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/31 July 1999

ECW at the Arena


Guest columnist: Robert Schwabe


ECW ARENA - Phildelphia, PA

Last night was supposed to be one of those special nights in ECW. And I decided that I wasn't going to miss it. So I schlepped on down to the ECW arena to catch the action.

First off, to anyone thinking about going to the ECW arena, I've got one word for you: Autumn. I've been in ECW arena several times, and it is not the place tghat you want to be on a hot July/August evening, but here's the real problem... some of the best ECW arena matches have happened during the summer: Eddie Gurerro vs Dean Malenko; Sabu vs Rob Van Dam; Tommy Dreamer vs Raven (cage match); etc. so to avoid the place is ratgher difficult...

Secondly, I want to give major props to those folks who gave me the ticket for the event. Thanks a lot guys, not that I expect that you will be reading this, but I do appreciate it.... from the guy in the Australian hat.

Finally, I will be perfectly honest here, I will not be recapping this from my notes. I will be borrowoing from other internet sources (I will give credit to them at the end of this, because as I am writing this, I haven't read the recaps), but first off, as per usual, I forgot a notebook or anything of the sort. Second, three rows from ringside is not the place for quiet writing (plus no rewind button). And finally, I tried to write notes on my program, and it was (not to be too disgusting) drenched with sweat... After 30 minutes in the place, it was almost too wet to write on.

On with the show....


All of the usual dignitaries were there... Hat guy was there... As well as one guy who brought a fake NWA/WCW World Title belt... One guy who wore a Deer Hunter outfit, which had to be hot as all blazes... Usual chants..... ECW... NEW YORK SUCKS...... WHERE'S YOUR HAT....


Okay, we can all se this one can't we... Let's break it down... Jerry gets a huge pop from the fans, and Jason's manhood is questioned. Which I perfectly understand, anyone who would willingly deep kiss Nicole Bass needs to have his head examined. So here's the drill... Jerry gives Jason those really loud knife-edges... (and let me say, the chops that Jerry does, always seems to me that he's just doing it to make noise, and not actually hurt)... Jason dominates for a while with some cheating moves, but eventually Jerry gets the upperhand and nails Jason with the cradle-piledriver....

After the bell is rung, Justin Credible and Lance Storm come out and attack Jerry. Jerry eventually gets the upper hand, again, but the numbers aren't in his favor, and Justin Credible cracks him across the head with the singapore cane... Jerry is busted wide open.

Alright match for a squash. I was hoping to see Jerry face RVD, well, we'll get to that.


The second theme of the night was "who can be the bigger heel". Doring and Roadkill came out and didn't endear themselves to the fans, and then Vito and Anderson come out. I figured that since Roadkill and Doring were obviously the heel duo, that this was the face push for the man formerly known as Skull von Krush. Vito comes down to ringside and spits at Hat Guy, which is an obvious way to get instant heat from the Philadelphia fans. You might as well piss on Billy Penn's statue... And here's the kicker, Vito is really over with the fans. I like him, and if the Philly fans are any indication, he's over with everyone. Not bigtime, but he is over... The fans do like him.

Funniest moment of the night. Fans as per usual, were chanting "Roadkill fucks sheep". And Roadkill looks over at the fans and slightly nods his head. The fans errupt in laughter.

Basic scenario. Both teams go back and forth, with LoGrasso and Anderson getting the better of the exchange, but they can't quite put Doring and Roadkill away. Eventually, Vito gets sick of Anderson and nails him with the Skull Crusher. Then Doring and Roadkill nail him with their tag finisher. Doring with a "Name your City here" Jam and Roadkill with the splash. 1-2-3 its over.

Best I've seen from Doring and Roadkill. Skull Von Krush, which is a better name, you dumb bald moron!!!!! also was impressive. But I like the guy. He could be a major player in ECW. I would put him in a serious tag team, because with the Dudleys being gone, it frees up a lot of room in that department.

