The SmarK Rant for ECW Guilty As Charged 2000 – 01.09.00
Lots of demand to see a redo of this one and I’m still on vacation for a couple of days anyway.
Live from Birmingham, AL, drawing 4700 and a 0.22 buyrate.
Your hosts are Joey Styles & Cyrus, who has penned a greeting for the crowd in their local vernacular. I don’t speak hick so I’m not sure what he actually said to them, can someone translate? Joel “If I wasn’t right here in Birmingham, I’d be licking Heather Locklear and porking Heather Graham” Gertner quickly interrupts the opening spiel and informs us that all the women in Alabama wanna take him to court because they swallowed all his stuff and now they want child support. Wait, if they…never mind. Joey wonders if Joel really came out just for that, and Joel confirms that he’s already been paid for the evening and “he’s got some snatch lined up at the hotel” so he’s gone. I don’t know which is more unbelievable, that Joel Gertner was having wild sex in the hotel, or that Paul Heyman actually paid someone on time for PPV appearances.
(I should note that at this point, the Network crashed my Macbook and rebooted it, which normally I would take as a sign from the universe not to watch ECW PPVs)
Mikey Whipwreck v. CW Anderson
This was the wacky Lou E. Dangerously gimmick, with Sign Guy Dudley getting repackaged into a spoof of Paul Heyman that wasn’t particularly funny. Mikey tosses CW into Beautiful Billy and we get our first ballshot of the night, but probably not the last. Mikey takes CW to the floor and drops him on the railing, but Mikey gets distracted by Billy and CW hits him with a superkick and sends him FLYING into the front row with a sick bump over the railing and onto the concrete. Back in the ring, Anderson gets a powerslam for two while Joey ponders whether the Andersons were actually related to each other. Mikey comes back with a tornado DDT and legsweep for two. He goes up with a flying clothesline for two. CW slugs him down again, but Mikey hits the stunner and Lou pulls out the ref to save. So the “Dangerous Alliance” double-teams Mikey and CW gets two from that, but Mikey hits Billy with a stunner and then walks into a spinebuster and gets pinned at 4:44. The Dangerously gimmick was death but it was setting up Mikey going nuts and joining a cult shortly, so I’ll forgive it in hindsight. Match was a nothing opener aside from Mikey’s insane bump. *1/2.
Cyrus goes over the upcoming card with Joey and breaks him on live TV by calling him a “male rat”.
Simon Diamond, Danny Doring & Roadkill v. Kid Kash, Nova & Jazz
Sadly the Network has purged the Drain STH theme for Simon, thus robbing us of the only worthwhile thing about his gimmick. David Kash glomming onto Kid Rock for a gimmick looks….questionable…these days but at least it got him over enough to stay employed for a long time in wrestling. Jazz quickly takes Doring down for two, so he tags out to Roadkill and Kash comes in throwing armdrags. Jazz hauls Simon into the ring and chops him in the corner, but then kicks him in the nuts for our second ball shot of the night. Jazz Stinger follows, but Simon gets saved by his friend Dick, and Kash hits them both with a dive that nearly goes horribly wrong. Cyrus is all over the Dick jokes of course and I’d like to say I’m above that sort of thing, but we all know I’d be lying.
Anyway, they all brawl to the back and disappear from the match 2:00 in and never return, leaving Nova against Doring and Roadkill. Back in the ring, Nova runs wild on Doring and Roadkill while Joey bitches that “you’ll probably see those moves on Monday night” before Doring and Roadkill ironically steal the Hart Attack to put him down. Doring with the Bareback for two. Roadkill goes up with a pump splash and follows with a Black Hole Slam to set up Doring’s flying elbow for two. So then Chris Chetti comes out and wants a tag as they’ve also switched corners now for some reason, and he comes in and runs wild with kicks. He tosses Roadkill and dives onto him, but Doring dives onto Nova and they all brawl on the floor. So then Elektra decides to go after Chetti and he slams her and pretends to 69 her, but Doring saves and DDTs him. Nova and Doring take each other out, and Roadkill splashes Chetti for the pin at 10:00. And then the Dupps hit the ring and everyone chases them off. This was a mess and if they wanted to do Chetti and Nova against Doring and Roadkill, why not just, you know, BOOK THAT MATCH? *.
Meanwhile, Mike Awesome is proud of knocking Spike’s girlfriend’s teeth “right down her fucking throat”. Well they sure don’t censor for content. Speaking of which, Spike Dudley breaks the fourth wall and yells about how he’s gonna “fucking hurt Mike Awesome” because he’s not following the script anymore. This was 100% the wrong direction for Spike Dudley.
Yoshihiro Tajiri & Mystery Partner v. Super Crazy & Mystery Partner
But then Steve Corino SWERVES us by picking Super Crazy as Tajiri’s partner, which makes no sense. This brings out Little Guido, who complains about not getting picked as the partner. So Corino claims to call the shots in ECW, which brings out Paul Heyman, and he picks Jerry Lynn to be Guido’s partner.
