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Guest Columns

Patrick Barker



Hey hey, it's me again. Couple of opening notes before we jump into the review:

1) My fan base multiplies daily. Now I'm up to, like, five people. As always, check out Shawn Colton, Tanvir Raquib, and Dale Blasingame. Also, I've gotten my first real writing gig for a wrestling site! I don't know what I'm at liberty to divulge here, so let's just say it's gonna be a commentary site with some of the more underappriciated writers on the net, including Blasingame, whose running the show, and someone else who used to write for the [slash], who I will write alongside (Here comes PG-13... don't worry, inside joke).

2) To Saunderg, or whoever the hell e-mailed me specifically to call me a dumbass: I won this round, just as I will win all the rounds. Deal with it baby.

3) I am in a bad mood. It's a long story, and I won't bore you with it. The good news, however, is that these recaps take me so long that I'll probably be in a good mood by match three.

Okay, I think that's enough for now. Actually, one more: my first Japanese tape rant is coming as soon as I buy the thing, which I plan on doing this weekend. Barker tries his hand at puro... coming soon.

And hey, since I NEVER SHUT UP, one more note: I'm doing a joint tape review next time (either next time or right after my All Japan review), where I review King of the Ring 98 and Badd Blood. Last smark to find the link between the shows is a rotten egg!

Tape Rant Number Five: ECW Barely Legal.

Okay... didn't see this one live, and my tape quality sucks. No big deal.

Live from Philadelphia.

My tape begins with the Dudleys on the way down the aisle and Joey in the ring. Dudleys get in the ring, wait out a loud "Fuck You D-Von" chant, and D-Von does a mini promo.

Straight to the opening highlight montage, and I recognize a total of five clips that were still in the highlight reel within the past six months.

Joel Gertner gets mic time, and does a limerick. This was before he truly established his character, so it wasn't that great yet. Same with the Dudleys in general.

Eliminators are out, and we are ready to start the card! Story here: Eliminators are the greatest team in ECW history, and the Duds upset them for the belts about a month prior. Simple enough, huh?

Match One: The Dudley Boys vs. The Eliminators (ECW Tag Team Titles)

Sign Guy Dudley is in early for no reason- TOTAL ELIMINATION! (For those who don't know, with the exception of the 3D and the Doomsday Device, Total Elimination is the greatest tag team move ever. Kronus does a spinning heel kick as Saturn sweeps the legs from behind. So quick and devestating. Excellent.) Dudleys in from behind- D-Von with a reverse DDT on Saturn, Buh Buh punching on Kronus. Buh Buh lets out a loud "mother fucker" about 15 seconds into ECW's first ever PPV match. That's gotta be a record. Big powerbomb by Buh Buh Ray. Diving headbutt by D-Von for two. Dudleys have Saturn now- double Irish whip, tilt-a-whirl slam by Buh Buh, splash by D-Von, two, Kronus breaks up the pin.

Buh Buh nails Kronus, little slap to the face, and the Duds pull out a cool double team move where Buh Buh gets him up for a vertical suplex, and D-Von nails a high cross body on the upside down Kronus. That gets two as Saturn breaks it up. Buh Buh nails Saturn- double Irish whip, clothesline ducked, Saturn with a quebrada over top of the attempted double clothesline, split legged dropkick with one foot hitting each Dudley. Clothesline for Buh Buh. Clothesline for D-Von. Saturn's a house of-whoops, he gets caught in a Boss Man Slam by Buh Buh. Dudleys going for 3D, Kronus whipped, but Saturn takes out D-Von and Kronus nails a spinning heel kick on Buh Buh. The crowd shows their appreciation. Damn ECW mutants. Always cheering good wrestling! Stop that!

And now the gymnastics event begins. Saturn kicks Buh Buh, calls Kronus over, Kronus with a roundhouse kick of some sort to the back of Buh Buh's head, Saturn with a similar one to his face. Buh Buh charges, Eliminators duck the clothesline. Double kick. Double whip to the buckle. Double back elbow to the gut. Double backhand to the face, and finally a double crescent kick to send Buh Buh back to the corner. Kronus takes Buh Buh, Saturn has D-Von, scoop and a slam on both ends. Both Eliminators up top, stereo cartwheel splashes! Dudleys outside to regroup as the challengers celebrate inside. Both Dudleys come together on the outside, and that's never a good idea.

Duds up on the apron, stereo shoulderblocks send them outside. Everyone wastes a LOT of time before Kronus faces the outside, uses his hands to create a foothold, and springboards Saturn to the outside in a moonsault. Nice. Kronus then hits a move I've never seen, which Joey calls the "Space Flying Kronus Drop"... is that the Space Flying Tiger Drop, you puroheads? Josh Haggard, help me out here man! Anyway, it consisted of Kronus doing a cartwheel, and then a backflip from the mat OVER the top rope. Nifty spot indeed. Oh well, let's just call it the /CRAZY INSANE THINGY OF DEATH.

I'd check on it, but like I said, I'm in a super bad mood. Saturn tosses D-Von in- springboard spinning heel kick! Kronus tosses Buh Buh in. Buh Buh whipped to the buckle, Kronus with that cartwheel back elbow Chyna does- same deal here (don't know the name... too bad for all five of my readers). Saturn with a *beautiful* elbow that makes Randy Savage look like an old piece of crap. But then again, if the shoe fits... Eliminators have D-Von, and they hit punches. Double whip, double clothesline is ducked- double leapfrog (okay, kill this double team crap), double punch to the gut, double kick to the back of the leg, D-Von on his knees, double roundhouse kick by the Elims.

