We’re in Manchester, England (looks like the 02 Arena but by the time you’ve read this it’ll have changed it’s name again. Probably the Angry Birds Arena by now). Tazz is recovering from knee surgery so Elijah Burke joins Joey Styles on commentary. It’s where he’d end up ten years later and it means he’s not wrestling so good call.
Heyman and Show waddle to the ring to tell us Rob Van Dam isn’t here tonight. Shite, they’re overseas so that’s probably true for once. Heyman says don’t worry, Show’s here! Show will be beating Cena at Survivor Series in a few weeks (first we’ve heard of it) and will be defending the ECW Title at December To Dismember. BUT WHO IS THE SIXTH MAN asks Heyman? He’ll reveal now and we cut to Hardcore Holly walking backstage. Then Lashley tackles him and throws him about the place, making his debut to a big reaction. He runs down the ramp and spears Show on the outside then signs his name on a contract in the ring. Segment ends with Lashley holding Show’s title above his head. This show has been begging for a new guy to show up and kick arse (or RVD to win the title, whichever) so Lashley was the right guy in the right place here and the crowd were happy to see him. Or maybe they were happy to see Holly get smashed.
An advert for Survivor Series plays, bragging about how the brands are mixing for one night. After a segment with a Smackdown guy showing up in ECW. Series 2006 was shite compared to 2005 and the one-man show by Tazz.
Rest of the adverts are Xmas related, along with one advertising a newspaper subscription with DOCTORS, LET US KILL THE DISABLED headline. Bloody fuck I must have missed that feud.
Heyman deals with angry Test, Holly & Show and tells them not to worry as he’s going to LAWYER UP. But seeing as he’s here why doesn’t he wrestle Holly? I can think of a dozen reasons mate.
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox
Burke is joined by Turkay, who isn’t on commentary, he’s standing menacingly. Burke calls him ”The Man-Bear” and that’s apparently a good thing. So not only is he a bird he’s a South Park joke too? I can’t believe he was only here until January.
Anyway, Punk is cheered to hell and he’s wrestling Knox yet again. The light-change as the match starts is quite dramatic:
A lot of people left their seats to go buy Man-Bear-Turkey shirts. Styles calls Kelly Kelly ”a hot tottie, as they say over here in the UK”. The hell we do. WWE’s frame of reference for England: Mary Poppins and National Lampoon’s European Vacation. I think they see the rest of the UK and Ireland as Modor. Burke calls her ”a tart or a slapper” which is more like that but I guess they couldn’t go with dirty, dirty whore (pronounced ”who-er”). Knox gets the advantage over Punk but runs out the ring anyway. He checks on Kelly Kelly, prompting Punk to chase him and Kelly to accidentally take a hit. As Punk checks on her, Knox tackles Punk into the guard-rail. Hey that was OK. It gets one. Suplex gets another one-count but Knox continues hurting Punk and it’s more offence than he’s had in this entire feud combined. Clothesline into backbreaker gets two. Styles reminds us that Kelly dressed up as Punk for Halloween and Burke counters with ”how would you like if it your girlfriend dressed as Tazz?” Burke is winning me over. Boston Crab by Knox as Kelly looks conflicted. Pull a Nigel McGuinness and go poly. And go live in the woods. Knox has been dominating for a good five minutes now but he gets cocky and tries a slow suplex so Punk kicks him while vertical. Punk makes his comeback and the crowd is loud for Knox getting kicked in the face. Punk tries the Running Knee in the corner but Knox has been hit by it a hundred times so he dodges, only to get hit by a springboard dropkick instead. Knox takes a breather on the outside so Punk dives through the ropes onto him. Punk gets the Running Knee/Bulldog combo for two but Knox unexpectedly comes back with a Twilt-a-Whirl backbreaker for two. Punk starts kicking shite out of Knox, takes him down and stretches him with the Anaconda Vice for the win.
Winner: CM Punk (Wayyyyyyy better than I was expecting considering how shite Knox the character and Knox the wrestler usually is. Simple enough story of Knox beating up Punk for ages and Punk valiantly making a comeback made both wrestlers look good. These long matches are what would make 2008 ECW a fun show to watch, even if this match went long because they only brought as many ECW over that would fit in Big Show’s lunch-box.)
