19. Steve Corino vs Dusty Rhodes (Texas Bullrope Match, ECW Living Dangerously 2000)

Yes! Let’s move away from WWE to…ECW! I’m watching it on the WWE Network, of course. With fifteen minutes to spare, I looked at the ‘Superstar Picks’ section of the Network, and found this one. Here, Kevin Owens picks Steve Corino vs Dusty Rhodes in a Bullrope Match. Just over ten minutes later, I wondered why Owens had chosen it…

Well, one of the main reason for Owens choosing the match is that both Corino and Rhodes were mentors of Owens at various points in his career (Corino early on in Kevin’s career, Rhodes during NXT). Owens also mentions that any aspiring wrestler should watch this match. I’ve heard that about several matches, such as Chris Benoit vs William Regal (forget which event that match is on). But any aspiring wrestler should watch this match…if they want to see how not to put on a wrestling bout.

Dusty Rhodes was years past his prime. He’s always been on the bigger side, but here he’s definitely not in ring shape. I had no idea he wrestled in ECW, and not sure of the storyline behind the match…so maybe with some prior background knowledge I’d be more invested? But I highly doubt it.

It consists of nothing but punches and blood…and excessive use of the cowbell (laughably described by commentator Joey Styles as ‘twenty pounds’) attached to the bullrope. They start off by brawling through the crowd, both end up bleeding, and brawl in the ring. There’s not much more to it that that. Corino’s bodyguard interferes occasionally, and inconsistently. One minute, he’s holding Rhodes from behind, next minutes, he simply lets him go! Rhodes doesn’t even fight him off…like every babyface should do, fight the odds!

Even a few minutes into the bout, Rhodes is blown up, exhausted. He struggles to keep up. His exhaustion only increases during the bout. The duration is mercifully short, as a positive. And seeing each wrestler slice each other opened with an edge of the cowbell (late in the match, Rhodes carves Corino’s bicep with the weapon) is something quite unique (especially after viewing sanitised WWE).

But this was definitely not worthy of a Kevin Owens pick. It’s a boring brawl that never picks up urgency. In fact, the urgency decreases along with Rhodes’ endurance levels. The crowd love it, chanting ‘ECW’ all the while, yet that strangely took me out of the bout even more (when a dead crowd can take me out of the most engrossing bout). But I needed more than buckets of blood to keep me entertained, and this barely kept my attention, even for it’s short duration.

Come on, Kevin, pick a better bout next time!

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