Sunday, November 30, 2014
“Random Network Reviews” takes us to ECW Guilty as Charged 2001. After doing the historic Bash at the Beach 1996, I get to do another historic show as this would turn out to be the last ever ECW Pay-Per-View. They ran two house shows after this but this was basically it for the company. Around this time I was fully an ECW fan. I had watched from 1996 until this show every week and never missed anything. I had DVDs, action figures, merchandise, and everything you could think of. It was a sad thing to see ECW close but that’s the beauty of the WWE Network.
The real intro video package to this show featured the awesome “Renegades of Funk” song by Rage Against the Machine, but it’s dubbed over with some generic awfulness on the Network. I hate it because this intro video is one of my favorites ever. Cutting to the ring, Joey Style and Joel Gertner welcome everyone to the show. Gertner opens with one of his best rhymes of all time. If you’re going to see nothing else on this show, watch those first few minutes.
Joel Gertner introduces Joey Matthews and Christian York. It’s funny to think that now Joey Matthews is a stooge for The Authority. I loved York and Matthews during this time but they get attacked by Da Baldies during their entrance. Joel Gertner, an advocate for York and Matthews, tries to help but gets taken out too. Da Baldies continue to assault them in the ring with a powerbomb/dropkick combo as Cyrus the Virus comes out. Jerry Lynn also shows up and plants Matthews with the Cradle Piledriver. Cyrus gets a tag and covers Matthews for the three. So I guess that was a legit match.
Can’t really rate this as it wasn’t really a match. It drew a ton of heat though, so it worked in that way.
Joey Matthews is bleeding a ton as Jerry Lynn berates him for being a jobber. Lynn calls himself the “Whole Fucking Show”, drawing RVD chants but he doesn’t come out since he’s off filming some terrible B flick. Lynn says he won’t work another match unless it is in the main event and ends the segment by saying “LYNN!” in a weird, deep voice. Now the official ECW intro video plays.
Hot Commodity consists of EZ Money and Julio Deniro, which are some pretty cool names I might add. Doring and Deniro start with some decent work highlighted by a superkick from Doring and a T-Bone from Deniro. Money gets the tag and you can see through his pants straight to his thong. Billy Gunn called and wants his gimmick back. The Champions get in their high impact offense including an elbow called the “Panty Dropper Elbow” for two. Julio hits a nice dive outside and Doring hits a sad looking one. Money gets whipped into the guardrail but flips over it and clotheslines Roadkill, which was sweet. Hot Commodity do some double team work back inside as they work over the smaller Doring. They do the awful spot where Money leaps from the top right into a boot from Doring which leads to another ridiculously named Doring move. “WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM!” Roadkill gets the tag and is all like “CHICKENS” before giving EZ Money the biggest wedgie I have ever seen. Julio hits a spin kick that is dubbed the “Jalapeno Popper”. It’s as if ECW knew it was their last night and they wanted to name every move something absurd to get them all in. Hot Commodity’s cheating gets them in trouble and leads to a Boogie Bang to wrap this up.
No psychology whatsoever. Just guys trying to get in the highest octane offense possible.
Hot Commodity beat on the faces until generic WWE Network music hits and out comes Nova! I much prefer his real theme, “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys. It seems like this is a return for Nova as nobody expected him here. This leads to an ECW specialty…THE IMPROMTU MATCH!
I’ve never really seen Chris Hamrick wrestle but he does hit a springboard dropkick. Nova targets the leg and applies a Figure Four to the “Woos” of the fans until Elektra rakes his eyes. Nova blocks a tornado DDT and hits a face buster. He climbs to the top but again, Elektra gets involved to stop him. Hamrick hits a huge top rope hurricanrana to “Holy Shit” chants. The new “Nasty” Nova, which is just supposed to be a more aggressive side of him, fires away on Hamrick. He hits a big superkick for two and Elektra jumps on him again. He kicks her hand and then the referee takes a bump. THIS IS ECW, REF BUMPS DON’T MATTER DAMMIT! A new referee showed up and it’s Chris Chetti, Nova’s old partner! Lou E. Dangerously comes out too as Chetti pounds on Nova. I guess there was a DQ or something. Spike Dudley comes out as Lou E. Dangerously runs him down for calling himself a Dudley. Lou E claims he would never do that, which is meant to be ironic because he was Sign Guy Dudley. Spike and Chetti brawl until Nova hits a Swanton Bomb on Chetti. He then gets Hamrick with the Kryptonite Krunch and it’s over now.
Classic ECW clusterfuck of a match.
The “King of Old School” Steve Corino is backstage with Jack Victory. Corino mentions how he went from comedy act to Rhino’s manager to taking out Dusty Rhodes to being the ECW Champion. I’ll admit, his run to the top of ECW was something I loved. He is upset that Sandman stole his belt at the last PPV.
