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wrestling / Video Reviews

The SmarK Retro Repost – Living Dangerously 1999

July 30, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

– Amazingly, Canada’s fascist PPV company (Viewer’s Choice) has actually decided to carry ECW PPVs starting in May, so I can steal them just like WCW and WWF ones. But until then, I have to watch them in the only place in Edmonton that has a dish and is actually showing ECW: Area 51, a death metal bar downtown. With really expensive drinks, I might add. Although we got a deal tonight, because my Long Island iced tea and rum & Coke only came to 8 bucks total. Furthermore, my faitful Toshiba notebook computer only has a battery life of 2 hours (hah! that’s wishful thinking…) which is of course not enough to cover an entire PPV. So I have to resort to…an actual notebook. But how do I boot it? Where’s the GUI? What’s this black stuff coming out of the light pen? And why doesn’t it have a keyboard? Man, I’m confused. I think I can still remember how to write, although it’s been so long.

– Because the bar has a dish, we also get to watch the first 30 minutes of Heat, which sucked. A bunch of character building interviews, and a lame-ass hardcore match, which would actually turn out to be BETTER than the one coming up, amazingly enough.

– So we’re…

– Live from Asbury Park, New Jersey, home of some guy who used to wrestle here…

– Your host is Joey.

– Opening match: Super Crazy v. Yoshihiro Tajiri. Talk about blatantly sucking up to the workrate contingent. Flipping and flopping to start. Obviously the ring is miked because everything sounds like BANG! BOOM! CRASH! First highspot goes to Tajiri, with the somersault plancha. He follows with a nice quebrada, which the crowd appreciates. They fight onto the rampway. Boo. Crazy’s moonsault misses, and Tajiri responds by lifting a move from Sonja in Mortal Kombat, a standing headscissor takedown. Great moonsault combo from Crazy, as he goes off the first, second and top ropes in succession. Springboard moonsault from Crazy gets two. Moonsault attempt #2 hits the knees. Tajiri comes back with a baseball slide to the face, and then a SWEET kicking combo. Very Ultimo Dragon. Super Crazy misses a moonsault and Tajiri responds by kicking him right in the face. This is very reminiscent of the first match, which makes me wonder they bothered having it. Crazy with the sunset flip for two, and then he fucks up a moonsault. Crazy with the Ligerbomb for two. Weird reversal spot as Tajiri blocks a powerbomb, then tries a rana rollup, but Crazy rolls through for the pin. I did NOT like the ending. Disappointing match compared to their other one. ***

– Funny promo from Sabu and Pothead. Sabu’s FTW belt has a piece of tape with “Sabu” written on it, ala the WCW one.

– Steve Corino is out for mike time? Our little group bets on Sid killing him, but Ballz Mahoney gets the honors instead.

– Ballz Mahoney v. Steve Corino. Crowd dies. Total squash until Corino gets a chair and teases it forever, then decides to have a seat and apply a chinlock instead. Har har. Ballz escapes then pastes him with a greco-roman chairshot and pins him. Pointless drek. DUD

– Antifaz del Morte v. Little Guido. And speaking of pointless drek… Guido and Big Sal are apparently the only survivors of the FBI housecleaning. Slow start before Morte works in a corkscrew plancha. He also fires off an inverted falcon arrow for a two count. Guido does nothing of note besides talking way too much. Big boring chant from the Jersey crowd. Big Sal abuses Antifaz and Guido gets, er, an Italian Crab I guess, for the submission. * Tracy and the Big Don run in, but get chased off by Big Sal and probably out of ECW.

