Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #318 – 29/05/1999

Hello You!

So last week’s show was essentially just a recap of Hardcore Heaven 99, with a match between Rob Van Dam and Skull Von Krush tacked on at the end. It was as unremarkable as could be, but it wasn’t actively bad or anything.

This week we should hopefully have some more original content so that the storylines can start advancing again. So without any further ado, let’s once again take it to The Extreme!!!

Today’s matches are coming from Detroit, Michigan

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open the show with Cyrus talking to a buxom lady. It looks like Cyrus is trying to get her a job, and convinces her that Paul Heyman is a fitness freak who will respect her if she starts exercising. So she promptly starts running down the stairs whilst her, err, two best friends wobble away. Childish stuff, but it at least got Cyrus over as a manipulative character.

Show Intro – this week’s tagline is “If 2 Heads Are Better Than 1, Why Is Chastity Getting Such Bad Press?” What is with them always taking shots at her? Did she have an especially bitter departure from the company or something?

Joey Styles is in front of the ECW banner once again, where he welcomes everyone to the show from Detroit. He then sends to a promo from Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten. Axl says that they’ve been chasing the Tag Titles for years and that they will finally win them after months of struggling. He says that if they don’t win the belts then they’re going to fight each other at the next taping.

COMMERCIAL

Opening Match
ECW Television Title
Champion: Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Little Spike Dudley

Spike Dudley seems to get a bit of a rep for being just a bump machine and not much of a worker, so hopefully he can do something to challenge that notion here. RVD, being from Battle Creek, is of course massively over in his native Michigan. Spike is sporting one heck of a shiner on his left eye, probably from one of the many brutal beatings he tended to suffer on a weekly basis back in the 90’s.

RVD controls things early on, but gets cocky, which allows Spike to get a cheeky roll up on him for two. Spike gets some quick offence in, but gets crotched on the top rope by RVD and then kicked off to the floor below. Thankfully this wasn’t as gnarly as the bump Jerry Lynn took at Hardcore Heaven. The fight heads outside, which RVD continues to stay on top of things. Spike sells getting battered really well of course.

Spike manages to pull out a victory roll back inside the ring, but RVD is able to kick out at two. A chair gets introduced by Alfonso, and RVD promptly dropkicks it into poor Spike’s face, but opts to hotdog for the crowd rather than going for a pin attempt. RVD finally does go for a cover following a slingshot leg drop, but Spike is able to kick out at two. Into the Central American Surfboard next, as this has essentially been an elongated squash for RVD.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Hardcore TV has done the thing it usually does to wind me up by having Spike and RVD fighting on the top rope. How the heck did they get there from a surfboard FFS?! How much of this match have they cut out? Anyway, Spike hits a big Tornado DDT onto a chair, but he’s too hurt to go for a cover. Spike finally manages a sunset flip, but RVD is out at two, as he is again following a double stomp.

Spike rana’s RVD outside and then comes off the apron with a cannonball attack, as he finally gets a sustained period of offence. Spike actually hits the Acid Drop outside the ring and then adds some chair shots for good measure. I’m glad they’re giving Spike something here at least and not just having him get destroyed. Spike gets a flying rana back inside, but RVD is able to kick out at two.

Spike heads up top, but RVD stops him with a big boot and then tries to use the chair, but Spike dropkicks it into his face for two. Spike goes for the Acid Drop, but RVD counters it by flinging him onto a stack of chairs. RVD adds a Rolling Thunder and makes the cover, but the challenger is able to kick out at two, as the fans are really getting into this now. RVD crotches Spike again and delivers a Van Daminator whilst he sits on the ropes to a big pop and then follows up with a big Five Star Frogsplash to pick up the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: **1/2

Decent TV outing there, with the hot crowd really enhancing things. RVD was having the same issues here that Bryan Danielson eventually had in his 05-06 ROH Title reign, where he was such a dominant Champion that people had trouble buying that mid card guys would actually have a chance at beating him. Spike got enough offence in here to raise it above the level of squash and the action was enjoyable, if a bit sloppy.

COMMERCIAL

Match Two
Lance Storm w/ Dawn Marie Vs Chris Chetti

Dawn is rocking a neck brace here courtesy of a Tommy Dreamer piledriver at Hardcore Heaven 99 and is finally officially named as such. Storm grabs a mic before the match starts and tells the crowd that they aren’t seeing any of Dawn’s…assets tonight. He notes that we’re not too far from Canada, which gets a chorus of boos whilst Dawn Marie cheerfully declares that “Canada is a very nice place”. The more I watch these 99 shows the more I realise just how great a valet Dawn was, her comic timing and reactions are impeccable.

In an interesting moment, he addresses Jerry Lynn directly by saying that he owes him one, which is a reference to Joey Styles mentioning that Storm helped Lynn get to the hospital following Hardcore Heaven 99. We get some nice chain wrestling to start, with both men being proficient on the mat. Storm ends up throwing some punches, but Chetti replies with a back body drop and a clothesline to the outside.

Storm takes control of things outside the ring though and brings Chetti back in, where he works his younger opponent over. Chetti manages to fight back with a jumping back elbow from the top rope, but Storm mule kicks him on an O’Connor Roll attempt and follows up with a big spinning wheel kick from the top rope to pick up the three count.

WINNER: LANCE STORM
RATING: N/A

Bit too short to rate, but it was essentially an enhancement match to put Storm over, which it did reasonably well. Chetti didn’t look like an outright jobber here, but it was clear that Storm was the star and the result was never in doubt.

In a nice touch, we get a brief graphic stating that the show is dedicated to the memory of Owen Hart. Respect to ECW there that was a very classy thing to do considering Owen never actually worked for them.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
Detroit Street Fight
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champions: The Dudley Boyz w/ Sign Guy Dudley and Joel Gertner Vs Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten

Gertner is wearing a ridiculous amount of bandages here to sell the fact that Balls Mahoney spat fire at him at Hardcore Heaven 99. He kind of looks like Richard Bacon in Hollow Man actually (Man, that’s a movie I’ve not watched in years. I’m surprised one of those YouTube video critics hasn’t done an episode on that one to be honest. It’s absolute schlock but, if I recall correctly, it goes all out to embrace it. EDIT – In fact I just searched it and it turns out Cinemassacre did a quick video on it. Might have to give that a watch following this!)

So this is pin falls count anywhere due to the match stipulations, and it immediately descends into an arena wide brawl. What, were you expecting these four guys to spend 15 minutes trading crisp technical wrestling holds? Its The Dudley Boyz Vs The Hardcore Chair Swinging Freaks, what else could it be beside a wild crazy brawl?!?!

Finally we get back down to the ring, where D-Von chokes away at Axl whilst Buh Buh wears out Balls with a chair at ringside. D-Von handcuffs Axl to the corner, which leaves Balls in a handicap match situation. He keeps fighting however and manages to floor both Dudley Boyz. Sign Guy comes in to rescue his half-brothers and only just manages to escape Balls’ fire ball attempt. The distraction is enough for D-Von to cut him off however, which leads to Balls going through a flaming table for the first time, which is enough to retain. And I should bloody think so!!!

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE DUDLEY BOYS
RATING: *

Match was junk but the finish was certainly memorable. As a result of this loss, Balls and Axl will now have to face each other on the next set of tapings.

The Dudleyz beat as hasty retreat with their belts as ring attendants douse Balls with water.

In Conclusion

This was a very watchable edition of the show, with the focus being more on in ring action as opposed to a lot of promo’s and video packages. Even if all of the matches weren’t great, they all served a purpose by giving RVD a big win in his home state to make him look like a star, to give Lance Storm a dominant win to make him look strong and to have Balls go through the flaming table to quite literally heat up his rivalry with The Dudley Boyz.

You rarely get classic matches on these shows, but they build logically each week for the most part and they at least have a genuine star in RVD to anchor things. This one was a fun 45 minutes or so and I’d recommend giving it a look.

I’ll hopefully see you all next week for more action from Detroit!