ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995 | ECW Sunday Night RetroView

I’m BAAAAAACK! Yes folks, your resident ECW analyst (and I use that term very loosely) has returned! For those of you that follow me on my socials, you know that my day job recently has left me with no time to write at all. But all that has changed with the new year and once again I am back to educate and entertain. And again, I use both of those terms very loosely 😉 And with that out of the way, let’s get into todays ECW Barbed Wire, Hoodies & Chokeslams extravaganza!

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ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams

June 17, 1995
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA

Broad Street Billy (Tony Stetson) vs The New Jersey Devil

I mean how much more retro can you get than this opening “match”. You’ll understand the quotations in a minute. Now just four short days before this match, the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated from the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the New Jersey Devils (ice hockey to all you non-fans out there). And as ECW was a Philly creation, you could guarantee that there would be a wrestling payback for the hockey team’s elimination.

 

The match?  It consisted of the Bully beating the ever-living crap out of the Devil for around 15-ish seconds. The referee stops the “contest” and Stetson is declared the winner.

Winner – Broad Street Bully

After the match, the Devil grabs his hockey stick and hits Stetson from behind with it. Before laying in a beating of his own. That is until 911 and Paul Heyman emerges from the back and gives the stiffest Chokeslams to the Devil. I mean REALLY STIFF. There’s laying it in and then there’s what 911 did here. Ouch with a capital OWWW.

Paul then grabs a mic and welcomes The Devil to Phila! Fcukin! Delphia! Just as 911 bows down to peer pressure from the crowd and hits yet another Chokeslam. More ouchies…

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995
Mikey Whipwreck vs Val Puccio

How do you follow up that opening travesty of a match? You do it ALL over again! I’m shaking my head in disbelief for you dear reader, don’t worry.

At least this match took longer than 15 seconds. In actual fact, it took two minutes, give or take. Flying through that card folks!

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Mikey gets tossed out of the ring by Val. He lands hard on his arm and gets up looking like he’s really hurt it. Maybe it’s broken? Val rolls him back into the ring, and as Val gets in, Mikey cheap shots him. With around five low blows. Which by the way, looked really snug, if you know what I mean 😉 Anyway, a DDT later and Mikey is your winner.

Winner – Mikey Whipwreck

Oh boy! If this is how this event is shaping up, I’m kinda wishing I was working those 12-15 hour shifts again…

Vampire Warrior vs Hack Myers

YESSSS! My guilty pleasure of Hack is back baby! And as an added bonus, I get to see a very early Gangrel as the Vampire Warrior. He’s definitely a lot greener here than a few years later in the WWF though. Some over the top hand-drawn eyebrows and some goofy fangs. You can see where he’s going with his look. It’s just not as polished as the final Gangrel character.

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He also didn’t adorn himself with the Philly crowd either. Screaming like a loon with every action is NOT gonna get you over with these hardasses. But then again, the crowd is eating up Hack with his SHAH shouts. You win some, you lose some I suppose…

Then just like that, Vampire Warrior hits a DDT on Hack and it’s game over. I was joking earlier about burning through the card at breakneck speed. But it really does feel like that’s the plan. Strange…especially this match.

Winner – Vampire Warrior

Interview time with Joey Styles! Here he attempts to talk to Tommy Dreamer and Luna Vachon but Stevie Richards interrupts. He brings out the Vampire Warrior and says Joey should be interviewing him. You can see what’s about to happen a mile away, but let’s go with the flow…

Tommy welcomes Vamp to ECW and offers a handshake. But Gangr…sorry Vamp doesn’t want to shake his hand. He wants to break it. His hands are all over his woman. He then proceeds to (I think) legit punch Tommy square on the jaw. I’m telling you now if that was fake, it was the best working punch I’ve ever seen!

