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ECW ON SCI-FI RECAP  
Who'll Stop the Big Show? 
August 10, 2006

by Jeff J. Snider 
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

It's a great time to be a Dodger fan. Eleven wins in a row, tied for the Wild Card lead (and tied with the Reds, who we ALL know don't have the staying power to make a real push), and a team that you actually believe will find ways to win, instead of finding ways to lose.
 
But you know who I just can't embrace? Rafael Furcal. I'm sure part of it has to do with my longstanding hatred of the Braves in general and Furcal in particular. But I also just can't stand the way he plays the game. He rarely hustles, he is scary defensively, and he swings for the fences a lot more than a leadoff hitter should. The worst was last night: the Dodgers had just taken a

one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, Jason Repko on first base, lefty Ray King pitching to Furcal, full count, one out. The Dodgers send Repko on the pitch, figuring that as long as Furcal can either walk or put the ball on the ground somewhere, they have an insurance run in scoring position. But what does Furcal do? He swings for the fences and misses the pitch by about a foot. Repko, who had to wait a bit to make sure King was really going to the plate, gets thrown out by about five feet, and the inning is over. It's little things like that that make me wish the Dodgers would sign Julio Lugo and trade Furcal for some prospects.

Enough about that. Let's talk about ECW.

Last week: Tommy Dreamer and the Sandman got Shanghaied by Paul Heyman and his goons. But honestly, when Tommy and Sandman set up that barbed wire board, did anyone in the world really believe that Tommy WOULDN'T be the one to go through it?

ECW Theme, we're too extreme for pyro, and we are live from Nashville, TN.

Tonight: Sabu vs. Kurt Angle in a #1 Contender match.

Mike Knox (with Kelly the Expeditionist™) vs. Tommy Dreamer (with Noticeable Limp)

Knox jumps Tommy quickly, but Dreamer recovers in short order and begins innovating some violence. About 90 seconds in, Heyman & Co. show up, and Heyman distracts the ref while Co. beat the snot out of Tommy. Knox hits his swinging neckbreaker thingie, and this match is over.

Your winner: Mike Knox (2:25). This match, on its own, was nothing special, but it was all design to set up what happened...

After the match: Heyman and his goons stalk Tommy, but then Sandman's music hits, and he starts walking down through the crowd. This seems like a good time, I guess, to watch some...

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When we get back, Heyman has a mic, and Sandman has a self-inflicted bloody forehead. Heyman says, "I understand that you are concerned about Tommy. So am I. I love Tommy Dreamer like a son. That's why I can't allow him to be involved in your rematch tonight." He calls for the medical staff to take Tommy to the back, then he says that Sandman's (non-extreme) handicap match starts RIGHT NOW~!

Sandman vs. Test & Knox

Test gives Tommy a clothesline on his way to the ring, and he and Knox begin the vicious double-team beatdown on Sandman. This lasts a couple minutes, until Sandman can finally get to his Singapore cane, and he lays both guys out.

Your winners: Test and Mike Knox (DQ) (2:01). This match really existed more to further a storyline than to stand on its own as a wrestling match (although Sandman did, in one of his hope spots, hit a dropkick, which raises the grand total of Wrestling Moves I Have Seen Sandman Do to 1), but it was pretty effective there. Plenty of continuity from previous weeks, and even though this isn't a top-level feud, the presence of Heyman and his overriding issues with ECW give it top-level importance, if that makes sense.

Video package: We see some highlights of Sabu, and it ends with his promise that he will beat Angle tonight.

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Backstage: Balls Mahoney loves extreme! True or false: Balls Mahoney is just Hugh Morrus with more piercings and less talent.

Full moon outside, and that means it's time for some vampires inside.

Kevin Thorn (with Ariel) vs. Al Snow

Gee, I wonder who will win this match. It starts with reciprocating fisticuffs, then Thorn takes control, and we get this sequence: gut buster, spear, bodyslam, makeout with Ariel, rope-assisted neckbreaker, more makeout with Ariel, more beatdown, Razor's Edge, pin.

