Retro Review – ECW Wrestlepalooza 1998


Taz comes out. “Shut the music.” Taz says he’s the uncrowned champion and demands Douglas hand over the title… For some reason. When Douglas declines, he eats a punch and gets choked out. Taz is restrained by officials and out comes Bam Bam Bigelow. Bigelow and Taz brawl until Taz is restrained again and cuffed. He’s placed inside a car outside the arena and he kicks out the window(!) before the car drives out. 

Back in the ring, Douglas sells his injury and also sports a bloody mouth. 

Bam Bam stays back in the ring and, fuck me, New Jack comes out. Fuck New Jack and fuck his AWFUL WWE Network entrance song. I get they couldn’t get Natural Born Killaz (amazing song), but this new track is rubbish. 

4) Bam Bam Bigelow vs New Jack  

New Jack enters the ring with a trash bin full of weapons. Bam Bam takes control early. Standard “New Jack” wrestling. Outside the ring, New Jack takes two chair shots to the head and juices. Bam Bam flings classroom chairs (IE: metal legs, non-folding) at New Jack with FULL force. 

New Jack looks absolutely out of it. His eyes are glassy and vacant. He’s so fucked that security CARRIES him to the next spot…. Which is him JUMPING OFF THE SECOND STORY WALKWAY to hit Bam Bam with a guitar. Despite taking the guitar shot, Bam Bam is first to his feet because… Yeah, New Jack is done.

Bam Bam carries Jack to the ring and delivers the safest Greetings From Asbury Park possible. Three count, Bam Bam wins. Post match, Bam Bam throws a trash bin at New Jack.

*. Horrible. Just disgusting stuff. I do think New Jack has his place in wrestling but this was wretched to watch. Bam Bam was no better either the way he stiffed Jack with those chairs. At least it was short. 

Video Package for Dudley’s vs Dreamer Sandman

Back in the ring, we’re going to get a Joel Gertner promo, Yes! But it’s cut off by the Sandman’s music, No! The Sandman has a smoke and he, along with Dreamer and Beulah, have a beer. Faces have their backs to the heels as they drink by the crowd on the outside and yeah…. the heels just watch. On the ring apron, Dreamer drinks some beers off Beulah’s tits… Heels still just watching. Long ass entrance. 

5) Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley (w/ Joel Gertner, Sign Guy, and Big Dick Dudley) vs Tommy Dreamer and the Sandman (w/ Beulah McGillicutty)

Man, just a bunch of fat dudes in the ring (aside from D-Von). Match begins w/ heels having beer spit into their faces and a botched double team clothesline on Big Dick. Brawling ensues. Nice top rope hangman’s neck breaker from Dreamer to D-Von. 

Sandman tosses a link of guardrail into the ring. Bad idea as he takes a bump onto the guardrail and… ah… he’s stretchered out. Whatever. 

Heels work over Dreamer. Lovely side suplex by D-Von. The most random failed “powder into the face” spot ever. More working over Dreamer. The Dudley’s were tagging in at one point but fuck it, now they’re just both in the ring. 

AWFUL missed con-chair-to by the Dudley’s. Crowd shits on it but I’m actually a little happy Dreamer didn’t take the blow. 

Spike Dudley enters! And he’s now a part of the match…. For some reason. Fun poetry in motion spot off Dreamer and Buh-Buh into D-Von. A bunch of heel and face interference. Sandman comes back with a neck brace. Disgusting chair shot to the head by Dreamer to Buh-Buh that’s in-sync with a cane shot to the head by Sandman to D-Von. Duel pins. Faces win. 

**1/4. Fat dudes doing garbage wrestling. Sandman is the absolute worst. Thank god he was gone for part of the match. No rules, just chaos. I don’t mind a good garbage match/brawl (see Credible v Whipwreck) but this was not very good. 

Rob Van Dam/Sabu video package. 

Bill Alfonso (who manages both men), cuts an interview back stage basically saying he won’t pick sides, and will simply stay with whoever wins the match. The camera work during this promo is absolutely seizure inducing. Why would either guy want him there if he could potentially double cross them? 

6) RVD vs Sabu

I have no idea who’s suppose to be heel and face in this match. They both “behave badly” but have crowd pleasing offense. They’re both also managed by heel Fonzy. Also, fuck Fonzy and his awful whistle gimmick.

Typical RVD staling to start (though he’s actually quite funny as the cocky, airhead heel). “Stand off” wrestling. 

RVD cuts an egotist promo, saying he won’t fight his partner. Sabu opts for the quick double cross and goes on offense. RVD turns the tide and goes to work on Sabu’s leg. A little submission wrestling as RVD puts Sabu in the surfboard and then a poor looking half crab. 

RVD goes to the outside to set up a table and eats a suicide dive for his troubles. Sabu places RVD on the table but RVD rolls off as Sabu botches a dive to the outside. 

Throughout the match, Fonzy shows subtle support for one guy over the other. He places a chair in front of Sabu’s face but then removes it when RVD goes to deliver a kick. 

This a long match with a lot of spots but on 6 or 7 occasions, Sabu just throws a chair in RVD’s face. 

RVD hits the Van Daminator. Kick out. 5-star frog splash. Kick out. 

Sabu hits a triple jump leg drop. Kick out. There’s a lovely monkey flip where Sabu lands on a chair. Kick out. 

Sabu places a table into the ring and it just breaks. 

RVD returns the favor and throws a chair in Sabu’s face. 5-star through a table! And, um, Sabu barely sells it.  Sabu takes a double under-hook face plant. Kick out. More near falls. 

The bell rings. 30-minute time limit draw. Did I miss the part where there was a 30 minute time limit? Heels bicker and RVD sneaks off with the title. 

****. Really fun match and both guys work hard. A little more storytelling would have been nice as the spots were hot and heavy. There were a few botches but considering the match went a half hour, it’s forgivable. Thumbs up. 

A Douglas backstage interview. Talks his injuries and how he’s still going to compete but won’t promise victory… what a heel. At least he puts over the tile. 

A Douglas video package… That mentions Al Snow near the end. 

Trending Stories