Yeah, I know, I haven’t written for TheDDT on a regular basis since 2005. For some reason, I still get promo copies of WWE discs sent to me and it’s about time I started upholding the name of WrestlingOpions.com, WrestlingOpinons.com or what site Koch Canada thinks I write for this week. I thought I’d start by going through one of the worst-regarded WWE pay-per-views ever, since I’ve never done recaps and thought I’d start with some easy comedy fodder.
I know, WWE itself is rife with said comedy fodder. WWE has some great archival footage, I swear!
The WWE commercials featuring Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper’s DVD sets – geez, at least WWE could make an attempt to shill ECW product on its ECW-branded shit. Yeah, I expect hardcore ECW fans to care about the AWA and a six-year-old Drowning Pool song that has been used to shorthand ECW ever since it became a WWE entity. Then again, some hardcore ECW fans (and I must point out SOME) went nuts for Sid and Dusty Rhodes back in the day, so what does that tell you?
Pyro, since that and giant video screens obviously capture the spirit of ECW. You know what else captures the spirit of ECW? Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich!
One Night Only, At Least Until The Next One
The Hardys vs. MNM
I like the LED displays on MNM’s coats. Sadly, I care about this more than I care about seeing the Hardy Boyz back together. Tazz goes on about this possibly being the last time the Hardy Boyz would function as a tag team. Hindsight shit, this is a feud and it looked like a feud since it started.
I remember sites like The Wrestling Blog and Wrestlemag (I follow the IWC every so often to see what the hive mind forces itself to like at the moment) complaining about the pace of this match, saying it was paced more like a Southern tag team match than anything else. So the Hardy Boyz are actually wrestling instead of them doing gratuitous flippies onto everyone? HERESY!
By the way, why does the Augusta crowd chant “HOLY SHIT” for wrestlers jumping from the top rope onto one another in succession, aside from this being Augusta? If that’s all it takes for a crowd to go nuts, seeing La Parka in an ECW match would cause everyone living in Augusta to go apoplectic. I miss La Parka.
Johnny Nitro accidentally bumps Melina off the ring apron instead of taking out Jeff Hardy as intended. MNM attempt to snapshot Jeff Hardy from the second rope, but Matt Hardy swings a neckbreaker on both of them. Hardy does his swanton bomb and the Hardys win. Decent match, but highly overrated by WWE fanboys.
Balls Mahoney vs. Matt Striker
Isn’t that the greatest way to use Balls Mahoney, having him feud with EXTREEEEEME SCHOOLTEACHER? I never expected WWECW to be just like the unaffiliated ECW, but isn’t the point of this ECW to take some of the Raw/Smackdown castoffs and give them better gimmicks? Tazz and Joey Styles spend an unsettling amount of time (well, it would be if Tazz wasn’t well established in his aren’t-I-blue-collar persona) talking about Matt Striker’s putting his face on his ass and Mahoney being greasy as both Tazz and Styles continue their transformation into Michael Cole.
A lot of that homosexual talk can be blamed on Striker’s outfit, though – pink sweater, Rob Conway’s tights, Striker’s hate of all things unrefined. It’s the standard WWE intellectual gimmick. We’re supposed to hate him! He acts like he’s so smart! Boo! Hiss! Them smart guys are homos, too! I mean, The Genius, am I right?
Balls Mahoney wins after getting in the requisite babyface comeback offense, using the Ballbuster Slam to defeat Striker. Fans chant “BALLS! BALLS! BALLS!” as mandated by law and because WWE is throwing a bone to the faithful.
Hey, it’s CM Punk rotating his hands!
A segment establishes that Sabu has been “hurt bad.” It’s bullshit, of course, and the crowd acknowledges this. Then again, I wouldn’t expect anyone to react favorably to a bait-and-switch tactic. Hell, I don’t expect the stupidest WWE fan to react favorably to this, and those people tend to actually buy WWE pay-per-views.
Elijah Burke & Sylvester Terkay vs. F.B.I.
Elijah Burke’s gimmick is that he’s black, and he talks in black promo language to establish this. That seems to be the gimmick of most black characters in WWE. Sylvester Terkay is there as an appendage to Burke. At this point, I will stop treating the two like separate entities.
As an aside, is that an outline of the Russo-era WCW logo on FBI’s tights? Neat, shorthand for “I LOSE REGULARLY.” You know, since WCW was always shit in WWE parlance.
Burkay wins! BLACK POWER!
Shots of Sabu being put into an ambulance. The main-event good guys look concerned, considering how real this injury is.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Daivari
Daivari wins by pulling on Dreamer’s pants during a schoolboy. The match itself isn’t as important as trying to put over The Great Khali as super-awesome and big and angry and shit.
The Great Khali chokebombs Dreamer! My god, The Great Khali is super-awesome and big and angry and shit! Well, without the “super-awesome” part.
