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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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Classic Royal Rumble

Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV

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Attitude of Aggression
Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV

The Attitude Of Aggression returns for Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project, a chronological analysis, review, and discussion about WWE’s Big Four PPVs/ Premium Live Events. On this Episode, Dave welcomes back the one and only PC Tunney to discuss two more immensely important events in pro wrestling history, the inaugural Royal Rumble and WrestleMania IV. The 1988 Royal Rumble was different than any other Rumble in history and not just because it was the first. Dave and Tunney break down the fascinating history of the first installment of an event that would evolve into an annual favorite for many in the WWE Universe. From there, the guys recap the surreal events that led to the end of Hulk Hogan’s 4-year reign as WWF Champion and set the stage for, arguably, the most important tournament in WWE History at WrestleMania IV. Macho Madness reached new heights that night. But was Savage the first choice of Vince McMahon to emerge from Atlantic City with the gold that night? We have the whole story for you here on Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project!

About Chairshot Radio

The rebirth of Chairshot Radio will see a rotating cast of hosts delivering you new shows and content. Sports, Entertainment, and Sports Entertainment is the umbrella under which we seek to invade your earballs. So sit back, relax and LET US IN…

For the latest, greatest and up to datest in everything pro wrestling, sports and entertainment head to TheChairshot.com and remember to ALWAYS #UseYourHead.

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, Chairshot Radio daily editions, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.

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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #15 – AAW Defining Moment 2018

Harry covers a show that helped to continue Sami Callihan’s 2018 infamy. AAW Defining Moment should be a fun trip down memory lane!

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Apologies for the slight delay getting to this but it’s Harry here once again. And for as verbose as I can be at times, I don’t feel the need to waste any time getting to this one. This is the second part of the double shot for AAW on ‘All In’ weekend in Chicago. 

The WayBack Machine takes us to August 31st, 2018 as we once again arrive at the Logan Square Auditorium (and oh boy does that become important later) for AAW’s Defining Moment 2018.

What I Watched #15

AAW Defining Moment 2018

8/31/2018

Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL

Runtime: 3:18:22 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork)

Commentary By: Tyler Volz (PBP) and Marty DeRosa (Color)

 

THE RESULTS

  • Match 1: Curt Stallion/Jake Something def. Ace Romero/Colt Cabana, Something pins Cabana @ 8:41
  • Match 2: Shane Strickland pins Darby Allin, top-rope Swerve Stomp @ 13:30
  • Match 3: Jessicka Havoc def. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders, pinning Cruise with a Chokeslam @ 2:52
  • Match 4: OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist) def. Ace Austin/Brian Cage, Dave pins Austin @ 5:55
  • Match 5: AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © pins DJ Z (Shiima Xion), roll-through on CBB with tights @ 13:30
  • Match 6: AR Fox/Myron Reed def. Bandido/Flamita, double cover @ 15:42
  • Match 7: Maxwell Jacob Friedman taps Marko Stunt, Salt of the Earth @ 10:41
  • Match 8: Sami Callihan pins Jimmy Jacobs, Cactus Driver on a bridged guardrail @ 17:52
  • Match 9: AAW Tag Titles- Eddie Kingston/Jeff Cobb © def. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett, Cobb pins Fitchett @ 14:19
  • Match 10: AAW Heavyweight Title- Brody King pins ACH ©, All Seeing Eye (Whiplash) @ 22:46

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Curt Stallion/Jake Something vs. Ace Romero/Colt Cabana

*The match was decent but nothing special. A pretty big win for Something at the end with the three count over Cabana, who has a storied past in Chicago and was one of the biggest names in independent wrestling. That said, I personally don’t love the flukish nature that Something pins Cabana, as I think Something could have used a defining pinfall to really give him a rub going forward. 

