ECWA 1998 Super 8 Tournament 3/21/1998
Written by: Bob Colling
East Coast Wrestling Alliance presents 1998 Super 8 Tournament
From: Wilmington, DE
Opening Contest: Mike Quackenbush vs. Ace Darling: Darling backs Quackenbush against the ropes but backs away cleanly. Quackenbush runs the ropes but misses a kick and avoids a kick by Darling. They trade arm drags and have a standoff after they both attempted dropkicks. Darling works over Quackenbush in the corner with a few right hands. Quackenbush dumps Darling to the apron, but Darling returns to hip toss Quackenbush. Quackenbush slams Darling followed by a senton for a two count. Darling controls Quackenbush with a test of strength. Quackenbush kicks Darling away and snapmares Darling to the mat followed by a leg drop to Darling’s arm, twice. Darling comes off the ropes and is met with a drop toe hold. Darling sends Quackenbush to the floor. Quackenbush dives over the top to take Darling out with a dive! Quackenbush nearly wins the match in the ring, but Darling stops Quackenbush with a strike and elbow drop. Darling uppercuts Quackenbush leading to a near fall. Darling jabs Quackenbush several times to drop Quackenbush to the mat.
Darling drives Quackenbush down with a backbreaker for a two count. Quackenbush fights back with a head scissors and a spin kick. Darling counters a hip toss with a clothesline. Darling sits Quackenbush on the top turnbuckle but Quackenbush gets his footing. Quackenbush ducks a superkick and plants Darling with a DDT. Quackenbush goes to the top rope and hits a leaping hurricanrana for a two count. Quackenbush hits a northern lights suplex for a near fall. Quackenbush heads to the top rope, but Darling kicks Quackenbush off the top for another two count. Darling tosses Quackenbush with a German suplex for a near fall. Darling sits Quackenbush on the top turnbuckle looking for a superplex. Quackenbush counters with an atomic drop, but Darling rolls through a rollup and wins the match. (**1/2. A decent opening contest for the tournament. The commentary team for this show is garbage, though. It got to the point that the commentary team distracted me from enjoying the match. Quackenbush had a good showing here and I might have put him through to the next round. I feel like Quackenbush would have had better matches with the other wrestlers involved compared to Darling.)
Second Contest: Devon Storm vs. Inferno Kid: Storm attacks Kid before the bell with right hands on the mat. Storm clotheslines Kid to continue the early advantage. Storm works over Kid in the corner with kicks to the midsection. Storm tosses Kid with a suplex. Storm stomps away on Kid in the corner. Kid ducks a clothesline and almost wins with a couple of rollup attempts. Storm heads to the top and hits a twisting crossbody for a near fall. Storm keeps Kid on the mat with a headlock followed by right hands. Kid sends Storm to the floor with a drop toe hold. Kid baseball slides Storm chest first into the guard railing. Kid punches Storm until Storm asks for a timeout and runs around ringside. Storm gets into the ring and is hip tossed. Kid dropkicks Storm into the corner. Kid plays to the crowd but runs into a boot. Storm comes off the middle rope to head scissors Kid to the mat. Kid nearly pins Storm with a rollup out of the corner. Kid keeps Storm on the mat with an armlock. Storm atomic drops Kid to gain control of the contest.
Storm leg drops Kid on the groin and taunts the crowd. Storm delivers another leg drop to Kid’s groin for a near fall. Storm hammers away on Kid with strikes followed by a kick to the chest. Storm slaps Kid across the ropes and dropkicks Kid while Kid was tied up in the ropes. Storm goes to the apron and hits a slingshot somersault leg drop for a two count. Storm keeps Kid on the mat with a chin lock. Kid battles back with a sleeper hold, but Storm breaks free with a back suplex. Storm hits a middle rope moonsault and taunts the crowd. Storm goes to the top rope but Kid gets to his feet. Kid hits a superplex and signals for the end. Kid heads to the top, but Storm crotches Kid and knocks Inferno to the floor. Storm comes off the apron to somersault dive onto Kid on the outside. Storm plants Kid with a vertical suplex in the ring. Storm tries for a cocky cover, but Kid counters for a two count. Storm keeps the advantage trying for a suplex, but Kid counters with a DDT. Kid hammers away on Storm and delivers a dropkick. Kid runs the ropes and connects with quick leg drops for a two count. Storm has Kid on the top rope and hits a hurricanrana. Storm plants Kid with a powerbomb and signals for a piledriver. Storm has Kid on his shoulders but Kid counters with a backdrop and sits down to pin Storm. (***. Storm had some really fun offense and Kid was just kind of their to go along with the action. They really promoted the fact that Kid was out injured, so he’s probably a favorite to win the match. Storm carried the match offensively and I enjoyed what he put together.)
