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[1999-03-21-ECW-Living Dangerously] Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn

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I know this is their signature match and it's a style people either like or don't, but I thought this was pretty bad wrestling overall. I thought they did an okay job of pacing the moves and building to the big moments, and the highspots weren't even bad on their own. But the in-between transitions are either so lacking or so bad that they make even the good moments look sloppier than they are. I'm referring to the way they do fundamentals like punches and kicks, the way they run the ropes, the selling ... that sort of thing. It's like two guys running a marathon who never learned to walk. There are things they can do that no one else can do or is even trying to do, and the uniqueness is probably more important than the match being well-worked. But it's not well-worked. And there's a lot of move repeating - if a tornado DDT on a table on the floor doesn't work, why would a tornado DDT in the ring work? There's not enough rhyme or reason to stuff.

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This isn't a good match at all. There were a few decent spots in here taken by themselves but the match as a whole was worked terribly and was boring overall. Too long too. And what was up with the ending? The ref is about to award Lynn the belt ... why? Raven/Hayashi smokes this.

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After watching the Hardcore Heaven match recently, I thought this was way better than that and do think the match is good overall even if the transitions are really aimless. It is essentially an extended spotfest that tries to be dramatic and epic. An annoying style that doesn't hold up well at all. The restart was a tease at getting the crowd invested only for RVD to retain the tv title. ***

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I was determined to give this a chance. But from the start it was utterly abysmal and I soon had to stop the punishment. I can appreciate 'so bad it's good' but this has none of that appeal. Does any style of wrestling from the 90's hold up worse? Not that it's in any way confined to the 90's or RVD unfortunately. It's just an extreme example of a mindless spotfest with foundations built of jelly. Loss' marathon analogy sums it up pretty well.

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ECW World TV Champion Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn - ECW Living Dangerously 1999

 

Never seen this series before been meaning to for a long time. I was prepared to hate this, but you know what, it was not half bad. Some of the spots were actually pretty nifty and I was really enjoying them on their own. I think the most frustrating thing about RVD is that he could have been a great wrestler. He has the best balance I have ever seen out of any wrestler. He is a great bumper; he really throws himself into every bump and is the best DDT/piledriver bump taker ever. He is super underrated in his feats of strength. Dude was ridiculously strong. His non-chair related offense is actually pretty good. He just has zero sense of psychology. Like it is incredible he has no grasp on why things should happen in pro wrestling.

 

I thought the beginning story of the match was pretty damn good that if they continued with this could have been legitimately. It was cocky RVD constantly getting caught hot dogging. First it making fun of Lynn for being double over, then it was trying to duck using his split and then with a springboard. Each time, Lynn would make RVD pay and it was a great way to get Lynn over and RVD was a really effective heel as a great bumper and hot dog. Then they did five straight minutes where the chair was involved in every spot. The Mexican Surfboard throw him up in the air and land on chair made MARK OUT! Insane! The sequence with all the missed kicks and then Lynn legdropping RVD's head into chair actually felt organic. This was spot, spot, spot with no transitions but the spots were good. It was RVD as Carrot Top at its best, weirdly enough. Once the chair went away, I thought it got boring. They kinda just hit a bunch of spots. RVD was consistently better than Lynn in terms of bumping and cool offense. Lynn felt very basic. RVD's little back heel kick to Lynn's head on a suplex attempt was awesome!

 

Draw outta nowhere was weird. Ref was going to award the belt to Lynn. Um fuck no. That's not how this works. Tie goes to the champ. Lynn wants five more minutes telegraphing his loss. At least they made it quick afterwards. Lynn gets his nearfall with a piledriver. Horrible setup for Van Daminator and Five Star Frogsplash finishes it.

 

I thought first half was pretty good, got worse without the chair weirdly enough. Not a classic, but hey it was not bad. ***1/4

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I enjoyed parts of this just because the elaborate spots they do are, well, elaborate. And well-executed, and creative. But that's all this is--I know it's easy to get snarky and sarcastic about the phrase "self-conscious epic" but that term could have been invented for matches like these. The teased draw and the "referee's decision" which makes no sense on any level sure don't help this. Of note for historical purposes considering this series' reputation, and it's not like I felt like my time was wasted, but absolutely nothing that you really need to see for actual good wrestling. This is the type of match that would look like a classic in music video or highlight form.

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Not a bad match. For one, I enjoyed the start of the match. Some of the counters were pretty slick, well, the ones with the chair anyway. The action was well paced and was allowed time to breath, for the most part. However, some of the transition from spot to spot were poorly done. Not creativity to it; one spot, break, another spot, break. So it was a let down from that point. Also, everything after the chair spots lost me. Just got boring from that point on. The crowd didn't seem that into it either, although they chanted "five more minutes" after the time limit expired. I'll be generous and give it **3/4.

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