As Doc and I spoke about on DDT Wrestling this week, there’s not a whole lot I want to say about Superfly Jimmy Snuka. I came into the wrestling world at the tail end of Snuka’s career, so anything I saw of his came later when I was watching old Coliseum videos sitting on the floor of my grandmother’s living room. At that point, the wrestling world had changed, and his high flying was almost commonplace.
I also know next to nothing about the details regarding what happened in that hotel room, so I have no business talking about that either. He was obviously a legend of his time, a trailblazer for the future, and a figure mired in controversy.
What’s important for this week’s ECW Hardcore TV is that the man made some funny faces, and that’s the theme for this week.
With that, let’s get going.
ECW Hardcore TV, Episode 7
We begin, as sadly expected, with Jay Sulli and Stevie Wonderful, previewing the upcoming hour of action. Thankfully, they don’t get to talk much before Paul E. Dangerously saves the day, calling out ECW President Tod Gordon. They jaw back and forth, and we’re treated to some great expressions.
Gordon talks tough until Magnificent Muraco makes his presence known, doing the high school bully trick of “accidentally” bumping into Tod multiple times while Dangerously tosses out a vile insult.
“The wrestling world needs you like a drowning man needs Ted Kennedy.”
Now, far be it from me to throw anything even remotely resembling shade at the great Paul Heyman, but that line was a bit out of place, even for 1993 standards. The incident Paul is referencing took place in Chappaquiddick (a very fun word to both say and type) in 1969, some twenty four years before this promo, which makes it almost 50 years old for us watching today. Needless to say, it doesn’t age well.
Once Gordon runs for cover, the Magnificent Muraco calls out ECW Champion The Sandman, claiming there is only room for one surfer in ECW… I wasn’t aware there was a limit.
With that, Dangerously tells Sulli to earn his money, and Jay does a great job of cutting to our first match.
Well, technically, I’m not going to count this as Match 1, since this is, start to finish, a replay of the tag title change we saw from Episode 6, where Tony Stetson and Larry Winters beat the Super Destroyers. Now, I get it, this is a show obviously trying to attract new viewers, so showing the title change again might prove to be something novel for any neophyte watchers. (Bonus synonym points for me for that last sentence.) However, for us who have seen all of the episodes, this was a little dreadful. Thanks be to Fast Forward.
Following that, we get another “DC in his High School TV Media class” graphic…
I was really a little crestfallen that there were no typos in that graphic, if I’m being honest, but we did get the new stipulation of being crowned “King of Philly”. Who knows what that’s about.
Match 1 - Jimmy Snuka and Eddie Gilbert vs. JT Smith and Max Thrasher
I know what you’re thinking. “DC, this is the same match as last week, too. Why are you counting it?” To be fair, this is at least a rematch, so the action is new, even if the participants are not.
Dangerously introduces his charges as “Two guys not taking a flight to Atlanta” (a dig at Georgia based WCW), and here’s a gratuitous picture of Jimmy Snuka looking resplendent in his jungle best…
While last week’s match was a total squash, the babyface jobbers get a little offense in here, if only so Heyman can do some A+ manager selling at ringside…
This match ended in a very interesting way for me. We are so used to seeing heel tag team partners have miscommunications and crash into each other, but in this instance, it was Smith and Thrasher that did it on two separate occasions, leading to Max turning on JT, leading to the inevitable Gilbert backbreaker to Snuka Splash for the victory.
In case you are curious, and of course you are, here’s a picture of new heel Max Thrasher…
Following the match, we’re back on the Double Cross Ranch with Terry Funk, who unlike previous interviews, is being very serious. That’s one of the things that separates the good wrestlers from the great, in my opinion - Being able to do different types of promos extremely well. Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Chris Jericho, John Cena - All talents who know how to take fans on multiple types of journeys. They can make you laugh with joy or wince with pain, and not the Good Lucha Things type of pain either.
Perhaps this is part of the problem people have with guys like Roman Reigns (note that I said PART of the problem, not the whole thing) - There’s not that depth of emotion there yet. Roman does either the “Small Words - Big Stick” promo or the “I’m trying to be The Rock” promo, and that’s it. He has yet, as far as I’ve seen, to really hook fans and take them on the same type of trip that others are able to, though I imagine he will in time. You hear me, Roman Lovers? I said he WILL - Don't @ me!
