Each segment/match will be graded with either a positive
(+), a negative (-), or a neutral (N).
Robbie Mireno opens the show to a decent crowd on hand at
the Golden Dome in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Crowd are all over the poor sod,
as you can imagine. A few geniuses in the crowd remind me that he’s “not Joey
Styles!”. Ok… Mireno turns on the crowd and calls them pussies, which brings
out the pussy fiend that is, a slim, Joel Gertner. He thanks the crowd before
doing his usual spiel.
It’s worth noting that the sound levels were appalling for
the most part, so I apologise if I claim there were crickets for a match when
in actuality there was a little noise. The commentary is loud and the in-ring
action is quiet..
Jay Bradley Vs. Christian York
Your standard cruiser style opening ends with York taking down
Jay with a dropkick. A clunky spot ends in an exchange of chops and Bradley
taking over with his harder hitting offence. At first glance he’s a young
Blackjack Bradshaw.. Bradley drops a knee over the back of York’s head from the
second rope. Nice move, but the crowd aren’t so impressed. It’s sometimes
difficult to gauge with the ECW crowd (I’ll just call them that..) – they’ll
give new guys a hard time, but they’ll also shit over a move if it doesn’t look
as finesse as it should. York starts hulking up while Jay turns his chest red
with repeated chops, but to no avail. Jay’s offence is largely WWE style
(punch, kick, choke, resthold). Speaking of which, resthold time. They look to
be struggling with the smaller than usual size of the ring. It looks about
16×16, maybe even 14×14. York goes for the Kobashi plex, but Jay counters. York
then hits his cannonball in the corner. Double foot stomp gets a 2. A really
sloppy/contrived spot ends with the Lariat from Bradley for the win.
WINNER – Jay Bradley
VERDICT – They just couldn’t seem to get to grips with the
small ring. I expected more from York.
Papadon Vs. Stevie Richards (Extreme Rising World Title
tournament – First Round)
Gertner sums Stevie up pretty well: “I havn’t seen Stevie in
5 months. He looks 5 months younger..”.
I thought he looked great in his WWECW run (which, I’ll be
reviewing weekly soon. Cheap plug). Richards gets the better of the opening
exchange as Papadon retreats. Papadon bills himself as the ‘Greek God’, so you
can get a bit of a picture as to what this guy’s like. Papadon snapmares
Richards over and kicks him in the back, but Stevie no sells as Papa taunts.
Exchange of strikes, Stevie goes for the Stevie Kick, but once again Papa
retreats. Papa gets heat from the crowd and you could see him fitting in to the
original ECW as a Simon Diamond kinda character. A chinlock provides false hope
for Stevie fans as Papa drops him with a side suplex for 2. Papadon goes for a
Superplex but Stevie counters. Papa fires back with a European uppercut to take
him down. 2 count only. A chinlock/head vice transforms to a side suplex once
again from Papa. He then misses a big splash from the top. Comeback time from
Stevie. Sidewalk slam and Stevie’s feeling it. Papa tries to retreat but Stevie
grabs him by the trunks, revealing a ‘full moon in Greece tonight’ (thanks,
Joel). Stevie bomb gets reversed in to an Alabama slam. Papa tunes up the band
for a Stevie kick. Blocked, Stevie goes for one of his own, blocked once again!
Sequence ends with a Complete Shot, in to a triangle choke for the win for
WINNER – Stevie Richards
VERDICT – A simple but well worked match. Flowed well, they
coped with the small ring, and both guys came out looking good. No problems
here. Crowd was in to it, too.
They do the handshake tease spot. Papa tries to draw him in
to a shortarm clothesline, but Stevie’s too wise, ducks, and hits a Stevie
Luke Hawx Vs. Perry Saturn (Extreme Rising World Title
tournament – First Round)
Hawx is another guy you could see making it in the original
ECW. Seems to be the most buzz about him out of the new guys. Saturn doesn’t
look as large as he did at the last show. Hawx jaw-jacks as Saturn enters
through the crowd. Whatever he’s saying is drawing some heat, hard to make out.
Either Saturn’s fucked, or he’s selling the promo by leaning all over the
ropes. It’s touch and go.. Saturn has enough and duffs him up. HUGE T-Bone
suplex gets the crowd going. Neckbreaker off the ropes by Saturn and he locks
in a resthold. Not good at 40 seconds in.. Saturn then drops a knee to the
balls. Saturn looks pretty lost. Spinkick from the ropes sends Saturn down and
allows Hawx to take control (probably a relief). Resthold from Hawx. Saturn can’t
be in a great way these days. False comeback ends with a huge dropkick by Hawx.
