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Thread: ECW High Incident 1996 Review

  1. #1

    ECW ECW High Incident 1996 Review

    High Incident
    October 26, 1996

    Another ECW Arena event made up of Hardcore TV or best of comp matches. The following matches have never been released in any form:

    Bubba Ray Dudley, Hack Meyers, and Davey Morton vs JT Smith, Axl Rotten, and D-Von Dudley
    Mikey Whipwreck vs Johnny Smith

    Hardcore TV - October 29th

    Joey Styles kicks off the show in the middle of the ring where he introduces the Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle. This marks the first time that Angle ever showed up on a pro wrestling event. Styles gushes over Angle before introducing him to Little Guido, detailing some of Guidoís past accomplishments. Guido is all compliments to Angle. Styles then brings out Guidoís opponent for tonight - Taz. By Taz standards, heís downright cheerful and respectful when talking to Angle, although he still puts over himself a lot. Taz requests Angle guest commentate his match tonight. Joey Styles is all smiles, knowing heís going to commentate with a gold medalist. Years later, Angle would end up wrestling both Taz and Guido, albeit for a different company.

    Taz w/Fonzie and Team Taz vs Little Guido - Shoot Fight Rules
    Shoot fight rules means you can only win by knockout, tap out, or submission. You could argue this was more of a squash than anything else, but I quite enjoyed it. Itís nice whenever we see these little glimpses of Guido being a serious wrestler, even though his comedy stuff in The FBI is fun. Kurt Angle, on commentary, doesnít sound all that familiar with pro wrestling, asking a lot of questions such as why Taz isnít looking to finish Guido off when Taz mocked Sabuís taunt. That allowed Joey Styles to cover for Taz by quickly explaining the issue that Taz has with Sabu and in general informing Angle that despite being talented, Taz is a bit of an asshole. While he spent the majority of the match being a punching bag, Guido did get in a few hope spots such as when he jumped on Tazís back with a sleeper, but it had little effect. After a wheelbarrow Tazplex, Taz finished Guido off with the Tazmission for the victory. Although I wouldnít say Angle was great in his role, I do feel he gave credibility to Taz (And a little to Guido) whenever he praised any of their holds. A fun exhibition-level match that showcased pure wrestling from ECW and has the extra appeal of its guest commentator. ** Ĺ

    After the match, Taz got on the mic to call out Angle, citing his match was gold medal worthy. He then turns his attention to Taz and his inability to taunt Sabu into coming face to face with him over this last year. Taz will find a wayÖ

    Chris Candido vs Little Spike Dudley
    I believe this marks Candidoís return to ECW. Candido was last seen on TV in September with Zip in a losing effort against The British Bulldog and Owen Hart on Raw. Although itís Candidoís debut in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Candido briefly worked for Eastern Championship Wrestling back in 1993 where he was one half of the ECW Tag Team Champions. Meanwhile, LSD had been in ECW for about a month now with this being the first time Iím able to see him in action. Previously, he had been working the Cali indie scene against the likes of a young Mike Modest. This was a total squash with Spike just bumping around for the former WWE star. There was a loud ďSkip is dead!Ē chant in the middle. The match barely went three minutes, but not only did Candido look great, but Spike looked great at getting his ass kicked. Candido destroyed Spike with a killer German suplex before finishing him off with an impressive top rope power bomb. Welcome to ECW to both men. SQUASH.

    After the match, Candido got on the mic to claim that he doesnít have anything negative to say about the WWE, hypes Sunny on Livewire, but regains the fanís support after hyping up ECW and his desire to return to the company. Candido closed out the promo with a twist by trashing the promo in the final words of the time on the mic. That jerk made it seem like he was a good guy when he was a bad guy all along, boo him!

