ECW House Party 1996: Is There A Bakery In The ECW Arena That I Don’t Know About?

ECW House Party 1996
Date: January 5, 1996
Location: ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 1,150
Commentator: Joey Styles

Great, back to Philly again. This was another request for a show which I don’t remember the reasoning behind. This is from ECW golden era as Heyman was still considered brilliant before he self destructed and messed up everything he had built. I only know a little bit about this time period so it’s hard to say what’s coming. There’s a chance there’s a legendary ECW moment here so if that’s the case I’m looking forward to it. Let’s get to it.

Joey is in the ring to start but can’t even say his own name before Bill Alfonso and the whistle interrupt him. Fonzie says that he hates Styles and wants more interviews for himself and Taz. Joey finally rips into Fonzie and says that he’s ruining everything. They argue some more until Taz comes in and threatens Styles.

911, the 7’0 300lb enforcer of ECW, comes out to save Joey. Promoter Tod Gordon runs out and blasts Fonzie, making Taz go after Gordon. 911 grabs Taz by the throat but referees come out and break it up. The ring is cleared out other than one small guy who Taz suplexes. Joey gets yelled at again so here’s 911 again. A guy that looks like Chris Jericho with black hair runs in and jumps 911, taking out his knee.

Oh it’s Kronus with Saturn, more commonly known as the Eliminators, to beat up 911. This goes on for awhile until Rey Mysterio comes in for the save. This is back when Rey had two good knees and wasn’t roided out of his mind. He flies all over the place and cleans house, sending the Eliminators to the floor and hitting a big moonsault press to take both guys out. We have a match apparently.

Rey Mysterio Jr./911 vs. The Eliminators

Rey vs. Kronus to start with Mysterio flying all over the place and taking out both Eliminators with an armdrag/rana combo. Rey gets sent to the floor and here’s Taz to choke 911 again. The fans chant for Sabu and Taz just lets go. Rey and Kronus have some weapons brought in and everything breaks down. Well, as much as everything can break down in an ECW match.

Total Elimination takes 911 down again and Taz chokes him some more. Saturn (who has long black hair here) powerbombs Rey down but Mysterio comes back with a double DDT. 911 gets back in and Rey gets on his shoulders. It’s time to play some chicken. Rey fakes Saturn out though and jumps into the air, hitting a rana on Kronus off Saturn’s shoulders for the pin. That looked awesome.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t much but the Eliminators were nothing more than Total Elimination and matching black hair at this point. Mysterio would be in WCW in about 5 months while 911 would be 911 for the rest of his time in ECW. Nothing to see here but the ending was pretty sweet looking.

Post match the Eliminators take out Mysterio and the Pitbulls run in for the save. Francine, looking good in leather, beats up Jason, the Eliminators’ manager. The Eliminators pull her off Jason and hit Total Elimination on her, basically killing her. Jason gets beaten up as a consolation prize.

Rob Van Dam vs. Axl Rotten

This is Van Dam’s ECW debut. Rotten looks a bit thinner than he would in his more famous days. Rotten runs from a spin kick and then wants a karate fight. We haven’t had any significant contact in the first minute or so here. Rotten gets in a shot and starts pounding away, only to get caught in a Japanese armdrag for one. A chop takes Rotten down for two as Rob is starting to roll. In the match, not joints.

Rotten pokes Rob in the eye and sends him into the buckle to take over. Something we would call the Angle Slam puts Van Dam down and Rotten pounds away in the corner. It’s so strange to see Van Dam getting no fan support like this. Rotten makes some martial arts motions but misses a top rope elbow.

About two people try to start a LET’S GO ROB chant but it doesn’t quite work. Van Dam hits a top rope splash minus the frog aspect for two. Rotten goes to the floor and Rob hits a flip dive to put him down again. Back in and the top rope kick gets two. Rotten pounds away in the corner but misses a charge. Split legged moonsault gets the pin.

Rating: C-. Not much to see here but it’s pretty historic for ECW. It’s always fun to see where guys started, as Rob here was just a guy in a singlet who could jump high in the air. Rotten was better as a tag team guy which we’ll see later on. Other than that, this was just a way to fill in about seven minutes, which was fine.

TV Title: Mikey Whipwreck vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

Mikey won a winner take all match for the TV and Tag Titles over Scorpio a few weeks ago. Through a series of unimportant events, Mikey has accidentally joined Raven’s Nest (the original Flock) which neither the Nest or Mikey wants. Keep that in mind for later. Scorpio has Woman with him but there’s no Cactus, Mikey’s partner, for Mikey to balance things out. Whipwreck is defending if that wasn’t clear.

