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   Wed, July 4, 2007



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ECW: Pick Your Poison
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


Johnny Nitro and CM Punk each pick an opponent for the other tonight in an excellent build-up for their ECW title match at The Great American Bash.

The opening to the show no longer features Drowning Pool's Bodies, instead going with the traditional ECW theme most recently used for the ECW Originals. Tony Chimel is tonight's announcer and we head right to the ring for the first of two Pick Your Poison matches.

Match # 1 - ECW champion Johnny Nitro vs. Tommy Dreamer

I've said it before and I've said it again. Nitro is very underrated and much better on his own than with Melina or Joey Mercury. Nitro carries this match against the aging Dreamer, but Dreamer has a few high spots as well. The champ works on Dreamer's left arm and Dreamer sells it. After Dreamer dropkicks Nitro while he's in the Tree of Woe, Nitro wrenches Dreamer's bad wing and gets the pin after his sweet corkscrew neckbreaker.

Winner via pinfall: Johnny Nitro

The Raw Rebound recaps all the Beat The Clock matches from last night and Bobby Lashley spearing the stew out of John Cena to close out Raw. It wouldn't shock me to see Lashley beat Cena at the Bash.

Several filler pieces are next as we get video packages for The Boogeyman and Punk and then an announcement that the ridiculous dancing girls segment will be back next week. Why? WHY? Someone tell me WHY!!!

Match # 2 - CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro for the vacant ECW title

The match is from Vengeance nine days ago and is shown in its entirety, save for the obvious editing out of the "We Want Benoit" chants (dubbed by E-C-Dub chants) and Tazz and Joey Styles explaining where Benoit was. Nitro wins, as if you needed me to tell you that.

Winner via pinfall and new ECW champion: Johnny Nitro

More video filler as we're reminded again that The Miz is crashing ECW. So?

Match # 3 - CM Punk vs. Kevin Thorn

Who else is there for Punk to face that he hasn't wrestled in the past couple weeks?

A pretty decent match. The crowd is solidly behind Punk and for good reason. Dude can flat-out go. Punk gets out of the Original Sin and nails a springboard clothesline. Thorn comes back with a Crucifix attempt, only to have Punk jump down and hit a wicked enziguiri and then roll-up the vampire with a Bandino (according to Tazz) for the three-count.

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

Nitro comes down and distracts Punk so Thorn can jump Punk from behind. Punk knocks Thorn from the ring and turns to see Nitro in the ring, but the champ quickly ducks out and the show closes with a staredown.

All in all, a pretty decent above-average show this week. It looks like Vince is doing something with ECW he should have done a long time ago and that's make it a breeding ground for the up-and-comers. I like it.


Is ECW getting better? Email Matt Mackinder, once ECW's biggest non-fan, at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.