November to Remember
November 16, 1996

Taz and Fonzie opens the show up by coming out to the ring in order for Taz to spoil some big news...without really spoiling anything. Taz reveals that things are hectic backstage as contracts are being passed around. It seems as if ECW is planning a big show in the first quarter of 1997. From there, Taz turns his attention to Paul Heyman, admitting that he did go back on his word (Itís not stated in this promo, but prior to Sabu returning to ECW at November to Remember 1995, both Sabu and Taz promised to ignore each other). Taz promises not to go back on his word again, this time swearing that on that unspecified big show in the first quarter of 1997, heíll be in the main event with Sabu.

Before the opening match, thereís a parade out to the ring with random guys holding signs with ďbWoĒ written on them. In the ring are Stevie Richards, The Blue Meanie, and Super Nova. All of 1996 has been building up to this with Richards and Meanie impersonating a bunch of wrestling acts, but now the Blue World Order has been born. Richards has just three words for you - ďWeíre taking over!Ē

Stevie Richards w/The bWo vs David Morton Tyler Jericho
Speaking of wrestlers basing their entire careers on impersonating others, thereís Jericho. Jericho is a young Kid Kash who during this early part of his career, he had no concept of who he was as a wrestler. Instead, he just did his best to imitate some of his inspirations. That includes not only stealing the last names of Chris Jericho and Ricky Morton, but also wearing ring gear that is very Rock Ďní Roll Express-like. Kash not only did this on ECW TV, but also WWE TV, working some Shotgun back in 1998 as ďDavid JerichoĒ. Things finally changed for Kash in late 1999 when Kid Rock got big and Kash realized that the rock star looked a good deal like him. Rebranding himself as Kid Kash and dressing like Rock, Kash finally caught on and was a really solid midcard star for ECW for the rest of the promotionís history. This match was pretty good, although I feel it went on for a little too long. Since this is the debut of Big Stevie Cool, Richards tried using Kevin Nashís moveset for the majority of the match. Despite being the much lesser star, Kash got in a lot of offense. When he was able to fly around, whether inside of the ring or out, it was good. However, Kash also oddly kept going for low blows as if he was working over a limb. Richards would pay Kash back with a couple of low blows himself. Kash managed to hang in there much better than I thought, even kicking out of a Jackknife and ducking a Stevie Kick. Ultimately, it was another attempt of the Stevie Kick that gave Richards the victory. Richards may be a heel, but The bWo are already incredibly popular with this ECW Arena crowd. A fun opening match that also serves the appeal of showcasing an early Kash and the debut of the faction that everyone thinks of first when it comes to ECW. ** ĺ

Axl Rotten vs Hack Meyers
It seems as if Axl has changed up his hair again with it dyed black, once again. Although The Shah has been active in ECW throughout all of 1996, he hasnít been in much of a high profile spot ever since early 1996. These two were buddies and occasional tag team partners until Axlís heel turn to join up with D-Von. This was just a four minute fight, in and out of the ring. A chair was brought into the match, but neither man kept the advantage for long. I canít say I found any of it entertaining. Rotten would win with a Pedigree on a chair. * ĺ

Bubba Ray Dudley w/Sign Guy Dudley vs D-Von Dudley
Considering the fact that itís been awhile since Iíve seen Chubby or Dances with Dudley, I presume theyíre officially gone from the group. That means that the main crop of Dudleys - Bubba Ray, D-Von, Spike, Big Dick, and Sign Guy are the only ones left. Although they technically had a match back at Ultimate Jeopardy, this is the first time that weíve been able to see a full length singles bout between the future tag team. What they brought was mostly just a brawl, but it was a brawl filled with hatred. Sadly, we didnít see any Bubba Ray dive to the outside like we saw in the brief clip from Ultimate Jeopardy. Over the course of the match, D-Von gained more and more of an advantage, causing Bubba Ray to show heart by sticking in there. After a Bubba Bomb failed to get the victory, Bubba would debut the Bubba Cutter to down D-Von and score the victory. I would have liked to see this be a little more violent, but it was rewarding enough due to it being the first proper time they wrestled. ** ĺ

After the match, Joel Gertner came out to announce D-Von Dudley as the winner. You see, long before Bubba Ray scored the pinfall, Gertner decided that D-Von had already won by points. Bubba Ray decides to attack Gertner and tease a Bubba Bomb, but Axl Rotten ran out to nail Bubba in the back with a chair. A beat down would ensue until Little Spike Dudley ran out for the save. After the babyface Dudleys got rid of D-Von and Axl, Big Dick Dudley came out to take care of Gertner, delivering a moonsault. Although itís a fun sight witnessing someone the size of Big Dick hitting a moonsault, his moonsault at Ultimate Jeopardy looked a lot nicer.

