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THE ROCKTAGON
W/ JAMES SWIFT

OK, I need some feedback from the fans. I really hope you've enjoyed this month's free TRIAL version of The Rocktagon. That's right, Internet, you're not getting this week in, week out for nothing. Thanks to meandering, stupid stuff like "actually studying for exams" and "utilizing work time for actual work" (in conjunction with my recent, newfangled singleness, of which I have now reached a Matt Hardy-like level of Man-hoe-ed-ness), there simply aren't enough hours in the week to allot me the time and capabilities to track down and recap five PPV-length shows a month.

That being said, here's the tentative plan: You get TWO articles per month, one around the 15th, another around the 30th. It's like a government check. As a means of truncating overall quantity, I think the new schedule allows for IMPROVED quality of the Rocktagon, and as the most populist of populist satirical-professional-wrestling-articles out there, I DEMAND input from you, the loyal reader. What do you want to see on The Rocktagon? Do you want more esoteric stuff? More PPV recaps? Are there outlandish moments from wrestling's bygone era that you want me to trudge up? Send me a line, and we'll make this the best damn arena of post-Berlin wall, pre-9/11 sports- entertainment-centric nostalgia around.

But don't everyone clamor all at once! If you do, then things might turn into anarchy, and as we all know, ANARCHY RULZ.

I teased a recap of Anarchy Rulz 1999 earlier this month, and I shan't fail to deliver upon my promise of on-the-fly-booking and outlandish spot bouts. This was the first ECW PPV post-TNN debut, and signs of doom were already floating overhead at Paul E's house of shenanigans. What could've easily turned out to be one of the biggest turds the company ever produced ended up being one of the best examples of a company turning lemons into lemonade in pro wrestling history, and the show's exalted stature is most certainly well- deserved.

Without further adieu, I give unto you ECW Anarchy Rulz 1999!

The show kicks off with Dave Prezak's ugly ass trying to get a few words from ichiban contender Masato Tanaka, despite the fact that the guy doesn't speak a lick of English. More like Ring of Dumbass, am I right? (Congrats go to both guys that know what I'm talking 'bout). Anyhoo, Masato's driver stops in the middle of the parking complex, which is better than letting Tanaka behind the wheel to begin with. Get it? Because Asians are stereotypically fitted with the trait of being less than observant drivers. I guess that's why Puro guys are always kicking each other in the face for real, because they don't have the depth perception to pull their attacks. Kind of like how the target in 1941 was supposed to be Idaho, but. Out comes Judge Jeff Jones, who berates Tanaka and then gives his best friend a lethal dose of GHB. Or maybe that was somebody else in the company, my mind fails me at the moment. The ECW faithful are stationed outside the vicinity of the parking garage, and call for Tanaka to kick some legislative ass. He does. The ECW fans chant in approval. A dismayed Jeff Jones promises vindication of a most "Awesome" caliber.

All right, time to break the ayfabe-kay. You see, Taz was the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Taz was offered a contract by some guy named Vincent Something-Or-Another, and the best Paul could do to counter the sizeable offer was a handful of orange tic-tacs. Taz takes the contract because he can, and signs it because they let him. This leaves ECW sans a champion. The initial idea was to have Taz run roughshod over Tanaka, eventually paving the way for a RVD mega bout by year's end. With a certain 5'2 guy on his way to Greenwich pastures, Paul E decided to do what he does best (no, not forge signatures) and book an entirely different main event for the World title. You'll see how Heyman took a lemon and made chair-shot rattled lemonade a little bit later.

We are coming to you LIVE from Villa Park, Illinois. In the ring is Joey Styles and Cyrus the Virus. The fans chant something kind of intelligible. I think it might be "Free Cream Soda!" or something of the variety. The fans likewise admonish Cyrus for his purported fellatious endeavors. Cyrus proclaims that he wishes to engage in "intellectual intercourse" with Joey. Well, Styles waited forty years to lose his virginity, so I say take what you can get, son! Cue the "More Human Than Human" knock-off, PPV-Quality Edition!

