Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Around this time, ECW had lost their TV deal with TNN, who chose to go with the WWF. Things were not looking so good for the extreme promotion and Paul Heyman was running out of money and wasn’t able to pay everyone. A lot of guys basically worked for free due to their love for the company and I, at least, was still very much into the ECW product until the day it died. That wouldn’t come for another three plus months after this show and I don’t remember much about it so it should be fun.
As the camera pans in, it is clear that this crowd in Saint Paul is jacked. Joey Styles and Joel Gertner welcome everyone to the show, with Gertner being his fantastic self. The Lyrical Miracle, am I right? TONIGHT, THERE ARE NO RULES BECAUSE ANARCHY RULZ!
As a kid, I liked Danny Doring but that was because I knew nothing of psychology and only enjoyed cool looking moves. Both teams are faces and Matthews and Doring work some stuff early on that Matthews gets the best of. He and York were like, perennial curtain jerkers with ECW. Roadkill is super over and the crowd pops hard when he gets the tag. Gertner says these two teams are the future, but neither team really did much outside of ECW. Roadkill goes for a sloppy slingshot but York blocks and hits a leg drop for two. Being the big man, Roadkill catches York and plants him before he and Doring hit the Hart Attack. They call it something else but I know better. Doring misses a splash outside, so York and Matthews give us a pair of suicide dives. Double powerbomb on Doring but Roadkill, showing incredible balance, hits a springboard double clothesline. Huge “ECW” chants. Doring hits a top rope leg drop on Matthews, but his pin is broken by a top rope leg drop of York’s own. York and Matthews work a double team in which York reverse suplexes Matthews onto Doring and then hits a senton for two. Doring rallies with the WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM and tags Roadkill. Barnburner on Matthews and a big powerbomb on York. Bareback on Matthews before Doring and Roadkill connect with the Buggy Bag to win.
That was a lot more fun than I expected. Like every other Danny Doring match, there wasn’t psychology or anything like that, but it was a hot match with teams trying to outdo each other and possibly steal the show.
After the match, the two face teams show each other respect until Simon Diamond and Swinger run in and take everyone out with chairs. Doring eats the Problem Solver because sportsmanship be damned.
The announce team is shown, which is rare for ECW. Joel Gertner eats Lucky Charms in training for his match with Cyrus tonight. He says that he’s been trained by a wrestler and it will become very clear who when he works the match. Speaking of Cyrus, he comes out to massive heat. His name comes up on screen as “Cyrus; He’s Got Pop.” He cuts a promo calling Gertner a fat bitch. It’s bleeped out for some reason as a lot of ECW PPVs are uncut on the Network. Gertner comes to the ring and continues to get belittled. Cyrus says that if he wants the match tonight, Joel has to get through his “men”, which turn out to be Hot Commodity. Before anything happens, a WWE Network rip off of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell plays because Little Spike Dudley is out! He is commissioner like Mick Foley or something and makes Kid Kash the opponent for EZ Money. If Kash loses, Cyrus can avoid Gertner.
I was a huge Kid Kash mark at this time. EZ Money jumps Kash before the bell but eats a flying head scissors. Kash reverses a powerbomb with an arm drag and takes Money outside before knocking Hamrick and Dinero off the apron. Money hits a drop suplex but then misses Kash and ends up hitting a suicide dive onto his teammates. “She’s a crackwhore” chants for Elektra as Kash does a DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD FRONT FLIP onto Hot Commodity. See why I liked this dude when I was 10? Inside, Money front flips in from the apron, nailing a clothesline that he calls the Money Clip. That earns him two. He locks in the Pendulum of Pain, which is an odd surfboard variation that impresses me. They trade chops for a bit until Kash gets a near fall with a springboard sunset flip. He pops up and uses a double springboard hurricanrana. Kash continues to impress with a double swing tornado DDT for two. Hamrick trips Kash, allowing Money to hit Electric Dreams for two again. Side note, Joey is calling this alone because he’s AMAZING. A series of roll ups and near falls follows until Kash nails the Monkey Maker but Elektra is on the apron. Hamrick tries to interfere but is stopped, so Dinero enters. He hits a leg sweep before the teammates do a double ferris wheel. Money is on the second rope, Hamrick stands on his shoulders and hits a leg drop, followed by Money splashing Kash but that somehow isn’t enough! Money is pissed as he goes up top, and Kash crotches him. He goes up with him and Money tries a top rope powerbomb. Kash reverses in MIDAIR into a hurricanrana for the three.
Two for two in matches that entertained me more than I expected. Again, this wasn’t meant to be a standard wrestling match. It was perfect for Kid Kash’s style and fit ECW for the time period. Lots of fun.
After the match, Kid Kash is attacked by Julio Dinero and Chris Hamrick. They hit him with a dropkick/powerbomb combo but Little Spike Dudley is out! He sops them with his Acid Drop but EZ Money clips him in the broken leg. The Sandman shows up randomly and canes the hell out of Hamrick. I think this was after his Hardcore Hak run in WCW. He threatens to cane Elektra, who decides to flirt with him. Man, she was ugly. Sandman pours beer on her breasts before shoving Joel Gertner’s face into them.
