TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW ON SCI-FI REPORT 6/26: Ongoing coverage of live show
Jun 26, 2007 - 10:05:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
ECW TV on Sci-Fi Live Report
June 26 in San Antonio, Texas
Year 2, Week 3 (Week 55 overall) on Sci-Fi
They open the show with Vince McMahon on a studio set. He recapped that last night, they aired a tribute to Chris Benoit on Raw. He said 26 hours later, the facts of the "horrific tragedy" have become known, and this will be the last time Benoit's name is mentioned on WWE TV tonight. McMahon said tonight's show will be dedicated to the performers as the "first step of the healing process". He said tonight, WWE performers will do what they do better than anyone in the world: entertain you. (Note: no apology, as was expected from reports earlier today, only veiled hints of remorse for Raw last night.)
The show opened live with John Cena coming out to a hot crowd reaction. Bring the leader of the company out to start the show and hope for the best. Joey Styles and Tazz talked about Cena being back in ECW for the first time in over a year. Nitro then came out as the new ECW champion. I feel this is too soon for a "regular business" show. How do you have a wrestling show the day after we found out a seven-year-old child and a wife were murdered?
1 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. ECW champion JOHNNY NITRO -- champion vs. champion match
Cena worked on Nitro's back in the opening few minutes, then the action spilled to the outside where Nitro threw Cena into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Nitro worked on Cena's lower back. He cut off Cena's comeback with a hard clothesline. Nitro then dumped Cena over the top rope to the floor. They cut to a break.
They returned with Nitro still in control of the match. Cena began no-selling right hand blows, then he shoved Nitro away and landed short jabs to the gut and head. He did the Five Knuckle Shuffle, then went for the FU, but Nitro escaped and landed a springboard kick to the head. He then sat down on a chokehold, with his arms wrapped firmly around Cena's neck. To me, that's a highly inappropriate move tonight considering the cause of death in the Benoit murders. But, where do you draw the line on what physical combat is acceptable on the show tonight? Cena escaped the chokehold, hit a guillotine leg drop, and forced Nitro to tap out to the STFU for the win.
WINNER: Cena via submission in 17:00. A match meant to be an escape from reality, but tonight, reality is going to win out.
Later tonight, it's C.M. Punk vs. Elijah Burke in 2 out of 3 falls #1 Contender match to the ECW Title.
They returned to the show with Styles and Tazz talking about the show being a chance to offer entertainment. Roddy Piper then came out. Styles called him one of the most controversial superstars of all-time. Tazz said he's one of the most unpredictable superstars in WWE history. Piper smiled, then he took a mic. He asked if this is hardcore. He then said he doesn't consider you hardcore until having your hearing taken away by a dog collar match. Matt Striker's music interrupted, then Striker walked out with a stagehand, who brought out a birthday cake for Striker. Striker told Piper that he's his teacher. Piper said he's definitely not his sex-ed teacher. Striker then said today is a special day because it's his birthday. He said it would mean a lot to him if Piper sang happy birthday to him. Piper said they should all sing happy birthday to the mark, Matt. Piper said they should show Matt some class by signing Happy Birthday to him. Piper led the chorus, then he slammed the cake into Striker's face. Styles screamed, "Cake fight" in the same vein of "Cat fight". Piper left the ring, then Boogeyman's music hit. He scared Striker out of the ring, and into Piper's awaiting arms. Piper then threw Striker back into the ring, where Boogeyman gave him a two-hand slam. Boogeyman dumped worms in Striker's mouth as Styles gagged on commentary. Striker getting his comeuppance on his birthday won't make everything better to heal the wounds of family members, no matter how much WWE believes this is an escape from reality.
They plugged Punk vs. Burke again tonight.
A video package on The Miz aired, touting that he will be coming to ECW. Styles and Tazz were all smiles ringside, a drastic change from last night. They recapped Nitro winning the ECW Title at Vengeance on Sunday.
Backstage, Nitro stood in front of the camera. Styles asked about his loss to John Cena earlier tonight. Nitro began coughing, then he said everyone knows he's been suffering from a severe cough and cold lately. He said he was still brave enough to go out there to compete tonight. Nitro said he would be watching Burke vs. Punk closely tonight.
Burke came out first. They plugged the Great American Bash next month.
C.M. Punk came out to the ring.
3 -- ELIJAH BURKE vs. C.M. PUNK -- 2 out of 3 falls #1 Contender match
Back-and-forth action in the first five minutes. Burke then caught Punk upside down in the corner and hit the Elijah Express double-knee smash to the back of Punk's head. He then made a cover and scored the first fall in 6:00.
Burke didn't give Punk very much recovery time, and instantly went for a quick cover, but Punk kicked out. Punk then missed with an attempted splash near the ropes and he flew to the floor, landing square on his back without protecting his body on the way down. The referee applied a ten count, and Punk returned to the apron at eight. Punk suddenly flipped over Burke into the ring. He rolled up Burke for a pin in 8:00 where you would never see that as the finish in a normal one fall match. They cut to a break tied 1-1.
Back live, Burke had Punk on the mat with a seated surfboard stretch. Punk recovered to his feet and kicked Burke away, then Burke landed a slam in the corner by throwing Punk down by the back of his head. Punk made a comeback at 14:00 when he caught Burke in mid-air with a spin kick to the gut. He landed the patented knee-strike and running bulldog before making a cover for a nearfall.
Punk fired up, then picked up Burke and walked into a knee to the gut. Burke softly threw Punk into the corner, looking absolutely gassed. They eventually fought on the top turnbuckle and Punk hit a Tornado DDT for a nearfall. Punk went for the G2S, but Burke slipped out. They went into a rapid-fire series of pin attempts, resulting in nearfalls, before Punk caught Burke with the Go 2 Sleep for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Punk in 18:00 2-1 falls to become #1 Contender.
After the match, Nitro walked out on stage with the ECW Title belt over his shoulder. Nitro mockingly applauded Punk, then he held the belt high in the air to close the show.
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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