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ECW: RVD challenges Lashley
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


It's a new year and with that brings new hopes for ECW. Personally, I think ECW has no hope. Maybe tonight's show from Lakeland, Florida, can change my mind. After all, Bobby Lashley defends his ECW belt against Rob Van Dam.

The show starts with a video package hyping the ECW title match later tonight and we go to Test in the ring. This guy is a walking advertisement for steroids, is he not?

Test says he should be the No. 1 contender because he won the Triple Threat Match with Sabu and RVD two weeks ago, but the fans made that choice. He rambles on and on (and I daydream some more) and adds wins should make him the top contender. Test finishes by saying he'll make an impact tonight.

Sabu's music hits and apparently our first squash, I mean match, is Test and Sabu.

Match # 1 Sabu vs. Test

Sabu is on the offensive early, but just seems bored and just going through the motions. He misses a springboard move and is met with a big boot from Test, who then wins with his spinning neckbreaker.

Winner via pinfall: Test

RVD is shown backstage shadow boxing.

Back from commercial, a video montage shows The Sandman. It's the same one from last week and like last week, I wish ECW would utilize this guy more. I know he's WAY past his prime, but a match once in a while wouldn't hurt.

Match # 2 Sylvester Terkay & Elijah Burke vs. The F.B.I. (Little Guido Maritato & Tony Mamaluke) w/Trinity

Let's be honest the only reason watching this match is Trinity. And again, we had to pay for this match four weeks ago. I just don't get it. There is zero crowd noise for this match and it harkens back to the good ol' days of WWF Superstars of Wrestling on Saturday mornings. Terkay gets Mamaluke to tap out to his armbar submission. At least that's what I think I saw as my eyes were halfway shut at this point.

Winners via pinfall: Sylvester Terkay & Elijah Burke

Lashley is in the back getting pumped up for what I hope is a solid main event.

Back from a break, it's announced CM Punk will face Hardcore Holly next week. Matt Striker is starting to cut a promo in the back in front of his chalk board on that match when Holly interrupts. Sparky says Punk can't beat him and can't make him tap.

Tommy Dreamer then joins ECW "via satellite" (backstage) and a recap of his beatings from The Great Khali is reviewed. Dreamer says he's not asking for a death wish, but that's just who he is and what he does. Would have been intense had Dreamer not made it seem so obviously scripted.

Rebecca and her dipping dress top are with Van Dam, who hypes the main event some more.

Match # 3 Balls Mahoney vs. Kevin Thorn w/Ariel

Brad Armstrong joins Tazz and Joey Styles on commentary and Armstrong and Tazz have a little heat going. A sloppy match ends when Balls comes off the ropes and Thorn clocks him with an elbow to the jaw. Thorn isn't sure to cover, but does and gets the pin. Even Tazz and Styles seemed surprised. Referee Scott Armstrong makes the "X" sign and a bleeding Balls is helped to the back.

Winner via pinfall: Kevin Thorn

So is the Thorn-Mahoney feud back on? It gained steam several weeks back, then Balls got involved with Striker, so who really knows any more? Certainly not VKM.

Lashley and Rebecca are now in the back and Lashley says he's staying the champ.

Still no sign of Test and his supposed impact.

A Tribute to the Troops package is shown to the Goo Goo Dolls song Better Days. Good stuff here.

Tazz is interviewing Vladimir Kozlov in the front row and this oaf says he can beat both RVD and Lashley. Tazz asks for more comments and dude comes out with "I love double double E. I love double double E." Nice knowing English, Oleg.

Match # 4 ECW World Title Match ECW Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Rob Van Dam

Plenty of time left in the show, so hopefully (and I use that term loosely) we get a good bout. Lots of feeling out early as the champ displays his power. Lashley latches on with a bear hug and then press slams RVD to the floor.

Back inside, the aggressor Lashley puts RVD in the Torture Rack and then sits out for the Abyss Shock Treatment. We've been seeing ECW guys doing a lot of TNA moves lately, haven't we? After a delayed suplex, Lashley sets up for the spear and this is where the fans, and I, expect Test to interfere. But he doesn't. Thank goodness. RVD trips Lashley, but misses Rolling Thunder after a kick off the top.

The match goes to the floor and RVD gives Lashley a front suplex on the announcer's table. At this point, there is no commentary, just (lack of) crowd (dis) approval. RVD climbs to the second rope on the outside and nails Lashley with a clothesline. Both make soft landings, but act as if they're dead. Referee Mickey Henson calls for the bell and makes that "X" sign again to the back. Very LOUD "bull$hit" chants reasonate and I'm right along with them.

Match Result: No Contest I assume

Still no "impact" from Test as the show ends with more unsatisfied fans and one confused SLAM! Wrestling reporter.

Matt Mackinder has better things to do on Tuesday nights, but needs the generous SLAM! Wrestling paycheque. Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.