When I watch these episodes of ECW television from 1993 and while writing the column, I try to stay as spoiler free as I can. The idea being that I’m transporting myself back to 1993 and watching these matches for the first time. However, as someone who is a fan of ECW, I obviously am aware of certain fixed points in the history of ECW.
So, this is one of those fixed points in ECW History, or at least in the history of ECW Television as it is rather difficult to understand when things happened behind the scenes. Last week, I asked the readers 1 to tell me what era was ending in ECW. And Joe DeSandre basically got it correct, as he guessed “…does Paul take over booking?”
But that’s not exactly right, or at least we don’t know if it is right. Let’s just say that from this point forward, we are no longer living in the Eddie Gilbert era of ECW. There has been a lot written about the transition from Eddie Gilbert to Paul E. Dangerously as booker of the ECW. I don’t know whether Heyman pushed Gilbert out of ECW. I don’t know if other frustrations caused Eddie to leave as booker. There are hundreds of possibilities, and probably only three people really know: One of them is dead, the other is a known liar and con artist, and the third obviously has had issues with both men as he fired one and was fired by the other.
As an aside, I recently saw an advertisement for a Doug Gilbert shoot interview, where lots of ECW related questions were asked. Part of me wishes I had bought it, but the other part of me really hates shoot interviews and talked me out of it.
What do we know? As of this episode of ECW Television, which was broadcast on September 14, 1993, Eddie Gilbert has been removed from the Ultra Clash I card, and in fact is not even mentioned during this broadcast. All of the matches from this show are still from the television tapings that were booked by Eddie Gilbert, and the Ultra Clash card does not change too much. I don’t know whether Paul was given the book immediately, or if it was by committee until a booker was found, or how that took place.
But let us take a moment to pause for the end of the Eddie Gilbert era. Maybe Tod Gordon doesn’t even get ECW on television without Eddie Gilbert helping with the booking. Maybe this crazy Philadelphia experiment does not even happen. So, thank you Eddie Gilbert for your early contributions and starting ECW on the path. 2
Taped: August 06-07, 1993
Broadcast: September 14, 1993
Taping Location: The ECW Arena in South Philadelphia, PA
Announcing Team: Jay Sulli and Paul E. Dangerously
Once again there’s no opening title sequence. Jay Sulli and Tod Gordon are in the ECW Production Studio, and they announce that Kevin Sullivan is being added to the Ultra Clash card 4 in the main event match. So it will be Kevin Sullivan & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen
Also announced is a rematch for the ECW Pennsylvania Championship, but first we’re going to show you the first match between these two 5
Cairo comes down to the ring, whereas Cairo and Robbins are already at ringside. The announcers talk about what I had noticed, that Stetson had dropped a bunch of weight since turning heel. Stetson looked pudgy when he was teaming with Larry Winters.
Stetson starts of the match by shoving Cairo and slapping him.6 Cairo sends Stetson off the ropes and nails the back body drop followed by a series of arm drags. Stetson rolls outside and regroups with Hunter.
Back in the ring, Tony Stetson nails Cairo with an eye gouge. He Irish whips Cairo off the ropes and hits a nice flying clothesline which drops Cairo. Cairo gets up and is pushed to the corner and gets a series of chops by Stetson. Reverse by Tommy Cairo, who delivers chops and a series of forearms. Cairo nails Stetson with an overhead vertical suplex followed by a belly-to-belly, which gets a near-fall.
Stetson rolls outside a second time to get a time out and consult with Hunter again. Stetson back in. A spin kick catches Cairo unawares as Stetson comes in the ring. Stetson drops Cairo with a series punches. Stetson goes to the top, and nails Cairo with a flying legdrop. 2 count only. Cairo gets up and pushes Stetson into the corner and nails him with punches and forearms, and finishing with a spinning leg lariat 7
Stetson rolls outside and pulls Cairo out and nails his head into the guardrail, a flying knee drop, and a chairshot to the back. Cairo eventually comes back with punches. Both men crawl back into the ring. Stetson goes off the rope and both men hit each other with clotheslines. Both men are down. Eventually both men get back up. Stetson behind Cairo, and nails Cairo’s head to the turnbuckle pad that bounces back and hits Stetson’s skull, which bounces back and hits referee Jim Molineau’s skull. And all three men are down.
In comes Hunter, who rolls Stetson on top of Cairo and wakes up the referee who counts the pinfall. New Pennsylvania State Champion: Tony Stetson!
Tod Gordon and Jay Sulli are talking about the Intergender Battle Royal, and they go to a segment that introduces the participants.
