Time for live ECW again! While you wait for updates, check out my Wrestlemania XXVI card. And now, to see if Hurricane Helms is Shane Helms!
CM Punk opens the show, announcing he’s a conquering hero returning to where it all began and noting that he expects a standing ovation. I love CM Punk! One of the best top heel foursome since the late 1980s (check back here on Pulse tomorrow for more on that!).
Zach Ryder comes out with Rosa Mendez and he’s in total puppy love, while Mendez is entirely shallow. Rosa stays in Ryder’s corner again and we have our first match.
Match 1: Zach Ryder vs. Shelton Benjamin
Shelton comes out to say he’d rather wrestle Mendez, so Ryder is insulted, but still doesn’t want his match now. Ryder gets in a cheap shot and we have a feud!
A hype video airs for Hurricane vs. Burchill, mask vs. ECW career tonight! Don’t question the fire that burns inside… commercials.
Match 1: Mask vs. ECW Career: Hurricane vs. “The Ripper” Paul Burchill with Katie Lea
The Ripper is a nice little nickname for Burchill. It implies violence and Jack “The Ripper” is ingrained enough in our cultural consciousness to be memorable but not overused as such to be cliche. Helms, on the other hand, got fat. The feud isn’t about proving Hurricane is Shane Helms, for the haters, it’s about Burchill not liking the ridiculousness of everyone pretending to not know they’re the same person.
Hurricane controls with mat wrestling to begin the match, so Burchill stalls to get heat, then uses his power assault helms. Hurricane is too fast for that, however and send Burchill to the floor then follows with a tope. Although this is a heated feud, the wrestling to start works because the win is all that’s needed for either man to get their wish, so they’re careful about getting the win, utilizing all their skill rather than mindless hatred.
Hurricane controls for a few more moments, but when he tries to hit the ropes, Lea grabs his leg and he’s killed with a vicious Burchill backdrop driver. That’ll surely get Burchill control, so we hit commercials.
Ugh, we return with a chinlock by Burchill. This spot will get Hurricane a hope spot and, sure enough, Hurricane fights out, but is caught with a short arm clothesline. Burchill goes with a modified chinlock, so at least he’s varying it up. Hurricane escapes only to be taken down again and assaulted with punches. Burchill misses a blind charge and the fans begin to rally behind Hurricane.
As they trade lefts and rights, the crowd continues to awaken, popping for a Thesz press by Hurricane, who presses his advantage, but can’t keep Burchill down. The Eye of the Hurricane is countered into a surprising Pele kick for a near fall, then another Eye into a northern lights suplex with a bridge for another two. As Burchill becomes frustrated, he begs his sister for help and, for wasting time, is caught in a hurricanrana. Lea again distracts Helms, and so he gets caught in a jackhammer for two. Another is attempted, but Hurricane nails the Eye finally. He’s too tired to cover right away and so only gets a near fall! This is really very good.
Hurricane goes up top, but he’s still moving slowly and so is caught. Burchill goes up with Helms as the crowd buzzes with anticipation. Helms hits the Eye of the Hurricane (sot of) off the top and gets three!
Hurricane defeats Paul Burchill (Pin, Top Rope Eye of the Hurricane, ***)
That was a satisfying feud ender, as Burchill is now off ECW. Hopefully, he’ll be picked up by Smackdown right away as he’s an excellent undercard worker. Even on Raw, he vs. Evan Bourne would be a good match.
Backstage CM Punk doesn’t approve of Tiffany drinking so she says he isn’t human because he can’t have a good time. Wow, that was absolutely NOT the message you want to put out there with a new kid-friendly direction, WWE. Worse, Punk apparently has no answer for that! Morgado’s going to have a field day with that one.
Last week, ECW was watched by more men than Larry King Live. Was last week when King had Hogan on?
Match 2: Vance Archer squashes a jobber.
Why are so many guys doing the intense gimmick right now? Besides Archer, we have Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. There are more than cowardly and intense heel gimmicks. The crowd simply did not care at all for the former Lance Hoyt.
CM Punk decides to confront Christian, who asks if he can hold hands with a girl? He implies that only kids can’t drink or smoke. Christian says his peeps think in Philly think Punk is a nerd. Punk keeps trying to talk and being called a nerd in response. Punk demands respect for his achievements, but Christian says that Punk isn’t a champion and Christian is. That… was corny, but Christian’s delivery more or less pulled it off. I can’t wait for the Edge return and hopefully Edge and Christian reunion.
Jesse Ventura, the best color man ever, will host next week’s three hour Raw.
Time for yesterday’s awesome WWE in New York Hype Video set to Jay-Z’s New York State of Mind with yesterday’s Raw main event highlights thrown in.
Match 3: CM Punk and William Regal vs. R-Truth and Christian
This should be great except when Truth is in the ring. Interestingly, Regal is the only one here to never hold a major top title. Christian had NWA, TNA and ECW. Punk had ROH, ECW and the World Title (thrice), while Truth, for some reason, had the NWA title (and thus made TNA gun-shy on giving another young guy the belt because he sucked so badly, but still).
And don’t think Regal has forgotten last week’s loss to Christian… but he has forgotten his feud with CM Punk from Raw last year (don’t lie, you did too until I mentioned it). Unfortunately, R-Truth still has value- his entrance gets a great pop so the crowd cares enough for his losses to help heels. I’d almost prefer this spot went to Matt Hardy. And I hate Matt Hardy.
Punk and Christian open the match, but Christian wants Regal, so he goes right after Regal after taking Punk down. He then tags and he and Truth clear the ring so that we have a blank slate for commercials.
And I just got word that the Briscoes got a WWE tryout tonight! Time to replace “What’s Up!” with the far catchier “Man Up!”
The faces continue to control through the break, but while the ref is destructed, Regal gets a cheap shot on Truth and it’s time for a heat segment. Regal and Punk take turns messing with the knee of Truth. Hopefully they injure him for Survivor Series and replace him with Bryan Danielson as a surprise.
Christian gets the hot tag and controls Punk until he stops to hit Regal. Punk recovers enough to engage in some great counter-wrestling, but Regal comes in only to be stopped by Truth, who hits a heel kick. His leg is hurt too badly for that to work though and he collapses in pain. Meanwhile, Christian sets up the killswitch, but Regal nails a knee trembler, Punk hits the GTS and we’re done!
CM Punk and William Regal defeat R-Truth and Christian (Pin, Go to Sleep, ** 1/2)
There wasn’t much here, but the ending sequence was really well-done, playing off of the earlier leg work and Christian and Punk’s earlier verbal exchange.
And ECW is done, remaining the best wrestling show on television with simple angles that pay off. Be sure to tune into Survivor Series, which will actually have Regal and Christian in one of the elimination matches. Until then, keep it tuned to Pulse Wrestling for the best wrestling coverage on the ‘net.
Tags: ECW, the wrestling guy