Friday 2 March 2018

ECW Guilty As Charged 2001 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that tweets at worse times than Lana! ECW’s final pay per view, it’s ECW’s Guilty As Charged 2001! Headline by the return of ECW to The Land of Extreme, RVD faces long-time rival Jerry Lynn while Steve Corino defends his championship against Justin Credible and The Sandman who had stolen the championship. Tommy Dreamer faces CW Anderson in a rematch from the last pay per view and the usual madness from the mid-card. ECW has a chance to go out with a bang, can ECW succeed? Let’s find out!

Jerry Lynn & Cyrus vs Christian York & Joey Matthews

Gertner introduces the tag team he’s managing which is York & Matthews, Da Baldies make quick work of York & Matthews, Gertner interferes foolishly. DDT on the concrete for Gertner, double flapjack by Da Baldies on Matthews. Out comes Cyrus and serious Jerry Lynn, missile dropkick/powerbomb combination by Da Baldies. Lynn Cradle Piledrivers Matthews, Cyrus covers for the win on Matthews. Lynn cuts a passionate promo, Lynn wants to wrestle only in the main event, thanks for that? DUD!

(ECW World Tag Team Championship Match) Hot Commodity W/ Elektra & Hamrick vs Danny Doring & Roadkill ©

These were not the challengers I was thinking of, Doring and Dinero begin the match. Doring talks shit to Elektra, armwork from Dinero. Dinero struts, corner spear and chops by Doring. Right hands by Doring, drop toehold and La magistral for Dinero, two for Dinero. Superkick by Doring, exploder suplex by Dinero. Tag to Money, hiptoss. Some grinding from Money, Roadkill is behind Money.

Eye poke and falling slam, slingshot elbow drop. Lancaster lariat of lust on Money, running powerslam and elbow drop on Dinero. Roadkill misses a corner splash, tope suicida by Dinero. G-Spot Suite on Money, Doring dives onto Dinero. Roadkill has Elektra, superkick from Hamrick. Money nails The Money Clip on Roadkill into the crowd, springboard bulldog by Dinero & Hamrick for two. STO by Dinero, tag to Money. Double hiptoss, double slam for two. Right hands by Money, boot by Doring. Easy Bomb for two, Money tries an axe handle but Doring blocks with a boot.

Dinero dropkicks Roadkill off the apron, headscissors into the turnbuckle for Doring. Neckbreaker for two, Bare-back on Money and Dinero. Hot-tag to Roadkill, clotheslines for both men. Barn Burner on Dinero, powerbomb for Money. Springboard clothesline on Hot Commodity, Elektra distracts the referee. The Jalapeno Popper, moonsault by Money for two. Hamrick clotheslines Money by mistake, Dinero is knocked into Hamrick. Buggy Bang on Dinero for the win.

What a fun tag team match, I will say it again that Doring and Roadkill could have done something more after ECW ended, they were a tonne of fun inside of the ring. They had a lot of great tag team manoeuvres, they were entertaining and Roadkill was freakishly athletic. Dinero and Money were fine but I was hoping for The Unholy Alliance.

Winners: Doring & Roadkill over Hot Commodity via Buggy Bang!

Chris Hamrick W/ Elektra vs Nova

Nova saves Doring & Roadkill, lots of dives and kicks to Hamrick. Elektra distracts Nova, Nova battles back with a shin breaker, dragon screw and figure four before Elektra rakes the eyes. Facecrusher by Hamrick for two, Nova eats a boot to the face. Nova nails a sit-out facebuster, Elektra crotches Nova. Super hurricanrana from Hamrick, two for Hamrick. Right hands by Hamrick, Nova wants more. Rights and lefts from Nova, enzuigiri from Nova. Two for Nova, superkick by Nova for two. Elektra mounts Nova, Nova kicks Elektra’s arm. Hamrick kicks Nova into the referee, crossface chickenwing from Nova. Chetti comes out in a referee shirt, Chetti fast counts Nova. Lou E. cracks a referee with a cellphone. Chetti attacks Spike, Acid Drop on Chetti and a Senton Bomb from Nova. Nova rolls Hamrick into The Kyrptonite Krunch and Nova wins.

Well, it was going grand until whatever the fuck that was at the end of the match involving Spike and Chetti, no time for that kind of crap at this stage in ECW. You want to talk about failing to build new stars? What about Nova? Nova could be another major star in ECW, Nova is being wasted with segments like this.

Winner: Nova over Hamrick via Kryptonite Krunch!

