Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ECW Hardcore Justice!! Report

When I first got back into wrestling around 1997, I became a huge fan of ECW. Because of ECW I started tape trading, and it opened my wrestling world up to puro and lucha and helped turn wrestling into an obsession for me. I didn't have too much nostalgia for it at the end, but thought the One Night Stand show a few years after was a fun idea that provided a good atmosphere (and I really dug the Funk tag from the 2nd one). But there wasn't anything when the ppv ended that made me think "Man, I wish we could relive these days more often." But damn if I didn't start getting really excited when this TNA version came about.

Now, in fairness to you dear reader, I'm not really sure WHY I got so excited for this ppv. I know a large portion of my glee was because TNA was devoting one of its 12 yearly ppvs to a promotion that is entirely owned by its competition, and I am still endlessly tickled by that. This was entirely a commercial for something that they cannot profit off of! They paid their own money, to hopefully turn people onto a wrestling product that WWE is currently making money off of! "If you liked these matches, you should consider subscribing to WWE 24/7, or picking up one of the many ECW DVDs they've released." I cannot wrap my head around ANY of that, no matter how hard I try. Owl City didn't come out with an album under the name "Fed Ex" and take breaks between songs to say things like "If you dug that track, you should consider giving money to Ben Gibbard, and Sub Pop, and dating a girl with S.A.D., and taking a trip to Seattle." Nope, he just made an album that sounded like really bad Postal Service, presented it to people that had never heard Postal Service, and made a good deal of money.

But bands cover other bands all the time. Small acts cover legendary acts, legendary acts cover obscure acts, and they'd probably be tickled if fans then went out and discovered those covered acts. But a cover and a blatant rip-off are two different things. Kurt Cobain would probably be elated to see the Vaselines make a 2009 comeback (were they ever even here?) when most people only knew they existed because of "Molly's Lips". He would probably be less excited to see Sponge make a comeback (since they were essentially a Bush cover band, who were a Nirvana cover band). But they were all able to exist and they were all able to make money and fans of Sponge didn't care that they were a really bad Nirvana, they just really liked "Plowed". But TNA isn't merely ripping off a rip off.

TNA's scenario would be more if Nirvana and Sponge were the only two bands in existence, and Nirvana owned the Vaselines back cataloge, and Nirvana was gobbling up 95% of the music industry money, and Sponge had a really rough 10 years, losing a bunch of money, but then decided to do a small club tour doing nothing but Vaselines songs, but they couldn't record any of the shows, and they couldn't promote the tour as them playing Vaselines songs since they didn't own them, and it wasn't a sold tour, so they had to pay for everything themselves....then....

What the fuck am I even talking about!? It should be obvious to everyone involved that this ppv was a collossally shitty idea, with minimal chance to make money short term, and zero chance to make money long term for them, all while positioning their own company as a #2 to a fed that lasted about as long as they have and has been dead for years.

They wanted Jerry Lynn to headline the ppv, which makes no sense as he was in TNA longer than he was in ECW, and they never felt he was a headliner while he was IN TNA, and they could have signed him back at any point over the last 3 years, but had no interest in him! And suddenly they want him to headline!

I just don't get it. Nobody was clamoring for this, and they appeared to not even be sure what the fans wanted. As far as reunions go, the 1997 Dukes of Hazzard reunion was booked far better. They knew what the fans wanted, and presented the characters with satisfying backstories: Bo was a race car driver, Luke was a fucking parachuting forest fireman!, Daisy was divorced and getting her PhD (meaning she was both smart AND sexually available), Jesse was the Grand Marshal for the reunion, Enos was with the LAPD, Cooter's a Congressman, etc. If something was different, they addressed it directly: No Boar's Nest? It burned down. Sorrell Booke died years earlier? Well, Boss Hogg done passed away from stress, but he wrote a book about grifting before he went! No Waylon Jennings? Have Bo and Luke make a new song detailing all the fine memories they created. Denver Pyle has lung cancer? Throw a wig and a beard and a fucking fat suit on him and pretend he's still the same ol' Uncle Jesse!

In the end, CBS presented these characters in ways that fans would fondly remember them. They didn't bring out fucking Coy and Vance and poke fun at what a shitty idea this was. CBS didn't call attention to how disappointing it was to not have Boss Hogg. TNA would've been far better off pretending Paul Heyman was dead, instead of Dixie tweeting about the contract negotiations between them and the fat, excitable, bald man in a suit who runs the town. She should've just written Boss Hogg out of it. CBS knew that Tom Wopat and John Schneider still looked good, and the fans were happy that Catherine Bach still looked great in shorts. TNA didn't even bother to have people get in something resembling shape.

I.. just...don't...get this ppv!

But I was excited for it (mostly for all the wrong reasons, essentially to laugh and laugh at TNA and their continual blunders), as excited as I would be for ANYthing featuring Tracy Smothers, Scorpio, or CW. So here we go. I'll keep the rest of this short.

1. Tracey Smothers/Little Guido/Tony Luke w/ Big Sal vs. Kid Kash/Simon Diamond/Johnny Swinger

Smothers is like James Woods, I'll pretty much watch him in anything. Guido looks good and so does Mamaluke. Kash looks the same as last time I saw him, and Diamond is so fat that Tazz tells him to invest in a singlet. When you're so fat that Tazzzz is calling you out, time to take a good long look in the mirror. No Mitch, Muskateer, Dick Hurtz. Diamond threw some nice punches and Smothers did his awesome Smothers-Fu, Mamaluke took a big bump to the floor and a nasty bump into the corner, Kash got crazy distance on his springboard dive, Mamaluke hit a great missile dropkick that the camera mostly missed (since TNA cameramen still don't actually know how to film wrestling) and Guido actually gets the pin! Fun stuff.

