– Live from Los Angeles, California
– Your hosts are Joey Styles & Cyrus.
– We begin with a Blue Boy vignette on the beach, as Jasmine is wearing the least amount of clothing legally possible to still be classified as a bathing suit. Apparently he sold his soul to the Sinister Minister in order to lose all that weight.
– We begin with our standard Joel-Cyrus confrontation, as Joel finally attacks Cyrus and gets dragged off by security.
– Opening match: Ballz Mahony v. Big Sal. This isn’t ostensibly a match, but both guys get entrance music and there’s a ref, so that’s a match by my watch. And it’s not much of one, either, as Big Sal pins him after a belly-to-belly about a minute in. Whee. DUD
– Simon, Swinger & CW Anderson v. Danny Doring, Roadkill & Kid Kash. Simon & Kash start with a wrestling sequence. Anderson comes in and a brawl erupts. Kash hits an insane springboard rana from the ring to Anderson, who is standing on the floor. Back in, Simon & CW double-team Kash, and CW hits a half-nelson suplex for two. Kash comes back with a moonsault press on CW and Doring gets the hot tag, hitting a couple of his moves, but takes a Swing Thing for two. A double-Flatliner on Doring gets two. Simon hits a triple suplex for two. Doring gets a Fameasser and hot tags Roadkill, who the crowd is inexplicably going nuts for. Side slams for everyone! Heels bail and we get a cool sequence as all the faces hit springboard planchas on the heels. Back in, Doring legdrop gets two. Simon & Swinger DDT Doring, then superplex Roadkill for two. Kash walks into a spinebuster for two. Kash stops the Problem Solver and hits the Money Maker on Swinger for the pin at about 11:00. Really good match thanks to high energy and everyone hitting their stuff solidly. ***1/4 I don’t get the booking, though: The idea of putting Simon & Swinger with CW Anderson was to increase their cred, and yet they LOSE their first match together?
– Jerry Lynn v. Steve Corino. Lynn destroys Corino, and hits a tope. Back in, Lynn chops at him, and they brawl on the floor. Lynn gets a tornado DDT on the floor, and of course Corino slices head open. Back in, Corino gets a ligerbomb and slugs away. Lynn sunset flip gets two. Lynn bails and Victory lays in some shots. Back, slugfest goes Corino’s way. Corino grabs a chair, but gets Van-Lynn-inator’d. Corino goes up and gets crotched, and Lynn DDTs him off the top for two. Weird moment as Lynn uses Corino’s blood to paint “DIE” on his own stomach. I didn’t know he was German. Corino superkicks him for two. Corino goes up and gets sorta DDT’d off the top for two. Corino gets an inverted Diamond Cutter for two. Ref bumped and Corino nails Lynn with his boot. Victory nails Lynn with a cowbell for good measure, and it gets two. Pinning sequence leads to the cradle piledriver for the pin. Boring match, actually, with a few highspots thrown in. ** Corino’s just a jobber at this point, which is kind of sad.
– Dawn Marie joins us for commentary.
– New Jack hobbles out for no particular reason and Da Baldies punk him out, drawing Chetti & Nova out
– Da Baldies v. Nova & Chetti. Nova is doing the Flash motif tonight. Chetti is now bleached blond. Standard Nova & Chetti squash here, as Nova debuts a new move, with two rolling piledrivers into a powerbomb, and the Tidal Wave finishes. Just a bunch of stuff. *
– Yoshihiro Tajiri v. Little Guido v. Psicosis v. Mikey Whipwreck. Guido & Mikey start, then Mikey stunners Tajiri and hits a somersault plancha on all three of the others. Nice to see Mikey get some airtime, but this would count as a “pointless and token appearance”. And indeed, Psicosis drops the guillotine legdrop on Mikey in short order and Guido pins him. Tajiri and Psicosis go, and Psicosis bails. Tajiri follows with a quebrada. Back in, Tajiri superplexes Guido and Psicosis hits a twisting senton for two. Guido gives Psicosis a Tomikaze, and Tajiri finishes him with a german suplex. Well, that’s kind of a slap in the face to Psicosis. Tajiri uses an awesome pinning combo on Guido for two, and hooks the Tarantula. Tajiri grabs a chair and gives Guido a dropkick in the Tree of Woe. Guido gets a top rope Fameasser and sets up a chair, but Tajiri blows the KOOL-AID OF DOOM in his face and hits a brainbuster on the chair for the pin. Match never really clicked or showed any kind of point. **1/2
– World TV title: Rhino v. Sandman. Sandman’s entrance takes a good 10 minutes. Sandman canes Rhino to start, and Rhino no-sells it. Punching abounds. For two guys who’ve had as many matches as these two, you’d think they’d learn to mesh better already. Brawl outside, and Sandman tosses a guardrail into the ring, allowing Rhino to jump him and take over. Back in, Sandman whips him into the railing, which looked really lame. Tope rope rana gets two for Sandman. Man, he’s busting out the moveset tonight. Bulldog on the railing gets two. Rhino follows with a suplex. The effort is there, but they’re taking 20 seconds between moves. Sandman hits a swanton bomb (!!!) for two, and the Network wrecks a watchable match by running in. The ref gets bumped, and now Spike Dudley runs in. Corino takes 3D, then Rhino gores Spike, and piledrives him off the apron ala Lori Fullington. That’s kinda insane on both their parts. Back in, Rhino blocks the White Russian legsweep and finishes with a piledriver to retain. Match was shockingly watchable until the goofy overbooking ruined everyone’s fun. **
