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THE ROCKTAGON
W/ JAMES SWIFT
 
Merry Thanksgiving, you sordid scalawags and cretins!

Obviously, I’ve never been too keen on the holiday; you know, the whole ordeal of having-to-hang-out-with-people-you-hate and the artery clogging foodstuffs and the like. It’s also a fairly distressing time of year for me on an individual level; you want to take a guess as to how much fun it is to spend the holidays with the taste of an entire bottle of Tylenol staining the back of your throat with an intravenous unit shoved up your ass? That’s right: LOTS. But alas, that is a STORY for a different time and date (and believe you me, that is a HYUGE hint for the mega massive bombshell I intend on dropping in early 2010. YOUR CALENDERS, MARK THEM.)

So anyway, Thanksgiving, kind of shitty. ECW in its heyday? Not so much. Well, yeah, I mean, looking back on it, there was some real shat in the promotion’s bloodstream, but digression is an adverb that we shan’t be utilizing for today’s sermon. Since Paul Heyman’s offering to the greater collective is pretty much the closest analogue I have for things like family or culture, it’s only fitting that I would spend the holiday of thanks by paying ode to America’s Mecca, the little Bingo Hall fed that could.

Sure, sure, we all know that ECW is pretty much the best thing ever, but when exactly did the promotion we vaunt with more sincerity than any political or religious doctrine in existence shift from piss-ant NWA affiliate to the singular counter-cultural movement of the decade? Well, any reputable ECW-ologist will be quick to pinpoint the veritable Big Bang date as being February 5th, 1994; a date known to the world at large as THE NIGHT THE LINE WAS CROSSED.

Hey, what do you know, I just so happen to have a dusty old VHS tape laying around that has that very wording etched upon the cassette cartridge! Think of this as the pro wrestling equivalent of opening up the latches of a decade sealed photo album; without further ado, I promulgate: COMMENCE THE CROSSING OF THE LINE IMMEDIATELY!

We begin our video presentation with “Eastern Championship Wrestling” president Tod Gordon kicking it back in his office with two Rand McNally pull-out maps of the United States pinned to the wall and one of those archaic Tandy computers stationed behind him. He informs the viewer that this newfangled ECW group has been lauded and decried as the most violent and hardcore promotion in the land, and that on February 5th, 1994, the line was OFFICIALLY crossed.

Cue the classy all black video cards, followed by the not-so-classy public-access quality red and yellow digital placards that inform us that Wildman Sal Bellemo will be taking on “The Ruffneck” Mr. Hughes (with Jason!) in our first match of the card.

Anyway, Sal Bellemo is basically a potshot at the goofy caricatures running rampant in WCW and WWF at the time frame; bedecked in a king’s robe and a gladiator helmet, Bellemo’s gimmick involved throwing wrapped “presents” into the audience prior to his bouts. Of course, since we are talking Philly here, how do the fans react to such kind-hearted, affable gift-giving? That’s right, by littering the ring with garbage and tossing Bellemo’s own presents back at him. And they say that Philadelphia is unjustly characterized as being a heartless burgh!

You know, your guess is as good as mine as to what Bellemo was REALLY throwing out into the audience. Since this is the pre-Heyman era, who knows? It could be actual merchandise under all that gift wrap. Not to trudge up any crude ethnic stereotypes about the Hebrew persuasion being overtly-frugal or anything, but Heyman IS the guy that once doled out Red Hots to his employees and told them they were painkillers, so I kind of doubt that he would squander such expenses if HE were in charge. . .

On commentary is some guy named Jeffery Stiles or something. Goodness, what an annoying voice THAT guy has. Oh well, it’s not like he’ll prove pivotal to the company’s future continuance or anything, so we’ll just avoid his presence and move onward.

