(2012 Scott sez: I’m starting to feel like I’m turning into a WWE DVD documentary, eternally doing retrospectives of my own previous work because there’s not much interesting to work with in the present. Maybe I should turn one of these over to Steve Lombardi so he can have a talking head segment in them as well. Nah, that joke would get old by the second 2012 Brooklyn Brawler sez comment.) (2012 Scott also sez: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA F--- YOU NEW YORK RANGERS! Not that I like the Devils or anything, in fact I’m hoping the Kings sweep them to win their inevitable first Cup, but my Facebook has been kind of swamped with insufferable Rangers fans acting like the Stanley Cup was somehow already gift-wrapped for them.) The Netcop Rant for ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999 – Well, here in Canada, Viewer’s Choice still hasn’t picked up ECW yet, so we have to settle for a bar viewing as usual. (Today we’d just go to [popular European streaming video site I won’t mention here] and watch it on the computer. Back then you had to WORK to circumvent the system!) However, the usual spot to watch it, Area 51 (aka Domain of the Fleas) shut down last month, so Zen the ECW Mark spent the afternoon frantically calling around the city looking for a bar that was a) Showing the PPV and b) Willing to let him tape it. The winner: Jox Sports Bar, which happens to be about a block away from the apartment and is about 100x nicer than Area 51. Calvin, if you’re reading this, sorry, but your bar sucked. (I have trouble doing justice to the general shittiness of Area 51 in this paragraph. Picture a bar that’s like someone’s basement, with all the walls painted black, and a single pool table and video game for entertainment. And apparently the health inspectors get kidnapped and left to die in the janitor’s closet or something. The s--- we used to go through to watch those f------ terrible ECW PPVs. That’s life as a wrestling nerd in the 90s.) Anyway, I made sure to have money in my account (I am constantly astonished at how much disposable income I thought I had in the days when I was splitting rent with a roommate and only working a part time job. It was like “Well, rent’s paid, cable’s paid, guess I’ll go buy some booze and a million DVDs”. No wonder I was broke all the time.), because there was no f------ way I was watching this show without booze in my system. (I’m starting to feel that way about RAW.) Not after last time. So it was all good. And the waitress was cute. Too bad the show sucked. On with the bitching! – Live from Poughkeepsie, New York. – Your host is Jo-Jo, with help from Cyrus (he’s a Virus, you know) at various points. – Chris “Dead Meat” Candido (Poor choice of words there.) and his crack whore come out for the opening interview, and he decides to invite the Dudleys out as his “insurance policy”. Hey, maybe he’ll have a chance in hell now. I think even Paul E. realizes what a lame main event this is. And indeed, here comes Taz RIGHT NOW? Huh? – ECW World title match: Taz v. Chris Candido. Midget wrestling at it’s finest, as Chris taps about a minute in. And there’s your main event, kids. Isn’t Paul E. a f------ genius? He’s the best booker of his generation, you know. DUD (Maybe Paul was booking the Daniel Bryan-Sheamus match at Wrestlemania?) Man, if I had been one of the dumbasses who actually ordered this show based on wanting to see that match, I’d be pissed. But Paul E is a genius who loves his fans, right, so there’ll be something big later, right? – Um, do you think Chris might be going to WCW? Just a guess. (Spoiler: Yup.) – And now the Dudleys are given the mike and allowed to talk. We ran off Sandman, broke Beulah’s neck, ran off Saturn, yap yap yap. (Bubba was always a good talker, but they used to get ENDLESS promo time on these PPVs.) Ballz Mahoney attacks them, and does pretty well until they double-team him. Spike Dudley comes out to help. Oh, yay, because if there’s one match that HASN’T BEEN F------ BEATEN TO DEATH, it’s Spike Dudley v. The Dudley Boys. So this is the big surprise, eh? Spike Dudley and Ballz Mahoney. Not quite the LOD or TPE. The usual crappy Dudleys v. Spike match follows, with the highlight being Joel Gertner hitting a limp-wristed chairshot on Ballz, followed by his attempt at a fireball (which is basically him throwing matches at Ballz). Ballz retaliates with his own fireball (which misses by a good three feet — Jim Cornette needs to give these guys a lesson in fireball throwing), but turns around and gets 3D’d for the pin. Whee. DUD, DUD, DUD (You know, the Hogan-Warrior abomination aside, I’ve long been a fan of nitrocellulose in wrestling. We need a good fireball angle again to liven things up. Last really great one was Kane v. HHH in 99, actually.) – We’re less than 20 minutes in and I’m sick of this show already. (I feel the same way about RAW recently.) – Super Crazy v. TAKA Michinoku. Blasphemy! Taka is using Sasuke’s music. Taka controls to start, teasing a tope. Crazy hits a swinging DDT and Taka bails. Taka is totally playing heel. Match builds nicely, with Taka missing the springboard tope, then the camera totally misses Crazy’s quebrada. That’s