Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"ECW" Report

Oh My God!: The crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom really, really didn’t like Batista vs. Big Show as the “ECW” main event.

You Fucked Up: Who thought that matchup was a good idea at that venue?

He’s Hardcore: Tommy Dreamer took ridiculous punishment in the tag team opener.The Extreme Rundown:

1. Mike Knox and Test beat Tommy Dreamer and Sandman to start the show. The crowd chanted “she’s got herpes” at Kelly Kelly. It’s hard to tell if WWE has figured out she is a heel to the ECW audience. On the one hand, she was booked like a heel in this match, but Joey Styles and Tazz still put her over as the sympathetic victim of an overbearing boyfriend in a pretty blatant reprise of Sable and Marc Mero.

The teams brawled from the start. Sandman hit a drop kick to Test, while Knox crotched Dreamer on the guardrail. The crowd chanted “you can’t wrestle” at Andrew Martin and Mike Hettinga. Sandman and Tommy Dreamer hit a simultaneous White Russian leg sweep and DDT. Sandman and Dreamer were going to suplex Knox into a barbed wire board, but Test stopped that with a ridiculously hard cane shot to Dreamer’s head. Dreamer was bleeding, but he came back with a garbage can shot to Test.

Kelly protected Knox from Sandman, so he moved her out of the way and hit him with really hard cane shots all the way to the back. Dreamer then spanked Kelly. Paul Heyman came out with security to “you sold out” chants, and the security threw Dreamer into a barbed wire board. Test lifted Dreamer out of the barbed wire and then threw him right back in. He then hit the TKO for the pin. This was a fun garbage match.

Backstage, Sabu confronted Paul Heyman in catering. We got to see Francine, so she is apparently still employed. I also could swear Vince McMahon was sitting in the background. Anyway, Sabu still wants Big Show, and Heyman still doesn’t want to make that match. Why not bring in Bill Alfonso to manage Sabu? Having Sabu talk invariably feels awkward.

2. CM Punk beat Justin Credible. Punk got a superstar reaction. He did the Wanderlei Silva finger roll. There were CM Punk and ROH chants. Punk applied a guillotine choke, and the announcers got in a BJJ reference. He used some leg kicks, and they got in a Muay Thai reference. Credible retaliated with a power slam, vertical suplexes, a northern lights suplex and a half crab.

Punk got out and hit a springboard clothesline. He followed that with knees from the clinch and a high knee. He hit a bulldog, and followed with some slaps and a Kenta Kobashi spinning back fist. He hit a uranage into the anaconda vice for the submission. That looks cool, but if he’s doing an MMA gimmick I think he should use a finisher that actually works in a shoot fight. In any event, this was a good match and a fantastic debut for Punk.

3. Kurt Angle beat Brooklyn Brawler. Brawler said he is too extreme and hardcore for Raw and Smackdown, and that he will be ECW champion. Angle got a very positive reaction and “welcome back” chants. He got the ankle lock immediately, but Brawler got to the ropes. When they got back to the middle of the ring, Angle gave him a head but and applied the ankle lock again for the submission. Backstage, Ariel introduced the Vampire character as Kevin Thorn.

4. Batista beat Big Show via disqualification. The story of this match was the crowd reactions. Both men were heavily booed. One fan gave them the Jimmy Rave reception. The crowd chanted “you both suck,” as they punched each other. They chanted “same old shit” as they punched each other some more. Show seemed really unhappy, and made the money sign and gave the fans the middle finger.

Batista came back with clotheslines to a “boring” chant. Then came the greatest chant ever, “change the channel.” Show used a body slam, head butt and chop, but Batista hit a suplex off the second rope and a spear. That got more “boring” chants. Show hit the choke slam, but Batista kicked out. Show brought in a belt but missed, and Batista hit the spine buster. Show hit a neck breaker and then hit Batista with the belt for a DQ. Sabu ran in and threw a chair at Show. He hit the Arabian face buster and a Van Daminator that sent Show through a table.

Please Don’t Go:

This was easily the best of the “ECW” on Sci-Fi shows, and one of the most fun hours of WWE television in a while. The first 45 minutes were stronger and more focused than most of the “ECW” shows, and the final 15 was tremendous perverse entertainment. I’m sure there will be some in WWE headquarters that will try to frame the reaction to the main event on this show as evidence that the “old ECW audience” isn’t going to accept anything that wasn’t a part of the old ECW.

