On This Day: November 18, 1995 – November to Remember 1995: ECW’s Best Show Ever

November to Remember 1995
Date: November 18, 1995
Location: ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 1,150
Commentator: Joey Styles

 

People whose opinions I respect have told me that this is the greatest ECW show of all time. With that information in mind I figured I had to take a look at it at least once. This is the last ECW show I’m going to do for a good while because I’m more or less out of ones I can do. The main event is a tag match with Raven/Cactus Jack facing Dreamer/Funk. Other than that it’s a big bunch of stuff but from what I understand it’s the whole package rather than a single match that makes this great. Let’s get to it.

 

Keep in mind that this is more or less ECW’s Wrestlemania.

 

Joey gives us a quick rundown of the card. This is the home video version so that makes some more sense this time.

 

Broad Street Bully vs. Don E. Allen

 

Bubba Ray Dudley is guest ring announcer for no apparent reason. The Dudleys hadn’t united yet so this is when it’s still the goofy stable. Bubba is in overalls and a top hat with a white jacket. D-Von would come in soon and get rid of Chubby, Dances With and Dudley (all with the last name Dudley) to make himself and Bubba the killers that they’re known as. They’re faces here though or at least Bubba is.

 

Bubba has a really bad stutter so him managing to get the title of the show out is considered remarkable. Actually scratch that as he’s gotten rid of the stutter….and there it is again before he can infringe on copyrighted material such as “let’s get ready to rumble.” Hearing Joey have sympathy Bubba is just weird. Big Dick gets mad at him so Bubba says screw this and beats up Allen. HUGE powerbomb puts him down so the Bully tries to jump Bubba. Bubba hammers him down and powerbombs him also, then pins him for no apparent reason. By the way the regular ring announcer is Joel Gertner.

 

Heyman comes out and calls for the lights to be dimmed. They come back on and SABU is back. Huge ovation for him and a bigger one for when he shakes hands with Heyman. He had been in WCW for a cup of coffee and that went nowhere so here he is back where the people love him.

 

Jason Knight vs. Konnan

 

Joey does the ring announcing for this for some reason. Knight is more famous as the Jason that hangs out with Justin Credible a few years after this. Yes he actually was a wrestler for awhile. Konnan is billed from AAA in Mexico. I need to do When Worlds Collide someday. Konnan is still masked here. The guest referee is Taz, who is still not healed from his neck injury so he can’t wrestle tonight.

 

He had been Tazmaniac for his entire run up to that point so this was a repackaging for him. Taz says tells you he can’t wrestle due to the doctors and ECW not clearing him to wrestle. Jason cuts him off and we see why Jason rarely talked. Taz says Jason has Konnan to deal with so Taz says ring the bell, decks Jason and lets Konnan hit a crucifix bomb to end this in like 10 seconds. Taz will be back later.

 

El Puerto Ricano vs. Stevie Richards

 

Richards is a goofy putz (Joey’s words) here and is Raven’s (top heel here) lackey. Richards gets a gift from the unnamed Blue Meanie who comes over the guardrail with a shirt that says Blue Meanie. The gift is a Flock of Seagulls half shirt. The non Clueless Putz (never did anything of note) jumps Richards and we’re off.

 

Ricano hits a missile dropkick and dives on Meanie to take care of him. He goes up too many times though and Richards slams him down to take over. Flock of Seagulls dude hits a powerbomb and the other guy (you type Ricano over and over again) is in trouble. He gets draped over the top and takes another Stevie Bomb. Blue Meanie comes in and misses a moonsault. Richards hits a superkick to end this. More or less just a squash.

 

Eliminators vs. Pitbulls

 

I haven’t seen a lot of the Pitbulls but they were very popular and pretty successful in ECW so this could be worth seeing. Francine in leather isn’t a bad thing to see as she manages them so this should be good. Oh and Jason manages the Eliminators. It’s weird to see Saturn with hair. The Pitbulls are known as #1 and #2. #1 has hair. Got it. He and Saturn start us off and the Pitbull (Gary Wolfe. #2 is Anthony Durante) shrugs off most of Saturn’s offense.

