Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #401 (30/12/2000) – Last Ever Episode

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Before we go any further, I’d like to send my sincere condolences to the friends and family of Jon Huber. 41 is no age and by all accounts he was a smashing bloke and loving family man. An absolute tragic passing in an already miserable year.

Back in February 2019 I decided to try something new by reviewing all of the ECW Hardcore TV shows up to Living Dangerously 99, being as that had been the first ECW pay per view I had ever watched way back in the day. Once I’d finished Living Dangerously I decided to keep going, reviewing each episode Twenty Years to the day of the original airing. Along the way I saw the TNN TV deal form and crumble, as well as enjoying some cracking matches and some fun angles.

On more than one occasion I wanted to jack it all in and do something else, but I felt compelled to keep trudging on with it, and ultimately I’m glad I did as this represents nearly two years of work and reaching the end feels almost like some kind of bizarre achievement.

I’d like to thank the small, yet loyal, readership of these Hardcore TV reviews that has stuck with them throughout, especially when the show took a notable dive in quality once it was clear it was playing Velocity to the TNN show’s Smackdown. The fact there was still some people willing to read these certainly helped with motivating me to stick with them. I hope the quality of the reviews themselves didn’t dip too much when it became clear that the show was starting to become a drag for me.

The relatively small regular readership these had did kind of ram home a point to me though, which is that ECW really doesn’t have the pulling power it once had amongst the IWC anymore. It’s funny to think that as the company’s legacy survived for a long time after it died, with the Rise and Fall DVD that WWE released in 2004 selling really well. I’m not sure why exactly, but that enthusiasm for ECW just doesn’t appear to be there anymore.

The simple fact that ECW’s hot peak happened nearly 25 years ago is probably the biggest factor, but it wouldn’t shock me if the WWE’s miserable attempt at rebooting the brand in 2006 didn’t contribute also. Another possibility is that a lot of fans who weren’t around to watch ECW back in the day have discovered it on the WWE Network, where all the music is dubbed out and the product itself can be censored from the original airing, which means they have never watched it the way it was intended. The wrestling business as a whole has moved on as well, and a product that features lots of dangerous unprotected chair shots, shedloads of extreme violence and mountains of unapologetic misogyny probably isn’t going to connect as strongly with the modern wrestling fan as it did back in 1996.

About a year ago now in a pre-COVID world I attended a Christmas wrestling show and it had a holiday themed hardcore match where guys were hitting each other with Christmas presents and whatnot. I decided to jokingly start an “EC-Dub” chant at one stage, because it was a relatively smarky crowd and I thought it would get over in an ironic way. Absolutely no one joined in and quite a few people shot me and my friend a quizzical look as if they had no idea what we were doing. That not only rammed home how old I personally was but it also kind of startled me, because even ten years ago that sort of crowd would have gotten the reference and joined in, even if they’d never actually watched ECW themselves at any point.

Anyway, thank you for reading these if you are one of few who dug them and I’ll try and make this review a fitting end to the series. I’ll do a more general recap on what I’ve enjoyed and disliked during the past couple of years in the final conclusion, and I’ll also update you and what I’ll be doing next now the Hardcore TV reviews are done with.

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – ECW December To Dismember (03/12/2006)

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Obviously 2020 has been a trying year for most of us, and it’s probably led a lot of us to experiencing a very different type of holiday season than we are normally used to. I hope you’re all keeping well wherever you are and that this review can give you some kind of distraction from what’s going on in the world for a little bit at least.

This show was requested by JLAJRC, and at the bottom of the review I’ll give everyone a chance to suggest shows for the next Stinker review, which will happen on the 30th of January if all goes well, so stay tuned for that at the end.

For those who haven’t read one of my Stinker reviews, they’re basically what you’d think they are, as I review a show that has a reputation for being really bad for whatever reason and ask the immortal question of whether it’s actually a Stinker or not. It’s not too dissimilar from what the fine folk over at Wrestle Crap do, except I’m going to give the show a chance to prove it’s not awful before deciding one way or another.

ECW was WWE’s first attempt at dabbling with a third brand, which it continues today with NXT, with it lifting the ECW name from the dearly departed former company. The likes of Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer were involved in the rebirth of the brand, but ultimately Vince McMahon was the one calling the shots and the early days of the brand were a real hodgepodge that resulted in a product that wasn’t true to the original company whilst also not really presenting anything exciting or interesting that would really differentiate it from the other two WWE brands at the time, outside of adjusting the entrance way to give the arena a cosier feel.

December to Dismember was in a lot of ways the last stand for not just the brand in its current form but also for the existing creative crew, as they were given 3 hours of pay per view time to fill despite not having a roster that was really equipped for it and also having to deal with the fact pretty much every guy even approaching a genuine star on the brand had been shoehorned into one match, leaving the already threadbare roster even thinner.

Could ECW defy the odds and still put on a fun event? Let’s watch on and find out!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #400 (23/12/2000)

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This week we have the penultimate episode of Hardcore TV, with ECW very much on the ropes financially. The WWF have been nice enough to lend them The Dudley Boyz for a one shot deal, but that’s going to plug just one hole in sieve.

ECW actually has a pay per view scheduled for the 7th of January 2001 called Guilty As Charged, so we’ll see if they use this taping to officially set any matches up. They’ve been teasing another CW Anderson and Tommy Dreamer match under I Quit rules, so we’ll see if they make that official tonight or not.