The sounds of MC Lyte filling the auditorium means but one thing; Mr. Hughes and Jason(!) are making their way ringside. Man, I had no idea that “The World’s Sexiest Man” has been on the ECW payroll THAT long, and my, is it bizarre to see him sporting a pompadour/mullet fusion coif and rocking what I assume to be a jacket on loan from The Honkytonk Man. Mr. Hughes begins harassing the referee (whom I believe is Jim Molyneux, if my vision serves correctly), and Joey Style retorts by saying that he should pick on someone his own size, or mayhap a gorilla. You know, because he’s racist.

You know, the more I dwell on it, the more I think that Sal could be some sort of analogue for the legendary Bay Area folk hero Emperor Norton. You know, the crazy guy that lost his fortune in the rice business and declared himself protectorate of Mexico? Eh, you Nor Cal guys know what I’m talking about.

Hey, how spiffy is all that duct tape stretched across the canvas? Nothing says “We are serious competitors, Ted and Vince” like patching holes in the ring with Alabama Chrome, does it not?

Well, uh, that was quick. The two exchange punches for a few minutes, Sal feigns knocking Hughes down, Jason trips up Sal, and Mr. Hughes ends it with a really weak-looking Sidewalk Slam. Yeah, not exactly a 90s All-Japan caliber showing, but whatever.

Weirdly, one of the camera guys kind of looks like Peter Jackson. I guess hanging out in the pit at an early ECW show would provide a good blueprint for the designs of Gollum, though. . .

Oh, here’s another blue screen, informing us of a Double Dog Collar Match! By the way, that is THEIR exclamation point and not mine. Looks like we’ll be seeing Tommy Cairo and The Sandman taking on The Pitbull and Rockin’ Rebel. . .with Jason. Again. This should be. . .a thing.

Anyway, Sandy (pre smoking and drinking, of course) and “The Iron Man” are out first, rocking it to the dulcimer tones of Queen. Huh, that’s quite fitting entrance material, as the two are dressed like the absolute biggest flamers this side of the Atlantic. The Pitbull (I really can’t tell if it’s number one or number two, so sue me) and Rockin’ Rebel (with an no “g” or “The”, apparently) elect to stroll down the aisle (even though it’s only legal in Massachusetts) to White Zombie.

Styles on Cairo’s physique: “You can tell he’s been pumping some iron!” That, I believe, is a euphemism for “plunging his asshole with anabolics”, but hey, you got to keep up the fašade, am I right?

So anyway, Jason has been out of the ring for like, what, a minute, and he’s already sporting an entirely new outfit? Color me impressed. Not as impressed as when Joey goes on to drop a “Sex and the City” shoe reference (a full FIVE years before the show was even birthed, no less!), but still, mighty impressive I say.

All right, here are how double dog collar matches work: they suck. That clarified, let’s get to the action, with Sandy tied to Rockin’ and Cairo tied to the Pitbull. Outside scuffling, we have it all ready.

Jeez, was the mullet haircut THAT prevalent in 1994? Oh yeah, the whole Billy Ray Cyrus deal. Forgot.

Well, it didn’t take long before the chairs started flying and the fisticuffs made their way into the crowd. Let’s see if I can keep an accurate tab on all of this entropy, shall we?

We’re back in the middle of the ring, and there is a LOT of choking going on. I’m talking Chris Benoit quarterbacking the Buffalo Bills kind of asphyxiation going on here, pal. While Cairo does his best Michael Hutchence impersonation, Sandy and Rockin’ duke it out next to a scaffold, as Joey mistakes a table for a chair. Hey, happens to the best of us.

Sandman gets back dropped on the table. It was probably supposed to collapse. It didn’t. Uh. . .back to the ring, as Cairo kicks out of, well, something that Pitbull did. Only a two.

Huh, a table mysteriously made itself present at ringside, as Sandman IMMEDIATELY gets pile driven by Rebel. Interesting. In the ring, Cairo makes a pin attempt following a double under hook supplex. Yeah, just a two-fer.

Styles: “This is great scientific wrestling!”

Me: “Joey Styles is full of shit.”

