ECW invades Buffalo
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM!
Many regard the World Wrestling Federation's adult-themed shows showcasing
sexual innuendo and sensitive language as pushing the limits of
acceptability alienating both parents and young children.
As the old saying goes...Canadian grappling fans, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Based out of Phillydelphia, Pennsylvania, and owned by Paul Heyman (aka:
Paul E. Dangerously), Extreme Championship Wrestling makes a standard WWF
show look like a Girl Guide bake sale. Whereas the Big Two's content is
regulated somewhat by corporate advertising, ECW takes advantage of its
lower profile to push a unique hardcore presentation. Obscenities, partial
nudity and blading...blading...and more blading are the ECW trademarks
attracting wrestling fans searching for something grittier than the slick
production values that the Big Two serve up.
Unfortunately for Canadian wrestling fans, ECW is not available for
consumption unless you are lucky enough to own a satellite dish or have
access to the Internet. No network carries ECW's weekly show here in the
Great White North and while there's an audience for it, Viewer's Choice -
Canada's pay-per-view broadcaster - has yet to make an ECW pay-per-view
available to its subscribers. The majority of Canadian fans are familiar
with the names Tommy Dreamer, Justin Credible, Lance Storm and Taz by
reputation only as they've never had the chance to see them in action.
Which is precisely why when SLAM! Wrestling caught wind of a scheduled ECW
house show in Buffalo, New York, yours truly and carload of blood-thirsty
hardcore grappling fans hit the road last Thursday night driving
two-and-a-half hours from Toronto to take in the action.
(Editor's Note: Mucho thanks goes to Stuart "The Sycho" Green for
chauferring the excursion. You rock heavy, dude.).
Grinding bumpers with rush hour traffic, we arrived late missing Chris
Chetti beating Danny Doring and Taz vanquishing Big Dick Dudley. Greeting
us outside the spiffy Burt Flickinger Athletic Center sat three or four
ambulances in anticipation of tonight's mayhem and an ECW transport truck.
We crossed the street and were surprised by none other than ECW World Tag
Team Champions, Rob Van Dam and Sabu. The high-flying duo sprinted by us at
full-tilt looking for a way back in. No time to chat, the New Triple Threat
members had apparently stepped out for a breather and locked themselves out
of the arena by mistake.
The impressive facility capable of housing about two thousand people or so,
showcased the card on a large indoor basketball court. The ring was
situated in the middle surrounded by general admission bleachers on two
sides and approximately 10 to 15 rows of ringside seats. Thin, grey
gymnastics mats covered a portion of the court. A walkway separated from
the top row of bleachers by metal railing encompassed the entire court
providing a good vantage point for fans.
Gorilla-sized event security positioned themselves in close proximately to
the ring at all times intervening whenever a wrestler regularly flew into
the fifth row sending fans scattering in every direction.
The crowd, consisting of mostly teens and adults with a smattering of
children safely seated in general admission away from the unruly action,
wondered about freely as matches raged on. People stood on the court in
small pockets casually chatting. Kids play-wrestled in the stands. The
intimate setting undisturbed by extravagant light shows, fireworks or smoke
machines made for a very relaxed atmosphere in the stands.
Within the immediate ringside area the difference was like night and day.
Wrestlers landed in the seats right on top of fans too slow to split the
scene. Pieces of broken hockey sticks, crutches, mops, brooms and tables
employed in the main event Weapons Match pitting Tommy Dreamer and New Jack
against Justin Credible and Jack Victory landed in the seats.
Sitting in the stands as I did doesn't guarantee your safety either. As two
wrestlers battled out of the ring, over the retaining fence and up into the
bleachers, a wall of general admission fans surged right towards me in hot
pursuit. Relying on my inherit Dean Malenko combat savvy and Dynamite
Kid-like agility, I deftly dodged the human stampede preserving my
Besides the general pandemonium, there's also the "colourful language" to
give thought to if you are thinking about attending an ECW show. Steve
Austin at his worst (or best depending on your point of view) isn't even in
ECW's league. Fans with sensitive ears or small children, consider
yourselves warned in triplicate.
Of special interest to SLAM! Wrestling was a bout involving Canada's own
Lance Storm (former partner of Chris Jericho as the Thrillseekers tag team)
taking on Chris Candido (Skip of the WWF Body Donnas team to the
Candido took up the house mike ripping on the new Triple Threat as a "bunch
"If you think I would drag the world's most beautiful doll to New York -
you've got it right," declared Candido setting the stage for Tammy Lynn
Sytch's entrance. Sytch, known as Sunny in the WWF, joined her man in the
ring posing seductively for the crowd wearing a mini-skirt six sizes too
small. Storm and his valet Tammy Lynn Bytch look on in disgust. Candido did
his Rick Steiner imitation crouching on all fours as Sytch sat on his
back. This brought forth a "Show some tits" chant from the crowd.
Candido and Storm traded punches and chops. Candido whipped Storm out of
the ring bowling him over with a plancha. Both wrestlers tasted the steel
fence then Bytch interfered dragging her nails down Candido's back.
Candido held Storm up for a standing suplex but Storm reversed it into a
Lion Tamer. In a wicked move, Storm grabbed Candido by the neck and threw
him over the top rope to the floor.
Candido recovered to drop Storm with a swinging DDT. As Candido climbed the
top rope Storm punched him in the gut. Candido recovered hitting a running
powerslam on Storm from out of the corner. Bytch and Sytch jumped into the
ring and went at it eliciting a huge pop. Sytch punked Bytch and Storm with
a Stunner laying them out cold. Candido executed a splash from the top rope
and got the pin. Sytch stood over Bytch and ripped her skirt and shirt off
revealing a g-string and a lacey bra. Candido ripped of his wrestling
trunks showing off his g-string and put on Bytch's mini-skirt to mock the
In other bouts...
- Chris Chetti beat Danny Doring.
- Taz bested Big Dick Dudley.
- Masato Tanaka defeated Balls Mahoney.
- Tracy Smothers dropped one to Super Nova.
- "The Franchise" Shane Douglas beat Mikey Whipwreck.
- Sabu and Rob Van Dam held onto their ECW World Tag Team straps by dropping The Dudleys.
- Tommy Dreamer and New Jack got a hand from Spike Dudley to down Justin Credible and Jack Victory in a Weapons Match.