April 30, 2022

ECW When World’s Collide Review

ECW When World’s Collide 


May 14, 1994 


We’re in Philly at the Bingo Hall. Commentary comes from Joey Styles. This was a few months after the “Line Was Crossed”. On this show ECW got a nice little crossover thing going and had WCW wrestlers Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson work the main event. Arn was tagging with Dustin Rhodes or Ricky Steamboat at the time but was about to join the Stud Stable along with Terry Funk so he’s about to bail on the ECW experiment. Bobby was tagging with Steve Keirn as Bad Attitude.  


ECW has a new intro and it makes the product look pretty badass. We’re still on the old Eastern Championship Wrestling graphic though. This is a more complete show than the past two. It’s nearly two hours long.  


The Rockin’ Rebel vs. Tommy Dreamer 

Dreamer has been out for a few months but he’s come back with the same dumb suspenders outfit. Dreamer has switched his approach out though is laying in chops. His moves look less lame. Jason Knight, Rebel’s manager, does a good job of making sure he takes the heat by being a pretty boy weasel. Rebel also helps by working heel but WWF heel. Dreamer takes him out with the Thesz Press to a ‘mixed’ reaction. Some people still hate him. ** 


ECW Television Championship 

Mikey Whipwreck (c) vs. 911  

Mikey is a pure babyface who gets upset wins but his plucky underdog character is over in Philadelphia who recognise a scrappy underdog hero. They have a statue of Rocky Balboa here! He does something cool, which is having the belt on loose, so it looks too big for him. It’s subtle.  

911 was a great gimmick. A big powerhouse who comes out here and kills people from the big leagues. 911’s first move is a chokeslam and that should do it. He hits a few more and the ref complains so he gets chokeslammed too. That would be a disqualification sir. 911 gets annoyed at the DQ and KILLS the ref, Pee Wee Moore, with another chokeslam. He ate shit on that second one. 911 yanks him back, apologising in the process, and gives him a nicer third chokeslam. This was carnage rather than a match and the crowd LOVED it.  


Kevin Sullivan vs. Jimmy Snuka 

Sullivan is already back in WCW at this point but fulfilling his ECW dates. This is the last one (bar a few guest appearances in November). Snuka is staying but it’s becoming increasingly hard to conceal his shortcomings without resorting to hardcore matches.  

Sullivan politely hits Snuka with plunder all match. Snuka looks completely finished. Keeping in mind this was 1994 and he carried on wrestling until 2014. The angle here is that Sandman steals Sullivan’s valet Woman, who would be staying here, and Sullivan gets distracted and pinned. This match was terrible. Sullivan takes it out on Snuka’s manager Hunter Q Robbins by hitting him in the nuts repeatedly with a cane. ½* 


Singapore Canes Match 

The Sandman & Woman vs. Tommy Cairo & Peaches 

Peaches is Sandman’s wife Lori Fullington. Sandman has completely reinvented himself now. The surfer dude is gone and he smokes on his way to the ring wearing zubazz pants and a black shirt. Like if Gangrel was into beer not blood.  

This begins Sandman’s obsession with the Singapore Cane. The cane was after Michael Fay, a US student, got caned as punishment in Singapore. It was all over the news, so Heyman turned it into an angle. The ladies get into a fight but Cairo drills Sandman with a DDT and Lori pins her husband. This was pretty bad but it was all about the caning not the match. * 


Sandman gets caned, on the ass no less, but Woman throws powder in Lori’s eyes and Sandman steals the cane. He waffles Cairo repeatedly and gets himself the missing link in his gimmick. Sandman would end up being mega-over in ECW from then on. Cairo blades and Lori gets caned in the legs. Like the last match this was more about the angle than the match but the angle got over huge. Heyman’s storytelling didn’t necessarily require good matches. You work with what you have and everything is over.  


Next Pee Wee Moore is introduced as the referee for the next match so 911 runs out here and chokeslams the poor bastard again. John Finnegan is introduced and he glances nervously at the entrance. Haha.  


