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The Three Way Dance

  • A little background on this show: in January, 1995, the Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) were enjoying their second reign as ECW tag champs. The defended those belts against Sabu and the Tazmaniac (not yet Taz) in a double tables match (yup, just like the one at this past year's Royal Rumble) on February 4th. That match saw Johnny Grunge and Taz put each other through a table, eliminating them from the match. Rocco Rock then put Sabu through a table, but the ref was knocked out and didn't see it. Sabu then put Rock through a table to win the belts for his team. Then Chris Benoit ran down to the ring and attacked both Sabu and Rock, powerbombing Sabu off the top rope onto Rock who was laying on a table (sound familiar?).

    Then, on February 25th, Benoit and his Triple Threat partner Dean Malenko attacked the Public Enemy during and interview and went on to beat Sabu and Taz for the belts. So the Public Enemy proposed a Three Way Dance to blow off the feud once and for all.

    So what's the big deal? Well, this wasn't the first ever three way match, but the concept was still pretty new to make it a special event. I mean, you see three way matches almost every week, but at the time this was still something unique, and a perfect way to blow off the feud.

    Also, Sabu was scheduled to be at this show, but he was announced as being over in Japan. He soon jumped to WCW for an uninspired run, so the fans (and some of the wrestlers) were on his case all night. What's that line about history repeating itself?

    One last note: I like to mention whatever happened to certain wrestlers, and I may have an event or date wrong. So if you see a mistake, let me know and I'll correct it, 'kay?

  • Taped April 8, 1995 ECW Arena

  • Joey introduces the tape, explaining how it was supposed to be The Public Enemy vs. Benoit/Malenko vs. Taz/Sabu, but Sabu was held up in Japan.

  • Tape opens with Joey bringing out Raven, Stevie Richards, and the Broad Street Bullies (Johnny Hotbody and "Hitman" Tony Stetson, if you were wondering). We cut ahead, and Stevie's got a challenge for the Bullies. If they beat his mystery team, everything's cool. If they lose, they're out of the Flock. Anyway, it turns out to be...The Pitbulls (two big roided guys with the ingenious names of Pitbull #1 and Pitbull #2). So we get...

  • The Broad Street Bullies vs. The Pitbulls: Squash. The 'bulls nuke the Bullies in under a minute, finishing off Stetson with a Superbomb in under a minute (:58) 1/4* Joey laughingly refers to the Bullies as one of the finest tag teams in ECW history.

  • Raven's actually proud of Stevie for once. The Pitbulls swear their allegiance to Raven, and vow to win the tag titles. They would do that in a few months, ironically from Raven and Richards. Pitbull #2 was bleeding from the mouth for some reason.

  • But we're not done. Raven sends the Pitbulls to the back to, I dunno, get him some coffee or something. Stevie then plays "This Is Your Life" with Raven and brings out a girl that went to summer camp with Raven and Tommy Dreamer years ago (you think I'm making this up?). Raven apparently had some bad times with this girl, calling her a "fat, disgusting, overweight piece of hell." And in a historic moment, out comes Beulah McGillicutty, who is, shall we say, quite far from a piece of hell...

  • Then we cut to...

  • Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven Tommy's still wearing tights, but he has a T-shirt on, so he only looks like a half tool. Match is one big brawl, as they fight around the arena almost instantly The cheese grater makes its debut here. They fight in the crowd, and it's really hard to tell what's happening. Dreamer drags Raven back to the crow's nest and hits a splash on the stage. Back in the ring, Tommy hits the Four Corner piledeiver. Richards starts hitting on Beulah on the outside . Raven manages a comeback with a pair of DDTs, a second rope dropkick , and a powerslam. Richards is priceless on the outside. Dreamer turns a hiptoss into a DDT as Richards kisses Beulah, only to be slapped. He starts choking her, and Tommy comes outside rather than go for the pin...and Beulah squirts him in the eyes with hairspray! Swerve! Dreamer then eats a superkick from Richards, and spins around into a Raven DDT on the concrete. Raven rolls him into the ring for the 3 count. (8:44) *1/2 Okay brawl. Dreamer wouldn't pin Raven for almost two years.

  • Ron Simmons vs. Mikey Whipwreck Mikey's still in his wimp phase. This was after Simmons's run in WCW, and just before he jumped to the WWF as Farooq Asaad. Man, he's pudgy here. Ron threatens to kick Mikey's ass, so Mikey stalls forever. Entire match is Ron methodically [read: boringly] beating up Mikey. Mikey tries a comeback with some crotchshots and a top-rope dropkick. But he gets powerslammed by Simmons coming off the top a second time. Simmons drags up Mikey and hits a chokeslam. And then another. Then Simmons chokeslams referee John Finnegan...for the DQ? Bleh. (5:24) That's enough to bring out 911. Umm, if you didn't know, 911 was Paul E.'s bodyguard who came out and chokeslammed a variety of people (you know, awful wrestlers, guitar players, Santa Claus, that sort of thing). That's all he ever did, which is good, because he was a horrible wrestler.

