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ECW on Sci-Fi: December 18, 2007
by Samoa Rowe

This show has been on somewhat of a roll lately. Can the positive momentum continue?

They are airing from Rochester, NY. Our hosts for the evening are Joey Styles and Tazz. They hype tonight's main event of CM Punk vs. MVP.

John Morrison and The Miz vs. Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore
Last week these four men put on a very good tag team match. Can lightning strike twice? Moore kicks things off against The Miz, and catches Mizanin off guard with some roll-up attempts. Moore quickly goes for another cover after a drop toe hold, but Miz tags in Morrison. Moore is knocked out of a waist lock attempt and eats an uppercut. Morrison delivers the hip toss and his break dance elbow drop. Moore rebounds with some deep arm drags and a kick to the face for another cover. Moore snap mares Morrison into position for newly tagged Yang to hit a drop kick to the face. Yang goes to work on Morrison's arm. Morrison escapes the arm lock, but takes a big time tirt-a-whirl head scissors takedown. Cover by Yang gets 1. Moore tags in and springboards onto Morrison. Morrison desperately hit's a shot to the throat and tags in The Miz. Moore directs Miz into a tag to Yang, who hit's a big drop-kick. Stiff chop by Yang, complete with a scoop slam. Yang knocks Morrison off the apron and drops Miz beside him. Moore and Yang go for stereo baseball slides, but Moore and Miz block. And cue the commercial. So far, so good.

Back from the break, and Morrison has Yang trapped in a headlock. The move is broken, but Morrison prevents Yang from making a tag. Yang kicks Morrison off and makes the tag to Moore, who cleans house on Morrison. Swinging neck breaker by Moore, but Irish whip is blocked. Moore kicks Miz off the apron and goes high risk. The distraction allows Morrison to climb up to attempt the superplex. Moore shoves Morrison off, but Miz leaps up and pushes Moore to the mat. Miz tags in and aggressively pounds away on Moore. Miz applies a neck vice on Moore. The hold is broken by an arm drag, but Miz retains control, and tags in Morrison. Miz holds Moore in place for an elbow drop by Morrison. The team of Miz and Morrison continues to impress. Morrison applies a modified Japanese sleeper on Moore. Hey, at least these rest holds are interesting. Morrison leaps off the second rope, but Moore drop-kicks him in mid-air, accidentally hitting the knees instead of the gut. Yang and Miz get tags, and Yang cleans house. All four men take themselves out with launches to the ringside area. Miz is isolated in the ring, and takes a flying cross body from Yang, but rolls through into a very close near fall. They exchange waistlocks, Morrison tries to interfere with a roundhouse kick, but accidentally takes out Miz. Yang hit's a moonsault on Miz to pick up the victory! There were a couple sloppy spots this week, but this was another satisfying tag team match, complete with a fun upset win, **3/4.
Winners: Jimmy Wang Yang and The Miz

-We take a look at the climax of Kane and CM Punk vs. Mark Henry and Big Daddy V from Armageddon. Punk got pinned by Viscera, so Styles ponders whether Punk is ready compete again tonight or not.

-After a break, Tazz is in the ring with Shelton "The new gold standard" Benjamin and a jobber. Tazz asks the jobber for his name, and it turns out to be Colin Delaney. Guess where he's from? If you guessed Rochester, NY, then you would be correct. Uh oh, looks like a local boy is going to get his ass kicked. That will really make the home viewers hate Shelton. Tazz asks Delaney how much experience he's had, and it's revealed to be the jobber's first match.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Colin Delaney
Delaney is obviously playing up the nervous role. Benjamin catches him with an exploder suplex right away. Delaney slaps back, but gets taken down with a boot for his troubles. Benjamin aggressively pounds on the poor jobber and power bombs him into the turnbuckle! That spot never gets old. Benjamin hits the leaping inverted bulldog and picks up the victory in about a minute. SQUASH!
Winner: Shelton Benjamin

-After the match, Benjamin embarrasses himself by taking a microphone and simply shouting "Ain't no stopping me noooooooooooooooooooooooow." Here's a lesson to you kids, never turn a line from your entrance music into your catchphrase. It's okay if it happens in the reverse, but this just will not work. However, I do like the repackaging of Benjamin as a whole.

-A new Kofi Kingston package airs. This time he attacks a thief who was robbing some bikini clad women. It will be interesting to see how this guy works in the ring.

Kenny Dykstra (with Victoria) vs. Nunzio
It would be awful if I did not mention that Nunzio is dressed as an elf and he hands out gifts to some first row fans, thus justifying the price of their $200 tickets. The match starts with Nunzio offering Kenny a candy cane. This doesn't impress Kenny, who hits an aggressive clothesline. Delayed vertical suplex by Kenny, and more pounding. Kenny dumps the bag of candy on Nunzio, because he is a mean person. Nunzio gets some token comeback shots, but Kenny snap mares him into a chinlock. Kenny has been studying Randy Orton matches. Nunzio fights out only to get hit with a back body drop, landing in a pile of candy canes. I have a feeling this is the closest to an "extreme" spot we'll get all night. Nunzio gets some more token offense in before getting flap jacked off the top tope. Kenny goes high risk and hit's the flying leg drop for the victory. Fine for a squash, 3/4*.
Winner: Kenny Dykstra

-Hype package for Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP), the reigning United States Champion. MVP has had a great 2007, it will be sad when he eventually gets traded to Raw where he will be buried.

MVP vs. CM Punk
The match starts during a commercial break. MVP is working a headlock on Punk, who counters out with a drop toe hold. MVP goes to work on the arm and transitions into a fireman's carry for a near fall. Punk fights out and drops an elbow. Snapmare by Punk into a leg scissors submission. MVP counters into the headlock, but it's countered back into Punk's leg scissors. They continue to try and out counter one another, with entertaining results. MVP tries to kip up out of the leg scissors and finally succeeds. Punk snap mares MVP into position for a drop-kick to the back. MVP fights back with a running boot to the ear. Cover by MVP only gets 2. Rest hold by MVP, but he quickly gives it up in favor of stomping. MVP goes back to a neck vice. Punk fights to his feet, but MVP hit's an aggressive series of knee shots to the face. Cover by MVP gets 2. Punk has had enough and hit's a slap to the face. MVP dodges a drop-kick and hit's a boot to the face. More resting, stomping, and cover attempts by MVP. None of this works too well, so MVP applies a modified camel clutch. I'm ready for Punk to make his comeback so this match can end now. Luckily for me, Punk gets to his feet and drops MVP on his back. MVP goes for the suplex, but Punk stops him with a knee to the face. Running knee lift by Punk, and then a cover attempt of his own for 2. Knee to the face and a running bulldog by Punk, who then prepares for a springboard clothesline, which connects. Punk covers for a long 2 count. MVP fights back with a German suplex into a close cover. Enziguri by CM Punk. Punk goes high risk, but MVP knocks him off the top, into the tree of woe position. MVP capitalizes with stomps. MVP chokes Punk, and refuses to hold off, and earns himself a disqualification. Too bad, the match was finally picking up around the time the lame finish came around, **1/4.
Winner by DQ: CM Punk

-After the match, MVP hits another running boot to the face, just to make sure you didn't think CM Punk had any sort of fighting chance. Punk stays in the ring recovering, and is vulnerable to a sneak attack from the returning Chavo Guerrero! Chavo hits a very deliberate version of the Three Amigos snap suplexes. You know, if John Morrison and Miz had to apologize to Punk for making him look bad, I'd say the ECW writers owe him one big-ass apology. Chavo continues the beat-down to no crowd heat whatsoever.

Final Thoughts: ECW continues to have some nice undercard consistency, as Miz, Morrison, and Benjamin are becoming weekly highlights. This show's weakness is the poor handling of the main event scene. Punk has somehow managed to be booked worse as champion than Rey Mysterio was when he was the World Heavyweight Champion, losing matches left and right and being dominated by just about everyone. Also, there was no follow-through with what happened at the Armageddon pay-per-view, as it seems that Mark Henry and Big Daddy V are going to be moving onto other things. The return of Chavo was a nice surprise, but it would have worked better had Punk been booked as a stronger champion. Joey Styles asked the question "Why has Chavo Guerrero targeted CM Punk?" Well, I have an answer for you. CM Punk holds a title and appears to be pretty easy to defeat. A better question might by "Why isn't everyone else targeting him either?"

Thumbs in the middle.

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