I figured if I was going to start doing ECW shows I would start with the ones I haven’t seen 50 times. So instead of starting with Barely Legal we are starting here. Enjoy.

8/17/97

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Commentator: Joey Styles

Image result for ecw hardcore heaven logo

  • Joey Styles is out to run down some matches and generally just fill up PPV time to start. He doesn’t get too far before Rick Rude arrives (with some god awful knock off theme) to ruin the party. The crowd chants “You sold out” at Rude like a bunch of morons. Joey doesn’t help that by acknowledging the stupidity. ECW could not have been paying Rude jack if he left for WWE for a non contracted role. These people are jerks. Anyway, Joey bailed and Rude intros Chris Candido for his match.
  • Before we could get too far with that Todd Gordon comes out to declare that Rude doesn’t have a managers license (EXTREME) and has to leave or Candido forfeits. All of that is before we even get to the actual show intro. What a waste of time this shit was.

 

ECW World Television Championship: Chris Candido vs (C) Taz

It’s not surprising that I liked this as much as I did. I always loved Taz and Candido was amazing. The older I get the more I realized that Chris pretty much carried this thing and Taz just sprinkled in suplexes for spice. Joey Styles got on my nerves pretty early though by calling basic holds fancy ass names to make himself smarter. Other than that slight negativity this was a solid opener. Taz got the win with a Tazmission. 1 for 1.

  • Joey is with us again to shill future PPV’s and intro the next bit of weirdness.
  • Earlier in the evening ICP was performing and got taken out by RVD and Sabu. The kick to Jay’s fave from RVD sounded sick.

 

Spike Dudley vs Bam Bam Bigelow

This was billed as a revenge match but probably should have been billed as a massacre instead. Spike had pinned Bam Bam the previous week so this was time for him to die. Poor Spike got in 2 moves the entire match. Bam Bam split him open, dropped him on the ringpost and tossed his ass into the crowd. BBB then finished him off with a moonsault. It was a squash but an energetic one. Good enough for a point. 2 for 2.

  • Spike’s bloody corpse is helped to the back while the mop the ring of his blood. Kinda gross.
  • More Joey and video from earlier. They really are trying to fill time here. Apparently Sandman tried to save ICP by himself and got taken out by RVD and Sabu (who looks really weird in a suit). Shocking that he couldn’t beat them up by himself. He leaves in an ambulance.

 

Rob Van Dam (with Bill Alfonso) vs Al Snow

This was during the period where RVD was all about Monday nights and Al was starting to lose his mind. Joey talking shit about “Sports Entertainment” while filling the show with the Sandman garbage is hilarious. What a dick. Anyway other than my apparent hatred of Joey now, the match was really good. RVD was a stud and Al was good enough of a wrestler at this point to be able to reign him in and make it a match. Rob won with the Vandaminator and this was pretty great. 3 for 3 so far. I’m kinda shocked really.

  • Speaking of old hypocrite Joey. We now cut to the EXTREME HELICOPTER because Sandman stole an ambulance and ECW (who couldn’t afford to pay talent at points) luckily had the money to have a chopper on hand for just such an occurrence. Lance Wright was pretty bad here in his role as reporter. This definitely wasn’t “Sports Entertainment” because I wasn’t entertained.
  • Jerry Lawler cuts a fine Promo on ECW.
  • The Dudleys, Joel Gertner, Sign Guy, Bick Dick and Jenna Jameson come out to talk shit about the Gangstas and PG-13. Jamie Dundee cuts a redneck promo in response that was pretty good.

 

ECW Tag Team Championships: (C) The Dudleys (with all the people I just listed) vs PG-13

I’m not positive that this was a tag title match because with all that talking no one ever said. First thing I noticed is that JC Ice is almost built worse than Spike. It didn’t matter because PG-13 were more awesome than I remember. They really did a great job in there and if I’m being honest looked better than the Dudley’s at this point. Jenna unsurprisingly kept getting better responses than the wrestlers though. One was for spitting after JC forced a kiss on her (I’ll leave that alone) and once for just bouncing up and down. It was 1997 Jenna so I kinda see the crowd’s point. This ends with a 3D on Wolfie after a really solid tag match. I didn’t see 4 for 4 coming but here we are.

  • Joey again with the EXTREME HELICOPTER shit. More filler. Apparently Sandman stole the ambulance but can’t find the building because he is a moron.
  • Lawler is in the ring shilling the Ground Zero PPV like a champ. He then cuts the EXACT same promo from earlier but live. MORE FILLER.

 

Jerry Lawler vs Tommy Dreamer (with Beulah)

Ah yes, here is where the wheels fall off. This started pretty good but they just kept having to get cutesy with it until it fell apart. The brawling between Lawler and Dreamer was actually great and then the lights went out…three times. The first was Rick Rude the second Jake Roberts (who was feuding with Lawler not long before and attacked both guys) and finally Sunny. Other than them all (technically) being WWF/E people they had no reason to be there. Joey treating it like a WWF invasion is hilarious at best. Yeah Vince wanted to win so he sent a guy with a bad back, a drunk and a 90 pound blonde chick. Come on. On a positive note 1997 Sunny was 1997 Sunny. Tommy won after 2 ball shots and a DDT. The streak ends here though 4 for 5.

  • Joey is back AGAIN. This time to help recap the vastly overrated 3-way Dance from the Night the Line Was Crossed.
  • Our final EXTREME HELICOPTER update of the night. The Sandman has found the Arena and is now hitting random cops with a Kendo stick. Wow.

 

ECW World Championship 3-Way Dance: Shane Douglas (with Francine) vs Terry Funk vs (C) Sabu (with Fonzie)

Remember how I just said that the previous incarnation of this match was overrated? This was not. I really liked this one. Everyone pulled their part off in this thing perfectly. Sabu didn’t mess up 50 spots, Terry looked as good as a man in his type of shape could and Shane was great. The interference was cut to a minimum and mostly made sense. They finally paid off the Sandman deal. Todd Gordon got killed which made me happy. I got to see Dory Funk and his awesome skullett. I enjoyed this. Shane got the win with like 5 belly to belly suplexes on Terry. 5 for 6.

  • Joel Gertner and the Dudleys arrive to try and get Shane to drop the Triple Threat and join them. Candido and Bam Bam arrive and that sets off a locker room brawl in the ring. The Dudleys stand tall and try to beat up Terry. Axl and Balls make the save for a moment before the numbers game gets to them. The Fake New Jack music fires up though and he and the Eliminators (including Saturn doing crazy shit on crutches and a huge leg brace) come in to kick ass. Gertner is killed with a chair by New Jack and that’s all she wrote.

 

Overall Thoughts: I honestly thought the biggest problem I would have with these shows was some of the wrestling. I was wrong. The fact that this was a 5 for 6 show kinda blew my mind. It wasn’t all positive though. Joey Styles sounding like the smarkiest of smarky bastards on commentary really bothered me. As far as all the time filling went it got real old real fast. Let’s see how far we can take these shows. Thanks for reading.

 

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