Kimura Lock by Hawx, but Saturn tries to slam his way out but fails and falls
back down. Nice idea. Hawx completely botches his outside to inside moonsault
and misses Saturn entirely. “You f’d up” – he really did. Overhead belly to
belly hits hard by Saturn, followed by a perfect Sitout spinebuster. Hawx
regains some momentum with a Regal cutter (remember that?). Saturn quickly
comes back with a DVD, but Hawx hooks him in a triangle hold-esque submission
for the tapout, much to the dismay of the crowd.
WINNER – Luke Hawx
VERDICT – This match never really got going. Probably should
have been shorter considering Saturn’s fatigue. Saturn can still hit a nice
suplex, but he seems to have lost his flow and pacing. Let’s hope that comes
back over time. The tapout finish was far too quick. As soon as the hold was
locked in, Saturn tapped.
Blue Balls (Meanie & Balls) Vs. Da Lost Boys AKA 2 Local
One of ‘Da Lost Boys’ is a small Oompa Loompa looking fella
with a mic, and a shirt with either Arnie or Del Rio on (or neither – cut me
some slack, I’m British). The other has long bright pink hair. Oompa pours a
trashcan full of broken glass on to the mat for a pop. They want a Tapei
deathmatch. Da Lost Boys cover their fists in broken glass in preparation.
Balls agrees and calls for some tape. A hilarious “Where’s the glue? Where’s
the tape?!” chant breaks out. Things take too long and the Lost Boys attack the
two from behind. Not much luck, though, as it ends with the Balls punches.
Shattered dreams by Balls on Oompa. Balls begins piercing Oompa with a shard of
glass, but no blood by the looks of things. Huge sitout powerbomb by Meanie on
Pinky. Headbutt with broken glass by Balls on Oompa – that looked harsh! It’s
now chair time.. BANG. And BANG. Both men taken out with stiff shots that now
looks crazy in the day and age of PG wrestling, and receives our first faecal chant
of the evening. Balls stacks the two up, and Meanie comes off the ropes with a
FAT MAN SPLASH (thanks Scott!) for the win!
WINNERS – Blue Balls
VERDICT – Just your generic ECW garbage style match. Kept
short and sweet (much alike Da Lost Boys), so it was fine. And it popped the
crowd, so it did its job. A ‘positive’ seems too strong for this, though, so it’s
getting a neutral.
‘The Neon Ninja’ Façade Vs. Bestia 666
Never seen Façade but it’s a cool gimmick. He tags fan’s
signs on his entrance. Quite a cool idea. Get the impression it would have been
a lot more over 10 years ago, but still. Bestia takes him down quickly in to a
half boston, but Façade quickly reaches the ropes. ECW lucha spot/stand-off
receives a good reaction from the crowd, and it was well done, too. The two
shake hands but Bestia takes Façade down to the mat. Springboard backflip
armdrag by Façade, quickly in to a headstand headscissors out of the corner. Action
spills to the outside with a plancha tease by Façade, but it’s Bestia that ends
up scoring with a Hurricanrana off the apron! Bestia slowly pulls out a table
and Façade clocks him. Bestia cuts off a Façade comeback with an awesome cradle
bomb, then brings in a chair. Façade spinkicks it out of his hands, though. Façade
sends him back to the outside and follows him out with an awesome double step sommersault
springboard plancha! Big ‘ECW’ chant. Façade sets up an open chair in the ring and
looks for a triple jump, but Bestia cuts him off. Façade walks the top rope but
Bestia launches the chair at him in a cool spot. Bestia then nails him with a ‘Sky
twister press’ as the crowd chant ‘This is awesome!’. Bestia brings in the table.
The Neon Ninja sits Bestia on the top turnbuckle and goes for a move through
the table, but Bestia pushes him off. Façade somehow manages to backflip out of
it and over the table! Façade rejoins him back on the top, but it’s Bestia that
wins it with the Spanish Fly through a table!
WINNER – Bestia 666
VERDICT – Match of the night so far, and the closest to
resembling a traditional ECW match I’d say. Both guys looked good, and they
have to use Façade again..
FBI (Guido & Mamaluke) Vs. BLKOUT (Ruckus & Jeez)
BLKOUT attack FBI from behind and double team Mamaluke. The
brawl spills to the outside where Mamaluke comes off the top with a massive
sommersault plancha! Signiture FBI double elbow gets a 2. Frequent tags from
FBI keep Jeez at bay. Mamaluke hits about 20 elbows to the arm in what could
become a fun trademark. Jeez catches a break and tags in Ruckus, who hits the
Razzle Dazzle for 2. It’s now BLKOUT with the frequent tags. Crowd chant for
Jeez to pull his pants up, so he does the opposite and takes them off! Funny.
