Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #356 – 19/02/2000

Hello You!

Last week’s show brought the goods match quality wise thanks to an excellent Tajiri Vs Super Crazy bout, but we’re still kind of short of big matches for the upcoming Living Dangerously pay per view in March. Hopefully we’ll finally start to see that show taking shape, although ECW do have somewhat of an excuse due to Rob Van Dam’s injury throwing everything into disarray.

But anyway, less chatter, more chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches were taped from Tallahassee, Florida

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up the show this week with Balls Mahoney and New Jack putting Vic Grimes through flaming table. They take too long putting him through it in the end, so by the time it happens the flames have all but gone out. +100 points for safety but -150 for ruining the spot. Spanish Angel rescues his charge with a steel chair and Da Baldies flee to safety.

Show Intro: This week’s tagline is “From Tallahassee, Did We Spell That Right?, It’s ECW Hardcore TV!”

Joey Styles is in front of the ECW Banner and hypes up Living Dangerously. He doesn’t actually mention any matches or anything like that, but he at least acknowledges that the show exists.

Opening Match
Little Guido w/ Big Sal Vs Chaz Taylor

Taylor is apparently the son of Tugboat Taylor according to Joey Styles. He kind of looks like a combination of Johnny Smith and Kid Kash. Taylor gets to shine on Guido in the early going and his stuff looks a tad iffy execution wise, although it isn’t awful or anything like that. Eventually he misses a sloppy moonsault, and that allows Guido to throw him out to Sal.

Sal tries to squish Taylor against the railings, but he moves out of the way and then heads back in for a Tornado DDT styled bulldog move for two. Taylor tries heading up for another moonsault, but Guido slams him down to stop that and then follows up with the Tomikaze/Killswitch/Pulp Friction for the win.

WINNERS: LITTLE GUIDO
RATING: *

Very sloppy, although it wasn’t without energy and effort.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Joey tells us that Rob Van Dam will be out for 12 weeks and that Cyrus wants him stripped off the ECW TV Title. That will be addressed on next Friday’s TNN show, but in the meantime we get a replay of the TV Title match from Guilty As Charged 2000. I’ll just re-post my previous review

ECW Television Title
Champion: Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Sabu w/ Bill Alfonso

The story here is that Sabu has promised that he will leave the company if he can’t beat RVD tonight. Sabu and Van Dam were former ECW Tag Team Champions and had been aligned for nearly 3 years at this point, so this was the final blow off to that storyline. Van Dam had held the TV Title since April 1998 and was coming up to the two year mark. We see that RVD’s wife Sonya is in the crowd following a gnarly Jet Ski accident in 1999 that had left her in real rough shape.

We start things off with a slug fest, which ends with Sabu kicking RVD out of the ring. Well that took all of 45 seconds before they started brawling I think. Outside the ring, Sabu launches himself off a chair and squishes RVD against the guardrail. Back inside, Sabu works over RVD and gets a big slingshot leg lariat for two, but misses a somersault leg drop, which allows RVD to reply with a cartwheel somersault splash.

RVD heads up top, but Sabu pushes him off and he goes flying face first into the guardrail. Sabu throws RVD into the front row and then follows with a big dive into the crowd. Back at ringside, Sabu tries to set up a table, which gives RVD time to recover and cut him off. RVD lays Sabu over the guardrail now and follows with a corkscrew leg drop off the apron. This match has been all action so far, and they’ve been hitting all their spots as well.

RVD hits yet another dive to the outside, this one a forward flip, and takes out Sabu once again. Not to be outdone, Sabu catches RVD when he tries coming back into the ring and follows up with a big sunset flip powerbomb to the floor. With both men outside the ring, Sabu puts RVD onto a table and then drives off the top rope to put him through it. The fans are going absolutely nuts watching this and I don’t blame them as it’s been a thrilling spot fest thus far. I just hope that they don’t run out of steam.

Fonzie comes into the ring now and gives both men chairs, continuing to call it down the middle, which leads to a chair duel. RVD wins that and tries to throw his chair at Sabu for the Van Daminator, but Sabu catches it and flings it right back at him, before locking in a Camel Clutch. This is supposed to be a submission tease, but the fans don’t really buy into it, so Sabu lets go and drops a leg to RVD’s back instead. Sabu goes for another leg lariat, but takes the referee out in the process. Sabu follows up with a Triple Jump Moonsault on RVD, but there’s no ref to count.

Sabu hits a Triple Jump Leg Drop instead and makes another cover, which gets two from the revived referee. Sabu grabs a chair and heads up top with it, but RVD sprints over and kicks the chair right into his face for a double down. In a cute spot, RVD throws the chair at Sabu again, who catches it and ducks thinking that a Van Daminator attempt is coming. RVD pauses however and waits for him to stand up, before delivering the kick to complete the move.

I loved that as it showed that both men know each other so well that they’re both thinking 2-3 moves ahead of one another. RVD heads up for the Five Star Frogsplash, but Sabu gets up in time and fights him up top. Sabu goes for a rana from the top, but RVD holds onto the ropes to block it and then follows with a lovely split-legged moonsault for two. Heck of a near fall there. Some of the fans actually chanted that they f’ed up there, but it clearly looked like the planned spot to me.

Fonzie comes into the ring with a chair again and stands between both men, who both ask for the chair. Fonzie can’t decide what to do, so RVD makes the decision for him by kicking the chair into his face to take him out of equation. Sabu goes for a Triple Jump Splash, but RVD holds up the chair to counter and follows with the Five Star Frogsplash to pick up the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: ***1/2

I found that to be an exhilarating spot fest, with great looking spots that hit, good tight near falls and an interesting story with Fonzie not being sure who to help. I liked this way more this time around than I did in the past. Sabu was indeed done with ECW not long after this match, but did the right thing on the way out and put RVD over in a good match.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
Simon Diamond w/ Mitch Vs Kid Kash

This is a super short match, as Kash almost immediately dives out onto the two heels after a quick shine. Diamond gets a little bit of offence in back inside the ring, which leads to Jazz coming down to cheer for Kash. Eventually Jazz sneaks in to hit Diamond with the Jazz Stinger (X-Factor) and that allows Kash to pick up the win.

WINNER: KID KASH
RATING: N/A

Too short to really rate. Nothing looked bad and this at least fleshed out Kash and Jazz’s friendship a bit more.

COMMERCIAL

We get some more filler in the form of TNN clips, as it looks like they didn’t tape much original stuff for this week. The main story point is that Raven got blinded by power whilst Tommy Dreamer was wrestling Mikey Whipwreck and ended up DDT’ing Francine, thus pissing Dreamer off in the process.

In addition to that we get a large chunk of a Masato Tanaka Vs Mike Awesome match, which looks great and will probably cause stars to magically appear when Scott Keith gets to it in his ECW on TNN reviews. Tanaka DDT’s Awesome off the apron through a table as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

We get a strange promo from Tommy Dreamer, where he talks about kids missing school to come and meet him and RVD at the Hardcore Revolution video game launch. The gist of the promo is that he’s grateful to the fans and that’s why he keeps wrestling.

COMMERCIAL

We get to see the closing moments of Tanaka Vs Awesome, as the ECW Champ powerbombs Tanaka off the top rope through a table for the win in what looks to be a fantastic match in a series of them between the two men.

Paul Heyman closes us out, doing a quick promo about how half the roster is injured but that still won’t stop the ECW Revolution. Okay then!

In Conclusion

Not much to the show this week, with all the best stuff capable of being found elsewhere and the original stuff not really causing much enthrallment. An easy one to skip.