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Rewatching ECW - discussion of various bits and bobs


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Been watching a pack of old ECW stuff. Just random episodes of Hardcore TV and the odd PPV. Some of it hasnt aged well as most stuff doesn't and some is so mental its still worth watching, but there's a load of stuff that doesn't get discussed much. So here's some random stuff.

 

As I've said in previous threads, Shane Douglas must have been so of his time, because his act is the pits with 2015 years. He's alright in 1995, but by the time 1999 roles around he's a fat mess. Francine and Douglas have such an unconvincing relationship. This is so far from Edge and Lita its not even funny. Douglas is all "I get the play with this every night ha ha" in a way which makes you think he's never been out with a lass in his life. In fairness to Francine, she's a massive team player. Throughout her run, she worked super hard and was always super confident in front of the camera. Which was rare in the era of Sable and Debra, who were stars, but look lost most of the time. Francine was still getting used in early 2001 at the last shows as the headline act. That was a 6 year run she was into. Surely her time was coming up. What more could they do with her?

 

I remember when I was 14 and seeing ECW, I thought "Balls Mahoney must be the coolest guy in real life." Its amazing what you think as a young lad, especially now he's a toothless heroin filled mess, but I used to imagine he was like a Bruiser Brody type. Did what he wanted, took no shit. Instead, its pretty much the opposite. He's a sweaty druggy with suspected brain damage.

 

The Sinister Minister was developing into a fantastic character by the time ECW died. He cuts this promo in the streets of New York, after his fingers were blown off and had just gotten out of hospital, and he's hanging around making these funny jokes. An absolute diviant of a man, but utterly hilarious. He keeps giving these looks to the camera, in a Gonzo style, which can only have came from his years filming himself shagging rats wearing the Mortis mask.

 

Mike Awesome's character went from shit to underwhelming to monsterous in the space of 3 months. The timeline went from a bloke with a mullet sounding like a cretin to the World Champion who has improved but shouldnt be in that position to their biggest star. He came out to Bruce Dickinson's cover of The Zoo, his ring style was a mental spectical to watch and his interviews were crazy and sweary. He had an aura about him, where his matches were probably going to end with someone getting concussed in some way. Everything he did looked so dangerous. He could have only been a big star in ECW, though, because there's no way anyone in WCW or WWF were taking those moves. A RVD vs Mike Awesome feud was supposed to be the big feud of 2000, until Awesome left. They had a real run of bad luck. They had Sabu, RVD and Awesome all out of commission by April. Justin Credible, Jerry Lynn and Steve Corino as their headliners just didnt have the spark at all. The shows in mid-to-late 2000 were so knackered, it looked like a company going under.

 

Rhino was shockingly great in 2000. I didnt realise how small his was until he came to the WWF, but he tore through people in 2000. He was an evil man it seemed. He'd put people through tables with that Gore and he'd piledrive them off the ring apron. Rhino never looked better than at this time. I dont think he topped this run.

 

This may not be relevant to this particular thread, but I'm absolutely stunned Tazz beating Lawler in an obvious "I can barely move" match at One Night Stand got the positive live reaction it got. Tazz did as much as he did the previous year in an angle on the 2005 version of ONS. Surely Tazz could have at least did a few suplexes where he bumps on his side. Even a few punches or cross forearms that he used to do would have been decent. I used to be quite fond of Tazz, so that was like "what a pointless thing that was?"

Edited by IANdrewDiceClay
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"Mike Hunt? I've got a call for a Mike Hunt? Awww, there's no sign of Mike Hunt"

This is what's so great about it. Anyone saying that these matches lacked psychology is missing the point - they were purposefully subverting that psychology, by giving you something that still follow

Super Crazy vs Tajiri - Mexican Death Match 🇲🇽  ECW on TNN January 15th 2000 I’m going off the dates on the Network here but they’re different to the ones on Magnum’s list. ”Mexica

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Some of the sinister ministers promos on TNN (which I've not long re-watched) are great. Lots of them seemed to exist to get the fans up to speed, a feud, wrestler, event or even ECW as a brand over unrelated to him.