Hey, what do you know? We follow that facsimile up with an authentic White Zombie tune, which means Lance Storm w/ credibility is making his way ringside. Accompanying him to the ring is Dawn Marie. Now, I'm a particularly chivalrous guy, and I believe that, in some special manner, all women are beautiful in their own individual way. That being said, man, does she look like a five-dollar hook. BONUS POINT TIME: The first person to e- mail me the name of Lance Storm's utilized theme song wins.something. Spelling counts! According to Styles, this is the largest crowd in ECW history, meaning both guys showed up. I KID, I KID! The fans desire Marie's mammaries. Once they get back from the Free Clinic, something tells me they'll suffer buyer's remorse. His adversary for tonight's gala is.cue the crappy late 90s metal.Jerry Lynn, sporting ribs of the taped variety after a cowardly attack by the Impact Players a week prior. This is also the first ECW PPV to be broadcast in Canada, as Joey informs us. I guess that means our next match is between Neil Peart and a moose wearing a Canadiens jersey.

ABSOLUTELTY EXCELLENT catch to begin the match. I'm not even going to bother going through with a PBP for the opening two minutes. Just take my word for it, it's awesome (kind of like a RVD \ Lynn bout minus the blown spots). Multi-corner chops exchange parlayed into Lynn taking a Flair turnbuckle whip flavored by Lynn springboard drop kicking Storm to the outside. And the main course? Storm EATING guardrail on a NASTY looking bump. Neat. Some nice chop exchanges on the floor. Back in the ring, and the action is PERPETUAL. Seriously, folks, this is some of the best back and forth action I've witnessed in awhile. A hot shot on the behalf of Storm finally slows things down for a bit. Styles on augmentation surgery: "are there any real pairs in the business?" The faithful decry Dawn Marie for her acquisition of a particular viral infection. By the way, she's sporting a skirt so short that one or two centimeters off and we're gazing at the national emblem of Canada. (No, not Wayne Gretzky.) Phenomenal standing dropkick by Storm. Those things are hard to pull off, I assure you (Think of them as being reverse condoms). Cyrus notes that Lance was a standout Volleyball player in college. Didja know? Storm lands a cool looking cartwheel elbow smash to crush Lynn in the corner. ASS to the RIBS! Somehow, Lynn counters that into a sunset flip, which is countered into a nut shot by Storm. All in one smooth motion. Color me impressed. Storm drops the atomic leg, but since he wasn't wearing yellow, it doesn't score the pin." I've got you in a sleeper hold, baby" croons Lance Storm. Abdominal stretch? Check. Toss to the outside? Uh-huh. Back your bags, honey, we're ready to plancha. Back in the ring, dropkick from Lynn. Fans to Dawn Marie: "It is from a reputable source that in exchange for monetary investments you perform acts of a most carnal and salacious manner". Fistfight, a sky lift and one of the coolest nut shots you'll ever see in a wrestling match follows. Cradle piledriver? "Not tonight", says Lance," I have a headache. Let's have a couple of near falls instead, OK?" A German by Lynn ends one of the most amazing sequences you'll ever see in an ECW bout. Super kick by Storm. So, having one leg on your opponent counts as a pinning attempt? You know, I'm surprised Zach G. never exploited that rule. Back to the in-ring action, Lynn whiffs on a supplex and Storm swallows inverted DDT. Quick, call Poison control! Storm says "that's it, too much science for an ECW bout!" so DM tosses him a few steel sitting aides. Somehow, this leads to a killer spot in which a tornado DDT is feigned, culminating with Lynn landing a SICK sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope. You know, I think that from here on out, I'm going to refer to my girlfriend as "the intangible" as well. Lynn kind of lands a DDT on the chair (it was off by about a foot, but in contrast to Van Dam's usual off calculations, that's damn near on the money), but DM gets her man's foot on the rope. Weird ass bottom turnbuckle bump by Lynn. Huh? Oh dear God. psychology.in an ECW bout? THE SEVENTH SEAL HAS BEEN BROKEN! The fans chant "USA". But ECW is broadcast on TNN, you dumbasses! Cool Ace Crusher by Lynn to save his own hiney. Hurrancan-Lynn-ra! And out of nowhere, Storm ends it with a grapevine pining predicament. Talk about a disappointing finale. The Sopranos don't have shit on this lackluster ending.

