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Cactus Jack v Tommy Dreamer


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Taking a shot at this...


Cactus Jack vs. Tommy Dreamer

October 28, 1995


This match ended up as one of the most famous matches in ECW history, for reasons I will discuss shortly. Cactus comes out first and cuts a promo berating the fans. Cactus was on his anti-hardcore roll at this point, informing the fans that if it was up to him he would rather sit home and watch "movies for guys who like movies." He then informs the fans that they better prepare themselves for the most boring match of their lives. The feud here is that Cactus Jack wants Tommy Dreamer to reject the ECW fans and join WCW, essentially not to make the same mistakes Cactus did in leaving.


On video, the scene cuts to Tommy Dreamer's retrospective. The match is clipped, switching between the match and Dreamer's comments on the match afterwards. Again, I will hit upon the reason for this afterwards. Back in the ring, Dreamer is joined by his mentor, Terry Funk. I'm going to skip the retrospectives here on.


Cactus and Dreamer lock up, Cactus pushes Dreamer into the ropes, and we have a clean break. The early portion here sees Cactus refusing to do anything but simple wrestling manuevers, as Dreamer tries goad Cactus into a fistfight. At this point, Cactus grabs a side headlock. After a few minutes of that, the match goes to the floor, and again goes for the side headlock. Back in the ring, Cactus works the arm, before Dreamer grabs Cactus by the crotch and suplexes him. Dreamer clotheslines Cactus onto the floor, and hits him with the chair. Now here, the roles in the match are well played out. Cactus Jack is doing his best to wrestle and bore the fans, while Tommy Dreamer is doing his best to drag Cactus into his type of brawl. The problem here is that with the standard face/heel roles, Dreamer is not going to be the good guy for hitting Cactus with a chair while Cactus refuses to fight dirty.


So we quickly see a solution to this problem. Raven runs down the isle and hits Dreamer with a chair. Cactus jumps on the apron, and tries to work a WCW chant, instead of hitting the running elbowdrop. Finally, Cactus starts brawling with Dreamer in the ring, and gets the best with him. Cactus gets the best of Dreamer, and pounds the tar out of him in the ring, as the fans chant "we want blood." After a few minutes of this, Cactus slugs Dreamer, and hurts his hand. Cactus grabs the mike, and states that he made a vow never to wrestle hurt again in front of the fans. And since he dislocated a finger, he asks that the match be declared "no contest," and asks the fans to "support the Turner family tomorrow night." (That would be Halloween Havoc '95). The referee informs Cactus that he will not declare a no contest, and Cactus tells him to count him out.


Clipped again, and next we see one of Terry Funk's best moments, as he does his best to goad Cactus Jack back to the match.


"C'mon Cactus. Your mother's a whore! C'Mon. C'mon! C'mon back here Cactus! Your old lady's a whore! Your girlfriend's a whore! Dewey's a whore! C'mon Cactus, you gutless piece of crap! You piece of shit! You piece of slime!"


Cactus runs back to brawl, and Tommy gets the better of Cactus, and hits the piledriver. And after the opening moments to set up the story, now we finally have a full-fledged match. Dreamer hits an enziguri with his leg in a chair. Cactus manages to flip Dreamer to the outside, and Raven hits the DDT. Funk fights with Raven, and Cactus chairs Funk. Clips, and we come back to Funk brawling with Cactus Jack. Richards attempts to superkick Funk, and the distraction is enough for Cactus to get the advantage on Funk. Back in the ring, Raven fights with Dreamer, and hits him with brass knuckles. Cactus steps in the ring, and Raven tapes the brass knuckles to Cactus' boot, and then Cactus kicks Funk in the groin.


Clips, as we have Cactus attempting to defeat Dreamer, as Raven instructs Cactus via the house microphone. This is a nice job of working the feuds together, as Raven is using Cactus to accomplish his own goals. Raven wants Cactus to use the chair, but Dreamer grabs a chair, hits Cactus, and lands the DDT for the win. Afterwards, Raven runs in and attacks Dreamer as Cactus DDTs the referee. We then go back to Dreamer cutting a post-match promo for November To Remember.


The interesting circumstance with this match is not what we saw, but what we did NOT see. For those of you unaware, this is the infamous "fire chair" match. The fire chair was never mentioned on ECW television, and was entirely absent from the match itself. I am honestly unsure of what point in the match the incident occured. In fact, Terry's flaming branding iron is absent, as well as any mention or appearance of Bill Alfonso.


I can not judge this match as anything other than a historical oddity. Cactus Jack's early actions in the match do a great deal to establish his heel character, but then the match denegrates into the typical mindless ECW brawl.


I'd be remiss if I didn't quote Joey Styles for an instant, hyping November To Remember '95...


"Terry Funk, in what will no doubt be one of his LAST matches, before retirement..."

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