ECW on Sci-Fi #31 01/09/2007

Last week, RVD got his fan-voted title shot against champ Lashley. The match went to a no-contest after RVD decided to kill himself and his opponent with a huge dive like Holmes and Moriarty. Because of that, it’s the re-match tonight under…er normal rules.

We’re in Peoria, Illinois and Brad Armstrong joins Tazz & Styles for the whole show this week.

Hardcore Holly vs. CM Punk

We get a lengthy video package for these two, basically Punk beat Holly via not-listening to the ref and Punk made him tap after the bell. So next week, Holly challenged Punk to make him tap in three minutes which Punk couldn’t do. Holly was a dick afterwards and now we have a proper rematch. The new creative team are doing a good job of treating the show like it’s episodic, even if it means a lot more typing for me. Punk starts as he did last time by immediately going for the the Vice. He realises that’s not going to work so he works on Holly with kicks and a scoop powerslam. Another Vice attempt is stopped by an eye-rake by Holly and Punk responds with a Dean Ambrose dive.

Holly works over Punk with chinlocks and the Sheamus drape-and-chop. After busting Punk’s mouth open with a running elbow, Holly comes off the second rope with a very un-Holly-esque second leg drop for two. Punk comes back with an awkward elbow off the second rope that Holly had to stare at vacantly while he got into position. Springboard crossbody and an Irish Whip from Punk but his comeback gets stopped by ”ONE OF THE BEST DROPKICKS IN THE BUSINESS” correctly called by Brad Armstrong.

Holly stops a Punk monkey flip with a snake eyes, Punk charges but hits the turnbuckle post and Holly drops him with a spinning Alabamma Slamma for the clean win and the end to Punk’s winning streak. Huh, that’s a surprise.

Winner: Hardcore Holly (The ending was a surprise but with the show churning out real storylines instead of Guy That Raw Doesn’t Want vs. Guy That Smackdown Doesn’t Want that filled most of 2006, I can live with it. Brad Armstrong was serious this week which caused Taz and Styles to step up their game, with Taz pointing out that Punk hitting the turnbuckle was how their previous singles match ended. Everyone’s working hard in ’07.)

Test is backstage and shouts a ref who reminds him his match is next. Oh my God, Test talks as bad as he looks and he looks like a child’s drawing of a wrestler.

Test slurringly tells us that he’s not wrestling tonight because he shouldn’t be wrestling tonight. We’re in agreement then.

Elijah Burke is here by himself as he’s requested ManBearPig to stay in the back. ManBearPig was released shortly afterwards so he’s probably still in Peoria, Illinois waiting for Burke’s call. Burke promises he’s going to knock someone out tonight and challenges anyone from the audience, which brings out The Sandman. Burke throws some punches because he used to be a boxer but Sandman canes him. Burke demands he put his cane down but Sandman responds ”naaaaaahh” so Burke leaves. He joins the ranks of The Zombie, Macho Libre and Big Dick Johnson.

Tommy Dreamer vs. The Great Khali (Extreme Rules)

Dreamer’s been constantly attacked by Khali during his feud with Daivari so Dreamer requested this match with the man ”bigger than most medical buildings.” Dreamer runs in with a street sign but Khali steps on it before he can use it. ”Baseball bat” rights followed by a ”tree-branch” clothesline that Tommy sells like death. Khali was still treated as a genuine force in WWE at this time thanks to some sweet booking. Khali chokes Dreamer with his foot ”big as Tommy’s head” but Dreamer finally gets his sign and batters Khali. To no effect. Daivari runs in and gets taken down with one shot but Khali uses the distraction to punch the sign into Dreamer’s face. Khali superdunks Dreamer again and pins him with one foot on his chest.

Winner: The Great Khali (Commentary lets us know Khali did the same to John Cena on Raw so this was all about making Khali look like El Superbeasto until those matches and more could happen on the big shows. Dreamer’s perfect at getting beat up and going ”ahhh ECW ahhhh” so yeah. We’re two for two with the bad guy winning the hyped match tonight, it’s like a (crappy remake in name only) Empire Strikes Back.

Rob Van Dam is interviewed about tonight’s rematch by…some woman. RVD explains he dislikes people thinking he doesn’t care, because he really cares about winning the ECW title again. RVD un-subtly referring to his detractors backstage was cool and even with more drugs in him than Nick Diaz, RVD’s more coherent than Test.

WRESTLEMANIA RECALL: LT vs. Bam Bam. I wonder if the good Wrestlemania moments are on Raw and Smackdown and ECW gets highlights of Gimmick Battle Royal. Or worse, the Iron Man Match from XII. Being a Brit, I had no idea who LT was and assumed he was a former wrestling legend turned football player because why else would a football player be headlining Wrestlemania?

Kevin Thorn vs. Shannon Moore

”Moore looks like he brushes his hair with a C4” is a good line from Brad but ”Thorn is a good wrestler for a vampire” is even better. Thorn pounds Moore in a dull manner before slinging him off the top rope and finishing with The Dark Kiss (elevated stunner).

Winner: Kevin Thorn (I used this match to add the tags to this review).

Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley (ECW Title)

Tazz describes the match as two ECW favourites going at it but the pop for Lashley is non-existent. Despite the quality of his matches so far (which have been wayyyyy better than I remembered), he’s in danger of becoming the Lex Luger to RVD’s Bret Hart. Last week going to a non-finish and the rematch being a non-gimmick kind of gives the ending away, or maybe I’m just cynical. Anyway, RVD and Lashley go through some mat wrestling and shoulder blocks to show they’re on the same level, until Lashley stops being polite and knocks RVD down so hard the momentum nearly sends Bobby out the ring. RVD knocks him down but misses a Spinning Legdrop and we get the INDIE STAND-OFF as we go to break.

Back from the break, Lashley gets a two off a spinebuster. During the break, RVD got knocked out the ring and onto the guard-rail, which RVD always did when he wanted to make an opponent look good. Lashley hurls RVD half-way across the ring but Lashley misses a charge in the corner so RVD uses his feet to keep him down. RVD connects with a split-legged moonsault for two. Van Dam follows with a Van Daminator off the top which thankfully lands this time. Still only gets two. Thrust kick also gets two as Van Dam looks desperate to pin the big man. Lashley charges RVD in the corner and gets him in the Torture Rack position but RVD slips out of it like his chances of winning a WWE title ever again after his DUI and connects with a Rolling Thunder for two because even Barry Horrowitz would kick out of Rolling Thunder. Lashley is undeterred and he throws his opponent with an Overhead Belly To Belly but he ends up outside anyway. RVD capitalises by trying to go for the Guillotine Legdrop via the announce table but it doesn’t go well.

In the ring, Lashley backdrops RVD as the crowd boos him loudly. Quick, show us photos of him playing with his kids. Lashley tries for a spear but RVD can still move quick with a bad leg. Lashley holds him up for a stalling suplex which isn’t a good idea as it only increases the boos. Lashley waits patiently for RVD to stand up, spears him and gets booed some more. He prepares another one but HERE’S TEST with the steroid-fuelled chair shots to Lashley as the crowd chants ”Thank you Test.” Test throws a chair at RVD as the crowd chants ”You Suck.”

Winner: No-one, again (Not as good as last week as the crowd were definitely not split and RVD did his ”sell by doing something normally then hold the injured part” bit which is a negative of the Get Your Shit In wrestling style. Test running/walking  in was sadly expected after his promo earlier on the show so this was more time-killing than career-making.)

Test leaves to end the show and to continue dying himself the same colour as uncooked hot dogs.

Overall: All the bad guys win but as I typed before, the show’s episodic so it’s not like last year where this would have caused eye-rolling and fast-forwarding. Still a surprise to see no good guys winning on one show but I liked the ending to The Mist so I can live with it. Decent episode.

Bonus That Has Nothing To Do With ECW On Sci-Fi: OK so years ago on the UK Fan Forum (which was good for a quick laugh but if you spent longer than an hour there you’d never want to watch wrestling again) a user called Big Benny HG created the annual fan-voted Top 50 UK Wrestlers Of The Year list and it was such a success he also created the Top 50 Shit-Arses Of The Year. One year a wrestler called Surf Graffiti was included on the Shit-Arse Wrestler list due to UKFF members not thinking much of him (”can someone confirm if he’s learnt how to run the ropes yet?” etc.) Here’s a promo picture of him (that I found whilst looking for something else, hence me bringing it up today so his legend can carry on):

A few days after publication of the Shit-Arse list, Big Benny HG posted this:

“Well, in all the crazy history of this place, I believe this may actually be a UKFF first.

On Tuesday night, I was visited at my flat by the police, who were following up a complaint against me personally for harassment of her son. Yes, they were talking specifically about an entry in the “S**t List”.

It was a rather strange experience trying to explain to two coppers exactly what the UKFF was, what the UKFF UK50 was, and how it worked (“Are you the Ben Corrigan who writes for the UK Fan Forum website?”…”Erm……Yes?!”), though they seemed happy enough with my co-operation. They suggested that I add a disclaimer to entries to reiterate what I had already stated, in that these were not my own personal views and opinions, just a collation of those from all the fans/wrestlers/promoters that had contributed to the list.

As such, I have decided to remove most of the text from Surf Graffiti’s “S**t List” entry. While I’m not sure exactly what the law actually is, and whether quoting the stories that other UKFFers contributed as a write-up actually constitutes harassment, but at least this way it prevents future complications or further complaints from the party in question.”

Later the same day Benny posted again:

“My manager at work has called me into a meeting this very afternoon…. Guess what?

Turns out the lady in question actually ‘phoned up my place of work earlier this week to make a complaint about me, claiming that I (as in me, personally) had been going around making derogatory comments about their family on the internet and they’d had enough. Given that I’m not exactly a ground-floor level officer in the civil service, this member of the public’s complaint was treated fairly seriously and her call was forwarded through to the most senior manager in the building….

Now, I’m no expert, but who exactly is being harassed?

I’d just like to reiterate: all of the comments, stories and quotes used in the write-ups for the S**t List were taken directly from the comments and stories actually provided by all of the people who actually nominated them – as in, the people who actually thought that person was s**t. This was by no means a personal attack from me against any particular individual or family.

I’m not going to say any more on the matter, since I don’t want to actually provoke more complaints, calls to my office and pointless work for the police.”

Surf Graffiti retired in 2010.