Sunday, October 21, 2012

ECW Wrestlepalooza 1998

1) The FBI (Tracy Smothers & Little Guido) vs. The Blue Meanie & Super Nova – 3
2) Justin Credible vs. Mikey Whipwreck – 6
3) Chris Candido & Lance Storm vs. Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten – 3
4) Bam Bam Bigelow vs. New Jack – 4
5) Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman vs. The Dudley Boys – 3
6) Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu – 5
7) Shane Douglas vs. Al Snow – 4

Continuing my series of reviewing the ECW pay-per-views and this one looks like it could be fun. This particular show is being held in the Cobb County Civic Center and every time I see that building, I can’t help but think of Brian Pillman and Basher tearing it up on the Power Hour 1990 project.

Opener was pretty much everything that would be expected when the FBI and b.W.o. match up, lame comedy, dance-offs, and Blue Meanie jiggling about. Nova’s get-up looked like something out of the movie “Kick Ass”. Finish was sloppy with the illegal man getting the pin and lots of mayhem. Wasn’t expecting much out of the Whipwreck/Justin match as their previous encounter on pay-per-view left a lot to be desired. This one, however, really exerted the fact that there was hate between both guys. Both guys bumped really well with Mikey taking a wild bump off the apron into the rail and Justin taking a superplex through a table off the railing in a crazy spot. I could have done with out the Jason and Chastity intereference at the end as, to me, it hurt the final product but the emotion, the brawling, and the crazy bumping made this one of the best matches I’ve seen on this project thus far. Tag title match left a lot to be desired as Axl and Balls cut a fiery promo with Joey Styles before the match but saw their fire fizzle like a burnt out campfire when the match started. If Candido and Storm are doing the old “partners at odds” gimmick, then why are they working so well together controlling the pace. Seeing Axl wrestle in a Dr. Evil t-shirt reminds me of how old this show actually is. I wonder if that t-shirt is still hanging up in his closet somewhere? Highlight of the match was Storm doing a Van Daminator style springboard dropkick 3/4 of the way across the ring.

Next up was a pre-taped legends introduction which should be noted feature the last appearance of the Junkyard Dog, who died in a car wreck a mere three weeks after this show. Then, we got a never-ending hypocritical Shane Douglas promo doing his typical schitck of trashing the WWF and WCW. I have a question, if he was so critical of WCW, then why did he jump ship to there in 1999? Five minutes in to the match and New Jack looked like the victim of gang violence and was just bleeding all over the place. The thing I liked about this match was that Bigelow didn’t stand around like a fool and take shot after shot with Jack’s variety of weapons. He actually fought back and pretty much beat the holy hell out of New Jack. However, the match lost a lot of steam during the crowd brawl segment. The balcony dive spot was really contrived and telegraphed. Bigelow didn’t do it much favors either, looking around in the crowd for New Jack like a kid in a department store who lost his mom.

Tag match with the Dudleys was wild brawl, exactly what would be expected between these four individuals. Sandman by far was the worst of anyone involved, as if that comes as a shock. He took a bump on a table that just wrecked his neck. Dudleys took some ill shots with weapons. Bubba got a table suplexed on him really wrecklessly by Sandman early in the bout and D-Von took a hard chair shot. Mid-way through, Spike runs in and starts getting nearfalls. I guess that makes him legal. It’s like the 1880s in baseball when a player could subsitute in a game simply by announcing his name. So much interference beyond Spike running in from Beulah and the Dudley entourage. I can’t really give this much more than a “3” as it felt like a wild, aimless brawl.

As a kid, I created RVD and Sabu on the WWF No Mercy game for the Nintendo 64 and had some epic battles. Those battles were actually better than this. Match started rough with them just doing the “respect spots” as I call them were they so back and forth and wind up in a stand-off. Sabu looked sloppy, but not nearly as bad as he was in previous encounters with Sandman. The chairs he was throwing were stiff but he should have really stayed away from the table spots. First spot was him diving into the crowd and having to bounce off a table as he misjudged the jump. Second spot was beyond awful as he was supposed to DDT RVD through a table but botched the whole thing all to hell. RVD’s offense was the usual standard … Van Daminator, frog splash, rinse and repeat. I could tell about five minutes in they were working towards a draw as the pace never really kicked into high gear. RVD’s nearfalls had zero heat. This should have been better than it was but this could be summed up in two words “thorough disappoinment”.

Main event seemed really strange with Al Snow challenging for the title. Douglas was working injured with a bad elbow and whole other laundry list of items Joey Styles rattled off on commentary. Douglas’ dive into the crowd was dangerous as he just barely cleared the rail. Match had lots of chopping and punching for the majority of offense. The big powerbomb spot from Douglas didn’t come off all that well. There was a really good nearfall with Snow kicking out of the belly-to-belly suplex but the finish was really sudden with Douglas reversing a shitty sunset flip.

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

Up next in the countdown: Heatwave ‘98

1 comment:

Brian said...

next up.. Heatwave!! you'll get to see my smiling young mug behind New Jack during his outdoors promo.. - was this the show where the ring got filled with heads for Snow? - i have a memory of watching it in my basement if so.. - if you want some better Sabu peep his latest DG USA run.. fun stuff.. - liked the department store line.. - a good Credible ECW match? - this I need to see! - Dr. Evil shirt? you sure it wasn't UWO wrestler Father Time!? he rocked that all the time back in high school.. - only thing on this I really want to revisit is Bigelow v. jack