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wrestling / Columns

The Box in the Attic 02.21.07: ECW on TNN, August 11, 2000

February 21, 2007 | Posted by Samuel Berman

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of random stuff from my Big Box ‘o Wrestling. Of note: even though I never really know what’s going to be on a given tape, this week’s VHS label is of even less help than usual.

Tape Label Says:
Wrestling
(Clearly this is the result of excellent planning on my part.)

Actual Content Is:
ECW on TNN – August 11, 2000
Live to tape from Huntington Civic Center – Huntington, WV

-Oh, sweet! We’re on the ORIGINAL TNN, back when it was ‘The Nashville Network’ and had nothing but silly shows like RollerJam and TNN Motor Madness. Literally the only redeeming thing on the entire network at the time was the one hour of ECW on Friday nights. Of course, Paul E. took every possible opportunity to tell his audience that, which went over with TNN about as well as you’d expect and led pretty directly to the cancellation of the show and the death of ECW. Actually that’s not completely fair to TNN, as ECW had been so poorly managed by that point that the writing was on the wall long before the show on TNN was cancelled, but I digress.

-We open with Lou E. Dangerously in the ring making fun of the Huntington crowd for being homeless and hicks and losers and whatnot. The crowd responds by pelting him with drinks and garbage. Nowadays that sort of response is reserved for the REAL heels like Jeff Jarrett and Todd Sinclair.

-Just so you know, Joey Styles and “The Quintessential Stud Muffin” Joel Gertner are our hosts tonight.

-Lou E. welcomes us to ‘The Danger Zone’ (which was Paul E.’s old segment), and introduces his guests: “The King of Old School”(© World Wrestling Entertainment) Steve Corino and Scotty Anton (with ‘the clap’). Anton is the former Scotty Riggs from Raven’s flock in WCW and had come to ECW as a buddy of Rob Van Dam before turning on him and joining up with the dreaded, evil Network loyalists. Apparently, Corino is pissed because Cyrus (representative of the dreaded, evil Network) has given his and Anton’s spot in the ECW World Tag Team Title Tournament to Justin Credible (the World Champion) and Rhino (the TV Champion) instead. Corino, who already has major forehead scarring at this point in his career, is none too happy about that, and swears a lot to make his point. By the way, I’m a HUGE Corino mark, just for the record.

-Credible joins us to make clear to Corino that he’s made a big mistake by calling him out. They trade insults until Credible has to go over the river and through the woods to work in his old ‘I’m not just the coolest, blah blah blah, I’m JUST INCREDIBLE!’ bit, but Corino cuts him off and ends it with “… has the lamest FUCKING catchphrase in the wrestling business!” Credible asks Corino if he knows who he’s talking to and Corino responds: “Yeah, you’re a bitch!” Awesome. Rhino comes out and runs his mouth a bit before hitting the Gore on Anton and we’ve got a huge brawl.

-ECW on TNN Intro: RVD poses, Francine hits a Bronco Buster, Tajiri sprays green mist, New Jack’s balcony dive, Sandman poses with beer, Tommy Dreamer hits an Ace Crusher, Rhino piledrives Sandman’s wife from the apron through a table, and Credible poses with the belt. That really brings back the memories.

-In the parking garage, Corino, Anton & Jack Victory leave in their car, much to the chagrin of Lou E. who has Cyrus on the phone. BUT WHAT WILL HE TELL CYRUS?

-Joey gets in another crack at the dreaded, evil Network.

-Commercials: The Best of ECW: Extreme Evolution is now on DVD & VHS. I actually own three of the volumes of that series, two on VHS and one on DVD. In retrospect, I probably should have invested in the DVDs, but I wasn’t thinking about stuff like that at the time. Oh, and don’t do drugs. This has been a public service announcement from some organization whose name I didn’t catch.

-Danny Doring & Roadkill vs. Tom Marquez & Bilvis Wesley (with Electra): Oh, but before we start, Justin Credible gets in Kid Kash’s face in the back. I actually remember when Kash was a talented up-and-comer without an attitude problem. Yes, I’ve been watching wrestling THAT long. Back to the match, Roadkill dominates Marquez to start. Marquez is apparently nicknamed ‘The Prodigy’ because he was trained by Taz. Doring & Roadkill are headed towards a Tag Team Title Tournament showdown with the Baldies, who were pretty much the prototype for the Carnage Crew in ROH. Roadkill moves around pretty well for a big guy, but annoys me by posing after every move. The crowd sure is hot for Doring & Roadkill though. They hit a Hart Attack, which Joey calls the Lancaster Lariat of Lust. I think ‘Hart Attack’ sounds better, but what do I know. Roadkill hits a big splash in the corner and Doring gets the Bareback (sort of a reverse stunner). Doring gets distracted by Electra and the heels take over on him for a little bit, but he eventually gets the hot tag after the G-Spot Sweep (Jarrett’s front Russian legsweep). Roadkill turns the tide with a crazy flying double clothesline from the middle of the top rope, which the crowd absolutely loves. Doring gets Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am (Tiger driver into a double underhook DDT) and then the faces hit the Buggy Bang (AMW’s Death Sentence, except the guy taking the move is facing down) for the pin on Marquez. Basically a squash for the good guys, but the crowd was into it and they had some good doubleteams. *3/4

-Coming up: EZ Money one-on-one with Yoshihiro Tajiri and Kid Kash challenges Justin Credible (stemming from their earlier confrontation).

