ECW on TNN – May 26, 2000: Out Of Mothballs

Date: May 26, 2000
Location: Gwinnett Civic Center, Duluth, Georgia
Commentators: Joel Gertner, Joey Styles

So I got a big start on this series and had twenty episodes to go when I took a bit of a break. That was nearly two years ago so I figured I might as well get back to it and knock the rest of this series out now that it’s on the Network. We’re past Hardcore Heaven and Justin Credible is ECW World Champion. TV Champion Rhino has issued an open challenge for his TV Title for some point in the future. Let’s get to it.

We open with a black and white video on Sandman being destroyed by Rhino. Sandman’s wife was piledriven through a table as a bonus.

Opening sequence.

Joel and Joey do their thing and rip on TNN because that’s how you stay on a network.

Interviewer Steven Prazak goes in to find out if Justin Credible has a concussion problem. Francine and Justin yell at him before throwing Prazak out.

Simon Diamond rants into a mirror about being a comedy act after a year in this company. The Musketeer (exactly what he sounds like) comes out of a bathroom stall to offer his services as a tag partner. That goes nowhere so here’s Johnny Swinger, from Atlanta, with the same offer. Simon is impressed and decides his problem is solved.

Masato Tanaka vs. Balls Mahoney

Tanaka starts in on the arm and they do an awkward looking wrestling sequence to the mat. Yet again we hear about Balls being banned from amateur wrestling in New Jersey for punching out a referee as he takes over with some jabs. That just earns him an armbar as Joel goes on a semi-racist rant about how he can’t date Japanese girls because he’s always hungry again twenty minutes later.

They head outside where Tanaka is whipped into the barricade as Joel wonders how parents in Nutley, New Jersey could name their son BALLS. A chair shot to the back doesn’t have much effect on Tanaka so they head inside for a powerslam on Mahoney. A Ball Breaker (sitout spinebuster) gets two on Tanaka with a frog splash connecting for the same. It’s time to duel with the chairs (a signature spot for them) and Tanaka no sells some shots to the head.

A big shot finally puts him down for two and now it’s Balls’ turn to no sell for a bit. Those shots are terrifying now as they’re just straight chairs to the head with no protection. A tornado DDT onto the chairs is countered into the Nutcracker Sweet (something like a sitout over the shoulder tombstone) for two on Tanaka.

Diamond Dust (a middle rope flipping Stunner) gets two on Balls but he kicks a chair into Masato’s face. It’s table time (because of course) but Balls also has a black bag full of tacks. Ever the scientist, Tanaka reverses a superplex into a tornado DDT through the table, driving himself into the tacks in the process, though it’s enough to put Mahoney away.

Rating: C. This one depends on your taste but it was a hard hitting ECW brawl. Those chair shots are too much for me anymore though. They were fun when we didn’t realize how bad they were but now……yeah they’re hard to sit through. Tanaka is one of the hardest hitting guys you’ll ever see so he was perfect for Mahoney, though that ending is a bit hard to take. Balls can survive several hard chair shots to the head but a tornado DDT through a table knocks him out?

The Sinister Minister is talking about Mikey Whipwreck when Big Sal attacks him. A now crazy Mikey makes the save with a fireball.

Tommy Dreamer beats up Prazak for asking about losing the World Title. Prazak: “BUT YOU’RE A BABYFACE!”

Tajiri vs. Scotty Anton

Former Network vs. Network. That means here’s Cyrus with the rest of his evil Network stable to say Mr. Nielsen is popping off because of Anton’s clap gimmick. The fans want RVD out here to kill Anton (who screwed him at Hardcore Heaven). Joey: “Even for TNN this is disgraceful!” Anton makes sure we know that he’s Scotty and he wants us all to have The Clap. This keeps going WAY too long as we’re waiting on wrestling anytime now. Actually Cyrus says Scotty is off tonight because it’s all about the ratings. Joey: “Then why is Rollerjam still on the air?” Hey I liked that show. Cyrus has a replacement.

Tajiri vs. Jerry Lynn

This could be good. Feeling out process to start with Tajiri dropkicking Lynn out of the air. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker drops Tajiri and the Network shouts encouragement to Jerry, though he doesn’t seem that receptive. Lynn’s tornado DDT (too common a move around here) is countered with something like a suplex into the corner but Lynn is right back up with a springboard dropkick ala Chris Jericho.

Back in and a hard kick to the head drops Jerry again as Joel goes on an anti-TNN rant, nearly verbatim to one Heyman made around the same time. A powerbomb gets two on Tajiri as this is just a collection of spots so far. Lynn is tired of wrestling and just stomps away before grabbing a chair. Jack Victory trips Tajiri though and the cradle piledriver gives Jerry the pin (it wasn’t clear if he saw the interference).

Rating: C+. Better than you would normally get around this time from ECW with a lot more wrestling and a lot less violence. That’s a smart way to book the show as the opener was violent and this one was more wrestling based. Balancing the show out like that is almost always better than going full on with one style.

Post match Tajiri gets beaten down until RVD makes the save. The weird thing here is the Network has Walk by Pantera edited out but the fans are still seen chanting along. Van Dam is beaten down but Tajiri makes the save with some mist.

Video on Dawn Marie. Nothing special here as it’s really just a reminder that she’s hot.

Prazak asks Raven about Credible’s concussion but Raven is depressed about Francine turning on him. Francine comes in and yells at him (with the camera staying on her upskirt shot the whole time) until Credible lays Raven out. Dreamer’s save attempt fails to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a hard one to grade as nothing major happened but they’re advancing the story at a slow pace, which makes sense given that they have almost two months until the next pay per view. The wrestling was acceptable (again by ECW standards) but this Network feud really isn’t all that interesting. It’s an interesting take on the corporate villains but we get the concept already and they’re not making it any easier by saying the same things over and over.

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