ECW hails from Milan, Italy in front of a very loud crowd compared to previous weeks. Show starts with The New Breed in the ring and Elijah Burke (the only one who can talk) on the mic. Crowd boos and whistles the hell out of him so this is going to be a good show. Burke introduces the newest member of their group, CM Punk. Tazz thinks it was the best thing for ”this blue chipper”, Styles is pissed at a good guy like Punk joining a group that frequently cheat to win. Crowd is as conflicted as the commentators, with boos and CM Punk chants. Burke asks Punk why he joined:
Sadly no, Punk chooses to keep the reason to himself. Rob Van Dam interrupts and he can’t believe Punk would choose The New Breed over The ECW Originals ”who broke their backs to make ECW.” Well with pity-begging like that no wonder he didn’t join. Burke and RVD talk a bit more but it’s all ”dude” and ”you’re old” and ”dude” and Burke vs. RVD is main eventing.
Nunzio vs. Snitsky
Nunzio comes out with a big Italian flag. Snitsky decides to also represent Italy via his big pizza face. Snitsky is his usual boring self so Tazz decides to talk about Napoleon. ”He was from here right? France? Ah, at least it’s Europe.” Nunzio gets a few lucky shots in to wake the crowd up. They don’t chant, they go from quiet to ultra-loud to quiet again. ”Nunzio’s on spaghetti legs!” says Styles and eventually Snitsky Bennett Kicks him for the win.
Winner: Snitsky (Commentators call Snitsky dominant and unstoppable after the match. He’s also boring as hell doing these ”do a move then grimace” matches and not even an Ultra Jobber like Nunzio can help.)
Burke asks Punk if he thinks he’s actually scared of RVD. Punk: ”yes.” Burke tells him he needs to get in line with the program.
Another fluff piece for The Condemned. Italy seems disgusted, and they gave the world Cannibal Holocaust.
Kevin Thorn & Marcus Cor Von vs. The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer starts off with Cor Von as Styles describes the big weights Cor Von lifts. Tazz: ”so what, this is wrestling.” Dreamer shoves Cor Von around so Tazz goes ”I thought you said Cor Von was strong?” Sandman tags in and tries the Heinekenrana but Cor Von disagrees and gives him a rough clothesline instead. Thorn tags in and suplexes Sandman, who has a habit of rolling onto his side after landing. Sandman gets beat up for ages as the crowd chants a local drinking song to motivate him. Dreamer eventually tags in and takes out Thorn with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Dreamer blocks a charge in the corner, gives Thorn a Sunset Flip while holding the rope and pins him. Ref blatantly saw the rope-grab as he rang for the bell, but whatever.
Winners: The ECW Originals (More basic as hell matches for The New Breed where they’re given nothing to fuck up but also nothing to impress with. Odd that Dreamer would cheat to win after Styles decried The New Breed’s cheating ways earlier, especially because Styles didn’t go ”ha, revenge!” he went ”Oh we’ve got
political jokes after being told not to say anything political controversy!”
Punk and Striker are shown watching the match backstage and Punk thinks The New Breed needs free thinkers. Striker does the soap opera nod and smile as Punk walks off-screen. Punk’s only been in the group a week and he’s already turning. It’s an even-shitter New Nexus.
Bobby Lashley is here, wearing a suit. Italy cheers him because they don’t understand English. We get a recap of Raw (also in Italy) where Umaga defended his IC Title against local debuting fan Santino Marella. Lashley interfered and cost Umaga the title to an unknown, which was weird. Oh Santino is here in ECW, looking happy and speaking Italian. Which er the crowd doesn’t react much to. They sound confused, I wonder if he was speaking the Google Translate version of his language like the Russian Commentators do on WWE PPVs now. And…that’s the segment. I don’t remember Santino’s reign being any good, but Italy seemed to enjoy it so IL YAY.
Backstage, Punk tries telling the rest of the crew that they should think twice about losing to part-timers and ask the bosses about Network royalties when Burke over-hears and tells him to know his place.
Backlash is this Sunday, with ECW (and Raw at this point) getting represented with Lashley defending the title against Shane, Umaga and Hatted Vince.
Rob Van Dam vs. Elijah Burke
Burke slaps RVD in the face, RVD retaliates by slapping Burke with his foot. RVD’s stretchiness is always impressive. RVD comes off the second rope with a beautiful crossbody but misses a dive so Burke takes over with a wristlock. Burke gives RVD a Divorce Court Single Arm DDT and continues with a Wristlock. Hammerlock scoop slam onto the arm and…more armlocks. Another RVD-chant-oh-he’s-making-a-comeback-oh-wait-no. And then another. And fuck me, after a few minutes we get another. What happened to The New Breed after Wrestlemania? They’re wrestling like they’ve just started wrestling instead of the promise they showed during the build up. Or maybe ”showing promise” was mistaken for ”didn’t look shit this week” and the ECW Originals were good at making others look great. RVD finally comes back with a ten-count (in Italian) and a big monkey flip but Scott Armstrong gets in the way and takes a Spinning Kick to get KO’d. But he used to wrestle! And commentate that one time. Burke and RVD continue to wrestle without him but Burke gets his knees up on a Rolling Thunder attempt. CM Punk comes out to help Burke and throws a chair into the ring…
Ref recovers, Five Star Frog Splash.
Winner: Rob Van Dam (Nothing match, all angle.)
Overall: Nice loud Italian crowd, shite show. So Punk joins The New Breed only to instantly turn against the leader? Despite the win in the Extreme Rules match, they’re still mostly goofs so you’d think they’d work together and look credible for a bit first so it meant something. As such, the war has gone from Apocalypse Now to Hot Shots.
Thanks for reading a report of this sub-standard show. SPEAKING OF WHICH Botchamania 334 is here so go watch that if you want. I’ll be here next week with Backlash and more thrilling Lashley promos. Until then there’s this tweet that made me laugh this morning: