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Leaping Through The Network: ECW Living Dangerously (3/21/99)

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New Jack ECW Dive

As this goes out on a Pay Per View weekend those that vote were given a selection of pay per views to vote on and almost half of you (a whopping 47% to be exact) voted to send me to the land of Misfit toys that is ECW. The number three promotion in wrestling during the 90’s with an emphasis on blood, guts and violence.

But was it any good.

There’s only one way to find out……

ECW Living Dangerously ’99
March 21 1999

We open with Steve Prazak talking with Taz about his upcoming match tonight. Taz says his strategy is to go after Sabu’s injured jaw and that he is better than Ric Flair and Steve Austin.

Joey Styles is in the ring and he welcomes us to the show and hypes the Taz vs Sabu match.

Super Crazy vs Yoshihiro Tajiri

Yes it’s THAT Tajiri. Joey Styles on commentary says the winner of this match wins the feud. No he won’t, these two will face off many times between now and ECW going out of business. A Collar and Elbow Tie-up is turned into a Headlock by Crazy. Taking Tajiri to the mat, he locks in a Front Facelock but Tajiri grabs Crazy with an Armbar and an Arm Wringer before Cazy counters with an Arm Wringer of his own. After a few cartwheels, Tajiri breaks the hold with a Monkey Flip and they have a stand off. Crazy wins a Test Of Strength and pushes Tajiri to the mat for a two count. Tajiri hits a Hurricanranna which Crazy rolls through and Monkey Flips Tajiri who Arm Drags Crazy. After Arm Dragging each other, they have another stand off to a standing ovation. Crazy boots Tajiri in the gut and shoots him into the ropes but Tajiri comes back with a Handspring Elbow and a Head Scissors. A Slap knocks Tajiri down but Tajiri sends a charging Crazy out of the ring courtesy of a Monkey Flip and Tajiri launches himself at Crazy over the turnbuckles with a Plancha before using the rope to throw himself at Crazy with an Asai Moonsault. Crazy gets back into the match with some inverted It Kicks and a springboard Moonsault before Tajiri hits Crazy with a Stratusphere.

Back in the ring, Crazy hits a Wasteland and the Triple Moonsaults for a two count. Crazy then lifts Tajiri to the top turnbuckle and hits Diez punches (a ten punch spot where the crowd count in Mexican) and a tree of woe Dropkick. An Asai Moonsault of his own gets Crazy a two but a Fireman’s Carry is turned by Tajiri into a Roll Up which gets him a two. Crazy gets control back with a kick and hits a second Wasteland but a middle turnbuckle Moonsault is countered by Tajiri who gets his knees up to block it and kicks Crazy in the ribs to follow and a tree of woe Dropkick of his own for a two. A couple of Roundhouse Kicks knock Crazy down. Crazy somersaults his way out of an Irish Whip attempt but still gets Dropkicked in the face for a two. A second Irish Whip attemt is countered into a Sunset Flip that gets a two for Crazy. A slingshot by Crazy is foiled when Crazy slips and fall from the top rope (lot of falling going on this week)and Tajiri encourages the chants of ‘You Messed Up‘ (What? My mother reads this) Focusing back on wrestling and Tajiri gets a two from a German Suplex. A Full Nelson by Tajiri is countered by Crazy who kicks Tajiri in his Nakamuras before hitting Tajiri with a huge Powerbomb that only gets a two. Tajiri attempts to Counter a second Powerbomb with a Hell’s Gate, doesn’t work and he gets Powerbombed anyway. Tajiri counters an Irish Whip with a Hurricanranna but Crazy, much like he did at the start of the match, rolls through it. This time he rolls it into a pin attempt and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Super Crazy

Backstage with Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Bill Alfonso and his whistle. Alfonso reminds Taz that he is no longer with Taz and that Taz is on his own. He discusses Sabu and says if he gets injured during the match he will either tape or glue Sabu back together. Van Dam says it’s a big night for Sabu as he gets to watch Van Dam defend the ECW TV Title. Van Dam tells Sabu that he’s going to beat Taz easily and it’s not even a challenge. The challenge for Van Dam is how he is going to carry all the belts AND Sabu. Ooh disention!

Steve Corino vs ?

Corino says he doesn’t take steroids and doesn’t need to wrestle in foreign lands. He been watching the Saudi Rumble or something? He issues an open challenge to anyone who wants to see just how Hardcore Corino is. and out comes……

Steve Corino vs Balls Mahoney

Balls starts with a seres of left jabs before a Right Hand knocks Corino down before Irish Whipping Corino off the ropes and Back Dropping him. A series of Clotheslines have Corino dazed but he manages to Back Drop a charging Balls out of the ring and then Baseball Slides Balls into the metal guard rail. A Plancha by Corino is caught by Balls who whips him into the shoulder of a charging Axl Rotten, Balls’ corner man. Back in the ring, Balls hits Corino with a Bodyslam and a huge Frog Splash that gets a two. Corino avoids a top rope Legdrop and hits Balls with a Spinning Heel Kick for a two. Corino gets a chair and threatens to hit Balls with it but instead he sits on it and applies a Chinlock but Balls pushes his way out of it and Superkicks Corino before smashing the chair across Corino’s skull for the pinfall.

Winner: Balls Mahoney

We see highlights of The Dudley Boyz hitting a 3D on a lot of people and injuring a few. Apparently New Jack was supposed to be next so, in an attempt to not let that happen, he brought in his former partner Mustafa. However, it was Mustafa that was setting New Jack up in the first place. He turns on New Jack hitting him with a guitar and setting up a match between the two later tonight.

