Cyber Slam 2000 happened the previous week, so tonight we’ve got some matches from that and we will also learn how the ECW World Title situation will resolve itself. That particular situation ended up being pretty infamous amongst the ECW fan base due to how it all ends up.
Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!
This week’s matches were taped from The Arena in Philly
Calling the action is Joey Styles
We open up with Paul Heyman saying that tonight a new era will begin in ECW.
I should note that the show intro ruins the big surprise for later on by showing who ends up with the Title. Err, shouldn’t we be tuning in specifically to see that guys? Maybe don’t spoil it in the opening of the show?
Masato Tanaka Vs Too Cold Scorpio
Tanaka is hugely over with the crowd, which should be no real surprise. I’m not sure if Scorpio was still with the WWF at this stage, but I doubt it seeing as he looked to be pretty much full time with All Japan if you look at his match history from around this time period. The crowd uses the opening bell as a chance to chant about how much Mike Awesome sucks, clearly still raw over him jumping ship to WCW. We get some good wrestling and a Central American standoff to start as we take a break.
Back from the ads, Scorpio is getting a twisting splash off the top rope for a two count. Tanaka responds by bringing some chairs into the ring and clocking Scorpio with one of them. A Tornado DDT onto two chairs follows, but Scorpio is able to kick out at two. I must say that the crowd has been fantastic for this one, as they are reacting to everything and giving plenty of applause to the big moves.
Scorpio plants Tanaka with a powerbomb and heads up with a beautiful moonsault for two. Tanaka replies with the Roaring Elbow, but surprisingly Scorpio kicks out. Tanaka heads up next, but Scorpio stops him. Tanaka is able to fight him off though and gets the coolest move in wrestling, The Diamond Dust (YouTube it, it’s awesome) which is enough for the three count.
WINNERS: MASATO TANAKA
A lot of the match got chopped out, but what we got to see was action packed wrestling with a hot crowd, so I enjoyed it. The result is kind of interesting as both guys work for rival companies over in Japan and sometimes Japanese companies can get a bit techy about one of their guys doing a job for someone from another company, especially when you consider that All Japan (Scorpio’s promotion) had a higher standing than FMW did. However, we got a clean finish regardless, which is nice to see. I’m guessing either All Japan didn’t care or, more likely, didn’t know about it. How’s that old saying go, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission?
We get the handshake and hug post-match. Always good to see these two on an ECW show.
We get Late Breaking News that notifies us that Steve Corino managed to get a win over Dusty Rhodes earlier in the night. This was apparently Rhodes’ idea, as he wanted to put Corino over. As you can imagine, Corino was absolutely made up by this, especially as he never expected it to happen. Good on Dusty for doing that actually. He used his star power to get someone else over and I’m sure he was under no pressure to do it either.
More Late Breaking News, as Rhino once again attacks Sandman’s wife Lori. Wow, poor Lori sure took her lumps in this feud.
Little Guido w/ Big Sal Vs Kid Kash Vs Super Crazy
Crazy defeated Kash last week on Hardcore TV, so we’re getting a semi-rematch here with Guido getting added to make it a Three Way Dance. This is wild action from the start, with everything going at 100mph. It’s a bit sloppy in places, but it’s generally exciting stuff. Sal gets involved to help his man, which leads to Kash diving onto everyone else whilst they brawl in the crowd as we take a break.
Back from the ads, Crazy and Kash are going at it in the ring. Guido tries to get involved, but Crazy spikes him with a DDT and then follows up with a gnarly looking Brain Buster on Kash to eliminate him from the match. Thus it’s Crazy Vs Gudio round 112 (That’s just a conservative estimate on my part) and it’s good, but we’ve seen it one too many times at this stage and I’m beyond sick of it.
Crazy wastes time playing to the crowd, which allows Guido to catch him with a Rocker Dropper on a chair for two. Crazy replies by going to the Central American Surfboard, turning it into a Dragon Sleeper as well in a spot that always looks brutal. It’s also a good move to have in your arsenal when you play Fire Pro Wrestling as it often has a high submission rate.
Guido tries his own submission attempt by going to the Fujiwara arm bar, but Crazy doesn’t submit so Guido sends him outside so that Sal can put him on a table. Guido leaps off Sal’s shoulders with an elbow drop to put Crazy through the table in a…err…crazy looking spot, but Crazy is able to kick out at two when Guido rolls his broken body back inside.
That should have been a finish, it looked positively devastating. Crazy quickly recovers back inside and goes for the Brain Buster again, but Guido counters that into the Tomikaze and that’s enough for the win. If Guido was just going to win less than a minute later anyway, why not just end it with the big elbow drop through the table? There was no topping that.
