Wednesday, 4 June 2014

I Want to Watch ECW

Been a minute since I busted out the ECW set, and I want to watch some Tajiri. So I killed two birds with one stone.

Sabu v One Man Gang (1/23/99)

Alfonso with that fucking whistle. This was basically Sabu practising crazy chair- and rope-assisted highspots on a big fat test dummy. And I liked it a bunch. Gang squashes him at the start and Sabu comes back by stabbing him in the face and tits with a fork, but he also threw some killer right hands that I did not remember him having. Then it's wild spot/bump after wild spot/bump (Sabu is responsible for the spot and bump simultaneously). Nuttiest of them all was probably the springboard legdrop while Gang is on a table propped between the barricade and the ring apron. He overshoots it a bit and it causes him to half land with his own tail bone catching the edge of the barricade while the rest of his butt comes down on Gang's head. This is just about the most random match-up I could think of, but it totally worked for me.

Tajiri v Super Crazy (2/6/99)

This was pretty much the absolute best version of a first round match in an indy fliers tournament, just 100% balls to the wall with everything hitting hard and clean for eight/nine minutes. Tajiri is rocking the blue trunks and isn't in full psycho mode yet, but he still kicks like a motherfucker. I've talked before about how he's a guy that will take a spot I normally hate and make it not suck at all, and his indy stand off spots are probably the best example. They never look too cliche, and they're always super quick and impressive with some things you never see in most indy stand offs. They do one here that was like forty five seconds long and had a bunch of awesome looking shit in it, and best of all at the end they don't just stand there so the crowd can clap, they walk up to each other and get in each other's face. I mean, this is still a fight, right? For the most part this is a spotfest sprint, but it's a hell of a spotfest sprint and a nice contrast to their Mexican Death Match where Tajiri looks like he's trying to actually kill Crazy and crowd members alike.

Rob Van Dam v Jerry Lynn (2/11/99)

This is one of my least favourite match-ups in wrestling history, and I expected to be apathetic towards it at best and hate it at worst. Alfonso is still running around with the whistle and gibbering like a spaz at ringside, but other than that I thought this was alright. They run a few stand offs at the start, but neither guy is Tajiri and they look rote and the same as every RVD/Jerry Lynn stand off you've ever seen. Most of the match is the kind of Step Up street dance routine you expect out of these two, but it wasn't as over the top as I was expecting. There's one spot where Lynn is holding a chair and Van Dam tries to spin kick it into his face, but Lynn ducks and places the chair on the mat. Van Dam goes to sweep kick his legs straight after, so Lynn jumps over that and comes down with a legdrop which mashes Van Dam's face into the chair. I think they did that spot in a bunch of their matches (maybe every single one ever), but I hadn't seen it in a while and it looked real nasty here (Van Dam gets a cut above his eye for his troubles, too). Say what you want about Rob Van Dam, but the guy will take a DDT straight on the crown of his head. Sometimes it looks goofy and overly ridiculous (I'm fine with plain old ridiculous), but he does it here with his neck to the side and he bounces off the mat like it was a trampoline. Looked about as gnarly as I've ever seen it. There's a few more RVD/Lynn matches on this set. I don't think I'll watch all of them, but this was fine.

Tajiri v Super Crazy (2/12/99)

Similar to their last match, but probably even better. They still roll out some of the same spots, but they change up enough that it feels like a very different match. The start of this one is way more hectic as well. They don't bother with the parity stuff and head straight into Tajiri hitting a nutso Asai moonsault into the crowd, then that's followed by Crazy hitting a fucking insane quebrada that lands him about nine rows deep. Tajiri busts out an awesome looking somersault plancha over the ring post as well. Crazy's rolling surfboard is such a cool spot. Some guys have a hard time keeping a regular surfboard hooked in, never mind keeping it hooked in while rolling around the mat with someone still in it. Dug the finish as well, with Crazy hitting a string of springboard missile dropkicks followed by a springboard frog splash. This might be the best match-up in ECW history.

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