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/2 June 2000

ECW on TNN by E.C. Ostermeyer




Incredible as it may seem, the Arena of Extreme is still on the air.
Despite all the rumors and other assorted foolishness flying around the 'Net these days, Paul Heyman's little Meat Puppet Passion Play keeps packing them in, no matter how much the so-called "smarts" hint at collapse for the promotion.

Me, I'm just ol' "Eeeewwww! Chunk-y-y-y-y!" himself.

We are live on tape (2 June 2000) from the beautiful Seagate Center in that incomparable Jewel of the Mid-west, Toledo, Ohio. Good people, great food, and superb sunsets in May.
The "Male 18 to 24 year old" demographic in attendance is currently screaming their lungs out.
Your hosts, Joey Styles, and the quintessential stud muffin Joel Gertner, are in the ring, along with Raven, who we see slumped in a corner of the ring.
Styles welcomes us to "ECW, on the only network that uses possum as pie-filling, TNN!"
Poetry Corner almost does a no-show when Gertner can't come up with a line. However, thanks to some prodding by Styles, Gertner makes one up, but it's edited almost out of existence by whoever's got the "bleep!" button.
Styles then squats next to the morose Raven, and attempts to do an interview. Raven obliges, although of what he says gets drowned out by crowd noise. Justin Credible and Francine interrupt. Raven gets to his feet, and hollers "Get in the ring, BITCH!" Francine, restrained by Justin Credible, starts jabbering at Raven, but Raven stops her with, "Not you, I want the bitch with the BELT!"
This gets an enraged Justin Credible in the ring, and

"Let the games begin!"

Raven just wallops on Credible, that is, until Francine golottas him, and Credible clocks him a good one between the eyes with the kendo stick. Credible and Francine move in for the kill, but Tommy Dreamer's there to end this and chase them both to the back.
So why not have a visit from Don "Cyrus the Virus" Callis and the rest of Team Network. Scotty Anton goes after Raven (shades of the Flock!), only to get shoved off by the "Extreme Official" H.C. Loc. Loc gets right up in Cyrus' face, only to have Anton knock him down and then apply the "Sharpshooter". Loc gets a face full of Cyrus' spittle and an earful of Cyrus' abuse while in the "Sharpshooter". Then Anton, Cyrus, and the rest of Team Network do the "clap" thing, which looks as lame as it sounds.

Opening credits.
Tonight, in a rematch from Hardcore Heaven, it's Rhino versus the Sandman!


Backstage, the Full Blooded Italians are pumping up for the match with Mikey Whipwreck later on tonight.
Guido's upset.
Big Sal E. Graziano is upset, pacing around, AND bandaged.
Who should they meet but Tony "Bago'Donuts" Marinara (formerly of the WCW "Mamalukes.")
To Sal, who's using Tony's neck as a twist-off cap, it seems Tony's "in the wrong company."
Tony tells Little Guido that he's a Full-Blooded Italian just like Guido. Guido snorts, then says that he's got something special planned for Tony this evening.
As we leave Tony working out with a flexor cable, Joey marvels that Tony left WCW just to be Guido's understudy.

Match #1: Kid Kash d. Grimes (Kash w/ body scissors/pin, 4:41)

We open with a classic "Speed & Agility versus Brute Force" match.

Grimes "pearlharbor's" Kash right off the bat, and we are underway. An attempt by Kash to shift momentum with a running springboard off the top ropes nearly ends in tragedy as his feet slip, tumbling him onto his neck.
Yeowtch! That's a BAD bump!
Grimes senses an opportunity for a quick victory, and nails Kash with a tiger bomb, then a scoopslam, and finally a spinning leg-drop!
(It seems that these are some new moves that Mr. Grimes has learned, which can only make him more dangerous!)
Whip to the corner gets shortstopped by Kash, who stops his leapfrog in mid-leap to nail Grimes with a facebuster. Tilt-a-whirl head scissors by Kash gets countered by a Grimes inverted powerbomb.
Grimes then charges in, but completely misses Kid Kash, and ends up over the ropes and out to the floor.
Another superb springboard plancha with a twist by Kash nails Grimes outside.
(Crowd: "ECW! ECW! ECW!").
Grimes is rolled back into the ring, and Kash tries a senton.
Grimes is waiting for him and counters with a bulldog that drives Kash into the canvas.
Grimes then "adjusts Kash's in-seam" with a 400 lb. headbutt that makes a VERY audible "Thwok!" upon contact. (Grimes' forehead making contact with Kid Kash's cup?)

