Oof. This is going to be Hornswagglin’ Hillbilly putting on a pair of Zubaz pants rough, folks. This is Eastern Champion Wrestling’s ECW Hardcore TV. We’re talking before extreme but still heading into extreme waters. We’re going Into the Vault for some First Month Fire as we look at the first episode of ECW’s most iconic television show.
Easy squash defense of the ECW Tag Titles by Hunter Q. Robbins III’s Super Destroyers. Never cared for the Destroyers but Hunter Q was a good manager in early ECW. He should’ve stayed, really.
Tommy Cairo was a decent foil to The Sandman once their feud started. In early 1993 before extreme started to become ECW’s identity, he was just guy being pushed locally.
This is a first-round bout in the Television Title tournament and Cairo took the match by count-out.
Rockin’ Rebel vs. Tony Stetson…oof. These are two names that you’ll see often on 1992-1993 ECW cards. Rebel is good as a loudmouth, offensive heel but even in the early 1990s his wrestling wasn’t anything to write home about.
At best, he could give you a mediocre brawl but what a cheap heat magnet he was. Hell, legit heat too. Tony Stetson is even worse in-ring. Put these two together and you get this.
For some reason, Jimmy Snuka was in the TV Title tournament. He should’ve been hawking Sandman down for the Heavyweight title but whatever. His match against Larry Winters wasn’t awful but it was boring.
Also, Sal Bellomo beat a scrub to end the show. Yes, the same Sal Bellomo who lost his tournament match.
ECW Hardcore TV #1 Verdict: 2/10
I try to keep the language mild doing these retro reviews but the first ECW Hardcore TV was the shits. It’s a good thing the early episodes were a local thing. This isn’t something you’d tape then send out to networks, really. Hell, I don’t think you’d tape this to show on YouTube or Twitch.
The old Backyard Wrestling Federation that had its shows up on their site for download had a better first episode. I do love the production and vibe of early 90s wrestling—even the indies.
Production-wise, it was standard for the time. Terry Funk was good on commentary. His speech to the ECW crowd which coined the term “hardcore” for wrestling was the only bright point from the show.
I guess I should give it 2.5/10 for that but nah.
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