Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ECW Living Dangerously 1998

It’s the fourth ECW pay-per-view and it opens with a very cool video featuring Taz walking into the empty arena the night before, looking around, and very blunty saying “I’m ready”. Good way to open the pay-per-view and build something up instead of just coming on the air with the crowd going crazy.

I’m actually pretty excited to watch this show by the way. Let’s hope it turns out better than the last two pay-per-views.

1) Tracy Smothers & Little Guido vs. Jerry Lynn & Chris Chetti – 3
2) Doug Furnas vs. Masato Tanaka – 3

Opening tag didn’t have much meat to it and probably would have been better off as a dark match. Chetti seemed more nervous out there than a high schooler asking his girlfriend to the prom. I’m guessing that’s why they had Lynn out there with him. I’ve been liking a lot of recent Tracy Smothers stuff, albeit it’s few and far between, but I’m beginning to enjoy his work more and more. He was definitely the bright spot in this otherwise dull match. So, Furnas is subbing here for W*ING Kanemura. I’m not sure, but somehow I don’t think that’s an even trade-off. They’re also still working the WWF vs. ECW angle. I thought that finished up a long time ago. Guess not. Both guys seemed really sloppy. Tanaka’s swinging DDT planted Furnas right on his neck. Furnas had a flurry of good stuff late in the bout with a nice powerslam, an inverted tombstone, and a sick German.

3) Rob Van Dam vs. Too Cold Scorpio – 5

RVD and Scorpio always looks like a good match on paper. The problem here was mainly the flow of the match. Both guys definitely looked good but between moves, it felt like an eternity. Scorpio’s high flying stuf is always great to watch. He could be seventy years old and his moonsaults and springboards could look just as smooth. Some of his kicks looked a bit rusty though. Really liked the brawling on the elevated rampway as the pace picked up. Scorpio hit a few wild piledrivers on there for good measure. RVD seemed to be on auto-pilot for most of this although there were a few small glimpses as if he might move to the next level. The interference at the end from Sabu and The Sandman was completely unnecessary and ruined an otherwise decent match.

4) The Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten vs. New Jack & Spike Dudley – Three Way Dance – 3
5) Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible – 3

These type matches are a staple of ECW and while there have been a few good matches like this, they are few and far between. Judging by the score, it’s pretty obvious this was not one of the good ones. New Jack and Spike is a very odd combination. Not sure what lead to them teaming together. It must be an unwritten rule that all these matches start of with shitty punching. Bubba had the sell of the match, doing this real goofy sell of some Balls and Axl chair shots. Big spot of the match was New Jack and Spike doing a double balcony dive, that was admittedly pretty cool, despite the fact I’ve seen that same thing in every New Jack match. I’m hoping for someone to put me out of my misery here. Not so much for the match, but for the fact that I am having to listen to a shitty rap song over and over. Bad brawling and ugly spots were the order of the day here. After an elongated crowd brawl in the previous match, guess how they chose to start Dreamer and Justin? Yep, with a crowd brawl. Couple good chair spots. First was Justin taking a wild bump on a slingshot onto a chair on the ramp. Second was Dreamer dropkicking a chair into Justin’s face. After that, things went downhill faster that a slalom skiier. Lots of interference from Beulah and Jason rendered turned this into a giant clusterfuck. Paul E. must be a fan of low blow spots because there were about three or four of them in a 90 second interval. There was an awful rip-off of the Marlena/Chyna rag doll spot involving Beulah and the poster boy (or girl) for HGH, Nicole Bass

6) Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Taz – 5
7) The Sandman vs. Sabu – Dueling Canes Match - 2
8) Chris Candido & Shane Douglas vs. Lance Storm & Al Snow - 1

Taz delivered a nasty suplex off the ramp into the crowd and damn near killed himself. Rest of the match was a lot of brawling. This was the third straight match with a crowd brawl but here it actually felt somewhat necessary, as opposed to the two previous bouts where it felt like they were covering up terrible in-ring work. One thing I noticed was that Bigelow seemed disinterested at times and Taz didn’t really put up much resistance to Bigelow’s offense. I wanted to enjoy this match but something about it seemed off. Sort of felt like after the big suplex spot, they were just killing time before the big spot at the end where they broke the ring, which is the main thing this match is known for. Last pay-per-view I watched, Sandman and Sabu was one of the worst matches on the show. Here, they get top honors for having one of the shittiest, laziest pay-per-view matches I’ve seen in quite sometime. Hell, the Justin Gabriel vs. Jack Swagger three minute filler match on this year’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was better than this. This was supposed to be a dueling canes match that, according to Joey Styles throughout the show “was too violent to air on pay-per-view”. I call bullshit on that statement, sir! Eight minutes in and Sandman hasn’t done a damn thing except stumble around and look foolish. Best thing about this was a double leg drop spot through a table, rest of it needs to be tossed on top of Mount Rumpke. Main event was a complete waste of four minutes. Nobobdy could do anything because there was a giant hole in the ring and caution tape all around that corner. Storm’s surprise partner? Sunny. (*insert sarcastic yaaay*) Two minutes in an Sunny turns on Lance, thus leading Al Snow to come out and join the mess as Storm’s replacement partner. This has rightfully deserved its score. You know what the sad thing about this show is? It’s been the best ECW pay-per-view yet.

ECW PPV Rankings:
1. Living Dangerously ‘98
2. Barely Legal
3. November to Remember ‘97
4. Hardcore Heaven ‘97

Next up in the countdown: Wrestlepalooza ‘98


Brian said...

if I'm forced to watch Credible work I'd prefer his match in ROH's debut in Dayton versus Matt Striker in '03 with the floor bump

Anonymous said...

ECW just hasn't aged well.