Crowd: "OOOhhhhh!"
Gertner: "That'll give you a sack like Tom Green's!"
EC: [suffering from "Male Reflexive Wince"] "OOOooohhh!"

Well, somehow Kid Kash staggers back to his feet, and regains control with a hurancanrana. Kash's repeat gets countered by Grimes' nailing him with a flapjack. Grimes goes up top.
Sweet mother of...
The 400 lb Grimes does a by-God top-turnbuckle somersault senton! That's freakin' amazing!
Kash, sensing Awful Danger, rolls out of the way.
Grimes lands hard enough to set off seismographs in California.
Kid Kash, "in extremis", locks on the body scissors roll-up for the takedown and...the pin?

We next see the black & white still montage shilling the Sandman/Rhino match later tonight. Is that Verdi or Puccini that's playing?

A sampling, I think.
Lamisil(tm) gets rid of your ugly, disgusting, smelly, sneaker-destroying, foot-rotting nail fungus, all right.
And possibly destroys your liver and kidneys in the process.
What was that about the cure being worse than the disease?

Where you, too, can contest ownership of your own car with a six-foot rattlesnake who's curled up on the engine block.
Oh, and scorpions like to use your cowboy boots as a vacation home.

Onewrestlingdotcom Extreme Replay from last week's show has Masato Tanaka nailing a top rope DDT of Balls Mahoney through a table.

Backstage, Simon (Diamond) has a problem with Johnny Swinger. Swinger, oiling up, can't be bothered by Simon's problems now, as his "fan is blowing (on) him!" The fan in question is a rotary model being run at high speed by Swinger's valet, Mitch the Bitch.
The Musketeer appears to do battle with the recalcitrant appliance, and nearly electrocutes himself in the process.
"Don't sing it, Swing it!" admonishes Swinger, who walks off with the very prissy Mitch shading him from the hot lights with an umbrella.
Prodigy & Prodigette woefully miscast here, were standing downrange of Mr. Swinger, and got oil splashed on them.
Close-up of the "SD" logo by Mr. Cameraman and...

Sweet Fanny Adams, can't Heyman get ANYBODY to do a re-write on this foolishness?

Quick now.

At 1-800-LOAN-YES, We Own YOU!
David Arquette in "Day Job: the Sequel!"
TNN Arena Football.
Wedding bells on RollerJam: Thrill Zone Friday, indeed!
TNN Action Wednesdays, featuring
"dead man's GUN",
"18 wheels o' JUSTICE", and
"the magnificent SEVEN."
One Hot Night!
Your family-oriented alternative to WCW Thunder.

We come back to see Tony "Bago'Donuts" Marinara mugging with Little Guido and pissing off the Italian-American Defamation League no end.

Gertner says he taught "Muscles" Marinara all the gestures used in the previous segment.
Styles, amused, says "You didn't really call him "MUSCLES Marinara", did you?"
JG: "Didn't you order out, yet?"
JS: "Howza 'bout Carlos Carbonara? Paulie Pesto..."

We cut to the "LastWeekOnECW" segment, where Big Sal E. Graziano grabs the Sinister Minister by the side of the neck, demanding to know where Mikey Whipwreck is.
Whipwreck scorches Big Sal once again, then, giggling, tells the Padre he almost got his ass kicked, heeheeheehee!

Match #2: Mikey Whipwreck (w/ Sinister Minister) d. Tony Marinara (w/ Little Guido) (Whipwreck withTornado Facebuster/pin, 3:02)

Collar & elbow by Tony, but a cross-ring whip by Whipwreck ends in a snap lariat that floors Tony. Boot to the head by Whipwreck, followed by a whip to the ropes and a push into a flapjack that sends Tony face first into the canvas. Mikey drapes Tony across the bottom rope
Then vaults over the top rope into a guillotine legdrop. The Padre's laughing like hell.
(Crowd "ECW! ECW! ECW!")
Gertner renames Tony Marinara as "Mamaluke" while all this is going on, although I prefer "Bago'Donuts", honoring it's creator, WCW's Scott Hudson.
Whip to the ropes and a backdrop by Mikey, but Tony hangs on and counters with a DDT Cover,1,2, and a hal-l-l-l-l-f-f...Mikey kicks out!
Whip by Tony, and Mikey gets tripped up by Little Guido, who, while Tony is distracting the referee, nails Mikey with the Sicilian Slice. Cover by Tony, 1,2, Mikey kicks out, then rolls out of the ring. Little Guido's up distracting referee Jim Molineaux, and Tony tries for a top turnbuckle shooting star press to the outside...
...and takes a really vicious bump on the steel guardrail.
JS: "Holy BLEEP!"
JG: "What the bleep are you doing? You can't say bleep on bleepin' TNN! "
Mikey just stands there, awe-struck at the move. He turns, grinning from ear to ear... until he spots Mr. Cameraman, and wipes the grin off his face.
A couple of ECW Security "Black Suits" and what looks like the trainer rush to Tony's aid. The crowd, in whose collective laps he landed, just sits there, and do nothing to help him.

Good move, Toledo.

Welcome to ECW, Tony.

Mikey, after getting the high sign, drags the limp form of Tony back over the railing, then rolls him into the ring. Double underhook, then Mikey nails Tony with a Tornado Facebuster for the pin and the win.

Post-match, Little Guido's in for the revenge beat-down. Lotsa boots and a whip across the ring, but that gets reversed, and Guido ends up in the corner. Mikey with the charge-in, and eats Guido's elbow, staggering him. Tornado DDT by Guido gets countered by the Whippersnapper. Mikey pinions Guido, preparatory for the Padre to flame him, when Big Sal E. arrives to beat some heads in. Mikey bails out, leaving the Padre to face the onrushing avalanche alone. Big Sal prepares to turn the padre into a moist spot and a memory, when Mikey's back and throws the infamous "White Powder o' Doom", (about two pounds of it judging from the cloud of dust) into Big Sal's face, blinding him.
Mikey then pushes a disoriented Tony into Big Sal, who promptly sidewalk slams Tony, gorilla presses him and...

JS: "Oh my GOD!"

... tosses Tony WAY over the top rope and into the crowd!
Crowd: "ECW! ECW! ECW!"

Sunsetter Motorized Awnings. TNN Country Music Awards. Dumb local cable provider shill for cable modem hookup. $45.00 installation and $19.95/month. Shoney's Breakfast Bar.

ECW "X-treme Replay" shows poor Tony Marinara's really bad head bump on the steel guardrail, followed by Mikey Whipwreck's Tornado Facebuster finisher. Two words: "extended" and "hospitalization."

And now it's time for ... "Deep Thoughts"... with the Padre and Mikey.

