Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, June 06, 2010

SLL Gets Drunk and Watches ECW Fancams

It's the Summer of Segunda Caida, and that can only mean one thing: I'm gonna have to come up with some new material, and fast. I am neck deep in Texas stuff, hoping to get this thing finalized by the end of the month, but surely I can find time to contribute a little something to our fine blog. I was gonna take the easy way out by just finding some "Classic SLL" to pawn off on you, but I happened upon a review I did of some stuff from Victator's Legion of the Damned blog, and I thought to myself "why not see what Vic's up to now?" As it turns out, he's up to ECW fancams. Lots and lots of ECW fancams. If you tuned in to the last edition of Segunda Caida Radio, you may have heard about these things, so I guess this is as good a time as any to review some of them. And since no one should have to watch ECW sober, I am going to write this thing under the influence, the way ECW fancam reviews were meant to be written. Now, let's get our Billy Black on!

Shane Douglas vs Stevie Richards (1/26/96)

This match was so good that I got distracted by it and forgot to keep drinking. Stevie opens by announcing that he and Meanie shall now be known as "The Fabulous Ones", and they celebrate the occasion by doing "The Fabulous Stevie Strut". And well, there's probably no better way to rile up Shane Douglas than to imitate Ric Flair. Douglas is a total beast here. He's put out so much dreck over the years that you forget that he could really go every now and then. He really beats the shit out Stevie, occasionally stepping outside to wail on Meanie as well. Had a great jumping back elbow off the second rope and a great diving headbutt as well. Shane had ducked under a pair of Steviekicks, but Stevie fakes him out by stopping short with a third one, allowing him to connect with two that turn the tide of the match. You don't really think of Stevie as a particularly aggressive wrestler, but he totally is here, laying in some hard shots on the Franchise. I also dug Meanie's work as second. There's a part where Stevie is trying to trap Douglas in the corner, and Shane is sorta hanging half way out of the ring, and Meanie comes over to smother him with his own gut while he's out there. And then eventually Douglas just kinda hits the belly-to-belly and wins. Well, that was anticlimactic. Still, pretty good way to kick this off.

Sabu vs Jimmy Del Ray (1/26/96)

Hey, this match kinda ruled. Sabu opens up with a bunch of takedown attempts that Jimmy easily dodges, so after the third one, Sabu just hauls off and punches him in the face, which is awesome. We get some requisite crazy dives from Sabu, which all connect, before Jimmy crushes him with a wraparound DDT. They go back and forth, with much of the second half being built around Del Ray trying to hit the moonsault, but Sabu always evading/preventing it. The real striking thing here is how on point Sabu looks. Not only does he hit all his crazy dives, but his strikes look great. Sabu is not really a guy I think of as a great traditional punch/kick brawl, but he throws some great motherfucking punches and a choice lariat in this thing. Del Ray gives as good as he gets in that regard. You should probably check this out.

Chris Jericho vs Damien (4/12/96)

Color me surprised, this match kicked ass, too. Damien is doing his shtick where he impersonates other wrestlers, and the crowd is actually calling out requests. He pretty much blows them all off, which would be an great heel move, though I don't know if it was really meant that way. He does do Sabu later on, but that was his own call. The story here is Jericho, though. I mean, I have liked some Jericho matches over the years, but he is a guy whose offense can look kinda dainty sometimes. Not so here. This is the match where Jericho decides he is going to hit every move at top speed and full force, and it is fucking sweet. I mean, I never thought I'd see a Jericho match where I'd buy him getting a nearfall off of a lariat, but here it is. I mean, he wasn't quite Trauma I, but he was aiming for that level of intensity in a fired-up, high energy babyface performance. Damien did well, too. Not quite as intense as Jericho, but he got his licks in and broke out a great tope. There were some moments where they looked out of position for stuff, and this seems like a weird match to give a "what will it take to put him away" finishing stretch to, but all told, this was another match worth checking out. Maybe ECW actually was a great promotion, but nothing worth watching made TV.