Saturn with a scoop and a slam... stalling (could the bodyslam really keep someone down for 15 seconds)... /DOUBLE JUMP SATURN-SAULT! Kronus slams D-Von... 450 Splash! Crowd goes nuts, 'cause they're mutants and they only like this match because of all the flaming tables. Not 'cause they just saw a double-jump moonsault or a 450 Splash and they're showing appreciation- oh no, don't be foolish. Eliminators whip Buh Buh, double kick, double something (got him on his knees), and a double roundhouse kick sandwiching Buh Buh in between the kicks. Eliminators call for the end, TOTAL ELIMINATION on Buh Buh, two, three! That was kinda anti-climatic. Crowd goes apeshit as the Eliminators get the belts back, and they hug and stuff.

Post match, Joel Gertner is in and announces that on the Studmuffin Scoring System, the Dudleys won 86-83, so the Eliminators give him Total Elimination to comply with the crowds' demands to "fuck him up".

Okay, let's rate this mofo. It was a friggin' gymnastics show, with a full contact stip added in. Let's see, I typed the word "double" 12 times. Come on. This was spot-setup-spot-setup, but then so was the WM ladder match and that was *****, right? Come on, Keith gave it *****, it's GOTTA be right. There was a lot of decent stuff here, but nothing in between. The match entertained me and bought out my cynical side all in one. I'm gonna go with **3/4 here, for some great individual spots.

Sandman video package. He's one of the contestants in the three way dance tonight, along with Terry Funk and Stevie Richards, with the winner facing Raven immediately after. Sandman canes himself, 'cause he's a dumbass. Note- I did meet the Sandman once. Super nice. Coolest wrestler I've ever met.

And now Chris Candido is in the ring to sing his praises, but ends up going on some crazy rant about the contestants in the three way. He was supposed to face Lance Storm tonight, but he hurt his arm, so instead we get:

Match Two: Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm

Storm is a pretty boy nobody with a ponytail. So is Van Dam. I already recapped one PPV match between these two, and I thought it was damn near *****. Let's see how this one compares.

Tie-up, waistlock by Van Dam, Storm backs him into the corner- clean break. Tie-up, Van Dam backs Storm to the corner- no clean break here, shot to the kidneys by RVD. Two forearms to the head, whip to the buckle, Dragon leap by Storm, Van Dam hits the corner, kick by Storm, side headlock, Van Dam pushes him to the ropes, shoulderblock by Storm. Storm off the ropes, Van Dam drops down (not the normal way- faces him and does a full split), Storm over top, monkey flip attempt by Van Dam, Storm rolls through, both men up, clothesline by Storm. Storm on him- two forearms and a side headlock. Van Dam quickly powers out into a top wristlock, two kicks by Van Dam, armdrag takedown.

Springboard bodyblock by Van Dam, Storm right on him, but Van Dam uses leverage to toss Storm outside. Van Dam inside, getting a head start- /RUNNING NO HANDS SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Mutants go nuts 'cause they hate that high-flying crap, all they want to see is New Jack DIE. Van Dam is in and showboating. Storm in- scoop and a slam by RVD. Van Dam up top in one motion, guilotine legdrop for two. Van Dam with a kick, forearm, RVD whips Storm to the buckle, but in a great move he simply jumps onto the top rope and dives straight backward with a back elbow. Nice. Van Dam is tossed sternum-first onto the top rope, Storm dropkicks him outside, but misses a pescado to the floor.

Van Dam with a whip to the guardrail, forearms, and a SWANK springboard moonsault off of the guardrail. Van Dam tosses Storm in and grabs a chair. Van Dam takes Storm to the buckle, whip to the other buckle, and Van Dam wings the chair into Storm's head. OUCH. If you put it in slo-mo, Storm got the hands up, but it's like when Buh Buh threw the ladder at Jeff as he ran the barricade- the two colliding momentums make for a cool visual. Storm slumps down in a corner, Van Dam with a running start- dropkicks the chair into Storm's face. Ouch again. Van Dam gets applause, but then a derogatory chant that I can't make out. Storm over with a punch, but Van Dam stays on top with punches and kicks. Hooks the arms- double underhook facebuster, and a nice one.

Van Dam up top in one motion, there's the 5* frog splash, but it's not his finisher yet so it only gets two. Van Dam has the chair again, and he throws it into the head of Storm. Van Dam goes for the chair-assisted monkey flip, Storm moves, RVD splashes the buckle, and Storm with an inverted powerslam (that looked dangerous) onto the chair. Both men up simultaneoulsy, Van Dam with forearms, Irish whip, Van Dam's spinning heel kick is ducked, and Storm hits one of his own, which I suppose would be the spinning face kick. Face/heel, get it? Ah, forget it. Storm with a whip to the buckle, cartwheel splash. Van Dam staggers, Storm with a springboard bodyblock.

Storm off the ropes, and he goes for that move where he slides under and rolls back into a Boston crab, but he sorta blows it. Ah well. Storm has the weak crab, RVD gets the ropes. Storm stomps away. Storm with a whip, Van Dam holds on to the ropes, Storm charges, RVD with a back bodydrop, Storm lands on the apron, Storm with two shoulderblocks, but Van Dam trips him up and hits a slingshot guillotine legdrop with Storm's head hanging over the edge of the apron, which is really dangerous. Van Dam back in with a chair, tosses it to Storm, Van Daminator ducked, and Storm hits the weakest chairshot I've ever seen. Next time let Lance go full tilt with a styrophome block, it'll be far more believable. Storm with a nice sit down powerbomb on the chair for two.

