Who will win the dueling canes match? Will Taz retain against the Beast from the East? And who is Storm’s mystery partner in the main event? Let’s find out!
A car pulls up to the Asbury Park Convention Hall, and Taz emerges. As he enters, Taz admires the atmosphere for the PPV and states “I’m ready.”
Match 1: The FBI (w/ Tommy Rich) versus Jerry Lynn & Chris Chetti
Chetti delivered a spinning heel kick to Little Guido for 2.
When Smothers tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a shot to the midsection by Chetti.
Lynn tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Smothers.
As Smothers reversed a cross corner whip, Lynn hooked a sunset flip for 2.
Lynn then leaped to the second turnbuckle and hit a cross body block for another 2.
With all four wrestlers in the ring, the babyfaces double-dropkicked the heels from the ring.
Lynn then mounted the top turnbuckle and supplied both FBI members with a tope.
After Lynn returned them to the ring, Chetti provided them with a springboard double clothesline. Sweet!
Since referee John Finnegan was occupied with Lynn in the babyface corner, Smothers sent Chetti into a right hand from Rich. SNEAKY!
The heels then distracted Finnegan some more so that Rich could make Chetti taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the foot long shickhaus hot dog at Wonder Bar.
While Little Guido tagged in, the FBI landed a Paisan elbow to Chetti for 2.
Smothers tagged in and suplexed Chetti.
When Smothers suplexed Little Guido atop Chetti, Little Guido got another 2.
Smothers tagged in, ensured Rich distracted Finnegan again, and attempted a suplex.
Instead, Chetti countered with an inside cradle but only earned a false pin.
Smothers then clotheslined Chetti but couldn’t get 3.
As Little Guido tagged in, the FBI flattened Chetti with a double flying shoulder block for yet another 2.
Smothers tagged in, but Chetti countered a back drop attempt with a sunset flip.
On the other hand, Rich distracted Finnegan yet again, and poor Chetti got nothing for his troubles.
Smothers then dropkicked Chetti for another 2.
After Chetti gave Smothers a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Smothers gave Chetti a cross corner whip, but Chetti climbed the turnbuckles and scored with a flying leg lariat.
While Little Guido tagged in, Chetti thwarted another double team with a double boot to the backs of the FBI.
Hot tag Lynn.
When Smothers reversed an Irish whip, Lynn took him down with a flying headscissors.
Lynn then avoided a double team and launched a double flapjack.
With all four wrestlers in the ring, Rich climbed into the ring, but heel miscommunication led to Smothers’ eating the Italian flag.
Lynn then sent Rich flying down to the concrete floor and hooked a somersault rollup on Smothers.
Lynn and Chetti won in 8:18.
Summary: Solid opener as the comedic heels kept the Asbury Park faithful on their toes only to fall short against the grizzled veteran and remarkably sharp rookie. RIP Tracy Smothers.
After the match, dissension among the FBI leads to a Smothers shove of Rich who walks away in disgust.
Video airs featuring W*ING Kanemura who will not compete tonight since he wrestled in Tokushima, Japan last night. D’oh! The feed segues to Tanaka with some footage against Mike Awesome.
Match 2: Doug Furnas (w/ Mr. Wright) versus Masato Tanaka
This match marked Tanaka’s ECW debut.
Taking Kanemura’s place was Doug Furnas while Wright got on the microphone and introduced him.
As Tanaka made his entrance, he draped an FMW banner around himself.
Tanaka supplied Furnas with a seated dropkick and got reversed on a cross corner whip.
During his follow-through, Furnas ate boot.
Tanaka charged, but Furnas caught him with a powerslam.
When Furnas dropkicked him, Tanaka rebounded with a dragon screw leg whip.
Tanaka then hooked a figure-four leg lock, but Furnas reversed it.
After Tanaka reversed it to his advantage, he got 1.
He then scored with a flying forearm and clotheslined Furnas for 2.
While he gave Furnas a cross corner whip, Tanaka followed with an avalanche.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and PLANTED Furnas with a tornado DDT for another 2. That did NOT look crisp.
As Tanaka delivered a death valley driver, he mistimed a move coming off the ropes.
Furnas then almost paralyzed Tanaka with a powerbomb yet got 2.
