Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999

Hello You!

So after a couple of months of ECW Hardcore TV we’ve finally reached the Hardcore Heaven pay per view. The build-up for this show hasn’t been the greatest, with them essentially cramming all the hype into two weeks’ worth of television. Despite that, the card looks like it could be good with a Jerry Lynn Vs Rob Van Dam match looking to be the best one on offer.

I actually have the Laserlight Digital DVD version of the show, which I bought way back in 2001 from HMV. It thankfully has all the real music and isn’t dubbed. Sadly there’s no scheduled New Jack match though so I won’t be able to make the most of it in that regards. The DVD version cuts out all of the adverts and also chops up some of the backstage segments, but everything that needs to be here is here I think and the show comes in at just over two and half hours.

So without further ado, let’s head to the barbed wire gates to meet a baseball bat wielding Saint Peter so that we can gain access to Hardcore Heaven!

The event is emanating from the Mid-Hudson Civic Centre in Poughkeepsie, New York on the 16th of May 1999

Calling the action is Joey Styles (With Cyrus The Virus popping in for a bit later on)

We start out with Joey Styles in the ring, as he welcomes everyone to the show. However, it’s not long until he’s interrupted by Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch. Sytch is looking like she hasn’t slept in weeks here. It’s either her attempt at “Junkie Chic” (Which was apparently a thing in the 90’s after “Trainspotting” was such a success) or she’s ingested a small London boroughs worth of illegal substances over the weeks building up to the show. I’ll leave it to you, discerning reader, to decide on the probability of either outcome. Anyway, Styles asks why Candido is out so early when he’s supposed to be main eventing with Taz later. Candido stumbles through a promo, where he reveals that he’s hired ECW Tag Team Champs The Dudley Boyz to watch his back tonight. Candido declares he will now be guaranteed to win, which brings ECW Champ Taz out. Taz mows down The Dudley Boyz on the entrance ramp and charges into the ring, where he demands the referee ring the bell, which he dutifully agrees to.

Opening Match
ECW World Title
Champion: Taz Vs Chris Candido w/ Tammy Sytch, The Dudley Boyz, Sign Guy Dudley and Joel Gertner

So yes, we’re opening the show with the supposed main event for some reason. I mean, I get that Taz Vs Candido was hardly a bigtime marquee match, but they did some heavy angles to build it up so you’d think they’d at least let them close the show with it? Anyway, Taz immediately German Suplexes Candido, and then adds a head and arm suplex for good measure. Candido responds with a powerbomb and heads up top, but Taz rolls out of the way of a diving head butt attempt and hits a T-Bone Suplex, followed by The Tazmission to pick up the clean win in something like 90 seconds.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: TAZ
RATING: N/A

That was way too short to rate and also felt like a completely missed opportunity to deliver a good match, especially as the first meeting between the two at Cyber Slam 1999 to set this up was a very enjoyable brawl. Just essentially squashing Candido like that was really weird and seemed pretty pointless. I can only assume that Candido was too hurt/drugged up to have a longer match or he’d done something to piss Paul E off and this was his punishment.

Taz doesn’t get long to celebrate however, as The Dudley Boyz immediately jump him and lay him out with The 3-D. Sign Guy actually has a “Yoda Fears 3-D” sign with him, that must be a reference to The Phantom Menace which came out that year. Cyrus shows up to join in on commentary, whilst Taz is helped to the back. And how, it’s Buh Buh Ray promo time. I’d go and grab a cup of tea or something, because this will probably take a while. So after Buh Buh blabbers on for a while going through his usual shtick, he eventually lays out a challenge for a team to come down and face them, which leads to Balls Mahoney coming down. Balls goes it alone and takes it to The Dudleyz, but he eventually gets overwhelmed, which leads to Little Spike Dudley running down for the rescue, leading to…

Match Two
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champions: Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley w/ Sign Guy and Gertner Vs Balls Mahoney and Little Spike Dudley

In an horrific opening spot, The Dudleyz try to fling Spike into the crowd so he can do his usual crowd surfing routine, but they fail to throw him far enough and he’s up crashing into the guardrail and tumbling back to ringside in a brutal botch. Someone needs to send that one to Maffew, it was wild. The fight spills outside, as that’s where Spike’s corpse has ended up, and Buh Buh puts him back in the ring whilst D-Von and Balls brawl on the floor.

