The SmarK Rant for ECW Wrestling on TNN – 12.24.99
By Scott Keith on 13th January 2023
The SmarK Rant for ECW Wrestling on TNN – 12.24.99
I’ve waiting to get to this one, and it’s finally here! It’s like Christmas in December or something!
Taped from Nashville, TN.
Your hosts are Joey Styles & Joel “I’m in the volunteer state, just like I always feared, until I called your mama for some loving and your mama volunteered” Gertner.
Cyrus interrupts the opening on behalf of The Office and points out that everyone hates the “dirty middle name” thing and so they need to redo the whole thing. Joey and Joel call bullshit on the “ECW Office” gag, but Cyrus reveals his works for the real Big Bad: TNN. And then he introduces Masato Tanaka at ringside, who is making an upcoming challenge to Mike Awesome. This brings out Awesome, but Spike Dudley wants to take another shot at him. But this time it leads to Awesome blocking the Acid Drop and tossing him into Tanaka’s lap in the front row. Well that’s rude. But then Tanaka is so pissed that he storms the ring and they threaten to wrestle RIGHT NOW. Paul Heyman and the security team hit the ring trying to break them up, but Cyrus demands RATINGS for TNN and tells him to have some balls and book the match a week early for the good of the company.
And that’s just the cold open!
Man that opening title is just WAY TOO LONG. It’s like the fakeout endings of Return of the King. You think they’ve hit the end of the song and then there’s another bunch of clips.
ECW World title: Mike Awesome v. Masato Tanaka
They immediately brawl onto the floor and Awesome tosses Tanaka into the crowd and runs him into the railing, and then takes turns running him into the apron and railing. Back in the ring, a flying clothesline gets two. Awesome with a Ligerbomb for two. Awesome goes to set up a table on the floor because the fans bugged him about it, and then he blocks a springboard clothesline from Tanaka and then powerbombs him off the apron and through the table, mere seconds after it got set up! When does THAT ever happen? Usually it just sits there for 10 minutes in a match like this. Clearly Awesome is not a fan of the Chekhov’s Gun. We take a break and return with Tanaka making a comeback, putting Awesome through another table with a german suplex. And now the chairs get involved, with a tornado DDT on those, for two. Tanaka goes up and drops a flying chair on him for two. Awesome comes back and smashes the chair on Tanaka’s head in sick fashion a few times while he fires up, but then one more crazy chairshot finally puts him down. Awesome with the running powerbomb for two and we take another break. Back with Tanaka putting Awesome through a table with a tornado DDT, and that gets two. Tanaka blocks a desperation big boot from Awesome, however, and finishes with the Roaring Elbow at 15:00 to win the ECW title. And Awesome even gives him a handshake and straps the belt on him, which I was thinking was a weird out-of-character thing for him…and then he immediately turns on Tanaka and puts him through the table on the floor with the running Awesomebomb. Ha, he got me there. ****
Meanwhile, confronts Cyrus in The Office (“Kayfabe, it’s the Office!”) for costing him his title, but Cyrus reminds him that he has a rematch next week anyway.
Meanwhile, Steve Corino and Rhino emerge from Ballz Mahoney’s dressing room with a bloodied chair. It was apparently revenge for the incident at the Limp Bizkit concert. Yeah if I had to go to a Limp Bizkit concert I’d be trying to kill people with chairs to get revenge, too.
Super Crazy v. Ikuto Hidaka
Idaka works a headlock and they trade flips for a stalemate. See that’s the kind of stuff where I can see why it would drive cranky old Cornette nuts. They fight to the floor and Crazy ends up in the crowd, so Hidaka hits him with a corkscrew plancha from the top rope and into the front row. Crazy fights back with kicks and they head back in the ring and Crazy moonsaults him for two. Crazy with the Romero special and he rolls Hidaka around the ring in that before turning it into the guillotine until Hidaka escapes that. Crazy with the Spanish punches in the corner, but Hidaka hits him with a springboard dropkick to the knee and goes to the leglock until Crazy breaks free. Hidaka drops the dime on Crazy, but Crazy reverses for two. Crazy with a powerbomb, but Hidaka counters with a DDT for two. Hidaka goes up and misses a senton, and Crazy pins him with the powerbomb at 8:01. This was really different than the usual Crazy match from around this time and it was a lot of fun. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Awesome goes hunting for Paul Heyman next, but finds Sign Guy Dudley instead and confuses him for Heyman. “I’m not him! I’ve got hair! Lots of hair!” I’m assuming that’s where the eventual Lou E. Dangerously stuff came from? Anyway, Awesome storms off “because he has to take a piss anyway” and Judge Jeff Jones pushes his luck by continuing to berate Lou, but then comments how he’s the one who is responsible for all of Mike’s success, and Awesome storms out of the bathroom and chokes Jones out until he apologizes. He should have just dropped Jones there, it added nothing to the act anyway.
ECW World tag team title: Tommy Dreamer & Raven v. The Baldies
“Is Francine a Baldie?” Gertner wonders before the commercial break, and then when they return he attempts to clarify the remark for Joey. He wasn’t wondering if she shaves her head, you see. But before the match can start, the Baldies get into a fight with Tommy Dreamer on the outside, which allows the Impact Players to hit the ring and attack Raven. But before that, the Impact Players do their stupid try-hard promo and catchphrase, with Justin Credible sounding like he needs to run off and take a huge dump, and Storm snarks “Stick that into your Y2J and smoke it!” to end the segment. Oh, so edgy! Taking shots at his former partner! Anyway this match doesn’t actually happen, as Raven gets kidnapped and crucified at the entrance, which allows us to hear the Impact Players do their stupid catchphrase for the SECOND time to end the show.
The tag title “match” was a joke but holy shit the rest of this show was LEGIT. This is the kind of stuff that they should have been putting on TNN to build their audience.