RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Saturday, March 22

12-Pack Review: ECW 10/19/99

BEER ONE: It’s the Sunday before Memorial Day, I’m chilling. It’s been a good day. As I watched the end of the race on TV, and El Hijo Del Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, fucked up and lost to the Viagra car, I heard explosions outside. I live in the country, so that’s all good. Outside, the boys down the road were setting off some nice fireworks, looked to be of the South Carolina variety, with the ability to actually go above the treeline. I had spent all day cutting our tall ass grass, not because it was tall and I cared, but because I couldn’t get back there to hang up my hammock or to sit on a stump at the back of the property by the barbed wire fence and eat honeysuckle and drink red eyes like an old man. It’s the simple shit. So I step onto the porch, there’s fireworks exploding all over the sky straight ahead, to the right fireflies are bouncing and buzzing through the field I haven’t bushhogged yet this year, and to the left, an orange full moon is raising up over top this part of the World. Grandma Moon, as we’ve got our daughter inclined to call her. Fuckin’ beautiful. I love the fact I live in the country, I just wish it was further into the country. But coming back from the dump with my mom yesterday, I was made to feel better when she said, “I love y’all’s house, because it’s not like the rest of these houses. They all look the same. Your’s is old and weird.” Damn right. Subversive housing. Our American flag’s all faded and still hanging on the porch from the terrorist attacks, which meant we didn’t have to put that shit back out for Memorial Day, not like we would’ve anyways. Apparently, after 8 months of rain and snow and sunlight, these colors do run. So all this firefly, full moon, firework nonsense was going on, so I pulled a beer out the cooler, and sat on top of it and drank the beer. You see, Memorial Day weekend is a three-day weekend, so that means I have to get two big bags of ice and like a case and a half of beer and fill the cooler up for the first time this year. From here out, till it gets cold, the beer will reside on the porch and not in the refrigerator. I once got in a fight with Jocephus because he was gonna dump my ice out my cooler as we were walking shitty Richmond alley ways back to his house. He wanted to lighten the load. I saw it as wasteful. That was good ice that would still be there in the morning, a solid foundation for a fresh 16 lb. bag and a 12-pack of Olympia. Dumping ice is the type of nonsense outlook on things that leaves you spending a holiday weekend pushing a cart through the Target, instead of sitting on a stump drinking beer. Anyways, I figured it’s a holiday weekend, I don’t have to work tomorrow, so I’m gonna do some 12-pack reviews for this ECW issue I haven’t worked on since some chump in Pennsylvania ripped me off on twenty bucks and killed my momentum on this thing. And I figure, being a holiday, like baseball would do, I’ll bust out the double header. So these next two reviews are back-to-back. And I’ve been drinking all day. I’m not sure if I’ll make it, but what the fuck do you care? You’re just along for the ride anyways. Starting off with Anarchy Rulz, on a Sunday night, brings back memories. We, meaning me and the dudes I worked with at Uptown Copy (Walker Preteen Ranger, Matt the Indiana Firefighter, Littlescott, and sometimes maybe Emo-Emory and Clever Star) would meet up at Walker Preteen Ranger’s and drink beer and watch the ECW PPVs. Mostly we would drink, except one night when we only had enough money for a 12-pack between all of us. Usually we would bet Sandman beers on matches, meaning if your dude lost, you had to Sandman a beer, complete with head-smashing can action. Explaining the scarred forehead to my wife was always interesting. You can’t create good stories for things like that. Eventually, I built a Sandman trophy, complete with a Dollar Store action figure repainted to be the Sandman and holding a tiny beer in his hand, on a trophy base with a forty bottle painted gold (the thing was called the Golden Forty), and barbed wire stapled to it. I wish I knew what happened to that thing. I’m sure Walker probably threw it away, being he doesn’t drink. Anyways, this PPV was one we watched together. Shit, I just drank most of a beer remembering all these things. Show starts with a limo pulling up, and it’s Masato Tanaka. Ahh, the sweet scarred forehead and confident-he’ll-get-pussy look of the athletic hardcore wrestler. Mutants are in the back chanting “E-C-W” already. I hate anybody who does that, especially today, now that they’ve been gone for like two years, and not really that good for like five years. The worst is the fuck who will shorten it and actually write on a poster “E-C-dub”. Those people need to be shot. Joey Styles and Cyrus were a great commentary team, absolutely great. Joey Styles has lost points with me over the years though, for saying “Oh My God!” way too fuckin’ much, for trying to sell me quarters on late night infomercials, and for wearing a Sgt. Carter haircut. Once ECW dropped the “More Human than a Human” intro, it just wasn’t the same. That fuckin’ guitar part just made you want to smash shit, drink beer, and watch violence. Out comes Dawn Marie and Lance Storm. Dawn Marie is the epitome of a stripper. She looks gorgeous, until you actually pay attention to her face, which looks like a zombie and makes me fear she’s gonna eat my flesh. As I fear this, she works me out of two thirty dollar lapdances, and I get out of it is a Polaroid of her pretending to care about me. Lance Storm needs the rat-tail. It is the Canadian parallel to Samson’s longhair. His opponent is Jerry Lynn. Storm vs. Lynn from a few years back means this will rock.

