that than watch some Extreme Championship Wrestling at the peak of their run. So I will, by golly. This episode was originally shown on March 26, 1996.

ECW Hardcore TV: March 26, 1996

We start with clips from a brawl taking place in the crowd between The Bruise Brothers and the unlikely duo of Tommy Dreamer and Shane Douglas. Somebody gets thrown through a door, one of the Bruise Brothers gets hit with half of a table by Dreamer, just another night at the ECW Arena. The ECW Intro plays, and Joey Styles welcomes us to the show. Styles starts by talking about Cactus Jack, who recently had wrestled his last match in ECW at the Big Ass Extreme Bash (great name, by the way) against Mikey Whipwreck.

Highlights of the Jack-Whipwreck match are shown. We start with Mikey hitting a Russian leg sweep on Jack on a chair. Mikey tries for a victory roll near the ropes, but Cactus dumps Mikey off his shoulders onto the timekeeper's table outside the ring. The table doesn't break, so Mikey just bounces off the table in what had to be a painful bump. Jack sets the table up against the ring post, and gives Mikey a back suplex onto the table, which once again does not break. That table's as tough as a two dollar steak. Inside the ring again, and Whipwreck has a chair. He hits Cactus as hard as possible in the head with the chair twice. Despite those hellacious chairshots, Cactus kicks out at two. We get some brawling out in the crowd, and Whipwreck snap suplexes Cactus on a stage. Mikey climbs up to a higher stage of the arena, and dives some eight to ten feet onto Cactus. Back inside, Whipwreck tries an aerial attack, but eats a Cactus Jack forearm on the way down. Cactus has a chair, and pounds a downed Mikey in the back three times with it. Cactus picks Mikey up, and piledrives him on a chair. OUCH! That gets three, and Cactus wins his last ECW match. Post-match, Cactus crawls after Mikey, who tries to scurry away like a scared child. But Cactus catches Whipwreck, picks him up on his feet, and raises Mikey's hand in a show of respect. As the song "New York, New York" plays (because Cactus is going to the WWF, which is based in New York). Cactus calls out the two men that "without them, there wouldn't be an ECW" One's a creative genius, while the other is a visionary. That's right, it's none other than . . . Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie? The three then do one of the worst Rockettes dance routine in the history of mankind, and then embrace in the ring. Now that's an exit, there, a million, billion stars. Cactus Jack then went to the WWF, where he did okay for himself, all in all. I'll give this whole segment a 4.8 out of 5, good stuff here.

- It's time to sell some merchandise. Brian Pillman plugs his 1-900 hotline. Did anybody actually call his hotline? If so, let me know. Hey, you can buy a Sabu T-Shirt for the first time for 20 dollars, or an EC F'N W shirt. In between all of these ads, a highlight video of Cactus Jack is shown. The video ends with a screen that says "Cactus Jack, 1985-1996, Bang Bang, He's Dead". Jack would come back to life a year later, albiet in the WWF, but still. After all that, Joey introduces us to the next match, which also took place at the Big Ass Extreme Bash between the "last survivor of the Hart Dungeon" Chris Jericho and the "One-Man Crime Spree" Taz.

- Jericho comes out to "Electric Head part 2" by White Zombie, while Taz comes out to Kiss's "War Machine" with his manager, Bill Alfonso, who blows his whistle every three seconds. As you can imagine, that gets annoying quickly. The match starts, the two tie up, and Taz counters with a Fujiwara armbar. Jericho reaches the ropes, and the two tie up again, Jericho gets a top wrist-lock, but Taz bridges out. Taz tries a German suplex, but Jericho goes behind and hits a German of his own. That gets two. Taz goes to the outside, he climbs back on the apron, but Jericho hits a springboard dropkick from the turnbuckle, sending Taz back to the outside. Jericho runs to the turnbuckle and dives on Taz on the outside of the ring. Back in, Jericho does the Superfly splash and a Lionsault, but both moves only get two. Taz whips Jericho into the corner, goes for the German suplex again, but Jericho turns around, only to take a Northern Lights suplex. That gets two. Both men get up, and Jericho superkicks Taz. Jericho climbs to the top, but Taz catches him and sets him up for a super back suplex, but Jericho flips out of it and clotheslines Taz. Jericho whips Taz into the corner, but Taz bounces off and catches a running Jericho to deliver a T-Bone Taz plex. Jericho landed on his head after that move, and the referee calls for the bell. But Jericho gets up and demands a restart. He knocks Taz down, but after missing a punch, Taz German suplexes Jericho on the back of his head. That looked like it hurt. Taz locks in the Tazmission and Jericho has no choice to give up. Taz keeps the hold on, despite the best efforts of Little Guido and the Eliminators to break it up, but Brian Pillman, who Styles claimed helped train Jericho (never mind the fact that the two men hadn't met until 1996) comes in the ring and jumps around like a crazy man, causing Taz to let go and stare down Pillman. Taz then Germans Little Guido just because he can, and Pillman leaves, only to clothesline an oncoming El Puerto Ricano and back suplex him on the floor. That brings out Shane Douglas, who tries to get to Pillman but Pillman escapes through the crowd. Douglas and others check on Jericho while Taz leaves the ring. The match was pretty good, so I'll give it a 3.2 out of 5.

