/ECW in Fall River
|ECW House Show
|by: Alex Beckers
I've only started following ECW very recently, so apologies if I make any mistakes.
The Oct. 15th show was at the Municipal Veteran's Memorial in Fall River, MA. The building itself was described by everyone who gave me directions as a "castle", which it was on the outside. On the inside, the event was held in a basketball court / gymnasium. The baskets had been pulled up, the climbing ropes were tied off, and the bleachers were pushed in most of the way. Picture a high school gym with a wrestling ring and lots of folding chairs. I don't know, maybe this is what all ECW house shows are like, but in my opinion it gave the card a really cool feeling. The whole thing felt more "real" than the WWF RAW taping I saw in Worcester, which of course was more spectacle than wrestling.
I was in the second row of folding chairs from the guard rail. With me were two friends, one of whom used to see ECW shows when they did them in Waltham, and another who'd never seen ECW before. All of us had a blast. The program did a great job of giving a quick description of the wrestlers and their feuds, and luckily a guy sitting next to me was able to help me out when I had no clue who was coming in.
Match 1: C.W. Anderson and Bill Wiles vs. Nova and someone else. It wasn't Chris Chetti, who was listed in the program as being injured. I thought it might've been Tom Marquez, but I think he was announced as Dave someone. At any rate, the fourth wrestler had a high-flying style that matched Nova's. Both Nova and his parter circled the ring getting high-fives before the match. Overall a good match, went over ten minutes or so (my sense of time is atrocious and I didn't have a watch), including a nice spot on the outside. Both CW and Bill were outside, right in front of me, and Nova rushed towards the ropes. The two heels prepared ducked away from the hit, but Nova swung around inside the ropes, aborting his attack. As CW and Bill laughed at him, he dropped to all fours, and his partner jumped off his back over the ropes in a suicide dive onto both heels. The match was won by Nova who performed what looked like Edge's Downward Spiral on one of the heels, while his partner held back the other heel.
Match 2: Yoshihiro Tajiri against someone else. Again uncertain who the other wrestler was -- I have "Tom?" written on my program in pen, so maybe this was Tom Marquez. No idea. This was an interesting match in terms of psychology and pacing -- Tajiri worked the knee a lot. Lots of traded knife-edge chops (with the accompanying "Whooo!" from the crowd) and kicks to the groin. LOTS of kicks to the groin. Tajiri wins it with some kind of suplex driver. His opponent didn't get much offense in. Match lasted 5-10 minutes? Maybe longer.
Match 3: The Dupp brothers came in at first, three of them. It took me a while to figure out who they were -- they were wearing "Dupp" hats, but I couldn't remember where I'd heard that name before until one of them got the mike and introduced them all. Unfortunately I don't know which one was wrestling. And then their opponent comes out -- Jazz?? 3 on 1 handicap match? No, it's just a one on one... for a while. Jazz got some weak dropkicks off, this was not a very good match, until all three Dupp brothers gang up on Jazz and P.N. News comes out for the save. Some nice athletic moves from the big man, including a huge legdrop. Jazz ends up winning it with her X Factor. Another ten minutes?
Match 4: Spanish Angel, Tony Devito, and Vito LoGrasso ("the Baldies") vs. Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney. Crowd goes nuts for the chair-swinging freaks. The Baldies get some heel heat by harassing the crowd, including spitting in the face of one kid! Unfortunately they lost some of that heelishness by arguing with this annoying Yankees-hat-wearing fan who was right in front of me. Anyone who harassed this kid got cheered. I'm surprised the Yankees fan survived the evening, honestly. The Baldies couldn't decide who was going to wrestle, so Axl and Balls suggested a 3 on 3, with their partner being a chair. This led to the most over-used spot of the night, the freaks chasing the Baldies out of the ring with their chairs. It ended up being a regular tag-team, with interference of course from the third Baldie. I don't remember much of the match, it wasn't particularly memorable. Axl and Balls won, using chairs I would assume.
Intermission. Axl and Balls sign autographs.
Match 5: Little Guido with Sal E. Graziano (the FBI) vs. Spike Dudley. LSD does some great acting at the beginning, while Graziano gets the cheap heat by being announced as the world's largest Yankees fan. Classiest move of the night -- LSD gives his Dudley glasses to a young (8 or 10) kid near me. "Here, take these while I fight that fat guy and the little guy!" Very cool. Nice fast-paced match. Near the end Spike was outside and Sal tried to slam him through a table. Spike got free and did the Acid Drop off the barricade onto the table. VERY cool. Match goes back inside the ring and Spike wins with an Acid Drop on Guido. One of the best matches of the night, if not the best.
