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

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    WWECW Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    ECW on TNN
    August 27, 1999


    The first ever edition of ECW on TNN. Right away, the show encounters issues due to the fact that the first taping was held in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio. The show featured such matches as Jerry Lynn and Sabu vs Rob Van Dam and Justin Credible, Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy (Which 95% of all 1999 live events had), and a main event of Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley winning the ECW Tag Titles from the Dudley Boyz. The only problem is that Paul Heyman reportedly hated the show and felt the Toledo crowd sucked. To defend Toledo, why would you pick Toledo to be the location for the first ever TNN taping? It’s a town you visited a grand total of zero times prior to that. When Ring of Honor set-up their first HD Net taping, they didn’t come to a town they’ve never been at like Toledo, no, they went to Philly, their home turf. That’s logical. ECW kicking off ECW on TNN in Toledo? That’s just silly. With the tapings not living up to Heyman’s expectations, he ditched the entire show and instead threw together a Best Of special to be the premiere episode of ECW on TNN.

    The show kicks off with Spike Dudley being power bombed through a flaming table by the Dudley Boyz in the one clip from the Toledo show that was shown on TNN. This isn’t the WWF, this isn’t even WCW, this is ECW!

    Joey Styles welcomes us to the show by promoting the ECW Television title by name dropping some of the bigger stars that once held the title. Names such as Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, 2 Cold Scorpio, and Bam Bam Bigelow are mentioned. Despite the star power of the title’s past, the best ECW TV Champion may be the current titleholder - Rob Van Dam.

    Rob Van Dam © w/Fonzie vs Jerry Lynn - ECW TV Title
    The first proper ECW match I ever saw that wasn’t ECW guys featured on Monday Night Raw in 1997 or viewing an ECW PPV through the PPV scrambled channel. This match was an edited version of their Hardcore Heaven ‘99 bout. If it wasn’t for the fact that this match was later released in full on the original Rise and Fall of ECW, I would have otherwise assumed I never saw my favorite ECW match in full. In 1999, this match blew away my thirteen year old self. While it may be considered cheating since this was originally a PPV match, it’s still a long match shown on a weekly television show. I believe we were shown roughly eighteen minutes of this twenty-seven minute match. At the height of the Monday Night Wars, you weren’t seeing such a long match on a weekly show. Then there was the action. Crazy spot after crazy spot. With today’s eyes, the craziest spot saw RVD kick Lynn off of the top rope, causing Lynn to fall face first onto the floor below. I believe that spot legitimately knocked Lynn unconscious for a bit. There were plenty of chair spots and a sunset flip power bomb through the table on the outside. Both guys end up bleeding the hard way and by the end of the match, you felt as if this was a war. This midcard title means so much that they’re willing to put their bodies through this for the chance to leave with the belt. While the match is really spotty, there is also a story. Lynn is booked to be an equal to RVD, but the one area in which RVD surpasses him in is Fonzie. Fonzie is always there to try to help RVD connect with the Van Daminator. Lynn managed to duck out of the way of the first one, but RVD connected with the second attempt. Luckily, this happened on the outside, so Lynn wasn’t endanger of being pinned. When a third attempt takes place in the ring, Lynn breaks it up by taking Fonzie out with a chair strike. RVD finally manages to figure out a way to beat Lynn with his fourth attempt of the Van Daminator, which connected, and followed that up with a second Five Star Frog Splash to score the pinfall victory. Even in it’s edited form, this match brings me right back to being a thirteen year old watching this episode on a Friday night in late August ‘99. It remains my all time favorite ECW match today. ****


    Joey Styles is back to name drop even more bigger stars. This time the common link is stars who fought and failed to win the ECW World Title. Names mentioned are Cactus Jack, Ron Simmons, Rick Steiner, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. I’m not calling Styles a liar, but I can’t find any mention of Steiner ever wrestling for the ECW World Title. ECW Tag Titles, yes, but World? Nope.

    Back from a commercial break and we’re shown a portion of Shane Douglas’ infamous promo where he threw down the NWA World Title and proclaimed himself the ECW World Champion as ECW breaks away from the NWA. As luck will have it, that moment took place on August 27, 1994, five years ago exactly. If that was purely coincidental, that’s amazing.

    Before we see the current ECW Champion, Taz, in action, Joey Styles once again does some name dropping. This time it’s naming guys who have been ECW Champion in the past. Such wrestlers named include Terry Funk, Raven, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Hardcore Hak.

