ECW As Good As It Gets 1997 9/20/1997
Written by: TheSmackdownSixReview.blogspot.com
It’s the famous Beulah vs Fonzie match! Also, Sabu faces the Sandman in a violent brawl! Watch Shane Douglas defend the ECW title against a tag team wrestler! The Dudleys and Gangstanators have a messy brawl to close the show! One match even breaks the 3 star barrier! As good as it gets!
I’m just in a very ECW mood after that last show. So here’s another one from 1997. I wanna see if this one lives up to its name as being “as good as it gets.” After all, Paul Heyman’s an honest guy, right? Right?? Ah well, it’s worth a shot. And I haven’t seen any of this one before, so I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
FBI (Little Guido & Tracy Smothers) (w/ bad dancing & Tommy Rich) vs Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney (w/ very hard chairs)
Interesting clash of styles to start the show. I’m legitimately wondering how this one will play out. Balls to start with Guido. This is looking like it’s building to a massacre. Guido with a slap and Balls is ready to fight. Guido with a headlock, but Balls powers him into the corner and slaps his head. Guido tries to sneak up on Balls but changes his mind hilariously when Balls turns around. Shoulderblock from Balls. Guido with some strikes after a thumb to the eye, but a crossbody is caught into a fallaway slam from Balls. Armdrag into an armbar from Balls. That’s very odd for Balls to do. Axl gets the tag and hits a big back elbow for 2. Guido manages to tag out, but Axl brings Smothers over the ropes and hits the bionic elbow on all members of the FBI. Clotheslines for Smothers and Guido! Nicely done. Guido trips Axl after Smothers gets brought back in, so Smothers hits an elbow drop to take over. Axl gets tossed, and Rich hotshots him into the guardrail on the outside. Back in, Smothers stomps away and tags Guido back in for a double chop and elbow drop for 2. Tag back to Smothers, and he front suplexes Guido onto Axl for 2. More double teaming as Balls inadvertently distracts the ref like an idiot. Front slam from Smothers, and a slingshot splash from Guido gets 2. Again Balls tries to get involved, and again it just leads to more double teaming. Smothers puts Axl in a chinlock to build to the comeback. Backfist from Smothers and a leg lariat drops Axl though! Wow. Rocket Launcher (Smothers throwing Guido from the top for a splash) misses though and Balls gets the hot tag. He unloads with punches, and gets a double clothesline for 2. The heels get whipped into each other, Smothers is clotheslined to the outside, and Balls hits the Nutcracker Suite on Guido for 3! But wait, Tommy Rich puts Guido’s foot on the ropes, then pleads his case to the official. The ref agrees with him and restarts the match, allowing Guido to roll up a celebrating Balls Mahoney for the victory at 9:40. Post-match Balls wants to hit the ref with a chair. The ref, Jeff Jones, talks smack. Other refs are out too, and Jones slaps one of them, who slaps back. Balls then gets his chairshot of revenge. Ouch.
Fun match to start the show. They didn’t do anything special out there, but they worked their formula nicely. I’m happy it wasn’t just a squash for Balls and Axl. The FBI really worked their heel characters to perfection. The first finish came pretty fast, as did the second, and besides the actual falls they lacked a true finishing sequence. The ref stuff post-match was worthless, but the faces had to get their heat back somehow.
Winners: FBI, 9:40, **1/4
Joey Styles is out, standing in the ring, to interview Jason, the self-proclaimed “Sexiest Man on Earth”. Why? I don’t know. But I hope this is fast. Jason wants to repay the fans for being wonderful. Joey is insanely funny, instantly jumping up and down (really freaking high for that matter) and shouting “He’s leaving!” Jason says no, instead he’s introducing Justin Credible, fresh off his stint in WWF. Credible pie faces Styles and poses to no reaction. He takes off his shirt and I think he’s ready for a match. Yup, he is!
