Classic Wrestling Review: Hostile City Showdown ’94

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Hostile City Showdown

June 24, 1994

ECW Arena

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

News & Notes: There isn’t much to discuss. Not a lot has changed since When Worlds Collide. ECW continued their working relationship with WCW and promised a big inter-promotional match for this event. Sabu would face a mystery opponent, which drove Paul E. crazy. He used a few unreliable sources and kept guessing the wrong person until they finally revealed Sabu would face Cactus Jack. Paul E. claimed that WCW wanted Sabu, but he wouldn’t let them have him. Therefore, Dangerously accused WCW of sending Cactus to destroy Sabu. However, Paul E. claimed Sabu would destroy Cactus and he reveled in the thought of costing Ted Turner money.

Meanwhile, The Funk Brothers, Terry and Dory Jr., will face Public Enemy, Sandman will fight Tommy Cairo in a Singapore Cane on a Pole Match, and Taz will have a Dog Collar Match against The Pitbull. All of the feuds continued over the weeks of Hardcore TV, but sadly Joey Styles was on vacation. We were treated to the commentary of Willie “The Scoop” Watts instead. I say treated, but that is pure sarcasm. I assure you. Thankfully, Styles is back for this event.

The Show: On the network, there’s a warning that this show is presented in as complete a form as possible due to technical difficulties. That’s usually code for WWE removing something and blaming it on tape issues, but sometimes it’s the truth. It’s hard to tell. After the warning, they show a picture of downtown Philly before Joey Styles welcomes everyone. I’m glad to see he’s back from vacation.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Hack Meyers

Notes: Hack Meyers is kind of a glorified jobber in ECW. He occasionally gets wins, but almost always loses to the big names. He wrestled for a few years on the indie scene under names like Bronco Billy and Oscar Meyers. I think he should have kept the latter name. He could have used “My Bologna Has a First Name” as his theme music!

During the entrances, Joey says Dreamer is a strong contender for NWA Rookie of the Year. Bob Artese announces Hack is from the last house on the left while Hack yells at some fans. Then, Dreamer grabs a New York Rangers hockey jersey from a fan and stomps on it in an attempt to pander to the crowd. Also, during the match, Styles takes a shot at both WCW and the WWF by saying you won’t find ECW on the Disney Channel or Court TV.

The Match: They slap each other before Dreamer catches Hack with an arm drag and a bulldog. Hack regroups and attempts a top rope move, but Tommy slams him. Then, Tommy takes him to the mat for some headlocks and the fans boo and chant boring. They start chanting Hack’s name as Meyers takes control. Tommy reverses a back suplex and hits a neckbreaker, but he makes the mistake of ducking and pays for it. Meyers answers with chops, clotheslines, and an apron leg drop before repeatedly returning to a nerve hold. Tommy responds with a low-blow, a DDT, and some roll-ups, but Meyers starts whipping him around the ring. He tries it again, and Tommy reverses a whip before hitting a flying splash for the win.

Thoughts: This was a slow and dull match. Dreamer’s offense isn’t exciting at this point, and Hack’s is even worse. The fans couldn’t care less about Dreamer. They booed him the entire match and chanted boring. ECW is doing their best to try and make Tommy a babyface, but it’s not working—yet.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer (6:49)

Next, we’re supposed to get a match between Don E. Allen and Chad Austin. The crowd knows what’s up and immediately chant for 911. They get their wish. 911 storms the ring and chokeslams the ref because he’s still angry about When Worlds Collide. Allen and Austin foolishly try saving the poor guy, so 911 chokes them both and hits a double chokeslam. Paul E. tells 911 to attack the ref again, but Tod Gordon arrives. He attacks Paul E., so 911 grabs Tod and chokeslams him too while Styles begs him to let Gordon sign his checks first. Dangerously reads Tod his last rites before 911 gives him another chokeslam and Styles yells, “He’s got children, for Christ’s sake!” Then, Tommy Dreamer returns to check on Gordon, so 911 attacks him as well and hits another chokeslam. The fans loved it, and it did a good job of building 911, so I’m fine with this segment.

