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[2002-06-15-MLW-Genesis] Shane Douglas vs Steve Corino


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Joey Styles on commentary says this a first time ever match and plays up the fact that it’s two former ECW and NWA champions, something that will play into the conclusion of the tournament. Douglas gets the biggest pop of the night coming out, leaning heavily of course on his ECW past. Before the match we get promos from both guys, who both have great delivery, but a lot of the content is very early 2000s with plenty of ‘shoot’ and insider comments which do not age well.

Corino’s promo is pretty good, presenting himself as a defender of tradition and how proud he was to wear the NWA Title compared to Douglas who threw it down, but that makes it unclear who is meant to be the heel and face in this, as he veers between being sympathetic and antagonistic. In the end Douglas sucker punches him to start the match.

Douglas gets an initial shine and there’s nice punch exchanges from both guys, but outside of that there’s not much to get excited about or invested in. You can see some of the influences that going over to Japan with Zero 1 was starting to have on Corino with him building in things like the facewash in the corner. Douglas in return, outside of punches and the odd suplex, doesn’t bring much of anything. Even by 2002 he feels like something of a relic that wrestling has now passed by.

There is a storyline that could’ve been told between the two, of Corino being a younger version of Douglas in terms of his accomplishments, but this never really gets played up in the match. Even the ringside brawling is largely lifeless and non-descript. Douglas ends up winning when he counters the Old School Expulsion neck breaker into his belly to belly. Solid, but disappointing given I thought it would be more heated. (**)

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