Written By: David
ECW November To Remember
November 30, 1997
The current ECW champions were as follows:
ECW Champion: Bam Bam Bigelow (10/16/97)
Television Champion: Taz (6/7/97)
Tag Team Champions: The FBI (10/18/97)
Your host is Joey Styles.
Chris Candido vs. Tommy Rogers
Rogers scores some headlock takedowns, but Candido grabs a headscissors each time. Rogers has enough of that and catches Candido off the ropes with a hiptoss and an armdrag/armbar. Rogers runs the ropes for a pair of shoulderblocks, then avoids an enziguri and hits one of his own. Candido gets thrown to the floor and avoids a baseball slide, but back in Rogers keeps the advantage by hitting Candido as he comes off the top, then crotches him on the ringpost. Inverted atomic drop and a clothesline gets two for Rogers. Candido takes a timeout and has Rogers chase him, stopping him on his way in for a suplex into the ring, but Rogers counters and suplexes him to the floor. Rogers grabs a camel clutch, Candido fights to his feet, and Rogers delivers a hurracanrana for two. Candido fights out of a headlock and comes back with a powerslam and a stalling suplex for two. Second rope leg drop gets another two. Candido stings Rogers with chops, but as he struts away, Rogers comes back with chops of his own. A top rope superplex bounces Candido off the matt, and a slow cover gets 1-2-NO! Rogers goes up top but gets crotched and knocked to the floor, then Candido pulls him back to the top turnbuckle for a hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Mr. No Gimmicks Needed comes off the top and Rogers catches him in a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Lance Storm suddenly shows up and ambushes Rogers. Candido gets in on the action, and Jerry Lynn comes out to save Rogers from a double suplex and drops Candido and Storm with a double clothesline. Lynn’s on a tear. Back body drop to Candido, dropkick to Storm. Candido tries a suplex, but Lynn takes him down into an armbar. Storm breaks it up but gets knocked outside, then Lynn ducks a Candido clothesline and hits Storm with a baseball slide, then a springboard twisting crossbody. Candido climbs up top and plummets down onto Lynn with a plancha, then Rogers follows suit, and everyone ends up in a pile on the floor. Referee John Finnegan grabs the mic and officially makes it a tag match, or umm, two-on-two…
Chris Candido and Lance Storm vs. Tommy Rogers and Jerry Lynn
Lynn’s quickness makes Storm and Candido look stupid for a sequence that ends with him nailing Candido with a low blow, but Storm catches Lynn’s hurracanrana attempt and Candido pops up for a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Rogers makes the save at two, then ends up pulling Candido’s tights down on an O’Connor roll for two. Rogers floats over to avoid a suplex and holds Candido back as Lynn climbs the turnbuckles, but Storm knocks Lynn to the floor to make the save. Candido counters Rogers and holds him back, but Rogers ducks Storm’s missile dropkick and school boys Candido for 1-2-NO! Candido avoids a tornado DDT from Lynn before Rogers dropkicks him to the rail, then Rogers puts Storm in an electric chair for Lynn to come off the top with a crossbody for 1-2-NO! Lynn and Storm fight for position in a corner, but Candido backs Storm off and delivers the BLONDE BOMBSHELL for 1-2-NO! Rogers makes the save. He avoids a Storm clothesline and drops him with a KAMIKAZE, then goes after Candido, but after some jostling, Candido hits a Northern Lights suplex for the 1-2-3! (16:42 for the whole thing) Enjoyable match(es). The booking seems odd on paper, but it actually flows really well and everyone works hard, so no complaints here. ***
We watch some build-up for the next match, including Mikey Whipwreck pinning Steve Austin OVER TWO YEARS PRIOR.