When Furnas hooked a release German suplex, Wright got up on the apron to instruct Furnas not to pin Tanaka yet.
Furnas then supplied Tanaka with a huracanrana, and Wright stopped him again.
After some genuine mid-ring miscommunication, Tanaka floored Furnas with a roaring elbow.
Tanaka won in 5:45.
Summary: While Tanaka used some good psychology by working on Furnas’ knee, the sloppiness between them became the story of the match. Therefore, I took the psychology star away, and this match gets nothing.
After the match, Wright jumps into the ring and berates Furnas. He namedrops all of the key players in the WWF and promises Furnas that he “will never work on Monday Night RAW again.” In response, Furnas tries to leave, but Wright stops him. Furnas then nails Wright knocking him OUT COLD.
Afterward, he grabs the ECW t-shirt from the timekeeper, refers to Wright as “errand boy,” and instructs him to tell Vince McMahon to “kiss (his) ass.” He then puts on the shirt, and the Asbury Park faithful welcome him to the ECW brotherhood.
Styles apologizes about preempting a dueling canes match between Sandman and Sabu because the PPV providers didn’t want the match to air live. Suddenly, Jason, along with Nicole Bass, interrupt him to “play the tape.”
A video from “earlier today” is shown where Tommy Dreamer arrives at the arena with his dog but without Beulah McGillicutty. Bass then threatens Styles in an absolutely colossal waste of time.
Match 3: “Mr. Monday Night” Rob Van Dam (w/ Bill Alfonso) versus 2 Cold Scorpio
At this stage, Scorpio was toggling between ECW and WWF. Catch my upcoming RAW reflection for more information.
Scorpio leapfrogged RVD and caught him with a knee to the midsection.
When he dropkicked RVD to the concrete floor, Scorpio traded monkey flips with him.
Scorpio unleashed a superkick sending RVD back to the concrete floor, joined him, and sent RVD back-first into the steel railing.
As he sent RVD into the opposite steel railing, Scorpio shot him into the elevated ramp.
He charged RVD but ate boot.
After Scorpio vaulted him overhead, he made RVD taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Jane Burger at the Robinson Ale House.
He then charged RVD but tasted the steel railing instead. Waiter, could you also bring a Chi-Town burger because both parties will get stoned later?
While RVD tossed a chair at him, he sent Scorpio sternum-first into the steel railing.
Back in the ring, RVD scored with a springboard leg drop for 2.
Some idiots chanted “this match sucks” to prove the lack of intelligence in Southern New Jersey.
Nevertheless, Scorpio gave RVD a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
RVD then landed a spinning heel kick, mounted the top turnbuckle, and launched a second spinning heel kick for another 2.
When he supplied Scorpio with Rolling Thunder, RVD almost got 3.
Scorpio rebounded with a back kick, but RVD thwarted a second attempt.
As he provided Scorpio with a corkscrew leg drop, RVD got yet another 2.
He then gave Scorpio a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After he kicked RVD in the midsection, Scorpio followed with a powerbomb.
He then delivered a somersault leg drop, went to the apron, and hit a somersault splash for 2.
While he dialed up another leg drop, Scorpio hooked a belly-to-back suplex.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and launched a Scorpio Twister for another 2.
When he mounted the opposite top turnbuckle, Scorpio carried out a beautiful moonsault but couldn’t get 3.
Scorpio then hoisted RVD atop the top turnbuckle and offered a ten-punch count-along.
As RVD sent Scorpio down to the mat, he mounted the top turnbuckle, attempted a ***** frog splash, but ate knees.
Scorpio then slammed RVD, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a flying somersault leg drop for 2.
After he gave RVD another cross corner whip, Scorpio came up empty on his follow-through.
RVD jumped to the second turnbuckle and unleashed a flying side kick.
While he slammed Scorpio, RVD leaped to the top turnbuckle and hit a split-legged moonsault for 2.
Scorpio then reversed an Irish whip but succumbed to a huracanrana.
When they returned to the concrete floor, RVD made Scorpio HIT THE POLE.
Alfonso tossed RVD a chair, and RVD flung it to Scorpio.
