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Stranger Things Presents: EASTERN Championship Wrestling - 10/5/93

This is the earliest episode that is posted on The Network.

Joey Styles opens the door for us, welcoming us to NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, and already in the ring are The Public Enemy, Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. Joey's broadcast partner is Paul E. Dangerously. Paul was actually the newly-named booker for the company, as Eddie Gilbert split after then-owner Tod Gordon had enough of Gilbert's craziness. ECW Mutant Watch #1: the guy holding the sign that has Beavis & Butthead on it with "NWA: No Wuses (sic) Allowed".





Match #1 - The Public Enemy vs. Silver Jet & Gino Caruso.

PE working over Caruso in their corner to start. Rocco misses an elbow drop, and Caruso tags in the Jet. Jet takes Rocco down, and hits an elbow drop. Rocco takes over, and hits a back elbow to the Jet coming off the ropes. Joey and Paul tell us that Badd Company, Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond are coming next week. Rocco hits a crisp springboard moonsault off the middle rope for the 2. Grunge tags in, and hits a powerslam off a whip. Grunge hits a Scorpion Deathdrop (called a reverse bulldog by Joey), then tags in Rocco. Rocco then promptly hits a cannonball from the top, and gets the 3 with the arrogant cover. *

WINNERS: The Public Enemy. Just a squash for the PE, as Joey and Paul built up a confrontation between Badd Company and Public Enemy.

Up next: THE DEBUT OF SABU!!

Match #2 - The Tazmaniac vs. Sabu.

Sabu is wheeled out a la Hannibal Lecter, strapped to a gurney wearing the restraining mask. The Tazmaniac is in the ring with Sabu's manager, Hunter Q. Robbins III,  who warns Tazmaniac not to touch him. Tazmaniac grabs Robbins, which leads to the orders to release Sabu from his restraints. Sabu charges the ring and hits Taz from behind with a spin kick. Sabu with a legdrop to the back of the neck. Taz to the floor, and Sabu hits a springboard moonsault to Taz and we're into the crowd! Robbins calls for Sabu to be restrained, and we hit a break.

When we come back, Sabu is in the crowd tossing chairs everywhere with people GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY! Tazmaniac catches up to him out there and the brawl is on. They make their way back to ringside with Sabu bringing a table with him. Sabu puts Taz out to the floor with a spin kick, then hits a somersault plancha to Taz on the floor. Taz takes over with chair shots. Sabu comes back with a springboard flip to Taz on the floor. Back in the ring, Taz hits a rear double underhook suplex (called by Joey) that lands Sabu on his frickin' head. JEEE-BUS! Then Taz hits an overhead belly to belly. Sabu kicks out at 2. Sabu takes Taz down by the leg, and we have a rest spot. Taz comes back with a clothesline, and he puts Sabu to the floor. Taz puts a table in the ring, but Sabu takes over and sets up the table. Taz gets put on the table, but the TABLE BOTCHES underneath him. Taz recovers and hits a belly to belly. Sabu hits a dropkick, but misses a move and hits the broken table. Sabu reverses a whip to the corner, and goes for a top rope hurracanrana, but Taz doesn't take it properly. Ugh! Taz climbs to the top and misses a front flip. Sabu hits a sloppy moonsault from the top...1...2....3. **

WINNER: Sabu. This started off as a crazy brawl, but once they tried to hit their spots in the ring, it fell apart in a sloppy cavalcade of crap. I saw where they were going with it, but you need to actually HIT THE SPOT first.

When we come back from a break, Sabu is still in the ring moonsaulting a table for the crazy hell of it. He tries a second moonsault and misses. We get the idea that this guy is nuts, as he screams in pain for our pleasure.

Rockin' Rebel promo. He's bragging that he ended Salvatore Bellomo's career, which would sadden Brian Bayless if Tony Garea wasn't his favorite wrestler already. The Rebel hopes he gets better soon, so he can finish him off for good. Rockin' Rebel was trained by The Rock N Roll Express, and apparently they won't train you unless you're true rock n roll.  Which means actively wrestling into your 50's, acting like you're in your 20's, and banging chicks in their 40's.

Match #3 - The Metal Maniac vs. The Sandman.

It's different to see Sandman in a surfing bodysuit, when you know where the gimmick eventually went. Also, he doesn't get much of a reaction from the mutants. Go behind and take down by The Sandman. Huh? He wrestles? Back elbow to the Maniac coming off the ropes. Sandman with a dropkick and Maniac bails. Maniac takes Sandman down from the outside and wraps the leg around the post. In the ring now, and Maniac hits a side suplex for 2. Whip off the ropes, and Maniac hits a clothesline. That gets 2. Maniac puts the head down on a whip and sandman hits a kick. Enzuguiri by Sandman. Sandman to the top and he hits a flying clothesline. 1...2...3. *1/2

WINNER: The Sandman. Sandman showed some decent offense here, which surprises me because I have only seen him as the zubaz-wearing goof.

