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The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter review of an ECW Arena show from five years ago in December.
-Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor
* * *
Torch Newsletter Archive
By Chris Forbes, Torch correspondent
December 6, 1997 - ECW Arena show
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #470
Cover dated: December 13, 1997
ECW Arena Report
Candido & Storm capture tag belts
When: December 6, 1997
Where: Philadelphia, Pa. - ECW Arena
What: ECW house show
Attendance: est. 1,350
(1) Tommy Rogers (Thomas Couch) & Jerry Lynn (same) beat FBI (Tracy Smothers (same) & Little Guido (James Stone), w/Tommy Rich (Thomas Richardson)). The crowd chanted, "Where's your belts?" at FBI. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon had captured the tag belts the night before. Lynn and Guido exchanged armlocks early. Lynn hit a tilt a whirl backbreaker and a dropkick to take over offense. Smothers and Rogers both tagged in. Smothers stalled and the crowd chanted "boring." A four way brawl broke out. Roger dove onto Smothers over the top rope.
Lynn followed by diving off the top turnbuckle onto Guido which got crowd pops. Lynn tagged in officially and hit a flying bodypress on Guido for a two count. Guido then snapped Lynn off the ropes. The heels got the advantage. Rich crotched Lynn on the railing. The heels beat on Lynn for about five minutes until Lynn hot-tagged Rogers. He cleaned house for a minute, then hit a top rope dropkick. Smothers went to the top rope and hit an elbow, but hit Guido when Rogers moved. Rogers hit an underhook DDT on Guido. Rich came in, but Lynn missed hitting him, so Rich hit Lynn. Rogers stood and gave Rich a double arm underhook DDT as Rich was gloating about hitting Lynn. Rogers went for the cover and scored a three count. An okay match, but too many restholds when Smothers was in the ring. (**)
(2) Mikey Whipwreck (John Watson) beat Justin Credible (P.J. Walker) (w/Jason (Jason Knight)). The crowd chanted, "Just'an Asshole" at Justin. Mikey hit a monkeyflip early, driving Justin into Jason. Mikey then dove onto both Justin and Jason and popped the crowd. Mikey threw Justin over the railing and into the crowd, then back into the ring. Fans chanted, "F-- him up, Mikey." Mikey shoved Justin into the corner. Justin slid to the mat to avoid hitting the turnbuckle, but ended up crotching himself on the ringpost. A moment later Justin leapfrogged over Mikey and hit a reverse DDT to gain the advantage. He followed with a slidekick onto Mikey.
He hit a powerbomb for a two count. He brought a chair into the ring and suplexed Mikey onto it for a pop. He went to the top rope with a chair and dove, but Mikey lifted his foot and caught him in the face. Mikey took over offense. Justin reversed a top rope bodypress for a near fall. Mikey caught Justin on the top rope. He went for a top rope diamond cutter. Jason ran in, but Mikey leapfrogged over him and nailed a stunner on Jason. He followed with a top rope FrankenMikey on Justin and scored a three count. A good match from start to finish, better than their PPV match. Justin and Jason yelled at each other after the match. (**1/2)
(3) Al Snow (Allen Sarven) pinned Paul Diamond (Thomas Boric) (w/Chastity). Snow had on his forehead the words, "Help me!" spelled backward. His boots read, "Job Squad." His shoulder was also taped up. The crowd chanted, "We want head, We want head" in reference to Snow's mannequin head manager. Chastity snuck to Snow's head and tried to get it. Snow went crazy and attacked and kicked Diamond and then hit him with the head. He chopped Diamond and fans chanted, "Whooo!" At ringside Snow rammed Chastity and Diamond's heads together. He hit Diamond with some chips and crotched him on the railing.
Chastity grabbed Snow's head and Diamond kneed him in the back. Diamond then rammed Snow's taped up shoulder into the ringpost and followed with a weak chairshot. Chastity grabbed The Head and Snow nailed Diamond with a flurry of punches. He then went after Chastity. Back in the ring Snow hit a DDT. Chastity came into the ring and jumped on Snow. Snow picked her up and gave her a brainbuster suplex. The fans popped huge, standing and cheering. Snow then gave Diamond the brainbuster suplex. The crowd chanted, "head, head, head." Nothing special until the last three minutes, which were really good. Snow probably isn't 100 percent and Diamond doesn't appear to be a good worker anymore. (*1/2)
(4) Chris Candido (same) & Lance Storm (Lance Evers) beat Axl Rotten (Brian Knighton) & Balls Mahoney (John Rechner) and Phil LaFon (same) & Doug Furnas (same) (w/Lance Wright and Bodyguard Brakus) in a three-way dance for the ECW Tag Team Titles. Wright got on the mic and said he is Vince's message boy and he wanted to throw ECW's tag belts in the trash on Raw is War. Wright thanked LaFon, Furnas, and Titan Towers.
