What has separated ECW from the Big Two is its focus on actual wrestling not convoluted angles or promos cut by grapplers putting more effort into their interviews than their matches. Some call it an outdated old school approach. To me, it’s pro-wrestling as it was meant to be. In my mind, “Shut up and wrestle!” should be the slogan of every wrestling school turning out the superstars of tomorrow. But, that’s just me.

Last night at their first pay-per-view of 2000 – Guilty As Charged – ECW tried to mimic the competition cramming the show with more mike work than a livestock auction in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The outcome was a meandering pay-per-view bereft of any momentum or clarity. Even a high voltage Sabu – RVD bout couldn’t save the show.

Prior to the event itself, insiders and fans were so dumbfounded at Heyman’s choice of the Awesome – Spike Dudley main event that everyone and their grandmother predicted a swerve. The fact that it didn’t happen and that the ‘Fed wanted fans to accept the match-up as a legitimate pay-per-view main event, may speak volumes about just how badly the usually innovative ECW booking machine has malfunctioned in recent months. What makes this poor outing even harder to comprehend is that ECW had since November to plan the event.

The 5-foot-7, 155-pound, Spike Dudley, challenging the 6-foot-6, 292-pound, Mike Awesome? If that isn’t a mismatch, I don’t know what is. Little Spike is deserving of the nickname “Giant Killer”. Just ask Bam Bam Bigelow and any of the other “big men” Spike has laid out with the Acid Drop. Spike Dudley as ECW World Heavyweight Champion? Somehow, I don’t think so. Not at this juncture in the ECW – TNN deal. So what could possibly be the function of the Guilty As Charged main event? To put Spike over as the suicidal bump-taker he is and Awesome as a unmerciful champion. Things we had an idea of already.

Spike put the nails in his own coffin by setting-up tables around all sides of the ring before Awesome walked that aisle. Not too bright, that Spike Dudley guy. Awesome power press slammed Spike over the top rope through a table and then through a pair of double-stacked tables to start the massacre. Awesome heaved Spike over the security fence. A running flying clothesline over the fence by Awesome almost decapitated the human-crash test-dummy. The ECW World Heavyweight Champion then did what he would be doing a lot of throughout the match — dragging poor Spike’s crumpled body around.

Spike’s punches halted an almost match-ending Awesome Bomb. Awesome was knocked to the floor. Spike splashed Awesome on the outside and sort of Acid Dropped the champ on a steel fence. Awesome was chair shot across the back three times. Spike attempted an Acid Drop while standing on the steel fence however he lost his footing and twisted his knee. Limping, Spike went for a suicide dive through the ropes. He didn’t make it. Awesome climbed to the top rope and Spike caught him with a Hurracanrana. Unaffected by the bold move, Awesome power clotheslined Spike down. An Awesome Splash earned him a two count.

A frustrated Awesome charged at Spike three times. He was met by the soles of Spike’s boots three times. A double stomp from the top rope had Awesome clutching his gut. Taking a page from Goldberg’s playbook, Spike speared Awesome out of the ring.

Awesome blocked a chairshot kicking the chair into Spike’s face. A slingshot splash over the top rope to the floor showed why Awesome eclipses Kevin Nash, Sid Vicious or even The Big Show as the most talented “big man” in the sport today. In the process of landing, Awesome slipped on the wet arena floor and took some time getting back up. In an act of desperation, Spike held onto Awesome’s legs on the ring apron. This bizarre maneuver disoriented Awesome enough so Spike could execute an Acid Drop running from the apron, onto the turnbuckles and off the ring post. Impressive! Awesome went crashing through a table. Next, Spike choked Awesome with a television cable and drove a steel chair from the top rope onto his skull.

Back in the ring, Spike forgot the first rule of wrestling. Never go to the proverbial well too often. Awesome countered another Acid Drop tossing him over the top rope and onto a table as he did previously on ECW’s TNN show. Awesome called on his manager “Judge” Jeff Jones to bring a table into the ring. Spike endeavored to turn an Awesome Bomb into an Acid Drop but Awesome clotheslined him. An Awesome Bomb from the top rope through a table (again like ECW On TNN) had Spike’s shoulders pinned for the three count.

  • The next ECW pay-per-view is Living Dangerously on March 12th.

    ECW Guilty As Charged Results

  • Joel Gertner interrupted Joey Styles and Cyrus’ opening monologue interjecting his own brand of humor which the “office” frowns upon. He left flipping off Cyrus. Fans are told the Sandman versus Rhino match is scrapped. The Sandman had to leave suddenly to attend to a serious family matter.

    Mikey Whipwreck Vs C.W. Anderson

  • Lou E. Dangerously introduced his new “Dangerous Alliance” – “The Enforcer” C.W. Anderson and “Beautiful” Billy Whiles. Keeping in tradition with ECW’s mocking of the Big Two (Anyone remember the Blue World Order?), C.W. Anderson rips off Arn Anderson. The announcers say they think he is Anderson’s second cousin or something.
  • Lou E. Dangerously brains Whipwreck with his cell phone (Paul Heyman’s from the eighties so it’s BIG) and Anderson plants Whipwreck with a Spinebuster.
  • Winner: C.W. Anderson at 4 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 2 / 10.

    Simon Diamond, Amish Road Kill, Danny Doring Vs Nova, Kid Cash, Jazz

  • Why bother? Nova is decked out in a Green Lantern uniform. Too bad it wasn’t equipped with a power ring. Nova is a fine wrestler. Now all he needs is a credible gimmick. Dick Hertz shows up at 2:44. Simon, Jazz, Hertz and Kid Cash brawl to the back never to be seen again. There’s a typical Lucha Libre pile-up outside the ring. Referee Mike Kenner joins in on the action diving over the top rope to the floor. Road Kill and Doring have their way with Nova until Chetti hits the ring. Nova refuses to tag an injured Chetti in. Chetti steals the tag. An Amish Splash crushes Chetti. The Dupp Family sticks their collective noses in.
  • Winners: Simon Diamond, Amish Road Kill, Danny Doring at 6 minutes and 55 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 2 / 10.

    Tajiri, Super Crazy Vs Little Guido, Jerry Lynn

  • Steve Corino takes a millennium to announce that he has chosen Super Crazy as Tajiri’s mystery tag partner! For some reason Little Guido expresses his dissatisfaction to Corino. Paul Heymen interrupts the gab fest saying Guido’s partner is Jerry Lynn. Ten years later, the match starts. At 12:20, Guido turns on Lynn and reverse DDTs him. Tajiri Brainbusters Lynn. Tajiri, Jack Victory, the returning Tommy Rich and Corino use Lynn for soccer practice. Dusty Rhodes Atomic Elbows the baddies. Rhino gores Rhodes. Corino and friends put the boots to Dusty. Heyman and ECW wrestlers run out of the back to stop the beating. Why would Doring, Amish Road Kill and Simon Diamond help Rhodes? I know. Don’t ask.
  • Winners: Tajiri, Super Crazy at 12 minutes and 39 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 6 / 10.

    Angel Vs New Jack (Street Fight)

  • Pretty much a move-for-move replay of New Jack’s last pay-per-view fight against the Baldies including New Jack’s leap off a second level balcony onto a Baldie stretched out on a table. No points for creativity here. New Jack staple guns DeVito. As he spins around, Angel busts him with a steel shovel.
  • Winner: Angel at 8 minutes and 48 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10.

    Sabu (challenger) Vs Rob Van Dam (champion) (ECW Television Title Match)

  • As anticipated, a wicked bout showcasing the unique talents of Sabu and RVD. Alfonso shifting sides back and forth and Sabu saying he’ll “walk out of ECW” if he doesn’t win add intrigue to the explosive chemistry. Fonzie won’t hand RVD a chair so he can Van Damninator Sabu so RVD does it to Fonzie instead. Fonzie is laid out. RVD’s Five Star Frog Splash pins Sabu. Sabu and RVD shake hands. Sabu flips off both RVD and Fonzie as he splits.
  • Winner: …and still ECW Television Champion…RVD at 14 minutes and 35 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 9 / 10.

    The Impact Players (challengers) Vs Raven, Tommy Dreamer (champions) (ECW World Tag Team Title Match)

  • This match doesn’t live up to the hype. Credible moves to cane Francine following her cat fight with Dawn Marie. Raven pushes Francine out of the way and takes the blow. Justin’s That’s Incredible piledriver (which Raven did kick out of earlier) earns them the straps.
  • Winners: …and new ECW World Tag Team Champions…The Impact Players at 10 minutes and 36 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 4 / 10.

    Mike Awesome (champion) Vs Spike Dudley (challenger) (ECW World Heavyweight Title Match)

  • Winner: …and still ECW World Heavyweight Champion…Mike Awesome at 14 minutes and 21 seconds. .
  • Match Rating: 7 / 10.

  • Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Overall Event Rating: 4 / 10.