ECW Return Of The Funker 1995 | ECW Sunday Night RetroView

Howdy peeps! Welcome back to my fortnightly trip back to ECW yesteryear. My first ECW RetroView – Double Tables 1995 – was really well received. So I’d like to begin by thanking you all for the kind words. It means so much to receive great feedback. Makes it all the more worthwhile in my eyes. So once again, thank you lovely lot! So why not sit back and feast your eyes on this, my review of ECW Return of the Funker!

Now the mushy part is out of the way, let’s get to what you came here for…some EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING!

*Within these reviews, there will be some matches on certain events that won’t be covered. Pretty much any Chris Benoit matches. I’m sure I don’t have to explain myself as to why*

ECW Return Of The Funker
Feb 25, 1995
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA

The Pitbulls vs Chad Austin & Joel Goodhart

Can you spell squash match? I believe that if you looked up squash match in the Pro Wrestling dictionary, a picture of this match would appear. Poor Chad and Joel, they were offered up on a plate for The Pitbulls…and that rabid crazy crowd. They really liked Pitbull #1 and #2 huh?

It was pure power on display here, throwing around Austin and Goodhart like the proverbial ragdolls. The finish was a Super Bomb from the top rope. Hugely impressive, just as this victory was.

Winners – The Pitbulls

After the match, Raven and Stevie Richards make their way to ringside for a quick interview with Joey Styles. Raven begins by saying that Stevie failed him when he lost to Tommy Dreamer earlier in the month (see my review of ECW Double Tables for that match and more). As Stevie was about to talk, Tommy himself walks to the ring. He tells Raven to shut his mouth and to settle this in the ring like men. But Raven says that now isn’t the time or the place. Tommy gives Raven just one more warning. Next time, he’ll knock his block off.

ECW Return Of The Funker

Stevie pipes up and says that he’ll make up for the loss against Dreamer last time, by bringing in a couple of guys. These guys beat him up in a club for playing air guitar. These guys are former ECW Tag Team champions, The Broad Street Bullies!

Johnny Hotbody and Tony Stetson climb into the ring and declare that they’re back to beat the crap out of Dreamer! And anyone else that Raven wants for that matter. They want to be a part of what Raven is trying to achieve. At which point Tommy sends the Bullies and Richards packing from the ring. Leaving just himself and Raven in the ring, the crowd are rabid at this point! As Tommy goes for Raven, the Bullies and Stevie come back into the ring and pull him away.

Then all of a sudden Raven just launches at Tommy and it’s on like Donkey Kong! A huge pull-apart brawl ensues and the crowd just explodes! This is what I signed up for! This is the classic ECW I’ve been waiting for! This was a great promo/angle. Old school storytelling at it’s finest. Leave the fans wanting more but give them a taste of what’s to come. Superb!

ECW Return Of The Funker
Mikey Whipwreck & Hack Meyers vs Jason & Paul Lauria

Holy crap did that crowd pop hard for Whipwreck and Meyers! It seems they too want to see some revenge from what happened at Double Tables (conveniently linked here for your perusal 😉 ) And it’s on like Donkey Kong from the start! A few minuted into the match and we see stereo Sunset Flips onto Jason and Lauria. We also see a bit too much as the pants were pulled down on them both and two full moons took place!

Lauria is thrown around by Meyers much as The Pitbulls did to their opponents earlier. Wonder if this is going to be a theme of the evening? Mikey shows some great lucha skills as is suplexed by Hack onto Jason, who then transitions it into a head scissors take over! Wow, that spot looked great! A quick comment about Jason here. He doesn’t look that quick in the ring. Lethargic even. May just be me, but let me know what you peeps think.

Lethargic Jason and Lauria soon grab a foothold in the match when The World’s Sexiest Man enters the ring. It’s soon a case of some double team action on Mikey. Double dropkicks, back suplex/leg combo ala Midnight Express, which looked ace actually! Not long after a masked man is seen in the corner of Jason and Lauria. Hmmm indeed…

The finish comes with a hot tag to Meyers. He cleans house with his patented Shaah strikes.  And then it’s false finish city folks! Everybody hits everybody else with something followed by a quick cover. Great action here. But it’s that masked man that turns the tide. He punches Meyers square in the face and lays Lauria over the prone body for the win. Good match + cheap heel finish = entertaining to say the least

Winners – Jason & Paul Lauria

ECW Return Of The Funker
Too Cold Scorpio vs Hector Guerrero

I haven’t seen a lot of Hector’s work before, so I was looking forward to this greatly. And I wasn’t disappointed. A great mat wrestling scientific start by both men, which made the crowd pop but not sure if they quite understood. They sure like their blood…

ECW Return Of The Funker

A simple hammerlock was used to great effect. Hector slaps one on Scorpio and rams him shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle. Quickly followed by the same move but outside to the ring post. Simple and effective. Hector then forgets where he is and tries for a pin outside. It’s not Falls Count Anywhere! Scorpio uses this to his advantage and begins his comeback. A scoop slam followed by a beautiful moonsault…that misses. Guerrero then attempts his own…and misses too!

Roll up pin attempts all around are next, but they end up tangled in the ropes for their troubles. A missed charge at Scorpio ends in a Hot Shot and the Scorpio Splash for the 1-2-3! A good match, especially from Hector. It promised much but under delivered a tad for me.

