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ECW: Title picture clears up
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


Tuesday Night McMahon is live tonight from Charlotte, NC. But with all the Vince McMahon "death" footage, it may as well have been taped.

Two matches tonight will determine the challengers Sunday at Vengeance for the vacant ECW World title. Chris Benoit will face Elijah Burke and CM Punk goes head-to-head with "The Alpha Male" Marcus Cor Von.

Since WWE failed to do a proper job in honoring the late Sherri Martel (not PRESUMED dead, she really passed away), I'll honor her by saying she was one of the all-time greats at what she did and she will be sorely missed. Godspeed.

Anyway, on with the show from the Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

Tazz and Joey Styles are still in shock over Vince's tragedy. I'm sure he's backstage watching on a big-screen TV, guys, so do it up good will ya? We get the footage of the limo blast, yada, yada, yada.

Match # 1 - Chris Benoit vs. Elijah Burke

The match began strong with some nice mat wrestling from both guys and some good counters. Benoit gets a near fall with a Northern Lights suplex and then hits the trio of German suplexes. His top-rope headbutt, however, is met with Burke's knees. Burke misses the Elijah Express in the corner and the Rabid Wolverine quickly swoops in with the Sharpshooter and Burke taps.

Winner via submission: Chris Benoit

Benoit stares at the ECW belt at ringside and touches it before heading to the back.

Next up is the comic relief/bad acting part of the show where Stephanie McMahon's skit from last night is shown again. I couldn't help myself from chuckling here. I also noticed Steph wasn't wearing her wedding ring. Anyone else notice that?

Tazz and Joey tell us that starting at noon Wednesday on WWE.com, fans can submit their opinions as to what happened to Mr. McMahon. Basically, WWE Creative has run out of ideas and wants to steal a fan's idea. OK, I get it.

Match # 2 - The Boogeyman vs. Sean Alexander

Squash City. Boogeyman wins in about 15 seconds with his sit-out chokeslam.

Winner via pinfall: The Boogeyman

Post-match, Boogey spits worms into Alexander's mouth. Tazz says Boogeyman must not be a Seahawks' fan. Anyone else catch that?

Joey alerts us to the fact that the "lead federal investigator," Daniel Beck, has previously worked for "higher intelligence." Oh, OK. So, he worked for a six-year-old kid who knows that Vince is alive? Higher intelligence must not be WWE fans these days because there are still some clowns out there (and perhaps reading this) that think Vince is still alive! Ridiculous. I like how everyone keeps saying McMahon is "presumed dead." Don't you people get it?

Match # 3 - Tommy Dreamer vs. Kevin Thorn

Of course Dreamer faces Thorn - who else is there? Dreamer appears to injure his ankle during the match. In the corner, Dreamer pounds away on the vampire from the second rope, but Thorn scoots out, clips Dreamer from behind and gets a three count. Huh?

Winner via pinfall: Kevin Thorn

I guess Dreamer is a glorified jobber now. Maybe he'll form a tag team with Balls Mahoney.

The limo explosion is shown again, but before it is, Joey reminds us it is very graphic and disturbing. I think listening to Stephanie McMahon's screeching, blood-curdling voice is more disturbing than the fireworks show from last week's Raw. I just noticed, too, that the lone fire truck that arrives to extinguish the limo passes by a billboard for The Condemned. Funny.

Match # 4 - Johnny Nitro vs. Nunzio

Tazz says Nitro, is just like him, but with abs. Nitro hits his usual spots, including a nice springboard front kick, in his ECW debut, while Guido, er, sorry, Nunzio, tried like heck to get the crowd fired up, but to no avail. Nitro won with a sweet rolling flip neckbreaker number.

Winner via pinfall: Johnny Nitro

Cor Von and Burke are backstage and MCV tells Burke he'll beat Punk and then Benoit on Sunday. Burke gets that mad jealous look in his eye.

Oh boy, a video package for The Miz is next up. Turn this guy into the next Mikey Whipwreck and we may have something. But no, Brooke, Layle and Kelly Kelly are watching the Miz video and all think he's hot. Brooke wants them to set her up with Mizanin, but Layla says she saw Kelly with the Miz last weekend. Kelly tells Layla to mind her business and Layla thinks for a second and then laughs. Ugh.

Match # 5 - CM Punk vs. Marcus Cor Von

Are you kidding me? Is this really the fifth match of the night?

