December To Dismember

December To Dismember
Date: December 3, 2006
Location: James Brown Arena, Augusta, Georgia
Attendance: 4,800
Commentators: Joey Styles, Tazz

Well here we go. For the first time ever, the reincarnated ECW is getting its own pay per view and we have two matches announced on the way in. One of those matches features two teams who aren’t on ECW and the other is the EXTREME Elimination Chamber. This is not exactly looking promising but let’s get to it.

The opening video entirely focuses on the Chamber, with nothing else getting any focus. So half of the matches got a look, so maybe things are looking up.

Hardys vs. MNM

This is the result of the Hardys’ open challenge and neither of the teams are on ECW. Matt starts with Mercury and shoulders him down, meaning it’s already off to a double standoff. With that settled down, Mercury shrugs off some arm cranking and hands it off to Nitro as everything breaks down again. The Hardys clean house and it’s Nitro blocking Jeff’s jawbreaker and taking him into the corner to put him in trouble for the first time.

Jeff isn’t having that either and fights out, allowing the tag off to Matt to pick up the pace again. Melina offers a distraction though and MNM manages a double gutbuster to take him down. A double belly to back faceplant gets two on Matt but he manages a double DDT. Jeff gets knocked off the apron and it’s MNM hitting Poetry In Motion to rock Matt again. Not that it matters as Matt fights up and makes it over to Jeff for the hot tag a few seconds later anyway.

Everything breaks down again and it’s time for the parade of dives onto the floor. Back in and Nitro hits a springboard missile dropkick for two on Jeff. A double catapult sends Jeff face first into the buckle and Mercury cranks on both of Jeff’s arms for a bit. Jeff gets flipped into the corner and some forearms to the back keep him in trouble. There’s a slingshot elbow for two and we hit the reverse chinlock.

With that broken up, another double catapult is countered as Jeff comes back with a double Whisper in the Wind. The hot tag brings in Matt, including the middle rope legdrop for two on Nitro. Back up and Nitro snaps off a super hurricanrana on Jeff but the Hardys get up again and nail stereo superplexes.

With Jeff up first, Melina gets on the apron but her slap is blocked by Jeff grabbing his arm. Jeff steps away and Nitro dropkicks Melina by mistake, setting up a rollup for a rather hot near fall. The Snapshot gets two with Matt making the save so MNM puts Jeff on top. Matt makes another save and neckbreakers them down, setting up the Swanton onto the two of them for the double pin.

Rating: B. It’s rather good and I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that. You had two great teams going at it in a twenty minute match. I’m not sure how this couldn’t be good, though it’s kind of disappointing to hear that both teams are splitting up after this. It doesn’t make sense given how good this was, but it isn’t like WWE really cares about the tag division anyway.

Commentary hypes up the Elimination Chamber. It isn’t a good sign that they need filler like this.

Rob Van Dam is ready to take the risks for the chance to become ECW Champion again.

Here’s Matt Striker for a chat and it’s time to go downhill. Striker talks about the chaos and destruction that is coming tonight in the Chamber. He asks the fans if they want to see someone like him in an extreme rules match. The fans approve, so Striker is going to be in an EXTREME RULES match tonight. Now that means an EXTREME enforcement of the RULES of course, meaning no eye gouging, hair pulling, coming off the top or foul language of course. Let’s see how extreme his opponent can be.

Matt Striker vs. Balls Mahoney

Mahoney throws him down to start so Striker comes back with some forearms. That’s broken up so Mahoney tries a cross armbreaker of all things, with Striker going straight to the ropes. More forearms to the back stagger Mahoney and striker sends him shoulder first into the post. A Regal Cutter gives Striker two and it’s time to crank on the arm.

Mahoney comes back with right hands to the face (Striker picks no eye gouging but ignores punches from a guy with a signature sequence involving punches to the face. Right.) but gets pulled into a Fujiwara armbar. That’s broken up and Mahoney’s arm gives out on the snap jab attempt. Striker crotches him on top and the Fujiwara armbar goes on again. Mahoney fights back up with a belly to back suplex and now the punches work. The sitout spinebuster finishes Striker off.

Rating: D. Ignoring the fact that we’re on pay per view, this wouldn’t have even been a good TV match. Striker wanted the rules enforced and then they had a regular match. Having Mahoney win was one of the two ways they could have gone, but if this was their way of giving the fans something to cheer for, we’re in a lot more trouble than I thought.

Brian Pillman has a DVD (not on Peacock obviously).

Sabu has been attacked. After losing on Tuesday, it isn’t like he had any momentum or chance anyway. So yeah he’s not likely for the main event and you can hear the BULLS*** chants as we come back to the arena.

Sylvester Terkay/Elijah Burke vs. FBI

Trinity is here with the FBI. Before the match, Burke promises that they will leave their mark like a wild beast in heat. Commentary drools over Trinity as Guido and Burke (in a hat) start things off. Guido takes him down (and steals his hat) by the arm and hands it off to Mamaluke. A few fans try a WHERE’S MY PIZZA chant ala the original ECW because he thinks it is still alive.

