The Hardcore Homecoming series of ECW reunion shows returned to the ECW Arena last night before a crowd of 700-800; despite having to combat a Philadelphia mass transit strike, cutting off all bus and subway service in the city.
A short video set to ‘Novermber Rain’ (ala the ECW “November to Remember” annual major shows, with this show being held on the anniversary to the date of the 1994 November to Remember which featured the payoff to the classic Sandman blinding angle, and the broken neck to Sabu that gave Chris Benoit the “Crippler” nickname).
The Blue Meanie defeated Danny Doring with the Meanie-sault.
Balls Mahoney defeated John Kronus with a Nutcracker Suite (Michinoku Driver).
Matt Hyson (formerly Spike Dudley) defeated C.W. Anderson by holding the ropes after a sunset flip. While this was good but not necesarily great match, the mere fact that CW Anderson was in the ring at all was a miracle, given that it was the first match after his near-fatal illness that saw his liver nearly shut down due to use of a dietary supplement. Anderson had dropped a noticable amount of weight…and they played off his illness
With a great introduction and video package, Tod Gordon inducts Terry Funk into the Hardcore Hall of Fame with a banner hanging from the press box area of the ECW Arena. Here’s one hope that a subsequent show of some sort, whether or not it’s under the Hardcore Homecoming name, sees Eddie Gilbert’s name also hoisted with a similar banner, preferably with the presence of the Gilbert family, so as recognize Gilbert’s role with early ECW and to finally put to rest the years of heat between the Gilbert family and ECW.
Axl Rotten defeated Ian Rotten in a Taipei Death Match after a top rope powerbomb through multiple chairs. This was a sick match with bigtime blood-letting. I’m waiting to see the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission say anything about CZW’s upcoming shows after this one…particularly after Frank Talent was quoted by announcer Steve DeAngelis as saying that the fans would “get the kind of ECW show they deserved” (translated: without Commission interference).
“Pitbull” Gary Wolfe defeated Shane Douglas in a OK Dog Collar match after a belly-to-belly suplex. Douglas’ feet were obviously on the ropes during the pinfall, which resulted in a “bull#@$t” chant from the crowd.
Team 3D (The Dudleys) defeated Sabu and Terry Funk after a 3D on Funk. Prior to this, Spike…er…Matt Hyson…ran in to jump the Dudleys, only to be put through the flaming table that the Dud…Team 3D had set for Funk and Sabu. Spike was burnt badly (shoulder and legs) and the entire ringside crew was dousing him with water. He was telling people backstage that he was OK after the match.
The crowd serenaded WWE with “F*** Johnny Ace” chant prior to the match. Bubba Ray Dudley put over Sabu and Terry Funk post-match and asked the crowd post-match, to chant those three letters that the guy in Stamford tried to take away from us”…resulting in one of the loudest “ECW” chants I’ve ever heard in the building in my 12 years of shows there.
Justin Credible defeated Jerry Lynn via pinfall in a Cage Match. Lynn powerbombed Credible and went for the pinfall, after fighting off Jason, who came in the cage…only to have the lights go out. When the lights came back on, Lance Storm was standing in the middle of the ring. Storm and Credible double teamed Lynn, allowing Credible to pick up the victory. Storm and Credible hit their Impact Players pose to close the show.
In some ways, the ending came off a little flat, only because of the loud, emotional reaction after the semi-main event…which would have been a great way to end the show.
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