Because Zen is bitter about me kicking his ass 3 times in a row at NHL
99 and once at NFL Blitz, I’m being forced at gunpoint to rant on an ECW
show in retribution.
With all the remembrances of the first RSPW / ECW convention, here’s a
look back at last year’s show.
– The Netcop Retro Rant for Cyberslam 97, Feb. 22/97.
– Opening match: ECW tag titles, tables & ladders: The Eliminators v.
Sabu & Rob Van Dam. Perry Saturn kisses the ECW fans’ ass before the
match, just a few months before dumping Kronus and jumping to WCW. Joey
is already learning the fine art of “plugging the PPV 101”. Saturn and
RVD start and do some wrestling to maintain the illusion of being
wrestlers. It goes nowhere and we get Sabu and Kronus and you can just
feel the psychotic brawl ready to begin. I think at this point we all
know which member of the Eliminators carried the team. The spotfest
begins as Van Dam and Saturn fight over the ladder and their partners
dropkick it and send everyone to the floor. Big brawl breaks out. They
fight, they bite, they fight they bite they fight, fight fight fight,
bite bite bite, the Saturn and Sabu show! I’m bored. Everyone is just
kind of walking back to the ring. Back in the ring and Sabu with a
triple jump moonsault for two. More non-sensical spots from the
challengers (moonsault off the bottom rung of the ladder, rolling
thunder on the ladder that misses, etc). Then the Eliminators get to do
their series of silly spots (Van Daminator using the ladder, etc). Nice
straightforward one as Saturn just chucks the ladder at Van Dam. That I
like — it’s much more intuitive to just nail the guy with the ladder
then it is to set up an intricate spot with it. I’ve never understood
the point of Paul E using the hot tag system when there’s way to DQ the
other guy anyway. The spots are only hitting at about 45% or so. Van
Dam’s lack of contact on his kicks and punches is very glaring. These
ridiculous “do your finisher but involve the ladder” spots look horrible
when they miss. Sabu and Van Dam are working extra sloppy here for some
reason. Sabu and Rob do a miscommunication spot, leading to Van Dam
taking two (very sloppy) Total Eliminations for the pin. ** Would have
been higher if they’d actually, you know, HIT THEIR SPOTS. I mean, if
you’re going to do a spotfest, at least have the decency to make
– The Elims want to shake hands, but of course Robbie won’t cooperate.
– Pitbulls interview. They’re really upset with Shane Douglas. Gary
Wolfe manages to work a Shawn Michaels insult in. Gee, Gary, who’s got
a job right now? Shane appears on the balcony to say something that
gets bleeped out every 1.2 seconds, and the end up following him up
(no one ever accused them of over-thinking a situation…) and get
jumped and destroyed by the Triple Threat.
– Little Guido v. Chris Chetti. Tommy Rich comes out with Guido to
begin the still-running FBI gimmick in it’s present form. Great
southern heel rant by Rich to piss off the fans. He even works in “You
smell what I’m cooking?” almost a year before the Rock started working
it in. The match is about what you’d expect between a rookie and a
comedy wrestler. Guido holds it together decently, but this is
basically Chetti’s debut so it’s very basic. Guido makes the fatal
error of going all the way to the top rope and missing, allowing Chetti
to hook a rolling cradle for the upset win. Nothing special. **
– Tommy and Guido have problems but reconcile.
– Ballz Mahoney v. Stevie Richards. Ballz was still in his gay biker
phase. Ballz tosses Stevie around for a bit before Stevie starts using
his speed to escape. Muchos armbarros. Did Chris Jericho show him that
list of moves? A short-arm clothesline from Ballz turns the tide.
Stevie goes out and stalling ensues. This is a terrible match by even
ECW’s low standards. Stevie gets recharged but falls prey to the
Nutcracker. Ballz misses the top rope legdrop. Stevie with a Stunner
for two. Ballz tries a powerbomb but Stevie flips out and kicks him in
the nuts. This of course sets up the Stevie-kick for three. Ugly.
– Axl Rotten v. Spike Dudley. Axl decks him during the pre-match
tantrum and batters him outside the ring. Then he brings him in and
batters him inside the ring. Spike gets some offense off the top rope a
few times but gets caught with a clothesline coming off the top the
fourth time. Spike reverses a bulldog into the Acid Drop but the
Dudleys interfere, allowing Axl to hit the Dominator for the pin. Well,
at least it was short. 1/4*
– The Dudleys wipe the ring with Spike, until the Gangstaz make the
– The Dudleys v. The Gangstaz. Chaos ensues. Blood flows. It’s an
okay psychotic brawl until the table gets involved and the Dudleys
actually try spots. Then it’s just the usual mindless ECW brawl,
without the cool music in the background that’s normally associated with
New Jack. I find I enjoy his matches much more with the musical
accompaniment. D-Von somehow ends up on a table that’s been set up in
the middle of the crowd, and New Jack does the semi-famous balcony dive.
