Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #384 (02/09/2000)

Hello You!

Well, we’ve finally hit the Hammerstein Ballroom tapings that ECW has been building up to for the past month!

We’ve got a Tag Title Tournament and all other kinds of hijinks on the docket, so let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

This week’s matches have been taped from New York, New York

Calling the action is Joey Styles

We open up with Joey in the ring in front of the hot Hammerstein crowd. Cyrus comes down to interfere, which leads to Joey making snarky comments about TNN to get an easy pop from the Network hating ECW crowd. Cyrus shoves Joey down, so Joey actually chases him off! Stone Cold Joey Styles!!!

We get a special New York inspired intro to the show that probably had a licensed track played over it originally.

Opening Match
ECW Tag Team Title Tournament First Round
Hot Commodity (EZ Money and Julio Dinero) w/ Chris Hamrick and Elektra Vs Christian York and Joey Matthews

Now that The New Dangerous Alliance has folded they’ve moved Elektra into a cougar role with young EZ Money. I really don’t get why they just don’t dub in Jason Jett’s WCW theme for EZ Money, as it sounds a lot like it his real theme by Jackal and they seem to own the rights to it. Better than the generic pap they’re using for him instead. The hard camera has a weird blue tint for some reason. This is basically a tornado match in the early going, with the pretty boys doing hot dives to pop the crowd. Elektra cheap shots Matthews though and that leads to the cut off.

Money doing the Buckshot Lariat always pops me, and he must have been the originator of it right unless he saw someone in Japan or Mexico doing it? Hot Commodity are a heel team that do a lot of MOVEZ and I’m pretty certain AEW would give them a look where they around today. Julio misses a moonsault and it’s hot tag to York, who runs wild with some nice stuff. All four guys are still inexperienced at this level though and that becomes clear when Julio and Matthews make a meal of a superplex spot. That’s a shame as they’d hit everything prior to that. It’s pretty much right at the finish too, as York drops a follow up elbow but a cheap shot from Hamrick gives the heels the win.

RATING: **1/2

Shame about the botch at the end as the rest of the match delivered

Joey hypes up the rest of the show.

Match Two
ECW Tag Team Title Tournament First Round
Simon and Swinger w/ CW Anderson Vs Nova and Chetti

We see that Balls Mahoney is at a seedy nightclub that has been named “ECW New York”. Cute. We get another quick start here, with everyone going at it, and it’s good action, of a bit similar to the opener. The heels eventually isolated Nova and work him over with some good tandem offence. Nova manages to get the Sledge-O-Matic on Swinger and it’s hot tag Chetti. Chetti runs wild and that leads to some good near falls for both teams. Babyface miscommunication sees Chetti kick Nova though and the Problem Solver finishes Chetti reasonably clean right after.

RATING: **1/2

Good action and I would have liked to have seen them have a bit more time to work a less frantic bout, but I guess they need to squeeze everything in as quickly as possible due to the tournament so the brevity is understandable

We see a newspaper clipping that has a story about ECW in the local New York press.

Da Baldies crash ECW New York, and Rodney Mack of all people chases them off. I have ZERO memory of Mack being in ECW. Maybe Jazz pulled some strings and got him a cameo?

Match Three
ECW Tag Team Title Tournament First Round
The FBI (Guido and Mamaluke) w/ Big Sal Vs The Unholy Alliance of Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri w/ The Sinister Minister

They need to stop using the dubbed theme they have for Mikey’s old Wheezer theme and start dubbing over something a bit more menacing and evil. Mamaluke, by far the smallest man in the match, gets announced at a weight of 2400 liquid ounces, which is a great gag. This match is heaps of fun, as Guido and Mamaluke sell the offence of Mikey and Tajiri like death and the crowd absolutely LOVES it. It’s not a squash and The FBI do get some offence of their own in, but Mikey and Tajiri deliver the most punishing offence of both teams, with the crowd oohing and ahhing along whilst poor Mamaluke gets rag dolled from pillar to post.

This is probably what Christians getting thrown to the lions was like from a crowd reaction and violence perspective. Even Minister gets a shot in at Mamaluke at one stage. He’s selling for everybody and everything! The FBI eventually manages to get some heat on Mikey, with him selling it well, and their stuff looks great. This is star making stuff from all four guys here, with crowd heat raising up the already good match even higher. Tajiri gets the hot tag and we move swiftly to the finish, with Mikey delivering a Whippersnapper to Mamaluke and Tajiri adding two feet to the face for the win.

RATING: ***3/4

I can imagine the tag teams in WWF and WCW watching this either with excitement or incredulity depending on their own personal work ethic. The match itself could have maybe done with a more sustained period of heat on Mikey and more of a finishing stretch, but as an explosive showcase for the faces it did its job and then some. I’m breathless after that! The crowd were amazing too and really did their part to make this a great match. This has long been one of my favourite tag bouts from this era, just because the destruction on display was unlike anything you normally saw over here in the West at the time.

The crowd are on their feet following that.

Main Event
ECW Tag Team Title Tournament First Round
Tommy Dreamer and Jerry Lynn Vs Kash and Carry (Kid Kash and Rob Van Dam) w/ Bill Alfonso

I made that name up for the second team myself, but I quite like it. RVD and Lynn open with their usual awesome display of counter wrestling and the crowd loves it. Dreamer seems a bit out of place with these three nippier guys I must say. Working against Kash does give him the rare chance to work like a power wrestler though. Dreamer does seem to get some boo’s from his native New York crowd actually, and I’m not really sure why.

Kash is controlled in the Dreamer/Lynn corner for a bit, but tags in RVD who does some nice kicks on the opponents. The action has been good here and they’re treating the match like a big deal due to all the star power involved in it. RVD and Lynn are the stars of the show, with their battles getting the most focus due to their long running rivalry. We of course get some dives, because look at who is in the match, and that leads to them motoring into the closing stretch.

We head into Finisher Madness™, as everyone comes in with a big move, and it looks like Kash and Carry are all set to win when RVD sets up for the Van Terminator on Dreamer. The Super Team of World Champ Justin Credible and TV Champ Rhino come down to stop that though, only for Dreamer himself to actually try and fight them off! RVD is worse for wear following the interference though and Lynn pounces for a piledriver to pick up the win, although it’s suggested he might not have known about the heels getting involved.

RATING: **1/2

Another decent outing, but the screwy finish left a sour taste

Dreamer and Lynn still seem to be faces following that, with Dreamer in particular seeming to be worried about RVD.

In Conclusion

One of the best episodes of Hardcore TV! Highly recommended!