Somebody Call 911! Connor is Watching ECPW On Fire (5-17-14)

Hello! And welcome to your favorite Monday Morning tradition! The Culture Crossfire recap of ECPW On Fire’s half hour syndicated professional wrestling television program. I’m your guide Connor McGrath and this week is special (in a different way than usual) because it’s (the day before)  my birthday!

For my birthday, will ECPW On Fire bring me joy and happiness like Great Khali singing does or will it bring me despair like watching Great Khali wrestle does? Let’s find out!

ECPW Light Heavyweight Championship Title Match: Matt MacIntosh (c) Vs Dan De Man

Former champ Dan De Man is invoking his rematch clause here. He’s billed from Stamford, Connecticut, which I find slightly unusual but I never noticed where he was intro’d from before so maybe he’s been from there all along. De Man is very upset that he lost the title as he’s wearing a hoodie instead of his usual robe. He also comes out to sad music. This is another one of those clipjob specials that we’ve seen in recent weeks where they show the first one or two minutes of the match then cut to commercial and then show the last minute or two. From what we see, it doesn’t look as good as their first match. Highlight of the match is yelling “You suck and your mama sucks too!” in response to a 12 year old heckler. De Man plays the aggressive bully and MacIntosh outsmarts him with quickness and wins with a cradle. After the match, Dan De Man sulks out of the ring and the announcers wonder if we’ve seen the last of him. But wait! Dan De Man runs back down with a ladder and attacks MacIntosh with it. Hmm. I smell a rematch. Perhaps with a certain gimmick. Coal Miner’s Glover on a Pole maybe!

General Bobby Lee Walker Vs Hollywood Mike Capp

Huh. Two guys who’ve only appeared as job guys in a one on one match. I smell run-in. Mike Capp has #Capp on his tights which leads to a painfully unhilarious discussion about hashtags by the commentary team. And my quick run in prediction was right as Vincent Valentine and The Dark Carnival run ins and beats everybody up. Inc

Vincent Valentine swears revenge on Punisher Martinez and says The Carnival will destroy him. Valentine then goes off on a tangent insulting morbidly obese “ECPW Superfan” Little Jack Little. Little Jack unsuccessfully tries to crawl over the barricade. One of my #1 complaints about ECPW is they spend too much time focusing on the superfans. I mean, look with a small promotion like this, you have to acknowledge the fans but they’re almost as much of a focus on this show as the wrestlers themselves and it makes the action in the ring look kind of bush league. ECW did an awesome job of acknowledging its hardcore fanbase. It’s fine if you make the fans peripheral characters but once you start having managers cut promos on them (imagine Paul Heyman cutting a five minute promo on Brock Lesnar Guy—actually, nevermind, that would probably rule) and having fans actually come to ringside and become managers or in-ring workers (unless it’s a Hillbilly Jim or Santino type situation), it just makes things look bush league to me. Anyway, rant over. It’s a hard rant to kind of deliver to without sounding like a curmudgeon shouting “screw the fans”. Fan involvement is great but you should spend a few seconds a week focusing on it not a few minutes…especially since this show’s only a half hour long. Three minutes here is like a half hour on RAW!

When we come back from break, The Punisher Martinez has come down to save the day. And he’s got a surprise partner, it’s ECPW On Fire “Legend” The Giant Pharaoh, who we haven’t seen in a few months, who’s now a babyface apparently.

The Dark Carnival (with Vincent Valentine) Vs The Giant Pharaoh and The Punisher Martinez (with The Creeper) 

The Punisher has his black facepaint painted in the style of Ultimate Warrior as a homage so I’m assuming this show was taped sometime last month. The Punisher starts off the match and clears house but then we get a loonnng heat segment with The Carnival beating down The Punisher. This match is actually not nearly as terrible as I thought. It’s not good (even by this promotion’s standards) but I thought it’d be Worst Match of the Year candidate but they keep things super basic. I actually kind of like Big Bad John’s poor man’ Vader schtick. Weird seeing Giant Pharaoh as a babyface considering he’s been a heel 95% of his time with the promotion. Though he was a dominant Sid-esque tweener last time he was on the show a couplde months back. Pharaoh finally gets in the hot tag. Pharaoh and John have a scream off and then he awkwardly stares down the Carnival. WAITAMINUTE! It’s a SWERVE (tm Vince Russo) and Pharaoh is the newest member of the Dark Carnival. Guess he’s not a babyface after all! Pharaoh and The Carnival beat down Punisher and the ref throws out the match. Even The Creeper takes a cane shot from Valentine and a splash from Big Bad John. Joey G cries about how The Creeper isn’t even a manager, he’s a MASCOT! I was all set to be kind to this match until the dumb finish. I understand they were trying to put the Dark Carnival as an unstoppable heel stable but they put them over too strongly and made Punisher look like an ineffectual goof. I mean, was there any logic to Punisher Martinez suddenly trusting lifelong heel Giant Pharaoh? This kind of reminded me of the finish of Fall Brawl ’97.

They’ve really backed themselves into a corner here with this booking. I’m going to guess either Punisher is going to fight the odds like Hulk Hogan against The Dungeon of Doom and make their big bad heel stable look like goofs or he’s just going to like an ineffectual doof for the rest of the feud. Best case scenario is he finds a partner to fight them off but I have no idea who possibly they could find. Best case would be to elevate a young guy like Ricky Palmer or even use a veteran like Ricky Reyes (Frankie Flow would prob. be best in the role of super face buddy but he’s preoccupied). Worst case (best?) scenario for Punisher’s partner. would probably be another cameo by the sixty something year old Tony Atlas in this promotion.

Anyway, uh, that certainly was a show.  I hope everyone enjoyed reading this. I’m going to go eat some cake. And please remember, no matter when your birthday is and what kind of cake you get, never feed your dogs chocolate. Thanks everybody for reading and I’ll see you next Monday! Conn Man Out!

Written by Connor McGrath

Connor McGrath is a public access television show host and part-time amateur comedian, who resides in Portland, Maine. He contributes reviews of Northeast independent wrestling promotion, NWA On Fire along with occasional guest articles.

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