Wednesday, April 27, 2022

ECW The Night The Line Was Crossed (February 1994)

Eastern Championship Wrestling held a show on February 5, 1994 - a night that would be dubbed "The Night The Line Was Crossed." I don't know what line was crossed that night, but I do know that this show was home to the promotion's first three-way dance between reigning ECW Champion Shane Douglas, living legend Terry Funk, and the crazy man Sabu.

So, this is the Eastern Championship Wrestling days of ECW, which means a dimly lit bingo hall and a Joey Styles that has yet to be fully formed. Todd Gordon was still the owner and the one to greet us on this show, letting us know that ECW is not for everyone. And then we follow that with Mr. Hughes squashing some dude in quick fashion, which is no different from any other squash match I've seen since the dawn of time. Not for everyone, indeed, Mr. Gordon.

More after the break... or the line, if you dare cross it... that's so lame...

The Sandman (not yet the Sandman we know and love and seeing him in wrestling tights is an odd, odd sight) and Tommy Cairo defeated The Pitbull (Gary Wolfe, I think) and some guy named Rockin’ Rebel. This was a thing that happened and that's about as nice of a compliment as I could give this because the garbage wrestling on display was rough in a car crash sort of way. This was the norm for ECW and people loved it, I guess.

The Public Enemy... god, it's weird seeing these guys being "less hefty" compared to how I first saw them years later on WCW. Both guys passed away years later, so RIP. Anyway, they beat the Bruise Brothers in a somewhat short-ish match. Nothing to really write home about; it was a thing that happened.

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka killed Tommy Dreamer with a couple superfly splashes, causing poor Dreamer to bleed from the mouth and he ends up getting stretchered out afterwards. The match was a whole lot of nothing; lots of stalling, maybe a bit of something happening, and so I'm left admiring Tommy's colorful suspenders that he wore before getting caned by Sandman... oh and Snuka is the heel here, but the ECW faithful shits on Tommy for being a pretty boy. I'm sure that won't last, but this match sure as hell did and it was BORING.

Pat Tanaka and the ORIGINAL SHEIK defeated Kevin Sullivan and, oh yes, THE TAZMANIAC! Oh yes, I finally get to see Taz with dreadlocks and jumping up and down like a crazed lunatic... or as one online reviewer would call him, "a moron." Anyway, Sheik hits Taz with a fireball while he had Tanaka in some kind of submission, allowing Pat to score the pin. Two old guys fighting each other, a fireball, and the mothefucking TAZMANIAC! Your usual brand of garbage wrestling on display, but again, that's what ECW fans liked, so that's what they got. One thing I will say; ECW's brawls did step up over the years and weren't completely garbage as some would surmise.

JT Smith defeated Mike Awesome via roll-up after getting the living piss beaten out of him by Awesome. Awesome is a sore loser, hits a couple powerbombs on the ref for his shitty officiating, and then kills Smith a little more. To this day, it amazes me that nobody with a functioning brain did more with Mike Awesome because this guy was a fucking killer. And if you had presented him as a fucking killer, he'd be a big deal. ECW sure as hell did until he fucked off to WCW and then Russo had no fucking clue what to do with this guy.

So now we have the match... the famed Three-Way Dance between Shane Douglas, Sabu, and reigning ECW Champion Terry Funk. Anyway, the format for this match is that Sabu and Shane would fight for a bit and then Funk would come out afterwards. The idea is that whoever won the initial encounter between Douglas and Sabu would go on to face Funk for the title in a one-on-one encounter, but they kept fighting and Funk would join the fray anyway. So this goes on for about an hour before the time limit expires and the match is declared a draw, which elicits a not-so-positive reaction from the crowd... can't imagine why. And I'm not going to lie; this match was boring. There were times where I was practically dozing off and it took a couple Red Bulls to keep me awake long enough to see this through to the end. That's something you expect from a long-ass WWE show, not an hour-long wrestling match.

And then all three guys do post-match promos, with Shane's being the highlight of the bunch and the one some of you've might of seen. And then the show ends.

Oy, this was a sloth. Wherein Barely Legal was worth watching due to its historical significance as well as just being a good show by ECW standards, the same could not be said for this show. The Night The Line Was Crossed might've been considered a significant night in the history of ECW that is held in high regard, but I wouldn't in good conscious call it a below-average show. The only thing to gain from this show is perspective; seeing how far ECW would go from that point because as much as some people would not to admit, things did get better over the years and once ECW went extreme, things started to pick up before it all fell apart. Other than that... eh.

Don't believe the hype, kids. This show is not worth it.

Next week... Ramblemania. At last.

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