Eastern Championship Wrestling
April 12, 1993
Commentators: Jay Sulli, Stevie Wonderful, & Terry Funk
Eddie Gilbert tries to take over as guest again, and irritates Terry Funk. Terry Funk considers beating him up. Eddie Gilbert asks Terry to make him leave. Terry Funk takes Eddie Gilbert’s Perrier Water and pours it down his shirt, and Gilbert runs away.
Glen Osbourne vs. Johnny Hotbody
Osbourne is dressed like a maniac, so he’s naturally the babyface. This match actually wasn’t too bad. Again, as seems to be the theme with these early ECW episodes, the match is very basic, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s very watchable, but just a little boring. Part way through the match, Osbourne’s gear breaks as Hotbody sends him into the corner.
Terry Funk does a great job explaining sleeper holds and why they wear an opponent down, as they cut off the oxygen, making it difficult to breathe, therefore wearing the opponent down. Commentary like this makes the rest holds important to the story of the match. After breaking out, Hotbody manages to send Osbourne to the corner and he hits a huge German suplex, but Osbourne kicks out.
Hotbody hits a suplex on the outside of the ring! Hotbody goes on the apron and waits for Osbourne to get up and hits a dive off the apron to the floor. Johnny locks in a sleeper hold back in the ring. When Osbourne gets up, Hotbody goes to hit Osbourne, but hits the ref! With the ref down, Hotbody hits a piledriver! Hotbody picks Osbourne up and goes for a superplex. Tommy Cairo comes out and has some payback for his interference last week as he knocks Hotbody off the top rope. Osbourne hits a splash and gets the pin!
RATING: 2/5 -I really liked this match. It was paced well, and quite entertaining. The commentary from Funk helped a lot.
Terry Funk interviews Osbourne, and he claims he’s going to win the TV title! Funk is excited, and again, this adds to the show.
Larry Winters & Tony Stetson vs. Chris Michaels & Samoan Warrior
Chris Michaels locks up with Larry Winters to open the match, as both try to overpower each other before hitting any moves. Winters keeps control of Michaels early on, and he keeps it by making quick tags with Stetson. When Michaels is sent over the top rope, he skins the cat, and comes back over, but Stetson is waiting for him and clotheslines him out. Stetson and Winters then hit him with a double suplex to bring him back in.
They spent a great amount of time controlling Winters, hitting various double team moves, but after about 5 minutes, Samoan Warrior manages to knee Stetson in the back while he hits the ropes and gains control. Stetson tries to drive Warrior into the mat, but because he’s Samoan, it doesn’t hurt. Winters is tagged back in, and they manage to take control again and Stetson hits a legdrop from the top rope while Winters holds Michaels in the air. They get the pin!
RATING: 1.5/ – This was essentially a squash match, but there was enough in it to warrant a rating. This wasn’t a great match, but it did highlight Stetson & Winters well.
Funk goes to interview Stetson & Winters, but Hunter Q. Robbins III comes out and begins to trash them. They go to attack Hunter, but the Super Destroyers come out and they get into a huge brawl with Stetson & Winters. Terry Funk holds Robbins back to stop him from getting involved, and both teams brawl to the back. This wasn’t bad. Great way to build to a future match between the two teams.
Another hype video airs for The ECW Heavyweight Champion – The Sandman! The wetsuit is really off-putting because of Sandman’s later character.
The Sandman comes out to be interviewed by Terry Funk, with surfboard and all. He cuts a promo talking about how it’s a pleasure to be with all the people in Philly, because they made him the champ!
The Kodiak Bear vs. The Sandman (Peaches & his Surfboard) – ECW Heavyweight Championship
Before the match starts, Peaches plants a huge kiss on Sandman. Kodiak is frustrated that she didn’t kiss him. Maybe if your name wasn’t Kodiak Bear? Sandman hits a hip toss on Kodiak, and plays to the crowd. Kodiak keeps claiming that Sandman pulled his tights. The ref doesn’t buy it. Neither does Sandman. Or the fans. Or the announcers. Or the camera man. Or the booker. Or you. Or me. Or Broken Matt Hardy, who may have time traveled back to 1993 in his Expedition of Gold. Or Sandman’s dog. Or Terry Funks Horse. Or the sign that says ECW in the back. Or a goldfish… I may have lost the narrative somewhere in there. What was I talking about?
Oh yeah. Sandman hits a dropkick and a slingshot shoulder block. He locks in a Million Dollar Dream, and Sandman wins! This was not good. At all.
RATING: DUD – This was a pretty terrible match. Sandman is not a great worker, and working a match that is just a plain old wrestling match demonstrates his weaknesses quite strongly. The crowd didn’t seem sold on him either.
Terry Funk sings a song about Sandman (thought it might not be The Sandman). In any case, it was great.
JT Smith vs. ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert – TV Title Tournament
Eddie Gilbert is clearly the biggest star in the company, outside of Terry Funk. Gilbert carries himself like a champion, and it’s awesome. Gilbert smashes JT Smith with a chair on the outside of the ring, and follows up with a clothesline. Gilbert takes him all around the arena, giving young JT Smith a huge beating. Gilbert grabs the ring bell and Terry Funk leaves the broadcast booth to look to get in Gilbert’s face. Gilbert hits Smith with the ring bell, and Funk is yelling at the ref.
Gilbert smashes Smith into a ringside table, and the table collapses. Smith somehow makes it back into the ring, clearly groggy, but he starts taking it to Gilbert, and he hits a clothesline. Smith hits a fall away slam and goes for a moonsault, but Gilbert moves and flattens him with a forearm. JT falls in front of the announce table. Gilbert uses some old school techniques, hitting a thumb to the throat. He goes for an elbow but missies, and Gilbert can’t seem to get the advantage.
Gilbert goes out to the apron and as JT goes to back suplex him in, Gilbert punches him with a hand that clearly has a foreign object on it, and JT goes down. The ref counts the three!
RATING: 2/5 – This was not a match with perfect psychology or storytelling, but it was fun. On the scale of fun, I’d give it a 4. However, I’m trying to rank on quality alone, and it’s not a classic, but it was definitely fun to watch. In the end, I was entertained, even though it was not the best match ever.
Tommy Cairo vs. The Super Ninja
This was poor. Tommy Cairo wins with a German Suplex. Johnny Hotbody runs out and tries to break up the pin, but slightly misses his cue and the ref actually counts to three before Hotbody breaks it up. They brawl to the back.
Terry Funk interviews Tod Gordon, and they talk about the semi finals of the TV title tournament.
RATING: 1.5/5 – This was far better than the previous week. It was a fun show to watch, but again, it was very basic in it’s storylines and matches. This makes it very watchable, but not something that seemed revolutionary. That comes later with ECW, and for now, it’s solid enough to keep me interested in what is going to happen the next week.