Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #362– 01/04/2000

Hello You!

I hope you’re all keeping well in these unpleasant times. Remember to wash your hands and keep your distance from folk until we finally nip this thing in the bud. If you’re in isolation at the moment, then hopefully this here review of Hardcore TV will distract you. Last week was a fun show with some decent wrestling, so let’s see if ECW can keep the momentum going.

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches were taped from Kansas City, Missouri

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Opening Match
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champs: The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm w/ Jason and Dawn Marie Vs Nova and Chris Chetti

Dawn has a delightful lavender coloured skirt and bikini going on here. She really was a “hottest woman in wrestling” contender during this period. The Impact Players try to bail before the match starts due to not liking the abuse they are getting from the crowd, but Nova grabs a mic and coaxes them back down to the ring. The building they are using here is pretty interesting, as it’s a theatre with the ring right up to the stage and the crowd on three sides. It’s very similar to when they do wrestling at the Stockport Plaza in the UK actually, as they usually stick the ring on the stage and everyone sits like they are watching a play or something.

Nova and Chetti shine on the heels to start, with everything looking fine, but Storm eventually cheap shots Nova and that leads to the heat segment. They’ve edited the crowd something fierce here, probably because they were chanting some really rude stuff that they didn’t want on the WWE Network. I don’t think the people up at WWE Network HQ really understand what people watch ECW for to be honest. The foul language and general crassness is what a lot of people were tuning in for. I do wonder if they’ll do the same with PROGRESS if it ever makes its way onto The Network, as that has a lot of swearing in it due to it being a product targeted at adults.

The Impact players get some heat on Nova for a while and eventually bring in a table to finish him off. Nova manages to fight off a Credible suplex through the table in the corner and then gets a DDT onto a chair, which allows him to make the hot tag to Chetti. Chetti’s hot tag is fine, but the crowd is a bit lukewarm for it for whatever reason. Heel miscommunication sees Credible super kick his own partner, which allows Chetti to get a roll up for two when Dawn Marie breaks up the count. This leads to Nova and Chetti ally Jazz running down to take out Dawn, before taking out Jason also.

Credible gives Jazz a Tombstone to take her out of proceedings, but Nova gets a Tornado DDT (Running up the table propped up in the corner to deliver it in a cool spot) which gets two when Storm breaks up the count. Chetti ends up going through the table when Storm dodges one of his attacks, and that allows The Impact Players to get a spiked piledriver for the win.

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

Solid TV opener there, that had enough action not to be boring but wasn’t an epic Main Event styled bout either. I do think the shenanigans are getting a bit overdone with The Impact Players though. I’d much prefer them to just start beating people without the need for all the run ins. It took ECW almost half a year to finally start booking them to win matches, but even with that concession they still make a meal of a lot of teams they should be beating. They could have still given Nova and Chetti some near falls and such before taking it home clean without a need for all the interference. Just because they have this menagerie doesn’t mean they have to use it every week.

COMMERCIAL

Joey is in front of the ECW Banner, where he hypes up all the upcoming live events. Rob Van Dam apparently returns to television next week, and we get a video package showing him doing an array of cool moves. This would likely have been set to the Kilgore version of “Walk” back in 2000, but we just get RVD’s generic WWE Network dubbed theme here instead.

COMMERCIAL

Steve Corino and Jack Victory (HIGH SPOT!) come down to the ring for some promo time. Corino is still mad at HC Loc due to the “Extreme Official” helping out Dusty Rhodes back at Living Dangerously as revenge for Corino busting him open in his hometown. It’s funny to see how Corino towers over Loc actually, as he’s one of those guys whose deceptively tall. Loc cuts a good promo, like he did last week as well, where he challenges Corino to a fight. The fans are behind Loc, but he gets sucker punched by Victory and the match is on.

Match Two
Steve Corino w/ Jack Victory Vs HC Loc

Corino talks crap to Jim Molineux, which allows Loc to get a quick school boy for two. Corino works Loc over with basic stuff, being a good cocky heel in the process. Corino is looking like way more of a star here now that he’s ditched the singlet and got himself some facial hair. You can see why he was getting the push here, as he had the in-ring and promo skills, combined with a look that worked for the character he was going for.

Loc sells well and gets a couple of brief flurries, but Corino always manages to cut him off again. Loc would eventually go on to form the Carnage Crew in ROH with Tony DeVito, so he’s a fully trained wrestler and it shows here as he manages to drop a head butt Corino right in the Colby’s as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, Corino is back in control and is going for a superplex. Loc fights him off and follows up with a lovely frogsplash, that gets two when Victory comes in to break up the count. Victory and Corino double up on Loc, with Corino hitting him with a cowbell before dropping a Bionic Elbow, which is Dusty Rhode’s cue to come down to the ring with two lovely ladies and take out both heels before draping Loc over Corino for the fast count from Molineux.

