It’s time for what is traditionally ECW’s biggest event of the year in the form of November to Remember. To be honest, they haven’t really hyped it as a show of such consequence, with them only announcing the Main Event on the go-home show, with the match itself being a confusing “Double Jeopardy” bout, where two singles matches are going on at the same time, with the winners then facing one another for the ECW Title.
If anything, the match they’ve hyped the most is the Flaming Tables match, which isn’t really featuring any top of the card guys. I get that a flaming table is a pretty big spot with which to end a match, but you’d hope that a company would have a bit more to hang it’s hype hat on when it came to something that is supposed to be a WrestleMania equivalent event.
Anyway, I’m sure there’ll be some good wrestling on this show at least due to the ECW lads and lasses always working super hard, so let’s settle in and watch some chuffing wrestling!
The event is emanating from Villa Park (No, not that one Villa supporters, there’s no Jack Grealish on this pay per view), Illinois on the 5th of November 2000
Calling the action are Joey Styles and Joel Gertner, but it’s a pay per view so I wouldn’t get attached to Joel
We open up with promos from the guys in the Main Event. Jerry Lynn is just fine with walking through everyone in the locker room to hold onto his ECW Title. Justin Credible says the Title is coming home with him tonight, because he won’t get to bang Francine unless he wins. Sandman is going for his 4th ECW World Title, and puts a cigarette out on his hand. Steve Corino and Jack Victory (HIGH SPOT) are annoyed that Dawn Marie isn’t there for the start of their promo, and then shows up just as he starts talking. There would seem to be dissention in the ranks.
We head to the ring, where Joey Styles and Joel Gertner are doing the intro. Simon Diamond interrupts though to complain that Joey and Joel aren’t giving him enough credit for helping to end Tommy Dreamer’s career. Joel tries to reason with Simon, but that ends badly for him and leads to Tommy Dreamer running down for the attack. This all leads to CW Anderson and Johnny Swinger putting the boots to Dreamer until Christian York and Joey Matthews run down to lead us into the opener. This was the typical ECW conjoined angle leading into a match segment, which often provides manic entertainment if nothing else.
Simon & Swinger w/ CW Anderson Vs Christian York and Joey Matthews
So of course with Joel taken out Cyrus gleefully takes over commentary duties, having to do it on his own for a bit until Joey can make it to the booth. The fans chant “Hardyz” at the young lads, and I believe they did work in The Hardy Boys’ OMEGA promotion at one point, so the chant is somewhat apropos. This is a fast paced opener, with the young lads shining on the heels to start with some nice tandem offence and a pair of stereo dives , and their stuff looks good.
Eventually Swinger attacks Matthews from the apron and that leads to the heat segment, with Matthews selling it all well and bumping around nicely. The crowd gets behind Matthews whilst he tries to make the hot tag, and he finally gets it, which leads to York running wild on the heels and looking good in the process. It’s amazing how polished York and Matthews look at such a young age. These days they’d be in NXT or AEW and would probably be getting a decent push with these kinds of performances.
The match breaks down into a good finishing stretch, with both teams getting some near falls, but eventually CW proves the difference as he cheap shots Matthews and that allows the heels to spike York with the Problem Solver for the three count.
WINNER: SIMON & SWINGER
Too short to be higher, but it was a decent fast-paced opener with everyone working hard
The heels try putting a beat down on the babyfaces following the match, but Kid Kash runs down for the rescue and that leads into another impromptu match between him and CW.
CW Anderson Vs Kid Kash
The young lads brawl to the back with Simon & Swinger, which means we get a one on one match here. Joey finally joins the desk, which leads to Cyrus saying “You’re later than a rats period” in a choice line. CW and Kash had some really good chemistry together for whatever reason, so this is a really hot match with plenty of crisp offence and big moves. The crowd really digs Kash’s high spots and CW is his usual gruff self when he gets to control things for a bit.
Styles make fights I guess, and there is a good example when Kash goes for a rana off the top rope, only for CW to see it coming and catch him with a cool looking suplex for the cut off. CW targets the arm of Kash in classic Anderson style, and Kash sells it well. Kash manages to hit the Whisper in the Wind out of nowhere as a hope spot, but then ends up eating an Anderson Left for a two count. The way Kash bumped for and sold that punch was incredible.
