Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"ECW" Report

Oh My God!: Rob Van Dam defeated the Big Show to earn a future title shot.

You Fucked Up: The main event finish was overbooked and undermined what they were trying to accomplish.

He’s Hardcore: Hard weapon shots to the head were the order of the day tonight, with Sandman, Matt Striker, Big Show and Test among those on the receiving end.

The Extreme Rundown:

1. Sandman defeated Matt Striker via count out in a Singapore cane on a pole match. Having a count out finish on that sort of stipulation match sounds dumb, but it fit well into the story being told here. Sandman and Striker traded chops and punches early. Striker made a couple attempts for the cane. Striker missed an elbow drop and Sandman went for the cane, but Striker cut him off. Striker threw Sandman off the top rope into the ring and claimed the cane. He hit Sandman in the head with the cane twice, but missed a third shot. Sandman gave Striker four shots with the cane, including two hard shots to the head and one to the back. Striker was bleeding, and when he saw the blood he left the ring.

2. CM Punk beat Rene Dupree. I like how ECW has one person beating another multiple times. It goes against WWE’s trading wins formula, and makes it much clearer who is being pushed. That in turn makes them feel more important and builds bigger matches. Dupree slapped Punk at the onset and ran away. He snapped Punk’s neck on the ropes and went after him with punches and kicks. Punk retaliated with a leg lariat, slaps, a spinning back fist, the uranage and the anaconda vise. Mike Knox ran in afterwards but Punk cut him off with a punch and Knox retreated.

Rob Van Dam was interviewed backstage by one of the diva competition women. She sounded like she was reading lines rather than asking questions, and came across badly. I hate the talentless women being brought in to interview, because it undermines the credibility of the promotion when it is represented by idiots. RVD said he is popular because he is the best, and he will slay the giant. He said he will prove he can beat the Big Show and Show will have to put up the title at some point. Big Show was later interviewed and said he is the most dominant champion and will defeat RVD. He said that if RVD won the non-title match, he would get a future title shot.

3. Test beat Balls Mahoney. Test called himself an impact player before the match and the word of the day for him was ruthless. He reminded the audience what he did to Hardcore Holly, and said he’ll make an example of Holly when Holly is able to wrestle again. This was a sub-par promo by Test that felt over-rehearsed and unconvincing. Balls Mahoney came out and said that if Test wanted competition, Balls would provide it. Test turned him down, so Balls attacked him. A referee came in and the match was on. Balls missed a splash and was thrown into the post by Test. Balls came back with punches and a sit down power bomb. However, Test finished him with the yakuza kick and TKO.

4. Sabu beat Shannon Moore. Sabu hit a leg drop and went for the camel clutch, but Moore got to the ropes. Sabu hit a springboard leg drop and somersault plancha. Moore was able to come back with a quebrada, but missed the sky twister press. Sabu hit a somersault leg drop off the apron for the pin. This was an effective match. It’s nice to see different moves being used on ECW that aren’t seen often in WWE.

5. Rob Van Dam beat Big Show. RVD started with punches and kicks until Show hit a big boot. RVD hit a somersault senton off the top but Show quickly kicked out of the pin. Show bullied RVD around, and RVD came back with kicks and punches. RVD hit a kick off the top rope and rolling thunder, but Show again powered out of the pin. Show hit a spear but missed the corner splash elbow. After a ref bump, Show went for the choke slam but had it reversed into a DDT.

RVD went to the top for the frog splash, but Test pushed him off. Test hit RVD with a chair, but Hardcore Holly took the chair from Test. He gave Test a chair shot to the head, and gave Show two. RVD then hit the five star for the pin. RVD and Show did a good job wrestling in a way that emphasized Show’s size. That is easier said than done. The finish was lame, as it undermined RVD’s claim to the title and the ref bump/run-in/interference/cheap win formula should be pretty close to permanently retired by WWE. It’s only effective in limited doses, and instead it’s the finish of seemingly 80 percent of WWE main events.

Please Don’t Go:

Hopefully last week’s show was an aberration, as ECW returned this week to what it had been doing well prior to last week. This show didn’t have a standout match, but again was just a solid, basic wrestling show. The reliance on guests seems to be declining, which is another positive.


Anonymous Dave S. said...

One thing that struck me about the show is how strong C.M. Punk is being pushed. Once I saw Mike Knox coming into the ring, I figured he was about to beat down Punk, but instead Punk fought him off and called for him to come in and fight. Not only is Punk undefeated, but he has yet to get outsmarted or even remotely hurt by any other wrestler. I can't remember the last time a wrestler was booked to look strong every single week (probably Brock Lesnar during his initial build-up). I'm glad the writers figured out how to build a new star.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Umaga's generally been built pretty strong. Lashley was protected pretty well at first. There's been some, but yeah, Punk is probably the strongest since Brock.

8:19 PM  

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