Justin Credible (w/ Jason) vs Jerry Lynn
Wow, Lynn looks so young here. He’s got shorter hair and is going by the nickname of “Dynamic”. It’s sad that he’s getting fed to Credible like this, cause I really like Lynn, and he’s a much better worker. It’ll probably be competitive though. Knees and chops in the corner from Credible. Thumb to the eye and punches from Credible. Lynn is looking like a jobber out there, and this is indeed his first ECW arena appearance. Lynn takes him down and hammers away until the ref intervenes. Credible complains about a pull of the hair, which is funny because he’s bald, you see. Ah, I kid, it was pretty funny. Jason grabs Lynn’s leg, so Lynn hits a plancha on him. Credible tries to come off the second rope onto Lynn, but Lynn moves and Credible goes ribs-first into the steel in a hard bump. Lynn crotches him on the guardrail, climbs up behind him, and bulldogs him to the floor. Unique spot there. Lynn quickly to the top for a crossbody to the floor! He overshoots him, but it didn’t look bad. That HAD to hurt though. Back in, Credible counters a backdrop and just THROWS Lynn with a spinning powerbomb. Atomic drop and a clothesline from Credible, and he goes to a sitting abdominal stretch for the rest hold. Credible rolls Lynn up off of that for 2. Snapmare and a low dropkick from Justin. Everytime Styles says “Dynamic Jerry Lynn” I cringe at how much of a jobber that makes him sound like. Back elbow gets 2 for Credible, so he goes to a chinlock. Lynn’s purple and yellow tights look ridiculous. I can’t help but to keep fixating on them while I’m watching the match. His whole look is just terrible. Lynn fights out, sleeper from Credible, and Lynn quickly counters with a jawbreaker. Credible is up first and clubs him down, but Credible misses an ensuguri and Lynn hits a DDT. Sidewalk slam from Lynn and he goes to the middle rope for a leg drop for 2. This match has no heat. Springboard crossbody misses for Lynn and Credible goes up now. Weak missile dropkick gets 2. Justin got some boos for that one. Northern Lights suplex gets another 2. Credible back up to the top, but he misses a splash. Crowd is now actively booing. Bridging German suplex gets Lynn 2. Another countered, and they keep countering, and Lynn with a sitdown powerbomb for a close 2! Credible placed on top, and Lynn follows him up, but Credible rakes the eyes and gets a slightly sloppy sunset flip powerbomb for a close 2. Credible back up again, but Lynn stops him. Hurricanrana from the top for 2 from Lynn! He wants a tombstone, countered into That’s Incredible from Justin (a spinning tombstone). Shitty swinging DDT gets Credible the victory at 10:28.
First off, Justin thought that a bad swinging DDT would be a better finisher than a SPINNING TOMBSTONE?? Ugh. Technically the match was alright, but it just had no heat. The crowd wasn’t into Justin, and Lynn was just a jobber, so they knew he wasn’t winning and thus weren’t behind him either. There was definitely some sloppiness, but they tried out there. They did too much for me to shit on the match rating-wise, but the crowd really brought this one down. They’d have many more battles in the future, however.
Winner: Justin Credible, 10:28, **1/2
Lance Storm vs Chris Candido
Well if this gets time it has the potential to be a great wrestling clinic. Crowd’s not really into either guy to start, but that’ll probably change by the match’s end. Mat wrestling to start, won by Storm. Three side headlock takeovers from Storm. Shoulderblock from Storm. Hip toss attempt from Candido, but Storm lands on his feet and barely hits a dropkick on Candido. Now Candido uses the right hand to gain an advantage, but Storm gets a hurricanrana, hip toss, and armdrag into an armbar. Arm wringer from Storm, but Candido walks him into the corner and hits some hard chops. He’s a great heel. Series of counters leads to Candido catching Storm in a reverse leapfrog attempt and hitting a sloppy powerbomb out of it for 2. Candido starts peppering him with rights. Storm comes back with forearms, but Candido hits a swinging neckbreaker. It gets 2, and Candido was covering as if he was going to beat the man with that. Spinning heel kick from Storm, so Candido bails, and Storm follows with a springboard crossbody to the floor. There’s no room to do that with the guardrail being so close to the apron, so good job from Storm to do it anyway. Candido comes back with a baseball slide to send Storm rocketing into the first row of fans, and then follows with a dive from the top rope and over the guardrail into Storm! Nicely done sir. Candido tosses a chair into the ring and rolls Storm in. The ref gets rid of the chair, which broke on impact entering the ring, and Candido gets a standing vertical suplex for 2, followed by a chinlock. Storm up, so Candido places him in the corner. Storm runs out, but walks into a big powerslam! Elbow and a cover with the feet on the ropes from Candido, but the ref catches that. Scoop slam and Candido goes up. Diving headbutt gets 2, and Candido cries “Oh bullshit!”