ECW Extreme Evolution
ECW Extreme Evolution DVD
Released August 29, 2000
Your host is Joey Styles.
- Television Champion Rob Van Dam (w/ Bill Alfonso) vs. Jerry Lynn (Hardcore Heaven – 5/16/99)
During Van Dam’s in-ring introduction, Fonzie moves the ring announcer toward the ropes so that RVD can pose in the middle of the ring. That Fonzie’s always good for a few antics. Arm ringer by Lynn, one by RVD, Lynn rolls and puts on another arm ringer, single-leg takedown and headlock by RVD, Lynn tussles into a hammerlock, RVD reverses that, drop toe hold by Lynn, RVD gets out of a front face lock and puts on a hammerlock, and he rolls Lynn down for a one count. Very nice wrestling series there. RVD struts around for a while like he always does. Headlock by Van Dam, off the ropes, shoulderblock, they run some ropes, split-legged drop down by Van Dam, he avoids a leg drop, Lynn ducks a kick, Van Dam avoids an elbow drop, Lynn avoids a somersault senton, and they’re back up. Van Dam wastes more time before they lock up again. He pushes Lynn to the corner and proceeds to waste even more time. Lynn pushes him into a corner, kicks him, corner whip, Van Dam kips up over Lynn, Lynn catches him for a catapult, Van Dam lands safely, leap frogs Lynn, Lynn goes for a springboard, Van Dam waistlocks him back to the center of the ring, and Lynn hits him with a mean back elbow that cuts him over his eye, misses a second elbow, Van Dam whips him to corner and delivers a monkey flip, but Lynn lands on his feet (well, he actually ended up off balance and fell, but you know what I mean), and there’s another standstill. Van Dam takes the advantage with a bunch of strikes, tries a springboard, but Lynn dumps him on the apron, smashes him into the turnbuckle, and knocks him to the floor with a springboard dropkick. That sets up Lynn’s crossbody plancha. He lets Van Dam get up to the apron, but then rushes him and hits a guillotine leg drop. That gets two. A bulldog off the second rope gets another two for Lynn. He goes up top, and Fonzie crotches him on the top rope and holds a chair up for a flying VAN DAMINATOR, but Lynn ducks it and gives Van Dam a chair shot. He charges and Van Dam crotches him on the rope and delivers a springboard side kick, Lynn’s foot gets caught on his way down, and he lands face first on the floor! He’s out cold, so Van Dam dead lifts him to the apron, but then pulls him back down and whips him over the guardrail. He tries to kill some time to let Lynn gain his composure, then hurdles the guardrail for a clothesline. In the crowd, Lynn avoids a slam and dropkicks Van Dam back over the rail.
Back in the ring, Lynn still looks a bit out of it as he takes a pummeling from Van Dam. Lynn gets corner whipped but kips up into a sunset flip for two. He tries a piledriver, but Van Dam counters and plants him hard with a pancake. Van Dam goes for ROLLING THUNDER, Lynn sits up, and Van Dam stops and lands a roundhouse kick! That was pretty sweet. He goes for it again, but Lynn rolls out of the way. Lynn takes the advantage with forearms in the corner, he delivers a corner whip and goes for a monkey flip, but Van Dam avoids that and puts Lynn in the corner, Lynn fights back and goes for a tornado DDT, but Van Dam counters into a flawless Northern Lights suplex for two. Lynn gets perched up top, then fights back and hits a sunset flip powerbomb for two, then a short-arm clothesline gives him time to set up a table outside the ring. Outside, Van Dam gets sent to the rail, but then dumps Lynn into the first row. Fonzie gets involved and Van Dam hits a FLYING VAN DAMINATOR off the rail. Back at ringside, Lynn shoves Van Dam into the ring post. On the apron above the table, Lynn tries to set up maybe a hurracanrana, but he gets backdropped through the timekeeper’s table! Van Dam front suplexes him onto the rail for a corkscrew guillotine leg drop off the apron, and that gets a two count back inside. He scores a low dropkick, then does his fancy backflip, picks up the chair, and dropkicks it into Lynn’s face. He takes him to the apron and sets him on top, Lynn fights back again and tries a tornado DDT, but Van Dam puts him back on the apron and clotheslines him back into the ring. A slingshot leg drop gets two.
