On This Day: May 16, 1999 – Hardcore Heaven 1999: Heaven Is Heck
Date: May 16, 1999
Location: Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
Commentator: Joey Styles
So we’re still in the Taz Dominates Everyone era here which is boring as all goodness but whatever. He has Chris Candido tonight which I’m sure will be riveting. Also we have Lynn vs. RVD II which should be solid enough I suppose. Other than that though the card looks pretty bland. Let’s get to it.
Joey tries to introduce us to the show but gets interrupted by Chris Candido and Sunny, who looks AMAZING in a gray dress. Apparently he’s hired the Dudleys for tonight as insurance. This is a really long time ago since they’re only six time tag champions at this point. Once they come out, Candido calls out Taz…and it’s main event time! Sure, why not?
ECW World Title: Taz vs. Chris Candido
Three suplexes, a powerbomb by Candido, a missed headbutt and the Tazmission. The match lasts maybe a minute from bell to bell. I kid you not. 3D to Taz follows.
Rating: F. No. No way. This show was based around two matches and 6 and a half minutes into the show one of them is over? No way. That simply does not work whatsoever. Seriously what is Paul thinking here? Why advertise this if that’s how you’re going to book it?
The Dudleys issue an open challenge after their very boring stuff. They ask for anyone with the balls to come face them. Take a wild guess.
ECW World Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney/???
So apparently this is a match, but also for the titles. Sure why not? Balls botches an elbow from the top, somehow managing to hit Bubba in the leg with it. Think about that for a minute. I mean it’s not like Bubba is a small target or something like that right? The fans are chanting for Sabu. Now they want New Jack.
They get Spike Dudley. Sure, I mean it’s not like we’ve had Spike with a random partner on three straight PPVs now or anything like that. He manages to miss a low blow on D-Von too so there we are. Dang Heyman loved him some AC/DC. In a cool spot, they throw Spike back and forth like a ball. Spike gets thrown over the rope and it looks awesome to say the least.
I’ll give Spike this: he can sell like few others can. Table time, but Bubba gets blocked. Ah never mind: Spike went through it anyway via a nice Bubba Bomb. Spike gets a 3D but Balls saves. Gertner throws matches at Balls which does nothing. Balls of course has lighter fluid in his pocket so as you would expect, Gertner gets a fireball thrown at him. It misses completely but Gertner sells it anyway. 3D ends it.
Rating: D. At least this was a match…I think. I’m fed up with Spike and the Dudleys but whatever. This was a big mess but Spike’s bumping made it work better than nothing I guess.
Roll the theme song, as I guess that was a really long opening segment? Sure why not.
Super Crazy vs. Taka Michinoku
Crazy is introduced in kilos and Taka in pounds. Why? That makes no sense but whatever. Taka is heel here as he’s cocky from being in the WWF. Alright then. Well at least it’s not Tajiri and Taka again I guess. If Taka hadn’t been so annoying he would have been bearable. And there’s a sleeper from Crazy. I mean it’s not like we’ve got two high flying guys in there that can move very well or anything? Let’s get to the rest holds before they do something cool!
They speed it up again and Crazy gets LAUNCHED over the ropes in a great looking spot. He was up there. Crazy dives over the ropes to land on Taka. At least I think he did. The camera wasn’t on it. That sums up ECW fairly well: something happened, but no one saw it other than those that were there. Crazy hits the triple moonsault which is fairly cool. The Michinoku Driver hits but Taka doesn’t cover and a totally random sitout powerbomb ends it. Weird ending.
Rating: D+. This didn’t do it for me. It’s not really bad but the flow just wasn’t there at all if that makes sense. The high spots were decent and even good at times but this just wasn’t hitting on all cylinders. It’s hard to describe but if you saw it I think you would get what I was saying. Not bad but just an odd match.
We recap Lynn vs. RVD from the last PPV which I guess is the main event now. That should be good at least. I never got how the cradle part of the cradle piledriver really helped all that much.
In the back, rather than getting medical help, Gertner sends the Dudleys after Nova for no apparent reason. During the beatdown, Bubba says he doesn’t know what this is for. Ok then.
Little Guido vs. Tajiri
It’s still weird seeing Tajiri clean shaven. Good night Big Sal is a very fat man. Dang Tajiri could do some freaky stuff in the ring. Guido…not so much. Guido is working the arm so there’s your psychology, even though Tajiri was a kicker so his arms meant little to his offense. On the floor, Guido takes a loud post shot. It sounded great if nothing else. There’s your tarantula in case you wanted one.
Apparently the crowd thinks Tajiri is a fat duck. That must be it right? I mean they couldn’t be chanting at anyone else right? Sal interferes for two. In a funny bit, Joey won’t say balls but Cyrus nags him until he does. Cyrus of course then complains about him saying it. We get the Tree of Woe baseball slide which always looks awesome and a brainbuster ends it.
