Thanks to Canadian Lou for sending in the following report from last night’s ECW house show in Philadelphia:
ECW Arena Show
I just got back from Philly and the ECW Arena show. I drove two hours from Jersey to see it, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Now I used to go to the arena on a regular basis, so I was kind of worried that it was going to be all WWE fans. Thankfully, I was wrong. When I got there, a bunch of people were tailgating across the street like they used to. Everyone was getting wasted, it was great. Then, a WWE camera guy came over to film us for something and someone hit him in the back with a chair. Dude was pretty cool about it though.
Anyway, onto the show:
Arena was packed, like 1,200 people in there. There were even people standing in the back it was so crowded. They play some bullshit WWE recording about how we can’t take pictures, and everyone started a “Fuck you Vince” chant. Then, they brought out hat guy and he got a big “Where’s your hat” chant and a big “Welcome back” chant. I thought it was cool that they gave him his old seat ringside. He then put his hat on and everyone chanted “ECW”.
The new announcer, I think his name is Justin Roberts, comes out. He got one of the loudest boos of the night. The fans were chanting, “You suck dick” every time he went in the ring, the poor bastard. By the way, the set was the ECW brick set with what looked like a Tron up top but they didn’t use it. Also, the same camera guy from outside was inside filming the show. I hope they put this on TV or a DVD, but it looked like there was only one person shooting the whole thing, so they’ll probably just show clips or something.
The first match was FBI (Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke) vs. Danny Doring and Roadkill. Doring and Roadkill came out first and because they were the first people out there, they got a pretty good pop. FBI (no Big Guido) came out to a big pop. The match was what you’d expect. Tony and Guido took some sick bumps, and Roadkill took a big one off the top rope. In the end, Tony DDTed Roadkill for the win. Crowd was into it, even chanting for Tracey Smothers! After the match, Doring and Roadkill got a nice reaction and Doring leaped onto Roadkill to celebrate. Nice way to start the show.
The next match was a big surprise. Stevie Richards came out to his crappy WWE song (what, no bWo?) and got a nice “Welcome back” chant. Then, an AFI song came on, and people around me were going apeshit because that meant that CM Punk was coming out. I didn’t think they’d bring him out for the show, but sure enough the guy came out. He got a big pop and did his trademark pose in the center of the ring. The match was solid but a little slow in the beginning with some rest holds. I’d say the crowd was pretty torn about who to cheer, but mostly it was Punk. Then, Stevie turned the rest of the crowd to Punk by mocking his “X” symbol. Punk made Richards tap and then after the match Stevie and CM shook hands and Richards left the ring giving him a round of applause. Classy shit. Punk celebrated in the ring for a few more minutes.
Then came one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. The ring announcer says that the next match is for no falls, so I’m thinking it’s a tables match or something. Instead, it was an Extreme Bikini contest. Some people were pissed that we were getting a WWE thing, I was just happy because it meant some T&A. Francine came out first and the crowd loved her. Trinity came out next to a lukewarm reaction. Then, Kelly came out. Now Kelly’s hot and all, but since she isn’t original ECW she got booed out of the building. I never thought I’d see the day when a chick like that got booed. Francine went first and was wearing a pink thong bikini. She posed around the ring. Then, Trinity did her thing, wearing a regular bathing suit with Italian flags on it. People didn’t care for Trinity.
Then, Kelly did her thing, and even though she’s an exhibitionist, her bikini wasn’t as revealing as Francine. Anyway, Francine won, which pissed off the other two. Francine then shoves down Kelly and she and Trinity square off. The crowd chanted “Fuck her up Francine” and the two went at it in a catfight. Trinity tossed Francine to the outside and went up to the top rope. She missed Francine but got a “Holy Shit” chant. Francine went in the ring and was going to strip Kelly when Mike Knox came out to stop her. He then pie faced Francine, which got major heat. He yelled at Kelly to go to the back, and as she walked away, Balls Mahoney came out.
Balls and Knox had an impromptu match. Knox looked impressive size-wise, but the fans didn’t want a wrestling match from Balls Mahoney. Lots of vintage moves as Balls did his trademark punches as we chanted “Balls”.
Balls finally grabs a chair, and for some reason the referee tells him not to use it. Weird. When he’s arguing with the ref, Knox rolls him up and gets the win. Crowd not too pleased with this, so Balls goes to hit the ref with a chair, but the ref bolts too. Crowd got over this pretty quickly because Balls is so over.