(I Quit Match) CW Anderson vs Tommy Dreamer

They tie-up, rolling to the floor. They brawl, Dreamer suplexes Anderson on the concrete, ouch for both men. Anderson pummels Dreamer, Dreamer hotshots the arm of Anderson. Slingshot crossbody for two, dragon sleeper from Dreamer. Anderson hurls Dreamer shoulder first into the turnbuckle, shoulder stunner. Armbar from Anderson, sky high from Dreamer. Transition into a single leg Boston crab, Dreamer smacks a chair against Anderson’s arm. Dreamer smacks the ringbell off Anderson’s head, Anderson avoids an oncoming Dreamer who meets the guard rail. Drop toehold onto the chair, Dreamer is bleeding just like Anderson.

 Anderson shin breakers Dreamer onto the chair, Indian deathlock from Anderson. Anderson smacks the leg with a chair, Dreamer boots the chair into Anderson’s face. Middle rope elbow for Anderson, Dreamer has razor wire. Anderson nails a huge left, towel boy attacks Anderson. Towel Boy cracks Anderson with trays, why is this happening? No clue, Anderson nails a Ferris Wheel on Dreamer. Anderson cracks towel boy with a tray, delayed vertical suplex on towel boy. How am I supposed to take this seriously?

Anderson tries a superkick, Dreamer catches the kick for an ankle lock. Anderson elbows Dreamer, Spinebuster on the razor wire! Suplex onto two chairs by Anderson, Dreamer is sent crashing into a steel chair. Anderson sets up a table, Dreamer catches Anderson on the top rope. Spiccoli Driver through the table, Dreamer grabs the table wire and chokes Anderson crossface style for the win.

Decent brawl, had all the brutality you would want from an I Quit Match, the fans rally behind Dreamer so easily, Dreamer could always be considered the heart and soul of the company due to the amount of pain he would put himself through but also the way Dreamer was so easy to be sympathetic towards, fun match at the end of the day.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer over CW Anderson via I Quit!

Super Crazy & Kid Kash vs The Unholy Alliance W/ Sinister Minister vs The FBI W/ Big Sal

Oh wonderful, they are going to work this match by having a member of each team in the ring at the same time, Mamaluke, Whipwreck and Kash begin the match. Mamaluke hiptosses Whipwreck, Kash botches something. Double underhook suplex, Kash attacks Mamaluke. Shitty stand-off, Tajiri and Crazy are the only ones in the ring. Armdrags and flips, theatrics that make you feel pathetic by comparison, Fujiwara armbar from Guido. Spinning heel kick by Tajiri, Crazy misses a dive. Slingshot leg drop by Whipwreck to Guido, corkscrew senton by Kash to Guido. Mamaluke saves Guido, Tarantula on Kash. Everyone is doing submissions, The FBI stop Crazy’s moonsault.

Crazy tope con hilos onto everyone, Kash says my turn with a corkscrew attack to the floor. Ten punches by Crazy, Kash hurricanranas Whipwreck. Crazy dives onto Tajiri, Tajiri kicks Crazy. Big Sal splashes Kash, Mamaluke covers Kash and the team of Super Crazy and Kid Kash are eliminated from this match.

Mamaluke begs for mercy from Tajiri & Whipwreck, clotheslines and sit-out facebusters with a low dropkick for good measure. Guido is launched off the top rope, Guido is placed in the tree of woe. Mamaluke too, Guido eats a dropkick. Mamaluke avoids Whipwreck, inverted tornado DDT on Whipwreck. Slingshot Sicilian Slice for two, kimura lock from Guido. Snap suplex by Mamaluke, Whippersnapper by Whipwreck. Tag to Tajiri, kicks for The FBI. Steel chairs are wedged between turnbuckles, lawn darts onto the chairs. The FBI reverse a double whippersnapper for a double Fujiwara armbar. Buzzsaw kicks for Guido, mist for Mamaluke and double Tiger suplexes for the win.

If Crazy and Kash are not going to play any real significant part, why have them in the match? If you are going to build around Tajiri and Whipwreck as top heels to Doring & Roadkill, why have them go against The FBI when The FBI are clearly heels? Have The Unholy Alliance beat Crazy and Kash so the two are not cheered, simple booking at the end of the day.

Winners: Unholy Alliance over The FBI via Tiger Suplexes!

(ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Steve Corino © W/ Jack Victory vs Justin Credible W/ Francine vs The Sandman (Tables/Ladders & Canes Match)

Before the match, Rhino murders the lower card of ECW because Rhino is the fucking man! Mahoney cracks The Blue Boy with a chair before Rhino comes down for his fun. Gore for Balls, Gore for Diamond & Swinger. Poor Dawn, Rhino Gores Dawn too. Chilly Willy is here, Rhino Gores Chilly Willy. Blue Boy is Gored too, poor Jasmine St Clare. Jasmine gets the best treatment of all, a Rhino Driver from the middle rope, what a bump to take. Fair play to the girl, Rhino is a beast!

Corino and Credible jump The Sandman, Corino throws a ladder at Sandman. Leg lariat using the ladder by Corino, Corino eats the ladder from Credible. Credible stomps Sandman, Credible places a ladder on Corino and uses a second ladder to drive down into the ribs of Corino. Sandman whips Corino into the ladder, bulldog on the ladder by Sandman. Sandman is caned off the ladder, Credible cracks the two opponents with the ladder he’s wearing on his head. Sandman climbs for the championship once more, Corino stops Sandman. Corino & Credible smack a ladder into Sandman’s balls. Sandman is whipped through a table, Credible is dropped onto a chair by Corino.

Low blow by Corino on Sandman, Sandman canes both Corino and Credible. Credible is tossed to the floor, Sandman places a ladder against the ropes. Suplex for Corino, Sandman drops a ladder on Corino. Sandman climbs the ladder and the ladder breaks, sending Sandman crashing to his own doom. Credible controls the ring, stomps and kicks to Corino. Corino is dropkicked off the ladder by Credible, Sandman is climbing a ladder before being tipped over by Credible & Corino. Sandman is straight back on his feet, Corino catapults Credible into the ladder. Old School Expulsion is blocked, That’s Incredible. Francine hurricanranas Sandman, Sandman pulls out a massive ladder.

The belt is escaping the grasp of Corino and Credible, Sandman canes everyone down off the giant ladder. Credible and Corino bulldog one another through a table, Sandman is left alone and Sandman pulls down the championship. Credible and Corino shakes hands with Sandman, Da Baldies attack but Corino and Credible clear house. Gore to Sandman, Rhino goads Sandman into the championship match. Gore through the table, Sandman kicks out! Rhino Driver through a table, Sandman kicks out again. Another Rhino Driver and we have a new champion.

I just do not understand the booking of the TLC match, you have Corino who appears to be your top babyface but you book him so awkwardly, Corino was teaming up with Credible and heeling it up throughout the match, what is the point of Corino winning the championship if you do not even believe in the man? You want to talk about poor character development? Francine went from fan of Stevie Richards to Pitbull mistress to The Head Cheerleader to standing beside Tommy Dreamer after years of wars to turning affectionate towards Raven as Raven would often protect her to being passed around and being with the champion for sex…

Sandman winning the belt does not do much for me, Sandman was arguably the most popular babyface left due to RVD leaving and Corino’s odd and quirky booking but Sandman is not going to draw, Sandman cannot main event, it’s a shit-show like every match Sandman has, the tip of the iceberg was Sandman falling from the ladder without any attacks from Credible and Corino. Rhino’s win is different, it had been building and it looks like if they had strong enough babyfaces they could build to RVD vs Rhino, RVD would have drawn for the company I am sure, it was all about building credible challengers but for ECW, they did not know who they would have week in and week out so how can you plan ahead when you don’t know what day it is?

Winner: Rhino over Sandman via Rhino Driver!

Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn W/ Cyrus

RVD comes out, looking to face Rhino. Lynn says fuck that and makes the match between RVD and himself. The duo go through their usual spots and dodges, it is all very hardcore heaven 1999. More nice counters, crossbody from Lynn. Spilling to the floor, brawling on the floor. Guard rail moonsault from RVD, rights and lefts from Mr. Pay Per View. Corkscrew guillotine leg drop from RVD, Lynn counters a suplex. Military press slam with moonsault by RVD, middle rope moonsault for two. Lynn nails a massive shoulder block from the middle rope, RVD is bleeding from the mouth heavily. Stomps and kicks by Lynn, RVD elevates Lynn to the apron. Guillotine leg drop by Lynn as RVD misses a shoulder thrust, RVD hits the floor hard as Cyrus and Lynn hug.

