Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #352 – 22/01/2000

Hello You!

Last week’s show wasn’t that bad, as we actually got some fresh matches from the TV taping in Atlanta and, because it was shot at Centre Stage, the show actually looked quite good from a production standpoint as well.

With Guilty As Charged now behind us, we should start seeing what direction ECW wants to go in with March’s Living Dangerously pay per view looming in the distance.

Anyway, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Joey hypes up that the show is coming from the ECW Arena tonight

Show Intro: This week’s tagline is “Tonight, From The World Famous ECW Arena, South Philly PA, It’s Hardcore TV!”

Joey is in front of the ECW Banner, where he hypes up that a former ECW Champion is going to return to the company and we can find out who by visiting ECWWrestling.com. I’m not sure who that ended up being actually.

Opening Match
Mikey Whipwreck Vs Nova

Joey makes a point on commentary that Mikey is starting to look a bit fraught and unkempt here, which would be the beginning of a major change in his character. Nova was still going it alone here due to both Chris Chetti and Kid Kash being out injured. Nova and Mikey do a quick series of counters to start to establish parity between them, although there’s a few moments where it gets a little sloppy.

Mikey works this a bit more like a heel, taking the fight to Nova in an aggressive manner and talking smack whilst he does it. Mikey eventually sends Nova outside and follows him out with a flipping dive. However, he catches his leg on the guardrail on the way down and essentially crotching himself in a gnarly looking tumble. Not surprisingly Mikey is moving a bit more gingerly following that, but he manages to retain control in the ring with a back breaker for two.

Mikey actually yells at the ref when Nova kicks out, which allows Nova to get the Sledge-O-Matic (powerbomb into an elbow to the groin) and then gets an inverted atomic drop followed by a jawbreaker for two. Nova sets Mikey up top and tries something from up there, but Mikey fights it off and then bulldogs Nova down to the mat for two. That’s a great way to jar your tailbone right there.

Mikey tries for the Whippersnapper (Stunner) but Nova slips out and gets the Spin Doctor (Cross Rhodes) for two before heading up for a Swanton Bomb. Mikey manages to dodge that, but Nova goes for the Kryptonite Krunch (Air Raid Crash) next. Mikey slips out of that but Nova is able to catch him with a pin counter and that’s enough for the three.

WINNER: NOVA
RATING: **

This was a bit sloppy in places but they were working hard and it was a decent TV match with an ending that made Nova look resourceful without making Mikey look bad.

Joey hypes up a confrontation between Lou E. Dangerously and Paul E. Heyman later on tonight, whilst Mikey looks dejected in the ring due to losing the match. Mikey actually grabs a mic and complains that there is a conspiracy to hold him down because he still lives with his mum. Mikey tells the fans to stop laughing at him and essentially has a mental breakdown.

COMMERCIAL

We get clips from ECW on TNN, where Danny Doring and Roadkill defeated Tommy Dreamer and Raven thanks to interference from Rhino. Raven had decided to carry a hurt Francine to the back rather than finish the match.

We get further clips from TNN, as Dusty Rhodes makes his debut at the ECW Arena to save Dreamer from a 2 on 1 assault by Steve Corino and Jack Victory (HIGH SPOT). Rhino comes back down to attack Dusty again just like he did at Guilty As Charged, which brings The Sandman down to the ring for the rescue. Sandman wears Rhino out with his Singapore cane, so Corino and Victory drag Rhino away for his own safety.

COMMERCIAL

Match Two
King of the Streets
Champ: Spanish Angel w/ Tony DeVito and Vic Grimes Vs New Jack

This is a rematch from Guilty As Charged, where New Jack destroyed all three of Da Baldies by himself but then got caught unawares and pinned by Angel. Last week they actually had New Jack finally sell a bit for one of the group when he fought Grimes, so maybe he’ll do the same for Angel this week? New Jack brings his usual assortment of weaponry down to the ring with him and heads straight into the ring, only to find himself getting attacked 3 on 1.

Grimes and DeVito eventually decide to let Angel go it alone once New Jack is all good and beaten down, at which point New Jack immediately starts beating Angel up, because Angel sucks. I get that the whole point of the story is that Angel isn’t man enough to take New Jack on his own, which is why he has the gang in the first place, but after a while that sort of character becomes really boring.

The fact that Angel really isn’t a threat whatsoever makes him an uninteresting character. He’s not supposed to be a manager like Bobby Heenan who is just there to get beaten up in a real fight situation. He’s supposed to be an actual wrestler who is capable of fighting for a living, so it would be nice if they’d let him actually be capable of doing SOMETHING in these matches without assistance.

