Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #399 (16/12/2000)

Hello You!

We’re getting into the last few episodes of Hardcore TV now, as the death knell for ECW approaches. I’m not going to get too mushy about it yet, but we’re about to enter a year where my wrestling fandom was probably tested more than it had even been before, so I may end up getting a bit wistful as we near the end of ECW’s existence.

Last week was just a recap show of the December pay per view. There’s actually a pay per view scheduled for the 7th of January 2001, so let’s see if ECW is actually going to bother hyping it or not. It’s almost become redundant at this stage to hype these shows when all ECW has left is a syndicated show that not everyone can watch.

This week’s matches were taped from New York

Calling the action are Joey Styles and Joel Gertner

We open up with Francine’s whiny nasal promo from last week played over clips from the pay per view.

We get more clips from the pay per view, basically the same ones from last week, as it’s clear they are trying to pad the show out.

Joel Gertner would appear to have brought The Dudley Boyz back to ECW in order for them to take out Simon and Swinger.

Joey Matthews has an injured arm and Christian York wants him to go to the hospital. Tommy Dreamer says Matthews will go when he’s ready. York cuts a pretty bad promo, but Matthews does better, making lewd comments about Dawn Marie. In a funny gag, Matthews asks Tommy about women in wrestling and he immediately changes the subject saying they need to get him to the hospital. Before they leave, Dreamer says he’s going to make CW tap out when they next face one another. This CW Vs Dreamer feud is one of the better things to come out of ECW’s dying days. Dreamer is doing his part to help CW and I think it’s time he gets himself a win, so this submission match they’re teasing is probably going to be the blow off. That’s fine, as Dreamer has already done a bunch of jobs for CW and been laid out quite a lot too, so it’s time the favour gets returned.

We get clips of the new Jerry Lynn and Cyrus duo hassling a homeless guy. They end up putting the boots to him, with Lynn being perfectly happy to be evil in a funny moment.

We get clips from the pay per view, where EZ Money defeated Balls Mahoney thanks to interference from Chris Hamrick and Julio Dinero. That led to a trademark ECW impromptu match between Julio and Nova, which they show in full. Here’s the review below.

Nova Vs Julio Dinero

Nova had been turned on by tag team partner Chris Chetti earlier in the year, which caused him to go off the deep end and be far more vicious as a wrestler. The apex of this was him no selling a chair shot from Chetti on route to defeating him at November to Remember in a Loser Leaves ECW match. Nova hits The Sledge-O-Matic (Powerbomb into a low blow. Trust me, it makes sense if you see it) back inside, as Balls Mahoney stalks Dinero’s friends outside the ring so that they can’t interfere in the match.

The confusion outside the ring allows Hamrick to come in with a springboard missile dropkick onto Nova, which puts Dinero on top of things for a while. Dinero hits an STO and makes the cover, but Nova is out at two. Dinero clotheslines Nova but sells it himself, which makes me think that Nova was supposed to hit some kind of move there, but I’ll be darned if I know what it was supposed to be.

Nova fires up and unleashes his inner psycho by hammering away on Dinero in the corner before hitting an enziguri for two.  Hamrick interferes again and hits Nova with a chair, but it only gets two for Dinero. Nova replies with the Roll of the Dice, which brings Elektra in for a slap. She makes the mistake of dilly dallying in the ring though, which allows Nova to lay her out with the Kryptonite Krunch. This match really has been a bit a mess, with stuff kind of just happening with no real rhyme or reason.

Nova heads up top, as the officials get Elektra’s limp body out of the ring, and hits a leg drop onto Dinero. This brings Money and Hamrick in, as they hit Dinero with a double wheelbarrow suplex. However, they also make the mistake of gurning in the ring when they should be fleeing, which allows Balls to clobber all of them with his trademark chair shots. With everyone down, Nova heads up top for a Swanton Bomb on Dinero to pick up the win.

