Ah yes … ECW on TNN, a show that has a lot of sentimental value for me as it was my regular exposure to ECW and a show that Tim, a Review the World webisode co-host, and I would watch religiously. As a matter of fact, we even made our own “best of” ECW on TNN tapes that I still have in my collection to this day. Just the other day, however, I came across a fine person online who was offering the entire run of the show for sale. I contacted him, worked out a deal, and low and behold, a few days later the complete run of ECW on TNN was waiting for me on my doorstep when I got home from work. There are two episodes per disc on this set so I’m going to dive right in.
ECW on TNN – 8/27/99
The debut episode was supposed to feature exclusive bouts but instead Paul Heyman decided to run the much hyped RVD/Jerry Lynn bout from the Hardcore Heaven 1999 pay-per-view and a bunch of other madness to fill the first show. Needless to say, this pissed off the TNN execs something awful and the relationship between ECW and TNN was off to a rocky start.
1) Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (Hardcore Heaven 99) (clipped) – 6
2) Taz vs. Rhino – 3
3) Spike Dudley vs. Sal E. Graziano – 0
The RVD/Lynn match I mentioned in the intro is the most hyped and most famous match in their series with it also being the first match on the first ECW commerical “best of” tape released in 1999. I feel that it has been hyped to the point where you watch it today and you’ll be like “umm … okay … what’s so great?” The best match between them, in my opinion, was their match prior to this at Living Dangerously 99. Now, this match did have some great moments where Lynn gets smashed with a springboard sidekick and eats the floor, RVD recieves a sunset flip powerbomb through a table, and some nice counter-wrestling. The match itself is presented here in a somwhat clipped form where they’ve taken out about five minutes of the match due to time constraints. It’s definitely a match I would recommend viewing, just so you can see it and come to your own conclusions.
Next up, more video packages and then Taz vs. Rhino which, for the three minutes it ran, was one of the hardest hitting bouts presented on TNN. Rhino came in, powerbombed Taz, who then immediately got up and beat the shit out of Rhino for the remainder of the match. This is followed up by a Sabu video and the Spike/Sal match that went all of 30 seconds and can be categorized as a complete dud. Closing out the show, we get an Impact Players interview which is taken over by Cyrus, a Kid Rock ECW music video, and a Taz promo to end it.
ECW on TNN – 9/3/99
This is one of the most famous episodes of ECW due to the fact that a major, major name from their past returned and it was the Dudleys’ last night in the company. I’m sure by now you know what happened.
1) Taz vs. Tajiri – 4
2) The Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney & Spike Dudley – 4
3) The Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer – Handicap Match – 2
The opening bout was fun. Taz was getting all his shit in and Tajiri was bumping well for it. I liked the finish because it was quick and the submission hold came from out of nowhere. Tajiri was pretty fresh into his “Japanese buzzsaw” character here. His trademark kicks were on target and Taz’s hard hitting but sometimes reptitive offense was crisp. Afterwards, we get the introduction of Joel Gertner to the co-host spot and a lame brawl between RVD and Jerry Lynn.
The Dudleys had a fine match with Balls and Spike which consisted of Spike taking two notably crazy bumps. The first was when he was tossed over the top rope by Balls to D-Von and Bubba and almost did a 360 in the air and landed on head. The second was when he was thrown really hard through the timekeeper’s table. One big peeve I had was with the production, when an interesting spot would happen, they would cut away from the bout and show a slow-mo replay. The Dudleys won after powerbombing Balls through a tack-covered table and hitting Spike with the 3-D move. Prior to the next match, we get a Lance Storm video set to Rob Zombie and some hype for Rollerjam.
The Dudleys came back out to cut a promo about going to the WWF and how ECW was just a shit-hole company. They called out Dreamer who, after receiving verbal tirades directed toward Beulah, Francine, and the company, hit the ring. The match featured a contrived see-saw ladder spot that had a nice finish to it but Bubba blatanly set it up in his pre-spot movements. The finish saw Raven run-in, hit a DDT on Bubba and score the pin.
Overall, watching these episodes was like going back in time. I couldn’t have enjoyed watching these more and I can’t wait to see what else I have in store for me in this set. The first episode was just there but if you really want to get a feel for ECW on TNN, start with the second episode and go from there.