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/24 September 1999

ECW on TNN by Chris Palacios




The show opens with Joey Styles and Joel Gertner in the ring. Joey brings out Tommy Dreamer and Francine, and before Joey can get a response from Dreamer about his back and a possible end to his career, Gertner interrupts. Joel starts by saying that if Dreamer can't go, he should hang it up. Joel then turns his attention to Francine ("a 115 pound bag of silicone") and says there is a lady in the backstage area who has seen about 850 less hotel room ceilings than Francine has. Out comes Miss Congeniality, who is a marginal looking woman in my book mainly due to a hideous tattoo on one shoulder and a face that is so-so at best. Roadkill and "Dastardly" Danny Doring are with Miss Congeniality, and when the mandatory catfight starts with Francine and Congeniality, Dreamer turns his attention to Doring and Roadkill. After Dreamer hits a neckbreaker on Roadkill, he sets Doring up for the Spicolli Driver, but his back gives out. Doring uses the opportunity to hit his G-Spot Plunge (a pseudo-Stunner), and Roadkill follows with a top rope splash. The heels then set up for a double team move when Raven hits the ring, which allows for both Dreamer and Raven to hit DDTs and get the pin. The tag champs retain, so roll those opening credits!

Wait a second, Dreamer is in the ring calling out Raven to settle their problems once and for all. Raven heads back to the ring and climbs the apron before turning around and heading backstage. This sounds like a perfect time for Paul Heyman to plug house shows, merchandise, the magazine, and the website. Coming later in the show...Taz loses the ECW World title! Insert November to Remember PPV ad and Hardcore Hotline ad here. (What is Taz's future after losing the ECW World title? Playboy at war with the WWF?)

We return to find Joel and Joey in their regular broadcast positions, but Joey has lost his voice. (It's a good thing ECW never pretended to have a live show.) Joel announces that Taz has lost the ECW World title, but credits Taz for elevating the title to a new level. (Insert clip of Taz forcing Shane to lose consciousness at Guilty as Charged. Hey, that's a plug!) We then see the interview segment that started the Anarchy Rulz PPV, where Masato Tanaka's car drives up and Steven Prazak attempts to interview Tanaka when Judge Jeff Jones drives up, chews out Tanaka for blocking the way to his VIP parking spot, and ends up a trunk ornament after putting his hand on Tanaka. Jones angrily states that he has found Tanaka guilty and the price Tanaka pays will be "Awesome". Time for a break!

We return to find an angry Joey being held back by Paul Heyman. Apparently Joey has had enough of Joel's heelish commentary and taunting, and when Joel accuses Joey of having a hair caught in his throat from kissing Heyman's ass, Heyman lets out a "you son of a...", forcing Joey to hold Heyman back from Joel.

We now gets some clips from the Anarchy Rulz PPV. The Lance Storm vs. Jerry Lynn match was a technical clinic, and while we don't see the finish, we do see a hot Chicago crowd give a standing ovation after a nice sequence between Storm and Lynn. We then see clips of Sabu vs. Justin Credible, including the finish where Credible hits his "That's Incredible" tombstone piledriver on Sabu for the VERY unpopular win. Next, we get the ring introductions for the World title match between Taz (who is getting the "you sold out" chant from the crowd) and Masato Tanaka. Wait a second, MIke Awesome and Judge Jeff Jones and making their way through the crowd to the ring. Taz calls Awesome into the ring, and Heyman heads to the guardrail to keep Awesome from the ring. Taz tells Heyman that he's trying to give Paul the buyrate he wants for this PPV, so Heyman gives in a makes it a three way dance for the World title. Awesome climbs over the rail and gets nailed with a Tanaka plancha as we head to commercial.

We return to see Taz taking control, hitting a t-bone Tazplex on Tanaka and a German suplex on Awesome. After some brief double team offense on Taz, the champ lands a head-and-arm Tazplex on Tanaka before getting clotheslined by Awesome, who follows with a walking powerbomb on Tanaka. Awesome heads up to the top rope, but Taz catches him in a head-and-arm Tazplex off of the turnbuckles. Tanaka catches Taz off guard with the roaring elbow, and Awesome quickly follows with a top rope splash. Both men make the cover...and the World champ has been eliminated from the three way dance. The ECW roster is on the ramp watching history unfold as the commercial begins.

Joey and Joel return and take us back to Buffalo, New York, where Super Crazy faces Little Guido, who has the mammoth Sal E. Graziano in tow. Joel uses the Joey-free time to belittle Crazy with some Spanish lines about Crazy being a clown, a has-been, and driving a car with 22 relatives in it to get to the show. Guido starts early with a cross armbar, leading to some nice chain wrestling. Crazy takes over with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then a baseball slide which leads to Crazy hitting an Asai moonsault off of the top rope over the guardrail and onto Guido in the front row. Back in the ring, Crazy lands a top rope superplex for a 2 count, then locks Guido into a rolling surfboard before pulling Guido's head back while his legs are still locked around Crazy's legs. Crazy misses a quebrada, which allows Guido to take over on offense. Guido starts with a hammerlock variation, then tosses Crazy outside, where Sal sends Crazy to the guardrail, then splashes Crazy. Back in the ring, Crazy attempts to springboard off of the ropes into a crossbody, but Guido catches Crazy's arm and locks on a armbar submission hold. Guido then hits a Fameasser off the second rope for a 2 count. Sal hits the ring and powerbombs Crazy while Guido distracts the ref. Guido follows with a splash for a 2 count. Guido turns a Crazy counter into a face first X Factor for a 2 count. Crazy then hits a spinning DDT out of nowhere, then attempts to hit moonsault off of each rope before Guido counters with his knees during Crazy's middle rope moonsault. Sal comes back in to try another powerbomb, but Crazy reverses it into a hurracanrana, then follows with a NASTY brainbuster onto Guido for the pin. An angry Sal hits the ring again to attack Guido...wait, isn't that Spike Dudley's music playing?

Sure enough, it is "Highway To Hell", and out comes Spike Dudley. Kick to Sal's big gut, Acid Drop, pin. Crazy puts on Spike's glasses and both do the "Spike wave" to the crowd. So Guido/Crazy runs about 10 minutes and Spike/Sal runs about 10 seconds.

Heyman does the plugs, and we see Lance Storm and Dawn Marie heading to the ring. Joel informs us that Storm does it all for the nookie, c'mon, the nookie...gotta love that Joel. Insert N2R ad and Hotline ad here.

We return to see Credible and Storm in the middle of an attack on Jerry Lynn (there's a broken table in the ring, but since this attack was joined in progress, I can't tell you how it got that way). Rob Van Dam hits the ring to attack Storm, but Johnny Smith follows and attacks RVD. The lights go out, and Sabu is in the ring when they come back on. Sabu cleans house, leading to he and RVD face-to-face. Fonzie tries to play peacemaker, but Sabu hits RVD anyway, then hits a triple jump legdrop to the outside onto Credible, who is near a propped up piece of table. Joel and Joey are back in the studio, but they send us back to the ring, where a huge brawl is going on, but it doesn't appear to be the same brawl involving Credible and Sabu a few seconds earlier. Doesn't matter though, since New Jack's music plays. A bad camera angle prevents us from seeing Jack hit the ring, but we do see a crutch and a model boat used as weapons. (Call me silly, but this came off badly on TV.)

Joel and Joey are back in front of the ECW banner they call home, and Joel is putting himself over while Joey struggles to spit out the word "title". Joel counters with the name of the show, his "title" as host of the show, etc. You had to see this to appreciate how funny it was. Anyway, Joey grabs the mic and sends us back to Anarchy Rulz for clips from the World title match.

Back at the PPV, Mike Awesome's in-ring party has begun. Taz climbs into the ring with the World title belt, kisses it, then presents it to Awesome. As Taz holds up the arm of Awesome, Joey puts Taz's class over ("I'm proud to call him my friend"). As Awesome walks over to Tanaka, we see Taz and Heyman in an emotional hug on the ramp. The Chicago fans start chanting "Taz", but Taz points to Awesome, which leads to an "Awesome" chant.

And then, we get proof of why Joey Styles is one of the best in the business...

"The King is dead. Long live the King. And the King is AWESOME...."

Even when the show comes off as a bit of a clusterfuck, ECW finds a way to turn the last two minutes of the show into some of the best moments in the history of televised wrestling.

Christopher G. Palacios
[slash] wrestling

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