WINNER: LITTLE GUIDO
Not enough from Kash here really, as it felt like they crowbarred him in just so they could pretend it wasn’t enough Guido Vs Crazy match. I would have actually preferred to see Kash pin Crazy to set up the final segment with Guido, as it would have given him a rub, added some intrigue to the match and wouldn’t have hurt Crazy.
Late Breaking News again. Cyrus demands that Tajiri hand over the ECW TV Title to Cyrus. Tajiri refuses, so Cyrus turns the racism up a notch by commenting on the shape of Tajiri’s eyes. I’m kind of shocked that one made it past the WWE Network censors actually. Racism aside, this is a good fired up heel promo from Cyrus that made him look like an insufferable bully. Tajiri of course tells Cyrus to F— Off, which leads to him wrestling Rhino and losing the belt anyway thanks to The Network interfering. This leads to Rob Van Dam and Scotty Anton running down to clear the ring. Cyrus drops a bomb though, by saying that RVD will face Jerry Lynn at Hardcore Heaven in May. Lynn has been out due to an ankle injury. Jerry Lynn sells that he’s bitter that no one cared about his injury whilst they all talked about RVD’s non-stop, teasing a more heelish persona. Lynn flips RVD off when the latter offers a handshake and then slugs Anton for good measure.
More Late Breaking News, where Justin Credible supposedly injured Lance Storm by accident whilst Storm was teaming up with Dawn Marie in a mixed tag match.
Joey is in front of the ECW Banner, where he informs us that Tommy Dreamer defeated Taz for the ECW Title.
We head to the ring, where it seems that Dreamer and Raven have patched things up as Raven congratulates Dreamer on his win. This leads to Justin Credible running down and attacking both men. Credible throws down his half of the ECW Tag Team Titles, and even spits on them for good measure, before demanding an ECW Title match. Dreamer agrees and the match is on. This essentially vacates the Tag Titles, which isn’t something you normally saw in ECW outside of real life injuries etc causing it. This one is pure storyline to make Credible look like a jerk.
Champ: Tommy Dreamer Vs Justin Credible w/ Jason
We head straight into the crowd, where Dreamer gets the better of things, and back down to ringside where Dreamer hits Credible right in the Montoya’s with the ring bell. Credible manages to counter a Spicolli Driver into a reverse DDT back inside the ring, as it appears that Raven’s manager Francine has decided to stay at ringside and help Dreamer. These two have pretty decent chemistry together, so the match is decent once it gets back inside, with Credible controlling things until Dreamer is able to get a cutter.
Dreamer sets up a table between the ring and the railing, which leads to Credible trying to Pedigree him through it, but Dreamer fights him off and gives him a Spicolli Driver through it. Jason provides a distraction back inside, which allows Credible to get a Tombstone Piledriver, but Dreamer kicks out at two. Credible goes after Francine, which allows Dreamer to get a DDT for two. However, when Dreamer tries another Spicolli Driver Francine hits him right in the Loughlin’s, which allows Credible to get another Tombstone for the Title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: JUSTIN CREDIBLE
I mean, is Francine being a horrible person supposed to be a surprise at this stage? She’s been pretty objectionable and self-centred for months, it’s not like her shacking up with Credible was a shock or anything. Dreamer kind of has no one to blame but himself there. It gets pushed on commentary that Dreamer never even got to wear the belt.
Credible celebrates with Jason and Francine to close us out, as his ill-fated Title reign begins.
When in doubt, kick Tommy Dreamer to make everyone feel sympathy for him and get heat on a heel. That’s pretty much ECW’s go-to response whenever there’s some upheaval it seems. The fact is that Dreamer shouldn’t have really been in the World Title discussion anyway due to his litany of injuries, so this was probably the best use of him in that he got to be Champion for a little bit before Credible rocked up and took it away from him, thus angering the fans.
Credible himself is not an especially great choice as Champion either though. Not from an in-ring perspective, because he’s perfectly fine in that regards and he’ll have some decent matches as Champ, but a couple of weeks ago he was losing to Chris Chetti in a middle of the card tag feud and now all of a sudden we’re supposed to buy him as the companies top heel and World Champ? His win almost elicited more of a groan then any real poisonous hate, as every seemed to be thinking “Really? Justin Credible, that’s our World Champion?”
Rob Van Dam would have obviously made for a better choice, as would have Raven, because RVD is legitimately the most over guy in the whole company and Raven has a name that would give the belt some legitimacy. Heck, even someone like Super Crazy would have possibly been a better option, as at least he has the hot moves to bring to the table and the crowd is into him. Credible just doesn’t feel right in the role.
Still, if they find Credible some good opponents and book him strongly then he might be able to grow into the role. They’ve certainly left the door open for a feud with Lance Storm and I’m sure they’ll get Dreamer to put him over again. Once RVD is done with the Rhino feud they could easily move him onto Credible as well, which would likely be where RVD finally wins the belt. So they have some potential interesting directions they can go in now. Let’s see if they do.