Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #376 – 08/07/2000

Hello You!

Time for some more ECW, as we are 8 days out from Heatwave 2000 in Los Angeles

Last week we had some good matches up and down the show, with a strong Steve Corino Vs Kid Kash Main Event. The bar has certainly been raised for this week now!

Let’s see what ECW has in store for us as we watch some chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches were taped from Chicago, IL

Calling the action is Joey Styles

Paul Heyman narrates footage of Justin Credible bleeding in the ring. Apparently Tommy Dreamer was responsible. This leads into a Heatwave 2000 plug. I’m very impressed at the hype job for this pay per view. It’s probably the best they’ve done since Anarchy Rulz last year.

Joey Styles is in front of the ECW Banner. Tonight it’s Little Guido Vs Rob Van Dam with the winner getting a TV Title shot once Heatwave is in the books.

Opening Match
EZ Money w/ Chris Hamrick Vs Chilly Willy

What I don’t get here is why they don’t they just dub in Jason Jett’s WCW theme for Money, seeing as it was very similar to his ECW theme anyway and it doesn’t seem to bother the censors when they use that on the WCW shows. Frosty Penis is doing his usual gimmick of being announced from the town that the show is taking place from, which is such an easy way of getting a babyface pop that I’m surprised more people don’t try it.

Money and Willy are both very athletic guys, so they do some nice high impact moves to pop the crowd in the early going. It sounds like a lot of the crowd noise is getting piped in though judging by all the fans seemingly sitting down and not opening their mouths despite there being a lot of chants. Maybe it’s all the people who aren’t on the hard camera side making the noise eh?

Money does get a funny spot in by wiping his brown with some paper money. Willy sells for a bit but makes the comeback, clocking Hamrick for good measure, and then gets a Falcon Arrow on Money for the clean pin.

WINNER: CHILLY WILLY
RATING: *1/2

Not a great match or anything but it served its purpose

Joey hypes up the Guido Vs RVD Main Event for later again

Earlier tonight, Francine wears out Sandman with a Singapore cane until Stephanie Bellars shows up to chase her off.

Rhino cuts his usual snarling promo on The Sandman. The gist is he’s willing to kill Sandman to keep his belt

Earlier tonight, Dawn Marie was supposed to referee a match between Justin Credible and The Sandman, but Credible hit her with a Singapore cane before she could assume her duties

Joey insists that ECW will burn every bridge they can with TNN until they get taken off the air

On TNN, Tajiri defeats Jerry Lynn thanks to Steve Corino. It’s Corino Vs Lynn at Heatwave

We actually have most of the major bouts booked for Heatwave now;

ECW Title: Justin Credible w/ Francine Vs Tommy Dreamer w/ Jazz in a barbed wire ladder match

ECW TV Title: Rhino Vs The Sandman

Scotty Anton Vs Rob Van Dam

Steve Corino Vs Jerry Lynn

That’s not a terrible top half of the card all told, with Corino Vs Lynn looking like the best wrestling match whilst Credible Vs Dreamer will hopefully be a spectacle thanks to the ladders and wire.

Match Two
Billy Wiles w/ Elektra Vs Kid Kash

Wiles is still selling the arm injury he suffered at the hands of Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger last week. Kash shines on Wiles to start and sends him to the floor, but Wiles barely catches him on the follow up dive and Kash ends up crashing onto the floor as we take a break.

COMMERICAL

Back from the ads, Kash is taking it to Wiles, as it looks like they cut out most if not all of the heat segment. Poor Wiles, this strikes me as him being on the way out and whiffs of ECW making him look bad along the way. Elektra distracts Kash, which allows a Wiles school boy for two, but Kash gets a rana to pick up the win.

WINNER: KID KASH
RATING: N/A

We didn’t really see enough of it for me to fairly rate it.

It looks like the Main Event is going to get a lot of time this week judging by the fact we have no other matches on the docket.

Main Event
Little Guido w/ Tony Mamaluke and Big Sal Vs Rob Van Dam with Bill Alfonso

So the winner of this one will be getting themselves a TV Title shot once Heatwave is done with. Seeing as RVD still has lingering issues with the current Champion, then I’m guessing that means that RVD will pick up the ol W here, but you never know. We get a few nice counter sequences in the early going, all leading to the Central American standoff for a pop from the crowd. Guido gets sick of RVD’s hot dogging and locks in a Fujiwara arm bar, which leads to RVD shining on him with some trademark flippy offence.

It should shock no one to read that this crowd is very into RVD and they are treating him like a huge star. Guido does manage to get some offence of his own in, and even manages to shove RVD to the floor from the top rope, where Sal crushes him on the railings surrounding the ringside area. The crowd stays with RVD as Guido works him over, as this match has had really good heat thus far and the crowd have been digging it.

It’s when you see RVD in there with a guy Gudio’s size that you appreciate the fact that he’s a pretty big dude in comparison to an average sized person. Sal comes in to drop an elbow on RVD at one stage whilst Mamaluke distracts the referee. I mean, it’s ECW, would the ref even care if Sal just came in and did that? RVD replies by kicking Sal off the apron and then making a comeback on Guido by giving him a monkey toss onto a chair, as the crowd is still massively into him. This is the sort of heat most in WWE will be willing to kill for when they finally get fans back into the buildings again.

RVD gets a big Rolling Thunder from one corner to the other whilst a chair is laid across Guido, but when he tries something else Mamaluke gets involved, which allows Guido to get an Italian Leg Sweep off the second rope for two. RVD responds by setting Guido up on the top rope before kicking a chair into his face. Guido sells that fantastically, doing the slow Greg Valentine sell back into the ring. That looked great. The Five Star Frogplash follows, and that’s enough to give RVD the three count after a good TV Main Event.

WINNER: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: ***

I enjoyed that. It was a strong way to close out the show and Guido gained something from it even in defeat

Joey does the hard sell for Heatwave again. Good! This is what you’re supposed to do when you have a big show coming up!

In Conclusion

A good Main Event and some solid pay per view hype makes this one a thumbs up. It really feels like ECW has its head on straight recently, with focused TV building up the storylines with them all set to develop or conclude at the big pay per view event.