The Anderson Breakdown
Well friends, we’re on such a roll right now that I just don’t think a lengthy intro in which we catch up on our feelings is necessary. Instead, I’ll kick things off with one brief, important statement:
After seeing the circulating images of Britney Spears’ cooze, I doubt I’ll have a normal sex drive again within the decade. Whatever it is that she has flopping around down there looks suspiciously like a 12” Subway Club that has been run over by a semi many, many times.
That is all.
Note: Of all the weekly wrestling shows on television, I tend to follow TNA and ECW the most closely. Not necessarily because they’re the best, but more because they’re quick, one-hour, in-and-out broadcasts - as opposed to the endless two-hour drudgery that Monday and Friday nights have become. With that said, I find it moderately frightening that I haven’t missed an ECW show in weeks, yet I can only recall hearing two matches announced for this show.
We are LIVE (!!!) in Augusta, Georgia for the Ã¢â‚¬Å“newÃ¢â‚¬Â ECWÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first ever standalone PPV. On first impression, the arena doesn’t look half bad. Small, but somewhat intimate. This certainly feels like a WWE production, but I guess they aren’t excitedly hiding that fact anymore.
MNM vs. The Hardy Boyz
I can see the delusional nutcases of the world right now complaining that an “ECW” PPV is opening up with a non “ECW” tag match. I’ll save the long-winded speech about how this “isn’t your Grandfather’s ECW” — it’s been done a million times before, and it’s such an obvious observation that I won’t insult you, fine reader, by suggesting that you haven’t already figured this out yourself months ago.
Personally, I’ll take this match over The Sandman vs. Ball Mahooey (ten cool points if you get that reference) any day of the week anyway.
Things start out with a very ECW “Hardys! Hardys!” chant.
Man, does this crowd LOVE hamburgers and home-style fries or what? Ha! Get it! Instead of chanting for the wrestlers, I insinuated that they were chanting for the restaurant! The fast-food restaurant! HA! The normal person might backspace that paragraph, but not I friends. Not I.
In all seriousness, we begin with 5-10 minutes of stalling. Melina does her heel manager thing, baiting Matt Hardy into chasing her around the ring. When Hardy finally gives chase, Johnny Nitro sneaks around the apron and nearly takes his head off with a clothesline. Silly babyface.
The crowd doesn’t even bother trying to be original here, loudly chanting “SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got herpes!” at Melina. How novel. Original. Fresh Strange that in the same way that the new ECW is a bizarre paradox of the old ECW, the “new” ECW faithful are a bizarre, half-hearted pardox of the original fans. In a way, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re almost the anti-old-ECW-fan. Bizarro mutants, if you will.
Man is this match slow.
We get one of those wonky indy spots where everybody dives onto each other outside the ring in succession. You know, one guy does a plancha and hits another guy on the outside. And then somebody else jumps outside onto those two. And then somebody else jumps outside onto all three of them. It’s the kind of thing that I could genuinely picture happening in a real fight. Matt Hardy overshoots his dive and smacks the back of his head right on the concrete. Ouch.
Nare’theless, the live crowd is all “ECW! ECW!”
As this match progresses, it becomes increasingly more obvious that everyone involved is actively killing time. Literally killing time.
At the TWENTY FIVE MINUTE MARK Johnny Nitro attempts to dropkick Jeff Hardy, but hits Melina instead. This leads to three or four near-falls.
None of them go anywhere.
Finally, 27:00 in, Jeff Hardy hits the swanton bomb on both members of MNM for the pin.
Is my VCR counter off, or did this match really go twenty-eight minutes
I hope Melina’s ok — she’s still on the ground holding her face and the replay looks pretty nasty.
Anyway, a painfully slow match that might have worked 15 years ago, but in 2006 “ECW,” it’s pretty much pulled the show to a screeching halt already.
1985 Rating: ***1/2
RVD is in the back giving an interview. The graphic on the screen says that the interview is an “ECW.COM EXCLUSIVE,” effectively stopping the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s collective logic for an instant.
Matt Striker slowly makes his way to the ring (in a bright pink sweater vest, no less). Man, I could see this going awhile. According to Striker, his opponent tonight “is a man … … …. …….. ….. by the … …. … … name of …. … …. … …. … Balls ….. Mahoney.”