just sloppy camerawork. (The director’s cheque probably bounced.) Crazy goes to work on Taka’s knee (HEY! What’s that psychology stuff doing in a lucha match?). Taka misses his moonsault and Crazy does the three-step moonsault and gets two. Taka comes back again with the dropkick to the head and the Michinoku Driver, but goes for another one and it gets reversed to a Ligerbomb for the pin. Odd ending, and a disappointing match. **3/4 – Backstage, the Dudleys attend to Joel’s burns, and decide to take out their frustration on a bunch of people backstage. Target #1: Supernova. – Little Guido v. Tajiri. Stall-o-rama to start from Guido. Slow start with Tajiri working on the knee of Guido. Tajiri hits a couple of highspots and the Tarantula. I really like that move. (Yeah, until everyone got tired of it.) Sweet facefirst bump by Guido as takes a header to the rampway. Guido hits a rockerdropper on the rampway and takes over, however. More decent stuff back in the ring, then Tajiri comes back and they trade some stuff, with Tajiri hitting a brainbuster for the pin. This was pretty good, but neither guy is going anywhere. *** (Well, sort of. Tajiri got a pretty good push up the card and ended up in the WWE in a decent role for a person of his stature and Asian-ness. But mostly yeah.) – YET ANOTHER Tommy Dreamer video, with “River of Deceit” providing the melodramatic soundtrack. (Again with Mad Season!) Speaking of deceit, it’s not very nice to hype Shane Douglas in the pre-game show and here if you know full well he’s not showing. (On the other hand, it’s not very nice of Shane to hype a whole bunch of people for his own show when he knew full well they weren’t showing and/or were showing up in no condition to work. By the way, if that show was available to download for $5 or even $10, I’d be happy to get all liquored up and bury it for old time’s sake, but $20?!? Don’t quit your day job, Shane. And I mean that literally.) – The Dudleys continue their quest, this time finding and beating Rod Price. I’m sorry, is there a point to this? (I’d say they should Be A STAR, but now Bubba just comes right out and calls himself Bully Ray, so it’d be lost on him.) – ECW live event shill. – Lance Storm v. Tommy Dreamer. Storm makes Beulah/Bytch/Dawn Marie/whatever the f--- she’s called now put her panties back on before the match. (Dawn Marie ended up being her permanent name) Stick in the mud. Tommy brings his new T&A source to the ring: Francine. (THAT was quite the wacky mismatch of personalities. At least Beulah brought SOME level of class to Tommy’s white trash veneer.) There’s a bunch of toys in the ring. Guess New Jack wasn’t available tonight. Note to Lance: Don’t sunset flip someone holding a garbage can lid. (Sage advice in any circumstance I can think of.) They end up on the ramp and Lance reverses an airplane spin (A F------ AIRPLANE SPIN? Shoot me now…) into an inverted DDT. Sloppy spot. Really ugly…something…I think it was supposed to be a Russian legsweep…gets two for Storm. I couldn’t even make out who was supposed to be selling it. A railing ends up in the ring, and as per his contract, Dreamer gets crotched on it. We have some satellite problems (“Hello, Mr. Heyman, this is Rob Morgan from USSB…about that cheque you wrote last week…”) and comes back with Tommy taking a hiptoss over the top, onto a conveniently placed table. Back in, and Tommy blades, then hits a chair-assisted Stunner. Brawl outside the ring, and a ladder gets involved, with a couple of dumb spots resulting. Storm takes a DVD through the table, and the overbooking begins. Cyrus runs in, and gets taken out and Broncobustered by Francine, who gets attacked by Dawn Marie, who gets piledrived by Tommy Dreamer, who get nailed with a garbage can by Storm and pinned. Got all that? About on par with the other hardcore stuff in the Big Two, but Storm shouldn’t have to lower himself to doing this crap. **1/2 – We’re a little over an hour in with only two matches left. What’s going on? – Dudleymania continues, as Jack Victory gets beaten. (That reminds me, Johnny Ace needs to hire someone to be his flagbearer just for fun.) – Taz threatens the Dudleys. – Joey blabs. – ECW TV title: Rob Van Dam v. Jerry Lynn. (Was this the first match between them?) Rob gets the monster face pop, and Jerry Lynn is working heel as a result. If Paul E is smart, Lynn goes over for the title and Fonzie turns on RVD and joins him. Mat wrestling to start, like last time. Way too much stalling here. Crowd is totally into RVD. Okay, Paul, PUSH RVD NOW! It doesn’t matter if he sucks, the crowd is eating him up and you need something to jumpstart your sorry little fed right now. (Hey, what’s the worst that can happen if he holds off putting the World title on him? It’s not like the promotion is gonna fold!) Another wrestling sequence and more stalling. Lynn gets the first highspot with a plancha. He takes control with a bulldog off the second rope, but RVD and his best friend the chair come back. Lynn blades. More stuff outside. What’s with all the stall tactics here? About half the match has been walking around outside the ring so far. Back in and RVD does his usual stuff. Lynn gets a powerbomb