This is the episode after Wrestlemania 23 so let’s have a quick look at the relevant bits: ECW on Sci-Fi’s CM Punk was involved in the Money In The Bank opener but ended up being the guy Ken Kennedy bashed off a ladder to win the briefcase. Some stuff happened with Kennedy’s MITB, but he’s not in ECW so fuck him.
The ECW Originals (Sabu, The Sandman, Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer) vs. The New Breed (Marcus Cor Von, Elijah Burke, Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker)
In the ”go get something to eat so you can go to the toilet when the Divas are on later” slot after Batista vs. Undertaker. The Originals walk through the crowd and Sabu doesn’t look happy with that, looking ready to fight any fan that touches him.
Striker and Sabu start off and of course the first move is a springboard clothesline. Followed up by two more because Sabu was a parody of himself in non-gimmick matches. Sabu drapes Striker over the top rope and Sandman flies with a guillotine leg drop. Sandman pumps his fists and shouts ”OH YEAHHH!” to get the crowd into it but it’s an open-air stadium so all he gets is crickets/Tyler Reks pop. Burke and Dreamer tag in and the ECW Originals bust out the FBI’s camp double elbow (minus the kissing) but Cor Von sticks his knees up as Dreamer bounces off the ropes. At least the action is quick. Cor Von tags in and Butterfly suplexes Dreamer. He tags Burke in and they double big back body drop Dreamer. Burke lands the Elijah Express but Sabu interrupts the count. Thorn tags in, does a clothesline then chinlocks Dreamer. Jesus mate. Was he sucking on Test’s blood? Dreamer tries to tag out but takes a How Dare You Use D’Lo Brown’s Move You Shit Vampire Sky High. Cor Von tags in and continues the chinlock workover. Dreamer asks for the crowd’s help and it works as they chant for ”RVD.” Tommy delivers a neckbreaker and a DDT on Cor Von and Burke at the same time which gets a ”ooo” from the crowd and he finally tags in Rob Van Dam to a real reaction. He cleans house better than he cleans his dashboard when pulled over by police and nails Thorn with a Van Daminator and sends Striker flying with a Monkey Flip. Rolling Thunder lands but Cor Von drags him out and clotheslines him on the outside. Sabu takes out Cor Von with a dive that sees Sabu landing on his head. Dreamer DDTs Striker in the ring and Sandman drags Burke out, leaving RVD free to Five Star Frog Splash Striker for the win.
Winners: ECW Originals (Felt rushed at seven minutes, with wrestlers doing things simply to include them, like the big fight scene in a Marvel film but with less blur. Guys like Thorn & Cor Von did not shine at all and only RVD looked impressive.)
Also Lashley beat Umaga in the mega-spectacle that was Hair vs. Hair. Even though he was playing a bit-part, the crowd did react to him positively. Not as much as Guest Ref Steve Austin but well ”duh”. Austin stunnered Umaga, Lashley speared Umaga, Vince got his head shaved and we got the worst non-Linda stunner of all time on Donald Trump.
Trump would fade into obscurity after this match, his current whereabouts are unknown.
ECW on Sci-Fi having involvement in three matches on the biggest show of the year was a positive sign, along with Sabu & Rob Van Dam inducting The Sheik into the Hall of Fame and Sandman laughing at Jerry Lawler saying ”Viagra”.
Lashley is here, all smiles because he can’t emote anything else. Crowd is very pro-Bobby. He talks a while about Wrestlemania, which is a bad idea. Every sentence takes off a point in his charisma stats. He shows photos of Vince McMahon bald and we get a recap of Vince with a hat on Raw. Lashley showed up and removed it. We get incredibly dramatic music for this moment which makes it hilarious. If you shut your eyes you’d think Vince was being assassinated. McMahon tries to hide underneath Lilian’s skirt but Lashley rips it off (2007, ladies and gentlemen). We cut back to ECW and Lashley is still talking. The crowd realises he’s horrible, like a first grader doing Nativity bad and you can hear the boos and loud fans shouting ”SHUT UP.” He finally ends it by saying this is ”E pause C pause W” so the crowd can cheer for the show they’re watching.
Promo package for The Condemned premiere, starring Steve Austin, Nathan Jones and Vinnie Jones. It’s a dull, funless Battle Royale by-way-of The Running Man film but various wrestlers are forced to say it’s great as they stare off-camera at the gun pointed at them.
CM Punk vs. Stevie Richards
Like last time, he’s announced and called Stevie but the graphic says Steven. I wonder if that’s a rib. Here’s Punk wearing Stevie Corps tights in PWG 2004.
Punk has the taped DDP ribs and the crowd loves him. Punk takes him down with a basic shoulder charge and grimaces because of his injuries. Yes Punk yes! Punk accidentally dunks his idol on his head. No Punk no!
After a breather to make sure Stevie remembers where he is, Punk gets a two-count after a jumping calf kick. Stevie works over the taped bit of Punk with suplexes and kicks. Stevie goes for an Abdominal Stretch but Punk turns it into a school-boy because he really doesn’t want to be put in that. Stevie kicks out and locks it in anyway and Punk has to bite his hand to stop the pain. Richards misses a charge in the corner so Punk nails the knee, thinks about it and gives him two more for good measure. Bulldog gets a two-count. Punk unleashes his MMA offence flurry and fights the pain to land the GTS for the win.