Striker is talking SLOW.
He’s rambling about the Elimination Chamber.
He’s rambling about society.
Man, this is going NOWHERE.
Finally, after what seems like ten minutes, Balls Mahoney finally makes his way to the ring.
Balls Mahoney vs. Matt Striker
Both men stall big time to start while Tazz and Joey Styles makes juvenile jokes about balls and asses. Let me tell you, this is some highbrow humor right here, rife with such edgy comments as “crack kills” and “what kind of man sits on his own face” (in reference to Matt Striker’s new tights with his picture on the back).
Finally, after a very, very bad match, Balls Mahoney hits Matt Striker with an awkward sit-out powerbomb out of nowhere and gets the three count. Nobody in the entire arena was expecting a three there — that’s not a compliment.
Man, who ARE these people in the crowd chanting “ECW! ECW!” after such an obviously shitty, flat match.
CM Punk is shown warming up in the back, but we cut quickly away. Sabu is shown sprawled out in a heap on the floor backstage. He’s been attacked by someone.
Paul Heyman comes running up all “WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?”
The paramedics tell Heyman that Sabu has to go to the hospital, but Heyman says that Sabu is supposed compete tonight.
The crowd breaks into a massive ‘BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!”" chant, which Tazz and Styles, to their credit, actually acknowledge.
Sylvester Terkay and Elijah Burke vs. The FBI
Is this really part of a $40 PPV?
Elijah grabs the mic all “FOR THE FIRST TIME … … IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT… LIVE AND IN LIVING COLOR … THE ELIJAH EXPERIENCE!”
The crowd doesn’t care.
Continuing this eveningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trend, this match is just beyond bad. There’s zero heat, nobody’s over, and the wrestling is largely awful.
The ONLY thing of note for this entire match is the crowd chants, which include (but are not limited to):
“CHANGE THE CHANNEL!”
“THIS MATCH SUCKS!”
And “LET ME OUT!”
After about 10:00 of this nonsense, Elijah Burke hits The Stroke (!!!) and pins Little Guido to ZERO reaction.
As the heels continue the beatdown after the match, an audible “TNA!” chant breaks out.
More backstage nonsense, where RVD and CM Punk are helping the paramedics load Sabu into the ambulance. The crowd continues the “BULLSHIT!” chants as the show continues to die a slow, painful death right before our eyes.
Davari w/ The Great Khali (!!!) vs. Tommy Dreamer
The fun continues.
For the first five minutes of this match, nothing of note happens. Literally. If it did, the announcers completely missed it, as they were focusing all of their attention on the Sabu situation backstage. Apparently, things have broken down, and the situation has devolved from a cowardly attack into a full-blown Whodunit.
The Great Khali interferes in the match in full view of the referee, so the referee ejects him. Part of the crowd half-heartedly tries to sing the Goodbye song, while the other half chants “We want hardcore!”
At the ten minute mark (you read that correctly), Tommy Dreamer ties Davari in the tree of whoa and slowly does his fat-man running dropkick.
The crowd temporarily comes alive for this Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they even chant “ECW!” — but Davari quickly rolls Dreamer up, grabs the tights, and scores the a cheap, COMPLETELY unnecessary pinfall.
Man, they might have just killed ANY good will the fans had for this show with that finish. Dreamer got a decent reaction from the crowd, but that pin just sucked any life still left totally out of the building.
To make things even better, the Great Khali returns from the back and further squashes Tommy Dreamer, slamming him back-first on the ramp, which is literally replayed in mega-slow motion FIVE times. Wait, make that six.
Tommy Dreamer is laying on the ramp all “I can’t feel my feet.” He’s being attended to by genuine ECW referees, so it must be severe!
Finally, after a PAINFULLY long time, Tommy Dream finally returns to his feet. The crowd gives him a half-hearted “ovation” for getting up on his own, and we finally cut away.
An ad for See No Evil plays. Though I haven’t been recapping them, this has to be the fifth advertisement of the show. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen lengthy ads for Monday NightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s RAW, Roddy PiperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s DVD, and even tonightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s PPV (which weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve presumably already ordered).