Buh Buh works Spike over back in the ring, as Sign Guy puts a table in for his half-brother to us. Spike gets a desperation roll up for two whilst Buh Buh sets the table up, but he’s soon clobbered down again from Buh Buh. Buh Buh lays Spike on the table and heads up to the second rope, but he takes too long and this allows Spike to climb off and attack him. However, when the runt of the Dudley litter tries for a super rana through the table, Buh Buh is able to block it and ends up ploughing poor Spike through the table with a sit out powerbomb. This gets us our first “EC-DUB” chant of the night.

Joey and Cyrus both think that Spike is finished, but the resulting pin from Buh Buh only gets two. I thought that kick out would get a much bigger pop than it did. Spike gets hit with The 3-D next, but Balls brings his chair into the ring for some sick chair shots to even the odds. Sign Guy and Gertner try to attack Balls, but he shrugs off their feeble attempts at offence. Gertner tries lighting some matches and flinging them at Balls, who seems totally nonplussed by it all. Eventually though, he cannot sanction this buffoonery anymore and spits a fireball at Gertner.

However, Balls took forever to eventually spit said fireball and the fire clearly didn’t get anywhere near Gertner’s face. I mean, that’s good of course, you don’t want someone to actually get fire in their face or anything, but if you can’t make it look realistic then you just shouldn’t do the spot. As medical personnel attend to Gertner, Balls turns around where The Dudleyz are waiting to drill him with The 3-D and pick up the pin.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE DUDLEY BOYZ
RATING: *

So the pay per view has been on the air for just under 20 minutes and we’ve already had the main event and a Tag Title match in that time. Something is definitely going long later so that this show fills its 150 minute running time. This match was real amateur hour stuff, with a parade of botches and little actual wrestling or transitions. This show is off to a really weak start.

D-Von and Buh Buh Ray don’t seem too worried about Gertner being hurt and leave to the back with their belts as Joey says “I guess the pay per view has begun?”

And now two matches in we finally get the Show Intro, which avoids the usual awful jokes or bating of the major companies for once.

Match Three
Super Crazy Vs TAKA Michinoku

TAKA pinned Crazy on the last episode of Hardcore TV in a tag match, and did so in a cocky manner, so Crazy is looking for some revenge here. Fast paced action to start, as you’d expect from these two, which is punctuated by Crazy hitting a big DDT to send TAKA outside. TAKA stops a Crazy dive however, before coming back in with some Minoru Suzuki styled cocky kicks. See, he was always destined to join up with Suzuki-gun, it was in his blood to be an absolute jerk!

Both men actually show some good restraint here, going for a clear story of of TAKA being a cocky heel and not just going straight into an exhibition of dives. TAKA gets a big tornado DDT, but doesn’t go to a cover and instead tries it again, only for Crazy to turn the second one into a spine buster. TAKA gets a rana off the top, but goes for another cocky pin, which allows Crazy to get out. TAKA responds by sending Crazy outside, but he misses the follow up dive to floor, hitting the railing.

With TAKA outside, Crazy kicks him into the crowd and follows with a big Asai moonsault for a pop. Sadly we didn’t get a good shot of that due to the cameraman focusing on TAKA and not Crazy. Back inside the ring, Crazy is in control, as we get an Extreme Replay™ of the moonsault, and I can confirm that it looked great. Crazy actually works over TAKA’s leg back inside, but TAKA is able to fight back with an enziguri.

