Mike Reviews: ECW Heatwave 99 (18/07/1999)

Hello You!

So here we are, after months of absolute non-build we are at ECW’s big event of the summer in the form of Heatwave 99. Sadly the hype for this show has been poor to say the least, but now we’re here hopefully the ECW roster can enter a good performance and end the last Pay Per View before the TNN Era with a bang!

Heatwave 98 is possibly my favourite ECW show ever, so the 1999 version is going to have to go some way to match it. Still, with a main event of Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn taking on Justin Credible and Lance Storm, they should be able to end on a strong note if nothing else.

So without further ado, let’s adorn our favourite pair of swimming shorts, fill our inflatable crocodiles with air, put a big blotch of sun scream on the end of our noses and take things to The Extreme!!!

The event is emanating from Dayton, Ohio

Calling the action are Joey Styles and Cyrus The Virus

We open up with everyone’s favourite ECW trope in the form of The Pulp Fiction Montage™, featuring Taz, Danny Doring, Roadkill, Nova, Chris Chetti, Jason, The Dudley Boyz, Steve Corino, Tajiri, Rhino, Jack Victory, Justin Credible, Lance Storm, Dawn Marie, Jerry Lynn, Rob Van Dam, Bill Alfonso and Sabu. Everyone talks about why they’ll be the hottest act at Heatwave.

We then cut to Joey Styles in the ring, who welcomes us to show and sends to;

Show Intro: Today’s tagline, “Tonight, The Last July 18th Of This Millennium, ECW Heatwave 99 Live on Pay-Per-View”

Opening Match
Danny Doring and Roadkill w/ a mystery woman Vs Chris Chetti and Nova

The mystery woman would eventually go on to be known as Lita in WWE, but right now she was currently without a name. Doring grabs a mic before the match starts and demands the fans respect his woman and then threatens to step into the crowd when they chant obscenities at him in response. Doring then adds that he’s decided to settle down with Lita, because she’s so pure and chaste. Okay, that was a very funny line, well done Doring. Doring eventually proposes to Lita and, due to having no ring to give her, he instead gets a condom and puts that over her finger instead. Ah, young love eh?

I have to say that the theme WWE uses to dub over “Intergalactic” for Nova and Chetti doesn’t fit at all as it’s got far too slow a tempo to it. Chetti is now well in to his pretty boy gimmick, so he preens on the entrance ramp whilst Nova goes it alone with Doring and Roadkill, which ends with him taking the Lancaster Lariat of Lust. Doring hits the bareback, which is an ironic name for one of his moves considering what just happened in the pre-match promo, and then tags in Roadkill for a big springboard leg drop for two.

I’m not being funny but when guys that big hit moves that impressive they really should be more than just a near fall in the opening match. Nova continues to get worked over but then manages to hit an inverted Roll of the Dice and hot tag Chetti. Chetti runs wild on the heels, hitting Roadkill with a scissor kick and then powerslamming Doring. Nova comes back in to help his partner and then DDT’s Doring whilst also giving Roadkill a stunner at the same time in a very nice spot.

That popped the crowd big actually, but the resulting pin only nets a two. Nova monkey flips Chetti into a double line on the heels for another pop and Nova then goes to the figure four on Roadkill. This leads to Doring and Chertti hitting stereo top rope leg drops on the man who isn’t their partner, which ends up breaking the hold. Chetti gets a Blue Thunder Driver on Doring and follows up with a triple jump moonsault. However, rather than going for a pin, he decides to instead start dancing to “Livin’ La Vida Loca”.

Well, he’s trying to get the gimmick over at least. Again the Network chooses a completely unfitting song to dub over here. How hard would it be just to dub over some generic quick tempo Latin styled music over it? Lita decides she likes what Chetti brings the table and comes in to dance with him, which leads to Nova breaking up the dance party and yelling at both of them. This leads to Lita slapping Chetti, so he hits her with a fireman’s carry into a Michinoku Driver. Nova finally gets things back on track and the faces come off the top with a combined leg drop/splash move called The Tidal Wave onto Roadkill to pick up the win.

WINNERS: NOVA AND CHETTI
RATING: **1/2

The wrestling for the most part was fine and all four men got a chance to get themselves over. Chetti perhaps overdid it with the gimmick to a certain point, but in general this was a good way to start out the show and was a good showcase for both teams.