Cairo has a crimson mask going on, as Style cuts a lame Gordon Solie impersonation. Sandman miraculously heals his piledriver wounds from just seconds ago and sweeps into the ring to help his partner hold down Pitbull to secure a flash pinfall victory.

Post bout, those spoil sports Bully and Rebel-y decide to pound the stuffing out of Cairo and Sandy until Sandman storms the ring with chains and scares them off. You know, the same chains that they were using all but twenty seconds ago. Yeah.

Blue screen premonition: I predict Public Enemy and the Bruise Brothers in our respective futures.

Wow, this was even before Public Enemy were using “Here Comes The Hot Stepper” as their entrance theme. OLD SCHOOL.

According to Joey, The Bruise Brothers were “too violent for Smoky Mountain Wrestling”. Well, that has to be the truth behind their termination, correct? I’ll give them kudos points for utilizing the Faith No More iteration of “War Pigs” as their fight ballad, however, because, as we are all aware by now, Mike Patton does indeed rule all that exists.

A lot of Starter jackets in the crowd tonight; nice old school Ottawa Senators jersey, by the way, Neanderthal situated in the third row.

It’s at this point that we get our first gander at the concurrent ECW logo, which I faithfully recreated in MS paint form below:

The sad thing is, that’s pretty much a goddamn duplicate of the authentic design, so if there was a guy ACTUALLY getting paid for crafting such aesthetic designs back then. . .

Anyway, back to the match at hand: Don and Ron Harris, Rocco Rock and Flyboy Johnny Grunge. Obviously, that means lots and lots of technical mat wrestling, so I shan’t ruin the recipe by listing all of the transitions and counters. Instead, I’ll just unfurl a smattering of highlights from this bout:

Rocco Rock and Don Harris fighting next to a snack bar sign (obviously, ECW couldn’t skimp out the moolah for tangible refreshments back then…or ever, come to think of it).

Johnny Grunge hitting Ron Harris with the weakest chair nibbles in the history of professional wrestling.

Joey Styles mugging it up for the camera while Don Harris and Rocco Rock barely tap one another’s flesh against his broadcast (read: buffet) table.

The abrupt finish in which Johnny Grunge barely grazes Don Harris with a flimsy ass “two by four” that allots he and his tag team partner the quick and easy pinfall. Well, okay that may not be a highlight, unless you count the match coming to cessation as the zenith of the bout. . .which honestly, you should.

Well, that’s another five star opus on the books (BRAZEN-LIE). Holy shit, is Don Harris sporting an SS tattoo on his bicep? I’m sure that helped out in his contract negotiations with Paul H, no?

All right, blue screen says Tommy Dreamer vs. Jimmy Snuka is up next. Uh-oh.

Jeez, is “Thunder Kiss 65” the default music for everybody in the promotion or something? Dreamer is out first, sporting blue MC Hammer britches and a cheap-o faux leather jacket that is probably nothing more than a slightly modified garbage bag.

We get about three puffs of smoke from a fog machine as Jimmy Snuka makes his grand entrance to what sounds like an late 90s cell phone ring tone. His handler for the evening is Hunter Q. Robbins the III, essentially, the nine gajillionth and fifth Asian stereotype manager in the industry.

Boy, you got a get a load of these rats at ringside. I never knew that people sported the Peg Bundy do in REAL life.

Chuckles, Dreamer is billed from “Dreamland, USA”. Sounds like the moniker of a second rate putt-putt golf course in my estimates.

Huh, Joey Styles makes his SECOND Julio Cesar Chavez reference of the evening. For all of you non cultured folks out there reading this (in other words, ALL OF YOU), that’s the name of a damned fine boxer from the late 80s and early 90s that personified the more technical merits of the sport as opposed to sheer physique and size exhibited by guys like James Toney and Frank Bruno. So yeah, if Evander Holyfield was the decade’s Lex Luger, then Chavez was its Dean Malenko by proxy.

LOL, Joey Styles claims to be a defender of K-Mart goods. As we get a nice long glimpse at Superfly’s hooker-killing face, a guy in the crowd holds up a sign that reads “ECW, no pretty boys allowed.” Well, I think that’s something we can ALL agree on right there.