We do some video promo/memories segments that are all really strange.

Gary Wolfe is apparently still alive. I figured him for dead years ago. And he apparently has prior commitments. So he couldn't be there. And his titties are more on display than Francine's. Good lord his gynecomastia is out of control and in our face.

Blue Meanie treats his promo as if he's doing a "good luck to the bride and groom" video at a wedding, or a video yearbook on the last day of school.

Then TNA guys talk really unconvincingly about what "that promotion" meant to them.

2. CW Anderson vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

This was actually a match I had hoped would happen and we're pretty much through all the announced names I was excited about at this point. This match was legitimately awesome, though. I'm not sure how these two have not found themselves in a regular promotion. The punch exchanges looked great and were capped off by CW's AWESOME left hand that Scorpio sold perfectly. His thousand yard stare afterwards was the best. Scorpio is one of my favorite workers of all time, as his flying offense ALWAYS looks super impactful and hits the mark most of the time. Here, the tumbleweed looked great, the missed moonsault was nice, and the moonsault legdrop was awesome. CW was totally game here and this was just constant fun. Alvarez said the fans were trying hard to be polite during this one and I am completely puzzled as this was EASILY the best TNA match I have seen since JJ/Angle from 1/09. This easily smoked TNA's last 18 months.

RVD really coulda put on some shorts or something during his promo while he iced his sac.

3. PJ Polaco vs. Stevie Richards

This was pretty decent, but it was kinda poor booking. Both are wrestlers with little offense who were really good bumpers, so not too shocking to me that there wasn't a lot of offense here. Stevie took PJ's DDT nicely, and the end superkick was cleverly hit during the middle of PJ spouting his catchphrase, acting as Jerry McDevitt slapping a C&D right under TNA's chin.

4. Brother Runt vs. Al Snow vs. Rhyno

Boy...I just don't remember much of this. Huh. I mean, there is just nothing that sticks with me here. I remember Spike taking the Gore really nicely at the end...nope, I got nothing on this one.

Francine looked really nice. The further away she gets from wrestling, the better she looks. "I was gonna be there to relive the days of me getting piledriven while fans chant something about my cunt. But I guess I'm doing OK here with my family and my flattering age-appropriate hair cut. I really miss those days, guys, seriously!"

Cut to TNA workers having a really fucking boring Nitro Party during the show.

5. Dudleys vs. Kahoneys/Axl Rotten

Axl Rotten looks like Frank Mir after a twinkie-assisted depression-addled post-Brock/Carwin loss bender, and he can't move very much, but his punches still somehow suck less dick than Mick Foley's later in the show. Balls was the correct answer for "Who has the worst meth teeth from ECW". I know many of you had a lot of money riding on Bill Alphonso. I'm sorry. Balls is winner. Brother Ray's super face plants ruled and most of this sucked and then New Jack came out to hit people and then hug them and then talk about raping other people. I thought Bubba sold the lightsaber stabbing really well. The camera shot it really nicely from the opposite side, really looked like that thing went right through him.

6. Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer

Wow, this felt really really long. Raven hit a really nice kick while they were brawling in front of 4 year olds. Those daughters faces really said "Fuck is our dad a loser. We wore our nice matching summer dresses for this!?" They both looked alright taking the drop toe hold onto stuff and I actually enjoyed the ending story of "Raven gets the win, but Tommy has a nice wife and family". I'm not sure if Taz picked up on that, he was fucking terrible tonight. Buuuuuut not as terrible as Mick Foley's punches. I think it is beyond safe to say that Mick Foley now has the shittiest punches in wrestling, even shittier than Abyss. I mean, Abyss' punches are insanely, impossibly bad, looking like a cross between a confused teen doing a sieg heil and a girl weakly throwing a baseball. But Foley's 2010 punches? Holy shit, I have zero idea what he's even going for with these things. He appears to be aiming his wrist at the space 6" above his opponent's forehead, throwing it horizontally and with no clear intention to come close to the person's head. I'm just dumbfounded at what those things could possibly be. He can't be miming punches. He cannot be doing any sort of approximation of fist-based violence towards his opponent. So somebody PLEASE help me. What was Mick Foley doing? What were those supposed to be? And while you're at it, please explain to me what Kofi Kingston is doing what he's supposed to be doing 10 count corner punches. I have no idea what the fuck those are supposed to be either.

7. RVD vs. Sabu

Ah, I missed the days of RVD setting people up in precarious spots and then making them awkwardly hold their position while he posed and chatted with fans while setting up the spot, then eventually hit the spot. Sabu was awesome because he would sit in awkward positions while RVD hit his shit, then he would just get up and punch back to offense. Sabu hits a great dive into the crowd, RVD takes years to set up spots, Sabu gets monkeyflipped onto the edge of a chair and somehow Taz fucks that up! "He was aiming for the center of the chair, and he kinda sorta hit his elbow on the side of it, but not really what they were going for." Fuck, really!? That's the guy getting over your talent? This shit doesn't really hurt! Teacher, you forgot to give us homework! You usually give us homework, and class is almost over and you haven't given it to us yet! What a doofus.

Post show Dixie looks like THEE biggest money mark in the history of wrestling. Bubba motorboats her and carries her around the ring, and she is sooooooo stoked to be one of the boys in the back. I was praying for the show to end with her getting 3Dd and then piledriven through a table by Rhyno. ECW wasn't about being thankful for women!

Man. This show. Why? Why!?

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