IT’S THE UGANDAN STUDMUFFIN! Joel Gertner takes off his jacket, revealing Kamala paint on his body. So that’s who trained him. He splashes Cyrus in the corner before trying a People’s Elbow. Cyrus trips him up and hits a nice looking knee drop. A “Fuck him up Gertner” chant breaks out while Cyrus lights him up with chops. While Cyrus brags, Sandman spits beer in his eyes and Gertner rolls him up to claim victory.
Could have been way worse. They kept it short, Cyrus did most of the offense and the right guy won.
The Baldies are one of those Paul Heyman creations where he took hugely untalented people and gave them something that worked. The match begins with a slugfest as Balls and Chill win out with their big set of punches. Dual neckbreakers from the faces before things turn ugly when Balls brings out a fork. DeVito is bleeding as the fork is driven into his forehead. The brawl spills outside and into the stands. When DeVito and Balls go up by commentary, DeVito flips off Styles and Gertner before hitting a moonsault. I did not know he could do that. Angel powerbombs Willy onto chairs. Back to the ring they go as Balls is suddenly okay and beating up DeVito. WHO NEEDS TO SELL? He misses a corner splash but hits a superkick and signals that he’s going for his chair. He ABSOLUTELY clobbers DeVito with it but Angel staples Balls in the face! Styles sells it as Balls was stapled in the eye but it’s impossible to tell. Dual chair shots from The Baldies but Chilly and Balls stay standing after two. The third is enough to finish this.
I don’t get this. First, this was the worst kind of brawl. It was just guys bashing away at each other with no real purpose. Second, The Baldies somehow kept winning on PPV, which is insane. Also, Balls was supposedly stapled in the eye, then was fine when he got hit with the chair but after the match started selling the eye like he lost it.
Joey Styles and Joel Gertner are talking when Lou E. Dangerously shows up and attacks Gertner. Joey Styles gets pissed like Jerry Lawler just slapped him in 2006 and shoves Lou to a pop. Quick cut to the production truck with Heyman freaking out before moving to Justin Credible and Francine. Credible says that it is not Jerry Lynn’s night even if it is in his hometown. Jerry Lynn also cuts a promo saying that he was upset that other guys got title shots while he was having the best matches. I was never really into Jerry Lynn and found him super overrated.
I don’t remember Dawn Marie being paired with Steve Corino at all. This should be interesting since I’m pretty sure both guys are heels. They tie up twice but nobody gains advantage until Corino shoulder blocks him down. They both block hip tosses and continue their little sequence with a pair of arm drags and a standoff. The fans are late to react to it but it was damn good for two guys who aren’t usually doing those. Both guys fire away with loud chops for a while until CW strikes with a superkick. He gets a steel chair but chooses against using it, drawing boos. Corino pulls out a T-Bone suplex and gets the chair, playing to the crowd. It’s funny because I remember Corino getting a chair about a year prior and choosing to sit on it rather than use it. CW gets hit with it and falls onto another one, getting cut open in the process. Outside, CW avoids a baseball slide and launches a chair into Corino’s face. CW sets up a chair in the corner and throws Corino, shoulder first into it. Time for some arm work as CW hits a big arm breaker and Corino is selling it well. Single arm DDT gets him two. Corino rallies and goes for the Old School Expulsion but it’s countered with a ferris wheel. CW’s sleeper is countered into an atomic drop that crotches CW on the lip of a steel chair. Series of punches from the King of Old School that ends with a low blow and Bionic Elbow. Simon and Swinger come out again but Jack Victory keeps them at bay. I guess Corino is the face. After a near fall from CW, Corino superkicks CW for his own. Anderson spinebuster is reversed into the Old School Expulsion on two chairs, making Corino the number one contender.
The arm work was well done and well sold, as both guys worked hard to have a good match. This was a part of Steve Corino’s push towards the ECW World Title and I loved his 2000 run.
The Sinister Minister, along with the Unholy Alliance, talks about burning The FBI tonight while the book Mikey Whipwreck is reading catches fire and Tajiri looks confused. Cut to Rhino who cuts one of his trademark intense ECW promos.
Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri are out with odd masks and hats. Tony Mamaluke is introduced as weighing 2,041 liquid ounces. Clotheslines and kicks from the challengers because who needs to start this as a normal tag match? Dual shattered dreams style dropkicks from Tajiri and Whipwreck is a cool spot. For those unaware, the Unholy Alliance won a one night tournament to crown new champions, in a show I attended live, only to drop the belts the next night. TARANTULA from Tajiri gets a pop. Big Sal goes to slam former ECW Champion Whipwreck, but it’s countered and the big man is kicked in the head. Baseball slide dropkick is followed by the Sinister Minster sending a fireball into Mamaluke’s groin. The hot start from the challengers is thwarted by a low blow to Whipwreck. Sicilian Slice gets two and for those who don’t know, that is a move that John Cena now does regularly. Mamaluke gets two with a suplex/Russian leg sweep combo. Tajiri and Guido get tagged so Tajiri hits the handspring elbow. Big clothesline connects but Mamaluke counters a German and hits one of his own. Green mist on Guido lead to a double Whippersnapper but Big Sal pulls the referee out so the Sinister Minster strikes him with the cane. He gets SQUASHED in the corner by the guardrail for his troubles. Tajiri kicks everyone and throws the ECW Title in Sal’s face. He takes out the 600 pounder with an Asai moonsault! Inside, Mikey tries a top rope Whippersnapper but gets hit with the belt, leading to the FBI planting him with a double team move that not even Joey knows about. That gets the job done.