Terkay misses a splash in the corner but manages to pull Guido’s high crossbody out of the air. After Terkay throws the FBI outside, it’s back in for a chinlock from Burke. Guido fights up and hands it off to Mamaluke so the pace can pick up. A double dropkick into a double flapjack gets two on Burke but Terkay gets in a cheap shot from the apron. The Elijah Experience finishes Mamaluke.

Rating: D+. Slightly better match but that is mainly due to having slightly more interesting people involved. Terkay and Burke are two more people who don’t really feel like they belong in ECW but at least they did something here and add a little variety. Not much of a match, though you have to take what you can get on this show.

Post match, Terkay hits Guido with a MuscleBuster for a bonus.

CM Punk and Rob Van Dam watch Sabu being loaded into an ambulance.

Daivari vs. Tommy Dreamer

Great Khali is here with Daivari, who rants about how Khali in Farsi. Daivari hammers away to start but a glare from Dreamer sends him bailing outside (just don’t let Dreamer talk). Back in and a hiptoss sends Daivari right back to the floor but this time he comes back in with a dropkick. There’s a baseball slide to put Dreamer on the floor but he reverses a whip to send Daivari into the barricade.

Back in and Khali low bridges Dreamer right back to the floor, earning himself an ejection. The fans say they want hardcore but get a neck crank into a chinlock instead. Dreamer fights up drops backwards onto Daivari for the break, followed by a reverse DDT for two. The Death Valley Driver is broken up but Daivari catches him on top. That means the Tree of Woe into the running dropkick…..but then Daivari rolls him up with tights for the pin.

Rating: D-. Gah no. Another nothing match here which would have been bad either here or on television and that is hardly the kind of thing that is going to make the show better. The ending was pretty awful as Dreamer just started to get going and then Daivari pinned him without much thinking. Bad match, bad setup and worse ending, especially on this show.

Post match Dreamer chases Daivari up the stage, where Khali catches him with the tree slam. Therefore, we pause for Dreamer to be checked on but then get up.

Paul Heyman puts Hardcore Holly into the main event to replace Sabu. This is booed out of the building.

Kelly Kelly/Mike Knox vs. Ariel/Kevin Thorn

Oh this could be trouble. Before the match, Kelly wishes CM Punk luck in the main event. The guys start (thank goodness) by shoving each other around before Thorn clotheslines him down and grabs a quickly released neck crank. A hard clothesline cuts Knox down again and we hit another nothing chinlock.

Knox fights up with a slam for two and kicks Thorn in the face for a knockdown. This time it’s Knox cranking on Thorn’s neck but Ariel makes the save. She even stays in this time and wants Kelly to join her, meaning it’s time for a lot of hair pulling (Striker disapproves). A boot choke in the corner has Tazz losing his train of thought and an ax handle to the back cuts Kelly off again. Kelly manages to kick Ariel away though….and Knox walks out on her, leaving Ariel to hit a choke STO for the pin.

Rating: D-. It was a nothing match and the high point was Mike Knox vs. Kevin Thorn. This is airing on pay per view and would have been an ice cold match on TV in addition to the match being terrible as a bonus. I didn’t think this show could actually fall even further but this pay per view continues to amaze me.

Post match the beatdown stays on but Sandman makes the save. Thorn gets caned down and beer is consumed.

We get a video of Michael Cole running down the Armageddon card. Also not on Peacock.

Bobby Lashley says it is his destiny to win the title.

Video on the Elimination Chamber. Notice the high level of padding tonight.

We’re still not ready yet though as here is Paul Heyman, with security, for a chat. Heyman talks about how Hulkamania will die with Hulk Hogan and WOO will die with Ric Flair. ECW will live on behind him though, with Big Show as its champion. The days of Sandman and Sabu and Tommy Dreamer are over and it is the ECW of the Big Show. Now lower the Chamber!

ECW Title: Big Show vs. Hardcore Holly vs. CM Punk vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Test

Show is defending in the Extreme Elimination Chamber, meaning there is a weapon in each pod. Hardcore Holly is in at #1 and Rob Van Dam is in at #2 and there are five minute intervals. Holly takes him into the corner and starts kicking away but Rob pops up and gets sent into the cage….but holds onto the side because he can. The spinning high crossbody only hits the rope though and Van Dam crashes down again. Van Dam gets sent into the cage again but manages to get a boot up to cut off a diving Holly.

Rolling Thunder over the top rope hits Holly but he suplexes Van Dam back inside. There’s the dropkick and it’s CM Punk with his chair in at #3. A monkey flip sends Holly onto the chair and Punk kicks Van Dam down. The chair is wedged in the corner and Van Dam, who has been busted open somewhere in there, is sent hard into it. Punk kicks him again but Holly is back up with a side slam. Holly drops Punk onto the top rope and there’s a top rope superplex to take him down again.

