ECW on Sci-Fi: December 6, 2007
by Samoa Rowe
-Well, folks, ECW ran against Impact this week and guess what happened? TNA did a 1.1 rating and ECW did a 0.6. This is pretty significant, if you ask me. So here is the historically low-rated episode of ECW, let's see if it deserved to be kicked down by the garbage currently known as Impact.
-Things start off rocky, as we get close ups of Big Daddy V and Mark Henry breathing deeply, with Matt Striker standing along them, threatening the current ECW champion, CM Punk. Who is CM Punk anyway, is he that guy who wasn't on the show last week at all, but instead was having trouble defeating a Smackdown jobber? Yeah, he's the champion of ECW, which means he's better than twelve guys. Anyway, tonight CM Punk has to choose whether he is going to face Mark Henry and Big Daddy V. Neither match sounds particularly interesting.
They are airing from Florence, South Carolina. Our hosts for the evening are Tazz and Joey Styles.
John Morrison and The Miz vs. Brett and Brian Major
One kid in the audience is infuriated to see The Miz. That just made my day. In a sea of apathy, one eleven year old is throwing a fit. I'm not even going to pretend that I can tell the Majors apart, so I'll rely on the commentary to throw me some clues. Miz starts off against Brett, and they push each other around. They have a shoving match, and Brett works the arm of Miz. Miz escapes, but runs into an arm drag. Brian tags in. Miz hit's a headlock, and the Major rolls through a full nelson. Brian dumps Miz out of the ring, and Brett runs in for a dive over the ropes. Miz rebounds and takes control of Brian, and tags in Morrison. The champs double team Brian, slamming him face first into the mat. Morrison beats down Brian and hit's a running kick to the upper body. Cover by Morrison gets 2. Morrison follows up with a reverse chinlock. Brian escapes, but gets slammed to the mat by the hair. Miz tags in and applies a chinlock of his own. Brian fights out, but gets cornered. Brian fights off both men, but Morrison gets a tag. Brian escapes a double team and tags in Brett, who cleans house. Brett gets a big Lou Thesz press for a cover, but it's broken up. Miz and Brian are disposed at ringside, and Brett gets a painfully close roll-up on Morrison. Morrison rebounds and hit's a corkscrew neck breaker for the victory. This was a very enjoyable tag match, which won the crowd over, and made everyone look good. This team of Morrison and Miz is working better than I would have ever imagined, **½.
Winners: John Morrison and The Miz
-Some nice footage of Jamaica airs. This is a debut package for Kofi Kingston. He beats up a bully who was picking on an out of shape beach goer. The bully is buried in sand up to his neck. "Sometimes there is trouble in paradise" says the newcomer, who is apparently going to be a baby face.
-Backstage, CM Punk is here to answer the question of who will he face, Mark Henry or Big Daddy V. Punk says he's in a no-win situation, so he's going to let Armando Estrada or Matt Striker choose. Punk says he will take on whoever they give him, because that's what they do. These scripted Punk promos make the ROH mark in me sad, but at least they're letting him talk now.
Kelly Kelly and Balls Mahoney vs. Kenny Dykstra and
So last week's Kelly/Layla match was apparently not horrible enough to convince the officials from ever letting Kelly in the ring again. Well, at least Victoria knows what she's doing, so this might be a decent match. Mahoney and Kenny kick the match off with a tie-up. Kenny takes advantage with some shots and a very nice drop-kick. Jabs by Balls connect, until Kenny dives into a tag for Victoria. Balls drags Victoria to the corner for Kelly, who he tags in. It doesn't work, as Victoria proceeds to beat down Kelly, until Victoria carries Kelly into connecting with a very nice head scissors takedown. Victoria is a miracle worker! Victoria recovers and chokes Kelly, who shoves her off. Kenny yells at Kelly for touching his girlfriend, and gets slapped for his troubles. Victoria hangs Kelly by her hair, but the referee doesn't approve. Victoria is awesome, by the way. She tosses Kelly by the hair and then applies a straightjacket rest hold. Big "Kelly" chant scares me from this live crowd. Kelly finally fights out and tags in Mahoney, who cleans house on Kenny. More jabs from Balls, his time connects with the big wind-up. Cover gets 2. Victoria runs in and gets caught by a reverse victory roll by Kenny. Balls then rolls up Kenny and picks up the win. Holy crap, this is the polar opposite of last week's disaster, **.
