Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #325 – 17/07/1999

Hello You!

Last week on Hardcore TV, The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm actually managed to win a match for once when they defeated Jerry Lynn and Sabu in the main event. As well as that, ECW World Champ Taz threw out a challenge for Steve Corino to find him a challenger for Heat Wave 99 on 18/07/1999.

Speaking of Heat Wave 99, ECW has seemingly yet to announce any official matches for the show, meaning that most of the hype is now going to have to be done in one show. As we’ll get to, there have been external forces that have contributed to this, but it’s still been a pretty lousy build for what should be the biggest event of ECW’s summer schedule.

So, without further ado, let’s strap ourselves and feel the cheese as it’s time once again to take things to The Extreme!!!

This week’s matches are coming from the Elks Lodge in Queens, New York

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with the usual awesome Fire Pro Wrestling styled hard cam that the arena at Queens has as Joey Styles is in the ring. I do love how people back in the 90’s would go to the trouble of hanging the urls for their own websites on the balconies and guardrails at these events. For instance, I wonder how long www.StrictlyECW.com lasted? Did anyone here ever go on it? Anyway, Joey does the usual intro and we then cut to earlier in the night where Paul Heyman (Subtitled as “Da F’N Guy Who Owns Dis Here ECW Thing”) confirms that starting from the autumn ECW will be appearing on TNN every Friday. This actually gets a good reaction from the crowd but not as big a one as I was expecting in all honesty. For those asking, I might consider doing the TNN show if I have the time to fit it in. Getting on TNN of course ended up being a bit a poisoned chalice for ECW, but at the time it was a cause for optimism.

We get clips from earlier in the night where we see Skull Von Krush, now under his real name of Vito, win a match with his implant DDT. His celebration is short loved though as he gets promptly 3D’ed by The Dudley Boyz following the bout. The Dudleyz antagonise the crowd with their usual shtick, which leads to someone throwing a drink at them. The fan in question gets pulled over the railing and attacked, which makes me think it was a plant considering someone as litigiously aware as Paul Heyman probably wouldn’t have let it make TV otherwise. Spike Dudley breaks this up by diving off the balcony onto his half-brothers, but ends up on the wrong end of The 3D back inside the ring. This brings down Balls Mahoney with a chair for the rescue, as Joey confirms it’ll be Balls and a partner of his choice Vs The Dudleyz tomorrow at Heat Wave. Wow, we have an actual confirmed match for Heat Wave? Unbelievable Geoff!

Show Intro – This week’s tagline, “This Sunday Night July 18th, The Thermostats Gonna Burst, ECW Heat Wave Live on Pay Per View”

Opening Match
Lance Storm w/ Dawn Marie Vs Jerry Lynn

Dawn has a lovely blue number on here and looks fantastic as always. We get a recap of last week’s main event before taking an advert break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, we get some nice technical wrestling to start out which leads to both men trading chops. Lynn gets the better of things so Storm is forced to mule kick him to gain an advantage. Storm gets a brief bit of heat on Lynn, which leads to a fishtails sequence between both men that ends with Storm super kicking Lynn for two. Storm goes to the Canadian Maple Leaf next, but Lynn won’t tap and fights out with an enziguri.

A double clothesline leads to a double down, with Storm being able to get up first, only for him to be put back on the defensive when Lynn evens the score from earlier with his own mule kick in a nice call back. Lynn follows up with a Tornado DDT, but the resulting pin only gets him a two count. Lynn goes for a suplex but Storm slips out and hits a reverse DDT, as the crowd starts yelling horrible obscenities at poor Dawn Marie.

Hey you bunch of sweaty tomatoes, you leave that lovely lass alone or so help me God I’ll build a time machine and head back in time to bang all of you out you dirty meffs! Dawn gets nicely dressed for you monsters and that’s how you choose to treat her?! For shame!! Shame I say!!!

Anyway, Storm gets a powerslam for two and goes for a forearm smash, but ends up hitting the referee instead. This allows Justin Credible, Jason and Jazz to come down to the ring to assist Storm. Credible destroys Lynn with his Singapore cane, which causes Jazz to show remorse and try to stop him. Why after all the horrible things she’s done as part of the heel team would Jazz now randomly decide to have a conscience? This isn’t even the worst thing she’s been privy to whilst under the employ of Justin and Jason!

Anyway, this sudden visit from Jiminy Cricket leads to Jason shoving Jazz down and hitting her with a clothesline, which is Sabu’s cue to come down and attack The Impact Players. Sabu gets caned as well however, which brings Rob Van Dam down to help. He hits Storm with a Van Daminator but also catches Lynn with it as well. Undeterred, RVD tries to dive onto Jason and Justin, only for them to move and RVD take out Sabu by accident. Sabu and RVD argue outside, which allows Storm to hit Lynn with a Cradle Piledriver inside the ring to pick up the win.

