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OO FEATURE SERIES: THE BEST OF ECW  
ECW's Finest in Five Categories:
The #5s and #4s! 
January 14, 2004

by Scotty Szanto-Nicodemus 
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Uh oh.  Rick went and used the word “greatest” in describing the contents of this column the other day, and now I am feeling the pressure to live up to that.  I have been careful to describe these lists as “my favorite” matches and moments instead of the “greatest” for specific reasons, and so I’m not going to start hatin’ our beloved Webmaster for not reading my mind.  And if you don’t like any of my rankings, please don’t start hatin’ on me, because this entire multi-part column is really nothing more than “my own damned opinion.” ™

ECW: History in Review
#5 and #4

(Disclaimer:  This is not meant to be a “History of ECW” piece.  There are plenty of places where you can go to get the historical minutia that you desire, and I am not the man to give that info to you anyway.  I started watching ECW regularly just before they got their show on TNN, and so I was really only a die-hard fan of the fed for a little over a year before they went out of business.  But, in that time, and since that time, I have collected as many ECW tapes as I could afford to get my hands on.  Based on the tapes in my collection, I have gathered together a few Top Ten Lists.  Once again, these are not meant to be universally accepted as the top moments/matches/whatever in ECW history; rather, they represent some of my favorite moments/matches/whatever that appear in my tape collection.)

#5

Joel Gertner Poem:

This one is another example of how Joel would use topics from the headlines for the basis of his poems:

Joel…  
“Some people say we should blame Ford, some say it’s Firestone.
Personally I’ve broken a lot more rubber trying to slip it on over my {bone}.
If you want expert tire commentary, I’m afraid you’ll get none here.
When I make tires, I take 365 used condoms, roll ‘em up and call it a Good Year.”
.... Gertner

I especially liked this poem because my dad was employed by Ford at the time, and when all of the stuff between Ford and Firestone was going down, he basically refused to talk about it.
 

Promo:

Buh Buh Ray is introduced as the newest Dudley.

I’m pretty sure that the WWF(E) spells it “Bubba”, and I know for sure that he has dropped the stuttering gimmick, but back in the day every time that Buh Buh Ray got on the mic, it would elicit a chant of “What’s your name?!”  Here’s why:

Buh Buh Ray:  “My name is Buh…Buh…Buh…Buh…” (Big Dick Dudley slaps him in the chest with a crutch), “My name is Buh Buh Ray Dudley.”

Dudley Dudley:  “I told this boy that I’m the one that’s supposed to do all the interviews, bein’s that I’m the only legitimate Dudley.  Because, the reason why is, both my parents had the same last name…Dudley.  Everybody knows why Big Dick got here…it seems Big Daddy Dudley had a little liaison with the Holland Tunnel, and well, this (Big Dick) speaks for itself.  For that little thing he did, Daddy had to spend a little time in an insane asylum, and well that kinda popped-out Sign Guy Dudley.  You know, I had told ya’ll before about the Indian guy, D.W. Dudley.  Daddy went over to Oklahoma to the Cheyenne Reservation, and well, everybody knows this guy.”

Dances With Dudley: “One little, two little, three little Indians…”

Dudley Dudley: “I know, everyone is probably wondering about who the new guy is, here.  Well, this is Buh Buh Ray Dudley, and you know, Dick, I can’t think why Daddy was so obsessed with that movie…uh…you know that movie…”  Looking off screen, “Hey cousins, what was the name of that movie?”

Off-screen voices: “Deliverance!

Buh Buh Ray: “That was a great…great…that was…great…great…”  Big Dick slaps him in the chest again, “That was a fine theatrical release!”

Sign held by Sign Guy Dudley: “Laughter.”

I don’t know what ever happened to Dudley Dudley, or Dances With Dudley for that matter, but this is easily one of my favorite ten promos of all time…and Lou E. Dangerously, or whatever his real name is, never quite connected with me again after dropping the Sign Guy gimmick.
 

Angle:

Raven is sacrificed at the Alter o’ Impact.

Raven and Dreamer were Tag Champs at the time of this show from Christmas Eve ’99 from Nashville, TN, where they were defending the belts against Da Baldies.  The footage begins with Raven sitting in the ring against the bottom turnbuckle, as usual.  Not quite as per usual, though, is the fact that Da Baldies have started a brawl against a fan, and so Dreamer, the ref, and all of the security guards have swarmed to that location.  It was all a decoy however, as the Impact Playas hit the ring!  Lance Storm with a Baseball Slide Dropkick into the prone Raven, and Justin Credible enters the ring with a chain wrapped around his fist.  Da Baldies continue to punish Dreamer as the Impact Playas brawl with Raven and drag him to the entryway.  Jason is waiting there, and handcuffs Raven in the pose of the crucifixion…on the eve of the birth of the alleged Son of God, no less!  With Raven hanging defenseless, Justin Credible hits him with a couple of shots from the Singapore cane.  The Impact Playas pose and hit their catchphrase, and the show ends with footage of Dreamer crawling up the aisle towards his partner.
 

