Sorry for the lateness of this getting posted, got invited to go to a tattoo convention and spent the day planning a Simpsons design. It’s still between Groundskeeper Willie as Freddy Kruger or Bret Hart (with OLD MAN SMELL writing underneath). Anyway, back to ECW on Sci-Fi as things are about to become very interesting on-screen and off for all the wrong reasons.
The WWE flag at Titan Towers is flown at half-mast as Styles & Tazz solemnly inform us that Vince McMahon is dead. A long clip of the build-up and limo explosion are shown and I think the Lashley feud is over. There’s a ten bell salute and the crowd are asked to stand and show their appreciation. No wonder some people were convinced Vince was actually dead, they went all-in on making it seem like Vince was actually dead.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Balls Mahoney (Extreme Rules)
We’re in Philly so this match is mandatory. BALLS BALLS BALLS punches until Dreamer gets side-suplexed. Balls misses a charge and they go outside so they can get plunder. Balls gets twatted with a kitchen sink and sends Dreamer into the steps. A bin gets used by both men as Tazz exclaims ”What better way to pay tribute to Vince McMahon?” Balls gives Dreamer the Raven Invented That (drop-toe hold into a chair) and decides to go up top but Dreamer smashes him and lands the bin-assisted Tree of Woe E-C-W AHHH dropkick. Table is brought in, despite it’s one leg. Balls goes for a top rope leg drop anyway, misses and takes a DDT onto a chair for the loss.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer (Decent PG-13 hardcore match with two ex-ECW guys to keep the Mutants happy. Crowd lapped it up with a barbed wire spoon and cheese-steak.)
In the first mention of the draft, Chris Benoit and The Boogeyman have switched to ECW. Two wrestlers that scare kids.
Matt Striker (already in the ring) vs. The Boogeyman
Boogeyman makes his smokey entrance as Joey Styles keeps the serious ”Vince is dead” tone. Tazz thankfully laughs his arse off in disbelief at the painted, age-lying, Santino-slapping freak. Boogeyman dominates and Striker does everything he can to make Boogey look threatening. Striker runs outside so he can attack Boogey when he enters the ring, but flies off Boogey when he kicks out of the pin attempt. Crowd doesn’t appreciate Striker’s nuances and chants ”boring” then stops reacting completely when Boogeyman BOOGEYS UP and pins Striker after a BoogeyBomb (Two handed chokeslam).
Winner: The Boogeyman (Boogeyman was PWI’s Rookie of The Year 2006. Every other wrestler was tied for second place).
Striker gets wormed in the mouth. Tazz: ”Well, it is Sci-Fi.”
And then Joey & Tazz go back to the super-serious ”Vince McMahon is fucking dead” voice! After we just saw a teacher take worms to the face!
Long video of firemen putting out Vince’s limo. So despite the draft, this show still can’t fill an hour. There’s nothing else to add to ”firemen put out fire” but we get additional commentary afterwards on how fire-y the fire was.
Chris Benoit & CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke & Marcus Cor Von
Lashley has been drafted to Raw and has relinquished his ECW Title as a result. This was mentioned by Styles during the entrances of this match rather than via a video package or appearance from the man himself which makes the title look like shit. At least have Barry Windham replace him in a cage match or something. Big crowd reaction for Benoit who is now the major star of the brand as Angle, Show and Van Dam were before him. None of them are in the company anymore but I’m sure Benoit will turn out OK. Styles brings up Benoit’s first US exposure being in ECW, which isn’t true as he was wrestling Scorpio in WCW in 1993. Cor Von and Punk start off, with Cor Von looking dominant as usual. When Punk gets a shot in, the camera cuts to a close-up of Cor Von’s face as he grins. Cor Von tags in Burke who knees Punk right in the face, which Punk doesn’t appreciate. He tries to tag in Benoit but realises it’s only Burke and kicks his ass himself. Benoit is tagged in and Burke freezes in his boots. Benoit gives him the big Canadian clothesline (the one where he moves to the side after he hits him. It’s in WWF No Mercy and looked cool) and Burke begs off. Benoit doesn’t stop beating him as Tazz remarks ”Benoit doesn’t even give you a chance to breath.”