Wright held a WWF banner up. Axl & Balls came out and said the only way they would have a chance to dump the ECW belts on Raw would be "with these f---in' chairs wrapped around your head." Fans popped. Lance Storm, Chris Candido, and Francine (on crutches) came out. Candido said, "F--- the WWF. I don't care if I get heat for this since my wife works there. F--- the WWF and f--- you Doug and Phillip. No way are the ECW belts going to the WWF." He said Axl & Balls wouldn't represent ECW, either, because the Triple Threat run ECW. The referee ordered the match to become a three-way dance. All six went right at it. In the ring Axl hit a hard clothesline on Candido and also hit a powerbomb. Furnas gave Balls a good suplex. Furnas hit a frankensteiner on Candido. Furnas also tossed Storm around the ring. LaFon had Balls up for a slap. Axl dropkicked Furnas in the back and then pinned him to eliminate the champs from the match.
Axl & Balls brawled with Candido & Storm as fans chanted, "Show your tits" at Francine. Storm hit a nice flying kick for a two count. Balls sidekicked Storm out of the ring. Candido became a human bump machine as he sold big time to Axl and Balls. Axl caught Candido in the air and turned it into a powerbomb and scored a near fall. Storm hit Balls with a chair, but Balls no-sold it and then powerbomb DDT'd Storm on a chair. Candido broke up the count. Candido hit Balls and Axl with a crutch handed to him by Francine. Storm and Candido hit a double top rope suplex to score the pin and capture the ECW Tag Titles. A good tag match. There was almost a sense of letdown that the ECW belts wouldn't be shown off on Raw. It sets up a nice series of matches with Candido & Storm vs. Balls & Axl. A better match than the last two four-way dances. (***)
Joey Styles (Joseph Bosignore) interviewed John Kronus in mid-ring. Kronus talked about the hand injury he suffered two nights earlier. One hand was in a cast and the other was heavily taped. The Dudleys came out. The crowd chanted, "New Jack, New Jack." Buh Buh told Styles over the house mic, "Get the f--- out of here."
(5) Buh Buh Ray (Mark Lomonica) & D-Von Dudley (Devon Hughes) (w/Big Dick) beat John Kronus (George Caiazo) & New Jack (Jerome Young). New Jack came out just as the Dudleys were about to beat on Kronus. Kronus got beat up at ringside by Big Dick Dudley. New Jack threw a trash can full of objects into the ring. He used the trash can lid as a weapon before the Dudleys overtook New Jack. Buh Buh Ray used a cheese grater against New Jack, so New Jack bladed.
Spike Dudley came out to stop his half-brothers, giving them a flying top rope bulldog. Big Dick didn't sell the move. New Jack then gave Big Dick a shot over the head with a guitar. Dudley then brought in a table and hit a Dudley Death Drop on Spike, but the table didn't break. Buh Buh Ray then powerbombed Spike and this time it broke the table. They then hung him with a chain. Through all of that chaos, the Dudleys won via pinfall..
The pinfall was the first sign to the crowd that an official match was actually taking place. Total ECW brutality. The Dudleys may be the most hated team in the arena. One thing Buh Buh Ray should not have done was violently throw the trash can into the crowd. If wrestlers don't want fans throwing things at them, why should it be any different going the other direction? Bad judgement. New Jack was going to be stretchered after the match, but he said, "Screw the stretcher." He was helped from the ring.
(6) "Superstar" Stevie Richards (Michael Manna) beat Chrs Chetti (same). Stevie got a standing ovation. He debuted new ring attire - leather shorts and a leather jacket. Richards nailed a Steviebomb for a near fall. Chetti challenged Richards to "shoot." He locked on a series of submission holds, but Richards kept reaching the ropes. Chetti slipped climbing the ropes. Richards took a bump anyway as if he was kicked in a big-time messed up spot.