Winner: CM Punk (I say this every time, Punk is great in the fighting underdog role who makes his opponents look strong before he overcomes them. Even Stevie Not Been on TV For Ages Richards looked like he could beat Punk here. Good times and the crowd ate it up with a Straight Edge spoon.)
RVD talks to Timbaland backstage. He has a music video featuring some of the WWE Divas so naturally Extreme Expose show up and they’d love nothing better than to show off their bodies for him because women are either whores or evil whores at this point in WWE history. Timbaland has one of those rapper voices where he sounds permanently bored (or stoned) so when three hot women tell him they’re going to strip for him he’s like ”word.”
Backstage again, Striker & Cor Von compliment Punk and again offer him a bit in The New Breed. He declines again and Cor Von threatens him but Striker backs him off and tells him to watch the main event tonight and think. At this point, New Breed are like Bojack Horseman’s agent.
Extreme Expose do their thing to Timbaland’s Give It to Me, a song so important they didn’t even name it during the segment backstage. Then we get an extended music video for Wrestlemania 23 set to that fucking Saliva song that wouldn’t go away.
Hardcore Holly vs. Snitsky
Snitsky’s first real challenge. He misses The Bennett Kick but gets a clothesline and chokes Holly in the corner. Holly tries to come back but Snitsky is too big, bald and covered in eczema. Snitsky pounds away in a dull manner as the commentators have to say things like ”wow what a punch!” Holly nearly gets the Alabamma Slamma but Snitsky’s Bennett Kick connects and that’s it.
Winner: Snitsky (Holly had to forget how to wrestle so Snitsky could dominate him. There was nothing special here and you could have called him Mike Knox and people would have believed it.)
Post-match Snitsky attacks Holly with a chair and Pillmanizes him using two ring-steps. Oh.
The ECW Originals vs. The New Breed (EXTREEEEME RULES)
I forget who said it but apparently everyone involved in the match at Wrestlemania was upset they were unable to do anything remarkable so this match has the reputation of ”the match they wanted to do at Wrestlemania” so let’s see if it matches the hype.
Sabu and Striker to start and like Wrestlemania, Sabu comes off with a springboard. Camel Clutch causes Cor Von to charge in and everyone brawls because it’s Extreme Rules. Plunder gets thrown in and the ECW Originals turn into New Jack and bash everyone with crap. Sandman dives to the outside, followed by a Triple Jump from Sabu. Dreamer sends Striker into a trash can and Cor Von dares to give Dreamer the drop toe hold onto a chair. That’s an ECW Original move, dammit. ”Bodies are dropping like bags of cement!” shouts Joey as New Breed take over in the ring. They pound away on Dreamer as Striker keeps the other ECW Originals out the ring. Finally Striker gets to use his smartness for something. Crowd are that pissed with is’ effectiveness it gets a ”New Breed Sucks!” chant. Dreamer nails the neckbreaker/DDT combo again and RVD/Sabu bust out the classics like Air Sabu and the springboard/Rolling Thunder combo. It gets two and Sabu tries Air Sabu onto Cor Von but he gets caught and powerbombed. Sandman misses a cane shot on Burke and gets trash canned, but Dreamer uses that opportunity to deck Burke and gives him a Tree of Woe stop-sign assisted dropkick in the corner. This has been non-stop action since they started. Dreamer plants Striker with the Sky High onto a trash can but stops to do the AHHHHH ECW taunt and gets rightfully chair shotted. Cor Von backdrops Dreamer onto a set-up chair to make Joey cringe. Sandman tries to stop him but instead takes THE POUNCE.
RVD lobs a chair at Cor Von so him and RVD can set up a table but here comes Thorn to ruin everything. He tries to send RVD into the table in the corner with a running powerbomb but RVD’s having none of that and goes up top. Ariel crotches him though so Thorn tries for the rope-assisted-neckbreaker but Sabu stops THAT with a flying chair. Man this like a Jackie Chan film. Sorry, a good Jackie Chan film. Thorn gets placed on the table and Sabu & RVD dive through him. Striker charges at Sabu which distracts him enough for Burke to deliver Elijah Express through the table for the win.
Winners: The New Breed (Ten minutes of weapon-assisted spots with everyone getting a real chance to look good as opposed to the contractually obligated spots at Wrestlemania with no time to breath. Easily the best ECW on Sci-Fi match since the RVD vs. Holly series, no wonder it gets the love. Even The New Breed looked credible for Punk to think ”hey, maybe I will join!”)
Overall: The main event’s worth a watch if they ever upload ECW on Sci-Fi onto the Network. CM Punk was good as usual, so if you ignore Lashley on the mic and Snitsky doing anything, this was a great episode. Oh and Wrestlemania 23 had Batista vs. Undertaker so watch that.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next week but if you need more Maffew writing I did a piece for Botchamania.com on Channel 4’s broadcast of Royal Rumble 2000.