Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #316 – 15/05/1999

Hello You!

So here we are on the go-home show for ECW Hardcore Heaven (Of which a review should be up of by tomorrow) a pay per view that suffered a bit in build due to ECW only really getting the card sorted a couple of weeks out.

It also hasn’t helped that supposed top heels Lance Storm and Justin Credible have been doing jobs to everyone and their sister in the build-up, meaning they are both roughly as heated as an icicle going into the big event.

In happier news, Jerry Lynn has been booked super strong and scored a number of clean pin fall victories thanks to his dreaded new finisher, The Cradle Piledriver. Indeed, he even scored a win over Credible in last week’s show as the two had their usual entertaining scrap.

Lynn is now ready and primed to challenge ECW TV Champ Rob Van Dam at Hardcore Heaven. RVD picked up a big win himself over Buh Buh Ray Dudley last week, so that particular match has at least been built very well and I’m suitably excited for it.

The Dudley Boyz are due to defend their ECW Tag Titles at the pay per view, but challengers have yet to be officially confirmed (Although Balls and Axl were mentioned a couple of weeks back before the line-up became somewhat more ambiguous) so maybe we’ll find out who they are supposed to be facing this week?

And there’s also the small fact of ECW Champ Taz being steaming mad at Chris Candido duping him and laying him out a couple of weeks ago in Queens, so maybe we’ll see him attempt to gain some retribution ahead of his title defence to Candido at Hardcore Heaven?

So with the stage set, let’s waste no more time and dive into another exciting week of EXTREME action!

Today’s matches are coming from the ECW Arena in Philly

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We get a cold open, where we see that Chris Chetti has seemingly been injured in a match with Chris Candido. Candido appears to be sad about it, but it’s of course a swerve as he jumps Chetti on the stretcher and then piledrives him back inside as revenge for Taz attacking him in a similar manner at the same arena. Can’t say Taz can have too many complaints there, seeing as he showed zero remorse for his actions. Taz eventually runs down to rescue his relative, sending Candido fleeing to the back. Taz grabs a mic and insults Candido, only to go and attack Chetti himself! What a bizarre babyface. I mean, this feud really has been arse backwards when you think about it, with Taz being the biggest jerk in the world and Candido having a legit reason to be angry at him. Taz grabs the mic again and says that if he’ll do this to his own flesh and blood, just imagine what he’ll do to Candido at Hardcore Heaven. The bloodthirsty ECW Arena crowd don’t seem too miffed by Taz’s actions and still chant along with his catchphrase. What a weird bunch.

Show Intro – Today’s tagline “Amy Fisher Outta Jail (That Ain’t Hardcore) Chastity Exposed (That’s A Little Closer)”. No, I don’t know what any of that means, but feel free to Google it.

Joey Styles is in the ring at the ECW Arena. Justin Credible, Jason and Jazz come down to join him. Joey being eternally grossed out by Jason is one of the better long running gags in ECW I must say. Credible grabs the mic and says that he has an announcement that will shock the wrestling world, but first brings out Lance Storm with The Fake Beulah (Whose looking pretty damn great tonight). I like how Dawn Marie always brought a veneer of class to proceedings and wasn’t just your standard ECW slutty bitch.

Storm actually gets a “USA” chant from the ECW Arena crowd, after bigging up Calgary. Storm has a piece of paper that he hands to Credible. Credible reveals that it’s a document that confirms that Sabu has been banned from attending wrestling events in the entire United States of America. Well, I guess he’ll have to cut his losses and just take up a career in Motocross then. Credible says that thanks to him, the ECW crowd will never see Sabu again. Let’s see how long that lasts, I’m betting it won’t last a week before Sabu shows up somewhere.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Joey recaps the news and states that Bill Alfonso and Rob Van Dam will comment on it later.

Opening Match
Little Guido w/ Big Sal E Graziano Vs El Mosco de la Merced

Joey tries to get over on commentary that Guido is no longer a comedy wrestler in an attempt to make him come across more serious. That would take a while but Guido was eventually respected as a serious wrestler by the time ECW closed its doors, but that was mainly due to Tony Mamaluke getting added to the act so that Guido could play exasperated straight man.

Guido does some nice amateur style shoot wrestling to start, but Mosco uses the POWER OF LUCHA to counter it. Guido is unhappy about this and turns things into a slug fest, which Mosco is able to cope with as well. Mosco baseball slides Guido into the front row and then follows with an Asai moonsault onto Guido out amongst the people for the requisite “EC-DUB” chant.

Sal pays dividends by attacking Mosco when he gets back inside, which allows Guido to hit the Sicilian Slice for two. Mosco keeps coming, but Guido counters a moonsault attempt into a powerbomb for two, before distracting the ref. This allows Sal to wobble in and drop an elbow on Mosco, but Guido only gets two from the resulting pin attempt.

Guido keeps trying to put Mosco away, but the Luchadore keeps kicking out, to Guido’s continued frustration. Guido tries going up top, but Mosco brings him down with a sunset flip for two. Mosco goes for something off the top, but Guido counters it to a powerbomb and then locks in the Sicilian Crab for the clean win.