As RVD provided him with a Van Daminator on the ramp, Scorpio rebounded with a pair of piledrivers.
GET OUT THE SPATULA!
Scorpio then dragged the limp body of RVD back into the ring until RVD, in possum-like fashion, nailed him in extremely south Jersey.
After referee John Finnegan prevented RVD from hitting Scorpio in the corner, Scorpio mule-kicked both.
Scorpio then mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, and inadvertently CRUSHED Finnegan.
While RVD landed a big boot, he mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a 450° splash.
Scorpio then powerbombed him again, mounted the top turnbuckle, and connected with a 450° splash.
Since Finnegan was OUT COLD, Sabu stormed the ring, mounted the top turnbuckle, and knocked Scorpio out with an Arabian facebuster.
He then placed RVD atop Scorpio, but Finnegan’s count only reached 2.
When Sandman came to ringside, he chased Sabu back to the locker room.
Scorpio recovered with a rolling scissor kick, but RVD pulled a victory roll out of nowhere.
RVD won in 22:08.
Summary: This match was ahead of its time as both wrestlers broke out their entire arsenal against one another to put on a clinic. Fantastic job, guys!
After the match, RVD grabs the microphone and offers his hand in sportsmanship. When RVD pulls it back, Scorpio responds with his own offer. They shake hands and raise arms until Scorpio clotheslines him.
Sabu returns, and he and RVD double-team Scorpio. As Sabu brings a table into the ring, they place Scorpio atop it. RVD and Sabu then mount adjacent top turnbuckles, but Sandman returns to cane Sabu. Scorpio jumps off the table and dropkicks RVD off the top turnbuckle. Sandman attempts a huracanrana through the table with Sabu, but they miss the table entirely. That could have been DANGEROUS.
Scorpio grabs the microphone and praises ECW much to the delight of the Asbury Park faithful. When Sandman offers him a beer, they dance while enjoying their adult beverages.
Video airs featuring Storm and Candido. Upon Sunny’s brief appearance, Candido turns on Storm by piledriving him on a belt. This is a quick teaser for the main event, and it works extremely well.
Prior to the next match, Gertner gets on the microphone and introduces the Dudley family as only he can. Parents, please turn off the PPV at this point.
Match 4 (three-way dance): The Dudleys (w/ Joel Gertner, Sign Guy Dudley, & Big Dick Dudley) versus New Jack & Spike Dudley versus Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney
Rotten and Mahoney entered the ring, and the brawl was on.
As Mahoney charged, Bubba Ray tossed him over the top rope to the concrete floor.
Mahoney returned to the ring, reversed a cross corner whip, and landed a superkick to Bubba Ray.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, he missed a flying leg drop.
Outside the ring, D-Von rammed Rotten back-first into the steel railing.
Bubba Ray then CROWNED Mahoney with a chair, and Sign Guy distracted Jim Molineaux.
Meanwhile, Big Dick entered the ring and chokeslammed Rotten.
New Jack and Spike FINALLY made their appearance and brought plunder to the ring.
After a plethora of shots with weapons, Spike delivered a huracanrana to Bubba Ray.
Spike then charged Bubba Ray but got vaulted BIG TIME over the top rope down to the concrete floor.
While a BUSTED OPEN Mahoney sent Bubba Ray back-first into the steel railing, an equally BUSTED OPEN Rotten joined him in a chair-a-thon against the Dudleys’ backs.
Mahoney then bestowed his crowning achievement upon a BUSTED OPEN D-Von.
As New Jack split D-Von’s uprights, the action spilled among the Asbury Park faithful.
Mahoney implemented a trash can upon each Dudley, and he and Rotten placed the Dudleys atop tables.
Unfathomably, New Jack and Spike stood in the nosebleed section of the arena, leaped, and DEMOLISHED the Dudleys.
Forget the spatula. Back up the meat wagon, ‘cuz there’s parts all over the arena floor.
Needless to say, but the Asbury faithful ate this up with a spoon.
Mahoney then escorted a BUSTED OPEN Spike back to ringside and tossed a table into the ring.
After Mahoney had the cajones to fold Spike up like an accordion with a belly-to-back suplex, he placed Spike atop the table.