WINNER: HC Loc
RATING: *1/2

That’s two consecutive matches from Loc now where he’s sold well and gotten a good reaction from the crowd before pulling off the upset. It’s funny as I really don’t remember them giving Loc this many matches on TV but it’s a good role for him and he’s doing well in the part. Corino losing was offset by the fact that it took both Dusty Rhodes and a fast count to keep him down, and he controlled most of the match outside of some brief moments from Loc. This was a good piece of business and I enjoyed it.

Dusty and the lovely ladies celebrate, with one of them even pinching The Dream’s cowboy hat.

COMMERCIAL

Match Three
ECW World Title
Champ: Mike Awesome w/ Judge Jeff Jones Vs Kid Kash

This is a rematch from Living Dangerously, where Awesome put a whupping on Kash in a brutal squash match. However, Kash shows he isn’t afraid by attacking Awesome right from the off, although he quickly gets overpowered. There’s a funny “mullet” sign in the crowd, most likely in reference to Awesome’s 80sriffic hairdo. Jones gets some cheap shots in when the fight heads outside, but Kash is able to back body drop Awesome into the crowd before following with a super impressive flip dive from the ring out to the floor.

Awesome shakes that off pretty quickly though and heads back in with a big springboard shoulder tackle. Awesome works over Kash with some high impact moves, as the crowd chants for a table. That’s the problem with trying to push a big dominant heel Champion like Awesome, eventually the crowd are going to be more interested in seeing him do cool stuff rather than seeing the babyface fight back, especially the more cynical and bloodthirsty sort of fan that ECW attracts.

(At this stage Boris Johnson sends the UK into lockdown as of the day I’m writing this, so I spend the rest of the evening reading up on the rules and checking whether I need to go into work etc. We return the following evening)

And BACK in the room! Kash gets a rana on Awesome, but a follow up attempt gets countered into a powerbomb to cheers from the crowd. Awesome heads up top and delivers a big splash from up there, before making a cover for two. Fans respond to this gutsy kick out from Kash by chanting for Awesome to put him through a table. Man, that’s cold. Kash gets powerbombed through the table, to a vocal “EC-Dub” chant from the crowd, and Awesome drags his carcass out of the wreckage for a three count.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: MIKE AWESOME
RATING: **

That was an enjoyable semi-squash there, as Kash was able to fight from underneath for a bit before finally getting put out of his misery. I really think they shouldn’t even bother presenting Awesome as a heel at this stage, because he just does way too much cool stuff. Just let him kill people and get cheered for it, but focus on him killing the heels.

COMMERCIAL

Joey sends us to a match from the TNN show, where Crazy faces Rhino.

Main Event
ECW Television Title
Champ: Super Crazy Vs Rhino w/ Cyrus, Steve Corino and Jack Victory

This is joined in action with Crazy diving out onto the heels before putting Rhino inside for a DDT, which gets two from the ref. Crazy is really over here, showing how good a job they’ve been doing to elevate him. Rhino counters a ten punch into a powerbomb though, and that would appear to be the cut off. Rhino gets some heat on Crazy, with his heel colleagues getting some cheap shots in when the opportunity presents itself.

Crazy fights back and gets a Quebrada, but Rhino kicks out at two and then gives Crazy a running spine buster through a table in the corner. That would seem to be buenas noches for senor Crazy, but he manages to kick out at two. Crazy won’t give up and gets a victory roll for two, but Rhino replies by folding him up with another powerbomb for two. The Network put another table in the ring for their man Rhino, whilst the crowd chants for Crazy. Seeing him this over warms the cockles it really does. Rhino goes for a superplex through the table, but Crazy counters it into a sunset flip bomb for the three count.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: SUPER CRAZY
RATING: *1/2

This was pretty sloppy to be honest, but it was a good battling win for Crazy at least.

Sandman “rescues” Crazy from a heel beat down by sauntering in through the crowd with his Singapore cane. Rhino no sells the cane shots though and puts both babyfaces through a table in the corner. Corino and Victory hold Sandman so that Rhino can cane him, and Rhino pours Sandman’s own beer on him for that extra bit of heel behaviour to close us out.

In Conclusion

More of a middling show this week, with a strong heel heat angle to close things out. It definitely wasn’t bad and the wrestling was fine for the most part, but it wasn’t a great show or anything. A good “maintenance show” I guess. It’d be nice if they can get some of the matches for Hardcore Heaven on the docket nice and early though, especially as Living Dangerously ended up being so thrown together.