Hardcore Heaven 2000 (2014 Redo): Steve Corino Is A Warrior
Date: May 14, 2000
Location: The Rave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Joey Styles, Cyrus
In case that isn’t enough for you, Rob Van Dam is back from his broken ankle. Now you might think that this is the perfect time for Van Dam to take his rightful place at the top of the company now that he’s no longer TV Champion and now can focus on the World Title. Instead, he has a match against Jerry Lynn to continue their series. Let’s get to it.
We actually open with the theme song for the first time in this series.
Joel and Joey are in the ring with Joey mentioning various Milwaukee sports teams. The crowd isn’t impressed so he goes with bratwurst and beer to get the people on his side. Joel does his rhyme and actually isn’t cut off by Cyrus. Joey says he doesn’t care what the censors think because tonight they’re in hardcore heaven. With no interruption and the theme song already done, they just walk up the ramp (making its return on the side of the ring) to the broadcast booth while everyone stands around with nothing to do.
Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka
These two respect each other so there’s no hatred to the match. Mahoney just stands in the ring for his whole song (Big Balls by AC/DC) in a far too long entrance. Tanaka comes out as well but Cyrus appears at the broadcast booth and tries to throw Gertner out. Joel won’t go, so Cyrus has Kintaro Kanemura choke him out before taking over Joel’s spot.
As for the match, they actually have a technical sequence to start until Mahoney starts swinging to take over. Tanaka cross bodies him down for two and puts on an armbar. Balls sends him to the floor and hits a nice dive before nailing Masato with a beer. Both guys are whipped into the barricade and Tanaka drags him onto the ramp. The running chair to the head staggers Mahoney and a tornado DDT puts him down.
They head back inside and have a chair duel before three straight HARD chair shots to the head put Tanaka down. Back up and a superkick into the chair into Masato’s face puts him down but the fans want tables. Instead they get more chairs and Tanaka hits the tornado DDT onto said chairs for two.
The Roaring Elbow misses and Nutcracker Suite gets two. Diamond Dust gets the same and Tanaka is stunned that someone kicked out of his big move. Tanaka tries to jump over him but gets caught in another Nutcracker Suite onto the chairs for an even closer two. Balls’ middle rope leg only hits chair but he kicks out of the Roaring Elbow. A top rope chair to the head doesn’t put Balls down but the Roaring Elbow is enough for the pin.
Rating: D+. The match was a mess but it was exactly what you have to expect from these two. The lack of tables made this a lot better, though it wasn’t all that good either way. I like the trading finishers but when that’s almost the entire match, it really doesn’t hold up as well as it does with a good build.
Lance Storm says Justin is all alone tonight and the run ends.
Little Guido vs. Simon Diamond vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Mikey (now insane with red hair and an obsession with fire) has his new manager the Sinisiter Minister, Guido has Big Sal, but Simon has Mitch, The Prodigy (never went anywhere), the Prodigette (had some success on the independent circuit) and the Muskateer, who is exactly what he sounds like, complete with sword. Mikey recently burned Big Sal so half of his face is bandaged up. Everyone tries their finishers to start but no one makes any significant contact until Mikey superkicks Simon down for two.
Mikey charges into Guido’s elbow in the corner and Guido headscissors Simon out of the corner. A powerbomb out of the corner gets two on Simon but Mikey’s missile dropkick gets two on Guido. Simon hits rolling suplexes into a gordbuster on Mikey for two as Guido makes a save. Simon and Mikey head to the floor and most of the lights go out. Mikey hits Guido with a camera and the entourages go after Sal.
Simon’s dive is caught in mid air by the big man but Mikey dives on all of them to put everybody down. Sal crushes the entourage as Guido hits a flying armbar for two on Mikey back inside. The lights are still mostly out. Guido fights out of the Whippersnapper but Simon can’t escape and gets pinned.
Down to Mikey vs. Guido with Mikey lifting Guido in a Pedigree but putting Guido onto his shoulders and spinning him around before putting him down in the sitout Pedigree. The fans are very impressed but it only gets two. Big Sal comes in and Guido climbs onto his shoulders, only to miss a huge elbow drop. Mikey throws a fireball at Sal to burn him again, only to walk into a Tomikaze for the pin.
Rating: C. Good enough match here, but WAY too many people wandering around at ringside. That spinning Pedigree from Mikey was something else and I understand why he busted it out even though he was losing, but it still feels wasted. The lights going out make ECW look amateurish and that’s not good when you’re already the third rate promotion.
Justin Credible, now with Francine, says he’s been taking people’s blood for seven years now. He’s traded a Tag Team Title for this belt and that’s all that matters. Storm will see a real champion tonight.