Chris Michaels promo, doing a decent Bullwinkle impression, proclaiming that Eastern Championship Wrestling is no cartoon. Unless you're high. I added that last part.

Match #4 - Terry Funk vs. Jimmy "Supefly" Snuka (c) - Cage Match - ECW TV Title.

Escape rules for this match, with Funk not getting any more title shots if he loses. Snuka controls early, whipping Funk from corner to corner, apparently snapping the ropes. This should be fun. Snuka with knees and chops on the ropes, then takes Funk to the cage. Snuka hits a pretty sweet piledriver on Funk and then climbs the cage. Funk recovers and climbs up there with Snuka. Snuka hits a headbutt and Funk gets crotched on the top rope. Snuka takes Funk's head across the cage. Funk makes the fiery comeback with chops. Funk takes Snuka to the cage now, hitting all four sides. Funk hits his own piledriver on Snuka. Funk with headbutts, but no effect on Snuka (of course). Snuka hits one of his own, and chops him down. Body slam, and Snuka misses a diving headbutt from the middle rope. Then we hit a break.

Coming back, they're on top again, as Funk is hanging upside down. Snuka kicks him down to the mat. Swinging neckbreaker for Snuka. Backbreaker now, and another break. Coming back, they are trading headbutt blows. Then they take turns taking each other to the cage. Funk climbs up and is hanging over the edge. Snuka climbs to bring him back in. Funk kicks Snuka down to the mat, and jumps down for the win. ***

WINNER: And NEW ECW TV Champion, Terry Funk. Surprisingly good match between these two, who were past their primes in 1993. A lot of back and forth offense, with Snuka appearing much more dangerous here than he did in his last WWF run.

Joey is backstage with the new TV champ. Joey asks him how he feels, and Funk is gracious and giving respect to Snuka. Funk talks up the ECW roster, and says that ECW is educating the people on wrestling. A very calm and well-spoken promo from Funk there, as he attempted to put over ECW as a wrestling organization.

Paul E. is trying to coax Snuka out of his dressing room for an interview, but is coming up a little short. You know it's Snuka's dressing room because there is a piece of tape with "Snuka" sharpied on it.

Joey is backstage outside Funk's dressing room where there is a celebration going on. The celebration consists of loud country music, "yahoo's" and Joey dodging some streamers thrown at him from off camera. Next week's show was supposed to have Badd Company vs. The Public Enemy, but that episode is not uploaded to The Network.

The Post Game Opinion: I have gone on record as stating that I was not a fan of ECW. I watched this episode with an open mind and came away with a few things. First, it breezed by very quickly, which is good. Second, Sabu was as botchtastic then as he always was, and his character was completely batshit insane and will take some getting used to. Third, this episode made me want to see more. So, we'll hit the episodes in chronological order as The Network has them, and continue to recap the trail of a little known company called NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling. Thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 27, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    POST EDIT: Actually, the next two chronological episodes are provided, so maybe we will see that Badd Company vs. Public Enemy tag match. Maybe it will even be good!

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  2. That opening Flair promo encapsulated everything great about WCW. It completely made you forget that the company was a complete shitshow from day one.

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  3. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryMarch 27, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    CZW has had a longer lifespan than both WCW and ECW. Jesus fuck...

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  4. I remember Shane Helms' godawful entrance music.


    And now it's in your head, too. You're welcome.

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  5. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryMarch 27, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    I actually called off work to watch this, it was like going to see an old friend on his deathbed. Somewhere in my carhole I have this and the Raw from the same night on tape, I'd watch it but I haven't owned a VCR in about 5 years.

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  6. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryMarch 27, 2014 at 2:20 AM

    But it still worked, and closing that show any other way would have been a crime.

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  7. Nice review. Bit of advice since your not a fan of ECW, don't view it same way you would a normal wrestling show.

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  8. I think his contract was with Turner Broadcasting not WCW so they just moved him to a sports radio station to do minor league baseball for the Braves. Nothing he could do as he was under contract and more than likely getting paid well more than what Wwe would have offered.

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  9. [pulls lever] JEE-sus

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  10. Uh, no it won't. It won't be good. Not at all.

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  11. Flairs promo was arguably the best and no question his most passionate. The 15 year old me watching did start to shed some tears. Fir all the shit in the final years, i still mis wcw alot.

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  12. I cant rewatch the whole show bc the Vince segments boil my blood like non other. Idk if it was Tony or Scott Hudson that flipped when he funally had enough after a regal segment.

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  13. Yea i found lop in like 98 and still use it from time to time. Its amusing to read mr. Tito get under the skin of teenage fan boys.

