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ECW in Peoria


Guest columnist: Austin Taylor


Thanks to: E.C. Ostermeyer

Reporting live from the 3rd row at Carver Arena in Peoria for Wrestleline, Slash Wrestling, and yo momma! It's ECW on TNN!

Before I get to the action, a kid was yelling at the Sandman (Duke Fullington) in the parking lot before the event. One thing he yelled was "Where's Raven?" Fullington replied, "He in the WWF! He signed a couple of weeks ago!" There's some confirming news for you.

And Rob Van Dam really likes to ask the fans about his matches. He was asking fans on his way in what they thought of HeatWave 2000.

Lots of "XPW Sucks" signs in the crowd. Unfortunately they were on the side of the camera. Crowd of probably 2500 people. They only let people sit on the floor on the camera side. No seating in the regular seating for some reason. Plus, they didn't make it clear which was for "TNN" or "Hardcore TV" so this is the order in which the matches happened. So here we go!

In the opener, Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins was out to a loud ovation from the crowd to sing the National Anthem. Lou E. Dangerously and the Network (Corino, Anton, and Victory) came out and interrupt him before he can start. Lou E. and Corino brought up the fact about how the last time ECW was in Peoria, Corino punked out Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. They then make derogatory comments toward Corgan until he "El Kabongs" Lou E. The Network (w/out Cyrus I might add) cornered Corgan until help arrived in the form of Tommy Dreamer and Jerry Lynn. Dreamer then challenged the three Network cronies to a "Falls Count Anywhere" Match.

After a lengthy delay to clean up the ring from the guitar and some other problems, we had the first match, Kid Kash vs. Red Dog w/Billy "Belvis" Wiles, the Prodigy and an unknown jobber. "Belvis" has a little speech and said he is too good I think and leaves the ring for the whole match. The match was fast paced and cleanly wrestled until the end when an attempt by the Prodigy to grab Kash's foot missed and Kid Kash, in a rush to correct it, nearly seriously injured Red Dog with a huracanrana. The finish was attempted again and ended with Prodigy going head first into the safety rail along the ring, followed up with Kid Kash hitting his finisher.

Next we had Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger w/ CW Anderson vs. two newcomers to ECW, Joey Matthews and Christian York. I couldn't tell who was who, but they really reminded me of the Hardy Boyz. Simon grabbed the stick before the match and says that Peoria was a crappy place and the crowd and Matthews and York should treat he and Swinger differently. Matthews and York agree and attack the three men taking them to the outside. One of the two tried a plancha, but Swinger, Simon, and CW caught him. His partner then went airborne and took out all four. This match was hard to follow as there were many double teams by both teams and the action was very fast. CW (who looks to be getting a big push) did his usual interfering in the match as well. Simon and Swinger came out in the end though and won with their double-team finisher.

It appears that the next match wsa going to be Psicosis vs. Tajiri, but Tajiri was attacked by Big Sal and Guido before he got to the ring. He got hurt and left so Guido took his place. They started at ringside, but wound up back in the ring and had a great match with many cruiserweight-style moves. Big Sal got involved like usual, and squashed Psicosis on the security rail on the outside. The tide turns when they got back in the ring as Tajiri returned and laid a massive kick to the side of the head of Guido. Sal can do nothing from this point, as Psicosis hit his Guillotine Leg Drop from the top to pick up the win. After the match in something that probably wasn't taped, Sal grabs the sign of a fan and rips it up. The fan then grabbed what was left of the sign and ATE it! These fans were weird.

The next match was a tag match between EZ Money & Chris Hamrick and the team of Nova and Chris Chetti. EZ and Hamrick have a mangager that I didn't recognize. Their manager got involved within the first 30 seconds of the match and hit the ref, DQ'ing EZ and Hamrick. Chetti doesn't like it and grabs the stick saying that this isn't WCW or the WWF and that since their are no DQ's, the match should restarted. The manager became the third man, and Team EZ Money gets the advantage. Nova got a hot tag after a couple minutes of beat down and cleaned house. EZ and Hamrick ended up outside, and Nova and Chetti hit their double team finisher off the top to the manager.