 

He tosses Perry into the corner and slams him. The idea of the Pitbulls were they were more or less Rhyno in leather and more athletic. Blind tag brings in Durante who gets a top rope elbow for two. Off to the other Eliminator John Kronus to face #2. Big power match here as Kronus hits a release Dragon suplex to take over. The Eliminators, the more athletic team, speeds things up a lot to take over.

 

An assisted moonsault takes out Durante but an elbow clearly misses. Thankfully Joey covers and says he moved, otherwise it would have looked awful. The fans are behind the Pitbulls as Kronus picks #2 up off a belly to back suplex. Kronus gets caught between the Pitbulls but Durante misses a splash in the corner and crashes to the floor. He’s bleeding from the elbow now.

 

Kronus is a lot fatter than I remember him being. Saturn comes in with that sweet high elbow drop of his (OH YEAH from Joey) but it only gets two. Saturn hits a corner rana which also gets two somehow. The Eliminators are a pretty new team so this is kind of their showcase match. Saturn tries to set up something on the ropes but a superbomb by Durante gets no cover.

 

Everything breaks down and Jason hits a legdrop on #2 to keep him down. Double tag brings in Kronus and Wolfe who cleans house. Double clothesline takes the Eliminators down and it’s a big brawl. Wolfe totally misses a spinwheel kick in the corner but Kronus sells it anyway. Double superbomb out of the corner ends Kronus and we’re done.

 

Rating: B-. This was a rather fun match. The botches make it a bit amateurish looking but at the same time this wasn’t exactly Gagne vs. Thesz out there. They would feud forever with the Pitbulls eventually losing their edge. Pretty good match though and the fans were into it the whole way (duh) so I can’t complain much here at all.

 

Post match Jason jumps Francine and tries to kiss her (Joey: “HE LIKES WOMEN!”) and as the Pitbulls go for the save the Eliminators beat them down and hit Total Elimination on both guys.

 

Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

 

This is a Mexican Death Match, meaning more or less last man standing but you need a pin before the count begins. This was a long running feud and I think this is the blowoff match. The fans chant Rudo at Psicosis. Rey of course gets a Tecnico chant and comes out to what sounds like Sad But True by Metallica. Yep that’s what it is. Not what I think of when I think of Rey. The big match intros are done in both languages.

 

This is when Rey was still like the fastest guys in the world and Psicosis is able to keep up with him so I’m not even going to try to call play by play on this. Even Joey can barely do it and he could double as an auctioneer. Rey gets a quick pin off a top rope rana but Psicosis is just mad and not really hurt. Out to the floor we go and Rey falls when trying to jump onto the railing. That clip is on the Rise and Fall of ECW I believe.

 

Back in the ring a missile dropkick puts Rey down and a moonsault gets a pin. The count is unimportant at this point because we’re only like three minutes into this. Rey gets draped across the buckle as this is one sided at the moment. How weird is it to see Psicosis as the far bigger and stronger guy? Powerbomb gets the pin but Rey is up 1. They’re counting backwards so he barely beat the count.

 

Psicosis goes to get a chair but changes his mind and is booed out of the building. A buckle bomb keeps Rey down. Twisting senton (flip into a backsplash) gets another pin but that’s fine because Rey is up at 1 again. Dropkick puts him right back down and the fans are literally standing. Now it’s chair time and Rey takes a DDT onto it. He beats on Rey then puts the chair on Rey’s back for a moonsault to get his fourth pin in a row.

 

Rey barely beats the count so Psicosis goes for the possibly injured knee (from the botch earlier) which is rather smart strategy. Psicosis tries a moonsault but Rey pulls the chair into the way and takes over. Springboard clothesline sends Psicosis to the floor. High cross body and we’re in the crowd for a second. HUGE moonsault (Asai hadn’t been named yet I don’t think) and Rey takes over with some chair shots.