Test, with his crowbar, is in at #4 and hits Punk in the ribs before clawing at Van Dam’s cut. Punk grabs a Stunner on Test of the top rope and the bloody Van Dam kicks Holly in the face. Van Dam skateboards the chair into Punk in the corner and hits the Five Star for the pin and the elimination for Punk’s first pinfall in WWE. Test kicks Holly in the face for an elimination, even if the count didn’t seem to go down properly. Van Dam goes up top but Test chairs him in the knee and pulls him right back down in a crash.

An elbow off the top of the pod onto the chair onto Van Dam is good for the elimination, meaning that the countdown to Lashley is official. It also means that the ring is clear, save for Test, for about a minute and a half because this match can’t time things either. Bobby Lashley with his table is….not allowed to get in because test and the security guards block the door. That’s fine with Lashley, who uses the table to break the roof open and climbs through the top. Eh points for a cool entrance.

Lashley unloads for a bit until Test gets him into the corner for some choking. Lashley suplexes him down, hits him with the crowbar, and nails a spear for the pin. Therefore, let’s wait a minute and a half before Big Show with his barbed wire baseball bat can come in at #6 to give us the showdown. Lashley has to use the chair to shield himself with the bat but manages to knock Show outside anyway. Show is sent through the pod to bust him open but he knocks Lashley down again. Back in and the chokeslam is countered into a DDT, followed by a spear for the pin and the title.

Rating: D. And that’s probably high. This was a really dull Chamber with the two badly times falls that left them sitting around with nothing to do for a few minutes. The match is less than twenty five minutes and you knew that Lashley had the title won with about ten minutes to go.

Look at the participants here. Van Dam, Show and Lashley are fine, but that leaves you with three pretty weak choices. Punk would go on to become a huge star, but at this point he had been around for a few months with his career consisting of feuds with Shannon Moore and Mike Knox. That is kind of lacking in any kind of meaningful wins in WWE and it showed badly. The other two are Test and Hardcore Holly as a replacement. That leaves you with three options, but Test dominated a good portion of the middle. That’s the best they could put together and that should tell you a whole low.

The show was long past the point of saving by the time we got to the match, but then they had this boring mess to make it even worse. There was no drama, the popular guys were done in less than fifteen minutes and the weapons managed to make it less violent than the previous Elimination Chambers. Not the worst match of all time, but pretty horrible and probably the worst Chamber match to date, if nothing else for the star power included and the lack of drama near the end.

Lashley’s pyro celebration ends the show.

Overall Rating: F. What is there to say about this show? It’s a good match, then a C level version of the C level TV show and a huge main event which bombed as hard as anything in recent memory. This show felt slapped together and I would bet on the middle four matches being thrown together earlier in the day. Outside of the opener, the best match on the card was the FBI vs. Sylvester Terkay and Elijah Burke. Do you get how far you have fallen to have those four in second place?

This show made it very clear that WWE did not care about ECW and there was no stopping the show’s collapse even further into nothingness. There was no effort, there was one good match out of six (featuring people not from ECW) and the main event was a mixture of predictable and bad. This is what we got for the first ECW pay per view, which does at least give us a special milestone.

With this show, you can officially say that the new ECW is done. There wasn’t much to the show coming in and then it got even worse here. The show resulted in Paul Heyman leaving WWE and ECW, making this nothing more than the dumping ground for the people with nothing else to do. It was clear that the show wasn’t going to mean anything and once Heyman left, there was no reason to pretend anymore.

Heyman argued with Vince McMahon about the show both before and after, resulting in Heyman walking out on the company and not being seen again for over five years. Heyman’s idea was to have Punk make Show submit early and win the title, which worked fine for Show. Instead, Punk goes out first to end his undefeated streak. Heyman knew that things were done so he left, and after this debacle, can you really blame him?

One thing that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is the middle of the card with the four matches between the two they actually advertised. Striker vs. Mahoney is at least a logical way to go and Daivari vs. Dreamer has been built up a bit on TV. That leaves you with a tag team squash and a mixed tag with three heels and Kelly Kelly. I know WWE has a lot of problems, but they know how to throw together a four match series better than this. This felt like they were trying to troll the fans (or at least Heyman) and with none of these matches even hitting eight minutes, the lack of effort is pretty clear.

This show is about as perfect of an example of a show where WWE didn’t care and we were just left to get over it. It was a week after Survivor Series and two weeks before Armageddon, so in addition to treating the fans to an awful show, how many fans who watched or heard about the show passed on the next show because of what WWE delivered here?

This didn’t feel like a pay per view (a two hour and fifteen minute run time, comparable to Coliseum Videos didn’t help either) and it has absolutely earned the reputation that it maintains. I know it isn’t quite the same thing as a top level WWE pay per view, but it is hard to think of anything that the company has released that is near its level. This show is a complete disaster and one of the all time bombs on pay per view.

 

 

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