Winner: Lance Storm, anticlimactic finishes

Post bout, Joey and Cyrus bicker about the latter's inert bias towards Storm.

Cue the Drain STH (obscure all-female Norwegian nu-metal FTW!) as Simon Diamond makes his ECW PPV debut. Meanwhile the scrolling Viewer's Choice text reminds us that unauthorized accounts, descriptions, and broadcasts of this event may result in criminal charges. Simon says (ha!) that he needs a partner for tonight, so he chooses Tom Marquez, who was conveniently sitting at ringside. What are the odds of that? And never mind, it was just a fake out on behalf of the dastardly Diamond. What a cruel guy. Simon then goes on to state that no man can be his partner. Out comes Jazz, whom is definitely not a man. Well, that's logical. Simon cuts a heel remark that actually gets the ECW faithful behind him. MISOGYNY. It's what's for dinner. Cue a comment about "flat-chested, ghetto booty, dollar ninety-nine weave wearing." and Jazz gets physical. Diamond calls in Tom Marquez to do his dirty work, and it is ON. Testicular claw, a thumb to the eyes, and a Jazz Stinger (X- Factor) later, the bout is over. I think. Post bout, Tony Devito and Simon stomp Jazz like two epileptics playing DDR before those chivalrous knights Nova and Chris Chetti make the save. Nova and The War Cousin clean house, with Nova utilizing a pescado (Espanol para "flying trout") to wipe out the ethnic dry cleaners. Nova is rocking a Green Lantern uniform for tonight's affair. Hit him with something yellow, Simon! As the tides turn in favor of Marquez and Devito, Cyrus informs us that Simon was actually a Pepsi executive in his prior days. Now, he sleeps bareback on concrete floors in the Southeast. Should've stuck with the carbonated bracket, Simon. Tony royally screws up an uranage. Dismayed, the fans are. Chetti is wiped out on the floor, probably legit, but whatever. Out comes Roadkill and Danny Doring. Now this is seriously getting into cluster fuck territory. Doring and Roadkill proceed to kill everyone in the ring. The entire under card runs out, led by CW Anderson. Boy, now here are some obscure guys. Anybody remember Rod Price, The Skull and The Spanish Angel? Neither do they. Or getting paid, probably. Time for an all out brawl, which, in ECW speak, can mean ONLY one thing:

Cue "Natural Born Killaz".

New Jack makes his entrance with bucket full o plunder en tow. CW eats an aluminum sign, Wild Bill gets dented by a waste canister, Spanish Angel gets QWERTY'D by a keyboard AND gets his skin whistle sunk by a corner shot with a pool cue. In other words, it's just another day at the office in good old E, C and W. And out comes the staple gun and acoustic guitar.

Winner: What the hell just happened?

Post-whatever just occurred, Styles shills some upcoming dates for the Hardcore Tour '99.

Little Guido rides out to the ring on Big Sal's shoulders ala Master Blaster in Thunderdome. Yoshihiro Tajiri makes it 2/3 complete. This soup needs more lucha. How about a dash of Super Crazy? And thus, the three-way-dance is in order. Think of this bout as an International sampler dish, kind of like getting ravioli and wasabi in your burrito. Sure, it doesn't sound all that palatable, but what do you expect from a restaurant ran by a guy named Paul E. Dangerously?

Triangle stare-down to begin. As Joey ponders the inert hassles of the language barrier, the ECW crowd stirs up one of my all time favorite chants, "Where's Our Pizza"? Classy. This is essentially an X-Division match, only three years prior to the formation of TNA, and with some semblance of selling. BURN. Tajiri gets the soup boiling with his LETHAL kicks (the urban legend is that he created his infamous boot sounds by placing snap-on bracelets in his socks!) and things get interesting after Guido takes a teeth first lawn dart bump to the ramp way. Ouch-O. Tajiri smiles an evil grin at the camera, revealing that England and Nashville aren't the only places with a dearth of orthodontic practitioners. Funny, as soon as I wrote that, a massive black out hit. Guess the Japanese deities of dental indignation wanted to give me what-for. S.C. hits Tajiri with a springboard dropkick, Guido hits S.C. with a body vault. It's cyclical, kids! Tandem camel clutch / Tajiri face stomp on Crazy. On the re-do, Tajiri clocks Guido. You know, if only we had a German guy in the ring, all axis nations would be represented. By default, I suppose that means Super Crazy is our ambassador of Aryan supremacy. Back to the triangle. The Mexican and Italian wage war outside over the rights to the white/red/green color scheme. Guido gets tossed into the second row, Crazy takes a bounce and Tajiri Assai Moonsaults the whole lot of them. Big Sal makes things easier for Guido by wiping out his in-ring adversaries, instigating a chant about his corpulence in regards to his copulation practices. Time for the requisite Jonestown sequence of every three-way bout in which all three men experience a sudden onset bout of paralysis for about three minutes. Now it's Super Crazy's turn to Assai while his opponents battle in the crowd. Sal E. thinks he sees a Snickers bar on a table, so he immediately crashes through it.

Tarantula spot, and it's anybody's game. AWESOME rolling surfboard into a locked Dragon sleeper by Super Crazy on the guy with squinty eyes. Even MORE AWESOME double team spot in which Tajiri gets locked into a simultaneous camel clutch and Sicilian crab. Crazy kicks out of the komitaze. Guido takes a trip to the pro wrestling national park and visits a tree of woe. I wonder if he stopped and gazed at the shrubs of embitterment while he was there? Another Assai, and SC factors Guido out of the match.

Crazy and Tajiri exchange kicks. Extended standstill. Crazy lands.SURPRISE! Another moonsault. Time for the uno to diaz punch in the corner! Handspring elbow, brainbuster converted into a nice snap powerbomb by Crazy. Powerbomb into a spike DDT by Tajirii. Weird looking inverted DDT by Super. Maybe Tajiri should stop going for all of those brain busters? SC lands a.take a guess. On his second attempt, Tajiri catches him with the knees. Crank up the kicks of death, and then he FINALLY hits the brainbuster for the ace.

Winner: Tajiri, fans of Assai moonsaults

Backstage, Steve Corino cuts a promo on how a deal feel through to have the Insane Clown Posse wrestle Tommy Dreamer and Raven for the ECW tag titles. Thusly, he and Rhino will challenge for the championships this evening.

In the crowd is Billy Corgan. I wonder if today was the greatest day he ever knew? Styles is still pissed about losing the ICP. Well, it was 1999, before the terms "juggalo" and "worthless retard" were interchangeable terms.

"Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" pours out of the PA System. Justin Credible, in his pre Target days, is here to challenge the recently reinstated Sabu. The fans presuppose that Jason the Bodyguard enjoys a specific mouth-centric act. As a means of cowering his way out of the bout, Justin breaks out a restraining order. As luck would have it, referee Jim Molineaux is a certified paralegal agent, and he vouches for the authenticity of the document. However, he then goes on to state that the legality of the binding document is waived because, tonight, ANARCHY RULZ. Well, then why did we have to pay for tickets, then?

DEAR IWC,
Hey, how's it going, LOL! Now, I know that I am a representative of your fine culture, and as part of such a spectrum, it is of my design to be an ambassador of such wide-held, "smart mark" sentiments. For example: TNA sucks, HHH is a jerk, Chris Benoit likes to kill things, etc. However, I simply must disagree with your mass assumptions by stating, with all due sincerity, the following: Justin Credible freaking ruled in ECW. The guy was the penultimate chicken shit a-hole heel, and tonight he's in rare form, doing EVERYTHING he can to get out of the bout. Case in point: Justin concludes that the bout cannot officially start until Bob Ortiz makes the announcement. Therefore, on a technicality, Justin lays out Ortiz before he can make the match official. That's called "embracing your character", mang

With the lights out, it's more dangerous.

