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COMMENT





ECW: Last stop before 'Mania
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


Last night's Raw was a good segue into Sunday's WrestleMania spectacular, but I'm wondering if the Tuesday night show can match it. My gut says "no," but there are Raw and SmackDown! superstars on ECW tonight from my home state of Michigan, so we shall see.

Tonight's show from Grand Rapids starts with, what else, a quick recap of Mr. McMahon inflating his ego more and more with his win over ECW champion Bobby Lashley last night. There will be a point/counterpoint session later on with Lashley and Vince. Wanna bet all McMahon hypes is himself?

An eight-man tag team match with all eight Money In The Bank participants is also on tap as tonight's main event.

Match # 1 -- Rob Van Dam vs. Elijah Burke

The captains of their respective factions meet up in an OK match. They each get several near-falls and the match is slowed with rest hold after rest hold. Burke misses his Elijah Express running double knee smash in the corner, crumples to the mat likes he's dead and RVD hits the Five-Star Frog Splash for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Rob Van Dam

The rest of the New Breed mugs Van Dam from behind, but the Originals make the save and both teams have a staredown.

Bathroom break. Extreme Exposé performs in a library-like atmosphere to Ying Yang Twins' Wait (The Whisper Song). The crowd in Griffins land is absolutely SILENT. Why do these shenanigans continue every week??? Nobody cares, nobody takes notice and I can't believe I have to write about this each week. Brutal.

The Hardyz, CM Punk and Edge are in the back talking strategy for the main event. Edge says they need to take out the other team. He says Matt, Jeff and Punk don't have to like him to listen to him and walks off.

Match # 2 -- Balls Mahoney vs. Snitsky

What did Balls do to get in the doghouse and become a jobber? Tazz and Joey Styles note that Snitsky now has an odor to him. I think he just plain sucks. Mahoney jobs in about 90 seconds to the big boot.

Winner via pinfall: Snitsky

Another recap of last night is shown. If you've seen it once, you've seen it a million times and will probably see it another million times before Sunday.

Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy are whispering backstage and Finlay interrupts. King Booker then shows up and Finlay says Orton and Kennedy were saying bad things about him. Booker then says he has Finlay's back if he has his and Finlay says Booker can't trust him. Hmmm, isn't this scenario a repackaged Shawn Michaels-John Cena situation? Nice writing, WWE.

The point/counterpoint is next and like I said, it's all about Vince, who's at the "WWE Studios" in Stamford. He says he should have taken his sweatshirt off last night and show Lashley what a real man looks like, gets cheap heat by saying he's happy to not be in Grand Rapids and says his voice is hoarse from all the partying he did last night after pinning Lashley. All Lashley says, from Grand Rapids, is that Vince is an "old bastard" and come Sunday will be a "bald son of a bitch." Again, solid writing, WWE. How long did it take you to write that?

Match # 3 -- The Hardyz, CM Punk & Edge vs. Randy Orton, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay and King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell

The crowd was hot all match long. Lots of tags on both sides, until Punk gets trapped and takes a couple minutes of punishment. Orton and Edge continue to tease their tension as well. Punk bulldogs Booker and tags in Edge, who is reluctant to enter. Edge lines up the King for the spear, but thinks better of it and tags Punk back in. Edge then walks up the aisle and a solid "Edge is gay" chant rings out. All seven men left engage in a brawl and as Punk hits the ropes, Finlay clocks him with the shillelagh and Booker puts Punk down with the scissors kick.

Winners via pinfall: Randy Orton, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay and King Booker

The winners then argue and brawl with each other. The Hardyz come back with a ladder and take out Orton, Kennedy, Finlay and Booker. Jeff goes outside and gets the taller ladder and sets it up in the ring. Both he and Matt scale it and reach the briefcase that had been hanging above the ring and grab it at the same time. Finlay is shown in the aisle bleeding from above his left eye as the brothers engage in a staredown at the top of the ladder.

Have a good week and keep those emails coming.

Matt Mackinder will be at Ford Field Sunday to cover WrestleMania 23 for SLAM! Wrestling. Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.