Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #308 – 20/03/1999

Here we are at the go home show for ECW Living Dangerously 1999 (Review due up tomorrow)

Will there be some final storyline advancements to heat up the issues for the pay per view? Last week’s episode wasn’t an especially good one, as a lousy Delaware crowd and some questionable match finishes soured things considerably. With one day to go, let’s see if ECW can get things back on track and deliver a go home show that makes me excited to watch the pay per view again!

This event is coming taped from the ECW Arena in Philly, Pennsylvania

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We start out with Joey Styles in the ring with Tommy Dreamer. Shane Douglas and Francine come down to the ring to join them. Francine, decked out in a dress the length of four teabags, gets serenaded with a chant of “She’s Hardcore” from the crowd as Dreamer declares her the Queen of Extreme. Dreamer then puts Douglas over on the mic, saying that he’ll always be The Franchise of ECW, which gets a healthy cheer from the crowd as well. Wow, the fans seem to really be buying into this Douglas face turn. Dreamer then addresses Lance Storm, by pulling down his pants to show that he has written “Lace Sucks” on his underwear. He then goes on a crazy rant about how he’s happy to have a big bottom, because no matter big it is Lance will never be able to kick it. That was actually a pretty funny tirade actually, and the crowd responds to it positively. Dreamer also adds that Dawn Marie is pathetic to have surgery to try and look like Beulah. Heck of a promo from Tommy there, that actually got me kind of jazzed to see the tag match. Dreamer, Douglas and Francine all raise three fingers in the air to close the promo segment out. As they leave however, they get jumped by Credible and Storm on their way to the back.

Hardcore TV Intro

Joey hypes up the pay per view in his usual banner domain
We’ll be seeing the following;
Lance Storm and Justin Credible Vs Tommy Dreamer and Shane Douglas
Mr. Mustafa Vs New Jack
An appearance by Sid
Yoshihiro Tajiri Vs Super Crazy
TV Title Match: Champion – Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn
ECW Champ Taz Vs FTW Champ Sabu in a unification match

Opening Match
Mr. Mustafa Vs Little Spike Dudley

Mustafa can barely move here, walking around in a style not dissimilar to The Iron Sheik at WrestleMania X-7.  Spike hits him with an Acid Drop a mere few seconds into the match, which brings The Dudley Boyz down to the ring for the rescue.

WINNER: NO CONTEST
NO RATING

I’m not sure how we’re supposed to buy Mustafa as any sort of a threat to New Jack when Spike Dudley made him his bitch in literal seconds. I’m also getting really sick of all the non-finishes every week on TV. At least let Mustafa pin Spike FFS!

This brings out New Jack avec the usual assortment of weaponry to make the save. The Dudleyz protect Mustafa from New Jack, holding him off. However, following some well-placed weapon shots, it looks like New Jack might finally have Mustafa all to himself, only for The Dudleyz to recover at the last minute and plant him with a Dudley Death Drop. The story they seem to be telling here is that Mustafa really doesn’t have a chance against New Jack, so they’re putting obstacles in New Jack’s way to deny the pay off. This would be fine if Mustafa was a heated heel that people hated and wanted to see get killed, but he’s been back for barely a month at this stage and doesn’t have close to the required level of heat to make such a storyline effective. Bringing him in as an actual threat and letting him get over that way would have made much more sense from a storytelling perspective.

COMMERCIAL

The camera goes to the bathroom where someone is showering. Part of me thinks that Sabu and Taz have finally given into the overt sexual tension between them, but no it’s actually just Jasmine St Clare, who says she’ll be at Living Dangerously.

Steven Prazak is backstage with Don Callis, who refuses to give a straight answer about why he’s suddenly shown up in ECW.

Main Event
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champions: Sabu and Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs The Dudley Boyz w/ Sign Guy Dudley and Joel Gertner Vs Tommy Dreamer and Shane Douglas w/ Francine

This was supposed to be The Dudley Boyz getting paid off by Storm and Credible to take out Dreamer and Douglas, but they decide they want a title shot and call out the champs to make it a three way dance. Sabu and RVD are game, so we get that instead. There’s going to be so much going on here with this many bodies in the ring, so I’ll try to be succinct and not overdo it with the play by play.

It’s not long before everyone, including the managers, start brawling in the ring, which leads to Alfonso holding Sign Guy down on a table so that Sabu can put him through it. This is just organised chaos, with everyone hitting big moves on one another. It’s not very high on ring psychology, but it’s an enjoyable spectacle at least.

D-Von and RVD end up as the last two in the ring whilst everyone else brawls in the crowd. D-von gets two from a leg drop on RVD, before taking him to the outside as well. Eventually everyone gangs up on The Dudley Boyz to eliminate them, leaving us with Sabu & RVD taking on Douglas & Dreamer. I smell an Impact Player run in.

Douglas seems to have hurt his knee, as he’s moving with a noticeable limp. Dreamer hits a Spicolli Driver on RVD through a table outside, whilst Sabu and Douglas go at it inside. Francine brings a ladder down to the ring for her men, which Dreamer sets up for a dive onto Sabu. However, Storm and Credible run in (HaHa! Called it!!) and attack the challengers. RVD gets a table assisted Van Daminator on Dreamer and that’s enough for the champs to retain.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: SABU AND ROB VAN DAM
RATING: **1/2

This was a wild brawl with something happening at all times. Not a technical wrestling classic, but then it wasn’t supposed to be and didn’t need to be either.

Sabu and RVD look to face off with Storm and Credible, but Taz runs in before that can all kick off and goes straight for Sabu. Everyone brawls, as Taz and Sabu slug it out in the middle of the ring until a gaggle of security comes to split them up. Taz grabs a mic and says he wants to talk. Taz tells Sabu that he’s going to choke him out at Living Dangerously, so Sabu cheap shots him and puts him through a table to close the show out. Oh just get a room you two and get it over with!

In Conclusion

A decent go home show in the end, as the pay per view was hyped well and there was a strong angle to close everything out. Keep your eyes peeled tomorrow for Living Dangerously 99!