Notice how this pay-per-view seems to be centred around pushing the ECW on Sci-Fi TV show? That isn’t good. See, the TV show should be used to push the pay-per-view. I guess I just don’t understand these newfangled marketing strategies WWE is using.
Paul Heyman tries to put over the fact that Sabu is REALLY, REALLY HURT AND THIS IS NOT A WAY TO WRITE HIM OUT OF THE PAY-PER-VIEW. He places Hardcore Holly in the main event. Boo! Hiss! Generic bad-guy stuff! Grr!
Mike Knox & Kelly Kelly vs. Kevin Thorn & Ariel
As might be expected from this pay-per-view pushing the television show, Mike Knox turns on Kelly Kelly in timeworn fashion by walking away from his match while Kelly is still in the ring. The wrestling is better here than in the previous two matches, not that the wrestling isn’t third-tier to begin with. The Sandman comes out and canes Kevin Thorn, purely to fill “Sandman canes _____ here” quota.
Yay! Bobby Lashley is being interviewed! He cuts an unconvincing promo in that lovely Southern lilt of his. He really needs a manager to talk for him, since this “soft-spoken but kicks ass” shit ain’t cutting it. As of the time I write this, nothing about his character has changed, and it’s been four months – four months of boring feuds and both McMahon and Trump trying to make Lashley seem interesting. Lashley has to be the most inconsequential main-eventer in years.
Paul Heyman comes out in heel mode. At least a few idiots shout “YOU SOLD OUT” and other “witty” smark chants as if Heyman hadn’t sold out five-and-a-half years before December to Dismember 2006 and wasn’t on Vince’s payroll for a decade. Not even the magic of audio editing can stop the audience from crapping on Heyman’s crapping-on.
More than a few people knew that Heyman had become persona non grata to WWECW just before this pay-per-view aired, but it’s still lame to see Heyman not whip it out and just piss all over his employers. If you’re dead wood, why the hell not set yourself on fire in the process? It’s not like WWE was doing right by him. Instead it’s “I’m Paul ‘Jesus’ Heyman, Sabu can’t be here” etc.
The chamber lowers, pyro blows up and entrance videos appear on the ECWtron. This is not just any filler. THIS IS EXTREEEEEME FILLER!
Extreme Elimination Chamber Match for the ECW Championship
“Big” Show (champion) vs. “Soft-Talking, Hard-Hitting™” “Bobby” “Lashley” vs. Rob “Van” Dam vs.
Sabu Hardcore “Bob” Holly vs. “Test” vs. CM “Punk”
Hardcore Holly and RVD are out first. Tazz thinks RVD putting his hands and feet in the spaces between the chains is a feat worthy of Spider-Man. It’s notable, sure, but I remember when Tazz’s announcing wasn’t painful to listen to. Yeah, I remember 2003.
EXTREEEEEME BLURRY AERIAL SHOT! E C DUB! E C DUB!
Holly works over CM Punk. Test comes out wielding the amazing power of both crowbar and Test. RVD uses the amazing power of chair to hit CM Punk’s face. RVD Five-Star Frog Splashes CM Punk and goes for a three-count. This match is not going to bode well.
Test eliminates Hardcore Holly. To add to the greatness of this pay-per-view, the three-count is botched but Holly is still eliminated. EXTREEEEEME SLOPPINESS!
RVD stands on top of the Big Show’s pod. RVD is hit by a Test-aided chair repeatedly and is thrown off said pod through the Amazing Power of Test’s Arm. Test jumps off the pod himself and uses the Amazing Power of Test’s Elbow to eliminate RVD.
Well, that makes sense! Eliminate the two most popular wrestlers in ECW and leave a minute for Test to stand around! I felt ripped off watching that, and I’m reviewing a promo.
Bobby Lashley is prevented from escaping thanks to Heyman’s hired goons. Lashley escapes by using the table to break apart the top of the pod. Evidently this is supposed to make me give a shit about Lashley. It fails. Test is eliminated by Lashley and Lashley pisses about for more than a minute. How could anybody think that this slapdash match progression is not in any way worthy of ECW? They suck!
Big Show and Lashley fight. The two demonstrate the Amazing Power of Plexiglass. Lashley becomes ECW Champion. Man, I hate Bobby Lashley.
Extras? Post-match interviews and the Big Show/Lashley rematch from the ECW on SciFi immediately following this pay-per-view. Look, wrestling fans know this is a doggy bag of a pay-per-view, so why isn’t WWE Home Video stuffing this to the gills with easter eggs? Then again, maybe it’s for the best that the PPV discs as of late don’t have any easter eggs. If December to Dismember 2006 isn’t marked down six months to a year after it’s been out as per WWE tradition, I’ll be amazed.
This wasn’t the worst pay-per-view ever, but $40 to watch Sylvester Terkay wrestle? I’m amazed WWE makes money. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia to prop up a bad product’s profits, I guess.