    Shane Douglas © w/Francine vs Cody Michaels - ECW TV Title
    Who is Cody Michaels? Hell if I know. It seems as if heís just some indie guy who worked a few matches in ECW and a little USWA back in 1990. Itís really telling when an indie wrestler in the 90s didnít work a single match for WCW or WWE. As it turns out, putting Douglas against some random jobber ended up being a good thing. Itís a short match, as expected, but the vast majority of it was just Michaels bringing the fight to The Franchise. Michaels would constantly be on the move, hitting top rope missile drop kicks, slamming Douglas with chairs, and performing spots on the outside. It was all about creating drama of whether or not we will see one of the biggest upsets in ECW history. Ultimately, he was battling Douglas, so it was not to be. Instead, Douglas finally managed to get in a little offense, hitting the Divorce Court, a Tombstone, and finally his Belly-to-Belly suplex for the victory. Not only was this fun, but it felt different from the norm. The match ultimately didnít truly mean anything, but it was still a major positive. Good stuff. ** ĺ

    After the match, Douglas locked in a Full Nelson and began spinning Michaels around, trying to injure the kidís neck. That brought out Pitbull #2 looking for revenge, but lowcard wrestlers emptied the locker room to keep Pitbull away. After Pitbull #2 knocked them all down, he would chase Douglas around the ring until Douglas ran in the ring, knocked over Francine, and bailed back out of the ring. Pitbull #2 teased attacking Francine, but the lowcarders were briefly back on their feet to pull him away. Douglas would use the distraction to hit Pitbull #2 with the TV Title, which Pitbull no sold.

    After Douglas and Francine bailed, Joel Gertner got in the ring to announce the winner of the match. Itís a pretty fantastic short segment with Gertner initially being far too cocky, informing Pitbull #2 that heís in the way of his camera shot, but once Gertner began announcing the winner, Pitbull #2 trapped him in the corner. Gertner became more terrified the longer this went on until he realized he made a mistake. Funny moment as Gertner cuts off his own call by instead saying, ď...oh shitĒ. That was Pitbull #2ís cue to grab Gertner and deliver a Fallaway Slam over the top rope onto all of the lowcarders below. As weíre coming up on the end of the year, Pitbull #2 vs Shane Douglas has a great chance of being the feud of the year.

    The Sandman © vs 2 Cold Scorpio - ECW World Title
    Tag team partners explode~! Scorpio has missed the last few ECW Arena shows due to tours in Japan with Tokyo Pro Wrestling. With Scorpio working a few dark matches for the WWE since his last ECW Arena appearance, if he hasnít already signed with WWE, it has to be very soon from now. For what this was, it was fun, but it also seemed as if it was greatly clipped as otherwise, it was far shorter than I imagined it would have been. Despite being buddies, Scorpio went at Sandman hard, not only going after Sandmanís recently repaired knee, but using weapons on him as well. Not to be outdone, Sandman busted out a top rope Frankensteiner while Scorpio was sitting on the top turnbuckle. Scorpio kept going for his main top rope spots, but they kept failing. After missing the moonsault leg drop, Scorpio is abruptly pinned by Sandman to end the match. Again, I really liked what I saw, but what they showed on Hardcore TV felt like an incomplete story. ** ľ

    After the match, Sandmanís son, Tyler, comes out wearing Sandmanís style of clothes rather than Ravenís, like he has been for the last few months. Sandman drops to his knees and opens his arms up to embrace his son. The sweet reunion is cut short as Raven makes his return to attack Sandman from behind before dropping him with a DDT on the ECW Title to bust Sandman open. Lori pops up to watch on with Tyler, revealing it was all a set-up. That brings out Stevie Richards and his flunkies to set-up a double decker of tables while Brian Lee makes an appearance to drive Sandman through both tables with a piledriver. And that is where the segment ends. Absolutely nothing else happened. Itís not like Stevie and company pulled out a cross for Raven to tie Sandman to nor did they pull out a barbed wire halo to drape on Sandmanís head. In addition, they most certainly didnít tie Sandman up tight enough that ECW officials were forced to carry Sandman off on the cross. Furthermore, the fact that absolutely nothing else happened means that Kurt Angle wasnít personally offended causing him to refuse to ever work with ECW again and Raven was forced to go back out later in the show to apologize to the crowd. Nope, this was just your regular, run of the mill sort of beat down and certainly not one of the most controversial moments in ECW history.

