For the fourth installment of the series, myself, Matt Peddycord and Aaron George head the final original ECW Arena show to ever take place. The date of the event is December 23rd, 2000. Let’s see how this goes.
Aaron George: So I’m going to try and not let two things sway my decision. A: This is the Final ECW Arena Show, and B: The fact that I never had the pleasure of seeing an ECW show. Try! Remember I said try!
Matt Peddycord: Of 1990s wrestling, I consider myself a HUGE WCW fan, a big WWF fan, and a somewhat average ECW fan, so this will be interesting. Growing up in North Carolina and only having a basic cable package, I didn’t get to see ECW on a regular basis until they had joined TNN when it was already past its prime. The first time I ever saw any ECW television at all was on a trip to Williamsburg, VA. All I remember is that they were hyping ‘November to Remember’ 1998 because of the six-man tag main event and wondering what the heck Bam Bam Bigelow was doing over here in this crazy, two-bit, profanity-ridden wrestling promotion. Here we are over two years later. The entire wrestling landscape has changed, and the WWF is about to rule it all. But here we are for the last time in the ECW Arena on December 23, 2000. Side note: I actually got to go to watch wrestling in this building on a road trip in 2008 to see ROH and remember being in awe realizing and picturing all that had happened in that place.
Bob Colling: Of the three major wrestling promotions at the time, I probably know the least about Extreme Championship Wrestling. At the time, ECW had zero national television and was probably nothing but a distant thought for me. When ECW was actually going on, I was about twelve and may have watched the company a handful of times. The fact that this is the final arena show for the company will play a part in this, but so will the card associated with it.
Opening Contest: Chilly Willy fought Blue Boy to a no contest when ECW Television Champion Rhino attacked both men with a GORE, hit a middle rope piledriver on Jasmine St. Claire and a piledriver on referee HC Loc from the apron through a table on the floor.
Aaron George: Hmmmm not the most auspicious of starts. But you know what? I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the lower card guys at house shows before so why the Hell not??? 1/1
Matt Peddycord: I don’t know what the heck a Chilly Willy or a Blue Boy is, but I like the idea of Rhino destroying them both, and I’m sure the ECW fans in attendance did as well. This is sort of Paul Heyman booking that I know for sure WCW has done over the years with their monsters like the Giant and Sid Vicious. If you knew enough about the history of ECW, this finish probably wouldn’t surprise you if you saw it listed on a poster somewhere on the mean streets of south Philly, so YES.
Bob Colling: Honestly, at first I wasn’t all that interested in this. I mean, who would really want to watch a Willy/Boy match? Oddly enough, I think Heyman thought the same thing and allowed his beast of a champion come out and destroy both men. Considering what Rhino did on the show, I would be greatly entertained and sold on Rhino. I mean, piledriving St. Claire off the middle rope? YES.
Second Contest: ECW World Tag Team Champions Danny Doring & Roadkill defeated Tony DeVito & Angel to retain the titles
Aaron George: This feels like pretty much the bottoming out of the ECW tag division. I hated the Roadkill character and Danny Doring always seemed like a cheap Bret Hart rip off. And I don’t even like Bret Hart. 1/2
Matt Peddycord: Considering how little ECW from the last few years that it existed, it won’t surprise you that I haven’t seen much of Danny Doring and Roadkill. My greatest recollection of Danny Doring is from shoot interviews. I just remember that Roadkill was an Amish character. Looks like just a squash match, so I’d have to pass on this one. NO.
Bob Colling: Quite honestly, I have no idea what the Da Baldies brought to ECW. Aside from a feud with New Jack where they got killed most of the time, they didn’t do much of anything all that well. This seems like a rather weak tag match and wouldn’t be something I would want to watch.
Third Contest: Balls Mahoney defeated Bilvis Wesley
Aaron George: Absolutely not. 1/3
Matt Peddycord: If Bilvis Wesley walked up to me right now, I wouldn’t know who he was. Not really a big fan of Balls Mahoney, although I know he was beloved in the ECW arena, so that might make it an interesting atmosphere. I’m sure I could stand it. YES.
Bob Colling: I’m aware of what the purpose of this match really is all about. The fans loved Mahoney and his chair swinging gimmick. Personally, it’s not something I’ve ever been a fan of. This would be filler and while the crowd would love it, I wouldn’t be overly entertained by what was provided.
Fourth Contest: Jerry Lynn defeated Spike Dudley
Aaron George: OK now we’re talking . I’ve always loved Jerry Lynn and I wish he would have gotten a better shake with the big promotions. He was a big part of me getting into ECW when I was younger and his inclusion almost makes this a no-brainer. Add the morbid curiosity of Spike Dudley being beaten so badly he may vomit in the ring and I almost wish I could give this one two points. 2/4
Matt Peddycord: On a very small scale, Jerry Lynn is a favorite of mine. What I mean by that is, I wouldn’t buy his t-shirt or anything, but I’d go and see him if he were in town, and the tickets were cheap. Plus, Spike is always good for a shellacking. YES.
Bob Colling: I believe Lynn was adopting a heel gimmick at the time and seemed a little more vicious with his work. I could be wrong, but I’m fairly sure of that. As Matt said, Spike has always been a good guy to use for a beatdown and make someone look good. He is the right guy to have Lynn demonstrate this attitude and get Lynn over. I like it.
Fifth Contest: CW Anderson defeated Super Crazy
Aaron George: Never got CW Anderson. He always felt like a bland version of Arn Anderson to me. Kind of like watching the Renegade instead of the Ultimate Warrior . However Super Crazy gets my vote easily here as he was easily one of my favorite ECW guys. I reserve the right to change my mind if he drives down to the ring in a lawnmower though. 3/5
Matt Peddycord: Super Crazy is really good. Especially his ECW stuff. Even though I love the whole Anderson thing, I don’t really dig CW Anderson that much. I mean, what has he ever done that was so great to be an Anderson in the first place? I could go either way on this one. NO.
Bob Colling: If ECW had stayed around longer, I feel like CW Anderson would get a lot more love from wrestling fans. This match really has my interest and could be a match of the night contender. Considering how Anderson performed less than a month later against Dreamer at Guilty As Charged in the last great ECW match, these two would be able to put on a really good match. Plus, it’s a quality win for CW who was being built up as a top heel for the company. An easy YES for me.
Sixth Contest: EZ Money defeated Nova by TKO; Nova started to bleed from the ear causing the finish to the match.
Aaron George: Eh. This does nothing for me. On the other hand I feel like both these guys would bust their asses for the mere fact that this is the final show at the arena. In the end…Nope, can’t do it. I wouldn’t pay for this match. 3/6
Matt Peddycord: No comment.
Bob Colling: I’m assuming this was cut short, thus I have nothing to say about it.
Seventh Contest: EZ Money, Julio Dinero & Chris Hamrick defeated Tommy Dreamer, Christian York & Joey Matthews; CW Anderson cost Dreamer the match.
Aaron George: I hope you guys like EZ Money! This seriously looks like a lot of fun. All six of these guys can go and I’ll bet they tear it down. I’m sure I’m going to get fleeced for this but the only guy I really don’t like in the match is Tommy Dreamer. I remember always being disappointed when I saw him come out. That being said at this show we’ll probably get to see him blubbering all over himself as the crowd chants ECW one last time. And hey, I’m a big softy for emotional wrestlers. 4/7
Matt Peddycord: I’d like to know how this EZ Money and Nova match basically became a six man tag. I mean, that’s what it looks like happened. By the way, I don’t know who the EZ Money team is exactly. I’m cool with Tommy Dreamer, but York and Matthews I was never really impressed with as a team. I do like six-man tags though, so I’ll go with a slight YES.
Bob Colling: This feels like it would be a rather normal six man tag match with a little brawling, but nothing over the top. Matthews and York were a solid young team at the time and would provide the fast pace, risk taking action that ECW was known for as well. I have enjoyed EZ Money’s work in the past, but Dinero and Hamrick have never really caught my interest. Regardless, this wouldn’t be an offensive match to me.
Eighth Contest: Mikey Whipwreck & Tajiri defeated Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke in a best two out of three falls match
Aaron George: Yes! Yes! Yes! I love love love Tajiri. He’s another guy that everyone missed the boat with. Such a smooth and fluid performer who’s every move looked like it could kill you. The FBI were pretty great little workers too and Mikey is Mikey, but Tajiri does this easily for me. 5/8
Matt Peddycord: Alright, I’ll keep this one short and sweet. I’m fully aware of all four of these guys and I like everyone in it. I love 2/3 falls tag matches, too. So, YES.