It was the best of times... it was the worst of times. Here's the deal. ECW has a grand tradition, which has fallen by the wayside recently, of sending their wrestlers off to the big two. It has all of the emotion of a graduation ceremony, and all the class of a water tank at a county fair. I've seen it done to 2 Cold Scorpio, Eddie Gurerro, Dean Malenko, the Public Enemy (the first time), and Cactus Jack. It is one of the most special things about ECW. I was, honestly, moved to tears when Gurerro and Malenko left, and I laughed hysterically when Cactus Jack left (and if you've seen it, you know why.)

And now, it was the Dudley Boys turn. Perhaps the best tag team ever in ECW. Perhaps the best heels that ECW has ever produced. A team that was 100% born in ECW. This was their night. This was their night to shine. Everyone outside the building was talking about the Dudleys. "Man, I hate them, but you gotta respect them." "I don't like them, but what they say is true." "There isn't a better tag team today." and the like. And Buh Buh Ray Dudley nearly ruined the entire FUCKING thing.

The Dudleys come out, no music as per usual. And tons of chants go out... The usual "You Sold Out" and "F You D-Von" had their turns, but for the most part the chants that dominated were "Please don't go" and "Thank You Dudleys". And the fans were just clapping and clapping. And the thing that is the best about that is that the fans HATE the Dudleys. I mean this is the ultimate, love to hate tag team. Everytime that you start to admire their ability, the team comes off like the biggest jerks. I mean, we all know that wrestling is "fake", "scripted", and whatever else, but the Dudleys have always gone out of their way to piss the fans off.

So, after several standing ovations, Buh Buh got on the microphone. Basically laughed the whole thing off, and said that if they were to leave that they wouldn't do it in the ECW Arena. (obviously what he said was more degrading, and not that I don't want to transcribe it, but I don't remember it correctly, and I wouldn't be able to do it justice). After that, Gertner grabs the microphone, and after doing his thing... (which I couldn't hear, the speakers on the television camera side really sucked last night)... Buh Buh grabs the microphone, and cuffs Gertner saying "That's for JFK!"

Buh Buh then says to the crowd, "I'm not saying that it is, but if this were the last night we were going to be in this arena, then this is the last time for someone to try and take a piece of us. So, if there's anyone out there, any of you that want a piece of us, climb over the ropes and step into the ring." This is an empty threat in two ways, first off, the Atlas Security guys would never allow anyone to even get close, and secondly, Buh Buh is one huge guy. So I turn to say something to someone, and the next thing I know, Buh Buh Ray Dudley is climbing over the guardrail right in front of me, and going after some guy in the cheap seats, followed by D-Von and Atlas Security. Buh Buh got right in this guys face and was yelling at him to do something. This guy stood his ground. He was talking, but he wasn't yelling, he didn't threaten, he just stood there and Buh Buh yelled right in his face begging this guy to hit him.

It was the single most disgusting thing I've ever seen in ECW or in wrestling. Cause if the guy hit him, he probably would have been thrown out by Atlas security. It was a bad situation. Afterwards the Dudleys went for the other people in the crowd, each section got a taste of the Dudleys coming after them.

Let me get into some detail. First, this guy was not a plant. I was 4 feet from him and I was talking to lots of people, which he was one, and heard this guy talking to others. He wasn't a plant. I heard him afterwards saying, "I know Buh Buh's got this anger thing, but I wasn't gonna do anything." Major props for this guy standing his ground, and not hitting Buh Buh nor turning away. I usually get pissed off at the yahoos looking for a fight, but I can't take anything away from thsi guy.

