ECW/NWA Blood Feast ‘93
November 2, 1993
Yes, yes, I know. I couldn’t sit through WrestleMania. Sorry. I just fucking hate that company with a fiery passion and can’t deal with vomit inducing jump cuts, weird enhanced reality floating skulls and child-friendly entertainment. So, as a mark of rebellion, I have decided to watch ECW’s Blood Feast 1993*. It’s on YouTube and I’m pretty sure it’s on there licenced so it’s ok to plug it. It’s also less than an hour, so it’s already better than WrestleMania.
*Blood may or may not occur.
We’re in the Bingo Hall in Philly. Host is Joey Styles.
Please excuse the lack of images in here. The conversion on YouTube is low-res and any screens would look naff. It looks like it’s been uploaded from a VHS copy, which it probably has.
ECW Tag Team Championship
Tony Stetson & Johnny Hot Body (c) vs. The Sandman & JT Smith
This is Sandman when he actually wrestled. He does mat chaining and stuff. It’s weird. The champs are from Larry Sharp’s Monster Factory. The match is more angle than match with Sandman getting thrown out of the ring and falling on Terry Funk, who’s watching at ringside. Terry gets pissed off about it and hits Sandman with a chair for the DQ. Terry is all “this son of a bitch jumped me”. That’s what you get for not paying attention! *
Tommy Dreamer vs. The Tazmaniac
Tazmaniac is Taz before his gimmick rounded out. He’s a wild man from Borneo or some such place. Dreamer has been wrestling for about a year and is a white meat babyface. This is his ECW debut. They fucking hate him. He’s from “Dreamland, USA”. What a nerd. Taz is always fun. He throws Tommy around and was probably an asshole about it. Tommy’s offence is like lightweight John Cena stuff. It’s painful. Taz hurls Dreamer off the top for the win. This was quite bad but Taz’s suplexes were fun. Weird to see Dreamer as a complete geek. *¾
ECW Heavyweight Championship
Shane Douglas (c) vs. JT Smith
JT comes in injured, and Douglas works the leg the whole match. Joey suggests Smith would never submit and could win the title if he was 100%. Sure, Joey. You keep that five-year-old fanboy energy going mate. JT refuses to quit so Terry Funk, continuing to interfere where he has no business doing so, throws the towel in to protect Smith’s injury. Terry then slaps him around a bit and JT is like…you fucking quit not me, you old cunt. I was quite enjoying this until Terry Funk got involved…again. *¾
The Badd Company vs. The Public Enemy
This is Public Enemy’s third match in ECW. Badd Company are nearing the end of their run. In 1994 they signed for WCW and as with their WWF run they ended up with some weird Asian gimmick. I always liked Pat Tanaka. He shows Rocco Rock some kung-fu and that goes over well. I liked Rocco too, at least his earlier stuff, and feel that Public Enemy being successful hindered his career as he got pigeonholed as a tag wrestler. Public Enemy isolate Diamond and work over his leg. Which leg? Um. Depends on who’s in the ring. I would say this is a no brainer for Public Enemy to win but then Pat Tanaka can’t hit a load of thrust kicks to pop the crowd. Young Bucks didn’t even start the superkick spamming. Public Enemy miscue and that’s the finish. Did ECW have a good finish in 1993 or were they all screwy? **½
Rockin’ Rebel vs. Chris Michaels
Michaels started out as a WWF jobber called Bill Pierce. He’s a jobber here too. Rockin’ Rebel is a jacked up dude (also a former WWF jobber called Chuck Williams) and a complete asshole. He manages to drop a chair on the referee’s face, without warning him, because he’s a prick. Sal Bellomo runs him off and that’s a non-finish. Astonishingly Rockin’ Rebel kept working until 2018. 2018! DUD
Bad Breed vs. Don E Allen & Chad Austin
Bad Breed is Axl & Ian Rotten. Two football hooligans from “Newcastle”. They’re both dreadful and careless. Bad Breed make it out of the match without seriously injuring either opponent so we’ll call that a win. DUD.
Jimmy Snuka & Magnificent Muraco vs. Badd Company
Jimmy Snuka? They have all the nice lads in ECW eh? What bad has Jimmy Snuka ever done? Apart from murdering someone, obviously. Public Enemy, incensed about the loss to Badd Company, jump them pre-match. Bad Breed then jump Badd Company and Snuka & Muraco win without a fight. Which is a bonus because based on Muraco’s spare tire I can’t imagine he had much in the tank.
ECW Heavyweight Championship
Shane Douglas (c) vs. Sabu
This is part of the Dangerous Alliance split where Paul E sided with Sabu. At the time they were wheeling Sabu to the ring like Hannibal Lecter and then being unleashed. It’s a pretty awesome gimmick. Heyman had just taken over the book from Eddie Gilbert at this point so we’re seeing what his mind is like. There are some good ideas, for sure, albeit realised through dreadful finishes. Here Paul gets into a fight with Sherri Martel at ringside and Sabu wins the belt with a moonsault. That’s it? A moonsault? *¼
If Shane’s first run as champion was a damp squib it was merely with Paul Heyman finding his feet. He’d later on rely on Shane to carry the title for a year during a key point in ECW’s development and go back to him again when ECW was looking to expand in the late 90s for an even longer run.
Jimmy Snuka vs. Chad Austin
Snuka was a mainstay of early ECW. A name star that could go on the marquee and sell tickets. A few months before this WWF, desperately short on talent, even gave him another shot. Based on this match it should be abundantly clear why that didn’t work out for him. He puts in the bare minimum of effort. The best part is him going for a powerbomb and not bothering to lift poor Chad and letting him go halfway through. 3 minutes of nothing. DUD.
Video Control gives us some more clips from Public Enemy vs. Badd Company with Bad Breed interfering. Magnificent Muraco provides colour commentary here. “This is crazy, this is ECW” soundbites Joey Styles only for Muraco to tell him it’s actually NWA. This obviously being pre-rebrand.
ECW was a raw local Indie back in 1993. The lawlessness that made ECW a household name came apart as much from the surroundings as the booker. Heyman seized upon the bloodthirsty Philly fans and knew they would take to more outlandish gimmicks designed at causing mayhem. Sabu was the first, along with, to a lesser degree, Terry Funk. As Heyman got progressively better at hiding the weaknesses of his stars he created a company of rebels and outcasts. It was an underdog worth rooting for who gave fans an old school style of wrestling (like the NWA of the 80s) but mashed it up with pop culture and ultra-violence to create something new. Heyman’s dream eventually becoming reality as ECW got onto TV, got onto PPV and started making WCW nervous as to whether it could remain the number two wrestling promotion in North America. The early days of ECW are an area I’m less familiar with. I started watching the company around 1995/96 when they’d already built up their own talent. It’ll be interesting to take a look back at old ECW. Will I see this little adventure out? Only time will tell gentle reader.