It’s Sunday and you’re here for another dose of retro! This week we’re back in 1995 for some old school ECW. Today’s show is ECW Enter Sandman 1995. Cue the Metallica jokes. Not me. I’ll be taking the high ground. that humor is beneath me. But what I will say is that if you don’t like Metallica, then nothing else matters…
…I’ll get my coat…
ECW Enter Sandman
May 13, 1995
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
As always, the voice of ECW Joey Styles is your commentator all the way up at the Eagle’s Nest. We’re now a month removed from the last ECW RetroView (as always click the link to catch yourself up) and there are a lot of rivalries that have picked up steam. Cactus Jack vs The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer vs Raven, and Shane Douglas vs pretty much everyone. Let’s dive straight in peeps!
ECW Enter Sandman 1995
Tony Stetson vs Hack Meyers
How do you start an ECW show? Hot! That’s how! As Hack is making his entrance, he’s jumped by Stetson. He beats him down all the way to the ring. A hard thing to do considering Hack is a big lad.
The tide soon changes with a well-placed kick to Tony’s balls. The crowd is eating this up as Hack begins his SHAH chant. And to be honest, so am I. Into the ring they go and Meyers drops his fist onto the prone Stetson. But as he picks him up, Tony gives Hack an old school thumb to the eye. Sometimes folks, the old ones are the best.
Hack shakes it off and eventually hits an apron legdrop and a running knee drop out of the corner. 1-2-3 and it’s all over. A great start to the show. As I said, a hot start is perfect sometimes, and this was indeed perfect.
Winner – Hack Meyers
Tsubo Genjin & Hiroyoshi Iekuda vs The Tazmaniac & 911 (w/Paul E. Dangerously)
Once again it seems that the ECW faithful were treated to a match that they just didn’t like. Just like the last show (found here 😉 ) we join a match that is pretty much at the tail end. We see the future Taz suplexing his opponents while 911 chokeslams the bejeezus out of them. Honestly, I wouldn’t have bothered putting this on the VHS/DVD/Network
Winners – The Tazmaniac & 911
Barbed Wire Weapons Match
Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten
You’ve got to be kidding me right? Haven’t we seen enough of these two in violent gimmick matches? We’ve had barbed wire baseball bats…TWICE. And we’ve now evolved to barbed wire everything. UGH! Ok, just like the last review, I’ll be doing the abridged version.
Walk and brawl in the crowd. Many weapons are used. Both men bleed like stuck pigs. And Axl wins the “match” with a back suplex onto a barbed wire chair.
I am done. I can’t watch anymore of this feud. Too much Rotten boys, too much.
Winner – Axl Rotten
Tommy Dreamer & Mikey Whipwreck vs Raven & Stevie Richards (w/Beulah)
Do you know how there is so much praise for how WCW kept Sting away from the nWo for nearly a year? The long term booking? I’m amazed that people don’t put the Raven/Dreamer feud into that same class. Ok, it didn’t last as long as the Sting story, but keeping the fans from getting what they want? This feud ticks every box. And in terms of the feud, to me, this is where it starts.
Just as the match begins, Shane Douglas walks in with Bill Alfonso and announces that Bill is the referee in this match. Which is good as Alfonso is all about enforcing the rules. Soon after Todd Gordon walks out to announce that Bill doesn’t actually have a job in ECW. But is soon given one when he threatens to shut down ECW. Lots of exposition here at the start of the match. And for good reason…
ECW Enter Sandman 1995
All the way through the match, Alfonso makes sure that everyone sticks to the rules. From holding the tag rope, enforcing the five count, to striking with a clenched fist. Fonzy makes sure everyone toes the line.
The match is frickin great. Easily one of the best matches from the ECW originals involved. The action, near falls, and drama is unparalleled. Too much for a review here. Again do yourself a favor and get on the WWE Network and watch this match. Just wow! And as you think Dreamer is going to get his hands on Raven…Fonzie throws out the match as Dreamer hits his opponent with a clenched fist. Remember the rules folks!
Winners – Raven & Stevie Richards
Having Bill referee the match was a masterstroke. Making everyone keep to the rules of wrestling in ECW? Unheard of! Yet here he was doing just that. And BOY did those fans hate him for it! They wanted to see carnage and violence. They wanted to see Raven and Dreamer square off. And they were denied. Ahhhhh just pure brilliance!