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995
Tommy Dreamer vs Vampire Warrior

Both begin a walk and brawl around the ring and towards the back, heading towards Luna. She whacks Vamps on the back with a chair. It doesn’t do much as he turns around and chases her! But Tommy is there to save the day and their back to brawling to the ring. On the way, Vamps has busted open Dreamer. And to return the favor, Tommy grabs a frying pan from someone in the crowd. And cracks onto Vamps skull! He is bleeding quite badly, and it’s a hell of a visual.

Once back inside the ring, Luna wipes the blood from Vamps and rubs it across her face. WTAF?!? I’m so lost here. Vamps grabs a chair and opens it up, ready to use it to propel himself maybe? It doesn’t matter though, as Tommy uses it himself. He leaps off the chair and hits a flying DDT onto Vamps for the win.

Winner – Tommy Dreamer

It seems that Heyman and co really don’t want me to review these old shows anymore. First review back and this show is rushed beyond belief and the matches? Ugh! C’mon wrestling gods up there, let’s make the next match more than what I’ve witnessed so far.

Promo time is next as Bill “Fonzie” Alphonso is out with Todd Gordon. This was a bit of a palate cleanser. Fonzie spent the entire promo insulting and threatening Gordon which gained great heat with the crowd. They were literally baying for his blood. And just as Gordon was about to swing for Fonzie, some of the locker room spills out to hold him back. This elicits the crowd to chant “LET HIM GO, LET HIM GO”. That was short and sweet and hit the spot for me. I’m back on track now, bring on the next match!

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995
911 vs Jim Steele

Here’s “Jungle” Jim Steele. For those that read Clint Dye’s WCW RetroView’s, you may remember him from WCW around that time. And being an “outsider” (see what I did there?) he was ruthlessly hammered by the ECW faithful.

911’s music blares and the crowd is amped! Instantly they begin chanting “WE WANT FIVE!”. Low and behold, he gives the crowd what they want, and he chokeslams Steel with authority for the win.

Winner – 911

The crowd is now shouting “FOUR MORE TIMES!” and another Chokeslam to Steele. A na-na-na-na chant breaks out but is drowned out by “THREE MORE TIMES!” Heyman grabs a mic and dedicates the next chokeslam to off of his associates at the CNN Tower in Atlanta, GA.

“TWO MORE TIMES!” scream the crowd! But Paul Heyman says he just can’t……..UNLESS!…….He can dedicate it to WCW’s Ultimate Warrior rip off, Renegade. And just like that, 911 hits another chokeslam to poor Jim Steele. These chokeslams are really stiff.

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“ONE MORE TIME!”….But this time Paul just can’t do it. He can’t give poor Jim another chokeslam. He goes on to say that he can forgive Shane Douglas wearing a Monday Night Raw t-shirt, but he just can’t justify giving Steele one more slam. And just like that, Heyman and 911 go leave the ring and head to the back. But just as Paul is about to step off the apron….

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995

“UNLESS!” Yup Paul climbs back into the ring and dedicates the fifth and final chokeslam to (excuse my French folks) “BILL MOTHERFUCKING ALFONSO!” The crowd go bat shit crazy as 911 hits the last chokeslam. Content with their “work”, Paul and 911 head to the back as the crowd are eating up what they just saw.

That was a masterclass of getting the crowd back onto your side. Even back then you can see just how damn good Heyman was and still is. There are plenty of stories about how he used to motivate the boys backstage before a show. This was proof positive of that. So damn good….

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995
Beulah vs Luna Vachon

Beulah comes out with Raven and Stevie Richards. Hmmm, I smell shenanigans! Even more so when Luna comes out all by her lonesome. And I was right because as soon as the bell rings Richards takes a steel chair to the back of Luna. Beulah takes advantage and pins Vachon for the easiest win of her fledgling career.

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Winner – Beulah

As soon as the bell is rung, Raven picks up Luna and hots the Even Flow DDT on her. And a quick boot to the head for good measure. This brings out a bandaged Dreamer, still showing the after-effects from his battle with Gangrel/Vampire Warrior. Raven picks up the chair he used to hit Luna and uses it crack Tommy upside his head. Hard! And then the Even Flow DDT to keep Tommy on the mat. All the while the crowd is spewing anger and hatred at Raven’s Flock….too soon?

