The SmarK Retro Repost – Guilty As Charged 2001

– Man, never thought I’d see the day when I’d be doing “such-and-such 2001” PPVs.

– Live from New York City.

– Your hosts are Joey & Cyrus.

– Every day for me is full of little surprises – most aren’t on the “Holy shit, promotion changing forever” level like Paul Heyman had promised for this show, but small things to make my days more interesting nonetheless. For instance, I didn’t think Rick Scaia could possibly give this show a glowingly positive review in the face of what was presented, but there it was, right after the show ended! Ah, ECW mutants, gotta love ’em.

– Opening match: Joey Matthews & Christian York v. Cyrus & Jerry Lynn. Case in point: Instead of an actual match, we get the Baldies punking out the Hardly Boyz and Cyrus getting the pin. Wow, that was, like, so totally not a waste of my time. Lynn cuts a bitter promo, promises never to wrestle outside of the main event again, and lets the crowd know emphatically that RVD isn’t here, so obviously he is. Oh, and he’s NOT enhancement talent anymore and won’t be used in that role from now on. Keep that one in mind later. DUD

– Opening sequence, which it should be noted is following the top of the show which had the Rage Against the Machine ECW video already shown, thus giving us basically 10 minutes of wasted time showing the same clips to different music tracks. I won’t even get into the multilayered irony of RATM selling the rights to a song called “Renegades of Funk” to a group who is supposedly anti-establishment. Who sold out? EVERYONE.

– ECW tag title match: Danny Doring & Roadkill v. EZ Money & Julio Dinero. Stalling to start, then Doring gets some shots in on Dinero. Dinero gets a rollup for two, but gets superkicked. EZ comes in, but runs into Roadkill. Oops. The champs double-team both Hot Commodity members in succession and a few highspots come about, but don’t really go anywhere. Back in, Hot Commodity double-teams Doring with help from Hamrick and finally settle the match down. I don’t mind spotfests, but I would appreciate it if the spots HIT. Doring plays face in peril for a bit. Julio gets a neckbreaker for two. Bareback and hot tag to Roadkill. He gives EZ a wedgie and powerbombs him, then double-clotheslines both guys. EZ comes back with a moonsault that misses into Hugh Morrus territory of blown moonsaults, but it gets two. Buggyback finishes Deniro. Match was just a total mess, as they couldn’t decide whether they wanted a comedy match or a standard formula tag match or a spotfest. *1/2 Nova (with Quiet Riot entrance music) storms the ring, apparently having transformed into Nasty Nova, and attacks Hamrick.

– Impromptu Match: Chris Hamrick v. Nasty Nova. A bunch of kicks from Nasty Nova to start. Nasty plancha on Hamrick, and some nasty stalling follows. They brawl outside, and Hamrick takes over inside. He misses a blind charge and Nasty Nova gets a nasty dragon-screw into a nasty figure-four. Slugfest goes nowhere. Nasty Nova blocks a tornado DDT and pancakes Hamrick, but Elektra crotches him on the top rope and Hamrick hits a rana from there. Nova makes the nasty comeback and gets NASTY. Nasty enzuigiri gets two. Nastykick gets two. Elektra gets beat up, and the ref is bumped as Nasty Nova hooks the Crossface Nastywing. And just because ECW ALWAYS adheres to their stipulations like Joey tells us, Chris Chetti, he who lost a loser-leaves-ECW match just what, last month, returns in a referee outfit to count a pin for Hamrick as he’s on top of Nasty Nova. Spike Dudley comes out to complete the Dusty Finish, hitting an Acid Drop on Chetti and allowing Nasty Nova to hit the Kryponasty Krunch on Hamrick for yet another pinfall. I don’t really see why Spike’s count should be considered any more valid than Chetti’s, but then I guess you can always Ask the Rick what the hell this booking was supposed to accomplish. ¾* Another spotfest filled with spots that didn’t hit.

– I Quit match: Tommy Dreamer v. CW Anderson. Brawl to start. Tommy works the neck with something vaguely resembling a dragon sleeper. Outside, more brawling. Tommy hits him with the ringbell, drawing blood. CW sends him into the railing. Back in, CW drop toeholds him onto a chair. Dreamer bleeds. Anderson pound on him with a chair. Tommy comes back with a ropewalk elbow, then finds a spool of barbed wire, just in case. The towelboy from the last PPV returns to help Dreamer, presumably because he works cheaper than most of the ECW roster and probably has a better hit-to-miss spot ratio. Anderson takes care of the kid with a superplex, and then stuffs Tommy head in between a chair and sends him to the corner. Tommy falls out of the chair, and is considerate enough to stick his head back in while CW sets up a table. Tommy DVDs him through the table and chokes him out with the metal banding for the submission. The point of putting Tommy over ANYONE at this point eludes me. Match was okay. **

– Meanwhile, in what’s simultaneously the funniest and stupidest segment of the PPV, Steve Corino propositions Francine, who won’t give it up because she wants a man with the gold. She directs Corino to the bathroom, where Credible is, in no uncertain terms, getting f*cked by Missy Hyatt. You know this because Francine says so, and Justin is buckling his pants as he emerges, and Missy is wearing a towel. The subtlety here boggles the mind. BUT WAIT! Corino and Jack Victory chase Missy down, and try to remind her that she once managed Victory in Texas (the requisite John Tatum reference is made). Missy’s response: “Did I f*ck you?” The whole thing is insanely retarded, but as a dutiful smart mark I was laughing my ass off at the whole thing despite the total lack of relevance to the eventual storyline, as we’ll see later.