Guido vs Antifaz Del Notre

No, me neither. Guido starts by slapping Antifaz. Guido ducks a Clothesline and applies a Waistlock which is countered and countered until Antifaz uses a Back Elbow to break out of it. Guido knocks Antifaz down with a Shoulder Block and an Elbow Drop to the spine that gets him a two. Guido grabs Antifaz’s arm and tries for a Cross Armbreaker but Antifaz is too close to the ropes and it is broken up. Antifaz hits Guido with a springboard Armdrag and a Superkick and a springboard Dropkick. Guido slinks to the outside but that doesn’t save him from Antifaz landing on him after a Corkscrew Plancha. Back in the ring and a slinghsot Sunset Flip gets Antifaz a two. A Hurricanrana is countered by Guido into a Powerbomb that gets him a two. Guido hits Antifaz with stomps and chops in the corner but Antifaz fires back with Chops of his own and a Front Suplex for a two. Antifaz spends too long climbing the buckles and Guido hits an impressive looking second rope Russian Leg Sweep that gets him a two. Guido then spends too long yelling at the crowd which allows Antifaz to roll him up for a two with a second rope School Boy. A Sleeper by Antifaz is countered into a Jawbreaker by Guido and the follow up Clothesline gets Guido another two. A Spinning Heel Kick by Antifaz sends Guito to the outside. A Plancha by Antifaz ends when Sal E Graziano, a 500 pound monster at ringside, catches him and Powerslams Antifaz through a table before throwing him back into the ring where Antifaz is a sitting duck for a second rope Legdrop and a Sicillian Crab (Liontamer to you and me) that gets Guido the submission victory.

Winner: Guido

Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn
ECW TV Championship

A Collar and Elbow Tie-up is turned into an Arm Wringer by Lynn but RVD pulls Lynn’s leg from under him to break the hold. On the mat, RVD puts Lynn into a headlock but Lynn breaks it with a Headscissors that RVD rolls through and gets a one count. Another Collar and Elbow Tie-up is turned into a Headlock by RVD. Lynn breaks it by sending RVD off the ropes but is knocked down by a Shoulder Block by RVD. Lynn leapfrogs RVD’s next move attempt only to see RVD Leapfrog his. Lynn kicks RVD in the gut and Irish Whips RVD who reverses it sending Lynn to the corner. Lynn leapfrogs backwards over a charging RVD and avoids a Moonsault attempt by RVD. Lynn hits RVD with a Cross Body. RVD knocks a charging Lynn down but Lynn avoids a Standing Thunder and we have a stand off to the applause of the crowd.

Another Collar and Elbow Tie-up is turned into a Headlock by Lynn, RVD pushes him off the ropes and Leapfrogs over him before bouncing off the ropes himself. Lynn tries to Leapfrog RVD but RVD catches Lynn with an Inverted Atomic Drop but gets caught by a Clothesline from Lynn. Collar and Elbow Tie-up again is turned into a Headlock by Lynn, pushed off the ropes by RVD who Leapfrogs Lynn and tries to duck a second run only to be Legdropped on the back of the neck by Lynn who Dropkicks RVD in the face and Clotheslines him to the outside. Lynn dives at RVD with a Cannon Ball from the apron which sends RVD into the rail.

Lynn gets into the ring and RVD tries to follow but Lynn hits RVD with a Baseball Slide that sends RVD into the front row. Lynn gets on the apron and launches at RVD, who is in the front row, with what can best be discribed as an Asai Cross Body. Back in the ring and RVD catches Lynn with a Dropkick and a series of Forearms. When RVD attempts a move from the top rope, Lynn kicks him off the top rope and out of the ring face first into the rail. Lynn follows RVD to the outside and Irish Whips RVD but RVD reverses it and sends Lynn into the metal barrier before jumping on the barrier and Legdropping Lynn before diving off the barrier at Lynn with a Cross Body into a sea of people. RVD then lays Lynn on the ring apron and Legdrops Lynn from a ringside barrier. A cover only gets RVD a two. Alfonso throws a chair into the ring and RVD lies on it while applying a Surfboard before throwing Lynn into the air and rolling out of the way so that Lynn comes crashing down onto the chair. Another two count. RVD sets the chair on the ground and plans to Monkey FLip Lynn onto the chair. Lynn has other ideas as he moves out of the way and hits RVD with a slingshot Sunset Flip sending RVD head first into the chair for a two count. Lynn tries to Piledrive RVD on the chair but RVD counters it into a Back Drop that gets a two count. Lynn goes for a DDT but RVD counters that with an Inverted Atomic Drop before Lynn catches RVD with a Reverse DDT for a two.

Lynn gets distracted by Alfonso on the apron. Lynn realises this is a ploy to distract him and turns to see RVD throw the chair. Lynn ducks it, Alfonso catches it. Lynn kicks RVD in the gut as Alfonso swigs the chair at Lynn who grabs the chair out of Alfonso’s hands. Lynn ducks a Spinning Kick from RVD by sitting the chair down on the mat. RVD tries to kick the legs from under Lynn but Lynn jumps over RVD’s leg and brings his own leg down across RVD when he Legdrops RVD onto the chair for yet another two. Lynn takes the chair and climbs to the top turnbuckle but Alfonso grabs his ankle preventing him from doing anything. Both men are now fighting on the second rope. Lynn hits RVD twice with the chair before RVD Van Daminators Lynn sending Lynn through a table at ringside. RVD rolls Lynn back inside the ring and somehow gets another two count. RVD hits Lynn with a World’s Strongest Slam befor placing a chair on Lynn’s chest but Lynn throws it in RVD’s face to counter a Split Legged Moonsault and a Sunset Flip gets a two for Lynn when RVD hits Lynn with the chair in the skull. Both men roll each other up for a series of two counts before Lynn hits a massive German Suplex for yet another two. Climbing to the second rope, Lynn grabs RVD on the ring apron and Tornado DDTs RVD onto the table which doesn’t break (I AM THE TABLE) Lynn rolls RVD into the ring for, yep, a two count. RVD gets a two of his own from a Legdrop. A Bodyslam followed by a Rolling Thunder again gets a two for RVD. It’s Lynn’s turn at getting a two this time from a Tornado DDT IN the ring. THe bell rings.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