Second, I've heard the Buh Buh stories before. And I always thought t was some guy who started something in the first row. This guy was 6-7 rows from ringside, and he wasn't doing anything more than anyone else. Now, maybe he knows Buh Buh, maybe they go have a beer after the show. I can't say for sure. But, to me it seemed like Buh Buh just picked some guy in the crowd. (According to Dave Scherer of and The Daily Lariat, these were people who Buh Buh had a long standing feud with)

Finally. Let me give credit where credit is due. When Buh Buh did this, D-Von went into the crowd, but he didn't do anything. He didn't get in anyone's face. He didn't start anything. He didn't stop Buh Buh, or anything, but he was cool. Credit to Atlas security, who were right with the Dudleys and would have stopped it from getting even uglier.

Finally, the Dudleys got back in the ring where the crowd covered them in soda and beer cans. Which Buh Buh, then started throwing and kicking right at the people in the crowd. I, myself, got nailed with a soda can in the head. I was disgusted that I clapped for these assholes. And the whole time, Buh Buh is egging these people on.

So, once things settle down, Buh Buh calls out the "Impact Players" because they are the only tag team that the Dudleys haven't taken out. So, out come Lance Storm, Justin Credible, and Dawn Marie. Dawn Marie was wearing a very very short dress... she looked good. The chant of "Show your tits" is once again heard in the hallowed halls of the ECW arena.

And, amazingly, the Dudleys get the crowd back on their side. Buh Buh says, "Hey, Lance, I don't give a crap what these people want, but hell, I'd like to see her tits once before I go." The crowd errupts in laughter.

Onto the match...


The basics of this match are that "The Impact Players" don't think that the Dudleys deserve a tag shot against them, so it will just be Lance Storm vs D-Von.

A pretty good match. D-Von can be an excellent high-impact wrestler when he wants to be. This was the second heel vs. heel match up of the evening, so it was which team would cheat first, and which team would cheat best. Action went all around the ring. D-Von nailed Justin with a side-Russian legsweep and a flying shoulder block (thank you, and then both men went for the weapons. D-Von with a chair, but Lance Storm nailed D-Von with the cane and JC DDTed him on the chair.... (you know, since these two steal everything from the people who have left, I guess Justin and Lance will be wearing tie-dyed shirts next). All four men started brawling, and then Jerry Lynn appeared?

Okay, let's get this straight. It's a heel vs heel match, with tag team partners as well as Dawn Marie, Sign Guy, and Gertner, so lets throw in the one face in the back, because we can't have a screw job with the people in the ring... Yes, some more prozac for Mr. Heyman, I think he's trying too hard.

The match ended in a no-contest, which saw Lance Storm down on the mat for longer than he should have been. (He missed the main event because of it). Jerry got bloodied again. And security forced the Dudleys to the back. Oh okay, let's have security force the Dudley boys to the back so they don't hurt Jerry Lynn, Lance Storm, and Justin Credible, but when they go into the crowd to start fights, let's have them stand there and watch. The logic of these bookers amazes me sometimes.


Okay, let me now give some kudos to the bookers, what a great move putting this match on after the Dudleys. The Dudleys were intense, regardless of anything, it was an intense situation. So, let's put on a little bit of comedy.

"Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys (I think that's the name) hits the airwaves and out come Chetti and Nova. Nova wearing the new White Nova costume, that he debuted at the PPV, and Chetti wore white tights (pants) along with a rejected generic Hart Foundation singlet (w/o the symbol). Chetti also still had his "I'm so pretty" angle going, and came to the ring with a feather boa. ("Do you know how many wild boas were plucked to make that thing?" - Ah thank you Gorilla, I miss your banter.) Nova is developing a nice, "I'm as good as any of these losers!" angle. I think they might twist this proper, and have Nova turn heel.

Okay, so Simon Diamond comes out, and if you didn't know. Mr. Diamond's angle is that he makes demands of certain people, but then says, "I didn't say 'Simon Says'!"... It's one of those classic heel angles that will annoy everyone in the building, and make them happy when he gets his ass kicked. So he asks for someone in the back to be his partner, and out comes Super Crazy. YEAH!