These two had built a strong rivalry towards the end of ECW and went at each other right at the bell. They spill outside and Dreamer actually hits a slingshot cross body into the ring. You heard me right. Dreamer puts on a Dragon Sleeper but CW doesn’t quit. CW gets the same answer when he applies an armbar variation. Sky High, YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE, from Dreamer right into a Boston Crab as both guys are trying multiple submissions. Because this is ECW, CW gets his arm placed in a steel chair on the post and Dreamer smacks a chair into it. SICK. Dreamer goes under the ring, gets a wrench, puts the ring bell on CW’s head and bangs the wrench into it. LOUD. He then drives the wrench into CW’s bloody head as this got violent real fast. CW drives Dreamer’s knee into an open chair and I don’t like the switch of focus here. Continue the arm work man! Tommy fights back and hits a second rope elbow onto a chair onto CW’s face. Still no quit. Dreamer gets a gift from “Towel Boy” and it has razor wire in it! Towel Boy then uses cookie sheets to wail away on CW, who attacked him on the last PPV. He makes the mistake of going up top and CW hits a Cesaro like stalling second rope suplex. He turns to Tommy and nails a spinebuster on the razor wire! Time for another fecal chant after a CW suplex onto two open chairs. Right on cue, here’s another one for Tommy’s head being in a chair and rammed into the turnbuckle. CW brings a table into the fray because the story of Tommy never quitting has been well built. He rallies with the Spicoli Driver off the top and through the table! In one of the most brutal things I’ve ever seen, Tommy uses part of the table and wraps it around CW’s eyes, pulling back into a submission. CW gives up because that’s just sick.
That was exactly what I wanted it to be. A brutal match that never slowed down and was classic ECW.
Francine is backstage with a giant sandwich. Subtle move ECW. See, Francine was with Justin Credible but her character was that she would only bone Champions. Steve Corino comes in for action but she denies him because he doesn’t have the belt. She says that Justin is with Missy Hyatt, Corino doesn’t believe her but it’s revealed that it is indeed her. And yes, they are blatant about the fact that Missy is banging Justin. Missy bumps into Steve and Jack and disrespects Jack, who she used to manage. Jack is calmed down when he hears that the Giants are winning and he delivers the “High Spot”. He steals the promo yet again.
The fact that he went as Yoshihiro Tajiri in ECW was badass. Kash, Tony Mamaluke and Mikey Whipwreck start and we get a series of moves from all of them. Mikey and Kash botch horribly, so they don’t get a good hand from the crowd. All three guys choose to tag out, with Tajiri getting a huge pop. He kicks Little Guido before he can ever enter, leading to Crazy vs. Tajiri Round 39 or something like that. Guido gets involved but eats a guillotine leg drop, corkscrew moonsault and springboard leg drop from various opponents. We get a trio of submissions as Whipwreck stretches Mamaluke, Crazy puts Guido in the surfboard and Tajiri puts Kash in the Tarantula. Things spill outside, allowing Crazy and Kash to hit back to back dives. The one Kash hit is pretty damn fantastic. Back inside, Big Sal squashes Kash, allowing the FBI to eliminate Kash and Crazy. With this now becoming a regular tag match, Tajiri and Whipwreck shine in their chemistry and teamwork. The FBI are no slouches though and hit a double top rope powerbomb that Mikey kicks out. No help from Tajiri or anything. WHIPPER SNAPPER! It’s where Austin got the move from dammit! Chairs get set up on the second turnbuckles leading to dual snake eyes. The FBI go up top with Mikey and he tries a double Whipper Snapper but it’s countered into a double Fujiwara Armbar! Tajiri breaks it up and the Unholy Alliance nail stereo tiger suplexes to win.
Fun spotfest that became a good match once it got down to two teams.
The Sandman cuts a promo in the back before we go to the ring to see Simon Diamond, Swinger and Dawn Marie. Dawn Marie was on absolute fire here, just smoking hot. Swinger complains that he hasn’t “benefited” from Dawn’s managerial services so he brings out the Blue Boy and Jasmine St. Claire. It’s insane how Blue Meanie lost so much weight, only to put it right back on a few years later. A “Show Your Tits” chant begins, so Swinger starts flexing his pecs. Balls Mahoney and Chilly Willy come out and they all brawl. Rhino shows up and Gores Balls, Simon and Swinger. Dawn Marie gets in and gets Gored too. Chilly gets in his face and they trade shots but he falls victim to a Gore too. Blue Boy gets one too and now it’s Jasmine St. Claire’s turn to get hurt. He takes her to the second rope and piledrives her. JESUS CHRIST!
