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  March 22, 1999

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WrestleMania 31: Main Events

WrestleMania 31: First Half Matches

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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

ECW rises to the occasion


 Once one accepts that constant perfection is an unattainable goal, logically it comes down to batting average and ECW once again comes through with a very strong outing with Living Dangerously 99'. While not quite as good as January's "Guilty as Charged" offering, Living Dangerously was a consistent effort amid rumors of imminent departures, financial trouble and as always the general instability which permeates the air of any ECW endeavor.

The event opens with a Taz interview where he runs down Flair and Hogan in only the way a true New Yorker can and says he can't be beat by anyone in the WWF either. He also tells Sabu his game plan, where he's going to go after Sabu's broken jaw and other assorted statements the champ usually is obligated to declare to hype the event.

Super Crazy vs. Tajiri

The winner take all conclusion match of their recent rivalry, Super Crazy and Tajiri once again put on an excellent high-spot oriented match which started off with some superb technical wrestling. While not as long as their "Guilty as Charged" match, the match was pretty good with the exception of a badly missed spot at the end of the match which marred an other wise outstanding performance. Also noticeable was the overall shortness of the match compared to their last few meetings and the fact that the pin was slightly anti-climatic, still a decent opener with Super Crazy gaining the victory.

Balls Mahoney vs. Steve Corino

After an interview with Sabu and Rob Van Dam (the champs of everything save the Heavyweight title), we cut to Steve Corino in the ring shooting his mouth off and sounding not unlike a brash Stevie Richards. After challenging anyone in the back, Balls comes out and the match is more or less a glorified squash, Corino mounts some limited offence and teases some ECW style moves but then reneges and becomes a ham and egger for Balls. Corino is put to pasture with a truly vicious chair-shot and Balls and Axl ride off into the night, likely to get some more tattoos. Post match thoughts: Balls is incredibly agile for a fat guy and Corino looks like Al Snow ten years ago with a more developed mullet. A recap of the Dudley Boys running the Sandman, Beulah, the Public Enemy, etc… out of ECW is shown, along with the history of the New Jack/Mustafa feud.

Little Guido vs. Antifaz Del Norte

Little Guido comes out with Big Sal but without the Big Don and Tracy Smothers. Antifaz executes a number of high-risk lucha style moves that look very impressive, while Little Guido wrestles a strong technical match. Eventually Antifaz submits to the Boston Crab (renamed the Sicilian Crab), after Big Sal power-slams him through a table. The previously absent Tracy Smothers and the Big Don make their way out and eventually attack both Little Guido and Big Sal who no-sells the flag-shots, the demise of the F.B.I? About time!

Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (ECW Television Title)

The sleeper match of the card, Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn put on a clinic of high spots, extreme violence and technical wrestling. RVD could sell CFL tickets and Lynn is no slouch either, it went into the crowd and RVD almost got killed being driven from the ring-apron through a table. Eventually the time limit expired and in an unprecedented move, the ref was going to award the belt to Lynn even though it was clearly a draw. Lynn demanded five more minutes and was pinned after an awesome splash by RVD where he leaped halfway across the ring, sideways! After the match more clips are shown of the Sabu/Taz feud, including a number of shots of Sabu being dumped on his head, ouch!

New Jack vs. Mustafa

After the Taz/Sabu clips and before the next match, Francine was shown giving a sloppy stunner to porn star Jasmine St. Claire earlier in the night, who for some reason claimed to be the new queen of hardcore. In the battle of the Gangsta's, New Jack beat Mustafa (who looks fatter and crazier than ever), in a match that featured even less moves than Nash or Hogan can demonstrate in a ten second period. A bloody weapons match that culminated with New Jack doing a balcony dive onto a prone and duct-taped Mustafa through a table, (and in the process very nearly missing him and becoming one with the pavement). Both combatants were then carried back to the ring where New Jack scored the pinfall. Afterwards the Dudleys ran down and annihilated a helpless New Jack before doing their usually rants.

The Dudleys vs. Spike/Super Nova

After the Dudley rants, Spike and Nova come down and get the beat-down Dudley style. Spike is tossed (barely), into the audience where he is carried around for about five minutes and Nova is executed via the Dudley Death Drop. They then beat-up a ring announcer who foolishly tried to protect Nova until Sid (accompanied by the stretcher!), comes down at the bidding of Judge Jeff Jones. Sid is on the receiving end of the Dudley badmouth and a thrashing before regrouping and dual choke-slamming D-Von and Buh Buh. D-Von goes for the stretcher ride and then has it dumped on him, while Spike hits the Acid-drop on Buh Buh for the win? Sid mugs for the camera and then destroys Spike with two power-bombs after Spike went to thank/mug (?) with him. Conclusion: Sid was so over it was scary, Spike sure can take an ass-kicking and the Dudleys once again prove they are the best heels in the business.

Tommy Dreamer/Shane Douglas vs. Justin Credible/Lance Storm

Again prior to the match a recap is shown of the feud between the four men, two women and assorted entourage. The match although good towards the end, seemed to lag on and despite some good wrestling just didn't live-up to the standards all four athletes usually demonstrate in their matches. Highlights included the extreme Cat-fight and a ladder coming into play, the team of Dreamer/Douglas won when Douglas hit the Pittsburgh plunge on Credible, not a bad match but a slight let down. RVD challenges Lynn to challenge him to a rematch during the break.

Taz vs. Sabu (FTW/ECW Championship - Unification)

The match lived-up to all the hype and set new standards for both men, Taz hit Sabu with a number of suplexes and high-impact blows throughout the match, while Sabu countered with his insane high-risk moves and lots of tables. The match went through the crowd and Alphonso twice tried to throw the towel in, but each time Sabu caught it and through it out (holy Digstown!). Sabu, bleeding heavily from the mouth and running out of tables to put Taz through, eventually submitted to the Kathjahathama (also known as a choke). After the match Taz offered respect to Sabu and demanded to shake his hand, Sabu took out his spike but shook Taz's hand instead, much to the chagrin of the fans.