BEER TWO: ECW valets get their clothes at the weirdest fuckin’ places, I imagine the same place that porn starlets get their shit they wear in photo shoots for promotional work. A white mini-dress with long white fur coming down the back side? Weird. Hey, that’s a panty shot. I’ll drink. Lance Storm is the master of the geometric long trunk designs. Well color-coordinated, and great matching boots and knee pads. All he needs is a blond rat-tail. Watching Storm and Lynn reminds me that Paul Heyman was not nearly the genius everybody has made him out to be. He was good at recognizing hunger, and he could give those guys a stage to work on. A better booker with all the talent that went through ECW could’ve gave us so much great shit, and probably couldn’t’ve gone broke if he tried. Jerry Lynn is wrecking shop, but he has that dastardly rib tape on, and eventually that’ll mean it gets stripped off and suddenly he’ll be all hurt. Rib injuries are the best to sell, because you don’t do anything but grab your chest. “The intangible is the fake breasts at ringside.” Ahh, Joey Styles, you goofy bastard. Cyrus is great. Proper mixing of heel love, merchandise shilling, and wise-ass comedy, plus the oddball shit like saying Lance Storm was a volleyball star in college. You will always see a fat guy with longhair in the front row of an ECW show. Always.

BEER THREE: Jerry Lynn does the luchariffic plancha from the top rope to the outside. It seemingly is a simple dive, but think about the toll on your knees dropping ten feet onto some guy who only breaks your fall as best as he can before he takes the tumble to sell the move. Heavy duty shit. Wrestlers are the dumbest, coolest idiotic bad-asses in the World. Basically, the cradle piledriver is a regular piledriver where Jerry Lynn fondles your dick. Hey, it’s a super sequence two-count extravaganza that brings the crowd to it’s feet, and the ref to a rest. Wow, usually I could give a shit about saying something like “psychology”, but it just happened. Storm got a great finisher, with a full cover complete with leg hooked, and Lynn still kicked out. So he immediately asked for the chair from Dawn Marie, like a heel should. He’s lost confidence in his ability to do it legally, so he’s taking shorts. This is the formula wrestling was cooked together with. And keeping with the philosophy, Lynn has a cover, near the ropes, and Dawn Marie puts Storm’s foot on the ropes. Absolutely perfect. There aren’t enough dumb strippers who have learned how to be wrestling managers yet. I have sunburn on my back, and I’ve got this theory that you can drink more with sunburn, because the alcoholic effects seep through the ache in your burn spots. This is a really great match. Lynn is going for the cover with his one arm draped across his ribs. If I ran a wrestling school, I would make guys limp around for two days in a row to teach them how to sell. Shit, Lance Storm just won. I hate Canadians. Luckily, they hate themselves, too. Cyrus is fuckin’ great on the stick. Next match features former VCU Ram like myself, Simon Diamond, better known as Pat the Bartender at Out of Bounds, the sports bar in Richmond that I got my first taste of ECW in, all because Pat made them play it on the big TV every Tuesday night. I wonder where Simon, well Lance Diamond, is nowadays. I heard he got fat and was engaged to Dawn Marie. He had a lot of potential at one point, a very old school heel more than competent in the grappling ways. A great wrestler doing a Simon Says gimmick. Fuckin’ idiotic. Just one more reason to kidnap Paul Heyman, carve “DIRTY JEW” on his bald head, and stab him with Tommy Dreamer’s nosebone. Jazz comes out to confront Diamond. Surely, this will lead to violence against women perpetrated by men, as is common in ECW’s history. My wife used to hate that shit. We went to ECW in Richmond, and we made a big banner for Simon Diamond that said “Welcome Back Pat” and it was nice. My wife also made a sign saying “A Woman Gave Birth To You” that she was gonna hold up every time a male was beating down a female, only in the ring, not the parking lot. God bless my wife, she’s great. The only time she got to hold it up was during the Simon Diamond match. He saw the poster and stopped and looked perplexed for a second. When you perplex a heel, you’re doing good as a drunken fan, because heels have it pretty simple, “piss people off”. If you discombobulate that equation, you are making anarchy rule. Fuck hypocritical pay-per-view titles.