TAKA heads up for a moonsault, but misses and this allows Crazy to hit a trifecta of moonsaults himself for two. In a nice call back, Crazy did a lackadaisical cover on that occasion and it possibly allowed TAKA to just kick out. It’s clear that both men don’t just want to win the match but they also want to embarrass their opponent in the process. Crazy heads up for a cross body, but TAKA catches him with a dropkick on the way down before following up with another dropkick from the top.

TAKA hits The Michinoku Driver, but his leg is too hurt to go for the cover. Wow, actual proper psychology being displayed in a match that would normally just be a wild spot fest. I approve of this greatly. TAKA tries The Michinoku Driver again, but this time crazy is able to counter it into a DDT. Crazy counters a desperation rana attempt into a powerbomb on TAKA, but he doesn’t want the pin and instead hits another one before finally getting the pin.

WINNER: SUPER CRAZY
RATING: ***

I enjoyed this one and it would have been a solid opener if they’d, you know, actually allowed it to be the opener like it was supposed to be all along. I liked the ending of Crazy hitting an extra powerbomb just to punish TAKA for embarrassing him in the tag match and all of the spots in the match looked good. The match also told a story as well and TAKA’s leg injury actually played into costing him the match, so this gets an easy thumbs up, even if it wasn’t a blow away match or anything.

Joey hypes up the Television Title bout between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn later on the show, before sending to a video package. For those not au fait with the storyline, Jerry Lynn took Rob Van Dam to a 20 minute time limit draw back at Living Dangerously, and was so impressive in the bout that the referee actually wanted to award him with the belt (I know that doesn’t make sense but work with me here). Lynn refused to win that way and asked for five more minutes, where he was subsequently defeated. However, RVD wasn’t happy either, as he didn’t like there being a chance that people thought Lynn should have won, so he challenged Lynn to another match for this show. Since then however, Lynn has debuted a new devastating finishing move in the form of The Cradle Piledriver, so there’s every chance he could dethrone RVD tonight.

Meanwhile, Joel Gertner is in agony backstage over having his face burned. The Dudleyz don’t know what to do to help him. However, Gertner seemingly has a hit list of people that need taking out, and the first name on the list is Super Nova. The Dudleyz go off in search of the future Simon Dean, whilst Sign Guy tends to Gertner. It doesn’t take long for them to find him and they lay him out with a ferocious beating.

Match Four
Little Guido w/ Big Sal E. Graziano Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri

The best thing about watching this on the original DVD as opposed to the WWE Network is that I get to hear Tajiri come out to “Smack My Bitch Up”, although the audio quality is bloody awful. Tajiri and Guido jaw with each other even before the match starts, with Tajiri starting to show some more personality rather than just doing the generic “respectful foreigner” gimmick he was playing when he debuted. You can also see the beginnings of his facial hair as well, as he’s got a bit of five o’clock shadow going on.

We get some nice UWFi shoot styled grappling to start, as both men are very technically proficient. Guido bumps around for Tajiri, selling his brutal kicks perfectly, as well as fighting back with slaps and stomps of his own. Guido goes to a Fujiwara arm bar next, before adding a dropkick to the arm. Guido tries a dive to the outside next, but Tajiri swats him aside before successfully delivering one of his own.

Tajiri brutalises Guido outside the ring for a while before bringing it back inside, where he goes to The Tarantula. Sal cheap shots him to break that up however, which allows Guido to stomp away at Tajiri. Tajiri keeps coming however, countering a flying head scissors by flinging Guido onto the ramp. However, Guido fends him off and hits the Sicilian Slice on the ramp, before taking control of things back inside the ring.

Guido distracts the ref, which allows Sal to wobble in and splat Tajiri with a powerslam, but Guido only gets two from the resulting pin fall attempt. Guido keeps the pressure on Tajiri, but just can’t keep him down for three. Guido tries for the Sicilian Crab, but Tajiri counters out of it and delivers some vicious kicks to Guido’s legs. Tajiri tries a brainbuster, but Guido fights him off and goes to an arm bar, but Tajiri is able to make it to the ropes to break the hold.