ECW World Television Championship
Eddie Guerrero (c) v Dean Malenko
After the absolute match classic from my last review, I had more than high hopes for this match. And again I wasn’t disappointed. The only thing that I was disappointed about was the fact that this match was originally thirty minutes. But for reasons unknown to me and many others, only 13 minutes was shown. Such a shame as after those 13 minutes, you’re going to be sat there wanting more!
Taz is on commentary here with Joey. That’s quite jarring as I’m so used to Joey calling on his own. As you can imagine, the technical ability of both men here shines through. And I’m sat on my sofa, jaw hitting the floor, in admiration. Chain wrestling to trading headscissor takedowns. Dragon sleepers to butterfly powerbombs. People need to see these matches between Eddie and Dean. They should be a blueprint or foundation for every trainee wrestler.
Towards the end of the match and Eddie hits the Frog Splash, but Dean has raised his knees! Unperturbed, Eddie drops Malenko with a rope walk hurracanrana, and nearly knocks himself out as he lands. That looked sketchy. All that gains a two count! As Eddie gets to his feet, he’s busted open. Dean applies the Texas Cloverleaf but Guerrero counters with an inside cradle for two. The action skips ahead (happens a lot on this match) and we see Dean hit a variant Bronco Buster followed by a Figure Four leg lock. But the time limit has expired and again we have another draw!
Winner – Time Limit Draw
Will we ever get a definitive winner?
ECW World Championship
The Sandman (w/Woman) (c) vs Cactus Jack
The winner of this title match gets to face off against Shane Douglas…in the very next match. So much for champions advantage huh? These two have squared off against each other over the course of the past few months. So I knew what to expect in this match. And as much as I love Mick Foley, there’s only so much he can do to get a good match out of Sandman.
As is the norm, they both brawl through the crowd. A bit of crowd participation with some items to be used or congratulatory slaps on the back. Cactus takes the match back to the ring and whips Sandman from corner to corner. I’ll admit I’m not Sandman’s greatest fan, but he sold his ass off with these turnbuckle whips! A swinging neckbreaker is followed up for a two.
ECW Enter Sandman 1995
The action spills outside once more and Sandman tries to jump onto Jack from the apron. But as he lands his feet get caught up in the guard rail! Maffew from Botchamania would love that! Sandman soon shakes it off and drags Cactus back into the ring. A nasty piledriver (I still hate/scared of that move) onto Jack before he throws a table in the ring. Literally! As Cactus comes around he beats down on Sandman, puts him on top of the table…and throws them both over the top rope to the floor!
After a barbed wire wrapped elbow drop and his patented Double Arm DDT, Sandman is still in the match! That is until Shane Douglas runs in and starts to talk trash to Cactus. Leaving enough time for Sandman to pick up a Singapore cane and crack him square in the balls. 1-2-3 and it’s all over.
Winner – AND STILLLL ECW WORLD CHAMPION, THE SANDMAN!
The Sandman gets a quick breather to celebrate before his next championship match against Shane Douglas…right now!
ECW World Championship
The Sandman (c) vs Shane Douglas
As you can imagine, Shane being the fresher man is in full control of the early action. Beating the crap out of Sandman, who is still suffering from his match/fight with Cactus Jack just moments ago. He is literally teaching Sandman a wrestling masterclass here. A flying crossbody and dropkick garner a two count. Shane follows it up with a springboard splash for another two.
But the wily champ does enough to throw Shane outside to get some respite. He follows to up by hanging Douglas out to dry on the guardrail and returns the beating. The challenger tries to leave through the crowd but Sandman grabs him and brings him back to ringside. And hits him with a DDT ontop a whole stack of tables! The crowd pop huge for that!
Back inside the ring they go and Sandman misses a legdrop. Douglas tries for a Belly To Belly Suplex but it’s countered by Sandman into one of his own. Douglas has his foot on the rope as the referee is making the count, But Cactus Jack runs down to knock his foot off the rope, giving Sandman an upset victory!
Winner – AND STIL….
