Holiday Hell ’95

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Holiday Hell

December 29, 1995

Lost Battalion Hall

Queens, New York City, New York

News & Notes: Mikey Whipwreck lost his ECW Title in a Triple Threat Match against Steve Austin and The Sandman. Austin eliminated Mikey early, but Sandman punched Steve with his own brass knuckles. He then pinned Austin for the win, but Steve’s foot was on the ropes. The ref didn’t see it. Sandman regained his ECW Championship. Mikey transitioned into a feud with 2 Cold Scorpio, while Austin moved on to the WWF. As far as Sandman, he defends his title against the winner of Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer at Holiday Hell.

Holiday Hell is the first time ECW ventured outside of Philly for a big event. It takes place in New York. ECW wanted to headline this event with something exciting, so they promised Cactus Jack vs. Sabu. They hyped the match with footage of their previous feud and promised a deathmatch. The problem is, Cactus still trolled the fans on a regular basis. Something tells me it won’t be so simple.

Open

We see shots of New York City. Rabid fans chant E-C-W. Sandman spits beer on them and a couple of drunks fall into the snow. Joey Styles and Paul Heyman are in the ring. Joey says, “Oh my god! We’re in New York.” Heyman says, “Welcome to New fucking York.”

RichardsMeanie

Joey tries introducing the show, but Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie interrupt. The fans chant derogatory things at them. Styles accuses them of stealing the spotlight. Stevie says all the TV and PPV executives are there to see him. He then insults the fans until Stevie spots Missy Hyatt in the crowd. Missy calls Stevie a clueless putz. Stevie asks if she got the letters he sent her and invites her to his limo. She laughs in his face, but Stevie says he can get her a date with Raven. Missy makes out with Stevie and tells him to give that to Raven. Joey says, “Hey, I know Raven too!” It earns him a laugh from both Missy and me.

TazNak

Taz (w/ Bill Alfonso) vs. Koji Nakagawa

Notes: Nakagawa wrestled in FMW (Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling) in Japan. They were a hardcore promotion, much like ECW. The company was known for their deathmatches. Koji competed in their Junior Heavyweight division. He also adopted a Hitman gimmick modeled after Bret Hart, but he’s not playing that character here. Koji faces Taz, so I don’t think he’s going to have a good time. This match isn’t a showcase for him.

The Match: Alfonso slaps Koji and Taz shoves him. Nakagawa responds by slapping Taz. That was a mistake. Taz suplexes him on his head a few times. Koji attempts knocking Taz off his feet, but he can’t. Taz gives him more suplexes. Then, Fonzie taunts both the fans and Koji. Nakagawa rallies with punches, but Taz gives him a dangerous Half Nelson Suplex. He then puts Koji in the Tazmission (Katahajime/Judo Choke) for the win.

Thoughts: This was a glorified squash to make Taz look strong. It did its job and didn’t overstay its welcome. I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t much of a match.

Winner: Taz (2:34)

Taz holds onto the Tazmission for a little longer before releasing Koji. Alfonso then grabs a mic and threatens to stay in the ring all night. He says no one in New York or the WWF can beat Taz. Then, Taz takes the microphone and insults the fans. He tells them he makes more money in one night than they make in a month. Taz also tells them to fuck off.

SmithHack

Hack Meyers vs. J.T. Smith

Notes: JT still has the Italian gimmick. Big Val isn’t with him, but JT introduces some new family members soon. Joey says JT claimed to be part of his family, but Joey has to check with his grandmother to confirm that. Smith does some stereotypical Italian gestures, so Joey says he has the moves down. Joel Gertner introduces JT from South Philly, but JT corrects him. He says he’s from the Italian section of Brooklyn. JT also makes Gertner call him the Italian Stallion.

The Match: They trade punches and kicks. The fans chant Shah for Hack and shit for Smith. JT then uses a low-blow to take control. They brawl to the floor, and Smith climbs the ropes. Fans expect him to fall, but he lands a flying headbutt. JT then performs a handspring splash and a powerbomb. But, he botches a split-legged moonsault and lands on his head. Hack capitalizes with a top-rope facebuster for the victory.