Monty targets Punk's left arm and shoulder early and Punk does a great job selling. Cor Von nearly breaks Punk's neck with a badly executed powerslam counter off a Punk springboard clothesline. Cor Von caught Punk and turned to slam Punk, but Punk was slammed neck and head-first in a scary spot. Monty misses a charge in the corner and CM connects with the Go To Sleep out of nowhere for the duke.

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

Benoit hits the ring and engages in a staredown with Punk. The two shake hands and the staredown continues as the show ends. Should be a good match Sunday. My money's on Punk.


MACKER'S MAILBAG

With the events of (last) week's shows (including two...count them TWO! 10-bell salutes, and I suspect a third to come), I got thinking back to the last time the WWE had a "death" like angle in their storylines, and it got me wondering. As I recall, when they had Paul Bearer placed in cement, the WWE had a parental advisory statement on their corporate site that stated something along the lines that the WWE would never outright show the death of a personality on screen (if yourself or anyone out there remembers this please update me).

Frankly from what I've seen with this, I'm sickened, from the exploding limo, to the multiple 10-bell salutes (which you're right, it does degrade the ones given to Brian Pillman, Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero at the time of each of their respective passings), to lowering the flag at WWE headquarters, things have gone too far and the thing that sickens me most about the WWE.com postings was the "first hand eye witnesses" to the carnage after the fact, especially the "mother who stated that her son's birthday was ruined by the events." In closing, the only thing I have to say about this entire tasteless storyline is this: Has the WWE figured out yet why they're losing fans to the UFC?

--Dave Peters, Fraser Lake, BC, Canada

You mentioned in your column in response to M.B., now making his summer residence in Woodhaven, Mich., that the old ECW was all about blood and guts. While there was blood and guts in the old ECW, that wasn't, for me at least, the aspect that drew me to it over WWE/WCW. ECW had no cheesy storylines. ECW had storylines that played out over months, not simply from PPV to PPV. There were no squash matches on ECW. For me, ECW was all about intensity. Even the big men (Mike Awesome, etc.) moved quickly and with intensity. They used their size, but they also had some wrestling ability as well.

In addition, you had the innovation of the way that they used objects. Tables weren't simply for driving people through in the middle of the ring. They were propped up in the corner, they were balanced between the ring and the barricades, they were platforms from which to launch yourself. They were weapons that you could kick into people. WWECW is a pale shadow of what ECW was.

--Marcel Beaudoin, Gatineau, PQ, Canada

I have to agree with you. This (Vince death angle) is going to backfire BIG!!! You don’t do this kinda stuff. It's not right and it most assuredly is cruel. Now, it is like the boy who cried “wolf." As you said about Owen Hart, the 10 bells is now devalued, but, let’s take this further. Anyone who “supposedly” gets hurt will be doubted. Take Gregory Helms. This now casts a “shadow of doubt” on all things. My forecast is, well, a loss of income for WWE. I have to say it this way. IF this is proved to be false, people will stop coming to major events. The gate revenues will sink. Now, can they turn it around? Yes, but it will take a TOTAL face lift and removal of any and all people who were part of this ruse.

What if this was a way to get people to SELL their stock in WWE. Now think on it. Let’s say a group is disgruntled with how WWE is running. Now, mind you, I don’t know how much common stock is owned by “non-McMahon” people. You do something like this - the stock takes a hit, the people sell and you buy it at a minimum cost. The McMahons now have the control and can remove it from trading. Sneaky, but, you can’t say it doesn’t have legs. This storyline should come to an end today. I have a feeling they find him alive, but burned. That’s me. I don’t see them really running this storyline for very long and I can’t imagine anyone truly would allow it, but, when it's VINCE, you do what the man says I guess.

I guess what has me buffaloed is how LINDA and SHANE and STEPHANIE could all be in on this and allow it to happen. Just too much stink in this story. I never met someone who wants to LOSE money. And he’s going to lose MILLIONS!!!

--Michael Humphrey, Kansas City, Mo.

WWE.com showed Shane and Stephanie on Father's Day without Vince. Sick, when you think of all the people who are really suffering on a day like this.

--Mike Burrill, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

I caught the tail end of Raw last night. That Stephanie segment was hard to watch. It makes for some really awkward moments to have someone who knows her father is not dead come out and act like he is dead to a crowd who also knows he's not dead. At least she mentioned the "We will find out who did this..." Yeah. Can't wait for that long-winded story.

--Brian Kane, Juneau, Alaska




Have a beef, comment, question about ECW? Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com and your comments will be posted in Macker's Mailbag each week. Please include your name (or initials) and hometown as well. Submissions may be edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation, but not for content.