Written by: Jake Ziegler from InsidePulse
Impact Zone – Orlando, FL
Taz starts the show with an annoyingly self-congratulatory promo. The fact that he pluralizes the world “all” is quite irritating. He goes on and on about how great ECW was, how they revolutionized the business and all that rhetoric.
MATCH #1: Six-Man Tag Team Match – The FBI (Guido Maritato, Tony Luke & Tracy Smothers) w/ Big Sal Graziano vs. Kid Kash, Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger
Wow, I love Tracy Smothers and all, but he looks TERRIBLE. Tenay says that Swinger and Diamond are still mad about some title match from back in the ECW days. That doesn’t make me want to see this match any more. For some reason they’re wresting under blue lights.
Guido and Kash start the match with some mat wrestling. They go back and forth and each gets a pinning combination for two. Wow, they’re so evenly matched! Guido makes the tag to Luke, and Tenay mentions that the name Tony Luke is a result of copyrights. Swinger tags in as well and they take it to the mat. Luke goes for holds and Swinger comes back with power moves. Then tags are made to Diamond and Smothers. Okay this could be fun. Smothers unleashes his signature offense, including a dropkick, and Diamond takes a powder. Diamond gets on the mic and the crowd chants “Shut the Fuck Up,” and it actually has to be bleeped. Bleeping curse words = EXTREME!!!!! Diamond then challenges them to a dance-off instead. Imagine if WWE ran this segment. Smothers says that if the FBI can’t do better than that, “straight up, everybody dies.” Smothers is so awesome. Big Sal E. even gets in on the action. Kash, Diamond, and Swinger don’t take too kindly to that so they attack from behind. Everybody goes to the floor except for Kash, who uses referee John Finnegan to catapult himself into everyone else. Why would the referee do that? Back in the ring the bad guys work Luke over in their half of the ring. Luke comes back on Kash and levels him with a clothesline. Kash comes back and hurls Luke into the corner. Guido gets tagged in and he’s on fire. Some more stuff happens and then they sneak in the Tower of Doom. Diamond hits Luke with the Simon Series. Smothers takes Diamond down, Swinger takes Smothers down, Luke takes Swinger down, Kash takes Luke down, Guido takes Kash down, Diamond goes after Guido but gets caught in the Unprettier. Guido scores the pin at 10:43. That was what you’d expect from these guys at this stage in their careers, or ever, really. Smothers alone made it watchable.
MATCH #2: Too Cold Scorpio vs. CW Anderson
My dominant memory of Too Cold Scorpio was making an anti-Semitic remark when being interviewed by Gabe Sapolsky in 2004. They lock up and trade armbars, then wrestle to a standoff. I guess they’re partying like it’s a 2003 Indy Show. Scorpio goes for a handshake but CW wants no part of it. He responds with a dropkick that sends CW to the floor, and then kicks him into the guardrail. Scorpio then follows CW to the floor with a twisting plancha. Back in the ring Scorpio hits a high cross body block off the top rope for two. CW comes back with a superkick and both men are down, CW selling it particularly strangely before getting a two-count. He works on Scorpio’s arm as Mike Tenay says “the Orient” about a thousand times. Scorpio fights back with a superkick. He follows up with some jabs but misses a kick and CW cracks him in the mouth for a two-count. Scorpio comes back with an STO, and that leads into a series of reversals and pinning combinations. CW drops Scorpio on the apron and then punches him in the face again for a two-count. Back in the ring Scorpio whips CW into the turnbuckle and hits a somersault kick to the face, and then a 450 legdrop off the second rope but CW kicks out at two! Scorpio goes back up for a moonsault but CW gets the knees up. CW then hits a Spinebuster and gets a two-count. Scorpio comes right back with a superkick and hits Drop the Bomb to get the pin at 6:46. I always thought CW was boring and Scorpio was crazy overrated. This match did nothing to change that. At least they had the good sense to keep it short.
MATCH #3: Stevie Richards vs. P.J. Polaco
Stevie is accompanied by Nova and Blue Tillie. Yes, TNA actually wanted people to drop $35 to watch Stevie Richards versus Justin Credible. They trade chops and punches and things in the early going. Richards throws Polaco nuts-first into the ring post, and when they go to the floor Polaco takes control, not selling the nuts injury at all. Polaco suplexes Richards on the floor, and then hits a slingshot splash from the ring to the floor. Back in the ring Polaco stomps away in the corner. Polaco hits the sit-out powerbomb out of the corner for two. He hits another DDT for two. Richards comes back and hurls Polaco to the floor and he lands face-first on the steps. Back in the ring they trade punches and Stevie gets the better of it. Stevie hits a side suplex and then a sit-out powerbomb for two. He goes up to the second rope but jumps right into a Polaco superkick, which gets two. Polaco hits That’s Incredible but he pulls Richards up for some reason to go argue with Nova. That gives Stevie the time to recover and hit the Stevie Kick to get the pin at 6:32. What is this, an episode of Heat from 2002?