Thoughts: The fans had fun with this match, but it wasn’t much. It had a good atmosphere, but no substance. It was a time-filler.

Winner: Hack Meyers (4:39)

MikeyScorpio

TV/Tag Team Title Match: Mikey Whipwreck vs. 2 Cold Scorpio (c)

Notes: Since Scorpio holds both the TV and Tag Team Titles, he called himself 2 Gold Scorpio. He defends both titles in this match, much like how he won the tag belts. As with Scorpio, Mikey can choose his own partner if he wins the Tag Team Championships. During the introductions, Scorpio corrects Gertner. He makes him say Scorpio is slim and trim. Styles says the joke is wearing thin, unlike Scorpio.

The Match: They trade holds and reversals. Mikey keeps surprising Scorpio with head scissors and dropkicks. He even lands a slingshot somersault plancha. But, Mikey misses a flying crossbody. Then, Scorpio kicks him low and toys with Whipwreck. Scorp gives him powerbombs and moonsaults, but he keeps stopping his pin attempts. He also spits on Mikey. It motivates him, so Mikey crotches Scorpio and gives him a super frankensteiner. The ref is caught in the melee and Scorpio hits him with a flying splash on accident. This opens the door for Cactus Jack to attack Scorpio with a Double-Arm DDT. Jack places Mikey on top of him for the pin.

Thoughts: I liked the story they told with this match. It made Scorpio look like a dick and made Mikey seem scrappy. There was a bit too much stalling, but it didn’t ruin anything. This was enjoyable on the whole. Plus, I like Cactus Jack interjecting himself into the match. It plays off their history together.

Winner: Mikey Whipwreck (New TV & Tag Team Champion) (11:54)

Cactus lifts Mikey up and hugs him. It confuses Mikey. Cactus declares himself as Whipwreck’s partner. Mikey doesn’t want it. He tries giving the belt back to Scorpio. Cactus attacks Scorpio and gives him a Cactus Clothesline. Joey Styles can’t believe they are the new champions. Neither can Mikey. I love Mikey’s dismay at this set of circumstances.

PitbullsEliminators

The Eliminators (w/ Jason) vs. The Pitbulls (w/ Francine)

Notes: Joey makes fun of Jason’s outfit. I don’t blame him. It is pretty silly. However, he quite enjoys Francine’s look. Gertner introduces Francine as the Pitbulls’ handler. She also called herself the Beastmaster at times. They don’t use that nickname here. All four men and their managers have a stare down in the middle of the ring. It was kind of a cool visual.

The Match: Both teams trade strikes and suplexes. Then, The Eliminators double-team the Pitbulls. Kronus backdrops Saturn over the ropes and onto #2. The problem is, the Pitbulls no-sell much of the offense. This happens a few times during the match. Jason interferes multiple times to try and salvage things. It leads to miscommunication from the Eliminators. The fans chant for blood, so the Pitbulls oblige. They bust open the Eliminators with weapons and even use a toilet brush on them. Both teams also use some cool combination moves. But, the no-selling continues. The Pitbulls land a Superbomb, but Jason distracts the ref. This causes Francine to attack Jason, which distracts #1. The Eliminators use the opening to nail Total Elimination and win.

Thoughts: This started as a fun brawl, but it devolved into no-selling. The match dragged to a halt and limped to a finish. It felt like they ran out of ideas early and started doing random spots. If they trimmed a few minutes and didn’t repeat themselves, it would have been decent. But, it lost its steam and became uninteresting.

Winners: The Eliminators (16:13)

Tommy Dreamer arrives for a match with Raven, but only Stevie, Meanie, and Beulah appear. Joey questions Raven’s whereabouts. Joel Gertner announces there are no count-outs or disqualifications. The winner will face Sandman for the ECW Title later in the night. But, Stevie Richards announces Raven won’t wrestle tonight. He says Raven broke his—leg. Yeah, that’s it. Stevie calls Dreamer Tom-Tom and tells him he has to face The Blue Meanie instead. Dreamer calls that bullshit and insults Raven, so Meanie attacks him.

MeanieDreamer

Tommy Dreamer vs. The Blue Meanie (w/ Beulah McGillicutty)

The Match: The Meanie jumps Tommy and attempts a backdrop. Dreamer turns it into a DDT and pins Meanie for the quick win.

Thoughts: Well, that was short. I can’t call it a match. It was a segment, but it was amusing.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer (0:13)

RichardsDreamer

Tommy Dreamer vs. Stevie Richards (w/ Beulah McGillicutty)

The Match: Stevie then attacks Dreamer with forearms. But, Tommy hits another DDT and pins Richards.

Thoughts: Should I even call it a match? I’m counting it as one. There was a pinfall.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer (0:11)

Beulah jumps in the ring, so Dreamer grabs her. He teases a piledriver until Raven throws the ring steps at him.

RavenDreamer

#1 Contender Match: Raven (w/ Beulah McGillicutty, Stevie Richards, & The Blue Meanie) vs. Tommy Dreamer

The Match: Raven whips Tommy into the rail hard enough to bend it. He then puts Dreamer through a table with a dive. Tommy rallies and hands out DDTs to Raven and Richards. Then, Dreamer uses random weapons the fans hand him. He cuts Raven with a cheese grater. The brawl then moves outside the building. They fight in the snow, but it doesn’t last long. The fans complain they can’t see. When they return, Beulah tries using some hairspray. She hits Raven by mistake. A blind Raven DDTs Richards. Tommy nails his own DDT and puts Raven in a tree of woe. He does ten punches to Raven’s nuts. Tommy also piledrives Raven on a piece of the table. Next, Tommy uses a chair. He hits the ref because Raven pulled him into the path. Richards uses the opening to give Tommy a Stevie Kick. The Meanie also attempts a moonsault, but he misses. But, Raven nails a DDT onto a chair and gets the win.

Thoughts: I like the story of Raven making Dreamer face Richards and Meanie first. Plus, this was a fun little brawl. I enjoyed the brief brawl into the snow. I’m a sucker for unique locations during a match. But, the fans complained they couldn’t see. That kind of fight works better with a screen to show the action. The finish was a bit overbooked, but it fits the story. I didn’t mind it.

Winner: Raven (11:36)

Stevie is more excited than Raven about the victory. He jumps for joy while Raven stumbles down the aisle. He can barely walk after the fight. Joey says Raven must regroup before facing Sandman.

BruiserMatch

Bruiser Mastino vs. El Puerto Riqueño

Notes: Bruiser is the former Mantaur. He wrestles under his original ring name here. I’m disappointed he didn’t use the Mantaur gimmick. The fans recognize him and chant Mantaur sucks. They also beg Bruiser not to eat the poor kid. Styles questions Mastino’s billed weight. He thinks it’s too light, despite being over four hundred pounds.

The Match: El Puerto sticks and moves and tries flooring Mastino. He evades Bruiser until Mastino nails a clothesline and a suplex. He follows that with a belly-to-belly and chokes Puerto. But, Bruiser misses a corner splash. Puerto gives Bruiser missile dropkicks from every corner. However, Mastino catches him on a flying crossbody. He turns it into a powerslam for the win.

Thoughts: This was an uninteresting squash. I’ll give them credit for trying to do something with Mastino. But, he has an uphill battle with the ECW fans. Overcoming that Mantaur gimmick is difficult. On the other hand, El Puerto shows promise. You can tell he has talent. ECW uses him as a jobber. I feel he is a missed opportunity.

Winner: Bruiser Mastino (3:12)

Mastino gives El Puerto another couple of powerslams, so the fans chant for 911. They get their wish. 911 arrives and shoves Mastino. Bruiser throws some ineffective punches. 911 shakes them off and gives Mastino the chokeslam. However, Bill Alfonso jumps in the ring and blows a whistle. He tells 911 he banned the chokeslam. He shoves 911, so Tod Gordon attacks Fonzie. Taz stops 911 from chokeslamming Fonzie. 911 turns his attention to Mastino. Taz has no issue with that, so Bruiser gets another chokeslam. Then, 911 and Taz face off again. Wrestlers arrive to stop the brawl, and 911 starts chokeslamming anyone that gets in his way.

