ECW delivers bloodthirsty action
By BOB KAPUR --
For SLAM! Wrestling
ECW TNN Taping satisfies Buffalo crowd
Despite a couple of disappointments, last night's ECW show in Buffalo, NY was great, full of the hardcore action and extreme wrestling the promotion is famous for.
Unfortunately, there was no TV Title match between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn, as had been inferred on Friday night's TNN show. And the much-rumoured return of Chris Candido and Tammy Lynn Sytch never took place.
Those things notwithstanding, the card was filled with matches featuring the entire roster of hardcore superstars, much to the delight of the vocal and bloodthirsty fans in attendance.
The Buffalo crowd, often acknowledged as one of the most rabid ECW audiences, was really hyped for the night, chanting and cheering with enthusiasm normally reserved for Pay-Per-Views in stadiums, rather than the local college gymnasium.
But, neither the fights in the audience (likely due to the fact that beer was allowed in the arena, unlike the past few shows where it was limited to the designated serving area) nor the young women who repeatedly took her"puppies" out for walks between matches, could distract from the in-ring show.
The highlight of the night was the taping of the TNN show, which was sandwiched between a series of dark matches. Should these matches air next Friday, the entire TV audience will be treated to an impromptu Tag Team Title defense by Tommy Dreamer and Raven, a lesson in wrestling excellence in the form of a Jerry Lynn/Justin Credible match, and a weapons extravaganza led by the Orginal Gangsta, New Jack.
Other matches, not taped for the show, included the reuniting of Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney, and a spot-filled main event featuring Van Dam against Uganda for the TV belt. As well, Taz upped the ante against his opponent at the upcoming Anarchy Rulz PPV by choking out Masato Tanaka after the Japanese star's match, and allowing him to survive, at least for another night.
ECW is no longer just the biggest of the indie federations. It has become a major player, and in order to survive against the Big Two, it will have to step up its product, thereby retaining its old fans, and building on its new fan base as well. If Saturday night's show was any indication, they should do "extremely" well.
(CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD FROM AN UPCOMING TNN SHOW)
Vito "The Skull" Lagrossa defetated Jesus Christo by pinfall after delivering an elevated DDT.
Simon Diamond came out and said that he required a tag team partner. Jazz, the former female bodyguard of Justin Credible, came out to answer the call. Diamond then berated Jazz and called in Tony DeVito to take on Jazz. When it appeared that Jazz was getting the upper hand, Diamond and DeVito double-teamed her mercilessly. Nova and Chris Chetti came out to make the save, leading to a tag match.
Nova/Chetti def. Diamond/DeVito. After Jazz superplexed DeVito, Nova and Chetti delivered a double splash off the top ropes and got the pinfall.
Balls Mahoney/Axl Rotten defeated Wild Bill Wiles and CW Anderson by pinfall after delivering a pair of chair shots to Anderson. The chairs were severely dented, by the way, as Anderson has the biggest melon in wrestling since the days of Boris Zukov of the Bolsheviks.
Masato Tanaka defeated Rhino (w/ Steve Corino and Jack Victory) by pinfall after a somersault-stunner off the top ropes. After the match, Taz came out and trash-talked Tanaka. When Tanaka responded with an attempted attack, Taz choked him out until officials came out and broke it up.
Rob Van Dam (w/ Bill Alfonso) defeated Uganda (w/ Judge Jeff Jones) by pinfall after a Van Daminator followed by a frog splash, to retain the TV Championship.
Super Crazy defeated Little Guido (w/ Big Sal E. Graziano) by pinfall after a Brain Buster. After the match, Graziano attacked Super Crazy, prompting Little Spike Dudley to make the save.
Little Spike Dudley defeated Graziano in about 15 seconds after using Guido's body and face as a step ladder, to deliver the Acid Drop on the big man.
Joey Styles came out to a tremendous pop, followed by his co-host, Joel Gertner. They introduced Tommy Dreamer, who came out with The Queen of Extreme, Francine. Gertner interrupted Dreamer's interview, and insulted Francine. He then introduced "Miss Congniality", Angelica, who came out with her fiancee Danny Doring, and his partner Roadkill.
Angelica and Francine got into a sprawling catfight, and Doring/Roadkill double-teamed Dreamer. When it looked like Dreamer was out for good, Raven ran into the ring, and obtained the pinfall win for his team after a DDT on Roadkill (I think it was Roadkill, I didn't see the pinfall).
After the match, Raven kicked his partner, who was recovering in the ring, and left. Dreamer got up and called Raven in to settle the issue, but Raven didn't answer the call.
Jerry Lynn defeated Justin Credible (w/ The Impact Players) in a great wrestling match, after a cradle piledriver. After the match, the Impact Players mugged Lynn, prompting Rob Van Dam to save his nemesis. A big brawl ensued, causing a few others from the locker room to rush the ring.
Eventually, the lights went out, and the music over the loudspeakers was that of SABU! The Bombay Madman rushed the ring, and immediately made an impact, most notably on a ringside table and the floor underneath. Finally, most of the dressing room came to the ring and started fighting it out. New Jack's music began to play, and he came out with a dumpster full of weapons, including a vacuum cleaner and a computer keyboard, and a really cool wooden model boat. He systematically destroyed anyone in his path with his arsenal, clearing the ring. His final victim was Roadkill, whom he assaulted with a staple gun, finishing him off by hitting a metal turkey tray, laid over his crotch area, with a wooden crutch.