Written by: Arnold Furious
1999 was the year of ECW. In my opinion anyway. However leading up this event the WWF had struck a major blow in finishing ECW for good. They had offered to sign ECW champion Taz when his contract expired at the end of the year. His name appeared in the Ross report and before too long Taz was public enemy number one among the ECW fans despite being a babyface champion. He was scheduled to defend his title against Masato Tanaka. It would be an eventful night in the history of ECW. What happened? Stay tuned.
September 19th 1999
Outside Steven Praisac tries to get a word with Masato Tanaka. Judge Jeff Jones comes in and complains about Tanaka. Meanwhile Tanaka understands nothing and pushes Jones over. Jones tells Tanaka he will pay an ‘awesome’ price for his crimes.
Inside Joey Styles and Cyrus (The Extreme Intellectual) welcome us to Anarchy Rulz. We’re in Chicago, Illinois.
Lance Storm w/Dawn Marie v Jerry Lynn
Lynn has injured ribs thanks to the Impact Players. They start out with some excellent mat wrestling. Storm counters a monkey flip by cartwheeling out of it. Lovely. Headscissors from Lynn and a headlock takeover. Storm starts to work the ribs with shoulder thrusts. Jericho style springboard dropkick from Lynn after a couple of near misses on clotheslines. Styles and Cyrus are gold on commentary btw. Storm hot shots Lynn into the ropes and does so aiming for the bad ribs. Dropkick and a cartwheel splash from Storm. Lynn corner roll up gets 2. Abdominal stretch from Lynn is countered and Storm spills outside. Plancha from Lynn. Missile dropkick gets 2 for Lynn. Storm fights out of the cradle piledriver and Lynn holds onto the cradle for a near fall, which begins an awesome near fall sequence. My favourite near falls sequence EVER right there. German suplex from Lynn gets 2. I believe that was 8 or 9 near falls in 30 seconds. Superkick from Storm gets 2. Storm reverses a suplex into an inverted DDT. Storm grabs a chair and puts it between the ropes. Lynn whips Storm into it. Sunset flip into a powerbomb from the top gets 2 for Lynn. Powerbomb reversed into a DDT on a chair from Lynn and Dawn Marie puts Storm’s foot on the rope. Lynn ducks the corner chair and slides ribs first into the ring post. Great psychology. Backbreaker from Storm and he holds on for the submission attempt. Tilt-a-whirl countered into an inverted DDT, Storm counters and Lynn hits a stunner for 2. Storm continues to work the ribs over. Leaping rana from Lynn gets 2. Lynn sells the ribs some more and Storm drives the shoulder in there and gets a three quarter nelson for the 3 count at 16.38. ****1/2. I love this match.
Cyrus talks about the office. Did you not get the memo? This was a running joke. In the arena Simon Diamond comes out. “Simon has a problem…” These promos were great. It’s a shame the WWF never took Diamond on board. Diamond invites House of Hardcore graduate ‘the Prodigy’ Tom Marquez to be his tag partner but then tells him to sit back down because he didn’t say “Simon says”. Jazz comes out. Diamond cuts his most fan friendly promo line – “if women have proven anything in this business it’s that they’re worthless”. He said it, not me. Marquez comes in after Simon says to and we have a match.
Jazz v ‘The Prodigy’ Tom Marquez
Slam from Marquez but Jazz grabs him in the nuts. Jazz Stinger and Simon stamps on Jazz to prevent the 3. Tony DeVito comes in as well and this match is over after 58 seconds but Nova comes out with ‘New Look’ Chris Chetti and this is a tag?
Nova/Chetti v Diamond/DeVito
The faces hit a load of double teams on Diamond and Chetti hits the Lionsault, then goes down holding his knee. Nova hits a pescado onto the heel team. Tony doesn’t exactly have a prime physique. Powerbomb from DeVito for 2 on Nova. Rolling snap suplexes from Diamond into a gourd buster. Chetti is down on the floor holding his leg. DeVito botches a rock bottom and redoes the spot. That was HORRIBLE. Roadkill and Doring turn up and fight everyone. Lita is with them. They take out Diamond and Jazz. Some more wrestlers come out and it turns into a brawl. DUD. I have no idea what the point of all this was. New Jack comes out and destroys everyone because they had nothing better for him to do. I just noticed that Skull Von Krush is Big Vito from WCW. New Jack uses a staple gun to prove how hardcore ECW is. New Jack and Nova celebrate.