The referee tries to award the belt to Jerry Lynn who refuses it asking for five more minutes. This starts a crowd chant of “Five more minutes” leading to…

Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn
ECW TV Championship

Lynn charges at RVD hitting a Dropkick and a Piledriver for a two. Lynn Irish Whips RVD into the corner but RVD boots a charging Lynn in the face. Lynn catches a chair that Alfonso threw into the ring but he gets Van Daminatored in the face. RVD climbs to the top turnbuckle and flies at Lynn hitting him with a Frog Splash. RVD doesn’t need all five minutes as he gets the pin.

Winner: Rob Van Dam (still ECW TV Champion)

Paul Heyman narrates a video package hyping the Taz vs Sabu match later tonight.

Joey Styles introduces us to a moment earlier tonight when porn star Jasminn St Claire was in the ring. Francine came to the ring and both women exchanged words before Francine hit St Claire with a horrendously bad RKO.

New Jack vs Mustafa

New Jack hits Mustafa with a crutch and a computer keyboard before a golf club to the nakamuras. Mustafa fights back smacking New Jack across the skull with a child’s push toy and what may have been a tin of paint before whacking New Jack in the face with a wheelie bin and a baking tray. New Jack gets back into the match with another shot from the computer keyboard followed by a guitar. A low blow by Mustafa sends New Jack to the outside. Mustafa follows and they brawl through the crowd until Mustafa throws New Jack into a wall. Mustafa unloads on New Jack with punches, a chair shot an Elbow drop and more punches. New Jack fights back with an Uppercutt and a chair shot. New Jack sets up a table and then tapes Mustafa to it. New Jack then goes to an area some twenty feet above where Mustafa is and dives from it Splashing Mustafa through the table. At this point, security carry both men back to the ring where New Jack covers Mustafa for the win.

Winner: New Jack

Post match, Bubba Ray Dudley and D Von Dudley head to the ring and beat up New Jack. Bubba gets on the mike and issues an open challenge to any two in the back. So we get………

Bubba Ray Dudley & D Von Dudley vs Spike Dudley & Nova

Bubba and D Von smash their opponents with metal sheets. D Von punches Nova in the corner while Bubba lifts Spike for a Gorilla Press and throws him into the crowd. Spike bodysurfs through the crowd, he’ll be back later. In the ring, D Von hits Nova with a Whassup Headbutt and lifts Nova so Bubba can hit him with a second rope Powerbomb before they hit a 3D. To prevent further damage to Nova, officials step in which only leads to a 3D for the ring announcer. Bubba gets on the mike and says they have destroyed all the fans’ heroes with a 3D before extending his open challenge to anybody who has the guts or man enough. Juge Jeff Jones walks down the isle pushing a stretcher and he says he brings to ECW….. SID!!!!!!

Sid tries to Powerbomb D Von but Bubba hits him in the back with the mike. They pound on Sid with punches but when they miss a Clothesline Sid grabs them and Chokeslams both of them at the same time. He Powerbombs D Von and punches Bubba. Spike’s back (told you he would be) and he hits Bubba with punches and a top rope Legdrop while Sid Press Slams the stretcher onto D Von. Spike hits Bubba with an Acid Drop and gets the pinfall. Post match, Sid Powerbombs Spike in the ring and then Powerbombs him from the entrance ramp through a table

Winners: Spike Dudley & Nova

We see highlights of Shane Douglas threatening to retire and hand over the mantle of The Franchise. Justin Credible says it should be him. Lance Storm says it should be him. Shane Douglas says it’s Tommy Dreamer so Storm and Credible beat down Douglas, Dreamer and Douglas’ valet, Francine.

Lance Storm & Justin Credible vs Shane Douglas & Tommy Dreamer

Storm hits a knee and a punch to Dreamer before an Irish Whip that he follows with a Clothesline. Dreamer avoids a charging Storm but tastes a Right Hand from Credible Storm goes for a Spinning Heel Kick but Dreamer ducks the move as Storm accidentally clobers his own partner. Dreamer hits Storm with a Clothesline and a Neckbreaker before tagging Douglas who catches Strom with a Rolling Inverted Neck Snap. A tag to Credible who exchanges punches with Douglas who gets the better of that exchange before hitting Credible with Two Amigos and a Delayed Suplex. Following an exchange of chops that each get a ‘Wooooo‘ Credible takes a Flair Roll in the corner and lands on the apron. Credible ducks a Clothesline before hitting Douglas with one of his own. Credible launches himself from the top turnbuckle at Douglas who catches him with a Flapjack. Dreamer in and he gets a two from Demolition’s Decapitator. Credible catches Dreamer with a Punch to the ear but fails to follow it as Dreamer catches him with a Spinebuster. Dreamer applies an Abdominal Stretch on Credible, Storm in to break it but Douglas lifts Storm for a Gorilla Press bringing him down across Credible’s knee.