Scorpio says that Mikey can leave now and avoid a beating, so Mikey hits him with the belt to get us going. Mikey hits another belt shot but Scorpio kicks it back into his face to take over. Whipwreck gets launched into the air and crashes down face first onto the mat. A kick to the head puts Mikey down again and the beating continues. Scorpio talks some trash on a mic and keeps beating the champion up.

Mikey finally hits an enziguri to slow the beating down, followed by a cross body to send Scorpio to the floor. The idea is that Mikey was so used to getting beaten up that he’s not experienced on offense yet. They head to the floor and Mikey keeps pounding away on the back. Back in and Mikey grabs a German suplex for two. A legdrop gets one and 2 Cold has to poke him in the eye to break the momentum.

A powerbomb is countered into a rana by Mikey followed by a jumping kick to the ribs off the top. That looked bad. Scorpio heads to the floor and hits a running chair shot to the head of Whipwreck. Back in and a powerbomb keeps Mikey down. He gets sent into the chair and Scorpio can taste the gold. I wonder if it tastes like chicken. Everything else does. A powerslam sets up a twisting legdrop out of the corner but Mikey gets out at two.

Mikey reverses a bulldog to send Scorpio face first into a chair. He pops Scorpio in the back with the chair a few times, followed by a surfboard. 2 Cold gets up as most of Mikey’s offense doesn’t work that well and hits a Tombstone Powerslam for two. A moonsault hits but Scorpio lets him up, which is what cost him the initial match. Scorpio superplexes him but again lets Mikey up at two.

The Tumbleweed (rotating splash) gets two on Whipwreck again and now Scorpio is getting mad. Mikey grabs a swinging DDT out of nowhere but it only gets two. A top rope rana puts Scorpio down but he rolls to the floor before he gets covered. Mikey hits a BIG dive off the top and over the barricade to take Scorpio down again. Back in and Scorpio kicks Mikey’s head off to take over. Scorpio hits a belly to back superplex but the referee gets hit in the process. Cue Raven who DDTs Mikey, allowing Scorpio to hit a moonsault into a legdrop for the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. This was pretty good overall and the best match on the card by a few miles so far. Mikey could sell like a master but his offense never quite worked. He was a character designed around making the fans feel sorry for him and therefore care about him, but it doesn’t do much in one shots like this one. Scorpio was his usual high flying awesome self.

Taz vs. Hack Myers

Speaking of guys that are only good for the live crowd, I give you Hack Myers. He’s a biker that doesn’t do much other than punch and he’s called the Shah of Hardcore for no apparent reason. Fonzie comes out in a Dallas Cowboys jersey, making him more awesome than anything on this show so far. Myers works on the arm for a bit but Taz throws him down like a fly. You know, because you often throw over flies.

Joey talks about “these Ultimate Fighting PPVs” which have inspired guys like Taz. Taz rolls him down to the mat and puts on a hold of some sort on the neck. Myers sends him into the corner and elbows him in the back of the head to take over. Taz is like screw that and takes him down with a judo throw. Some more punches are countered by a T-Bone Tazplex followed by a head and arms Tazplex. A German Tazplex sets up the Tazmission for the tap.

Rating: D. Taz was pretty awesome with those suplexes but he needed more to work with here. Myers was a hometown favorite but man was he boring to watch for non-ECW fans. Taz would run through ECW for the next year or so before facing Sabu in the real main event of Barely Legal.

Post match Taz says he’s going on a Path of Rage through ECW and no one is stopping him. That was pretty much correct.

Jimmy Del Ray vs. Bubba Ray Dudley

Del Ray is one half of the Heavenly Bodies but Tom Pritchard has been sent to the WWF as Zip in the Body Donnas, so Del Ray has Mr. Hughes with him now to try to give him something to do. Sign Guy Dudley has a Sign Off with the Sign Guy in the front row. Moving on. Bubba can’t say his name which was his gimmick back then, so Del Ray jumps him to start. Bubba pounds him into the corner and comes back with a dropkick (yes you read that right) and it’s time for a dance off!

Bubba seems to win so Del Ray jumps him and pounds away. Neckbreaker gets two. Del Ray, as well as Pritchard for that matter, never really did anything for me although I haven’t seen a lot of their SMW stuff which is their most famous work. Del Ray’s whip into the corner is reversed and the big fat Bubba hits a corner splash but Del Ray hits him low.

A tornado DDT gets two for Jimmy and he’s getting frustrated because his minute and a half of offense didn’t work. Dudley tries the Bubba Bomb (a powerbomb, not the full nelson kind) but Mr. Hughes distracts him, which to be fair isn’t that hard to do. Del Ray hits Bubba again but as he tries a backdrop, Bubba DDTs him for the pin. Bubba would get better to say the least. Too short to rate but this was nothing.