International 3 way dance – Little Guido v Super Crazy v Tajiri
This is ECW’s solution to not doing ANOTHER Crazy-Tajiri match. Add Guido in w/Big Sal of course. Tajiri now has his full character in place – tights, beard and walk. Crazy leapfrogs Tajiri, lands on the top turnbuckle and hits a crossbody over Tajiri’s head onto Guido for 2. Tajiri dropkicks the knees of Guido and Crazy. Guido gets caught on a tip up and thrown onto the ramp. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Crazy from Tajiri. Slingshot missile dropkick from Crazy after Tajiri was tripped and Guido comes in with a top rope crossbody on Crazy for 2. Camel clutch from Guido on Crazy and Tajiri hits a double foot dropkick on Crazy while he’s in the hold. Tajiri does it again and nails Guido instead. Guido is dumped in the first row and Tajiri baseball slides Crazy into the crowd as well. Tajiri hits the Asai moonsault onto both of them. Big Sal gets into the ring and slams Tajiri and powerbombs Crazy. Sicilian slice on Tajiri gets 2. German suplex on Guido gets 2 for Tajiri. Guido and Tajiri fight into the crowd and Crazy hits a TOP ROPE ASAI MOONSAULT. Then he goes back into the ring and hits a springboard dropkick on Big Sal who falls through a table. Tajiri goes for a sunset flip but Crazy holds the ropes so Tajiri counters into the tarantula. Great spot. Guido comes in and dropkicks Crazy while he’s in the tarantula. Mexican surfboard on Tajiri and Crazy rolls with it into the Mexican stretch. Camel clutch from Crazy on Tajiri and Guido sneaks round the back and locks on a Boston crab. Tajiri is getting double the punishment but he doesn’t give up. Maritado on Crazy but he kicks out. Tajiri kicks the crap out of Guido and puts him in the tree of woe. Guido dodges the first assault from Super Crazy but Tajiri connects big time. Springboard moonsault from Super Crazy and Guido is toast at 9.18.
Tajiri kicks Crazy a few times. Needless stalling. Springboard moonsault from the second rope from Crazy gets 2. Crazy does the 10 count corner punches and the crowd count along in Spanish. More stalling. Handspring back elbow from Tajiri. Crazy escapes the brainbuster and hits a sit down powerbomb for 2. Tajiri counters another powerbomb into a swinging DDT for a long 2. Crazy escapes the brainbuster again and goes for an inverted DDT. He climbs the ropes and hits a inverted tornado DDT but only for 2. Trifecta of moonsaults is cut off by Tajiri’s knees and he hits the kick of death. Brainbuster from Tajiri and that’s enough at 14.38. ****1/2. This was 5 stars until they slowed down at the end. Magnificent 3 way dance.
Corino cuts a promo on the ICP who he said were meant to face Raven-Dreamer tonight but they didn’t want to come because they’d lose. Corino names himself and Rhino as the number one contenders. Billy Corgan is in the front row tonight. Cyrus tells Joey that ICP had more heat in the WWF than he did. “That’s a lot of heat” – Joey. Smark remarks rule.
Sabu v Justin Credible w/Jason
The entourage has gotten a lot smaller. Sabu was banned from wrestling in the USA thanks to Credible because he’s too dangerous. Credible brings out a court restraining order against Sabu. Referee Jim Molineaux tells Credible that it’s legally binding but tonight ANARCHY RULZ! Credible canes the hell out of Bob Artese when he tries to announce Sabu.
