Written by: Arnold Furious
All good things must come to an end. In early 2001 ECW lost the ability to keep on fighting. With the debtors coming calling for Paul E his beloved ECW was declared bankrupt. The writing had been on the wall for some time following the demise of their deal with TNN during 2000. So knowing full well he may only get one more chance during his life to put out a show entirely under his own steam Paul Heyman pulled out all the stops and booked everything he’d wanted in terms of sending ECW in the right direction, hoping that an 11th hour deal could be struck to save the company. It never happened and Paul ended up going to the WWF along with some of the talent on this show – Rhino, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lynn, Nova, Tommy Dreamer, Tajiri, Guido and Justin Credible. Quite a bit of talent actually.
So without further ado – ECW’s last major show. Hosts are Joey Styles and Joel Gertner. We’re in New York City at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Gertner runs his increasingly obscene intro. He introduces York and Matthews as the future of ECW’s tag team division. Da Baldies jump them in the entranceway and they brawl. York gets backdropped into the first row to the first ECW chant of the evening. Baldies mess up Gertner and DDT him on the floor. Baldies double flapjack Matthews. This brings out Cyrus and his new protégé Jerry Lynn.
Cyrus/Jerry Lynn v Christian York/Joey Matthews
Lynn cradle piledrives Matthews while Da Baldies hold York in place. Cyrus pins Matthews for the win at 2.41 (from the start of the Baldies-Matthews/York brawl). DUD but then it wasn’t really a match. Complete mess to kick things off. Da Baldies leave to allow Jerry Lynn a little heel promo time. Lynn tells Matthews and York that their job is to “make the stars look good”. He tells them he’s not a jobber anymore. Lynn gets serious heat for calling himself the Whole F’n Show. Lynn tells the fans that RVD won’t be here tonight.
ECW tag titles – Danny Doring/Road Kill (c) v EZ Money/Julio Dinero w/Elektra/Chris Hamrick
Cyrus has now joined Joey on commentary. Doring talks trash to Elektra. Dinero does some weird dance thing and gets spinebustered for it. Dinero hits a drop toehold and slaps on La Mahistral for 2. Doring superkicks his ass down though. Dinero hits a t-bone (just). EZ Money comes in and runs some nice sequences with Doring. Roadkill comes in and slams Money. Elbow from the buckles and Doring comes in for the Hart Attack. Powerslam on Dinero and Doring drops the Dannaconda. Roadkill misses a big stinger splash. Dinero hits a pescado. Doring hits the G spot sweep on Money. Doring f*cks up a pescado of his own. Roadkill goes after Elektra. Hamrick superkicks him into the fans. Money gets whipped into the rail and flips over it to hit the Money Clip in the front row. EZ is Money. Dinero and Hamrick run a double team springboard bulldog to put Doring down in the ring for 2. Double hip toss on Doring and they hang on for a double Ferris wheel for 2. Doring goes for a tornado DDT and Money counters into a drop suplex for 2. Money goes for an axe handle but eats boot. Dinero dropkicks Roadkill off the apron to prevent the tag. Dinero avoids a tip up slam and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Dinero has been a revelation here. Doring goes for the Bareback, which is blocked so he hits a Wham, Bam Thank Ya Mam. Money comes in with the Money Clip, which is caught, and Doring hits a Bareback. Hot tag to Roadkill. Spinning TKO on Dinero. Powerbomb on Money. Amish double clothesline. Back kick from Dinero takes him down though and Money hits the moonsault for 2. Hamrick comes in for the cheap shot and wipes out Money by mistake. Ref spots him and tells him to leave. He’s on his way out when Dinero is whipped into him by Roadkill and he wipes out Money again, this time on the floor. Buggy Bag on Dinero and it’s over at 10.06. **1/2. Hot tag match. Quite spotty which is why it’s no higher than it is but it was a well put together spot fest to get the fans going. The heels beat down the tag champs post match and this brings out Nova.