Van Dam stays in control with forearms and a corner whip, but he gets dumped to the apron, Lynn wins a slugfest, and he delivers a sunset flip powerbomb from the ring through the table! It’s good thing there are mats on the floor because the table did not break Van Dam’s fall whatsoever. Lynn rolls him inside for two. Van Dam gets the boot up on a corner charge, Fonzie gets in, tosses a chair to Lynn, Lynn ducks the VAN DAMINATOR, nails Van Dam in the gut, launches the chair at Fonzie, then delivers a German suplex for 1-2-NO! Lynn goes up top, but Van Dam stops him with a running front kick. He sets the chair down and wants maybe a superplex, but they both lose their footing and plummet to the mat. “You fucked up! You fucked up!” Van Dam covers for two. They get up slow, and Lynn hits a JERRY LYNNINATOR for 1-2-NO! He delivers an extremely sloppy sunset flip for two, Van Dam turns it over for two, they bridge up, Lynn tries the CRADLE PILEDRIVER, Van Dam breaks free at the last second, but Lynn rolls him up with a school boy for 1-2-NO! After a short battle in the corner, Van Dam shoves Lynn down and hits a split-legged moonsault for two. Lynn avoids a body slam, Van Dam avoids a reverse DDT and hits a snap mare, then delivers a corkscrew leg drop. That sets up the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH. He takes way too long to cover, though, and Lynn sneakily rolls him up for two. Back up, they have a quick waistlock exchange, Van Dam leap frogs Lynn coming off the ropes, Fonzie tosses in the chair, Van Dam tosses it to Lynn, VAN DAMINATOR! The second FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH finishes him off, 1-2-3. (26:57) They give each other a high five after the match. Another RVD/Lynn classic. There are definitely several sloppy moments, which I think puts this match just a step behind their Living Dangerously 99 match, but for the record I’ve yet to see anyone on the Internet agree with me on that. ****½
- ECW Champion Mike Awesome (w/ Judge Jeff Jones) vs. Masato Tanaka (November to Remember – 11/7/99)
Awesome takes the early advantage and nails Tanaka with a corner splash. Tanaka reverses a corner whip and Awesome walks up the turnbuckles for a nice back elbow, but Tanaka dumps him on the apron anyways and hits a springboard clothesline. That sets up a high crossbody plancha by Tanaka. He sends Awesome into the guardrail and blasts him with a chair, but Awesome reverses a whip into the rail to take back the advantage as they get back in the ring. He catches Tanaka trying a leap frog and delivers an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to the floor, then tops it off with a tope! He drags Tanaka into the first row and drops his head onto the rail, setting up a crazy plancha into the crowd! Back in, he comes off the top rope with a chair shot, Tanaka no-sells, a second chair shot levels him, but he’s back up again, he ducks a third attempt, steals the chair, nails Awesome, then gives him the ROARING ELBOW into the chair! (Tanakanator?) He puts Awesome down with a body slam, which sets up a top rope chair drop onto another chair for 1-2-NO! A tornado DDT onto two chairs gets 1-2-NO! He goes for it again, but Awesome counters with a sitout powerbomb on the chairs. He hits a clothesline and a pancake, then positions a table outside. He tries to powerbomb Tanaka out of the ring, but Tanaka slips free and hits a back suplex. They brawl on the apron, and Awesome delivers a SITOUT AWESOMEBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!!! HOLY SHIT!!! He rolls Tanaka back in for 1-2-NO! He sets Tanaka on the table, but Tanaka pops up and delivers a superplex through it for 1-2-NO! He scores with DIAMOND DUST, then tries another ROARING ELBOW, but Awesome ducks and hits a sickening release German suplex, Tanaka no-sells, but a clothesline finally puts him down for good. AWESOME SPLASH gets 1-2-NO! Awesome takes Tanaka up in the corner and delivers a SUPER AWESOMEBOMB, and that’s it, 1-2-3. (12:26) The spots in this match are off the charts, and the good thing about these two guys was that they always had enough chemistry to make a spotfest flow well enough. The nearfalls are super convincing, and the stakes give it that extra boost. ****1/4
- Barbed Wire Rope Match: ECW Champion Sandman vs. Raven (12/7/96)