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Justin Credible (w/ Jason)
Credible goes on a quick onslaught, then Mikey goes on a quick onslaught, Credible ends up on the apron after a Flair Flip, and Mikey sends him flying out to the guardrail. Mikey follows up with pescado and a hurracanrana on the floor, then a whip to the rail for good measure. Back in, Credible comes back with a 180 degree swinging DDT, then a snap mare and a running low dropkick. Mikey takes a beating in the corner, and a nice missile dropkick gets two. A slam and a vertical elbow drop gets two. Jason gives Mikey a clothesline on the floor, then he’s tossed back in for a severe beatdown ending with a low dropkick to the head for two. Mikey finally shows signs of life by reversing a corner whip, but Credible lands safely on the apron, wins the ensuing corner slugfest, and delivers a sunset flip powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Credible’s frustrated, so he hits a snap mare and grabs a chinlock. Mikey fights back, gets raked in the eyes, but still reverses a whip and grabs a sleeper. Credible shoves him to the ropes and puts on his own sleeper, but Mikey jawbreakers out and a SUPERKICK gets 1-2-NO! Mikey ends some rope running with a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Credible gets whipped to the corner and Mikey goes for a top rope hurracanrana for two. Jason gets on the apron and takes a suplex inside and then a low blow. Credible capitalizes on the momentary distraction and floats over into a reverse DDT for 1-2-NO! Jason holds Mikey back as Credible goes upstairs, but Mikey drops Jason with a low blow, then ends Credible’s night with a SECOND ROPE WHIPPERSNAPPER! 1-2-3. (7:15) Not bad at all. I like how Mikey fleshed out his repertoire through the years. He never gets enough credit. **3/4
Al Snow gives a crazed promo, alluding to the recent Montreal Screwjob, but because of a production blunder, it’s nearly inaudible over the sound of the live crowd. The crowd sound continues through a short build-up package for Sandman/Sabu later on.
Television Champion Taz vs. Pitbull 2 (w/ Pitbull 1, Brakkus, and Lance Wright)
Paul Heyman is our color commentator for this match. The crowd is pouring heat all over Pitbull 2, apparently because his manager Lance Wright is a WWF loyalist in the ECW vs. WWF angle. Pitbull gets a fast start with a whip and knee lift, then delivers a powerbomb. He stays aggressive with a spinning wheel kick and a diving shoulderblock for two. Taz wiggles away from a press slam hits an OVERHEAD BELLY-TO-BELLY TAZPLEX. Next is a PUMP HANDLE TAZPLEX. Then the TAZMISSION. It’s over. (1:29) Pitbull 1 jumps in and receives a PUMP HANDLE TAZPLEX. Taz gets on the mic and taunts Lance Wright, who gets to the apron before a security guard stops him. Naturally, Taz beats up the security guard with crossface blows and puts on the TAZMISSION. Heyman yells for his production crew to cut to something else, and that’s all, folks. Certainly not the worst 89-second match ever. *
We watch a random clip of Bam Bam Bigelow tossing Spike Dudley into the crowd and splashing him for a victory, and then tossing him into the crowd again because, you know, why the hell not? Then we watch the “originally scheduled” promo piece for the ECW Title main event. Oh, and by the way, we’re STILL hearing the bustle of the live crowd through all of this material.
Tag Team 4-Way Dance: Tag Team Champions The FBI (Tracy Smothers and Little Guido) (w/ Tommy Rich) vs. The Dudley Boyz (w/ Big Dick Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, and Joel Gertner) vs. The Hardcore Chair Swingin’ Freaks (Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten) vs. The Gangstanators (New Jack and John Kronus)