Nova v Chris Hamrick
Nova boots Hamrick to the floor and hits a massive plancha. Hamrick turns the tables after Nova chases Elektra. She prevents a suplex back in and Hamrick hits a springboard missile dropkick for 2. Hamrick misses a corner charge and hurts his knee so Nova hits a dragon screw before going to the figure 4. Facecrusher from Hamrick gets 2. Nova avoids a tornado DDT and hits a wheelbarrow bomb. Elektra crotches Nova on a follow up. Super rana from Hamrick – RIGHT FROM THE TOP! Wow but it’s only 2. Punches from Hamrick which Nova no sells and he hammers Hamrick in the corner. Ensiguri takes Hamrick over for 2. Superkick from Nova gets 2. Elektra comes in and mounts Nova so she’s slammed. Crossface chickenwing from Nova, ref bump and Hamrick runs the buckles to try and escape. He has Nova pinned and a blonde referee runs in to count the fastest pinfall in the history of ECW at 5.30. *1/2. It’s Chris Chetti! He tanked in a WWF trial and returned to ECW for it’s last show. The actual referee claims that Nova had his shoulder up and Hamrick was pinned so Lou E comes out and punks the ref out with his chunky 80’s cell phone. Spike Dudley comes out and we’re just hot shotting around from one thing to another here. Spike and Chetti brawl. They botch their only spot before Nova hits a Swanton on Chetti and a Kryptonite Krunch on Hamrick.
“I Quit” match – Tommy Dreamer v CW Anderson
That’s the madness out of the way and we’re back to the actual format. Dreamer prevents CW doing his cutthroat intro bit and that pisses him off sufficiently to get the match started early. CW whips Dreamer into the rail and he sells his bad back. Dreamer suplexes him on the floor. CW misses a clothesline over the ropes and Dreamer hangs his arm up on them. Slingshot splash from Dreamer! He goes to a dragon sleeper but CW refuses to give up. CW goes to work on Dreamer’s arm with a shoulder stunner. A standing armbar gets the mic in but Dreamer won’t give up. Sit-down powerbomb from Dreamer into a Boston crab. CW gets the ropes. Dreamer traps CW’s arm between a chair and the ring post and then TWATS the chair with another chair. OWWWW. Ring bell on CW’s head and Dreamer hits it with a wrench! Well he’s freakin’ deaf. Wrench to the forehead and CW is busted open. Back inside CW drop toe hold’s Dreamer into a set up chair. Dreamer is busted open as well, badly. Dreamer goes knee first into a chair and Tommy is hurting from every body part. CW goes to work on the leg with an Indian deathlock. Dreamer won’t give up. CW chair shots Dreamer in the leg and then again in the back and then again in the head but Tommy begs to be hit again. ANOTHER chair shot to the head. Dreamer gets the boot up on another and drops an elbow into a chair into CW’s face. Dreamer brings in a present and it’s RAZOR WIRE! CW tries to get the other present off towel boy and gets belted with it – even Towel Boy is extreme! Dreamer puts on a full nelson and Towel Boy nails CW. Conchairto with baking trays. Ferris wheel from CW. Towel Boy gets a beating from CW and he vertical superplexes the poor lad. CW goes for a superkick but Dreamer catches it and takes him down. Leglock but CW won’t give up. CW has a gimp leg now but he still manages a spinebuster on the razor wire! Armlock from CW but Dreamer won’t give up. CW sets up a few chairs and suplexes Dreamer onto them. CW puts Dreamer’s head in a chair vice and runs him into the corner. Oh, he’s finished. CW brings in a table – he wants to MURDER Dreamer. CW gets chair shotted and Dreamer hits a Spicolli driver off the top – through the table. Dreamer grabs a length of metal edging off the table, wraps it around CW’s head and wrenches back. The edging cuts into CW’s eyes and he HAS to quit at 14.11. ***1/2. The last great match of Tommy Dreamer’s career and it would have made CW into an ECW legend in time. The problem was that CW didn’t have any future because the company was dead. Too bad because he was their next heel main eventer IMO. CW does the unthinkable for ECW and shakes hands with Dreamer post match.
