Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"ECW" Report

Oh My God!: Big Show and Ric Flair had a crazy hardcore match in the main event, and you wouldn’t believe the sorts of things they did.

You Fucked Up: Paul Heyman didn’t turn on ECW and help the Big Show because he’s a corporate sellout trying to force his vision of ECW on the fans. No, he did it because he’s a crazy cult leader and that’s what crazy cult leaders do.

He’s Hardcore: Ric Flair was thrown into thumb tacks and hit Big Show with a barbed wire baseball bat. Maybe next week they can set Ricky Steamboat on fire.The Extreme Rundown:

Paul Heyman came out to start the show with riot police. He said he did what he did for Rob Van Dam’s well being, because fans were the downfall of RVD. Heyman tried to slow down RVD, but the people forced him to burn himself out. Heyman called himself a martyr, savior and messiah who sacrificed his relationship with RVD for the people’s sins. He promised to lead ECW to the promised land. This was such an awful, idiotic promo. There is a strong reality to Heyman as a heel. Yet this had absolutely none of it. Instead it was just some weird, scripted promo that makes no sense and doesn’t make you want to invest emotionally in the story at all. It’s just another inane heel GM program.

1. Test beat Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer confronted Heyman backstage about what happened last week. Heyman said he wanted to give Dreamer an explanation, but there was no time because Dreamer’s match was next. Test slapped Dreamer twice, rammed him into the post, and hit a back breaker. Dreamer came back with punches, a swinging neck breaker and a neck breaker. Test hit the full nelson slam, but missed an elbow off the top. Dreamer went for the Spicolli driver but Test escaped and scored the pin with his feet on the ropes.

The tarot card reader and the vampire did a segment together. She saw blood in the future and he spit it out of his mouth. Candice and Kelly did the weekly strip tease. This was shorter than previous weeks, and wasn’t boring thanks to the presence of Candice. She has so much more presence than Kelly. Mike Knox came out to interrupt again, and got caned by the Sandman. CM Punk did a backstage promo. He said his tattoos aren’t decorations, but rather each tells a story. He said he is a disciplined athlete craving to compete with the best. Punk may be the only thing I’m optimistic about on this entire show.

2. Justin Credible beat Sabu via disqualification because Sabu put him through a table. You read that right. See, this was not an extreme rules match. Why not? I don’t know. But this match has the ignominious distinction of being the first match in ECW history where someone was disqualified for putting another guy through a table. Sabu celebrated like he won this match, as match results are basically irrelevant. All this was apparently to make an extreme rules match at Saturday Night’s Main Event feel special. Of course, that was kind of undermined by having extreme rules in the next match.

They ran a package with Balls Mahoney backstage. He said he goes balls to the wall. Balls looks old and low went with close-ups and bright lights. Ric Flair did a promo where he challenged Mick Foley to a match under Foley’s terms anywhere in the world. He said that if Big Show made a mistake in the main event, he would eat him alive. They then went to a package with Shannon Moore. He is still doing the Prince of Punk character, and is a good fit for ECW.

3. Big Show beat Ric Flair to retain the ECW Title. Show hit a press slam and head butts. Flair starting bleeding immediately. Flair came back with low blows. He hit Show with a barbed wire baseball bat twice and rubbed it on Show’s face. He hit him with a garbage can multiple times, and a chair multiple times. Show was busted open. Flair got some thumb tacks and poured them in the ring. He hit Show with a chair three times and Show fell in some tacks. Show got angry and gave Flair a clothesline. He hit the choke slam, and used the cobra clutch back breaker for the win. He then threw Flair into thumb tacks. This was a violent spectacle, but it wasn’t much of a match. And WWE ought to be ashamed of themselves for involving Flair in this nonsense for no good reason.

Please Don’t Go:

This show reminded me of the promo Jim Cornette cut at Ring of Honor’s 100th show a few months ago. Basically, he said that in 2006, Philadelphia wrestling fans could demonstrate that they are cutting edge by appreciating the new generation of great wrestling and athletes, or they could demonstrate they are a bunch of bloodthirsty retrograde idiots.

WWE seems to think ECW was about blood and guts. But it wasn’t. It was about presenting a better product with better storylines and better wrestling than the more established promotions. WWE’s product for the most part has stunk for a long time, but the solution is not sending a 60 year old living legend out there to hit people with barbed wire bats and be thrown into thumb tacks. The solution is pushing better wrestlers and telling better stories.

If tonight was the alternative to WWE, I’d prefer WWE itself. This show didn’t tell better stories than Raw. It didn’t have better wrestling than Raw. It didn’t have better athletes than Raw. It was simply the same old shit, only with a lot more completely unnecessary and distasteful violence. That’s not cutting edge. That’s ass backwards. The cutting edge is still out there. It’s ROH. It’s Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, the Briscoes, Jack Evans, and Davey Richards having excellent wrestling matches where you care about who wins and who loses. It’s certainly not this.

10 Comments:

Anonymous MAZ said...

Todd, thanks for all of your reports.

I usually don't comment on the ECW report, but I have to ask why it is that RVD was suspended and Sabu wasn't? Haven't really been following the story, but I thought that both were arrested for possession.

When is the last time that Tommy Dreamer really won a match? He is officially a jabroni. They should bring back Barry Horrowitz to kick his ass!

So now, who hasn't destroyed Rick Flair. It's sad to see what the WWE/ECW has done to Flair. It's also sad to see Flair allow this to happen to himself.