Spike wouldn’t stay down, and an Acid drop through the table earned him a 2-count.
While Bubba Ray gorilla-pressed Spike, he tossed him onto an unsuspecting Rotten on the concrete floor.
The Dudley then hit the Dudley death drop upon Mahoney, and they eliminate his team.
Next, New Jack and Spike re-entered the ring with guitars and tuned their instruments upon the Dudleys’ heads.
Spike then hit an Acid drop on D-Von, and New Jack mounted the top turnbuckle.
When he connected with a flying chair shot to D-Von, New Jack pinned him at 13:23 to win the match.
Summary: Hardcore wrestling, anyone? That dive from the upper deck was the main highlight of the match.
Video airs featuring Justin Credible. Included is his putting Mikey Whipwreck on the shelf.
Following that, ring announcer Bob Artese introduces porn actress Jenna Jameson. She tries to interview Credible along with Jason and Bass. Unfortunately for Jameson, they all dismiss her. Instead, she interviews Dreamer who plants a big wet one on her.
Match 5: Tommy Dreamer versus Justin Credible (w/ Nicole Bass & Jason)
Dreamer backdropped Credible and uncorked a Cactus clothesline.
When Jason ran interference for Credible, Dreamer delivered a plancha onto Jason and Credible.
He then rammed Credible back-first into the steel railing twice and clotheslined him into the front row.
As the action moved to the ramp, Dreamer catapulted Credible into a steel chair. Innovative!
Dreamer then threatened to DDT him, but Credible countered by crotching Dreamer on the steel railing. OUCH!
Back in the ring, Dreamer reversed an Irish whip, caught Credible mid-cross body block, and delivered a fallaway slam. If only he had a toothpick…
He then tied Credible to the Tree of Woe, appropriated a chair, and dropkicked it into Credible’s molars.
After Dreamer powerslammed him, he mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed a frog splash.
Credible then hit a seated dropkick, and the Asbury Park faithful gleefully chastised Bass.
While Jason supplied Credible with a chair, he drop-toe-held Dreamer into it.
He then fastened it between the turnbuckles and attempted a cross corner whip into it.
Instead, Dreamer applied the brakes and scored with a side-Russian leg sweep.
Credible rebounded and sent Dreamer shoulder-first into the fastened chair.
When Bass tossed him a different chair, Credible provided Dreamer with an inverted DDT onto it.
Credible then mounted the top turnbuckle with the chair, leaped, but ate boot.
As Dreamer gave him a cross corner whip, he punted Credible who landed crotch-first on the top rope.
He then PLANTED Credible with a death valley driver while Styles tried to dedicate (and rename) the move to the late Louie Spicolli.
Since Jason disrupted the pin attempt, Credible supplied Dreamer with a corkscrew tombstone piledriver.
Suddenly, Beulah McGillicutty appeared while wearing a neck brace.
She entered the ring, cozied up to Credible, and hammered him south of the border.
After Jason missed a clothesline, she kicked his soccer balls all the way to midfield.
She then turfed Jason with a DDT, but Bass got ahold of her.
While Bass squeezed Beulah in a bear hug, a one-legged Whipwreck hobbled into the ring.
He then performed his Steve Austin impression but providing Bass with a Stone Cold Stunner.
In case you’re not reading these reflections in chronological order, Austin performed the same actions upon Chyna a mere two weeks prior to this event.
Credible then WHACKED Whipwreck with a cane to the injured knee to end his night.
When Dreamer gave Credible another cross corner whip, a Credible flip ensued.
Dreamer then destroyed Credible with a DDT.
Dreamer won at 8:58.
Summary: Good story, and the Asbury Park faithful enjoyed every minute of it.
We then recap the story that led to the Bigelow/Taz match.
Match 6 for the ECW World TV title: Taz (champion) versus Bam Bam Bigelow
This match is rather infamous.
Despite being a heel, Bigelow was favored by his hometown Asbury Park faithful.
Taz took down Bigelow with an arm drag and clotheslined him over the top rope to the concrete floor.
As Taz leaped from the apron, Bigelow caught and rammed him back-first into the ring post.
He then rammed him face-first into the apron and back-first into the steel railing.
Back in the ring, Bigelow powerbombed Taz for 2.
