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/17 September 1999

ECW on TNN by Chris Palacios




Rhino and Jack Victory are exposing Tommy Dreamer's injured back for a Steve Corino chairshot when Raven runs into the ring...both Raven and Dreamer hits simultaneous DDTs and get the 3 count to retain the ECW World tag titles. Talk about a match joined in progress, we only got to see about 8 seconds of that match.

Meanwhile, Cyrus announces that Sabu's ban has been lifted, which leads to Sabu vs. Justin Credible at the Anarchy Rulz PPV. Bill Alfonso yells about paybacks being a bitch as Sabu stands and allows the camera to get a closeup of his scarred midsection.

After the show's opening graphics, Joey Styles and Joel Gertner lead us back into the infamous ECW Arena in south Philadelphia, where P.N. News is heading to the ring wearing a Philadelphia Phillies baseball jersey with the word "SUX" added multiple times to it. P.N. does a rap about people being from Philly being gay and the general suckiness of Philly. A few "yo baby yo baby yo" phrases are thrown out to almost no response before Spike Dudley makes his way to the ring. An early Dudley crossbody is caught by News and turned into a slam, but News misses a twisting senton off of the middle rope. Dudley hits a low blow and the Acid Drop for the pin as Joel does a quick rap about Joey hogging the microphone.

Wait a second...there's an ambulance outside of the ECW Arena...and someone is in it!

Insert Anarchy Rulz PPV ad and ECW action figure ad here. (Joey really overdid the mugging for the camera for those toys.)

We return to see the ambulance, but instead of finding out who's inside, we join Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Crazy in progress. Tajiri is in control, hitting a dropkick to Crazy's knee, a baseball slide that sends Crazy to the floor, and an Asai moonsault into the third row of ringside. Joel revisits last week's "speaking Spanish" schtick by calling Joey's mother fat, but Joey nips it in the bud to an extent. Back in the ring, Tajiri misses a missile dropkick, but soon afterward hits the handspring elbow. Tajiri then uses his left arm to hold Crazy's arms and his right arm to hold Crazy's legs, then spins him around in a submission hold I won't even try to name. Tajiri hits a nice German suplex for a 2 count, dropkicks Crazy's face, then attempts a brainbuster. Crazy reverses the brainbuster and hits a spinning powerbomb out of nowhere for the pin in a nice match.

Joel plugs the merchandise/web site/magazine/ house shows/Pez dispensers, then gives us Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn, the contents of the ambulance, and Raven's interview as reasons to return after a commercial.

The show returns with Raven in the middle of a playground late at night. The battle between Raven and Dreamer was a 2 1/2 year epic that got really personal when Tommy took Raven's girl. (Cue extensive footage of House Party 1996, where Beulah McGillicutty announces her pregnancy at the hands of Tommy Dreamer. Put a phone number in there too so people can buy the tape.) Raven stresses the many times he pinned Dreamer, then somehow manages an interview from January of 1995 to pop up on our TVs. Raven is sitting in a clasroom noting that Dreamer will not graduate from Raven's course schedule while clips of Raven pinning Dreamer in Tampa, Tokyo, and New York City are shown. After the chalkboard gets some camera time (with "I hate Dreamer" written over it), it's back to the playground, where Raven says he "gave" Dreamer the match in Philadelphia on the last night Raven was in ECW. Without Raven in ECW, Dreamer lost his focus and eventually lost his girl (see footage of a fallen Beulah as a handcuffed Dreamer screams in agony nearby). Now, with Raven's return, Dreamer has someone who has already been crucified for his sins. It must be time for a commercial break, because even the TV said so this time.

Back in the ECW Arena, Lance Storm and Dawn Marie make their way to the ring. Ring announcer Bob Artese announces that the following match is for the World TV title, and Joey finally gets confirmation that the guy in the ambulance is Jerry Lynn, who was supposed to get the TV title shot before Storm and Credible attacked him in an evil way of getting on TNN. Joey is apologizing about not delivering on the promised TV title match as Rob Van Dam high-fives most of the front row. Storm takes advantage of the situation by hitting a plancha onto RVD, then whips RVD back into the ring and hits a springboard missile dropkick. RVD is later crotched on the top rope and takes a chairshot while stuck in an uncomfortable position. RVD quickly recovers and hits a leaping side kick onto the chair, which Storm is conveniently holding. Justin Credible then runs into the ring and starts caning RVD, but Jerry Lynn and his bandaged ribs come out to even the score. Unfortunately, Johnny Smith joins the fray and tips the scale in favor of the Impact Players (hey, Smith was trained in Calgary, Alberta, Canada). Credible tosses out his stupid tagline, Storm inserts his Canada part, and the Impact Players, Dawn Marie, Johnny Smith, and Jason celebrate as we head to commercial.

