(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
Massacre on Queens Blvd.
April 13, 1996
Lost Battalion Hall
Queens, New York City, New York
News & Notes: ECW had many feuds going at the time, but they held off on some of the bigger matches. This event focused on building some of those rivalries instead of blowing them off. (A Three-Way Dance between ECW’s top tag teams headlines this show. Also, Raven defends the ECW Title against Damien 666.) The main issue existed between Raven, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, and Shane Douglas. Everyone gunned for Raven’s ECW title. Raven claimed he suffered from gout. His rivals promised to give him a reason for his foot pain. Sandman and Dreamer argued about who would injure Raven. Douglas used the opening to do it himself. He broke Raven’s ankle with a chair. Raven’s doctor compared it to Humpty Dumpty. He got it fixed and continued wrestling with a special boot. Raven got a measure of revenge by adding a new member to his entourage. Prime Time Brian Lee (the former fake Undertaker) joined the Bruise Brothers in beating up Tommy Dreamer. Meanwhile, Raven also had relationship issues. He threatened Beulah, so Kimona tried intervening. Raven slapped her for doing so. Kimona stuck with him, but there is tension.
The other primary feud involves the Tag Team Titles. The Gangstas complained they only received one tag title match since joining ECW. They turned their focus to the Eliminators. Saturn & Kronus said they’d rather kill the Gangstas on the spot than return to the hood. They tried doing just that. The Eliminators sandwiched New Jack between two tables and gave him Total Elimination. Damage Control wheeled New Jack out on a stretcher. The Gangstas are part of the Three-Way Dance main event, but they also want revenge on the Eliminators.
In other news, Brian Pillman continued making appearances. He used his lawyer and his agent to secure time on ECW TV. Pillman started his own 1-900 number fans could call. (I can only imagine what he talked about on it.) He even appeared in the crowd on Nitro with a sign for the hotline. On ECW TV, Pillman antagonized Shane Douglas. Brian also did vignettes mocking WCW executives. In one of them, Brian worked as a chef. He made a salad for WCW employee Gary Juster. Brian spat in it.
Affiliate of the Week:
Joey welcomes everyone to the show while JT Smith and Damien Stone enter the arena. Styles says the New York athletic commission worried about the name of this event. (I don’t think ECW plans on massacring anyone.) Then, Joey insults Smith’s gimmick. As a man with Italian heritage, Joey doesn’t like JT Smith’s shtick. JT drags the Italian flag around and drapes it over Joel Gertner’s shoulders. Smith then says he discovered his Italian cousin in ECW. It’s Little Guido, Damien Stone. Stone doesn’t believe it until JT tells him he’s from Sicily. That’s enough for Damien. He greets his cousin with a traditional kiss on each cheek. Styles can’t believe it. (This is the beginnings of the Full Blooded Italians.)
JT Smith & Little Guido Damien Stone vs. Buh-Buh Ray Dudley & Big Dick Dudley (w/ The Dudleys)
Notes: Big Dick finally returns to action. The Dudleys wheel D.W. to the ring on a stretcher because The Headhunters injured his ribs. Little Guido keeps taunting the Dudleys while Gertner introduces them. Buh-Buh then tries saying his own name. He stutters a few times until a new Dudley enters the ring. He is the first African-American member of the family. His name is D-Von Dudley. He screams at his brothers and reminds them of who they are. Then, He gives Smith & Guido the Dudley commandments. Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not kill. And, thou shall not fuck with the Dudleys! D-Von then attacks Stone and takes him to the floor.
The Match: D-Von wears out Guido with a chair. Buh-Buh fights JT. He gives Smith a sidewalk slam and a corner splash. But, Buh-Buh dives at him and misses. JT capitalizes with a handspring splash. D-Von sees it and stops the pin with a chair. He then proceeds to attack Smith & Stone. D-Von breaks the chair over them. He needs a new weapon, so D-Von grabs Big Dick’s crutch. He then hits everyone, including the ref. D-Von is out of control. He continues beating referee Pee-Wee Moore until the officials call for the bell.
Thoughts: This wasn’t much of a bout, but it’s a great way to debut D-Von. He’s there to make the Dudleys a bit more serious. They established his character with one short segment. It did exactly what it needed to do, and the crowd loved it. Plus, it’s a hot way to open the show.
Winners: JT Smith & Damien Stone (by DQ) (3:46)
Hack Meyers vs. Billy Black
Notes: Billy Black looks like a rejected member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is one half of a tag team named The Dark Riders. His partner is the future Bull Buchanan wrestling as The Stud/The Punisher. However, this isn’t a tag match. Black flies solo. He faces The Shah Hack Meyers. Black attacks Meyers as he enters the ring and chokes him with his chain and his vest.
The Match: Black continues choking Meyers and sends him to the floor. He hits a flying axehandle and uses more chokes and knees. Hack fires back with Shah punches and returns the axehandle favor. He then whips Billy clear over the railing. (It was an impressive bump.) When they return to the ring, they trade suplexes. Black then does a flying bulldog, but Hack bumps late. (It’s not quite Jackie Gayda-level bad, but it wasn’t good.) They try regaining their composure by doing a body scissors spot. Black then nails a wheel kick, but he misses a moonsault. Hack answers with elbows and an apron leg drop. Then, Meyers ends the match with a top-rope facebuster.
Thoughts: Black is surprisingly agile for his size. I saw some of his work on ECW TV, and he’s not bad. The problem is, these two don’t have chemistry. The match showed promise, but it was awkward. Black took some good bumps. It’s a shame they botched a couple of moves. They lost the crowd when they did. You could tell the match frustrated Hack.
Winner: Hack Meyers (6:01)
Tag Team Title Match: The Eliminators (c) vs. El Puerto Riqueño & Joel Hartgood
Notes: As I said earlier, the Eliminators are feuding with the Gangstas. This match is filler until they’re ready for the big showdown. You can tell this is going to be a squash within seconds. The Eliminators attack both men the second they enter the ring.
The Match: The Eliminators give both men suplexes and kicks. Then, they perform stereo-Lionsaults. Saturn & Kronus follow that with chair-assisted Doomsday Devices to their opponents. (Joey says the challengers are doomed.) Then, the Eliminators end it with Total Elimination to both men. They make stereo-pins and the ref counts both of them.
Thoughts: Poor Puerto & Hartgood. They didn’t get any offense. This was the very definition of a squash. They did it to set up the post-match antics. This was what it was. There’s not much else to say.
Winners: The Eliminators (2:08)
Saturn grabs a mic and calls out the Gangstas. The Eliminators face the wrong direction because the Gangstas emerge from the crowd. New Jack has a trash can full of weapons. The Gangstas music continues playing while they beat up the Eliminators. New Jack hits them with anything he finds. The locker room empties as wrestlers try stopping the melee. The fans chant let them go. A cop in street clothes is part of the group. New Jack attacks him, so they put the Gangstas in cuffs. Joey says New Jack wasn’t out of jail for a month. The fans chant bullshit as they drag the Gangstas away from the ring. (This did a great job building hype for an Eliminators/Gangstas match.)
ECW Title Match: Raven (c) (w/ Stevie Richards, The Blue Meanie, & Kimona Wanalaya) vs. Damien 666
Notes: Damien wrestled in AAA in Mexico and FMW in Japan. While in Japan, he adopted this devilish gimmick. He wears face paint instead of a traditional Lucha mask. They gave him the nickname of La Bestia del Apocalipsis (Beast of the Apocalypse). Heyman brought him into ECW to face Raven. Before the match, a female fan jumps the Meanie. (She appeared on TV as a supposed admirer of the Meanie. To each their own, I guess.) She doesn’t attack him. She tries making a sundae out of him. (Both Joey and I find it gross.) Raven doesn’t like it either. He threatens her, so Kimona takes exception. Raven slaps her too. Stevie looks angry, but he decides to kick Kimona. Stevie says that’s what happens to people who upset Raven. They have to deal with Dancing Stevie Richards. Stevie then calls Damien a funny boy. He says a few vaguely racist things to Damien thinking he can’t understand. Damien flips him off and yells fuck you!
The Match: They trade shoulder blocks and takedowns before Damien uses a DDT. Damien then sends Raven to the floor and uses flying crossbodies to take out Raven and his crew. Raven responds by whipping Damien over the rail a few times. But, Damien fights back with a chair. He hits an Arabian Facebuster and returns to using crossbodies. Then, Raven pushes Damien off the top rope. He also starts attacking Damien’s balls. Damien returns that favor and nails a wheel kick. He calls for a chair, but Raven gets it. However, Raven misses. Damien uses the weapon before landing a moonsault and a diving headbutt. He attempts another one, but Raven catches him with a powerbomb. Raven then hits a DDT for the win.
Thoughts: This was a decent match. It was fun at times, but it felt rushed. It didn’t have time to gain any momentum. Damien did some cool spots and the crowd reacted well to him. But, I wanted a longer match with a flow to it. As it stands, it was okay but abrupt.
Winner: Raven (8:30)
Shane Douglas comes to the ring and grabs a mic. He calls the WrestleMania main event a shit match. He mocks Shawn Michaels and invites him to come to ECW. But, he says Shawn won’t do it. The ECW fans see through Shawn’s shit gimmick. Shane says he came to ECW to face the toughest sons of bitches in the sport. Shane wants a match. RVD broke his wrist, so he can’t face him. Shane mocks Flair, Hogan, Razor Ramon, and Shawn again. He calls out anyone from the locker room. The Blue Meanie runs to the ring and poses like Shawn Michaels. Shane isn’t impressed. He doesn’t want the Meanie. He wants Raven. He doesn’t get him. But, Axl Rotten runs to the ring. Axl attacks Meanie with a barbed-wire bat. Axl calls the Meanie fat. He also says he wants to prove himself tonight. He slaps Douglas to get his attention.
Shane Douglas vs. Axl Rotten
The Match: They brawl in and out of the ring. Axl has the advantage early. He whips Shane into the rail multiple times. When they return to the ring, Shane fires back with punches and chops. Axl then locks Shane in chinlocks and an abdominal stretch. He focuses on Douglas’ back, but Axl misses a flying splash. Shane also—blocks a DDT? (Was that a botch?) Shane follows with a leg whip before they fight to the floor again. Shane lands a crossbody and uses a chair. But, Axl knocks the chair into Shane’s face. However, Shane recovers and gives Axl a belly-to-belly for the victory.
Thoughts: The amount of offense Axl got surprised me. Shane gave him a chance to shine. It was mostly punches and headbutts, but there were a couple of good spots. The ending was a bit abrupt. They didn’t build to it. I wanted to like this, but it fell flat. One thing it did well is it made Axl look strong. I will give them credit for that.
Winner: Shane Douglas (6:55)
After the match, Shane grabs a mic and gives Axl credit. Douglas said he wanted competition like that in the WWF. He tells Rotten he respects him and applauds the effort.
Hardcore Shoot Fight: Taz (w/ Bill Alfonso & Team Taz) vs. Chris Jericho (w/ Tod Gordon)
Notes: This isn’t Jericho’s ECW debut. He was on a previous event, but the WWE network cut it. At this point, Jericho trained in Calgary with the Harts. He also worked in Mexico, Europe, and Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Jericho adopted the Lionheart nickname in Mexico. He uses it here. Heyman brought him into ECW to give him more American exposure. He faced Taz on TV. The ref tried stopping the match when Jericho landed on his neck. But, Chris wanted to continue. Taz choked him out with the Tazmission and refused to release it. Taz comes to the ring with Fonzie and some of Taz’s students from his dojo. One of them is a wrestler named Mako. Gertner announces this is a Shoot Fight. (It can only end by knockout or submission.) The referee is a judo champion named Tom Delevano. Joel also says Tod Gordon will handcuff himself to Bill Alfonso to prevent interference.
The Match: Jericho throws kicks before they trade holds and takedowns. Taz dumps Chris on his head again and puts him in some amateur mat holds. Then, Jericho flips through a German suplex and returns the favor on the mat. They reverse through another German suplex attempt until Jericho succeeds. Meanwhile, Mako knocks out Jim Molineaux and takes the key to Fonzie’s cuffs. Jericho accidentally hits Delevano with a kick. (We don’t see it because they focused on Mako.) Fonzie uses the opening to clock Chris with a chair. Taz then puts Jericho in the Tazmission and Delevano calls for the bell.
Thoughts: This was more of a storyline than a match. They did it well. I will get to the post-match antics in a moment. I want to talk about the action first. They did a good job making Jericho look tenacious. He held his own in the bout. When you couple this with their encounter on TV, it makes Jericho look great. ECW played up the fact Jericho trained in the Hart family dungeon. Heyman wanted Jericho to look like a star. This was short, but it accomplished what it needed to do. My only gripe is the camera work. They cut back and forth between the match and Fonzie. We missed some of the action because of it.
Winner: Taz (3:17)
Tom Delevano questions whether Fonzie used a chair. It looks like he might reverse the decision. But, Delevano reveals it’s a ruse. He attacks Gordon with the chair. Tom and Taz then use stereo-Tazmissions on both Jericho and Gordon. They release the holds and Fonzie hands Tom some money while Taz mocks Sabu’s pose. Team Taz then leaves the ring. (This did a great job putting heat on Taz and Fonzie. It also adds sympathy for Jericho.)
The Bruise Brothers & Brian Lee vs. The Pitbulls & Tommy Dreamer (w/ Beulah McGillicutty & Francine)
Notes: This is the prototype for the Disciples of Apocalypse. All that is missing is Crush and some motorcycles. I didn’t know these three teamed before the WWF. ECW referred to Brian Lee as the third Bruise Brother. (When Brian first appeared, Joey said, “That’s the Und—I mean Prime Time Brian Lee!” That amused me. He almost called him the Undertaker.)
The Match: The brawl immediately spills into the crowd. Everyone uses chairs. The fight is a mess of chairs flying everywhere! They scuffle around the building and onto the bleachers. The Pitbulls use chokes, but the Bruise Brothers fire back with low-blows. They also use a wooden bench on Dreamer. Then, the fight heads outside to Queens Blvd. (Is this the massacre?) Both teams ram each other into the sides of vans. When they reenter the building, the match returns to the ring. (That’s shocking!) The Bruise Brothers produce a chain, but Tommy gets it. But, Brian Lee uses a double noggin knocker on Dreamer and Pitbull #2. Tommy and the Pitbulls regain control with chairs, soda cans, and a DDT from Tommy. However, Raven interferes and gives Dreamer a DDT. Then, the Bruise Brothers give everyone chair-assisted big boots. They pin Dreamer after sandwiching his head between two chairs.
Thoughts: This was a mindless walk and brawl. There were some unique locations, but that’s it. It was chair shots and punches. The stuff at the end with Raven was good, but it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get into this. It went on longer than it should.
Winners: The Bruise Brothers & Lee (11:45)
Raven and company keep attacking Tommy while Beulah and Francine cry. Beulah enters the ring to plead with Raven, but Francine stops her. The Bruise Brothers kick Francine for her trouble. The Pitbulls stop the attack and bring the Bruise Brothers to the floor while Dreamer grabs a table. He goes after Raven and gives him a DDT. Tommy and the Pitbulls place Raven on the table. Then, the Pitbulls Superbomb Dreamer onto Raven’s prone body.
Sabu vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Notes: Joey talks about Mikey and Sabu both being triple-crown winners. He also speaks about Sabu and Mikey’s history. He says they had one of Sabu’s best matches. Maybe Whipwreck can get a measure of revenge for losing that bout.
The Match: Mikey surprises Sabu with a few moves. He gives him a Rocker Dropper and a DDT. But, Sabu introduces a chair. He bounces off it for a wheel kick and a springboard moonsault. Then, both men evade each other’s flying moves. They fight to the floor where Sabu sets up a table. Mikey tries evading him, but Sabu nails a flying axehandle. Sabu keeps coming, so Whipwreck uses a low-blow. He also blocks Sabu’s super Frankensteiner and pushes him through the table. Next, Mikey sends Sabu into the crowd and does a slingshot plancha into the fans! Mikey tries slowing the pace with holds, but Sabu fires back with slingshot moves. Sabu then sets up another table in the crowd. He does a springboard somersault, but Mikey moves. Sabu crashes hard! A fan has to help him to his feet. Mikey capitalizes with a flying senton, a slingshot senton, and a second-rope bulldog. None of them work. He tries bulldogging Sabu onto a chair, but Sabu blocks it. Finally, Sabu bounces off the chair and performs a super Frankensteiner for the win.
Thoughts: This was a fun match. It was chaotic and at times sloppy. But, I enjoyed it. Mikey is a good foil for Sabu. He takes crazy bumps to compliment Sabu’s wild offense. I felt bad for Sabu. He looked legitimately hurt after crashing through the table. It’s a wonder this man can still walk.
Winner: Sabu (15:21)
Sabu encourages the fans to chant for Mikey after the match. He shakes hands with him and applauds the effort.
Three-Way Elimination Match: The Gangstas vs. The Headhunters (w/ Damien Kane & Lady Alexandra) vs. The Sandman & 2 Cold Scorpio (w/ Missy Hyatt)
Notes: Sandman and Scorpio don’t enter together. Scorpio probably didn’t want to watch Sandman and Missy fawn over each other. It was a bit uncomfortable. However, Scorpio dances with Missy. Scorpio then calls out the sound guy for screwing up his music. (I couldn’t tell. It’s dubbed on the network.) Joey doesn’t believe the Gangstas will be in the match because they went to jail. The Headhunters start the brawl as soon as they arrive.
The Match: Everyone fights to the floor and into the crowd. Scorpio does a moonsault into the fans! Meanwhile, Sandman bounces off one of the Headhunters and gets powerslammed. Sandman recovers and does a flying leg drop. (He almost falls off the ropes.) Kane & Alexandra have enough and interfere. Missy jumps Alexandra and a catfight starts. While this happens, the Headhunters put Sandman on a table. They graze him with a moonsault. Then, the Headhunters follow with a flying splash. However, the Gangstas arrive! (They’re still in cuffs. Joey says they stole a police car to get there.) This draws out the Eliminators. They give Mustafa Total Elimination. The Headhunters decide they don’t need this mess and leave. (Elimination: The Headhunters?)
Sandman & Scorpio attack the prone Gangstas. They hit them with a moonsault and a flying elbow. Sandman covers, but New Jack raises his shoulder and his middle finger. Both teams then brawl to the floor. Scorpio whips Mustafa into the rail. They brawl around the building while Sandman gives New Jack a slingshot leg drop. Then, everyone fights with chairs. The Gangstas gain the advantage and hit a variation of the Doomsday Device. Mustafa follows that with a running powerslam. New Jack adds a flying chair shot to get the victory. (Final Elimination: Sandman & Scorpio)
Thoughts: Parts of this brawl were entertaining. The first half was fun and chaotic. But, it dragged towards the end. They did their best to add enough bells and whistles to make it good. But, it lost steam toward the finish. This match existed to further the Gangstas/Eliminators feud. It did that well enough, but it wasn’t great.
Winners: The Gangstas (18:57)
The Taz/Jericho match.
Sabu/Mikey was wild fun.
There was good character and story work.
Hack/Black was sloppy
The Bruise Brothers match was uninteresting, except the finish.
The Main Event was disappointing.
Performer of the Night:
I’m giving it to Sabu. I enjoyed his match, but I also felt bad for him. He put his body through hell to entertain people.
I call this show average. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. It was a smooth watch. The overall presentation wasn’t bad. Nothing overstayed its welcome. It also had a hot crowd, which helps. Even the bad stuff wasn’t overly awful. As a whole, the show was middle of the road.
Thank you for reading. My next review will be my last ECW review until Barely Legal. (Unless the WWE adds more events before then.) It’s ECW Hostile City Showdown ’96. Look for it next Sunday!