First off, a shout out to Adam Yauch, member of the world-famous Beastie Boys rap group, who died today at the early age of 47. Is there a connection between the Beastie Boys and ECW? 1 Yes, several wrestlers used parts of the Beastie Boys music in their entrances. Only two immediately spring to mind:
Anyhow, I’m sorry to say that it seems like the Extreme Reunion show was the trainwreck that was predicted by many. With wrestlers who were clearly on substances, who attended for their own agendas, and who were in such bad shape they didn’t even show. Look, there is no doubt that while ECW was one of the most creative and fan-friendly wrestling federation, but also it caused the biggest train wreck in its aftermath. Why this is the case is anyone’s guess.
I think the best explanation is that ECW extended the careers of moderately talented wrestlers, and it extended those careers by encouraging ‘hardcore’ stunts in the ring. Those stunts would go on to cause major physcial damage for these wrestlers, especially as they got older. And, by 2001 there were at least 70 less jobs in professional wrestling, and a whole bunch of younger talent <a title="Ironically who they inspired." looking to break through. So many of them found themselves in their mid-30s with no applicable skills outside of wrestling, nowhere to work in the wrestling business, and severely broken down bodies. This would make puritan people turn to heavy illegal and prescription drugs, imagine what it would do for wrestlers who are used to a constant supply of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
This isn’t me standing on the straight-edge holier than thou, mountain top or something. It’s just taking basic facts, and trying to arrange them.
Broadcast: August 03, 1993
Taping Location: ECW Arena in South Philadelphia, PA
Announcing Team: Jay Sulli and various
We return to the ECW board room in what appears to be a repeat of last week’s press conference, but apparently not all the footage was shown last week, because two major announcement are made regarding Ultra Clash I on September 18, 1993:
Afterwards, Eddie Gilbert interrupts the proceedings like he did the previous week.
New generic music and new open: Terry Funk, Jimmy Snuka, Sal Bellomo, Hawk, Peaches, JT Smith fighting Dark Patriot, Eddie Gilbert, Jimmy Snuka, Larry Winters, Ivan Koloff, Sandman and Peaches, Brawl with everyone in the ring, Paul E. Dangerously, Terry Funk, Super Destroyers, and Eddie Gilbert’s Fireball.
President Tod Gordon is in front of the editing board, like Eddie was last week. He hypes the television taping happening this weekend (August 7 and 8), where the Japanese wrestlers from the W*ING promotion are scheduled to appear. Additionally, he apologizes to Phillies 1st Baseman John Kruk for some incident with Eddie Gilbert. Also he announces another match for Ultra Clash I, where a Battle of the Sexes Battle Royal will take place with Tigra, Peaches, Angel 5, Hunter Q. Robbins, Freddie Gilbert, and Sensational Sherri.
This match was shown on ECW Episode 012, which I’ve already recapped. And it wasn’t so good, that I need to copy and paste it here.
JT6 comes down with a crutch to help him down to ringside. Jay Sulli hints at past friction between Eddie Gilbert and the Dark Patriot. Don Muraco joins Jay Sulli in the booth.
JT Smith is able to avoid Gilbert for a while, and Gilbert accidentally nails the Dark Patriot who has to be calmed down. Test of strength, but Eddie kicks at Smith’s knee and takes advantage. While Gilbert talks to the referee, the Dark Patriot smashes Smith’s knee against the ringpost. Both men just mercilessly attacks Smith. Dark Patriot distracts the referee, and Gilbert nails Smith’s knee with the chair. Eddie finally locks in the figure four lege lock, and causes JT to submit. The heels attack the good guys for good measure.
Eddie interrupts Tod Gordon, and it’s the same cheesy jokes that Gilbert apparently stole from Jerry Lawler. Then we move onto highlight from the W*ING promotion. A series of very hardcore matches with barbed wire, inferno matches, weapons, and scaffolds with tons of hard dives as well 9. The only wrestlers I recognize are Jado, Gedo, and The Headhunters. Additionally, they like American Horror Movies where wrestlers dress as Jason, Freddie Kreuger, and Leatherface.