He then gave Taz a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
When Taz rebounded with a clothesline, he attempted a Taz-plex.
Conversely, Bigelow used momentum to land on top for 2.
He charged at Taz but got backdropped to the ramp.
After Taz joined him, he T-bone Taz-plexed Bigelow with both wrestlers landing on each side of the steel railing. YEEE-OUUUUUUCH!
Bigelow then WHACKED Taz in the back with a chair as they fought among the Asbury Park faithful.
While the action returned to the ring, Bigelow unloaded a DDT, mounted the top turnbuckle, and grazed Taz with a moonsault for 2.
Bigelow then retrieved a table from ringside and attempted to powerbomb Taz through it.
On the contrary, Taz fought his way out and put Bigelow through the table for 2.
They brawled on the concrete floor, and Bigelow waffled Taz in the back with a chair again.
As they battled in the front row, Bigelow made Taz taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Neptune at the Seahorse.
Bigelow then crossed Taz’s eyes with a street sign and made him taste the steel railing again. Waiter…a N’Awlins for the vertically-challenged one here please.
When Taz no-sold it, Bigelow slipped on a pizza slice. Hey, if you’re going to fight among the patrons, make sure they’ve finished eating first.
Bigelow tried to hook Greetings from Asbury Park, but Taz escaped and hooked a Katihajime.
During Bigelow’s attempt to escape, he fell backward.
The effect took both wrestlers not just down to the mat but THROUGH THE MAT.
Afterward, Bigelow emerged first, pulled Taz up to the mat, and pinned him at 13:36.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: What an amazing bump! As always, Bigelow’s great for the big man-little man matches. Although this was more ECW-style, the bump through the ring leading to the title change in his hometown had to be a career highlight for him.
After the match, Damage Control arrives for Taz, and the Triple Threat with Francine get the NEW World TV champion to his feet. Meanwhile, Paul Heyman, on camera, screams at Styles to “buy (him) some time.” Couldn’t he have said that into his headset?
Heyman and Styles then have a heated discussion about showing the dueling canes match.
Match 7 (dueling canes): Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso) versus Sandman
With Sandman already in the ring, Sabu arrived, but Sandman caned him.
Sabu then blasted him with a cane shot to the head followed by numerous cane shots.
When Sandman guillotined him with the top rope, Sabu’s turban fell off to reveal…Sting!
No, it was RVD.
The REAL Sabu, as opposed to countless fake Stings, stormed the ring to ambush Sandman.
As RVD and Sabu double-teamed him, Fonzie grabbed the microphone and advised RVD to prepare for his upcoming match later in the show. While this type of mic work helped the live crowd, it’s rather confusing to the PPV audience.
Nonetheless, the Asbury Park faithful hadn’t reached their 10-beer limit when this match occurred, so they informed Sabu that he “sucks.”
Sabu, tired of beating Sandman senseless with a cane, tossed him over the top rope to the ramp.
After Sabu delivered his patented double jump attack involving a chair, he dove onto Sandman from the ramp to the concrete floor.
He then gave Sandman an Irish whip which led to a Sandman flip against the steel railing.
While Sabu propped a table atop the steel railing, he CREAMED Sandman’s corn with another cane shot.
He then placed Sandman on the table, mounted the top turnbuckle, and splashed Sandman through the table. E-C-W! E-C-W! E-C-W!
When Sabu rolled Sandman into the ring, he got 2.
He then supplied Sandman with an Arabian facebuster for another 2.
As he mounted the top turnbuckle again, Sabu missed an Arabian skullcrusher.
Since Sandman still had his bell rung, Sabu tried another pin but couldn’t get 3.
He then tossed Sandman back to the ramp and joined him.
After Sandman attempted a suplex on the ramp, Sabu blocked and hit one of his own.
He then set up a chair and supplied Sandman with a triple jump moonsault. Impressive!
While Sandman propped a table vertically against the ropes, he reversed an Irish whip that not only sent Sabu into the table but also knocked referee John Moore silly.
Sandman then launched the table at Sabu on the ramp.
When he set the table up on the ramp, Sandman placed Sabu upon it.
RVD returned to attack Sandman and mounted the top turnbuckle.
