Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #322 – 26/06/1999

Hello You!

Last week on Hardcore TV Balls Mahoney assisted Rob Van Dam in defeating D-Von Dudley in the main event, but RVD was less than grateful for the interference of the Hardcore Chair Swinging Freak, which earned him a stiff chair shot in return. Will that be followed up this week?

Also on the show, Taz finally clocked Steve Corino after weeks of feuding between the two, but Corino was able to get away before Taz could fully lay a whupping on him. And Justin Credible fired the first official shot in the war between The Impact Players and The Dudley Boyz when he wore out Buh Buh Ray Dudley with his Singapore Cane.

Despite being less than a month away from Heat Wave 99 on the 18th of July, we actually haven’t had any matches announced yet. Hopefully ECW can start doing that this week so that we actually have something concrete to look forward to.

So without any further ado, let’s once again adorn our barbed wire underpants and take it to The Extreme!!!

This week’s matches are coming from Chicago, Illinois

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Opening Match
Skull Von Krush Vs Spanish Angel w/ Jack Victory

We see another of the 2000 mid card crew made his TV debut here in the form of Angel, as they’ve really started working them into the show in the past few weeks with the goal of establishing them as regular roster members. It’s amazing really to see how many of these guys stuck around, as quite a lot of the time ECW would bring someone in from the Indies and just have them do a job before stopping using them, but in the past three weeks alone we’ve had CW Anderson, Kid Kash, Tony DeVito, Bill Whiles and now Angel all on TV and all of them would get retained. Even Krush would get a reasonable push before bailing to WCW later in 1999. In some ways I think Paul Heyman knew the roster was getting a bit thin and clearly decided that he had to get some fresh blood in whilst he had the chance.

Before the match starts we get this week’s Show Intro. Today’s tagline, “Tonight, The Windy City Goes Extreme! ECW Invades Chicago!!!”

I believe this was the first time ECW had ever run The Odeon in Chicago and they were very excited about it as they drew a great crowd. It’s amazing it took them till 1999 to run such a wrestling hotbed. We join the match in progress, with Krush hitting an elbow drop from the top rope, only for ECW Champ Taz to come down to the ring and beat the hell out of everyone.

WINNER: NO CONTEST DUE TO A WILD TAZ APPEARING
RATING: N/A

This was yet another example of Taz being wildly unpredictable. Last week he was the hard working babyface Champion who showed respect to Little Spike Dudley following a hard fought win. This week he’s a psychopath randomly coming down to the ring to attack two people for no adequately explored reason. I get that Taz is supposed to be scary and stuff, but would it kill them to give him some form of consistency with his personality?

Jack Victory seemingly rips up Angel’s contract post-match, which would appear to be the end of their relationship after roughly five minutes of being manager and client. Taz grabs a mic and threatens to beat the heck out of victory, before saying he’s in a bad mood because he doesn’t have a challenger tonight. This brings out Steve Corino, to a noticeable pop I might add, and he has the debuting Rhino with him. Corino says that Taz is stupid, and reveals that he’s been scheming with Jack Victory for weeks to bring Rhino in and declares him to be “The Taz Killer”. Rhino runs down to ringside and Taz warns that if he gets in he’ll take a beating, because he’s the Champion.

Match Two
ECW World Title
Champion: Taz Vs Rhino w/ Steve Corino and Jack Victory

Rhino hits a powerbomb right away, but Taz no sells it and floors the Rookie Monster with a big clothesline. Head and arm suplex follows, as does another one from the top rope as the fans are going nuts. Rhino actually fights back somewhat, despite taking so much punishment, but Taz quickly clobbers him back down before throwing a table into the ring. Taz gets the table up in the corner and puts Rhino through it with a half nelson suplex followed by the Tazmission for the submission win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: TAZ
RATING: N/A

A quick squash but one that made Taz look like an absolute monster, so it more than served its purpose.

COMMERCIAL

Joey is in front of the ECW Banner, where he hypes up today’s two big matches of Tajiri Vs Little Guido and Justin Credible Vs Jerry Lynn

COMMERCIAL

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

Joey is really trying to put Guido’s shooter credentials over on commentary now. Tajiri is starting to sport the full facial hair he would be known for in the coming years, but he hasn’t gone to his Great Muta styled long tights yet. Guido sends him outside early on and whips into the guardrails. Sal squashes him on the rail for good measure and throws him inside, where Guido stomps away, only to end up on the wrong end of a handspring back elbow.

Tajiri hits Guido with a slap that reverberates throughout the building and then takes Guido outside where he flings him into the front row. Sal puts Guido back into the ring, where Tajiri puts him in the Tree of Woe and dropkicks him in the face. The fans are absolutely rabid for this. Guido hangs Tajiri in the Tree of Woe next and delivers a dropkick of his own. Guido goes for the Sicilian Crab next, but Tajiri manages to make the ropes to break the hold.

Tajiri replies with some more dropkicks to poor Guido, but the resulting pin attempt only nets a two. Tajiri gets a German Suplex for two, at which point Guido bails outside. Tajiri follows and slams Guido on the concrete before blasting him in the face with a chair. This has been a wild, wild match and I’m loving it! Tajiri adds another shot with the chair, as it appears that Guido is now bleeding. Tajiri works the cut back in, even biting it as we can see him slowly morphing into the more sadistic character he would eventually become.

Sal drags Tajiri outside and clubs away on him, before passing Guido a chair. Guido hits Tajiri with the chair and then hits a big DDT back inside before going to the Sicilian Crab in the middle of the ring and Tajiri taps out to give Guido the win. That was a bit of an upset actually but they HAD to give Guido a win one of these days after all the jobs he’s done.

WINNER: LITTLE GUIDO
RATING: ***

This was really fun. At first I was kind of dreading it because we’ve already seen the trio of Guido Tajiri and Super Crazy wrestle with one another numerous times and they’re only going to fight each other even more between now and ECW closing its doors, but thus far I haven’t hit fatigue with it and this was actually a nice change of pace with Tajiri being all psychotic and evil. It was good that Guido actually got to win a big match as well, even if it was ultimately down to his manager.

COMMERCIAL

We see that Cyrus The Virus and Judge Jeff Jones are having a discussion backstage. Joey then recaps the Corino/Taz feud and essentially comes to the conclusion that Steve Corino is in a lot of trouble.

Main Event
Winner gets a shot at the ECW TV Title
Justin Credible w/ Jason and Jazz Vs Jerry Lynn

Jazz is still not named yet and Joey sells on commentary that this is down to Credible and Jason refusing to allow her a name, sowing the seeds for her eventual face turn. Talking about match fatigue, I’ve probably seen Justin Credible and Jerry Lynn wrestle one another more times than I can honestly count, which includes a feud they had in TNA in 2003. Lance Storm and Dawn Marie join us before the match starts, with Dawn wearing a skirt the size of roughly 4 teabags.

Storm grabs a mic and says that Lynn owes him a favour for him taking Lynn to the hospital at Hardcore Heaven 99. Storm says he wants Jerry Lynn to join The Impact Players, but Lynn says they got handed opportunities whilst he had to wait ten years to get his, which earns him a “Jerry” chant from the crowd, and he says he’s going to stand on his own. Storm says he respects that, but he demands Lynn lay down for Justin saying “It’s not like you’ve never done a job before!”

This brings Tommy Dreamer and Francine down to the ring, which is their first appearance on this show for weeks actually. I think Tommy Dreamer was legit dealing with some serious injury woes at this time, with his back and ankles being especially bad, which is why he wasn’t wrestling as much. He grabs a mic and puts Lynn over for doing things the right way, and asks him not to lie down for Credible. Lynn takes the mic back and says that Storm took him to the hospital when no else would and politely asks him to stay out of his business.

Security comes down to the ring to break things up, which causes Lynn to agree to lie down for Credible in order to settle things as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Lynn does indeed lay down, but when Credible tries to pin him he turns it into an inside cradle for two, as it was all a ruse. Lynn bumps Credible around and sends him outside, where he follows with a dive onto Jason and Credible. Jason grabs Lynn’s leg however when he’s back inside, which allows Credible to catch him with a superkick. Jason throws a chair in for Credible, and Credible rams Lynn’s face into it for a two count.

Lynn gets a roll up for two but ends up on the wrong end of a mule kick from Credible, which brings his rally to an end. Credible goes to a chin lock, as Joey actually puts Jason over on commentary for being a great mentor to Credible. Really? Because as far as I can see Jason has been strictly cannon fodder since taking on Credible as a client. The dude doesn’t even cut promos any more. Credible tries to baseball slide Lynn in the corner, but Lynn moves and he gets hit by the ring post right in the Montoya’s.

Lynn follows up with a Liger Bomb for two and then follows up with a Tornado DDT for another count of two. The referee ends up taking a bump, which means he isn’t there to count when Lynn hits Credible with a stunner. Jason tries to interfere, but ends up taking a reverse DDT for his troubles. Lynn manages to awaken the referee, but he only gets two when he pins Credible. Jason hits Lynn with the cane, which allows Credible to hit a DDT for a tight near fall. Credible goes for That’s Incredible, but Lynn counters it into a roll up to get the three count and a Title shot next week.

WINNER: JERRY LYNN
RATING: ***

It’s Jerry Lynn Vs Justin Credible, you have to actively try to make a match between these guys not be any good (I think TNA might have managed it at some point)

The Impact Players lay Lynn out with a spike piledriver following the match and Storm declares that he’ll be cashing in his favour by taking Lynn’s Title match with Rob Van Dam next week.

In Conclusion

This was a good episode of the show as the two main matches were a lot of fun and the Taz squash made him look dominant and strong whilst also delaying the payoff to him getting his hands on Corino.

Definitely a recommended edition of the show.

Hopefully next week will be just as good!