This match took place at the Super Summer Sizzler. And Jay Sulli and Terry Funk are in the booth.
Lockup, and Snuka starts to cheat, but Cairo gets a suplex and a series of arm drags. Snuka rolls out of the ring with Paul E. Snuka back in and Cairo is against the ropes. A series of roll-ups by both men. Snuka nails Cairo with two thumb jabs or Asiatic Spikes to the throat. 10
Cairo off the ropes, nails Snuka with a slap, and follows with a nice vertical suplex, and a huge baaaaaack body drop. Nails with a flying elbow on Snuka in the corner, and Cairo is totally dominating right now. Cairo is thrown off the ropes, and Paul E. grabs his leg and Cairo goes down in a heap. Snuka pins him with his feet on the second rope.
Snuka and Paul E. get out of dodge before Cairo can tell the ref what happened.
ECW Heavyweight Champion Don Muraco Since 04/03/1993 ECW Television Champion Jimmy Snuka Since 03/13/1993 ECW Tag Team Champions --vacated-- Since 07/27/1993 ECW Pennsylvania Champion Tommy Cairo Since 05/14/1993
Well, as JT Smith got two matches this week on ECW Television and has been signed to a big time match at Ultra Clash I, let’s do a quick spotlight on JT Smith.
There is not a ton of information about the early career of JT Smith. My understanding is that he worked at Tod Gordon’s family jewelry store, Carver W. Reed in Philadelphia as a security guard. Additionally, when Gordon started a relationship with Joel Goodhart, he pushed Smith to going into wrestling school. Quickly JT Smith became a star in Tri-State Wrestling Alliance, where he defeated the champion D.C. Drake in an elimination match on August 3rd, 1991. He would hold that title until October of that same year when we was defeated by Buddy Landel.When ECW was formed from the ashes of the TWA, JT Smith quickly became one of the mainstays.
JT is very reminiscent of Jay Lethal in terms of attitude, athleticism, and enthusiasm. In all reality JT was a little too big and a little too grounded to be a high flyer.
JT would stay with ECW until 1997, and even appeared in a dark match on the first ECW pay-per-view: Barely Legal. By then, JT would have transform himself into a comedy wrestler. And it all started with his desire to sing Frank Sinatra in front of the Philadelphia crown in the ECW Arena. Yes it was JT Smith who would form the stable known as the Full Blooded Italians.
But that’s another show entirely.
Okay, it was better than last week. Focusing on JT Smith, and giving crazy footage from W*ING was okay. But really, this is a molasses drip towards something interesting. I’m not dropping out of doing this review project, but they aren’t making it any easier on me. I don’t know if next week they will have matches from the TV taping or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.
1. Other than playing Six Degrees of ECW Separation, then it’s easy: The current (in this timeline) ECW Television Champion: “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka returned to the WWF at WrestleMania V where Run DMC performed the WrestleMania Rap, and in the late 80s, Run DMC went on tour with the Beastie Boys.
2. Once we get there, I am going to have a huuuuuge spotlight on ECW theme music. But right now they’re only using public domain stuff and cheap instrumentals.
3. Ironically who they inspired.
4. Stan Hansen breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck must have really traumatised Tod Gordon as a kid, because it is mentioned at least 5 times during this show. Supposedly this is a selling point for the card.
5. Who? Did I miss someone being added to the roster?
6. Apparently it’s JT Smith week on ECW Television. NEPOTISM!
7. In case you don’t know, JT Smith is black.
8. Showing why JT Smith was never going to be a great talker.
9. You can obviously see some of the major influences on ECW’s wrestling style from this footage.
10. Snuka does a nice job, of making sure he turns his back to the referee at just the right moment to shove the thumb in Cairo’s throat. That’s some nice veteran cheating moves right there. The ref knew what he was trying to do, and Snuka saw that the ref was trying to catch him, but just a blatant turning away from the ref before jabbing the thumb.