for two. Back outside, more stalling. Lynn tries a rana off the top, through a table, but RVD backdrops Lynn to the floor. More outside stuff and back in for an RVD two count. They tease the spot through the table again. Back in for more stuff, and then RVD ends up going through the table on a powerbomb. A nice sequence with a chair leads to Lynn getting a german suplex for two. Both guys to the top and they badly blow a superplex spot when Lynn slips and falls. Lynn with his own Vandaminator for two. RVD is just totally blown up here, sucking wind like nuts. Must be the pot before the match. Lynn literally carries him through a pinfall reversal sequence. Rob hits the twisty legdrop and five-star frog splash for two. Vandaminator for two, and another frog splash for three. What the hell? Why all the hype for the rematch if Van Dam is just going to go over again? (OK, so it was the second match then. Given that Rob never lost the TV title and never moved up to the World title, they should have just traded the TV belt a couple of times.) **1/4 Stylistically, it was a mess, and the stalling killed it for me. – More blabbing from the Dudleys, and now Big Dick returns to ECW, dragging Chris Chetti in to get beaten. What is the point here? – Joey announces that, by the way, Shane is gone from ECW and won’t be at this or any other ECW show in the future. (Unless he resurrects the corpses of the remaining unemployed ECW guys in 2012 and books a disastrous show with them, but that’s pretty unlikely.) – Justin Credible v. ??? Aldo runs down his victims, and issues an open challenge. BIG MISTAKE. – Justin Credible v. Sid! Okay, this is easy, right? Chokeslam, powerbomb, everyone goes home happy right? Well, Sid kicks Justin’s ass for a bit, then Jason’s ass, and even Lance Storm’s ass, but powder in the face earns a DQ for Justin. A F------ DISQUALIFICATION? IN ECW? The one redeeming thing about ECW is that you can usually count on a clean pin, and we get a DQ? Screw this s---. DUD (You get the feeling Paul was a bit distracted while doing this show?) Sabu makes the save for Sid and accidentally puts Sid through a table. Sid powerbombs Jeff Jones. – Okay, we’ve got half an hour left and no more announced matches. (Much like your standard episode of RAW.) – Buh Buh Ray Dudley is out to waste more time, slowly going through his usual rant. Is there actually going to be a match or is Buh Buh just going to challenge more fans? Oh, geez, here comes Taz, pardon me while I s--- my pants with excitement. – ECW World title match: Taz v. Buh Buh Ray Dudley. Are you F------ KIDDING ME? *This* is the main event? Please someone tell me that this is a sick practical joke being played by Paul E. They fight into the crowd (where half the arena — and the cameramen!) can’t see anything, and into the back. And they come back. Taz has sliced open an artery along the way. E-C-W! E-C-W! D-Von interjects himself as our little viewing party comes to grips with the fact that THIS is the main event. Hello, Chris Candido, a talented worker and everything, was RIGHT THERE! (I think Candido was injured, too, but yeah, who the f--- would want to watch this as the main event of a PPV?) BBR methodically sets up two tables in two corners, and the ref gets put through one of them. Pee Wee takes his place. 3D gets two, and of course Buh Buh gets put through a diagonally placed table. Why would ANYONE be so F------ STUPID as to set that table up in a Taz match? You’d think after, what, 3 years of that spot people would learn. Katihajime, tap out, end of show. I am truly in disbelief at this turn of events. –** (Yeah, honestly this would be like if John Cena was set to main event against, like, Wade Barrett or something, and beat him in a minute to start the show. Then at the end he defended the title against Titus O’Neil or something. Keep in mind that 1999 Bubba Dudley was only two years removed from being an opening match comedy heel. ) The Bottom Line: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!? Chris Candido jobs in the first match in under a minute, the main event ends up being Taz v. Buh Buh for god’s sake…Justin can’t even lay down for MOTHERFUCKING SID…this is insane. This is crack-induced booking at it’s worst. I mean, I supposed the middle portion was okay, but who cares? How can it possibly justify the…whatever the hell the rest of the show was supposed to be? I also noticed that no mention of the mythical TNN deal was ever made (sure, it’s coming any day now, right), (In September of that year, in fact, for all the good it did them.) and no mention of the next PPV was made. Bad sign. Bad, bad, sign for ECW. So what’s next? Taz takes on every member of the roster in the same show? Paul E signs the Pope to a one-show deal and jobs him to Justin? (Oh, the Justin Credible push would get much, MUCH worse before it would get better, 1999 Scott.) I know I’ve predicted ECW’s imminent downfall before, but the smell of death is on this promotion. I felt it with SMW, and I feel it now. You might want to watch ECW TV while you can, because if this show is any indication, it won’t be around much longer. (About a year and a half, to be somewhat exact.) Thumbs way down.