The Eliminators vs Rob Van Dam and Sabu - #1 Contenderís Match
Winners of the match will challenge The Eliminators for the ECW Tag Titles later in the night. On paper, this looked pretty great. Both teams can be really good under the right conditions and by putting them together, you make the ECW tag team division look better than it actually was. Thereís portions of this match that does live up to the hype. Midway in the match after working a strict tag enforced match, RVD helps get Sabu out of a submission hold by Saturn by tossing a chair at the back of Saturnís head. Saturn ends up snapping, attacks RVD, and brings the fight to the outside. That kicks off a period where everyone is able to go crazy for awhile. I think itís actually Kronus, the least talented of the four, who stood out the most with his handspring moonsault over the top rope to the floor below onto Saturn and RVD. While this portion of the match was far more entertaining than the dull early going, it wasnít perfect. Sabu showed off why he was ECWís Mr. Inconsistent by botching one spot after another. The booking of the finish is where the match suffers the most. The two teams ended up working a twenty-minute draw. Immediately, the crowd began chanting, ďThree-way dance! Three-way dance!Ē Normally you just hear fans yelling for five more minutes, but in this case, the moment this match went to a draw, they wanted to see ECWís signature match instead. Tod Gordon ended up coming out and announcing...five more minutes. At this point, I knew exactly what ECW was doing and it was the wrong move. Hereís the thing, when the four were flying around, they drew interest from the crowd. So it wasnít completely bad, but after five minutes, they again went to a time limit draw. Once again, you can hear some fans chanting ďThree-way dance! Three-way dance!Ē, but again, Gordon announces five more minutes. The same thing happens with plenty of fun spots, but it all means nothing because you just know that itís going to be yet another time limit draw. Thatís what happens and Gordon, acting as if he has this amazing mind, decided that since neither team came across as losers, they would both receive title shots tonight in a three-way dance! What was the point of working the two extra five minute periods (Although Iím pretty sure they werenít close to five minutes each) when the fans were already sold on the idea of a three-way dance at the conclusion of the original fall? ECW gained nothing out of adding these two extra falls except causing the match to go longer. The moment Heyman or Gordon heard the fans chanting, ďThree-way dance! Three-way dance!Ē they should have called an audible and instead just announce that after the first fall. Still, thereís glimpses of potential with a RVD/Sabu vs Eliminators program, but the layout of this match was all wrong. ** Ĺ

Chris Candido vs Mikey Whipwreck
Well, this looks like a fun little match. And surprise, surprise, it was pretty good. Candido dominated the majority of the match while getting some heel heat at the start of the match by getting on the mic to silence chants for Sunny by revealing that she wasnít here, but rather at the WWE HOF ceremony. Throughout the match, although Candido kept having success against the triple crown winner, nothing he could do could beat the underdog. To make matters worse, Candidoís bad neck started to bother him more and more as the match went on. Initially, Candido was able to sucker Whipwreck into letting down his guard by playing up the injury, but even after that success, he was forced to keep holding his neck. So not only is Candido unable to finish off Whipwreck and his neck was giving him problems, but eventually Whipwreck made a comeback and Candido was officially in trouble. Luckily for Candido, he kept remaining one step ahead of Whipwreck, such as countering a middle rope moonsault by catching Whipwreck and delivering a Tombstone. Yet, Candido was still unable to beat Mikey. In the end, perhaps out of over confidence due to stringing together more and more spots against Candido, Mikey would make the mistake of climbing up to the top rope, possibly to try and nail a FrankenMikey, which allowed Candido to fire off a top rope power bomb. Exhausted, Candido covered Mikey to pick up the pinfall. Mikey is so great at fighting from behind and although he ended up losing, Candido made him look good by basically getting lucky and being able to hit the top rope power bomb to finally find a way to beat Whipwreck. *** ľ