BEER FOUR: Tom Marquez is in jean shorts and teaming with Simon Diamond. Tony DeVito comes in to help beat down the black woman. Out comes Nova in Green Lantern gear and Chris Chetti in the goofiest outfit known to babyface history. So what the fuck is the match? Bobby Eaton should kick Nova’s ass behind a cinderblock wrestling school in some industrial complex in Tennessee one day. I’ve got that all-day-drinking clarity going on, where my mind is separate and clear and thinking normal things, yet the body is kind of goofy, doing something different that what the brain sent out for it to do. Personally, I enjoy more when my brain is all fucked-up as well, I mean, why drink if it’s not distorting reality? Conceivably, doing a double-header review like this, I could drink 24 beers if the shit on the screen’s great. We’ll see. Tony DeVito is grappling in sneakers and Nike shorts. That’s class. Nova just fucked up DeVito’s sidewalk slam. That’s why Nova sucks, he just can’t do shit right. Now Danny Doring and Roadkill are in the ring causing havoc. “He’s kind of a rebel Amish,” says Cyrus. I’ll drink to hilarity like that. Hey! It’s Amy Dumas aka Whatever She Was In ECW aka Lita trademarked by WWE. And her tits are still real! And they look good, because she’s not caked in make-up. Now I see C.W. Anderson in there, too. But here comes that Dr. Dre/Ice Cube song, which means one thing, New Jack and a trashcan full of violence. As an educated wrestling fan who grew up thinking the best thing he ever saw was the thirty minute time limit draw on TV between Jimmy Snuka and Ricky Steamboat for the NWA United States title, I should hate New Jack. But why? Violence is great. ELECTRIC FOOTBALL GAME AGAINST C.W. ANDERSON’S HEAD! Drink. COMPUTER KEYBOARD AGAINST SPANISH ANGEL’S HEAD (of course, after New Jack feigned typing some shit on it)! Drink.

BEER FIVE: STAPLE GUN TO THE HEAD OF SOME BALD WHITE GUY! Drink. ANOTHER STAPLE! Drink drink drink. I can guaran-goddamn-tee you this – whenever I see a shaved head black guy in a Tupac shirt with frayed sleeves stapling the forehead of a shaved head white guy, I’ll drink beer. And if that black guy comes toward me, I’ll shoot him. It’s not prejudiced or anything; I’m down with him stapling as many motherfuckers as he wants to. Just don’t come at me with that shit. (R.I.P. Erich Kulas, forever remembered as the kid that almost got killed by New Jack.) Hey! A third staple. Now comes the guitar with the talcum powder. New Jack’s promos in Smoky Mountain Wrestling during the height of the Rock-n-Roll Express vs. Gangstas feud are the best fucking promos in all the history of wrestling. He said he’d pawn the title belts! Wrestling will never be that good again, no matter how many times Low-Ki kicks American Dragon in the brain. I also like the fact that ECW forever played that song done by Killah Priest and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, what was it, “Greyhound #9”? Out comes Big Sal, the last in a long line of fat Italians in ECW, with Little Guido on his shoulders. I once pissed next to Little Guido, and he told me I better root for him out there tonight. What a guy. TAJIRI! I’ll drink. Tajiri, once he put the leather bell-bottoms on and grew the beard, became the motherfuckin’ man. He’s benefited from lack of sleep, which always makes the bottoms of his eyelids darken and looks like black eyes, which makes him seem real, which is the WHOLE MOTHERFUCKIN’ POINT OF WRESTLING! Make it seem real. The third man in this 3-Way Dance is Slater’s younger brother, Super Krazy. Krazy points out a Mexican flag in the crowd. A wonderful thing I saw tonight was watching drag racing during commercials for the Nascar race, I saw the quarterfinals of the SummerNationals for NHRA, and Tony Pedregon, who drives for John Force, who’s the greatest motherfucker ever, Tony has this Castrol Syntec funny car, and in drag racing, theyr’e all about pumping up the sponsors. However, Tony has a Mexican flag painted on top of his car. It made me real happy, especially considering your average NHRA crowd is 85% redneck, 10% black guys (who only watch the motorcycle races), and 5% Mexican, who got nothing better to do than look at white women in jean shorts and drink beer in the bleachers on a Sunday afternoon. There’s only so many times you can stroll back and forth down the international foods aisle (which means taco shells, salsa, bamboo shoots, and soy sauce aisle) at the Food Lion.