Simon doesn't want Super Crazy as his partner, but SC doesn't understand English, so the fight is on. Pretty good match, some good moves from Simon, nothing earthshattering... One he did a series of two vertical suplexes, went for the third and hit the gourd buster instead. Super Crazy threw his man outside the ring and hit the top-rope moonsault. (I love that move).

More ECW fan games, Super Crazy was pounding Chetti's head with his fist in the corner, and the entire crowd chanted to 10 in Spanish. Thank you Sesame Street.

Eventually, Simon Diamond wants to steal the show, and slaps Crazy twice... So Crazy nails him, hits two moonsaults, one on the bottom turnbuckle, the second on the second turnbuckle. And before he can hit the third, Nova and Chetti nailed Diamond with their move (ECW Wrestling says it's called The Tidal Wave... sure why not???), and got the win.

In the end Chetti shakes Crazy's hand, and eventually and seemingly reluctantly, so does Nova.


Okay, I just got to say this.... BWAH HAH HAH HAH HA!!!! Kamala??? Okay, now this isn't the really fat Kamala that everyone remembers, he's gotta be like 45 years old, cause he faced Hogan back in 87 or something. No, this is a different fat Kamala, that looks a lot like the other one, but the mannerisms are somewhat different, also his moves are very different. This one is also supposedly from New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and I can't imagine the original Kamala being paid by NJPW.

But you can guess the drill for this one. David Cash tries to hit high-flying moves and chops and slaps, and Kamala will have nothing to do with it. Kamala drops him and the flab goes flying. God, he is disgusting.. He's gotta be over 400 pounds...The best move was when Kamala nailed Cash with a drop kick.... Yes, you read that right, a drop kick. Kamala nailed Cash with a move that Hogan has admitted he can't do. Then Kamala dropped Cash with a senton splash (thank you

The fans really got into Kamala. Mostly cause of the surprise, and for a fat bastard, the guy really worked. So hey, we'll clap.


Okay, this is the third heel vs. heel match of the night. That is waaaay too much, even for ECW. They almost can get away with it, cause the fans like SVK, but even so... ECW, TURN SOMEONE FACE! If they weren't leaving, or all indications that they're leaving, I would say turn the Dudley Boys, but as it stands now, I would turn the FBI. I don't know how, because their gimmick is a heel gimmick. Either that or bring in some faces. Scorpio would be a good choice, or even the Bruise Brothers and/or Brian Lee.

Anyway, onto the match. Guido is upset that since he made Tajiri tap (when was this) that he should have gotten the match against Taz. Tajiri was still taped up by the way. This was a pretty good match. Tajiri makes Guido look better, but unfortunately Guido makes Tajiri look worse. A couple of very stiff kicks from Tajiri lit up the crowd. I didn't see much of this match, because Big Sal was in front of me the entire time, and he makes a much better door than a window.

A lot of great moves by both men, in the end Little Guido was tied to the Tree of Woe, and was nailed by several hard kicks by Tajiri. Then Tajiri put him in the Texas Cloverleaf and Guido tapped out. After the bell was rung, Sal and Devito squared off against Corino and Victory, when DeVito attacked Graziano with a chair. (huh? Why? No one cares....) Sal chokeslammed Guido into the chair, and Tajiri nailed him with some kicks. So after Sal & Guido leave... Guido was stretchered out.... we go onto the next chapter of the evening


Okay, a blind man could connect the dots as to what happened, just from that title alone. The only thing significant is that Corino called to Dreamer who was on the platform above the ring, where Heyman, Styles, and the production crew sit. Dreamer and Francine come through the crowd, and get to the ring apron. Corino wants Dreamer to lay down for him, and Dreamer says that "He'll take them all out with him".

Dreamer attacks Victory, Corino, and Tajiri. Dreamer placed a chair in front of Tajiri's head, which was dropkicked by Francine. Dreamer rips off Victory's leg brace and puts him in the figure-four leglock. (Tommy put him in a what??????- I didn't think Tommy knew what a figure four was). Just as Corino is about to nail Dreamer, Francine gets a hold of him. She throws him into the corner, gives him the Bronco Buster (TM World Wrestling Federation, Titan Sports, and Vince McMahon, inc), yeah poor bastard, and places him in the figure four.

Okay kids, so lets do the math. Two people vs three, and you put two of them in submission holds where you are lying on the ground. So one thing leads to your mother, and Tajiri blows green mist into the face of Francine.... (way to go Muta Lite - when you want muta, but only want half the experience), and then they go to work on Dreamer.....

And gee what a surprise... Taz's music hits the airwaves.... Everyone runs, except the newly revived Tony DeVito, who Taz nails with a reverse wheelbarrow Tazplex through the table (thank you Corino bad mouths Taz. Taz "Beat me if you can, survive.... "and lets the crowd finish... Nothing all that exciting.

But... IMHO the most interesting thing of the contest is that after it was all over, and Tommy was being attended to, Taz kept looking over to Dreamer. He wouldn't go over to help him, but he was concerned or something. Now, I look for angles everywhere, and with Sandman and Douglas gone, and with RVD not quite ready to drop the title to Taz, the next guy in line has got to be Dreamer, if he gets healthy. I see them setting up Dreamer to get the shot at N2R.


IT'S JOEY!!!!!!!

Joey Styles opens up the second half (with only 2 matches) with the television opening. Joey welcomes us to Extreme Championship Wrestling. Normally, Joey shoots with the crowd a little bit, but he says "It's too hot, I'm just gonna cut the crap, and let's make some noise because we go on in 5-4-3-2-1"....

Joey brings out the ECW Tag Team Champions: Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley

Balls and Spike come out, and challenge anyone in the locker room to face them for the titles... And suddenly Marilyn Manson is heard as Axl Rotten comes out. The crowd goes nuts. Chants of "Welcome back" are heard throughout the arena, and he wasn't even gone 3 months. Balls wants to shake Axl's hand, but Axl will have nothing to do with it. He's upset that they didn't win the titles together, so they would fight, and Axl called out his partner.

"Natural Born Killaz" is heard as New Jack comes into the arena, and the fight is on.... The match was basically Balls vs Axl and Spike vs New Jack. There was way too much action, so I will give you the highlights.

  • All four men were bloodied in this match. Spike by a staple gun. New Jack by a cheese grater from the top turnbuckle. Balls by a pair of scissors. And Axl by a fork. Nothing like seeing live juice done the hard way. uggghhh

  • Spike and New Jack climbed to the top stage area, and New Jack kept trying to throw Spike off and through a table. But Spike got the upper hand, and in the best crazy move from Spike ever, he hit the Acid Drop on New Jack through the table on the lower level crashing through the table ontop of Axl and Balls who were fighting there.

  • - Axl and Balls made it to the ring. Axl puts the table in the ring, and sets it up. But Balls gains the upper hand, and nails Axl. Balls then goes to the timekeeper, who just happened to have a container of butane. Isn't that convenient? Balls sprays the table with the butane. Lights it, and puts Axl through the table. Unfortunately, Axl doesn't have as much back surface area as Balls does, so he doesn't put out the flames as easily as Balls does, and he had to roll to get the flames out. The ref, then grabbed a bottle of water, poured half of it on Balls, and Balls grabbed the other half, drank some and poured it over his head.

  • Balls then covered Axl for the victory. And all four shook hands and celebrated in the ring....

  • Until New Jack and Axl punked both Balls and Spike. Axl Rotten set up a table in the audience, placed Spike Dudley on the table, and New Jack leaped and nailed spike with the diving chair.... Both Balls and Spike were a bloody mess.


    And just when you thought you had seen it all.... The Dudleys come out followed by Justin Credible. Justin says that Lance Storm was injured earlier in the evening, and that he has two partners to pick. First off, he picks Kamala, probably cause it wouldn't interfere with any other angles, and then he picks Jerry Lynn, who isn't too happy about it.

