A year ago, I hated this show. With a passion. Now, though, it's improving. I didn't say I liked it, but it's getting better. Did I speak too soon?
The opening of the show has the ECW Originals music and not the Marilyn Manson tune. Also, Marcus Cor Von is still on the opening package. But where has he been? On the show tonight maybe?
Live from Phoenix, ECW champion John Morrison heads to the ring for the next installment of 15 Minutes of Fame. He says he looked for Arizona's best athlete, but Cardinals' quarterback Matt Leinart (who Morrison calls Line-hart) and Diamondbacks' pitcher Randy Johnson weren't available. So the champ brings out a local jobber, brings the ref in the ring (who for some reason was sitting ringside) and calls for the bell.
Match # 1 - 15 Minutes of Fame - John Morrison vs. Arizona's Best Athlete
A knee to the gut and a corkscrew neckbreaker gives Morrison the win in 19 seconds.
Winner via pinfall: John Morrison
Morrison grabs the mic and asks the crowd for Arizona's second-best athlete. Tommy Dreamer, Elijah Burke and CM Punk all hit the ring and give reasons why they should get a shot at Morrison. Punk says he wants one more shot and if he can't beat Morrison, he'll never ask for another title match. Morrison books a Triple Threat Match with the challengers for later tonight with the winner getting 15 Minutes of Fame next week. That's great and all, but how many more times do we see the same guys in the main event? This just shows that the ECW roster is thin and the forgotten red-headed step-child of Vince McMahon.
Match # 2 - Stevie Richards vs. Kevin Thorn
A rematch from last week and it pretty much goes just like last week. Thorn dominates until the very end. Vampire Boy charges in the corner, but Richards moves and cradles Thorn for his second straight win.
Winner via pinfall: Stevie Richards
Two video packages are next: CM Punk and Big Daddy V. The first one was decent. The second? Well, let's just say I realized I don't need to make that second trip to the dinner bar at Ponderosa the next time we go out.
Match # 3 - 3-on-1 Handicap Match - Big Daddy V w/ Matt Striker vs. Jeff Michaels, Brandon Jackson and John Armstrong
Super squash. Think Andre the Giant-type squash back in the day. Big Vis pins all three after he sidewalk slams one on top of the other two. Get this guy a real match.
Winner via pinfall: Big Daddy V
The Boogeyman (I think) comes out and gets in the ring. I say "I think" because this guy looks leaner and has different face paint and eyeballs (black) than the one we're used to. Then again, maybe it's just a new look. Anyone see it like this?
Extreme Exposé bounces around to Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel. Like every week, it's bad dancing and a worse song. The gals call out The Miz and that segues us into our next bout.
Match # 4 - The Miz vs. Balls Mahoney
Anyone know the last time Balls won a match? Well, not here. Mizanin wins with his knee lift/neckbreaker combo. I don't get why this guy is getting pushed. I really don't.
Winner via pinfall: The Miz
Next up is, you guessed it, another video package. It's Tommy Dreamer from back in the old ECW's glory days. You know, when ECW meant something and wasn't a way for Vince to earn some extra dough.
Burke is backstage and basically hypes the next match and says he'll win. Does he know he'll probably be lying down for Punk?
Match # 5 - Triple Threat Match for 15 Minutes of Fame - Tommy Dreamer vs. Elijah Burke vs. CM Punk
To be honest, this match was fairly decent and the crowd seemed to think so as well.
Burke hits a running punch to Punk's back on the mat and the close-up shows Punk wincing and saying, "Wow, that hurt." Punk gets backdropped over the top by Burke and catches his elbow on the ring steps. Burke and Dreamer go back and forth until Burke nearly botches his springboard elbowdrop in the corner by nearly flipping over the top rope. Punk recovers and pulls Burke out and sends him into the steps.
Some good action follows. Dreamer goes for a superplex on Burke and Punk joins in to powerbomb Dreamer, who also connects with the superplex on Burke, whose mouth is bleeding. Punk sets up Burke for a bulldog, but collides with Dreamer, who falls to the floor. Punk fights out of a bodyslam attempt from Burke and drills Go To Sleep for the victory.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk
Burke is still down selling the injury as Dreamer raises Punk's hand. Punk bows to Dreamer as this week's show is history.
Yeah, a year ago, this show was absolutely brutal. While it's still subpar, it's good to see youngsters like Morrison, Punk and Burke get consistent air time. But still - where is Marcus Cor Von? The same place Jeff Hardy is?
(Regarding Extreme Exposé)
*Heavy sigh* - Bimbos indeed.
I used to be a huge wrestling fan. I am 44 and remember cool things like Ric Flair's first appearance at Maple Leaf Gardens. I was there when Angelo Mosca beat The Iron Sheik in a steel cage to win the NWA Canadian championship. It has so gone down hill. Way too much Vince on the tube and since the Chris Benoit thing, I have shut it off. Maybe I'll be back, maybe not.
--Rob Hungerson, stationed in Barrie, Ontario, at CFB Borden
I was in Chicago last Tuesday night (July 17). When I turned on ECW (last) week, I thought it was a rerun (from July 10).
Put a shirt or bra on Big Vis - that is disgusting.
Send Miz and Extreme Exposé away. I don't care where. They just need to go.
Is Striker injured?? Why is he relegated to parading the circus elephant around?
They obviously need new writers. They have some guys that can work, but I feel like I keep seeing the same matches over and over again.
--Darryl Wood, Waterford, Mich.
Remember when he started out, he changed his name every week i.e. Johnny That, Johnny That, until finally Johnny Nitro.
You know one thing I agree with and that's getting rid of the "Exposé" girls.
I am for more wrestling. I was a big fan of Bret Hart and his style, no nonsense. The fans will come if you let them wrestle. You need to have some fun, but geez.
I do think the TV shows are getting better since the deaths of the Benoits.
--Russ Wright, Ottawa, Ontario
Regarding Stevie Richards, I think he's at his best as part of a stable and since I don't see the bWo returning any time soon, I think Stevie should reform the Right To Censor and go back to being Steven Richards.
I might be the only one, but I really liked the RTC, and the team would be a perfect fit for ECW. They can go after the Extreme Exposť girls (which would make them mega-faces in my book) and then they can feud with Dreamer and Mahoney as a way to "censor" the violence.
Stevie is great on the mic and this would give him a chance to shine as a great heel. Add Sean Morley and Mike Knox and you have a good mid-card heel stable.
--Mohammed Al-Hulail, Mishref, Hawalli, Kuwait
They had Stevie Richards win! Why that guy isn't being used is dumb.
--Deepak Grover, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Have a beef, comment, question about ECW? Email Matt at email@example.com and your comments will be posted in Macker's Mailbag each week. Please include your name (or initials) and hometown. Submissions may be edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation, but not for content.