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QOTD #30: What Got You Hooked

Today’s Question:
What angle got you hooked on
pro-wrestling for good?
I expect a lot of discussion on this, so we’ll look forward
to a fairly lengthy piece tomorrow. If you want to get started, then please
scroll to the end of this. Otherwise, stick around for the ECW discussion.

I had asked you about your favorite moments during the ECW
on TNN era; which featured the company’s largest audience, while also featuring
the company’s downward spiral in both creativity and finances. Still, through
the muck, they had a few memorable moments, and you came up with some gems.
DJ Sprite: Cyrus representing the network. The pure
hatred from the crowd made him the best heel in ECW. Granted, I may have a hazy
memory, as ECW on tnn was high school for me, emphasis on the high.
Don Callis was wonderful in his role. Had he not been
carrying so much heat with the WWF at the time, he would have been excellent as
the lead voice in Right To Censor. Joey Styles’ full-on hatred was incredible,
and he took as many jabs at Cyrus as he could, large or small. My favorite
featured them advertising the latest ECW video game, and Joey hand selected a
clip featuring himself beating the shit out of Cyrus. The look on Cyrus’ face when
they cut back was priceless.
VintageECW: The debut vignette of M-Dogg with the return
of Matty in The House!
Of course you’re referring to Redd Dogg, AKA Rodney Mack,
and the formation of DA BALDIES. Were Da Baldies a gang name? A reference to something
beyond the scope of our imagination? Nope. They were bald. ALLIANCE.
Stranger In The Alps:
Mike Awesome clotheslining the
ever-loving fuck out of Spike Dudley’s girlfriend.
PrimeTimeTen: The pure anarchy from the first segment of
the September 8th, 2000 show at the Hammerstein Ballroom that began with Cyrus
“cancelling” ECW on TNN and ended with Kid Kash wrestling Rhino. It
has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The amount of mayhem that occurred is
untouched. Couple that with the forgotten gem that is the tag team title match
between Guido/Mamaluke and Whipwreck/Tajiri and you have what is easily the
greatest episode of that run.

Magoonie NOT Teddy
Belmont:
Tommy Dreamer taking on The
Dudley Boyz for the tag titles alone and then Raven coming out to help Dreamer
and win the belts. It was a shock to me to see Raven show up on ECW and it was
nice to see these two guys who had been in a blood feud in the past but their
differences aside and work together.
This was easily the #1 pick, with a large number of you
stating this was the only thing worth remembering. I disagree, but this was
undoubtedly the biggest way they could have possibly started off the era.
Getting Raven back, who was their biggest star of all time by a country mile,
was a major coup, and to have him back and immediately tied to Tommy Dreamer
against his will was fantastic. Unfortunately, Raven was on his way out just as
fast as he got there and the angle never properly peaked (which should have
been Raven/Dreamed blood feud part 2).
ONITA100: More of a moment than an angle, but Tony
Mamaluke botching a plancha and nearly killing himself on the guardrail. I
remember watching it as it aired and was pretty damn scary

White Thunder: There was a 3 Way Dance with Taijiri v Super
Crazy v Guido. All 3 guys bled and complete carnage went down. Rhyno destroyed
someone with the piledriver through a table, Sandman got involved. The match
was wild and epic. I miss the elimination style 3 way instead of the cheesy
triple threat match.
The beauty with these guys, especially in the case of
Tajiri, is that everything *looked* like it hurt like hell, but by all accounts
he was as safe as could be. Guido was never going to be more than a job guy,
but lord did they do their best to make him look like a killing machine during
those wars.
Andy PG: I didn’t recognize James Mitchell because I
wasn’t watching WCW during that time, but through Scott’s recaps I had heard
James Vandenburg (as he was known) was a good manager. So when a guy I didn’t
recognize is seen talking to wrestlers backstage and recruiting them I’m a
little intrigued. He then ends the segment by looking right at the fourth wall
and saying: “After all, this’ll beat the hell out of managing Mortis and
Wrath.” AHA! And thus the Sinister Minister was born.
It’s mind-boggling that the WWE never made James Mitchell an
offer he couldn’t refuse, but I seem to remember him being satisfied with his
karaoke business and working once per week in ECW/TNA seemed to do him right.

TheConvictor: I always liked seeing Tazz beat Mike Awesome
for the ECW Title. The match was forgettable (a glorified Tazz squash), but I
always thought it was funny watching Awesome high-tail it out of the arena. Why
he went through the crowd (which was full of die-hard ECW fans that probably
hated him for going to WCW) I’ll never know. Maybe it was safer for him than
going to the back, where Paul E and a bunch of his guys were probably waiting
for him. Tazz winning the title felt like a big deal since he was coming from
the WWE. Too bad the only reason he won was so he could put over HHH.
ECW took itself far too seriously, and when Awesome jumped
ship with no warning, it was akin to an indy band performing in a bar one
night, and the next day showing up in a limo performing in front of 8000 fans
in a major venue. Everyone would have preferred a little warning, but Awesome
was doing what was best for himself, and I will never ever fault a wrestler
taking care of themselves in a selfish business. With that in mind, yes, it’s
clear there was some very serious heat on Mike for pulling that stunt while
being the face of the company, and judging from Styles’ commentary at One Night
Stand, a lot of folks held that grudge for a long, long time. He was better to
beat it out of there his way.
daveschlet: The Mike Awesome vs Masato Tanaka title
switches from late 1999. Both of those matches were really good, and Tanaka
winning the belt was a good surprise.
I don’t think anyone gave Tanaka credit beyond being the hot
challenger of the month, so the switch definitely caught a few people off
guard. The stuff they were doing was nothing short of insanity.

Thanks to everyone who participated today. We have a
pay-per-view tonight in Battleground, and I’m sure most of us will be watching giving
us lots to talk about tomorrow. Enjoy your day, BoD.