This ended up being the blowoff of the angle in which Raven took Sandman’s son under his wing. Everyone’s dressed for the barbed wire — referee Jim Molineaux wears long sleeves and gloves, Raven’s fists are taped and his hair is tied back — except Sandman of course, whose pants get ripped before the match even begins. Both guys take turns teasing barbed wire spots to start. Raven hits a snap mare and gives Sandman a hard right hand below the belt. Now THAT’S how a heel should start a hardcore match. Sandman counters the next attempt and a school boy gets two. Raven resists the wire once again, then kicks out of a toe hold. Sandman goes after the leg, but gets kicked off into the barbed wire! It looks especially painful because the barbed wire ropes have a lot of slack, so he falls off the ring and is held up by wire! Then he gets CROTCHED ON THE BARBED WIRE! Outside, Raven sends him through a diagonally set-up table, then gives him more punishment from a pan and the ring post. Back in, Raven takes off his ripped shirt and sets a table in the corner, then Sandman wildly runs through it, knocking Raven into the wire. Sandman then drops Raven’s midsection onto the wire with a front suplex! He cuts the wire loose and wraps a piece around Raven’s face, then whips his back. Raven rolls outside to safety, so Sandman drops the broken table on him! Nice. Raven takes more barbed wire punishment outside, but he manages to take over with the Singapore cane. Back in, he cuts Sandman open on the wire ropes, then back outside he holds his head against the ring post. Sounds simple, but looks painful! Sandman makes a comeback with the cane, then delivers his patented cane shot tope. Table suplex follows. Raven gets the worst of a slugfest, but ends up pulling Sandman down across the wire. Back in, Sandman scores with the cane, then cuts some more wire loose and strangles Raven with it, then wraps him in it so he can’t move. Raven struggles to get out and takes a timeout on the floor while Sandman wraps himself in barbed wire. He flies at Raven for another cane shot tope, lays him on a table, goes for another jump from the ring, but Raven moves and Sandman crashes through the table. Raven sets up another table inside and tries a piledriver, but the table breaks prematurely, so Raven has to settle for a DDT, and let’s just call it a night, 1-2-3. (17:38) If stealing his family wasn’t bad enough, now Raven has dethroned Sandman of the ECW title. This match is probably what an ECW cynic would expect. Many forms of shear brutality and not a great deal of artistic merit. **1/2
- Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (w/ Sign Guy) vs. Spike Dudley and Balls Mahoney (8/14/99)
No tag rules. Spike and Balls take over early and deliver a hurracanrana/superkick combo to Bubba Ray, then with the Dudleys out on the floor, Balls hoists Spike for a press slam crossbody plancha. Then Little Spike climbs a humongous ladder in the ring and takes the plunge onto the Dudleys! That Spike is a little nuts, I’m telling ya. While Balls and D-Von brawl on the floor, Bubba takes over on Spike inside. He scans the crowd for the best place to throw Spike, but Spike avoids the press slam and hits a facebuster, then hooks a sunset flip for two. Bubba slows him down with a clothesline and puts a cheese grater to his forehead! They take it to the floor and let Balls and D-Von take center stage. An elaborate series of rope running leads to Balls taking over in the corner and jabbing away, but D-Von comes back with a sitout powerbomb. As D-Von shreds Balls with the cheese grater, we see Bubba wiping Spike’s blood on his own face! He fucks with some fans and Spike scores a chair to the back for some of Bubba’s cartoon selling. They venture up into the stands, where Spike gets crotched on a hand railing. D-Von and Balls take it into the crowd as well, and by this point Joey Styles is losing his breath talking about how this match won’t ever make it onto TNN. D-Von takes Balls back into the ring for a cover, but the referee is 200 feet away at the snack bar standing idly by while Bubba and Spike take turns hitting each other with ridiculous weapons. Superplex and diving headbutt by D-Von. Balls comes back in a rope running series and hits the NUTCRACKER SUITE, then a frog splash. D-Von hits a low blow and a reverse DDT, and finally Jim Mollineaux makes it back to the ring to make a two count. D-Von avoids a NEW JERSEY JAM (basically a second rope leg drop), and Bubba hops in for a modified DUDLEY DEATH DROP for 1-2-NO! The Dudleys take their frustration out on Mollineaux and whip him to the ropes, and he tries a double clothesline! It has no effect of course, but Spike and Balls grab stereo school boys for 1-2-NO! BALL BREAKER and ACID DROP combo gets 1-2-NO! NUTCRACKER SUITE and ACID DROP combo gets 1-2-NO! Sign Guy stopped the count by drilling the ref with his mini sign. Classic. He ends up getting tossed around outside. Spike and Balls set up a pair of tables, one on top of the other. This