Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #361– 25/03/2000

Hello You!

Last week we had the rare ECW non-finish, all done with the idea of strengthening Mike Awesome and Raven as a heel tandem. As a result, they’re getting a shot at the Tag Titles this week, although I can’t help but shake the feeling that eventually they are going to be enemies once all is said and done.

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches were taped from Salem, New Hampshire

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with Sinister Minister cutting a promo in the ring, saying it was idea to make Mike Awesome and Raven a tag team. This leads to him getting into an argument with Francine, who declares that she’s The Queen of Extreme and that no one even knows the Minister’s name. Francine lists off all the Champions she has managed, saying that she even managed to get Tommy Dreamer to a Title, and that she deserves the credit for Awesome and Raven winning the tag belts. No one seems to be taking the blame for them losing the belts of course. The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm join us however, with Dawn Marie looking outrageous in a skimpy white outfit, as it looks like we’re getting a match.

Show Intro: No more taglines, as we instead just get clips of the ECW logo instead. Boo, I miss the taglines! I’d start a Twitter campaign to bring them back if this company wasn’t already out of business!

Opening Match
ECW Tag Team Titles
The Impact Players of Justince Credible and Lance Storm w/ Jason and Dawn Marie Vs Mike Awesome and Raven w/ Judge Jeff Jones, Sinister Minister and Francine

With a grand total of FIVE managers at ringside there’s a good chance that there’ll be some shenanigans in this one. The challengers control things to start, with Awesome calling for a table early on, only for Credible to save his partner with a Singapore cane shot. There isn’t really a clear babyface team here, but Raven and Awesome kind of fall into the slot due to Credible and Storm being so detestable. This leads to the weird situation of Mike Awesome actually taking some heat from the Champs, which seems like a bizarre idea considering he’s the biggest dude in the match and Raven is so good at selling, thus making him more suited to being face in peril.

Awesome eventually manages to make the hot tag to Raven, and he does quite a nifty little comeback in all fairness, getting the drop toe hold onto a chair on Credible, which gets two when Storm breaks up the pin. Raven actually gets a Diamond Cutter on Credible, but before he can make a pin Dawn Marie attacks him, which leads to our contractually mandated cat fight between her and Francine. Francine gets the bronco buster on Dawn, but ends up getting stopped by Storm. Awesome rescues her though and powerbombs Storm for two when Credible breaks up the pin.

Raven punches Credible down and Awesome follows up with a splash from the top, but Credible kicks out at two and then takes a bump outside from an Irish Whip. Awesome springboards out onto Jason, which seems like a foolish thing to do when Jason wasn’t really doing much, which takes him out of proceedings. Meanwhile, back inside the ring Francine tries throwing some powder at Storm, but it ends up going in Raven’s face (make your own jokes, I’m recapping) and that allows Credible to get a school boy for the three count.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE IMPACT PLAYERS
RATING: **

Fine for a TV match, although the finish got a tad convoluted, but I guess they wanted to protect Awesome and Raven.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, Steve Corino and Jack Victory (HIGH SPOT) come down to the ring with a bullrope to hassle referee HC Loc, who helped Dusty Rhodes beat Corino at Living Dangerously as revenge for Corino bloodying him up on a previous edition of the TNN show. Corino is wearing trunks and cowboy boots here and looks like a much bigger star as a result. Loc would go on to become a wrestler in ROH, and he cuts a good promo by standing up to Corio’s bullying, and actually challenges Corino to a match. Corino refuses to “dirty his hands” by facing Loc though, so he brings out Chilly Willy to face him instead. I have no recollection of Willy’s heel run in ECW actually, so this can’t have lasted very long as he was definitely a face by the end of the year.

Match Two
Chilly Willy w/ Steve Corino and Jack Victory Vs HC Loc

Willy would go on to join the armed forces following the folding of ECW and then got himself a development deal with WWE in 2004, but he never made the main roster. How on Earth did WWE get a former military man with a decent body and wrestling experience and then not do anything with him? You’d think that’d be Vince McMahon’s wet dream or something.

Loc fights bravely, but he’s outsized and outmatched by Willy here and gets easily beaten up as a result. Willy takes too long on the top however and Loc grabs him in the groin before throwing him down to the mat and getting a nice jumping calf kick. Loc slams Willy down and heads up to the second rope for an elbow drop, but Willy dodges it and Corini throws in the bullrope, but Loc grabs it and hits Willy with it before making the cover and counting his own pin for the win and the big pop.

WINNER: HC LOC
RATING: N/A

This was more of an angle than an actual match but it worked a treat and the crowd was very pleased to see Loc pull off the upset.

COMMERCIAL

Lou E. Dangerously, Erik Watts CW Anderson, Beautiful Billy and Elektra join us in the ring. Watts has a belt of somekind with him but I have no idea what it is and Joey doesn’t reference it. Elektra comes out to tell the crowd that the loudest section of the arena will get to see her flowery baps, but it’s of course a swerve and the crowd boo’s her as a result. Lou E bestows a jacket a sunglasses to her to officially induct her into The New Dangerous Alliance, before grabbing the mic and insulting the crowd. Just an angle to get some heat on The New DA

Later tonight, it’s Rhino Vs Balls Mahoney

COMMERCIAL

Match Three
Little Guido w/ Big Sal Vs Kid Kash

Guido beat Kash in the TV Title Quarter Finals, so this is Kash’s shot at getting some payback. There is a lot of good quick paced action here, with Kash eventually knocking Guido to the outside and then getting an impressive big flipping dive out onto Sal. Guido cheap shots Kash as he gets back inside the ring though and starts working him over. Kash fights back and goes for a clothesline from the top, only to get caught in a Fujiwara arm bar, leading to him getting the ropes to break.

Guido stays on top of Kash, getting the Sicilian Slice for two. Kash tries to land on his feet from a monkey flip but can’t quite get it, but they keep going and Kash gets a powerslam. Sal comes in and Guido jumps off his shoulders with an elbow drop before Sal adds a diving head butt from the first rope. Kash somehow kicks out of that though, which brings Jazz down to attempt to even the odds. Guido knocks her down and then follows up with the Tomikaze to Kash for the win.

WINNER: LITTLE GUIDO
RATING: **1/2

Good action there and it’s nice to see them try to build a long standing character like Guido up with some wins.

Jazz gets revenge on Guido by delivering the Jazz Stinger post-match.

COMMERCIAL

Main Event
Rhino w/ Steve Corino and Jack Victory Vs Balls Mahoney

We head outside early on here, with Balls hitting Rhino with beers from the crowd. I was expecting a pretty quick Rhino squash here actually, just because they’ve been building him up so much, but they actually keep things pretty competitive, with Balls getting a near falls from the Ball Breaker (Sky High) and a frogsplah respectively back inside the ring.

Balls takes out the seconds, but misses the New Jersey Jam and receives a GORE from the revived Rhino. Balls fights back however and goes for his big chair shot, but Corino grabs the chair to stop it and Rhino gives Balls a GORE through a table for the three count.

WINNER: RHINO
RATING: *

They gave Balls way too much here, as Rhino should have really just steamrollered him considering how much he was getting pushed. Needing interference to beat a career mid-carder didn’t really do much for Rhino at all. The match itself was mostly just brawling, but it wasn’t awful or anything, just not especially fun to watch.

COMMERCIAL

It’s time for a PULP FICTION MONTAGE!!! Mike Awesome yells a lot in his 80’s style, The Impact Players say they are not losing their belts ever again, Cyrus is annoyed at how messy the locker room is, Joey and Paul Heyman argue with one another about Cyrus and Sinister Minister closes us out saying that he was proud of tonight’s show because we had six of the deadliest sins on display and then starts cackling, with the camera panning to show that Mikey Whipwreck is laughing along with him. Yes, crazy Mikey is coming!

In Conclusion

Good show this week, with most of the wrestling being decent and some good character work from the likes of Minister and Corino. Sadly stuff is about to hit the fan very soon, but for the moment the company looks like it might be getting itself back on track somewhat.