MONDAY NIGHT SCOUTING
- Shawn cut a long promo at the start, until Undertaker scared him off. 8-Ball won a triple threat match against Mark Henry and Finlay. HHH beat Al, who was working under the Shinobi mask as a one-off. Stone Cold squashed Brakus, so I guess Vince has gone off the big guy. Or maybe not. HHH again tried to attack Austin after the match to take him out before Wrestlemania and again failed. Thrasher over Paul Diamond, which was another one-off. And Vader beat Kane by DQ in the main event, after Taker appeared and chokeslammed Vader as a message to Kane.
- TAKA over Johnny Ace. Skit with Vince, Sable and Sunny. Blackjack Windham over Jacques. Jose Estrada beat Chainz by DQ.
- Konnan over Norton by DQ. Bagwell spoke with Nash backstage. Saturn over Kidman, non title. Hennig tried to interrupt a Giant promo, but Page ran out for a brawl, which ended with a Giant chokeslam to Hennig. Sting got promo time and a win over Disco. Hogan then got in Sting's face and told him the NWO weren't done with him, which is abundantly clear if you watch the show, before their newest recruit Luger defeated La Parka. Main event was Giant over Piper clean.
SAT. NIGHT TAPING
- Lenny Lane fought with Iaukea during an interview. Super Calo and Louie Spicolli no decision. Rude interviewed Disco and Barbarian crashed it. Norton beat Chavo. Jericho over Mongo by DQ.
ECW HARDCORE TV
January 25, 1998
We opened the show with Joey at the announce position, giving a recap of what we saw on last week's show, with the announcement by "The Franchise" Shane Douglas that he would defy the doctors and not retire as ECW Champion, as had been speculated, but would return to the ring. Talk of the ECW World Championship would then turn to the Television Title, via the man who caused Douglas's injury in Bam Bam Bigelow, with Bigelow's immediate attention being on his TV Title shot at "The Human Suplex Machine" Taz at Living Dangerously on March 7th. Joey claimed that whoever came out of that match as champion, Douglas would have to watch his back, as pretty soon one, or both, could be gunning for his title as well.
Like last week, Owen Hart's appearance at House Party 98 was still the talk of the ECW locker room and we were treated to more comments from ECW stars about their thoughts on Owen and his future.
First up we heard from Stevie Richards, who claimed to know exactly how Owen Hart was feeling, as he too was a superstar who had been under-appreciated for too long. He, magnanimously, said that he'd be there for Owen if he needed someone to talk to, superstar to superstar and he'd show him the right way.
Justin Credible had comments next, which were about himself as much as Owen, which isn't really a surprise. Credible talked about coming to ECW and making a statement himself and said that if Owen Hart wanted to do the same, he'd kick the 'Lone Heart' back to where he came from just like everybody else.
Al Snow offered his opinion, as he discussed the situation with Head in the locker room and was in... philosophical mood.
Al: "See, I've come to realise that to succeed in this sport that you need a little Head... but, really, you need a little Head and you need a little Hart as well. So, I guess what I'm saying is, Owen, you've gotta listen to your Hart... and you've gotta listen to your Head too. And with a good Head and a good Hart, we'll all have a good time together."
Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten commented, both agreeing that it was great that Owen Hart told the World Wrestling Federation where to go and saying that if Owen Hart came back to ECW, he'd be more than welcome in their locker room and they'd be on his side against the WWF.
The last comments of the montage were probably the most key though, as they came from the rarely seen Paul Heyman. Speaking as the owner of ECW, Heyman assured the fans that while Owen hadn't committed to a return to ECW as of yet, he was doing every in his power to ensure that Owen returned. He put Owen over as one of the best professional wrestlers in the industry today and assured Owen that there was an open door for him in ECW, whenever he wanted to make his return.
However, those members of the ECW locker room weren't the only ones with Owen Hart on their mind.
Backstage, we went to The Triple Threat. The ECW World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas stood with his 'personal rehabilitation assistant' Dawn Marie, Chris Candido, Tammy Lynn Sytch and Triple Threat prospect Lance Storm, with a big smile on his face for the first time in a while, albeit with his elbow still heavily wrapped.
Douglas brought up the talk of the wrestling industry right now being about two things, his decision not to retire as ECW Champion and the appearance of Owen Hart. He talked about the ECW locker room laying out the welcome mat for Owen, but claimed that none of them truly understood what Owen Hart was about or what he was going though. The people that did, however, were standing right in front of him.
Douglas: "You see Owen, I too have dealt with the politics and the backstabbing that have plagued you and your immediate family. I, more than anyone else would care to, know exactly how you feel right about now. Because in this business, it's not a case of what you know, it's a case of who you know. Which is why, Owen Hart, in front of the entire world, I am offering you an opportunity. An opportunity to join the Triple Threat. Because Owen, better than anyone else, you know full well, it pays to have people to watch your back. You need people you can trust to stand beside you and look out for your best interests if you wish to navigate this pit of vipers that is professional wrestling. So Owen, I trust that you will take this offer under good consideration. Take it for what it's worth, an olive branch from The Franchise. An offer of help from those who understand you best. Don't let your pride get in the way of smart business. We all know, that leads to no good."
Taz -vs- Phil LaFon (w/Doug Furnas and Lance Wright)
After his victory over the hired muscle Brakkus at House Party 98, Taz's attentions turned to his match at Living Dangerously on March 7th. However, clearly Lance Wright still felt he had unfinished business with the Human Suplex Machine, as he sent one half of his ECW Tag Team Champions for revenge, in a non-title match with ECW's Television Champion.
Unlike Brakkus, who fell into the category of big men choked out by Taz, Phil LaFon is an accomplished technical wrestling, trained in the Hart Dungeon. And as such, he was able to spend the early minutes of the match competing with Taz on the mat. That only really prolonged the inevitable though, as it forced Taz to soften LaFon up with some suplexes first, before he ultimately locked on the Tazmission for the win.
Winner: Taz, by submission, in 4:50
Furnas would quickly hit the ring after the decision and hammered on Taz, on orders of Lance Wright, who was even unhappier now that two of his WWF stars had been choked out. It was soon about to be three though, as Taz laid out Furnas with a stiff clothesline, before putting Furnas out with the Tazmission as well. Wright quickly high-tailed it, before he could become victim number three of the night, leaving Taz to stand tall over both Tag Team Champions.
Chris Candido and Lance Storm (w/Tammy Lynn Sytch) -vs- Spike Dudley and John Kronus
Two newly formed and relatively unlikely teams met, in this interesting clash. Chris Candido and Lance Storm had been the more regular team of the two, ever since Lance was picked as the new 'Triple Threat prospect', a position he was still holding onto at this point. Spike and Kronus had been drawn together more out of circumstance recently, as they along with New Jack had been opposing the Dudleys on a pretty regular basis. Tonight the two were trying their hands against a different kind of team though, with New Jack not on the show tonight to team with his regular partner.
A lack of experience didn't seem to trouble Kronus and Spike too much, as they put up a decent showing in the early goings, much to the annoyance of Candido. Adopting the role of captain of the team as he had so often, Candido wound up frustrated as he and his 'prospect' failed to get anything going. And of course, in his mind, all of it was Lance's fault. Fortunately, they had Tammy there to smooth things over though and once she stepped up into the managerial role, the Triple Threat team (unofficial) were able to get themselves on the same page.
Candido and Storm worked over the smaller member of the opposition, doing a number on Spike, until the resilient runt of the Dudley litter managed to reverse a big move on Candido and got the tag out to Kronus. Kronus would run wild on both Candido and Storm and looked to be on the way to victory, until Tammy made her presence felt again. A grab of the ankle would stop Kronus in his tracks and a superkick from Lance put Kronus down. Candido followed up with the Blonde Bombshell off the top and got the pin, as Lance prevented Spike from making the save and the Triple Threat had a win, thanks in no small part to the influence of Tammy at ringside.
