Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #307 – 13/03/1999

So after the dreaded clip show last week, we finally have some fresh matches again. With Living Dangerously 99 just a mere 8 days away, we can probably expect ECW to crank up the hype machine and book a few more angles to get the storylines and feuds heated up in time to reach a crescendo at the pay per view event.

So without further ado, let’s take it to Extreme and enjoy some classic Hardcore action!

This week’s match footage is coming from a taping in Dover, Delaware

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with Danny Doring and Roadkill dogpiling onto Little Guido and Big Sal to eliminate them from a three way dance. This leaves the House of Hardcore graduates to take on the Hardcore Chair Swinging Freaks of Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney. Axl runs wild on the youngsters, which gives Balls an opening to clock Roadkill with a big super kick. The steel folding chairs make an appearance, and Roadkill is subsequently brained with them to give Balls and Axl the win.

We cut to Joey Styles in front of the banner where he hypes up the show tonight. Later on we will not only see Jerry Lynn take on Sabu but we will also see Tommy Dreamer do battle with Lance Storm.

We cut again to Taz getting interviewed at a radio station. Taz rejects the host’s suggestion that Living Dangerously will be an easy victory, but he does state that he believes he will win.

After all that, we finally get the show intro

Joey confirms that Mr. Mustafa Vs New Jack is official for Living Dangerously and plugs the Hardcore Hotline before throwing to a promo from Jerry Lynn. Lynn has a pair of glasses on and looks like a heavy metal loving science teacher. Lynn cuts a very calm promo about how he’ll defeat Sabu later tonight. I love Jerry, but promos were never really his strongest attribute.

And following Lynn’s promo, we get our first PULP FICTION MONTAGE™ since I started recapping these shows! For those not au fait, this is a series of quick-fire promos all set to the tune of “Misirlou” from Pulp Fiction. This time out we get promos from Storm and Credible, New Jack, Mr. Mustafa, Shane Douglas, Rob Van Dam, Sabu and Bill Alfonso.

COMMERCIAL

Joey hypes the Crossing The Line 99 VHS again for something like the fourth week in a row, but at least makes a joke of it this time. I mean, WWE surely own that release now that they hoovered up the ECW library. Why don’t they just upload it to the Network?

Opening Match
FTW Title
Champion: Sabu w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Jerry Lynn

As mentioned previously in these recaps, FTW stands for “F— The World” and was a title created by Taz due to ECW Champ Shane Douglas refusing to face him. Taz threw a match against Sabu at the ECW Arena however to give the title up so he could go after Douglas’ title, and Sabu has held onto ever since. In a funny bit, he’s even taped “SABU” over it as well, just to stress that it’s his belt now.

They actually seem to be using crowd sweetening here, as the wild crowd noise doesn’t really match the rather sedate looking crowd watching the match. Prior to the match starting, we get clips of Rob Van Dam and Sabu laying out The Sandman at Living Dangerously 98 and putting him through a table as a way to hype this year’s event.

Lynn and Sabu chain wrestle to start, which goes Lynn’s way, so Sabu tries to turn it into a fight instead. Lynn holds his own well enough in that environment and, in a nice spot, he rolls through a top rope rana attempt from Sabu to turn it into a pinning hold for two. Sabu fights back and sends Lynn into the crowd, where he follows with a dive.

Sabu tries another dive, but Lynn is able to avoid it this time and Sabu bonks his injured jaw onto the apron as consequence. Lynn controls things back inside but can’t put Sabu away with a leg drop from the second rope.  Lynn heads to the top, but Sabu jams the ropes to crotch him on the top rope. Sabu tries to put Lynn through a table, but Lynn is able to move and Sabu goes through face first himself.

This is Rob Van Dam’s cue to run down and try to help Sabu to the back, but Sabu wants to fight on and runs back into the ring, right into a belt shot from Lynn. That seemed a little out of character from Lynn to be honest. Lynn now demands the referee stop the match so that he can win the title via forfeit. Seeing Jerry Lynn act like such a prick long before his official heel turn in 2000 is a bit disconcerting actually.

Sabu fights up to his feet, so Lynn dropkicks him and RVD into each other before cross bodying RVD off the apron through a table. This is Taz’s cue to interfere and turn this into even more of a cluster mess by brawling with Sabu. A table gets set up in the corner and both Sabu and Taz end up driving the other through it to lay them both out

WINNER: NO CONTEST
RATING: *

Oh FFS, one thing about ECW was that you’d usually get an actual finish to matches, but that’s two Sabu FTW defences on the trot now where they’ve just thrown it out. The match itself was very disjointed and the dissension into silliness at the end only made it worse.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
Lance Storm w/ “Beulah” Vs Tommy Dreamer

Storm and Dreamer normally work quite well together despite their distinct difference in ring styles, so this should hopefully be a decent match. Justin Credible’s manager Jason distracts Dreamer during his entrance, which allows Credible to jump him from behind. Shane Douglas runs down to make the save, so Storm grabs the mic and makes an impromptu challenge to Douglas, which Douglas accepts.

COMMERCIAL

New Impromptu Main Event
Lance Storm w/ “Beulah” Vs Shane Douglas w/ Francine

Back from the ads, Douglas is in control of things. A distraction from “Beulah” allows Storm to fight back and work Douglas over. The crowd sweetening during this match is utterly blatant and it’s starting to get really distracting. We’re talking AWA Team Challenge level stuff here. Douglas makes a comeback with the gourdbuster and then unleashes the dreaded Belly to Belly Suplex.

This brings Justin Credible back out, which leads to Francine coming in to even the odds. Whilst the ref deals with Francine, Credible hits Douglas with his Singapore Cane, which allows Storm to counter the Pittsburgh Plunge into an inside cradle for the victory.

WINNER: LANCE STORM
RATING: *1/2

Too short to be more and the fake crowd noise made it feel like watching a Superstars match from 1992 or something.

The Impact Players try to beat down Douglas post-match, but Dreamer runs them off as the show closes.

In Conclusion

The Pulp Fiction Montage™ really set off my nostalgia button, which was nice, but the rest of the show was pretty meh to say the least. The two matches shown were both really rushed and featured some truly terrible sound editing that verged on making them near unwatchable. I thought the whole point of ECW was to be authentic? If the crowd sucked for the taping then leave it in, rather than desperately and poorly trying to hide it in post-production.

Next week’s taping is from the ECW Arena at least, so hopefully the crowd will be a little bit more up for it. If you’d like to join me for that episode then I’ll see you all on the 20th!