Hostile City Showdown ’96

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

Hostile City Showdown

April 20, 1996

ECW Arena

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

News & Notes: This event took place a week after Massacre on Queens Blvd. Not much changed, so I’ll keep it brief. The main event is Shane Douglas finally getting his hands on Raven for the ECW Title. Shane hyped the match with an interview at Madison Square Garden. Shane relished the fact he was in Vince McMahon’s backyard. He mocked the WWF and said the ECW Arena was the new Mecca of professional wrestling. Shane promised to regain his ECW Championship. On the other hand, Raven dealt with his own issues. After he and Stevie attacked Kimona, she dumped Raven. Kimona sided with Shane Douglas and promised to reveal a shocking truth. She said it would cost Raven his title. Raven pretended he wasn’t fazed. He said the news would hurt Tommy Dreamer more. What could this revelation be? We shall find out.

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Open

Joey welcomes the Gangstas straight from the hood. The crowd chants New Jack’s name. New Jack says the last time he was there, he got his ass kicked. But, he tells the Eliminators they took a licking and will keep on ticking. If you get your ass kicked, you don’t shake their hands. You go home to regroup and find a way to take those mofos out. New Jack then talks about going home to his old lady. (Mustafa finds this hilarious for some reason.) Jack’s wife told him they got soft. New Jack says he watched the tapes and realized she’s right. He tells the Eliminators they’re going to get their asses and get it good. He then calls out the Eliminators while Mustafa yells bring it. The Eliminators grant their wish. They arrive and a brawl begins. The fight spills into the crowd and both teams use chairs. Saturn answers with a beer can to New Jack’s head. They return to the ring, but the locker room empties to stop the melee. The fans boo and chant let them go. Eventually, the Eliminators leave. The Gangstas celebrate in the ring while their music plays.

FirstMatch

El Puerto Riqueño vs. Super Nova

Notes: Super Nova is the future Simon Dean. He trained under Mike Sharpe in the early 90s and worked as an enhancement talent. (Did Mike train him how to look greasy and make lots of noise in the ring?) When Nova came to ECW, he adopted a superhero gimmick. He dresses like a lost member of the Power Rangers. Nova gains a reputation for innovation in the ring. He also helps found the Blue World Order, but I’ll discuss that at another time.

The Match: Both men do some athletic reversals until Nova sends Puerto to the floor. He then gives Puerto a somersault plancha over the post. El Puerto flips over Nova and evades him. But, Nova pulls Puerto out of the corner and into a powerbomb. Then, they reverse through a victory roll and fight to the floor again. Puerto nails an Asai Moonsault before returning Nova to the ring. There, Nova surprises him with a superkick. The match is getting good, but the Eliminators decide to ruin the fun. They interfere and cause a no contest.

Thoughts: This was fun until that finish. I wanted them to continue. I realize they’re both jobbers. My knowledge of where Nova goes makes it disappointing. At the time, this was the type of match 911 interrupted. They wanted to pop the crowd with a run-in. I get it, but I don’t like it.

Winner: No Contest (2:07)

The Eliminators give both men suplexes and kicks. They also perform Total Elimination on them. Then, they kick them out of the ring and grab a microphone. Saturn calls out the Gangstas, so they return with a trash can full of weapons. Joey worries about ECW losing its insurance. Both teams trade punches and clotheslines. They brawl to the floor and into the crowd. The Gangstas’ music continues playing throughout the fight. They hit each other with whatever they grab. Mustafa poses with one of the tag title belts. Wrestlers finally arrive and stop the fight again. JT Smith and Little Guido join them. Smith serenades them, but D-Von Dudley stops that with a chair. He chases them to the back. Then, the wrestlers start fighting with each other until Hack Meyers stops it.

BuhBuh

The Dudleys and the Pitbulls are in the ring for a match. Buh-Buh tries introducing himself, but Francine mocks his size. (No, I don’t mean his weight. I mean his SIZE.) Buh-Buh responds, “My name is Buh-buh-buh-blowjob.” (It shocks both Joey and Francine.) The Pitbulls don’t find it funny. Neither does D-Von. He tells Buh-Buh to say his name without stuttering. He also tells the fans to stop encouraging him. D-Von then turns his attention to the Pitbulls. They don’t scare him. He gives them the Dudley commandments. (Joey says D-Von referenced some wrestling promotions when he said thou shall not steal.) When he finishes, he attacks the Pitbulls and the match begins.

DudleysMatch

Buh-Buh Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley (w/ The Dudleys) vs. The Pitbulls (w/ Francine)

The Match: The fight immediately spills to the floor and into the crowd. Both teams take turns wrapping chairs around each other’s heads. They trade punches and chops. Pitbull #2 breaks Buh-Buh’s glasses with a beer can. (How dare he!?) The brawl ends up below the eagle’s nest. #1 dives off it with a chair. Then, the Pitbulls double-team D-Von and throw him off the platform. They return to the ring where D-Von uses a sunset flip. #2 also does a wheel kick in the corner. (Hey now! We don’t use wrestling moves in a brawl!) The Pitbulls and Francine then attack a wheelchair-bound D.W. Dudley. Francine even gives Chubby Dudley a low-blow. After that, Buh-Buh receives a Superbomb. D-Von sees enough. He goes crazy with a chair. He hits everyone, including the ref. He then turns his attention to Francine. The Pitbulls want to join the fun, so they Superbomb the ref. (Styles says that’s how they treat officials in ECW. They’re proud of it.)

Thoughts: They’re doing a good job making D-Von look like a maniac. But, this was a mindless walk and brawl with no finish. The crowd was hot, but that’s it. That’s two matches in a row with no clear winner. (To be fair, there was a Mikey Whipwreck/Billy Black match between them. They cut it from the home video release.) It’s great for the live crowd. It’s not as good for the home viewer.

Winner: No Contest (9:00)

TazMatch

Taz (w/ Bill Alfonso & Team Taz) vs. Dangerous Devon Storm

Notes: No one is in the ring when Taz arrives. Joey wonders who will step up. Devon Storm answers the call. Joey says, “That’s Dangerous Devon Storm from WCW!” He says Devon took exception to Taz’s recent actions. (Devon Storm is the future Crowbar. He’s almost unrecognizable here. His hair is blond and his gear is neon-colored. Mike Sharpe also trained Storm. Was Mike backstage at this event? It seems he brought some of his students.) Before the bell, Fonzie mocks the Philadelphia Flyers and stomps on one of their jerseys.

The Match: They trade wristlocks, but Taz keeps taking Devon to the mat. Storm tries some leapfrogs until Taz catches him in a Tazplex. Then, Devon uses a springboard wheel kick and a baseball slide. He places Taz on a chair and nails a somersault plancha. Storm follows that with a side slam and a moonsault. He even attempts a chair-assisted moonsault, but he misses. (Joey says Storm is using Sabu’s offense.) It pisses off Taz. He sets up a table. Devon evades this attack and bounces off a chair. But, he misses a corner splash. Taz grabs Storm and suplexes him out of the ring. He aimed for the table, but Devon only clips it. He lands hard on the floor! The ref has no choice but to count him out.

Thoughts: That finish was brutal! I worried about Devon. The amount of offense Storm got also surprised me. He had a good showing until the end. I enjoyed this. It was competitive enough to make Storm look good. But, Taz also seemed like a killer. The finish may be an audible, but it could also be the plan. If he took the table bump properly, it still works. The botch made it more memorable.

Winner: Taz (by Count Out) (4:51)

Taz attacks Storm on the floor and puts him in the Tazmission. He chokes out Storm and grabs a mic. He accuses Storm of being a Sabu wannabe. Taz tells him to pay his dues and stop trying to be someone weak. But, he gives Storm credit for showing up, unlike Sabu. Taz then mocks Sabu’s pose.

GuidoRotten

Axl Rotten vs. Little Guido (w/ JT Smith)

Notes: Smith & Guido now officially call themselves the FBI (Full Blooded Italians). Joey introduces them as such, but he clarifies he’s reading from a cue card. They come to the ring with stereotypical Italian music. Joey says it’s so sad it’s funny. JT hugs Joel Gertner while Axl Rotten enters the arena. Guido is rearing to go, but Smith holds him back. He even combs Guido’s hair for him. Then, JT steals the mic from Gertner to say some faux-Italian gibberish. Joey says he can’t take it anymore.

The Match: Guido stalls, so Axl backdrops him onto the ropes! Axl then gives Guido forearms and elbows. He even spanks him. But, Axl misses a splash. Guido capitalizes with sunset flips, and arm drags. He also attempts a crossbody, but Axl catches him. He dumps Guido over the ropes and takes a pie from a fan. He smashes it into Guido’s face. (Again with the pies! What’s with ECW fans and pies?) Axl uses a chair next, so JT begins interfering. He distracts Axl and the ref. He also chokes Rotten. Guido begins using arm holds and submissions. They don’t work. Then, Guido misses a diving leg drop. Axl fires back with punches and clotheslines. He ends the match with a Dominator.

Thoughts: This was a fun little match. Guido & Smith entertained me. I liked the story. Guido uses his craftiness and speed while JT interfered on his behalf. It was the right length. It didn’t drag or overstay its welcome. It was an enjoyable bout that furthered the FBI gimmick.

Winner: Axl Rotten (6:21)

JT grabs a mic and asks Guido what happened. He then apologizes to Axl to prevent getting hit. He tells Axl he proved his point and says it’s alright. Guido wants more, so JT tells Axl to leave before Guido kicks his ass. Rotten thinks about hitting Guido with a chair, but he decides it’s not worth it.

BruiseSandScorp

The Sandman & 2 Cold Scorpio (w/ Missy Hyatt) vs. The Bruise Brothers

Notes: Since the Bruise Brothers are Raven’s hired guns, he tasked them with taking out his enemies. Their next target is the Sandman and his partner 2 Cold Scorpio. Sandman & Missy do their long entrance. (Without “Enter Sandman”, it doesn’t work the same.) Missy licks Sandman’s ear before he drinks a beer and spits it into the crowd. He then smashes the beer can on his head. Scorpio enters next and dances with a fan. Sandman & Scorpio dance with Missy between them. Joey calls it a Missy Hyatt sandwich. He says it’s the first one on TV, but not the first time someone recorded one. (Well played, Joey.)

The Match: The Bruise Brothers have trouble with Scorpio. They try double-teaming him, but Scorp answers with arm drags and head scissors. They finally send him to the floor and turn their attention to the Sandman. The Brothers whip him with their belt. It excites Missy. She tells them to do it harder. (Whose side is she on!?) Sandman fights back and pours beer on Missy. He then licks it. The Bruise Brothers attack again, but Scorpio nails a flying double-clothesline. Sandman also does a slingshot dive onto the brothers. Then, they brawl into the crowd. Scorpio dives into the fans! He follows with some dancing until the brothers stop it. But, Scorpio hits a wheel kick and a moonsault for the win.

Thoughts: This was an odd match. There were some fun spots, but it didn’t make much sense. It seemed like Missy almost turned on her team. I guess we’re supposed to simply think she’s a freak. It was a random collection of spots and then it ended. I’m unsure what they were going for here. I didn’t hate it, but I couldn’t get into the bout.

Winners: Sandman & Scorpio (8:25)

DreamerLee

Prime Time Brian Lee vs. Tommy Dreamer

Notes: Joey calls Brian one-third of Raven’s triangle of terror. During the entrances, they show a clip of Brian Lee pledging his life to Raven. He says that means Dreamer’s ass is his. Joey says Dreamer is dying to get his hands on Brian Lee. There’s no Raven, Richards, or Meanie. It’s one-on-one. Brian tries attacking with a chair, but he misses.

The Match: Dreamer uses the chair to give Lee a jawbreaker. Then, he tries baseball sliding into the chair, but Brian moves. Next, they brawl into the crowd. The fans hand them more chairs. They end up under the eagle’s nest where Tommy hits a bulldog. Lee answers with more chair shots. The fight continues around the building and back to the ring. Lee knocks out the ref by accident. This brings out the Bruise Brothers. Dreamer nails a DDT, but the brothers attack him. They triple team Tommy and sandwich his head between chairs. Both brothers nail big boots. Tommy kicks out despite the attack. He uses another DDT, but the brothers stop the pin again. Lee then places a cinder block on Dreamer’s crotch and hits it with a chair. It’s enough for the victory.

Thoughts: This was mostly an uninteresting brawl. But, that finish was rather brutal. It’s another match that excited the live crowd. I get why they would enjoy it, but I didn’t care for the match. I only liked the ending. That spot was a good way to make Lee look vicious.

Winner: Brian Lee (6:49)

RVDSabu

Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam

Notes: These two men trained together under The Sheik. This is their first meeting, but it won’t be their last. Joey says RVD has a broken wrist. He also claims Sabu has a broken—something. He’s sure some part of Sabu is injured. Sabu intimidates Gertner during his introductions, but he finishes. Joey says RVD has a background in martial arts. Sabu has an extensive background in insanity.

The Match: RVD evades Sabu and catches him with some kicks and a Rolling Thunder. Sabu answers by sending Rob to the floor and using diving leg drops. Sabu also utilizes some submissions. He then knocks RVD off the top rope and off the railing. Sabu begins his chair-based offense and even sets up a table. RVD evades the danger and returns the chair favor. He nails a somersault plancha with the chair. Then, RVD uses a springboard leg drop and a surfboard stretch. He can’t hold the move because of his wrist. Sabu can barely stand, but he catches RVD with a DDT. However, RVD evades more chair-based attacks. Both men take turns putting each other through tables and trade near-falls. RVD starts giving Sabu apron leg drops, but Sabu drives RVD into a chair. He follows with a draping DDT and a triple-jump moonsault for the win.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this, but it was a bit messy. You can tell their injuries hindered them. They have better matches in the future. But, there were enough cool spots to make it a fun bout. Sabu once again looks like a physical wreck. It hurts to watch him sometimes.

Winner: Sabu (18:57)

The fans applaud the match. Sabu helps RVD to his feet and shows him respect. He extends his hand, but RVD walks away without shaking it. The fans boo the sign of disrespect. They chant asshole. (This gesture leads to a rematch at A Matter of Respect. RVD wins. This time, Sabu refuses to shake his hand.)

DouglasKimona

Raven, Stevie, and The Meanie enter the ring. Meanie does a parody of Shawn Michaels’ entrance. Stevie poses like Diesel behind him. Joey calls him Big Daddy Fool. Raven sits stoically in the corner while this happens. Shane Douglas and Kimona then join them. Shane says history will repeat itself when he wins back his ECW title. Then, Shane says Beulah cheated on Raven, but she also cheated on Dreamer. He calls them both suckers. This draws out Tommy. He tells Douglas to shut up. He doesn’t. Shane tells him Beulah was never pregnant. She cheated on him. Tommy demands to know who he is. Shane says it’s not a he. Kimona takes the mic and says, “It’s me!” Beulah arrives and makes out with Kimona. Dreamer grabs them, so Shane asks what he has to say. Dreamer replies, “I’ll take them both. I’m hardcore!” He then kisses both women. It seems to affect Raven that Dreamer wasn’t fazed by the revelation. (This lesbian kiss got ECW in trouble with the TV networks. Violence is fine. But, don’t you dare show two women kissing!)

MainEvent

ECW Title Match: Raven (c) (w/ Stevie Richards & The Blue Meanie) vs. Shane Douglas (w/ Kimona Wanalaya)

The Match: Douglas gets the better of the dejected Raven, so Raven keeps regrouping. Shane knocks him off the apron and dives onto him. They fight on the floor and return to the ring. Then, both men trade sleeper holds until Douglas dumps Raven to the floor. Shane nails a flying crossbody and attacks Raven with weapons. They brawl to the eagle’s nest and then outside. (The camera can’t follow them.) Eventually, they return to the ring and Raven is bleeding. Shane lands the belly-to-belly, but Brian Lee distracts the ref. Dreamer chases away Lee, but Shane only sees Tommy. They fight with each other until the officials stop it. Then, Shane returns his focus to Raven. Douglas uses a Figure Four and evades Meanie’s moonsault. But, he doesn’t escape a Stevie Kick. Shane rallies and removes Raven’s medical boot. He places Raven in another Figure Four. However, the Bruise Brothers interfere. Raven uses the opening to nail Shane with the boot and gets the victory.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this match. I thought it was solid and told a good story. It lost a little steam when the camera couldn’t follow the action. But, it didn’t ruin it. I’m even fine with the interference. The story was about the Kimona stuff distracting Raven. He needed some help to win. The shenanigans fit the storyline fine.

Winner: Raven (16:40)

Aftermath

After the match, Joey interviews Shane Douglas. He expresses frustration about Raven. He also takes another shot at Shawn Michaels. He says he eats, sleeps, and breathes the ECW title. No other belt means anything to him. This draws out the TV Champion, 2 Cold Scorpio. He’s tired of Shane running his mouth. Scorpio says his TV Title means more to him than any other belt. Scorpio calls Shane a punk. Scorpio dares Shane to come and get it. Shane says he’s about the World Title and doesn’t want Scorpio’s. However, he attacks Scorpio when he turns. He gives him a belly-to-belly and whips him with the TV Title. Sandman tries stopping it and gets the same. Douglas then takes Sandman’s cane and canes both men. Next, Shane takes Scorpio and piledrives him on the TV Title. He places the belt on Scorpio and leaves. (Douglas faces Scorpio at A Matter of Respect and wins the TV Title.)

The Good:

  • D-Von’s character work

  • Taz’s character work

  • Guido/Axl was fun

  • Sabu/RVD was good.

  • The main event had a good story.

The Bad:

  • No Contest finishes

  • Sandman & Scorpio/Bruise Brothers was odd.

  • There were some uninteresting brawls.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Rob Van Dam. He had a breakout performance and furthered his character. The post-match antics did well in setting up RVD’s persona.

Final Thoughts:

This was another middle of the road show. Nothing was horrible, but nothing was great. It was an easy watch. None of the matches were too long. But, it didn’t set the world on fire. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it was average at best. This will be my last ECW review until we reach Barely Legal. That might change if WWE puts more ECW shows on the network. However, I won’t backtrack if we pass that point in the timeline. This train must keep rolling!

Thank you for reading. My next review is WWF In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies. Look for it next Sunday!

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