Heckles and jeckles, wrestling schmeckels, and welcome to the second edition of the 20-years-too-late coverage of Eastern Championship Wrestling by yours truly, Quarter Marshall. This edition covers episodes 21-38, which spanned late August to the end of the year, which was 1993. This period of time saw some major shifts in the direction of the product, although the final result has yet to come to fruition. Some of the TV has been pretty tedious, but still it was cool to see the debuts of some iconic personalities, and be able to follow their early careers week-by-week.
Chief among the newly introduced wrestlers is Sabu, who came into ECW at nearly 30 years old, already looking grisly as fuck, with layers of thick scars cross-hatched across his chest, back, and arms. When he debuted (against Taz) in October, he was over instantly. The match was one of my top 3 favorites in ECW so far, and partly because I totally bought into the hype. It's on the highlight reel, check it out it's absolutely sick.
Other debuts have included the aforementioned Taz, then known as The Tazmaniac, Tawmy Dreamah (with blue tights, yellow suspenders, and huge gassed up pecs), and Public Enemy, who I remember as sucking ass on WCW, then getting rolled on by the APA on Sunday Night Heat. In the case of their ECW career however, they debuted with a bang, cutting cool promos and having decent matches and backstage brawls. In the final episode of 1993, there were debuts by The Pitbull and Mike Awesome, but I don't have anything to really say about them yet.
There are a few reasons that episodes were sometimes tedious to watch, to the point that I'd sometimes just skip through them. Some matches and promos were shown and re-shown the next week, and the next week, and so on. This was mostly done because they weren't filming events on a weekly basis, and sometimes they wouldn't have any new material for a whole month. During these times, they'd show highlight clips from the last event they had, and air promos to hype the next event. Then they'd show clips from that while hyping the next one, and so on. There were even a few weeks they were airing matches from a house show in a high school gym. But my least favorite episodes were the first three in this series (episodes 21-23), because Eddie Gilbert was on screen sooooo much and was sooooooo annoying. Total shit, like corny in a bad way. But as soon as he bowed out, Paul E took his place as head booker, and doofy play-by-play guy Jay Sully is replaced with uber-likable Joey Styles. Oh, happy days! Unfortunately, at this point we also get "Matty", a skeezy psuedo-host who I could only describe as being like a rock radio station personality. Tool!
Anyways, despite the company not putting out the cleanest product in the world, there were plenty of highlights to keep me invested in the program, which says a lot for a regional operation. Paul E is still cutting killer promos. The crowd is still pretty hot. Terry Funk is still appearing regularly, and he's amazing, which you would know if you watched the last highlight reel. Here's another one:
1. "His head hit here" 12/14/93
2. Sabu vs. Taz (debut of both) (includes set-up from earlier date) 11/01
3. Tawmy Dreamah promo 10/12
4. Public Enemy is gonna BEEP 9/21
5. J.T. Smith vs. Masayoshi Motegi 9/07 (good technical match)