Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #13: Taz vs. Shane Douglas

Taz vs. Shane Douglas

16 January, 1999
ECW Arena; Philadelphia, PA
ECW Heavyweight Championship Match

Part 2

I am a huge Taz fan.  I pretty much always have been, ever since I first saw ECW.  I like him, more so than a lot of the ECW wrestlers back in the day, because he actually wrestled.  He looked like a tank, and he was built to suplex mofos. 

Shane Douglas was a guy that I always seemed to enjoy as well, mostly because he would have these hate filled ranting and raving promos, and then he would wrestle a good match.  He knew how to get real heat, and not the cheap stuff.  I actually forget how good Shane Douglas' run in ECW was from when he won the Heavyweight Championship, until he left ECW. 

This match, was good, but I had seen better between these two. 

I liked how the match started out with both men exchanging hold on the mat.  Although there were nice reversals and stuff, it didn't seem like it was going anywhere.  The ECW Arena fans didn't seem to care for it at all, so reading their crowd, the match quickly broke down into an around the building brawl.  It seems weird, but back at that time, it was always so cool for these guys to fight into the crowd, but upon watching this, I actually became upset, because I think these guys could pull of a great match inside the ring. 

Once outside, Douglas wasn't letting a jacked up thumb (in a cast) stop him from doing high risk stuff he never usually did - like the Macho Man Axe Handle from the top rope to the floor.  Or a cross body from the Eagle's Nest to Taz down below.  Or eating a couple tables on the outside as they brawled around the arena. 

Once back in the ring, the two exchanged holds some more, while teasing a table spot in the corner.  At this point, I think any hope of Douglas retaining was at the window.  While it is ECW and everyone went thru tables, you kinda knew that Taz was going to be suplexing Douglas thru the table.  Taz locks on the Tazmission, which Douglas breaks out of, only for Taz to lock it on again, and to suplex Douglas thru the table while in the katahajime.  Then, Taz gets a rare pinfall victory, rather than submitting Douglas. 

All in all, this was a pretty good brawl.  It wasn't a bloody weapons filled brawl that would pass for insane brawling, and it was not a mat classic.  It is very representative of what ECW is now though - dated.  Nothing in this match really stands out as "must see", or "extreme" today.  This was your basic ECW Main Event Brawl.  I bet even if this match took place today with a hot crowd it would come across great in person, but on video it just seems like a wasted opportunity to have a match with a "big match" feel. 

This was actually the first time I ever watched this particular match, and I must say that I prefer the other two Taz/Douglas matches that I remember better: the Wrestlepalooza '97 "3 Minute Challenge", and the actual Heavyweight Title change from Guilty As Charged '99. 

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