Either way, Funk walks us through the chain match, giving us a little history on it and explaining that this will be unlike anything ECW fans have ever seen before, and by the end, you’re ready for this match to happen. Mission accomplished for the Funkster.
Following that bout of seriousness, we get a promo on the other end of the spectrum, as the Suicide Blonds explain that due to their recent UK trip, they have been knighted by the Queen, making them Sir Jonathan Hotbody and Sir Christopher Candido. Also, Hotbody is sticking with this whole “having brown hair despite calling himself a blond” thing. It’s funny.
Match 2 - Suicide Blonds vs. Tony Stetson and Larry Winters
Yes, that’s right, we get ANOTHER match from Stetson and Winters, whom I will now be calling Vanilla and Blandy, against what I can only guess are our future ECW tag champions, Sir Christopher and Sir Jonathan.
DC’s Peccadilloes - How do either of these teams not have matching outfits already? I get Vanilla and Blandy not matching, since this team is obviously not going to last very long, but Candido and Hotbody seem to me to be the presumptive “Team of 1993” for ECW. They’ve got the team name, the sunglasses, the feather boas. . . Would it kill somebody backstage to make sure they have the same color tights???
Anyway, Chris Candido does some excellent overselling here…
It appears as if Sir Christopher is trying to communicate that his opponent pulled his tights to somebody stationed on the moon.
I apologize if I’m not giving you enough of the wrestling play by play that you might be hoping for with these articles. It’s 1993 in what appears to be a high school gymnasium - There isn’t a lot of nonstop action here. Jonathan Hotbody does do something interesting however. He goes for what we now refer to as a spinning heel kick, but he turns his back to his opponent first, so he only needs to do a quarter spin as opposed to a full rotation. It wasn’t a super great move or anything, but it was something I’ve never seen before.
I also apologize because I haven’t made nearly enough fun of Jay Sulli in this column as I should, so here goes. At one point during this match, “Wildman” Salvatore Bellomo comes out wearing a mask and claiming to be Super Destroyer 3.
Despite the outfit, size, and abundance of facial hair, Jay Sulli has no idea who this guy is. So apparently, his schtick is that he is the single dumbest man on the face of the planet.
The fans are clued in, however, as Sal gives the camera a hint…
I know it’s a screenshot of a 25 year old piece of video, so in case you can’t decipher it, Sal has lifted the mask and shushed the camera. Don’t spoil it, NAIborhood!
Following the match (I don’t recall how it ended), the four brawl to the back, showing us a great view of the entrance ramp…
Fun fact - My elementary school had a stage just like this.
Match 3 - Magnificent Muraco vs. Glen Osbourne
This match was awful - I’m not sure if it was a lack of communication or what, but there were a lot of awkward moments, so instead, let’s do a Jimmy Snuka Silly Face Gallery!
Well, that was fun! Muraco won with a “front piledriver”, by the way. Wasn’t known as a Tombstone around the world quite yet.
Match 4 - Sandman vs. Rockin’ Rebel
I feel like these two have wrestled each other a thousand times already, though this time Miss Peaches and Tigra are banned from ringside, so at least we won’t have that trouble to deal with. . . .
Rockin’ Rebel has his mullet braid going strong, and once again showcases that he is a pretty decent wrestler. I’m surprised we never saw him on WCW Saturday Night or WWF Superstars, even as a jobber.
Also, since I enjoy sharing moments I’ve never seen with you, here’s another one…
At one point, in order to encourage the Rebel to fight him, Sandman lays down in the ring and invites him to attack. Now, usually when we see this, the babyface on the mat has some sort of trick up his sleeve - Maybe an amateur style takedown or a kick to the face. But no, in this instance, Rebel just runs over and kicks him in the head. A little unusual, perhaps, but it does fall in line with who the Sandman becomes as ECW moves on, so I’ll allow it.
Shockingly and surprisingly, this match ends in a no-decision as Peaches and Tigra hit the ring within four seconds of each other, leading to yet another catfight.
With that, we’ve reached the end of our hour, and Sulli and Stevie try to wrap things up, only to be joined by Super Sal 3 once more, this time with some pizza.
Recipe for Wrestle Silly Success
Take one guy with a thick Italian accent and obviously recognizable physical features.
Put him in a mask.
Fill his mouth with pizza.
Let him talk a lot.
Also, have him reveal his identity 3 or 4 times.
That, my friends, is ECW right now.
Until we meet again, my friends, I’ll see you around the NAIborhood.