Your winner: Kevin Thorn (2:52). Make no mistake, this was a squash, but Thorn was fairly impressive with his squashy offense. He and Ariel are creepy, but probably in a good way. The only problem: I keep wanting to call him Gary Thorne. (Speaking of Gary Thorne -- the worst thing about last year's NHL strike is that ESPN no longer shows NHL games, which means that Gary Thorne is relegated to baseball duty. And while Thorne is the best in the business when it comes to hockey, all he's really good at in baseball is butchering names. I watched most of the World Baseball Classic this spring, and I am confident in saying that Thorne mispronounced the name of every single player in the tournament. It's one thing to mispronounce the names of Asian players you have never heard of before, but I'm talking about Major Leaguers! The worst (and most-repeated) one was Juan Encarnacion, whose last name was constantly pronounced Arn-kuh-nass-ee-own.) But anyway, Kevin Thorn is not Gary Thorne. Thank goodness.

Video package: This time it's highlights of Angle, and then he tells Sabu that he really is suicidal if he wants to get in the ring with the Wrestling Machine.

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Backstage: Rene Dupree thinks speaking French is EXTREME~!

The Big Show is in a suit, and he has a mic. He says that he's here to add dignity and class to ECW. If Angle wins tonight, Show will break him like he breaks crackers for his soup. And if Sabu wins, then it really will be suicide when he steps in the ring with Show. (Note to Sabu: I'm challenging you to a match right now! And if you step in the ring with Jeff Snider, you really are suicidal! I'm so original!) Anyway, no one can beat the Big Show.

Ads

Last week: CM Punk beat Justin Credible, who is having his named changed to Justan Otherjobber.

Backstage: CM Punk thanks the fans for accepting him to ECW the way his own family never did. Wow, this dude, not Edge, should have been on the cover of CBI.

Kurt Angle vs. Sabu (#1 Contender match)

For the first time I can remember, we have an ECW main event that you wouldn't expect to see on Raw. Sure, we all know Angle is a WWE guy, but he's been exclusively with ECW from the beginning of this incarnation (arn-kuh-nass-ee-own?), so he makes perfect sense in an ECW main event. My only concern about this match is that both guys seem to be babyfaces, so I wonder about the crowd reaction.

We start with Angle taking down Sabu and slapping him a little, then locking in a headlock. I get the impression that Angle is supposed to be the heel here, I guess because he IS still a WWE guy. But the crowd doesn't seem real keen on booing him, although neither guy is getting overwhelming cheers, either.

About two minutes into the match, Sabu dodges Angle and sends Angle's shoulder into the ringpost. He follows that up with a back-bodydrop over the top rope, and we go to our final...

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When we get back, Angle is back in control, until Sabu hits a SWEET springboard DDT. (My wife even had me rewind it so she could see it a second time.) From here, we have a series of control shifts, with numerous nearfalls for both guys. We eventually hit an extended end game, which starts with Sabu going for the Camel Clutch. Angle reverses that into an Ankle Lock, but Sabu quickly rolls through and sends Angle through the ropes to the floor. Sabu follows up with a plancha, and both guys are down. When they get back in the ring, Angle grabs an Ankle Lock out of nowhere, and Sabu is about to tap, but...

Speaking of out of nowhere, Rob Van Dam shows up with a chair. He tosses the chair to Angle, then hits a Van Daminator on him. Well, I guess "hits" isn't the right word, because to be honest, he COMPLETELY missed it. Angle hesitated for a brief second, then decided he better sell it anyway, so he went down. RVD followed with a chair-assisted legdrop on Angle, so at least we have some excuse for Angle staying down. And I guess the ref saw the same thing I did, because it wasn't until this legdrop that he called for the bell.

Your winner: Kurt Angle (DQ) (14:07). Pretty darn good match, I thought. It wasn't anything amazing, not going to make anyone's list of Match of the Year candidates, but it was refreshing to see a "real" ECW main event for once, one that didn't advance ANY storylines from Raw or Smackdown, just ECW. And this one definitely advanced some storylines, because suddenly we have the makings of an RVD/Angle feud. Well, until we see what happened...

After the match: RVD looks at Sabu, asks him if he's okay, and then indicates a further attack on Angle. Sabu smiles and gives him the go-ahead, but RVD reverses course and hits a chair-to-face dropkick on Sabu in the corner. So now both guys, who I earlier identified as babyfaces, are down at the hands of RVD, and he stands in the middle of the ring and points to himself -- and every single person in the crowd chanted R-V-D along with him. I guess when it comes to ECW, there's heels, there's faces, and then there's RVD. We leave with the crowd chanting.

Analysis: Like I mentioned, definitely a more pure ECW show, and for that reason alone, I think it was a major improvement over past weeks. There was nothing outstanding about the action, although there was nothing bad, either. But there were also no pointless matches, no pointless talking, and nothing that even suggested that the other two WWE shows exist. Those are all good things.

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