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Thread: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

  1. #41

    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    ECW on TNN
    December 3, 1999

    We open up with a highlight package detailing the Raven/Sandman program with clips shown from recent weeks and 1996. Tonight weíll see The Sandman vs Raven one-on-one.

    Joey Styles and Joel Gertner opens up the show from the ECW Arena. They call out the Impact Players. Storm and Credible claims that they will be the next ECW Tag Champions and that they used Rhino and Chris Candido as mere cannon fodder against the champions. That brings out the team of Rhino and Candido leading to a fight between both teams and the women.

    Backstage at a recent show in Illinois, Steve Corino is complaining to Jack Victory. Everything is going wrong for Corino. Rhino isnít listening to him, Tajiri lost at the PPV, and to make matters worse, Limp Bizkit is performing at a nearby arena and the noise is driving Corino crazy. Corino decides to head over to the Limp Bizkit concert to give Fred Durst a piece of his mind.

    Super Crazy vs Ikuto Hidaka
    Hey, Crazy is actually facing someone new. Much like his time in ROH and EVOLVE, Hidaka is just coming in for a cup of coffee with ECW. The match doesnít have a story and was a little clunky in the early going, but as the match progressed, Hidaka stood out with his moveset. I wouldnít have any problem in saying Hidaka made Crazy look like a complete non-entity. Hidaka attempted some knee work on Crazy, but again, theyíre not attempting a story so itís quickly forgotten. After being the star of the match, Hidaka is cleanly pinned with a Lionsault by Crazy. ***

    Raven cuts a promo from the back, detailing his hatred for The Sandman. Thereís plenty of talk about Ravenís dad and how he was a drunk just like The Sandman. Raven even claims the only reason why he didnít kill his father is because the bastard died before he got the chance to kill him and get away with it. Wow.

    After another segment with Steve Corino heading to the concert, Corino bursts onto the stage, chastising everyone for enjoying their devil music. Fred Durst and some random chick trades insults with Corino. Watching this with 2016 eyes, ECW comes off as incredibly lame for being in an angle with Limp Bizkit with Durst and company being portrayed as these super rad guys. Alas, this is 1999 weíre talking about. Durst was a God then, but itís only because we didnít know any better. If nothing else, ECW came off bigger than usual by being in this environment.

    Backstage, Cyrus brings in Jerry Lynn to discuss his recent dealings with Tajiri and Super Crazy. Cyrus fails to get Lynn to answer the question whether heís in cahoots with Tajiri or not. Ugh. Iím beginning to hate this angle. Itís just like the WCW 1995 angle with Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage unable to trust Sting and Lex Luger, despite zero reason to have doubts prior to Halloween Havoc.

    Raven vs The Sandman
    Tommy Dreamer is your special guest referee. Credit to Joey Styles for trying to add importance to this match at the very beginning. While many, many major events in ECW history took place in the ECW Arena, Styles brings up the fact that Sandmanís three ECW Title wins all took place here in the ECW Arena. Meanwhile, Ravenís two ECW Title wins (Both against The Sandman) took place in this building as well. What I find slightly interesting is that once the PPV era of ECW began in 1997, title changes (World and the other two titles) in the ECW Arena became a rare event. Despite this match feeling important, I canít say I liked it. Raven was busted open early on and there were plenty of weapons being used. Dreamer, despite being the special guest referee, didnít really play the role in anything. The match would have been exactly the same had a regular referee been assigned to the match instead. There was a ton of interference throughout the match. First, itís Chris Candido and Rhino running out. Dreamer is laid out and Sandman is hit with the Gore through a table. Later, the Sandmanís ex wife, Lori, makes her ECW return to tease a reunion with Raven, only to give him a low blow. That brought out Francine, attacking Lori much to the commentatorís confusion. Itís almost as if Francine was out to save Raven. Hmm. With the girls gone, itís time for the finish with even more interference. This time itís The Impact Players. Credible attempts to hit The Sandman with a cane shot, but instead hits Raven. One White Russian later, Sandman has pinned Raven. A very ECW-sih match that didnít offer much value other than if youíre really into the acts involved. * ĺ

    We conclude the show by going back to the Limp Bizkit concert. Fred Durst makes a point of asking where the real hardcore wrestling like Balls, Axl, and New Jack were. New Jack ends up botching this moment. While Balls and Axl snuck up behind Corino, New Jack is a moron and hangs out right behind Durst. That causes Corino to look like a moron as he claims none of those three hardcore guys are here. The hardcore trio and Durst attacks Corino with Durst helping hold Corino while Corino suffers a couple of chair shots to the head.