BLKOUT would have definitely been prime New Jack bait back in the day. Mamaluke
swings and completely misses in a funny FBI spot. His fortunes eventually
change when he hits a dropkick on an airborne Jeez for the hot-tag. A sloppy
spot ends in Mamaluke hooking in a scissored chancery, but Jeez comes off the
top with a stomp to the face as Ruckus rolls through for the victory.
WINNERS – BLKOUT
VERDICT – Nice start, nice ending (well, apart from how they
got in to the spot..) but went to sleep in the middle a little.
BLKOUT cuss down the crowd, as Natural Born Killa hits. It’s
New Jack time! FBI assist in taking Jeez over to a nearby balcony and placing
him on a table. Jack runs off the balcony with a 187, but the table doesn’t
break! Crowd chant ‘ECW!’, but this isn’t enough for Jack. He heads back up the
balcony and this time hits a textbook (yes, really) elbow drop off it,
successfully breaking the table this time! He then gets back in the ring and
does the usual New Jack promo that should always be about 5 minutes shorter
than it actually was. Then, in the strangest moment of the night, New Jack
brings in a little kid from the crowd to taunt with him. Some sort of
extreme/PG compromise? Fun moment.
Out comes Raven who cuts a heel promo on the extreme
audience on how you can’t recreate the old days, and how they don’t understand
the ingredients that made up ECW. Pretty funny. He leaves, but Stevie cuts him
off and backs him in to the ring once again. Richards says they’re going to
have a loser leaves Extreme Rising match, but it’ll be tonight.
Raven Vs. Stevie Richards (Loser leaves ER match)
Raven backs Stevie in to the corner and rains punches. Out
come ‘the new Flock’ and attack Richards, as Raven scarpers. Richards takes the
mic and tells the crowd they’ll never see Raven again..
WINNER – No contest
VERDICT – Not sure what that was, really. Just a little
confusing. Guess it could lead to a rematch next show, perhaps.
Devon Storm Vs. Sabu (Extreme Rising World Title tournament –
These two go back as far as 1995.. Should be a good bout.
Storm starts off with the upper hand and keeps on top of Sabu with strikes and
stomps. Sabu with a nice springboard leg lariat and near fall. Camel Clutch.
Storm with the strikes to takeover once again, and leans Sabu’s head against
the ring post and drives his boot in to his face – nice variation. Air Sabu
across the guardrail gets another ‘ECW!’ chant, and rightly so! Sabu over and
out with the sommersault slingshot. It’s amazing he can still do this stuff..
Harsh as hell sommersault legdrop in to the ring gets another close fall. But
it’s Storm who definitively has control. Sabu fights back with a head of steam,
but Storm nails him with a variation on
the ‘Sky High’, but with a side sitout. Storm ups the ante with a chair slid in
to the ring. Not only that, he breaks up part of the guardrail and sets it up
between some chairs.. uh oh! Air Sabu in the corner misses. Northern Lights
suplex with a chair on Sabu’s back gets a very close fall, and a big reaction!
Storm then drops Sabu over the guardrail – no hands down nonsense from Sabu!
Storm then lays Sabu out on the guardrail/chairs setup, and planchas him
through it in a crazy bump! Sabu fights back once again and hits an awesome
springboard top rope hurricanrana! “You’ve still got it!” chant the crowd, and I’d
have to agree. Air Sabu connects this time. Arabian Facebuster gets a nearfall.
Sabu decides to get serious and instead do it through a table, and only gets a
2! Triple jump moonsault attempt ends with Sabu getting tripped in to the
chair. Double reverse DDT in to the open chair then gets the win for Devon
Storm, much to the chagrin of the ECW crowd.
WINNER – Devon Storm
VERDICT – Your crazy hardcore battle that made ECW what it
was in the 90’s. Good stuff here from the two, and it’s surprising they can
still compete at this level using the same style. If you’re after psychology,
move on. In fact, don’t bother with this show.. Or probably this review.. Sabu
gets a deserved standing ovation.
