ECW Legacy: EXTREME Lucha Libre
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ECW Legacy: Extreme Lucha Libre
Your hosts are Joey Styles and Tazz.
- Little Guido (w/The FBI) vs. Super Crazy vs. Tajiri (w/The Sinister Minister & Mikey Whipwreck) – Three Way Dance (ECW One Night Stand, 6/12/05)
This would be a short tribute to the great three-way dance at arguably one of ECW’s best PPVs from top to bottom: Anarchy Rulz 1999. Not sure why they didn’t show that match instead, but this is what we get. Three way dance of course means elimination rules instead of a triple-threat where one fall wins the match. Joey Styles and Mick Foley are on commentary. Tajiri dumps Guido, but takes a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Super Crazy. If I remember correctly, this is Super Crazy’s WWE debut and one that landed him a job until late 2008. Tajiri comes back with a handspring elbow. In comes Guido, who tilt-a-whirls Tajiri down into a Fujiwara armbar. Super Crazy breaks that up and hits a standing moonsault on Guido for a one-count. Crazy rolls through a sunset flip and catches Little Guido with a dropkick. He continues to rule the ring and dropkicks Tajiri to the floor for something off the ropes, but Tony Mamaluke trips Crazy up for the SICILIAN SLICE. Cover, 1-2-NO! To the floor, Crazy reverses a whip on Guido into the guardrail. They head out through the crowd where Super Crazy does his moonsault off the balcony onto Guido and the FBI. E-C-DUB! Back inside, Tajiri applies the Tarantula on Crazy. Crazy delivers the ten-count punch and the crowd responds with the traditional ten count in Spanish. Now Guido’s back in, but he’s down on the mat. The FBI trip up Crazy and pull him crotch-first into the ringpost. Tracy Smothers, JT Smith and Tony Mamaluke pull him out and proceed to beat the heck out of him while Big Guido heads into the ring for some sort of doomsday device on Tajiri, but when Big Guido lifts Tajiri up he sprays Little Guido with GREEN MIST~! Sinister Minister (James Mitchell) runs in and jimmy-taps Big Guido in the ol’ Stromboli. Tajiri Kick wipes out Big Guido for good. In comes Tracy Smothers, he receives the same. Meanwhile with Little Guido still out of it on the top turnbuckle, a portly Mikey Whipwreck comes in and delivers a SUPER WHIPPER SNAPPER to Guido! Tajiri covers for 1-2-3 at 4:00. Now we get Tajiri vs. Super Crazy. Crazy takes a backdrop to the apron, but fires back on Tajiri and delivers a springboard moonsault for two. Tajiri counters a powerbomb with a DDT for two. “Super Crazy” chants go up in the Hammerstein Ballroom. Crazy hits two of his Three Consecutive Moonsaults off the bottom and middle ropes. Whipwreck interrupts the third and final Moonsault that usually finishes. Crazy ducks the BUZZSAW KICK and drills Tajiri with a powerbomb so he can hit that third Moonsault off the top rope for 1-2-3. (6:05) Nice little tribute, but the original is much better and lasted much longer. **½
- Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji vs. bWo Japan (TAKA Michinoku, Men’s Teioh & Dick Togo) – (ECW Barely Legal, 4/13/97)
From ECW’s first PPV, they went all out and got some of the best cruiserweights from Japan never before seen here in the states from Michinoku Pro. This is the equivalent of when ROH brought in some of the Dragon Gate guys for the first time in the US back in 2006 and they absolutely tore the house down. There’s no way to possibly do absolute strict PBP by here considering the action is so fast and furious, so this is a case where I’ll have to hit the high notes and leave it at that. Otherwise, this match would be a 1,000+ words by itself. I mean, who wants to read all that? First off, I’ll run down who these guys are in case you aren’t familiar with them. Great Sasuke is a masked cruiserweight and one of the best of the ’90s who had absolutely amazing matches with the likes of Chris Benoit, Jushin Liger, Ultimo Dragon, and Shinjiro Ohtani among others throughout the decade. He is the founder and owner of