Classic Wrestling Review: When Worlds Collide ’94

WWE, ECW When Worlds Collide 94

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

When Worlds Collide

May 14, 1994

ECW Arena

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

News & Notes: Since ECW was running a supershow in May, WCW approached them about doing some cross-promotion to hype WCW’s upcoming PPV, Slamboree. Paul Heyman was reluctant because of his unceremonious release from the company, but he eventually agreed. Paul wanted Steve Austin and Brian Pillman on the show, but they were performing on Slamboree in a week and WCW wouldn’t risk them getting hurt. WCW sent Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton instead. In exchange, guys like Kevin Sullivan and Terry Funk would appear on WCW TV. Funk would join Col. Parker’s Stud Stable and Sullivan would tag with Cactus Jack. WCW would also send other talents to ECW, including Cactus, who infamously spat on the WCW Tag Titles during a promo. The relationship between the two companies would continue longer than expected because someone in WCW made the mistake of taking the When Worlds Collide name for WCW’s cross-promotion with AAA Wrestling in Mexico. WCW had to continue the talent exchange to appease Heyman because of the error. However, the working relationship wouldn’t last much longer than 1994.

The main storyline for this show is the continued feud between Sabu and Terry Funk. Sabu caused Funk to lose his ECW Title to Shane Douglas and then Sabu and a masked man attacked Funk. The masked man was revealed to be former Dangerous Alliance member, Bobby Eaton. Paul E. brought him in to take out Funk, but Funk countered with Arn Anderson. A tag match was booked between the four men and Paul E. started taunting Funk. He made derogatory remarks about Funk’s daughters, which Terry did not abide. The two sides exchanged heated words and things escalated to the point that Paul E. sought help from the Public Enemy. He met them outside a club and offered them money to take out Terry Funk.

WWE, Tommy Dreamer, Rockin' Rebel

Tommy Dreamer vs. Rockin’ Rebel (w/ Jason)

Notes: The show opens cold with this first match. Joey Styles sings the praises of Dreamer for returning from being injured by Jimmy Snuka. He says that Tommy won the respect of the crowd by proving he can compete with anyone in ECW. During his entrance, a fan tries handing Tommy his crutch to use as a weapon, but Tommy decides to let him keep it. Meanwhile, Jason and Rockin’ Rebel antagonize Bob Artese during his introductions while Styles mocks Jason because of the bandage on his face. (I’ll explain what happened to Jason later.)

The Match: Rebel teases a handshake and backs off, so Dreamer slaps him. Both men trade punches and chops, but Dreamer takes control of the match with a snap suplex and a dragon sleeper. Tommy keeps locking Rebel in holds and even surprises him with a sunset flip. However, Rebel answers with a jumping clothesline and distracts the ref so Jason can attack. Tommy chases Jason, but Rebel jumps him. He then mocks Dreamer and attacks him until Tommy nails a low-blow and attempts a flying splash. Tommy misses, so Rebel returns the low-blow and does a neckbreaker and a leg drop. He also gives Tommy a spinebuster, but Rebel hurts his knee. Jason tries to yell some instructions to him, but he only succeeds in distracting Rebel and Dreamer hits a Thesz Press for the win. Afterward, Rebel argues with Jason and shoves him. He then raises his fist, but Jason hands Rebel something that changes his mind. They end up leaving together in peace.

Thoughts: This was a basic but decent opener. It was short, but it setup a storyline between Jason and Rebel. However, Dreamer disappeared after the finish. The focus wasn’t on him. It was more plot than match, so it’s mostly forgettable. Dreamer is starting to win over the fans, but he won’t take off until he makes some tweaks to his character.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer (6:21)

WWE, Mikey Whipwreck, 911

TV Title Match: Mikey Whipwreck (c) vs. 911 (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)

Notes: Mikey Whipwreck plays the role of the lovable loser. He even uses “Loser” by Beck as his theme music. He is a jobber on ECW TV, but his frequent appearances and ability to take a beating won over the crowd. He managed to get a TV Title Match against then champion, Pitbull. However, Pitbull’s rival the Tazmaniac distracted him and Whipwreck pulled off the upset to become TV Champion. Now, poor Mikey has to defend that title against 911, who has constantly demolished him on TV.

