54. Axl Rotten vs Ian Rotten (Taipai Death Match, ECW Hardcore Heaven 1995)

Having barbed wire matches is one thing. Having a ‘Taipai Death Match’ is another. A ‘Taipai Death Match’ (of which this is the first and last example) involves botch competitors warrping their hands in bandages, dipping their hands into glue, then dipping their hands into broken glass. So, if you’ve seen the last fight of Kickboxer, that’s the gimmick for this match. But don’t expect fancy fight choreography and someone doing the splits. Just expect lots of ultraviolent spilling of blood.

Let’s face it, in a match between Axl Rotten and Ian Rotten you’re not going to get a wrestling classic. You’ll be lucky to get two wrestling moves strung together. Instead (after some lunacy involving Bill Alfonso stopping the match and the Pitbulls brawling with The Gangstas), all you’re going to see are the two brothers punching each other and slicing each other’s arms and foreheads with broken glass. Oh, and thumbtacks are thrown on the ring mat for good measure.

No doubt about it, this is one of the bloodiest bouts I’ve ever seen. Both wrestlers have open wounds on every visible portion of skin. Just like the wrestlers in the barbed wire matches, both competitors must have an unhealthy appetite for sado-masochism. Because the broken glass is real. You can see it the broken glass is picked off the bandage and used to cut open an arm or a forehead.

So, unless you are sick in the head, this isn’t a match you can enjoy. And because I couldn’t figure out which wrestler was which, I had less interest in it than the barbed wire matches. Axl or Ian? That’s the main question that was running through my head, due to them wearing the same outfit. And I guess this was made a Taipai Death Match because no one cares about the feud between the two brothers.

Don’t worry, no one actually dies. But you won’t be missing anything if you skip this match. Just watch the last fight of Kickboxer instead.

Hammy’s Rating: ** (out of 5)

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