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ECW PPV FLASHBACK - 10 yrs. ago (01-07-01): Final Original ECW PPV - RVD vs. Lynn main event, Rhino final ECW champion, Roundtable Reviews

Jan 7, 2011 - 3:41:10 PM
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ECW Guilty As Charged PPV Flashback
January 7, 2001 - 10 yrs. ago
Top Ten Things To Know


(1) Significance: Ten-year anniversary of the final Original ECW PPV prior to the promotion going out of business.
VanDamRob_JB150_4.jpg

(2) Final ECW PPV Main Event: Rob Van Dam pinned Jerry Lynn.

(3) Final ECW champion: Rhino pinned Sandman in 2:00.

(4) Almost Final ECW champion: Sandman beat Steve Corino and Justin Credible in a three-way title match prior to Rhino defeating Sandman.

(5) Best Match: RVD over Lynn. (****1/4)

(6) Keller's Final Words: "This event didn't 'feel" like the final ECW pay-per-view, but it might be. And if it was, it was a strong final showing." (See Roundtable Reviews below.)

(7) I Quit Match: Tommy Dreamer beat C.W. Anderson in a three-star, 15-minute match.

(8) Wrestlers Currently In WWE: Joey Mathews.

(9) Wrestlers Currently In TNA: Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer.

(10) Wrestlers Part of TNA's Hardcore Justice Not In TNA: Rhino, Balls Mahoney, Justin Credible, Sandman, Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger, Kid Kash, FBI, CW Anderson, Spike Dudley, Nova.

***

ECW Guilty as Charged PPV
January 7, 2001
New York, N.Y. - Hammerstein Ballroom
Report by Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


A music video to "Renegades of Funk" opened the PPV... Joey Styles opened the show standing mid-ring alongside Joel Gertner. Gertner spouted some perverted one-liners.

(1) Cyrus & Jerry Lynn beat Christian York & Joey Matthews in 3:00. York and Matthews brawled at ringside with The Baldies. Angel gave Gertner a DDT on the floor in the aisle. Cyrus then walked to ringside as Matthews & York fought against The Baldies in the ring. With The Baldies on top, Cyrus and Jerry Lynn entered the ring. Lynn "tagged in" Cyrus who covered Matthews for the pin. Styles got to the announcing table and asked, "Is that the match?" The Baldies gave Cyrus and Lynn high-fives. (NR)

Cyrus got on the mic and said Lynn was "the best wrestler to ever come out of the 'state of Minneapolis.'" Lynn said Rob Van Dam is not coming; he is not the surprise tonight. He said, "The surprise is I will not wrestle another match in ECW unless it's the main event because I'm Jerry (grinding voice) Lyyyynnnnn!"

The regular ECW opening montage then aired (at 8:13 p.m.)... Cyrus joined Styles at the broadcast table.

(2) Danny Doring & Roadkill beat Hot Commodity (Julio Dinero & EZ Money w/Elektra and Chris Hamrick) in 10:00 to retain the ECW Tag Team Titles. Cyrus asked Styles if he was amazed that he was able to put in 45 minutes in the ring like the old days. Styles said he was ignoring Cyrus. Well-executed spots with some effective comedy in the early minutes. For the finish, Doring hit the legdrop onto Money as Roadkill splatted him face-first on the mat leading to the three count. A solid match until the final couple of minutes which contained moves too convoluted for their own good and were poorly executed. (**)

Nova charged the ring and cleared the ring of the heels. Styles said, "It's the new nasty Nova." Nova took off his shirt revealing his new muscular and cut upperbody.

(3) Nova pinned Spike unofficially in 8:00. Early in the match Elektra stopped Nova from scoring an early pin. The ref yelled, "Get you're f---ing ass out of here." Late in the match Nova was on his back with Hamrick in a submission hold. Chris Chetti ran into the ring wearing a ref shirt and counted a pin. The real ref argued with Chetti. Lou E. Dangerously hit the ref from behind with his phone. Styles said Chetti isn't a ref and that three count can't count. Spike Dudley ran out and attacked Chetti. Nova returned to the ring and continued to wrestle Hamrick with a messy but realistic looking series of pin attempts. Spike counted Nova covering Hamrick to end the match a second time. Nova's music played as Spike smiled. That was the apparent end of the match even though the ref didn't signal anything official. (**)

Steve Corino gave an intense backstage promo where he leaned into the camera and said he was leaving New York with his belt.