Tommy Rich talks some nonsense, then Gertner does his thing: “like Rubic’s Cube, the longer you play with it, the harder it gets.” The FBI and the Dudleys have a staredown, so Axl and Balls make a sneak attack and nail everyone with chairs. Everyone then takes turns receiving double team moves from the Chair Swinging Freaks. Big Dick stops that shtick with a chokeslam on Axl, and Balls gets taken down by Buh Buh Ray. The FBI jumps all over Axl with some nice teamwork for two. Guido gets rocket launched onto Axl for two. Meanwhile, the Dudleys beat the hell out of Balls, topping it off a superplex and diving headbutt combo. The music hits and here come the Gangstanators with a bunch of weapons. New Jack goes crazy with a crutch and various other crap. It’s just a bunch of mayhem. Buh Buh puts a cheese grater to Balls’ face! Kronus gives D-Von an array of kicks while everyone else brawls outside, and Big Dick again gets involved, pummeling Kronus. Where’s he going? Big Dick climbs the turnbuckles? And delivers … a MOONSAULT??? It misses though. Back up, Kronus misses a kick and Big Dick scores a chokeslam, but he turns around right into a stiff powder-filled guitar from New Jack, setting up a Kronus 450 SPLASH! The brawl outside moves into one area, and Buh Buh delivers a 350-pound suicide dive! Back in, New Jack comes off the top rope with another powder-filled guitar onto Tommy Rich’s head. Kronus gets prepared for liftoff again, but Smothers nails him with the Italian flag and he goes flying into a BUH BUH CUTTER for the 1-2-3! The Gangstanators are out at 10:04. In a vicious spot, Buh Buh press slams Little Guido face first on the top turnbuckle! Balls nails D-Von with a superkick and drags him to the floor with a spinning back kick. Gertner accidentally tosses powder in Buh Buh’s eyes, leading him to unknowingly team up with Balls for a DUDLEY DEATH DROP on D-Von! Axl makes the cover for 1-2-3 and the Dudleys are gone at 12:27. The FBI comes out of hiding with a sneak attack, but Axl and Balls come right back and unload on them. Axl gives Guido a HUGE reverse DDT. Balls sets him up for a NUTCRACKER SUITE, which connects, but Guido’s legs end up decking referee John Finnegan. Jeff Jones shows up and counts one, two, and he stops himself there and attends to Finnegan. Balls grabs Jones by the hair, but Jones kicks him low and Guido school boys him for the fast 1-2-3. The FBI retains. (14:32) If you can deal with the inevitable ridiculousness and ruggedness of an ECW tag team four-way, then you’ll enjoy this one. It’s well-booked and well-executed as far as these types of weaponsfests go. **3/4
Dreamer cuts some pretaped promo about how ECW is his home and there’s no way RVD will embarrass him in his home, then we watch a few clips breaking down the feud. And we’re still hearing the live crowd. This is shoddy production even for ECW.
Flag Match: Rob Van Dam (w/ Bill Alfonso) vs. Tommy Dreamer (w/ Beulah McGillicutty)
It’s a normal pinfall match and the winner gets to hoist the flag of his choice, a WWF flag for Van Dam or an ECW flag for Dreamer. Van Dam is coming off a teeny bit of exposure on Raw, so he’s a heel as far as the die hard ECW fans are concerned (even though everyone pops for about half his moves). Tommy’s wearing a walking boot on his injured heel. Van Dam ends the opening wrestling sequence by going right after the injury. He stays on it and hits a monkey flip, then wins a wristlock exchange and hits a corkscrew leg drop. Dreamer eventually comes back with a clothesline, but Van Dam avoids a DDT and takes a stroll outside. Dreamer baseball slides him into the rail, then whips him and clotheslines him into the hostile crowd. Van Dam comes back by dropping Tommy’s jaw on the rail and delivering a somersault shoulderblock. Dreamer reverses a whip and crotches Van Dam, then nails him with a STIFF shot with a hard plastic chair! Back in, he ties RVD in the ropes and wields a steel chair, but he gets tripped up by Fonzie, allowing Van Dam to score a springboard leg drop. Van Dam’s bleeding pretty rough from the chair shot, so he takes Dreamer outside, crotches him, and Fonzie holds up a chair for a stiff VAN DAMINATOR off the rail! Van Dam doesn’t let up, whipping Tommy into the ringpost then skateboarding the chair at him back inside. He gives him some more chair-assisted kicks and Tommy looks dead. A slingshot leg drop gets two with a cocky cover. Van Dam gets caught going upstairs, and Tommy pulls him down with a hangman’s neckbreaker for two. Tommy puts him in a tree of woe and gives him his own medicine with a baseball slide into a chair. Tommy goes upstairs, but Fonzie cracks a chair across the injured foot, allowing Van Dam to hit ROLLING THUNDER (with a splash instead of a senton) for two.