RichardsPromo

Finally, everyone except the Dudleys and Richards and the Blue Meanie leaves. The Meanie and Richards dance. Buh-Buh and the rest of the Dudley clan enter the arena. Buh-Buh shows them how it’s done. He shows off his moves in Meanie’s face and slaps him. But, Richards has enough. He tells Buh-Buh Raven won’t be happy. Buh-Buh tries saying his name and stutters, so Stevie slaps him. Richards then mocks Buh-Buh’s stutter. He tells Buh-Buh he has to beat the Blue Meanie or Raven will fire him. Buh-Buh tells Stevie fuck him and his Meanie.

BubbaMeanie

Buh-Buh Ray Dudley (w/ The Dudleys) vs. The Blue Meanie (w/ Stevie Richards)

The Match: The Meanie jumps Buh-Buh and surprises everyone by nailing his moonsault! But, Buh-Buh powers out of the pin attempt. He then attempts a Buh-Buh Bomb. Big Dick Dudley smacks Buh-Buh with his crutch. He has to remind him Meanie is too heavy to powerbomb. Buh-Buh uses a slam instead and lands a flying headbutt for the win.

Thoughts: This wasn’t much of a bout, but I found the Buh-Buh Bomb spot amusing. Big Dick smacking Buh-Buh with the crutch was funny. They’re doing a good job making Buh-Buh a lovable goof. It’s strange compared to what his character becomes in the future.

Winner: Buh-Buh Ray Dudley (1:10)

The Dudleys attack the Meanie after the match. Buh-Buh gives him a flying splash. Richards pretends he knew Buh-Buh could do it. He tells the Dudleys they’re great. He says, “I love Big Dick. I really do.” He even says the Meanie doesn’t mean shit to him. The Dudleys don’t believe a word. They wave him off and leave the arena. Stevie plays it off by saying Raven wants to talk to them. Once he’s sure they’re gone, he hugs Meanie. Stevie was great in this segment.

SandmanRaven

ECW Title Match: The Sandman (c) (w/ Woman) vs. Raven (w/ Beulah McGillicutty & Stevie Richards)

Notes: Rumors spread that Woman signed with WCW. They said she would manage Randy Savage. Joey Styles used the rumors to mock WCW’s hotline. He told viewers to call the Extreme Hotline for details. The thing is, she did sign with them. Woman returns to the company in a month. During the entrances, Styles changes his tune on Sandman as ECW champion. He admits Sandman epitomizes ECW. Also, Richards grabs the ECW title and poses with it. He hands it back to the ref when Sandman looks, but he noticed. Sandman spits beer in Richards’ face. Richards responds by grabbing a beer and drinking it, but he hates the taste.

The Match: They brawl to the floor and fight on and around the rail. Sandman drapes Raven on it and grazes him with a diving leg drop. The fight returns to the floor a couple of times. Sandman even dives over the rail and whacks Raven with his cane. Sandman then uses a couple of slingshot moves. He misses a leg drop but hits a crossbody. Then, Sandman puts Raven through a table. They fight with the pieces and Sandman whips Raven around the ring. However, they knock out the ref when he’s caught in a double-clothesline. Richards interferes, so Woman canes him. She also canes Raven, but he absorbs the shots. Sandman stops it until Tommy Dreamer appears. He canes everyone! Tommy then piledrives Beulah and leaves. Raven and Sandman recover and trade punches. But, Cactus Jack arrives! He helps his mentor Raven by giving Sandman a DDT. Sandman kicks out of the pin. He then blocks Raven’s superplex and lands a top-rope bulldog for the victory.

Thoughts: This was a sloppy brawl with an overbooked finish. There were a couple of good things, but it was a mess. It felt like there were too many storylines interwoven into the match. They tried furthering three different feuds in the closing minutes. That’s fine for a TV segment, but this is an ECW Title Match on a big event.

Winner: Sandman (13:16)

PEGangstas

The Gangstas vs. The Public Enemy

Notes: They originally booked this as Public Enemy vs. The Heavenly Bodies. Raven hired the Bodies to take out friends of Tommy Dreamer, which included Public Enemy. However, Dr. Tom Prichard returned to the WWF. Styles says Prichard totally flipped. He promises the fans will get that joke in a couple of weeks. He’s referencing Prichard’s new name, but that changes before he appears on TV. I’ll explain more in a later review. Since the Bodies are no more, Public Enemy doesn’t know their opponents. But, the Gangstas’ music plays and they rush the ring. Styles says the Public Enemy thought they ran the Gangstas out of ECW.

