Show sadly starts with a In Memory Of Mike Awesome. Awesome had a mullet and wasn’t a great talker but was able to live up to his surname every night by being The Heavyweight That Flew Like A Cruiserweight in FMW and ECW where not being the total package wasn’t an issue. Paul Heyman made sure Awesome wasn’t cutting soliloquies and made sure to was pair him with super-bumpers like Masato Tanaka and Spike Dudley so he looked like money (that ECW wasn’t paying him). The teased mega-feud between him, Rob Van Dam and Sabu in early 2000 sadly never happened after RVD got injured and ECW parted ways with Awesome and Sabu. Sadly neither WCW or WWF had Heyman’s ability to cover a wrestler’s weaknesses (something that still hurts WWE today) and Awesome took on humiliating gimmicks and became a Heat regular. Awesome was able to turn back the clock at One Night Stand 2005 and stole the show against preferred rival Tanaka in what would be his final match. To me and many others, it didn’t matter that Heyman presented him as an evil traitor or WCW decided he should be That Seventies Guy, he’ll always be remembered as Mike Fucking Awesome.
We get a dramatic recap of Lashley vs. Kennedy from No Way Out 2007…WAIT WAIT that happened? Well there was no mention of last week. A quick Google tells us it was set up on the Smackdown before the PPV so it must have been a mega match. I was going to review it but then I saw it went fifteen minutes and went to a DQ. Naaah, you’re alright. Tonight it’s a Triple Threat match for the title with Lashley defending against Kennedy and HARDCORE HOLLY AGAIN even though he’s lost to Lashley twice in consecutive episodes.
This is already a laugh-a-minute episode and we’ve not even hit the Drowning Pool intro.
The New Breed enters the ring, the Old Guys show up and blahblahblah a match.
Kevin Thorn vs. Rob Van Dam
”We’ve got two clashes of style here” says Tazz. Yeah, pizza and arsenic. Thorn tries to get the drop on RVD early but he tells him ”I’ve been wrestling longer than you’ve been alive” but he replies ”but I am a vaaaaamppiiiirrreee” and RVD’s like ”oh” and reverses a backdrop. Thorn ended up outside and into The New Breed and RVD follows with a dive. This ends with a big brawl (complete with The Shield shaky camera) between the Jets and The Monoplanes and we go to break.
When we’re back the match has resumed. I was expecting a multi-man match but instead everyone around the ring has been sent to the back. Thorn tries to counter RVD’s timing (or maybe he’s slow) but Van Dam has a kick counter for everything. RVD delivers Rolling Thunder but appears to hurt his own neck. He gets better and both start to exchange moves with the crowd getting into it. Maybe it’s because of the Road to Wrestlemania but the crowds are suddenly much louder than before. And better lit by the lights. Thorn gets two off a Samoan Drop, RVD big kicks him and ends it with the Five Star Frog Splash.
Winner: Rob Van Dam (You cannot fuck up with RVD at this point, he works well with everyone and the crowd loves him, he’s playing the role of AJ Styles in 2016. Er except Styles was allowed to headline.)
More Snitsky Psycho music video packages, adding more footage the more he beats people up.
CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro (Money In The Bank Qualifier)
Nitro is accompanied by the new Women’s Champion Melina. Joey Styles compares the MITB to a Golden Ticket and Tazz wishes he had MITB when he was wrestling and Joey allows a perfectly good Oompa Loompa joke to slip through his hands. Both men jostle for position with Punk getting it with a jumping calf kick. Nitro comes back with multiple pin-fall attempts because his cardio is at 200% as Melina screams at ringside. Punk counters a hip-toss into a roll-up for two and Nitro isn’t happy so he drops sexy leg drops on Punk’s head. Nitro keeps Punk grounded as the commentators compliment Nitro’s technique. Just wait until he takes over the show next year. Punk comes back with his MMA kicks that er…well that term hasn’t aged well. In any case he connects with the Running Knee/Bulldog but Nitro comes back and tries a bit of Ong-Bak.
Nitro misses the Corkscrew Moonsault (surprise surprise) and Punk connects with the GTS for the pin.
Winner and competing for MITB: CM Punk (This was a fun TV match but you get the feeling if they had more time they’d deliver a great match. Let’s wait and see what happens eh?)
Kennedy is being interviewed backstage until Holly interrupts and tells him the world is cruel. It will be if Holly ever gets his hands on Kennedy:
La Resistance (Rene Dupree & Sylvan) vs. Los Luchas (Phoenix Star & Zokre)
OK I need to pause for a second, not only to register that Dupree is still here after doing those silly skits last year then disappearing but he’s managed to drag Grenier back onto TV as well. And they’re wrestling early PWG favourites Los Luchas (not wearing their masks for some reason). La Res get a windowed promo reminding us they won the tag titles four times. FOUR?! Match is brief as one Lucha guy takes a spinebuster and the other gets deported.
I can understand being Los Luchas and taking that move for John Cena or The Undertaker, but if they asked me to do it for La Resistance I’d politely tell them to fuck off. They finish with the Belly to back side slam/neckbreaker combination.
Winners: La Resistance (Shows how valuable WWE saw the French-Canadian demographic if they kept these two lugs around.)
Post-match Snitsky attacks Los Luchas. I’d use the Simpsons STOP HE’S ALREADY DEAD joke but there’s no way Snitsky’s interesting enough for that.
Another riveting look at Lashley’s upbringing. Yeah that’s one way of dealing with the charisma issue, show the world he hasn’t gone any. He’s like Foxcatcher without the senseless death.
After Extreme Expose gyrate to Pitbull (not the ECW guy, although that would have been an improvement), Mr. Perfect is the newest inductee into the Hall of Fame. No complaints here.
Bobby Lashley vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Ken Kennedy (ECW Title)
Lashley spears Holly to begin and Kennedy attacks Lashley. Holly and Kennedy argue over who should beat up Lashley but he counters with Clotheslines Of Bore. After much pounding, Kennedy gets Lashley down in the corner and gives him the Nick Gage running boot. Holly plants Kennedy with Uncle Slam for two which lets Lashley recover and he just plays with Holly. The man he’s beaten twice on TV but still gets title shots. Kennedy tries to send Lashley into the steel steps but he counters and Ken smacks his arm. ”Owww!!” Bryan Alvarez would love this match, his rants on Kennedy’s selling are Cornette-levels of rantage. Holly locks in a sleeper on Lashley to kill some time and Ken like an idiot tries to break it up. Why don’t more wrestlers let a submission linger for a while when in a Triple Threat? I don’t get it. Lashley throws both the blonds around like they’re Los Luchas and sends Anderson outside. Holly has enough and sets Lashley up for the fuck-your-face.
He did it to him last week, you’d think he’d learn. Holly delivers Alabamma Slamma and looks like he may actually win but Ken grabs the ref at the last second. Holly’s pissed but before he can grab the fire ants, Ken nut-shots Holly which allows Lashley to give Ken the running Davey Boy Smith Bodyslam to retain.
Winner and still ECW Champion: Bobby Lashley (A messy mesh of moves and Kennedy getting in the way of things. All they’re doing with Lashley is killing time with him and making him look good, but you can’t make him look good without giving him something substantial, you know?)
Overall: I know good stuff happens on this show but I’m still waiting for it all to happen. Until then, here’s Mike Awesome.