Extreme Surprises?

Dear Scott, So as we head into Extreme Rules, with very little set, most people are at least pretty sure about the outcome of the WHC match:  this match represents the blow off and final face victory in the Bryan/Sheamus feud.  Bring on Alberto del Rio. I’m not so sure.  Between the face victories in the tag matches (including the legends tag), the response to the Bryan/AJ angle and the very underwhelming (through no fault of Sheamus’) response to the Ginger Champion, I’m smelling a title hot shot that wasn’t in the works before Mania. As for the feud, Bryan hasn’t dominated nearly enough to make people foam at the mouth for his loss, and I think WWE was already pretty high on Bryan even before the Vanilla Spring and the rise of the yes chant. So my question from all of this: “what does it take for WWE to scuttle their plans?”  We saw it in the Summer of Punk and it does feel like they are admitting on one level or another that they need to start relying on fan reaction, but do you think that they are ready to admit defeat on Sheamus?  Is this looking to you like their ready to re-write their script for the next few months? Also, fodder for discussion, what are some major title changes or title runs that were scrapped because of fan reaction or lack thereof? Finally, my bold predictions: Bryan wins the opening fall in 18 seconds with the Yes! lock.  Sheamus taps quickly because he has another fall to spare, and wants to prevent long term damage. Second fall ends with a thunderous Broque kick and the 1-2-3 Bryan is still out from the previous fall, Sheamus rolls off and rolls back on for a near 3rd fall, just to catch the IWC in a moment of rage. AJ turns heel and wins Bryan back with interference leading to the 3rd fall It has it all.  Poetic justice, overbooking, and a little “Gotcha” moment for the IWC. 

They’re moving AJ onto other things as far as I can tell.  I think they’ve purposely cooled Bryan off a lot as of late, and like it or not you’re getting Sheamus v. Del Rio for the next three or four PPVs.  Sheamus is just going to beat him two straight falls and that will be that.  He’s the big project and HHH’s boy, so no matter how much the fans reject him in Chicago he’s getting pushed and that’s it.  And hey, as I’ve said before, I have absolutely nothing against Sheamus.  I’m glad he’s getting a run with the belt and really had he just won the belt in a competitive match at Wrestlemania I, and most of the fanbase, would have no problem with this reign and Daniel Bryan moving down for a bit.  His appeal is being hurt by something totally out of his control, and it’s kind of a shame because the Del Rio program is going to be brutally ignored by the fans.  But because Sheamus and Del Rio have already been chosen as the next big stars, they’ll keep getting pushed and pushed until they stick.  That’s just the way it works, sorry. 

Princess Pick: ECW Extreme Elimination Chamber

In preparation for my Wrestlemania project this year, which is going to be special stipulation matches, I wanted to knock a few Elimination Chamber matches out of the way and I have a couple more rants I’m going to do before the end of the month.

Anyway I’ll do four EC matches, the 2006 ECW Extreme one, the 2009 Smackdown Chamber and both the RAW and Smackdown Chambers in 2010.

We start with the ECW one from December of 2006. Enjoy.

ECW Elimination Chamber from December to Dismember 2006

On December 3, 2006 in Augusta, Georgia

Hosted by Joey Styles and Tazz

ECW Championship Match: The Big Show, Test, CM Punk, Bobby Lashley, Hardcore Holly and Rob Van Dam

Big Show is the champion. He, Punk, Test and Lashley start out in the pods. Each pod has a weapon inside of it. Show has a barbed wire baseball bat, Test has a crowbar, Punk has a steel chair and Lashley has a table.

Holly and RVD, who had a **** encounter in the early days of the ECW television show start this one out. Five minute intervals for this one. They actually start out with some basic wrestling but that stops after about 30 seconds. Clothesline by Holly gets a one count and he roughs RVD up in the corner and tosses him out of the ring to the metal flooring. RVD rallies and goes for something off the top rope, Holly ducks it, RVD hangs on the fence and tries a cross body but Holly ducks that too. Holly sends RVD into the cage and body slams him on the steel. Holly goes to the top and but eats boot as we hit the two minute warning. RVD gives Holly the one-man rolling thunder on the steel. RVD tries to suplex Holly on the steel but Holly reverses and suplexes RVD back in the ring and gets a two count. Beautiful dropkick from Holly gets two as we hit the 10 second mark.

Next is in Punk, who gets a great crowd pop and a chant going right away. He hits Holly with the chair and has a springboard clothesline for RVD. Punk tries to toss the chair at RVD but he catches it and tosses it right back. RVD gives Punk the monkey flip on the chair but Punk rallies with a legdrop on RVD and a springboard back kick to Holly. RVD is busted open. Punk sends him into the corner (where a chair is) and hits a vicious kick to the side of the face. Punk goes for Holly but Holly catches him coming off the top and sends him into the cage. Holly covers for two. All three men are back in the ring and Holly gives Punk a side suplex. Holly with chops on Punk and a top-rope superplex as we hit the one minute warning. RVD covers Punk for two then Holly covers Punk for two. Punk reverses an irish whip and gives Holly a high knee but the bulldog is countered by RVD kicking Punk in the face.