ECW Enter Sandman 1995
Wait hold on! Bill Afonso saw the whole thing and demands that the match be restarted! And this is when mass confusion and carnage began! As Sandman was about to hit Fonzie with the cane, Cactus pushes Bill out the way to take the shot. Sandman then continues to pound on Jack with the cane. And then turns his attention back to Fonzie. But Douglas rolls up Sandman to grab the win and regain the ECW Championship!
Winner – AND NEWWWW ECW WORLD CHAMPION, SHANE DOUGLAS!
The original referee, John Finnegan, and Bill Afonso argue about the finish of the match. Cactus gets to his feet but is rushed by fellow Triple Threat member Dean Malenko and pounds on Jack. Soon after Tommy Dreamer comes out to make the save for Jack. And then Raven and Stevie Richards run down to attack Dreamer! See I told you, absolute mayhem and carnage! Raven hits his Even Flow DDT to Dreamer on top of a metal fan cover. OUCH! Jack runs off the two and tends to his friend. My head hurts from the number of shenanigans I’ve just witnessed in the last five minutes!
Double Dog Collar Match
ECW World Tag Team Championship
Public Enemy (c) vs The Pitbulls (w/Stevie Richards)
Todd Gordon walks out to emphasize that if Public Enemy retains the titles, they get five minutes with Stevie Richards. Oh….and there are no rules in this match too! Pushing the Fonzie agenda. I like that. Rocco is linked with Pitbull #2 and Grunge is linked with Pitbull #1. I have no expectations about this match. This will just be a fight I’m sure.
And I was right. Hardly any wrestling at all took place in the first ten or so minutes. Just lots of brawling. I mean Pitbull #1 actually got his balls electrocuted. Waaaaay before Kane decided to do the same thing to Shane McMahon for those with long memories.
Rocco took a superplex at the Eagle’s Nest that took him through a table. That spot looked particularly nasty in all honesty. Back to the ring they go and once there poor Rocco took the Pitbull’s SuperBomb through yet again another table. But it was only a two count. Stevie climbs onto the apron to offer some encouragement to his charges, but accidentally gets clotheslined with the chain for his troubles.
The Pitbulls once again hit a Superplex onto their opponents in opposite corners. But Rocco falls on top of #2, which gives the win to Public Enemy!
Winners – AND STILLLL ECW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, PUBLIC ENEMY!
Do you know how the ending of the Sandman/Douglas match was crazy? Well, get prepared for more peeps!…
ECW Enter Sandman 1995
Public Enemy begins to beat down on Stevie. Eventually hitting their Drive-By finisher on him. But as they go for seconds Raven makes the save. Soon after both Pitbulls join the fray and all four begin to attack Rocco and Grunge. And with Public Enemy lying prone on the mat, The Pitbulls head fo the back as Raven and Stevie celebrate and pose to the crowd. But they failed to see Tommy Dreamer sneak in with a chair in hand! He cracks Stevie on the back with the chair, laying him out. Raven and Dreamer are hitting haymakers on each other and the crowd is going berzerk! Richards comes back and smacks Tommy with the chair. And Raven hits the Even Flow on Dreamer on top of the chair.
But amazingly that’s not enough to keep Tommy down. He makes yet another comeback and again the crowd is at fever pitch! But wait! Luna freakin Vachon is in the ring standing side by side with Tommy!! She takes out Stevie as Raven is dumped out of the ring by Dreamer. Beulah stupidly is in the ring looking like a lost sheep. So Tommy grabs her, and just when you think he’s going to throw her out the ring…decides to give her a piledriver instead!
Tommy and Luna make out in the middle of the ring as the show fades to black…
ECW Enter Sandman 1995
When people talk about the crazy things ECW did, I’m gonna have to point them in the direction of this PPV/Supershow. This was one hell of a ride folks! But as I’m seeing through my reviews, all ECW PPV’s/Supershows were like this. Like a rollercoaster, they have their low points (Rotten brothers anyone?) to their high points (mass shenanigans and carnage!). And I am so on board with it!
I’ll be back soon with Barbed Wire, Hoodies & Chokeslams. Nope, not an underground Grime trio but the next ECW RetroView. With The Sandman vs Cactus Jack for the ECW World Championship (in a barbed wire match!) as top billing, you can expect more violence and jokes.
So until then amigos…ADIOS!