    While there were only two matches on tonightís episode, they packed this weekís ECW on TNN with a lot of meaningful moments. As I said, it may not seem like the most hip move to film an angle with Limp Bizkit in 2016, but it certainly didnít come across as lame in 1999. At least itís a current act that matters. How often do we see celebs that havenít been relevant in years be injected into wrestling angles? The Raven/Sandman wasnít what Iíd consider a good match, but it did involve a meaningful moment with the return of the former Miss Peaches, Lori Fullington. Sheíd end up being involved in a couple of memorable moments from ECW 2000. It may not mean much to the company, but it was fun seeing a young Ikuto Hidaka in action. While I canít comment on his other ECW matches, I felt he showed enough talent here that he deserved more than just being a jobber for Super Crazy and Tajiri. With virtually everyone of value involved in their own programs, the one clear weakness in the program department is ECW Champion, Mike Awesome. Since winning the championship, Heyman has not done a single thing for Awesome booking wise. Heís just sorta there beating people and having the feud with Masato Tanaka going on in the background because Tanaka is only coming in for PPVís, leaving zero time for angles.

  2. #42

    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    ECW on TNN
    December 10, 1999

    We open up with footage from a recent Rob Van Dam/Uganda match that featured Rob Van Dam throwing jabs at Sabu and his knee injury. That led to Sabu and RVD coming to blows and Sabu putting Uganda through a table with a dive. Just as weíre to hear from Fonzie on how heíll settle the differences between his two clients, Francine busts through the door behind him, pleading for help. Tommy Dreamer rushes in and Raven is seen bashing his head against a cabinet. Dreamer consoles his partner, imploring him to not give up on himself after all of the work heís put in to better himself. How strange that Francine was alone with Raven. Hmm...

    Weíre then shown footage again from the Limp Bizkit concert with Steve Corino crashing it. He gets in an argument with Fred Durst, but Axl Rotten, Balls Mahoney, and New Jack are there to attack Corino. Again, New Jack comes across as a moron for standing in front of Corino when Corino is supposed to be unaware that the ECW stars were there.

    Joey Styles and Joel Gertner properly open up the show with an in-ring interview with Steve Corino with Jack Victory. Corino insults Limp Bizkit, claiming that theyíre not real music unlike The Backstreet Boys, N Sync or his future girlfriend - Britney Spears. Corino insults the fans before turning his attention to who he credits as creating the hardcore Revolution - Dusty Rhodes. Dusty eventually comes out to the ring to have Corino insult him to his face with Corino claiming he never respected Dusty and that this is his time now. After Corino slaps Dusty, Rhodes lays the heels out with Bionic Elbows and a slam to Corino.

    Since Iíve only been reviewing these ECW on TNN episodes on the WWE Network, thereís always stuff edited out. Nothing signifcant, just the hotline commercials, ads for the ECW video tapes, and some other little things that are no longer relevant. However, while pulling out my copy of the original telecast to create some gifs, Iím reminded of the incredible ECW figure commercials. For a company built on being extreme and trying not to be like the big two, itís an ad that is straight up a rip off of the old WWE Hasbro ads from the early 90s.

    Thatís the absolute best thing about wrestling in 1999. Donít @ me~!

    Joey Styles recapped the Hardcore TV taping that took place in the building earlier in the night. New Jack dived off a balcony, Raven snapped and attacked The Prodigy and Ikuto Hidaka, RVD floored Tracy Smothers, Sabu and RVD went at it again, and Super Calo made his ECW debut in a losing effort against Super Crazy. Cool, I guess? To me, itís a gigantic waste to advertise what happened on your little TV show that so few people even have access to watching when you now have a national cable television program.

