Tuesday 20 February 2018

ECW Hardcore Heaven 2000 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that could have sworn Jeff Jarrett kept wrestling after the closure of WCW! ECW’s Hardcore Heaven 2000, did I mention the wheels were coming off this company? Ok, Mike Awesome is gone, the behemoth that kills everything. We never get the pay off, it is disappointing. Raven is nowhere to be seen, The Impact Players have split as Lance Storm is off to WCW. Scrambling for an answer, we find Justin Credible as the new ECW champion with Dreamer waiting in the wings. RVD is back from injury while Jerry Lynn is scratching and clawing trying to make it to the  main event scene. Corino continues to rise and the mid-card seems the same as every other show, this could be a hit or a miss folks. Let’s get into it!

Balls Mahoney vs Masato Tanaka

The arena looks nice and well lit, they even have a ramp. Tanaka and Mahoney were tag team champions, they are facing one another because God knows why. Kintaro Kanemura chokes out Gertner on Cyrus’ order, waistlock from Tanaka. Hammerlock counters, front chancery. Mahoney reaches the ropes, takedown by Mahoney. Single leg Boston crab by Mahoney, Tanaka reaches the ropes. Slugfest, Mahoney knocks Tanaka with a right hand. Crossbody by Tanaka for two, armdrag into an armbar. Lariat by Mahoney for two, Mahoney misses a spinning heel kick. Tanaka tries a plancha, Mahoney catches Tanaka and sends Tanaka into the guard rail. Two beers to the head, Tanaka meets the guard rail.

Tanaka sends Mahoney into the guard rail, right hands by Tanaka. Chair to the ribs, Tanaka cracks Mahoney with the chair. Tornado DDT on the ramp, they swing chairs at one another, Tanaka takes three shots to the head. Two for Mahoney, Tanaka eats a superkick for two. Mahoney has gathered  many chairs, the nutcracker suite is countered for a tornado DDT, two for Tanaka. Nutcracker Suite for two, Mahoney cracks his own head off the turnbuckle. Diamond Dust for two, Mahoney punches Tanaka. Nutcracker Suite on the pile of chairs for two, Tanaka dodges the leg drop. Roaring Elbow for two, Tanaka nails a super chair shot. Mahoney strong styles up before another Roaring Elbow ends the match.

A tonne of fun, ridiculous at times due to the amount of finisher kick-outs going on in the match but every single move popped the crowd, building their excitement to another level. They had their formula down to a tee, a great opening match for the fans.

Winner: Masato Tanaka over Balls Mahoney via Roaring Elbow!

Simon Diamond W/ The Prodigy/The Prodigette/Mitch/Musketeer vs Little Guido vs Mikey Whipwreck W/ Sinister Minister

I do not even know where to start with Simon’s entourage, it is ridiculous. Little Guido has moved down the card as opposed to up as Guido is still wrestling the same type of match that dominated his 1999. Whipwreck has his hair dyed red and playing the gimmick of a fire-obsessed maniac. Teases of finishes everywhere, armdrags by all. Superkick by Whipwreck on Guido, dropkick on Diamond. Headscissors by Guido on Diamond, Guido faceplants Diamond for two. Whipwreck nails a diving clothesline on Guido for two, Simon suplexes on Whipwreck. Guido dropkicks Diamond for two, slingshot leg drop on Guido by Whipwreck. Diamond drills Whipwreck with a chair, the lights go down in the arena.

Diamond planchas onto Big Sal, Whipwreck takes out Diamond’s entourage. Big Sal squishes the entourage, Sicilian Slice on Whipwreck for two. Diamond hammers away on Guido, sit-out spinebuster by Diamond. Two for Diamond, superkick by Whipwreck. Whippersnapper on Diamond, Diamond is eliminated. Crossbody with a roll through by Whipwreck for two, Double Underhook Spinning Facebuster by Whipwreck for two. Big Sal clubs Whipwreck, Russian legsweep by Guido for two. Guido misses a super elbow, fireball by Whipwreck on Big Sal. Maritato by Guido for the win.

Not on par with Super Crazy & Tajiri but fun nonetheless. A big knock on the match is the lights going down in the arena, killing the mood for a lot of fans in attendance. A fun match at the end of the night, happy for Guido to get the win.

Winner: Little Guido over Everyone Else via Maritato!

CW Anderson W/ The Dangerous Alliance vs Kid Kash W/ Jazz

Jazz gets beat up by The Dangerous Alliance, Kash makes the save. Kash dives onto Anderson and Wiles, left hand in the ring by Anderson. Hurricanrana by Kash, deep armdrag and a dropkick. Wiles gets knocked, diving hurricanrana onto Wiles. Chops by Kash, headscissors by Kash. Anderson nails a sit-out powerbomb out of nowhere, chops by Anderson. Anderson throws Kash to the floor, Wiles does some damage. Kash nails a crossbody for two, lariat by Anderson. Exploder suplex by Anderson for two, reverse chinlock by Anderson. Kash fires up, powerslam by Anderson to stop Kash for two. Anderson misses a splash, Wiles is cracked with Lou E’s cell phone. Superkick by Anderson for two, Top Rope Hurricanrana by Kash for the win.