(4) Tommy Dreamer beat C.W. Anderson in an I-quit match in 15:00. When Dreamer entered the ring and his music stopped, there was no crowd heat when the music cut. They went into a collar and elbow hook up and ended up rolling out of the ring to ringside immediately. At 3:00 Anderson applied an armbar. The ref shoved a mic into his face and asked if he gave up. Dreamer didn't. Dreamer came back right away with a spinebuster off the ropes, then applied a half Boston Crab, but Anderson was in the ropes. Dreamer wrapped Anderson's arm around the ringpost and bashed it with a chair, then went looking for weapons. He took a swig of beer from a fan at ringside. Dreamer put the ring bell over Anderson's head. Anderson was so groggy he just sat there. Dreamer then rang the bell. That woke up Anderson, who had bladed at this point. Dreamer then dug a wrench into Anderson's forehead. The ref put the mic up to Anderson, but he didn't quit. Late in the match, Dreamer set up a chair and was going to use it as leverage to get back to his feet, but Anderson wrapped it around his head and rammed him into the ringpost. Dreamer slid out of the chair to the mat and grabbed the back of his head. At 14:00 Dreamer gave Anderson a Spicolli Driver through a table. Dreamer wrapped the rubber table edging around Anderson's eye and pulled back. Anderson quickly said, "I quit!" Well executed for its style of match. (***)

Backstage Francine was going to chomp on a huge party sub. She told Corino that Justin Credible was hanging out with Missy Hyatt in the bathroom. A disbelieving Corino sarcastically said that must mean John Tatum is waiting in the back in his Cougar. Corino left. Hyatt walked out of the bathroom and told Francine to "f---" Justin because he just wore her out for two hours. Hyatt left the room and bumped into Jack Victory and Corino in the hallway. Corino asked if she remembered Victory from their days in Texas. She asked, "Did I f--- you?"

(5) Yoshihiro Tajiri & Mikey Whipwreck (w/Sinister Minister) beat Super Crazy & Kid Kash and Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke (w/Big Sal) in 14:00. Kash missed a springboard bodyblock onto Mikey which elicited groans from the crowd, but surprisingly not a "You f---ed up" chant. The crowd entertained themselves with alternating chants of "Where's my pizza?" and "Sal E. ate it." Crazy and Tajiri had a good exchange at 4:00. Kash dove off the top rope onto Guido and barely grazed him. Chaos ensued with all six in the ring. Crazy dove over the top rope onto everybody but Kash at ringside. Kash then springboarded off the top rope and twisted in mid-air, landing on everyone. He didn't miss that move, although he had a big target (a half dozen people). Late in the match Guido and Mamaluke put Tajiri into a double Fujiwara Armbar in a cool move. Mikey made the save. Mikey and Tajiri then scored a quick double pin on Guido and Mamaluke with double German suplexes into bridges. Should have been better. (**3/4)

Styles plugged the ECW website (one of several throughout the show) and the soft porn that can be found on it. They plugged this weekend's dates in Missouri and Arkansas.

(6) Simon Diamond & Swinger (w/Dawn Marie) fought Chilly Willy & Balls Mahoney to a short no-contest. Swinger complained about wanting more time with Dawn than Diamond has been offering her. He said he took it upon himself to temporarily sign on with the Blue Boy Management Service. Blue Boy and Jasmine St. Clair came to the ring. Diamond and Swinger dropped Willy early with a double-team move and Willy landed awkwardly. A minute into the match Rhino entered the ring. He gored Balls, Simon, and Swinger. Francine entered the ring and Rhino gored her as well. Willy entered the ring and gave Rhino a butt-butt. Rhino got right up and gored Willy. Blue Boy entered and Rhino speared him. Dawn Marie entered the ring. Rhino picked her up upside down, her dress fell over her face revealing her underwear, and Rhino piledrove her off the ropes. Cyrus encouraged the camera to zoom in on Francine's crotch as she lay facedown on the mat. (NR)

Cyrus said the winner of the ECW Title match not only gets the belt, he also gets to "bang Francine."

(7) Sandman beat Steve Corino and Justin Credible in 13:00 to capture the ECW Title. It was only 9:40 p.m. when this match began, so it was a good sign there would be at least one unscheduled bonus match. Sandman made his five minute entrance. As soon as Sandman entered the ring, Corino took control and kicked a ladder into Sandman's face. He leaned it against Justin in the other corner, but Justin shoved it in Corino's face as he charged. Late in the match Sandman punched away at both Corino and Justin. When he tried to climb the ladder, he got shoved off and flipped over the top rope onto a table at ringside. Corino slingshot Justin into a ladder in the corner. At ringside Francine gave Sandman a huracanrana. A third ladder was introduced in the match, a much bigger ladder than the other two. Justin and Corino climbed each side. As they reached for the belt, it mysteriously got higher. Francine yelled at Justin to get the damn belt. Justin climbed the ladder again, but Corino followed. Justin leaped off the ladder and shoved Corino's face into the other ladder. Sandman then climbed the ladder and grabbed the belt. (***)