"Y'know, I'm something of an authority on 'sin'. And there are some sins I like more than others; particularly gluttony. Now, Mr. Graziano, it's pretty clear that you're... a glutton!"
Mikey does a passable glutton imitation, pooched-out face, double armfuls of gut, etc.
"But," continues the Padre, "I'm not discussing your ravenous appetite, no, no. I'm talking about you're being a glutton... for punishment! Every time that Mikey Whipwreck gets within striking distance of you, there's a four-alarm fire! He's burned your face not once, not twice, but three times! On the other hand, there are some sins which I refuse to grant absolution to. And one of those sins is... stupidity! And I think that you showed the world that you were pretty stupid when you put your hands on me. So the next time you put your hands on me, fat boy, you're gonna learn the meaning of the term, "spontaneous human combustion!"
Mikey, bemused, says "Padre, you blowing smoke up my ass again? Everybody knows there's no such thing as spontaneous human combustion!"
"Mikey...liar, liar....(With a "whoompf', the Padre ignites Mikey's seat.) ... pants on FIRE!"
Mikey sits there, looking confused, then leaps up, doing his best "Curly Howard A-Blaze" imitation.
He runs off the set, howling.

The Padre gets the next to last word.
"You see, not only does Mikey Whipwreck receive spiritual guidance from me; I also light a fire under his ass, too!


Mikey gets the last word:


Speaking of "AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!", here's a be-headsetted and be-whiskered Paul "E. Dangerously" Heyman in ECW Control Central. He appears to be cutting a promo.

One problem: no sound.

And here's the reason for the lack of sound, as we get a screen crawl stating:
"Please ignore this gentleman's temper tantrum."
(Heyman's getting quite agitated.)
"Could it be that he's been thrown through too many tables?"
(Lots of hand gestures and finger-pointings for supposed emphasis.)
"TNN harbors no ill feelings towards ECW."
(Jeez, there is a whole ACRE of face on my TV screen!)
"TNN fully supports ECW and all of it's redeeming qualitites."
(I mean, you look to either side of Heyman's face; you know, where you'd expect ears or sideburns, and all you get is more face!)
"Please ignore this gentleman's temper tantrum."
(That face of Heyman's is now as big as a stop sign.)
"Could it be that he's been thrown through too many tables?"
(Uh-oh, looks like he's gonna explode! Runnn! Save yoursel-")

We next get that "Pulp Fiction" video montage set to "Nineties Droopy Pants Garage Band Musik", with Dawn Marie getting the treatment. Just like last week.
Dawn Marie's managerial career may still be up in the air, but pics of her and the other ladies of ECW are still available for human consumption over at ecwwrestlingdotcom.

ECW Upcoming Events:

6/9 Erie, PA
6/10 Pittsburgh, PA (TV taping)
6/16 Salem, NH
6/17 Danbury, CT (TV taping)
6/23 Milwaukee, WI (TV taping)
6/24 Chicago, IL (TV taping)
6/30 Kansas City, MO
7/1 Wichita, KS (TV taping)
7/7 Poughkeepsie. NY (TV taping)
7/8 ECW Arena, South Philly (TV taping)
7/21 Decatur, IL
7/22 Peoria, IL

(Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle, but that's a LOT of TV tapings!)

ECW Hotline, wherein Mr. Heyman says the Network censors tried to cancel an upcoming match, but those brave defenders of YOUR First Amendment rights at ECW cannot, nay WILL NOT be deterred! Oh, and kids get your parents' permission and a whole stack of their credit cards.

ECW Hardcore Heaven '99 promo.
David Arquette? Who he?
Pep Boys getcher motor runnin'.
TNN Thrill Zone Friday promo. Jeez, "Rockin' Bowl's" on opposite "Farm Report" and "Test Pattern" locally. ("Test Pattern." When six hours of a sixty cycle tone just aren't enough!)
RollerJam promo. From the folks who gave you the "Strip Evening Gown Skate-off" two weeks ago. Television at it's finest. Says so right here.

Back to the broadcast position, where Mr. Gertner is angrily holding forth about something involving pigs, but his microphone has been cut. Lots of background crowd noise, though.
Styles apparently knows Gertner's off the air, and makes a "what can we do?" gesture, followed by a shrug.
Whoops, here's another crawl.
"We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by."

Here's Heyman's HUGE, ORANGE pumpkin face angrily mouthing the words "GO AHEAD! THROW US OFF THE AIR, YOU MOTHERFU..." well, I think we all get the gist of that diatribe now, don't we?
Gertner's doing the "Happy Chicken."
Styles is checking the Want Ads under "Broadcasting Opportunities."