The lights are back on as the Dangerous Alliance comes to the ring. Billy Wiles now has Elvis sideburns. Cyrus is annoyed that Elektra is in a jacket. Lou E. Dangerously tells us how great he is but he has to threaten the fans with Anderson violence if they don’t shut up. This is basically the same thing that he did last time. Lou claims that Elektra is all natural, which is pretty laughable. Before the match, Jazz comes out and beats up the Alliance, including stripping Elektra down to a Mike Awesome t-shirt and what are basically strings underneath it. Anderson plants Jazz with a spinebuster but Kid Kash runs out for his match.
C.W. Anderson vs. Kid Kash
Kash quickly sends Anderson to the floor and hits a big dive to take him down before the bell. Anderson nails a big left hand right after we get going but walks into a dropkick to put him on the floor. Kash dives off the apron to take Wiles down with a hurricanrana. Back in and Kash tries a hurricarana but gets caught in a sitout powerbomb. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen one of those. C.W. hammers away in the corner and knocks Kash to the floor, only to have Wiles drop Kid across the barricade.
Back in and Kash climbs the corner for a cross body and two, only to walk into a big clothesline. A reverse suplex gets two for Anderson and a powerslam gets the same. Kash avoids a charge in the corner but has to deal with Wiles. Lou E. misses a phone shot and hits Billy, only to have C.W. nail Kash with a superkick for another two. Anderson goes up but gets caught in a bad looking hurricanrana for the pin.
Rating: C-. This was a decent enough power vs. speed match but the interference got annoying fast. Wiles and Dangerously become more and more useless every time they appear but Anderson seems to have something special to him. He could use someone to talk for him but Lou isn’t quite up to that level either.
Bill Alfonso is worried about Van Dam coming back from his injury so soon. Van Dam is calm, especially with Scotty Anton being in his corner.
Da Baldies vs. Chris Chetti/Nova vs. Danny Doring/Roadkill
It’s nice to see the two young tag teams getting to be in the same match for a change. It’s Angel/DeVito here. The brawl starts on the ramp with Doring and Roadkill getting the better of Da Baldies. Nova and Chetti hammer away on DeVito in the ring but Angel switches places with him and takes a beating as well. Now we get the big showdown with Da Baldies down on the floor.
Doring’s jawbreaker puts Nova down but Chetti kicks Roadkill in the face. Chetti and Doring, the first two graduates of the House of Hardcore, slug it out but Da Baldies clean house. Roadkill takes both of them out with his springboard clothesline and Nova hits a Swanton Bomb on DeVito but Nova takes a Hart Attack from Doring and Roadkill. Da Baldies hit a double spinebuster to put Roadkill through two chairs but Nova hits a jawbreaker/DDT combo to put them both down.
Doring hits a top rope elbow on Angel but Grimes runs in for the save. Doring beats him up too but Angel BLASTS Doring with a guitar for the elimination. We’re down to Nova/Chetti vs. Da Baldies but Roadkill puts Grimes on a table and hits a HUGE splash to put both guys out. Back in the ring and Da Baldies are in full control and Nova is put in the Tree of Woe. Angel charges at Nova but he does a situp into a Diamond Cutter to drop Nova. The Amityville Horror and Tidal Wave are enough to pin DeVito.
Rating: C. This was a huge spotfest but also proof that these kind of matches can work without weapons. Other than the guitar shot, this was almost all about the wrestlers doing their stuff and that’s what a match is supposed to be. It’s also nice to see good teams getting pushed, but ECW won’t being Tag Team Titles for awhile for whatever reason they had at this point. You would think this would be a good place to have the titles on the line, but for some reason it didn’t happen.
Post match Da Baldies keep fighting until New Jack comes out with his weapons, including a staple gun and a fork. Time for another impromptu match.
New Jack vs. Angel
DeVito is still out there and already busted open. New Jack sends him into the crowd and I can barely see a thing. They finally get to a clearing and New Jack sets up a table. Jack stands around a lot before finally laying DeVito out and climbing the balcony. The big dive connects more safely this time and Jack staggers back to the ring, where Nova and Chetti are beating up Angel. A big guitar shot knocks Angel out but New Jack grabs a chair and blasts him in the head with a top rope chair shot to finally pin Angel.
Rating: F. Is this supposed to mean that New Jack has finally beaten Angel? That’s very impressive as it only took two people beating on Angel for five minutes after Angel already had a match while New Jack was doing something else. This was much more of an angle than a match as they barely had any contact until the ending. Hopefully this ends these two interacting.
Joey explains the opening being so awkward. Apparently Tommy Dreamer staggered into the arena covered in blood thanks to a beating from Justin Credible and Joey didn’t know what to do. Cyrus and Joey bicker and Cyrus mentions that TNN will soon have WWF programming. More on this later.
