ECW on TNN – June 30, 2000: This Isn’t The Pay Per View?

Date: June 30, 2000
Location: The Rave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 2,000
Commentators: Joel Gertner, Joey Styles

The stupidly slow march towards Heat Wave continues as we keep waiting for anything new to happen. For a company built on the idea of being all energetic and insane, they certainly do know how to stay stuck in one place and never move out of it like few others I’ve ever seen. Let’s get to it.

Cyrus says the Whole F’ing Show might become the Dead F’ing Show when Rhino gets done with him.

Opening sequence.

The arena is really dimly lit, which suggests a bad house. If the 2,000 is accurate though, that’s hardly bad.

The FBI and Tajiri are in the ring with Joel and Joey for the opening but Jerry Lynn in a referee shirt cuts off Joel’s punchline (it involved hitting the ceiling). Jerry wants them out of the ring because he has this one under control. Last week was a mistake because Tajiri (Lynn: “This son of a b*$&@, but a very nice guy!”) blew mist in his eyes. The regular referee says he’s in charge but Jerry decides there are going to be two referees. That earns the regular referee a piledriver and we’re ready to go.

Tajiri vs. Little Guido

Tajiri is smart enough to give Tony Mamaluke a brainbuster before we’re ready to go. They speed things up very quickly for a few near falls each until Tajiri knees him in the head. Guido takes him down into a Fujiwara Armbar followed by some chops in the corner, only to have Tajiri grab his own Fujiwara Armbar for a nice touch. They head outside with Tajiri blasting him in the head with a kick, followed by the required chair shot.

Back in with Guido barely able to stand as Joey talks about a Nitro star defecting tonight. A bite to the head cuts Guido open and it’s time to kick at the cut. Back from a break with a table in the ring and Guido getting kicked even more. The Kiss of Death (Killswitch) gets two on Tajiri, who comes right back by kicking Lynn low. Cue Big Sal for a 600lb slam to crush Tajiri, giving Guido the pin.

Rating: C+. I like both of these guys and they were allowed to just wrestle for the most part, making this a much better match than most of what you get around here. The ending was your standard “well we don’t quite know yet” fare but you have to expect that. I mean, it’s only been like a month and a half of the same thing. That’s just getting warmed up in ECW.

Joey isn’t sure if Lynn saw anything because OF COURSE we don’t know anything for sure.

Van Dam wants his TV Title back tonight.

Mikey Whipwreck is freaking out over something to Sinister Minister. You can barely hear anything they’re talking about because of music playing in the background. Mikey says this is worth $1000 for two minutes but Minister isn’t convinced. They open the door and it’s WCW’s Gorgeous George dancing. Minister’s mind changes in a hurry. Mikey looks at the camera and says OH YEAH while doing the Randy Savage finger waves. Minister looks in again and I can’t say I blame him.

RVD is ready.

TNN actually airs a commercial for ECW. It’s for a show that aired earlier in the month but it’s a commercial nonetheless.

Francine vs. Jazz

Before the match, Francine says no way but here’s Jazz to cut her off. Jazz makes some threats but gets jumped by Justin Credible. Cue Tommy Dreamer for the save and let’s have a mixed tag.

Francine/Justin Credible vs. Jazz/Tommy Dreamer

Jazz headscissors Justin to start but he low blows Dreamer as things settle down. An enziguri puts Justin on the floor and the guys fight into the crowd. Justin actually gets the better of it and takes over inside as Joel makes sex jokes about Dreamer and Francine. Francine even gets in a few shots on Dreamer’s leg, only to have him claw her between the legs. A chair to the back puts Justin down and that means it’s time for a table.

Naturally Dreamer goes face first into said table (he brought it in after all) and everything breaks down with the heels being put in stereo Trees of Woe. That means double delayed dropkicks into chairs into their faces before the Tommyhawk (reverse Razor’s Edge into a cutter for a really cool looking move) gives Dreamer the pin on the champ.

Rating: D. Well that exists. I have no idea why Jazz vs. Francine is a thing but at least this helps set up Dreamer as a more credible (gah) challenger at the pay per view. I mean that’s a ladder match with barbed wire above the ring but at least it’s better than watching them try to have a regular match.

Jazz brings out barbed wire but the Network comes out to take care of Dreamer with Jack Victory kidnapping Jazz, leaving the rest to beat on Dreamer. Justin tombstones him on the barbed wire to make the blood flow even harder. Oh and Francine gets to pin Dreamer, making sure that he loses any heat he might have earned from the pin.

TV Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Rhino

Rhino is defending and they hammer on each other in the corner to start with Van Dam getting the better of it. A springboard kick to the face has Rhino in trouble but Rob poses instead of following up. Rhino gorilla presses him to take over but gets caught in a hurricanrana. The Gore hits way too early and Rob is up at two. You don’t often see finishers treated like middle of the road moves like that. We hit the chinlock for a bit followed by a spinebuster for two.

Rhino’s middle rope headbutt gets two more but gets caught by a stepover kick to the face. More kicks to the head have Rhino in trouble and there’s the Rolling Thunder onto a chair onto Rhino. Van Dam loads up the Five Star but here’s Scotty Anton to shove him off the top and that’s a DQ, which I didn’t even know existed in ECW.

Rating: C-. I know it didn’t have a finish and it was just an eight minute match, but these two should have been the main event of Heat Wave, not Rhino vs. Sandman (been done to death already) and Van Dam vs. Anton (kill me now). The match was fine enough and both guys looked good but this really shouldn’t have happened on TV when ECW is dying for money, which could have been brought in by a well publicized match between these two.

Van Dam has to fight off the entire Network but Credible gets in a Singapore cane shot to put him down. Sandman FINALLY comes out (after the fans chant for him for a good while) and beats Justin up to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. See, now this one I can get behind. For one thing, this show was all about the wrestling with three matches, all of which actually played a role in a story. More importantly than that though, the main event is building towards a big match next week as Sandman challenges Credible for the title. It doesn’t have to be some grand production. Just have the wrestling actually build somewhere and I’m much happier.

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