When Worlds Collide
September 14, 1996

After Natural Born Killaz, ECW didnít release another commercial released tape of an ECW Arena show until November to Remember. Since Iím enjoying this project, Iíd rather not skip months of action and immediately go to November to Remember. Luckily, good portions of each ECW Arena show can be found on individual episodes of Hardcore TV and occessional Best of DVDs. The result is an incomplete version of When Worlds Collide and three other shows, but thatís still better than completely skipping over these events.

The following matches are unable to be watched from When Worlds Collide:

The Gangstas © vs Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie - ECW Tag Titles
Bubba Ray Dudley vs Axl Rotten
D-Von Dudley vs Hack Meyers
Raven © vs Pitbull #2 - ECW World Title

The show kicks off with The FBI (Smith, Little Guido, and Sal Bellomo) are in the ring with Smith wanting to pay tribute to a recently departed Silician - Tupac. This is where the WWE Network completely butchers this portion of the segment. Tupac and Dr. Dreís ďCalifornia LoveĒ plays over the PA system and FBI dances around some, but since thatís obviously a copywritten song, the WWE Network dubs in some music, which also means you canít hear what Smith is saying during the segment. That brings out The Gangstas, which leads toÖ

The Gangstas © vs The FBI - ECW Tag Titles
From the September 17th episode of Hardcore TV. Itís a total mauling from The Gangstas with Mustafa and New Jack killing the Italian trio with a variety of weapons without any offense from The FBI. After Smith and Guido are sent to the outside, Sal receives a running power slam from Mustafa and the 187 from New Jack. These short squashes from The Gangstas are far more entertaining than their proper matches. SQUASH.

Also at When Worlds Collide, which I assume took part in the Gangstas vs Richards/Meanie match, New Jack slopped The Meanie Babe. Based on how Joey Styles reacted to this on Hardcore TV, this seems to be it for The Meanie Babe.

Shane Douglas © w/Francine vs Louie Spicolli - ECW TV Title
From the September 17th episode of Hardcore TV. There was a ton of stalling in this one due to the fans being so on the case of Douglas. Throughout the entire match, there were numerous chants directed at Douglas (Typically centered around saying he has a small dick) or to a lesser extent at Francine. After the stalling died down and we got to the actual action, it was pretty enjoyable. It still blows my mind just how over Louie is with this ECW Arena audience. With how brutal the ECW fans could be with newcomers, they just seemingly chose to instantly latch onto Spicolli. The fact that Spicolli scored a twenty minute match against one of ECWís biggest stars is a great way to further establish the rookie. He controlled a good portion of the match, but ultimately lost after attempting the Spicolli Driver, but Francine jumped into the ring to pull Douglas out of it, allowing Douglas to hit Spicolli with a neckbreaker to continue Douglasí neck breaking gimmick. From there, Douglas finished Spicolli off with the Belly-to-Belly suplex to win. A really solid match. ** ĺ

After the match, damage control comes out to stretcher Spicolli off. Meanwhile, Lance Wright tries to score his first interview on ECW TV, but Joel Gertner objects to having to share Hardcore TV with yet another person. Wright is god awful in standing up for himself here as he keeps saying the same things over and over. Wright eventually attacks Gertner, but Douglas is there to lay Wright out before locking in the Full Nelson. That episode of Hardcore TV ends with Joey Styles yelling for damage control.

The Sandman vs Devon Storm w/Julio Caesar Valentino Alfonso and The Bad Crew
From the September 24th edition of Hardcore TV. So it seems as if Damien Kane is officially done with ECW with Alfonso, the Spanish cousin of Fonzie stepping in to unite Kaneís former clients - The Bad Crew and his last client Storm. This creates one of the sorriest excuses for a stable Iíve ever seen. This match is pretty short as Storm and company tries to triple team The Sandman until Sandman grabbed his Singapore cane to even the odds. Everyone gets taken out including the referee. That prompted Alfonso to jump into the ring to be the new referee, but Sandman took him out as well. The original referee ends up waking up in time to count to three when Sandman had Storm covered. Immediately afterwards, Sandman also covers one of the Bad Crew members for the extra boost. Purely a star showcase for Sandman. SQUASH.