As the crowd is losing it, Raven then ups the ante. By breaking Dreamer’s fingers one by one. Not a pretty sight but gets across just how vicious Raven is. And how low he will stoop to get one over Dreamer. Great stuff. AND THEN…he handcuffs Luna to the ropes in a crucifixion pose and is about to take her head off with the chair. But Tommy valiantly throws himself in front of Luna and saves her. Again showing just how ruthless he really can be. Stopping at nothing to be the most dominant person in the ring. Just great storytelling and this feud is still in its early stages!

Too Cold Scorpio & Taz vs The Pitbulls & Raven

This match was supposed to have Tommy Dreamer joining with 2 Cold and Taz. But after his battle with the Vampire Warrior and his beating at Raven, maybe it was best he sat this one out. So who comes out to even the teams? Only my guilty pleasure Hack Myers! SHAH! He comes steaming into the ring and clears Raven and his cronies while the crowd is again eating it up. But to spoil the fun, here comes Bill Alphonso. He informs us all that he isn’t letting Hack wrestle and orders him to the back. And the match will continue as a handicap match. The crowd is booing the place down because of Fonzie. This is great booking as there isn’t an old school heel in the company. Fonzie covers that base and more with his heel actions over the past two events.

So it’s Raven and The Pitbulls versus Scorpio…and an all-new Taz! He’s now wearing his orange and black colors and his long hair has been lopped off. And to top it off, his Human Suplex Machine gimmick is in full effect. He is throwing around his opponents with the greatest of ease. The ECW faithful are lapping it up! Cheering with every throw.

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But it doesn’t take long for the extra power of The Pitbulls to take effect and take over the match. They double team 2 Cold to within an inch of his life before tagging in Raven. He then proceeds to beat him down, pummelling him in his corner. But Scorpio slaps on a nice armlock onto Pitbull 2 and nearly gains the submission victory. He tags in Taz who is soon sent to the outside by both Pitbulls. Who then grabs a chair and whacks him across the back, laying him out.

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995

He finally gets back into the ring, gives Raven the first recorded delivery of his Tazplex, and gets the hot tag to Scorpio. And boy does he clean house! And he finishes off his hot tag with a top rope moonsault. All the while, Paul Heyman comes out to point at a fan in the front row. She’s holding up an “I Love Stevie Richards” sign. Lo and behold, it’s Francine!

Richards sees the sign and walks over to Francine to talk. Raven grabs Stevie and sucker punches him for not concentrating on the match at hand. Beulah then walks over to Francine and begins to shout at her. And then just like that, both women are going at each other, fists and hair everywhere! Raven has had enough and grabs both Stevie and Beulah and heads for the back.

While this is going on, The Pitbulls look for their tag partner. As they’re looking for him, Taz grabs one of The Pitbulls and hits a top rope suplex for the unlikely victory!

Winner – 2 Cold Scorpio & Taz

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995
Public Enemy vs Ian & Axl Rotten

I haven’t covered ECW for two months. That meant I wasn’t subjected to the Rotten brothers and their “special” feud. So to see this match next had me reaching for the fast forward button. So you can imagine my surprise and glee when Fonzie comes out nixes this match! YAY! Bill goes on to say that the Rotten’s wrestled in January. A match that would mean that their team would split for good. And if they reneged on that stipulation then he would close down Todd Gordon’s ECW for good!

The fans go apoplectic! Throwing trash in the ring way before Bash At The Beach made it cool. At this point, the Rotten brothers look each other up and down…and begin to kick the crap out of each other! Brawling all the way to the back. This leaves Public Enemy dancing in the ring, having fun, and enjoying themselves. Having a real good time…

…Then jumping over the barricade come two unknown assailants who go to town on the Enemy. These assailants would be known in the coming weeks as The Gangstas! Yes folks, business is about to pick up, as New Jack and Mustafa Sead are now in EC-effin-W! They bust open Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge and revel in the carnage they’re producing! But Todd Gordon is out real quick to finish the party with the Philly PD. They arrest The Gangstas and walk them out of the arena in handcuffs.