    Taz © vs Rhino w/Steve Corino and Jack Victory - ECW World Title
    This took place back on June 16, 1999. Originally, this was going to be Corino vs Taz, but Corino pulled out and instead introduced Rhino as his replacement, making Rhino’s ECW TV debut. Match kicked off with Rhino immediately delivering a power bomb, but Taz no sold it. From there, Taz displays a variety of Tazplexes including one off of the middle rope and one through a table. One Tazmission later and Taz wins this easy match. The day it's no longer fun watching someone drop a fool on his head over and over with suplexes is the day wrestling dies. This match summed up Taz’s ECW Title reign well. He came off like a total monster, but there isn’t any value in beating random lowcarders. It’s why RVD’s TV Title reign was such a big deal in 1999. SQUASH.


    We’re then shown a video package on Sabu. SABU IS BANNED IN THE UNITED STATES~! That is unless you go to any live ECW event or order any of their PPV’s. But other than that, he’s BANNED IN THE US~!

    Little Spike Dudley vs Big Sal E.
    Spike ducks out of the way of a couple of charges, delivers a low blow, and then delivers the Acid Drop to beat the largest member of the Full Blooded Italians in mere seconds. Little Spike Dudley is the giant killer of ECW~! SQUASH.

    In the back, The Impact Players, Jason, and Dawn Marie Bytch get some TV time to introduce themselves. They’re interrupted by Cyrus, who is upset about how difficult he’s finding scoring any camera time. Naturally, the camera keeps going back to Dawn Marie. Cyrus bails and the Impact Players and company does a swell job at showing off their characters. During this segment, we’re shown footage of the Impact Players beating up the likes of Sid Vicious, Shane Douglas, Jerry Lynn, and of course Tommy Dreamer.


    Up next is a greatly edited music video montage featuring every talent in ECW. Even back in 1999, I thought this was a brilliant idea as first time viewers get a small look at every ECW wrestler, complete with their names being displayed at the bottom of the screen. Why doesn’t every wrestling company debuting on TV do this? Sadly, the original music video featuring Kid Rock’s Bawitdaba is removed. Remember how big Bawitdaba was back in 1999?!

    We then head into the final segment of the show, Taz cutting a promo somewhere. The theme of the promo is the same theme of the show - name dropping~! This time, Taz names off some of the bigger stars that he’s choked out with his Tazmission. Such names include Shane Douglas, Chris Jericho, Bam Bam Bigelow, and 2 Cold Scorpio. Perhaps Taz was a mark for himself, but the guy sure did know how to come across as a legitimate badass.

    ECW on TNN fades to black with a close-up shot of the ECW World Championship.

    Overall
    Despite the problems with the original Toledo taping, I found this first episode of ECW on TNN to be just as effective as I did back in 1999. Granted, it is a bit of an unusual show in that while we do get to know several of the major personalities (Especially RVD, Taz, and the Impact Players), we didn't get much time devoted to any of the actual programs. This is something that even WCW got right with the debut episode of Monday Nitro. To ECW's defense, had they shown a portion of that Toledo event, we would have been shown the Dudley Boyz vs Spike/Balls, Impact Players vs Lynn, the never ending Tajiri/Crazy, and additional programs. Not to mention, there's a certain historic event taking place next week that would drastically effect the company, so it's not as if you could showcase that just yet. Hindsight being 20/20, perhaps they showed have showcased the Dudley Boyz a good deal to build up to their ECW farewell the following week. It's a tricky time for ECW though, so what are you going to do? What matters most is that we get one awesome match, which is especially great if didn't order the Hardcore Heaven PPV, and there's an excitement to check out next week's episode due to the one hour length not being so long to wear you out. It's hardly a perfectly executed first episode, but it still works for me. Perhaps next week they'd be less concerned with name dropping past stars and instead focus on who's still in the company.

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

    Great Review!! Looking forward to this, but may have to avoid it. I'm watching ECW from the beginning of 1995 and I'm going to try go through it in order. The song they use for Raven is terrible.

    I also love that RVD vs Lynn match. Great stuff!!! I prefer the Living Dangerously match over it though.

    Also agree on Taz s character and promo delivery. He talked like a legit bad ass and was booked liked one. I feel WWE destroyed that to early in his WWE career.

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

    Great to see ECW reviewing on this forum, yeah Rvd/Jerry Lynn the one of the best feuds for Pro Wrestling if not for ECW that year no doubt. Lynn made Rvd turn it up another notch, and Rvd was able to handle and put on a great performance with him.

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

    I prefer not to remember how big Bawitaba was back then, thank you very much.



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

    I still own 2 VHS tapes that I made way back in the day with the first several episodes of ECW on TNN. Haven't watched them in many many years though.