Winner – Scorpio Sky

Barbed Wire Bat Match
Ian Rotten vs Axl Rotten

Oh boy! I’m not expecting much from this, unlike that last matchup. This will be an all-out hardcore bloody war. Ian Rotten is playing the despicable heel to the max by taking the barbed wire bat from the guy at ringside and hitting him with it! A huge pop from the crowd. Told you they like their blood! Axl runs out with a chair and uses it to block the attempted bat hits.

What happened next was exactly what you would expect. Blood and guts folks. That bat was used for all manner of things. Slicing the back of Ian’s head open, ground across Ian’s bicep, even laid across Ian’s throat! This went from 0-100 in a matter of minutes!

The “match” soon fell apart (even more than what it has already). Into the crowd, up to the bleachers and back. All the while using the weapons that he fans handed to them. When they finally got back iunto the ring, the bat is used once more. But it’s an assisted bat-spalsh onto Axl where I check out. Axl no sells the shit outta it. After what’s happened so far, the war they’ve had? A no sell on that?! Nahhhhh

A Flapjack onto the bat by Axl onto Ian wins the match for the younger brother. Ugh…psychology really wasn’t used at all here folks. If you just want blood and guts, this is your match. I need a bit more than that to keep me hooked, and as I said, towards the end? I checked out. A big dud for me I’m afraid.

Winner – Axl Rotten

ECW World Championship
Shane Douglas (c) vs Marty Jannetty

Here’s another match that I’m looking forward to watching. Marty could still go at this time and Shane was already one of the next things in ECW. A good match incoming…I hope! Here’s a random fact for ya’ll – When Shawn Michaels got injured in 1990, Shane Douglas became an honorary Rocker and was his replacement for a while. How about that for fact!

ECW Return Of The Funker

Shane is his usual sneaky self to start the match. Attempting a handshake but in fact going for a nut kick. Shame it was seen by Marty who blocked the kick and smacks him with a stiff right hand. The pace of the early going is unreal, Marty really hadn’t lost a step here. Jannetty is throwing himself around the ring as nothing had happened at all. So great to see.

The middle of the match sees Douglas slow the match down to a pace that suits him. Some rest holds are in order. To wear down Marty and for Shane to catch his breath too most probably. But Marty escapes and soon goes back onto the offensive and throws Douglas into the ECW faithful. A walk and brawl through the crowd and back to the ring ensues. And once back in the ring, it’s a Superkick Party! Jannetty hits one onto Shane when the champ missed his attempted chair shot. Another one for good measure and it’s a two count only.

The Rocker Dropper could only muster a two count. Even a third Superkick couldn’t get the job done.

And it’s at that point when you knew it wasn’t going to be Marty’s night. A Douglas Powerbomb from an attempted Jannetty hurricanrana is all she wrote folks. Douglas for the win after the best match of the night so far.

Winner – And STILLLL ECW World Champion, Shane Douglas

Before the main event match, Sandman and Woman walk out with a box. Woman exclaims that Sandman won’t be wrestling tonight due to the concussion that Cactus Jack gave him at ECW Double Tables. So instead, Jack will wrestle who or whatever is inside the box…

ECW Return Of The Funker
Cactus Jack vs DC Drake w/The Sandman & Woman

This show is bookended by squash matches. The Pitbulls in the first match and Cactus in the last. He beats Drake from pillar to post, under the vengeful eye of The Sandman and Woman. Not much to say here as it’s the angle after the match that is the main event…

Winner – Cactus Jack

ECW Return Of The Funker

As soon as the referee calls for the bell, Sandman hits the ring and begins to unload on Cactus with his Singapore Cane. But as always, Jack fights back from each and every adversity, and this is no different. He takes his lumps and comes back swinging. The pair fight across the ring and out to the box that held DC Drake. Cactus throws Sandman into the box and you can see Sandman get tangled up in the sheet that was covering the box. Jack rolls back the sheet covered Sandman into the ring and pulls off the sheet…

ECW Return Of The Funker

…Sandman has been replaced by Terry FRICKIN Funk! Obviously, as the event is named after him, duh! Funk unloads on Cactus and is joined by Sandman. Singapore Cane’s aplenty onto Jack’s head and torso. It actually got a bit too much for me, knowing the health issues that Mick Foley has now. A few boys from the back come out to save Cactus, including Tommy Dreamer, but they’re beaten and sent packing from the ring.

That is until ECW World Champion Shane Douglas makes his way out. Both Terry Funk and Woman try to make Shane join them in a group bigger and better than his Triple Threat faction he leads right now. You can see him mulling it over. He finally asks for the cane, and as he’s about to hit Cactus with it, he instead hits Sandman and Terry Funk. Joey Styles on commentary explains that both Cactus and Shane broke into the business together, and he’s never forgotten the help that Jack gave Douglas all those years ago.

Shane drives Funk, Sandman, and Woman from the ring as the show fades to black…

Once again our time together catching up with ECW draws to a close. I liked this show. Not as much as last time’s Double Tables though. The Barbed Wire Bat match put paid to that. But the Douglas/Jannetty, Guerrero/Scorpio, and main event angle was really well done. All very memorable in their own ways.

We’re gonna jump forward a few months with the next ECW RetroView entry. We’ll be looking back at ECW Three-Way Dance. It took place on April 8, 1995. Blame the WWE Network for the time jump…grrrrr! Anyway, I’ll explain that and the card itself, right here, next time. So until then amigos…