 

I remember one, cant remember the show, where he's in an old swimming pool and one on the street in a coffin.

They really seemed happy to do something different, and he looked comfortable and natural in them.

That was a schtick that wouldn't have worked as well with other people at the helm or in an environment with too much control.

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For all the hype of Heymans speech before "Barely Legal" it didn't actually work did it?

I'm up to Sabu-Taz which was half entertaining but aside for Kai En Tai the show is up there with the worst. Douglas - Pitbull 2 is legit the worst match I've ever seen.

Tag titles got decided in a squash and RVD did his best to try get worst match of night award. 

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Never understood why they didn't put the World Title on Rhino when Justin Credible won it, Rhino was having mental brawls at that time and had a lot more credibility (no pun intended) then they could've built up to RVD's return against the unstoppable monster

 

Instead you just got a directionless 3/4 of the year where mid carders were winning the top strap while RVD (most over face) had meaningless undercard matches

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I read Lister's Slamathology travelogue quite often. It's a great piece of writing and an amusing tale even without the wrestling bits. I do often wonder just how he feels looking back being that he's utterly gushing about ECW. That's not a criticism of John, ECW's popularity was built on indoctrinating fans to that degree with a product that was so utterly different from the WWF and WCW that it made them feel they were watching something special.

 

That's also why judging it now if you didn't live it is missing the point somewhat.

 

I was late to the party but even though the attitude era was in full swing, I still felt the first time I saw ECW that I was watching something truly different to the WWF.

 

Didn't know where to put this but I was listening to Squared Circle Radio's 1995 Monday Night Wars pod and Liam mentions that Shane Douglas was supposed to enter the WWF as a Texas gunslinger character. Is that right? I've never heard that before. EVen ifhe had, I can't see it having made much of a difference. He just wasn't that good. Heyman made him. The language, the women, the long title reigns. They masked how fat and shit he was. In fairness to Lister, he says in Slamathology that he was never a fan.

 

 

This may not be relevant to this particular thread, but I'm absolutely stunned Tazz beating Lawler in an obvious "I can barely move" match at One Night Stand got the positive live reaction it got. Tazz did as much as he did the previous year in an angle on the 2005 version of ONS. Surely Tazz could have at least did a few suplexes where he bumps on his side. Even a few punches or cross forearms that he used to do would have been decent. I used to be quite fond of Tazz, so that was like "what a pointless thing that was?"

I watched it just last week. Couldn't remember anything about the show other than Cena's entrance and the T-Shirt spot. It's a pretty rubbish show really but it shows how the ECW crowd would eat up anything Heyman gave them. The fact they take Angle and Big Show to heart just for pledging allegiance to this new ECW is insane. Angle less so but still. That opening match is a joke. My thought was exactly the same as Ian. Can't believe there wasn't a few suplexes before the finish. The crowd eat it up though, it's mental.

 

JBL's fruit booty promo is decent.

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Didn't know where to put this but I was listening to Squared Circle Radio's 1995 Monday Night Wars pod and Liam mentions that Shane Douglas was supposed to enter the WWF as a Texas gunslinger character. Is that right?

That was Dustin Rhodes. Douglas was always coming in as a heel teacher.

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Didn't know where to put this but I was listening to Squared Circle Radio's 1995 Monday Night Wars pod and Liam mentions that Shane Douglas was supposed to enter the WWF as a Texas gunslinger character. Is that right?

That was Dustin Rhodes. Douglas was always coming in as a heel teacher.

 

Ah, that makes more sense. I've misheard that. I was hoovering at the time!
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I've still got a lot of time for Corino during that final period, but i'd agree with Venkman in that they should have stuck the world title on Rhino a lot sooner. I know the attitude was by that point that thanks to RVD the TV Title generally meant a lot more but with Awesome having fucked off and RVD clearly on the way out with the rest of the bigger names I can't see what harm it would have done to have probably given the belt to Rhino at November To Remember 2000 in a one on one with whoever, even Credible, rather than that mad double jeopardy fuckfest they gave us. 