Test is next in the match and he hits Punk in the chops with crowbar before digging it in against RVD’s cut. Kinda gruesome I suppose. He goes and chokes Punk away with the crowbar but Punk counters with a hangman. RVD clotheslines Holly twice and nails Test with the chair, one for Holly too and then a Van Daminator for Punk. RVD with the five-star for Punk and the three count. They didn’t really want to pull the trigger on Punk until allegedly Shawn Michaels told them to. Thank God that guy was around. Test has both RVD and Holly in a vulnerable position and hits the yakuza kick on Holly for a botched three count. Ref said that Holly got the shoulder up at two but still eliminated him. Announcers were rightfully confused but smartly ignored it after it was obviously botched. Meanwhile RVD is perched and hits Test with a flying kick. RVD climbs up onto a pod but it’s the Big Show’s pod and he holds RVD’s foot allowing Test to club him a few times with a chair and toss him from the pod. Test places the chair on RVD’s face and climbs the pod himself and hits the test elbow! Well you could have counted to a hundred there. And we are down to three and about a minute of dead time.

Finally the buzzer goes off but Paul Heyman’s goon squad attacks the official and keeps Lashley’s pod locked. So Lashley uses the table to bust through the steel chains on the top of the pod and he climbs out that way. Lashley catches Test with a top rope clothesline and sends Test into/through the pod. Lashley continues his grade-A shitkicking on Test with his very limited repertoire. Test tries to rally but about a minute later Lashley kicks a chair in Test’s face and brutalizes him with the crowbar before hitting a spear and ending Test’s night with a minute remaining before the Big Show enters. Lashley tosses weapons at Show’s pod in preparation.

Show is not exactly in a rush to enter to the ring and he grabs the gimmicked barbed wire bat first. Show attacks with the bat but Lashley blocks with the chair. Lashley ducks another shot and attacks with the chair. He tosses Show in the cage twice and then through one of the pods. Show is bleeding but rallies and beals Lashley back into the ring. He hits a huge clothesline but Lashley blocks the chokeslam and counters with a DDT. Show misses and avalanche but catches Lashley on an attempted cross body, Lashley escapes the powerslam, however, and hits the spear for the three count. Show was basically a transitional champion, winning the title when RVD got busted for pot, and he held it for a while until the guys felt like they found the right guy to replace him. Lashley was designated as that guy and they were not messing around with his push. Little doubt as to who was going to win this one.

(Lashley wins Elimination Chamber via pinfall over Big Show, **1/2, it was a decent match for this format with a couple of cool spots and a good enough pace. However, it wasn’t the balls-to-the-wall brawl it needed to be. Test was probably the most impressive man in the match. Definitely curious as to what would have happened to Lashley in the long run. They put him in some pretty high profile situations before he was injured and negotiated his release to do….whatever the hell he’s doing now.)

Team Extreme Continues Their Downward Spiral

http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/214239/Former-WWE-Diva-Lita-Arrested.htm
http://augustacrime.com/amy-dumas/# That is not a flattering mugshot, but then few are.  More importantly, I didn’t realize she was only a year younger than me.  And what is WITH all the Hardys and their hangers-on (Lita, Shane Helms) getting into vehicular trouble with the law?  At least Lita presumably wasn’t loaded (besides the bazookas she’s packing) and was just stupid.  Obviously Shannon Moore should carefully observe the speed limit and never touch alcohol again.  Just to be the on safe side.  Now watch TNA hire her as Kurt Angle’s driver.

Team Extreme Continues Their Downward Spiral

http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/214239/Former-WWE-Diva-Lita-Arrested.htm
http://augustacrime.com/amy-dumas/# That is not a flattering mugshot, but then few are.  More importantly, I didn’t realize she was only a year younger than me.  And what is WITH all the Hardys and their hangers-on (Lita, Shane Helms) getting into vehicular trouble with the law?  At least Lita presumably wasn’t loaded (besides the bazookas she’s packing) and was just stupid.  Obviously Shannon Moore should carefully observe the speed limit and never touch alcohol again.  Just to be the on safe side.  Now watch TNA hire her as Kurt Angle’s driver.

Team Extreme Continues Their Downward Spiral

http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/214239/Former-WWE-Diva-Lita-Arrested.htm
http://augustacrime.com/amy-dumas/# That is not a flattering mugshot, but then few are.  More importantly, I didn’t realize she was only a year younger than me.  And what is WITH all the Hardys and their hangers-on (Lita, Shane Helms) getting into vehicular trouble with the law?  At least Lita presumably wasn’t loaded (besides the bazookas she’s packing) and was just stupid.  Obviously Shannon Moore should carefully observe the speed limit and never touch alcohol again.  Just to be the on safe side.  Now watch TNA hire her as Kurt Angle’s driver.

Team Extreme Continues Their Downward Spiral

http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/214239/Former-WWE-Diva-Lita-Arrested.htm
http://augustacrime.com/amy-dumas/# That is not a flattering mugshot, but then few are.  More importantly, I didn’t realize she was only a year younger than me.  And what is WITH all the Hardys and their hangers-on (Lita, Shane Helms) getting into vehicular trouble with the law?  At least Lita presumably wasn’t loaded (besides the bazookas she’s packing) and was just stupid.  Obviously Shannon Moore should carefully observe the speed limit and never touch alcohol again.  Just to be the on safe side.  Now watch TNA hire her as Kurt Angle’s driver.