Ringside Apostles Present… FLASHBACK FRIDAY [Episode 9]: WrestlePalooza!!

“Pastor” Shawn Puff
@ShawnPuffy

Ok. It’s Friday again. It’s your boy Shawn Puff. Again. And it’s time to hop in the Wayback Machine and travel to the wrasslin’ days of yore. In other words, it’s time for yet another Flashback Friday. Here’s the thing. Between WWF & WCW killing me, I almost went back to the territory days. But then it hit me: ECW, ECW, ECW!!

Yup.

Let’s set the date for May 3, 1998, and the destination to Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, GA. No, we’re not going to see the Big Bossman or visit Nailz. We’re going to see Paul Heyman. Because this week it’s ECW WrestlePalooza 1998!! Let’s get this show on the road!!!

This was the third ever WrestlePalooza but only the first one on Pay-Per-View. Joey Styles promised us that, at the end of the night, none of us would be able to forget the name WrestlePalooza… Hmmm… strange since there was never another one. The crowd went wild for it though. This should be a good card, so let’s get to the ring and get this party started.

The Full-Blooded Italians w/ Tommy Rich vs. the Blue Meanie and Super Nova – First, I want to say that there is no way in hell that Tommy Rich and Tracey Smothers are Italian. The crowd started chanting where’s my pizza as Guido and Nova locked up to start this thing. Ahh, the ECW crowd. Ok. So, Rich called for music and Tracey Smothers starts dancing… I guess we have a dance-off… Yup… Blue Meanie is dancing now… Wow. … and now the referee… what the fuck am I watching?? The ref just slammed Lil Guido now… and there are the ECW chants. Yup. This is ECW. Holy shit. Meanie went for a Meanie-sault and missed it. Just the fact that he could pull that off is impressive. Novocain on Guido and the F.B.I. loses. Ummmm… they’re doing the YMCA in the ring right now. Fuck. 2/5

There was some alright wrestling here, I guess, but it was really a gimmicky joke thing. I’ll take it at the beginning of the card, I guess. Fun start to the show.

Mikey Whipwreck vs. Justin Credible w/ Jason & Chastity – I don’t know about Jason being the sexist man on earth… I was over 18 in 1998 so it just can’t be a fact. Whoa. Mikey Whipwreck rushed the ring and took it to Credible right away. The fans clearly hate Justin Credible. They’re legit chanting “Fuck him up, Mikey, Fuck him up!” … Yeah, this is ECW. I hope you weren’t expecting a PG show today. Not going to happen. They explained the build to this match where Credible took out Whipwreck and he got stretchered out, so this aggression is not unwarranted, for the record.

Once Credible got control of the match, he took a chair to Mikey and even had Jason hold it to his face while Credible ran a knee into it. Aaaaand now the fans are chanting “Justin Asshole”. Whipwreck hits a suplex off the guard rail through a table and a few minutes later, a slingshot into a chair set up on the top turnbuckle. Ok… All hell has broken loose and Whipwreck hits a Whippersnapper on Jason followed by a Whippersnapper from the top rope on Chastity. Holy Shit. Credible was able to take advantage and hit a tombstone piledriver onto a chair to get the win. What? Whose dumb idea was it to use a fuck finish here? Way to ruin the end of an otherwise entertaining match. – 2.75/5

This was pretty Indyrific. If you’re an IWC Mark, you’ll probably love this match. I guess it FELT like a big feud at least. Meh.

ECW Tag Team Championship: Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten vs. Chris Candido & Lance Storm (c) – In case you don’t know, Chris Candido and Lance Storm hate each other. It’s one of those forced together teams. How many times have we seen this story? Apparently, this match wasn’t supposed to happen right now, but I guess it is. I love how when Mahoney hits a move the crowd chants “Balls”. This was just another fight. I didn’t find it good at all. Balls and Axl are just fat and out of shape. They might be able to pull off a few spots, but that’s about it. Lance Storm was a great wrestler, but FFS he was boring. Candido was the best part of this match but he was bogged down by the other participants.

Sunny showed up and got involved. WWF must have loaned her out. Balls went for a Nutcracker Suite and Storm saved her. Candido wasn’t happy about that at all. Mahoney hit a Nutcracker Suite on Candido and went to grab a chair. That was stupid. Aren’t the heels supposed to dumb shit like this? Anyway, Storm nails a springboard dropkick sending the chair into Mahoney’s head and goes for the pin. Candido picks up the chair and nails his partner in the back to break it up at 2 ½ and then pins Mahoney himself to get the win for his team. … Ummm… did that just happen?? That was great. – 2/5

Candido and Storm fought all the way to the back after this. This was not a good match despite the finish. The lead up to the finish and the tag champs fighting each other all the way to the end, including up the aisle, was a nice little addition to the story but that’s about it. It was basically two fat guys slowing down two good wrestlers. Poor booking.