Storm up top as Van Dam starts to prop the chair up, attempted Super Rocker Dropper, it looked like, but it misses and Van Dam is almost decapitated. Storm covers for two. Storm with an Irish whip, Van Dam with a waistlock, back elbow by Storm, standing switch, Van Dam to the ropes, Storm goes for a German suplex but RVD holds the top rope, second try- no luck, Storm dropkicks Van Dam, drawing him out, but Van Dam hits a kick to the balls. Van Dam crotches Storm, and goes for a springboard back elbow, but slips and barely hits it as the "you fucked up" chant starts... here's the thing I don't like about the "mutants". Cover, two, no. Van Dam and Storm both up, nice German suplex by Storm for two.

Storm has the chair... WEAK ASS CHAIRSHOT, and the crowd boos the crap out of him because it was so pathetic. And another one, same reaction. Jeez, RVD is probably stoned enough to get set on fire, so HIT HIM WITH THE DAMN CHAIR YOU PUSSY! Storm looks out to the crowd, and oops, there's the Van Daminator. Standing moonsault for show, two, three. ***1/2 Storm wants a post match handshake, and Van Dam gives a little "I don't need your respect" speech. Fans chant "you sold out", and later sing "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.", 'cause everyone thought he was a done deal for Titan-land. They also chant "get the fuck out". Yup.

Little vignette with the second participant in the three way tonight, Terry Funk.

Okay, it's been a week since I wrote that. My last week has really been insane. This recap is taking forever, but with spring break coming up, it'll be finished soon. I don't want to go into Shannon-mode here and tell you guys about my week from hell, but GIRLS ARE EVIL. THEY ARE ALL BITCHES. That is all. (And no, I'm not gay... don't even try it.)

Match Three: BWO International (TAKA Michinoku, Dick Togo, and Men's Teioh) vs. The Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada, and Masato Yakushiji

This'll be a bitch to recap. You know the top three as Kaientai today. If you don't know what the BWO is, I'll tell ya later. Or maybe I'll forget, in which case remember to e-mail me. Yakushiji is filling in for Gran Naniwa. Fans throw streamers into the ring, which is an ECW international tradition. Taka and Hamada start, tie-up, armdrag by Hamada. Test of strength, standing dropkick by Hamada as the fans start to clap. To the corner, snapmare by Hamada. Scoop and a slam, another snapmare. Hamada holding Taka, Yakushiji with a springboard... something or other (looked like he just stomped on Taka's head).

Yakushiji with a scoop and a slam, legdrop for two. Taka taken to the corner, Sasuke in. Kicks to the ribs of Taka, roundhouse kick puts Taka down. Sasuke goes for a suplex, Taka blocks it, double-axehandle, tag to Teioh. Snapmare, and now Teioh holding Sasuke in place, rapid legdrop by Taka, and Togo follows with a rapid running senton. Couple of elbows by Teioh, and Kaientai poses. Taka with a spinebuster into a Boston crab, Teioh locks on a camel clutch, dropkick to the face by Togo. Great teamwork by Kaientai. Togo in now, elbows to the head, scoop and a slam, standing senton splash, two, broken up by Yakushiji. And now Yakushiji is in for reasons unknown. Togo with an eyerake, tag to Taka.

Taka with fists. Scoop and a slam, tag to Teioh. Teioh with three knees to the head. Vertical suplex, long hold, and he twists to add effect. Long two count. Togo just sorta walks in, which makes him the legal man. Punches. Irish whip, and he just sorta throws him straight up, and, as Isaac Newton would tell ya, he comes down pretty hard. Togo with a whip, tries it again, Yakushiji lands on his shoulders, spins around, and snaps him with a rana. Nice. Yakushiji off the ropes, goes for a tilt-a-whirl into a headscissors, but takes ANOTHER rotation and hits an armdrag. Awesome. Stupid mutants voice their appreciation... hey mutants, shut up! Togo falls outside, Yakushiji going for something, no, just quebradas onto his feet inside, stumbling back into the corner.

Taka in now and on Yakushiji, leg trip by Yakushiji, Yakushiji off the ropes, Taka drops down, Yakushiji over top, tilt-a-whirl armdrag by Yakushiji, Taka to the outside. Hamada and Teioh both in now, some stiff chops, headbutt by Hamada puts Teioh down. To the corner, Teioh whipped, reversed, Hamada springboards off the second rope with a moonsault, over top of Teioh, Teioh charges, Fujiwara armbar by Hamada. Taka in to break it up. Taka with an Irish whip, back bodydrop, but Hamada lands on his feet, Teioh grabs him, Taka charges, Hamada ducks, and Teioh gets knocked out of the ring by his own partner. Taka charges, another Fujiwara armbar applied by Hamada on Taka.

Belly-to-back suplex by Hamada, which somehow brings Sasuke in, double whip, double chop on Taka. Rear chinlock by Sasuke, and he wraps the legs around the body. Teioh in to break that up, and he and Sasuke trade punches, Sasuke with a headlock, pushed to the ropes, Teioh drops down, Sasuke over top, leapfrog by Teioh, tries a monkey flip, but Sasuke somesaults over his body, Teioh off the ropes, and Sasuke meets him with a splash after doing a cartwheel! Both men to their respective corners. Yakushiji and Taka are in. Dropkick by Yakushiji, but ends up in the Kaientai corner. Teioh is in, tosses Yakushiji outside, follows, but Yakushiji rolls right back in. Teioh tosses him right back out and follows again, but Yakushiji rolls inside again. Teioh is up on the apron, dropkick by Yakushiji sends Teioh outside. Yakushiji running the ropes: baseball slide into a spinning head scissors!