Steve Corino vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri
Corino is completely different now, having abandoned the cowardly character and becoming a serious old school style wrestler who can brawl with anyone. Tajiri has been thrown out of the Network after refusing to hand the TV Title to Rhino, thus turning face in the process. Corino is fighting for the Network here but offers to let Tajiri off. This turns into a racist tirade and Tajiri is ready to fight.
Tajiri misses a big kick to the head and Corino nails him with an enziguri. A hurricanrana is countered into a sitout powerbomb to give Steve two but Tajiri comes back with the Tarantula. They head to the ramp where Tajiri nails him with a kick to the ribs and a brainbuster to send Corino to the floor. Corino is already busted so Tajiri bites at the cut as is the custom in ECW. Back in and Steve is put in the Tree of Woe for the sliding kick to the face. There is a pool of blood under Corino’s head.
Tajiri loads up another baseball slide with a chair over Steve’s face but Jack Victory makes the save. Corino comes back with a superkick for one but his long blond hair is now almost entirely red. Steve can’t follow up so Tajiri sets up a table but kicks the edge of it, driving the other end into Steve’s ribs. You can’t see the blond in Corino’s hair anymore. Tajiri clotheslines Corino and Victory down but Corino pops back up with a backdrop through the table for two.
Corino gets two off a fisherman’s suplex and a northern lights gets the same. Steve sets up a table in the corner but gets kicked down to the mat. Tajiri puts on the Octopus Hold and Victory gets the green mist. The distraction lets Steve escape and grab a powerslam for a near fall. Tajiri goes INSANE with some of the fastest kicks and punches I’ve ever seen, followed by a big kick to the head. Corino is laid out on the table and a big double stomp from the top drives him through for the pin.
Rating: B. This was a really solid match with both guys looking great and Corino looking like a warrior out there. It’s a good example of two talented guys being able to have their skills shine through instead of getting bogged down by all the weapons and nonsense. Corino would gain a lot of respect very soon, partially because of this performance.
W*ING Kanemura comes out to attack Tajiri but Dusty Rhodes makes the save with elbows to the head. Rhino comes out to beat up the American Dream but we’ve got Sandman, segueing into the next match.
TV Title: Sandman vs. Rhino
Sandman’s entrance takes WAY too much time, but at least some of the blood gets cleaned up. Sandman seems especially calm for someone whose wife was nearly broken in half. Rhino throws him around with ease but Sandman comes back with left hands to send it to the floor. We get the first table thrown into the ring but Rhino wants the timekeeper’s table. Sandman nails him with some more left hands and puts the table on the ramp.
Rhino is sent into the barricade before they both get up on the ramp. The table is set up against the ropes on the ramp but Rhino’s Gore misses Sandman and only hits the wood. They head inside with Sandman hitting two straight piledrivers. Jack Victory tries to interfere but Lori nails him in the back with a Singapore cane.
Sandman goes after them but Rhino nails him from behind. Lori is dragged to the ring and piledriven off the apron through a table at ringside. Corino and Victory set up the table in the corner and drag Lori in front of it. Rhino loads up a Gore but Sandman canes him in the head. He goes to Lori but takes the Gore through the table to retain Rhino’s title.
Rating: D-. This was horrible with Sandman dragging down the young and talented Rhino. I don’t see the need to have Lori get beaten up again but at least the fans didn’t cheer when it happened. They’re setting up Rhino vs. Van Dam for a war but Sandman is really making these things hard to sit through.
Rhino yells at Lori, telling her Happy Mother’s Day.
The announcers talk all serious while talking about the company website and showing the Pervert Productions section. I think you can fill in the gaps.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
Lynn has been more aggressive lately and is angry over not being as respected as Van Dam. Rob has Bill Alfonso and Scotty Anton with him. Van Dam is just insanely over. Scotty and Rob hug before the match because they’re best friends and would NEVER turn on each other. Feeling out process to start with the fans entirely behind Van Dam. Both guys speed things up but neither can hit anything with Van Dam’s flip legdrop missing, giving us a standoff.
Rob’s spin kick misses but the second connects, setting up a cartwheel into a moonsault for two. They head outside with Lynn getting crotched on the barricade and kicked in the face to knock him into the crowd. The spinning kick to the back drives a chair into Lynn’s spine but Van Dam is slow getting up. Van Dam misses a moonsault press off the barricade and Lynn takes over back inside.
Lynn jumps to the middle rope but his tornado DDT is countered and both guys nail kicks at the same time. Alfonso puts in a chair but Lynn counters two straight Van Daminators. Instead Rob drops the chair and tries a legsweep but Jerry hits a Fameasser onto the chair for two. A stepover kick to the face and Rolling Thunder get two for Rob and he skateboards the chair into Jerry’s face in the corner for two more.