Sandman clutched the belt in mid-ring. The crowd stood and clapped to his music. Jack Victory threw a table into the ring. Corino told Victory no. Justin and Corino both offered their hands to Sandman. They all shook hands. The Baldies ran into the ring. Justin and Corino quickly cleared the ring of them. They fought them to the back as Sandman staggered around the ring. As Sandman stood in the corner and saluted the crowd, Rhino entered the ring. Rhino slipped, then recovered and gored Sandman. Rhino grabbed the mic and asked, "Why am I TV Champion when this f---in' company doesn't even have TV?" Cyrus said good point. Styles said since they were on TV at that moment, it wasn't an especially good point. Rhino attacked Sandman and demanded a title match. He said if Sandman didn't give him a title match, his family sitting "right over there (he pointed into the crowd) would die." Rhino put the mic up to Sandman's face. Sandman grunted, "Ring the f---in' bell."

(8) Rhino pinned Sandman to capture the ECW Title in 2:00. Rhino gored Sandman through the table in the corner and went for a quick cover. Sandman kicked out. Styles said Cyrus must have known this was going to happen. Cyrus left the announcing area. Rhino piledrove Sandman through a table at ringside. He then piledrove him on a table piece inside the ring and got the three count. Styles wondered if the finish was official, then a minute later said it was because Sandman okayed it when he said to ring the bell. Cyrus entered the ring and declared Rhino the "unified champion of the world." He said there isn't anyone in any company who has the guts to face Rhino. Rob Van Dam's music then played. He came out to a huge pop and entered the ring. Lynn attacked Van Dam from behind. The bell rang. Rhino left the ring with the belt as Lynn worked over Van Dam. Good concise drama. (*)

(9) Rob Van Dam pinned Jerry Lynn in 20:00. The crowd chanted "Welcome Back!" When Van Dam put Lynn down for a minute, he climbed the ropes and looked to the crowd who yelled, "RVD, RVD, RVD, whole f---in' show!" He turned around and Lynn was waiting for him. Styles said Van Dam was recently in Thailand filming "Black Mask 2" and he observed that he must have been working out a lot, too, since he physically looked great." They began exchanging moves in the ring, then spilled to ringside where Lynn stomped on Van Dam. Van Dam came back and with a bloodied mouth, smiled and said, "It's good to be back, by the way." At 7:00 they returned to the ring. Later they exchanged four near falls. Van Dam went for a back suplex, but Lynn mule kicked and went for a schoolboy near the ropes. It was a messy move and the crowd chanted "You f---'d up." Van Dam controlled the next few minutes. At 14:00 Lynn came back by sunset flipping Van Dam onto a steel chair in center-ring. Lynn gave Van Dam a stiff German suplex for a two count. Styles observed, "Van Dam's eyes are half closed." Uh, when aren't they half-closed? Lynn DDT'd Van Dam onto a chair for a near fall which was cut short by Van Dam grabbing the bottom rope. Cyrus entered the ring, but Gertner entered the ring and DDT'd Cyrus. Lynn swung a chair at Van Dam, but Van Dam ducked and kicked the chair into Lynn with a Van Daminator. Van Dam rose to his feet and raised his arms as the crowd chanted "RVD." He set Lynn in the corner and pushed his boot into Lynn's throat. Van Dam springboarded off of the top rope on one end of the ring and flew completely across the ring, kicking the chair into Lynn's face. Styles declared Lynn "out cold." Van Dam covered Lynn and scored the pin. Very good match. (****1/4)

Backstage Corino said he may not like Justin and Justin may not like him, but they earned each other's respect. Francine said three men are better than one. They all posed together forming a new alliance. If Francine was going to sleep with the holder of the belt, shouldn't she have to go home with either Sandman or Rhino?

***

TORCH STAFF ROUNDTABLE REVIEWS

Wade Keller, editor (7.5)

This event didn't "feel" like the final ECW pay-per-view, but it might be. And if it was, it was a strong final showing. It was representative of what ECW had evolved to. There have been recent ECW events that wouldn't have done ECW justice, but this did. It featured everyone working hard, a chaotic mess of an undercard, good top matches, and Rob Van Dam making a "surprise" return against perhaps his best opponent, Jerry Lynn.

If it's not ECW's final PPV, the stage was set for several follow-up matches. That's why it didn't "feel" like a final show. A feud was set up between Rhino and Sandman for the ECW Title, a new alliance was formed between Justin Credible and Steve Corino, and Van Dam has yet to win ECW's top crown. There are reasons for ECW to continue - if it can.

