Friday, November 5, 1999

The Complete Idiot's Guide to ECW November to Remember 1999

My exposure to ECW has been, and continues to be, limited to their TNN airings. Thus the title, "Complete Idiot's Guide". Recent developments behind the scenes have given this PPV an air of unpredictability, as the former world champs Sandman and Mikey Whipwreck have made their official returns to in-continuity ECW action. I'll try to keep the names matched with the faces here, and hopefully we'll deliver a decent read.

Balls Mahoney, New Jack & Axl Rotten vs. The Baldies

OK, I have no idea who the f'n Baldies are. I've seen one New Jack match in it's entirety (His near-squash against Mike Awesome 2 weeks back on TNN), a couple Balls Mahoney matches and maybe one Axl Rotten attempt. See, this is why I shouldn't be previewing ECW PPVs just yet.. Let's take a little stroll over to the ECW page and become enlightened. I'm betting Mahoney will wander out with a chair. I'd expect something extreme to go down at some point. I'm thinking this will end in under 1 hour. And hell, with the chaotic match scheduling that's made ECW famous, this may well air after the World Title match. Honestly, I have no place previewing this match. Soo... I've blindly picked Balls, New Jack and Axl to take one home, only because they're the names I recognize. So long as New Jack is kept out of the ring a good chunk of the time, there's no reason for this to suck too hard.
Winners: Balls Mahoney, New Jack & Axl Rotten

Jerry Lynn vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy
Three Way Dance

All right! If anybody can give me a reason for this match to go anywhere less than 3 1/2-4 stars, speak now or forever hold your peace. Seriously, these 3 rock harder than my llama-mating compound on a wild Friday night. I'll be out of town, and won't be able to order the PPV.. and this match makes me sorely upset at myself for that. My hope is to see this one on TNN Friday night, because that's likely my only shot at catching it.. Extreme Replays and all. Shit, 3 of the best North American workers today in the ring at one time, and I miss the damned match. Enough griping.. Lynn, with his usual carry-job atmosphere absent from this one, should have a big chance to shine as most of us know he can. For the first time in a while, he won't have to worry about making his opponents look good and can concentrate solely on putting together a nice match. Tajiri is one of the stiffest workers on our side of the ocean, and holds true to the ECW mold by fearing no spot. These two alone could put together a match of the year candidate, and then Super Crazy gets thrown into the mix! If it isn't readily apparent by now.. I want to see this match. No amount of detailed recaps on the net can do it justice, and I'm mad as hell to be missing it..
Winner: Damn, this one's hard to call.. Let's say Super Crazy

Sabu vs. Chris Candido

A difficult one to call, as they haven't done much of anything to build this.. (Come to think of it, aside from the Raven/Dreamer v. Impact Players feud, what has been built up??), but that won't necessarily detract from the match in the least. The crowd, as always, will be pumped.. Sabu's return is still fresh in their minds, and this should be Candido's first full-length match since his comeback, so both men will likely give it more than usual. Neither worker has a problem maintaining credibility, and doing the j..o..b. on the ppv won't knock them too far down the ladder. In the end, I think it comes down to outside interference and Tammy could probably take Alphonso in 10 seconds flat. I wouldn't overlook a possible interference from Dawn Marie, in her quest to be the "queen of hardcore", which could end up costing Candido the match. When push comes to shove, I'm taking Candido. The fact that this is near the bottom regarding the potential of matches on this card shows how strong this PPV really is.
Winner: Chris Candido

Rob Van Dam vs. Taz
ECW TV Title Match

Heyman could throw us all here, giving the belt to Taz in exchange for Van Dam's imminent ascension to full-blown main eventer. He knows how obvious the 'human suplex machine's departure is, and is known for taking an easily-predicted outcome and turning it completely inside out. Months back, there were rumors that Van Dam would be the man to finally take the belt from the unbeatable Taz.. now I wonder if things may have found a way to flip flop. The match itself probably won't be anything to write home about. Each man is notorious for the necessary carry job they require to look good, and throwing
two workers like that in a ring together usually ends in disappointment. My respect for Taz has gone up several notches for honoring his word-of-mouth agreement with Heyman to stay with the company through the end of the year, and I'd be lying if I said Paul didn't appreciate it. Maybe one last title run in the company he helped build is in line for the Taz-meister, (did I just say 'taz-meister'? Somebody smack me..) but I don't think it'll come at the expense of Van Dam's "longest title reign in the big 3".
Winner: Rob Van Dam

Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka
ECW World Title Match

The rules state "if Tanaka wins the title, he has one defense of the ECW Title in Japan against a yet to be named opponent. Whoever wins that match would then return to ECW and defend the title full time until he loses the belt." Anybody else remember weak rumors circulating about a certain Japanese legend making his way to ECW for a short run? I'm probably wrong, but I thought they centered around a fellow going by the name of Mitsuharu Misawa. If the rumors were true, what better way to bring the legend in for a brief ECW stint than as champion? And what better way to elevate a midcard worker to blow-the-lid-off-the-earth over than to put him over Misawa for the ECW title? The llama is braying in the sheer anticipation of it all. Then again, the wily Paul Heyman more than likely noticed these net rumors, too. This could be a big work put together to make us wonder about the possibilities. Still, why throw in the stipulation if it's not gonna see use? That little question has me picking Tanaka to hold the belt for a couple days, before dropping it to his 'mystery opponent' in the East. Sure, the multiple title changes place the belt itself at risk of a status drop due to multiple changes, but I think it's worth it in the end.
Winner: Masato Tanaka

Raven, Tommy Dreamer and Sandman vs. Rhino, Justin Credible, Lance Storm and pretty much the rest of the ECW roster not on the card

Tensions will be thick, as 3 former enemies find themselves on the same side in Sandman, Raven and Dreamer. Do I sound like the shill patrol, or what? Along with a few others, I'm hoping Corino somehow gets involved in this mix, though that would definitely be rushing things. Dreamer is insane for working with his back in that kind of condition, and I'm not sure Raven is 100% yet, while Sandman is working his first match back from an injury. With that said, I'm not expecting to see a bump-fest that runs over 45 minutes in this one. Lance Storm is quite good, and will more than likely carry the load for both teams, making Sandman look good, while Credible is a... credible... worker. Rhino hasn't quite impressed me, and I'm willing to bet he won't be spending much time in the ring. They've been building this Raven/Dreamer dissension for too long now to push a camaraderie on us right now, so the match itself will likely end with one turning on the other as Sandman slowly bleeds himself to death on the floor somewhere. Raven delivers the finishing blow, but the Impact Players collect the victory.
Winners: The Impact Players and Rhino

...and that's all she wrote. A card that looks a helluva lot more interesting than a St. Louis Rams game. Looks like I'll be missing both, but I may look into an encore of the ECW card.. provided my buddy across campus didn't order it.
until next time, i remain

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