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Barely Legal 1997

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General

Barely Legal was the first professional wrestling pay-per-view event held by Extreme Championship Wrestling. It took place on April 13, 1997 from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background

Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card. In one of the show's main event's, Terry Funk defeated The Sandman and Stevie Richards in a Three-Way Dance to earn an immediate title match against ECW World Heavyweight Champion Raven, which Funk also won to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. In another main event, Taz defeated Sabu via submission. Featured matches on the undercard included Shane Douglas defeating Pitbull #2 to retain the ECW World Television Championship and The Eliminators (John Kronus and Perry Saturn) defeating The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von) to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship.

Barely Legal featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a fan favorite as they followed a series of events that built tension, culminating in a wrestling match or series of matches.

Difficulties getting pay-per-view companies to air Barely Legal arose in late 1996. Request TV initially canceled the show after video of the November 1996 "Mass Transit" incident surfaced. Another company, Premiere, expressed concern over the amount of violence ECW showcased, and that its programming was not suitable for children. Eventually, through the efforts of e-mails from hundreds of fans, Premiere decided to carry the event. However, e-mails sent to Viewer's Choice were unsuccessful in convincing the company to air the show, as they believed ECW was real and unscripted. After further discussions with ECW owner Paul Heyman, Request TV reversed their earlier decision and agreed to carry the event under certain conditions which included, among other things, an advanced script of the show, pushing back the scheduled start time from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and no excessive amount of blood.

Event

Preliminary matches

The first match to air live on pay-per-view was a tag team match for the ECW World Tag Team Championship between the champions, the Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von), and the challengers, The Eliminators (John Kronus and Perry Saturn). The majority of the match was controlled by The Eliminators using a variety of double-team and high-flying maneuvers. The match ended when The Eliminators performed their finishing move, Total Elimination, and Saturn pinned Buh Buh Ray to win the ECW Tag Team Championship.

The following match was a standard singles match between Lance Storm and Rob Van Dam. Chris Candido was originally scheduled to be Storm's opponent, but could not compete due to a biceps injury. The match was fast-paced with both men exchanging control throughout, using many high-risk maneuvers, as well as steel chairs. At about the ten-minute mark, Storm connected with two chair shots to Van Dam's head. Before he could connect for the third time, Van Dam sprung up from his knees and performed a Van Daminator, kicking the chair Storm was holding into his face. Van Dam then performed a standing moonsault and pinned Storm for the victory.

The next match was a six-man tag team match featuring wrestlers from Michinoku Pro Wrestling which saw Taka Michinoku, Terry Boy and Dick Togo battle The Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada and Masato Yakushiji (who replaced the injured Gran Naniwa). The action was back-and-forth between both teams and filled with high-flying maneuvers. The team of Sasuke, Hamada and Yakushiji won the match when Sasuke pinned Michinoku with a tiger suplex.

The following match was a singles match for the ECW World Television Championship between the champion, Shane Douglas and the challenger, Pitbull #2. Douglas was accompanied by his valet Francine and several "riot squad" officers. Pitbull #2's tag team partner, Pitbull #1, was shown sitting in the front row for the match because, according to the storyline, doctors had not medically cleared him to be ringside. Pitbull #2 rushed to the ring and immediately began attacking Douglas. Pitbull #2 controlled the early portion of the match with a series of takedowns and headlocks. Douglas then gained control after he countered a powerbomb with a headscissors takedown which brought both wrestlers over the top rope to the outside of the ring. Douglas tossed Pitbull #2 back into the ring and performed three consecutive piledrivers. Later, both wrestlers ended up outside the ring and Pitbull #1 jumped over the audience guardrail and attacked Douglas, but was soon stopped and escorted to the locker room by the riot squad officers. After Douglas and Pitbull #2 exchanged control of the match for the next several minutes, Francine handed Douglas a pair of brass knuckles, which he then used twice on Pitbull #2. Douglas then hit Pitbull #2 over the head with a portion of a broken table, as well as the timekeeper's ring bell. Douglas attempted multiple pins during the series of attacks but Pitbull #2 kicked-out. After attempted outside interference from Chris Candido, Douglas performed a belly-to-belly suplex on Pitbull #2 and pinned him for the victory to retain the ECW Television Championship. As previously stipulated, the masked man, wearing a "Ravishing" Rick Rude robe, came to the ring to unmask. The man planted a kiss on Francine, and performed Rude's signature gyrations before Douglas hit him in the back with his championship belt. While getting back to his feet, the masked man revealed himself to be Brian Lee, as one of the riot squad officers entered the ring and removed his helmet, revealing himself to be Rick Rude. A surprised Douglas attempted to plead with Rude but to no avail as Rude nailed him with a right hand punch followed by a chokeslam from Lee.

