Rob Van Dam & Sabu defeated Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki
August 2, 1998
ECW Heat Wave 1998

Reviewed by Abraham Delgado (co-host of the Lucha Jobbers and writer of the Spanish language novels “La tercera venida” and “María y sus teorías conspiranóicas”)

Gifted by Jeremy Sexton (@jeremysexton / VOW Author Page)

This is a car crash. An over the top spot fest that is fucking fun as hell. It was sloppy, it had some problems with the flow of it, but damn it, you can’t help but smile and yell “YEAH!” at the top of your lungs. Whenever one of these men moved a top rope from the camera, I popped. Even the non-stop whistle from Bill Alfonso was not a problem for me. It was, in fact, the type of stupid fun I needed to watch this week.

During the introductions, we see a very jittery Sabu, who can’t stop moving around and trying to attack the other team. He was stopped by Van Dam and the referee, and he fought back. Then the bell rang, and Sabu was sent to the corner. Match started a bit slow with some mat work, and when Van Dam was getting beat he tagged in Sabu, who tried his best to hold off Hayabusa and Shinzaki. While Sabu was doing a camel clutch to Hayabusa, Van Dam did a stupid flip just to kick his opponent in the face. While celebrating, he was drop kicked by Shinzaki, who went outside and left his teammate in the submission. Then Sabu left it and the stupid fun began when he jumped to the outside to the crowd.

It is at this moment where the match gets really fun. We have a myriad of double team moves, like Van Dam putting Shinzaki in a Cattle Mutilation and Sabu jumping with a chair. We have Vandaminators from the top rope and in the ring. Double leg drops. Double moonsaults from Shinzaki and Hayabusa. We even have a broken table. Hayabusa and Shinzaki got a table, the leg broke, they still tried to break it with a move from the top rope, but nothing happened. And every pin attempt was broken up by their teammates. This was flips and weapons galore. What I really appreciated was that some of the shots and jumps came from out of the camera, which gave an element of surprise and badassness to the whole affair.

Sometimes the weapons weren’t in the exact position they wanted and it was weird seeing the men trying to scramble for it without breaking the flow of the match, but they weren’t successful. Even in the beginning there was some weirdness flow wise. Still, the awkward moments do not break the match and the funness of it. 

How did this end? Since the partners were always breaking the pins, Van Dam and Sabu put Shinzaki and Hayabusa in the same table and solved that problem with a double leg drop on both men. When Van Dam was about to pin them, Sabu pushed him and pinned the opponent instead. 

I will always recommend a fun car crash to any wrestling fan, and here is one. I don’t even know how to rate it in the star system, so I’ll just say ***½.

Thank you Secret Santa, whoever you are.