Hamada and Togo now starting inside, Togo is whipped, Hamada ducks down, POWERFUL dropkick by Togo. Togo celebrates. Togo whips Hamada, Hamada ducks a clothesline, Togo beals him straight up, but Hamada comes down with a rana and cradle for two before Taka breaks it up. Taka in now, cinches him up for a suplex, but Hamada comes down with a small package for two. Taka taken to the wrong corner, and all three guys are in for a mocking beatdown. Sasuke stays in and gets a half crab. He wrenches back too far though, and Taka is able to wriggle free and nail an enzuigiri! Yakushiji is in, but is tossed out just as quickly. Taka whips Sasuke to the buckle and charges in with a forearm. High kick to the head, and Taka tags Togo.

Teioh is in too: double kick, both men running, double bulldog. And now, check this out: they hold Sasuke upside down (like an animal in a butcher shop), and Taka hits a /STIFF RUNNING DROPKICK to the gut. Crowd goes nuts 'cause all they want to see is New Jack fall off of a building through a table and die. Kaientai sets Sasuke up again, but they're just using him as a base for a celebratory pyramid. Now Taka and Teioh bring Sasuke to his knees and hold their feet against the back of his head as Togo hits a running dropkick to the front! I don't downright curse often, but HOLY SHIT! His head was the meat of a boot sandwich there. Ugh.

Togo with a vertical suplex, two count only, and he tags in Teioh. Single leg takedown, and, oh no, he's actually doing a spinning toehold. He's a huge Terry Funk fan, ya see. He's even calling himself Terry Boy here, but I'm the opposite of a "Terry Funk fan", so I wasn't dignifying that until now. Sasuke kicks off on the third spin, and he's up. Irish whip, Sasuke attempts a hiptoss, but Teioh counters with a DDT in a crazy spot. Taka is tug in, and Sasuke is kicked to the floor. Yakushiji is in, and Taka with a stiff looking hanging brainbuster. He /DROPPED HIM RIGHT ON HIS HEAD but we have a kick out at two. Tag back to Teioh, Irish whip, boot to the chest, Teioh has him... what the hell? Slingshot by Teioh right into a Togo clothesline! And Taka with a top rope kneedrop! Crowd goes nuts, because... oh, I'm not going there again. Not until next match at least.

Togo covers for two. Scoop and a slam, second rope senton bomb by Togo. Tag to Teioh, he's in with a back suplex that FOLDS Yakushiji... Stiff indeed. Hamada makes the save, and somehow we get Taka vs. Hamada... Irish whip by Taka, and a back bodydrop. Taka with a stomp, takes him to the corner- double boot choke. Taka has him- NICE spike piledriver. Yakushiji is back in, Taka and Togo have him, double whip, double hiptoss, right into the arms of Teioh, who lifts him up- triple powerbomb! Teioh holds on for the cover- TWO, Sasuke makes the save! They try the move on Sasuke but mess it up, so you know what the crowd starts to chant... they should shut up. Standing triple powerbomb, no, Sasuke fights off Togo and Taka, and ranas Teioh for two before Taka breaks it up.

Now it gets crazy (as if it weren't before!). Taka and Teioh whip Sasuke, he ducks a double clothesline, Asai moonsault press catches them both for a two. Togo is up. Togo off the ropes, cartwheel back elbow catches him... Sasuke to the apron, ASAI MOONSAULT INTO THE CROWD! Hamada is in, Teioh goes up top, Hamada is right up there with him, going for a top rope rana, Teioh counters- top rope inverted atomic drop! Hamada outside... Taka gets a running start, springboard tope! Yakushiji is up top now, missle dropkick on Teioh for two. Snap suplex, second rope moonsault, two, no. Irish whip, Teioh with a swinging DDT. Calling for the end- chokeslam into a powerbomb, two, Hamada breaks it up.

Togo is in, clothesline ducked, great powerslam by Togo for two. Takes him to the corner, Hamada whipped to the buckle, Togo charges, Hamada meets him with a boot to the face, Hamada to the second rope, and he leaps off into a Tornado DDT! Two, NO! Hamada off the ropes, goes for a rana- powerbomb by Togo, two, NO! Togo with a scoop and a slam, going up top, Sasuke is over to stop him. Hamada goes up top with him... top rope rana! Sasuke has a chair on the outside. Inside, flying rana by Yakushiji sends Togo outside... Yakushiji with a running start, tope on Togo! Inside, Taka with a waistlock, standing switch, and again, kicks by Sasuke, off the ropes, kick-ass overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Taka!

Taka outside... springboard dropkick to the back of the head, and a beauty! Taka calling for the end... there's the Michinoku Driver #2! Cover, two, Yakushiji is in to break it up. Yakushiji is tossed right back outside. Taka goes up top and jumps off, but is met with a stiff dropkick from Sasuke. Sasuke off the ropes, Asai moonsault press! Two, NO! Sasuke right up, powerbomb- tiger suplex, two, three! Amazing match! Crowd gives a standing O because this match featured lots of crazy deadly table spots, which is all those mutants like. Oops, couldn't wait until next match. ****1/2

As a side note here, I was quite impressed with Yakushiji (moreso than anyone else here), so what's he up to, puroheads? He'd better be one of the best over there, 'cuz he's got the talent.

That match ALMOST cheered me up... not quite though.