Douglas hits Credible with Right Hands before Storm, on the apron, Kicks Douglas in the back of the head leaving him open for a Superkick by Credible. Storm catches Douglas with a Dropkick before Credible chops him and punches him in the skull. Storm tries a Clothesline but Douglas ducks it and hits Storm with a Side Suplex. Credible hits Douglas with a Jawbreaker. Storm and Credible make frequent tags hitting Douglas with Chops and Elbows. Douglas moves out of the way of a Credible Baseball Slide into the corner which sends Credible nakamuras first into the post giving Douglas the time to tag Dreamer who lights up Credible with a series of Right Hands, a Leg Sweep and a Clothesline that knocks both men out of the ring. Dreamer doesn’t see Storm throw himself at Dreamer with a Plancha. Douglas Irish Whips Storm into the barrier and then deposits him nakamuras first into the ring post.

In the ring, Dreamer hits a Powerslam to Storm for a two count, same from a Side Inverted Tombstone. A Superkick knocks Dreamer down and allows Strom to choke him before a Knee Lift and stomps in the corner. A Chinlock on Dreamer by Credible slows things down before a Jawbreaker gets Dreamer out of the hold but a Heel Kick by Storm gets a two. A Suplex by Storm allows him to tag Credible who drives a second rope Elbow into Dreamer before Storm and Credible hit Dreamer with a Double Suplex on the entrance ramp. Credible dumps Dreamer back into the ring and tags Strom who rams Dreamer’s head into the turnbuckle but Dreamer counters a top rope Moonsault attempt by Storm and hits him with a Neckbreaker and hits a second rope RKO on Credible. Douglas is in and he pretends to form an alliance with Storm and Credible before Clothesline both men. Douglas dishes out Right Hands, Bodyslams and Dropkicks to both men before a Double Noggin Knocker. As he celebrates, Storm’s valet, Dawn Marie, runs in and nails Douglas with a low blow. Francine is in the ring and she hits Dawn with a Snapmare and we have a catfight!! Storm hits Dreamer with a Snap Suplex as Francine drags a ladder to the ring. Dreamer lays the ladder across a corner and carries Credible (chicken fight style) to the corner before dropping him face first on the ladder. On the other side of the ring, Douglas gets a two on Storm after a High Cross Body before he and Dreamer drive the ladder in to Storm and Credible’s faces, a cover by Douglas on Credible gets two. Douglas hits a Front Suplex on Storm followed by a Belly To Belly Suplex on Credible that gets a two. Francine kicks Credible in the back of the head and Douglas hits him with a Pittsburgh Plunge for the three

Winners: Tommy Dreamer & Shane Douglas

Joey Styles shows us highlights of this evening’s RVD vs Jerry Lynn match and we cut to Steve Prazak who is with the ref for the match. Ref says that he felt that Jerry Lynn deserved the TV Title and was ready to award it to him but Jerry Lynn turned it down demanding five more minutes. Rob Van Dam turns up. He calls Jerry Lynn a great competitor and challenges Jerry Lynn to challenge him for the TV Title at the next ECW pay per view.

Taz vs Sabu
ECW Championship

Taz gets on the mike and makes this a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Didn’t know he had the power to do so but it’s ECW. Sabu lunges at Taz’s legs but he moves and tries to grapple Sabu who slips out and wraps his arms around Taz ‘s upper torso. Taz grabs Sabu’s arm in a Hammerlock and a quick roll up that gets about one and a half. A Collar and Elbow Tie-up ends in a Waistlock by Sabu but Taz reverses it and Sabu lunges at the ropes to break the hold. Taz wins an exchange of Right Hands but Sabu manages to block a cross face and Arm Drags Taz into an Arm Bar but Taz puts Sabu into a Head Scissors and wrenches on Sabu’s arm before Sabu manages to roll on top of Taz for a one. Another Collar and Elbow Tie-up this time ends in a Waistlock by Taz who takes down Sabu with a Belly To Back Suplex before he gets in the cross face smashing his forearms into Sabu’s jaw. Taz then bounces off the ropes catching Sabu in the skull with a Brooklyn Boot. Sabu reverses an Irish Whip by Taz before hitting what can best be described as a Slingshot Rear View followed by a somersault Legdrop for a two. Alfonso slides a chair into the ring and Sabu throws it at Taz’s head before using the chair to basically hit Taz with a Poetry In Motion. Taz slips to the outside for a breather but Sabu deposits him over the rail and into the crowd before getting in the ring and diving off the top rope at Taz who lifts a chair to protect himself smacking Sabu in the face with it. Taz and Sabu brawl through the throng of people, as was the main event style at the time, before Sabu sits a chair on the entrance ramp and uses it as a launchpad to throw himself at Taz before Taz tosses Sabu from the entrance ramp into the crowd and then back into the ring.

A Dropkick to the knee keeps Taz down long enough for Sabu and Alfonso to lean a table between the ring apron and the crowd barrier. Sabu hits a fury of Right Hands before Taz grabs him and hoists Sabu up and over with an Overhead Belly To Belly Suplex over the top rope and through the recently set up table. Taz picks up Sabu and Press Slams him, jaw first, into the barrier but Sabu throws another chair at the head of Taz. SabuOn the outside of the ring, Sabu prevents Alfonso from throwing in a towel before Taz (yet again) throws Sabu from the ramp into the crowd. Alfonso throws a chair at Taz who chases Alfonso to the back hopefully making this one on one. In the ring Sabu hits a jumping Fameasser to Taz that gets a two and, Damn it, Alfonso’s back. Alfonso’s slid a table into the ring and Sabu sets it up. Taz punches Sabu and lays him on the table before climbing the turnbuckles. Sabu gets up, throws the table out the way and hits Taz with a Hurricanranna from the second rope that gets a two. Taz standing Hurricanranna attempt into a Powerbomb that gets a two.

