Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #314 – 01/05/1999

Pinch, punch, beginning of the month!

Hello You, and welcome back for some more ECW Hardcore TV action!

We are just two weeks away from Hardcore Heaven 1999 on the 16th of May 1999 and most of the card hasn’t even been announced yet, because poor forward planning is EXTREME I guess. Thus far we know its Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn for the TV Title and not much else. Maybe this week we’ll finally see the show start to take shape?

So without further ado, let’s take another journey to The Extreme, and see if Paul Heyman can start putting this pay per view together.

This week’s matches are coming from Queens, New York

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Opening Match
Jerry Lynn Vs TAKA Michinoku

We join this match in progress, with both men fighting outside the ring. TAKA sends Lynn into the guardrails and then gets a ridiculous dive from inside the ring to the outside. Lynn fights back with a baseball slide however and drops TAKA crotch first on the guardrails (TAKA has been watching his Tommy Dreamer tapes clearly) before following with a dropkick off the apron.

Not content with that however, Lynn then dives from the ring into the crowd, as they are just going all out here with the big spots. Lynn goes after TAKA’s leg back inside the ring, going all Muta with dropkicks and Dragon Screws. TAKA is able to counter one of the Dragon Screw attempts with an enziguiri however, but his resulting Tornado DDT attempt is easily blocked by Lynn.

TAKA lands on his feet from a German Suplex attempt, but his follow up rana is turned into a powerbomb from Lynn for two. Lynn goes to the Gory Guerrero Special, but TAKA slips out, only to run into a tilt a whirl back breaker. Wow, Lynn has been beasting TAKA for most of this match. As I type that, TAKA finally finds some joy with a top rope rana, but Lynn is out at two.

TAKA gets a brain buster and heads up top for a moonsault, but Lynn rolls out of the way and delivers a Tornado DDT for two. Wasn’t that his finisher in the WWF actually when he went there in 2001? I seem to recall that he did it on Smackdown: Just Bring It. TAKA fights back with a knee in the corner and a springboard missile dropkick, but Lynn fights off a Michinoku Driver attempt and hits his new devastating Cradle Piledriver finisher to pick up the three count.

WINNER: JERRY LYNN
RATING: ***

That was quite the high energy spot fest, with countless big moves and a healthy assortment of dives. They kept Lynn strong there and gave him yet another clean win, as they are doing everything in their power to make you think that Lynn has a chance at the pay per view against Rob Van Dam.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is outside with a microphone looking for ECW Champ Taz. Taz arrives and tries to ignore him, but Cyrus peaks his interest by saying that Chris Candido is there and is in a protective halo due to Taz wrecking his neck at Cyber Slam 99. Taz doesn’t seem too remorseful, and threatens to choke Cyrus out if he bothers him again.

Show Intro

Joey Styles is in the ring, and as its Queens we get the awesome Fire Pro Wrestling styled diagonal view from the hard cam. Man, remember when arenas actually looked different before WWE decided they all had to look the same? We get spliced in footage of Taz destroying Candido at Cyber Slam, which leads to Candido and Tammy Sytch coming down to ringside. Candido indeed has the halo on and is very solemn. However, I smell an angle here, and indeed Taz comes down to the ring and grabs a mic. Taz says people from New York have no respect, which gets a big cheer from the bloodthirsty Queens crowd. Candido requests an apology from Taz, but the ECW Champ is non repentant, and in fact makes a jab about Candido not being able to give it to Tammy any more. Taz actually challenges Candido to get in the ring, but Candido refuses due to the halo and says he’s brought someone in to wrestle Taz tonight, and Taz is happy to oblige. This brings Steve Corino down to the ring, who says he thinks the whole Taz gimmick is a sham (What’s it that Scott used to say about shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments?). Taz and Corino have pretty good chemistry on the mic actually. Corino is a generous man and offers Taz the chance to lay the belt down at his feet instead of wrestling him, which goes about as well for him as you’d expect. However, whilst Taz is distracted, Candido uses the opportunity to attack Taz and drop him with a powerbomb, followed by a diving head butt.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Joey is now in front of the ECW banner and says that Taz is tearing apart the locker room

COMMERCIAL

Match Two
Little Guido w/ Big Sal E. Graziano Vs Super Nova

This is joined in progress with Nova hitting Guido with a baseball slide, but when he tries a dive onto Sal he gets caught and pulverised in quick succession. Guido works over Nova back inside, locking in quite a few punishing submission holds that would be immediate fight enders in an MMA fight, but because this is a pro wrestling match in 1999, Nova just sells them like rest holds.

Guido distracts the ref, which allows Sal to come in and squish Nova, but the resulting pin fall attempt only delivers a count of two. Nova shows his guts by continually kicking out of Guido’s pin attempts and finally gets the chance to deliver a Fall Away Slam from the second rope for two. Guido gets a modified face buster for a two of his own, and then enlists Sal’s help to hold Nova in the corner.

Nova breaks free however and delivers a ten punch on Guido in the corner, which draws Sal over for an Avalanche. Nova moves however, and Sal ends up squishing Guido (Which would have happened even if Nova hadn’t move if we’re being honest). Nova hits a Tornado DDT on Sal and splats Guido with the Kryptonite Krunch for the win.

WINNER: SUPER NOVA
RATING: *1/2

This was a good against the odds win for Nova, but the match was too short overall to be rated higher. In a TNA moment, Nova has barely had his arm raised when it’s TO THE BACK, or in this case, TO THE ADVERT BREAK!