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  14. Bc Vince's ego wouldn't allow a good fun invasion angle. It still astounds me how he booked wcw dead on arrival.

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  15. Tony was great until they started to feed him lines like they do w cole n co today.

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  16. Plus a thousand up votes

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  17. I haven't seen any of the pre-Extreme ECW TV shows. I came in well after Shane Douglas threw down the belt.


    I wonder, though, where all the missing episodes are.

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  18. Digging this review Stranger. Well written and like the ECW content choice.

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  19. Off topic but daily thread not up yet: Elimination Chamber is up now on the Network.

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  20. Man, I was starting to think that was never going to happen!

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  21. It's a shame their Body Count match never aired on tv and was subsequently deleted from history. From what Styles explains it sounds delightfully miserable (loser of the match has a partner get locked in a cage with explosives to get blown up, explosives fail, crowd shits all over it)

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  22. So you couldn't stand that Vince was playing a strong heel character then?

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  23. Just watch TNA Impact. It's as close as it gets. (well, the bad parts of WCW anyway)

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  24. Lol that was Tony

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  25. That was awesome with Schiavone treating Regal like a midcard act that had no right to be in the position that he was.
    I found it creepy that Tony Schiavone was calling him "Mr. McMahon."

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  26. That Scott Steiner and Booker T had a good match.

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  27. I'm curious about Booker T beating Steiner for the title on that last show.
    Do you think that was a call by Vince because he knew that Booker would likely be coming over and Steiner wouldn't?

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  28. Might have been part of it. I think all the faces went over that night too. (maybe one exception, can't remember, too lazy to go look)

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  29. My guess is that it was just a "Happy ending final show" type deal.

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  30. yeah it was straight wrestling and made for the best nitro in a long time.

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  31. If I'm not mistaking, the final segment was the live WWF feed right? It would have been awesome if it were still from the Nitro feed, where we saw the Vince segment on the video wall, then we saw Shane come in, again from the Nitro feed. (Instead of the exact same feed from both shows)

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  32. I really enjoyed seeing this. I had only heard about the debut of Sabu from first hand reports, so it was cool to finally see it. It definitely lived up to the description. I liked the booking of this episode, too. Taz and Sabu both came out of their "match" looking very strong; Public Enemy looked very strong; and the TV title match felt really important.

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  33. I think so. The feed cut to Vince pretty quick after Sting/Flair and only when Shane came out did they cut back to Nitro.

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  34. AverageJoeEverymanMarch 27, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    Very nice review and it will be something different to read so that is fun. I watched this episode the other week and liked it for what it was. I was unable to see ECW until they got on PPV being up in Maine I dont think many towns had stations playing their weekly. Snuka in general looked better in ECW than in his last run with WWF, moving much better and got to play the heel. Sandman in the stupid surfer outfit is always wrong. "I have only seen him as the zubaz-wearing goof." Dont forget black jeans-wearing goof. And the line "Which means actively wrestling into your 50's, acting like you're in your 20's, and banging chicks in their 40's." was money.

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  35. Cool to see the old ECW shows reviewed. Great job.

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  36. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 27, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    Be up in a few...

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  37. AverageJoeEverymanMarch 27, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    During WCWs existance they had stars on par with WWF. They had their Flairs, Stings, Lugers, Steiners, Hogans, Savages, NWOs, etc and were real competition with major league stories and players. Not everything was good but there was enough good high profile stuff that it mattered. Unlike TNA which cant compete and has clearly second level guys (even though I do enjoy a lot of them). That is the major difference.

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  38. AverageJoeEverymanMarch 27, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    That was one really odd thing with Tony referring to him as his character, uptalking Mr. McMahon after all these years of trash talking.

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  39. Yes, Booker T got the belt that night because he was coming over immediately.


    Steiner was one of the guys who had a massive contract, so he was going to sit out and get $$$$ until it ran out. That's basically why the Invasion didn't happen properly, too many of the big names were getting huge paychecks for doing nothing.

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  40. Hell I'll take Mike Adamle and Pete Dougherty over the jackasses they have calling the shows now. Through in the late great Lord Alfred and we have comedy!

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  41. As was "He's bragging that he ended Salvatore Bellomo's career, which would sadden Brian Bayless if Tony Garea wasn't his favorite wrestler already"

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  42. Early ECW can be viewed that way... I'd argue up until the start of Raven/Dreamer. Or, at the earliest, Sandman/Dreamer.

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  43. Good review. You have to love how Joey was pretending to be outside Jimmy Snuka and Terry Funk's "locker rooms" when it was so obviously the basement in Paul Heyman's house.
    Have to warn you about potentially reviewing any episodes from the dreaded Willie Watts era: Willie was such a godawful announcer that you will end up gaining a new respect for Steve McMichael and Mark Madden, he's that bad.

