The SmarK Rant for ECW Wrestling on TNN – 10.22.99
Taped from New Orleans, LA
Your hosts are Joey Styles & Joel Gertner. Joel is doing ring announcing this week for some reason.
ECW World title: Mike Awesome v. New Jack
Apparently this is the match that we fans demanded, but ECW didn’t want to promote. I don’t recall demanding this match. As usual, Jack brings a garbage can full of plunder and beats on Awesome with it. I have to say, kudos to the WWE sound guys, because New Jack matches must be a nightmare to overdub and they pulled it off pretty seamlessly. They fight to the floor and Jack runs him into the railing, but dives off the apron with a chair and misses. Awesome nails him with a chair and they head back in for a flying clothesline from Awesome that misses badly. How do you fuck up THAT bump? New Jack looked like he had no idea where to stand or how to fall. Awesome misses a kneedrop and New Jack naturally counters with a staple gun to the head and then breaks a guitar on his head. Or shoulder, whatever. New Jack goes up and Awesome hits him with a chair on the way down, then javelin-tosses him out of the ring and HEADFIRST through a table for a terrifying bump. Back in, the flying splash finishes at 6:00 to retain. This was every New Jack match you’ve ever seen but with him taking it REALLY easy on Awesome because he was smart enough to know better than to mess with Heyman’s top guy. **
Once again, I must point out that the introduction video for the show is too long and really kills the momentum that doing a hot opener builds up.
Chris Candido v. Nova
Your wacky Tammy Sytch story of the week from the Observer: They did a taping at the ECW Arena and Tammy forgot all her lines during the show and then passed out backstage when they tried to get her to do some interviews. Nova offers a handshake but Candido chops away in the corner and follows with a backdrop and flying forearm for two. Candido with a legsweep for two. Nova backdrops him to the floor and then Danny Doring and Roadkill run in for the DQ at 2:20. This becomes yet another excuse for T&A as Tammy brawls with Miss Congeniality. And then Lance Storm brings out Dawn Marie for more boobs, which leads to Dawn paddling the bare ass of Tammy while Congenialty holds her. Yeah, that was pretty hot, I’m not gonna deny it. Funny, though, how Paul had this vision of great matches and tight storylines early on the show, and now it’s suddenly about the chicks all bitching at each other and brawling while literally showing ass. So then Tommy Dreamer and Francine come out to trigger more catfighting, and the Impact Players go after Tommy, but Raven saves. And then turns on Tommy again with another DDT. As a reminder, they’ve been doing this storyline for two months now and it does not ever pay off.
Back from the break and Tommy calls Raven out again, wanting to settle things RIGHT HERE, IN NEW ORLEANS. Raven politely declines. Could this episode be any more of a ripoff of what RAW was doing? I mean, it’s hard to blame them, but in the last two weeks we’ve swung wildly away from what it was supposed to be about.
The Rookie Monster Rhino v. David Cash
Cash gets a cross body for two and a springboard dropkick, but Rhino GOARS him out of the air for two. Piledriver finishes at 1:00. Your preposterous Joey Styles statement of the week: Rhino can be a hall of famer in wrestling OR football! Yeah, not quite.
So then Steve Corino calls out Sabu, who immediately answers and we’re on.
The Cookie Monster Rhino v. Sabu
Rhino chokes him out with his own headwear and we take a break. Back with Rhino getting a corner clothesline and tossing Sabu to the floor for Corino and Victory to get some abuse. Back in, Rhino pounds away and blocks a rana with a powerbomb for two. Rhino accidentally hits his buddies with a dive and Sabu sends him into the front row and follows with the Air Sabu dive, but Rhino tosses him back to the ring again. Sabu throws a chair at him and Fonzie sets up a table, but can’t put Rhino through it. Back in the ring, Sabu gets a rana from the top for two, but Corino runs in for the save and Sabu beats on him for a bit. And then Corino ends up on the chair, but Rhino hits him with the GOAR to cut off Air Sabu. Sabu tries the triple jump moonsault and Rhino trips him into the chair. Victory gets involved and Rhino hits him by mistake, and Sabu comes back with a clip of the knee and a camel clutch. Seriously, Rhino has no neck, how is that supposed to even work? Corino saves again and this time Fonzie beats him up, and this time Sabu is able to put Rhino through that table. Back in, Sabu with the legdrop for two. Fonzie sends another table into the ring and Rhino clobbers Sabu from behind while he’s setting it up and they head to the top. Sabu brings him down with a tornado DDT and takes out Jack Victory with a dropkick off the apron (HIGHSPOT!) and then follows with a leg lariat that puts Rhino through the table. That gets two. They fight over a chair and Sabu facejams him onto it for two. Sabu goes up and Corino shields Rhino with his own body, so Sabu hits them both with an Arabian facebuster from the top rope. Another one for Rhino sets up the moonsault and that finishes at 12:00. This was sloppier than Tammy at an open bar, but a hell of a fight and finally the kind of exciting match that ECW had been promising for months. ***1/2
I liked this show a lot! It was ironically a complete ripoff of RAW, but if you steal from the guys who are stealing from you, it goes all the way around and becomes good again, I guess. Regardless, this is the kind of fast-paced insanity they should have doing from the start.