Dog Collar Match: The Tazmaniac vs. The Pitbull (w/ Jason)

Notes: Taz continued being a thorn in Pitbull’s side. Pitbull attempted to regain his TV Title from Mikey Whipwreck and he seemingly succeeded. He won the match by submission, but he refused to let go and the ref reversed the decision. Then, Taz arrived to attack, but Pitbull hit him with a chain and whipped him while Jason held Taz.

Meanwhile, during the entrances, Taz storms the ring, but Jason and Pitbull clothesline him with the chain and Pitbull attaches it to Taz’s neck. Also, I should point out the odd rules of this match. The competitors can apparently win by either touching four corners or scoring a pinfall.

The Match: Pitbull hits Taz with the chain and tosses him over the ropes, but the momentum pulls Pitbull to the floor as well. Styles calls him an idiot. Taz responds by pulling the guardrail into him and choking him with the chain. Then, both men trade chairshots and headbutts before they fight into the crowd. They eventually return to the ring where Pitbull awkwardly fumbles with the chain and touches three corners. Taz stops him and touches three corners as well until Pitbull ends his rally with a belly-to-belly. Taz says he can play that suplex game too and hits a t-bone, but Pitbull counters with a back kick and a powerbomb. He then wraps the chain around Taz’s neck and touches three corners, but Taz also hits them. Pitbull reaches for the final corner, but Taz catches him with a half-nelson suplex for the pinfall win.

Thoughts: I thought they were going for the cliché Strap Match/Chain Match finish, but they subverted my expectations. However, it wasn’t enough to make this exciting. The match was slow and the stipulation was odd. The first half of the match was mindless brawling. Once they got into the ring and started attempting to win, it became a little better, but it still wasn’t great. The two halves of the bout felt like different matches. It was disjointed.

Winner: The Tazmaniac (7:37)

After the match, a bald man in similar tights to Pitbull storms the ring and attacks Taz with a chain. Styles says it’s Pitbull #2, who he hasn’t seen in years. Joey thought they put him to sleep. He talks about how the Pitbulls used to be a tag team and now they’re back. They double team Taz and hang him over the ropes with the chain while Pitbull #1 hits him with a chair. They finally end the attack and Jason poses for the camera, so Styles begs the cameraman to stop filming.

The Bruise Brothers vs. Shane Douglas & Mr. Hughes

Notes: There isn’t much of a build for this match. Shane is in a holding pattern for now, but Heyman has big plans for him over the summer. This is merely a continuation of issues coming out of the six-man tag from When Worlds Collide. You can tell Shane doesn’t care because he doesn’t bother wearing his jacket to the ring and simply drops the ECW title belt on the apron. Even Joey Styles calls him out on this. Everyone starts brawling when Douglas & Hughes reach the ring.

The Match: They all fight to the floor and Douglas is slammed into a table. Eventually, they return to the ring where Hughes fights Ron Harris. They mess up a leapfrog spot and a hip toss, so Shane enters the match. The match spills to the floor once more and both teams use chairs. Don Harris shoulder blocks Hughes off the apron, but Shane attacks him and rams him into a table. Douglas then fights off both Harris brothers until everyone brawls outside the ring again! More chairs are brought into the mix, and the match becomes a brawl for a fourth time until the Bruise Brothers crotch Douglas on the guardrail. Then, Ron and Hughes fight in the ring and Hughes hits a sidewalk slam. The ref is distracted, so Don stomps Hughes and places Ron on top of him for the win.

Thoughts: You could tell they ran out of ideas early. They continually returned to brawling on the floor. I’m guessing the Bruise Brothers laid out the match and that’s not a good thing. Douglas was the only decent worker in the bout, but he couldn’t save this. It was uninteresting and had little build.

Winners: The Bruise Brothers (18:38)

Hughes gets the mic and says he won the match. He wants another ref to make a decision. Then, he tells the Bruise Brothers they’re going down. Shane then takes the mic and says all he can add to that is a hearty, “Oh-ho-ho-ho yes!” If that’s all he has to add, then why bother? You can tell he couldn’t care less.

Singapore Cane on a Pole Match: Tommy Cairo (w/ Peaches) vs. The Sandman (w/ Woman)

Notes: Sandman continued attacking Cairo with a cane every chance he got. They had a Falls Count Anywhere match on the house show circuit that Cairo won, but Sandman caned him again. Sandman claimed he was still charging Tommy money for sleeping with his wife, so he demanded that Cairo pay his bills. He even told Tommy to get a job at Burger King if he’s so broke. He also claimed that dealing with Tommy was costing him money at his pimp job. Cairo, on the other hand, lamented the fact Peaches was hit with the cane and vowed revenge.

Before it begins, Artese explains you win by grabbing the cane from the pole. The ref has to remind him they also get to use the cane on their opponent. Bob realizes his mistake and adds, “Then, he can use the cane any way he sees fit.” Styles says the censors and sponsors told ECW they couldn’t do this match, but Tod Gordon told them to go to hell.

The Match: Sandman goes for the cane early, but Cairo stops him with a German suplex and a spin kick. He then hits a cannonball off the top and attempts a cover, but the ref reminds him of the stipulation. Then, Sandman stops Tommy from climbing, but Cairo puts Sandman through a table. He recovers, but he goes after Peaches instead and Tommy attacks Sandman. They return to the ring where Sandman hits some low-blows and a slingshot splash that surprised the hell out of me. Both men go for the cane again, and Cairo returns the low-blow favor, but their brawling causes the cane to fall off the pole. The ref places it in the corner while Sandman hits a front suplex. Then, Tommy answers with a DDT, so Woman hands Sandman another cane she found under the ring. Sandman starts caning Tommy and the ref decides to throw out the match.

Thoughts: That was a lame finish. The match itself was going fine for what it was until the cane fell. I think they were unsure how to progress, so they decided to go to the finish. There was some good intensity and a few fun spots, but the ending ruined that. It’s a shame. It shows ECW still needs to work on their presentation. This is the kind of stuff the larger companies would do their best to avoid. It reminds me of that time the X fell in the middle of one of TNA’s Ultimate X Matches.

Winner: No Contest (5:30)

Sandman continues caning Cairo and shoves Peaches to the mat. Woman then lights another cigarette for Sandman before he gets in a few more shots. Then, Peaches tries to protect Tommy, so Sandman hands Woman the other cane. She hits Peaches while Sandman tells Tommy to pay his bills. They finally leave and the camera shows that Tommy’s shoulder is bleeding from the cane shots. He recovers and helps a crying Peaches leave the ring.

Next, they play a recap of the Funk Brothers feud with Public Enemy. We see Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson, and the build to When Worlds Collide. Then, they show Paul E. mocking Terry Funk’s daughters until Funk confronts him. Next, is a clip of Paul E. recruiting the Public Enemy in “Da hood” and footage of Public Enemy attacking Funk at When Worlds Collide.

The Public Enemy vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.

Notes: The Public Enemy got an injunction against Terry Funk after When Worlds Collide. Funk wasn’t allowed to be in the same building with them, but they didn’t realize they also couldn’t be in the building with Funk. Since they couldn’t appear in the arena, they decided to go to Funk’s Double Cross Ranch instead. They attempted stealing a horse but got a llama. They said it was the strangest looking horse they’d ever seen. They also sprayed graffiti on the walls of the stable. It was a highly amusing segment.

The Match: Rocco Rock tries his hand against both Funks, but he can’t get the advantage. Dory nails him with a forearm after a criss-cross and both Funks take turns putting him in headlocks. Johnny Grunge then steps in and gets more of the same as well as some European uppercuts. Dory suplexes Grunge from the apron and Terry gives him a powerbomb before Terry and Johnny brawl to the floor. They trade chops, and Terry dares him to bring it. However, the match becomes a brawl, and everyone is throwing chairs. Public Enemy gain control and Grunge can’t get a pin even with a handful of tights. Unfortunately, Rocco takes out his partner with a somersault plancha and Dory busts open Grunge with some punches. Then, Dory uses the Spinning Toe Hold, but Paul E. and 911 arrive to interfere. 911 chokeslams the ref again, so Paul E. does the three-count after Public Enemy double team Dory. Terry chases them away with some wooden steps before counting his own three when Dory covers Grunge. However, neither pin counts. The match is thrown out, but everyone continues fighting. Funk and Rocco end up in the eagle’s nest and Funk hangs Rock over the edge by a rope tied around his legs.

Thoughts: This match started okay, but it soon became slow brawling. Then, they had a disappointing non-finish. That’s two matches in a row with no decision. I get that they want to continue this feud, but this wasn’t great. The only cool part was Terry hanging Rocco off the eagle’s nest. It was a dangerous stunt, but thankfully no one got hurt.

Winners: No Contest (13:24)

TV Title Match: Mikey Whipwreck (c) vs. Rockin’ Rebel (w/ Jason)

Notes: Jason and his stable of wrestlers attempted to get the TV Title back from Mikey multiple times, but Mikey keeps finding ways to retain it. Now, Rockin’ Rebel gets his turn while Pitbull deals with Taz. Mikey is a reluctant champion. He even tried handing the belt to Mr. Hughes, but Hughes wanted to beat him instead.

Mikey limps to the ring after they show a fan sign that reads, “Beat Mikey. Hurt Mikey. Pin Mikey. It’s just that simple.” Also, I couldn’t help but notice that Artese called Rebel the Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla. I thought that was Jericho’s thing.

The Match: Rebel pulls Mikey’s shirt over his head and attacks him before hitting a slam and a short-arm clothesline. He also gives him a piledriver, a spinebuster, and a side slam, but he doesn’t cover Mikey. Jason then trips Whipwreck and distracts the ref, but Mikey knocks Jason off the apron. Styles loses his mind because Mikey actually did an offensive move, but Rebel responds by using a chair. Then, Jason holds Mikey for another chairshot, but Whipwreck moves and Rebel hits Jason. Next, Mikey attacks Jason again, but Rebel uses the chair to stop him and the ref finally has enough.

Thoughts: This was okay for a Mikey Whipwreck match. Mikey took his usual good bumps and made Rebel look good. The bout was simply a backdrop for the ongoing Mikey storyline, and it sets up the post-match antics. It did its job to further storylines. I wasn’t expecting a great match. This is exactly what I figured it would be, and I’m fine with that.

Winner: Mikey Whipwreck (by DQ) (3:24)

Jason and Rebel continue attacking Mikey until Taz arrives to stop them. Taz headbutts and suplexes Jason and Rebel, but the Pitbulls attack. The numbers game is too much and Pitbull #2 hits a couple of flying splashes on Taz. Rebel also nails Taz with brass knuckles before Jason hits an elbow and a flying splash. Then, Jason poses while the Pitbulls kick Taz a few more times.

Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously & 911) vs. Cactus Jack

Notes: Paul E. and 911 have to restrain Sabu with a rope on the way to the ring. They barely keep him in check while Paul gets a mic and introduces the most homicidal, suicidal, and genocidal wrestler, Sabu. He also calls him a Cactus slayer. Jack enters the arena and appears to be favoring his left arm, so Styles points out that he’s working through a shoulder injury.

The Match: Sabu flusters Jack early with dropkicks and wheel kicks before sending Cactus to the floor. Sabu then tries a suicide dive, but Cactus moves. However, Sabu uses a chair and sits Jack on it before finally hitting the dive. He also uses the chair in the ring for a springboard wheel kick. Then, he tries another one, but Jack elbows him and hits both the Cactus Clothesline and the Cactus Elbow. They brawl on the floor and a fan hands Cactus a frying pan that Jack uses on both Sabu and himself! Unfortunately, Cactus misses a somersault senton off the top. Sabu takes control until Cactus blocks a moonsault. Sabu counters by reversing a super back suplex. Then, both men tumble out of the ring and Sabu puts Jack through a table. Later, Jack takes back control with a hotshot onto the rail. Sabu recovers and sets up yet another table before hitting an Asai moonsault, but he hurts himself. Jack starts capitalizing with chunks of the table, but Paul E. nails him with his phone and Sabu covers for the win.