    Backstage, Justin Credible with Lance Storm, Dawn Marie, and Jason cuts a promo on his opponent tonight - The Sandman. Credible claims to be the new king of hardcore and heíll prove it tonight...alone. You see, he doesnít need his partner to beat The Sandman. Storm interjects by stating that this is how they will make an impact. Okay then.

    Little Spike Dudley vs Uganda
    Uganda was a rip off of Kamala and was a regular in AJPW where he mostly teamed with Abdullah the Butcher. I believe he even teamed with the original Kamala a few times. After avoiding a couple of charges from the big man, Spike delivered a low blow and Acid Drop to win in his standard short squash. SQUASH.

    Backstage, Rob Van Dam with Fonzie cuts a promo on Sabu. Itís pretty heelish, but I do enjoy how he keeps mentioning how Sabu is The Sheikís second favorite wrestler. Fonzie seems annoyed, but doesnít say anything to RVD.

    Mike Awesome © w/Judge Jeff Jones vs Too Cold Scorpio w/Jazz - ECW World Title
    Well fuck, this one has potential. The only explanation we got as for why Jazz is with Scorpio is that sheís there to prevent any interference from Jones, so keep that in mind. Joey Styles makes mention that both men have worked tours with All Japan earlier in the year. Whatís not mentioned is that they actually teamed together some just back in August. This match ended up delivering a great contest, one of the best from ECW on TNN in 1999. Early on, itís all Scorpio as heís using his unique moveset and his speed to get the best of the champion. Over the course of the match though, Scorpio slowly realizes that Awesome is a force of nature. Heís got power, like when he delivered a belly-to-belly suplex over the top rope to the floor before. Sometimes he just destroys Scorpioís offense such as Awesomeís top rope shoulder block that runs Scorpio over despite Scorpio holding up a chair. To make matters worse, no matter what Scorpio does, even spamming super kicks, is having much effect. It gets to the point where Scorpio is exhausted and seriously struggling. Then, remember how Jazz was supposedly only at ringside to counteract Jones? Well Jones never interferes, yet Jazz is there to jump into the ring to try and stop Awesome from putting Scorpio through a table. We even get a pin attempt where both Scorpio and Jazz are covering Awesome, yet he still kicks out. Heyman is booking Awesome to be an unbeatable beast. In the end, for as hard as Scorpio tried to suplex Awesome through a table, it ends up being countered with a top rope Awesome Bomb through the table instead. Awesome covers and wins, successfully retaining his title. Iíve said it before and as cliche as it may be, Mike Awesome is just that - awesome. Itís a shame RVD got hurt when he did because Heyman was building up to a colossal match of the unbeatable monster vs the unbeatable TV champion. *** Ĺ

    Before the main event, Justin Credible and Jason came to the ring to cut a promo on The Sandman. Credible claims The Sandman copied his gimmick of bringing a Singapore cane to the ring, but tonight Jason has thought ahead and ensured that Credible is the only one with a cane. The Sandmanís Singapore cane has been stolen~!

    The Sandman vs Justin Credible w/Jason
    So...what happened to Credibleís earlier claim of going at it alone? I know heís a heel and I should expect lies, but he didnít even pretend that he was there alone. If the idea was that always that only Lance Storm wouldnít be at ringside, Credible could have explained it much better. Joey Styles gave out some useful information on the backstory with this feud with Credible pinning Sandman in Sandmanís final ECW match before going to WCW as Hardcore Hak and then pinned Sandman again in the six man tag at November to Remember 2000. Does Credible have Sandmanís number?! In a clever idea, since Sandmanís cane was stolen, he came to the ring with a broom handle. And yet, not once does the broom handle ever get used. Seriously, by time we get back from a commercial break following the entrances, the broom handle is away from Sandman and that entire idea was a waste. Since Sandman is without his cane (And broom handle) Credible controlled the early going, but that prompted Sandman to go to the back and bring out a ladder. The ladder involvement suddenly helps Sandman gain control and dominate. After a table is brought into the ring, Credible tries to slow down the punishment by slapping on a sleeper, but thatís when both men are surprised by Rhino jumping into the ring and goring both through a table. Even though Sandman isnít technically involved in the tag team title picture, this is a direct response to the new team of Rhino and Chris Candido somewhat being ignored by Tommy Dreamer/Raven and The Impact Players. In a match where Credible tried to stack the deck against The Sandman by stealing the Singapore cane, itís all backfired with the ladder and now Rhinoís run-in messing up Credibleís one moment of countering Sandman. That prompted Jason to jump into the ring to try and lay Sandman out with his own Singapore cane, that misses, Sandman recovers the cane. White Russian Leg Sweep to Jason. He tries to do the same to Credible, but while the referee is getting Jasonís body out of the ring, Lance Storm performs a springboard drop kick to Sandman. That allows Credible to steal the victory and score yet another pinfall over The Sandman. While I had a problem with Jason being at ringside due to Credibleís earlier claims, Iím cool with Storm interfering since itís a total heel move. The match had a good story despite the stupid non-involvement of the broom stick with Sandman struggling without his trusty Singapore cane, but slowly regaining his mojo until heís reunited until those damn Impact Players screwed him over. Match quality was less impressive though, but it wasnít too long. **

