Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #312 – 17/04/1999

Last week was the first night of matches taped at Cyber Slam 1999, ECW’s annual big internet fan convention. This week is the second lot of matches, featuring a main event of Shane Douglas taking on the young upstart Justin Credible.

In addition to that, we’ve also got Jerry Lynn, Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Crazy all in action this week, so there should be plenty of good in ring action for you all to get your dentures into.

So without further ado, let’s take it to The Extreme!

The following action was taped from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with the closing stages of Da Gangsta’s Paradise Cage Match, which sees The Dudley Boyz and Mr. Mustafa teaming up to take on Balls Mahoney, Axl Rotten and New Jack. Balls spits fire into Mustafa’s face, but then turns around into the 3D from The Dudleyz and is promptly pinned. However, as the victorious Dudleyz leave they realise they have forgotten to take Mustafa with them, which allows the babyfaces to lock him in the cage with them. Mustafa is put on a table and New Jack comes off the top of the cage with a splash, to seemingly bring that feud to close.

Show Intro

Joey Styles is in his usual position in front of the ECW banner. He recaps last week’s show, where Rob Van Dam defeated Scorpio to retain his ECW Television Title, whilst ECW Champ Taz brutalised Chris Candido, sending him on his way out of the arena on a stretcher.

Opening Match
Jerry Lynn Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri

This match is actually quite notable for something that happens in it, and it usually found its way onto quite a lot of comp tapes during this era. There’s some nice wrestling to start, with Lynn using his technical skills to avoid giving Tajiri an opening to deliver some of his trademark vicious kicks. Lynn even busts out the old Gory Guerrero Special at one point, but Tajiri is able to slip out. Lynn sends Tajiri outside with a back elbow and then follows with a crossbody from the top onto the floor.

Back inside the ring, Tajiri manages to catch Lynn in the Tarantula and then follows up with the handspring back elbow. Oh yes, it’s a Tajiri match now! Outside we go, where Tajiri sends Lynn into the crowd and then follows with an Asai moonsault. Back inside, Lynn goes for a rana, but Tajiri bridges out of the resulting pin attempt and gets one of his own for two. Lynn replies with a nice reverse DDT, but he can’t take advantage of things following it, which gives Tajiri an opening to start kicking the crap out of him.

Lynn shows guts however and fights through the pain to throw some open hand chops Tajiri’s way. Tajiri fires back with some of his own before hanging Lynn in the Tree of Woe and cracking him in the face with a running dropkick for two. Lynn isn’t done yet however, and replies with a running Liger Bomb for two, as the fans are on their feet and deeply into the action on display. Tajiri kicks Lynn’s leg out from under his, err, leg grabs a La Magistral for two. Lynn fires off a desperation lariat, before making a bit of history by delivering the Cradle Piledriver for the first time in his career to pick up the win.

WINNER: JERRY LYNN
RATING: ***3/4

This was a great match for so many reasons. It was fought at a high tempo, the work was crisp, Tajiri looked impressive despite losing and Lynn got a clean win with a devastating new finishing move to build him up as the guy who could finally end Rob Van Dam’s TV Title reign. Lovely stuff!

COMMERCIAL

Joey hypes up the main event for later on in the show, before throwing to the ring as it’s time for some Extreme Lucha Libre

Match Two
El Mosco de le Merced Vs Super Crazy

Crazy has finally got a hometown that isn’t just “Mexico” after months of being in the company. Joey mentions on commentary that these two have history together in Mexico both as partners and opponents. We get some Lucha themed chain wrestling to start, complete with them working the right side instead of the left, which ends up in a Mexi……err…Central American standoff.

Mosco dodges Crazy to send him tumbling outside and then follows with a flip dive to the floor. Crazy fights back on the outside and sends Mosco into the crowd, where he follows with an outstanding moonsault. Man, Crazy really was an elite high flyer back in the day!

Crazy gets a quebrada back inside for two, before deciding to go route one by simply dropping a knee to Mosco’s face for another two. Ten punches en Español in the corner come next, as Crazy has dominated most of this match thus far. As I type that however, Mosco rana’s Crazy to the outside and follows with another big dive, which he gets a two from back inside.

A top rope rana back inside gets another two for Mosco, which leads to Crazy bailing outside the ring to regroup. Mosco isn’t going to let up whilst he’s building momentum however, as he follows Crazy to the floor, only for Crazy to fling Mosco back into the crowd, where he gets another moonsault, this time off the guardrail.

COMMERCIAL

As we return from the break, we see that Mosco and Crazy are back in the ring, where Mosco hits a twisting splash from the top rope for two. Mosco heads up again, this time for a moonsault, but Crazy gets his feet up to block it and Mosco goes face first into them in a vicious looking counter, before Crazy hits a sit out powerbomb for two. That should have probably been the finish, they’re not topping that.