Outside the ring, Sabu reverses an Irish Whip sending Taz into the barrier. Sabu tries to Sunset Flip Taz from the apron to the floor but the gap between the ring and the barrier isn’t big enough and Taz ends up landing on Sabu. Either way Sabu makes a cover and gets a two. There is a table balanced on top of a guard rail and Sabu lays Taz on it, climbs to the top turnbuckle and Splashes Taz through it, gets two. Sabu hits Taz with a chair assisted Legdrop for another two. Taz gets a two from a Pump Handle Suplex. Sabu uses a chair to hit a top rope Monsault for a two and a Head Arm Suplex gets a two for Taz. Sabu uses the chair to jump to the top rope again, this time for a Legdrop, and he gets another two count. Taz dumps Sabu with another Head Arm Suplex and he lifts him to the buckles for a Head Arm Superplex and again he gets a two. Taz then Dragon Suplexes Sabu through a table. Alfonso throws the towel in the ring but Sabu throws it back out. In the commotion, Taz is able to lock in the Tazmission. Sabu is out. The bell rings.

Winner: Taz (still ECW Champion)

Taz gets on the mike and says Sabu gave him the fight of his life and that he respects Sabu. He tells Sabu he wants to shake his hand which Sabu does before leaving Taz in the ring to celebrate his victory as we fade out.

Post show: I thought this was a good show that had some really good wrestling on it. It’s easy to brand ECW as a ‘Hardcore‘ promotion that smack each other with weapons. There was only one match like that (Mustafa vs New Jack) and I’d say that match was the worst on the show.

Match Of The Night: Tajiri vs Super Crazy. It was this or RVD/Jerry Lynn. Both were outstanding matches but I felt that the RVD one went a little bit too long.

MVP: Jerry Lynn. everyone to this day knows what RVD is capable of but I felt that Jerry Lynn showed he is every bit as good as RVD and in a match that lasted over twenty minutes, Jerry Lynn went toe for toe with RVD and shone

Rating: 8/10

And that is me. I can be fount on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 where I live tweet my way through Raw, Smackdown, NXT and when there is one on (like this week: Backlash) Pay per view. Feel free to pop over and talk wrestling

As with most weeks, there is a vote for what YOU want to see on upcoming editions of Leaping Through The Network over on Twitter @theCHAIRSHOTcom

I’ll be back next week but right now the blue is surrounding me so all that is left to say is
#UseYourHead and ALWAYS have an Angle

“Tommy, you look like a sardine sitting on that couch.”

Oh boy.


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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #16 – ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

Breaking up the 2018 time travel with a much deeper dive! Harry goes back to some prime ECW with Guilty As Charged 1999!

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Greetings, salutations and welcome back. Harry here once again with another edition of ‘What I Watched’. As the calendar year turns to 1999 on my watch-through of all things ‘big three’ wrestling, I covered Starrcade 1998 in an earlier edition of WIW. I figured since this is probably the last year where all three major companies are relevant (at least at the start), it could be fun to compare and contrast how I feel about the respective PPVs when compared to some of the independent wrestling I’ve been covering recently. Or even going back to the PROGRESS or Impact Wrestling shows that I’ve covered before. I am fully aware there are going to be some bad shows in 1999. But there is also a lot to talk about in a drastically changing industry. Let’s do this, shall we?

ECW is in flux as talent losses haven’t yet gotten to what they would become but names like Sandman, Mikey Whipwreck, Bam Bam Bigelow and others are no longer with the company. To make matters worse, the ECW-FMW relationship is falling apart now as well as a Chris Candido and Sunny (sorry, Tammy Lynn Sytch) no-show of a scheduled FMW appearance. Paul Heyman himself is the first person we see telling us the card is going to change…how much does it change? The WayBack Machine takes us to January 10th, 1999 in Kissimmee, FL as it’s time for ECW to be Guilty as Charged!

What I Watched #16

ECW Guilty as Charged 1999

1/10/1999

Millenium Theatre in Kissimmee, FL

Runtime: 2:40:30 (Peacock)

Commentary By: Joey Styles (PBP)

 

THE RESULTS

  • Match 1: Axl Rotten/Ballz Mahoney win 3 team tag elimination match, eliminating Little Guido/Tracy Smothers @ 10:44 (Danny Doring/Roadkill eliminated @ 8:15)
  • Match 2: Yoshihiro Tajiri pins Super Crazy, dragon suplex @ 11:37
  • Match 3: Psycho Sid Vicious pins John Kronus, powerbomb @ 1:31
  • Match 4: Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley def. New Jack/Spike Dudley, both Dudleyz pin Spike @ 10:05
  • Match 5: ECW TV Title- Rob Van Dam pins Lance Storm, bridged German suplex @ 17:46
  • Match 6: Justin Credible pins Tommy Dreamer, That’s Incredible on ladder @ 18:44
  • Match 7: ECW Heavyweight Title- Taz defeats Shane Douglas © by KO, Tazmission @ 22:15

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Three Team Tag Elimination Match
Started as a straight up 2 vs. 2, but within the first two minutes, Ballz and Axl (Axl making his return to the company after the passing of his grandmother) join the frey and it becomes your traditional ECW three team brawl. Nothing really stands out here but the overall work is good enough for what the match is supposed to be. The elimination of Doring and Roadkill is well done, as a FBI double-team fishermanbuster looks really cool and gets a decisive win for what was to be the original match. They do give the win to Axl and Ballz here, which I get given the fact they are a popular act, but I personally think  that Guido and Tracy were a better team during the time frame. (**½)