Moment:

RVD asks the fans if they got their money’s worth after his match.

One of the things that I always like most about RVD is that he appeared in High Times magazine.  Besides that, I like his arrogant attitude!  In this instance, after a hard fought match against Jerry Lynn, while he is still laying on the mat against the ropes, RVD says to the front row fans, “Did you get your money’s worth?  I know you paid to see me…that’s why I do what I do.”
 

Match:

Steve Corino v. Yoshihiro Tajiri.

If you’ve been reading these daily columns, then maybe you remember an offhand comment that I made about Corino having a “career defining period” during ECW’s run on TNN.  Part of that period, for me, included this match.  I remarked to The Rick shortly after this match that I had become “a mark for Steve Corino’s blood.”  This match is from the Hardcore Heaven 2000 ppv at The Rave in Milwaukee…the very show that Amey and I were in the third row for (and the ppv before the Corino v. Lynn match that I included as my #6 match).  Maybe sitting in the third row is related to why I ranked so many moments from Hardcore Heaven!  Read on and decide for yourself…

Corino and Jack Victory were Network stooges at the time of this ppv.  Before the match starts, Corino gets the mic and offers Tajiri the chance to “come back to him” (Corino was Tajiri’s manager when ECW debuted on TNN six months previously).  Tajiri responds with a kick to the head!  Tajiri doesn’t let-up, but Corino seems to have a counter for all of Tajiri’s offense, until he locks-in the Tarantula, that is!  Corino slips outside the ring onto the rampway (which was ring-height all the way across), but Tajiri is hot on his trail.  Corino goes for a Suplex, but Tajiri counters that, and drops the King of Old School with a Brainbuster on the ramp!  Maybe it is ‘cause we were so close to the action (our seats were on the corner closest to the ramp), because I remember hearing a thud echo throughout the arena when Corino’s head hit the ramp.  It’s not as distinct on tape, but then, what ever is?

Corino had rolled off the ramp to the hardwood floor, and less than three minutes into the match he has already left a small pool of blood on the floor.  As the blood flows, he slides back into the ring, and Tajiri immediately ties him to the Tree o’ Woe and then runs from across the ring with a Baseball Slide Dropkick!  Two points of interest related to Corino’s blood to point out here: 1) a large pool of it had already collected under his head before the kick was even delivered, and 2) there were spots of blood splashed onto the camera lens from the kick.  I guess you can count it as three points if you include the fact that we are less than five minutes into the match at this point!

Cyrus has one of the best lines ever uttered by a color commentator in this match…when describing Corino’s role in training Tajiri as his manager, Cyrus says that Corino “has been like a father to Tajiri, and it’s Mother’s Day, for Christ’s sake!”  Corino’s hair is once again turned red, as he might actually have bled more in this match than in the one against Jerry Lynn.  Tajiri brings a table into the ring, and when Corino leans against it, Tajiri kicks the other end.  Tajiri then gets a running start, but Corino back bodydrops him, sending Tajiri crashing through the table.  Back into the ring, and Corino lands a Fisherman Suplex, complete with a bridge.  That only gets two, and Corino follows-up with a Northern Lights, again bridging on his head, leaving a small stain on the mat each time that he bridges up!  Yep, and just like that, Corino became my New Favorite Wrassler of 2000!

Tajiri rolls out of the ring, and Victory takes that opportunity to come into the ring and assist Corino in standing a table up near one corner.  Tajiri sneaks back in, and when Corino goes for an Abdominal Stretch; Tajiri turns it into The Octopus.  Victory comes in to save his Old School Hero, and walks right into the Green Mist!  Tajiri releases the hold, and then runs at Corino, but gets caught, and Corino hits his sweet, sweet Powerslam.  When they both make it to their feet, however, Tajiri unleashes rapid-fire punches and kicks, and this is the footage that Corino showed the next week on TNN (see my Honorable Mentions if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Tajiri then lays Corino out on the table, and leaps from the top turnbuckle with his patented Super-Double Stomp through the table for the 1, 2, 3.  Because of the position of our seats, I was able to get a great action photo of the finishing move from this match, but I just checked our website, and it isn’t there.  So if I find it in the near future, I will scan it in, and of course I’ll be sure and let ya’ll know.

#4

Joel Gertner Poem:

At this point we have reached some of my favorites of all my favorite poems that Joel performed.  This one stuck with me after hearing it the first time, and for a long time, I would pronounce Connecticut as “Connec-ticket” as in the poem:

Joel…  
“This girl I know wanted to see the show live here in Connecticket,
So I told her to bend over and I’d show her where I’d stick it.
For 45 minutes she proceeded to tease and please and lick it,
But when it all was said and done, you know I made her buy a ticket.”  
…Gertner

This poem appeared on ppv (Living Dangerously 2000), and today I wonder how TNN would have handled it if this poem had appeared on one of the ECW on TNN shows.
 