Tajiri & Super Crazy v. Little Guido & Jerry Lynn
So after that convoluted setup we get another match with these four guys. Crazy tries for the hammerlock and Lynn throws him down, and they trade stuff and battle to a stalemate. They do another stalemate, and then we get Tajiri and Guido. They slug it out and trade kicks, but Guido catches one of Tajiri’s kicks and takes him down. Tajiri gets another one and follows with a handspring elbow and then beats on him with more kicks before chopping him on the ropes. Guido takes him down into an armbar in the middle, and they work Tajiri over in the corner. Lynn with a corner clothesline, but they mess up a spot in the corner and Tajiri recovers with the Tarantula. Over to Crazy, who takes Guido down with a headscissors, but misses a charge and lands on the floor. So Lynn hits him with a dive and everyone goes brawling. Tajiri puts Lynn in the Tree of Woe in the ring and dropkicks him while Crazy does crazy shit outside, moonsaulting Guido from the balcony. And then Tajiri stomps on Lynn’s crotch for ball shot #3 tonight. They fight to the top rope and Lynn brings him down with a sunset bomb for two and gets a german suplex for two. Tajiri with his own german suplex for two, but Guido saves and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. We get double corner punches, but double powerbombs counter those for two. Guido beats on Crazy in the corner and powerbombs him for two, but Crazy gets his own powerbomb to set up the moonsault for two. Tajiri hits Lynn with the green mist and Crazy DDTs him for two and follows with a powerbomb for two. Piledriver gets two. But then Guido shockingly turns on the partner he just started teaming with, and Tajiri turns on Crazy and hits Lynn with a brainbuster and pins him at 12:45. I’m gonna be honest, I lost track of who the teams were supposed to be by the end and didn’t register that anyone was turning on anyone for a bit. Match was mostly good but as usual was too complicated and overbooked for its own good. ***.
Afterwards, Steve Corino hits the ring and runs down Dusty Rhodes as usual, but Dusty shows up and lays out Steve and his goons with elbows until Rhino saves and spears Dusty. This was Rhino’s only appearance on the night, as the advertised Rhino-Sandman match was canceled due to whatever Sandman had going on in his life at that point.
Angel v. New Jack
New Jack does a pre-match promo very focused on people’s asses and what will happen to them. Sadly, this is the WWE Network, so we have to listen to the hilariousy terrible NWA ripoff track through the entire match. The only thing “in the ghetto” is the production. So New Jack hits Angel with various stuff while Joey busts on Heyman’s hilariously wacky habit of not paying the talent. Angel is bleeding faster than Jon Moxley, and Jack slams him onto what appears to be a car hood, and then drops an elbow on him. Back in the ring, Jack hits him with a vacuum cleaner to the nuts for ball shot #4 on the night, but Grimes saves and the Baldies all team up and Jack fights with Grimes into the crowd as this meanders on. So Jack slowly climbs up to the camera bay, taking FOREVER to figure out how to get up there, and then dives onto Grimes to put him through a table. Angel finally hauls Jack to the ring again, but Jack hits him with more stuff and then Angel hits him with stuff and pins him at 8:50. This was every New Jack match ever and you could probably use ChatGPT to generate one by this point. DUD
Meanwhile, Fonzie has to wake up RVD from a cannabis-induced nap and airs out the dressing room so that Rob can do his promo. He sure doesn’t think much of Sabu’s challenge tonight. And then Fonzie goes to the next dressing room and does Sabu’s promo for him and promises that Sabu will leave the company if he doesn’t win tonight. Technically correct, although he did some house shows to wrap things up. But otherwise he was gone and never returned.
ECW World TV title: Rob Van Dam v. Sabu
Not sure why they didn’t just dub “One of a Kind” for RVD’s music, since it’s pretty close to Pantera anyway. They slug it out and Rob hits him with a senton to counter a drop-down, and they brawl to the floor off that. Sabu runs him into the railing and follows with Air Sabu , and back in for two. Sabu misses the slingshot legdrop and RVD hits him with the Rolling Thunder for two, but he goes up and Sabu shoves him to the floor and into the railing. That puts Rob in the front row, so Sabu follows with a dive off a chair and manages to hit Rob way out there. Rob beats on him with kicks while Sabu tries to set up a table, and then drops him on the railing and follows with a guillotine legdrop. Sabu comes back with a powerbomb off the apron and onto the concrete and then finally puts Rob on the table he set up earlier before splashing him off the ringpost and nearly knocking himself out on the railing in the process. Back in the ring, Sabu grabs a roll of athletic tape and wraps his own knee. So Fonzie gives them both chairs and they duel with those before Sabu hits him for two.
Sabu with the camel clutch, but Rob fights out of that and the ref gets bumped. Sabu with the moonsault for the visual pinfall, and then a springboard legdrop gets two. The crowd is weirdly dead for this one after being hot for the crazy highspots earlier. To be fair they’ve kind of run out of stuff to do in the match as well. Rob comes back with the Van Daminator and goes up, but Sabu tries to bring him down with a rana and Rob blocks it. Split legged moonsault gets two off that. Fonzie is conflicted again, so Rob kicks a chair in his face and Sabu clotheslines Rob and tries the triple jump moonsault again. Rob uses the chair to block that, and goes up to finish with the Five Star Frog Splash at 14:38 to retain and end Sabu’s ECW career.
Unfortunately, with Rob set to be the next challenge for Mike Awesome, he injured his ankle and he was also out by the end of the month, ending the Roman-like two year title reign with a thud and destroying Heyman’s big direction for the company in the process. This had moments but kind of burned out fast after the crazy spots early on, especially once it became apparent that Sabu was in no condition to be out there doing that stuff. ***.
On the bright side, no one got hit in the junk in this match, breaking up the streak at 4.
ECW World tag team title: Raven & Tommy Dreamer v. The Impact Players
Four months of Raven’s meandering storyline leads us here, as they do a big brawl to start and the champs thankfully stop the Players from doing their stupid catchphrase. They all fight up to the set and the heels get tossed through the merch table, and Dreamer hauls Storm into the ring and splashes him for two. Justin heads back in and distracts Tommy long enough for Lance to superkick him, and the Players take over and proceed to beating on Tommy. Storm with a backdrop for two.
Tommy rolls him up for two, but Justin makes the save with a chair and gets the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM, as Tommy bumps to the floor and blades off that. Back in the ring, Justin goes to a chinlock, but Tommy escapes with a neckbreaker and DDTs Storm as well before making the hot tag to Raven. Storm goes flying into the railing off a right hand, and Raven steals a chair from Jason and gives Justin his own DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM while Storm goes crashing into the railing again. Justin hits the tombstone on Raven for two, and Storm piledrivers Tommy for two and sets up a table at ringside. Dreamer backdrops him through it, but Francine hits Justin with a low blow. Well I’ll be damned, I would have bet good money that Tommy would take the ball shot in this one. Anyway we’re back on track with #5 on the night. The girls do the catfight, but Raven breaks it up and Justin hits another tombstone to win the tag titles at 10:40. Poor Lance out there bumping for 5 people carried this thing to a good match. *** And then the months-long Raven-Dreamer storyline was never resolved and they just went their own way after losing the titles, and that was that.
Meanwhile, Steve Corino and his crew do another promo on Dusty Rhodes in the parking lot, and Rhino challenges the winner of tonight’s title match.
ECW World title: Mike Awesome v. Little Spike Dudley
Mike immediately presses Spike out of the ring and through a table at ringside, which I’m sure won’t be the only terrifying bump of the match. Spike fights his way back into the ring, so Mike hurls him over the top and through another pair of tables. To be fair, Spike 100% asked for it and brought it upon himself, so I don’t feel bad for him. Awesome tosses him into the front row and follows with a dive over the railing and then hauls Spike’s corpse back to ringside and back in for a splash that gets two. Mike with a lariat as Spike’s taking a hellacious beating here, and Awesome wants to finish but Spike is dead weight. So he tries a powerbomb on Spike, but Spike takes him to the floor with a rana and necks him on the railing before beating on him with a chair. Spike tries a tope suicida, but he catches his legs in the ropes and Mike has to catch him to prevent him from falling face-first on the concrete. Back in the ring, Spike gets a rana off the top, but Awesome blasts him with another lariat and a splash for two. Spike dodges a charge in the corner and hits him with a double stomp, then spears Awesome through the ropes like he’s Big E and they head to the floor again. Awesome kicks a chair back in his face and beats on him with more chairshots in the crowd before heading back in the ring and diving off the top rope and into the front row. That was another one that could have went really badly. Mike runs him into the post and sets up another table at ringside, but Spike goes low for our final ball shot of the night at #6 and then puts Awesome through the table with the Acid Drop. I’m still sad we had the clean nutshot sweep broken up by that RVD-Sabu match. Spike keeps fighting and hits him with a flying chairshot off the top, and they head back in, where Awesome casually blocks the Acid Drop and tosses Spike through another table outside. Awesome has now had enough of this shit and brings yet another table into the ring, but Spike escapes the powerbomb. So Mike puts him down with another lariat, folding him in half, and then goes up again. Spike fights up again, so this Awesome goes nuclear and powerbombs him off the top rope, through the table, and pins him at 14:21 to retain. Headline reads, Giant Killer Killed by Giant. If you’re looking for a car wreck match, this is the one for you. ***1/4
And then we rush off the air despite only being 2:30 into the show.
I didn’t hate this one as much as I remember at the time, but I sure didn’t like it much either. Royal Rumble 2000 blew this out of the water completely later in the month as well and then WWF went on to destroy ECW on PPV with awesome show after awesome show, which kind of killed the ECW narrative of being the alternative for people who wanted better wrestling. I’d say check out the Awesome match if you want to see Spike beaten to the point of nearly being dead and the rest is the usual thumbs down from me.