Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"ECW" Report

Oh My God!: Test defeated Rob Van Dam in a tremendous main event.

You Fucked Up: The excessive hype for strip poker once again demonstrates the disconnect between Vince McMahon and wrestling fans in 2006.

He’s Hardcore: Rob Van Dam has found his niche again, and is on a tremendous roll.The

Extreme Rundown:

The show began with Paul Heyman meeting with Hardcore Holly. They showed clips from Holly’s match last week with Rob Van Dam, and Heyman put him over big time. It almost became overkill with Heyman claiming that Holly almost died. Holly got in Heyman’s face and demanded a rematch with RVD on the show. Heyman said this would cause insurance problems, and he could find himself sued.

Holly grabbed Heyman and said that if he didn’t get RVD, he would give Heyman something to sue about. Holly was then suddenly taken out from behind with a chair by Test. Heyman said that RVD would wrestle Test, not Holly, on the show. This was a strong start to the show. Holly appears to be a face already, and I like the potential of him in this setting.

1. Big Show and Matt Striker beat Sabu and Sandman. The heels worked over Sabu for most of the early part of the match. Show hit a clothesline, head butt, vertical suplex, and stepped on Sabu. Striker hit a baseball slide low blow and running kick. Sabu hit a spinning heel kick and made the tag to Sandman. Sandman finally got Striker, and hit him with punches.

This didn’t get much of a reaction even after weeks of building to this point, which is not a good sign. I just don’t see anything in Striker, and Sandman means little in 2006, particularly without his music. Sandman hit a top rope Heinekenrana, and the match broke out into a brawl. Show stopped a Sandman white Russian leg sweep attempt on Striker, and splashed Sandman. Striker covered Sandman for the pin. This was an effective opener.

They plugged strip poker next week, which is such a lame attempt to counter UFC. UFC draws young men, not teenage boys. Young men long ago figured out ways to spot false teases of nudity. They had the Raw, Smackdown and ECW women all talk about the show. Tazz did get a good line in. After Kelly exposed her boobs covered only by a pair of aces, Tazz said he had a straight.

2. Kevin Thorn beat Tommy Dreamer. Thorn hit elbow drops, an avalanche into the corner and a stomach breaker. Dreamer came back with punches and a swinging neck breaker. He went for a DDT, but Thorn grabbed the ropes. Dreamer then did hit the DDT, but the referee said Thorn’s arm was barely under the ropes. Thorn then hit Dreamer with his staff and scored the pin. This match wasn’t much.

3. CM Punk beat Danny Doring. Punk hit a double underhook into a back breaker. He followed that with muay thai knees, a high knee and a bulldog. Next came slaps, a spinning back fist, and a high kick. Finally he finished Doring with the uranage and anaconda vise. Kelly Kelly after the match congratulated Punk and started to strip for him. Mike Knox of course interrupted, and told Punk to stay away from Kelly. Punk said the problem is Kelly staying away from him.

Knox came to the ring to tease confrontation and Punk was ready, but Knox decided to leave instead. The Punk push is so refreshing. They just have him go out there and win matches to establish that he’s good. They rarely ever do that anymore, except with “monster” characters like Umaga, and pushes in those circumstances are less effective because the monster loses so much more once he loses.

It’s nice to see them just a guy go out there and win matches. Kelly after the match congratulated Punk and started to strip for him. Knox of course interrupted and said he’s sick of this and told him to stay away from his girl. Punk said the problem is his girl staying away from him. Knox came to ring and Punk was ready but Knox changed his mind.

4. Test beat Rob Van Dam in an extreme rules match. Rob Van Dam was sent into the steps early, and missed his corkscrew leg drop onto the barricade. Test went to hit RVD in the head with the steps but missed. RVD then hit rolling thunder on the steps. Test came back with a big clothesline and kicked a chair into RVD’s head. RVD threw a chair into Test’s head in response. He went to send Test through a table but Test stopped him with a punch.

Test went for a suplex off the apron through a table, but RVD blocked. RVD then hit a sunset flip into a power bomb that sent Test off the apron through the table. Paul Heyman came to ringside, and the riot squad jumped RVD. They hit him repeatedly with a nightstick. Test threw RVD into a chair, but RVD kicked out of the pin attempt. Test threw a chair at him again, and again RVD kicked out.

RVD came back with a series of kicks culminating with a kick that sent a chair into Test’s head. Test recovered and hit an incredible spot where he came off the top with one chair and drove that chair into another chair that was on RVD. It looked like he killed RVD. RVD still kicked out. Test went for a power bomb through a table, but RVD rolled down his back for a near fall. RVD then hit a kick off the top rope. He drop kicked the riot squad off the apron and took them out with a pescado. He went for the five star off the top through a table, but Show pushed him off the top rope. Test then hit the TKO for the pin.

This was a fantastic match. This was easily the best ECW TV show match. It was much better than last week’s strong Holly-RVD match because it had a better first half, and I didn’t think Show-Flair from earlier was even a good match, let alone a standout match. Both men looked excellent, and this will help both. RVD in particular looked like a real star again.

Please Don’t Go:

This show was not just competently put together or inoffensive. It was downright excellent, from beginning to end. ECW right now is so much better booked than Raw or Smackdown. It’s not always a better show because it has inferior talent, but it’s in a different league as far as utilizing talent to the best of their abilities. It also is starting to actually feel like ECW again, which was not the case at least for me for a long while. This was a fun show with very good wrestling and very good storytelling. Rob Van Dam in main events is so much more fun than Big Show in main events. It’s easy to understand where the “whole fucking show” catch phrase came from with performances like these.


Anonymous Ryan said...

Excellent report there, Todd. I have to completely agree with you on tonight's ECW show. I've been pretty damn bored by RAW and I won't watch Smackdown, at least until Benoit comes back.

The arrival and use of CM Punk is about the only thing that interests me and gets me excited as a wrestling fan watching WWE's version of wrestling anyway.

The guy has that "it" factor and after watching much of his work in ROH and later in OVW, I'm curious to see how far WWE will let his push go. At least he's not on RAW, so there's no DX getting in his way.

What really makes me curious is to see when he's main eventing and how long it will take for them to turn him heel, since I think he's more of a natural heel anyway, but that's far down the road.

As long as they don't do something stupid and push Knox over him in his current fued (and I don't think even they could be that blind), then it should get more interesting with him sooner than later.

Keep up the good work.


1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main event between RVD and Test was awesome. Anybody that bashed Test before his arrival into ECW should rethink about this man's potential. Of course, some will say he was carried by RVD but that is what oppinions are all about.

I know what will put the Sandman over big time and that is if he just canes the holy hell out of Kelly Kelly. She is just so mechanical and undesirable.

Keep up the good work Todd. I always enjoy reading your recaps.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a great show. Too bad for them that they put on sooooo many lousy shows to start with that I gave up on the ECW show.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd, I was wondering if you knew anything about why RVD's website has been down for the last few weeks?

10:58 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I appreciate the kind words.

No idea why RVD's site is down. Sorry.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Dan Wahlers said...

I agree with you Todd, ECW has been so much better than Raw and Smackdown lately. Which is quite a statement considering where they started from back in June.

Just to clarify something, when Heyman talked about Bob Holly almost dying, he wasn't talking about the stiches in his back from the previous week, he was talking about the staph infection in Holly's elbow that kept him out of action for more than six months earlier this year. That he almost did die from legit.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

two in a row..

welcome to the bandwagon fellas, there's room for everyone.

todd i enjoy most of your writing, please review two consecutive impact shows to really put into perspective where the WWE's product is as to where TNA's currently is.

9:04 AM  

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