Third Contest: Lance Diamond vs. Mark Shrader: They trade wrist locks and hammerlocks to start off the match. For some reason the footage for this match is not the greatest and is freezing quite regularly. Diamond slaps Shrader to show complete disrespect after they countered each other several times. Shrader dropkicks Diamond coming off the ropes and Diamond goes to the floor. Diamond avoids a baseball slide to the floor and stomps on Shrader in the ring. Shrader is on Diamond’s shoulders and almost wins with a rollup. Shrader nearly wins with an inside cradle. Diamond holds onto the ropes and Shrader nearly steals the match with a rollup. Shrader works over Diamond with strikes in the corner. Diamond misses a splash in the corner and Shrader takes Diamond down with a few hip tosses followed by a slam for a two count. Diamond plants Shrader with a sit out spinebuster for a two count. Diamond can’t get a three count following a suplex. They collide following a double clothesline spot. Diamond misses a strike and Shrader nearly wins with a backslide. Shrader shoves Diamond off the middle rope and hits a top rope crossbody for a two count. Diamond sends Shrader chest first into the corner, but Shrader nearly wins with another rollup. Diamond low blows Shrader and hits a northern lights suplex for the win. (*1/2. The action was quite basic and uneventful for the most part. I should say that the constant freezing of the footage and poor quality certainly didn’t help the viewing experience.)
Fourth Contest: Reckless Youth vs. Scott Taylor: Youth has the early advantage after a hip toss, but gets kicked away by Taylor. Taylor hammers away on Youth and drop toe holds Youth over the ropes before delivering a clothesline. Taylor tosses Youth with an exploder suplex. Taylor baseball slides Youth on the floor and delivers a few chops. Taylor crotches Youth over the top rope and comes off the top to clothesline Youth to the floor. Youth rams Taylor face first onto the apron and brings the action back into the ring. Youth kicks Taylor in the corner and comes off the middle rope to deliver a clothesline. Youth chokes Taylor over the middle rope. Youth head scissors Taylor to the floor. Youth hammers away on Taylor on the floor and taunts a few fans. Youth nearly wins following a standing senton. Taylor almost steals the match with a rollup. Youth comes off the ropes to deliver a knee drop. Taylor runs the ropes and almost wins with another rollup. Taylor gets out of head scissors, but Youth plants Taylor with a swinging neckbreaker. Taylor almost wins with another dropkick, but Youth dropkicks a seated Taylor. Youth leg drops Taylor on the groin.
Youth locks in a modified octopus on the mat, but Taylor isn’t going to submit. Youth calls for the Youth Movement, but misses the moonsault. Taylor comes off the ropes to delivers a somersault kick to Youth for a two count. Taylor drives Youth face first to the mat to counter a head scissors for a near fall. Taylor chops Youth in the corner several times but runs into a knee. Youth misses a tornado DDT but a second attempt is successful. Youth nearly wins with a rollup. Youth spikes Taylor with a brainbuster and goes to the top rope. Youth hits the frog splash, but Taylor kicked out at two. Taylor countered a rollup with a near fall. Taylor takes Youth down with a crucifix and wins the match. (**1/2. Seemed like the main story here was rollups and who would outsmart the other to win. I think the ideal story would have been to just have these guys go out there and dive all over the place. Youth looked good in there and hit his big spots well. Considering Taylor appears on WWF TV, I wasn’t surprised to see Taylor move on.)
Fifth Contest: Ace Darling vs. Inferno Kid in the semi-finals: Darling shoves Kid away in the corner and taunts the crowd after ducking under the ropes. Darling stalls for a few minutes by going to the floor. Kid nails Darling with a standing fist drop. Darling misses an attempted fist drop and Kid knocks Darling through the ropes to the floor. Kid tries to suplex Daling into the ring from the apron. Darling counters and runs into an arm drag a few times. Kid monkey flips Darling, but is holding his injured left knee. Darling focuses his attack on the weaken limp. Kid nearly wins with an inside cradle. Kid blocks a kick and drops Darling with a right hand. Darling keeps Kid on the mat with a spinning toe hold. Darling continues to beat on Kid with several kicks. Darling heads to the top rope and hits a flying crossbody for a near fall. Darling argues with the referee before nailing Kid with a superkick. Darling heads to the top rope missing a leg drop. Kid takes Darling over with a backslide to win the match. (*. Obviously they went with the idea of Kid battling through his injury and Darling screwing up to cost himself the match. The action wasn’t all that exciting and it felt a lot longer than eight minutes long. I’d consider this an upset, which was the best decision.)