Sabu makes a B-line for Justin, and staying true to his roots, feeds Jason to him. Sabu dominates the bout early with his usual array of tricks and tactics, namely, lots of camel clutches and sundry variations of the leg drop. Here comes the furniture. Chair shot, Alfonso sets up the table on the ramp way. Credible makes his putsch and stops Sabu dead in his tracks with a Russian leg sweep. We have our first table casualty of the evening when Credible body splashes Sabu through his own bread and butter. Sabu makes his comeback, culminating with a chair-assisted launch onto Justin from the top rope. Top rope leg drop back in the ring by Bu. Credible takes a spine-first bump by Sabu, and the table really doesn't break. It sort of bends at the bottom, so instead of being killed, we'll just say it was crippled. NOW Sabu kills the table. Never mind the fact that he missed Justin by about five feet, that sonofabitching balsa wood is DONE FOR. Back in the ring, it's more clutches of the camel variety and more leg-flavored drops from the Sheik's nephew. Styles claims that Sabu is attempting to "work the back". Psychology, on behalf of Sabu? Super kick from Justin. Credible locks in his own Camel Clutch, and Sabu taps out. I mean, that's clearly what he does for about twenty seconds, but no bell. You see, kids, this was back during the days of "verbal submissions" only. How I miss those days of splendor. More clutching, dropping, tapping and interference from Bill Alfonso. Nut poke from Bu to get the segment over. Jason comes *this close* to going through a table, but prior to launch, Justin nails Bu in the sack with the Singapore cane. The McGuffin table is in the corner. Spots are feigned, Justin dropkicks a chair into Sabu's face. And much like Glen Jacobs' wife, Sabu eats some Cane. Yeah, I know, they're spelled different, but whatever. Jawbreaker, and dead table number three, only this time it's Justin's moment to miss his adversary by a full yard. Cyrus actually puts over the TABLE, saying "it's not only made of wood, it's got some metal in there too". Maybe at the next show, they can name an inanimate carbon rod as employee of the month. Credible no-sells the moonsault. Trip up, and like Sonny Bono and one of the Allman Brothers, Sabu eats chair. Get it, like Cher? Oh, fuck you. Bu kicks out of That's Incredible! Bu misses the Arabian Face Buster. Piledriver-counter-counter sequence, and Credible finally lands his finisher on a steel chair to pick up the W, much to the chagrin of the ECW faithful.

Winner: Justin Credible, Unpopular beliefs

As highlights of the bout are rerun, that warning about unauthorized reproductions scrolls across the screen again. I would abide by such measures, but tonight.ANARCHY RULZ!

More shilling for the Hardcore Tour '99. Plug for the ECW website.

The world title bout is up next.

Cue the Sega CD music (which is awesome, actually) as Masato Tanaka makes his way ringside. World champ Taz comes out to a chorus of boos. Surreal. Despite their penchant for table spots and homophobic slurs, ECW fans were the original "smart" fans of wrestling, and they already knew the "real story" behind tonight's bout. In one of the most amazing, unbelievable things I've ever seen in an ECW bout, Masato gets the streamers treatment and serenaded by a round of "Tanaka's going to kill you!". Taz gets the T.P. and "You sold out" chants.