The Gangstas © vs The Eliminators vs Rob Van Dam and Sabu - ECW Tag Titles
A three-way dance since the #1 contenderís match earlier in the night failed to crown a winner. This was the predictable garbage match that anyone would have expected it to be. While RVD/Sabu vs Eliminators started the match, after a couple of minutes the champions came out with their music blaring for half of the match. All six men are battling in and out of the ring failing to generate any semblance of a story. Sabu looked absolutely awful as he kept botching an attempt of a triple jump moonsault where heíd jump onto the top rope, turn around and attempt a moonsault through one Gangsta and Eliminator through a table. Each time he attempted it, heíd just lose his balance causing him to land back on his feet on the ring mat. The wrestlers outside of the ring tried saving the spots by making it seem as if they kept climbing off of the table, to fool the fans into believing that Sabu is purposely abandoning the spots, but itís clear that itís just Sabu fucking up. Eventually, Sabu decided to just launch himself over the top rope to crash through the table to try and salvage the spot. After that is when a story finally gets introduced as Taz walked out to the ringside, looking to take advantage of Sabu selling on the floor. RVD, spotting Taz, saved his partner by attacking Taz, but ultimately ending up locked in the Tazmission in the entrance way. Back in the ring, Sabu tries to take care of The Eliminators, but after he spots Taz/RVD in the entrance way, he ends up being surprised by a Total Elimination by Saturn and Kronus, eliminating the future ECW Tag Team Champions. Immediately after the first three count, New Jack came off of the top rope with an 187 to score the pinfall over The Eliminators to retain the titles for The Gangstas. Since the entire match was just a big brawl, this felt like a segment more than an actual match. Iím completely done with The Gangstas as tag team champions and considering the fact that The Eliminators would be regaining the ECW Tag Titles soon, I donít know why the title switch didnít just happen here. I did dig the RVD story with Taz though. * ĺ

Joey Styles then touts some of the best workers that has ever competed in ECW. Names like Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit are brought up. Styles then brings out 2 Cold Scorpio so that he can bid farewell to the ECW fans. Scorpio is all smiles while Styles puts Scorpio over as being more successful than those names he mentioned earlier. Gosh darn it, Styles is going to miss Scorpio! Scorpio cuts a heel promo, claiming that he wonít miss any of the ECW fans. Scorpio plans on proving everyone wrong by competing in both the WWE and ECW! Itís all an ego move by Scorpio to be so great at succeeding in two companies at once. Since itís tradition for the man leaving ECW to put someone over, Scorpio is willing to accept the challenge of absolutely anyone, with the condition that the loser must leave the company for fifteen days. That leads toÖ

[b]2 Cold Scorpio vs Devon Storm - Loser Leaves Town[/b
Scorpio quickly eats Storm up, dropping him with a drop kick, and finishing him off with the Tumbleweed to pin Storm. Storm is gone from ECW for fifteen days! SQUASH.

Scorpio gets on the mic to challenge another man to try and force Scorpio to pass the torch. This time the loser must leave ECW for thirty days. That brings out The FBI with JT Smith and Guido arguing over who should get the match. Smith ends up winning the debate.

2 Cold Scorpio vs JT Smith w/Little Guido - Loser Leaves Town
Smith gets in a hope spot to give him a little more of a chance than Storm, but Scorpio still quickly bests him. While Smith seemed to legitimately hurt his shoulder, Scorpio pinned him with a moonsault. SQUASH.

While Guido checks on Smith, Hack Meyers comes out to seemingly challenge Scorpio. Scorpio ups the ante with the loser of the next match having to leave for two months.

2 Cold Scorpio vs Hack Meyers - Loser Leaves Town
Meyers managed to get in the most offense thus far, even getting in a nearfall, but yet again, Scorpio destroys him. One 450 Splash later and Meyers is pinned, forcing him to leave for sixty days. SQUASH.

At this point, a bunch of officials come out to try and stop this segment while Louie Spicolli entered the ring to check on Meyers. Scorpio, feeling cocky, ups the ante yet again. He wants a loser leaves town for a year match with Spicolli! To ensure that it happens, Scorpio hypes up tomorrowís Survivor Series where his team will have a mystery partner. Scorpio wants Spicolli to be that mystery partner.

