1.Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger vs. Christian York & Joey Matthews - 2
2. Balls Mahoney vs. E.Z. Money - 3
3. Nova vs. Julio Dinero - 3
4. Danny Doring & Roadkill vs. Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke - 6
5. Tommy Dreamer vs. C.W. Anderson - 7
6. Rhino vs. Spike Dudley - 4
7. Super Crazy & Kid Kash vs. Mikey Whipwreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri - 4
8. Steve Corino vs. Justin Credible vs. Jerry Lynn - 5
The opening tag match was just too short. The great thing about tag wrestling is, the format lends itself to good storytelling, and plausible psychology. Here, that was thrown out the window—we got a smattering of highspots and before you knew it, the match was history. I was somewhat intrigued by Mahoney versus Money, if not for any other reason than I couldn’t remember them ever working together. Besides the heavy interference rampant throughout it, this was still a fun match to watch. The aforementioned interfering birthed the next match, in typical E.C.W. styling, giving us Dinero and Nova, who put together a nice little match.
The next match, another tag team bout, was probably my favorite to watch. I was never a big fan personally of Doring and Roadkill, nothing to do with their work—I just never bought into their gimmick, or lack thereof. But, there are certain things they do well; and their opponents, the FBI, for two tiny guys, can work their asses off on occasion. Mamaluke was involved in two of my favorite spots of the entire show: first, he leaped off the top rope out to the floor, grabbed Roadkill’s head, and gave him a tornado DDT on the concrete entrance aisle and what appeared to be a rough landing; secondly, he took the bump of the night when while on the apron, Doring gave him a savate kick, and he somersaulted off directly onto the metal guardrail and out into the crowd. This match and some great back and forth stuff, and was a superior example of their tag division.
I recently watched their last pay-per-view, Guilty As Charged 2001, and Dreamer and Anderson stole the show in a grueling I Quit match. They do the same here, in a brutal match featuring two of the more unique and inspired table bumps I’ve ever seen. First, Dreamer gets superplexed off the top turnbuckle onto an unopened table lying on the mat; secondly, Dreamer gets driven through a table that was set up backwards against one of the corners of the ring, with the metal table legs pointing out and everything. I don’t think these original bumps happened by accident, and I give a nod to Dreamer, who likely crafted these spots, for trying to breath a little fresh air in the stale hardcore wrestling scene.
I liked Rhino versus Spike more than I expected. It was short, but the psychology was pretty sound. Rhino dished out tons of punishment, including a couple of the sickest chair shots I’ve witnessed in a very long time. I liked the finish, where essentially Spike was beaten into unconsciousness. The following tag match was a bit of a disappointment. I like Tajiri and Crazy’s work generally; but I expected this match to go one of two ways, either be a stellar bout showcasing their abilities, especially due to its spot so high on the card, or more likely, a highspot marathon lacking any real depth. Instead, we got neither of these—the alternative was them cruising through an unforgettable match. It seemed like these guys weren’t giving us 100% and even their signature spots and sequences looked lackadaisical and laissez-faire.
Lastly, the main event was a thorough disappointment. I’m part of the large crowd who never bought Corino, let alone Credible, as champions. This was a convoluted, piece of shit three-way. Firstly, they eliminate the best worker in the match first, that being the talented Jerry Lynn. During the subsequent fall, they brawl towards the balcony, do an uninspired and completely unnecessary balcony spot, then brawl lazily back to the ring… completely fucking negating any sense of psychology and realism! I mean, and I’m a stickler on this one… professional wrestling is supposed to be fighting as a form of art and entertainment. A good wrestler can craft a story, and make us believe in what he’s doing. Under those terms, how can we buy that if this was a real fight, and a guy was to be hung off a balcony and then plunge from it, that in mere moments later he’d be doing restholds like chinlocks in the middle of the ring?
And even more absurdly than that, in a spot that drove me absolutely insane, was Credible proving how big a pussy he truly is. He’s brawling with Lynn out on the floor, and Lynn attempts to backdrop Credible over the metal guardrail into the audience. Somehow, Credible miraculously doesn’t make it over, and lands awkwardly on his leg. Does he maintain composure, like a professional, and sell the inflicted damage? No! He gets up, completely out of character, now Lynn tries to capitalize and cover up the botch by attacking him, but Credible throws a cowardly elbow, which was legit, right into Lynn’s face, and hobbles away from the cameras noticeably pissed and cursing. I mean… what the fuck? Come on, man! You’re getting paid for this shit! If you were wrestling at a lousy X.P.W. show this wouldn’t be excusable behavior, let alone for E.C.W., further more, in the main event of their pay-per-view! I was involved in a backyard wrestling federation for nine years, we never made a dime, and I still never saw anybody act so unprofessionally in the course of a match.
After the match, Sandman comes out and gets himself over at the expense of the guys who just finished a match—at this point; I can’t take any more, and barf on my floor. In conclusion, I think a lot of the workers knew E.C.W. was on their last leg, and could be dying soon. With that in mind, a lot of guys worked hard this night. What I like the most about this show, though, is that it’s not as over the top as most of their pay-per-views. The emphasis is almost entirely on the in-ring stuff, not bad storylines, etc. With the exception of Heatwave ’98, offhand, I’d have to say this is one of the better E.C.W. pay-per-views I’ve ever seen.