-Commercials: Various Presidents slip and fall and it’s all caught on tape by Time Life Video. Long story short: Bob Dole was pretty senile

-James Mitchell cuts a promo for Mikey Whipwreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri about temptation. Seven years later, Mitchell still plays pretty much the same character, except now he does it with Abyss in TNA. I’ll let you decide whether that’s stagnation or job security. Tajiri stands there barely conscious while Mikey wears a ridiculous, huge sombrero. Mikey brings over one of the random ECW women (read: skanks) and Tajiri stares at her chest while muttering in Japanese. She eventually slaps him, so he retaliates by spraying her in the face with the green mist. This is of course pixilated, because TNN wouldn’t want you to think they support violence against women. They only support wholesome stuff like RollerJam. Mitchell uses the double entendre of spraying girls in the face (real classy, guys) and all three of the guys do a big maniacal laugh to send us to the break.

-Commercials: Wendy’s is open late. Oh, I know. There’s one two blocks from my apartment. Nice to know some things never change.

-Back on the show, Gertner makes some more sex jokes about classic novels that are too dumb to transcribe here.

-Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger think they’re going to win the Tag Team Title Tournament, but CW Anderson thinks they should stop making predictions and start having positive results. Which, coincidentally, he thinks they could have if they started wrestling like an Anderson. That was ultimately pointless, except to get these guys 27 seconds of face time on the show.

-Last week in Texas: Jazz (who at this point had not yet signed with the WWF (let alone been released like 6 times)) beats on some woman and hits her square in the face with a superkick, only to get knocked out by CW Anderson. Anderson then hit a spinebuster on the other woman. The crowd chants “E-C-Dub” of course, because unprovoked violence against women is EXTREME! Anderson’s rationale: “If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s women wrestling, because I’m an Anderson!” That logic leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s watching CM Punk be more over than 98% of the WWE roster, because I’m an Anderson!” would have been more accurate, even if it would have been seven years ahead of its time and made little or no sense in that context. Anyway, Anderson sets up for another move on Jazz, but Tommy Dreamer chases him off. Long story short: Anderson is a bad person.

-Commercials: Pep Boys has car stuff cheap. Seriously, they did TWO Pep Boys ads back-to-back. Is that chain even still around? I just use my buddy’s auto shop. Speaking of which, if you’re in the Milwaukee, WI area, always have your car serviced at Mofoco on Capitol Drive. Great place, fantastic prices.

-EZ Money (with Chris Hamrick & Julio Fantastico) vs. “The Japanese Buzzsaw” Yoshihiro Tajiri (withOUT James Mitchell & Mikey Whipwreck): Tajiri is just CRAZY over with the ECW crowd. They do a pretty good reversal sequence to start, making me wonder whatever happened to EZ Money. EZ talks trash and shoves Tajiri down, but Tajiri kips right back up. Tajiri takes control and goes for the Tarantula, but EZ turns it into Money in the Bank (a modified reverse tombstone piledriver) for two. That move would totally have finished any other match and was totally wasted on that spot. Money poses and gets a standing moonsault for another two. Tajiri gets a kick to come back and a standing moonsault of his own for two. Tajiri chops away in the corner, but gets dropped neck first on the top rope on a cross corner reversal. Tajiri goes to run the ropes, but gets tripped up and EZ flips in with a lariat for two. That would actually be a good spot for someone like Matt Sydal to lift. Fantastico comes in and the heels hit Tajiri with a double wheelbarrow suplex that gets two. EZ gets a combination reverse figure-four and double chickenwing submission attempt that looks effective, if complicated. Tajiri avoids interference with a handspring kick to Hamrick on the apron and then gets a rebound handspring elbow on EZ. EZ blocks a kick to the head, but Tajiri counters a powerbomb attempt into a spinning DDT and gets a stiff kick to the face for the pinfall. I probably wouldn’t have used the Money in the Bank move as early as they did, but Tajiri sold the effects throughout, so it worked alright. This did make me miss Tajiri, though. I just thought of this: is Julio Fantastico the guy who ended up being called Julio Dinero? Anyone? **1/4

-Post-match, Hamrick & Fantastico hit Tajiri with a double superkick and then beat him down for a while until Hamrick gets caught in a tree of woe and Tajiri kicks his head in with a sliding dropkick. Then, the Full Blooded Italians rush the ring and Little Guido hits the Kiss of Death (Christian’s Unprettier). Hamrick, Fantastico, Guido and Mamaluke stomp Tajiri until Mikey rushes the ring with a FLAMING 2×4! That seems like overkill, but who am I to judge? Guido actually takes not one, but two shots with the fire before everyone bails and the Insane Japanese Connection poses in the ring.

