ECW Living Dangerously 1998 (3/1/1998)- Asbury Park, NJ
JERRY LYNN & CHRIS CHETTI vs. THE FBI (Tracy Smothers & Little Guido)- 5/10
Standard tag team opener
MASATO TANAKA VS. W*ING KAMEMURA HYPE PACKAGE- great… except that Kanemura couldn’t make it, so this was a waste of time and disappointing.
MASATO TANAKA vs. DOUG FURNAS (w/Mr. Wright)- 4/10
Furnas had the match won twice but Wright ordered him to stop going for the pin and go for the beatdown instead. This allowed Tanaka to eventually win the match. After the match Furnas turns on Wright, becoming a babyface. This was executed well, but the whole concept makes Tanaka look weak. I think making Tanaka look strong in his debut was more important than a random face turn which could have taken place at practically any show against any opponent.
2 COLD SCORPIO vs. ROB VAN DAM (w/Bill Alfonso)- 7/10
Spotty but good. They definitely lost the crowd at times and they kicked out of a lot of stuff here that maybe they shouldn’t have for such an unimportant match, but it was still very good. The aftermath did a good job of showing just how much of a jackass Van Dam is and set up for both a rematch between these two and a tag match between RVD & Sabu and Scorpio & Sandman.
THREE WAY DANCE: Spike Dudley & New Jack vs. Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney vs. The Dudley Boyz (w/Sign Guy Dudley & Joel Gertner)- 5.5/10
The Dudleys wanted to prove their dominance by eliminating both teams, but that comes back to bite them in ass in the end. Spike and New Jack do synchronized balcony dives, and a New Jack match that is actually not horrendous!
TOMMY DREAMER vs. JUSTIN CREDIBLE (w/Nicole Bass & Jason)- 5.25/10
A good match, but because all of the build was around the question of “was Beulah really with Justin now?” you knew that the finish wasn't going to come until Beulah came out, so the match never really felt exciting until that point. The overbooking at the end with Justin’s guys and Mikey was good, too.
ECW TV TITLE MATCH: Taz(c) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow- 7.25/10
I do have to question the wisdom of putting this match in Bam Bam’s home town when this was supposed to be the big grudge match between these two in which Taz was seeking revenge for Bam Bam turning on him. If you wanted to do this match here, just hold off on the turn for a few months until this match is over with. The match itself was great, and the finish where they go through the ring was awesome (if you ignore Joey Styles saying that Bam Bam was tapping).
Al Snow vs. John Kronus was scheduled to be up now, but the match is cancelled because of the giant hole in the ring from the Taz vs. Bam Bam finish. Heyman comes up to Joey and tells him that they are going to play the Sabu vs. Sandman match that was taped earlier in the day, but the Joey says that the censors told them they couldn’t show it. Heyman says do it anyway, and the two of them get in a shouting match with Joey saying they will get thrown off of PPV for showing it and Heyman saying do it anyway. Good performances from both guys, especially Joey.
DUELING CANES MATCH: The Sandman vs. Sabu (w/Bill Alfonso)- 6.5/10
The match starts off with a pretty cool spot where RVD dresses like Sabu and trades cane shots with Sandman, allowing the real Sabu to come in from behind for a major advantage. This match was good, but really no more violent or extreme or bloody than most other hardcore match, so I’m really not sure why the censors had a problem with it. Furthermore, I’m not really sure what the point of the whole thing was. Did they create that story just to make themselves look rebellious, or did this little worked shoot disagreement between Paul E. and Joey actually go anywhere?
DREAM PARTNER TAG TEAM MATCH: Shane Douglas & Chris Candido (w/Francine) vs. Lance Storm & Tammy Sytch- DUD!
This was really more of a segment than a match, but you really shouldn’t do that in the main event unless it is going to be amazing, or some sort of major, promotion-changing event, which this wasn't.
Candido’s pre-match promo came close to making light of spousal abuse. That was uncomfortable.
ECW had been doing some segments where Sunny and Chris weren’t getting along and it was implied that Sunny and Storm were in cahoots. The idea here was that Storm and Candido would each get to choose a tag team partner of their own choice, so Storm brought in Sunny because Candido would never hurt her and would never allow Douglas to hurt her. Sounds like a good plan… until, of course, it turned out to be a set-up.
Fortunately for Lance, he had considered that Sunny might turn on him, so he had a back-up plan, which was Al Snow. This was supposed to make Lance look smart, but it actually made him look stupid. If he thought Sunny might turn on him, why would he choose her as his partner in the first place? If he thought Sunny was working with him, why not have Al Snow as his partner and have Sunny be their valet? There are no disqualifications, so Sunny could just run in the ring and attack Candido and Douglas and it would have the same effect as her being his partner, except he would have some back up in case of a trap.
In addition to the poor logic, the execution left a lot to be desired as well. Sunny turns on Lance by hitting him with a cookie sheet, then both Candido and Francine take turns hitting Storm with the cookie sheet, then the Franchise puts Lance in the Camel Clutch. Candido grabs a mic and begins to taunt Lance, setting Lance up to say “I’m going to give you head,” to cue Al Snow coming out. Why the hell was Al waiting for a cue? Shouldn’t he have come out right away to help Lance, rather than letting him get nailed in the head with a weapon a few times and suffer in a painful submission hold?
To make matters worse, Al did his usual entrance schtick where he stuck the head out the curtain first, then had it headbang a few times be he finally came out himself. During which time, of course, Candido is taking the time to turn around and get ready for him while Douglas keeps poor Lance Storm locked in the Camel Clutch! Just having Al charge out and make the save would have gotten the same pop and would have made a lot more sense.
So Al Snow runs in and makes the save then beats up Douglas, hits him with a Snow Plow and pins him for the win. So we have the World Heavyweight Champion getting pinned after barely taking any damage (the match, from the time the bell sounded when it was Storm & Sunny vs. Douglas & Candido until this pin right here was under five minutes)… BY A GUY WHO ISN’T EVEN IN THE MATCH. I don’t care if Sunny turned on Lance. You can’t just switch who the participants are in the middle of a match!
Overall, this wasn’t a very good show in the ring, but it did have a lot of big furthering of angles on it. IMO, a Pay-Per-View can get by with great wrestling and being light on the angles, but not the other way around, especially in an action-heavy promotion like ECW.