    Anyway, Ron disposes of Mikey by gorilla pressing him onto the big guy, then we get the showdown. 911 tries to chokeslam Ron, but Simmons manages a lowblow and hits a chokeslam of his own,. Crowd isn't pleased. Jobbers come out to check on 911, and he goes nuts and chokeslams them one at a time. Question: If you were in the ring and saw a huge man go nuts and chokeslam someone, would you hang around? Well, the jobbers do, and each one eats a chokeslam. 911 gets on the stick and calls Ron a piece of shit. 911 went on to be a jobber in WCW as "Sledgehammer Al," or some such nonsense, and was served up as cannon fodder for Lex Luger during his "rack the big guy" phase. Oh, match was 1/2*

  • Chris Benoit on the stick! Man, he's got poofy hair. He calls out the Tazmaniac and calls Sabu a "pussy" twice. Boy, Chris is awful on the mic. Anyway, out comes Taz, and they start slugging away, until Deano blindsides Taz to make it a 2 on 1. Then Rick Steiner runs out and the place goes nuts. Taz and Steiner clean house, and we've got the final participant in the 3 Way Dance. I know it may seem weird to newer fans, but this was actually something worth getting excited about.

  • 2 Cold Scorpio vs. EDDIE~! Guerrero Boo yaa! This is Eddie's first ECW match, and he gets a title shot no less. Actually, 2 Cold beat Hector Guerrero on ECW TV prior to this and Eddie wants revenge. Scorpio's right shoulder is taped up. Eddie soaks up an "Eddie" chant to start. Guerrero starts with a go behind, and turns it into a side headlock and takeover. Scorpio shoves Eddie into the ropes, and Eddie tries a shoulderblock to no avail. Scorpio grabs Eddie's leg after a tie-up, but Eddie flips him over and applies a headscissors. But Scorpio reverses it and turns it into a STF like move, but Eddie reverses that into an armlock and tries a pin, but only gets a one count. Eddie than turns an armwringer into a backdrop suplex. Scorpio rolls to the outside, as Joey brings up "Love Machine" Art Barr. Eddie offers a handshake, but Scorpio shoves him down, but Eddie kips back up to his feet. They tie up again, and Scorpio hits a back heel trip and goes for a cover, but Eddie kicks out, trips Scorpio, and also goes for a cover. to no avail. Scorpio offers a handshake, but Eddie turns it into a clothesline, then rakes Scorpio's face with his boot. He then picks up Scorpio and slams him, then goes to the apron and hits the slingshot somersault senton. Eddie then applies a Scorpion Deathlock, but Scorpio reverses to a leglock. Eddie's in the ropes, so he breaks. They tie up again, but Eddie hits a standing dropkick. He then hits the brainbuster followed by the frog splash, but it only gets two. Eddie applies a rear chinlock as the crowd chants "Fuck Sabu!" Scorpio kicks his way out, but Eddie responds by poking him in the eye. Eddie whips Scorpio into the ropes, but Scorpio reverses it, ducks down, then leapfrogs Eddie, and finally hits a Japanese armdrag. He follows it up with a standing dropkick, then a superkick. Scorpio waits on Guerrero and hits a pump kick, then tosses Eddie outside. Scorpio then whips Eddie into the steel guardrail HARD, then does it again. He suplexes Eddie into the ring and gets a two count. Scorpio hits a double underhook suplex and gets another 2 count. He tries a go behind, but Eddie mule kicks him in the groin and follows up with a running clothesline. Scorpio rolls to the outside, and Eddie goes to the top rope and hits a huge cross bodyblock on the champion. He rolls Scorpio back in and hits a cradle suplex for 2. Eddie rams Scorpio into the top rope and manages a tornado DDT. That gets a two count Eddie chops Scorpio in the corner and misses a charge. Scorpio goes to the top but gets crotched by Eddie. Eddie follows up with a top rope 'rana, and gets a two count. Eddie goes for another 'rana , but backflips off and gets caught by a Scorpio cross body block which gets two. A Scorpio follows with a right hand and another two count. Scorpio whips Eddie into the corner and hits an avalanche and a bodyslam. He then hits a gorgeous moonsault and gets another two count .Scorpio then hits a powerbomb and a standing somersault leg drop. He sets Eddie up , and then hits a mildly fucked-up Tumbleweed (top rope twisting somersault leg drop-as cool as it sounds). He goes for the cover, and it looks like he pulls Eddie up, but Joey sells it like Eddie kicked out. Whatever Scorpio then sets up and hits another superkick. Scorpio then chops Eddie and whips him into the ropes. It looks like he's going for a hiptoss, but Eddie turns it into a rollup for the 3 count and the title. (14:56) **** One of my favorite ECW matches. Eddie and 2 Cold shake hands afterwards. Eddie would go on to feud with Dean Malenko over the belt, resulting in some of ECW's best matches ever.

  • Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten: Hair vs. Hair. From Eddie to this. Axl and Ian were once a tag team called the Bad Breed, but a loss to the Pitbulls forced them to split up. So they started feuding with each other in all sorts of crazy matches, like Taipei Glass Matches and the like. Axl's really skinny here. Lots of brawling and hitting each other with objects. with minimal wrestling. They fight in the crowd, and you can't see what's happening half the time. This may have been exciting if you're at the arena, but at home it's fast forward city. Both men end up busted open somehow. The fight in the ring, then in the crowd, then in the ring where Axl finishes off Ian by whipping him into the ropes and hitting him with a chair. (9:55) DUD Axl shaves Ian afterwards, but Ian then hits Axl with some kind of pan, then stabs him in the forehead with the scissors. This was the PWI Feud of the Year for 1995, believe it or not.

  • Hack Myers vs. Dino Sendoff. Hack's gimmick was that he was the "Shah" of ECW. When he punched someone, the crowd yelled "Shah," and when he got punched, the crowd yelled "shit!" After doing nothing of note in ECW, he did some jobbing in WCW. Really bad match, with the low point being Dino tripping over Myers when he drops down after an Irish Whip. Myers wins with a brainbuster. (4:14) DUD

  • World Title Match: Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman (w/Woman) Sandman does his looong entrance. I wonder if Nancy was hanging out with Chris Benoit backstage? Sandman's still in his red shirt-American flag pants stage. Shane demands that the Singapore cane be taken away. Douglas attacks early, but the match is clipped (why?) to Sandman applying a cross face chicken wing. He tells Woman to slap Douglas, but she won't. Sandman then hits a shoulderbreaker and applies the chickenwing again, but Woman still won't slap Douglas. Match is clipped to Sandy hitting the top rope legdrop get the cane. Sandy then hits a piledriver. Woman's got the cane Sandy lights up a smoke, but then Woman turns on Sandman and tosses Douglas the cane. Douglas gets the cane the crotches Sandy, then small packages for the pin. (3:18 shown) Too much clipping to give a rating. And yes, Sandman's entrance took longer than the match. Anyway, Woman would turn on Douglas next week and help Sandman win the title.

  • Sandman gives an interview saying that he'll beat the crap out of Douglas and Woman.

  • Douglas gives a lengthy interview and says pretty much what you'd expect.

  • Main Event: Public Enemy vs. Benoit/Malenko vs. Tazmaniac/Rick Steiner: PE comes out first, and they're over big time. They go into the stands and give a PE jersey to some huge black guy named Big Vin. Johnny leads another "Fuck Sabu" chant. Champs come next and they start going at it right away with PE. Taz and Steiner come out third. Taz has the caveman outfit going. Taz and Steiner clear the ring to start. Rick hits the top rope bulldog on Benoit, and thankfully doesn't break his neck. Steiner hits a Fire Thunder Driver on Rock and very nearly breaks his neck. Lots of chaotic brawling that sees frying pans, cookie sheets, and lunchboxes as weapons. While Steiner and the PE fight in the stands, Benoit and Malenko hit a double flapjack on Taz in the ring. Benoit then hits the swandive headbutt, and Dean rolls him up for the pin, eliminating Taz and Steiner 6:49 into the match. They don't leave though, and it takes forever before they finally take off. Steiner then comes back and nails Benoit with the cellphone, and Joey brings up the irony of Rick Steiner hitting someone with Paul E.'s phone. So finally we're down to PE and Benoit/Malenko. Johnny Grunge is busted open (big shock). Grunge hits a Vaderbomb on Malenko for two. Benoit and Rock fight to the crow's nest, where Rock tries to put Benoit through a table with the Drive By (a top rope somersault senton that's not nearly as cool as the Hardy version), but Benoit moves. Back in the ring, Grunge hits a neckbreaker on Malenko for two. Benoit comes back and they start destroying PE. Benoit superplexes Rock through a table that was not pre-cut Funny bit as Benoit and Malenko offer each other the chance to pin Johnny Grunge. They go for a double back bodydrop on Grunge, but he turns it into a double DDT. Then Rock comes off the top with the Drive-By on Malenko for the pin and the belts. Ending came out of nowhere. (19:57) **1/2 Too much listless brawling, although it did pick up at the end.

  • Rock and Grunge celebrate as Taz and Steiner come back and fight with Benoit and Malenko. Rock and Grunge are then jumped by the Pitbulls as we fade out.

    Closer: Taz(z), Benoit and Malenko are all in the WWF now, while Steiner still hangs out in WCW. And the Public Enemy? Well, a disastrous run in WCW ruined their credibility, and they've bounced around the Big Three, and are pretty much an industry joke by now. Guess they should have stayed big fish in a small pond.

    So is this show worth it? Well, the wrestling ranges from crap to decent to great, but you also have to consider how awful the Big Two were at this period. If you ever wondered why people rave about ECW, this tape shows the good and bad. Besides, it's a lot of fun to play "Where are they now?"

    If you dug this review, let me know. I have lots of older ECW stuff that's always worth a second look.

    Joe Gagne

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