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Elsewhere on the card, Shane Douglas continued his defacto feud with Ric Flair defending his ECW World Heavyweight Title against Tully Blanchard. The pair faced each other in January in a hour time-limit draw (that actually lasted about 43 minutes) in a match so bad fans chanted “We Want Bingo”. Cactus Jack's blood feud with The Sandman would continue, this time in a Texas Death Match.
Jason (The Terrible) & The Pitbulls (w/ Jason) vs Hack Myers and The Young Dragons
Jason (Knight) is absolutely fantastic at this stage of the game in ECW. His character is down to a tee and he's highly entertaining. After asking the fans how they like his new-suit, they chant “K-Mart suit” back at him. Jason introduces the Pitbulls, and talks about their ambitions for the ECW Tag Titles. Jason then introduces his namesake, Jason (Jason The Terrible from the Japanese WING promotion) and we have a six man tag match.
Hack Myers, know as “the Shah” of ECW has a similar thing going on as Daniel Bryan, the Philly crowd loudly screaming “SHAH” everytime he punches an opponent. The match is more of a story than a spectacle, the Dragons offer nothing to Myers' aid and the Pitbulls and Jason pick him off. After the match, Jason (Knight) cuts a promo while Myers lays waste to the Dragons in the ring. Myers then attacks Jason and the Pitbulls with a chair before getting into it with the Virgin Princess Angel and piledriving her (no, I didn't make that last bit up).
Steve Richards (w/ Raven) vs Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer has been to Japan since we've last seen him, and is now wearing a sleeveless tee and wrestling shorts/trunks. Richards at this stage is still pretty awful, the fans chanting “Steven Sucks” and “You suck” at him. It's quite hard to work out what the early thinking was with the Raven thing at this stage. A below-average match, Dreamer showed off a few nice new moves (including a neckbreaker using his shirt). Dreamer appears to have the match won after a top rope splash, but Raven breaks it up. Dreamer eventually wins by poking Richards in the nuts and pinning him.
Mikey Whipwreck vs “The Giant” Paul Lauria (w/ Jason)
This pairing was an excellent idea. Whipwreck spent most of 1994 as a true underdog, but recognising that for the character to evolve they'd actually have to tell the story of him getting better they put him with “The Giant” (all five foot three of him). The match was decent without being anything better, but Mikey was adding some new weaponry to his arsenal with a headscissors and an attempting tope to the outside – he missed and slapped hard on the concrete floor. Another match with an aborted end (Jason pulled Mikey off the pin after a top rope bulldog) Mikey eventually winning with a backslide.
Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten
A violent brawl this as Axl and Ian brawled around the ECW arena, with Ian bleeding very early on. Maybe it's difficult to fully appreciate this style 20 years on, but this seems to meet the definition of gratuitous violence. Lots of weaponry: a frying pan, the timekeepers hammer, lots and lots of chairs. Match ends with Ian having been beaten down all match getting a pin using the ropes for leverage.
“The Crippler” Chris Benoit vs “The Snow Man” Al Snow
Ladies and gentlemen we have some wrestling. In amongst a show full of brawling, weaponry or otherwise forgettable matches this was tremendous. Benoit is so crisp and fast at what he does and Snow is a great foil for him. These kind of matches both have a tendency to be too slow, but both worked an incredibly fast past. A great spot (of many) in the match was Benoit throwing Snow to the outside, then baseball sliding him. As Benoit turned to the hard camera to celebrate, Snow popped up, jumped to the apron and hit a springboard dropkick. A fantastic match, with plenty of german suplexes. Benoit wins after hitting one too many.
ECW World Title Match: Shane Douglas vs Tully Blanchard
While this pairing may have made sense in the long-passed-its-sell-by-date “feud” between Shane Douglas and Ric Flair, it perhaps would've been an idea to end this feud after the time limit draw in January. This match, while thankfully shorter at under ten minutes, wasn't much better. The action was OK but 41-year-old Blanchard looked anything but a challenge for what in theory is ECW's #1 guy. More strange still was the lack of decisive finish, Douglas winning after countering a back suplex into a crossbody for a quick pin.
Texas Death Match: Cactus Jack vs The Sandman (w/ Woman)
Some very nice intensity, particularly with Jack hijacking Sandman's entrance to gain the upper hand. This was violent, properly violent. Sandman capitalises on Jack missing a charge into the barricade by working on his knee. In the end the match really comes down to whether you enjoy this type of brawl. I'm certainly not a fan of the Texas Death Match stipulation; in a promo in January Cactus Jack said he wanted a match where pinfalls “didn't matter”, well he was sort of right. There were seven in this match, leading to ten second counts. Eventually, after a trio of DDTs onto the concrete, Jack wins.
Double Tables Match For the ECW Tag Team Titles: The Public Enemy vs Sabu and Taz (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)
About exactly what you'd expect from this quartet in this kind of match. The match broke down into two singles brawls in different parts of the arena, Rocco Rock pairing off with Sabu and Grunge with Taz. Taz showing off his suplex arsenal here. Not the greatest of finishes though. Firstly there was Taz back suplexing Grunge off the turnbuckle through a table – deemed to have been both going through. Then there was Rock moonsaulting Sabu through a table, which should've ended the match had either of the two referees on hand seen it. Eventually, Sabu drops a leg through Rock on a table on the outside and we have a winner. After the match Sabu set Flyboy Rocco Rock on a table in the ring, then laid another table flat across the turnbuckle. He got on the turnbuckle table, only for Chris Benoit to run out and superbomb him through Rock.
All in all, an entertaining enough show that was probably too heavy on violence and too light on wrestling – although it certainly helped the already excellent Benoit/Snow match stand out more. A disappointing night for Shane Douglas – who was in a forgettable match with a forgettable opponent, and some good violent brawling through, but perhaps too much of the same thing.
Score Rating: 6.5/10 on a house show scale
Go back and watch: Benoit vs Snow as an absolute priority. Other than that it depends on how much you enjoy your violent wrestling, the final two matches are both pretty good.