We’re in Buffalo, New York with no opening and December To Dismember is THIS SUNDAY NIGHT. Oh. Paul Heyman starts the show putting over the EXTREEEME Elimination Chamber. ”Inside the chamber it’s total anarchy” etc. He introduces the weapons that are going to be used in the Chamber and that takes a lot away from Heyman’s spiel as he gives us a chair, a crowbar (which gets an ironic ”holy s---” chant) and a table. What a weird way to sell a supposedly unique match by filling it with normal weapons. Oh and there’s a barbed wire baseball bat too, which makes the crowd chant ”we want fire” because it’s New York.
Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu
Every wrestler in the Chamber is wrestling tonight so hopefully this will put a smile on these miserable fans. Just wait until next Sunday. After a feeling out process, RVD sends Sabu across the ring with a monkey flip. Joey Styles says ”it’s every man for himself!” a load of times so we get the point of the Chamber match. Sabu tries to slow RVD down with a leglock but Van Dam ignores it and gives him a spinning leg drop. RVD gets crotched on the top rope but he holds on and Sabu eats s--- on a Frankensteiner attempt. Sabu tries a springboard something but RVD cuts him off. Mild ECW chant and we go to adverts (nothing worth recapping, it’s all Christmas crap). When we’re back, RVD nearly sends Sabu outside with a stalling suplex off the apron but Sabu gets out and proceeds to eat s--- again after a Sunset Flip Powerbomb attempt.
RVD follows with a moonsault off the apron. Back inside, RVD misses a springboard legdrop so Sabu lands a springboard leg lariat. I forgot Sabu goes springboard-mental when there’s no tables or chairs. RVD plants Sabu with a German Suplex (All Bridge, No Impact) for a two-count. Sabu uses RVD as a springboard to springboard to the ropes to land a springboard leg drop. Rolling Thunder by RVD gets two. No-one’s selling s---. Sabu with another springboard leg lariat and follows with a springboard clothesline. Then another, for a two-count. Not the best combo of moves as RVD had to stand around looking dazed (insert joke here) for Sabu to string those together. Sabu attempts a springboard DDT but gets tossed off so RVD finishes with the Five Star Frog Splash.
Winner: Rob Van Dam (A lot of moves with no substance, it was all ”you do a move then I do a move” for ten minutes. It’s all well and good doing flips and stuff but if the recipient immediately gets up to do another move, I don’t think ”strong style!” I think ”fast-forward!” Sabu springboarding off the ropes every for every move got ridiculous after the fifth one but hey at least we’ll see him in the Chamber on Sunday.)
The Hardys are wrestling MNM on the PPV (dubbed a ”One Night Only” match which I don’t think anyone believed even in 2006.) so to prepare they’re wrestling Burk-ay.
The Hardys vs. Sylvester Terkay & Elijah Burke
Their in-ring debut. The commentators talk about Burke’s boxing background and remind us Terkay’s nickname is ”Man-Bear.” Right-o. Burke gets bounced around by The Hardys’ double-team moves until Terkay sticks his (insert word for big) leg in and gets the advantage over Jeff. Overhead slam (or whatever you call a Pump Handle Slam without the Pump Handle) and the commentators explode with giddiness over Terkay’s size. He misses a big charge in the corner so Matt tags in and runs wild. Burke gets sent outside so they land Poetry In Motion, Twist Of Fate and The Swanton Bomb to finish the Man-Bear-Big.
Winners: The Hardys (Quick nothing match to remind everyone that The Hardys are great. Weird having Terk & Burke lose their debut match, someone probably decided to have The Hardys wrestle on ECW again but didn’t realise they only had two tag teams. It was no great loss to wrestling anyway.)
Post-match MNM attack The Hardys and mock Jeff’s dancing. Morrison leaves Jeff laying after a step-up enziguri. Morrison makes the now-transitional move look impressive, which Morrison always does with moves that connect.
Clips of the December To Dismember press conference. I didn’t know that was a thing either. It couldn’t have been very long, only the wrestlers in the main event were there and I assume it ended after someone from the press asked ”what other matches are happening?”