That’s them just making up false excuses to justify their own mistakes. CM Punk and Kurt Angle got great responses and they weren’t part of the original ECW. The crowd shit all over Big Show and Batista because they think those two stink. That’s all there is to it. WWE would be much better off if they hired and pushed based on talent rather than size and physique. Considering Big Show exemplifies the latter approach, it’s hard to imagine a worse choice for ECW champion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching this show, do you think the WWE will ever decide to switch gears with this thing and decide to run ECW in smaller, more intimate settings like the Hammerstein Ballroom. Barring the main event, this was one of the most fun, entertaining episodes of wrestling I've watched in a long time. I think the crowd's energy and passion for ECW had a lot to do with that and the whole product, including the wrestlers, seemed invigorated by it. So what do you think?

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Cortez said...

Quit dreaming you mark, ecw was like that in the late 90's and it went out of business.

3:39 AM  
Anonymous THe masterbater said...

The best show by far. I think this show was more entertaining to me than Raw. You gotta love ECW fans compared to WWE fans it just isn't the same. They expose wrestlers for what they are and cheer wrestlers that can wrestle. WWE fans are brainwashed to accepting what the WWE provides. I loved every minute of this. I wonder what was Vince or any WWE executive was thinking when they booed the hell out of the Big Show and EXPECIALLY Batista. After this would you think WWE listened to the crowd and make changes or you think they would just ignore it? Would you think they would have another show in a small venue catering to ECW fans?? Would they make that same mistake or would they change the product to what an ECW fan would want? Knowing Vince he would do what he wants because his ego would take over.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

i could have sworn pro wrestling was built on the babyfaces chase of the title usually held by the top heel of the company. the big show-heyman experiment is working perfectly...last night was evidence...insert babyface (RVD) or Sabu for that matter, but theres no reason to do that.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone in WWE had to know that Big Show and Batista would be booed out of the Ballroom.

That audience was not going to accept those two guys in a main event, no matter what they did. Yet, the Entertainment's Brain Trust booked the match anyway.

Sometimes, people get what they deserve.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I think actually the reaction at the show yesterday will make WWE less likely, not more likely, to run at smaller venues. Although I completely agree I loved the setting. I suspect they're going to insult the audience behind the scenes for their reactions and try to distance themselves from them, because they haven't been willing to take any criticism for years.

Cortez, I'm not sure if you're speaking to me or anonymous 1 (please leave names!), but I don't see how ECW running at smaller venues has any relevance to the situation. Since house show attendance has gone down, it really isn't that important of a revenue stream vis-a-vis TV, PPV, merchandise and so forth. WWE can easily afford to run ECW at smaller venues. Smackdown will still do the same attendance at their shows, and even if the ECW TV shows at smaller venues are break even or slight losers, it won't make much of a difference in the big picture.

"i could have sworn pro wrestling was built on the babyfaces chase of the title usually held by the top heel of the company. the big show-heyman experiment is working perfectly...last night was evidence...insert babyface (RVD) or Sabu for that matter, but theres no reason to do that."

Oh yeah. Like Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan. WWE sure was built on that philosophy. And even if that is a good way to run things (and joking aside I do think that works well), obviously the formula doesn't work for ANY heel. Look at Jeff Jarrett's heat as champion in TNA. It's go away, non-building heat for a champion people don't hate but just don't want to see. If WWE made Snitsky the ECW champion and set him up for a RVD chase, it would get a lot of heat in Hammerstein Ballroom. It wouldn't be the right kind. And you're delusional if you think last night was a positive for Big Show's tenure as ECW champion. When the entire arena is chanting "change the channel" at your main event there is no way to frame this as a positive.

And yeah, WWE should have known that was coming and got what they deserved.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

How insulting is this storyline where Paul Heyman keeps holding off on Sabu v. Big Show yet the match keeps happening on the house shows?

9:32 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

As much as you want to believe last night wasn't a positive for WWE you're mistaken. Snitsky isn't the ECW champion because he can't draw heat period. The fans cared enough about the match to shit on it. The played the heel to what the wwe was trying to influence over the viewers. Isn't this thing all about ecw vs. wwe fans anyway? Wasn't this the original idea? The loyalists will love the guys who work hard, the guys with exceptional talent and the ecw original content. In no way will they buy clap or cheer for anything that WWE is trying to force upon them. Are you saying Bruno didn't have go away heat at the time? How much longer was he a headliner after his series of matches with Hogan? WWE will play off the internet writers and the fans during this whole ECW relaunch and they arent doing to bad. Seeing as ECW now draws better ratings, on a worse network, than WWF RAW 1996 and WCW Monday Nitro 1996. The one bad rating was 4th of July. They gave the fans at the ballroom a good show and they will always do that. They won't accept being at a bad show. In fact at times they can make a real bad show seem ok. Your overly critical analysis is what gives them their motivation and helps to create new ideas. WWE delivered last night on their promise to unleash a new breed of ECW, you won't like everything. But I'm willing to bet there's alot of people who will still watch.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

"Snitsky isn't the ECW champion because he can't draw heat period."

You're telling me there would have been a different reaction last night to Snitsky vs. Batista in the main event?

"The fans cared enough about the match to shit on it."

This is an all time classic quote. Congratulations. "That was a great play. The fans were throwing shit at the stage and booing. They were really into it."

"The played the heel to what the wwe was trying to influence over the viewers."

So, WWE WANTED "change the channel," "you both suck," and "boring" chants and massive booing of Batista?

"Are you saying Bruno didn't have go away heat at the time?"


Okay, no, that's the new all time quote.

"How much longer was he a headliner after his series of matches with Hogan?"

Okay, no, no, no. That's the all time quote. Yeah, Bruno had a hell of a feud with Hogan.

"Seeing as ECW now draws better ratings, on a worse network, than WWF RAW 1996 and WCW Monday Nitro 1996."

Untrue. Both Nitro and Raw in 1996 did better than a 2.3/2.4 average for the year. And I don't see how this is relevant. ECW is doing less than half of what Raw alone was doing a few years ago, a lot closer than 1996. You can throw all sorts of random ratings comparisons that don't really establish much.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When 2,500 fans chant "Change the channel!" during a televised main event match, how can it be construed as anything but negative?

Denis Gorman

12:31 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

the crowd did boo batista but not as bad as big show. sounds like respect to me. cm punk got overrated chants, that i dont think they planned on. Wait so youre seriously telling me WWE put together an ECW show with a WWE rules main event and didn't expect the fans to turn on it? Who is being nieve? The ratings comparison simply establishes ECW as a legitament wrestling television show with a strong fan base. When even on the biggest national holiday they can sustain a number TNA and Spike would cream over. Im sorry but if you didn't notice there were chants early that were drowned out but mysteriously you heard certain chants loud and clear. Now it was abundantly clear the announcers were trying to talk over the crowd at some points as well. So the Fuck You's were out. My mistake on the Bruno and Hogan comment as I wasn't sure what you were referencing. I'm not sure how those two compare to ECW 2006. Especially the majority of Hogan major money making days were based on either his chase or him defending the championship as top face. WWE wants something out of the crowd obviously. Change the channel? Probably not, but they sure as hell piped up the sound for it. And if I'm not mistaken when working with storylines are you not suppose to run with what you are given? And expect everything and anything? Including high enzyme counts, arrests, injuries, personal problems, etc.? I think a "Change the CHannel" chant, is the least of their worries. A 'Fuck This Shit' chant maybe. 'You Suck Dick' at Heyman, eh. 'You Sold Out' to the Sandman...thats when theres a problem.

"That was a great play. The fans were throwing shit at the stage and booing. They were really into it."-I never said this. And I would appreciate it when answering my comments to not group my comments together implying I said something I never said.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous King Hater said...

TYSON YOUR AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!! What the hell did you listen to yourself?

"the crowd did boo batista but not as bad as big show. sounds like respect to me."

What the hell can I say about that quote there? I don't know if someone was booing me less then my opponent I wouldn't feel happy about that. If that was you as Batista would you feel better that people were booing you lesser than your opponent?? Thats just crazy!! You say thats a good thing?? WOW What world do you live in buddy? I know I wouldn't.

"cm punk got overrated chants, that i dont think they planned on."

Overated?? Have you seen this guy wrestle before they gave him the respect that he deserves these are TRUE Wrestling fans not some WWE fans that are brainwashed to believing that HHH is really god. I mean come on, are you brainwashed also?

The last they wanted heat on the main event?? ARE YOU NUTS! Do you understand they wanted a big match thats why they put Batista vs. Big Show to get their WWE fans to watch ECW and then when the WWE Fans watched there own stars get booed out of the building they were probably shocked. They probably aske themselves why did they boo Batista? They are too brainwashed to understand that. They booed him because he is a big stiff and can't wrestle. If anything was overrated it wasn't CM Punk it is Batista and I am glad they booed the hell out of him.

SOrry if I seem harsh but I needed to vent.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

I never said punk was overrated. The crowd did. Watch the tape and listen for the chant. It's not everyone but you could hear it. I was simply proving a point about what is or what is not expected. If you for one second are nieve enough to believe that WWE did not know or even comprehend that going into the main event on tuesday night, Batista and Big Show were going to get booed. You my friend are brainwashed.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please your an idiot! Why would they think that? You obviously are brainwashed to think that they expecially batista is going to get booed. Please wake up why would you schedule a match that people are going to destroy the credibiltiy of your two stars? WWE Fans are going to watch that show and be asking themselves why did they boo the hell out of them. GOD!!

12:50 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

not sure why that means theyll stop cheering for batista but okay! I guess Batista and Big Show would never be able to main event a WWE show ever again if you were implying was the case. And they didn't boo batista that heavily because..well there were people in there that actually liked batista. And by not booing him when in a crowd full of people who have no problem booing him. Is respect.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Tyson said...

as for why...well because people will still watch, and the buzz the next day was...THAT WAS THE BEST ECW TV SHOW THERE HAS BEEN SINCE IT WAS ON WWE.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

This thread reminds me of a particular chant the ECW fans pulled out from time to time. I recall Konnan receiving it when he appeared in ECW.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

I watched the tape again from last night to make sure I wasn't crazy. There was a reason for Sabu's interaction with Heyman, there was a reason for Heyman saying the things he said. There was a reason Big Show lost by DQ. There was a reason they let the fans chant RVD before queing Batistas music (he was cheered for his entrance I might add). Do the people in WWE know what theyre gonna get out of the ECW crowd? Hell fuckin no. Do they have a pretty good idea? HELL FUCKIN YEAH. THE FANS WILL NEVER BE SMARTER THAN THE BUSINESS! And do you know why? BECAUSE WE ARENT THE ONES MAKING ANY MONEY!!! Hello? is ANYONE listening?

The way WWE is treated by the internet writers reminds me of a particular saying. They use to use it on MTV. "You think you know, but you have no idea"

No Cliffhangers here.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

You sound like Bob Ryder on WCW Live in 2000.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Well thank you because Bob Ryder has a bigger name in the world of professional wrestling than Todd Martin. When doing comparisons I'd rather have it be to a person who has worked for the business and in the business than simply a fan with a jaded perspective. Looking to put oneselfs writing ability and talent over more so than the actual ENTERTAINERS. And the house show business isn't insulting, the majority of todays wrestling fans dont care about what happens on house shows. When was the last time there was a house show title switch? What I don't understand is why you guys on the net, why you can never give constructive criticism. You all say the same things over and over, create new stars, dont do this, do that. Why in the hell is there no legitament reporting on professional wrestling in this country? I shouldn't have to pay to hear about whats happening with a public company. Thats the most obsured thing I've EVER heard of. You fucks fight the wrong fight. How bout some legitament reporting not this opinionated group discussions and such. Take a step forward on your end huh? Why you so worried about WWE in the future? Whats the starting salary for Wrestling Observer side column reporter?

-As a side note I've read your little info and I see you're at UCLA in law school and that is all well in good. In fact congradulations and I'd like to see you do whatever it is you wish with your future. I hold no ill will.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

A valid opinion is a valid opinion no matter who is stating it. I said you remind me of Bob Ryder on WCW Live 2000 not because of some sort of disrespect for Ryder, but because he constantly harped on the idea you were: those in the business know better than those outside the business ipso facto because they are in the business. And evidently those in the business in WCW at the time didn't know what they were doing all that well, or they wouldn't have gone out of business. Likewise, WWE is putting out a crappy product right now. To turn that around and argue the infallibility of the judgment of WWE decision makers because they are WWE is just silly. There's a reason their business indicators have been in a free fall since 2001, when they were still producing excellent programming. And if WWE continues to produce crap and never corrects that, there will come a time when they have to pay for that, just like WCW did. To make it into an issue about those who recognize the many flaws of the product is a silly waste of time. I don't understand what isn't constructive criticism about what I say. I make specific points about what is wrong and what needs to be better every week. I don't call Vince names or belittle people. It's all about critiquing the television. And if I make similar points, it's because the same mistakes keep being made.

