Eastern Championship Wrestling
April 5, 1993
Commentators: Jay Sulli, Stevie Wonderful, & Terry Funk
The show opens with Jay Sulli looking terrified as he introduces Tod Gordon, who talks about the ECW Television Title tournament. Tod Gordon goes to introduce the third announcer, and Eddie Gilbert comes out. Instead, he introduces Terry Funk! (The original broadcast had a clip from a television show that Terry Funk was a part of. Terry Funk comes out, and Eddie Gilbert is furious. Right away, they’re building tension between Funk & Gilbert as Funk threatens to beat Gilbert up.
Funk cuts a promo thanking the hardcore fans and promises a great night of action. Terry Funk comes across as extremely likable, and makes fans feel welcome. Classic babyface.
The Super Destroyers (w/ Hunter Q. Robbins III) vs. The Hell Riders – ECW Tag Team Championship
The Hell Riders take it to the Super Destroyers right at the start, but The Destroyers are having none of that as they throw one of the Hell Riders out of the ring and go to work on HD Rider. He eventually tags out to EZ Rider, but that doesn’t do them any good, as one of the Destroyers pins Rider after a flipping senton.
RATING: 1/5 – This was a poor match, as none of the 4 guys were very good at all.
Funk interviews Robbins and calls him Hunter Q. Robbins the Turd. Okay then.
A hype video airs for The Sandman, the ECW Heavyweight Champion, highlighting his matches along with his wetsuit & surfboard. Yes, you read that right.
Wildman Sal Bellomo vs. Tommy Cairo
Cairo is undefeated coming into this match, and hopes to advance in the TV title tournament. Bellomo works over Cairo with strikes, but also surprisingly with mat work. Cairo doesn’t take it lying down though, even though he’s on the mat, and tries to take it to Bellomo. Given his size, this might not be the best strategy. Cairo manages to take him down with a flying body press, but Bellomo kicks out. Johnny Hotbody runs down as the ref is distracted by Bellomo’s manager and goes for a flying ax handle as Bellomo holds Cairo, but Cairo dodges and Hotbody nails Bellomo. Sal falls to the outside of the ring and is counted out!
After the match, Hotbody attacks Cairo and goes for a flying elbow but he misses an then runs away.
RATING: 1/5 – Another pretty bad match here. Both guys worked a slow, plodding style. Nothing really wrong from a basic perspective, it just wasn’t a good match. Not offensively bad, just not exciting.
Tony Stetson vs. The Rockin’ Rebel
Tony Stetson is a local boy, and is thus the crowd favourite. Rebel is a natural heel, and claims to have his hair pulled and tights pulled, which of course, Stetson did not do. Rebel works him over with some very basic offense, and hits a really nice dropkick followed by a snapmare and chinlock.
Rebel hits a flying elbow, but only gets a 2. Rebel hits a sidewalk slam, and gets a 2 again. Stetson hits the ropes and blocks a backbody drop. He hits a flying forearm and goes for a top rope legdrop. He gets it! Rebel gets his leg on the rope to break up the pin though. Rebel goes for a pinfall and gets his legs on the rope, and he gets the pinfall.
RATING: 1/5 – Another poor match. Stetson is no good, and Rebel seemed quite limited working with him. Maybe with a better opponent he could have a decent match.
Rebel does a promo and calls out Sandman. He says he’s going to take his title and end his career.
Jimmy Snuka comes out for his match and cuts a promo, saying he’s glad to be there and he has signed a contract with ECW. He introduces Eddie Gilbert, who says Snuka is now a part of Hotstuff International!
Jimmy Snuka (w/ Eddie Gilbert) vs. Larry Winters
Snuka seems to be playing with Winters, and just beats him all over the ring. Snuka chokes Winters on the rope and when the ref’s back is turned Gilbert slaps Winters when the refs back is turned. Winters starts to make a comeback, but Snuka cuts him off with an eye rake. Snuka is hit by a cross body, and Winters only gets a 2. Gilbert trips up Winters when he is getting momentum, letting Snuka hit a backbreaker. He climbs to the top and hits the Superfly Splash for the win.
RATING: 1.5/5 – This was another poor match. So far, ECW was not bringing it in the ring. Everything was just basic, not horrible, just basic. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I know ECW will improve, but ring work was never a strong part of the product.
Terry Funk thanks the fans, comments on the good show, and promises to do better.
Sal Bellomo comes out and wants to get in the ring!
Sal Bellomo vs. Ernesto Benifico
Sal attacks him, the bell rings, and an impromptu match begins. Bellomo wins with a big bodyslam.
RATING: DUD – This was nothing more than a quick squash. It did get Bellomo over as a monster, which is good.
Tod Gordon announces that Sandman will be a part of the show next week!
OVERALL RATING: 1/5 – This was a pretty bad show, overall. There is potential for a great show here, but it’s clear that they’re just learning how to produce TV. The tension between Gilbert & Funk is great, and they promised Sandman would be there next week, which is a great way to promote the show for next week. As I said before, it was basic, but it builds to the next week, and at least gives the viewer a reason to watch the next episode.