  6. #6

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

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    Great Review!! Looking forward to this, but may have to avoid it. I'm watching ECW from the beginning of 1995 and I'm going to try go through it in order. The song they use for Raven is terrible.
    Yeah, the music edits are a bummer. For me, the one that stands out the most is RVD's. Walk by Pantera was such a big part of RVD's ECW act that it feels incomplete with that cheap edit. I wish in these cases, they'd just use their WWE themes instead. It's still "Wrong", but it's not as glaring of an issue.

    Spike's cheap version of Highway to Hell isn't too bad though. I don't hate Sabu's either.

    I also love that RVD vs Lynn match. Great stuff!!! I prefer the Living Dangerously match over it though.
    I know people are hard on the series these days on the IWC, but to me that was such a major feud in 1999. That program played a huge part in hooking me into ECW.

    Also agree on Taz s character and promo delivery. He talked like a legit bad ass and was booked liked one. I feel WWE destroyed that to early in his WWE career.
    Looking back, I don't know why McMahon even signed Taz in the first place. With his size, McMahon obviously wasn't going to push him like he was in ECW. Without booking Taz as an unstoppable beast, what are you left with? Apparently some random lowcarder that doesn't add any value to the WWE product.

    Luckily, moving Taz over to the commentary booth did pay off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papa View Post
    I prefer not to remember how big Bawitaba was back then, thank you very much.



    Good review.
    It was so big that some jobber named David Jericho managed to make himself a star off of Kid Rock's fame~!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flock U View Post
    I still own 2 VHS tapes that I made way back in the day with the first several episodes of ECW on TNN. Haven't watched them in many many years though.
    In my basement I still have my original blank VHS tape featuring the first six episodes of ECW on TNN. My thirteen year old self even went so far to draw little blood droplets in blood on the label because ECW was hardcore, damn it!

  7. #7

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

    ECW on TNN
    September 3, 1999


    The first “True” ECW on TNN episode. This episode takes place in Queens, NY. A far more logical location to tape ECW on TNN than Toledo, Ohio.

    Taz © vs Yoshihiro Tajiri w/Steve Corino and Jack Victory - ECW World Title
    Unlike Rhino last week, Tajiri is seen as a bit of a star, so he’s allowed to get in some offense on the champion. This includes a couple of buzzsaw kicks and a low dropkick. However, this is still Taz 1999, so he doesn’t act as if Tajiri is a real threat though. Taz practically knocks Tajiri unconscious before further punishing him with a series of forearms. The finishing stretch is great as it’s a bunch of ducks and avoidance of moves before Tajiri ends up turning around into the Tazmission. Taz chokes Tajiri out to win another easy match. Pretty fun match for what it was. ** ¼


    Joey Styles is in the ring to officially welcome us to the show. He’s interrupted by Joel Gertner, who announces that he’s Joey’s broadcast partner for ECW on TNN. That brings out Jerry Lynn to badmouth WCW and ECW before turning his attention to Rob Van Dam and the ECW TV Championship. He wants another crack at the championship. Fonzie comes out to refuse to give Lynn ANOTHER title shot. Fonzie slaps Lynn, which causes Lynn to snap. RVD runs out in time to save Fonzie from a proper beat down. A brawl ensues between Lynn and RVD before security can pull them apart.

    Next week on ECW on TNN - RVD vs Jerry Lynn for the ECW TV Championship!

    Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley © vs The Dudley Boyz - ECW Tag Titles
    It’s announced that this is the final ECW match for D-Von and Bubba Ray as they head off to the WWE. Of course, that creates a piece of drama for this match as what will happen to ECW if the Dudley Boyz win the titles and lay the belts at the feet of the McMahon family?! Beyond that, there’s not much of a story here. It’s a total Texas Tornado style brawl with both babyfaces blading. It’s actually pretty fun stuff though. There’s several nearfalls including a double pin attempt by the champions following an Acid Drop/Nutcrackle Suite, but the Dudleyz kicked out of both finishers. Spike tries a second Acid Drop, but gets sent over the top rope, crashing through a table for his trouble. Balls sets up a table with thumbtacks, but pays for his evil thoughts by being power bombed through the table by the Dudleyz instead. Spike is there to break up the cover though. ECW’s nightmare comes true though as the Dudleyz deliver the 3D to Spike to win the match and become the NEW ECW Tag Team Champions. Really fun action. ***


    We cut to later in the taping when the Dudley Boyz and Sign Guy Dudley return to the ring for a Bubba Ray promo. Bubba Ray: “In ECW, boys become men. Men become heroes. In the WWE, heroes become legends and legends become GODS.” Bubba is ready to head to the WWE, but before the Dudleyz leave, they have one more thing they have to do. They want to completely kill ECW by destroying Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer and Francine comes out, but Heyman is there to hold Dreamer back since he has two herniated discs in his back and has no business being out there. The Dudleyz try to goad Dreamer into a fight by bringing up Beulah and insulting Francine. Finally, Dreamer can’t take any more and he rushes into the ring.