The fans chant Mikey’s name when he comes to the ring. He’s wearing the TV Title loosely around his waist. Joey says Mikey still can’t believe he won the title and he jokes about Mikey’s weight. Styles also points out that Mikey forgot to remove his watch before the match. Then, 911 makes his entrance and Styles predicts the title will change hands unless lightning strikes the building. 911 and Paul E. laugh at Mikey while some fans chant, “Please don’t die.”

The Match: 911 immediately chokes Mikey in the corner and hits a chokeslam, but he doesn’t cover him. He chooses to lift him for a second chokeslam and then a third. Referee John Moore warns 911, so 911 grabs him as well and hits a double chokeslam. However, this causes a disqualification. Paul E. enters the ring and mimes giving the ref his last rites before spitting on him. Styles jokes that Paul E. is Jewish and shouldn’t know anything about last rites. Heyman then mockingly shakes the hand of an unconscious Mikey while the fans chant, “One more time.” 911 obliges and gives the ref another chokeslam.

Thoughts: It wasn’t really a match, but it did a lot to build the 911 character and put more sympathy on Mikey. I enjoyed it for what it was. It’s good character building, so I don’t mind that it wasn’t much of a bout. It’s clearly working because the fans were solidly behind Mikey and his popularity would continue growing.

Winner: Mikey Whipwreck (by DQ) (1:42)

WWE, Jimmy Snuka, Kevin Sullivan

Jimmy Superfly Snuka (w/ Hunter Q. Robbins III) vs. Kevin Sullivan (w/ Woman)

Notes: Kevin Sullivan teamed with the Tazmaniac and became Tag Team Champions until the Public Enemy defeated them for the belts. They continued teaming and faced Jimmy Snuka and Hunter Robbins’ newest charge, R.J. Powers. Sullivan went crazy and attacked both opponents with tables, chairs, and even a hammer. Now, Sullivan and Snuka face off in what’s billed as a battle of legends. They waste no time in starting the match. Snuka attacks Sullivan the second he enters the ring.

The Match: They brawl to the floor, and Sullivan starts throwing chairs at Snuka. He even nails him with a skillet that he got from a fan. The fans also hand him more chairs and Sullivan uses them on Snuka’s head. Then, Kevin grabs a hammer and hits Jimmy in the crotch before using a spike on his neck. They don’t stay in the ring long before returning to the floor, and Sullivan uses a fan’s crutch on Snuka’s back. I wonder if it’s the same crutch from earlier. Next, Kevin chokes Snuka with some string and hits him with a wrench, but Snuka fires back with headbutts and chops. Jimmy then charges Kevin in the corner, but Sullivan surprises him with a boot. However, the Sandman appears and convinces Woman to leave. Kevin is distracted and Hunter Robbins trips him so Snuka can cover for the win.

Thoughts: This match was mindless brawling until the storyline finish. It was nothing more than a backdrop for Woman leaving Sullivan. Sadly, the cameraman didn’t even capture the moment. Styles had to tell the audience that Sandman appeared because it wasn’t visible on screen. This is another example of why ECW needed more cameras. This was forgettable and poorly executed.

Winner: Jimmy Snuka (4:30)

After the match, Sullivan grabs Hunter Q. Robbins before he can leave and pulls him into the ring. He grabs Hunter’s cane and hits him in the crotch before removing Hunter’s pants. He then hits Robbins in the crotch again and hits the double stomp. Kevin then grabs the mic and says something, but it’s inaudible on this video. I know it involved an f-bomb, but I couldn’t understand anything else. Next, Sullivan starts attacking crew members at ringside and finally leaves.

WWE, Sandman, Tommy Cairo

Singapore Caning Match: Tommy Cairo & Peaches vs. Sandman & Woman

Notes: The Sandman has changed quite a bit since The Night the Line Was Crossed. He was temporarily blinded during a match and accidentally struck his wife, Peaches. He regained his sight in time to see Tommy Cairo consoling her and attacked Tommy. We would later discover Tommy was having an affair with Peaches. We also discovered that Sandman had a side-gig as a pimp. Sandman told Cairo if he was going to sleep with his wife so often, he would start charging him a fee. Sandman also gave us a classic line when he said, “Life’s a bitch and then you marry one.” Now, Sandman has gone from a surfer to a drunk pimp who chain smokes cigarettes. He challenged Cairo to a Singapore Caning match, which means the winner gets to cane the loser six times. Cairo would team with Peaches and Sandman would find his own partner. We discovered in the last match his partner is Woman. ECW created this stipulation to play off the news story about an American student who was caned in Singapore.

