Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Rob Van Dam (ECW Hardcore TV 4/11/98)

Match Reviews

This review was commissioned by Lance Garrison over on my Ko-fi account. As of this writing commissions are still open, they’re going for $10 a pop. If you want to seek out my specific thoughts on a match that I haven’t gone into yet, this is the way to do it.

If we’re really looking for the most nuanced aspects of Bam Bam Bigelow’s performance, there’s maybe other places that one can look. Perhaps there’s the way that he’s able to hold a non-wrestler’s hand through a WrestleMania main event or his excellent bumping skills being applied to classic tag dynamics while teaming with Vader. Bam Bam’s the kind of guy that’s been pretty much everywhere and done a little bit of everything.

We’re joining him today at a particularly historic point, but not for him.

This match kicks off the famous Rob Van Dam ECW TV Title reign, and fittingly the match really is all about him. As far as a highlight reel of all the cool shit that RVD could do at this point, the match works exceedingly well. The high point is obviously the pair of absolutely crazy dives from the top to the outside. All these years later, they look incredible, just full on dedication to the dive, and done twice too. Athletic feats like this may be have grown more common in the years to come, but Van Dam’s form is just impeccable here. There’s also the additional fact that, as far as I can tell, it’s really only Bam Bam out there on the fall ready to catch him to break the fall.

I mean, really, just fuck yeah.

As for Bam Bam, he has his own moments to shine. He smartly sticks to the power stuff here–hoofing RVD around, powerbombing him through tables. His one big high spot, in his attempted moonsault, results in him eating shit which is in further service to RVD’s win. The match is worked to make him come across as a bit of an unstoppable monster, absorbing all this crazed offense from Van Dam but still rising up and always having a puncher’s chance. Perhaps his best contribution to the match is actually in his selling. The dazed stumbling once the action finally spills into the ring for the final act does well to put over how effective Van Dam’s been at wearing down the big man.

Bam Bam even gets a little added protection at the end when it takes a combined effort from both Sabu and RVD to finally put him away for the decisive fall.

It’s a fun time, all big spots with very little else in between. Perhaps not the most nuanced performances from either man, but honestly whatever. Most everything looks great here, and multiple things get achieved by the booking in the end. RVD gets the title, putting him at odds with Sabu who had the PPV match against Bam Bam lined up, and Bam Bam still looks like a steep mountain to climb.

It’s ECW. Even when most of this is just pure sugar, there’s still a little more care put into it than most anywhere else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *