(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
January 5, 1996
News & Notes: Not much changed since Holiday Hell, so the intro will be brief. House Party centers around the Public Enemy. They signed with WCW and this is their final show. The ECW fans chanted please don’t go at them ever since they heard the news. Say what you will about the fanbase, but they are fiercely loyal.
The program opens with a TV-MA warning. (I need an adult! Wait, I am an adult.) What they should have warned us about is the return of the clip-art graphics. Look at the state of that mess! It’s a Trapper Keeper come to life.
Joey Styles is in the ring. He tries introducing the show, but Bill Alfonso interrupts him. He blows a whistle and grabs the mic. Alfonso says he hates Joey, Tod Gordon, and 1976 ECW. I have no clue why Fonzie thinks it’s 1976 or why he hates that year. Bill then complains about Joey not interviewing Taz. Joey tells him to stop ruining the party. He also tells Bill to shut up and leave. They argue until Taz arrives. Taz threatens Joey, so the fans chant for Sabu. Taz tells them he isn’t coming. However, 911 and Tod Gordon appear. Tod attacks Fonzie while 911 and Taz get in each other’s faces. The officials and some wrestlers stop the fight. El Puerto Riqueño stays in the ring after everyone leaves, so Taz gives him a Tazplex.
Styles tells him to stop, so Taz threatens him again. 911 returns and pulls Taz off Joey. The Eliminators and Jason then show up and attack 911. Joey returns to the announce booth while The Eliminators give 911 Total Elimination. They continue the beating until Rey Mysterio Jr. comes to 911’s aid. He dives off the ropes, but Kronus catches him and hits a powerslam.
911 & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. The Eliminators (w/ Jason)
The Match: There was no announcement, but this is an official match. Rey utilizes some misses and miscommunications to surprise the Eliminators. He keeps them at bay with head scissors, and arm drags. But, they dump Rey to the floor and attack him. Taz neutralizes 911 by choking him with a towel. Rey fends off the Eliminators with weapons, but they retake control. When 911 shows life, Taz chokes him again and the Eliminators give him Total Elimination. Rey rallies with a Double-DDT and then climbs onto 911’s shoulders. The Eliminators decide to do the same, and the teams have a chicken fight. Rey dives off 911 and gives Saturn a hurricanrana for the victory.
Thoughts: This was a fun and chaotic way to begin the show. The match had some fun spots and a unique finish. I enjoyed this. The crowd was hot for this match. It did a good job of starting the event with a bang. Also, I like the big man/little man dynamic of 911 and Rey. They could be a good team.
Winners: 911 & Mysterio (6:49)
The Eliminators attack after the match. They give Rey Total Elimination, so The Pitbulls run to the ring. They brawl with the Eliminators while Francine jumps on Jason. But, The Eliminators use a low-blow. Then, they hit Total Elimination on Francine, which horrifies Joey Styles. The Pitbulls check on her, so Jason hits them with a chair. They press slam Jason to the floor. The medical staff then carry Francine on a stretcher. It’s comical how quickly they pull her from the ring. I’m pretty sure medics wouldn’t be that reckless.
Rob Van Dam vs. Axl Rotten
Notes: This is RVD’s debut. His real name is Rob Szatkowski. He chose the ring name because of his resemblance to Jean-Claude Van Damme. He is a far cry from what he becomes, but he does have the martial-arts style and high-flying moves. The weed smoking and arrogant grandstanding come later. RVD trained under the Original Sheik along with Sabu. That history and friendship lead to them teaming in the future.
The Match: RVD keeps Axl at bay with some kicks until Axl regroups. Then, Van Dam uses his athleticism to evade Rotten. He flips over him and around him. RVD even throws in a backflip while giving Axl shoulder blocks. Axl answers with headbutts and clubbing blows. He also turns RVD inside-out with a clothesline. But, Axl misses a flying elbow. RVD capitalizes with a not quite five-star flying splash and a somersault plancha. Van Dam then follows that with a flying kick and a standing moonsault. Axl rallies with more punches, but he misses a corner splash. RVD then slams Axl and lands a split-legged moonsault for the win.
Thoughts: This did a good job showcasing RVD’s moves, but Axl controlled too much of it. A more decisive victory is better for a debut. It was fun nonetheless. I’m glad to see RVD. He is one of my favorites.
Winner: RVD (6:11)
TV Title Match: 2 Cold Scorpio (w/ Woman) vs. Mikey Whipwreck (c)
Notes: Scorpio jaws with fans and dances with an older woman. He flips off a few people while Styles recaps the feud. Scorpio blamed Cactus Jack’s interference for his loss at Holiday Hell. Styles says Scorpio could four-peat as TV Champion if he wins tonight. Joey also clarifies the Tag Titles aren’t on the line in this match. It is only for the TV Title. Scorpio gets in Mikey’s face during his entrance. They trade slaps. Scorpio grabs a mic and tells Mikey Cactus Jack won’t save him tonight. Mikey says if he wants the belt so badly, he will give it to him. He then clocks Scorpio with it. On a side note, Mikey’s team with Cactus makes him a fringe member of Raven’s Nest. That will play into this match.
The Match: Scorpio shakes off Mikey’s attack and gives him a press slam. However, Whipwreck surprises Scorpio with crossbodies and dropkicks. Mikey also nails a slingshot somersault plancha to the outside. Scorpio uses eye-pokes and low-blows to regain control. He then uses a chair. Scorpio gives Mikey a facebuster into it, but he starts toying with the man again. Mikey rallies and puts Scorpio in a surfboard stretch. It’s not enough. Scorpio hits a moonsault, a superplex, and a twisting splash. He stops his pin attempt each time. Whipwreck takes advantage of the hubris. He lands a Tornado DDT and a super Frankenmikey. (That’s what Styles calls the Frankensteiner when Whipwreck does it.) Scorpio responds with a superkick and a super back suplex, but he clips the ref. While the ref is out cold, Raven enters the ring. He feigns attacking Scorpio only to give Mikey a DDT instead. Scorpio then nails a powerbomb and a Scorpio Splash for the win.
Thoughts: This match dragged at times, but it wasn’t bad. It had some good storytelling. Scorpio continues looking like a dick for toying with Mikey. Plus, Raven’s treatment of Mikey furthers Whipwreck’s woes. This is his life with Cactus Jack as a partner. I enjoyed this for the most part.
Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio (New Champion) (16:47)
After the bout, Scorpio grabs a mic. He tells everyone to come get some because Scorpio is TV Champion again. He then poses for some pictures with his belt.
Taz (w/ Bill Alfonso) vs. Hack Meyers
Notes: Meyers throws Joel Gertner out of his chair for no reason. It was amusing, especially when you see the look on Joel’s face. Meanwhile, Bill Alfonso taunts the Philly fans by wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey. Joey laments what happened earlier with Taz. He says they used to be friends. Joey puts over Taz for being intimidating. He says he feared for his life. 911 saved him by stopping Taz’s attack.
The Match: Taz takes Hack to the mat with some holds, but Meyers reaches the ropes. Hack keeps using Shah punches and elbows, but Taz answers with suplexes and judo throws. He nails Hack with a t-bone, a German suplex, and a Tazplex. Hack can’t rally. Taz puts him in the Tazmission, and Meyers submits. Taz doesn’t release the hold until Fonzie confirms the victory.
Thoughts: This did a great job making Taz look like a killer. They picked a good opponent because the crowd cheered Hack. Plus, it’s impressive for Taz to beat someone bigger than him. This did exactly what it needed to do.
Winner: Taz (3:41)
After the bell, Taz grabs a mic. Fonzie attacks Hack while the ref pulls Meyers out of the ring. It disgusts Joey Styles. Fonzie then blows the whistle until the fans quiet. Taz says Sabu is hiding in the back. He also says it’s the beginning of the end for anyone that gets in their way. Taz tells everyone to fuck off.
Buh-Buh Ray Dudley (w/ The Dudleys) vs. Jimmy Del Ray (w/ Mr. Hughes)
Notes: Raven hired the Heavenly Bodies to take out his enemies. The Bodies faced the Public Enemy in a match. They had a few stipulations if the Bodies lost. One stipulation stated Beulah must spend a week with Tommy Dreamer. (Remember that. It comes into play later.) The feud continued until Tom Prichard returned to the WWF. He left Del Ray behind. Now, they tasked Jimmy with punishing Buh-Buh for his actions at Holiday Hell. Mr. Hughes also returned and manages Jimmy for this match. Buh-Buh has the Dudley clan with him. Sign Guy has a giant bed sheet proclaiming himself as the one and only hardcore sign guy. Buh-Buh takes a mic and stutters while saying his name, so Del Ray dropkicks him.