Tajiri gets a wacky side slam styled move on Guido and then goes for a powerbomb, but Guido is able to slip out of it. This earns him a slap for his trouble and Tajiri then ups the ante by hanging Guido in the Tree of Woe and kicking him in the face. Tajiri adds a brainbuster and that’s enough to pick up the win. Tajiri gives a sick grin to the camera following the fall, which is foreshadowing to his more evil Muta like character that will be coming soon.

WINNER: YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI
RATING: ***1/4

Darn good match there, with both men selling well and hitting some nice stuff. That big clean win for Tajiri should hopefully see him gain some traction up the card, as the main event scene is in dire need of some fresh blood.

We get the usual Tommy Dreamer video package set to “River of Deceit” by Mad Season. As usual, Tommy Dreamer gets brutally beaten up by his pay per view opponent, in this case Lance Storm, whilst spending most of the video looking like a sad aging greyhound. The big takeaway from this one is that Dreamer has been trying to beat up Dawn Marie for months but she always manages to get away.

Meanwhile, The Dudley Boyz are working their way through Gertner’s hit list. Next on the list is Rod Price, which confuses Buh Buh as he likes Rod. However, he’s soon convinced that beating him up would be a good idea when D-Von confirms they’ll get $3000 for performing the deed.

Match Five
ECW Grudge Match
Lance Storm w/ Dawn Marie Vs Tommy Dreamer

Dawn comes out wearing no pants as promised in the TV building this, but Lance isn’t having any of that and forces her to put some on. Cyrus hints that Joey is going to WCW, so Joey kicks him out of the commentary booth. Dawn looks pretty gosh darn incredible here by the way, wearing as little clothing as possible whilst still wearing something that constitutes a dress. Storm is actually wearing jeans and a vest tonight as opposed to his usual wrestling gear to sell that this is a big deal.

Dreamer, seeing that he’s outnumbered, brings Francine with him to even the odds. The fight starts up on the ramp, with Dreamer getting the better of things and sending Storm into the ring. Dreamer counters a sunset flip back inside by utilising the not often seen “hit your opponent with a bin lid” technique. I believe George Hackenschmidt used the very same technique in his classic 176 minute draw with Benjamin Von Booterhausen in a Siberian snowfield way back in 1901.

Cactus Clothesline from Dreamer sends both men tumbling to the floor, where Dreamer continues to maintain control, but when he tries a Spicolli Driver on the ramp Storm is able to slip out and hit a reverse DDT. Back inside, Dreamer tries to DDT Storm on a chair, but Storm counters it into a modified STO for two. Storm and Dreamer go through a nice counter sequence that ends with Storm getting a super kick for two.

Storm decides to set a table up at ringside, but Dreamer recovers and fights him off before he can use it. Dreamer grabs a section of guardrail into the ring, and my bollocks are already aching at the thought of what’s surely coming next. And indeed, as I type that, Storm drops Dreamer crotch first onto the railing because…

Thanks, Cenk.

Anyway, with Dreamer’s meatballs now marinating in their own Ragu, Storm heads up top and tries to leap onto him, but he is able to dodge it and Storm ends up hitting the railing. Dreamer heads up himself now, but Storm cuts him off at the pass and then throws him off the top rope face first into a chair for two. Storm tries to hip toss Dreamer off the apron through the table from earlier, but Dreamer blocks it and it ends up being Storm who takes a back body drop through it.

Storm recovers pretty damn quickly from that though and starts wearing Dreamer out with his leather belt, opening a cut on Dreamer’s head in the process. Storm tries to use a chair, but Dreamer fends him off and then hits a chair assisted stunner for two. Dreamer heads out to set a ladder up between the ring and railings, but when he tries to bulldog Storm off the apron he gets shoved off onto the ladder instead.

Storm goes to baseball slide the ladder into Dreamer’s face, but Dreamer sees him coming and is able to avoid it and eventually splat Storm with the ladder. Next we get Dreamer putting Storm’s head between the rungs of the ladder and hitting it with a chair, which is an impressive looking and sounding spot but also totally safe as well. You can tell that Storm wasn’t going to do too much stupid stuff here, namely because he’s good enough to not need to and also because he’s a generally intelligent man.