COMMERCIAL

Joey is back in front of the banner, where he confirms that Hardcore Heaven will now have a main event of Taz defending the ECW Title against Chris Candido. I’m just happy that we have another match confirmed for the show!

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

Honestly I can’t wait until she settles on Dawn Marie as a name because I can never remember how to spell Mcgillicutty correctly and it’s really bloody annoying to have to check it on Google every time I do one of these. “Beulah” does look nothing short of amazing tonight though. I often think Dawn Marie gets overlooked sometimes when it comes to discussion of the hottest women of the 90’s boom period. She was darn attractive in her prime. She was genuinely a great valet too. We get the ring intros (Which includes Francine going to the ring corner nearest the hard cam and literally trying to thrust her boobs right into the viewer’s living rooms) before we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, both men are in the midst of a lock up. Storm and Credible have needed a win for a while and Dreamer jobs to basically everybody, so I think they’ll probably get a tick in the “W” column tonight at the very least. Dreamer and Storm actually do some amateur styled grappling, which causes Storm to complain of Dreamer pulling his tights in good heel fashion.

Shenanigans with the women getting on the apron allows Storm to clock Dreamer and take control of things. In a shocking development, Tommy gets dropped crotch first on the guardrail. In other news, fire is hot, tune in later for the full story. Storm actually lifts Justin Credible’s beat down powerbomb out of the corner, although he doesn’t sit out with it like his partner does.

A chair gets brought into the ring, but Dreamer clotheslines Storm over the top before it can be used. Outside we go, where Dreamer hits Storm with a bottle of fizzy pop before whipping him into the crowd. We get the mandatory crowd brawl next, but they don’t stay out there for too long as there isn’t really anywhere to go due to arena being so pokey (Or if we’re being charitable, “snug”)

Dreamer tries to introduce a table to proceedings, but Storm baseball slides it into his face, breaking the end of it in the process. Storm props the remains of the table in the corner, but this allows Dreamer to clobber him and then hit an elbow drop from the second rope. DDT is countered to a Norther Lights Suplex, but Dreamer is able to kick out at two.

Dreamer seems to have it won with a roll up, but “Beulah” breaks up the count, which brings in Francine for a spear. As the ref is dealing with her, Dreamer sets up Storm for a piledriver, which leads to “Beulah” whiffing on him with a chair shot. Dreamer no sells the chair shot fail and stalks her, which allows Storm to hit him with the chair and then deliver a Scorpion Death Drop for two.

Storm tries to suplex Dreamer through the table in the corner, but Dreamer blocks it and then delivers a Spicolli Driver through the table to pick up the improbable win, as Storm and Credible lose once AGAIN. I mean, this is Tommy Dreamer, he loses to EVERYONE and here he is getting a win over Storm? What an ineffective pair of boobs Storm and Credible are as heels.

WINNER: TOMMY DREAMER
RATING: **

Storm and Dreamer have had some good matches over the years, I’m sure of it, but all of their matches that I have watched for these reviews thus far have been decidedly average. This was watchable and enjoyable enough for what it was, but it wasn’t great or anything.

Storm and Credible do the post-match beat down again, like they’ve done every time they’ve lost in this feud. “Beulah” canes Francine, which brings in Shane Douglas for the failed save attempt. Seriously though, why should I care at this point? Dreamer and Douglas have proven on multiple occasions that they are superior to Storm and Credible in match situations, which is ultimately where it counts. All the post-match beat downs in the world won’t hide the fact that Storm and Credible are losers who can’t get the job done when the chips are down. This has been one of the weirdest pushes for a supposed top heel team that I’ve ever seen.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, we see that Francine has been shook up severely by the cane shots. Joey then finally starts promoting the Hardcore Heaven card.

Thus far we have
ECW World Title – (C) Taz Vs Chris Candido
ECW TV Title – (C) Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn
TAKA Michinoku Vs Super Crazy
ECW Tag Titles – (C) The Dudley Boyz Vs Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten in an Extreme Death Match

If those first three matches deliver then we could be in for one heck of a show!

Joey then sends to the ring, where The Dudley Boyz have come out to annoy the Queens crowd. Buh Buh and D-Von argue over who deserves credit for beating Rob Van Dam on last week’s show. D-Von counters Buh Buh’s points by saying that he’s the better looking of the two, to which Buh Buh replies “Maybe to a fat white girl”, which causes D-Von to declare “Hey, fat ladies need loving too!”

Funny as this is, is it actually going somewhere? As I type that, Bill Alfonso comes down to ringside and introduces Rob Van Dam. Seeing as we have about two minutes left of TV time, I assume this is to set up a match for next week’s show? And indeed, the show goes off the air with RVD getting into the ring.

In Conclusion

Not a bad cliff hanger there. Obviously I don’t buy for a second that Buh Buh Ray or D-Von are going to beat RVD for the belt next week, but it’s nice to see some effort being put into getting people to care about next week’s show.

This week’s show wasn’t bad or anything, but it was another middling effort overall. Lynn Vs TAKA was fun and I’m always up for some Steve Corino mic work, so I enjoyed the Taz angle as well, but nothing really leapt out at me either.

One good thing is that the Hardcore Heaven card is finally taking shape and, on paper, it looks like it has a good chance of being an enjoyable show. I’m looking forward to seeing what other matches they announce for it in the coming weeks.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s trip down memory lane and hopefully I’ll see you all next week for more ECW action!