    The Dudley Boyz © w/Sign Guy Dudley vs Tommy Dreamer - ECW Tag Titles
    More of an angle than an actual match. Dreamer finds some early success after Francine gets him a ladder to use as an unofficial partner. All of this goes well until Dreamer is whipped into the ladder, to further agitated his bad back. We’re shown plenty of replays of the ladder strikes so that we end up missing some ECW lowcarders rushing the ring to try to save Dreamer. All of it is ineffective though. The attack on the injured Dreamer is apparently so bad that even Sign Guy Dudley tries to talk the Dudley Boyz to stop, but he ends up being knocked down by his now former tag team clients. Just as the Dudleyz look to finish Dreamer off with a 3D, Dreamer finds the strength to counter it into a DDT. Then after working the entire match on his own, Dreamer has someone coming to his rescue. To the shock of everyone in the building, Raven makes his return to ECW to deliver a DDT to Bubba Ray. Dreamer and Raven get a double pin on the Dudleyz to win the titles. Like I said, it’s more of an angle than a proper match, especially since the replays kept us from seeing all of the action. Memorable match though. ANGLE.


    After the match, Dreamer finally turns around to see who helped him win the tag championships. Styles hypes this moment up as a nightmare for Dreamer. Dreamer has finally won a World Championship in wrestling, but he has to share it with his biggest rival in history. After handing Dreamer one of the tag titles, Raven takes his and heads out into the crowd to bask in the celebrations and the huge reaction from the fans.


    Overall
    If the first episode of ECW on TNN was just a quick introduction to some of it’s personalities, episode 2 was a proper episode in setting up some of the main programs going forward. You can not stress enough how big of a deal it was when Raven returned. It’s easily the biggest moment of ECW on TNN and one of the bigger moments in ECW history. Raven’s return comes at a perfect time because ECW is in some serious trouble with the Dudley Boyz leaving for the WWE. The Dudley Boyz were your top heel act in ECW and by this point I’d also call them the only legitimate tag team left. With the Dudley Boyz gone, all you have left are makeshift tag teams (I’d include Impact Players in this) and low level tag teams that don’t have any star power (Roadkill/Doring is a good example of this). It’s a brutal blow this early into a new era of ECW, but at least Raven cushions the fall a bit. Another big advantage to Raven’s return is that we have a great reason to tune in next week. What’s going to be the aftermath of Raven and Dreamer’s title win? Speaking of next week, we also had the announcement of RVD vs Lynn for next week as well. Perhaps it’s questionable to run the match after already seeing Lynn lose cleanly to RVD at the Hardcore Heaven match last week, but you’re guaranteed to have a good match. For the second week in a row, Taz and the World Title division gets completely overshadowed by another title division, although this time it’s the tag titles. Overall though, it is a clear improvement on the first episode as Heyman begins to decide where the direction of the company is going in this new era.

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

    Lol Devon taking that head shot. I know I saw about three or four crazy shakes from Devon in matches their were funny. One time he did a shake like that, and Joey Styles says on the commentary that was scary. Great show for me, sad to see it being The Dudleyz last night in ECW, but it started a crazy new story with Dreamer/Raven. For years these two hated each other, and Raven returned from WCW, to win the tag titles over The Dudleyz just incredible.

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

    Loving the reviews Jim! Keep em coming! I've been meaning to back to the beginning on ECW and watch what I've missed.

  10. #10

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

    ECW on TNN
    September 10, 1999


    The show kicks off with a replay from last week’s shocking turn of events with Raven returning to help Tommy Dreamer defeated the Dudley Boyz to become the NEW ECW Tag Team Champions.

    Super Crazy vs Rhino
    The first match I ever saw of Super Crazy. Thanks to his wild moveset, Crazy became one of my favorites in ECW. The timing was perfect. By the fall of 1999, the WCW Cruiserweight division had really dried up. Other than Blitzkrieg at the start of the year, we hadn’t seen any new high flying stars that stood out. Watching Crazy here reminded me of seeing Rey Mysterio for the first time in 1996 or even Amazing Red in 2003. Looking back, it seems a little wonky to have Rhino lose for the second time in just three weeks considering his monster beast push is about to begin. At this point though, he’s just Steve Corino’s rookie monster without any legitimacy. Rhino did manage to garner a lot of heel heat from the Queens crowd though. Crazy’s the real star here and he keeps things interesting. Finish saw Rhino attempt a Rhino Bomb for the victory, but Crazy counters that into a sloppy looking Frankensteiner for the victory. It’ll never cease to bug me when a wrestler performs a Frankensteiner, but they don’t wrap their legs around the neck of the opponent. It’s the wrapping of the legs that allows you to bring your opponent down with you! Still, this was a fun match-up with two ECW rookies. ** ½