Time for the bait and switch. Mike Awesome is in the crowd. Taz grabs the mic and authorizes a three-way-dance for the belt. Paul H. makes it official in one of the most intense moments I've seen in a wrestling storyline. As the bell rings, Tanaka INSTANTLY flies and takes out Awesome as soon as he leaps over the guardrail. Once in the ring, the two beat the hell out of each other as Taz sarcastically claps in the corner. Taz ducks the Roaring Elbow, lands a T-Bone, dodges Awesome and drops him with a German. This is some straight-up amazing shit right here, with all three guys knocking the blue fuck out of each other with clotheslines and German supplexes. Awesome drops Tanaka with a running bomb and subsequently gets belly-to-back supplexed by Taz off the top rope. Roaring elbow and Awesome Splash in tandem to get Taz eliminated. The boys in the back spill out to give Taz his farewell as the fans tell Pete to attempt procreation with himself. In the ring, Awesome and Tanaka do their usual thing, with Awesome making amazing aerial leaps to the outside that would probably cause him to commit suicide later in life. Tanaka kicks out of the sit-out Awesome bomb, and this crowd is electric. Some excellent outside brawling ensues, and Tanaka uses the length of the ramp way to land his running chair shot. Impressive ping on that one. SICK tornado DDT from a chair-launching pad on the ramp way. Tanaka rattles off a missile dropkick to the back of Awesome's skull. Tornado DDT on a stack of chairs. Yet Mikey kicks out. A sick-ass CHAIR infused elbow drop onto Awesome's face that's already draped by another CHAIR. AWESOME KICKS OUT AGAIN. Tanaka drops his own powerbomb, and no dice on the pin attempt. Awesome than flips out of a second powerbomb attempt, picks up Tanaka, and then drops an AWESOME BOMB through a table to the outside of the ring. See, and we had forgotten about that plot device, didn't we? The fans are chanting for Awesome. Irony? Alabama Slam (well, technically, Florida Slam, but who's keeping count?) for Tanaka. TANAKA KICKS OUT OF THE AWESOME SPLASH! Tanaka eats three child- murdering chair shots and MASATOS UP before landing the Diamond Dust (not to be confused with landing Dustin Diamond, which, admittedly, would be funny as shit). Awesome kicks out again! Roaring elbow countered into a German, Tanaka no-sells, takes a running dive and gets GORED for his efforts. Triple J throws Awesome a table AND a chair. That's dire circumstances, pal. Top rope chair shot from Awesome, and Masato just lost the capability to do simple math. And an AWESOME BOMB through the table OFF THE TOP ROPE wins Mike Awesome the ECW World Heavyweight Title. Just when you think ECW can't swerve you again, TAZ is back in the ring, and he snatches the title from Awesome's hands. Taz gives Awesome the title back, shakes his hand, and we break kayfabe, as Paul H and the departing Taz embrace on the ramp way. As the fans chant Taz's name in unison, he points to the ring instead and walks out into the sunset.

Time to shoot: That bout was absolutely everything that I loved about ECW and then some. For starters, it managed to blend storyline and reality so unbelievably well that the crowd had no idea what to expect, how to react or even what to chant. The cooked up elements of the storyline were parlayed, relatively on the fly, I may add, as a mechanism to get two guys lower on the card elevated. ECW had this absolutely incomparable ability to merge absolute burning resentment and counterculture with genuine, heartfelt respect and admiration for the industry and the performers. There were so many amazing elements in regards to that bout, from the insanity of the bumps the two guys HAD to take to get over to the menagerie of guys standing in the ramp way that made this bout feel like something transcendent. And you know what? It was. An absolute must-see match.

We now go from one realm of awesome to another, as a pre-filmed Raven promo is rolled. No need to tell you how great this is. Tube it.

Insert GERTNER. Joel cuts one of his famously bawdy limericks before bringing out Tommy and Francine. Dreamer states that his back injuries are secondary to the needs of the fans. Out comes Cyrus, with Rhino wheeling Jack Victory to the ring. OK, so apparently, we're not having a tag team bout after all, as it's now Tommy Dreamer vs. Rhino in a singles bout. Card, change, subject, etcetera. Tommy innovates some violence by wheeling Jack face first into a Francine chair shot. Tommy leads the dance early. Rhino eats a Corino-held ladder (on accident, right?) before his DDT attempt is squelched by a Rhino STO. Francine gets a scoop driver from Rhino. As Tommy Dreamer is about to receive a spike pile driver, Raven rushes to the ring, gets tripped in the ropes, and lands a DDT of his own on Rhino. Put on your rubbers, it's time to clusterfuck. Victory and Corino run in, get beat down, and simultaneous DDTS by Raven and Dreamer scores the double pin.even though this was a singles match. Classic Heyman booking here.

Post-bout, Mancow and two fat guys await Raven's return. Seriously.

Plug for November 2 Remember 99. Back in the broadcast booth, Styles and Cyrus comment on tonight's hectic booking.

In the ring, is, of all people, Axl Rotten. Axl says that he isn't the best worker in the business, but he can bleed like a bitch. Is that a menstruation joke? He then calls it Mike Awesome for a title bout. Out comes half of the ECW locker room, led by Lance Storm with a mic. That kind of tells you something about the abilities of your roster when Lance freaking Storm is the most charismatic stick worker in the promotion. Holy shit, I forgot about Johnny Smith being a member of the Impact Players, and tonight, he gets a title shot against RVD? Why do I not remember this? The Impact Players beat down Axl, and out come Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley to make the save. Smith takes a chair shot, so now it's Balls Mahoney vs. Rob Van Dam for the ECW World Television Title.