Legends Segment – Next, Styles was in the ring to introduce some legends of wrestling. Junk Yard Dog was the first one out there. The fans went crazy. Chants of “JYD” echoed through the arena. Dirty Dick Slater was the next legend. I personally find this funny because he was rumored to be a racist. The Masked Superstar was next.

JYD is pretty out of shape. Bullet Bob Armstrong was the final legend to come out. He got a good pop too. I honestly think JYD got the best reception out of all of them. Am I the only one that wants the Masked Superstar to not be the Masked Superstar and start kicking everyone’s ass in the ring? The JYD chants followed them out of the ring as they walked to the back. Pretty cool.

Shane Douglas came out and gave a pretty scathing interview about sports entertainment, guaranteed contracts, WWF, Shawn Michaels, the Intercontinental Championship, WCW, ‘Dick’ Flair sucking Eric Bischoff’s ass and being afraid of him. He talked about his injuries and that he’s still wrestling with them tonight. … Then Taz’s music hit. He says he broke Douglas’ face and arm and that he’s not leaving until Shane hands the World Title over. Shane tells him to get the fuck out of his way and Taz attacks him. Really? Are they screwing us out of the main event right now?

Eventually, they broke it up and Taz was led out of the arena in handcuffs. Candido, Bigelow, and Francine are in the ring with Douglas, who’s bleeding from the mouth. Taz gets put in a car and he kicks out the back window before they drive away. Holy shit.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs New Jack – New Jack brought a trash can full of shit to fight with. There’s a pan, a guitar, a hockey stick, a Godzilla action figure. What is this outlaw, mud show bullshit? It doesn’t take long for this one to spill to the outside. New Jack hits for a head butt. Bad idea when you’re fighting Bigelow. Once Bigelow takes control of the match, it doesn’t take long to split New Jack open.

Now we’re into the crowd and they’re brawling all around the Cobb County Civic Center. Bigelow is tossing chairs around. New Jack is a bloody mess. He stumbles up into the balcony, grabs a guitar, and dives off of the balcony onto Bigelow with it. Why the fuck is there a random guitar in the balcony? Bigelow is split open now too. Pretty sure New Jack landed on his head and is out cold. WTF? He’s probably concussed. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. Bigelow carried New Jack all the way to the ring and hit Greetings From Asbury Park to get the win. New Jack looks dead. Welp, that just happened. – 1.5/5

Blood and chaos. That’s what ECW was all about right? Well, this match was all of that. Not your technical masterpiece, more like a train wreck. But at least I couldn’t turn away? Holy. Shit.

The Dudley Boyz w/ Big Dick & Sign Guy Dudley & Joel Gertner vs Sandman & Tommy Dreamer w/ Beulah McGillicutty – Whatever happened to ‘the Quintessential Stud Muffin’ Joel “The Ladies Call Me Fred Flintstone Because I Make Their Bed Rock’ Gertner? This guy was great. OK. Why did Sandman & Dreamer’s music hit three minutes before they walked out? I wanted to hear a Joel Gertner intro. Dicks. Sandman looked like pounding that beer and smashing the can on his head was a struggle. Beulah is frickin hot. What happened to her? How did nobody end up signing her when ECW ended? Can I say that I want to be Tommy Dreamer pouring beer down Beulah’s neck and licking it off? My money is on this one being ridiculous.

Ugh… The Dudleys hanging over the railing for a full minute, waiting for a Tommy Dreamer spot was horrendous. Now the guard rail is in the ring and they’re using it. ECW wasn’t really wrestling, was it? It was, sort of, just wild brawls and dangerous spots. Sandman looks hurt. I wonder if this is real or just part of the storyline. I mean, he looked hurt walking to the ring. So, Sandman gets taken to the back, and its two on one now.  This is not even a wrestling match. The Dudleys slammed two chairs into Dreamer’s head but they totally missed and it looked ridiculously fake.

Spike Dudley came out and the Dudley’s did more shitty spots for him, laying down and holding the guardrail so Spike could run across it, ‘hurting’ them. What is this shit and who booked it? Apparently, Spike is taking Sandman’s place. Big Dick Dudley’s finisher is called Total Penetration. That’s awesome. More stupid spot monkey bullshit by the Dudley’s. Beulah nails a nut shot on Sign Guy. This thing is out of control. Sandman is back out with a Singapore cane and a neck brace. Double DDT and Dreamer and Sandman get the win and I want to smash a beer can against my head for watching this shit. A full one. – 1.25/5

I only gave it that much because it was definitely entertaining. As far as the match went, it was a total shitshow. Too much spot monkey bullshit and not enough good wrestling. Sandman was not a good wrestler. Sorry. Not sorry. Whatever.

