Guilty As Charged 1999
Date: January 10, 1999
Location: Millennium Theater, Kissimmee, Florida
Commentator: Joey Styles
So tonight after about eight months of waiting too long, it’s FINALLY time for Shane vs. Taz. The main problem here is simple: until this point, no one bought for a second that anyone but Taz was going to take the belt off of Shane, so there was no point in caring about any other challenger.
The other issue was Taz wasn’t nearly as hot anymore. RVD was arguably the hottest guy on the roster but after the WAY long build for Taz, he had to have the belt at least 3-4 months. Other than that there’s not a lot here. Dreamer vs. Credible in a ladder match and that’s about it. Let’s get to 1999 in ECW.
Heyman thanks us for buying the event. He says the card has to be changed and Tanaka and Lynn won’t be working tonight, so instead of Tanaka vs. RVD and Lynn vs. Storm and Spike we get Storm vs. Van Dam. I like them just flat out telling us. It’s a nice little touch as the reality is simple: bad stuff happens sometimes and you have to deal with it at times. Good for Paul to just flat out say it.
Joey says ECW is Guilty as Charged. Doesn’t say what they’re guilty of but whatever.
Cue theme song.
Danny Doring/Roadkill vs. Full Blooded Italians
Doring and Roadkill don’t even get an entrance on PPV. That’s saying a lot about them I’d say. It’s Smothers and Guido in case you were wondering. Not a terrible choice for an opener I guess. Joey goes silent for a long time for no apparent reason. The arena setup is really weird as the ramp is coming from the bottom as opposed to the side. And here are Rotten and Mahoney.
Apparently this is now a three way dance. Ah there’s Joey. I wonder if Rotten ever got annoyed with the music always being about Mahoney. Rotten says he hates this dancing stuff so now it’s a three way dance, meaning elimination rules. Well sure why not. Yep it’s chair shot time. There’s no one in the ring at all. Ah ok we have Mahoney and Smothers in there. The commentary is really quiet as it’s hard to hear Joey.
Of course there’s nothing resembling tagging or wrestling at all here so it’s ECW. Ok that’s not fair or true but you get the point. Apparently Roadkill screws sheep. The ring is REALLY loud. He puts Smothers down and in a move that literally has my mouth hanging open, Roadkill hits a top rope splash ¾ across the ring. That was IMPRESSIVE.
And the Italians put out Roadkill and Doring with a double fisherman’s suplex. Rotten has been nowhere to be seen for a LONG time now. Oh there he is on the apron. Both freaky looking guys hit their finishers on the Italians to end it. They add a pair of SICK chair shots for the heck of it.
Rating: D+. Just way too short to mean anything here. It was beat up one guy, go for a finisher, counter finisher, hit finisher, pin. The adding in of the Freaks helped too I think as it’s not like this was anything remotely resembling interesting otherwise so there’s nothing wrong with that. Still though just something to get the crowd going and it worked pretty well in that sense. Match was awful though.
Terry Funk is here to complain about Tommy Dreamer. Apparently this is about Jake Roberts for some reason. Yes I know the story behind it.
Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy
Tajiri is in regular tights here and he looks weird like that. He looks YOUNG too. This should be fun if nothing else. Joey sums up Tajiri by saying he loves to kick. Yep that’s accurate. DANG they are freaking moving out there. That was awesome looking right there. Not huge on Tajiri completely no selling that spinning DDT but whatever. There’s that handspring elbow. I love that move.
Picture perfect Asai moonsault follows that up. SICK kick to Crazy’s head and a Tarantula follow that up. Awesome stuff. I always cringe whenever someone is put in a surfboard. That move is just freaking painful looking. This is awesome to say the least. They trade rollups but both guys just get two. It’s followed up by some insane strikes and counters that I can’t keep up with. Tajiri ends it with a Dragon Suplex (full nelson into a suplex pin).
Rating: A-. OH YES. Ok, now if this was what ECW meant by the best of the rest of the world, I get it. This was AMAZINGLY fun to watch. It’s about 11 minutes long which is perfect as both guys were starting to get a bit tired at the end so instead of sucking the life out of the place at the end they wrapped it up. This was awesome and very fun at the same time. It was a spotfest and there isn’t a thing wrong with that. Incredibly entertaining match.
Come see us!
John Kronus vs. ???
Kronus has completely outlived his usefulness at this point and no one cares. Judge Jeff Jones debuts as the Judge instead of being the crooked referee that he had been for months prior to this. Considering Bill Clinton had a heart issue last night, his jokes about him are a bit touchy. He declares a bunch of people Guilty as Charged.
Apparently Kronus beat Jones up at a live show. He brings out Sid Vicious to beat the tar out of Kronus. Sid throws him through a table which more or less explodes. There’s a massive POWERBOMB chant. For the life of me I never got why Sid was so over but he always was to be fair. This might have lasted two minutes at most.