Storm stumbles around with the ladder over his head following the chair shot and happens to bump the referee in the process, setting us up for some ECW Shenanigans™ no doubt. Dreamer lays Storm on the ladder and goes for a splash from the top, but Storm moves out of the way and Dreamer ends up hitting nothing but ladder. Storm sets Dreamer up on another table and heads up top, but Dreamer recovers and brings Storm down from the top rope with a Spicolli Driver through the table.

However, there’s no ref to count Dreamer’s resulting pin, which allows Cyrus to run down and break it up. This leads to Cyrus taking a spear and bronco buster from Francine, which then leads to our mandatory catfight of the evening between Dawn Marie and Francine. However, this leaves Dawn open for Dreamer to finally piledrive her. However, as is usually the case with Dreamer, he spends too much time beating up the lackeys/valets and that allows Storm to put a bin over his head and hit a spinning wheel kick to pick up the win.

WINNER: LANCE STORM
RATING: ***1/4

Oh my word, someone from the Lance Storm and Justin Credible team ACTUALLY WON A MATCH?!?! What’s next, are planes not going to be able to take off at the world’s biggest airports because there are too many pigs in the air? This was actually a fun garbagy brawl, with some neat counters and some impressive bumps. Some people complained at the time that a more technically skilled wrestler like Storm was seen to be slumming it in hardcore matches, but that was the whole point of this match. Storm came into Dreamer’s world here and beat him at his own game, which in turn gave him a rub, but he also did it in an underhanded way because he’s a heel. That’s perfectly sensible and logical story telling.

Meanwhile, The Dudley Boyz discover that Jack Victory is next on the list, which surprises both of them because he’s had their backs many a time in the past. However, once D-Von reveals that they’ll get $5000 for taking him out, Buh Buh soon changes his tune and states “Oh my God poor Jack Victory is a dead man”. Is the big twist here going to be that this isn’t a hit list from Gertner but actually just money he owes to all of the names on the list and The Dudleyz have actually got the whole situation confused? That would be a pretty funny payoff actually. Anyway, The Dudleyz find Victory and then annihilate him.

We then get a quick cut to a Taz promo, where he promises to take out both of The Dudleyz before the show ends tonight. We then go to Joey in front of the Hardcore Heaven banner, where he attempts to explain what has happened thus far in the Taz/Dudleyz story without the use of visual aids or an abacus. He then sends to the ring for the next match.

Match Six
ECW Television Title
No Time Limit
Champion: Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Jerry Lynn

Ah, Kilgore’s version of “Walk”, it’s been a while since I heard that. It really rams home just how generic sounding RVD’s WWE dubbed theme is for these ECW shows to be honest. I get that due to copyright issues they can’t use the real music, but it would it kill them to put a bit more effort into the fake ones they dub over? RVD actually slaps hands on his way to the ring tonight, which is something he hadn’t been doing that much prior to this but was the first step in him becoming more of an actual babyface instead of just a cocky guy that the fans cheered because he did cool stuff.

Lynn actually gets booed during the ring introductions, showing that Poughkeepsie is very much an RVD town. This show has had some decent stuff but it’s been lacking a blow away match, so maybe these two can deliver on that front? We get a chain wrestling battle to start, which ends in a Central American standoff to establish parity between the two men. The fluidity with which both men used to do this stuff really blew my mind back in the day.

