Welcome back to PPV Review Monday where every Sunday night, via a random number generator, I’ll watch a random WWE/WCW/ECW PPV via the WWE Network and write up a review of it on Monday.
I was waiting for the day an ECW show came up on my generator and it finally did. ECW was one of the most unique and influential wrestling promotions of all time, and Hardcore Heaven 1999 was a perfect example of how good it could be. When a promotion specifically states “No Minors” and the WWE Network gives a 20 second warning that the content is not suitable for minors, you know you’re in for a good time.
Quick note before the matches started, during the opening sweep of the camera through the crowd, I caught this:
So was this kid the original “Deez Nuts” guy?
Taz (c) v. Chris Candido (w/ Tammy Lynn Sytch) for the ECW World Heavyweight Title
The fourth installment of Hardcore Heaven opened up with Chris Candido coming out to the ring, announcing to the crowd that the Dudley Boyz had his back, and then challenging Taz for his heavyweight title. After the promo carried on, Taz eventually came out. He walks down the ring, takes out the Dudleys and in just over a minute, he chokes out Candido to retain the title. Again, I wasn’t able to watch ECW when I was a kid, so I didn’t know all the story behind this, but it was an exciting way to open the show. Taz was one badass guy in ECW.
The Dudleyz (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von) w/Sign Guy and Joel Gertner v. Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley for the ECW Tag Team Titles
The Dudley Boyz are the best tag team in modern wrestling history. While they got most of their recognition, deservedly so, in the WWE, you can argue their best work was in ECW. At Hardcore Heaven 99, they were on an absolute rampage all night with multiple backstage scenes where they just beat the shit out of people. Their first of two in ring matches saw the duo defending their tag titles against Balls Mahoney and the other Dudley, Spike. Now throughout all of their career, we saw Buh Buh (Bubba, Bully Ray, whatever you want to call him) and D-Von (again, D’von, Devon, etc.) both with and without their “little brother” Spike. At this event, Spike was on the opposition.
This was a classic ECW tag match, and we saw everything you’d imagine. Though the finish was my favorite part. While Spike is down, Balls Mahoney is about to take control of the match, but Joel Gertner gets involved. He starts throwing lit matches at Balls. So, obviously, Balls takes out a flask, chugs some alcohol, pulls out a lighter and sprays fire into the face of Gertner. I mean who wouldn’t do that. Regardless, it was fantastic. The Dudleyz then hit Mahoney with a 3D (Dudley Death Drop) and retained the titles.
Super Crazy v. Taka Michinoku
Here we had a great cruiserweight match-up. Taka, who seemed to be on a vacation from WWE (F at the time), walked out to the ring in a nice, black WWF Attitude robe. Why? Because Paul Heyman and ECW didn’t give a f*** about that kind of thing. We saw some great spots in this match. A springboard hurricanrana by Taka, and an Asai Moonsault into the crowd by Crazy, just to name a couple. Though, in 1999, Cruiserweights had been established, a majority of their roots where in ECW and these two brought it. In the end, we saw Super Crazy win with a sit-down Powerbomb.
Yoshihiro Tajiri v. Little Guido (w/Big Sal)
In this match, we saw the infamous Little Guido (known as Nunzio to WWE fans), part of the FBI, take on the pre-WWE Tajiri. Tajiri has always been known as one of the best Japanese wrestlers. While both men are considered cruiserweights, this match was the complete opposite of the last match. Much more of a technical match (well, as technical as ECW could get) and less high-flying, though we did see some. Tajiri and his damn kicks, man. Every time he hit one, I swear I got a bruise watching. Those hurt. Nevermind when Guido was tied up on the turnbuckle in the tree of woe, we saw Tajiri do a baseball slide to Guido’s face. He seriously connected with his face. Looked bad. Tajiri takes home the win with a Brainbuster.
Lance Storm (w/ Dawn Marie) v. Tommy Dreamer (w/Francine)
First things first, Dawn Marie was an absolute smoke. I don’t doubt that she still is. She’s in Lance Storm’s corner, and I forgot how jacked this guy was back in the day. The best part is that during the match, he’s rocking a shirt that just says “The Gym”. And then, of course, there is Tommy Dreamer. I met the guy a few months back, and he’s one of the nicest guys in wrestling, but he was also a lunatic. Guy has a passion like nobody else for the business and would do crazy-ass things for the fans. Like the time he took 10 Singapore Cane shots to the back.
While I keep referring to matches as “classic”, it’s just true time after time. These matches today, are unique, but then, they were just normal matches in ECW. Plenty of mayhem, plenty of weapons and of course blood. If you want to teach a friend about ECW, you can show them this match. Oh, and in the case you were unsure what demographic ECW was targeting, take a guess.
Piledriving a hot woman, not before showing off her thong to everyone in the crowd.. E C W.
Rob Van Dam (c) v. Jerry Lynn (ECW Television Title Match)
This is a match I would suggest to fans if they want to teach someone about WRESTLING. Not just ECW, but the entire spectacle of professional wrestling. Whatever the promotion, when RVD and Lynn have a match, it’s top notch. When you add ECW elements, it gets even better. These guys went almost a half-hour and we saw everything you’d expect from mat wrestling, to high flying to weapons to high impact moves and everything possibly in-between. Van Dam even bled the hard way after an elbow from Lynn legit cut him above the eye. Van Dam pulled out all of his moves, and Lynn seemed to as well. If you are, in any way, interested in wrestling, PLEASE WATCH THIS MATCH.
Taz (c) v. Buh Buh Ray Dudley (w/Sign Guy Dudley) (ECW World Heavyweight Title)
The main event of the evening. Taz is back out here once again after “defending” his title earlier against Candido. Throughout the night, the Dudleyz were taking out random guys backstage as part of a hitlist they were given from the aforementioned Joel Gertner. Eventually, the Dudleyz got into a scuffle with Taz’s “cousin” where D-von injured his hand. This got Buh Buh extra angry and gave a nice motive as to why Taz was defending his title. Obviously, D-von’s injury didn’t last long as he got involved in the match rather quickly, essentially making it a 2 on 1. Oh ya, and Taz also made it a Falls Count Anywhere match, so this really got interesting. We saw a lot in this fight including backstage fighting, Taz bleeding like a stuffed pig, Bubba getting Taz-plexed through a table, a ref going through a table and much more. As ECW only last maybe 2 more years, it was cool to see three of the original guys in such a sweet main event. Taz retains with the Tazmission.