Cabana usually makes for a fun watch and I’ve grown to enjoy Ace Romero the more I see him (he especially stands out for Limitless, which I hope to get to one day soon). Jake Something is a huge star in the making and you can see it even early in the run of AAW that he has. Stallion is what Stallion is. Solid opener, but nothing you’ll remember post show. (**½)

Darby Allin vs. Shane Strickland

*Showstealer, plain and simple. Strickland had been with AAW for a while but to the best of my memory, it was more often in a tag team with Keith Lee (funny how that works out with 2022 eyes on it, as Swerve and Keith are the current AEW tag champions at the time of writing). I do believe this is only Darby’s second match in AAW (the prior being a five-ish minute loss to Brody King). Both guys are huge names now and with efforts like this, it’s easy to see how. Darby tries to keep pace with Swerve and is able to do so for a good portion of the contest until Swerve finds that next gear down the stretch and puts Allin down with the Swerve Stomp to a massive (deserved) ovation from the crowd. (****)

Jessicka Havok vs. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders

*I dislike handicap matches in general. However, unlike certain other writers for this site, I don’t mind intergender wrestling. But the suspension of disbelief gets lost here when you have two dudes the size of Cruise and Manders struggling with Jessicka Havok, who should realistically not being coming in at 100% after taking the Ganso Bomb from Brody King through the chairs the night before. I won’t rate the match due to the Larry Csonka (RIP) Rule of not rating anything shorter than three minutes, but I’m calling this a miss regardless. (X)

OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist) vs. Ace Austin/Brian Cage

*The Brothers Crist come out to ringside to stand next to Havok after said match and call out Brody King and Jimmy Jacobs. They get one of those two men as Jacobs makes his way out, but informs Dave and Jake that neither he nor Brody will be facing them due to having prior obligations, but he did find the perfect opponents for OI4K. As for the opponent, Cage does make for a good size fill-in for Brody King. Ace Austin is a OI4K trainee that hadn’t quite made a name for himself at the time but has since turned into a pretty good wrestler, having just competed for NJPW in Best of the Super Jr’s as well as being Impact Wrestling’s X Division champion for a while.

The match itself was not memorable at all. I will admit to typing this review on a bit of a delay and other than the finish (a Tiger Driver ‘98 by Dave to Austin), I don’t remember anything that happened during the course of the contest. Not the best impression for these four men to leave. (**)

AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © vs. DJ Z

*I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I like DJ Z. I liked him more under his previous identity, but this was him using the Impact Wrestling name for more notoriety with the casual fan. That being said, despite DJZ winning a three way relatively quickly the night before while Trevor was in a war with Ace Romero, I never felt the title was in jeopardy here. For as much as I like DJZ’s run with AAW, this misfortune of his injury just so happened to coincide with Trevor Lee becoming one of the hottest acts on the undercard and there wasn’t anything in the build up to the rematch (despite some good promo work from Z) that made me think that the strap was switching here. 

As for the match itself, they have really good chemistry together and that isn’t a surprise given how many of the same promotions they were working for at the time as well as their history in AAW up to this point. I do think this match does a nice job of setting the stage for a return match as it is DJZ’s offensive attack at the end of the contest that gets reversed into the cradle (with a handful of tights) for the finish. The nature of the victory leads me to believe that the story with these two isn’t over quite yet. (***½)

AR Fox/Myron Reed vs. Bandido/Flamita

*This was similar to the main event the night before, but didn’t have the same crowd investment that match did. Bandido and Flamita once again shine here and it is easy to see why they become semi-regulars in AAW after this weekend. AR Fox and Myron Reed (Team Firefox, as they were referred to by Sarah Shockey) get a massive victory with a double pinfall following stereo 450 splashes. This sets up Fox and Reed for a title match against the winners of WRSTLING vs. Besties later in the night, but honestly, I think that Bandido/Flamita was the better pairing to have go forward to a title shot. Firefox had previously unsuccessfully challenged for the tag belts and if I’m being fully honest, I prefer AR Fox as a singles wrestler over being in a tag team. Good match, but I think the wrong team wins. (***½)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Marko Stunt