    After the match, Steve Corino runs out to berate Rhino for losing. Rhino looked to stand up for himself by backing Corino into the corner. Rhino called Crazy back into the ring and offered his hand as a sign of respect. Crazy shakes it and eats a boot for his trouble. Rhino delivers a Rhino Bomb to stand tall with Corino celebrating being responsible for his rookie monster upping the intensity.

    In the back, Joey Styles and Joel Gertner causally mentions that Japan’s Masato Tanaka will be flown in to challenge Taz for the ECW Championship at Anarchy Rulz. Wait...what? Tanaka hadn’t been shown or mentioned a single time on ECW on TNN and now he’s receiving a PPV World Title shot? Based on the booking of these shows, you’d think that Taz would finally get his hands on Steve Corino on PPV. To prepare for Tanaka, we’re shown an ECW flashback match next.

    Masato Tanaka vs Mike Awesome
    An edited version of their Heatwave 1998 match. It looks as if only three minutes or so was edited off of this during the commercial break in the match. As usual, these two had a completely crazy match. The initial purpose of showing this match is that you can’t beat Tanaka. Awesome absolutely killed Tanaka with numerous chair shots and Awesome Bombs, but Tanaka refused to stay down. Will Taz’s Tazmission be enough to keep Tanaka down for good? If Tanaka always getting back up wasn’t bad enough for Awesome, Tanaka even performs an Awesome Bomb over the top rope, dumping Awesome through a table on the floor below. Crazy spot. Yet, that doesn’t even give Tanaka the win when he finally gets Awesome back into the ring. He tries the Roaring Elbow, but Awesome kicks out again. Finally, Tanaka finds the move that works with the Tornado DDT on a couple of chairs. A brutal match from a series of matches that may be my favorite in ECW history. As completely wacky as the build to the Tanaka/Taz Anarchy Rulz match is, there’s a secret ulterior motive on display with this match by also making Mike Awesome look like a star as well. So I get what Heyman is going for even if he’s going about it in a completely nonsensical way. Awesome match that I’m sure is even better in full. *** ½


    We’re shown a highlight video hyping up Jerry Lynn/RVD with clips from their Hardcore Heaven match. Uhh...we already saw that match, guys. Lynn and RVD had a ton of matches, why show a highlight video of a match you showed in edited form on the very first episode of ECW on TNN? Show a highlight reel from their Living Dangerously match instead.

    Rob Van Dam © w/Fonzie vs Jerry Lynn - ECW TV Title
    Watching this match, I was enthralled with how completely in-sync RVD and Lynn are with each other. They’re running these complicated sequences where one will set a chair in position for the guy to flip towards a couple of steps later to allow that people to then smash the original wrestler with the chair in the next step. The risk of botches is high, yet they make these sequences look easy. With 2016 eyes, that’s what impresses me the most about their matches. The commentators would not stop billing Lynn as the guy that will eventually end RVD’s title win, as if it’s not a matter of if, but rather when. In hindsight, I feel they made a mistake in not having Lynn beat RVD. Sure, RVD was a monster star, but you can’t keep billing Lynn as his greatest foe if all he really is is RVD’s personal jobber. It limits Lynn’s star attraction. Not to mention, Lynn is ready to be champion. Taking the belt off of RVD also opens him up for a run at the ECW World Championship. Instead, we got neither. Shame. Tonight felt like the night to give Lynn the victory. The main story with the match is that RVD and Lynn are total equals, except RVD has Fonzie there to always give him that extra boost. Fonzie interferes plenty, but Lynn also makes him pay at various points. Lynn delivered his own version of the Van Daminator in the middle of the ring for a nearfall. The match is rocking until the finish when both men are down and the Impact Players run out to attack both men. Storm gives Lynn his own Cradle Piledriver while Credible delivers That’s Incredible to RVD. Match ends in a no contest, which Joey Styles criticizes the Impact Players for ruining six years of giving the fans actual winners or losers. Yeah, this is hte only no contest in ECW history. Sure, pal. It’s not like we just had a no contest at Hardcore Heaven with Justin Credible. Awesome free match, but lousy no contest finish. *** ¼


    After the match, we’re shown a quick video package detailing the Impact Players ruling ECW by destroying everyone and even getting Sabu banned in America. Why is Heyman even trying to tell his fans that Sabu is banned in America? You have a smark audience. They know what’s really happening. For fucks sake, Sabu even wrestled on the night this taped event aired on TNN.