Super Crazy vs. Tajiri

Yes, it’s the feud that never ends. But this is where it begins. Both men were relative newcomers to the American wrestling scene with both having had limited exposure on WWF TV (both were in the Light Heavyweight title tournament). This is a good match but not a great match and honestly, I think timing is the issue here. Eleven minutes may seem like a lot but knowing what these two would be capable of down the road once there is more of a fan and time investment into their matches, it ends up being a good starting point but probably not the blow away match that ECW was expecting to deliver here. (***)

John Kronus vs. Mystery Opponent

So, ECW fans are notorious for their belief that the “big oaf” style of the WWF and WCW wouldn’t work in ECW. Obviously, they are wrong. Guys like Big Dick Dudley and 911 became massive fan favorites due to their look, not anything they could do in a wrestling ring. You can add another name to that list, as Psycho Sid makes his ECW debut here (following an introduction by the ‘Judge’ Jeff Jones) and absolutely kicks Kronus’ ass in less than two minutes. Sid was never anything special in the ring but he is one of the more charismatic big men in wrestling history so the cult-like following is easy to understand. Too short to rate, but fun for what it was. (X)

Dudleyz vs. New Jack/Spike Dudley

Sixteen year old Harry getting into ECW was a huge Joel Gertner fan. Thirty seven year old Harry going back and watching these shows is an even bigger fan of Joel Gertner. Granted, his shtick is incredibly juvenile but sometimes, you just want to laugh…

The match is your standard ECW garbage brawl. Most New Jack matches definitely have a similarity to them that does not hold up well for re-watching. I will openly admit to being a Spike Dudley mark and he does well taking an ass whooping from Bubba Ray. The Dudleyz definitely have their moments in ECW (the best is still to come in my opinion) but this isn’t one of their best performances. I will give props to New Jack for taking 3D on the ramp, even if it doesn’t come across the cleanest. About what you’d expect, but nothing more. (**)

TV Title- Rob Van Dam © vs. Lance Storm

Rob Van Dam vs. Masato Tanaka was the originally scheduled match and I think it could have been fun. However, Tanaka apparently has visa issues which prevent him from being able to get into the US for the show and thus ECW has to pivot quickly. I do have to give credit to Lance Storm for his pre-match promo here. For someone who is not known as one of the better talkers in wrestling history, he does a really good job explaining the situation with the 3 way that was supposed to happen (Storm vs. Spike vs. Jerry Lynn (cracked pelvis)) and then calling out Rob Van Dam since his opponent wasn’t there either. Storm has a really good closing line for the promo too: “I’m not the ‘Whole F’n Show’, but I am the best damn part of it’. That is one of the lines that sticks with you and you remember it.

The match itself is very good but not great. It is better than anything else on the show, so perhaps I’m rating it on a slight curve for that. Van Dam’s selling is sporadic but to be fair, Van Dam’s selling is always sporadic. The biggest thing for me is that despite that, they still keep an impressive pace and the match is by and large clean. There is a super weak chair shot by Storm (which the crowd gives him a good ration of shit over), but they do manage to turn that crowd around for the finishing sequence. A little surprised by the choice of finish, but I imagine that has something to do with telling the idea that Storm got caught and wasn’t soundly defeated like most of Van Dam’s prior opponents had been. (***½)

Stairway to Hell- Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer

The problem for Credible in ECW is that Paul wanted you to believe that Justin was this huge deal but truthfully, the booking never actually treated him as such. Yeah, he won…A LOT…but more often than not, it was almost treated as an afterthought. He very rarely won the big matches on his own and while I get that as a heel, you want to give him that sense of dickishness, as a wrestling fan eventually you have to make it look like the dude could stand up on his own. Dreamer has long been a favorite of mine, even if he has overstayed his welcome in the ring on occasion. You know going in that win or lose, Tommy will bust his ass to give you as good a match as he is capable of. 

As for this match, it never reaches that next level that you expect a gimmicked semi main event of a PPV to reach. It’s not actively bad or anything (in fact, probably up there for Credible’s best match in ECW to date) but with the stipulation and the gaga around it, it feels like there was so much more it could have been. The finish comes off really flat as well as it renders the whole point of the stipulation useless and only serves to put more heat on Credible by way of Funk. (**½)

Heavyweight Title- Shane Douglas © vs. Taz

So, I’ll be a little nicer to this match then some other reviewers I’ve seen for a couple reasons. It completely accomplishes the goal that Heyman set out for it. Taz comes out of the match looking like a world beater. Douglas comes out of the match as the face of the company who “went out on his shield” as the old phrase goes. Sabu looks like a lunatic and a viable threat to take the title at any time he damn well pleases. Candido comes off as a huge dick and sticks the final knife in Douglas’ back for the end scene. So the story telling is magnificent. 

The match itself? At least a good five to seven minutes too long for that story. I get wanting that epic storytelling to fold out but when you guys are down and low on ideas, it might not be the worst idea to take it home. The other issue is that by trying to serve so many masters, Heyman causes the main event to end up being epically overbooked. Granted, that is an ECW trademark but for what was to be the crowning moment for Taz, I don’t think the 73rd Airborne needed to be a part of it. Sabu could have just as easily returned post match to set up a run with Taz. Or Candido could have turned on Douglas post match to give him a direction going forward since Taz would be occupied with Sabu. I’m not saying it completely takes away the moment but it does make it mean less than it could or should have in the overall scheme of things. (**)

 

THE FINAL REACTION

  • Best Match/Moment: Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm, although I do think their match at the first ECW PPV ‘Barely Legal’ (which I imagine I’ll eventually do) is better
  • Worst Match/Moment: The main event. What could have been an awesome moment for the ‘Human Suplex Machine’ and the biggest ass kicker in the company is ruined with a boring crowd brawl (to the home viewer) and a couple of run-ins that either end up actively taking away from it.
  • Overall Show Score: 5.5/10
  • MVP: Joey Styles is the best thing about this show with his one man performance. There is a reason he was such a major influence on what I did as an announcer.