Uncharacteristically serious Stevie Richards interview. He's growing up tonight, yadda yadda yadda.

Match Four: Shane Douglas vs. Pit Bull #2 (ECW TV Title)

Let the crap begin! Shane is with Francine and three riot guards. Remember this for later. The story here: Shane broke the neck of Pit Bull #1, and harrassed him for months later. Meanwhile, someone had begun to stalk Shane, a "mystery man". The mystery, however, was not well kept, and the masked man who kept appearing was quite obviously Rick Rude. If Pit Bull #2 loses tonight, the masked man will reveal himself.

Shane gives an in-ring promo to start. Pitbull #1 is in the crowd. Quick note here: while the Pitbulls were pretty much useless in wrestling, their ECW entrance music always ruled... Thunderkiss '65, by White Zombie.

Pitbull #2 charges, and they trade a lot of punches. PB2 takes over, Irish whip, and a back body drop. Spinning heel kick, clothesline, and he wrenches the neck of Shane. Joey already starting to speculate on whether or not the masked man is Rick Rude. Pitbull with a long front facelock, Shane finally escapes with a low blow. Now Shane has the front facelock. Ugh. PB2 escapes, struggles to come up with a quick counter, and panics and slaps on a side headlock. Headlock takeover. Shane fights up and out with punches. Shane off the ropes, drop toehold by PB2, into another front facelock. Hey guys, I appreciate the psychology, but work on the neck with some interesting stuff, not one front facelock, huh?

Shane pushes PB into the ropes, shoulderblock, and another. Punch by Shane, and, you guessed it, A FRONT FACELOCK. UGH. PB2 finally fights out and crotches Douglas on the top rope. PB shakes the ropes. Inside, PB2 with an Irish whip, and they screw something up and Shane with punches. PB2 takes right back over with a low blow. PB2 with an Irish whip, and a big inverted atomic drop. I think that's what they were going for earlier. PB2 gets a head of steam and a clothesline for two. And now he's choking Shane on the ropes. And he keeps it up. Ugh. This sucks. PB2 with PUNCHES! YES!

PB2 with a power bomb- no, Douglas counters with a rana (sorta). PB2 is right back up- clothesline. PB2 going for another power bomb, but Douglas with a better rana over the top rope. Hey, psychology tip here: If PB2 was trying to break Shane's neck, he'd have tried a piledriver. Just saying is all. Shane rolls him back in for three straight piledrivers. Crowd chants "she's a crack whore" at Francine. Heh. Snapmare by Shane, and a dropkick to the head that sends PB2 outside. Douglas suplexes him back in... camel clutch! Woo hoo! PB2 fights out after a bit, and hits a choke throw. Irish whip, big chokehold into an inverted atomic drop. And another clothesline.

PB2 whips Douglas to the buckle, Shane springs off into the arms of PB2, but PB2 is struggling, so he puts him down. Punch, and he picks him back up... fallaway slam over the top rope and through the timekeeper's table. Shane wanders around ringside, and Pit Bull #1 jumps the guardrail and pounds him. The riot guards carry him off, and PB1 did quite the ass whoopin for a guy with a broken neck, yup. PB2 tosses a section of guardrail into the ring. Fans chant "we want blood". Pit Bull sets the guardrail up, tries to crotch Shane, Shane flips over, and he tries to crotch PB2, but PB's foot hit the rail and knocked it down, so he gets dropped leg first on the rail. Since that didn't work, Shane just punches PB in the nuts.

Shane now with a headbutt to the nuts, and he rolls PB2 outside. Douglas grabs the section of guardrail, and tosses it over the top rope onto PB2. Outside, Shane sets the guardrail up, and successfully crotches PB2 on it. Douglas with a chair shot to the back. Shane with lots of punches as Joey mocks Sting. Crowd chants "Pitbull" as Shane tosses him back in the ring and takes him to the corner. Shane punches away, and PB2 shakes them off. PB2 with punches, Irish whip, reversed, knee to the gut by Shane. Shane with an elbowdrop as the crowd chants "she's a whore". Douglas with a scoop and a slam, and he's headed up top. Douglas leaps off, PB2 catches him and crotches him on the top turnbuckle.

PB2 looking for a superplex, Douglas shoves him off, Douglas jumps off, right into a PB2 dropkick. And Francine will NOT SHUT UP. Douglas up, off the ropes, double clothesline. Both men down. Douglas up, PB2 blocks his punches and hits some of his own. Irish whip, diving shoulderblock. PB2 off the ropes, clothesline. Irish whip, powerslam, two, no. Irish whip, back elbow, two, no. Whip, dropkick, no. Whip, press slam, and Francine hands something to Shane. PB2 does nothing for a long period of time, uppercut with the object, punch to the head, and now Francine has passed Shane a piece of the earlier table. Shot to the head. Shane has a chair now, chair shot to the back for two. This is dull.

Bell shot for two. Another table remnant shot for two. PB2 is up, sends Shane to the corner, Shane has the belt- belt shot. And another. Boring. And now Shane is reaching into his boot. PB2 catches him, pumphandle slam for two. And now PB2 has found the chain in Douglas' boot, hits him with it. Here comes Candido (partners with Shane and Brian Lee in the Triple Threat at the time), and PB2 nails him, and Francine is in. Francine gets away, inside cradle by Shane for two. Shane with an Irish whip, reversed into a short-arm clothesline by PB2. Shane ducks a clothesline and hits the Belly-to-belly Suplex for an anticlimatic win. Match ran about 12 hours. DUD I can't believe it was longer than the 6-man tag.