Post match a brawl breaks out and Mr. Hughes yells about the Dudleys and Bubba’s inability to speak English in particular….and here’s Shane Douglas. He’s returning to ECW after being Dean Douglas in the WWF and the fans ERUPT. He’s doing a parody of the teacher, making fun of the English of Bubba. Shane does the Triple Threat sign and says things are going to be fixed around here. Shane hits Bubba and that’s about it. What an odd way to return for a big name in ECW.

At this point there would be a match with the Bad Breed vs. JT Smith and Tony Stetson but apparently it wasn’t on the home video. It went to a no contest, apparently due to the Bad Breed half murdering them.

We now get to the very famous segment from this show. Dancing Stevie Richards comes out along with Blue Meanie and Beaulah. Stevie says he’s no longer Dancing Stevie but rather Studly Stevie, the King of Swing. He talks about Missy Hyatt wanting him which is the result of them kissing on Hardcore TV recently. He makes fun of the American Males which shows you the level of references they’re reaching here.

Joey makes fun of Richards for wasting TV time like this. Stevie points out that Raven isn’t here and talks about how Raven was at a concert in early December. Raven started partying that night and he’s just now coming down. During that span, Beaulah has been neglected by Raven so Richards is going to kiss her to make up for it. She says no and that she doesn’t want to be touched. Richards says it’s because she’s Raven’s girl but she says it’s because she’s pregnant. Joey freaking out by that is pretty funny stuff.

Raven comes out and yells at her, saying the pills say one day at a time. We get the next bombshell as Beaulah says it’s not Raven’s. Raven blasts Richards but she says it’s not his either. She says it’s Tommy’s and Raven freaks. Dreamer runs out and destroys Raven, hitting him with whatever he can find, including a sign with a stop sign hidden inside.

Then in one of the more bizarre moments in ECW history (which is saying a lot) a fan hands Tommy a blueberry pie which Raven gets piledriven onto. You know, because when you come to a wrestling show, you bring blueberry pie with you. Dreamer and Beaulah leave together as this feud continues.

ECW World Title: Sandman vs. Konnan

Sandman is defending. Woman is with Sandman and is in a different dress than earlier tonight. Sandman has an abbreviated entrance here, only taking four and a half minutes to get into the ring. This is back when Konnan was young and awesome. Awesome to the point that he would be on Nitro in less than three weeks. The champ stalls a lot as the fans boo Konnan for some reason. Oh it’s because he sold out after being in ECW for just a few months.

Konnan takes him down by the arm and works over the champ’s legs. With the legs tied up, he hooks a suplex head grip and cranks away on Sandman in a cool submission. Sandman accidentally falls into a counter (Joey’s words) and it’s a standoff. Konnan takes him right back to the mat in a rolling neck lock. Even Joey doesn’t know what to call it. Sandman actually tries to sit out with Konnan and they head to the floor.

Back in and a clothesline takes Konnan down as Sandman finally gets in some offense. Konnan kicks him in the face and speeds things up again. Sandman throws him to the floor and hits a plancha to crush Konna against the railing. Both guys are down now which is about the last thing they needed to do at this point. Konnan hits him in the head with a chair but Sandman elbows him in the head.

Konnan gets draped over the barricade and Sandman is in control after finally taking it to a place where he has some skill. They head into the crowd for a few seconds and then back inside the ring. Sandy pounds away and Konnan is cut open. Konnan gets sent into the post and we head outside again. Sandman throws a table onto Konnan and the three of them (table included) head back inside.

Sandman can’t superplex Konnan through the table and is thrown through it himself. Woman slaps Konnan, allowing Sandman to hit him in the head with a kendo stick. Rey Mysterio comes out and hands Konnan a cane of his own. Konnan gets in some shots with the cane but Sandman fires back. They both collapse and Woman pulls Sandman to his feet to beat the ten count (which should have ended when he was on his feet) and win the match.

Rating: D+. I wasn’t all that impressed here and the ending hurt it a lot. The other problem here was that with it being known that Konnan was leaving, he wasn’t a threat to take the title at all. Also this was before Sandman really had developed the limited in ring skills he would acquire, so this was a lot more of a fight than anything else. Nothing to see here but Konnan’s submissions weren’t bad.

Sabu vs. Stevie Richards

Richards slips getting into the ring and falls on his face. He also has a bad arm coming into this. Richards runs to start and throws in a chair. Yeah, throw a chair to Sabu. Joey agrees with me, saying that it’s like handing a chainsaw to Leatherface. Sabu has enough of the standing around so he hits a suicide dive to take over. Back inside and Sabu hooks a chinlock but Stevie powerbombs him out of the corner to take over.

