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Charles (Loss)

[1995-02-25-ECW-Return of the Funker] Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs Sabu & Taz

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This was a lot of fun, actually. It's worked tornado-style but it never once descends into clusterfuckery--there's a storyline throughout with Malenko & Benoit taking Taz's leg apart and Sabu doing an admirable job of fighting 1-on-2. All the spots hit, and Sabu eventually goes down thanks to a nasty top-rope power bomb. Even Public Enemy was tolerable in their involvement. Rocco takes a brutal bump against the guardrail from his wheelchair and they hold their own in the post-match brawl. 911 heaves Taz down onto everybody in a cool spot and then Sabu follows with a dive, nicely setting up the ill-fated Triple Threat (I'm assuming). Could ECW have actually made Benoit a better worker? He's seemingly moved past being a Dynamite Kid cosplayer into being a guy with his own personality and who comes off as legitimately dangerous. Paul E. made a number of guys into bigger stars than expected but finally figuring out a way for Benoit to contribute to a North American company in a meaningful way is one of his better creative triumphs.

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You nailed it Pete for something felt like any second it could be a mess it never devolves into a clusterfuck. 

ECW World Tag Champions Sabu & Taz vs Triple Threat (Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko) - ECW Return of the Funk 2/25/95

For something that felt like any second it could devolve into a clusterfuck, it never once did. Public Enemy had dropped the tag belts to Paul E's boys at Double Tables earlier in the month. PE did a great promo before the match. Benoit & Malenko come out and PE get in their face. Benoit/Malenko kick their ass. Rocco Rock was in a wheelchair and they did a number on him. In the actual match, they go Texas Tornado and it is actually pretty coherent and entertaining. At the beginning they focus on eliminating Sabu by attacking his injured neck, which is how Benoit got his Crippler nickname from their 1994 match where Sabu basically piledrove himself taking a suplex and broke his neck. They did a cool Doomsday Device at one point on Sabu. With Sabu rendered useless, Taz shows some fire popping off suplexes but Malenko clips the knee. They work the knee over and Paul E has 911 send Taz to the back. Which was kinda lame because it was not that much knee work and it was not that extended of time, but you could tell they were already building to Sabu vs Taz before Sabu no-shows the next show and that really kicks into gear. Sabu actually fares well. He goes into full Sabu mode with tons of crazy dives. He does something incredibly stupid and dangerous. He puts the table on the top turnbuckle and a chair on top of that but folded out so you could sit in it. When Benoit pushes him off, he lands HARD on the chair. I have no idea how he could walk after that. Benoit NAILS him with a powerbomb off the table which was an awesome, insane spot to win the tag belts. PE and Taz/911 come back out to set up the triple threat for the next show. Awesome angle and great build for the next show and a surprisingly entertaining match. Paul E was in a great groove at this point. ***1/2

 

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