Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #311 – 10/04/1999

A day late and a quid short, but it’s here. I hope you all had fun over Mania weekend but now it’s time to get back to the grind as they say, with more ECW action from 1999. This would be the first week of action taped at Cyber Slam 99, an annual internet wrestling convention that was traditionally ECW’s biggest non-pay per view event of the year.

I’ve actually got the full show on DVD and it’s a real corker, so hopefully the next two weeks of TV should be action packed and exciting. So, without further ado, let’s head to the Bingo Hall in Philly and take it to The Extreme!!!

This event is emanating from the ECW Arena in luscious Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Lance Storm (wearing a Monday Night Jericho shirt) joins us along with “Beulah”, and actually acknowledges the shirt when the fans point it out. Storm addresses that Tommy Dreamer has been insinuating that he’s on the gas recently, and reiterates that he’s clean and that he just works out a lot, which the guys who wrestle in t-shirts can’t appreciate. He signals to “Beulah”, who produces a jar of what looks to be apple juice from her handbag, which Storm announces is a sample of his urine. He dares Dreamer to provide a sample of his own, so that we can finally get confirmation that it’s in fact Dreamer who is on the juice and not him. So Dreamer joins us, and if you can’t see where this is going then you probably have never watched wrestling before. Dreamer and Storm brawl, which ends with Dreamer laying out his Canadian chum with a DDT. With Storm down, Dreamer procures the sample from “Beulah” and proceeds to empty the contents onto his foe. The joke is actually on Dreamer there, as your own urine is actually one of the cleanest substances you can touch; it’s just harmful to other people. So there Tommy, you merely enriched Storm’s health! This segment was cheap, silly fun and the crowd loved it. “Beulah” was fantastic in it as well, making funny faces during Storm’s promo and then selling his dousing by not wanting to touch him afterwards.

We get the show intro, complete with graphics that say “More explosive than Nitro, more hardcore than Raw, this ain’t kids stuff”. That sort of thing just makes ECW look so small-time and lame.

Joey Styles is in the ring and welcomes everyone to the show, before introducing Television Champion Rob Van Dam. RVD celebrates his year anniversary as Champ, and cuts his usual cocky promo following congratulatory comments from Joey. RVD’s manager Bill Alfonso says that he’s arranged for a former TV Champ to challenge RVD tonight, and brings out Too Cold Scorpio for the next match.

Opening Match
ECW Television Title
Champion: Rob Van Dam Vs Bill Alfonso Vs Too Cold Scorpio

Scorpio had been in the WWF earlier in the year, but I think he’d essentially left the company by this point and he’d soon starting working in Japan, most notably for Pro Wrestling NOAH when it formed in 2000. We see that Sabu is being held back in the locker room as a result of Fonzie “benching” him so that he can get over his glut of injuries. The fans are happy to see Scorpio back and make it known to him. In a nice touch, ring announcer Bob Artese is wearing a neck brace as a result of taking a 3-D back at Living Dangerously. We see that Paul Heyman has joined the group trying to hold Sabu back.

Scorpio hits and underhook suplex to start, but RVD fires back with kicks and forearm strikes. Scorpio replies with a clothesline, as we see that Paul E is still yelling at Sabu and telling him to stay backstage. Back in the ring, Scorpio gets a somersault leg drop from the second rope for two, before delivering the move that Ryback would go on to call the Shell-Shock. Backstage we see that Cyrus is doing the old Sean O’Haire devil’s advocate gimmick, trying to convince Sabu to defy Fonzie and Paul.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, we see that Cyrus was successful with his scheme, as Sabu has rushed down to ringside and has put Scorpio through a table. Fonzie is furious about this and castigates Sabu as he lies hurt on the floor. Meanwhile, RVD gets a slingshot leg drop on Scorpio for two. Scorpio replies with a powerbomb for a two count before heading up top, but Fonzie shoves him off. This allows RVD to get the Van Daminator and the Five Star Frogsplash for the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: **

The match was all about Sabu running in, and it delivered on that front. Scorpio strangely decides to shake RVD’s hand after all that, even though he got totally screwed in the match. This was some good storytelling with the Sabu angle, although it meant that the match got chopped up to accommodate it.

COMMERCIAL

Steven Prazak is in the locker room with Justin Credible. Credible says he won’t pass up the opportunity to prove that he’s the New Franchise of ECW in his match with Shane Douglas next week.

Joey hypes up the match for next week and then sends to comments from Douglas, who says Credible will become the next Franchise over his dead body.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Joey hysterically sends to Steve Corino in the ring, who is being confronted by ECW Champion Taz. Corino tries to suck up to Taz, and when that doesn’t work he says he can’t wrestle him because he “broke his appendix” whilst lifting weights. Okay, that was an absolutely fantastic line from Corino. His “Jericho-Lite” gimmick during this period was very entertaining. Corino does say that he has a suitable substitute for himself though, and introduces Chris Candido, who comes out with Tammy Sytch. Candido looks like he’s been pumped full of air here, whilst Tammy looks like she hasn’t slept for weeks. Needless to say, both of them had seen better days. Candido commiserates with Corino over his health and then challenges Taz to a Falls Count Anywhere match for the Title, which Taz readily agrees to.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
Falls Count Anywhere
ECW World Title
Champion: Taz Vs Chris Candido w/ Tammy Sytch

We join this in progress with Candido chopping away at Taz. Taz fires back and boots Candido to the outside. Candido fights back however and then actually does a dive from the top rope onto Taz, but Taz shrugs that off and starts hammering away. Both men fight up onto the bleachers and finally back to ringside. Joey lets slip that Candido was only 26 at the time of this show, which is amazing when you consider how haggard he was starting to look. The road will own you. Taz suplexes Candido on the staging area for two, and Candido replies with a slam and then drops an elbow off the stage for a two of his own

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, Candido and Taz are back in the ring, where Candido gets a hanging vertical suplex followed by a diving headbutt for two. Taz responds with a wheelbarrow suplex, but Candido fights back with a slingshot suplex for another two. Candido tries a rana next, but Taz counters it into a sit out powerbomb. Head and arm suplex seems to put Taz in control, but Candido goes to the eyes and then hits a powerbomb of his own.

Candido tries for The Blonde Bombshell, but Taz fights him off and then suplexes him from the top rope. Tammy passes Candido a chain, but the resulting weapon shot only nets Candido a two count. Candido brings a table into the ring and props it in the corner, but Taz replies by locking him in the Tazmission. Candido tries to get out of the hold, but Taz counters that by turning the move into a suplex through the table. The ref decides that Candido can’t continue following that and stops the match.

WINNER BY REFEREE STOPPAGE AND STILL CHAMPION: TAZ
RATING: ***1/2

This was a great brawl and the finish at least was decisive even if the match didn’t end in a pin fall or submission.

Candido is put on a stretcher, but Taz throws him off it and then chokes him out in the ring, all whilst Candido has a neck brace on. Err, so was that a heel turn for Taz then or just another example of him being the world’s grumpiest man? The bloodthirsty ECW crowd still joins in with his catchphrase, so I guess it’s the latter.

In Conclusion

This was an excellent episode, with two good matches and two very strong angles as well. I’m genuinely interested to see where they go next with these story lines. It’s Justin Credible Vs Shane Douglas next week, which should be a heated match. Hopefully you’ll all join me for it next week!