Sabu will have none of that and comes back with a slingshot flipping legdrop. Off to an armbar of all things but it only lasts a few seconds. Richards is placed on the top rope and with the help of a chair, Sabu “hits” Air Sabu to knock him to the floor. Sabu slams him to the floor and both guys are down. Richards gets sent into the railing and Sabu sets up a table. Blue Meanie saves Stevie and we head back inside.

Sabu gets caught in an electric chair position but he rolls Richards over the top and out to the floor. This show needs to hurry up and end because it’s REALLY dragging badly now. Richards head fakes Sabu and the crazy one goes through the table. That would be the crazy one Sabu in case you were confused. Meanie gets in a kick on Sabu and they head inside again. Stevie drops a top rope punch for two as we see that he’s not the best on offense.

A Frankensteiner gets two for Sabu and both guys are spent. Richards is sent to the floor and Sabu finally dives over the top with a slingshot rana onto Meanie. Richards gets a horribly botched one of his own from Sabu and the guy in the bright yellow pants takes over again. Richards is placed on a table but Meanie makes the save.

Paul E of all people comes out to beat up Meanie and Sabu hits a dive through Richards through the table. Back inside and that only gets two as this match just keeps going. Richards rolls him up for two and hits the Stevie Kick for another two. A Sabu DDT gets the same and it’s chair time again. Sabu goes up and hits the Atomic Arabian Facebuster (flip leg drop with the chair) to get a pretty anti-climactic pin.

Rating: C-. This just kept going and going and it was only decent to begin with. Sabu would be pushed much harder over the next few months as he would feud with Taz while Richards would somehow get into the world title #1 contenders match at Barely Legal. This wasn’t awful but it dragged a lot which really hurt it.

Public Enemy vs. The Gangstas

This is Public Enemy’s last match before they head to WCW as well. The Public Enemy is Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock while the Gangstas are Mustafa Saed and New Jack. It’s a big dance party to start before Public Enemy says that they love it here and that this is their house. The fans aren’t sure if they want to chant “you’ll be back” or “you sold out”. Now Jack runs his mouth about WCW and Harlem Heat and all that jazz. Sensational Sherri is a ho apparently.

It’s a big brawl to start and did you really expect anything else? Jack immediately busts grunge open and beats on him with what looks like a whip. Rock and Saed get back in and Rock is choked with something. An iron, as in the thing you get wrinkles out with, is brought in and goes upside Rock’s head. Now it goes onto Jack’s head for two. Public Enemy takes over and we’ve got a lot of blood already.

Grunge DDTs Mustafa for no cover before sending him to the floor. Mustafa is put on the tbale and there’s a big flip dive by Rock through Mustafa through said table. We go into the crowd with Grunge hammering away on Jack. Mustafa busts out a spinning toe hold on Rocco of all things but gets caught in a small package for two. Jack piledrives Grunge on the floor and goes up onto a balcony for a splash. This is just mindless violence at this point.

A loaf of bread is used as a weapon. I hope it was white because if you bring in whole wheat…..I don’t even want to think of that kind of carnage. They head back to ringside as we have a pie used. Rock is placed on a table in the ring and Saed hits a Vader Bomb through it, allowing Grunge to cover Saed for two. Everyone gets back inside now and it’s time for another table.

Jack and Grunge head to the floor again and a can of soda is used upside Jack’s head. Rock moonsaults Saed through the table but can’t cover. Saed suplexes Rock down but Grunge comes in to beat on him. A reverse DDT by Grunge sets up a modified Swanton Bomb from Rock (The Drive By) for the pin on Saed to send Public Enemy out on a high note.

Rating: D+. This was ECW’s signature stuff: mindless violence and destruction. This isn’t my taste but the fans in Philly ate it up. Speaking of eating, what was with all the food used in this match? Did a bakery open up in the ECW Arena that I wasn’t told about? Either way this wasn’t awful but it was what it was: a big brawl which is how Public Enemy should have gone out.

Rock thanks the fans and invites everyone into the ring for one last dance to end the show. They would be back in about three years.

Overall Rating: D. This certainly wasn’t the worst ECW show I’ve ever seen, but it felt like one of the longest. The good stuff here does exist but at the same time a lot of these matches went on WAY longer than they needed to, namely Sabu vs. Richards. This was also a show where you could see a lot of transition for ECW, as a ton of people were leaving but a lot of big names were arriving, such as RVD and the returning Shane Douglas. Not the worst ECW show ever, but it’s just not my taste at all.

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