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  44. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 27, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    Respect for Madden? If he makes me pine for Art Donovan, I'm gonna turn on closed captioning.

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  45. True, but I don't blame him for not bringing in the guys who had those bloated Turner contracts. Had he bought out Goldberg, Flair, Sting, Hogan, Nash, etc., he would have had to give similar contracts to his own top guys and surely that's not a direction Vince wanted to go down, and I can't fault him for that.


    Sure, it kinda killed the invasion angle because not only were the WCW guys never booked as threats, they didn't have enough star power to be believable threats anyway.


    The best/smartest thing probably would have been to have had Vince buy WCW, bring over the guys they did but not do an invasion angle. Just have them apart of the roster and then when the Turner contracts expired, then start the invasion angle with the WCW guys who initially came over as 'good soldiers', actually having been plotting the thing from the beginning and they were the trojan horse. I'm not sure it would have been super successful, but it also couldn't have been worse than the actual angle.

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  46. Stranger's just laying down on the job again. Are we sure he's not Al Snow?

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  47. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 27, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I'm sorry, Mr. Rock Star. The nursing home computer was occupied by your momma trying to figure out how email works.

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  48. Yeah Tito used to be good back in the day. Now he's so out of touch and just trolls to get hits and comments.

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  49. Unless I mis-remembered, I recall Nitro cold opening with Vince bragging and saying "how can this be?!?!". I read IWC stuff, and I knew WCW was in huge trouble and was about to be sold. I heard about Bischoff and his people, and I heard about Vince showing interest or swooping in all of a sudden.

    And then it ACTUALLY HAPPENED ON CAMERA. Unbelievable.

    I watched WWF in the mid-80s to early 90s. I came back late 96 when nWo changed everything. I stuck with WCW and Nitro for pretty much my entire return, watched some WWF, but it was rare. And then WCW was sold to WWF. I moved over to WWF, and it took about 2 months before I finally started liking WWF again.

    And then I stuck around until around 2005 or 06 when I just couldn't take the terrible WWE. Came back during Summer of Punk.

    For me, the 2 most shocking moments of pro wrestling was Vince showing on Nitro as a victory lap, and Bischoff showing up on Raw to be GM. If I saw Bash at the Beach 96, then Hogan as the 3rd man would have been up there as well.

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  50. I hadn't watched WCW in forever but damn did "WWF Buys WCW" get my attention.

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  51. TNA Impact is like if WCW was perpetually WCW 99 to 01.

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  52. It didn't really have the time, planning, or wrestler fitness level to be good but I really can't think of a better way they could have wrapped the entire history of WCW/JCP better. Flair and Sting embracing mid ring is one of the most emotional moments in the history of wrestling.

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  53. It's like skyscrapers in Detroit. They sell for what a parking garage would in San Francisco.

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  54. He was shooting... He couldn't let them have their final goodbye to their fans. The shane stuff and whatever was fine at the end, but the cut ins of him trashing talent really pissed me off.

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  55. Yeah, I don't recall ever being annoyed by him when he was working with Solie. The stuff with Tenay makes it almost impossible for me to watch WCW with the sound on, even now. Tenay's fucking horrible voice and Tony's ridiculous comments couldn't even be saved by Heenan

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  56. I agree. There just wasn't the star power to do "dream matches" or a full "WCW takeover" type invasion.

    I am with you on the "no invasion" thing. I don't get why it is always suggested that the only possibility was an invasion storyline. The WWF vs. WCW war was the last "real" thing left and when WCW went under, that was gone. If you do an "invasion", it's just a wrestling angle. None of the legitimate appeal of WCW vs. WWF is there at that point. So you are left with the matches themselves. Since there were NO big names available in 2001, there were no dream matches to be had. Booker T. and DDP were just not the guys who were going to carry some mythical year-long invasion story.

    The Trojan Horse version works far better. You can have the guys who moved over to WWF in 2001 get back to work, while adding an awesome shot of new names to the roster. The cruisers, Booker T., the former ECW guys, etc would have freshened things up a lot. Then, when they feel like the big names are becoming available in '02, you can start the "takeover" thing. I think you had to have guys like Bischoff, nWo, Flair, Goldberg, et al available to make any kind of legit "WCW" brand work.

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  57. I agree. Even when WWF was taking back over the #1 spot, I was still a big fan of WCW due to their midcard guys. By 2000, most the guys I like had already left for the WWF anyway. It was still sad when WCW died off for good, but I didn't have any particular soft spot for anyone left on the roster, aside from maybe Booker T., Mysterio, and Kidman.

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  58. It was a really cool, surreal moment, but it also took something that used to be "real" (the WWF vs. WCW war) and instantly turned it into a wrestling angle.

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  59. As a wrestling fan, the only good thing to come of WCW being purchased by WWF is the video library. That's it.

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