Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #328 – 07/08/1999

Hello You!

Here we are again with another episode of ECW Hardcore TV. We’re less than a month from ECW debuting on TNN, and ECW have been so hard up for action to fill the show recently that they tacked on a 3 month old Tommy Dreamer Vs Lance Storm match last week. Hopefully we get a full show of original content this week, but you never know.

Anyway, let’s fill our boots with barbed wire and take things to The Extreme!!!

The show is emanating from the ECW Arena in Philly

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with footage of Jerry Lynn pinning Jason with the Cradle Piledriver. However, his celebration is cut short when The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm attack him following the three count. Hey, at least we got a decisive finish first before the run in. The Impact Players destroy Lynn with Credible’s Singapore cane.

Paul Heyman hypes up what’s planned for today’s show in his usual guttural growl, which leads us to;

Show Intro. This week’s tagline, “TONIGHT, From The Place Where It All Began, The ECW Arena”

They really need to update the intro as well, as there’s tonnes of clips with Tajiri in his old gimmick in it.

Joey Styles is in the ring, sans suit jacket, probably because the ECW Arena in August must be one heck of a sweatbox. Joey also has a ridiculously baggy pair of trousers on. Is he auditioning to be the third member of High Energy or something? Anyway, Joey introduces the ECW Tag Champs of Spikey-Balls (Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley) and they come down to join him in the ring. Balls is wearing ludicrously wet clothing, which makes me think a flaming table could be in his future. Spikey-Balls are very over with the crowd, although some people do chant for Ball’s former partner Axl Rotten. Joey brings up that the Champs have set up an open challenge for an Extreme Death Match tonight, with the tag belts on the line, which leads to Axl Rotten coming down to the ring. I’m not sure why Axl had been gone for so long, and I don’t think this particular return lasted more than a few months either. Axl says that he and Balls made an agreement to fight each other the last time they failed to beat The Dudley Boyz, and he’s now here to live up to that agreement. Balls seems perfectly fine with that. Axl then grabs the mic from Joey and reveals that he’s chosen New Jack as his partner for tonight.

Opening Match
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champs: Spikey-Balls Vs Axl Rotten and New Jack

New Jack wastes no time attacking Spike Dudley, whilst Balls and Axl tee off on each other. Jack destroys Spike with a staple gun and then takes him outside the ring, as we take a break.

COMMERICAL

Back from the break, everyone bar New Jack is now bleeding, as Spike comes off the top rope to clock New Jack with a bin lid. Balls and Axl fight by the entrance way and the fight spills up to the foot of the Eagle’s Nest right below Joey. Meanwhile, Spike takes a cheese grater to New Jack and then flings an ironing board at him. Spike and New Jack join their partners up on the stage, where Axl and Jack set up a table.

Spike and New Jack brawl in the Eagle’s Nest, which leads to Spike getting the Acid Drop off through the table, which happened to have Balls lying on it at the time. With everyone bar Axl laid out, Axl drags Balls back into the ring, where he sets up another table, but Balls fights him off and then starts covering the table in lighter fluid.

I knew a flaming table was incoming! Indeed, Balls sets the table ablaze and then spine busters Axl through the table to pick up the win. I’m not sure a spine buster was the best move to take through a flaming table to be honest. At least with a powerbomb there’s a bit of distance between you and the man doing the move, which makes it easier to roll away.

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

A bloody brawl to be sure with some crazy spots/bumps thrown in, but it didn’t have much of a flow and was just a collection of violent moments with no real story to it.

Axl and New Jack raise The Champs’ hands following the bout, but then appear to go heel by jumping them. Most of the crowd still cheer them of course, because ECW. Spike gets laid on a table in the crowd by Axl and New Jack leaps off the top rope with a splash to put him through it. You know, I don’t even remember the Rotten and Jack team, and I especially don’t remember New Jack randomly going heel in 1999 for a bit either, so this must get resolved pretty quickly.

Joey hypes up that tonight we’ll see Little Guido take on Yoshihiro Tajiri.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Justin Credible is destroying D-Von Dudley with his Singapore cane, which leads to Jerry Lynn, Lance Storm and Buh Buh Ray Dudley running down for a big brawl. The pay off is a 6 man dream tag team match, where The Impact Players and The Dudley’s can choose a partner. Just to be jerks, The Impact Players decide to choose hated enemy Lynn, which leads to Rob Van Dam demanding to team with The Dudley’s so that he can get him some of Lynn.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Joey sends to a segment from the 6 man tag, where Lynn and RVD do a fantastic segment in the tag match, as Kamala seems to be on the apron for some reason. How the heck did they not think Kamala being in ECW wasn’t worth mentioning? I think it’s actually Giant Kimala from All Japan and not the actual original Kamala, but darn, a guy who looks like Kamala is in ECW, what the fudge?!?!