RVD showboats to try and rile Lynn up, but Lynn remains calm and keeps going about his business. I like that as it’s something you see in real sports all the time and it makes sense to work it into a pro wrestling context. The pace quickens, with both men countering each other’s high flying attempts and once again we’re at a stalemate. Lynn eventually manages to knock RVD out of the ring with a missile dropkick and then follows with a big cross body off the top rope to the floor (Which was something you could actually do on “Smackdown: Just Bring It” with him as well)

Lynn controls things back inside the ring for a while, getting a bulldog from the second rope for two. Bill Alfonso eventually has to get involved by crotching Lynn on the top rope, but Lynn is able to dodge the follow up Van Daminator attempt and ends up braining RVD with a chair shot. Lynn thankfully didn’t deliver it full force and clearly pulled it a bit, which seems to annoy the bloodthirsty ECW crowd. RVD crotches him on the top rope again however and this time manages to kick him off, which sends Lynn careening off the top rope to the floor below.

Lynn actually bangs his head off the floor on the way down and knocks himself out legit. It really was a brutal fall and he’s lucky he survived it to be honest. Thankfully New York insists that ECW puts mats down, otherwise Lynn would have gone straight into the concrete. Good, I always thought that having no mats was a bogus selling point for ECW anyway. RVD has to literally heave a near comatose Lynn to his feet, before flinging him into the front row and following with a dive into the crowd.

I genuinely think these days they would have stopped the match there, in WWE at least anyway, but this was 1999 and they keep going as Lynn finally finds his bearings and manages to drag himself back into the ring. Lynn gets a roll up for two and goes for the Cradle Piledriver, but RVD counters that into an Alabama Slam. Lynn is able to dodge the follow up Rolling Thunder attempt though and goes for a Tornado DDT, but RVD is able to counter that into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. RVD sets Lynn up on the top rope, but Lynn fights him off and hits a sunset flip powerbomb from up there for two.

Lynn sets a table up outside, but RVD comes over to attack him before he can use it, and it’s into the crowd where RVD clonks Lynn with The Van Daminator. Lynn recovers however and tries to rana RVD off the top rope through the table like he did to Justin Credible at Heatwave 1998, but RVD fights him off and then flings him to the floor onto a stack of chairs. I don’t even know how those chairs got there!  It looked like Lynn’s head bounced off the apron on the way down as well, as he seems determined to kill himself in this match somehow.

RVD isn’t done and drapes Lynn over the guardrail before following with a corkscrew leg drop off the apron. RVD goes for the cover back inside following that, but Lynn isn’t staying down just yet and kicks out at two. Alfonso sends a chair in, and RVD dropkicks it in Lynn’s face (following a completely unnecessary back flip first of course, because RVD) and then sets Lynn up on the top rope. Lynn fights him off however and, following a scuffle, RVD clotheslines him back into the ring and hits a slingshot leg drop for two.

Lynn counters a splash attempt in the corner by back body dropping RVD onto the apron and then follows by sunset flip bombing him off the apron through the table from earlier, which apparently almost cost RVD his eye due to an errant shard of table. It’s a miracle both men went on to wrestle for as long as they did following this match, as they’ve skirted around possible career DOOM for nearly every second of its chuffing run time!

Lynn rolls RVD back into the ring following that, but he’s somehow able to kick out at two and this malevolent marathon of mayhem must continue. Alfonso tries to bring another chair into play, but Lynn gets it off him, ducks a Van Daminator attempt and then flings the chair right into Fonzie’s face to seemingly take him out of proceedings. He then follows up with a German Suplex on RVD for two in a great near fall. They could have switched the Title easily there and I would have totally bought it as a deserving finish.

RVD sets Lynn up top and tries something from up there, but they lose each other and end up tumbling to the mat together. Lynn hits RVD with his own Van Daminator, but it only gets him a two, as they are delivering some fantastic near falls here. You can tell the cumulative effects of the match are making themselves known now, as both men are notably tired and sloppier than they were in the opening sections. Nearly dying in a wrestling match will do that to you I guess, who knew? Lynn once again tries for the Cradle Piledriver, but RVD is able to slip out of it once again.

RVD hits his split legged moonsault, but Lynn kicks out this time as both men just can’t seem to keep the other down. RVD manages to hit the Five Star Frogsplash, but Lynn is able to counter the pin fall attempt to a cradle for a two count. Great tease for the finish there. Alfonso makes his return to hand RVD a chair, and a Van Daminator leads to another Frogsplash, and that’s enough for the win.