BEER SIX: Super Krazy vs. Tajiri vs. Little Guido. This should rock. I need an Italian flag with Tommy Rich’s face in the middle of it. What the fuck happened to Super Krazy? He was big, and got booked for the first Ring of Honor show, but now, where is he? Gone. Not even in Antonio Pena’s AAA homoerotic fantasy world. Knee dropkicks rule and are so Japanese. This is rapid-fire high-flying nonsense, a true great 3-way execution. Most of the time you see three-way matches, they suck. ECW made it work and made it a gimmick match. Triple Threat matches where whoever gets to pin someone else first, that’s like softcore porn. It’s ruining what the fuck you came to see. Tajiri nails a moonsault on both guys, picks up a chair, and slams it to the ground. That type of bullshit, I can drink to. German suplexes hurt. One night, me and Clever Star drank a pot full of mushroom tea, bought a case of PBRs in the bottle (it was snowed outside) and started wandering through Richmond. Our plan was to drink one beer at each house we stopped at. Somehow, we ended up in an alley between Main Street and Floyd Avenue right off Meadow Street, there’s a park back there, they call it concrete park. Being it was snowy, we were trying to do moonsaults off the concrete thing that was tallest. I landed right on my fuckin’ neck, a German suplex given to myself from ten feet high. I never looked back. This past week, my ligament in my right knee has decided to not work from time to time. I’m only 29. That’s living by the sword, dying by the sword. Fuck my knee. I’ll make that fucker dive off the roof if I want to. That’s Southern Pride, motherfucker. Fuck being sensible if being sensible is gay. And when I say gay, I don’t mean homosexual. I mean liking dicks in your mouth. Holy shit, Big Sal just went through a table, but he was wearing fingerless leather gloves and red tape around his wrists. Red tape? Where do you get that? The inverted surfboard, you just don’t see that enough in wrestling. Little Guido has lost.

BEER SEVEN: Tajiri wins with a brainbuster. I love the brainbuster. And he rolled his eyes back into his head in celebration. I will suck beer down my gullet. Steve Corino does a goofy interview trying to cover up the Insane Clown Posse canceling on ECW. If there was a disease that killed all longhair wrestlers and guys with bleached blond hair, wrestling would have like 17 guys left. Billy Corgan’s in the crowd. More reason to hate ECW fans. Justin Credible, escorted by Jason, the gayest man in wrestling, comes through the Sha-na-na looking brick wall façade. This means SABU! is coming out, so I’ll go piss off the porch first. I never liked Justin Credible, ever. I judge people by their eyes, and his eyes always had that blank evil look. Plus he was balding at an early age. And wore jean shorts with giant knee pads. Fuck! The old new school restraining order angle. I’ll drink out of boredom and predictableness.

BEER EIGHT: “Tonight, anarchy rules!” says the ref. Fuck a restraining order. Credible cracks the ring announcer with a Singapore cane. Lights go out. Sabu in the ring! I have decided from this that any time in my life I am somewhere the lights go off, a storm, a terrorist attack, a wrestling pay-per-view, whatever, when the lights come back on, I will smash somebody with a chair then point up at the light in the middle of the room. Sabu is wearing Santito special engagement glitter silver pants tonight. Sabu sucks, according to the wrestling smark; yet, he still does shit nobody else has the fuckin’ balls to do. As much as I hate Fonzie, mostly because of that whistle, I can dig his appropriateness for setting up tables for Sabu and keeping things moving along. Justin Credible is a pussy and can only do a dive onto Sabu on a table outside the ring. Sabu would’ve done some ill shit. Sabu just did shit that rocked and I drank beer. Fuck you for not knowing the chaos. Fuck ECW for banking on the Anarchy that Sabu brings. The guy is a living smoked-out small-town hero. The great fuckin’ thing, what makes an artist ahead of a student, well, Sabu knocks Credible out the ring and it knocks the table that was propped on the ringside barrier and the ring apron down on one side. Most guys would’ve wanted to reposition the table to put it back at the exact location. Fuck that with Sabu. He flips Credible over and drapes him over the half-sideways table, runs into the ring, and dives. Devil may care attitude. And another drop on the back of his head. Sabu is my Wrestling God.

