I swear, you could give ECW owner Paul Heyman and his booking staff a volunteer fire department, a group of drunken sailors found staggering around the harbour, an abandoned parking lot behind a downtown construction site, a rusty ring and they would somehow turn it all into a phenomenal wrestling extravaganza. It’s that kind of creativity that inspires loyalty and dedication in the ECW locker room.
It is no fluke that ECW has been able to stay afloat all these years. They are the hardest working wrestling promotion in North America. At the risk of generating heat from fans and other wrestling journalists, I will go on record as saying that at the present time ECW has chokeslammed WCW out of its Big Two categorization. Based on viewer interest and pay-per-view buy rates alone, the WWF and ECW are the leading promotions in the business today. ECW has successfully forged ahead in spite of untimely injuries to its top stars whereas WCW can’t seem to bounce back from a similar set of circumstances. Drafting the final Living Dangerously card only a few days before the actual date, ECW still delivered a thrilling and intriguing broadcast.
The unofficial double main event saw two ECW titles change hands. In the finals of a tournament to crown a new ECW Television Champion, Super Crazy scuttled the “Network’s” plans to award the strap to their hand-picked successor, Rhino. Former champ Rob Van Dam, The Sandman and Scotty Riggs gave Super Crazy the support he needed to win his first ever championship in ECW. To get to the finals, Super Crazy beat Little Guido in an incredible bout while Rhino won by forfeit over The Sandman when he gored The Sandman’s wife through a table at the top of the show. Attending to his injured wife, The Sandman was taken out of the tournament by “Network” lackey, Cyrus.
Halfway through the final match, Tajiri interfered on behalf of Rhino blowing that green mist into Super Crazy’s eyes. Tajiri hung Crazy upside down in the turnbuckle. He did a running baseball slide on Crazy kicking him in the face. Rhino followed goring the prone Crazy. Rob Van Dam, who had his almost two-year reign as Television Champion cut short by a broken leg and the “political maneuverings” of Cyrus, arrived in the ring with Scotty Riggs. Riggs got rid of Tajiri. Rob Van Dam, sporting a cast on his still healing broken leg, took on Rhino. Manager Bill Alphonso distracted Rhino long enough for Van Dam to break a crutch over Rhino’s back. Rhino no-sold the blow.
Rhino charged at Van Dam. Van Dam backdropped Rhino face-first into a table set-up in the corner. Super Crazy nailed a body splash to win the match and the title. Rhino, Jack Victory, Steve Corino and Tajiri swarmed Riggs, RVD and Crazy. Rhino Gored RVD, Riggs and Crazy. Tajiri went to work on RVD’s broken leg stomping on it.
Enter Sandman blasted over the arena’s sound system announcing his return. The Sandman beat Rhino with his Singapore cane. The baddies were cleared from the ring and the faces shared in some brews courtesy of The Sandman.
In the second main event match, The Impact Players survived a chaotic three-way elimination battle for the ECW World Tag Team Titles to become as Johnny Diamond would say…two-time, two-time, two-time, champs. Mike Awesome and Raven, the belt-holders coming into the event, were the first to be sent packing when Tanaka pinned Raven with the Roaring Elbow Smash. A bleeding Tommy Dreamer taunted Storm and Credible to take their best shots. They were happy to oblige pounding on The Innovator Of Violence. Tanaka was hot-tagged in though eventually it was The Impact Players spike piledriving Dreamer to regain the straps. Cyrus heaped praised upon The Players inside the ring saying that the “Network” approved of their victory.
- ECW’s next pay-per-view is Hardcore Heaven on May 14th.
ECW Living Dangerously 2000 Results
- That evil, priest guy who was James Vandenberg in WCW introed the broadcast detailing the seven deadly sins and how they applied to the ECW talent. Very inventive promo. Cut to Gertner and Styles hyping the event in the ring. Cyrus interrupts them. The graphic showing Cyrus’ name has TNN written over the Living Dangerously logo. Heh. Heh. Gertner tell Cyrus this is pay-per-view and not a TNN taping so he has no jurisdiction here. Cyrus challenges Gertner to a fight. Gertner accepts tearing his neck brace off. Cyrus talks his way out of a physical confrontation. As Gertner’s back is turned, Cyrus super kicks him in the head and starts wailing on him. Styles pulls Cyrus off of Gertner in his own version of the Taz-Mission. Funny stuff that.
- Steve Corino insults the Sandman’s wife and his children who are seated at ringside. Corino pulls her out of her seat, over the security fence and into the ring. Rhino gores her through a table. Ouchie! The Sandman does a run-in to protect his wife, Laurie. Security floods the ring. The Sandman carries Laurie to the dressing room. Corino calls out Dusty Rhodes.
