We’re back again with some more ECW action!
Following on from last week, the major feuds in the company right now appear to be Taz Vs Sabu, Justin Credible and Lance Storm Vs Shane Douglas and Tommy Dreamer, and Mr. Mustafa Vs New Jack.
This show is sadly going to be a dreaded “clip show” however, as they haven’t taped any original matches for TV, so it’s going to be clips, recaps and promos. Still, there’s every chance that we could still have an entertaining 48 minutes or so, and we might get some more official match announcements for Living Dangerously on the 21st of March.
So without further ado, let’s set the way back machine to 1999 and take it to the Extreme!
Calling the action is Joey Styles
We start with footage of Sid destroying a host of guys, including Kronus, Skull Von Krush, Chris Chetti, Roadkill, One Man Gang, Rod Price and Steve Corino. Jeff Jones tells Steven Prazak that Sid may be intense, but that they’re on the same page (We’ll see how long that lasts). The hardened smark ECW crowd gobbles all of Sid’s wacky moves and mannerisms up of course. Hypocrites
We get a promo from ECW Champion Taz from the streets of Brooklyn. He talks about how dangerous Brooklyn is and says that surviving that danger is what has made him Champion.
We go back to Joey, who confirms that Taz Vs Sabu is official for Living Dangerously, with both the ECW and FTW Titles on the line. He then goes on a bizarre rant about WCW Uncensored having a barbed wire match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, saying that they’ll be using rubber tipped barbed wire.
He then throws to edited footage of Sabu Vs Terry Funk from Born to Be Wired 1997. I’ll post my full review below from another site.
No Rope, Barbed Wire Match
ECW World Title
Champion: Terry Funk Vs Sabu w/ Bill Alfonso
As the title suggests, the ropes have been taken down and replaced with barbed wire here, in a match type more commonly found in Japan. As those who have been following my reviews the past couple of weeks will know, Funk won the title back at Barely Legal. The importance on the result of this match has been lessened somewhat by the fact both men will be in the main event of Hardcore Heaven 97 regardless of who leaves with the title.
Both men are cautious to start, with neither wanting to be the first to taste the wire. Both men tease going into the wire early on, with both being able to avoid going in at the last minute. Funk drills Sabu with a piledriver and gets a two count, but no one bought it as a finish because no one had gone into the wire yet. That’s the problem with these kinds of matches. Sabu finally eats the wire first, as Funk kicks out of a rana and the force sends him into it.
A problem is immediately apparent, as Sabu’s baggy faux Arabian pants get caught on the wire, making it hard for him to pull himself away. Funk then exacerbates things by crotching Sabu on the wire, and Sabu has an absolutely torrid time getting off the wire and back into the ring due to his ring attire. Sabu is now bleeding from the wire, as Funk hammers away on him with punches. The fans surprisingly get behind Sabu, despite him supposedly being the heel, and he responds by whipping Funk into the wire for the first time.
It’s now time for Funk’s clothes to get him caught in the wire, with his issue being his t-shirt. Unable to get out of the wire, Funk is a sitting duck and Sabu hits him with a chair a few times for good measure. Sabu rubs Funk’s face into the wire and then rips a piece off to jab into Funk’s forehead in a gory spot. Both men are now, not surprisingly, bleeding heavily and Sabu springboards off a chair with a leg drop onto Funk for two. He goes for it again but Funk moves, which sees Sabu leap right into the wire. It appears the wire has sliced open Sabu’s left bicep. Sabu, being Sabu and all, decides just to tape it up and keep wrestling.
Funk gives Sabu a Rude Awakening through two chairs for a two count and then fires up on Sabu, who bails outside. Both men brawl around outside the ring for a bit, with Funk soon throwing Sabu back in and going to the Funk Spinning Toehold. Alfonso tries to stop that, so Funk drags him inside over the wire. Even the manager is taking bumps into the wire! Funk even rips off Alfonso’s shirt and starts raking the wire over his back in a vicious moment.
Terry Funk as “Crazy Evil Old Man” is always something to behold. Funk cuts some of the wire off and starts whipping Sabu with it, in a spot that sounds more devastating than it looks, and then goes outside to continue pummelling Alfonso, no doubt to give Sabu a moment to recover after ripping his bicep. Sabu cuts down an entire side of the wire, which allows Rob Van Dam to run down wearing work gloves and wrap Funk in the barbs.
With Funk now firmly wrapped in the wire, Van Dam and Alfonso lay him on a table and Sabu comes off the apron with leg drop. This is Tommy Dreamer’s cue to run down to the ring and drag RVD to the back. Meanwhile, back inside, Sabu tries to pin Funk following the table spot but he’s able to kick out. Undeterred, Sabu puts Funk on another table but this time decides to wrap HIMSELF in barbed wire before jumping off the apron.