Now Rick Rude's voice comes over the PA, and the masked man comes out in a Rick Rude robe. He comes in, kisses Francine, and Douglas nails him with the belt. And now a riot guard is in, helmet off- and THAT'S Rick Rude. Masked man is... Triple Threat partner Brian Lee! The two punch away, and Lee Chokeslams Shane to a huge pop. Francine looks happy with the kiss.

Raven cuts a backstage promo.

Taz and Bill Alfnoso cut a promo, complete with clips from all the matches where he choked people out. Hey, there's Bigelow! Jericho!

And yeah, if I haven't mentioned it before: GIRLS ALL SUCK. And if you get in an argument with them, just let the bitches go. Don't make up with them, it is soooo not worth it. And now, I just got a call from Taco Bell, where I work, and check this out- they "lost" my paycheck. And I just saw 20 minutes of Pit Bull #2. Shoot me now.

Match Five: Taz vs. Sabu

Too much backstory to list, but it's about a three year long feud that is culminating TONIGHT. Well, it was TONIGHT back then. They were tag champs at one point too, which adds to the history. This is their first one-on-one matchup ever. Sabu rushes the ring before his music. Introductions are made, and they stare one another down for a bit. Finally Taz with a slap. Sabu returns the favor. Another by Taz. Sabu punches away, Taz fires back with a big Angry Man's Clothesline. Sabu rolls outside to regroup. Sabu back in and Taz is all over him. Taz with punches, Irish whip, reversed, Sabu drops down, but Taz stops dead and goes for the Taz-Mission! Sabu counters with an armdrag and goes to an armbar.

Taz fights up, waistlock, reversed, Taz reverses to a hammerlock, Sabu reverses that, Taz tries to catch a T-Bone, Sabu elbows out, back to the waistlock, Taz counters with a drop toehold into an anklelock. Taz finally lets go, Sabu goes for a leg, but rolls away. Taz yells at him, Sabu goes for the leg again, Taz with a body scissors and stiff right crosses. Taz hammers away and plays to the crowd as we see that Sabu's nose is busted open. Sabu comes back with a dropkick to the leg, and a springboard leg lariat. Taz rolls outside, baseball slide by Sabu. Sabu follows and tosses Taz into the crowd. Sabu has a chair, sets it up in the ring... triple jump attack into the crowd!

And now they're brawling in the crowd, and as usual, I will not tell anything they do unless it is noteworthy. I'll call every punch in the ring, but in the crowd? Nope. Camera's missing 90% of it anyway. Sabu lays Taz across the guardrail, springboards off a chair, oops, Taz moved, and Sabu hits the rail sternum-first. Big clothesline sends Sabu back over the guardrail. Lotsa punch trading. Inside the ring, we get more punching. Irish whip by Taz, drop toehold, into some weird submission I've never seen. Now both men are trading punches from their knees. And now they're rolling around. Ugh. Headscissors and an armbar both applied at once by Taz. Sabu reaches the ropes.

Boot caught, enzuigiri by Sabu. Sabu follows with a really swank springboard somersault legdrop. Nice. Sabu punches Taz into the corner, then leaves the ring and returns with a chair. Sabu throws the chair into Taz's face and sets it up. Punches aplenty... Air Sabu! Goes for it again, Taz moves. Taz has him, drops him face first onto the chair! Ouch. Taz covers for two. Taz with a punch, Irish whip, HUGE clothesline gets two. Sabu ignores the pain and attempts an Irish whip, reversed, Sabu tries something but gets caught: Concrete Crunch! Sabu plays possum and tosses Taz outside. Chair set up- triple jump something but Taz moves and Sabu hits the guardrail. Taz has him- overhead belly-to-belly tazplex into the crowd!

Back inside, and we see that Fonzie has set up a Sabu table (bridged between guardrail and ring). Sabu takes over, puts Taz on the table, and gets back in the ring. Chair set up, springboard, but Taz is up, so Sabu stops short. Sabu onto the apron and Taz grabs him, trying a Northern Lights Tazplex, but Sabu elbows out, goes for a Tornado DDT, Taz holds onto the top rope, and Sabu goes through the table! Taz follows and they trade punches. Sabu rolled in, Taz follows but gets kicked by Sabu- Taz trips him up, and now they are trading punches from a horizontal base. Yes, while lying down. Taz is up first and stomps away. Sabu fights back. Sabu puts Taz up top, and hits a gorgeous top rope rana. Sabu has the best one in the game, in my opinion. Cover, two, no.

Sabu climbs up top, on top of the ringpost, jumps, bounces off of the top rope, and nails a legdrop. Cool. Taz rolls outside, where they punch more. Inside, Taz unceremoniously locks on the Taz-Mission. Sabu fighting though, so Taz just changes his mind and turns it into a Head and Arm Tazplex. Taz with a snap suplex variation, and Sabu tries to escape, as Taz goes for the Taz- Mission again, Sabu fights out and hits a T-Bone Sabuplex. Sabu with a Taz- like pose, and Taz is up and pissed off. Sabu ducks a clothesline, and locks on the Taz-Mission himself! Taz counters with a fold-up side Tazplex. T-Bone Tazplex, Taz-Mission! Sabu taps! Taz wins! Boy, that sure was crap. Not bad, but not epic like they'd been hoping. ** And the psychology was dumb, as Taz sold the shoulder the whole time, but instead of, ya know, working on it, Sabu just hit his usual spots.

Post-match, Taz gives a respect speech and Taz and Sabu share a male bonding moment when RVD runs in and takes Taz out. Sabu is upset, but he and RVD join up in beating Taz down. Kaientai-style rapid double teaming and Sabu with an Arabian Facebuster. Sabu table is set up, Taz layed on it, Sabu screws up, tries it again, and springboards off, putting Taz through the table. Sabu locks on the Taz-Mission on Taz again. Back inside, Taz's manager Fonzie comes in, and removes his Taz shirt to reveal a Sabu one. Cool little angle.

And now Joey (who is announcing from up in the Eagle's Nest), introduces Tommy Dreamer and Beulah as the guest commentators. We get chants of "Beulah" and "show your tits".

Match Six: Three Way Dance: Terry Funk vs. Stevie Richards vs. The Sandman (Winner gets titles shot)

Story here: Three guys. Winner faces Raven. ECW originally promoted Dreamer in place of Funk, but Dreamer stepped aside to let Funk have the shot. Big bakcstory here: well documented feuds between Raven and Dreamer and Raven and Sandman, and Richards had been Raven's flunky for years, but had broken out with the BWO.

Ah yes, the BWO. The Blue World Order was obviously a pardoy of the NWO. Stevie was "Big Stevie Cool", a Kevin Nash parody, Meanie was "Da Blue Guy", a Scott Hall parody, and Nova was "Hollywood Nova", a Hogan parody. Others never really wrestled, like "Thomas the Inch Worm Rodman", and "7-11" (Syxx).

Stevie enters first to a big pop and "BWO" chant. Sandman gets a massive pop of his own, and the crowd sings his music, as he drinks beer to the beat of the song, "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. Sandman of course busts himself open smashing a beer can on his head before the match. Sandman with his usual long entrance, which I happen to like. So sue me. Funk enters last to his prehistoric theme music, and a, ahem, respectable pop. Crowd does chant "Terry", although it's pretty obvious that the fans wanted either Stevie or Sandman to go over here. The good thing about this: three faces, so whoever wins here goes into the main as a huge face against hated heel Raven.

Sandman cracks open another beer to start, and offers it to Funk. Funk declines, so Sandman drinks it and spits it in Stevie's face. Heh. All three guys circle, Richards and Funk tie up, side headlock by Funk, and Sandman slaps a side headlock on Funk himself. Ugh. A triple headlock spot. Funk pushes Sandman to the ropes and gets out of the way as Sandman nails Stevie with a shoulderblock. All three men staring one another down again. Funk and Stevie tie up, Sandman kicks away at Stevie, driving him to the corner. Sandman chops Stevie. Ow. Funk chops Stevie. Stevie chops Funk. Stevie chops Sandman. Sandman chops Stevie. These are really crisp chops too.

Stevie kicks Sandman, Funk chops Stevie twice. Sandman chops Funk, and Funk Hulks up! Er, he Funks up! Funk stares down Sandman and they tie up. Funk pushes Sandman into the ropes. Chop, chop chop. Ow. Sandman turns the tables. Chop. Stevie sneaks up behind Sandman on his hands and knees, and Funk shoves Sandman, sending him tumbling over Stevie. Richards rolls through for a two off the schoolboy. Sandman ducks a Stevie clothesline, but walks into a Funk left cross. Funk puts on the spinning toe hold, but Stevie takes him out with a flying forearm. Stevie and Sandman team up to drop continual elbows on Funk. Sandman has Stevie- atomic drop? No, he drops Stevie, causing Richards to legdrop Funk. Cover, two, no.

Stevie kicks away at Funk, as he calls for the move again. Sandman has him up, but he double crosses him with a back suplex. Sandman leaves the ring for reasons unknown. Funk with a hangman's neckbreaker on Stevie, and another. There's a third. There's four. Cover, two, no. And now Sandman is back with a ladder... ah. He tosses it over the top and it takes out Funk. Sandman suplexes the ladder onto Stevie. Sandman nails Funk in the head with the ladder. Sandman sets up the ladder, and starts to climb. Funk is up and climbing the other side. They trade punches, Funk gets the upper hand... and pulls out the /TERRY FUNK ALMOST MOONSAULT OF ATTEMPTED DAMNATION, and lands pretty much on his head while missing the intended target nearly completely.

Now Sandman jumps off the top rope and throws the ladder into Stevie. He punches Funk a lot. Now he has Stevie, scoop, and he slams him onto Funk. Sandman poses and then covers, two, no. Sandman is up and he has the ladder, but Stevie dropkicks it into his face, cover, two, no. Funk takes out Stevie and covers, two, no. Sandman sets up the ladder in the corner, Irish whip on Stevie, reversed, and Sandman takes his somersault dive into the ladder. Stevie covers for two. Stevie goes to work on Funk. Stevie with a scoop slam for two. Sandman sets the ladder up center ring. Sandman drops an elbow on Funk, Stevie drops a fist to the nuts, cover, two, no. Sandman starts to climb, Richards climbs the other side, and they punch away. But now Funk has drunkenly stumbled into the ladder, knocking it over and sending both guys off and to the ropes.

