Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #380 – 05/08/2000

Hello You!

I wouldn’t go as far to say that Justin Credible’s Title run has gotten “good” as such, but he’s had a couple of fun matches the past couple of weeks, so he’s got that to hang his hat on at least.

I’ll be interested to see what he does this week. Let’s watching some chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches were taped from Houston, Texas

Opening Match
ECW Title
Champ: Justin Credible w/ Francine Vs Chris Chetti

Chetti is getting a shot here because ECW is trying to give the younger wrestlers some opportunities according to Joey on commentary. Credible is getting into a good groove of working with up and coming challengers by this stage, and he sells a bunch for Chetti in the early going to make him look good until managing to cut him off with a Rick Steiner like bulldog from the second rope.

As like his match with Danny Doring last week, Credible didn’t cheat to cut Chetti off, because Chetti technically isn’t on his level so he shouldn’t have to, but he still gave Chetti a strong shine before doing so, which makes Chetti look like a deserving opponent even though he isn’t quite at the World Champion’s level just yet. It’s a nice subtle bit of storytelling actually and Credible has it down really well by this stage in his Title reign.

Credible gets some heat on Chetti, as the hard cam makes it look like the ring is resting on a hillside or something. It’s like it’s on a permanent Dutch Angle until they eventually fix it. Like in his match last week, Credible brings a weapon in, this week a chair, but it ends up costing him as Chetti DDT’s him onto it to begin his comeback as we head into a break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the ads, both men are firmly in the finishing stretch, with Francine coming in to help her man. The editing of these matches feels so slapdash sometimes. A table has somehow found its way into the ring during the advert break and Credible ends up going through it via a Michinoku Driver for two. Francine gets involved again though and attacks Chetti low, which allows Credible to get a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: JUSTIN CREDIBLE
RATING: **1/2

Missing big relevant chunks of the match in the edit will never not rankle with me when it comes to Hardcore TV, but this match was fun for the most part and Chetti got to get some near falls and only lost due to Francine, so he ended up coming out of it stronger whilst Credible got to win again, so the match was a success for what they were going for.

Credible and Francine celebrate another case of theft

Match Two
Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger Vs Christian York and Joey Matthews

York and Matthews debuted recently and gave a decent account of themselves, hence why they are back. The faces get a nice shine to start, clearing the ring and then getting stereo dives onto Diamond and Swinger. Surprisingly the normally cynical and jaded ECW crowd is pretty receptive to the young pretty boy babyface team. I think it helps that they do hot moves and aren’t trying to coast on their looks.

Matthews gets cut off and worked over in the heel half of the ring for a bit, with Simon and Swinger doing some good tandem offence, as they’re becoming a decent polished team just a few months into forming. Matthews is gutsy and keeps fighting, which bares fruit when he catches the heels with a double DDT and tags in York for a nicely done hot tag segment. York and Matthews seem to have it won with the H-Bomb on Swinger, but CW Anderson runs down to help his heel pals and that allows them to spike York with a Problem Solver for the three count.

WINNERS: SIMON AND SWINGER
RATING: **

Bit on the short side but it was well worked for the time they had and it not only strengthened the heel trio by giving them a win but it also helped the babyfaces by having them look competitive.

Sinister Minister, Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri have one of their first promos together. Both Mikey and Tajiri have an issue with The Full Blooded Italians, so they have come together to take them out. The shadow of a noose swinging in the background is a very nice touch. Minister and Mikey cackle whilst Tajiri wonders what he’s gotten himself into. Great promo segment!

Match Three
EZ Money and Julio Fantastico w/ Chris Hamrick Vs Danny Doring and Roadkill

Both of these teams will be in the upcoming ECW Tag Title Tournament at the end of August. Doring and Roadkill run wild on the heels in the early going with some hot moves, but the numbers game proves too much after a certain point and a Hamrick chair shot leads to Doring getting cut off. In a funny moment, Julio clearly whiffs on a super kick and the crowd chants that he messed up, but they dub in an “EC-Dub” chant over it instead.

Money does his usual array of flips and such, which makes me wonder how long it’s going to be before we get the inevitable match with Rob Van Dam? Doring eventually manages to catch Julio with a Skull Crushing Finale and it’s hot tag to Roadkill, who does a nice segment with both heels and is super over with the crowd. Hamrick makes sure to take a customary stupid bump onto the concrete even though he isn’t even wrestling here, and Buggy Bang finishes Julio straight after.

WINNERS: DORING AND ROADKILL
RATING: *1/2

Match was super rushed but the reaction to Doring and Roadkill was something else. They are really getting themselves over.

Da Baldies run down and attack Doring and Roadkill to continue building up the Tag Tournament.

Joey sends us to some footage of Dawn Marie and informs us that there are exclusive digital photos of her up on the ECW website.

Main Event
Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso Vs Kid Kash

This continues the theme of the younger guys stepping up against the more experienced ones. It’s quite even in the early going, with both man getting a chance to control things and the action is fun and fast paced. RVD sells that he’s impressed, by expressing that Kash “aint bad” after Kash gets a bit of a shine on him. The crowd is responsive for mostly everything in the early stages and enjoys watching both men do their thing. Kash gets a series of roll ups on RVD, but he doesn’t manage to hold him down for three. However, by getting close to winning he’s showing he isn’t out of his depth here.

At one stage Kash is able to knock RVD outside of the ring and follows him out with a rana in a cool spot. RVD sells that one big, as he’s given Kash quite a lot of offence here and Kash is making the most of it with some nicely executed high spots. It’s a better match than RVD’s effort with Roadkill last week, just because Kash is being given more to do and he matches up to RVD better stylistically. It felt to me like Roadkill might have been a bit overawed by the occasion, whilst Kash by comparison is relishing and rising to the challenge.

The action continues to be good, as Kash almost wins it a few more times until RVD finally shakes the cobwebs and starts making a comeback with some big moves of his own. Kash manages to thwart a Van Daminator attempt and hits RVD with the chair before getting a big running Tornado DDT for two. That was really well done, but I don’t think the crowd truly believed that RVD was going to lose and it hurt the reaction for the big kick out. RVD rally’s though and gets the Van Daminator on the second attempt before heading up with the Five Star Frogsplash for the three count.

WINNER: ROB VAN DAM
RATING: ***1/4

Good Main Event, with fun action and some well executed near falls. Were Kash more established on the same level of RVD then I think the heat would have been even better, but as it was I don’t think the crowd ever truly thought that Kash was going to win, which meant some of his near falls just didn’t get the reaction you’d hope they would. It was still a lot of fun though.

We don’t stick around for long after the three count as the show fades to black almost the moment the refs hand hits the mat for the last time.

In Conclusion

Mostly all matches this week, and it wasn’t a bad collection of matches to have, so overall it’s an easy thumbs up.