Tommy gets the knees and a chair up on a split-legged moonsault, but Van Dam keeps him away with a shove onto the chair. Tommy reverses a corner whip but gets hit with a boot, Van Dam gets caught going for a split-legged sunset flip, then Tommy delivers an insane DDT out of the corner. He covers but referee John “Pee Wee” Moore gets pulled outside by Fonzie, then Fonzie nails him with a road sign. Van Dam tosses the chair to Tommy for a VAN DAMINATOR, but Dreamer beats him to the punch and a chair shot gets 1-2-NO! Jeff Jones stops replacement referee John Finnegan and decks him. Dreamer ducks a second VAN DAMINATOR attempt and hits a horrendous TOMMY DREAMINATOR, which has little effect. He wises up and nails Van Dam with the conventional chair shot and rolls him up with a school boy for 1-2-NO! Jeff Jones interrupts Finnegan’s count again. Jones taunts Finnegan and referee Jim Mollineaux, and Beulah sneaks behind Jones for a low blow! The referees drop Jones with a double DDT and gloat toward the camera, allowing Fonzie to hit them with low blows, then Beulah hits Fonzie with a low blow. Van Dam grabs Beulah, so Tommy grabs another school boy, and Beulah gets her sweet ass on the mat to play the role of referee, 1-2-NO! Dreamer delivers the piledriver of the year, bouncing Van Dam a good 18 inches off the mat, and Beulah counts 1-2-NO! Van Dam’s still going, so Dreamer hits a DDT, and that does it. He’s out. But instead of going for the pin, Dreamer unfolds the ECW flag, wasting enough time for a run-in from Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon (on developmental loan from WWF). Dreamer keeps them out of the ring temporarily, but Stevie Richards makes a surprise return from WCW and sneaks behind Dreamer for a STEVIEKICK! Everyone gangs up on Dreamer and places a trash can on top of him, setting up the FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH. Furnas, LaFon, and Richards make an unofficial three count. (16:02) Tommy gets laid out on a table and covered by the WWF flag. Sabu comes out and ascends the turnbuckles, likely for a huge splash, but Beulah pleads with him, so what does Sabu do? Diving clothesline on Beulah! Everyone celebrates, then Sandman comes out, which leads into the next match. The action was good for the first 14 or so minutes, and these two went all out in the stiffness category. The finish, well, it may have worked for the crowd following the angle back in ‘97, but it certainly doesn’t help the match’s re-watchability. ***1/4
Tables and Ladders Match: Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso) vs. Sandman
Some tables that bridge the ring and guardrail have already been set up around the ring. Sabu interrupts Sandman’s pre-match beer atop a ladder with a suicide dive. Inside, he hits a TRIPLE JUMP MOONSAULT for two but hurts his own leg. Sandman nails him with the ladder, and now it looks like Sandman’s shoulder is hurting. Sabu gets sent outside after some back and forth brawling, and Sandman wildly heaves the ladder at Sabu, attempting to clear the top rope in the process but crotching himself instead! Sabu responds by low blowing Sandman with the ladder, then giving him AIR SABU against the railing. He drops a table on Sandman, who somehow comes back and returns the favor. Sabu gets laid on a table, and as Sandman shoves Sabu’s head back to set up for a big spot, the table breaks unexpectedly. If only they would have sprung for the top of the line wrestling tables. Sandman puts Sabu on another table face down and goes to the top turnbuckle for a death-defying leg drop. That apparently does little damage to Sabu, who pops up and whips Sandman into the remainder of the table, then nails him with a ladder. Sandman gets strewn on another table and Sabu delivers a TRIPLE JUMP LEG DROP! Back in, Sandman botches a whip reversal and Sabu hits a springboard leg lariat for two. Sabu finds the tallest ladder and throws it at Sandman, then takes him outside for this awesome spot where he lays Sandman on a table and rides the ladder HBK-style onto Sandman, only it doesn’t happen because he falls off and lands a couple feet short.