Kelly applauds Punk on his win. Burke: ”I take it back, she’s a slag!”
Cock-teasing so-and-sos play Regal’s first WWE Theme as they show exciting footage of the The Manchester Eye but we go to Matt Striker instead. He quotes some famous dead people about killing the Brits and moves onto previous Elimination Chamber moments, so we’re reminded it’s a scary dangerous match and please buy the PPV.
CM Punk also says the Chamber is very dangerous and please buy the PPV with one announced match. Apparently Rebecca ”Nicole Bass on Oxycodone” Dipietro was interviewing Punk here but they zoomed in on Punk and didn’t let her ask questions. Someone must have bothered to watch her previous stuff.
Wigan vs. Aston Villa and Blackburn vs. Tottenham are Sunday’s mega line-up. Maybe if all the other TV channels are off the air mate. I don’t mean that but I know someone will read this and get pissed and that’s what it’s about. Also Dom Joly visits Mexico to get drunk and start fights with wrestlers. Bloody hell.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Daivari
Daivari has Khali with him and continues to shoot evil foreignese. Dreamer stares at Khali so Daivari sneak attacks him. I’d ask what the middle-eastern term of ”Pearl Harbour attack” would be but it’s probably best not to. Is it bad to still use the term ”Pearl Harbour” to describe a sneak attack? Fallaway Slam by Dreamer and some other stuff happens until Daivari misses a crossbody off the top. Dreamer gets ready for a charge but Khali grabs his legs and crotches him on the ring-post for the DQ.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer (Daivari was shittingly dull in-ring and if it wasn’t for WWE’s need to have a Middle-Eastern bad guy he’d more than likely never have been on TV. Nice to see some positive employment discrimination though.)
Khali choke-drops Dreamer afterwards. Burke: ”That’s like falling off the Empire State Building!”
Here’s a graphic of the PPV main event because this review isn’t pretty enough.
Lashley vs. Hardcore Holly
Lashley beats the hell out of Holly to begin, which is exactly what he should be doing. Stalling suplex with ”hey cheer for me” hand to the crowd makes Holly escape outside, where he dumps Lashley on the steel steps. Lashley scoop slams Holly and it looks cool because it looks like Holly didn’t help him at all BUT HE DID IT ANYWAY. Holly goes to the time-tested ”punches and chinlocks” method of keeping a guy down until he busts out one of the worst Flying Nothings I’ve ever seen.
Lashley takes down Holly with elbows and clotheslines and drops Holly with a rack-bomb which the crowd likes. Only gets two so Lashley goes up top but Holly gives him a Superplex for a near-fall. Now Holly goes up top again for another Flying Nothing and he lands in Lashley’s arms so he can get Overhead Belly To Belly’d. Oklahoma Stampede looks to finish but Show drags the ref out for the DQ.
Test, Show, Holly and Heyman’s Personal Security beat up Lashley so Punk, Sabu and RVD (ahhh I got tricked) make the save. Sabu dives, RVD throws chairs and Punk…takes Holly’s finisher. Oh. Well thanks anyway mate.
Winner: Lashley (They should have had Lashley run wild Goldberg-style. Lashley in a moderately competitive match looks a bit lost and Holly had to turn into Lucha Bob to get into position to show off Lashley’s athleticism. So not a great debut for Lashley but not a bad one either.)
Lashley and RVD are left in the ring and they pose off to dividing crowd reactions. RVD’s the clear favourite. The over-muscled guy not as popular as the wrestler who has a connection with the crowd? GET AWAY.
Overall: A surprisingly not-bad Knox vs. Punk match, Burke on commentary and Lashley made his debut made this Not Bad by ECW 2006 standards but there was nearly fuck-all to GIF so I give it a DUD. I think that translates to a C+ but I’m not sure.
Because British wrestler Tom Irvine’s retired (and it looks legit as he’s burning ever bridge on the way out) here’s a bonus GIF of him in ICW vs. Colt Cabana and Grado (known as IRN JEW) so this review wasn’t a complete waste of your time.