The SmarK Rant for ECW Wrestling on TNN – 12.31.99
LAST WEEK: The Impact Players crucify Raven and then ECW wonders why TNN was so mean to them! And Masato Tanaka surprisingly wins the ECW World title from Mike Awesome!
Meanwhile, Raven doesn’t take well to being crucified, and promises that he won’t be crucified again at any point in the immediate future. Well that’s good then.
Taped from White Plains, NY
Your hosts are Joey Styles & Joel “I once knew this girl out in White Plains, and after I had her for an hour I left her bedsheets full of stains” Gertner.
Mikey Whipwreck joins us in the ring “after taking a year off to work elsewhere” for a promo, but he’s immediately interrupted by the Impact Players and Dawn Marie’s Santa outfit stealing the show. Lance Storm has a “big wad of cash” ready for Mikey if he can take out Raven for them, and he already has experience selling out to WCW. This sounds like a good deal to Mikey.
Mikey Whipwreck v. Raven
They quickly fight to the floor and Mikey does a promo where he promises that he’s not a baby despite living at home with his mom at age 26. So he snaps and beats on Raven before putting him through a table with a top rope elbow, or as ECW calls it, a “transition spot”. Mikey gets him the legsweep into the railing, and back in for two. Small package gets two. Rollup gets two. Raven backslides him for two, but Mikey dropkicks him for two. Mikey grabs a chair, but Raven comes back with the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM and meanwhile the crowd is more concerned with convincing Dawn Marie to strip. Mikey continues his angry streak and shoves the ref, but Raven gives him the snot rag and then finishes with the DDT at 4:50. Mikey was noticeably better here than in his previous ECW run and this was a pretty good match. Mikey was a more mature character by this point and I’m glad they switched him to the crazy Jim Mitchell deal fairly soon after this. ***
Tajiri v. Super Crazy
Tajiri immediately hits him with a spinkick, but Crazy comes back with a handspring elbow and they trade armdrags and battle to a stalemate. Crazy sends him to the floor and hits him with a moonsault. Back in the ring, Tajiri hits him with kicks and dropkicks him to the apron, and then gives him another head kick out there before Crazy fights back in with the moonsault for two. Crazy slugs away in the corner, but Tajiri kicks him to the floor again and hits him with a dive. Tajiri stalks him around ringside while flipping off the ringside fans, and then back in for a kneedrop and a backbreaker submission combined with the airplane spin. He tries to finish, but Crazy reverses out and powerbombs him for two. Crazy tries the triple moonsault, but Tajiri crotches him and hangs him in the Tree of Woe, which sets up the sliding dropkick for two. Crazy with a rana for two, but Tajiri boots him down and finishes with the brainbuster at 7:45. Fun match and Tajiri was at his peak around this time. ***1/4
ECW World title: Masato Tanaka v. Mike Awesome
Awesome quickly attacks and dumps Tanaka for a tope con hilo, and they brawl out there, which allows Tanaka a chance to grab a chair and run it into Mike’s head. Awesome clotheslines him over the railing (with Tanaka landing on his head on the way down), and hauls him back into the ring for a slingshot splash that gets two. Awesome grabs a chair and smashes Tanaka with that a bunch of times, as Tanaka powers up from the shots and then dropkicks the chair back into Awesome’s face. So Tanaka just destroys him with a sick chairshot and then follows with a tornado DDT onto a chair for two. Tanaka puts a chair on his head and then legdrops a second chair off the top rope, but that gets two. Tanaka with the Diamond Dust Press, which gets two. Awesome fights back with a release german and spinebuster, setting up a running powerbomb for two. Awesome sets up a table in the corner, but Tanaka escapes the Awesomebomb, only for Awesome to put him through the table on a second try. That gets two. So Awesome retrieves another table and puts Tanaka on that, but Tanaka escapes and they fight on the top rope, where Tanaka gets a DDT off the top and through the table, for two. Tanaka puts him down with a roaring elbow for two. Another Diamond Dust is blocked and Awesome hits him with a whiplash slam and goes up for a frog splash that gets two. Awesome puts the boots to him in the corner and they fight to the top again, with Awesome bringing him down with a top rope powerbomb for the pin and title at 11:50. This was another GREAT TV match between them, although I thought last week’s had a better finish. ****1/2.
Afterwards, Spike Dudley tries to attack, but Awesome and Jones just destroy him. And then Spike’s groupie/girlfriend comes in and tries to attack the Judge, but Awesome just BLASTS her with a clothesline, which shocks even the ECW crowd, and she does an internal bleeding gimmick while Awesome powerbombs Spike through another table outside in annoyance.
Well THAT was quite the show. This was one of the best TNN shows I can remember seeing, if not the best.