ECW on Sci Fi – December 26, 2006

ECW on Sci Fi
Date: December 26, 2006
Hosts: Joey Styles, Tazz

It’s time to wrap up the year and since this is the day after Christmas, that means a Best Of show, which is about all you could do in this situation. ECW came back in June and things have been hit or miss since then, but there have been enough positives to make for a nice hour of stuff. Let’s get to it.

Note that I’ll be posting the full versions of matches instead of clips for the sake of sanity.

Joey and Tazz welcome us to the show and we see Tazz beating Jerry Lawler in short order at One Night Stand, thanks to Joey’s help.

From One Night Stand.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam

Cena is defending under Extreme Rules and OH MY GOODNESS THE HATRED IS STRONG. The fans boo Cena so far out of the building, with the famous IF CENA WINS WE RIOT banner making it all the more perfect (mainly because these people would in fact riot). Cena tries to throw the shirt to the crowd but they throw it back four times, making him seem a little shaken, which you don’t see too often (then again, you don’t see a crowd like this very often either).

This is a level of hatred you don’t see very often but thankfully Van Dam does the finger pointing to get the focus off of Cena a bit. The fans throw toilet paper at Cena as the bell rings and there’s the YOU CAN’T WRESTLE chant. Cena gets a quick two off a fisherman’s suplex but the chants continue. Van Dam is back with a spinning kick to the face and the fans give him a WHOLE F***ING SHOW chant.

Back in the BOO/YAY punches are on with Cena knocking Van Dam outside. Fans: “SAME OLD S***!” Cena follows with a top rope ax handle to the floor and the fans still aren’t impressed. Since he knows how to be a bit of a heel when he wants to be, Cena holds up the title but Van Dam kicks him away. A moonsault off the apron brings up the RVD chants again but another one off the barricade is shoved into the crowd.

Cena does the bravest thing in his career by following him out but Van Dam is right back with the spinning kick to the back over the barricade. Van Dam hits the slingshot legdrop on the apron and there’s the skateboard dropkick to drive a chair into Cena’s face. Rolling Thunder onto a chair onto Cena gets two but Cena gets the chair up to block the split legged moonsault. The YOU CAN’T WRESTLE chants start up again as Cena wedges a chair in the corner.

Van Dam goes head first into said chair for two and Cena rubs the salt in with the Shuffle. The FU takes too long though and Rob scores with a spinwheel kick. Rob drops him onto the apron and hits a dropkick to the floor for another knockdown. It’s table time but Cena pulls him down into the STFU. The rope is grabbed, sending Cena into a shoving match because rope breaks shouldn’t matter here.

Cena decks the referee and throws in some steps to get more violent. A shot to the head gets two from a Smackdown referee but here’s a guy in a motorcycle helmet to spear Cena through a table in the corner. Of course it’s Edge and Rob is back up with the Five Star, with Paul Heyman running in to count the pin to give Van Dam the title.

Rating: B+. This is a great example of a match that is carried even higher by the crowd reaction. The fans hated Cena and everything he represented, which made things that much better. They had a really good match on their own but the crowd reaction took it to another level. On top of that, it was a heck of a match because the two of them are able to bring it on the big stage under the bright lights. They had a lot of things going on here, and that’s how it should be in an ECW moment. Good stuff, and the only ending they could have had.

Rob is announced as the new ECW Champion and the huge celebration is on. The locker room comes out to celebrate with the champ as Heyman looks very pleased to end the show.

Video on Sabu.

We see Rob Van Dam losing both of his titles in back to back nights, with the rather dumb decisions that led to the losses being left out.

From July 4.

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.

Video on Test, who might squeak in as a Best Of in the last few weeks.

Tazz doesn’t like the Christmas tree on the set.

Van Dam came back and got some matches with Big Show, including a ladder match, but none of them were for the title. Paul Heyman brought in Hardcore Holly to fight Van Dam, setting up a rather memorable match….which we don’t see here. Ok then.

Video on Sandman.

We look back at Extreme Strip Poker.

Video on CM Punk.

Video on Bobby Lashley.

Like we could go with anything else.

From December To Dismember.

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.

After Lashley beat Big Show in a rematch to get rid of him, it was time for a new #1 contender.

From December 19.

Test vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu

Joined in progress with everyone down on the floor until Van Dam takes Test back inside for a superkick. The standing moonsault gets two but Van Dam gets shoved off the top and into the barricade for his traditional crash. Sabu is back up as well and gets crotched on top to put him in trouble again.

Van Dam comes back in for the Tower of Doom and a pair of near falls. A flip over Sabu sets up a clothesline to Test and some double teaming gets two each. There is Rolling Thunder for two more on Test and he is sent outside. That leaves Sabu to hit the springboard leg lariat for two but Van Dam crotches him on top. The Five Star hits Sabu but Test comes in and decks Van Dam to steal the pin.

Rating: C-. This might not have been the most interesting match and the ending is about as played out of a triple threat finish as you are going to get, but it was a smart decision. Test isn’t going to win the fan vote, but now he has a reason to get a title shot later on if that’s where you want to go. Given how few options ECW has for a major Lashley match, Test is as good as anyone else they could throw out there at the moment. Smart booking to a pretty weak match.

Post match we get the results of the fan voting:

Van Dam – 45%
Test – 18%
Sabu – 37%

Van Dam is pleased but gets big booted by Test. With Test gone, Van Dam gets up and bows to Sabu, as the big boot might have kept him down for five seconds.

Tazz and Joey wrap it up, with Tazz handing Joey his Christmas present. Joey: “It says Michael Cole and it’s ticking.” Tazz beats up the Christmas tree with a barbed wire baseball bat to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. They managed to come pretty close to screwing up a Best Of show here, which really shouldn’t be possible. This was more a quick history of the main stories over the last seven months, with stuff that was actually good left out. ECW didn’t have a banner year in 2006 but they had enough good stuff to get through forty five minutes. That doesn’t bode well for their future, but it isn’t like they have far to fall anyway.

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