means a big spot is coming, folks. They take turns nailing Sign Guy on the apron, apparently trying to send him through the tables, but the opportunistic Dudleys take over. Spike and D-Von go outside, while inside Bubba avoids a top rope hurracanrana and hits a BUBBA BOMB on Balls. Spike and Bubba go at it on the apron, and Bubba drops him with a big boot. Here comes the lighter fluid, then the fire, both tables are a ‘blazing, and Bubba powerbombs Spike into the fire! ECW! ECW! ECW! In the ring, Balls takes some chair shots from D-Von, but then ducks and Bubba gets nailed. Balls catches D-Von off the ropes and delivers the NUTCRACKER SUITE for the 1-2-3. (23:14) So this was the Dudleys’ last match in ECW (their first “last match”) before their big paydays in the WWF, and not a bad way to go out. A big fun brawl. ***1/4
- The Eliminators vs Steve Williams and Terry Gordy (10/26/96)
Let me just explain something so that I don’t need to explain it all later: This match is on this DVD mainly because of its finishing spot, in which Perry Saturn climbs a scaffold and hangs above the ring, then drops down in an elbow drop position a good 12 feet before connecting with Terry Gordy. They used to play those 2 seconds of freefall a gazillion times on TV. It’s truly pleasing to the eye in a way very few wrestling clips are. That said, both guys get totally hurt on it, and even the bloodthirsty ECW nuts seem a little scared about the whole thing.
Gordy and Kronus botch a leap frog spot to start. These two guys look awkward together. Gordy counters a kick into a cool leg whip, then takes over with basic stuff and another leg whip. Steve Williams tags in but gets dropped with a clothesline. SPACE FLYING KRONUS DROP, but Williams comes right back with a release German suplex. He takes over on Kronus and nails him with a stiff chop, then some whips and a powerslam gets two. Gordy tags in for a double-team shoulderblock for two. Bulldog gets two. Williams tags in for a double-team clothesline for two. Gordy tags in and hits a vertical suplex for two. See a pattern? Kronus gets whipped from corner to corner and splashed by Gordy over and over, and Saturn senses defeat and breaks up the ensuing cover. Saturn and Williams tangle and go to the floor, where Saturn scores a powerbomb! Gordy pummels Kronus again and again with clotheslines, but Kronus goes for a nice standing switch and delivers a German suplex. Hot tag to Saturn! He hits some dropkicks and gets two with a small package. Gordy counters a backdrop and delivers a powerbomb, and Kronus breaks up the cover. Kronus hits Gordy with a fireman’s carry roll which sets up a splash from Saturn. TOTAL ELIMINATION, 1-2-NO! Williams makes the save. Stereo shoulderblocks send Williams outside, Kronus hits Gordy with a body slam, and here comes the scaffold spot. He climbs up, he drops down, 1-2-3. (9:00) So there you have it. This certainly gets an A for stiffness, but it’s more like “ehh” in most other categories. They tried to lay that old school face-in-peril psychology in the ECW Arena, and in that place that’s more like laying an egg. **1/4
- Taz (w/ Bill Alfonso and Team Taz) vs. Sabu (Barely Legal – 4/13/97)
Sabu suddenly appears in the ring for a big staredown, having apparently jumped the gun on his cue to enter. They trade slaps until Taz hits a clothesline that has Sabu reeling to the floor. Back in, Sabu reverses a whip and drops down, Taz hits the brakes and goes for the TAZMISSION, but Sabu blocks it and scores an arm drag and holds onto a reverse arm bar. Taz wrestles out and they trade some hammerlocks. Sabu blocks a suplex, but Taz takes him down for an ankle pick. Taz lets Sabu go for his leg, but he ends up on top for some crossface blows, then a bodyscissors hold. Sabu takes a pummeling and then we see that he’s bleeding, apparently from one of the crossfaces. He kills time and gets a sneaky low dropkick and a slingshot leg lariat onto a seated Taz. He sends Taz to the outside and over the guardrail and delivers a TRIPLE JUMP PLANCHA into the crowd! They brawl back and forth and move through the sea of humanity for a while, then Sabu leaps off a chair, missing Taz and hitting the rail, and Taz clotheslines him over. Back in, Taz drop toe holds Sabu and applies a freestyle bow-and-arrow. They start a slugfest from their knees, then brawl on the mat until Taz puts on a bodyscissors arm bar. Sabu makes it to the ropes and hits an enziguri, setting up an awesome springboard somersault leg drop. He brings in a chair and hurls it at Taz in the corner, which sets up AIR SABU. He misses a second try and Taz hotshots him onto the chair, and a late cover gets two.
