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MAR. 21 IN HISTORY: ECW Living Dangerously 15 years ago - Taz vs. Sabu title match, RVD-Lynn, Gangstas, more

Mar 21, 2014 - 9:21:22 AM
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This Day In Wrestling History - March 21

Date: March 21, 1999 (15 years ago)

Feature: ECW's Living Dangerously PPV (which is available on WWE Network) featured a main event of Taz vs. Sabu to unify the ECW Title and ECW FTW Title. The show also featured another round of Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn and the Gangstas exploding with New Jack vs. Mustafa. Overall, ECW was stale and in need of fresh ideas at the time...

Torch Back-Issue: PWTorch Newsletter #541.

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ECW Living Dangerously PPV
March 21, 1999
Asbury Park, N.J.
Report by Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


Steven Prazak interviewed Taz outside the arena. Taz said he would be going after Sabu's broken jaw like "stink on sh--." Taz asked if anybody thought he couldn't beat 50 year old Ric Flair. He called Steve Austin a great entertainer, but said he could beat him, Rocky Maivia, Mankind, or Hulk Hogan.

Joey Styles introduced the show from mid-ring without much fanfare. If ECW tried to create fanfare with fireworks, it would just pale compared to Nitro and especially compared to Raw, so it's smart to stick to a straight-forward opening. Styles said there would be no "predetermined draws" on this PPV in reference to the previous weekend's boxing match. He said because it was a sellout, people were turned away outside the arena.

(1) Super Crazy pinned Yoshihiro Tajiri at 9:52. (**3/4)

Backstage Bill Alfonso, Sabu, and Rob Van Dam talked about their upcoming matches later. Van Dam said that after Sabu beat Taz, "How is Rob Van Dam gonna carry all five belts (three of Sabu's and two of his own) and my partner, too." Sabu jumped in Van Dam's face, offended by the usual dis.

Steve Corino entered the ring and said that the two wrestlers in the previous match sucked. "I don't need to wrestle in a foreign land for you people to respect me," he said. He challenged someone to a fight. Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten came out.

(2) Balls Mahoney pinned Steve Corino in an impromptu match. (*1/2)

A video aired on the Dudley Boys. Paul Heyman, narrating, said the Dudleys "beat the pants off Perry Saturn, beat the citizenship off of Tanaka, and beat the extreme out of Sandman." Footage aired of Mr. Mustafa paying off the Dudleys for going after New Jack. Mustafa used cash, which left the door open for some comment by Styles about bounced checks. But that's probably a sensitive subject around those parts. A fan in the front row held up a sign that read, "Paul E. bounced my check." Heyman screamed while narrating the Mustafa-Dudleys feature, but screaming didn't make the explanation of the storyline any more compelling.

(3) Little Guido (w/Sal E. Graziano) beat Antifaz del Norte at 5:35 via submission. (*1/2)

(4) Rob Van Dam pinned Jerry Lynn at 21:20 during overtime to retain the ECW TV Title. The match lost some momentum in the three minutes leading to the 20 minute draw. They went a legitimate 20 minutes. Afterward, Lynn called for five more minutes even though the ECW ref was telling him he was going to award him the match. They wrestled another minute and Van Dam hit a frog splash and scored a clean three count. Good match. (***1/2)

Footage aired from earlier in the night of Jasmine St. Clair (with Lance Wright) declaring herself Queen of Wrestling. Francine walked out and confronted her. When Jasmine called her a "douche bag," Francine gave her a stunner. Jasmine sold it like she was shot. Francine then "came on" to Wright, but when she "got in position" by getting on her knees. She low-blowed him - not exactly what Lance had in mind.

(5) New Jack pinned Mr. Mustafa at 9:26. New Jack taped Mustafa to a table, then climbed to the top of upper deck. It was clever to use tape to help explain why Mustafa didn't move in the minute it took New Jack to get to his perch. New Jack dove off the balcony in the most memorable and dangerous spot of the show. ECW personnel checked on both wrestlers, neither of whom seemed crazy about the concept of standing up. Eventually they helped both Mustafa and New Jack back to the ring. New Jack draped his arm over Mustafa and the ref counted to three. Had it been a falls count anywhere match, they could have avoided that somewhat awkward finish. New Jack struggled to his feet and crossed his arms above his head to form an X. As they showed a replay of the balcony dive, Styles was quiet. Apparently someone in the back told Styles to talk because he said, "What the hell do you want me to say?" It did speak for itself. A mess of a match, but that was by design. It was a one-spot match. (*3/4)

The Dudleys came out and attacked New Jack. They then challenged anyone from the back to wrestle them.