. Another chinlock from Candido. Storm up, so Candido takes him off the ropes, but Storm jumps over a backdrop attempt and hits a superkick! Slugfest, won by Storm, and he keeps up the momentum with a backdrop and dropkick. Cartwheel splash in the corner from Storm, and missile dropkick from the middle rope gets 2. Crowd doesn’t like Storm. Powerbomb from Candido, and he stacks Storm up for a close 2. Candido places Storm on the top rope, but Storm blocks a superplex with a front suplex, then comes down with a sunset flip, but Candido blocks it and pins for another 2 count. Jumping top rope back elbow gets Storm 2. He misses a springboard clothesline, and a bridging German gets Candido 2. Nothern Lights suplex gets Storm 2. Clothesline from Candido floors Storm, and they slow the pace a bit. Piledriver from Candido, good sell from Storm. Candido goes up top again, but Storm crotches him. He’s still selling the neck nicely. Oh goodness, top rope powerbomb from Candido! That’s enough to finish off Storm at 14:17.
This match was technically very good. I’m glad it got nearly 15 minutes, and it was a pretty good showcase of both men’s talents. The problem was that Candido isn’t a really likeable heel, so it took the fans a while to warm up to him, and Lance Storm wasn’t over at all. It’s sad, because Storm’s an amazing athlete, and a terrific pure wrestler, but it took the ECW fans a while to appreciate his work. Candido’s dive from the top to the floor was awesome, as it didn’t look technically sound, and instead actually looked like Candido was just saying “screw it” and jumping at Storm. They had a point during Storm’s comeback where neither guy was selling moves properly, instead just trying to hit too many moves too quickly to pop the crowd, and it felt like the moves lost their impact and the match lost some of its momentum. Thankfully Candido realized this and slowed down the pace before hitting his piledriver. Storm really sold it like death, and the finish was great. Not a classic, but certainly good, even with the crowd.
Winner: Chris Candido, 14:17, ***1/2
Bam Bam Bigelow vs Spike Dudley
Hey, I just reviewed this match for Born to be Wired! I wonder if this one will be any different. Bigelow on the mike before the match, and he wants to know which part of the crowd he should press slam Spike into. He challenges the crowd to body surf Spike around the arena. Quick press slam in the ring from Bigelow. Spike tries to punch back, but a headbutt floors him. Hard Irish whip from Bam Bam, and he mocks Spike’s selling. Spike comes back with a headbutt to the ribs and forearms, but Bigelow avalanches him in the corner. The crowd is just begging Bigelow to throw Spike into them. Spike with a dropkick counter and DDT, followed by a low dropkick. Sloppy top rope clothesline gets Spike 2. Dropkick sends Bam Bam over the top rope and through a table on the floor. Spike with a chairshot to the back on the outside. Back in, he hits a top rope chairshot for 2 on the Beast from the East. Go Spike go! Top rope splash with the chair misses for Spike. Huge vertical suplex on the chair from Bam Bam, and now he wants the press slam for real. Spike thrown into the crowd by Bigelow! The crowd body surfs him a bit, then Bam Bam takes him out of the crowd and back to the ring. Bam Bam up top with a splash, and that finishes off Spike Dudley at 5:21. Post-match Bam Bam press slams him into the audience again and does a cartwheel in the ring for some absurd reason…
Definitely a better match between these two this time around. They finally paid off the press slam spot, and Spike actually got offense in. I really thought he had a chance to beat Bam Bam again, and without using a rollup this time. They also moved at a faster pace in this match than at Born to be Wired. It almost wasn’t a squash. Almost.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow, 5:21, *1/2
“The Franchise” Shane Douglas (ECW World Heavyweight Champion) (w/ Francine) vs Phil Lafon (w/ Doug Fernas), ECW World Heavyweight Championship match