Rating: N/A. Well he’s a bigger deal than Jake Roberts if nothing else. Never been that big on him but he got a pop and a freaking half so there we go.
We recap Shane vs. Taz, including Taz vs. Sabu. Oh and Shane offered him Francine. She was hotter than given credit for. Sabu got his neck broken…again, by Taz. I guess this made more sense in context. Oh ok it was a plot by Taz to get into the ECW Title picture and drop the FTW belt. Got it.
Gertner and the Dudleys show up unannounced for no apparent reason. Clean shaven Bubba is odd looking. They’re only five time champions here. That’s odd to say the least. Big Dick just growls at the camera. Nicely done. Gertner makes these shows, period. He’s the bacon in her eggs, the man for whom she begs and the face between her legs. He’s talking about Daisy Duck of all….well actually non people in this case.
I have a new favorite line from Gertner. When talking about Sign Guy: he’s pretty fly for a sign guy. Apparently Big Dick split open YOUR 42 year old mother and then gave it to her like a pair of 21 year old twins. Yep, I love Gertner. They call out anyone and they get a pretty bad answer.
Dudley Boys vs. New Jack/Spike Dudley
Oh great. IT’S THAT STUPID SONG!!! Spike is dressed like a gangsta. I hate my life. Two guesses as to what the primary focus of this match is. Go ahead and guess. BOY TAKE A GUESS! Spike almost gets his head taken off by a shot with something made of metal. D-Von just unloads on New Jack. Spike is launched into the crowd and they body surf him back to the ring. You know ECW: always doing new stuff. And let’s just do it again!
The faces both have guitars and the heels both have chairs. Big Dick winds up taking both guitars. And New jack is freaking cheered for this stuff. They botch a 3D on the ramp so it looks like Jack splashes Bubba. He never even touches the ramp. Ok wait so a guitar being broken over the head of Dick does nothing but an Acid Drop puts him down. A good 3D ends Spike and thankfully that song too.
Post match the Dudleys just freaking kill New Jack with chair shots. They then talk about how they’ve destroyed every team in ECW history. He calls out Public Enemy for a match in six days. They actually did show up despite working for WCW at the time.
Rating: F-. I hate these things and I always have. Call it bias or whatever but guys like New Jack are a disgrace to the sport of pro wrestling and anything he’s involved in is a failure on the part of the booker for putting him on the card. He has no business in wrestling and should be in jail for attempted murder with the Grimes incident.
Big long RVD video package set to Walk. Nothing wrong with that. So instead of Tanaka it’s Storm vs. Van Dam. That could work quite well.
TV Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm
Dawn Marie isn’t human. She can’t be. Storm gets in a great line: he’s not the whole F’ing show but he’s the best part of it. Now Paul make sure you pay attention to the reaction that Van Dam gets, because you won’t be hearing anything like it in the main event. We get a LONG feeling out process that actually isn’t boring at all. I’ve always liked the way Storm threw punches for some reason. Storm gets the half crab which doesn’t mean anything yet.
Fonzie and Dawn (Tammy Lynn Bytch at the time but not a lot of people would get that name) go at it on the floor which lets Van Dam take over. SWEET superkick by Storm. Has to be the second best guy at that ever. I love the crowds here: SHE’S A CRACK WHORE! SHOW YOUR TITS! We’re in the crowd now and in probably one of the five sickest bumps I’ve ever seen, Van Dam gets a reverse DDT onto the floor. No protection at all and he just slams into it.
Storm is WAY underrated in the ring. This has been solid stuff so far, but I’d like more in ring stuff. Storm is a Canadian bad boy apparently. Van Dam more or less cuts a promo in the middle of the match. That’s just awesome. Ah there we go. We’re back in the ring. I don’t mind the insane stuff as long as it winds up being about wrestling. Van Dam goes for the Van Daminator (why can’t he go for coffee or lunch instead?) but Storm jumps away. WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA!!!
It connects the second time and Storm is out cold. Oh ok he was faking. The referee takes a SWEET looking Van Daminator. After Fonzie interferes, a Van Daminator from the top gets two. The quick taunts from Van Dam are what set him apart I think. Like I’ve said before, the playing to the crowd is a signature of the all time greats like Austin, Rock, Sting, Hogan and Flair. In a very surprising finish, we get a wrestling sequence and Van Dam gets the CLEAN pin with a nice German suplex. I greatly approve.
Rating: B. Good stuff here but the overbooking and interference hurt it a bit. This was one of those matches where both guys could definitely bring it and they did here. The ending worked very well too as Van Dam beat him with his own game. What more can you ask for? Solid stuff.
We recap Dreamer vs. Credible which is because of Funk apparently taking Credible under his wing. So yeah, it’s about Funk vs. Dreamer again, which never had the blowoff because Funk headed to WCW.
Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer
You know if you cut Nicole Bass’ head off she’d look good. Jazz, who doesn’t have a name yet, is also with Credible. This is a ladder match ECW style, meaning there is barbed wire hanging over the ring and you need a ladder to get to it. I love Man in the Box. I just do. What in the world is the appeal of Justin? I have never gotten that at all. We get a weird as shot from across where the cameras would be to see the ladder. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
Tommy finally brings the ladder into play as this has been all brawling anyway. The fans want Funk apparently. For a good while it’s all Dreamer and that’s over already. Do you think four people with Justin is enough? Dreamer has a bad arm now too. All of Justin’s entourage helps him out and down goes Tommy. I JUST SAID THAT JOEY!!! I didn’t think it was possible but Jazz is somehow more annoying than she would be in WWE.
It’s all Justin at this point as he just beats the living heck out of Tommy with all kinds of stuff. Tommy makes his comeback and of course here’s Funk because according to Heyman, Credible isn’t allowed to lose. That’s Incredible, which in this case is a powerslam, onto a ladder ends it. I know this is supposed to be an epic storyline and whatnot but I just couldn’t care less at all.
Rating: D. This whole thing was so that Funk could screw over Tommy. I didn’t need a 20 minute beating and Jazz/Nicole screaming to get to that point. Just a waste of time that I wanted to end after about five minutes or so.
Some guy named Stephen Prazak (has to be related to Dave in ROH somehow) interviews Taz. This reaches Rock and Coach levels of insulting. How did Taz go from this to the raving idiot he is now.
Shane says he’s not ready to lose the belt. That’s so funny because it’s supposed to be in character.
ECW World Title: Shane Douglas vs. Taz
Oh and to be clear: Shane has a broken wrist so Taz won’t win deservingly no matter what he does. Ok, before we get into this, let’s get this out of the way. In my eyes, it was this feud that officially killed ECW. Shane should have dropped the belt at least six months ago to Taz who would then be able to drop it to RVD who was the hottest thing in the company and also the best wrestler in the company.
For those of you that don’t know, Taz wins the belt here and holds it until September when he goes to WWF. The problem was that by this time, no one cared about Taz at all. RVD was the popular guy but instead of putting the belt on him like the money would have been in, as that by this time, no one cared about Taz at all.
RVD was the popular guy but instead of putting the belt on him like the money would have been in, he belt more or less had to go to Taz since he had chased it for a year now. Shane should have dropped it in like August and this should be Van Dam vs. Taz for it, but instead by the time Taz dropped it, ECW was dead in the water anyway.
Overall Rat….oh that’s right we still have a match to go. They’re trying to make this seem epic but both guys are more or less done as far as meaning anything in the ring at this point. Taz is ok but the people are just rather apathetic to him at this point. We get a conversation with either production or security guys which is always interesting. And the fans of course want to see tits.
They’re out in the crowd now, meaning more time that the inevitable can’t happen. No one on the planet thinks Shane has a chance here but I guess it has to be made out to be epic right? We’re still in the crowd, which is a very annoying one this time. OH GOOD NIGHT JUST GO TO THE FREAKING RING!!! This is so freaking stupid. We can barely see them as they’re just brawling.
This has been going on for nearly 10 minutes. Shane is bleeding and we’re BACK IN THE RING! Oh look, it’s a table. Taz goes through it as I think watching a test pattern might be more interesting. Shane goes through a table. This is just dull. And now we have no lights. Sabu appears, complete with pyro (in ECW?). He beats up both guys for not apparent reason other than Taz breaking his neck and Shane putting Taz up to it. At least it makes sense.
Pretty impressive that a guy with a broken neck can beat up two professional wrestlers. Shane calls for the Triple Threat and here’s Tammy (Sunny). You know what that means. Candido is here and he turns on Shane, I guess going face? That sets up the Tazmission which of course Shane is allowed to escape for a second before it’s locked on again and Shane passes out. Was that supposed to be Austin/Hart again or something?
Rating: D+. And that’s being VERY generous. This match was 22 minutes long. Of that, 12 were brawling in the crowd, three were Sabu doing his thing, two were Candido running in and 5 were actual wrestling. That’s the EPIC match though right? This could have been good, but seriously, there was enough time spent just “brawling” in the crowd to have the main event of Mania 9. Steamboat beat Savage in about as much time as they brawled in the crowd. See what I mean?
Overall Rating: C-. This show tried. I can’t take that away from it at all. This show had some thought and effort put into it and that helps a lot. However, some of the stuff here was just flat out bad. There is some very good stuff in here, but there’s too much brawling to make it great. A problem with ECW is that they tried to substitute brawling and violence for storytelling and wrestling and that can’t work long term.
Two of the last three matches were brawling and a moment at the end with nothing else going on. This is indeed better than most of the shows that ECW has had lately, but still the last hour of this show just bored me to tears. Check it out, but have a remote in hand to fast forward it.