Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #337 – 09/10/1999

Hello You!

Last week’s show was pretty good, with a fine Jerry Lynn Vs Super Crazy bout closing things out. Hopefully we can have some more good action this week.

As always, you can read a recap of the previous episode of ECW on TNN prior to this issue of Hardcore TV from Mr. Scott Keith by clicking right HERE!

Whilst we’re talking about hardcore companies, why not take a look at my review of CZW Cage of Death by clicking right HERE?

So with all that dealt with, let’s stack a table on top of another table and stand precariously atop a ladder as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

This week’s matches either came from the Plymouth, Michigan TNN taping or from Villa Park, Illinois at Anarchy Rulz

Calling the action is Joey Styles (Along with Joel Gertner for the TNN matches and Cyrus for the PPV matches)

We open up with Paul Heyman narrating a video package saying that Dawn Marie is going to be giving her thoughts on Tammy Sytch’s return to ECW. He also hypes that ECW TV Champion Rob Van Dam will be in action tonight.

Show Intro. This week’s tagline is “If You Miss This Year’s November To Remember, It’ll Be A Regret You Never Forget”

Joey Styles is in front of the ECW Banner. He says that Dawn Marie is not giving up her spot to Tammy and hypes up the Lance Storm Vs Chris Candido match for next week’s ECW on TNN show. Joey then throws to a match between Mike Awesome and Rhino.

Opening Match
ECW Title
Champ: Mike Awesome w/ Judge Jeff Jones Vs Rhino w/ Steve Corino

Wow, this would have been a Pay-Per-View main event calibre bout just 3-4 months after this when Rhino’s push got properly cooking. Awesome wastes no time sending Rhino outside and following with his big Undertaker WrestleMania styled plancha. Awesome sets up a table at ringside, but then decides to throw Rhino inside for a top rope clothesline instead, which gets him a count of two. Awesome goes to powerbomb Rhino, but the Rookie Monster back body drops out of it and then follows up with a spine buster for two.

Rhino heads up for a nice looking diving head butt for two, but then runs into a big boot and gets promptly release German Suplexed by Awesome. Awesome goes to powerbomb Rhino out of the ring through the table and finally gets it, with the table splintering into a million pieces. I think getting thrown onto meringue might actually have broken Rhino’s fall more than that table did. Awesome puts Rhino back inside and heads up top with a big splash, which not surprisingly is enough for the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: MIKE AWESOME
RATING: N/A

Too short to rate really, which it being more of a squash than anything else. Still, Rhino looked good for the 2-3 moves he was allowed to do and Awesome looked like an absolute monster, so the match more than served its purpose.

Joey continues to hype up the Dawn Marie vs Tammy Sytch issue, as I wonder why they couldn’t dedicate this much time to a feud between, say, Mike Awesome and one of his challengers rather than just two valets who aren’t really going to be able to deliver anything in the ring to pay this off outside of a brief catfight?

COMMERCIAL

We return with sexy footage of Tammy Sytch before heading back to Joey Styles who recaps that Tammy returned to ECW last week and this angered Dawn Marie, who doesn’t want to give up her spot to her. We get clips of Dawn next and Joey continues to hype this feud like its Austin Vs Rock or something.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break we get clips of Tajiri fighting Tommy Dreamer on the TNN Show. Francine and Steve Corino go at it, which leads to Francine getting a modified pedigree. Whilst this is all going on, Raven sneaks in and DDT’s Dreamer to give Tajiri the win, because the tag belts were not on the line so he didn’t care about Tommy winning. Joey is back at the ECW Banner and hypes up that Tajiri got another win and then sends to footage of the Raven and Dreamer match from Anarchy Rulz 99, where Raven and Dreamer managed to win despite getting in one another’s way at one stage.

COMMERCIAL

In a nice touch we get a tribute for Darren Drozdoz, who injured himself in a match with D’Lo Brown in the WWF.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break we get the full Rob Van Dam Vs Balls Mahoney match from Anarchy Rulz 99. I’ll just re-post my review below.