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

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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.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #398 (09/12/2000)

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Massacre on 34th Street is in the books and was a kind of disappointing show. Steve Corino is still the ECW Champ, but the show ended with Sandman (the last remaining top of the card babyface) giving him a caning before leaving with the belt.

In addition to that, Jerry Lynn finally went heel after months of teasing it by aligning himself with Cyrus. Sadly the aforementioned lack of top babyfaces might mean he doesn’t really have anyone to work with, but it’s an interesting direction to take the character in if nothing else.

If you fancy reading my review of the pay per view you can do so by clicking HERE

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #397 (02/12/2000)

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It’s the go-home show for Massacre on 34th Street today. Thankfully I’ve already reviewed that one before and the review is still somewhat readable, so I’ll post a link for it at the bottom of this review.

Thus far the only match announced is The FBI defending the tag belts against Danny Doring and Roadkill, so let’s see if we get the last minute hard sell on this show.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #394 (11/11/2000)

Happy Remembrance Day to all of you, especially those of you unlucky enough to have lost a friend or relative to war in recent years.

It’s taken me a while to sit down and write this one because I’m really struggling to find the impetus to keep reviewing these shows. I don’t know what it is, but it’s becoming a slog now and I’d probably like to review other things instead.

That being said, we’re not far off from the end of the run so I’ll keep pushing on, but if I feel that my lack of engagement with the product is starting to affect the quality of the reviews themselves then I’m just going to jack it in.

This week’s show is coming after November to Remember 2000, on which you can read my thoughts by checking out the archives.

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One Night Stand 2006

One Night Stand 2006
Date: June 11, 2006
Location: Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, New York
Attendance: 2,460
Commentators: Joey Styles, Tazz

It’s time for another ECW show, but this one is a good bit different than what we had last year. While last year’s show was a seemingly stand alone reunion, this is more of a launchpad for the ECW relaunch. The big main event is Rob Van Dam cashing in his Money in the Bank contract for the WWE Title shot but there is also a heck of a grudge tag match between Mick Foley/Edge vs. Terry Funk/Tommy Dreamer. Let’s get to it.

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Mike Reviews – ECW November to Remember 2000 (05/11/2000)

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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!

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WWE vs. ECW Head To Head

WWE vs. ECW Head To Head
Date: June 7, 2006
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Attendance: 4,700
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz

This is a special show to help hype up One Night Stand while also giving us more of an introduction to the show. It was actually shown live for a bit of a change of pace and that might make things a little more interesting. I’m not sure what to expect here but hopefully it lives up to ECW’s positive hype so far. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – June 5, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 5, 2006
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 11,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for One Night Stand and that’s a big deal, but at the same time, it is interesting to see what ECW is going to do when they come back full time. Last week, things got interesting when Paul Heyman announced that Kurt Angle would be joining the show. I could certainly go for more from Paul Heyman this week and hopefully that is what we get. Let’s get to it.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #393 (04/11/2000)

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I’d like to say RIP in regards to Tracy Smothers who passed away last week. He’s popped up a couple of times in these Hardcore TV reviews and I really enjoyed his act with Tommy Rich and Little Guido in ECW.

It’s the go-home show for November to Remember this week (A review of which should be up tomorrow) and we still don’t have an official Main Event for it. They have at least pushed the flaming tables match between Da Baldies and the tandem of Mahoney/Willy, but that’s about it really as far as proper hype has gone.

Hopefully we get some form of card run down on this show in an attempt to entice any potential last minute buyers.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #392 (28/10/2000)

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We’re 8 days out from November to Remember, the event that traditionally acts as ECW’s version of WrestleMania/Starrcade as the big show of the year. This year’s show doesn’t feel like it’s on that level, but neither did last year’s either if I’m honest. Let’s see if they can speed up the hype train this week to really get us jazzed for the pay per view.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #390 (14/10/2000)

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I must say, these Hardcore TV recaps are starting to become a bit of a drag and I’m not sure whether I’ll stick with them. The show is mostly fine and occasionally you’ll get a really hot match, but I’m just not really feeling it with them anymore.

Part of me really wants to finish the run though, especially as we’re so close to the end, so I’ll keep plugging away and we’ll see where we end up. If one week you don’t see the Hardcore TV review though, it’s probably because I’ve given up.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #389 – 07/10/2000

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Well Anarchy Rulz 2000 is now in the books, and I quite enjoyed it!

We now have a new ECW World Champ in the form of Jerry Lynn, with Steve Corino supposedly next in line for a Title shot. That being said, Justin Credible and Rob Van Dam could all conceivably be in the mix too, so the next month or so of TV leading up to November To Remember could prove to be interesting.

November To Remember has always supposed to be ECW’s WrestleMania level event, but that hasn’t really been the case card wise in recent years, so hopefully this year they really push the boat out with the best card they can and then hype it up as much as possible on TV to get people interested in seeing it.

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Mike Reviews – ECW Anarchy Rulz 2000 (01/10/2000)

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It’s time for some more ECW pay per view action, as we reach their October 2000 offering in the form of Anarchy Rulz. They’ve actually built this one up reasonably well, with a decent chunk of TV time being dedicated to the top two matches of Rhino Vs Rob Van Dam and Justin Credible Vs Jerry Lynn.

Both of those matches have the potential to be good, so let’s settle in and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #388 (30/09/2000)

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Well here we are at the go-home show for Anarchy Rulz 2000! They’ve done a decent job hyping up the two feature bouts for this one but they could do with pushing some under card matches today, which I’m sure they will.

The Anarchy Rulz review should be up tomorrow, so keep a look out for that.

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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