Kevin McElvaney’s Take On ECW: 03/18/2008 Edition

Kevin McElvaney


A big WrestleMania 24 main event? The promised announcement of the next Hall of Fame inductee? Was ECW finally hitting the WWE big time?

Not bloody likely.

For starters, we had CM Punk, Jesse, and Festus, against Shelton Benjamin, Miz, and Morrison as the only advertised match. That’s not exactly bringing out the big guns, is it? (I’m referring to this match as it relates to main event potential: a six man tag involving a comedy team. I’m a fan of all the wrestlers involved!)

Anyway, we won’t judge too quickly. Let’s take it step by step, instead.

The night kicked off with Kane defeating Elijah Burke – rather handily in fact. Kane has become a dominant force in ECW while not officially a member of the brand. Not a bad thing, mind you, except that Elijah Burke is being pushed to the wayside yet again.

Kane, The Great Khali, Mark Henry, Big Daddy V will be among the big men in the 24 (not all big) man battle royal at WM 24. The winner will go on to face Chavo Guerrero immediately after. Kane could very well be that guy.

Backstage, Colin Delaney approached Armando Alejandro Estrada about signing an official ECW contract. Chavo Guerrero made fun of him for getting squashed all the time. Estrada made a (non-title) match between the two, with a contract being on the line for Delaney if he was able to defeat Guerrero. It’s an old storyline, but I’m a HUGE fan of it and glad to see they’re employing it.

Kofi Kingston defeated Curtis E. Bear with the Jamaican Buzzsaw kick. Not much else I can say about this match, as it’s a variation on the same thing they’ve been doing with Kingston every week. Kofi’s not yet stale and, in fact, feels pretty well pushed at this point. Let’s see where it goes.

Backstage segment with Punk, Jesse, and Festus. Jesse IS Terry Gordy’s son, right? And his gimmick is a glorified carny, hyping up this weird catatonic brute? Just checking.

The match was after the commercial break. I was relieved that, on a night when Raw specifically hyped the following night’s ECW a little more than usual (including Punk and Colin Delaney, noting the HOF inductee announcement), that the main event will involve both the champion and the guy who took a wonderful beating on Raw.

The match went through a commercial break, leaving after the obligatory “everybody gets knocked down on the outside” section and returning with Punk – who was still standing before the break – on the offensive against The Miz. Shelton reversed the tides on Punk by lifting a knee into his back. Festus (or, as Joey Styles called him, “The Corn-fed Colossus”) got the hot tag and, eventually, scored the pinfall on Miz, FTW. That’s “for the win,” not the name of Tazz’s self-proclaimed title back from the ECW of yore.

Despite my initial skepticism about this match, it was a nice center point to the show and, as much as I like the fast-paced, four to five match format ECW usually follows, it was refreshing to see something go longer for a change. Wasn’t that a tasty run-on sentence? Way better than the ham, corned beef, and cabbage I didn’t eat yesterday, regardless of my obvious heritage.

Commercial for the movie, 21. Jim Sturgess does a worse job of hiding his British accent than Eric Idle in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. Seriously, he sounds like a kid reading at a tryout for a high school play. I felt a little bad for including this but, after seeing that he was in that blasphemous Across the Universe movie, I feel no remorse. End non-wrestling ranting…return to wrestling ranting.

Wow, a recap of the end of Raw. Those poor, poor midcard wrestlers. I really liked Santino stealing Lawler’s sandwich last night, though. See? I’m not being overly negative.

Eddie Graham, as rumored, is the next inductee of the 2008 class of the Hall of Fame. This is very appropriate, considering his history and the location of this year’s ‘Mania. Vince referred to the Graham Brothers as his favorite tag team of all time. THAT is a big deal.

In the main event Colin Delaney…didn’t win an ECW contract. Chavo pinned him after hitting the Gory Bomb. Delaney got a couple moves in, prompting chants of “COLIN! COLIN!” He seemed like an unknown on Raw last night but, on ECW, he’s a young star on the rise.

Still, a mostly one-sided match with no contract gained. That’s a really lame note to end ECW on. Seriously! Fine, you’re not ready to push the kid yet. At least let him get some near-falls in. You know, build a character instead of making people less interested. Remember how well that Lance Storm “Boring” angle got over? Yep.

The main event was poopy, in theory. In execution, the match was solid enough. Chavo is a good wrestler, and Colin makes his opponents look like a million bucks. Colin’s brief promo before the match also got a good reaction. The ending and, beyond that, the lack of Colin getting any true false finishes, made the whole segment a real downer. Chavo didn’t even get heat after the bell.

The rest of the show was decent – definitely good enough that I can’t give the show a horrible rating. In good conscience, though, I can’t give it an average one, either.

The March 18th ECW on Sci-Fi receives a 6.5 / 10.

And now, a reminder:

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Kevin McElvaney is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler / Inside Wrestling. Send questions or comments to kjmcelvaney@yahoo.com.

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