We head into the closing stretch, with both men getting near falls, the most impressive being CW getting a fantastic hanging brain buster from the second rope. One spot I love is that they both double clothesline each other for a double down and then both fight from their backs back up to their feet. It really feels like a skirmish between two guys who are throwing everything they have at one another. Eventually Kash manages to catch CW with a big swinging DDT and that’s enough for three after a spicy encounter.
WINNER: KID KASH
After all that we finally get the show intro. Better late than never I guess!
EZ Money, Julio Dinero and Chris Hamrick w/ Elektra Vs Danny Doring, Roadkill and Kid Kash
We’re finally following matches on the format now. Kash of course isn’t available for this one due to just wrestling. Hamrick grabs a mic and cuts a funny yokel promo saying that he knows it isn’t fair that Doring and Roadkill are at an advantage, but he doesn’t care and the heels attack anyway. This is the cue for Little Spike Dudley to join us, tearing off his knee brace in the process to show that he is now fit to wrestle again, and it looks like he’ll be filling in for Kash.
Spike Dudley running wild on three guys all by himself will never not be funny, especially as he was so over here that the crowd totally buys it too. We of course get the big dive spot, with everyone taking it in turns to leap into the aisle. This is another hot match, with plenty of big moves and little in the way of psychology for most of the early going. Things do eventually do settle into a regular tag match, with the heels working some heat on Doring when Money catches him with the Buckshot Lariat.
Doring sells the heat well and Spike in particular does a great job on the apron of geeing the crowd up so they want to see the hot tag. Hot Commodity are all heels who like to do MOVEZ, with Hamrick and Money being good in the ring and Dinero being out of the ring long enough not to drag it down, so the heat is fun to watch. Roadkill eventually gets the hot tag and runs wild with his usual assortment of big power moves and unexpected high flying.
Spike is who the crowd wants though, and he eventually does get in, where the heels try to go after his previously injured leg. Spike survives that though and we get *checks watch* FINISHER MADNESS™ with everyone coming in to hit a big move. Even Elektra gets involved and takes a jaw breaker from Doring. Eventually Spike gets an assisted Acid Drop on Hamrick and that’s enough for the three.
WINNER: DORING, ROADKILL & SPIKE
Spotty but also entertaining. Once again, everyone was working super hard here and the crowd responded in kind
We get the usual snarling Rhino promo, where he tells New Jack that he’s going to rip his face off and shove it down his throat so that he has to shit his own face out. Well, that’s certainly a threat that wasn’t lacking in imagination.
Joey hypes up dirty pictures on the ECW website before running through upcoming dates, including the next pay per view on the 3rd of December in New York.
Loser Leaves ECW
Chris Chetti w/ Lou E. Dangerously Vs Nova
Chetti adds the stipulation before the bout, which Lou E isn’t happy about. It seems way too early in the feud to do this stip, but I’m guessing they wanted to justify it being on the big event of the year by giving it some stakes? A trip to the WO from this week suggests that Chetti was off to the WWF, hence them adding the stip. Chetti and Nova used to be a team, but Chetti turned on Nova in August and has since taken Lou E on as his manager, although I don’t think they make a natural pairing. Maybe with more time they could have developed some chemistry? Nova is fired up over the betrayal and shows a much more aggressive streak.
Both guys are working hard here, as they clearly have had a big feud ending bout in mind for a long time, as tag teams inevitably do, but this is the first pay per view singles bout between them and we already have a feud ending stipulation, so the heat isn’t there for it, even with Chetti doing a blade job. Nova runs wild in the early going, with his offence looking good and Chetti bumping and selling well for it all.
Chetti does the ultimate heel act of pretending his career threatening back injury has flared up again, only to then cut Nova off as a result and mugging for the crowd. Chetti’s offence looks good in the heat and Nova’s selling is on point, doing a blade job as well, as they are really trying to make this one feel epic and the crowd just isn’t biting. Again, this would have probably been more effective if they’d had a couple of matches already and this was the rubber match to blow it off with the big stipulation added to spice things up.
Nova shows some good fire at one stage by yelling at Chetti to die, and then no selling a chair shot to the head to rain down punches on Chetti in a spot that finally wakes the crowd up a bit. Psycho Nova is a surprisingly effective character actually, and it’s helped this match. We head into the near falls, with Lou E hitting Nova with the mobile phone for one of them, as they are just throwing everything at this match in an effort to get it over. Eventually Nova fights Lou E off and gives Chetti the Kryptonite Krunch (Air Raid Crash) off the top rope for the three count.