Match 6: If the above match wasn't the best, this was. Justin Credible w/Jason and Lance Storm w/ Dawn Marie vs. Danny Doring and Road Kill w/ Ms. Congeniality. We get the battle of the cool intro songs first as Credible comes out to (a cover of?) Prong's "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" and Doring and Road Kill come out to Soul Coughing's "Super Bon Bon". And let us NOT forget Dawn Marie, who is absolutely STUNNING. Made it very difficult to pay any attention to the match, as she was standing, err, bouncing, right in front of me. The guy next to me kept throwing coins into the ringside area hoping she'd bend over to pick one up. I kept waving a dollar bill at her, but she never saw me. The match went on as one would expect, I guess -- I can't even remember what Danny Doring looks like at this point. Pretty early on Ms. Congenialty tripped up Lance Storm, which prompted Dawn Marie to run around the ring. Both women were up in the ring... and then were held back by their respective teams. Quick as a flash I started up a "Let them fight!" chant which went on for a while. The two teams fought on until another break in the action led to the women actually tussling in the ring, much to the appreciation of the crowd. Apparently after being broken up, Dawn Marie's nipple had popped out of her... whatever it was she was wearing... but I missed it. D'oh! Justin gets the win after wacking Road Kill with a kendo stick? and then using his spinning piledriver on Doring.
Match 7: Simon Diamond comes out with Dick and gets the mike for a bit, bragging about how big his Dick is and how his Dick is always watching his back. He then goes on to claim that the Yankees are gonna sweep the Sox. Judge Jeff Jones comes out and tells him that not only are the Yankees gonna lose, but Diamond is gonna lose tonight as well -- and both losses are gonna be f'ing awesome! Naturally Mike Awesome comes out for the title defense. Unfortunately this was a terrible match. Awesome was way off on a lot of his moves and was no-selling most of Diamond's. What made it worse was that it wasn't even a cool no-sell, Awesome just looked bored or confused as he was being hit. There was one really funky spot where both men were standing on the top turnbuckle and you didn't know who was gonna suplex/drop who. Awesome started losing his footing, so Dick came over and hit him, which gave him an excuse to sit down. Both men stood up AGAIN, and then sat down again. No big superplex, big disappointment. In the end Awesome did his running bomb on Dick through a table, and then on Diamond for the win.
Match 8: Steve Corino, Rhino, and Jack Victory enter first, with Victory in a wheelchair. Corino makes a challenge, Sabu comes out to take him up on it. But as the match starts, Corino sends in Rhino, and the match is Rhino vs. Sabu. Nice spots from Sabu on all three men, except for one blown top-rope huracanrana that looked really scary -- I think it was on Corino. Eventually the three men get the better of him and start the beat down, which leads to the run-in by Tommy Dreamer and Raven. This is where things got really nuts. Sabu and Victory, I believe, stayed in the ring, while the other four brawled out into the crowd. WAY into the crowd. TD and Raven dragged the other two up on top of the folding basketball bleachers, smacked them into the wall, and threw them off. They then took climbing ropes (you know, from high school gym class) and swung down from the bleachers to crash into the other two. Raven pulled his off nicely but it took Tommy two tries. Meanwhile Francine, in a not particularly appealing black catsuit, is standing ringside on the apron looking concerned. Also earlier in the match, Bill Alfonso (who came out with Sabu) got thrown into a barricade by Corino. "I'll get him back for that," he told us, and he did later with a nice chairshot. Eventually the brawling comes back into the ring. TD and Raven are whipped into each other, no-sell the colision, and attack each other. They brawl to the back. Sabu sets Corino up on a table for a top-turnbuckle move, but as he leaps, Rhino pushes Corino out of the way and goes face first through the table, looked nasty. Sabu pins Rhino for the win.
Overall a great evening. Having the action right in front of me more than made up for the lack of spectacle and pyrotechnics. (Again, comparing to the RAW taping I saw.) Plus the fact that the action was just more active. Faces all went over the heels for a way happy evening, and I got a close-up view of Dawn Marie bouncing, which I must say is incomparable. Definitely gonna go again the next time Extreme is in town.
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