Winners: Balls Mahoney and Kelly Kelly
Shelton Benjamin vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
This live crowd is awesome, as they give Benjamin a great mixed reaction during his entrance. Benjamin cuts a promo before the match, discussing promises. He was promised a big break, and didn't get it, so he's going to go out and make his big break himself. He then calls the live audience lazy. I can't argue with him on that one. Benjamin promises that he is a winner, he'll continue to raise the bar in ECW, that the fans will live vicariously through his success, the fans will jump on his bandwagon, and that there's "ain't no stopping me nooooooow!" Benjamin is continuing to entertain.
Wang comes dancing to the ring, and looks quite
ridiculous, to be honest. Benjamin quickly works the
arm, but Yang rolls through the hold. Benjamin goes
for the snap mare, but Yang rolls through and goes for
the crucifix roll-up and gets two. Benjamin hit's a
big boot to the face and beats Yang down. Benjamin
power bombs Yang into the turnbuckles! YES! Benjamin
rubs his arm into Yang's face for a cover, but only
gets one. Modified chinlock by Benjamin will kill some
time. Yang fights out and hit's a roundhouse kick.
Yang goes high risk for a crossbones, but Benjamin is
ready and turns it into a gut-buster. Benjamin hit's
the bull-dog DDT and picks up the victory. Benjamin
looks awesome and focused, I really hope this develops
into something big for him, *½.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin
-The Big Daddy V/Mark Henry segment that opened the show plays again.
Kevin Thorne vs. Jeff Lewis
I love Thorne's entrance music. I miss the vampire gimmick. If you have never heard of Lewis, don't feel bad, he's a local jobber. Styles picks on Thorne for being anti-social. In the ring, Thorne drops Lewis down, takes a token shot, and responds with a backbreaker. Thorne hit's a Vader bomb and targets the face. Thorne elevates himself on the ropes for a nice leg drop. Lewis gets a token kick, but it only pisses Thorne off. Hard clothesline by Thorne and then a torture rack backbreaker. This is enough for the win. Somebody lit a fire in Thorne's ass, because this was a very nice squash match, ¾*.
Winner: Kevin Thorne
-Big Daddy V and Mark Henry are on their way to the ring, with their servant, Matt Striker, following behind them.
-After a break, the evil trio are in the ring. Striker is going to choose Punk's opponent for him. Striker wants a coin toss, but he only has bills in his wallet (hyuck yuck) so he borrows a coin from the referee. Striker flips the coin, and Punk's opponent is Mark Henry.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry (with Big Daddy V and Matt
Joey Styles has the same question I do: can CM Punk hit the Go 2 Sleep on Mark Henry? Doubtful. Punk dodges the charging Henry and hit's a martial arts kick. Henry no-sells the kick, but looks pissed. Punk locks himself to the back of Henry, but can't get is arms around for the waist lock. Punk rebounds and hit's a series of kicks to the leg and then leaps on the back for a sleeper. Henry escapes by climbing over the ropes. Punk holds on to the head, but Henry backs himself into the ring post. Back in the ring, Henry is now in control, and pummels the champion. Henry steps on Punk, crushing the chest. The match becomes very slow and methodical at this point. Punk fires back with some strikes and kicks, and targets the face of the big man. Punk bounces off the ropes, but runs into a crushing avalanche in the form of Mark Henry. Scoop slam by Henry. The match slows down to a halt, as Henry applies a claw to Punk's shoulder. Punk grabs Henry by the hair to escape, but gets thrown into the turnbuckles for his troubles. Irish whip with authority by Henry, but he misses a running splash. Punk hit's a high knee strike to the face. However, Big Daddy V runs in and attacks Punk, bringing on the disqualification. The match had it's moments, *.
Winner by DQ: CM Punk
-The evil fat guys are beating down Punk after the match. V hit's a Samoan drop on Punk. Cue the red pyro, as Kane runs in to make the save! Kane chases off the evil fatties with a chair. This sets up Kane and CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V and Mark Henry for Armageddon.
Final Thoughts: There was a lot to like this week. There were two pretty good tag matches and two impressive squash matches. The direction of ECW is constantly changing, and with how low the ratings have been dropping, that direction will likely change again very soon. But for now, I like where this show is heading. They are utilizing a lot of misfit superstars in ways that will elevate them again if they continue this. I am serious, if this momentum keeps going, Shelton Benjamin, Big Daddy V, John Morrison, Miz, Matt Striker, and others are going to get over in ways that will surprise a lot of us. My only complaint is that CM Punk still hasn't been booked to be a very impressive ECW Champion, but considering he was not even going to get the belt before Morrison got busted, this doesn't surprise me. In the end, I am happy to give a spirited thumb's up for this show.