Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #304 – 20/02/1999

We’ve got a bit of a break between now and Six of the Best for WCW Uncensored, so I thought I’d watch some ECW TV from 1999. This era of ECW was when I first started properly getting into it, and I loved it so much that I went on to hoover up all the classic stuff I could from 1994-1997.

We’ll cover these up to Living Dangerously 99, and if people are digging them and I’m still enjoying writing them, I might keep them going after that. Living Dangerously 99 was actually the first ECW pay per view event I saw in full, and it did an excellent job of hooking me, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all came together on TV and whether the show itself still holds up.

So without further ado, let’s kick on with ECW Hardcore TV #304!

This week’s show is emanating from Queens, New York

Calling the action is Joey Styles

The show starts out with ECW World Champ Taz exiting a car and entering the arena. He cuts a brief promo whilst raising his title, whilst the amassed fans chant for him.

We cut to the ring, where Steve Corino and John Kronus are wrestling. Corino hits Kronus with a powerbomb, which is the cue for Judge Jeff Jones to come out and find Corino guilty of stealing the move from his client Sid, which brings the monstrous psycho out to the ring. Sid annihilates both men, as the smark New York crowd completely lose their minds and cheer him out of the building. What a bunch of hypocrites the “too cool for school” ECW crowd ended up being when it came to stars from “The Big Two”.

Following that massacre, we get the show intro

Following the intro, we go to Joey Styles in the ring, who introduces Taz to his home town crowd. Seeing as this was the 90’s, World Champion Taz comes down to the ring sporting a bandanna and a fanny pack. Taz addresses the upcoming Living Dangerously pay per view on the 21st of March, and says that he’ll choke out anyone who tries to take his title from him at that event

COMMERCIAL

Breaking News!

The Dudley Boyz have ran The Public Enemy out of ECW and New Jack is next on their list. Later tonight, Joel Gertner will reveal the identity of the mysterious benefactor who has been financing The Dudleyz reign of terror. In addition to that, rumours abound that Shane Douglas is going to announce his retirement later in the show

Main Event
Little Guido w/ Big Sal E. Graziano Vs Chris Chetti

The hard cam is set up to show a diagonal view of the ring here, which reminds me a lot of playing Fire Pro Wrestling. Chetti was still in his generic babyface role, but he would get repackaged into a Ricky Martin inspired Casanova character and teamed up with Nova by the time summer came around. Guido and Sal are representing The FBI all by themselves tonight, as “Big Don” Tommy Rich and “The Main Man” Tracey Smothers are out scouting talent. We get ring introductions for both men and then take an advert break.

COMMERICAL

Back from the break, Guido is stalling outside before heading back in for some shoot styled grappling. Chetti has an amateur background and Guido was trained by Billy Robinson, so this has potential to be a decent slice of something different, but it only lasts a few moments before Chetti throws some kicks and heads up top for a cross body block for two.

Guido fights his way back in to things and stomps away before sending Chetti outside for an attack from Big Sal. Chetti is able to shrug that off back inside though and goes for some kind of springboard move, but Guido dodges it and drops some elbows. Chetti replies with a neck breaker and then hits a springboard back kick before delivering a powerslam for two.

Sal gets on the apron and tries to use the Italian flag as a weapon, but Chetti avoids that and ends up managing to dropkick the two heels into one another for a good pop from the crowd. Chetting hoists Guido up into a fireman’s carry and then turns it into a Michinoku Driver, before hitting a nice springboard moonsault to pick up the win.

WINNER: CHRIS CHETTI
RATING: *1/2

This was fine for a quick TV match

COMMERICAL

Back from the break, we get a recap of The Dudley Boyz destroying The Public Enemy in Detroit. Joey takes a moment to hype that the footage we’re seeing this week is from the Crossing The Line 99 VHS, and that we can order it to see a whole extra hour that wasn’t on TV (I actually have that tape, you aren’t missing much to be honest)

Joey sends to The Dudley clan, who are in the ring antagonising the fans. Buh Buh Ray has the mic and brags about running The Public Enemy out of ECW. He also mocks The Eliminators and The Gangstas for splitting them up by injuring Perry Saturn and Mustafa respectively. As Buh Buh cuts his promo, we get clips of The Dudley’s reign of terror in ECW, as they injured a litany of people including Hack Meyers, Masato Tanaka, The Sandman and Beulah. Buh Buh ends his promo by saying that no one can dispute how bad they are, which is New Jack’s cue to come out.

New Jack comes out with an assortment of weapons and says he hasn’t come alone, at which point Mustafa returns to ECW to help him clear the ring. The reunited Gangstas stand tall in the ring, only for Mustafa to grab a guitar and lay New Jack out. Joey speculates that the mysterious benefactor has paid Mustafa off as well, but Mustafa reveals that it was actually he who was the mysterious benefactor and pulls out a wad of money to give to his new pals The Dudley Boyz (Sadly he didn’t cut a promo declaring that “It was me New Jack, it was me all along!”)

Spike Dudley and Kronus try to rescue New Jack, but they get beaten down as well as the heels celebrate in the ring with their money. I have no idea why Mustafa decided to turn on New Jack like this, but I’m pretty certain he came up with this scheme outside the hours of 4:20, if you catch my drift. Sadly C.R.E.A.M is edited out on the WWE Network, which was by far the best part of this whole storyline.

COMMERICAL

Back from the break, Joey Styles asks where the newly named “Mr. Mustafa” could have got the money from to pay The Dudleyz off, slyly inferring that it might have come from less than especially legal source. How dare you Joey, that is blatant racial stereotyping! For all we know, Mustafa might have just had a lemonade stand or something. Hang your head in shame!

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Joey declares Shane Douglas to be the greatest Champion in ECW history before sending to the ring where a morose Shane Douglas and Francine have entered. Francine’s outfit is actually dangerously close to being tasteful and reserved here actually, whilst Douglas is dressed in street clothes.

Douglas grabs a mic and says that all the years of injuries have caught up to him and it’s time for him to call it a career. The fans chant for Douglas, not wanting him to go. Douglas has his wrestling boots with him and says that he’ll pass them on tonight to the new Franchise of ECW. This brings out Justin Credible with Jason and Jazz, to declare that Douglas is a smart man and will be naming Justin as the new Franchise of ECW.

This brings out Lance Storm to interrupt Justin’s interruption, and he declares that it is he who will be named the new Franchise, which leads to both men arguing with one another. Douglas cuts them both off however and states that, even though both of them have been making waves in ECW recently, neither of them is deserving of being the next Franchise, before stating that the person he was talking about is Tommy Dreamer.

Enraged by this, Justin Credible goes to hit Douglas with his Singapore cane, but Francine sees it coming and pushes Douglas out of the way to take it herself, causing her face to swell up in gnarly fashion. Credible and Storm team up to put the boots to Douglas, which brings Tommy Dreamer out for the save, but they gang up on him too and leave everyone lying. Storm and Credible each steal a boot from Douglas and leave together, forming a new team called “The Impact Players” in the process.

In Conclusion

This was an angle heavy show, dedicating most of the time to The Dudleyz storyline and the Douglas retirement storyline. Both stories eventually led to the babyfaces getting laid out, possibly setting up matches for Living Dangerously in the process. This was a breezy watch and I enjoyed the angles for what they were, but hopefully we get a challenger for Taz sorted soon as well.

Well, that’s all for this time out, I’ll see you in a week’s time for Episode #305