Michinoku Pro and shortly after this show, made a deal with Vince McMahon and the WWF where he put over TAKA Michinoku which led to TAKA being crowned as the WWF Light Heavyweight champion in late 1997. Gran Hamada is the oldest one of the six men here. He was one of the first Japanese wrestlers to master the lucha libre style and became one of the most decorated light heavyweight champions throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Masato Yakushiji was a young up and coming wrestler with a lot of heart and became a staple of the Michinoku Pro roster. You know the kind. And then there’s the bWo Japan. The parody of the WCW’s nWo Japan group filled with New Japan heavyweights Masa Chono, Great Muta and Hiroyoshi Tenzan among others. TAKA Michinoku, as we mentioned earlier, went on to capture the WWF Light Heavyweight title in a revival of the division as a counter to WCW’s success with cruiserweights. You may remember his time spent in the WWF more for the KAIENTAI group best known for chopping off Val Venis’s penis (“I choppy choppy your pee pee!”) or having their voiced dubbed over with the English language during their promos. Dick Togo and Men’s Teioh (aka Terry Boy for his love of Terry Funk) were also part of the early KAIENTAI days in the WWF. Most of the match bWo Japan works over the youngster Yakushiji. Very entertaining heat segment I might add. The threesome seem to have no chance against the well-oiled bWo Japan machine. After a botched triple-team powerbomb on Sasuke, he manages to counter that by shoving Michinoku and Togo back and ranas Terry Boy for two. And here’s where it all begins to fall apart for bWo Japan. Sasuke wipes out Terry Boy and Michinoku with a quebrada and then knocks Togo to the floor with a handspring elbow for an ASAI MOONSAULT! In the ring, Terry Boy counters a top-rope Frankensteiner from Hamada with an inverted atomic drop. Hamada rolls out and he’s met with a Running Springboard Plancha from Michinoku. Yakushiji tries to finish off Terry Boy with moonsaults, but can’t get it done. Terry Boy comes back with a Swinging DDT on Yakushiji and delivers MIRACLE ECSTASY (chokebomb) for 1-2-NO! In comes Hamada and Togo. Hamada delivers a Leaping Swinging DDT out of the corner for 1-2-NO! Togo blocks a hurracanrana with a powerbomb and heads up top for his FLYING SENTON, but Sasuke breaks it up. That allows Hamada to hit the Top Rope Frankensteiner he wanted earlier. With everybody out on the floor but Yakushiji, he nails Togo with a suicide dive! In the ring, TAKA lands a springboard dropkick to the back of Sasuke’s head. That sets up the MICHINOKU DRIVER for 1-2-NO! Sasuke dropkicks Michinoku while he’s in mid-air and lands a quebrada press for 1-2-NO! Now Sasuke has TAKA right where he wants him, so he hits TAKA with a Thunder Fire Powerbomb that leads right into the Tiger Suplex for the 1-2-3! (16:56) This would go in my top three of the best matches of ECW. It’s not a company that had a LOT of great matches in my opinion, but they hit a definite home run with this match. ****¾
- Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero – 2/3 Falls (ECW Hardcore TV, 8/26/95)
Ugh, it’s missing a good chunk of the first fall! While both men fought consistently over the ECW TV title, there’s no titles on the line here as this was their final match in ECW before they leave for WCW. We JIP to Malenko stretching Guerrero out with a modified bow and arrow lock on the mat. Malenko changes over to an STF. Eddie makes the ropes and we’re back to a standing position. Malenko kicks Eddie during a knucklelock and snapmares him over for a stomp to the face. Guerrero returns the favor and sends Malenko to the floor. Back in, Guerrero pokes Malenko in the eye and delivers an overhead release belly to belly suplex for two. Enziguri gets another two for Eddie. Superplex connects for 1-2-NO! He follows up with a beautiful tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. From there, they get into a backslide battle. Malenko flips Eddie over the top of him and gets rolled up for 1-2-3 at 4:22 shown. (Guerrero – 1 | Malenko – 0) After a short break, Malenko goes right after the knee with a low dropkick. Eddie shakes it off and hits a German suplex for two. Another low dropkick takes Eddie off his feet. Malenko works a leg hook until Guerrero reaches the ropes. Eddie tries a float over out of the corner, but Malenko is ready waiting for an Alabama slam. Stuff like that bothers me about Malenko – makes him appear too mechanical which takes away some of his believability. And yet, you can also argue that Malenko knows what Guerrero is going to do after their lengthy series of matches as well. TEXAS CLOVERLEAF earns Malenko the second fall at 7:15. (Malenko – 1 | Guerrero – 1) Guerrero takes a breather on the floor during the commercial break. And now the third and final fall begins. Malenko hits a brainbuster for two. Jumping shin kick puts Eddie on the floor where Malenko whips him into the guardrail. Back inside, Malenko BLASTS Guerrero with a forearm. Tiger Bomb gets 1-2-NO! Malenko places Eddie on the top turnbuckle, but Guerrero hammers down on Dean and delivers a Tornado DDT. Slow cover gets two. Brainbuster sets up the FROG SPLASH for 1-2-NO! Eddie cannot believe it. What more can he do to beat Malenko? Hurracanrana gets 1-2-NO! Sunset flip powerbomb gets 1-2-NO! Malenko shoves off a second Tornado DDT and hits the Fireman’s Carry Gutbuster! Cover, 1-2-NO! Eddie hooks a torso rollup for 1-2-NO! Malenko delivers an O’Connor and bridges back, but his shoulders are down too! That gets the double-pin and no winner is declared. (13:35 shown) And the ECW crowd isn’t even mad, they show these two their utmost appreciation for both men and their work. A classic match that took all the great moves and elements of their previous encounters and wrapped them all into one match. ****¼ for what’s here, but I need to see the entire first fall for a final decision.
- Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera – 2/3 Falls (ECW Big A** Extreme Bash, 3/9/96)
From my Juventud Guerrera Mixtape: As the pre-match graphic would suggest, this match will be fought under EXTREME lucha libre rules. That means anything goes! In their short careers, Juvi and Rey have feuded in both Mexico (naturally) and Japan. Now they have brought the feud to the states in the only American company that could possibly contain them: ECW! Juventud had beaten Mysterio in this same type of match on the first night of this two-day event. This was the match that always gets the most attention. Mysterio wants to shake hands at the start. Juvi spits in the face of people who want to shake hands. Rey tries stretching out Juvi once they lock up while Juvi knows to work the legs because this kid can FLY. Mysterio delivers a hurracanrana out of the corner for two. Short rollup sequence leads to a stalemate. Juvi plays the jerk by lifting his hands up just out of Rey’s reach for a test of strength. Monkey flips abound. Guerrera blows the first spot by trying a wheelbarrow into a reach around rollup into the ropes. Rey Mysterio is just too small for that. Rey counters a tilt-a-whirl into a hurracanrana for two. Satellite headscissors puts Juvi on the floor. Rey fake dives, but then kicks Juventud back and delivers a split-legged moonsault! Back in, Mysterio gives Guerrera a sunset flip powerbomb for two. Juventud puts a stop to any further offense from Rey for a while with a great brainbuster. He follows up with a springboard somersault kick. WHAT. Dragon Suplex gets 1-2-3! Juventud wins the first fall at 5:36. (Guerrera – 1 | Mysterio – 0) After a 30-second rest period, Mysterio shoots into the ring from the floor right at Juventud. Rey snaps off an amazing hurracanrana for two. Juventud misses a corner charge and rolls out. With Juvi on the apron, Mysterio flies from the top for a hurracanrana to the floor! Kind of botchy though. Rey isn’t finished though. He leaps off ref John Finnegan to nail Juventud with a somersault plancha! Styles says Rey should go to the Olympics in Atlanta for gymnastics. He thinks better of it though by saying that Mysterio wouldn’t want to go to Atlanta. Oh Joey, you could not be more wrong. Back inside, Mysterio delivers a sitout powerbomb and an Asai Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Juvi comes back with a clothesline and some stiff kicks, but then tries a crossbody out of the corner and leaps into a dropkick. Doctorbomb gives the second fall to Mysterio at 9:07. (Guerrera – 1 | Mysterio – 1) Much like Rey at the beginning of the second fall, Juvi charges at Mysterio with a dropkick and then proceeds to dropkick Mysterio off the top rope to put him on the floor. Juventud tosses Rey into the crowd and pulls the guardrail closer to the ring so he can give Rey an ASAI MOONSAULT IN THE CROWD! Chants of “ECW” go up. Styles ~ “You can almost smell the hatred.” Huh? In the ring, Guerrera delivers a Springboard Leg Lariat for 1-2-NO! Springboard somersault legdrop misses. Juventud shoves off a second hurracanrana out of the corner, but flies into a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Rey misses a second springboard moonsault, so Juventud gives him a press into a fallaway slam. Well that was different. Cover, 1-2-NO! Rey fights back with a jumping leg lariat. Juvi escapes to the floor, but gets nailed with a baseball slide into a headscissors. Since they’re in ECW and fighting through the crowd is nearly a must, that’s what they do. ECW Hat Guy hands Rey a chair to smash in Juventud’s face. That staggers Juvi long enough for Rey to deliver a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT PLANCHA INTO THE CROWD! Is there anything this guy won’t do? Seriously, this is when Rey was cool. Not like now, where he gets squashed by guys bigger than him and still beats them. Next, they head right outside the front door (which looks like a side door if you’ve ever been to the ECW arena) where Juventud powerbombs Rey on a Ford Taurus! Not even that will stop Rey though, as he jumps off the hood of the car and takes Guerrera over with a headscissors on the concrete. Now they head back to the ring where Rey makes Juvi wear a steel chair around his neck. The crowd wants tables and Rey looks like he wants to oblige the fans. In the ring, Juventud launches Rey up to the top rope for Splash Mountain, but Rey counters into a hurracanrana for 1-2-3! (Mysterio – 2 | Guerrera – 1 | 16:07) Just to show the fans that he hasn’t forgotten their request, Rey gives Juventud a powerbomb through the table after the match. Minimal screw-ups and awesome spots is about all you can ask from lucha libre matches. This was both of those things. It also makes me want to check out the 2/3 falls Mysterio/Psicosis match from October 1995 in ECW, which I don’t believe I’ve ever fully seen. Nevertheless, this was the swan song on the short-lived careers in ECW for both men as Eric Bischoff would come calling with more money for more talent. Rey Mysterio would debut at the Great American Bash in June while Juventud Guerrera would make his WCW debut two months later in our next match. ***¾
Joey Styles puts over Rey Mysterio as the most recognized luchadore in wrestling history. Tazz closes the show with the comment that the Big A** Extreme Bash was named after Tommy Dreamer’s following, not Tommy Dreamer the man. I get it, his following. Good stuff.
Final Thoughts: OH yeah. Even if you dislike ECW and have love for the cruiserweights, you should watch all of this as everything here is phenomenal and ground breaking for its time. Well, maybe not the opener here, but it was still fun to watch. Thumbs up for ECW Legacy: EXTREME Lucha Libre.
Posted on June 5, 2009, in ECW and tagged Big Guido, bWo Japan, Dean Malenko, Dick Togo, Eddie Guerrero, Gran Hamada, Great Sasuke, James Mitchell, JT Smith, Juventud Guerrera, Little Guido, Masato Yakushiji, Men's Teioh, Mikey Whipwreck, Rey Mysterio, Super Crazy, Tajiri, Taka Michinoku, The FBI, Tracy Smothers. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.