Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #349 – 01/01/2000

Hello You!

Before we go further I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Extreme New Year!

Last week’s Hardcore TV wasn’t that great from a match perspective but the Guilty As Charged pay per view on the 9th of January has been promoted pretty well, with most of the big matches booked well in advance so that the company can heat them up.

Let’s see what ECW has in mind for this week!

This week’s matches were taped from White Plains, New York

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Joey Styles is in front of a new ECW Banner, where he hypes up the TNN taping on 07/01/2000 when ECW will take over Centre Stage in Georgia, as well as Guilty As Charged on 09/01/2000 from Birmingham, Alabama

Show Intro: This week’s tagline is “From The Westchester County Center, White Plains New York, It’s ECW Hardcore TV!”

Joey tells us that later on tonight we will get the entirety of Mike Awesome Vs Masato Tanaka from the previous night’s ECW on TNN.

Opening Match
Little Guido w/ Big Sal Vs Super Calo

Calo showed up a few weeks back in a match with Super Crazy. We’ve actually not seen Guido on Hardcore TV for something like a month now, so I can only assume he was mostly working on the TNN show. We get some decent mat wrestling to start, with Calo using Lucha Libre to try and counter Guido’s amateur styled shoot grappling.

Guido gets annoyed at this and starts attacking Calo with chops and stomps, but Calo catches him with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker and a missile dropkick to send Guido rolling outside. Calo keeps coming though and dives out onto Guido and Sal as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, Sal is putting Calo through a table with an elbow drop off the apron before sending him back inside the ring for a Tomikaze (Killswitch/Pulp Friction/Unprettier) from Guido, which not surprisingly is enough for the win.

WINNER: LITTLE GUIDO
RATING: N/A

Either they chopped out Guido’s entire heat segment and Calo’s comeback or the match itself was genuinely that short. Either way, I either didn’t see enough of it to rate it or it was too short to rate anyway.

Joey hypes up the main event more

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Lou E. Dangerously is in the ring with CW Anderson and Bill Wiles. He says that this isn’t a tribute to Paul E. Dangerously, because Paul E sucks. The fans boo this and tell Lou that he likes to suck certain things.

Match Two
CW Anderson w/ “Beautiful” Billy Wiles and Lou E. Dangerously Vs Kintaro Kanemura

Before this one can start we head backstage for comments from Rhino. He says that he’s going to hurt The Sandman at Guilty As Charged. Kanemura mostly did hardcore stuff in Japan, working for groups like W*ING, IWA and FMW. He gets tripped up by Lou E, which leads to CW smacking him right in the gob with a big super kick for two.

CW works over Kanemura for a bit, with Wiles getting the odd cheap shot in when the occasion allows. CW was decent enough mechanically here but he was lacking the killer instinct he’d develop as the year went on. He does deliver a wonderful spine buster to Kanemura for two though, which annoys Wiles as he thinks the count is slow.

Heel miscommunication sees CW accidentally clock Wiles with Lou E’ cellular phone, which allows Kanemura to kick him low and then head up top for a senton back splash. This gets three from the ref.

WINNER: KINTARO KANEMURA
RATING: N/A

This was another match that was too short to rate, as it felt like a lot got chopped out of it. Lou E, Wiles and CW as bumbling heels worked fine.

Joey continues to hype up Awesome Vs Tanaka

COMMERCIAL

Joey is back in front of the ECW Banner, where he sends to clips of Balls Mahoney and New Jack taking on Da Baldies. New Jack climbs up to one of the balconies and splashes Vic Grimes through a table.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, the match between Balls/Jack and Da Baldies is still going on. Balls clobbers Tony DeVito with a chair inside the ring, but this allows Spanish Angel to sneak up behind him and staple him in the eye for the three count. Joey hypes up that it’s New Jack Vs Angel at Guilty As Charged.

Paul Heyman hypes up the Guilty As Charged card. So far we have;

King of the Streets
Spanish Angel Vs New Jack

Dream Partner Match
Yoshihiro Tajiri and ??? Vs Super Crazy and ???