    Hardcore TV - November 12th

    The Can-Am Express vs Rob Van Dam and Sabu
    The rematch from When Worlds Collide. This time around, weíre joined in progress an unknown amount of time. On one hand, that benefits the match since the biggest negative of the original match is that it went on for too long. On the other hand, weíre not able to witness the full story. The match started during a spot where Sabu attempted the triple jump DDT through a table on the outside, but ends up messing it up, instead delivering the DDT to RVD, who was there to hold Furnas. That started a long period of Sabu playing the face-in-peril while Furnas and Lafon worked him over. Again, Lafon delivered some inverted suplexes which Joey Styles annoyingly forced the narrative of Taz teaching Lafon the move despite Taz never once hitting such a move before. The match is fun though and once RVD gets back into it, we got a decent amount of nearfalls. After Sabu nailed the triple jump moonsault on Furnas, he attempted a cover, but Lafon dove off of the top rope into a splash to try and break up the cover, but Sabu moved out of the way, causing Lafon to crash into his partner. RVD would then take care of Lafon allowing Sabu to pin Furnas to not only win the match, but win their short lived feud. During the match, Styles announced that Furnas and Lafon had put in a bid to work Survivor Series, so it was pretty clear by this point that they would not be sticking around. Both men would eventually return to ECW where they would very briefly hold the ECW Tag Titles in 1997. Fun match from what we saw though. ***

    After the match, Sabu once again offered his hand in a sign of respect to RVD. For the first time, Van Dam accepts the handshake and everything seems cool with ECWís newest tag team.

    The Eliminators vs Miracle Violence Connection
    This was originally released on the Extreme Evolution DVD made by Pioneer Entertainment. Second time watching this match and although it was disappointing to some extent the first go around, itís even more now. The reasoning for the greater disappointment being that Iíve seen the build-up. Since ECW botched the delivery of the Gangstas/Eliminators tag titles change, this really felt as if it had potential to be the biggest ECW tag match of the year. Instead, it just doesnít work. Part of the problem is that Terry Gordy, with a fresh haircut that is likely the shortest his hair has ever been in wrestling, debuted as The Executioner at In Your House: Buried Alive a week ago. So automatically, the smart fans in ECW are aware that heís gone after this so theyíre not pleased with him. Not only are the reactions towards Gordy not very positive, but heís putting in so little effort. Itís a pretty rough thing too since he was in the ring far more than Dr. Death. Gordy spent the entire match working half speed with all of his shots looking weak. Throughout the entire match, there wasnít anything that truly pulled me into the match further. After being dominated for the majority of the match, The Eliminators took over with Williams receiving a power bomb on the outside and Gordy worked over in the middle of the ring. Gordy is hit with Total Elimination. Rather than go for the pin, Saturn climbed up on the scaffold, sitting down on it, before falling off landing on top of Gordy for the victory. That spot was the best of the match and the only thing worth watching. Saturn is a lunatic for some of the bumps heís taken in the build-up to this match and the actual match itself. Heís also responsible for raising up the final star rating just a bit for that crazy spot. Gordy worked two dream matches in ECW and both of them, against Bam Bam Bigelow and The Eliminators, were disappointments. Williamsí short tenure in ECW would be a little better. **