Main Event
ECW TV Title
Champ: Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Balls Mahoney w/ Axl Rotten

Balls gets a back suplex right out of the gate, but RVD no sells it and gets some kicks, only to then run into a Balls clothesline. Balls works over RVD with some punches, but RVD responds with a flying kick and then gets a high cross body from the top rope for two. RVD sends Balls outside with a dropkick, but outside the ring is Balls’ domain and he sends RVD into the railings and then hits him with a beer. RVD responds by trying a moonsault off the railings, but Balls catches him. RVD slips out and pushes Balls into the crowd, where he tries a Van Daminator but Balls sees it coming and throws the chair back before hitting RVD with another beer.

Balls gets two from that back inside and then unloads with his usual array of punches for another two. Balls continues to work RVD over and sends him over the top rope to the floor with a spinning wheel kick. Balls sends RVD into the front row and follows him in with a chair, only to end up taking a Van Daminator out there. RVD follows with a dive into the crowd from the ring, a spot that was ruined somewhat by the camera catching Balls directing traffic outside before RVD dived essentially giving away the dive before it even happened. The visual of RVD diving into the crowd and disappearing amongst the throng of people out there was pretty cool though. Balls manages to get a powerslam back inside for two and heads up top, but RVD stops him, only to get shoved off and leg dropped for two.

Balls gets the Ball Breaker (sit out spine buster) and then heads up top for his own version of the frogsplash for two. You know, having three people in the company essentially doing that move was kind of too many if you ask me. Balls tries it again, but RVD stops him and is able to bring him down with a superplex, before drop kicking the chair into Balls’ face for two. RVD follows with the Rolling Thunder next, which gets him a two from the ref, and then he heads up top. Balls stops him however and tries to throw him off, but RVD counters that into a monkey flip, but when he tries it again Balls is able to counter it into a running Liger Bomb onto a chair for two. RVD tries to respond with a Northern Lights Suplex, but Balls is able to counter it in mid-air into a DDT for two.

This hasn’t been a bad bout at all, but it really has just been both men hitting a move, resting for a moment, and then hitting another one. There hasn’t been much in the way of transitions or storytelling. Balls brains RVD with a chair shot, which by this stage in the show is just overkill in all honesty, but when he makes the cover Fonzie comes in with a chair shot to break the count at two. Balls tries to destroy Fonzie with the chair, but he flees and that allows RVD to catch Balls with a Van Daminator for two. RVD heads up top with the Five Star Frogsplash and that’s the finish.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: **1/2

Closing with the TV Title made sense in that RVD is almost certainly the biggest star ECW has, but Balls is just not the sort of guy you’d want to close out a Pay-Per-View against him. Smith, though not as much of a regular with ECW, had experience working in All Japan and would have likely had the repertoire to deliver a more varied longer match than Balls could. RVD Vs Balls is always a styles clash but one you could get away with in a 8-10 minute TV match, but for a 20 minute Pay-Per-View main event you’d really needed two guys who could mesh better stylistically. RVD is all about hitting big flashy moves and carrying things with his charisma, whilst Balls is all about doing big wacky moves that a guy his size doesn’t normally do along with brawling. It was just never going to be the sort of match that you could put out there for this long and expect to get a main event level match from. As it was it wasn’t bad or anything and a shortened version would be perfectly fine as a main event for Hardcore TV or the TNN show, but for Pay-Per-View you really do expect more.

RVD and Balls make nice post-match and hug to a pop from the crowd.

COMMERCIAL

Joey Styles is back in front of the ECW Banner, where he hypes up the November To Remember, calling it ECW’s biggest show of the year. Joey hypes that Masato Tanaka will be challenging Mike Awesome and that if Tanaka wins the belt he will defend it once in Japan and will then be exclusive to ECW until he loses the belt. He does note however that if Tanaka does beat Awesome, but then loses it in Japan, the wrestler who beats him will return to defend the Title.

Joey encourages people to check the ECW website the following week to find out where the November To Remember event is being held. We get the intro to the show again and that’s it for a week of filler.

In Conclusion

This was the first real time that Hardcore TV felt like Sunday Night Heat or Velocity since the TNN Show came into being, as the majority was recaps of that show. It makes sense I guess as TNN was supposed to be the main show, but it would be nice for them to put a little bit more effort into Hardcore TV as well.

As it was, this show was complete and utter filler and I recommend you skip it because you’ll see nothing that you couldn’t already see on the TNN Show.