August 18, 2013
Mike Abitabile

August 27, 1999

The ECW on TNN era starts with a pretty infamous episode. According to Joey Styles, the original TV taping in Toledo, Ohio was a disaster. The building was not at full capacity and its interior was not exceptionally aesthetic, leading to issues in trying to record a television show in it. In response, Paul Heyman presented a "Best of" edition as his premiere episode in order to show a new audience just what ECW was all about. Needless to say, TNN was less than thrilled with this decision.

The first thing we are shown is Balls Mahoney being powerbombed through a flaming table covered in thumbtacks by the Dudley Boyz as Joey Styles tells us this is not the WWF or WCW. This is ECW on TNN!

The fancy new ECW on TNN graphic is shown, followed by the standard ECW intro by Harry Slash & The Slashtones with clips of random crazy moments from ECW history.

Joey Styles welcomes us to the show and claims to be in Toledo, Ohio. He says before they show us some original matches, we will be shown one of the best technical matches in ECW history, Rob Van Dam defending the ECW TV title against Jerry Lynn. Joey runs down the stars who have worn that belt in the past, including Chris Jericho, Eddy Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Bam Bam Bigelow before we cut to the match.

ECW TV Title Match: Rob Van Dam (champion) w/ Bill Alphonso vs. Jerry Lynn (challenger)
This match is from Hardcore Heaven 1999 on May 16 in Poughkeepsie, New York. They lock up to start with RVD getting the advantage. After a series of reversals, both men return to the their feet and regroup as the fans applaud. RVD plays to the crowd and Lynn waits. The lock up again and break clean in the corner. Before locking up again, RVD kicks Lynn in the gut to take the advantage. Lynn fights back with a springboard dropkick from the second turnbuckle sending RVD to the floor then follows up with a top rope plancha all the way to the floor onto RVD! RVD tries to get back in but gets kicked in the face first then a guillotine legdrop from Lynn gets a two count. Lynn works on RVD in the corner with chops then a bulldog off the top rope which gets another two count. Lynn heads up but Fonzie pushes him off so that he crotches himself on the top rope. Fonzie holds a chair in front of Lynn's face as RVD goes for the Van Daminator but Jerry ducks it, grabs the chair and nails RVD with it! He charges RVD who reserves it and Lynn ends up getting crotched on the top rope again. And again Van Dam goes for the Van Daminator (sans chair), which hits this time and Lynn face plants to the floor. Ouch. We go to commercial.

We return with Lynn in the front row and RVD charging in and flying over the railing to land on Lynn! After a replay we are back in the ring where Lynn goes for a tornado DDT off the top but RVD reverses into a Northern Lights suplex for two. Van Dam sets Lynn up on the top rope again but Lynn fights back and sunset flips RVD for another two count. Short arm clothesline by Lynn who then sets up a table at ringside. RVD interrupts and backdrops Lynn back into the first row. Fonzie tosses a chair to Lynn, who catches it then gets Van Daminator'd by RVD as he comes off the railing into the first row! We take another break.

We're back again with RVD kicking the chair into the face of Lynn again, in the ring now. Styles notes Lynn is bleeding from the nose and speculates it's broken, which is why RVD is targeting it. Both men are on the apron and Lynn is set up on the top. He goes for a tornado DDT into the table at ringside but RVD reverses it and sends Lynn back in. After a leg drop back in, RVD gets another two count and begins to look frustrated. RVD sends Lynn into the corner. He charges in but Lynn sends Van Dam to the apron. Lynn then sunset flips RVD into the table at ringside! Fonzie checks on RVD, who isn't moving as we see a replay. As we return, Lynn is again working on RVD in the corner. RVD gets a boot up to the face as Fonzie comes back into the ring to set Lynn up for a Van Daminator again with a chair. However, he ducks, grabs the chair and hurls it at Fonzie! Alphonso is now a non-factor in this match. Bridging German suplex on RVD gets two for Lynn. Lynn heads to the top but Van Dam is up and kicks Jerry in the face. RVD puts the chair on the mat then tries to set something up but both men lose their balance and fall to the mat as the fans serenade them with the familiar "You Fucked Up!" chant. Styles covers by claiming Lynn lost his balance due to blood loss. On one hand it's weird to include that since this wasn't live but on the other hand, ECW never hid their mistakes. RVD gets a two count off it. Lynn gets to his feet first and has the chair. Now he tosses RVD the chair and hits his own Van Daminator ON RVD! It gets two. Lynn tries to set RVD up for the Cradle Piledriver but a series of reversals results in near falls for both men. RVD nails a split legged moonsault for another long two. Yet another series of reversals sees Van Dam getting the chance to land his Five Star Frog Splash but Lynn reverses the pin for a two count of his own! Both men are back up and RVD tosses the chair to Lynn and hits another Van Daminator which sets up another Five Star Frog Splash! This finally gets the three count as RVD retains.