Brawling by the guard rail, Lynn plants RVD on the concrete. Security rough up a fan, two for Lynn in the ring. Sunset flip by Lynn out of the corner, two as both men trade pins. Low blow by Lynn, botched small package for two. Kick by RVD, step-through spinning heel kick. Rolling Thunder for two, RVD dropkicks the chair into Lynn’s face. Lynn sunset flip powerbombs RVD onto a chair for two, German suplex by Lynn for two. Tornado DDT by Lynn onto a chair for two, RVD nails a springboard thrustkick. Five Star Frog Splash misses, Oklahoma roll for two. Gertner DDTs Cyrus, Lynn has a chair. Van Damanator, Gertner assists for The Van Terminator. RVD wins the final pay per view match for ECW.

A fitting end when you look at it, despite all the hardship and problems the company faced, they had matches the people wanted to see and these two were just magic in the ring when it came to wrestling. RVD and Lynn were probably the best wrestling-wise rivalry in the company, RVD the biggest star in the company standing tall, a brightspot in all of the darkness surrounding the company. I will spare you any more dramatic quips, this was two wrestlers with great chemistry doing their best spots and sending the fans home happy.

Winner: Rob Van Dam over Jerry Lynn via Van Terminator!

Time to organize my thoughts after watching three years’ worth of pay per views, ECW was revolutionary there is no doubt about it. You can see how much influence the company would hold, The Attitude Era taking its edge from The Land of Extreme. The Franchise inspiring The Game, the lucha-libre style of Mysterio and Psychosis, Malenko and Guerrero ending up on WCW and its Cruiserweight Division. ECW became a breeding ground for the WWF and WCW, Heyman would build up the stars for when the big companies would come calling, all credit to Heyman for focusing on the advantages of his wrestlers and hiding the negatives of the wrestlers in that locker room.

By the time, ECW came on pay per view, I feel they lost some of their lustre. There could have been hotter feuds and bigger angles on pay per view had ECW made it onto pay per view in 95 or 96, a tv deal would have helped the product so much but it was not possible due to the edginess of the product. ECW’s early pay per views I felt were very over-booked and had bad flows even with the likes of Douglas, Bigelow, Funk and Sabu. Dreamer and the other die-hard ECW wrestlers were putting their style on pay per view and it just did not click for me when I was watching these earlier pay per views.

By late 1998 and rolling into 2000, the quality of the shows did improve in my eyes thanks to the work rate of the likes of Tajiri, Guido, Super Crazy, Lance Storm. The series between RVD & Lynn, the likes of Tanaka and Awesome, Super Crazy vs Guido or Tajiri or Lynn, they could always put on a show with the likes of Doring & Roadkill and Nova & Chetti putting on great spectacles in tag matches when given the chance. ECW shows were always fun, there is no doubt about that and these wrestlers made it so easy to sit through these shows.

My major gripes were the fragility of the roster with the big companies always screwing up plans, in the year of 2000 we did not see a conclusion to The Impact Players, RVD winning the championship, Awesome losing the championship or Raven’s love angle with Francine and hatred of Dreamer. Booking of Douglas losing to Taz got very strange, not capitalizing on Taz when The Human Suplex Machine was red-hot, Taz never got a fair shake in the main event with no real challengers, Awesome would have a similar task on his hands and we had the hot-shotting of the championship with Lynn, Credible, Corino and Sandman.

New stars were not ascending the card, they were stuck in purgatory. I mentioned the likes of Tajiri, Guido and Super Crazy, Lynn could be included too. It seemed that no matter how doomed ECW was becoming, ECW would never pull the trigger on any of these stars, a possible reason could be Rhino holding the Television Championship but someday the monster had to fall, some day the fans could not watch Crazy vs Tajiri every single day and moving them all into tag teams was not a quick fix for the problem. You also had the garbage wrestling of ECW, the blood and the guts. New Jack matches, Balls Mahoney matches, Da Baldies and even The Dudleys had a tonne of brawls despite their status as the best tag team in ECW, it was too much of the same and I felt you could only go so far with these type of wrestlers and matches.

In conclusion, this company had one hell of a journey, it was heart-breaking at times and not many of those who filled that locker room went onto huge success, it is a sad tale especially as so many have passed away and struggled with addictions since the company’s closure. For a few years, the company was a revolution, it gave birth to a new attitude among the wrestling scene. Everything became darker and grittier, it was for the best as WWF and WCW phased out the wrestlers who had real jobs, the goons, the clowns etc. But they were badly mis-managed just like WCW and it all came crashing down in 2001 as ECW’s Guilty As Charged! Thanks for reading, I hope you have enjoyed this arc on the website, up next is The Golden Era of The WWF so expect every pay per view and Saturday Night’s Main Event up until Hogan’s departure at King Of The Ring 1993!

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