Aftermath

Reception

ECW earned $66,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 1,170. The pay-per-view received a buyrate of 0.26, which is the equivalent of approximately 104,000 buys.

Barely Legal was released as part of a two-disc set with One Night Stand 2006 on July 11, 2006. It had previously been released in 2000 by Pioneer Entertainment as part of its "The Best of ECW" line of DVDs. The Pioneer release trimmed out many of the ring entrances, removed the music on the entrances not edited out (with the exception of songs ECW owned the rights to, including changing "Enter Sandman" from the Metallica version to Motörhead's cover), and edited out the backstage promos and part of Shane Douglas's promo in the ring. The release included with One Night Stand's DVD censored offensive language (used by the performers when they would cut promos, not used for the fans' chants) and changed the majority of the entrance music to music produced by WWE to avoid licensing fees. However, the event was also released completely uncut (18 certificate) with all entrances, original music, backstage vignettes and swearing included on the UK DVD and VHS release in 2001, released through Delta Music. This was a region free DVD.

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Ring announcer

External links

1997 Extreme Championship Wrestling events

Webster Show (Jan '97)Revere Show (Jan '97)House Party 1997Philadelphia Show (Jan '97)Scranton Show (Jan '97)Winter Blowout 1997Crossing the Line AgainDownington Show (Feb '97)Hamburg Show (Feb '97)Webster Show (Feb '97)Revere Show (Feb '97)Cyberslam 1997Mountain Top Madness 1997Scranton Show (Mar '97)Trenton Show (Mar '97)Downington Show (Mar '97)Hostile City Showdown 1997Waltham Show (Mar '97)Revere Show (Mar '97)Allentown Show (Mar '97)New Kensington Show (Mar '97)Monaca Show (Mar '97)Scranton Show (Apr '97)Queens Show (Apr '97)Barely LegalDownington Show (Apr '97)Warwick Show (Apr '97)Waltham Show (Apr '97)Revere Show (Apr '97)Asbury Show (May '97)Trenton Show (May '97)Queens Show (May '97)Downington Show (May '97)Chapter 2 Syracuse Show (May '97)Buffalo Invasion 1997Indiana Show (May '97)Monaca Show (May '97)West Liberty Show (May '97)Hazelton Show (May '97)Trenton Show (May '97)Scranton Show (Jun '97)Wrestlepalooza 1997Allentown Show (Jun '97)Warwick Show (Jun '97)Waltham Show (Jun '97)Revere Show (Jun '97)Downington Show (Jun '97)Orgy of ViolenceBelmar Show (Jun '97)Wildwood Show (Jul '97)Asbury Park Show (Jul '97)Allentown Show (Jul '97)Queens Show (Jul '97)Heat Wave 1997Rochester Show (Jul '97)Buffalo Show (Jul '97)Rostraver Show (Jul '97)Monaca Show (Aug '97)Warwick Show (Aug '97)Born to Be WiredHardcore Heaven 1997Queens Show (Aug '97)Downington Show (Aug '97)Trenton Show (Aug '97)Waltham Show (Sep '97)Revere Show (Sep '97)Terry Funk's Wrestlefest 1997Blackwood Show (Sep '97)As Good As It GetsFt. Lauderdale Show (Sep '97)Orlando Show (Sep '97)Kutztown Show (Oct '97)Rostraver Show (Oct '97)Beaver Falls Show (Oct '97)Queens Show (Oct '97)Downington Show (Oct '97)Philadelphia Show (Oct '97)Waltham Show (Oct '97)Revere Show (Oct '97)Plymouth Meeting Show (Oct '97)Fright Fight 1997Elizabeth Show (Nov '97)New Britain Show (Nov '97)Ultimate Jeopardy 1997Glasgow Show (Nov '97)Queens Show (Nov '97)Trenton Show (Nov '97)November to Remember 1997Revere Show (Dec '97)Waltham Show (Dec '97)Better Than EverRochester Show (Dec '97)Jamestown Show (Dec '97)Buffalo Show (Dec '97)Queens Show (Dec '97)Blackwood Show (Dec '97)

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