    Just before the show goes off of the air, we get the news that we’ll see RVD/Lynn II next week on ECW on TNN - this time there WILL be a winner! In addition, we’ll hear from Raven for the first time since his exit from WCW and shocking return to ECW!

    Overall
    With two of the three matches over three stars, episode three is easily the best episode of ECW on TNN thus far in terms of match quality. I don’t know if that’s exactly fair since one of those matches was originally a PPV match, but it doesn’t change the fact that we did see two really good matches. One nice thing about this show is that we’re finally told one upcoming match at the Anarchy Rulz PPV. Granted, it’s a match that makes zero sense and won’t even technically happen, but we’re still told something. The lack of Dreamer/Raven was disappointing, but we’re at least promised to hear from Raven next week to get that program up and running. The TNN debuts of Crazy, Tanaka, and Awesome all worked great for me back when this originally aired. All three men came across as awesome wrestlers that I wanted to see more of. Overall, the booking may be wacky, but thus far ECW on TNN continues to be a fun ride.


    Anarchy Rulz - September 19, 1999

    Announced Matches

    ECW World Title
    Taz © vs Masato Tanaka

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

    Went ahead and watched the Lynn/RVD match. Very good match. Idk that I would call it my favorite ECW match, but it's up there. Probably top 10. But yeah, this was edited quite a bit. If I had one complaint, it was the replays. They were cheesy as fuck. Not sure if they were edited into this or actually on the original broadcast/PPV. They go away from the action and put a reply on a backdrop with terrible music. Just awful.

    Also, when did they debut the LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR theme? Or did WWE just scrap that on the Network because of copyright? I went all the way to the final TNN show in late 2000 and it wasn't on that episode either.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PeepShow View Post
    Also, when did they debut the LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR theme? Or did WWE just scrap that on the Network because of copyright? I went all the way to the final TNN show in late 2000 and it wasn't on that episode either.
    I always thought it was WWE that brought up that theme for them, in fact they used it for Summerslam 2001.

    EDIT The song wasn't released until May 2001, after ECW finished.
    Last edited by Crocker; 04-11-2016 at 01:44 PM.

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

    I remember watching ECW on TNN on Fridays when I was a kid alongside Rollerderby and I could have sworn it was the theme at the time. Maybe not. Weird.

  14. #14
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    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    Quote Originally Posted by PeepShow View Post
    Went ahead and watched the Lynn/RVD match. Very good match. Idk that I would call it my favorite ECW match, but it's up there. Probably top 10. But yeah, this was edited quite a bit. If I had one complaint, it was the replays. They were cheesy as fuck. Not sure if they were edited into this or actually on the original broadcast/PPV. They go away from the action and put a reply on a backdrop with terrible music. Just awful.

    Also, when did they debut the LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR theme? Or did WWE just scrap that on the Network because of copyright? I went all the way to the final TNN show in late 2000 and it wasn't on that episode either.
    What match did you watch? The PPV match or the TV?

    Also im betting the music you are hearing is the music that WWE picked. Just check Ravens music from the ECW hardcore TVs in 1995. Horrendous!!! It's so bad it makes Raven look bad. There's a video package of Raven around the time he debuts( jan-feb 1995) and the music just ruins it.

    Either way, great review looking forward to seeing this episode when I get this far in my ECW watching!!!
    Last edited by indyfan; 04-11-2016 at 02:23 PM.

  15. #15

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

    It's interesting that WWE used Drowning Pool with ECW so often that some are under the impression that that was always ECW's theme when it was nothing more than a WWE creation for ECW.

    Here is the classic ECW theme that Heyman used.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOGXeGMH6_U

    An edited version is also used as the opening to ECW on TNN.

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

    It's not that I thought it was the ECW theme. I knew the ECW them was the one you just posted above. I just thought the Drowning Pool song was the theme used on TNN when their show started on Friday nights and the regular theme was for PPVs and other general uses. But I guess not. Thanks for the heads up.

  17. #17

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

    In regards to theme songs, I do have to wonder how many wrestlers themes did Heyman have legal rights to use at this point. I know in the early days of ECW, they ignored copywrite laws and used whatever songs they wanted with the hope that they were small enough to remain undetected by the music labels. Now it's late 1999 and you're on a respectable cable network. I can't imagine the major music labels are still unaware of ECW.

  18. #18
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    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    Really loving this Jim. The TNN shows have a very special place in my heart as a fan. Hell, I bought them years back on bootleg DVD on eBay (when you could buy such things on eBay.)