*Marko had just made a name for himself at GCW’s Lost in New York (a show I have watched) and this was a way for him to break out back in his Midwest home. MJF has been on a hot streak point up to this point (believe he is the current CZW Heavyweight champion, though I don’t think he ever actually defends that title) and MJF would make himself a known commodity the next night opening the ‘All In’ PPV against Matt Cross (in a losing effort)

Easy story to tell with MJF taking the much smaller Stunt lightly and Marko making him pay for it. It is unfortunate that more people didn’t get to see what Stunt is capable of, because his run in the indie scene before he went to AEW was quite special to watch due to his ability to connect with a crowd (no different here). The finish sees MJF take advantage of the arm work that he did early in match and after Marko escapes a fujiwara armbar, MJF is able to catch Marko in ‘Salt of the Earth’, a wakigatame (Marko on stomach as MJF applies a cross-armbreaker) for the the tapout. Very good work and Marko does really well for himself in his debut with another high end US Independent. (***)

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan

*Ooooh, boy. A lot to unwrap with this one. Let’s get the match first, because the drama that it creates leads to the fallout that has to be discussed. It is honestly a pretty standard Sami brawl for the time frame. PWG used to have what was known as the “Sami Sprint”…by which it would be Callihan vs. Opponent and the match would run anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes of hard hitting back and forth action with little in terms of a cohesive story or selling. Pretty much a ‘can you top this?’ kind of situation. This feels like that in a sense because the match features both Sami and Jimmy going into their well of tricks (the crowd brawling, the spike, the guardrail that gets used in the finish) while maintaining the crowd reaction from the prior night’s tag match. Fittingly, the finish is visually impressive as Callihan hits the ‘Cactus Driver’ (pulling piledriver) on a guardrail bridged across two metal folding chairs to secure the three count. (***½)

THE INCIDENT

The bigger story coming out of this is that this match almost costs AAW the Logan Square Auditorium and almost ends even more disastrously personally for Callihan. At one point, Callihan and Jacobs are brawling over by the stage in the venue (traditionally used for concerts) where Callihan buries Jacobs under a portion of the stage. Callihan then starts winging metal sitting chairs (not the standard folding ones you see in most companies because the four legged dinner table type chairs) at Jacobs. A voice comes over the house mic telling Callihan to stop, causing a loud visceral boo from the crowd. Callihan more or less tells said voice to “fuck himself” and hurls more chairs at Jacobs. 

At first, I thought it was Danny Daniels telling Callihan to stop, but it turns out it was actually building management. This becomes important when after the three count goes down, building security surrounds the ring to escort Callihan out of the building as they were pissed at Sami for throwing chairs that the venue used for other events. As I’ve heard the story, Callihan thinks this is part of a storyline and begins to push the security guys until one of them shows Callihan that he is carrying a real pistol and will use it if necessary. Things break down from there with the rest of OI4K getting involved and eventually Sami is escorted to the back (and presumably out of the building).

How much of this is real? How much of this is scripted? How much of this was sensationalized for additional attention? I don’t have the answers for those questions. I do know that cooler heads would prevail and AAW was able to continue running at LSA, however I feel the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It may have been a planned altercation to play off the recklessness of Callihan. It may have been a real reaction from the building to what they perceived as damage to personal property. The old axiom in wrestling is “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see”. Overall, it makes for a great story with a relatively happy ending all considered. But man does it take the wind of the crowd for quite a while. And I will have to check out the follow up AAW shows to see what the fallout truly is.

AAW Tag Titles- Eddie Kingston/Jeff Cobb © vs. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett

*Trevor Lee’s promo before the match is not one I can do justice. I recommend the show in general, but Trevor’s asshole smarmy heel persona in AAW (Impact Superstar Trevor Lee) is one of the best things going in the company.