We get a recap of Hardcore TV #325, which saw Tajiri turn on Taz in his hometown of New York and align himself with Steve Corino.

Match Two
Jason Vs Jazz

This match had a whole hour of build, as Jazz randomly decided out of nowhere on the last episode of Hardcore TV that she no longer wanted to be a heel, despite there being no hint previously that this was the case, and now we have a match. As a result the issue isn’t especially over with the crowd as the angle only went to air the day before this event.

Jason overpowers Jazz to start and catches her on a cross body before getting a slam. Jazz replies with a slam of her own and runs wild for a brief period before getting clotheslined by Jason. Jazz keeps coming however and dodges a leg drop before getting a rolling neck snap and the crowd are actually with her here.

Jason works Jazz over for a while, with her making the odd sporadic comeback. Jason’s execution on the moves isn’t bad, but watching this you can kind of see why they moved him in to a managerial role instead of having him as a full time wrestler. Jazz eventually manages to snap suplex Jason for a good pop and then adds a Samoan Drop for two.

Jazz head butts Jason right in the sexiest balls on Earth and then heads outside to grab some chairs. Jazz hits one chair into Jason’s crotch for another primo low blow spot, but Jason manages to reply with an enziguri and sets Jazz up for a powerbomb onto one of the chairs. Jazz slips out however and then hits the Jazz Stinger (Think X-Pac’s X-Factor move) onto the chair to pick up the win.

WINNER: JAZZ
RATING: **

That was fine actually. Jason took his lumps to get Jazz over and by the end of the match the crowd were in to her. Let’s see if other members of the roster are as generous going forward.

We cut to Joey Styles in the commentary booth, where he is joined by Cyrus who says he’s here to give Joey Styles a “rub” and says “We love your line, what is it? Oh My Goodness”. Ha! Don Callis is great as the insincere jerk!

Match Three
Little Guido w/ Big Sal. E Graziano Vs Super Crazy

This one came about thanks to Guido getting a couple of submission victories over Crazy on television thanks to the interference of Big Sal. We get some good chain wrestling to start that ends with a Central American Stand-off. In a great spot, Crazy goes for a springboard cross body but Guido catches him on the way down with a Fujiwara arm bar. Crazy gets out of that by getting to the ropes and gets a hot shot followed by a Quebrada for two.

Guido replies with a swinging neck breaker, but Crazy isn’t staying down and goes to the Diez Punches in the corner. Guido tries his own punches, only for Crazy to counter by powerbombing him out and hitting a standing moonsault for two. Sal grabs Crazy’s foot, but Crazy back body drops Guido out on to him and then follows him outside for some fighting in the crowd. I’m not really sure this match of all matches needed outside brawling to be honest. Both men are good enough to have a fun match in the confines of the ring and ringside area.

Crazy makes the most of the crowd brawling section by getting an Asai moonsault from the balcony onto both Guido and Sal, before going into the ring to taunt. Sal gets to ringside first and distracts Crazy, which allows Guido to drop him with The Rude Awakening. Crazy fights back however and goes for a springboard splash, but Guido gets his feet up and then delivers the Sicilian Slice for two. Guido sends Crazy outside, where Sal squishes him on the guardrail and then slams him onto the floor.

Back inside, Guido goes for the Sicilian Crab, but Crazy is close enough to the ropes to grab them and break the hold. Guido distracts the ref again, which brings Sal in for a Rocker Dropper, but Crazy kicks out of the resulting pin attempt. Guido goes to the Double Wristlock next, but Crazy doesn’t tap so he just lets go, only for Crazy to then DDT him for two. Well that was stupid strategy on his part wasn’t it?

Crazy misses a moonsault, which allows Guido work him over some more. Crazy replies by slamming Guido down and hitting two moonsaults and then diving out on to Sal to take him out of proceedings. Crazy goes for the third moonsault, but Guido moves and hits the Pulp Friction for two. Crazy goes to a straightjacket powerbomb next and then makes the cover for the pin.

WINNER: SUPER CRAZY
RATING: **1/2

A bit disappointing actually, although it had its moments. It didn’t really flow that well and the finish felt pretty flat. It really didn’t need the crowd brawling section either.

Joey and Cyrus hype the debut on the TNN show on the 27th of August.

