Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #373 – 17/06/2000

Hello You!

More Hardcore TV for ya’ll

Last week Paul Heyman vented his spleen for the world to see, and it probably didn’t help with getting him or ECW into TNN’s good graces. Let’s see if there’s any fall out for that this week.

Time for some chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches are taped from Pittsburgh, PA

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Tonight we get updates on the health of Raven and Sandman (I’m guessing “drunk” and “drunker”?) and Dawn Marie might possibly be returning, which is the best news I’ve heard in a while!

Opening Match
Tony DeVito w/ Spanish Angel Vs Yoshihiro Tajiri

This will be an interesting clash of styles to say the least. Tajiri is a babyface now, but he still maintains his sadistic edge. Tajiri out wrestles DeVito during the babyface shine as we take a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, Angel tries to help out his fellow gang member and Tajiri deals with him, but this leaves him open to a Uranage from DeVito for the cut off. DeVito actually isn’t a bad wrestler but he keeps it super simple here, even though he’s in there with a really talented opponent.

Angel tries to help out again but gets a chair kicked in his face, but DeVito pounces with a modified reverse DDT for two. The crowd is pretty subdued here, possibly because they don’t buy DeVito as a singles guy and thus have no interest to watch him getting heat on a genuine star like Tajiri in a singles environment. Sadly the booking of the New Jack feud basically stripped both Angel and DevIto of most of their heat.

Angel keeps getting cheap shots in, but Tajiri crawls under the ring to evade him, only for DeVito to dive out onto both of them. It really feels like Tajiri is holding back here, as his kicks don’t have their usual intensity. Either he’s being nice or is worried about repercussions if he goes full on Tajiri. Angel keeps getting involved, but takes mist to the face for a big pop and a brain buster finishes DeVito right after.

WINNER: TAJIRI
RATING: *

Bit of a limp heatless match really, which is a shame as it could have had potential to be good. The sound has been sweetened something fierce as well by the looks of things, as a big “ECW” chant goes up following the pin even though most of the crowd in view of the camera don’t appear to be doing anything.

Joey is in front of the ECW Banner, where he hypes Heatwave, saying they will be having a ladder match with barbed wire, despite the censors supposedly complaining about it. If they were happy with the WWF doing barbed wire then I’d be shocked if they were giving out about ECW doing it.

We get clips of Justin Credible giving Dawn Marie a Tombstone Piledriver at Hardcore Heaven.

Joey hypes up Heatwave on the 16th of July 2000 and says Dawn Marie will be coming after Francine at the “Mid-West Massacre” event. An update is promised once again about Sandman and Raven.

Sinister Minister does a sermon against the evils of censorship, whilst Mikey Whipwreck and Balls Mahoney look on with some metal fans. They do the old Police Academy gag of having Prodigette under the podium pleasuring Minister. Everyone has a good evil cackle.

Tony Mamaluke once again bugs Sal and Guido, saying he’s got a match for him and Sal against Mikey and a partner. It’s funny watching this at the same time I’m covering a Guido Vs Mamaluke feud over the F.B.I gimmick in my 2002 ROH reviews (Check em out in the archives if you fancy it!)

Last week, Sandman got sent to the hospital by Rhino and Scotty Anton broke Raven’s ankle in a Sharpshooter called “The Clapper”.

Match Two
Tony Mamaluke and Big Sal Vs Mikey Whipwreck and Balls Mahoney

I’ll say again that they really need a new dubbed theme for Mikey, as dubbing over his underdog Mikey theme from the 90’s doesn’t work now he’s all psychotic and crazy. How hard is it to make a wacky evil theme to dub over his entrance so that it suits the gimmick he’s doing? I bet Jim Johnston could knock something like that out in 5 minutes back in the day. Sal had tried to injure Balls with a bunch of splashes, so that’s why Balls is backing up Mikey here.

Sal is practically immobile whilst Mamaluke is a nimble bump machine, so spotting them together as a team isn’t the worst idea in all fairness. Balls and Sal walk and brawl whilst Mikey and Mamaluke do spots inside the ring, which is probably the smartest way of doing this one. Sal drags Mikey out of the ring, so Mamaluke dives out, catching Balls and Sal in the process, and nearly killing himself in the process. The fact Mamaluke survived ECW is tantamount to a miracle sometimes.

The heels get some heat on Mikey, with Mamaluke annoying Sal by tagging himself in at points so that he can try and prove his worth. Mikey manages to fend him off and tag Balls, who does a good hot tag segment that Mamaluke bumps around great for. Sal comes in to help, so Balls destroys a chair on his head in a sickening moment. A powerbomb devastation device ends it for the faces right after.

WINNERS: WHIP-BALLS
RATING: *1/2

This wasn’t especially good or anything but it was a largely inoffensive use of TV time that advance the Mamaluke angle.

Guido runs down to lay out Mikey post-match and provide a distraction so that Sal can destroy Balls with an elbow drop off the apron through the table as we take a break.

After words from the sponsors, Balls is being helped up by Mikey and the Atlas Security guy who looks like Don West.

Bill Alfonso tells Rob Van Dam that the fans are happy to see him back. RVD says he’s in a bad mood and that he’s going to take it out on someone in Milwaukee.

Jerry Lynn says that he’s showing up to a show on the 23rd of June in Chicago and that he’s the best wrestler in ECW, still donning a more heelish edge to his character.

Meanwhile, freakin’ PCO of all people shows up to lay a whupping on referee HC Loc. I had no idea that he had a brief stint in ECW, that’s kind of wild!

We get a recap of last week where Simon and Swinger cost Danny Doring and Roadkill a match with Da Baldies. Doring and Roadkill returned the favour later on to cost Simon and Swinger a match with Nova and Chetti.

Main Event
Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger w/ The Prodigy, Prodigette and Mitch Vs Danny Doring and Roadkill

Joey actually tries to put Simon’s circus over on commentary, but that ship has not only sailed by this point but the crew have already died and come back as ghosts to kill a bunch of Orc. Nova and Chris Chetti come down to the ring, possibly to scout the action, which leads to them fighting with CW Anderson and Bill Wiles, as everyone is trying to stake a claim to the ECW Tag Titles whenever they get reinstated.

Doring and Roadkill get a nice babyface shine to start, bumping the heels around with some tandem offence, but a cheap shot from Prodigy on Doring allows the heels to cut him off and start working some heat. The crowd make suggestions that Simon may perhaps enjoy the company of men, but he was actually dating Dawn Marie in real life at the time, so the joke was thoroughly on the crowd in that regard. Simon and Swinger are starting to gell well at this stage, so the heat is well worked and they both look good.

Heel miscommunication allows Doring to get a jaw breaker on Swinger before getting the tag to Roadkill, who runs wild on the heels with a nice hot tag, getting some big high impact moves in the process. Prodigy shakes the ropes when he tries going up however, which leads to him taking an impressive super rana from Diamond. Sadly Doring is late to make the save, so the referee has to just stop counting in a pretty noticeable botch. Prodigy keeps trying to interfere but Doring kicks him off and the Buggy Bang finishes Simon straight after.

WINNERS: DORING & ROADKILL
RATING: **

Fine for a TV Main Event but I think they have better in them.

You can download the new Motley Crue on the ECW website, a song apparently written especially for Dawn Marie.

At Heatwave its Tommy Dreamer Vs Justin Credible in a Stairway to Hell match, which is a ladder match with barbed wire hanging from the roof. Grab the wire and you can use it as a weapon.

In Conclusion

Bit of a throwaway show this week, but at least we have a Main Event for Heatwave and a month to hype it up. That’s progress considering some of the pay per view builds ECW has had this year!