June 12, 2007
ECW: "Remembering" Mr. McMahon
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling
Chris Benoit is the new ECW champion. Gotcha! But wouldn't it be nice?
Tonight's show is dedicated to the "memory" of Vince McMahon. How do I keep from laughing?
We start off with a picture of Titan Towers with the WWE flag at half-mast. Tazz and Joey Styles are then standing ringside, Tazz sans sunglasses and ready to cry like a baby it seems. Then, the recap of the end of Raw is shown and unless you've been under a rock some place, you already know that Vince was "presumed dead" when his limo exploded at the end of the show. Vince gets a 10-bell salute (this now de-values the one Owen Hart got) and his picture with "1945-2007" is on the TitanTron. Geez, WWE is trying like mad to make us all believe this is real. A handful of fans cause a ruckus in the stands in South Philadelphia and Tazz says they are disrespectful. No, disrespectful is WWE faking a death and thinking us fans will believe it.
Match # 1 - Extreme Rules - Tommy Dreamer vs. Balls Mahoney
How does this match make sense? Balls' timing is all off, the crowd is pretty dead and some boos are heard at one point. Tazz and Joey go on and on about how McMahon brought these two to the new ECW and basically smooch Mr. McMahon's keyster all match long. It got old after the 17th reference. Dreamer sets up a table (which has a bum leg), but ends up on it as Mahoney sets up for a leg drop. Obviously, Balls misses and Dreamer DDT's Captain Caveman on a chair for the three count. Hardly an Extreme Rules classic, though Dreamer did clock Balls with a kitchen sink, but both are past their prime.
Winner via pinfall: Tommy Dreamer
Match # 2 - The Boogeyman vs. Matt Striker
No Little Boogeyman, folks. No Elijah Burke or Marcus Cor Von either. Sorry. Striker points skyward before the match, a virtual squash with Boogeyman winning with his version of a sit-out choke bomb. After the match, Boogeyman spits worms into Teach's open mouth.
Winner via pinfall: The Boogeyman
Tazz and Joey warn us the footage we're about to see is, gulp, disturbing. It's after the Raw cameras went off the air and a single fire truck arrived on the scene. The two firemen appear to be giggling as they hosed down the limo. Good camera work, though, during such a "tragedy." The engine of the limo explodes about three times and the firefighters move very slow. Tazz says his car was parked near the limo and black soot was all over his ride. Joey adds that at the hotel a mile way you could see black smoke and flames 30 feet tall. I'm snickering.
Match # 3 - Chris Benoit & CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke & Marcus Cor Von
Lots of technical wrestling early with Punk and the heels. Benoit, who looks uninspired, gets the tag and gets a big pop. He hits Burke with a Dynamite Kid snap suplex and Punk knocks The Alpha Male to the floor as we go to a commercial. Back from break, Punk is getting double-teamed when the ref suddenly yells for the bell. A Pier Six erupts and Burke takes three German Suplexes, a top-rope headbutt and a Sharpshooter from Benoit. Punk and Benoit get their hands raised and are announced the winners. Huh?
Winners via DQ: Chris Benoit & CM Punk
Wanna hear lame? Joey tells us that The New Breed was disqualified because Monty didn't get out of the ring before the five count. How extreme. And Vince is dead. I believe NONE of it.
The explosion footage is shown again. Yada, yada, yada.
'Til next week from Charlotte, N.C. Maybe I'll be done laughing by then. Then again, maybe not.
