From this author’s perspective, Episode 5 of ECW TV is when things started to look Extreme. There was silliness, innuendo, focus on females and, of course, the debut of a cult leader. Let’s get to it!
ECW TV Episode 5
Jay Sulli and Stevie Wonderful kick off our show as per usual, but that’s not important. What’s important is what Sulli is wearing. . .
Did anyone know they made tuxedo ties and cummerbunds in Tweety Bird yellow? I didn’t.
We’re joined by ECW President Tod Gordon, who recaps the feud between Eddie Gilbert and Terry Funk, before sending us to Double Cross Ranch for a word with the Funkster.As Funk explains, he’s been riding around all day looking for Eddie Gilbert, but he can’t find him. Then, all of a sudden, he shows up...
See what I mean? It’s not “extreme”, but we’re getting there!
Funk fills the equine rump in on the rules of a Texas Chain match (no pins, no submissions, must touch all 4 turnbuckles) before asking for questions or a response from Gilbert. What follows is seriously one of the funniest moments ever… Not the clip, but just this picture…
Bah Gawd, Terry, don’t do that, your face might freeze that way!
Match 1 - Magnificent Muraco and Eddie Gilbert vs. JT Smith and Glenn Osbourne
I’m not sure how we’re supposed to focus on wrestling after that, and this tag match doesn’t offer a whole lot to get excited about, save for the ending...
Yes, folks, that is the ECW debut of one Paul Heyman, though at this point, he is still known as Paul E. Dangerously, former manager extraordinaire in World Championship Wrestling, and the newest ally of Hotstuff International. Heyman grabs a microphone (always a good sign) and lets us know that this merger between Hotstuff and the Dangerous Alliance makes this the greatest day in ECW history.
Or something like that. I was too busy marking out to notice the specifics. IT’S HEYMAN!!!
Match 2 - Super Destroyers vs. Tony Stetson and Larry Winters
Once again, the wrestling here seems like an afterthought to the promos, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when the promos are done by two of the all time greats in Funk and Heyman.
Then there’s this guy…
The manager of the Super Destroyers announces that this is it. . . Without question, the absolute end of this feud. . . The final, ultimate, no mas match between his charges and Stetson and Winters. So we know what that means...
The match begins, and we’re treated to the single biggest gimmick in ECW so far - That Jay Sulli is a stupid, stupid man. Seriously, he’s still complaining to Wonderful that he doesn’t know the difference between Super Destroyer 1 and 2. What is the point of him even being here?
We’re also treated to what is the superkick of 1993, aka the move that is completely overdone. In this instance, its when one wrestler takes another one by the hair / back of the head and then slams them face first into the mat. I swear, I’ve seen it twenty two times in 5 episodes. Maybe it happened so much because of the preponderance of mullets???
The Super Destroyers cheat to win again, so as I said, we know what’s going to happen next…
No, NAIborhood, Cousin It never became a professional wrestler. What you’re seeing is Salvatore Bellomo, cutting a promo. Don’t worry, though, he makes sure you know, lifting his hair out of his face to say “By the way, it’s me behind here.” This is the WrestleSilly goodness I’m always craving!
As for what else Sal said, though, I remain in the dark. If you thought anyone in WWE had accent problems, take a listen to the Wildman and hear what true nonsense sounds like. I can only guess that it was about his upcoming title match, because…
Match 3 - Salvatore Bellomo vs. The Sandman
Apparently the ring attendant career is over for Peaches, for she now seems to be Sandman’s manager and is known as Miss Peaches. Gee, I wonder who she is emulating…
As I’ve said in previous Diaries, Sandman’s in ring work strikes me as very different from his ECW heyday, though to be fair, I’m not well versed. He does a lot of aerial moves and he LOVES the schoolboy roll-up. As in, it happens multiple times a match.
However, we run into a problem, and that problem is the ECW ring. Obviously smaller than a WWF ring, if not most rings, any attempt at a schoolboy inevitably winds up with one or both of the wrestlers lying underneath the ropes. It accentuates the amateur qualities of this promotion each time it happens.
Sandman winds up winning by countout when Bellomo leaves the ring and seemingly forgets what he’s doing, wandering through the crowd. Maybe that’s because he’s Wild?? Did Marc Mero ever do that??
Rockin’ Rebel and Tigra, who has also been promoted to manager, are by the lockers next, and I finally get a question answered that has plagued me for ages.
What did mullet owners do with their hair when they wanted to have a fancy night on the town? (They braid it, apparently)
Match 4 - Rockin’ Rebel vs. . . . Ernesto Benefico?
After his promo, which I didn’t listen to, Rebel gets showcased in the ring against. . .This guy. I think that’s what the graphic said, though Jay Sulli pronounces it in about 37 different ways over the course of this 2 minute squash match. All I know is that the guy looks like a young and blurry Borat.
I know that we’re dealing with 25 year old technology here, but how can WWE expect new fans, if any fan, to go back and watch some of these archived shows with the video quality like this? (This is where you whisper - “Hey DC, they don’t expect you to. . .In fact, you’re the only one who does!”)
HD has spoiled us. The person who figures out how to turn grainy old video into high definition gold is going to be swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck!
Tod Gordon is out with Hunter G Robbins and says that Stetson and Winters are willing to put their hair on the line in order to get another tag title match. Robbins quickly signs, not reading the fine print where he will have to be handcuffed to Tommy Cairo for this match as well. Robbins gets mad.
Don’t let it be said that I don’t keep you up to speed, friends.
We get another Suicide Blonds promo, which sounded just like the original one. It actually might have been the same one, if I’m being honest.
Match 5 - Tommy Cairo vs. Jonathan Hotbody
Now that they are a tag team, Hotbody and Candido want to go by their full names, because that’s how we know they’re serious.
This next image is for Doc Manson, who as anyone who listened to our commentary on the Cruiserweight Classic knows, is a fan of cheeky predicaments.
Seriously, who thought chaps and wrestling trunks was a good combo?
As the action unfolds, Hotbody is sent to ringside early in this match, and being the good teammate that he is, Candido gives his aching back a nice massage. Like I said, there’s nothing overt happening. But the innuendo is there.
We see the advantages of having the announce team at ringside, as Candido is able to offer some pretty funny commentary at points during the match, at one time screaming that his partner’s hair is blond, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Despite my high opinions on both Cairo and Hotbody, this match isn’t fluid. The best moment, when Hotbody DDT’s Cairo off the top rope, seemed to be a botched superplex. Cairo wins when the Blonds once again crash into each other, leading to an O’Connor roll and a victory.
(Full disclosure: Up until a couple months ago, I thought this move was called an Okada Roll, and kept trying to figure out why it was named after a Japanese guy who wasn’t on the WWE roster.)
Cairo and Hotbody brawl at ringside and for the first time, we’re out of time, and the show ends relatively abruptly, but actually, I think that’s a good thing. As I’ve written about before, the previous shows seemed to not have enough to fill the time, but this one did. Once again, forward progress.
The wrestling in this episode was probably the worst of the five episodes so far, but the promos were easily the best. Even Sal Bellomo was funny, if incomprehensible. The pieces are beginning to fall into place. I like where things are headed with ECW.
Until we meet again, my friends, I’ll see you around the NAIborhood.