We return to the ring, where RVD invites Jerry Lynn for the advertised TV title match...after all, the fans who paid to see Rob Van Dam have to get their money's worth. While Joey rants about delivering on main events unlike WCW Monday Nitro, the TV title match begins with the standard chain wrestling leading into both men clotheslining each other at the same time. RVD hits a spinning legdrop for a 2 count, but Lynn recovers with a crossbody block that sends both men outside the ring. Lynn is dumped into the front row, but takes the chair that was supposed to lead to the Van Daminator and throws it into RVD's head. A strange looking spot where both men are on the guardrail and Lynn takes RVD's head down into a chair just doesn't work well, but a nice Van Daminator follows, sending Lynn back over the rail. Back in the ring, Lynn moves from RVD's tumbling senton, but RVD hits a kick before missing somersault legdrop. RVD quickly recovers and hits a NICE split-legged moonsault for a 2 count. RVD barely hits a missile dropkick, then sets up Lynn for the monkey flip onto the chair, only to take a sunset flip off of the middle rope into a powerbomb onto the chair. Lynn follows with a nasty German suplex for a 2 count. WIth RVD standing in the corner, Lynn runs toward RVD only to be backdropped. Lynn lands on the apron and drags RVD to the opposite corner, but RVD blocks the turnbuckle smash and clotheslines Lynn off of the apron and through a table at ringside. Lynn is selling the rib injury while Joey Styles says that Joey muttered something about stitches being opened up. ECW officials come out and lead Lynn towards the entranceway, where stretcher awaits. RVD and Fonzie are in the ring applauding Lynn's efforts, but Lynn decides to head back to the ring and finish the match. RVD attempts his "backflip, pick up a chair, and dropkick the chair into Lynn's face" spot, but Lynn dropkicks the chair into RVD instead. Lynn attempts his cradle piledriver finish, but RVD backdrops Lynn and attempts a Northern LIghts suplex, only to have Lynn counter with a sweet DDT for a 2 count. RVD heads up top, but Lynn crotches RVD and hits a top rope superplex. Lynn sells his ribs for a few seconds before getting a 2 count. Both men trade small packages, then Lynn's rollup attempt backfires as RVD kicks Lynn into a chair from Fonzie that should have looked better than it did. RVD heads up top for the five star frog splash, but Lynn moves and tries a quick rollup, but only gets a 2 count. Van Dam then hits the Van Daminator out of nowhere to get the pin. The crowd was popping huge for the final minutes of the match, which made the match that much more enjoyable to watch. RVD and Lynn have had better matches, but this one didn't stink either. A seated RVD asks a fan if they got their money's worth in a funny moment, then both combatants shake hands in a show of respect. Jerry leaves to a "Jerry" chant from the ECW Arena crowd.

Joel Gertner runs down the house show dates before the TV literally tells us it's time for another commercial break. Insert Anarchy Rulz PPV ad and Hardcore Hotline plug here. (Bischoff out at WCW...the war between ECW and WWF and so much more on the hotline!)

Just a few minutes left in the show, so Joey and Joel run down the Anarchy Rulz PPV card for us. The card includes:

  • Rob Van Dam defending the World TV title against Johnny Smith
  • Jerry Lynn facing Lance Storm
  • Yoshihiro Tajiri, Super Crazy, and Little Guido in an extreme 3 way match
  • Sabu faces Justin Credible
  • Taz defends the World title against the returning Masato Tanaka
  • Tommy Dreamer and Raven defend the World tag titles against Steve Corino's mystery tag team

    The show ends, and I end up with a ton of things to ask. Who's Steve Corino, and why should I care about his mystery tag team? Who's Little Guido? Why should Johnny Smith impress me if I haven't seen him on ECW TV before tonight?

    ECW needs to focus on the rest of their roster quickly if they expect ANYONE learning about ECW via TNN to buy the pay per view broadcasts.

    After all, you don't see Steve Austin vs. The Rock on three of every four RAW IS WAR shows.

    Christopher G. Palacios
    [slash] wrestling

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    Guest column text copyright (C) 1999 by the individual author and used with permission