Hey, it’s Straw Hat guy sitting in the front, right next to what appears to be that butterball vagina-necked demon from the first Hellraiser movie. Oh, the sights you will see in ECW-land!

Anyway, Snuka spends the first five minutes of the match jabber jawing it with the fans at ringside while Tommy walks around the ring in black suspenders and looking like an all around dingle berry. Humorous sign spottage: “Wet Dreamer”. Get it? (It’s a joke correlating Dreamer’s surname with the act of nocturnal semen emission!)

Well, this is weird as shit. Snuka KEEPS verbally assailing this one kid at ringside, so Tommy goes to the outside and steals the kids toboggan, wears it for like a minute, gives it back to him and poses for photographs in the audience while Joey keeps saying stuff about NWA. Bizarre. Bizarre, and shitty.

“Piper” chant from the fans as literally NOTHING goes on in the ring. This match is like the bastard amalgamation of the Silva/Leites bout from April, the UFC 9 Severn/Shamrock main event and two slugs fucking. Styles says that Dreamer is quickly becoming “The People’s Champ” in ECW. Hmm. . . I smell me an MS paint manip coming up. . .

Wow, Tommy actually no-sells the (admittedly awesome looking) Superfly Splash. That’s probably relevant or something.

Anyhoo, Jimmy hits another Superfly Splash, punches Tommy a couple of times, lands another Superfly Splash and THEN pins him. You know because…well, actually I don’t know why he didn’t just pin him the first time, either.

Post-bout, Jimmy head butts the referee while Tommy suddenly has half a bottle of ketchup plastered to the side of his face. Obviously, he must be internally bleeding proclaims Lord Styles. You know, because septic shock to the internal organs THAT strong wouldn’t result in immediate paralysis or anything, right?

Tod Gordon comes down to the ring and gets KO’d by a gentle palm from Snuka as the crowd ERUPTS. A gaggle of wrestlers (led by Sal Bellemo!) stop Snuka from perpetrating any more mayhem, as Styles drone on and on about NWA suspensions and the like.

All right, up next it’s Kevin Sullivan and the Tazmaniac taking on the Original Sheik and Pat Tanaka. And yes, that IS some weird ass tag team match making.

Obviously, Sullivan is being managed by Woman, aka the future. . .eh, that joke is old hat even for ME. Hey, what’s lamer: billing Brooklyn’s Taz as being an Oceanic Wildman or Florida’s Taskmaster as a Singapore. . .uh, guy that sucks at booking?

Anyway, The Sheik tears down half of the backstage set in his entrance, and surprise, surprise, we have CROWD BRAWLING. In an ECW match? Get out of town!

Heh, check out the guy rocking a DENIM Sixers jacket with the puke green old school Eagles baseball cap. If one of them Queer Guys had an Eye for this fellow they would. . .be somewhat off put by his tawdry fashion selections, I suppose.

Dear god, what a cluster fuck of an ending. The Sheik lights up two fireballs that are about twenty feet away from Kevin Sullivan and then PATRICK Tanaka pins Taz out of the blue fucking yonder DESPITE the fact that Taz had him in a heel hook variation throughout the duration of the bout. Yeah, there’s a few plot holes there, I would say.

Post bout, Kevin Sullivan slams The Sheik’s head against a vending machine (I mean, the ECW Concession Booth) once and then they leave. No, seriously.

Up next, it’s “Awesome” Mike Awesome taking on JT Smith. Uh, that’s a really dumb name. I mean, “JT Smith”? The fuck does that even mean?

OH DEAR GOD JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY!!! This match contains what is without question the absolute SICKEST FUCKING THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A WRESTLING MATCH! Mike Awesome pounds the ever loving hell out of this poor Urkel lookalike for about two minutes, tosses him out of the ring, and FUCKING CAVES IN THE KID’S SPINE with the nastiest plancha you will EVER see as a wrestling fan. Honest to god, the poor bastard’s vertebrae folds in half over the guardrail like a piece of origami. Fuck the triple threat match, this ALONE is worth hunting down the video cassette.