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

Despite how terrifying this was to watch in places, both men worked beyond their limits here to deliver a fantastic match. Lynn not winning was a bit of a bummer, but they made sure to protect the Cradle Piledriver by having Lynn never hit it though, so there’s always a chance for a rematch down the line. RVD is so impressed by Lynn’s effort that he offers a high five. He should probably offer him some brownies backstage as well to help take the edge off that bump to the floor…

Meanwhile, The Dudley Boyz are backstage and angry about Taz’s comments from earlier. Buh Buh cuts a promo backstage on Taz, but he’s interrupted by Big Dick Dudley making his return by dragging Taz’s cousin Chris Chetti into the room. Err, didn’t we already establish on the last episode of Hardcore TV that Taz didn’t give a crap about Chetti and that he’d happily hurt him? Anyway, D-Von throws a punch at Chetti and breaks his hand in the process. No joke, I did that once throwing a punch and it’s a humdinger let me tell you. Anyway, Buh Buh beats up Chetti as “revenge” for D-Von’s injured hand, as I’m genuinely starting to worry that we’re going to get a Buh Buh Vs Taz main event here.

We get a video package putting over Justin Credible, focusing on the fact that Credible got Sabu banned from wrestling in America. Following the video package, we go to Joey in front of the banner where he notes that Shane Douglas isn’t there tonight and that Justin is going to throw out the dreaded open challenge. Douglas and Heyman had an issue over money in real life, which is why Douglas didn’t show up and he’d be in WCW later in the year.

Justin Credible and his entourage of Jason and Jazz join us. Credible riffs The Rock’s “Millions and Millions” line and then runs through all the people he’s taken out in ECW. Seeing as the previous video package already mentioned all of this, I’m not sure why Credible had to mention it again in his promo, buy hey-ho. Judge Jeff Jones interrupts the promo to announce that he’s brought Sid back to ECW and that he will be the one to answer Credible’s challenge. Oh great, I now have to sit through a Sid match, that’s just wonderful.

Match Seven
Justin Credible w/ Jason & Jazz Vs Sid w/ Judge Jeff Jones

Sid manhandles Credible and throws him around with ease, including a choke slam over the top rope to the floor. The fans all chant for Sid the big useless stiff of course, due to them being the biggest bunch of hypocrites on Earth. Jason tries to help Credible, which ends with him taking a powerbomb for his trouble. This allows Credible to hit a cane shot, which if this match made any sense would lead to him getting a quick three count and bailing, but instead Sid completely no sells it and preps for a powerbomb. This draws Lance Storm in, which causes the ref to call for a disqualification.

WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: SID
RATING: DUD

Seriously? A DQ in ECW?! Are they mad?! Are they madder than Jack McMad of the McMad clan? Literally the only use Sid had here was to do a job for Credible to give him the rub, as I doubt he’s coming back any time soon. Instead they fell over themselves to protect him by having him no selling all of Credible’s attacks and then doing a lame DQ. The whole point of ECW was that you didn’t get lame finishes like that. No matter how bad a match was you could at least guarantee yourself that there would be an actual pin or submission of some kind, however screwy. I don’t do negative stars, but I was sorely tempted here. Justin’s “push” continues to be an absolute disaster here, as he fails once again and looks a chump in the process.

Storm now gets destroyed as well, at which point Credible throws powder in Sid’s eyes so they can at least stomp away at him for a bit. It would have been better if the powder had led to an actual pin for Justin, as doing the post-match beat down has no effect if you’ve already been destroyed in the match first. Sid gets laid on a table by Storm and Credible, which is Sabu’s cue to run down and attack Storm and Credible. Sabu puts Credible on the table with Sid, but Storm saves him and it ends up being just Sid who goes through the table courtesy of Sabu. Sabu puts a security guard through a table next and then gets dragged off by the rest of the security force. This leaves Sid to end his association with Jeff Jones by powerbombing him in the ring, and that’s the end of the segment. If Sid was going to turn on Jones, shouldn’t Jones have actually done something to deserve it? I mean, couldn’t Jones have accidentally cost Sid the match, leading to Sid laying him out afterwards to get his heat back?