Thoughts: This was a fun brawl. Both men hit some great spots and Sabu looked better than ever. I guess Cactus’ shoulder injury was legit because he looked like he was in pain. I have to give him credit because he was taking his usual nasty bumps, despite it. The finish was kind of a letdown, but I don’t think it ruined the match. At least there was a pin and not a disqualification or no contest.

Winner: Sabu (13:00)

After the match, 911 holds Cactus while Paul E. hits him repeatedly with the phone. Styles says he’s trying to bury it in Jack’s skull. Then, Heyman tries to get a running start, but Jack moves. Paul E. bounces off 911, so Jack attacks 911 and Sabu. He sends Sabu out of the ring and hits 911 with a chair. They brawl to the floor, but Mr. Hughes arrives to help. However, Shane Douglas pulls Hughes away from him. Then, the Bruise Brothers attack Douglas and Hughes while Sabu hits a springboard dive onto Jack. They brawl into the crowd, and Jack gives Sabu a piledriver on the concession stand. Styles says he’s not hot dogging it, which made me groan a bit. They continue fighting, but the camera can’t see it until they return to the ring. Cactus tries to continue the attack, but Sabu breaks a beer bottle over his head and puts him through another table. He also hits a moonsault onto Jack, but Jack answers by dropping the broken table on Sabu.

Next, they go to a promo by Cactus Jack. He’s holding the WCW Tag Team Title belt, which makes him the best tag wrestler in the world. It’s the first title he’s had in a long time and was dear to him. However, he spits on the belt and drops it to the floor. Jack claims it’s not dear anymore. He came in, gave the performance of his life and lost. He still holds a title, but he lost the three biggest titles of his career. Those titles are the most suicidal wrestler, the ugliest wrestler, and Jack Kevorkian’s favorite wrestler. Jack says he could concede the title, but that will never happen. He could outdo Sabu, but his battered body couldn’t do that. Therefore, he chooses to eliminate the competition. Jack asks Sabu how he’ll fly without a foot, speak without a tongue, or hear without an ear. Then, Cactus says Paul E. hurt his feelings because he didn’t pick him to take down WCW. He says he’s sick and tired of being a family entertainer and his WCW contract doesn’t matter because Mrs. Foley’s baby boy is coming home. This was a great promo by Cactus, but he would get in trouble for spitting on the WCW tag belt. Bischoff would confront him about it, but Cactus said he meant no disrespect. He simply thought it fit the promo.

Meanwhile, Paul E. is with 911. He says he’s never seen anything like the beating Cactus took since the OJ Simpson trial. Paul E. is amazed that Cactus kept smiling after the beating. Cactus took a beating and asked for another. Paul E. calls it orgasmic and says it’s what Cactus Jack is all about. Sabu met his match. Sabu won nothing because Jack is still breathing and will still make money for Ted Turner. He claims that means another big Christmas for Jane Fonda, but Paul E. also says he’s obsessed with the demise of WCW. Paul E. says Sabu will bring him that wish. Sabu isn’t there to win titles. He’s there to take out Cactus. Then, Paul E. tells Cactus to go back to Turner. He says the next time he shows his face in ECW, Sabu will beat him within an inch of his life and then go the whole damn inch. This was an equally good promo by Heyman. These promos were a good way to close the show and build hype for everything going forward.

The Good:

– The main event was fun.

– The 911 stuff was good character building.

– The promos at the end were great.

The Bad:

– Most of the other matches were bad or disappointing.

– Too many non-finishes.

– The cane falling during the pole match.

Performer of the Night: I’m going to give it to Sabu. He didn’t botch anything and he looked strong in his match. I enjoyed a lot of his spots.

Final Thoughts: This was a one-match show and even that wasn’t outstanding. It was a step back after the progress of When Worlds Collide. This is still a company trying to find its style, but you can see the pieces coming together slowly. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want a glimpse of early ECW.

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My next review will be WCW’s Bash at the Beach ‘94. Look for it next Saturday.

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I am chronologically reviewing all the pre-network era WWF/WCW/ECW PPVs from Starrcade '83 to WrestleMania 30. Join me on this journey every Saturday!
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