Match is good but you’d have to expect that from the four men involved. Kingston and Cobb work surprisingly well as a team and despite being on separate pages for most of the bout, Vega and Fitchett do link up for a few double teams (corner enzuigiri/Kippou kick combo being standout among them) to continue to prove why they are one of the best tag teams in pro wrestling (still are to this day, though not known as the Besties in the World anymore). The finish sees the final stab from Vega to Fitchett as Vega chooses to take Scarlett to the back after she gets knocked off the apron, leaving Fitchett alone to take a one-two combo of the Backfist to the Future from Kingston that staggers him into a Tour of the Islands from Cobb to finish the contest. The ring work is on point, the story is very well told and you can hear the disappointment from the crowd when Vega chooses the hussy over his long-time tag partner. (****)

AAW Heavyweight Title- ACH © vs. Brody King

*Unfortunately, something gets lost during the course of this contest through no direct fault of the participants. As I understand it, Brody King got concussed relatively early in the bout. Credit to ACH for keeping things together as well as he did, but I would be curious to see what they are capable of with both competitors at 100% capacity for the full duration of the match.

As for the match, it does tell a pretty good story. ACH comes in still pretty beat up from the match with Jeff Cobb the night before. However, ACH lets his pride (or perhaps his ego) get the better of him as he once again tries to hang step for step, strike for strike and move for move with a man much bigger than he is. It ends up coming back to bite him at the end as a distraction from Jimmy Jacobs allows Brody King to take a distracted ACH up into the All Seeing Eye (fireman’s carry into a Michinoku Driver) for the three count to crown a new champion. Slightly cheap on the distraction ending but does help get Jimmy some of the heat he lost earlier in the evening back after dropping the contest to Callihan. (***½)

THE FINAL REACTION

Overall, a better show then the day before but not without a couple flaws. Obviously, the big story to come out of this show would be the fact that AAW almost lost Logan Square Auditorium due to the issues in the Callihan-Jacobs match. Thankfully, those would be resolved and to my knowledge, AAW is still running there. But it gets awfully hairy there for a few.

The highs: two four star matches on this show and they come in completely different type contests. Eddie Kingston continues his march of dominance in AAW and cuts one hell of a promo at the end of the show to run down how ACH let him down by losing the title. Marko Stunt has a fun debut and quickly gets the crowd behind him. The lows: that handicap match helped no one and the tag match that followed wasn’t much better. The main event isn’t what it could have been either, but that’s a case of shit happens with the early concussion to King. I will also say that I thought Sarah Shockey did a better job on color commentary yesterday then Marty DeRosa does here.

We’ll call it an 8 overall. As I said, it is a better top to bottom show then Destination Chicago is. And while high on the guest stars (for obvious reasons), you also get a really good look at what the overall AAW roster is all about too. I look forward to coming back to AAW down the road (ironically, upcoming shows are a double shot as well for the ‘Jim Lynam Memorial’ tournament), but I do want to mix in some other odds and ends before I do so.

Best Match/Moment: Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin

Worst Match/Moment: The Havok handicap. Especially when you consider what Steve Manders would come to mean for AAW, it’s a really inauspicious debut.

Overall Show Score: 8/10

MVP: Eddie Kingston. The key part of a match that tied for best match of the night honors and absolutely shows why he is viewed the way he is when it comes to talking with an amazing promo to close out the show.

 

THE SIGNOFF

So, where does ‘What I Watched’ go from here? I go on vacation in about a week’s time and will be gone for most of August. I spoke to Andrew and what I hope to do is reformat the ‘All In’ report that I did to the new style so you guys have something to tide you over.  As for where I go when I get back from vacation…well, the Peacock WWE Network watch-through that I am working on has reached a show that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen (and if I have, it has been quite a while). Therefore, ‘What I Watched’ #16 will be ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999 to set the tone for a year where all hell breaks loose in two of the three major promotions. Hopefully, you guys enjoy the ‘All In’ redo to hold you over and I’ll be back later in August with Guilty as Charged. I appreciate everyone who has been checking these out and if you’ve missed any, feel free to click on my name at the top of the article to check out my archive. Thanks for reading.


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