 

After he'd torn through the Sandman, that should have been it. He was a fucking machine and I remember those promos of him backstage shouting his head off and twatting walls and going on about how he lives for violence being brilliant. He should have been the next big (f'n) deal for them and with Sandman getting into the best shape of his career by the time it all went to shit it might have been a decent feud.

 

Agreed on Douglas, too. Never really liked him. By 98 he felt like a dinosaur and looked like a very angry Christmas ham in a sex pervet's flat cap.

Edited by Cannibal Man
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The completely natural evolution of Steve Corino's character from cowardly heel to respected babyface throughout 2000 was excellent. One of the only few ECW things I'd bother revisiting.

 

Hitting the reset switch pretty much as soon as he won the belt, and having him start running away from The Sandman was baffling.

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Rhino really was something to behold in 2000. I genuinely thought he was only being built up so well in RVD's absence so it would provide a big pop and celebratory scene when Van Dam came back from injury and took his belt back from "the big f'n deal" so I was kinda pleased when that didn't come to pass. RVD was already at the highest level you could reach in the eyes of the ECW fans, so Rhino beating him was logical to continue his path to the same level. And Jesus, the game was nearly up, but he basically went over half the roster on that final PPV. Sandman looked a tard for accepting that match, he really did.

 

At least the show ended with what everyone really wanted. RVD. Christ, ECW fans were so easily pleased at the time. Even I just wanted RVD to turn up, and I'm a workrate pervert that mostly just likes armbars.

 

The completely natural evolution of Steve Corino's character from cowardly heel to respected babyface throughout 2000 was excellent. One of the only few ECW things I'd bother revisiting.

 

Hitting the reset switch pretty much as soon as he won the belt, and having him start running away from The Sandman was baffling.

 

I completely agree on Corino but I had real mixed emotions at the time, happy for Corino but thinking they had completely knackered Jerry Lynn in the process, making his title win, which had a decent build and story behind it, look completely worthless.

 

In hindsight, for Jerry Lynn in ECW in 2000, see Homicide in ROH in 2006. It was the reign of "We really appreciate what you've done for the company, so here's the belt..... but we don't actually want you as our champion, so - QUICK! - give it back."

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Rhino really was something to behold in 2000. I genuinely thought he was only being built up so well in RVD's absence so it would provide a big pop and celebratory scene when Van Dam came back from injury and took his belt back from "the big f'n deal" so I was kinda pleased when that didn't come to pass. RVD was already at the highest level you could reach in the eyes of the ECW fans, so Rhino beating him was logical to continue his path to the same level. And Jesus, the game was nearly up, but he basically went over half the roster on that final PPV. Sandman looked a tard for accepting that match, he really did.

 

I wouldn't say he looked like a tard. From what I recall Rhino threatened to kill his family who were sitting in the crowd at the time. After the shit he did to Sandman's wife earlier in the year and how unhinged Rhino was it was believable too. I remember being shocked during Rhino's great promo for that angle where he said "What's the point of being TV Champion when this fucking poor ass company doesn't even have TV?!" As crap as a lot of ECW was in it's last few months I loved that angle.

 

There was a really awesome two night tournament at the Hammerstein Ballroom for the tag belts, I've been looking for a download of them for years now. They had that mental angle/match where Kid Kash won the TV title off Rhino after everyone (including the police) interfered. 

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The end of Guilty As Charged 2001 when Rhino finishes beating the fuck out of everybody and bellows "WHY IN THE FUCK AM I TELEVISION CHAMPION WHEN THIS POOR ASS COMPANY DON'T EVEN FUCKIN' HAVE TV" is one of my favourite wrestling one liners, plus the beautiful follow up with Styles telling Cyrus "well, he doesn't have to SAY it"

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