    And yes. Even though Drowning Pool is great. Nothing holds a candle to the original ECW intro. And actually they did have permission to use some of the songs back in the day... At one point they had an agreement with Elektra, among others... Elektra was the main one cause they would have the disclaimer run across the screen back in the day on Hardcore TV. They were smart in the sense that they just let the music play over live mics instead of piping it into the direct audio feed. Hell, even the NFL does that now to skirt the issue lol.

  19. #19

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

    ECW on TNN
    September 17, 1999


    We open up to the finish of a tag match in the ECW arena. Tommy Dreamer is being tripled team by Steve Corino, Rhino, and Jack Victory while wrapped up in barbed wire. Just like in Queens, Raven comes out through the crowd to save Dreamer, quickly gets the victory with a DDT and then bails on Dreamer. With their successful title defense, Dreamer and Raven are going to Anarchy Rulz to defend their titles again.

    In the back, Cyrus is with Fonzie. The big news is that Sabu’s ban in America is lifted and he’ll be wrestling Justin Credible at Anarchy Rulz. Thank God the ban has been lifted. How else were you supposed to watch Sabu? I mean...other than going to any ECW live event during Sabu’s ban that he still wrestled at.

    In the ring, PN News is ripping on Philly while doing his old WCW rap gimmick. That brings out Spike Dudley.

    Little Spike Dudley vs PN News
    News remains one of the more underrated big men in wrestling history. He was comparable to Bam Bam Bigelow in that he was a big man who could still move. Yet, thanks to one corny gimmick, everyone hates on the poor guy. News did the worst thing you could do against Spike by working a fast pace. News missed a twisting middle rope splash. One low blow and Acid Drop later, Spike wins in about a minute. The giant killer strikes again. SQUASH.

    Sadly, the WWE Network has been cutting out all of the Anarchy Rulz advertisements and even the ECW toy commercials.


    I love the commercial, but man, they aren’t even trying to hide the fact that it’s a blatant rip off of the classic Hasbro WWF commercials from the early 90’s.

    We cut to the parking lot where an ambulance sits waiting. The news is that an ECW wrestler has been injured. Who could it be?!

    Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy
    Frankly, I’m shocked it took Heyman four weeks before booking Crazy/Tajiri on ECW on TNN. Unfortunately, this match is underwhelmingly short. The sole notable spot in the match saw Tajiri perform an Asai Moonsault past the steel railing into the crowd. From there, Tajiri has some fun throwing a chair high up into the air. I swear, Tajiri is the most dangerous ECW wrestler at this point in time. It’s amazing he never hurt any fans. They do their thing in the ring while I’m waiting for it to really get going with some story. Instead, we get an abrupt finish with Crazy killing Tajiri with a pinning power bomb for the victory. It was what it was for a three minute match. **

    We cut to a random playground at night with Raven hanging out on a swing. He goes over his past with Tommy Dreamer while clips from their feud are shown. Raven speculates that in his two years away from ECW, Dreamer not only lost all meaning in his career, but he even lost Beulah. Raven is back to be Dreamer’s own personal demon. Raven was a weird talker in that you were glued to his words, but once it was finished, you had no idea what he was actually talking about.

    Rob Van Dam © w/Fonzie vs Lance Storm w/Dawn Marie Bytch - ECW TV Title
    It’s only after it’s announced that this was a TV Title match that Joey Styles realizes that it was Jerry Lynn that was in the ambulance with the assumption that the Impact Players were responsible for injuring him. The match started off hot with Storm launching himself over the top rope during RVD’s entrance. Storm gives RVD a decent little chair shot to make up for his awful one at Barely Legal ‘97. It’s after RVD gives him a side kick from the top rope that Justin Credible runs out to attack RVD. Jerry Lynn, with his ribs taped up, runs out for the save, but he gets attacked by former Dynamite Kid partner and current AJPW wrestler, Johnny Smith. The new alliance of the Impact Players and Smith continue the beat down of Lynn and RVD. Styles reminds us all that Credible, Storm, and Smith all have connections to the Hart Family. I don’t know why, but Storm seems just fine about having his TV Title shot ruined after just a couple minutes of wrestling. ANGLE.


    Once the heels leave, RVD gets on the mic and challenges Lynn to a match right now. The injured Lynn accepts and we get the match ECW originally promised.