Grimes and DeVito eventually decide they best get back in the ring to save their boss, with Grimes putting New Jack on a shopping trolley and going up top to senton bomb him on it. New Jack is able to avoid that though and then decides to follow Grimes out of the ring so he can clobber him with a chair off the apron. Grimes fights back however and the two of them brawl through the crowd up to the stage area.

Grimes sites New Jack on a chair and tries the senton off the stage, but New Jack moves once again. I mean, that’s 4 times in a matter of a week that Grimes has missed a senton bomb. Maybe he should take it out of his repertoire?

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, New Jack dives off the stage to put Grimes through a table with an elbow drop. However, this allows Angel to pick the bones on a now limping New Jack, as he drags him back to ringside. Angel makes the mistake of not putting New Jack away however, which allows New Jack to fight back. DeVito runs interference again though, which allows Angel to hit New Jack with a metal bin to pick up the three count.

WINNER AND STILL KING OF THE STREETS: SPANISH ANGEL
RATING: *

I really am sick of this feud. It doesn’t matter how many wins Angel gets, the manner in which he’s winning assures that he’ll never get over.

Joey pushes the Lou E Vs Paul E confrontation again, along with Rob Van Dam facing off with Mike Awesome.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, we get the much vaunted Lou E Vs Paul E confrontation, as Lou E brings Erik Watts (of terrible dropkick fame) into the ECW Arena. Joey pushes that Bill Watts, Erik’s dad, fired Paul Heyman from WCW and that there is still bad blood between them, so Lou E bringing Erik into the ECW Arena is a big slap in Heyman’s face. Joey scoffing at the idea that Bill Watts was a legend is pretty stupid. Regardless of whether you like or disliked Mid-South or WCW under his reign, Watts was a legitimate draw as a wrestler and was very successful as a regional promoter. It just feels like sour grapes on Heyman’s part that he’s basically got his avatar bitching about Watts because he’s still sore about getting canned. Lou plays the Jew card as a way to piss Heyman off, but people hold Paul back from heading down to the ring. Eventually Paul grabs a mic and tells Watts that he hates his entire family and sends down Spike Dudley to the ring.

Main Event
Erik Watts w/ Lou E. Dangerously Vs Little Spike Dudley

Spike quickly kicks Watts right in his Junkyard Dogs and delivers the Acid Drop for the three count

WINNER: LITTLE SPIKE DUDLEY
RATING: DUD

Bringing in Erik Watts to humiliate him because he was still bitter over his father sacking him was not one of Paul Heyman’s finer moments it must be said. Erik seemed to spend most of his life paying for the fact that his dad made quite a lot of enemies. Joey wants Jim Cornette to be the next one to get beaten up, as Heyman’s bitterness rages on.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, we get Mike Awesome cutting a promo in the ring saying that no other Title means as much in ECW as his ECW World Title does. This brings long running ECW TV Champ Rob Van Dam down to the ring for a face off. The fans go nuts at this of course and are totally into an Ultimate Warrior Vs Hulk Hogan like Title for Title match between the two. They did an incredible job with RVD’s TV Title reign actually, as the ECW crowd genuinely considered it a main event Title whilst RVD held it. Awesome lays down the challenge, so RVD agrees and decides to do it right now. However, before the match can take place Sabu returns to ECW and helps Awesome lay a whupping on RVD. Sabu even punches Bill Alfonso and then puts him through a table to officially go heel. Spike Dudley tries to come in for the rescue, but he can’t handle the numbers game and ends up getting taken out as well. This was a pretty darn effective heel turn for Sabu I must say, as he and Awesome team up to put RVD through a table and form probably the most powerful unit in the whole company. That being said, I’m not sure how much longer Sabu lasts after this point, as he refused to put Super Crazy over and ended up leaving as a result.

In Conclusion

The closing angle was really strong and I loved the beginnings of Mikey’s breakdown storyline, but aside from that this show wasn’t that great. The New Jack/Baldies feud has long since worn out its welcome and we still have quite literally MONTHS of it to go, whilst all the stuff with Erik Watts felt incredibly mean spirited and left a bitter taste in the mouth.

I get that Bill Watts is hardly in the running for humanitarian of the year award, but that’s no reason to take it out on his son, who was just a guy trying to get somewhere in the wrestling business who already had to deal with being stuck in his dads shadow without also having to deal with this kind of bullshit.

Not a recommended show this week. Watch the closing angle and then shut the show off.