Alright match, Kash has huge potential to be mixing it up with the likes of Crazy, Guido and Tajiri. Whether the company does anything with Kash, we shall see.

Winner: Kid Kash over CW Anderson via Super Rana!

Da Baldies vs Doring & Roadkill vs Chetti & Nova

Starts off hot with a tonne of brawling, Chetti & Nova have Devito. Kicking combination, pump kicks for Angel. Face-off between what must have been ECW’s future hopes for the tag division. Da Baldies stop the face-off, springboard clothesline by Roadkill. Senton Bomb on Devito for two, Lancaster Lariat of Lust for two. Springboard thrustkick by Chetti on Doring, Dirt Road Slam by Roadkill on Chetti. Double flapjack by Da Baldies on Roadkill, double slam onto two chairs. Nova nails both Baldies, elbow drop by Doring on Angel. Grimes does a run-in, Bare-back on Grimes. Danaconda on Grimes, Angel cracks Doring with the guitar for the elimination.

Roadkill fucks up Grimes, cannot believe Grimes is walking. Roadkill has a table, springboard splash through the table by Roadkill. Chetti spinning heel kicks Devito, Nova nails a cutter on Angel. Amityville Horror on Devito, Tidal Wave on Devito for the win.

Fun tag match, wished it was a bit longer and we had Doring & Roadkill vs Nova & Chetti. They had chemistry and it could be a lot of fun, Da Baldies have been pure filler since their existence adding nothing to pay per views with their garbage brawling and of course, every time Da Baldies come out you must have New Jack, New Jack does his shtick at the end of the match.

Winners: Chetti & Nova over Da Baldies via Tidal Wave!

Steve Corino W/ Jack Victory vs Tajiri

The change in Corino is astounding, Corino went from looking like a girl in tights to a man with a good body to backup his great promo skills. Slaps and kicks by Tajiri, enzuigiri by Corino. Powerbomb by Corino for two, Tarantula by Tajiri. On the ramp, Tajiri kicks Corino. Brainbuster on the ramp, a kick sends Corino to the floor. Tajiri bites the cut of Corino, low dropkick in the tree of woe by Tajiri. Victory saves Corino from a second dropkick, superkick for two. Tajiri kicks a chair into Corino’s face, Tajiri baseball slides the table into Corino’s face. Springboard clothesline by Tajiri, Corino comes back with a back drop through the table. Fisherman suplex for two, northern lights suplex for two. Leaping leg lariat by Corino, abdominal stretch by Corino. Octopus stretch on Corino by Tajiri, Green Mist on Victory. Powerslam by Corino for two, Buzzsaw Rush from Tajiri, Diving Foot Stomp through the table for the win.

Fair play to Corino who took an ass-whipping on the last two pay per views back to back. I would say these two matches did a lot to help Corino in the eyes of the fans, Corino’s physical transformation from looking like a lesbian to a pro wrestler is a great help. But Corino takes a beating here, it is fantastic stuff. Perfect fit for the match, perfect way to end the feud.

Winner: Tajiri over Corino via Diving Foot Stomp!

(ECW Television Champioship Match) The Sandman vs Rhino ©

Rhino made things personal, Rhino gored Sandman’s wife, Sandman cost Rhino the TV championship although Rhino won it back in the end. Sandman’s return has been disappointing, two bait and switches on pay per view meant Sandman has wrestled once in a six-man tag match at November to Remember on pay per view while this event takes place in May of 2000.

Rhino stomps all over Sandman, right hands by Rhino. Sandman fights back with punches, Rhino is tossed to the floor. Rhino is tossed into the crowd, right hands by Sandman. Guillotine leg drop by Sandman, brawling outside of the ring. Rhino positions Sandman for a gore, Sandman dodges at the last second. Sandman piledrivers Rhino in the ring for two, make it two. Lori is here, Corino and Victory are here. Sandman saves Lori, Rhino piledrivers Sandman on the ramp. Lori slaps Rhino, Rhino Piledrivers Lori through a table at ringside. Sandman canes everything in sight, picking up his wife. Rhino Gores both through a table in the corner, Rhino retains his championship.

So, we waited three pay per views for that? I was expecting so much more from such an emotionally charged feud. Sandman is limited, I mean everyone knows that but I expected more violence, more insanity and intensity. I did not feel it for this match, the visual of Rhino destroying Sandman’s wife was quite disturbing, that is going so far but we did not get a huge angle out of it at the end of the day. The piledriver is a great finish though, perfect fit for Rhino.

Winner: Rhino over Sandman via Gore!

Jerry Lynn vs Rob Van Dam W/ Scotty Anton & Bill Alfonso

Quite possibly the best series of matches between two wrestlers in ECW is back to write another chapter, both men have been injured with Lynn being upset at the attention that RVD has received. Lynn has a darker edge to him, could this mean something promising?