Sixth Contest: Scott Taylor vs. Lance Diamond in the semi-finals: Diamond has the advantage with a dropkick early on. Taylor kicks Diamond from the apron followed by right hands in the corner and a few chops. Taylor trips Diamond in the corner and rams Diamond groin first into the post. Taylor wraps Diamond’s leg around the post. Taylor continues to beat on Diamond with chops on the floor. Taylor locked in a modified STF, which the commentators had no idea what to call it. Diamond sends Taylor through the ropes to the floor. Diamond works over Taylor with chops on the floor. Diamond beats on Taylor with right hands in the corner. Diamond sends Taylor back first into the corner. Diamond continues with a vertical suplex for a two count. Taylor gets a rollup on Diamond for a two count. They are countering each other on an inside cradle and they are rolling around the ring before breaking apart. Diamond hits a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. They trade a few chops until they collide heads and Diamond falls to the floor.
Diamond tries for a sunset flip from the apron, but Taylor sits down and nearly wins the match. Taylor gets a sunset flip, but Diamond counters. They proceed to counter each other on pin attempts. Diamond plants Taylor with a lifting DDT for a two count. Diamond misses a clothesline and Taylor delivers an atomic drop. Taylor comes off the ropes to deliver a dropkick to a seated Diamond. Diamond misses another clothesline. Taylor takes Diamond over with a back suplex, and both shoulders are down on the pin attempt. Diamond popped his shoulder up and wins the match. (*3/4. I was quite disappointed by this because they went with seemingly nothing but counters for an inside cradle. Neither man was given the chance to showcase their moves or skills. I thought this could have been the best match of the tournament and it failed to deliver.)
Main Event: Inferno Kid vs. Lance Diamond in the finals of the 1998 ECWA Super 8 Tournament: Diamond ducks a clothesline and ducks a superkick. They have a standoff with Diamond showing some frustration. Kid avoids a right hand in the corner and Diamond continues to get frustrated in the corner. Inferno works over Diamond in the corner followed by a monkey flip out of the corner. Inferno back elbows Diamond coming off the ropes. Kid backdrops Diamond and clotheslines himself and Diamond over the top to the floor. Inferno appears to be holding his right leg. Diamond checks on Kid and rolls Kid to the apron. Diamond holds the ropes to let Kid back into the ring. Diamond checks on Kid but delivers a kick to the injured knee. Diamond drops Kid’s leg over the apron. Diamond leg drops Kid on the knee. Diamond drives Kid down with a knee breaker. Diamond jumps down onto the injured knee over the bottom rope. Diamond dropkicks Kid on the injured knee. Diamond goes for the knee brace, but Kid delivers a kick to the head a few times. Diamond continues to go for the brace. Kid tries to fight Diamond off with right hands, but Diamond pulls the brace off.
Kid fights back with right hands, but Diamond tries for a spinning to hold. Inferno nearly pins Diamond with an inside cradle. Diamond goes for another spinning toe hold, but Kid refuses to give in. Kid kicks Diamond chest first into the corner and nearly wins with a rollup. Diamond goes to the floor and grabs a steel chair. Diamond puts a chair on Inferno’s injured knee. Diamond goes to the top rope, but Inferno gets up and whacks Diamond with the chair. The referee doesn’t call for the bell, though that would be a disqualification. Inferno whacks Diamond over the back with another chair shot. Diamond tries for a suplex, but Inferno counters with a DDT onto the steel chair for a near fall. Inferno almost wins with another rollup attempt. Diamond hits a northern lights suplex, but Inferno kicks out at two. Diamond almost wins with a backslide. Inferno misses a clothesline and tried for a back suplex, but his knee gave out. Diamond lands on top and wins the match. (**1/4. The action was okay and they told a decent story with the injured knee of Inferno. The usage of the chair was confusing since it should have led to a disqualification. It was odd that they decided to seemingly ignore basic rules there.)
A mostly disappointing tournament from the ECWA. There were a few promising matches that didn’t deliver much entertainment for me. This felt like a show where the goal was to get over Lance Diamond’s new attitude, and I think that was accomplished.
Thanks for reading.