The heat just wasn’t consistently there for this, especially as they were going all out to try and have the big epic feud ending bout they clearly wanted. That being said, the work wasn’t bad and Nova’s new intense gimmick definitely feels like it has legs. I guess that means Chetti is off now
New Jack cuts a promo backstage. He says he doesn’t really care about having belts, but if he wins the TV Title tonight he’s going to do all the things you’re not supposed to do with it, just because he knows it will anger Rhino. This was your typical insane New Jack promo, and it was good.
Cyrus is annoyed that the format hasn’t been followed.
Da Baldies (Spanish Angel and Tony DeVito) Vs Meat and Two Veg (Balls Mahoney and Chilly Willy)
Da Baldies defeated Balls and Arctic Member at Anarchy Rulz, and since then they powerbombed Balls through a flaming table on Hardcore TV in Milwaukee, hence we have this match where you have to put someone through a flaming table to win. The crowd is into the idea and it’s given this otherwise mid-card feud some genuine stakes that people care about at least.
This is a wild brawl from the off, with no pretence whatsoever of it being an actual tag match. We get a Bill Apter sighting at ringside, as Balls brains both Baldies with a chair before heading out for a table. Of course the big issue with a match like this is that you can’t have any near falls and everything that doesn’t involve a table is kind of pointless. Despite that we still get a good brawl out in the crowd and the fans are into it, even though some of them are annoyed that they can’t see any of it. Even the camera crew struggles to keep up at points.
Thankfully they’ve kept the crowd brawling to a minimum up to this point in the show, so as to make this match feel special. If you’re not into brawling then this is unlikely to change your mind, but if guys wandering around the building and hitting each other with plunder is your jam then this match will probably be your boogieman. At one stage we head down to the entrance way, where Chilly suplexes Angel and he convulses with a great sell job.
Angel returns the favour with a hideous unprotected chair shot to the head, although Chilly is up again and brawling quickly afterward. Seriously, if you must insist on doing something that brutal, would it kill you to have the guy sell it for more than 30 seconds? As I type that, Angel sets up two chairs and then powerbombs Chilly through them, which thankfully leads to him lying around for a bit in the aisle. Well he sold that one at least.
Da Baldies work Balls over back inside and set up the table, but Balls fights them off, giving DeVito the Nutcracker Suite off the top rope to take him out of proceedings. Angel tries to chair Balls in reply, but Willy disarms him and Balls gets the Suite on him also. This leads to Balls and Chilly prepping the table with lighter fluid, in something Scott has compared to Homer setting up the barbecue in The Simpson’s, and the table is soon ablaze. Angel takes a trip through it via powerbomb and Balls has his payback.
WINNER: MEAT & TWO VEG
Decent enough wild brawl and they delivered on the promised flaming table bump, so I can’t really complain too much about it outside of the disgusting chair shots and spotty selling
They make sure to have a slew of replays cued up to show all the big bumps in gruesome detail. Hey, if you have the footage then make use of it! Angel actually briefly set ablaze himself due to his shirt there, but thankfully they had people on hand to put him out as quickly as possible.
Sinister Minister and Yoshihiro Tajiri cut a promo backstage, where Minister does his usual thing of hyping up the other matches on the card before directing his ire at The FBI. This leads to a payoff of Mikey being hogtied with an apple in his mouth whilst Minister cackles and Tajiri looks terrified.
Now in real life Minister ended up suffering an injury to his hand due to messing with a prop and it exploding, meaning he of course had to be rushed to the hospital and couldn’t appear on the rest of the show. Joey and Cyrus cover for this by saying that The FBI attacked him backstage following the promo and injured him, so we at least know why we won’t be seeing him later. A bit tasteless, but at least they bothered enough to cover for his absence I guess. That’s more explanation than other companies would give.
ECW TV Title
Champ: Rhino Vs New Jack
Rhino put New Jack through a table a couple of times on TV to set this up, with New Jack also getting a pin over Rhino in a tag match in an effort to make fans think he actually had a chance of winning here. This is your typical New Jack match, with the idea being that New Jack is going to clobber Rhino with every weapon he has in his collection in an effort to pull off the upset. Tonight’s weapons include a metal bin, an American Football helmet and a pool cue.