In the meantime, Sabu delivered a springboard leg drop to Sandman.
RVD then hit a leaping side kick, and (crooked) referee Jeff Jones replaced Moore.
As Sabu placed a chair atop a fallen Sandman, RVD landed a ***** frog splash.
Sabu then lifted a subdued Sandman onto the table, and he and RVD mounted adjacent top turnbuckles.
After they hit stereo guillotine leg drops sending Sandman through the table, Sabu rolled the prone Sandman back into the ring.
Sabu won in 9:35.
Summary: OK, I get it. Since Bigelow and Taz broke the ring, they needed something to fill time to fix it. Hence, the story of the “censors” not wanting this match shown was all bullshit so they could insert this match.
After the match, a disgruntled Styles exclaims: “Are you kidding me? Holy shit!” While the “censors” allegedly had their “issue,” the PPV companies more than likely didn’t appreciate that utterance.
When we return LIVE, the Asbury Park faithful shake their Styrofoam heads while chanting “we want head.” Yes, folks, this was an actual thing that happened back in 1998. Styles angrily rants at Heyman about his “office job.”
Styles also mentions that the Al Snow versus John Kronus match is cancelled due to the ring, but the main event will transpire notwithstanding.
Prior to the main event, Candido ponders who Storm’s mystery partner could be.
Match 8: ECW World champion the “Franchise” Shane Douglas & “No Gimmicks Needed” Chris Candido (w/ Francine) versus Lance Storm & ????
Since they couldn’t properly fix the ring within 15 minutes, they roped off the corner with the hole.
Storm made his entrance…with Sunny?
Speaking of Sunny, she grabbed the microphone and cut a promo on her darling Candido.
Storm then uh, stormed the ring and delivered a double clothesline to the heels.
As Candido reversed an Irish whip, Storm scored with a spinning heel kick.
He then dropkicked Douglas, crotched Candido on the top turnbuckle, and launched a top rope superplex for 2. Yowza!
When Storm hung him out to dry on the top rope, he superkicked Douglas down to the concrete floor.
He then reversed an Irish whip, leapfrogged Candido, avoided an electric chair, and provided Candido with a belly-to-back suplex.
After Sunny tagged in, Francine jumped in the ring to not only tell her to go to hell but also supply directions.
Storm then held Candido so that Sunny could lambaste him with a cookie sheet.
Instead, she CLOCKED Storm with it because it was all a ruse.
She continued to nail Storm with the cookie sheet, and the Asbury Park faithful whined for head.
While Douglas wrapped Storm in a camel clutch, Candido laid in the badmouthing.
Candido then asked him about the mystery, and Storm replied with “head.” Uh, Sunny might have an issue with that.
Oh, never mind. He meant Al Snow who emerged through the curtain to team with Storm. Now, I get it. Even in early March, southern New Jersey could fall victim to a snowstorm.
Snow arrived and dealt the World champion a sit-out powerbomb.
As Francine picked up Head, Snow grabbed her by the hair to retrieve his prized possession.
To “enhance” Snow’s involvement, the over-the-shoulder camera would occasionally show video upside-down. My Mexican salad must have had jumping beans in it because my stomach is hosting a rave.
Regardless, Snow sent Douglas into the hole, and the Asbury Park faithful tossed their Styrofoam heads into the ring. I’d say that’s dangerous, but it’s Styrofoam.
Storm then retrieved Douglas from the hole, and Snow annihilated Douglas with a Snow Plow.
Snow and Storm won in 4:48.
Summary: Giving the audience what they want is a guarantee that they’ll go home happy and want to spend their hard-earned money again the next time the show comes to town. I liked the swerve at the beginning, and Snow’s winning a main event match must rank right up there as a career achievement for him.
After the match, the Asbury Park faithful continue to shower the ring with Styrofoam heads while the babyfaces celebrate among them. Francine and Sunny bitterly toss the heads back but to no avail.
Conclusion: The Bigelow-Taz match is one not to be missed. While the dueling canes match was a disappointment, the dive from the upper deck in the three-way dance is quite a highlight. Also, for fans of today’s wrestling, check out Scorpio-RVD. Just be sure to avoid Furnas-Tanaka like the plague.