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/15 September 2000

ECW on TNN by E.C. Ostermeyer




Time is drawing nigh for the Arena of Extreme. No word on this show being picked up by another TV network past their season finale next Friday, 22 September. Additionally, I still haven't heard whether or not the ECW Arena's landlord has found a buyer. You can bet if he/she/it does, poor Paul Heyman's promotion will be kicked to the curb without much, if any, fanfare.
And Paul E.'s back in financial trouble again, too, having to cancel several house shows ostensibly because he could not meet the payroll after the Canada run. This comes as no surprise, since Heyman being at the ragged edge of financial solvency is almost a given in the business. (It also shows the loyalty and "esprit de corps" of the ECW "talent" for Heyman and ECW. Can you see the same thing happening in WCW or the WWF?)
It would be a shame if this promotion, which has been the true fountainhead of talent and ideas for both of the Big Two, should be blithely "forgotten to death."

Nonetheless, we keep vigil, and await further developments.

This is the "ECW on TNN" recap for Friday, 15 September 2000, and I'm your recapper, E.C. Ostermeyer.

On this, the next to last show from TNN, we are still live on tape from New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom, (taped 25-26 August 2000). Somewhere out in the heaving mass of "Demographic" in attendance at the Hammer, is intrepid ace reporter Larry Musso, clutching his "Slash Wrestling Rules" sign in one hand, and his notebook in the other. Larry's eyewitness reports can be seen here, and I recommend them to anyone who wants to know what it's like to attend an ECW function.
We open with an "Extreme Replay" of action from the previous two "ECW on TNN" shows. This in itself is a novelty, since ECW does not normally stoop to opening the show with footage.

We go right to:

Match #1: Mikey Whipwreck (w/ Sinister Minister) & Yoshihiro Tajiri d. Julio Dinero & EZ Money (w/ Chris Hamrick & Elektra), (Double-team Brain-buster on Dinero, 6:44)

This may be the last time we ever see Yoshihiro Tajiri wrestle in ECW, since he lost his work visa soon after the New York show, and had to return to Japan.
The match itself is a quarterfinal from Day 1 of the tag-team tournament, long before Mikey and Tajiri won the belts later in the evening.
Dinero gets the Mikey-rana treatment right off the bat, gets hung out to dry on the middle rope, and winds up with Tajiri landing on his back from way across the ring. Mikey leaps over the top rope and lands a vicious guillotine legdrop across Dinero's neck. Ouch!
Tajiri nails Dinero on the neck with a buzzsaw kick. Dinero staggers over to tag in EZ Money, then collapses in the corner.
Money and Tajiri lock up in a Test of Strength, and it looks like Money's got the strength and the leverage to drive Tajiri down to the mat. Tajiri, however, bridges out and escapes. Both Money and Tajiri do some of the fastest chain wrestling I've ever seen, and the crowd's just loving it. Tajiri hooks into a modified "Octopus" submission hold, but Money won't submit. A follow-up moonsault results in a pin attempt by Tajiri, but he only gets a two count. Reverse by Money into a cover of his own gets a two count as well. Money locks Tajiri into his "Pendulum of Pain" (a double under-hooked ankle trap w/ strappado'ed arms) and swings a dangling Tajiri between his legs, letting gravity do the rest. Tajiri, though in obvious pain from his predicament, refuses to submit, and Money breaks the hold. A moment's inattention by Money gets him a vicious Tajiri superkick. Tajiri, moving in for the kill, is suddenly distracted by Elektra's jiggling bosom being waved at him from the ring apron. This allows Money to clobber Tajiri with a Ronnie Garvin-like forearm, dropping Tajiri to his knees. Money does the ol' "in-out" bit on Tajiri, then teams with Julio Dinero to nail Tajiri with a facebuster. Cover by Dinero, but Mikey's there to break up the pin attempt.
"Jalapeno Popper" (aka Diamond Cutter) from Dinero rocks Tajiri, and also gets Joel Gertner wantin' a snack or twelve. Pin attempt goes nowhere. Tag to EZ Money, who decides to check first and see if Tajiri's really done for the day. Whoops, looks like Tajiri's just funnin', as he nails Money's noggin (Ouch!) with a buzzsaw kick! Tajiri returns the ol' "in-out" pantomime on Money, adds another buzzsaw kick to add injury to insult, then locks Money up in the "Tarantula" submission hold. This brings Chris Hamrick in to bust up the "Tarantula". Money, hitting a power surge, nails Tajiri with his over-the-back piledriver, (aka "Money in the Bank",) finisher, and goes for the cover, but Mikey Whipwreck's there to break up the pinfall.
Tag to Mikey, who unloads on the heels big time. Mikey's got punches in bunches for all & sundry. Money's attempt at an Atomic Drop gets blocked by Mikey, then converted into an on-the-fly Whippersnapper! Wow!
Tajiri's back in, and Dinero gets tied to the Tree of Woe, then takes a Tajiri baseball slide right in the head.
Dragging Dinero out of the corner, Tajiri spins him across the ring. Mikey's there to meet him with a leap off the top turnbuckle, and a devastating clothesline. A save attempt by EZ Money gets forestalled when the Sinister Minister yanks his ankles from under him. Money's chin hits the edge of the ring apron. A Giant Splash attempt by Chris Hamrick gets him a faceful of the "Green Mist" from Tajiri, and a wallop from Mikey that knocks him out of the ring. Money makes one last attempt to save his partner, dragging himself and a steel chair up on the ring apron, only to get said chair full in the face behind a Tajiri handspring/cartwheel. Mikey and Tajiri then double-team Dinero, hitting a really nasty-looking brain-buster. Tajiri with the cover, and gets the win. A fast-paced match as great as six professionals trying really hard could make it. And it's all the more poignant because Tajiri's loss to ECW will be keenly felt, even if Heyman manages to pull off a contract with another network. For Paul Heyman, it truly seems that "When troubles come, they come not single spies, but in battalions!"
(That's Shakespeare, by the way.)

We finally get to meet our hosts for the evening's festivities. Live on tape from the ECW broom closet, er, "Command Central" are Joey Styles, and the "Quintessential Stud Muffin" Joel Gertner. Joel's Poetry Corner touches on the current troubles of Firestone Tires, and the resultant tire shortage thereof. Joel has an idea about how to alleviate the current shortage, though the rubber he's talking about using usually isn't known for it's traction properties.
Styles shills for the upcoming ECW World Heavyweight Title match between challenger Steve Corino and current champ Justin Credible.

Is it just me, or is it that Francine, while not showing her age, may be starting to show her mileage?

Back to Joey and Joel, who promo the upcoming "Anarchy Rulz" PPV, then voice-over some footage of Mikey and Tajiri losing the tag team belts to the FBI's.


Vignette time, with Mikey, the Sinister Minister, and Tajiri, still stranded on a traffic island in Times Square. This vignette appears to have been shot after they lost the tag belts, because the Padre's really cranking out a screed about revenge, and calling down a curse the FBI's that involves the "eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, your lives for the ECW Tag title belts" bit. Tajiri, covering the camera lens, hollers that the "promo is over!"


Match #2: Justin Credible (w/Francine) d. Steve Corino, in an ECW World Heavyweght Title defense, ("That's Incredible" finisher w/ steel chair enhancement/pin, 15:02)

Francine starts things off by holding court in the ring, waving a fax supposedly from "The Network" in Jack Victory's face, and telling him that he's barred from ringside. Her dialogue's a little hard to understand, because of the massive amount of boos, cat-calls, and VERY vivid descriptions of Francine's various attributes that the crowd is making. As Victory leaves, Francine makes the usual ass of herself by taunting Steve Corino. "Are you gonna cry, you punk?" Crowd starts up a really loud "She's got Her-pes!" chant that gets Joey Styles tickled. Corino does a passable job of generating some crocodile tears, before calling Francine the "Queen of Douchebags" (BIG pop from the crowd!) and that Credible's been out-heeled again.
"Hell in High Heels" cranks up, and out comes Dawn Marie, (or, as Corino describes her, "Francine's Worst Nightmare!") to a huge pop from this hot New York crowd.

"Ding!" goes the bell, and this brawl is underway. Corino dominates with a flurry of chops, and finishes them with a cross-corner whip that sends Credible up over the turnbuckle stack and out of the ring. corino pursues, and starts walloping on Credible, just taking him from pillar to post and using everything at ringside as a weapon. Corino then decides to "Take it to the People" and heads off into the crowd, and dragging Credible along for some company.
Credible gets tossed over a steel guardrail, and ...

Yep, by God, I was right!
Remember a while back when I said that Credible's boorish behavior, laziness, and sloppy attention to his craft was going to get somebody hurt some day.
Well, THE DAY has finally arrived!
Credible sells the fall over the guardrail so sloppily that his boot smacks a FAN right in the kisser!
The fan goes down like a pole-axed steer, but Credible's too busy hamming to check on the damage he's done to said fan.

Real good job, there, Aldo!

The brawl, such as it is, continues into the crowd for a short time, before Corino senses a building hostility among the kayo'ed fan's friends, and wisely decides to take the action back to the ring.
Credible rolls into the ring, spots Corino in pursuit, and superkicks him right in the jimmies. Credible begins taunting Corino, which breaks down into a fuss-fest punctuated with kicks and punches. Getting a chair from Francine, Credible bounces Corino's face off the seat. Cover, but the pin attempt fails. A mid-turnbuckle clothesline's no good, either. Credible grabs the timekeeper's table, bridging it from ring apron to steel guardrail. Corino wiggles out of the looming table shot, and bounces Credible's face off the table. Corino goes looking for something to clobber Credible with, and gets nailed by a Francine hurancanrana. Francine also takes an unintentional bump to her head, this time off the steel guardrail. Francine's shot to Corino brings in Dawn Marie, who chases Francine away. Credible, never missing a chance to further cement his status as the worst clown in the circus, starts trash-talking Dawn Marie, then takes a swing at her. Back to business, and Credible clocks the groggy Corino with a water bottle before slapping on a front chancery.
Corino shoves Credible, breaking the chancery hold, then suplexes Credible over the ropes and through the ringside table. Corino pursues, starts chopping at Credible's noggin, and tosses him back in the ring. Corino backs Credible into a corner, and does the ol' "Ten-count Punch-Down" with the crowd calling the punches. Cross-corner whip by Corino, and Credible does that tumble over the turnbuckles thingie. Corino nails Credible with a Bionic Elbow, (Dusty would be proud, Steve!) then boots him in the in-seam. Reverse Atomic Drop makes Credible "dance' some more. Corino's attempt to slingshot off the ropes gets tripped up, literally, by Francine. Corino grabs a big ol' handful of Francine's hair, and it looks like the "Queen of Extreme" is about to lose her crown but good, when Credible's there to make the save. Quick schoolboy roll, and Corino goes for the pin, 1,2, no!
A cross-ring whip by Corino accidentally sends Credible hard into referee Jim Molineaux, who was busy cussing out Francine at ringside. Molineaux goes down like a sack of cement. Corino follows up with a fisherman's suplex and a pin attempt, but, with no referee, nobody's there to do the count.
Well, here's the first screwjob twist, as Lou E. Dangerously sneaks up behind Corino and clocks him with the cell phone. Down goes Corino, but Lou E.'s not allowed to savor his treachery, as "Smashing Pumpkins" Billy Corgan sneaks in the ring, and "El-Kabong's" him with a wicked-looking guitar shot that it would make Jeff Jarrett green with envy. Credible comes roaring back, Singapore Cane in hand, ready to beat Corgan to the mat, only to have Corgan duck the cane shot, and Corino superkicks Credible over the crouching Corgan. We get new referees as Corino goes for the cover, 1,2, not this time.
Credible elbows Corino's noggin, then clotheslines him to the mat. Credible then drags another table into the ring, and sets it up as a "leaner" in the near corner. Snap powerslam attempt by Credible gets blocked by Corino, who then reverses it with a Northern Lights suplex of his own that drives Credible through the table. Ouch!
Lou E., meanwhile, has been busted open by Corgan's guitar shot, and just looks like hell. Cover by Corino on Credible, 1,2, Francine leaps in and saves her man. This brings out Dawn Marie once again, and we get the obligatory

JG: "Catfight! Catfight! Catfiiight!"

Corino drags Francine off Dawn Marie, only to get a cane shot right between the eyes from Justin Credible, who continues to unload a series of cane shots to Corino's back and shoulders.
Credible then takes time to snork a big ol' loogie onto the mat (oooog!), causing the referee to duck quickly out of the way.
Corino turns, and gets another cane shot between the eyes, and this one busts him open. Down goes Corino, and Credible tries for a pin, but doesn't get it. Superkick by Credible, cover, and again, only a two count.
Credible tries hooking in his "That's Incredible" finisher, but Corino wriggles out, sets, and nails Credible with his "Old School Expulsion", (a really evil-looking hangman's neckbreaker.)
Cover, 1,2, Credible gets a shoulder up!
Corino, now outside the ring, grabs every chair he can and throws them into the ring. He then decides to get in some batting practice using a chair as his bat, and Credible's melon-like noggin for the ball! Once again, Francine interferes, only this time Corino snatches (oops, bad pun!) her up and nails her to the canvas headfirst with a Tombstone piledriver.
Unfortunately, this allows Credible to recover, and he boots Corino in the gut, and follows up with his "That's Incredible!" finisher for the pin and the win.
I've never seen such a slow, more deliberately paced, and ultimately unsatisfying bout, and that includes any ol' Lex Luger's done. Corino all but carried Credible, who's getting more and more sloppy and lazy with his workmanship with each passing day. Sad, because with just a little more effort on Credible's part, it could have been a good match

1-900-RUN-4ECW promo.


Onewrestlingdotcom sponsors the "Extreme Replay."

Back to the broom closet, where Joey and Joel shill the upcoming (10/1)"Anarchy Rulz" PPV, the (11/5) "November to Remember" PPV, and the (12/3) "Massacre on 34th Street" PPV right back here at the Hammer.

Rub-a-Dub-Dub, ecwwrestlingdotcom's got Jasmin St. Clair back in the tub!
JG: "I bet she dropped the soap!"
JS: "Joel!"
JG: "I mean I hope she dropped the soap!"
JG: "I mean I'm gonna go give her the soap!"
JS: "I'm gonna wash your mouth out with soap!"

ECW Upcoming Events Calendar (revised):
9/22 Salem, NH
9/23 Danbury, CT (TV taping)
10/1 St. Paul, MN ("Anarchy Rulz" PPV)
10/6 Green Bay, WI
10/7 Milwaukee, WI (TV taping)
10/12 Salem, VA
10/13 Richmond, VA
10/20 Battle Creek, MI
10/21 Ypsilanti, MI

Joey and Joel shill the last ECW on TNN show next week. Since the show's from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Joel asks Joey Styles if he knows how much twelve inches of Quintessential Studmuffin would be in metric.

Closing credits.

See you next week.

E.C. Ostermeyer
[slash] wrestling

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