We see Steve Corino leading the "Big F'n Deal" ECW World Television Champion, Rhino to the ring.
Corino's got a bullrope.
Rhino's mugging for the crowd, sopping up all the cheap heel heat he can.
Corino's jabbering to Mr. Cameraman, and accidentally spits on the lens.
"Enter Sandman" cranks up.
The crowd goes wild!
ECW "X-treme Replay" from the "Living Dangerously" PPV shows Lori "Ms. Sandman" Fullington and children being insulted at ringside by Steve Corino. Lori takes umbrage and paintbrushes Corino right in the mouth.
Meanwhile, the Sandman, with beer, cigarettes, and Singapore cane in tow, is making his way to the ring. He pops the, what, second beer so far?
More "Living Dangerously" highlights, where the Sandman gets a piledriver from Rhino. Lori is walloped by Jack Victory, and then gets gored through a table by Rhino.
Back to live action, with the fans howling the lyrics to Metallica's terrifying magnum opus, being drenched in beer spray, and loving every minute of it.
Sandman's on the steel guardrail, staring down Corino and Rhino for a moment, then popping another cold one.
Highlights from the "Hardcore Heaven 2K" PPV show Rhino piledriving Lori Fullington off the ring apron, and through a table to the floor.
Next, the Sandman gathers the unconscious Lori in his arms, only to be gored through another table by Rhino.

JS: "The Sandman's wife is now back in the hospital for the second time in three months, courtesy of Rhino!"

Well, I think we've established motive on Sandman's part quite nicely, wouldn't you say, gentle readers?

JG: "...if I were the Sandman, I would beat the daylights out of that sonovabitch!"
JS: "It's about time you showed some compassion for somebody else!"
JG: "Compassion? You bet I've got compassion for the Sandman. Imagine having to listen to Lori's voice, n-a-a-aging, and n-a-a-a-aging!
'Give Tyler his Ritalin.'
'My bedpan needs emptying!'
If Rhino did something like that to me, I'd PAY somebody to beat him up!
Somebody like ... Sandman, for example!"
Rhino's glowering at the Sandman, and calling him every name in the book.
Gertner has a sudden attack of the guilts, and fears he may have overstepped himself in his earlier comments about Rhino. "Heyman writes all my material for me! Everybody knows I'm heavily coached!"
JS: "man, pass the heat, why don't you? You should be a booker someday!"

Sandman, atop the far turnbuckle, gestures towards the entry way.

And out comes "The American Dream", Dusty Rhodes.

JS: "This may be a fair fight after all!"

Match #3: Rhino (w/ Steve Corino & Team Network) d. The Sandman (w/ Dusty Rhodes & Yoshihiro Tajiri & Rob Van Dam) in an ECW World Television Title defense (no contest, ??:??)