Bob Holly is in the back with Paul Heyman. Paul says that even though he isn’t happy that Sabu is out of the main event, he still has to find a suitable replacement. According to Heyman, Bob Holly is that replacement.
The crowd [b]isn’t[/b] happy.
Joey Styles and Tazz spend the next minute or two slowly helpfully recapping what we just saw happen.
Mike Knox and Kelly Kelly vs. Kevin Thorn and Ariel
You know, of all the matches on the card thus far, this one has the most potential to be somewhat entertaining. Mike Knox is a pretty solid talent, Kelly Kelly is wicket hott, and Thorn and Ariel are charismatic enough to make this work.
Sadly, the crowd isn’t into this at all.
On a side note, Ariel is actually pretty attractive herself. By attractive, I of course mean “has nice boobs.”
Ariel comes in and demands that Mike Knox tags in Kelly Kelly.
Kelly Kelly tags in and gets, I kid you not, the biggest pop of the night thus far. The crowd loves her and breaks out a sustained “KELLY KELLY!” chant.
Ariel DESTROYS Kelly Kelly though.
After several minutes of getting beat down, Kelly Kelly makes it to the corner for a tag. Just like Randy Savage at that famous Main Event so many years ago, Mike Knox acts like he’s going to make the tag, pulls back his hand, and walks to the back.
Pretty good turn there.
The crowd is all “CM PUNK! CM PUNK!”
Ariel pins Kelly Kelly, and continues beating her down.
“CM PUNK! CM PUNK!”
Unfortunately, we get no Punk. Rather, we get a drunken Sandman stumbling his way slowly down the stairs from the rafters. Instead of retreating, Kevin Thorn stands in the ring and acts terrified for about three minutes. Sandman finally makes it to the ring and pummels Kevin Thorn with the Singapore cane.
Deja vu, Batman.
Sandman does his long celebration deal, drinks a few of the cans, and the whole segment finally crawls to a finish.
In one of the greatest cut-aways of all time, the screen goes Smackdown blue and go to Michael Cole. Cole is standing in front of a Smackdown bluescreen (Butterscotch the Smackdown Bear Commentary: “WHOOOAHH!”) and is here to tell us, in excruciating detail, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on in Smackdown.
Michael Cole first attempts to butter up to the ECW fans though, saying, “That Sandman! Truly an ECW original! Well WWE fans, the next time we come to you from PPV will be our Smackdown PPV!”
Michael Cole continues going through the next Smackdown PPV match-for-match.
I have never seen anything like this on a WWE PPV.
It’s like one of the old WCW control centers, only it’s on PPV.
The crowd boos so much that the crowd mic is turned off by production.
Rebecca is in the back with Bobby Lashley. Bobby also gets booed. We get a long-winded flashback to last week’s ECW, reminding us of why Bobby Lashley and the Big Show are fighting tonight. According to Lashley, nobody’s going to stop him from becoming the ECW World Champion.
For some bizarre reason, they replay the opening video from the PPV, effectively eating up yet another several minutes of PPV time. The SAME video that opened the show.
Paul Heyman is making his way to the ring along with his bodyguards. As Paul Heyman enters the ring, the crowd is all “You Sold Out!”
Paul rambles about nothing for several minutes, and you can hear individual voices in the crowd saying things like “You suck Paul!”, “This is bullshit!”, and “Refund!”
According to Paul, Sabu is not in the main event.
The crowd starts a loud “BULLSHIT!” chant.
Man, what in the world is going ON here?
Paul is just rambling on and on about nothing.
Finally, Paul tells us that is now time for the Extreme Elimination Chamber to commence.
The Big Show vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Holly vs. RVD vs. Test vs. CM Punk
After some very, very uneventful entrances, we finally get under way. Keep in mind that it’s been over 25 minutes since the last match ended.
If you haven’t read up on the rules of the Extreme Chamber, two men are randomly selected to start the match. The other four men are locked in “dangerous pods” with a “deadly weapon.” There they wait for five minute increments. When the buzzer sounds, one random man is allowed out of his Ã¢â‚¬Å“dangerous podÃ¢â‚¬Â with his Ã¢â‚¬Å“deadly weapon.Ã¢â‚¬Â If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re pinned, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re out.
