ECW on TNN – April 7, 2000: The Balance They’ve Needed, Right Before Everything Changes

Date: April 7, 2000
Location: Siegel Center, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Joel Gertner, Joey Styles

We’re getting closer and closer to Hardcore Heaven and while we don’t have anything announced yet, the main ideas are clearly there. The Network is a good idea and Cyrus is a great mouthpiece for the group. We’re just waiting on Heyman to show up to stand up for ECW which will blow the roof off the place. Let’s get to it.

Joel and Joey are in the ring for the opening and the limerick is almost entirely censored. Joey brings out Raven and Francine for the opening chat. He asks Raven why the bounty was put on Dreamer’s head but Raven says Joey is putting too much stock in the internet and dirt sheets because he’s innocent. Joey asks about Da Baldies saying Raven put the bounty on Dreamer’s head. Francine says she’s a baldie herself but she can’t show Joey where on TV. She also knows Raven didn’t put the bounty on Dreamer so Joey accuses her of doing it, earning a slap in the face.

Cue Da Baldies themselves to say that Raven did issue the bounty and accuse Raven of smelling of fear. Raven: “What you smell is your mom and that’s because I only had $10 on me.” You know that earns a beating for Bird Boy, presumably setting up a tag match of some sort later tonight.

The Sinister Minister recaps what we just saw, including telling us that Raven tells the truth even when he lies. The camera zooms out to show him controlling a marionette Mikey Whipwreck.

Opening sequence.

We go to the announcers so they can say we’re going to a break.

Steve Corino vs. Kid Kash

Corino, now in regular trunks instead of his singlet, grabs a hammerlock to start. Kash comes back with some armdrags and a dropkick before clotheslining Corino out to the floor. A HUGE corkscrew plancha takes Corino and Victory out as Joel regales us with stories of his days as a luchador. Back in and Kash chops away but charges into an elbow in the corner. Corino counters a backflip into a powerbomb for two and Jack Victory gets in a cheap shot to Kash’s jaw.

They head outside with the Kid being whipped into the barricade so Corino can gloat a lot. Back in and a great looking clothesline puts Kash down and a Dusty Rhodes elbow gets two. Kash takes Victory out with a baseball slide and snaps off a top rope hurricanrana to take Corino down. Victory comes in but gets dropkicked into the referee. Kash hits the Moneymaker (lifting Pedigree) but Rhyno comes in to Gore Kash, giving Steve the pin.

Rating: C+. Best ECW match in MONTHS. This is proof that ECW has the kind of guys that can put on an entertaining match without the hardcore nonsense, which makes that kind of stuff all the more annoying. This was a nice, back and forth match with two different styles working well off each other. See why that’s a good idea?

Big Sal says Guido will win the TV Title next week. Cyrus comes in and tells Guido the TV Title match will be a three way dance with Tajiri thrown in. The implication is Tajiri will lay down after Crazy is eliminated. Cyrus loves the idea of a young Italian champion. “It’ll be like Bruno in ’63.”

Cyrus pitches the idea of the three way dance to Tajiri, saying that Tajiri will win the title. “Imagine the young Japanese girl demographic!”

TV Title: Mikey Whipwreck vs. Super Crazy

Mikey grabs a headlock to start as Joel talks about Crazy only having two channels on his TV when he was younger. Crazy escapes the Whippersnapper (Stunner) and a headscissors sends Mikey to the outside. A top rope Asai moonsault misses and a superkick puts Crazy down. Mikey legsweeps Crazy into the barricade and drops him face first onto the same barricade for good measure. Back in and Mikey puts on an Indian deathlock of all things but lets Crazy go, allowing him to hit a middle rope moonsault for two.

Ten punches in the corner have Whipwreck in trouble but he forearms the champion down and drops a middle rope legdrop for two of his own. Joel: “How can that be a guillotine legdrop? Guillotines are French and Crazy is Mexican. YOU DON’T SEE HIM EATING A CROISSANT!” Mikey loads up a moonsault but gets powerbombed down, followed by a top rope Lionsault to retain the title.

Rating: C. This was your usual spotfest but again: WE DON’T NEED HARDCORE STUFF! This has been such a refreshing episode of the show with now two solid matches lacking the violent nonsense. Wins like these make Crazy look more credible as he came from behind and pinned a former world champion clean. Nothing wrong with that.

Post match Guido runs in to jump Crazy to set up their match next week. Tajiri comes in to knock out both guys.

Tommy Dreamer thinks the bounty is a joke and offers to double the bounty if anyone can actually get it done. He knows Raven did this and says if Raven can finally get off the pills, he’ll realize that it’s not Dreamer or his dad that did all this but Raven himself. There is no Raven without Tommy Dreamer.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Angel

Joel and Joey spend the entrances accusing each other of putting the bounty on Dreamer. Joey says he’s known Dreamer too long and Joel’s defense is he’s too cheap. Tommy says he needs some help so here’s Sandman to make it 3-1. Joel: “But is he sober enough to get to the ring?”

Sandman/Tommy Dreamer vs. Da Baldies

Dreamer busts out the barbed wire before we go to a break. Back with the brawl already underway and a replay of various violence from the break.

Grimes is slammed off the top, crotch first onto the barbed wire. Dreamer brings in a ladder and wraps the barbed wire around his arm for an elbow onto Grimes onto the ladder but only the ladder gets hit. Sandman is whipped into the ladder and Grimes pounds away with the kendo stick. DeVito talks trash on the mic and here’s Raven to make it 3-3. House is cleaned and there’s the Even Flow to DeVito for the pin. Not enough to rate but more Dreamer/Raven shenanigans makes my head hurt.

Dreamer and Raven stare each other down but here’s Mike Awesome to interrupt. He understands that these two have a problem with each other but it’s not for why they should. Awesome knows Raven didn’t put the hit out on Dreamer. Judge Jeff Jones grabs the mic and says he did it himself, cuing Awesome to take out Raven and Dreamer. There’s one epic heel alliance out of the way. Both guys are put through a table by Awesome.

Post hotline ad, Judge Jones talks about watching territory tapes and saw a lot of bounties. In short, he put one on Tommy because he thought it would be fun. Seriously, that’s it. Awesome grabs Jones and demands his payoff for taking out Dreamer, plus a bonus for taking out Raven.

Cyrus sucks up to the Impact Players and says they have the hottest manager in the business. Dawn Marie and Jason argue over who he meant.

Jazz rants about Dawn Marie for no apparent reason.

RVD is back next week and Rhyno promises to Gore him before slamming his own head into a wall several times.

Overall Rating: C. This show had the perfect balance to the hardcore violent stuff, decent wrestling, and storytelling that this show has been desperately lacking in recent weeks. I actually liked this and wouldn’t mind seeing more of it which might be a first. That being said, the bounty explanation was just stupid and felt like they threw it in there because they didn’t have another answer. However, it doesn’t really matter because something very big is about to happen which will change everything in ECW. Good stuff this week.


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