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ECW: The Next Generation

By Neil McGilloway
Welcome back to the ECW Report.  Hey look, Vince saw his shadow today!  That means it's six more weeks of good WWE programming. A God-awful joke?  Yes, but bear with me for a second...
For a WWE fan, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  That wonderous period of the beginning of the year until Wrestlemania when they actually give a shit about their product.  As a result, they put on good stuff, and last night was pretty clear evidence of that.  Funny how when you focus your main WRESTLING show on WRESTLING, you get non-shit.  Everybody got in on the act, too.  I mean, Triple H resisted his natural urges to Pedigree Jack Swagger dead center in the ring in 30 seconds!  Have to give the man credit for that.  I mean, sure, he did it 10 or so minutes later, but he, GASP, made new talent look good!  I would just assume his forthcoming Wrestlemania main event (yes, AGAIN) put him in a giving mood.  I mean, far be it for me to criticize the choice to give one half of one of the WORST WM main events EVER 600 grand and the top spot next year, but I'm no WWE chairman, am I?  No.  No I am not.  And I could not be happier.

Still standing here in Memphis!  And RUH ROH RAGGY, apparently Vince McMahon is going to address the future of ECW tonight?  Will I get a taste of sweet, sweet freedom finally?  INTRIGUE!  This is shortly followed by Tony Atlas introducing the Abraham Washington show.  So, if you ever need to answer the question "How do I cause fan interest to do an absolute 180 from interested to changing the channel?"  Well, here's your answer.  So Abe comes out to crack jokes about the whole NBC/Conan drama, while Atlas decides to be the heckling kind of co-host tonight.  Which is somewhat humorous, so I'll give them that.  Mainly because goofing on Abraham Washington brings me great joy.  So out comes STILL the ECW champ Christian, who's now officially the longest reigning champ in all of WWE.  Christian is not long to bask in the glow of victory, because out comes Zack Ryder and Rosa Mendez.  Ryder is quick to throw Helms' mugshot up on the 'tron off the recent drunken escapade with Jericho.  So yeah, public embarassment gets appropriate punishment.  This leads to a couple of nice quips by the champ, noting that at least Helms gets recognized, and the "blink and you'll miss it" performance in the Rumble.  This is quick to escalate into some shoving when Christian relates Rosa to professional xenomorph Tila Tequila.  A more biting insult I cannot fathom.  Abe separates the two to end the show, and we're done here.  GASP!  A slightly entertaining Abraham Washington segment!  They DO exist!  Yeah, give it a watch.  There's worse ways to spend 10 minutes.

Shelton Benjamin Vs. Vance Archer
HOLY SHIT, they're actually going to have a match on ECW!  Oh, and Vance is looking as Zach Braff-tastic as ever, just want to throw that out there.  On an unrelated note, is mentioning Vince the new panning to the WM 26 sign?  I swear I must've seen that damn thing on my TV every five seconds, and Vince coming out tonight must've been mentioned at least five times already.  After a quick recap of Shelton getting DENNIS'd from behind last week, away we go!
Things start off pretty even, with Shelton getting the upper hand.  Oh, just realized something.  At this point, how can Shelton be calling himself the Gold Standard?  I'm fairly certain he hasn't even sniffed a title in over two years.  I mean, that'd be as silly as calling a guy in his mid 40's The Heartbreak Kid!  Oh, anyway Vance takes a breather on the barricade outside, but moves out of the way when Shelton goes for...something, and both guys are down going into the break.
Back from commercials, Vance is demonstrating the value of restholds, using them oh so frequently.  Josh Matthews bust out gems of saying that Vance has slowed this match to a grinding halt, and how he extensively studies the human body and how it works.  You know, like a doctor.  A DOCTOR THAT WORKS AT SACRED HEART.  Oh, then Josh mentions Vince AGAIN to nullify any kudos I was about to give.  Shelton buys some time with a...leg whip I guess, and another counter to run wild for a second.  Right after this, BOTCHAMANIA RUNS WILD.  Shelton tries going for a sunset flip out of the corner, but Vance sits down and grabs the ropes (which I'm guessing was the planned finish).  However, it's so painfully obvious to the ref that he's grabbing the ropes that he's basically forced to break it up.  This is immediately followed by a rope-assisted roll up by Vance for the win. 
Winner:  Vance Archer
What Stood Out:  That was one HELL of an ugly finish.  Hell, his music and Savannah weren't even ready to go until he was already out of the ring and up the ramp!

After the match, we run a video promo of Bret and Vince from last night.  I was pleasantly surprised they didn't pull the ol' bait and switch with Bret seeing how he was invisible for everything but that segment.  I also enjoyed Bret and Batista doing it hockey style when it came to blows.  You don't see that too often.  Though I have to ask WHY Batista?  I get making us wait for Vince in the Sharpshooter is the way to go, but with no explanation, Batista wailing on Bret seems...random.  After the package is over, it's announced that they're showing what happened after the show went off the air.  HEY, that shit's supposed to be invisible to us TV folk!  Basically it shows Cena and Batista, and I assume that Cena finally ran in for the save.  You know, after Bret was pounded into oblivion and spat on.  WHAT A HERO.

