Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #342 – 13/11/1999

Hello You!

Welcome to all the fallout from November to Remember 1999. As usual I expect this post pay per view show to be more of a recap than feature anything new, but maybe ECW will surprise me on that front?

Sadly I have now gone beyond the point that Scott Keith has reached in his ECW on TNN recaps, so I’m afraid I can’t link you up to some lovely Scott ECW goodness. However, I will share the link for his excellent review of AEW’s “Full Gear” Event, which you can read by clicking HERE, as well as Thomas Hall’s review, which you can read by clicking HERE.

I personally enjoyed the show and especially liked the Hangman Page Vs Pac match (I think Hangman’s “Cowboy S***” shirt is great, but I don’t know where I’d ever be able to get away with wearing it). I’m one of the few who didn’t really have especially strong feelings one way or the other in regards to the Lights Out main event. It’s not really my favourite genre of wrestling but there was other stuff on the show that I did really enjoy so I was content when all was said and done.

If you’d like to read my Review of ECW November to Remember 1999 then you can do so by clicking right HERE. I didn’t especially enjoy the show but it did have an excellent Mike Awesome Vs Masato Tanaka match, so that’s something to consider if you like both men.

So with all that dealt with, let’s break a glass table and cover the floor in its remains as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

Today’s matches were taped from Dayton, Ohio

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with Paul Heyman approaching Raven in the car park, where he laments about bringing The Sandman back to ECW and complains about all the wrestlers complaining about Title shots. Heyman tells Raven that he’s miserable, which seems merely to amuse Raven and the two share a laugh. That was actually kind of heart-warming in a weird way.

Show Intro: This week’s tagline “From The Hara Arena, Dayton, Ohio, It’s Not Just Wrestling, It’s Hardcore TV!”

Joey Styles is in front of the ECW Banner where he talks about how Raven almost came out of his shell and showed us all Scott Levy, before things turned nasty later on. Ooo, foreshadowing! We get clips from November to Remember 99, where Raven clocked Sandman with a Singapore Cane accidentally/on purpose, costing him the match.

Tommy Dreamer does a spoof of a Raven promo in the toilets, even wearing the necklace and leather jacket to really ram the point home. Tommy does a good Raven impression actually. He head butts a toilet cubicle until he cuts open his own head and says he and Raven are bound by blood.

Back to Joey, who sends to footage of The Sandman Vs Rhino from earlier in the night, where Rhino no sold a bunch of cane shots before finally going down, which brought down Justin Credible and Jason for an attack. Tommy Dreamer ran down for the save, but was overwhelmed, which eventually led to Raven coming down for the rescue. Raven did a very nice little segment with Credible actually, which teased that they might have a good match in them if we ever get a chance to see it. Raven actually does the right thing afterwards by helping Dreamer up, but The Sandman is still salty from the whole kidnapping of his family thing (Jeez, it was two years ago James, let it go already) which leads to Dreamer breaking up the fight between them and dragging Sandman out of the ring.

Joey sends to comments from Raven backstage following this, where he talks about his drunk dad beating him up as a child and bemoans the fact that Dreamer let Sandman (Another drunk) beat him up just then. Err, Tommy saved your arse there Scotty, the minute Sandman attacked you he was in there to break it up. Raven is nearly in tears as he sobs that he did the right thing and Tommy still let the drunk beat him up. This storyline just keeps getting weirder, as both Dreamer and Raven are losing their minds.

COMMERCIAL

Opening Match
ECW Television Title
Champ: Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Little Guido w/ Big Sal

Hey, it’s a fresh match for Little Guido, and it actually kind of makes sense as he beat Nova on the pay per view and would thus deserve a Title shot. Logical booking in late 1999 ECW, what sort of fever dream am I living right now?!?!

Things are cagey to start, as Joey pushes on the commentary that the best way RVD could gain an advantage here would be if he could make Guido lose his cool. Because yes, if you are facing someone with an 600 pound giant manager who may or may not have connections to organised crime, the first thing you want to do is make him angry. Well done Joey, you’re a freakin’ genius you idiot! RVD eventually lets his natural cockiness be his undoing as Guido cuts him off and tries to put him away with a Fujiwara arm bar. RVD manages to get to the ropes to break that, as we look at some promotional considerations paid for by the following.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, RVD is gaining control and sends Guido to the outside, where he flings him into the metal railings and then follows with a big spinning wheel kick. RVD drapes Guido over the railing next and follows with corkscrew leg drop before heading back in to taunt, because RVD. Guido eventually manages to reverse an Irish whip to send RVD into the railings, where Big Sal follows with a big splash over the railing before putting RVD back inside for a two count. Isn’t it interesting how Sting used to ALWAYS miss that spot but Sal delivered it easily? Does this mean Sal is a better wrestler than Sting?

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, things have clearly worsened for the Champ as Guido gets the Tomikaze (Unprettier/Pulp Friction) onto a chair for two. Seriously, we just came back from the break with Guido getting his finisher onto the chair without any build up or explanation of how we got there. Some of the editing on this show sometimes is utterly preposterous. Anyway, RVD manages to lift Guido into the air and dropkick him on the way down in a neat spot for two, before following with a somersault splash for another two.

