Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #345 – 04/12/1999

Hello You!

Last week we had a New Jack focused episode, as he stapled Spanish Angel in the eye and then put Tony DeVito through a table after jumping off a balcony. In most cases that would be a pretty definitive end to the feud, but this is ECW, where setting someone on fire is a hope spot, so I’m willing to bet that we’ll see more of that rivalry going forward.

Rob Van Dam is back on the show this week after going to a time limit draw with Sabu a couple of weeks back, so maybe we’ll see that story advance some more?

This week’s matches are taped from the ECW Arena in Philly

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with a promo by Danny Doring, as we get the Hardcore TV debut of Elektra as his valet. Elektra has a better body than Amy Dumas but nowhere close to the charisma or star presence. Elektra was actually the late Big Dick Dudley’s wife and famously did not get on with Roadkill at all, which often left Doring as the real life exasperated middle man trying to stop them killing one another. Doring brags about how hot Elektra is, whilst Roadkill sneaks in behind and weirds her out. Doring is perturbed by this and tells Roadkill off before carrying Elektra away. Roadkill is more interested in say “chickens” anyway.

Show Intro: This week’s tagline is “Don’t Let Your Bizkit Go Limp, Get Extreme, ECW Hardcore TV!”

We see that Steve Corino is yelling at people in the crowd at a Limp Bizkit concert but sadly we can’t hear what he’s saying as the WWE Network needs to dub out whatever song Bizkit is playing. Oh come on, you still play “Rolling” for Undertaker, could you not work something out for this seeing as it makes the angle pretty much unwatchable without it?

Joey Styles is in front of the ECW Banner, where he says that Steve Corino got into a physical altercation with Fred Durst later on at the concert and we’ll be seeing that later.

Opening Match
Bo Dupp and Stan Dupp w/ Puck Dupp Vs Kid Kash and Nova

Urgh, more with The Dupp’s. I just do not see anything with them at all. They’re basically what you’d get if you crossed The Godwin’s with The Oddities. Big whoop. I think this is one of the first TV appearances of Dave Cash doing the Kid Kash gimmick instead of just wrestling under his real name. Kash uses his speed to shine on Jack to start, getting arm drags and the like, before bring in Nova for a double team splash for two.

Bo’s “humorous” gimmick is that he keeps picking his bum. Oh ho, what hilarity! Nova shines on him pretty easily and a double dropkick by the faces sends both Dupp’s to the outside, where Kash follows with an impressive dive for an “EC-Dub” chant. Joey debuts the “Kid Kash is money” line for the first time following that. Puck eventually manages to distract Kash when the fight heads back inside, which allows The Dupp’s to cut him off.

The heat goes on for a while, with Jack mostly doing big power moves for a series of two counts. Eventually Kash is able to block an attempted superplex with a low blow and delivers a rana from the top rope for a double down. Nova gets the hot tag manages a neck breaker on Bo for two. Cross Rhodes puts Jack down and Nove then impressively gets all three Dupp’s with one move, as he leg drops Puck whilst both stunnering and DDT’ing Bo and Jack at the same time for two.

Heel miscommunication sees Puck catch Bo with a missile dropkick, which leads to Chris Chetti coming down to take Puck out with a side kick. This leaves Jack and Nova alone in the ring and Nova puts him away with the Kryptonite Krunch (Air Raid Crash)

WINNERS: NOVA AND KID KASH
RATING: **

Basic tag stuff here but Nova and Kash were a fun babyface team who did hot moves, so the crowd was into it.

Joey hypes up Rob Van Dam’s match with Uganda later.

COMMERCIAL

Cyrus is backstage when James Mitchell comes in dressed as a priest saying he has a great new gimmick he can do. Cyrus lets him down by telling him that “the office” is Jewish, to which Mitchell rips off his collar and says he’ll be back in 5 minutes with a yamaka. Cyrus likes the sound of that and tells him he’s hired! Well, that was an odd way to introduce the Sinister Minister.

Joey is back in front of the ECW Banner and is appalled by all that and makes fun of Mitchell’s WCW gimmick.

We get clips from ECW on TNN, where Chris Candido and Rhino interrupt Justin Credible and Lance Storm during an in-ring promo. I have zero memory of this Candido and Rhino team. Candido talks trash to Storm and Credible, but Rhino has had enough of talking and instead GORES Jason to start a brawl. This of course leads to Tammy and Dawn Marie having our contractually mandated catfight, much to the enjoyment of the ECW Arena crowd.