Back up, Taz whips Sabu into an unbelievably stiff clothesline for two. He catches him coming off the ropes with a sidewalk slam, but Sabu pulls him to the floor and goes for another TRIPLE JUMP PLANCHA. This time Taz avoids it and Sabu hits the guardrail. An OVERHEAD BELLY-TO-BELLY TAZPLEX sends Sabu crashing all over chairs. Sabu gets rolled back in, and it looks like Team Taz set up a table bridging the rail and ring apron. Taz orders them around a bit, allowing Sabu to ambush him and knock him out and onto the table. He begins a triple jump move, but stops because Taz doesn’t look ready. He heads out and Taz tries to set up a suplex, Sabu fights it off and goes for a swinging DDT, but Taz doesn’t budge and Sabu falls through the table. I’m pretty sure that was all botched if not just badly improvised. They have some more slugfest outside, then they bring it inside, and Taz favors his shoulder. A top rope hurracanrana gets two for Sabu. He follows that with a huge top rope leg drop. After more slugfesting, Taz grabs a hold and delivers a SIDE HEAD AND ARM TAZPLEX, then a HEADLOCK TAZPLEX, but he takes a breather, which allows Sabu to come back with a PUMP HANDLE SABUPLEX! He mocks Taz, but Taz gets right up, Sabu ducks a clothesline, and he puts on a SABUMISSION, but Taz wiggles around and delivers a modified SIDE BELLY-TO-BELLY TAZPLEX. He follows up with a PUMP HANDLE TAZPLEX, then locks on the TAZMISSION, Sabu is out, it’s over. (17:49)
Taz gets on the mic and he and Sabu have a nice mutual respect moment, which is interrupted by Rob Van Dam jumping Taz. Van Dam gets stuck in the TAZMISSION, but Sabu saves him and Van Dam unloads on Taz with stomps and leg drops. Sabu brings in a chair for an ARABIAN FACEBUSTER. Van Dam sets him on a table outside, and Sabu goes for a triple jump moonsault plancha, but he slips off the rope and settles for a more modest verison of a plancha through the table. Sabu puts on another SABUMISSION while Fonzie just stands there, not trying to help Taz. Fonzie gets in the ring with RVD and Sabu, and he takes off his Taz shirt to reveal a Sabu shirt. This starts the Sabu/RVD/Fonzie alliance. Van Dam gets on the mic for the second time and tells his new employer to think about picking up Fonzie, “because he knows my schedule, and I love to work Mondays.”
