This review is dedicated to the memories of Alex "Big Dick Dudley" Rizzo and George "John Kronus" Caiazzo. R.I.P.
Thank you to DDT Digest for the Goldberg information.
Goldberg vs. Scotty Riggs, WCW Monday Nitro, The Ice Palace, Tampa, FL, October 13, 1997.
I was at this show.
The match is preceded by a Raven promo where he talks about his childhood. Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko talk about how Raven seems "emotionally spent" and that he seems to be forming some kind of a group. They wonder what kind of person would join Raven's group. They notice Perry Saturn and the then-unnamed wrestler who would come to be known as Sick Boy sitting with Raven. (Scott Vick debuted in WCW as Lance Ringo in a loss to DDP on the March 31, 1997 Nitro. The name Sick Boy officially debuted on the October 27, 1997 Nitro.) The announcers dismiss Stevie Richards, who had left WCW shortly before this. Tony adds that Saturn appears to be sitting there like a "gargoyle." Also, later in the show, Billy Kidman joined Raven's Flock, although it was not called that at this point.
Goldberg comes out first to no pyro or pop. This was his third Nitro appearance and his fourth TV appearance overall. (He debuted on the 9/22/97 Nitro where he beat "The Laughing Man" Hugh Morrus, beat the Barbarian on the 9/29/97 Nitro and beat Roadblock on the 10/11/97 WCW Saturday Night.) Riggs walks out and says "Time to get busy." Goldberg and Riggs lock up and Riggs grabs a headlock. Goldberg takes him down as the announcers continue on about Raven. Riggs gets a boot to the gut and some punches and Goldberg actually sells it. Riggs tries an Irish Whip but Goldberg reverses it. Riggs ducks a clothesline, then another, and runs off the ropes right into a Spear. (Larry: "He just ran him over.") Goldberg pounds Riggs' head against the mat and chokes him. Tenay points out Goldberg being undefeated and asks why he won't acknowledge his college and NFL background. Crowd is chanting "Tampa! Bay!" Riggs gets some punches, but Goldberg throws him into the corner. Goldberg charges in but Riggs gets his legs up, but Goldberg pulls him out of the corner. Goldberg misses an elbow drop. Riggs gets two dropkicks and Goldberg bumps for them. A third dropkick sends Goldberg over the top to the floor. Riggs tries a pescado but Goldberg catches him. Goldberg presses Riggs and drops him on the guardrail, injuring his knee. Goldberg rolls Riggs back into the ring. Goldberg ducks a clothesline, punches Riggs and finishes with the Jackhammer for the pin at 2:50. After the match, Tony acknowledged the name for Goldberg's finisher.
This match is interesting since Goldberg was not over yet and he allowed Riggs a lot of offense here, much more than Goldberg would later allow anyone. Goldberg would later go heel for his feud with Steve "Mongo" McMichael before being turned megaface and WCW pretty much erased this whole period from its history. ***_______________________________________________________
(Note: This review is based on the version shown on ECW TV, not the home video release.)
ECW World Tag Team Title: The Dudley Boys (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von) (c) (w/"The Quintessential Studmuffin" Joel Gertner, Big Dick Dudley and Sign Guy Dudley) vs. "The Original Gangsta" New Jack and John Kronus. From ECW As Good As It Gets, The ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, September 20, 1997.
Gertner, wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey, starts us off with a terrific intro that draws great heel heat. We learn that D-Von is the "holy terror of ECW" and that Buh Buh Ray is "Dudleyville's most eligible bachelor." The intro runs 6:33. Buh Buh Ray and D-Von are dressed like the Godwinns but with tye-dyed shirts.
This match, of course, stems from the collapse of the Gangstas and the Eliminators due to Mustafa disappearing and Saturn jumping to WCW, as mentioned above. New Jack and Kronus hit the ring with the garbage can of plunder and we're off and running. Jack fights D-Von and Kronus fights Buh Buh. Jack breaks the crutch on D-Von's back, wraps a chain around D-Von's neck, snapmares him and drops a falling headbutt. Kronus bleeds first. Kronus and Buh Buh fight in the ring as Jack and D-Von take it to the floor. Buh Buh bleeds. Everyone, including Big Dick, fights on the floor. Jack gets a table and he and D-Von are bleeding too. Kronus backdrops Big Dick into the second row. Joey talks about the teams that have held the ECW World Tag Team Titles (the Public Enemy, the Pit Bulls, Sandman/2 Cold Scorpio, Raven/Stevie Richards, Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko and Sabu/Taz) until he sees New Jack standing above the front door. New Jack dives off and puts D-Von through the table. (Joey: "Oh my god, is he nuts.") Back in the ring, Buh Buh is pounding on Kronus with weapons. An important note to make here: Buh Buh hits Kronus with a piece of steel which the Rise and Fall of ECW book incorrectly called a part of a table. For the record, the Dudleys didn't start putting people through tables until right before they left ECW for WWE in Fall 1999. Thanks to New Jack, they were usually going through tables themselves instead of putting other people through them. Buh Buh Ray bulldogs Kronus and goes for the pin but New Jack makes the save. Gertner protests the count. Kronus covers off a weapon shot, but D-Von somehow makes it to the ring to break up the pin. Kronus knees D-Von and New Jack smashes another crutch over his back. Kronus superkicks Buh Buh Ray out of the ring and New Jack wipes out Big Dick, who is standing on the ring apron, with the guitar (Joey: "Are you kidding me?"). Kronus clears out the plunder, climbs up and hits the 450 Splash for the pin and the titles at a little over 8 minutes. ****
This is the match that made me into an ECW fan. I had never seen anything this violent and bloody before and I loved it on first sight. I still enjoy watching it today.This was also pretty much the last hurrah for John Kronus, since he and New Jack would lose the belts a month later to the FBI (Tracy Smothers and Little Guido Maritato, w/Tommy Rich) and he would basically get demoted for the next year culminating in his getting squashed by the debuting Sid at Guilty As Charged 99 and later finishing up his career in that garbage pit XPW. This was the Dudleys' third ECW World Tag Team Title reign, and they'd go on to win the belts five more times over the next two years before jumping to WWE.
Both shows are recommended.