Just to say that I totally agree with your comments on One Night Stand. The PPV's start at 1am over here in Scotland, so I usually tape them and watch them at my mates on a Monday night. Everything about the card sucked. Now I'm no Cena fan, in fact I'm sick of seeing him with that stupid spinny belt, but at least he is "main-event" material. Khali, regardless of his overwhelming size, simply cannot wrestle or sell any moves. It still defies logic as to why they persevere with such situations, and leave guys like Nitro and Benjamin languishing in mid-card territory. Now, what is there to say about Vincent Kennedy that hasn't already been said? Everytime I see him wrestle, I say "Why?" Shane can still pull the ol' elbow drop through the table, but someone has to stand up to Vince and tell him its embarassing. Or they could leave a copy of his match in his DVD player. The biggest disappointment, without a shadow of a doubt, was watching the great Chris Benoit reduced to being one of the lumberjacks. I mean, there is some good, young upcoming talent in the WWE, but Benoit, a lumberjack? Please. Perhaps the draft is an indication that Vince and his people know how bad the three shows are at the moment (I would hardly classify ECW as a show, but hey). Heyman leaving was the start (do you think Vince told him he would be ECW champ to complete the series?). If the rumours are true over RVD apparently leaving, then that will be another solid wrestler lost to TNA. As I've said to my friend many times, Kurt Angle is not easily replaced, and the loss of Eddie (R.I.P.) is still evident. The Undertaker is winding down, HBK is starting to show his age, HHH is injury prone etc... When you look at it, Orton, Edge, Carlito, MVP have got some pretty big shoes to fill! Keep up the good and honest work. --D.M., Scotland
D.M., thanks for your thoughts and comments. I see Benoit becoming the new RVD-type figure on ECW and hopefully getting a title run - and soon. You're right about Khali, RVD and to an extent about Cena. But still, does ECW stick around another six months? I don't know that I can answer that. --Matt
Catch the ending of Raw last night? --B.K., Alaska
No, what happened? --Matt
God...ONS was a mishmash of crap and good matches. The first three matches were good and then the rest of the PPV was completely (bleep) boring. And now Vince is crazy - WTF. I hate how Vince pushes such crap (i.e. Cena, Edge, Lashley....did I mention Cena?). --D
You are not alone in your school of thought, D. --Matt
In reality, how offensive can a 1-hour show possibly be? The times I've seen it (which, admittedly, have been limited in its total lifespan) it hasn't been overly offensive, but mind you, I missed nearly every episode from September through April. I've enjoyed the two ECW tapings that I've been to. And I paid $40 for the train wreck that was December to Dismember. I can think what I want now. I take a "It is what it is" attitude with wrestling most of the time. "ECW" is in name only, but they don't refer to it as "Extreme Championship Wrestling," much like the ECHL is the ECHL by name only. It's not the East Coast Hockey League. (Bad example, I know, but I think you get what I mean). ECW is an acronym that professional wrestling fans know. Did WWE deceive the fans at all bringing it back? Probably a tad, but I didn't really expect it to be authentic. I figured it to be pretty much exactly what it has been: A breeding ground for new, emerging talent to get their feet wet in front of thousands of people live and millions on television. Does that make ECW OVW+? Maybe, but I guess I'd rather watch a sub-par WWE-produced product than TNA. Although that might just have to do with timeslot. If TNA was on Tuesday's at 10, I'd probably be more inclined to watch. ECW is better breeding ground that Heat or Velocity ever were and actually attempts to have some storylines instead of random matches. But by using the name ECW, WWE has to do a better job of making the brand distinct from RAW and Smackdown! If they could draw that line, and maybe the draft will help, ECW could be an extremely (pardon the bad pun) viable brand. WWE should be using ECW to make ECW the alternative wrestling brand, not TNA. I'm not saying let's go to a 6-sided ring or anything, but make it different in a non all-hardcore way. Get some new, young talent like Kenny Dykstra and Johnny Nitro over to ECW, add them to Burke, Punk and Cor Von and you have a great young base to start from. Add some more experienced OVW talent and you have a great proving ground for young talent and are already introducing them to a segment of your core audience. --M.B., now making his summer residence in Woodhaven, Mich.
This was our, as Jim Rome would say, huge email of the day. I agree to an extent with you, but with limited knowledge of both versions of ECW, I think you may not be fully engulfed in this brand. You touched on what made the old ECW stand out and that was the blood and guts aspect of it. For God's sake, TNA has more juice on a weekly show than WWECW had on their "extreme" pay-per-view debacle that was called One Night Stand. Let's just put Ric Flair with Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin and The Miz and call them The Four Horsemen, put them on a show at midnight on Wednesday and call it "WCW." It won't work and neither has Vince's ECW. Call the show something else, or get rid of the barbed wire decorations, and then I'll try and see positives in the show. At the very least, have The Sandman be able to puff and enter the ring to Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Then we may have the basis for a good argument. Either have all OVW guys and no ECW Originals, one or the other. --Matt
Have a beef, comment, question about ECW? Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org and your questions with Matt's replies will be posted in Macker's Mailbag each week.