Dusty Rhodes Vs Steve Corino (Texas Bullrope Match)
- Very bloody and very savage encounter. Hmmm. The ref that Corino attacked on TNN is officiating the match. Jack Victory makes it a two-on-one. Both Rhodes and Corino blade after having the cow bell smashed into their respective skulls. In a sickening move, Rhodes slices Corino’s arm open with the edge of the cow bell. The ref helps Rhodes tape the cow bell to Corino’s head. Rhodes nails Corino with a steel chair. Bionic Elbow. Corino is done. Hats off to Rhodes for not just sleepwalking through the match but working hard and blading.
- Winner: Dusty Rhodes at 10 minutes and 14 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Cyrus and Styles announce that Laurie has been carted off to the hospital. Cyrus declares that since The Sandman went to the hospital to be with his wife that he has forfeited his match with Rhino. Styles insinuates that Cyrus and Rhino planned the attack. In a great segment, a computerized Styles is shown beating the heck out of Cyrus in the ECW video game. Heh. Heh.
The New Dangerous Alliance Vs Danny Doring, Roadkill
- Solid tag team action has Electra crotching Roadkill on the top rope so that Anderson can spike Doring with the Spinebuster. As we learn later in a locker room promo, Electra has joined up with The Dangerous Alliance because she felt she deserved a better push.
- Winners: The New Dangerous Alliance at 7 minutes and 11 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
Mike Awesome Vs Kid Kash (ECW World Heavyweight Title Match)
- It is supposed to be a bout between Simon (pay-per-view filler) Diamond against Kid Kash. Awesome buds in telling them to leave the ring or die. Diamond splits. Kash does not. The short match ends with Kash Awesome Bombed from the top rope through a table. Directed by Diamond, Jado and Gedo attack Jazz who has come to Kid Kash’s side. This leads to…
- Winner: …. and still ECW World Heavyweight Champion…Mike Awesome at 4 minutes and 21 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Nova, Chris Chetti Vs Jado, Gedo
- Jado and Gedo deserve much better than being jobbed out like this. Nova is dressed in his version of Spider-Man – Venom’s black and white costume from the Marvel comics. Too bad it doesn’t grant the wearer a personality too. Again, Nova is a wicked talent in search of a good gimmick. This super hero, fan boy stuff doesn’t fly. Nova and Chetti get the upset win which would matter if people knew what status Jado and Gedo hold in Japan.
- Winners: Nova, Chetti at 7 minutes and 26 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
Little Guido Vs Super Crazy (Semi-Finals of the ECW Television Title tournament, Italian Death Match)
- Words like exciting and clever don’t begin to describe the quality. The intense effort by both Guido and Crazy sells the importance of this match. It illustrates why Guido especially should get more credit that he does for being a top-notch performer. Guido does a flying elbow smash off the shoulder of Big Sal. Super Crazy moves. Guido goes through a table. Big Sal is on the receiving end of a hurracanrana from Crazy. A moonsault and brainbuster on Guido ends his quest for gold.
- Winner: Super Crazy at 7 minutes and 38 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10.
Kintaro Kanemura Vs Balls Mahoney
- Where’s the barbed wire or flaming baseball bats? So short is the bout we wonder if it was worth flying Kanemura in from Japan. Nutcracker on a steel chair and Kanemura is done. The Baldies assault Mahoney. Balls is placed on a table outside the ring. Grimes splashes Mahoney from off a top turnbuckle through the table. This brings New Jack and a garbage bin of plunder out.
- Winner: Balls Mahoney at 1 minutes and 57 seconds .
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
New Jack Vs The Baldies
- New Jack evens the odds with some weapons. Grimes takes a pizza cutter to New Jack’s forehead. Grimes stacks two tables beside some scaffolding. Grimes and New Jack jockey for position on top of the scaffold. New Jack pulls Grimes off the scaffold. Both wrestlers fall. They miss the tables completely and Grimes lands hard on New Jack. The camera cut away to shots of the crowd. Grime walks away with assistance. The condition of New Jack is unknown.
- Winner: None.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
Mike Awesome, Raven (champions) Vs The Impact Players (challengers) Vs Tanaka, Dreamer (challengers) (Three-Way Elimination, ECW World Tag Team Title Match)
- Winners: … and new ECW World Tag Team Champions…The Impact Players at 8 minutes and 31 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
Super Crazy (challenger) Vs Rhino (challenger) (Finals of the ECW Television Title tournament, Italian Death Match)
- Winner: …and new ECW Television Champion, Super Crazy at 10 minutes and 25 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
- Overall Event Rating: 7.5 / 10.