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ECW: Best (or halfway decent) of 2006
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


Tuesday night's ECW on SciFi show was a year in review entitled "The Best of ECW." I'm not sure that title is appropriate, but we'll see what shenanigans WWE chose to offer us during the holiday season.

Joey Styles and Tazz host the show from the "ECW Studios" in Stamford, Conn.

I assumed it would be a "Top 10" kind of show, but we only get nine top moments of 2006. See what I mean? Not even enough material for a one-hour review show. The moments were in chronological order, starting with the One Night Stand pay-per-view and ending with last week's Triple Threat Match.

Moment # 9 -- ECW One Night Stand -- June 11 -- New York City - WWE Champion John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam

We all remember what happened here. Edge spears Cena through a table and RVD lands the Five Star Frog Splash with Paul Heyman making the three count. Two nights later on the debut of ECW on SciFi, Heyman awards the ECW belt to RVD, also now the WWE champ.

Moment # 8 -- ECW on SciFi -- July 4 -- Philadelphia -- ECW Champion Rob Van Dam vs. The Big Show

This was the "South Philly Screwjob," according to Styles. RVD had to drop the title after his arrest and Heyman ran in to count Van Dam's cover, but stopped at two. A chair shot and a choke slam on the chair later and Show is crowned new ECW champion.

Moment # 7 -- ECW on SciFi -- October 24 -- St. Louis -- Ladder Match for ECW World Title shot -- Rob Van Dam vs. The Big Show

If ever there was a botched ending, this was it. RVD jumped over the ladder, straddled Show and took him over the top rope with a leg scissors. Only problem was RVD pretty much fell over the top and Show had to force himself over. RVD then scales the ladder and grabs the contract.

Moment # 6 -- ECW on SciFi -- November 7 -- Moline, Ill. -- Rob Van Dam & Hardcore Holly vs. The Big Show & Paul Heyman

Holly gets the hot tag late, but instead of attacking Show, turns and puts the boots to RVD, thus solidifying Holly as a top heel in the Heyman stable.

Moment # 5 -- ECW on SciFi -- November 14 -- Manchester, England, United Kingdom -- Bobby Lashley arrives in ECW

Heyman was about to award the sixth spot in the Extreme Elimination Chamber to Holly, but Lashley jumps over from Smackdown! and wails away on Holly and Big Show, the latter with a massive spear, and signs his name as the sixth wrestler in the December To Dismember main event.

Moment # 4 -- ECW on SciFi -- November 21 -- Uniondale, NY Bobby Lashley -- Big Show confrontation

Nothing major here. Lashley clocks Show with his own ECW belt and Styles wonders if Lashley is the future of ECW.

Moment # 3 -- December To Dismember -- December 3 - Augusta, Ga. -- Extreme Elimination Chamber

The highlighted moment from this show should have been The Hardy Boyz against MNM, but alas, ECW drops the ball yet again. Lashley gets Show to juice and spears the Giant to become new champion.

Moment # 2 -- ECW on SciFi -- December 5 - N. Charleston, SC -- ECW Champion Bobby Lashley vs. The Big Show

Show's last match in ECW is a loss as Lashley bodyslams Show on his way to retaining the gold. Yes, a bodyslam, people, a simple freaking bodyslam. Maybe Lashley's new finisher will eventually be a clothesline or a snap mare.

Moment # 1 -- ECW on SciFi -- December 19 -- Hampton, Va. -- Triple Threat Match -- Rob Van Dam vs. Test vs. Sabu

RVD hits the Five Star on Sabu, Test pitches RVD to the floor and gets the pin. All night long, fans could vote on ECW.com as to which of these three would face Lashley live on Jan. 2. Test won the match, but Van Dam won the voting.

Other events were touched on briefly, such as Extreme (censored) Strip Poker, RVD retaining the WWE title against Edge at Vengeance, RVD losing the WWE belt to Edge in a Triple Threat Match on Raw, Heyman getting "dismissed" and Kelly Kelly's infatuation with CM Punk. Short video montages were also shown hyping Test, Punk, Big Show, The (forgotten) Sandman and Sabu.

The show ended with Tazz hacking down the ECW Christmas tree with a barbed wire baseball bat. I guess.

I guess if I had to name my top moments, they would be the ones the show mentioned, but add something on, I don't know, things I would change in ECW. Things like adding more (read: make all matches like this) Extreme Rules Matches, taking away DQ decisions, bringing in Axl Rotten, having more gimmick matches, getting Sandman more air time, giving The Great Khali less air time, push Tommy Dreamer one more time and above all else, changing the name of this show. I know it's marketed as "The New Breed Unleashed," but calling a show ECW that is in fact nothing like what those letters really mean is a travesty. Tuesday Night Hardcore has a nice ring.

If anyone reading this has ideas of what the show should be called, email me.

Matt Mackinder hopes everyone had (or is having) a solid holiday season and hopes ECW turns the corner in 2007. Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.