Now, to continue to look drunk, Funk does the /CRAZY OLD MAN WITH A LADDER ON HIS HEAD SPINNING AROUND spot. Sandman takes some stiff shots, Dreamer comments it's the greatest "three way, hardway dance" ever, and Funk continues to spin until he falls over with the ladder still on his head. It's like a bad sitcom. Crowd goes nuts, 'cause mutants LOVE bad sitcoms, or something. Funk lays the ladder against the ropes, and he and Sandman trade punches. Stevie jumps off the top rope, and tries to see-saw the ladder in their faces, but it comes across bad. It's a spot that Jeff Hardy would claim to "invent" over two years later. Stevie is in now, and warmin' up the band... Stevie Kick on the Sandman! One, two,

NOPE! Okay, he tries it on Funk. Two, no. Way to kill the guy's finisher. Sandman is up, and he tosses Stevie outside... now he drops the ladder over the top rope and onto Stevie. Outside, Sandman tosses Stevie into the crowd. Ladder is laid against the guardrail, Sandman reenters the ring... running plancha sends the ladder see-sawing into Stevie's face! Funk has a chair. Chairshot for Sandman! Two for Stevie! Funk rolls Stevie back in and nails a vertical suplex, as the Sandman has found... something. Looks like a trash can with a layer of sheet metal on top of it. He tosses it in and it hits Funk. Funk still manages to cover Stevie, two, no. Sandman is in and trying to get the sheet metal off of the can. No dice.

Sandman nails Stevie with it. It's laid down, and Sandman suplexes Stevie onto it in a stiff-looking spot. Funk covers for two. Funk and Sandman with a nice spike piledriver on Stevie. Funk nails Stevie with the can as Sandman brings the ladder back into play. Sandman nails Stevie with the ladder. Sandman puts the ladder on top of Stevie and heads to the ring apron. Sandman grabs the top rope, and Funk pulls on it, slingshotting Sandman over top with a somersault legdrop. Funk covers for two. Ladder is layed against the ropes, and Sandman goes up top. They try another see- saw spot, but the ladder misses Stevie and *almost* flies into the crowd. That would've been crazy.

Funk tosses a chair over the top and nails Sandman. Funk covers, two, no. Sandman in, double team powerbomb, two, three. Kind anticlimatic. Stevie is eliminated. Funk and Sandman shake hands on a job well done, and then they trade punches. Sandman charges Funk and is backdropped over top and onto Stevie. Sandman goes and grabs some of the streamers that the fans threw earlier, and we see that they're now attached to barbed wire. Barbed wire tossed in as Sandman enters, but Funk finally gets the sheet metal off the trashcan and he hits Sandman with it. Funk whips Sandman's back with the wire, as you can see it dig into his flesh. Ugh. Sandman fires back with a sheet metal shot. Sandman wraps himself in the wire and charges at Funk, knocking him down.

Sandman, still wrapped in the wire, drops a guillotine legdrop on Funk, two, no. Dreamer is really tearing it up on commentary here. Stevie is back up on the apron. Sandman charges him, nailing him with the wire (I remember reading PWI saying they were hugging... and they were serious), allocating Funk enough time to put the trashcan over Sandman's head and punch it a few times. Stevie Kick on the trashcan sends the Sandman down, and Funk nails his terrible "moonsault" for the pin. **

Raven rushes right out and we have

Match Seven: Raven vs. Terry Funk (World Title)

Raven stomps Funk and mocks him. Raven nails Funk with the belt. Raven asks for a chair and gets it, setting it up in the center of the ring. Irish whip, and a drop toehold into the chair, as Tommy comments that he can't do commentary, as if he was before. Funk is gushing here. I don't know how to rate on the Muta scale, so somebody let me know what this bladejob is. Raven stomps Funk as a doctor comes out and Dreamer says "get him out of there". Funk refuses to give, so Raven goes back over. Couple of stomps, and he rams Funk's head to the mat. Some punches to the cut. Funk swings wildly and falls down. Raven leaves and grabs a table. Uh oh. They fight outside, as one table leg breaks. Raven improvs and hits Funk with the table, and sets up another one.

Raven lasy Funk on the table, enters the ring, gets a head start, and vaults over top, putting Funk through the table. Raven's Nest comes out to do generally nothing of note. Newest Nest member Reggie Bennett (a fat female wrestler) hits Funk with a chair and nails a piledriver/powerbomb variation. Raven grabs a mic and tells Dreamer that he's gonna bring Funk up to the stage with Tommy and throw him off through three tables, and end his career at Tommy's feet. Tommy stands up, 'cause he's pissed. Tommy taunts Raven, but Big Dick Dudley comes from behind and hits Tommy with a trashcan. Dudley had previously chokeslammed Dreamer through three tables in the exact same spot.

Raven DDT's the ref, and points to Big Dick, looking for a repeat of the other spot I mentioned. Dudley goes for a chokeslam, but Dreamer kicks him low, and chokeslams him (albiet weakly) off of the stage and through the tables. Good bump by Dudley. Crowd goes insane. Dreamer heads to the ring, and gets in. Irish whip by Raven, goes for a hiptoss, countered, DDT! Funk has a seizure then rolls on top, two, NO!!!!!!!! Raven is up, scoop and Funk reverses to a small package, two, three!!!!!!!! Funk wins! Crowd goes nuts! 1/4* Funk and Dreamer celebrate with Hat Guy.

Although I question the logic of trying to convince people that you are a brand new product with great talent by putting the belt on a 53 year old man, Paul hit a home run with this show. He needed to succeed, and he did. First half is mostly good, and the 6 man is GREAT. Taz-Sabu has historical value, as does the Funk crap, even if the wrestling there may be lacking. I'd recommend that if you haven't seen this show, you do so to see what ECW's original goal was, and then you can write a column on where they went wrong!

So until next time, send me feedback, please.

I love you all. Except for Tanvir Raquib, he needs a haircut.

Oh, and now my spell check isn't working. Great. So if I misspelled aything, let me slide this time, 'kay? I'm sure I probably wrote Snadman at least once. Ah well.

Patrick Barker

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