Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #305 – 27/02/99

Yes we hop once again into the way back machine twenty years to the day for yet another review of ECW Hardcore TV, as we continue the build towards Living Dangerously on the 21st of March 1999.

Last week we viewed the first hour of footage taped from Crossing the Line 99, and we’ll finish that off this week.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

The event is emanating from Queens, New York, with it’s awesome Fire Pro Wrestling styled diagonal hard cam

Calling the action is Joey Styles

It looks like we’re going to start out with Joey Styles in the ring, but The Dudley Boyz interrupt the feed from an unknown location, which suspiciously looks like the area Joey usually does his “to camera” sections. The Dudleyz brag about running The Public Enemy out of ECW and state that they’ll be Mr. Mustafa’s paid protection from now on.

We get a video package that recaps the whole feud up to this stage, which began with The Dudley Boyz challenging TPE to a match at the ECW Arena. After teasing that they wouldn’t show up, TPE did indeed return to the arena and got the better of things on that night, only for The Dudleyz to then destroy them in Detroit and send them packing to the WWF, where they got battered by the APA. It was then revealed that someone had actually paid off The Dudleyz to do this, and was also willing to pay them a bonus to take out New Jack as well. After a few skirmishes with The Dudleyz, New Jack brought his former partner Mustafa back to ECW to watch his back but, as we saw last week, Mustafa turned on him and then revealed himself to be the “mysterious benefactor” who had been funding The Dudleyz’ reign of terror. Thus the newly named “Mr. Mustafa” is now on New Jack’s shitlist, which is not something you ideally want to be. I must say that this angle really loses something when you don’t have C.R.E.A.M playing over it, especially as people reference the lyrics throughout it.

13 minutes in, we now finally get the intro package. Ah, ECW!

Opening Match
Super Crazy Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri

This I believe is either the third or fourth match in the rivalry between these two, with the first one being contested at Guilty As Charged 99. The high flying and hard hitting Japanese influenced Lucha style of both men was really starting to get them over and the crowd are well up for this. We have introductions and then take a break.

COMMERCIAL

We return from the break just as bell rings, with Tajiri kicking Crazy’s head off before sending him into the crowd for a big Asai moonsault. Its Tarantula time back inside, but Crazy fights back by countering a tilt a whirl attempt and hitting a powerbomb for two. Crazy goes to a Mexican surfboard hold on Tajiri, which actually gets a great reaction from the crowd and a “Lucha Libre” chant.

Tajiri doesn’t quit, so Crazy lets him out, only to send him into the crowd for a big moonsault of his own. Back inside, Crazy hits La Quebrada for two and then heads up top. Tajiri cuts him off however and hangs him in the Tree of Woe before delivering a big dropkick. Tajiri throws some kicks and then delivers a German suplex for two. Tajiri tries a Dragon Suplex next, but Crazy mule kicks his way out of that one, only to spill outside and end up on the receiving end of a Tajiri dive.

Crazy catches Tajiri with a DDT back inside, but when he tries a powerbomb Tajiri is able to counter it with a DDT of his own. Crazy won’t be denied however and hits a trifecta of missile dropkicks before delivering an impressive springboard 450 splash to finally put Tajiri away.

WINNER: SUPER CRAZY
RATING: ***1/4

This was a cracking match in a series of them between the two. It just a tad too short and spotty to pick up a higher rating, but it was certainly a lot of fun and a good example of why both men were getting over at the time.

Living Dangerously hype video, with Paul Heyman bragging about how ECW don’t have any corporate sponsors (Outside of the head of the Corporation who had him personally on the pay roll of course)

We get a recap of Shane Douglas trying to retire in the ring last week, only for Justin Credible and Lance Storm to individually interrupt the moment to declare themselves the successor to Douglas as “The Franchise” of ECW. Douglas ended up annoying both of them by declaring that his successor would be Tommy Dreamer, which led to Credible and Storm leaving both Douglas and Dreamer lying, whilst also leaving a nasty bruise on Francine’s face following an errant cane shot from Credible that was meant for Douglas.

COMMERCIAL

TV Main Event
FTW Title
Champion: Sabu w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Skull Von Krush

FTW stands for “F— The World”, and was a title created by Taz because Shane Douglas wouldn’t defend his ECW Title against him. It’s currently on Sabu here as Taz destroyed him in a match but then draped Sabu’s limp body over him to voluntarily drop the FTW Title, which freed him up to challenge Douglas for his title at Guilty As Charged, a match which Taz subsequently won. Skull Von Krush is probably better known by most on the Blog as his WCW gimmick of Big Vito. He seemed to be doing some sort of white supremacy gimmick here, if Joey’s commentary is anything to go by. Sabu taping his name onto the FTW belt is pretty funny actually.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Krush delivers a powerslam to Sabu and then heads up to the second rope for an elbow drop for two. As far as I know, Krush was a legit Italian, so I wonder why they never added him to The FBI when he was in ECW? He actually ended up as part of Da Baldies stable before leaving for WCW at the end of 99, but I can’t help but think The FBI would have been a better fit for him. Krush misses a splash from the top rope, which allows Sabu to send him to the outside.

Sabu sets up a table between the ring and the guardrail, but Krush fights him off and ends up laying him on it. Krush heads up to the top, but Sabu climbs off the table and stops whatever he had planned, before getting a superplex for two. Sabu puts Krush on the table, but he rolls off into the crowd to escape, so Sabu follows him with a dive out amongst the people. Whilst in the crowd, Sabu appears to attack one of the fans, but it could have been a plant. The camera goes to wide shot and there’s no commentary over it, so it could have been a work. If Sabu legit attacked a fan, I doubt someone as lawsuit conscious as Paul Heyman would let it make air.

Once Sabu finally leaves the fan alone, Alfonso clocks Krush with a chair and lays him on the table, which allows Sabu to put him through it with a dive. With Krush laid out on the floor, Sabu actually grabs a mic and calls for Taz to come out, and he promptly does for a pull apart brawl. Krush is never seen again, so I guess the match just ended?

WINNER: NO CONTEST
RATING: *

The match was an absolute mess, but the post-match pull apart between Sabu and Taz was a hot angle at least. I guess we have our challenger for Taz at Living Dangerously?

COMMERCIAL

Joey hypes the Crossing The Line 99 VHS again (I always found it weird that they’d show you essentially two thirds of a show on TV and then try and get you to but the final third, without even telling you what else was taped. I mean, there’s a decent Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn match on the tape, you’d think they’d at least hype that surely?) and then sends to an in-ring promo from Lance Storm. As Storm cuts his promo, we see that Don Callis is watching on from the balcony, which leads Joey Styles to think that he’s going to be Storm’s new manager.

Storm’s existing manger Tammy Lynn Bytch (Dawn Marie) has apparently been driven from ECW by Tommy Dreamer, so Storm announces that he has a new manager in the form of Tommy Dreamers ex-girlfriend Beulah McGillicutty. Beulah hadn’t been seen in ECW for nearly a year after The Dudley Boyz “broke her neck” with the 3-D. Beulah’s music hits, but it all turns out to be a swerve as Dawn Marie comes out with a new hairdo. This brings Tommy Dreamer out to attack Storm, but he’s followed by Justin Credible and Jason for an ambush. Shane Douglas and Francine make the save, with Francine’s face bruised up in gnarly fashion, and Francine even gets to spear Jason for a big pop from the crowd. Douglas, Dreamer and Francine all make the Triple Threat sign as the show closes.

In Conclusion

A great Crazy/Tajiri match and some solid angles make this episode an easy recommendation. The storylines are moving along nicely and you can start to see Living Dangerously taking shape as well. Good show!