(6) Spike Dudley & Super Nova beat Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley (w/Joel Gertner) when Spike pinned Buh Buh after the Acid Drop. Buh Buh tossed Spike into the crowd at the start of the match. The Dudleys doubled on Nova until ring announcer Bob Artese stepped in to cover "his friend." The Dudleys gave Bob a Dudley Death Drop. Buh Buh got on the mic and challenged any fans to fight them. Judge Jeff Jones came out with a stretcher and introduced Sid. Buh Buh got in Sid's face, but D-Von cowered. Buh Buh said, "For a country boy, you've got an awful pretty mouth." Fans chanted "Sid" as Sid beat up both Dudleys, ducking their clothesline and giving both a chokeslam at once. As Sid beat up D-Von on the rampway, Spike returned to the ring and gave Sid the Acid Drop for the win. The 90 seconds leading to the finish was a mess. It appeared somebody forgot a spot or they couldn't get the timing right. After the match, Sid gave Spike a powerbomb, thus showing he isn't out to be friends with anyone. He encouraged "ECW" chants to change to "Sid" chants. Styles asked, "What was the point of all of that?" (*)

(7) Shane Douglas & Tommy Dreamer (w/Francine) beat Justin Credible & Lance Storm (w/Jason, Jasmine, Beulah/Bytch) when Douglas pinned Justin at 18:52. This match never gained momentum and Dreamer and Douglas seemed too winded to save the match when it was clear it was slowing to a crawl. Douglas and Dreamer used a ladder as a lever and snapped it into the faces of Justin and Storm. Dreamer DDT'd Justin onto Storm's crotch. Justin used a low kick to gain the advantage. When he wound up for a cane shot, Francine kicked the cane into his face. Douglas then hit the Pittsburgh Plunge (fisherman's suplex) for the win. (1/2*)

After the match Cyrus (Don Callis, a/k/a Jackal) came out and talked to Francine. Justin and Storm began to beat up Dreamer and Douglas after the match. Francine jumped onto Justin's back. Cyrus saved her. He then took off his jacket and threw it onto Francine for some reason. He then headbutted her in the crotch, to which Styles said, "That's the worst cheapshot I've ever seen, even for ECW." As Justin walked toward the back, he yelled at the camera, "I'm not going anywhere." The angle didn't play out well at all. Very minor league in execution.

Prazak interviewed ref John Finnegan. This segment made less sense than anything else on the show. Prazak rumors were flying in the locker room that he had a controversial decision to make. Ref Finnegan explained that he would have given the match to Lynn after the draw. The build-up to the interview, though, gave the impression he was going to award Lynn the match and make the overtime unofficial, but it turned out there was nothing controversial at all. Finnegan was declaring that his original decision stood. Van Dam stepped in and cut a promo about the situation, offering Lynn a rematch at the next PPV. He said he is now "Mr. PPV, RVD." Prazak made some strange facial expression and repeated Van Dam's words, but was cut off. The lighting was terrible.

(8) Taz beat Sabu via submission at 18:27. Taz said before the match that fans had to stand out in the rain for four hours, so they deserved more than was advertised. He said they should make it an ECW Death Match where falls count anywhere. Early in the match, Taz worked over Sabu's jaw. When Sabu flew at Taz in the crowd, Taz lifted a chair and caught him. They brawled into the crowd at 4:00 and returned to the ring at 6:30. Taz threw Sabu off of the top rope into the crowd. Sabu then bumped through a table, knocking out one of the camera's signals. Taz dropped Sabu jaw-first over the railing. Taz grabbed Sabu's bleeding face and said that at least Sabu has balls and then threw out the names of Flair and Hogan again. At 9:10 Alfonso tried to throw in the white towel, but Sabu said no. Sabu came back to powerbomb Taz through a table set on the corner railing. At 14:23 Taz came back with a pump handle suplex. Taz continued to beat on Sabu and went for a cover at 16:40. Styles declared the match over, but Sabu kicked out at two. Taz then Dragon Suplexed Sabu through a table propped in the corner for another two count. He then applied the Tazmission. Alfonso threw in the towel again, but Sabu tossed it out. Seconds later, though, Sabu's arm dropped three times to end the match. After the match, Taz said he gains more and more respect for Sabu every time he wrestles him. He insisted Sabu shake his hand. Sabu crawled into the ring and shook his hand. There was a mix of cheers and boos from the fans. (***1/4)

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