ECW ON TNN
Kid Kash . . . becomes a champion despite the fact that he hardly plays any role in doing so.
The Blue Boy . . . tries to put on an entertaining show, but he’s only one man (and half the man he used to be)!
Tony Mamaluke . . . seemingly tries to end his life on this night in order to win the tag titles.
RHINO © vs. KID KASH (ECW World Television Title)
Never let it be said that ECW didn’t know how to create feel good moments. Calling this an actual match is a little too generous, since it’s a huge dog and pony show, with damn near everyone in the locker room getting involved before the actual match begins, so that Kash can dive onto the pile. Then there are the run-ins from Sandman and RVD, who both have their own scores to settle with Rhino. The only real segments between Kash and Rhino are Kash’s rana off the top, and Rhino hitting the Gore, with Kash taking a great bump. RVD basically does the work here to soften up Rhino, so that he and Kash can hit a stereo frog splash and legdrop to let Kash pin Rhino and take the title. The crowd reaction is great, and it certainly makes Kash look like a big deal to have RVD raising his hand as the new champion. It’s not really a match, but, the whole thing is a fantastic opening segment to this TV show.
THE BLUE BOY vs. BALLS MAHONEY
Aside from watching Meanie stooge around, this isn’t anything special. It’s a lot of punches and the wrestling exchanges are as basic and perfunctory as it gets. Meanie tries to put on an entertaining show, he even takes a big bump when the referee shoves him back, but that’s pretty much the only thing here worth seeing. Given what everyone learned later on about concussions and CTE, even the finish with Balls using the chair isn’t exactly something to watch and enjoy.
MIKEY WHIPWRECK/YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI © vs. LITTLE GUIDO/TONY MAMALUKE (ECW World Tag Team Titles)
With the crowd being so hot for this, it’d be easy to get caught up in the moment and think that this is a great match. But, although it’s very different stylistically, it’s really not that far off from the ten man tag from These Days or the multi man matches from Toryumon during this time, as far as structure goes. There’s a lot of fun things going on, with Mamaluke bumping like a fiend, as well as the Tajiri/Guido chain wrestling sequence. But, the whole thing just never comes together to show that they’re trying to tell a story and make the spots or sequences truly matter.
It doesn’t help that Sal’s interference in the match basically amounts to him putting himself into position to let Mikey dive. It seems to start out looking good, with Tajiri and Mikey setting up a table and sliding chairs at the FBI, it doesn’t have the same sadistic edge as when Tajiri did it to Super Crazy in January, but it still works. But then Sal, for no good reason, gets on the apron so that he can take a chair to the gut, and allow Mikey to climb on his back and dive onto Guido and Mamaluke. By the time it seems like they’re going to settle down and let something develop, with the FBI working over Mikey and set up a hot tag, they’re already getting ready to wind things down. Even with the assist from the chair, both the shot to the back to stun Tajiri and then the Sicilian drop on the chair itself, Tajiri hadn’t taken nearly enough punishment to be believably finished off by Guido. They didn’t need more time to work, and everyone involved as a good enough worker to pull it off, they just needed to make better use of the time and focus on story rather than style.
Conclusion: I suppose a hot opening segment (which, honestly, is more appreciated when it’s seen rather than read about), and a fun main event are enough to give this a thumbs up. But, considering how good the main event really could have been, especially with that hot crowd, it puts a damper on the whole thing.