Match Four
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champions: The Dudley Boyz w/ Sign Guy Dudley and Joel Gertner Vs Balls Mahoney and Little Spike Dudley

So this match is pretty infamous, mainly because Buh Buh goes on a foul mouthed tirade before the match starts and winds the crowd up to near riotous levels. I won’t repeat the lines because some of them really are very unflattering indeed, and it amuses me that Buh Buh recently accosted a fan for yelling obscenities at an ROH show when you consider some of the stuff he says here. Chances are you’ll either think of this as great heel antics or an interminable segment that brought the show to a crashing halt.

Balls and Spike have both clearly doused their ring attire in water here, which kind of gives away what’s going to happen later on, but safety comes first at the end of the day. Balls adds even MORE promo time following his entrance, but thankfully it’s pretty short and is just there to declare that this match will be fought under falls count anywhere rules. With all the pre-match festivities finally dealt with, roughly 15 minutes all together, the brawl is on.

Spike takes Buh Buh for a trip to the ramp with the Acid Drop, but then gets back body dropped back in to the ring when he tries charging at him. This is one of those matches where accurate PBP is difficult, mainly because it’s essentially just organised chaos, but it keeps the crowds attention and delivers the sick weapon shots you’d expect from these sorts of matches. Spike is quickly bleeding, whilst Buh Buh takes a cheese grater to Balls’ head to open him up.

In one of the sicker spots, Buh Buh grates Balls and then licks the grater, only for Balls to get hold of it and do some grating of his own. Everyone bar D-Von is bleeding now, although as I type that it seems like D-Von also bladed at some point and I just didn’t notice it. Eventually everyone brawls into the crowd, where Spike dives off a balcony onto everyone in a spot that would have meant way more if Super Crazy hadn’t already done it in the previous match.

Everyone works their way back to the ring, where we get stereo ten punches from the babyfaces, which leads to both of them taking stereo powerbombs out of the corners in response. Buh Buh puts Spike’s blood on his face like war paint, whilst the crowd chants for flaming tables. The Dudleyz get some heat on the challengers now, as the crowd is pretty dead. Spikey-Balls get stereo neck breakers for two and then hit the Ball Breaker and Acid Drop on Buh Buh and D-Von respectively for another two count.

Spikey-Balls spam their finishers again, but this time Sign Guy pulls the ref out of the ring before the count can be completed. Balls rams the two lackeys in to each other, but this allows The Dudleyz to rally and go for the 3D on Spike, only for him to counter it to a pin to get the three count.

WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: SPIKEY-BALLS
RATING: *1/2

I liked the TV match these two teams had in Chicago way more than this, as it featured a much hotter crowd and just generally more energy than this one, which felt pretty plodding and featured a crowd who I think had blown their loads booing The Dudleyz in the pre-match and didn’t have anything left for the match itself.

The Dudleyz aren’t going to let them get away with that however and break out the flaming tables, which was kind of given away by the new Champs having such obviously wet clothing on. However, things end up going Pete Tong when Buh Buh drops Balls before putting him through the table and the flames go out. Before the crowd really have time to focus on what went wrong, New Jack makes his return to ECW and destroys The Dudleyz with his assorted collection of weaponry. That actually makes sense at least as he was feuding with them prior to leaving ECW (I think it was because he was having legal issues that he disappeared for a bit)

Following a plug for ECW’s website we get joined by Tommy Dreamer and Francine. Amazingly Tommy Dreamer was only 28 when this show happened and his body was already thrashed after years competing in Extreme matches. Dreamer grabs a mic and takes shots at King of the Ring 99 and Bash at the Beach 99 (Which admittedly were awful shows) and also puts over the TNN debut. He then acts like he’s going to retire, but before he can finish his announcement, Steve Corino interrupts. Didn’t we do this exact angle with Shane Douglas earlier in the year? Corino says that Dreamer should go out on his back and let Corino pin him here and now. He even offers to hook the leg as a sign of respect. Dreamer refuses however, so Corino jumps him and peppers him with punches. Dreamer no sells them however and clocks Corino with a clothesline. Francine adds a bronco buster and then a DDT before pinning Corino. I remember watching a Corino shoot interview where he said Taz was furious about this as he was supposed to be working with Corino and Corino was out there getting beaten up by a manager, but apparently Dreamer was insistent it happen because he wanted to appease Francine, thus meaning Corino was stuck in the middle of it all and just doing what he could to keep his push. Anyway, following that “match”, Tajiri comes out to assault both Dreamer and Francine, which leads to Taz coming down for the following;

Match Five
FTW Rules
ECW World Title
Champion: Taz Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri w/ Corino, Rhino and Victory

Dreamer holds Tajiri so that Taz can hit him and the brawl is on, with Tajiri getting a handspring elbow to the Champ before following up with a spin kick. The fight heads outside, which again isn’t really necessary when you have two men who can actually work a fun match in ring, and Tajiri hits an Asai moonsault into the crowd. Tajiri goes for the Tarantula on Taz, but Taz blocks it and then brings Tajiri down with the Alabama Slam.