Tag team #1 contender match – FBI (Guido/Mamaluke w/Big Sal) v Tajiri/Whipwreck w/Sinister Minister v Super Crazy/Kid Kash
Huge “Tajiri” chant followed by an equally big “Mikey” chant. As this is 3 way dance rules – Mikey, Mamaluke and Kash start. Kash botches the first big spot after a load of reversals and dodges. Tajiri wants in and it’s all change. Tajiri kills Guido with a kick out of nowhere. Tajiri hits a fantastic armdrag on Crazy and they run some great sequences until Tajiri murders Crazy with a kick to the head as well. Guido comes back in and goes after an armbar. No joy and Tajiri kicks him down again. Kash comes flying in with a corkscrew moonsault on Guido and Super Crazy hits a slingshot legdrop for 2, which is broken up by Mamaluke hitting a leg jam. Mikey dropkicks him. Tarantula on Kash, rolling surfboard on Guido and Mikey stretches Mamaluke on the mat. Cool. Mikey takes a big backdrop to the floor. Crazy goes for the Asai and gets hip tossed back in by the FBI. Brawl outside and Crazy hits a Kash assisted plancha. Springboard, corkscrew Merosault to the floor from Kash! HOLY SHIT! Flying rana on Mikey from Kash, Crazy gets a backslide on Tajiri for 2. Crazy hits another plancha on whoever was left outside the ring. Or rather he missed. Sal comes in and crushes Kid Kash. Mamaluke pins what’s left of Kash after he’s scraped off the mat and we’re down to 2 teams.
Poor Mamaluke gets guillotined through the rail. Mamaluke gets a beating in the ring and Mikey hits a wheelbarrow bomb before holding him up for Tajiri to kick. Guido gets a beating too including elbows to the groin. Tree of woe and Tajiri dropkicks Guido in the face. Mamaluke is set up too but Mikey misses and Sal catches him. He’s crushed against the ringpost. Tornado inverted DDT from Mamaluke. Sicilian slice gets 2 so he works an armbar. Dropkick to the face gets 2. Double team powerbomb from the top on Mikey gets 2. Double leglock! Tajiri knees the hell out of Guido’s head to break that up. Snap suplex from Mamaluke but he’s caught in a Whippersnapper. Double tag and Tajiri boots Guido. Airplane spin! Faces have chairs set up in the corners and the FBI both get dropped into them for 2. Mikey goes for a super Whippersnapper but Mamaluke interferes only for Mikey to counter into a double Super Whippersnapper. But no, it’s a double Fujiwara armbar – OUCH! Tajiri kicks Guido’s head off 3 times. Mist for Mamaluke. German suplex and an Xplex and that’s enough to put the FBI away at 13.31. ***1/2. More excellence from the team of Mikey and Tajiri. They were revolutionising tag team wrestling at this point which makes it that much of a bigger shame that this was it for them. Tajiri went to the WWF and Mikey retired. Bummer. It has to be noted that everything bar Dreamer-CW has been a spot fest thus far. I get the feeling Paul E wanted to put on the most exciting matches he could to finish his company off. Not bad to this point.
Simon Diamond/Swinger w/Dawn Marie v Chilly Willy/Balls Mahoney
Tonight, Swinger has a problem. He’s unhappy that he hasn’t benefited from Dawn’s managerial services. He brings out the Blue Boy so that he can have Jasmine StClaire as his manager tonight. Brawl starts and Chilly Willy takes a beating and a Problem Solver. Balls kills Blue Boy with a chair shot. There’s no real point to all this though as Rhino does a run in and destroys EVERYONE. Dawn gets gored! Chilly Willy is the only one who gets any offence in but it’s no sold and he gets gored too. Jasmine comes in to check on the gored Blue Boy and Rhino takes exception to that. As you would. TOP ROPE PILEDRIVER and a damn good one at that! Rhino heads off leaving assorted corpses in the ring. No real match to speak of.
BACKSTAGE Rhino cuts a sweary promo saying he’s just started.
Tables, ladders, chairs and canes three way dance/ECW title – Sandman v Steve Corino v Justin Credible
This is basically a ladder match but yanno, anything goes. Jack Victory and Francine are at ringside. Corino dropkicks a ladder into Sandman’s face. He goes for the same on Credible and gets a ladder in the face. Crowd chant for “Old school hero”. Sandman hurts his own arm by elbow dropping Corino under a ladder. Corino gets buried under another ladder and Credible rides yet another ladder onto him. Sandman bulldogs Credible onto a ladder. Sandman climbs but Corino canes him down – the ladder falls over and brains Corino. Credible and Corino double chair a ladder into Sandman’s crotch. Credible whips Sandman outside and he falls through a table. Lots of caning and ladder shots follow. Credible bleeds and gets thrown through a table at ringside. Sandman falls off the ladder and destroys it with his own legs. Two words – piss artist. Corino/Credible run the climbing – dropkick off ladder spot that was meant to happen to Sandman before he screwed it up. Sandman climbs again and gets thrown over the ropes through a table. Old school expulsion on Credible doesn’t happen because he counters into the That’s Incredible. Francine rana’s Sandman on the floor. Sandman retorts by bringing out a BIG ladder. That’s the Crocodile Dundee of ladders. Someone raises the belt! Corino and Credible climb but both get shoved off through a table – that looked awkward. Sandman climbs, grabs the belt and that ending was such a let down. Match time was 13.20. *1/4. Really scrappy with no real entertainment or planned spots. This is how NOT to do a ladder match. In another show of good sportsmanship they all shake hands even though the match sucked. Da Baldies do a run in and Credible/Corino fight them off. Sandman is left alone in the ring and this brings out….Rhino.
ECW title – Sandman (c) v Rhino
Rhino nearly botches a gore and gets heat. So he gets on the mic and tells the fans to go forth and reproduce. He tells us that he’s the TV champion of a company that has no TV deal so the heck with that belt, he wants the world title. Crowd chants for “RVD”. Rhino tells us he ain’t here and tells Sandman he’ll either face him or Rhino will go into the crowd and kill his family. Now that, is extreme. Gore through a table gets 2. Rhino hits the apron piledriver through a table to the floor and he’s DEAD. Sandman kicks out! Piledriver on the remains of the table and Rhino is the new world champion at around a minute. 1/4*. Wrestlemania 9 anyone? Cyrus comes down to celebrate the victory and tells ANYONE who wants a piece of Rhino to bring it now. Out comes Rob Van Dam to single biggest reaction in ECW history. The teasers are laid for a Rhino-RVD match until Lynn jumps RVD.
Rob Van Dam v Jerry Lynn
It’s deserving that this feud got to be the final match in ECW PPV history. They run their mat counters sequence with the drop down and the leg sweep only they add more onto it with more near misses and eventually up into standing switches. RVD goes out to slap hands – how about wrestling some more? Anything like that will get the “stalling” tag from now on. More stalling from RVD. More stalling as RVD wonders where Fonzie is. They run more sequences and Lynn hits a Cactus crossbody. Moonsault press of the rail from RVD, whose mouth is busted. Stalling. Corkscrew guillotine legdrop. Stalling. Press drop with backflip splash from RVD, right into a moonsault for 2. Whoa. Stalling. Did RVD not get the “don’t treat Lynn like a jobber” memo? They run the corner charge with guillotine sequence that I’m particularly fond of and Lynn takes wherever he goes. Stalling from Lynn and Cyrus. Lynn works RVD’s back over on the floor. Brisco corner roll up gets 2 and that starts the near fall sequence. Lynn screws up a schoolboy. Step through heel kick from RVD and rolling thunder gets 2. RVD grabs a chair, which he surfs into Lynn in the corner. Stalling. Monkey flip onto a chair goes awry and Lynn hits the corner sunset flip bomb onto the chair for 2. Tornado DDT is countered into a northern lights then countered again into an inverted DDT and today’s additional move is a snap mare from RVD to finish the sequence. German suplex from Lynn gets 2. Lynn counters a backdrop into a DDT on a chair for 2. Springboard sidekick from RVD. Cyrus tries to prevent a *****, that gives Lynn time to avoid it and covers for 2. Gertner does a run in and hits a DDT on Cyrus. Chair shot misses for Lynn and you know what that means – Van Daminator. RVD looks around for Fonzie to help w/ the Van Terminator so Gertner comes in to help. Van Terminator and a good one and that’s the end of ECW and Jerry Lynn at 19.30. **1/2. Match was a disappointment because of all the stalling and outright spot wrestling but it sent the crowd home happy. The whole show was there to do that and it succeeded.
BACKSTAGE Corino and Credible are the NEW Impact Players. Not sure there was any point finishing with that but there ya go.
Overall PPV grading – C+
ECW went all out to ensure that their last show would be exciting and it was. The aim was to set for the future just in case but to blow off every feud they had in this show just in case they never got a chance to do another. Hence RVD over Lynn, Rhino over Sandman, Sandman over Corino/Credible, Tajiri/Whipwreck over FBI, Dreamer over CW and the general jobbing of Hot Commodity. It finished up all the storyline arcs they had running. The company died with its story told. I think Paul would have liked one last show where he could have put RVD over Rhino and gone out with RVD as the world champion but this was good enough.