Sandman makes his entrance and Woman lights a cigarette for him. He has a good laugh at a fan sign that says, “Whack the fuzz off that peach!” Then, Tommy & Peaches make their entrance wearing hard hats. Peaches throws hers at Sandman, so Sandman later throws is cigarette at her. Sandman also tries to grab the cane from the ref, but he refuses to let him have it.

The Match: Cairo starts the match by giving Sandman multiple suplex variations. Sandman stumbles around the ring and raises a fist at Peaches, but Tommy suplexes him again. Then, they brawl to the floor and back inside before Sandman answers with a back elbow and a suplex of his own. He also gives Cairo a pulling piledriver and chokes him. Sandman tries to continue his attack, but he makes the mistake of ducking and Cairo takes advantage. Tommy gives Sandman a powerslam and a DDT, but Woman breaks up the pin and Peaches attacks her. They have a catfight until Cairo stops it, but Peaches spots an unconscious Sandman and covers him for the win.

Thoughts: This felt rushed. I know it was never going to be a great match, but it could have used more time. I like the finish. It gives Peaches a some payback, but they could have done more to build up to it. The action wasn’t bad for what it was. If it had gone longer I don’t think it would have overstayed its welcome. Sandman was a little sloppy, but Cairo looked decent. I guess the match was kept short because neither of the women are known for wrestling.

Winners: Cairo & Peaches (4:55)

After the match, Cairo holds Sandman so Peaches can cane him. She pulls down Sandman’s pants and starts whipping his bare ass, but Woman throws powder in Peaches’ eyes. Sandman then grabs the cane and starts beating Cairo with it. He accidentally hits Peaches in the process, but he doesn’t seem to care. Next, Sandman hands the cane to Woman and lights a cigarette. He holds Peaches while Woman canes her a few times and the fans chant, “One more time.” Then, Sandman flicks some ashes on Peaches and leaves the ring. Meanwhile, Cairo lifts Peaches and carries her backstage. Sandman would adopt the cane as part of his gimmick going forward and would use it for the rest of his career.

Next, before the start of the following match, Artese introduces referee, John Moore. However, 911 emerges and decides he wants to punish the poor guy again. He chokeslams him twice while Paul E. tries to restrain him. The fans chant 911’s name, so Styles jokes that these fans would cheer the hunter that killed Bambi’s mother. 911 finally leaves, so Artese says the new ref will be John Finnegan.

WWE, Taz, Pitbull

Pitbull (w/ Jason) vs. The Tazmaniac

Notes: Taz and Pitbull (Gary Wolfe) started feuding with each other and Jason started mocking Taz for his wild nature. He called him monkey boy and talked down to him. Taz responded by spitting on Jason and Jason tried to retaliate, but Taz smashed him into a wall. He then bit Jason’s face, which is why Jason is wearing a bandage on this show. Pitbull was in the eagle’s nest with Joey Styles when the biting happened and he rushed backstage to stop him, but the damage was done. Later, Taz would cost Pitbull his TV Title the night before this show.

The Match: Taz immediately attacks Pitbull during his entrance and they brawl to the floor. Taz whips Pitbull into and over the guardrail and throws chairs at him. Pitbull finally manages to reverse a chair into Taz’s face and uses it on his back before returning to the ring. He then gives Taz a belly-to-belly and locks him in a chinlock, but Taz reverses it into a judo throw. However, Pitbull answers with a low-blow while fans chant, “Mikey,” “Shitbull,” and “Where’s your belt.” Then, Pitbull wears down Taz with nerve holds, knee drops, and chokes. He also distracts the ref so Jason can attack, but the cameraman misses it. Next, Pitbull continues his attack with leglocks, chinlocks, and headlocks until Taz suplexes him. Taz then goes to the top rope, but Pitbull knocks him to the floor. He brings Taz back inside and hits a side kick, but Taz catches him in a t-bone suplex and an overhead belly-to-belly. Jason gets on the apron, but Taz suplexes him too. Unfortunately, Pitbull uses the opening to grab a chain and nail Taz with it for the win.