I don’t know why, but the entrances aren’t shown on the WWE Network version of this. A brawl starts this and Corino is first to eat some ladder. Credible drives a ladder onto him while he’s under another ladder as Corino is easily taking the worst of this fight so far. How crazy is it that someone as awful as Sandman is a multi-time World Champion? He climbs but Corino stops him, only for the ladder to fall on him. Credible goes all Terry Funk and airplane spins the ladder. The spots keep coming as Sandman has the ladder driven into his nether regions. He then gets tossed over the top and through a table. Corino and Credible totally whiff on a drop toe hold spot and I’d like to point out that these ladders look incredibly unstable. Credible also goes through a table outside, knee first, which has to hurt. Everyone is back in the ring and nobody is really staying down for long. Corino tries to scale the ladder, clearly sees Justin climbing the turnbuckle and waits to get dropkicked off. Sandman goes through yet another table but gets to his feet nearly instantly. Corino slingshots Credible into a ladder but the former Champion hits That’s Incredible and Francine snaps off the COOCHIECANRANA onto Sandman outside. Sandman again is up quickly and brings a bigger, sturdier ladder in. In a spot stolen from King of the Ring 1999, Credible and Corino are near the top and the belt is raised away from them. They fall off and through a table, allowing Sandman to retrieve the belt.
Decent brawl with some cool spots, but they were sloppy.
The Sandman celebrates with the belt as Justin Credible and Steve Corino get to their feet. They all shake hands but are interrupted by DA BALDIES! Joey Styles is sure to point out that they are Cyrus’ hired thugs. Corino and Credible fight them to the back and Sandman conveniently sets up a table in the corner. Rhino shows up behind Sandman and he stumbles before Goring Sandman. Rhino grabs a microphone and starts with a “FUCK YOU NEW YORK”! He questions why he’s the TV Champion when this poor company doesn’t even have a TV deal. Ouch. He wants a title shot and threatens the Sandman’s family, so the match is going down.
Rhino picks up Sandman and Gores him through the table for two. Don’t be surprised Rhino, he got up quickly from a bunch of stuff during the previous match. So he sets up a table outside and piledrives Sandman off the apron and through it. He rolls him inside and again only gets two. Seriously? A second piledriver, this one on the broken table finally ends it.
Well that got a ton of heat.
Cyrus gets in the ring and hypes up Rhino as the Unified World Champion, even though he unified a World and TV Title. He challenges any man in the back, from any company, to take on Rhino. Styles says there is no one left and the theme of Rob Van Dam hits. The building goes NUTS as RVD is who they have chanted for all night. He goes face to face with Rhino who doesn’t back down at all. This should be a World Title match for the ages. Instead, Jerry Lynn attacks and we get that match instead as Rhino exits.
It’s rather fitting that the last match in ECW Pay-Per-View history is not only the final chapter of RVD vs. Lynn, but also a match where RVD doesn’t get a World Title shot. A quick series of reversals ends in a standoff and RVD bows to the fans. Joey Styles points out that RVD doesn’t have Bill Alfonso and Lynn has someone in his corner now. I like little things like that from commentary. RVD spends a TON of time showboating. Lynn takes RVD outside and they brawl for a bit, highlighted by an RVD moonsault off the guardrail and his signature corkscrew leg drop. Back inside, RVD hits a gorilla press, moonsault and then a second rope moonsault in basically one swift motion for two, which was impressive as hell. RVD tries another flippy spot but Lynn catches him with a big midair clothesline. They do a good job of playing off of how well they know each other. As they go outside, a bald guy gets too close to the competitors and a “HIT THE BALD GUY” chant breaks out. RVD gets a near fall from Rolling Thunder and remembers that this is ECW, so he gets a chair. He skateboards the chair into Lynn’s face in the corner, so of course, RVD taunts again. Lynn rallies with a sunset flip bomb onto a chair for two. They trade DDT counters and seem to stumble a bit before Lynn gets two again with a German suplex. Despite the big spots, this has been rather dull. After a big kick, RVD misses the Five Star Frog Splash and Lynn rolls him up for two. Cyrus is chased into the ring by Joel Gertner, who plants him with a DDT. That seemed out of place. Lynn brings a chair in, like an idiot, and gets hit with the Van Daminator. HAVE YOU NOT WRESTLED RVD A MILLION TIMES? With no Bill Alfonso, RVD uses Gertner to hold the chair for the Van Terminator. That is enough to finish this.
Nowhere near the level of their 1999 encounters. Not sure if it was RVD being rusty, but this didn’t click. **
Cutting to the back, Justin Credible and Steve Corino inform everyone that they are going to be the New Impact Players because they’re tired of being screwed. They do the trademark pose together and I would’ve liked to see this team play out.
Overall: Only two matches on this show are really good. The I Quit match and the Three Way Tag match are damn good. Everything else is passable, though none of it is really bad. RVD and Lynn disappoint, but this is a recommended show, even if it’s mostly for historical purposes. Up next for looks like it will be