The Pitbull vs. The Tazmaniac 

Taz is still a barefoot savage who “doesn’t speak English”. The match is scrappy. There’s a lot of brawling before Wolfe takes over on the leg. The boring nature of the mat work is a reminder that ECW went all-in on the angles in 1994 because most of the wrestlers couldn’t do much in the ring. Taz does have his range of suplexes and he throws Wolfe around for the comeback but Pitbull hits him with a chain for the pin. This was boring but competent. ** 


Shane Douglas, Mr Hughes & Public Enemy vs. JT Smith & The Bruise Brothers  

This is a four on three elimination match, which is certainly a choice. I believe Roadwarrior Hawk was supposed to be on JT’s team but he’s injured so it’s 4 on 3.  

Public Enemy have gotten themselves over. It’s weird that in turning their gimmick into a colourful dancing act has actually worked in Philly. This is another ECW brawl, but it’s contained in the ring and one of the Harris’ gets isolated, which is an odd choice. JT Smith is right there guys. At least Shane and Rocco competently work the leg over but it’s so dull. Boring competence is not what I came here for. It’s an elimination match, can’t he just tap out? JT gets in there and they work his knee over too. I would have LOVED to have seen a clipped version of this.  

Everyone bar Public Enemy and JT brawl to the back and get counted out. Since when did this company have count outs? And how on earth did four people get counted out at the same time? What the fuck are you smoking Paul E? Keep in mind here that Public Enemy are the tag team champions and they’re now 2 on 1 with jobberific JT Smith, on one leg. They work his leg over for another five minutes until JT gets a fluke roll up on Rocco Rock. Grunge gets rolled up moments later and JT Smith wins. Haha. ECW! We went 24 minutes for this. A guy getting his leg worked over, in an elimination match, for nearly half an hour to beat the tag champs by himself. 30 minutes of bullshit I’ll never get back. DUD 


Sabu & Bobby Eaton vs. Terry Funk & Arn Anderson 

Curiously they’ve decided to bring in Eaton as the heel and Arn as the babyface. Probably not realising WCW are planning on turning Arn in a few weeks. Both Eaton and Arn were known as tag wrestlers so Paul E has done something clever in sticking them together like this.  

Instead of trying to have a good match they opt to have a wild brawl with the WCW boys integrating into the ECW way. Terry Funk is the star of the match, putting over Sabu’s moves and selling Eaton’s punches with every bit of gusto that he does Sabu’s crazy shit. Funk is so versatile and at this point he wasn’t a wreck either. Double A is also outstanding. A great wrestler can make anything look devastating. His left hands, his knee drop. Basic moves but they look dangerous. Sabu tries to raise his game in this environment. Not by doing anything outrageous but by hitting good solid moves. He does fuck up a spot with Arn, which causes a befuddled Anderson to have to re-do the spot.  

Arn is one of those wrestlers that should be required viewing for trainees. Everything he does is logical. His selling makes me believe in the force of the move being received. He also has sensational positioning and his selling while waiting for a move to happen is exemplary. You could argue he could have been showier but he already had better execution than anyone else. He didn’t need to outshine people. His DDT in this match is flawless. Not to mention the Spinebuster. Putting Arn in this environment is a prime example of what a sensational wrestler he was. How he adapts, how strong he looks and how he strong he makes other people look. Arn turns on Funk after Terry accidentally waffles him with a chair and his attack on Terry’s injured leg is brilliant. Sadly this never led to Funk vs. Arn because Terry was leaving and Arn never came back. ***½ 


Paul Heyman rants at camera to close the show, after paying off Public Enemy for attacking Funk’s leg. Terry Funk gets to respond and he’s bringing Dory Funk Jr in for Hostile City Showdown! That show is NEXT!  


The 411:  

There’s a couple of great angles on this show. Heyman’s brain was working overtime to get people over, to get asses in seats and make ECW a hot ticket. Tommy Dreamer is developing, 911 is a fantastic character, Mikey’s fluke title win is great, Sandman’s gimmick is almost there thanks to the smoking and the Singapore Cane and the Dangerous Alliance stuff with Terry Funk is carrying the main event scene.  


Not everything is landing. This is true. The JT Smith vs Public Enemy elimination business was dire. Sullivan vs. Snuka was awful. Sometimes if a match is over, then it works for me regardless of how technically good it is. If your crowd is popping stuff then you’ve got your finger on their pulse. Heyman was very good at that. I’m sure he wanted to showcase great wrestling but sometimes you’ve just got to work with what you have. The addition of Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton makes the main event a bit of a curio and a genuinely good match during a year where ECW was better known for weaving intricate storylines than anything else.  

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