After another lengthy delay, Justin Credible defended his ECW World Heavyweight Title, with Danny Doring as his opponent. Credible took the stick. Though nearly drowned out by the fans' chants wanting Francine to disrobe, Credible dissed Peoria and the fans in attendance, calling them idiots and white trash. This made the fans cheer all the louder. Credible says Peoria didn't deserve to see a World Title match and started to leave. Referee Mike Kehner told Credible he better get back to the ring before a ten count or Doring is the new champ. Credible slid back in for a brief second just before ten to break the count. He then walked around the ring to his corner and gets in an argument with Kehner. Kehner shoved him down in a Hebner-ish move. I yelled "He's turned into Earl Hebner!" which got a laugh from a lot of the people around me. The match got off to its usual even start until Doring took the usual advantage that almost every mid-carder gets in a match against Credible. Credible got the advantage back by using several moves involving a chair, including a sit- down powerbomb on the chair. Doring kicked out at two to keep the match alive. Credible slowed down the match with a sleeper, but Doring fought back with a sunset flip and a backslide which Credible sold very well, barely kicking out before three. Credible fought back and set up a table in the corner. And, just like always, he got hip tossed through it. He is just too predictable. We see Doring's "Bareback" and "The Stroke" (using a chair), but Doring couldn't get a three. He then misse a leg drop from the top but recovered quickly and got Credible taken out for a few minutes along with the ref after an Irish Whip into the corner. Francine then went after Doring who set up Francine for a piledriver. He then reached into Francines pants and gave her a wedgie with her thong! Credible was back up at this point and hits his "That's Incredible" finisher for the win. After the cameras had stopped Doring got to his feet and received a standing ovation from the crowd. This match also saw the fans making a lot of chants toward Francine regarding her breasts. I even heard an "I smell tuna!" chant.

We then had an intermission. Nova and Chetti signed autographs at the merchandise booth.

Our first match back iwas Tony Mamaluke vs. Tajiri. Mamaluke got an early advantage, but Tajiri got the advantage, and we saw the usual Tajiri match. Baseball slide in corner, "Green Mist" after crawling under ring, you know what I mean. Tajiri won, but got attacked post-match by Guido and Sal, who leave Tajiri laying. After they leave Tajiri gets a standing ovation.

Next, we had "The Extreme Homeboy" Chilly Willy (who said he's from Peoria,) vs. the ECW World Television Champion, Rhino. Chilly Willy took it to Rhino in an impressive outing which included a sickening chair shot to the head of Rhino. Rhino got in the quick spear though followed by the piledriver and wins the match. Somehow, a table got set up in the ring and the Sandman showed to attack Rhino. After nearly shattering the cane over Rhino's head Sandman gored Rhino into the table which barely even broke. He then helped up Chilly and has a beer with him.

Next up was RVD vs. Roadkill. It was a typical RVD match with the same spots seen, as always, by RVD, except no "Van Terminator." I totally marked out for this match, even going so far as rushing up to the rail from the third row to get a "high-five" from RVD before and after the match. Great match! RVD is amazing to see in action live.

The "ECW vs. TNN" Main Event was next. The match broke down immediately with Corino and Lynn seperating from Anton and Dreamer. Jack Victory was not event a factor. Both groups fought up into the crowd. Corino and Lynn were less then ten feet from my seats and I got right in to the mix. The blood on Corino's face looked really fake as I was less then five feet from him and saw his face. I even said "You Rule!" to him and he looked right at me. Dreamer and Anton got back in the ring and Dreamer's leg was nearly broken when he tried to suplex Anton off the top standing on the ladder. Someone hit a low blow on Dreamer and he fell between the rungs on the ladder, which was laid down. Then Dreamer tried to fall backwards, but got his leg stuck in the ladder, nearly snapping it. Eventually, Dreamer and Lynn both get their opponents down for the count but the referee is out. Referee Billy Corgan came back out and made the three count, giving Dreamer and Lynn the win. Dreamer, Lynn and Corgan then celebrated in the ring and the night is over.

All in all, this was a great show. I don't know when it will be broadcast but I think it will be good. It was my first ECW show and I'm definitely going back. Among the "No-shows" for the event: New Jack, Mikey Whipwreck, Sinister Minister, The Baldies, Balls Mahoney, Cyrus, Joel Gertner, Joey Styles, Dawn Marie, Jazz, and Gorgeous George.

Austin Taylor

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