RVD hangs Guido in the Tree of Woe and then dropkicks a chair into his face, which brings in Sal for an attack. RVD sidesteps however and Sal squishes Guido in the corner, which allows RVD to hit Sal with the Vandaminator and then follow up with Rolling Thunder to Guido for two. Alfonso throws in another chair, but RVD ends up going face first into it via Sicilian Slice (Second rope Rocker Dropper) for two. Guido heads up but RVD cuts him off  and then crotches Guido on the top rope before following up with the Van Daminator and Five Star Frogsplash for the three count.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: **

RVD cleared nearly the entire length of the ring with that splash and it looked incredible. The match itself was cut to pieces by the editing but Guido was given enough offence to look like a credible challenger before RVD put him away with the usual. It’s nice to see Guido not wrestling one or both of Tajiri/Super Crazy, so I’ll take what I can get.

Joey hypes upcoming shows, including some shows from Georgia in early December, outright called “enemy territory” by Joey.

Joey hypes up the Tanaka Vs Awesome match from November to Remember and we get some cool clips. Joey ponders how much this took out of Awesome ahead of his Title match with Taz tonight?

COMMERCIAL

Match Two
Danny Doring and Roadkill Vs CW Anderson and “Wild” Bill Wiles

This match is from before the November to Remember pay per view started, which was a spot both teams also shared at Anarchy Rulz 1999. Poor guys, preshow two pay per views in a row, I bet they were hating life. CW and Wiles jump Doring and Roadkill to start, but they fight back and clear the ring, which seems to suggest that they are working face tonight even though they’ve been heels mostly on TV.

Wiles manages to take Doring down with a tilt a whirl, which leads to him getting worked over in the Anderson/Wiles corner. Say, these guys work pretty well together as a team; maybe they should team more regularly and perhaps get a team name? Maybe they could even get a manager as well, just to complete the ensemble? Doring eventually manages to make the tag to Roadkill, who runs wild on the opposing team with slams.

Doring heads up for a leg drop, but CW shakes the ropes and that allows Wiles to try for a superplex. Doring counters that into a chin breaker from the middle rope however, which leads to CW coming in with a sly super kick to allow Wiles to get a two count. Roadkills busts out the double springboard clothesline to CW/Wiles to a big pop, which allows Doring to drop his Danaconda from the top on Wiles. Roadkill adds a splash from the top and that’s enough for the win.

WINNERS: DANNY DORING AND ROADKILL
RATING: **

Fine as a way to pump up the crowd on a preshow, as the action was quickly paced and there were some cool moves from both teams. It was a bit light on psychology, but I enjoyed it and the crowd was fired up by the end, so it did its job.

COMMERCIAL

ECW World Title
Champ: Mike Awesome w/ Judge Jeff Jones Vs Taz

This is Taz’s one on one rematch for the Title, as he lost it at Anarchy Rulz in a 3 Way Dance when both Awesome and Masato Tanaka dogpiled him to eliminate him. Taz tries to jumpstart things, but Awesome drags him outside and then throws him into the front row before following with a dive. Both men fight into the concession stand, where Awesome throws the challenger into a “Donato’s Pizza” stand and then adds a shot with a bin full of rubbish.

The fight continues in the crowd, with both men trading the advantage. It’s not especially well lit sadly, so it’s a bit hard to see what’s happening sometimes, but the crowd seems to be digging it. Both men finally brawl down to the entrance way, where Awesome gives Taz a body slam on the concrete, in a bump Taz probably loved taking with his history of back and neck injuries. The fight heads back into the ring, where Awesome gets a Stinger Splash, but when he tries it again he finds a Taz lariat waiting for him.

Awesome regains control again however and then brings a table into the ring, as he’s mostly been in control for this one. Awesome sets the table up inside the ring and motions that he’s going to powerbomb Taz through it. I’m not surprised he’s teasing it in the ring as I have no doubt that Taz would have laughed uproariously in their face if they’d suggested he take the move over the top rope to the floor like Awesome’s other challengers have taken it, especially with a cushy gig in the WWF waiting for him.

Awesome preps for the powerbomb, but Taz fights him off and gets a T-Bone suplex. He misses the table however, which may have been intentional I can’t really tell, but then follows up with a head and arm suplex from the top. This is Jones’ cue to get up on the apron for a distraction, which Taz falls for like a goof, allowing Awesome to powerbomb Taz through the table for two. Awesome heads up top for a Splash next though, and that’s enough for the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: MIKE AWESOME
RATING: *1/2

This wasn’t much of a match but the point of it was to give Awesome a win over the previous Champion in a singles bout so that there would be no doubt that he was a deserving Champion, which makes sense. Taz getting distracted like a goof by Jones didn’t make him look especially great, but he was heading out the door anyway and most WWF fans probably weren’t even watching ECW at this point so it’s not like it hurt him to do a job here. Seeing all three matches on the show end with a top rope splash however did ram home the fact that there needs to be a bit more agenting from Heyman to ensure that there’s more variety in finishing moves. Awesome and RVD both doing splashes makes sense as they’re sure to feud over who the better Champion is down the line, but maybe Roadkill could do something else so as not to muddy the waters?

Awesome barely lifts the belt in the air and we’re out.

In Conclusion

An easy watch this week with some interesting advancements in the Raven/Dreamer story finally after months of them just DDT’ing one another with no end in sight. The matches were fine for the most part and I only have minor complaints. Not a blow away show but a decent holding one before they can start building up the January pay per view.