Chetti hit Stevie with a powerbomb, but stood there for 30 seconds and signalled for a superkick. He hit it and did the jump from one rope to the other rope, but missed a moonsault. Richards then hit his superkick for the win. Pretty bad match. Richards got on the house mic and complained about ECW accusing him of selling out. He said he was back in ECW. Some cheers, a lot of boos. He said he is the only talent in the god-forsaken promotion. "I have two words for all of my fans. F--- you." He repeated his two words to each side of the arena. Richards's music was Steve Austin's old music when he was with ECW.
(7) Sabu (Terry Brunk) & Rob Van Dam (Rob Szatkowsky) (w/Bill Alfonso) beat Sandman (James Fullington) & Tommy Dreamer (Thomas Laughlin) (w/Beulah). They came out with a ladder. Beulah climbed on it, looking hot in her white outfit. Dreamer poured beer on Beulah's breasts and licked it off. Beulah mouthed, "Oh, wow!" and smiled at Dreamer. Sandman and Dreamer hit dual slidekicks to open the match. Sabu in the ring hit a flying sidekick on Dreamer. He tried it on Sandman, but Sandman avoided it and Sabu hit the mat hard. Sabu tossed Dreamer into the crowd and jumped off a chair onto the ropes and then into the crowd onto Dreamer.
Van Dam meanwhile launched onto Sandman with a flip. A nice sequence. Sabu and Van Dam got locked in the ropes. Dreamer & Sandman went to ram the heels with a ladder when Alfonso grabbed them. They managed to slip out of the ropes. Dreamer and Sandman tossed a ladder onto Van Dam and Sabu. Sandman tumbled into the corner onto the ladder. Also, Sandman hit Van Dam hard in the head with a ladder. Sandman and Dreamer hit a legdrop, splash combo move which is a trademark double-team move for Sabu and Van Dam. Dreamer and Sandman followed up with a double piledriver. They missed a spot as Van Dam missed Sandman with a kick. Alfonso challenged Beulah. Heel ref Jeff Jones came out and grabbed Beulah and took her away.
Van Dam and Sabu managed to hit their legdrop, splash combo. They held up Dreamer's bad leg with a chair and dumped a ladder onto it. They also tossed Sandman off the top rope head-first into the ladder. They put Sandman's head in the ladder, put a chair next to it, and Sabu dove onto Sandman, whose head hit the ladder. Sandman was carted from the ring. Alfonso got on the mic and said, "Vince, write out a small check to buy this bingo hall." Taz's music played. He came out, but Van Dam and Sabu attacked him. Sabu held Taz as Van Dam hit a second rope kick that was right on. Dreamer came back at Sabu. Taz hit two suplexes on Van Dam.
Dreamer then brought in a ladder. Taz looked at Dreamer like he was nuts. Dreamer went to go to the top rope, but Taz stopped him. Taz then went up to the top rope. Dreamer then launched Taz in a Quebecer style flip splash sending him through a table for a huge, huge crowd pop. Richards then snuck to the ring and superkicked Dreamer. He turned around and saw Taz standing there. Just as Taz was about to go after him, Sabu locked the Tazmission on Taz. Richards escaped from the scene. Van Dam then splashed Dreamer and scored the pin. Nice spots, especially with their use of the ladder. (***3/4)
Lance Wright then came out with his bodyguard, Brakus. The locker room emptied as they held him back. Brakkus is a huge monster. Snow came out and put The Head in front of the bodyguard. Taz looked at the scene like everyone was nuts. Furnas & LaFon came out and attacked Snow as Taz continued to watch. They finally dragged Brakus to the back. Wright was in the ring saying, "Thank god." Taz then gave his "chokeout" sign and gave Wright a suplex and locked on the Tazmission. The crowd popped big.
The Dudleys, Joel Gertner, and the FBI came out and beat on Taz and Dreamer. Buh Buh Ray mocked Taz after beating on him. New Jack came out and cleaned house. As all six brawled, Big Dick took a bump over the top rope. After clearing the ring of the Dudleys, New Jack went after Joel Gertner. Taz, though, stopped New Jack from hitting Gertner. In a cool spot, as Dreamer was thanking Taz for looking out for him, Taz broke character and hit Gertner with a trash can. Fans popped huge. New Jack and Dreamer folded their arms like Taz. Taz showed signs of approval, but wouldn't join them. He left the ring as New Jack and Dreamer celebrated.
Overall, a good card with a much better main event than at the pay-per-view. They return Jan. 6 to ECW Arena.
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