 

Psicosis tries to run into the crowd and you can’t see them but Rey brings them back and they’re at ringside again. Never mind as we’re going back into the fans. Psicosis is more or less running as Rey is on fire. They’re right below Joey (who is in what’s called The Eagle’s Nest) so Rey hits him with a chair, climbs up the Eagle’s Nest and dives off with a HUGE hurricanrana and Psicosis is dead and we’re done.

 

Rating: B. Pretty awesome stuff here as Rey played possum after the beating and then woke up to massacre Psicosis and become just too much for him. Rey was only 20 at this point so he was a total rookie phenom. Total war here and the psychology actually existed. Rey would be in WCW in about 7 months.

 

Jason comes out to talk to Rey and offers to manage him. Rey says no so Jason threatens him. Take a guess how that goes. The Eliminators come out to destroy Rey but 911 (more or less the security guard who is about 7’0 and 400lbs) comes in for the save and easily dominates the Eliminators. Rey gets on his shoulders and the fans seem pleased.

 

Tag Titles: 2 Cold Scorpio/Sandman vs. Public Enemy

 

Woman manages Scorpio and Sandman who are champions (along with Scorpio being TV Champion) and come out to Whomp There It Is. Whoever gets the fall here faces Mikey Whipwreck later in the show for the world title. Woman is kind of hot actually. She could look rather good at times. Scorpio dances a lot while we’re waiting on the Public Enemy to get here.

 

I have no idea what the face/heel alignment is here but I think Public Enemy is face. According to Gertner the TV Title is on the line here also. Yeah apparently Sandman and Scorpio are the heels here. Sandman is billed from…..Utah? Seriously? Scorpio is doing a thing where he says he doesn’t weigh as much as he really does. He does have a gut on him.

 

Public Enemy is leaving soon after this for ECW apparently. Scorpio offers them a chance to leave so let’s have a dance off. Uh…..ok? Scorpio cuts a rug and Joey dances too. The camera catches him and his reaction is great. Rocco does a robot which isn’t horrible. Scorpio does one also and destroys him. And now we set dancing back about a thousand years with Sandman dancing too. Joey: “Yes but can he walk a straight line?” They want Woman to dance and it’s very short. Crowd is WAY into this.

 

The champs jump the dancing morons but Public Enemy clears the ring quickly. AND IT’S TIME TO DANCE! The music is still playing as I think we have a comedy match on our hands. Just a hunch mind you. Ok so now we’re ready to go with Sandman vs. Grunge. Sandy grabs a headlock but is sent to the floor. Everything breaks down quickly and they all head to the floor.

 

Everyone grabs a chair and gets back in the ring for a good old fashioned duel. Sandman and Grunge are thrown to the floor and Scorpio follows. They fight up the aisle and a fan offers 2 Cold a frying pan. He steals someone’s prosthetic hand instead. Well why not? Sandman goes into the crowd and Grunge is busted open. He hits a splash for two on Scorpio as we’re bordering on having a regular match.

 

Rocco hits Sandman with a pumpkin pie and Sandy is in the crowd again. Woman pulls Sandman out of the crowd. At least offer him some boob so he’ll come out faster sweetheart. Sandman tags himself in and he jumps over the top (!!!) with something like a dropkick. Rocco comes in and hits a headscissors to take over. Slingshot legdrop by Sandman but he doesn’t cover.

 

Off to Scorpio who hits a slingshot splash for two. Scorpio vs. Rock at the moment if you’re all lost. Rock avoids a dropkick and escapes a tilt-a-whirl, only to miss a moonsault. The fans chant for SD Jones for some reason as Scorpio hits a double underhook powerbomb which is broken up at two.

 

Standing moonsault eats knees and it’s off to Sandman. Rocco (they’re Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge if you’re totally confused by me changing named) still can’t bring in Grunge so Grunge comes in and pounds on Sandman. Woman cracks Rocco with a kendo stick and Sandman dives over the top to take out Grunge. Sandman gets backdropped onto a table which doesn’t break. FREAKING OW MAN.

 

Grunge finally goes through the table and everything breaks down even further. Rock hits a big moonsault to the floor as they need to end this soon. A broom handle is brought in from somewhere with Scorpio taking over with it. There it goes though so 2 Cold settles for a Stinger Splash and moonsault for two on Rocco. We’re tagging again now and Grunge gets the hot tag. Sandman comes in sans tag but Public Enemy screws up their finisher and Sandman falls on top for the pin.

 

Rating: D. Yeah this went too long. These guys aren’t the ones you want having seventeen minutes. This was better as a comedy match but then again I might have just wanted to see Woman dance. Either way, not much here and Sandman getting the pin was pretty much the only logical choice since he lost the title to Mikey in the first place.

 

Sandman is out but Scorpio pours beer down his throat. And it’s time to dance again. SCORPIO DROPS THE BEER! Sandman catches it and the look on his face is priceless.

 

On the actual card Axl Rotten beat JT Smith here but it was a dark match.

 

We recap Commissioner Tod Gordon vs. Fonzie, a referee. Shane Douglas lost the world title to Sandman and said he wanted a better referee in the form of Fonzie who would call matches right down the line. This of course made him by far and away the biggest heel in the company almost by default (not kidding).

 

Fonzie punched Gordon when Gordon yelled at him so 911 gave Fonzie one of the biggest chokeslams you’ll ever see (LONG story there but it was some of the most brilliant storytelling you’ll ever see. In short the move was banned but Fonzie had to unban it so someone could use it. 911 immediately hit the ring to kill Fonzie with it and blow the roof off the place). Fonzie also got in a fight with Beaulah who is the referee tonight.

 

Bill Alphonso vs. Tod Gordon

 

Beaulah is referee and I really want to know what Dreamer did in a past life to get her. He must have invented beer or something. Remember neither of them are wrestlers so this is only going to be so good. Gordon jumps him and they fight by Sign Guy and Hat Guy. Beulah slaps Gordon so he clotheslines her. Tod (Commissioner) Gordon (HOLY NON WRESTLER BATMAN!) comes in and Joey is losing it.

 

Tod takes him down and says let’s fight. Not sure why he needed to grab a mic to say that but whatever. Gordon takes off his jacket and wins a slugout. This isn’t a match for the most part but they’re trying. Fonzie gets a low blow and says he’s going to beat Gordon up. Joey: “It’s not over yet you rat faced excuse for a human being!” And remember: this is because Fonzie is a GOOD referee.

 

Fonzie takes the time to talk to the camera and Gordon gets a WICKED cooking sheet shot to the head. After he gets hit, Fonzie starts jabbing himself in the head and what do you know he’s bleeding from there. Gordon is shockingly passable here. Gordon finds a frying pan but Fonzie gets it, only to take a low blow. Joey is absolutely losing it over this. Frying pan to the head but Beaulah is still down from like five minutes ago.

 

And now for the important part of the night. Taz runs out to be referee since he was earlier in the night and counts two for Gordon, only to stop and deck Gordon then put Fonzie on top for the pin. To say Taz is instantly hated is like saying Cena was hated against Punk at MITB.

 

Rating: A+. Ok now keep something in mind here: this is a legit businessman vs. a referee. All things considered, THIS WAS AWESOME. They were beating the tar out of each other and it had the fans going nuts, even by ECW standards. Not a thing wrong here and the whole thing worked. Considering who was out there, great stuff.

 

Taz wants to talk. This is probably the most important part of the entire show. The fans chant for Sabu and Taz says he’s not coming out. Taz talks about how he got no cards, no letters or phone call. When Dreamer hurt his fingers everyone cried and freaked. Same with Funk. When Sabu got his neck broken, everyone was worried about him. What about Taz?

 

Fonzie shouts into the camera that Taz is his guy. Taz says screw the fans and screw Heyman. Heyman said take your time to get back. Quote: “Screw you Heyman. My father ain’t some fat Jew lawyer that pays my way through life.” Taz says Fonzie cares about him and wants to put food on his table and money in his pocket. Gordon is still out cold on the mat. Taz says since no one cares about the two of them, they don’t care about the fans.

 

Taz stops for a bit and Joey talks about how stunned he is to see Taz finally sell out. Fans are trying to rush the ring. Taz lays on his back and says bring it. This whole thing was Taz’s epic heel turn which would result in him beating basically everyone on the roster for the next year, almost always in a squash while he begged Sabu to come out and fight him. That wouldn’t happen for a year and a half, resulting in one of the main events at their first PPV, Barely Legal. Mad heat on him here and a great heel turn.

 

ECW World Title: Sandman vs. Mikey Whipwreck

 

Sandman is making his entrance (through the entrance) but is jumped by some guy with long blonde hair who is making his in ring debut tonight, taking Sandman’s place to challenge for the title.

 

ECW World Title: Mikey Whipwreck vs. Steve Austin

 

Yes, THAT Steve Austin. He had cut some promos but this is his first of I think two matches in ECW before he signed with WWF. He drinks Sandman’s beer while Sandman is taken out. There was a line at some point in ECW (not this show) where Joey asked if you could imagine Steve Austin drinking beer and flipping people off on Monday Night Raw. Not really connected here but Sandman takes awhile to get taken out.

 

The idea behind Whipwreck is that he won the title on a fluke after being a total jobber for years. Austin says his debut is the thing to remember. He’s sounding like Stone Cold here rather than Stunning Steve so this is where he really got his start, at least with that character. Austin says that for tonight, Whipwreck is Eric Bischoff to him. Joey: “KILL HIM! Wait I didn’t mean that!”

 

Steve jumps him to start and the beating begins. Mikey has had no offense at all as Austin mauls him. He beats on him on the floor then in the ring and back on the floor again. Mark this date down: THE ECW ARENA IS CHANTING HOGAN. It’s to tick Austin off but it happened! Just because he’s Austin, he hits a big boot and drops a leg for two.

 

Mikey has had no offense at all. He reverses a whip on the floor though and Austin doesn’t seem to mind. Mikey hammers away but walks into a Stun Gun (Austin’s finisher at the time) but it only gets two. Mikey grabs a sunset flip out of nowhere (complete with the tights coming down) for the SHOCK pin to retain.

 

Rating: C. You can barely call this a match but it did what it was supposed to do. Whipwreck keeps the title (for some reason) but Austin losing is the important part. It resulted in him losing his mind and being all crazy, which apparently was what caught WWF’s eye and got him his job, which ultimately saved Vince’s company.

 

Hack Meyers vs. Sabu

 

Meyers is more or less just a biker. You know this might have been a better surprise if he hadn’t come out earlier. Sabu works on the knee of all things to start and messes up a snapmare (Meyers landed on him). Time for a chinlock. FEEL THE EXTREME! It’s chair time and a slingshot dive in with the chair gets two. We go to an armbar and the fans are calling it boring.

 

Springboard leg lariat gets two and we hit the chinlock again. Meyers makes a comeback and hits a powerslam for two. A weird facebuster off the top which is Hack’s finisher gets two. They go to the floor quickly but Sabu drops a leg for two. Meyers wins a slugout but Sabu goes onto Meyers’ shoulders and gets a DDT to take him down. Spinning leg lariat puts Meyers outside and Sabu hits a diving rana to the floor.

 

After a bit more brawling on the floor we go back in but Sabu dives into a powerbomb. Release suplex put Sabu down but Meyers goes up and gets caught in a victory roll off the top for two. This is going WAY too long for a big return over a glorified jobber. Meyers goes up but gets dropped on a chair. Sabu hits a rana to put them on the floor AGAIN. Sabu sets up a table and dives over the top through it, half killing Meyers. That only gets two in the ring so Sabu slams him and the Atomic Arabian Facebuster (flipping double legdrop with a chair in between) ends this FINALLY.

 

Rating: D. See, when a superstar like Sabu returns, it should be total dominance. This mostly was, but the fact that it took so long made Sabu look kind of weak. Not his worst stuff, but at the same time it just went way too long at about 13:00. Heyman would manage Sabu for awhile until we got to his match with Taz.

 

Sabu acknowledges Meyers for his efforts.

 

Terry Funk/Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven/Cactus Jack

 

Main event time. Funk is “planning on retiring”. That’s just amusing. Funk says he’ll remember what happened with Cactus last night forever. Apparently it was a big attack on Terry but Dreamer made the save. This is a revenge match for Funk and Dreamer always hates Raven Cactus is in a WCW Dungeon of Doom t-shirt. He was in a WEIRD (yet awesome) heel push where he longed to be back in WCW with “Uncle Eric”.

 

The pairings pair off and Raven and Jack rule the ring for the moment. Now we get to the brawl and Funk fights Raven. Stevie Richards brings in some weapons and gets put in a shopping cart for his troubles. Dreamer BLASTS Raven in the head with a freaking VCR. WHY WOULD YOU BRING ONE OF THOSE TO A WRESTLING SHOW??? In a funny bit, Dreamer hits him with the remote also.

 

Funk beats up the referee because he’s Terry Funk. Dreamer DDTs the referee for good measure. Funk hits Raven with a golf club in the putter. Cheese grater is broken up and Cactus drills Dreamer with a chair. Dreamer gets taken down by a double chain shot to the throat. Raven is busted open and poses anyway. Cactus channels his inner Abdullah as he jabs at Funk with a fork.

 

DDT to Dreamer as Raven and Cactus are dominating. They try the chain again but Dreamer does something smart and dives on it, bringing them together. Not that it matters as Cactus takes him down with ease. Cactus takes the Dungeon of Doom shirt to reveal another one with a huge picture of Eric Bischoff and the words “Forgive Me Uncle Eric” (coining that nickname) on the back. Only Mick Foley could make that work, period.

 

It’s more or less a big mess but were you really expecting something else here? Jack hits a double arm DDT on Funk onto the chair but there’s no referee. Raven dives over the top to take out Dreamer and Jack looks for more weapons. Here are Fonzie and Taz to be referees but Funk kicks out at two. Taz beats up Funk so Dreamer takes Taz out. Jumping DDT takes Raven down and for some reason a regular one does more damage. The referee is back up and Dreamer piledrives Raven onto a chair, letting Funk steal the pin.

 

Rating: B-. Pretty fun match overall as they kept things just weapons based instead of going everywhere. Also Jack having the continuing mental breakdowns in the middle of the match (the Uncle Eric thing) is great. Dreamer not beating Funk is one of those little things that makes a match better. Fun stuff here and one of the better brawls ECW did.

 

Cactus beats them down a bit but gets taken down too. DREAMER SUPERKICKS RICHARDS! Ok so it was in the ribs but still! Raven leaves Dreamer laying to end the show.

 

Overall Rating: B+. I can see why people would call this ECW’s best show ever. It likely is and it’s very good for the most part. Keeping in mind that this was 1995 and WCW was running stuff with monster trucks and mummies while WWF had King Mabel as top heel, this was a very different kind of show. They did their thing and let guys like Foley and Austin do their things, knowing what they had to work with. Very fun show but some of the stuff is a bit odd. Granted it wouldn’t have been for ECW fans so that takes some of it away I guess. Worth seeing though.

 

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