El Mosco . . . puts on a rather pedestrian performance, but, luckily, he’s got one of the better workers in the company to pick up the pieces.
TAKA Michinoku . . . once again is one of the best things to see on this TV show.
The Dudley Boys . . . brawl, bleed, use weapons, and win with their finisher.
LITTLE GUIDO vs. EL MOSCO
Like his match with Nova from the previous month, this isn’t anything amazing, but it’s a nice enough look at how good of a worker Guido is. Mosco’s work isn’t anything special, aside from his flying spots, so Guido stooges, crowd plays, cheats, and does anything else to make sure the fans get behind Mosco. Even when Guido gets near falls from mid level spots, like the Russian legsweep, his reactions are great. It also helps that there isn’t anything as overtly stupid as Guido stumbling the whole length of the ring from a meaningless spot, although there are a couple of exposing moments. The main one is Guido having to basically set himself up for Mosco’s sunset powerbomb. Guido gets on the second rope and just has to wait for Mosco to do the spot. There’s another shortly before that, with Sal tripping Mosco, but Sal apparently doesn’t realize it’s time for it, and it takes two tries to get right.
Guido winning by submission to a Boston crab certainly doesn’t sound like a good finish, by 1999 standards, but, it’s actually smart and executed rather well. Guido had shown a knack for countering Mosco’s flying by back bumping him, and right before the crab he had caught what was apparently an attempt at a flying dropkick into a powerbomb, and went right for the crab and got the submission. Granted, the Fujiwara armbar would have been a better looking hold, but, the crab works in the context of Guido’s countering Mosco’s big spots.
TAKA MICHINOKU/YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI vs. SUPER CRAZY/SPIKE DUDLEY
Crazy was supposed to be teaming with Nova, but an attack from the FBI leaves Crazy on his own until Spike shows up. But, honestly, with how the match plays out, anyone with a warm body could have been Crazy’s partner. There are only two notable moments involving Spike; his plancha to the floor, and a quick sequence where he outsmarts TAKA by dropping a knee on him when TAKA drops down, and then gets a near fall from a cradle. It’s obvious that the idea is to show that Spike isn’t way out of his league in the ring (even though he is), and after TAKA sends him to the floor for the stereo moonsaults by defacto Kai En Tai, he isn’t seen in the match again.
The match itself is centered around keeping the Tajiri/Crazy feud in mind, as well as building up to the Crazy vs. TAKA match at the upcoming PPV, and it accomplishes both of those things. There’s plenty of stiff shots to show the hatred, and the work itself is very smooth. The way that Crazy sells Tajiri’s kicks always makes them appear to be KO shots, which also creates a little frustration when he feels the need to just pop back up to keep the match going. If anything, Crazy’s eventual pinfall loss can be chalked up to his popularity with the fans. Crazy does his ten-count spot in the corner, but stops to soak in the fans cheers, and gives TAKA the opening to powerbomb him out of the corner. TAKA follows up with a running knee, and Crazy walks into a kick from Tajiri, and TAKA does a Michinoku driver that looks like it obliterates Crazy for the win. This was more of a sprint than anything else, but, it’s a damn fun one. Slot Jerry Lynn in as Crazy’s partner, and give them fifteen minutes on PPV to work and people would probably still be talking about it.
BUBBA RAY DUDLEY/D-VON DUDLEY © vs. AXL ROTTEN/BALLS MAHONEY (ECW World Tag Team Titles)
The fact that this is clipped to shreds is probably enough indication of how good the work was. All we’re “treated” to is a truckload of brawling, with various camera jumps to show some big spots like Balls getting suplexed through a table, and the Dudleys bringing in the barbed wire. Just about the only thing notable here is the finish, which sees Balls accidently blow fire at Axl, and give the champs the opening for 3D.
Conclusion: Aside from the novelty of seeing TAKA and Tajiri as a team, there’s not much else worth checking out here. Overall, it’s a big step down from the TV show from two weeks previous.