    Tommy Dreamer vs Brian Lee - Scaffold Match
    This was originally released on Extreme Warfare #2, but was later released additionally by Pioneer Entertainment with Hardcore History and the WWE with ECW: Extreme Rules. Am I expecting this match to be good? Absolutely not. Not only are scaffold matches notorious for being awful, but Dreamer and Lee have only been working lame garbage matches in this feud. However, being that itís my first time seeing this match, Iím actually psyched to see it. As it turns out, for a scaffold match, this wasnít bad. They spent very little time up on the scaffold, instead working in the crowd for the first half before slowly making their way to the scaffolding. Although the scaffold was suspended in the air by steel chains, causing it to sway a lot, I was surprised at how sturdy the entire scaffolding was. Maybe itís because ECW was a small company, but I expected the scaffolding to be a terrifying thing to behold with fears that the entire thing would collapse. Instead, there was even a DDT up on the scaffold and there didnít seem to be any give at all. Iím pretty sure that The Sandman was actually responsible for constructing the scaffold, so hats off to him for doing such a swell job. Where I appreciated the match is everything that went into the finish. The finish was simply Dreamer punching Lee until Primetime fell off of the scaffold and crashed through the tables below, but this was an entire program built around Lee terrorizing Dreamer with a greater emphasis in tossing him off of high places in recent months. For Tommy Dreamer, heís the guy who spent his entire tenure in ECW being the guy who was perpetually beaten and brutalized by everyone. Since the poor guy had so few victories in the greater sense than just winning a match, it was rewarding to finally see Dreamer come out ahead. Although I presume that Lee and Dreamer wonít be kept apart going forward, this very much so felt like the end of their one-on-one program. Take away all of the importance and itís just a brawl around the building with a big bump at the end, but with the importance, I feel it worked well enough. ** Ĺ

    What High Incident lacks in match quality, it made up for in importance. One of the most infamous moments in ECW history, The Sandmanís crucifixion, occurred on this show. While that stunt didnít make any of the cuts on Hardcore TV, weíve since been able to see clips of the moment and the eventual apology, most notably on WWEís The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD. Whatís most important isnít actually seeing the stunt or not, but the significance of it happening. After all, it ties directly into ECWís special guest of the night - Kurt Angle. Under no circumstance do I see Angle becoming a full-time wrestler in ECW come 1997 had the stunt not happened, but I could absolutely see Angle work a ďShootĒ fight with Taz at a future ECW Arena event. Instead, it becomes one of the big ďWhat if?Ē questions in ECW history. Although it didnít deliver, thereís a tag team dream match on this show with MVC vs The Eliminators. Iím fairly sure that this is the final time that Williams and Gordy ever teamed up. For lower key importance, itís the ECW return of Chris Candido, a guy who would become a fairly important star for 1997-1998 in the company. The fact that he wrestled against a newcomer in the form of Little Spike Dudley, made it all the more special. 2 Cold Scorpioís ECW career, is just about finished, making his ECW World Title shot be pretty important, itís just a shame that the match wasnít shown in full. Speaking of men joining Terry Gordy and Scorpio in heading off to the WWE, Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon worked their final ECW match during this brief run. Finally, thereís the scaffold match that the entire show was built around. The visual of Lee falling from the scaffold is one of the most used ECW clips to showcase some of the crazy stunts that the company used to perform. Overall, High Incident 1996 represents my personal feelings while doing this ECW 1996 project. The quality may not always be too high, but itís a ton of fun.

  2. #2

    MC 16's Avatar

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    Re: ECW High Incident 1996 Review

    The Taz v Guido match sounds very interesting. In another universe, Guido would be less of a comedy guy in ECW and more what he was in UWF-I and then they could've had a more fleshed out version of what they did. Guido is one of my favourites regardless of what he did so I would've liked to see that.

  3. #3
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    Re: ECW High Incident 1996 Review

    Candino vs. Spike sounds fun. I love spike dudley.
    ​Sazh Katzroy Father, Friend, Hero


  4. #4

    Re: ECW High Incident 1996 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    The Taz v Guido match sounds very interesting. In another universe, Guido would be less of a comedy guy in ECW and more what he was in UWF-I and then they could've had a more fleshed out version of what they did. Guido is one of my favourites regardless of what he did so I would've liked to see that.
    I've been pretty pleased with how Guido has been booked in 1996. It seems to be split fairly evenly with half comedy and half serious. Although he's one of the better workers for the company at this point, he ultimately isn't in a very important role, so it's not as if we're missing out on much with Guido not always being serious. In general, he's had a pretty good year, starting the year as jobber Damien Stone before being pulled into the fake Italian act by JT Smith where he's now able to be apart of pretty much every show.

    Quote Originally Posted by OMB View Post
    Candino vs. Spike sounds fun. I love spike dudley.
    It's just a squash, but it is fun.

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