On This Day: February 21, 1998 – ECW Cyberslam 1998:

Cyberslam 1998
Date: February 21, 1998
Location: ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentator: Joey Styles

I downloaded this like three months ago and never got around to reviewing it. I also have the 99 version and November to Remember 1995 which is allegedly the best ECW show ever and I’ll be getting to those this week I hope. Anyway, this is the internet convention or whatever and it’s basically just a really big house show. As you all know I’m not that fond of ECW’s PPV years so let’s get to it.

Don’t like the company, still dig that freaking theme song.

We start with the ring filling up for a ten bell salute to Louie Spicolli who died 6 days before this show. Whoa wait: DROZ worked for ECW? Heyman talks about how there’s a group that talks about being a member of it for life. It’s a nice marketing line but in ECW that’s reality. This show is dedicated to Louie Spicolli and there’s a Louie chant. Ten bell salute goes off.

Danny Doring vs. Jerry Lynn

Lynn is “Dynamic” here. Was he ever not old? Even here he’s 35. Technical stuff to start and Doring struts a bit, which is called the Dastardly Shuffle by Joey. Dang those fans are loud. Lynn makes fun of the Shuffle and we get into some technical stuff. Roadkill trips Lynn but Doring misses a bottom rope (yes bottom rope) elbow. Rather back and forth stuff here as Lynn takes over again.

Suplex gets two and a headbutt misses to let Doring take over again. On the floor Roadkill and Doring mess up and the heels go into the crowd. Lynn is like cool dude and gets a running start off the apron and dives over the railing with a flip dive to take them both out. Lynn misses a middle rope leg drop and Doring takes over again. Tiger Bomb gets two for Doring but he might have hurt his elbow.

The distraction lets Roadie come in and hit a walk the top rope (AmishTaker according to Joey) elbow which the referee misses somehow. Doring of course has to be a jerk and wastes time so it’s only a two count. Doring puts him on top and Lynn hits a sunset bomb for the pin out of nowhere. Oh apparently Doring is afraid of heights. Got it. Makes limited sense but got it.

Rating: C. Meh match here but it wasn’t bad. Lynn is solid in the ring but Doring is just a wrestler and not that interesting in the slightest. Nothing match here but that doesn’t mean it was bad. They needed more to work with and Doring needs WAY more charisma, which he wouldn’t really get. Decent enough opener though.

Al Snow vs. Tracy Smothers

Al is in the middle of the push of a lifetime which would ultimately fail because Shane Douglas HAD to lose the title to Taz and NO ONE ELSE so Al’s push was wasted but whatever. Tracy is part of the FBI and is more or less a comedy character. The fans do the mannequin head rave thing. The entrance is taking forever. The ring is full of the heads now.

And now let’s keep the rave thing going and START THE SONG AGAIN. Snow clears the ring and shakes the head a lot. Somehow there’s a chair in the ring and we go through the introductions. All of Smothers’ entourage get introductions also. And let’s stall some more now. The bell has already rung by the way. The FBI leaves and Snow stays in the ring. And now there are birds chirping. Snow’s entrance started 8 minutes ago.

The bell rings again and we still haven’t had any contact here. AND THEY STALL AGAIN. They haven’t even touched each other yet, nor have they been in the ring alone more than 5 seconds in a row. Now the fans want pizza. Even free pizza couldn’t make this interesting. Hey they’re in the ring at the same time. HE LOCKED UP WITH HIM! There’s a Guido’s Polish chant.

Snow grabs the head again and I want a grilled cheese. I’d rather listen to the music video called Grilled Cheese from the new Looney Tunes Show than keep watching this “match.” Don’t ask why I know it’s on or anything. Just forget I said that actually. Smothers is on the floor again as we’re well over fifteen minutes into this segment now counting intros. Joey is making fun of the Godfather to kill time. Not the wrestler. The movie. We’ve sunk that low.