ECW Television Championship: Rob Van Dam (c) w/ Bill Alfonso vs Sabu w/ Bill Alfonso – This one can’t be bad. Two partners going to battle over the World Television Championship. A feud that was built up for a long time. ECW didn’t give dental insurance looking at Bill Alfonso’s mouth. Huh? How was he a mouthpiece? Sure, he’s hyped, but he really talks like he has a pile of shit in his mouth and his teeth look like he ate rocks. Alfonso came out with Sabu. He managed both of them and said before the match that he would be in both corners. This has to be a five-star match, right? Styles makes a point to emphasize that the referee is shady. I’m guessing he’s going to play into the outcome of this one. I hate being told that it’s going to be a fuck finish from the start. Ok, so this will STILL be a four-star match even with a fuck finish, right?

They go through an initial lock-up and after a bunch of reversals, they stand in the middle of the ring staring each other down. RVD takes the mic and says that they aren’t fighting and that they have a plan. The ref says no and that they have to fight. They toss Jeff Jones into the corner and set up for Sabu to spring off of RVD’s back, only Sabu double-crosses RVD and this match is a match. Van Dam keeps putting his foot on the rope and Alfonso keeps pushing it off. Are there rope breaks even in ECW? They dropkick each other’s knees out. Great, so now they’re both hurt. Meanwhile, Alfonso is on the outside, backing whoever is in control of the match. Will somebody PLEASE shove that damn whistle down Alfonso’s throat? PLEASE?

Ok. This match just got really slow and boring. Yup. The fans are chanting “JYD” right now. RVD vs Sabu and the fans are chanting “JYD”. I had to say that twice. Now they’re doing the Ric Flair “WOOOOO!!”. These fans are not into this at all. It’s like a church in here it’s so quiet outside of the bored chants. They’re counting them out of the ring. The fans are. I can’t even keep up with the random chants because they have nothing to do with the match. Sabu sprang off of a chair onto RVD on a table between the ring and the railing and hits a DDT, but holy shit it was sloppy. The fans booed. Deservingly so. Every once in a while, someone does a great spot and they chant “ECW”. I don’t know why they keep counting either. Just end this already, please.

More botched moves. Just what this match needs. They should have called this one Botchapalooza FFS. Did RVD just hold the chair so Sabu could hit a move off of it? This is REALLY bad right now. These guys really went 30 damn minutes. Why? Wait… Did they just fight to a time limit draw? Why is the crowd chanting “We want more”?? They must be talking about beer. I could sure use some more. – 2.5/5

Welp, I was wrong. Too many botches. A frickin’ time limit draw. Too much spot monkey bullshit. Some people might have liked it, but not me. This was not what I was expecting. More outlaw, mud show bullshit. Was this really what ECW was all about?

ECW Championship: Shane Douglas (c) w/ Francine vs Al Snow – Let’s be real for a second. Does anyone in the entire world think that Al Snow should be fighting anyone for the World Championship in the main event? Seriously? Mr. J.O.B. Squad. After an EXTREMELY LOOOOOOOONG match building package, we get to the main event. About time. I was about to just take a nap. Whoever’s idea it was to give Styrofoam heads to the entire crowd is an asshole. They’re rubbing them together and it makes me cringe. Stop it damn it!! The fans are doing a double chant of “She’s got herpes” combatted with “Show your tits”. ECW fans were a different breed. I wonder what the over/under was on how many times the fans would chant, “Show your tits” in this one. I would have taken the over.

Both guys are on the ground and the fans start chanting, what else? “Show your tits”. This hasn’t really been a great wrestling match despite Douglas being a great wrestler. I wonder why. I’m not sorry for saying this, but Al Snow was not a good wrestler. Hate me. I don’t care. I’ve been bored with this one from the beginning. It seems like the fans have too. They keep squeaking those damn heads and chanting “Show your tits”.

Great, now Candido and Bigelow are at ringside to get involved. Here we go. Francine gets in the ring and Al Snow hits her with the Snowplow. Woman beater!! He lays Candido out with Head. Now it looks like Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney and a few others are at ringside stopping Bigelow from getting involved. WTF? In all this fuckfest of ridiculousness, Shane Douglas sits on Snow’s chest as he tries for a sunset flip and gets the three count. The fans litter the ring with Styrofoam heads. Why is the entire locker room out here holding them both up, on their shoulders? This wasn’t even a good match? They’re acting like it was a classic? It was shit. – 1.5/5

Yeah. Al Snow in the main event was just a bad idea. And the fuckery that happened around the finish was stupid because it just took away from the actual match. Who booked this shit?

Final Thoughts – Wow. I was thoroughly disappointed with this one.  I remember ECW being cutting edge and crazy and ridiculous shit. This wasn’t really that. What this was, was backyard, outlaw, mud show bullshit, as Corny would put it. I guess Joey Styles was right. I will NEVER forget the name WrestlePalooza. Not because it was great, but because it was the biggest shitshow and one of the worst PPV’s I’ve watched. I mean, the Junk Yard Dog was probably the high point of the night FFS.

Overall = 2/5 Bibles

Don’t waste your time. If you must, watch Justin Credible versus Mikey Whipwreck. Skip the rest. I just wish Francine had listened to the fans and showed her tits. THAT would have brought the overall score up.

-Shawn Puff

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