Written by: Arnold Furious
Going into Hardcore Heaven ECW was on a roll. RVD and Jerry Lynn had the hottest feud anywhere in wrestling, Taz was unstoppable as world champion and Sid had arrived and stayed. Would Taz be able to hold onto his world title against Chris Candido? Would Sid be able to overcome the cocky Justin Credible? Who would win the second PPV showdown between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn? Stay tuned.
Joey Styles welcomes us to Hardcore Heaven and he’s interupted by Chris “No gimmicks needed” Candido. Hang on, isn’t “no gimmicks needed” a gimmick? Those clever ECW chaps I nearly didn’t notice. Candido is 2 and half hours early for the main event. Candido has an insurance policy to assure success – the Dudley Boys. Candido runs his mouth so Taz comes out.
ECW title – Taz (c) v Chris Candido
Candido gets caught in a release German Tazplex. Front head and arm Tazplex. Candido comes back with a powerbomb. Candido misses a top rope headbutt. T-bone Tazplex. Tazmission and Candido taps at 1.10. **. Why so high? It was funny. Dudleys give Taz a 3-D thus setting up Taz v Buh Buh Ray later on.
ECW tag titles – The Dudley Boys (c) v Balls Mahoney/Spike Dudley
Cyrus joins Joey in the commentary booth. Balls comes out alone and superkicks D-Von and gives Buh Buh a scoop slam. Balls misses an elbow off the top turnbuckle but makes amends by attacking the hip that he missed on the screw up. Belly to belly slam from Balls. Top rope slam on Balls from the Dudleys and out comes Spike – the runt of the litter. Spike comes in through the crowd and hits an Acid Drop on Buh Buh. Balls gets back up and hits the Nutcracker Suite on D-Von. Luckily Gertner pulls out the ref. The Dudleys pick up Spike and hit a fall away slam over the top rope to the concrete floor. Ouch. Buh Buh with a Samoan drop on Spike and Buh Buh has a table. Spike gets a two count off a schoolboy. Spike goes for a rana through the table on Buh Buh but Buh Buh reverses with a powerbomb through the table. Balls breaks up the 3 count. Dudleys haul Spike up for the 3-D. Balls busts both Dudleys with steel chairs. Gertner hits Balls with a chair. “Joel Gertner’s about to die” – Joey. Gertner starts throwing matches at Balls and gets a fireball back in the face. Dear God that burnt his eyebrows off. 3-D on Balls and the Dudleys retain at 8.03. ***. Quite good.
Super Crazy v Taka Michinoku
Springboard dropkick from Taka. Crazy drops down to avoid a move and Taka drops an elbow into his back. Cool. Leaping DDT from Crazy. Crazy yells “f*ck you” at Taka. I see he’s learned some English. Taka hits an awesome tornado DDT. He goes for another and Crazy counters into a powerbomb. Springboard rana from Taka. Near fall sequence. Crazy gets back dropped out of the ring – look no hands. Taka misses a springboard plancha and Taka is in the crowd. Crazy hits the ropes and moonsaults into about the 3rd row. Taka is selling a knee injury. Crazy with a dragon screw on Taka. Psychology from a lucha? Taka misses an ensiguri but connects the second time. Taka misses a moonsault but Crazy hits a trifecta of moonsaults for a 2 count. Crazy comes off the top again and Taka dropkicks him. Taka hits a missile drop kick and the Michinoku driver but sells the knee instead of covering. Crazy reverses a second driver into a DDT. Crazy hits a big powerbomb for a 3 at 8.27. ***1/2. Really good. I don’t remember them gelling that well.
Backstage the Dudleys have been presented with a hitlist from Joel Gertner. Nova is first on the list the Dudleys kick his ass while telling him – “you son of a bitch, I don’t what this is for”
Tajiri v Little Guido
These two start out with some nice mat wrestling which leads to Tajiri slapping on a choke but Guido gets the ropes. Tajiri with a standing then a rolling leglock. Sweet. Tajiri kicks the crap out of Guido. Guido provokes Tajiri and catches him coming in with a Fujiwara armbar. Tajiri throws Guido into the floor when he goes for a pescado. Ouch. Tajiri hits a plancha on Guido and Sal. Tajiri introduces Guido to the ringpost. In a cool spot Tajiri misses a sunset flip but holds on with the legs and goes straight into a tarantula. Sweet move. Guido gets caught in a tip up and Tajiri throws him face first onto the ramp. Guido comes back with a Sicillian slice on the ramp. Tajiri comes off the buckles with a crossbody but misses because Guido slaps on the Fujiwara armbar again. Guido distracts the referee and Sal comes in to just destroy Tajiri. Guido whips Tajiri and Tajiri stops and kicks Guido in the face. Guido goes for a Sicillian crab but Tajiri powers out. Guido puts on a full nelson and rolls over with it into an armbar. Tajiri ties Guido into the tree of woe and predictably delivers both his feet into Guido’s face. Brainbuster for the 3 count. Tajiri wins at 11.02. ***1/2. More solid action. Stiff match.