Snow stops to touch the mannequin again as the ring is filled with smoke for some reason. Did Van Dam get lost under the ring or something? Guido pulls the top rope down and we go to the floor to waste some time. The fans want to know where the fire is. We actually GET SOME WRESTLING and as average as it is, this is a breath of freaking air. Tommy Rich comes in with an Italian flag shot to change the momentum again.

Out to the floor and the FBI double teams Snow. You know if I told you Al Snow vs. Tracy Smothers was going to get twenty minutes in a segment with no signs of stopping, I might be tempted to say that show is going to suck. Double team in the ring now but it’s ECW so that’s all cool. Oh sweet merciful toothpaste it’s a chinlock. The Italian hits a…no screw that. I’m not wasting one of my signature lines on a twenty three minute (so far) Tracy Smothers match.

Sitout powerbomb gets two for Snow. Guido interferes AGAIN and a leg lariat gets two for Smothers. Snow starts his comeback and hits a moonsault for two. He sends Smothers to the outside and this a top rope moonsault onto all three Italians. Chair to the head slows him down a bit. Oh good night now the referee is bumped. EVERYTHING IS NO DISQUALIFICATION! WHY DO YOU NEED TO BUMP THE REFEREE???

The crooked referee Jeff Jones comes out and is in a WWF referee shirt and hat. Everyone beats on Al as Jones is like this is cool with me. Naturally four grown men and a flag stick beating on you for a minute is nothing though as Snow grabs the head and blasts everyone with it. Tommy Rich is bleeding. Snow Plow for all the heels and a top rope head shot to Tracy’s balls ends this.

Rating: I. As in if you don’t know what I thought of this match, go play in traffic. Like immediately. Let me put this in perspective. This match/segment got 32 minutes in total. The original Hell in a Cell match, as in probably the best match the Undertaker has ever had and one of the most violent matches ever, got thirty from bell to bell. Just let that sink in for a bit.

Doug Furnas vs. Chris Chetti

Furnas is “from the WWF”, complete with a manager dressed like Vince carrying a big WWF flag. That being said, he comes out to Sad But True which was one of the first rock songs I ever got into so I can’t say he’s not making me smile a bit. Actually I can say that, but it’s a figure of speech. You get the idea I’m sure. They go to the mat almost immediately and the fans applaud. Gee that’s nice of them.

Chetti gets some clotheslines but a rana is blocked by a powerbomb. Furnas starts in on the back and yells at the fans some. Into a Liontamer and Chetti takes a beating for awhile. Belly to belly superplex gets two. The fans chant boring so Chetti hits a DDT and a double jump moonsault for the pin. Even Joey sounds shocked.

Rating: D+. Nothing to see here. Chetti wasn’t anything until he hooked up with Nova a few years later. This was just there to get Chetti on the card I guess. It kind of sucks that he wasn’t interesting in the slightest. Furnas had a good look but no one cared about it. The WWF invader thing didn’t help him either.

The Vince look-a-like says Furnas is property of the WWF and he’s not thrilled with that. Furnas raises Chetti’s hand and almost kills the manager (Mr. Wright).

Joey welcomes us to the show…an hour into it. He talks about a dream partner tag match on Sunday where the tag champions will both pick mystery partners and face each other. Chris Candido is picking Shane Douglas but Storm won’t say who he’s picking. Joey brings out the Triple Threat (ECW’s version of the Horsemen but with better looking women) to try to get some answers.

This incarnation is Douglas, Candido and Bigelow. They even have hand signals. Shane…just get over it dude. Sunny is hotter than it should be legal to be. This was during Shane’s RIDICULOUS title reign that I still say is what killed the promotion. Shane won the title and him dropping it to Taz was more or less set in stone. Then Shane got hurt and he kept the title an extra SIX MONTHS so he could drop it to Taz. The problem was that by the time he finally did it, Taz’s heat was gone and the title change meant nothing. Shane held the title for all of 1998 so him talking about Taz here wouldn’t be paid off for nearly a year.

Shane talks down to Taz about his TV Title as apparently the Triple Threat hasn’t been around long. Well at least this incarnation hasn’t. Shane wants to know who Storm’s partner is but Candido says it doesn’t matter. Sunny knows who the partner is but won’t tell anyone. Apparently there are a lot of secrets she has from Candido and they get in an argument. This of course was a fake fight and they would be reunited at the PPV when Sunny was the partner for about a minute. The REAL partner (I think) was AL Snow.

Lance Storm vs. Chris Candido

They’re tag champions and they HATE each other. For no apparent reason Candido does a full entrance here. All Storm to start and a baseball slide puts Chris in the fans. Big plancha takes Candido out further. DOWN GOES SIGN GUY!!! The fans of course like Sunny more than anyone else and can you blame them? Candido fires off some chops to get some WOOs going.

Storm misses Candido and almost hits his face on the buckle. Close enough I guess as he sells it anyway. Delayed vertical is countered but Candido gets a neckbreaker for no cover. He’d rather pose a bit instead. Off to a chinlock which doesn’t last long. Storm tries to make his comeback but gets caught in a release powerslam. Storm comes back with chops as there are fans dressed as Bigelow and Sabu.

Big spinwheel kick puts Chris down again as does a dropkick which gets two. Storm misses a jump though and gets crotched on the top. Belly to back superplex gets two for Candido. Northern lights suplex gets two. Powerbomb doesn’t work and Storm gets a kick to take over. Candido fires off a super rana but he delays in covering again so it’s only two. They go the top again and Storm fights back and hits the Blonde Bombshell (top rope powerbomb and Candido’s finisher) for the pin.

Rating: C. Eh not bad and WAY better than anything else tonight, but just kind of there. These two feuded forever and had much better matches but this was ok. I’d rather have just looked at Sunny for the ten minutes they had for the match though. Not much and the whole Candido/Sunny issues went nowhere.

TV Title: Brakkus vs. Taz

Brakkus is more or less an American version of Rob Terry and is also “a WWF guy”. Actually he was in WWF for awhile and did nothing at all. Taz takes him down almost immediately and hits the crossface punches. Brakkus hits a powerbomb and his manager Droz sets up a table. Another powerbomb hits but the powerslam through the table is countered into a suplex through it. Gorilla press is countered into a Tazplex and the Tazmission ends this quick. Taz would lose the title Sunday to Bigelow in the match where they broke the ring.

Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer

First blood here. Dreamer in a gimmick match that makes things more violent? Who would have seen that coming? Justin has been talking about Tommy’s family apparently. Oh and they’re having a regular match Sunday. Of course they are. One great thing about these old ECW shows: Beaulah. She is freaking gorgeous on all levels. Dreamer brings a trashcan lid with him because that’s how he rolls.

Out to the floor almost immediately as the fans make fun of Nicole Bass. She’s Justin’s bodyguard if that clears anything up. Dreamer hits a slingshot into a chair into the post. So what was the point of the chair if the post was already back there? Cactus Clothesline over the railing by Dreamer puts them both into the crowd. Time to walk around the arena like in every big ECW brawl.

We’re already on our third chant that implies Bass is a male. Jason, Justin’s uh…..friend I guess, interferes and a reverse DDT puts Dreamer down. The chair gets wedged between the top two ropes and Dreamer goes head first into it. Justin suplexes him onto the chair which doesn’t really hurt the head. Then again no one accused Justin of being all that intelligent.

A second suplex is countered and here comes Dreamer. Neckbreaker out of the corner still doesn’t work on the head at all. Beaulah and Jason have a quick argument in the ring which results in the referee taking a road sign shot to the head. Death Valley Driver puts Justin down as the fans chant Louie. DDT onto the chair but still no blood.

Time for the barbed wire and Tommy wraps it around himself. Seriously, does no one in ECW think these things through? A splash off the top hits Justin and Dreamer is in agony. And here’s RVD with a top rope kick to put a trashcan into the head of Dreamer. Barbed wire into his head plus a trashcan to the barbed wire wrapped around Dreamer’s head busts him open. A tombstone kills Beaulah and the referee wakes up in time to see Dreamer’s blood to end this.

Rating: D+. Just a weak match here that for the most part had no psychology at all. The run in made no sense but I guess it’s something that you need to watch the TV show to get. Also, what’s the point in having a gimmick match a week before a regular match? Either way, nothing of note here and just your usual brawl in ECW.

Jason gets beaten up with barbed wire post match and Dreamer chokes him with it for a bit.

Here are the Dudleys who aren’t the tag champions at the moment. We do get the always funny Joel Gertner entrance. Apparently the Dudleys just got back from Japan and they’re now the United States Intercontinental TV Western States Heritage Tag Team Champions. Gertner does the entrances, saying that he delivers more package than UPS. Apparently Big Dick Dudley has damaged more hotels than the entire US Hockey Team.

D-Von is getting jiggy with it before your very eyes and is very muscular apparently and is the Super Cruiserweight Champion of the World. Ok then. Bubba is the chairman of the Dudleyville Olympic Committee. These things take forever but they’re always funny. Joel says this is the gold, now send in the silver and the bronze. Good line.

Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney/Axl Rotten/Sandman

Rotten and Mahoney come out in like a minute. Sandman’s should take roughly four….except he’s coming through the entrance like a normal wrestler. I’m not sure what to make of that. Somehow the entrance still takes nearly five minutes. Bubba is still a country hick and he talks down to Sandman a bit. He wants to wrestle so he gets caned in the head.

The brawl begins of course and Big Dick (the third Dudley) can’t be hurt by kendo stick shots. Instead he hits a chokeslam to Sandman and pounds away a bit. This is one of those matches where it’s just a wild brawl with no real coherence or anything like that. The Dudleys are in control here other than D-Von who is having issues with Axl. Balls hammers on Bubba as well as Sandman crashes to the floor. Oh that was an “elbow drop”. Got it.

Bubba vs. Balls in the ring at the moment. Superkick puts the future Bully down but Bubba manages a superplex of all things. We’ve got a cheese grater to the head of Rotten and he’s busted now. D-Von is beating on him now. There’s no tagging or semblance of order if for some reason you’re confused and were expecting some.

Mahoney is thrown into the crowd for a bit. All three Dudleys put him on a table while his partners are in the ring and down. Bubba goes up on some stage to dive off…and here’s New Jack. He clocks Bubba with a chair and dives onto Balls instead. Spike Dudley and Kronus are in the ring now and it’s a 9 man triple threat tag team match now. Sure, why not?

Dudley Boys vs. Balls Mahoney/Axl Rotten/Sandman vs. Spike Dudley/John Kronus/New Jack

New Jack’s song plays throughout the match even though Spike and Sandman are the only guys in the ring. Spike gets a bunch of two counts off various small person offense. Sandman goes to the floor but Spike misses a baseball slide. Kronus is busted. Balls is busted. You can make your own jokes there. A standing version of the move that would become known as What’s Up hits New Jack.

The most famous combination of the Dudley Boys sets for the 3D on New Jack but Jack falls down. The big brawl is still going here but it’s far slower. Granted they’ve been fighting for over ten minutes, but why are the new guys so tired? Kronus and Sandman both work on Big Dick. Lucky. It’s table time but it’s not set up. Pretty much just random punches with an occasional weapon being used.

Mahoney gets a belly to back suplex on Spike and sets for a moonsault through the table. Spike pops up and gets something like a tornado DDT through the table to Balls. Axl hits a REALLY inverted reverse DDT to eliminate Spike’s team. Yes this is elimination now. Bubba calls for the 3D on Sandman but the partners interfere. Something resembling a Stun Gun onto a chair is enough for Sandman to pin Bubba and end this.

Rating: D+. I still don’t like these things but at the same time this wasn’t as bad as some of these got. The biggest issue of all is the time, as this ran nearly 20 minutes. Far too long but they kept it mostly entertaining. The extra three guys coming in helped as it energized things a bit. Not horrible but nothing we haven’t seen a few million times already.

