At Backlash, Vince McMahon won the ECW Title in a handicap match from Bobby Lashley. I remember this annoying a lot of people, even in the yeah-I’m-a-smark-and-read-the-pre-taped-results-and-watch-the-show-anyway crowd were up in arms about the DISRESPECT TO ECW’S LEGACY so well done Vince.
We’re in Birmingham, AL and Lashley is here to talk. Oh no. Lashley uses his Microsoft Sam mic skills to promise to beat up Vince and he demands a match with him now. Armando rolls out in a wheelchair, selling the brutal hurl from last week. Armando gives Lashley his rematch at the next PPV (in 2017, Lashley could say ”yeah sure I can wait two weeks”) but Armando makes it so Lashley can’t touch Umaga, Shane or Vince until then or he’ll forfeit his title shot. Lashley asks him to repeat the names and Armando slowly realises he left his name out so the All-American Hero shoves the cripple into the ring steps.
Very basic segment for Lashley so he didn’t make the crowd hate him. Armando made the most out of it, his reaction as he realised his name wasn’t on the list was right out of pantomime, no wonder they kept him in that role.
Backstage, Elijah Burke is trying to inform the rest of The New Breed that CM Punk never cared about them and is only out to destroy them. CM Punk makes his entrance as Tazz says Punk hitting Burke last week ”shocked the world.” Burke talks about how he’s gonna mess up Punk and threatens him…before choosing Kevin Thorn to wrestle him. Thorn gives Burke a Lance Storm look before getting in the ring.
CM Punk vs. Kevin Thorn
Thorn dominates like only a green Vampire can but misses a pump splash in the corner which allows Punk to nail the GTS.
Winner: CM Punk (Barely a match.)
The New Breed look frustrated, so frustrated that they er scowl and leave. Oh. I thought Burke was going to have all of them wrestle Punk, hence why that match was so short. No, it’s because The New Breed are shite and we’ve had several months of feud shoved into three weeks.
Clips of The ECW Originals expressing their disgust at Vince winning ”their” title, including Dreamer going on about how he broke his back for ECW as he’s nearly crying yet again. Dreamer’s done so many of those promos over the years I’m like Agnes Skinner:
After Extreme Expose dance to Cherry Pie (which always plays at rock nights I go to, even in 2017), Thorn is pissed at The New Breed backstage for not helping. Burke reminds him he lost and he sucks, even Ariel could have beaten Punk. Thorn isn’t happy and quits. Where were you when you found out Thorn left The New Breed? Go and check, your grandchildren will want to know.
Marcus Cor Von & Matt Striker vs. The Majors Brothers
Hey look, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins as Bryan and Brett Majors! Cor Von bounces one of them with a nice-looking Gorilla Press Into A Fallaway Slam. After a chinlock, the other Majors tags in and beats up Striker for a surprise near-fall. Cor Von & Striker try a double-backdrop but Majors turns it into a sunset flip for another close two count. Striker has enough and sends future-Curt into the turnbuckle but he jumps off and lands with a crossbody for the win!
Winners: The Majors Brothers (What a shock…the jobbers lost!)
Burke chews out Matt Striker afterwards and he leaves upset. The Major Brothers looked decent.
Another look at The Condemned. Not even Nathan Jones could save this.
Here’s new Champ Vince with Extreme Swagger.
Vince yells ”SCUSE ME WHILE I WHIP THIS OUT!” before unveiling his ECW Title. Vince quoting Blazing Saddles makes this the highlight of the show but someone must have told him about that line, he’s too busy not-sleeping to watch Mel Brooks films. Vince isn’t happy with The ECW Originals commenting on Vince’s title win so he dares them to talk to his face. They stroll out and RVD’s first: ”You killed ECW!” Vince doesn’t care and asks Sabu but he says nothing. ”I’ll guess we’ll get your comments later on.” Sandman asks Vince to read between the lines.
Vince comments on Dreamer’s poor-arse trainers, calling them ”fly, baby!” Dreamer tells Vince the fans demanded ECW to come back, they didn’t want Vince’s ECW. Vince has enough and wants to know which of them is man enough to take him on one-by-one. He can’t decide (”I don’t wrestle with drunks”) so he makes it a four-way dance with the winner getting Vince next week. Oh and it’s Extreme Rules. ”C’mon, bring that crap out!”
Rob Van Dam vs. The Sandman vs. Sabu vs. Tommy Dreamer
A ton of plunder is brought out, complete with cement mixers. RVD poses to begin and Sabu tries a schoolboy for two. RVD does the ”how could you do that?” like an idiot. Everyone goes for quick pins and Sandman connects with a flying dropkick on Dreamer and Sabu which would make Neil deGrasse Tyson shit. Vince gets the crowd to chant for tables as weapons get thrown in the ring. There’s suddenly so much crap lying around that things get sloppy as there’s little room to move. Sabu & RVD Rolling Thunder/Sling-shot Legdrop Dreamer but Sabu immediately leg-drops RVD mid-roll afterwards. It falls apart into moves and weapon shots after that, with Sandman falling around like a silent movie star. RVD goes for the guillotine leg drop to Dreamer but Sabu gets him.
Sandman connects with a running bulldog onto a bin for two. Oh please let Sandman win so we get Vince vs. Sandman, please. Dreamer kicks Sandman in the mush with a Tree of Woe, Sabu Arabian Facebusters Dreamer, RVD backdrops Sabu. Moves everywhere. Dreamer gives RVD a How The Fuck Piledriver in tribute to November To Remember 1997.
Sabu cleans house and brings in a table. He tries to kill Sandman by jumping off the top but Dreamer turns it into a superplex through Sandman and table. RVD seizes the opportunity to Five Star Frog Splash Sandy for the win.
Winner: Rob Van Dam (This was either the best or the worst of ECW, depending on your perspective. There were a ton of spots and weapon bits but they were all shoved into such a small time-frame it was mostly blur. Plus Vince was mocking them the whole time with the usage of weapons (he shouted ”yeah, there’s the business!” as the tables were brought in) but they still used them willingly which made them look foolish. Better than watching Thorn wrestle though.)
Overall: Hey, stuff’s happening. McMahon vs. The ECW Originals was made entertaining by Vince McHam, The New Breed are slowly dissolving like crisps in Lucozade and Lashley is best when he says one thing, dumps a guy and leaves. The show continues to be interesting to look at with the benefit of hindsight.
Thanks for reading, if you want more stuff to read here’s my recap of They Live’s audio commentary with John Carpenter and Roddy Piper.
Edit: Dave Lagana on Twitter says: ”Vince came up with the line “excuse me while I whip this out”. He loved that line and movie. Also the belt under suit jacket was callback to Memphis heel promos he did in 90s for Lawler.”
Blimey. Thanks Lagana for making these look important enough for comment.