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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 3/25: Ongoing coverage of WWE's Sci-Fi show

Mar 25, 2008 - 10:10:50 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
March 25, 2008 - Year 2, Week 42 (Week 94 overall)
Fayetteville, N.C.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist


In-ring: They're starting with the 24-man tag match. World tag champs Holly & Rhodes came out to start the show and joined the majority of the other wrestlers already in the ring. Kofi Kingston then had his ring entrance, followed by Kane. Joey Styles announced that the 24-man battle royale will take place on WWE's website at 6:30 p.m. EST before WrestleMania, and the winner will face Chavo at Mania. Oh goodie.

1 -- 24-MAN TAG MATCH

The match started with Jesse trying to restrain Festus on the ring apron. Well, actually, it started with Cody against Brian Kendrick. They did some pin exchanges on the mat, then Palumbo and Noble got into it. Yang tagged in and took a back slam from Palumbo. He came back with a flying dropkick sending Palumbo to the outside. Cue up the "little guys" doing flips and dive to the outside. It's Faction Warfare! Paging Jack Evans, Ruckus, and Jimmy Jacobs. Oh, and there's fish-out-of-water Trevor Murdoch playing Necro Butcher with a cannonball dive to the outside. Cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

The action broke down out of the break. Well, anytime Jim Duggan gets mixed into a brawl, you know it's broken down. Holly gave Burke the Alabama Slam, then went to work on Miz. Khali got himself some against Festus, then Kane entered the ring and chokeslammed Matt Striker. Kane didn't see Snitsky, though, and took a big boot to the face. With everyone cleared out, Snitsky gave Tommy Dreamer a big boot to the face. He covered Dreamer for the win. Gotta love Tony Chimel announcing the winners: "Snitsky and...his team!"

Post-match: Each side of the match stood off against each other in the ring. They stood off and stood off for a while. Now would be the perfect time for Colin Delaney to walk out to his own ring entrance wearing cool shades, a flashy jacket, and sporting tons of dollar bills. I'm picturing a mix of Larry Sweeney and Ted DiBiase. But that didn't happen. They ended with the stand-off.

WINNERS: Snitsky...and his team in 10:00. I sure thought this was going at least 45 minutes. How do you book a 24-man tag and not get the much-anticipated battle between Jesse and Cade or Duggan and...well...anyone? (*)

Video promo: They hyped Mayweather vs. Big Show with more interview clips from boxing people, including Ricky Hatton. Michael Buffer said risk-taking is what Floyd Mayweather is all about.

[Commercial Break]

[Q2]

Backstage: Colin was trying to help Dreamer get over his loss, then Chavo Guerrero stepped in and rubbed it in Dreamer's face. Dreamer stood up and said the chances of him winning the Battle Royale are slim, so he wants to challenge Chavo to a match tonight. Chavo laughed and said it's non-title. Dreamer said that's cool because he just wants to get a win over the ECW champion. Chavo laughed him off, so Dreamer said he wants a match just because he doesn't like him. Colin tried to interrupt, but Chavo cut him off. Dreamer then said Colin hasn't even won a match, but he has more heart than Chavo ever will. (Gee thanks, Tommy.) Chavo laughed at Dreamer again, then accepted the match. Colin stood there silent, then Chavo walked away and Dreamer pointed at Colin's chest to indicate he has heart.

In-ring: Carlito came to the ring for a MITB preview match with the briefcase hanging above the ring. Styles plugged Show and Mayweather on the Today Show tomorrow morning. Shelton Benjamin came out as Carlito's opponent.

2 -- CARLITO vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN

This ought to be interesting with two mid-card heels going against each other. The match was so interesting that Styles and Tazz found time to debate chess vs. fencing. At 7:00, Carlito landed a suplex for a two count. He landed some left-hand blows before settling into a neck vice. Shelton actually received a babyface reaction when he made his comeback at 8:00, hitting the electric chair out of the vice. Carlito cut him off and hit a springboard dropkick for a close call on the pin. He cursed the ref, then picked up Shelton for a neckbreaker and another nearfall. Another rest hold from Carlito, then the fans rallied behind Shelton, who came back with a standing kick to the head.