RVD and Hardcore Holly start things off slowly while the crowd chants “CM Punk.”
In the only interesting spot of the first period, Rob Van Dam attempts to springboard off of the top rope into Bob Holly. Holly moves and Van Dam lands on the cage, Spiderman-style.
10 seconds until the next man is allowed in, and the crowd has been chanting “CM Punk” the entire time.
Next out is… … … CM PUNK!
With a deadly chair!
The crowd is going nuts!
Punk with the springboard on RVD and a chairshot to Bob Holly!
RVD grabs the chair though and throws it right into Punk’s face.
Bob Holly and CM Punk lock up next. The crowd is still chanting for CM Punk, and you can just see that legendary look in Bob Holly’s face where he can’t wait to stiff some new guy and prove a point about how over he is.
Though Test is doing nothing of real note, the crowd randomly bursts into a “TEST’S A FAG-GOT!” chant.
Bob Holly hits the superplex on Punk and Van Dam tries to sneak in and make the pin himself.
Test is next in.
He goes immediately after RVD, clawing his head with the hook of his deadly crowbar. RVD is already bleeding from earlier in the match, let’s hope that crowbar is clean. I’d hate to see Van Dam come down with a case of Extreme Lockjaw.
Out of nowhere, Van Dam hits the five star frogsplash on CM Punk for the PIN.
CM PUNK IS ELIMINATED.
The most over guy in the match is eliminated before the match even really starts.
The crowd is PISSED.
Though nobody notices or care, Test goes into business for himself, says Joey Styles, and pins a weakened Bob Holly.
Test then hits an elbow from the top of the Big Show’s pod and pins RVD.
The crowd is PISSED.
[b]EXTREME[/b]LY (!!!) PISSED.
BIG “TNA!” chants.
The crowd has totally turned on this show.
“WHERE’S OUR REFUND?” chant!
As the magic gong once again goes off, Heyman’s security agents attack the referee. They lock Lashley’s pod and Lashley can’t get out.
LASHLEYÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S TRAPPED IN HIS DANGEROUS POD!
The crowd continues to boo.
Lashley takes his deadly weapon and attempts to break through the cage.
He does it!
He’s atop the pod!
ATOP THE POD!
TEST VS. LASHLEY!
MATCH OF THE CENTURY!
MATCH OF THE CENTURY!
Live crowd: Ã¢â‚¬Å“THIS IS BULLSHIT!Ã¢â‚¬Â
With only 45 seconds left until he is released from his extreme pod, Paul Heyman gives advice to Big Show through the cage, a la Wrestlewar 1992.
Live crowd: “CHANGE THE CHANNEL!”
The Big Show is out with his deadly weapon!
He’s got a barbed wire baseball bat.
Huge “TNA!” chant.
Bobby Lashley and the Big Show sword-fight with their respective deadly weapons.
Bobby Lashley hams for the crowd and nearly gets booed out of the building.
This is freakin AWFUL.
The Big Show gets angry and casually busts down the wall of one of the pods, leading one to question why he didn’t do the same thing 20 minutes earlier when he was fuming to get out.
Big Show holds up his hand all “ARGHGHGHGH!” and the crowd is all “— —- —- —- —”
Lashley counters, and nobody seems to care.
A silly “Let’s go Big Show!” chant breaks out.
They SLOWWWWWLY reverse each other’s finishers a few times and then Lashley gets the spear for the pin.
Mild pop, which quickly (VERY quickly) disappears.
Poor Tazz and Joey Styles, having to sell this nonsense.
With over 30:00 of PPV time remaining, the WWE logo appears and the screen fades to black.
This has to be right up there with the Tacoma RAW as one of the lowest points in WWE history. I would stop short of calling it the worst PPV of all time, but it’s certainly among the worst. ECW as a brand is dead, and the WWE should definitely take notice that a sizeable portion of their ECW fanbase is chanting “TNA” during a WWE PPV. Though I wonder whether or not these fans are chanting “TNA” because they genuinely love the product, or perhaps as a wake up call to Vince McMahon. As good as TNA has been since Genesis though, things have the potential to get really interesting.