We go back to Joey who tells us we will take a look at the World Championship Steve Austin wanted so badly but even he couldn't get his hands on.

We return with Joey pimping the new Roller Jam season that debuts after ECW concludes. You can't see me but I'm rolling my eyes. We then go into a clip of Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA Championship on August 27, 1994 (5 years to the day this episode aired) and thus creating the ECW Championship. This leads us to clips of former ECW champions such as Raven, The Sandman, Terry Funk, Bam Bam Bigelow and Sabu. Joey tells us the current champion is a man named Taz.

ECW World Heavyweight Title Match: Taz (champion) vs. Rhino w/ Steve Corino and Jack Victory
This match is from June 17, 1999 in Villa Park, Illinois. Taz has the microphone. He says he'll give the people what they want. He says he will make Rhino bleed and beat the shit out of him. Because he's Taz, the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Beat him if you can, survive if he lets you. Rhino runs in and hits a power bomb out of nowhere. Taz no sells it, pops up and flips off Rhino. Rhino runs in and gets destroyed with a meat hook clothesline. Rhino rolls out and Taz follows. He throws Rhino head first into the guardrail as Corino runs. Back in the ring, Taz hits a head and arm Tazplex. Rhino gets set up on the top then tossed off it with an overhead belly to belly Tazplex. Rhino tries to fight back but it's not working. Taz heads outside and gets a table then sets it up in the corner. Rhino tries to fight but gets hardway Tazplex'd through the table. Rhino staggers to his feet and then put in the Tazmission before tapping out immediately! Taz throws Rhino through the remnants of the table for good measure.

Back to Joey who tells us Taz will get his hands on Steve Corino sooner than later. He then reminds us Taz's toughest rival is a man named Sabu which leads us to a video of Sabu doing what he does best, narrated by Paul Heyman who tells us Sabu is banned in the US before we go to break.

We return again, this time with Paul Heyman narrating a commercial for Anarchy Rulz 1999.

Little Spike Dudley vs. Sal E. Graziano
This match is from September 17, 1998 at the Elks Lodge in Queens, NY. Spike kicks Sal in the groin then hits the Acid Drop for the win! Spike does a dance on top of Sal before departing.

We cut to Justin Credible, Lance Storm, Jason and Dawn Marie. Jason says he is the sexist man on Earth. Justin says he's the one man crime spree. Lance calls himself the greatest natural athlete in any sport. Dawn says she's Lance's person Bytch, and even spells it out for us. Cyrus pops in to the frame and calls himself the host of ECW on PPV. He keeps putting himself over as the camera keeps panning over to Dawn Marie's assets. Cyrus says he will take over ECW on TNN then leaves. Justin says they can make it happen because they manipulate better than anyone as we are shown clips of the Impact Players recent exploits with Tommy Dreamer, Shane Douglas and Sid Vicious. Lance says he was trained in Calgary...... Alberta, Canada. Justin says that's not just the coolest. It's not just the best. It's Justin Credible!

We are now shown a video set to Kid Rock' Bawitdaba that introduces most of the ECW talent. Tommy Dreamer, Francine, Balls Mahoney, Super Crazy, The FBI, Chris Chetti, New Jack, Uganda (really?), Little Spike Dudley, Axl Rotten, Nova, Danny Doring, Roadkill, Lance Storm, Dawn Marie, Justin Credible, Jerry Lynn, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Tajiri, Steve Corino and Taz are shown.

We then go to Taz who says ECW will take TNN to the extreme. He takes about baseball bats, tables, barbed wire and how he stands tall after all of that is taken away. He doesn't need a weapon. His hands are his weapons. They show clips of Taz beating guys who are in WWF and WCW at the time, like Chris Jericho, Shane Douglas, Bam Bam Bigelow, 2 Cold Scorpio, Chris Candido and Jerry Lawler. He is the guy our mother's warned us about. He's not a role model. His motto is kill or be killed. His name is Taz. He is the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Beat him if you can. Survive if he lets you. This would have been a great promo to put Taz over if he wasn't going to be phased out a month later.

The first episode of ECW on TNN goes to credits. Next week we get some original matches!

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