By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Extreme Championship Wrestling personified its essence through brutality, rampant sexuality and thanks to Owner Paul Heyman, logical booking that accentuated the strengths of his ever-changing roster and deemphasized its weaknesses.
Unfortunately, its biggest weakness came financially.
Without a new national television deal, ECW only lived on Pay-Per-View, but it wasn’t a given that when Guilty As Charged aired in January 2001, it’d be the last time they’d grace airwaves.
Axe the two house shows that followed this and you can even call this the final chapter if you choose to.
What it’ll be remembered best is for the potential of what could’ve been, but it worked out for the two companies to form from ECW’s ashes and for that, we’ll need the jury to be unanimous here. No objections.
– Kevin Matthews’ promo to set up the No Ropes Barbed Wire match against Brian Myers was good as usual, as Matthews convincingly set up the challenge he had of convincing Mick Foley to give him a match and him revealing the stipulation just with the camera shot of the barbed wire above a fence alone was fittingly appropriate. Myers’ retaliation promo put over his laid-back confidence and demeanor, as well as the barbaric nature (pun admittedly half-intended) of the upcoming match, making him happy to “kill” Matthews.
– The Aesthetic Enterprise continue to be a comedic highlight of the show, looking as tough as two men could possibly look while holding umbrellas and being thrown out of a fitness center for using their weights.
– The New Jack-Delroy partnership with the “dark alley” background was about right, yet extremely stereotypical. Delroy has been someone we can’t take seriously. Let’s see – he’s been outsmarted by a vending machine and has had others cut promos in front of his locker, preventing him from getting to it. The moment of seeing New Jack aligned with him was our one bright shining moment of hope that maybe his character could go somewhere, but then again, it’s New Jack leading the way.
– Johnny Howl actually talks?!?!? His promo was pretty decent, though random. How did he become such a basketball master?
– The On-The-Spot Title Shot Battle Royale match had its moments of glory; the brief dominance of The Untouchables, Devon Moore and Craven Varro squaring off, Hellbilly releasing the fireball once again, Dave D-Struction coming to the ring unceremoniously, Raven introducing Stevie Richards in surprisingly good shape (and classic Daisy Dukes attire), Nova, Blue Meanie and the return of BWO. The seemingly early eliminations of Matt Macintosh and Mario Bokara was a surprise, but evidently planted seeds for a new feud, so that was good. Delroy’s performance was utterly a let down. The spot of Beefcake Charlie dropping Damian Gibbs after “saving” him was pretty funny. Dan Maff beating Bonesaw to get the Medallion wasn’t shocking considering his monster build as of late and this guarantees another match with Fallah Bahh at any given time for the Title.
– The Myers-Matthews No-Ropes Barbed Wire main event match was the latest chapter in the feud that keeps on giving. These two could work any kind of match together and make it exciting. This was as brutal as you could get on this spectrum. Though there were numerous menacing spots, the spot off the ladder through the board outside the ring was incredible. The finish with Matthews using his finisher with the barbed wire looked to be an appropriate end. His postmatch promo to call out Fallah Bahh was a good sign of things to come.
– Bokara’s promo towards Macintosh was good stuff. Guess it’s clear Bokara is a face now, with Macintosh a clear heel. His fury was unprecedented here, with the throwing of the chairs. No response from Macintosh? Maybe they’re stretching this out, as we know Macintosh can cut a very good promo.
– Maff’s comments about running right through obstacles was okay. It was only a matter of time before he started shouting and sure enough, he did.
– The “wrap up” video package did its job, more or less – Sandy Mann’s appearances were incredibly random, yet funny, Habib From The Car Wash continues to wash things in Pakistan now seemingly for money, “Shining” Edward Jackson’s promo towards Matthews was great, Raven going off on Stevie Richards was decent if they can follow up on it, The Untouchables calling out Monster’s Island was a good next step for both teams, Lifeguard Mike Del bragging was good progress, The Aesthetic Enterprise remains disgruntled at Charlie’s expense, the Mick Foley appearance was good and Chris Payne continues to be disrespected.
– On-The-Spot Title Shot Battle Royale – Dan Maff eliminates Bonesaw to win
– No Ropes Barbed Wire Match – Kevin Matthews def. Brian Myers via pinfall
PWS Rankings (As of 3/15/15): 1) Mario Bokara, 2) Dan Maff, 3) Bonesaw, 4) Kevin Matthews, 5) Brian Myers, 6) Starman, 7) Bobby Wayward, 8) Amazing Red, 9) Chris Payne, 10) Matt Macintosh