“Main Event”
ECW World Title
Champion: Taz Vs Buh Buh Ray Dudley w/ Sign Guy Dudley

Wow, this is a spectacularly lame main event. Couldn’t they have had Sid stay out there and have Taz choke him out to send him on his way? It would have sucked as a match but it would have at least given Taz a big win to close the show out. Even the live crowd thinks this is a weak sauce main event, and doesn’t even react that much to Buh Buh’s promo. Taz comes out and easily suplexes Buh Buh, before grabbing the mic and declaring that the match will be Falls Count Anywhere.

Sign Guy distracts Taz, which allows Buh Buh to club away on him. Out to the ramp we go, where Taz grabs a “FTW” spray painted stop sign and clobbers Buh Buh with it. Following that, both men brawl into the crowd for a bit, and Taz gets busted open by a means unknown whilst out there. The two actually brawl into the concourse, but they don’t stay there very long as the lack of big screens means most of the arena can’t see what’s going on.

Both men eventually brawl back into the ring, where Buh Buh controls things. Buh Buh heads up to the second rope, but Taz stops whatever he has planned and brings him down with a nice looking head and arm suplex for a deserved “EC-DUB” chant from the crowd. This draws D-Von down to ringside and he hits Taz with an inverted DDT to give Buh Buh a near fall. The fans really just aren’t buying that Buh Buh has any chance of winning here, and nor should they.

Sign Guy and D-Von put tables into the ring for Buh Buh to use and he stacks both of them up in neighbouring corners. Taz starts Brooklynning up by no selling Buh Buh’s punches. The referee tries to stop both men from throwing punches for some reason (You’re okay with tables and weapons but PUNCHING is where you draw the line?) which leads to both Buh Buh and Taz flinging him through one of the tables so that they can continue waling on each other.

Buh Buh gets a sit out powerbomb, which brings another referee down to the ring for a two count. D-Von now comes in to help Buh Buh hit the backdrop/neckbreaker combo double team, but Taz manages to kick out at two. The Dudleyz try the 3-D but Taz DDT’s D-Von to block it and then suplexes Buh Buh through the other table for two. Buh Buh tries a Samoan Drop, but Taz slips out and locks in The Tazmission for the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: TAZ
RATING: **

This would have been fine as a main event on Hardcore TV, but it was by no means pay per view calibre. I know Buh Buh eventually got a main event singles run in TNA (Although I’d stopped watching the product by that point) but he was never higher than upper mid card in ECW and this was a weak way to close out the show.

Before we can all go home, we get a music video with highlights from the show, played to a cover of “The Zoo” by Bruce Dickinson that I think was on ECW’s “Extreme Music” album back in the day. Funny story, me and my friend once put this video to “Live Forever” by Oasis and it totally suits it.

In Conclusion

Any show from 1999 that has three matches ***+ and one at **** is pretty much an immediate thumbs up, but man, the stuff surrounding those four good matches was very weak and really highlighted the lack of depth on the ECW roster. The fact Taz and The Dudley Boyz essentially had to work twice just to fill out the runtime says it all.

Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn tore the house down once again with another great match. Knowing how RVD’s reign eventually ended, they probably should have just let Lynn win it here, as it would have been better than RVD just giving up the belt following an injury. That being said, Lynn lost nothing in defeat and his finisher was protected as well, so he got a rub here.

If you have the WWE Network then I can happily recommend the good matches on this show, but I’d suggest turning it off once the RVD Vs Lynn match ends, as there’s nothing of any real worth following that. I actually enjoyed the Storm Vs Dreamer match most of the undercard stuff, just because it was a fun garbage match and I though Storm did well whilst out of his element.

I’m happy to recommend this one. Hopefully I’ll see you all next week for another episode of Hardcore TV.