Tape Recap and Review for ECW 2K

Living Dangerously í98
by Platypus Fool


 


Number four in the not so long line of ECW PPVís, Living Dangerously had many potentially great matches on its card. Unfortunately, many of these matches that promised so much, were cancelled or changed for whatever reason, and the PPV could have easily fallen flat on its face. Did the talent succeed in putting on a good show despite adversities? Ö

Jerry Lynn & Chris Chetti vs. The FBI

Every time I see the highly talented Little Guido with Tommy Rich and Tracey Smothers, I pity the Ďextreme stud,í the two veterans are just so useless in the ring. Never mind, at least Lynn and Chetti have great matches most of the time. The heels take control early on and isolate Chetti, tagging each other and administering The FBIís standard offence from this period. Hot tag made to Lynn who unleashes some of his usual. Jerry Lynn wasnít brilliant at this point in time, he was yet to become the great grappler we all know he now is. Miscommunication from the heels results in a win for Lynn and Chetti, and The FBI have the first of many teased break ups. Decent opener, but really nothing special at all, formulaic at best. **3/4

Doug Furnas vs. Masato Tanaka

This was meant to be a Japanese only match, with Tanaka taking on W*ING  Kanemura, but Lance Wright, evil WWF employee, has other ideas, and tries to humiliate Tanaka by having Furnas beat him. A couple of standard wrestling exchanges to start off, flowing into a dull submissions war with the figure four. They mess up on the tornado DDT, Furnas takes control and fires a few cool moves at Tanaka, but Tanaka comes back with the roaring elbow for the pin. Poor booking here, as this was Tanakaís first appearance, and the roaring elbow was not over, so the finish was pathetic. Just generally a poor match, and Iím glad that Tanaka managed to get some credibility back after this contest, and go on to fight some classic battles later in the year. The sweet moves from Furnas saved this from wrestling hell. *1/2

Rob Van Dam vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

This was set up to be a classic match between two high flyers, and Joey Styles was selling it as such throughout, despite it not being as great as it could have been. They start off with some nice wrestling sequences, but itís nothing better than RVDís usual fake technical work. This is followed by a little work on the outside of the ring, and a few guard rail shots, and of course RVDís usual nonsense. Back in the ring and Scorpio takes control and executes a few spots of his own, before RVD gets in his usual spots, and a few more from Scorpio. Match continues like this until Sabu makes his obligatory run in, followed by a run in by Sandman on the side of Scorpio. Lots of messing around before RVD gets the roll up pin. A decent match, but one based solely around spots we have seen a million times from both men, when you have watched as much RVD as I have, he really becomes predictable. Scorpio is too old to put on the match that he used to be able to, although the 450 Splash over the top rope deserves special mention. ***

The Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten vs. Spike Dudley & New Jack

The token Dudley Boys based tag team contest common to every show around this period. Of course New Jackís team donít turn up until Balls and Axl have been suitably beaten down. These matches have become very predictable. Lots of basic wrestling until New Jack turns up, weapon shots start, and the teams stumble out of the ring. Fighting through the crowd they reach the balcony, and New Jack and Spike take an absolutely insane dive off it, putting the Dudleys through tables. Back in the ring and Balls and Axl are eliminated by a 3D. Spike hits the acid drop and New Jack gets a chair shot from the top rope for the Dudleys elimination. A very standard mid card tag match from 1998, we saw the same match at N2R 97 and many other shows throughout ECW history. **1/2

Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible

A very standard match here, with these two men doing only what they do every time they go out. Lots of brawling in the ring before the two men drop to the outside and take a few guard rail shots before hopping on to the big wooden ramp they have set up. One or two decent moves here before they get back into the ring, where they do some of their usual moves. Justin gets Thatís Incredible on Tommy, but Beulah, who was supposed to have defected to Justinís side, runs in and low blows Justin. Jason also takes the low blow from Dreamerís girl, before Nicole Bass stops her with a bearhug. Mikey Whipwreck makes the save and gets the Whippersnapper on Nicole, but takes a shot with his crutches to his broken leg from Justin. Finally, Tommy Dreamer gets the DDT on Credible for the pin. Slightly overbooked, but a nice safe contest, and reasonably fun to watch. **3/4

TV Title: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Taz ( c )

This is one of those milestone matches that went down in ECW history, not for the classic wrestling, but for the excellent spot at the end. These two powerful men start off with some submissions wrestling, then they move outside the ring. Sick spot with Taz suplexing Bigelow into the crowd, and nearly splitting his own skull open. Once back in the ring the two guys hit a few more moves including a nice table spot, and then its back to the outside. They brawl in the crowd, but somehow this section of the match feels extremely slow and that some time killing is going on. Once they finally climb back into the squared circle, Taz gets the Tazmission on Bigelow. Bam Bam taps out, but the referee doesnít see it. Bigelow jumps backwards, trying to crush Taz, and goes straight through the ring. Taz must have been legitimately squashed. Bigelow drags Taz out of the hole and just pins him for the win and the TV title. A good match between two well suited guys, apart from the slow middle section. The spot at the end really made it one of those classic ECW moments that every fan should see. ***

The Sandman vs. Sabu

A great surprise at the start, which I wont spoil for new fans. Sabu controls for nearly the entire match, making Sandman look like a jobber. Sabu hits some lovely spots though, mostly utilising tables. This really is a spotfest though, there is nothing else involved. After a number of trademark Sabu stuff, RVD makes the run in and the team nail Sandman with a double leg drop though a table for the pin. A good match, but nowhere near enough Sandman for my tastes, and just not as good as the stairway to hell match between these two. **3/4

Chris Candido & Shane Douglas vs. Lance Storm & ???

Storm brings out Sunny as the mystery partner to start off the match, so he seems to be on his own against the triple threat members. Lance gets some sweet offence in before he tags in Sunny to make the pin, but she turns on the Canadian, siding with Candido again. Storm gets beat down by the triple threat until Al Snow makes the save. Snow takes out all the guys, with a little help from Storm. Snow then pins Douglas with the Snowplow. Al then wanders around the ring area generally messing around with the crowd and getting them to throw their foam heads in to the ring, and getting them to bang their foam heads along with Al. A lot of fun to watch, but it was a mess and not really a match as such, therefore I canít rate it, but it is very nice to watch.

Other Stuff

The usual from Mr. Gertner, and some nice work from Joey Styles and Paul Heyman. Interesting promo of the show goes to adult film star Jenna Jameson, who cuts a slightly dodgy promo on Justin Credible, and then gets snogged by Tommy Dreamer. Good for a first attempt Mrs Jameson.

Overall

ECW is slowly but surely getting better with each show, this card even featured a memorable match with a classic finish. However, the company is still not making the best of the talent in the locker room, and the quality of actual wrestling is very low, preferring to concentrate on spots and high impact moves. When ECW is at its very best, it mixes spots and hardcore stuff with proper and brilliant wrestling. Good, but not quite there yet. ***