Rating: C-. Better than the last one but not by much. Guido was never someone that I liked that much at all. Tajiri got a solid push but was still the innocent yet rapidly becoming violent guy you know him as. Not a bad little match, but zero point to it being on the PPV other than to fill fifteen minutes of air time.
And here’s a Tommy Dreamer music video. Ok then.
The Dudleys have a hit list and 3,000 dollars to beat up some guy named Rod Price. Ok then.
Lance Storm vs. Tommy Dreamer
Joey and Cyrus argue for no apparent reason and Dawn Marie is insanely hot. There you are. And apparently she’s not wearing underwear so Storm stands in front of the camera while she puts them on. Ok then. This is a weapons match apparently. Oh and Dreamer wants to beat up Dawn Marie apparently over Beaulah. Dreamer gets one heck of a reaction if nothing else. And Francine is here with Tommy for no apparent reason.
Storm is a guy I like the more I see of him. I wonder how long it’s going to take to get into the ring for a change. Ah there we go. Storm is very crisp in there and I love it. This of course turns into a bunch of weapons shots and contrived spots that make little sense but look good if nothing else. I’ve always wondered what the deal was with the hitch in Storm’s kicks. Dreamer is bleeding. Dreamer busts out a stunner of all things.
It’s mainly just weapons shots now which is fine I guess. It’s table time again. Storm takes a Death Valley Driver through the table. You might notice that I’m just listing off spots and moves as there’s just nothing more to this match. Cyrus runs in and that goes nowhere. There’s your catfight. Dreamer hits the INCREDIBLY protected piledriver on Dawn. A SWEET spinwheel kick from the top to Dreamer ends it for Storm. Francine looks good here which is odd.
Rating: C-. Not terrible but just not interesting at all. It’s ok, but that’s all. Dreamer had a ton of these random fights and while they were decent, they get very repetitive after awhile. I mean, how many people does he annoy over the years? Not bad, but nothing to write home about at all.
The Dudleys beat up Jack Victory, this time for $5000. Bubba, why beat up Victory when you could own the company for that much? We’re at the halfway point of the show with Van Dam/Lynn and a Justin match to go. That’s not a good sign.
Taz says he can beat the Dudleys…tonight. Oh no. Oh dear cheese NO.
Joey recaps everything for the night. Oh and he says the wrong name for the TV Title. A man that shouts and says the wrong name. You know where I’m going with it. Yep. I’m going to Branson, Missouri. Good town. You can see cheap dinner theater there I hear.
TV Title: Jerry Lynnvs. Rob Van Dam
Crowd is WAY behind Van Dam here. No time limit here after what happened at Living Dangerously. Hear those cheers Paul? They’re the ones drowning out the music. I think they’re chanting “Heyman push this freaking man you freaking idiot!” Lynn is another guy I like more every time I see him so this should be solid. They do a decent mat wrestling sequence to start but not as good as last time.
NICE there as Lynn goes for a counter he used at Living Dangerously and RVD gets out of the way of it this time. THAT is psychology people. They’re doing a start and stop thing here where they do a sequence and then walk around for awhile. The action is good but it’s like pausing it and watching a match in pieces which isn’t good. Good night wrestle already! Yeah they’re wrestling, but only in pieces.. We’ve had maybe 2 and a half minutes of action out of five minutes gone by.
Sweet springboard dropkick from Lynn. See what I mean by when they actually do stuff it’s good? Fonzie is yelling about how this is what the 19.95 the fans paid for is all about. Creative line if nothing else. Van Daminator misses. And Lynn might be hurt so we can kill more time. Something tells me this had about 20 minutes planned rather than the 27 it wound up getting due to the amount of stalling here. Lynn does the corner rollup that Booker T used for a long time.
I think this is the match that aired on the debut of ECW on TNN. On the floor we get a Van Daminator with Lynn making sure to hold the chair up so it hits. Hey look: more stalling! Did Larry Zbyszko book this or something? Half of this has been on the floor too. Lynn hits a sunset powerbomb through a table which more or less explodes. Ok stalling after big spots at least makes sense. Fonzie has a chair pelted at him and down he goes.
They botch the heck out of something and the fans let them know about it. Lynn hits a Van Daminator for two. Van Dam hits Starship Pain minus the twisting. There’s your five star but Lynn rolls him up for two. Van Dam hits his third Van Daminator out of about 7 tried. Another Five Star ends it. Good but not great. They high five after the match which is always a good sign.
Rating: B. This is a good match, but not a classic like everyone says it is. There are some major holes in it, with the main one being the standing around. The Van Daminators got OLD fast. We get it. You can kick someone holding a chair. We’ll ignore how stupid the move is (hey he handed me a chair. I wonder what I should do with it.) for now.
The drama is there but it’s not epic. Solid though. Just far too much brawling and stalling for my taste, but it’s entertaining which is the main idea. Would have been way better with five to seven less minutes. Good match, but there was no shock or anything like that to make it great.