The Match: They clipped this match, so I will cover what they showed. They trade punches until Buh-Buh nails a dropkick. He then dances. It cuts to Del Ray choking Buh-Buh on the ropes. However, Buh-Buh nails Jimmy with a corner splash. Dudley argues with the ref about the count, but he keeps stuttering. Del Ray uses the opening to kick Buh-Buh low. He then gives Buh-Buh a Tornado DDT. The match clips again and we see Buh-Buh attempting the Buh-Buh Bomb. Hughes distracts him, but Dudley hits a DDT for the victory.
Thoughts: It’s hard to tell if it was good. What I saw didn’t look bad. I think these two could have a decent match. I can’t judge it based on the little we saw. If they insisted on clipping a match, this was the correct one.
Winner: Buh-Buh Ray Dudley (N/A)
Hughes attacks, so Buh-Buh gives him a flying splash. Hughes recovers and grabs a mic. He tells Buh-Buh he has something for him. He knows someone that can teach Buh-Buh proper English. It’s—Shane Douglas.
Douglas says he’s been in purgatory the last six months. He says some things need fixing around ECW. The fans chant Dean is dead. It amuses Shane. He calls himself the world’s greatest wrestler and English teacher. Shane tells Buh-Buh he will teach him proper English and then slaps him. Douglas declares the franchise is back and then leaves the ring.
Next, Joey says he has no choice but to introduce Dancing Stevie Richards. Stevie, Meanie, and Beulah enter the ring. Joey gives Richards credit for making out with Missy Hyatt. Stevie says from this day forward, he’s Studly Stevie Richards. He claims Missy is hot for his trot and warm for his form. He also says he’s the only American Male because he’s better than Bagwell and Riggs. Joey accuses Stevie of wasting their time. Stevie doesn’t care. He says Raven got drunk over the holidays, so Stevie showed Beulah some love. He asks for a kiss, but Beulah doesn’t want to be touched. The reason why is she’s pregnant! Raven rushes the ring and yells at her for not taking her birth control. Beulah asks why he cares because it’s not his. Raven attacks Stevie, but she tells him to stop. It’s not Stevie’s baby—it’s Tommy’s! (I didn’t know you could impregnate someone with piledrivers.) Raven threatens her, so Dreamer runs to the ring. He attacks everyone and Beulah joins him. Dreamer uses various weapons on Raven, including a stop sign hidden in a fan’s sign. He then piledrives Raven on a blueberry pie. (Yes, I’m serious. He took it from a fan.) The segment ends with Tommy and Beulah hugging. Heyman sure loves his cheating storylines. I’m unsure what his obsession is with them.
ECW Title Match: The Sandman (c) (w/ Woman) vs. Konnan
Notes: This is Konnan’s final match in ECW. He’s another name WCW signed. It’s fitting they gave him a feud with Sandman. Pitting ECW’s top star against one of Mexico’s biggest names makes ECW’s champion look strong. During the entrance, Joey jokes Sandman could represent pro-wrestling in the ’96 Olympics. Joey imagines Sandman’s training regiment of beer and cigarettes. Sandman’s ability to down an entire beer in seconds impresses Joey.
The Match: Konnan flusters Sandman early with mat holds. He keeps getting the better of him until Sandman regroups. The Sandman answers with punches and elbows, but Konnan uses takedowns and roll-ups. Sandman gets the advantage when they brawl on the floor. He uses the guardrail and a fan’s chair. Sandman also busts open an old wound on Konnan’s head. Then, Sandman introduces a table into the mix. He tries putting Konnan through it with a superplex, but Konnan reverses it. Woman canes Konnan to stop his onslaught. He stops her, so she slaps him. Sandman uses the opening to attack with the cane. But, Mysterio arrives and gives Konnan his own cane. Konnan and Sandman then have a duel. They hit each other with canes until both men collapse. Woman helps the Sandman rise before the ten-count, so he wins.
Thoughts: This was sloppy at times, but I enjoyed it. I liked the story of Konnan trying to tire him with wrestling. Sandman answered with brawling. Plus, I loved that finish. They worked within Sandman’s limitations as well as possible. That was a unique way to end the match without Konnan looking weak.
