Happy Extreme Saturday Everyone!
I decided to review this one as I remember the Main Event being a really good match, as well as being a historically important one as well for reasons we’ll get into as the review progresses.
The event was taped from Buffalo, New York on the 4th of April 1998
Calling the action is Joey Styles
We open up with footage of New Jack running down to beat up Danny Doring, Roadkill and Droz. New Jack takes a while to hit them with the weapons so they have to stand around looking stupid at certain points. This was certainly a way of getting your attention at the start of the show though. Droz gets to no sell some of the weapon shots at first but does eventually get beaten down as well to pop the crowd, with the big guitar shot being the crescendo.
Intro Package: This week’s tagline “From Buffalo New York, It’s one whole entire uncensored hour of…HARDCORE TV”
Joey is in front of the ECW banner, where he hypes up the big matches from this week. Justin Credible takes on hometown guy Mikey Whipwreck, with Rob Van Dam challenging Bam Bam Bigelow for the TV Title later on in the night.
The Full Blooded Italians (Tracy Smothers and Little Guido) w/ Tommy Rich Vs Blue Meanie and Super Nova
This one is clipped, with Meanie and Nova popping the crowd with dropkicks and a dive to the floor respectively. They pretty much edit out all of The FBI’s offence, although they do win in the end when Rich hits Meanie with the Italian flag.
WINNERS: THE FBI
I can’t rate a clip show, but the crowd did seem into the babyfaces and they would get their revenge at the Wrestlepalooza 98 show.
Chris Candido Vs Al Snow w/ Head
Snow is due for a Title shot at Candido’s buddy Shane Douglas. This one is also clipped, with the action we get to see looking good and both men having some of their offence shown. Snow ends up getting the Snow Plough (Northern Lights Bomb) for the three count.
WINNER: AL SNOW
Joey hypes up the two full matches we’re going to get to see.
Justin Credible w/ Jason and Chastity Vs Mikey Whipwreck
Mikey gave Credible his first defeat in ECW at November to Remember 1997 and they’ve been embroiled in a feud ever since. Mikey shows some good intensity to start, targeting Creidble’s leg as revenge for Credible injuring Mikey’s leg the last time they were in Buffalo. Credible sells all of that well and the crowd is into watching him get clobbered.
Credible does manage to catch Mikey with a desperation powerslam at one stage though, leading to the Heel heat segment, complete with Jason getting some cheap shots in. Mikey of course sells all of that well, with a chair getting introduced to proceedings and Mikey going into it face first to give Credible a near fall.
Jason gets on the mic to rile up the crowd whilst Credible continues to work Mikey over. In a nice moment of the Heel getting hoist by his own petard, Credible has Mikey in a sleeper hold and seems about to put him out, but Mikey grabs the chair Credible himself introduced to the match and bonks him with it in order to break up the hold.
Mikey manages to fight off a superplex attempt and gets a rana followed by a neck breaker for two. Credible continues to take a lot of nice bumps for Mikey, giving him a lot here. Mikey gets the Whippersnapper (Stunner) onto Credible, but Credible’s entourage interfere, leading to Mikey having to fight them all off. Heel ref Jeff Jones gets involved as well, which allows Chastity to get the testicular claw and Credible follows up with a Tombstone for three.
WINNER: JUSTIN CREDIBLE
The ending got a bit convoluted, but the match itself was decent
The Heels do a beat down on Mikey following the match, with Credible attacking Mikey’s leg with a chair. Tommy Dreamer makes the save to chase them off though.
ECW World Television Title
Champ: Bam Bam Bigelow Vs Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso
Bigelow was already booked to defend the belt against Sabu at the Wrestlepalooza pay per view in May, so RVD’s job here is to essentially soften Bigelow up so that Sabu will have an easier job on his hands. RVD going on to win the belt would sure mess that plan up though wouldn’t it? Bammer had only just defeated Taz at the Living Dangerously pay per view in March to win the belt.
This one is a bit of a styles clash but they work hard together and have a good match as a result, with RVD using his speed to keep Bigelow on his toes whilst Bigelow tries to use power and brawling tactics to slow RVD down. Bigelow is willing to take a lot of bumps and sell for RVD, which helps the match and makes RVD look like a genuine contender.
RVD gets the better of things in the ring with some high-flying moves, so Bigelow low bridges him and takes the fight out to the floor, where he flings RVD into the railings and then chucks him into the front row, where the fans appear to be sitting on wooden chairs like it’s the Main Stand at Goodison Park or something.
RVD manages to counter a powerbomb into a rana whilst both men fight out in the crowd and then heads back into the ring in order to deliver two big dives onto Bigelow in quick succession whilst he remains out there. Both of those dives were amazing as RVD had to cover a lot of ground and the fans went nuts for them. It’s also a believable way for RVD to knock off a big chunk of the bigger Bigelow’s health bar.
Bigelow comes back by powerbombing RVD onto a table outside the ring and then following up with an elbow drop from the apron, as these two are just throwing heavy hits at one another now and the crowd is loving it. Bigelow comes up bleeding at a certain point as his eye was taped up from a previous match and has now opened up again during the course of this one. According to Joey it was an errant cane shot from The Sandman that first caused the cut.
Bigelow misses a Moonsault back inside and RVD follows up with a Frogsplash, but this was before he was using that as his primary finisher and Bammer is able to kick at two. Bigelow looks to be absolutely knackered by this point but he’s still giving his all in there. The general effort levels from both men have been immense in this one, as they are going all out to have the best match possible and the crowd has responded.
The referee ends up taking a stray boot to the face when Bigelow goes for Greetings From Asbury Park on RVD, which leads to Sabu running down to break the move up. Bigelow goes after Sabu but Sabu clocks the Champ in his injured eye, which allows RVD to get a Van Daminator and a quick cover to pick up the win and the Title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: ROB VAN DAM
This was an excellent match, with both men working super hard and the styles clash ended up leading to an interesting bout where they managed to mesh together pretty well. Bigelow being so up to sell for RVD and RVD being so “on” really helped as well, as it gave the match a good ebb and flow, and the action was really exciting
The crowd pops big for the Title change and now RVD is going to have to wrestle his tag team partner at the pay per view for the belt, leading to more intrigue in their respective storyline as Sabu is now angry that RVD won the belt when he was only supposed to just soften Bigelow up.
This was of course the beginning of RVD’s near two year run with the belt, a run that was so good that the TV belt almost surpassed the World belt when it came to levels of importance in the eyes of some fans.
Joey is back in front of the ECW banner and pays tribute to Bigelow as a Champion.
We get some Pulp Fiction promos. The Triple Threat of Shane Douglas, Chris Candido and Bigelow are at the hospital with Francine. They’re angry at what just happened to Bigelow, with Douglas thinking there is a conspiracy afoot to cheat them of their belts. Meanwhile, Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney think Chris Candido is afraid of them. RVD, Sabu and Alfonso say RVD will defend the TV Title against anyone. Alfonso says RVD will rematch against Bigelow at Wrestlepalooza but Paul E. Dangerously pops in to say that Sabu will be getting the shot, meaning it’s now RVD Vs Sabu at the pay per view. This leads to RVD and Sabu having a tug of war with the belt.
The Main Event makes this an easy thumbs up, with the storyline advancement between RVD and Sabu being an added bonus. Shame the pay per view itself was a bust.