The Match: They break into pairs and brawl. New Jack uses a noose on Grunge. Then, the fans supply random weapons. They use boom boxes and trash can lids. New Jack even attacks with a fork. Then, Jack rams Grunge into pieces of wood and a chair. Mustafa gets a near fall with a powerslam, but the brawling continues. The Public Enemy uses a cane and frying pans before introducing a table. They put Mustafa on it, and Rocco does a moonsault. The table doesn’t break, so Saed recovers. New Jack brawls with Grunge while Saed puts Rocco through the table. But, The Public Enemy answers with frying pans. They hit the Drive-By, so New Jack distracts the ref. Rocco complains and New Jack hits Rock with a chair. Mustafa then rolls him up for the win.

Thoughts: This was mindless brawling. There was little selling and no flow. It was spots and weapon shots. The Public Enemy barely sold the finish. They recovered before Gertner finished his announcement. It felt like they went through the motions. It wasn’t good.

Winners: The Gangstas (8:26)

After the match, fans chant you sold out at Public Enemy. They knew the team signed with WCW. They chanted please don’t go before the match. The fans are sending mixed signals.

MainEvent

Sabu vs. Cactus Jack

Notes: Cactus takes the mic before the match. He says WCW sucks and kisses up to the New York crowd. Jack says he’s a New Yorker. He also tells the story of making a fan’s dream come true. Cactus says he will do it again because they are having an Olympic Rules Match! Cactus introduces referee Pee-Wee Moore. He explains the rules. He will award two points for a takedown and a point for escapes. Stalling results in point deductions. The match has to take place in the ring and strikes and weapons are not allowed. This was a great way to troll the crowd. Cactus made them think he was on their side and then shot them down. Cactus does jumping jacks and other exercises while the ref explains the rules. However, 911 arrives and chokeslams Pee-Wee. 911 says this isn’t Olympic-style wrestling. He wants to see a fight, and he’s the ref.

The Match: Sabu grabs a chair and tries using it, but Cactus regroups. He then flusters Jack with a somersault plancha and a diving leg drop. Sabu also nails a springboard wheel kick. But, Cactus elbows Sabu when he bounces off a chair. Cactus hesitates, but he gives in to the urge. He uses the chair. Jack lands two Double-Arm DDTs. One is on the chair, but neither gets a three count. Jack even uses the chair to do a Cactus Elbow. He also bites Sabu. Jack then attempts a Cactus Clothesline only to end up in a hangman spot. Sabu continues attacking. He hurts himself a few times on the rail and a table. He puts Jack through the table, but Sabu is worse for the wear. Sabu then uses more chair-assisted offense to his own detriment. He nails an Atomic Arabian Facebuster, but Jack kicks out of the pin. Cactus tries slamming Sabu, but Sabu hooks the ropes and falls on him for the pin.

Thoughts: This was a fun chaotic brawl. It had the Sabu craziness with a bit more structure of a Cactus Jack match. Plus, Cactus’ pre-match antics were amusing. It was enjoyable and violent. I felt a bit bad for Sabu. He looked like he was in pain by the end of the match. That’s Sabu for you. He probably hurt himself more than his opponent.

Winner: Sabu (12:59)

The Good:

  • Stevie Richards was entertaining.

  • Cactus Jack’s antics were great.

  • Mikey/Scorpio was fun.

  • The main event was solid.

The Bad:

  • A few of the matches were filler.

  • Pitbulls/Eliminators was bad.

  • Public Enemy/Gangstas was a mess.

  • Sandman/Raven was disappointing.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Stevie Richards. He amused me a few times on this show. He was the highlight.

Final Thoughts:

This wasn’t great. There were a few good things and some entertaining performances. But, the bad outweighed the good. The show as a whole felt like a chore. It did have a good atmosphere, but most ECW events have that. It was a step down from the previous couple of ECW events.

Thank you for reading. My next review is ECW House Party ’96. Look for it next Sunday!

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