Crazy goes for a moonsault, but Mosco stops him on the second rope and brings him down with a sunset flip powerbomb for two. However, Crazy decides he’s had enough of this nonsense now and drops Mosco with a tilt-a-whirl before heading up top for a D’Lo Brown styled frogsplash for the win.

WINNER: SUPER CRAZY
RATING: **1/2

They should have ended that with the powerbomb really, but this was a pretty exhilarating collection of wild spots. It was certainly fun to watch, even if it was kind of short of psychology.

We get a recap of last week, where Tommy Dreamer knocked out Lance Storm and doused him in his own urine. You had to be there I guess.

COMMERICAL

Main Event
Justin Credible w/ Jason and Jazz Vs Shane Douglas w/ Francine

Douglas chastises Credible on the mic to start and slaps him in the face for good measure. Credible fires back and we have a chop off. Douglas hits a trio of suplexes, which gets him a two count from the ref, before delivering a gourdbuster and a rolling neck snap as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, Douglas is up on the top rope but Credible flings him off through a table in the middle of the ring. What the heck? Douglas was on top of things when we took a break and a table hadn’t even been brought into the ring yet. How much of this match ended up on the cutting room floor for so much time to have elapsed? Anyway, Credible gets two from that and then starts working Douglas over.

Douglas fights back with some chops, but a superkick puts him down again for a two count. Credible goes to the dreaded chin lock, as the referee gets behind Douglas. Douglas fights up and gets a sunset flip for two, before Credible is able to cut him off again. Credible takes the fight outside and throws Douglas into a pole, which opens The Franchise up.

A bloody Douglas keeps fighting, but a Credible low blow stops a comeback in its tracks and it’s back to the chin lock we go. Credible brings another table into the ring and props it up in the corner, but Douglas manages to fling him through it for two. Douglas now shows his desperation by using the finisher of the man he hates the most in the form of the Figure Four Leglock, but Jazz breaks that up before Credible can submit.

This is Francine’s cue to come into the ring for our mandatory catfight of the evening. Credible grabs his Singapore cane and wears Douglas out with it, but he’s able to duck the home run swing and floors Credible with a calf kick. Douglas grabs the cane and clocks Credible with it, which brings Jason into the ring to kick him right in the Martin’s. Francine is back to help her man though, and spears Jason down.

Credible superkicks Douglas again, but it only nets him a two count. Douglas replies with a Thesz Press however and rains down punches. Credible continues the Stone Cold tribute by hitting a Stunner, in something that may have popped the boys when they were planning the match but only makes ECW look small time when guys are stealing moves from WWF guys in their TV main event. Credible comes off the top, but Douglas catches him on the way down with the Pittsburgh Plunge to pick up the win.

WINNER: SHANE DOUGLAS
RATING: ***

Solid effort from both men there, although it seemed really counterproductive to put Douglas over Credible yet again when they’re trying to make Credible into a star. There’s no real point building to a big heel win over a veteran babyface, as it’s not something the crowd wants to see. An up and coming babyface chasing the veteran heel and trying to get the big win to cement him works as a story, as you can naturally root for the younger guy and get invested in their journey. There’s also a good story in a veteran babyface trying to beat a younger heel to prove he still belongs, but having him lose a few times before finally achieving his goal. There’s even mileage in the story of a veteran babyface dropping a bunch of matches to a young heel and eventually getting retired by them to really give the young guy the rub. But the young heel trying to beat the veteran face numerous times and failing just isn’t that good a story, as the payoff isn’t really going to justify the story as the fans aren’t going on that emotional journey with the heel and it’s not going to make the heel look especially strong either if he’s already lost a bunch of times, so you don’t even get that benefit from it either.

Lance Storm runs down and attacks Douglas for a two on one beat down. Tommy Dreamer runs down to try and help his partner, but he gets beaten down as well, as the show ends with Storm and Credible standing tall.

In Conclusion

They’ve done the “heels lose the match but leave the faces lying” thing quite a few times in this Storm and Credible Vs Dreamer and Douglas feud, and it really doesn’t work. If these guys really are supposed to be the top heels then they need to start beating people. You can only have them lay people out but lose in match situations so many times before you typecast them as guys who can’t back it up at the top level.

The show itself was very good this week, with all three matches being entertaining and a strong angle with New Jack seemingly killing off the Mustafa character. Next week’s matches have supposedly been taped from Buffalo, so hopefully the crowd are up for that one and there’s some good matches or angles to start setting up the Hardcore Heaven pay per view.

Thanks for reading and take care till next time!