BEER NINE: I think if I had mad money, I’d set up a wrestling ring in the field I still need to bush-hog, and I’d have a wrestling card. And I don’t know what the whole thing would entail, but I’m sure I’d try and get Preston Quinn and the Necro Butcher to come down, but I’d spend all kinds of money to get the main event to be Sabu vs. El Hijo Del Santo in a camel clutch submission match. Justin Credible is bleeding gay blood. And Sabu has yet to blade. My bad, Sabu’s bleeding from his chest; he always bleeds from oddball spots. Greatness. Sabu does a cover, Credible kicks out, and as he kicks out, Sabu starts giving him elbows to the shoulder. Justin Credible just beat Sabu. That, to me, is like watching Jeff Gordon beat Lemmy in a barfight. It’s wack. I’m not happy, I want to break things. Unfortunately, the one drawback to living in the country is you can’t roll by your neighbor’s house you don’t like and bust up their shit. Masato Tanaka comes out. He is fighting Taz for the ECW title. Taz, back when he had that black shredded towel over his head, he was as small and stupid as any time in his career. The crowd throws streamers into the ring, which means they were put up to it to motivate the Jap, by the management. Tanaka has great scars. Ahh, the beautiful ECW fans, chanting “you sold out!” at Taz. Fuck him and his WWF sell-out. What has he done since back during this tape? Nothing. Mike Awesome, in full mullet cha-cha, wants in on this match. The baseball hat saved Paul Heyman from being a doofus for four years. Awesome is wearing black trunks with red letters that say “AWESOME”. That’s old school goodness. Taz is pinned. Gone to sports entertainment land. Take your short ass to Hell. Odd thing is, as the “locker room empties” onto the ramp, Roadkill is the tallest. When I talked shit to him at the WrestleForce America show in Richmond, he was a good half a foot smaller than me. That means Axl Rotten is a foot shorter than me. All wrestlers are small. Fuck wrestlers. They take eat too much roast beef and shop too much at GNC. I’m comfortable enough to admit this, Mike Awesome is sexy, at least with the short and long. Plus, the iron-on letters. I need iron-on letters on all my clothes. The only thing more disturbing than how many WWF Divas have fake titties, as is accorded by their contract, is how many wrestlers shave their underarms.

BEER TEN: Tanaka had a couple of pin attempts. Now, they point towards that table outside the ring. Table broke. 300 pound frogsplash kickout. Dain bramage. Somersault stunner. Man, this is a great fuckin’ match. Did I tell you that Mike Awesome was sexy? Top rope powerbomb through a table. Did that make it great? No. Awesome looking surprised and excited made it great. Mike Awesome in full mullet mode. God bless Mike Awesome coming back to America. At one point, I figured Fear Factory was a great metal band since so many indy wrestlers wore their shirt, including Raven. Now, obviously VoiVod has outlived Fear Factory. That’s the nature of pop culture. Raven is cutting a promo, drunk. Francine looks like a fuckin’ crank whore. That’s not good. Big fake tits and chicken legs. Fake tits don’t drive me to eat pussy; and once you get fake tits you lose sensation in your nipples, and you want the clit sucking, but I ain’t down. So I’m learning you, get with the program, no fake tits, live it natural and get screwed good-like. Rhino and Steve Corino are against Dreamer’s gay masochistic ass, Raven will show up soon-like. The jiggle of Francine’s legs when Rhino powerbombed her was nice. My wife should be holding up her sign. Raven and Tommy Dreamer win in a bullshit ending. Axl Rotten’s in the ring hyping the crowd. When you have a drug addict like Axl hyping the crowd, you have a retarded company, and it’s perfect. There’s all sorts of shit going on. Balls Mahoney smacks the fuck out of Johnny Smith. This leads to the Balls Mahoney vs. Rob Van Dam match. Balls is a great big tattooed fat fucker with shaved underarms. I’m drunk as shit. There’s no way I’ll do another tape tonight. All the crowd is looking left, which means there’s a good crowd fight going on right now. Van Dam’s somersault into the crowd even makes my stupid overly ass drunk ass excited. That’s fuckin’ perfect, like the first two Overkill LPs. RVD should shave his chest, but he’s busy being addicted to soma. I drank beer ten, but am too tired to pussify around and open beer eleven and not drink the whole thing before bedtime. I know bedtime is coming up fast, like Helter Skelter. I ain’t gonna waste half a beer on that. I promised two reviews tonight, didn’t I? That’s what separates the men from the boys. If I was a man, I wouldn’t be doing this shit. But I’m a boy, and a boy needs some sleep. What if real men wrestled in America? We’d have something to run up our satellite bill on Sunday nights. Frog splash onto brains. RVD wins. I’m drunk. Fuckin’ A. What a good pay-pre-view. RVD and Balls hug each other like pussies. Somehow, this is supposed to make it seem more real. Goddamn, I’m going to bed.

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