Cyrus gets another great line with “How do you prepare for New Jack? You leave the country!” as the fight heads to the floor. Rhino has done a lot of selling here, and I have to say that this kind of feels like a waste of him. Don’t get me wrong, it fills the role of giving Rhino another ECW alum for him to plough through in an attempt to push him as the future of the company, but they try too hard to protect New Jack, when he’s a wrestler that doesn’t really need protecting.
Case in point, they actually have Rhino need help from heel referee Danny Daniels in order to win the match, as Daniels runs down in an attempt to cheat New Jack and ends up taking a beating to pop the crowd. Thankfully they get the finish spot on, as Rhino no sells the big guitar shot and then puts New Jack through a table with a GORE to pick up the win. It really didn’t need the Daniels interference to be honest. Just have New Jack hit Rhino with every weapon he has, have Rhino kick out of everything, no sell the big weapon spot at the end and win clean.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: RHINO
Just a New Jack match. This really didn’t work coming straight after the flaming table match too, as we’d already seen one brawl and this one was always going to seem less impressive as a result. They at least got the finish right, but the actual body of the match didn’t do it for me and Rhino didn’t really gain much from it other than another tick in the win column
We get the replays again, as this was clearly a feature they were trying to make use of, and I approve. If you have some big spots to replay at the end of the match then do so.
Steve Corino and Jack Victory decide to invade Sandman’s dressing room to mess with his stuff. In a funny bit, Jack Victory is guarding the door but Sandman comes out of a different room to catch Corino in the act of pouring out one of his beers. Sandman and Corino start brawling as the camera cuts away.
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champs: The FBI (Guido and Mamaluke) w/ Big Sal Vs The Unholy Alliance of Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri
They push again on commentary that Sinister Minister isn’t here due to an attack from The FBI. They decide to get cute here by having Mikey and Tajiri do a shine to start, only for Mikey to sell his shoulder when he delivers the Whippersnapper (Stunner) to both opponents, meaning he has to head to the back injured. Tajiri looks like he’s going to have to go it alone, but he finds unlikely assistance in the form of the returning Super Crazy, who decides to take Mikey’s place as Tajiri’s partner for the rest of the match. The shine prior to that was a lot of fun, with some good wrestling and counter sequences. There was the odd issue with timing, but it was only minor.
Crazy runs wild on The FBI following his arrival in the match, and he’s very over with the crowd. He’d actually had some real life VISA issues, which is why he was gone. Crazy and Tajiri actually work pretty well together as a team, with Crazy holding a chair in Guido’s face so that Tajiri can kick it, which leads to Guido doing a blade job. The FBI manage to cut Tajiri off for a bit and work him over, with the work from the Champs looking decent. Tajiri eventually manages to tag in Crazy though, who does a good hot tag segment where he hits The FBI with some big moves.
Things break down, with everyone going at it, which leads to Mamaluke getting LAUNCHED into the front row by Crazy in a fantastic bump. Sal brawls with Crazy into the crowd, where Crazy moonsaults off a balcony onto him in a cool spot that we sadly miss most of due to there not being a camera in place to shoot it properly. This takes Sal out of proceedings, but leaves Tajiri one on two again, which allows The FBI to catch him with a double bulldog for the win.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: THE FBI
This one felt like they had another gear they could have kicked into, but it just never got there. I personally would have switched the belts here. The FBI have been fine Champions as far as the in-ring aspect, but Crazy and Tajiri winning would have led to some fresh matches and they could have done the story where Mikey was getting jealous of Crazy and Tajiri was stuck in the middle between them
Crazy and Tajiri shake hands despite losing, which suggests their rivalry might finally be over.
Jasmine St Clare cuts a promo in the shower, where she hypes up the naughty pictures of her on the website. Cyrus is aroused by this of course.
Joey runs downs the rules for the upcoming match.
Champ: Jerry Lynn Vs Justin Credible w/ Francine
Steve Corino w/ Jack Victory and Dawn Marie Vs The Sandman
The rules here are that Lynn/Credible and Corino/Sandman are having singles matches with one another in the same ring at the same time. They can interact with one another, but only Lynn can defeat Credible and vice versa, whilst only Corino can defeat Sandman and vice versa. The two winners will then square off for the Title. Personally I think a standard Fatal Four Way would have made more sense, but if you want to do a wacky stipulation then do a four way where Lynn can only pin Credible, Credible can only pin Corino, Corino can only pin Sandman and Sandman can only pin Lynn. You could then have guys breaking up pins whilst also focusing on beating their required opponent. It’d be confusing, but so is this stip anyway and my way would at least leave the door open for more interesting storytelling possibilities.