Does the Big Show really have any competition in ECW now that RVD and Angle are gone? I'm not really interested in seeing someone from Smackdown or RAW suddenly turn ECW as all that does is start the inter-promotional war again and there is absolutely no entertainment value in that.

I guess over time we will get accustomed to today's lousy wrestling product as the new standard in wrestling so that whenever there is some improvement we will hail it as great wrestling!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

The funniest part of the show was right after Heyman's nonsensical promo when Taz said he still didn't understand why Heyman did it.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Maz,
RVD was in possession of both marijuana and Vicodin and had a prescription for neither. Whereas Sabu was in possession of a bong and non-prescrebid pills to counteract growth in his breasts. Sabu's drug is not a banned substance by the WWE and I suppose they could not infer he was using pot just from the bong (I know), so technically he did not violate the policy. Well, he did by having a prescribed drug without a prescription, but that drug is easily attained with a prescription so it's not a big deal to them.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous cortez said...

the wrestling boom is over

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wrestling boom may be over and the criticism of wrestling may be at an all time high but somehow people are still attending wrestling shows, buying pay per views as well as anything else wrestling.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Al Tyson said...

Let's not get the wrong idea here. The things that Ric Flair said about Foley in his book were obvious retaliation for what Foley had to say in Have a Nice Day. Now you were the one who complained about WWE changing course from Foley vs ECW to Foley vs Flair too fast. Now wouldn't it make sense now that flair has competed in an extreme match, under extreme rules with the biggest athlete to ever be in a ring...for Flair to prove to foley that what he did anyone could do, even Flair himself? Am I the only one who gets WWE's logic and inside jokes (Hes lean, hes mean, hes 'green', hes eugene) there are some things that suck dick about ECW and you're picking all the wrong things. Like the fact they switched the music in Kellys dance to some bullshit dance music you would never hear at a strip club and candice michelle hogging the stage dancing "with" Kelly. Letting the Raw Superstar take over a specific ECW segment, and she didnt even talk. Or the fact Mike Knoxx was caned by sandman already and not on a ppv or somewhere where the dance could go further (if they have plans to do so). Flair didn't have to do that last night, but at least he is willing to bleed for something so many wrestlers and fans believe in. Maybe you shoulda made that point I dunno. As a matter of fact how bout you lay off forcing the ring of honor talk down peoples throats as well. I don't understand how all these mid-size gymnists is entertaining to you. The company has managed to stay afloat even with a pedophile for an owner; but the logic isn't there am I really suppose to believe that American Dragon could compete with Randy Orton or Edge? WWE is trying to get away from using smaller guys so Ring of Honor can find its own niche in the business. I don't know whats happening with their funds but if it's so great why aren't they on tv? Even ECW managed to get TV. And not this ECW. Womens World Wrestling or WOW even had television. Where are all these ring of honor fans? Its not 1996 so you're behind in the times. It's 2006 Vince McMahon runs professional wrestling in this country so get use to it. Be happy that you even hear the ECW theme music. And if people wanna make a real beef try explaining why the Sandman features no Metallica, but Kelly can dance to songs on the radio and top 20 countdowns across america. But you know what fuck metallica too for going after file sharing. And finally, this is the begining of ECW, After going back and watching the pay per view again (which was the official relaunch of ecw) you see many avenues where this could go. But you know what yourself and the people like you never gave it a chance from the begining because Vince was behind it. No matter if Paul Heyman had his ear or not, yall didn't give a fuck. So you know what you ain't loyal to ECW you're a WWE fan who thought ECW was cool, just like you think ROH is "cool". Gimme the ROH Report cause I'm done with your ECW. Cause obviously we ain't watchin the same programs.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess that it's good to see that at least one person is enjoying the ECW scene.

As for the Sandman's music, was Metallica even born when Sandman was in his prime?

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobodys enjoying ECW right now and if you look at what he's saying some of his points are good but you're right this ECW does suck and Metallica was popular in the 80s. I think their frontman and band members ave. age 40 or better.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Al Tyson said...

Nah man you got me all wrong. I'm not saying I'm enjoying it. What I'm saying is I'm happy that there is an oppurtunity and market for this. The fact that they could bring this program back from the gutter, make it a 3rd brand and have it tour in a matter of months? That fake ass fuckin WCW relaunch couldn't get through the first damned match. The fact that you asked about Metallica solidifies my poinits that WWE is targeting a different audience with this project. As any person who knew anything about the old ECW would know who and what the hell Metallica even was. And when the hell did Sandman have a prime? lol.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Metallica has been around since the early 80's FYI. They started to suck way before the Sandman copped their tune. Most of the ECW wrestlers used "real" songs as their theme music. Raven used the Offspring, Gangstas used a Dre/Cube song, 911 used "Frankenstein", etc. It was such an "under the radar" promotion back then I doubt anyone noticed. I remember an excellent video overview of the legendary Mikey-Sandman feud set to Weezer's "Say It Aint So". In fact, the opening theme of the show itself was NIN's "Closer" segueing into White Zombie "Thunderkiss 65". Anyone remember when they'd play that terrible "Gangstas Paradise" tune ten times during every show? I also recall an ECW CD that contained a version of "Enter Sandman" by Motorhead, which was pretty good, too. Given the relationship Motorhead seems to have with HHH & WWE you'd think that maybe they could use that version.

Re: RVD & Sabu. Face it, if your entire future in the business was dependent upon Vince McMahon & his unpredictable steroid-addled whims, you'd likely smoke weed & do pills too. RVD has done feature interviews in "High Times" magazine, it is hardly a suprise he'd eventually get busted as he is rather open regarding his cannabis use.

4:45 PM  

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