The Princess’ ECW Report.

“Live” from Reading, PA

If this report sounds a little flat, please understand that my area is under a tropical storm and flood watch. Of course I pretty much live on sea level so a car wash is enough to cause a flood.

— We open the show with “Mr. Heyman” and he talks about his concept and his life and this and that…I loved Heyman promos much more in the 80s-90s as Paul E. Dangerously. It’s hard to generate a real hatred for the guy because he’s been put out there so much in the past 10 years. Oh yeah he promises to pin Sabu. I’m psyched.

Rob Van Dam vs. Hardcore Holly. Not a horrible choice for an opener. Slugfest to start but RVD hits a savate kick and clotheslines ol’ Sparky Plugg over the top. They take it to the floor and RVD hits his legdrop off the ring apron onto Holly. RVD continues hammering away but Holly tries to counter with the Alabama Slam. RVD goes on defense to block it but Holly just dumps him over the top. That was effective. Holly adds a standing legdrop and works the chin. Yay a resthold, now that’s hardcore. Resthold doesn’t last long however, as Holly gets a BEAUTIFUL drop kick for two. Holly lays on some DOWN HOME SOUTHERN VIOLENCE~! in the corner but RVD counters the blind charge. Two clotheslines and another savate kick gets two. RVD hits the windmill kick and rolling thunder but Hardcore escapes the five-star. Holly grabs a chair but misses and RVD hits another spin kick. Something tells me that was supposed to be a Van Daminator but Holly blew the spot. RVD, rightfully pissed, grabs the chair and waffles Holly with it to draw the DQ. Good lord, why does ECW have DQs? It’s stupid. (Holly d. RVD — disqualification, **1/2). Solid opener but probably needed another three minutes. Of course the ICW is going to bitch about Holly, but he looked good and I think he’ll work in the brand and these two will mesh to have some decent matches.

— Rene Dupree continues trying to channel the awesomeness that was Rick “The Model” Martel and failing miserably.

Oh no, the Big Show is going to speak. Nothing good can come out of this. Yadda yadda yadda, “I am the most dominating in ECW…I destroyed DX….Hell in the Cell…mmmm Beefy…” Show challenges DX to a handicap match next week there in ECW. Well at least he kept it fairly short.

— “The Reject” Shannon Moore is ready to fight the power. Dude, Public Enemy did that 18 years ago. Talk about recycling catchphrases.

C.M. Punk vs. Stevie Richards. Crowd gets a C.M Punk chant going already. Wrestling sequence starts things off and both guys no sell chops. Punk disposes of Stevie and follows it with a suicide dive. Richards turns the tide with a couple of knees and a suplex that gets a fast two. Richards gets creative with a lower abdominal bearhug but Punk hits a dropkick on a counter and a few more kicks to take control again. Punk executes a double-armed powerbomb into a backbreaker for two. That looked impressive. Richards makes another feeble comeback attempt but a urinage and the anaconda vice ends things. ( C.M. Punk d. Richards, anaconda vice — submission, **1/4) Another decent Punk outing although the crowd really didn’t respond like they have been thus far.

— Another trailer from “The Marine” with EXCLUSIVE~! commentary from John Cena. Time for some Crystal Light.

— Matt Striker tries to get some cheap heat. I will admit the little tie is a cute touch but Shane Douglas pulled off this gimmick a million times better despite bitching about it the whole time. Striker rips on The Sandman until he answers the call but Striker hits him with the blackboard and works him over with a stapler. Not exactly Brian Pillman with the fork, but I can appreciate the attempt. Striker quickly escapes before Sandman can rally.

— Balls Mahoney gets ready to go into his usual spiel when Kelly Kelly interrupts him. Yeah, she’s an exhibitionist and that is an exhibition in poor acting.

— Styles and Tazz talk about Kurt Angle and give him some kind, parting words. The WWE has treated this with some class and it’s a sad state of affairs that I am a little surprised that. But Vince has made me skeptical.

— Sabu cuts a promo and sounds like he’s from Bombay….Bombay, Michigan…Why not just call him Terry “The Arabian” Brunk?

Sabu vs. Paul Heyman. Right away Heyman sends his security force after him but Sabu fights them off. The Big Show joins in and it quickly becomes a 3-on-1…well if you include Heyman it’s more like a 3.5-on-1. Sabu is busted open with a chair shot from Show and Heyman even gets some slaps in before laying on the badmouth. Pretty decent badmouth too. Big Show orders the goons to bring in a table as Heyman lays in some weak looking punches. This really isn’t the way to suck in viewers. Sabu tries to rally but a clothesline puts a quick end to that. Sabu tries a second rally and a headbutt ends it this time. RVD comes it to save the day and a Van Daminator puts Show on the canvas. RVD hits a somerset plancha on the security guards. Sabu finally gets a hold of Heyman and gives him an Arabian facebuster. RVD places Heyman on the table for Sabu to do damage but Show saves him at the last second. Hardcore Holly runs in and puts RVD through the table. Show does the sleeper/backbreaker combo and the showstopper legdrop on Sabu before dragging Heyman’s lifeless body and placing it on Sabu for the three count. (Heyman d. Sabu, Big Show/Hardcore Holly/Security Force/National Guard of Minnesota interference — pin, DUD). Show chokeslams Sabu through a table for good measure. Didn’t do much for me overall but the chaos to end the show isn’t a bad idea. Hello they could have tossed Knox and Dreamer into the run-in fest and went crazy with it. There’s nothing wrong with a wild brawl in ECW, that’s partially how the federation reached its height of success.

The Bottom Line: Ok, there’s a good and a bad. The bad is that the Sabu-Big Show feud really isn’t going anywhere and Paul Heyman is just hard to buy as the evil dictator boss guy. The good is that people are getting matched up as the brand builds towards its PPV. I’ve seen worse than Holly-RVD and I’m even willing to give Striker-Sandman a chance. Unfortunately the brand will continue (for now) without Angle, who was supposed to be one of the building blocks to help get the brand through this infancy. It’s really a sad ending to what turned out to be a very successful career and I hope Angle gets the help he needs because depression and pain pills isn’t the type of shit you play with. In the end this wasn’t a terrible hour of entertainment. I would’ve liked to see Sabu brutalize Heyman than Show runs in and saves him, instead Sabu got murdered for 10 minutes, got one move on Heyman before getting murdered some more and pinned. That’s called a squash in my book.