Orgy of Violence
June 28, 1997

Unlike with 1996 ECW, Iíve been ignoring these unreleased ECW Arena shows from 1997, but I dig the name of this event enough that Iím watching the various matches on Hardcore TV. The following matches were never released:

Taz © vs John Kronus - ECW TV Title
The Dudley Boyz © vs The Eliminators - ECW Tag Titles
Balls Mahoney vs Louie Spicolli

It would have been nice to catch Taz/Kronus, but looking at the matches that were shown, I wouldnít have wanted it to replace any of them.

Hardcore TV - July 1, 1997

Bam Bam Bigelow w/Shane Douglas and Francine vs Pitbull #2
Back at Chapter 2 in May, Bigelow surprised everyone by returning to ECW and joining The Triple Threat. This new addition to the group immediately paid off as Douglas/Bigelow were successful at beating The Pitbulls in a tag match that same night. Here, Bigelow came off like a monster, completely destroying Pitbull for the entire first half. It got to the point where Pitbull was busted open early and was still bleeding loads late in the match. Whether it was with a series of punches or slowly wearing Pitbull #2 down with a bearhug or chin lock, the blood kept pouring. The Beast from the East came off like a total bad ass here that it didnít even bother me that Pitbull #2 eventually made a comeback and Bigelow needed first The Franchise to run in, but after Pitbull #1 made the save, Chris Candido was there to trip Pitbull #2 up to allow Bigelow to win the match with a running bulldog. Bigelow may have needed help finishing Pitbull off, but he still dominated the match and the interference served the purpose of showcasing the success of this new lineup for The Triple Threat. Itís taken Bigelow nearly a year and a half after initially debuting with ECW to become a regular, but from this point on, heís going to remain a major player in the company until he leaves for WCW at the end of 1998. A surprisingly fun tough man contest. ***

Chris Candido vs Tom Prichard
The Bodydonnas explode~! After Candido left the WWE in the fall of 1996, Prichard quickly dropped the Zip gimmick and adapted a masked jobber gimmick by the name of Dr. X on WWE TV. While heís still wrestling a bit for the WWE at this point in time, he was gaining more of a role behind the scenes. This isnít his ECW debut though. Prichard, along with Heavenly Bodies partner, Jimmy Del Ray, briefly worked for ECW after the team left the WWE at the end of 1995, only for Prichard to cut the run short when he returned to the WWE to become a member of The Bodydonnas. This match started off pretty rough. Prichard just didnít look great as a couple of spots were blown including Prichard falling on his ass when attempting a power bomb. However, the longer it went on, the more things started to click. Prichard improved once he introduced a chair into the match to show that he can be violent. Both men were working hard and it was pretty back and forth. Prichard made up with his earlier poor looking power bomb attempt by hitting a far nicer Doctor Bomb for a nearfall. Finish saw Candido deliver a low blow to prevent a top rope spot from Prichard which Candido took advantage of to nail the Blonde Bombshell for the pinfall. Bit of a shame that Prichard didnít stick around ECW as I would have been curious to see if he could have added some workrate to the company had he been able to keep up what he was showing in the second half of this match. Thanks to Candido winning cleanly, this was a solid boost for him. ** ĺ

After the match, Candido got on the mic to put over Prichard, stating that Zip is dead, but the doctor is back.

Sabu and Rob Van Dam w/Fonzie vs The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer w/Beulah
If I could describe this match in one word, it would be, ďWildĒ. Fun start with Sandman and Dreamer spitting beer in the eyes of the heels before grabbing Fonzie to allow Beulah to do the same to him. Thereís a lot of acts of imitation from Sabu doing the Dreamer taunt to Dreamer doing Sabuís taunt. Itís not just taunting though. After Sabu and RVD got in a series of double team spots such as Rolling Thunder, Dreamer and Sandman did their own versions of the spots. Itís fun stuff really. The match quickly descended into pure madness as the first referee is taken out. The second referee is short lasting as well. That caused Tod Gordon to run out to try and be the referee, but heís attacked by Sabu and RVD with Sabu putting him through a table in an underrated ECW spot of 1997. Weíre just getting started with the chaos though as just when it seemed like Sandman and Dreamer would have the match won by picking the heels up for a pair of piledrivers, the lights went out and when they returned, Jerry Lawler was in the ring and Sabu/RVD planted the babyfaces with piledrivers. Even then, the match has still yet to reach its peak as after the faces gained the advantage and looked to get their hands on Lawler, the lights went out for a second time with JIM FíN CORNETTE in the ring to blast the faces with his tennis racket. Itís a total beat down as Team WWE worked over the ECW stars while Fonzie held Beulah. A bunch of lowcarders try to run out for the save, but Team WWE easily takes care of them. Eventually, Sabu and RVD score dual pinfalls after draping chairs on the faces and Dreamer and Sandman before dropping leg drops on them. This match could have easily fallen the way of just being a garbage tag match that is so common in ECW, but there was a ton going on instead with the imitation, the table spot with Gordon, and the ECW debut of Cornette. *** ľ

After the match, Team WWE continues the beat down with Lawler using Sandmanís Singapore Cane to nail Dreamer in the nuts. Dreamerís high pitch wail clues in that it was not a gentle tap. In reality, that one nut shot legitimately injured Dreamer, causing him to be rushed to the hospital where one of his testicles nearly rupture.