Anyway, this Smith kid, obviously a new candidate for Stem Cell research, manages to convert an Awesome Bomb into a small package for the win. Will, never mind that bullshit, as the future handicapped decal recipient has to flop out of the ring like a trout to safety. To make things even more, well, Awesome, Awesome power bombs the ref twice, goes up top for an Awesome Splash, breaks the top rope and falls flat on his face to the guffaw of everyone in attendance. . .THEN HE PICKS UP THE PIECES OF THE TOP ROPE HE JUST BROKE AND BEATS THE SHIT OUT OF THE REF WITH IT.

No bullshit, that was the greatest four minutes of professional wrestling I have ever witnessed. Do whatever it takes to track down this bout, trust me, it is WELL worth the effort.

All right, the time is nigh for the first ever triple threat match in North America. Well, yeah, that claim is probably a bunch of bullshit, but this may very well be one of the ten most important matches in the HISTORY of North American wrestling, and that ain’t hyperbole, my pupils. This is long considered to be THE match that put ECW on the map and transitioned the company from Eastern Championship Wrestling to EXTREME Championship Wrestling, and believe you me, the transition begins IMMEDIATELY.

Shane Douglas is out first, to the strings of what sounds like your basic ESPN highlight music. As soon as he gets into the ring, PAUL HEYMAN runs in through the crowd and cracks Sherri Martel over the head with a cellular phone. Yeah, the EXTREME era has officially begun, all right! Sabu then decides to Pearl Harbor / 911 / Fort Hood Douglas and the ass kicking, it is ON. Hey, compared to the snails in molasses pace of the night’s earlier affairs, these two guys are going at it at a LIGHTNING pace.

Now, the official diktat is that whoever wins this bout will get an immediate match against Terry Funk as soon as the initial bout is declared. Well, this match has a fifteen minute time limit, and regardless of an outcome, Terry Funk is to enter the fray. . . Yeah, it is pretty by the numbers stuff now, but in 1994? This was some MAJOR innovation for in-ring product, and stuff people had NO idea how to react to. But alas, we’ll count our eggs when we get to the coop, so let’s focus on the Douglas / Sabu bout at hand, shall we?

For those of you that are quick to scoff at both Sabu and Douglas’ in ring abilities, methinks you’d be shocked shitless by this match’s opening salvo. Believe it or not, the two can actually MAT WRESTLE, and the first ten minutes of this bout are indeed some damned fine ground tussling, with excellent floatovers, transitions and submission counters galore. For god’s sake, Sabu even HITS his spots for a change, and Douglas actually appears to have technique and consistency in his maneuvering: the broken down horses they later became we are most definitely NOT riding in this match-up.

Wow, those first ten minutes just flew by. Anyway, Shane is selling the shit out of his shoulder, which has been stretched and bruised by a lengthy armbar from Sabu earlier in the bout. Awesome spot ensues in which Sabu peppers Douglas’ arm like a T-Bone. Wait, what the hell…sound psychology, in a Sabu match?

With four minutes to go until the Funker’s arrival, the two combatants take a tumble to the outside, as 911 hands Sabu a table (which Joey, once again, mistakenly callas a “chair”). Sabu goes for the home run moonsaults, but wouldn’t you know it? That cagey Douglas rolls out of harm’s way and Sabu ends up tasting his own medicine (no, not GHB).

So anyway, now Sabu has an injured knee and Douglas is just AWESOME (no, not the one that cripple JT Smith for life) as he works Sabu’s patella like a sadistic little bastard.