The monkey flip onto the chair is countered and Lynn hits a powerbomb out of the corner onto the chair for his first near fall in awhile. A gorgeous superplex drops Rob for yet another two. Lynn sends him into the buckle and sets up a table on the floor. Rob counters a tornado DDT through the table and heads back inside, only to get crotched on the top rope.
A bulldog from Jerry drives Van Dam through the table and both guys are down. Jerry gets back up and tries a running dive off the apron but he misses Rob and hits Anton. Back in and Lynn’s back is bleeding from the bulldog. Rob crotches him on the top rope and hits a Van Daminator with Alfonso’s help. Even Joey is getting tired of Alfonso’s interference. The chair is laid over Lynn and the Five Star connects as Cyrus leaves commentary.
Corino and Victory come in but Lynn fights them off, squashing rumors that he’s in the Network. Rhino comes in and Gores Lynn before powerbombing Rob. Van Dam fights back but Cyrus comes in and takes a Van Daminator. Jerry dropkicks a chair into Alfonso’s face but gets kicked down again. Rob goes up for the Five Star but Anton turns on him, surprising no one at all. Lynn didn’t see what Scotty did, which will be brought up on commentary later. Rob’s head slams into the ramp but the cradle piledriver only gets two. A second one onto a chair is good enough for Lynn to FINALLY pin Van Dam.
Rating: B. The Network is swallowing the entire promotion at this point. This match could have been done exactly the same way with just Alfonso and Anton but it’s ECW so you have to overbook it. It was the usual entertaining match between these two, but the win doesn’t do anything for Jerry at this point as he should have gotten the TV Title a year ago. It’s still the biggest win of his career but it doesn’t mean nearly as much as it could have. That was Van Dam’s first pinfall loss in two and a half years.
ECW World Title: Lance Storm vs. Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer
Francine and Dawn Marie are at ringside as well. Before the match Justin says this is going to be one on one with him vs. Lance. If anyone comes out to face him besides Storm and Storm alone, he’ll throw the belt in the garbage. This brings out Dreamer but Heyman cuts him off, saying Justin has them by the balls right now and promising Dreamer another shot at Heat Wave. Dreamer shakes Storm’s hand, flips Heyman off, and leaves. Yet another bait and switch.
ECW World Title: Lance Storm vs. Justin Credible
Storm goes right after the champion to start and Justin bails to the floor to stall. Back in and Lance nails some right hands before dropkicking Credible back to the floor. Lance’s dive hits Singapore cane though and he’s already busted open. Both guys are sent into the barricade and Justin sets up a table on the ramp. Back in and they trade chops with Lance getting the better of it, only to charge into a boot in the corner.
The fans LOUDLY chant that they want Dreamer as Justin puts on a chinlock. Back up and a clothesline drops Lance and they trade loud chops. The fans realize Dreamer isn’t coming and quiet down a lot. A thumb to the eye puts Storm back down and we hit the chinlock again. Storm fights up again and grabs a hurricanrana to get a breather before hammering away in the corner.
In a really impressive athletic display, Storm jumps from the mat to the top rope for a back elbow to the jaw. Storm gets another two off a dropkick and they fight over a tombstone until Storm suplexes him down for another two. Credible nails a superkick for two of his own but Storm rolls through a cross body to get a breather. Justin’s abdominal stretch is countered into a hiptoss over the top rope and through the table for two back inside.
Back up and Storm hooks the half crab in the middle of the ring but Francine nails him with her high heeled shoe. Dawn comes in for a catfight, earning her That’s Incredible from the champion. Storm nails Justin with the Singapore cane and gets two off a piledriver. That’s Incredible is only good for two and a DDT gets the same. Storm comes back with a catapult into the post and a dropkick to the side of the head but gets crotched on the top rope. Another That’s Incredible retains Justin’s title.
Rating: D+. The match was watchable but Justin is a huge letdown after guys like Taz, Awesome, Tanaka and even Dreamer. The guy just isn’t a main event level guy no matter how much ECW tries to shine him up. He’s nothing more than a loudmouth in jean shorts that can’t back it up in the ring at all. This would be Storm’s last match as he went to WCW over Heyman not being able to pay him.
Dreamer comes out and destroys both Credible and Francine to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This show was watchable for the most part but the bad parts bring down the good stuff that the show had going for it. The problem here is where we should go now. It seems like we’re heading for Rob Van Dam vs. Scotty Anton, which is a meaningless match for Rob because no one cares about Anton and another waste of how over he is. Lynn getting the win is nice for him but where can he go? Against Rhino maybe? The real star of the night was Steve Corino who looked like a warrior going through that bloodbath, but he’s still stuck in the Network angle that is taking over everything.