Yoshi Tatsu w/ Goldust Vs. THE DARKER GUY w/ THE NOT AS TAN GUY
Jesus Christ, did THOSE GUYS get their music changed AGAIN?  This is precisely why I refuse to acknowledge their names.  They simply have no identity whatsoever.  Changing their shit every 2-3 weeks isn't helping.
So Yoshi is all over DARK from the get-go, but TAN sneaks a forearm shot from around the ref to take over.  After some restholds, Yoshi is back on top with some kicks and such.  Got it?  Good, I just saved you about 5 minutes.  Things go up top soon enough, with NOT LIGHT-SKINNED 'rana-ing Yoshi off the top, but Yoshi rolls through.  A SHADE OF GOLDEN BROWN rolls through that roll through, but only picks up two.  He decides to argue with the ref, and turns around to eat a roundhouse to get pinned.
Winner:  Yoshi Tatsu
What Stood Out:  NEW MUSIC AGAIN?  GAH.  Otherwise, short but good.  You'll have to take my word for it.  Come on, don't you trust me?

Aaand here we go.  Out comes Vince, who still garners boos like none other.  And all he did was walk out the entranceway.  Vince immediately cuts to the chase, announcing that in 3 weeks ECW is DONE.  He then says that at the same time slot, a new innovative program will be in ECW's place.  And that's it.  He leaves.  A big announcement to be sure, but you'd think he'd be bothered to stay on this damn brand for more than 1 minute...

In the ring, Gregory Helms brings out Regal and Ezekiel.  When Helms asks Zeke about his loss to Christian at the Royal Rumble PPV, Regal is quick to say "It's been a trying week for you, hasn't it?"  Helms says he's just there to do his job, and Regal retorts that it's about to get worse.  Jackson then POUNCES on Helms, and the two take turns schooling the drunkie, topping things off with a negronage and running knee.  Christian, ever the hero, makes the at this point totally moot save brandishing a kendo stick to send Regal and Zeke packing.  WWE faces:  We're powerless to help you until after you've been physically traumatized!  This is slightly less ridiculous than last night because Bret was getting wailed on for 5 minutes straight, and tonight Helms only got like 40 seconds of beating before Christian came out.

ECW Champion Christian Vs. Zack Ryder w/ Rosa Mendez, Non-title match
I get that he was out there already, but the champ getting the jobber entrance tonight.  Given that this match started at 10:58, I'm not quite expecting a 30 minute wrestling clinic here...
Christian and Zack start things off relatively tame and slow, which is surprising given the show's about to go off the air.  Things are even-ish, but the champ keeps having an answer to whatever Zack is doing.  Zack finally is able to get some consistent offense in when he catches Christian off the top and slingshots him into the ropes.  After about 2 minutes though (OK they're definitely speeding it up now) Christian is back on top, hitting a cross body for a two count.  Lots of top ropery from here, as Christian hits a missile dropkick, a SHORYUKEN, and finally a killswitch, clean as a sheet.  So of course Ezekiel comes charging in from here AGAIN to try and nail Christian from behind, but he ducks the incoming clothesline.  Oh well, DQ anyway.
Winner:  Christian
What Stood Out:  Remember that triple threat WWE did in MSG that was basically on fast forward the whole time because they had like zero time left on the show?  Yeah, that was this match.  Quick as HELL main event, and Zack is not looking so hot.  I think he might've got like MAYBE 2 minutes of offense there.  That's barely above squash-level jobbing.
After the bell, Regal pops up too and Christian fights them both off fairly well, but it's all for naught as DARKNESS descends on the champ from behind.  They cap things off with whipping Christian into the steps and laughing heartily at their (now pointless because this show's GONE by the end of the month) victory.  So only 3 episodes left before ECW's corpse is finally re-buried!  Philly and New York fans, rejoice!  THE END.

Uppers:  Actually...pretty much anything that wasn't the first match gets my approval tonight.  Abe's segment was slightly entertaining (given how the last one went, staring at dog shit would be more entertaining), Yoshi's match was quick and entertaining, as was the main event.  Even the Vance Archer/Shelton Benjamin match, while awful, was still pretty amusing - well, at least the finish...
Downers:  ...but let's make no mistake here, that match still sucked.  Outside of that, the Vince appearance was a pleasant surprise, but DAMN you know he wanted to be FAR away from that show the second he came out.  So he just comes out, straight announces ECW's fate, then bails.  That's it.  Maybe someone tricked him into thinking it was Monday night and came to the sudden realization when he walked through the curtain and saw all the ECW stuff?  Dude's old and senile, so don't tell me it couldn't be done.  Oh and one Gregory Helms I assume is updating his resume as we speak, because DAMN he was made to look like a pathetic sack of shit tonight.
Overall:  A fairly decent episode tonight, credit where it's due.  Might as well watch these shows while the watching's good, eh?  Though given the fate of ECW, I would mark like none other if in the coming week everyone on the show stopped giving a shit and began to just go the opposite of PG for every second until they're done. TV MA ALL THE WAY BABY.

Now, with that said, what do I make of Vince's announcement?  Well, I'm the ECW recapper.  ECW is officially done in 3 weeks.  So, since ECW is done in 3 weeks, I am too.  Maybe I'll get a gander at this new show and get interested in recapping it, but I wouldn't count on it.  Eh, we'll see.  I intend on sending ECW out in a drunken bang!  Who's with me?!  Anyone?  Hello?

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).