COMMERCIAL

Back at the Limp Bizkit concert, Steve Corino takes a major step to becoming an actual star as opposed to mid card comic relief, as he gets on stage and starts insulting both the band and the live audience at the gig. The live crowd of course has no time for Corino’s nonsense and boo’s him lustily, cheering when he says they are drunk and stoned.

Joey is back in front of the ECW Banner, urging us not to go away as we’re going to see even more later on the show.

The Impact Players of Lance Storm and Justin Credible say they aren’t getting side-tracked by Candido and Rhino, and are instead going to focus on taking the Tag Titles from Tommy Dreamer and Raven. They urge Rhino to switch sides and work with them instead of against them.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
ECW Television Title
Champ: Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Uganda

Uganda is a professional Kamala cosplayer who ended up getting a somewhat decent push in All Japan Pro Wrestling as Giant Kimala II. He’s more spry on his feet than Kamala though and can actually do moves from the top rope when the mood takes him. This is going to be one of those matches that will either be an absolute disaster or will be a really fun clash of styles. I can’t really see a middle ground. We see that Sabu is watching from the stage area in the ECW Arena. RVD decides to grab a mic and taunt him, as I’m honestly wondering just who the face in this feud is supposed to be? Sabu tries to come down to the ring, even though his right leg is hurt and he needs crutches, but Paul Heyman and other ECW staff manage to hold him back. RVD dedicates the match to Sabu, just to be a jerk. RVD is a great insincere jerk, but I think he’s supposed to be the face here.

Uganda can’t be bothered waiting anymore and attacks RVD, getting a splash in the corner and then following up with a leg drop for two. Joey Styles talks about what a public relations nightmare it would be if a savage like Uganda was the TV Champion, but I personally think he’d be a step up from whiny druggy Tag Champ Raven. RVD rallies a dropkicks Uganda to send him outside, before dragging him back in for some more kicks and punches. RVD tries something off the top rope, but Uganda shoves him off the top rope down onto the railings at ringside. Uganda follows RVD out with a clothesline off the apron and then shoves RVD into the crowd as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, RVD dives out of the crowd onto Uganda and then gets a flip dive out of the ring to the floor for good measure. Into the crowd we go, where RVD celebrates with the crowd as Sabu seethes from the stage area. RVD actually goes over to below the stage to taunt Sabu further whilst Heyman begs Sabu not to get involved

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, RVD has come up to the stage area, where Sabu hits him with a chair and then dives off the stage to put Uganda through a table for a big “EC-Dub” chant. My word, that was a psychotic dive from Sabu and he ended up rolling under the bleachers from the momentum. Bill Alfonso jumps in between his two clients and eventually manages to prevent them from fighting further. RVD even shoves Fonzie down at this stage and then heads back down to the ring, where he clobbers Uganda with a chair. Van Daminator follows and RVD heads up with the Five Star Frogsplash to retain.

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

This was shaping up to be rather good but all the chicanery with Sabu caused the match to grind to a halt and it basically just became an angle after that.

Sabu still wants to get his hands on RVD but everyone holds him back whilst RVD celebrates in the ring with his Title belt.

Joey is back in front of the ECW Banner, where he says that next week’s show will come from Georgia and then sends us back to the concert.

Corino tells Fred Durst he’s what is wrong with America. Hey now, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water wasn’t that bad! Axl Rotten, New Jack and Balls Mahoney eventually come to Fred’s aid, and Fred even holds Corino so that Balls can brain him with a chair shot. Corino begins a tradition by doing a gory blade job and we’re out.

In Conclusion

The matches were fine for the most part but this week was all about angle advancement in RVD/Sabu as well as milking Corino’s skit as much as possible. Corino was great in his role and this angle really made him seem like more of a star after a long period of being mostly a mouthpiece for other heels.

RVD/Sabu’s build confounds me as I think we’re supposed to want to side with RVD and dislike Sabu, but I personally think Sabu is well within his rights to want to destroy RVD at this point after RVD has been talking all this smack.

Not an amazing show this week but it was an easy watch and I enjoyed it for the most part.