ECW (June 20, 2006)

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We get a cold open with a fortune teller (Shelly Martinez/Ariel/That Lady With the Boobs/etc.) using tarot cards to recap what happened on Raw the night before. Apparently ECW invaded and Sabu left John Cena bleeding. Tonight there will be a tag team event pitting Van Dam & Angle against Edge & Orton. For all the dumb shit WWE’s ECW did I think this is honestly a pretty cool way to recap a show.

Drowning Pool screams about bodies and floors and we head to the Pepsi Arena in Albany, NY for ECW action. I grew up in Albany, so I ended up spending the majority of this episode scanning the crowd for people that I knew, which probably made the show more entertaining than it otherwise would have been.

Match 1: Sabu vs. Tony Mamaluke (w/ Trinity)

Trinity has little in the way of clothing. Tazz talks about how if you want divas go watch Smackdown or Raw; if you want vixens keep watching ECW!

The match gets underway with Sabu diving at Mamaluke’s knee and then dropping an elbow on him. He pins and gets a near fall right out of the gate. Mamaluke goes on offense and hits a belly to back suplex that gets him a two count.

Sabu hits Air Sabu for another two count and then goes out to the floor to get a chair. He sets it up and nails Mamaluke with a triple jump plancha to the outside. While Mamaluke is down Sabu sets up a table on the outside. ECW! ECW! ECW!

Mamaluke makes a comeback and hits Sabu with the chair and then after mocking Sabu’s pose heads up to the top rope. The chair is on Sabu’s chest and as Mamaluke jumps, Sabu just chucks it at him, knocking him out of the air. Since this is Sabu, the chair pretty much bounces off Mamaluke and slams back into Sabu…

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They go back outside and Mamaluke ends up going through the table. Back in the ring, Sabu gets Mamaluke in the camel clutch to pick up the win.

Winner: Sabu

This was your standard issue Sabu match. Chairs chucks at people. Sabu’s offense looked like it hurt him more than his opponent. A good time was had by all. I guess my one complaint about this was the fact that Mamaluke got too much offense in the early part of the match. Sabu’s got a match against BIG MATCH JOHN on Sunday and he’s having a hard time with Mamaluke? That doesn’t instill me with much confidence. [*½]

Meanwhile Backstage…

Kelly (still with but one name) says that last week she got so excited that she couldn’t get her bra off in spite being an exhibitionist. She vows to succeed this week and show it all!

Meanwhile Somewhere Else Backstage…

RVD cuts a goofy backstage promo about how he’s going to be in a tag team match with Kurt Angle against Edge and Randy Orton. Angle’s not there because he’s warming up by tying some sparring partner in knots. RVD ends the promo saying he has to roll and is basically like “GET IT?! ROLL?! LIKE A JOINT?! 4:20!!”

Meanwhile in the Ring…

Big Show comes out and gets in the ring. Dreamer then comes out and gets in the ring with him. Dreamer gets on the mic and praises Show for wrecking house last week in the extreme battle royal but says if he really wants to be someone in ECW he has to go through Dreamer. Dreamer then slaps show in the face which pisses Show off.

Show chucks Dreamer around and pounds on him for awhile. The announcers claim that this is not actually a match which I guess explains why there’s no ref. Show gets bored of beating on Dreamer after awhile and heads to the back.

Dreamer pulls himself up on the ropes and kind of smiles at Show. I don’t really understand why this wasn’t an actual match since it took place in the ring, and went longer than the match that followed it.

Video Package!

Vengeance is this Sunday! DX will take on the Spirit Squad! This commercial is supposed to make me want to buy a PPV. I don’t think I understand 2006 WWE.

Meanwhile Outside…

The vampire (Kevin Thorn, still nameless) looks up at the ECW sign at the Pepsi Arena and makes a vampire face. ECW! ECW! ECW!

Match 2: Macho Libre vs. The Sandman

Macho Libre is a fantastic indie wrestling gimmick that is for some reason here on WWE television. He’s a dude (Tony DeVito of Da Baldies fame according to the internet) dressed up like Jack Black’s character from Nacho Libre, doing a Macho Man impression peppered with random Spanish phrases. This is awesome.

He cuts an 80s Macho Man promo which brings out The Sandman. Sandman heads to the ring and we get a 1986 Superstars of Wrestling style inset promo where Sandman talks about liking beer, babes, and hitting people with a stick or some nonsense.

Sandman cracks Macho Libre in the head and then wails on him with a kendo stick for like 10 seconds. He picks up Libre’s body, and hits a fucked up White Russian legsweep and pins him to pick up the win.

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Winner: The Sandman

I honestly kind of liked the Macho Libre gimmick though it had no business in a ECW ring. [NR]

Meanwhile Backstage…

Heyman is with a ref telling him that in ECW he only needs to count pinfalls and check for submissions. A second ref shows up and is like, “Cena’s here! He’s out in the parking lot!”

Heyman tells the ref to rally the ECW troops to go show John Cena what ECW’s all about as we go to commercial.

Meanwhile Backstage…

We come back from commercial to see Heyman with a gaggle of ECW Originals waiting backstage. Heyman tells them to be ready for Cena. Cena then appears and gets a huge pop from the audience in the arena.

He calls Paul Heyman a scumbag and then says that he’s more than willing to take a beating but he doesn’t want it to be from a guy in a motorcycle helmet crawling out from under the ring or some random guy coming out of the audience when his back is turned. Some how this leads to him requesting that his match with Sabu at Vengeance be made an Extreme Lumberjack match.