Sabu vs Billy Black (4/12/96)

Well, this what you've all been waiting for isn't it? Your precious Billy Black match. Well guess what, motherfucker? The matchlist LIED! Instead, we go straight to....

Raven vs Axl Rotten (4/12/96)

Stevie Richards cuts a promo on Axl that I can't understand, and this prompts Axl to go to the back, only to return with Hack Myers, who spends the rest of the match chasing Richards and Meanie around the ring. Raven does a good job bumping around for Axl, but this still isn't anything special. The cameraman gets distracted by the Richards/Meanie/Myers Keystone Cops stuff and misses Raven suddenly winning somehow.

Sabu vs Billy Black (4/12/96)

OK, now we get this match, and it's...problematic. There's a lot to like about. We get a cute opening bit where Sabu is trying for takedowns again, and he does the point to the ceiling, and Black looks up where he's pointing, so Sabu tries to use that as a distraction and shoots in for another takedown, but Black sidesteps it and hits a nice elbowdrop. Black busts out a ton of great offense and takes some big bumps, and Sabu works stiff again, though not as stiff as he did against Jimmy Del Ray. But in general, he doesn't look nearly as on-point as he did against the Gigolo, while while some of his crazy shoot [sober ed: did I actually write "shoot" instead of "shit"?] looks great, a lot of it just looks sloppy or pointless. Sabu is a lot more willing to get "creative" in this match than he was in the Del Ray one. Up until now, there's been a nice motif going where the mutants will chant for something, but the wrestlers won't give it to them. Here, Sabu caves in and gives them a needlessly contrived table spot, and Black has to pretend to be comatose while the set piece is put together. Also, this is a very, very back and forth match. Not that that's a bad thing in and of itself, but it almost felt like the whole match was one big finishing stretch. I dunno...this had me, but it lost me.

2 Cold Scorpio vs Sabu (4/19/96)

Yeah, this had much the same problems as the Billy Black match. I think I liked this one a bit better, as Scorpio seemed to be aiming for something beyond "let's just do a lot of cool looking shit", but that just wasn't happening. Oh well. At least a lot of the cool looking shit looked cool.

Shane Douglas/Sandman vs Rob Van Dam/Billy Black (4/19/96)

Sandman makes an uncharacteristically brisk entrance to the ring. He matches up with Black really well. Wouldn't mind seeing that singles match. Unfortunately, the tag doesn't quite work. There's some good stuff here, but it is really structurally broken, as it doesn't seem to know what story it wants to tell. It's a dream partner match where Douglas chooses Sandman, but Sandman isn't keen on working with Douglas and seems to be making him earn his tag out. He gets it, but then Kimona Wannalea comes out and flirts with the ostensibly babyface Douglas, and Shane falls so thoroughly under her spell that he completely forgets about the match. Out of nowhere, it goes from "Douglas has to earn Sandman's respect" to "Douglas is an unreliable tag partner", and it's really jarring. Sorry, guys, but it doesn't work that way. You pick a story for the match and stick to it. If you want to develop that story, it has to make some kind of sense. This doesn't. Maybe I was right about ECW the first time.

Devon Storm vs Taz (5/4/96)

I think it would be a bit generous to call this a "match". Let's just call it a night, instead


Blogger World Famous Psycho Chicken said...

I do not know what happened with the Black match. I suspect that he was really determined to get a spot in ECW and Sabu let him do as he pleased.You do not appreciate the structure Sabu matches have til you see the ones without it.

I know what the problem with the Scorpio match was.

1. Scorp and Sabu want to have a unique match every show. That is admirable of them.

2. But they have to go to a thirty minute draw. Because Sabu is not losing and ccorp og is tv champ.

3. They do not have thirty minutes of a brand new match in them.

I did like how they built to the table spot. Which was a holy shit spot. But really that should of ended things right there. They go in and abu spikes Scorp on a chair and again it should of ended things.

Jericho bfore the WWF was really stiff he alays looked like he was taking somebodies head off.

I like watching Devon Storm get choked out by Taz. I imagine him holding back tears and hoping some day Taz will be fat and he can have his revenge.


1:13 AM  

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