Opening: Someone (don’t know who) is interviewed and attacked by a black man (don’t know who). Said black man is restrained, handcuffed and taken away by a load of white men. Joey Styles runs down the card until Terry Funk comes in from the crowd and cuts a good promo, running down Dreamer and Heyman. Does an excellent job, and I like the “Prof of Funk U” gimmick. Didn’t realise he already looked about 60 years old twenty years ago.
Opening match: No idea who anyone is here, why I’m supposed to care about this match or who is face/heel. Not a fan of wrestlers giving out about hair pulling and the referee enforcing a rope break in the opening minute; I thought the point of ECW was no rules. Anyway, the two bigger lads can move reasonably for wrestlers their size, but a slow opening. Funk comes out and improves the match considerably by taking over as timekeeper then Zigglering himself though the table for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The finish is a bit pacier and it turns out a reasonable opener. Funk then runs down the winners and gets removed by security after taking one of them out.
Match 2: Very clear from the entrances who is heal and who is face in this match. Again, don’t recognise anyone, but was surprised that Rogers was in this match rather than the guy in the leotard; helooks nearly as old as Funk does. FBI do the “distract the ref while someone else cheats” spot repeatedly and pull it off very well (do you need to distract a referee if “anything goes”?), but again, I’m not sure what’s on the line here; why should I be interested in this match? Solid work, but not exciting. Post match Spike Dudley comes out and is immediately more interesting than the match itself. Cannot fathom why the referee is counting a pin after the match has finished. My mind is blown. also, Dudley’s rip off version of Highway to Hell
Axl Rotten gets over Tanaka and Mahoney in a backstage segment. Nicely sets up their match later on. He can certainly talk and gets over all four wrestlers. Tanaka looks like he’s got a huge number of unhealed cuts all over him that are ready to get busted open. they don’t.
Match 3: There’s a whole angle going on here that hasn’t really been explained between Dawn Marie, Lance Storm and Sunny. We have two referees for some reason that also isn’t explained and I don’t know why Storm and Lynn are fighting. Sunny spends ages getting herself sorted but tbh is past her prime in looks, so it’s a bit sad tbh; having her out alongside Dawn Marie really shows it up unfortunately. Anyway, we open with a strong fast paced sequence that shows up the previous two bouts. It quickly becomes clear that Sunny is going to fast count in favour of Lynn and slow count for Storm which is fine as a plot point, but does get taken to a ludicrous level later on. Sunny threatens to DQ Storm because she doesn’t like Dawn Marie (again with the rules!) several times but never does. Countout spot sees Dawn Marie push Sunny to stop the count and then get stripped to bra and panties in return. That’s the cue for everyone to start finisher spamming each other, Sunny to be taken out by the other ref and for him to change the pin before counting 3 for Storm to win. Would like to see Storm/Lynn go in a straight singles match based on this. Probably the best bits of wrestling on the show.
Funk is back, apologies to everyone and says he’s leaving forever.
Justin Credible video package to get ratface over.
Match 4: Dudleys are first out; apparently there’s more than just the two of them and Spike? Who knew! Axl Rotten, having earlier got over the no-chairs stipulation from the state commissioner, says “This is ECW” and throws that out of the window. Expect lots of chairs then. A cheap play to the crowd, but completely makes sense. A solid if unspectacular start before the chairs come out. Almost every shot is hard and to the head. Urgh. I guess at the time Tanaka and Mahoney no selling two shots to the head each in sync was a big mark out moment, but it doesn’t translate well 20 years later. A messy middle with interference from pretty much everyone again before we cut to the end. The Dudleys get two tables out, prep them (after a lot of faffing with cables), but get laid out by RVD and Sabu with the save, putting the Dudleys through. Good air; both went for the far rather than near table; I don’t recall seeing Sabu do anything like that before. Balls covers for the 3 count and they beat the odds to become new tag champions. Again, a mess, but this time a pretty good watch rather than worse for it, chairs aside.
ECW shill their CD yet again (note,at one point they big up the music during an entrance and nothing is playing. I’m assuming it was edited out for rights reasons, but still!)
Match 5 Justin Credible and someone (I only later found out who this was… thought it was a singles match up till this point) come out first before Dreamer introduces Jake the Snake Roberts, in an early 90s Wigan Warriors away shirt. Jake looks a bit worn down; not sure where this fits in relation with his addition problems, but I’m guessing he wasn’t recovering by this point yet. Dreamer and Credible do most of the work early on and put on a solid opening. Hot tag to Roberts and half the locker room come down with a shopping trolley full of weapons. Can barely keep up with who’s doing what for a while, (but more head shots ) but we get a cleanish finish with Jake DDTing Credible onto a ladder. Again, Dreamer vs Credible without everyone else involved would probably have been more watchable overall, but it was still largely enjoyable. I get that ECW wanted to get as many people as possible on the show, but having a Battle Royale with all the weapons and letting the better matches breathe would probably have hooked me in a bit more.
Anyway, for afters, Funk returns and beats down Dreamer. Funk is hands down the best thing on this PPV. Goes after someone in the crowd for some reason, but unfortunately not Man with Whistle, who really needed to be put through a table or something.
Main event: Triple threat out first and they beat down RVD and Sabu during their entrance. A point was made just before that Taz doesn’t particularly like his team mates, but he comes out and makes the save before getting beat down himself. Tbh, kind of losing interest at this point, but enjoyed the referee trying to enforce the rules by giving out at RVD after missing the weakest tag ever by Sabu and then just giving up after 30 seconds. Fortunately the finish isn’t too long in coming: RVD repeatedly splashes Bigalow in the crowd, while Taz lays out Douglas in the ring. Sabu then jumps from the post, nails Taz with a chair and covers Douglas for the win. We finish with the ECW champion burried by another company’s champion, and a messy finish in the biggest PPV of the year. Good booking In fairness, ECW give Taz an opportunity to get some heat back, so it’s not like they’ve burried another company’s championship as well.
As I said above, a mess of a show, but pretty watchable if you ignore the headshots, which tbh are something I’m not surprised to see. The promo videos are a mess and not worth the effort that was probably put into them, but the backsage segments are pretty decent, getting over the points they needed to. Sound is too muddy at points to understand what’s being said, but obviously it’s a bit unfair to give out about production given the cost involved.