Joey hypes up how RVD and Lynn push one another to be better and that soon they’ll certainly lock up again.

We then get footage of The Dudley Boyz dropping Joel Gertner 3-D, which would seem to end their relationship. That could almost be a babyface turn from The Dudleyz there. The crowd sure seemed to like it and actually thank The Dudleyz for doing it.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Justin Credible is pinning Buh Buh Ray, which apparently happened in that 6 man from earlier. I wish they’d actually explain what we’re seeing sometimes.

We get a recap of the Taz Vs Tajiri feud. Tajiri laid Taz out in Queens, so Taz choked him out with barbed wire at Heatwave 99.

Main Event
Yoshihiro Tajiri w/ Steve Corino and Jack Victory Vs Little Guido w/ Big Sal and Tony DeVito

Tajiri still has his face bandaged following his run in with Taz at Heatwave. Guido complains on the mic pre-match that he should be getting Title shots and not Tajiri, and slaps him. Tajiri replies by taking the fight outside, but Sal crushes him against the railings. Guido works over Tajiri back inside the ring and goes to a Fujiwara arm bar. Tajiri manages to drag himself to the ropes to break the hold. Tajiri tries a handspring elbow, but Guido catches him with a neck breaker.

Guido slaps Tajiri around and talks trash to him, as Tajiri has got very little offence in thus far. Guido hangs Tajiri in the Tree of Woe and tries a running dropkick, but Tajiri bridges up and Guido goes crotch first into the ring post. Tajiri works over Guido now, but Guido replies with the Tomikaze and makes the cover. Corino pulls Guido out however and throws a beer in his face before rolling Guido back in for a kick from Tajiri.

Guido keeps coming with a Russian Leg Sweep though and then gets back in control. Guido gets the Sicilian Slice out of the corner to Tajiri, but he looks to have hurt his left leg in the process. Guido crumbles following a back elbow attempt and can barely stand, so Tajiri goes after the leg with a low dropkick and then adds a nasty kick to the knee cap. Guido collapses on an Irish Whip attempt and the referee actually thinks about stopping it.

Tajiri sets Guido up in the Tree of Woe and delivers a running dropkick before going to a Texas Cloverleaf. Guido immediately taps out due to his leg injury, thus allowing Tajiri to even the score for a previous submission job earlier in the year. Look at Tajiri getting his win back there, who does he think he is, Hulk Hogan?

WINNER: TAJIRI
RATING: **

This was fine but felt a bit rushed and I’ve seen this match so many times now that I’m starting to get a bit bored with it. Moving Tajiri on to Taz at least created a fresh matchup, but now he’s back to working with Guido and (probably) Super Crazy again.

The heel factions face off, but DeVito turns on Sal and attacks him with a chair, which leads to a four on two beat down on Guido and Sal. Corino then gets on the mic and chastises Guido and Sal before calling out Tommy Dreamer, who we see is sitting in the stands with Francine. Paul Heyman is there trying to calm him down, but Dreamer, in bright purple shorts no less, decides to come down to the ring for a confrontation. Corino demands that Dreamer lie down for him, but Dreamer attacks him instead and takes it to the heels. Dreamer sets Tajiri up in the Tree of Woe and Francine dropkicks a chair into his face. They were trying way too hard to make Francine into Beulah 2.0 here, when that isn’t what got her over to begin with. Dreamer and Francine put stereo Figure Four Leg Locks on Victory and Corino, but this allows Tajiri to attack them both. I’m sure Taz was just THRILLED to see Corino get beaten up by Francine again. DeVito sets up a table, but before Dreamer can go through it ECW World Champ Taz comes down to clear the ring. Dreamer holds on to DeVito so that he can’t escape though, which allows Taz to hoist DeVito up and put him through the table with an Alabama Slam. Corino mocks Taz on the mic from the aisle way, but Taz fires back with his catchphrase and we’re out. I do like the idea as well that Dreamer is the closest thing a miserable sod like Taz has to a friend in ECW, which is why he came down to rescue him and why Dreamer keeps sacrificing himself to that Taz can get hold of people.

In Conclusion

This was easy enough to watch but the show majorly feels like it’s in a holding pattern right now, which it obviously is with the TNN show on the horizon. There were a lot of turns on the show tonight as well, with New Jack and Rotten seemingly going heel but The Dudleyz going babyface, and maybe even Guido and Sal turning as well. That’s way too many for just one show. To be honest, they should have just turned The Dudleyz and left that as the big turn angle on the show.