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Countdown to ECW December to Dismember
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Often in this pre-amble space, I will talk about the matches on the card and how their important their results will be. In this case, however, given the lack of a card (an ECW signature), there isn't much to talk about in this department, which is fine by me.

You see, there is a far more pressing issue we face in this week. This is the first non-reunion ECW pay-per-view event since the "brand's" resurrection. Already, some 'net pundits are saying this will have the worst buyrate of any WWE PPV. If that ends up being the case, then this may be the only "ECW-only" PPV we see outside of One Night Stand going forward, and if that is the case, we may very well see the end of ECW once the SciFi/Global commitment ends.

Before we start writing an obituary for ECW, however, there is December to Dismember to breakdown. Here now is a look at the matches announced on WWE TV this week that are slated to happen in a couple hours.

 
MAIN EVENT: ECW HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (EXTREME ELIMINATION CHAMBER)

CM Punk VS. Big ShowVS. Test VS. Rob Van Dam VS. Sabu VS. Bobby Lashley
 

SLAM! Predictions

Matt Mackinder

The way I see it, only five guys can walk out as champ - the one who won't is the current champ Big Show. Kind of sad, though, when the one wrestler who deserves this (CM Punk) won't win, but a Smackdown castoff (Bobby Lashley) will. The hype for this match has been shoved down our throats for weeks now and anything less than a three-star match, with hopefully some big bumps and oozing blood, will be a disappointment. Test and Sabu won't win and RVD isn't quite the trusting type after his arrest this past summer. I see Lashley winning gold here, but don't doubt Punk.

Marty Goldstein

I'm not looking forward to this but I wish I was. Show is so limited by injuries right now and as much as I love Sabu no one will buy him coming out on top. That leaves Punk (too soon), Lashley (too green), Test (too Test) and RVD (too buried inside the office). If it weren't for outside-the-ring factors it would seem to be RVD's night but my guess is that Lashley gets the duke and they try to elevate him as a legit main event player and maybe groom Punk next.

Jon Waldman

I find it odd that the one drawing gimmick match that was left unharmed by the over-zealous tendancies by the WWE writing to institute changes and tweaks has now undergone a facelift that will push future bouts to new levels of brutality. Ultimately, to me, there is so little to be gained by the extra weapons and once again demonstrates how little McMahon and Co. understand what ECW was all about. To me, given the talent you have in the match for combat beyond four-roped borders (aside from Big Show and Lashey), the most obvious choice would have been the Hell in a Cell. I guess, however, that the recent McMahon/DX debacle has killed the cell off for at least a year though. Nevertheless, I have to concentrate on what has been put in front of me, and in this case, there is only one man who really can walk out as champ - Bobby Lashley.


TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH

The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM


SLAM! Predictions

Matt Mackinder

On what is supposed to be an ECW-only card, I guess this is a bonus match. The Hardyz are over big time, at least on ECW TV, and Matt seems to be giddy tagging away with Jeff. The reunion of MNM seems odd as the pair split on bad terms after dropping the tag belts at Judgment Day to Brian Kendrick and Paul London. It'd be hard to not pick Team Xtreme here.

Marty Goldstein

First of all who knows how well Mercury will do after his enforced layoff. Nitro and Melina are a great act and have to be protected. The Hardy's are so 1999 as an act and have been so killed as singles I really can't see them catching fire as a tag (and if they do they'll just have to job for DX anyways). The specialness of their reunion was ruined by the Raw match IMO. Putting them together again and putting them over makes no sense so by default I say MNM.

Jon Waldman

I find it odd that in a realm where the Intercontinental Title picture has been hotter than, arguably, it has ever been in its history, that the two leads are thrust into the tag team spotlight. Perhaps having all of Jeff Hardy, Johnny Nitro, Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Masters and one or two other names was too much for the writing staff to handle. The bottom line is this - now that fans have seen these great individual stars go back to their roots (and that includes Matt Hardy), I think you're going to be hard-pressed to see anyone anticipate singles bouts again. If we do get a resurgance in the tag ranks, then by all means this was a great idea; but given the "one night only" hype surrounding the contest, I doubt we'll see that. In any case, given that the Hardyz are chasing the Raw belts, I'm taking them.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman