BLATT vs. ECW – January 30th, 2007

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The announcing of Vince McMahon walking onto ECW isn’t a draw for me. I don’t know how many ECW fans it is a draw for. I see this turning into RAW Jr, something that nearly happened at the beginning of the show when they were pulling in talent from wherever they could in the company to fight Rob Van Dam or the Big Show. Test vs. Bobby Lashley for the third time isn’t a big draw either, considering I’ve seen in twice in he past 7 days. A third time really doesn’t get me excited.

Anyway, the show starts and Vince says hello to Marcus saying he’s a breath of fresh air in ECW. He sees the Sandman and criticizes his for drinking on the job. He asks who he is, are we supposed to forget that Vince owns this company and had something to do with the hiring of each wrestler? This is something that a “new” GM or commissioner would do, not the owner of the company. Vince says there are changes that are gonna be made around here. Meh. I lived through Russo/Bischoff and Nash getting the book, changes are nothing new.

Matt Striker over CM Punk by reversed sunset flip
Alright, let’s forget that Vince is in the hiz-ouse and let’s get to the CM Punk match this week. Striker starts with some, uh, striking and CM Punk takes control beating Striker both in and out of the ring. Striker and Punk tease the suplex from inside the ring to outside and instead Striker turns it into a swinging neck breaker with Punk’s feet hanging on the top rope. Striker maintains control until he gets Punk in a rear choke. Then the face rallies and hits a NICE power slam. Striker gets his knees in and Striker has a SERIOUS wedgie. Punk pulls out a double under hook back breaker, but only gets the two. TWO! A reversed sunset flip with Matt Striker holding onto the ropes without Scott Armstrong seeing gets a three count. So now Punk’s got two losses. Arn Anderson and Dave Finlay really have problems with this guy.

Vince is backstage and gives Rebbecca a hug. She exits and says hello to Tommy Dreamer. “You’re the innovator of violence, Tommy Dreamer.” Vince insults Dreamer’s last name. As someone who loves the ECW brand name, this is insulting. Vince says he doesn’t deal with dreams, he deals with reality. If Vince did this when the show first was on the air, this would have made sense. Not now. And Dreamer’s been on the WWE roster forever.

Rob Van Dam vs. Hardcore Holly
Holly’s back in the ring, which shows some progress I suppose. Van Dam starts with a headlock? then he reverses a hammerlock with a flip. Holly’s wrestling a little slower than usual. They both look a little rough, as an RVD ‘rana looks real sloppy and slow. RVD telegraphs an Alabama Slam but rolls out the back.

I can’t stress how slow RVD is wrestling this match. It’s very odd. The crowd is hot to cheer for RVD, which is good because he’s killing time between moves.

Before we hit commercials RVD hits a plancha on Holly, that sets up the spot where both guys are down on the outside which is the sole spot that happens before we always go to commercial.

Holly dumps RVD off the top rope and abuses him a bit on the outside, introducing RVD to the ring stairs before throwing him back into the ring. Holly does the “stall stomp” for a bit on RVD. Styles and Tazz try to sell this is grounding RVD. Holly goes for a poorly executed Camel Clutch. RVD powers out, much like the last match, and breaks the hold with a jawbreaker. Does every WWE match need to include that spot? Anyway, Holly goes back to the stall stomp and RVD rolls around the ring in “pain”.

We’re back to the rear choke hold spot with RVD attempting to channel the crowd to help him power out. He does with some elbows and the match continues at it’s oddly slow pace. This pace is slow for HARDCORE HOLLY, not just RVD. I wonder who’s calling this match.

RVD eventually hits a monkey flip and regains control. Rolling thunder is teased, instead we get a windmill kick followed by rolling thunder. How clever they are. RVD tries another monkey flip and it’s reversed into a power bomb by Holly. It only gets a two. TWO!

Holly goes up top, but gets crotched, RVD can’t get anything while up with Holly, instead RVD hits a windmill kick on a jumping Holly. RVD misses a five star frog splash and the match continues. Holly hits the shittiest Alabama Slam I’ve ever seen and throws RVD into the corner. A few more moments later Holly hits a good looking Alabama Slam and the match ends. I suppose it could have ended worse, right?

Vince walks into Sabu backstage. He says he’s in Afghanistan instead of Texas and that Sabu is a member of the Taliban. Eventually he says “oh you’re that guy, Sabu.” Vince runs down his gimmick and says that he should stay the hell away from him. Again, why the hell is this happening seven months after the show has been on the air? On top of insulting us, trying to make us think that Vince hasn’t been paying attention to the show or the roster at all? He’s re-introducing us to everyone’s gimmicks. This was something that was happening on a weekly basis weeks ago. Why is this happening?

I’ll tell you why. Shitty planning.

Vince keeps walking around backstage and bumps into Balls Mahoney. Balls is rocking out listening to his Walkman, still with the over the top of the head plastic headphones. I say Walkman and not iPod because it probably is a tape, not anything else. Vince interrupts the rock out session. Vince points out that Mahoney probably isn’t Irish and he doesn’t like his first name. He says that tonight Balls might find out of he has any.

Oh God, nothing like Kelly, Brooke and Layla having any time on an hour long wrestling TV show. I didn’t like the Nitro Girls the first time around. I also never really found the song “Dirrty” great either. Combining these three with that song makes me want to fast forward this crap. Vince interrupts mercifully and this crap is over.

Vince “hates” to interrupt the ladies, but they need to get out of his ring. He also doesn’t need his security, and won’t be embarrassed on ECW. Except for the ratings, and maybe the work rate. Vince had a chance to meet the originals and apparently he doesn’t like them very much.

“Anything about the original ECW sucks.” – Vince McMahon

“For all of you that like the original ECW, you suck.” – Vince McMahon

This draws a “you suck” chant form the crowd. Funny thing, Vince is saying this to a Smackdown crowd, most of whom probably weren’t ALIVE when ECW began. And on top of that, if those people were watching ECW when it was on the air, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Truth of the matter is that this is Texas, and Texas wasn’t exactly ECW’s market.

Vince is gonna change ECW and turn it into something that’s meaningful. They need wrestlers with charisma, with physical prowess, not drunken suicidal misfits. You know, my feelings are kinda hurt with all this.

This is hysterical. Vince is trying to tell the crowd what they want, only to be told that he sucks and get a negative reaction. I suppose it could be worse and he could put Stephanie in charge, but this is still pretty bad.

Elijah Burke is supposedly the epitome of everything that ECW should be according to Vince. How about I just let Vince kick me square in the balls, it’s the same thing, and it’ll take less time. It’s amazing I stopped watching ECW: Path of Destruction for this. Vince gives Elijah the stick and he says it’s an honor to stand in the ring with blah blah blah. You don’t give a shit about this do you? Vince is spilling his brand of shit into ECW, and we have to take it. The crowd gives a nice “boring” chant to this shit. Vince comes out to change the direction of ECW and gets “you suck” and “boring” chants. Maybe a “we want wrestling” would be more appropriate.

The original ECW theme hits and the Sandman comes down to the ring and he looks pissed. Burke is all over him to start, but here comes Dreamer to double team Burke, followed by Balls and Sandman. Now THIS is something I can watch. I just wish it was Lashley, Test or Holly. Burke takes a few punches from Balls, a cane shot from Sandman, a DDT from Dreamer and Sabu goes for a table. Finally, Burke gets a chair assisted leg drop from the top rope through the table.

You know what pisses me off? That Tazz is just sitting at ringside. What an opportunity there is to really put a cherry on the sundae here. Tazz embodies what ECW is to a lot of people and he was just sitting at ringside. I think almost everyone recalls Heyman’s best promo on Smackdown against Vince on how he stole Shawn’s smile and bought a jet with it and took Hogan’s blood and built Titan Towers with it and that he’s turned Tazz into a soft fat announcer rather than the ruthless submission machine he used to be. Let’s forget that Tazz attacked Heyman and declared himself WWE rather than ECW. Let’s remember One Night Stand and ONS II where Tazz stood up for his former company against Kurt Angle and finally choking out that cartoon-y womanizer piece of shit, Jerry Lawler. Tazz IS ECW, and ECW is Tazz. If you want to make a statement against Vince with ECW originals? Use Tazz. He’s sitting at ringside talking about what’s happening. Let’s hope that this whole angle ain’t over so we can see the Tazz we remember tear some shit up.

Side note – where the hell is RVD? Not mid-card enough to be considered an ECW Original? That’s shitty in itself.

It’s main event time and Lashley is making his way out to the ring. Blashley makes his way out to the ring followed by Backne.

Bobby Lashley over Test
Match starts with Blashley f*cking up throwing Test out of the ring. Who says he’s too green? Test pulls back to protective mats at ringside and tries to go for a pile driver, but fails and Test is on the floor and Lashley is acting hurt. Naturally, they’re out of the ring and both hurt so we go to commercial.

During the break, Lashley’s shoulder met the steel pole twice. Anyone else tired of them using that spot? Test is attacking the arm of Blashley and they blow another spot pulling Test into the post. I don’t know why these guys are wrestling so loose today. Lashley has control in the ring and misses a head grab on Test making the blown spot count at three for these two. Lashley hits the running powerslam and gets a third victory on Test in eight days. If I didn’t buy Test as a main event heel before the Rumble, I certainly don’t now. I’ve seen him try four times in the last three weeks to win the title and he’s fallen short CLEAN each time.

Afterwards, the Undertaker comes out and we get a tease that the Taker wants the ECW title. Ha! Like he’d want to be on the WWE’s C program. Seriously, I think that they’d actually rather air Heat than ECW.

The Inside Pulse
This all too late. I’m going to give this angle a chance, but this should have happened months ago. RVD vs. Holly was slower than expected and Test vs. Blashley had three blown spots in a match that had almost no moves to begin with. This one was painful to watch. One out of five.