The notion that there isn't legitimate reporting on pro wrestling because you have to pay for it is ridiculous. And frankly, I've always been kind of suspicious of the wrestling knowledge of fans who never have subscribed to the Observer. You have to pay to have your newspaper delivered. You have to pay for magazines to be delivered to you. You want the best reporting, you pay for it. Or you can find the news reported secondhand for free. There are tons of sites that do that. I can't think of too many investments over the past 11 years that have given me more value than my Observer subscription, so I will absolutely defend the fact you have to pay for that. If you didn't, he wouldn't be able to do what he does. And how this relates to me I have no idea. I don't get paid a cent to write about wrestling. I do it because I enjoy it, and because I have respected Dave for forever and like to help him.

I'm worried about the WWE's future because I like wrestling and I want to see good wrestling and don't want to see the business die. It's that simple. There are no financial motivations in anything I write, nor am I particularly worried about my economic future.

The aforementioned Konnan chant was "don't come back." And frankly, I would prefer if you just went away. You're taking away from the level of discourse here and your hostility is unwarranted. If you continue the way you are now, I will delete your posts from here. I want this to be a fun place, and there is so much in vitriol and hostility it is a major turnoff.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Unwarranted? You blatantly tried to embarrass me on your answers to my comments. Additionally providing false comments and quoting me on them. So if I seem hostile this would be why. Everyone has subscribed to the Observer at one point or another. I'm not seeing how you can compare the people who ran WCW to the people who run WWE. Is that even logical? We are all fans of professional wrestling, none of us want to see the business die. I just don't think sarcastic comments and the belittling of the people in charge is the way to go about it. If the reports weren't intriguing I wouldn't read them. I mean you draw a little heat for some of the things you've said and you ask me not to come back to your site? Imagine if Vince came out on Tuesday and said he'd never ever book the ballroom again if the fans didn't start cheering right here, right now.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I didn't try to embarrass anyone. You embarrassed yourself by saying things like Bruno Sammartino had go away heat. I'm sorry, but there is no way of being nice about comments so ridiculous. There were no false comments attributed to you. It was an analogy. Saying the reaction to Batista-Show was good because the fans crapped all over it is *like* saying a play got a good reaction when people were throwing things at the stage. It's the same bizarre logic. As far as everything else, I've been going under the assumption that "tyson" and "al tyson" are the same person. If I am correct in that assessment, I stand by everything I said. If not, maybe I was a little rash.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

Tyson, dude, you've got a lot of hostility with all those f-bombs. Use one or two for effect but geeze.

I'm going to agree with Todd and the Bob Ryder parallel. Just because you are the business doesn't make you any wiser then an educated fan. In Todd's defense, Todd is going to be a lawyer, which I'm pretty sure makes him smarter then 95% of the people that work in the wrestling industry and certainly smarter then Bob Ryder... but these posts aren't about intelligence, they're about passion for the wrestling industry that readers here have been following for years and decades. The fact that none of us are employed by WWE or TNA or whomever, does not make us any more or less intelligent and/or emotionally invested in the product we see on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and a few Sundays every month.

Are the fans smarter? In some cases yes, in some cases no. But we discuss because we give a damn. I just want to see the best possible product in front of me and as of late I'm not seeing it.

If the fans don't speak up with criticism and all we do is blindly cheer then we never stand a real chance of getting what we, the fans, want to see.

I hope Todd doesn't have to censor you Tyson. Debate should always be welcome but it should always be atleast somewhat civilized.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Simply put the quotations did not give the idea of analogy being used, especially when you had been quoting my exact comments up to that point. And it doesn't go under the same Bizarre logic because in pro wrestling...they do throw things at the acts. And not always because it's good heat. See ECW @ The Wachovia. They weren't throwing trash at Big Show or Batista, they came up with a catchy chant that the fans at home would love. The ECW audience knows they are part of the show and are reacting like they know it. For you guys with the power to talk to the people to lead them to believe Big Show is a fat lazy piece of shit with little charisma and less talent is ridiculous. The fans never seemed to care if Andre could work towards the end. I mean who has been carrying ECW since Van Dam dropped the ball? Sabu? Sandman? Kelly Kelly? No. And it hasn't been the Big Show either. The fans carry this promotion, and they will carry it as far as its gonna go. Do I dream about ECW in the Garden we'll hell fuckin yeah I do, but that'll never happen if week after week all I read about is how bad ECW was this week. And as far as Bruno goes...when was the last time someone held the WWE Title for 1 year let alone 6? The business has changed so much since then it doesn't even make sense to compare. I mean could they have one top indestructable guy to lead the company into a new millenium and era of wrestling? Of course. See Brock Lesnar 2009.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

did I pass the todd martin dress code?

3:30 PM  

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