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November 6, 1999 / Reed

Marty Jannetty vs. Ace Darling from ISPW 1999

Review by Reed Benson:

I’ve not seen much of Ace Darling, but I’ve heard tell of his in-ring prowess, so I expect this to be a solid bout.

There’s a lot of stalling early as Darling tries to pick his spots and Jannetty tries to keep the ref aware of Chastity at ringside. When they get going, Jannetty shows himself to be one step ahead of Darling on multiple occasions. Darling tries to rip-off Jannetty by copying his leapfrog and his monkey flip, and both times, Jannetty counters with a fist to the face. Pretty soon, Chastity get fed up and decides to get into the ring to distract Jannetty. Jannetty responds by grabbing her backside. She tries to slap him, but he ducks and she hits Darling. There’s no DQ called as Darling and Chastity team up to Irish whip Jannetty, but Marty slides out and head to the back. He reemerges with Bobcat, a valet I’m unfamiliar with, as his equalizer.

Jannetty and Darling fight on the floor and into the fans. Jannetty takes a tumble down the wooden bleachers. Then he takes a flying, spinning bump off of the ringpost. This begins an extended period of dominance by Darling. Marty bumps around the ring for him, getting cut off at every attempt at a comeback. Chastity helps Darling behind the ref’s back. There’s a particularly nice Irish whip reversal into a bulldog. Jannetty finally fights out of the corner and starts unloading all his spots on Darling. Corner punches, knee lift, powerslam, face plant. A superkick has Darling as good as pinned, but Chastity puts his foot on the ropes. Darling dumps Jannetty outside, and he comes back in with a sunset flip, but Chastity grabs Darling’s hands and helps him hold Jannetty down for the pinfall victory.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention Bobcat again after she came out? That’s because she did absolutely nothing to counter Chastity’s cheating, including and especially the interference that cost Jannetty the match. So why was she there? And why book her to be there if she’s not going to do anything? It’s like they had an idea for a clever spot where Marty would get help to counter Chastity, but they still needed Darling to cheat to win. And it never crossed their minds to do the obvious bit where Darling gives Jannetty a low blow or brass knuckle shot while the ref is distracted by the valets fighting at ringside?

The only way it works is if Bobcat was actually a double agent meant to lure Jannetty into a false sense of security, but since there’s no follow-up, I guess we’ll never know.

Outside of that glaring inconsistency, this was a solid match between two strong workers who knew how to tell a story and keep the crowd, small as it was, engaged. If you like either wrestler or want to see what either of them is about, and you know going in to just ignore Bobcat’s involvement, I think it’s a pretty good time.

– Reed Benson

My match review site is here.

I don’t often tweet about wrestling, but I have a Tumblr gimmick for it here.

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