Each and every week there’s not a new pay per view, the At Odds with Wrestling podcast assigns homework. The hosts and fans like me watch a classic wrestling event usually available on one of the streaming services. This week the assignment was to watch the first ever Super 8 tournament held every year by ECWA.
Last week’s episode selecting this event made it sound interesting. I remember the Super 8 always having a buzz around it. Plus, many of these names sound familiar from back when I bought the PWI 500 every year. (Oh, I think the 2020 one is out now.) Of course it’s an independent show but I was looking forward to 3 hours of young hungry wrestling talent.
Instead, someone has decide to punish me.
This show takes place on February 22, 1997 and if you forget that don’t worry, the date is on the screen at all times. That’s because the only version of this event available on IWTV is from someone’s handheld camera recorded in SLP VHS mode. This being the only video means it’s not a produced ECWA version. No announcers, no editing, nothing. This is found footage. This is home video. This is we’re all lucky no one taped over this. Maybe Cheetah Master’s mom recorded it and over 20 years later he found it when they moved the entertainment center out of the way to put the new HDTV where the old tube one was.
This is a tournament with a couple other matches in between tournament rounds. Some people stood out, but without any announcing I had to look up who these wrestlers are. Correction. There is announcing being done. But not for this release. There are live announcers who are loud enough to get into it with the referees and wrestlers during the matches, but not loud enough to be clear for this video.
Billy Kidman beats Reckless Youth. Ace Darling beats Inferno Kid. Lance Diamond beats Ravishing Ronny. I gave up taking notes. Other than Kidman I had to write question mark vs question mark. There are also many managers in and out throughout the night and I don’t have a clue who any of them are. Kidman is familiar so I noticed some cool moves, but ultimately I didn’t see anything which stood out for these first three matches.
I tried placing myself in the crowd. When any of us are at a show live, none of us get the play by play like the fans at home do. That attempted mental trick didn’t work. Then I tried to think, well why did Joe of At Odds assign this show? There must be something here. Some angle, some match, something amazing. But no. This is his counter to Heroes of Wrestling.
Cheetah Master beats Devon Storm and this was the first match to pay attention to. This was good. Loads of fun. I actively watched this whole match. Cheetah Master is over. My wife walked past me watching this and asked why I’m watching high school girls’ sports. There were so many pre teen girls screaming for Cheetah as they awaken that it overtakes any other sound on the video.
Cowboy Blaze, Primo Carnera III & The War Hawk defeat Mr. Ooh La La, The Animal & The Commando.
I think this was next. It starts to get confusing. And I zoned out a lot. This is a match. It happens. Primo is much taller than everyone else and plays the part of the monster. His team won but I really couldn’t have told you anything else about the match or any of the six men in it.
Back to the semi finals? Lets just say that’s what’s next.
Cheetah Master defeats Billy Kidman. Good. Girls love Cheetah. He gets over more with a win over a “name” in Billy Kidman.
Ace Darling defeats Lance Diamond. This match also happened.
Again, I stopped taking notes. But somewhere around here we have the unedited, uncensored, unapologetic King Kong Bundy photo and autograph opportunity. Less than 10 people get in the ring for a photo. Lot of stretching, bathroom, and snacks happen for everyone else.
At this point I’m watching this show at work. I had a big stack of papers I had to organize and the plan was to play a podcast. But there’s so much non action on this card I used my eyes less playing this than I would have playing an audio podcast.
Viper defeats Glen Osbourne (ECWA champion). I don’t know what happened here. Glen has a blonde long hair look and good build that the girls like. Not as much as Cheetah but maybe he’s for the slightly older girls. 16 or so. Glen either rips his leg, a quad, or maybe it’s even a concussion. But he is down and multiple referees plus crew jump in and out of the ring as they try to plan what to do next live in front of the crowd. I have no idea if it was selling or if he really messed himself up. This injury made the end of the match very interesting. If it was an injury, it’s an accident and if the match suffered because of that it’s forgivable. If this was scripted, it is well done and one of the most believable injury angles I’ve ever seen.
Ace Darling defeats Cheetah Master to win the Super 8. Why?! This match is so quick. There is no reason for this final to be a short match. Yes they both wrestled twice. But for the finals to mean something – fight for it. Plus, Cheetah is clearly your most over star. Why put him in a short match, clean pin, and then what?
King Kong Bundy vs Boogie Woogie Brown.
Two giants of the mat. A classic. Catch as catch can style. One hour time limit draw with a standing ovation.
Or, a couple minutes of some buffet belly slapping and then a sloppy tripped roll up for the pin and Brown gets the win. That three came down and less than a second later the coats came on and the fans were standing. Not to applaud. But to get out.
I’m thoroughly enjoying everything on IWTV but this whole card is going to have to be buried and remain there.