    After the match, The Impact Players and Jason continue the attack on The Sandman until Tommy Dreamer ran out for the save. Francine and Dawn Marie Bytch got involved in a cat fight until Rhino ran back out, teasing a piledriver on Francine until Dreamer saved her, but that allowed for yet another springboard drop kick, this time to Dreamer. That allows for The Impact Players and company to stand tall over Sandman and Dreamer while Rhino has vanished.

    Backstage, Dreamer and Francine pass Raven with Dreamer bitching at Raven for not helping out in the last segment. Raven fired back with the claim that heís cool with helping out Dreamer, but he refuses to ever help The Sandman. To be honest, thatís fair. Dreamer is his partner, he owes Sandman nothing. That causes Dreamer to storm off while Francine trails behind, telling Raven that she understands. HmmÖ

    Hey, it only took me three years to watch this show! Even though ECW Champion, Mike Awesome feels really directionless with Masato Tanaka in Japan, Heyman is still promoting him as such an incredible force. All Awesome has done since returning to ECW is kick ass and an unbeatable force. By my count, Awesome is 29-0 in ECW in 1999. His match with Scorpio tonight was worthy of being on PPV. Itís a shame that post-Scorpio opted to spend most of his time wrestling in Japan for All Japan and later NOAH because the guy would have been a great pick up for ECW in the aftermath of losing so many stars after the launch of ECW on TNN. The biggest program in ECW, the whole huge saga of The Impact Players vs The Sandman/Tommy Dreamer/Raven vs Chris Candido/Rhino while Raven and Sandman still hate each other is getting a ton of TV coverage, but I feel itís getting better with Francine starting to become closer to Raven which could cause major problems for Raven/Dreamer and Dreamerís role as trying to keep Raven and Sandman from killing each other all in hopes at keeping the other two teams from taking the tag titles. RVD being a dick to Sabu is fun stuff as well. Although some criticize Dusty Rhodesí involvement in ECW, I feel like he played a huge role in giving Steve Corino a rub and making him more than just some comedy heel. Overall, I thought this was a good ep of ECW on TNN. That being said, coming back to ECW on TNN after three years, I donít think that Heyman is utilizing the program well enough. It feels like weíre seeing just a sample of whatís going on in ECW every time we tune in for an episode rather than Heyman treating the program as the source for where everything has to happen. Maybe part of the problem is ECWís tendency to be a spontaneous company instead of one that announces everything in advance. Ultimately, with every episode of ECW on TNN, itís up to the viewer to try and pick up on what happened since the last week, but was never told.

  3. #43

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    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    My only input is that yes, Awesome vs Scorp ruled. Awesome TV championship match from memory, probably Awesome's best non-PPV match I want to say.

  4. #44

    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    My only input is that yes, Awesome vs Scorp ruled. Awesome TV championship match from memory, probably Awesome's best non-PPV match I want to say.
    When I saw that the match was set to happen on that episode, I remembered you shilling that match a few years back. It has some potentially stiff competition for Awesome's best TV match before the end of 1999 with two Masato Tanaka matches on ECW on TNN. I don't have any recollection of seeing those two matches from their series though.

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