– The FBI v. Super Crazy & Kid Kash v. Mikey Whipwreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri. Kash/Mamaluke/Mikey start. Kash blows the first spot right away, missing a Lionsault. Stalling follows. Tajiri & Crazy go, hitting their usual good sequence of stuff. Mikey & Tajiri double-team Guido, leading to a triple-submission move spot. FBI brawl with the Unholy Alliance on the outside, but Kash & Crazy hit highspots on everyone. Back in, Crazy gets a backslide for two, but Big Sal squashes Kid Kash (literally) and Guido gets the pin, thus negating the point of Kash & Crazy doing their big spot less than a minute before. That’s just poor match planning. The Alliance work on Mamaluke, but the FBI gains the advantage and Guido gets some near-falls on Mikey. Double-team powerbomb on Mikey looks good. They hook a double-kneebar, but Mikey gets a stunner on Mamaluke and makes the hot tag to Tajiri. Lowblow for Guido blocks the tomikaze, and both FBI are dropped on chairs. Mikey sets up a double-whippersnapper from the top, but the FBI reverses into a double-armbar. Good stuff. Tajiri takes charge, blows green mist in Mamaluke’s face, and the Alliance hits stereo straitjacket suplexes for the pin. Nothing terribly special here. **3/4

– Simon & Swinger v. Ballz Mahoney & Chilly Willy. Blue Boy has apparently taken over managing Swinger. They hit the Problem Solver on Willy early, but Rhino charges the ring and takes out everyone, then piledrives Jasmine off the top. I’m sure I’d care if we hadn’t seen this entire thing played out in the pre-game show with the same people. Details, Paul, details. DUD Total waste of time.

– ECW World title: Steve Corino v. Justin Credible v. Sandman. This is basically a ladder match. Corino dropkicks a ladder at Sandman, but Credible takes both out. Ladders gets used. Yawn. Sandman gets a ladder driven into his crotch. He gets tossed over the top and through a conveniently placed table. Back in, he suplexes Corino on a chair and puts Justin through a table on the outside, although it was more like Justin’s foot going through the table. Sandman climbs for the belt but slips and takes a bad-looking fall to the mat. Welcome to amateur hour, kids. Sandman goes through ANOTHER table in an inanely contrived spot. Corino slingshots Justin into the ladder, but gets tombstoned. This match just has no flow whatsoever. Spots come, spots go (and miss most of the time), and they move onto something else. Sandman brings a HUGE ladder into the ring, and both Corino and Credible climb, but that darn Big Bossman is at it again and raises the belt up past their reach. When you’re stealing booking ideas from VINCE RUSSO, you’re in trouble. Both men go through a table, again VERY lame. Sandman grabs the belt to win the title. Awful, awful match reminiscent of the Sabu-Sandman match from N2R 97. ½* We get some male bonding, which is just totally against everything established by the storyline, and then the Baldies hit the ring and chase Corino and Credible back to the dressing room. Rhino attacks and wants a title match RIGHT NOW. Oh dear god, not the Wrestlemania IX finish.

– ECW World title: The Sandman v. Rhino. Spear, piledriver, piledriver, goodbye. Yup, it’s the WM9 finish. Well, Rick gave THAT show a thumbs up back in 1993, so that explains his review of THIS one. DUD The TV title is now extinct, having been unified with the World title when Rhino won. Yet another sign of a dying promotion: Unification matches. Cyrus issues an open challenge to ANYONE, and of course who answers but Rob Van Dam? Wow, a guy already employed by the company makes a return after getting screwed out of his paycheque for two months, what a shocking surprise. Jerry Lynn attacks

– Impromptu Main Event: Jerry Lynn v. Rob Van Dam. Because god knows we haven’t seen enough of THIS match. Usual flippity-flop stuff to start. Rob socializes at ringside to waste some time. Wristlock sequence back in the ring, and both guys hit the floor. Rob gets busted open. He legdrops Lynn on the railing. Back in, RVD gets a standing moonsault, but Lynn takes over and dropkicks him out of the ring. Back in, it gets two. They go into a pinning sequence. Rob gets a senton for two. Steel to the face in corner for Lynn, but Lynn comes back with a sunset flip on said chair for two. Blind charge misses and they fight over a DDT, ultimately accomplishing nothing. Lynn gets a german suplex for two. Lynn brings in a chair and DDTs RVD on it. Rob comes back, but misses the ***** frog splash. Joel Gertner comes in seeking his usual revenge on Cyrus and DDTs him. Van Daminator sets up the Van Terminator for the pin. Boring match. *3/4 It should be noted that Lynn’s promise not to be a jobber anymore lasted all of two hours before Van Dam treated him like one.

– Finally, Credible and Corino cut a promo in the back declaring themselves the “New Impact Players”. Hate to tell you, but the team wasn’t so great in the first place that we needed a new version, and the good part of the team is in WCW right now. Further, suddenly the entire Francine angle is forgotten for the sake of ANOTHER tag team in an already oversatured promotion?

The Bottom Line: So NOW we’re going to build to RVD v. Rhino? With, what, 5 TV stations left showing Hardcore TV and the monthly PPV experiment seemingly over already? Which mythical TV show is Paul gonna build this match up on now that he’s pissed away the last two years or so when he had every opportunity to make RVD his #1 guy?

Further to that, the effort was horrible tonight, as no one was hitting anything consistently and the matches were all a mish-mash of brawling and meaningless spots, especially the main event.

Next PPV is mid-March, so that monthly PPV thing seems to be gone already. TV is going fast. The TV title itself is history. They don’t even have the talent to fill up a three-hour show anymore without endless filler and website ads and house show plugs (all two of them).

Total crap this month as the promotion falls further into disarray with no forseeable plan for the future. Thumbs way down.