The SmarK Rant for ECW Wrestling on TNN – 01.28.00
I didn’t have “ECW on TNN in 2000 getting kinda good in January” on my bingo card, but here we are.
Raven is moping in the corner of the locker room in the cold open, where Francine finds him and demands that he get going for his tag team match tonight. But Raven whines about how no one thanks him for doing the right thing, and now he’s just a worthless loser like his dad said. Well if the flannel fits. So Tommy Dreamer is BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL and calls him “Scotty”, demanding he go wrestle, but nope, he’s just going to lay there and do nothing, like the Bruins in the seventh game of a playoff series.
Taped from New Orleans, LA, in the most rinky-dink looking “arena” they could seemingly find.
Your hosts are Joey Styles & Joel “Cyrus isn’t here right now, Cyrus didn’t make it, Cyrus is nothing but a wussy, because while he’s in Winnipeg eating bacon, I’m in New Orleans eating hot p…” Gertner. Sadly we never learn what he was going to end with, because Cyrus is in the truck and he cuts off the director before we can find what rhymes with “wussy”. Apparently, and I’m just going by what Cyrus says here and I can’t confirm, there are “5 wrestlers backstage who are demanding their release and they will all leave if Joel continues with getting himself over”. Hmm, apparently there was a lot of that sort of thing going around in January of 2000. Anyway, we cut to last week’s show before we can get any more filthy jokes from the “portly announcer”.
Last week,, Rob Van Dam confronts Mike Awesome over his gross misappropriation of the “Whole F’N Show” catchphrase. And they replay that entire deal again, and then FINALLY hit the intro for the show 10:00 into a 45 minute episode.
Also at this point the sound for the episode is wrecked, moving completely into the right channel for some reason.
Meanwhile, Mike Awesome reminds us all that he’s awesome, and if Spike Dudley wants a rematch tonight, then he’ll gladly kick Spike’s ass again.
Little Guido v. Tajiri
Oh this is really weird. So the sound mixing is nuts, with the commentary and voices moving completely to the right and the crowd noise and music moving completely to the left. Anyway, they slug it out to start and we take a break, returning with Tajiri on the top rope and taking Guido down with a knee to the head. Guido bails and Tajiri hits them both with a moonsault to the floor. This building looks cavernous and dark and empty and was a really bad choice for a TV taping I think. Back in the ring, Tajiri gets the Tarantula and then beats on Guido with kicks, doing his bit where he mocks the selling. But then he goes for a brainbuster and Guido reverses to an armbar. Tajiri reverses out of that but Guido takes him down again. Tajiri powers out and puts Guido down with the handspring elbow and chokes him out in the corner. Guido goes up with the Sicilian Slice for two. Guido goes up again and Tajiri hangs him in the Tree of Woe for the baseball slide and dropkicks Big Sal off the apron. Tajiri with a spinkick and brainbuster to finish at 8:37. Felt like the usual from these two but it was good. ***.
Meanwhile, RVD wants Sabu to know that he knows that Sabu knows that RVD is better than him. He would have gladly let Sabu carry the TV title that Sabu couldn’t win from him! He’s generous that way.
Tommy Dreamer & Josh Wilcox v. Steve Corino & Rhino
With Raven unable to wrestle tonight due to whatever he’s got going on, Wilcox (a local purveyor of the footballs) takes his place as a wrestler. Dreamer slugs away on Rhino and chases him to the floor after a low blow, and they brawl out there while Joey and Joel make football references. Back in, Rhino hits the GOAR for two. Dreamer fights back with the testicle claw on Corino, but Rhino cuts him off again and gets a suplex for two. He goes up and misses a splash and Dreamer gets his own spear and makes the hot tag to Wilcox, who grabs a chair and immediately turns on Dreamer. And Corino pins him at 5:00. Nothing to this. *. Granted I know nothing about football as it is but I don’t think this Wilcox guy was anything notable as a player and this came off so small time indie. And then Dusty Rhodes comes out again and beats up all the heels, including newly-turned Wilcox.
ECW World title: Mike Awesome v. Spike Dudley
This is of course a rematch from the PPV where Awesome murderized Spike and powerbombed him through 18 tables or whatever it is. Spike attacks before the bell and they brawl on the floor, where Awesome dumps him onto the railing. Back in, Awesome tosses him with a german suplex for two. Awesomebomb is countered into a rana, but then Awesome puts him down with a spinebuster again for two. And speaking of 18 tables, Mike finds one under the ring, but Spike escapes the powerbomb and bulldogs Awesome through it himself. Spike keeps coming and drops a chair on Mike’s head. Back in the ring, Spike smashes another chair on Awesome’s head for two. To the top for a third unprotected chairshot, for two. But then Awesome puts him down with a lariat and follows with a powerbomb. To the top for the frog splash, but they do a weird edit where the ref counts two and then they suddenly cut to another angle with Awesome no longer on top. What the hell was that? Did Spike forget to kick out on the splash or something? And then Awesome powerbombs him through another table and that finishes at 8:26. It wasn’t anywhere near the level of violence of the PPV match, of course, but it was a decent enough TV main event to end the Spike Dudley story for good. ***. But then Awesome calls out RVD again, and Sabu tries to ambush Rob, only for Rob to hit both of them with a somersault senton to the floor to end the show.
I’d call this a good episode, but man that arena looked like something right out of the “smoky hall” legends of the 70s or something. And that angle with the football player and Dusty Rhodes was a major loser.