Tape Recap and Review for ECW 2K

Heatwave ’98
by Platypus Fool


The first of the Heatwave cards to be featured on PPV, this is said by many to be one of the top cards the promotion ever produced. Also, the Heatwave cards are famous for being good, with every single one held being fine examples of ECW at that particular period. But is it as good as everyone seems to think? …

Jerry Lynn vs. Justin Credible

This is the match made to finish the ‘summer series’ between these two men, and it follows the old tradition that the last one in a series must be the best. They start off with some wrestling sequences, very typical of Lynn here, but Justin rises to the occasion well. Jerry wins that and rolls Justin outside for a huge plancha from Lynn, Credible is rolled back in and they enter into another wrestling sequence which Justin wins. A few trademark spots from Credible, and his usual heelish antics later and Jerry gets the upper hand once again. A sweet hurricanrana off the top to the outside through a table from Lynn is a highlight at this point, before Jason gets involved to give Justin the upper hand. Once back in the ring, each member of Justin’s group runs in and tries to hurt Lynn, but Jerry does away with each member before setting Justin up on the top rope. Lynn goes behind him for some form of move, but Justin hits him and Jerry falls down into Credible’s arms. Justin then hits an absolutely huge That’s Incredible from the top rope for the pin. This was a very, very competent opener, and one of the best matches I have ever seen Justin be a part of. Not a huge highlight of Jerry’s career, but then he is loads better than Justin. Overall, a good match which kept the excitement level high, whilst exhibiting the quality of wrestling that made ECW so essential. ***3/4

Lance Storm vs. Chris Candido

They have been building this feud for a few months now, with the former tag champions coming to blows over Candido’s fiancée, Sunny, with the feud building from there. This results in an extremely heated contest, and one with a lot of crowd interest, take note WWF, this is how to really build a feud and make fans care about two under card workers. This is the great technical and well flowing contest that everyone expects from these two, with the correct mix of spots and wrestling sequences. Sunny herself gets involved for the finish to the contest, interfering as Storm goes up top, low blowing him to allow Candido to hit the blonde bombshell on Storm for the pin. The booking for the finish was great as even more heat is injected into the match by Sunny teasing a crush on Storm, and having her ‘puppies’ nearly exposed to the jeering fans. All in all a great match, which adds something for the more technically minded fans, and pleases everyone in the arena and at home. ***3/4

Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka

The first of many Awesome / Tanaka matches on ECW PPV’s, so these two long running adversaries will be feeling the need to put a special contest together. Thankfully for everyone involved, they succeed with flying colours. From the very start of this match, the wrestling and spots are non-stop, and flow with perfection into each other. They also do a great job of getting across to the audience what kind of performers they are, Awesome with his huge strength and surprising agility, and Tanaka with that massive amount of heart and courage. The brilliantly done finish comes when Tanaka just manages to lift Awesome over the top rope and put him through a table on the outside, and then bring him back in for a tornado DDT on to two chairs. This is an incredible match, no fancy stipulation, no need for crowd spots or stalling tactics, no need for any of the rubbish ECW sometimes use to make people look better than they actually are, just two men, in a ring, being fantastic. Better than superb. ****1/2

Tag Titles: Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki vs. Sabu & Rob Van Dam ( c )

A dream match up for fans of aerial based offence and plenty of high spots, this tag team match seemed to be made to prove that the ECW world tag titles are literally world wide in their influence. Also a product of the quasi invasion of FMW in Japan by ECW stars, this was the first time many US fans saw the now legendary Hayabusa perform. Unfortunately, they were not treated to the absolute best here. Starting with some wrestling sequences, featuring plenty of Sabu and RVD’s rest holds, and nothing too concrete or smooth, this section of the match appears very messy and sub-standard. Thing is, it seems that either Hayabusa and RVD aren’t on the same page with the direction the match should be going in, or there was communication problems due to the language barrier, whatever the reason, Hayabusa is not on top form. Having said that the match soon falls into a typical spot fest that everyone was expecting from these four, and from this evidence, both of the Japanese grapplers here have some of the most entertaining skills that I have ever seen. Shinzaki is one of the smoothest performers I have ever witnessed, pulling off every move and sequence with a massive professionalism. Hayabusa is by far and away the most capable aerial worker I have ever witnessed, he simply gets such huge hang time and is capable of doing whatever he wishes, has to be seen to be believed really. Unfortunately, the match itself really doesn’t live up to the quality of the wrestlers featured, with many missed spots and messy sequences. A shame, this should have been better. **1/2

Taz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

A rematch from Living Dangerously earlier in the year, with Taz looking for the revenge pin over Bigelow, and to prove himself as the number one contender for the injured Shane Douglas’ world title. This is a hugely fast paced match, the first move performed is a powerbomb, usually a move saved for the closing stages of a contest, which fits it’s short time scale. After a few opening moves, they brawl into the crowd, and around the arena, both wrestlers take several stiff shots from guard rails, and the multitude of chairs around the place. Once back in the ring they perform the patented Taz-Table-In-The-Corner spot, but this time with both wrestlers going head first through the wood. Soon after they spill out on to the ramp, Bigelow sets up for a T-bone suplex to steal one of Taz’s moves, but Taz reverses it into a DDT, and puts Bigelow straight through the ramp. This is an absolutely massive bump, and looks very spectacular, beats going through the ring any day. After that, the big man is up first, and while he is staggering back towards the ring, Taz runs and leaps like the midget he is, and locks on the Tazmission for the submission victory. Overall, this is a really fun match, hardly a technical master class, but damn good TV. ***1/2

The Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer, Spike Dudley & Sandman

A large scale version of three feuds that have been gaining momentum for some time now, with all three of the faces out for some sort of revenge on the Dudleys. The guys try some wrestling to begin, and actually manage to pull it off for a good five or so minutes before full scale war breaks out after Big Dick Dudley gets shoved outside the ring. Typical Dudley Boys messing session begins, with plenty of the usual entertaining brawling. When the ladders become involved is when it really gets going and before the end we see the cold steel of the Sandman’s patented ladders get used many times. People throw themselves and each other into these things the whole time, which is very entertaining to watch, and anyone who isn’t a technical wrestling purist should enjoy it. Oh, and if you are a Sandman fan then his antics here, whilst not his most amusing encounter, were highly entertaining. A good, fun brawl, but nothing more, even featuring a New Jack run in to max out the entertainment factor. **

Other Stuff

An entertaining promo featuring New Jack get killed in the parking lot by the Dudley Boys and Jack Victory is entertaining, but shows the lack of acting skills that Axl Rotten possesses. Joel Gertner does his usual promo, but unfortunately drags the thing out longer than I have ever heard it before, which just gets dull very quickly. Also deserving a mention is Shane Douglas, the ECW world champion, who cuts a nice promo to begin the PPV, and runs decent colour commentary throughout the show.


Looking back on this PPV, I see one of the most well rounded shows ever to be held anywhere in the world, there really is something for everyone here. From the technical skills of Candido vs. Storm, through the spot based antics of the tag match, to the hardcore mess that is the main event, something everyone can enjoy. For an ECW die hard fan like myself it represents everything that was right about ECW, the mix of all styles of wrestling, with all of them done in a respectable fashion, and all of them entertaining. Many have said that this PPV is the best of the bunch, epitomising ECW in its greatest form, and I would have to agree with them. I could sit down and watch this PPV as many times as I like, and I know I will not get bored until I have watched this thing more times than I can count. I would recommend this PPV to any ECW fan, and anyone who is looking to purchase their first ECW video. ****1/2