    Then a "shoot" happened between the Dudleys and Paul Heyman who was up on the platform. I don't believe that this was a real "shoot", but all parties played it like it was. Whether it was a shoot or not, it really threw off the match, also having Kamala in there, threw things off as well. So after Buh Buh saying that they didn't need a partner. Paul demanding that they choose a partner. Then Buh Buh choosing Paul Heyman, who refused. And finally, Paul picked their partner, Rob Van Dam.

    >From there, it was a Dudleys refuse to cooperate match. RVD went against Kamala. They fought, eventually going out to the floor. RVD got the better of the exchange. At one point, RVD tried to tag Buh Buh, who wouldn't tag him. Buh Buh was working this thing well. So well, that it could be a shoot, but I just don't think so. Kamala tags Jerry, and RVD tags D-Von. Justin gave D-Von a drop-toe hold on the chair. Justin misses a baseball slide, and Buh Buh gets tagged in. Both men tag, and finally it's Jerry Lynn vs Rob Van Dam. If you've seen these two before, then it was nothing new. Impressive yes, but nothing new.

    2nd funniest moment of the night: After a back-and-forth, hold, counter-hold, near-fall, reversal, reversal, flip, reversal, power out..... the crowd starts chanting RVD. And RVD does his little hand-gesture thing. Then the crowd starts changing- "Jerry", and Jerry acknowledges it. Finally, Buh Buh starts chanting, "Buh Buh" and the crowd joins in on that one, and Buh Buh shrugs his shoulders.... Okay, we're trained monkeys, you happy now. This is D-X's fault!

    Back and forth with RVD and Lynn, when the lights go out... Then the lights came back up, and it was... The Sandman... Sandman was back in the ECW arena....

    No... kidding... you didn't miss an update...just wanted to see if you were paying attention

    It was Sabu.... natch... Sabu alternated between attacking Lynn, attacking the Dudleys, attacking Credible, and attacking RVD...

    The final spots

  • Dudleys set up on a table in the middle of the ring, Sabu and Van Dam splash/legdrop them through the table. (Third funniest moment of the evening, was that the "unconscious" Buh Buh, gave both of them the finger right before they splashed him.

  • Sabu started attacking both Lynn and Van Dam, and all three fought their way to the back.

  • Kamala climbed to the top turnbuckle... (the crowd chanted, Holy Sh*t), and did a big splash on Buh Buh, after which he was canned by Justin.

  • Buh Buh got to his feet and took about four cane shots to the head, the cane was splintered to bits. And finally went down. And Justin covered him for the victory.

    So Justin left, and for no other reason than to put the final chapter on the Dudleys, Joel Gertner started pushing Sign Guy. Next thing you know, he slaps D-Von, and Gertner gets the Dudley Death Drop that everyone knew he was gonna get when Buh Buh smacked him for JFK earlier in the evening.

    And FINALLY, the Dudleys give and get what they deserve. The fans, undaunted by Buh Buh's actions that evening, stand on their feet and give the Dudleys a standing ovation as the chants of "Thank you" go out. The Dudleys then climb the turnbuckles, looking somewhat emotional, and raise their arms and give props to the fans (that's that pounding the heart area and pointing to the fans move, that Shane Douglas did earlier this year). The fans kept clapping, and both Dudleys climbed each turnbuckle and did the same thing. It was the resolution that I came into Philadelphia that night to see...

    Good luck to the Dudley Boys, whether they go to the WWF, WCW, or even stay in ECW. May the blessings of the wrestling gods go with you. May the spirits of Pillman, Spicoli, Hart, and Gilbert help you in the days to come. Please keep entertaining us. Don't forget your roots, and never forget us, the ECW fans who love to hate you. Keep up the good work.

    And, Vince McMahon, if you get them, good luck to you as well. You may need it more than them.

    Robert Schwabe

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