Thoughts: This was a decent little match with some great crowd heat. It featured some nice suplexes and some good bumps. Taz’s bump to the floor from the top rope was particularly nasty. It even had some good storytelling. It’s a little weird that they portray Taz as this wild man who loves suplexes. The gimmick doesn’t quite fit, but thankfully he would drop it in the future.

Winner: Pitbull (8:45)

Handicap Elimination Match: J.T. Smith & The Bruise Brothers vs. Shane Douglas, Mr. Hughes, & Public Enemy

Notes: This match is an amalgamation of feuds. First, the Public Enemy defeated Taz & Kevin Sullivan for their Tag Team Titles and then continued their feud with the Bruise Brothers. Public Enemy faced the brothers in a Lumberjack Match and they won with the assistance of Mr. Hughes. Meanwhile, Shane Douglas started feuding with Road Warrior Hawk and Douglas also enlisted the help of Mr. Hughes. Then, J.T. Smith has his issues with Public Enemy because he stopped them from attacking Woman. It’s a tangled web of storylines.

Before the match, Douglas grabs a mic and says that Hawk has a bad knee, so he can’t compete. This match will now be a Handicap Elimination Match. Dubbed music starts playing and nearly drowns out Shane’s promo, but I believe he challenges Ric Flair to a match. Shane was known for legitimately hating Flair. I guess he called him out because he knew Arn Anderson would pass on the message. Their opponents then enter the arena, and the match immediately becomes a brawl.

The Match: J.T. Smith fights off both Douglas and Hughes until Shane grabs him from behind. Then, Public Enemy take over the match, and they catch Ron Harris in their corner. He tries fighting back, but all four men attack him. They cut off his comeback attempts while double and triple teaming him. Hughes even manages to hit a dropkick! They spend a long time working over Harris’ leg and everyone takes turns locking him in holds. Eventually, Douglas starts giving Ron flying head scissors, but Don Harris stops him and makes a tag. However, J.T. Smith finds himself in trouble, and they start attacking his leg too. Everyone tries saving Smith, but the attack continues for a while until Hughes misses a flying splash. Ron Harris finally tags into the match and cleans house, but he makes the mistake of tagging Smith again. The Public Enemy attack him while everyone else brawls into the crowd. The ref has no choice but to count out all the brawlers. (Eliminations: Douglas, Hughes, & The Bruise Brothers)

Public Enemy continue the attack on Smith’s leg and put him in a Figure Four. He won’t submit and eventually turns the hold. Rocco breaks free and continues beating Smith, but he poses and dances for the crowd. Smith uses the opening to roll him up for an elimination. (Elimination: Rocco Rock) They immediately attack J.T. and double team him, but Grunge runs into Rock and Smith rolls him up for the final elimination. (Elimination: Johnny Grunge)

Thoughts: This match was a bit slow at times, but it had some good psychology and storytelling with Smith’s leg. Plus, it made J.T. look great. They did a good job of building sympathy for him and giving him a valiant comeback. I’m a little annoyed that they lazily eliminated half the combatants with a count out, but it didn’t ruin the match. This was enjoyable enough despite the slower pace. I know I’m in the minority based on other reviews I’ve seen, but I didn’t hate this.

Winners: Smith & The Bruise Brothers (24:52)

Public Enemy waste no time in attacking Smith after the bell. They give him a double suplex, but the ref stops them and tells them to get lost. Artese announces Smith as the winner and the fans applaud J.T. for his effort.

Sabu & Bobby Eaton (w/ Paul E. Dangerously & 911) vs. Terry Funk & Arn Anderson

Notes: Paul E. and 911 have to drag Sabu to the ring in shackles because he’s so uncontrollable. Paul E. gets a mic and introduces both men. He refers to Sabu as homicidal, suicidal, and genocidal. Then, Funk & Anderson enter, but their dubbed theme nearly drowns out Joey Styles. Joey talks about how Anderson was a member of both the Four Horsemen and the Dangerous Alliance. He also talks about how Anderson and Eaton are WCW wrestlers, but he jokes they must have gotten tired of Disneyworld.