– Scotty Anton v. Rob Van Dam. Quick rolling splash from RVD, and we had outside, where Rob gets a quebrada off the railing. He legdrops Anton on the railing. Back in, Rob presses Anton and hits a backflip splash (with Anton conveniently rolling over into position at the last second), then stalls. Rolling fireman’s carry into a Lionsault gets two. RVD crotches Scotty, but the Alphonso-assisted Van-Daminator is blocked when Scotty tosses the chair at RVD. He then bulldogs Rob off the apron, onto the railing, which looked sick on first viewing. Sadly, the inept ECW production guys showed a reverse angle that revealed Rob protecting his throat on the way down. Brawl outside, and back in for some vanilla offense from Scotty. Joey says “blood pouring out of the mouth of Van Dam” a couple of times, because I guess he was expecting there to be blood. Newsflash: There ain’t any. Belly-to-back superplex gets two. A nice DDT gets two. Anton just has nothing to offer beyond the basics, which is probably why we haven’t seen him actually wrestle much. Rob bails and Scotty clotheslines him off the apron as even the hot RVD crowd is totally losing interest. Into the ring, Rob comes off the top and gets caught in a Boston crab. He escapes and mounts the comeback. Split-legged moonsault gets two. Anton legsweeps Rob with a chair and hooks the Clapper. I guess the minute and a half of lamely slapping Rob’s knee counts as a psychology. Rob escapes that dreaded finisher, so Anton puts Fonzie in it. Good plan, Scotty! Make the manager submit! Van Daminator and ***** Frog splash follow, but Rob gives Scotty time to recover. Crowd chants “Terminator”, so Rob does it: It’s a Van Daminator with Scotty sitting in the corner and Rob launching himself from across the ring. Neat spot, but given the build I was expecting something I dunno ORIGINAL? The deadly new move of course gets the anticlimactic pin. Not a good match by any means, but not horrible. Just standard WCW-ish stuff. *3/4
– ECW World title match: Justin Credible v. Tommy Dreamer. Tommy has Jazz & George in his corner. Gee, I WONDER what will happen there? You don’t think George might turn on him, do you? A disturbance at ringside (which turned out to be idiots from XPW trying to get over on ECW Ã¢â‚¬â€œ here’s a hint, guys, do it on a PPV that people are actually watching) delays the match. Pointless wrestling sequence to start. Tommy hits a powerslam and we had outside. Into the crowd for a bunch of stuff we can’t see. Tommy drags Justin up to the broadcast location and grabs a ladder, setting it up below the location. Justin of course pushes him off it, but once again the BRILLIANT camera-work of ECW means we miss the spot entirely. Into the ring, Justin whips Tommy into the top of the ladder. Tommy comes back with a weak-looking slingshot under the ladder. Dreamer climbs the ladder, but gets pulled down by Francine, and LANDS ON HER. You know those cartoons where the Coyote gets squashed by a safe? There you go. Then, SHOCKINGLY, George turns on Jazz. What this has to do with the match, I dunno. Jazz then rips off Francine’s flimsy top, revealing electrical tape on her nipples. I guess the material was chafing her. Tommy hits Justin with the Tommyhawk, and gets the barbed wire as the show rapidly nears the end of it’s allotted time, but Justin tombstones him on it for two. We all immediately predict the exact finish, and it indeed it happens: Tommy tries another big move, Justin reverses to a second tombstone, and that one gets the pin to retain. The barbed wire was barely a factor at all, which is good in that I didn’t wanna see it in the first place, and bad in that the entire show was sold on the barbed wire being a big deal. Match was a mess of stuff just kinda thrown together. *1/4
The Bottom Line: Those who point to the WWF as stagnant (myself included sometimes recently) should really point to ECW, which is completely immobile by comparison. With time running out on the very life of the company if a new TV deal isn’t struck and stars jumping ship left and right, Heyman chose to present yet another ho-hum show with no big surprises, no great matches, no alteration of the status quo, and just generally nothing terribly different to distinguish this show from any other ECW show. The same guys who were on the mid-card treadmill before are still there with no end in sight, and the same guys on top who have yet to draw money are still there, too. And if I’m a major TV weasel, do I really want this foul-mouthed, bloody, violent product on MY station? Especially with the PTC cracking down the WWF as it is? I don’t know if the end is near for ECW or not, but if it is, one thing is for sure: They’re going to be remembered as going out with a whimper rather than a bang.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning up for some decent action, but the lack of a great match keeps it from going up.