ECW Hardcore Heaven 1997 (8/17/1997)- Ft. Lauderdale, FL
OPENING SEGMENT- I’m kind of confused here. Tod Gordon tells Rude “I don’t care what you do outside of ECW, but what you do in ECW is my business,” but this whole segment seemed like Tod Gordon and Joey Styles were angry at Rude for making part-time appearances for the WWF.
ECW TV TITLE MATCH: Taz(c) vs. Chris Candido-5.75/10
This might be a title match, but calling the opener one this show’s “main events” seems very silly. The match itself seemed to be going somewhere good, but ended kind of abruptly. With all of his working on Taz’s neck, you would think that Candido could at least get a good nearfall in or something
CLIPS OF RVD & SABU DESTROYING THE INSANE CLOWN POSSY- I don’t like ICP much, so I enjoyed this.
SPIKE DUDLEY vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW- DUD!
Bam Bam pretty much destroys Spike, with Spike barely getting any offense in, proving that Spike’s win one week ago at Born to be Wired was a complete and total fluke, and thus not really helping Spike in any way.
CLIP OF SANDMAN TRYING TO SAVE ICP, BUT GETTING DESTROYED BY SABU & RVD- This was important to show, but I’m not really sure why they didn’t just show this with the earlier clip.
MONDAY NIGHT WRESTLING RULES MATCH: Al Snow vs. Rob Van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso)- 7/10
The ring announcer forgot to say “rules” at the end of this stip, so what he said didn’t make any sense. The stip itself was entirely irrelevant in the match, though, as both guys made liberal use of a steel chair and the ref had no problem with it. This was a good, athletic match.
A GUY IN A HELICOPTER IS FOLLOWING THE SANDMAN’S AMBULANCE- for some reason ECW has a helicopter (I honestly cannot think of a single reason why ECW would ever have need of a reporter in a helicopter. I guess those stories Paul E. wasting money weren’t exaggerations), which has been sent to follow the Sandman’s ambulance (the attack by RVD and Sabu ended with him being loaded into an ambulance). Apparently Sandman has commandeered the ambulance and wants to get revenge on RVD and Sabu… but he drove it to the wrong arena or something like that. Facepalm.
JERRY LAWLER PROMO- what the hell was up with the camera?! It was like the camera was on a pendulum, swinging back and forth towards and away from Lawler. Watching this made me dizzy enough that it was hard to enjoy what seemed like a good promo. I really wish they had done this promo live just to see the ECW crowd’s reaction to the names that Lawler drops (Taker, Bret, & Austin)
Gertner introduces Jenna Jameson as an “adult-oriented film and motion picture star,” in a way that made it sound like he was going out of his way not to use the word “pornography,” for whatever reason… which was hilariously undone by the bottom third graphic which called her “Jenna Jameson, Extreme Porn Star.” Gertner also tells us that the Dudleys are now the tag team champs, defeating the Gangstas via forfeit (in reality, Mustafa left ECW)
Before the match started J.C. Ice cut a quick promo insulting the Dudleys. One of the things he said was that the fact that the Dudleys are all so different means that “Momma Dudley must have been a ho.” This annoys me because it shows a complete and total lack of knowledge of the Dudley gimmick. They all have the same father, Big Daddy Dudley. No two Dudleys have the same mother. Granted, J.C. hadn’t been with the company for that long, so maybe he didn’t know this… but the fans certainly should have, so the “Momma Dudley is a ho. Doo-dah. Doo-dah” chant never should have gotten started.
ECW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Dudley Boyz(c) (w/Big Dick Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, Joel Gertner, & Jenna Jameson) vs. PG-13- 5/10
SANDMAN IS STILL DRIVING A STOLEN AMBULANCE AND STILL LOST- this angle is still dumb.
JERRY LAWLER CUTS THE SAME PROMO AS BEFORE- so why even show the earlier one? Well… at least I got my wish and Lawler name drops Bret, Taker, and Austin in front of the ECW crowd. Austin gets a slight pop, but Bret and Taker get no reaction at all, either positively or negatively.
JERRY LAWLER vs. TOMMY DREAMER (w/Beulah McGillicutty)- 6.25/10
Have I mentioned how much I hate smarky crowds in this review yet? No? Well this is as good a time as any. Tommy Dreamer, the big babyface who the crowd loves is standing up for his company against Jerry Lawler, a man who works the “sports entertainment” company that ECW and its fans claim to dislike so much, who has come here and pooped all over their beloved ECW. Tommy is about to hit Lawler with a piledriver when the lights go out (SO overused in ECW, to the point where I roll my eyes whenever it happens), and when they come back on, Jake Roberts is in the ring and he attacks Tommy, saving the King… and the fans CHEER? YOU MORONS! He attacked your favorite babyface who is standing up for your beloved company and saved a man who has come into your company and crapped all over it! How the hell do you cheer for that?
Oh, after hitting Tommy with a DDT, Jake attacks Lawler, too, for no apparent reason, then just walks off. Okay… thanks for dropping by Jake… I guess.
Anyway, this was a very good match that was marred by overbooking. The lights should not go off THREE DIFFERENT TIMES in one match, especially if there is no involvement at all from someone like Taker, Sting, or Sabu (you know, someone with a history of being able to make the lights go off). F*cking Sunny does not need the lights to go off to set up her run-in. Seriously. Whatever happened to just plain old running down the aisle? I liked the finish a lot, though. That whole thing was great.
THE SANDMAN FOUND THE ARENA- even the guy reporting from the helicopter sounds bored.
THREE WAY DANCE FOR THE ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Sabu(c)(w/Bill Alfonso) vs. Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas (w/Francine)- 8/10
A show-saving match. I’m sure why they were breaking pins up if this was an elimination match and the spot with Fonzie and Tod was kind of weird, but otherwise, an awesome match. Some of the nearfalls towards the end were just plain awesome.
AFTERMATH- Shane starts beating Funk down. They did one of those things where the whole locker room comes out to watch the match… and they are all still at ringside just watching Shane beat Funk down. Then the Dudleys get into the ring and try to convince Shane to dump Bam Bam and Candido and join up with them instead. The Triple Threat wind up brawling with Bubba, Devon, & Big Dick, and the whole locker room quickly jumps into the ring to break it up. So they will stand by and watch the heels beat down a legend like Terry Funk, but once the heels start fighting each other in a fair fight, then they spring into action? This would have been an awesome segment without the Terry Funk thing.
Overall a pretty good show from ECW, although that is mostly due to the main event. Without the main event being as good as it was, this would have been okay at best.