Hardcore TV - July 8, 1997

Mikey Whipwreck and Little Spike Dudley vs PG-13
PG-13 debuted for ECW back at Chapter 2 in May. but I believe this is the first time theyíve been showcased on either TV or a VHS release. The match is heavily clipped, just showing highlights to try and get over ECWís newest team. It occurs to me that JC Ice reminds me so much of Enzo Amore. They have a similar look and are oozing with personality. Now, whether you find that personality to be entertaining or not is up to you. By comparison, Wolfie D comes across as more of the serious worker of the team, but has a bland personality. The highlights of the match showed PG-13 having a lot of miscommunication with JC Ice throwing temper tantrums to steal the show with his charisma. The finish saw Mikey on the outside where a pair of hands from under the ring would grab Whipwreck by the boots and pull him under the ring. Meanwhile, PG-13 finished Spike off with a couple of nice looking spots to win the match. For a segment designed just to showcase this new attraction of PG-13, I found this to be a success. Not Rated.

After the match, a bloody Mikey crawls out from under the ring before dragging out his unknown attacker. As it turns out, itís the ECW return of The Sexiest Man Alive - Jason. Jason and Mikey had a pretty big feud a few years ago, so it makes perfect sense for Jason to once again screw Mikey over. Jason would end up escaping, rushing into the arms of his new clients, PG-13.

Backstage, Joey Styles has a hilarious over the top reaction to seeing that Jason has returned. Acting as if heís reacting to having hives, Styles goes crazy over claims that heís allergic to Jason while Rude fakes being confused as to what Styles is referring to. Rudeís take away is that Jason must have given Styles crabs. I LOVED this segment. I havenít been too impressed with Rick Rude as a color commentator because heís so one dimensional, but the comedy here was perfect.

Lance Storm vs Tracy Smothers w/The FBI
Another match mostly comprised of highlights rather than the full match. This looked to be pretty good stuff though. Throughout the match, Storm kept focusing on Guido and Rich on the outside, which often backfired. First it was a sliding drop kick by Smothers into the steel railing and later Gudio delivered a power slam on a chair in the crowd. Inside of the ring, the highlights showed back and forth action with both men nearly scoring the pinfall multiple times. Smothers showed that while he is an old timer and mostly just in ECW to work this goofy FBI gimmick, he can still go. Since Storm is the star of the future, he goes over with his nice looking leap to the top rope into a back elbow. Iíd be cool with seeing more Storm vs FBI matches. ** ĺ

This episode of Hardcore TV ended with cutting back and forth between showing Tommy Dreamer loaded up into the ambulance while Taz harasses some fan wearing a Raw is War t-shirt. Taz forces the fan to hand over his shirt so that Taz can light it on fire. What a weird ass segment. Is Taz supposed to come across as a bad ass for bullying some fan? Burning a t-shirt? What is this? WWE 1991? It was stupid when Sgt. Slaughter burned a Hulk Hogan shirt in the lead-up to Wrestlemania 7 and it was stupid here.

Iím not entirely sure why this show didnít receive a VHS release. Sure, it took place in the same month as Wrestlepalooza, so it is the lesser of the June 1997 shows, but if The Buffalo Invasion could receive a release, then Orgy of Violence deserved one as well. The big news coming off of this show was the crazy happenings in the tag team match with Tod Gordon being put through a table, Jim Cornette debuting, and Jerry Lawler nearly (Literally) breaking the balls of Tommy Dreamer. Itís a great segment to help further give ECW 1997 importance. Even with ECWís PPV debut with Barely Legal, the first five months of the year didnít feel nearly as hot as the majority of 1996 felt. This WWE vs ECW feud has heat to it though. Perhaps the irony is that ECWís biggest angle of 1997 was this interpromotional feud, but in the WWE, it didnít mean anything nor was it brought up much. Orgy of Violence was also a good showcase for the new lineup of The Triple Threat, the recently debuted PG-13, and the slow progression up the card for Lance Storm. The July 1st edition of Hardcore TV is well worth checking out if you just want to focus on the important stuff from Orgy of Violence.