Promo:

Who shot Jim Ross?

Somebody placed a hit on Dreamer’s head, and while closing the 2/18/00 show on TNN from Tallahassee, FL, Joey Styles recaps the developments in the Raven v. Dreamer feud and says, “This thing is like, ‘Who Shot JR?’  Gertner grabs the mic and yells, “Someone shot Jim Ross?  Oh no!”
 

Angle:

World Title moves from Mike Awesome to Taz(z) to Tommy Dreamer to Justin Credible.

On Friday 4/7/00, Mike Awesome was on TNN holding the ECW World Heavyweight Title.  In fact, he had delivered a promo on a recent show declaring himself the best wrassler in all the world because the ECW Title was the only World Title that mattered.  The following Monday, he was on Nitro.

Luckily for ECW, they were able to convince Awesome not to display the ECW belt on WCW television, and they were also able to convince WCW to allow Awesome to appear at a house show, where he would drop the ECW title to…Tazz.  Yes, so on the 4/14/00 show on TNN, we saw footage of Mike Awesome from WCW battling Tazz from the WWF, in an ECW ring for the ECW World Heavyweight Title.  Tazz won the match, of course, thanks in part to interference by Tommy Dreamer, who celebrated with him in the ring afterwards.

So now the belt was around the waist of a WWF contracted wrassler instead of one from WCW.  The question on the mind of all ECW fans was, “Where do we go from here?”  It would be two weeks before we got our answer.

The 4/28/00 show on TNN was taped at Cyberslam 2000, in the ECW Arena.  During a Mixed-Tag Match (Lance Storm & Dawn Marie v. Nova & Jazz), Justin Credible interfered on behalf of his tag team partner.  When he Superkicked Nova, who was holding Lance Storm in position for the Kryptonite Krunch, however, Nova fell backwards onto Storm…that is where we pick things up:  Storm lies motionless in the ring, having experienced what Joey Styles repeatedly refers to as a “stinger” to his neck.  He is taken to the hospital, and that leaves Justin Credible without his World Tag Team Championship partner…

We clip to footage of Tazz presenting the World Heavyweight belt to Tommy Dreamer after their match (we did not get to see the match itself).  Dreamer tearfully tells the fans, “I may never make it to Wrestlemania…I never want to make it to Starrcade…but I made it in the ECW Arena!”  The ring fills with just about everybody from the ECW locker room to congratulate Dreamer, and one by one they leave the ring until he is left alone in the ring with Raven.  Joey Styles expects to see Raven spoil the moment, but instead he extends his hand in congratulations.  They embrace, and as Raven holds Dreamer’s hand up in victory, Justin Credible hits the ring and attacks both men.  He immediately puts Raven down with a Piledriver, and so Raven is taken to the back.  That leaves Dreamer alone in the ring with Justin Credible, and Francine on the floor outside the ring.

Justin gets on the mic and says that the Tag Team Titles are not enough for him any more.  He not only throws the belts down, but he spits on them and insists that Dreamer give him a World Heavyweight Title shot.  Dreamer’s response?  “Ring the {fucking} bell!”  Dreamer lost the belt, of course, thanks in part to Francine (of course), who removes her Raven T-shirt and embraces Justin Credible’s kendo stick…the two main points that you should take away from this angle are: Justin Credible has shocked the world, and Tommy Dreamer never even got to wear the belt.
 

Moment:

Ring collapses after win by the Public Enemy.

I don’t know the exact date of this match against the Gangstas, but it is available on the Extreme Warfare Vol. 1 tape.  The Public Enemy had just successfully defended the Tag Team Titles in a “fans bring the weapons” match from the main event of ECW’s debut in Florida.  After the match ends, they invite the fans to come into the ring for a “Victory House Party”.  There’s not a single square-inch of room in the ring within a matter of moments, with fans jumping up and down to the hip-hop beat.  Just about the time that I recognize that the ring had just shifted significantly to the right, it collapses flat, much to the delight of the fans!
 

Match:

Jerry Lynn v. Rob Van Dam (champ): TV Title Match.

This match was the prelude to the match that I included as #9, so you can check that out if you’d like.  Otherwise, I am just going to get right to it:

Joey Styles tells us that, according to feedback he has gotten at ecwwrestling.com, most fans think that this match is a foregone conclusion, that RVD will leave Asbury Park, NJ with his TV Title belt still around his waste.  Styles, however, is going to make a bold prediction that tonight will be Jerry Lynn’s night.  I bet they’re both right!

Fast-n-furious to start, with lots of reversals and such, until it is time for Van Dam to chat with his fans outside the ring.  Back in, where Lynn is all over him, even throwing him back outside and hitting a Running Senton from the apron.  Lynn rolls back into the ring, but when RVD tries to make his way back in, Lynn Dropkicks him over the railing and into the first row of seats.  Then, from the apron, Jerry Lynn springboards into a High Crossbody on Van Dam in the crowd!  They both make their way back into the ring, only this time it is RVD that has a Dropkick waiting as Lynn climbs through the ropes.  Van Dam leaps to the top rope, but before he can jump backwards (in what I assume was going to be a moonsault), Lynn kicks him down from the top rope and sends him crashing into the steel guardrail!

Van Dam reverses a whip into the opposite guardrail, and then with Lynn in the crowd, RVD springboards from the guardrail with a Plancha!  Back in the ring, but RVD can only get a two-count.  Alphonso starts to blow his whistle outside the ring, and finally a chair comes into play!  Van Dam locks Lynn in a Surfboard, and rolls backwards onto the chair (RVD is laying on the chair, and holding Lynn above him).  After trying unsuccessfully to score a pinfall out of the Surfboard, Van Dam shoots Lynn upwards and then rolls out from underneath, leaving Lynn to come crashing down onto the chair.  RVD goes for a Northern Lights onto the chair, but Lynn reverses it into an Inverted DDT onto the chair, and gets a two-count.

Fonzie climbs onto the apron, which distracts Jerry Lynn, but when Van Dam approaches with the chair, a nice little reversal sequence ends with Lynn dropping a Big Legdrop onto RVD, onto the chair.  Two-count only, but the champ stays down in the ring.  Jerry Lynn climbs the turnbuckles with the chair in his hands, but Alphonso grabs his leg to delay him, and starts to blow his whistle loudly to revive the TV Champ.  It worked, because RVD catches Lynn on the turnbuckles, and there they battle for position, and for the chair.  Lynn loses both battles after a Van Daminator, and he goes crashing through the timekeeper’s table to the floor.  It takes both Van Dam and Alphonso to lift Lynn’s limp body and roll it into the ring for the pin.  1, 2, Lynn kicks out!

Roll-up attempt by Van Dam is reversed, and we get a few rapid reversals, each scoring two-counts, before Lynn connects with a German Suplex w/ a bridge…for two.  Van Dam is once again sent out onto the apron of the ring, and then when Lynn climbs the turnbuckles, he grabs RVD and executes a Tornado DDT onto a new timekeeper’s table that has been set up!  Note that I said “onto” and not “through”, because the table didn’t break.  No matter, really, because both men are still down outside the ring.  Jerry finally rolls RVD back into the ring, but can only score a two-count.  Van Dam turns the tide of the match with a Left-Arm Clothesline, followed by the Tumbling Senton Splash, but Lynn again kicks out.  Into the corner, and Lynn tries to bring him out with another Swinging DDT, but RVD halts that and goes for the Northern Lights, but Lynn reverses that into a traditional DDT…and you might recognize footage of that move because it was included in the opening credits on ECW on TNN!

Both men are down as the bell rings, signifying that the match has reached its time limit.  Again please note that I didn’t call it a draw, because Senior Official John Finnegan starts to award the belt to Jerry Lynn on a referee’s decision.  Lynn doesn’t want to win the belt that way though, and he wants five more minutes.  John Finnegan explains the ramifications to Van Dam and Alphonso…either five more minutes or the belt goes to Lynn on a ref’s decision.  Um, yeah, I thought it was a no-brainer, too.  The crowd agrees, and starts to chant, “Five More Minutes!”

All parties agree, and John Finnegan orders the match restarted!  Lynn attacks right away, and hits a Piledriver in the middle of the ring.  He takes too long to make the cover, however, and only gets a two-count.  Whip into the corner, but RVD gets the boot up on the charging Lynn, and then Fonzie tosses a chair to Lynn, who gets caught by a Van Daminator.  He rolls out of the center of the ring towards the ropes, but Van Dam leaps 2/3 the way across the ring with the Five-Star Frogsplash.  1, 2, and 3.  See, I told you that they both would win!
 

Closing:

We’re getting to the nitty-gritty now, and I’ve got to tell you that I am excited for tomorrow’s offering: Brian Pillman; Flaming Tables; Chris Jericho defending the Television Title; Cactus Jack; more from the Dudleys and the BWO; and a Mexican Death Match that is out of this world!  Also, I’m going to make it an even three days in a row that I offer one censored and one uncensored poem by Joel Gertner.  Oh yeah, and some footage of when Limp Bizkit was still considered cool…provided that you are willing to suspend your disbelief long enough to imagine that Limp Bizkit actually was cool at one point, that is!

PEACE

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