ECW on Sci-Fi: November 31, 2007
by Samoa Rowe
Our hosts for the evening are Tazz and Joey Styles
Well, it's been a long time since I gave this show a chance and I'm feeling generous this week. The big matches tonight? Kelly Kelly vs. Layla and then Kane vs. Big Daddy V. This ain't your older brother's ECW.
Kelly Kelly vs. Layla
Good, let's get this out of the way early. Layla is way too small and inexperienced to try and pass herself off as a tough heel. Layla targets the back of Kelly and chokes her on the ropes. Horrible drop-kick counter exchange. Kelly drops Layla with a clothesline. "We want puppies" chant from a few fans in the crowd. Layla turns truly evil and stands on Kelly's hair. Balls Mahoney makes his way to ringside to get some crowd support for Kelly, and he gets a good review. Kelly botches a backflip into the corner. Kelly rolls up Layla and this abortion is over. -**
Winner: Kelly Kelly
-Hype video for Big Daddy V. I'm still not impressed. Let's see how he can do in an extreme rules match with Kane tonight.
John Morrison and The Miz vs. Jesse and Festus
Morrison and Miz are the WWE Tag Team Champions. Morrison is tied with Rey Mysterio for having held this particular tag team title the most times. This match is a part of the "special working arrangement" between ECW and Smackdown, which is a thinly veiled attempt to hide that these shows are the same brand now. Festus is amusing the way he goes from retarded to all business when the bell rings. He's like a combination of Eugene and Delirious. Festus chases the champs from the ring, and Morrison coaxes Jesse in to start things off. Jesse takes the upper hand early, working on Morrison's arm. Jesse delivers some "high-flying" offense to maintain control, and tags in Festus. Miz avoids the tag, leaving Morrison to eat a hard clothesline and body splash by Festus. Jesse tags in and allows Festus to slam him on Morrison. Miz accepts a tag, but is too slow to catch Jesse with any shots. Jesse gets a near fall after a kick. Jesse applies the front headlock. Morrison runs in to assist, but runs into Festus. Miz and Morrison are dumped to ringside, positioned for Jesse, who dives off the top ropes onto them. We head to a commercial. So far, this is pretty solid stuff.
Back from the break, and the tables have turned. Miz
has Jesse trapped in a rest hold. Good to see this
match fell back into the typical WWE tag team formula.
Miz slingshots Jesse into Morrison on the apron, and
then drapes him out for Morrison's springboard elbow
shot. Neck breaker by Morrison gets a two count.
Chinlock by Morrison. That's my cue to fetch myself a
beverage. I come back, and the chinlock spot is almost
over. Miz tags in and hit's a knee thrust. The champs
keep the tags going, solidifying Jesse as the face in
peril. Jesse eventually fights out of a double team
attempt and tags in Festus to clean house. Festus has
a lot of very impressive power moves, included a
standing spear. Jesse tags in and hit's the flying
cross body on Miz for a cover attempt, which is only
broken by Morrison. In the following chaos, Morrison
rolls up Jesse for the win. That ending was weak, but
this was a fine formula match, that gave all four men
a chance to get over, **.
Winners: John Morrison and The Miz
-Kane gets a hype video, as they are really trying to sell tonight's main event as a big time match.
-They play footage from tonight's negative star classic between Kelly Kelly and Layla. It's really painful listening to Joey Styles pretending to be impressed with the way Kelly slammed Layla's head into the mat.
-The Smackdown Rebound looks back at the revelation that Edge and Vicki Guerrero are banging. Their night ends on a sour note, as Edge helplessly watches The Undertaker tombstone the hell out of Vicki (but not before being told off by Batista). Edge vs. Undertaker is signed for the next episode.
-Elijah Burke is in the ring, putting himself over as the man who changed the face of ECW. He introduces his homeboy, Shelton Benjamin. I must say, it was a great idea putting Benjamin on ECW, as he wasn't going anywhere on Raw. Burke also might lure some personality out of Shelton. Burke passes on the mic to Benjamin, who says he didn't come to ECW to make friends and blend in. Benjamin puts himself over as the greatest athlete to ever step foot in the squared circle. I want him feuding with CM Punk as soon as possible, and luckily for me, Benjamin wants a title shot. This was the best Shelton Benjamin promo, which isn't saying much, but this is progress.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Shannon Moore
Moore was an ECW guy who went to Smackdown and now thanks to the current situation is back on ECW again. How nice. Benjamin aggressively pounds on Moore and hit's a belly to belly suplex. Benjamin quickly hits his patented exploder suplex and follows up with a belly to back suplex. You know, that exploder suplex was Benjamin's finisher back in the day. Instead of ending, Benjamin applies a chinlock. The crowd has been on the verge of chanting "boring" all night, and they are tested even further. Hard Irish whip by Benjamin, who then rubs his forearm into Moore. Moore escapes a slam and rolls up Benjamin for a close fall. This is token jobber offense. Moore goes high risk, but Benjamin catches him. After an interesting sequence, Benjamin hit's a nasty DDT for the win. This was okay stuff, ¾*.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin
Big Daddy V (with Matt Striker) vs. Kane
Lumbering slug-fest to kick things off. V drops Kane with his elbow and pounds on the back. Kane rolls out to the floor, and Striker tries to get a kendo stick for V. Kane grabs the stick and strikes V in the leg twice. V no-sells the kendo stick attack and slams Kane. The fight heads to ringside, where Kane slams V's head into the steel steps. Kane tosses some weapons into the ring (the usual WWE weapons, such as flimsy garbage cans). V nails Kane with a street sign as Tazz describes V as a "planet-like man." Back in the ring, Kane kicks a chair into V's face. Kane goes high risk, and barely manages to connect with his flying clothesline. Kane places the chair on V, and goes to the apron. V leaps up and knocks Kane off the apron into the barricade. V pursues Kane at ringside, as Striker fetches a table. For the record, the table gets the pop of the night. V sets the table up against the turnbuckle and rests Kane against it. V then dives into Kane, snapping the table in half. To my annoyance, the crowd chants "ECW." V goes for the cover, but Kane "somehow" kicks out. Striker gets another table for V. Kane is in a daze, but finally starts hitting back. V looks for the Samoan drop, but Kane blocks by grabbing the ropes. Kane beats V with the kendo stick, until V yanks it from him. Kane hits him with the trashcan, and signal the choke slam, but Mark Henry runs in. Henry and V double team Kane for a few minutes. V whines about a minor cut on his arm, this is what ECW has become. "Extremely Childish Whining." Henry and V hit a double choke slam on Kane through the table and V finally gets the pin. I forgot this was still a match. This was slow, boring, and unmemorable, everything I had expected, ½*.
Winner: Big Daddy V
As the show was coming to an end, I thought to myself "Where the hell is CM Punk?" I can only assume this means he'll be on Smackdown this week, but it's pretty sad when the ECW Champion cannot even be booked as the center of a 45 minute show that features all the jobbers and directionless midcarders the other two brands didn't want. This wasn't a bad episode, I like what I see developing with Shelton Benjamin and the tag match was pretty decent. However, that divas match was wretched and the main event bombed, so I'm going to have to go with the thumb's down here, kids.