This match has good heat and some good wrestling, and it even has a unique realism going for it, with Taz keeping the advantage after the table spot and Sabu only coming back here and there, but I don’t think it sets the world on fire like some people do. Maybe I can’t get past all the mini slugfests between spots and the otherwise underbooked feel. ***1/4
- Mixed Tag Team Match: Shane Douglas and Francine vs. Tommy Dreamer and Beulah (12/7/96)
Douglas tries heating the match up before it starts by talking shit about Beulah. Oh no he didn’t. Dreamer returns the favor, but honestly I can hardly make out what they’re saying because of crappy audio. Douglas charges after him and nails a dropkick and a back elbow. He baseball slides Dreamer to the guardrail, and Dreamer starts selling a knee injury. Douglas continues to dominate, then delivers a pescado. He whips Dreamer into the guardrail and tosses him into the crowd. All of sudden a fan picks up a chair(!), Douglas hits him with a glancing blow, the fan swings the chair at Douglas, then Douglas jumps on him and starts punching him in the head! Some security guys break it up and throw the fan to the curb. The crowd actually chants “ECW” for this. Dreamer and Douglas quickly brawl back to the ring (and I do mean quickly), where Dreamer dumps Shane on the other side of the ring and gives him the chair to the back. He slows it down back inside. Shane fights off a chair attack, but Dreamer kicks him down and hits a chair-assisted leg drop. Shane avoids more chair shots and scores a swinging neckbreaker, then a low dropkick with the chair puts Tommy down for some work to the leg. Francine tags in and drops her ass onto the knee, but Tommy pops up and gives her the VAGINAL CLAW! Shane holds him back as Francine gets him back with a slap, and Shane and Tommy get back into it. Tommy levels Douglas, Francine jumps in, Tommy winds up to clock Francine, but Douglas attacks and lands a piledriver. Shane goes up top but gets caught and slammed, then a powerslam gets two for Tommy. Chair to the knee gets two, then Tommy puts Shane into an ugly version of an Indian Deathlock + chin lock move. Back up, Tommy scores a back suplex and a DDT for two. Francine put Shane’s foot on the rope, so Dreamer drags Francine into the ring, tags Beulah, and we’ve got a … CATFIGHT! Francine gets controlled early but takes over on Beulah, so Dreamer tries to piledrive her, but Douglas makes the save. He attacks the knee some more and puts on a figure-four leg lock. Dreamer gets whipped to the ropes and he wipes Francine out into the guardrail! Shane pays attention to Beulah, so Tommy scores a nice Mexican roll-up for 1-2-NO! Meanwhile, Francine and Hat Guy get into a scuffle over a baking pan, and Francine slaps the hell out of him!!! Wow, hardly anybody noticed though. Dreamer hooks on a figure-four while Beulah slaps Douglas. From behind, Francine jumps off the top rope and cracks Beulah over the head with a baking pan! Uh oh, Dreamer doesn’t like that, so he gives Francine a piledriver! ECW! ECW! ECW! He adds a backbreaker to set her up for something off the top rope, but Beulah says she wants to give it a try, so we are treated to the worst version ever of the BEULAHSAULT!!! They both gloat, allowing Shane to attack Dreamer from behind and he hits Beulah with a BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX for the 1-2-3! (12:54) He even hooked both legs on the cover. Hilarious. This match has its share of sloppiness, but it’s mainly pretty fun-filled stuff. The crowd is way hot too. With the Shane Douglas vs. Moron Fan bout, as well as the Francine vs. Hat Guy episode, there was just a really tense feeling in the air that was captured within the match. ***
Final Thoughts: If you got seven matches like these on a pay-per-view, it would be an easy thumbs up, but for a DVD compilation, I could see how wrestling purists would be disappointed. There are plenty of “better” matches in the ECW archives that could have replaced some of what’s on here, but this DVD is more about memorable moments than five-star classics. In ECW’s “Best Of” DVD series, this one relies the most heavily on extreme matches, with RVD/Jerry Lynn being the closest thing to a traditional wrestling match. So, you know, take it for what it is. I’ll say thumbs up, but if you’re one of those guys who reads long reviews and goes by star ratings (which you are since you’re reading this), you’ve been warned. There’s better ECW wrestling material available elsewhere.
Posted on August 27, 2009, in ECW and tagged Balls Mahoney, Beulah McGillicutty, Bill Alfonso, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Dudley Boyz, Eliminators, Francine, Jerry Lynn, John Kronus, Judge Jeff Jones, Masato Tanaka, Mike Awesome, Perry Saturn, Raven, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Shane Douglas, Sign Guy Dudley, Spike Dudley, Tazz, Terry Gordy, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.