Rhino Vs The Sandman

ECW Television Title
Champ: Rob Van Dam Vs Sabu

ECW Tag Team Titles
Champs: Tommy Dreamer and Raven Vs The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm

Mike Awesome Vs Little Spike Dudley

Main Event
ECW Title
Champ: Masato Tanaka Vs Mike Awesome w/ Judge Jeff Jones

This one starts out fast, with Awesome aggressively going after Tanaka because he’s angry over losing the Title to him the previous week. Awesome sends Tanaka outside and follows with The Undertaker WrestleMania dive. Awesome sets up a table on the floor and goes to powerbomb Tanaka off the apron through it. Tanaka counters that by getting a back body drop onto the apron however and then dives out onto Awesome with a cross body block to the floor.

Tanaka adds a running chair shot but Awesome fights back with a Cactus Clothesline over the guardrail to send both men into the crowd. Awesome puts Tanaka back inside the ring for a slingshot splash, which gets him two. It’s now “sick chair shot o’clock”, as Awesome brains Tanaka with two horrific unprotected chair shots to the head, but when he heads up top for one Tanaka is able to catch him with a dropkick on the way down.

Tanaka throws a nasty chair shot of his own, although he seemed to be pulling it a little bit at least. Seriously guys, get your hands up. The ECW crowd might boo it but they’re a bunch of uncaring wankers anyway. Look after your health! Tanaka gets a Tornado DDT onto a stack of chairs, but Awesome is able to kick out at two. That was enough for Tanaka to defeat Awesome in their classic bout at ECW Heat Wave 1998.

Tanaka gets the Diamond Dust (Flipping Stunner out of the corner) next, but Awesome still manages to kick out at two and delivers a big release German Suplex followed by a sit out spine buster for a double down. Awesome gets up first and gets a running powerbomb for two before calling for a table from Jones. Awesome stacks the table up in the corner and goes to powerbomb Tanaka through it, but Tanaka slips out.

Awesome won’t be denied however and gets the powerbomb through the table on the second attempt for a two count. That was a proper Inoki styled kick out from Tanaka there, as he just barely lifted up his shoulder to break the count with barely any flourish. Awesome lays out Tanaka on a table and heads up for a splash, but Tanaka recovers and heads up to fight Awesome on the top. Tanaka manages to DDT Awesome through the table from the top rope, but he can’t make the cover right away due to being so hurt and tired, which allows Awesome to kick out at two.

Tanaka tries the Roaring Elbow next for a great tight near fall, as Awesome somehow kicks out again. Tanaka tries the Diamond Dust again, but Awesome blocks it and gets an Alabama Slam before heading up top with a frogsplash for two. These near falls have been fantastic. This has really felt like a climatic end to the rivalry, regardless of who wins. Awesome sets Tanaka up on the top rope and gets one last big move with a super sit out powerbomb to regain the Title.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: MIKE AWESOME
RATING: ****

This was a heavy hitting war, as both men just went full bore with all their big moves as they knew this was probably going to be their last big main event singles bout with one another. Normally I hate quick-fire Title changes, but Tanaka getting to be ECW Champion, however brief, was something he really deserved after all his incredible performances during the autumn and winter months. Awesome lost nothing from it as it only made the two men’s rivalry seem all the more epic. I could have done without the horrible unprotected chair shots, but the rest of the big moves were done safely and I really got into the near falls at the end. Well worth a watch this one, as are most of the matches between these two.

Awesome doesn’t get much time to celebrate though as Little Spike Dudley comes down to the ring. Spike tries the Acid Drop on Awesome, but Jeff Jones stops that with a gavel shot. Spike’s girlfriend comes in to take out Jones with an Acid Drop, but that leaves her open to big lariat from Awesome. Awesome just creamed her with that and she’s bleeding out of the mouth as a result. I’m not sure if that’s legit or she just chomped on a condom with red liquid in it, but either way Awesome levelled her with that lariat. Spike is angry at this and goes after Awesome but gets thrown through a table for his troubles.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break we get a history lesson, running through the people who have held it over the years. Paul Heyman always cared a lot about the lineage of the Title so we’d get these video packages now and then as a way of letting newer fans learn about the belts history.

Spike cuts a promo backstage saying that he’s survived everything that has be thrown at him and at Guilty As Charged he is going to hurt Mike Awesome.

In Conclusion

The main event was great and the angle that followed it to set up Spike/Awesome was really good as well, so this show gets an easy thumbs up as a result. See you all next week for the go-home show to Guilty As Charged.