What an Extreme Lumberjack match actually is is not explained, but Sabu quickly agrees to it, getting in Cena’s face and growling, “DEAL!” in what might be the first instance of Sabu speaking English in ECW.

Meanwhile in the Arena…

It’s time for Kelly’s Expose which I guess what this stripping segment is called now. Kelly comes out and is introduced as a vixen. I guess the stuff from Taz earlier with Trinity is the actual party line: women in ECW are vixens. Anyway she strips to a Snoop Dogg song. I fast forwarded it because it was boring and if I really want to see boobs there are easier ways to go about doing so.

Eventually a debuting Mike Knox shows up and covers her up before she can show the goods. As he leads her backstage someone from the crowd who was near the stripper stage shouts at him, “C’mon! Let her finish!” Mike Knox tells him, “Shut up,” and that’s the end of that chapter.

Video Package!

Roided up muscleman, Test, is coming to ECW! Fan-fucking-tastic!

Match 3: Edge & Randy Orton (w/ Lita) vs. Kurt Angle & Rob Van Dam

Everyone comes out separately here. This is apparently the first time Edge and Orton are teaming up. The dim the crowd lights once everyone’s in the ring, which is kind of weird. Edge and Angle start things off. Angle gets in a legitimate wrestling stance and just starts taking Edge down at will and chucking him about.

Tags are made and RVD and Orton hit the ring. They do some stuff and Van Dam crotches Orton on the top rope. This is legal because of ECW Rules. RVD goes up top and hits the still crotched Orton with a flying kick that sends him out to the floor. He follows up with a moonsault from the apron that takes out Orton again.

They head back in an Orton immediately regains control. He nails RVD and tags in Edge. Edge gets kicked in the face, and RVD hits the ropes for Rolling Thunder but Lita low bridges him sending Van Dam crashing out to the floor as we go to commercials. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

We return from commercial to find RVD and Edge having a good, old-fashioned punch fight. Edge gets the better of it and takes RVD down and then tags in Orton again. RVD gets sent out to the floor.

Back in the ring Orton nails a dropkick that even the partisan ECW announcers have to give credit to. Edge comes back in, but Van Dam hits a desperation kick and then makes the HOT TAG!

Angle comes in and suplexes everyone a million times. He then gets Orton in the Ankle Lock, but Edge pulls Orton under the rope, which also causes Angle’s throat to hit the bottom rope. Edge goes for something, but ends up jumping into a belly to belly suplex. He then hurks up Edge for the Angle Slam, but Orton hits a chopblock to his knee.

Edge covers for two but gets caught in a rear naked choke. Lita comes in to make the save by raking Angle’s eyes. The crowd is not pleased with this and chants, “She’s a crack whore,” at her.

Orton is back in and Angle gets him in an Ankle Lock only for Edge to make the save again. Angle nails him with a German that leaves both dudes down. Angle makes the tag to RVD who comes in and wrecks house on everyone.

He kicks Edge down and then hits a dive onto Orton on the outside before grabbing a chair. RVD heads back in the ring, but Orton tries to grab him and pull him back out to the floor from the apron so RVD just wails Orton’s skull with the chair. Edge then runs into RVD, knocking him off the apron and into the announce table.

Angle comes in and gets the Ankle Lock on Edge. Lita’s back in with one of RVD’s belts to attempt to make the save, but Angle gives her the Angle Slam because man on women violence was still apparently okay in 2006 WWE. He then casually strolls into an RKO.

Orton poses because that’s what Randy Orton does, giving RVD enough time to recover, return to the ring, and kick Orton’s head off. RVD then goes for Rolling Thunder, but Edge kicks him out of the air before he can connect.

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Edge then goes for the spear on RVD, but RVD nails him in the head with the championship belt. He proceeds to go up top and connects with the Five Star Frog Splash to pick up the win. Joey Styles declares, “No one gets higher than Rob Van Dam!”

Winners: Rob Van Dam & Kurt Angle

This was hands down the best match on the show and just as easily the best ECW on Sci-Fi match I’ve seen yet. All four of these guys are good at what they do and worked pretty well together here. With the closing moments of the match being a really great series of near falls and saves. All in all it did a pretty good job in making me want to see the singles matches between Orton & Angle and RVD & Edge.

That being said, if I have to pick nits about this match this was still three WWE superstars and an ECW guy who in plot aligned himself with WWE and Jerry Lawler back in the first ECW Invasion angle back in ’97 having a WWE match. [***½]

Final Thoughts

This episode was a definite improvement over the inaugural episode of the revived ECW. The in-ring action was better and the goofy, “Let’s have Sandman cane the shit out of Sports Entertainment,” segment was actually kind of funny. This isn’t really saying all that much though since the first episode is one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve ever seen (and I watch WCW Nitro and Thunder in 1999 and 2000).

That being said there’s still way too much reliance on WWE guys with Sabu and RVD being the only ECW guys doing anything worthwhile. On the one hand I can kind of understand it as a way to get eyeballs on ECW, but to be honest, if I wanted to watch 2006 WWE, I’d watch 2006 WWE. I hope that ECW starts doing stuff to differentiate itself from its parent company, but I doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon. We did after all get a hype package for Test coming soon to ECW on this very episode.

 

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