Sabu and Rob Van Dam vs The Can-Am Express
From the September 24th edition of Hardcore TV. I believe that this is the US debut of Furnas and Lafon. I guess technically his name is ďDan KroffatĒ, but I went twenty-three years of my life calling him ďPhil LafonĒ. Iím not going to bother getting used to a different name. This match wasnít the blow out like I was hoping it would be, but thereís still plenty to appreciate. Even though theyíre not partners, ECW is still treating RVD/Sabu logically with the two struggling to get along. In the entire match, I canít recall one traditional tag, instead, RVD, mostly, just slaps Sabu or only refuses to tag in by offering his boot for the tag. Thereís even one spot where Lafon was laid across a table that was suspended between the ring apron and steel railing with RVD offering Sabu a chance to hit a triple jump leg drop. Instead, just as Sabu jumps to land on the top rope, RVD apparently shook the ropes, causing Sabu to crotch himself. RVD then immediately jumped to the top rope to be the one to deliver a splash through the table to steal the attention. While the ECW team struggled to get along, they did show some chemistry with the pair throwing each other chairs, sometimes without the one even needing to ask the other for the chair. This plays into the fact that they wrestled each other so much that they know what the other wants to do at all times. The other appeal of the match is that Iíve not been a fan of ECWís tag division in 1996, but here you had two ultra competitive teams showing a different side to the ECW tag division. Especially in the second half, it broke down into an aggressive brawl, but I wouldnít say it ever became a garbage match. In fact, the only times the action went into the crowd was just simple spots just on the other side of the railing with then the action going right back into the ring. Furnas and Lafon were quite entertaining as they played up being pricks in a total contrast to how they came across with their WWE debut in a couple of months. The downfall of the match is that it went on for far too long. It ended up being a thirty minute time limit draw, the final third becoming just an unofficial Texas Tornado tag match. Initially that was fun since there were so many nearfalls, but it got to the point where it was non-stop nearfalls. How is anyone supposed to stay invested when thereís a billion nearfalls? It stops being dramatic and you just assume that there will be a kick out or a break-up of the cover. Joey Styles annoyed me some as well as Furnas hit his inverted suplex from the middle rope, but Styles wouldnít shut up about how it was a modified Tazplex and Taz must have taught him it to try and injure Sabu like he did with RVD. Iíve never seen Taz hit such a suplex before and for fucks sake, itís a suplex! Itís not as if Taz invented it. Thereís trying to connect to a story and then trying to force an agenda. As I said, the match went to a thirty minute time limit draw. Itís a fine result especially since thereís going to be a rematch. A rematch could also go a long way in correcting the issues. Still, since I have been so down on ECWís tag team scene in 1996, I think this is automatically my second favorite tag match of the year. ***

Taz w/Fonzie an Team Taz vs Johnny Smith
From the October 1st edition of Hardcore TV. The description on this show seems to be incorrect on the WWE Network. They claim that this match is from Ultimate Jeopardy (A show that didnít even take place yet), but thatís the rematch that ends up airing on the October 15th edition of Hardcore TV. I found this match to be disappointing since it seems like it could have been a hard fought bout. The story was built around Tazís comfort levels. Early on, he seems like heís a in a great mood by Tazís standards. He keeps stopping to offer his hand in respect, but once Smith starts getting in some offense on Taz that Tazís handshakes becomes middle fingers. Taz then quickly ends up regaining the advantage and dominating, mostly focusing on the arm/shoulder. Itís after the match that Joey Styles tells us that Smith injured his AC joint during a Tazplex spot, which if true and not just a kayfabe explanation for a rematch, could be the reasoning for why the match didnít do much for me. So much of Smithís offense didnít look great. Heís hitting moves, but everything looks weak and heís barely connecting with everything. My main memories of this match will be Fonzieís whistle blowing. He was absolutely relentless with the whistle blowing it seemingly nonstop. The fans were all over his case and at points the annoyance turned to laughs whenever Fonzie was seen noticeably trying to blow the whistle as loudly as possible with his face growing redder and redder. Anyways, since Smith is hurt and spent the match mostly being dominated, he was easy pickings to Tazís Tazmission with Smith being choked out. Eh, maybe the rematch will be better? ** ľ

Tommy Dreamer and Miracle Violence Connection vs Brian Lee and The Eliminators
From the October 1st edition of Hardcore TV. I believe that this is the first time that MVC have teamed up since mid 1994. Unfortunately, itís just shown in highlights form. What we saw seemed fairly decent though. Rather than develop into a garbage brawl, it was kept mostly to a standard tag match with Dreamer playing the face-in-peril for awhile. Williams would get the hot tag and clean house for a bit until the finish with everyone involved. Gordy focused too much on Lee, locking on the Asiastic Spike, which allowed The Eliminators to hit Gordy with Total Elimination for the three count. Simply a six-man tag to build-up the MVC/Eliminators and another Dreamer/Lee match. With MVC, The Eliminators, RVD/Sabu, and Can-Am Express, ECW suddenly feels as if they have a good tag team division. Not Rated.

Even without being able to see the full event, When Worlds Collide feels firmly like a B show. Raven vs Sandman, D-Von vs Bubba Ray, and The Gangstas vs The Eliminators, all huge feuds, arenít happening on this show. Instead, itís a show to hold fans over until a bigger October. The big attraction of this show was the billed ďDream Tag MatchĒ with RVD/Sabu vs The Can-Am Express. The match was just good, but it still feels big and as I said, itís just nice to see a more traditional tag team match in a time period where ECWís tag matches are just garbage brawls. Louie Spicolliís natural push continues and while Spicolliís win/loss record isnít the best, the ECW crowd seems to be more and more into him with every appearance. Itís not a bad showing from When Worlds Collide, but itís also an event thatís much better just being shown in segments on Hardcore TV rather than fork over cash for the VHS release.