I guess this is right after Hardcore Heaven 1997 then, since Shane has the gold. He’s very happy to have destroyed Terry Funk at the PPV. He also informs us that Rick Rude won’t be here because he’s going to the WWF. He calls the crowd two-faced multiple times. Lafon is a mystery opponent, and Douglas isn’t happy about it. Why, I don’t know, he’s just a washed up tag team guy. Fernas insults the heels, so Douglas agrees to make it a championship match. Shane charges right into some shots, and Lafon hits a pair of clotheslines. Chops and a backdrop from Lafon, and Shane bails to the floor. I just don’t believe for a minute that Lafon can beat Douglas. Suplex from Phil takes Douglas back in the ring and gets 2. Abdominal stretch from Lafon. He turns it into a rollup, and they trade 2 counts. Savant kick off an arm wringer gets another 2, and Lafon puts Douglas into a chinlock. Jawbreaker from Shane to escape. Shane takes over with an elbow to the back of the head and some chops, but Lafon fires right back. The pace has slowed, and Lafon puts Douglas into a crucifix pin for a few 2 counts. Superkick from Lafon gets 2, and Francine slaps Lafon in the face to break it up. Sleeper from Lafon on Douglas, but Francine comes in and low blows the challenger. Atomic drop and a dropkick to the groin from Douglas. Lafon falls to the outside, so Doguglas follows him out and whips him into the steel. Chinlock with a knee to the back from Shane back in the ring. Inverted rolling necksnaps from Shane. Monkey flip out of the corner from Shane. Lafon tried to land on his feet and start a comeback, but he slips and falls and clutches his knee to save the spot. Shane puts him in a headscissors, then low blows Lafon when he gets back up. Low dropkick to the groin in the corner from Douglas. Shane needs some better offense. Suplex countered into a rollup for 2 from Lafon, but Douglas is right back with a clothesline. Camel clutch now from Shane. So many rest holds…. I’m fine with a slow pace as long as they do something. Douglas goes for another monkey flip, but Lafon counters with a hot shot. He pounds the head of the champion and throws him face-first into the buckle again. Scoop slam and middle-rope senton from Lafon for 2. NICE spinning heel kick gets Lafon another 2. That was slick. They screw up a whip , and Lafon gets a sitdown Tiger bomb for 2. Francine comes in and takes a Tiger bomb for her troubles. He covers Douglas again for 2. Candido interferes, since he’s also part of the Triple Threat stable, but Lafon is ready for him. Furnas in and clotheslines the heck out of Shane, and both faces hammer away on Candido. Lafon and Shane go out to the floor, and Bam Bam Bigelow, the final member of the Triple Threat, comes in to square off with Furnas in the ring. They slug it out, and Furnas hits a DDT. Lafon and Shane back in now, and Candido clips Lafon’s knee, letting Douglas dropkick the knee. Douglas tries a whip and Lafon can’t run, which is a nice spot you don’t see every day. Spinning toehold by Shane, and Lafon counters with an inside cradle, but Douglas reverses it with a jackknife pin to retain his title at 12:05.
Well, first of all, I’m not a fan of putting the Heavyweight Championship match in the middle of the show like that. But, in lieu of the actual match, I can understand why they did it, because you can’t finish an ECW show with a match like that. They tried to work a slower-paced, old school style match to play to Lafon’s strengths, but they definitely overdid it. Lafon obviously either wasn’t in good enough shape to wrestle for twelve minutes, or didn’t know what to do out there, because it seemed like half of the match was just rest holds. Shane isn’t free from blame for this match either, as his heat segment was completely uninteresting. They build Lafon and Furnas up as these two kick ass wrestlers, and I just couldn’t buy it. They’re just a run of the mill tag team, not main event guys. They shouldn’t be able to manhandle the Triple Threat like that. The finish even protected Lafon. And my, oh my, what a shitty finish it was. It’s one thing to end your Heavyweight Championship match with a rollup. It’s quite another to give it no real finishing sequence, overbook it to hell, and then make your newly-crowned champion look weak by needing a rollup counter to a rollup to beat an aging tag team wrestler. I can appreciate what they were trying to do with this match, but the execution was not very good.