    Rob Van Dam © w/Fonzie vs Jerry Lynn - ECW TV Title
    So...where are the Impact Players and Smith? They ruined the Lynn/RVD match from last week, tried stopping it earlier tonight by injuring Lynn, and ruined the Storm/RVD match just a few minutes ago. Why are they so content to now letting RVD and Lynn wrestle? This match wasn’t as good as their previous ones due to some botched spots. The crowd got really into it after Lynn is closelined from the apron and fell crashing through a table below. The medical staff came to check on Lynn who kept checking under his wrapped up ribs, complaining that the stitches have come out. Uhh...what exactly did the Impact Players do to Lynn to cause him to need stitches in his chest? The booking of this makes zero sense. Luckily, the crowd made this something special in it’s second half. Lynn gets in nearfall after nearfall and once again, you feel as if this was the perfect night to change the title. Instead, Lynn yet again chokes in a title match. Just call Lynn ECW’s answer to Lex Luger. RVD wins after plenty of Fonzie interference and a Van Daminator giving RVD a three count. ***


    After the match, RVD and Lynn shakes hands while Styles mentions that RVD now has Johnny Smith to battle with at Anarchy Rulz. Wait...what?

    Before the show ends, Styles and Gertner goes over the card for Anarchy Rulz while announcing a few new matches including Lance Storm vs Jerry Lynn, Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Little Guido vs Super Crazy, and Raven/Dreamer defending the tag titles against a tag team of Steve Corino’s choosing.

    Overall
    It’s a good thing I find ECW’s workrate to be fairly high at this point in time because the booking is pretty awful. The booking woes was a glaring issue on this weak episode thanks notably to the entire TV Title saga. While I understand why someone like Johnny Smith was brought into ECW (At this point RVD is legitimately just trying to find new guys to beat in TV Title matches and he worked with Smith in AJPW prior to joining ECW), announcing that he’s going to be receiving a TV Title shot on the next PPV makes zero sense. Since the start of ECW on TNN, it’s been all about Lynn being the man to beat RVD. So in theory, why isn’t Lynn receiving a PPV title shot? Even a three-way match with RVD, Storm, and Lynn would make more sense than anything with Smith. The irony is that RVD/Smith won’t even happen at Anarchy Rulz anyhow. The World Title is in a similar state with a non-regular performer, Masato Tanaka, randomly being given a World Title shot on PPV despite Taz seemingly being in a program against Steve Corino. I suppose the fact that these two divisions have programs should be good enough because the tag team division is in total shambles with the Dudley Boyz gone. Despite all of these issues, ECW on TNN is becoming a consistent show in terms of delivering at least one good match a week. It’s a fun watch if you turn off your brain.



    Anarchy Rulz - September 19, 1999

    Announced Matches

    ECW World Title
    Taz (c) vs Masato Tanaka

    ECW Television Title
    Rob Van Dam (c) vs Johnny Smith

    Grudge Match
    Sabu vs Justin Credible

    ECW Tag Team Titles
    Raven and Tommy Dreamer (c) vs Steve Corino's mystery team

    Jerry Lynn vs Lance Storm

    Three-Way Dance
    Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy vs Little Guido

  20. #20
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    Re: Jim Goes to the Extreme - Reviewing ECW on TNN

    Of all of the people reviewing old wrestling shows around the internet, you are by far my favorite Jim.

    These reviews are spectacular so far, spot on analysis. I was about a year or so older than you back then, living in Texas where ECW never came on TV. I read a lot about ECW in magazines, then around 1998 I started ordering the video tapes of Hardcore TV from RF Video, just absolutely fell in love with ECW, I wanted to see more of it so badly. Then that Summer I found out they were going to be on cable and it was like a dream come true. I was so excited. By that Summer I had gotten so tired of what WWF and WCW was doing.

    That Summer my family moved to the middle of nowhere out in central Texas. We were so far out into the woods that we couldn't get cable. I went to work with my dad building houses all Summer, it was fucking hot, brutal hard labor, I spent my own money to get us a Dish Network setup at our trailer, just so I could watch ECW. By the time we got it going I had already missed that first episode, the one where Raven came back was my first one, I was in hog heaven. I ordered the merch catalog, and then I bought Anarchy Rulz 99 live on ppv, that commercial was so epic, "What happens, when there are no rules? No disqualifications? NO HOLDS BARRED!!! CHICAGO CLAIMS TO BE ONE OF THE TOUGHEST CITIES IN THE WORLD BUT NOT EVEN CHI-TOWN CAN CONTAIN..." My $20 didn't stand a chance with that commercial airing every break.

    Those first episodes and Anarchy Rulz brings the nostalgia back for me. I had a tape of the first month of TNN episodes and Anarchy Rulz 99 recorded back in the day that I would watch all the time until I lost it sometime around 2002 when I moved.

    Great reviews here man.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-14-2016 at 10:45 PM.

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