Dudleys kick someone elses ass backstage at the orders of Gertner.
Tommy Dreamer v Lance Storm
Joey calls Cyrus a “shit stirrer”. Lance is accompanied by Dawn Marie. Tommy is accompanied by Francine. This is a street fight not a wrestling match. Storm goes for a sunset flip on Dreamer but Tommy is holding a trash can lid and he belts Storm in the head with it. Storm reverses a Spicolli Driver into a reverse DDT on the ramp. Dreamer goes for a DDT on a steel chair but Storm trips the leg and drives Dreamer into the chair. Dreamer blocks one superkick but Storm connects with the second and gets a 2 count. Storm brings a table into play. Dreamer throws a length of guard rail into the ring. It backfires as Storm crotches him on it. Storm misses the follow up and brains himself on the rail. Dreamer gets rocket launched into a steel chair and Storm gets a two count. Lance Storm gets backdropped through the table at ringside after a series of reversals over the top of it. Storm stiffs Dreamer with the edge of a chair. Dreamer has been opened up. Dreamer gives Storm a stunner onto a standing chair. Dreamer brings in a ladder. Dreamer goes for a bulldog but Storm grabs the ropes and Dreamer crashes into the ladder. Dreamer balances the ladder on Storm’s shoulders and then rams him into the turnbuckles. Then he smacks the ladder with a chair. Ouch. Storm is down but Dreamer misses a frog splash. Another table into play. Spicolli driver off the top rope and through the table. E-C-W. Cyrus does a run in so Francine decks him. Dawn Marie comes in. Cat fight. Dreamer piledrives Dawn Marie and Storm blindsides Dreamer with a trash can. Trash can over Dreamer’s head and a top rope spinning heel kick for the win at 13.46. ***1/2. Hey, that match was good too.
Backstage the Dudleys assault Jack Victory because he’s on the list despite the fact that he’s their buddy. The Dudleys mouth off about being unstoppable so Taz cuts a promo saying that he’s taking them out.
ECW TV title – Rob Van Dam (c) v Jerry Lynn
This is Lynn’s rematch for taking RVD to overtime last time out. They do a solid minute of reversals and counters which leads to an RVD 1 count. They then do a much better sequence where they sell familiarity by missing all their moves. RVD is busted hardway and I’m having difficulty calling any of this because they do so many moves. Counters followed by counters for the counters and then reversals for the counters. Lynn hits a massive plancha from the top. RVD crawls back in and Lynn hits a guillotine leg drop. Lynn with a top rope bulldog. I’ve never seen that before. Fonzie crotches Lynn and they set up a chair for an ‘on the ropes Van Daminator’ but Lynn ducks it and belts RVD with the chair. RVD hits a leaping sidekick and Lynn falls head first to the floor. That’ll fracture a skull and it did. Lynn doesn’t move much. RVD has to carry him back into the ring. Lynn still carries on though and takes a whip into the front row. RVD follows him over with a flying (over the guard rail) clothesline. Lynn is busted from cracking his head on the floor. Lynn actually has a broken nose too I never noticed that last time. Lynn still hits his corner flip into a roll up. Lynn dodges rolling thunder so RVD kicks him in the face and RVD tries again only to miss completely. Lynn goes for a tornado DDT and RVD reverses into a northern lights suplex for a two count. Lynn with a sunset flip on RVD from the top rope. Stiff short arm clothesline and RVD is down. Out comes a table. Lynn takes a leaping springboard sidekick while holding a chair – sort of a Van Daminator. Lynn goes for a top rope rana but RVD back drops him through the timekeepers table. Shit, that must of hurt. Corkscrew guillotine leg drop from RVD. Back in the ring RVD drop kicks a chair into Lynn’s face. Lynn goes for a tornado DDT from the top rope to the concrete floor but RVD blocks it and dumps him back into the ring. Seamless. RVD goes over the ropes and Lynn jumps over him and sunset flips him through the table at ringside. Awesome. RVD misses another Van Daminator and Lynn smacks Fonzie in the head with the chair. German suplex gets Lynn another 2 count. They botch a top rope move which may have meant to end in a botch because God knows what they were trying for. Lynn hits a Van Daminator on RVD for another long 2 count. RVD fights out of a cradle piledriver but Lynn holds onto the cradle and scores a 2 count on the roll up. RVD with a split legged moonsault for another 2 count. Lynn goes for an inverted DDT and RVD snap mares out of it. 5 star frog splash but Lynn reverses the fall and gets a 2 count. Chair out of nowhere and Lynn catches it – Van Daminator. 5 Star Frog splash for the 3 count at 26.58. *****. This is what happens when RVD and Jerry Lynn wrestle each other. Awesome throughout. RVD gives Jerry Lynn a high 5 after the match which is the only time RVD ever showed his opponent any respect. That’s how good Lynn is.