Well, on cue, here comes Terry, and we as an audience officially enter THE GARDEN OF MADNESS. Funk and Douglas scrap on the outside until Funk drops him with a piledriver on the concrete floor. There’s this great moment afterward where Funk just kind of surveys the damage around the arena as he flips over the metal entrance steps and just kind of says to hell with it. It’s a really a subtle thing, but it works. Funk rolls Douglas into the ring and starts DDTING the fuck out of him. Funk’s goal is apparent: he’s going to SPIKE Douglas into submission. Cue a segment in which Funk rolls to the outside, slaps the taste of Douglas’ woman’s mouth, calls for a DDT on the concrete and then he DOES spike the Franchise like a fucking football in the end zone. Awesome, awesome stuff from the Funker right here. With Sabu and Douglas practically in states of paralysis on the outside, a relatively healthy Funk rolls back into the ring, calls for some chairs, and sets up a nice little stockpile in the middle of the ring. Uh-oh. Funk spikes Douglas AGAIN, but at the same time, Terry appears to have done some damage to his lower lumbar region. Douglas sees Funk hold his lower back in pain, and then you see the Wile E. Coyote light bulb go off in his head and the stomping of the kidneys it doth begin.

All right, extended outside brawling sequence initiated. Lots of Raiders Starter jackets in the crowd tonight. You know, I’ve always said that an ECW show was like brushing shoulders at the cheap seats of the Black Hole. . .

Back to the ring, and Douglas CONTINUES to work the lower back of Funk. Sherri throws him her shoe and Douglas pulls a Friday the 13th Part 7 on Funk’s left cornea.

DDT on Funk, and check the Groucho Marx looking mother fucker in the front row. Shit, that makes me want to rewatch Duck Soup again. Funk goes for a schoolboy (no, not like Rob Feinstein) and this match slowly begins to pull itself from the doldrums. Spinning Toe Hold attempt from the Funker, countered into a two-fer by Shane. Funk makes some blind swats and the ref goes down as Shane begins to untie the padding from the southeastern most turnbuckle. Funk juices and does some awesome selling from the turnbuckle shots. As the ref slowly comes back to consciousness, Funk begins to turn the tide and slams Douglas headfirst into the McGuffin turnbuckle. Chops are exchanged, and it’s back to the outside for us.

Apparently, this was the night the titular miasma from John Carpenter’s 1980 opus “The Fog” decided to partake of the night’s festivities, as for a good two minutes, you can’t see shit of what’s going down in the audience. After an atomic drop, Funk shows Douglas’ asshole to the entire crowd. Funny stuff that only a guy like Funk could pull off. . .literally, in this regard, anyway.

30 minutes have elapsed, as Funk says “enough bullshit!” and decides to strangle Douglas with an acrylic cord. Yeah, methinks the WWE won’t be copying this spot anytime soon. Funk takes a tumble, and here comes Sabu, “wrestling on one leg” as per Joey Styles. So, Zach Gowan has company in that illustrious niche, I see.

Sabu and Douglas scrap in the ring as Funk heads up to the commentary desk and calls both of his opponents “bastards” and “pieces of shit”. Tremendous stuff. Paul E. beckons the champ to join the fray, and the “triple threat” match is officially instigated. Smoke break for Douglas as Funk locks Sabu in the STH. Heyman interferes, clocks Funk with the cellular device, and Funk retorts by doing the JYD / Eugene on-all-fours head butt maneuver to his crawling adversaries. Funk head butts Sherri (Yeah, more misogyny!) and we have the iconic “triple-sleeper” spot unfurl before our very eyes. Sabu survives a figure four attempt and then totally fucks up a springboard leg drop. Now THAT is the Sabu I know and love! Bu nails a second moonsaults attempt on Douglas, but yeah, only good for a two. On the outside, Douglas pounds Funk with a steel chair until the Rotten Brothers make the save on behalf of their mentor. No dice on the cradle supplex attempt by The Franchise as Sabu subsequently botches a hurranranna spot, and royally. Sling shot leg drop from the Barney the Dinosaur-color clad faux Arabian, and only an el two-oh. Axl and Ian Rotten enter the fray at the 45 minute mark, and we have out and out anarchy for five whole minutes. The wrestlers go in and out of the arena, Paul E and 911 ham it up for the camera, Terry Funk beats the shit out of the referee; this match has deteriorated into a state of inescapable entropy. In other words, yeah, this IS Heyman’s ECW, officially.