Usual theatrics from the two, nice transitions with great fluidity. More flips and theatrics, crowd is eating every single thing up from these two. Side headlock by RVD, thrustkick connects on Lynn. Cartwheel moonsault for two, Lynn cuts off RVD. Springboard dropkick by Lynn, plancha connects by Lynn. RVD ends up crotching Lynn on the guard rail, thrustkick by RVD. Corkscrew guillotine leg drop by RVD, RVD misses a moonsault off the guard rail. In the ring, Lynn leg drops RVD for two, Jumping DDT by Lynn for two, tornado DDT does not connect. Both men are down after a clothesline, Alfonso has a chair.

Lynn hurls the chair at RVD, Lynn leg drops RVD onto the chair for two. Step-through spinning heel kick by RVD. Rolling Thunder by RVD for two, forearms by RVD. Inverted atomic drop, running Van Damanator. Two for RVD, Lynn powerbombs RVD for two. Superplex by Lynn, two for Lynn. Guillotine leg drop by Lynn, Lynn bulldogs RVD through the table. Scotty Anton is at ringside, Lynn nails Anton with a somersault. Scoop slam, Alfonso shoves Lynn off the top rope. Diving thrustkick with Lynn eating a chair to the face thanks to Alfonso, a chair is placed on Lynn’s body.

Five Star Frog Splash, RVD is slow to capitalize. Victory and Corino attack RVD, Lynn fights off Corino and Victory. Rhino Gores Lynn, Rhino powerbombs RVD. RVD smacks Rhino, diving thrustkick by RVD. Van Damanator to Cyrus, Lynn dropkicks the chair into Alfonso. Van Damanator on Lynn, Anton pushes RVD to the floor. Lynn delivers The Cradle Piledriver and RVD kicks out at two, Cradle Piledriver on the chair and Lynn wins the match.

That was a lot of fun until all of the interference, Anton turning on RVD would have been fine but you had all The Network stud which did not help the match in the slightest. RVD and Lynn have great chemistry, two tremendous performers who came together to make ECW’s version of art. Interesting to see where RVD goes in ECW from losing to Lynn as it seems RVD winning back the championship he never lost has been abandoned.

Winner: Jerry Lynn over RVD via Cradle Piledriver!

(ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Justin Credible © W/ Francine vs Lance Storm W/ Dawn Marie

Dreamer cannot fight Credible due to herniated discs in his back, I am sickened by the lack of a satisfying conclusion to Awesome’s title reign and the Dreamer/Raven/Francine storyline. Instead we have Storm standing up for ECW as Credible spat on the tag team championships destroying The Impact Players and making space for Storm to go to WCW. Storm takes down Credible, Credible powders. Right hand by Storm, Credible is being decimated. Flair flip and Storm dropkicks Credible to the guard rail. Storm tries a plancha, Credible waffles Storm with the cane. Storm is bleeding, a table has been setup on the ramp. Both men trade chops in the ring, boot by Credible.

Reverse chinlock by Credible, Storm sunset flips for two. Credible nails a clothesline, chops by Storm. Eye poke by Credible, another sleeper. Hurricanrana by Storm, elbow from the top rope for two. Jawbreaker and dropkick for two, series of counters before a northern lights from Storm for two. Superkick by Credible for two, Credible shoves Storm into a steel chair for two. Crossbody but Storm rolls through for two, Storm hiptosses Credible through the ringside table. Two for Storm, roll-through into The Single Leg Boston Crab. Francine cracks Storm with her shoe, catfight between the two ladies. Credible grabs Dawn, That’s Incredible to Dawn.

 Storm uses the cane on Credible, piledriver for two. Credible reverses Storm for That’s Incredible, two for Credible. Both men trade blows, Storm catapults Credible to the corner but Credible almost steals it with a reversal to a roll-up. Storm climbs to the top rope, Credible crotches Storm and That’s Incredible for the win.

I am not sure how that finish came off as so flat, there was no real dramatic finish from it but it is hard to complain. ECW was in a bad way due to stars leaving all the time, this match could have been something huge a year down the line. Looking back on ECW’s history, The Impact Players did not even reach their full potential being jerked around when it came to the tag team championships, so much more could have came before this match but issues like Awesome leaving and Storm leaving too complicated the matters. The crowd also wanted to see Dreamer win the big one, that much was obvious from the last image of the pay per view with Dreamer laying out Francine. Question is: Would ECW pull the trigger?

Winner: Justin Credible over Lance Storm via That’s Incredible!

That was ECW’s Hardcore Heaven 2000, a show that was more disappointing when all was finished. I have grown to breeze through ECW shows during this era, they are fun and even the bad is watchable. However, I am looking for advancements on pay per views, I am looking for quality matches with storylines and angles that I want to sink my teeth into, ECW is struggling to draw me in at this point. Corino is flourishing into a real superstar in the company that’s enjoyable to watch, Jerry Lynn has finally beaten RVD, that’s big news but outside of those two things I do not know how much interests me about the product. Tanaka is nowhere near the championship, Sandman and Rhino did not deliver and you just know they are going to fight again. Credible is going to suffer the same as Awesome and Taz before him as there are no credible challengers (excuse the pun) to face the champion. You can draw out Dreamer but RVD is not ready just yet, Lynn is not and Corino is not either so where do you go? It is a rough time on-screen and off-screen for the company. This show was enjoyable but I do not know how much had changed when everything was finished. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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