2 Remember ’97
by Platypus Fool
The first of the N2R supercards to appear on PPV, and ECW’s third chance to prove themselves to the world. If nothing else, the company had to prove they could do better then Hardcore Heaven, not only for the fans, but for the confidence of the locker room. Did they succeed? …
Chris Candido vs. Tommy Rogers
For the opening match we have two veterans, who should be able to work a fine technical contest. They begin with some decent mat work, plenty of rest holds and submissions. It quickly becomes obvious that Rogers is working very lazily, and all the good stuff is due to Candido pushing him through it. The crowd start a ‘boring’ chant, so the grapplers mix it up with a few decent spots, including Candido’s hurricanrana, and a nice suplex to the outside. As the two men start getting tired, Lance Storm runs in and tries to help out Candido, which brings out Jerry Lynn on the side of Tommy Rogers, and the referee makes it a tag match. This heats up the contest no end, as the fresh guys put on lots of sweet offence on each other, some decent team moves as well before Candido hits a fisherman’s suplex for the pin. A good opening match and a fantastic way to get the crowd interested. ***
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Justin Credible
PPV debut for both these two, so the heat is on to produce something good for the crowd. Start off with some pretty standard stuff from both men as they jostle for the advantage. Justin gets Mikey where he wants him and unleashes his heel offence of doom, which Mikey sells until Jason makes his run in. Jason takes a low blow which leads somehow to Justin taking the Whippersnapper from the top for the basic pin. A competent match, but nothing like the best for either of these two, and not as good as the match they would have at Wrestlepalooza ’98. Good, but no cigar. **1/2
TV Title: Pitbull #2 vs. Taz ( c )
Pitbull starts off with some punches, followed by a sweet power bomb, and a few other moves, before Taz makes the obligatory reversal, gets his Tazplexes in, and locks in the Tazmission for the submission. The fact that I can describe the whole match in one sentence gives an indication of how short it was. There is some post match stuff to get Taz over as a thug, and a fighting champion, but nothing of consequence. Better than Pitbull #2’s Barely Legal match at least, and the crowd was on fire. **
Tag Titles: The Gangstanators vs. The Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten vs. The FBI ( c )
Match begins with the two heel teams being jumped by Balls / Axl, who chair the Dudleys in the back, followed by The FBI. Plenty of offence from the chair swingers until the heels take control, beat down on Balls / Axl long enough for The Gangstanators to take offence and make their appearance. The usual weapons shots that New Jack has made his trademark follows, and the match degenerates into a big pile of mess. There is so many people in and around the ring that it becomes very challenging to see what is going on. We do get a nice 450 from Kronus, which pleases me no end, but this section of the match is rather pathetic I’m afraid. Buh-Buh eliminates The Gangstanators after the Buh-Buh Cutter from the top rope on Kronus, after which the match gets some structure back. The Dudleys are next for the locker rooms, when a silly miscommunication spot leads to a 3D on D-Von, and Balls makes the pin. The finish of the match comes when Jeff Jones, the evil referee, makes his presence felt and helps The FBI to the win. Not a wonderful match, and daft booking reduced the heat, seeing as New Jack is by far the most over of the guys here, and he was sent to the locker room very early on. Some good stuff here though, not bad at all. **1/2
Tommy Dreamer vs. Rob Van Dam
I’m not entirely sure how this match starts, as the tape cuts out after the introductions, and comes back to show Dreamer taking the Van-Daminator while crotched on the guard rail, so I can only rate the match from that point. The guys do some decent manoeuvres and sweet spots, with Tommy stealing RVD’s frog splash and chair based offence. Once the referee gets knocked out, the real point of the match starts hitting home, and it’s run-ins galore. First its the referees, who beat up Jeff Jones when he stops the count in favour of RVD, and then get low-blowed themselves by Fonzie. Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon are next, followed by the ever popular Stevie Richards, who gets a ‘don’t go back’ chant even after beating on Tommy. After all the carnage RVD pins Dreamer, but the count is made by Stevie, so it cant really hold up in court. Special mention must go to RVD for selling a piledriver like a god, by bouncing literally four feet in the air. Post match the heels beat down more on Dreamer, and Sabu comes out to give us his two cents, which brings out the Sandman for our next match… ***
Sabu vs. Sandman (tables and ladders match)
This match really should have been the greatest hardcore contest of all time, but unfortunately, both men seem either injured or very drunk, and we all know which one is which. The match consists of numerous inventive spots, which would all look fantastic on paper, but alas, they look absurd in the ring. The two men mess up so many of the cues and spots, and generally fall around the place looking amazingly daft. The whole contest is either a joy, or a pain to watch, depending on your level of drunkenness at the time of viewing. When I first saw this match, for example, me and my friends had been drinking for some time, and we laughed all the way through the match, being very entertained by Sandman’s aimless staggering. But, when I recently watched the match perfectly sober, I saw it’s limitations. It’s not as bad as other people have made out, but it is still much poorer than it should have been. *1/2 if sober, ****1/2 if as pissed as Sandman was.
World Title: Shane Douglas vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Because the show is being held up the road from Douglas’ home town, ECW have pushed him as the face in this feud, and he plays his part very well during this match. Bam Bam basically beats on Shane the entire time, while Douglas plays the face in peril routine. Unfortunately this means that Bigelow is taking care of the offensive side of the match-up for nearly fifteen minutes, and the big man is rather limited when it comes to offence. Having said that, the match is paced well, and the crowd is kept heated by Bigelow working them up. The finish comes after a few table spots, and Douglas reverses what would have been a powerbomb, into his belly-to-belly suplex through a table. A good finishing match, if slightly too long. ***
Not many promos compared to the previous PPV’s, we get the usual Gertner promo previous to the Dudleys match, and a great one from Al Snow, in which he interviews his plastic mannequin, Head. There is also a replay of the first time anyone threw Spike Dudley into the crowd and he bodysurfed around the building, but that doesn’t really impact the show.
improvement on Hardcore Heaven, but none of the matches were hugely special
like at Barely Legal. Everything on the show was competent, but none of
it had that spark to raise it above the general ECW level of goodness.
A worthy addition to any tape collection, but it certainly shouldn’t be
one of your main purchases. ***