The SmarK ECW Rant – July 4 2006
– Live from Philly.
– Your hosts are Joey & Tazz
– Paul Heyman’s opening plea for support of RVD is interrupted by Big Show, who demands a title match tonight. God, they’re already recycling tired stuff like that.
– And now, another striptease from Kelly (an exhibitionist), as they use the Pussycat Dolls yet again, obviously only having the budget to license one song. And again, Mike Knox stops her. Yup, that’s all they’ve got.
Mike Knox v. Little Guido
Guido attacks while Knox is providing exposition, but misses the Sicilian Slice. Knox pounds away with the clubbing forearms and a backbreaker gets two. Knox drops knees as the crowd chants “You can’t wrestle” and the announcers lamely defend his supposed wrestling ability. He’s a HEEL, you can degrade him. But in WWE world everyone is a superstar and equally great. A bunch of bodyslams (are you kidding me?) draws a “boring” chant but Guido makes his comeback, only to eat a big boot. Neckbreaker ends the boredom. Tazz makes sure to note that he thinks Knox is a good fighter.
(Mike Knox d. Little Guido, neckbreaker — pin, 3:16, 1/2*) Primary difference between ECW and whatever this show has become: That kind of fan reaction would have killed the character off in ECW, whereas WWECW means that we get the character shoved down our throats harder to prove a point.
– Meanwhile, RVD stands up for his little buddy Heyman and wants to make ECW a place where the bigger guys don’t get the top spots without earning them. Too late, I’d say.
– One of the millions of bald people with “Vito” in their name who I can never keep straight, apparently now playing a wrestling priest, hops the railing and cuts a promo about how ECW fans are sinners who will burn in hell. And then they immediately kill the gimmick by having him admit that he’s not really a priest. It blows my mind that they could actually think up something with potential like that and then just turn around and back off it right away. Sandman comes out to a tepid reaction and beats the guy up, turning it yet another one-shot Sandman joke.
– Meanwhile, RVD finally gets some edge, going back to Show’s dressing room and slapping him around to accept his challenge.
Test v. Al Snow
Yes, this Smackdown midcard filler match from 1999 is now part of the “new breed” of wrestling. Right. Test looks roided to the gills again. The announcers immediately trip over themselves kissing his ass because he’s so “intense”. Corner clothesline and big boot from Test, and the F5 finishes things quick.
(Test d. Al Snow, 1:02, F5 — pin, 1/4*) Same Test, different show. If EVER there was a guy who desperately needed a new ring name to at least give him a fighting chance at getting over, it’s Test.
– Sabu video package, as he finally speaks after being silent his entire career, and has nothing to say.
– And now we meet CM Punk, who is Straight Edge and thus perfect as a heel for ECW. He’s got a shot to have a character that works, unlike pretty much everyone else on this pathetic show.
ECW title: Rob Van Dam v. Big Show
They do the in-ring introductions to give it a “big fight” feel, but it’s a match that hasn’t been hyped and that no one wants to see, with a guy that no one buys as a top guy in the promotion as challenger. And the finish is obvious given external circumstances. Rob evades Show for a bit but runs into him and gets headbutted out of the ring. And yes, Joey has to mention how you need to see Show live to appreciate him. They slug it out on the floor and Show crotches him on the railing, then slowly pounds on him out there while Joey talks about his “skillet-like” hands as if on cue from the back. Perish the thought. Rob comes back with the guillotine legdrop on the railing and we take a break.
Back with Show in control (I’m as shocked as you) in the ring and choking away. Blind charge misses and Rob dropkicks him out of the corner, but goes up and gets knocked down again. Show actually superplexes him, which gets two. Legdrop gets two. The crowd is just not into this match, and it really sucks the life out of it when Rob is playing the plucky underdog like all the lame WWE babyfaces. Slam and elbow gets two. Bearhug draws boos from the crowd, and not in the “we dislike this wrestler” way, but in the “This is not the style of wrestling we want to see” way. Backbreaker into a submission move, which is again the same crap they’ve been using on TV for the past 5 years. Rob finally comes back, dropkicking the knee, but walks into a chokeslam, which he counters into a bad-looking DDT. Rolling Thunder gets two. Missile dropkick is caught by Show and Rob gets dumped to the floor.
Back to the floor again, as Show attacks with the stairs and misses, but he catches a bodypress attempt from Rob. Back in, Rob brings a chair in, but Show chokeslams him for two. Show gets rid of the ref to express his displeasure, but Rob recovers and counters a powerbomb with a chairshot. Van Daminator and frog splash follow, but there’s no ref. So Paul Heyman runs out and turns on RVD, leaving Show to finish with a chokeslam to win the title.
(Big Show d. Rob Van Dam, chokeslam — pin, 14:45, *1/2) Oh come on, a ref bump and a heel turn? This is supposed to be the new breed? Doing the same stupid evil authority figure stuff?
This show has gotten beyond stupid, it’s like a lesson in how to kill your audience. I don’t get angry watching wrestling much anymore, and this show made me angry because they seem to honestly think that pushing Mike Knox and Test with their identical movesets as the “new breed” is the way to make people watch and pushing Big Show as champion for the millionth time will get him over. There’s no hope here.
Sorry, gang, I gave it a few weeks, but I’m done.