Bob Colling: Well, I was wrong on the probable match of the night. These four guys work incredibly well together and adding a best two out of three falls to it makes it an even better match. Whipwreck and Tajiri were so entertaining at the time as well and the FBI were always greatly underrated. An easy thumbs up for this one.
Main Event: ECW World Champion Steve Corino defeated the Sandman & Justin Credible in an elimination match to retain the title
Aaron George: So this is the match they chose to sell this show. While I always loved the concept of the elimination match I don’t think I can bring myself to endorse this one. I liked Steve Corino. Liked. They lost me a little bit when he was champion. I really can’ t stand the other two. The Sandman always screamed bush league to me and I always had trouble with Aldo Montoya acting like the biggest douche in the world. Portugal deserved better. 5/9
Matt Peddycord: I don’t know if this will be explained by Bob or anyone else on the panel, but TheHistoryofWWE says that, “the bout was scheduled for Corino vs. Credible but became an elimination match after the Sandman, who had the title belt, appeared before the contest began.” Now I’m not the biggest fan of anybody in this match. If I’m a fan of anybody here, it would be Steve Corino. I love the Old School character and all that. Justin Credible is, was, and always will be Aldo Montoya with a jockstrap on his head no matter how hard he tries. As he comes across to me on TV, the Sandman is just an alcoholic who hits himself over the head with a kendo stick and beer cans. Now wrestlers are broken down into two forms: people you do want to be like, and people you don’t want to be like. Sandman is people I don’t want to be like on such a level, that it’s just plain ridiculous. I’m not “straight edge”, but I don’t drink alcohol. And even if I did drink alcohol, I don’t think I’d want to act or look anything like the Sandman. BUT, even with all that said, he does bring a certain magic to the ECW Arena that is undeniable and certainly a character that the diehards love, and that type of atmosphere is one that any huge wrestling fan would want to be in at least once in their life, and this could be your last chance. That’s also why I think the Sandman had to be factored into the main event in some major way because of what he means to the people who had been coming to that building since 1993. TheHistoryofWWE also added that “after the match, Sandman laid out both men with his cane and left with the belt.” For the final ECW Arena show, that ending is just how it should be. YES
Bob Colling: Do you like violence? How about blood? Tables being broken? Chairs and kendo sticks being smashed on a regular basis? Well, then that’s what you’re going to get out of these three men. I find the match to be a really solid way to end the show. Coming right after a sure to be great WRESTLING match, you get your hardcore violence that the ECW fans crave for. This gets a thumbs up from me.
Aaron George: So 5/9 overall is really not a bad score. So I guess yes. Yes I would go to this show. I would get to be part of the final show at the arena, which is cool, but I feel I’d leaving thinking, “that was OK.” It’s good to leave a wrestling show feeling like you haven’t been ripped off, it’s be better to leave thrilled though. I think this quote from a certain Uncle Kracker song that a certain Portuguese man use to use may sum up my thoughts on the show.
Remember back when things looked grim,
I spent a lot of money and time on wimps
I remember the crew, Remember the good times,
Remember the orange and I’ll remember the good times.
Matt Peddycord: Plain and simple, I would go to this show especially knowing that it was the final show in such a grungy, stale, bad-part-of-town, under-a-bridge-next-to-a-repo-lot, historic venue. The atmosphere alone would have to be worth the price of admission.
Bob Colling: We would be treated with a Rhino GORE fest, CW/Super Crazy, a two out of three falls match between two great teams and a violent triple threat match for the biggest prize of them all. How can you wrong with that? Sure, there is some crap on this show, but the under card is still pretty good with the six man tag and Lynn/Dudley. I would be bummed that Rob Van Dam would be on the show. It’s the most important venue for the company and Rob Van Dam isn’t on the card. That would be a letdown for what appears to be a fine show overall.
All three of us would attend the final ECW Arena show. What catches your interest and what would make you steer clear of the show? Let us know below!
Thanks for reading.