The SmarK Rant for ECW Wrestling on TNN – 10.01.99
Man, this show is really turning into a hate-watch situation for me. And Russo isn’t even involved! Granted he was taking over WCW at this point, so he was preoccupied anyway.
Taped from the COMPUWARE SPORTS ARENA in Plymouth, MI. So they did that set of tapings in Buffalo and got, what, one match out of it? Anyway, even though Compuware sounds like the most 90s startup dot-com bubble company name ever, they’re still around.
Your hosts are Joey Styles and Joel “Never before in Detroit Rock City has anyone ever looked this pretty” Gertner.
ECW World title: Mike Awesome v. Rhino
I don’t remember what Awesome was originally using for music but it’s overdubbed with something that sounds like Cinderella, complete with lyrics about Mike Awesome himself. Awesome quickly hits a back elbow out of the corner and dumps Rhino with a clothesline, then follows with a dive. He whips Rhino into the guardrails as Awesome is quickly getting over as a babyface here, despite the lame presence of Judge Jeff Jones as his manager. Jones really made Awesome look low-rent by association. Back in, Awesome with a flying clothesline for two and he goes for the powerbomb, but Rhino backdrops out and hits a spinebuster for two. Rhino pounds away in the corner and goes up with a diving headbutt for two. Rhino slugs away, but Awesome no-sells it and hits him with a release german suplex, then powerbombs him from the ring and through a table on the floor. Why would you waste spots like that on this TV show? Back in, Awesome has nothing to follow that, so he just goes up and splashes Rhino for the pin to retain at 4:25. Bigtime performance from Awesome here, I’ll give him that. ***
That powerbomb is the 1Wrestling.com EXTREME REPLAY, by the way.
Big Sal Graziano v. Little Spike Dudley
Acid Drop and we’re out at 0:10. Little Guido runs out and attacks Spike and I guess it’s a handicap match now.
Little Guido & Big Sal v. Little Spike Dudley
Spike and Guido trade rollups for two and Spike puts Guido on the floor and follows with a tope suicida. This is also an EXTREME REPLAY, but is not sponsored by 1Wrestling.com this time. Sal splats Spike into the railing and Guido tosses him in for the Sicilian Slice, which gets two. Guido tries for what looks like an Americana, but Spike escapes and so Guido hits him with an Unprettier for two. Sal comes back in and misses a splash, allowing Spike to go low on Guido and finish Sal with another Acid Drop onto Guido for the pin at 3:08. This was fine, no one takes the FBI seriously anyway. **
Next week: Tammy Sytch debuts on TNN. Oh lord, THAT episode.
And now, a special look at Rob Van Dam. He’s like the anti-Revival!
Danny Doring & Roadkill v. CW Anderson & Wild Bill Whiles
This is the dark match from the Anarchy Rulz PPV for god knows what reason. Miss Congeniality is wearing what is basically normal wrestling gear here and it’s not really a great look on her. Roadkill slugs away on Whiles and powerslams him for two, and Doring takes CW down with a headscissors and they double-team the jobbers. Roadkill with a double splash in the corner, but CW hits Doring with a spinebuster to get the “heat”. Of which this match has none. Wild Bill works the arm of Doring, but Danny comes back with the Stroke and makes the hot tag to Roadkill. Sideslam on Whiles, but Bill comes back again with a slam on Doring for two. And then Anderson superkicks Roadkill for two. Doring gets a DDT on Anderson for two, but Whiles saves, so Doring gives him an inverted DDT and Roadkill gets a flying splash for the pin at 4:01. Jobbers got way too much here, but it was well worked and fast-paced. **1/2 But really, you’re on national TV and THESE are the guys you’re featuring? The doofus who names all his moves after sex and the guy who thinks he’s Amish?
Tommy Dreamer v. Tajiri
We’re joined in progress after intros, as Dreamer baseball slides Tajiri into Steve Corino and crotches him on the railing. Like, do they ever explain WHY Corino and his gang of morons are hanging around at ringside here? Last we saw of Tajiri on this show, he was getting squashed by Taz, and now he’s main eventing and allied with Corino and they never offered any kind of explanation. This is basic storytelling stuff that’s completely lacking on these shows, which are basically preaching to ECW choir. But if you don’t watch the syndicated show, this one offers no character explanations or backstory. Tommy hits him with a delicious and refreshing soda and they head into the ring. Joey notes that Tommy is wearing his “street clothes” because this is a street fight. Um, how exactly does one differentiate between Tommy’s wrestling gear and his street clothes? Aside from his t-shirt and sweat pants being a different color palette? Tommy goes up and gets brought into the Tree of Woe, but Tajiri misses a baseball slide and crotches himself on the post. Tommy dropkicks a chair in his face, but Tajiri kicks him to the floor and then throws some nasty kicks on the railing. Yeah that’ll really help Tommy’s neck heal. Back in, Tajiri tries the Tarantula, but Tommy goes low and does his own version. Corino breaks it up and they fight on the floor and do a walk-and-brawl that busts Tajiri open. Back to ringside and Tommy spits beer mist at Tajiri and they head back in where Tommy pounds him in the corner. Tajiri hits him with a vicious superkick out of nowhere and drops a knee. He stops to showboat and Tommy hits a death valley driver for two. Quick rant: No disrespect to Louie, but I never bought into the “Spicoli Driver” stuff. It’s nice that Joey tried to get it over on his behalf, but he was best known in America as Scott Hall’s comic relief in the nWo and a guy who accidentally overdosed at a young age. He’s not someone who warranted having moves renamed in his honor. The ref is bumped and Corino gets involved with Francine, but Raven runs in and DDTs Tommy (because it’s not a tag title match, see) and Tajiri gets the pin at 12:00. Just a standard Dreamer brawl, but the crowd was really hot. ***
Wrestling was good this week, but the total lack of star power made this the lowest-rated episode of the show yet, with a 0.71, which was almost tied with RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROLLERJAM. But hey, next week should turn it around, right?