The Sandman takes a swipe with the Singapore cane, misses, and then gets clotheslined by Rhino. Rhino then proceeds to 'stomp a mudhole' in the Sandman, then wallops him with a Big Right Hand.
Dusty Rhodes has tied himself and Corino to the bullrope, and is spinning him into the steel guardrail at the end of it, just like some nasty blond yo-yo.
Sandman stops Rhino's assault with a solid left to the bridge of the nose, then follows up with lefts and rights. The last Big Right Hand must have hit Rhino on the forehead, because the Sandman's "shakin' the bees" out of his fist.
Rhodes has Corino tied up at ringside, while Rhino and Sandman go outside the ring as well.
Rhino bounces Sandman's head off the timekeeper's table, tries for a whip, but Sandman reverses it, and sends Rhino into the steel guardrail.
Sandman tosses the timekeeper's table into the ring, with the crowd hollering "Ta-ble! Ta-ble! Ta-ble!"
Corino tries to get back into the ring, only to have Dusty Rhodes drag him back out by the bullrope, and then nail him on the noggin with a Bionic Elbow.
Sandman's setting up a "leaner" in the corner. Rhino recovers, wallops Sandman a couple of times, but get s whip into the corner reversed, and hits HARD against the turnbuckle stack. Sandman puts Rhino on the top turnbuckle, does some bump-and-grind" in Rhino's face, and great is the general hilarity thereof.
Then a snap "Heineken-rana" from the top turnbuckle drives rhino headfirst into the mat. Sandman collapses the table legs, laying it on the mat...
And we cut to outside the ring where Jack Victory has arrived to help Steve Corino in a beat-down on Dusty Rhodes.
Victory's too late to save Rhino, as the Sandman piledrives him into the table.
JS: "This may be it! We may be looking at the crowning of the new ECW World Television Champion!"
Meanwhile, Jack Victory's freed Corino, and, with the bullrope around Dusty Rhodes' neck, is trying to "spin-start" Rhodes' head like a lawnmower!
Corino tries to get in the ring, but gets caned by Sandman.
Cane-shot for Rhino.
BIG cane-shot for Jack Victory.
Another cane-shot for Corino.
Another ca- whoops, Rhino stiff-punched Sandman in the breadbasket.
Rhino, Jack Victory, and Corino begin mugging Sandman.
Dusty Rhodes is back in the ring, and he's cleaning house!
Bionic Elbows all around for Team Network, with Corino getting "special attention!"
(Crowd: "Dusty! Dusty! Dusty!")
Rhino shoves the Sandman aside and nails Rhodes in the back with a double axe-handle.
It's now a three on two streetfight, with Sandman and Dusty clearly getting the worst of it.

Yoshihiro Tajiri zooms into the ring, and it's

JS: "Oh My GOD!"

Stiff buzzsaw kicks for Team Network. Corino nearly gets decapitated by one of Tajiri's kicks, then gets tied to the Tree of Woe. Tajiri's lining up for the "Baseball Slide o' Doom", but Jack Victory wallops him, then ties Tajiri to the Tree of Woe. Tajiri, upside down, sprays Jack Victory with the "Green Mist" and escapes. Now, let's try that "Baseball Slide" thingie again, shall we?
Corino collapses in a heap.
Rhino kicks Tajiri in the gut.
But Rhino's whip to the ropes gets countered by Tajiri's Handspring Flying Elbow to the forehead, and down goes Rhino.
Scotty Anton submarines into the ring and clotheslines Tajiri.
Rhodes and Victory are brawling in the near corner.
Sandman and Rhino are going at it in the opposite corner.
Anton and Corino are double-teaming Tajiri against the ropes.

It's four on three.
The crowd's hollering "RVD! RVD! RVD!"

"Walk!" fires up on the PA system.

The Seagate Center goes crazy.

JS: "It may not be 4:20 but its about to be four on four!"

Rob Van Dam, clad all in black, charges the ring, with Bill Alfonso in tow.

It's clobberin' time!

Boot to the gut, and down goes Victory.
Spinning heel kick and down goes Corino.
Rhino charges in and grinds RVD into the corner, then whips him across the ring.
Van Dam to the top turnbuckle.
Scotty Anton sees what's coming and tries to stop it, but Van Dam leaps waaaayy over Anton and double dropkicks Rhino right in the sternum, and down HE goes.
Van Dam and Anton square off in combat stance.
Anton makes the first move...
BIG mistake, as Van Dam steps inside Anton's guard and nails him with a standing roundhouse kick.
RVD sets up for the Five Star Frog Splash, but Anton slithers away.
Not to worry, Van Dam takes a running leap and does a somersault plancha onto all of Team Network, taking them all out...

...and here's Jerry Lynn out to survey the battle's aftermath, and count the casualties.
Or could he be the FIFTH member of Team Network, as Cyrus would have us all believe?

Tune in next week, when all will be revealed.

Or not.

E.C. Ostermeyer
[slash] wrestling

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Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission