Written By Alfredo Esparza
ECW Hardcore TV #1 4/6/1993
Taped 3/12/1993 at Cabrini College Field House in Radnor, PA.
Time to get EXTREEEEMEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ECW!!! ECW!!! ECW!!!
Well, not quite as it’s known back then as Eastern Championship Wrestling. Show opens with a brief clip of the music from “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” and followed by a rock song. Nikolai Volkoff is shown in the intro so you know it’s going to get extreme!
The announcers are Jay Sulli and Stevie Wonderful. Stevie looks like he’s had way too much caffeine before the show. This is the first ECW TV show on SportsChannel Philadelphia.
Sulli introduces the president of ECW, Todd Gordon, who is holding a championship belt. It is the ECW Television Championship belt which will have the tournament starting on this week’s show. Gordon announces that there will be a 3rd announcer for the show. Eddie Gilbert interrupts and thanks Todd Gordon and thanks him. He’s not th 3rd man and Gordon tells him to watch the tv monitor where he shows a clip from an episode of Quantum Leap featuring Terry Funk. Crowd cheers on as Terry Funk comes out to join the announce team. Eddie Gilbert yells and whines about Funk and says to him legends are old men. Funk tells Gilbert if he wants to be tough, he should get in the ring with him, but then tells Gilbert if this “old man” kicks his butt, how tough would he look. Gilbert leaves. Funk talks about being there with hardcore wrestling fans.
The Super Destroyers © (w/ Hunter Q. Robbins) vs. The Hell Riders for the ECW Tag Team Titles
The Hell Riders are EZ & HD. I’m pretty sure HD Ryder was ahead of his time and those letters stand for “High Definition”! We see the ECW Hat Guy in the crowd! The Super Destroyers crawl into the ring as the creepy Halloween music is playing. Robbins introduces his team. Hell Riders jump the Super Destroyers right as the bell rings but the Super Destroyers regain control of the match. Announcers can’t figure out who either one of the guys on each team is. Super Destroyers drop HD down with a double team slam. Super Destroyers squashing the Hell Riders but refuse to pin them a few times. One of the Super Destroyers does a flip into a senton for the pin.
WINNERS: The Super Destroyers
Terry Funk interviews Hunter Q. Robbins III and The Super Destroyers. Robbins yells at Funk and tells him he should refer to him as Mr. Hunter Q. Robbins III (The Third), but Terry again calls him Mr. Hunter Q. Robbins THE TURD!!! Funk sends it to a Sandman video.
A video of The Sandman is shown. He’s carrying a surfboard and wearing a wetsuit. Is this the Twilight Zone I’m watching? The music used for this video comes from Billy Joel! The wrestling clips of The Sandman come from USWA. We see him wrestling Jerry Lawler, Jeff Gaylord, and a few of the Memphis regulars from that era all while listening to Billy Joel. He’s the ECW Champion! SURF’S UP SANDMAN!!!
They show the tournament bracket for the ECW TV Title tournament. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka is the #1 seed.
ECW Television Title Tournament First Round: #4 Tommy Cairo vs. #6 Salvatore Bellomo (w/ Cosmic Commander)
Salvatore Bellomo uses “Born to be Wild” as his entrance song. Tommy Cairo comes out and Terry Funk is so excited that he wants to interview him because Cairo’s undefeated. Funk wishes Cairo the best of luck. Cairo cuts a promo that pleases Funk. The Cosmic Commander looks like a combination of Grand Wizard and Johnny Carson’s Carnac The Magnificent.
Very competitive match with Bellomo getting a few near pinfalls on Cairo. Bellomo also used his size to wear down Cairo during the match. Cairo made a comeback with a flying body-press and got a near pin on Bellomo. Cosmic Commander distracted the referee. Johnny Hot Body showed up. He climbed to the top rope to attempt to hit Cairo, but Cairo moved and Hot Body hit Bellomo instead. Bellomo was thrown out of the ring. Hot Body and the Cosmic Commander try to get Bellomo back in the ring, but he’s unable to do so and loses via countout.