Shane Douglas/Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Rob Van Dam/Sabu

Main event here and at least Francine is looking good. The entrances take a good while. And now we stall. Shane is starting for his team. Not sure on an opponent at the moment but Fonzie blows the whistle a lot. Ok so it’s Rob. He has his own whistle and gets into a whistling contest. Whistling while stalling? Larry would be proud (double rep to the first person to get this reference. It’s about Larry Zbyszko, but what makes this one special?)

Rob fires off strikes but Shane avoids all of them. Van Dam tries his split legged move but gets stomped on to give Shane a brief advantage. Rob takes over with a kick and it’s time to work on the arm. Now Shane works on the arm. Off to Sabu who throws on the one arm camel clutch. Both non Triple Threat guys hit slingshot legdrops which gets a total of two on Shane.

Back to the Clutch and let’s WHISTLE BABY! Or since it’s Fonzie let’s WHISTLE DADDY! Total domination of the champion so far. Rob suplexes him back into the ring after a quick trip to the apron which gets two. More Clutching and Rob adds a spin kick to the back. Rob struts and says WOO but his split legged moonsault eats knees. Hot tag to Bigelow and Van Dam is in trouble.

DDT gets two as Sabu has to save. Double underhook release powerbomb and a headbutt by Bigelow and it’s back to Douglas. You know because he did so well in the first five minutes right? His hair is untied now so he looks a bit more ticked off. Time for the chinlock but Rob escapes and brings in Sabu. Time for the weapons to come in as Shane is sent to the floor and popped with a chair to the back.

Back in the ring a butterfly suplex puts Sabu down and we get a pair of tags. Bigelow mauls Van Dam but Greetings From Asbury Park is broken up. Sabu kind of hits a dive to the floor to Shane as this is breaking down quickly. Van Dam manages a decent rana on Bigelow all things considered. Everyone is on the floor now and Bigelow rams Rob into the post. Shane crotches Sabu on it as well and the Triple Threat is in control.

Bigelow and Van Dam are in the crowd now with Bigelow dominating him. Rob fights out and hits something that the cameras mostly miss. Sabu and Van Dam hit what would be called Poetry in Motion but Sabu botches it and hits Shane in the balls instead of the chest. Top rope….something takes Bigelow down as the tagging has been completely forgotten by this point.

Shane ducks a kick to send Rob into the ropes. Bigelow throws Shane over the top into the other two guys to take them both down. Apparently there was a table in there but you couldn’t see it. They’re walking around now because they’ve used most of their spots now. Table is brought in by Bigelow but according to hardcore wrestling law #1, he goes through it. Van Daminator takes Shane down for two.

Everything slows down now as another table is brought in and they have to take their time to make sure their plan goes perfectly well. Sabu puts Shane on the table and he goes through it. I don’t mean Sabu did anything to put him through it. I mean the table couldn’t hold his weight. What do you think the fans think of that? Shane goes through another table head first (it was in the corner) but Bigelow saves again. Fonzie gets involved and Bigelow tosses him away. Greetings From Asbury Park out of nowhere to RVD ends this.

Rating: D+. The first half of this when it was a regular tag match was pretty decent but after that it just fell apart. These guys getting 23 minutes just wasn’t a good idea at all. If you cut off about 8 minutes of the brawling, this would be a pretty good match. Shane is so out of his element in brawls it’s unreal. I mean, he’s just a decent in ring wrestler. What place could he possibly have in a wrestling company?

Sabu and Van Dam tease brawling post match but that wouldn’t be for awhile if I remember correctly.

Overall Rating: D. Well this could have been a lot worse. It’s really not a horrible show but with a lot of the matches just being bizarre choices (I mean seriously, Snow vs. Smothers for HALF AN HOUR???) and some matches seemingly running out of ideas halfway through, it’s hard to get into this. Not horrible, but really just a big house show. Nothing wrong with that, but not very inspiring.

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