The first 48 minutes of ECW were actually pretty decent tonight. And so were the last 15 minutes. Two minutes towards the end of the show ruined what was an above-average Tuesday night. What was it? Read on, folks.
Live from San Diego, the show starts with a photo of the late Mike Awesome. Nice touch. ECW champion Bobby Lashley's match from No Way Out with Mr. Kennedy is recapped showing Lashley going ballistic with chair shots after being disqualified.
Joey Styles and Tazz start the show saying
Lashley will face Kennedy and Hardcore Holly in a Triple Threat Match for the title later tonight.
The New Breed of ECW -- Elijah Burke, Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn and Marcus Cor Von -- come down to the ring and slam the ECW Originals. Striker says one of their guys (Thorn) can beat of the Originals. Rob Van Dam, The Sandman, Sabu and Tommy Dreamer head down and RVD is chosen to face the vampire.
Match # 1 -- Rob Van Dam vs. Kevin Thorn w/ Ariel
Back and forth early, until Thorn hits the floor and RVD follows
him out with a high cross body. Van Dam tosses Thorn back in, but gets jumped by Burke and there's a Pier Six on the floor. Styles is frantically yelling for order to be restored as we head to a commercial.
Back from break, the other six New Breed members and Originals have been ejected. Both wrestlers earn near-falls until RVD hits a sloppy Five Star Frog Splash (onto Thorn's hips and knees, completely missing his torso) for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Rob Van Dam
Another Snitsky video package is next hyping this guy as some sort of crazed lunatic.
What, the foot fetish gimmick wasn't crazed enough?
Match # 2 -- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match -- CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro w/ WWE Women's champion Melina
Nothing like bringing wrestlers over from another brand to put over an ECW guy, eh? This was a dandy of a bout in my eyes. Both hit their signature moves, but when Nitro misses a corkscrew moonsault, Punk capitalizes with a fireman's carry into a knee to the face and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk
Yes, CM Punk will be going to WrestleMania ... for the second straight year. Remember last year in Chicago?
The tasty Rebecca is backstage with another non-ECW wrestler in Kennedy, but gets interrupted by Holly, who says ECW is his world and he'll be damned if Kennedy becomes ECW champ tonight.
Match # 3 -- La Resistance (Rene Dupree & Sylvan Grenier) vs. Los Luchas (Will Flores & ???)
See what happens when you
get caught speeding, Sylvan? You get an old gimmick back and you get sent down to Tuesday Night Velocity. This is a total squash that goes a total of 30 seconds before Flores goes down to a double-team neckbreaker.
Winners via pinfall: La Resistance
Snitsky runs down the aisle past Dupree and Grenier and lays out the jobbers with two huge boots. Yawn. Seen this before.
The third in a four-part series highlighting ECW's lone bright spot, Lashley, is shown next. In a typical story about athletes, Lashley tells how his
dad left when he was a youngster and his mom had to work odd jobs making $7 an hour to get by. His college wrestling coach told the story about how when Lashley won his third NCAA national title, no family members were in attendance.
Here are the two minutes that killed any flow ECW had tonight - Extreme Exposé. If you've seen it once, you've seen it a million times and probably went to the kitchen at this point. The girls jiggle around to Shake by Pit Bull featuring Elephant Man and the Ying Yang Twins. The "dance routine" goes the distance and the girls look exhausted. Too bad the crowd was busy pulling their hair out.
It's then announced that "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig
will join Dusty Rhodes as Hall of Fame inductees this year. Excellent choice.
Match # 4 -- ECW World Championship Triple Threat Match -- ECW Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Hardcore Holly
This should be a shorty as we go to a commercial with all three in the ring at 10:53 EDT. Back from break, Holly and Kennedy seem content to double team the champ. And, on no fewer than three occasions during this match, Tazz and Styles reiterate that Lashley doesn't have to be pinned to lose the title. Yeah, we get it already. Lashley hits his delayed suplex on both Holly and Kennedy, but Holly rallies for an Alabama Slam. The ref nearly counts three until Kennedy pulls him out of the
Kennedy gets a chair and brings it inside the ring. He lines up Lashley, but he ducks and Holly gets skulled. Lashley then scoops up Kennedy and gets the three count after his Bulldog powerslam to retain his gold.
Winner via pinfall: Bobby Lashley
As Lashley leaves the ring, Styles calls Lashley everything except God and closes out the show by yelling, "Lashley's the MAN!"
Matt Mackinder, though still
not a fan of ECW, gives this show 1-1/2 stars out of 5. That's a step up from no stars the first eight months of this "new breed." Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.