Sandman isn’t here for ring introductions, so Corino waits in the corner whilst Lynn and Credible go at it and have their usual good match. I think it’s actually impossible for these two to have a bad match provided you just let them go in there and wrestle one another. They had a feud in TNA that was a bit rubbish because they always made them rush every match they had barring a really good Last Man Standing bout, but in general Lynn Vs Credible is a sure-fire fun outing. Corino eventually gets involved and attacks both men, but the crowd isn’t really into it because they want Sandman and don’t know where he is.
Enter Sandman eventually hits though and that wakes the crowd up, as Sandman actually does his whole entrance with the beer drinking and everything. Whilst Sandman wanders through the crowd, we see that Lynn has been busted open somehow in the ring. Cool though Sandman’s entrance undoubtedly is, having it whilst a wrestling match is going on kind of makes the match itself secondary, which makes it hard to do any real storytelling in the ring because no one is watching as they are too busy singing along to Metallica and watching Sandman make his entrance.
Sandman does finally get in the ring, which leads to Corino knocking a beer out of his hand and taking a shot with a Singapore cane as a result. The crowd is at least focused on the ring now that Sandman has made his entrance, and the two opponents can now pair up with one another, meaning the match finally gets cooking. Sandman introduces a ladder and moves get done onto it, as it’s not soon until everyone is bleeding in some fashion. By this stage though this is the third brawl and all three of them have taken place in the second half of the card, so it’s just overkill.
We get the tease of our contractually mandated cat fight between Dawn Marie and Francine, but Corino forbids it, going full heel with the crowd. That leads to Credible and Corino pinning Lynn and Sandman at the same time, to leave us with Credible Vs Corino for the Title, which is the least wanted combination of final two guys for the crowd. And to be honest, it really makes no sense as a final two, as Credible didn’t need his win back and Corino beating Credible doesn’t do anywhere close as much for him as defeating Lynn would have achieved.
Lynn and Sandman stay at ringside and almost fill the role of unofficial lumberjacks, with Lynn attacking Corino when he comes outside and Sandman doing the same to Credible. Credible and Corino trade vicious knife edge chops with one another in an effort to get the crowd into it, and they succeed to a certain degree, but they still need Lynn and Sandman to bang on the mat to get the crowd to clap, as they just aren’t enthused with this final pairing.
Corino ends up accidentally kicking Francine and gets the Old School Expulsion on Credible for a two count in a good near fall. Credible replies with a super kick for a two count of his own, as they are working really hard here, I have to give them that. Corino gets another Expulsion, which is Dawn’s cue to come in and hit him right in his Mr. Wrestling’s, before adding a shot to Jack’s high spot and storming off. Credible tees off on Corino with a number of cane shots, but Corino won’t go down and pulls out a desperation super kick to pick up the three count and Title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: STEVE CORINO
This was a bit of a mess, even though Credible and Corino gave it everything they had in the closing stretch. They really should have had Corino defeat Credible at the Hammerstein Ballroom in August. Every failed attempt since then has just taken the lustre off him, and having him win it this way in such a confusing gimmick match didn’t help either. The whole Title win just felt flat, whereas the crowd was ready for it in August and it would have likely made Corino into a top babyface star in one night. Having Lynn not be part of the deciding fall hurt too, as the fans were not interested in Credible/Corino as a final pairing but would have probably been into Lynn Vs Corino. It also would have allowed Lynn to pass the torch officially as the defending Champ and would have still set Credible up as a future challenger due to him holding a win over Corino when they’d met earlier in the year. Sandman was absolutely Gazeebo’d too, which didn’t help things
Lynn presents Corino with the belt following the match, but then slaps him. Again, this doesn’t really work as Corino didn’t actually beat him for the belt, so him handing it over just came across as an empty gesture on his part.
Not as good as Anarchy Rulz the month before, but it was still watchable for the most part, with very little bad and couple of good matches. More a middling show than anything else, but not a disaster. With a better Main Event I’d probably call it a good show overall. As it is, I’ll just go with a mild recommendation