Although the half-hour pregame show recaps ongoing feuds, most people don't watch that. With ECW's limited TV clearances in recent months, the show would have benefited from having more video packages and backstage interviews before matches to establish what was at stake in each match.

The video that aired at the end of the PPV featuring highlights from the show was a nice touch as it drove home to viewers that they got value for their money spent. The WWF and WCW should look at that as something worth adding to tie everything together at the end of the show. To sharp cut to black at the end of shows never feels quite right.

The "surprise" being Rob Van Dam didn't live up to the hype, yet it surpassed it. Van Dam returning wasn't a "holy s---" surprise as Paul Heyman hyped, but his unannounced return and bonus match paid off with a great finish to a good PPV.

Bruce Mitchell, columnist (8.0)

This was a damn good wrestling show. Whatever the circumstances were involving the return of Rob Van Dam, whether it's permanent or temporary, it was that rarity in wrestling, the surprise that lived up to the promise. RVD had a very good match with his best opponent, Jerry Lynn. The right guy, Rhino, went over for the title. The three-way tag match was great. The tag title match was very good, and the I-Quit match between C.W. Anderson and Tommy Dreamer was pretty darn good. Both looked like the old time tough guys they were trying to portray.

ECW relied on a lot less of the played out cliches of hardcore wrestling, the pointless walk/brawl around the ring, and the ridiculously contrived balcony dive. The ECW wrestlers wrestled hard, and they wrestled well. The build up of Rhino took advantage of his badass strong spots without showing any of his weaknesses. Whether or not they have TV, ECW does have a championship main event they can build up - RVD challenging Rhino. The last several title matches have been missing something (and the ladder match tonight wasn't much) but this was the best way ECW could have played its cards.

I really liked the young wrestlers on the show, who all added something to their acts. EZ Money and Danny Doring looked the best they have yet. If Nova could learn to sell every once in a while he'd be pretty good. Tajiri and Super Crazy led an effort by six wrestlers that was a lot of fun to watch.

And for one last time, Missy Hyatt was the Walking Riot...

Jason Powell, assistant editor (7.0)

Can you believe it? The booking was actually on par with what the wrestlers did in the ring. Unlike the last few ECW PPVss, Guilty as Charged set up new feuds for future shows. Solid wrestling, good booking, a surprise that lived up to the hype, and a couple of nice unadvertised appearances. It's hard to expect a lot more from a PPV.

Rob Van Dam's return was well-orchestrated, even if his match with Jerry Lynn wasn't as good as their past efforts. It's hard to blame Van Dam, though, since he hasn't wrestled in months. His presence popped the already hot live crowd and lived up to the hype surrounding the big surprise. Still, one has to question the idea of bringing him back and immediately giving him a main event win, even if it did please the crowd.

Last year, Van Dam made more money than anyone in ECW, yet he was the first to abandon ship when the company's financial struggles kicked in. It's hard to blame him for making a business decision, but it will be even harder for Heyman to justify Van Dam's win to others in the locker room who have stuck with the company.

However, if this was ECW's chance to showcase itself in front of network executives or potential buyers, it made perfect sense to book the top attraction in the main event slot.

Elevating Rhino was smart. Over the past few months, Justin Credible and Steve Corino have both failed in their bids to become strong heel champions. Although Rhino is still green, he is the most over heel in the company. It also helps that Rhino has been feuding with Van Dam and Spike Dudley as they will also move to the top of the card with him.

Ever since Mike Awesome left for WCW, it has seemed like the people feuding over the ECW TV Title were better suited for the main event than some of the wrestlers Heyman has pushed in that role.

Other notes: Heyman's booking wasn't without its flaws. For instance, the tag belts were cheapened by having the tag title match so early in the show. Worse yet, the three-way to determine the number one contenders for those belts was held later in the card. If Heyman is so high on Mikey & Tajiri, Crazy & Kash, and the FBI, why did he take the belts out of that mix?... EZ Money finally shed a few pounds and bought a new outfit. Aside from those goofy straps on his legs, he now looks as major league as anyone in the company... Missy Hyatt looked disgusting, but played her role to perfection. I about fell over when she asked Jack Victory if she had slept with him in WCW... Dreamer and Anderson worked another strong match together, but I hated the typical ECW handshake... As if it won't be hard enough for Nova to get himself over as a bad ass, Joey Styles didn't do him any favors by calling him "the new nasty Nova." Styles had a rough night, especially when Callis left him to call the match on his own... The non-stop ads for the website were annoying, especially since they kept pushing those hideous softcore porn pictures. As if there aren't enough places on the internet to find half-naked pictures of women...

[Torch art credit Joe Borzotta (c) PWTorch.com]


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