Tajiri replies with a dropkick to the knees and an Oklahoma Roll for two, as he’s getting a decent amount of offence on the Champ here. Taz fights out of a sleeper with a throw and then hits a nice looking head and arm suplex, which leads to Joey getting a sly dig in at Perry Saturn. He left two years ago Joey, let it go. Tajiri fights back with an enziguri, but stops to yell at the crowd instead of going in for the finish.

Tajiri heads up top, but Taz stops him and then brings him off the top with a head and arm suplex. Tajiri blocks a German Suplex attempt with a mule kick and takes Taz apart with a kick combo for two. Tajiri goes for a moonsault, but Taz shoves him off the top onto the ramp. Taz follows Tajiri out and takes out Victory by flinging his own wheelchair at him. Taz powerbombs Tajiri onto the ramp, whilst Corino and Rhino set up a table against the ropes.

Taz demands Tajiri kick him, but it turns out to be a ruse as he catches the leg and then suplexes Tajiri through the table. Taz now stalks Corino to the backstage and then comes back with looks to be barbed wire. Taz chokes Tajiri out with the wire, but the camera goes to a long shot as Joey screams about the show getting kicked off the air. Really, flaming tables doesn’t manage it but choking someone with some barbed wire will? Anyway, the ref decides Tajiri can’t go on and stops the match to save him before any more damage takes place.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: TAZ
RATING: ***

This was a decent match but was too short to be rated any higher and the finish was pretty weird. According to the Wrestling Observer issue that covered this show, some TV execs were at the show and got totally freaked at what happened in The Dudley Boyz match, so they decided to shoot this match like that to avoid upsetting them further. Talk about a decisive finish though, I can’t see Tajiri getting another Title shot any time soon.

Joey and Cyrus hype up the main event, as rivals Lynn and RVD will actually team up tonight against The Impact Players. Both Joey and Cyrus don’t think Lynn and RVD can get along.

Main Event
The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm w/ Dawn Marie Vs Jerry Lynn and Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso

This stemmed from Lynn losing to Storm yesterday on Hardcore TV, with him blaming RVD for the loss and then demanding he tag up with him to make up for it. Dawn is wearing the skimpiest of black outfits here and looks quite lovely as always. Prior to this show taking place, RVD’s then wife Sonya suffered a horrible accident and was hospitalised, so one of the fans actually has a “Get Well Soon Sonya” sign in a rare show of class from the usually unsympathetic ECW crowd. RVD happily slaps hands with the crowd as a show of appreciation, which essentially confirms his face turn for all intents and purposes as he’d still been heel jerk RVD up to that point, just towards other heels.

The story here is that Justin Credible keeps saying that RVD is ducking him, but whenever it looks like the two are going to fight Justin always ducks out of it. Joey outright says that Credible is scared of RVD at one point, so I’m sure that’ll play into the match as it goes on. RVD and Lynn have a bit of a debate over who is going to start, with Lynn eventually starting and Credible starting for The Impact Players. Lynn and Credible do their usual good match with one another, which each of them trying for their finishing moves but having them countered.

Storm tries to interfere, so Lynn sends him outside and then tosses Credible over the top rope on to him for good measure. Credible gets back in and asks for RVD and Lynn obliges, only for Credible to scamper across the ring and tag in Storm. Storm and RVD do some nice wrestling next, which ends with a stand-off as the crowd shows its appreciation. We get a nice flippy sequence next, which ends with Storm going to the Canadian Maple Leaf. RVD fights out of that with an enziguri though and then tags in Lynn.