Winner: Shane Douglas, 12:05, **
The Pitbulls are out with some dude in a wheelchair. They’re heels now. Gary Wolfe is on the mike, and he’s angry. He says they were hanging out with Vince Mcmahon the other day. This is dragging on so much. Can we have a match? Wolfe says that ECW is just full of paper champions. He calls out Taz specifically. Wolfe’s voice only has one decibel level, and it’s annoyingly loud. Taz needs to get out here. Wolfe has been ranting for nearly ten minutes. Wolfe issues an open challenge, which gets no response, and then calls out Taz again to face Anthony Durante. Finally he shows up! Thank you!
Durante hits a big powerbomb and Taz is down. T-Bone Tazplex! Tazmission! Wolfe is in and pulls Durante out of the ring. Taz isn’t done, and goes out to kick the guy in the wheelchair. He sets a table up against the guardrail, and hits a T-Bone Tazplex through the table! Taz hits a fan and security is pissed. So pissed that they decide to step in the ring with him. This won’t end well. Taz takes one of them down in an armbar, and other security comes out to take him off. The locker room empties to help separate them. Sabu is out, and he slaps Taz in the face multiple times. Taz takes him down! Nice pull-apart brawl! Taz leaves finally, and Sabu stays in the ring to hammer on jobbers. And this leads directly to…
Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso) vs The Sandman (w/ Singapore Cane)
Now I know these two have had some terrible matches (such as their infamous contest at November to Remember 1997, where Sandman was on acid for the entire match), they’ve also had some hard-hitting brawls, like their Stairway to Hell match. I’m actually expecting a good match from these two, so let’s hope for my sake that they can deliver. Sandman has his cane to start. He tries to hit Alphonso with it, and they sloppily work into Sabu hitting him with a chair. Slingshot somersault leg drop gets Sabu 2. Sandman is already bloody, but that could very well be from his entrance. Springboard hurricanrana off of a chair from Sabu, and he covers for another 2 following a clothesline. Weak chairshot from Sabu, and he tosses Sandman to the floor and follows him out with a pescado. That looked painful for Sabu’s back on the landing, like he wrenched it. Sandman has done virtually nothing thus far. Sabu sets up another chair on the outside, and he jumps off it for an avalanche against the guardrail. Really sloppy though since the chair didn’t cooperate fully. Sandman finally makes a comeback and whips Sabu into the guardrail. This match needs some serious pacing help. Weak elbow drop from Sandman. I swear, he has the worst elbow drop of anyone in wrestling…except maybe Ashley. Table suplex from Sandman to Sabu! Front suplex from Sandman to hang Sabu on the guardrail, and he follows it with a guillotine leg drop from the apron. Sandman decides now is as good a time as any to go back to the locker room, and he comes back with a ladder! That pops the crowd, and he hits a ladder suplex onto Sabu. Sandman rolls Sabu in, and tosses the ladder over the top rope onto Sabu. Another shot with the ladder, and Sandman hits a slingshot somersault senton with the ladder on top of Sabu for 2. Ladder in the corner, and Sandman suplexes Sabu onto it! Nasty bump right there folks. That gets 2. Front slam from Sandman, and he places the ladder on Sabu and goes up top. Somersault senton from the top rope onto the ladder and Sabu! That’s gotta hurt. Another 2 count. Sandman grabs the cane to the delight of the crowd, and hits Sabu RIGHT IN THE FACE. That might have been it, but Alfonso runs in and blindsides Sandman with a chair. Sandman is up though, and still has the cane. He goes for another cane shot, and hits him, but Sabu throws a fireball at him! He’s holding his face and the locker room empties to help Sandman to the back. Sabu is still down in the ring with Fonzie looking over him. He looks terrible. That’s either amazing selling or he’s really hurt.
There was no bell to officially end the match, so the match time is gonna be approximate. I’m calling it over once the ref motions for other people to come into the ring, which puts it at 9:26. Decent brawl from these two, with some very painful looking spots thrown in there near the end. This match suffers from its structure basically being “Sabu is on offense for the first half of the match, then Sandman is on offense for the rest of the match, then the fireball spot finishes it”. There was literally no back and forth once Sabu hit Sandman with the chair ten seconds into the match. The beginning half had a good bit of sloppiness to it, but the last few minutes was great stuff. Hard-hitting, awesome moves from Sandman. If only they could have built the match to that stuff better, and had a bit more time to flesh out the match and have more of a finishing sequence, it could have been a pretty good affair. As it stands, it’s only decent, and the lack of finish hurts it, though it was creative and the fireball was sold huge by everyone involved. I’m getting tired of having the whole locker room run out all the time in ECW though. That literally happened in the last segment. Tough to rate a match like this, where the last few minutes is so good but the rest of it isn’t, but I’ll do my best.