Snap Suplex gets two but Burke immediately tags out to Cor Von. Von isn’t intimidated (because he doesn’t have Fragile-X) and takes the beating to Benoit before messing up a spot.
Benoit carries on though, because he was as good as Malenko in covering for botches. Benoit hits him some more and tags in Punk who springboard forearms Cor Von down in unconvincing fashion. He follows with the Running Knee but switches things up with a calf kick. Burke tries to sneak-attack Punk but gets clotheslined to merry fuck by Benoit. Punk gives Benoit a ”thanks pal” head nod as we go to break.
When we’re back in this ”special Vince McMahon dedication episode”, Burke is beating down Punk. They stick to his ribs, throwing back to their long feud that is un-mentioned by the commentators. After some good-natured-ribbing (that’s just part of wrestling culture and not a representation of bullying), Punk makes a comeback on Cor Von. Cor Von counters Punk’s ten-punch in the corner by dropping him into a catapult position which is also a pinning position, waiting for Punk to kick out and using that momentum to throw him into the turnbuckle. I miss Cor Von. By this point he was settling in as a scary-strong weekly main event guy. This would be his penultimate televised match because life sucks. Punk counters a suplex into a small package and tries to tag out but Cor Von has none of it and even taunts Benoit. Cor Von then…oh woah wait, gimme a minute here. OK. Cor Von tags in Burke but uses the five seconds the ref gives him to slam Punk in the corner for Burke’s flying elbow. However, he takes longer than five seconds and the ref disqualifies him and has the bell rung.
That clearly wasn’t supposed to be the finish as the wrestlers (and commentators) are confused until Benoit runs in and starts twatting people and everyone follows his lead. Punk sends Cor Von out of the ring with an enziguri, Benoit gives Burke the Triple Germans and the no-long-term-issues diving headbutt. He locks in the Sharpshooter for kicks, not letting go despite Burke’s tap-outs. Benoit and Punk pose menacingly afterwards, Punk not looking half as convincing with his AFI haircut and lip-ring next to Benoit’s grizzled miserableness.
Winners via DQ: Chris Benoit & CM Punk (What the fuck happened there? Despite the finish everyone but Burke looked strong here, but it was fun seeing Benoit bounce him around like a ping-pong ball. Cor Von was the most impressive despite no POUNCE.)
Then we end with another touching tribute to Vince McMahon be showing the limo explosion again, which doubles as a metaphor for the ending to that tag match.
In other Draft News that was too important to be mentioned on the show:
-Snitsky to Raw, hooray! Well they could hardly have Snitsky, Boogeyman AND Thorn squashing people every week.
-Viscera to ECW, which would end up better than expected.
-The Sandman to Raw. That has to be a rib.
-Hardcore Holly to Raw for his last run with Cody Rhodes, one of the best angles of Holly’s whole career. And he never got his revenge.
-Major Bros. to Smackdown. They did nothing for a bit before joining Edge’s Rated-R Entourage/La Familia stable. Surprising they’d be moved so quickly to a major brand considering their newness.
-The Miz & Johnny Nitro to ECW which would benefit them greatly and be one of the reasons the brand got so good in 2008.
Overall: I’m glad someone sane in WWE realised that a Vince Is Dead storyline couldn’t have worked in the serious way they were presenting it while also showing silly wrestling. You can’t have commentators putting on their Walter Kronkite voices while also presenting The Boogyeman. Didn’t help they were also giving tributes to people like Sensational Sherri who was dead for real-real (not for play-play). Oh and Benoit, the family-killing elephant in the room that can’t be ignored.
If you’re not happy with the awkward puns during his matches, don’t worry. They’re not going to be around for much longer.