Sandman places Sabu on a table and goes upstairs for a somersault senton, but Sabu dodges it, leaving Sandman to shatter the table and land hard on the floor! My God, these guys are killing themselves. Back inside, Sabu lays a ladder on Sandman and delivers a TRIPLE JUMP TWISTING SPLASH, and a delayed cover gets two. Sabu gets crotched in the corner as a security guy sets up another table outside, and Sandman delivers a superplex ONTO A LADDER. Sabu didn’t land straight on it, but he definitely made some contact. Another elaborate ladder-assisted spot falls apart (you can actually hear people in the crowd laugh about it) so Sabu settles for a slingshot leg drop onto the ladder for two. Sabu amazingly decides that repeated blows with a sharp object to the head might work better than risky flying maneuvers, but Sandman dumps him outside and drops the ladder onto him. He leans the chair against the rail and comes flying from the ring to pull it into Sabu, a spot that actually gets booed! Inside, he lays a ladder on Sabu and goes up top yet again for a somersault senton. Slingshot somersault leg drop on the ladder follows. Sandman slows it down (finally!) with chops in the corner, Sabu reverses and springboards for a leg lariat, but Sandman catches him for an electric chair drop. That sets up another somersault senton, this time from a short ladder in the ring through a table outside! Fonzie distracts Sandman with the Singapore cane, and when Sandman returns to Sabu he’s met with a FIREBALL! Except it doesn’t actually appear to hit Sandman. Sabu takes the advantage with a missile dropkick anyways, then puts Sandman on a table outside and carries a ladder during a top rope splash. He rolls him back inside and takes a ladder upstairs for a DIVING ARABIAN FACEBUSTER, and that gets the 1-2-3. (20:55) It may not be a classic, but these two sure earned their money for the night. I mean, geez. This match is just insane. You can nitpick its faults to no end (or simply point out several blatant botches), but you can’t deny the intensity and damnit, you gotta applaud the effort. You bloodthirsty fans out there (you know who you are) might want to check this out. ***
ECW Champion Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Shane Douglas (w/ Francine)
Douglas just dropped the title to Bigelow a month prior, having claimed it two months prior to that at the last pay-per-view. We’re just up the road from Pittsburgh, so Douglas is a huge face for the live crowd. His local ties helped promote the event to make it the best attended show in ECW’s history at the time, by the way, so I guess he deserves the main event slot. We oddly see him backstage just before he comes out, which seems to me like another allusion to Survivor Series ‘97, when cameras filmed Michaels and Hart backstage on their way to the big match. Bam Bam starts by showing his strength advantage and tossing the Franchine outside. Back in, he elbows out of a waistlock and clubs Douglas into oblivion. After taking a long beatdown, Shane ducks a clothesline and brawls back, but Bam Bam reverses a whip and hits a corner splash. Bam Bam stalks Francine in between spurts of beating the hell out of Douglas. He falls on Shane during a body slam attempt for two, then grabs a chinlock while dueling chants of “You fat fuck” and “You suck dick” ring out. Douglas fights out and tries something from the top rope, but he’s caught and slammed for another two. Bam Bam delivers a stalling suplex and allows Douglas to take a timeout, but then baseball slides Douglas on the floor and whips him to the rail. Back inside, a low blow stops Bam Bam long enough for Shane to go on a short offensive tear, but Bam Bam scores another suplex for two. Some right hands get another two, then he goes back to a chinlock.
Shane fights out again, but Bam Bam rakes his eyes and press slams him onto the top turnbuckle, dumping him to the floor. Bam Bam sets up a table in the ring (I’m surprised there are any left after the Sabu/Sandman match), lays Shane on it and goes up top, but Shane comes to and delivers a powerbomb through the table! Bam Bam STILL has the advantage though, pummeling Shane and sloppily dumping him outside. Bam Bam stays on his feet as Shane hits a bunch of clotheslines, and he eventually takes one over the ropes to the floor. Shane slingshots into a hurracanrana position, and Bam Bam counters into a powerbomb through a table! A second powerbomb back inside gets 1-2-NO! Bam Bam busts Shane open with more and more strikes, then Lance Storm and Chris Candido come out to make a save, but they’re been banned from ringside and they get stopped by security guys. During the struggle, Bigelow hoists up Douglas and press slams him outside onto his stable-mates. Inside, Bam Bam shrugs off the ref and Francine hits him with a crutch, which has no effect. Bam Bam swings at Francine, but she ducks and gets the hell out of there, and Douglas’ beating continues, now with help of a crutch. Looks like there’s no hope for the hometown boy after all. Shane finally makes a move (albeit a sloppy one) by attempting a backslide, Bam Bam flips him over, and he scores a BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX. Shane gets up too slow, however, and Bam Bam hits a corner splash. Bam Bam creates a makeshift table with a piece of a broken table and a chair (maybe they really did run out of tables), but Shane capitalizes and hits a second BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX through it and covers immediately for the 1-2-3! (25:02) It’s too bad that Shane got the big hometown victory and a third title reign that would last over a year, because judging from this match, what he really needed was to get over himself. This thing was too damn slow, long, and predictable. Bam Bam was always good as the evil brawler who puts over the little babyface that could, but the execution here just doesn’t jive. *3/4
Final Thoughts: Things were rolling along decently and a good main event would have made this a recommendable show. I’ll go with a thumbs in the middle for November To Remember ‘97.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.