After the match Polaco attacks Richards with a Singapore Cane to get his heat back, as it that’s necessary, and then Hak comes out and beats up Polaco with a different Singapore Cane.
MATCH #4: Three-Way Dance – “The War Machine” Rhino vs. Al Snow vs. Brother Runt
Three-Way Dance means elimination rules, by the way. They start off with some cutesy three-way spots, and Snow gets knocked to the floor. Rhino clobbers Runt with a clothesline and sets up for the Gore, but Snow prevents it. Snow hits Runt with a backbreaker. Once again Snow gets knocked to the floor, and then Runt tosses Rhino. Runt tries a flying cross body, but Snow and Rhino catch him and hit a double-team fallaway slam. Back in the ring Snow misses a slingshot legdrop, but is able to hit the double underhook headbutts. Snow tries to use Head but Rhino blocks it and hits a suplex. Runt comes back in the ring with a double stomp, and then tries the Dudley Dog on Rhino but gets tossed off. He comes right back with a headscissors on Rhino while the crowd chants “this is wrestling.” Give me a break Orlando, seriously. Runt tries a dual Dudley Dog, but Snow and Rhino toss him to the floor. The referee accidentally gets knocked down, and Snow uses Head to knock Rhino out. Runt brings in a chair and tries to pull an Eddie Guerrero but Snow one-ups him. If this is “ECW,” why are they trying to hide their weapon shots? Everyone gets up and Runt hits Snow with the Dudley Dog to eliminate him at 5:49, and then Rhino blasts Runt with the Gore to win the match at 6:01. Outside of the weapon silliness, the action never stopped and it was fun enough.
MATCH #5: Old School South Philadelphia Street Fight Falls Count Anywhere – Team 3D w/ Joel Gertner vs. Axl Rotten & Kahoneys
Apparently this match wasn’t booked ahead of time. Rotten gets on the mic and issues an open challenge. It’s answered by Joel Gertner and the tie-dyed Dudley Boyz. Gertner talks for a while, and then Brother Ray makes sure that they’re going to have a Street Fight rather than Wrestling Match.
This should be a fun one to recap because it’s going to be all brawling and very few “moves.” Axl and Devon battle in the ring while Ray and Kahoneys take it to the floor. After a minute or so they trade spots and we get the split-screen to follow the action. They take the fight up into the crowd and the split-screen returns. Taz and Tenay just make “jokes” and laugh at each other. Eventually they make it back to the ring and bring a bunch of weapons in. Taz calls a cookie sheet “the proverbial cookie sheet.” I would love for Taz to explain what about it exactly is proverbial. On second thought, I’d prefer it if Taz just shut the fuck up forever. Kahoneys and Ray have a light saber battle, for real. Team 3D hits a pair of unprotected chair shots and then bring a table in the ring. Gertner produces some lighter fluid and they light the table on fire, then powerbomb Kahoneys through it to get the pin at 11:55. I’m sure this will appeal to some people, but it did nothing for me.
Now the Gangstas make their way out to brawl with Team 3D. They beat them down and then hit Gertner with a guitar. Then everybody gets up and hugs. Is that Hardcore?