Winners: Candido and Storm, by pinfall, in 8:45
Before the main event, a video package played, going over Justin Credible's impressive and controversial first few months in ECW.
Tommy Dreamer (w/Beulah McGillicutty) -vs- Buh Buh Ray Dudley (w/Studley Dudley)
Buh Buh Ray Dudley stepped out of his comfort zone in the show's main event, as he squared off in singles action against the heart and soul of ECW himself, Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer's attentions had been firmly fixed on Team WWF over the past couple of months, while Buh Buh and the rest of the Dudleys had been clashing with New Jack, Kronus and Spike. These two did cross paths in a six man tag at House Party 98 however, as Dreamer lent a hand to Spike and Kronus in New Jack's absence and there was always bound to be a competitive edge with these two involved.
There was also bound to be a lot more brawling than wrestling and sure enough, it took approximately a minute and a half for this one to spill out of the ring and into the crowd. Dreamer would largely get the better of things, in amongst his people, crowning Buh Buh with more than one chair and introducing him to another groin first, via a rather painful atomic drop variation. Buh Buh resorted to an eye poke when they got back towards ringside, but still found himself taking a back drop back over the rail, as Dreamer finally brought things back inside.
Back inside, Buh Buh actually fared a little better, managing to land a couple of big moves on Tommy to snuff out his attack and get on the offensive. Buh Buh's strategy of wearing Dreamer down and bad-mouthing the crowd were only keeping Dreamer at bay temporarily though and inevitably, Dreamer was able to keep making a comeback.
With Buh Buh reeling towards the end of the match though, Dreamer's signal for the DDT brought Studley Dudley up on the apron to provide a distraction and allow Buh Buh to land a low blow. The sight of Beulah pulling Studley off the apron and slapping him though allowed Dreamer to return the favour to prevent a low blow though and go for the DDT again. However, with the official remonstrating Beulah, help was on the way from Buh Buh...
...not from D-Von, as you'd expect. But instead from Stevie Richards, who snuck in and laid Dreamer out with a Stevie Kick, much as he had done back at November To Remember.
Joey: "And look at Richards, hightailing it through the crowd! Like the coward that he is!"
Dazed, Dreamer was hauled back up by Buh Buh, who delivered a Buh Buh Bomb to crown the victory. The Dudleys had picked up an unlikely singles win. And the assist came from an even more unlikely source.
Winner: Buh Buh Ray Dudley, by pinfall, in 12:19
As Buh Buh celebrated in the ring and looked mighty relieved, Joey was left to dissect what happened. Understandably, he was upset that the WWF had once again cost Tommy Dreamer a match-up and got riled up at the nerve of Stevie Richards, before composing himself again. And he predicted that sooner or later, Team Extreme and Team WWF would have to meet again though and he hoped that when they did, Team Extreme would send a message, all the way to the top of Titan Towers, that ECW would not be beaten.
- Terry was backstage at the show and took the time to take Axl aside for some coaching on his promos.
- Maybe he can work with Lance next, because this show typified where Lance currently stands as a performer. In the segment with the Triple Threat, he looked like a deer in the headlights next to the rest of the group. However, in the ring, he was the clear standout in the tag team match. Right now it's not imperative that Lance is a good actor or a good speaker. Which is good, because he's not.
- Speaking of that tag match, Kronus didn't have the best of nights, because for some reason, Sandman decided it'd be hilarious to spend the night ribbing him about his lack of a push right now. Unfortunately, Sandman in his... 'jovial state' didn't know when to leave the joke alone and riled Kronus up, to the point that I had to have a word. I don't think Sandman was too pleased I called him on it and he kept insisting that he was only playing around, but realistically, that's not the kind of attitude I want to see out of anybody anyway, even jokingly. This is supposed to be a family, whether you're winning or you're, well, not winning.