They should have done a post-PPV press conference instead, that would have been sweet.
CM Punk vs. Test
Styles: ”Can Punk overcome the unlimited power of Test?” Just have him run ten yards, mate. Test stomps Punk as the crowd chants ”You Take Steroids.” Punk takes Test outside so we get a good look at Test’s back and it looks like the crowd’s right. Punk knocks Test down with the springboard clothesline but Test keeps him down with a mighty chinlock. Punk knocks Test outside and follows with a suicide plancha and brawls with Test until both men are counted out.
Winner: Dr. Phil C. Astin III (The never-ending battle between the big guy WWE cares about vs. the smaller guy with a personality the fans care about. Even with Punk flying about, this was nothing and Test is definitely back to being not-good after glimpses of being OK a few months ago.)
MNM remind the paparazzi in the parking lot that they’re the best tag team of the modern era and they’ll remind everyone that this Sunday. He’s not far off that claim, the tag division only recovered in 2013 after years of nothing. Unless you count The Hardys re-uniting there was only Jeri-Show, Morrison & The Miz, London & Kendrick and maybe MVP & Matt Hardy.
Speaking of which, the only two matches announced for the PPV are the Chamber match (which got two video packages this episode) and that tag match. That’s it. There’s been absolutely no mention of any other wrestlers even existing, unless you count Burke and Terkay and I guess we have to.
Oh and while we’re at it there’s been no mention of Survivor Series last weekend either. Here’s a recap of the relevant stuff:
HHH, HBK, The Hardys & CM Punk annihilated MNM, Gregory Helms, Edge, Randy Orton & Mike Knox 5-0. CM Punk was so over with the crowd that HHH had to stop the pre-match D-X intro to let him join in.
Oh, and the moment Mike Knox is remembered for:
John Cena, Kane, Bobby Lashley, Sabu & Rob Van Dam defeated Big Show, Test, MVP, Finlay, and Umaga. Highlight was a fudged up DDT on Show.
Not a great show. And on that segue-way, back to ECW on Sci-Fi.
The Big Show vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley tries to take down Show but he’s THE BIG SHOW so he doesn’t move and takes down Lashley with a Diesel Clothesline. Crowd isn’t really behind Lashley, or anything else on the show apart from RVD. Show pounds Lashley around the ring for a bit. I’ll say this, Show has managed to look like a credible monster during this ECW run. Lashley tries to come back but Show gives him a big ol’ kick. Sadly Tazz didn’t call it a ”fire engine” like foot or anything. He’s got his serious hat on. Styles doesn’t own one of them so when Show shouts ”I’m the champ” at the crowd, Styles exclaims ”you’d never guess he’s not using a microphone.” Christ even his voice is big. Show gets stuck in the corner via Lashley punches and for whatever reason, Show climbs the ropes behind him so Lashley gives him an Overhead Belly To Belly. It was an impressive move, but if the wrestler taking the move has to do something that makes no sense then f--- that move. Lashley with big charges to finally take down Show but Heyman calls in the personal security to run in for the DQ.
Winner: Lashley via DQ (Lashley looked credible as Show let him toss him around for a bit. Let’s see if that lasts.)
Post-match the goons (goons?) masked goons (masked goons?) get taken down by Lashley so Test kicks Bobby with an Unlimited Power boot. Show chokeslams Lashley and knocks him out with the title. Crowd still isn’t behind Lashley as we go off the air.
Overall: So to remind everyone again, there’s a PPV on Sunday (one weekend after Survivor Series) with two announced matches, one of which they bait-and-switched on the show anyway. So it’s no wonder it’s the lowest-purchased PPV in WWE history (prior to the Network) and watching these shows makes you wonder what the hell they were expecting. The Chamber match is a gimmick and even worse, one that messes with the RVD vs. Show storyline they’ve been building for months, only to give up on at the PPV.
So, The Homer of wrestling. Which I’ll be watching again next week, sadly.