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ECWA 1997 Super 8 Tournament 2/22/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

East Coast Wrestling Association presents 1997 Super 8
Date: 2/22/1997
From: Wilmington, DE

The only matches on the video are matches for the Super 8 tournament. There were other matches on the show and they were the following…
– King Kong Bundy vs. Boogie Woogie Brown
– ECWA Heavyweight Champion Glen Osbourne vs. Viper
– Cowboy Blaze, Primo Camera III & The War Hawk vs. Mr. Ooh La La, The Animal & The Commando

The eight men involved in the tournament all come to the ring and they take a picture in the ring. It looks like the show was filmed with only the hard camera and thus there will not be a camera on the floor.

Opening Contest: Reckless Youth vs. Billy Kidman in a first round match: Youth attacks Kidman during his entrance and keeps control in the ring with a few strikes. There’s a guy using the house microphone to do annoying commentary. Youth comes off the ropes to head scissors Kidman. Youth chokes Kidman over the middle rope. Kidman avoids a baseball slide and scoop slams Youth on the floor. Kidman follows up with a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Kidman hits a slingshot leg drop onto Youth for a near fall. Kidman hits a spinning back elbow for a two count. Kidman slams Youth before heading to the top rope. Kidman leaps off to hit a splash for a near fall. Youth plants Kidman with a DDT to stop his momentum. Youth nearly wins with a rollup and keeps control with a chin lock. Youth heel kicks Kidman and hits a standing senton splash for a two count. Youth locks in an abdominal stretch using the ropes for leverage. Kidman snap powerslams Youth coming out of the corner. Youth clotheslines Kidman to regain control of the match. Kidman catapults Youth through the ropes to the floor. Youth slams Kidman but misses a splash in the corner. Kidman connects with a bulldog for a two count.

Youth spikes Kidman with a brainbuster and rolls Kidman up for a near fall. Youth goes to the top rope and hits a nice looking moonsault. Youth tries for another rollup, but Kidman pops his shoulders up. Youth puts Kidmnan on the top, but Kidman takes Youth over with a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Kidman counters a third rollup attempt and wins the match. (***. A pretty good opening match that kept the crowd invested and they put together enjoyable high spots. Youth did a fine job in his heel role and the rollup finish came quite obvious to me after the second attempt. I was just waiting for the eventual reversal and pin by Kidman.)

Second Contest: Ace Darling vs. Inferno Kid in a first round match: Darling starts off with a quick arm drag to start the match. Inferno tries to get a rollup from behind on Darling, managing to get a near fall. Darling gets wrist control, but Inferno is able to counter until a back elbow stops him. Darling sends Inferno back first into the corner, but Inferno comes back with a scoop slam and a heel kick sending Darling to the floor. Darling misses a kick and gets clotheslined. Darling misses an elbow strike in the corner and Inferno keeps control hitting a leg drop for a two count. Inferno misses a knee strike and hits the top turnbuckle. Darling focuses his attack on the injured left knee of Inferno. Inferno almost wins with a rollup, but gets nailed by a clothesline. Darling locks in a half Boston Crab, but Inferno doesn’t give in. Darling slams Inferno and taunts the crowd before going to the middle rope. Inferno gets his feet up to block the move and clotheslines Darling. Inferno back elbows Darling followed by a dropkick. Inferno plants Darling with a sit down powerbomb for a near fall. Inferno heads to the top rope, but Darling cuts him off with a strike. Inferno shoves Darling off and misses a senton splash attempt. Darling superkicks Inferno and gets a three count! (**1/4. A solid match that saw Inferno provide some excitement with his move set. Darling winning is probably the right call, but Inferno would likely make for more entertaining matches with the other competitors. An enjoyable bout.)

Prior to the next match, Lance Diamond asks for the managers of both men to go backstage and let them find out who is truly the better wrestler.

Third Contest: Ravishing Ronny Roberts vs. Lance Diamond in a first round match: They start off with some counters from the standing position. Diamond takes Roberts down to the mat, but Roberts delivers a jawbreaker to stop Diamond. Roberts back elbows Diamond and delivers a leg drop for a two count. Roberts slams Diamond to the mat and goes to the top rope hitting a missile dropkick. Diamond backdrops Roberts and follows up with a clothesline. Diamond drives Roberts down with a vertical suplex for a two count. Diamond drops Roberts with a savant kick. Diamond hammers away on Roberts in the corner for a few moments. Roberts is sent into the corners a few times and Diamond connects with a back suplex for a two count. Roberts gets out of a suplex and clotheslines Diamond for a two count. Roberts goes to the top rope hitting a crossbody, but Diamond rolls through and nearly wins. Roberts drives Diamond down with a swinging neckbreaker. Roberts leaps off the top missing a moonsault. Diamond wins the match with a northern lights suplex. (**. A mostly average match between these two. I can say that Roberts never came across like a serious threat to win the match or anything. I’m not sure if Roberts was a major player in ECWA, but I got the vibe that Diamond is a bigger deal and that Roberts winning would have been a major upset.)

Man, Cheetah Master is easily the top face in ECWA. He’s super over compared to the other guys on the show.