WINNER:  LITTLE GUIDO
RATING: **

Decent little TV match. I’m glad they eventually had Guido win clean despite all the interference from Sal earlier on in the bout. This did quite a bit to establish him as a genuine competitor and not just a lower card comedy guy. Mosco was actually better here than in his match with Super Crazy, as Guido did a good job reining in his more spotty tendencies and the match told a good story as consequence.

COMMERCIAL

Match Two
Yoshihiro Tajiri & TAKA Michinoku Vs Super Crazy & Super Nova

Well that’s two pretty random pairings I must say, although Tajiri and TAKA share the same nationality at least. We get a cut in promo from Bill Alfonso and Rob Van Dam prior to the match starting. Alfonso threatens that Sabu will indeed be at Hardcore Heaven (Ha! Called it!) whilst RVD targets Jerry Lynn with some comments.

Back in the ring, we see that Guido and Sal have assaulted Nova as revenge for Nova beating Guido in Queens a couple of weeks ago. Sal drops an elbow off the apron to put Nova through a table, which angers Tajiri as he doesn’t like Guido interrupting his match. TAKA tries to get Tajiri refocused, whilst Guido and Sal retreat to the back.

TAKA finally succeeds in getting Tajiri back onside, and they double team Crazy with some nice stuff, which is Spike Dudley’s cue to come down and take Nova’s place as Crazy’s partner. Dives galore follow, with Spike getting flung out onto TAKA and Tajiri by Crazy, followed by Crazy adding a big dive of his own for the “EC-DUB” chant from the crowd.

Say, remember when the Crazy Vs Tajiri feud supposedly ended at Living Dangerously? Kind of surprising that they’re wrestling again so soon isn’t it? I’m sure it’ll be a one off though and they won’t wrestle each other roughly 1,253 more times between now and the closure of ECW. Nope, I think that’s particularly unlikely…

Anyway, TAKA and Tajiri fight their way back into things and actually hit stereo Asai moonsaults into the crowd for a big pop. Back inside, Crazy gets a ten punch on TAKA, but TAKA powerbombs him out of the corner and then gets a Tajiri assisted Michinoku Driver to pick up the win, complete with cocky cover.

WINNERS: TAJIRI AND TAKA
RATING: *

This was a bit of a mess with a good finishing sequence. Spike didn’t look out of place in this company but he wasn’t given much time to really shine.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, we get a Tommy Dreamer promo from outside the building, where he accuses Lance Storm of being yellow. He finally address Dawn Marie by that name and promises to get her at Hardcore Heaven with a piledriver. Joey muses about what will happen if Tommy goes for a piledriver but Dawn isn’t wearing any knickers. This fucking company sometimes…

Joey hypes up the Hardcore Heaven Card
Justin Credible Vs Shane Douglas
Lance Storm Vs Tommy Dreamer, in a match where the goal is seemingly for Dreamer to piledrive Dawn Marie whilst she goes commando (How lovely)
TAKA Michinoku Vs Super Crazy
Little Guido Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri
ECW Champion Taz defends Vs Chris Candido
ECW Television Champion Rob Van Dam defends Vs Jerry Lynn
On paper, that’s a pretty solid card. So long as they don’t do anything overly complicated or silly booking wise and just let the matches speak for themselves then this should be an enjoyable show!

Main Event
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champions: Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley w/ Sign Guy and Joel Gertner Vs Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten

Ah, so they’re having this one now instead of at the pay per view? Fair enough, Balls and Axl were relatively weak challengers anyway, although I’m unsure who could take their place at the pay per view now.

But wait, Sign Guy actually cuts a promo on Balls and Axl saying that they won’t get a Title shot as they aren’t hardcore enough, which earns him a stiff chair shot from Balls. This enrages the Champions and the fight is on!

We have a tornado styled brawl, with all four men going at it at the same time. Buh Buh and Balls brawl outside, whilst D-Von and Axl fight inside the ring. It’s not long before Balls is bleeding, but he gets the better of Buh Buh out amongst the crowd as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, we get shown a replay of Buh Buh superplexing Balls through a table. Where the table came from is never explained, but at least they didn’t just come back from the ads with Balls already lying in the wreckage. Baby steps, baby steps.

D-Von and Buh Buh then bring some barbed wire into the ring to assault Axl with. This leads to Balls trying to spit fire at the Champs, but they duck and Balls gets Axl instead. A remorseful Balls tries to tend to his partner, only to turn around into a 3-D for the pin.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE DUDLEY BOYZ
RATING: N/A

Not enough of the actual match was shown to rate. This could lead to an interesting storyline possibly if Axl goes heel on Balls for accidentally catching him with the fire. The question remains though, whose going to challenge the Champs at Hardcore Heaven now?

COMMERCIAL

Joey hypes up Hardcore Heaven once again, going into the hard sell to close us out.

In Conclusion

Not a bad go home show all told. They hyped up the Hardcore Heaven card and did a good job explaining why everyone was fighting one another, as well as teasing a possible Sabu appearance at the pay per view. Your standard go home show really.

I’ll see you all for Hardcore Heaven tomorrow. On paper it looks like it should be a strong show, let’s hope ECW deliver on the promise it brings!

Hopefully I’ll see you all tomorrow!