WINNER: LANCE STORM
RATING: ***

Good match that didn’t need all the bollocks at the end. I’m glad we got an actual pin fall at least though and it’s good to see them actually booking The Impact Players to win matches now.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
Little Guido w/ Big Sal Graziano Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri Vs Super Crazy

Before this one starts we get clips of Danny Doring and Roadkill doing battle with Nova and Chris Chetti. Chetti debuts his new Ricky Martin themed pretty boy gimmick here, which leads to him flirting with Danny Doring’s new babe (The Artist That Would Become Lita). Nova eventually lays her out, which leads to Roadkill splashing him for what looks to be the winning pin but we never find out. Joey states that we will be getting a rematch at Heat Wave 99 (Yay, another match announced!)

Tajiri has now switched to his Great Muta styled long tights and looks like a much bigger star thanks to it. This is a wild spot fest, with everyone hitting a big assortment of moves and dives onto one another, thus making it very difficult to do any detailed PBP for it. In a funny spot, Guido tries to dive onto both Crazy and Tajiri but they see it coming and he ends up splatting onto the floor. Crazy hits a moonsault into the crowd on both men but ends up getting beaten up by Sal back in the ring.

Guido gets a neck breaker on Crazy for two and crazy then replies with a Quebrada for a two of his own. Tajiri hangs Guido in the Tree of Woe and goes to dropkick him in the face whilst Sal buts Crazy through a table outside the ring. Guido manages to bridge up to dodge it however and then comes off the ropes with a Sicilian Slice. Guido goes after the injured Crazy next with The Siciian Crab and actually gets the submission. However, before he can celebrate too much Guido gets attacked by Tajiri with chops. Tajiri follows up with a handspring elbow next as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Tajiri hangs Guido back in the Tree of Woe and manages to get the dropkick to the face this time. Tajiri adds a nasty foul kick next to show off his more villainous attitude and then plants Guido with a brain buster to pick up the win.

WINNER: YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI
RATING: **1/2

An abbreviated version of their usual match. Good but too short.

Before Tajiri can properly enjoy his win, he’s joined in the ring by ECW Champ Taz, who seems to have come to show dressed as Konnan on vacation. Taz grabs the mic and puts the match over saying that he respects Tajiri and would be happy to give him a Title shot. This brings Steve Corino out however with Jack Victory and Rhino. Corino has his own mic and states that Taz is afraid of being choked out by him, which leads to Taz retorting that the only thing Corino is choking is on Jack Victory’s you-know-what. This leads to a famous line from Corino where he says “Keep cursing so you can get over with the crowd”, which in turn leads to Taz going on a foul moth tirade that is almost all bleeped out for a huge pop. Taz challenges Corino to get in the ring and face him, but before that can happen he gets jumped from behind by Tajiri, who appears to be Corino’s new client. So we have a heel turn and an apparent challenger for Heat Wave.

COMMERCIAL

Steven Prazak is with Guido and Sal, who say they’ll take Crazy out at Heat Wave. That leads to everyone’s favourite ECW trope of The Pulp Fiction Montage™, where we get quick fire promo’s from Nova, Chetti, Cyrus, Jason, Jazz, RVD, Sabu and Lynn. The big twist at the end is that Lynn asks RVD to tag with him against The Impact Players, which angers Sabu and Fonzie. RVD at first declines, but then gets angry at the implication that he’s only allowed to tag with Sabu and then changes his mind. So it looks like its RVD and Lynn against The Impact Players at Heat Wave, although that wasn’t explicitly stated.

COMMERCIAL

We get a Taz promo in the dark, where he promises destruction at Heat Wave and says he doesn’t care if what he does gets ECW kicked off Pay Per View because he’s that gosh darn mad!

In Conclusion

Hey, it was sure nice of ECW to remember that they had a Pay Per View tomorrow wasn’t it? The fact it took this long to get anything even remotely resembling a card put together is nothing but sheer incompetence.

Now granted, I’m guessing the whole TNN thing was a bit of a distraction, but that ultimately isn’t an excuse. It can’t have been that hard to work out who was going to be available for Heat Wave and announce what the majority of the card would be a couple of weeks out.

I don’t think this is down to the WWE Network cutting stuff out either. For the past two Pay Per Views we’ve had card run downs on the TV going in to the events and we haven’t had anything like that at all for Heat Wave, and I sincerely doubt the WWE Network would cut them out for Heat Wave when they included the ones for Living Dangerously and Hardcore Heaven.

As a go home show this did all it could I suppose, but even still they didn’t even bother having Joey in front of the banner just confirming the card, which would have helped massively. As it is, based off the TV I think the following card can be expected for Heat Wave.

ECW Title
Champion: Taz Vs Tajiri w/ Corino, Victory and Rhino

Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn Vs Justin Credible and Lance Storm (Although this wasn’t confirmed)

Jazz Vs Jason (Although this wasn’t confirmed either)

Nova and Chetti Vs Doring and Roadkill

Balls and Partner Vs The Dudley Boyz, for possibly the tag belts

Guido w/ Sal Vs Crazy

I mean, on paper that doesn’t look too bad, although it seems ECW has fallen into the trap of top loading the show which means some of the undercard might struggle. Still, based on what they have available that isn’t too bad and three of the matches could possibly be very good (Taz/Tajiri, The Main Event Tag and Guido/Crazy)

Anyway, I’ll have the show up tomorrow so keep a look out for it!