Lynn gets trapped in the heel corner but fights The Impact Players off and snaps Storm’s neck across the top. Justin Credible uses his Singapore cane to clock Lynn however, and that appears to be the cut off. Lynn gets worked over by The Impact Players, with the heels hitting some nice stuff, including a great dropkick from Storm. Lynn gets a brief comeback with a fishtails sequence but two kicks from Storm, one of the mule and the other of the super variety, put Lynn back on the defensive. Cyrus mentions Chris Jericho on commentary, saying that Storm used to carry him.

Credible actually hits The Razor’s Edge at one point as a shout out to his real life buddy Scott Hall, but when Storm tries coming off the rope with a cross body whilst holding a chair, Lynn kicks it back at him. Credible manages to stop the tag to RVD, but Lynn hits him with a DDT and then gets the tag on the second attempt. RVD delivers a big face buster to Storm and then follows with a nice looking spin kick. Leaping side kick from the top rope puts Storm down, but RVD stops to hotdog rather than go for the pin,

RVD dropkicks a chair into Storm’s face and then follows with a leg drop off the apron to Storm’s back when he flees to the outside. Meanwhile, Lynn bulldogs Credible off the second rope on to the entrance ramp as this match is breaking down. RVD tries to cross body Storm outside the ring, but Storm ducks and RVD goes flying into the crowd, only to promptly leap back out with a flip dive. Credible hits a reverse DDT on the ramp to Lynn and then sneak attacks RVD in the ring before running away again.

RVD sets Storm up on the top rope but gets shoved off and then eats a spin kick from Storm for two. RVD shrugs off a mule kick from Storm and spin kicks him down before delivering the Rolling Thunder. Credible once again makes the save and sneak attacks RVD, but RVD reverses an Irish Whip to the corner and Credible goes flying out of the ring Triple H style. Joey tries to sell on commentary that Credible deliberately took that bump as a way to escape RVD, but that’s a pretty flimsy argument to make and Cyrus rightly takes him to task for it.

Fonzie sets Credible up on a table at ringside for RVD, but before he can put him through it Sabu runs down to put Credible through the table instead and steal RVD’s kill as it were. RVD tries to Five Star Frog Splash Storm, but he moves and he hits Lynn by accident, only for Lynn to kick out of the resulting pin attempt at two. RVD Van Daminates Storm next, which allows Lynn to hit the Cradle Piledriver and pin Storm for the three count.

WINNERS: ROB VAN DAM AND JERRY LYNN
RATING: ***3/4

Very good match there and a strong main event. It’s annoying to see The Impact Players lose AGAIN, but with the TNN show coming up it makes sense to put the focus back on to Lynn Vs RVD.

Following the match we have a three way brawl between RVD, Sabu and Lynn, which seems to be setting up a three way dance between the three men, but I’m not sure that ended up happening.

We get a video package to close us out showing highlights from the night.

In Conclusion

The main event went some way to rescuing the show, but the momentum the show was building in the first half was completely derailed by Dudleyz Vs Spikey-Balls and it never really recovered it. There were some decent matches and nothing was actively bad outside of the Tag Title match, but the show was severely lacking a killer match in the undercard to compliment the main event.

Some of the booking decisions were incredibly questionable as well, such as having Corino get pinned by Francine when he’s supposed to be feuding with the ECW Champion. How can Corino get even a shred of heat on Taz now if they ever wrestle one another? Yeah, Jason got beaten by Jazz, but Jazz is an actual wrestler and not a non-wrestling valet like Francine. Jason is also barely part of The Impact Players’ act and is clearly the 4th wheel of the car behind Storm, Credible and Dawn Marie, so taking an L to Jazz was far more acceptable.

Corino is supposed to be the leader of his crew of guys and is eventually going to have to work with Taz by the looks of things; him getting battered by Francine is so ridiculously counterproductive. Have her destroy Victory or something; he’s already the comic relief anyway. The stuff with the camera going to a wide shot for the Taz match was ridiculous too, although we at least got a finish to the match.

Joey Styles was WAY better with Cyrus to work with as well. Going through these old ECW shows has kind of made clear to me that Joey wasn’t as good as younger me remembered him being. He tries so hard sometimes to be the smartest guy in the room and belabours the point on certain story points so much that he becomes really tiresome. Cyrus kept him on his toes and the commentary was much better for it.

Overall I’d struggle to recommend this one as so much of the show is just middling. It’s an easy enough watch if you skip The Dudley match, but it’s hardly required viewing either. The main event is very good though, and well worth watching in isolation if you don’t fancy the rest of the card.