The SmarK Rant for ECW v. WWE
– It’s not like there was anything else on TV to watch last night once the Hurricanes decided to blow out the Oilers.
– Live from Dayton, OH.
– Your hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles and Tazz.
-Opening match: Rey Mysterio v. Rob Van Dam
Good to see Lillian working through the pain tonight. James Andrews must be her doctor. Stalemate sequence to start, and RVD presses him into a standing moonsault, which is a move he hasn’t done in, oh, about 7 years. Sadly, he’s so proud that he poses for a minute instead of covering, allowing Rey to knock him into 619 position. Rob dodges that, so Rey dropkicks him off the apron instead and follows with a baseball slide. Again showing off a rare power side, Rob catches him and drops him on the apron, but misses his guillotine legdrop on the railing (after one abortive attempt), and Rey hits him with a dive from the top into the front row. Someone’s eaten their Wheaties tonight, I see. We take a break.
Back with Rob crotching Rey on the top rope and dropkicking him to the floor. Back in, Rob slingshots out with the guillotine again, for two. Rob’s really fired up tonight, doing everything really crisply and with a minimum of messing around. Rob takes him down into the corner and dropkicks the chair into his face, which gets two. Into the other corner, and another chair is used, but Rey dodges and bulldogs Rob on it for two. Drop the Dime misses and Rey splats on the chair, and Rob finishes with the frog splash for the clean pin.
(RVD d. Rey Mysterio, frog splash — pin, 9:43, ***) Well, it’s not like Rey hasn’t done a million jobs as champion this year already, and Rob definitely needs the win going into the PPV. Super-energetic TV match, at any rate.
– Kurt Angle, with ECW shirt, joins us to let us know that he’s now ECW’s Kurt Angle and thus he doesn’t take shit. Of course, being ECW’s Kurt Angle probably also means you draw 0.8 ratings in prime time and all your cheques bounce, so it’s not all great. Randy Orton comes out and retorts with a funny bit about how the fans of ECW can relate to loving hardcore porn because they can’t get any real women. It’s funny because it’s TRUE. Angle promises to break both his arms and legs, apparently being a big fan of Oz. Orton predicts that, and I’m quoting here, “ECW’s success will fail.” Ah, live TV. He’ll also single-handedly kill the promotion. Hey now, that’s Heyman’s job.
-Mickey James v. Jazz.
Non-title again tonight. Really, Jazz without Rodney Mack to thug and bug with just isn’t worth it. Jazz kicks away and Mickey bails, so Jazz follows with a Thesz Press off the apron. Back in, a charge misses, but Jazz gets the Jazz Stinger for two. James comes back with her DDT to finish. Epic!
(Mickey James d. Jazz, DDT — pin, 1:59, 1/2*) Well, the ECW Women’s division sure needs some work.
– Meanwhile, John Cena cuts a pretty good promo about how he has to retain his title on Sunday against RVD or risk having it re-christened the ECW title and thus destroying the heritage of the belt. Except what I don’t get is that it’s been publicly stated many times that Vince owns both promotions anyway, so what’s really at stake?
– Paul Heyman joins us to run down the card and do the hard sell. Nothing here.
-WWE v. ECW Battle Royale
So there’s Big Show, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Tatanka, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy, Finlay, Carlito, Bobby Lashley and Edge for WWE. For ECW it’s harder to tell because they don’t get entrances, but it looks like Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, Sandman, Guido/Nunzio, Justin Credible, Stevie Richards, Ballz Mahoney, Al Snow and Tony Mamaluke (not sure about him). Rules differ in that once all the members of a team are eliminated, the match is over. So there’s a whole pile of eliminations in the first 90 seconds, and we take a break. This is why I hate battle royales on TV.
All the ECW get tossed quickly until it’s just Angle and Sandman left against Orton, Show, Benjamin and Finlay. And we take ANOTHER break. Back with Sandman getting tossed, leaving Angle 3-on-1. The brief Angle-Finlay confrontation makes me think that would be an awesome match, but Angle gets rid of him before it can come to fruition. Orton tosses Angle to win, but Big Show tears off his shirt to reveal that he’s ECW 4 Life and tosses Orton to win for real at 10:10. Yes, they’re already doing the WCW thing where allegiances are boiled down to the shirt being worn. There’s sure a lot of non-ECW guys representing ECW here.
-Edge v. Tommy Dreamer
This is ECW rules, so any…no, wait, already made the jokes about cheques bouncing. Let’s try that again.
This is ECW rules, so regardless of who wins, no one gets paid! Eh, still not great. Let’s do it this way:
This is ECW rules, so ____________________________________________________________!
There, now you can fill in the blank yourself.
Anyway, Tommy sends Edge into the stairs and uses the dreaded roadsign, but Edge comes back with a cookie sheet and a drop toehold on the chair. Wicked trashcan lid shot gets two. Impaler DDT on the can gets two. Tommy comes back with a kick to the junk and does the corner nut squash, then dropkicks the chair into Edge’s face. We’ve already had that spot tonight, guys, get your shit together. A table gets involved as the announcers just totally ignore the match and talk about the storyline, which is stingingly ironic given Joey Styles’ farewell speech on RAW. Not that I can even figure out who’s supposed to be faces and heels here anyway.
Edge tries a powerbomb through the table, but Dreamer backdrops him off the top rope to block, and Edge takes a scary bump, landing on his head and hitting his knees on the table. Tommy carries on with a Dreamer driver through the table for two, but Lita assists with a spear by Edge for the pin.
(Edge d. Tommy Dreamer, spear — pin, 6:44, *1/2) I’m sure Dreamer protested long and hard about having Lita sitting on his face for the finish. Poor bastard. Anyway, this was a total car wreck in the bad way, recycling the same tired “hardcore” stuff we’ve seen over and over again, which is what killed the concept years ago in the first place. The most interesting thing about the match was Mick Foley choking out Terry Funk with barbed wire for the whole match, which the announcers hardly even mentioned!
– And now, more See Now Evil hype, because ECW are RENEGADES who promote WWE Productions(TM) to the EXTREME.
– Mick’s turn at the hard sell now, as he gives a psychotic sitdown interview in the ring, promising to exorcise the demons of ECW, because it’s like the crazy chick who you love, but who’s trying to kill you. Oh, man, I’ve been THERE. Remind me to tell that story on the blog sometime. This was an awesome promo, of course.
-John Cena v. Sabu
This has trainwreck written all over it. Cena gets an elbow for two and slugs away in the corner, and a suplex gets two. Belly to belly gets two. Cena pounds him and chokes away in the corner, prompting the crowd to totally turn on him. It’s gonna be an awesome reaction to him at the PPV. Sabu tosses him and adds a chairshot, and back in for another chair to the face. Triple jump moonsault gets two. Air Sabu gets two. Arabian facebuster and Cena bails, so Sabu sends him into the stairs and legdrops him on the table. Sabu is also looking energized, probably by the wads of cash he’s making to do this. Back in, another Air Sabu is reversed to the FU to set up the STFU, but Big Show runs in for the DQ.
(John Cena d. Sabu, DQ, 6:02, **) Felt REALLY rushed because of dwindling TV time, but Sabu was into it and actually kept it from dying. The DQ finish shows that they have no idea what ECW is about, however, and that’s troubling.
This was, to a tee, Crash TV all over again. However, while it may not have been a great show from a modern standpoint, it was exciting and surprising and never for a minute boring. And that’s a world better than what RAW has been delivering all year. Overall, I think the ECW thing is hurried and terribly planned, but if they can deliver shows like this every week, I’ll be watching.