We’re at an hour and 58 minutes and Justin is all that’s left. That can’t be a good sign.
The Dudleys are mad at Taz. Oh dear. I think I can see it coming. And here’s Big Dick with Chris Chetti, who is Taz’s cousin. Guess what happens.
Justin Credible hype video. He hits a lot of people with canes and talks a lot. Yeah, really a guy to push huge Paul. He even sent Mikey and Sandman to WCW. Yeah such a terrible thing to do to them man.
Joey says Shane vs. Justin isn’t happening, which they knew weeks before this but advertised him through the pre show.
Here’s Justin with no opponent. He says what was shown in the video and it’s open challenge time.
Justin Credible vs. Sid
Oh dear. Good NIGHT how over is Sid? I have never gotten that once, but this guy got epic pops everywhere. I don’t think I get the idea of a squash on your heel that has been pushed like this but whatever. When someone is in the position for the powerbomb, why don’t they, maybe, move? You know, instead of holding the other guy’s legs, why not move?
This is ALL Sid here as he’s beating up the entourage too. Lance Storm runs in too. Crowd is WAY into Sid. Justin throws powder in Sid’s eyes…FOR A DISQUALIFICATION??? Or was this even a match? And here’s Sabu for the save, and he puts Sid through a table by mistake (don’t ask). Is there a point to any of this? And Sid powerbombs his manager for no apparent reason. Sid would be gone after this I believe.
Rating: F. A DQ. In ECW. THAT MAKES NO FREAKING SENSE!!!!!!!
Apparently it was just thrown out. Ok then.
Rating: F. A match being thrown out. In ECW. THAT MAKES NO FREAKING SENSE!!!!!!!
And at two hours and 15 minutes into the show, we’re out of matches. Joey says this too and here’s Bubba Ray. You cannot be serious.
Apparently D-Von broke his hand beating up Chetti, so instead of D-Von vs. Taz we get Bubba vs. Taz. It’s not April is it? Wow. They’re really doing this.
ECW World Title: Taz vs. Bubba Ray Dudley
Yes. With Candido healthy, THIS is what Heyman decided to close a PAY PER VIEW WITH. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? BUBBA FREAKING DUDLEY is main eventing a PPV in a world title match. I do not know what to say. They’re really doing this nonsense. I can’t believe it. And hey, it’s falls count anywhere. Catchphrase ahoy as we start the match. And we’re outside already.
Could that have anything to do with Bubba not being able to wrestle a standard match for more than a minute? Seriously, what did I do to deserve this? We hit the crowd now to waste more time. The falls counting anywhere helps here but not that much really. Taz is bleeding as we hit the concourse. Will someone pop that stupid beach ball? Back in the ring now. Taz hits a second rope Tazplex to start his comeback and there’s D-Von.
And we have tables. It’s ECW. Why not just hit 3D and get the title? Hmm let’s see. I can spend a few minutes setting up tables while the toughest guy in the company gets up. Sure why not? And they both throw the referee through a table. Bubba Bomb gets two as a new referee comes in. D-Von comes in again and STILL they don’t go for 3D. This is like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. 3D is finally attempted and countered. Tazmission ends it.
Rating: F+. Bubba Ray Dudley was in the main event. Do I need to explain why this was awful? In case you’re wondering, there was no drama, the match made no sense, Taz was always going to win, and D-Von and Bubba just lost to Taz in a glorified handicap match. That’s why it sucked. Oh and did I mention: BUBBA RAY DUDLEY WAS IN THE MAIN EVENT??? Taz’s blood looked good though.
A music video ends this at a little over two and a half hours.
Overall Rating: F. No. No way. This show was unacceptable, period. People want to talk about how much of a genius Heyman is. People want to talk about how good for the business he is. This show is proof that even he isn’t as great as everyone says he is. This is what you call screwing the audience over. He advertised Shane up until five minutes to airtime and knew he wouldn’t be there.
He advertised Candido and Taz as the big match and gave it maybe a minute. He had BUBBA RAY DUDLEY main event the show in a one night angle. I can find no evidence ANYWHERE that suggests Candido was injured. Not a single thing. Let’s say for argument’s sake though that he was injured and the minute was all he can go. Ok, fine. Stuff like that happens. I understand that. Are you telling me that Bubba Ray Dudley was the best replacement they had? Are you out of your freaking minds? Take a look at the rest of the card.
Other than RVD/Lynn, what here is worth paying to see? Running down the card, we have the main event so there’s one thing worth paying to see, an unannounced tag match that had been done for the last two PPVs, back to back matches that were ok but I doubt anyone bought the show to see them, a brawl that could have been on any PPV but was bearable I guess, a good match, a match that didn’t have the billed people in it and was 2 minutes long, and Bubba Ray Dudley main eventing a show. Lynn and RVD keep this from being the worst ECW show ever, but not by much.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:
“BUBBA FREAKING DUDLEY is main eventing a PPV in a world title match.” Ironically it would not be the last time.