Slingshot sidekick gets 2 for Sabu. Arabian press gets 2. Russian legsweep on the ramp from Credible. Sabu is set up on a table on the ramp and Credible hits a splash from the top rope through it. Baseball slide sends Credible into the front row and Sabu hits a triple jump senton into the first row. Credible is set up upside down on half a table at ringside and Sabu hits a brutal triple jump legdrop through the table. Then he goes back up and hits another triple jump legdrop on Credible through what’s left of the table. Sabu is bleeding from the ribcage area. Credible is busted. Camel clutch from Sabu. Jason distracts Sabu and Credible hits a superkick for 2. Credible puts on a camel clutch and Fonzie does the distraction. Sabu gets out while Fonzie sets Jason up on a table. Credible canes the crap out of Sabu when he goes for the triple jump though. Sabu grabs a chair and Credible dropkicks the chair into his face. Springboard swinging DDT from Sabu. Credible canes Sabu so hard he breaks the cane. Stunner from Credible and he hits a chair assisted bulldog through a table. Triple jump moonsault from Sabu. Triple jump double legdrop from Sabu. Credible trips Sabu into the triple jump chair when he goes for a third move. Sabu reverses the tombstone but Jason canes him in the head. That’s Incredible but Sabu kicks out. Fonzie slides a chair into the ring and he hit Sabu in the head. Arabian facebuster misses. That’s Incredible is reversed but Credible reverses back for a tombstone on a steel chair for the win at 14.06. ***. Brutal stuff in places and they messed up and repeated some spots. Still its one of Credible’s better performances.
ECW title – Taz (c) v Masato Tanaka v Mike Awesome
Originally a one on one but Awesome is in the crowd so Taz invites him in for a 3-way dance. Taz gets incredible heat from the fans that know about his soon to happen defection. Tanaka wipes Awesome out with a pescado before he even makes the ring. They fight while Taz looks on applauding. Roaring elbow misses on Taz and he hits a t-bone Tazplex. German Tazplex on Awesome. Head and arm Tazplex on Tanaka. Running release Awesomebomb on Tanaka. Awesome goes up but Taz follows him with a front head and arm superplex. Roaring elbow on Taz and he sets him up for a Mike Awesome frog splash and they both cover Taz for 3 at 2.01. Taz is no longer the ECW champion.
The ECW locker room come out and Taz goes to stand with them while the locker room applauds. Tanaka meanwhile is knocked outside and Awesome hits a suicide dive. Back inside – sit down Awesomebomb gets 2. Awesome sets up a table at ringside. Awesome goes for the powerbomb over the ropes but Tanaka escapes and hits a clothesline. Tanaka takes a run up along the ramp and hits a running chair shot. Tornado DDT on the ramp from Tanaka. Missile dropkick to the back of Awesome’s head. Tornado DDT onto a pair of chairs (that was the finish at Heatwave 98) and Awesome kicks out. 187 chair dive gets 2 for Tanaka. Powerbomb from Tanaka gets 2. Awesome powerbombs Tanaka over the top rope and through the table at ringside! Brutal. Albamaslam from Awesome. Frog splash gets 2 for Awesome. Tanaka starts no selling chairs. Diamond dust from Tanaka gets 2. Roaring elbow misses, Awesome hits a release German suplex, which Tanaka no sells so Awesome hits the spear for 2. Super chair shot and Tanaka sold that! Tanaka gets placed on a table and Awesome heads up top, Tanaka gets up. Superplex is blocked and Awesome hits a superbomb through the table for 3 at 13.48. Awesome is the new ECW champion. ****. Incredible. Taz gets into the ring to hand the belt over to Awesome and shakes his hand. The crowd could not get any hotter than this. Taz and Heyman hug on the ramp and the crowd chant for Taz because he went out the right way. Awesome and Tanaka shake hands. Amazing match.
Raven promo on his own tag team partner Tommy Dreamer. He claims Dreamer’s life lost it’s meaning without Raven. He even quotes from the Usual Suspects. Great promo.
In the ring Joel Gertner interviews Tommy Dreamer and Francine. Dreamer tells the fans that he’s going to ignore the doctor’s advice. “I need to sweat, I need to bleed and I need to innovate some violence here tonight”. Corino comes out with his guys. Corino sets Rhino on Dreamer.
ECW tag titles – Tommy Dreamer/Raven v Steve Corino/Rhino
Dreamer and Rhino brawl. Turnbuckle neckbreaker from Dreamer. Corino takes a swing but runs away. Dreamer shoves Jack Victory into a Francine chair shot. Chair shot for Rhino. Slingshot crossbody from Dreamer gets 2. Dreamer couldn’t hold Rhino up for the Spicolli Driver so Rhino hits a spinebuster for 2. Corino comes back with a ladder but a heel miscue occurs. Rhino drives Dreamer into a chair and Francine takes a kick at him. Rhino grabs Francine and hits a sit down slam. Raven comes out. DDT on Rhino. Victory comes in and Corino attacks Dreamer. Raven DDT’s Victory and Dreamer DDT’s Corino for the double pin at 3.24. 1/2*. Bizarre match. I’m guessing Dreamer’s back wouldn’t allow him to go any longer but Raven was out there for all of 30 seconds. Raven gives Dreamer the finger – great tag team.
Axl Rotten comes out to shill how great the show has been so far. No shit. Axl shoots claiming he’s not the best “worker” in the business. Axl calls Mike Awesome out. Out comes the Impact Players and Johnny Smith (from All Japan). He’s set to face RVD. Balls and Spike do a run in. Spike hits the Acid Drop on Dawn Marie. Balls chair shots Johnny Smith. That’s going to alter the main event. Why not just let Johnny Smith wrestle RVD? I guess he was injured. Balls Mahoney will sub for him.
ECW TV title – Rob Van Dam (c) v Balls Mahoney
Brutal back suplex from Mahoney. RVD showboats and gets twatted with a clothesline. Leaping sidekick from RVD. High crossbody from the top gets 2 for RVD. Rolling bodyscissors gets 2 for RVD. Outside RVD goes for a moonsault press but gets caught. He escapes a slam but Balls avoids a Van Daminator by hitting RVD with the chair. RVD misses a kick and Balls hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Spinning heel kick on the ropes from Balls. They fight into the crowd and Balls goes for a chair shot but RVD ducks and hits the Van Daminator. Balls stays in the crowd and RVD hits the buckles for a ridiculous somersault senton into the crowd. “Oh my God” – Cyrus. That was insane. Back inside a powerslam gets 2 for Balls. New Jersey Jam gets 2 for Balls. Ball Breaker (sit down spinebuster) from Balls. Frog splash from Balls gets 2. Balls is busted from that Van Daminator a while ago. Balls goes up for another splash and RVD superplexes him. Rolling thunder onto a chair gets 2. RVD counters a rocket launcher into a monkey flip. Sit down powerbomb from Balls onto the chair gets 2. Balls counters a northern lights suplex into a DDT onto the chair. RVD kicks out. Piledriver from Balls for 2. Superkick from Balls and he goes to the chair. Balls misses, Van Daminator misses but Balls connects with a nasty chair shot. Fonzie saves the title with a chair shot. “Bill Alfonso is going to die” – Joey. Fonzie bails and RVD hits a leaping sidekick into the chair for 2. 5 star frog splash finishes Balls Mahoney off at 19.39 and that’s the end of the show. **1/2. Timing was out. There was a lot of stalling and a bunch of spots that didn’t really tie together. Still it sent the fans home happy.
Best matches –
3. Taz v Masato Tanaka v Mike Awesome. The end of Taz’s world title reign but it was more about the other two guys than him. They put on a real barnburner after Taz’s elimination.
2. Tajiri v Super Crazy v Guido. The addition of Guido added another chapter to the excellent Tajiri-Crazy series. He also helped the flow of the match greatly.
1. Lance Storm v Jerry Lynn. Hell of a way to open a PPV. Got the crowd hot and they stayed that way all night. As I mentioned earlier their near falls sequence is the best I’ve ever seen.
Overall PPV rating – B+
3 matches got **** or more. You can’t ask for anymore than that. Simply an incredible 3 hours worth of wrestling. If they’d actually booked matches for Dreamer/Raven v Corino/Rhino and Nova/Chetti v Diamond/partner then we’d be looking at one of the greatest PPV’s ever. I can’t praise this enough.