- The main event of the show is next, as Raven defends his ECW World Championship against Shane Douglas. Raven comes out on crutches and with his flunkies Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie. A video is shown highlighting the relationship between Douglas, Tommy Dreamer, and the Sandman, three rivals that have come together due to a common hatred of Raven. Douglas comes out, but before the match starts Richards gets the mic. He tells Raven not to wrestle because Raven has gout. Ok then. Raven says there will be no match tonight, but Douglas takes umbrage and hits Raven with the microphone. Richards with a Stevie kick, and both men are down at the start of the match. Raven hits his patented Evenflow DDT, but only gets two. To the outside, Raven throws Douglas agianst two guardrails and gives Douglas another Evenflow DDT, this time on a chair. Raven gets in the ring and tells the ref to count Douglas out. Douglas gets to the apron at eight, only to eat a kneelift by Raven. Douglas gets back up, only to receive a running punch from Raven. This time Douglas doesn't get back on the apron until the count of nine. Raven tries to suplex Douglas in, but Douglas counters and drapes Raven over the turnbuckle. Douglas knees Raven in the head and Raven flies to the outside. Douglas with a suicide dive on Raven's lackeys, and then turns his attention to Raven. Back in, Douglas with a chairshot on Raven, and a DDT on the chair for Raven. Raven's valet Kimona Wanalaya breaks up the count, but gets spanked for her efforts. Raven with a low blow and Douglas is down. Raven whips Douglas into the corner and charges after him with a chair, but Shane pulls the ref into his path. Raven knocks the ref down. Douglas hits Raven with his own crutch, and delivers belly-to-belly suplexes to Richards, Meanie, and Raven. But the ref is down. The Bruise Brothers come out and deliver a double big boot to Douglas. Raven with the cover, but it only gets two. Raven charges with a chair, but Douglas kicks it into Raven's face. Hotshot onto Raven gets a two count. Douglas sets up the chair, and atomic drops Raven onto it. A clothesline knocks Raven out of the chair, and gets a two count. Douglas tries to throw Raven head first into a chair in the corner, but Raven counters and throws Douglas into it. Evenflow on a chair by Raven, and that gets the three count. Post match, the Bruise Brothers come out and try to post Douglas crotch first, but Dreamer makes the save. Dreamer gets overwhelmed by the Bruise Brothers and Raven, but here comes The Sandman, with Singapore cane shots for both the Bruise Brothers, Raven, Stevie, and Meanie. Dreamer DDT's Raven, puts a chair on Raven's foot, and tries to take out Raven's gout ridden leg, but the Sandman stops him, indicating he wants to do it. While the two are arguing, Douglas dives off the top rope onto Raven's leg. Raven leaves while Douglas, Dreamer, and Sandman have a standoff. Match was a bit of a mess, but it was ok. I'll give it a 2.6 out of 5.

Well, that was fun. This show was a lot of fun to watch and showed what ECW was all about, a hard-hitting wrestling show with great characters such as Raven and Cactus Jack and interesting storylines. Overall, I'll give this episode a 7.4 out of 10. Thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts about this post, or ideas for future posts, than let us know about them either by leaving a comment on the blog or by sending an e-mail to

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