[Q3]

The match continued at 10:00 with Shelton taking Carlito down with right hand blows. He then nailed a fallaway back breaker across his knee for a nearfall of his own. Shelton followed up with a t-bone suplex for another two count. They teased a finishing sequence at 11:00 with Carlito hitting a turn-out slam for a two count. Carlito went for the backstabber, but Shelton blocked and powerbombed Carlito into the corner. Shelton tried his running jawbreaker finisher, but Carlito blocked with a backbreaker. Hm...this is actually getting good to showcase how evenly matched they are. Carlito went high-risk, but Shelton did his cat-like leap up top and nailed his "paydirt" running jawbeaker from the top. He slowly rolled over and pinned Carlito for the win.

WINNER: Shelton Benjamin in 13:00. I liked this. WWE let these two mid-card heels take a chance by going more than five minutes in the ring. It was really, really slow in the beginning and I lost interest, but the final four minutes was very strong telling the story of each man being evenly-matched. (**)

Video package: They aired a video on the spectacle of Mania and hyped Hunter, Cena, and Orton's respective journeys to the WrestleMania main event. Same video they aired in the second hour of Raw last night.

[Commercial Break]

Video: They showed an exterior shot of Times Square in New York City with clips of the Big Show vs. Mayweather angle playing on the big video board. ... Joey Styles and Tazz then hyped the Mania matches.

Hall of Fame induction: Cue up the HOF music, then Styles and Tazz talked about the HOF main event inductions airing on USA Network this Saturday night. They went to a video package on Gordon Solie being the final inductee. Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair (with a huge smile on his face), Gerald Brisco, and Jim Ross had commentary on Solie. Plenty of classic footage, styling suits, and welcome-to-1978 hair-dos. Very good piece, with Ross adding the final touch that his wrestling announcing career was influenced the most by Solie. No announcement of who will be inducting him.

Backstage: They showed Kelly Kelly and Stevie Richards preparing for tag action up next against Leyla and Mike Knox. Nothing says WrestleMania hype quite like Mike Knox.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

Video promo: They plugged Triple H's DVD that came out today. This one is going to lead to some interesting reviews, especially concerning how The Rock is presented.

In-ring: Layla came to the ring by herself, then Mike Knox followed out. Knox did this odd twirl on the stage before coming down the ramp. Not quite sure what's going on with the facial hair. The NYC press conference is tomorrow at noon EST, streamed on WWE's website. Stevie Richards came out first for the babyface inter-gender team, then Kelly Kelly came out. So, we're re-living 2006 all over again with Knox and Kelly.

3 -- KELLY KELLY & STEVIE RICHARDS vs. LAYLA & MIKE KNOX

Kelly started things off against Layla, who took advantage of Knox tripping Kelly from behind. Kelly then got 90 percent air on an enziguiri kick on Layla, leading to the men tagging in. Suddenly, Kelly tackled Layla and they rolled to the outside. Back in the ring, Knox gave Stevie a corkscrew front slam for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Knox & Layla in 3:00. Well, there was a match. It was fine. And then it was over. (1/2*)

Video promo: They showed clips of Mayweather training and boxing. Same video they aired on Raw with Mayweather talking about his perceived advantages over Big Show, and the line about Show's pants looking like a bed sheet.

[Commercial Break]

[Q5 -- over-run]

Video package: They aired a WrestleMania commercial hyping Edge vs. Taker with the Title vs. The Streak.

In-ring: 23 of the 24 men were around the ring pretending to carry on conversation. ECW champion Chavo Guerrero then came to the ring. The 24th man, Tommy Dreamer, then came to the ring without Colin.

4 -- ECW champion CHAVO GUERRERO vs. TOMMY DREAMER (w/Colin Delaney) -- non-title match

The bell sounded four minutes past the top of the hour. They locked up and Duggan was just looking around the building shouting, "C'mon, Dreamer" over and over. I'll pay money for a Duggan vs. Sheik promo exchange. Suddenly, Dreamer got a roll-up for a nearfall after the lumberjacks chucked Chavo into the ring when he tried to escape. Dreamer hung Chavo upside down in the corner and landed a basement dropkick. He went for a DDT, but Chavo held onto the top rope to block. Chavo then hit a top rope frog splash for the pin and the win.

After the match, the other 23 men stared at Chavo, who was celebrating with the ECW Title belt. Suddenly, they all jumped Chavo, leading to a giant brawl in the ring to close out the show seven minutes past the top of the hour.

WINNER: Chavo in 3:00. Well, if you had Dreamer on your fantasy team, my apologies. Two matches and two convincing losses. I hope this leads to something with Colin post-Mania. As for hyping Mania in five days, I don't think they hit the right tone. More like an off-note from Kristy Lee Cook, and far, far away from being spot-on like David Cook. (1/2*)

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for an "ECW Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on ECW TV, click here.


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