Which, btw, misses quite badly. He basically headbutts the table, but
you’ve gotta give him points for effort, I guess. Axl Rotten interferes
on behalf of the Dudleys. Zen and myself ponder the possible existance
of “Old Jack” , an old-time wrestler in the Depression era who did
death-defying leaps off the first turnbuckle and would bring an empty
garbage can because weapons hadn’t been thought of yet. Anyway, New
Jack comes off the top rope and gets caught with a Bubba Cutter and
pinned. A boring brawl. *
– Tracy Smothers v. Taz. This was, obviously, before Tracy discovered
his eye-talian heritage. Fans don’t really dig him at this point. Nice
little wrestling sequence to start. Then Taz goes all no-sell on him.
Tracy comes back with his martial arts sequence and the jawjacker but
since it was a Smoky Mountain finisher Taz just kicks out and proceeds
with the usual stuff to make him tap out. It was okay, but Taz wrestled
the same match for 8 months on end. **1/2
– Raven & Brian Lee v. Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer. I wonder how Tommy
Dreamer feels after years of chasing Raven now that EVERYONE has beaten
Raven. The stip here is that if Funk pins Raven, he gets a shot at the
World title at Barely Legal. So Raven lies down and offers Tommy a
chance to pin him, which would thus cost Funk the shot. Tommy declines
and beats up Raven instead. Uh, let’s see: Funk sucks, Raven really
sucks, Dreamer was carried by Raven and thus sucks even more, and Brian
Lee can’t even do an elbowdrop. So naturally everyone ends up in the
crowd a minute in. Back in the ring and Raven hits Funk in the groin.
Oh, this is exciting. Dreamer and Lee and doing stuff off-camera while
everyone pays attention to Raven taunting Funk. But Funk comes back
with the SPINNING TOEHOLD OF DEATH! But Brian Lee batters Funk with a
garbage can and then everyone gets beat on. Tommy blades on camera and
then passes the blade to Funk. They then do a big segment where Funk
may be horribly injured and unable to continue and Joey sells it like
he’s dying or something. Keep in mind that mere months ago he was
having bottles broken over his head by Cactus Jack while Joey was
cheering them on. So the match just kinda stops while Funk and Dreamer
head back to the dressing room. Then Stevie Richards comes out to
confront Raven. He gets chokeslammed by Lee. Then Lori Fullington
comes in and gets DDT’d. Then Tommy comes back and gets beat up. Then
Sandman (and Tyler) wander out, guzzles a beer, and kicks ass. Sandman
pins Raven, then has a tearful reunion with his son Tyler. What a load
of horseshit. DUD Why is this crap okay now but not in 1995 at the
first Uncensored? Well, whatever. Next match.
– Chris Candido v. Sabu. This is the main event? Chris notes that Sabu
is a table-breaking asshole who can’t wrestle his way out of a paper
bag, thus earning him points in my book. They slap each other around a
bunch during the feeling out process. Then of course Sabu starts
working in his usual spots for no reason in particular. You know, in
Japan they spend an entire match building to a tope off the top onto a
guy on the floor and here they work it in two minutes into the match.
For a two count. Candido with a twisting piledriver, then another.
Then one off the second rope which misses badly. Candido slaps him
around to revive him, and we end up outside the ring with Sabu doing a
plancha and nearly knocking his jaw out of place on the railing. They
fight over a table while Sabu tries to set it up without making it look
like he’s trying to set it up. He misses the legdrop. Candido chokes
him out. Running legdrop for 2. Chickenwing to rest. Sabu with a
flying body attack of some sort and then they end up outside the ring.
Random spots. Back in the ring and Sabu turns Air Sabu into a
hurricarana. He tries the springboard dropkick but it gets turned into
a belly-to-back by Candido in mid-air. Superplex blocked and Sabu with
a somersault flying body attack. More random spots. Sabu gets crotched
on the top rope and Candido goes for the Blond Bombshell powerbomb but
gets backdropped. Sabu with the triple jump moonsault but Candido lifts
his knees. Candido is trying like nuts to hold this thing together,
you’ve gotta give him that. Candido misses a dive and hits the chair,
but gets back up and powerbombs Sabu. Another one, but Sabu shifts his
weight and falls on top for two. Another try at the triple jump
moonsault and this time it hits and gets three. Good match, entirely
due to Candido. ***
The Bottom Line: Eh, it’s ECW. I simply don’t care enough about it to
form an opinion one way or another about pointless shows like this.
Half was crap, the other half was watchable but filled with inane spots.
I’ve always thought it was pretty pointless to do reviews of ECW shows
because those who like it already worship everything Paul E. puts out
and those who don’t aren’t going to be swayed by my opinion.
But if it matters, this was pretty okay for an ECW show.