Winner: Draw, 9:26, **3/4
Rob Van Dam & Bill Alfonso vs Tommy Dreamer & Beulah McGillicutty, Intergender Tag Team match
RVD gets on the mike before the match. He doesn’t want to be here, since he’s in his “pro-WWF” phase in ECW. And I’ve actually seen the finish of this match before, classic ECW, so I’m hoping it holds up upon repeat viewing! Dreamer runs in and starts assaulting Dreamer while his music keeps playing annoyingly. Low blow and bad Cactus clothesline from Dreamer. He crotches Van Dam on the guardrail and ascends the top rope with a chair, and hits a chair to the head off the top rope! He hurt the knee on that move, but keeps going, throwing Rob back in the ring. That music needs to end. Dreamer starts placing chairs, and hits a bad neck snap onto a chair on a sitting Van Dam. He sets up a chair and hits a bad version of Air Sabu in the corner. It was more of a hip attack than anything. The ref, who is once again Jeff Jones, takes the chair from Dreamer, but Van Dam misses a springboard kick on Dreamer and ends up Van Daminating Jones! DDT from Dreamer and a Frog Splash! Not quite of the Five-Star variety, but actually pretty good. We’ll call it a Four-Star Frog Splash! Sabu interferes, and he and RVD double dropkick chairs into Dreamer’s head. Rob hits a low dropkick in the corner and the heels bring in a table and put Dreamer on it. Beulah is just watching from the outside in horror. Both heels go to opposite turnbuckles, and they hit a Five Star Frog Splash and a leg drop to put Dreamer through the table! Timing was off, but still a good move. RVD grabs a mike and says he has better things to do than wrestle in this match. RVD and Sabu leave, with RVD telling Fonzie he can take care of Beulah if he wants to. The locker room empties for the third time in a row to tend to Dreamer, and they roll him slowly out of the ring. This locker room business is driving me crazy. Beulah is in the ring now, and so’s Fonzie! They’re looking at Dreamer, and they realize they have to fight it out. Fonzie pushes her, and Beulah dares Fonzie to hit her in the face. Fonzie goes to hit her, but she pulls a cookie sheet from under her shirt and blocks the punch, then hits Fonzie right in the face! She takes off her shirt, leaving her in a sports bra, and does Dreamer’s pose. Fonzie tosses to the outside, and he’s busted wide open! Beulah sends Fonzie into the guardrail, and he takes a crazy, probably unintentional, bump into the crowd. Beulah takes him back in and brings a frying pan, but Fonzie hits a low blow! Leg drop to the groin from Fonzie. Fonzie chokes away a little, then grabs his whistle and chokes her with the strap. Slam from Fonzie, but Beulah blocks a suplex with a DDT for a close 2! Fonzie up first and misses a clothesline, and Beulah hits a huge clothesline! Fonzie’s sell there is great, and he’s had enough. Beulah hasn’t, and she chops him in the corner. Fonzie chops back, and he’s having unhealthy levels of blood loss here. Fonzie wants to go up top, but Beulah crotches him and hangs him in the Tree of Woe. She positions a chair on his face and hits the baseball slide, ala Dreamer! Crowd loves Beulah, and she says she’s going up top. She wants a moonsault, but Fonzie gets up. Powerbomb attempt from Fonzie, blocked into a hurricanrana from Beulah for the pin at 13:19!
