Bobby Lashley and his incredibly generic theme music start the show. All respect to Jim Johnston but he’d been on borrowed time for years and I’m glad we know have CFO$. He grabs the mic. I’ve changed my mind, put his music back on.
He offers a title shot to Big Show anytime he likes and then throws all the cliches in like ”living his dream” like he’s running for office. He has three possible opponents for next week and you get to pick which one between Test, Rob Van Dam and Sabu. There’s no Eddie Edwards so it could have been worse.
Lashley puts over the The Tribute To Troops that’s airing on Christmas (Fuck that, stick Die Hard on) but René Duprée interrupts to hate on The War In Iraq because he’s French and it’s 2006.
Bobby Lashley vs. René Duprée
This is how La Resistance made their debut three years ago, hating on the war and the silly Americans etc. They stopped at nothing to get the crowd to cheer for Lashley, they probably rang Baron Von Raschke to see if he was free. Duprée gets a few token bits of offence in before Lashley suplexes, shoulder charges and Dominators the evil froggy white-flag waving snail-shell eating Freedom-hating non-American.
Winner: Bobby Lashley (Jingo Unchained.)
Styles points out the match was non-title as Dupree isn’t in title contention which was a nice touch and we’re getting a triple threat match between the three possible contenders tonight. Hey forward planning, it’s definitely a new creative team.
Brad Armstrong joins us on commentary for one match, which I don’t remember being a thing.
Matt Striker vs. Balls Mahoney
This was set up after Balls got kicked in the his-names last week. Commentators dislike Striker’s argyle.
Armstrong: ”Who does Balls’ laundry?”
Striker gives Balls the face-wash in the corner because everyone was doing that in 2006. It was the new Shining Wizard. Striker throws his sweater off so the ref puts it outside which allows Striker to choke Balls with his shirt. See, that’s the kind of Smart Guy Wrestling that works, not just pussy back rakes and whatnot. Striker puts him in an arm-lock and drops Striker on his head until he charges up the Balls punches and Striker tries to go low again…but Balls remembers last week, catches the kick and gives him a Sky High. Nice continuity! Sadly Balls ruins it by missing a top rope legdrop and taking Striker’s Golden Rule (Gail Kim’s Eat The Feet but with a knee) for the win.
Winner: Matt Striker (Hey both guys looked good here by trying to out-smart each other and Striker winning that battle but Balls looking not-too-shabby with the cock-block.)
We get a backstage interview with Test and he looks FUCKED. Like, Jimmy Garvin fucked. He talks but I’m too busy rubbing my eyes in disbelief to type about it.
After a Sabu video package we get RVD asking you to vote for him. Because he’s the biggest reason to watch ECW, that’s why. Good point mate.
Hardcore Holly has the mic and he reminds us he only lost last week because he was beating up his opponent too much and Punk needs to send the ref a Christmas Card this year. Holly wants to dispel the ugly rumour he tapped out last week and wants to wrestle Punk again to prove he would never tap out. Punk comes out to accept that challenge but Holly decides Punk only has three minutes to do it in. It’s like No Mercy 64.
Hardcore Holly vs. CM Punk
Punk takes Holly down immediately but Holly grabs the ropes. Punk repeatedly tries to take Holly into the Vice position so Holly kicks him away and keeps him away. That describes the match which doesn’t sound impressive but I like it when wrestlers actually wrestle the gimmick instead of around it. Holly beats him up some more and keeps Punk in a headlock until Punk gets a quick suplex but Holly gets him off with an eye rake as the time expires. Punk complains to the ref so Holly attacks him from behind and gives him an Alabamma Slamma.
Winner: Hardcore Holly (Holly’s the bitter veteran and Punk’s the guy everyone knew could win in a fair match. I enjoyed this little match, was like the Mike Rotunda 1-Count matches from NWA.)
Shannon Moore is backstage (oh yeah, remember him? No? Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything). Daivari bumps into him and wants to challenge him to a match. Oh yay.
Shannon Moore vs. The Great Khali
Ah, Daivari tricked us. There’s not many times when you’ll get to type ”I’m glad Great Khali was the replacement” but this is one of them. Khali beats him up and pins him but Tommy Dreamer attacks Daivari with a chair at ringside so Khali quickly (well…) gets outside and saves his boss by Dunking Dreamer onto the ring steps.
Winner: The Great Khali (They’re doing a decent job of keeping the Dreamer vs. Daivari feud going but I don’t care about the match, just Dreamer’s increasingly painful things to land on.)
Another Sabu video package instead of an interview. We go back to the arena and Dreamer is being stretchered away. Crowd is bored silent.
Recap of Knox turning on Kelly, the only guy she wasn’t fucking. Backstage, Knox explains he was the victim, the only reason people liked her was because she took her clothes off. Crowd cheers, causing Knox to frown. ”What if that was your girlfriend?” He’s not sorry and blames CM Punk. If Knox really wanted his revenge he’d have fucked Punk before Kelly.
Sabu vs. Test vs. Rob Van Dam
This isn’t for a chance to wrestle Lashley, this is to remind the fans who these guys are. They really wiped the slate clean last week. We go to break immediately (grrr) and we come back with RVD trying flips on Test and connecting with a crossbody for two. Test and RVD go back and forth until RVD gets pushed off the top rope and into death. Sabu and Test go at it with a load of springboard moves from Sabu. He goes up top until Test crotches him and the crowd chants ”Steroids” again. RVD runs in and powerbombs Test who Superplexes Sabu. Sabu’s bleeding from the mouth but is still able to connect with Air Sabu using RVD as a springboard. Double leg-drop from Sabu and RVD on Test followed by Rolling Thunder and Test ends up outside. RVD and Sabu go at it now and after Sabu’s tenth springboard, the crowd stops reacting. Ah. Crowd actually chanting for TNA now because of it. RVD connects with a Van Daminator and a Five Star Frog Splash on Sabu but Test hurls him out the ring and pins Sabu.
Winner: Test (Well of course. So they’re selling Test as an smart guy and a big, muscle guy? He’s good at neither, never mind both. Match was three small matches in one but the crowd wasn’t blown away by any of it, probably because of the lack of feud-age.)
Post-match Tazz announces the winner of the vote as…Rob Van Dam. Test kicks him and that’s the show.
Overall: Promos! Building up matches! Continuity! Brad Armstrong commentating for one match! I don’t know who the new creative team is but I like them already, even with the dead weight on the show they’re doing a much better job than the last guys so there’s hope left. Maybe.
Like last week there’s nothing worth GIFing so here’s Hogan vs. Bike from 2002.