All right, let's put this one out to pasture. Cyrus mandates that RVD's PG nickname is "The Whole Ball Of Wax". That made me chuckle. Belly to back from Balls to get the ball of wax going. Laugh out loud, Balls is from NUTley, New Jersey. I guess Testes, Indiana was too blatant for a guy whose first name is BALLS. Mahoney is basically playing the whole "I'm bigger than you so you have to hit me with a lot of stuff really, really fast to keep me down" routine. Here's the formula: Balls strikes, hits a power move, Rob rattles off strikes in quick succession, power move, Balls lands a power move, wait, rinse, repeat. Extensive outside brawling sequence chews up a couple of minutes. Back in the ring, Balls does his, uh, Balls punch special. That's a weird one to say. Balls lands the absolute fattest spinning heel kick you've ever seen in your life. Man, is it weird to see a move of that caliber utilized by a guy with cottage cheese thighs. More brawling in public spaces. Ball grabs a chair. That's bad. He's about to hit RVD. Take a gander what happens next. Post Jonestown spot, Balls finds himself in the crowd AGAIN. RVD burns himself into the ECW highlight reel by somersaulting into the crowd. That's damned impressive. Sacrosanct dookie chant from the faithful. RVD and Balls resurrect themselves and it's back to the formula. Balls drops a ham hock on Van Dam and then its time for the two to attempt mat wrestling. Take your thumbs and press them directly UNDER the soft tissue of your eyeballs. Compress for about two minutes and then it's safe to stare at the screen again. Van Dam comeback gets derailed by a resurgent Balls, and Mahoney drops his OWN Five Star Frog Splash, or as I like to call it, a Fat Guy Falling On You. RVD no sells his own finisher. Superplex, Jonestown. Alfonso slips RVD a chair. Rolling Thunder can be heard in the background. Neat monkey flip into a powerbomb spot initiated. Northern Lights Supplex by Rob is countered into a DDT by Balls. Piledrivers, superkicks, they do nothing! Balls gets a hold of some metal furniture. Van Daminator averted, and RVD gets WAFFLED. Alfonso makes the save for RVD on what would've surely been a three count. Balls no-sells an Alfonso chair-shot (well, actually, it was more like a chair-throw, actually.) and RVD nails a single leg dropkick straight to Balls' chair masked face. Five Star Frog Splash, your winner and still TV champ, Robert Van Darn!

The show wraps up with the usual package, and ends with a teaser for N2R 1999.

All in all, this is remembered as being one of the better PPVS of the late 90s, and really, you can't complain about this card. I believe it was at this point the ECW establishment knew that the wheels were beginning to fall off, so, just as a representation of on-the-fly-booking, this is a stellar outing. I also wish to note that EVERY single bout on the original card was changed as the show actually began, so that kind of says something about how well Paul H. and company act under pressure. Fuck, these guys should be in charge of CTU (Just don't give them jobs in accounts payable).

This show is really comparable to a combination platter, so no matter what you're into, there's something there that's palatable for you. Don't like the cheese nachos? Well try the Lynn / Storm. The special sauce is quite zesty, I hear.

Sigh, they just don't make them like this anymore.

Let's get the shilling out of the way, shall we? I command you to pay tribute to both Neil McGilloway and Nicole Cooper, whom are saddled with the two shittiest jobs in wrestling this side of being Awesome Kong's tampon handler. As a former ECW on Sci-Fi recapper myself, I know all to well the harshness of such a condition. It's like surviving 'Nam or something, so props to you Mr. McGilloway, on your current tour of duty. We're all praying for you. Likewise, Ms. Cooper takes two hours out of her life each and every week to get yelled at by Don West, so that WE don't have to. Your heroics are greatly appreciated.

As always, feel free to hit me up on the old Space page @ http://www.myspace.com/xxjswxx, and, I'll be seeing you in a few.

SEND FEEDBACK TO JAMES SWIFT

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).