After two Bu moonsaults, everybody in the ring is wiped out; Douglas makes a comeback and spikes both competitors, and then Sabu gets his 22nd wind and starts dropping weird ass looking splashes on Funk. Triple Camel Clutch spot, STH attempt, Sherri gets broken in half (copyright, Jim Ross) by a Funk supplex. We’ve got five minutes left in the bout, folks. Funk steals Sherri’s shoe and starts using the stiletto heel as a bludgeoning weapon. Three minutes to go, and all three men spill to the outside. The ref is still out at the 59 minute mark, as Styles makes oblique references to both David Copperfield AND WC Fields. We get some odd pin fall attempts in the fleeting seconds of the bout as the clock officially runs out sans a proper victor.

Post bout, all three men are given a standing ovation from the Philadelphia faithful, and we have an abrupt blue screen transition.

Backstage, Joey Styles interviews a battered a bruised Terry Funk, who proceeds to cut a heartfelt, quasi-shoot that serves as something of a proto-mission statement for what would soon become the decade’s most influential and progressive wrestling organization.

Up next, we have a “press conference”, which just so happens to take place in the exact same locale the “backstage” angle with Terry was filmed. What, you mean ECW is pulling a carnie job on us? Heyman cuts a tremendous promo (“I’d like to thank all the members of the local media, I hope you all go to hell”) whilst the Rotten brothers restrain Sabu, who I believe wishes to do severe damage to the pink cloth draped table stationed to his right.

Shane Douglas is out next, cutting yet another ass-kicking promo in which he talks about smashing Funk’s knee into “Oblivion-tree” (I swear, that’s what he says) until Funk comes out and has a few words with the young turk. Of course, this leads to a whole lot of curse words and an inevitable pull-apart that concludes the video tape.

Well, all I can say is “Holy Shit”, that was a card and a half right there. Of course, the first hour of this show is an absolute utter and complete pile, but the last two matches? Oh dear heavens, as delectable as a freshly baked pineapple pizza whilst receiving a hummer from in-her-prime Blair from The Facts of Life.

A lot of people are quick to label that one Raven and Richards \ Pitbulls table match as the best out-and-out cluster eff in ECW history; after FINALLY getting to view the legendary triple threat match in its entirety, I think we might have a new number one contender for that nominal title. For an hour long bout, this match fucking MOVES, and although it is FAR from being a legit, five snowflake opus, it just feels important and filling; yeah there are a lot dead zones in the match, and good lord the sports-entertainment tomfoolery that lie within, but somehow, everything in the match just gels. Never for a moment are you bored or tired of the product; this match is, fundamentally, a miniature masterpiece of in-ring minimalism, which in a way, is pretty much what ECW was all about.

All in all, this is like uncovering an old home movie of your folks sitting around talking about the weather and the neighbors that is cut off at the one hour mark by a taped-over concert of your uncle drunk as all hell on tequila and shouting racial slurs will playing the guitar like mother fucking Esteban. Yeah, it’s weird, yeah it’s amateurish but it’s something that just fills you with a quaint, bizarre complacency that I shan’t even attempt to elucidate upon. In other words, yeah, it’s EC Fucking W, all right.

Now, back to watching JT Smith’s spinal cord fold like an accordion for a looping hour and a half. . .

- -

James Swift is a 23 year old fledgling author from the metro Atlanta area. When he isn’t watching guys pretend to beat one another up during the Clinton Administration, he occasionally posts whimsical nostalgic reflections on Retro Junk and is an MMA correspondent for F4WONLINE. HEY! Do yourself a favor and log onto to his Tube page @:
http://www.youtube.com/user/JSwiftMassMedia . Subscribe, or you’ll get the AIDS virus.


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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).