Another fun match but again, not much in the way of psychology. The teams had good chemistry and hit their spots.
Rob Van Dam reigned as Television Champion for nearly two years until a broken leg caused him to vacate the title. This is his first shot at his belt since his return. Rhino charges during the introductions and the two men brawl on the outside and into the crowd. When they get to ringside, Rhino gorilla press slams RVD back to ringside, but RVD uses an Alfonso assist to hit the Van Daminator! As Rhino is getting up, RVD launches over the top and dives onto the “Man Beast”. RVD then surfboards the chair into a seated Rhino, but decides to stall and taunt instead of capitalize. It makes you wonder how that never cost him during his two year reign. Rhino nails a corner Gore of sorts, but doesn’t cover quickly and decides to bring in a table. He wears down RVD with a headlock but he rallies with an enziguri. For NO REASON AT ALL, RVD does a springboard backflip, just to pick up a chair throw it at Rhino. Rhino catches and throws it back at him. RVD ends up hitting a moonsault anyway and then the Five Star Frog Splash but Rhino kicks out! The crowd is silent and I’m not sure if it is out of shock. GORE! Rhino takes RVD to the apron and piledrives him from there, through a table outside! Inside, Alfonso hits Rhino with a chair but it doesn’t affect him, so he throws it and RVD Van Daminators it into him. The chair and Rhino are in place for RVD’s new Van Terminator but Justin Credible is out and hits RVD with a cane. No clue why, especially since RVD does the move anyway, but Rhino pulls Alfonso in the way. He lifts up RVD and Gores him through the table before piledriving him on a chair.
A bit of a disappointment as RVD was nearly always a show stealer and Rhino was on fire during this time. The match was still decent, just not as good as I hoped.
As a loud bullshit chant breaks out, RVD stares around like “what the fuck?” Joey Styles also questions the quick count by the official. He’s not wrong.
Ever the heat seeker, Justin Credible wears a Packers jersey to the ring. If he only knew that Bret Favre would play for Minnesota a few years down the road. Jerry Lynn wins the first sequence, causing Credible to regroup outside. It’s clear that, early on at least, Lynn has the upper hand. Both guys go for their finishers but they get countered. After knocking Justin outside, Lynn hits a bulldog and plancha. Credible counters with a variation of the Big Boss Man slam and Francine throws a chair into the ring. He nails a sit out powerbomb onto it but only gets two, so they take the fight out of the ring. Inside, Lynn nails a DDT and Credible hits an inverted DDT in this game of one upsmanship, both for near falls. The crowd is hot and VERY derogatory towards Credible. Credible thinks he’s The Rock because he takes a microphone and disrespects Lynn while fans throw beer and peanuts into the ring. A series of near falls from Lynn is stopped by a spinning DDT but then he connects with a tornado DDT of his own. That’s four DDTs in this match already. Lynn does his stupid deep voice yell before a leg drop for two. He sets up a table and climbs the top but Francine distracts him, allowing Credible to slam him through. He gets his shoulder up though. Sunset flip from the top earns Justin two and he shouts “WHAT THE HELL?” Jerry reverses That’s Incredible into the Cradle Piledriver but Justin stuns the fans by kicking out. That’s Incredible is hit, but of course, Jerry kicks out this time. After a ref bump, the crooked ref from the last match comes out and doesn’t count the three like he should. Lynn goes to Cradle Piledriver him but Francine hits him with a cane and Justin nails him with the belt but only gets two despite another quick count. Lynn rallies with a Cradle Piledriver attempts but crooked ref Danny Daniels hits him in the head with the cane. Another That’s Incredible, but before the three, the theme of New Jack hits! He beats the hell out of Danny Daniels until Credible hits him. Lynn and Credible are up and, after a series of reversals, Lynn ends up hitting a Cradle Tombstone to win.
Slow at parts and overbooked a ton in the end. The fans got what they wanted though.
Big hometown face celebration as the locker room clears out to party with Jerry Lynn. At least the faces do. A feel good moment to close the ECW Pay-Per-View.
Overall: One of the better ECW Pay-Per-Views that I’ve reviewed. Of the eight matches, only two are bad. The Baldies tag and Gertner/Cyrus, but at least that was short and did its job. The last two matches were disappointing but still pretty good. The keys to this show are the opener, Tag Team Title match, number one contender’s match and Kash/Money but the real star is the red hot crowd that pretty much never lets up. Sometimes ECW shows don’t hold up that well, but this one did so. I recommend giving it a viewing. Next on will be