I’m not exactly sure how that was supposed to hurt Funk more but it was visually arresting at least. Both men are now wrapped together in the wire and can barely move as a result. Somehow they heave themselves into the ring and Sabu is able to just about lay on top of Funk to pick up the win and the title. I think they had more planned there but they were just so tangled in the wire that they had to take it home.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: SABU
A good intense brawl that got really scary at the end once both of them got wrapped so heavily in the wire. This one doesn’t seem to come up that much when I talk to people about big ECW matches these days, probably because it happened a week before a pay per view event and was never televised in full. But such a brutal stipulation and a title change definitely make this worth a watch. If you’re squeamish though I recommend turning it off just before Sabu wraps himself in the wire.
Back from the clips, Joey insults Eric Bischoff for stealing ideas from ECW and says that they set the standard for barbed wire matches with that one and that there’s no way Hogan Vs Flair will top it. He finishes up by literally daring people to buy Uncensored. This was just a pointless segment that made ECW look silly. Focus on yourselves rather than dedicating so much time to bashing the opposition.
We get promo time with The Dudley Family and Mr. Mustafa next. Joel Gertner insults New Jack’s mother and then tells him that cash rules everything around him. Buh Buh adds that New Jack doesn’t know when to stay down and that it’s time for him to be afraid and run away. Mustafa says it’s over for New Jack, before waving his cash around like he’s the Thousand Dollar Man or something. We still haven’t had an actual reason for Mustafa turning on New Jack yet by the way. I’m guessing it’s because New Jack started tagging with Kronus once Mustafa left ECW, but it would be nice if they would actually say that so we would at least know why they’re feuding all of a sudden.
We head back to Joey, who recaps the whole feud up to this point. You can read the full break down of everything in last week’s recap.
New Jack cuts a promo outside in the street. He says he isn’t mad at The Dudleyz for doing what they did, as they’re stupid and don’t know any better, but he warns Mustafa that he’s going to get him at Living Dangerously. He opens up a cut on his head during the promo and it proceeds to bleed all down his face for a gory visual. This was actually one hell of a promo from New Jack here. He could spin a yarn when he was motivated to do so that’s for sure. New Jack closes by saying that Living Dangerously won’t be a wrestling match, it’ll be a homicide.
Back from the break, it’s more from Taz in Brooklyn. He addresses Sabu’s anger and says that he wants him to stay angry, so that he can get the best fight possible at Living Dangerously.
We get clips of Taz and Shane Douglas taking each other on at House Party 99 from the ECW Arena. Taz successfully retains the ECW Title in his first defence by suplexing Douglas through a table. Taz applauds Douglas afterward for his great effort. Douglas is left in the ring and leaves in tears.
Back from the break, we get a recap of Shane Douglas trying to retire, only for Justin Credible and Lance Storm to ruin it and demand that they be named the new “Franchise” of ECW. Douglas shoots them both down and says that it will be Tommy Dreamer continuing the revolution, which leads to Douglas, Dreamer and Francine all getting laid out by the heels. Later in the night, Lance Storm debuts his new manager “Beulah McGillicutty”, who ends up being his regular manager Dawn Marie after some cosmetic surgery because…
Anyway, Dreamer comes out to defend the honour of the real Beulah, which leads to Credible and Jason running down to assist their new ally. Douglas and Francine come down for the save however, with Francine taking out Jason with a spear to a big pop, and the three babyfaces stand tall. At Living Dangerously it will be Storm and Credible against Douglas and Dreamer.
Back from the break, Joey hypes up the matches already announced for Living Dangerously, as well as mentioning that we’ll be seeing Tajiri Vs Super Crazy and Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn. Sid will also be making an appearance…
Meanwhile, Taz is still in Brooklyn and keeps insulting Sabu. Taz says he’ll beat him up, because he has to so that he can remain Champion. Oh just shag each other and get it over with lads, you can cut the sexual tension with a katana! Taz says that Sabu has the heart of a lion, and he’ll prove it by ripping out Sabu’s heart and showing it to him. What Taz doesn’t know is that a lions heart is actually the size of an original PlayStation console, so he’s going to have one heck of a challenge getting it past Sabu’s rib cage*
So hey, when you don’t have any fresh matches you have to get creative to fill the TV time I guess. The end result was a very skippable episode, with nothing really to advance the stories outside of a few promos. Joey’s bizarre pop at WCW was also completely unnecessary and just made ECW look lesser for taking the cheap shot. WCW was well into the doldrums at this stage in time, having a go at them was no longer fresh or rebellious. Surely they could have shown us something from House Party or Crossing the Line that they hadn’t shown yet to pad the episode out?
Easy show to skip this week. Next week features fresh matches from Delaware at least, so that should hopefully be a bit more enjoyable.
Thanks for reading and I’ll hopefully see you all next week!