MATCH #6: The Final Showdown – Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven, Special Guest Referee – Mick Foley
Raven hits Dreamer in the nuts before the bell, which is awesome. They take it right to the floor. Very little happens out there and Raven throws Dreamer back in the ring. Raven sets up a chair in the turnbuckles and goes for a whip but Dreamer reverses it and Raven hits the chair and then crashes to the floor. Dreamer comes out to the floor and hammers away at Raven. Back in the ring Dreamer sets up two chairs and goes for a suplex but Raven blocks it and hits the famous drop toehold, sending Dreamer to the floor. Ever the classy guy, Dreamer blades right in front of his wife and kids, who are sitting next to Dixie Carter. Talk about a desperate attempt to create drama. Back in the ring Dreamer gives Raven a test of his own medicine with the drop toehold into a chair. Dreamer gets a Dead End sign from a fan and hits Raven with it. He brings a ladder in the ring as Raven is busted open now too. Dreamer catapults Raven’s face into the ladder set up in the corner. He sets Raven up on the top turnbuckle and wedges the ladder between the top and middle rope, but Raven drops him nuts first. Taz notes that one time Dreamer had a ruptured testicle. As I try to erase that from my memory, Dreamer hits the Dreamer Driver and then stomps on Raven’s nuts in the Tree of Woe. Dreamer then grabs barbed wire and executes a crossface with the wire in Raven’s mouth. Nova and Blue Tillie come out and beat up Foley while Raven taps out, so Foley doesn’t see it. Tillie goes for a splash off the top rope but Dreamer moves out of the way and then dispatches both Nova and Tillie. That gives Raven the chance to hit the Raven Effect and Foley is up for the count but he only gets two. Raven argues with the referee about it, so Foley beats him down in the corner and then uses Mr. Socko, a WWE invention. In all the confusion some guy comes in and hits Dreamer with a guillotine legdrop. Is that Lupus? Foley uses barbed wire Mr. Socko to get rid of him, and he fights him to the back. What a terrible referee. Meanwhile Raven handcuffs Dreamer and gets a chair. Foley is back in and he’s trying to talk Raven out of using the chair, which is the true ECW spirit. Beulah (Tommy’s wife, so they call her Teresa, give me a break) makes her way out to try to stop Raven as well, but he doesn’t listen. It’s funny how badly the sound is synced up on this DVD, since the sound of the chair shot is heard a good couple seconds before contact is made. Raven goes to hit Beulah and Foley tries to stop him so he hits her instead. Beulah hits Raven with a low blow and Dreamer hits a DDT with cuffs on, but it only gets two. Raven grabs the chair and hits Dreamer in the knee and then hits the Raven Effect to get the win at 16:59. That crossed over from just being a bad match to an embarrassment about halfway through. From Mr. Socko to Lupus to Dreamer’s family being out there for cheap heat, and for the utter pointlessness of this whole thing that Dreamer himself put together, this is one of the worst matches of the year.
MATCH #7: Main Event – Rob Van Dam w/ Bill Alfonso vs. Sabu
Bill Alfonso has a big TNA logo on the back of his shirt, because that’s EXTREME! He’s managing both men tonight. Sabu has a shaved head now, because that’s also EXTREME! They stall for the first minute and a half or so, and then take it to the mat. Next they fight to an Extreme Standoff. Alfonso puts a chair in the ring for them and Sabu gets control of it, whipping it at RVD’s head. Sabu then jumps off the chair and squashes RVD in the corner, and RVD falls onto the chair. They take it to the floor and Sabu dropkicks RVD into the crowd. Sabu hits the triple jump plancha all the way to the floor. Back in the ring Sabu locks on a sort of Camel Clutch. Sabu tries another leap off the chair but RVD dropkicks the chair into him. Somehow the back of Sabu’s head is busted open. RVD hits the rolling monkey flip, landing Sabu right onto the chair. He then whips the chair into Sabu’s face for a two-count. Sabu comes back with a hard clothesline. They both go for a springboard move and knock each other out. Alfonso gets in the ring and gives them both some Extreme Water to recover. Then both men go outside the ring to get tables. RVD jumps up to the ring apron and hits a kick to the face. He then drapes Sabu over the steel guardrail and hits the corkscrew legdrop. He sets a chair on Sabu’s chest and hits a slingshot legdrop. RVD goes up top and Alfonso hands Sabu a chair to throw at RVD to knock him down. Sabu then hits a super rana, and RVD lands on the chair. He locks on the Camel Clutch and then lets him go. He tries the Triple Jump Moonsault but RVD trips him up and his face crashes into the chair. RVD crotches Sabu on the top rope and then has Alfonso hold the chair for him to hit the Van Assassin. Sabu crashes to the floor. RVD hits the split-legged moonsault for two. He sets up a table, giving Sabu time to recover and throw more chairs at RVD. He hits a double legdrop but RVD is under the bottom rope so there’s no count. RVD reverses a whip and takes Sabu down for a chair-assisted Rolling Thunder, which gets two. He kicks a chair into Sabu’s face for another two-count. Sabu comes back with a twisting DDT right onto a chair. He follows up with a chair-assisted double legdrop to the face, which gets two. Sabu then tries to do the same move while putting RVD through a table, but the TNA Champion moves out of the way. RVD then goes up top and hits the Five-Star Frog Splash for the pin at 17:13. This was a very ECW type of match, and I think it did a good job satisfying the people who liked this kind of stuff to begin with, but since that wasn’t me, it didn’t convert me. It was certainly a good effort though.
The locker room empties to drink a bunch of beer together and pat each other on the back. The morons in the Impact Zone chant “Fuck You Vince,” as if he didn’t put on a show a thousand times better than this garbage. I also don’t recall anyone thanking Vince at the end of the show as he sat ringside watching the show like a ridiculous mark. Brother Ray then brings her into the ring. This is just ridiculous.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.