Jabroni Journal: An Extreme Classic

ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999: Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn

May 19, 2016

Showing my love for ECW at a Smackdown taping a couple years back.


Welcome to The Jabroni Journal. My name is Kevin Diers and you might know me as the host of Loud and Local Sunday nights here on the Rock, or as one half of Metal Shop. If you've ever listened to one of the shows, you may have noticed me slipping in the occasional wrestling reference or even using Stone Cold Steve Austin's iconic "Glass Shatter" theme song as background "bed music" during an on air break. I'm a self-professed pro wrestling geek. 

I've been a diehard fan since the age of 8. I can vividly remember my mom flipping through the channels and catching a glimpse of a dark giant choke slamming someone. Later I found out this man was known as "The Undertaker" and I was hooked. What started as a fun TV show to watch with my friends quickly became an obsession. I would collect the magazines, T-shirts and toys. I would convince my mom to bring me to live WWF events at Tacoma Dome and Key Arena, I would watch competing brands like WCW and USWA, and I would even act out my favorites matches on my friends backyard trampoline (Don't try this at home, brotherrrrrr). 

Before I jump into discussing the current climate of pro wrestling in 2016, I would like for you to get to know me a bit - learn where I'm coming from, what shaped my taste as a wrestling fan, etc.Take a look back before we discuss the present and future of this world we love. 

When I was 13, my interest in underground punk and metal music became a huge driving force in my life. Riding directly parallel to my increasing thirst for more extreme, fringe music, was my desire to see alternative forms of pro wrestling. When I discovered ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) in 1997, my mind was blown. This was the punk rock of wrestling, throwing away the rule book of what good guys" and "bad guys" were, what fans were allowed to say, what moves you were allowed to do. 

The mastermind behind the promotion was Paul Heyman and he was a genius. He led the way for an ultimately-short-lived, yet revolutionary promotion that influenced wrestling as we know it today. It had a cult like following, and believe me; I drank the Kool-Aid. I had a huge pull-out poster of the "Homicidal, genocidal, suicidal" wrestling madman Sabu above my bed, with blood oozing from his face and a bicep torn in half from a bush of barbed wire. I wore my ECW "Join the Revolution" t-shirt to high school with pride. While others were discussing what happened with Stone Cold or Shawn Michaels on RAW, I was sitting at the lunch table going off on a tangent about the crazies weapon New Jack bashed his opponent with at this month's pay-per-view event. 

ECW was purchased by the WWE after it went bankrupt in 2001, and with that, many of its stars went on to become household names. The wrestler who made the biggest impression on the mainstream wrestling world was Mr. 420 himself, Rob Van Dam. In my opinion, Rob Van Dam's greatest opponent was Jerry Lynn. The two had the perfect chemistry and together, their styles made for incredible displays of athleticism and all out insanity. This was their second Pay Per View match up, as their first on Living Dangerously 1999 was an instant classic. The anticipation was very high for this match and it lived up to all the hype. Seventeen years later, it still makes me smile ear to ear.