Taz vs. Tajiri

Background: ECW World champion Taz was only a few days away from signing with the WWF when this match occurred. Yoshihiro Tajiri really hadn’t done anything of note to earn a title shot outside of defeating Little Guido and Super Crazy and losing to Taz at house shows. This is the first ECW World title defense on TNN.



August 26, 1999

Queens, NY


ECW World title: Taz (c) vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri w/Steve Corino

“Taz is gonna kill you!” chants rang out before Taz even took Tajiri down with the angry man’s clothesline. To the shock of everyone, Tajiri exploded off of the ropes to unleash that handspring back elbow topped off by a buzz saw kick that almost ended the champ’s night. Tajiri spit on Taz! Oh no he didn’t!

Countering Tajiri’s tarantula submission with an Alabama slam, Taz soaked in the crowd’s adulation prior to head & arm Tazplexing Tajiri on his head! To give Tajiri a taste of his own medicine, Taz spit on his challenger. Tajiri rallied to his feet, beginning a chop exchange. The challenger made a crucial mistake by throwing a kick that Taz eventually caught and used to execute a capture Tazplex. Tajiri seemed out as Taz dragged Tajiri to his knees for some skull-rattling crossface strikes. Seeing the end approaching, Tajiri mule kicked Taz’s groin to set up not one, but two buzz saw kicks and a dropkick to Taz’s face … for a two count!

Tajiri couldn’t believe what just happened, looking to kick Taz’s head off since the first three kicks weren’t successful. The champion had the wherewithal to duck both kicks Tajiri threw, catching his spinning challenger in the Tazmission submission to retain his ECW World title.

Winner: Taz (4:58)

Is It A Classic: It was a squash spectacle. Though Tajiri had moments of hope, Taz’s mesmerizing onslaught not only led him to victory, but also fired up an already hot crowd. This isn’t a match that you’ll watch over and over again. But when you do see it, it will stick with you for a long time. Just an incredible atmosphere and action to make something that should’ve been forgettable memorable.


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