Fourth Contest: Cheetah Master vs. Devon Storm in a first round match: Storm starts off working over Master with a few strikes. Master fights back with a hip toss and a scoop slam. Master dropkicks Storm to send Devon sliding to the floor. Master dives over the top to take Storm out with a dive on the floor! Master and Storm trade blows on the floor until Master goes to the top rope but gets met with a dropkick in midair on a crossbody attempt. Master decks Storm with a clothesline for a two count. Storm plants Master with a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Storm slams Master and slaps Cheetah on the face. Storm goes to the top turnbuckle and misses a moonsault. Master drops Storm gut first over the top rope and goes to the apron. Master hits a springboard leg drop over the top rope to knock Storm to the floor. Storm ducks a clothesline to deliver an atomic drop and clothesline. Devon delivers a few kicks to the midsection and side kick. Storm powerbombs Master for a two count. Master counters a powerbomb and nearly wins. Storm forearms Master in the corner to keep control of the match. Storm locks in a surfboard but Master refuses to give in. Master breaks free and almost pins Storm, but Storm regains control with a quick forearm strike on the mat.

Storm keeps Master on the mat with a sleeper hold while Master tries to get the fans behind him. Master avoids Storm in the corner and hits a German suplex. Master goes to the top rope and misses a splash. Storm dropkicks Master to the floor off the top turnbuckle. Storm has a chair on the floor and sits Master on it with a sleeper hold. Storm comes off the ropes and takes Master out with a somersault dive onto the chair! Storm tries for a suicide dive, but Master hits him with the chair! Master goes to the top rope and hits a splash for the win. (***. A good match to close out the first round. They certainly did enough to keep my interest and it seemed like it was a well booked match to let Master go over, but also protecting Storm. Might have been the best match in the first round.)

By the looks of it, there had been at least one other match between these matches.

Fifth Contest: Billy Kidman vs. Cheetah Master in a semifinal match: A slow start to the match with Master controlling with a headlock before running the ropes and is met with a dropkick. Master arm drags Kidman a few times to maintain control. Kidman gets control of the match focusing on Master’s left arm. Master drops Kidman chest first down to the mat for a two count. The beginning of the match has been really slow with mostly just headlocks. Master drives Kidman down to the mat face first and a scoop slam. Master goes to the top rope and hits a big splash. Kidman gets his boot on the bottom rope to break the count. Kidman spikes Master with a float over DDT. Kidman slams Master to the mat and goes to the top rope. Kidman hits the shooting star press! Master slides over to the ropes and gets his foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Kidman has a rollup on Master and they both have their shoulders down. Master pops his shoulder up first and wins the match as a result. (*. That was a bad match and a bad finish. I was hopeful this would be fast pace and a ton of fun and that just didn’t happen at all.)

Prior to the match, Ace Darling insists that his manager will remain impartial and won’t do anything.

Sixth Contest: Lance Diamond vs. Ace Darling in a semifinal match: Darling attacks Diamond from behind and hammers away on Lance in the corner. Diamond pummels Darling with right hands to knock Darling to the floor. Darling wants to shake hands, and they actually do without any issue. Diamond clotheslines Darling in the corner followed by a running back elbow strike. Diamond hip tosses Darling followed by a right hand to knock Darling to the floor. Darling gets checked on by his manager outside the ring. Darling pulls Diamond to the floor and sends Lance into the ring post shoulder first. Darling rams Diamond back first into the post. Darling takes Diamond out with a somersault dive to the floor to take out Diamond. Darling hits a crossbody, but Diamond rolls over and nearly wins. Darling drops Diamond with a kick to the back of his head. Darling locks in a sleeper hold, but Diamond staggers around and reaches the ropes. Diamond low blows Darling to break free from the hold, but the referee didn’t see it. Diamond hammers away on Darling a few times and delivers a clothesline. Diamond stomps away on Darling followed by a clothesline. They collide with a double clothesline and they are both down.

Darling almost gets a pin on Diamond, but Lance gets his boot on the bottom rope. Diamond hits a northern lights suplex. However, Darling’s manager put Ace’s boot on the bottom rope. Diamond seems to realize that and gets distracted. Darling wins with a rollup. (*. Man, the semifinals sucked for this tournament. There wasn’t much excitement to that match. Darling winning seems to make sense to have the top face against a top heel in the finals.) After the match, I’m assuming that the manager was actually Diamond’s and he fired Lance and associated himself with Ace. That was because of the previous match where Diamond wanted to win on his own.

Prior to the finals, Devon Storm tried to come out and was escorted backstage.

Main Event: Ace Darling vs. Cheetah Master in the finals of the 1997 Super 8 Tournament: Master backs Darling into the corner and backs away when the referee intervened. Master shoves Darling in the corner and takes Ace down with a drop toe hold. Master almost wins with a rollup and they trade shoves. Darling eye rakes Master to get control in the corner. Master hip tosses Darling over the top to the floor. Master dives over the top rope to take Darling out with a crossbody on the outside. Master goes to the top rope and is met with a strike to the midsection. Darling chokes Master on the mat. Darling chokes Master on the mat and delivers a knee drop. Darling nails Master with a spinning back elbow strike. Darling nearly wins the match. Darling knocks Master down with a standing dropkick. Darling misses a splash in the corner and lands on the middle rope. Master fights back with a clothesline. Master scoop slams Darling and heads to the top rope. Master leaps off hitting a crossbody for a two count. Master heads to the top again and misses a flying splash attempt. Darling gets an inside cradle and wins the match and tournament. (*. That was a bummer. This seemed like a good time for Cheetah Master to win the match and tournament and they instead went with the legend Ace Darling. I didn’t find this to be all that enjoyable.)

Final Thoughts:
Well, the show started off strong with an enjoyable first round and fell off a cliff throughout the show. I’d suggest watching the first round and then just skipping the rest of the show, really. I was not expecting to say that halfway through the show but it just failed to maintain entertainment.

Thanks for reading.

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