This one is really two matches in one, and the first one, with RVD vs Dreamer, is bad. Dreamer’s music is blaring for almost the entire time, and he hurts his leg early, so nothing they do is very good. Once it got down to Fonzie vs Beulah, the intensity ramped up and it became a good brawl, especially between two non-wrestlers. I think I can safely say that this is easily the greatest match two non-wrestlers have ever had. From a technical standpoint this match is clearly awful, but the entertainment and atmosphere, not to mention the energy of Beulah and Fonzie, are off the charts. If I’m just rating Beulah vs Fonzie, I’d probably go ***, but I’m rating the whole thing, and the beginning stuff was crap. But it was meaningless anyway, so I’ll just dock it a little.
Winners: Tommy Dreamer & Beulah McGillicutty, 13:19, **3/4
The Dudleys (ECW World Tag Team Champions) (w/ Sign Guy, Big Dick, and Joel Gertner) vs The Gangstanators (John Kronus & New Jack) (w/ plunder in a trash can), ECW World Tag Team Championship match
This is the main event. Why, oh why, must New Jack be in the main event? The Dudleys are on the mike, drawing huge amounts of heat for their insults of the crowd. Gertner gets the mike, and the crowd thinks he’s overweight, to be polite about it. Gertner has a bowtie on over his neck brace, which is just hilarious. He goes for the cheap heat of mentioning how the local sports team isn’t very good, and he’s wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey. The Dudleys insult the crowd in R-rated fashion once again before giving Gertner back the mike. They’re all taking their time, which is garnering huge heat, both from the crowd and me. Gertner starts insulting all the ECW tag teams. Goodness, the time left for the actual main event match is getting shorter and shorter. Gertner also has to take the time to introduce all the Dudleys that are at ringside. FINALLY the Gangstanators run in and start brawling with the Dudleys. New Jack uses a crutch on D-von, then hits him with a trash can, while Buh Buh hammers on Kronus. Trash can to Kronus, and Kronus is busted. Kronus comes back with a spinkick in the corner and clothesline on Buh Buh. The Gangstanators’ music hasn’t stopped yet, and it really has to. Kronus and Buh Buh are in the ring, and Buh Buh hits Kronus with a sign before tossing him. New Jack and D-von are already on the floor. Big Dick pounds on Kronus some but gets back dropped into the front row! D-von is on a table in the crowd, and it looks like New Jack might be going for a dive. Oh yes, he’s standing on a platform above the front door of the ECW arena, and hits a NICE dive to the floor on D-von, through the table! I’m normally not a huge fan of New Jack’s dives, but that one was really good. Buh Buh uses the plunder on Kronus in the ring. Bulldog from Buh Buh for 2, but New Jack is somehow back in the ring to save. Double teaming from the Gangstanators gets a 2 count on Buh Buh, and somehow D-von is back in the ring. Crutch to the back of D-von, and a sidekick takes Buh Buh out of the ring thanks to Kronus. Big Dick gets hammered on the apron, and Kronus hits a 450 splash on D-von to win the tag titles at 6:13.
Wow…the pre-match promo from the Dudleys took almost twice as long as the match. I can appreciate, on some level, putting over the tag belts by letting a match like this main event the show, but then only giving it six minutes? Realistically, they probably couldn’t have kept it entertaining for much longer than that, but that’s a sign that New Jack shouldn’t be main eventing, not a sign to keep all main events to six minutes. There were a couple good spots in there, the stage dive from New Jack being the main one, but this was just a mess. No flow, no real drama or storytelling, just a six minute sloppy brawl. And why didn’t the music ever stop?? There was constant music playing throughout the entire match, without pause. It means you can’t hear any of the weapons shots or in-ring stuff, and it just started to grate on me after a while. I’m happy the Dudleys lost the belts, but it should have been in a better match than this.
Winners: The Gangstanators, 6:13, *1/2
The Last Word: Well, with only one match clocking in at *** or more, this was certainly not as good as it gets. There was some entertaining stuff, to be sure, but not enough. Sandman vs Sabu had a bad start, a terrific last few minutes, and a kind of cheap, yet ultimately well-done, ending. The Intergender Tag Team match also featured a bad start and a great finish. Credible’s debut was pretty weak, especially with the position he would eventually hold in the company. The Heavyweight title match was even weaker, and I can understand fully why they wouldn’t main event that match. The tag team main event was not very good, but even though it was a worse match, it was definitely a better main event than the ECW World Heavyweight Championship match would have been. Not enough good stuff on this card, unfortunately.