Winner: Sandman (14:01)
Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Stevie Richards (w/ The Blue Meanie)
Notes: Stevie tries mocking Sabu during his entrance. He runs around the ring with his finger in the air, but he slips and falls. Styles calls him a clueless putz. Stevie also shoves the ring announcer. He complains, so Meanie mocks him. But, Stevie bails when Sabu arrives.
The Match: Stevie evades Sabu and regroups, but he makes the mistake of putting a chair in the ring. Sabu uses it. He bounces off the chair and nails wheel kicks and leg drops. Sabu also uses slingshot moves. Richards surprises Sabu with a Stevie Bomb, but Sabu knocks Stevie off the ropes. The Meanie senses trouble, so he attacks Sabu a few times. Sabu fends off the interference and tries using a table. Richards moves and Sabu crashes through it. Then, the Meanie attacks again when Stevie is in trouble. Richards nails another Stevie Bomb and a flying fist drop. Meanie interjects again, so Paul E. has enough. He attacks the Meanie. Dangerously then returns Stevie to the ring, but Richards gets a foot on the rope. Stevie also uses a Stevie Kick. But, Sabu recovers and lands a DDT. Paul E. gives Sabu a chair and he hits the Atomic Arabian Facebuster for the victory.
Thoughts: This was very enjoyable. I was surprised at the amount of offense Stevie got. They told a good story of him using the Meanie to gain an advantage. Stevie got a chance to shine and looked good. I guess Heyman enjoyed Richards’ performance at Holiday Hell as much as I did. You can tell he wanted to showcase Stevie in this match.
Winner: Sabu (14:31)
Stevie can barely stand, so Meanie carries him down the aisle. The fans applaud Stevie for his performance, but they chant Sabu’s name.
Street Fight: The Public Enemy vs. The Gangstas
Notes: Joey acknowledges this is Public Enemy’s final appearance. They’re heading to WCW. They dance with the fans during their entrance. Joey says Grunge swings a mean chair, but he can’t dance. Grunge grabs a microphone. He asks the fans if they are ready for the best? He claims the ECW Arena is the house they built. The fans chant you’ll be back. Joey agrees. Rocco then says they will never take the ECW out of them. Then, the Gangstas arrive. New Jack gives Public Enemy a message to send to Harlem Heat in WCW. Jack says he saw Santa Claus, and he called Sister Sherri a Ho Ho Ho.
The Match: They go straight to brawling. New Jack pairs with Grunge while Mustafa fights Rocco. Both teams take turns using an iron on each other. They also throw pies. (Why did the fans bring pies to this show? Was it a theme?) Then, Public Enemy grabs a table. They put Mustafa through it with a Drive-By. New Jack and Grunge then fight into the crowd. Meanwhile, Mustafa decides to do some wrestling. He uses a Spinning Toe Hold and a Figure Four on Rocco. This is a stark contrast to New Jack and Grunge. They whip each other into the walls and dive off the eagle’s nest. This continues until everyone returns to the ring. Saed puts Rocco on a table and does a Vader Bomb. But, he hurts himself. The Public Enemy answer with chairs and sodas. Rocco uses another table on Mustafa, but he recovers. The Public Enemy then fends off New Jack long enough to give Mustafa a Drive-By for the win.
Thoughts: This was their usual mindless brawling. But, they used enough fun spots to keep it from getting boring. For a Public Enemy/Gangstas fight, it wasn’t bad. It helps the crowd was hot for it. I didn’t mind it. It was what it was.
Winners: Public Enemy (13:41)
After the fight, Rocco thanks the fans for their support. He says he wouldn’t dive off balconies if the fans didn’t inspire them. He invites them and wrestlers to join them for one last dance. Then, they show a montage of Public Enemy’s promos and matches.
The opener was fun.
Stevie Richards had another great performance.
There was some good storytelling on the show.
It’s nice to see RVD.
I liked the finish of Sandman/Konnan.
Buh-Buh/Del Ray was clipped.
Performer of the Night:
I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m giving it to Stevie Richards again. That’s two shows in a row! He was entertaining and he had a good match.
This was a return to form after Holiday Hell. I enjoyed this event. There were good matches and story work. Plus, it had a great atmosphere. I would call this a very solid outing for ECW. It is a good way to start ’96. This is a pivotal year for the company. Many of their more memorable moments happen. Some of them are good and some of them aren’t.
Thank you for reading. My next review is WWF Royal Rumble ’96. Look for it next Sunday!
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