This segment was shown on ECW Television Episode 020 which I have already recapped. No need to copy and paste it here, just to make my column look impressive.
After the segment we have a few important announcements from Tod Gordon. First, Freddie Gilbert is no longer with Eastern Championship Wrestling8. Second, two new participants have been added to the battle royal. First addition is Don E. Allen. And the second is Jay “Sixpack” Sulli.9 Sulli is flabbergasted and threatens to call his lawyer to find out if he can get out of it.
Sulli and Gordon talk about the Super Destroyers feud. and show two clips from previous weeks:
Afterwards, Sulli interviews Super D #1 with the thick eastern Pennsylvania accent. Super D #1 threatens to rip off the mask of Super D #2 and shove it up Hunter’s backside.
This is immediately followed by Paul E interviewing Super D #2 and Hunter. SD #2 actually has a pretty good threatening voice, and I’m surprised they felt the need to put him under a hood, especially as he is the bigger of the two. Super D #2 just says that he’s a business man, and did it for the money. Somehow, if Super D #1 takes his mask, he is going to lose his place in ECW.
Sulli and Gordon review the match where the Headhunters are going to defend their W*ING Tag Team Championship against Miguel Perez (Jr.) and a mystery partner, but Gordon reveals the identity of the mystery partner as Crash they Terminator who is the current W*ING Heavyweight Champion.10 You can tell that this is 1993, as Tod Gordon has to explain the rules of the Barbed Wire Baseball Bat match, but to be fair he does say new information that the bat is placed in the middle of the ring, and not on a pole or string. This match will not be sanctioned by ECW.
Then the match between The Headhunters vs. Miguel Perez and Mitsuhiro Matsunaga is shown again. This match was reviewed on ECW Television Episode 020.
Jay Sulli and Tod Gordon run down the Ultra Clash card. Giving information about each one. They also announce, that apparently Shane Douglas defeated Tito Santana for the ECW Championship recently. I can’t believe that they would just throw that out there at the end of the show. Your main championship is supposed to mean something, even if you don’t have footage of it. According to Wikipedia, Shane Douglas won this in Roanoke, Virginia when Santana forfeited the match.
Here is the updated Ultra Clash I card, which is to take place this Saturday:11
And that’s the end of the show everyone
ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas Since 09/09/1993 ECW Television Champion Jimmy Snuka Since 03/13/1993 ECW Tag Team Champions Eddie Gilbert & The Dark Patriot Since 08/08/1993 ECW Pennsylvania Champion Tony Stetson Since 05/14/1993
I honestly have no clue about anything that happens at Ultra Clash, in terms of who wins the matches.14 So I’ll make my predictions here, and see if I’m correct.
That’s it. If anyone wants to take a guess, I will post the results in next week’s column.
I can’t stand clip shows. It takes away from the illusion that I’m watching pieces of a live show. And there wasn’t much reason for it. So I got one new match, and four old ones. But, it made for an easier review, so I can’t complain about that. Not sure what they will do with Episode 23. See you next time.
1. All five of you
2. Can you tell that this week’s episode is a clip show with matches I’ve already seen?
3. So basically, we wasted four weeks on this, just to have to strip Eddie and Doug of the tag straps after it was all done. Great!
4. You can tell that something weird is going on, as they don’t even fake an “injury” for Eddie Gilbert, which would have been the smart thing to do.
5. Cause apparently you can’t have a rematch without an initial match.
6. Okay, three possibilities. 1. Cairo was no selling the slaps. 2. Cairo can’t sell basic slaps, but can sell throws and other moves. 3. Stetson slaps like a little girl. Because Cairo’s face doesn’t even react to the slaps at all.
7. Don’t be impressed, as it’s really lousy.
8. Basically after Eddie was let go as booker, Brian Lawler had little reason to come north anymore.
9. I wonder which federation started the, “Anyone can be put into a match if they are an employee.
10. You may know Crash better by his WCW name, Hugh Morrus, or by his read name used during Tough Enough, Bill Demott.
11. September 18, 1993, to be exact.
12. This match was previously on the card, but now is for the championship.
13. They mention the scaffold match, but they don’t mention who Smith is facing. They must have paid or built the scaffold, and in addition, weren’t sure whether Doug Gilbert was going to come to Ultra Clash.
14. Singles wrestler or tag team.
15. I spoiled that information for myself a few weeks ago when I was looking up some information on the internet.
16. On the listing for the Doug Gilbert Shoot tape, it mentions a ‘Scaffold Match’ along with Eddie’s ECW departure, so I’m 90% positive that he has the match with JT Smith.