 

THE SIGNOFF

It’s not a bad show. It’s just not a particulary good one either. And while ECW would put out worse, it only barely outdoes Starrcade 98 to avoid the worst show of the return thus far.

So, where do we go from here? January of 1999 had no chill. The very next Sunday would see the first WCW outing of 1999, called Souled Out. The Sunday after that would be the 1999 edition of the Royal Rumble. I’m going to hit both of those but as a fair warning, I’ll probably try to mix an Independent show from 2018 in the middle of them. Hope to see you guys at Souled Out. And feel free to check out my archives by clicking on my name at the top of this review. Thanks for reading, everyone.


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What I Watched #10b: All IN 2018

Harry decided to abridge his All In write up and bring us the blast from the past while he’s on vacation! With only a few weeks until All Out, reminiscing could be fun!

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ALL IN

Greetings, salutations and what nots. At the time you are reading this, I will be away from home on vacation with my amazing girlfriend. In the interest of not want to lose everyone’s attention in the downtime, I decided to go back to one of my earlier reviews and reformat it to match the current style while giving people who may have not been interested due to the length of the previous review a chance to see what they may have missed as well as share my thoughts on a show that had quite the buzz when it happened.

I mention in my review of AAW’s Destination Chicago 2018 (full review available in my archive by clicking my name at the top of this review) that everyone was in Chicago for this particular show. Obviously, though it was presented as part of a deal with ROH (and to some extent New Japan), this ends up being what many consider the launching point for AEW. So join me once again as the WayBack Machine takes us to suburban Chicago on September 1st 2018 and we revisit ‘All In’ here on ‘What I Watched’.

What I Watched #10-B

ROH/NJPW/Friends ‘All In’ 2018

9/1/2018

Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL

Runtime: 4:45:24 (45:27 on YouTube for the preshow, 3:57:57 on Fite.TV/HonorClub/NJPW World/traditional PPV for the main show)

Commentary By: Excalibur (PBP), Don Callis (Color), Ian Riccaboni (PBP/Color)

THE RESULTS

  • Match #1: Zero Hour- Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky def. Jay/Mark Briscoe, Kazarian pins Mark with a powerslam counter to the Doomsday Device @ 12:35
  • Match #2: Zero Hour- Flip Gordon wins the ‘Over the Budget Battle Royal’ @ 17:11, last eliminating Bully Ray
  • Match #3: Matt Cross pins Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Shooting Star Press @ 10:07
  • Match #4: Christopher Daniels pins Stephen Amell, Best Moonsault Ever @ 11:45
  • Match #5: Tessa Blanchard wins four way, pinning Chelsea Green with the Buzzsaw DDT @ 12:43 of a match that also involved Britt Baker and Madison Rayne
  • Match #6: NWA World Heavyweight Title- Cody Rhodes pins Nick Aldis ©, sitdown on sunset flip attempt @ 22:03
  • Match #7: Adam Page pins Joey Janela, Rite of Passage off a ladder through a table @ 20:09
  • Match #8: ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © pins Flip Gordon, Lethal Injection @ 14:25
  • Match #9: Kenny Omega pins Pentagon Jr., One Winged Angel @ 17:48
  • Match #10: Kazuchika Okada pins Marty Scurll, Rainmaker #2 @ 26:06
  • Match #11: Kota Ibushi/Matt Jackson/Nick Jackson def. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio Jr., Matt pins Bandido after the Meltzer Driver @ 11:44

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Zero Hour- SCU (Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky) vs. The Briscoes (Jay/Mark)

*Hell of a way to kick things off and the exact kind of match that you want to put out to people in order to get those on the fence to order the show. I don’t know about the $50 price tag that the PPV had, but this would have been enough for me to sign up for Honor Club for $10 to watch the show at least. I’m curious if ROH ever followed up on SCU pinning the ROH tag champions here. I’d imagine so even though the end is near for Kazarian, Scorpio and Daniels in ROH with AEW looming on the horizon. (***½)

Over the Budget Battle Royal

*It was fun for what it was. Maybe a little overcrowded, but there are several people who have got to make a name for themselves off this match. Marko Stunt is all over Game Changer Wrestling (and got a run in AEW as part of Jurassic Express) and Jordynne Grace, who got herself a deal with Impact, being two to spring immediately. I don’t rate battle royals but it was entertaining, which is all you can ask for sometimes. (X)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Matt Cross

*Good little opener here for the main show. My misgivings on the rope hanging piledriver aside (MJF calls it the Heatseeker), they worked together well without throwing too much against the wall and burning out the crowd for later. I had hoped Cross would get a chance with AEW but we know that doesn’t happen, unfortunately. MJF does become one of the biggest creations AEW has up until this point, but no-one is really sure where his status lies with the company at present. Strong start to open the show and really happy for a genuinely good dude in Matt Cross to have gotten this opportunity. (***)

Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell (special guest referee: Jerry Lynn)

*When this show first happened, I heard a myriad of opinions on this match. Some thought it was really good, others thought it stunk. I fall somewhere in the middle here. Amell, for an actor, put in a pretty good performance here. I’m not saying he should do this full time or anything, but it’s not like he embarrassed himself either. Daniels had his own hiccups here as well though. So the blame doesn’t fall solely on Stephen. Overall, I’d call it above average given who Daniels’ opponent was. But I know first hand that Daniels is capable of much, much more. (**½)

Britt Baker (bay bay) vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard

*Not sure if it was just me but the finish looks a little suspect. Tessa getting the win did make sense though at the time (I’d imagine this result changes with benefit of hindsight). As for the match, they worked hard and it by and large came together well. It definitely lost its way a bit towards the end, so I have to dock it a bit for that. All in all, I’d say good effort from the ladies involved and I’d even put it just slightly above the Daniels and Amell match it just followed. (***)

NWA World Heavyweight Title- Nick Aldis © vs. Cody (Don’t Call Him Rhodes)

*A very good match but a couple of little things keep it from the next level for me. First, the blatantly missed superkick. I’m not really as upset about that one as some people may be because I get it, shit happens in the moment. The blade job however, I can’t forgive. It was terribly obvious. I get the intent behind it to help Cody fight from underneath. I have no issues with blood in general (hell, I watch death matches). But if you can’t do the blade job more realistically there, it shouldn’t have been done. It doesn’t really factor into the match in the grand scheme of things. Also while I personally don’t mind the methodical pace, I do know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I dug the match as a whole though. And props to Brandi for eating it on that flying elbow drop. (****)

‘Chicago Street Fight’- Adam Page vs. Joey Janela

*This match won’t be for everyone. Some people like the old school ECW brawl and some people don’t. I do when it’s well executed but there seemed to be quite a bit of downtime in this one. Honestly, to me…Penelope Ford came out of this match looking like the biggest star of the three. All in all, I’d say good for what it was but nothing I’d probably want to go back and re-watch either. The finish was dope though. Janela is a crazy person for taking it. (***)

ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © vs. Flip Gordon

*Let’s not kid ourselves. There was no way that they were going to change the ROH title on a non-ROH show. As much as they enjoyed having the belt defended, this defense was a lock for Lethal regardless of the opponent. Flip getting the match itself is the story here and his performance justifies it. I’d call it good but again, it’s nothing that you’ll want to re-watch again, despite the impressive agility of Gordon and the sheer nostalgia of Lethal busting out the ‘Black Machismo’ shtick again. (***½)

Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr.

*Your mileage may vary for sure on this one. Everyone heaped a ton of praise on it and while it is very good, it does not raise to the level of excellence for me. The ridiculously spotty selling and the absolute disrespect to some of the most protected moves in wrestling cause me to take an issue. I do think they worked really well together and the styles meshed a lot better than I thought they might. But there was nowhere near the emotion here that came through clear as day on the Cody and Aldis match earlier. From a pure work rate aspect, it’s the best on the show so far. But personally, I prefer Cody and Aldis to Omega and Pentagon Jr. (****)

Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll

*A little long. But they told a pretty strong story throughout.At the time of this writing, I had made it no secret that I was not sold on Kazuchika Okada as a draw in the US. Clearly, I was wrong. He had the entire crowd in the palm of his and Scurll’s hands for basically the entirety of this contest and it was one that I think both raised Scurll’s standing in the world of wrestling and confirmed what many people already feel about Okada. That being said, it’s a better match if you chop off five to eight minutes from it. (***½)

Young Bucks/Kota Ibushi vs. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio

*Clearly much shorter than it was probably supposed to be, they packed a ton of action into these almost twelve minutes. I’d have been curious to see what was possible with a full run time but with Rey already gone (he had just resigned with the WWE), there would be no chance to run this back. I think it was a good way to send everyone home happy and get all the marquee moments in, but overall it just ends up being a spotfest fluff match rather than anything that’ll be strongly remembered as standing out down the road. (***½)

THE FINAL REACTION

There is a lot to get through here. As you guys saw above, the totality of both Zero Hour and All In run almost five hours. While not all of that is well spent, there is more than enough to sink your teeth into here, even if you wouldn’t classify yourself as a traditional ‘Independent Wrestling’ fan. There are a couple of real good spotfests if you liked the ECW/WCW luchador/cruiserweight style. There’s a tremendous call-back to the old NWA days with how Nick Aldis vs. Cody plays out. There is a interesting take on the old ‘hardcore’ styles that both ECW and the WWF used to enjoy presenting in Janela vs the ‘Hangman’. You even get the chance to see the celebrities that get trotted out for the big shows in places like the WWE and Impact Wrestling. Does it all work? No. But a good majority of it does. As I said, it’s almost five hours. But by and large, it’s five hours well spent. Call it an 8.5 and while there is room for improvement (as with everything), a very strong start for Cody and the Bucks as promoters.

Best Match/Moment: I’ll go moment here and go with the obvious of Cody getting to hold the same NWA title his father did in what was an NWA stronghold town. It’s cool to see the torch passed like this.

Worst Match/Moment: The fact that the main event with arguably six of the best wrestlers in the world at the time ends up getting the second shortest amount of time.

Overall Show Score: 8.5/10

MVP: I’m going to give this one to Cody, both for the role he played as a producer/agent for the show as well as the performance in the match with Aldis as well. A good night for young Mr. Runnels.

THE SIGNOFF

And that wraps up the first of the ‘retro’ look backs at previous ‘What I Watched’ reviews. When I return, I will be coming back with ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999, the first pay-per-view of the last year of the 1900s. Following that, I know the WWF’s Royal Rumble 1999 is on the list. I’d imagine I’ll get to WCW’s Souled Out 1999 and when I do return to the Indies, promotions like IWA-MS, CHIKARA, Freelance, BEYOND, WWR and so many others are within my potentially planned scope. Hope to see you down the road and may you all enjoy quality time with those you care. See you next time and thanks for reading, everyone.


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