Now that is how you debut a badass tag team. With that savage and chaotic three or so minutes, they cemented The Gangstas for their entire run in ECW. And I can’t wait for the eventual Public Enemy/ Gangstas feud.

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995
ECW Championship
Barbed Wire Match
Sandman (c) vs Cactus Jack

You all know I’m a huge Cactus/Mick Foley fan. And you all know I’m kinda digging Sandman (well apart from his in-ring work, but you get my drift). So let’s not mess about here, and get straight into the match…

Ugh! The champ is out first. I hate that! The champion should always, ALWAYS, come out second dammit! Anyway….He comes out once again with Woman by his side. She’s carrying the ECW title over her shoulder and lights a cigarette for Sandman. For the mid-’90s this was edgy stuff. Nowadays, not so much. Cactus comes out wearing a super cool t-shirt. It has hand-drawn pictures of Bruiser Brody and Stan Hanson. That is super cool and just highlights even more how respectful Foley is to his peers.

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies
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Cactus grabs the mic and begins to speak –

”You know Sandman, I never thought I would be saying this but……GET YOUR ASS IN THE RING RIGHT NOW!”

We’re off to the races as Cactus tries to push the champ’s face into the barbed wire ropes. But Woman is there to save the day and hit Jack with the Singapore cane. Which in turn sends Cactus into the ropes instead. And from here on out, it’s ultra barbed wire violence. Cactus takes the majority of the pain. Sandman wraps the wire around Cactus’s face and arms. Drawing blood as you can imagine. Jack returns the favor by scraping the wire down Sandman’s exposed chest and stomach.

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies & Chokeslams 1995

The obligatory cheese grater spot is next. With both men using it on their heads. Seeing this showed me that this spot? I’m immune to it now. Overkill for me personally. But seeing Sandman drop Cactus groin first on the barbed wire ropes instantly snapped me back into the moment. More violence ensues. Chair assisted leg drops, a whole roll of barbed wire…the whole kit and caboodle.

ECW Barbed Wire Hoodies
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With three huge chair shots to the head of Sandman, Cactus and the champ hit the mat. But Jack gets up before the referee counts ten. And by some violent hardcore miracle, the ref awards him the victory…and the title!!!

Winner – And NEWWWWW ECW World Champion, Cactus Jack!

But hold on! Here comes “fan favorite” Bill Alphonso. He explains that he’s reversing the referee’s decision. The title can’t change on a count-out. The referee and Fonzie have a pushing match while Sandman wraps some barbed wire around Cactus’s neck and proceeds to choke him out. Just as he loses consciousness, the champ throws Jack out of the ring and Fonzie counts a quick ten. Sandman retains as once again, the crowd goes crazy. Throwing more trash into the ring. Todd Gordon has seen enough and he jumps into the ring and lays Fonzie out with a clothesline. Some measure of revenge I suppose.

Winner – And STILLLLLL ECW World Champion, The Sandman!

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This is another show of two halves. The first half we rushed through the matches, skits, and promos in super-fast fashion. The reason was to give the main event and tag match plenty of time. And I’m cool with that. I mean we saw a debuting Francine, Paul Heyman at his finest, and the birth of Taz as we know him. Add in Fonzie being the most despised heel of the company, and lack of Rotten brothers, and you had a good show here. Not the best, but definitely not the worst.

I will be back with you all with Hardcore Heaven 1995 and the debut of The Dudley Brothers. Plus a Cactus jack and The Sandman in a rematch for the ECW World Championship, and a war between The Gangstas and Public Enemy. Now that sounds like an interesting watch 😉

Adios!