ECW ON TNN
TOMMY DREAMER/RAVEN vs. DANNY DORING/ROADKILL
If this had as much actual work as it does extracurricular activity, then it’d have probably been a nice tag match. Aside from watching Doring and Roadkill stooge for Raven, there isn’t much to see here. The match isn’t particularly long, and between the business with the valets, Raven leaving to tend to Francine, and then the run-in with Rhino that leads to Doring getting the pin on Dreamer, it’s rather easy to be distracted from the fact that there’s nothing going on except various spots, with no real sense of flow or story. The pop that Dusty gets for showing up (in Philly of all places) just shatters the myth about how hardcore the fans really were by this point.
SUPER CRAZY vs. YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI (Mexican Death Match)
At times this looks as good as anything else either of these two have ever done. Tajiri’s vicious streak was fully on display, and Crazy is always great about selling like death to get over how dangerous Tajiri is (for a while anyway). Crazy’s gusher, from Tajiri baseball sliding the chairs into his face, is the highlight of the match. It shows just how far Tajiri is willing to go to hurt him, and Crazy’s selling almost borders on tragic. Tajiri sliding the chairs across the table at him is a bit comedic, but, it still works because at its core, Tajiri is still trying to hurt Crazy. Crazy’s comeback isn’t too bad, at least not at first. It’s not too ‘out there’ to think that Tajiri mocking him gave Crazy the second wind he needed to start fighting back. But, once they go into the stands and Crazy starts jumping off the bleachers, as though he hadn’t been selling like complete death, it’s hard to not feel let down.
However, that’s really the only misstep of the entire match. Tajiri’s initial comeback with the handspring elbow is much more believable, and his counter into the Tarantula is damn near perfect. There’s also a couple of smart touches leading up to the finish, with Tajiri setting up a table in the ring, and letting Crazy recover enough to surprise him with a springboard dropkick. Tajiri countering Crazy’s powerbomb with the mist was a great idea too, but, Tajiri decides to get cute and go for a rana, only for Crazy to counter into his powerbomb anyway and win the match. If Tajiri had gone for the roundhouse or maybe even the brainbuster, he’d have probably been able to put him away, between the blood loss and his being blinded. If this isn’t the best TV match of the TNN era, it’s really freaking close. ***1/2
Conclusion: The main event is enough to warrant checking this out.