2 Cold Scorpio vs Louie Spicolli - Loser Leaves Town
Although still really short, this match received the most time out of these loser leaves town matches. Spicolli moved out of the way of a moonsault attempt and kicked out when Scorpio nailed a top rope closeline. Although Scorpio managed to escape the first Spicolli Driver attempt, Louie was able to pick him up in a firemanís carry again, this time successfully hitting it to pin the former ECW TV Champion. Scorpio is gone for one full year! Considering the theme of these matches was Scorpio refusing to pass the torch to anyone, it makes perfect sense for Spicolli to be the one to beat him. Heís only been in ECW for a couple of months, but heís clearly someone Heyman sees big things in. A fun segment even if all four matches combined were likely barely longer than five minutes long. ** ľ

Scorpio got on the mic to refuse to leave ECW. Whoís going to make him leave anyways?! That brings out Taz and Fonzie. Taz threatens Scorpio causing Scorpio to change his tune. Instead of refusing to leave, Scorpio just brags about all of the money heís about to make elsewhere before he runs off like a coward. Taz: ďBye bye, Flash.Ē

Taz remains in the ring with Fonzie where Taz calls out Sabu. Predictably, Sabu doesnít come out, but ring announcer, Bob Artese informs Taz that weíre supposed to be having another match right now. Taz doesnít take this well, shoving Artese on his ass before calling for Sabu again. That brings out Tod Gordon, Bubba Ray Dudley, and Big Dick Dudley. Fonzie tries to pick a fight with Gordon, but when Gordon retaliated, Taz choked Gordon out. Again, Taz calls for Sabu, even leading a ďSabu! Sabu! Sabu!Ē chant. Now, Paul Heyman comes out, but Taz delivered a T-Bone Tazplex to Heyman. Taz then locked in a Tazmission on Heyman, but then...the lights go out. When the lights finally came back on, SABU IS IN THE RING! Itís a moment a year in the making! Just as Sabu and Taz come rushing at each other for a brawl, the lights dramatically get shut off again. When the lights come back on, Taz and Sabu are gone. Is it cheesy to turn off the lights to prevent Taz and Sabu physically interacting? Sure, but I think itís also effective. Itís a huge moment and preventing the fans from actually seeing them fight only adds anticipation.

The Sandman © vs Raven w/The bWo and Lori - ECW World Title
Despite feuding for the entire year, Iím surprised to see that Iíve only reviewed one Raven/Sandman singles match in 1996. Their previous match at Cyberslam was pretty awful, leading me to expect the worst here. Much to my surprise, this was...good? Early on, Raven focused on the left arm of Sandman with Richards forcefully providing some commentary by using a mic. Richards does a pretty good job, not only calling the action, but making it clear that Raven is focusing his attack on the left arm because Sandman is left handed. Sandman even does some selling, often holding his arm whenever he tries to use it. Granted, the longer the match goes, the less Sandman sells it, but I can appreciate Sandman selling at least some of the time. The second half saw the chaos you would have expected with interference from Stevie, Meanie, Lori, and Tyler being pulled into the ring to distract Sandman. Meanieís interference backfired as he climbed up to the top rope for a moonsault, but Richards missed Sandman and instead nailed Raven with a Stevie Kick sending Raven on top of the tape that Meanie was aiming for. Despite the table not breaking with the moonsault, it did allow Sandman to get in a nearfall. Lori tried interfering with a Singapore cane, but she swung and missed Sandman multiple times. I think the problem is that she tried just hitting glancing blows to not hurt Sandman, but in trying to carefully hit him, she inadvertently kept missing him. Absolute garbage, but it did allow Richards to deliver a Stevie Kick to Sandman. While Nova would help Raven bring a steel railing in the ring, itís Raven who ultimately suffers a spot on the steel railing as Sandman delivered a DDT to win the match. For a year that mostly saw the ECW Title defended in disappointing matches, this was good stuff. Much like the ECW Tag Titles match, the fact that Raven would regain the title in a few weeks does make me wonder why they didnít just do it here though. ***

Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk vs Shane Douglas and Brian Lee
This is build as a dream partners match. Originally, it was Pitbull #2 and a partner vs Douglas and a partner, but after Douglas and Lee injured Pitbull, Dreamer, who I guess was going to be Pitbull #2ís partner, stepped in as the leader of the team. One call to the Double Cross Ranch and Terry fín Funk is back in ECW. This would be Funkís first match in ECW since November to Remember 1995 where he teamed with Dreamer against Raven and Cactus Jack. This one was a real mixed bag. For a tag team match, this one had a lot going for it. Early on, itís pretty fun as all four are battling it out with some steel railing brought into the match. Later on, Douglas and Lee went on a total tear dominating the babyfaces for an extended amount of time. Itís not just beating them down either. Itís Lee delivering a Primetime Slam on Dreamer over the top rope through a table below and Douglas putting Funk through a table with a piledriver. They even stooped low enough to go after Beulah with Lee headbutting her and Douglas following up with a Belly-to-Belly suplex. Considering the fact that weíre so near the creation of the new Triple Threat with Douglas, Lee, and one other, itís nice to see this future faction prove that they can kick some ass. When Funk and Dreamer were able to, they also showed a lot of fire by unloading a series of punches, fighting for their lives, in two-on-one battles when the other was too hurt to help out. All of that is really good stuff. The main problem though is that the match went nearly thirty minutes. Itís way too long. For large portions of the match, Iím incredibly bored and even struggling not to fall asleep. So ultimately, itís a mixture of insufferable boredom and some rather fun storytelling. Despite dominating most of the match, the heels end up losing with Funk hitting a DDT on Lee after Dreamer bashed Lee on the side of the head with a video camera. Reduce the match down to 12-15 minutes and youíd have a pretty great main event. ** ĺ

After the match, the future Triple Threat attacked the faces, looking to break some necks. That brought out Pitbull #2, a guy supposedly too injured to wrestle tonight, but here he is just fine. Where was he during the match? Despite this flaw in logic, itís a fun segment as he cleans house to keep his feud with Douglas going strong despite Dreamer being involved in a bit of a feud with The Franchise now.

Back when I covered Big Ass Extreme Bash, I made a note about how it felt like the end of a chapter. Eight months later, the chapter that began after Big Ass Extreme Bash came to a conclusion here. While this show may not be great from an in ring perspective, a lot happened that would alter the company. Case in point, the loser leaves town matches. All four losers that were forced out of ECW would eventually return, this is basically it for all of their ECW careers. Devon Storm would return in December, but his final ever match for ECW would be at Holiday Hell 1996. Due to mounting injuries, JT Smith would go into semi-retirement following this event. He would return in 1997 and 1998 for a pair of matches where he's battling The FBI. Hack Meyers' future would be pretty similar as he'd return in 1997/1998 for a couple of matches against The Dudleyz. Although never a member of The Dudleys like Smith was of The FBI, Meyers was an alley. Finally, 2 Cold Scorpio would honor his banishment from ECW for one full year, but he'd end up fulfilling his promise of competing in WWE and ECW throughout 1998 where his return match was against Taz, the guy who caused him to flee from ECW in the first place. After mainly working for ECW in the spring of 1998, Scorpio would leave the WWE by early 1999 and only work for ECW a few additional times. Even though he worked far more matches than the other three, it's still not nearly as much as his main ECW run of mid 1994-late 1996. Looking elsewhere, we have the return of The Funker. Despite working a few matches in 1995, November to Remember would mark Funk's return as being a regular for ECW for the first time since mid 1994. The return of the Triple Threat is nearly here with an alliace between Lee and Douglas already formed, all they need is a third. The separation between Taz and Sabu, a year long story, is now finished. They can now officially build towards their Barely Legal match. I'd argue that now that we've seen a proper Bubba Ray/D-Von match, The Dudleys saga is now ready to eventually take a surprising twist that would forever change their careers. Throw in the ECW World and ECW Tag Titles ready to change hands in December and so much is clearly changing in this company. That's a great thing about ECW. If you're not a fan of what they're presenting, skip ahead six months and it's going to be very different. Anyways, while it doesn't happen often, despite how crazy consistent he is, Mikey Whipwreck produced the MOTN tonight against Chris Candido. That's well worth watching. The Sandman/Raven match was a pleasenet surprise. The two matches in the ECW Tag Titles scene were pretty poorly booked. Above all though, perhaps more than even Sabu finally confronting Taz, November to Remember 1996 is known for the creation of the Blue World Order. A good storyline heavy show, but one that ultimately couldn't compare to tomorrow night's Survivor Series.