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Charles (Loss)

[1996-11-16-ECW-November to Remember] Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs The Eliminators

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What can I say, I loved this, it was nuts! Might as well have been tornado rules, so not really much of a tag match, but there is plenty of great brawling and stunts, and most of it is hit cleanly and well-timed. Saturn looked like a future star at this point.

 

They go to a 20-minute draw, and Todd Gordon authorizes five more minutes. They go to another draw at the 25-minute mark, and once again, Todd Gordon allows 5 more minutes. Finally, at the 30-minute mark, Todd Gordon makes a 3-way dance with these two teams and the Gangstas later in the show, which has waaaay less appeal to me.

 

WCW would do this gimmick semi-frequently (Sting/Vader at Fall Brawl '94, Pillman/Badd at Fall Brawl '95 and Benoit/Malenko at Hog Wild '96) and more often than not, it got over and the match was really good. This isn't as good as any of those matches, but in the ECW environment, it's just as good relative to standard fare in the promotion, if that makes sense, and they did a great job building anticipation for more matches between these two teams.

 

I have nothing bad to say about this, great match or not.

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Love the spot where Sabu tosses a chair at Saturn as he had RVD in a chinlock. Saturn goes nits and beats the shit out of Sabu. I liked it because I had no idea if Saturn was legit pissed off as the chair came out of nowhere.

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Man, I was disappointed with this. You can give these guys some points for creativity, but some spots like the big four-way clusterfuck at the very end were just too cute and contrived for their own good. And unlike Loss I am SO over the "five more minutes" gimmick. It sticks out even more in ECW which rarely seems to pay attention to time limits anyway. And it sticks out when the crowd is two steps ahead of the bookers, since they were calling for the Three-Way Dance after the first bell. And why not? I don't see how anyone could have bought that this match was going to decide a winner once the first time limit expired. On the plus side, Sabu continues to impress me with how he builds up to table breakage, as he and Saturn work a really fun suplex-reversal sequence on the apron that ends with a tornado DDT through the table--this after his first attempt, as per custom now, gets cu off. And Sabu diving to the floor and smashing his jaw on the guardrail was the OWWWW moment of the night. Still, not really a good match, by ECW standards or otherwise.

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When I close my eyes and am asked to think of an ECW match, this one pops into my head for better or worse. The atmosphere is good with the fans hitting that nice combination of drunk/stoned and not being overtly distracting. The spots here range from being hit well enough to being hit with shockingly great execution like the Kronus SFTD. I was actually ready to give the match **** around 15 minutes in but the last five minutes lost me a bit as well as the crowd as you can see them sitting down after being up for around 5-7 minutes. Then you have the cliched five more minutes, then double overtime, then you both are winners none finish that really annoyed me. A really fun match but also a flawed one. That is ECW in an encapsulation. ***1/2

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I was totally loving this match for the first 15-20 minutes. It was sold as a big match and the work and crowd reaction lived up to it, and it was just total chaos. Saturn working a chinlock, getting a chair thrown at him, and then just EXPLODING at Sabu leading to a wild exchange of dives was such an awesome spot. It was all just nonstop madness, very entertaining and never felt overly choreographed. After Sabu hits the tornado DDT through the table, though, it just start to feel like overkill. The multiple re-starts were interesting in theory but I was well ready for the match to be over by the end. Overall, very enjoyable.

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