Rhino Vs. Homicide (Extreme Rising World Title tournament –
This was meant to be Jerry Lynn Vs. Homicide, but Lynn had
to pull out through injury, unfortunately. Shame. Homicide claims ‘Mr. JL is
scared’, referring to his very short-lived WCW gimmick. I actually have a broken
dartboard signed by Jerry as ‘Mr. JL’. True story. It’s worth noting at this
point that Terry Funk was trying to persuade WWE to sign Homicide to WWECW when
it was relaunched.. Would have been interesting to see how that’d panned out. Rhino
looks fantastic, and overpowers Homicide to kick things off, but Homicide
headscissors Rhino to the outside and follows it up with a cannonball through
the ropes! Rhino takes a page out of Homicide’s book and planchas him! Rhino
looks for a top rope piledriver but Homicide pushes him off the top to the
outside. He teases another dive but flips the crowd off and drops a double axe
instead. Perfect ECW heat there. Back in the ring and Homicide slows Rhino down
with a chinlock as the crowd rally behind the monster, but it’s a false
comeback much to Homicide’s delight. Exchange of blows brings out the ‘YEAH/BOO’s.
Rhino goes for a TKO, Homicide counters in to a cutter, but Rhino reverses that
in to a side belly to belly! He looks for the Gore, but Homicide finally nails
him with the cutter. 2 count only! Gringo Killer attempt is reversed in to a
very sudden Gore by Rhino for the win.
WINNER – Rhino
VERDICT – No problems here at all. Homicide knows how to
work the ECW crowd, and Rhino was looking good. Nice back and fourth match that
didn’t lean too heavily on the hardcore style and thus offered something a
Matt Hardy w/ Reby Sky Vs. ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas
Douglas does a Douglas promo talking about how they ain’t
layin’ down for anybody, and that includes Vince and ‘bimbo Dixie’. Always set
your sights high, I guess.. Both guys look in better shape than they have done.
A modest technical exchange opens things. Reby Sky is hot as hell and is nearly
falling out of her top. Worth a mention. Douglas changes the flow with a shortarm
clothesline. Douglas throws Hardy to the outside, but Hardy quickly hooks
Douglas’ leg and drags him out with him. Douglas sent in to the guardrail. Any
time anyone hits the guardrails it sounds like they’ve being shot, which, I
guess is a positive. The action goes in to the crowd now. They move over to the
concession stand as Hardy drops a trashcan over Douglas. The Franchise then
dunks Hardy in to a trashcan full of ice and beverages and begins mopping up
the spilled liquid! Back in the ring and Hardy goes for a Twist of Fate, but
Douglas reverses in to an unsuccessful Pittsburgh Plunge attempt. Douglas is
now busted open (first bit of colour of the night, surprisingly). Meanwhile,
Reby runs backstage and drags a ladder down, and the crowd approve. Hardy bats
Douglas a few times with the huge ladder. Hardy then ascends the ladder, but
Douglas tips it sideways sending Hardy throat first on to the top rope. Ref
gets a load of grief for removing the ladder. Hardy then hits the Raven-esque
droptoe hold in to an open chair. Reby then hands Hardy a table. I love this
woman.. Hardy sets up Douglas on the table, but here comes Luke Hawx who pushes
him off the top to the floor! This is where Hardy really lands badly and an
ambulance was called soon after.. The run-ins begin as Saturn, Homicide, and
Balls follow. It looks like they’re going for a ‘New Blood’ (no, not you Russo)
angle here. Enter Sandman hits! Here comes a fat Sandman in a weird white
jumper! He enters and canes the new blood, but Homicide had managed to avoid
the drunken onslaught. As Sandman leaves, Homicide re-enters the ring and
batters a bloody Franchise. The crowd now realise Hardy’s legit injured and the
place is pretty quiet, understandably. Sandman comes back to the ring and he
and Homicide face-off. Saturn re-enters, spins Homicide round and nails him.
Sandman then delivers his trademark cane shot! Douglas picks up Homicide, and powerbombs
him through a ringside table.
Douglas picks up the mic and puts Hardy over as being the
new face of the company as the show goes off the air.
WINNER – No contest
VERDICT – I liked this bout. It was a nice hybrid of
traditional wrestling, brawling, hardcore, and the ECW main event run-ins. I
wouldn’t object to seeing Douglas compete again, and it definitely looks as
though Hardy’s sticking around, which is a good sign. Also glad to hear he’s ok
after what looked a very awkward fall.
OVERALL – This was overall a decent show. I was encouraged
by the new blood that Douglas has bought in. But at the end of the day, it just
depends on whether you were a fan of the original product or not, as this won’t
change any opinions. Saying that, if you’re tired with the current WWE product,
it might just be enough of an alternative to get some sort of enjoyment out of
it. The potential’s definitely there, but it’s going to take a bit of time for
the characters to develop.
Follow Dan Selby @FNBODYSLAMS