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ECW: Elimination Chase reaches finish line
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


This week on ECW on Sci-Fi, we have the exciting conclusion to the Elimination Chase to No Mercy featuring the ECW Original Tommy Dreamer battling the man who sure doesn't lack confidence, Elijah Burke. The winner goes on to face ECW Champion CM Punk this Sunday at No Mercy.

Previously on ECW: Big Daddy V destroyed CM Punk while Balls Mahoney got hit in the head with a microphone by The Miz while he waited for an answer from Kelly Kelly.

A cold open to the show and we're LIVE! from the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio and the Chairman of the Board, Vince McMahon strolls to the ring to make a "major announcement."

He gives us the "bad news" that WWE Champion John Cena suffered a completely torn right pectoral muscle that required immediate surgery.

Vince informs us that Cena will be out for six months to a year (crowd cheers) and thus he must strip John Cena of the WWE Championship, ending a reign that started on Sept. 17, 2006 at Unforgiven. The championship is now vacant and that this Sunday at No Mercy, there will be a new WWE Champion. At No Mercy, history will be made.

The promo ends abruptly with no match participants announced, probably because they don't even know yet.

Joey Styles and Tazz send their condolences out to Cena, calling it "heartbreaking."

A familiar music greets us and THE CHAMP IS HERE! That's right, ECW Champion CM Punk is out and he's got a mic.

Punk says that he should ahve his head more in the game and be focused on tonight's Elimination Chase Finals, but no, for the past week he's been thinking about one thing: Big Daddy V, who demolished Punk a week ago.

Punk says that he respects V, but with that comes his attention. He is then interrupted by our teacher, Matt Striker. Striker says that Big Daddy V wants the ECW Championship. Striker and Big Daddy V wish Punk the very best of luck in his next contest, which is coming up now!

Match #1 - CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.) vs. Mike Knox (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Punk tries to break Knox down with a hammerlock to start, but Knox reverses the hold until Punk sweeps him into a shoulderlock. Knox runs him into a corner and stares him down and backs off.

Knox then starts to "make a statement" according to Styles, even hitting a nice dropkick on Punk. Punk hits a drop-toe hold and gets Knox in a front headlock, but Knox once again reverses into a hammerlock, adding knees to the back of his downed opponent.

Knox continues to work the left arm, locking up a kimura before landing a body slam and an elbow for a two count. Punk then gains control and starts hitting some nice Thai kicks. With Knox on the ropes, Punk hits a dropkick to send Knox to the outside and then slingshots himself over the ropes onto Knox.

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Back from break and Punk is in trouble as Knox is throwing him around like a rag doll. Knox mounts and pounds Punk in the centre of the ring and is totally dominating the ECW Champion. Knox sends Punk's head into the fifth row with a clothesline. Styles: He might not even know what city he's in right now! Trust me, Joey, I've been to Dayton, I didn't want to know I was there, either.

Finally, Punk throws some elbows to the gut to get out of a headlock and starts firing up with a muay thai offense. Punk hits a running knee in the corner. Knoxs runs and misses the Bicycle Kick, Punk hoists him up and hit GTS for the win!

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

I'll give credit where credit is due: Knox impressed me in this match. Maybe I'm just easily impressed. Who knows, but this was a solid effort by both men and was one of the better ECW matches I've seen in a while.

Backstage, Ball Mahoney is making his way to the ring.

Before we head to break, we get a Tommy Dreamer video package pumping him up for the main event tonight.

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In the ring: Balls Mahoney

We're in the Nutter Center, which should rightfully be the House of Balls.

Balls says some people are saying that he's acting like a love-sick puppy. He asks for Kelly Kelly to come out and give him an answer. Kelly comes out and Balls once again asks for an answer.

As the crowd cheers, Kelly takes the mic and with a smile on her face, gives Balls a YES! Balls then picks her up and hugs her but is interrupted by The Miz (HOO-RAH!), who chastises Kelly for going out "with that fat slob."

Miz makes some cracks about Balls taking her to McDonalds and something about Balls having one tooth and tells her it's time to go. Miz goes to pull Kelly away and Balls decks him. On the outside, Miz once again demands that Kelly goes. He then tells us that he took over the management contract of Extreme Exposť, and that what he says goes. But if she goes out with Balls, she'll be out of Extreme Exposť and out of ECW.

That makes her choice easy and a distraught Kelly leaves the Balls Bear behind and heads back with her (not-so) favourite group of airheads.

Now, in the interest of fairness, we get a Elijah Burke video package.

TONIGHT! Elimination Chase to No Mercy Finals: Tommy Dreamer vs. Elijah Burke.

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We run down the No Mercy card, which once again features just one ECW match. But this is actually an intriguing card (to me anyway). Triple H-Umaga should be a fun brawl while Rey Mysterio-Finlay is a fresh match-up. And then a fresh WWE Championship match-up should make things intriguing.

Match #2 - Elimination Chase to No Mercy Finals - Elijah Burke (Jacksonville, Fla.) vs. Tommy Dreamer w/ camo bandana and No Mercy shirt (Yonkers, NY)

This one is for all the marbles, folks. The winner moves on to No Mercy to face ECW Champion CM Punk for the title.

Back-and-forth action to start the bout, as Tazz spends some time putting over how Dreamer is ECW. Dreamer gains the edge when he puts Burke in a Tree of Woe and hits a running dropkick and then expels Burke to the outside where he follows and starts pounding on Burke.

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We're back and the match has taken a 180 as Burke is firmly in control and Dreamer's bandana is nowhere to be found. Replay shows that Burke hip-tossed Dreamer into the steel steps outside. Burke keeps controlling, but runs at Dreamer who hits the overzealous Burke with a neckbreaker and starts throwing punches.

A chant of "Tommy!" fails to get the momentum on the side of Dreamer. Burke kicks Dreamer in the corner and runs and hits the Outer Limits Elbow. But Tommy gets up and hits a DDT out of nowhere for the cover!

Winner of the Elimination Chase to No Mercy via pinfall: Tommy Dreamer

But before Dreamer can celebrate for too long, we're interrupted by ECW General Manager Armando Estrada. He tells us the Elimination Chase is not over and there's one man left to enter: Big Daddy V. Talk about a bait and switch! This is not good for Dreamer.

Match #3 - REAL Elimination Chase to No Mercy Finals - Big Daddy V (Harlem, NY) vs. Tommy Dreamer w/No Mercy shirt (Yonkers, NY)

Dreamer tries to get an early edge by going for a dropkick, but it barely phases Big Daddy. The bell rings and the beatdown commences. This may have taken a minute or two, but it was purely academic from the start, as Dreamer got about six punches in after 90 seconds of being squashed before being put down with a boot to the face, a running avalanche, a 500-pound Samoan Drop and an elbow.

REAL Winner of the Elimination Chase to No Mercy via pinfall: Big Daddy V

That's right, folks, the 1995 King of the Ring is heading to No Mercy to challenge CM Punk for the ECW Championship!

Well, gang, certainly another non-offensive effort for ECW. I'd even go so far to say that I enjoyed ECW more than I did RAW.

With that being said, I'll see you next week and GO RED WINGS!



Come on, people! Doesn't anyone care about ECW? Send Matt e-mail about ECW/wrestling/hockey at bishop20@msu.edu. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast on Lights Out Radio.