– ECW TV title: Rob Van Dam v. Jerry Lynn. The big question here is whether Paul E does the obvious, or does the swerve, or does the swerve swerve, thereby going back to the obvious again. Those would be “RVD wins”, “Lynn wins” or “RVD wins in screwy fashion”, respectively. I toy with the idea of rating the match based on one * for every nickel bag of pot Rob had before the match, but he seems lucid enough so I ditch the idea. Van Dam is just crazy over here. They’re gonna have to main event the guy pretty soon. The usual pretty but pointless (thus pretty pointless) flipping/flopping sequence from RVD to start. Nice spot as Rob does his annoying splits-on-the-criss-cross thing and Lynn legdrops him on the neck when he goes down. Ha! RVD starts reeling off the highspots, but when he goes for the springboard whatever inside the ring, Lynn dropkicks him to the floor. ’bout time someone did that. More highspots outside the ring. Cute spot as RVD does a bow-and-arrow with a chair under his back, then releases the hold, thus dropping Lynn on the chair. Notice how many times I’m writing “spot” here and how few I’m writing “wrestling”? Another cute spot as Lynn blocks a Northern Lights suplex and hits an inverted DDT. Hard to really describe here. Lynn ducks the VanDaminator and reverses a legsweep for a two count. Lynn gets knocked off the top rope and put through a conveniently placed table. Another cute spot as Lynn sunset flips Rob, but he counters by grabbing a chair and smashing it into Lynn’s head. They do a “I sure wish I was Eddy Guerrero” wrestling sequence, and that gets a few two counts. They end up on the top rope, and Lynn gives him a swinging DDT to a table below. It doesn’t break. Eddy never has to resort to that stuff. Lynn gets a two count from it. RVD comes back and runs through his usual. I’m sensing a draw. Lynn with a tornado DDT for two, and the time limit runs out. Yep, it’s a draw. Crowd starts calling for 5 more minutes, although the referee is handing Lynn the belt for some reason. Huh? Well, both guys agree to five minutes, so away we go. Lynn with a nasty piledriver for two, and then Fonzie throws in a chair. DON’T CATCH IT, JERRY…oops, too late. You figure out the rest. Van Dam retains. They should have just done an actual ending instead of that. **3/4

– Earlier tonight: Some porn star talks. Rule #1 of wrestling and getting women over: Don’t let them talk. Francine attacks her. Pathetic.

– Mr. Mustafa v. NuJack. Mustafa looks like Mushmouth from Fat Albert. Really, really pathetic assortment of weapons tonight, including a plastic lawnmower and a breakaway guitar that breaks away before it hits. So they trade awful looking weapon shots for a minute, then fight to the balcony, where NuJack *tapes* Mustafa to a table, then does a balcony dive…and MISSES. Badly. I mean, his head BARELY made contact with Mustafa, and I’m surprised he didn’t break something hitting the floor like that. Instead of just declaring this abortion OVER and putting us out of our misery, security guys actually HELP both wrestlers to the ring, where NuJack rolls over and pins Mustafa. And that’s the match. Ladies and gentlemen, I kid you not, this was the worst match I’ve ever seen and the only time I’ll EVER assign this dreaded rating: -*****. This was the most fake looking, business-exposing, hideous excuse for a wrestling match that I have ever seen in my life. And that covers a LOT of shitty matches. There was NO wrestling, and they didn’t even do the spots right. So FUCK THEM. I hope NuJack broke both legs and I never have to see him and his useless “My only offense is weapons and a balcony dive” no-selling criminal talentless thug ass again. I hope this kills ANY discussion about NuJack being any good in the ring from now on.

– The Dudleys (thank god) run in and clear out the crap. Gertner does his bit, and it’s not really funny tonight. They issue an open challenge. Public Enema? No, even better…Spike Dudley and Supernova! Wow, that’ll save this shitty PPV. And of course they get creamed. Mangled. Slaughtered. No offense whatsoever. And it takes FOREVER to do it. And then Buh Buh decides to talk AGAIN. What is the FUCKING POINT? Bob Artese takes 3D. And Buh Buh is STILL TALKING. He challenges the crowd. And finally, here comes Sid. Yay! Dudleys attack and Sid no-sells, then destroys them. And now Spike returns, and pins Buh Buh after an Acid Drop. DUD, I guess, if that was actually a match. Sid kills Spike and powerbombs him through a table. Okay, Sid is a big monster. WE FUCKING GET IT, PAUL. This scintellating saga, which served only to provide Sid for 10 minutes to pay off the pre-game show’s promises of seeing him, wasted about 20 minutes total.

– Justin the Jellyfish & Lance Storm v. Tommy Dreamer & Shane Douglas. Dawn Maries has apparently gone from mocking Tammy Sytch to mocking Beulah. I like exactly one person in this match, can you guess which? I really hate it when they use “River of Deceit” in the video package…it’s getting really cliche. Shane Douglas is wearing long tights. Maybe it’s so the needle won’t fall out of his ass. If I was Tommy I’d check Shane’s boots for a chain. Shane has his working boots on, trading some nice stuff with Aldo. Nice spot as Tommy puts Justin Montoya in an abdominal stretch and Shane drops Storm on Justin’s outstretched knee. Shane becomes scumbag in peril and the wrestling comes to a screeching halt. Kick, punch, taunt. Tommy gets a hot tag and a brawl erupts. A weak superkick turns the tide and Tommy gets beat on for a while. Crowd is bored. Match…is…so…long. Tommy hits a half-assed Diamond Cutter and tags Shane, and the overbooking kicks in. Shane teases a turn on Tommy, then attacks the heels. A catfight breaks out, because there’s just not enough going on already. Francine finds a ladder, and that gets used, because this wrestling stuff will never sell. Shane hits the BELLY TO BELLY OF DOOM on Aldo, but it only gets two. Good, I’m sick of that move. A kick to the head from Francine and a fisherman’s buster finishes it. No turns, no surprises. **1/4

– Jackyl (now called Cyrus, as in “Billy Ray…” or “…the virus” depending on who you find more evil) comes out and helps the heels do some beating down. Joey hammers the “virus” reference home.

– Interview with RVD. Apparently the referee WAS going to award Lynn the title after the draw, because he was clearly the winner. WHAT? What kind of dumbass booking is that? They try to justify this by saying they wanted a clear-cut winner, not like the Holyfield fight. Was Paul E on crack when he thought of that one? RVD issues a challenge for the next PPV to Jerry Lynn. Oh, fuck, not ECW too. I thought Paul was immune to that syndrome.

– Main event, FTW title v. ECW title, Sabu v. Taz. Thank god this show is almost over. Taz makes it falls count anywhere, which never comes into play. Slugfest to start, and they do a token sequence in the ring, but everyone knows this has “spotfest” written all over it. Sure enough, Sabu launches himself into the crowd and away we go. Really boring sequence as they fight through the crowd and it’s almost impossible to tell where they are. So they brawl. And brawl. And brawl. Sabu takes a bunch of Foley-like stuntman bumps, which have no redeeming value to the match because he never sells anything for more than 3 seconds, but hey, they look nice. EC-dub! EC-dub! Fellow watcher Kinjo asks why Sabu takes some horrifying looking shot from Taz, and then pops right back up and hits his move. I have to explain ECW Physics to him, which basically alters the laws of real world physics so that devastating moves have no effect, as long as it’s Sabu’s turn to do a spot. Sabu goes through a table, taking out the cameraman who is filming the show. I hope against hope that the live feed was also killed, but alas the show goes on. Taz challenges various WCW senior citizens while beating on Sabu. Alfonso keeps trying to throw in the towel but Sabu stops him. More stuntman bumps and now a table gets involved. This is just Foley v. the Rock, with Sabu as Foley and Taz as the Rock. Sabu takes all the bumps and Taz reels off the catchphrases. The table is so blatantly pre-cut that they stop mid-spot and do something else instead. Sabu fucks up a powerbomb to the floor, and it gets two. More stunt bumps. Sabu covers Taz for the pin, but Taz puts his foot on the ropes. IN A FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH? Some fans at ringside are screaming the same thing as me, but the referee ignores them. More spots, and now the crowd is getting bored. Taz puts Sabu through the table for two, and then applies the Tazmission for the submission. Thank god it’s over. We’ll be generous and go ** for the spots, although Taz did jack shit here. You know, if Taz is going badmouth Flair and Hogan, the least he could is back it up in the ring. Taz offers the big handshake, end of show.

The Bottom Line:

This show sucked, there’s no two ways about it. Everything was by the numbers, with no surprises and a couple of crap filler matches that WCW would get crucified for including. And wow, that was some appearance by Sid, wasn’t it? He’s sure earning his money.

Not as bad as Wrestlepalooza, but still pretty bad. Thumbs way down.

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