Johnny Hot Body attacked Cairo after and tried for an elbow drop, but Cairo moved. Hot Body leaves the ring.
WINNER: Tommy Cairo
Rockin’ Rebel vs. Tony Stetson
Stetson has the early advantage on Rockin’ Rebel. He works a bit on Rebel’s left arm including dropping a knee on his elbow. Rockin’ Rebel is able to turn the tide and hits a dropkick on Stetson and then puts him in a chinlock. Rebel then hits a flying elbow and side slam. Stetson telegraphs an Irish whip and Stetson tosses Rebel to the mat. Stetson hits a nice legdrop on Rebel and gets a 2-count as Rebel reaches for the bottom rope. Rebel then knocks down Stetson near the ropes and uses the ropes for leverage to get the pin on Stetson.
WINNER: Rockin’ Rebel
Rockin’ Rebel does a post-match interview challenging The Sandman. He calls himself the #1 wrestler in ECW.
ECW Television Title Tournament First Round: #1 Jimmy Snuka (w/Eddie Gilbert) vs. #8 Larry Winters
Jimmy Snuka shows up for his match and grabs Jay Sulli because he wants to do an interview. He announces that he just signed a contract and wants to introduce someone who he thinks the fans would love. “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert comes out and announces that “Hot Stuff International” is alive in 1993 and that Jimmy Snuka is the first acquisition and will be the ECW TV Champion.
The camera edits for this match early are funny since they show you maybe 1 second of Snuka wrestling and more crowd shots. Eddie Gilbert got involved in the match by choking Winters. Snuka backdrops Winters and falls too. Jimmy Snuka slowly goes after Winters and chokes him in the corner. Gilbert then goes over and slaps Winters a few times. Winters makes a comeback and kicks at Snuka for a bit until Snuka rakes his eyes. Snuka chops him on the ropes. Snuka misses a clothesline and Winters hits a body press on him. Winters hits a dropkick and then hip tosses him out of the corner. Winters hits a legdrop and goes for the pin. Gilbert ‘s up on the ring apron arguing with the ref. Winters knocks him off the apron. Gilbert trips up Winters and Snuka slams him onto his knee. Snuka climbs up to the top rope for the Super Fly splash for the win. Gilbert gets in ring to celebrate with Snuka. Snuka throws Winters out of the ring.
WINNER: Jimmy Snuka
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Ernesto Benefica
Terry Funk & Jay Sulli are closing the show as Salvatore Bellomo and the Cosmic Commander go to the ring. Sal Bellomo steps back into the ring to destroy Ernesto Benefica. Bellomo slams Benefica and pins him to win the match in a few seconds.
WINNER: Salvatore Bellomo
Terry Funk and Todd Gordon close the show. Gordon mentions next week ECW Champion The Sandman will be on the show. They have a video asking fans to send in cards or letters asking if there is a dream match they’d like to see on TV. They mention who will be on the show next week including #3 Glenn Osbourne vs. #5 Johnny Hot Body and #2 Eddie Gilbert vs. #7 J.T. Smith from the ECW TV title tournament and Terry Funk will be back.
The y show another clip of Terry Funk acting on a TV show.
SHOW THOUGHTS: I thought this was a fun show. Most of the matches were short and just ok but the show moved rather quickly and had a nice flow to it. It felt like they put as much into the tv episode as they could without having to put in any nonsense. I don’t recall if I saw The Sandman back when he did the surfer gimmick, so I’m sure that will amuse me watching old ECW TV episodes and anywhere else he might have shown up doing that gimmick (USWA). It is always going to be strange to re-watch old wrestling shows knowing what came to be to several of the wrestlers on the show. I think odds are if you are reading this review, you already know what happened to some of the people on this show. I do think it is a little uncomfortable to look back at some careers but it is part of remembering history even if it is just wrestling.