The Match: Sabu and Funk start brawling in and outside the ring and Eaton does the same to Terry. Arn eventually fends both men off with a chair, but Sabu attacks Funk and slams him over the ropes and through a table. Sabu continues his attack with chair shots and then jumps off the chair with a wheel kick. Arn & Terry manage to take control and Arn puts Eaton in a Figure Four, but Paul E. breaks the hold. However, he can’t stop Funk from giving Eaton a piledriver onto a piece of table. Then, Funk misses a moonsault, but Sabu hits his. Funk answers with a powerbomb, a neckbreaker, and a DDT before brawling with Eaton.

Meanwhile, Sabu fends off Anderson and hits a slingshot somersault plancha onto Funk. Arn responds by taking out Sabu & Eaton with a chair. They return to the ring, but Sabu surprises Arn with a dropkick and a moonsault. Next, Eaton hits Arn with the Alabama Jam, but Funk breaks up the pin. Sabu & Eaton aren’t done because Sabu hits Arn with a slingshot somersault senton and a springboard moonsault. He also takes Anderson to the floor, but Sabu crashes into the rail. Arn seizes the opening to hit multiple DDTs while Funk and Eaton fight to Joey Styles’ eagle’s nest. Funk gives Eaton a piledriver, but then Public Enemy appear and attack Funk. They injure his knee before Arn can stop them. Arn drives them away and helps Funk back to the ring, but Public Enemy attacks Anderson.

Arn fights off the attack, but Sabu attacks Funk’s knee and puts him in a spinning toe hold. Funk keeps trying to fight him, but his knee buckles. Arn is finally able to stop the attack and Funk grabs a chair, but he accidentally hits Arn. Funk then fights valiantly until Anderson returns. Arn grabs the chair and then—attacks Funk!! He hits him in the knee repeatedly and Sabu puts Terry in a half crab until Funk submits.

Thoughts: This was chaos, but in a good way. I found it enjoyable. It was a good showcase of Sabu, and Funk was amusing as usual. It wasn’t a great match and the selling was questionable at times, but it had some good action. Plus, the crowd was hot for the entire thing. My only gripe is the ref couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to enforce the rules or be lax with them. It seemed to sway back and forth depending on what the match needed. One second he would admonish Arn for not being the legal man and the next moment he would allow a chair shot.

Winners: Sabu & Eaton (19:35)

After the match, Paul E. is backstage with Public Enemy. He pays them for their services and then starts asking, “Who is this man?” He questions why Funk would come into ECW at age 50 and stand up to two hoodies like Public Enemy. He questions why Funk won’t quit wrestling. He also questions why Funk thinks this is some legends match and wants to drag his 50+ year old brother into a fight with Public Enemy. He then finishes by asking, “Who in the funk is this man!?” This was a great intense promo, but I feel like they skipped over the part where Funk challenged Public Enemy to a tag match against himself and his brother Dory. Was it cut from the show?

Then, the show ends with Terry Funk answering Heyman’s question. He asks, “Who are we? We’re the Funk brothers.” It was short and to the point and both segments did a great job of setting up a match between Terry & Dory and Public Enemy.

The Good:

– There was some great character and storyline work.

– The 911 stuff was entertaining.

– The main event was enjoyable.

– The promos at the end were great.

The Bad:

– Snuka/Sullivan was bad.

– The cameramen missed some important spots.

– A lot of the in-ring action wasn’t great.

Performer of the Night:

I’m going to give it to Sabu. For once, he didn’t botch anything and he was a big highlight of the main event. He hit some impressive moves.

Final Thoughts:

This was a lot better than The Night the Line Was Crossed. It still wasn’t a great show, but you can see that ECW was improving. This event showed that ECW was strong when it came to character and story development. Many of the performers on this card benefited from the stories told. None of the matches were stellar, but it was an overall enjoyable watch. It helps that this was a condensed home video version of the show.

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My next review will be WCW’s Slamboree ‘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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