Backstage D-Von hurts his hand punching Chris Chetti in the head and thus making tonights main event Taz v Buh Buh Ray Dudley.
Justin Credible v Sid
This was supposed to be Justin Credible against Shane Douglas and Sid was a surprise opponent so I’ve just blown that surprise. Sorry. Justin is accompanied by Jason and Jazz. Sid is lead to ring by Judge Jeff Jones. Jason interupts an early powerbomb attempt so Sid kills him with a powerbomb and Justin takes the chance to cane Sid but Sid just chokeslams him. Lance Storm does a run in to break up another powerbomb and Sid chokeslams him. Credible with powder to the eyes of Sid and for some reason the bell is ringing as the Impact Players pound on Sid. They lay Sid out on a table and at the mention of a table out comes Sabu. Sabu belts the Players with chairs. Sabu dumps Credible on the table alongside Sid but Storm pulls him off. Sabu puts Sid through the table because he was there. Sabu puts one of the ECW security guys through a table and the rest of them drag him away. Everyone else has gone. Match time – err, not sure there was a match. 1/2*.
ECW title – Taz (c) v Buh Buh Ray Dudley
Taz administers the Brooklyn boot before his music has even finished. Fireman carry Tazplex and Buh Buh bails. Taz announces that this match is FTW rules – falls count anywhere. Buh Buh runs through some fairly basic offence and the match spills into the crowd. Taz gets busted open out there somewhere and they fight into the lobby. Back into the ring and Buh Buh gets caught on the top rope – super front head and arm Tazplex. D-Von does a run in and hits an inverted DDT on Taz. Buh Buh follows up with a big side slam. The Dudleys bring in a table and prop it up in the corner and then another one in the adjacent corner. Referee John Finnegan tries to break up a slugfest and gets thrown through the table in the corner. Hehe. Sit down powerbomb from Buh Buh and Pee Wee Moore comes in to count to 2 but not 3. 3-DB from the Duds but Buh Buh still only gets a 2. Taz DDT’s D-Von and hits a t-bone Tazplex on Buh Buh through the other table for a 2 count. Tazmission and Buh Buh taps out at 12.19. **. They should have finished the PPV when RVD won.
Best matches –
3. Super Crazy v Taka Michinoku. I continue in my belief that Taka can go with the best of them in the lightheavyweight, cruiserweight divisions. Crazy looked more able on the ropes but it was a well paced match that I really enjoyed.
2. Lance Storm v Tommy Dreamer. Better than I remembered it. The least amount of wrestling I’ve ever seen Lance Storm do. Basically a hardcore brawl but with 2 wrestlers who are particularly good in it. I didn’t expect Storm to be that good in that environment.
1. Rob Van Dam v Jerry Lynn. This match had it all – selling, psychology, high spots, tables, chairs, you name it. Plus some really great technical wrestling. It probably didn’t help that Jerry Lynn broke his nose 10 minutes into a 25 minute match either.
Overall PPV rating – B+
Started badly and ended badly but was really very good in the middle. Unusual for a PPV to be like that and normally a bad main event will let you down but I consider RVD-Lynn to be the main event so in this case the score isn’t affected.