ECW On Sci Fi
Date: July 4, 2006
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Joey Styles, Taz
Things are not looking up for ECW at the moment as Rob Van Dam lost the WWE Championship the previous night on Raw. That’s one heck of a loss for ECW but they still have their own championship around Van Dam’s waist. What more could go wrong on back to back nights? Let’s get to it.
Paul Heyman welcomes us to the show and talks about Van Dam losing last night. That’s because Van Dam has been putting himself through a rough schedule as a double champion (indeed, for all three weeks of his reign). Big Show storms in and demands a title shot tonight. Oh here we go.
We open with Kelly’s Expose: Salute To America, meaning she strips off American flag gear this time. As usual, Mike Knox cuts it off just in time.
Mike Knox vs. Guido
Before the match, Knox says he’s sorry but only he gets to look at Kelly. Guido jumps him from behind but gets hit in the face for his efforts. A backbreaker gets two as the fans give us a YOU CAN’T WRESTLE chant. Some knees to the neck give Knox two and he hits four straight slams. Knox misses a running knee, only to come back with a big boot. The spinning Downward Spiral finishes Guido without much effort.
Rating: D. And yeah you can really see ECW slipping away. Bless those ECW fans for trying, but this isn’t the same as the old deal and I don’t think they have accepted that yet. This is going to be the world of the interchangeable big men who fit the WWE style destroying the ECW Originals and we just got a good illustration of that style.
We look at Van Dam losing the title last night.
Van Dam comes in to see Heyman and demands to defend against Big Show tonight. He isn’t letting the big guys run them over and he’s fighting tonight. If he loses then so be it, but he’s not backing down.
Video on Test.
A bald man jumps the barricade and grabs the mic to complain about all of the filth that he is seeing around here. This program should not be on TV and you should all be ashamed of yourselves. If you enjoy ECW, you are a sinner who will burn in h***. Security tells him to go back over the barricade. Sandman, cane, same as always.
Van Dam comes into Big Show’s locker room and slaps him in the face to accept the challenge.
Post break, Van Dam yells at Heyman for asking where his head is. Van Dam is here because they are ECW and stick to their guns. He has to beat Big Show to be a real champion, which Heyman says is right. The title match is on and it’s Extreme Rules.
Test vs. Al Snow
Test is jacked and comes out to silence. The fans do pop for Snow, but are quickly quieted down as Test runs him over in the corner. A TKO ends Snow in a hurry.
Post match Test kicks Head into the crowd.
Video on Sabu (who talks, which should not be the case like, ever).
The Vampire is outside and spits blood at the camera.
And now, we meet a guy with a bunch of tattoos who is addicted to competition. His name is CM Punk.
ECW World Title: Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam
Van Dam is defending and it’s Extreme Rules, meaning we do get a weapons check before the bell (granted that might have been to fill time during the break). Rob slugs away to little avail as Show runs him over with a shoulder. A headbutt puts Van Dam on the floor and the fans let Show know he can’t wrestle. Show clotheslines him over the barricade and they walk in front of the fans in the front row. There is no random swearing or violence so you can tell that this isn’t a real ECW crowd. Rob manages to jump onto the barricade for a kick to the head and we take a break.
Back with Rob hitting a springboard kick to the face but Show catches him on top with a superplex. Show kicks him in the head to keep him down and then stands on Van Dam’s chest in the corner. The fans chant for marijuana as Show drops some elbows for two. A bearhug doesn’t last long so Show switches to a backbreaker and bends Van Dam’s back over his knee. Van Dam knees his way to freedom and kicks the knee out, followed by a basement crossbody.
Rolling Thunder gets two and there’s a running spinwheel kick in the corner. Show catches him in the air though and tosses Van Dam outside. The steps are picked up but Van Dam gets in a drop toehold to send Show face first into them. Van Dam goes up top but Show pulls the dive out of the air in an impressive catch. Rob’s chair is swatted away and there’s a chokeslam for two.
Show knocks the referee away and grabs a powerbomb, only to have Van Dam chair him in the head. There’s the Van Daminator into the Five Star but there’s no referee. Cue Heyman to count two….and stop before three because we’ve got a screwjob. Show hits a nasty chair to the head and a chokeslam onto the chair gives Show the pin and the title with Heyman counting the pin.
Rating: C-. Ignoring all of the shenanigans and the necessity of the title change, the match was only ok at best, with Show doing his power stuff and Van Dam bouncing off of him over and over. Then you got to the ending, which was telegraphed but again, they didn’t have much of a choice. Van Dam had to drop the title to someone and other than Kurt Angle, who he beat last week, who else was there but Big Show? Sure it was about as close to the Survivor Series 2002 story with Van Dam in Brock Lesnar’s place, but they didn’t have much of an option otherwise.
Overall Rating: D. We’re four weeks into this and you can see the writing on the wall for ECW. This show was dominated by big men who would have never been a focal point in the original ECW and the wrestling was bad on top of that. I don’t think anyone was realistically thinking that ECW was going to be like the old days again but they didn’t waste time in making the ECW guys look like Barry and the Horowitzes. Not a good show, but you kind of had to expect something like this to happen sooner or later. It’s just the third WWE brand now, and it’s probably better to cut off the false hope before it gets sad.
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