Next match was CW Anderson vs. Sabu. It was good to finally see CW since his picture is still up on ECW.com but he hasn’t wrestled. He got a decent pop. Then, Sabu came out. No music, but no one cared. Everyone goes nuts for the guy. Match was awesome. Easily best of the night so far. Sabu put Anderson through a table with an Arabian facebusted, and got the win with the camel clutch. After it was over, Anderson got a nice “CW” chant.
Then it was intermission. Bought one of those sweet new RVD shirts. Line to the sales booth was crazy long.
First match out of intermission was a dueling Singapore canes match with Sandman and Justin Credible. Credible comes out first, then Sandman sneaks in through the front entranceway and walks around the arena. His music sucks balls, but no one cared because it was vintage Sandman. He came into my section and when he cracked open a beer, he poured half of it into some guy’s cup, which was cool. Match was short but brutal. Both guys whacked the shit out of each other, but it looked like Sandman hurt his neck or something, because it ended kind of quickly. Sandman won with a White Russian Leg Sweep. It was good, but the crowd wanted it longer.
No one cared after what happened next. The old ECW song plays and out comes Paul Heyman. Crowd goes nuts. Most of us were pumped to see Paul, but a small group of assholes start chanting, “This show sucks”. Paul starts shooting all over the place, talking about how no matter what other piece of shit company ran a wrestling show in the bingo hall that this was the home of ECW. He said he was glad to finally come back to where it all started, then hugged hat guy! He talked about how he needs to compromise with SciFi for now because he would have given his left nut to bring ECW back. He plugs Wackovia Center show and the crowd wasn’t too happy. He then says that he doesn’t want us to go to the RAW/Smackdown supershow the night before, but just go to the ECW show. He says he wants an ECW crowd with the chants and the energy and not a bullshit Smackdown crowd. Then, some douche Cena fan stands up and Paul tears him apart. Another asshole decides to mouth off and Paul rips him apart also. Vintage Paul. Then he talks about the other person who he owes this to, and out comes Dreamer!
Tommy and Paul hug and everyone chants “Welcome Back”. Tommy then gets on the mike and talks about how earlier today his daughter bumped her head and she had to go to the hospital, but once the doctors said she was okay, Beulah told him to come to the arena. He even said his daughter no-sold the injury, so we chanted “She’s hardcore”. Dreamer then called out Big Show, who got booed out of the building. Everyone alternated between chanting “You fat f*ck” and “Don’t come back”. Match was brutal. It made up for the short Sandman match and more. They brawled through the crowd, with Show smashing Tommy’s head into the Al Alahamamahda (whatever the f*ck the place is called now) arena sign. Show put Tommy through a table on the outside but Tommy kicked out. Biggest heat of the night came when Big Show knocked Hat Guy’s hat off. Match ended when Dreamer went for a Spicoli driver through a table, couldn’t get him up, and got chokeslammed through the table. Crowd didn’t care. When Tommy finally stood up after that, the place erupted. We gave him a nice standing ovation, and he seemed legitimately moved by it.
Last match of the night was insane. It was RVD vs. Angle for the ECW title. Angle got a nice pop, the first WWE guy to do so. Then RVD came out and you’d swear there were 10,000 people in the arena. Match started off with some chain wrestling, which Kurt dominated. Crowd alternated between a “Lets go Angle” and “Fuck you Angle” chant the whole match.
Match itself was awesome, and I can’t wait until they do it on PPV. Angle hit the Angle Slam but RVD kicked out. Angle used the ankle lock, but RVD got out of it. In the end, Angle abandoned the technical stuff and went for a chair. He swung it, but it bounced off the rope and hit him in the head. He turned around and got hit with a Van Daminator. To end it, RVD hit a 5-star frog splash for the pin. Angle got out of there pretty quickly, but RVD didn’t. He grabbed the mic and gave a speech about how awesome it was to be back and be champion and basically thanked us for being hardcore fans. It was kind of hard to hear him because everyone was screaming so loud. Then he walked around the ring slapping hands and the show was over.
After the show, two jerks got in a brawl in my section, so everyone was sort of shuttled out pretty quickly. I stuck around and waited to buy another t-shirt (EC f’n W) and there were still people partying after I got out there. I don’t care about the people who want to crap all over this just because it’s “WWE” because this show was as good as anything in the arena ever.
1) Big Show
2) Kelly/Mike Knox
3) Ring Announcer