WINNER: NOVA
RATING: ½*

This was a mess, with most of the moves being pretty sloppy and neither man having much in the way of poise or personality, outside of Dinero’s generic taunting and Nova’s cliché “crazy man” act. It was funny that Nova, a guy who always complained that people stole his moves, would steal Jeff Hardy’s finisher to win though. They even play Balls’ music at the end of the match, despite Nova winning, so everyone can sing along to “Big Balls”

Dawn Marie responds to York and Matthews, saying two little boys can’t satisfy her. CW interrupts and tells her to go. He says he hates women in the business, which leads to him calling Dreamer a bitch. He reiterates that he’s going to make Dreamer tap.

Actual Opening Match
Evil Referee Danny Daniels Vs Babyface Referee HC Loc

Both these guys clearly know how to wrestle based on how they are bumping and selling, but they work this as more of a brawl because in storyline they’re not supposed to be wrestlers. That’s a difficult line to walk actually, as you want to still have a decent match but also don’t want to spoil the illusion that you’re supposed to be a non-worker. I always thought that Bobby Heenan did a great job at that actually, as he could clearly work more than he let on, but he deliberately toned it down because he was a manager and not supposed to be doing lots of great wrestling.

Daniels does some good heel work, playing to the crowd and whatnot. Loc shows some good babyface fire, and the match gradually becomes more of an actual match as it progresses. Daniels’ heel selling and stooging are fantastic, as he does the big bug eyes when Loc dropkicks him in the groin. Loc eventually counters a second rope axe handle into a full nelson face buster and that’s enough for three.

WINNER: HC LOC
RATING: **

This was a decent match and both guys were working hard. It lacked crowd heat to a certain degree, but the wrestling was on point for the most part and it was good to see Daniels finally get some comeuppance from Loc

Joey hypes The Path of Destruction DVD. I think I have that DVD somewhere actually. If it’s the one I’m thinking of then it has an awesome Jericho Vs Douglas Vs Scorpio Vs Pitbull #2 elimination match on it. There were two “best of” ECW tapes that came out around this time and it was definitely on one of them.

The FBI and Sal have a promo backstage. In a funny bit, Mamaluke asks Sal who he’s beat, to which Sal nonchalantly replies “Scott Hall”. Yes, they had Hall do a meaningless clean job to Sal on a spot show merely to prove that he’d do a job for someone, and he ended up leaving after it anyway. Imagine if they’d gotten him to do that job for someone they were actually pushing before he flaked out? This was such a weird period in wrestling history.

Main Event
Spanish Angel w/ Tony DeVito Vs New Jack

DeVito cuts a pro-Bronx promo prior to the match happening, with most of it getting bleeped out. I can’t believe that it’s December 2000 and we’re STILL getting matches where poor Angel has to get clobbered by New Jack. This feud started in the autumn of 1999 FFS! This is the usual New Jack match, as he hits Angel with a load of weapons and Angel sells it (Even getting his gig out of his tights on camera at one stage). Angel shockingly bleeds following that, with DeVito coming in to get forked for good measure.

One of these days I should get a stop watch and actually work out the exact amount of time Angel is allowed to be on offence for in one of these matches with New Jack. I’ve never seen such a one-sided feud when it comes to the actual matches. Sure, Angel has pinned him a few times, but he’s done a fat load of NOTHING to him during the actual matches themselves. This one is no exception, as New Jack comes off the top with a chair attack and that’s enough for three.

WINNER: NEW JACK
RATING: NEW JACK MATCH

Like watching Spanish Angel getting beaten up with weapons and doing nothing in reply whilst rap music plays in the background? Well then I’ve got some good news, as this match will scratch that itch!

New Jack cuts a brief promo post-match but it’s pretty much all bleeped out.

In Conclusion

This show is going out with a whimper. Hopefully they taped some stuff from that event in Queens on the 15th so that they don’t have to keep filling the TV with rehashed video packages and promo’s.