-Now (well, not really anymore) on ECWwrestling.com, almost nude pictures of Electra. Yeah, she wasn’t that hot anyway.

-We get a list some upcoming events, but since the company (as represented here at least) has been out of business for like six years, I’ll spare you the details.

-Still to come: Credible vs. Kash for the ECW World Title.

-Commercials: Apparently NO ONE has mozzarella because Wendy’s has all of it for the new Mozzarella Chicken Supreme. Oh, and former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette shills for 1-800-CALL-ATT. I think everyone who’s complaining about the present state of wrestling should go back and read that last sentence, just to put the business in perspective.

-As an aside, this is a running list of what I can remember Styles and Gertner announcing for the Tag Team Title Tournament matchups. This is obviously not an accurate bracket:
-Tajiri & Whipwreck vs. The F.B.I.
-Doring & Roadkill vs. The Baldies
-RVD & Kid Kash vs. Tommy Dreamer & Jerry Lynn
-Credible & Rhino vs. The Sandman & Chilly Willy
-EZ Money & Julio Fantastico vs. ???
-Simon & Swinger vs. ???
There’s obviously more to the tournament than this, but that’s what I’ve cobbled together throughout the show.

-ECW World Heavyweight Title: Justin Credible © (with Francine and her excessive sexual innuendo) vs. Kid Kash: Francine makes lewd gestures with Credible’s Singapore Cane, making me wonder exactly who was compensating for what in that relationship. Credible controls to start with a wristlock and then a headlock. Kash comes back with an armdrag, then clotheslines Credible out of the ring and follows with a springboard plancha. Kash gets the best of a brawl on the outside and gets a running dive over the guardrail onto the champion. Back in, Kash runs into a back elbow on a blind charge and gets hit with a superkick. Credible sets up a chair and slams Kash face-first into it. Credible takes the opportunity for a water break and then grabs the microphone to talk trash while kicking away. Credible stomps away in the corner, but misses a sliding dropkick and crotches himself on the ringpost. Kash slingshots in with a guillotine legdrop for a close two and then whips Credible cross corner, catching him mid-Flair Flip with a dropkick to the head that gets another two count. Francine trips up Kash and Credible gets in a shot with the cane for a pretty surprising two. I’ll admit it, I thought that was it. Credible sets up Kash for That’s Incredible (spinning tombstone piledriver), but Francine goes to hit Kash with something, hits Credible by mistake, and Kash gets a schoolboy for an ULTRA-close two that the crowd totally bought as a title change. Kash sets the champ on top and gets a top rope rana, but Francine jumps on the ref’s back to break the count at two. Kash grabs Francine and sets up to hit her with the Moneymaker (Tiger Driver ’91). Credible goes to hit Kash with the cane again to break it up, but Kash ducks the swing and chops Credible into the corner. Rhino appears out of nowhere, however, and a Gore cuts Kash in half and then the champions go to town on him until RVD runs in to make the save (complete with Fonzie and his incessant whistle). RVD checks on Kash as we abruptly cut out. Match was fun, with some good nearfalls and solid action. **

The Final Word:
Wow, I haven’t watched any of the old ECW in a long, long time. I vaguely remember this period in the company’s history as the post-RVD-as-TV-Champion era where guys like Rhino, Kash, Corino and Jerry Lynn (who didn’t appear on this show) were getting pushed through the roof as the company’s next main eventers in the wake of defections by Taz, The Dudley Boys, Mike Awesome and Lance Storm. In fact, Kash became a part of the puzzle almost by accident, as he had a really fun and competitive match with RVD that instantaneously got him over with the ECW fans. Not long after this, he would have a cup of coffee with the TV Title, upsetting Rhino for the belt before losing it back to him a couple of weeks later. As for the ECW Tag Team Title Tournament, the two shows during which the whole shebang was held were the now-fabled Hammerstein Ballroom shows, which featured Tajiri & Whipwreck tearing the house down with Guido & Mamaluke in one of those matchups that has become almost larger than life in ECW lore. As for this show, not a bad use of an hour, but the stuff with everyone complaining about the dreaded, evil Network got to be a little to much to handle at some points, as did the over the top sexual innuendo. All of that stuff was funny in bursts, but it’s certainly a good thing that the show was an hour long and not two hours plus like RAW.

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Samuel Berman
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